Bad Character

At my last duty station after returning from the war I was a beast of sorts.

I loved drinking Lemon juice and White Port.

There were times during my jahiliyah period when people that new me

Would cross the street to avoid me. And I thought that I was a pretty nice guy.

With no provocation I would unleash a flury of punches to their torso

Or one perfectly time punch to the chin. Normally that's all it took to do them in

If they ever encountered me again they would jump from the sidewalk

Onto the grass not wanting a repeat of me kicking their ass

Daily doses of Tuinal, Nembutol, Valium, Seconol washed down with swigs of Tokay is normally the way I began and ended my day

Colt45 Malt Liquor, Schmidt's of Philadelphia, Ballentine beer or any other alcoholic concoction near.

During this period I cannot recall having many friends that were into chill'n.

Fresh back from the war we still sought out the thrill'n

My main roady was my homeboy from 55th street known as The Villian.

He had been in the Sky Cav and was always talking about smash'n or kill'n

We spent most of our time chain smoking joints and drinking.

It helped us not to think or feel what we were feeling inside

It seemed to help keep us calm enough not to commit hourly homicides

Back then I carried a pocket pistol daily no holster no scope.

And my motto back in those days was, "there is no hope without Dope."

Then one day on the El train I saw an old childhood aquaintence from my Cub Scout days.

He was also a returning veteran from the combat zone. Lakee was of equally bad character since returning home

He had a penchant for wide brim black valor hats and stayed dressed more dapper than Dapper Dan

And some of the Chippies back in the day thought he was cooler than David Ruffan that's when David Ruffin of the Temps use to be the Man

He didn't look high which suprized me. His eyes were clear his skin looked good. He almost looked like he wasn't from the hood

And he didn't speak a single word of profanity and exhibited no signs of pomp nor vanity

His posture was good and he spoke in a calm articulate manner

I didn't know what drug he was on but I knew that I wanted what he had. It wasn't just a desire it was something that I really needed

Later that week Musa escorted me to Masjid al-Mujahideen and I took shahadah

His clean, wholesome, upright demenor drew me in instantly

He was a new man that exuded good character and had become a splendid example of the reformative powers of Islam

He then extolled the virtues of Muhammad the Last Messenger of Allah who was sent as a mercy for all mankind

Clearly he elusidated how real Islam could do the same for me if I had the testicular fortitude to take that first step

Allah is Muqallib al Qulub. Only Allah makes Muslims.

Allah won't change the condition of a people until they make a change from within




By
Habib Abu Lateef
2022



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Bad Character