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Salams Brother Kareem Abdul Jabbar! One of the 50 Greatest Players in the NBA

Hafsa Mubarik

In Quran, Allah Subhana Wa Tala' says:

"But Allah guides whomever He decides, and He knows best the ones (who are) rightly-guided."(The Quran, 28:56) 
A great example of this is Kareem Abdul Jabbar, a former star player of the NBA. Born as Lew Alcindor, he was the only child of his catholic parents. He grew up in the streets of Upper Manhattan. Lew was often ridiculed because of his tall height and had to face depression because of it. By the time he reached the age 13 he could already slam dunk a basketball.

His basketball skills developed more in the High School, that at the time of his enrollment in UCLA they made dunking illegal fearing that he would be able to score at Will. The no dunking rule was rescinded the year he graduated from UCLA. After that he joined the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1969-70 and was titled Rookie of the Year. Since then he never looked behind and made a splendid career in Basketball that most people dream of. He was considered his league's most valuable star. 

Lew was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History because of his record and unforgettable performances. 24 year old Lew gave the world a huge surprise when he converted to Islam and changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar.Jabbar took his shahada in the hands of Islamic scholar named Hamaas Abdul Khaalis. The decision was not an easy one to make. His parents were the first ones to oppose it.

When you are famous, even your small moves become a public spectacle and everyone is invited to debate on it. Jabbar had to face the criticism too. In one if his interviews, he described his experience being Muslim in America.
"Some fans took my decision very personally, as if I had firebombed their church while tearing up an American flag….it’s not easy being Muslim in America, but my choice was a spiritual transformation"

Growing up he had to face racism that was rooted deep during that time in American culture. He felt imprisoned by the image of who he was supposed to be. Then he started to study Islam to know the religion more closely. Islam helped him find his true self and he was greatly inspired by the social values Islam taught us where no one has superiority on other person on the basis of color, creed and language. Except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness. By the time he joined Milwaukee Bucks, Jabbar was already a devoted Muslim. Though people did not warm up to him because of his faith conversion, he stood firm in the face of backlash and continued to make his name in the Basketball and spreading the light of Islam.

To be clear about his exceptional basketball skills, lets look at the stats:

This legendary star retired from basketball at the age of 42 as NBA's All Time Leading Scorer, Wining the most MVP titles. Since then he's  working as public speaker, spokesperson for many products and living as proud Muslim. Being an inspiration to millions of people.

May Allah bless Brother Kareem Abdul Jabbar with the best in this life and the next! Ameen!

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