A Life of Hate, Crime and Violence Changes to One of Peace and Faith

By Clinton Sipes

The Beginning: Early Life Trials of Clinton Sipes

I grew up in a dysfunctional family setting in the atmosphere of alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse that came from my father. […] I began to imitate what I was being exposed to, this process of imitation began unconsciously. […]

[…] I began to hang out with the young adult type who welcomed my willingness to participate with no reservations in anything under the title of alcohol, drugs, crime, violence and racism.  […] After 3 years of this (reform period) I was released.  I was a walking grenade.

[…] At 16, I found myself incarcerated serving a 6 1/2 year sentence in the California Youth Authority for robbery, assault and weapons charges. […] I began correspondence with the KKK, and upon my release on parole, I was a full-fledged card carrying hate-monger.  […]

Search for Peace: Young Adult

With this last violation of parole, at the age of 20, the search for peace began. […] In a haze of anger and rage, I found myself stripped naked in solitary confinement with not even a mattress.  Only me and a styrofoam cup.  I began to review my past and the negatives which brought me to this point of reduction to the lowest terms.

While I was there my daughter was born.  I began to assess my future.  […] I said to myself, “Clint, you must make a choice between this evil or a good future. […] I had become alienated from them.  I began searching for a purity to purge the cancer of hate from inside me.  […].

I became involved with human rights groups and I started my own human rights group.[…] My goal was to reach out to children to help them escape the environmental circumstances that had overwhelmed me once […] but I was still involved in crime. […]

It began upon my arrival to federal prison.  An African American offered to assist me in my cosmetic needs.  He said he was a Muslim, and Muslims are commanded to help those in need.  It struck my interest to check this Islamic thing out.  However, I was under the impression that this was a religion exclusively for African Americans.  I was thinking, no way I can become a Muslim, I’m white!

peace, comfort, Islam, Muslims, new Muslims

Still, I asked this brother for some literature on Islam.  I found out about the universality of it, how it transcends color, ethnicity and race.  It sounded real and pure.  It began to appeal to me.  […] I was given a Quran, and as I read the translation, I felt the purity and truth of it.  There was no hocus-pocus, no spookism, no mysticism, just plain, simple understanding of the “Truth.”  When I heard the Adhan (the call to prayer) I felt a closeness to God that penetrated my heart and soul. After some research and study of the Quran, I discovered its total infallibility, no contradictions in it.

There are religions based on believing in certain sciences, multiple deities, the religion of 3 gods in one.  I was a thinking man, and none of them made any logical sense to me.

Here was Islam, based on the belief in One God who created the creation itself out of nothing, and the fact that this book I was reading (Quran) had not one vowel or language changed in over 1400 years was a miracle in itself.  Thus, I was sold on the oneness of God and the unity of Islam.

[…] There is only one God and one Religion, and religion is “Submission” to the one God.  This is the meaning of Islam. […]

light, peace, Islam, convert, new Muslim

After years of falsehood, half-truths, following others on the road, and then, from within a place (prison) where more than one million people are cast away, the same environment that once honed my anger and hate to a razor sharpness was now the place where Islam greeted me and proceeded to change me into a “Servant of [the Source of] Peace.”  […]

The Creator, Originator of the very existence of peace.  There is no peace but the Peace of God (Whom all praise is due).  I have found this Peace, I am now “Abdus Salam,”  the slave and servant of The Originator of the one and only source of Peace...God, The Most High, Whom all praise is due.

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