Franklin, mualaf from New York, AS

Interview: Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Rahiim… and This is the interview.

1. When did you convert to Islam?

I did revert to Islam just around the month of May 2005. There are so many reasons, but the main was that I believe that those who want to be so close to Allah, whether your Jewish, Hindu, atheist, Christian; for it is the true Jews that find Christianity, and its the true Christians that find Islam, and its the true Muslims that find God.

2. Could you tell us your journey to Islam? (and what was your reason to change your religion?)

The Qur'an is the main reason i reverted to Islam. It tells me the real truth, about Allah, about my human nature, and many others. I was extremely attracted upon reading it since the beginning. When I was 10, I wanted to become a priest, that becoming a priest wasn't in my best interest, b/c of not being able to get married. That was one of the biggiest issues for me. I thought about it for awhile but when I was really getting into the priest hood I learned that not having a wife will be very difficult, so I backed down.

Later when I started College, I started to get really into studying religion, and I met an old friend (The history between me and my friend was that while I was studing the Bible at High School sitting alone at the lunch room, this guy was at the other end of the corner practicing his which cralf. He was a Pagan who worshipped Satan. So basically me and this guy where worst enemies and never talked. If I wasn't so quiet and if he known about me he would have probably placed a corse on me or something.

Anyway after he almost lost his life senior year of High School from a drug over dose he found God as he said, but in reality what he found was Jesus the Messiah. I started talking to him online when he found my screen name and he chated so much about religion. We both gained knowledge from each other. It's interesting how Allah guided me and him to meet since we came from opposite sides of background. While talking to him and studying he introduced me to a women called Rebecca Brown. Rebecca Brown was a leader who in my opinion was starting a cult similar to Elijah Mohammed, she tought things different from what the bible taught. She claimed blashemphy firstly that Jesus is the Lord, she met with demons and Angels alike, and most worstly that her husband is a prophet of God, don't all prophets have some sort of a miracle?

And after studying her books for a while I became very attached to her. I saw her as my leader. I started getting very involved in Christianity, and I saw the errors of the Catholic Church through her books, and my friend, such as how the priest is some what closer to God then you, that you have to repent to him and say "Forgive me father for I have sinned", how is he closer to God then you, I thought to myself, why can't I just to talk to God directly not through a priest who can be a great man, or the opposite.

Anyway I decided that I was going to become Christian, and get baptisted, again, a month from now, which was on April 28 2005. Meanwhile at College, I started to make many films such as "Great Cons: Evolution", "Judgement Day", and many others. I also started to become an active preacher, preaching any chance I got at my college, which many of the students where atheist, and I was trying to inspire them to believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten son. So one day, I had the oppurtunity to speak at my speech class of an object that means a lot to me.

Obviously I choose the Bible. Also readers, keep in mind, I was struggling from a speech ipidiment, but my faith healed it that day. I thought very possitively, thinking, "Look at Moses, he had a speech ipidiment, and look at him, he became a great leader, even a Prophet. I'm not going to let me v- vo- voice stop me. " So I presumed with the speech, and it came out very well. After that to many of my peers at college, they saw me as the "religion man", and I loved it.

It started when i became stronger in Christianity and became a very young preacher of gospel in my school. I realized that in my school there were many Atheist, and other mixtures of religion, whom i must preach to the m the gospel. So i decided to study different types of religion. After seeing the movie Malcolm X, from skimming throught the channels, there was a part that I saw him praying in the film. I started to start my last projectfor my film class about the life of Jesus, but basically in still life form. As I started to study other relgions for I can say if any one asks, what other religions i know I can say and talk about them with knowledge. A week till my baptism.

After the day I was suppose to get baptisted I got very upset and depressed, I lost my faith in God, I tried to forget about him, I decided to take revenge on him which was a big mistake, and made me even more depressed. My friend Miguel described comments "When you first started talking about how you were learning new powers to preach about God, I was astonished because God doesn't teach in that fashion his spiritual gifts, he gives and he himself teaches and molds them, not being taught how by man.

I started to learn that his obession for power was growing because he felt he can do all these things, even though it was satanic in nature. I say satanic because I indulged heavily into satanism and paganism. Like Frank, I had a craving for power that would bring you down into Satan's kingdom more. Franklin would become violent for many reasons. No one allowing him his own time to himself, or for homework, or for someone doing him wrong in work or outside. Depression is very common for those who get into witchcraft, even if it is something as small as casting a little spell or astral projecting. The more he listened to the guy leading him into sin, the more I decided to keep seeking his salvation. Never peaceful because you were always angry, no love because you felt alone in the world, and neglected. Full of pride because you had some sort of power, and you loved doing it and describing how good you were. Loads of anger issues, outbursts of just screaming and cursing because things never went your way.

After attent after attent trying to pray to Satan, I could not, I know that God had a plan for me, but I was being ignorant, trying to forget him, but it was impossible. I realized my ignorance and that my adobe will be hell, So I decided to look at the other religions and search for God. It was the worst month of my life. I wanted revenge on God, for making me so confused. Then I remembered Malcolm X, in the film, praying. So the first thing I did was go to the moive store and brought the movie Malcolm X. watching the movie really inspired me to research Islam.

