Huda Tonight With Eddie The Deen Show
Channel: Haleh Banani
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from the streets of Chicago to the host of his own dollar talk show, our guest today is now building a massive data center called the Dean center. Today's guest had the rare opportunity to live a life straight out of a Hollywood film. In his youth, he was troubled and broken, seeking acceptance through gangs drinking clubbing and dating. By the age of 30. He had acquired what he thought would make him happy, financial success, expensive cars, fame and women. But he felt completely empty on the inside. This may Allah wa salatu wa salam ala Rasulillah Salam aleikum, I'm your host Hala Banani Stay tuned after the short break to find out the turning point in brother Eddie's life that
made him give up everything for the sake of Allah
yeah volley me
yeah Hubballi me
Salam aleikum and welcome back to inspirations where we will captivate challenge and inspire you. making any changes difficult by transforming a life of get decadence and desire into one of submission and servitude is genuinely inspiring. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our guest today brother Eddie at the deen show, who is well known and well respected by many mashallah Salaam Alaikum and welcome. Welcome salaam Rahmatullah ricotta.
Mashallah, well, you came from immigrant parents, I want to know, what was your childhood like?
Bismillah Alhamdulillah Thank you, Sister. I love Anandi by having me on your program to get down right to it, it was it was a life that when when I heard you making the intro was like, Who's that guy you're talking about?
You can't relate to him anymore. It seems like a different world. It feels like you know, it's hard to even relate to but, you know, digging back into the memory cells going back into
the past, I just, it's like it was someone that had no direction had no purpose live for what people are living for live for just following you know, societal norms, peer pressure fitting in chasing the things that people chase at that young age and, and that's what life was about it was just living from, from Monday to Friday weekends were where everything took off, as many people know. And it just was a repetitive thing. And it just kept going for on year after year, and then you can fill in the blanks in between.
So you were living just to fulfill your desires, like many people are doing right now. And how did you start getting into trouble? I know that you started getting introduced to gangs, where did that start? And how did that what was the drive behind going into this?
This, this is a really, really important point here, because it all started with one friend, one bad friend, and is something that we can all take note from a good friend you can have in your life, and you can get good results, a good friend can save you from a lot of hard times troubles, and I got around one bad friend. And that person was the cool guy at the time. And I was looking to this person, or companionship and that person end up going down the wrong path I followed shortly after and then I did what he did monkey see monkey do. we're creatures of imitation, and I was imitating the bad friend. And then that led to bad, more bad friends. Because that friend was a bad friend, he
had bad friends, he didn't have the right influence. And then from there, I ended up following him the direction that he was going. And that was at a young age back in high school that was high school, not actually that started with in elementary school in eighth grade. And then from there, it took off to high school, I followed this friend into high school and then from there, we just, it was just a slippery slope it was it just kept getting worse and worse and SubhanAllah. It was it was an eye nightmare when you look back, but but then for some people, it's kind of the norm, it's like, for some people, they you know, this is this is the kind of excitement, they would think like this
is just wow, it's it's what you got to go through, you know, to become who you are. So I can take a lot of lessons from that. But
one thing that that I really take is it was just getting around one bad friend that led to more bad friends and from there was a recipe for disaster. What an important point that you make as far as the friendship that we have the Prophet sallallahu Sallam put a lot of emphasis about who we surround ourselves with. And you honor on the religion of your friend, and show me your friend, and I'll show you who you are, and SubhanAllah. So you're saying that one bad friend led you to gangs and led you to doing so many things and, and I saw your documentary from dunya, to Dean, which, which said that you're willing to do anything to be accepted by this group. And so what would your
advice be to parents who are watching and who may be a bit oblivious about what they're doing? And they're just focusing on making ends meet? They're working, they're leaving their kids? What would your advice be to parents to avoid this kind of this kind of trial and tribulation?
Before I forget, so I don't forget about that part. Another one, just adding on to what you were saying from that, you know, that's what I often I think back to the advice of the last in front of Mr. Prom, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon talking about the friends. And I used to think that that was cool. That was something that badges of honor, that was something like you watch these movies, Scarface godfather and all that. And where I'm at now, I just think this is just so like, you know, the term gets thrown around a that's gangster, you know, and people like that stuff. Young men love that they love it. And I just think this is just something.
These are boys who grew up to be men who have our full of insecurities. And that's what it was, I was insecure, I didn't have that confidence. And then what happens is you want to gain it and you want to fill it in the wrong way. So you end up going and getting into fights. And then people brag about you. Wow, he's so tough. He's so cool. And then what do you got? It's like, then you got to go against the next person and you get in another fight. And it's just stupidity upon stupidity. So that's the thing for for the young, young Shabaab, the young youth out there is you know, having role models having good role models that are with you that can guide you away from this and then
going into into your question and say it repeated again.
The question was basically what would your advice be to the parents, okay, I got this kind of trouble because, you know, they they're so busy. A lot of immigrant parents are busy working and making ends meet and they're just oblivious.
to this kind of problems, that's the that's the issue. That's the thing about being, you know, one of the wisdoms now then when I look back, the youth and, and my children, they can't run this by me, I know this stuff. So it's like, then I look at back and I look at parents, I say How naive can they be, but and it's only because of their lack of experience in a certain area, and that's on the streets, you know, they didn't then coming over here and you're just you cannot be naive, you have to, like, sit with the use of time, you have to get educated because sometimes even myself, it's like, you got vert, you got apple 1.02 point, whatever the case, sometimes you gotta get and sit
with the youth to get updated on what's going on out there. And you'll just be blown away, you're like, wow, I cannot believe it. But it's a reality to things that are going on out there. It's just scary. So you got to stay Connect, you cannot be naive. And you got to have like, informed you got to have informants and then you got to get connected with some of the youth the good youth out there, that can keep you up to date and up to speed. So you can't be ignorant, you got to be up to date, you got to be connected with your children, you got to love them. You got to also be firm on things and you have to it's an art you know, it's an art anybody can give you like the 10 magical
spells it doesn't I'm still trying to figure that thing out right with all my experiences smart some things work with one but not with the other. But but the main thing is one week, what I what I was thinking about is one we have to check our relationship with Allah, we have to check because the one who's going to help us through all these things is the last one to Allah. And then we can start to learn all the different techniques, the ones whatnot, we we talked about friendship, you can't just let your kids be out with anybody with any Tom dick or Larry. You cannot let your kids be in certain spheres of influence. And you got to know where they're at you got to have them busy doing good
things right you got to connect them with Allah having them grounded in the deen in an enjoyable fun way you know like you said you mentioned something when you we had you on the other day like we're everything is haram but you know, when you explain it in a beautiful way that the things that are haram are only the things that Allah's love that he made that that he gave us the blueprint so we don't end up stumbling in the dark and hurting ourselves by indulging in alcohol and gambling and promiscuity and dating boyfriend and girlfriend, all the social norms that are out there that are cool, but they're harmful. They're that's via that's why they're haram because they will destroy
your heart, mind body and soul in one way or another.
Right you so you bring up so many important points. One is the connection with your children, you cannot be naive, you have to know what is going on. You need to know where your kids are, who they're spending time with. And also, you know, there's this toxic positivity where you just think like, everything's fine and everything's gonna work out. But you have to be in the know. So that's, that's such an important point. And keeping them grounded and making the religion something cool. So you can have cool mentors, you're gonna have people that that you can look up to. So that's, that's amazing. Let me ask you just real quick, I don't want to divert but you I can make because you're
like the pro in this area. I can imagine the stories you hear.
