A Man Who Doubted
Channel: The Deen Show
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Please be on to you. Welcome to the DC Show. I'm your host, thank you for tuning in for another exciting episode. Chinese, Arabic, English. Shaykh. Chow is here in the deen show. he explored all different ways and walks of life before finally concluding that this was the way of life that delivered the purpose of life based on proof, showing that it was the truth. And we're here to experience things from his perspective, because it's his story so we can all benefit here on the D show. Don't go No, we'll be right back with this incredible story here on today's show.
This is the
this is the
Shaykh Chow. How are you Welcome to the deen show. Thank you. Thank you, Zack. lahave. pleased to be here. Thank you for finding the time to be with us here on the deen show. It's a so you were born in America? I was actually born in Malaysia, Malaysia. So your what's your background? Your Chinese? Yeah. You speak Chinese? Yes, I can speak basic Chinese basic Chinese. Yes. How do you say only one God in Chinese?
To ease? Son do ition? Yeah. What is in China? How many? I heard there's over 100 million Muslim? Is this true? Or is this exaggerated? How many Muslims are there in China? Actually, to be honest with you, when it comes to the exact number of how Muslims are in China? You always find like so many different numbers like 50 100 million.
We never know the statistics because the government there they're very, very secretive about these numbers. Yeah, what's predominantly the main religion over there? I would say that the predominant religion is basically atheism. atheism. Yeah, people over there, they really don't know much about religion. And so if there was any other religion or faith, it would probably be local tradition, local beliefs, like Buddhism, or Confucianism or whatever. Now is this because this is imposed on the feet people, for instance, in the former Yugoslavia, you had the communists who are running but the people still they had the fitrah, they had that natural disposition to believe in the one God.
So you did have some people who because you know, they fell under communism, and that they were looking down upon people who are religion, but at the end, it prevailed that belief in the one creator prevailed is this kind of, do you see the same thing kind of in China? Obviously, because I've never been there, I really wouldn't be able to say whether or not it's this or the other. But I think in general, over there, because ever since like, I think, the 80s, there hasn't been this dramatic cultural shift, that just follow the Cultural Revolution, where the communists tried to erase like religious books, and all of these things. So as a result, people have been very much
driven by money, and becoming very, very prosperous. And so as a result, a lot of people I think, just don't really think about religion as much. I see. Money's on the mind. But people will talk about money, right? sports, what's the main sport in China? What did they even got a basketball league now? Don't they like an NBA? Yeah, I think they have something like that. Yeah. So we're talking about more serious things purpose of life, because we're all headed towards the grave. So we want to be prepared for that moment, when death comes that we're not sleeping, because that's the reality. Indeed, indeed. So it's amazing that because we're here focus on clearing the false
fallacies of Islam delivering the pure message of what the purpose of life is with truth and proof. So one of the misconceptions is that people think now that Islam is about being Arab, to an Arab thing, but how they see you they see me I'm an American, or you're also an American, also a Chinese background. So Islam is for everyone submission to the one guys for everyone. So you also out of your love for this way of life, the way of life of all the messengers of God, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus in the last and final, most profound peace river, you actually went to study at the prestigious university of Medina, tell us a little bit about this. Well, to explain how I ended up
going to the University of Medina, actually, I have to give a sort of a background of how I came to that. When I was younger, my father was very, very keen for me to go and memorize Quran and halfway and I'm not embarrassed to admit this halfway through memorizing the Quran. I think
I felt there was this huge disconnect between what I was memorizing, and the relationship that I was having with Allah subhanho wa Taala. So for some time, I actually started doubting whether or not this religion was the true religion. How dare you? Can you do that even?
