How I became a Muslim TWICE – Hijrah 2 Allah Podcast with Brother Ibraheem
Channel: Tom Facchine
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I studied it because I didn't like it at first, you know, and that happens with some Christians, the culture of the Muslims that I knew I was like, I can't fit into that, you know, before it came into the Masjid. I really had not had a proper friend when you become Muslim like your slate is clean. So you're the the cleanest person in the room right now. salam Wa alaykum brother guanylate como slomo. Mattoon lunch. Good morning, morning.
So we'll get right into it to other people, which your name is and where are you from? My name is David and I'm from here in Utica. I've lived here my whole life. Okay, so what was your experience? Like growing up? We weren't too religious. My father was Gnostic. Not agnostic, but Gnostic like Gnostic Christians.
It's not a very well remembered part of Christian history, but they're actually a lot closer to the Christians before.
You know, before the Catholic Church, you know, kind of reigned supreme, there was a lot of different groups and the Gnostics were among them. They had different beliefs. And
my grandmother, his mother, has also Gnostic. And when she came with me to the masjid, once, she kind of said, like, you know, like, Oh, I know some of the stuff because of narcissism, we do similar things. But, you know, it was pretty normal in the house. I mean, we fought a lot, but it was nothing that was too odd.
At least in that sense, a lot of the problems that I had came from school, things like that, but the house itself was pretty normal. So did you always believe in God, or when I was young, even when I was in that kind of Christian family that even though they didn't go to church, you know, they, they believed a lot, you know, they were they were very, they had a lot of faith, even though that we didn't go to church or anything. When I was a kid, my father would tell me all these things, and he would read the Bible on his own. So he would kind of tell me these things, and about God and these things. And a lot of this stuff was more kind of his own interpretations of things, rather than you
know, you know, the sayings of this church or that church, it was a very personal thing like it is with a lot of Protestant Christians, mostly. And my mother was Catholic, but not very practicing. I didn't go to church when I was a kid. And I did believe when I was a kid, I certainly believed and I remember, I was very, I had very, very strong faith. We were taught not to use the Lord's name in vain. We were taught, you know, no swearing, I mean, it was very conservative in that sense. And when I started to go to middle school, when I started to have a lot of problems, and when I started to my life started to change a lot, I started to have this thought, you know, you know, everything
kind of felt like my life was falling apart. My mother got very sick at the time, that kind of compounded into the middle of everything.
I kept just thinking, you know, like, oh, well, you know, I always have God, I always have God. And I started my faith, so to get really shaken, because I just started to feel like something. And I think this happened, because it was this way for a lot of the people around me that it wasn't, maybe they believed, but it was something that they believed, but it kind of only came out when they were in trouble. It kind of only came out when you know, they needed something, you know. And I remember, no matter what happened, I always just thought, Well, I always have got and then I remember, I was sitting in history class, and the sixth grade. I remember the exact moment that had happened. I was
just sitting there. And I just started to have this thought.
It just struck me all at once. Like what if God isn't real, then everything else just kind of falls apart. And at that point, I was developing a serious anxiety disorder. Serious I was getting serious anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and that did not help.
That felt like my whole world crumbled around me everything that I understood, it felt like the school didn't support me as much. It felt like my parents were trying to support me but didn't really have any power to and after that. I was really considered myself an atheist for a very long time after that, what would change from you believing in God and you had the mindset of Is God real? I mean, one my mother was sick but to a lot of it was that I was going through a lot in school, I had a lot of issues even when I was in grade school and Jones
what it was manageable and I was getting very good grades and so everything would just kind of get pushed along.
And when I got into middle school, I
did not have many friends. I didn't have great social skills. I started getting bullied a lot.
I started to really, completely fall apart and after
getting bullied so much and realizing that the,
and realizing that the school really didn't have too much that they were interested in doing about it, you know, because of how things are in the US sometimes, you know, you know, kids get in trouble. And then someone does something and they say, Oh, well, you're both suspended that start to happen. And you know, when you're a straight A school student who takes pride in his, his academic skills, things like that, when you see the school is just willing to suspend you like that, just because there was an issue between you and some other students that, you know, not that they started something, but that they just kind of hit you out of nowhere, or, you know, they really started to
make me realize that the school system didn't care about me so much, you know, my family was having its own issues, because my mother was very sick.
