Channel: Siraj Wahhaj
My name is brother.
I'm the man of mesh. In Brooklyn, New York. This measure has been established since 1981.
I want to tell you something about my committing to the religion of Islam. My, my story is rather different. I imagined for most people become Muslim. I remember 1968 I was a Christian, going into high school. And one of the great leaders in this country, the African American leaders, man by the name of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He was very well known. And he was a freedom fighter for black people.
He was a civil rights worker, very well known, very well respected when he was assassinated. And he died in 1968. And I remember the day that he died. I was in a gymnasium in New York City after school was over, I was playing basketball. And they interrupted our play and told us that he was assassinated. I was very, very sad, I went home crying. And we learned that day that he had died. And I was very sad. I remember saying at that moment, that I was going to either be a black Muslim, or a Black Panther. And the reason that I was going to be a black Muslim or black panther is because these two groups represented what I felt was the freedom and the liberation of black people. I had
believed in Martin Luther King, and his philosophy of non violence very much. But I guess I became disillusioned when he died. And I remember saying that, yes, I'm going to go one way or the other.
That summer, I started reading some of the literature of a group called Nation of Islam, and another group called the Black Panthers.
When I was a freshman at New York University, I met some of the members of this nation of islam and they proselytize me, they spoke to me about their faith. And inside remember, in December of 1969, I went for the first time, I think, a Friday night, I went to one of the temples in Brooklyn. And on that night, I joined the Nation of Islam, and I became what is commonly called a black Muslim. At that time, what I had was an Islam as I know it today.
I follow the man
by the name of Elijah Muhammad, he called himself a messenger of God. At that time, I didn't know really what Islam was, I really didn't know what the Quran was, I didn't know about Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him at all. But this was my first experience to what I thought was Islam. I stayed in that movement from 1969 7071 7273 74 and 75 1975, the leader of that community died, Elijah Muhammad died. And when he died, his son took over a man by the name of Imam waterful de Mohammed. And he taught us that his father, in fact, was not a messenger of Allah. And that, in fact, that wasn't Islam, what we were learning. So I decided at that time, to leave that
community, and for the first time, really, really, really learn about what Islam was. I was so happy when for the first time in 1975, I read the Quran, actually, I read the Quran, in the Arabic language, and not the interpretation of this man, Elijah Muhammad, I begin to read the body for the first time, I began to go to Muslim seminars, and conventions and they I learned about Islam, I began to read books about Islam. So 1975 and 1976, I really, really began to grow and understand Islam. And then, for the first time, I became a Muslim for the right reason. I became a Muslim because I really felt that that was the right direction, the right guidance. I believe very much in
Prophet Mohammed. And as a result of coming, becoming a Muslim, and studying the Quran, I really learned to love Allah. And not only to love Allah and Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them, but to love all the prophets, to really love Jesus, not as God or the Son of God, but as the Messenger of Allah, to love Prophet Abraham and to love Prophet Moses and all the great prophets. And so that began my real, real movement into Islam. And I can say today that I'm very happy. I'm very, very happy to be Muslim and to have met Muslims all over the world.
