AbdurRaheem McCarthy- How I became a muslim (Pt 13)
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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.
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. Smilla ramen noodle human hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa sallahu wa salam ala admirable Ramadan, mean the Vienna Muhammad. While
early he was a big marine or bad.
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 I'm 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.
How I became Muslim, actually, I had an appointment, 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 and 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
good for me. It turned out when you say DC You mean in Washington in the Washington DC, the capital, the capital.
So I actually live on the outskirts in Virginia, but we still go all the way into DC. And 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 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 you can still around. I'm getting old now.
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 in 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 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.
Yeah, he was actually my friend who's older than me at the 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 as I heard this any strange resuscitation? I know what it was. And I was always curious about Islam, you know, what is Islam? And 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 people live in this part of the world. 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 and this is 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
friends. Well, yeah. So I wanted to ask him about Islam, and I'm gonna The first thing I'd still put my boots on his 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, was African. Okay. 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 him
Even if you're purple, I'm thinking I want to exaggerate about it, that anybody, Islam is the religion for all of mankind. So I was interested, we started talking 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.
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 at least. 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 Catholics.
Okay, so even I was in some time in a Catholic school in elementary school, Megan, chasms and things. So it was so weird to us. 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 in a Catholic school in elementary school.
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. 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, to southwest DC. And that time, the last 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, 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 going to run.
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, somewhere 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
telling the story about you know, leaving the car in the 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 a 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 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 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
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 when they 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 I used and honestly, I didn't read at all I used to like to read. And that's what 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, I got attached to it. I read the whole book. This was on Thursday night. I read the whole
book and an entire city.
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 the cross on my neck years before I was a Muslim obviously and then
at that time, also as to try to read the Bible you know, 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 no, this is the way this is what I want. Obviously, the first thing that affected me was the issue of to hate of Islamic monotheism. And the one true God
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.
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 effectively another thing which you didn't do, a lot of people might find strange. It really, really affected me is when he was talking about the author, he was 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
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 that 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. I couldn't see it before as an I wasn't because they think it's not. Thank you. Hey, thank you. Well, if something goes wrong, yeah, I was almost in him that 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 melee thing. Yes, exactly. In the West, even before Islam, the province of 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 lessons in America. Exactly. So I used to love to sit down with you. You're not supposed to do it in America. But so when I said, I found the Muslims did this, 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 affecting the 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 industry, and we will tell the viewers, maybe some non Muslim viewers don't understand why a Muslim would sit down and yes, and go through all this trouble is 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, of course, so we among Muslim must sit down and also he must cleanse himself with water so thoroughly, so he's not, 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.
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. Exactly. Yeah. So when she saw this Muslim student never had stains on his his undergarments. She was, you know, as I say, Curiosity killed the cat innocence 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, you know, why are you different? He said, it's very simple. Because he said, the fact is, is I'm a Muslim. And 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 region of truth.
Michela 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.
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 I know before Milgram, and he was like an hour before McGraw Pizza Kitchen. Demetria will come to DC. And we'll go to the Islamic Center in Washington DC. Yeah. And if you've been, I've been in it several times with all the flags. Yes. Exactly. near the entrance near the embassy row. Exactly, exactly. So I went there. And mostly, I prayed more, but I was at a Muslim at that. I played McGraw with the Muslims. I was just you know, imitating what they're following. Exactly. So after that, he said, No, we have a brother who wants to become
Muslim. So I got up 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 came
Islam and Islam is amazing because it's amazing the kinds of stories that people have in terms of what