As I got my first Qur'aan in the mail I started to read it right away, I loved the way Islam was, everything I believed in since I was younger was all in Islam. For example, that men should grow their beards, that women should cover there bodies (because over here in New York most of the women are like advertising their bodies like zagat for men) and many little other stuff like that. Also when I read the Quraan, it was so miraculous, everything I thouht in my head, like dought, etc, God answered it, as if he was talking to me directly, its only in Islam that the true muslims have that connection.

But my Christian friend Miguel reminded me who was Jesus was, and I realized that I was getting way ahead of myself, I cannot abandon the lord Jesus Christ. So I thought, Islam made much much more sense then Chrisitanity, but if I convert then I would be abandoning Jesus. So there was only one way to get an answer, pray to God. And this was very wierd, during these two weeks of studying, I was becoming very emotional, I was not doing well on my film, about Jesus, I started to wonder was it a real crucifiction or a cruci-fiction, was it true or not.

And on top of that, I lost all of my Christian friends, you don't know who you true friends are, what the Christians did to me, got me very angry, just becuase they saw me with the Quran studying my God, they said they dont want to accosiate themselves with a devil worshipper. So I let them be, and from them doing what they done to me, made me even study even harder, I realized that I had nobody to help only God, so I started to pray to God "Please show me the correct religion" and after that prayer, I met a muslim. And he started to teach me of what he knows.

Then I decided again to pray that prayer again, "God, show me the true religion", I met another muslim out of no where, asking me, to show me islam. And this happen 5 times altogether. Then I decided to go to a Mosq for the first time, to see what the heck islam is really about, I went with a revert to Islam named Adam Kobzan, I have never seen him before, but he told me to wait for him near the Mosq. Now fellow muslims out there, you gotta realize that for a devoute Christian to enter a Mosq is the scariest thing EVER! As I was outside the Mosq in the city, I saw so many different types of Muslims, hailing from all over the world, mostly arab and black, and I thought to myself, that this was only a religion from the East, and that it wasn't for me.

Then I recieved a call from Adam that he is looking for me, and the whole time he was right next to me, but I was expecting some arab guy with a huge beard wearing a dress, but it was the opposite. A white guy in a tie clean shaved (but now he got a long beard subhana Allah) so I was very surprised. After praying at the Mosq Adam introduced me to an Imam, for he can explain islam to me one on one, as he did. He locked me in a room with two knowledgable muslim men and himself, and they talked to me, we where in that room for 3 hours straight debating. But I couldnt win, how can i argue with common sense. I finally accepted, and was convinced. They asked me if I want to make the Shahada, I said now, but in my heart I wanted to. I wanted to first talk to my friend Miguel, and he warned me that I will be abandoning Jesus if I did so. So one last time, I prayed to God, to ask him, to show me the truth, and this was very shocking to me, the Quran on my right hand, my thumb was on it, I got the urge to read what was under it, and God said to me "If you doute in this book, find me a book like" and right there and then, I wanted to become muslim, I couldnt wait.and thank God, I made my shahada a week later and brought a few other to islam with Allahs will. Now I must figure out what is the most effective way to spread islam in America, thats where I'll be.

3. How's your feeling after change your religion?

At the beginning I still questioned Islam so much. I was a Muslim, I accepted the teachings and what this Allah said in his book. But I still search for errors, because if I can find at least one error in the Qur’aan then I can prove it’s false. But it’s impossible. I as mentioned above, the reason I came into Islam is because God's clear signs, and one can't ignore them. Everyone has a choice, to believe in a book that contradicts itself and makes no sense, or believe in a book that says the rest of the books where once His book, the same God, and has scientifically proven facts in it, which has so many miracles in it. Which to choose…

4. Did you face any problems after your conversion? And how's your parents, family, or society about your conversion?

My family doesn't know about my reversion, but they had noticed that I am more religiously active. As a great Imam I know named Imam Shamsi Ali told me, "When one reverts, they must make a good impression to their family," so if any new reverts are reading this, or any one thinking about coming into to this true religion of Allah, the best way to let your family and friends know is to change your ways; become a better person, stop doing the bad things you done previously, although the main purpose of this is to praise Allah try to make a good impression, so when your family and friends find out they will see that you have become a much better person then before. My parents do not know that I am a Muslim yet, but inshallah I will show them with this magazine that I respect so much, Subhana Allah.

Also about my friends, I was becoming a Christian missionary, trying to spread the word of the Gospel of Jesus and how he was the begotten son of God (baloney; cough, cough). But when many of my Christian friends saw that I was reading the Qur'aan or other Islamic information, they decided to not be my friends. I lost many friends after conversion to Islam. I lost some of my main connections for film to start my career off, the main one from the United Pentecostal Church where I was going to have been making Christian inspiration films for churches all over many parts of America and also in India. So I lost my friends, college wasn't going so good any more (I was doing this Christian film of how Jesus Christ died on the Cross, and when I was almost done, I was wondering if we ever even died, like could I have been doing something wrong), and on top of that Islam was making a lot of sense, which angered me so much.

