Abdur Raheem Green – How I Became A Muslim
Channel: Abdurraheem Green
File Size: 40.87MB
A Detailed Lecture By Speaker How He Came To Islam.
hamdulillah Mohamad who want to stay in one istockphoto now the villa Himanshu ODM. fusina women say at Medina, Mia de la who philomel della Wilma util Fela de la or shadow La ilaha illallah wa shadow Anna Mohammedan Abdo rasuluh.
Begin by praising Allah, we praise Him we seek his help, and we ask, we ask for his forgiveness and we take refuge with Allah from the evil of ourselves and from the evil consequence of our evil actions. Whomsoever God guides, no one can miss guide, and whosoever Allah leaves to go astray, no one can guide. And I testify that Allah alone is worthy of worship and that Mohammed sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is his servant and His Messenger.
My first talk tonight is about
why I came to Islam. Yeah. Okay. So let me introduce a little bit about myself, where I come from I'm my I was born, my mother, Christian me, Anthony watts, wife, Gavin green. Now, what's wife is a strange name.
In England anyway, because it's not an English name. It's a Polish name. My mother is polish, actually, completely polish.
And when she was,
I don't know, two or three years old, the second world war broke out. And she had to leave Poland. And from Poland, she emigrated to Iran, and from Iran to Kenya. And actually, my father was a colonial administrator
was not long ago, that Britain, of course, had one of the biggest empires the world has ever seen. They said, as they said, the sun never sets on the British Empire. And now look at the British Empire. Yeah, all we have left Hong Kong went back in 19 was 1999 or 1998. And now all we have is a few islands in the Atlantic where there's more sheep than people.
The Falkland Islands, we had a big battle over that.
Some sheep, you know, that's it. But you know, that's, that's one of the signs actually from God.
In the Quran, Allah says, travel the earth,
and see the end of those people who rejected faith. See, the end of people whose power and strength was actually greater than yours, more numerous,
more powerful, their buildings were more magnificent, but you can travel Earth and you can see the ruins of those civilizations and see what has become of them. This is the reality, of course, that civilizations come and civilizations go. But there are some truths that always enjoy. So anyway, my father was a colonial administrator in Tanzania, it's in East Africa, or, and that's where I was born. In 1964, in Tanzania, I don't remember anything of Tanzania. But I was born in Tanzania in Dar Salam.
When I was young, very young, then we moved when I was two years old, we moved to UK, because Tanzania, got its independence. And my father then began to work for Barclays Bank, international, Barclays Bank, international, and he used to travel the world. And when I was 10 years old,
we moved to Cairo.
And my father was sent there in order to set up Barclays Bank in Cairo. So that's a little bit about my background. So when I say I come from, you know, the upper middle class, this is a type of thing. When I was
10 years old, I was sent to boarding school.
boarding school is a place. You know, some people like it, some people don't, I didn't like it. I never liked boarding school. But that's where I went when I was 10 years old. And that's where I spent most of my life for the next 10 years until I was 19.
And except for my holidays, which we used to spend in Egypt. So my father also spent a long time in Egypt a lot longer than most people normally spend stay abroad as expatriates. We lived in Egypt for 10 years. So Egypt was my home.
And my school was this place called Ampleforth college. Ampleforth College is a very famous monastic boarding school that is run by Benedictine monks. So my mother being polish, she's Catholic, and she bought me up to me and my brother to be Catholic, although my father is actually an
Still is an agnostic. As an agnostic, he says, You know, I don't know if there is a God or not. So he doesn't say, I believe there's not a God. He just doesn't know if there is a God or if there is a religion or anything like that.
So that's my father as my mum. That's a little bit about my early life. Now, before I was sent to school, we, however, we don't live in a religious household. My mother was never really taught me much about Catholicism. I never really learned much about religion. In fact, the only person who used to take me to church was my mom's was my art.
When you heard on Xhosa, and she used to take me and my brother to church regularly, but my mother never bothered. And so that's all we got, really. But I remember the first sort of piece of information I ever really got about religion and was when my mother, obviously thinking was about time, she taught me something, in order to prepare me to go to this school, this monastic boarding school, she decided to teach me one of the Roman Catholic press. It's called hail, Mary, the Roman Catholic prayer, they have two main prayers. One is you find it in the Gospel, or in the gospels, which is called the Our Father. And the other is called Hail Mary. So she teaches me the Hail Mary.
And as far as I remember, it goes something like this. Hail Mary, Mother of god bless it, art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Now, when she got to the bit, Hail Mary, Mother of God, as an eight year old, and I remember, I remember thinking to myself, Mother of God.
What's that mean?
God has a mummy.
And I'm thinking in my head, God has among see what I'm thinking. God is supposed to be eternal, without beginning without end. And God has a mummy. How? Okay, I didn't really get that. But then you know, when your mom tells you something of that age? I mean, you believe it? Absolutely. You don't question what your mom tells you. Because what your mom tells you, you just accept it. So instead of you know, I mean, I just said, Well, I figured it out. In my head, I said, Well, if Mary is the mother of God, the only way that can work is she must be a bigger God than God.
To give birth to God, she has to be a bigger God than God. So I think, okay, you know, so I just put that that was actually my first question. The first question that came to me, and it still remains as valid today, in reality, was that first question, and it wasn't the end of my questions. And people often asked me, you know, if you didn't hate your school, so much, do you think you would have become Muslim? Well, I don't know if hating my school had anything to do with me becoming Muslim, but it certainly had a lot to do with me questioning the paradigms or the things that I was being taught at that school. And I have to say, I didn't really enjoy school, I never really quite
understood why I had been sent to this monastery,
perched on the edge of the Yorkshire was this desolate place, in the middle of nowhere. And this is why where I had to spend most of my life here, I could never really quite understand that. And actually, that caused me to question a lot of things. Now, some of those things are to do with what we call religion. And if you came to my talk yesterday, you'll you'll remember how I challenged the whole concept of what religion is that from, in reality, a person's religion or Deen their way of life is more than just what we normally considered to the religion in the narrow sense. But what was my religion was obviously I was a Christian and I was a Catholic. And there were things I went on to
question more and more. Of course, the issue of the Trinity was continually perplexing, and I was always trying to find out and think about ways to make sense of the Trinity. And of course, there are a whole load of examples that are given to you. The Trinity is like for example, water, you know, water is ice, and water is steam, and water is water. But you know, this is all water, but they are in different sort of states and they say, well, that's the Trinity or, you know, like a human being you have a mind the body and the soul. Or the egg. You have the shell of the egg. You have the yolk of the egg. You have the white of the egg, right? I remember once I was my mother had
a candle stand with three candles and I thought okay, maybe this is like the Trinity. Okay, three candles in one candle stand, right. So I
I myself was always trying to find ways to make sense of the Trinity. But in many different ways you realize that none of those examples actually can really apply. And in fact, it's interesting. If you actually study Christian theology, you will find that all of these type of examples are heresies. They're all heretical beliefs.
Because none of them actually accurately represent the Trinity at all. Okay, because God, by definition, is a being that contains all the attributes of God, you can't give some attributes of God to one thing, and another attributes of God to another. Yeah, and give the other attributes of God to something else. Because what we call God contains all the attributes of God. Right, so you can't have God, the infinite God, the eternal God, the Creator. And that's one good. And then you have God, the loving God, the Merciful God, the Forgiving as another part of God, because God has to contain all of those attributes. That's why the example of water doesn't work. Why, because steam is
hot, and steam rises. And so the steam has different attributes from the ice, which is cold, right. And the other, you know, the water in its normal state has different attributes. But God is the one that contains all of the attributes simultaneously. So anything we describe as God has to have all the attributes of God, not just some of them. So you look in the example of the egg of the human of the candle, or whatever you think you see none of them actually apply. that these are things that people just try to imagine to make sense of something that actually does not make sense. And the most knowledgeable amongst, they would say, Listen, this is a mystery, and you just have to believe
it. That's really what they would say. They said, there is no logical explanation. This is a mystery, and you just have to believe it. But really, I think, you know, for most of us just have to believe it just doesn't, you know, as we say, it doesn't cut the mustard. It's not something we can really accept, in a day, in an age where we are constantly taught to question things, and so on and so forth. Just believe it certainly didn't really go down well with me. And there were other things that are specific to the Catholic Church, for example, I could never really understand why I had to go and confess my sins to a priest. Right. And I think most of it, most of us at school couldn't
understand that either. Because we lived with the monks, we live with them every day. So we realized that these monks were just just like us, human beings, they made mistakes. In fact, in reality, we realized that most of them had big problems. In fact, we reckon that a good number of them became monks because they just wanted to run away from the world. They didn't want to deal with things.
