My Journey to Islam

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Kimya's journey from the streets to prison to finding redemption.

Submitted: November 27, 2019

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Submitted: November 27, 2019

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My Journey to Islam
Julius Kimya Humphrey, Sr.
 
I remember growing up in Sacramento in the 60s, poor....And on every corner there was a liquor store that stole the lives of those who found themselves on the wrong side of the street. 
As a youngster, I saw the brotha’ selling bean pies holding his hand high up in the sky, yelling:  “Muhammad Speaks! Get yo ‘Muhammad Speaks newspaper for this week!” It was all new to me, and back then no one could have convinced me that Islam would be my destiny. Trapped in the insanity that rose with each dawn, casting a light over me like the moon does the earth at night, it made me part of a fight I could not win because my mentors did not come from a university: they came from the state pen. 
With no father in my life to give me advice, I stayed in the streets all my life, and from the drugs and alcohol I ‘m still not right. 
Does any of this sound familiar? 
Well... not to all, but if you come from where I come from, then you ‘ve seen a person ‘s life come undone, felt the pain from the violence each time someone picked up a gun, causing mothers and fathers to bury their young. 
You see, back in 1973, I couldn’t see that something greater was meant for me, when one of my own brothers walked free from behind the walls of SAN QUENTIN PENITENTIARY and left his Holy Qur’an with me. 
Alone in my bedroom I stared at the foreign words on the page, and I read the translation it gave: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” 
Unable to comprehend the significance of the words, I continued to sin; and it wasn’t long before I was returning again and again to live in a small bathroom with another man I did not know, but who always looked just – like – me...
On the inside. 
I didn’t even realize that GOD was protecting me, not only from everyone else – but more importantly from myself. 
Then after losing bout after bout with the so-called  “game,” and not wanting to admit that it had knocked me out, I sat alone in the corner of my cell with my face in my hands, unable to get up, and tapped out. 
Hours later, when I was finally able to stand, I saw a Qur’an on the shelf – so I opened it. And again I began to read the words.Then my inner self cried out for help, and over time I could feel them slowly taking hold, planting a new way of living in my heart, mind, and soul. 
After my body healed and I returned to my original self, I found that I had truly started to care about my life. I actually visualized how I had dehumanized it by allowing the negative influences in my environment to think for me. 
But by then the years had taken their toll. I went from being called“Unc” to“Pop’s” and I told myself:“Man, you done got old.” 
My addiction did not allow me to see how the streets had shattered my growth, or how the liquor stores would open their doors and ignore the poverty already killing the poor – causing the violence to soar. I didn’t know it then, but now I understand that I was at war. 
Gunshots rang on the hour like Big Ben’s old bell, but they didn’t represent time they represented hell. 
So there alone I sat in my small cell, thinking back to the 1960s, and I could still see the brothas’ in their suits and bow ties gathering in the empty lot where they met once a week. I could hear the broken wine bottles being crushed under the biscuit-toe Stacy Adams shoes they wore on their feet. I had never seen men dress so neat. 
And although the five prayers each day were a challenge, they brought balance to my unstable life. And the drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes I gave up without thinking twice. 
Islamic service became routine and changed my way of thinking about so much that I had been told. In truth, it repaired my soul, because it connected me back to the one I should have never let go. 
It made me take a good look inside myself, and when I did, I realized that we all have different beliefs we hold, and that they make some of us even more hateful and cold. Standing on our pedestal, we profess that it’s our religion alone that GOD chose. 
Now... as I continue to grow, it’s how I have treated others that tell me that my greatest lesson to learn will be in the way my journey to heaven unfolds. Because I finally understand that when GOD made us into nations and tribes...to get to Him...He also made many roads. 
 
 
Kimya, a. k. a. Julius Humphrey, Sr., now 62 years old, is currently serving 30 years-to-life for a non-violent offense under California’s THREE STRIKES LAW.“Born in Stockton, California, he was raised in Del Paso Heights, a rough area of Sacramento known to its residents as the deepest part of hell. Writing for Kimya, is a way to walk people through his experiences and let those outside of urban communities feel the adversity that takes place inside. He enjoys implementing deeper meaning that will make people think about others, and not only of themselves. He hopes that everyone enjoys his readings and they leave with a deeper appreciation for prisoner’s writings.
 
The author Kimya retyped My Journey to Islam for his editor Quaitie Siverly, who is a remarkable human being, to be placed in “Kimya’s Typewriter Elucidations” and “Booksie” for the world to see. For those who’d like to contact the author personally, write to: 
Julius Kimya Humphrey, Sr. 
AZ - 1582/ A5 - 109L 
P. O. Box - 4000 (Solano 3) 
Vacaville, CA 95696. 


Check out Kimya's Book


Brothers in Pen: Stories from the Annual Public Reading

Kimya's story, "My Journey to Islam" is published in this book.

© Copyright 2020 Kimya. All rights reserved.

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