Around June of 2010 I finished reading a Yusuf Ali English translantion of the Qur'an. I read the whole thing because a Muslim friend of mine challenged me to do so because he feared that I was going to hell. The mix of sincerity and admonition propelled me to do so. It took me a while to finish it but I am glad I did it. Before I continue, let me give you a brief timeline on my experience with Islam.
-7th grade (circa 1992)
I meet my first Muslim. He was a Haitian peer and told me about his religion as my Jewish English teacher was passing out chocolate eggs on Easter season.
I saw "X" by Spike Lee. My mind was blown. I learned about the self-hatred that Black people felt for themselves. Malcolm was saved by Islam. He was killed after having a second awakening after visiting Mecca.
|Wu Tang Clan was all in that 5%er type noise|
I learned about Islamic architecture and just enough data to make me seem smart. When word came that they treated women bad and that they spread their religion through violence and coercion just like Christians did I paused my zeal. Just like Malcolm was mistaken maybe I was too. I decide to look into it more because I always cared about knowing the facts of an organization I joined.
|My hero Malcolm X|
|Noble Drew Ali|
I had a classmate who was part of that now old movement of 5%ers type of movement. He tried to shed some light into that whole thing but he was a weed head and was not very credible. I managed to learn about Noble Drew Ali from him.
I got called up to go to war. I asked a Chaplain for a Qur'an. My platoon mates thought I was turning on them. This was around the time that a Muslim soldier supposedly through a grenade in a tent.
|Muslims performing Salat (prayer)|
|Dude with a Kufi on his head|
|Our spot in Iraq|
---I met 3 Muslims at one of my last jobs. They are super cool.
---I have spoken to several Imams from Virginia to Sunrise, Florida
---I've called Islamic hot lines and spoken to various people.
---I've visited numerous mosques in my local area.