Inside of Mexico’s Powerful Drug Cartel

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Raw Interview – Shaykh Uthman

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How many by raise of hands you guys know what the cartels are? The cartel calls you. There can only be two reasons. Either one, they're gonna give you a lot of money and move you up, or they're gonna wearing a suit. In a very, very bad neighborhood. Well, I've got this son, who's perfect 4.0 great kid, great. never did anything wrong. If you torture and kill him, we'll be even Steven, how does that make any sense? He's fresh in the grave, and they're already he's just got buried. And that day,

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I thought to myself, There's got to be more to life than this. What are the fear that comes to your heart by the shutdown? And what are the things that make us avoid giving down?

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I told him no. Tell him I'll leave you alone. One condition. You gotta come to the masjid.

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And they were like, are you crazy? Like we just told you, we're gonna let you live. And now you're putting conditions on us. If one person accept Islam because of you, because of your effort, it worth more than hold on you is your brother ogdru How other from Dallas, Texas. I'm here in support of the dissenter. It's a beautiful organization, Masha, Allah doing Dawa in the US, and they have purchased a piece of land and several buildings on it. And we are counting our brother and sister throughout the US throughout the world to be part of this magnificent project. It doesn't matter how much you give, it doesn't matter how much you didn't eat what matter. We all participate in

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Charlotte, may Allah bless you think is so much with Santa Clara.

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Take off man even flew by like a Luffy in Chicago. First time that I remember. So first time Shy Town. So we got to start. We've been talking about this for some time. You've been on the Dean show a couple of times. And you got a very unique story. So we want to get into it because you weren't always called shave. No, no, even though I don't like being called.

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So let's get into it. Let's get into the the I don't want to say humble beginnings, but the rough beginnings. They definitely were rough. So my story. For a long time. I didn't tell people and I kind of internalized that I buried it. And it was something that for years I didn't speak about. And then one of our very good brothers Sergeant live.

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In one of the podcasts, he asked me to talk about it. And the intention is to let people know that no matter what they may be caught up in no matter what lifestyle no matter how far they may be from the religion with Allah subhanaw taala there's always hope.

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So myself, I'm Pashtoon ethnically was born in Pakistan. I left Pakistan when I was a little kid, maybe around five, six years of age. And I went to the UK for a year and a half. I lived in Manchester long side. And then I moved to the US when I was eight, nine years old seven, eight, something like that very young. I went to elementary school in a very rough neighborhood. And this is you know, the early 80s This is the gang epidemic was going on in Southern California and SoCal is the home to the Bloods, the Crips, the Surenos all of what we see as the gang culture around the world today. It started there. And I went to school, the first day of school, wearing a suit, in a

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very, very bad neighborhood, wearing a suit wearing a suit

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with a British accent. Yeah, so I mean, think of like the body or the worst gang neighborhood. My parents knew a lot of words that they didn't know and my parents were more secular. So you know, my parents were divorced. My mother may Allah reward her she was a very strong woman and she wanted the best for me so she said you know, I want you to go looking good. So we were sued little bowtie Hello, my name is Usman, how are you? And you know, in the bad neighborhoods, I was just got picked on right away and my father, he always

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he always taught us not to be somebody who can be taken advantage of. He was a tough man. So anyway, I wasn't going to be taken in so the first day was fight. suit was red black guy who got home Elementary School. This is like, you know, little kids, but fights every day. When I was about 10 years old, any day, you started to see a lot of the gangs there and the gangs did recruit young. Unlike most people, I didn't want to join a gang. I didn't want to be popular. I didn't want to fit in. I wasn't trying to be cool. I wasn't trying to get any. I did my own thing. I kept my school my mother worked two jobs. May Allah reward her she was working very hard. She had degrees in law and a

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Master's they weren't recognized in America. So she was working in a T shirt factory and it's hard times you know, I used to live in a house that was condemned. It was slanted used to go to sleep on one side, you'd wake up on the other side we had no beds, the sleeping bag

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sent me

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in school when I was around 12. I had a friend and he was Persian. He was Iranian, originally Armenian.

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And he was not Muslim. His family was Rafa. And then they became Christian to come to America, but he was Middle Eastern. So you know, we were young kids, five years old, hung out, but he likes to start fights. One time and Alice Birney Elementary School in San Diego, he started a fight with these Mexican gang members. And these gang members were older. And there was a gang called Lomas 27th Street. And this is part of the Cirino network. These are street gangs.

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He started the fight. I was, you know, I was taught my father had this big honor thing in my mind. So I jumped in for him, and he ran away. So I got jumped

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by three gang members that were older. So and I went home, big black guy bleeding. My mother was freaked out. She called my father my father came because they didn't live together. My father, may Allah have mercy on me passed away. No. He took me in the room by myself. He told me Did you cry? I said, No. He said, Did you run? I said, No, that's it. Nothing else matters. So he got a baseball bat. He had an old Camaro or a nice camera at the time. And we drove around that their neighborhood and we found them my father jumped out, talked about it, one of them shattered his shoulder, hit the other one, you know.

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The problem was, the next day I had to go to school. My father went back to his house. But the next day when I went to school, the gang Lawmaster on Seventh Street, they said, you know, we gotta hit on you now. And I was 12. So there was another local gang called Eastside San Diego. There again, these are also Rangers, they wrapped the 13. We'll talk about that. So they came to me and they said, Look,

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you're strong, like you, you stand up, you're ready to fight, but by yourself, you're dead. Because they got a big gang. And these gangs, like you said at the time, they're standing with rod set 600 members, law muscles, something similar to these aren't like 1020 30 people gang, these are gangs with numbers.

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So in that case, I had no choice. I joined again, at the age of 12. I mean, I was an actual gang. And a lot of people nowadays, I used to hang out with gangs I used to hang out with Bloods. I was an actual gang member jumped in ordain gang member at 12 at a young age of 12.

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And there were gang members younger than me. And gangs there. We start early. My middle school where I used to go to call Wilson Middle School, in San Diego, in East San Diego, there was a drive by at our middle school during lunch, he got shot up, we had bullet or we had metal detectors going in. We had a police officer assigned to my middle school, who would just this is not even a high school. It's Middle School. That's how bad that time was.

