My name is Nick Storms, that’s my name before I became Muslim. I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and I’m twenty seven years old.
Muhammad Islam is my name after I became Muslim. I had a very difficult childhood; I came from a very violent background. My family you could say were very bad people.
So that was my upbringing; violence, crimes, drugs, etc.
I don’t know my father as he left when I was two my mother deported back to State. It was me, my two sisters and my mother. My uncles and my cousin who where living were we were. We were a tight-knit family, but with relation to bad things only.
I thought the world was a very negative place because of my family and because of this environment. I couldn’t see many positives. Also my family restricted my access to other things, all the time wanting to do things with them, what accordingly reinforced that nothing good going on.
When I was young I felt the fray, but when I grew up a little bit I became pretty normal. So my family then was not any more afraid of me being out of the team. That’s initially because when you are young and be bombarded with a lot of bad things it makes you feel uneasy, just like any hardship you get accustomed to.
When I was about eight years old I would go to a bakery and I would wash dishes for hours, but I was too young to be paid money. So what they (the bakery) would do is to pay me in food; some bread, jam, dates, etc.
I would go home and feed my two sisters as my mother would be off doing some other crime or would be in jail. When you see you haven’t eaten for a couple of days so you have to try to do something to feed yourself and your family as our family wouldn’t really take care of us.
I started my career when I was fourteen I was never close enough to many people to see or friends that I could call on. I never really trusted anybody. And school wasn’t for me; I never finished school, I didn’t have time for it. It didn’t appeal to me as many things did at the time. I would rob, steal a lot of things, and insult people.
I was never alone, but I felt lonely. I felt like there was a void thing missing. I don’t like recalling the past really, but as it is for the interview, it’s OK.
A lot of the crimes that I would do were just out of boredom. The payoff was like a bonus. For example, I would steal a car because I didn’t want to walk. So somewhere I was just taking somebody’s car.
At that time I lost all concern for people’s feelings and I felt no one concerns my feelings; if I would hurt somebody, I wouldn’t care about what they think or feel. I didn’t care at all at this time.
Within myself I wanted to put an end to my sins. I didn’t want to continue being bad. So, the way I started to ask questions when I was by myself was along the lines of ‘I don’t know if there’s a God or if You exist. I don’t know if you could hear me or am I talking to myself! I want to know why I’m alive’.
With such questions I would be talking to myself for long, wondering if I’m not talking to myself then there’s a real Creator as people would call Him.
‘Can you show me why I’m alive? If there’s a reason why I’m here, can you just show it to me?’ I was asking over and over.
I stressed the point that I needed to be shown the truth because I didn’t trust anybody, let alone somebody telling me about God.
I had a brother named Ahmad. He talked to me about Islam initially, but whatever he told me I didn’t believe him. He would mention things like heaven and hell. And I didn’t believe what he was saying until I had a dream of both the places. Even then I was resistant. I didn’t give it intention. The, I had a dream about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
So things happened to me when I was awake and when I was asleep as well, and it happened to me a lot and in a very small amount of time. So as soon as Ahmad stared talking to me about Islam but I didn’t believe him, Allah only knew that I would believe him. Words like Islam, Muhammad, and Allah started resonating and things started happening…
It was very difficult doing what someone else wanted you to do, even if it is God. I sat down on my knees, sitting back like people do when they finish the prayer and I just started crying and drooling hysterically. I couldn’t control myself.
In fact I was crying some twenty years of betrayal, stress, violence, anger and all these things that were built up then. It was like Allah allowed me to get rid of it, and I cried for very long time that I couldn’t move. And I remember saying at the end of it: ‘Alright alright, I’ll do what you want me to do’.
Now I’m most pleased that I pray. It is important; very important. A feeling of safety from Allah and from His punishment, that’s what I get out of it. It is calmness that I’m alright right now until the next prayer comes in, until tomorrow.
My future I see it positive in the dunya (this life) because it’s going to be controlled and simple. That’s my positive future; very simple lifestyle: ‘don’t hurt anybody, don’t get hurt’. In sha’ Allah (Allah willing) if I get forgiveness in the Hereafter, that’s what makes me feel really positive. If I am forgiven it would be great in sha’ Allah.
Watch brother Nick describes his amazing life-changing journey to Islam…