Channel: The Deen Show
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah Salaam Alaikum. Peace be with you the deen show every week here to help you understand Islam and Muslims, the most misunderstood way of life. Except, you know what, it's it's the most misunderstood. But this is a phenomenon that is the fastest growing way of life in the world. That's right. We got white Muslims, African American Muslims, Chinese Muslims, and today we got a Latino Muslim coming on the show. His life is like a. It's like a modern day. It was like a drama and action packed movie. And he's here to share his experiences with us. So sit tight, right back on the D show. This is the theme.
This is the
this is the
Salam Alaikum. Peace be unto you want to let go of
Puerto Rico? Oh, you remember that?
How are you my brother? I just want to break the ice on the show. I'm really excited that you're here. Daniel Hernandez. Correct. And Abdullah is your name now? Yes. Or I mean, I mean, this is this is a mifid. So let's start off. You don't you don't have to change your name when you become a Muslim. Correct. You don't have to do that. Do you know I don't you I mean? So you're Daniel. And Daniel Hernandez. People can also call you the Abdulla, the servant of God. Yes. Now, you weren't always being called by this name. I mean, let's back it up a little bit.
I'm very excited to have you on the show. You come from a Latino background. Puerto Rican. Yes. What's difference between Colombian Puerto Rican Mexican. When you speak you speak the same language, right? We speak the same language, just the dialect is a little bit different. You know, we compete, you know, because of the music as well. You know, they have salsa, we have salsa, or how can we say it's ours known as ours? And we you know, there's a little tug of war. Historical, yeah, but I mean, you can understand each other, right? Yes, we can. How do you say house in Spanish in Puerto Rican house? Casa casa. How about in Puerto Rican? Same class. So just a little dialing?
Yeah. Okay, great. So now tell us a little about yourself. Well, I was
raised in a Catholic household, my mother used to be a nun. And she used to be in a convent and teach more than 50 students. And then she decided to leave the convent. And she got married with my dad. And she had us she bought us up always very religious, you know, doing the, the Catechism in our own house, always teaching us to pray before eating before sleeping.
In always, always keeping the remembrance of God.
And she also gave us the freedom to
to choose, she didn't impose life on us.
So I was the smallest one of my brothers. And I always like to make the challenging choices. How many brothers you have? I have two more the me and two other brothers sisters? Also a No, no, just what is correct. And then
I happen to
have a low self esteem, always trying to just
convince myself, you know, because I had the bad experience in some schools, where I had a dream and the teacher would tell me, you know, you're not gonna make it you're not gonna be the teacher will tell you that. Yes. So it will cross my spirit. So then instead of what why would a teacher say something like that? You know, I it was the teacher was teaching an environment where she's not familiar with. Yeah, he's from a different environment. She will come because it's so professional. She's kind of bitter, you know, and, and it's like, so what I did instead of making it easy for her to teach her made it difficult. Oh, I see. troublemaker. So yes, I you know, I I used to forget
about it, but it was something that it hurt me and then
You know, through life, you know, other experiences led me to just
make the wrong choices. You know, then I started playing basketball. I started playing basketball in high school, you know, and some of my friends had issues. So they would before the game, start drinking. Yeah, alcohol and so on. And I would,
you know, hesitate, because I wasn't into it, but
there was some factors that made me say, you know, let me just let me just try it. How do you at this time when you when you you're about to have your first sip of alcohol? Yeah, no, no, this. I mean, I had tried it before. But this one was, like, I really wanted it before I just tried it because it was peer pressure. Yeah. You know, but this one was like, I wanted to try it. Now. You want to give me a man? Yeah. Like, I was, like, like, 17 that I wanted to do it? Yeah. And it wasn't it wasn't it? Just, it was a slope going down the hill. So I would we will go we will be in the games. intoxicated, and the game was turned into chaos. Yeah. So I ended up
going further than that. And saying, you know, I wanted, I saw that, you know, the most of the, in my community of the of the Latinos that I know, you know, they're either dropped out of school, or they're just, you know, working in jobs and not getting a degree. So, family and friends that I know. So I felt bad about this, I wanted to be proactive. I said, I want to do something about it. You know, I always always like the inspirational movies, you know, like, like, like movies like Malcolm X Yeah. Like in these reasons, like the movie
