AbdurRaheem McCarthy- How I became a muslim (full)

Abdur-Raheem McCarthy

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The speakers discuss their experiences with Islam and their desire to return to Islam. They talk about their past experiences with shaving their beards and their desire to return to Islam. They also discuss their past experiences with shaving their beards and their desire to teach their children in English. The segment ends with a news story about a new guest and a tour of a school.

AI Generated Transcript ©


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Bismillah Bismillahirrahmanirrahim Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Welcome dear viewers to Islam today, and the English language talk show coming from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on charger TV. We have on our show today, brother Abdul Rahim McCarthy and brother Abdul Rahim. Welcome and Osama Nicaragua.

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Thank you very much. And thank you for being on our program. We wanted to talk to you today about many things, actually. But one of the things we want to talk to you about first is how you became Muslim. And you know, the relationships that you formed as a result of being Muslim and how your the interaction was in reaction with your family and friends. But first, tell us about your background. I understand. Of course, we've had a chance to talk that you originally from America, so we're in America did you come from and give us a little background? Okay, sweet ramen noodle human hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa sallahu wa salam ala admirable Ramadan, Amin novena Muhammad, while early

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he was a big marine or bad.

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I'm originally from America, as you mentioned before that however, my grandparents are from Ireland. They migrated to America. My grandfather and my father were both born in America, as was I was born there as well. And that was from the metro, Washington Metropolitan Area, Washington, DC area, the East Coast east coast, like myself, Yes, we're about I think a four hour drive from you. Exactly. It's about. So I'm from the DC area. It's where I was born and raised there all my life. And that's where I became Muslim in 1994.

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How I became Muslim, actually, I had an appointment with one of my friends. And I had started before Islam on a path that was not pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala. And it was not pleasing to my parents as well into my family. My family has a good family, a successful family in America. However, I chose to take a path other than what they had chose for me. So I was done. I was going down a wrong path and a path that was going to end with a lot of troubles for myself and for my family, a lot of sorrow for my family anyways. But that all changed. One day, I had an appointment with my friend, one of my friends in DC, and he didn't show up for the appointment was very forgetful, which was

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good for me. It turns out when you say Dc, You mean in Washington in the Washington DC, the capital, the capital.

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So I actually lived on the outskirts in Virginia, but we still go all the way into DC. So that's all called the Washington Metropolitan Area because it's spread out in northern the Northern Virginia region. Exactly. Yes. So what happened on that day is when I went to the appointment, he wasn't there. So his father, don't wait for him in the basement. And I went there, he said, you can play with his Sega. And obviously, it was still around. I'm getting old now.

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It's a video game, like the PlayStation now. I guess. It's still around. I don't know. Anyways, he told me go play with that. So he had taken it and then you my friend thing. It was mother's house. So it wasn't there. So I had nothing to do. So as I was sitting in there, his father starts to read the Quran. He was he had he had tapes, cassette tapes, reading the Quran, in Arabic and English translation, and he's following along in his Quran. So the living room so so your friend was Muslim. Now he went, his father was a Muslim, his father was with him, but he wasn't a Muslim. He hadn't become Muslim. His father became Muslim 10 years before that, okay, but he hadn't become Muslim.

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Yeah, he was actually my friend who's older than me at that time, he was maybe about 24, I was only about 18 at the time. So he hadn't become Muslim, but his father had become Muslim. So anyways, what happened is that, you know, had nothing to do so I heard this in a strange resuscitation. I know what it was. And I was always curious about Islam, you know, what is Islam? You know, we hear a lot of things in America, but most of its negative. And most of its not, you know, proper information about Islam. And today, we hear you know, about Islam, the terrorists and all this other stuff, which obviously, we know as Muslims, it's not true. And the people live in this part of the world.

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They know this is not true as well, during those days, a lot what you would hear and especially as white Americans, yes, they will use in the media, the Nation of Islam, yes. To say that this is the religion of the black man and the white people can't be Muslim. So we hear this, you know, yes, that the white people are devils in this. So this is the this is the information I have in my head about Islam. So I want to know, so I went asked him about Islam as

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friends value. So I wanted to ask him about Islam, and I'm gonna The first thing I stepped in my boots on whose prayer rug he was upset about that. And then he said to me, you know, sit down, I said, have some questions about Islam. And I started to ask him one of the first questions I asked and I said, Can I be a Muslim, you know, as a white guy, now, was he African American, African American, what's African? Okay, good. So he said, Of course, he said, No, this stuff you hear in the media has nothing to do with Islam. He said whether you're black, brown, white, he said,

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Even if you're purple and pink, and I want to exaggerate about it, that anybody, Islam is the religion for all of mankind. So I was interested, we started to talk a little bit about Islam. And then you know, the time was up for me to go. So I requested from him some books. So he gave me some books about Islam, and most of them are translated from the Saudi Embassy.

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So I took these books and I went home on the metro going home, I read a little bit about the Muslim belief in Jesus, I listed them Yes, peace be upon him. And I was interested in that it was the first time I heard no, we had grown up. And all the three and one through the Trinity. No, I had my gold cross on all the time on my neck. Now. Now, let me ask you now with the name McCarthy, can I am from Ireland, originally? I mean, in terms of ancestral, can I assume then that you and your family were Catholic? Yeah, exactly. Okay. All right. Roman Catholic.

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Okay. So when I was in some time, in a Catholic school, in elementary school, you can just pick chasms and things. So that was, so that's we're into. So when I was young, obviously, my family and my father said he used to go to church a lot on my mother's side, didn't go to church a lot. But I was raised, I even spent some time was going to Catholic school in elementary school.

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So what happened is that these books, and when I first heard about, you know, the Trinity, and, you know, that's not proper, this was kind of, you know, interesting to me. Sure. But as I said before, I was 18 at that time. So you know, you're 18, you know, you're not really interested in reading or religion and these type of things. So I left and I didn't even bother to read it again. I was doing I was doing, you know, with my friends and hanging out and doing things we shouldn't have been doing, getting in trouble and what have you. So one night, I remember coming back from inside DC. And I still remember, we went to head with this time to do southwest DC. And that time, the last

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time was Northeast where I went. So I was coming back from Southwest DC. And we got into a car accident, it wasn't my fault, the guy came across from a four lane road and cut in front. And I didn't see him. At this time, I didn't have a driver's license. So I figured not, I'm gonna go to jail. Obviously, you're gonna get in a car accident, I have a driver's license. So I decided I didn't want to go to jail. So I said, I'm gonna run.

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Wow, run away. My friend's house was on the other side of where we had the car accident. So it was it was, I was telling, you know, some of my friends were laughing because it was like a movie, you know, I'm running through these woods. I know that my friend's house is on the other side. But where is it that you don't know, I don't know. But I know it's on the other side somewhere. So I'm going into these woods for the first time, my life I left the car, I bought it for $600. It wasn't important to me. So I go into the house where my my friend's house and I stayed there. And then, you know, for about a week, I don't have a car to go back out of the house. So while that's why I'm

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telling the story about you know, leaving the car accident, because this is you know, something strange things happen in your life, you know, for a lot of good. For instance, certain reason, we don't know why it's happening at that time. Exactly. So I got in this accident, I leave my car, I was just sitting there waiting. And then I decided just leave and run. So when I don't have the car now, what can I do? I can't go out, you have to get on the bus and go out. I'm not really into that. So I remember one time I was living at that time, my mother had moved actually to North Carolina herself. From the DC area, my grandparents were still there. So what happened is that I remember had

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these kootu have these books about Islam? Yes. And these books, and they had when they were sitting on my shelf, I hadn't read them. And my grandparents, they're from Virginia as well, originally, but they're from the country in Virginia. Yeah. And they're moving to the city later, and when they're originally from the country, so they're really set in their ways, you know, you know, no cable TV, Nothing mother and you know, really a boring house for 18 year old teenager. So I had nothing to do with the house. So I remember these books, you know? And I said, Okay, let's go read, one that I used to like to read is, and honestly, I didn't read at all I used to like to read. And that's what

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I say Ultimately, my students now when I teach them, I'm surprised at the level of the reading. A lot of them are not good readers, not just here in the in this part of the world, even if you go back to America now, yes, the level of reading, unfortunately, is very bad with the youth. Now they're not good readers. And even though we used to be involved a lot of mischief, we were actually in a good in reading and I would read so I wouldn't I took a book called Islam the religion of truth. Yes, yes, I know this book. Yeah. And I started to read it. And I really liked the book and really just, you know, Shadow, I got attached to it. I read the whole book. This was on Thursday

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night, I read the whole book and an entire city.

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And I decided immediately after this book that I wanted to become Muslim. I said, this is the way this is what I'm looking for. And I knew before even before this, and I wanted religion in my life. Yes. Like I said, I had, you know, had to cross my neck.

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Before I was a Muslim, obviously. And then

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at that time, also as to try to read the Bible and I found it boring. I couldn't read it. I knew I had had this inclination, this desire. Yeah, desire to do to be religious. Yes, you know. And when I read this, and this is the way this is what I want. Obviously, the first thing that affected me was the issue of Tawheed of Islamic monotheism. And the one true God

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And the issue of Trinity not being possible. And that being something that is suitable for Allah subhanaw taala is not something suitable for God to be three in one. And when I read this, it affected me in a major way, and never heard this before we grew up.

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And all of a sudden, you know, I realized what I'm reading is actually, it's just the truth and what I've been taught as a young boy, it's not, it's not as simple as that. Simple as that. So this is one thing to fix. Another thing, which, you know, a lot of people might find strange, it really, really affected me is when he was talking about the author. He's talking about the prayer, and how the Muslim prepares for the prayer, his his five daily prayers. And even in the routine, he goes through the rituals he goes through to prepare himself for prayer. One of the things that he mentioned was, first of all, is that a Muslim? And it has to be in a place where nobody else can see

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him. He has to conceal himself when he uses the bathroom. Yes. For me, this really affected me. Why? Because you as you know that any you're coming from America and Islam just like I did. And maybe a lot of the viewers as well. They noticed if they've been to the west, or in some Western restaurants or what have you here, you'll see that they when they relieve themselves openly, openly standing next to each other. Yes, exactly. I always hate this. Yes, I couldn't see it before. And it wasn't because they think it's not. Thank you. Hey, thank you if something goes wrong, yeah.

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I'm dead. We're proud of that. Exactly. This is you know, how we do? So SubhanAllah. What happened? is, this affected me. The second thing is they said that when a Muslim redeems himself, he sits down when he urinates, he sits down. And this also is not a manly thing. Yes, exactly. In the West, even before Islam, the Prophet said, Alicia and Prophet Muhammad, the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. That'll be just to make fun of him because he used to sit down and say, This is not a manly thing, just like in our prisons in America. Exactly. So I used to love to sit down with you. You're not supposed to do it in America, you know. But so when I said, I found the Muslims did this,

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it really affected me, because it's something I've been doing all my life, obviously, when you're in the, in the bathroom, behind closed doors, of course. So this any effect any big time, wow. And this is what Muslims don't realize is that, you know, when you implement Islam, the effect it has on the non Muslims. And I'll tell you a quick story about an older lady who was in the United Kingdom, she worked in university, and her job was washing the clothes and then ironing the clothes of the students. So she noticed that in the Indus, and we will tell the viewers maybe it's a non Muslim viewers don't understand why a Muslim would sit down and yes, and go through all this trouble is

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because when we stand in the prayer, obviously, that we don't want to have impurities on our clothes, and we pray that it's not allowed to source. So we among Muslim I sit down and also he must cleanse himself with water so thoroughly, so he's not, it doesn't have impurities on his clothes, and he prays. So this, there was a Muslim student in this university, who implemented this. He would sit down he would clean himself with water thoroughly. So what his clothes would come in, there would be no stains, on his undergarments, anywhere. So all the other non Muslim students who brought their clothes they would have stains on their

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on their Yes, yes, I understand. Yes, that's so yeah, because they're not You're not making the stingier as we call it water purifying using the water is that remember? Yeah. So when she saw this Muslim student never had stains on his his undergarments? She was, you know, as they say, Curiosity killed the cat. innocent situation. Actually, it saved the cat. Yes. Because what she did, she said, I have to ask this this guy, why? He doesn't have any things like all the other students. So she asked him and she had been doing this job she's been doing for 25 years. She told him she you know, why are you different? He said it's very simple because he said The fact is, is I'm a Muslim, and

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I'm ordered that I want to pray to do what this thing genetically myself thoroughly so I don't have impurities on my clothes. So I can stand in the best of states in front in front of God. So once you heard this, you said originally like this, it has to be the origin of truth, Allah, masha Allah, she became Muslim right after hearing this draft after knowing this fact. And also, this is one of the things that affected me majorly. So I decided the next day that I wanted to become Muslim. So I called my friend's father.

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That day, or very early in the morning, actually, I said, I want to become Muslim. What do I do? He said, After a moment, have you come to me? And oh, no, before mobile, and he was like, an hour before mobile visa gets the Metro come to DC. And we'll go to the Islamic Center in Washington DC. Yeah. And if you've been several times with all the flags, yes. Exactly. Near the end, near the embassy row. Exactly, exactly. So I went there. And mostly, I prayed more, but I wasn't a Muslim. after that. I played McGraw with the Muslims. I was just you know, imitating what? I was following them. Exactly. So after that, he said, No, we have a brother who wants to become Muslim. So I got up

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in front of the masjid in front of the brothers and I made my Shahada and I became Muslim. And that was in January, the beginning of January 1994. Wow. Fantastic. So okay, so now, well, this is a fantastic story actually. And then you and I've talked before but I haven't never asked you this, you know about how you can

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Islam. And it's, it's amazing because it's amazing the kinds of stories that people have in terms of what has drawn them to Islam. And it just shows the way of Allah can use the simplest of things, you know, or either the most curious of things to attract one's attention, like the lady who's learned the laundry or, or like yourself who has an accident and is caught stabbing to stay at home, and now forced to read a book about Islam.

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Okay, so you accept Islam. And so, talk to us about now, what happened next, and particularly with the family because

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a lot of new Muslims, you know, have some varying kinds of reactions from their family and their friends. What was the reaction of your family and friends? Once you announced that you're, you're now missing?

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Okay, so we have the family, we have the friends, we'll start first of all, with the family.

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What happened last month I blessed me with some very good brothers during that time, who were you know, serious about practicing Islam? And right after I became Muslim, they asked me where are you living? I said, I'm living you know, in this place. Yes. And they said, you know, mashallah, we have a Muslim right there. And actually, the Masjid from my grandma grandparents house where I was living in that time. It was you know, we did it with the car. It was 2.7 miles from my house. I used to walk there for Fudger and the other prayers and seven amounts or whatever miles Okay, back in those days.

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You weren't you were healthy.

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Basketball is playing basketball is in good shape during those days. So at that time, 2.7 Miles was the closest masjid so I went there that night to the masjid and I met the other brothers and they said you know, you want to come and learn some things in next few days and another mission or they're going to go there for a few days. So I went and we you know, to learn some stuff about Islam as I was I was coming Yes, I had, you know, my, the gold cross chain, I had another gold chain. I had an earring diamond earrings are really a diamond.

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After this,

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you know, went to the masjid. I'm praying. Now that at this point, your parents still don't know yet. Don't know yet. Okay, this is like the second day, okay. Now, but where it used to stand at your grandmother's Yeah, but there was another area they said we're gonna go there, you know, like, Yes. And you know, just to have some lessons and teach you some things. Um, so I went there with them. There's other in another area the brothers took me in they will, you know, they were learning about, about Islam, how to pray and teach them the basics. And the good thing is they had some, you know, youth with them. These were like older brothers, but they had some, you know, some of the

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youth who are my age teenager. Yes. So they came to us and told me I was Muslim. You shouldn't have a gold necklace. Yeah, you shouldn't have an earring, man. So I took it out. So that was the last event from them. And then at that didn't bother you. In terms of because I wanted to be the gold Yeah, well, I wanted to learn

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and then I don't want to be like an outcast, obviously, you know, sure.

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I noticed that after they said, I'm like gonna want the gold chain for fun on the ground as I'm making to do with you know, so there was some some peer pressure there. Yeah, but it was good peer pressure. Yeah, good. So I took that off. And then after that, we started to learn more about Islam. The brothers will come pick me up, take me to Juma and one of the blessings that happened to me another blessing happened to me is two weeks after I became Muslim, it was Ramadan.

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And we want to talk about that later on in the show. Yeah, yeah. So it was Ramadan so I had to fast Yes. And I started fasting um, then I didn't have trouble fasting many this was a blessing from Allah. And but this took me to the total we in this know the industry and doing this during Ramadan. The brothers are teaching me so I want to learn I'm trying to learn more. So I started to go to the masjid more and more every day, I'm in the mosque there with the brothers. And then after this, you know, I really started to get into Islam. I'm doing at an early stage two, three weeks, after a month and since I became Muslim, I never any shaved my beard.

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Because I know this is the son of the Prophet size. And the President has ordered the Muslims to have beards. Yes. So there's something I learned this you know, I learned you know, a lot about Islam. I started buying books or reading books. And I guess I have two books that really affected me at the beginning Slavic and maybe can tell you a little later.

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And then we had you know, the total we were going there and praying. So all this really affected me. And then the brothers I was with they were trying to follow the Sunnah. No longer beards wearing turbans and this and Islamic attire. Yes. So I don't think I said I want to do like this too. So since after I became Muslim,

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I've always worn Islamic attire even in America. Remember when I left America to go out to seek knowledge? Yes, I left and hadn't been wearing my my Oh, my turban. That's how you that's how we used to do because you know when to follow the pseudonym. So we know I've had my highlighter, anything I find soon in the book, I'd highlight it and try to implement it. So I really started to love the Sunnah and to love Islam and this would inspire me to go overseas to study more about Islam. More about Islam. Okay, the family, the family events, okay, I haven't forgot anything.

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Good the family, the friends, my family, actually, you'd be surprised. They're actually very happy.

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Well, why what was? What did they say? That really? I'm not gonna say they're happy about Islam? And it's because your life changing said better Exactly. Now see if, if you've actually this is what was the response for my mother, my mother when she I told her I says, you know, I'm now a Muslim, my religion, Islam, etcetera, etcetera. And she says the her only question was Do you believe in God? I said we believe in God. Absolutely. And there's only one of them. Just one.

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She says, then that's good. She says because as long as it makes you a better person, she says I'm okay. It's obviously your parents reacted in a similar way. Yeah. Because they they know that Islam is one of the original believers in God. My family has that much knowledge than ignorant where they think we worship something else. Other than God, they know worship God. Yeah, that wasn't a big problem. Obviously, they would prefer me to be like them and be a Christian, obviously, I'm sure of that. But the changes, because they tried to know tell me change into this. And I even told my father and my stepmother who were very, very strict on me when I was when I was young. After I

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became Muslim, I said, I realized what you guys were trying to teach me now was good. Yeah, Islam taught me this. Yes. And I couldn't see it before. So I told him, thank you for what you tried to do. 100 100. So they when they saw the changes, I remember one time my grandfather was on the phone. You know, the, you know, the old guys may talk to the old, you know, like army buddies on the phone or what have you. So he's talking to he said, I don't know what it is. He said he has this Islam. I don't know what this Islam is this? Yes, there is a Muslim. You know, I don't use it. I don't know what it is.

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He said they have this thing called the mosque. He said, he goes there. He spends a lot of time there. He said he hasn't come in the house late now. He doesn't talk to us, it will matter. No disrespectful. He only only polite. He does all these kinds of chores around the house. Now. He's left you know, hanging out with bad friends. He's lived in all the bad things he used to do. So he said, whatever it is, he said, I like it, because it's really good for 100. Yeah. So this was a positive effect that they had because of the change. Yes. Now, even at a young age, I'd stopped going to school. And I was in 11th grade. And I just kept going, I was always hanging out. I know.

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So your parents and your grandparents, you know, obviously saw a change in you as a result of becoming Muslim. And they were quite happy about that. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. What do you have brothers and sisters? Yes, I do. But anyway, my my brother, my oldest sister.

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Anyway, I can't really say how she because she was living in a different area at that time. So I don't know where the how she felt about it. She didn't really say anything about it. My other my brother, and my younger sister, my younger sister wasn't born at that time, I see. But my my younger brother, he was young, so he didn't really have much to say about it. But in general, most of them are the same. Like my grandparents, and my my mother and father, they were all pretty happy about the changes. Anyways, that was one of the big things I know, for me as when I became Muslim. And of course, that was in the early 70s. One of the things that impacts a lot of new Muslims is the

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relationship they have with their friends, particularly if they've had very close relationships with friends, or if they've had, you know, behaviors and activities that were very much against Islam. So for you, how did becoming Muslim, you know, impact the relationship with your friends.

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There was a lot of difficulty, I'm not gonna lie, this is one of the most difficult things even till today, you know, people when they say, you know, Islam is difficult, it's not difficult, it's not that difficult. We've just left something for something greater. Yes. And then we're gonna get that something greater in the hereafter. That's what we're striving for. So it wasn't easy to change. It wasn't easy, and I used to describe it to some of my friends. As you know, I used to literally get sick into my stomach because I wanted to go out so bad to hang out with my friends. I really, you know, feel this sickness in my stomach. And I just, you know, because in America has opened the

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doors right there. So, you know, just it was really difficult. My friends would call me you know, we didn't have the mobile's pager days and those days, you know, so the pager just keeps going off. And so what would you say to them? I mean, what would you give excuses or I'm gonna tell you two to two stories.

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That actually was I guess, you know, I'll give you three stories that could change any my life. The first reason why I started implementing

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this law more in like the first week or two weeks was one of my friends were hanging out on the street where he's hanging on for the house where he's always hanging out. And you know, the corner was always be there. So while we're there, were hanging out you know, people were partying and how it is yes, of course. So Subhanallah this one of the guys he said look at so and so. He said He claims he's a Muslim. But he said he's just like us. He said he's no different as there's no change I would only been Muslim for like nine days and yes, but he said he does we do we act like we act Yeah, he's no different. So it was like listen, you know, kind of Muslim as this, you know, is that

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a real Muslim? So and I said this, this statement, was like a lightning bolt to my heart really, really affected me. So I went back at home

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I started to think, why did you become Muslim? Didn't you become Muslim to become closer to God? And to learn more about his religion, you need to make some sacrifices and to change your life to change your life. And yes, it's one of the reasons so the main reasons that's why I have to make some sacrifices to do that. And that's when I started getting the sickness in my stomach and then feeling no really wants to go out. So And the funny thing was, is the street where that was said, it was actually the street where I was born. Wow. And it was a street where I've gotten to a lot of trouble in before I'm a Muslim. And then that statement on the same street is what changed my life. And I

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thought about that about a year ago, when I was talking to my friends about you know, the things before Islam, and I remember that it's it's really it was really strange, you know, it's all on that same street Subhanallah so what happened after this one of the things that changed me as well with the friends

00:25:50--> 00:26:23

when you know, you have obviously influenced them you have male friends and female for the female friends you know, they don't want to believe that I'm Muslim and you can't have relations with females you can't talk to them on the phone now and stuff like this. So I was having a big big problem with this in the in the Why can't you talk to me, right? Yeah, exactly. Why can't we go out like no, we can't. So like I said, we're always Ramadan time. hamdulillah and no, I was with the brothers in the masjid. And as a brother, I still remember him Mashallah. An older brother from India. MashAllah big beard. You know, he had he moved to the States when he's a little bit older. I

00:26:23--> 00:26:27

know beautiful brother, though. He said, I have something an idea for you to stop all these coals.

00:26:29--> 00:26:34

And what was it? I'm gonna tell you now? He said, Send me your pager. Yeah, it was 25 cents.

00:26:35--> 00:27:11

And I was like, 25 cents I said is whatever. $120 You know, but a month before? And he was like, just you said you trust me brother. I said, I trust you and sell it to me. 25 cents is like a Durham here in the Emirates. Yeah. And I bought it for like almost, you know, lower for another house. Alright. So I sold it to him. And then he took all the numbers of all the, you know, the females who were calling, and he had a really heavy Indian accent. Yeah. You know? So he's like, you know, hello. And then he's talking and they're like, you know, who is he said I bought this pager from him now it's now my pager. Yes. So they hear this man now, with his heavy handed accent, they're not

00:27:11--> 00:27:19

going to call back again. Of course, no way to call me. And so he did this and he got rid of all them for me. So that was one that was one set of the friends with that.

00:27:21--> 00:27:23

After this, it was a

00:27:24--> 00:27:59

in the last 10 days and I learned to the stimulus to make decaf the last 10 days. So I told my grandparents my grandmother she was handicapped at the time she couldn't move around freely. So I talked to some of the scholars I need to help my grandmother so they said you can go out you know in the morning for like an hour sure help her and come back and come back to them that's what they will do every day. So what happened is they call me and they had gotten to an altercation to a fight and you know always new friends and engineer was getting a fight you know we have to go back to help each other so they call me to you know, come to help them out. And I said no am in a religious name

00:27:59--> 00:28:11

we call it you can explain to what was in your in isolation now we know if the mosque for the 10 days and they were like wow man they said you're really serious about this Islam aren't you? And I said yes I am.

