He was born Jermaine Boddy and was raised in Charleston, West
Virginia, United States, as a Baptist Christian as were his parents and their
parents and so on and so forth. He narrates how in the letter below how he
converted to Islam:
As a youth I attended Church and Sunday School regularly until
my adolescent years when girls and running around suddenly became more important
to me. I consider myself as "sinful" when I was on the street, but I
was always conscious of Allah, or I may say God in those days and used to ask
forgiveness on occasions for my sinful deeds in vain by the way I had been
taught, "in the name of Jesus", may Allah forgive me. I continued on
in my sinful ways despite a number of events in my life that were very life
threatening such as drugs, being shot in the head, loss of jobs, and family and
friends dying. Only after my incarceration did I begin to seek refuge in Allah
and I was "saved" while incarcerated in the county jail. Even then as
I faithfully read my Bible and prayed every night before I went to bed, there
were still some doubts in my mind as far as the Christian faith was concerned. I
continued to try to live my life as Christian when I came to prison but
eventually went back to my old ways of my lower self. Again after several years
of constantly staying in and out of trouble worrying about worldly matters and
confronting frustration I began going to Church again but only half–heartedly.
I really enjoyed the singing and also the eloquent speech of the preacher
Reverend Hightower but there were always unanswered questions which I still
cannot understand. The more I think about it the more outrageous it sounds.
"Jesus died on the cross for the whole world’s sins". I seek
Even though I was still confused, I held on to Christianity and
started to seek knowledge elsewhere. I had been introduced to Al-Islam briefly
while on the streets by a friend whom was not very knowledgeable or righteous
but yet I somehow was drawn to this religion back then. I can remember telling
my mother that I wanted to be a Muslim after hearing the Ayas of the Holy
Qur’an. She dismissed it by saying I did not know what I was talking about
which I did not but somehow I knew that this was the True religion.
I had attended the Jumu’ah on a couple occasions with a
brother named Islam and then again with one of my home boys but never really
understood what was going on because I was not paying any attention. Sometime
later, I then asked a friend, Shahid Qazi to place my name on the Callout to
attend Jumu’ah but for the wrong reasons. My intentions were to just get out
of going to work in the afternoons on Fridays. Actually I began to stay and
listen to the Khutabah and after a short while some of my previous questions
were starting in to be answered. I would continue to attend reverend
Hightower’s services on Thursday nights and then go to Jumu’ah on Fridays
for at least nine months and over the last part of those nine months I began to
ask Allah to show me the straight path because although I still proclaimed to be
a Christian I knew that Islam was a true religion. Slowly Islam touched my heart
and I stopped attending the Christian services there shortly after I took my
Shahadah (Masha-Allah) and my life changed drastically ever since!
Brother ‘Abdul Aziz is a young of 28 years of age from West
Virginia and have learned his Salat, Kalima, Du’a Qunut, couple other Du’as,
and many Surahs along with all alphabet of Arabic.
Brother ‘Abdul Aziz took his Shahadah just seven months back
but has learned a lot and also is serving the Sunni Muslim Community as an Amir
of Da’awah and Assistant Security. May Allah keep him strong. Ameen
Ali Muhammad Mori (Japan)
Social Worker and Preacher Taken from
Islam, Our Choice
About 18 years ago I was in Manchuria where Japan was still
wielding power. It was in a desert near Pieching that I first came across a
group of Muslims. They were leading a pious life and I was deeply impressed by
their way of living and by their attitude on life. This impression became deeper
and deeper as I traveled into the interior of Manchuria.
I returned to Japan --- a defeated country --- in summer of 1946
and I found that the situation in Japan had changed altogether. There was
tremendous change in the realm of thinking of the people. Buddhism which was the
faith of the majority of Japanese, was thoroughly corrupted and instead of
providing salvation it was exerting an evil influence upon society.
Christianity, after the war had made rapid strides in Japan
although it existed there for the last 90 years but it had remained as a formal
religion only. At first Christianity seemed to be accepted by the innocent, pure
and simple young people who in a way had `killed' their love for Buddhism, but
to their great disappointment they soon found out that behind the cover of
Christianity there existed the network of British and American capitalist
interest. Christianity which has been given up in Christian countries is now
being used for export, to serve their capitalistic interest.
