Orthodox Christian Wanted to Debunk Islam & Bobby’s Perspective

Tom Facchine

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The speakers discuss their past experiences with Islam, including their desire to seek a spiritual spiritual upon their spiritual journey and their past experiences with the dollar. They emphasize the importance of obeying the creator and not doing things that are not in line with his values. They also touch on the topic of faith and the physical presence of the spiritual body in Islam, as well as losing one's life after a death by a family member and the importance of learning to become a Islamist. There is also discussion about shady practices and losing one's life after a death by a family member.

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Bismillah Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala schoffel mbi. Almost Selena being pulled out to Mohammed Ali Abdullah Saleh was Qatar Salim.

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Welcome everybody, our viewers, and we have a very special guest with us today. Bobby, who runs an excellent YouTube channel with a lot of interesting content, please check them out, subscribe, and give them a listen. And we're here to talk about Islam because one thing I didn't have a ton of time to check out all of your content, Bobby, but I did get through some. And you got a lot of really interesting stuff up there. And it seems like you have

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you have positive feelings towards Islam

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without being a Muslim yourself at this point in your life. And so I was just curious and was hoping that you could talk a little bit about what are the things that you kind of see as positives about Islam are things that kind of impress you or left an impression on you about Islam? And we'll start with you and not me, because I'm sure I'm gonna have kind of my own thing. So once you once you get going. Sure, sure.

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What impressed me about Islam? That's a very good question I would have to answer. What impressed me about Islam is what I expected to find within my own faith, the worship of one God, that is maybe surprising to the Muslim viewers because they surely know that they worship one God, and they know that Islam is about pure monotheism. However, I growing up as a Christian, I thought that we are all monotheistic in the purest sense, the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims. I thought there is no main difference in worship of God. Other than that, we have our guy, Jesus, and the Muslims have their prophets, which is Mohammed, I thought that's the main difference. And of course, I thought

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that the Muslims are the bad guys, because they do not accept Jesus. That was my perception, right? So then finding out about Islam, finding out that Jesus is a big part of Islam as well. And finding out about total heat, the pure monotheism that is found within Islam. And right now in my research, I would have to say, probably only found within Islam.

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I got quite impressed with that. So there will be the biggest positive, if you want to call it that within the religion. Other than that, what is extremely impressive is that Islam still has the family structure intact, like no other faith. I will say that you cannot find it in any other faith. I would like to say that it is the same way within Christianity. Unfortunately, it is not. I saw that growing up Christians, unfortunately, do not take their faith serious anymore. But at the same time, I have to say researching it myself, how would you if there is no real law in place? Right. So this is what I respect about Islam, that there actually is a law in place. If you look at it from

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the outside perspective, at first, it might sound strict. And that is just the obvious because we are all growing up in secularism in liberalism, and therefore it seems as very, very strict and outlandish at first. But then when you start actually looking into your own faith, and you are seeking God, and you understand that there is the law of God, and you read the Old Testament, and then you see it in Islam, then it becomes very, very compelling.

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That's yeah, that's, that's very interesting. I have similar reflections, maybe give us a little bit of background about your religious upbringing, like, you know, because there's different types of Christianity. So what sort of were your because because one of the interesting differences that I noticed is that me growing up, and maybe this is because we're, I grew up in the United States and not,

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not elsewhere, I had no sense of Islam, like Islam was completely off my radar 100%. And until 911 happened, funny enough. And so, but you know, everybody has different sort of sensibilities about their faith that they grow up in. So what was sort of your experience? Which particular church or or, you know,

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flavor of Christianity, were you were you sort of brought up in? And the other question along with that is, did you have a sense of the Trinity growing up, because that's a common thing. And that's the thing that I experienced as well as what it wasn't really something that I thought about, you know, and then when I started thinking about it, then it became obviously very problematic. So maybe you can share with us some things like that. Absolutely. So I've been baptized as Orthodox Christian. That was during the time of communism, so the Yugoslav Republic was still communist. Religion was essentially out a lot. So I was baptized within our flat at that time, churches were

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closed mosques were closed. They say

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Have applies to countries like Albania, which is directly on the border to Macedonia when my parents are from

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Albania, a lot of fun fact was the first atheist republic in Europe, and now is a Muslim country. So yeah, I was baptized secretly as Orthodox Christian. But as such, we never really heard about the Trinity.

