He Told Me I Cant Be MUSLIM
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 13.57MB
As a kid in our neighborhood, and if you didn't go to prison, nobody ever gonna take you serious. Like you had to go to prison and like you had to be in the street and you had to play the devil's game to get respect in the neighborhood. So I used to go into the corner store, regular order food, stuff like that the corner store was the Hangout. And one day I asked him, How can I become Muslim? And his nephew told me you can't be Muslim? And I was like, huh, did I believe in demand? And I seen on the cross, not at all and he asked me, have you ever studied the Quran read the Quran said no, but some people tell me I can't be Muslim because I drink and stuff like that. And when he told me
is you don't change everything about you, and then take your shahada, you take your shahada and change the things that you want to change. Salam o aleikum. Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh Bolliger. Salon Roberto Vega. Good morning, brother. What is this?
What's the name? Where you from brother? My given name was Gabriel. My Muslim name has a brothers know me as brother Jabril. I was born and raised three blocks in a mastiff on West Street. And from Utica, New York. So what was your experience like growing up mom and dad in the house, mom were two jobs. Religion was never in the household. And like every other film, we had our ups and downs, you know, Sam pops, my dad was, I will say, alcoholic way it was just always yelling and you know, arguing, you know, between my parents and stuff like that, but then again, you know, that We're husband and wife, we're gonna stick together for the kids, but it was probably the worst thing they
did was stick together for us. You know, after a while they broke up got divorced into us kids. It was like what happened? Other than that wasn't too bad. So you said the there was no religion for parents prior. But did you believe in God as a child? I believe that there was a higher power. But did I believe in demand and I seen on the cross nodded off. I just felt like you praying to somebody who is looked like there's in the worst pain that they will ever be. And that's what you're praying to. So it was something I never really got into. I never read the Bible. I knew it was some form of religious in my mom's household when she was a kid because they named me after Gabriel from the
Bible, but was never taught who Gabriel was anything about the Bible never was. So what do you say your family came from? Christian Catholic background? Catholic? Yeah. Catholic? How did you first hear about Islam or what attracted you to it? So growing up a lot of the connoisseurs in the neighborhood was in my era was number Arabs. So I used to go into the corner store, regular order food, stuff like that the corner store was the Hangout. And one day I sat in there, and I was talking to the dude in the corner store named Wally and me him was talking whatever. And I used to ask him, you know, at the oddest stuff you've been through, because you in America, so you left your
country because of war. Why are you so happy when they what makes you smile, things like that he used to play you know, insha Allah, like, I leave everything to God, and we just talked about Islam, then I will leave the store, and I will go outside and it's the lifestyle outside, you know, you got street stuff, you know, we had drugs, violence, stuff like that, you know, and I remember it was a, it was a dude who did some time in prison, and he came home and he was Muslims. And I knew who he was before he went to prison. He was really important in the street life. And when he came home, you know, he was different. So I seen what Islam how it changed him. So it still didn't push me towards
Islam. But it made me think where people can change. So I was about 16 years old, and I got into some stuff, and I got locked up. So while I was locked up, it was a couple of kids in America, we was kids, and it was going to prison. So a lot of them was trying to turn Muslim before they went to prison. And my situation, I didn't know what was going to be the outcome. You know, I didn't know if I was going that route. Or if they was gonna let me out. I didn't know what it was. But I knew that at the same time, I'm seeing that a lot of these brothers kids in his trying to become Muslim because they scared you know, so I always told myself like, No, I'm not doing it. Like if I do have
to go to that I'm gonna go to the BME. And I came home and I went back to the corner store. And I talked to the dude, Wally, I asked him, How can I be come Muslim? And at the time, when this conversation was going on, I was smoking. And his nephew told me you can't be muscle. And I was like, huh, and he was like, good, because you're doing right now he was like, You're doing Hassan, and I'm like, What am I doing? And he's like you smoking? And he was like, you probably got something on you that again, that is harder on you know, and I'm like, okay, so when he left our x Wiley, like, how can he tell somebody that you can't be Muslim? And he really is not that brothers
since then, well, we come from its structure and people don't do the things that you doing as far as drinking on the corner hanging out. And my dad this time, I'm only about 16 years old. So I'm still a kid myself. So I kind of felt that I was like, Oh, they just like a lot of other religions. They judge you know, so
March 23 of 2012 I became a father. Then I felt like me becoming a dad. I just needed something different for you know, at the same time, I didn't want her to see the lifestyle and I grew up or you know, had a dad who's always drunk and at that time, like I said, I was drinking I was you know, smoking and stuff. So I wanted something different. I still didn't think it was Islam did I need to pray about a job or you know, just