southcentral on the guy goes to prison and then you know, in prison, he reformed his life and then yeah, comes out. So community and so, I wanted to do something like this. So, I started looking here and there you know, what, what group you know, and then I said, Okay, you know, this group is chose this ethnicity or this nationality. I became curious, you know, and I wanted to be proactive. So I, I saw this group,
and I joined it, because I, I was at some charitable organization you talking about? It was just like change the world organs? or What was this? Like? It was a mafia? What was this? No, it wasn't organized, like, named an organization, but really, you know, it was what what the media portrayed to be, it was a guy. Oh, so now when I introduced the show, I said, you know, we're going to talk to this brother, whose life was kind of like a what I say what I say, you know, like a live action thriller. So now things get really I mean, when you're talking about games, you got shootings, you got killings, you got drugs. Were you heading out that way? This is where things get exciting. Yeah,
they got they got they got they got crazy. And tell us a little bit without going into details. You know, so because there's a lot of people out there who think this is cool. You know, we've part of familia now. Yeah. So they think this is the way to go not knowing that, you know what, you either end up in jail or dead so we don't want people to go down that direction. So they can connect with you who actually high up in the ranks, weren't you? And some of the some of the crazy things that were going on. I mean, what the most the most you ever shot at? No, I never shot it. I did have no Have you ever get shot it? No, no, I never got shot. I never I never shot. I mean, I had, there was
times where things were going to take place. But it was something that I had the feeling I wanted to do it just because I was loyal. But somehow it never went down. And you know, I had I know that there. You know, within organizations. There were people that I had a friend who was very educated, but by the hunger of Allah, you know, the destiny of Allah. He happened to be raised without a father in a shelter. Yeah, but when he was in high school, he was a valedictorian. Yeah. But he ended up in the streets. So now, you know, he's my Isa was my brother in this group. And he
he needed a place to stay. So that's I want to stay in my house. Yeah, you know, but there were things that happened, you know,
is, I'm gonna say things that happen in one year span. And this is where there's that turn where I come and consequent Islam. But let's let's hold right there. Let's see. We got to go to a break. Okay. Hold your place. Show Lagavulin. Sit tight. We're back with more on today's show. I just want to say very simple message is the link to one of the beautiful things about our
religion of Islam is the emphasis on direct ritual and prayer to God directly. There is no intermediary, the lights will go on after the party, and the party will end. It's very simple and very clear. There are no superstitious rituals, no strange incantations, the time is running out. We might not make it till tomorrow. And this is something that we need to think about.
Back here on the D show with Daniel,
Daniel, my brother, see people, you know, they don't understand that there's a brotherhood here we worship one God came along, not what he created. And we pray together, we fast together, we do good things together. And we're brothers, isn't it? You could be from China, you could be from Japan, you could be from Puerto Rico. And we come together in Islam, and we're brothers. Isn't that beautiful? Yeah. So, again, I'm excited that you're here with us. Now, before we get into this, Islam, where you took a turn and, you know, simply for our brothers in humanity, the not yet Muslims, I call them people who potentially, like all of us have this ability to submit to God and this is what Islam is
calling you to submit to the one God, not to a man or a woman, not to a messenger, a saint, but the one God who created all these things. Isn't that right? Yeah. So tell us now, before you, you took a turn in this beautiful direction, again,
you are experiencing everything that the average person was experiencing? Was there any joy, fulfillment, peace in any of these things? No, you're experiencing see the
one of the things that I would I would ask myself, it went out, when I got into this into this group,
I began to ask myself, what's my purpose in life. So
I was okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna make money. So then I was out, I will go down that route, you know, trying to, you know, make as much money as I can, you know, the quicker the better. So then I ended up having money,
but still not being concerned. So then I said, You know, I might, if I find a partner, you know, might be happy. So I going and, you know, started going, you know, and I was raised with my parents and my parents, you know, they gave me They showed me a model. And when I, you know, I see that the Prophet taught us how to be a husband is similar to the way my dad dealt with my mom, you know, my 30 plus years. So I saw this. So whenever I even I tried to have a girlfriend, I felt that this wasn't why I wanted marriage. I wanted something like, real but I said, let me I want that feeling. So I began going with girls, and I still didn't feel consent.
I said, you know, that nobody should have no No, no peace and happiness. No, always saying, Okay, let me let me just, you know, below my friends and you know, have fun play basketball, you know, hang out in this industries after basketball, you know, let's go, you know, like, drink some 40s and so on. And still, at the end of the day, wasn't happy during every time that Oh, there was always a limit that happiness is like an illusion. Yeah, like, like, like, like, like, chasing a rush. It says in a mirage. Exactly. So then,
I began to be in in this group, you know, some members will do things
and still represent or carry, like, the uniform of the organization, then they ended up giving us a bad name. So all of a sudden, I'm coming out of my house. And the cops come snatched me I'll put me in the car. You know, come with us. I'm like, What did I did I just woke up.
Or you robbed this house. I just woke up. So they did it. You didn't do it yet. So you're, you're getting pin. Because other friends
because you're hanging with them, you're associated, you're affiliated with bad elements. And now it's coming back on you. So So sometimes, you know, there will be you know, robbery will take place. You know, sometimes just for fun, okay? Let's say somebody, you know, we we want to take something for someone to do it. But whenever that was done, I always felt guilty. I always felt like, you know, if I take this person's money, you know, that can be for the family. That can be for kids, so I always felt guilty. And then I began asking myself, you know,
what is you know, what is gonna happen today is am I gonna die today? Am I gonna go to jail today? You know, is my mother gonna get hurt? I see.
Working with me just because I got a label and others are not are misrepresenting this group, you know, and then it became like a majority and then the people that I trusted the people that I trusted that I look up to, they ended up you know, I'd say the story briefly, I happen to be in the Puerto Rican parade in New York City in Puerto Rico. You know, and to, to my friends that I thought they were amongst the Law Lawyers. They were with me and then the next day I'm in work I see them in the news
they got killed dead. They got killed they're not walking Earth anymore. They got killed finish. Wow. By who?
from the same circle, the same game for the people that are some of the people that I trust the same family suppose it family, they saw one of them. The interesting thing is that before that happened, remember I said there was a friend that was living in the street and I told my mom to please let him stay in my house. This friend the one that lived in a shelter
one of those people that killed my friend had told him Okay, that the Quran has wisdom.
So now the Quran, which we know is the verbatim Word of God gets mentioned here gets mentioned here. So that friend of mine when he stayed with me in my house, who said this now the one that got killed the one the one that it's in danger right now doing 35 to life, because he was reading it in the in the in the outside, no outside. Yeah. So he advised my other friend, that he told him that the Quran has wisdom. So me and my friend, when he was 10, in my house, we, we went to the library Public Library, and he was interested because he was he was a reader. Yes, yeah, I was more into basketball. And he, we got like, five bucks out. And then finally, in New Jersey, we we reached our
limit, but we came across the Quran, like, okay, we can take it on. I said, Don't worry, I got it. So I ended up taking the Quran from the Public Library. And we, we left it in my house. It wasn't bad. But one then my friend moved out.
And then that's when my friends got killed in some incidents happen. That made me really like think about life. And I happened to be out with some friends
the result of hanging out of you know, drinkin lawyers saying he would die for your for your brother, you will die for your friend, but they might not be ready to die for you. So what happened was, I ended up going to jail, because of my friends again. So so it was all this being in there just for one day made me really think and say,
you know, I want to be home I want to be I want to wake up at whatever time I want, and go into my refrigerator and eat whatever I want. Wake up at whatever time I want. I don't want to be in here.
So I say you know what, I'm gonna I'm gonna change. So that thought led me to when I came out of jail, the only one that bail me out was my mother. Not not your none of my friends gave me freedom. And even though I was in position, nobody, you had some rags still didn't come and get nobody came to help me. Nobody except your mother, except my mother, the one that everyday was stressed out worried about me. So when I came out,
I began to ask for guidance. So I went to I went to different churches and I started collecting Bibles. And then as I'm in my house reading, I remember that I had the Quran.
Now I had no I had known a little bit about Islam, but I wasn't interested in it through basketball, because when Michael Jordan retired, and I used to love the balls, and I'm like what was going to be my favorite team now. So then I in I picked the next because it was local, I could see the games. So then also, it was in the finals. The Knicks vs. Houston. So my brother liked it, Houston. And then as I was observing the game, see and Hakeem Olajuwon fast and in the playoffs, yeah, you know, was really impressive. And then another player that I really liked his style of play that I tried to emulate was
Ralph from Denver, who his name used to be Chris Jackson. So I came in contact a little bit about information about Islam, but
After that, when I decided to look into the truth and read the Bibles
I opened the Quran. And I said, you know, I'm just gonna take whatever benefits me and I'm gonna live it. You know, whenever it says a lot, I'm just gonna say God, because I don't know what it means I'm not used to say Allah. Yeah. So then as I'm reading, and I read the first chapter, you know, at a time when I would go to my room, lock the door, prostrate and cry, saying, God, you know me better than myself. So me the right way, and I will not look back, I will leave everything behind, show me the right way. And I will I will not look back. That's the meaning to my previous lifestyle. But let's hold off right there, don't lose your place, we got to take a break. We'll be
right back with more. My brother Daniel, your brother, here on the D show sit tight.
Outside, everything looks good. You see the $100,000 cars, you see a lot of diamonds, you see a lot of females. And they think that this is you know, this is a life this is this is like no paradise right here on Earth.
To go into someone's heart and change their heart, your job is to tell people what the truth is. The reality of it is while we're sitting here, while I'm sitting here, constantly paying for the disease to kill was free.
from hunger, back here with Daniel,
letting us in on your story.
coming in from doing what just everyone is doing here, just you know chasing the material thing. money's not bringing you happiness, this family, the gangs not bringing you happiness, you witness some of your good friends who got killed by the same organization, confusion, chaos. And now you're ready to get serious. And you get the Bibles and you get a Quran. And what happens now, as I was reading,
I said, I'm going to look at these books with no prejudice, I'm just gonna look and seek for guidance. So at the same time, I will pray sometimes I would, you know, I will want to go outside and drink but I'll say no, I'm gonna stay in the room, I'll read, you know, and then I will feel I felt better. You were serious. And I was I was I was I was actually having an internal battle with myself. So as I as I spent some time reading the Bible, and I came across the Quran, and the first chapter of the Quran at a time when I'm like, Who am I going to ask? Who am I going to worship? So then I said, as I read the verses in the first chapter that said, Yeah, can we do it, I can assign
you alone, do we worship and You will not do as well. So that's what I'm gonna do.
And then I read the commentary. And he said, the first step is to look for the way and it's difficult.
And the second step, once you find the right way, is to accept it. And the third, after you accept it is to stay in the right way. So I said, you know, I'm going to stay. So I began, I continued reading as I spent nine months reading the Quran consistently. But what happened to the Bible?
I was comparing, yeah, but there was one thing that turned me off when I when I decided to go to church, in the middle of the day, to pray, and what took place is that it was closed.
So I got upset. I'm like, why is it closed? If somebody is in need at any time of the day, and they want a place where they could concentrate and worship, it should be open for somebody that, you know, somebody could be on the verge of maybe committing suicide? Yeah, that option has to be there. So I said, You know what, that's it, I'm not gonna go to church. So then I just continued reading the Quran. And the good thing that this Quran had some commentary with, with biblical verses. So what I would do is, whenever a biblical verse came up, I would go and refer to the Bible to see if it was what it was saying was true. And I spent nine months reading the Quran.
And then I said, I'm Muslim. Whenever we're a verse that said, you know, like, read fast, I would fast on so I had pain. I didn't know when to finish. So I would fast we said, Pray, I would pray and go give give charity, how would you pray? How would you do? I would just make I would just make frustration, with with my intention, and that's it. I didn't know how to, but I just had the intention. And I was taking the Quran as an order. So whenever it's had a command, I will try to implement it. And this God has created it you are seeking
guidance from Did you have a mental picture in your head? Was it through a human being a saint? What were you thinking when you were saying God
guide me know, I knew that there was a creator, an unseen creator, unseen, unseen creator, who has the power to do everything beyond human comprehension. So I just trusted it. You didn't go through Jesus or through Mohammed as I, as I was not know, as I read the Quran, it became the doubts, and the unanswered questions that I had before became answered, which is, you know, the, the belief in Jesus. So, I,
through reading the Quran, it became clear that he was a messenger of God, and He will and he will come the second time. And, and I accepted, it became more understood. So and after nine months, in 11 years ago, I accepted Islam and decided to
and serve humanity through the service of God. So I continue learning and happen to be that as I was, I began reading the Quran.
