Channel: The Deen Show
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Is this Mila here ra manaea Rahim hamdulillah hirak. Bella
is 22 years in the middle, just 22 years all my life, I have been active with the church. So the people of Iraq, they literally they invited us into their house to sleep there because they saw we were literally sleeping in our grave. The biggest fear for me in becoming a Muslim was my own fear. There My head's gonna get chopped out this and that you are welcome and like your sample. Imagine if an army came here in Iraq, and I read that Quran cover to cover I thought, wow, this is the most beautiful thing I have ever read in my life, maybe about five feet from where you're sitting. And it was the only one that didn't explain. So what would you tell something like this to Jordan Peterson?
Deep down inside? I couldn't believe I never believed that Isa was God. I didn't stop there because this
is a piece Welcome to the D show. Subscribe if you haven't already hit that notification bell and get ready for an exciting another exciting episode. 22 years in the military went from being a marine Air Force army
and was on his way to become a Christian Deacon. He's here on the D show. Mark. How are you brother? Sam? Okay, come on up to a better Captain world equals Salaam raha la casa Now what did we just say? Oh, Mashallah. It's the What did we just say? greetings of peace. It's May the peace and blessings of God Almighty be with you? Isn't that amazing? I tell you, you know that's it touches my heart. Because coming from the Catholic faith is cherished Catholic Christian tradition. That's exactly what they tell you is when you greet somebody, you greet them with a peace, the love and peace of God. It's not just something that when you go to church, you just say to church, no, it's something
that you take out of church. Every time you greet somebody, you greet them with the love of your heart. And, and that and that's what we have. We have that as a living example. We say that every day peace with your I was getting excited when I agree. I tell you it is it's such a beautiful, it's such a beautiful greeting, especially when you think about it. Me the peace, the mercy, the blessings of God be with you. Yeah, you know, it's just it carries so much to it. We can talk about today's greeting for all excited with people who have accepted Islam, and now they're uttering this beautiful statement statement. And Jesus also uttered and all the other prophets would just continue
that legacy. But you were actually so is 22 years in the middle? Yes. 22 years. 22 years. Some pictures people are seeing now you Yes. You were from the Marines? Yes. Yes. From the marine says spent eight years in the Marines. During that time, I ended up doing two tours in Iraq, back in 2003 2004, and 2005. In my unit, I was with the bridge company, engineer, bravo out of Philadelphia, US Marine Corps, and we ended up we were one of the very first people to cross into across the the Iraqi border, going into Iraq, making our way all the way from Bosnia and Azaria all the way to El coup to Baghdad. We made our way up to Ramadi to crit these are towns or towns these are cities we
were we actually went into the the birthplace, the home of Saddam Hussein and into his palaces and everything. So yeah, yeah, we were one of the very first very first across the line is that when it
you know, it was
it wasn't bad to the point where we had so many the suicide bombers and the roadside bombs. You know, the initial initial fight was the organized military. And, you know, it really, it really struck me profoundly, because all the people that we came across the kids, they were coming out to the streets, the people, they were greeting us, you know, we had little children holding a picture signs of what you American flag, you know, yeah, go America or happy and excited. And Subhanallah we got to play even soccer games with them. Granted, they completely kicked our butts.
Those Iraqis, they know how to play. They know how to play a good soccer, you were given a good greeting in the beginning. Oh, yeah. That was in the very beginning. And the people were so amazing. It's because the group we were with were moving so fast, so fast through Iraq, we didn't have enough water, we didn't have enough food. So so the people of Iraq, they literally they invited us into their house to sleep there because they saw we were literally sleeping in our grave, we would dig a hole in the ground, just like a grave and that's where we would sleep. And so they saw this and they invited us literally to sleep in their homes. They saw we didn't have food, they gave us food from
their food from their from their dish. They gave us the water to drink just the hospitality. It's it's unfathomable. You know, I think about it in terms of like what would happen
If another country like Mexico or Canada or somebody, if they invited the USA, like, would we greet the Mexican army invading Texas? and saying, Oh, please come stay in our house here have food from No, you know, it's so that kind of hospitality, it blew my mind away. How did that change? All that changed, didn't it? Every time I've been there, I have found nothing. But the most kind, generous, heartwarming people, you know, and they say, it's the few it's the 1%, who ruin everything for the majority. Yeah. And that's, that, you know, that's the real shame is, you know, people don't understand, you know, the people of wreck, the love the kindness that they have. It's, it's, it's
something special, like you don't see this anywhere else. And so, you know, it's something that actually got me to think. And when I was in Iraq, I was like, I have to learn more about these people. This is this is, this is something special. So I thought to myself, what better way to learn about people than to learn about them through the religion, because you learn the religion, and it will explain the culture, it will explain the laws, it will explain everything about them. So when I was there, I actually went and bought a Quran when I was there in Iraq, and I read that Quran cover to cover I thought, wow, this is the most beautiful thing I have ever read in my life. And just