And when I realized that the number one thing that held my life together, school really didn't matter to a lot of the teachers because the teachers in my middle school were not like the teachers at my grade school, you know, grade school teachers were all nice, and they liked the kids and then middle school that just, it's the younger teachers that don't have as much seniority, you know, that it's a very different situation, and that it was just sort of everything fell apart. And then that fell apart with it. Okay, so when was the first time you heard about Islam, and what attracted you to it? The first time I heard about Islam was when I was younger. It was actually I think, one of my
older brother's friends, was Muslim, and I knew nothing about Islam. I knew nothing about Islam. I knew from my father being pretty conservative. He watched Fox news a lot. He, you know, voted Republican, every single election, you would have never known he was a first generation immigrant. I mean, really.
But, you know, he, of course, I grew up, I was born 97. So I was just starting preschool when
the Twin Towers were hit. And the story that I heard from my father, is that he was sitting here, I think he was in the garage, at my house, with the radio on sitting with one of his buddies. And they heard the news. And remember, when they first hear the news, nobody knows what's going on. But my father immediately said, that said it started, he immediately immediately jumped to this is a terrorist attack. And he knew it was, you know, from the Middle East, he knew it was Islamic terror he knew. And so that was his first thought immediately. So he didn't have the highest opinion of Islam that was, you know, nobody else was really most people didn't have that as their first
thought. Yeah. And so when I met my friend, I mean, he was Bosnian. And he had a little bit of a different rules about it.
You know, he would say, you know, the food's fine, you know, you just say Bismillah, before you eat it. And so that was really my first exposure to Islam. But,
you know, I think maybe I had some sense, like the way he practices it isn't the way a lot of other people practice it. So I was very confused about it. But I did know that he was a very, very good, kind, caring brother out of all of my brother's friends, he was probably one of the most, if not the most supportive and genuine and honest, and that did leave an effect on me. But years later, I studied Islam a bit more, because
what what first happened was,
I was talking to my friend I became I became, you know, kind of one of those, you know, this happens to a lot of people that lose their faith, they kind of have a phase where they're very liberal, very atheistic, they're very, you know, listening to heavy metal music, watching a bunch of movies, painting, stuff like that, I had that whole face. And after that, you know, it was I got a little older, I started looking into things a bit more. And then I had a friend too, was pretty conservative. And he said, you know, like, we look, you know, like, a lot of this stuff is, you know, that that's happening today as we move further from Christianity. And he was able to pick out
he wasn't necessarily Catholic, but he had an affinity for the Catholic Church. And I knew from my education.
I knew from a little bit when I was younger, about the Catholic Church. When I was around that time, you know, in middle school, my grandmother passed away, my mother's mother, and that's when I started going to church and that's when I start going to the youth group. And that's when I learned about Catholicism properly and got a proper education and to some extent, we start going to church every Sunday. And, and that was by the time that it happened. I was already decided I didn't believe in God anymore. So it didn't work on me at that time. It was a delayed, you know, it was like a, you know, you take medicine, they say, wait a few hours. Yeah, it was a little late thing. So then I
started going back into church on my own. I started studying the Catholic church a lot and I just realized a lot of stuff and Catholicism really bothered me. You know, a lot of people if you ask them, you know, when they, you know, leave Catholicism either they become proud
Western or they become Muslim or something else, you know, you know, the big thing that they say is the Trinity. Things like that. It wasn't that for me.
I'm Colombian. My father came over here when he was when he was like three. He didn't even speak Spanish. I mean, he was, like I said completely westernized. And if you look at the history of the Catholic Church,
you see a lot of stuff. You know, a lot of people talk about the Crusades, things like that. There's a lot of other things. And when I, I remember looking, and I used to be in communities where, you know, online communities where people talk to each other, and talking to a bunch of Christians, and
there were Catholic priests, that were liberation theologists. I don't know if you've ever heard this term, but it's not the most famous part of Catholic history. But essentially, they were socialists. And they were politically active socialists. And the priests in Latin America, often supported them. I think, famously, Bishop Romero, I think in El Salvador, I can't remember exactly what country role, Giulia played him in a movie once. And they were essentially priests that openly supported socialist, but you know, the old school term would be partisans. And essentially, they got politically involved on the side of socialists. And as, you know, I kind of talked to the Catholics,
I knew about this. And I said, you know, these guys kind of supported communists.