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Even though Orthodox Christianity would be the representation, if you will, of how Christianity is supposed to be, it adheres to the Nicene Creed. My parents always told me that there is a one God and there is Jesus, the son of gods, right?

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I grew up believing that I'm a Christian. I grew up believing that Macedonians are Christians. By default, this god given, my father would always say, we are made Christian by God, and the Albanians, or the Turks, those are our neighbors, they are made Muslims by God. And that's it. And

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on top of that, we have a long history of the Ottoman Empire. And that left the stain on the Balkans. So they always say that we've been under the oppression of the Muslims and we freed ourselves finally, so the Muslims were always the enemy. Christians versus Muslims. Slavs versus Turks. Slavs was Albanians. And this is how I got to know Islam ultimately, as something violent, something that was the opposite to our good culture, to our good upbringing to our righteous people. That's how I perceived it growing up.

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Ultimately,

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I went through a time in my 20s, where I kind of fell off my faith. Not that I was very practicing. I would go to the church, maybe on Easter and then on Christmas, but nevertheless, the identification was there. However, in my 20s, I dabbled with Buddhism, Hinduism, the new age and psychedelics as well, certain things like that, or you went to the Amazon jungle to drink certain Bruce with the shamans allowance, wow. Shamans, thought that this is the holy grail. At that time, I was convinced that all of a sudden, the Christians were the bad guys, because the conquistadores went to South America, and they got rid of all that shamanism, ultimately, they saw it as

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witchcraft. And so I thought, this is where the truth lies. We've been deceived by our own people. And so I dabbled in that. But after a while, I felt very unsatisfied with it. Three years or so, I felt empty, I felt essentially lost all of my spiritual experiences

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left me just feeding my ego, I felt as if I was the Enlightened guy, I felt because I had certain spiritual experiences, I was better than others, the normies, the NPCs. And I have a view on this universe that nobody else has. So I felt lost. I started researching. And naturally, I started researching into my own faith, the faith of my people, so to speak, Christian orthodoxy. However, I was the first one in my family to actually research it to actually look into the theology. And this is when I stumbled a lot. The Trinity. As I said,

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there was a funny scene. And it just happened roughly two years ago, after researching so much, I went to my dad, and I said that, have you ever heard about the Trinity? As a trinity? What? I said, Yeah, you know, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and they are three persons, but they are one God. And he looked at me and said, This is the craziest thing I've ever heard.

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What is they believe? Then they deserve what is coming to them? Wow. Is it whose day?

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The Muslims No, oh,

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no, no, no, no, no, no, that's us, actually. And usually, when I tell my dad something, I mean, I'm always the son, right. So he will listen to it. And then he will discard it. Talk about something else. The next day, he came back to me again with his phone.

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And show me again, that here, yeah, the Trinity. I looked it up. It's the craziest thing. How does this make sense? So it really actually affected him. And many people within the Orthodox faith that knew me that knew my channel. Once I started exploring Islam. They actually started pointing the finger and said, Yeah, sure, is if a Orthodox Christian doesn't know about the Trinity and just finds out about it in his later years. But this is really what is going on, especially on the Balkan, I've seen it

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99% of the population going to make a bold claim. They do not know anything about the Trinity. They all believe that God is one and that's it. And they believe in Jesus as the Son, whatever that means, right? That's a very similar experience. In North America, I think, you know, for the vast majority of Christians, the Trinity isn't on their radar, and then the people who kind of taken

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Deep Dive,

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then it becomes a problem, right? Because it is like a lot of mental gymnastics or philosophical gymnastics. Recently, you know, I had, I've been doing some reading in preparation for an article that I'm supposed to be writing

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about where these influences came from. I don't know how much you've studied, you know, Greek philosophy and Neo Platonism, in particular. But there's, I had no sense of how influenced the early church fathers were by Neo Platonism. And basically saw it as so true. And the Greek philosophers is so obviously true that they felt the need to have to square you know, and, and, and reconcile Greek philosophy and particularly Neo Platonism, with the Bible, the New Testament, the teachings of the Church, because when, when you when you read kind of the there's this whole idea of emanation, okay. So it's like you have this, this one absolute, indescribable, God, let's say, and then from that

