I remember the innocence of my youth, care-free, blind to what I would face when I would become older. I would grow to see the beauties and pressures of life, though I’d remain blind to the purpose of life. I would go from stage to stage as I still am—I believe this, that I am a traveler, traveling in this present life. I know this present life is temporary.
I was a little boy when my mom took me to Saturday school at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Vallejo , California . I was taught about the Virgin Mary and Jesus, among other things. I was taught that God was part of three, the trinity as they call it. Jesus was a part of these three, but God was one. Jesus was the God and the son too, and there was a spirit somewhere, 1,2,3,1—see, easy. I didn’t finish my Catholic education.
This was a slice of the stage at my childhood, a part of history that makes me who I am today.
Traveling on—growing, getting into different adventures and experiences, living—I learned many ideas from different people of different walks of life; from urban drug dealers and hustlers in Vallejo , to fruit pickers of Salinas Valley orchards inside of a John Steinbeck novel. I believed and had faith in the One God from what I kept of the Holy Scriptures, though I admit to being distracted from Him most of the time. I didn’t know much about God or why I was even here on earth, my purpose that is. I lived by society’s standards or rules in my environment while elsewhere there were societies and cultures I didn’t even imagine.
I read on my own, seldom. In about 1993 I encountered the autobiography of Malcolm X. The book belonged to my sister as part of her finished studies; it lay with other books in stacks. Out of curiosity I picked it up; after reading my thinking and perception would change dramatically. As my world expanded I would go on to a new stage, I learned from that autobiography the importance, necessity of reading, learning and gaining knowledge that would help me to see better. I became inspired and encouraged to travel in my expanded world. I picked up a slice of information about Islam, the Prophet Muhammad was the last in the line of Prophets that I knew of in the Bible, including Jesus.
I believed in Allah(The One God) then in the mid-90’s and prayed to Him in my own way, with no knowledge of Islam, though Allah knows my heart. About seven years after reading the autobiography of Malcolm X, I read the English translation of the original Arabic Qur’an. I found light by Allah’s guidance and submitted in Islam(peace obtained by the submission to Allah) just after September 11, 2001. I know why I’m here on earth, to believe in Allah(The Creator) and whom He sent as His last messenger Muhammad, with His revelation the Qur’an. As I travel on I know there is a final destination that never ends. I ask Allah to keep me with light as I travel.
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