Channel: The Deen Show
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Welcome to another episode of the deen show, which is a way of life we try to put out there for everyone to see, helping you understand Islam and Muslims, I'd like to thank you for coming to the source to learn about the most misunderstood way of life in the world. Today, we're going to be talking about Islam, which simply means surrender, and submission, to who, to a man to a monkey, to an elephant, to the Sun to the moon, note to the Creator of the heavens and earth, the one who took care of you, when you were in your mother's womb, the one who created everything that's in existence, that's the creator that you submit to, and you set up no partners with him.
That's what Islam means is very simple. It's very logical, we need you to do something. And that's turned on what your reasoning, your logic your brain and just listen now, we're going to be bringing on and it's always a pleasant thing when somebody accepts Islam. And we're going to talk about
this man's journey, and how he ended up accepting Islam, which is practiced by over 1.5 billion people worldwide. You're ready for my next guest, Greg Houston. How you doing, Greg?
Thank you for joining us today on the D show.
So many people now we see that even with all the misinformation with all the negative propaganda, people associating Islam with things blowing up terrorism, all sorts of misinformation, people are still accepting Islam. Today, we're gonna be talking about your story and how you ended up coming to Islam. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And then we want to hear how you ended up stumbling to Islam.
Well, my name is Greg kierstead, 23 years old,
then raised born in Chicago, come from a
Catholic family. My mother is the oldest of nine. So growing up, she was pretty liberal with me, didn't have a very
I guess you could say Christian upbringing. I wasn't held on a very tight leash. So I experienced a lot of things firsthand, you know, didn't have a lot of restrictions.
So that was that was really mostly. So at what age did you accept Islam? When I was 19? I accepted Islam. It was so you came from a predominantly your your household was a Christian household? In a sense, I would say
more of a hippie household. Yeah, no, my mom was very liberal bring me up so there wasn't going to Sunday school or going to church or any so you would just basically doing whatever you've done just what going to school hanging out and yeah, you know, high school, you go to school during the week and then a weekend, you know, you go and cause trouble and try to get away with it. Yeah. Okay, so tell us now, How'd you end up becoming a Muslim? Um, it was actually the summer I graduated from high school.
I was at a barbecue and I met a Muslim guy at this barbecue.
When wearing a turban or anything like that, he's actually a tall white blond guy. So he wasn't an Arab. He wasn't an Arab he looked like like a California surfer dude, cuz many people have this misconception when you say Islam, you think about turban big beard Arab somewhere in the desert? No, he wasn't he was a blond hair blue eye. Yeah, blind by the server. Yeah. So we just got to talking about life in the universe. You know, which at the time, I was, you know, very interested in, you know, just kind of talking about, you know, existence, you know, on purpose and this kind of thing.
And we ended up becoming friends. And I started doing a lot of research on the meanwhile, he ended up moving very close to me, we hung out a lot. So he would talk to me a little bit, and I go out and do some research. You know, I try to
rebuke some of the things he said, You know, I try to see if I could disprove, you know, find a weakness here and there.
But the more I researched, the more the more I learned, and the wider my perspective became of myself, and you know, my knowledge and the world. And there's a couple aspects that really attracted me to Islam. First, historically, it makes a lot of sense, and we can touch base on that a little bit later, but also scientifically, which isn't something you normally see with religion. Usually, you see, science and religion oppose each other. In this case, science actually backs up Islam, which I thought was really interesting.
So how did you did you because at that age 19 nobody, you know, nowadays just to bring up religion or talk about these serious issues like, you know, what's my purpose in life?
Why have I been created? Why am I here? The majority of people are consuming, chasing a position chasing the dollar something material, but you are, how did you, you know, think about and talk about and ended up exploring something a little more serious?
That's a funny question. I mean, to know exactly why it's hard to say, you know, we look around these days, and we are very conditioned to, you know, go to school, get a job, yada, yada, yada, this kind of thing. But I don't know, it was, you know, sometime during that summer, and right before that summer, that I just kind of had this, this thought in my life for this thought process that, you know, like, there's got to be more to life than, you know, just going to school, you know, going to a party, you know, hanging out with people this kind of stuff. There's, there's no, it just doesn't make sense. You know, we're so we have such high intellect in the fact that we can sit here
and have this conversation and talk, I think, is a proof for itself, that we're created for something besides just following our own desires. Now, tell us being from a Christian background, not really following, did you find yourself at this point, because a lot of times people, even though they don't know about their faith, they end up defending it just because you know, what they feel like, this is what I was brought into by my parents, did you feel any inclination to go back to Christianity to explore further about the teachings of Christianity or any other religion in your time when you were investigating? Yeah, in fact, I covered I tried to cover the scope. You know, I
didn't specifically look into Islam, but I would look into I looked back into Christianity. You know, I had some, some close co workers who were devout Christians. And, you know, I had asked them a lot of questions I had grown up next to a Jewish family. So I asked them a little bit about Judaism. I looked into Buddhism a little bit, as well.
But you know, I would just go down the line as far as just different aspects of the religion. And with each one something would, you know, one of the religions would get washed away, and the only one that was left standing, give us give us an example.
Well, for example, there is the idea of blind faith.
You know, it's in some beliefs, it's, it's said, they just believe in it. Because it is you can't, you can't comprehend this, you know, there's no way and I can accept the fact that I can't truly comprehend God. But it doesn't make sense. It doesn't. It does not logical in my head that God would make something for us. Like, if He created us with a purpose, why would he make it hard for us to understand? You know, like, he, why wouldn't he make it clear. And I actually heard a speech I had a really good analogy of this was that if you were a person, and you owned a factory, and you want people to work in your factory, would you just hire these people and put them in your factory? Or
would you explain to them what their job is and how to do it and how to do it properly and when to do it.
And with Islam, I found these great details on every aspect of life, you know, how to, you know,
you know, how to properly pray, you know, how to your conduct with people, every single aspect from macro, you know, big things, social things, to little tiny things. This was all covered. So, in that aspect, it made a lot of sense. Whereas a lot of other things like when I asked some of my Christian friends to explain to me the Trinity, I never was able to get a very clear cut answer. It was it always seemed to be ambiguous and not not answering my question exactly. To the point.
So that didn't fit that God, what so you believed in a creator? Because a lot of times with all the confusion, people just give up, they become agnostic or atheist. And they say, you know, what? The heck, we're for religion, I'm gonna just do my own thing. So did you ever come borderline this avenue? That's kind of what I was before. You know, in high school. Like I said, I wasn't, I wasn't raised as a devout Christian. So I kind of just, I guess you could say, follow my heart.
And this is one of the questions that I actually asked the person telling me about Islam. And he said, Well, who's to say that your heart knows what's best for you, versus the Creator who created your heart. And that kind of got me and also the fact that, you know, our hearts are can be corruptible. And you know, we can have distorted jaded visions or perspectives of how things work. So who am I to say that I'm the best judge in, in what, how to conduct my life when the Creator is has it laid out in front of us. So you always did believe that? It was illogical. It didn't make sense that everything in this creation just created itself that it just came into being and there
indicator behind this. Yeah, it just I always thought that there was something turning the wheels. And I used to tell people, when people asked me to explain this was before Islam, what I thought of God or, you know, a higher power, I said, you know, just as we look in a microscope, you know, we look at the little micro organisms under the lens, they can't really perceive exactly what we are, they may, they may have their function of how to interact with us and know how to do that. But they're not going to be able to comprehend you know, you know, who is Greg, you know, like, what is he? What is he like, you know, that they're just, they're not made to do that it just isn't the same
way, like, we're not made. So if we can't fully comprehend god, it's just not within our limits, you know, we can't do that. So if someone told you and say, you know, what, this whole Prophethood thing, God sending messengers to guide us, a creator, this is something man made, and just to, you know, keep the masses under check. How would you respond to this? Now, have you come across something like this, or somebody? Yeah, I've come across people that have that viewpoint. And it's kind of silly to say that, because when you look first, at the, the, the timeline of prophets, at least in the Islamic faith, we believe in all the prophets, and they all came with the same message,
you know, which is worship one God alone, you know, and, and believe in me as the messenger, you know, from the time of Abraham, to Ishmael, to Isaac to Noah. And actually interesting fact is, if you look, you can see a heritage tree of all the profits that they're all interlinked. But you know, the same thing, if you were to say that, Oh, this is manmade, then
you could say the same thing that George Washington wasn't real, you know, how you just gonna rebuke one one aspect of history and then accept another? Are you saying that all of history is is falsified? I mean, what, what are you saying, you know, history is an act isn't true, like,
so it doesn't make sense. Like, how are you gonna say that this is fake? This is man made. But this aspect of history is true. Yeah. Tell us,
Greg. Now, in your interaction with this blond haired, blue eyed Muslim.
You had mentioned before that he had talked about logic, and faith, coin citing, go into depth a little bit.
logic and faith, I mean, you before we talked about blind following, and how it shouldn't,
shouldn't dictate your life. In Islam, there's aspects which you have to accept what you can't perceive, like, understood proceeding God and proceeding angels, we can't perceive what exactly these are in detail. But there are other aspects which are very strong. And you can look into, you know, logic in C, from logical standpoint, the that it makes sense, like I said before, about the timeline of the prophets, like, is it coincidental that all these people came throughout time saying the same message over and over again, and having strong proofs, despite what some people might, you know, think as a manmade thing, these people did live and they existed and they did things, you
know, there are miracles that were performed, and there are, you know, recorded documents of these people.
You know, and in regards to, to more of a smaller aspect is, you know, in Islam, like I said, everything is detail, everything is covered every aspect of your life. And, for instance, how to eat, you know, within Islam, there is the Haram, which is what's forbidden. And there's the Hello, which is what it's allowed.
And in Islam, there is an allowed way to eat in an allowed way to eat, you're supposed to eat with your right hand, you're not supposed to eat with your left hand, and Mohammed, peace be upon him. He used to eat with his right hand, and he used to eat with, from correct these three fingers. Now,
from you know, a layman's perspective, you say, Oh, well, you know, this is just, this is what Mohammed did, you know, so we should do it. But recent scientific discoveries actually show that on the tips of these two fingers, you have enzymes, which aid in digestion.
So, does that, you know, is that just a coincidence? Or,
you know, is there some logic behind that? So this is a just a minute, a small detail, but what are the bigger scopes? Now? Do you have a system of life that you live by from A to Z, you don't have to guess like, you know what my purposes here what I need to do, where am I going? What happens when I die, which is a reality. rich, poor, fat, old American African, we're all going to hit the grave. So do you know now do you have a
system does Islam provide you with a complete way of life? on how do you live from A to Z? Yeah, everything's covered, you know, how you you can conduct yourself amongst people how you dress,
you know, the the appropriate relationships and you know, corporate relationships, you know, every aspect that you could think of is covered. And you know, it can, it can help very much, you know, if
somebody has this is I used to say Islam is like the handbook the instruction manual for people, because we didn't create ourselves. And we don't really know our full potential. I mean, there's a lot of miraculous feats out there that human beings do. And we haven't really been able to tap into this, because we don't really know ourselves that much. And here's a perfect instruction manual of how to live your life,
the way that God wants you to live your life.
Tell us now let's go back to the encounter that you had. And what actually So you went back, you started research and you start looking at all the different religions, you didn't want to just jump into something blindly you wanted? What were you looking for evidence, proof authenticity? What will you what was the criteria that you were looking for? To establish that this is indeed not man made? Because we don't want to follow something that's man made, we want to make sure that it's from the crater. So what criteria did you have? and What had you jump over to accept this way of life?
You know, I don't think like
that, wholeheartedly. You know, I was on a mission, like, you know, this Islam, I might do it, I might not do it. You know, I was just kind of looking into it, you know, just, you know, I don't really know much about this religion, I did a packet on Islam in high school, I,
I until after I became Muslim, I realized that I had done that packet. I didn't even think about it at the time, it was just schoolwork, you know.
So when I actually devoted time into it, you know, one of the some of the things that I looked into, were the authenticity of the Quran.
Because I thought that was an aspect that was very important, you know, the fact that the Quran 1400 years later remains unchanged in the Arabic.
