The Best of Both Worlds

We look forward to the day that our brother Imam Suhaib Webb completes his studies and returns to the United States. The following is from an article written on him in the Egypt Times

Now in his third year of study at Al-Azhar, Webb has a growing following among American and British Muslims. But he wasn’t always Imam Suhaib Webb. Once upon a time he was William Webb, born in 1972 to a Christian family in Oklahoma, where his grandfather was a preacher. “I had a lot of trouble accepting God as a human being or creation,” he recalls. “Even as a young child I would ask my mother questions. Suddenly, God is one of three instead of God just being God. So I became a little confused. How could the prophets before Jesus go to heaven if they couldn’t worship Jesus? If [the criteria for heaven was] worshipping and recognizing him as a deity and [as] the key to paradise?”

At 14, Webb went through a spiritual crisis. By then he had become a gang member. “Although I came from a middle-class family, I went to a rough high school,” he says. Deeply entrenched in the 1980s hip-hop community, Webb worked as a DJ.

“Hip-hop was more of a social movement than it is now. Now it’s all, ‘I got girls, I got some nice gold, nice car, I’ll kill you and I love my mamma.’ [Back in the] ‘80s and ‘90s, there was more of a sociopolitical, almost Afro-centric feel, which was kind of laced with the teachings of Islam due to the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X.”

Webb credits this as his first exposure to Islam. “There was always a feeling among the hip-hop community and among inner city African-Americans and the whites that mix with them that Muslims are correct, and Islam is the true religion. Malcolm went that way so it must’ve been right.”

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