In fact, the more I travel and meet
Muslims, I was in India a
couple of years ago, and I met Muslims. Then I went to Pakistan and Muslims in Pakistan, and in Turkey, and Saudi Arabia and in Sudan. And all over the world, I began to meet Muslims and, and the more I met Muslims, and the more my faith in Islam increased my faith, in love of this brotherhood of Islam, I could say Alhamdulillah that I am really a Muslim, and a Muslim because I believe very, very firmly in the religion of Islam. One of my greatest ambitions, is now that Allah has blessed me to become Muslim. I want to now go after all those people who are not Muslims. So one of the people that I've spent a lot of time with is the Nation of Islam, the very community that I came out of, I
used to be in the Nation of Islam. I used to think that was correct. But once I learned that it wasn't correct. After I received the write teachings, I went back to the people of the Nation of Islam, and tried to invite them to Islam, and hamdulillah a number of them have, in fact, become Muslim as myself, like Malcolm X, Alhaji Malik Chavez, he was in the same group, the same movement. As you know, in 1974, Malcolm X, left the Nation of Islam and made pilgrimage to Mecca. And when he went to Mecca, he saw that Islam wasn't only for black people, as it was taught in the Nation of Islam, but Islam was for white people, for the red man, for the brown men for the yellow man
islamize for everyone, all over the earth. So the same way, Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and became an orthodox Muslim. I also left the Nation of Islam. But I continue to reach back to the people in the Nation of Islam, and try to encourage them to come to Islam. It seems to us that an over the last few months, the leader of the Nation of Islam, a man by the name of Louis Farrakhan, it seems to us as if he's slowly bringing his community toward the direction of Orthodox Islam. We hope that is true. This is something that he said to us. And we make supplication to Allah, that it's true. I also have, I feel a mission not only to call the people from the Nation of Islam to
Islam, but to go back to the people in this country. I mentioned to you in 1968, I consider myself a follower of Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King was a Christian. I was a Christian. And when I became a Muslim, and learned about Christianity, I feel now that obligation, not only to go back to the members of the Nation of Islam, but also to go back to the Christians. So therefore, I spend a lot of time studying Christianity, and Judaism. And because I live in a country that's dominated by Christians and Jews, one of my great desires is to go back, and to introduce Islam to as many Christians and as many Jews as I can. So, no matter how many times we say, I became a Muslim, for
this reason, and I became a Muslim for that reason, really, the bottom line is that I'm thankful to Allah that Allah guided me to become Muslim. Because it's very interesting to note that
there are Muslim parents who live in the West, there are about 1,500,000,000 Muslims around the world. And one third of them are in countries where the Muslim population is the minority. So these Muslims all over the world in the West, and the United States, and France and Germany and Great Britain all over. And
it's interesting that a Muslim parent, trying to raise their children in America is not easy. And so they'll send their children to a Muslim private school. And sometimes they send the children to a public school. And it's very difficult for them to maintain the Islamic identity. But if you think about it, I was a young boy growing up in this society, and I grew up going to public school, yet, there's no Muslim in my family. My mother and father weren't Muslim. My brother wasn't Muslim, my cousins, No, nobody in my family was Muslim, yet I became a Muslim. So I became a Muslim in the midst of have no examples around me. So if I can become Muslim, when there's no example around me,
then perhaps I can help others in this country to become Muslims to be others in this city to become Muslim. So I've gone all over the country. I've spoken in colleges and universities, high schools, I've spoken many forums, many seminars, and I pray to a lot continue to bless me that I could dedicate my life to inviting people to Islam. Why did I become a Muslim? Allah knows best.
He's the guide, and he guided me to Islam, and hamdulillah I think a lot for that. And now I must do the best I can to invite other peoples. It's my opinion.
And after traveling around the United States, especially around the world, especially among Christians and Jews, that Muslims missed the boat, and how to invite Christians to Islam, in my opinion, I think that there are a lot of people that have done a lot of good work, very notable work.
So this is no criticism of them. But my criticism rather, is a general criticism.
I think that Muslims dialogue with the non Muslims, especially Christians and Jews, has been lacking. And I would like to
kind of give my opinion, and the way that I think that we can better approach the Christians. By and large, the approach that Muslims have taken is that to bash the Christians and the Jews
to find areas of conflict, actually, there's many, many areas where Muslims and Christians and Jews agree.
One of the things that Muslims the approaches that Muslims take my opinion, is almost to define Islam as something new.
This is the biggest mistake I remember, once I was in Toronto, attending a conference in a young Muslim person who spoke in front of me said that the latest the newest religion, is Islam, the newest religion.
And I said that I would like to differ with you that Islam is not the newest religion. In fact, Islam is the oldest religion, I was reading a book by a Jewish author. And in his introduction, he said that Judaism gave birth to Islam, and Christianity.