Oh, yeah. Oh, you can't imagine. I mean, yes. From people leaving the Dean from secretly, you know, a lot of the youth will tell me they have a secret Second Life. So they portray themselves one way in front of the parents at the mosque and front of the family. And then they have a totally different life that they are Yeah, and they're struggling, they're struggling with their sexual identity, their says, you know, they're struggling with their Deen. So, you know, it's, it's really, it's really scary. And for parents, they have to be informed. And that's why I wanted to ask you, because you got you had that gangster lifestyle. You experienced that. And you were quite successful
at a very young age. So what was your motivation back then?
My motivation back then In Jabalia, it was just money. It was like what Allah subhanaw taala talks about in the, in the Quran, you know, the thing that lures men that men find alluring, and tantalizing. Those are the things it's just so clear how Allah wants, I'll explain it in the Quran. And then if you take me back to that, that's what I was chasing. Those are the kinds of things it was just one thing after another, but then you obtain a nice car, then you want to have the nice rims and you have the nice companion with that and then you just want more, it's never satisfying, fulfilling, never. It's like it's a vessel that you can never fill. And the Prophet sallallahu
sallam said in a hadith from Sahih Muslim, that people are like gold and silver, those who are best in Jaha Leah are the best in Islam if they have religious knowledge. So what is the common thread in your success in both Jehovah and the dean? And that's one thing I want to make this because when you're talking I'm thinking like, I would rather die than go back to that. I
I, yeah, I would rather it just it's a scary place to be
You know, it's a scary place to be and it's so sad that many people when I bring on many different rappers and hip hop artists and gangsters and people who are in that life and we're telling the youth you don't want to go that they're coming out of it and you're going towards it or you there's something wrong with you, the person just went down that street as a dark street alley you got people with guns are gonna take your wallet, your your your money, your car, why would you go down that street, let alone that life at the end of the day, that's going to cause you nothing but pain, eternal pain, you're going to get an STD a spiritually transmitted disease, you might die along the
way, and then you end up spiritually transmitted disease. Very scary. It's very scary. When I think back I look back I said, Man, I Subhanallah it's such a blessing. Yes, we go through hardships, we go to trials. Life is not Janna here. And we're being tested. But I would never say ha I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine going back to that life. Subhan Allah No way. It's crazy the life of darkness. Right. So what you experience was, was just so many trials and tribulations you experience the way you thought is going to bring you happiness actually brought you so much despair. And I think the fact that you would rather die than go back to that is such an important lesson and that
Toba needs to be like that right? You never want to go back to that sense of you're sincere in your Toba you don't you know you don't look back and reminisce you're actually very sincere about the fact that that was wrong. And I never want to go back to it so mashallah that you were able to make that connection and save yourself. But what do you think makes you successful now so you were successful back then and Jaha Leah as a gangster, and now mashallah Tabata Allah, you have the success of your of your deen show, you're doing this Deen center as well? What is the common thread in your success? And I want people to know this is not because you haven't when people fill this
term gangster and they whatnot, you got people who are I mean, I was, you know, at that time, trying then I moved on to trying to emulate and being close and companionship with someone who was running a country. This is what this was the gangster of the country of Bosnia, you know, it's cello, but I'm a witch and you can look him up on YouTube. This is a person who they freed him, and let him pretty much he saved the White House what's equivalent to in Bosnia, you know, during the war, that's the greatest genocide that happened after World War Two. So you have people like this now who are out on the street defending the country. So he became like, a country hero, but at the same
