Huda Tonight With Sheikh Yusuf Estes
Channel: Haleh Banani
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As Salam aleikum, I'm Hala Banani Welcome to inspirations with Hala Banani on Hooda tonight Bismillah wa salatu wa salam ala Rasulillah. He went from being a minister who passionately spread Christianity, wearing a big cross with a cap that said, Jesus is Lord and holding his Bible to being one of the most well known dies spreading Islam worldwide on his many televise shows mashallah Tabata Allah, our guest today transformed everything in his life. What made him question his faith? How did he? How did his image of Islam change? And what made him embrace Islam? All of these questions will be answered in this episode of inspirations. But first, let's talk about the
psychology of making a change in our lives. What does it require? We all know that eating healthy foods and exercising are good for us. But how many people actually do it? We all know that fasting, Mondays and Thursdays and waking up for tahajjud are good for us. But how many people actually do it? It's not enough to know the do's and don'ts to make lasting change. It's about having a leverage and motivation to make that critical shift. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we have the motivation to change. Our guest. Our guest today exemplifies making massive personal change. He helped 10s of 1000s of people make the most difficult changes in their lives by teaching them the
truth about Islam and getting them to commit to a lifestyle of pleasing Allah. For those of you who may not know me, I'm a faith based counselor with over 25 years of experience helping 1000s of Muslims all over the world that 100 Allah, and I'm the founder of the mindful Hearts Academy which is my mentorship program helping women to be their absolute best. We will take a short break and when we return, I will introduce our special guests for today's shows share use of Estus.
Jobs are impacted, marriages are impacted, children are impacted communities are impacted. You have to want to know how to deal with the changes. You have to be eager to meet some successful Muslim you can't live in this world and not be mindful of your purpose. I think we can all use some inspiration. Oh,
I'm your sister, Paula Banani trailblazers, changemakers community builders, we will meet the men and women who have left an impact on our Muslim society, the role models the activist and the modern day heroes. This is a show where you'll meet some really interesting people, psychologists, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs, successful Muslims that are being themselves and having insightful conversation. If ever there was a time that we need faith and motivation from real people in real situations. It's now join me live every Sunday 4pm Central midnight Mecca time on Hooda TV.
Salam aleikum and welcome back to inspirations. I'm your host Hala Banani. It's a pleasure to have our guest today chef Yusuf Estes, welcome Salam Alikum and welcome to the show.
Hello rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh y'all, y'all Ma sha Allah, we've never seen a chef with a cowboy hat on I love it. Being from Texas myself. So it is very exciting to have you on the show. Mashallah.
hello, where are you from in Texas. I'm in Dallas, Texas, but my hometown was Houston.
I grew up in Houston and I made Dallas. Oh, you took your shahada in Dallas, and this is what I want to hear about. I want to hear all the juicy details, mashallah, you've been doing such amazing work. And you've been an inspiration, inspiration for so many of us. And I remember the first time I attended you, one of your lectures was in Houston. And my husband actually scheduled the talk and you came up with a really stimulating topic, which said, The truth about Islam revealed and you had them at that time we didn't have internet right so we you hadn't make flyers and put it all over the churches. And it was a full house. And mashallah, I think that day, there are a lot of people who
took their Shahada.
Yeah, as a matter of fact,
we now have a website called expose Islam. Oh, wow. So you use a lot of psychology, when you are giving the Dawa. What is what is your tactic? Tell us about it. I can't even spell the word psychology. But I have in mind something that we said the man back in my marketing days and I carry it forward. They said Kiss Kiss. And I thought oh, wait a minute, who were going to kiss? And they said no, K I S S keep it super simple. And that's exactly what I like to do. Now some people say,
simple, stupid, but
that's the version I had heard. I was waiting for it. Then when you didn't say it. I said, Well, I'm not gonna bring it up. Okay, so keep it simple. Very, I love it. And that heals. Because the super simple, super simple, I am going to remember that in my marketing. So just like a la Shaden shift. You know, I want to find out about before becoming Muslim. So you've made amazing, amazing changes in your life. You were a Christian minister, and you were committed to teaching others about Christianity. What happened? Tell us about your life before Islam. First of all, I have to clarify something. They translated this story into Arabic. And then when they translated it back out, I
became a priest.
