A Muslim Convert Story #03 – The Path Back from Cultural Apostasy

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Abdullah Oduro

Channel: Abdullah Oduro

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So when I continue to learn the religion of Islam, I found an opportunity to go and study in the University of Medina. Because when I came back to America, I was an individual that wanted to learn the Arabic language because I got lost in Mina with a friend of mine and Subhanallah I said, I'm learning this language last after the her wearing it her arm in the middle of men and not knowing where you are, you don't know the language. I came back and I wanted to learn the Arabic language. So almost every day I was learning from a chef at Masjid movement in in Houston, Texas. And we were going in and day in and day out learning the Arabic language and he has so much patience with me and

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learning that language. I met a shift that came from overseas, and Mashallah, he made it possible for us to not only to go to Hajj, but also to study at the University of Medina. When I went to study at the University of Medina in 1999 2000.

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I made it a point he said, You know what, I want to get to know my Ghanian culture. I never really knew it. I was never really introduced to it. I knew the American culture. But I never knew the Ghanian culture. My mother and father came from Ghana, and I don't even know my cousins. I don't even know my grandfather, grandmother. I spoken to a couple of months in the UK, but I don't even know how many countries I have. So when going to Medina, I met one of my mentors till this day, Abu sufian Ahmed, he was someone that Mashallah really served as a beautiful mentor for me. He was doing his master's program in tarbiyah, which is basically like, you know, we could say, a psychology or

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how to deal with communities and people. So some kind of law, this individual, may Allah bless him, Allah sent him to me, and really taught me how to live as a Muslim as a student of knowledge and as a respectable Ghanian man, and that's where I really learned the embodiment of being a guy named Muslim from this individual. It's upon Allah, Mohammed sofian is the one that started the process in me finding my wife Mashallah. So that was something that was beautiful for me when I got to meet the Ghanaian Muslims. But really what was the second element of impact for me, and knowing my culture is when I went to make Hajj with the ghanians, that's when I met a majority of the Ghanaian students

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that study with me and Mecca and Medina, some in Egypt, somewhere in Malaysia, I got to meet the Gunny and students. And what was so interesting is that I saw younger versions of my father, the way that they acted the way that they joke the way that they got upset, right, the way that they would even teach reminded me of my mother. So I saw my element where I initially came from. And I was so appreciative of it. It was there were jaw dropping moments, I'd be in Mena, there were jaw dropping moments, I would be in Mecca with them, and just sitting and listening to them and talking to them, seeing their knowledge of Islam, and the knowledge of their culture. And many of them telling me,

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don't forget to go back to America to tell people about the dean. Don't forget to go back to the place where you were born and raised, where your people are, yes, where your people but you were raised there. So they have a right upon you. That's where I started to really think and ponder. Who am I? Now I know that I'm going in, and I appreciate my Ghanaian culture. And because of Islam, that allowed me to see that by coming to Medina, and meeting the Ghanaian students and seeing the evolution of my reality as a Ghanian and an American. After graduating in 2007. I came back to America. And I recognize that Superman alone is much different, much different. I started to

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recognize the fact that yes, I do come from a Ghanian culture, I should acknowledge that it is something that it's who I am, I should represent that to the best of my ability. Yes, I am a Muslim, and that Islam allows me to represent my culture, and there was no clash and from learning their religion, particularly when learning what is called Mufasa, the [???]tier the Islamic objectives from his gun knutsson, the preservation of the lineage and learning even what we call an coadjutor here and either Mahatma, that the earth or the custom takes precedence. So Islam does consider culture. It does consider what is normalized amongst a group of people. So the basis is that culture is

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accepted and it's

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sifts it out, and getting educated, being around ghanians that were much more educated than me that some I studied from. I really understood the true embodiment of Islam, and who Abdullah oduro really was, when coming back to America, I realized that Subhanallah you know, I was still young. And I still had a lot to learn,

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you know, knowing what to accept from the American culture, particularly in the hip hop culture, knowing how to move as an upright, Muslim man, and knowing how to at the same time, respect my elders and parents, because one thing that I knew Islam brought me was respect to the elders, but even amongst the Muslims in America, I didn't see it as I saw it with the Ghanaian culture. And as we know, many cultures have Islam, you know, it's, it's within it. It's within it because of the generations that have been present, that Islam has been present within these cultures or within these countries, you see that Islam is permeated within certain practices and actions of these

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people, people in these different areas around the world. Ghana was one of them. Being that I came from a Christian family, yes. And my mother's someone till this day preaches the message of, you know what they believe being Christianity and Jesus Christ. They were in Kumasi and Accra, which is further central southern portion of Ghana, you'll find in the northern portion of Ghana, from Burkina Faso, Mali, the the effect of Islam and Muslims, in which the majority of the students were in Medina. So years after coming back, I had the opportunity, and I use this as the opportunity to see my family. But that opportunity was presented to me not as an opportunity in the beginning. I

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received the call from my mother, around 2016, July 2016, that my father, the individual who came to this country, wanted a better life for his future children. My father, the one who was an architect in Houston, eventually retired, went back because he had a number of strokes. My father, the one that took care of his wife, and tried his best to take care of his children. My mother called me and told me that he passed away.

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She called me and told me that Allah has taken him, but that was not

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the responsibility upon me.

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That's when it really hit me. That Look, man, you can't just throw your culture out the window like that. You have to know where you come from. And that is an exemplification. And an example of a true well rounded Muslim.