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emanates a universal soul, which is like the logos, and then from that emanates all of our individual souls, and when I was right, and then everybody's sort of

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task in life is to try to transcend where they're at and return back to the place where, from where they emanated. If you're interested, there's a really yes, there's a really good book by Mark Sedgwick, called Western Sufism. And He traces the influence of, among other things he does in the book, it's a really interesting book, he traces the influences of Greek philosophy, through Islam, through Christianity, and also through Judaism, and shows how it kind of left that stamp. And

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long story short, I mean, is that basically Christian theology was almost completely overtaken by this outside paradigm. Whereas in Islam, it was very much a contested thing. And you have different sort of camps, and some particular individuals that tried to fight back against it, like no causality, and an even take me, that's a story for another day. But I always I always found that fascinating. And I had the same sort of thing. You know, like, when I grew up, so I grew up, my, my father's Catholic, and my mother's Protestant. So I grew up in between the two, I went to both.

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And no real sense of the, of what I was supposed to believe, even though we stand up and say, the apostles creed, or the Nicene, creed, or whatever it is. But then when I became a teenager, yeah, I started questioning things. And along maybe the same lines of things that you've felt.

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Also feeling like it just it wasn't very thick, like the whole practice of what we were doing was showing up once a week or seeing some songs. And I always was attracted to the monastic tradition, because it just made intuitive sense to me that if we're going to have a relationship with our Creator, like, let's be serious, right, that's like, Let's actually put some work in. It should be, it should take more than just showing up once a week, and singing some songs, to have a meaningful relationship with my Creator. And I kind of tried to figure out like a Christian way to do that in a different a few different ways. But I kept on running into dead ends and hitting walls and,

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and the kind of, I wasn't really giving, I wasn't really getting anything from the church leaders or from the elders or anything like that. And so what my conclusion basically, and so a few other things happen, but I

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very much rejected Christianity like and religion entirely. Say, when I was when I was a teenager, I became an atheist. I thought religion was stupid. I thought religion was dumb. I thought, people who believed in God, were just believing in fairy tales, and the sort of thing until, you know, eventually I got exposed to Islam later on. But I want to pause before before that, because there was something that you said, that really interests me, and that is the interest in shamanism and Buddhism. And these are very familiar to me as well. And people that I've, that I, in my circle, I guess, I think for for, if we can say that there's something such as a Western person or a western

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mind that maybe there is maybe there isn't. But you know, Europe and America, there's something very attractive about Buddhism and Far Eastern religions, and also shamanism. And I want I want to think about what that is, because I had I had a actually a couple weeks ago, I had a zoom call with some other person here in the United States that was considering

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accepting Islam, but they were like, well, I really, really liked Buddhism. You know, like, Well, yeah, Buddhism is nice, right? It seems to be the first place to go for religious seekers and people

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You're trying to figure it out like the Buddhism, the shamanism, Taoism, right. It's another.

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I was wondering if you had any reflections on that, and why, why do we think that's true?

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I read a book, back in the day when I was deeply into Christian orthodoxy by a man called Father Seraphim rose. And he reflects upon the New Age and called it the spirit of the ages.

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He talked about essentially, it being an infiltration effort almost of Hindu practices and Buddhist practices, swapping over to America, and posing essentially as some sport, or some exercise, but ultimately a inverted worship of certain gods, right, so the deities laws yoga, with all the worship of deities doesn't function. However, I believe that if we're talking about the Western mind that the grass is always greener on the other side. And we believe that we can reinvent the wheel in a sense, because it didn't really lead to a mass conversion to Buddhism or Hinduism or Taoism, it led to the new age, it led to cherry picking. And this is in the nature again, of those times, because