time, he wasn't somebody who was in the deme he was Muslim, but he was someone in the deen she had people like that. And those are the companionships that I was around. And that was the people I was trying to like, you know, compete with be with you can imagine these are not like petty little guys on the street corners and whatnot. We graduated from that at a young younger age. That was that was that was great. One, two and three. Then we started to grow. So this is like, you know, the higher level but at the end of the day, it's useless. Worthless at the end of the day is darkness. Subhan Allah what was the turning point for you brother Eddie, what? what finally happened that you woke up
from this nightmare? Al hamdu lillahi rabbil aalameen Oh, thanks and praises to the creator of the hymns that are God Almighty Allah, that he guided me. It's something that is priceless. It happened during one month of Ramadan. You know, my parents come from Bosnia. They were also this is a former Yugoslavia and it was under communist rule for a long time. So people had gone away from the DEA, my parents weren't practicing. And then slowly a humbler, my father started to come around and handed it out to me. And I, you know, I would every Ramadan, I would, I was given up something. I think that that year, I gave up drinking alcohol. But in and this happens in our communities, in the
Bosnian community, other communities, they'll give up something, there's still there's a connection, it's good. There's some connection. So it's like, now Ramadan comes and they'll give up something but then Ramadan is over. And it's like a free for all party. But at this time, I had stayed away from drinking and the reminder of death came death and was and I was already at the point I was contemplating. I had achieved so many different things. And it didn't taste the sweet there was no sweetness in any more dunya it was just like, you have this you have that and it's like, it doesn't taste the same. It's just it's like no taste. It's like it's it's getting old. And then from there,
I started to think okay, really, what's it all about? What's the purpose, I'm getting older, all this stuff is getting played out and death. That was what hit me. You know, the stories of death. And it's a longer version, but this is a short one. That's what kind of woke me up just really contemplating the seriousness of death and then from there, it just, it just took off. I got a hold of some reading materials. I had other people in my life at the time Allah put the pieces together that started to direct me towards where I am today. 100 Allah Herobrine Alameen Subhana Allah so it is that moment of death. I think you are as you're stuck in it.
Elevator and that was not Yeah, that's another story that's after party, I'm stuck. And that's, that's the after party, okay, yeah, I'm
going to die. And I just say this stuff, you know, to relate with some people who are out there, we understand what you're going through, but you got to come back You gotta leave this. So after the clubs, there's the after party that people go through this. See the clubs are over at like two o'clock. But people look people still want to more so then they go to after party. And this is at a law of someone's house and, and whatnot. So that we go there. And then there's like, I don't know how many people are in this elevator. This is one of those signs, you know, some people just ignore it, but I didn't ignore it. And we were stuck in this elevator. I'm sweating profusely. And I've
already been like, thinking about death. And then now this happens, and I'm stuck in there. And I'm like, subhanAllah you know, what if we don't get out and you're thinking like, you know, it's worse, like sardines in there. And, and it already led up to that, because again, I've already been, you know, thinking about death. And now this happens. And that just took it to another level. There was just one of the law puts the side these subtle signs, you know, again, the greatest signs that we have is obviously the Koran. But these are things in a person's life. Allah will put you in certain predicaments, certain things will happen. You can ignore them. If you're going so fast, you know,
and you don't see the signs. You got to slow down and think, contemplate, they're there. And you got that sign you felt like oh my god, what if I'm gonna die? I need to get my act together. You got into jujitsu. I know that was a powerful force in your life. Tell me about the role of jujitsu. I've always been involved in fighting and from boxing kickboxing, a blend of different martial arts. And that was something that is very important, but this martial art particularly that I really took off with was Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And this was more ground fighting. This was something I ended up representing the I was one of the first American reps for the Gracie family. They're the ones who
started the UFC. And Hamdulillah I just took off from there, that was something else. So it was just really instrumental in my life gave me more focus, more grounding in a different area. Right. And
