Dawah (Outreach) Domestic Affairs

Remembering Jay Gordan (Abdul Shakur)

In the early 90’s Oklahoma City was infested by street gangs and the gangster rap culture. During those days it was common to find a gang, at least from Briton Road, up through the East Side, towards the end of Moore and Midwest City, on almost every fourth or fifth block. One of the more prominent gangs was the Bloods. I know because I was one and a number of individuals that would eventually become Muslim were as well.

Jay Gordon was a famous banger in those days. A Blood that lived right smack in the middle of Crip central, he gained notoriety as one of the more intense Bloods in the city. What made him more famous was the fact that he lived down the street from one of the most infamous Crips in the city, Robert Malone. Robert Malone was a name the caused a Blood’s heart to tremble. Although known for his fists, Robert was immortalized by the streets as a young gangster who wouldn’t think twice about pulling a pistol and using it, earning the nickname “Shooter.”

One of the most famous stories that bleed through the veins of the hood was the time Jay fell asleep in his car in front of his house only to wake up with a pistol pointed through his window with Robert on the other end. “Waz up, cuz?” The voice tunneled its way to Jay’s heart. “You ready to die, nigga?” Then, suddenly, Robert, who was a Rolling 60s Crip, pulled off without an explanation. Until the mid 90s this incident remained one of the greatest mysteries on the street. Why didn’t Shooter kill Jay?

What made those times in the 405 (Oklahoma City area code) was not only gangs, drugs and women, but a strong feeling that folks needed to change things and improve their lives. All of us, those who will be mentioned in this story, were gang members by day, and artists of some kind at night. It was due to that that some of us began to read and ultimately became Muslim. I did, then my boy Joker, a huge DJ at that time whose Islam sent waves through the streets, and then Abdul Samad.

Abdul Samad was known as the kind of Blood that no one, not even a Blood, wanted to meet. His Islam sent even more vibrations through the hood until, in the mid 90s, the echoes of those vibrations brought someone into Islam that startled everyone – his lifelong companion and friend, Jay! Jay Gordon’s conversion was something. The bravest Blood gave it all up for the Qur’an. He held on to his din and took the name Abdul Shakur and started to take up learning and struggling with his new faith. The shock of his Islam was equal only to that of Robert Malone’s letting Jay live a few years back – a question that had no answer.

In the late 90s Abdul Samad began studying with the scholars and spreading Islam. One day he came to the Masjid and found Jay sitting with a brother that Abdul Samad knew, but couldn’t place. “Robert! Shooter! Is that you?” Abdul Samad enquired. “Yes, I’m here because I want to become Muslim. I believe that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger!” Wisdom manifest, for it was by sparing Jay’s life, that Robert would one day get his again.

I write this during the time of `Eid, a time of happiness and celebration. The example of the Prophet (s) on `Eid day was to read Surat al-Ghashiya to remind us that, although we can chill, life is quick and death is near.

Last Friday, on `Eid day, Jay (aka Abdul Shakur) was killed in an accident. We would like to take this opportunity to remember him and seek Allah’s blessing and forgiveness for him. His family is non-Muslim, and Jay recently told Shaykh Abdul Samad, “If I die, make sure I go as a Muslim and when my family comes, tell them that if they die believing in other than Allah, Hell awaits them!”

May Allah shower his blessing on Jay and give all of his homies a sense of sakinah (tranquility) and peace at the loss of their brother.

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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  • Ameen to your dua sheikh!
    Masha’Allah, this story really shook me up; alhamdulillah we’ve been blessed with Islam.
    Also, congratulations for your blog being named the best muslim blog!


    truly this is the Haqq, and truly Allah is the Only One Who guides and knows who will be guided- may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala enter him into Paradise without Hisaab and guide all his family AMEEN.

    subhan Allah, he died on yowm al jumuah wa yowm al Eid

    may Allah accept from him

    Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

  • Allaahu Akbar. What an amazing, arrector pilli (these create the sensation we know as “goosebumps”) raising story. Aameen thumma aameen. May Allaah give him Jannatul Firdous al a’laa and guide his family to Islaam. Aameen ya Rabb al ‘aalameen.

  • Jazak Allah khayr, shaykh. This was a really moving story and one that testifies to the fact that Allah will forgive and redeem anyone who turns to Him sincerely and without partners. May Allah forgive Abdush-Shakur for his sins and mistakes, and enter him into Jannat al Firdaus.

  • What a Subhanallah! moment.

    During the time of the Prophet (SAW) people used to leave their families for Islam.
    and this is a good example of the same thing happening during our time.

    Imagine telling your family, which is involved in Haram, that Hell awaits them.
    He must have a lot of Iman.

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Actually, Jay had a real good relationship with them. Those words came from his love and concern for them. One of the important things that Jay was able to accomplish was leave that hard street style that so many Muslim try to exhibt. Sadly, a lot of the comments at Muslim sites are by Muslims who try to act hard; even talking to sisters in a harsh fashion. Qur’an, learning and practice would certainly serve as a medicine for these illnesses.


  • “…and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.”

  • Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raajioon. Pray that his grave is wide and full of light and that ALLAH forgives him and all those who have passed. InshaALLAH his family enters into Islam.

    SubhanALLAH “All the gangsters are trying to come to Islam and away from that fitnah and all the muslims are trying to be gangsters” Something I heard Mutah Beale say recently. May ALLAH protect us all.

  • SubhanaAllah I truly feel that a lot of some of the Best Muslimahs and Muslims are people whoo have seen, lived, got through or “been the worse”. It is only through so much hurt, pain, and hardships that we can truly appreciate the love and and ease that Islam truly gives us! I’m not saying others can’t experience it but having been through some stuff AlhamduliAllah I can truly have a soft spot in my heart for those of us who embrace Islam after not being Muslim.

  • May Allah ta’ala envelop him in His Mercy and enter him into Firdaws al ‘Alaa. Ameen.

    Surely only Islam can bring someone from the depths of darkness into emaan!

  • Goosebumps subhanallah. May Allah forgive him and grant Him mercy. May Allah guide his family and all those inspired by his story.

  • machaallah,Allah swt really really knows best. He works in such wondrous ways,shooter could have just pulled the trigger on jay. alhamdulillah they both died believing in Allah swt. may Allah grant them a place in jannah.

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