Being Muslim in Ireland – Life, Faith & Business – Remarkable Stories #1
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 34.74MB
So when they see you going even one step towards Islam, they think, Okay, step two is going to be he or she is going to be in a cult. Yeah. And they're just going to cut us off and all of that those people couldn't get a real job. That's why they have that job. So I sure as hell don't want my kids going on that path. We've been talking about that.
Remember, the first customer was just about the wine? No, she walked in. He was the most devout Christian I've ever met in my life. And to the point where I became a better Muslim because Because of him, that's so incredible.
Salam Alaikum ins.
Nice to meet you guys.
Welcome to our restaurant. I hope you had a safe flight down and you're enjoying this so far. I'm liking this place. Lowe's. What was behind the name? Did you guys NAME IT THIS? So basically, we then went to college together via computer science and spa time we started fine dining or like European style. Computer Science. Why? Fine dining? Yeah, because we had nothing here for that. So basically, in Ireland, we're so behind in terms of like the food industry that everything here is like kebabs. So if you wanted to take your mom or your wife out for a dinner, your choices are very limited, or Indian cuisine or Indian cuisine. So when we started this, were like, Let's try and do
European food, Italian, French, even American food and make a Hallett you can also give everyone the option to have the same experience as everyone else. Yeah. The name Loza came from basically that was a nickname that I grew up with, because I was preparing skin and Loza means almonds in Arabic. So just tie that in
to it as well as easy.
Yeah, worked out in the hands of people. You've been you both been in Ireland your whole lives. I was born here. Yeah. I came here when I was like four years old. Was born German. Yes. Pretty much. Yeah. And like, so your family came here when you were? Four? Yes. Still a kid. So you're both essentially kind of brought up until cultures? Obviously, you're part of the larger society. Yeah. Then. Yeah, it's like we're both we're living in two different worlds. We have our own heritage, our own culture. But we're being brought up in in Ireland that has its own identity, its own culture. Yeah. And for me, I was I went to a boarding school. So it was interesting. It's very different from
me. I went to a very, you know, Christian boarding school. And when I'd be home on the weekends, I have a very traditional Punjabi Pakistani family household, you know, Warbucks, from Lahore. My mom, my mom's from Lahore. My dad's from Gujarat and British audience both in Punjab. I'm not the best when it comes to books on geography. That's okay. I do have a connection with culture with the people with, you know, so yeah. So Catholic school, huh? They make you do the prayers and stuff. Okay. Yeah, they initially tried to force me to go to Mass, but I was a bit rebellious as a kid.
So they'd be chasing after me to go into mass because I was embarrassed, there was no way for one. So eventually, they'd stop chasing, and they'd leave me alone.
But, you know, I did go out of curiosity, when I was a kid, I didn't know much about religion. So I was interested in religion from from early on. Yeah. And I didn't want to see what does go on in mass. And, you know, what was the little bread that they you know, yeah. 10, you know, so I did observe it from afar. I never partook in it. But it was interesting.
But then eventually, I stopped. I remember going to church when I was in kindergarten in Germany, right, being taken by the school and yeah, yeah. What about your upbringing?
I don't think is that interesting. So my when I was I think I was fully immersed in the Irish culture. I went to a brother, Christian Brothers school. And so it's like an all boys school. And we literally had priests as a teacher. So you can like they, they'll teach you history. And you know, so I took the quiz, like the classes like religion classes and stuff, because I was the only Muslim the whole school. Right? Yeah, the thing is, we're Ireland like when we came up, we're coming up as you're kind of like the first so it's not like they it was like Muslims around you that like, you know, like God, they even were unlike England where there's like, second, third, fourth generation.
Here's your first generation you're left on your own. Yeah, so you're like kinda like the introduction to us or like even people be like, for them as well. It's a culture shock. Not even just for you. So how are you like growing up? What do you remember thinking about?