To get away from the neighborhood a little bit more, you know, things like that. And then I just
fell back. You know, she's young, you know, if I don't get my stuff together now she won't know. So time went by time went by now I say it was about September, September 6 of 2012. I woke up, and I didn't know what it was, you know, I don't know what made me want to do it. What made me want to take the steps, but I needed something different. At this point. I've know I need something different. Because if not, I'm going to be involved in other things, you know, in any faith, I need something to believe in. Because at this time, like, I don't believe in anything but money, you know, things like that. And I walked I walked from West Street to chemistry to the mass. And when I
got to the mosque, the doors open, I went in, then I didn't take off my shoes. I didn't know anything you know about taking off your shoes. And I went in there it was a brother in there named brothers savour older older guy, and he was vacuuming the floor. So he asked me, he says, What can I help you with? And I told him, I said, I want to take my Shahada. And he asked me, have you ever studied the Koran read Quran said no, but I talked to a dude who was Muslim and stuff like that. And, you know, I talked other people with some people saying, I can't be Muslim, because I drink and stuff like that. And when he told me is, you don't change everything about you, and then take your
shahada, you take your shahada and change the things that you want to change. So right then and there, I repeated after him and we I took my Shahada, September 6 2020 12, I took my Shahada, and I'm like, when I left the mosque, I wanted to feel new. So I asked him, Hey, you, I think I could wear and he gave me, he gave me a throw, but it was a two piece. And it was green. And he told me it was like 40 years old. And it was made it was like So like, if he had sewed it together. It was. So I took off I took off my I took off everything I had, like my shoes and my boxers and I threw everything in the garbage. Right, right at the my stuff. And I changed and I worked at the mouse
then I'm walking back to my my street, and it's nice. It's nice outside. So hey, by nobody knows me like
that. And I'm walking, I sit on my Lego. And they buy like white wood. And I'm like,
so I went up the street, whatever. And my dad or my dad was cutting the grass. And my dad didn't know it was me. And so I was about 10 feet in front of him. He was like, what you're doing? I became Muslim. And he was like, okay, so I went in the house, my mom, she's, she's crazy. You know, she's loud stuff like that. And I walked in, and she's like, Can I help you? And I turn around, they might ask me and she like, oh, and I told her like me? No. And she's like, what made you want to do this? You know, I was like, Mommy some different. No. And she told me if it makes you happy, then you do what you got to do. But don't get into some if you're not really gonna go all the way, you know. And
that really kind of stuck with me, because I knew that at the same time, I'm still I'm still young. I'm at this time. I'm 18 years old. And I knew that I can go outside and I could be two people in a way, you know, like, it's kind of weird. But I got a different response when I went to the corner stores with my friends, because their brothers knew that I was Muslim, but I was still doing haram. And when I go to the mosque, I have my head down like now, I hope you don't say no, but they never judged. You know, it would just be little things like you got to step on your deen a little bit more brother. And I knew what they meant by that. But I just paid off like in one day, one day, you know,
stuff like that. So as you say that, what would you say was your biggest struggle after becoming a muslim? You like I said, I still live in a neighborhood. So I still see, you know, people arguing people fight in the drugs, stuff like that. But at the same time, Islam definitely saved my life. I knew that one day out the week, I can get away from this, you know, because I didn't think about going to the mosque Monday to Friday, but I knew every Friday I can get away from this and I can go be around peace, you know, things like that I can get away from my pops in the house. Yellin, I was still, you know, dealing with my child's mother at the time and we wasn't married. Now that day, I
will say drinker, and smoker, you know, but I kind of felt that for the last six, seven years. I didn't do anything. I didn't pray, I didn't read no Quran. And you just got to grow, you know, so you have to want to do to change. So what made you want to change it and going back to the day, um, I wanted to take myself serious. And I felt like I'm telling myself lies every day where it's like, Oh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stop one day, I'm gonna stop. I'm going to stop drinking. I'm gonna stop smoking. Like it's like, when you want to go to the gym, you know, I'm gonna start Monday, I'm gonna start Monday. And it just that Monday just kept on repeating. You know, it was just, it was the
right thing to do. And I just felt like at the time, I have to take this more serious as anybody accepted Islam, because you are, you know, been introduced to a stone because my cousin, my cousin, Eric, so he's my cousin, but small like my brother. Probably two, three years ago, I was at home and there's a knock at the door. So I went to the door and it was my cousin before he could say that he started crying and I never see my cousin cry before you know, and he was like, you being the dad that you are and you're not in the streets. And I know that a lot of that is because you are Muslim and you try to do better
You know, it made me want to change and I'm like, you want to turn Muslim and he was like, I really did.
