Khalid Shabazz is one of five Muslim chaplain who served in the U.S. military bases in Europe. Life’s journey from Alexandria man was, until it becomes a preacher who provide spiritual guidance for U.S. soldiers in Europe, is quite unique. He is a convert to Islam who diligently studied and is believed to be Islamic deepen ust.
His real name is Michael Barnes, a college graduate Jarvis Christian College, adopted Lutheran Christian denominations. Prior to joining the military, he worked at a leading chain of stores in Baton Rouge with income 67 USD per week.
“At that time, my wife was pregnant with second child. I had to do something for my life. I met with staff recruitment and ultimately join the military. I go into the artillery. Go into the military is the best thing in my life,” said Shabazz.
As an artilleryman, Shabazz life are concerned. Sleeping in a very bad condition, disumpahi, shouted at, but it’s all just mendewasakannya as human beings and became the starting point of his review of his religious life.
One day, Shabazz, who was not yet converted to Islam ask a Muslim soldier on the concepts of Islamic teachings. Shabazz was fascinated by the response of Muslim soldiers and decided to study Islam.
Over the past two years to pursue the religion of Islam Shabazz, and in perjalanananya studying Islam, he decided to become a staff in the army. “I entered the military staff school, because I want to get out of the artillery,” he said.
Within two years of that, Shabazz decided to utter two sentences creed and became a Muslim. He also changed the name Michael Barnes became Khalid Shabazz. First test after becoming a Muslim is, when he refused to increase his score to get into Officer Candidate School. Islamic and Shabazz routines perform Friday prayers, the reason for refusal.
Shabazz was very disappointed. He then complain about the issue and intends to ask for help on a spiritual director who served in the army of Islam. Ustaz encountered even asked Shabazz, Shabazz why not try to be spiritual, if denied entry Officer Candidate School, so he could help people who face problems such as himself.
That was the beginning of the story Shabazz became a spiritual director at the U.S. military service. “I think life is so amazing. If that time I was allowed to increase my scores to be accepted in officer candidate school, I probably will never become a spiritual director or ust here,” said Shabazz.
Served as Ustaz in Military
Shabazz then learn the methodology of Al-Quran, Hadith and comparative religion for two and a half years, to become a priest at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Ashburn. He also studied Arabic for two years at the University of Jordan in Amman.
Shabazz officially became a chaplain in the U.S. military in 1999. He was assigned to various countries to assist the U.S. troops who served in Africa, Bosnia, Kosovo, Poland and the Middle East. He has also been commissioned at the U.S. naval prison camp, Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, as well as to Iraq for 15 months.
While in Iraq, Shabazz traveled to the U.S. military barracks, providing an understanding of Islam and Islamic cultural aspects of the commanders and soldiers on non-Muslims. “I convey to the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, what should and should not be based on the teachings of Islam,” he said.
Shabazz said that Muslim soldiers are no different from soldiers of other religious backgrounds. Their primary purpose is worship. “Every Friday, our prayers. We give each other support each other, trying to create comfort for the pilgrims and ensure that if the soldiers are facing problems and difficulties, we are always there for them,” said Shabazz.
In performing its duties, Shabazz admitted spending more time for the non-Muslim soldiers. “I was playing basketball and lifting weights with them. Most of them close to me rather than for spiritual reasons, but to get guidance, I became their mentor,” said Shabazz.