5. Do you have any advice for someone who is studying Islam?

For me personally I was finding that Islam is a vicious cycle - I wanted to know more, but the more I knew, the less I felt I had known, which makes me wonder, what else I don't know, so I want to know more. So in other words, there will be many people telling you, not to explore this religion, but the Bible even mentions to use to explore religion, and make sure you are in the right one. Also think about this to yourself, what is the only religion that follows all of the commandments of God, or what did Jesus really say, why did Jesus come (Mathrews 5 verse 17, to make sure all of the commandments of Moses/God will never be broken) so think to yourself, what is the only religion that does this. I also recommend to those exploring for the true religion to read the gospel of Barnabas, which was removed from the new testament of the Bible. God’s signs are so clear, I recommend also to look of the miracles of the Qur’aan, and compared its miracles to the Bible or Torah, which where both God’s books, but have been corrupted by man. I ask a favor from those who do not believe. Read the Qur'aan, if God doesn't truly speak to you through it, or give you clear signs then Islam is a false religion.

6. What's your opinion about Indonesia?

I learned that in Indonesia is at 88% Muslim, my question is why isn't Indonesia is at 100% Islam? Surely some Muslims aren't doing their jobs. I believe every Muslim should at least take part in spreading Islam. Every Muslims goal should to at least revert at least one believer into Islam. If this Muslim who strives to spread the message, and doesn't get one person into Islam before he dies, Allah will reward this person greatly, for Allah knows what’s in all of our hearts. I prefer that the committed Muslims in Indonesia will spread the message of Islam through online, but please know what you are talking about and do not speak if you don't know the answer, because blasphemy is a great sin.

7. What's your opinion about terrorist?

To a none-Muslim Islam is about oppressing women, killing people, and committing suicide for their God. Al hamdulillah, after becoming a Muslim it is very clear to me that Islam has nothing absolutely to do with violence and terrorism. Evils are evils and Muslims are Muslims. You may be Muslims and doing evilness, but that does not mean your religion is evil. Many Christians or Jews are doing evilness, but should we say that their religions are evils? If you think about Adorf Hitler, what religion was he? For someone to say Islam is a religion of terror, that is not logical, I tell that person to read the Qur'aan and see what we believe rather then listen to the media and believe what it says like most Americans do.

8. Why did you interest on making film?

Do you have plan to make film about Islam like you almost did about Jesus? Cause I think Islam has so many interesting story, about Rasulullah (PBUH), his friends, etc.

My future plans are to make Islamic movies and comics, Islam is growing so much in these non-Islamic countries, I believe this is a sign from God that the end of times are coming very soon, this is why so many miracles in the Qur'aan are being revealed in this era. Allah is trying to save as many people as he can from hell fire, but it is up to us the Muslims to spread the word.

My plan is to make Islam known in my country very well I plan to make films in Allah's will about the true story of Christ Jesus of how he never died, the youth of the prophet Mohammed, my comics of how Jesus Christ will come back, and many others inshallah. If Allah wills he will use me to do this task, for I trust in him, let Allah guide us all. I'll basically go anywhere that Allah leads me, I hope he uses me for the greater good. One thing I learned becing a muslim is that you have to show Allah that you are dedicated and you are going to put everything into it. Its what in the heart that counts.

9. Why you choose “Isa-Ali” for your muslim name?

I haven't yet chosen a muslim name yer, I'm still thinking. I was thinking of Isa-Ali, but then again, it wouldn't be right if I call myself Jesus if he will return again, and I know the days are near,; so i advise nobody to name their children or change their name to Jesus, just because he will be coming soon according to the prophecies.I was thinking about choosing a name that reflects me, that fits me perfectly, inshaAllah ill find it.

10. Please, give your message to Annida's readers?

To those I have three things to say.

1) I noticed many Muslims that are born into Islam believe that they have a special advantage over those who just reverted into Islam, but they are justifying their birth as Muslims to be careless of the prayers. This is untrue so I tell them to wake up, or they will face the same punishment as the unbelievers.

2) I also want to give advice to those want to start giving dua to the unbelievers. All Muslims should carry at least one Qur'aan with them, to be prepared to give away to someone who is interested.

3) Read the Qur'aan at least once a day, whether its a verse, or a whole Surah, if you seek the knowledge of Allah, then he will provide, God loves those who fight for his true religion. What has there not been that Allah has not done for you, for he is perfect, all you have to do is ask, and read his Qur'aan and he will provide. Reading the Qur’aan is like going to a private class to learn, and Allah is your personal teacher, the more you learn from him, and if he sees your determined HE will surely give you extra credit.

Short Biography of  Franklin:

Name: Franklin "Isa-Ali" Taveras II (Isa-Ali is my Muslim name)
Place/Date of Birth: New York, Queens, Sept 6, 1985
Nationality: Half Dominican and half Puerto Rican
Education: High School: Art and Design located in the New York City, I was there when the Towers fell (9/11).
I currently attend Five Towns College studing film making.
Hobby: Drawing, reading working on my comics and script/screen play.

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