So you're doing whatever there. I mean, but anyway, that's that's the natural thing. You just you're questioning. So what happens? you're questioning, you're doubtful about some things. What happens? Well, I think the biggest, the biggest concern, or the catalysts that made me think like this was predominantly the treatment that I received. When I was in massage and Islamic centers, I felt sort of distant from everyone. I felt that the massage was so welcoming. And so I started wondering, why is it that I'm part of a phase where I feel so strange and so almost alienated. So what I did was I started exploring other religions, like maybe Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism. And I
started looking into all these things, but Subhan, Allah, Allah subhanaw, taala, protected me. And I was able to come to the conclusion that you do not judge a religion based on the way how the people are. And it's easy to say that, but you hear Muslims saying this all the time, don't judge religion based on the people judge it by its core values. As for myself, it was a difficult experience. However, upon realizing that I was so ignorant about Islam that propelled me to think Well, before I write off this religion, I need to first commit myself and understand it deeply. So I decided to continue my journey of memorizing Quran Al Hamdulillah. And I finished it when I was about 15. And
then I got accepted into the University of Medina when I was 17 years old. And I was probably one of the youngest to ever go to Medina. And I spent one year in Arabic over there. And I spent the next four years doing a focus on abida Tao theology and Missy ology. So how did you get to this point where you got through the doubtful mess, because some people now they're at a crossroads, they don't experience this love. Let's say it's this harshness with Islam, that Islam teaches the opposite antithesis to this, that it's about love and mercy. But, you know, we have deficiency as human beings, obviously. So now you had an opportunity to go maybe how old? Were you at that time? 1717
Oh, that's like the peak. Now, you know what I mean? That, you know, you can either go and explore other avenues, like the nightclubs, right, chasing women, or all these things that, you know, we shouldn't be doing, we should be submitting to God and live in a wholesome life. But you you stayed with it, what What kept you like pursuing, you know, going into looking at other religions where this is kind of odd for for a 17 year old. And then you actually came back and realize that, indeed, this is the truth from the crater. And you explored other religions too. So the actual timing, when I started doubting was like, around when I was 15, and a half to 16, I started exploring other
religions, and I found that a lot of those other religions just simply did not make much sense to me, I started reading deeply about the way of how they derive their sources of knowledge.
There was no sense of like a, an agreed upon athlete or theology. And so as a result, I had to just sort of stay with what I knew at that time. So my conclusion was, before I jumped ship onto something else, I need to, there has to be two things. Number one is I need to know exactly what I'm jumping to you that I'm comfortable with it. And number two, is that I'm fully satisfied that the thing that I'm leaving is something that I'm not interested anymore. And so because these two things were not there, I decided that I will stay with whatever I have at the moment. And Alhamdulillah it was the right decision by the grace of Allah. What was it now I had a similar experience. I wanted
to know that Islam provided all the truth to provide the show it was it was it was indeed, the true based on proof. Right. So I did the same thing. And maybe similar opened up a world religion book, and just at the face of them, like you said, it does doesn't make sense. But the more you explore Islam, it just goes with the brain and the faculties that God gave us to recognize that it is indeed the truth. simple to understand. Yeah. Yeah. So tell us before we go to break, tell tell us. So you went to Medina, you finished you in theology? Yes. And what happened from there? Well, I finished my degree there. And I was really interested in pursuing higher studies. And I felt that maybe I could
use this as an opportunity to get like a diploma in dow. But then I thought it's more important that I get down experienced by going back to the United States back to the United States. We're gonna take a break and we're gonna continue on with the story.
Here on the deen show don't go nowhere. I started asking deeper questions. The question I want people to really ask themselves
is, when you come back from a night on the town, you've been drinking, you've been boozing, you've been dancing. You've been hanging out with girls, guys, whatever. Number one,
did you improve yourself as a human being?
Number two, did you contribute anything to the betterment of humanity?
The amazing thing is, is that the most advanced studies in psychology, about human happiness, show
that these are the two key factors in making people profoundly happy. I take five minutes out of my day, and prayed to the Creator, and none of the creations and I feel it, deep internal peace. And I still have my normal life.
Back here on the D show with Shaykh, Chow, 17 years old you adopt in Islam, right? And then you explored what were some of the original religions that you've explored Buddhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Hinduism, what about Christianity? Indeed, of course, Jesus, if you don't believe that, he's your Lord and Savior, you go into the hellfire. What happened there that I mean, that's, that's a bold statement. It is. So how did you conclude that this wasn't the way that Jesus wasn't God, he didn't die for your sins talk to us. Honestly, it's the very, very common idea that I simply could not wrap my head around Trinity, or the idea of trinitarianism. It just did not make any sense. I thought to
myself, well, if I have to spend so much time and effort to try to wrap my head around it, then I think I'm going to move on to Judaism and see what's in there. So don't just simple you didn't have to go to I mean, what about Okay, you can wrap yourself about around Trinity God, the Father, Son, Holy goes, where Islam says one God, right? And don't add to it, don't delete from it. But what about Jesus? paying your bill, the JC gold card? I call it you know, and and it's easy way to just believe that this mighty messenger that people say he's God, that we love, and we're not trying to offend nobody. We're just trying to politely help people to understand what about that the
crucifixion that someone died for your sins. Now you can just, hey, do what you want, or not do what you are, but you got somebody that you can lay your hands on. When I first did when I first started reading about Christianity, one of the most important aspects that I or two important aspects that I felt about it was this over emphasis on putting faith before reason. That's the first thing that was like the first red flag. Now this is not in any way trying to say that anyone who studies Christianity, they put emotions before faith. That's no way I'm trying to insinuate that. But that's the feeling that I got. And the second thing was this over emphasis on God's love. And I thought at