completely blown away about it. And so much, so I even bought some prayer rugs because I thought they were just so beautiful just to have them as decorations, little wood, I know, I would never even think about 20 years later, I would be using that same Quran to read from I would be using that same prayer rug to be able to pray on every single day. So how to love the color of Allah. It's it's, it's beyond comprehension. It's beyond comprehend. Now, let's back it up. What had you come to a point that you were like, okay, I want to go to Iraq. So, so going to Iraq, it's a it's a really funny story, right? So, you know, and just to like, a little bit more history, like so when, like,
when I was a little child growing up, I was like, fourth, fifth grade and in geography class, and we're studying the world and world religion. And they showed a picture, you know, they talking about the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. And then they showed a picture of Mecca and the Kaaba, and was like, Oh, my God, that's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, satellites, just beautiful. And I just raised my hand like a little kid, like, I want to go there, I want to see it. It's so beautiful. And I never forget the the teacher was there was a beautiful sunny day, I was sitting right on the side, right by the window, I'll never forget it to this day. I look. And she
goes, I'm sorry, Mark, but only Muslims can go there. And my heart broke. I almost died. I started crying there in class. And so a few years later, you know, they had back in 91, they had the first Gulf War, and all my life, I'd been very active in the Boy Scouts, community service. I was like, You know what? Seeing these American soldiers, you know, fighting for freedom, defending the people of Kuwait. I was like, wow, you know, I want to be like these people who defend America who serve, you know, serve the people, protect the people do good, you know, go out community service. So, one day in high school, I get this phone call. And I hear this man on the phone. Hi, I'm Sergeant
dobrowski from the US Marine Corps. curious if you'd be interested to come down and talk to us if you might be interested in the Marines. I thought to myself, I'm like, Well, I have no idea who these Marines are. Like, I just know there's a military. I didn't know there's air force. There's army, there's Navy. I didn't know any of that. It's just okay. It's military. So it's like, Sure. So I didn't want to tell them, like, feel bad and say, No, I'm really not interested. I was like, you know, okay, I'll go there. I'll listen to a guy. He'll give me the spiel. And I'll be like, Ah, thank you so much, but I'm really not interested. Yeah, little did I know.
They'd be coming back to my house. And my parents would be signing a waiver. For me, it's 17 years old to go and join the Marines. And they're like, Mark, what are you doing? This is the Marines of all people of all groups. You're going the Marines. They're gonna kill you. And he's like, No, no, no, nothing to worry about. And never go overseas. Don't worry, no events. And sure enough course 911 happens. And the whole world changes. Yeah. So yeah, so it was really having so you did three deployments. Yeah. So three deployments to with the Marines and then after, after I served eight years with the Marines I decided, you know, what, it was time for change because it was a difficult
life. It was tough is hard on the body.
You know, it was for me constantly being shot at you know, having to see you know, many of my good friends get killed and die right in front of me. In our in Iraq, it was it was hard. You know, it was it was hard. You know, you get sad because you'll hear a lot of people you know, talking about that part of the world, but it's like they've been blown back into the Stone Age. You know, it is it is so it's so unfair, but what you and also a lot of misconceptions, like
Thinking that okay, if I go there, my head's gonna get chopped out this night You are welcome and like your sample Imagine if dogs can army came here. Welcome them in your homes like when we when we had peace time we were you know downtime when we were you know had time with we ever go out with the kids we were playing soccer games with them. We were going we were literally building schools. We're going and building brand new modern modern technology schools for them. Tell me So at what point did you start going down that road of going to Christian seminary, so I tried to become a deacon. So yes, during during the military, so I'll tell you. So what happened is there was there was a very
pivotal moment in my very first deployment in Iraq.
And we were being shot at every single day. We were having bombs go off next to us. Every single day. I had a bomb land, maybe about five feet from where you're sitting. And it was the only one that didn't explode. And had it gone off. I would have been I would just come home and pieces would have been in pieces. And in Iraq. I was convinced there was no possible way. I was coming home alive. So you saw it. You saw Yeah, there and it just didn't explode. It exploded. That's it wouldn't be here on the day. No, I would be in 1000 different pieces. They wouldn't, they would not have enough. They wouldn't have any pieces to put in a body bag. So what are you thinking at that
after I cleaned my soiled pants
it was I mean, literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week non stop. Everybody's trying to kill you. Everybody's trying to kill you. For me.
My mind was, I was said I was going to die. So you know what? I just I said, Please, dear God, please, God, please. Just let me live long enough to see one more sunset. Just one just one more sunset. And if a bomb lands on me, if somebody shoots me if I die hamdulillah Thank you, Allah, you gave me that, that beautiful gift of just seeing that sunset in the Middle East. And I would cry, I would cry. I literally I would bawl my eyes out crying and begging God, please. Just let me just let me live one just a little bit more time, just long enough to see that sunrise. Because it's so beautiful. So beautiful there in the deserts of Iraq. It's so beautiful. I said, Please, I beg God,
please let me live long enough just to see that sunrise. And, and if you kill me right then and there, if I die, if I get blown into 1000 pieces, I at least I can die in peace because God gave me that last gift that last wish. And so there was one moment where I was in the south of Iraq. And I was walking to my post. And it was just after fudger.
