Author Bilal Alaji is inspiring us with his life’s work. With over 15 years working in youth group homes, transitional housing facilities, and corrections, Bilal is passionate about inspiring and motivating the youth of today. Bilal has written down his life story in an effort to help inspire others to live their best life. This Ain’t My Life is Bilal’s story, a must read for any age.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I knew I had a story to tell. I no longer desired to suffer in silence. Everything I endured and learned on my journey I wanted to share with others who endured like me. I felt that if I could reach anyone who would be willing to learn from my story, then I made an impact. My biggest motivation was to change the narrative for black men and men in general who are affected by the sterotype of being “macho.” I wanted to share with men that its okay to be vulnerable. It is through vulnerability that we will find our strength.
Can You Tell Us About the Book from Your Point of View?
The book is an intimate story of my life and all the obstacles, learning experiences, and challenges I faced to become a man of defined purpose. The book paints a clear picture of how a child can be mislead by a parent spending many years to correct the wrongs. This book also addresses many ailments that plague the black community as well as religion. The black community avoids discussions about mental illness, rape, molestation, court proceedings, child support, and depression. This book provides the reader a keen look into Islam, its positives and negatives as it applies to family dynamics.
What Can Readers Expect from This Book?
The reader can expect to be taken on a wild roller coaster ride that will tap into every one of their human emotions. Although there are complex family issues that are prevalent throughout the story there are also high levels of resolve and encouragement that ring loundly within the story. Readers can expect to be motivated, inspired, and filled with passion to reach their divine purpose.
How Do You Think Your Book Relates to The World Today?
The book has a timely message of finding your destiny. It also is timely in that it is transparent about the culture of Islam. There are few books that provide an intimate illustration of how a Muslim family is in America. As the topic of Islam continues to make headlines, this book allows the reader to understand how Muslims behave, think, and function within society. I know that fear of what one does not understand is what perpetuates discrimination and ignorance. This book shares in a way that will eliminate some of those fears while also encouraging you to look deeper within yourself to find your destiny.
What was the most challenging part of writing your book?
The most challenging part of writing the book was to be vulnerable. I am naturally a very private person. I do not like to disclose my business to outsiders. So for me this was outside of my character to share such intimate aspects of my life. I chose to open up because I
knew that there were many people who were facing similar challenges that were also remaining silent. It was important for me to open up and champion a voice that would allow others to speak. There are more Muslim families with similar stories, more men with child support problems, more woman who suffered sexual abuse, and the list goes on. I chose to be vulnerable to demonstrate that through our vulnerability we could find our strength.
What type of reader will enjoy your book?
Readers of all types will enjoy this book. Specific readers to this genre memoir/biography will enjoy the book. Motivational and inspirational readers alike will find joy in this book. Those who are Muslim, seeking to learn about Islam or are interested in biographies of Islam will enjoy the book. The Hip-Hop/ rap genre will love this book as well. The book is universal in that it covers a very wide range of topics and appeals to a diverse reading audience. Whatever your reading pleasure, you will enjoy reading this book.
What is your favorite passage from your book?
My favorite passage is “whenever you are faced with something that you know is not for you. Just say to yourself, ‘This ain’t my life.’ There’s power in those words, in not accepting the situation but opening yourself up to better options. You change your way of thinking and allow for your dreams to take hold. Repeating this mantra to myself has propelled me to reach for higher heights. It gave me a way to not settle. Whatever we are faced with, the opportune time will come to accept the current circumstances or deny them.”
Do you have a sequel planned for your book? If not, are you working on any other projects?
I do not have a sequel planned, however, I’m not sure what the future holds in store because many readers are demanding a sequel from me. We will just have to wait and see. For now, I am touring and speaking about issues involving black people, Muslims, and men. I am on a mission to provide the appropriate channels to help anyone access the power within them to find their divine purpose.
Can You Tell Me Three Fun Facts About You?
Fun fact one: I have a great sense of humor. My wit and humor is often contagious which allows me to be free and open with anyone I meet. Fun fact two: I love to travel. I have created a bucket list of all the places I would like travel around the globe. Believe me I am far off from seeing some of these wonders of the world but I am a work in progress. Fun fact three: I love to eat healthy and workout. Having a healthy lifestyle make me feel good about myself. In some ways I think it affects my psyche because I expect to live to be 100 plus. This healthy lifestyle motivates me to be the best version of myself daily.
What Should Remain with Readers Long After Putting Your Book Down?
This book will cause one to look deep within themselves to find the driving force of their own fulfillment. It is evident to see how Bilal never gave up on finding his true purpose but how do you find yours? Bilal provides tools and answers that will make you think about how you are living your current life. If you desire more, this book will teach you how to achieve more. If you are plagued by setbacks, trials, past events, or memories, this book will provide you the lessons to overcome all obstacles in your life. The reader will be inspired by the perseverance and Pure Faith Bilal demonstrated to find his divine purpose.
“If the reality you see is not what you desire it to be, then simply proclaim, “This Ain’t
My Life.”—- Alaji