00:28:12--> 00:28:23

That's the situation they said we'll just leave you said you know, best of luck to you. Yeah. And the thing was even I used to go hang out with them and it will tell them about Islam and no one of them did come to Islam and interested in Islam

00:28:24--> 00:28:41

but some there were some things holding some of them back. They said no, we thought you will either be dead or to be in jail and a few years one of the two so since since you're Muslim it's good for you they were happy for him even though many of them cannot Yeah, did not come to me. But they saw the benefit in it

00:28:42--> 00:28:45

because like I said I was even though they weren't good I was the worst of them.

00:28:47--> 00:29:10

I was the wild way. They were they were really you know initially that's good for you know we wouldn't they say we don't want we don't want to see you in jail. We don't see you did you know so? 100 So those are good friends. Yeah, and I actually it's true yeah. So we're very had a very tight relationship was about six or seven. So they were only happy about that. So anyways, any they left me after that. And they let me be after that. So this was a big change.

00:29:11--> 00:29:25

So the friends and family that's that's the how it happened. The law made it easy for me was much more difficult. Yeah, he helped me to make it you know 100 Like you saw those little things that happen. Yes, he just made it as a way I got my pager back by the way, or did you realize okay

00:29:28--> 00:30:00

but I would imagine that becoming Muslim in or near the time of Ramadan is a big help because it's kind of like an immersion because you know, if you're going to do it, you know, I mean there's the fasting you know, there's of course the concentration on you know, praying in the masjid and and the into Cath and the title we and the Muslims are coming together and particularly in America, this is a time when you really see a lot of Muslims in America so that had to be quite a good thing for you know, even in something that's interesting, a lot of Muslims in this part of the world

00:30:00--> 00:30:22

but they don't know it and I still feel it I only spent one Romola after became Muslim for I went out to seek knowledge yes but I still remember that Ramadan yes there are Muslims in the west especially in America that might be different than they are nicer I'm gonna be I think they're nicer as well. And even you know some of my friends all my friends from America you know they really miss Ramadan in America, I miss it as well. It just hasn't it has a different you know, flavor I got

00:30:24--> 00:31:05

very nice, it doesn't need. Okay, we might inshallah maybe we'll get a chance to come back to them. Now. Alright, so you've become Muslim hunting law. So now, you make a move to learn more about Islam, and you go and ended up into Saudi Arabia. So what made you decide but you left, specifically to learn more about Islam? Yeah. So tell us about that experience. And we're obviously I assume you're talking. I mean, um, you learned or in school in Medina? Yes. But what before I got to Medina, I was there's a trip before I got there. I went to Sudan, first of all, okay, what happened is that, you know, I guess I was 18 years old. And like most Americans, we don't have a lot of

00:31:05--> 00:31:39

knowledge of what's going on around the world around the world just is true. And I'll tell you a funny story about that. My friend from Sudan. He told me that when he would meet people, he would tell them I'm from Sudan. He say no, to the the west of Saudi Arabia to the south of each every Egypt. Yeah. Because they didn't know where Sudan was. So he told one that he said, he's in a library and in university we were studying, and he told the clerk, they're working in the library, and she didn't know why she's I'm not from America. I'm European Sanders, who, then wow, Americans, you know, for us, the world is 50 states. That's why even though it's 50 states, and we don't even

00:31:39--> 00:32:11

know all of them. But this is the world that's the world that most Americans know what's going on in Canada, and south in Mexico. And this is quite tricky. So what I became Muslim and I don't know anything was going on in the world yet. But I got told you, I found love for the Sunnah. And I wanted to learn more, but why Sudan? Okay, I'm coming to that. So I want to go out to seek knowledge. My friends at that time in the mosque were mostly originally from from Pakistan from India. Yes. So they, you know, the only advice they could give me was to go to where they knew which was in Pakistan or India, but I sat back and thought about it, you know, to learn Islam through a

00:32:11--> 00:32:45

language other than the language of the Quran, sunnah being Arabic, you know, it's not something I want to do. Particularly if you're going to leave your home to do so you may as well go to exactly an Arabic speaking country. He says, that's what helped me out greatly. I'll go to an Arabic speaking country and learn, you know, I said, if I'm blessed to learn one language is enough. And I want to learn as the blessing there is the Arabic language obviously. So I understand the Quran and the Sunnah. So I didn't know where to go. I'm obviously heard of Saudi Arabia. Maybe it's difficult to get there different reasons. What have you I was looking for maybe another country will be easier

00:32:45--> 00:33:04

to go to. And what happened is, I was in Baltimore, and the Imam there in the months at a time he was literally a mom in Virginia as womb. He came to the mosque, and he was wearing his Sudanese attire at the beginning of the year and the turbine and what have you. And

00:33:05--> 00:33:17

I asked him, I saw him I said, Okay, I'll go to Sudan. I don't know anything about Sudan. Never even heard of the place. And so I became Muslim, you know, so I said, I'll go to Sudan. You know, I'm thinking like any other country in the world regular, you know, yes. I didn't know is

00:33:18--> 00:33:31

much more events now. And these days, but before, it wasn't. So what I said was, I want to go to Sudan. And he gave me some, you know, recommendations. And I got on the plane with these recommendations didn't have any, any. There's no phones there that time very

00:33:32--> 00:34:12

limited amount of phones around the Khartoum at that time. So that's yeah, I wouldn't know what to do today, you know, without, you know, making sure somebody's gonna be there at the airport. And you went alone, went alone had to had my, my papers, recommendations. He gave me some university, they would have you. And the funny thing was, is I was given the whole buffer Joomla. And Sudan about maybe about six months ago, from this time from now. Yes, six months ago. And after I prayed, I saw the same email. He's got a little older now. I guess it isn't. Laters is in the late 60s, maybe I'm assuming, if not early 70s. So I saw him. And I gave him salons. I said, I'm so and so. And I said,

00:34:12--> 00:34:41

You are the one who sent me here to Sudan. Wow. Oh, save America from America. He was there and he was there in Sudan. And He actually prayed in the masjid where I used to be the foot before I came to the Emirates here. Yeah, I was luckily above unless the coop was in English. So I gave him the headband. I see him there. So he didn't remember you know, like I said, he said, Honestly, I'm sorry, brother. I don't remember that I sent you. I said whatever it is, the less everything I do now, all the study I did 10 years in Medina, and all the you know, the lectures I given the hopeless and you get the adulation for it.

00:34:43--> 00:34:59

So he's very happy about that. So this is you know, what, just for no reason, because the reason I saw this guy and I just I don't want to go to Sudan. So I went to Sudan. And I stayed there for a little over a year. And I end up getting married there. Sudanese sister after about six months, so I guess you know

00:35:00--> 00:35:27

And you and your father? Yes, you know, there was been any in your destiny where the last one is decided for you. You know, that's why I was sent there so I can get married inshallah still married today from there with our kids and everything. So that's why I know I have going there. Later on the brothers there, they informed me that if you want, you know, very good quality knowledge and you want to be able to find better opportunities to learn, yes, we advise you to go to Saudi Arabia. So that's when the past started towards Saudi Arabia to.

00:35:28--> 00:35:59

So how long were you in? So you're in Sudan for how many years? Altogether? Because I went back there after I graduated. Yeah, for about four years altogether. But in the beginning about a year old lot of young. So you went to Saudi Arabia, obviously to Medina, first, I would imagine as far as the study is concerned, or no, actually, it didn't. It wasn't that easy. Awesome. What happened is that my, some of my teachers there, and my friends, there were some of them were from the students of shipping beds Rahimullah. So during that time, when I went there, and first I couldn't get to Riyadh where he was because he wouldn't have to travel during those days. I mean, now it's easier,

00:35:59--> 00:36:33

but you couldn't do in those days. So one time on the ship, he came to Mecca, there was I was in Mecca, hurt, and I went there a second time, and to meet the ship, with this recommendation I had for him from his students in Sudan. So when you heard the recommendation, and it's actually a very interesting story, what how it happened is because when I went in, and the chef who was very helpful used to love to help people. So Rahimullah, so he used to come and they went when I was in the scene, there's this guy sitting there with all these papers about this, you know, stuck? No, no, no, I'm not joking this this big. And I remember he was talking to a sister from France. She was getting

00:36:33--> 00:37:05

the phone. Yeah, asking about different questions you can answer. So when he finished, you know, the guy would talk was talking to me, we read the letters to him. So what happened is, I was hesitant. I said, if I give him my paper, he will read it for two weeks. As I said, I'm just not going to go, I started to go back. And I said, just try him. And then maybe he'll read it. You know, maybe not. It can't hurt che Exactly. So I went in, I gave the paper and the chef, he really loves it's an easy thing to ship with medica, both from Sudan, he really the best, he really loves him. You know, he used to be his driver and one of his students, what have you. So he has a very close relationship

00:37:05--> 00:37:18

with Him. The guy took the paper that I had from Sudan, he took it and he put it on the bottom like this. I mean, the stack is Yes. After shaking off the phone, he took it from the bottom, a locker. And he said to him,

00:37:19--> 00:37:52

you know, share with mine from the Sudan. And he read the he read the Teskey of the recommendation. And I really believe that that maybe the recommendation is a little, you know, embellished as we say, yeah. I didn't really deserve anything was in there. But the ship if you saw him Rahimullah, his face lit up. Yes. And he started smiling, but I've never seen him smile. There's big, you know, all my lips. I've seen him you know, I've never seen him smile this big. And he said, you know who and Hello, where is he? Where is he? So I said, this is I'm here. And I came back and I kissed him on his forehead. And he said, you know, also one of the things he would do, he would write the

00:37:52--> 00:38:16

recommendation or help you. But he would have to come back maybe a week or two later, because there's a lot of people in front of you. So he wrote the recommendation right there as everybody else was waiting. Wow. He told me no, right now, I'm Della. And he started to write it to Dotto Hadith and MIPCOM. Because that's what the guy from Sudan thought was a good idea. And I said no chef, actually, I said, I want to go to the University of Medina and Medina. So So what he did during that time, is he

00:38:17--> 00:38:24

wrote immediately to the head of the university at time was flooded our booth, the time he wrote to him a recommendation.

