British Journalist converts to Islam – Find Out Why – Sister Lauren Booth #875
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah Assalamu alaikum greetings of peace Welcome to the deen Show. I'm your host subscribe, hit that notification bell if you haven't already now, my next guest grew up in North London. She's the sister in law get this are the former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who's a buddy to George Bush, also Daughter of actor Tony booth. She's worked as a journalist and political writer for The London Evening Standard.
The New Statesman, the Mail on Sunday, which is supposed to be the biggest selling Sunday newspaper in the UK. She went from hanging out and appearing on TV shows with celebrities to joining us here on the de show to share her wonderful and amazing story and experiences that's affected so many people who are once or still are affected with the hate book towards Islam as being our next guest Lauren booth salaam aleikum, sister, y la cama. Sarah Salaam Rahmatullahi, wa barakaatuh, who my dear brother, how are you? How is your family and a big Salaam Alaikum to everybody
when they come salobre
Peace be with you. Thank you, brother. So I mentioned Tony, let's start off with this because this is a tree probably intriguing to a lot of people. This is the this was the former prime minister to the UK. This is like what we call President of the United States. We're president of UK Prime Minister. So you're sitting at the table with this your brother in law? And you tell him Look, I've accepted Islam? Or how does the conversation go when he finds out? So the interesting thing is that actually there had been a rift in the family with me in the family about five or six years before because I began to stand against the policies of his government. And I was actually really nervous
when I decided to come to Islam because the minute every everybody was saying you've got to stay close to your family, you got to stay close to your family. And I'd been this sort of radical person saying, you know, what they're doing to the poor is wrong. The war in Iraq is wrong, and following my heart, and I felt very disloyal at times, telling this truth. But then you read the hamdulillah the ayat in the Quran that tells you you have to be true to to the hotkey, you have to be true, even if it's against yourself or against members of your tribe, your clan, your family. And so I was greatly relieved by that. So I can't say that there was a dinner table discussion.
But you know, at the end of the day, to be fair, the blazer, people have faith, they have their face. And certainly my sister Sheree, God bless her has always defended women's rights to wear hijab and and defended me in public as well. Mashallah, did you ever get a chance to share Islam with Tony Blair? How much knowledge does he actually have authentic knowledge of Islam? You know, you know, I'm I'm gonna I'm gonna leave him to himself and say, well we do is we pray for for any leader. And those leaders who, who, who make money that their God, and who commit crimes against humanity are in danger. And so all we can do is pray for him. Now I mentioned that he was a friend of george bush
and many people don't I mean, now the truth is uncovered that the war that happened and we could just touch upon this that killed what was a conservative numbers or like a million innocent people. It was based on a pretext, a lie that this country had weapons of mass destruction and they went in was he part of that that's the one so people listen, at the end of the day, you may know and I'm sure everybody watching this now knows very clearly Subhanallah if it hadn't been for Britain at the time, America could not have unilaterally committed shocking or and decimated iraq You know, this mockery of Muslims is living in the Middle Ages when America's forays into you know the world across
the world and around the world are bombing people literally back into the Middle Ages because they don't have electricity and they don't have clean water
You know, it's it's it's hideous, it's a shame it's, it's, you know, huge crimes have been committed. So I don't have any sympathy with that and talk about the war, the war in Iraq, I just say this Fallujah, if nothing else had happened, except for Fallujah. And I'm not going to go into details here. Because brothers and sisters and people in humanity, our brothers and sisters in facing humanity, go look up Fallujah, if you still, if you're still against the war on terror, you still think it had a good basis? Forget beyond the money beyond Halliburton, beyond all of that, human beings Fallujah, that's all I'm gonna say. I wanted to mention that because before you can go
ahead and get public support usually you have to demonize the other So nowadays there's a lot of misconceptions misinformation and that was perpetuate a lot of this was to go ahead and to create this you know, war and to go ahead and see you see what happened, you know, but many people as far people hopefully waking up, you know,
getting educated and like you did and you actually thought that the curve on there was a couple points here you are so surprised that the Quran that was a Chrono English translation of the Quran and then you thought this was because you were treated so kindly by Muslims that you thought the Quran was a handbook on how to be a good person. Is that true? Yeah Subhan Allah when I first came across the Quran, it was handed to me. My first ever English copy of the Quran was handed to me by a young Shabaab, a young man young teenage boy in the streets of rainy streets of Jerusalem in 2006. And he was so excited to give it to me. And he handed me with lots of other gifts that I was
supposed to pay him for because he was like the person introducing me to the stallholders. And if you ever get the chance to go to Jerusalem, please go go and visit the Palestinian people there go visit their city go and stay in Palestinian owned hotels go and visit the shopkeepers because you know if you're christian right now and by the grace of Allah you're watching this welcome welcome. With big love in our hearts welcome. go and visit the first Christians go and visit those who are Christian and converted to Islam go and those that visit those whose family would have known the family of Isa le Salaam would have no Marian would have known their their extended family because
they never moved. Guess what? Allahu Akbar. So you go along into these bazaars. And you see everything is covered in dust. Because people are told not to visit these dangerous Arabs and so I was handed this Quran and I was supposed to pay for the gifts. And the young man said something and by the grace of Allah alone, it changed the course of my life. He said, I said, How much do I owe you? Because I was expecting to have kaggle brother, you know how, you know is it 50 quid 500 shekels? Is it 50 How much is it? And he looked at me and he handed me the Quran. He said, Now you don't know us anything. You don't owe us anything. But one thing only one thing I'll ask, please
don't forget Palestine when you go, Allahu Akbar. That's how I got my first I have a copy of the Holy Quran, in the streets of Jerusalem, this ancient city, but when I went home, it sat on a high shelf out of respect for a year. And when I finally picked it up, it was the scariest thing I've ever read in my life. Because I came at this scripture, as a Christian, I was a practicing Christian at the time I went to church, I believed in God. I knew that Jesus was a prophet. I don't remember ever praying to Jesus, I remember Jesus being, you know, the Son of God thing was always a bit of a sticking point with me, but I absolutely believed in God, and the prophets. And so I opened this
book, and I thought this could be the big one.
Not you know, not a distant one, not a must about well, I've got to be prepared that this could be the biggie. So I opened the Koran, and I read Surah Fatiha and I thought, Oh, it's called the opening and I've just opened it. That's kind of cool. Okay, the opening Yeah, they've got something going on here. So Pamela, I wouldn't have said Subhan Allah then I didn't know it. But then I read Al Fatiha, which is just a few lines long. And it reminds you have How great is our Creator, worship Him alone, and ask him alone for support and help and don't go off the pass. And don't don't don't make him angry with you. And I was like, okay, as a Christian 100% behind that. And then I went on
to Surah Baqarah. And that was like, a gut punch. Because Surah Baqarah is is the the longest Quranic Chapter. And it has many, many warnings and rules and regulations, and advices. And it tells you just two pages in there are those who are pretending at this face. But when they're alone with their evil ones, they chit chat and laugh at it. And you know, they are the ones who are going to the hellfire. And it was like, Oh my God, that's me. I go to church on Sunday. I drink on Monday, I backbite on Tuesday, and Wednesday, Thursday, and my whole job is backbiting. And I know I'm, I'm in this kind of lost spiritual state. But then on Sunday, I'm like, Oh, dear God, forgive me. And this
hypocrisy, and it looked right at me and told me that and then said, You and gods are angry with you, you're just going to the fire. So what do you do with that? Eddie? What do you what do you seriously I understand if people are scared by the Quran, but remember this, this incredible, incredible Holy Scripture. Subhan Allah tells you what you need to know at the time. And I needed to know that I was just writing this down what you said and I want people to make a
post on this. You said that I
I was going to church on Sunday. I was back to work on Monday backbiting on Tuesday, and I drink drinking on Wednesday line on Thursday. Wow, that's deep. And you actually went, you went from being on different celebrity TV shows hanging out with celebrities. I mean, living a lifestyle that many dream to attain, I mean having connection with some of the close to Is there any tie to Tony Blair in that family with the royal family?
I think that that may be an American reading of how things work in the UK. Yeah, that's what yeah, that's what I never met Diana either. I'm sure she was very nice. Because we that's we think, okay, because for many people, it's kind of confusing, because here we have the president over there, you have the Prime Minister, which is kind of like a president. But then you have the queen.
So do they do they, they still have some snow up? Because the queen is the one who gives like overseas things that gives the blessing, right?
I believe that we're talking about this is fascinating, but it's not my Okay, so I tell you what, go away and watch the film The Queen with Helen Mirren. Queen, would you want to know how the Prime Minister deals with the queen and how she deals with him? Okay, because that's that really, that really sorted out? Did
people ever connect you with having like, being part of the royal family when they've heard that you accepted a slab being connected to Tony Blair? Did some people have that? You know, you know what, you know what I get been called on the internet? Is she Laura Bush? That's why Laura Bush, Bush, she's the daughter of george bush. Yeah, so we can put that to that. That was that to bed never met the queen, not the daughter of george bush. I think we're clear. Okay.
All right. But definitely you are living a lifestyle that many dream to attain. And now you're a part of also writing from any of these conservative political newspapers. And now you're just like, Okay, this is the big one. What goes through your mind, you're thinking, hold on, I'm risking a lot here. I could be now labeled, you know, like many people do extremist or, you know, connected to some radical religion, which people have this misconception and maybe not invited. Now to many of these social gatherings blacklisted, what's going through your mind? Where do you get the courage to move forward, because there's a lot of people, a lot of people in that position, that they ascertain
that Islam is the truth. But then because of possibly being blacklisted by family, by a political party, etc, etc. They opt out from accepting it.
Here's the thing, that when the truth comes to you, your heart has to be ready, because it will wipe away everything. So I you know, it took me five years to get out and alumnos each of our hearts and our conditions, and how much of you know how shaken I had to be in my life. I had to be humbled the year that Islam was gifted to me, I didn't accept this Islam. So Pamela, who am I? Who am I? Thank you. Yeah, I'll take it, I'll open it. And I'll read No, Islam lands in your life, like, like, a rocket. And it goes, in the most but then the most beautiful way. It's a love bomb. It is it from from the, from the very core of your being. I mean, you know, you just think about it. And I was
sitting in a, in a mosque, and a far flung place. And suddenly, I knew with absolute certainty, that there was one God, and his name was Allah, that the Prophet Muhammad was the last and final messenger, that all of the messengers were true that they all had the same message, obey God, do good, you know, don't sin, there is a heaven and there's a hell and the books are real. And you sit and I sat there, and I was, well, I was just, I wasn't scared, I was in a blissful state. That was how it happened to me. I know everybody has their own story. But but a lot of takes us on the path that we need to shake to shake and shake, pass. And I'm a, you know, a lot of those. My character is
a sort of experiential, I see life as an experience.
I used to see it as a kind of win lose dynamic a bit. But But Subhanallah now it's what you do with the experience. So when it came to me, will lie he nothing else mattered. Except that, how do I put myself right now? Because along with that wonderful joy, and that absolute certainty that there is calm and peace in the universe, and it's so beautiful, and you see the leaves and the new way and you see the rain and you think about the cells in your body and how can what somebody says about you in some dodgy newspaper when you know they're taking cocaine anyway, how can that measure with what you're reading?
And the Holy Quran, how can they words actually What did you say? Cuz they're taking cocaine anyway? Are you taking cocaine with them three days before in some dive, daily toilet, and now they're writing their stuff like they're so holy, and you're like, Whoa, I was the belemnite shaytani regime.
Subhan Allah. But this is nothing new to you. I mean, you talk about as a child, you were someone who was aware you didn't suppress the fitrah. And we know that every child is born a Bongo fitrah, meaning that natural inclination to if you left it, Oxford did a study on this, you know, with children, that they concluded that the belief in the Creator is just innate. So you didn't suppress that as you were growing up. And you also had experience with your father is saying that there's only one God and Jesus is a messenger prophet of God. Tell us about that. Somehow. No, I might. My dad was an amazing, amazing man and an amazing, flawed character. He was larger than life. He told
the best stories. He was the greatest storyteller. And he really messed up people's lives. May Allah have mercy on him. But he always, you know, supported the poor. And he always used to speak in these ways to say to me, remember, this was the hippie era in the 1970 am a child of the 70s. Yeah.
So he'd sit me down and say, listen, it's about changing the world. This isn't it, this plant this plant, this table, this is not it, there is there is something that's what we can't see is greater than here. And I look back and I'm thinking Allah Akbar, how close was he even in his, you know, state, drunken state telling me about these things, but he was so close.
And my dad had a terrible accident with fire, Allahu Akbar. And it changed the course of our lives. But I was a kid who believed in God. And in fact, my mum, one day, said to me, the family keep asking me why you've become an extremist in religion. And I said, Okay, Mom, what do you tell them? She said, that you were always a weird kid, you were always praying, you're always I'm going to tell God, I'm going to ask God. And that was me. 56789 1011 until I reached my teenage years, and then then a friend mocked me. You know why you put your hands together? I'm speaking to God, whose God? Is he the guy in the cloud.
And then this kind of, you know, haze of
confusion, you know, entered my heart, and then you've got your NASS and you've got your ego, and you've got temptations as a teenager, and it's a it's a long journey back, isn't it? Life is a long journey back. But you're right, the fitness of hammer. I've spoken to children of very secular parents. And I like I like my dad taught me. I like to speak to people and to children on a real level. Where do you come from? Where are you going? This, isn't it, you know, always in the parents aren't that this, isn't it? It's something greater. And when we talk about you being great about how much good you can do, because, you know, and so I asked this, this one child who is seven years old,
do you believe in God? And she said, yeah.
I said, Who's God, the one who takes care of us. And then she said something really amazing. We were walking down a high street.
And I got greeted by and remember, her parents are absolutely secular. We want to give her a choice. So we're never going to speak about God ever. Okay, I'm like, I don't know what choice that is. Because we're given a choice. You speak about God, walking down High Street, and some Muslims walk past and they're obviously Kuwaiti or perhaps cattleya. And they say I say salam alikoum Diwali, come to lab. How are you? How would your family and she's looking at this? And she said, Do you know them? I said, Never met them before in my life. She's like,
that I speak to strangers. I'm like, in this faith. That's how we speak to strangers. And she gave a two minute lecture to me, the seven year old, young person from London, young child said, you can see light on people's faces. When they're doing good. The light shines through their face. And when they're doing bad, it goes dark and * and the dark isn't to do with skin color. Because you can have people with dark skin who are full of light, I've recorded it. That's fitrah Subhan Allah and May Allah forgive us when we take that from our young Subhan Allah. Have you ever we get excited when we hear about different celebrities accepting Islam? Because obviously they have a big
following? And have you had a chance because you love your talk about and we see it you just love talking to everyone about God, the Creator? And have you had a chance to talk to any of these celebrities that you were friends with? Are you still friends with with any of the people from the past? One or two? And I think, yeah, I think I'm probably really annoying. In fact, there's a one there's a wonderful TV journalist, and I keep saying to him, You know what, all the you'll know what you need.
To say, to have the perfect life right now, he's like, what is it? I've testified there is no God, but Allah, and the Prophet peace, the order is the last prophet. And then I didn't hear from him for two weeks. He's like, anyway, you want to do this TV thing? And so yeah, sometimes, but you have to know the person to be that blunt, to be honest.
I love to have conversations with strangers.
Because there's, there's a kind of purity and a clean slate. And I think that's why it's so difficult for converts, to speak to our families, and especially our mothers and fathers. It's like, you go into sort of White Terror.
Don't, don't talk to me about this, I change your nappy like, they shut you down. But when you with somebody who doesn't know you, you can make a really good first impression and start again, that's how I tend to think I remember one time brother being on a plane.
And the guy in front of me coming from Qatar, he had a little sweat a tank top on, he had tattoos. And he was he was obviously a bit hung over because he was a bit sweaty, and Barry, and I looked at my
passenger ticket and I thought please don't let me be sitting next to him, please don't let him and he said, he showed the hostess when he got on, you know, f 21 and F 22. It's gonna be a long flight. So I got on nudged past him. And he kind of looked at me like Muslims. And I sat down and I just made a little to our to myself, you know that we be kind to this person and not be too judgmental. And he, he offered me he started drinking wine. But he gave me his water. And I thought, well, that's nice of him. So I said, Do you want my cheese? And he said, Sorry, what? I said, Do you want my cheese? He said, Thank you. And he thought I couldn't speak English. And when he found out I was
from Manchester, he's like, Oh, that's amazing. And I'm really, really sorry. And I said, Why are you sorry? He said, because of all the presumptions I made about you.
And so I was just kind to him, you know what I did? How are you?
And this big guy on a plane from Qatar to London, he broke down and said, I'm suicidal. And I don't know why I'm alive.
And that's all it takes for most people is just a genuine question. How are you doing? How you doing in here? How's it really going?
And he said that sometimes. I said, I said, I pray to God, when I feel like that. I asked the one who created everything helped me I'm in need, and I don't know what I'm doing. He said I don't believe in any of that. I said, but you do something. Everybody does something. What is your protocol? He said when I'm crying a lot. I look at my mom's picture. She died when I was young. And I say mom helped me. How sad. How painful. And I said to him as gently as possible.
Did your mom ever pray?
And he said my mum had a hard life and she used to pray all the time. I said then why don't you ask the one your mum asked. And long story short or long story long. I had I just been given a short small copy of the Quran in English. I took it from my bag, and he accepted it and when he got off the plane he was holding it going
Now that was a purposeful moment in my life.
Allow that's that's that's what it's about.
Besides talking about God Almighty, Allah, the creator, you also like to talk about a subject that many people run far away from, especially your father's death. Why do you like talking about your father and stuff?
I think for me, it was inspiring to get to spend some time with him. We've been estranged for a number of years, again, this family argument about you know, stuff gets in the way right? But when it came to the end, I got called to his bedside
about seven days before he passed.
And I thought there is only one reason that Allah has put me at his bedside, it's not to right wrongs, it's not to make him laugh. It's not to it's because you're a Muslim in that room. And, and be real with him. My dad was always real with me, no matter how gritty it was. He was he was like, let's cut to the chase kid. Not in a harsh way, just in a real you know, that speak heart to heart, you know. So when I saw him and he was sleeping, and he was emaciated, he hadn't eaten for five or six days, he was really on the way out and I was stroking his hand and I was reciting Surah Fatiha.
And he opened his eyes and they were so bright,
so bright, and he looked right at me. And he hadn't been recognizing people who visited him and he hadn't
See me for over two years. And he said my name, Sarah. He said, You are so full of light, you're so honest, allow echo.
And he said, Go on, sing some more. And he thought that the Quran, he felt that the Quran was singing. She So, so pan ly recited what I knew, I recited the calls I recited. And then I said, Dad, I'm only here
because I'm here to say goodbye.
And I'm here to tell you about your Lord, because you will be seeing him, you'll be with him soon. He said, Well, I because people don't like to say, You're, you're on your way. I think if I if I had seven days, if I was, you know, even, you know, if we're in a confused state, don't frighten people in it, but know them well enough to go, should we talk about this. But you have to have a message to give them right. I mean, if you don't, if you're a nihilist, if you don't believe in anything, hey, you're going to be worm food in seven days is in two weeks is not a nice conversation to have, I get it. But if you if you really, really have this, this beautiful certainty, then you're able to speak
to your family members, and you're able to take it in and not be afraid. So we had a conversation about death. And I said, Listen, I want to speak about God. And he said, Stop. And I thought, Oh dear, he said, I want to tell you something. There is no god but God. And Jesus was a Prophet Jesus was not God. And I'm like, I'm good. I'm good with that. is like, let's just get that straight. Okay, Jesus is not God. I'm like, Okay. And then I said, Look, we believe the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. He's he was the kindest, most honest, most, most truthful, most, you know, God fearing person who ever lived. And he was the last prophet. And my dad said all right,
then he probably was alright, he was the last prophet.
He's basically he's basically I mean, that's the Shahada. Like what he said there's no god but God is nothing worthy of worship except the Creator of the heavens and earth. And Jesus is a messenger that's what you said at Jesus's time. Muhammad is peace be upon them all is the final messenger. So it seems like he was taking his like agreeing and accepting. Yes.
And what was the last words I heard my dad say that he said was we left the room so panela never forget the poor. He said it twice. Never forget the poor. Those were the last words. I heard my dad say a lot of work in this role. And the next and when he when he passed a week later, and I got the phone call. I was actually in Istanbul. And I had the most beautiful dream that my dad was being based by for imams in a big white palace.
I've never felt sad about that. I feel like inspired hamdulillah this is, this is beautiful. Tell us have you. You've heard of this guy who you have a kind of a similar accent to his name is Russell Brand.
Oh my god, Russell. Russell is doing a great job. And I really appreciate him. He veers out you know off on a tangent with the anything goes, you know, do what you feel kind of stuff. But boy right now he's smashing it. And I didn't meet Russell back in the day. And then if he remembers, hopefully not. Okay, so you've met Russell Brand. There's pictures of him before like having a reading. So I wanted to ask you, have you met him? And has How much does he know? Have you gotten a chance? Well, you probably not but you know, people who have talked to him about Islam or since he's there and UK, right? Do you know what? I think he was with Jemima Khan for a couple of years. So I got who's who's
mama calm was Imran Khan's ex wife and she would have spoken to him about Islam. I'm absolutely certain from from that, you know that that that he's aware of it as a world religion? The big thing for for most people brother is the accepting of a faith from God with stipulations.
morality, right and wrong. that at some point, you have to say no to yourself. I you know, I think you know, there was there was it there was a great
thirst for spirituality out there. But when it comes to saying, and people should not do this, and and then there are things that you must not do. People run, you know, the 100 laughs kind of fights you so I think we should all pray for him. I think he's doing a smashing job of kind of fighting. You know, the big companies and Big Pharma. And may Allah bring him to the truth. I mean, so if you had a chance to sit down with Russell Brand, Lauren booth, what would you tell them? How would you invite him to go ahead and search more for the purpose of life while we're here and to
Look into the Quran like you did to really read it and to really connect with the Creator. What message would you have for Russell Brand from Lauren booth? Do you know what I would say? I'd say, read. I know you read. So how about reading the surah of the Prophet peace be upon him by Martin Ling's it's written in a story form and you will know the best of creation and you will be inspired, inspired on whatever journey you're going on, but know about the Prophet Now it's time inshallah.
There's also another experience that was really fascinating. Many people, when you talk to some people, they say, well, who created you said, my mother created you. So you have to correct them. No, she carried you. She didn't create you. But when you when mothers give birth, you went through that moment where you had to look at the child and you're you're honest with yourselves that I didn't create this child. Talk to a boss about that experience that moment. For me, the first time I gave birth was like a moment i'd waited for my whole life. I hadn't been waiting for it. But when it arrived, it's it's an amazing thing. And women don't we don't speak about this enough. So I'm going
to get really passionate here. Okay, especially brothers, you don't know. It's like every cell in your body is alive, and tingling and ready. And you know, when the Holy Quran panela talks about women being on the verge of death that it is this, this this great wrenching of the of the veils of reality. I just felt these veils going, you are close to something now you're close to creation. Because Because you're you are, you're bringing something into the world, you didn't create it yourself, but you're bringing it you're, you're being enabled to bring it into the world, and you're going to see something new, and you're going to be a part of this. And there's no getting out and
there's no getting away from it. Most things in life now we can negotiate. All right, and unfortunately, you know, sisters, if you if you ever think about having a cesarean section as like, I'm going to get negotiate with this. I'll have a scissor, don't do it. Don't deny yourself this incredible experience. And this, of course, obviously medically important. Take your advice. Take the advice of your doctors, right. But, but if you can do it naturally, it's incredible. And I screened and it was guttural. And it was the you know, and then when the baby comes and I looked
when you see eyes, and toenails and hands. And you know, I didn't think have brown eyes. I didn't make that hair, I just ate a bit and wobbled along, you know, and did my best. And here you are, and you're perfect.
Honestly, birth is amazing. Oh, just let's stick on this for a second. I think it's really important that anybody who is in a situation where they're planning on it or about to have a child, I think everyone should watch this documentary called the business of being born. I don't know if you got a chance to watch that it's the business of being born. Have you seen that? No, I haven't, I haven't. So this goes into the growing rate of sectarian c sections in the United States all over the world where it's just skyrocket has become a big business. You know, so it goes back to what you were saying there's also growing movement now of homebirths also, and also many people are going towards
Edie Can I just jump in here? Yeah. I will not live are we?
Kind of your life? Oh, yeah. I was gonna ask to take a pause because it's the event. Yeah, sure. Go ahead. It's just, you know,
so than for people that don't know this is the Muslim call to prayer. Liam Neeson when he was in Turkey. He was first annoyed. I always mentioned his story. When Liam Neeson was in Turkey where you're at, he would wake up hearing this this noise is what he called it at first he was very annoyed with it. But then he just got accustomed and then he said it was like something penetrating his soul. So Liam Neeson he went came back to America and he was sharing this story he was just seemed like he was just glowing as in his heart you know attracted to it which
is what Muslims hear the call to prayer, calling people saying that there is English I like translating it God is the greatest God is the greatest there's no god but but God Allah Muhammad is the messenger the final messenger like a lot is nothing worthy of worship a God come to prayer kind of prayer, come to success come to success. And it was it was seemed like he was so close to accepting Islam. He got a big pushback, which many people end up doing. So I don't know what happened from there from our Irish.
Yeah, Liam Neeson. I suspect that he watches your videos and Sharla and that he's doing his own digging. And there is nothing wrong. I meet secret Muslims all the time. SubhanAllah and it's the most amazing
So I kind of really, really, they're really precious though those experiences, people have different views on it. But we don't all have to be out there if you're watching this, and you have taken your Shahada and you're keeping it
to yourself for a while, for safety reasons, maybe go ahead and do that. But remember as well Subhanallah that if Allah has given you this great gift,
to be the person that others can come to, for, for real spiritual advice, to know, our faith, to do the work of the faith, is is is a part of the duty so don't don't miss that opportunity. But I've met I went to
a meeting of a shack in London. And these were these these were Sophie's, I think it's a friend of mine, and there was a lady there and she had a little skirt on to her knees. She was about 70 years old, and a little kind of bear a and I said hello, how are you? She said Salaam Alaikum, I think and I said a while it comes around. I said, Are you Muslim? She said, Of course I've been Muslim 23 years family still doesn't know. But Allah knows. And it's like, and you know, I used to go shopping in Manchester. And sometimes these I remember this kind of really rough and rugged girl in a in a kind of jogging suit.
came up to me, and my daughter sort of went Oh, here we go. And I thought All right, ready myself. And she said, so I'm really cool. And I said, Well, it comes along. She said Have a nice day. And I said and you and it was like okay, well so you know
and this is so what what you did we couldn't hear it but that you took a break you wanted to this is the dawn and I was touching upon the Liam Neeson incident. And just you're actually in Turkey so you get to hear the than regularly. Now how was it when you went to also bosnia? Were you able to hear that than when you when you were when you were there? Yeah, it's kind of it's a bit quiet in Sarajevo though, do they turn it down? You know, it's a Yeah, it's not kind of as raw as as ripping as it is here. I did I did a pro I did a program on that, like, turn it up or turn it down? Because you can? Yeah, so some people were complaining why it was turned down? But
yeah, so we're trying to get it back up. But you got you kind of got to hear it right? Of course. How was your How was your experience in Bosnia was one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. You know, for me, and my, my daughter, Alex, we went together, we went for two weeks, and we and we made the intention, we're going to pay our respects to the Muslims there. Because if you don't know, you really should know that there was a genocide in the 1990s. And it was, you know, appalling war crimes visited upon the Muslims in that region. And really, we should you should find out about it. So I won't. I didn't think I could. Sorry. I can't do it justice here. But it's it's it's an
appalling part of European history that's kind of skirted over. But we wanted to meet as well, the Muslims there today. Because who knew that there's Muslim Europe. And now maybe you're watching somewhere in the world and you're going, that's not true. It's Judeo Christian.
You know, what, almost a quarter. And one time a third of Europe were majority Muslims. And what's fascinating about Bosnia, Brother, you will know is that there are churches, and then mosques, and then a little road between them and then a church and then a mosque. Because although Islam was there for 800 years and is still there, the churches remained. What does that mean? Does that mean the Christians are allowed to pray? Oh, yeah. Does that mean they lived side by side? Oh, yeah. And Croatia. And then you know, this this this awful hatred rose up but for me, you know, it's best described as minarets in the mountains, which is a wonderful book by Tarik Hussain brother, Tarik
Hussain, who's written about the Balkans which is Kosovo, which is Macedonia. You know, which is Bosnia, which is Albania. And for me, I spent a long time years ago in Austria and I thought that's probably the most beautiful place in the world. To be honest, it probably is. But when I went to Bosnia I thought goodbye Austria goodbye racist who don't like Islam I'm not coming back to your country. Nice people too. And very beautiful, but I now have Bosnia and so I want to go twice here inshallah Yara boil me. You'd like it that much. Ah, yeah, beautiful. Listen, I'm looking for I'm looking for a house there. Make no mistake. Secondly, and there's like, I feel like I'm in a
portrait somewhere like it's just so beautiful and serene. Did you get a chance to visit the memorial site, the museum that they made there outside of setup at nitsa please go to my YouTube
Channel Lauren booth he just put it in and go and look at my visit to Srebrenica to the memorial there
you know, it's one of those horrific places and it's I met a man there
whose family you go into the, the the graveyard and there were hundreds and hundreds with the same name hundreds and hundreds with the same name. He's like, they're all my family.
So panela and yet he managed for us with his Islam, to come through it on the other end to to still be a creative person to still have a family to still work for his people and this is the resilience that faith gives panela Yeah, there was you when you see all the different writing's on the wall one of them that stood out it was a un and then translate united nothing, because they were supposed to be protecting those innocent men, women children, but then they ended up the Dutch ended up leaving throwing a party and they they didn't just leave you know, you're being too nice, Eddie, I know you're there in America, but you've been too nice. They disarmed the Muslims. They demanded that
every man and they all had their own little old rifles, okay, they weren't heavily armed but they were hunters because they live in the mountains and they came house to house bang bang bang bang bang and they searched the Muslim houses and they took the weapons and when the Serb you know what Serbian
genocide larmy came through. And then Muslims will say please the coming that we know what they're going to do please give us Oh, we can't we need this piece of paper and they left them to be massacred. That's what happened. Point of history. Yeah, many people don't know that was the greatest genocide after World War Two. And you had it this is the other thing it just a because a lot of times were told, as Muslims, you know, were put under the radar if some lunatic does something and they try to you know, just defame the whole religion of almost 2 billion people, but you never hear about these techniques. You never hear of this movement there. That was actually
connected to the New Zealand killer, a terrorist Andrew berberich they he was actually playing these chetnik song and this is a whole ideology that wants to exterminate Muslims there. So that was that was a study sorry, but there was a study done
it's all over on blogging theologies doing some great stuff Mashallah. But he did a video about which are the two most murderous ideologies and the the the ideology that has killed the most through through the last three 4000 years is Christianity I'm sorry to say and then after that, it's atheism. Okay, you look at Marxism, you look at communism, right you you look at the Viet the Vietnam the Vietcong, but
Oh gosh. Anyway the you know, the communists basically in all of these areas, the millions and millions of people that were killed and the atheist and the war's over oil and then after that, I think it's number six or seven is Islam so so at the top Christianity 120 578 million atheism 125 million
Islam I think 23,000,001 death is too many. Okay one is innocent death Make no mistake this is not a win a win lose thing we don't want anybody on this list we want no more wars. We want no more massacres we want no more children dying under drones. We don't we want no more women in Sarajevo having to walk side by side and know that the rapist of their mother or themselves is still free and wearing a T shirt saying finish the job
yeah and then when you look at Were you surprised you see the Christian churches like they're still standing after the war you had hundreds of hundreds of mosques just obliterated obliterated but this goes back to the teachings of Islam you know and this is why you had all those churches left you know in their place and this goes against the narrative a lot of times so it's good you know people visit and they get to see you know, this is like a modern day they say European Jerusalem they call it there in Bosnia where Jews Muslims living together in peace Subhanallah just just visit there you're right the Jerusalem of Europe yeah is is is if it's Bosnia, it really is amazing amazing
Mashallah, you know, did you see that line? They literally have a line where East meets West and you walk through bus jasha did you walk through there the little shops you feel Yes, that's right. Yes, we did. Yeah, yeah. We had a photo there. It's just sensational. Somehow. Yeah, I didn't get a chance to go this year with all this madness. But I miss Bosnia. Whoa, I hope to visit someone some amazing, amazing country. I think for identity purposes. Me and my daughter being converts from Britain. We felt really at home. there and
We felt like oh, okay for once we're not aliens. You know, we're not aliens in, you know, in the Muslim community who sees us as weird and we get asked, Are you Muslim? No, I wear this for fun because I like being shouted out in the street. You know, I really you have to stop yourself from being sarcastic. Yeah, no, I just put this on every Tuesday for a bit of a laugh with my friends. Yes, I'm so and then you know, of course, other people saying stuff to you. But handling that it wouldn't change it for anything I saw you did visit that Masjid up in the mountains there. That was very moving the it's called the war mask. And it was where the brothers used to pray. When there
were Serb forces in the hills. And they were fighting for their lives. And their city, sorry, ovo was under siege. For a number of years that people were on the brink of starvation, Allahu Akbar. And, and they had this beautiful little mosque and I had the honor of going there. And with the brigades with the surviving brigades, and
I tell you, I hope you can maybe later on if we edit this cut in some of the scenes that I saw there, because it was so moving, and they were so kind, and so sweet. Listen, Muslims are sweet. When I wasn't Muslim, and I used to go to Muslim events, I felt so
I felt like a big giant bully. Who had no
you know, no emotional compass, amongst a little, a little playground of very sweet children who are about four years you know, I was like 14 and they were four in their innocence in their sweetness. And I still feel that way today. Allah Akbar. And you know if you have a good Muslim friend, you know, you're probably experiencing that too. Like why are you so nice? Why are you giving everybody at work food? Why are you looking after my mother when I'm out with my own family won't do it? Why would you run me to the airport? You know, when my best friend says she's busy.
It's the teachings of the Holy Quran and our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon us, who make us a good people in society who should want more Islam, not less. Yes, absolutely. And just to touch upon one more thing before I go into my next question, is that you have Serbians as a nationality, you know, and a lot of times because it's nationalism, which the last of automation so the mankind Prophet Mohammed said, This thinks, you know, this is going to be a division between people, because you do have Croatians. You have Serbians, who have come to Islam, they have searched out the purpose of life, they found that the Quran is a deed from the creator to the heavens and earth based on
evidence and proof and they've accepted and they've been welcomed open Hartley and those who haven't, that's we still live in peace. But now just as people ask Muslims to condemn, you know, such fringe elements out there, you do have amongst in that, in that community, you have some who are extreme that now some sort of talk against that, you know, so it's not labeling a whole, a whole nation or a nationality. Because Islam is about living peacefully with your neighbor, it no matter if he's Jew, Christian, or whatever the case. So this is very important. And it goes back to knowing your deen and sharing your deen what you love to do, which we've kind of and I think, because I went
to visit a chutney
in his church as a priest, when I went there, you know, there's a, there's a line of division between the Republic of Serbia and its dimension, when you're driving, you can just go from one part, the Federation of Bosnia, and then you cross a line and you're in a different part. So it's kind of scary, you're going I went, he had his church service, and I went there. And I talked to him. I don't know if you got a chance to see that. You can see it on Facebook, I just reposted it. And he had no idea of many of the teachings of Islam. He didn't know that we love Jesus. There's a whole chapter named after his blesses mumbere, not a mother. So we also are doing a very bad job at
conveying the message of Islam. And I think many of our problems come from us not doing what our Creator God Almighty Allah told us to do. What do you think? Yeah, I think it's kind of a tough one. Because
on the one hand, we're sort of trained to take faith out of the public space. And that it's almost like a dirty thing to talk about. It's either dirty or embarrassing.
You know, don't don't talk about it over dinner. We don't you don't talk about politics, and you don't talk about religion and just keep it out in the spirit. Well, when are we going to talk about it? When is that magical space going to happen if it's not in our daily lives, so the more that we push those conversations away, the more misinterpretations and disunity arises. I'm really glad you said that about about Serbia and Croatia. And because these are nationalities, they don't have to be ideologies in the individual. It doesn't have to be like that. And so, you know, we pray for each and every person and we want interview
All relationships but we do we also pray that these ideologies and and that those spreading hatred are are are sidelined by their by their own communities and because just as Muslims we are called upon to sideline those who are calling who may be misguided and leading to
violence and misunderstanding well we call on on you on your community you know if somebody is speaking to you violently and saying God those Muslims they stink, we shall go right there women are Why did you go through this so my very good close friend of mine, she had a hijab ripped off a couple of days ago in Leicester. She's traumatized, the police did not quote came and came and questioned her husband and not the people who did it. These are real things that really shaped people. So what are you doing in your community? dear viewer? What are you doing to stop the hatred when you hear it? Tell us more about this What happened? Was this in the news Was this something
that which is a isolated incident that happened in your neighborhood now or with your friend? Was it something Why did this happen so she's a practicing Muslim woman with
a convert handler and someone just off the street randomly came and just know that they've been so so they've been some bullying by this gang of about five adults. They live in the same building and they've been shoulder barging and you know, making comments was it go back to Iran? I think they were saying to her some random you know, it's normally Saudi Arabia then why Iran came up but anyway, they'd obviously read something on the internet that day. And so they've been bullying them and other Muslims in the block for a while. And this particular day it tipped over and they they pulled her hijab off and she was actually on the ground looking for it outside her home. And her
husband went after them on his own which is dangerous and there was a scuffle and then they called the police they ran away laughing they called the police and the police questioned him and said did you start the fight? Did you do this and now they're so they're so upset by their interactions with the police they don't feel that they can report it so we're still working on this inshallah and once the you know sister's ready when she's ready and Sharla she will show up but this is it's a fight brother it's a fight because you're upset you don't feel the police are on your side and then you've got to get the guts to go in and see them again and be bullied by the state and that's that's really
is this like a group like Tony Robinson like the EDL or something or do some local thugs or local Fox for a bit of fun bit of a laugh so the police I mean they're still there and she has to still see these people and there have there haven't been any consequences they haven't been charged with any knock on the door knock on the door has there been public outcry some public pressure from that she we've got some we've got a group called mend and we're in touch with them Muslim engagement
and we're going to be speaking to them inshallah, about this. Hopefully, this can get out and there could be some more public pressure isn't the mayor they're Muslim. In London? Yeah, yeah. So this is where where's this at Leicester? This is less than a couple of 100 it's about 150 maybe 125 miles away?
Yeah, but this is what the here's the here's the issue, whether this is normal for Muslim women. It's like Oh, he gets better spat out nevermind
it's becoming more normal in the UK, it's, it's getting worse, rather than better.
It is what it is I've left. Make no mistake, I left. I left because I'm afraid that that society is falling apart. And I wish I wish it well. My daughters are there, my friends of the my, my family extended family there. But for me as a Muslim, I felt I could it and it's not just about faith. It's not even just about ethics. It's about the commercial material society when you take away people's material goods and that's what's happening now in the UK, it's happened post COVID people fall apart and it becomes really kind of dangerous and that Yeah, a lot a lot took me from that of hamdulillah so we got about five minutes left. Let's talk about so you made higit and you see a lot of people
who are actually leaving and coming over to places like your turkey, I think we have to be really careful with the term hedra for someone like Turkey because hedra is looking for an ideal Islamic State and that's not fair. Turkey is a dynamic and mixed place to live and it's pretty much 50 50% secular without that with other religions here and still 50% inshallah of people who are practicing the faith, so I don't think you can put it as hedra did I come to somewhere by the grace of Allah, where the van is called Yes. Where there are beautiful mosques, yes. Where you we can do charity. You can do that in the UK. Of course you can do that in your own environment. But where there's a
peacefulness in in wearing the scarf. Yes.