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people don't want to really commit to anything they want to pick and choose. First, they start picking and choosing within their own religion, and then it goes further and they start chopping cherry picking yet again, in other religions, other movements. This is where you have those new age type of characters like an egg or taller, the power off now, which is taken off Taoism, Buddhism, etc, etc, you name it, and then kind of washed down watered down for the Western audience. I think that is very attractive to not commit to something as thoroughly. And it is very attractive when that doctrine at the same time doesn't judge you. Right? Because the Abrahamic faiths, they have a

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strong judgment, if you will, right. They are so bigoted, all of our new worldview. And the Buddhist worldview does not have that laws. As just Namaste, whatever works for you, you can meditate a little bit. And no judgement, next time you're going to be born as something greater or something worse depends on how nice you are. And as long as you don't hurt anybody else. It's the golden rule, bro. Everything is nice. So maybe that is a very simplistic description of it. But at the same time, I think that this really holds true for our society nowadays, we don't like to commit. And we like to choose. Yeah, that's profound. And there's a there's an aspect and you mentioned that too, with

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your own personal narrative about the preservation of the ego, right?

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Somebody, I used to work on farms, a lot of people don't know that. And it was, it was great work, I really enjoyed it. And I had one co worker that, you know, lived in a commune and like, didn't under self identified as a Buddhist and things like that. And another co worker, that was very much not that. And the co worker that was very much not that accused the Buddhist guy one day of something and just made me laugh. And I think it really sums up something very, very well, he says, he said, humbler than now, they said, I'm tired of your humbler than thou attitude.

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And I liked that phrase, because it can capture how people can try to show off and anything and even demonstrations of humility can also even be a preservation of the ego. Right? If we're, if it's with this competition and things like that, I also, you know, I've done a bit of reading, and I really need to get back to it and, and further it and make it what more well known, there's a really fascinating thing that happens when religion comes to the Western United States, because you have a lot of people, especially in the United States, because we're so far away from everybody else, right? It's like if you get some sort of Hindu guru, or Buddhist monk or something like that, that

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comes to the United States, you know, especially earlier, especially like in the 50s, or the 30s, or even even before that. They're taken as like the authority and they're taken as like, just, you know, 100% transparent, and this is what the tradition has always been, and Westerners are unaware that these that a lot of these people, there's some of them that are complete frauds and phonies. Okay, that's one thing. But then there's others of them that are actually engaging in a process of changing their tradition. Significantly, to make it more powerful, palatable towards Western readers like tick not Han is one one person that I'll single out, you know, very, very popular in the West

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he had a run his whole commune in France,

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published in English extremely popular, and yet his for

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The more that I've, it's been a while. But when I was researching Buddhism seriously, a lot of his views are not orthodox Buddhism, right. And so you get an ad, I actually I read a couple of articles about the appropriation of Buddhist missionaries, as it were coming to the west and adopting the language of science, right. So there was this actual effort to sideline all the aspects of Buddhism that were very otherworldly, or even even the aspects of Buddhism that, that talked about a deity or a possible deity there are, you know, there's Theravada, and Mahayana, there's different traditions of Buddhism. And some of them actually have a concept of a deity, right. And then other sort of

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supernatural beings and things like that. So there was an actual process, when presenting to the west, to sideline all of these things, and to present it as Buddhism as a science of the soul. And if you go to any song, as in, in North America, at least the ones that are popular with, you know, with, with Western people, then you're going to hear a lot of talk about well, this is just observable fact, this is just what it is like if you do this, and this is going to happen like and so it's not about the unseen, or it's not about divine inspiration, or it's not about these sorts of things. This is just science, it's just a science of the soul. So a lot of Westerners are not aware

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of the ways in which the traditions get repackaged and told in a different way that's not necessarily authentic to them. And they can't even differentiate between what is an actual tradition and use the word inversion. And inversion is a really powerful term, a lot of perennial lists sort of thinkers use. And it's useful because an accurate because it describes something that is supposed to be you know, edifying, and it's supposed to be a traditional, like the, you know, the Eucharist and the and the the salah for Muslims, and, you know, yoga meditation. And it's perverted, right, it's inverted into something that is completely decontextualized. From its tradition, from all of