Islam like, how did you
perceive it? It's just something my parents do. Is that what it was like? Yeah, for me, I don't know for you. For me, it was like something that I had to do more research on, because I knew that the rules were there. But I no one ever explained to me why they were there, no one explained to me, What is Islam? Why is it that you know, I'm in a Christian school? Right? I'm in boarding school, why? Who's to say they're right, and I'm wrong, or so I really did have to investigate all this stuff early on, I did have a
feeling already towards Islam from early on that it is correct. It does make sense. You know, there is, you know, I appreciate the higher and you know, the humbleness of Islam. So there was that early on. And then obviously, when you investigate more, and you do more research, and you, then you start to really have a deep appreciation, but the thing is, it's all self taught, there was no one to teach you, your parents. What drove you to learn that? Like, I'd imagine the young guy living in Ireland, there's no real religious restriction. So, you know, girls, drugs, alcohol parties, the life is accessible to you. Right? Yeah. And then Assam is like choosing restriction. Yeah. Now
that's why his his story is like, more admirable, and my one because like, now you're making me more interested in your story.
From my one, so from my one is like, let's say for example, I didn't have boarding school. Right? Like, let's say, for example, I don't know how old you are before you got your first Muslim friend.
Very good. Cool. Like, where's for me, like we're talking about like, he must be really a college 1860s. And they weren't good influences by them. Yeah. But really, why? Because they were just as lost as I was. So they don't know anything about Islam. I mean, they probably do. But for them, it's just like, it just didn't come with the friendship. Yeah, essentially. Yeah. But now, if we were to, like, they're very strong. There'll be they weren't on the same journey as me.
That's really cool. Love puts people on these journeys. Yeah, the most unlikely places. So like, phase one, that's what I never like, even less that question. I was like, I can't compare it with his with his was like, his one was like a different journey altogether, like, like self, like, on his own trying to like, it's kind of like revert and in a way, like he's just going on that journey on his own. Yeah. Whereas for me, I grew up with a lot of like, Muslims from a young age. I see here we had like, like, we have a mosque here where we get to go every Saturday and Sunday, we'd learn Quran. So like, from that, like, what, like seven years old, I was already immersed with, kind of
like my own people, like, you know, with Muslims. So like, I had like Monday to Friday, where I was like, the only person and then when I go sad eyes on them, like, whoa, like, Okay, now I'm back with, so don't feel out of place on weekends, because I go into, like, at your own. Yeah, exactly. So like when I go in on, you know, Monday to Saturday and Sunday to like, poor and school. You know, from nine to four. When I'm in that school? I feel like there's my own language, the same language I hear at home. Yeah. The same like thought process as I'm home right here. Familiar? Yeah, like even hearing the words haram Hillel in school was like, like, you know, I felt like a presence like,
Okay, I belong here. I have a curious question for you like, so I've been to other European countries. And one of the running themes in several European countries with very few, maybe just one exception so far that I've seen is that, unlike America, right? When you go to the public school system in America, you're part of the American society, it doesn't matter if you were Buddhist, Chinese, like Chinese Buddhist, or from Singapore, or your, your Hindu or your Muslim or Christian or whatever denomination of Christian. You're just American. Like it. It's not like, you know, the word European seems to come with an ethnic connection, a genetic connection, as opposed to a
national connection, as opposed to the word American, which is very, it's a national term. Yeah, it's not a racial term. Right. And so a lot of times I've heard I was in a country where people told me they're third generation in that country. And the your locals tell them Well, you're not from us. Even though you were born here. You have a passport. You're a citizen. You're still not let's say German, and you're not you're actually not, you know, so is that I have a sense that the Irish are different when it comes to this but I want to know from you, I don't think so. Yeah. Mainly that like think we had the same Yeah, you wanna so you don't really feel like you're Irish or you're not
led to feel like you're no like with Ireland.
