One Voice: Reuben Jackson

One Voice: Reuben Jackson

I honestly believe that Islam has made me a more patient, less angry man.

Reuben Jackson
Washington, DC
United States

I am a 52 year old African American Muslim, living in Washington, DC. Like many African Americans who revert to Islam, I was raised Christian-specifically, Southern Baptist .After 10th grade or so, I basically drifted away from religion-though I always had what Jay Bakker, son of Christian minister Jay Bakker, called "a God-sized hole" in my heart. Around 1999, I began asking my Muslim friends about Islam. I also did lot of reading. A lot.
I learned a lot of the prayers from a Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) CD entitled "Prayers Of The Last Prophet", so that by the time I entered the Islamic Center here in town, I had a good working knowledge of Islam, and, I believe, a sincere desire to surrender to the will of Allah. I honestly believe that Islam has made me a more patient , less angry man. (Though I am definitely a work in progress! LOL) I also cherish the friendships I have established through going to the mosque on a regular basis.
I do, however, struggle with what I sometimes see as less than respectful treatment of women. And like everywhere else in the world, one can encounter racist attitudes.
Still, I am thankful to Allah for my blessings. As the old saying goes, I try to be the change I wish to see. I like to think that changing "the man in the mirror" is a start.

About the Project

"The Muslim world" is a phrase that lumps together a complex and diverse group of people and cultures, but one that rarely humanizes the personal and cultural expressions of Muslim identity. On Being’s First Person initiative is an attempt to better understand adherents of the faith by asking each individual to share his or her perspective of what it means to be a Muslim living in the 21st century.