Islamic Studies

A Letter from Greazy G

Asalamu alaykum

My sophmore year in highschool I came across a brother by the name of Greazy G. Greazy, as he liked to be called, and I became friends. We drifted through highschool together, smoked blunts, chased women, stole things and joined the Bloods. I was into Djin and Greazy was into the ladies and although we had different interest we continued to live our gangster lifestyle together going out at night and getting into trouble. It was during those days that my mind would wonder and I started to think, “What am I doing with my life?” We would get high and I would go home look at the stars and think, “Who created this? He, whoever He is, is one bad *&^$&**&^%$.” Sorry for the the language but I’m trying to get across how I used to think so forgive me.

We both ran with the Bloods I a Piru and he ran with, what I believe, was called IFG. We continued our cycle of ignorance and misguidance until one night I saw a man get shot. I got out of the car, ran to the body and found blood everywhere. I asked the Policeman, “Can you help him? You gotta help him!” The policeman looked at me and said, “He’s gone.” That night, high as a kite, I drove home thinking deeply about what I saw and then it hit me, “What is the difference between him and you? You both took showers, put on your fresh scents, best clothes and left to catch some cuties. The only difference is he’s going to the grave-yard and your going home. But if you don’t stop, one day your gonna follow him.” I almost stopped the car and said, “Man, what is wrong with you? Why do you keep thinking like that.” However, it was that night, under the faze in my car and the Bob Marley cuts that I started changing and thinking about things. al-Humdulillah a year or two latter I was Muslim. However, I made a major mistake and that was that I cut off my old crew. Scared that I would slip, I distanced myself from the homies and went on with my business.

Recently I received a message from Greazy G. We both spent time in the County together so I was happy to hear from him through an acquaintance who sent me the following message. The Question was asked, “If you could holla at Suhaib [Wax] what would you say to him:

“I tell him, you know, you doing a good job. I’m glad to see that
you’re doing well I wish you had stayed in touch, but you gotta do
what you gotta do to take care of yourself. But I’m proud of him.
There’s only self-preservation. That’s the first law of human nature.
If that was the decision he had to make, I guess it was the right

I was sad to here that Greazy is locked up [due to the ladies again]. I plan to contact him and hope that he will be able to come out of the darkness that I was once in. It is important for converts not to lose connections with those they came up with. Don’t make the mistake I did because one day it will come and visit you again.


About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • wa alaykom as salam warahmatuAllahy wa barakataho,

    i think it’s the same situation with those of us born muslim who realize we need to change and need to get company who won’t encourage us not to make those changes and might cause us to slip you do it to protect yourself because you don’t think you’re strong enough to handle it… kind of distance yourself…sometime down the line thinkin, ‘Alhamdullilah by Allah’s Mercy i’m changin..’ but you’ve detached from yourself some of those who once only knew islam through you. even if you weren’t the best example of a Muslim at that point, at least they saw some noor…

  • salamz

    I think you almost HAVE to leave your environment – kinda like how the prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to go up to Mt. Hira to reflect and get away from all the fitna. You HAVE to divorce yourself from bad company otherwise u gonna find yo self slippin again. That’s the reality. Man is naturally weak in the beginning when trying to break away.

    It was a push pull situation with me. On one side the masjid was callin’, on the other you got your demonic homies. you have to decide. ONCE you build yourself up (like the analogy of when you’re on the plane and you have to secure the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before you help others), THEN you can talk to your ex-homies. But still, you have to play it smart. you invite them to YOUR playing grounds, not theirs- where you can somewhat have control of the environment. In other words u don’t go visit them at the club or at the liquor sto’ – na mean jelly bean?

    Allhamdullilah – i’ve actually brought a lot of my ex-homies to the masjid and have always tried to keep a relationship with them. If they don’t convert at least they will have a better understanding of Islam inshaAllah.

    I think waxmaster (imam suhaib) SHOULD re-connect with greazy now that he has built him self up and agree with the imam NOT to kick out your old homies completely (unless they are super duper duper haram style and talking to them is IMPOSSIBLE).

    my advice: always be humble in front of them. be extra nice and don’t point out their defects and such.

    wallahu A’lam

  • I think its really a case by case issue. We all end up making a sort of “Hijra” at one stage or another in our life, or even multiple times. This Hijra could be by moving from one location to another, leaving one’s friends for a new group, changing careers, or even sometimes an internal “hijra” by leaving some habits for others.
    We can’t expect new converts to stay amongst their group, nor can we ask them to leave them. The aim (or maqsid) is to preserve one’s faith and convey it to others. One should do what they got to do to accomplish both. Each person is most aware of their situation and it’s their call at the end. It is true that the easy way may be to distance yourself, and therefore, your reminder is very valuable.
    Uhibbuka Fillah 🙂

