“Everyone has flaws. No one can judge me until they get to know me. I’ve been through a lot. I’m about to turn 28. I’ve been on my own since I was 16. I’ve been kind of homeless for a long time. I was incarcerated for almost three years.” “What happened?” “Car chase. On my birthday. I made the moves and everything. It was like a movie. So I’ve been through a lot. Right now I’m at a transitional house, like a group home. I live in a room by myself. And I work at a dry cleaner. That’s about it.” “How did you become homeless so young?” “My mother kicked me out of the house. I was being a bad boy, I was coming home late, I was smoking weed. It’s their house, so if you don’t go by their rules and regulations, eventually they’re going to kick you out. I went to my cousin’s house and lived with him for a while. I went to a shelter when I was 17. Then I rented a room, then I was in a program, then got incarcerated on and off for two and a half years, then I lived with my mother for a little bit, thengot into this group home where I live now.” “What’s the next step?” “They’re trying to give me independent housing. I’m waiting for that. I have somewhat of a mental disability; I’m bipolar. It’s not that serious, but I’ve been to psychiatric units. My struggle kind of messed with me mentally. Being homeless messes with you. You start to act differently. You don’t care about life. You think you’re hopeless. But there’s hope. You just have to keep a positive attitude and move forward.” “Do you regret anything you’ve done, or do you think you’ve learned from it?” “I don’t regret anything. It’s part of destiny. You go through it and you learn from it. You can either stay where you are and keep doing the same thing or you try to get better. These are my experiences. They’ve made me who I am today. I’m not proud or arrogant, but everything happens for a reason. I actually converted to Islam in jail. I used to be gang affiliated, but I changed my life for the better. So you’re going to write all this?” "Yes. Do you mind?" "No, but I would like you to include religion in there because there is a misconception about Islam. People think Islam is about violence. It’s not. It’s about peace and equality, and trying to do good and help people. The people who do violent things in the name of Islam go against it. It says in the Quran that if you kill one person, it’s the same as killing humanity. I became more of a humble person, more of a people person; I became more relaxed, more patient, more grateful. I know I was bad, but the worst people can become the best people.”
Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter . And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.