the beginning, that's very, very nice. God bring you a savior, so that you don't have to go to go to hell for your sins. But then as I kept thinking about it, I couldn't help but feeling really sorry for Jesus. And I just thought, why is it that he should pay for our sins? It just doesn't make any sense. So I started thinking, well, since I was a kid, I always had to be responsible for what I've done. So why is that someone that I've never met? How can I be so sure that he's going to be willing to take on the heinous crimes that I commit, commit against Allah subhanho wa Taala. So it was it was this sort of this question that's going on in my head, and I really couldn't wrap my head around
it. Okay, so you moved on, then I moved on now just for the not yet Muslims, our brothers who we love and humanity, you said it a few times below, and you just want to Allah, someone you know, who never heard this name will explain this. Well, among Muslims, we use the word Allah, which in Arabic, it just literally means the God. Some people they have this idea that Allah is a god, that's only for Muslims. It's not a universal Lord. And Allah is just coming. It's coming from the Arabic root word of Allah, Allah means the God. It's similar, like, for example, in Judah in biblical Hebrew, when you find words such as Elohim, or Adonai, or Isla, all of these words are just pretty
much saying that it's just the same, it's one God. So Allah is not a special God. That's exclusive for Muslims, Allah it means the god the one who created the universe, the one who we devote our worship to the God for the whole world. That's the God that Jesus when he fell on his face, in gospel Matthew 2639, he prayed to Allah to the one god yes, that's the god we're talking about. Absolutely. Not the moon or the sun or anything creation but the creator the One God absolutely beautiful. Now you can rest assured that we're not worshiping anything creation, but the one Creator.
Now you moved on to Judaism what happened from here? I looked into Judaism. And because I didn't have much background in understanding Islamic jurisprudence, I was extremely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of opinions that they had. You find it in the Talmud and the Midrash, thick, thick opinions? What do you mean? jurisprudence, jurisprudence? And don't like do's and don'ts, laws, Jewish laws, halakhic laws, which is a Jewish word for like folk and Hello, and haram things, yes or no things.
I felt very, very overwhelmed by these things. And the concept of God is very, very simple, one God, but I felt that it wasn't answering some of my deeper questions. It wasn't answering some of my deeper questions such as well, how does Judaism respond to Jesus's message? How does Judaism respond to Mohammed's message, and because there was this void, and felt like the story just got cut off. So it feels like the story
needs to be explained further to me. And so I moved on to another religion to seek more guidance on another faith that I could take Judaism itself, like we have the unique thing about Islam, obviously, it's not named after a person place a geographical location. It just means what does it mean? submission submission to who? To Allah to the creator? That's it. But Judaism isn't is named after a tribe, or and then Christianity after Christ, Buddhism after Buddha, can you elaborate on this for a second? Well, for a very, very long time, Muslims have have tried to emphasize on the purity as well as the message of what Islam is bringing, and that is Islam, or at least Islam
submitting to our spinal hautala. And by pointing to that fact, you have to talk about the naming of other religions such as Buddhism, which is named after Siddhartha Gautama, or you have Christianity which is
for the sake of, you know, to make it simple, after Christ, and Christ being the word from the Greek word of Messiah or like to anoint. So, as a result, I would say that Islam is a very, very unique religion in which it's not named after anything but for the concept and the core value that it teaches that is to submit to Allah subhanho wa Taala. Can we safely say emphatically that the first man the father of a saw Adam, he was upon Islam? Yes, but I would clarify that he was on Islam with a lowercase I Islam that came with an uppercase I came when Mohammed Salah brought the message of Islam to the Arabs in Mecca and that was the completion of Islam as a religion as for the dawn of
mankind all the way until Muhammad peace be upon him. It was with a lowercase I the continuous theme of submitting to Allah the one creator Can we just make an analogy equipment from like a car that's on the assembly line and is getting completed but now with the last and final messenger no more messengers that come accepting Jesus Abraham Moses and no one all of them that this was in its it was in its works. Is it can we can use Santa like that? I think in a sense, yes. But I would probably
maybe suggest that it's basically like a complete car because you say that it's on an assembly line. That means the car is still being icy icy icy icy, but it's maybe you can think of it as like a car that's going to different improvements over time. And so sometimes you're going to get like leather seats, sometimes you're going to get like power windows, all these things and you know, the the manufacturing the car company, they just add things from time to time. And that's very, very similar to what Allah subhanho wa Taala does. And he puts different rules for different groups of people. And so you'll find that there's similarities and differences from the monotheistic religion, but the
core message, the worship of only the Creator, not as creation, one God, pure monotheism, not worshiping Mohammed or Jesus or anything in creation, and then establishing prayer paying the charities as a cat, the fasting, the pilgrimage, Was this something that we could say safely this core was with all the messengers. Honestly, I would probably say that in an essence, yes, but as to the details of how they work from religion to religion is different. So yes, within Judaism, you find or in Christianity, you find the concept of giving penance, giving sadaqa but in Islam is a different concept. But the theme is there. The idea of fasting, you find it, not in the same rules,
but it's the it's the idea behind it that you give up food
And drink for a greater cause. Was Jesus a Muslim? Yes. Someone says, look, before we got we got like 45 seconds before we go to break back this up. I would say that yes, indeed I believe that Jesus was a Muslim you look through the Bible, for example, you will find so many different instances where Jesus is calling people to the submission of Allah subhanho wa Taala. You never find anywhere in the Bible, where Jesus is calling to the calling the people to worship him as the Lord. Never. Okay, let's take a break and we'll continue on. We'll be right back here with Shay child on the deen show. Everybody in deep down, they believe that there is a God Yeah. And as much as they
If God exists, and he does, if God says prophets, and he does if God reveals books, and he does, should he not tell me how to live my life? Doesn't that make sense?