So we found that really,
these monks were not these holy people. And this is not something my mother could never understand this. When I used to complain about my housemaster. She would say, Yeah, well, he can't, I don't believe you. He's a priest. So what do you mean, I'm telling you? No, he's a priest, priest, don't do things like that. And really, that's the attitude. The attitude of your average, average Catholic is like that the priests can't do anything, because he is, you know, he is almost some holy person, and why Shouldn't he be? Because what is the priest doing? I mean, this priest gets a piece of ordinary bread. Yeah. And he gets some wine. And they do this ritual called the mass, right. And at
the end of this ritual, called the mass, the bread is transformed into the body of Jesus, and the wine is transformed into the blood of Jesus. And by the way, not symbolically, when you eat the bread and drink the blood, you have to believe as a Catholic, or you have to in my days, that you are literally eating the literal flesh of Jesus, and the literal blood and drinking literally his blood. Okay? Not symbolically, literally. And even an ex priest, he confessed, right? That mentally, of course, and Jesus is God, right? So you're eating and you're drinking God.
Right? Seriously, but as a psychology, the priest believes that he is consuming God and therefore God and He is the one who has the power, you know, through his ritual, not himself, of course, but it is the ritual that he does that causes this transformation to take place. Right.
Now, we used to ask awkward questions like okay, we eat, you know the flesh of Jesus and drink the blood of Jesus. But you know, when it comes out as poo, and we do he poo Jesus, and we just,
well, that's the sort of questions we would ask. You know, we
We weren't holding anything back. Right?
And I don't know if they just used to say you can't ask questions like that, you know, it's not, you know, which is I mean, I suppose from our point of view, they said, fair enough, you don't, you don't think like that about these things, right. And then the confession, but the confession was one that really used to,
you know, it really used to disturb me. Most of all, because most of us at school were up to a lot of no good. We were doing a lot of, you know, certainly forbidden things. And the idea that I had to go to one of the monks who run the school, and to confess to them about all the things I've been up to, it made it sound like some psychological spice system, right? That he had, they were, you know, you did all of these things, then you have to go and tell them what you were doing. And he was like, you just must be joking. I'm not gonna tell you all the things I used to be doing. So actually, we used to make up stuff we used to say, like, you know, I lied three times this week, and you know,
and I, I was rude to, you know, such and such. And, you know, I, I felt jealous, because, you know, this guy had a better stereo than me, you know. And, you know, and forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, you know, because there's my son, say, three Hail Marys and five, our fathers, you know, and think deeply about the bad things you but I can't Yeah.
All right. And the other thing I didn't get is the Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. Because I didn't just get why I have to tell the priest, this is what I really didn't get. Why do I have to tell and I actually went, I went to the Abbott's to the abbot, he's the top guy. You've employed the top dog, right? Because they were a dog collar, right? We call it the top dog. Yeah. And you say, and you say, you know, I said to him, Listen, why do I have to come and confess my sins to you? Why? Because you know what's so good about you? And I have to confess my sins to you. Why can't I just ask God? Oh, God, I've been really bad. Please forgive me. He said, yes, you know, you can ask God
if you want to. But if you just ask God, you, you can't be sure that God is going to forgive you.
And again, I didn't, I didn't say anything to him. But in my mind, I'm thinking, so I can't be sure that God's gonna forgive me. But I can be sure that he's going to listen to you. Right? I'm saying no, because I know between you and me, there's no difference. There's nothing that makes you more holy than me. Right. Now, in the meantime, I want to say something else is going on, I am experiencing something else in terms of religion. And what I'm experiencing is something dramatically different. Now, in spite of the fact that monks take vows of poverty and chastity, poverty, because they don't own any property. Every piece of property that they have, any gift that
someone gives to them, actually belongs to the monastery, it does not belong to that monk. So they take vows of poverty, right? And they take vows of chastity, which means they never married, okay.
And so they live actually, you know, in spite of these vows of poverty and chastity, they lived very, very comfortable lives, in fact, right. And the whole church and the rituals of the church are really surrounded by a paraphernalia of rites and rituals. I mean, if you've ever been to a mosque, right, you there's the singing, and there's the chanting, and there's the incense. And, you know, I used to be the altar, boy, you know, you have to hand the bread and the wine and you have to cover everything has a little, you know, you have to you have the chalice and I can't remember what you have yet to cover this and you have to move it just in a certain way. You have to turn the cup, one
third of degree. You know, I remember explaining all of this stuff to a friend of mine, a Muslim friend of mine, and actually, we were up in the forest in the nighttime. He said, I think we better go back to the car now because I'm scared. It sounds like some cannibalistic Voodoo ritual. Right? And, you know, the funny thing was, is that when he said that, right, when he said I, you know, I thought to myself, you know, it really does. I never thought of it before. Right? But there's all this ritual. And then I'm going to Egypt. Now Egypt, of course is a Muslim country. Right. And in our house, we have a we had a very, very nice lifestyle. Right? We had a driver to drive us around.
We had a su Friday to tidy up the house, right? We had a cook to cook our food. Anyway, I want to focus on the cook evil he is evil him is really one of the most beautiful people I've ever met.
Okay, and he used to pray five times a day. And this is the thing that immediately I want to focus on that impressed me about Ibrahim the prayer. You see, there Am I going to
To this Catholic monastery dealing with all of these things, and then I would come home, and what would we do? We find Abraham, the time will come for prayer. He would pray his prayer mat down in the kitchen. And he would just start praying. And sometimes we would go in the kitchen and you know, we want to drink and oh, no, we can't get a drink. Just wait for five minutes, because Abraham is praying. And I remember looking at Abraham one day, he's wearing these simple clothes. You know, this gentleman via, as they call it used to wear this jelly beer. Very simple, very humble man. Always humble. I never heard him shout ever once. I never heard him shout. And then this prayer, you
know, I remember just watching him praying. And just thinking,
if you want to see someone who is worshiping God, the way God should be worshipped, this is the way not the way they did it back in my school, he was a man he is just standing, simply, bowing, standing, prostrating quietly, silently, is worshipping his creator. And it had a very, very powerful impact on me, the comparison between this and that. And the comparison, by the way, was not only in religious terms, you see, going to Egypt was a really big shock in my life. I mean, obviously, any third world country compared to life in the West, okay. is, you know, dirty, chaotic, you know, confusing from many different angles, you know, it's quite scary. Okay, you go to third
world country, the way people drive? You know, we used to have a joke that the Honda huta, right, you know, is more important than the car engine. Yeah, you could push the car along. But if you didn't have a router, it was just, you know, you wouldn't survive, you know. And, you know, it was like that, you know, really crazy. And the life in so many ways was crazy. And I have to say, for the first two years I hated, I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand Egypt. And then, you know, something happened, you know, so I got a bit older, and I settled down, you know, I began to see what was going on. And, and then, as I suppose I moved in my, into my teenage years. And, you know,
I'm a sort of person who at that time used to think a lot and very deeply about all types of subjects, all types of things. And so one of the things I began to question, and I go back to my life in this monastic boarding school, is why am I here? Now, the question, why am I here? Initially, was a question, why am I here at the school? But then it soon moved on to a question as Why am I here? on this earth? What is the purpose of my life? What is the reason for my existence? And I used to think about that. And then I figured, thinking about my school, and what am I doing here? And what am I supposed to do with my life, I sort of came to, I figured it out. I said, Okay,
I'm here at school, so that I can work very hard, and get good results for my a levels. So I can go to a good university, preferably Oxford, or Cambridge, you know, but if not, you know, another one, okay. And then I can get a good job. Now, when I get a good job, I can earn enough money to send my kids back to Ampleforth college, so that they can study hard, and get good results. So they can go to a good university, so they can get a good job. And they can go back and say they can earn enough money to send their kids back to Ampleforth college so that they can work. And I thought, My God, my existence is only to perpetuate the Roman Catholic middle class, you know, section of British
society, I thought is that the purpose of my life? That's what it's for. It was really depressing. And I thought to myself, No, this can't be the purpose of life, this can't be the reason for our existence. And so there was two things going on here. Actually, what I was doing was I was fundamentally questioning the whole premise of Western society. Because ultimately, basically, that's Western society. It's just to work hard. You're just a cog in the machine. That's all you are. You know, you're just a cog in the machine. As those days Pink Floyd used to sing all in all, you're just another brick in the wall. And it was so true. I recently watched that the film The wall
by Pink Floyd, well, recently, two, three years ago, I know it's got music in and this and that, but I remembered that that film was something that was really transformative because that film was so aggressively attacking. Actually, the funny thing about that it's even that film is even critical about the whole music industry. If you ever seen the film, you'll realize that even the whole pop music industry, the rock star, everything it is fundamentally
Questioning those things. And those powerful images of school kids going on this conveyor belt, and then going into this mincing machine, and they're just coming out as mince. Right. And it was like, that's just what you felt. I'm just part of the machine, right? Just part of the machine, I'm just being processed. And is this really, that's what life is about. That's what we're for. This is the purpose of our existence. I said to myself, that I am sure there is something more profound, more deep. And there is a deeper meaning to life than that. And, and really, that's where the the searching started. And I began to look through many different religions. And one of the religions I
looked through, and very soon I looked at was Buddhism, and Buddhism.
