Channel: Abdullah Oduro
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When I embraced Islam,
I started to culturally pop a pasty from my American slash hip hop culture. Even though that was the lens that I heard about Islam from, I looked at the lifestyle and what it contained. And I looked at it from the lens of Islam, coffer Eman, Cofer, what is belief? And what are the products of belief and what are the products of disbelief. And at that time, I took anything that was a product of disbelief or non Islamic what I understood and threw it out the window. As I say, I threw the baby out with the bathwater, I didn't want to have nothing to do with it. And I wanted simply to be a Muslim and live in Islamic life. So even at that time, some of the people that I was hanging around
that call me to Islam, I kind of departed from them, because that portion of the culture was still strong with them. And at that time, I didn't realize that that was something that could be maintained. So as a new Muslim, my uncle, my mother's brother came to America. You see, my uncle was like a governor of a village called appa Trapper in a small village in Ghana. And he was an uncle or he was a chief of this tribe like a governor at that time. I saw I remember seeing a picture of him on the on the on the local magazine, and he's sitting there like a king he's sitting there like, you know, if any of your rappers no Slick Rick or any of these people that had you know, Big Daddy Kane,
they had all these rings on each finger, gold sitting there, chillin, straight face that was from the, you know, from the culture, they sit there with a straight face, and people are sitting below him, and he's on a stool his foots on a footstool. footstools from gold, and he's sitting there like the man, this guy is in my house, Nana, he's in my house. Nona told me something that I never heard before from my mother, because at this time, I'm a new Muslim. Arguing with my mom. My mom doesn't want me to pray in the house. Whenever I told her I gotta pray. She would give me the keys to go to the local mosque, Mohammed, the masjid, right down the street from my house. When I would pray in
the middle of the night, she'd hear me she get up and she tried to put her hand on her hand on my head and start doing what is called tongues. Some of y'all know what tongues are. It is basically making some invocations to protect herself, and to take out what she may have thought was the Satan for me. This is what was going on in my house and I was a new Muslim. I go to sleep sometimes. And she put her hand on my head and recite, and I would hold her hand and say, No, this is what was going on. Around this time her brother comes and we would talk he would tell me about my culture. He told me about the Gunny and lifestyle. I'm like, Yo, what is it like to be a king? What is it like
to be a chieftain? What is it like to have all that gold and all that leadership and responsibility? We're probably one day he said, you know that your uncle was with you. So what are you talking about? He said he was a Muslim, a Muslim, the first thing that hit my mom was worried my mom ever tell me about that. So he started to tell me things that he didn't even know he was telling me. But it confirmed that he was a Muslim from them. He said, you know, your uncle used to walk around with this thing all the time. I used to walk around doing this all the time. And he used to go and do as I see you do.
And I went Oh, he had the vicar beads. And he was making so long. You see, my uncle was a rich man. It was actually
my grandmother's uncle that converted to Islam. And he was a moneylender and cocoa farmer because cocoa is one of the main natural resources of Ghana. So he would supply people with that, and even new Kwame Nkrumah during the time that Ghana was trying to, you know, to, to change the state of Ghana. He was someone that had this business and these businesses actually, he even bought the three story house that my grandmother's are still in that my mother's my mother's mother and my grandmother sisters still live in three stories. And their whole family still resides there. Mashallah. But hearing this from my uncle started to unravel things for me, Do I have a Ghanian
Muslim background? Are their Muslims in my lineage? That's when I started to inquire more. That was the first incident. Next after that. During this time, you know, I wanted to study the deen. I was only concerned about studying Islam, anything that had to do with American values, etc, etc. was put to the side. It was more of what is Islam and that is it. What is the Islamic culture? That's the culture I'm interested in. So I started to study more lessons at the masjid. I would go and study, I would try to memorize Quran. I was learning from my shift that was from Kerala, India. He taught me how to read the Arabic language, which is another story another beautiful story, and I realized that
possible, it's possible to learn this religion. So I started to embark upon that were upon I made Hodge. I made Hodge and making hij really changed it for me and made me step my game up when it came to learning the religion of Islam.