Actually, I was a lay minister, which is meaning that I would didn't get paid for it. I was a volunteer. And I played the organ because
we sold organs and industry since I was eight years old. So yeah, mashallah, thank you for the clarification. I knew you were a minister, because you're married and priests don't get married. So I'm glad that you clarify that. But what was your life like when, when I was describing you, in my introduction? Could you relate to that person?
Actually, that you did a real good job at the back says that I did preach Christianity, both on the pulpit. And in my life, anybody that I talked to, I wanted to convert them to be the Christian that I thought they should be. And I spent a lot of time working with the youth and elders, every anybody I could talk to, I wanted to tell them that I had found Jesus. And I didn't even know that I was last. But anyway,
I knew what was your image of Islam and the Muslims. Did you know anything about Islam at that time when you were administer preaching Christianity? I didn't know anything at all except what I saw on TV. And what I saw on TV were from other religious groups. It said that Islam was bad because the Muslims are terrorists. The kidnappers hijackers. They don't believe in God. They worship a black box in the desert, and they kiss the ground five times a day. Wow. Well, I don't blame you for you know, just being confused about that. And I'm sure many people across the globe probably can't share that same sentiment. This is what they have been taught that is Islam. And so that doesn't sound
very appealing. Now, what happened? How did you get it
spose to Islam.
Actually, my father told me one day that I live with my father and his place out in the country. And he told me one day we're going to start doing business with a man from Egypt. And when he said that, I said, Oh, yeah, the pyramids, the Nile River. The all that idea of doing business with somebody from over there, you know, the mystic land and the pyramid. It sounded intriguing, right? And then he said, he's Muslim, and I went, Oh, whoa, no, we got stopped full stop right there. No, you got scared. You got scared? Why? What made you scared? Because exactly what I told my father. These guys are a bunch of terrorist hijackers, kidnappers. They don't believe in God, they worship black box in
the desert, and they kiss the ground five times a day exactly what I heard, wow, television. And my father said, No, he's a nice guy. You got to meet him. And I said, Well, wait, hope. If I made this guy, it's got to be on my terms. And he said, What's your terms? I said, I got to meet him on Sunday. I'm gonna come straight from the church. I'm not even going to stop. And II can't the restaurant, you know, the, all the churches, they let out at exactly 12 o'clock, everybody runs to get to
Oh, wow, I'm not even going to eat after this. It's so. And then I knew what these Muslims looked like from TV, the cartoons that they grew. And I said on I know what this guy is going to look like. And he's going to be wearing a big, like a bathrobe where he's going to be having that on and then he's going to have a big mama on, you know, turbans, and then he's going to have one eyebrow that goes all the way across his forehead, and he's gonna have a big Lechia big beard. And he had these guys, and he's probably gonna have a sword or goodness, how dare you had a certain image? And how did this Egyptian businessman look like? Did he look like that at all? I'm coming to that part.
Anyway, when I got out of the church, and I was walking there, to my dad's place of business, and I had my Bible under my arm, I had my cross and I had my hat and those days, I had I kept
like, this, this kind of cap, you know, okay, right. And it said, Jesus is Lord right across the front of it. Wow, you weren't you were in shy. You were just you weren't messing around. You wanted to have it known. Okay. All right. But then when I got there, my dad I said the words he said, he's right here. I said, that's not a Muslim. Because this man was wearing normal clothes. Yes, sir. Sure shirt and pair of pants and, and in fact, he didn't even have a beard, or he didn't even have any hair on his head. He was bald headed.
