I start by saying praise and glory to Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala, to whom all thanks belongs. He whom Allah guides will find no one to miss guide Him, and He whom Allah causes to stray will find no helper except in Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala.
I was born and raised in Dallas Texas of the United States.
My parents separated when I was 5 and I spent most of my time growing up living with my mom, 2 brothers and 1 sister with my grandparents. It was a very religious Christian home.
My grandma was a Sunday school teacher, and my grandfather and her never missed a Sunday in church. With that being said I learned a lot about the Bible from a young age, and I took an interest in God from a very young age. But my family pretty much took it as I just wanted to show off to my grandparents who were active in church, which was an initial shock to me that even my Christian family would take my religious seriousness as a joke. After brushing that off I quickly realized, still at a young age, that Christians were mean people in general.
At some point in elementary school my grandmother passed away, and a few years later my grandfather. Without them there my mom got away from church, and I eventually formed an atheist point of view by high school. But even before I considered my self as complete atheist, I had serious doubts in religion from my experiences at church.
But once I hit high school I turned more rebellious and spent a lot of time making some big mistakes, and spent the majority of my years between 15 and 18 in and out of jail. At 18 I moved from Dallas to California and pretty much kept my self out of trouble from that point on, but other than that my choices weren’t much better, and as the years went on, the further and further I was from any form of truth. Eventually I found my way to Pennsylvania when I was 19, and ended up being with a girl that I have been with ever since and ended up getting engaged to. I started to grow more and more in my hatred of religion in general, I felt religion was only something people used to make them selves feel better than others.
In 2008 for some reason I just completely changed, and out of no where felt the urge to get closer to God and get my life on a better path. I started with reading the Bible, because I wanted to know what God wanted before I started looking into churches. I quickly realized that no church practices what the Bible teaches, but I felt God changing me and knew it was important I learned, so I just stuck with the Bible which is what I had. The changes I was making so quickly were a complete shock to my girl friend I was living with at the time, and we ended up splitting up, because for our whole relationship I taught her why religion was wrong, and now I’m changing and trying to teach her why religion is important, and it was too much.
So we split up and I moved back to California, during that time I stuck to studying the Bible, and visited church one time during that point. I was looking into the Jehovah Witnesses because they seemed to hold more truth than any other Christian group. I went to church there once and really liked it, was considering becoming a Jehovah Witness myself, until my mom showed me some history of theirs that made me change my mind. Eventually me and my girlfriend that I moved away from in Pennsylvania started talking again, and she decided she realized she needed to be more religious too, and we wanted to work things out so I moved back.
We got engaged immediately after I got back, and I was pretty quickly falling off my changes I made. She got pregnant shortly there after with a girl, and life got busier, all the while I was falling further and further from my relationship with Allah. The whole time I realized I was making bad decisions, and knew my life was miserable like this, but I couldn’t figure out how to change. Reading the Bible was not enough, and I had no one I trusted to guide me. Me and my fiancé started fighting worse than ever, and by the time our daughter was born we were on the edge of splitting up again. I ended up getting a really bad drug addiction, and I felt all this pressure to fix my relationship with my fiancé because now we have a daughter, but every day just got worse. I knew I needed Allah… But had no idea how to get close to him from the point I was at… Between the time my daughter was born and when she was 6 months old was the darkest time of my life, between the drugs and the fighting the new baby and everything falling apart, I was lost and confused. Eventually I gave up the drugs because of the damage I was doing to my loved ones, but it was too late and the relationship with my fiancée was too damaged.
At some point in that time, (which was during Ramadan 2011, but I had no idea because I never even knew one Muslim at this point) during a normal night for me, I was at home in my room, late at night. My fiancée was asleep on the couch, which had become normal because of all the fighting, so I’m sitting there trying to not think about my problems. I ended up deciding to look into what Muslims believe, it was pretty much random, but what influenced me to do so was a few months before that I found out Muslims worship the same God as Christians, which surprised me, and also I was trying to find something to occupy my mind.
So I started out looking up the differences between Christians and Muslims, and found out the only real differences were about how they see Jesus. Which wasn’t a big deal to me, because I was starting to get uncomfortable with some of the beliefs Christians held about Jesus, but I still believed he was Allah’s son (Astaghfirullah) and still believed you needed him for removal of sins and to get to heaven (Astaghfirullah). So this was enough for me to look into the Quran, I wanted to see what actually inspired Muslim beliefs.
So I goggled the Quran and found an English translation and started reading. I read up to the point in Baqarah where it talks about the blessings of Ramadan and the Quran being sent down in Ramadan, and already with the power of the Quran it felt special that I was there in that moment reading it. So I went back to Google out of curiosity to see when Ramadan was, and found out I was in it. The whole situation blew me away, it felt very relevant that I was there at that time reading this powerful book, filled with an amazing guidance and light. I continued reading and felt my problems leaving. I felt this was it, the answer to all my problems, the peace and guidance I needed. I thought every problem would go away, I knew I wasn’t ready to be Muslim but I knew I wanted to learn this book and model my life after it. As soon as my fiancée woke up (I stayed up all night reading Baqarah) I had to tell her about it, I was so excited, I wasn’t too surprised when she thought I was crazy, but I wanted to keep trying to talk to her about it over the next few days. Unlike how I thought, my problems far from went away, my life was getting darker quicker, and the fighting worse. In my mind, I knew the Quran was true… But kept remembering how surah Baqarah states how Allah causes those to stray who He wishes, I felt positive I messed my life up too much and Allah just showed me the Quran to show me how bad I messed up. Me and Tori ended up splitting up and I moved back to California, which was devastating to me at first, because of my new daughter. But I ended up getting over it.
I was staying with my mom in Cali, and I spent a lot of time reading Quran on my phone, I eventually ordered a physical copy at one point. And slowly life started to look brighter and I felt Allah guiding me again, which is all that mattered to me at the time. Around the time I was coming close to finishing the Quran my Imaan was getting higher and I decided I should tell my mom that I want to be Muslim. Like I expected she completely flipped out and tried to do all she could to talk me out of it, but at this point I had no doubts about my choice, Allah already taught me the truth about Jesus in His Quran at that point, and I already had gotten over my doubts before I even told her. Fighting between me and my mom ended up getting really bad now, she didn’t want to stop bringing it up and it would always turn into a very nasty debate. But the whole time I was learning Quran I was also trying to explain it to my ex fiancé when I would call to see how my daughter was doing. She thought I was crazy at first but slowly started to see the truth in it. And eventually as tensions rose between me and my mom I decided to go back to Pennsylvania with my family, because my fiancé wanted to learn about Islam. Eventually in January 2012, I took my Shahada, and in July 2012 she took hers, and we are both students of Islam and in sha Allah I pray to Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala I always will be.
My apologies for this being so long dear brothers and sisters.
Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatoulah