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Hidden Miracle

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The Deen Show

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Episode Notes

AMAZING !! (He cried in front of the cross and watch what happened next)

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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stayed active in the church long after my confirmation right up until I went to college. Why did you decide to walk away? It didn't make sense to me and growing up, we prayed. This is a miracle of itself just by itself alone, a fungus that grows on the roots of trees.

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What they discovered many years ago actually now was that this fungus and the network it creates between trees I went up to the altar in front of the cross.

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And I remember

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breaking down in tears, essentially asking for 360 joints in your body right at one breath.

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And hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen Assalamu alaikum brothers and sisters, we're here in Irving, Texas, y'all and I'm with a Texan I believe he is. And he also has a wonderful story from a music producer went on a faith journey of eight years was in the United Methodist Church his mother was in the church and his whole journey is very very captivating interesting Least to say and then he became what we're going to be talking about today any mom How do you do all this when we come back and hear this wonderful story with his wonderful brother but anyway

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May

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Allah

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and His final messengers, Muhammad peace be upon him? This is our religion, Islam. Miss Love. This is the dijo

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was ready to talk about

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how much respect I have for the faith of Islam Show. Welcome to the deen show. The Deen show.

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Salam aleikum. mcy Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh How are you doing? I'm doing great. It's nice to finally make this happen. We've had this in the work a long time. Yeah, for sure. Al Hamdulillah. Now we finally got to put it together. So before we get to asking the million dollar question, how you ended up becoming an imam actually, right. And for those people, can you explain to the people who are new to the term what is an E mom? Okay, so an imam is a term that's used to signify the religious leader of a Muslim congregation linguistically it literally means someone who stands out front and if you've ever witnessed a Muslim prayer and if you haven't we welcome you to come down to

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any mosque in your neighborhood to do just that. But a Muslim imam the religious leader when the prayer is taking place the formal prayer the man stands in front of the congregation lined up in rows behind him to lead them in that prayer hence the term Imam one who stands out front used to mean a religious leader of the Muslim community

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we're here with

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Phil Hill

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are you signed everything here

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no ya know

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lb

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lb

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Oh yah yah

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yah

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I've

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been help it's

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been hubbardston

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has

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been the head

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of Muslims around here it's pretty huge and split like this, the place the location that you opened and basically it's for further south from the other other big massage. And everyone I know a lot of people that are used to come Mike my cousin lives nine minutes from here. Another uncle of mine lives about five to 10 minutes from here. This area, the Masjid opened up in an area that it's much needed and this size, this

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the center this center

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There's much needed for this area. And the idea of this center is needed for the whole state because we don't have anything like that in the whole state that was sent there where it's gonna basically nurture and basically educate and it's gonna basically spread this man

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so tell me now your journey wasn't always one of Muslim background, father, mother, and were Muslim ones who, just for people hearing that term was someone who submits his or her will to the credit, heavens and earth. Now tell me your mother worked in the church. Did you follow? So we're going to church. So you grew up in the church, if your mother worked in the church, right, very much tell us about those early beginnings. So as as my dear brother was saying that I grew up in the United Methodist Church, and not just as someone who identified as a United Methodist, but as he alluded to, my mother for most of my life, worked for the United Methodist Church, the state offices. So we

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frequently On days off from school, she was a single mother. For most of our life, our father and mother got divorced very early on. So we would go with her to the office because she had no babysitting. So we would spend our time in the offices of the church, we would be interacting with church employees and pastors, and different people like that all the time. And I still remember fondly. Many times when she would come home from work in the state offices of The United Methodist Church, she would sometimes get into arguments with my grandmother, because we lived with her for a time, who was Lutheran thing grew up Lutheran, and my mother grew up Lutheran, but converted, if you

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will, the United Methodist when she married my father, and she would come home, barely, you'd be there long enough to have dinner or do anything. And we'd walk around the block to the to the church behind our house, which was United Methodist Church that we attended. And we would spend a large portion of the night at the church after that. That was an ongoing theme in our life. And I remained as Eddie and I were talking about in Christianity in the United Methodist Church, in most Protestant churches, there's a process called confirmation, which is essentially graduating from Sunday school. Most of the time when someone graduates from Sunday school, you don't see them again until they're

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married or having children. I on the other hand, stayed active in the church long after my confirmation right up until I went to college. And then once I returned from college, I was at the church again, on a regular basis. At that point. I was far on into my faith journey, and it was more out of habit by that time than it was anything else. But before that was the way I led my life. So for most people who are ignorant when they heard these terms,

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the Methodist, Presbyterian,

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evangelical and all the other different names that goes alongside under the umbrella of Christianity, correct. What's the difference, particularly with this denomination, this particular United Methodist, they actually at the time I first was part of the church, they were just Methodists. But there was a change in the organization of the church, they became United Methodist, they had joined with other bodies from within the church itself. Ironically, that same body that currently is known as the United Methodist Church is going through a fracture. At this time where you are having the United Methodist Church and a growing group of congregational Methodists, who is

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breaking away from the United Methodist Church, the core issue being the growing, shall we say, openness of The United Methodist Church, they pride themselves as on throwing the doors open to anyone and everyone wherever they are, in terms of their life journey in terms of their identification, etc. They're very open, and they've been growing in that for many, many years. So in the current trends, they are one of the more, shall we say open

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permissive might not be the right word, but non judgmental churches that are out there. And so the Congregationalists are starting to break away because they're looking for more of the quote unquote, traditional values of the older church. So as a Methodist priest to be a Methodist priest, you can be

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any,

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you know, there's certain guidelines and certain, like in Islam, you know, there's a certain guideline to being an Imam, you know, and are those guidelines now pretty much just vague Are they pretty much very flexible and it's like, you know, anybody can be a priest or a Pastor. Pastor has a title right for the rest of this right is anybody to my knowledge? I don't know that much about the process, but they do have an expectation.

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doesn't have a certain level of education experience, and things like that frequently, they'll have, for lack of a better term, like an internship with a community or something like that. But they do have a higher expectation in terms of education and experience and things like that, etc. Now, strictly speaking, of course, in the Islamic communities, there is not a requirement, so to speak of a formal education, a community, say in a small town or somewhere far flung, they would pick the man from amongst themselves, and it would be the one they see as the most righteous and the most qualified to lead set. And this is an important distinction, sometimes we need to understand in

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Islam, the leader of a community isn't always necessarily going to be the most knowledgeable religiously, or the one who knows the most Koran, although that is one of the criteria that we use to try and select the leader of a community has chosen for their ability to fulfill the needs of the community. So sometimes, someone, someone with maybe a deficient, lack of efficiency and knowledge compared to someone else may be chosen to lead because they have greater skills and acumen in terms of leadership, or in terms of conflict resolution, or things like that, etc. And if you've ever been in larger communities, conflict resolution, leadership, things like that are vitally, vitally

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important. Let me ask specifically before we go on with more of your journey, so we're trying to understand because the reason I'm asking is because we see a lot of Christians getting fed up with people bending the rules and making things up as you go. So we know in Islam just to be a contract, for out of God's wisdom, you know, God's love, you know, he has ordained certain things, and they cannot be, you know, transgressed. Like, for instance, you can't, unless you're in a state that you're going to die drink alcohol, friends, or pork, for instance, where a man is not because now man is better than women or anything, right? But the man is one who leads the prayer, right, for

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example, and you can't have someone who a man marries not a man a man marries a woman, right? So now if you have someone like opposing this, and that person's the Imam, do you see this? A lot of people are we're seeing this in many churches happening. It's just happening Methodist churches also.

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Because they're open. They are open, I don't know, with with absolute certainty, but I know that there has been trans towards openly gay priests and pastors, there's been, you know, they they definitely are more than willing to authorize and sanctify a union of the same sex, male and male, female and female, they've opened their doors to that. And I don't know their arguments or their explanations of the of the verses in the Bible that speak against that very clearly. But they have opened themselves to that. And again, that's something that some segments of the church are starting to rebel against and wanting to separate themselves so as to maintain some of those older values.

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It's an ongoing battle throughout many churches, as I'm sure it is spoken about before. Churches in general around the country are suffering from a dwindling population, a graying population, the youth are abandoning religion, and mass, and the churches themselves, even the even the congregants of the older generations are leaving the church progressively more and more and more, they're becoming dead institutions. And they're closing down or as I've had experienced with some of the pastors and, and the preachers in this area in Irving, Texas alone, they're having to combine congregations you'll find Methodist Church, actually, the one of the Methodist pastors near here

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that I've had contact with many times, he shared with me that he had, I believe it was three different church services. In his space. They were sharing space, it was the only way they could maintain, they couldn't add by themselves, is very grade, dwindling population, especially after the pandemic, of course, the pandemic ravaged every community, save the Muslims, the Muslims, now I've rebounded with a fierceness. But he couldn't support the building that they had historically used. He had to start bringing in other congregations that were renting out the space and using it for their services. So two and three services, not like our church, our centers where we're having two

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and three services, because it's so crowded, we need to have multiple services in their case. They don't have enough people even for one service, they're renting it out for other people to have their services in order to be able to maintain and then they're building and then combining it with other churches coming together. That can have probably conflicting views. Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, wow. So yeah, the compromise is happening there. Absolutely. Wow. And that's, this is something amazing. I mean, this is just for someone to really think and reflect where do you How was thinking about those going to fajr prayer at the Valley Ranch mosque, Masjid, that's about what 10 minutes from

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here from

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15 minutes from 1015 minutes. Yeah, you've been there obviously, right? Oh, yeah. Okay, so we're going into prayer, and I'm seeing all these cars and I'm seeing it's full. It's like almost like Joomla. And somehow unless there's moss, and I was thinking like, wow, this is so amazing warehouse. Do you see this that before the sun has risen? You have this many people coming to worship God Almighty, Allah, where do you see this? It's truly amazing. And when you contrast that with people who are absolutely, it's hard for people to understand frequently, when we have visitors here for open houses or mentoring people are talking to them about the religion because of their interest in

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their curiosity, will do tours of the building will show them the prayer hall and the rest of the building. And when we talk to them about the prayer hall, they get to see it, I talk about some of the architectural stamp features and what they were were used for historically, and what they're used for now, versus everything else. And then I talked to him about the room and how when we pray, and that for the late the later prayers Maghrib. And he shared the sunset prayer and the last prayer of the night, we have on average, on average, in the middle of the week, we'll have 500 people 500 ad, let me be more accurate 500 men, I can't even begin to speak to how many women may be here. So

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we're talking over 500 people coming to pray in in the evening time, in the middle of the week.

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And that's unheard of even in Dallas. That's that's an anomaly slight, slight anomaly, that you get that large of a congregation that's one of the blessings of this community is that we have such a huge congregation of mousseline of those who are praying that are coming on a regular basis. And so even during Joomla, as we have approximately 3000 people every joumana that come through here, you know, at a minimum and then for AIDS, of course, we weren't here to speak about the AIDS and I'm gonna talk about that. Yeah. So before we even get to where you're here, we're kind of dabbling into it a little bit. But for someone to think like, well, I got to look into this because slot Islam is

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powerful, you know, you know what I mean to have you now come into it this way, and so many other continues to be the fastest growing way of life. You went on your journey you explored before you made your decision? What are some of the other things so you ended up? Being a part of the church? You had your what's called the confirmation? Why did you why did you decide to walk away? I started having questions in my teenage years, as many children do in their teenage years, many converts.

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If they don't actually convert in their teenage years, their journey oftentimes begins in those years. Because this is an age where children's minds are developing in such a way that they're questioning basically everything, especially their parents. And so I was beginning a faith journey at that time having

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not so much doubts, but just questions and confusions or curiosities, about my faith and about how the faith felt about certain things. Notably, the one thing that I can remember being able to verbalize was the question of when we're talking about others, who they behave as we behave. In other words, they don't drink they don't commit fornication, they don't worship idols, things like that. All things that as a Christian, we looked at as righteous we'd saw as something from the commandments themselves, but they just don't call themselves Christian. What do we think about them? How do we feel about them? And I started asking questions about this. I started with my mother

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because of the respect I had for her because of the role I knew she had in in the church and things like that, etc. And she was any unable to answer my question. And I started to explore other denominations of Protestant Christianity. Besides a brief stint with the Pentecostal church, when of the holy roller, holy, spirit filled churches, I never really found any answers. And I started to explore elsewhere, as Eddie and I had talked about earlier,

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explored Taoism and Confucianism, which, strictly speaking aren't religions in and of themselves. They're more philosophies from the Far East. When I was looking into them, I even looked into Native American spirituality for a time the Lakota and particularly, which was the common tribe in the in the Midwest, and didn't find what I was looking for. And people sometimes question how is it that you, you reject what you're being told as not being the right answer? And I tried to explain it to them. I tell them I said, if you've ever put together a puzzle,

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you have part of the puzzle assembled, and there's gaps in the puzzle itself. You may not know exactly what the piece you're looking for looks like, but you have an idea. You have a rough conception of the shape of it.

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Have some of the colors. And so when you see it, you know,

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this was like the piece I was looking for in my spiritual journey. I didn't know what the answer was. I couldn't verbalize the exactness of what it was I was searching for, but I knew I would recognize it when I found it. And so eventually I did. But it took me six years before I started through the doorway of that path, to start to explore it and that path, that doorway was Islam. And the answer came in the words of Allah subhanahu wa at the island himself. And Surah Al Baqarah, the second chapter of the Quran, the 62nd ayat where a lot says, about those who have believed in those who are Jews and those who are Christians, and those who are Sapiens, all who believe in Allah on

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the last day, and work righteous deeds, no fears shall be upon them, nor shall they grieve. And at that moment, it was like a lightning bolt. I had found my answer.

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The answer was there. And not just that, when you talk about Sciences of the Quran, when Allah repeats something in the Quran, it's a way of emphasizing the lesson in the knowledge that he's sharing with you. And that same phrase is repeated at least once or twice more in the Quran. So that was a very valuable and an important lesson that Allah was teaching. And it resonated with me on a level that could was just unheard of. From that moment on, it was never a question of whether or not I was going to be Muslim is merely a question of when, because that goes back to what you were saying earlier. You know, when we're talking off camera, how you're looking for that question. What

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about other people? You know, a lot of people say what about the guy who never heard about Islam, he's in a jungle somewhere, you know, he's here, he's there, he's everywhere. But if the person's truly worshipping God Almighty alone, he just calling upon the Creator that's the monotheism that's what Islam is built on a pure monotheism. Alright, so if someone didn't heard about her about Islam, he's not worshipping a stick stone, a bone, you know, any. He's not worshipping a dog, a cat, a messenger. He's worshiping God Almighty alone, right? And he's committed to that. And when you look at a lot of these different cultures, and you go back and you look and you dig into their whatever

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remnants of whatever, you know, there, find the roots, you'll find those roots of monotheism, pure monotheism, right? Yeah. So that's, that's true, truly amazing. And there's, there's another individual, I walked into your office here, can you hand me the book here? So this is a phenomenon because this is another person I spent some some good time with. Us. A good friend of mine also, I've had him on the show. We did many, many episodes together. He was had a doctorate a master's, I believe in church divinity. He was a theologian. He was in the church. He was preaching teaching Dr. Gerald Dirks. You met him also right. I've met Mr. Dirt me, brother Mayer live presione, Amin, amin,

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and may Allah bless his wife. She's also Deborah Dirks. They're watching who's also written a book on the journey of many, many women in their conversion process telling their story. So it didn't end with our brother Dirks, his wife has continued the the journey of sharing the knowledge and the wisdom and the experiences of those that are going through this journey. And she has a wonderful book that contains the stories of many women's experiences of discovering Islam and their liberation, they found in that journey. Yeah, and this is not, you know, these are not dumb people. These are wise people who are looking for the purpose of life, why they've been created, why they're

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here, they're going to exploration like you did faith journey of eight years. And I never want any of our Christian friends, neighbors think like, oh, they're picking on us or this because when we talk about trinity, or we talk about because that's where you started. And those are the questions that people have, are just like someone, you're in university, and the teachers adding up two plus two is five, and then you're questioning that just like you, probably and what were your questions about trinity about the crucifixion of Jesus? These are this is the this is the bedrock of Christianity, just like someone can go and challenge the pure model theta, tau heat, or we call it

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of Islam, they can challenge these things in the preservation of the Quran. And we've more than happy to discuss with persons sincere, they're humble, they want to know. So what was your experience with this? The relationship of Jesus him dying for your sins and being one to three and Trinity? How did you battle and tackle with this? Honestly, it was never a battle for me. There's one one instance I remember from my, from my later years when I was still a practicing Christian, for those who aren't familiar during Easter, in the in the Christian calendar, at least the United Methodist Church and my understanding is many churches have similar services. They have this service

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on the day that they believe that Jesus died on the day of His crucifixion, and they'll have this very solemn ceremony in the church where there's a there's a pre

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eaten, or there's a sermon and things, and then they'll shut out the lights. And all that's left in the sanctuary are candles, the candles are lit, and you're allowed to stay there after everything finishes as long as you choose. And all they have is one light. At least this was in the church that I attended one light on the cross in front of the in front of the congregation, and you would sit there and you would reflect you would whatever. And this one year, in the midst of my faith journey, I was there. And I was the last person to leave the sanctuary. Because I was there. And I knew the other person, the last person to leave before me, was a woman, a friend of my mother's, who I knew

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and we'd spent much time with, who was there for a long time. And I knew part of the reason was because one of her loved ones had died recently. So she was in a very emotional state. She stayed for quite a long time I stayed as well, after she had left. I went up to the altar in front of the cross.

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And I remember

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breaking down in tears, essentially asking, I think I even verbalized it this way, why? I didn't understand the why this needed to happen. It didn't make sense to me. And growing up, we prayed. You couldn't tell me otherwise, you couldn't convince me that prayer didn't work. But anytime I prayed. I always prayed to God, I never prayed to Jesus. And many Christians, when you hear them pray, they say, you know, Lord Jesus, or me, the Lord Jesus, etc, you know, provide for us, etc. They have this this, it's clear Association ism, in the way they verbalize the things that they say, but I never remember praying to Jesus, I always prayed to God, the God that Jesus pray to exactly. And there's

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plenty of evidences. And there's plenty of examples, in Jesus's own words in the New Testament to show that how he prayed was the same.

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So there's a whole other conversation that could happen around that, etc. But so you couldn't convince me otherwise. But I was having this moment. If there was ever a faith crisis for me, in my journey, that was probably the moment where I, my mind, and my heart at that point could no longer even fathom or even accept the idea, let alone the reality that this, this man had died for my sins, and that this was a necessary thing. And that this was a godly thing, that this was something that, you know, the Lord of hosts was was going to do. It didn't make sense to me on it's deeply spiritual, personal level. And so I completely just broke down in tears and just could not accept

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and comprehend and understand. And that inevitably only propelled my journey forward, because I had whatever vestiges of attachment to that theology to that what I had been taught in Sunday school, and confirmed in graduated in broke every last tie that may have been there. And now I was free to roam unhindered, and ask the questions that my heart had nurtured all that time and searched for the answers, that 100 Lie. Eventually they led me to law led me to his book and they led me to his Dean Subhanallah there's so many evidences that people use the scientific miracles in the Quran, the prophecies, the authenticity of the Quran is preservation. What were some of the key things find it,

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I did it to had you take your shahada, that first step that initiation that you declared is nothing where the worship of God Almighty Allah and Prophet Muhammad just like Moses, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the preceding messenger he was the final messenger for all of mankind has mercy to the world All right, what finally did it for you? Well, the I had reshard earlier was really kind of the catalyst that was that was catalyst that was that was that was that was the one like I had said, after reading that i the 62nd. i How long after that, did you did you take your child, it was probably at least six months I don't think because I don't even remember when it was so finish your

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point what you're saying. So the AI itself talking about the you know, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians all who believe in Allah and work righteous deeds, nope. fears will come upon them or their reward is what their Lord no fears will come upon them, nor shall they grieve. I needed to correct the way I translated that last time.

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That answered the question, the one key question that was brewing in my heart, and I didn't become Muslim right away by any means. But that pretty much closed the door behind me. There was no going back at that point. It was now a question of just completing the forward journey that I was on. And the journey with Islam was approximately two years

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is from when I first started to explore the Koran and the last year or so, I was going to the Juma services on Friday, regularly, and church services on Sunday, regular so you're going to the mosque and the church and the church, you're going to both at the same time chatting at that time because I hadn't fully committed myself to the decision. It felt inevitable. Without doubt, it felt inevitable and people would ask me at the masjid all the time, when are you going to take Shahada? When are you going to take Shahada? And I would tell them I said, my family is very religious. I said, I need to be sure that this I'm not gonna just jump the broom and jump right in. You're really doing your

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homework? Oh, yeah, the thing, the thing that sold me on the Dean was the dean itself was the dean itself. I was reading the Quran the entire time, I was listening to Jamal hood buzz, you know, weekly, you know, I was, you know, continue, I don't remember, but I'm sure I was probably reading some other stuff as well.

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And having conversations with people in the in the community, etc. And so it was the dean itself, that sold me there was no personality, no individual involved in my journey. This was a very personal journey for me. And so that that nature of how I journey to the religion of Islam informs how I do outreach to others. I trust in the fact that Allah will guide their hearts, I tried to be a resource, I tried to be a support. But I don't pretend to have the ability to make them any particular way. My job is to just provide them

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the facts, the truth, and to help open their eyes the way my eyes were opened. And trust that if a law wants good for this person, they will be done it. And if I can be a small part of that, then hamdulillah and Hamdulillah, especially in this position here with the Islamic Center of Irving in the Outreach Department. I've been very fortunate to have many people come through here and he wants to take the Shahada.

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And like one of my dear my dear teachers, Korean mobiles aides, may Allah protect him.

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He mentioned in one of his televised shadows, he said, we don't necessarily have anything to do with this. We're just here at the end. He made it very clear that people sometimes the associate the fact that someone takes your head on your hand that somehow that's, that's something that elevates you or dignifies you it's like this is no dignity is this there dignifying me by allowing me to do that they're the ones honoring me that I'm not honoring them. I'm not earning honor for myself. There's nothing and nothing in this, anyone could have stepped in and done what I what I did, it doesn't require me. So that law brings them to me is an honor for me. It's not, it's it's not something that

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that makes me special. It's I'm being gifted, I'm the one being blessed by that I'm the one that the one that's poor, the one that's weak, that's that's been given the lower hand laws as the upper hand and he's bringing them to me. It's not me doing anything to bring them. What do you have to say for the people who might be atheist agnostic, even though I personally don't believe there's such thing as a true atheist? Right? I believe everybody. There's a lot of people that say that, yeah, I believe everyone deep down inside, they believe in a higher power, but because they were exposed to many of these man made religions, right, and then they go ahead and just reject that. But they

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haven't really explored Islam. And if they're sincere, they'll come to it like you did. Right. And you took it to a whole nother level, you started studying and really, really growing in knowledge and you became an imam. And now tell me, what do you say for the agnostic atheists to Christian others who are, you know, maybe leaving the church or they're just leaving altogether, and they're exploring, and then they fall into the pits of that dark hole of just falling your desires? They're not happy. They're right now they're listening. They're tuning in, you know, what is it that separates Islam from all the man made religions? How do we know it's not manmade? What are the

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proofs that you'd like to point people to in the beginning stages, right? There's so much in that and to be honest with you, one of the greatest

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tools to opening people's eyes just to faith in general, was something I learned from one of your episodes. When you were interviewing, I can't remember the the brother's name, may Allah reward him but he was you were doing a drive by a drive along interview with him in the car, and he was mentioning atheism and a book he had read recently by Anthony fluke. Anthony flew. He was like the prophet of Athan. Yeah, he was the preeminent atheist for 50 years. Yeah, in the in the West, was the one at the pinnacle of academic achievement and argumentation in the fate in favor of the

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belief that there is no God at all. And make no mistake, it is a belief, which in and of itself is a linguistic irony. But that's a whole other topic. But I would challenge anyone that believes that they're agnostic atheist or whatever, to read his book, a book where he tells his journey journey of going from being a staunch atheist, to becoming a believer in the Divine. And what he discovers and just as a summary, or as as a nutshell of one of the major points that he makes, the major point that he made, because people will talk about the the idea of chance, or just that things come about by chance, or whatever. And while the way he puts it on paraphrasing, you might be able to explain

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chance if evolution of a single book

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or or, you know, a single hand or a single creature, maybe, maybe it's even that's somewhat far fetched. And there's lots of classical examples in Islam and other and other faith traditions to answer that supposition. But what he points out is that while you might be able to make a case for a single entity, a single single item, the ability to explain the network of systems that exist in creation, the interplay and the inter workings of all the different creations and how they operate together, that is something that mere chance can never, ever possibly explaining that was one of the most damning evidences then of the falsity of the atheist proposition. The example I often use and

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some of you may or may not be familiar with is mycelium. Mycelium is a fungus that grows on the roots of trees.

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What they discovered many years ago, actually now was that this fungus and the network it creates between trees of different types and varieties over large swaths of land in a forest, they form a network almost like a neural network between the trees, thinking and reacting and responding to rises and falls and moisture, and temperature and things like that. And resource redistribution. It's a very complicated, integrated network between multiple different organisms. And so something like that, the idea of chance, the idea of there being no designer, no, no manager, no creator, no planner is completely unable to answer or explain. This is a miracle of itself just right by itself

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alone. This is a miracle and it's called the what? Mycelium mycelium. This is a fun fungus on cactus to the roots of trees, that creates a network. This is the miracle of fungus now this millennial Yes, wow. And this convinced him that wasn't his example, necessarily. But when I read that, that was the one that came to your mind. Because there was many stories going round in the years preceding that about this mycelial network, and the discoveries they had made and all of the things they had found about how it operates. If you think just and people who know me, well, they know that I make very nerdy references frequently, if you've seen the original avatar, not the new one, the

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original avatar, and they talk about how the the tree the mother tree is hasn't network throughout the soil. This network, the way they describe it in Avatar is similar in, in a sense to this mycelial network where it's almost thinking it's almost alive, in and of itself, and it processes the memories, etc. But in a different way. And then in the real life. It's not as superstitious and and fantastical, of course, but it's still no less miraculous, wow, this is truly amazing, and miracles right in front of it just ourselves, you know, if you dissect, you know, different components in the body and everything actually the footbag gave just the other day

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was on El Fathia. And I like to revisit al Fatiha with people frequently because it's such a crucial element to our lives as Muslims, but we frequently we don't reflect on it. And I was talking about just the first verse, Allah hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen all thanks and praises due to Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of All the Worlds and it was talking about the idea of hand praise and how it in contains not just praise for the perfect attributes of Allah the perfect attributes of God, but also show her gratitude for all that he gives us. And how if we even just reflect on something we're doing right now that we aren't even thinking about. Our heart is beating. We're breathing in, we're

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breathing out. Even just one of those things if we were to take a moment to recognize it, and show gratitude for

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Right by saying Al hamdu, Lillahi Rabbil Alameen, we then would be trapped in a never ending cycle of thanks and praise for that one thing.

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And that's far from the totality of the blessings in the mercies that we're experiencing in this very moment.

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It's a never ending cycle of gratitude, even for the most basic thing that we do.

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You just named a couple of things, just the heartbeat in the air you're taking in, you know, and just not even just the fact that we breathe, but the breath, the breath we take right now, that one breath

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and have hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen end because we've said that the Prophet even in some Hadith, he says that the thing that you've been given when you say, Alhamdulillah, and I'm paraphrasing, just sort of quickly, I'm paraphrasing, that when you respond with Al hamdu, lillahi, rabbil, Alameen, for something you've been given, what you say is better than what you were given.

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What you say is better than what you've been given, no matter what it is, what you say, when you say Al hamdu, lillahi, Rabbil Alameen, for having received it is better than the gift even if you were according to one narration, even if you were given the totality of the heavens and the earth, if you said in response, hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen it would be better than what you were just given. And that's praising the Creator of the heavens and earth like Krishna will say hallelujah, yes, similar. Yes. Wow. This is truly amazing. And it reminds me of another before we conclude, just came to me the Hadith where the prophet Muhammad last semester said to mankind, peace and blessings be upon

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him, he said, you know, you'd have to pray all day imagine, all day and night, you would have to pray just to thank Allah, the Creator for the 360 joints in your body, right? But he allows you every day, every day, right? Every day, you can do that by just substituting with two extra units of prayer, right to show your thankfulness and gratefulness. And that's, we can go on and on all day, and we'd be here sitting here just yeah, you know? Absolutely. So this is the thing Islam.