that's still involved in Yeah, I teach also, mashallah, Mashallah. And you were one of the first talk show hosts on YouTube. We started in 2006. Now everyone knows you Mashallah. And you're constructing the Dean Center at Dow Dow mega center, what inspired you to build it and what do you hope to achieve? Please tell us about this project. Yeah, I had some some some brothers approached me and they ended up you know, talking to me about you know, supporting to help you know, kind of run all the backend and everything so we can kind of, they believe they, they saw the vision they really believed in the work that we were doing. And from their deep contemplation previous to Hatha
and whatnot always had it in my mind but not knowing how to construct it how to make it happen and just Allah put the right people in my life and things just started to take off and, and I always had this this vision of just taking things always improving, getting things to the next level. And here we are, where we got we're in contract now with a with a property that's five buildings, four acres. And from there, we're looking to put the deen show in the dissenter, have a masjid have a flooded facility, have the recording studio have school in there? So there are just so many things that inshallah we're going to be able to do. We look forward to Allah, may Allah put biocat in this
project. And this is something that we should all support, because, you know, for every person who has saved from a life that you had gone through, like what would happen if you had a dean center when you were growing up? And that's what that goes back to what we started off in the beginning community. And that's one of the things when you ask the question about saving the youth and helping your children you know, our children are sovereign. You see, I interviewed a public school teacher I have a Brenda lip sack, she's amazing woman do some amazing work. And she talks about, you know, what the children are being exposed to with the whole alphabet movement, and all of these other
things did the fluid the fluid you know, now it's like is a man a man, a woman is a woman all you know, all the things that are being mixed up and confusing, and kids are just going like crazy and trying to figure this stuff out. But community is so important to having, you know, good structure, having that community that you can go that's other you have your different spheres of influence, obviously, your parents, that's one sphere, your family, and then community. So that's what we look forward to creating there. Now you have this support structure, that we can go ahead and support our youth to empower them, you know, with the dean to empower them with community, so inshallah we can
save our youth from going down to destructive path
Subhanallah what an amazing vision that you have and you
went through this you know this experience for a reason and you drew lessons from it and you are doing what mashallah you were meant to do in you know, preventing the youth from going down that same path So may Allah put back out and what you're doing to support this you know, the Deans center we need a dean center in all communities
which will provide that guidance and support mashallah, so how much do you have left? I know you have is a 35,000 square feet place and mashallah, you've done quite a bit in building it. Yeah. So the property we got, here's the interesting thing about the property. So they had a few other offers. But now look how las Hautala these this is just it makes you think the pastor is currently a church. So the pastor had a few other offers, but he chose us why? Here's what we came to know that the other two offers were for a storage facility and a carwash, but they would have to tear the church down. So after meeting with his congregation and making a decision, he said, No, no, we want
this to stay a house of worship. So Hamdulillah we were able to secure the property 2.5 million, and I put, I put down $100,000 So we have to bring 1.4 million to the closing, we've raised more than half of that 100 A lot. The rest of the owner finance note about no interest over three years and 100 Allah, this is what we're dealing with now. So we're more than halfway there for a goal to bring to the closing and then we get the keys and then from there and Hamdulillah we can start doing some work in sha Allah, that is exciting, that is really, really exciting and inshallah we can share in the ADGER and then the reward of promoting this and supporting it Inshallah, thank you so much,
brother Eddie, for this inspiring conversation. I mean, we really benefited from you coming and sharing this this is not something that most people experience and you know, you were very you were very privileged to experience this and be able to turn your life around Mashallah. And humbly Lord, thank you for having me on. Thank you very much. My Lord bless you and everybody there at Hoda sounds like a Lafayette and we will take a short break and come back for the conclusion it's all legit like hola Hayden.