And I cried, because at the same time, it was like, I didn't think that the things I do around my cousin would ever take effect on his life. It was more of his life was taking effect on me growing up, cousin went to prison, I don't wanna go to prison, and my brother went to prison, I want to go to prison as a kid in our neighborhood. And if you didn't go to prison, nobody ever gonna take you serious. Like you had to go to prison. And like, you had to be in the streets, you had to sell drugs, like you had to, you had to play the devil's game to get respect and enable, and I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to be no parts of that. Um, so yeah, my cousin he took his Shahada.
He says off two things I did in the vibe I brung around him and his kids. And that made me feel good. That made me feel good. At that point. I was like, man, occupy termo household Muslim.
Yeah, I was cutting their grass and right next door to him for this lady, I gave him my number, you know? So we will talk a little bit here and there. I tell him to go to the Mashima No way, you know, just go to the mash and go do it. You know, if it's something that you like, you don't just come to the mosque, come sit there and be around the brothers. You don't have to come in and be like, Hey, can I gotta be Muslim to stand in the mosque and watch, you know, come and see how it is. And if it's something that you like,
just do it? Why should other people consider Islam, I could just go off what it did to me. Me, I needed Islam, I needed to change, I needed something different. And I want it to be different, anybody around me. And then it was just like, it was not a day at a time I went to the mouse and nobody was smiling. The religion is peace, and the religion will change you. And if you got it in your mind where you want to be Muslim, are you thinking about this? Do it the brothers are gonna welcome you with open arms. That's a beautiful thing, man. It's peace.
Islam his room. So do you think where we came from like the neighborhood the lifestyle and
you think this, that Islam is good for some guidance for others to come about? Because we see people going back and forth to jail or prison.
I got an old brother who went to prison did like 14 years came home Muslim, and he'd been doing it ever since. So Islam definitely changed. And it can change. A lot of people in our neighborhood a lot. Like, I know a couple of kids right now the neighborhood who they are outside, but when they see me they say salaam aleikum. And they know nothing about Islam. They just know that brother Jabril came from the same neighborhood we came from, he been around the same thing we've been around. And he could have took this path, but he took a different path. And that's because he Muslim. So I feel like Islam can change a lot of people in the neighborhood. I'm proud that, you
know, I can say that. I know somebody was young and got out of their life, you know, and came to the dean like me, you know,
it's a it's a good feeling, you know, didn't know that at least somebody you know, was alright, and they got out, you know, and they are in this way. And that's how I felt too. Like, I went to the mosque, and I've seen the brother smiling from ear to ear. But it felt good to go in there and know somebody. Yeah, I was happy man. You know, they see somebody that from the neighborhood that converts to Islam, because I'll tell you the truth. A lot of the Muslims I met was born into it. And it's not easy. It definitely wasn't easy, being Puerto Rican because I felt like we have to change your whole lifestyle. You know, whole way of living. Some people will take 10 years but at the same
time you still be on your deen and you still try to do things but fear may not be a Muslim. There's certain things that can cause conflict in the house. You know? Okay, this is the scenario today Jasmine, what would you hope your meeting what Allah will be like?
Allah knows everything. So Allah knows what I did wrong in my life. What I did good. I just hope that today my good outweighs my bed. By the jabroni ain't never me no Hall.
For evening he did and he was he was misguided. You know, I just, you know, I just hope that the good outweighs the bad.
Brother, thank you for coming on. Until next time, I salam o aleikum. Bronica la fake