By Juan Alvarado
(Shafeeq Abdullah Muhammad)
childhood I always noticed that I was "spiritual"
to say the least.c For some reason, I found myself unlike
the other children around me and because of it sometimes
To begin with, I
am of Latin American descent. Typically, like other
Latinos, I was born into the Catholic faith. I went
through the motions of what it means to be Catholic, I
was baptised, did my communion and confirmation. But by
the times I was a teen, I was growing impatient with
Catholicism and started exploring different forms of
spiritualities. Specifically, I was annoyed at the cult
of saints but also that there is so much written in the
Bible that is not followed by that church. By 16, I can
confidently say that I renounced Catholicism, although I
still considered myself "Christian". I visited
different churches of differing denominations but just
could not feel that sense of belonging. Also, one of the
things that I did not like was the inter-denominational
bickering. Another thing was the complexity of
Christianity, or so it seemed to me.
Well, like I
said earlier, I was also looking into other religions.
Specifically, I looked into Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism,
Santeria, and various New Age or Occult movements. As for
Judaism, I just could not deal with life without Jesus.
Buddhism seemed too esoteric and even too bland.
Hinduism's caste system and grandios number of gods/goddesses
just repelled me. Santeria's gods also repelled me and
its secrecy was annoying. The many New Age movements just
seemed too complex. This is not to say that I did not see
anything at all that I did not like. I saw some things
that I liked but it just did not get a hold of my full
By the time I
was 19, I renounced Christianity once and for all and
continued my search. This search led me to read on a non-stop
basis, something that I still do. At 20, a friend of mine
gave me a book on Islam or what I thought was Islam. He
gave me a book that the Ansar cult published. After
reading up on them for about 2 1/2 years, I decided to
become "Muslim" at 23. As a matter of fact I do
consider that I was Muslim then but that I was astray.
Because of my intense reading background, I always noted
the many mistakes in the Ansar doctrine but I guess I
just put up with it because there was something there
that I related to. I always noted too that the leader of
this movement always changed his beliefs and doctrines
every so often, which I found to be strange. I lasted 2
years in this movement before I took shahaadah at a
Sunnite organization in Manhattan [I was 25 then]. This
only happened because I never gave up my habit of reading.
I always noted that there was some very dramatic
differences between what was written on Islam and what
these Ansars wrote and did. In the end, like I said, I
said the Shahaadatain among the Sunni and so far that is
the end of my spiritual story.
I am now 28 and
I love to read but I no longer am searching, I have found
what the truth is.