Channel: The Deen Show
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I grew up with a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. I would tell people I'm Jewish. I'm not going to do this and they respected that Bismillahi Rahmani r Rahim Hamdulillah he to be allowed to me out of many Rahim, Maliki or meeting to get older I started to really question the Trinity. How could How could one plus one plus one equal one and not three? I call up my on my buddy yeah, in Romans every single morning 620 Salam Alaikum habibi. It's time for Fisher boom, boom. yella yella, which means come on get up this bill 100. I said I want a concrete is a piece My next guest is here to share his life changing story with you. Having a Christian mother, a Jewish father and being
baptized Christian at a young age receiving his communion going to Catholic school for 12 years to following Judaism. And then being addicted to women, porn, masturbation pills, marijuana, nicotine and alcohol. The list goes on, as well as tattoos to what's he up to now? Well, that's why he's here on a D show to share his life changing story with us. Our next guest coming up Salonica. Matthew, while
Matthew, Brian's right, how are you?
I'm well, I'm doing well. How are you? Good. Oh, Hamdulillah. It's very nice to have you on the program. Do we hit that introduction? Right. There's a lot to list there. You seem like you went to a lot? Yeah, I went through quite a bit. Yeah. But I seems like kind of it's it's kind of like the norm today. It's like a lot of people are, you know, a lot of the things you mentioned, it's that crazy roller coaster of life, that people just are filling that void with all these different things that you we have listed.
Yeah, so we didn't finish the rest of the story. But let's kind of back it up and start from the beginning kind of give people a timeline. So tell us about your early years. So I grew up with a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. And I went to Catholic school, from kindergarten to eighth grade, I learned a lot about theology class and whatnot. And then I ended up actually going to a Catholic High School.
Bishop HENDRICKEN, in the state i live in from ninth grade to 12th grade. And I was also an altar boy, when I was younger. And I learned a lot about Christianity, Catholicism. And I always, I always had a lot of questions that I felt, weren't always answered. So I ended up drifting from that faith into following more of my father's side with Judaism, because I personally believed that I believe that Jesus was, was not a son of God, I believe God was too far and above and beyond that, to have a son. And I followed with Judaism, because I felt that that was more
reasonable with with what I believed in.
So after that, I ended up falling Judaism, but still, you know,
drinking, doing drugs, alcohol, whatnot. And it wasn't until I went into my buddy's convenience store, who's Muslim, and started talking to him and another Muslim friend about Islam. And I was debating Judaism with Islam. And we were going back and forth for three hours to a point where my friend had said, Alright, guys, you guys are never gonna get to each other. You guys are both gonna just be stuck on your own ways with what you guys have to say. And I left that night with my ego and tax thinking, you know, I'm not wrong here. I'm not wrong. I know, Judaism is the way. And then I was, but I was just open minded enough to learn about Islam. Then when I learned about Islam, I just
want to learn more and more about it. And before I knew it, I had just believed in this more than I believed in anything else that I believed in my entire life. And it took me to where I am today.
Wow, that's deep more than anything that you believed in your previous lifeless era, or in the beginnings, this is now that you got exposed to Islam. This is something that just what would you say just made the most sense? made the most sense, um, was just so profound in here to me. I had, um, I normally what my other three other religions I was in. I had a lot of questions, but every question I had with Islam was just always answered. I never I never felt like my answer wasn't thorough. I always felt like my answer was, was perfect and couldn't have been more perfect than what the answer I received. Let's start with the first 12 years communion Christianity. What was
your belief at that time? And what were some of the questions that you had? Well, I believe that Jesus was the Son of God, I believe that Jesus was God, I believe, I believed that.
I believed in the Trinity. And that was also when I started to get older, I started to really question the Trinity. How could How could one plus one plus one equal one and not three? How could the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost all be all be one? It just had this question about? I'm like, that's got to be three. I know. It's the Trinity. The Trinity Trinity means three. But um, I just always had that question about how could three equal equal one and one
I always thought one plus one plus one equals three. So that was a big, big question that actually stemmed why I started lacking faith in Christianity.
And then so then, so then you go to what the priests the, the higher the scholars, you know, the people at the church, what questions are you asking that you're not getting? answers for?