You know, one of the brothers who said, you know, why don't you talk more about Buddhism, because I was a Buddhist for three years. When I say I was a Buddhist for three years, I didn't shave my head and put on saffron robes, right? Okay, and have a statue of Buddha and worship, you know, that's actually, by the way, only a form of Buddhism. Buddhism has many, many different forms. Okay? But actually, if you teach, if you actually Sorry, excuse me, if you actually study what Buddha towards Buddha didn't really teach a system. In fact, it's arguable that you could be a Buddhist and follow different religions, because according to some Buddhists, you know, Buddhism is not a religion,
right? It's more like a philosophy, okay. And anyway, the Buddhism that I was the reading about was a very open type of Buddhism, the guy who wrote the book, he was a Buddhist monk, he used to be a, he used to be a Christian priest, he became Buddhist. And you know, his basic idea is you take good from wherever you find it. And it was also to do with yoga. So it was a form of Buddhism that was still really based around, you know, the practice the practice of yoga, and basically outline the fundamental principles of the Eightfold enlightened path of Buddha. And basically, Buddhist philosophy is that you should try to fill your life with goodness, okay. So you are thinking good
thoughts, you are looking at good things, you are hearing good things, you are doing good things, you're eating good things, so on and so forth. So the whole purpose is to be good, and to be compassionate, okay. But ultimately, what one is seeking to achieve is a state of Nirvana. Now, Nirvana does not mean paradise. And it doesn't mean enlightenment. Those words are not correct translations of Nirvana. Nirvana actually means annihilation. It means annihilation. In this respect, it means annihilation of the self. Because according to Buddha, the cause of all suffering in the world is the self is the ego. Right? All the problems that we have, individually and
collectively, according to his teachings are a product of the self, right? So if you are nightlight yourself, if you destroy your ego, totally, then this is the stage or this is the type of enlightenment, okay, which actually makes Buddhists almost like, empty? Well, it I mean, it's, it's an idea, by the way that is very, very difficult to accept in the West, right? Because it seems that individualism or individuality is that there is no room for that at all. Right? Any type of individuality or individualism, there's no room for it. Right? That there is no room for the for the enlightened one. No, there's nothing that marks him out. That's why it's very difficult to write any
biography of you know, a Buddhist leader, because there's nothing to write about. Because their whole life is not about doing anything. Really, it's just about you that because there's no individual or there's no self to focus on. That's why the Dalai Lama, he's a paradox. You know, the fact that he's a personality, right, actually is paradoxical in Buddhist thought. Now, why did I give up Buddhism? Actually, I have to say, I'll be really honest, and I wouldn't be anything else. Hopefully, that Buddhism of all the religions I studied, all the philosophies I studied was really the one that was most appealing was very appealing to me. And it still has many, many aspects to it.
That still, I would say, are definitely things that are true many aspects to it. But the problem with Buddhism, in my opinion, is that I believe that Buddhist fundamental premise was wrong is fundamental. Now what was his fundamental premise? Life is suffering. That's his fundamental premise. He says, life is suffering. And the way to escape the suffering of life and the cause of suffering is the self and the word. So therefore the way to escape. Okay, but what if your premise is wrong? What if life is not suffering? And I'm sure most of us would agree that life is not suffering? Yes, there is suffering in life, right? But you couldn't say
That life is suffering. Because there is joy. There is love. There are so many very positive things that happen in life. And you couldn't describe those things we might describe some aspects certainly love, you might describe some of that as suffering. There's no doubt about that. Right? And I'll get onto that in a little bit as well. Okay. But what I'm saying is that many things in life that are really very joyful and very positive, and therefore to say life is suffering is wrong. And also I don't believe that the ego or the self is the cause. The self itself, the self itself is not the problem. In Islamic terminology, the knifes actually even in the Quran, for example, you will find
the knifes is always referred to from a negative point of view. Yeah, but actually, in reality, the knifes is essential. The knifes is essential in its raw quality, the ego or the nuts is essential, because it's the nuts that makes me drink water. It's my desire, the feeling that I have, I am thirsty. And that is the nuts. The nuts drives me to drink, the nuts drives me to eat, right, the drives the nuts, drives me to anger, anger is essential, by the way in order to protect yourself right? Jealousy is essential within some context of the family and so on and so forth. Right? So the problem is not the knifes No, the problem is not the knifes, the problem is when you go beyond the
limits, right? When your desire for food is transformed into gluttony when your feeling of anger is not controlled, and it goes beyond the bounds, and it leads to access, and so on and so forth. So the problem is not the knifes so it is not right to annihilate yourself. You're not supposed to destroy totally, you're nuts. But actually, what you need to do is control that. Now. I'm saying that in retrospect as a Muslim, because that's what I believe as a Muslim, what we have to do is we have to aim at controlling ourselves, right? It's actually controlling our desires, not annihilating them. Anyway, I hadn't figured that out at this at this stage would not come to Buddhism. I'm just
jumping ahead of it. Okay. But the point is, I felt that there was something not rights. This was not quite actually. Right.
Okay, and another thing that happened, I suppose, and you know, you could say, well, maybe if you take in Buddhism a little bit further, you wouldn't have reached this conclusion. But after about three years of, you know, practicing various forms of Buddhism, I came across instant Nevada. It's called marijuana.
Marijuana spliff whatever they call it now these days, right? Or actually in Egypt, it was a marijuana it was hash. Okay. Quiet widely available. And I had always assiduously avoided these things. And you know, my parents good parents warned me, you know, against drugs and getting into drugs. And you know, even if you take this soft drugs, it's only a route to hard drugs. But anyway, I don't even remember how it happened. My brother quite to my shock started smoking. First. My brother started saying he's younger than me. So that's why I'm shocked by it. And I was taught my brother was a real straight laced guy. Okay, there he was puffing away and was like, What are you
doing? Smoking what man, you know. And then along came this? This hash stuff, right?