I love Ireland. Yeah, I do have a sense of connection connection to Ireland. Like I am appreciative of like, you know, I was brought up here I was taught by the Irish I
Uh, you know, had Irish friends, you know, good friends, you know? Yeah. So there isn't this
you know, I do this is like separation kind of there is a separation, but it's not like the separation comes because
I will be viewed no matter what, as an outsider to an exam because I don't drink. I don't I don't there's some parts of the culture that Islam just as you just cannot, you know, if I you know, it's it's just a bit you know there is a cultural barrier there still, you're gonna have the if you choose to be Muslim
if you choose not to be, if you choose not to be you can assimilate more I think you can you can become more. feel more like you belong. Yeah, you could Yeah.
it's an actual thing, though. Do you agree with solutions to the street, you have to you have to accept some level of strangeness, to hold on to your religion, you know, what's funny about this? Your your life experience is one of living in a, as a minority. Yeah. Okay. In terms of ethnicity, and also in terms of religion and worldview, right. And what's really ironic is that when you travel to many, many Muslim countries, Muslims that are trying to hold on to their values at university campus, and the workplace and the corporate workplace, a Muslim that decides, in many places at Buxton, for example,
to a girl starts wearing hijab, she is a bigger target and audience or object of ridicule, than she would have been if she was going to college in America. Yeah, it's wild. It's actually insane. Yeah, yeah. And not just by her peers, but even her own family, like, all around. And then if you know, their country, Muslim countries, we're at prestigious universities where the young man when he starts praying, if his friends find out that he's praying, he actually hot he hides from his other Muslim friends to pray. And if that sight, same young man was, let's say, in Ireland, and he was with his boys, and those boys were like, Hey, yo, isn't it Ibrahim? Isn't it time for you to pray?
Yeah. And he'll Yeah, and I'll go. They'll say, He's not like us. But we respect that he does that. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? And there's this really strange thing that has happened and people that are trying to hold on to his son, you might get the perception, maybe it would have been easier if I was in a Muslim country. It's actually not the case. I used to think that but then I realized, yeah, it's actually very difficult even in the Muslim countries, your family start calling you, you know, moviesbaba. Again, right, you know, right. call you an extremist base. Yeah, yeah, they get bit scared of it. And I don't know where that comes from. To be honest, I never really dove deeper
into it. But there is a bit of fear factor in in Buxton, and you I don't know about Algeria, but that maybe the kid is becoming too religious. And sometimes they motivate you to do other things, rather than consequently, religion, which I think is a bit back. So in our countries, I think it's a complicated situation. Yeah. But one of the reasons that happens is because there is in fact, a lot of extremism associated with Islam in the Muslim world, and people are taken to very extreme pads where they give up very normal parts of life that the religion did not condemn, but cultish variations of our religion condemned them. Yeah. And then parents have seen the rise of many cults
in that society. So when they see you going even one step towards Islam, they think, Okay, step two is going to be he or she is going to be in a cult. Yeah. And they're just going to cut us off and all of that, right, so they get paranoid and really extreme. So there, you know, we think that oh, non Muslims have this paranoia about Islam or Islamophobia. Actually, the generation before us, if they were raised in kind of a middle class, normal ish family, relatively conservative family, they also have a degree of Islamophobia. And and in some cases, I think it's justifiable. It's understandable why you're saying this. And, you know, when I started praying, my parents freaked
out, actually. And they were kind of like, going a little too fast. You're going to, you know, too far, why do you have to have a beard and all that kind of stuff, right. And then, as far as a fired up youth, you're like, they're just trying to get in the way of my Islam. This is fitna and you know, you get a little older you realize, actually, their fears were legitimate in many senses. Because as I was learning about Islam, an 18 year old, 19 year old, just say, I want to just learn more about Islam. Anybody who knows more than you becomes a source of knowledge. Yeah. But you know what, some people that know more than you are pretty psychotic.
And you're gonna buy into some psychotic variety that you think is authentic Islam, and you're going to end up ruining your life and the lives of people you love. Right. So that is a very real fear. So it's interesting that you guys bring that up. You know, there was that
that fear. Yeah. But the question is like, if for example, I know there's a fear there. Yeah, but let's suppose now you're in a country where there is no, there's not a lot of Islam in this country, like the early, you know, the early generations almost no came here.