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the sort of like cosmology behind it, and the religious ideas and the practice, right, like, like, if you're a serious Buddhist, you're not going to be like, like, the people crack me up in here in the United States, it's like, they'll go to a bar on the weekend, and get hammered, right, and then go sleep around, and then they're gonna go to their yoga and meditation class in the morning. You know, it's like, if you're an actual Buddhist, it's like, you better be shaving your head and wearing the orange robes. It's like, you better be going to the monastery and putting in like, that's actual Buddhism. And like you said, we know it's when it just becomes cherry picking minutes

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really not about Buddhism, or Taoism, or these this or that. It's about the ego and the preservation of the ego. And just selecting things that are in the service of the ego, the humbler than now I get to feel like I am doing some sort of great thing and this progress, but in reality, it's just sort of patting my own sort of admiration of myself. That's a very, very scary thing. So how did you if you don't, if you have any reflections of please jump in, but I'm

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interested in how you you got, I had a, you know, leaning towards those sorts of things as well. And I think most Westerners do for the reasons that you cited.

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And also for perhaps other reasons, I think also that Westerners, they overcorrect. When we have sort of certain deficiencies that come from Christianity, we might overcorrect in a certain way so that a lot of the Eastern traditions and this is a conversation I had with this one person on Zoom. Like he really, he really, he felt wounded spiritually, of feeling separated from everything and feeling like this very Anthro po centric sort of life and the human beings are to dominate. And we're, you know, to the resources and nature and these sorts of things. And it's almost like his leaning towards Far Eastern spirituality, or what he understood is that was an overcorrection, where

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he's like now, now I am one with everything. Right now, I am the tree and I am the animal and I am you know this and we're all part of each other. So it's almost as if going to one extreme setup or sets up going to the other extreme, when Islam is all about balance. So any thoughts you have on those sorts of things, and then also interested in how you came out of that, and how you eventually started

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exploring or drifting towards Islam, given given your direct experiences, and that's a test that's a testament to your character that you didn't just read the books in the comfort of your own library or star

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works. You went to the Amazon, you like did these things like, like, that's very, very impressive. So how did you invest so much and sacrifice so much towards that in that direction and then and then switch gears?

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Okay, there's a lot to unpack there. For this, I will have to dive deep because all of this happens roughly 10 years ago 2011 I was 24 years old. I was making some good money. At that time, I was pretty materialistic. I got myself a nice floods, I got myself a nice car race bike. And I didn't have to work a regular job. That's all I'm going to say here. So what I did is I started partying a lot to multiple women. And then I got into drugs as well, during that time party scene.

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During that time, I felt I'm living the best life I can potentially live. This is the pinnacle of what it means to be human, absolute liberation of all dogmas, I am absolutely free, is it? What happened then is that I got very, very sick. One night, I started developing a fever, roughly 40 degrees Celsius. I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit. And I found myself on the couch of my parents again, because I didn't know how to help myself. My mother is a nurse. So I left my floods, I drove over to their place, and I ended up on the couch.

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Let's talk roughly a week.

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Fever didn't go away. My mother tried to heal me somehow didn't help. And all of a sudden, I started noticing that my right leg started to get inflamed. So swelling, swelling, I started swelling. In the end, it was almost double the size of my left leg.

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At this point, I'm really wondering what is wrong with me. So we go to the hospital, of course, and the Western medicine couldn't really help me.

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What happens then is I go from one doctor to the next from one doctor to the next half a year, they tried to heal me and they diagnosed me with an autoimmune disorder. So yes, please be more vague. They don't know which autoimmune disorder it is they don't know how to heal it, right. So they try the best, nothing works. This is how I initially start to look at the other sites, I start looking into yoga, I start looking into Buddhism, I go to acupuncture, I started going to follow in Darfur, which is a Shi Gong practice, which allegedly heals the body from China, I started doing those things. And they helped a little bit maybe, maybe it was just time. But ultimately, I was still

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sick. So this whole period of being sick lasted over a year. And at this point, I'm losing all the women that I see, obviously they don't want to see me anymore, because I cannot do anything I cannot get out of bed essentially, I'm limping at this stage and dragging my leg behind me crippled report, I lost my income. And I had to sell many, many things off my flight I kept but it stayed empty. And I'm staying at my parents house, right totally shattered. So all of that that I accumulated was gone. And I was left alone. Ultimately, all of those people that I used to see all of the friends, they were gone, just my closest circle.