It wasn't necessarily questions I had asked priests a lot of questions, I asked priests, it wasn't necessarily about Jesus, it was more about God and who created God, how did God come into existence? And one of the priests remember said, Actually something wise, they said that God was always there. And that reconciled with me, I could start to understand that but not wrap my mind around it. But when it came to
my self, quite my question that I had, like the deepest is, how could a man be God? That was my biggest question. I felt that no matter who I asked that was never going to be truly answered. Like, a lot of times the question was just, it'd be like, beat around the bush. And I'd never get a direct answer other than the Trinity back to the Trinity, how, how it's three in one. And I just that just honestly, to me, it never made sense. And I just, I just didn't thoroughly believe in this. And even if I wanted to try to thoroughly believe in it, I knew in my heart that I didn't believe. Okay, so then the next part, so how do you switch over, then you go towards Judaism now. So you make a
drastic switch. So I was never Bar Mitzvah or anything. But I started following more with my father's traditions with Judaism. And I'd be in school. And I remember, we always had maths at school, because we went to a Catholic school. And I remember it started where people would get up and sit up and kneel and I wouldn't do that. Because I was like, Well, I don't I don't believe in this, you know, I would tell people, I'm Jewish, I'm not going to do this. And they respected that. So I go to the masses, because you start to go and there's other Jewish kids at my school, when we did the same thing. We sat down, we didn't follow the normal traditions where you get up, you stand,
you kneel, and go in line for communion. We didn't do that. So that's what that's what that was, the next step that ended up happening was I still had to go, because being in a Catholic school still has a Jewish person. I still had to be in the mass, but I didn't have to participate in the mass. So that was my next step. How would that work? Because traditionally, what is it that you, your mother has to be Jewish for you to be considered a full Jew? How does that work now? Because your father was Jewish, but your mother was Christian? Absolutely. So I just decided, like I said, it was never Bar Mitzvah, I would just follow with it with Judaism, word of law, I didn't go through the entire
process. But I would, I would, I would just follow through with Judaism. And it came to what my father believed in what I started to believe more than I believed in Christianity, versus not believing Jesus is the Son of God, or God's Son. So I decided to branch off more in that aspect when I understood that Jews didn't believe this. And that's what I started to just more follow through it is that I didn't believe this. Now, if you're following both religions, if you go from one to the other, you you know that the Christian religion and also Judaism would probably be strongly against the lifestyle that you were you were living like, you know, alcohol, drugs, you know, the
womanizing, all those things, they would be against that. So how did that fit in? How did the more at least the moral teachings of the religions now what was what was the disparity there? I didn't have it in my heart. Oh, yeah, it wasn't I wasn't in my heart, where when I had converted, I reverted to Islam, where you know, Islam means to submit to God, I had truly submitted to God and realize doing stuff that we're down, only pushed me farther away from Allah subhanho wa Taala versus closer to him. And that me giving up all this stuff. I thought, all that stuff made me happy. But I didn't know what happiness was. I thought it made me happy. But I didn't know what happiness was.
When I when I submitted to Allah subhanaw taala and reverted to Islam and gave up all these things. I noticed that living a life more pleasing to Allah made me truly happy. And I never I never could understood how this would happen. But I've never I've never been more at peace never been happier my entire life. I just want to go ahead and for the Christian or Jewish audience or the non Muslims, non Muslims out there. Now when they hear you say Allah, they think maybe this is some different strange god like when you say Allah, what do you mean? I mean, God, you know, God, God in Arabic is literally a lot just like hi in Spanish is a lot. It's the same is the same thing. I try to make
this analogy to other people too, that that don't, don't understand. It's the same. It's still God. Yeah. And then people, just if you're Christian or Jewish, and you're Arabic speaking, they use the word Allah, Arabs and Jews who are who are Jews and are Christian. And I like to point this out that in the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke, he would say, Allah Ha, and Elohim. So this is the because the English language didn't exist. So
At that time, there was no such thing as what people say God, because the language didn't even exist. So Allah does the Creator of the heavens and earth. Okay, so now we're seeing that it wasn't in your heart you hadn't truly submitted. So you're going through all of the different ways of following your desires. But now, what is it about Islam that truly has you submit? And now the life changing experience happens? Well, I just started to realize things that would speak to me and make me feel a certain type of way that made me feel it was just the pure truth. How when Islam
we don't believe Jesus is God, peace be upon Jesus, but we believe he was a prophet, just like Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him. And in order to be Muslim, you have to believe in Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Because if you don't, then how could How can you believe in the Quran, the revelations that were given to him. So I felt like I'm not discrediting the Bible. And it's not but I felt that there was some truth in the Bible about the miracles of Jesus though peace be upon him, those were real. But I felt like the big picture, the main idea that he was the Son of God, I personally felt wasn't wasn't true. But in Islam, him being a prophet, and and the miracles he made
still being his miracles made so much more sense to me, it just spoke to me and I felt I felt like this is this is what it means. So I felt the Quran kind of
reset everything, put everything together, and pieced it together and said, like this is this is this is what's going on with Christianity and Judaism. But this is what it is where in Judaism, Jews don't really believe that Jesus is a prophet, and they don't believe in Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. And I felt that in order to like I said, in order to believe in the Quran, you have to do even Prophet Muhammad peace be upon the revelations. So as someone who was practicing Judaism for some time now, for that transition, Jesus is totally out the picture. Now he's totally denied as as the Messiah, which we believe he is, as a prophet, a mighty messenger. He's totally in Judaism in
Christianity is elevated to God's Son of God. So that's cleared up in Islam, he's a messenger of God. But in Judaism, he was just totally out the picture. Yes, we were Jews. As Jews, we believe that Jesus was a person that existed, but we didn't know we don't believe in him as a prophet.
So now, what do you What's your connection to Jesus? Now, do us love Jesus as a Muslim? I love Jesus as a Muslim, and I have a lot more respect for Jesus, as a Muslim than I even did is as a as a Christian as a Catholic, because I didn't believe he was the Son of God, I just, I just believe maybe he existed, but I didn't know I even even as a Christian as like, as a Catholic, I would sit there and
sometimes doubt these miracles, right? And I wouldn't believe and in Judaism, I just believed he was a person but it wasn't until Islam where I had understood the Quran to be the word for God verbatim. And I had understood I'm like, wow, he may not have been the Son of God. But Jesus is at peace be upon him, his miracles were real and his and his revelations as well were real.
Now dealing with all the things that you were dealing with, you talk about how the change pretty much happened quickly, you know, you kind of gave up what people end up going through alcohol anonymous, they end up going through all of these different support groups and it just like they cannot give up many of these
many of these things that you are battling with, but you pretty much you talk about how it pretty happy and pretty quickly like you, you how were you able to make that or how did that happen? I just I loved all these things right? Or I thought I loved smoking and drinking and nicotine and, and pornography and masturbation all that stuff. I thought like this stuff made me happy and like all I feel good after doing this stuff. I thought it made me happy. I didn't know what happiness was. And when I started to learn more about Islam, and about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his miracles, and the revelation, the most beautiful miracle of all time, the Quran. I hadn't there was
I just believed so much. I had zero doubts. And there was nothing more I wanted to do. Where I truly believe that the Quran is the word of God. And I'm like, wow, Islam means so much I have to submit to God. And I felt like a pool to Islam and to want to submit to God where I'm like, right when I remember when I when I said Shahada. I had one of my phone immediately before and cleared out all like the dirty bookmarks ahead of pornography and everything. And I'm like, and I was I was so used to doing this stuff like a pornography masturbation, but it was just a hat. It was just, it was just a normal part of my life. And I remember taking shahada the first time how I immediately clear all
that out. And I'm like, wow, like, I haven't even taken Shahada. This is like this is powerful. And then I remember a few days later, I taken shahada masjid, and I told myself, I remember it was, it was on Christmas Eve, I went to Masjid. And right when I got out of there the night before, before I took shahada there. I said, That's it.
