IMAM HUSAIN ISLAMIC CENTRE “Light of Guidance and Ark of Salvation”
January, 18 2018 - 12:34 PM 29 Rabi'u Thani 1439

Daniel Oliver

In the Name of God; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

[No part of this article may be used or reproduced in anyway. This article represents the originator`s personal views and opinions, which do not necessarily reflect those of IHIC.]

The testimony
as Salamu álaykum w& RahmatuLLãHi w& BarakãtuHu
You asked why I became Muslim
Let me guess:
you want to know why I cry
You want to know why I‘m not afraid to die
I was in Manhattan 9/11 & I knew it was a lie  
But it started way before that:  
It started when I was mouthing the songs at church
I refused to/couldn`t dance
I felt lonely in crowded rooms:
Were they smiling or baring their teeth?
I felt weak: I had dreams that I couldn`t run
I woke up paralyzed thousands of times I couldn`t breathe I had to use all my
strength just to wiggle a toe or twist my wrist back & forth to come alive before I suffocated
I cursed everything
I slept with strangers
I ran away
I smoked
I convoluted, I made myself fall in love
I went to sleep as a hiding place
I lied
More than anything I lied
And then what?
Then the music stopped, then it restarted but i wanted it off
Then I unplugged the t.v.
Then I unplugged my self:
I skipped class to do my own reading
I ran a lap around Australia , from Sydney & back through Perth
The less I saw the more I saw:
Nature was screaming `The truth! The truth!`
I watched the world dying- it`s still dying- & it`s really not that sad
What`s sad is that we`re dying & we still haven`t decided to live
I started to give, & giving don`t count `til it`s something you want, or
especially that you need
I quit askin` my Mom for money,
may ALLAH Guide her,

I fought my way back to the top
I was an overgrown college loser, a fiend
Then, when I had nowhere to go,
the Brother invited me to the mosque:
they prayed, & i wasn`t impressed `til i stayed:
more colors than any rainbow were sitting on the floor talking, thriving
the Brothers were all offers & no requests
REAL men, not macho: firm strong enough to be open

I was always told that GOD was 3
That was something I learned but never believed
I was tired of my self, I wanted to be free
I wanted to learn, I wanted to see more than glimpses & shadows & mirrors
I wanted a Light `cuz I`d seen the Truth but I wanted to see it more clear

When the moment of Truth came I was prepared to say
Lã ilãha ill-ALLãH, Muhammad-r-Rasũl-ALLãH
I say it in smiles & I say it in tears
To summarize   Islãm is the oasis everything else is a mirage

Islãm is a relief, the reality we`re all trying to find
Everything else you rush to only seems like it is there:
But where`s your lover now, your happiness, your money, your PEACE?
They were like water or sand, just slipping your hands

The truth is you can`t hide from the truth cuz the truth is all there is   
This isn`t the full extent of the affair:  
I was once at a barbecue in the north beaches with some dudes from cali . We were deciding what meat to buy & I said "can we skip on the pork please?" The one dude gave me a high five and said "are you Muslim too?" I said "no". That was the first time I remember that I had quit pork, though I can`t remember actually making the decision. I never ate it since  
I remember when I got back to Texas , I had this urge to just read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley. I would read it on my lunch breaks & stay up late at night. I even rented the movie & I recommend both  
Also, in Australia , I started sleeping on the floor. I would sleep between two blankets on my hardwood loft  
I started fasting in Australia too. Once, I didn`t eat for a whole month from sunrise to sunset for four weeks. Maybe those four weeks coincided with Ramadãn, ALLãH Knows Best
I would still go out at night with my friends. Girls would stare at me but I would just stare away. I was proud, it made me feel strong  
I met Emad T, a limo driver & student at Sydney uni. Looking back I realize he was a Muslim, but all I knew then was that he didn`t really fit into the life we were trying to live. May ALLãH Guide him, ãmeen.  
Eddie. I didn`t know his name was Muhammad until I saw his ómãni passport. He was wild, even dangerous, but he called me `Brother` the first time he ever met me, and he proved what it meant to be one time & time again. I love him; ALLãH, Guide him to the Straight Path, ãmeen.  
So, I started that lap around Australia with a gym bag of clothes & no cash. I`d had a gun pulled out on me, but honestly I wasn`t afraid. I didn`t fear dying, I just didn`t want to die. I guess I just knew I wasn`t gonna die right then. But I realized, at that moment, that I could have died. We all could have. We could all die at any moment. We could all die at the same moment. And I think I thought what a lot of people feel when they die: "This is so inconvenient…
because they`re empty & they have everything to lose  
Al-Hamdu LiLLãH I`m whole, and I have nothing to lose. `Cause when "Eddie" told me "Brother, you don`t even know who you are" I had a smoke in my mouth but I knew he was right
I ran away home
I knew he was right because when my Mother saw me for the first time in a year-and-a-half, she didn`t smile and she needn`t have
it didn`t hurt, it just told the truth.
[No part of this article may be used or reproduced in anyway. This article represents the originator`s personal views and opinions, which do not necessarily reflect those of IHIC.]