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And so during this time, needless to say, I got so depressed that I actually wanted to end my life.

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I couldn't do it anymore. At this point, I wasn't even set. I just wanted to leave this earth on my own terms. I said I had this image in my mind, which is of course coming from my ego. I had this image in my mind how a man is supposed to be. I'm this guy that is the light of the party and this guy with many women, I'm this guy with money. And I'm not going to leave this memory of me here in this world. I'm going to take my life by myself at least this decision that I can still make. Right? So this is a period of absolute darkness for me. Everyday just rage everyday just depression. God forgive me and my parents as well. This when I started screaming at my parents punching walls are so

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severely sick.

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And this is when my best friend came to me and started talking about shamanism. At that point, I just laughed it off. And I said

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Listen, man, my party lifestyle the drugs here they brought me to this point where I am and now you tell me about some Bushmen in the Amazon jungle that are doing drugs. They're high off their minds, and they see Gods and this will save me absolutely ridiculous. Stay away from me with this stuff. But he kept on insisting kept on insisting kept on insisting

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and I started Googling a little bit and then I found a mushroom grow box, do it yourself.

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I had no interest in I just knew that his birthday was coming up. So I bought this box for him. So he would shut up about it. Right

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So I bought this box, his birthday came around, I gave him the box for his birthday. He thanked me. He said, wow, that's the best present ever so amazing. I said, Yeah, whatever, take it, leave it, leave me. Don't talk about it anymore. Have fun, go trip, bro, whatever.

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So he started growing those mushrooms. And this point, I forgot about it get even more depressed. And this is no joke. I know, it sounds like something out of a movie or making stuff up was really true.

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I'm standing on a bridge in my hometown. And I want to jump off that bridge. And I went there a few times before, but today is the day I'm going to do it. I'm standing on the bridge, I'm getting prepared. On that note, I'm really afraid of heights. So I thought this would be an amazing way to end it. Because now I'm going to jump and what can I fear of heights as well. So I'm standing on the bridge, standing on the bridge, and all of a sudden my phone rings. And of course, it's my best friend. Just before I want to jump. And he calls me and he tells me, bro, what are you doing? I totally depressed. I'm on board to jump. So he says no, no, no, don't do that. Man. The mushrooms

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already.

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Say what kind of good news is that? Why would I care? I want to jump to it. And he tells me, You know what? You can do that. But why don't you just jump tomorrow. Just take the mushrooms today. You never did it in your life. Try it out, experience it. And then tomorrow, you can still jump.

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So now I'm going to spare you the trip. You mentioned something there I am one with a tree, etc, etc. Yes, very similar to that, right. But aside from the psychedelic experience, what was interesting to me is that after the trip was over, which was one of the most interesting experiences and one of the most horrifying experiences I ever had in my life, I found myself looking down and seeing that my leg went back to normal. And then I didn't walk with a limp anymore.

00:31:54--> 00:32:03

So there is a power in those substances that I couldn't deny. And even though I was so posed to them, This sparked my interest, of course, and I started researching it further.

00:32:04--> 00:32:21

So fast forward, I started growing them myself, I get more and more into mushrooms, I get more and more into psychedelics more and more into shamanism Buddhism, Hinduism, a mix all of it. And I see that the only solution for me to fully heal would be to go to the Amazon jungle.

00:32:22--> 00:32:23

So when you set

00:32:24--> 00:32:51

it takes an effort or it's I'm paraphrasing here to go to such extent and to go to the Amazon jungle. For me, there was no other option left in my mind, I just lost everything already. For me, this was the last result. And I believe that I can't find it within religion, and the mushrooms worked. So I said, if mushrooms work, the shaman brew is even stronger, that must work even better. Right? They must have it. So that led me down there.

00:32:52--> 00:32:56

Now again, I'm going to spare you all of the descriptions of those trips.