Not smoking anymore. Not smoking marijuana. I'm not drinking anymore. I'm not vaping nicotine. I'm not doing dumb stuff. I'm not gonna continue to date woman, unless it's with the intentions to get engaged because we as Muslims, we don't we don't date we get engaged and married. I'm like, This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to I'm going to submit to Allah subhanaw taala. And that's what I did. And I've never felt better in my entire life. You even talk about us. You started calling up some of your Muslim friends waking them up for Fajr you got to even to that point. Yes, I still do that today. So I call up my my buddy. Yeah. And reminisce every single morning 620 Salam, Alaikum
habibi. It's time for Fisher, boom, boom, yellow, yellow, which means Oh, come on, get up. And I call them every single morning. And those two were one of the people that actually showed me the way of Islam. So I felt like hey, like, you know, I don't want them to miss a lot. And sha Allah, you know, they haven't missed us a lot since this this year has started. So it, you know, it makes me feel good. And also, it's funny because not being a Muslim before to being a Muslim and staying on top of my Muslim friends who I never thought I'd be Muslim, or share this, this Deen with.
It's just it's, it's it was. It's just something I've never experienced before where I'm able to do this. And it just, it just feels great. And so wake up. And just to wake them up for failure and remind them how important it is to lift that blanket up and pray. Because I feel that praying to God is the most important thing. Like, I'll sit there, I'll be tempted to something whether it's to do this or do that. Anything and I'll sit there and I'll pray to God will I have my head down. And I'll ask God to fight, give me the strength to not be tempted into go into this path, or even cave into the stuff I used to do. And the moment after I prayed, it's like a feeling of peace, and of being
restored that I've never had, when I prayed as I was Christian, or Catholic or Jewish. I've never had this, this powerful over feeling overcome me before it was it's just so profound that it's like, it's praying five times a day is truly like, like, all the drugs I did before. can't compare it to this feeling. Like I thought all that stuff that I did made me happy me praying and getting up and be praying on time makes me happier than anything. And I constantly remind my other Muslim friends that have doubt in faith and will sit there and say, Oh, how do I know the other religions are true? And I'm like, well, fortunate for me. I was in these other faiths. And I'm not, I'm not
disrespecting any other faiths. But I'm telling you, me, as someone who's been through these things, I've had a lot of questions. And I've had no questions about Islam. And if I ever had a question, it was immediately answered, because it was what I what I believe to be true and realer than anything. So
when you are going back to Fudger, like when you see Muslims who are born in Muslim families, and they're not taken advantage of this antidote for depression, for many of the social ills that they're going through in life, but the antidote is there, the cure is there, the remedy is there. But you see, they're not implementing it. They're not utilizing it. What do you what do you what do you think like now you actually got to implement this a lot. You're seeing the effects of it, right? You're living proof? What do you say to them? You know, who they take this for? Granted. I always tell my Muslim friends and some some of them who saw me as a Jewish person or, or someone who's in a
Christian or Catholic faith, would look at me, especially as a Muslim now and say, How do you do all this? And I tell them, I said, we habibi. Don't, don't take this, this Deen for granted. Because it is such it is not only a blessing, it is a privilege to be Muslim. And to live the life we live. And I remind them how if you're not praying five times a day, you're not gonna, you're not going to feel at peace, you're not going to feel as happy. Look at it like this. Like every prayer, you say, 12345, the five prayers. If you miss one prayer, you're not gonna feel as complete as you would if you pray all five prayers. And every time you pray, and you submit to God, you become further at
peace and happy. And every time you don't pray, and you do haram stuff, whether it's smoking or drinking and getting used to the American culture and putting the culture in front of the dean, the dunya in front of the dean, you forget this, you forget that no matter what our souls are always going to crave a loss of power Matala. And if you're doing the stuff, you get pushed further away from God and you and you become less and less happy. And you think those things make you happy. But they don't make you happy. They don't they don't really make you happy. If you think they're happy, they make you happy. You don't know what happiness is. What's been the reaction from your mother and
father? Because it's this is this decision that you made. You take into Shahada. This is a fairly recent, correct.
Yeah, so what's been the reaction from some of your friends, previous friends or family members, those closest to you? Subhanallah it is such a relief that my mother and father were very supportive and understanding they didn't judge me, and it's great. hamdulillah and then I tried to also teach my mother some things about Islam. And how you know, even though even though she's, she's a Roman Catholic, I try to remind her that
on Jesus peace be upon him is still a very big figure in Islam.
We respect Jesus and we still we still love Jesus. And we believe in His miracles. And we believe in Mary. So I try to show her these, these passages from Quran about how Jesus spoke as a baby and said, I'm a messenger of Allah, I'm a prophet. And how if you don't believe that he spoke is a baby, but you believe in these other big miracles about him bringing people back from the dead, I'd say that bringing back from the dead is more harder to believe than a baby speaking. And when you say stuff like that, it's like it's like a kind of hits home where they're like, hey, you know what, you're kind of right about that. When you now look back at your life, how you were living before,
and now to what you're upon now? Are there any regrets whatsoever? Oh, the only regret I have is that I didn't submit sooner. That is the only regret I have. But other than I have no regrets of reverting to Islam.
What do you say when you watch the if you do watch the news, or if you hear, you know, an ignorant person or someone who just not educated or some people would have deliberate attempts to misguide people, and when they, you know, throw these different slogans out there, oh, you know, Muslim terrorists. So you became a terrorist, they, you know, they tried to go ahead and mock the religion, and they bring up things that are totally opposite to Islam. You know, Islam oppresses women, how can you follow a religion that does X, Y, and Z? And it's, it's attributed to many bad things? What do you what do you say now that you've actually investigated Islam and you've tasted it for
yourself? You've you're living it, obviously, you're an intelligent human being, you wouldn't go towards a way of life that was calling you to, to, to evil to her, hurting humanity instead of benefiting humanity? Like, what do you say to people like that? Well, first thing I say is that Muslims respect and love women, and we put them they come first, they come second, and they come Third, we have more respect, and love for women than then I could see in the Roman Catholic faith when I was when I was going down path and Judaism. That's not that they don't respect women, they do. But I've never felt that our better have been in a part of a dean, or our dean that loves and
respects women and holds them to such a value and how it gives them the utmost love and respect. Also, when I was younger, I also had this view that Muslims terrorist and this and that and it was because I wasn't open minded enough to learn about Islam and even open the Koran and I feel that anybody that even has those thoughts, is just strictly believing what's on the media and is not even educating themselves on on Islam or the Quran or Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. And I honestly feel bad for those people that are missing out. But all I do is encourage people don't be open minded. Open, open the Quran, open the Quran, be open minded and learn about this beautiful faith.
And and don't let the media fool you into thinking that this faith this deen is something that it's not because that's not what it is. If that was the case, then if I honestly felt that way, then I would have saw what I saw on TV as a kid and the media portraying Muslims as terrorists, and I would have never submitted to became a Muslim. Because that would have never happened if I had firmly believe that and didn't decide to further educate myself on these things and learn what Islam is really about, and how it is the most beautiful thing in the entire universe. There is nothing more beautiful than a sword. So what advice would you have for someone who's dealing with the porn
addiction masturbation? Like you listen to pills, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, just can't wait to get the next tattoo. Go to the next party. They're still unhappy. They're still you know, they're tuning in right now. What advice do you have for him, um, you may think you're happy going to these parties and drinking and smoking and, and getting high with your friends and smoking blondes and, and going to the bar and, and hooking up with women and this in that hobby. That is not happiness, that is not happiness, I can promise you, if you think that is happiness, give this a chance. Give your life to God, submit to God, live a life more pleasing to Allah than pleasing to yourself. And I
promise you, once you start living a life more pleasing to Allah, you will know what happiness is. But you have to submit you have to submit you have to pray five times a day, you're going to give up the Haram stuff, it's not going to help you it's not going to help you with your problems. It's going to numb everything, it's not going to make it go away. It's going to put you in a deeper hole. And it's going to make you even more depressed to a point where you're relying on these things to be happy. You don't you don't have to sit there and and necessarily do any of that you shouldn't do any of that when you submit to God. And when you do submit to God, you will feel happiness, you will
feel you will feel pure, you will feel at peace. I used to be so depressed, that I wouldn't be afraid to even own a gun. If I owned a gun. I'd be afraid I wouldn't know what I would do with it. I don't know I harmed myself. And I always thought I'd have that thought in my head. But ever since I reverted to Islam
I've been at peace and I've been happy I don't I'm no longer depressed. I LOGG has cured me of this depression I don't I'm not even if I owned a gun I won't even be afraid to own a gun anymore that's how safe I feel I've never felt safer in my entire life and knowing that God is with me more than the now and God has never abandoned me I abandoned God Oh God has never abandon me even when I abandoned God he still never been in Egypt be back
we usually tell people is because in Atlanta confusion in a life of confusion and that's why people end up going towards all of these different artificial things. And they get caught up with the rat race of life and they put this in their body put that on their body and it still doesn't fill the void you know, they have been led now and they're listening to your story and inshallah God willing that can be of inspiration and motivation for them to do something very simple. And that is Ask, ask the creator, the heavens and earth alone for guidance, and there is a beautiful prayer and DUA and it's something that Muslims start off their prayer with every day. You know, it's an Fatiha so this
have you I know you're fairly new to Islam. You took your shahada how long ago? Um, December 19, I took it in front of to my Muslim friends 24th And Christmas Eve I taken I took it a masjid
i So Have you have you gotten a chance to to get more to learn how to recite al Fatiha? Yes. Beautiful. Did we use this I don't mean to put you on the spot. But this as something as a motivation for others to go ahead and to if you don't mind reciting it for us, and let them hear this. And then also we'll give the meaning and then you out there you can also repeat these words. And you can ask because a lot of times people like where do I start this a beautiful way? You know, you can start in the English language, you know, and hopefully build up to it after you take your Shahada. Can you share them fati hell with us? Absolutely. Yeah, Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem at
hamdulillah to be allowed me many Rahim Maliki Amati a akana boo I can Stein et now Surat almost Hakim Seok Allah Hina lane, Jerry medulla la him? Well,
Yep. May Allah bless you, brother.
Shala this could be a motivation for others who've left us a lot people are seeking
guidance, you know,
to hear someone who's been through the struggles you've been through
the transitions in life to actually now you know, reciting the Quran
it's a it's very hard touching and
beautiful. I'm very happy, elated and these feelings of joy just listening and inshallah there can be a motivation for others listening to you. And let's not forget the meaning. You know, this is all praise that have created the heavens and earth the master today judgment. You alone, we worship you alone, we seek for help guide us to the straight path The path of those who favored not those who have gone astray. What a beautiful, beautiful way of asking the Creator of the heavens all along for guiding you did that. And you're here with us on the deen show. 100 Lighter blood I mean any closing words and comments you want to share with the audience, anything else incredible about your story
that you thought we missed? I just want to say, don't be afraid to even won't be afraid to open and even read one sort of up one sort of up to tourists. You're going to want to read more and you're going to want to learn more about Islam. Don't listen to what the media has to say about it. Don't listen to it, please, if it can change my life and I can be as deep down in a hole as I was not thinking there was a light at the end of the tunnel. No, there's a way
thank you very much for being with us again, brother. May Allah bless you continue to preserve you and keep you on a straight path and all of us in sha Allah
salam ala welcomes and thank you all for tuning in here to the show. And this was I mean, if you got to hear the last part this is just very
amazing to listen to our brother here, you know to go through that journey and then to you know, be reciting you know, the Quran you know now waking up his friends, his brothers for Fajr you know, let's not take this Deen for granted this is something that is a treasure and you can have it today lose it tomorrow so hold on to it just like you'd hold on to money you know gold, silver, whatever the case stocks and bonds and your cryptocurrency that stuff at the end is going to be perished so you're gonna have to leave behind but your deen your way of life Islam submission to the credit creation. That's what you got to hold on to because that's going to transfer over to the next life
and then to see the gender Johanna paradise at Delphi. We want to get to Jenna in sha Allah. So I make dua for you for me, keep me in your doors and
We'll see you next time here to teach so subscribe if you haven't already. We'll see you next time and if you I almost forgot I got a gift for you. If you're somebody out there who like a free copy of the Quran and you want to learn more and you can see how our brother Matthew how he ended up coming to this Deen, go ahead and visit the de show.com and you get your free copy of the Quran or call us if you have any questions one 800 662 Islam we'll see you next time until then, peace we with you as salaam alaikum