The normal person here, and I put my hand down to him and shook his hand. And I felt it was a warm hand. And I thought, well, I thought they'd be called, like dead people or something, you know? And I really had no idea. So when I met the guy, I started out with him right like this. I said, you guys don't believe in God, do you? He said, If I don't believe in God, I can't be a Muslim.
But I, you know, the God of Abraham, the God of Adam, the God of Moses, you don't believe in them? He said, Of course I do. Right, sir, Oh, really. But you don't believe in Jesus Christ, do you? He said, If I don't believe in Jesus, I can't be a Muslim. I said, really? And he started talking about the miracles that Jesus did. And I said, Oh, and Jesus is a miracle birth and I said, Okay, all right now. Yeah, you got it. Yeah, I can convert this guy to Christianity and I'm ready.
You had a plan? Do you plan to convert him? And how and how did that go?
Well, three months later,
I had spent all of it three months driving around the countryside with him in my car. And all the way along I would talk to him about Jesus by
The Bible about Christianity.
And then when I would ask him, What do you got it in Islam? And they would give him a simple, beautiful answer. And I thought, I wish I'd thought of that. Anyway, yeah. And then the next subject next subject.
After three months, now we're talking about 90 days or 90 days, a long time to him and questioning him. And he was a very simple person, although he was highly educated. He was a geologist, he had graduated from Al Azhar University in Cairo. And he had a lot of business sense, and a lot of Islamic sense as well. And the one thing that sticks in my mind the most is, he didn't ever try to pressure me at all, on coming into Islam. As a matter of fact, he would just ask a question, and then listen to the answer. Now, a lot of people can ask questions, a lot of salesmen, a lot of con artists, a lot of super duper salespeople, you know, they ask question, but they don't listen to the
answer. And that's what he was real good at, he would listen to the answer and go, and they would retain it in his memory. And then later, he would use the answer that I came up with, he said, Well, if you believe such and such, you see how that goes. And I was thinking, okay, now I gotta modify what I say, because what he has is better than what I have.
So you were just to summarize, you were spending this like three months with him. And you're coming up with all these questions. He was listening. He wasn't pressuring you. Because we know that in Islam, there is no compulsion in religion, you can't force anyone. And yet he was asking questions and listening because there is an art to listening that most people have not mastered. So he was retaining what you were saying, in order to be able to address you.
And what made you did you were there things that he said that made you maybe question some things about your faith and about Christianity?
There were many things that he
asked me about that made me think about my position.
And then one point, after the 90 days that we spent together, there was in the middle of July, a friend of mine who was a priest, a Catholic priest, I was not a Catholic, but I had friends in all faiths, you know, and this person had come to live with us in his in our house while he was getting over a heart attack. And he asked the Muslim
isn't it was Muhammad Abdul Rahman. Rahim Allah, he passed away now. But anyway.
The priest asked him, can I go to your church, meaning the masjid? And he said, Yeah, and he took him over there. And when he came back, it was in during the day, you know, so they prayed silently. And when he came back, we took him aside. We said, what did they do in there? Do they make bombs or slaughter animals or they do?
He said, No, he said, they stood like monks lined up. Like monks, he said, and then it was so beautiful, it was quiet, it was so peaceful. And then he said, They bowed, just like in the old. The Old Testament talks about the prophets bowing, and prostrating, throwing their face upon the floor or the ground.
They fell on their faces. And he said, it reminded me so much of the Bible, and
the prophets of the Bible, they did this. And I thought, huh, then the next time that the priesthood asking, I want to go back again, they didn't come back too late at night, and when they came back, I saw the Muslim get out of the car, and he was wearing his normal clothes. Then I saw the other door open and I watched somebody get out that it was wearing a white look like a robe.
He had on a cap that looked like like this except no hole in there yet.
All right, we'll see.
And I said, that's the priest. Oh no.