They somebody needs to teach the kids Correct. Somebody has to. Now, if you teach the child and you're fearful that maybe he might develop a deeper curiosity for the religion, and you're like, you know what, instead of me getting him to become more curious about religion, I'm going to try and get him to become more educated in something else. Right. So So let's put a limit on how much Islam you need to have. Exactly. Okay. Okay. Prayer, fine Ramadan. Okay. Yeah. But you're trying, you're trying to take a class. Yeah, you're gonna look away, oh, bah, ha, chill out a little bit easy. He's Yeah. And that's, that's where the problems are coming from. Because because of that fear factor
that's there. Yeah, it's becoming a barrier for the younger generations to get, you know, passed. You know, that's also part of their programming. I feel like our parents generation, they were taught essentially, that the Quran is for you to get blessings, and prayers for you to essentially
have some good coming your way in life or solve some of your problems. Islam is essentially prescriptions, yes, for your life's problems. It's not nutrition, it's prescriptions. And
because that's the case, you shouldn't be the one learning more about Islam. That's the job of the Imam, the scholar, the shaman, those guys are way too extreme anyway, we wouldn't want to be like them, we don't actually look up to these people. They couldn't, in a sense, in the culture, at least in my culture was those people couldn't get a real job. That's why they have that job. So I sure as hell don't want my kids going on that path. We've been talking about that.
Right, so if you're getting interested in Islam, that just means you're going to be a loser in life. Yeah. Right. You're not going to know much about anything else. You're either going to be a loser, or you're going to be a rebellious figure from your parents, because your parents Yeah, you know, telling you to, you know, I try to look at both sides of these things. Yeah. You know, I remember for someone who, I've spent many years talking about the Deans studying the dean, but I tried to look at things from the others perspective, right. And I do see a problem, I see a problem of like,
if young men look at the person giving the talk, and say, I want to grow up to be that.
I see a problem with that. The reason I see a problem with that people that are supposed to be educated in their religion and articulate their faith, shouldn't think of that as a career path. So much as they should think of that as something that adds quality to their life, like a programmer and entrepreneur and engineer, a medical professional, should all be knowledgeable enough that they can articulate themselves and confidently represent their faith. Yes, some of them can go on to become scholars. But even our real scholars in our history were polymath, like, scholars used to be mathematician mathematicians, at the same time engineers at the same time medical professionals at
the same time, right? It wasn't just oh, they just do Islam, or they don't do anything else with their life. Yes. Some people can be specialized, highly, highly specialized. But when I hear youth be like, I want to just serve the OMA, how are you going to serve the OMA overages deserve the youth?
I'm going to give lectures
why are they looking up to you? Like what aspiration if you give like what other parts of your life? Have you accomplished something in that they could say, Man, they've got the best of Dean and they applied the best of DiEM to every aspect of their dunya to Yeah, because if you don't do that, then it sounds like if you're going to take your religion seriously, you have to
not take your career seriously, because that's dunya Yeah, you have to not, you know, give a good life to your family. Because that's dunya, etc, etc. Right? And you can get extremes like yeah, I don't, this is why I don't
you know, go on any outing with my family or I don't do anything with my friends. And because you know, that's all dunya Yeah, bro, like, What did Allah put you in Jannah already?
You should put you in dunya. Right? You have to deal with this world and engage with this world. So that that is the flip side of that equation. And I do think religion rd needs to be taught but taught in a way that like it, it fuses with life. Yeah, I was talking about this, like just two days ago with my my friends in DC. And I was talking to them about like, the mustard model is interesting. There was a Catholic Church in Washington DC. It was basically losing money. People weren't coming anymore, right? We were losing interest in religion, right? So they can keep asking for funding because they're not going to get it. So what they did was because they're in a primary
and Washington DC, they built luxury apartments on top of the church. Right, okay. And just rent them out and all the rent now is coming into the church and I'm gonna have to
You know, they figured out another way of Korea. And actually the church started getting more attendance because people are living there like might as well check out what's going on. But actually, this is a very Islamic concept. And what I mean by that is the masjid, let's say the masjid is like, you know, six miles out of the way, or 10 kilometers out of the way, right. And you live here, and you gotta go 20 minute drive to get to the machine, then you're gonna pray and you're gonna come back. So you have to leave the rest of life to go to the machine. But actually, the machine was in the middle of the marketplace. It was in the middle of the university, it was in the
middle of the office space, you know, so it was it was it was a, it wasn't separating you from life. It was fused into life, you know, and that's what Islam kind of, is supposed to be. It's supposed to be fused in with life. You know? Yeah. Like, I don't know, for you. And it's like, like, I remember when we started, when we were in college. A lot of our, like, our relations started off with Islam.