  • I used to run with a similar group called 51/50 (originally home grown mexican, but later included all who were down). Before my heart was led to embrace Allah’s light, I too had been through similar stuff. The last two times I visited the states I went on search for the crew to bring it to em like abu dharr (ra) did al-ghiffar. Most of them are doing bids for stupid stuff. One of them got life (he killed a guy over 20 bucks). But I did have a nice visit with Dominiq (who got a comp. prog. degree from OSU and is working for a home security co.) and Bowman who is an Ass. manager at Applebees. Amazingly, they were happy to see me and blown away at my demeanor and manner of speaking. On the other hand, they (of course) thought that Islam is a militant religion on a world take over starting with America. I tried to clear some issues and hooked them up with some pamphlets.

    My intention here is to show the power of Islam and to let people know born Muslim or not, never forget where you came from and don’t look at anyone as a “Kafir” or misguided unless they unrelentingly after years of gentle wise da’wa continue show you and Islam enmity (like my brother who I make Du’a for but don’t interact with by HIS request). You see this is why in our Aqeedah no one can say this is a Kafir who is going to Hell and thats a believer going to Heaven. Anyone could possibly die in either state regardless of their current label or practice. That is why we must have good relations with them all and show Islam as a living practical example that we don’t sway them the wrong way and we seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan and his clique!

    Albostoni is right in his clarification that if one embraces Allah’s Deen and they are part of a group who are either very immoral or very religious. The new Muslim must leave them until they are established in Imaan, knowledge, and practice. I say at least a couple years or so depending on the situation. If you are part of a common secular group who aren’t governed by religion or immoral practices then you should still form a strong commitment with your foremost brotherhood of faith but to frequent your non-Muslim friends would be a good thing insha Allah.
    And Allah knows best

  • Wa Aleykumasalaam,

    JazakAllahu Khayran for sharing your experiences, its always beneficial to here of them.

    Of course, as stated by those above, we shouldnt remain in the company of those that engage in actions which arent directed in the worship of Allah.

    If I relate, Alhamdulila, when i began practising, I didnt leave the company which i was with in in my ignorant days…(I had no choice Lol).

    Those people who you may have stayed with in your Jahilliya days, they see such a big change in you, and when they see you refraining from, and hating that which which you used to engage in – whatever it maybe – they be suprised and taken back by your change, and determination in you that you want to keep away from evil, to the extent that they question themselves.

    Relating what happened with me, one sister in our ‘group’ began practising by Allah’s guidance, shortly after me.

    For me, it’s a day and night difference, when people see that, it gets them thinking.. what made them change so much? They see your character change to something beautiful- humans are inclined to good-

    People like to relate to other people, by experience, action, age, race, background, and when a friend who say is still in darkness, they see your light, and can see that energy in you, and it will make them think

    When people convert, or come back to Islam – We all feel in that sort of trance, with our hearts in awe of Allah after realisation of His Magnificence, and sometimes we can get too ahead of ourselves, and try to fulfill all obligations and Sunnahs all at same time.

    Some may expect that, once they convert or change, they will preach and change all their friends, to one extreme.. guidance is from Allah, we merely convey the message.

    It’s good to keep contact, yet not remain in their company for long durations without any benefit.. maybe for Dawah… as Ibn Al Qayyim mentions in his ‘Characteristics of the Seeker of Happiness’..

    ‘He should make the best of his time, not mixing with the people except in a most cautious state, just like a bird that quickly comes down to snatch a morsel from between two people’…. Al Fawa’id p.265.

    Allah is best of all Planners,


  • as-salaamu alaikum imam suhaib i pray ur in the best of health & ur exams went well. i have been very busy lately & not had a chance to visit your website. masha’allah i enjoyed reading this article. i would like to ask how its possible to contact u? its been over a year & iv still not been able to contact you?

  • its all cool but what could be done about the iman cutting his old desi gang out with whom he he had a biriyani for spiritual booze relationship at the edmond mosque?

  • JazakAllah khayr Shaykh for sharing your experiences.

    I think even born Muslims from inner-cities can relate to this kind of thing. Sadly, there are lots of brothers who I knew as a young child that are now locked up, and so many of my brother’s friends are locked up for falling for the ‘gangsta lifestyle’. And a couple of members of my family have spent even short stints of time in jail.

    Thank you so much for talking about this, because this is a very real aspect of growing up here that is rarely addressed. A lot of times we sweep these types of issues under the rug, and it’s almost shameful to admit that you are facing problems with the law/jail.

  • Final thing I forgot to mention, insh’Allah if you do go to see him, please let us know of the outcome etc, (if you dont mind :)), will be nice to hear of it.


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