Since the emergence of Islam hundreds of millions of people converted to Islam after analyzing transformation in their minds and souls. Accepting Islam as a code of conduct is not just a matter of choice, it is accepting slavery of a Lord who is above all.
The same happened to Lew Alcindor who converted to Islam. He is known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now. He explains his inspiration towards Islam for being appealed towards a complete code of conduct rather than a religion which orders five times prayers and offers a Holy book.[irp]
Being a celebrity he had to face a lot of criticism, objections, and questions. “Religion is a matter of personal choice still I’m explaining my reason for conversion since the day I declared Islam as my official religion,” said Abdul-Jabbar.
While telling about the circumstance which led his conversion to Islam, he shared his initial experience as a famous basketball player at UCLA. Lew Alcindor was enjoying fame, good performance, and spotlight; still, he was not contented with his life.
He felt something was missing which made him nervous and confused about his objectives towards life. Meanwhile, riots of African-American broke out which caused 43 deaths and thousands of injuries.
This incident made him realize that Americans just want that poster boy to prove that racism is a myth in American culture to showcase the outer world. Out of discomfort, he started attending Catholic schools in the quest of peace and light.
Soon he realized that this is not his destinations and he started looking for some other path which could help him to solve his confusions and restlessness. Lew Alcindor was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Shaft for their courage, bravery, and willpower to accomplish their goals and take stand for their closed ones.
He described his position being presented in front of American society as a sign of equality. Americans expected him to prove to rest of the world that racism is just a myth in American culture and black people are given same rights as others.
Autobiography of Malcolm X attracted Lew Alcindor towards Islam and he became passionate to grab the right direction like him. Christianity is the foundation of White American showed him half picture of equality and he witnessed suppression and pain of African Americans.
“Islam seemed the only way to complete my journey to spiritual fulfillment. Though it seemed a path full of obstacles and hurdles, still I felt so motivated to adopt Islam as my soul and heart. The journey was not easy.”
“I had to pay for my decision and I did but the spiritual content I always missed, I only got with my closeness with my Lord,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His first teacher and official preacher of Islam was Hammas Abdul Khaalis who met Kareem during early days of his career.
Finally, he converted to Islam when he was just 24. He married a Muslim woman despite his strong feelings for a Christian woman. He annoyed his parents for his decision still he feels so contented and complete being a Muslim.
He wanted to transform in a more private way than making public announcements still he has not regret what he faced for becoming a Muslim. A true Muslim indeed has the same spirit as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar filled with as Islam is all about peace and contentment.