Judaism didn't give birth to Islam, know Christianity, from the very beginning, the religion that Allah has given to mankind has always been and only been Islam, but we must understand it. Now. I think it's the role of the Muslims to understand, to explain to the Christians and Jews that Islam is not anything new. But it's the same religion actually, as Moses. It's the same religion as Jesus is the same religion of every prophet, Prophet Muhammad Ali, salaam, Islam said something very powerful. I think most Muslims missed it. He says that,
that my example, an example of the prophets that came before me, is the example of a man who built a building. And the building was perfectly put together. And the people went around the building and said, how beautiful the building, except there's a brick missing.
And he says, I am that brick, and I'm the CEO of the profits. Now, what does that mean? I looked at the score, and that we have and x Muslims describe, how much of it is no 100% of it. 50% of it 25% 10% 5%. How much of the Qur'an is really no. If you notice that Allah uses words for the Quran, one of the things that he said he called the Masada con man, banner ad, it is a verification, of what went before in the Torah, and in the NGO, in the Gospel of Jesus, and in the Torah that Prophet Muslim, Moses brought to the people. That means that it's a verification, then that means that there are things in the court and that's in the Torah that's in the Injeel. That's true. But there's a lot
of things in the Quran that's also in these books.
But it says
there's a brick missing. So what is the brick?
Allah says in court and a yom at Mount to Lacan, Dino Khan, this day, have I Allah perfected your religion for you? He's completed the religion now, but will be completed wasn't a big major portion, but a brick. And I believe that is the Muslims understanding of what this brick is. That's going to make the difference between the Muslims and the Christians and the Jews. Christians say that Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word that Muslims argue with them on this point, but yet Allah mentioned in the Quran, that Jesus is Kalamata, that he is, in fact the word of Allah, but the Muslims, rather than denying what the Christians saying, we shouldn't deny it, but explaining
Jews say that Moses is the greatest prophet because they said that God spoke to Moses directly. And in fact, they quote from their book, which says, in essence, that, that God spoke to Moses directly even as a man speaks face to face with a friend. So this is their position.
Muslims don't have to argue the point. Yeah, we argue, you know, who's the greatest prophet and all of that. The Prophet said, Don't give me any of the prophets. Don't say that I'm even better than the prophet Jonah. So the Prophet Alayhi salat wa salam is teaching us something. If you study the Quran, Allah says that Allah spoke to Moses, directly. Jesus is the Word of God. Morrow, who Minho and a spirit from him.
It's what the Quran says. And also Allah says that he spoke to Moses directly. Now, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them toward us that the first prophet to be dressed on the Day of Judgment, His Prophet Abraham. He said that only two people hasn't been touched by shaytaan at their birth. He said that was Prophet Jesus and his mother, Mary, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him said that the first person to come into consciousness on the Day of Judgment, His Prophet Moses, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him said, the most honorable person is prophet Yusuf, the son of a prophet than the grandson of a prophet and the great grandson of a
prophet. So when you studied the Prophet Mohammed, the laser that he gave all of these prophets, some peculiarities something about them, that other people didn't have something extra something special. Now, what is that? that's missing? What is that? That little thing that the Prophet Muhammad Ali Salaam Salaam brought that was different from all of the profits?
Again, I want to keep emphasizing the point that our job as Muslims, is to help the Christians and the Jews understand Islam.
both Jews and Christians respect Prophet Abraham
who respects Prophet Abraham on Sunday, the Muslim faith, Muslims have to pray five times a day every day. And at the end of our prayer, we must say Allahumma suddenly Allah Mohammed what Allah Allah Mohammed came so late to Allah Ibrahim, Mohammed Ali, Ibrahim, Mohammed Al Majid, Oh Allah, bless Mohammed and bless the followers of Muhammad, as you already blessed Prophet Abraham and the followers of Prophet Abraham. And this is something that Muslims pray every day in their prayer five times a day. So we linked to Prophet Ibrahim Prophet Abraham, we tied to him. And as you know, Islam is a faith that makes us part of its basic fundamental principle, that they must believe in all the
prophets that came before and they must believe in all the scriptures that the prophets brought. This is the point that we want to emphasize to, to the Jews and to the Christians. Let me go to the point Finally, about what is in the Quran, that we know for sure is different in any other script.