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Frequently I get asked questions about Islam, or they asked me about the answer and said, I give them the answer. And frequently the answer seems almost too simplistic sometimes. Yeah. And I tell them, I said, it's that simple. But it's also that hard. Because many times the answer is very simple. It doesn't require a lot of mental gymnastics is designed to be something that every rational human being can understand and accept.

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But it's so it's so magnificent, because even though seemingly simple, the depths of its ocean are so deep, that scholars spend lifetimes just trying to understand that one thing, the example I gave him the clip I was referring to earlier Alfetta we recited 17 times a day at a minimum in our Salawat in our prayers, our formal prayers.

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Understanding it is so critical to our life as a Muslim.

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books have been written on al Fatiha explaining al Fatiha from the scholars of the past, numbering at least the translations numbering in the hundreds of pages in explaining seven lines, well, seven sentences, one of our dear brothers in California, shed Jamala beans are a bozo May Allah preserve him, he did a lecture series on al Fatiha, in which he started off by apologizing for only scratching the surface while after then lecturing for 30 hours on al Fatiha and he had to apologize at the start for only scratching the surface his name again for people who Jamala Dean zero balls and interesting enough just like yourself just like Dr. Gerald Dirks he's also comes from a

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background Christian background he was someone who converted reverted to Islam as he's one of the he's one of the elders of the of the Convert community in the United States. Having converted in I believe it was like 72 in a very small community in California, where he was very much by himself. He and I have had the opportunity to sit and talk from time to time and he was one of my very early teachers

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and he's He is perhaps one of the most humble people you will ever meet but his knowledge is well recognized by people all over the world.

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So let's enclosing now amazing story we can even go deeper but for the person that's out there, you know and I think that's what's kind of just shakes people like the simplicity and they're like because they're used to all this esoteric stuff this mystical these mystical strange things and whatnot and you hear you hear it comes with that beginning step, you know

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What's the purpose of life? Why am I here? Why have I been created? Why not ask the creator, the heavens that are the One who created you to guide me? I mean, how important is that, you know, to ask those questions of purpose, why have been created and then asking the Creator alone? To go for guidance? Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

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We believe in even you can find in the Quran, evidence for this. We believe that if someone genuinely and sincerely from the bottom of their heart is seeking, God is seeking Allah, that they will be guided to it so much so that if you look into the Quran, you'll find places where Allah challenges the Jews and the Christians to follow their book to adhere to their book because ALLAH knows and the Muslims understand that there was real and true guidance in their books a lot even says that in those books, there was Nora and Hoda light and guidance in those books.

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They've been changed throughout history and time for various reasons. This is what we believe. But the final revelation, the revelation that we rely upon that exists

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till this day in its pristine form, as it was revealed over 1400 years ago,

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tells us that if we seek Him, He will bring us guidance, if we respond to him when he calls, he will give us guidance. So if you're out there,

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if you've felt that knowing inside of you that we all feel from time to time, and you know, somewhere deep inside you that there's an answer that there's a path forward for you. Pray to the Creator of the heavens and the earth and ask him to lead you to the straight path. And we believe with the firmest of convictions that if you do and you are sincere, whether in this life or the next you will be counted amongst the guided

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and we will welcome you in paradise as brothers and sisters in sha Allah Allah willing. Thank you, Mr. Slade, thank you very much does not go ahead. Thanks for sharing the story with us.

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I cannot leave without giving you a gift if you're not yet Muslim and you tune in and see what these Muslims are talking about. And you'd like a free copy of the Quran. Go and visit the deen show.com We'll take care of the postage and everything and get it delivered to you. And if you still have some questions about Islam, call us at 1-800-662-4752 We'll see you next time. Until then Peace be with you as salaam aleikum, and if you liked this episode of the deen show, like this video, share this video far and wide and support us on our Patreon page so we can continue this work. Thank you for tuning in. Peace be with you. A Salam aleikum