And, you know, also, like I said, before, the scientific and historical proofs, these things very intrigued me a lot. You know, historically, the lineage of the prophets and their stories, in the miracles they performed, and the fact that it all intertwines together.
You know, and scientifically, you know, like I said before, with the fingers, and there's many, many, many, many verses in the Quran, that that talk about things that were unknown to human beings until recently, you know, the Muhammad peace be platinum, he talked about how mountains were set in the ground as pegs. You know, how does the illiterate man 1400 years ago in the desert know about this, I don't even think it was discovered, but maybe 100 years ago, I'm not might not be accurate on that. But so the authenticity of the Quran that was one point that it was, it is to this day unchanged, is the same as it was recited then, today, you don't have multiple versions, this book,
that book, you were impressed by that the different scientific facts, you mentioned, something on the mountains, which we have the human development the embryos in there, you have so many different things on the creation, that is amazing that there's no way that a man could have just concocted these things. Yeah. And it's also reaffirming, that which came before Mohammed, the revelation, the Quran, it doesn't talk about this as being something new that like that everything else is, you know, rebuking a thing, actually, in order to become Muslim, you have to believe in Noah, and you have to believe in Moses and all the previous Prophet Jesus, and Jesus.
You know, you have to believe in Abraham, and you have to believe you know, that these people were prophets and that they did come with revelation. So, you know, like I said, like, from a timeline standpoint, it just makes sense.
So this made sense it fit and now what was that turning point? Did someone give you an invitation is someone say, you know, look, this is what you need to do. Muslim, you got jumped in a bag, get baptized. What was the procedure that you went through? What was that turning point, the situation that you accepted, submission and surrender, which is Islam, to the Creator of the heavens and earth and not his creation? And a Muslim is one who does this action. You stepping over and doing this, acknowledging that is there is a creator, He alone is worthy of worship, and I'm gonna do what he wants me to do. At what point did you take that step? It's kind of funny actually, I think that I
had internally become Muslim without even realizing it. Because
I did this research I enough for a year. And, you know, I had a lot of,
you know, also, along with the scientific and historical proofs, just my own personal experiences, you know, as I was learning, I was just seeing things, you know, I was seeing things that I was reading, you know, just manifest, you know, and I can't, there's no way I could possibly explain it. But, you know, everybody knows in their own personal experience through their own eyes, when something like that happens, that it means something like, I don't believe in coincidence, everything happens for a reason. But I was actually, when I realized I was sitting in my friend's house, and we're talking and just kind of going over the same blonde, blue blood, blonde haired
you know, we went over the, just the different things that I had been researching. And he asked me said, Well, what do you think about all this stuff? You know, I said, Oh, you know, it's, it's amazing, you know, all this stuff. I think it's all true. You know, I don't, I can't refute any of it. And, you know, if I were to, I'd only be lying to myself. And he said, Well, you know, man, like, you're Muslim, you know, just about, you know, like, aside from the, from the Shahada from the test, suffocation, the verbal test suffocation, say, like, you're Muslim, you know, and that's when it hit me, you know, sitting there that hit me, like, in my heart, it was weird, my heart kind of
jumped. It's like, man, like,
right, you know. And at that point in time, you know, I had to make the decision in
whether or not I should continue living my life, the way I was living it, or, I should start following all this stuff that I believed in. Because I had done all this research, everything I researched, I found to be true.
And now it was, you know, it was time to choose, you know, road a road B, you know, and, you know, I'm glad that I chose, you know, to accept Islam.
You know, it's not necessarily an easy ride, you know, the Quran, it says that, you know, that God will test you, you know, just because you're Muslim doesn't mean like, Oh, it's all good. You know, like, your Muslim is freeride. No, you get tested, because God wants to see if you truly believe. So I've been been tested in many different ways about it. But, you know, I tend to look back and think about how I used to live my life before. And if I were here now in that same state, like, how would I how would I react to situations when something bad came upon me? Or something good?
And how would I deal with life? And what would I think, you know, how would I be be conducting myself, because especially in this society, the way that we're conditioned is just to, you know, kind of, you know, do what you want to do, as long as you're not hurting anybody else kind of thing. You know, and the majority of people my age, or a lot of people are out there going, and they're drinking and they're partying, and they're doing these things. In if you really stop and think about it, all you're doing is destroying your body and wasting your time.
You know, it may be fun at the time. But, you know, down the line,
you realize, you know, that, that time could have been spent doing other things, more beneficial things. A few more points before we come to an end like to thank everybody for sitting tight to another episode of the deen show. We want to know now talk to us because there's a lot of stigma attached to Islam. People start to think that you know what, this is a religion of the Arabs and whatnot. Tell us quickly have you dealt with these situations where people look at you negatively? They give you a hard time? And what's your relationship with Jesus? Now people think now that you left Christianity that you know what you have left the love of Jesus or whatever the case talking
about these two points, and we're almost coming to an end just briefly touch upon.
I personally haven't come across too much negativity in regards to Michael Islam, most people are, are pretty accepting, or at least I guess you could say tolerant of it. So I personally haven't experienced that too much. You know, I'm very fortunate, I know other people have
in regards to with Jesus, you know, before it was really hard for me to accept in the Christian doctrine, this the role that Jesus played, like it didn't make sense in my head.
And within Islam, it makes much more sense in logic that Jesus was a prophet just as the prophets before him and just as Muhammad after him.
So I've had you know, a lot of Christians say that will you know, you're not truly saved and, you know, if people
people don't want to listen, then that's that's up to them. You know, I had a discussion with a Christian friend and he
I tried to tell him that there's the only way you can learn is if you come with an empty glass, you know, meaning that you you have to come in and try to learn. So, you know, that's, I have a better relationship and understanding
in regards to that, we believe in him as a mighty messenger, but not God. Yeah, I believe in him as the Messiah, that he will come back. I don't believe that he shares divinity with God.
I believe that he follows the line of succession of the prophets.
And that he came, you know, with the Injeel with the gospel.
Okay, that's good. So he continued the same message, the same message from the beginning of time, which was to worship the Creator, not his creation, anything in the creation, had a beginning. The create tour has no beginning. It's very simple. These are his attributes. The Creator is self sufficient. He doesn't eat, drink, go to the bathroom, anything that's in the creation of man. He's not self sufficient. He eats he drinks and then what goes to the bathroom? Is that guy, that the god you want to worship? No. So I like to thank you for coming and being with us on the show. Thank you very much. And I'd like to thank you for sitting through another episode of the deed show helping
you understand Islam and Muslims is very important that you have your mind not and do something very basic remember death. Because death is the destroyer of all pleasures. You can be indulging in this and that and the other thing, but remember, no matter what age you are, what nationality you can be American, African, Brazilian, Caucasian, black, Indian yellow, red, pink, doesn't matter death will catch us all is caught many people. Elvis Presley died at the age of 42. Bruce Lee, he was 32. His son followed. A few years later, he died at the age of 28, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. Dre, you know him, his son died at the age of 20. The list goes on Heath Ledger. You heard of him, Batman, or the Joker, he
played, he's dead too. There are many people that have died. And they were doing the same thing that we're doing, chasing the material world chasing the position, but they were forgetting about death. This is not a call to pessimism. It's a call to optimism to know that there's something better that this whole universe and everything in it didn't just come by chance. Just like those keys in your pocket in that car, it didn't get put together by chance that there is someone a designer or orchestrator behind all this. And he has a purpose on how he wants you to live. So it's up to you to be sincere with your self, you can cover the truth is innate in your very nature, that you believe
in a god. I'm not going to tell you all these facts about Islam, I leave it up to you. And we'll close with this as the creator, deep down in your heart to guide you.
There's all these religions ways of life out there and no one is going to claim that he's on falsehood. Everyone's going to claim that they're on the truth. So it's up to you to be sincere with yourself. Remember def seek the purpose of life. Ask these important questions. take a time out from the material world and search, do some deep contemplating and think about these things that I will die. And I'm going to have to answer for everything I did in this life. Start with that very basic step. seek to know why I'm here and where I'm going and come back every week to the deen show. When we talk about these very important issues.
Thank you once again. You can visit us here every week. Th e d show calm until next time Assalamu alaikum. Peace be unto you