They feel more secure and safe now inside the religion of Islam than they ever felt out in the streets.
The best way to bring true profound happiness, true, profound peace, true profound tranquility, is by following the guidance that God has given you.
See for yourself, what Islam has to say, because it really is the path to happiness and truth in life. I am not afraid to say
I am not afraid.
I'm not afraid.
I am not afraid.
I'm not afraid to say
I am not afraid.
I'm not afraid.
Back on the de show with Shaykh Chow. He's taken us through his journey you doubted. Now, is there any doubt left? No, no doubt, no doubt because Islam does it? does it provide all the evidence that a person needs emphatically to come to a firm conviction that this is indeed not man made? Because we shouldn't have to follow an organized religion organized by men or man, but that it is indeed organized by the one who created us? Yes, I yes, I think that what you said is 100% true. It is something a process why went through, I had some doubts. And it's a little bit different from like reverts because a lot of reverts, they come to hear about the message of Islam. And then they start
understanding it. And they accept it. For me it was a reverse process, questioning my own existence, questioning my identity, trying to validate what I actually believed. Now you actually also just briefly tell us you went to pursue your masters also talk about this. So after I came back from Medina university,
I started doing that hour. And I felt that I was successful up to a certain level, that I was able to engage Muslims on a very simple level of saying whether this is right, or whether that is wrong. But there were two things that I felt that I needed to improve on myself. And that is number one, I needed to pursue more understanding of religion as a whole with particular emphasis on Christianity, so that I can dialogue with Muslims better, as well as with Christians. So in between 2009 and 2011, I was accepted for the master's program, Master of theological studies at Vanderbilt University, out in Nashville, and it was a great opportunity for me to be exposed to Christianity and other
especially the western way of, of understanding religion. And how has it been so far your journey with that you completed it? Yes, I completed it last year.
And I would say that, and I know it's probably shocking to a lot of people. I better understood Islam after going to Vanderbilt.
And the reason I would probably say that is
after learning about Christianity and the other religions, I came to appreciate Islam more not because that I studied another religion in order to validate my own religion. It was there were certain interesting ways of how other religions view their own texts. Some things that maybe I didn't get exposed to, while I was in Medina of critically thinking, of being able to deal with certain topics in a rational way from so many different perspectives and be able to engage with all types of people from all walks.
Live, this is an experience that a lot of students that study overseas like in the Middle East, they don't get. So going to Vanderbilt really enhanced my way of thinking about Islam from a broader picture. And also trying to bridge that gap between the constant struggles that Muslims are in when it comes to, well, Christianity is wrong, or Judaism or Buddhism is wrong. What I aim to do is, we don't need to validate our religion by proving another religion is wrong, we need to first study our religion. First, in order to understand it true to true, we didn't talk about Hinduism, and some of the other religions you looked into briefly. So people don't go have to go all around the world, we
can kind of give them a shortcut. What did you find about these religions? We took we touched upon Christianity, Judaism, and your exploration. In brief, we got like a couple more minutes left.
I think I also explored Buddhism because my mother, she converted from Buddhism into Islam, Allah and Hamed and I thought, well, maybe I should look into Buddhism. But I felt that this was something that I should at least make sure that's something I want to know. So I went in, looked into it. And I finally realized that within Buddhism, there is actually no theology. And for some people, they might think that it's not true. But I really couldn't get my finger on a particular theology on the oneness of Allah or God, or whatever it is. Now, as for Hinduism, it was another problem for me at least because I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of God being in so many different forms, and
that it's just really one God, but they're just emanations. And reincarnation, the One God like more like pantheism, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I just couldn't understand it. And
I just didn't feel too comfortable with trying to wrap my head around all of this theology.