And the sun was just just about to come up
to rise above the horizon. And the school the sky had this beautiful brilliant colors of reds and blues and oranges. And if you've ever seen the sunrise in the desert, it's just the most beautiful thing that you could ever possibly see. So in this moment, for whatever reason, I can't remember, I stopped and I look down. And here we are about three 400 miles inland from any water by 400 miles and I looked down and I scoop up the scoop up the earth like this. And I look in my hand. And all I see are hundreds of these little beautiful sea drills and
seashells like you were standing at the beach. All of this life like right there in my hand. And in that exact moment. I had this feeling like Isa Alia Salim Musa alayhis, salam, Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam felt like they were literally they're like, I could feel their arm, go onto my shoulder, telling me Everything is going to be okay. Don't worry,
you'll be okay. Nothing's going to happen. And that exact moment, that in that exact moment, absolute peace and tranquility was like a dream or no, this was walking to my post, instantaneously. All stress, all everything all gone. Just absolute peace and tranquility.
And it's it's something that I can't even begin to describe.
But at that exact moment, all my life. I've been active with the church. My father was the music director. My mother was very much involved with religious education at the time, in the Methodist Church, my father's in the Catholic Church, you know, so we're very, very much Christian
oriented. So at that moment, I said, You know, I have to give more. I want to be God, I have to thank you somehow, I have to give the rest of my life I owe you my life, my life.
I could live 1000 times 1000 times over and not one. All those 1000 would not be able to give enough thanks. Just for this one life God has given us is that what led you now? So that's what led me. That's what I said, You know what? I have to do more? I got involved with the the diaconate I got involved with the church. I became a Eucharistic minister. I became a an acolyte. Doctor. Yes, yes. Very much so very much. So. I started teaching religious education as above the minister. Yes, yes. You're on your way to go. Yes. Priest in the ranks. Yeah. So in fact, Deacon, is actually the first official level of ordination in the Catholic Church. It's the first process of ordination. So you
have Deacon, and then you're ordained as a deacon, and then you are ordained as a priest. I see. So all Mr. Deacon priest, yes. So all priests start as a deacon. And then when they finish their finish the seminary, then they're completed with their ordained as the as a full bloom. So now you're a minister? And what are you thinking? So I'm thinking I'm like, you know, here I was, I was serving doing God's work. But I had something inside, I had something that was really troubling. Deep down inside, I couldn't believe I never believed that Isa was God. I didn't stop there, because they just did a new survey that you do have today. This is recent 52% of Christians or more, don't believe
that. Jesus was God? Did you read that survey? Oh,
this is really just spoke about it. I also don't believe that he's God. Yeah. So that's part of our nature to kind of reject that. It is human being isn't you? Were you were you were as a Christian minister, you were having trouble with that. Exactly. Because what kind of feeling what do you you know, it was a it was a deeply unsettling, I was deeply unsettling, deeply, unsettling, deeply unsettling. How could I, as an ordained Deacon, as becoming ordained as a minister of God? How could I be teaching a theology that I did not believe?
That's hypocritical? So you so you're believing in the oneness of God, that monotheism perhaps you're having a problem now with the Trinity, or it's, you know, it's a whole factors, saints, using senses intercessors, asking, praying to a saint to pray to God, no, look at the teachings of Jesus, looking the teachings of UCLA for them. Never, ever, did he say, pray to him to go to God, never did he tell anybody. He never said, Pray to me and all pray to God, no. He said, pray to Lord your God. pray to Him alone. Pray to no other. You know, if you look, everything says pray to God alone, your Lord your God is one. It's there. Don't make idols. And I think myself, Well, I look in the Holy
Land, people go and they see these these these relics, and they kiss them, they venerate them, they pray to them, you know, and I'm thinking to myself, you're praying, you're making idols. You're so what happened to God? Why are you not praying to God? Why are you putting so much emphasis on Jesus, when you should be putting that same emphasis into God? Because it Yes, Jesus did miracles. But he did them with God's permission. He did them by God's grace. You know, he wasn't.
He didn't just do it by himself. Did that come off as more feeling more natural now? What you're saying, oh, it makes total sense. It did. It did. And, you know, but I it was such a is such an troubling feeling. And, you know, I hadn't realized I had this wonderful friend of mine, his sister from Indonesia.
My sister ayanda, who actually just recently got married and is expecting this December handily. But yeah, but so she and her family, I was talking one day and said, You know, I'm supposed to be going in the diaconate. And I forget how we were talking about something, and I never spoke about religion. You know, she's Muslim. I'm Christian. You know, so we never really talked much about the religion, but you know, it was bothering me so much. I don't know what it was, but something inside me felt compelled to talk about it. And I was like, you know, what, something's really bothering me. You know, it's like, I'm supposed to be going into the dadgummit. I'm supposed to be preaching all
of us. But I don't believe it. And you're telling us to and I'm telling this to my, my Muslim sister.
