Assalam -O- Alaikum! I am Janell Wilson, and my revert story goes back to when I was 18.
I’m 42 yrs old now I grew up in a Midwest state in Minneapolis Minnesota. I raised as a Catholic. Even at a young age, I new being Catholic was wrong. I hated the way the nuns in school used to beat us. No matter what you do, you are going to hell. All these things raged me. I rebelled, and I rebelled for a very long time. Probably my first apparent act of rebellion was by age 11. I ran away from home, and I never went back until I had my second child. I was married to Muslim and didn’t even know it Alhumdulliah!! I feel my husband is the best part of my revert story.
As a spoiled person, during that time, if I wasn’t at home, I was on the streets. I robbed, I sold drugs. I did almost anything you can imagine. I did from age 11 till I took the Shadaah in the year 2000.
The turning point in my life came when I finally met my husband. I was turning 21. I met him after serving two yrs and a few months in prison. I was with him and have been for 22yrs Alhumdulillah!! My husband is a self-taught man of Islam. He has the passion of learning the culture, he knows about hundreds of other religions. He is kind funny he loves me no matter what I have done. Even if my actions were wrong or hurtful our losses, our gains, our happiness, and sorrow were all together. We’ve suffered and endured everything together. He always had my back. He still had good intentions in his heart.
Unfortunately, during our marriage made many mistakes. I was still outselling drugs along with my father, brother, and sister. Now, when I reflect on my past, I thank Allah that I got away from the evils of the streets. Out there, I’ve seen horrible things. I saw Dead people, loved ones lost, rape, carjacking, robberies, drug abuse and what not. The lifestyle that came with such habits was deadly. I too had to bear the consequences of these sins.
I remember that day very well. On a beautiful day of 1999, I was out for my regular drug dealing in a familiar part of my town. Suddenly a complete stranger attacked me out of nowhere. I wasn’t even able to protect my self. He cut my throat and stabbed me six times and left me assuming that I am dead!!
I called the God that time when I was lying helpless and half dead on the road. I cried. That was the time when I felt the need of someone superior, someone mighty enough to cause a miracle, someone significant to bestow my life. I was in the hospital for about a week. When I went home after being discharged from the hospital, my husband was not there. I saw my dad. I told him how helpless if felt. I said to him that when I was laying on the ground, I called upon GOD, not Jesus that I’ve been trained to believe. I knew I was looking for something higher than me, more significant than Jesus.
I didn’t find Islam till a year later, in prison. Miraculously, it just so happened to be a class about teachings of Islam. I was bored, and so I thought of going to that class just randomly. There I talked with the sisters. I asked them questions. They gave me a book called “The Brief Illustrations of the Teachings of Islam.” Now in this book, there are five concrete things. Prophet Muhammad prophesied how the babies formed in the womb, the different oceans and seas, salty and nonsalty, the thunderstorms and mountains, and how ants colony works. All these facts were very eye-opening. I kept on thinking. How can any human being, who lived 1400 years ago, possibly know all these things that scientists have just proven in the last 60/70 yrs?
Finally, people who gave me that book came back to the prison two weeks later, and I took the Shadaah. I declared that there’s nothing worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the last prophet of Allah and that Islam is the only true religion.
My life has changed ever since. I have found the anchor in my life. I am clear about the purpose of my life. I know, who should I resort to when I feel depressed. I know, there is Allah, watching over me all the time. He will be there always in my every moment of despair. In short, I have found the purpose of my life.