And, you know, if you look at South America today, you know, the countries the region is still not stable. And I said, Why do you guys get the right
to send priests over from the Vatican, you know, with these ideas in their head, to fund to these groups not to fund them, but to directly participate in them? Like, why do you get to have that much political activity, but then when it comes to the United States, all of a sudden, are other regions, they don't want to get politically involved, all this other stuff is happening. And the Catholic Church has no comments on it, you know, and they never had a good answer for me. And a lot of it had to do with that. So then I became orthodox for a bit. So it was like this whole journey that a lot of Christians go through. And then I was Orthodox, I went to an Orthodox Church, and then I went to
Protestant church. And, you know, eventually, as I studied this, I started studying Judaism and Islam more. And the more and more that I studied at, the more I realized all of these issues I have, with all these Christian denominations, that doesn't exist in Islam. We know that we used to pray at set times during the day, in the days of the Jews, we know that the Christians used to do this. We know that the Christians don't do this too much anymore. Catholics say you should do it. But how many Catholics do it and, you know, when I realized that, you know, the prayer, you know, like not eating pork, like that I knew, but you know, I didn't realize that it was taken so seriously all
these things that I used to think, oh, Muslims do this, like the veiling. Women veiling when I realized that these were just Jewish Christian practices, I started to look at Islam differently.
But so when when did you realize Islam was the truth? Tell me about that. For years,
I was more and more attracted to it. And
I would talk about it with my friend were because we had a bit of a Christian background, we look down on it, you know, honestly, I don't I don't tell too many people to mustard that, but I really, I studied it, because I didn't like it at first, you know, and that happens with some Christians. And I studied it because I didn't like it. And the more I studied it, the more I realized, you know, that none of this really bothers me when I actually read and get proper answers, as opposed to, you know, talking to random people that said, they were Muslim about it, you know, when you read, and you read the historical rulings of the scholars and things and you realize how sensical it is, how
not just how sensical it is, but how reasonable it is, you know, all these different rulings that, you know, or just seemed like common sense. But, you know, you talk to random people, and they all have their own ideas, oh, you can't eat shellfish, you can't do this, you know. And
at a certain point, I got to a point where I realized that I was only interested in Christian denominations, based on how close they were to Islam. Because I didn't, I didn't think I could be Muslim. So I said, I'll do the next best thing. I'll be the Christians that are closest to Muslims. So it's just the silliest thing. But I really I really did that
for years, because I just felt like you know, you know, you know, the whole cultural, the whole culture of a lot of the Muslims. You know, I'm not saying that's cultural, but you know, the culture of the Muslims that I knew, I was like, I can't fit into that, you know, like, learning Arabic and doing all this stuff. And it just felt like too much. It felt like something I couldn't do. And there's not too many. I mean, there's Muslims here now, but it's not like, you know, it's not like a majority or anything. So I wasn't surrounded by practicing Muslims. It was just the one Bosnian I knew when I was younger and
Eventually, I think I got to a point where I was really low. And I walked, I had an issue at my house. And I just walked out the door in my socks, and just these little and just these little black socks, and it was raining. And I walked all the way from my house and South Utica. I walked all the way down Genesee to Court Street mustard. And I just It must have been 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock. And I just sat there, I had no idea how any of this worked. So I just sat there hoping that someone would come in and I would be able to talk to them. And I must have sat there for an hour, two hours. And I said, I don't know why. But I think I knew that there was another Masjid on Bleecker. They are the
West Bosnian. So I walked all the way. Once I realized no one was going there. I walked all the way to West Bosnian masjid, which I still have never been in. But I sat once I got there, I sat on the chair that's on the front deck, their front porch there, it was just a cat chilling out, because that's just the mustard has to have a cat near it at all times. So rule and nobody came there. And eventually I ended up just walking home. And
after that, I think I went and found an online community of Muslims. And, you know, I just kind of told them that, you know, how I felt and I've felt like I should become Muslim. Like I really wanted to at that point. And they said, You don't have to do it with people. You can just take the shahada and I took the Shahada. You know, basically, I think I read that you have to take a shower first, which I don't even know if that's true. So I took a shower, and I took the shahada in my room. And that was when I had the feeling. You know, when people say you take your shot, and you get that rush, it rush, you know that that wave just comes over you. I remember after that, I felt so
incredible. But because I didn't have anybody that I knew locally, I had no community, I was just sort of, I didn't know what to do. I just stopped eating pork for a bit. I wasn't really ready to tell my family and that was that was a few years ago. And I just kind of gave up but I would kind of come and look at Christianity again. And I would do the same thing. What Christians are the closest to Muslims, right? I was you know, I would grow my beard out and everything but I would just I wouldn't say that I'm Muslim, but I was still interested but it just felt like it was too much for me to to handle. So that happens for a few years on and off that I become a religious guy and then I
feel like it's too much and I ended up going to Morocco and did Morocco. I didn't have a good experience and I thought you know if this is what Islam is then that maybe it's not for me. And after that I didn't do too much for a while maybe a year and a half passes. And finally something happens and I just come into unica masjid and I walked in. And when I walked in, I hadn't spoken to people in months. I was I think you remember when I first came into the masjid I was pretty shy I didn't say all that much. I went in and somebody came up to me he was maybe five foot six
Somali and he had a goofy on I had no idea who this was. And he just came up to me. And he asked me what was going on. I told them that I you know, had done this but I've never really properly learned how to pray it never come into the masjid before. He was just smiling talking to me. And he just said, Give me a hug brother and he hugged me. And I remember when he hugged me for the first time. And do you know what I'm talking about?