You know, and she was like, Well, you know, everything that you're describing is exactly what Islam teaches. So this is a Muslim that you knew that yes. Okay. Your your, your concerns and exactly so a friend of mine who have known for many years, a wonderful, wonderful family, Muslim from Indonesia, living here in the USA, and were you ever at any point trying to come
Her towards Christianity. Nope, nope. Never Never. Because it's respect. Yeah, it's a respect. You know? It's
especially how can you convert somebody to something that you don't believe? Oh, good point. So now you're telling her this and she's What does she say? Hope? So she says, Well, you know what, Mark, everything you're describing is exactly what Islam teaches and what Islam believes. And it was like, it was a moment where I stopped and thought for a second I was like, You know what, I've read the Quran cover to cover you know, but you you read the Quran now. You Oh, yeah, I read the Quran even before so you read it by now I read? Oh, yes, because I heard you wanted to get to know the people. So now you are is the book that the yellow. That's a great piece of advice for everybody watching
right now. Um, if you want to know what Muslims believe, and that's it the most read it, read it, read the Quran. It will, it will help you understand everything behind the people, the culture, the customs. It helps you understand, have you heard of just come to my mind because you have a lot of intellectuals out there. Have you heard of Jordan Peterson? Oh, the name doesn't ring a bell? Yes. Yeah, he recently he got sick. Mm hmm. You know, I think he's getting a little better. But for people like him, like Jordan Peterson or others, I mean, they're highly intelligent. But then sometimes people end up talking about they get out of their lane, and they start talking about
Islam. Uh huh. And they haven't even read the Quran. Yeah, or good translation of the Quran or sat with the Muslim. Ah, so what would you tell something like this to Jordan Peterson. somebody knows intellectual. If you want to know the truth. You have to go out and search for the truth yourself. Don't rely on CNN. Don't rely on a political office that runs the country. If you want to know the truth. Go out and find out. Take the Quran. The Quran is the source of Islamic knowledge is the source. It's the the, the source of all of our religion, it's the it's everything encompasses everything. If you want to learn, go out and read, read the Quran, go to a Masjid, go to a mess.
Don't be afraid. They may look at you weird. Like, can I help you? You're here for something. But you know what? They will be the most loving, inviting people you could possibly imagine. When you tell them? Yes. You know, I'm Christian. I'm Jewish. I'm atheist. I'm Hindu. I'm Buddhist. It doesn't matter. When you go in there and say, You know what? I don't know much about the religion. All I know is what I see on CNN, the news, and I would like to learn some information about what it is so panela they will be like, Oh, please. Yes, come, come, please. Here. Can I get you some coffee? Would you like some water? Here? Let me get you some information. I have a shake here. I
have an Imam here. We'd love to of course, what can we do for you? Please go You're always welcome. Anytime. Yeah. You know, that's being academically sound, because I mentioned his name Jordan Peterson. And because there's many people know him. There's many people like that again, to get out of their lane. They start talking about Islam. They got an opinion, they formed opinion off some fake news. Right, exactly. So the wrong information. Yeah, you used to 22 years in the military, intelligent individual was Christian minister about to be a deacon, and you weren't against all odds? The Deen show is one who submitted as well to the Creator, the heavens and earth. That's it
and go ahead and finish off with Yeah, so it's, I mean, you have to go out you have to go. Don't be afraid. Because you know, one thing I can say the biggest fear for me in becoming a Muslim was my own fear. My fear that didn't exist. Yeah, I was fearful of the unknown. I was fearful I was thinking religion. People don't change religion. Nobody changes your you don't change a religion. You are born a religion. You live a religion, you die by that is a false pretext. Yes, yes, it is. You know, and it's, that's kind of like the the mindset. And I see that even with my own family, it breaks my heart, like, especially now that I'm Muslim, they're still Christian. It kills me because
there's so much rooted there in traditionalism. This is traditionally the way it has been. This is traditionally the knowledge that I know, this is what I practice. I've done this for 50 years, 60 years, 70 years, my parents, you know, for them to, to think after having spent an entire lifetime following a religion, and then to say, you know what, I think I'm going to change my religion. It's not normal. So you're talking to your friend and the friend is telling you Well, everything that you believe this is not in Islam. Yeah. What happens from there? So from there, she was like, Well, you know, what, how about this? Why don't you come with my family, you can come with my father, my
brother, you can go to a Masjid. And you can go see what a Juma prayer is. And you know, all of my years, all my years, I
Never, not once ever stepped foot in the masjid, even in Iraq, because we're always armed we always have our weapons with us. And that's one thing you do not ever do. Right? There's let's start right there. For again, another good point one we just covered read the Quran I'm trying to be.
