Ibrahim, you and I go way back. When we first met, you were on tour with Kanye West & Black Violin as I was promoting the concert in Dubai, UAE. Few years later, we both were on the same tour in South Africa with Akon, Fat Joe and Black Violin and would occasionally meet up whenever I visited NYC. I remember you taking me to Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial Center ; this was an incredible experience for me (I highly recommend visiting it).
It was a HUGE surprise to me when a year later, I found out you became my Muslim brother.. I feel so blessed to have witnessed your spiritual journey to Islam. Allahu Akbar!
I will focus on your new life as a Muslim, however our readers can listen to your recent interview on your background and the music industry on Saudi radio channel MIX FM here. Can you tell us about yourself? I am from Harlem New York in New York City. My religious work background consists of giving dawah globally to Muslims and Non-Muslims, motivating the youth through my own journey. My religious work also consists of working with non-profit organization Muslims Giving Back and the Canadian Dawah Association (CDA).
Embracing Islam is obviously a long-term result of many years of soul-searching, but can you tell us what inspired you the most in your decision? I would have to say the beauty in the Adhan (call to Prayer) is what initially sparked my interest in Islam. After watching Muslims make Salaat (prayer) I was moved. I was humbled by a person bowing with head and nose to the ground - realizing in the physical form this is the lowest point a person can go to humble himself.
How has Islam changed you? Has it made you a better person?
Islam has given me balance, structure and discipline. Islam has increased my Iman (faith). Islam has made me a true believer in Allah as well as given me Taqwa (high state of heart). Islam taught me values, respect for humanity and respect for women. Islam brought me back to a winning relationship with my mother.
Many converts experience some difficulty telling their family and friends. In fact, some never do tell. Was your family supportive? Any advice on how to approach loved ones?
My family was completely shocked and not supportive. My family was under the impression that accepting Islam would be a short-lived statement. My family's Christian views on Islam are seriously smeared. My grandmother accepted my decision first. Next, my brother welcomed me and my mother. After this it began to just be unspoken about. Not sure of what advice I can give but brace yourself because you will have rejection due to the ignorance. I almost feel like it comes with the territory of being a revert. Have to stand strong and firm on your decision.
How were you able to visit Mecca so soon after your conversion?
Things started from brother Eddie from The Deen Show who extended an invitation for me to share my story on his show. I accepted and over 100,000 people tuned in.
Next, Sheikh Shazaad Muhammad from CDA watched the show and reached out, inspired by my story and feeling I could make a positive change from it.
I was then extended an invitation to perform the Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca).
In what ways are you involved with CDA today?
I am now an Ambassador for the CDA. I contribute with bringing public figures to the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for cultural experiences in hopes of getting the people of influence to accept Islam and change their perceptions of Islam through their influence.
You are really active in Da'wah masha'Allah ; may it be in the streets of NYC, travelling the world for lectures, being involved in"Muslims Giving Back".
How did you get into this and what are your upcoming plans this year?
Yes, I am very active in Da'wah.
I was introduced to this initiative by my dear brother Abdul Jamil who's an active member.
Once introduced, I have been contributing with making strong efforts to change misconceptions of Islam by my actions as well as commitment. We do so by strengthening our Da'wah with positive images of Muslims in effort to help humanity and our Ummah (Muslim community).
I am also very active with CDA. I was contacted by the organization upon my first year of accepting Islam. I do motivational speaking and lectures on my story of how I accepted Islam and give Da'wah globally through them.
Finally, I am very active with New Future Foundation which is also a non-profit organization that works closely with the United Nations. I work with urban youth and inner city youth to help create opportunities for the students to receive cultural experiences, by taking them to Africa to experience Gore Island slave quarters from the Atlantic slave trade.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
My advice for Muslims is to become stronger within the Ummah.
Muslims should consider spending more time giving Da'wah to non-Muslims vs Muslims. We need to change their misconceptions.
Too many of us Muslims only give Da'wah to Muslims, which is always good but the non-Muslims are those whose misconceptions need to be changed.
Website : www.iamgeorgegreen.com
Watch his latest video interview with WNYMuslims on Music & Fame here. Photos courtesy of George Green.