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Many people did talk about their gang life and they glamorize it. But there is no glamour in it. To be honest, it's rough. I mean,

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I had friends that I grew up with, that I knew since fifth grade and sixth grade. And I had to bury them. You know, we, we used to have gang wars back and forth. And, you know, we, we would have these times where the gang would raid another school. So you'll be sitting in your classroom, and I had good grades. I'm Pakistani, I had to have good grades. So you'd be trying to take notes. And then you see like 6070 guys running to the corridors going through each classroom, pulling out anybody from your gang, and just stomping them out, crowbars, bats, and that that's the life that we have. That's a stress we went through. I had, I had a friend. And these are things that I never talked

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about for a long time.

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It's friend that I grew up with a friend that I was very close to. And you know, one day he was at a party and the people they found out who he was and where he was from, and they came in and they jumped him and then they tied him up. They took them to a park galena Park in San Diego, and they shot him in the back of the head.

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Not only did they shoot him, they skinned his tattoos off. And this is a very close friend of yours. This is a very you know how old he was how 1515 and it was already tatted up and they shot him and skinned him.

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Imagine going to school the next day. Like where's he at? Oh, he's dead.

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Go to his funeral.

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You know when you're 14 and 15 Nowadays, your biggest problem is how good your Wi Fi connection is. And for us. We were living that kind of a life is rough.

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Shootings killing stabbings went back and my friends were all religious in the sense, but there wasn't I had no Muslim friends growing up zero

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So all my friends were either Catholic or Christian. But what were you at that time? What was how were your parents Muslim? My parents were Muslim, but they didn't really push it on me. So were they practicing?

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Kinda once in a while, was it more cultural, those cultural, we would say we're Muslim, but I didn't go to the masjid My father never took me for Juma or even any other salah or even eid and my mother mashallah and he loved Allah and mashallah she's very religious today. She prays more than anybody I know and gives a lot of sadaqa but at that time, you know, she was struggling. She was working two jobs. She was trying to single mother trying to keep everything together. So the street with your education. Yeah. And she was very strict in my education. I had to have good grades.

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But I got kicked out of Alice Bernie, then I got kicked out of Wilson Middle School. Then I got kicked out of PB Middle School. Then I got kicked out of Hoover High School. Then I got kicked out of Mission Bay High School.

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I kicked out of Kearney high school, but But you got a PhD in the streets? I did. I did. So we started dealing with the cartels, our gang so we have around 600 members. How many by raising hands. You guys know what the cartels are?

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Okay, guys are too far north. I guess you guys don't know the cartels. If you're in Cali, everybody raise their hands.

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So I live in San Diego and San Diego is the south southernmost city before we get to Tijuana, Mexico, the one of Mexico and one year they had 2800 murders that's in one city in one year.

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The one is and what is other places like this are well known for the cartel activities. Cartel. They're mostly they bring the drugs down from Colombia from Mexico and they bring it up north. But Mexico has very strict gun laws. So mostly the guns that they use come in from the north. So as a street gangs, we developed a relationship with the cartel. Cartel needed foot soldiers, they needed people who would do their bidding. They were most of them were in Mexico, they were living in big luxurious houses. They weren't on the street. And most of us were on the street in the US. So they wanted somebody killed in the US. They would contract it out to street gangs. The street gangs are

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united under what's called the Surenos. So in California, you have you have Crips, and Bloods, those are black gangs. You have the Aryan Brotherhood, barely, but that's the white prison gang. And then you have the Mexicans and Mexicans have two divisions, right? One is the Southern California and so la San Diego all the way from Fresno down. And this is called selenium. So like if you've heard of Ms. 13. Yes, the reason it has a 13 That's for the letter M is the MA is prison gang, but they control all the street gangs. And then there is what's called the North taneous. That's in the north from the Bay Area up that way. They have the 14th, which stands for the N North taneous. So we were

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from the Saudi news, and the Iranians were connected with with a particular cartel.

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Our Gang itself had a leadership council. So you could take it like a shooter. And usually they'd be it should have 13 members will usually be 12, because one would be dead and one would be replaced. And you know, they'd be in jail, but should have had we made a structure for 13 members very early on, I got in that shooter. And the reason I got in at a very early age is because I used to plan things out well, so we robbed gun stores, we did all kinds of crazy things. And I will be the one that planned that out. So when they saw that this guy has a brain to plan, they moved me up early. The I'm not gonna get into too many details here. But there is a rule there. If you want to be from

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the Leadership Council. It's called Blood in blood out. Meaning you have to kill somebody to get in. And you have to be killed to leave. There is no retirement. Even if you go to jail for the rest of your life. Even if you get disabled. I had a friend he got he got hit with a crowbar on his neck. He became paralyzed paraplegic, but you're still a gang member. He still went to the neighborhood in his wheelchair. He still kept a gun. He still did whatever the gang said, because it's for life. You can't leave it there is no exit. There is no retirement. There is no 401k None of that.

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So, from that leadership council was a guy named Manuel. And these were all Mexicans. And me and him were very close. Since we were in elementary school. He was two years older than me. And he was like, bigger brother. He was very, very, you know, he was a gang member. He killed people. He did horrible things. But at the same time, he was a very considerate person. He was somebody who you could talk to somebody who was very considerate about what you're going through in life and if you ever needed him, he

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be there 2am. And we used to have a lot of money because we used to deal with the drug cartels. So and we couldn't really invest it couldn't buy stock with it. So we bought like lowriders, we had 64 Impala, as with hydraulics, and rims and all of that. I couldn't drive at the time. So he was the one who was older than me, he would keep the car and he will take us out and

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he got us and him and others from them, we got connected with the cartels, the cartels had money.

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I can tell you from my own personal experience, and this many things that I've never shared,

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we would go down to the corner, and I was maybe 1516 At the time, and you would go to the cartel would call you because Mexico now let's make crossing the border across the border, you're no longer in the US. And what we will do is we will take a car, like another very fancy car, another broke car, and you would put a false bottom in the trunk, meaning you'd put guns, then you would put a piece sheet of metal and you would actually weld it in, put the carpet on top. So if you're going in, and if you get stopped and they open your trunk, it just looks like an empty trunk. And you would throw stuff in it to make it look like it's weird sometimes, but even car a car seat, you

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know, just so they think it's your regular car, and you will drive it straight into Tijuana, and you will take it to a body shop. And then they would undo the welding and they will take the guns out. And if a gun was worth maybe a few $100 in the US, the Cartel will pay you 10,000 for it. They had money, so they didn't. And our deal with them usually would be that we take the guns and then they pay us and drugs. And then we bring the car back across this time with drugs. And it would be welded airtight, you know, because, you know, obviously they got dogs and all that kind of stuff.

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I remember one time they called us the cartel calls you there can only be two reasons. Either one they're gonna give you a lot of money and move you up or they're gonna kill you. And they could kill you for the slightest reason in Mexico. There is no oversight on the cartel. There is a desert in collection Mexicali. I don't know how many bury bodies may be there. Nobody knows. Cuz

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they can kill anybody. They got more money than the government. And I remember going into this cartel guy's house. It was a mansion guards all that. And I was 1516 MNL. Very young at the time.

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And they would have like stacks, like just tables that had just money, pair shows dollars just sitting there. Nobody would touch it.

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And they would have drums and the smell from that drum. I'll never forget.

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It's this is where they would burn human beings.

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It would be so I told you it's going to be real man. I don't know if you guys can handle it out here.

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Talking about Shahrukh will come to Cal.

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This would be What if you were if you did something wrong, they would put you in a drum of oil alive. They wouldn't kill you first. And they light it up. And it's not the movies. It's not the movies. In the movies. You don't smell it in the movies. You don't

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people talk about stress. People talk about nightmares. You know, these are things that you don't forget that you're going through all this you're seeing all this you got you smelling blood, you're smelling death. It's worse than what what's going through your mind. Are you ever reflecting, thinking? Deeper contemplating at that time? I used to go to church. I didn't go to a masjid. Even though. I mean, let's get this. So you're a Muslim from a Muslim family. And now you're ending up in church every week, twice a week how that happened? Because all my friends were Christian. But all your friends are the cartel. Yeah, but they're still very religious. So my friends, these are

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Mexican gang members, cartel member and we see a lot of that we'll see you're

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one of them had crosses tattooed Mary tattooed, they were prompt on church. So Saturday night did kill people, they kidnap people, they would graffiti, they would sell drugs that would shoot up places, and then go put it on the cart. And then the next morning, Sunday, a they would pick me up and then wear suits. And there would be cleaned up with their grandmother's and they go and I remember going to confession. I used the Catholics, they would have confession, and we a little box and they'd be a priest on the other side. And you'd get in and they'd be like a little grill and then he would tell them Forgive me father for I have sinned. And then you would tell them and I

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stabbed the guy last week and I shot the guy last night. And the priests would be like, again.

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I'd be like, yeah, and he'd be like, you're gonna stop or like No, gang member so we do right? And be like, Okay, say these many Hail Marys donates, donate this much to the church, and try not to do it again. And be like, Father, you know, I'm gonna do it again. So I'll see you next week. I will see you next week. And that's how and we know I remember walking out of church, telling one of my friends I was like, Man, this is kind of wrong, right? Like, we keep doing the same thing. And he's like, No, that's how it works.

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Jesus died for your sins. So don't worry about the JC Golkar JC go Cartman, that's it. And I used to go to a Wednesday church group Bible study. And this is a Christian one. There's not a Catholic, and the priests called Horizon, so on Balboa and Genesee in San Diego. And my friend used to go and their parents would send them thinking like, okay, it goes to church, maybe they'll change. But basically, they were trying to pick up girls sell drugs during the church service. And I was the only one that paid attention. And I wasn't even Christian, you know, but I had a Bible and I still have that Bible. If you see the brown Bible I have that is the same one.

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People think that I read the Bible to debate which I didn't. I got the Bible as a gift. I don't even know where they got it from. They gave it just the Gideons. They probably got it from a hotel or something. And they gave it to me as a gift. And I would actually pay attention in church. And I would listen to the sermon and then I would read, and I would ask questions, and I'd always get kicked out for asking, asking questions. You know, I remember one time I was in, it's called the Church of the rock. And so they're in Linda Vista. And the pastor was like, you can't get to heaven without Jesus. And I was like, what are people before Jesus? And he was like, they believe in the

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word. Like, what word? Like what's the word? Like? What is it? You know? And even like, the word like, what is the word? I mean, did Moses believe in Jesus and Abraham believing? How will they go to heaven? He's like, get out. So you're asking these questions should be answered, but they're kicking you out. We're gonna go ahead and take a break. And we'll be right back with shake off man in the photo care on the deen show. Would you like to be part of the first ever mega data center in the US a 35,000 square foot former church on a four acre plot, equipped with a masjid, a data center, a TV recording studio, a Dhow outreach program, and much, much more. Over the last decade,

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one of the most successful and consistent data series has been the Dean show. And now we want to help our brother Eddie, take it to the next level from the Dean show to the dean center in shallow where it's going to be this mega Data Center in Florida, and we need your help doing so. So please, my brothers and sisters Donate today, which is ECMO O'Hara.

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very scary. Death is approaching you hit you almost left and right. And, you know, Hamdulillah, Allah subhanaw taala is giving you chances you're seeing all this, and then you end up in the church. And now from the church, did you investigate any other religions? What's going through your mind

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as you're getting kicked out as you get kicked out of the church? At that time, I was just trying to survive, you know, basically, at that time, I wasn't really on a spiritual journey. You know, it was such a rough time I was, I was 1516. I had to go to school, I had to get good grades, I was getting kicked out of different schools. The only venue I had was churches. Because I would spend the night for example, my friend's house because my mother was very strict, and Allah reward her and Allah bless her. So if I wanted to do any of that gang activity, I'd have to go spend the night at a friend's house. And my friend's parents were all you know, they were all druggies and stuff. So they

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will tell my mother, yeah, he'll be in bed by nine, we'll be out till 3am and hanging off a freeway signs graffitiing and doing all kinds of stuff. And then they would take me to church the next morning and Bible studies. And I would, I would want to know the truth, I would not want to know about God, I had a relationship with God in the sense that I still pray, you know, I didn't pray to Jesus, I didn't pray to Mary, I prayed to Allah, I prayed to the One God, right. But the only access I had to learn was churches. So I would take the Bible, and I would read it. And then I would find contradictions, because I would actually read it. So I would find like these highlights I made when

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I was at that time. And I would take it to church, and I would take it to a pastor and I would say, hey, these ages don't match up. And he would tell me to shut up and believe.

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And I was like, that's not me. Like, I want to know if I'm going to believe in something, I have to know that 100%. And I will find things that didn't make sense, laws that didn't make sense, things that didn't fit with the Trinity, and they will just kick me out. So I wanted to know, and I believed in Islam, in a sense that I had that belief that there is one God. And if I did something really bad, like if we really did something bad, bad. I would want to go and pray. And I remember one time I took a city bus and again, if you looked at me at that time, you would never think I'm Muslim. You will never think I'm Pakistani or Pashtoon or any. You will just think he's Mexican,

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because I have like size 50 dickies Pendleton's gang, bandanas, dark glasses all just total, the full package and that's how we lived and

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I remember I walked into a masjid in San Diego's called ICSD. Mr. Walker, the big Muslim. It's only when I look at the big dome. And remember the brother who worked at the store, he stopped me. He was like, Hey, what are you doing here? And I didn't answer him. I even talked to him. I had dark glasses on, I just kept walking. And I went, and I made will do the best that I knew. And I didn't know correct, but I whatever I knew. And I just pray to Allah for us forgiveness. And I walked out, and they were like, We're gonna call the police, you know, they thought I was a gang member that got in there. But I had that want to find the truth.

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But at that time, you couldn't, you couldn't just go in soul search, you were worried about getting shot. You were worried about, you know, paybacks. And, you know, I remember we had people that will get killed and the time it was drive bys a lot like you would go and you would be in a car and you just shoot up a house. And the MA The Mexican Mafia had very strict rules. The MA today is very, like, no homosexuality, no, using hard drugs. If your leadership no very strict rules in this game. Oh, yeah, the me had the Mexican Mafia has very strict rules. In prison, we had we had a workout routine, we had to do burpees. And things, you know, I was in much better shape back then.

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And from the rules, after a while, one of the MA members, the carnal, which is like the you know, the from the leadership, there was a drive by and his knees got killed on accident. So they made a rule no drive bys. If you want to kill somebody gotta knock on their door, and you know, and we were living that lifestyle, you would knock on somebody's door that would open you would shoot them.

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And the cartels would give us mad amounts of money to do their bidding for them.

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At that time,

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we would go to parties, and then and you would, if you were from the leadership of a gang, it didn't matter what you look like, didn't matter if you were handsome or not, didn't matter, you would get attention from the opposite gender, like you wouldn't believe they would just come because they knew you could give them money. You could. We used to train teachers to give grades we would. We had, I remember a teacher in my high school. And you know, it was one of those teachers that thought they were tough, like they were going to fix us. They thought it was a movie, like one of those movies are going to be tough, and we're gonna be like, Okay, I'm gonna leave the game, you know? And he

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started to get tough with us. And we told him, don't you have kids? Don't go to this high school. It would be a shame if something happened to him on the way home, right? I never got all A's in that class never had to do anything, you know. So that's the kind of power we used to wield. You know, cops wouldn't come to our neighborhood in one car. And there was an alley behind Euclid Avenue. This was a drug dealing alley, and we used to have lookouts up on top younger the younger kids. And at that time, we had pagers, you know, we had before cell phones were popular. And they would if the cops were coming, they would page and you would do away with the drugs and enemy was coming, there'd

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be a page and you'd be ready for shoot out. You had guns hidden in school. This is the kind of world that I really lived in. This is not a movie this is and it was stressful. I mean, it sounds whatever. But at that time, you would really be worried that am I going to make it through this week. At that time, I would have never thought I'll make it past 20. Because how many at least 1214 of my friends died, that I buried.

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So the one that changed my life was my friend Manuel that I told you about. He was two years older than me very close. He used to our house and a garage. And basically the garage would use for drug dealing and gang activity. And all of us would go and we could spend the night there. And then we up. People were smoking meth or whatever. We couldn't do hard drugs. It was against the rules for higher level, because they knew she got into heroin or whatever and you were compromised. But they would be selling it and the people that buy it will do it there. But you couldn't go into his house because that's where his sisters and mom and father he was very respectful. But it was so close with

00:29:03--> 00:29:26

me that he wouldn't let me spend the night in the garage. He would take me in the house where his family was I knew his grandmother and his family. I would speak to them in Spanish and we were very close. So I went to a party and girl came to me gave me the number she was like, you know, I want to meet with you. So at that time, they will give you the number and you'd call them and then you would meet them somewhere they would paid you and you would call them from a payphone and they would meet you and then whatever.

00:29:27--> 00:29:43

So I was gonna go see her and another girl call. So I was like, Man, I'm kind of stuck. I got two options here. So I talked to him. I said, Hey, you take one I'll take one. They didn't even care which one would go that's how bad the situation was. And he told me okay, you give me one number. I'll take the other side. Okay.

00:29:44--> 00:29:48

What I didn't know that this was a setup to kill me.

00:29:49--> 00:30:00

Then this was something that the other gang had banded planning a hit on me and we wish to do it back and forth. Like we used to plan these things out. We will find where they go where they live, where their timings are when is the best time you can hit one

00:30:00--> 00:30:33

And how can we get away with it? Because it's not like you can't just be like shooting in school because you'll get caught to plan these things out. So the idea was that I would go and I would call from this payphone and it's, you know, 1am. And then they would just walk up and shoot me. But as Potter would have, as Allah would have it, he went to the head on my behalf. So, so he will switch and switch up with the numbers. Yes. I mean, Allah wrote it. So he went, and he went to the payphone. And he called her from the payphone. And three guys walked up, and they unloaded guns. And so technically, there should have been you it should have been me. So

00:30:34--> 00:30:45

nine shots. Han J, you know, he'd been shot before. And we used to call him bulletproof. Because we felt that he couldn't die. And then you find out couldn't understand why couldn't mount.

00:30:49--> 00:31:06

He died. And you know, it's not the movies. You know, when you get shot in a movie. It's like a little hole. If you ever seen somebody actually get shot, he had a shot in the head with a 357 Magnum. So the entrance hole was big, but his whole back of the head was gone.

00:31:07--> 00:31:29

This is my friend that I grew up with. This is my friend that I went to elementary and middle school with this is my friend whose house I would stay at. This is my friend that we went through crazy experiences that didn't ride on me when police wouldn't get us. This is somebody who when I needed somebody at 2am would show up and with guns drawn and back you up and now I gotta bury him.

00:31:30--> 00:31:34

And at that time, I was 18. I just turned 18.

00:31:36--> 00:31:37

And he was 20.

00:31:39--> 00:31:43

And like I said, I'd buried a lot of friends. But this one was difficult.

00:31:45--> 00:31:49

I didn't cry. When I was very little. My mother told me Don't cry. So I never cried.

00:31:50--> 00:31:51


00:31:53--> 00:32:10

it was difficult. When I went to bury him. You know, the Catholics they have, they tried to do open casket but he had chunks missing in his head. So they put plastic and they patch up the hair. They put makeup, they make you the fake smile. And I remember touching his head, his hair.

00:32:11--> 00:32:17

And he wasn't there. It was a shell. But it wasn't him. The rule was gone.

00:32:19--> 00:32:30

And we had bought a car together. He used to be the one controlling but we you know was from our drug money. That was a 64 Impala. had dreams had pain, convertible hydraulics, you know.

00:32:31--> 00:32:37

And I remember seeing his brothers driving it. On the day of the funeral. It was no longer his.

00:32:38--> 00:32:52

And he had 13 Girlfriends, not just a gross, he had affairs with 13 that were and he had kids from them, you know. And every one of them was at that funeral crying on some other man's shoulder.

00:32:53--> 00:32:59

And we used to have stacks of money, because we couldn't put it in the bank. And his brothers already raided it.

00:33:00--> 00:33:16

I went to his house on that day to see his family and his brothers were fighting over his things over his jackets over his clothes over his guns. The same day that he died. He's fresh in the grave and they're already he's just got buried. And that day.

00:33:17--> 00:33:28

I thought to myself, there's gotta be more to life than this. This is what this is what changed me. This is a turning point. Is there an pivotal moment right here. Drugs, money,

00:33:29--> 00:33:30


00:33:32--> 00:33:41

influence fear. All of that didn't go in the grave with just Tim and whatever deeds and update and things that he took. That was it.

00:33:43--> 00:33:47

That's it. That's it. And I gotta I gotta find out. What's the purpose of life.

00:33:48--> 00:34:00

So I started studying religions. I mean, I had already studied Christianity and Catholicism. I'd been to Kingdom halls. But I started going to everything Mormon temples, I went to Jewish and they weren't very welcoming.

00:34:01--> 00:34:06

I went to Hindu temples, I went to Buddhist places, Hari Krishna places, anything.

00:34:08--> 00:34:49

Until Hamdulillah, I came to learn about Islam. And so brothers visited me, I went to the masjid. I asked him the questions that Christians couldn't answer. And with the evidence from the Quran and logical, clear answers, all the answers were on Islam. Nobody's kicking you out. There's nobody kicked me out. They didn't mind me asking questions. They didn't just tell me shut up and believe have blind faith. That would give me answers that actually, you know, again, look, I use this in my shower, because back then this is how we were just real about it. Right? I was in a church and I was talking to a pastor. I told him, Look, Jesus died for our sins. He said, Yes, God had Adam told him

00:34:49--> 00:35:00

don't eat from the tree. He said it was an apple, but whatever. And Adam ate from the tree and everybody's born sinful because of that, which again, didn't make sense to me. Because from being

00:35:00--> 00:35:39

From the streets, if you killed somebody, why would your son be going to jail for it and his son and his son and his son, they didn't do it. Nobody would think that, you know, just person would think it's justice, that your son is held liable for your crimes, and his grandson and great grandson, all of humanity takes a sin. Not having done anything that didn't make sense. And then how do you cure that sin? Is you kill the son of God, or God Himself, depending on what Christian you're talking to? So I told the pastor's like, that makes no sense. Because let me put it in terms. I understand. Let's say I go to a liquor store. And there's some candy or whatever. I'm not I'm supposed to pay

00:35:39--> 00:36:03

for it. But I pick it up put in my pocket. I walk out, Adam eating from the tree. Okay, I feel bad about it. I want to repent. I go back to the store owner. I tell him hey, you know what, I took this candy. I'm sorry. Can I pay for it? What can I do? can I how can I make a repentance? And he tells me, well, I've got the son, who's perfect. 4.0 great kid, great. never did anything wrong. If you torture and kill him will be even Steven.

00:36:06--> 00:36:30

How does that make any sense? Wouldn't killing God or the son of God be a greater sin than eating from a tree? If people tortured and massacred and crucified God? That's horrible. Like we shouldn't be sinful for that. Forget the tree. So when I was that age, I told the pack that doesn't make any sense. You know what his answer was, was get out again. Gotta go.

00:36:32--> 00:37:05

So when I came to Islam, and I started asking, Hey, what about if I sin when we make Toba? What if I drew drawing somebody? Will you go make it right with that person? It makes sense. I know. God can forgive anything that makes sense. You don't have to kill anybody. You don't have to kill God or His son. You make tomasik That's wonderful. Right? It makes sense. All the prophets had one message believing God follow the Prophet of your time you're successful. It's not like okay, in Adams time you had to Abraham Moses. And then Jesus switches it all up. Now you don't have to believe in God and you just have to believe in Jesus. That's it. And you go to have a no good deeds, not what

00:37:06--> 00:37:14

doesn't make sense. That's not fair. Like that's like imagine like, everybody, like whatever you guys do. We're going to take you to court, but you guys don't worry about it, because he's going to jail for you. What?

00:37:16--> 00:37:49

So, long story short, I decided I'm going to become Muslim. I mean, even those who are Muslim background when I was going to be Muslim, now you're consciously making the decision to submit my will to the credit, Arizona, a lot of people a lot of people tell us Oh, it's not fair. If you're born in a Muslim household you're going to have and if you're not, that's not the way it works. Even abortion born a Muslim household has to make a decision that I'm a Muslim, I submit my role to Allah. Um, I'm going to put the Quran and the Sunnah ahead of everything else. So going from culturally Muslim to consciously most Exactly.

00:37:50--> 00:38:00

But now there is a problem. You can't leave. Can't leave the game, the games. It's not a rotary club, you can just retire out of it. So

00:38:02--> 00:38:36

I stopped hanging out. Like I stopped going to the neighborhood. I stopped going to the alley, I stopped selling drugs. I stopped going to Mexico, I stopped doing all of that. So they called me already been sort of a non Muslim. Like, cool. No problem with you being Muslim. My one of my friends was on the Leadership Council. People again that I grew up with that I went through our experiences bonded with he told me Look, I'm Catholic, this other dudes Christian, we go to church, no problem. You go to your mosque, no problem. But the gang life is a gang rule you got to do with the gang does. Whatever you believe we respected. You know, I'll tell you something funny. I

00:38:36--> 00:38:48

remember one time when I was maybe 14 And I was in a lowrider with these gang members. And we had an OG like a shot caller this guy spent like 20 something years in prison. And he was in the car with us. And we were driving by a masjid.

00:38:49--> 00:38:58

And, you know, they were playing music and things and he said Cut the music. And they turned off the music. And one of the younger guys like why he said Don't you see a house of God.

00:38:59--> 00:39:16

And it was a masjid respect. Any church any masjid they went by their turn the music off? They had that kind of I mean, they were the religious you know, and they're all but in their mind because of the the corruption of Christianity to them. They could do whatever Jesus died for their sins, they will just go confess and that's it.

00:39:18--> 00:39:36

So now, I told them, Look, that's not the way it works. Muslims will not like that. We can just go do whatever and say, Okay, I'm gonna confess, if I'm Muslim, I gotta live by it. And if I live by it, I can't sell drugs. I can't kill people. I can't kidnap I can't. I can't do any of that. And Hamdulillah I never drank alcohol in my life.

00:39:37--> 00:39:59

Even in those days, when I had no religious guidance with Allah, He I never slipped up sip of alcohol. All my friends were drunks. The gang would have we had a party that have freezers full of 40s they would have kegs. They would just be all called galore. I never drank. And the reason I never drank is when I was maybe 12. I saw a guy drunk pee on himself. He was one of my friends. He was

00:40:00--> 00:40:39

Frankie peed on himself because he was drunk. And I said, Man, I never want to be like that. I never want to be disgraced like that. So I never drank alcohol. never smoked cigarettes never saw the point in it. Right? So I never took peer pressure. Yeah, it was in games. It was a reason for survival. But I didn't get peer pressure. So I told him Look, as a Muslim, I can't be doing I can't be around that kind of stuff. That's, that's not Islam doesn't allow it. He said, Look, you being Muslim is no problem with us. But it's blood and blood out, you know, the rules. You can't leave. And I was a part of that gang that killed people were leaving. If you were a foot soldier, nobody

00:40:39--> 00:40:51

really cared that much. But if you from the leadership, it didn't matter. You can be paralyzed. You could be in hospitals, you could be in jail. They take care of you in jail. They take care of your family. But you couldn't leave.

00:40:52--> 00:41:16

So I told them, Look, you know who I am? You know what I've done? You know what guns I have. You can come. But I'm not gonna go alone. If you guys come after me, I'm gonna take a lot of you with me. So it's not worth it. What's the point? He told me? Look, rules are rules. That's the point. All right, well, there we go. And that was one of the most stressful times in my life.

00:41:18--> 00:41:34

When I talk about it, people don't realize that stress because these were people I grew up with. So they knew my routine. They knew where I live, they knew where I slept anywhere. I went to school, they knew where I, who I hung out with, they knew everything about me. And if they're out to kill me there, 600 plus of them.

00:41:36--> 00:42:02

So those days, I will sleep in my attic. How long did that last? So what happened then, I stopped in my attic, I didn't sleep in my room, because I knew they were going to shoot up the room. And I knew when they were going to come before Fajr that was the time because they will be up late. But around three, four or 5am, they will crash out and that's the time they will shoot you. And all I was worried about is they're going to hit my mom. Because my mom lived in the same house. And when they shoot up a house, they don't care who they hit.

00:42:04--> 00:42:15

So I would have my guns and I would sleep in the attic and there was a vent that would look out. And I would spend hours sleep at night I would be up all night looking at the street. And then I would sleep in the daytime and I will still be going to school.

00:42:17--> 00:42:46

Very, very stressful days. I can't tell you the stress. One night, two nights, three nights, nobody came a week, two weeks, three weeks, nobody came. I don't know. And then I started thinking, Man, these are guys, I went through so much when they were I mean at that time, I consider them very close friends, right? These are guys that we

00:42:47--> 00:43:07

we went through things like the police raiding our houses and telling us we're gonna put you in jail. Just tell us who did this and they didn't rat. We one time I got jumped by 30 Asian gang members at Wilson Middle School and my friend. His name was Henry. He stood with me. You know, 30 people were trying to jump us and he me and him were alone, right?

00:43:09--> 00:43:14

Men, they don't know about Islam. Like if they die like Manuel died, they're gonna do to Johanna.

00:43:15--> 00:43:16

So I gotta go tell them.

00:43:17--> 00:43:37

So I said, That's it, I'm gonna go tell them. So now wearing a thorough job growing my beard out. You know, at the time I enrolled in a mattress, I didn't know how to read Arabic, I couldn't read a lot better. So I was sitting with little kids, I had all kinds of difficulties. You know what I was like, Look, if I'm going to be Muslim, I'm going to learn the religion, I'm going to be a Muslim 100% I'm not going to have that bit.

00:43:39--> 00:43:40

So I went into the

00:43:41--> 00:43:51

I chose the alley. And this alley is where we would do drugs. And it was it was a setup, I set up the system. So I knew it. And we would have the young guys up on top monitoring, they would be on the rooftops.

00:43:52--> 00:44:07

And if there was a police car, they would send a code you would flush everything. If there was a customer, then they would send the code if it was another gang, they would send the code you would have gotten hidden throughout the alley through garages, everybody, everybody in those garages knew what we're doing, but nobody could call the police.

00:44:08--> 00:44:15

So now I'm walking in a thought the Imama like that brother in the back. And

00:44:16--> 00:44:30

as I'm walking in there, I'm just thinking, I wonder what code they're gonna send. They're gonna be confused. And as I walked up to them, they didn't recognize me at first. They never saw me in a thought they never saw me the full beard you nice to have a goatee back then.

00:44:31--> 00:44:40

When I came closer, and they recognize me, they were like, is that you shooter? These coming shooter you know? So when asked why wasn't familiars?

00:44:41--> 00:45:00

Is that you? And I was like, yeah. Are you crazy? I remember the statement. He said, You know what? Whatever you think you're not going to walk out of this alley alive. We were sitting here discussing how to kill you when to kill you. What's the best way you walked in here? Unarmed. I had

00:45:00--> 00:45:08

No going on, I told you to come on board. I just want to talk to you. They said whatever you want to talk about, but I guarantee you one thing you're not going to walk out of here lives.

00:45:09--> 00:45:31

I told them, okay, let me just tell you about Islam. And after that, whatever you want to do, they were like, Okay, I started talking about Tawheed. Why belief in one Allah why God couldn't have a son. Does that make any sense? How would God have children? What was he married to marry, like, you know, all these things. And some of them were like, I never made sense to me.

00:45:32--> 00:45:36

And I kept talking and kept talking until some of them were like, You know what?

00:45:37--> 00:45:54

Tell you what, just leave us alone. Stop talking. Because you're messing up our mind. And we'll let you live. But just don't come back here. Don't be in the neighborhood. Don't let us see you. I told him no. Tell him I'll leave you alone on one condition. You got to come to the masjid.

00:45:55--> 00:46:08

And they were like, are you crazy? Like we just told you, we're gonna let you live. And now you're putting conditions on us. So they'll just come one time, let's say. And then one of the OGC said, Okay, whoever wants to come from us will come and whoever doesn't doesn't.

00:46:09--> 00:46:28

And they were core gang members and their goals guys that hung out, like our actual bonafide members. And then there were people that hung out. And many of them came. And at that time, there was a masjid close to actually that neighborhood where we would have a program and we invited them and we made food for them. And we gave them our handle, about 12 of them became Muslim.

00:46:30--> 00:47:04

And from them, some of them died on Islam, some of them one of them, Gordon, he had AIDS you know, he had he had had a very party for lifestyle before. And he died from it, but he died on Islam. Some of them will handle are still Muslim. Some of them moved to Detroit, some of them here somewhere there. And some of them might still keep up with some of them I lost touch. Allah knows best you know where there are some of them got killed because old revenge you know, people think Okay, fellas, you get out, you get out. It's not like that. Because if you killed somebody's brother and cousin, they're gonna remember you, you can become whatever, they're still going to come back hit

00:47:04--> 00:47:04


00:47:06--> 00:47:38

hamdulillah after that, I started to go to the streets and just give down. There was no organization, no table, no bell, ballpark, no cameras, I would just go to the neighborhood. And I would just stand on the street corner and I would see drug dealers that I knew. And I tell them look, you remember me you know who I am. But look, I changed and I'm going to tell you why this is Islam. I would see gang members, I would see one of these I would see all kinds of people. And I would just give them down and I was talking about Islam Alhamdulillah some of them would come to the masjid. Some of them become Muslim. Some of them wouldn't. Some of them would, you know, whatever.

00:47:38--> 00:47:40

But they couldn't get disrespectful because they knew I was

00:47:42--> 00:48:19

and then Hamdulillah I wanted to study I wanted to study more and the brothers I was around at the time they didn't want me to study they were like just you know, be in the masjid do your AMA. So now I want to study more and there was a shift in Oregon Allah have mercy on me how the holy and he encouraged me to study he wrote me into Skia and then I went to Morocco and Hamdulillah I started studying there with the chef and he wrote me another test here and sent me to Russell Kramer and nobody funded me I used to come back I worked I saved money. I went there was a chef Dr. Sadie Coleman and Allah mercy on him Allah protect him. I studied with him for more than a year straight.

00:48:19--> 00:48:58

And he didn't take a single penny from me. And every day for me I would go to the masjid I would practice my Quran with the chef first, then from a shrug to go or I would have take my break from door to answer. I would study for code that almost agonia of Psalm of the Surat under any DS beginning text and filter and then from answer to moderate we will do Hadith on the tilaka and then we did global moron then we did enough petrol Faker then we did no salt another these are the scientists of Hadith. Then from Mother Teresa, I would have a break. And then after Aisha would have a chef from us, or they would come to my what I had rented an apartment there. And we would study

00:48:58--> 00:49:01

like Jumia and Arabic language if Dr. Ibrahim Assura.

00:49:03--> 00:49:17

And for one year hamdulillah Murata, Russell Hamer, this was my program. And I continued and then I went to Jordan and Hamdulillah I did a lot of my Arabic practicing and living there. Then I came back to the US and then hamdulillah

00:49:18--> 00:49:58

one of the few they gave me a recommendation to go to Pakistan. And there is a shift that teaches Alfia Malik or one on one and again the share will be the Rahman Allah reward him. He taught me one year we used to go and study that if you have the Malik and try to memorize and this it didn't take a penny from me and then I want to push our model over. Model Imam Buhari we studied to Kutub of Hadith to share from Abu Muhammad showery and then we came back Alhamdulillah in San Diego now, every week we have a film that's in our budget from Daniel was stuck now. We have seen on WM in a Hadith also here on Saturday. We have our Dawa and Belvoir Park and as some of you may have seen

00:49:58--> 00:49:59

some of the Islamophobes

00:50:00--> 00:50:02

We no longer have a channel Hammertime

00:50:03--> 00:50:39

came out to debate with us. And we didn't we didn't go out to debate, they came with this trick. And since they came out, it's been more than a year now. Alhamdulillah we have more than 1000 people that have taken shahada large, more than 1000 that we know of people on zoom on Skype through videos in person. And hamdullah right now we were in Tampa Bay Alhamdulillah we had a brother, which you can see the video he just took the shahada Alhamdulillah in San Diego, we had people taking shahada till today, we challenge all those Christian Islamophobes that came to debate not one person became Christian with them.