We're gonna make this really efficacious to the best of our ability. So for Jordan Peterson and others, you mentioned read the Quran, get around, go visit a machine and go to a Juma ask questions. Okay, so let's mark Yeah, keep going. So, of course, of course, absolutely. No problem. Yeah. So, so I was like, You know what, I had never been to one. I have no idea what one is. I don't know anything about it. I just know it's their Sunday prayer on Friday. That was it.
That's all that's all. I knew. Literally. You go there. Yep. I don't know what they do. I don't know how they pray. I don't know anything. I literally, I just know what was going for the first time. Ah, hamdulillah.
Okay, yes, I was nervous here. Even though even though I was with people who are like they were my comfort blanket. Yeah, I won't lie. Magic. Can you imagine I've asked this. I've asked people who came for the first time. You know, they were shooting bullets or Oh, sweating, bullets sweating balls off. But afterwards, they had just great things. Oh, visit a mosque. Just visit with the Muslims. Talking about Muslims and cursing Muslims and standing outside with guns in front of a homicide? Yes, he Yeah. Coffee. Hey, in fact, I'll explain something that highlights that so beautifully in just a minute. Right. We're finished. So I'll finish this part first. So So Sam said,
Okay, so I went with them. First time ever going in, you know, so you go inside and I say sit with them. And Subhanallah I will never further my life. I will never forget that Juma prayer, that first one, because it was the most beautiful sermon I have ever heard in my entire life. And it was all about the sanctity and the preciousness and the value of life. And not just human life, the life of animals, respecting the trees that we have on this earth that give a shade, that gives us wood to build our houses, having love and respect and care for the water that we drink, because so few places actually have drinkable water. Right. And the whole, the whole Juma the whole sermon that he
gave was just on how beautiful and how respectful it is that we need to be for life, the fake news that many it's ironic that you have groups of people who will call
media channels, which we also agree with, they have a lot of propaganda nowadays. And it's fake news, right? Yes. But now those same people will go ahead and believe all that garbage when it comes to Islam. Now, they will think that Islam and Muslims don't value human life, which you are seeing on witnessing the best sermon in your life that's talking about the sanctity and value of life. As soon as you walk into your mosque. They know you were coming. So if the nobody knew, nobody had a clue. It was just show up. And they're like, you know, of course, it was like, okay, they have a guest. Yeah, you know, so I was dressed normal, nice clothes you'd like I would normally for you
know, like a Sunday Mass. You know, just nice, you know, not like baggy loose or anything, but just nice. And yeah, so nobody really picked up much and listening. And it was the most beautiful thing I had. So afterwards, right? So they asked me so so what did you think about the you know, the prayer, and oh, and when it came time for prayer, they're like, okay, don't worry about anything. Just kind of stand here next to me, and just kind of try and follow along, just kind of do what I do. Just kind of fit in and you'll be good. Don't worry about a thing. So I said, Okay, so they were talking in some language. I didn't know anything. I knew a couple words from when I was in Iraq, so I know
like salaam aleikum. And that was about it. Yeah.
Yeah, yeah. Exactly. The language that they're speaking I mean, it's it's a sister to the language, the original language that Jesus spoke because he did not speak English. He spoke Aramaic. Yes, Arabic, Arabic then you have ancient Hebrew was a connected Yes. Semitic language. Exactly. They're all of the same root language. It's just like, English, French, Spanish, Italian. They're all Latin based. They're all based out of the Latin. So it just the same. You have the Hebrew, the Aramaic, the Arabic, they're all Semitic language. These these are these are the the, the languages that many of the revelations were revealed. Yes. Right. Yes, exactly. So now okay. So what happens now? So you
leave the masjid the mosque, you get to experience also the prayer. How was the prayer when you saw the period of? So is this the first time you were saying this is the first time I actually ever saw a prayer. And when the prayer finished, I was said, is that it? It was like, five minutes. I was like, Where's the rest of the prayer? Where's the standing up? Where's the bowing? Where's the going front and back? And you know, because Christians we have all this. You know, as Catholics, we have all these traditions and things that we do and like, no, that's it. That's it.