And when he hugged me for that first time, I literally shivered because I hadn't touched anyone in months. I hadn't even spoken to people really let alone touched anyone. I was so overwhelmed. I could hardly speak and he got a bunch of brothers that were in the mustard at that time together. I think Molson was there at the time, I think maybe brother Ashraf a few other people. It was awesome. So, no, it was the hood. So there wasn't that many people. And I took my Shahada again, and
and I remember one of the brothers, it may have been mosun Actually, that said, you know, what, we told the other brother the other day, you know, when you when you become Muslim, like you're, the slate is clean. So you're the the cleanest person in the room right now, like you're the purest of us. And I remember that really stuck with me.
It came back later. And I think at the later prayer, I met you. And I remember you told me how to pray and I still remember most of what you said, I remember that you said if you're making a record and someone is coming in like you just hold it, which I never see people. But I do remember you said that and ever since then I've just become more and more involved in the masjid to the point that we're at right now. So how
Digital Life change after becoming Muslim?
Well, I feel like I became Muslim twice the first time it didn't. And then the second time, I think I when I met Muslims sometimes I would just kind of like the first time I would just sometimes meet Muslims and tell them that I was wants them to be like, Oh, you pray and be like, no, and then they'll be like, okay, so they didn't take it too seriously. The second time when I came into the masjid, it was really overwhelming change.
I think I've, I've told you before when I before I came into the masjid, I really had not had a proper friend. I maybe had one or two friends in 10 years. I mean, it's it's really
it's really, especially where we live hard to meet people hard to find people to do things with, especially if you're not
drinking anything like that. You know, social Yeah. Well, I mean, I was social life, you know? Yeah, I was sociable. It's just that I wasn't. I don't do the things that a lot of people new to could do. You know, which on delay law, but
when I came into the masjid, you know, I started to talk to the brothers more I started to meet the brothers more. I reverted. You probably don't even remember this one week before Ramadan? No, it was in the week. It was fresh air, right. I think I came in once. And then I didn't go in for like a week or two. And then I came back. And since I came back, it's Yeah, but when I came back, it was in the middle of Ramadan. And Achmed. I told I was having difficulties and I was concerned about these things. And I guess often it just called an audible and he just said, okay, because that day, I biked there. And he said, Let's get your bike in my car. And we spent 20 or 30 minutes sticking my
giant bike in the back of his car, you see, my bike is ridiculous. We had to like, you know, jam it in and turn the side of it. And then his kids had to get in, we had to pick up his kids dropped me off. And it's kids are just kind of sitting there like not buckled and just kind of like in the back. And he dropped me off. And he said, Okay, you know, you know when the next prayer is? I said, Yeah, you know, he said, you want to come for the next prayer. I said, Yeah, he said, I can pick you up. You don't have to because I told him, it's going to be a lot to bike all those times. I wanted to go five times a day. And he said, that's gonna be a lot. I'll pick you up for the next prayer.
