My name is Jamal Jordan, born and raised in South Carolina, USA. My family raised me Baptist (Christian) and I was an avid, active Christian up until about a month ago when I embraced Islam.
I was born down in Florida in 1995 to a family of nothing but Christians. We then moved to South Carolina, and we currently reside in the region known as “the Bible Belt”. As the name hints, there is a lot of Christianity around here. There are churches everywhere, and churches are always holding events and dinners. Pretty much the whole community is Christian. Needless to say, I was raised in a Church, and thus adopted the beliefs and never really questioned them. I enjoyed the Church. I joined a local youth group and a choir. I attended many leadership conferences and other seminars, and I eventually obtained a leadership position in my church’s youth. We launched many mission trips across various under privileged areas to help “spread the good news” and build churches. I considered myself lucky, and proud to have been a Christian, and not born into any other religion. Little did I know that we are all born as Muslims.
This leads me to the next part, Islam. Growing up I didn’t know anything about Islam, except that they called God “Allah” and followed a man named Muhammad (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him). And the only exposure I had to Islam was the through the media in the wake of 9/11. I remember my dad telling me that “Muslims are your enemy“. I didn’t really know what to think, but I avoided Islam all together. And then a Muslim family moved here from Jordan. I became friends with the boy who is my age, when we had a class together earlier this year. When he mentioned that his religion was Islam, I was intrigued, and asked him a few questions. That’s when I found out that they are very similar to Christians. This little revelation interested me, but not to the point that I was motivated to study.
One day, when traveling to a church conference, I was discussing Islam with another friend of mine, a Christian, and he said that he wanted to read a Quran, so that he could see what it said for himself. I agreed with him. While at the conference, I contemplated about how to convert my friend to Christianity. I came to the conclusion that I would first build a relationship with him, and then start the process. I continued with this plan for a while actually, but one day I went into my school’s library, and it changed everything. I saw a book entitled “Islam basic beliefs and teachings” and decided to check it out. Later at home when I read it, everything I read amazed me for some reason. There was literally something inside of me making me want to believe what I was reading. It all made sense. I read about the prophets, peace be upon them, and the biography of Muhammad, (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him). Also, the book displayed how to pray, and I thought it was beautiful. That same day, I did some searches on the internet, and learned all I could about Islam. I was still a Christian, but whenever I read articles from www.answering-christianity.org, or listened to debates, I found myself pulling for the Muslim side. At this point, I had already been convinced about Islam, but I still needed background information… So I studied for about 6 months. I studied every topic in Islam at least twice.
At about 5 months in, I was basically a Muslim. I knew how to pray in Arabic, I had memorized 4 surahs (chapters) of the Quran and I owned 3 copies of the Quran. But I was still having identity issues. Eventually I mustered up the courage to go online and convert. I used the site “Chat Islam online” al-hamdulillah (All praise and thanks are due to God) it was great! The sister I converted with was very nice and helpful, and sent me more valuable information. And the next day, I told my Muslim friend about my conversion, and he was extremely happy for me. He welcomed me as a brother, and even got me a prayer mat. Allah made it easy for me, and for that I am most grateful.
Although there is one problem that lurks over me today… I am practicing Islam in secret. I am only 16, and still live under the jurisdiction of my parents. They would probably harm me if they found out I converted, not to mention I would be ostracized and maybe disowned. I have faith that God will guide me and protect me.
Anyone considering Islam that is in a position similar to mine should have the same faith, that God will help you out if you embrace Islam. I hope my story can serve a good purpose for anyone out there who is considering Islam.