No Muslim. And he said, a show to Allah Allahu Allah shall
I bear witness? There is only one law. And I bear witness, Muhammad is his messenger. So the priest went to the masjid with the with this Muslim, this average Muslim man, he watch he observed, he saw that, the prostration, the bowing, all of these things resembled what he had read about what the prophets used to do. And he took his shahada Subhan Allah Allahu Akbar.
How did you feel at that moment, seeing the priests become a Muslim?
I wanted to record it. We used to have a television channel a long time ago, and I wanted to record it. So I pulled out the cameras, I set up all the lights and everything. But by that time the priests fell asleep. So I just took it all back down. And I went upstairs to my family, we lived on the top floor, in the house. So I was talking to my family, I wanted to see it had she got the same notion that I did that maybe we should be looking at Islam. And I told her, what do you think about the priests becoming a muslim? And then she responded by saying, I want to divorce. And I said, What? She said, a Muslim cannot be married to a Christian. And a Christian cannot be married to a
Muslim. And I said, whoa, whoa, wait, I didn't say I want to be. I would never be one of those guys. No, no, no, no, come on.
But he did say Mohammed said to us, that a Christian
woman could be married to a Muslim man, however, and don't panic. But it's just that a Christian man could not be married to a Muslim lady. She said, That's my point. I want to be a Muslim. And so and I thought, Whoa, I said, the good news is, I really want to be a Muslim, too. I just didn't know how to stop right there. I want to divorce get out. I said, What Wait, she said, you're either a liar right now.
A liar five minutes ago, when you were saying that you don't want
scares before I realized she kicked me out of my own father's house. So I went down to Muhammad and knocked on his door and I said, listen to you and me, we got to talk. So we went outside, and we started walking. Now it's after midnight now. And we're walking down these country roads and talking, I'm doing all the talk. And he's doing all the walk and talk doc doc, doc, doc, doc, doc, doc doc doc, my whole life and this and that, and so and so. And finally, it came down to this. He said, You know what?
This is not between you and your wife, or you and your father, or you and your congregation, or you and your business people. This is it's not even between you and me. It's between you and him. So go talk to him. And he turned around and let me stand in there on that country road under the moonlight. And I thought, huh, so I went behind my father's house. Yes, I put my head down on the ground the way I saw the Muslim doing it for those three months. And I've tried to figure out the direction where he was and I just put my head on the ground right away. I didn't even know about tech beer or anything. And with my head on the ground, I was trying to think what to say no, I don't
have a problem talking as you notice.
But great. I couldn't think of anything to say except
powerful. Sure enough, when I raised my head, I didn't see anything different no bright lights flashing and rainbows and you know the angels coming down? No, no, no. What I could see was inside myself. That problem
is not outside, the problem is inside. And once you realize that that is the only subject you're really responsible for on the Day of Judgment, that's the only reason that you're put here on the earth to start with is to what? What is going on inside you, whatever you encounter, how do you react to it? It is not important, what's happening. It's important what my reaction is to what is going on around me. Absolutely. That
Go ahead, sorry. No, I think it's, it's so powerful what you're saying because you were looking to him for advice. He said, You know, you're on your own, you need to you need to talk to your Creator, you and into sujood and nothing you know, spectacular happen but you felt the change within yourself. And that's where everything and you know, the the verse of the Quran that it says in the Allahu Allah yoga, euroma be at home and Hatha Yoga euroma be emphasized to him that Allah will not change the condition of the people until they change themselves, and you are able to change yourself in that moment. Subhan Allah.
There was an interesting thing you reminded me of when you were talking about him, and
Mohammed had, he said something to me one time while we were going along. And he said, I think you're trying to get me to come to your religion. And I thought, yes, yes, that's it, you know? And he said, Well, you know, in my religion, it tells us that if you find something better, you should go to it. So I'm open to it. And I thought, Okay, we got this guy.