Japan is geographically located between Russia on the one hand
and America on the other and both wish to exert their influence on the Japanese
people. None can offer a lasting and happy solution to the spiritually disturbed
To my mind it will be the doctrine of Islam and none other that
undoubtedly offers the much sought solution. Particularly I am appreciative for
the fraternity in Islam. All Muslims are brethren unto one another and God has
enjoined that they should live in peace and harmony with each other. I believe
that it is this type of `Brotherhood' which is so vital and needed most by the
Last summer three Muslims visited Tokushima. They had come from
Pakistan and it was from them that I learnt a great deal about Islam and what it
stands for. Mr Motiwala in Kobe and Mr. Mita in Tokyo came to my help and I
Last but not the least, I eagerly hope that one day the bonds of
Islam will infuse new spirit amongst Muslims from every nook and corner of the
world and this great message of God will resound once again with full glory from
every land, so that the Earth becomes a Heaven to live in and God's creatures be
really happy --- both materially and spiritually elevated as God does intend.
I was born in lebanon,my father is druze(non-mslim) and my
mother christian. I had all christian learnings from my christian school, and
my mother home encouraged me to learn more about jesus. This lasted till my late
adolescence, when i realised that Bible,although a good book,did not penetrate
to the depth of my Soul. It is the story of jesus and his actions ,but i could
not find in it the majesty of the words of God. So i asked God to guide me
to his way,in any religion he chooses for me,but since my home embiance is
not favoring islam ,i could not imagine that God wanted me to be a Muslim. I was
even very bothered to hear Azan or see any Islamic activity. After that , i
travelled to russia to study ,there i lived with my Christian girlfriend. My
neighbour was muslim, sometimes he told me about Islam but as usual i
could not hear anything about it. One day, my girlfriend was in the
bus,she heard people telling jokes about Islam,. she,herself ,did not like Islam
but she asked them:"do You know anything about true Islam " ,
they replied:"no", so she told them :"how can you judge a
religion without knowing anything about it ?"
And she left. After that she asked our friend to bring her some
translated books about Islam for her to know if the things told about islam are
true or not. Meanwhile, i had this strange dream,that was the message of God
that i waited for,the vision was so clear and not blurred as most dreams are.
I was in a green place,splendid in it's beauty, the earth
was totally green,beauty that i did not see anything like it before, then i saw
in the sky ,the sun,the moon and a star between them. The dream ended when
someone gave a piece of paper on which was written " 5 times a day and if i
tell you azzen(pray) fa azzen(so pray)" i woke from my dream very
pleased by the visions but i did not understand the other sightings. So i asked
my friend and he told me that muslims pray 5 times a day and the vision i saw is
mentioned in koran in different souras,like youssef and kiyama(judgement day)
when people will see the sun , the moon together.
Since I did not read koran before, I was astonished that how
something I saw was mentioned in the book of Allah, without this being a picture
from my memory.
After that i took the koran and started to read it ,then i felt
totally taken by this book, i felt the truth, the majesty behind each word, i
felt at last what can penetrate the deepest parts of my soul.
So my girlfriend (who felt the same attraction to the word of
Allah) And I embraced Islam, and married after that. I do not say that only my
dream made me a Muslim, this dream was only the message of God that i waited
for. My knowledge of Islam and Koran teachings made me a Muslim. Anyway God does
not want us to believe blindly in him, in Koran he asks us to test the truth of
his book and to face it every time with the modern knowledge to believe that it
is the truth.
God gave us our brains to think, and eyes to see, and ears to
hear, if we have to check about Islam so check it from a good source to have the
clearest idea about Allah, and stay far from those who are only trying to harm
the book of Allah without knowing their true goal in that. My situation now is
like someone who found a treasure and wants to share it with everybody.
I want to tell you how believing in God can change your
life dramatically, how we can obtain this purity of soul, how we can enjoy life
after knowing why we are in this life
My conversion to Islam began in my eighth grade year. There was
a Muslim student by the name of Raphael who first told me a little about Islam.
At the time he was not so knowledgeable about Islam, but he put the initial
interest in my mind which never went away.
In the ninth grade there was another student by the name of
Leonard who claimed at one time or another that he was a Muslim but he was more
or less a 5 percenter. The one thing he did do was to give me a pamphlet on true
Islam which increased my interest in Islam. I didn't hear much more about Islam
until my tenth grade year.
That year me and Leonard would sit in the back of geometry class
and blame all of the world's problems on white people while we would exalt the
status of black people above all other races. At that time in my life I thought
that Islam was the religion for black people, but unfortunately the Islam I was
talking about was nothing more than black nationalism with a slight touch of
true Islam. It was very similar to The Nation of Islam. As time went on I began
to see that my black nationalist views and my perception of what Islam was about
became tired. It was useless to hate almost all white people and to blame this
on Islam. Around the same time I totally denounced Christianity as my religion.