I think a lot of what we try to become the the positive characteristics of a good Muslim in Islam. We try to adopt, and I think that became a character building exercise for us. So when we did decide to open for business, we were of similar character. And I think that's for us were for us. Yeah, I think a religion fused with our dunya to give us bro you're on a popular street in Dublin. And you're sort of you're serving Western food Hello Western food burgers and brisket and what I was just saying and then you're not serving alcohol in Dublin. It's like almost haram
first time I came to Dublin I got into
which pub first? He asked me, not a pub, not a pub. Now he's got a halal food as well to get the meat is a chore. It's so hard on me we can go down the road to a butcher, but to travel to different counties sometimes to get meat that is Halloween. So we can you know, serve everybody reward you, man. That's beautiful. Yeah, that's so incredible. It was it was like for us we kicked off the lows. It was actually primarily a fine restaurant like nighttime dinner, fine dining like vibe that we wanted, like, no steaks and three course meal and things like that. So when we opened up, there's so much buzz and hype in Dublin and biotics like our first Helen steak can never get steak in Ireland.
First places go. And we were like, packed out two days, packed out like we're talking packed out, couldn't even know how to handle you know how to handle the air. And then the third day came and it was just like, two tables. Fourth day one table. I think the week after that with opening closed with no sales, not a single person will come in. Yeah. And then we broke like crazy. We broke. So we start again now like Irish customers coming in. And it come in with like six, seven people again on Friday, big group that come in through the door. And they're like, Oh, we seen your Instagram. The food looks unbelievable. We can't wait to try it. Yeah, come on. Where's the wine list? Like, oh,
there's no wine. Do you remember the first customer asked us about the wine? No, she walked in. It was a couple of they came out late night around nine o'clock, I remember. And they sat down and they're like, where's the DISA wine? And I was looking at the waitress all the time. Like, we need to know now how do people react? And the waitress was like, No, we don't we don't serve any wine. And they got up and left. And I was thinking, is this going to be that difficult? Because we were worried now that whether or not wine actually or alcohol? How much of an impact this is gonna have on us? You know, correct. Yeah, that's like water here. Yeah. And then it started to introduce the
non alcoholic wine. Yeah. And I remember
he, the shape of the ball made us like what, like Don, we're not going to do it doesn't look so bad. He's like, a lot harder. We're not doing then we stopped doing it. And we just we started opening breakfast lunch, just to get more out of the business. And then we do closed dinners. And the closed dinners. It's the highest level of cuisine, ribeye steak sirloin. We have a very creative chef that that can you know, like he feels like he's the best chef in the world. So we use that as our, you know, to our advantage, you know, what can make us this makers that, you know, fuse Indian and Italian do something new, you know? And is interested. Yeah, this is where NS gets the most for his
Now, but even though when like, they negotiate with you because they really want to have the food so they'll be like, okay, look, there's an off license down around. How might I get my own one? I'll just get my own ball like, yeah, like you're like I can't. And you're literally playing with them because they really want to have it. I'm curious. You know,
there are a Christian, devout Christian
communities that speak out against the consumption of alcohol. Yeah. And talk about how that's a biblical imperative. Yeah, I see got a friend for that story. So when I was in uni, when me and him I met him towards like the middle of college when we were in our course, when I started, I started with a guy from Ecuador. He was the most devout Christian I've ever met in my life. And to the point where I became a better Muslim, because Because of him, and I remember we would talk once we were in college with talk and he carried his Bible with him everywhere. Like it was like a fabric Bible. He had a covered in fabric. And I've asked him, like, why did you carry that? And he goes, it brings me
luck. And he reads it every single morning before class, before class, and we had to take the bus to go time to go home. The whole bus journey he'll tell you before we go, because look, I'm not being rude. But this bus ride is like, now I talk. Yeah, like how I talk with God. Let's sit down. I'm like, I'm like, I'm Muslim.