And anyway, hash Yeah, it was like man's instant Nirvana. You know, I am annihilated and remember was talking about yesterday, I'm stoned, I am wasted. Yeah. The the state of absolute intoxication is actually describing a state of self annihilation. When you you literally have annihilated yourself. And there is that feeling then when you annihilate yourself of a type of, you know, escape a type of, you know, whatever. Okay. Now, that may be is not an entirely undesirable emotion to feel, right. But drugs you see is, you know, they are a very, very dangerous mistress. Because in the beginning, when you start smoking and you start taking the drugs and you start doing those
things, yes, in the beginning, you feel very euphoric, maybe even for a year. Right. You know, you feel very euphoric, and you know, the drugs may feel good, but you'll never really feel as good. You know, the fifth and sixth and seventh time as you did the first time, or the second time, what you find is that you're always chasing the high. You always
Trying to get back that fantastic you feeling you had when you begun. But what happens is your body builds up a type of resistance, okay? And then you need to smoke more to get the effect that you used to have when you started. Until what happens ultimately, is that your life simply becomes an obsession with obtaining drugs in order to get that high. And you're spending more and more money, you're spending more and more time, you spend all the time trying to get drugs and being high. And you even reach a stage when anyone who's a drug taker will know, they're not even enjoying it anymore. They're not, they don't actually get enjoyment from it.
But what you are addicted to, is the process, you've become addicted to the process. And you're still trying to chase that high. And that's, by the way, often when drug takers move on to harder drugs, because harder drugs offer them something of the experience that they had before. But actually, it is totally disruptive, it destroys your body, it destroys your mind, it destroys you as a person. It destroys families, it destroys societies. But you don't think about that when you start taking it. Right? You don't think about that when you begin, all you're experiencing is the high like I said, instant Nirvana. So I started to play a little bit around with these drugs and stuff
like that. And initially, it really was a type of spiritual experiment, it was a nother dimension, it was trying to find out something about my mind about myself a different dimension of my being, maybe drugs could unleash that dimension. And I could begin to experience something different in my life. So initially, it wasn't just pure hedonism, I was not driven by that at all, just the desire to get high and have fun. That was not what I was driven by it wasn't that, okay. It was really initially a type of seeking of some type of spirituality in it. And actually, even with the smoking of marijuana, you know, you actually have a religion that's around it, Rastafari although I know,
wrestlers would argue that not all the rest is beneath if that's true. But there's a whole section of the Rastafarian religion that connects, you know, taking smoking marijuana with this. Okay, so you have this whole tap of even spiritual side connected to it. However, you know, still, this state had not answered my fundamental questions. And this is the other thing with Buddhism, I still didn't really know, why am I here? What is the purpose of life? What is it all for drug taking? had not answered those fundamental questions. I had experienced different states of being, but I still haven't understood, why am I here? And what it's all for? And so that question is still ticking away
in the background.
Anyway, this I guess this is from the time when I'm, you know, I don't I don't know the age, but these things are going on from the age of like, 15, I didn't start taking drugs, then that was later. But these processes are going from the age of 15, to about 1920.
And I was at the same time studying different religions, psychosomatic yoga, magic, I studied quite a lot about magic, for example. Okay. And interestingly enough, one of the things that really interested me was the Kabbalah and, and interestingly enough, as well, the Kabbalah because it's a Jewish book of magic actually contains a lot of monotheism in it. And I found that that aspect very appealing, but of course, the whole magic thing, really.
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So I found Yep, so I was looking through all of these different religions. Now, what happened is that I reached the stage where what I had done is I had invented my own religion. So what did i do is i got bits and pieces of all the different you know, a bit of Christianity, bit of Buddhism, but a psychosomatic yoga bit of you know, these new age philosophies, you know, I got them they have raster stuff, you know, and I mixed it Boom, jonka and stuff like that. Right. Mommy mix the all up in the big mix, man. Right? I mean, we already jam. Yeah. So I got myself my own religion, actually, still someone have the book where I sort of started to detail its principles. And it was it was I
mean, you know, if I tell you, you probably love it, I could probably form a sex Actually, I could probably do it a cult, you know, be quite easy. I mean, look a bit like Jesus, you know. So I could do though. And it was, you know, it was really typical, right? It was like, oneness, peace, love. That's what it was. Right? oneness. Isn't that sound nice. See, oneness, peace and love. So it's all about, you know, peace and love and oneness and you know, chilling out.
We all love each other and listen that and smoke some weed. And let's, you know, let's get down with it and you know, okay, so that was my religion that I invented for myself. And this went on for a very short time, because I soon realized that this was the worst of all, I mean, of all the things that I've been through my own religion was absolutely atrocious, right. And it still hadn't answered the questions, I still didn't have an answer to the question. Why am I here? What's it all for? What's it all about? Still there, the questions aren't answered. So I have not found the answer to this question. And then that's when I gave up.
That's when I said, Forget it. Forget religion. Forget all this stuff. Maybe there is no answer. Maybe there is no answer. Maybe the reality is what I was taught from day one, wealth equals happiness. Right? And maybe the reason I'm not happy is because I'm not rich enough. Maybe I don't have enough money. That's my problem. Right? Maybe the things I need, and the things I want, I just can't access them with the money I've got at the moment. Now,
I can tell you that the time the pocket money, the pocket money my dad used to give me was more than lots of people's wages. Right. So I had a pretty, you know, I had a pretty good life. Right? I never had to steal anything to buy any gunja right. You know, I don't have to do anything like I had, you know, I had a pretty financially I was pretty well off. Right, you know, skiing in San Moritz club, you know, holidays in club. midata and they, you know, sequentially evicted. leggio.
The GM mentor, to me Sure is.
Okay, and so I had, you know, we had a good a good life cooks Froggy servant driver. I mean, you know, what, how much more rich. So I tell you today to give an idea of how rich I thought I needed to be. I'm thinking private jet yacht, private island, right? That's the type of rich, I'm thinking I need to be in order to be happy. So I start thinking, Okay, in order to really enjoy my life to the maximum, right, what I need to do is get the most amount of money with a minimum amount of efforts, right? So why do I want to work hard for my money, because that means I'm going to spend all my time working, instead of my time enjoying. So that's a waste of time. So what I'm starting to
think is I start to feel my analytical mind starts kicking in I started thinking, Okay, let's, let's look at history now, who are the richest people in the world? Right? And who did the least amount of work in order to get their money? Right? So I started thinking, right let's start with England. Good old England. British Empire Industrial Revolution fifth richest country in the world.
Oh, man, that's just way too much hard work. Industrial Revolution, capitalism industry, this and that conquest. And you know, Empire. Forget that man, Germany. Oh my god, the Germans. They work hard and Japanese. All they do is work. The Japanese right? Americans the American dream, you know, what's the American dream? You're a self made millionaire, you know, but you have to rise from the gutter and you make it for yourself. And again, it's just too hard work. And then it hit me. Oh, my God, those Saudi Arabians
they've been sitting on their camels, right? Allahu Akbar, right? praying to Allah right? And they got all that wealth and all that money and all that when they did nothing. I said that's the one maximum money minimum work. I like that.
Swear brothers and sisters. I swear That's the truth. All right.
And I said, right. Okay, Saudi Arabia. Okay, let's find out about these guys is somebody got something right. That's not coincidence. I don't believe that they got that oil, just for nothing. There must be a reason that oil is there. So I started thinking okay, Saudi Arabia, what's their religion? I slam Yeah, I know that I know Islam. A little bit about Islam, right? Quran I know, that's their book. So right down, I went down there. And you know, I picked up the Quran, you know, anyway, I can say I picked up a translation of the Quran in English, okay.
I started to read it.
Okay, I started to read the Quran in English now.
