From Thug Life to Islam
Channel: Adnan Rashid
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I would listen to Tupac, his raps in nothing but a gangster party. Have you heard that? Right? Those of you know, right, I would listen to songs like that. And then sometimes I would listen to this hypnotize. I mean, I don't want you to go and start Googling this. Don't worry about it, right? So I would listen to this stuff half an hour, and then I would put in the tape and then look at the contrast. Then I would put the tapes of this person I was listening to, and then he was quoting the Quran and Hadees and it's really ironic Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Hatha Mala Mia was a urdal Mursaleen. While early he was hobby he al Worrell may Amin, woman Tabia
home, Hassan Ilario Medina Mahboub we will do Billahi Samir alumina shaytani R rajim Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem OMA Ursula K Illa. Allah Allah Allah Ameen, or kala rasool Allah He sallallahu alayhi wa salam ballyhoo honey Hello, I am my respected brothers.
I am honored to be here with you today once again at Masjid Al Humaira. It is my pleasure to be with you. And today the topic is Dawa, and debates, my experiences.
Some of you may know that I've been involved in Dawa for the for the best part of last 15 to 20 years. And what drove me into the hour, how I even became interested in who inspired me is my personal story which I would like to share. And perhaps you might find some reasons to indulge
in the same endeavor, ie Dawa.
And if you find anything interesting in my personal story, then inshallah it will be a solid majority for me.
So, I'll cut to the chase. My name is Adnan Rashid, and I come from originally Pakistan.
And I was born in 1978. I grew up in Pakistan, my teenage, teenage, was spent in Pakistan, I got married when I was 17, as happens in some societies or some communities, right, and my wife was from the UK or is from the UK Alhamdulillah. And then long story short, as it happens with so many Pakistanis, when they get married, they move to the UK, as marketers, we call them right. Those of you who can relate to this are probably aware of this phenomenon. It happens in subcontinent communities when people get married, and they very often moved to the UK and I moved to the UK when I was 19 years old. When I moved to the UK, I became
very interested in
music and all that my company was not so good. I came from a very
hard background. When I say hard background, I had a hard upbringing, my father gave me a very tough upbringing.
And the only person I feared in the world was my father. And when my father was absent from my life, for the first time, when I left Pakistan, I went crazy. This was freedom you see for me, so that freedom meant a lot of bad things to me initially. Unfortunately, I ended up with the wrong crowd. And some of the crowd came from this very place. I don't mean much it'll Humaira. But I mean, East London where I am right now. Okay, this this road, Green Street is well known.
And a lot of my friends came from this area, and I've had friends in other places. So for nearly three years, I got involved in a lot of unpleasant activities. I was going out, I was into music. I loved music. I used to listen to rap music and r&b and
you may not find this funny but even Punjabi Bhangra music. I loved it once upon a time. And because I came from Pakistan, I knew the Punjabi language, so I could relate to it. So this was my initial experience with life in Britain. I was working part time and most of my time was spent with friends. While my wife was being patient with me. I had a child when I was 18. Musa Nan who is with me right now. He should be here very soon. He's not 25 Mashallah.
I wasn't ready to be a father. I wasn't ready to be I mean, it is easy for males to produce children, right? It is very easy.
For males to produce children, but it is another thing to be a father, to be a father is to take care of your son, be a model a role model for your son, provide education for him, be there for him. And unfortunately, this wasn't happening at that time when I was a young man, 19 years old when I came here. And then the next three years, I spent
going around with my friends, enjoying my time, you know, having the life as they say, but that wasn't the life. Long story short, I don't want to get into the details. You don't need to know the details, because they are private. And they're not something I'm proud of those things. Some of the brothers they know me from East London, those brothers back in the day. Unfortunately, some of the people I knew then ended up in prisons for different crimes. Allah protected me Allah saved me. Some of them are still in prisons. Right? Some of them are still in prisons for the things for things they did.
And Allah subhanaw taala protected me I never oppressed anyone. I didn't rob anyone. I didn't sell drugs. I didn't do any of that Al Hamdulillah. But other things I did, which I don't want to mention. Okay.
So moving on. I was eventually what what usually happens with cases like that, you end up becoming depressed, you you're not happy. You have your friends, you're you're driving around in flashy cars, you're driving around in Ferraris, and VMs and trees at that time, you know, in the, in the late 90s and early 2000s. These are the cars that were very popular. So I had these kinds of friends. And I used to go around with them doing a lot of things. And I wasn't happy, I didn't drink. I didn't smoke Alhamdulillah I wasn't into that. Maybe perhaps that's why it was easy for me later on to accept Islam
as my way of life. So I went through a lot of these things, and I wasn't happy with that life. And I got involved in some conflicts and fights gang violence, you can call it gang violence, right.
And it was bad. It was very severe at times. It was dangerous. My wife suffered as a result because I was coming home with, you know, injuries and all that and I mean, you know, when you have reputation, reputation to protect, and you have friends to be with, sometimes you get involved in things you don't want to get involved in. And that's why
rasool Allah Azza wa sallam said, Al maru, Allah Dini Khalili, a man is upon the religion of his friends. Choose your friends very carefully. This is my basic and first advice, your friends can either take you to Jannah or they can take you to jahannam there is no Limbo in Islam. Right? There is no Limbo in Islam. Limbo is in Catholicism, you know, where you can hang in the middle as well, neither in Jannah, nor in jahannam. in limbo, you're hanging in the middle, there is no Limbo in Islam in Islam is that is it's either Jana or jahannam. So if you choose your friends, recklessly, and you can end up in the wrong place, with the wrong people at the wrong time. You're done for
life. It happened to some of my friends, I can remember when I became practicing later on, I met some boyfriends at a wedding. And I was advising, I was advising them that it's never too late brothers fix up, turn around, turn your back on crime, turn your back on these evil things you get involved in, right. And I'm not gonna give the details. Some of them ended up
committing a very
How can I put it a very bad crime, a very severe crime, and they spent a lifetime in jail. They came out recently a few of them. And this was soon after I was advising them. They didn't pay heat. I was talking to them directly. They knew we will. We could talk heart to heart and told them this is not a good way you will end up bad. By hook or by crook, you will realize that this is not the right way. And they realized in prison, and then they were calling me from prison. And they were asking me for Tafseer and books on Islam and things like that. And Allah changed them in prison. They came to Islam the hard way. But Allah protecting me, Allah protected me before all that. Right. So in 2001,
I was very depressed. I came to Britain in 1997. So in 2001, I had already had enough. And I was thinking is this life? Is this what life is about? Is this what I want to do with my life? And I was at the time, I think 23
And then we heard the news. I haven't been back to Pakistan since I left. And I heard the news my grandfather had a stroke and he may die so I
pack my bags. I took Musa my child and my wife and my younger child, my daughter, we went to Pakistan Long story short, so my grandfather dying on his deathbed. And he had a severe stroke, and we knew he's not going to survive. So that was my time with my grandfather, I loved him to bits. I'm not telling you this so that you admire me for this. I'm only telling you, to inspire you to to encourage you that things like this may determine your end. What I'm about to tell you right now, things like this may determine how you end with Allah subhanaw taala. Right. Sometimes, sometimes you may do things in life, that may turn your destiny, right. So I went to my grandfather, while I
was literally three days before, three days before I left for Pakistan to see my grandfather who was on his deathbed. My some of my friends had a rock. You know what that means?
You know, that means language has changed, I guess. It's been 20 years, right? They had, they had a problem. And they wanted me to come and join them to be with them. Right? They wanted me to be part of this. And I told them, Listen, I'm going back to my family after three years or four years, and I don't want to go with scars and my face broken and things like that. So I'm not interested in this because I don't want to be part of this. And they started to taunt me, oh, you're scared. You're this, you're this and the language. You know, I don't I don't want you to imagine the kind of language are you? So okay.
So this is these are the kinds of situations I was in literally days before I left, and how it changed me after I got to Pakistan. So I was already not happy with the lifestyle I was going through. It was just a waste of life, waste of time, waste of everything. You know, I wasn't happy with that. So I went to Pakistan. And I saw my grandfather and deathbed, and I loved him very much. No doubt I grew up with him. And the love I had for him cannot be described in words I was shattered. I was broken when I saw him like that. And I served him to, to the best of my ability. Maybe Allah destined me to be there for him. So he couldn't clean himself. He had a stroke, he
couldn't move, he was bedridden. And, and he even got bedsore. He had basically wounds on his body, which we would my father and myself, we would clean those wounds. When he would wet himself, we would clean him when he would, you know, defecate, we would clean him because he couldn't clean himself. So he was my father and my father's father. So he's my basically grandfather. So we were serving Him. And I could see in his high eyes, he's looking at me, and perhaps he's praying for me, you know, at times, he would he would raise his hand and he would do this to me, on my chin, you know, this is a gesture in our culture of, of thankfulness that I you know, thank you for all of
this. So, I hope he prayed for me or I think he did. And Allah subhanaw taala turned my heart and Allah produced some things. May, Allah made some things happen. That Changed my mind for good. While I was there in the village, some people came to see my grandfather because he was ill. So they spoke with me and they said, You know what, we have read books with your ancestors mentioned in them. Your ancestors, your direct ancestor, one of them is mentioned in a history book. And he did this this this. In other words, you were the freedom fighter, when the British were ruling India, there was a mutiny in 1857. It's called the Indian Mutiny. And your ancestors are directly involved. And one of
them was captured, caught. He was one of the leaders of an instruction insurrection in northwestern Pakistan. And he was indicted. He was put on trial, he was going to be hanged, but his sentence was reduced to exile, where the village is today. Basically, that's when he was exiled. So he was put under house arrest for seven years. He was in chains. He was praying Salah in those chains. He was making Hulu and all of that. So
I heard these things. And I asked for the book. Long story short, the book was given to me with a small pamphlet. My one of my ancestors was mentioned his name was mentioned a house was mentioned where I was actually sitting at the time. So I was very fast and I was very kind of blown. Well, I was thinking Hold on a second. This is my family history. Is this, who my ancestors are. So they inspired me. Their history inspired me. I wanted to read more. So I went and grabbed a longer book from one of the book markets in Rawalpindi. I traveled from a village I went to this market book market and I found a book. It was titled, secret Sayed Ahmed Shaheed, those of you who know the
history of India or the Indian subcontinent or Islam in the Indian subcontinent.
Let me give you a very brief summary very quickly so that I can move on
Islam in India today in the Indian subcontinent close to 600 million Muslims, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan collectively at least 600 million Muslims at least.
It is definitely more but I'm saying at least 600 million Muslims, the versions of Islam they practice whether they are Deobandi Barelvi, or 100 Hadith. These are the three versions that are dominant versions of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. I'll repeat the urban these who are Hanafi
Burrell, Louise, we're also Hanafi and you see a lot of them in Britain. A lot of mosques from these two denominations. And the third denomination is which is the minority, Al Hadith, who are very much like the Salafis, right. All of these three schools trace the lineage the spiritual inspiration and lineage back to one personality, one school in the city of Delhi and the man is Shah Wali, Allah, sha Allah Allah Abdallahi a great scholar Almohad is a Delaware he is known as Almohad. This In other words,
the master of the signs of Hadees Parekh salons, in the 18th century, his his history I have already explained in a YouTube video, go on my channel that you can watch an entire lecture on sha Allah della we, I explained his history in relative detail. So this man, why am I mentioning him? He had written many books, he had written the political theory of Islam for the Indian audiences. He spoke against beta and shirk, that was rampant. In India at the time, there was a lot of data, there was a lot of shirk, Tomb worship, literally tomb worship, I don't hesitate to say that, because people were actually worshipping graves. They were actually bowing bowing to graves, and they were doing
kinds of things that were not sanctioned by Islam. So he spoke up again, he spoke up against those kinds of practices. He spoke against all non Islamic practices conducted in the name of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. And he wrote books on Islamic political theory, he wrote a book titled is all at all Farhan, falafel and falafel pallava. Basically defending the caliphate of the for the first three qualify, it was basically a book written to refute the Shia accusations and Shia influences in India because India at the time, in particular, the city of Delhi was heavily influenced by Shia, she thought because she has were politically very dominant.
So he wrote this book for that reason. Then he wrote other books, for other reasons to defend the philosophy of Islam. This is a very powerful book he wrote on July in Valera decisive argument for God, it's a very powerful book, very, very, very unique book, if those those of you who are students of Islam as students, students of knowledge, you should definitely read this book. It was
it was authored in the Arabic language, and you can find English translations of it, or just Allah al Balarabe. Very powerful book. So the result of these books was
a drive through the Muslims of India to revive Islam, pure Islam. Okay. Islam in his true colors, Islam is true.
You know, reality. So, a lot of students were spread out. In India, they went in the towns in the cities and they preached the doctrines of sha Allah, which are basically based upon pure Islam Quran and Sunnah Quran and Sunnah basically, right? And his son, Shah, Abdul Aziz, succeeded his father.
And then he also taught the science of Hadith and tafsir in his madrasah, Rahimi in Delhi, and done then, one of the students of Shah Abdul Aziz, the son of sha Allah was called Sayed Ahmed Shaheed.
When he was a young man, he had heard about the Sikhs in Punjab.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh had to come to power. And this is where my own inspiration comes in. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a very shrewd, astute political leader, a military
you can call him a general and he became a king later on are the Sikhs. In 1799. He took Lahore from another Sikh group called the Bungie missile. Right? How Lahore came in the hands or how Lahore was occupied by the Sikhs is another story, which I don't intend to indulge in at this stage because that's an that's another history. Long story short Maharaja Ranjit Singh with his armies he united 12 groups of the Sikh
sewer ruling the current territory of Punjab, larger Punjab greater Punjab. Punjab means the land of five rivers. Okay. In current day India and Pakistan, so East Punjab is in India, West Punjab is in Pakistan today, much of it, right? So Maharaja Ranjit Singh, basically at one point, ruled
territory from the shower, all the way up to Milton. Right? And as far as Himalaya is very big territory. He had created an empire having United 12 major groups or missiles of the Sikhs. Why am I telling you this? Now, when they took all this land, clearly this land belongs to the Mughals. It was predominantly Muslim territory. Muslims were the majority, the Sikhs were ruling Sikhs were a minority ruling minority. Many Sikh generals and military leaders and army personnel were invading Muslim territories. And at the same time in in this process, they were committing atrocities in the Punjab, a lot of people that suffered at the hands of the Sikhs, when the Sikhs are taking territory
in war, things happen, catastrophes take place. So a lot of these victims, a lot of these refugees, they ended up in Daly, some of the med students and they were talking about de suffering under the sea cruel.
They were talking to scholars in Delhi, students in Delhi, one of them will say that he when he heard about this, he said this land belongs to the Muslims. And this is what's happening to Muslims in these lands. We need to take it back. Long story short, this man launched a campaign of jihad, Jihad visa villa. He went through
almost all of British India, the British did not say anything to him, they did not try to stop his Jihad movement because it was in their favor to defeat the Sikhs or to weaken the Sikhs. So for this reason, he was able to, to travel through the British territory, which was ruled by the British Raj in India. And he was preaching the jihad and a lot of Muslims. They responded to the call Long story short, they went through Afghanistan or they traveled to Afghanistan via Kandahar. They came and attacked shower. And they took a shower from the Sikhs temporarily. Right. And then later on, they took more territory defeated Sikhs in few battles, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was shaking on his throne,
and he even wrote letters to say that mature he needs
to keep the territory you have already conquered from us leave the rest of us and said Ahmed Shaheed, who was later on Shaheed, he said, No, we will take all this territory from you because this belongs to the Muslims. You took it from the Muslims and you're oppressing the Muslims. The worst is that you are oppressing the Muslims, having taken this territory from them. Maharaja Ranjit Singh wasn't personally himself interested in persecuting Muslims, as some of his generals were no doubt. Okay, there are eyewitness records
that clearly state that the Sikhs were committing atrocities when they were taking lands from the Muslims, in particular Northwestern territory of the Indian subcontinent, which is current de KPK, province of Pakistan, the Pashtoon territory and some of the Hazara territory.
So, long story short again, fast forward, dismantle 11 shades. He died fighting the Sikhs in a battle in ninth Sorry 1831 in a place called Bala code.
So why am I telling you this because my ancestors were directly linked to this movement. They were directly linked to this movement. They fought the Sikh armies coming to take all these lands and they were directly involved. One of my ancestors, his name is Sirajuddin been half as Mr. Hakim Rahmatullah Lee, he was directly involved and then later on his son, Maha Judean chef Minaj Dean, who was captured by the British later on, during the Indian Mutiny, he was also involved in this movement. So I read the history of this movement in this chunky volume, a biography of say Yoda machi.
Right, that changed my mind that completely switched my mind I was completely blown away by the sacrifices, by the
the dedication to Islam and the dedication to the people of Islam in the Indian subcontinent and to protect them against oppression. Right? This was their jihad against oppression. So they gave their lives protecting the Muslims of India and that sacrifice in Bala code in 1831. According to some scholars, some historians of Islam preserved Islam for posterity. That sacrifice it went so far, whenever the Muslims wherever
they heard about the sacrifice of these people. They wanted to learn more about them. This particular sacrifice in 1831 of 500 or so, Muslims who died fighting
the Sikhs and the leader of the Sikh army was Maharaja Sher Singh. Later on he became the Maharaja of Lahore after his father Ranjit Singh died.
And my ancestors were directly involved in this. So I read the history I got very inspired. And this is one of the examples I wanted to share with you very quickly that
kind of history can easily inspire you. This is why history is so important. That's why Allah subhanaw taala you know, continuously talks about the history of the prophets in the Quran, Allah subhanaw taala mentioned the Stories of the Prophets and the struggles and the Dawa against very, very powerful opponents, right. Why is he Why is Allah repeating the stories in the Quran? 30% of the Quran 1/3 of the Quran almost, is about the stories of the prophets and the struggles why to inspire you to inspire the Muslims to inspire you so that you can look at these examples of
dedication, sincerity, these people who gave everything for the sake of Allah to preserve this Deen so that this Deen can reach us posterity, right? And this is why Allah is telling these stories, history can be very powerful to inspire people. Today the Muslim ummah has completely lost its history. We are completely ignorant when I say completely, I can prove that right here.
I can prove that right here in this audience in this audience, that we don't even know the life of the Messenger of Allah salAllahu Salam, we pray, we fast we go for Hajj, we do all those things. But we don't read. We don't read. We are not a booklet people anymore. We were the most book li people in the world. The Muslims were the biggest book collectors, book producers, book lovers, book writers, and book distributors in the world for 1000 years. For 1000 years. I know this, I'm saying this with confidence. Today. Muslims are the most book less people in the world. And I'm saying this with confidence without hesitation.
Why? One of the reasons is complete ignorance of history.
We cannot take any inspiration from our history, which is great. Our history is absolutely magnificent. It is mind blowing. It is inspirational. Your children your youngsters will be lost if you don't teach them the history of your predecessors. People who sacrificed everything for this Deen people who wrote books people who wrote poetry people who wrote philosophy, people who produced works of immense magnitudes. The largest libraries were in the Muslim world but God. When Mongols destroyed the library,
the river became black with ink when they chucked the entire library of Baghdad into the river,
River that runs close to Baghdad.
The largest library in the world was the library about that. Then, libraries of Spain Islamic Spain and Honduras when Catholic Monarchs took along the loose Spain in 1492, from the Muslim the last stronghold called Grenada, they burnt 1 million books, they knew this is the power of these people. They knew this is where the power of these these people lay they are the most learned people in the world. That's why they are the most civilized people in the world. And after colonialism, two centuries of colonization, we're not only got colonized intellectually, we got colonized. You know, in our culture, in our ideology, in our love for books, we have forgotten our civilization, we have
forgotten our, our history, and what we produced in the past. We are completely ignorant of our points of philosopher are thinkers are intellectuals.
And this is the power of history how it inspires people passion through you. You want to do what your predecessors did. You want to make this world a better place. You want to bring justice to the world, you want to stand for the truth. You want to be on the right side. And that's only possible when you have examples to follow. Most importantly, your Prophet, the messenger of allah sallallahu Sallam and his followers.
And my ancestors inspired me because of the great deeds. I could see. I could read through these pages that hold on a second. These guys gave everything
they gave. They gave up the freedom they gave up their livelihoods.
To make Islam the
dominant force in the region as it was AD AD, as it had all always been for the last
eight centuries or six centuries, let's say.
And subhanAllah you know, the charge against my ancestor Shechem in Argentine, my direct ancestor, the charge against him when he was captured in 1857. And he was put on trial in 1859. The charge against him was, he was telling people off his region that you are Muslims. You are Muslims. remain firm on your deen. Don't give up your dean Wallah he, this was the charge against him.
And in order to do the chargesheet is written in order to have the document in my possession in our ancestor library, it is still there, it is written in Urdu, it states 30 The he Raya that he was inciting the masses, what to sub muscle man who have been a dean per kind row, this is the charge you are Muslims, remain steadfast upon your deen
and to the British establishment at that time, it meant to resist the occupation, foreign occupation of the British rule the East India rule, which was explore which was to say the least very oppressive, tyrannical and exploiting.
And no one, I think, disputes that today. Today, no one disputes that the British rule in India was extremely oppressive. You don't believe me? There is an Indian author called Shashi Tharoor, who is an Indian politician as well as a historian. He has written a book on this and the book is titled in glorious Empire.
The book is titled in glorious empire, okay, and he has written a
few books on the British Empire and what it did to India, India, during the Mughal period.
As late as 1707, when the last powerful Mughal emperor died or exam Allah gear and one of the most Islamic Mughal emperors, because others are not so Islamic. He was the most Islam observing Emperor of India. He memorized the Quran after he became the emperor.
After he became the Emperor of India, India is a continent by the way, you know, he had a lot of work to do, and he still found time to memorize the Quran. He was at at age 40, he started to memorize the Quran
or zeva Exam gear, the man responsible for one of the largest compendium of Hanafi fiqh in the world, called Al fatawa. Allah Adam Guilia.
Named after his own name, his name was Orangevale and Gil, also known as Al fatawa, Al India. It is the largest collection of Hanafy jurisprudential opinions in one
And the GDP of India when he was willing was 24% of the world 24% of the world. In other words, 24% of the global wealth was in India. And when the British left, India was 4%.
India was 4% hence, the freedom struggle, struggle for independence against this oppressive rule. And this history inspired me It blew me away completely. And I was looking at myself and feeling ashamed of myself looking in the mirror, who am I, what am I doing? Is this what is this what I was born for?
And look at my ancestors, look, look where I come from, look, look at the background I have, and look what I'm doing to my life.
Long story short, I come back to Britain. My father, my grandfather passed away on the day of Eid, Adel, aha. He was buried after Margaret. And I left him when he was alive. And I'm sure he prayed for me and maybe Allah guided me in my heart wasn't the same. When I came back. My friends, were calling me let's go to this club. Let's go and do this and chilled out and chill this and you know, and I don't want to give the details. Right? Do this do that come this biggest fitna in the world. I mean, this is now smartphone. Right? This is a bigger fitna. Now because at that time we had those the other phones, you know, Nokia, what?
Not Not, not not bricks, bricks are older. These are smaller phones in early 2000s 3310, or something like Nokia 33. Those who are elderly in this crowd, like myself, they know. So we had those phones in those times. So they used to call me so my heart changed. I didn't want to indulge in those things anymore because I had that
dos. If I had that dos I received
what is the play computer? Okay.
I had that powerful dos I received, reading those books about my ancestors and the example so I completely switched. And then long story short.
I keep saying Long story short, there are too many stories to shorten, unfortunately. Right. Right. So
I used to dress like, like a street boy, you know, chains, those thin beds, I don't know what they were called. Yeah. And added us, you know, rings. And like trainers like that. So, my sister Alhamdulillah. She was already practicing. And she gave me some tapes to listen to. This man I was listening to was an extremist. Now I know that he was, but maybe I needed I needed a strong dose. You know, who Mr. Daga wouldn't work on me? You know that song? Because I came from the street. And that Tablighi Jamaat soft, soft Dawa. I don't mean to insult. I don't mean to insult publickey brothers. No, no, no, they're built there. They're doing some good work. They're doing some good
work. But that kind of wouldn't work on me. Right? I needed a strong dose, an extreme dose, right. So I, my sister gave me some tapes. And I started listening to this person. And that person I was thinking, you know, it was it was at times it was humorous. I was amused by listening to this guy, because he was too. It was too extreme. You know, and those days, this afghan and Palestine thing was going on, you know, there was a lot of conflict in Palestine and youngsters were watching news, and I was one of them. And I was very disturbed by that. So I listened to those tapes. So what I would do was, I would listen to Tupac, his raps in nothing but a gangster party. Have you heard
that? Right, those of you know, right, I would listen to songs like that. And then sometimes I would listen to this hypnotize. I mean, I don't want you to go and start Googling this, don't worry about it, right. So I would listen to this stuff half an hour, and then I would put in the tape. And then I would look, I mean, when I'm, I'm driving, I'm going on long drives. So half the time I'm listening to Tupac, and other rappers from the US, and you know, really gang, ugly gangster raps really bad ones, you know, like violence and talking about drugs, and they're in assaulting women and things like that. And then look at the contrast, then I would put the tapes of this person I was
listening to, and then he was quoting the Quran and Hadees and he's talking about the conflicts in the world and you know, that Muslims need to do something and all that.
You know, this is this is and then slowly, what happened was the RAPs faded away. And I started listening to doing these talks more and more and more, then came a point. I packed all my CDs, I went home one day, this is this is keeping me away from Allah.
That that point, that tipping point, point came in my life, I had to decide, either this book was or this whatever version of Islam I was exposed to as, as an ignorant youth, right?
I packed my CDs and chuck them in the bin. I remember that day.
And then I started listening to this person live, I started going to his lectures, and then I started listening to all many other scholars and preachers and talkers. And I basically shopped around as a youngster, looking for my way, basically, that was the beginning of my Islam. And I was struggling still, because my friend was still calling me was telling my friends was still calling me. So one day I was sitting,
sitting down and thinking, looking at I took the chip out, you know, the phone chip. I took it out and I was looking at it.
I looked at it and I was thinking this little piece of plastic is between me and Allah subhanaw taala It is literally it's holding me back. It is stopping me from praying and mixing with the right people.
And that was the only source of communication between me and my bad company and my friends. I you know, took a deep breath and I broke it.
I broke it. And that was it. And hamdulillah it was peace after that. Those guys disappeared they were calling me but I didn't know they were calling me so I didn't have to respond to them and I got
I got mixing with the right crowd the brothers were encouraging me to pray salah, then I would go to these lectures still looking like a gangster rings chains. These guys will look at me all these brothers with long beards and you know, do bars and everything. And they're thinking this guy. This guy looked like a rap. You know, he looked like a rap rap artist and he's sitting in the front row and very serious about it then
You know, I was a very active person from a very young age, you know, when I believed in something when I want to do something I want to do it to, to, to to max to maximum potential for this way, right? Whether it was good or bad, unfortunately, right? So when it came to good, I thought, Okay, I'm learning all of this, I need to share it.
So in 2001 2002, I started going to Speaker's Corner when all of this transition was happening. I'm debating talking to people in Speaker's Corner. Right? While I look like a gangster, I'm wearing added awesome wedding chains. I didn't wear earrings. Alhamdulillah, right. I didn't have any of that. And I'm still looking like a street boy. And I'm quoting verses of the Quran. And I'm giving a hadith to people and I'm telling you, Islam is the truth. Islam is the right way. And I'm talking when I'm arguing with Christians, I'm arguing with
some other people you know, who would come to the park. One day when I was there, and a brother was watching from distance. I pray for him. I don't remember his face. I don't remember his identity. His one statement changed my life. This is why I never belittle any of your good deeds. My brother's don't ever belittle even a sentence of truth. Even a sentence said to someone can change his or her life. Like this sentence changed my life. Okay? Because I was still struggling with the Muslim identity with the new Muslim identity. I mean, are still in a phase, it could be a phase, and phase could be over and I could go back easily. If my friends found me, I could easily go back to my old
life, right? This brother comes to me.
And because he gave me in the car with love and compassion, he could have come to me what the hell is wrong with you, man? afek. Look at you. Look at look at look, look at your look, look, look, look, look, look at you yourself. Have you seen yourself in the mirror? And you're talking about Allah and His messenger?
Don't judge people because you don't know what they're going through, you know, you don't know where they are in the journey. You can easily put them off you can easily throw them off. I was very weak at the time. And I was trying to find solace and strength in doubt. What I was learning. I was sharing what I was learning or sharing. So it was a journey for me. So imagine if that brother came to me, and he was from the Sharia police. Right. And he had probably could have had a taco attack. You know, I call them *wad attack, you know, like we have heart attack. We have brain hemorrhage. We have Taco attack as well. You have this taco police walking around a lot of times, trying to
impose taco on people and cherry on people which is not wrong, by the way. But you need to know where when, who and how these things are very important. Hekima which Allah teaches in the Quran, so when you advise always advice with love and compassion, if you are sincere, if you want people to believe in Allah and His messenger. It's not always about fighting and putting people down and defeating them in an argument. So this brother came to me
he did this to me on my chin, said Wallah, what you're saying is so beautiful. Why don't you keep a beard? It will look so beautiful on you. And my beard was at the time was that one you know, barley sagoo beard? I don't know if you know, barley. So, you know, again, if you're elderly, you would know barley sagoo is right. It was that bed, you know, so?
You know, that shook me. When he said that I don't remember his face. I don't remember him. Who he was one sentence he said it and he went away.
Are you saying the things you think are so beautiful, just keep the bed.
From that day, I never shaved my beard.
I never shaved the you know, when you could shave, cleaning your bed, never to this day, 20 years. And the reward goes to that brother. And when I kept the beard when it came down, it determined my identity for me, there was no going back. There was no going back my bit my was my strength. I found
strength in my appearance that now I look like a Muslim. Now Muslim I have to be a Muslim. And that was it. And then the journey became easier. And then Alhamdulillah I want to again cut the long story short because i The purpose is not to tell my life story in
an autobiography. The purpose is to share some glimpses so that maybe it may be useful for some brothers and sisters out there.
So this was it. When I became practicing when I fought my temptations and distractions that was still there. Don't get me wrong shaytaan will still attack you will lie in those early stages of Islam when I used to pray I used to get what's worse shaytaan you might be wasting your life you know look at you remember that club. You remember that music you remember those friends? You remember? You remember those guys? You used to
used to hang around with you don't know those cars and other details you remember all while I'm praying
all the way languishes on the regime stock federal law
I was having a debate once with a Christian Yeah. And then something happened something like this happened as the Holy Spirit is working
where was I?
Yeah, was was I was getting these words for us in masala Subhan Allah look, remember those guys, you know, do you really want to do this? You might be wasting your life, you're gonna now become strict. You can't do this. You can't do that you can't listen to music, what life is that? Where is the fun? What's going to happen, you're going to you're going to be depressed, you're going to be down, you're gonna go back, this is just a phase, all of these things will come into my mind shaytaan non stop, full, full throttle onslaught. Someone like me? And I'm thinking Subhanallah, what do I do? And then I forced myself to make some progress. I shared my concerns with the other one, I'm getting
these words. They said, Brother, don't worry, calm down. Just keep going, keep going, keep going slowly fight the shutdown, you know, it will be better, it will be better Alhamdulillah Allahu Akbar, they came a time. And of course shaytan will never leave you alone. He will always come back with powerful attack sometimes doubts about Islam. So you start practicing you're a new Muslim doubts will come to you. You learn you're learning something, something doesn't make sense to you because you don't have the knowledge. You don't have the knowledge you don't have the knowledge to appreciate it. shaytaan will come and attack you full onslaught. Hold on a second is does this even
make sense? Are you on the right path? Is this even true? All of these things happen to me. I went through all of that. But I persisted. I trusted Allah.
And I put my trust in Allah I kept going. And always when I couldn't answer a doubt in my mind, I always trusted in Allah and I expected from Allah to bring the answer to me and walleye answers came to me. You have to be patient with Islam. You have to be patient. You have to be patient and Allah will bring the answers to you and don't give up easily don't fall for shutdowns was was Don't worry. If you're going through that journey. If you are in the beginning stages of Islam, don't give up easily. Because this is when Satan the devil, the shaitan will attack you. This is when he wants he finds you the weakest, vulnerable he will come to you with tempted even if you fall into sin again.
Even if you go back temporarily. Don't stay in sin come back, come back fight the shaytaan even if you fall into sincere stuck ferula ask Allah for forgiveness and come back. And when you keep coming back when you persistent when you insist on following Islam, when there is goodness inside you, Allah will guide you, Allah will always guide you take one step towards Allah, Allah will take 10 steps towards you. And I saw that with my with my own eyes in my life. So
then I started studying
when I realized these early teachers were extreme and they were teaching erroneous things. I kind of became distanced. And I started doing my own studies. I started reading books, my oldest was very good. I was fluent in Urdu and some of the Islamic literature is translated I think the Urdu language is the biggest language when it comes to Islamic literature after Arabic itself after the Arabic language most classical books, Islamic books have been translated into the Urdu language it was Persian before but also has beaten Persian now because of India and Pakistan large populations lot large people reading would do books so I found a lot of literature to do I read Obadiah when
they have him Luca theory Mamanuca theory already mom so ut study will qualify nor do the translation or at some other classical liberal Josie I used to have a lot of suas Wallah. You know even making wudu I used to be making Blue six times. You know, I'm sure you have had who has had this problem.
Excessive taqwa, you know Taqwa attacks, excessive extreme Taqwa. You know why the shaytaan distri why shaytan does this to you, so that you leave for Allah so that you get sick of it. You're so tired that you have to help with this. What is this? I don't want to do this.
And that started happening to me I would be saying Bismillah Bismillah Bismillah in the toilet like 50 times
because I wanted my wudu to be perfect. Making Stenger housing I'm not clean, washing myself five times, because I want to be perfect. You know, and this is a game shape on
Laser you will never be 100% clean. It's impossible. Allah did not ask you to take a microscope and go zooming in looking for dirt and filth on you know, there are basics, do the basics and move on. There is no perfection Allah is not expecting perfection from us. Allah expects an effort from us make an effort and move on, make an effort and move on. So I was going through all that. So someone advised me to read Toby's IBLEES devils deception by a majority. Imam April Josie, I read that book, and they go there was was of shaitan Alhamdulillah. That book helped me because it deals specifically with the topic how shaytan attacks you the tactics, the methodologies of Shaitan to
distract you to take you away from your deen. So I read books like that, right. Then I read other books, I got involved in discussions and dialogues and debates. I was reading, reading and then I was an activist by nature. I started doing what was in misogyny. I remember the first time I did a football was on I think 2004.
And there was a crowd of 1000 people in front of me. And my legs were shaking. People couldn't see because I was wearing a shell bar. You're not sure why you cannot see legs shaking, right? Because shanwa is, is loose. If I was wearing tight trousers,
people would see my legs shaking. My legs were shaking like that. I'm looking at 1000 people in front of me and people could tell this guy. He's not an expert in speaking. But that was my first time. I you know, took the bold step. You know, I was not a public speaker. My English wasn't perfect. My English was very Pakistani. Right. You know, in fact, when I came to Britain, I one of my first jobs was in gap, you know, gap jeans, right?
In Brent cross shopping center. It's a very big, famous shopping center in northwest London. So when I started my job, when I would speak English, all those guys, they would laugh at me. Right?
Once there was a manager we had her name was velvet. Okay with V. Pakistanis cannot say v by the way. You know that, right? They always say w. And once. Once she was she was asking for someone, she sent me to call someone and I said, Well, what is calling you? Well, what is calling you? And you're loving the heads of I'm thinking what the hell did I say?
They were laughing at my English because my I couldn't say v. And they were telling me well, that is very bad as well. Well, well, yeah, he's calling and I couldn't. So my English was really bad, right? I thought I knew English, but it was basic, right? Basic, how are you? How do you do a low slung with a comb? You know, all that.
So, in that one year, I learned that street, you know, vernacular, English language from all those guys I used to work with, right. And then later on, I went to uni in 2006. I took up a degree in history, and that really helped me improve my language. So my goodbyes were not perfect. I still went on and I wanted to share what I learned. Then, now coming to Dawa, and debates very quickly, before um, you're not getting bored brothers, are you? I'm not exhausting you. Am I? Okay, so we're coming to the end the food is so I'm also tempted. I'm a human, you know, I so.
So coming to Darwin debates, how did I get into debates? Some of you might have watched my debates with Christian scholars. I've debated some of the major theologians. I never imagined myself. In fact, once I was
delivering a lecture in Southbank University, my father was visiting London, and he was sitting in the audience. And after I finished, he said, you know, what I was looking at, I was looking at that young kid running through the fields of Haripur village, when I'm playing with playing with kids in the village said, I could never imagine my son standing and talking like this to people said I could see that young child running because I lived two years in my village. I went to school in the village as well. So I had that experience as well, village life. So he was looking at that boy, you know, so Subhanallah that was very inspirational and encouraging for my father. So in 2006 or seven,
while while I was doing what was and I had moved on from some of these old teachers I had and I was learning myself and I was teaching myself I put some effort into it. Some brothers came to me and they said, there is this shaitan in the park, Speaker's Corner. Okay. His name is Jay Smith. I mean, this is what they told me. Yeah, this is what they said that he just attacks Islam. He doesn't preach his religion. He is not he's not interested in preaching the Gospels. He simply attacks Islam. He's attacking the Prophet. He's attacking his honor is a little bit adada.
So, okay, and they said, We think you can deal with them as Okay, now
problem, let's go. I went, I mean, I had a break from the park, I ended up in the park in the very early stages. Then I had a break from the park for few years, couple of years, three years. Then I went back, I'm listening this guy on the ladder, and he's attacking Islam. He's saying things about the prophets, Allah, Salah, Musa you Speaker's Corner, basically, they have a law there that you can preach what you like, as long as you're not preaching violence, and, you know,
and then it's all okay, otherwise, it's all okay. Right?
Which is fine, which is fine. Right? They have to be rules and regulations, they have to be limits to what people say and what people want. So he was preaching a lot of unpleasant things
against Islam and Muslims and the Prophet of Islam. So I got very angry, I got very angry will lie. You know that, you know, anger, you know, that passion. Just woke up. And I said, I went straight to him and I said, next week, I'm debating you, and I'm going to show you why you're wrong. So he said, No problem. So I had no intention to become the debater which I became later, I had no plan. I did not plan it. Allah just pushed me into it.
Allah just push me into it. And I thank Jay Smith to this day, and if you're watching Jay Smith, okay, I thank him to this day. Thank you for making Adnan Rashid, thank you for attacking Islam, and driving that passion through me that I started defending it. And then I went on to debate a lot more Christian scholars, and we are doing that. Doing that to this day, and we're doing it so that the Christians in the world can see that Islam is the truth. Christianity is not true.
Okay, Trinity is not true. Jesus is not God. Bible is not the word of God. Okay? These are things we want to tell the Christian world. No matter how hard you missionaries, try, your scholars try to spin the reality is this spin facts and and and misrepresent the reality? The reality remains the same. Jesus is not God. The Trinity is a manmade fabrication and blasphemy against God. The Bible is mixed with falsehood, stories, fables and truth. In other words, as a collection of works is not the word of God. It's not the word of God. So next week, I debated him And Alhamdulillah you know, because I was for the whole week. This was my first debate in my life. I was I overdid it, right? I
over prepared. I had books with me, I carried books with me. And I was into history. From a very young age. I used to collect coins as a child as well. And I still do to this day is one of my passions, Islamic numismatics. So I had some stuff with me and when he would say that
the you don't have any Quran from the first century of Islam I would pull out an ummah yet coin from a pocket
and OMA yet coin from the first century of Islam with the Quran on it, it is dated.
So as a You liar, look at this, I have a dated coin, and oh, my yet coin, which has Surah a class on it. And then Surah nine, verse 30, Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu been Hoda. verdienen Huck the youth Hirahara de Nicola colocar el Bucha de Kooning is there on the coin, right, so I started debating him. And slowly, the debates escalated, they became more frequent, more frequent, and then they ended up on YouTube. And then what happened, we started to have formal debates with Christian scholars, it took us a while to get the hang of it. Of course, initially, when you do something in the start, it's not perfect. It's not always great. When we started to debate. And then we started
to study. We needed to sign we didn't want to do bad, we're representing Islam and Muslims, okay. And it's a lot of pressure. There's a lot of pressure on your head when you're debating at times will lie. I had one of the debates I'm not gonna say which debates, I wasn't fully prepared. And I fell in such dire and I said, Oh, Allah, this is your dean. This is your dean, you protected you defend it, it's got nothing to do with me. It's got nothing to do with me. You protect it. Subhan Allah. And Allah Allah knows what happened in that debate by was a good debate. hamdulillah right. So we we used to work hard, read a lot of books on the history of the Bible,
the history of Christianity, the history of the Christian doctrine, how Christian doctrine was formed, it took 300 years for Trinity to be formalized. The doctrine of the Trinity in the first century didn't exist it sorry, it didn't exist in its current form in the second century didn't exist in its current form in the third century of Christianity. 300 years after Jesus doesn't exist.
history's current form, it is in the fourth century, late fourth century, when it is properly defined and formalized that this is the doctrine of the Trinity God the Father, God, the Son, God, the Holy Spirit.
And this is one God.
Right? One being three persons. This is when he was defined. So we studied all this history and started debating. We debated in Australia, in, in the US, and in Africa, in South Africa, in Britain. Alhamdulillah we had debates all over the place, you can watch some of them on YouTube. If you type our names, you will see the debates. And then the effect the effect of this data we could see a lot of people watching around the world you know Dawa
is not only to convert people to Islam, it is to strengthen the Imam of the Muslims as well. Right?
It is Dawa is multifaceted, right? It doesn't only have one outcome or one intention. Dawa is to show the Muslim masses that we have a very powerful faith. We have a very powerful idea. We have a very powerful philosophy. Our Deen can stand the test of time our deen can withhold our deen can stand its ground. Even though we are not the most eloquent people in the world. Even though we are not the most learned people in the world. We are very limited in our knowledge. Despite all that the truth speaks for itself. Well lie some of the people I've debated
when it comes to eloquence, when it comes to eloquence. There is no comparison between us and them no comparison in the English language as well. They are
experts or rhetoric, experts of language experts of sophistry, they can twist your minds in ways you cannot imagine. And because they don't have the Huck, they lose the debate. They cannot defend the ideology, the faith, they fail. They fail to convince the audience about the Trinity, let's say or even the veracity or the authenticity of the Bible.
So the debates continued. And after that these debates then grew. I mean, we started debating some Jewish rabbis. We had debates with them. We had debates with the Shia, some of them can be seen in the park and elsewhere. Right? We have very, very long discussions. So Alhamdulillah this is how we ended up in Dawa and debates. We were inspired by people, in fact, in the mid 2000s, when I got into these kinds of discussions and dialogues. I you know, in those days, you had VHS tapes, the big ones, some of you youngsters haven't seen those. Right. Right. So youngsters, they haven't seen those tapes. They don't know what they are, they can be found in museums nowadays. Yeah. Okay. Those
VCRs the big, you know, video players, and then the videotape that would go into them was a VHS, big tape. So I used to get those from Islamic bookshops, Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, his debates, I would watch, sit down and watch his debates and take notes. I had a Bible, I would highlight the passages, memorize them, and go and use the same arguments. Although we have moved on from some of those arguments, shake it that is Davos very powerful, very important, absolutely necessary to inspire the Muslims around the world to wake the Muslims up to the power of Islam in argumentation. He was the pioneer of Dawa I believe SHEIKH AHMED Sheikh Ahmed Deedat is the pioneer of Dawa in the 20th
century, and whatever is happening right now. In Bala in debates in dialogues and discussions. Allah is rewarding him Allah is rewarding him in his grave all the people who are listening to the our videos, Zakir Naik, green dragon green, Bilal, you know, name so many names I can give you, right all of these dots were directly inspired by Sheikh Ahmed Deedat.
directly inspired by Sheikh Ahmed Deedat.
And imagine there was a man who inspired Sheikh Ahmed Deedat. Imagine his reward.
Sheikh Ahmed Deedat found a book in the storeroom where he was working in South Africa. The book was authored by a sheikh Khalid Sheikh Rahmatullah que Rana we, in the 19th century.
The Bucha book was pretty much forgotten by the Muslim ummah completely forgotten. Not many people knew about the book is Harald Huck, the book is titled is how to hug. People, even scholars didn't know about this book.
The dad finds it as a young man in South Africa in one of the storerooms and he reads it. And then he starts practicing these, these arguments with Christian missionaries who will using him as a punching bag.
So if you listen to Sheikh Ahmed Deedat story, he used to be a young man working in a shop Christian missionaries would walk in and they will try the arguments, something they've learned at the school. They would go and try on this young man he would be like baffled, completely blown away. How do we respond? And Allah made this young man this young
the man who led the hour in the 20th century, through his debates and dialogues and lectures and talks and inspiration he gave to us. And then Alhamdulillah I am one of those products, I watched his lectures, took immense inspiration from him, And Alhamdulillah whatever work we have done, he has a huge share in that delay, may Allah have mercy on him and blessing me genital for those. I mean, he was not perfect. He was not perfect, no doubt, no one is perfect, no one, but you have to look at the positives. Don't ever point at the pixel okay, like many Muslims do, we are very negative, generally speaking, we look at the pixel and ignore the picture, look at the picture and
ignore the pixel. Okay, you will listen to a lecture for one hour and one sentence in that lecture, you will point to that sentence and ignore the entire lecture.
We need to change the way we look at things, Islamic legacy in particular. So my brothers or sisters, those of you who are watching and listening.
This was my life story, my Dawa and how I got it, I got involved in it. And if you want some more details, how we do our how we indulge in dialogues and debates. Please watch some of our discussions online. We have had many hostile I mean, semi hostile, I would say
discussions in the park because they turn hostile unfortunately, not because we choose them to be hostile. But our opponents are interlocutors sometimes they're not decent people. So, you know, we avoid debating people like that. But sometimes you're forced to do it. And then we have formal debates with scholars, intellectuals, authors, people who have some repute within their communities, and we'll discuss a dialogue with them and this will continue. And I advise my brothers and sisters and my descendants, because they may be listening to me in the future.
That no matter what happens, don't ever doubt Islam. Don't ever give up Islam. Don't ever leave Islam for anything.
For anything, it is the greatest blessing of Allah subhanaw taala yo your Creator, your maker, the One who created the universe, there is nothing better than Islam. There is nothing more beautiful than Islam. There is no more there is no other philosophy, which which breaks Islam which defeats Islam and argument and debates if you are learned if you are learned. So if you do not understand something, it is a problem with your knowledge, your lack of knowledge, not with Islam, and what it stands for. On that note, I will end I have already spoken for long, I think and I will take questions. If if anyone has questions. Thank you so much for being patient with me