It's better than my religion. I'm willing to go to it. And I thought, Oh, okay. All right. Because you don't have to pray five times a day. As a Christian, you don't have to fast Ramadan. As a Christian, you don't have to do Hodges and Christian, you don't have to pay sick God as well. You do have to pay 10% of your total income every every single week. But anyway, right. Yeah, the money part is there. Right. However, he said something after that. He said, but you'll have to have proof. And I went,
Religion is not a proof. Religion is the faith, the faith that you have, without proof? He said, well, in Islam, we have both. We have faith, but we have the proof, proof to back up the faith. And I thought,
what what Wait, and I asked him, Do you mean to sit there and tell me as the Muslim that you can prove there is God said you mean to sit there and tell me as a representative of Christianity, that you can't?
Oh, okay. Ah, well,
yeah. I don't want to ask him. But
yeah, I got to ask him, you know, call his bluff, as we say in Texas.
So what is the proof that there is God?
He said, Here's me.
Then, well, I don't know.
Can you prove there's a God? He said, You mean you can't?
Oh, wow. Now I need to learn from this guy. What what, what proof do you have? We have the Quran
and we have the Hadith. But then Allah gave everybody on the planet, every person on the planet, Allah gave them the fitrah. Well, they were born, the fitrah of Allah Islam, on the time you were born. Regardless, if you divorce the atheist, or the worst murderer, the worst criminal, the worst terrorist, the all of the human beings were born on the fitrah of Al Islam, meaning they are innocent.
And they are the servant to whoever.
And that was this. That's the status of the beginning of a Muslim is to be innocent of what of all of this stuff that's going on around and
by being dedicated to not anything in this planet, anything in this universe, we are dedicated to what to Allah Almighty. And that's how we're born. But then there is our parents who raised us up to be something else, maybe a Christian, maybe a Jew, maybe a fire worshiper. And that's all in the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. But this the thing that he
stressed the most is not about the Quran, not about the Hadith. But the common sense. Every one of you is got common sense. Because if somebody is born with not a real brain, you know what I mean? is low IQ, they barely get by, they just know how to eat or sleep, or they don't even know.
In this case, that person is going to go to Paradise, because they're in the sense of being held responsible. So I want to unpack what you just said. So there's a lot of psychology that this brother use in giving Dawa. First he didn't oppose you. He didn't oppose he didn't come and criticize your religion. He didn't do any of that. He said, Look, if your religion is better than my religion, I'll join it. Right. So that was very smart. He put down your defenses, right? Because when someone attacks, you become defensive. So you he did an attack. And then he asked for proofs, right? Because the religion is based on proofs. And he wanted to get that from you. And so when he
was able to provide it, and you weren't, it made him It made you actually kind of question things. So there is a lot of wisdom, right? Because sometimes people get passionate about giving the Dawa. They want to just kind of hammer someone they want to tell them, I'm right, you're wrong. And that's not the methodology. And I want to find out about the character of this man, what was his character like that, that it appealed to? Because we all know that the Prophet salaallah alayhi salam came to perfect our character, right? And that's something that many people forget about when they're giving Dawa, it becomes more about what they're preaching. And sometimes they don't walk the talk. They
don't act in the way that is, you know, honest. And then they're wondering why their Dawa is not effective. So what was his character like?
Well, the character of Muhammad of the rock man, is one that I will never forget, as long as I live in sha Allah, because he was honest to a degree that I had never seen before. And he was forthright in all of his actions. He didn't pretend to be somebody he wasn't. And he didn't deceive people. And bigger than anything else was, he didn't lie. He wouldn't lie. He wouldn't deceive people. Now, some people make a distinction between you lying, they say, Wow, I was lying, but I just didn't tell the truth. But the deception comes in, whenever you are trying to tell part of a story, but you leave out other things, or you emphasize something over here, and you play down this over here. So it
gives an imbalance. And he didn't do that. If he said anything, you could take it to the bank, because he would say only what was a fact. And he didn't say much. He really didn't talk a lot.