And then he picked me up for the next Bernie said, Alright, the next prayer last prayer is you know Isha, but this time, he said, I'll pick you up. I think he said this, you know, and but basically, since that day, to the end of Ramadan, he picked me up at least twice or twice a day, to go pray at the masjid. And it was basically off mud, giving me a crash course and being Muslim. I mean, I just spend every day with him for the last month of Ramadan, or the month of Ramadan. And the last 15 days, I think, a few days before the last 10 days. He said, Alright, I'm off now. So then he started picking me up five times a day to go pray at the masjid. And I remember the first time that we did
all five prayers in the masjid, I was ecstatic. Because I had always that was always like a dream of mine for years to pray to even pray at the masjid once, but to do it all five times. And
you know, I ended up helping him with his computer and sort of helping we broke stuff and then we fixed
you know, I met you know, his family, his nephew. You came with us a few times we would go to the park. Anything that he did, I was just there for he just adopted me for that whole month. He showed me where all the halal markets are. We bought a job, you know, I got my goofy whatever. I started wearing it to the masjid. The first time I wore the job and the Koofi. Tom came up to me and he said You tricked me. I was like, Who's this new era brother.
So I started to meet the other brothers in the masjid. I showed up every night for Iftar I needed an effort to meet new people every single night. And then it got to a point where by the end of Ramadan, I knew most of the brothers in the masjid that regularly came on a first name basis. So being around the brothers coming to the masjid, did that help you navigate better? When I came back into the mosque? The first time I came into the Utica masjid, I was
I was beyond depressed. I was I knew I had to make a change. I knew I really was thinking if I don't make a change, I'm not gonna last very long on this earth. I was not okay.
I just threw myself. I really just threw myself at the mosta I just went and I said I just have to do this.
I was happy. It was again, I was having issues and stuff and I just said you know, you've wanted to do this for years. Just do it. Just do it. And I went in and I said whatever they want me to do, I'm just going to do it. I'm not going to question it. I'm going to just do everything that I'm told I'm just going to be as Muslim as I can as social as I can, you know, as much as I can be. And you know one thing I really
I says when you then this happens with a lot of reverts. And I think you talked in your video that you had kind of a period like this, when you become Muslim, before you have a proper Muslim community around you, it's very different. On one hand, you like having the community around. And on the other hand, there's definitely times where I wish I could go back to not having to be held accountable for things. Because it was just I was eating with my left hand, I was just, you know, like, eating what, not whatever I wanted. But, you know, I didn't know any of the rules about eating, I wasn't saying piecemeal. I mean, you know, it really helps me have a proper understanding
in the day to day manners and things that we do as muslims. But it also was like, oh, now I'm finally doing like, the real thing. It's like the difference between like, drawing for fun, and then drawing as a career. Yeah, I was thinking about this the other day, it's really what it's like, is, like, I liked being properly muscle for first time, but it became stressful, all of a sudden, now, you know, especially when you have to hit those five prayers. Like, it came at me all at once, because, you know, doing, you know, reverting and doing that in the middle of Ramadan, like, that's. So what was your biggest challenge after becoming Muslim? The biggest challenge to me, there's a lot
of challenges. And it really depends on what you take seriously, and what you consider the challenge to be, to me, the biggest challenge is making sure I hit all five daily prayers, because that's fun. That's, that's obligatory that That, to me is the number one thing because everything else, you know, you send and then you repent, whatever, you know, but as far as the five pillars go, you know, the only one that you regularly have to keep in mind, it's not like you're every second thinking, Oh, I gotta make cars, you know, it's not like every second, or every day, you're thinking, oh, there's a car, I gotta get that, you know, ever the only one that you're thinking about every single
day that you're continuously renewing his prayers, and hitting. And I only say this, because I know that there's other not just reverts, but born Muslims who struggle with it, as well as that, you know, you can be Muslim for a while, I don't know about yours, but you can be Muslim for an amount of time and still have trouble making sure you know, like, Oh, I gotta do this, you know, telling people like, making sure that they're aware, making sure you don't forget, you know, it's we don't live in a Muslim country, we don't live in Saudi Arabia, we don't hear the Adan every second, you know, and you know, making sure that you're in a state of voodoo and all that stuff is, that's
easily the most difficult thing. The second most difficult thing is probably just getting used to
getting used to interacting with people that have been Muslim their whole life, and also are from various Muslim countries with different cultures. And getting used to that and learning these people do this, these people do that? Because you can think, Oh, they're Muslim, and they're practicing, they're all gonna know, they're all still very, very different. And sometimes very culturally different. It went in ways that you have to keep that in mind when you talk to different people from different places. How did your family and friends react to your conversion? Well, the good thing about having no friends is they can't get mad that you're Muslim. Now. You just skip that one. You
know, all the rebirths have to deal with that when I didn't have to deal with that one. Alhamdulillah no friends to judge. So
my family has lived in the United States a long time, all of them. My mother is Puerto Rican. So she's always been American. And we've lived in Utica my whole life 26 years. And we had my Muslim friend that they had been exposed to that my mother know and
they just weren't okay with it. You know, a lot of the reverts they have stories, you know, not good stories of when they revert how their family reacts and you know, cutting off old friends and they still feel attached or things like that. Hamdulillah I didn't really deal with any of that. My family was pretty understanding.
My mother by
I was in school at the time,
online school, and when I first came to the masjid, I called my mother and I was standing on the front deck of the masjid. And I was nervous. I was nervous. And I called her and this is an I still had my old like, dumb phone that a no key I had. So I just call my mother. And I said, she's like, where are you? I said,
you know, among Campbell's Soup. She's like, What do you do in there? And I said, I'm at the mosque. She said, Okay. And I said, Yeah, I guess I'm gonna have to have less pork, because I didn't know how to say it. That's what I said. I guess I'm gonna have to stop and report. And she just kind of said, David, I don't really care as long as you do your schoolwork.
That was all she said. She said, Whatever you do, you know religion, that's your personal thing. That's you, you know, you do that, you know that she literally just, you know, was like, please just, you know, get your schoolwork done, and that was all she cared about. My stepfather didn't bother him. My brother didn't hear about it until later since I didn't talk to him for a little bit. And he just wanted to ask me about it. I mean, he was the one that had the Muslim friends. So he went
too offended. My
mother's family I don't talk to too much but my father's family, my uncles and aunts, and my grandmother, when they heard about it, they were all nice about it. And they've all been very nice, very supportive.
I mean, they've never said anything negative about it not not even once, I can't think of a single time that they were anything other than positive so that that was a blessing for sure. What would you say is your favorite thing about Islam?
How bad does it sound if I say the food
you know, there's, there's a lot of things I really love. I don't know that there's anything I love more than gulab jamun
and chicken biryani.
You know, really genuinely getting to be a part of something that is so multicultural in such a major way. People do tend to think of Muslims as a as a bit of a mono group like I did. And when you meet Muslims, you do realize that, you know, these ones are kind of, you know, these ones practice like this. And you know, it's being able to meet brothers from so many different parts of the world that all just treat each other like family. I think even before I came into the masjid, I was talking to a Muslim once and he said, you've joined the biggest family on Earth. Yes. And until I came into the masjid, I didn't realize how true that is. You know, when we go to Taj, I mean, it's,
we always give Salam to the brother there. I mean, you know, we go there all the time. We, you know, we and I always say, you know, I wish Muhammad could have been with us, whatever. Yes, we are, you know, we go anywhere else at the other night, I was at Brooklyn brisket.
I was with Brother Jamil and he was like a, you know, they had closed and they just let us in, you know, and we're just in there after the restaurant closed, we got some of the stuff before they throw it out, you know, we're just there talking to them. And it, it really the, the, the community, and the way that it really does, it doesn't just feel like a strong community. It is a family in a literal sense. I mean, you treat every brother and every sister I mean, you say brother and sister, I mean that that right there. You know, you know, like, when you're Catholic, it's like a brother is like, you know, a monk, a sister is a non you know, in Christianity, that's typically you don't
usually say that. I mean, Protestant sometimes, you know, but you know, when you say Brother, you know, when you say offski When you say off the you know, brother sister in Islam, like you mean it. Like you always treat everyone that way. Whenever anyone sees you and they know you're Muslim, they'll give you the salam automatically, even less religious, like less practicing ones, like always return the salam, like, you know, you can always talk to them a little bit like, it's, it's just an incredible feeling. You know, I was standing outside waiting for a ride in my throat once and someone just drove by, with the window rolled down. So said Assalamo, like, you know, like,
just, and I just, you know, gave it back like he was waving out the window. But that's literally how it is. I mean, what's your favorite thing about Allah? Mercy.
It's, it's, it's my favorite thing. It's also the hardest thing for me to understand. I think a lot of Muslims not just reverts, but a lot of them. It's hard for us to understand Tao, Allah can have these standards for us. And
even when we don't meet them, we're still Muslim. We're still capable of being forgiven. You know, he still loves us. It's just the strangest, it's, it's hard for me to understand. It's my favorite thing. And it's just the thing I have to remind myself all the time, because I just, you know, especially more when I was new, less. So now it's starting to really settle in.