00:50:40--> 00:51:19

Not one person left Islam became Christian with them from our debates. But we have more than 1000 Go check the one message foundation, you will see shahada after shahada after shahada and we don't even record all of them when Hamdulillah. But we have records we keep up with them, we have programmed for them. And we're looking forward to having the Dean center so we can take that data and grow it to the next level. Inshallah, Zack and Allah, I want to go ahead and just give before we conclude, give the audience real short, real quick answers q&a. Does anybody like to ask a question to the shed? We have 20,000 emails waiting for you guys, because of the intercession of the shade here, you

00:51:19--> 00:51:20

got ahead of everybody.

00:51:22--> 00:51:35

So really enlightening for all of us. My question is that when you give down an open field, what are the fear that comes to your heart by the chetana? What are the thing that make us avoid giving taouk

00:51:37--> 00:51:39

Salam, O Allah, as far as fear nothing?

00:51:41--> 00:52:20

What can we fear that's become shahada, the harmless every drop of blood, you get the budget for it. I was started back in the days for gangs for nothing. So if I get stuck for Islam Al Hamdulillah, to NEMA from Allah. So fear there's nothing we don't depend on our own knowledge and logic to give Dawa we depend on the Quran and the Sunnah our that was not on Kalam or philosophy or because metaphysics and all this stuff, I don't need to get my powers to hate. We call toward the Oneness of Allah we call toward the reseller, the prophet of Rasulullah sallallahu sallam, we talk about the miracles of the Quran, the miracles in Sahih hadith of Mustafa, Allah is out to salaam, that's our Dharma

00:52:20--> 00:52:32

symbol, the Tao of the son of the sahaba. So we don't feel anything. If somebody asks a question we don't know we say, Allahu Allah will ask you and we'll get back to you. We're not there to show off.

00:52:34--> 00:53:09

As far as shaytaan shaytans was first and always there shaitaan will tell you don't do that. You don't have a class don't do that our somebody's gonna catch. So you ask Allah for the class, you ask Allah for this, but you ask Allah not to put you to shame. And if you get caught with the wrong answer, if Allah has come back and say I was wrong, not an issue. But Hamdulillah we have no excuse. This is an obligation upon every Muslim to be involved in the Dharma, whether it's you on the street, or whether it's you making the clips and passing the videos or supporting projects like the Dean center, every Muslim is for the line to be involved in the Dow.

00:53:10--> 00:53:12

Any other questions before we conclude?

00:53:14--> 00:53:21

The sisters have questions we can make sure we get those sisters awesome. Santa Monica Alaikum wa salam ala.

00:53:22--> 00:53:24

For some of us,

00:53:25--> 00:54:11

like someone who's insignificant like myself, nobody is insignificant. I mean, the eyes of Allah, you don't know your significance. Maybe you are more valuable in front of Allah than all of us on the state put together, shall I mean, what strategy or what preliminary stages? Like should we possibly start with a dress code or something? How do we start like, Plan Plus strategize what you know, for some running after the dunya always, you know, who doesn't really make time for you know, doing Dawa? You know, what, what, how should we start our school in San Diego's? How will the Dawa is that all the art should be to love and if you are a die if you're a color towards Islam, you

00:54:11--> 00:54:48

shouldn't be a student of knowledge. And you have for you here mashallah, in Chicago that have rules that have Quran memorization program, in whatever city you may have come from. Find the good Malema and the Quran and the Sunnah on the way of the self and OMA and learn the knowledge from them, and then take that knowledge to the people. Everybody should be involved in the dowel, our sisters should be involved in the dowel, but that doesn't mean that our sister should go to the park and put themselves at risk. We value our sister we protect them. But much of our data is not from me. It's from you all. You guys take those videos and you promote them and you post them and you don't have a

00:54:48--> 00:54:59

tick tock account. But I meet people all the time they become Muslim for watching our videos on tick tock. I don't have an Instagram account. I have no social media personally, my own but there are sisters there.

00:55:00--> 00:55:18

others who have made Instagram accounts that have made tick tock accounts that have taken our clips, and from them in their hijab in their houses that that was spreading their brothers who promote the videos on WhatsApp or whatever. And from them that that was spreading, we have more people that take shahada from our online content now than we do in person.

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And that's from you guys. The Dow was not a one man show. I'm just a regular guy. I'm not the president of anything. I'm not I'm a nobody. Tomorrow if I'm killed, the devil will still go on. Allah will bring 10 Better than me. The Dawa is all of you mashallah, this project right now, we need to support it, why this is the next step taking the power to the next level. And whoever participates funds, whatever makes dua they will get the hudgell Look, the reward is from the NEA. So we want everybody involved. But if you want to be a die, if you want to be out giving Dawa, then take benefit you have Chef Musa you have this lemma, learn from them, take that knowledge and then

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take that knowledge to the people explain it in the tongue that they can understand. Just so we have time for one more?

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Is there any program for boys for download training?

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Hamdulillah we have done trainings in different cities like we did in Minnesota, and inshallah will continue trainings. But this is one of the goals with the deen center that inshallah will have a place where we can have that we're training for boys, for young men, for whoever else that wants to learn Dawa. But also, I mean, for right now, we've made videos with the verses on the screen, so that you can use it as our training. We I've made a video that's an hour and a half about the preservation of the Quran and the Bible. So you can watch that video. And you can learn that as a training to give Dawa we don't record videos to become popular. The whole point why we started

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recording our Dawa, and may Allah reward our brother macaron for suggesting it. He's the president of IMF, the Emir. The whole point was so people can see the videos and how we answer the question and use it as a training for now. But as far as a formal training program, inshallah This is what our brother Dean and the program we're going to do Inshallah, thank you so much for sharing this, because it's going to be a benefit for so many to show that someone can be in the depths of darknesses but there's always hope

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for Washington bless you.

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And if you liked this episode of the D 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 salaam aleikum