The Search for Truth
It began upon my arrival to federal prison. An African American offered to assist me in my cosmetic needs. He said he was a Muslim, and Muslims are commanded to help those in need. It struck my interest to check this Islamic thing out. However, I was under the impression that this was a religion exclusively for African Americans. I was thinking, no way I can become a Muslim, I’m white!
Still, I asked this brother for some literature on Islam. I found out about the universality of it, how it transcends color, ethnicity and race. It sounded real and pure. It began to appeal to me. This brother invited me to Jumu’ah (Friday) service. I was given a Quran, and as I read the translation, I felt the purity and truth of it. There was no hocus-pocus, no spookism, no mysticism, just plain, simple understanding of the “Truth.” When I heard the Adhan (the call to prayer) I felt a closeness to God that penetrated my heart and soul.
After some research and study of the Quran, I discovered its total infallibility, no contradictions in it.
There are religions based on believing in certain sciences, multiple deities, the religion of 3 gods in one. I was a thinking man, and none of them made any logical sense to me.
Here was Islam, based on the belief in One God who created the creation itself out of nothing, and the fact that this book I was reading (Quran) had not one vowel or language changed in over 1400 years was a miracle in itself. Thus, I was sold on the oneness of God and the unity of Islam.
Christianity has and is still undergoing changes, in the Bible and in the Christian doctrines, and cannot even begin to claim originality of the Bible which is read and taught out of today.
There is only one God and one Religion, and religion is “ Submission” to the one God. This is the meaning of Islam.
The Metamorphosis: Clinton Sipes into Abdus Salam (Servant of [the Source of] Peace)
As you have read, the life of Clinton Sipes was one of hate, crime and violence, the very things that bring about the total destruction of a human being.
After years of falsehood, half-truths, following others on the road, and then, from within a place (prison) where more than one million people are cast away, the same environment that once honed my anger and hate to a razor sharpness was now the place where Islam greeted me and proceeded to change me into a “Servant of [the Source of] Peace.” Islam filled the spiritual void by teaching me my beginning and end, has given contentment, a peace, a serenity to me these words cannot adequately describe. My purpose is clear, my direction is straight.
Islam has, through its truth, taught me humility and the true worship of God. I had learned that from God we came and to God we must return. God created all things animate and inanimate, microscopic and macroscopic, the finite and infinite. Nothing creates itself but is created by God.
On the last day, it will not matter if I was black or white, rich or poor, powerful or weak in power, nor will it matter about all mankind. Rather it will be about one’s deeds good and bad that an individual is personally responsible for and will be punished and rewarded accordingly. No one can die or be punished for my sins or be rewarded for the good I may do but me. I am responsible, I must answer when asked. I became aware of this truth and I declared openly, “There is no god but God and his last messenger was Prophet Muhammad-Ibn-Abdullah-Al-Mustafa.” Thus, in essence, my life has returned to infancy where truth and purity begin!
In closing, the metamorphosis has now come full circle. I have found “Truth” in God (all praises to Him, creator of mankind, angel and jinn, all that exists in the heavens and earth). God (Whom all praise is due) has [many] names or attributes, one attribute is Salam (peace).
The Creator, Originator of the very existence of peace. There is no peace but the Peace of God (Whom all praise is due). I have found this Peace, I am now “Abdus Salam,” the slave and servant of The Originator of the one and only source of Peace...God, The Most High, Whom all praise is due.