00:38:25--> 00:38:28

And for me to get accepted into the University of Medina.

00:38:29--> 00:38:45

When he did this, I took it there, the Sheikh said something to me. And I said that he said, If you don't, it doesn't work out for you there. He said, Come back to Marriott and I will make a visa for you in a permanent residence visa. So you can seek knowledge with me in reality, and I said, I wish I had done that, you know, because these were then that would have been Yes.

00:38:46--> 00:39:20

I found a lot of pain later in Medina, they obviously I got accepted with the scale from this year, from the fall of last month and bust of a loss of Panama Thailand. I got accepted to university of Medina, what program did you enter there? Okay, when I first went, I was able to speak Arabic and understand Arabic very good, because my wife is and for her experiences in Sudan. I traveled all around the Arab world. So my Arabic was not bad when it came to understanding and it came to reading excuse me came understanding speaking, our reading and writing I was very weak with so I started from level one in the Arabic program there. And what I did

00:39:22--> 00:39:58

I some of the steps, they just start from Level Two because you heard because it's too good for level one. I also one of my goals is not just my reading and writing to become strong. Perhaps in the future if I want to teach this if I go back to America as you learn from level one, it's much easier to teach obviously certainly I've studied so I stayed number one all the way to the end. And there was a way to prolong even for third years. It was a two year program, but we could prolong a third year to get a fifth level and and that's what I did. So I took three years at the beginning. And I studied Arabic there and I'm dead from Arabic good enough and I was always you know with the

00:39:58--> 00:39:59

and the circles

00:40:00--> 00:40:21

of the yes the Michelle for the other scholars in the prophet's mosque Elisa to Salam, and other places in Medina. So did you receive a certificate or some, we they call it a diploma or an associate's degree, which is in Arabic or first of all learning Arabic as as a as a second language. That's the first thing I got. And then I went to the College of Hadith.

00:40:23--> 00:40:54

I was sick in the beginning for like the first year and a half there. So when I went back to the new mufti, Alicia invest was that at that time, or him Allah, so I went back to New Movie, I wanted to change it because they said you can't change. After one week, and I'm a year and a half. Yes. So I went back to numerous dealership opportunities on the shift any of the law and went back to him, and I requested from him, that he helped me I want to change the color to explain to him the reasons for the change. So he wrote to me also to the same shifts, I bought the same head of the university for me to change to the to the college. So then I made the change to another college. So I could start a

00:40:54--> 00:41:00

fresh start from the College of Darwinists, with the dean. So I graduated from there from the College of Dallas to the dean

00:41:01--> 00:41:44

with a BA, Islamic Studies from there. And then that was a nine years after the two colleges and the Arabic program. I was there for nine years. I want to stay for an extra year. So I could finish some of the classic or classical texts of fifth and what have you, outside of the university. So I stay with some of the scholars there, and I finished different things there for them. So actually stayed with us for 10 years during this time. Very good. Well, hamdulillah so now, since that time, and since you're, you know, 100 us you can have knowledge in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, in the Medina, what kinds of briefly because we're about to run out of time. Okay. Dao activities you've been involved

00:41:44--> 00:42:22

in, okay. When I graduated, I was you know, reluctant where do I go back to America or to Sudan? And my whole family went to San study Arabia, yes. But I wanted to go somewhere, we were closer to one of our families. So we decided, you know, that America might be difficult because, you know, when it comes to raising children there, even though Tao was you know, being between a place where I'm from, you know, and helping the Muslims there, I'd be much more effective. Obviously, I know that yes. But my children don't speak English. By the way, the Arabic the mother took the mother's language I'm trying to wish now but their main tongue is Arabic. You know, it's easier in this part of the world.

00:42:22--> 00:42:56

I'm there to raise the children so we decided to go to Sudan. When I was in Sudan, I started teaching there in a school Islamic studies in English and also Islamic Studies Arabic and some of them went to school. So I taught in two schools there and I was giving a lot of lectures in Arabic okay. And with an Arabic and both English right and also I was given the whole of Joomla I have their television shows their students TV station very good all right. And they were for sure about out of time now produces telling me but right now are you in the Emirates you're also teaching Islamic Studies and Arabic and one of the schools your ticket okay, what's going on? I decided to

00:42:56--> 00:43:06

make a change I want it to be easy for my family to come in from the US it's easier for them to come here to the UAE. So what did I decide to take a job here I had an offer to teach Islamic studies in English

00:43:07--> 00:43:25

almost with teaching some classes in Arabic and at a school here in debate. So I've been here now for about four months doing that I'm using Islamic studies in English at school. My brother thank you very much. It's been a fantastic story and very fascinating story. May Allah reward you and strengthen you in in your life and in your future. I

00:43:27--> 00:43:44

really will. I will. I hate you out of time because I'd like to continue this more, but on behalf of Sharjah TV and now program is Sam today. We'd like to thank our guests, brother Abdul Rahim and, and myself I'm a humble newbie as Saddam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh