Channel: The Deen Show
So I'll make some guys from Boca Raton, sunny Florida, some more exciting special guests. And Rashida is no exception here, former Christian Sunday school teacher onto the show.
I'm Alicia rasheeda Shaheen. And my journey to Islam started. When I, when I was a teenager, basically, I lost my mother at the age of 12, which led me on a journey
to kind of like, spend time with the elderly, so that I can kind of reminisce on my mother's pound cake, because they knew they knew how to cook it back in Georgia, because that's where I was born. And because I went on a Sunday, and I will go and help them, they end up taking me to church with them. So I will go to church with them. And I was sitting Sunday school, and I would ask all kinds of question trying to find out why God took my mother.
Well, quite naturally, when I use those kind of questions, you know, you're gonna sound like, wow, this is a 1314 year, 14 year old child accent these in depth questions. So they thought j and knowledge. Well, anyway, I went from the Sunday school room, asking questions to the pulpit, delivering,
you know, lectures, or preaching, as they say, in the Pentecostal church.
And I did that for a while, I did it for maybe a year, and the church congregation group. And I only narrated stories that I like stories that, you know, I felt, comfort me. And but one day when I was up there on that particular pulpit,
God took the words in the name of Jesus out of my mouth, I could not out of those words. I didn't know what was happening to me. But I tried as hard as I could to say those words, but they would not come out. And so when I finished the lecture that day, I went to the elders of the church, and I said to them, I said, something happened today. I cannot say the words in the name of Jesus, I don't know, I had to even write it for them. I can't say these words anymore. I had to write it. And so they said, well, they laid hands on me, you know, as you know, in that particular religion, and they pray for me, like 30 days, and I still could not say it, it still didn't change things. So they said
I had back slit. And I said, Oh, no, I did not. I believe there's a God, I know there's a God, don't tell me that there is no God because I know it. And I said, if you can't give me the answer, then I will go and find it myself. So I went on a search. And I went to the Church of Christ, of course.
And Robin Williams, he was there. And, you know, God leads us and he touches us in ways that we have no, no knowledge of. But you know, by the grace of God, this minister was patient he's taught, sat me down, and he taught me the beginning of creation, all the way up to the birth of Jesus. He gave me that background knowledge I need in order to accept Islam whenever it came into my life. And I stayed with him for a couple of years. And I worked with him and then I, while I was in college, I decided to relocate to Florida. And he, he contacted Robin Williams, another Robin Williams in Fort Lauderdale, where I went to went to that particular church, but it was nothing like Robin Williams,
Reverend way he was he was educated. He had his ministry
in theology, and he was awesome. But when I came to Fort Lauderdale, I had a more of a personal I mean, you know, personal, just minister whatever he I don't know where he got his knowledge from, but he was like, night and day with my Reverend William, he wore the pink suits, and he had his hair process and, you know, look flirtatious with the women. And it just turned me off. So I kind of like didn't go to church anymore.
I just said, I have to wait. And so I just went on to college, continue my education, still, still debated with religion. I love debating religion, defending you know, God, and love One day while I was at work, and I think I debated with one of my co workers for a year. I said, you know, you he was Muslim. And I said, Give me that quote on us to keep speaking of Let me see that book. So on a Friday, he wrote out for me how to make Voodoo, how to do evolution. And he gave me the, you know, the direction that he said before you read my book, this book I'm giving you, you have to make, you have to promise me that you're going to do evolution, you have to make this evolution and then then
you read it and then
You tell me what you think. And it was on a Friday.
And so I, I was so excited. I took the book, and I was just ready to go home. Well, lo and behold, I have my first test. With that book. I wrote home with the Jehovah Witness every Friday, you know, every day, she gave me a ride home. With that day, I had the book and I'm skipping, I'm ready. I'm so excited. She tells me she said, Leisha, you can't get in my car with that book. I said,
Excuse me, what did you say? She said, you the book that Eric gave you. You can't get in my car with that book. I said, Well, I'm walking today because I'm rounding this book home and I'm reading this book. So I got out of her car and I started walking. And Eric came by he saw me walk and he said, Why are you walking? I said, Well, Mary said, I can't get in her car with your book. And I'm right. I'm walking home. I'm gonna read this book. So that was my first test. I didn't know it at the time. But I was being tested. I took that book home, I went home, I had my dinner. I asked my dinner, I made the ablution like he said, it was about seven or eight and and then I began to compare I got
the Bible, put it on the bed I got the Quran and put it on the bed and I I will read the beginning of the maybe the first verses of the Bible. And then I will read the first verses of the Quran and then I got up to sort of the Bukhara
to the part where it says all you who believe
this is the one to blame and shutdown regimes relator daddy Kalki tabula revathi who de Lille
Illallah Dena, you know, it goes on and it says in this book, there is truth. There is no doubt for those who believe. And I'm thinking Oh, no doubt, no doubt for those who believe. And then it goes on to say, you know, how God gave that book. But anyway, after I got to the nine first, I passed out, I wait completely to sleep. I don't know what hit me is like a drug game over me. I just went to sleep. And I woke up at St that morning at 2:30am in the morning with the worst night Mayor ever.
All I remember and I still remember as vivid as today. All these things coming out of my head the more I pool The more I you know, it was the I was so frightened. It was like Medusa, the more I pulled it was so real to me. And I I became so frightened. I thought somebody had put something in my you know, my college. In my dorm. I thought somebody put something in my food or in my dream. I go and I dial 911 and I told the operator I said, someone you need to send someone over somebody put something in my food. I don't know what happened. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I never use drugs. Something is wrong. I had this horrible thing coming out of my head. I don't know. It's like I'm
hallucinating. Please send someone and then the person on the phone said slow down What happened? Tell me what, tell me what, what you were doing before you went to sleep? And I said, Well, I was my friend gave me a book on his Quran. And I had my Bible and I was comparing it to books. And then I fell asleep. And he said, he saw his lap and he said it's gonna be okay. As it is. He said yes. He said, that's just God's way of purifying you. He's taken all those bad concepts out of your head. And he is you're going to be Muslim? And I said I am. He said, Yes. He just clears in the new you're gonna be Muslim. I said, I am. Who's talking? Who's telling you this? This is the 911 call the nine
one operators telling you telling me this? And then I said,
Really? He said yes. He said,
he said, all you have to do is know that there is a God. I said, No, there is God, I always believe that there is a God. He said, Well, then you have to also not just believe that there's one God, but you have to accept that Mohammed is the messenger of God. I said, Really? And then he said, I said, Well, I know that God exists. And if Mohammed is the last prophet of messenger of God, and God truly sent him, I can accept whatever God's sin because I'm that kind of person. And I said, so if that's what it takes to be a Muslim, and that's what will stop these things from coming out of my head. I'll be Muslim right now, if that's what God want me to do. So the 911 operator was Muslim himself.
Well, let me finish the story.
And so he said, Well, if you sure that you want to be Muslim, then you know he asked me to take the Shahada right then and there, I took the Shahada and he had me repeat after him. And at that took the shadow saying
La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasul Allah and he said,
That there is no god but one God, whose proper name is Allah. And that Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam is his last messenger of Allah. And he helped me say that. And he said, Now you are Muslim. I said, I am he's I said, that's it. He said, Yes. He said, that's all it takes. And all you have to do now is believe that and practice the read the Quran, follow the laws of God, and you know, be a good person, you know, and that's it. That's, that's the Islamic life, you are a Muslim? And I said, Really? He said, Yes. And then he said, How did you get my number? He said, I'm in murshid at the sunrise machine. I said, What do you mean? How do I get your number down? 911. And he said, so
panela because I woke up that dream, and I doubt 911 and brother in law, he This is my life story. I don't tell it often because to me, it is so profound and so bizarre. But this is how I lost one with Allah brought me into the religion of Islam. And it was in the middle of the night. And then he exchange my his number with me. He said, Well, I'm, I'm the man at the masjid. And this is my number. He gave me his phone number. And I took his phone number and he gave me the name of a sister who can communicate with me and helped me through the process of my,
my new life as a Muslim. And then he asked me who gave me the book, and he said, and I told him,
a brother by the name of Eric, Shaheed, and he said, Oh, okay, I tell brother, Shahid, that you, you're now Muslim, I'll call him and let him know, in the morning. And I said, Okay, thank you, Denise. And, and that was it. And I was went off the phone, brother. And I went back to sleep. And my dream changed totally. After that, that same night God gave me, he made me Muslim. And he also gave my calling. Because my dream went from me with all those things coming out of my head to meet teaching, grows in heels and heels of people dressed in white. And I've been teaching ever since. So I couldn't get away from teaching. So some kind of law that is, that is my life in Islam. I first
started out teaching myself because Allah showed me the verse where he said, If you read, learn one eye yet, the first week that accept Islam, you learn one eye, yet you teach it to another. So for some strange reason
I got along with Quran, my brother Shahi gave me a book with the transliteration and for the Arabic. So I taught myself affect the hair. So when I went to the masjid the first time that he Ma'am, he said, I want you to observe today because, you know, we are learning we are new in this religion, too. And we are learning the Quran, and so everybody's learning up that to him. So at first I didn't know what he was talking about. But when he recited, you know, facts,
and whatnot, it was so for me, I said, Wait a minute, I know this. He said, No, you don't know this. I said, Yes, I know this. I learned this this week. He said, You just been a Muslim for 578 years, but I just learned it. And I said, let me recite it for you see if I'm saying it correctly, and I recited
to him in Arabic. And he says so cuando la this system is an example for all of us, because we've been Muslim for 1015 years and we have not learned about the hair. In Arabic. We know it in English, but we don't know it in Arabic. And here she just recited it to us in Arabic so she is an example so Mashallah, that's my initial
in Islam, I've been teacher in Islam principle of the weekend school. Right now I do to revert class. I'm a teacher in the public school
girl scout leader, and that's my life I have dedicated my life to doing good for whoever come into my life. And I tried to be the best example best model, not saying I'm perfect, I still love to guide me and help me and to give people what they need at the time of their whatever they seek from me if it's good, and help me to deliver that from an Islamic perspective. And that's it because before Islam, my life was like a wandering fool. I didn't know anything. It was like blind faith. I didn't even know what my life was going to be or what I should be or how I should live in Islam have taught me that he gave me purpose while Cipolla is very profound. let's reverse a little bit go back
to the 911 call, which was actually elaborate on this. Just amazing. So your drink you woke up from a dream? A nightmare. And you thought you were calling 911. But you received a number from a mom, can you point clarify that again? I woke up in a dream. And by the grace of God, what law he added
911 because I did not know of any matches, or any Muslim organization at the time. And I actually dial 911 because I wanted emergency to come and, but allows angels, Jin, whoever they channeled that call to the Imam, and it went to him. Maybe the operator was drunk that night, who knows?
Went to the Imam.
And that's, you know, and at first he treated me like, you know, I guess he thought I was just a follower or someone calling him. And he, you know, when I narrate my story, he just said,
you know this? Yes, we actually found out what I was doing that I was comparing, doing comparative study of the Quran and the Bible, he knew that I was searching for Islam, and he told me that I was going to be Muslim.
You know, so, and that was that, but he didn't know I didn't have his number at the time when he said that amazing Subhan Allah. So you are preaching and teaching as a Sunday school teacher tell us the things that you would talk about, we know that the concept pretty much for Christianity is pretty much the same, that Jesus is the Son, then you had the follow there, then you had the Holy Ghost, not three, but one, and the Trinity. And then the death and resurrection of Jesus, were the some of the things that you do or give us like some of the things even now I like, unlike a story ologists I love telling them stories, I would more or less narrate a story. Some of my favorite was
prophet newt. And you know, and that tells a story in such a profound way that and, you know, I like to give it dramatics and you know,
but then I know that every story has a moral to it. And I would always give my moral opinion of that story at the end. And in the in the story of profit, loot, I would always say, let us not be like, profit loot.
Family and the followers, and the people the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, let us be obedient to God, let us be one that God would reverence one that God would appreciate. So that's the way I would always in my stories, and people loved it. So I, I let them know who were disobedient, we will end up like, Prophet Luke's wife, because when God said, Don't look back, meaning Don't look back on things that you errors that you made, don't look back, if you look back at your history, look at it as a learning lesson. Don't look back at it as a place you want to go back to always appreciate the life that you live, and move forward and look at it as a growth process. You know, and so that's
basically how I
live my life. Now, I feel I believe that every hardship, or every good is a step in the direction of knowledge and wisdom. It is a learning process, bringing us closer to God. If we own a side of error, that is bringing us away from God.
I truly believe that and that's why i guess i submerge myself with people say, you know, why don't you focus on getting a job when I didn't have a job? Why would you focus on given a job and give up you're you're doing the Girl Scouts, you're doing the river clubs, you're doing all of these things? Why don't you just put your charity work aside? And then I said no, because God in my life, I need him in my life. And why would I put away God in order for me to help myself when God is the one who's gonna help me in in any way? So I continue to do my charity work you in September don't have gas I said, Oh, God, I don't have gas to get to the class.
But he made it he make it possible. I wrote here sometime on my, my light my gas light on and it takes me here and it takes me back home. So Pamela Glory be to God. So we don't estimate the power of God. I all believed after way I came into Islam. I do not underestimate the power of God. He has always been there for me. I'm the mother of seven children. And he, even with my seven children, I've gotten down to my one can of corn or whatever, or whatever I needed to feed them. And I said, oh god, you said do not kill your offsprings for fear of poverty. And you know my situation better than me. And so Pamela, I get a knock on that door that night. And then I'm one of my Muslim
brothers and sisters say you know, my mother passed away. Here is the car they gave me her $800 they gave me $400 they give me see, this is how I always believe in Allah subhanaw taala and whenever I have to ask the person, Allah Allah says to me when he said the verse He always gave me a verse they asked me to do the things I have to do. He said they are test for you and you are tested.
them. So if I ask for charity, it is a test for that person I'm asking, and it is a test for me, because you only asked if you really need it. And the person who you're asking it from it is because they either have it or they don't. It is a test for them to God to give it so. So panela and this is this is this is Islam. This is what Islam taught me that everything is a purpose. Everything is a reason. And it is to make our lives better and stronger. Just a couple more questions. Your connection now to Jesus peace be upon many people that have this misconception that they don't know this deep love that we have for Jesus peace be upon them. So what's your connection to Jesus now?
Because many people hear Oh, you know, you love Christianity. You love Jesus, you love God? What do you say? And have you had some experience talking to some of your family members who who are from the church who are Christian, I have it all the time because all of my sisters and brothers, believe it or not, except for my older brother, he, he he he's not borderline atheist, but he just don't like Christianity. And he haven't decided where to go yet. But all of my other sisters and brothers, they are deep into church, they go to church all the time. And you know what I told them, they asked me, they said, you know, Jesus, Jesus is this. And I said, you know, why? Give what as of Jesus,
what he didn't ask to himself. I said, in your scripture, it says, Jesus say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Even he prayed to the God that created him.
And yet, why did you pray to Jesus, who prayed to the God who created him? Why not pray to the one who created Jesus and you get the most powerful, powerful
rendition of living the true religion of God? You know, and, and then I said, why not live the way Jesus say live? He said, do not worship me. Why not worship the God who have sent me, this is the teachings of Jesus. So to me, I love Jesus for the fact that he gave an exemplary life of peace, of patience, of love for his, his, his his disciples, and his followers. And he gave them the best knowledge and the right knowledge that God had delivered to him. And I remind them all the time, I said, look for the true story of Jesus, the true knowledge of Jesus researching your religion has history, study it, research it, find that knowledge, that is true, and you will find it in your
heart, he will go back to the natural order in which you will create it and that is every human being was created to serve God and God alone. Whether they are Christian, or Jew, or atheist, or whatever. Every human being was created to serve God. And that's what my religion Teach me that I was created to serve God, and no one else. Thank you so much, sister. One last piece of advice for people who are struggling in this climate of manufactured fear. slama phobia, people are scared of Islam. They're scared of Muslims. They haven't connected with us. What advice? Do you have people who've been kind of just warped their minds, they feel like okay, Muslim terrorists, all of these
misconceptions. What advice do you have for them, they tuned on and watching the D show, and they're listening to you. My advice to all
Whatever happened in this life, is by a laws leave, there is nothing in this world. That happens without a law school, Dallas, permission, God's permission. And we have to be careful about being so afraid of our fellow men that we cause harm or reject the people who surrounds us. We have to respect each and every human being, regardless of what they believe. And if something is going to happen to you,
no human being is going to prevent it. Whether it is a terrorist, like someone from the east, or the terrorists that killed all those 500 shot up all those 500 people who was American, white American, I mean, just bizarre. He's the sniper he said no shooting all those people, and they will not knew it couldn't even get to him before he reached shooting 500 people. To me, terrorists, is a word that was put there by shaytaan by the devil to strike fear in the human being. But God gives us strategies to refute Satan.
And he says that
he Satan, the devil cannot make you do anything.
Without your lead without your permission, because he gave us the power to refute Satan, because when Satan activity the devil asked him, can I influence your followers when God rejected him, and you know what God told him, he said, I give man free will, did right? Choose between right and wrong, you have the right to be kind to an individual, or you have the right to be mean or nasty to an individual. But remember, if you choose the wrong lifestyle, by harming my creation, being in just being false, being an adulterous being whatever wrong that God has labeled as wrong and that he recruits, God promised that he has a place for you with Satan, in the hellfire. And he has a place
for those who do good with him in general, and believe me, in heaven, you want to be on that path. So as far as the terrorists out there, they never fazed me. They don't strike fear in me, because I know God is all more powerful, more powerful than they are. I am a watchful person, I stay on watchful, I look to see my environment, because that's what God told me to do to be watchful of those around me. But also he have given me my faith, my belief in him. And he also let me know that he is my number one protector in this world, and that if any harm is going to come to me, it is because this is by his lead, and there's nothing I can do to change that. And so why should I
hinder or put inhibitors in my life
and my worship to God, because of mankind. I don't give men that kind of power. And I don't think any human being should give them that kind of power, we should stay steadfast, we should stay focused on
the one true God. And we should strive to seek knowledge to understand the true power of that God, and how he has put in place, factors that protects us factors that guide us factors that lead us in a life that is good for us. And as long as we follow that guideline, that he is laid by that map, that life map, we are on the right path, we are living the good life, we live in the right life. So even in death, we should not fear him as long as it is in a state of work, worship, in a state of submission to the one true God. And that's my that's my spin on how we should look at terrorism, this belief,
wrong doing or anything in this life that's going to take us away from our true
lifestyle that God has given us and that is to serve him and him alone in this world. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for being with us here today. Show God Almighty Allah.
May Allah guide me with the right words, and hopefully the right intentions and to do the right thing, say the right thing to touch the hearts of the men that he has created. And, and for the men and women out there who serve him and I pray that I'd said the right words and I did not lead anyone astray. And may Allah give us all have mercy on us all and guide us all, inshallah.