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Tereque Smith: The Journey from Stealing the Quran to Guidance

Our elders say that guidance can come from unexpected places. If Allah intends to honor someone with His religion, He can guide them in unexpected ways. The story we are about to tell seems to be a living proof of this saying. So, let’s travel to the United States for this story.

Tereque Smith is a person whose spiritual side has always been strong. Despite not growing up in a religious family, he used to go to church alone in his childhood. The inherent need for God in human nature led Tereque to become a believer. Interestingly, he also mentions that he had leaned towards the wrong paths since childhood, adopting a lifestyle full of regrets. It is not surprising to encounter this contradiction. Because a distorted religion does not satisfy a person entirely, nor does it provide the necessary motivation to avoid sin.

United States

Another issue that left this young man alone with depressive thoughts is social problems. In a video where Tereque narrates his encounter with Islam, he reads a poem he wrote during his transition period. In this poem, the wounds caused by modern life, capitalism, and distorted Christian faith are exposed. Art cannot be translated, but we still want you to get to know Tereque through his own poem as much as possible:

Accumulated debts to myself, I strive to find a life
from multiplied troubles.
The process works like this, doesn’t it?
Patience is my virtue,
Strengthened by that little light in the darkness.
I’m looking at the weekly slavery report
Bent from Monday to Friday shifts at the joints of my left knee.
And the age you call is just a number
Written in my weekly slave report…

Influenced by the Quran He Hid

The young convert started to learn about Islam through his Middle Eastern friends, based on what he knew from the news presented to him by the media. However, when he read the book of Allah, he encountered something very different, something that deeply affected him in every aspect.

Tereque narrates the event that led to his guidance as follows: “My friend had a class in the library. I saw him with a book when he left. It was the Quran. I had Middle Eastern friends before. I knew something about Islam. I told my friend that what he had was not just a book. When the bell rang, I took the book and put it in my bag to take it home. I was trying to protect my friend, do good.


Three and a half months after this incident, he decided to take a look at his room. Each verse he read hit him from a different angle, according to what he says. The answers he could not find in his own religion firmly connected him to the Quran, which he says influenced him in every way. “When I returned from my Catholic school, I had questions about Christianity in my mind. I was asking questions about the revelation to Jesus, his depictions. It didn’t make sense. Most of the answers I got were ‘Because it is so.’ My mind was confused, and then I started researching on my own. Towards the end of my research, I met a Muslim brother. He invited me to the mosque. When I met Muslims, what I read in the Quran became clear.

During that process, Tereque, who became a Muslim, admits that he sometimes fell and rose and was drawn back to his old habits. However, thanks to the moderate perspective brought by Islam, he faces these ups and downs with maturity: “Sometimes you see yourself at the top of the world. Allah shakes you to show humility. Material things make you temporarily happy. Now, I am more peaceful than ever.

Tereque knows that no matter what happens, he will find peace again with Allah. This has been a great relief for him. Now, no matter what, even if he loses all his loved ones, he knows that he is not alone. In the continuation of his poem, he expresses his feelings as follows:

If I ever get lost one day,
I will trace my steps backward.
Until I reach the word of Allah

The suffering of a man (Jesus Christ)
Should not be your hope for salvation.
Here is Generation Z for you.

For Tereque, who recently joined the community, there is also a criticism. According to him, Muslims do not appreciate the value of being together. He coped with the difficulty of not being understood by his family and friends during this process. He says he constantly prays for his family’s guidance and gives advice to the community he addresses: “Young people born into Muslim families may not appreciate the value of the congregation. Everyone here is very fortunate, don’t forget it.

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