My name is Abdul Aleem, I am 28 years old and from Los Angeles, California. I thank Allah SWT for opening my heart to accept Islam. I was raised in a Christian family of ministers and Evangelists. I thought that Muslims were very strange or odd when I would see them in their thobes and would make fun of them sometimes but then everything is strange to someone who doesn’t understand something or when something is new to them. Prior to seeing those Muslims at a local masjid I thought all Muslims were black and wore bowties and sold bean pies.
I was contacted by Nation of Islam but I never followed up with them because to me there was something not right about them which I couldn’t put a finger on. Prior to Islam, I was involved in drugs and other undesirable activities. While serving term in prison, I spoke to brothers Abu and Mujahid and got to know more about Islam. I read more and more Islamic literature and I was completely intrigued about Allah SWT and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) and a completely new perspective on Jesus AS. This was more in line with what I believed in and I liked. I wanted to know more and started reading Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Malik’s Muwatta. Soon I started attending classes and Jumuah on Fridays. I began reading the Quran and trembled as the meanings dawned on me and I believed in the deen of Islam.
I professed openly there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His servant and messenger. I finally took the Shahada after Jumuah with Imam Ron el Amin of the Moreno Valley Islamic Center and the Muslim chaplain of the prison at that time. I thanked Allah wholeheartedly for giving me what I had been searching for all my life.
I turned my back to my past life and criminal lifestyle and to all the negative aspects in my life that did not lead to Allah. That was 2008. I have not looked back since. I paroled and went on school and became a drug and alcohol counselor. I have been a counselor since 2010. I get to help people and show them a better way. I have also worked with several Muslim brothers who have addiction problems. I love all the good work I am doing. Alhamdulillah.
I want to connect with other Muslims in the US and outside. Thank you Hadith of the Day for allowing me to share my story. May Allah reward you for all your efforts and may Allah grant us all forgiveness and Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen.