Channel: The Deen Show
Salam aleikum, greetings of peace. How are you guys doing? We got one of the top ranking UFC fighters in the world. With us here on the D show, mid side backstitch we come back, there was a component that is so neglected nowadays, especially since this component was an integral part in the past, to making a complete martial artists, he was lacking in this area. But he has picked up the pace now. And it's helping to him to become a more complete martial artist. And God willing, he'll have more success in life. Now we're going to be talking to UFC fighter mid side back teach about this missing component that he's gained now, here on the D show, don't go anywhere.
So I'll let go like, how are you doing? I'm doing very good. Let's start off with you know, this greeting that we gave each other you know, many people when they hear this greeting, you know, this is because the dean shows dedicated despite dispelling many of the myths but many people don't know that we just wished each other piece is a greeting a piece and where people a piece wishes wish wishing each other piece. So I'm like, how you been? Man? I'm glad things are getting better. I'm here with you guys. Learning more about Islam more and more about
Yeah, just everything in general. Just lifestyle. Yeah. And how good things can be. Yeah. If you just take the responsibility of doing your own research and applying Yeah, I mean, being diligent about it. Yes, not just about Islam, but how Islam can make you diligence in so many others in other ways, by treat people by life and how you go about your life. So tell me so your your UFC fighter was ranked in the top 1015. And what motivated you to and how did you end up getting into the UFC? Well, I mean, I ended up in UFC, I was seven and No.
I moved to Florida when I was 21 years old training there. One professional in 2011.
And I, I got a text, hey, do you want to fight this guy? He's 11 and no trains with Johnny Hendrix at the time. And I said, Man, it's like a dream come true.
It was kind of at that moment I was. I was almost starting to go on a different mindset of life. And I got that and six weeks later, I was making my UFC debut. Yeah. So how long you've been fighting in the UFC? How long have been the UFC specifically?
Since 2014 2014. In when's your next fight? I hope it's December 30. So that my current management is working on getting that done right now. So you're in the same weight class. Is it? Is it true as Conor McGregor? Yes, he was at 145 is that 55? Currently? Yeah. But technically he's I think he's still a champion at 45. But
his although his although was a champ at 140. Yeah, well, that he has that's the 145 bill or he had the interim belt. Yeah. And then so you've seen it Connor vacate 145 builds, because you have to have a certain period of time you have to defend it. So then, although fought Max Holloway for the actual UFC belt, and Max Holloway beat
him he beat it? Yeah, he'd be although Okay, so now Max Holloway is the champion. Yeah, okay, Matt. Max Holloway is the champion. So what belt does bring us up to speed what belt Now again, does Conor he's at 155 155 that's the one that he beat Who? Eddie Alvarez Alvarez Okay, I saw he had Okay, now I understand he vacated that one because he was waiting too long. Yeah. Well, UFC just like, hey, because he was she should have been defending the belt. Right? Yeah, I think it's over if you don't defend it within a year. Okay. I gotcha. So you would qualify for that as original? Wait, so you would actually qualify? You're in the same weight class? weight class. Yeah. So maybe that's a
future matchup? Potentially it could be harming upon? I mean, I'm in it to be the best. Yeah. You know, that's, you know, I've made one dream come true. I'm in the UFC. Yeah. Now it's about finishing it and do my best to do it and I'm sure if I get when I do get there. I'll meet him if he's around. Yeah, we always say inshallah, God willing.
And that was one of the things that I did. I did.
Not too long ago, when Kirby was supposed to fight I think you have you ever met a beam? Yes. I actually made my UFC debut Yeah. With him in 2014. Yeah. And we had a, I've always been kind of nonchalant and chill.
You know, your cousin is always telling me like, Hey, man, you take pictures with these guys. Take pictures with your boss, but I've always been like, okay, just like, yeah, normal on me.
It's not thing like crazy fanatics for me. But I do realize how important it is. To be more like appreciative of those things. Yeah. But yeah, I met him and 1014. And we're actually supposed to fight together.
March of this year, March 4, on the same card, and he was supposed to fly Ferguson. Yeah. And I was on there. And then after the fight, his manager was facetiming. me. And I spoke to Kobe, even as much as his manager, Ali Ali. So I asked, I was facetiming. With those guys. He was telling me about my fights. And
I did a video, we did a program talking about some of the things that people would perceive as being odd. Like, for instance, some of the things that you know, he's has said, for instance, after he'll finish your fight, all hamdulillah everything's, God give me Thank you, God. Everything's God give me he'll say, and it's kind of the bridge to cap where people are like, What is he saying? What is he doing? For instance, after he'll finish the fight? He doesn't point to himself, just like like you after you finish your fight, you point up above.
So he's, he's directing that attention to the one who gave him the ability to throw the punch, right to be there is the Creator of the heavens and earth. So he's saying, not me up, and he's saying and hum did he loves me? Like, what does that mean? He's saying, Thank God, thank God, right? And then he'll fall another thing.
He'll prostrate and be like, was he kissing the ground? No, he's thanking, again, the creator. And many people don't know that Jesus peace be upon him. He also fell on his face when he prayed. And I didn't know that. Hey, it's in the Gospel of Matthew 2639. It says, and he went a little further and he fell on his face and prayed to himself, no, he prayed to the cradle. So this is the same thing that he was doing. And we tried to bridge that gap. And then I actually invited him I said, Look, you've been on this show that show that area wanna we was the guys that go on and on his show, you need to come on to the show. Like I'd rather hear. So God willing, inshallah we'll have Habib with
Tell me, you also, you had a in one of your fights, you had a T shirt on?
And it said,
don't never, never forget. 70 so your background is from Bosnia, Serbia nitsa. Can you tell us why you wore that shirt? What was the motivation behind that essence behind? Yeah, the essence behind it was I am from serving eats.
The reason I am in America is because a servant eats a Bosnian Serbian war. And
the essence of it was to show people that I'm from there. And I love my people. And I love my town. And that I haven't forgot about them. And nobody else should either. And it's not so much in a in a negative way where which I think a lot of people do like, hey, look, never forget this. Remember us look what you did to us. But it's like, it's more of a concept of this is where I'm from? Is that happen? for people to look into it more? and be like, oh, wow, man, they went through a lot. And that shouldn't happen again. And
it's almost like in a loving way. It's not so much. Yeah, point fingers at somebody. Absolutely. I don't even think about
Serbian army guys or whoever was involved in the in the massacre. genocide. I don't think about them is just more about losing my family that I lost my grandmother, you lost a lot of your family members there. Many people don't know that. That was the greatest genocide. After World War Two in Europe, people don't know about that you had just in southern Isa, that. It was what was it like almost eight or eight innocent
men, women, I mean, innocent civilians were killed. They were just it was an ethnic cleansing that was happening and people don't know about and this and you're actually from that I just came back from from Bosnia and I was trying to I was that was on my my places to visit. I didn't actually get a chance to go but I wanted to visit there. But this is where I got the next best thing. Someone who's actually from 70. So that's where you were born. Yes. Yeah. Connor. He's always
Like, you know, representing Ireland, so there is nothing wrong obviously know your roots. Yeah. And as I get older, I mean, now I'm 26. But
when you were younger, you know, we came to United States, eight years old, nine years old and speak no English. And you were raised in a different culture. So you don't really
unless you kind of forget or not, you know, forget, but you don't really take acknowledgement of what actually happened. You don't do your research, and you don't really see what happened. And to know yourself and where you came from, and why you believe your why your town or people believe what they believe in.
So just kind of really knowing the essence of everything, and taking pride in it. Yeah. And I'm still learning. I'm still learning about that. I'm still learning about my people's religion, in my town and my country. And just going with that, yeah. Yeah, this is something that also I mean, we have that also uncommon that my family you were born there, my family's from first generation, they actually were, they came over about 40 years ago. And that was something that I thought, Hey, there are so many other tragic events, you know, any any any event where you have innocent people who are being massacred, killed, there should be awareness created about it, right? So it doesn't happen
again. And this is one of those events that it's sad to say that many people even even Bosnians have kind of forgotten about it. So I thought and I did a particular program people can watch it on a channel is called the Bosnian Muslim genocide. And it talks about we don't because nowadays, many people and you being also a Muslim practicing you know, Islam, many people right away, you know, they link as soon as a Muslim the cinnamon right away terrorists, right, ridiculous. How do you
get away from us? Yeah. So now I did this show and I said, Look, we don't blame Christianity. For what Milosevic and cottage did. And they were Christian, right but we don't go ahead and now exploit this and say, Look, this is radical Christianity. That doesn't work like that because they might have did whatever they did you know what I mean? And they were practicing Christians, but we know that Christianity doesn't preach at the same way Islam doesn't make a lot of violent acts that people
make it out to be. But what how do you feel when you see things like for instance, there's too many to list but one major event just happened. It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history this this lunatic he went in Vegas, he ended up killing almost 60 people injuring almost 500 something like that. He didn't say a lot but it's he's not a terrorist. Right? But it means many people if you don't know it means that was another thing that we talked about Habib says Allah has made him he's God is the greatest
Yes, praising God, God is the greatest so it's not a war cry. Now he didn't he didn't pass we usually say if you pass by a Muslim had lunch with a Muslim somehow you're connected to a Muslim he's it's terrorism he's converted to and it was just amazing. They have these they sneak in these headlines I don't know if you saw it like I says claims responsibility he converted to Islam six months ago people don't and and and people don't read the rest to see that. This is just a bogus, you know, this is like fake news. But they see that exactly. See that headline, they think, Okay, he's a Muslim, who's crazy. What do you how do you feel when you see your religion maligned like
this in the media?
I mean, I think people just got to do their own research. Yeah, just because it's, it's not. I mean, I don't even pay attention to it. Because it's bogus. Yeah, it's like men. Anybody with common sense knows that. You were thinking but with common sense would know that.
The religion has nothing to do with it. And the fact that this certain event had that it was even directed towards Islam is just funny to me. It's like a joke. Like, come on. Like, yeah, really. It's come on stupid. It really makes you want to not even watch that channel that news is on.
Because you have so many other kkk is all these groups that are like you said, Christian practice Christianity. But we don't we know we know that. Christianity has nothing to do with the KKK. That just because somebody says they are one thing, and they act in a certain way. Doesn't make everybody that way. Yeah. And it's a joke. And now we don't really know Vegas. What happened two weeks ago, a week ago. It's already out the news. You don't hear much about it. Yeah.
Is it because it wasn't part of Islam
Maybe you don't wanna
there's no ratings on it. Yeah, it seems like Islam has that like important finger at somebody. That's what made him do it. Yeah.
And that's the double standard. Yeah, those double standards is kind of the hypocrisy there. But
you people like yourself now people like Kirby people who, who are out there in the spotlight now do have a big responsibility now, even though some might shy away from it. But I'm going to take you to this clip and I'm going to show you someone who didn't shy away from it. He's a great example for every celebrity Muslim, every human being as a matter of fact, but especially those nowadays, who are being targeted, because now many people
who are Muslim, unfortunately, they're they're being dehumanized. And many are, you know, hiding under rocks, you know, scared to say they're Muslim, right? But nowadays, you know, especially, we need to stand up and show really what Islam is to live Islam to show that we're human beings like the rest, you follow. And we're proud of that. And I'm going to take you to this clip and then
we'll take it from there and other bathroom other shower will clean my mouth, pray, and at five in the morning, this goes on. And when I'm right now, I didn't do that for the first phase of fight Nautilus the first night and fight. Really No, sir. Our head got big and I started thinking it was my training camp and my boxing ability that kept me where I was at and God punish me. And he gave me a good Whoopi broke my jaw in a second fight. And he got me whooped and knocked down in the Frazier fight. And I realized I wasn't that great after all. So I had to get not only together physically, but spiritually for this fight. I've prayed every day for five days, five times a day for the past
four months, and everything is perfect. And follows with me in a no way no man can win. No way. That's the problem. And he went from being the most despised man to the most loved man. He's a Muhammad Ali, Muslim American hero. Everybody knows Muhammad Ali. They love him. And he was unapologetically Muslim. If army, he was a humanitarian. He was a peacemaker. He was a person who was bridging that gap or misunderstanding between the people. And he filled that role that now it's left to many people like yourself, people like Kirby, other Muslims who are out there who are in the spotlight. What do you think when you hear someone like him speak went from this little clip? Man, I
feel like that's somebody I can definitely relate to. And in a lot of ways,
you know, I was, I was undefeated, I remember, I was on the feeder also. And before that, fight my ACL, I came back, I was praying, praying, I didn't, I did every prayer every day, I went to the mosques, and I and then I remember for my last fight, I kind of got away from it. And I kind of questioned that sometimes, but as I know, it's nothing. And just just hearing him say that now, it's like, God, maybe just woke me up a little bit. I do think differently now about a lot of things.
You know, priority wise and life wise, spirituality wise. So I definitely relate to him in a lot of ways besides
being Muslim just just mentally,
and just how proud he is and it gives you hope. You see the confidence when God is with you. There's no man that can stop you right? And he was missing that. He talks about how he got his jaw broke. He thought it was my training camp is me. And you'll see many of these many fighters UFC for many of them, they'll be they'll pump the chest and it's like it's all and that spiritual component for many people miss its huge life and just in life in general. Can you talk about that? Yeah, definitely. I mean, I've always been spiritual. Because in life, I guess when I was growing up, I really didn't have that discipline. So once I started getting more into reading, and
just looking for that guidance, and I found that through spirituality, it was kind of like my father.
And now that's what disciplines me know, when I do certain way when I do certain things. I have these verses and these things I read in the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad's had the
mother kind of checked me like, Oh, well, you read this and he did it this way. So it's just a, it's a book of discipline of guidance. And that's what it gives me. And I'm very spiritual and it's, I don't know why can't be like certain a certain athlete. And I've come to a point where is where I'm not comparing what they're doing, and doing it a certain way as they are. I am different. And this is
What's gonna be good for me, and I just come to accept that. And that, you know what worked for them, I work for them might not work for me. So I just got to keep doing what I'm doing. And this is I believe this is a part of that
many people, and this is what motivated me, you know, and this is again, just because there's obviously a lot of misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. And that's what motivated me to start the deen show going on almost 11 years. 600 plus episode is showing that there's so many commonalities, and that people will just sit, listen and learn with an open mind. You know what I mean? Because there's a great statement that goes something like this, that for the mind to work, it has to function like a parachute has to be open. And the greatest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about. And sincere people who sit and they make the first human connection. Right,
they meet Miss odd, right? He's a Muslim, practicing Muslim, he's trying his best, you know, we all make mistakes and whatnot. Well, yeah, we're learning we're, we're doing our best. But now, when they learn some of the basic things, for instance, just by the name Muslim, Muslim is simply like Jesus was one who submits to the will of God, that's what a Muslim is, right? And if to qualify the statement if a person has, if someone asks, Are you a Muslim? And and I'll say to qualify that, do you mean someone who has submitted to the will of God who's kind merciful, just unfair, someone who won't hit on your wife or or rip, you tried to rip you off? You say, hey, that's a Muslim. Hey, if
you got some twisted idea in your head, like what you've been seeing, you know, and Hollywood, that's probably not, that doesn't fit the description. So when these commonalities, you know, are shown many people that kind of
breaks down the walls, the barriers, you know, this deep love we have for Jesus, for instance, is a mighty messenger, his Blessed Mother, there's a chapter in the Quran named after her, you know, to me, yeah, growing up, I didn't even know that. Right, when I was Muslim judges among Muslims, because that's what we grew up. Yeah. But then you get older and you learn these things. And wow, I didn't know that. Yeah. So these are the things that many Muslims also like us who come from a background of Islam. They don't know these things. So that's what we're dedicated to, to get this information out. Because Sharing is caring, you know what I mean? And then the people can judge for
themselves, but because ignorance is is something that is affected so many people, that they're ignorant on these basic things of Islam, and then they're bombarded by the media. Yeah. You know, the media is hitting them with, you know, this terrorist attack. They take some nutjob and they propped him up like he's an exemplary Muslim. They label then we shy away from it. And I've done before, too. You mean, somebody asked me most of my, your confidence
that goes between the unapologetically Yeah, apologizing, like I am? Not really. Yeah. But you know, I'm going into it. Yeah. I'm more confident I'm learning about it.
It's kind of like getting on the mats. It is. If you know more jujitsu, you're confident in your jujitsu or your your your wrestling, or you know what you're fighting? Let's go, you know, the main one you can do. But if you're not confident, you're not living it. You don't know how to express it. Then you Yeah. Yeah, it doesn't work that right. Yeah. It says once. Sorry. Because once you
you are, you have a responsibility? Yes.
I believe you have a responsibility. Yeah. So
I'm always practicing. So it's a quiet, you know, remind myself sometimes like I Cool. Well, this is how I
don't know how to treat your mother how to treat your brothers at all.
Just such to people in general, and it checks you. Yeah.
That, that, that that steep, you know, when you just mentioned how to, you know, these these qualities that many people I've had, I've had interviews with people who, when they've accepted, you know, Islam, the parents of these young kids, they would say, I can sleep better at night. Now my child respects me better, you know, he's a better all around you human being you follow me? Yeah. So this is one of the qualities that Islam teaches to be a better neighbor, right to be, to be the best at whatever you do. And not to harm even an animal. there's a there's a beautiful statement by the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. He said, there's, you know, Faith has 60 some odd
branches, that the highest of which is to testify that there's nothing worthy of worship of the Creator of the heavens and earth and Mohammed is the last final messenger. And the least of which is is to remove something harmful from the road.
I mean, so, you know, we started with peace. We talking about removing an obstacle from the road that's, you know, so someone doesn't puncture a tire slip fall, hurt themselves. So you
You know, these are the these are the fundamental, fundamental beliefs of Islam of being of good noble character and whatnot. So this is this is just amazing. And what point in your life did you start taking life more serious in this aspect where that you started to contemplate and think, you know, what's my purpose in life? Why am I here? I would say at probably around 817 18. Yeah, probably early 17. You know,
I was kind of tired of,
I was looking for something like direction. And I wasn't happy about the way I was living my life. The way my friends around me were living their lives, and everybody was going wherever, but it's kind of going in the direction that we're going.