Once the angel jabril la sala salon was sitting with Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and he heard a noise above him, What are you, the Prophet says, and he raised his head
and said to the Prophet, has that Babylon minister now here's a door from Paradise, from the sky that has been opened this day, have never been opened before.
And from that door, came in angel came down to the earth. This Angel has never been down to earth before.
And this angel said to the Prophet assalamu Aleikum, he greeted the Prophet. And then he told the Prophet Adam Schiff, have the good news. Be no rainy, two lights
that has been given to you, Prophet Mohammed, that has never been given to any profit before. These two lines represent to me the key of the core and what was given was in the core, and that's not anywhere else. It's not in jail. It's not in the Torah. It's not in the Gospel of Jesus. It's not in the Torah of Moses. Number one, he said
so to fattier,
the first chapter of the book, The Quran.
To me, the thing that the Christians and the Jews are missing is guidance. Now, how do I know that Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him said that,
talking to his followers, you will follow the weight of the people that came before you, step by step, inch by inch, so that if they fall in a hole of a lizard, you will fall right behind them. Carlo, they said his companions, yada
yada Do you mean the Jews and the Christians and the prophets of for men who else so we learned from this is that the Christians and the Jews who had received the right guidance and
That's the path and then as the job of the Muslims to bring them back, but how do we bring them back? I believe that we bring them back by not with something new, but with the same teachings. But the recognition that there's two lights that the Prophet Mohammed has a book that's missing, that they don't have an analysis will be my own Zilla eloheem. It'll be one
that the messenger believes and what was revealed to him. And so to the believers, this is the beginning of the last two verses of sorts of Baccarat and also ends with Muslims making a supplication to Allah, asking Allah subhanho wa Taala that he would not put on us a burden, like he put on those who came before us. So my conclusion
Muslims have a lot of work to do,
of inviting these people to Islam. I remember once Prophet Muhammad Ali, so that was mom told him if he said while you're going to Yemen, with Nikita, among the People of the Book, let the first thing that you invite them to is the one that's
when they accept that then inform them, that allows made incumbent upon them to pray five times a day. And when they pray five times a day, when they understand that then explained to them a loss made incumbent upon them to pay this account. Now, it's interesting to note that 1400 years ago,
no Muslims in Yemen, nothing but Christians and Jews, but yet and open up an almanac. In terms of the end in the country called Yemen, you will find out nearly 100% of the people of Yemen are Muslim, because of the vision the Prophet Mohammed had 1400 years ago and that is given the guidance to the people there. But in the best way. I close with these words alone, the Quran says although Allah, Sabina eradicable hikmah, one minute and half an hour God
called to the way of the Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best. And Allah admonished the Muslims in local and to not argue with the people in the book, except in ways that are best. What I've been talking about this last few moments, is talking to the people in the best way, the way that our lives given to us. He says, to tell them, we believe in what was revealed to us and what was revealed
to you, the people, the book, our God, and your God is one and we submit our will to do as well. So I conclude, my brothers and sisters from India, wherever you may be, I pray to Allah that the Muslims are sensitive, wherever they are, if there are some people who are surrounded in the land by Hindus, then they have to be understand how to talk to Hindus. If they live in an area that is surrounded by Buddhists, they have to be very sensitive to the people who studied the religion of practice the religion of Buddhism. But if you're in a place like America, with a dominating people dominating religion is is Christianity and Judaism, then we must learn how to invite them. I pray
Allah subhanho wa Taala he can bless us and bless our efforts we actually do make, do if us and I pray that Allah will bless you in whatever area you are, to bring invite to people to the religion of Islam will handle me