decomp we listen to sermon, we pray, pray a few Raka. And let's get back to work and back to work. But now when you were seeing people pray, like, did it remind you at all because you have passages Bible showing how Jesus would fall on his face and pray to the Creator. And now you're seeing Muslims fall on their face and pray to God, oh my goodness, one of the most beautiful things that I found in it was when you go down and you put your forehead on that ground, there is just something about it, that you have just an overwhelming closeness with God. And overwhelming piece that comes up that when you when you're down there and your head is on the ground, and you are down there in
submission to God. You there's,
you don't want to get back up. You just want to stay there in that position. It just there's something about it that you just, you just want to stay like that. Now, there's also a prayer that's recited 17 times a day. It's the opening of the Quran. It's kind of if you are to the Lord's Prayer, it's, I always tell Christians I mean, the Lord's Prayer is calling you to our father you can see our Lord God wasn't heaven Hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come Thy will be done that's that's I will be done is Islam. Islam means to submit your will to God exact opening prayer. You heard that for the first time there and now and now you've actually because you've been a Muslim how long about
two and a half years now? Almost three, so yeah, I want people to hear now from you. Can you can you recite the LFO? Oh, yes. Yeah, listen,
this Mila here ra manaea Rahim. hamdulillah hirak Bella me rahmanir rahim Malik Maliki yo meeting. He can Abu yuckiness dying. Dr. Serato Mr. Kim sirata Latina Anant la him. Oh Hi, Mark Lu B la homolog. Doe Li Mashallah
just listening to that's like food medicine for the soul. What did you in a nutshell what what did for the person like wow, you know, they're listening to this for the first time like, man, there's like, what is he? What did you just say, you know, what, what were you saying? What is it? What does it give us the translation of there's, there's something so magical because even not knowing a word of what it's saying. It brings such a piece to you, it touches you it brings you like, there's nothing about it. We just went over your history. 22 years in deployment what but you're, you have memorize what people this is a living miracle to this day, the Quran at a bar inspiring to memorize
bits and pieces chunks and the whole thing is up and you're living I take your living testimony that now you you're memorizing. You're reciting it here, you know, what's it what's incredible to like, one of the most incredible things I don't even know how where to begin, right? So if you think there are about 2 billion Muslims, I think about 1.8 right now going up to almost 2 billion right? of those. There are hundreds, hundreds of millions of Muslims who have memorized the entire Quran from beginning to end in the Arabic language, Arabic. I've seen children as little as eight and nine years old, who've memorized the entire thing they can recite. It's it's mind boggling. Hundreds of
millions of Muslims. Now we're talking about evidence. This is evidence. Well, you know what Islam is just not about faith, blind faith, you have evidence that leads a person to accept any way of life. This is one of the miracles and one of the noses. What is so incredible about that right is I think, how many people little children who have memorized right, I think about the the Bible, how many revisions of the Bible do you have? How many different editions do you have? How many different languages do you have? Most of them? None of none of them actually fit? Perfect? And they're all translations? Are you struggling struggling with this while you're a minister? Oh, well, you know
what? This one because you struggle with the, the Trinity, you know, and Jesus being God, this point that you mentioned, Authenticity, yeah. And even going with this also even, you know, even you know, going into the seminary, they teach you that the Bible is the the greatest resource of literary collection types. You have mythology, you have tales, you have history, you have science fiction, you have you have poetry, you have all of these. So, some of its supposed to be metaphorical. Some of it's supposed to be historical, some of it's just supposed to be an like an analogy, you know, and there's a
Real disconnect to it, you know, fables myths, you know? And you know, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense. You, I can understand to a point, okay? You're trying to educate people at a time in the past, say, Okay, well, in the beginning, there was this one person, and then God took a rib and made this other person. But that's really not what it means. It just means that humanity started, you know, in a very small group, and we evolved. And then as we evolved, we came in bigger numbers, it doesn't make sense, you know, how can, you know, they say, behind every myth, there is some basis of factual history. And even I was just watching the other day like on
National Geographic, they were talking about this ancient city, in Egypt, in the delta of the Nile River, and how they thought it was just a mythological place that the Greeks and Romans and everybody wrote about, but it never really existed. And then just a few years ago, they found no, this city really didn't exist, it was just underneath the ocean. And nobody thought to look there. And then I'll let you get back to your story. This beautiful thing is the concept has always been the same that God Almighty sent messengers, and they all call people to submit their will to the creator of that concept of submission to the will of God, Islam has always been there. So now, in
that time of Jesus, he was obviously calling people not to worship anyone other than the Creator of the heavens and earth that love that concept also have submitted the one who submitted the will of God being a Muslim, just like when God Almighty says in the Quran, Abraham was neither a Jew or a Christian, but he was one who sincerely purely submitted to the will of God. Yeah, monotheistic egg. So now, tell me when you go back, and let's let's, let's tell me you had you recite this the opening chapter of thought the hop and pretty much
what for the viewers, you're pretty much praising the heavens and earth, you know, the owner to the dead judgment. You alone, we worship you alone, we seek for help guide us for a straight path. Yeah. And now you hear that? How much later after that? Did you? Where did your story go from there that you finally ended up taking your Shahada? Well, that's that's a really great part. And I love I love talking about this one, right. So. So I was like, Well, you know, what is so amazing, so I really want to learn more about religion. You know, I really want I really liked that I want to learn more. So I said, Okay, if you if you're really serious, if you're really serious and you want to learn
more, go find your local Masjid, go to your local Masjid and ask to speak to the Imam there and just tell them you know, you're you're Catholic. You went to Juma with your friend, and you liked it you were interested in you want just want to learn more. You just want to learn more. And that's it. So I said, Okay, you know what, I really want to do that. So that's exactly what I went on the internet. I found my local Masjid. And so I said, Okay, you know, it was like, the next week and then Friday for Juma. They said, okay, you know, I'm going to go there. And I'm going to, you know, I really want to learn. So what happened is, I went to a local Masjid.
And it was completely empty. And I'm like, Well, wait a minute. Where's everybody? I'm like, I'm looking at my clock. And I check. I'm like, yeah, was supposed to be here. So it was like, and I go inside, and there's somebody in the back. And can I help you? How can I help you? Well, what are you here? What do you want? I was like, Oh, okay. So I was like, yeah, I'm here for Juma and he's like, Nah, you missed it. Sorry. It's over. I was like, Oh, okay. So I just turned around and went home. And I was like, I was really depressed. I was really upset. Like, I really wanted to go learn. So I did one thing that I never do before, I've never done before I went on the internet, and I typed out
a message to them and say, Hi, you know, I'm so and so I went to the message today, but there was nobody there. And you know, I really want to learn, I am curious. I'd like to learn a lot more about the religion. And so Pamela, that evening, about 15 minutes before evening, Isha prayer, which is, you know, the last prayer of the night. So, so what happened is, I get this phone call and say, Hi, I'm brother Tarik.
I received your message on the internet. You know, I heard you were interested. And you went to the master, but you said there was nobody there? I said, Yeah. I went there was nobody there is like, Oh, okay. Well, did you, you know, I was there I was, you know, there were a whole bunch of people. I said, No, no, no, is empty was empty. He said, Oh, well, where did you go? And so I told him where he went. He said, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, that's a completely wrong place. That's a whole totally different religion. You went to the wrong one.
So I said, Oh, okay. Thanks be to God. I humbly
Last save me again from making, you know another mistake. So I said, Okay, so he gave me the correct address. So I was like, Alright, so I went around, he's like, well, we're about to start in about 1015 minutes. When you come over, you can join us right there. I'd love to meet you in person, we can definitely talk some more. I said, Okay, that sounds great. You know what, I'm gonna do it, because I really I really wanted to learn. So I go there Masjid. And, you know, I'm not sure how it is here in Chicago, but typically in the, you know, back east, you know, it's when, you know, prayer is supposed to be like, you know, nine o'clock, usually about 905 910. Everybody actually starts
showing up. But, yeah, so I go there, and there's like, one, one other person inside and somebody, you know, so I go inside, and I'm like, Okay, well, I don't want to disturb this guy. So I'm kind of like, looking around, like, all right, what am I here for? And this other guy, you know, he's really tall, thin. And he had this big beard to him. And me, I'm like thinking, Oh, my God, this guy is going to kill me. Like, I get it. I, I'm like, Where's the exit? If I kick this guy just this way, I can bolt out of there. He won't be able to catch me and I can hold, you know what's out of this place. Right? And so he goes, so I'm like, I'm terrified. I'm like, Hi, I'm here for evening prayer.
This is okay. Because Are you here for Shahada.
And so I spoke to the guy on the phone before, but I couldn't remember his name. I couldn't remember it was brother Tarik. I just knew it was some person say go? Yeah, I'm here for Shahada. He goes, Mashallah, he gives me this great big hug and everything of like, Oh, thank God, this guy's not gonna kill me. And he's like, Wow, that's so awesome. I'm so happy for you. You're here for Shauna. I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I'm here for Shahada.
And, you know, it's like, Hi, everybody. This guy's here for Shahada. I don't think I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I'm here for Shahada. I'm like, Wow, man, I'm thinking about some like, Shahada. Man, everybody loves Shahada. Shahada is like a rock star. Like, what a popular guy I love shot, like Shadow Man is like, I gotta find this guy on the internet or something like that. You don't know what they were saying. So I had no idea. I had no idea what it was. I had no idea. So a few minutes later, brother Tara comes in. He says, Hi, you know, I'm brother, Tarik. You know, I believe we spoke on the phone earlier, you know, you know, I'm so glad to see that you came here. And, you
know, this is really great and everything. And, you know, can I ask you, you know, by the way, it's, uh, you know, happy to hear that. Somebody said that you were interested in Shahada that you want to, you know, Shahada, and he's like, and he kept talking. Do you want to accept Islam pretty well? Yeah. And so he, he kept talking, and I didn't, he was talking so much that I didn't have a chance to even answer it, just like and so. So it's like, you know, Shahada, right. And you know, you that's your testimony, faith, you know, you testify that you want to become a Muslim. You know, you testify that there's only one God worthy of worship, and that's God alone, and that the Prophet
Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam is the last and final prophet and messenger of God. And he's like, are you sure you really want to, you know, become Muslim testify that you want to become someone and say, Yes, yeah, I went to my shot and become Muslim.
And then I stopped. I said, Oh, my God, what did I just say? Like start reaching to take those words back out from rival subpanel? God put those words in my mouth and I had no control to take the God just said, Yes. You're doing your Shahada.
It came out I have no idea how it happened. Because I had no intention of becoming I just wanted to learn about the religion. But some had Allah Subhana Allah He asked me if I want to become Muslim. And I said, Yes, I want to take my shot to become a Muslim. Just like that. And so we we prayed evening, Isha prayer, and following Isha, we came up in front of the community here, and I took my Shahada right there in front of the the East Brunswick Islamic Center, the entire community. And what an amazing feeling. What an amazing feeling. And the looks on everybody faces, you know, it's just filled with so much happiness like, you know, that just love, like real sincere, true love from
the heart. It's not like when you go to like another church, and people are welcome, you know, welcome to the community. Now. It's like it is a genuine sincere love from the heart. Like, I love you like you're my family. You are now my family. like such a genuine love any regrets? Oh, my regrets. I never have regret. Never, never. Because regrets means I don't trust the will of Allah. Yeah, I never have a single regret. There are things I would be do different chance to do them again. But never for one moment do I ever have a regret? It has been the most beautiful blessing of my life.
And I handled Leila from that moment now. I love I go out, I give Dawa. I educate people throughout the entire United States, I traveled the world, educating people about the religion of Islam. It's just the most amazing thing on the earth. It's the most amazing thing that anybody who didn't just stop there, I mean, you continue to get educated. And as Dr. I can see this passion in you to share to share this message out there. And that's that message of Moses, Abraham, Jesus,
Mohammed, of inviting people to the purpose of life, it is peace with the creator of heaven and earth. And that's by worshipping him on his terms, not his desire, that's Islam submission to the will of God. Tell us for those people are out there. And they just been bombarded with the fake news. That is, and they're patriots to their country. And they seen another patriot to their to his country who served 22 years, not only in the Marines, Air Force, Army, and now you accepted you were seeking purpose. You are a minister, about to be a deacon. Now you're here on the deen show. Yes, yes. What advice do you have for them to clear up this fog these misconceptions? Well, what advice?
Do you know what there's so many misconceptions that, you know, I wouldn't even know where to begin. But one of the things that I would say, especially for the Muslim community, for the Muslim community, is there's a lot of stereotype about the US military and thinking that the US military in the United States is anti muslim, it has a an anti muslim agenda. And I have to tell you, that couldn't be any farther from the truth. Because I spent the last two and a half years in the US Army as a Muslim. And I prayed every single Juma. I prayed every Salah, the entire office where I was working all in military uniform, everybody would stop working, when it was time for me to pray, my
Salah, everybody would stop and remain silent. So I can pray completely undisturbed without any distractions. And so Pamela, I was allowed to grow my beard in the military, most months, most Muslim militaries, it's prohibited. You can't have a beard in a Muslim, military, but the United States, you have every right to wear your beard, I could wear my mama, in my military uniform, I had absolute protection, there is no organization that has more respect for Muslims, and more protection for Muslims than the US military. There is none, not not even an Islamic country gives those rights and protections to its to its Muslims, the way the USA military does. So for those who think that
it's anti military, it is absolutely not true. Absolutely. And if anybody in the US military tries to even make a problem or question it, they immediately get reprimanded severely for causing any issue. So the the stigma that people have about the military is completely false. And I would say, Don't listen to the news. Don't get your information about Islam, from from CNN, from Fox, from the White House, go and get it from the people. And don't whatever you do, don't look at other countries as examples of how Islam is. Because what you see in the government is not the religion of Islam.
Islam is a religion that respects every human life. If one person one single person, the death, the killing of one person, as is if you killed every human being on Earth, there are what eight and a half billion people on earth, one person one life is equal to eight and a half billion people. That's the respect that Islam has. So when you see things, you know, peeping people being chopped up and dissolved and acid and whatnot. This is not the religion of Islam. When you see people getting beaten, and all these atrocities, that is not the religion of Islam does the same thing. You turn on the local TV news and you see you know, children's heads in the freezer, that's here in our in our
lovely country. You have also that's not America, that's not an institution. That's an example. So you have young Christians who are doing crimes that as a representative sean hannity is the same way you have a fringe element. Yes. That it's unfortunate, but the media tries to prop up as if they're exemplary. Yes. Muslims, but that's not the case. Of course. In fact, if you look, even just this past couple weeks, there is the this USA paramilitary terrorist group that had plans to invade I think was Wisconsin, Michigan. The governor say yeah, here right here at home. This Christian militia group wanting to execute all of these people, but and you see in the news, all this
homegrown American terrorism
They don't say Christian terrorists. They don't say Catholic terrorists. They don't say Baptist terrorists, no homegrown American terrorists. So don't think Muslim terrorists. You know, don't think don't put the religion don't get the religion mixed up with the mistakes of the people. Thank you so much. It was really great having you on to the show. Thank you very much. It's nice to hear your story. I got him on your luck. Bless you deserve shukran shukran petricola.
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