It sounds like he had so many of the characteristics of the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam in the fact that you know, the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam was known as I mean, he was the most trustworthy, he didn't speak very much and so how beautiful that this man who you know emulated the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam was able to penetrate the heart of a minister of a priest and Masha Allah and through that you have been able to penetrate so many hearts so many 1000s and 1000s of hearts, may Allah reward you for all that you do. And we have benefited tremendously from from this inspirational talk. Mashallah, if you were to give a word of advice to people who do give Dawa, what
would it be?
I would like to advise myself to listen more than I speak. I have two years, but only one mouth. So I should listen twice as much as I
I talk beautiful advice and you know not only in giving Dawa but also in relationships you know, I do marriage counseling so I would say this applies also in in marriages and all relationships such as like a lot Hayden for your time. We've benefited tremendously and may Allah bless you bless your family and bless all that you do. We were so happy and excited to have you here Mashallah. One final thing I would say even the fish even the fish wouldn't be in trouble if he learned how to keep his mouth shut
guide us TV and hooded TV, Ma sha Allah guide us TV we're so happy with the things that you're doing. May Allah bless you, we will take a short break and we will be right back and sha Allah.
Then you have to want to know how to deal with the changes you have to be eager to meet some successful Muslims you can't live in this world and not be mindful of your purpose. I think we can all use some inspiration.
I'm your sister Paula Banani trailblazers, changemakers community builders, we will meet the men and women who have left an impact on our Muslim society, the role models the activist and the modern day heroes. This is a show where you'll meet some really interesting people, psychologists, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs successful Muslims that are being themselves and having insightful conversation. If ever there was a time that we need faith and motivation from real people in real situations. It's now join me live every Sunday 4pm Central midnight Mecca time on Hooda TV.
Welcome back to inspirations What a fascinating discussion we had with Schiff use of Estes about his conversion and the impact that his words have had mashallah on 1000s Mashallah Tabata Allah. And he went from spreading Christianity to spreading the words of Islam. And we talk about this, like, how does change happen? How are people able to transform their lives, he was able to do it on an like, in an instant, mashallah, and so many people are able to make these changes, you know, I've seen clients reach a point when they say to themselves enough is enough, I can't take this abuse, I can't tolerate my financial situation anymore, I can't be sick anymore. I can't be overweight anymore. And
it's the moment of complete frustration, that is the catalyst to deciding to change. So when you think about the psychological premise for change to occur, so this will really help explain why we change. So we all have an internal thermostat, right? And it's set at a specific temperature, it determines our comfort. So let's say you set your thermostat at 72. Okay, and if he gets too cold, if it gets to 60, then the thermostat when the heater kicks in, and it will heat it up back again. So when you find that someone hits rock bottom, maybe they're just like they are fed up, they can't take their life anymore. Something has really been bothering them, their thermostat level has gone
way too down. They're not comfortable. And that is actually good news, because what's going to happen is that they can only go up so if you're in that situation right now, if your life is broken, if you feel like your life is over whether it's your marriage is over your children are struggling or you have financial issues, be excited because this can be the point where you actually transform and what happens we have to see that the thermostat works both ways. Right? So sometimes a person may achieve more than what they're comfortable with. They may get a promotion they may get you know they win the lottery and they have so much by their
Don't know what to do with it. And then again, the thermostat, the cooler comes on, and brings them back down to where they are comfortable. So we need to make sure that we set our thermostat in our life to be in a place where we're thriving, that we're always striving. And we need to learn from the example of our dear chef Yusuf Estes, to be able to make that change and to help with others in giving the Dawa. What did he say? He said, listen more than you speak. And to walk the talk. These are two very valuable lessons. And the fact that he shared what his transformation was and how it impacted him. And you never know how you may impact a non Muslim that you're dealing with. Whether
that is your neighbor, whether that's a business of you know, if someone you're doing business with, or a friend, always have the most impeccable character like the character of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, may we all emulate the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam and just like Allah hate and for tuning in, we've benefited tremendously from shift use of Estus is like Allah Hayden and in sha Allah. Join us next week with another episode of inspiration