So I was very motivated to do better in school and outside of school. And then once I found martial arts, that kind of gave me that first set of guidance and purpose. And I'm just moving down a few years later, and Florida. And I just kind of something was missing. And I just feel it. I just wanted to hear something like, man, I remember hearing this long time ago, I just pulled up some sutras passages from a common American, and just played it just just hearing it was just kind of soothing to me. Yes. And then going on to the local driving, having a car being able to drive to the look mosque, and, and look into getting the book and then reading the book and how others English
translations. Yeah. And then, you know, I met another myths I was in, was a professor also, and then learning from him. And it's been ever since then, it's been a learning process. Sometimes, you know, you fall back on your, like, you see certain prayers, and, but you kind of get back up and you have these reminders of, you know, why? why it makes sense.
And why it's so good for you. Yeah, for your life. And for those around you. And for everybody. Yeah. So that's when around 22 is when it started for me. And again, it's been it's been an uphill, it's been a learning process. Yeah. That's the key. I mean, learning and gaining that confidence from what you learn, you know, to and I've seen for myself, personally, it's, it's, it's helped me definitely to be a better human being, I mean,
to grow spiritually and to grow,
you know, to be a better version of myself. And, and many people, when I hear their stories, it does the same thing. You know, I mean, yeah, it's a sense of respect. Right off the bat. You can connect somebody right away. Yeah. And sometimes we'll do something for them. Because they're, you know, they're Muslim and, and you kind of know what that stands for. If you're, you really know the truth behind it. And you won't go out of your way for somebody.
even strangers. Yeah, absolutely. So tell us before we cut out
you plan on visiting Bosnian anytime soon. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I plan to so many different places here. Some things got messed up, but I definitely 100% plan on going soon as I fight this next fight, which I'm sure it's gonna be December 30. I plan on going bosnia or after that in January and then we'll see how long I'll stay there. I'm a father there my grandmother lots of family then so it's been way too long. inshallah God Almighty.
reunite you with your your for you haven't seen your father and
FaceTime but yeah, it's not impersonal. Yeah. So God willing, you reunite with your family. I want to thank you very much for being with us here on the deen show. Thank you. Thank you.
And that was my brother and your brother, mid side. backstitch UFC fighter, very elated to see him find that missing component, that spiritual component to make them complete. And balanced human being many people are missing it. And we invite people to explore in and look into it, to see what has brought that peace and contentment into his lives to the Muslim American hero who was unapologetically Muslim. Let me qualify that statement. Jesus, Moses, Abraham, all the messengers that the creator sent out of out of his love. They're all Muslims. And a Muslim is simply one who has submitted to the will of God. Muhammad Ali, Muslim American hero was unapologetically Muslim.
And you see he's loved till this day. Because a Muslim is someone who is morally upright. You don't have to worry about him, trying to hit on your wife ripping you off in a business deal. This is the kind of neighbor that you want to deal with. Do you want to have a Muslim neighbor? You follow me who's good with Christians, Jews, everybody.
But he worships the Creator, not the creation and he stands
to certain values and principles that are good for all of humanity.
And if you're apologetically Muslim, how are people going to learn about Islam? How are they going to see the ambassadors of Islam? How are you going to convey the message share the message, especially in this growing hate epidemic? It's a it's so much manufactured hate and fear.
The Islamophobia industry is a growing industry quarter of a million dollars is spent bashing Islam, attacking Islam there's a fire bombs there. Bombs being thrown into mosques, vandalize, mustards, and women being attacked. Why? Because people's ignorance because of the hate. So if you're apologetically Muslim, how are they? How are you going to dispel many of these misconceptions? So it's nice to see someone who's unapologetically Muslim, who's helping to use that platform that they have, and not shying away from the responsibility of someone who should be a great example, as Muhammad Ali was someone who people love to this day all the athletes want to imitate and hopefully,
with that responsibility in that role,
we live up to that, because God don't care about the UFC belts. God don't care about what kind of cars you drive. You follow me? He doesn't care the color of your skin. He doesn't care about the wealth that you have. He cares about what's in your heart and your deeds, the good that you're going to accomplish while you're on this earth. And may God Almighty Allah continue to bless you, miticide and everyone watching if you have any questions, call us one. 800 662 Islam make the human connection. We're here to help erase any myths, misconceptions. We're here, accept the invitation, make the human connection and tune in every week to the deen show. See you next time. Until then.
Peace be with you Salaam like