But when I started, I just felt like I'm just doing this because I'm supposed to, you know, I didn't the faith wasn't strongly there yet. I just felt like this is, you know, this is the truth. I know that this is the truth, I know that this is the way that I should live my life. This is but it didn't that really that real full understanding and faith and a lot didn't hit me yet. It started to hit me now. And, you know, it really is
more than anything, you know, just, you know, comforting to know that he's there.
He knows everything that's going to happen, everything that you're doing is already been planned, you know?
Everything you know that you need to know he's already told you. You know, that's that's the that's the other thing is, you know, giving us revelation, like we're not expected to figure anything out. I mean, within reason, you know, we take the rulings and we take what we see in the Quran and you know, we figure out to some extent, what it means but you know, when mostly when you look at the Quran, when you look at, you know, the Hadith and things, you know, the life and narrations of the Prophet, peace and blessings upon them, you know, you just see
they tell you everything you need to know. You know, it's really just up to you
It's up to you to listen and do it. And it's, that's probably my favorite thing is that he was he was there. He knows that we're forgetful. And he's just always there to remind us. What is one of your favorite ahaadeeth?
Oh, there's so many.
You know, there's been times before where I just sit there going through Sahil Bahati.
I think one of my favorites that comes to mind often and I often quoted to non Muslims as well is that the Prophet peace and blessings upon him, came upon a man in the desert with a camel.
And his camel was not tied down. And I rode camels in Morocco. And if you don't tie them down, literally, they tie him down at the you know, at night, and they go to sleep, whatever. And I remember them saying this, the people I was with in Morocco, saying, if you don't tie them down, they'll be halfway across the desert in the morning, they cover so much they move so fast. And the Prophet peace and blessings upon them said,
you know, why isn't your camel tied down. And the man said, I have faith in Allah. And the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, replied to him, tie your camel down, and then put your faith in Allah, which there's other narrations too. But my favorite narrations are all the ones that show off how human he was, how reasonable he was, and how much he was capable of talking to people in language that they understood. So he was he, he was always supportive. He wasn't negative about things. But he was always capable of correcting people and letting them know what they needed to know. It's sometimes very down to earth ways. And that was one of the narrations that I remember that just
stuck with me, it was a real person, he just went around, he went talking to people, and he would just talk to them and you know, just tell them things that, you know, that's something you could imagine your dad saying, you know, I mean, like, that he was a real person. And he wasn't like, you know, some of the stories you see in the Bible of how they speak and it's all very, you know, grandiose, like, he didn't speak like that. So to do your part, right, but to trust in Allah? Is that something that resonates a lot in your life? Now, it's a balance keyword. Because I think we all the entire Ummah has this issue that we look. And we almost we feel like we have to separate the
two. Because watching a video, I think, last night the night before? No,
no, mon Ali Khan, Ali Khan, he's very famous. And he was talking about people learn, you know, people come to him and they say, Oh, I wish I could, you know, study Islam do something for Allah, you know, you know, improve the deen, you know, do Islamic studies like he did. And, you know, they're architects or engineers, and, you know, like, you know, or they're, you know, mathematicians, whatever they are, and they're very, you know, they're doing very well in their fields are doing making good money, and he's just kind of made a point of like, Why do you think that this isn't a part of being Muslim?
