Dennis Wayne, Brother Hasan
Here is my background:
My name is Hasan. I was born Nov.10,1972, and was named Dennis Wayne. My mother is full blooded Native American, although our heritage is from different tribes including the Lumbee, Cherokee and Tuscarora. My father went to prison before I was born and I have never met him and I know nothing of him other than his name and the name of his mother.
Here is my story:
When I was very young it was my desire to serve the Lord with righteous conduct and preaching. I loved righteousness and wanted to be like those righteous people who I had heard about in the Bible through the preachers at church and some movies on television.
One day, when I was about 6, 7 or 8 (I can’t remember the exact age. I was very young), I was outside with two other of my childhood friends and I was preaching to them. I was imitating what I had seen my preachers do in church. I was raised as a Southern Baptist although my mother was a Holiness and her own father a preacher from the same faith (Holiness). (He would travel from place to place, and was what was referred to as a Holy Roller).
Anyway, I was out there shouting, preaching the gospel of the Lord (astagfirlah), yelling “Amen”,”Halleleujah”, “Praise the Lord”, “Praise Jesus” and so forth. I was out there saying how
Jesus was God and the Son of God. I even got to the ashes to ashes and dust to dust part. But while I was out there doing all this, it all of a sudden grew dark and began a deep thundering sound, but it wasn’t raining. I became very scared, but the reason I was scared wasn’t because of the storm itself. It was because I realized I was lying on Allah (God)and I felt that this was either a warning or going to be a punishment. But alhumdullilah it was only a warning, Allahu Alim.
This incident didn’t make me become muslim but I feel it was a sign which I would not remember until later on in life. Then another incident occurred when I was in middle school, in the 7th grade, and I was 13 yrs old. In my math class we had a man named Muhummad Uqdah who was our substitute teacher. I would always give him a hard time, because to me he looked like a caveman. Although I teased this man, deep down inside I hated to do such things but I was showing off for the other classmates. In my Social Studies class(History), we began studying the Middle East and its history and culture. It so happened that Mr.Uqdah was muslim so he was invited to our class to talk about Islam although he himself was not from the Middle East. He was African American. He began talking to us about Islam and showed us the salat. I knew it was the truth and wanted to become muslim. So after school when I went home, I picked up the phonebook and looked him up. I was getting ready to call him, infact I did dial his number, but I hung up because I started thinking about what my parents would think and other things. So I never called him and I didn’t become muslim, and I went on living my life. And I forgot this episode too until later on.
After finishing middle school, I went on to high school. I was pretty much considered a nerd. I was smart, didn’t really cause any trouble, hung out with other nerds, and my mother bought my clothes for me, which were mostly Hawaiian like shirts and
cheap unbrandname pants. I was teased very much because of my dress, because for the most part high school was nothing more than a fashion show. (And it is still like this today) People used to tease me and say I looked like the Karate Kid and I wore Teddy Toughskin pants (toughskin was the name of the pants and Teddy came from Teddy Ruxpin-the little Teddy Bear). My family is poor and this was all we could afford and I would complain about such things back then, but now that I look back I am ashamed that I complained to my mother. All praise is due to Allah for my mother. I can never repay her for all that she has done for me.
Anyway, because of being teased and so forth, I eventually got a job so that I could buy my own clothes and so forth and have my own money, I would even save my lunch money so that I could put it towards my wad. So now since I start getting “cool” clothes, now I’m “cool”. And since I lived in a black neighborhood I got to be tough too. So I started drinking, hanging out, smoking weed, running my mouth to anyone and everyone, jacking folks, jumping people, and joining a gang, all so I could be cool. I had the ladies too, cause I was cute in my “cool” clothes. I was NWA. I even became mixed, because I sure wasn’t black, but I had a lot of people wondering. My life had become a lie, and was not the righteous life I had wanted to live since my youth. I used to drink and listen to rap music. And there was a lot of political messages in the rap music I listened to. And since I was Native American, I was angry with my situation in my own land.
But one day I was watching Rap City and there was a group on there (I can’t remember their name) and they were Muslim so they were asked about Islam. Their response was simple, “Islam is the TRUTH.” I was in awe by this statement and wanted to know more about Islam. So I started going to the library to get my hands on things about Islam, but all I could get a hold of was
things like; Our Saviour Has Arrived, and How To Eat To Live-this book is from Elijah Poole in which he states if you eat one meal a day you will live forever, guess he didn’t follow his own advice. I also came across some Sufi stuff talking about how virtuous it is to wrap your turban around your head about a thousand times. Needless to say I didn’t find the guidance I was seeking.
Fortunately, one of my teachers at school, Fleming El Amin, was muslim and he lent me a copy of the Qur’an, not on school property of course. I kept it for some period of time without reading it. (I still had street affairs to attend to). But one night I finally sat down and opened up the Qur’an, I can’t remember why, but when I started reading it, I started crying because I knew these words were meant for me and the rest of mankind for that matter. It indeed is the truth, as simple as that. Nothing has the right to be worshipped except God alone.
So shortly after that I was able to run into another Muslim from my area and was given directions to the mosque. After going there and talking with the brothers I finally took shahadah at the age of 17. Alhumdullilah, Allah gave me back those things that I desired for myself from my youth and caused me to remember those signs from earlier on. I got back truth. I got back obedience to my Lord. I was able to leave those things which I was allowing to destroy my life. Most importantly, I got back my Lord with the correct understanding of how to worship and obey Him. And I pray for the same for those who read this and those who don’t read this. Ameen
One more thing I would like to mention: Eventhough I was spending much of my time being a thug, I still hadn’t lost my intelligence. During the summer I was enrolled in the Kenan College Prepatory Program at Winston-Salem State University. My last year in this program was the same year I became Muslim. I would talk to my friends and tell them about my
interest in Islam. I had two friends in particular who were adamant about me not becoming muslim and would spend their time trying to talk me out of it. One friend, Sekou, ended up becoming muslim while at A&T State University, and the other friend, Orlando, ended up becoming muslim a few weeks ago at the same mosque I attend. WSSU is also where I met brother Husayn Abdur Rafi who gave me the directions to the masjid. It is a small miraculous world, alhumdullilah.
Salamu alaikum wa rahamtullah wabarakatu
Holy Quran 17:81