It makes you feel like, I remember it hurt me so bad. Because I was like, you know, and he I remember once he asked me about, like, you know, not drinking, why don't you drink and stuff like that? Or what I don't have a girlfriend. Not tell him all my religion doesn't allow me. I remember once I told him, I don't have a girlfriend because my religion like, you know, doesn't allow me to start crying. And he goes, my religion says the same, but I still have. He's like, I have like, it hurts me to admit it. You know, I remember the way he was so committed with his own religion. Like, I remember I started taking my religious series, also like because of him So believe it or not, I
learned more about my religion, not from a chef Instagram, YouTube. It was actually from a Christian guy my age. Like got me more serious for my own religious incredible Yeah, and I started taking my religion a bit more serious just because I was like, as insane you know, we're the same age. You know, he'd never a pork he took a serious when there was a party going on. Allah talks about Allah talks about people that
commit to their Bible. And when they hear the Ayat of Allah, even if you hear, here's a small snippet of you staying away from something haram because of the act of Allah, Allah says, you'll see their eyes roll with tears.
Right around the filming of DOMA.
I swear to God, he cried. He actually, Allah makes that that statement of his people relive that all the time. You know, and that's one of the things that this even feels to me like, a massive opportunity to educate the community about their own forget Islamic tradition, their own tradition. Yeah. Because I do believe the Irish people are actually deeply faithful people. Like they have the drinking and all that part of the culture. But Christianity has also been a big part of the education and the heritage. I don't know how if the young generation is probably much less, I think that's more true of the older to the older one. Yeah, like he was he was my age. I pray for him till
today. You know, I went yeah, I went to I went to visit him is having a baby soon. So I went to visit my keep very, he moved to Spain. And I go every chance I get like to also, it's very, very fun. I always tell him I always pray for him then shall lead he gets, you know, become hosts. So you both married. Yeah, you told me baby on the way Chela. Yeah, shall we? So I'm just married.
Okay, nobody's perfect.
You see marriage as well, is a very difficult when you're when you're running a business that you're just starting. Oh, yeah. And then you're balancing the marriage, especially like people who are just married. And like, because we opened up the business, but I opened up the business with you soon as I got married. So like, ish. Yeah, it was, it was very difficult. So and we were I was broke, as always remember, the roof is leaking the toilets not working, you know,
there's dampness in the room mold and, and then on top of that, but she's like, I'm living the life of
she's still you know, see, the thing is, you know, when you're able to, you know, comfort the girl make her laugh, you know, and, you know, she still feels appreciated, you know, so as long as your relationship is good, I feel like a person can go through any type of struggle, you know?
And that's the thing you know, a lot of people can't pull it off. You know, I don't know I put it out.
Loud yellow, protect your marriage and keep you guys each other in both of you. Yeah. Um,
what do you think right now are your biggest challenges
business life, anything?
Let's say he'd have a challenge. And my challenge isn't there yet, but I'd say kid changes the game. I don't know, I don't look at these challenges. To be honest. I feel like I can go get to anything in life. That's how I've developed my mindset, every single challenges want to be conquered. That's how I look at it. Good. Good mindset. Yeah. So it gets you into entrepreneurship, isn't it? Yeah, it was just a series of challenges. Yeah. So it's like, you know, it's just endless puzzles. It's gonna get worse. But
I feel like at this point, it can get worse and worse, that gonna happen. What's gonna Yeah, exactly. So we had like, what a short window of like, what, four or five years where, like, everything that could go wrong went wrong, like full on Murphy's Law in the same span of like, five years now. And after that, like now, things are starting to turn.