So are you are you seeing how is life there compared to
Where you left the UK? How is it for your dean? How is it like we just got to experience you just stopping and hearing the answer. I mean, that's, that's something you know, sometimes you just don't want to be the other. Sometimes you just want to be yourself. Sometimes you just did just don't look at me in my head job. I want the hijab on to be invisible when I'm out. And that's, it's like a cloak of invisibility. And it's lovely. When it works in the West and you're invisible. And as a woman, you're not stared at your comments aren't made at you. That's that's when it is working beautifully. And then when it when it draws attacks, that's when it's something we have to, to wear
with, with with steadfastness. There's a big change, right? Because several years ago, there was also something there with the hijab, right? in public places, and now has also changed for the better. Oh gosh, in Turkey. Well, listen, 20 years ago, President Erdogan had to send his daughters to America to study in the hijab a loca. Because you could not have the hijab in Turkey. So again, that's another topic for another day, because it's huge. There was communism, and there was secularism, and it was deliberately entered into the Muslim lands of Europe. And this confusion reigned for a while and this hatred and fear of what had gone before and this forgetfulness, and now
hamdulillah some stability, inshallah, we pray for that. Let's, let's talk talk about real quickly, this 10 Year Itch, you know, where we are now and the importance of continuing to get well grounded into Deen? And then we'll go on to my last question. Well, this Yeah. Okay.
I wanted to speak, especially to people who are perhaps converted, you know, it's so important to keep on learning this face. So it's so deep Eddy, it's like, you dive in to this wonderful ocean. And then it's like, you're almost drowning. It's like, I don't know anything, and I'm a sinner, and, and it seems so overwhelming, and the waves are washing over you, if you've ever I've tried to surf. And it's like having this big. You have you're getting dragged underneath the waves.
And, you know, you forget about the beauty because you're kind of overwhelmed that that can be an experience. But that only happens continually. And then, of course, the pull back, where are my friends? Where's my fun?
And, you know, shaytan and the temptations? You know, everybody's still going to the bar. What about Christmas, it looks so bright and tensley and you forget about people being bankrupt in January, you forget about the arguments over who gave the biggest present, you forget about the drunkenness and the fights that go, you forget because it's all tensive Oh, let the sleigh bells ding ding we'd love it to be like that. But it's not Christian. It's nothing to do with Christianity. And it is not peaceful. But all of these things for the Convert and furball Muslim are their reality. So I keep just
inviting myself to go back to the beginning.
Go back to the basics. And now by the grace of Allah learning Arabic. I am doing the hard work 11 years and, you know, fellow fellow fellow Fellow at Valletta. Trying to get the Arabic grammar why my aim is to read the Quran with understanding before I die, Yara and I've studied a couple of books this year in depth. Because the explanation, dear brothers and sisters is you start working on yourself. You start really understanding your you know what your flaws are, in a deep way, and the deepness is and how do I please Allah, when I get rid of those, what am I meant to be doing? It's not just about undoing. It's about redoing, and for the pleasure of God. So please, if you're
feeling confused, if you're feeling lost, come find me on Instagram. I love to recommend books. Keep watching the deen show, inshallah, to Allah and keep learning your deen and keep going back. Don't just make it a part of life out. I do my five prayers. Or maybe I do three prayers. That's probably enough. You can do that an easy way to slide away and you won't get the beauty.
I want to just touch upon real quick got one minute left, you have a new book. And I'm really impressed that you've made it and I think we're lacking here the audio portion of the book, you actually have a book but it's also an audio book format. And I encourage others because if you ever go to audible, and you just put in Islam, you have a lot of the hate propaganda that's pushed through these audio books we really need to catch up to get the right information out there. And audible audio books is a great resource that we're lacking tremendously behind and you are actually promoting your book as an audio book correct. haven't done it that's called in search of a holy
land. And it is the the stories. It's my own journey but it's the stories of Muslims. It's a story of Palestine. It's the story of us being
from birth to death, and all of those experiences in between, how do they impact us? And how should we react? And what does Islam actually mean in our lives? So I've recorded it myself there's a lot of laughter in there. That's the character Allah to Allah has given me there's a lot of light and shade. And people have said that they cry and they laugh in equal measure, and that their heart is is warmed by the truth that in Sharla so in search of a holy land, you can find it on Audible, you can find it on scribble.com it's I kept it really, really super cheap. Sometimes these things are 18 $18 I've made it $1 $2 because I want as many people as possible to have access for it. And john,
thank you very much for sharing some of the highlights of your story and some great experiences there that we got to benefit from some advice thank you very much discipline
bless you keep you close to him army army. Well, they can Salaam but I've got 100 I had a blood I mean, so what an amazing story, amazing journey. And this is another proof upon proof when someone is sincere. And they are searching to want to know what is the purpose of life, Why are they here? And like she did. She got to experience the kindness of Muslims. She thought that the Quran was a handbook on how to be a good person. So coming from a family of Tony Blair, you know to being with celebrities, and living that life to coming to peace, purpose, contentment, what do you got to lose by reading the Quran, which he thought was a handbook on how to be a good person that spreads and
tells us to go ahead and have a direct connection with the Creator of the heavens and earth, believing in one and only one God. believing in Jesus a whole chapter named after his blood mother, Mary, there's so much to go on. I can go on and continue continue but read the Quran and continue to tune into the deen show. We'll see you next time here. Subscribe if you haven't already, hit that notification bell. Until next