My, my mom sometimes will listen, the English translation, and it was a blessing that in two years later, my mother accepted Islam, the mother that you mentioned earlier, that was a nun. Correct. And she accepted it, she accepted Islam. Yeah. And then, four months later, my dad accepts your father hamdulillah hamdulillah. And then after I became overjoyed, because God answered my prayers, for them to be guided, not for me, but for themselves. And they were guided. And so then I, you know, I made the intention to just work and teach people Islam, you also went down to, to study more of the Arabic language and to learn more about how you actually went to Egypt, correct as I as I was in the
process of teaching, like no Muslims about Islam, under the guidance of the local Imam. Then I went to Egypt, to study Arabic, so I could be able to understand the Quran. So I could internalize the meaning and be able to teach my children my wife and children, the Quran, have three children, and my wife, hamdulillah she's expecting any day now. And Hamdulillah, before I went to Egypt, I had a great gift from Allah, that he gave to my brother, the brother, also Hamdulillah, my older brother. And now, you know, after being in Egypt hamdulillah for almost four years, I was blessed with meeting good brother. So I met brother, Mujahid Fletcher from Islam in Spanish, and Hungary law, you
know, we shared the same goals of helping the Latino community in educating them about Islam. So in coming back to the States, in I joined them in with Islamic Spanish project, and we only have a couple more minutes. So there are I hear there's a lot of Latinos coming to Islam. Is this true? Correct? Correct. There is over there is around 200,000 as a recent study, yeah. And I think I don't remember the exact University name, but it was a recent research that was done in the year 2002. There was a study that said it was like on 40,000 but now is increasing. And we were blessed today to be in in to have an open house here locally. And tomorrow, we're going to have another one here,
you know, and Mashallah, we had a good turnout, you know, and we had an event called the Islamic roots in the Latino culture. Now tell us for those Latinos that are out there also, and this whole there's a lot of people from from this community that are Catholic, right you got all the saints and you know, going into confession box and hail mary and do this and this confusion I spoken to a lot of Spanish people so and they're confused is Trinity this debt and the other and and now they come to Islam worship one God, the Creator alone, and you leave all this confusion alone. It's simple as rational and makes sense. And you know what, they can connect with you more because you speak to the
language or language say something to the Latinos out there that are also in this state. They're looking for peace, money, can't get it. You can't buy a six pack of peace, talk to them and try to get them motivated and they can where they can look you up where you says Islam is yes, you could say something talk to them is
no longer learn from a singular whether it's the law printed on the contract from a single Islam
Islamic Spanish punto oira Hey, I see enters the audio books grados contamos la la la la la la Messiah sous la la la la la la verdad et en un ambiente says
CDs gratis, the Quran en espanol. So, you basically what I said that you can go to the website and get these WW, the Islamic spanish.org and you have access to all of our audiobooks for free. Yeah, online and, and even on YouTube, we have a luxury called Islamic Spanish TV. So all of our videos are there, and people have access to see it for free just to benefit from it. And make make love spray first. I'm really excited. We're coming to a close translated, I'm gonna go from English to Spanish there's only one God worship Him alone, not his creation, tell him in Spanish talk to him. I solo on Dios. Otherwise solo he nasukawa that's it thank you very much. Thank you very much. May God
Almighty the creator Allah reward you for being with us. And inshallah is so short, we're going to have to do a part two song. So next time you come in town, we're going to have you back and so inshallah God, thank you very much. And that was our brother Daniel, went from looking for peace and all the wrong places. But he found it in the way of life that was lived by all the messengers of God, you heard their names before Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus Christ, and the last in front of messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon them. They all lived this slum, they all taught this beautiful way of life, to acquire peace.
That's what we all want. And that's what we all need, and how you're going to get it. Opening up that six pack chasing that young lady that's not your wife, or a young man. No, you can't buy it. You need to submit yourself entirely to the one God, the One God who created this whole universe and everything in it. The one god that Jesus prostrated to, and you could prostrate to him to right now, just like Daniel did it. He cleared out any images of God, every false notion that was out there about God, he cleared it up and he asked the creator earnestly guide me, guide me guide me that's what you got to do. Do it in Spanish, do it in Chinese do in Mandarin, whatever it is, just do it.
Do it. And then from there, Be courageous enough to submit and follow the truth and come back here every week to the D show. You can go to the website Islamic spanish.org if you have some of your friends who are out there who want to learn more about this beautiful way of life, but they don't speak English. You can for your Latino friends and brothers direct them there they have CTOs audios and remember to pick up the deen show DVD. Make copies of it share this message of peace with the world. We'll see you next time inshallah God Willing until then, peace be unto you.