That's what helped us you know, and, you know, the thing is, you know, the workload that we had, yeah, the, the strength, because we we can't be defeated. That's how we think about it. There's no problem that can come to us. And we we feel overburdened by because we have such a strong trust that whatever is going to happen in our life is from Allah subhanaw taala. So there is no such thing as failure. If this doesn't work out. Allah subhanho wa Taala didn't want to work with reminding me of IATA for I had, as a sutra Toba. The Muslims were allowed to take on the Roman Empire. And this is, you know, forget apples to oranges. This is apples to watermelons, right? They're they're they're an
army of hundreds of 1000s Yeah. And they're the largest empire to date in history. And other Muslims are about their little tiny little area of Arabia, and they're about to take on the world's massive superpower. Right? would literally centuries of military experience and the hypocrites among the Muslims. Were like you're gonna get get yourselves killed. This is a suicide mission. How are you even thinking of this? And one phrase in the IRS autobuy has helped a lot bassoon Urbina, Illa and hostname
Are you holding back and not joining us? Because we're gonna end up in one of two of one of two most beautiful scenarios. Like, that's what they call, there's only two possibilities, and they're both really beautiful. Either, we're gonna die and we're gonna die serving God. Yeah, that's really beautiful, or Allah will give us victory, which is also really beautiful. So those are the two possibilities you're worried about? Like, that's a winner mindset, isn't it? Like they're seeing
their purpose in life in that light, you know, challenges, difficulties, they're just something beautiful. Yeah. You know, how it's the same thing with those, like, when you go out for business?
Anybody who feels like we're going to fail or something, we look at them as people with a problem. Like, if suppose, like, for example, when we started this business, I remember your family as well. They were like, listen, bro, this is not going to work out. It's not going to work out, you know, just do a job. It's much safer business is a risky, risky thing. You know, for us, it was those people that had a problem with our call. We don't have a problem, whether it works out or not. It's in Allah's hands. You know, my dad used to say there's three things for anybody to become successful, have good near, work hard, and pray, make the war, you know, you live by those three
things, and you have strong character. And you know, you don't get into the negative of what people say, you can accomplish anything. We had family members, that's the hardest one, isn't it? Their family members, you're spending too many hours in the business. And then again, and this is from a different culture, I'm from a different culture, right? And they're like, you know, and sometimes some people they're like, you know, these black studies, Pakistanis, Arabs, yeah, I'd say, you know, God auto, you know,
yeah, so, you know, but because we were of strong character, I believe, by No, I'm not saying, but
and the reason why I say that, I think we are is because we stood the test of time, you know, we we've been through all the hardships, we've had people, you know, I remember there were people camping outside our restaurant to see whether or not we were being successful. Remember those days? You know, we've had people have, you know, binoculars like looking, you know, because we have such a strong connection with Allah because we had a deep rooted relationship that's based off Islamic principles. I felt like we've we've succeeded, even when we when did you guys meet each other? Not 10 years ago? Yeah, college days. Yeah. I don't know something about the college days ban. It's like
a freshman in college. Discovery, like you're still trying to get new yourself. Yeah. So like, if
found yourself in college. And then as you found yourself, you found someone else trying to find himself as well. Yeah. And then like, you just get on the same boat, same journey. We were like pretty different. Yeah. Yeah, we were not like this. I was very shy. He was very talkative and now aren't shy
the cool thing is like, even if you want to business one fact, the only reason this this whole, this whole thing even still working now, it's like, we had good camaraderie. Like God, I'd go and I close my eyes. I'm like, you know, I trust them with everything. My family, my bank, my money, anything. And it's the same the other way around. But you have that kind of level beautiful thing to have.
But as you get older, you realize that's the most precious thing you can have in life. Yeah. And it's not like you even have blood between us. From Asia. I'm from Africa, like, yeah, like totally different continents. But I feel like since we have the one Islam, isn't it? Yeah, that's the
that's the point. The only denominator the common denominator between us and like, listen, look, this is the religion this which you have to be with each other. And that's it. So whenever, like, I think, I don't think about it. I just think like, Oh, I was gonna do something like, Oh, he's watching me, you know, I can't do that. You know, it's like, oh, he trusts me. I can break that trust. If I had this on my own or fear this on his own. I don't think we'd be anywhere near where we are now.
Yeah, so it's like
obviously, we have a third partner in this whole relationship and that was Allah so Zack was to win and Allah so it was a good deal. It was a good business plan. Yeah. Like give it more and more baraka and put the I pray that Allah takes the baraka from this risk and brings it into your entire family's lives into your children's lives settler you know, and makes this a sadhaka Giardia for generations to come I my my drive for this place is that you know, as the years go by, this becomes a franchise and there's
loads us all over I still coming to DC so
Inshallah, very nice talking to you guys. It's such a great experience coming here. Thank you for coming. It's an absolute honor