It's really one God, but these are all just different portraits of the same God. I couldn't understand that. Yeah. And now we're narrowing it down. Because some people say, Oh, the 1000s of religions, but man, when you come down to it, it's really what is it? The two religions that are inviting people? Are Christianity and Islam? Absolutely. Now, the other ones are your either like pantheism pantheistic. religions. So really, it's we're making it simple for the people. You know, at the face of it, you'll see just do the work just and what I tell people just emphasize, can you go into this is just realize that we're not self sufficient, that this whole universe income by
chance, and just seek the guidance, just ask the one who created this, and he'll facilitate away? Is this true?
I can tell from experience that. When I was in that moment of doubt,
I realized my biggest weakness was that I try to rely on myself to find the truth.
And a lot of times, when you rely on yourself to find the truth, only Allah knows where you're going to end up. And all of us sitting right here, at this moment, we can only pray to Allah subhanaw taala, that we will continue to be steadfast on the religion of truth. But for me, I am very, very grateful to Allah, Allah that I wasn't drawn into another religion, or else I wouldn't be sitting here right now. Yeah. So can that person who's confused? So I looked so many religions, this one saying they're the true this one's saying they're the true? What's the first step to that person that's confused. He liked he's been tuning into the deen show. And it makes sense that there's only
one creator, you worship him along, don't worship His creatures, the craters, creatures creation that he created. But now he's still got some doubt, what should he do? I think the most important aspect is to understand the bedrock of each religion. Don't look at some of the nice things within a religion and judge that religion and accept it based on those small issues. You need to understand the basic fundamental principles. So if you wanted to understand whether Christianity is the truth or not, you need to go in and ask, Is there an agreed upon among Christians or theology? Absolutely not. You go into so many different denominations, everyone has a different understanding of who God
is, or who Jesus is and how his role is when it comes to our salvation. But when it comes to Islam, a lot of times people have questions like, what about the issue of hijab or the beard or this and that? And I would say to them, that's like, back to the example he gave about a car. That's like someone wondering, is this Italian leather or is a Spanish leather? And before you ask, Is this what kind of leather This is you need to understand the engine of this car? If this engine is sound? Who cares if there are tinted windows, who cares? But the thing is, once you understand that, that engine is the right engine that will move you on the road to gender. That's religion that you have
to take. You have to ask yourself
Is this something that I have found to be the truth? And if it is, then take it.
This has been a great experience hearing your story. It's always great sitting with people such as yourself. And we're out of time. So any closing comments and suggestions. Also for those who have the name tag Muslim, but they were in a similar or are in a similar situation, they go to the university, and everything's calling them, the desire start heating up is tough out there. And now they start doubting, what advice do you give form shape?
I would say very, very briefly two things. Number one is
learn from my mistake of almost writing off a religion based on the way how people treated me know the foundation of that religion, and go and study it, understand it before you come to a conclusion that this religion or whatever religion, it is, is either right or wrong. That's the first thing number two is, for the past 10 years, I realized that a lot of
individuals or young people in America, there's this revival in interest in studying about Islam, but I would say to them, that's just the first step. You can study all you want. But if that's not put into practice, it doesn't matter how much Hadeeth you have, you have to put everything into practice. And you have to acquaint yourself with other sciences, not just simply understanding how to eat and cook, you know, a tradition of the processor or jurisprudence, but you need to know other things. So you can help the community, apply yourself and maybe get a degree in psychology or medicine. So you're not just an Imam, but you're the man with skills in other fields to help the
Muslim community. Thank you very much by the Creator, God Almighty rewards you model of evil. Thank you very much. And thank you for tuning in to another episode of the D show another human beings journey. And they went, they doubted, but they never our brother child shake, Chow never gave up. And he asked to crater and he has certainty in the crater. And he got to experience the other ways. And then he realized that the way of submitting only with the one who created you created him, this whole universe and everything in it. That's the way to go. That's Islam. It's logical, it's rational. And if you like what we had to say here today, continue to tune in and ask,
if you don't ask how shall you receive so as the one within your self to guide you, not Muhammad, not Jesus, not Abraham, nothing in creation, as the one creator who created creation to guide you and He will facilitate a way that is for sure, call us at one 800 662 Islam if you like to accept the way of life of all the messengers of God, even to get the verbatim Word of God the crown for free. We'll see you next time. Peace be unto you.