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Brother Hamza on Making Good on His Mistakes

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Brother Hamza - 525

“I got home on November 30, 2009 after being incarcerated for 21 years, 6 months, and 20 days. See, I was married to a beautiful girl, Hafsa, who gave me a beautiful daughter, Ruqqiya. We had a beautiful life together. But, my daughter died of cancer at nine. Two years later, a man murdered my wife. So, I found the person who killed her and I killed him. I do not regret killing him at all. If I had my way, I would dig him up, bring him back to life, and kill him again. I will say this again, so that I am being real clear. I would dig him up, bring him back to life, and kill him again. I have no remorse whatsoever because he took away something very precious from me. You see these cracks in the sidewalk, that is how my heart feels every day. I don’t think that I will every marry again. She was the only one who made me happy.

I came back to Washington after I got out because this is where my problem began and, Insha’Allah, this is where my problems shall end.

“I came back to Washington after I got out because this is where my problem began and, Insha’Allah, this is where my problems shall end. I came back to rectify what I f-ed up and work to change the areas I once corrupted and tainted. I was a tyrant on these streets until I bit into Islam whole heartedly while I was incarcerated.

“I came to the faith on August 25, 1980. I was walking on New Jersey and 4th St. NW on a Friday and heard the call to prayer. It pricked my heart and I walked into the Masjid and everything became as clear as day. But, I did not live as a good Muslim until I was locked up. Some of the most beautiful times that I have had in my life were when I was incarcerated, especially the Muslim holidays. I was the Imam when I was locked up in Kentucky. People looked to me for guidance, strength, and help. While I am free now, sometimes I miss those days of having such a position of responsibility now that I am living on the streets.

“I have no family or home, but Allah places people in my path to help me. He places people in my path to feed me, clothe me, and give me knowledge. He also places people in my path, so I can give what I have back to them. There is a hadith in the Koran says that if you see a wrong, first change it with your hands. That means do something about it. If you can’t use your hands, use our mouth. That means speak on it. If not that, change it within your heart. I want to use my hands, words, and heart to spread wisdom and knowledge to people here. Allah has a purpose for me, which is to help my brothers and sisters and make good on my mistakes.”

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Topics: All Stories,Family & Friends,Neighborhoods — Tags: , , , Danny @ 9:00 am


  1. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind…

    Comment by Sally — May 20, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  2. There is a really sad beauty to this story.

    Comment by Jason — May 20, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  3. Jason, What is wrong with you? Since when is murder beautiful. This man is nothing more than a killer who can tell a good story. I feel no remorse for him, only for those he killed and his wife and daughter.

    Comment by Paul — May 20, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  4. This one is especially powerful.

    Comment by Aylin — May 20, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  5. I can't tell if his eyes are kind or evil.

    Comment by Karyn D. — May 20, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

  6. Paul, if you honestly have no understanding for someone who reacted to someone who killed his wife by killing that person, then you are an empty human being without a soul.

    Yes revenge is wrong, and gets us nowhere, but the instinct to kill the killer of a loved one is entirely understandable.

    A powerful story and I wish Brother Hamza well.

    Comment by Outcaller — May 21, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  7. Me too. Life is never black and white; there are a million shades of grey. You may think you fit on one extreme but we're all in the middle. You may think you know what you would do in his situation but the truth is none of us do until we're there.

    Comment by Megan Elizabeth Hilton — May 26, 2010 @ 12:21 am

  8. Paul,

    You're an asshat.

    If somebody killed my wife or somebody that precious to me, you bet your ass I'll be out hunting you.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  9. While i agree that Paul's comments are way off base, I do not understand all of this sympathy around murder. Yes, we would all be angry after the murder of a loved one, but murder. Really. Taking someone else's life as a way to seek justice. That is not right under any circumstances.

    While our laws and justice system may not always be just, we have organized ourselves into a society and moral code where we need to use these tools to avoid having people living like vigilantes.

    So, feel strongly about his story, but do not condone his behavior. Murder under any circumstances is wrong. Period.

    Comment by Dave O — May 27, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

  10. Well said, David. I still think it's uncomfortable for us to face what it means to be human, or rather what we–everybody–are actually capable of. It's terrifying. This man forces us to confront one of the worst things a human is capable of doing. Maybe the sympathy is a way of coping…I don't know! What I don't understand, however, is the complete absence of regret. This shows a broken man who hasn't been able to make good on his mistakes.

    Comment by Megan Elizabeth Hilton — May 27, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  11. I read this story a few weeks ago and still have it on my mind (esp. the hadith in the Koran). If the people I most cherished died, I don't know what I'd do – I feel for this man and hope I never have to make the choice he did… and hope his faith is helping to heal his heart.

    Comment by RM — June 9, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  12. I think this man’s story perfectly illustrates the difference between what is understandable and what is forgivable. We can understand what he did and why, but we cannot let the act go unpunished.

    Comment by Babel — December 14, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  13. It looks like both incarceration and religion have not taught him that murder is wrong. If he were forgiven of his sins, he’d be able to forgive and leave vengeance in the hands of God. Good comment, Sally.

    Comment by Joe — January 3, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  14. All of you are not without sin have cast stones against
    Brother Hamza. His only maker and judge is Almighty God. If any one of you has broken even one or more of Almighty God’s Ten Commandments even if not “Thou Shall Not Kill”, you are no better nor less guilty in sin than Brother Hamza. Who do you think you all are? You are but only vulnerable, weak, sinful, lustful flesh and, in truest reality, spirit-souls temporarily contained within easily tempted, corrupted, and perishable bodies as are all human men, women, and children on earth. Brother Hamza like all those who are terribly harmed and transformed by injustice and pain as Almighty God commands must forgive his wife’s murderer, forgive himself, and ask Almighty God for forgiveness in the name of His Son Savior Lord Jesus Christ in order to be forgiven. It is not an easy thing for many people to automatically do regarding being able to forgive someone for deliberate evil causing grave and life-altering harm. I know Hamza’ problem intimately as I myself have not yet forgiven those who’ve harmed and destroyed my life and attacked the lives of my children even though I know that I must. Hamza is still furious as am I too. Pray for us both, others struggling with inability to forgive, and forgive yourselves and others before too late. Pray Hamza and all others do as well, including me.

    Comment by DAD — December 24, 2012 @ 4:06 am

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