I got tired of the unintelligible doctrines and the many contradictions within
The next year of high school I was conversing with a few
students about religion and they told me to buy a Qu'ran so I did. I went to the
nearest bookstore and bought a very poor translation of the Qu'ran but it was
the first real look into the truth about Islam. Within a few weeks I took on the
beliefs of a Muslim even though I hadn't taken shahadah yet. Most of what I was
doing concerning Islam was wrong because I never had a chance to go to a masjid
because my mother totally forbade it. As time went on I finally got an Abdullah
Yusuf Ali translation of the Qu'ran which opened my eyes to so much about Islam.
In the meantime my mother was doing everything in her power to
prevent me from embracing Islam. She took me to see her preacher three times
which was of no avail. As time passed I began to learn more and more about Islam
from various books I could get my hands on. I finally learned how to make salat
correctly from one of these books. My mother was still trying her best to make
me become a Christian again.
My mother and I would frequently argue about religion until one
day my mother had enough and told my dad that I was going to have to live with
him. He had absolutely no problem with this. The day after I graduated from high
school I moved in with my dad. I can see now that my parent's divorce was
actually a blessing in disguise. Their divorce provided me with a place to live
in which I could practice Islam freely. My dad had no problem with my interest
One day I called the Islamic Learning Center in Fayetteville and
a brother by the name of Mustafa told me to come down for the Taleem (lesson) to
learn more about Islam. Everybody was extremely hospitable and Mustafa even gave
me a ride home. After three weeks of going to Jumuah (Friday congregational
prayers) and Taleem I finally took my Shahadah on July 2,1995. Ever since then I
have been an active member of the Islamic community. I am also very pleased to
say that Raphael (the person who gave me my initial in interest in Islam) got
back to Islam seriously and took shahadah a few months before I did. We still
keep in touch even though he is in England.
October 28, 1996
The simplicity of Islam, the powerful appeal
and the compelling atmosphere of its mosques, the earnestness of its faithful
adherents, the confidence inspiring realization of the millions throughout the
world who answer the five daily calls to prayer --- these factors attracted me
from the first. But after I had determined to become a follower of Islam, I
found many deeper reasons for confirming my decision. The mellow concept of life
-- fruit of the Prophet's combined course of action and contemplation --- the
wise counsel, the admonitions to charity and mercy, the broad humanitarianism,
the pioneer declaration of woman's property rights - these and other factors of
the teachings of the man of Mecca were to me among the most obvious evidence of
a practical religion so tersly and so aptly epitomized in the cryptic words of
Muhammad, "Trust in God and tie your camel". He gave us a religious
system of normal action, not blind faith in the protection of an unseen force in
spite of our own neglect, but confidence that if we do all things rightly and to
the best of our ability, we may trust in what comes as the Will of God.
The broadminded tolerance of Islam for other religions
recommends it to all lovers of liberty. Muhammad admonished his followers to
treat well the believers in the Old and New Testaments; and Abraham, Moses and
Jesus are acknowledged as co-prophets of the One God. Surely this is generous
and far in advance of the attitude of other religions.
The total freedom from idolatry ... is a sign of the salubrious
strength and purity of the Muslim faith.
The original teachings of the Prophet of God have not been
engulfed in the maze of changes and additions of doctrinarians. The Quran
remains as it came to the corrupt polytheistic people of Muhammad's time,
changeless as the holy heart of Islam itself.
Moderation and temperance in all things, the keynotes of Islam,
won my unqualified approbation. The health of his people was cherished by the
Prophet, who enjoined them to observe strict cleanliness and specified fasts and
to subordinate carnal appetites ... when I stood in the inspiring mosques of
Istanbul, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Algiers, Tangier, Fez and other cities, I
was conscious of a powerful reaction [to] the potent uplift of Islam's simple
appeal to the sense of higher things, unaided by elaborate trappings,
ornamentations, figures, pictures, music and ceremonial ritual. The mosque is a
place of quiet contemplation and self-effacement in the greater reality of the
The democracy of Islam has always appealed to me. Potentate and
pauper have the same rights on the floor of the mosque, on their knees in humble
worship. There are no rented pews nor special reserved seats.
The Muslim accepts no man as a mediator between himself and his
God. He goes direct to the invisible source of creation and life, God, without
reliance on saving formula of repentance of sins and belief in the power of a
teacher to afford him salvation.
The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race,
politics, colour or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times
in my life and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith.
From "Islam, Our Choice"
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