yeah volley me
yeah Hubballi me sure Shah in
welcome back to inspirations brother Eddie from the Dean show exemplifies resilience, perseverance and most importantly read
demson Like many immigrant families working hard to provide, he was left alone, with a deep desire to belong and to feel accepted. he surrounded himself with bad influence and got involved with gangs, drinking, and living a life of decadence, but no amount of money, fame and woman were able to fill the spiritual void that was yearning to be nurtured. His life was destined to either be killed or spent in and out of prison, and Hamdulillah he was guided to the truth of Islam, and Hamdulillah, he was guided to abandon the lifestyle and Hamdulillah he was guided to live his life in servitude to Allah, we can all learn from his life story. You know, it's not about what you provide for your
children. But the quality time you have with them, making sure they're in good company, their time is filled productively, and they have strong Muslim community support. Imagine if brother Eddie had a dean center when he was growing up. So instead of hanging out with gang members, he was spending time with Muslim mentors who would guide him and support him. So instead of focusing on what is just halal, and haram, with your children, instead of being strict, instead of being harsh, I want you to connect with your children, I want you to have that loving relationship with them know where they're at, make them feel comfortable to share with you on a daily basis. Don't be a scary parent, that
they would just hide from you. Or they will have a secret Second Life, make sure you're connecting with them in a way that they will feel safe and comfortable to share with you. So even though he had many traumatic experiences, he was determined not to play the victim role. He made a commitment to Allah and gave up that life lifestyle and reinvent repented. How many of you are living that life of just playing the victim role. How many of you are blaming, maybe your childhood, maybe your parents your upbringing, maybe it was your financial limitations? What you can do is learn from this experience, and turn it around and say what is it that I meant to learn from this? What is it that I
can do to make this a better situation, just like brother Eddie did, he took what was dealt with him the experiences he had the hardship, and now he's working a life serving a loss upon Allah. So he took those negative experiences, and he's helping the youth now. And Allah says in the Quran, except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them. A law will replace their evil deeds with good and ever is Allah forgiving and merciful. So that should be just a solace to all of our hearts, we've all made mistakes, we've all done things that we may be ashamed of, that we may feel embarrassed stuff, but you know, the door of repentance is always open. And if you repent, Allah
will turn all the things that you're ashamed of all the things that you have done wrong, and it will be turned into good deeds. How amazing is that? How generous is that, that Allah is Able to change all our bad deeds to good deeds. The analogy I like to use is like someone who is failing a student who has a failing grade, he has a report card of F's. Now, these apps are not simply removed, they're turned from F to A's. So you go from a failing student, to a straight A student, and that is how merciful Allah is it's never too late to repent and change your life. It's not about your circumstances. It's not about your parents. It's not about your spouse is not about your children.
It is about how you react to those circumstances. How do you respond to the oppression? How do you respond to the unfairness, that is what you're being tested about? And if we make a commitment, I want you right now. Make a commitment right now to give up the things leading you astray. Give up wasting time, give up gossip, give up the bad friendship and give up your sins for the sake of Allah. You know, when you give up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will reward you in such a way that you cannot imagine. There are so many of us that we can share experiences of times that we gave up something we really loved for the sake of
Well, let's take the example of the sisters maybe they like to dress or maybe they like to look a certain way. But they gave that up for the sake of pleasing Allah and Allah will put the sweetness of Imani in your hearts will put the tranquillity in your life and we'll put Baraka in everything that you do. So know that when you give up something for the sake of Allah, it might be a bad friendship. It may be something that maybe it's haram risk, you know how many of you may be getting haram Rizz, you just overlooking your It's okay, it's just a little bit of my risk was haram, it's okay. But if you give that up for Allah sake, Allah will compensate in such a generous way. So no
matter no matter how you did in the past, do more good deeds, right? Because Allah promises that if you follow up a bad deed with a good deed, that the bad deed will be erased. It could be giving to charity, you could be feeding the poor or teaching, teaching the refugee start investing your time, and your money for the sake of a law. And I'm sure that if we make this commitment of giving up the bad things that we do, and make a commitment to doing more good things in our lives with our families, let's start with our families. Because it's so easy to go to the masjid and to help the community to give them money. But the big test is how do you treat your spouse? How do you treat
your children? Are you connected with them? Are you genuine? And does your public persona match your private persona? And if these two personas they don't match up, there's hypocrisy there. So we need to make sure that we rid ourselves rid our hearts of any form of hypocrisy and we make our effort to be our best Join me next week with another episode of inspirations where I will interview another fascinating guest does aka law Hayden As Salam aleikum?