You know, why do you think that this isn't a part of your deen, that you're working that you're, you know, like growing society, that you're supporting your family that you're, you know, doing all these things? Like, you know, like, You got married, you had kids? Like, is that something you did for a law, like he told us to do that? You know, it's, it's hard for us to balance, I have faith, and I want to do something to make these things happen. But I don't want to assume that I'm the one making them happen. And that's why whatever we do, even the smallest of things we say in sha Allah to remind ourselves, it's not up to us. You know, we're facilitating things. We're pushing things
forward in our own way. But it's, it's Allah working through us. It's not, you know, it's not us being you know, it's not us doing anything. We're all just kind of the chess pieces. Why do you think non Muslims should learn about Islam? I think that
Islam is a more important part of the world than a lot of people understand. It's certainly a bigger part of the world than I understood. I think for a lot of us in the West, especially those that aren't in major cities, you know, the New York City and Dearborn in Dallas, you know, people are aware of Islam, and they are aware of how important this is on the global stage. You know, especially in Europe, as well, but a lot of Americans that are in major metropolitan centers, you know, even in Utica, like they don't have that much experience with it. And it just is some foreign thing. They don't realize that what is the 2 billion people on this earth, like a solid chunk of
people on Earth are Muslim? And, you know, they even if they hear that, they're gonna say, Yeah, well, it's just their parents are Muslim and their grandparents. It's just not like a cultural thing because a lot of people, especially those raised in the West think that you know, the people in the East
You know, Middle East or Southeast Asia and Malaysia, Indonesia, like they look at religion probably the same way they do, or a lot of Americans are like, yeah, it's historical. And it's a big part of our culture. And there's important lessons to be learned. But we don't take the whole thing and keep the whole thing. You know, they always have this kind of Western secularized way of looking at things, and they don't realize that a lot of people in Islam, especially in the Middle East, in the subcontinent, but even a lot of the ones that move here, are, you know, they really believe this. I think that that's maybe the most important thing for non Muslims to understand is, these people
really believe this, we really believe this, we really, you know, do these things, you know, we say Bismillah, before everybody, you know, we, you know, we sit down and take water and three sips at a time, you know, we fast during Ramadan, like, we really believe it's not just this thing that we do, because our parents told us to things like that, you know,
it's, it's a major, major point of human history, it's one of the most important things to ever happen to humanity, even if you look at it, like from a purely, purely secular point of view. Like I was just reading, I think, last night or the night before, you know, Saudi Arabia, you know, the whole goal was under Roman control for a long time, like people forget, like, North Africa, other parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, you know, Persia, and, you know, maybe not as much Persia, but the Gulf, like North Africa, like that was all Byzantine controlled, Roman controlled. You know, before that it was maybe Macedonia, you know, I mean, that's Alexandria in Egypt, that's Alexander the
Great, you know, if it wasn't for Islam, we'd still see, the West dominate. I mean, we do see it dominate the world to some extent, but we'd still see that that's, that would be the only history on Earth that we would ever learn about, we'd learn a little bit of stuff about China, we, you know, get one day in school about ancient somewhere. And then the rest of everything that anyone on Earth learns about would just be ancient Rome, and Germany, and England and things like that. If it was, even if you're looking at it, from a strictly secular point of view, Islam is one of the most important things to ever happen. All of a sudden, in a very short span of time, Rome leaves the
Gulf, like Rome has no control over the Gulf, Rome, loses control over the holy land even. And then they try and take it back. They tried it four times to take it back. And that kind of went decently and then it went very poorly. And I you know, and,
you know, besides the secular part, like, we believe that this is salvation, we believe that this is the truth.
We believe that, you know, we also believe that there was, you know, legitimacy at one point to the other people of the book to the Jews, to the Christians, a lot of the people in the West don't understand that, that, you know, we have, we have a tolerance and acceptance of them. You know, when you talk to Christians, Christians have a very different opinion about how you handle people of other religions, even if their god fears, you know, they Catholics, especially, you know, we got freedom of religion, you know, people say, Oh, that's massive, people don't really think about what what does that mean? Well, what it means is that in Europe, if you even believed something
different, not if you practice something different, but if they thought that you believed something different, other than Catholicism other than orthodoxy that was enough to try you, that was enough to put you on trial to, to convict you to have you killed. It wasn't even what you did. It was just that you had a misunderstanding about the Trinity, or that you had, you know, a disagreement about
the the philia okay, that that was that was the split between the Western and Eastern church within Catholicism and orthodoxy was one line of the creed that they that was enough for them to go at each other's throats for the rest of human history. But yeah, it's, it's an entirely alternative worldview, that, you know, shapes the way that an entire region of the world lives, essentially. So think of this scenario is today judgment and what would you hope that your meeting with Allah would be like, my first hope
he's happy to see me that's that's that's my first stop. That's my first thought.
You know, when you have this thought of you walk up to someone and you can almost see on their face that we don't you know, we don't imagine the face of Allah. But you know, my first thought is I want to have some indicator before there's any speech before anything is said
you know, that those that there's some positivity in him towards and of course, there's positivity and um, towards me, but
You know that there's that there's somewhat of a positive outcome of this.
All I would want is that I'm forgiven.
And from that, I don't have too many things that I would want other than maybe to be able to spend time in paradise with the Prophets peace be upon them and with the angels. And you know, in sha Allah if I have a family than to spend the time and
Gianna with my family and with the brothers, masha Allah, may Allah accept it, and make us the people who join me mean so that's that's pretty much it. Thank you for joining us. Make sure you like and subscribe to the channel. Until next time I salam Wa alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Baraka lafay