How I Came to Islam By Omar Edmond
My Journey to Islam began when I was fifteen years of age. I was very much into rap music and many of the rap artists such as KRS-1, Public Enemy, Gangstarr, X-clan and others were trying to reawaken a sort of cultural revival and positivity within the black community. Some of these rap artists, because of being exposed to certain movements (such as the 5% nation which was started by Clarence 13X and the Nation of Islam started by Elijah Muhammad), would often use Islamic terms such as Allah, Quran, Muhammad, etc. In particular, I had began to grow fond of a group by the name of the X-Clan, who had pictured many black revolutionists on their album including Malcolm X.
This was my first time hearing the name Malcolm X and as for the rap group, the X-Clan, I thought I was one of them. I used to dress as they did and I started to read numerous books on black leaders. I began to promote talk about these great leaders though my knowledge of them was very limited. Until one day a brother of one of my close friends who was at that time a college student challenged me as to my knowledge of Malcolm X to which I failed. He advised me to read Malcolm X’s autobiography. Therefore, I started to read Malcolm X’s autobiography. I did not even finish the whole book before I knew I wanted to be what I thought was a Muslim. I reflected very deeply on how the Nation of Islam were putting words into action being independent of the mainstream society. Bringing a true since of religious values back into the home. They had set up programs, which rehabilitated black men and women within the black community from drug addiction, which systematically destroyed the black families. My only dilemma was that there was no one to teach me anything about Islam.
Eventually, I met some guys from the 5% nation one of which told me that the first step to being a Muslim was being a 5% Muslim. So I became a 5% Muslim which in reality was a 100% Kafir and we studied lessons, drank alcohol, and smoked marijuana, while at the same time trying to memorize TODAY’S MATHEMATICS.
There was one guy that did not drink and did not smoke. In addition to that, he used to meditate. This brother lived in a neighboring city, which was close to a Masjid, and he met another brother who explained what True Islam was and he became Muslim. Immediately after he became Muslim, he called me to the truth of Islam and I responded with the testimony of faith (KALIMAT-SHAHADA). In it, one bears witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except the One true God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.