I'm, I used to be probably still am a pretty fast reader. I can read but the reason is because when we lived in Egypt, you know, the TV was so rubbish, right? It was so bad, right. In fact, the TV's
I had this thick dust on it, right? It didn't get turned on. It didn't get used. It just used to sit there because we never used to watch it. And as a family, what do we used to do? We did a lot of reading a lot, a lot of reading. Just to give you an idea how fast I can read. There's a book called roots. How did that book roots Alex Haley? Someone's shaking his head? You know, old school, rather than humble roots is a big thick book. You know, Harry Potter sighs right. Okay. It's a bit heavier than Harry Potter. You know, I read like three quarters of roots in half a night. Okay. Yeah. Okay, I admit that I had just finished carry by Stephen King. And I was so terrified. I couldn't sleep,
right. And I had to read through roots just to take it out of my head. But I could still read that fast right. Now the core and in terms of the actual words to tell it is about it. You know, it depends how you count the words, actually. But it's about 100,000 words long. Now, that is not a lot. That's not a lot. 100,000 words, is not a lot. It is about the size of a, you know, medium to small size novel these days, in terms of actual words, right. Two weeks after picking her up, I was still reading it. And I still hadn't finished it. It was a book unlike I had ever read before. I mean, first of all, it doesn't have any structure that we're used to. Right. It begins, you know,
with sort of confetti her and then it goes, you know, to talk about in sort of Bukhara. It talks about the hypocrites, and who are these people who they say they believe in and they don't believe. And then it goes to talk about Moses. And you know, the cow, and you know, how the people said, you know, the Moses said, slaughter a cow, and they said, which cow and then it's like, then it goes into something else. And then the tape, you got the, you know, you got the next pseudo which is like, full of, you know, there's no consistency. It's like, that's the first thing. It doesn't follow, like what we're used to, you know, we like in the beginning, this happened, and then in the
end that happening, right? But there's no beginning and end, right? There's no beginning and end to the Quran. Right? Because actually, you know, there's a reason there's no beginning and end. And so I'm reading through it, and I keep having to go. And you know, because I really wanted to understand it wasn't just about about reading it, I really wanted to understand what the Quran was saying, What was this all about. And so I had to read and reread and go back and get so far and then go back and check something else that was from before. And so it was taking me a long, long time to get through the core end. But what was happening at the same time, is my brain was being put into it was working
was like those old rusty cords. And it was making me think in a way that I'd never thought before. And I remember until this day, I remember very clearly that I was taking the train to work. And I worked in the city at the time as a life insurance salesman. So I was traveling from my home at the time. And I was traveling to work. And I was literally I was I remember very distinctly this epiphany, you know, this moment where something hits you. And I was sitting in the tray and I looked out the window, we're just crossing the Thames, the River Thames, I looked back and I said to myself, if I have ever read a book that's from God, this is the one
and I remember that day. That was the time when I thought Yes, this is the one this is if I've ever got my hands on a book that is from God. It's this. I remember that night, I went back home and I was thinking okay, you know, I need to stop praying. The Quran talks about prayer. But actually the Quran doesn't really tell you how to pray just says to pray gives you a few details. And you know, I used to remember Okay, how did Abraham pray I remember used to stand and bow and prostrate. And I didn't remember how much he used to do. But you think about 510 minutes, you know. So I went there. And I'll just do these things, and describes about washing your hands and your washing your arms and
your face. So I used to wash before I prayed each time every time, you know, and this one on like this, I would pray in the morning, I pray in the evening. You know, I wasn't even sure how many times I was supposed to pray because again, it's not actually detailed clearly in the quarter. And so I was doing these things. And this went on for a couple of weeks. And then it happened that I had to go to a part of London I was not used to. And you know, it's one of those things I came out of the to the underground station. And I was supposed to turn left. I didn't turn left. I just happened to turn right. And I walked along and there was a bookshop. And in the bookshop were all these books
in Arabic and English and they were about Islam. They were about you know, so I thought oh, that that looks I have to come and have a look at that. So I went off to do what I had to do. Went back the other way.
I went back the other way. And I came back and I went in the you know, I went in the bookshop, I want to tell you something. I looked pretty much the same then as I did now, right so I was a bit thinner. Okay.
Because quite quite a lot of thing I actually okay, but I had long hair and I had a beard, because I was a bit of a hippie, remember? Okay, so I said into this, you know, this one, you know, one love this and that.
Okay, so there I was, but the difference was I was a hippie wearing a pinstripe suit. So I had my suit and you know, my tie and my briefcase there, I wasn't. So I went inside this bookshop was looking at all these books and all these books about Islam and Mohammed, and you know, my eyes are going ever Wow. Right? This is looks fantastic. So I'm standing there, and someone comes up to me, and says, excuse me, are you a Muslim? So I said, What do you mean Muslim?
said, I don't know that. I tell you what I tell you what, I believe there is only one God, which is Allah. And I believe Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. He said, You're a Muslim. I said, Oh, thank you very much.
And he said, and he said, Is that what you know? That's interesting.
So he says, Why don't you come and pray? So, you know, he shows me how to make wudu. And, you know, so you know, making What do and then I go and stand and pressing was actually Friday, it must have actually been Friday because the mosque was full, right? And also the only full on Friday, right? Okay. So the mosque was full, and that was printing whatever I was doing, you know, I was like,
this right. You know,
I, you know, I got the basic idea, but it was not like what, you know, I didn't know the order of stuff, right? So, but I do remember, you know, I did anyway, after the prayer, I think I took Shahada with the Mmm, I don't really remember, it's all a bit of a blur to tell you the truth. And I went downstairs afterwards. And it was fantastic. Every Muslim brother wanted to teach me the entirety of Islam in five minutes, right? And they would give me the same brother. They literally gave me this up, they were writing the prayer out for me, right? And saying here, here's this, this that here's this and they give me all these bits of paper with me about how to pray and this and
that. But I mean, I do remember that everyone was just absolutely fantastic. They were so nice, I have to say was more or less than Arab mosque and the Arabs Mashallah, they tend to be very welcoming like that. Okay. And really, they treated me really fantastic. You know, I remember coming out of that feeling like I got this shower from the inside. I was feeling really good, really fantastic. And I said, Man, this is I'm feeling high, man. Forget this marijuana stuff, man. This is Yeah, this is, you know, this is good, right? Anyway, two weeks, I'm going back and forth. I'm sort of, I'm running to the mosque. I'm really trying to get to that mosque as much as possible as the
only mosque I knew about is actually quite far to get to, but, you know, I went there, and I was making friends. And anyway, the time came that to see my girlfriend, that's how I mentioned my girlfriend. Yeah. Okay. But she got some mention, though. Right. Okay. You know, what can we say? She was studying in a university that was quite far away from from London. And I used to go and visit her quite regularly. And, you know, I was working in the city in London. So he said, it's about time it's going to go and visit. So what I did was on the train, went up to Bristol, down to Bristol actually
went to you know, met her at the train station went to the house and, you know, when I
went into the bathroom, right, okay, made with blue. She didn't see that. And I just saw Okay, all
right, so my girlfriend's sitting on the bed. Right? I'm finished my prayers. I turn around. She says, What are you doing?
I said, Oh, yeah, I became Muslim.
exaggerate. I'm exaggerating a bit. Okay, but she did scream. She did scream.
She didn't scream. Yeah.
She screamed enough and, and she was upset enough for something to happen, which was, in many ways, a very important thing that happened in my life. A very sad thing, but a very important thing.
I'm sure any one of you which I hope you know the Muslims, I do not wish this upon anyone. I do not wish upon my sons or my daughters, or any Muslim to get into this hole girlfriend boyfriend rubbish. Because it is rubbish. Right? It is hot rendering. It's soul destroying, right? There is nothing nice about it, except perhaps the sex. Right? Okay, but all the other stuff that comes along with it, right? The jealousy that I'm just being honest, sorry if it embarrassed anyone, you know, the jealousy, the stuff that comes with it all. I mean, it's just terrible. It really is terrible. Okay, and I don't wish that upon any human being. In fact, you know, what I wish upon human beings is that
they do what is right, the right thing to do, and that's to get married, right. If someone cares about you, you should get married and you should live together and you should share a life together and that's what you should do. Right? And that's something that God has given blessings to right
Right, where's this for this girlfriend boyfriend stuff, you know? anyway.
So what happened was, I stopped practicing. Because I was afraid that if I kept practicing Islam, I would lose her. And at the time, really in reality, she was probably in terms of my personal relationships, the most important human being to me in my life. And we had a truly amazing relationship. You know, the other thing, which I haven't discussed, of course, like, I suppose any thinking teenager will think a lot about love, and what is love and what does love mean, and that was another thing I was totally obsessed with. And I thought I found love with her. And, you know, I don't want to go into it. But it was very intense. And we were very, very close. And so when she
freaked out, it was like, Okay, I'm gonna have to put this on the side, and this and that, whatever. And anyway, I just gave up practicing Islam. I didn't say I wasn't Muslim anymore. In fact, I remember that once I was at a party. And I was so drunk, and I was sitting there talking to people about Islam. And there's this group of five or six people, I was seeing those five or six people, and I was telling them, you know, Islam is really good. You have to read the Quran, and this and they were going yet tell us more. Right? And I was saying, I can't just do drugs.
Right? That's, that's, that's what my life was right? My life was really like that. So I still believed in it. And I would even talk to people about it. But I didn't practice I didn't do anything. But in reality, that was the worst state I had ever been in. Because the worst condition you could ever be in, is when you know the truth, and you don't live according to the truth. That's the worst thing. Right? That's worse than not knowing the truth. When you know it, and you don't live it. That is the worst. And that is when I started to pay more and more. Actually, this is the time when I really almost became a junkie, because the reality was that I you know, I really
literally knew every morning I'd wake up, I say, I have to pray. I have to pray. But then I was running away from that. Right? And will also happen was things began almost from that time to deteriorate between me and my girlfriend. things got worse and worse and worse. Okay. So I'm taking more and more stuff. And I'm trying to live in this cloud, because that's what I'm creating for myself a bubble. I don't want to face reality, my relationship with my girlfriends getting bad. Anyway, this goes on for two years, two years, right. Now, two years, everything comes to a head, right? My girlfriend is in Spain, because she's studying Spanish and she has to go to a Spanish
speaking country. And I know that something going on between her and some other guy. I know it but I'm not ready to face the I don't want to face up to that. You know, I'm just hiding away from it. And I know something's going on. Anyway, my life is a mess. My parents retired in Portugal, they left Egypt, they went to Portugal. They're retired. They're they're not poor, but they went to retire there. So I thought, forget this. Forget, I'm going to Portugal. I'm going to stay with my parents and never get away from this, you know, my oldest confusion in my life. And there I am. And my girlfriend is supposed to join me. And two weeks pass. And I've heard nothing, not a phone call
nothing. Right? I don't wish this upon anybody. It was it was terrible. Right? And what am I doing? I'm working in the garden. Right? Doing some stuff for my mom. Two weeks have passed, I don't hear. And again, it's one of those moments, those epiphany, you know, those moments when something happens, and I'm working in the garden, and I'm just thinking, you know what, you know why your life is a mess. You know, your life is a mess. Because you know that Islam is the truth. You know, you should be praying five times a day, and you're not doing it. That's the only reason there's nothing else. That's why your life is a mess. So high. I made this prayer. I said, Oh God, Allah, please.
lead my golf. I didn't say my girlfriend mentioned her name, of course, but I don't want to mention the name but I said let my girlfriend fall. Just let her phone please. If she phones today, I swear to you, I swear. I will pray five times a day. I don't promise I can stop smoking spliff or having sex or that I swear I will pray five times a day, I swear promise, please. Right. So anyway, I'm making I made this prayer. Right? So anyway, I go have lunch, come back in the garden. I'm working away. And my dad comes. He says ants ways to kill me and right. It's, you know, my girlfriend was my girlfriend on the phone. Right?
Wow, I dropped the spade. I went upstairs. You know, the funny thing was, I don't even remember what she said. I was just going. Yeah, that was that thing. I have to pray now. That's all I was thinking.
As to what I was thinking.
I put down the phone, I put down the phone. I went, I took a bath. I took a hustle. And brothers and sisters. That's when I started praying five times a day. And I hamdulillah from that day, until today, except you know if I overslept or something. I've only
Miss I will confess that once I miss my prayer on purpose I could have prayed but I didn't. Okay, what happened? I was very early on, but hamdulillah May Allah forgive me for that. But apart from that I have never on purpose missed one of my five prayers. And that was 2220 something two years ago now and hamdulillah
no brothers and sisters, I know the brothers saying is Maghreb and this and that, but we're nearly finished. Okay, so we have to finish this inshallah. There's a few things I want to say before we go and pray. inshallah. Brothers and sisters, one of the things I want to say, right, is that really the difference between being a Muslim and not being a Muslim is really praying five times a day, it really and that's why I count my becoming Muslim. Not from the day like when I was 18, or 19, when I know it's the day when I started praying five times a day, that is the day that I became Muslim. The other thing I want to say is, listen, Allah has given us in Islam, a program, I mean, literally, all
you have to do is follow the program and your life will change when I started praying five times a day, it changed my life. Prayer when you do it with understanding and when you do it with horseshoe with or and reverence before Allah, it will change your life. It that's it should change your life. And it did. It changed my life. Right? I gave up things I gave up. You know, I had the hash. There it was I threw it in the garden. I throw in the garden. Right? Because you know, I used to do I didn't know that was Haram. I didn't know. I didn't. But I did come across this verse that said, that don't approach prayer when you're intoxicated. So you know what I used to do? I used to pray
the night pray Isha, right? Early as early as I could roll ups and spliff get stoned. Isn't that right? Well, then I'd go to sleep wake up in the morning, so I wasn't, you know, still wasted in the morning, right? Of course, what happens is you smoke later and later and later. And then, you know, and then I started realizing, wait a minute, there's just no way I can do both.
There's no way and I've made my promise to Allah, that is not going to break it. So that's when I just I just gave it up. Because I knew the two things I didn't need. I didn't even notice. I just knew that you can't really be following Islam and taking this stuff at the same time. And you know what, my girlfriend, she eventually she came because she, she came, you know, I said, Listen, I sat down with her long talk with her said, Listen, I've taken this religion seriously. So you're gonna sleep in that room over that. I'm gonna sleep in this room over here. Even my mom came up to me said, What are you doing?
My mom's a Catholic and this and that, you know, I said, No. That's it. I said, you know, the only way is you marry me. That's it, you know, we get mad, I'm not gonna marry you. Unless you become Muslim. And you're serious about it. You're not just doing it to marry me. Right? So anyway, brothers and sisters a lot more I could say a handler about where my journey went from there. Okay. And there's more things I could add about, you know, the question, What did my parents say about all of this? Because that's another story. Okay. Bye, Charlie. Brothers and sisters. That's a little bit about my journey to Islam. I just want to finally say brothers and sisters, I truly have to say that
I don't know what I did to deserve to be Muslim. I don't know. Islam is such a blessing. How do I feel? You know? How could you feel if you are dead? And then you're after that alive? How would you feel if you're walking in entire darkness? And then suddenly, the lights are switched on? And you could see everything around you? This is the difference between being a Muslim and being outside of Islam being guided by the guidance of God, and being outside of that guidance and all praises due to Allah Alhamdulillah who guided me to this beautiful religion of Islam choccolocco, Salaam Alaikum.
That's a very good question, brother. And may Allah reward you so much for asking that question. The question is to repeat it.
What what does it actually take to be Muslim? And, you know, it's true that there are people who want to become Muslim, but they get scared, because they think that becoming Muslim is going to involve like, some, I don't know, some weird ritual. Right, you know, like, I don't know, getting, you know, submerged in water. And I don't know this and
I don't know what they think, you know, they might get quite scared thinking about it. Right? Okay. But it's actually very, very simple. Okay, becoming a Muslim is very simple. You know, being a Muslim, fundamentally, is that you accept something, you accept that there is one God who has created the heavens in the earth, right, and that you should only worship the one God and if you
Except that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, simply that is it's right, if that's what you accept, and that's what you believe to be true. Right? Then simply, all you do is you testify to that in front of some other Muslims. And you do that simply by repeating in front of some other Muslims or witnesses, I shall do and La ilaha illallah wa, I shall do, Mohammed and Rasulullah. So the most difficult bit is trying to say the Arabic right. But apart from that, you're just saying you testify there is nothing worthy of worship except the one God. And Muhammad is the Messenger of God. And after you say that, you have entered into the fold of Islam. Of course, once you have taken the
Shahada, you've taken the testimony of faith, right? Then it is recommended that you wash yourself, you put on some clean clothes, and certainly you need to start learning, okay to pray five times a day, of course, you can't just pray automatically like that and learn everything takes time. But you start to try praying five times a day. And that's really it. That's all that it takes. And as you find out and as you learn as you go along, you do your best to practice what you can, you know, as much as you can, as much as Allah subhanaw taala permits you to do. So it's really that simple. You don't think I have to know all of these things and do all of these things you don't you just need to
follow the steps. So Alhamdulillah dissolves the question, Brother, did I do something else? I think that is basically really what it is very, very simple. And of course, if anyone does feel like becoming Muslim, having done that tonight, that would be fantastic as well, surely Don't feel shy. You know, you never know how long your life is gonna be, you know, so don't don't delay.
Okay, it's a very good question. In reality in Islam,
when we say eemaan, when we which we translate among us faith, right. But the problem with translating is that often you lose the meaning of something. But actually Eman is defined as the belief in the heart, the profession of the tongue, and the action of the limbs, increases with obedience to God. And it decreases with disobedience to God. So this is the definition of Eman. Right? So faith is something that if you have faith, truly and you truly believe in God, then that belief must manifest itself or it must be present in some way in your actions. Yeah. So therefore, let's go back to something you've already heard me mentioned today. When the Prophet Mohammed said,
he swore by Allah, He is not a believer, the one whose neighbor is not safe from his mischeif. So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he is indicating
that a person who believes cannot have this characteristic. In another narration, the prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, the believer could steal, the believer could drink alcohol, the believer could be a coward. The believer could be a miser, but the believer could never be a liar.
Yeah. Meaning there are some characteristics, that it's not possible that someone who has faith, they could have these characteristics. In another narration. The Prophet said, whoever the signs of the hypocrite are for, when he speaks he lies when he makes a promise, he breaks it. When he is trusted with something, he betrays it. And when he argues, he is rude. So whoever has one of these has a characteristic of hypocrisy. Whoever has all of them is a complete hypocrites. Now a hypocrite is someone who what they say they believe, but in their heart, they don't believe. Yeah. So a person could say, I believe, and Allah but in reality, what we mean in Islam, is that the belief in God the
true belief in God must produce some actions. If it doesn't, then that belief is not true. It's hypocrisy. You are claiming something that is not true. And I will give you an example. Yeah. If one of the brothers How do you say fire in Norwegian fear?
See, how do you say fire fire? Bronx.
Bronx, Bronx, Bronx.
Someone comes in running brand brand. Yeah. And you just sit there.
Right? You think either the guy he's a joke? Yeah. You means you don't believe him, right?
If you believe the man who's saying Fire, fire fire, what you're gonna do? You're gonna run? Yeah. This is the reality belief must translate itself into action. Right? If there's something that prevents you, right? You're tied to your see or you know, or whatever. That's different, right? But if you really believe you must have some action. And this is why according to many scholars, the person who does not pray five times a day, when they leave prayer, it is like disbelieving. It's actually like this. It's like they've said, I've left Islam. And this is based upon what the prophet said. The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, the difference between shirk and kufr
and Eman, is a Salah is the prayer. So whoever abandons it, then that person is a disbeliever. Yeah. And it means either they truly are a disbeliever, or what they have done is so bad. They might as well be a disbeliever. Right? So this is the reality is that and you see that so there are so many people saying I'm Muslim, I'm Muslim, I'm Muslim, right? But when they say I'm Muslim, what do they mean many of these people, they mean, that's my culture. Right? They say I Muslim, like they might say I'm Pakistani or Somalia or Bengali. Or they like eat a certain type of food or whatever. That's all it means to them. So how am I remember in? This is you gonna, you know, he probably won't laugh
now that I said, you're gonna laugh, right? But you laugh at this, right? Okay. I remember watching before you want love, but me. I was laughing now. Okay. I remember watching this documentary. Remember bosnia? What happened in Bosnia? Yeah, the Bosnians by and large, very few of them were practicing Islam. Right. I remember an interview. And there was an interview with some members of the Bosnian army. And one of them was a Muslim. She's saying I'm a Muslim, but I'm atheist. I don't believe in God.
Yeah, but what she meant by Muslim is that's my ethnicity. I belong. And I come from those groups of people who call themselves Muslims, just like it's I don't know, some ethnicity. Right? And of course, there are Muslims who are dealing in drugs and who are doing many bad things, okay. And they call themselves Muslims. Some of them may even have beards or even where he jabs sometimes. Right? You know, sometimes people do that, because it's their culture. It's the culture to grow the beard, it's that you often hear about Saudi women, the moment they get on the airplane to England, of
the niqab. And everything of it comes. And if you ask them to just say, Well, this is our Saudi dress, they don't, they probably don't even know about what Islam teaches about hijab, they just, it's their just their culture, you see. So yes, there are many, many Muslims, they use this name Muslim, they may even say I'm proud to be Muslim, and this and that, but really for them, it's not to do with faith. It's not to do with belief. It's really a cultural thing. Yeah. So I hope that answers that question.
What do you think is the most important thing in our religion if we don't include the Breyer in? Yeah. So point well taken, right, is that, you know, even myself here, I'm saying the prayer, and I use the prayer as an example. Right. But if you in the context, I hope of everything I've said today, you will have also picked up that I emphasized when I was talking about my own story, the importance of prayer with understanding and with for sure, right. So I emphasize that, because a prayer that is without understanding. And the prayer that is without sincerity and humidity to Allah is not going to change anything about your life, actually, it will probably make your life more
difficult, right? Because you'll just be thinking, Oh, I have to pray and this and that, and it does nothing. What you don't get any feedback from that? Right? So yes, the inner dimension is really, really important. And it is something that we have to develop. But this is the beautiful thing, in my opinion about Islam. many religions, you will find either emphasize almost totally on the inward dimension, you know, love and compassion and this and that, and how you actually worship God physically with it. It doesn't matter. You can clap. You can sing, you can sit in your home, you can do whatever, right? It doesn't matter. Right. So there's some religions that just concentrate on
these inner dimensions and other religions. Okay, it's just an accident.
analogies. As long as you follow the law you do the things you follow the rituals, you follow the things that's what's important bit by bit as and what it means it's irrelevant. Yeah. But Islam, and these are both important. Actually, the ritual and the inner dimension are essential for the complete religious experience. It's maybe only Islam, maybe there are other religions that really brings these two together. Right. But it is a tendency for us to concentrate only on the external aspects and leave the internal development, which is very, very important. Yeah. But I would not say I think it's a mistake to say either Oh, that's a mistake. Actually, it has to be both internal and
external. At the same time, that is the right way. And Allah knows best.
but when I came to Islam, they have so much against me. They don't want to have me, they don't want me to deal with them. And Islam is forbidden to live alone. So what should I do? How should I talk to them? Okay, how long has this been?
One year? Okay. Let me tell you something about my story. Yeah. Okay.
Okay. The question was, the sister says, I've been Muslim. She's been a Muslim. Now, for a year, we found that her parents don't talk to her. And she has been even she can't live with our parents. They don't want to live in a house. Okay, so what should we do? What should I do? I'm not allowed to live alone. No, you can sister, first of all, you are allowed to live alone? No problem. You can do that. Let's not hold on. Okay. But let me tell you about what happened to me. Right? When I became Muslim, right? You know, when you go back to my story, remember my girlfriend, she came over? And my mom said, Why are you staying here? and this and that? Right? Okay. So from there, we pick it up?
Right? So I now beginning to end, you know, I'm talking to you know, I what, you know, I feel so good about Subhanallah praying and following Islam. You know what I think all I need to do is explain this to my parents, and they will accept it, because who could not want to follow this beautiful way of life? Right. But anyway, my parents didn't take it very well, you know, when I start explaining to them, and I'm not eating, you know, I only have food now. Maybe I'm gonna take over the house, maybe? I don't know. Okay, so I only I say I can only have food, you know, and this and that. And, you know, so many things. I can't drink alcohol. And you know, I don't go to the
parties and you used to be such a good dancer. You know, they say to me, you know, it's such a shame. So all of these things. So, you know, you know, my mom, she comes to me, she says to me, you know, and if you want to be religious, why don't you go and live in a monastery?
When should you live in a monastery as that is not Islam. See, in Islam, we live in the world. We work, we live in the world, we do jobs, we and we still try to worship God. We don't believe that in our religion. You run away and live in a mountain or this and so it's not Islam. Right. So anyway, I've come here to tell you that since you hate us so much, and since you hate everything about us so much, we have instructed the solicitor's to take you out of the will. Yeah, meaning you will not inherit anything from us anymore. Okay. So it's like, thanks, man. I didn't say that. That's what I'm thinking. Okay. So
that was what they said to me. I actually handle I didn't care. I said, So Allah is going to look after me. That's more important. Even my dad reached the stage, he said the same thing. You better leave, you better go back to London, because really, we've had enough of you, and you need to go back to London and this and that. Okay. So things were not very good between my parents for a while. And then something changed. Right? It wasn't getting married, actually. Okay, because actually, after I got married, then something happened between me and my mom, which was even worse. She said something to insult the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and I just went crazy. Okay, to tell
you the truth, I just went crazy. I smashed some things. And this I couldn't even talk to I was so angry. Right? This was just the day before I was leaving. I was staying with them. And for after that my mom didn't talk to me for about a year. But you know what changed all of this? Yeah. When the first baby came? Yeah. Okay, Abdullah, he's not here. Okay, be so embarrassed. Okay, but because he's 18 now
drives the car and stuff like that.
You know, but
when the first baby came, believe me it changed everything. Now because it puts it all into perspective, this is the grandchild, you know, I would really have to say that if you get married sister, and you have kids, and still your parents are not talking to you, then probably your parents are not the sort of people that really are worth having contact with. Right? Because they must have hearts made of stone. Right? I mean, it must be literally, or maybe they're Vikings or something.
Tough people. I'm just joking about the Vikings. No, but I mean, seriously says that they must, you know, I really think that, you know, I and I say and I've said this to so many people, and in fact, I know many other Pete sisters, brothers in Islam, who exactly the same story, one of my, you know, one of my good friends the same thing, his wife was a convert to Islam, her mother totally stopped talking to her had nothing to do with her, then the first baby came, and that's it, everything changed. And so it's a story that you find quite often, you know, it repeats itself, my relationship with my parents now is better than it has ever been in my life. Okay, you see, because what I have
tried to do is both explain to my parents and show them through example, the way that Islam teaches me to behave towards my parents, right? In fact, I gave my book I've tried to give my mother and that's so much power, but the best book I ever gave her is called mother. And you know what this book has verses of Quran, and Hadith and some poetry about how you treat your mother in Islam. You know, and you know, Subhanallah, it mentions how the prophets that when someone came to the Prophet, he said, Who has the most right to my kindness, your mother, and then after that, your mother, then after that, your mother, and then after that, then your father. In fact, the Prophet salallahu
alayhi wa sallam said, he said that you can never pay your mother back. There is nothing you can do to pay your mother back. Your father, if you found your father a slave, and you bought his freedom, you pay him back, your mother, you can never pay him back. And it mentions the story, as you probably know of Omar, when he was the KDF. And a man came, and he had carried his mother on his back through the whole of the Hajj. And he said to Omar, Omar, did I pay my mother back now? He said, You did not pay her back for one tear. She said when she gave birth to you, right? This is a religion, you and you tell me Islam does not respect women.
Pamela, all right, Allah says reverence Allah and the wounds that boy, in fact, one of the names of Allah, a rough man is linked to the Arabic for wound or a ham. And so Allah said, and it's the same, because it's means mercy. And Allah linked His mercy to the wound, meaning whoever cuts off from the relationship. Excuse me, whoever cuts off from the relationship, the family ties, Allah, Allah will cut from them. Okay. So sister, the thing is, what you have to do is this is the same for anybody, by the way, right? In Islam, we do not cut the ties of relationships, we do not cut the ties. Okay? We don't even I take that what I said, even if you have a baby, and it's your first parents first
grandchild or not, or whatever, and they don't talk to you, you still don't give up. You never give up. You send them presence. You write to them, you phone them, you do whatever you can to make relations good with them without I have to say, compromising your religion. Don't do something that is haram. That's a big mistake. Right? As long as it's halal, right? You can compromise you compromise whatever it is, as long as it's halal. If you can make that compromise, make it right. If it means leaving a Sunnah or something must have if it's going to please your parents leave it is something haram No, you don't do that. Right? So you never ever give up trying to you know, make a
good relationship between your parents, not only your parents, all of your relatives, whether you are Muslim or not. Okay, so breaking the family ties is very serious because Islam considers the family to be so so so important. So sister, you just have to be patient in sha Allah. Yeah, be patient. inshallah, everyone here is going to make dua in sha Allah, right? For the sister that Allah subhanaw taala softens the heart of her parents to her to Islam. And by the way, I always ask everyone as well to make dua that Allah subhanaw taala guides my parents to Islam. So please make dua our brothers and sisters that Allah guides my parents to Islam. I mean, you're a bill enemy
Okay, if you are a Muslim girl, you pray five times a day fast and so on. Are you then a bad Muslim? If you don't wear the headscarf hijab, how important is the headscarf? Okay. That's a big question. Okay.
You know, sometimes a question like this is very difficult to answer.
You know, because everyone has different circumstances, everyone has different, you know, conditions. It's not always easy to answer a question like that, because I don't know this person's particular circumstances, right. But you know what, there's a way I like you to think about this brothers and sisters, you know, don't just think about how bad is the sin?
Yeah, How bad is it that I don't wear hijab? No. Think about how great is the one who you are disobey? That's what you need to think about. Don't think about how bad is the thing sin? Think about? How great is the one you are disobey? You know, Allah is telling you to do something, because it is good for you. You don't always know why that thing is good for you. But if Allah subhanaw taala ordered you with that, then that's something because it's good. And in a sense, whenever we disobey Allah, it's almost as if we are saying, you know, I don't really believe what you're saying, Allah. I don't really agree with that. That in a sense, that's, I mean, I know it's because of our
desires and our weakness, and, you know, whatever. But in reality, think about the reasons why you don't wear hijab, or you don't do whatever it is you're supposed to do in Islam, even pray, how many people I wonder, okay, they don't even pray in the office, or they don't pray work. And they wait. And they go back home, and they think they can join all their prayers together at the end of the day, right? Why don't they pray in the office? Really, most of the time, brothers and sisters, the reason you don't pray, is because you haven't got the guts to do it, is what it is. It's not because Oh, they won't let me pray. Okay.
They won't stop you going to the toilet, or they won't stop you doing this and that. The reality is, have you got the guts to bring a pad, press that red light out next to your desk and just pray? What are they going to do? Really? Okay, so a lot of these issues, brothers and sisters, really come down to our Eman that we are sometimes more concerned with what people think, than what Allah subhanaw taala wants us to do. So I think that, you know, I don't really want to go into how bad it is, and this and that, whatever Allah told us to do, do as much as you can.
Right? As much as you can, you know, you know, if you stand in front of a lot in your heart, whether you have an excuse or not, I don't want on the other hand brothers and other sisters. You shouldn't be judgmental. Right? You shouldn't be judgmental, and think of this sister, she is no good. You know, because she doesn't wear hijab, you don't know that. Okay, you don't know that. You don't know what her circumstances are. Maybe she just needs the support and love and whatever, you don't know what it is. Okay? So I'm not making you know something, but I would really encourage everyone to obey Allah as much as you possibly can. You know, whatever Allah has told you leave it well then