00:32:57--> 00:33:43

What is interesting, however, is that within those trips, at first, I would say that there was a balancing act coming from material standpoint and getting into a more natural standpoint. However, if you continue with that path, it brings you to the exact opposite. What happened then is that I started fasting extensively. extensively, I went on water fast juice fast for 35 days was just drinking juices, then I went vegan, raw vegan, right, because this is what you find within Buddhism as well in vegetarian culture, then I got ideas that we are those bad dead flesh beings that are harming the planet. So it went into the absolute opposite, right. And this is what I believe

00:33:43--> 00:34:21

ultimately was needed for me because I came from one extreme went to the other extreme. And then finally I started searching for balance. Why I stopped discarding those things, as I said was, because after all of my experiences, I didn't find any peace. And this is a question that I like to ask people nowadays quite often. Are you at peace? That's very interesting to me. If somebody is truly at peace, when they tell me about the ideology, when they tell me about their religion, I always want to know Are you at peace? If so, okay, I'm gonna listen. If not, why would I listen to you? You don't have anything to offer? Because if you are not at peace, how does this ideology will

00:34:21--> 00:34:37

put me at peace? There was the same bar similar question that I had to Buddhists. I was asking them, are you enlightened? When it was in Thailand, in the monasteries, in Buddhist monasteries, I was asking, Are you enlightened? Or no, I'm on the path to Nirvana, etc, etc, I will have to transcend Buddhism as well.

00:34:38--> 00:34:59

I thought then the business of being enlightened so I didn't see any, any results being produced there either. Right? And so ultimately, I was left on my own again, but this time it truly alone. This time truly without God's before that I believed in God. I didn't know how to properly worship him. But I believed in God, I knew there was a higher power. Now all of a sudden I was the universe.

00:35:00--> 00:35:19

All of a sudden I was God. God forbid. But this is how it was seen, right? pantheism of sorts, right? Everything is one, everything is connected. I am God, I am consciousness, I'm connected to the higher self. And now I'm in a lower vibration, I need to reach a higher vibration, etc, etc. This sounds probably totally crazy to know.

00:35:20--> 00:35:24

If you look into it, yeah, I definitely know what you're talking about.

00:35:26--> 00:36:12

And this is where I felt that all I was doing is building up a spiritual ego, a facade, ultimately, the Enlightened guy or somebody that is pursuing enlightenment, I was looking at archetypes, almost like a Jordan Peterson of Jesus of the Buddha, or those archetypes of people that went down the path of enlightenment, and so can everybody. That is the true message of all the religions, we all have to become enlightened tribes. Anyways, that failed. I Healed my body to an extent I have to say, but after all, my mind was shattered. I found myself being vegan. not adhering to a proper human diet, I find myself subscribing to a billion different ideologies, cherry picking of all kinds of fields

00:36:12--> 00:36:55

being left confused, and not having any answer in the end. And this is when I seek to gosh, I knew that I went wrong. When veganism failed me. This might sound very, very strange as well. Veganism itself was a diet promoted by mainstream doctors, that was a diet that is promoted by the World Health Organization. The statement of the World Health Organization is that veganism is suitable for all stages of life. So I started doing my research, I started looking into the science, or like, I like to say the science. Because, yeah, you start looking into it. And it seems, hey, this is true. This is correct. We have the science here. But when I saw that it failed me even though I'm a

00:36:55--> 00:37:33

personal trainer, and I adjusted all the macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, what have you. And it still didn't work? I was left with indigestion, depression, teeth started rotting, all of those side effects. Then I thought to myself, What if I stopped eating meat? And what would that even mean? If it works, and it didn't work? I started eating meat again. And I realized that science can tell me all kinds of things. But I won't have a true answer. Right. And this is what brought me ultimately back to believe, again, believe in God seeking Gods.

00:37:35--> 00:38:18

And that's how I went down the path of Christian orthodoxy again, started reading about it started understanding it started going to the church. When even we mentioned the monastic lifestyle went even to mount Arctos. I don't know if you ever heard that. I think I have. That's the monastery on top. It's like the most one of the most remote monasteries, it's in Greece, correct? Or it's in Greece. Yeah, it's technically in Greece is a Autonomous Region. It's islands within Greece, it's autonomous. So it doesn't really fall under Greece. It's not only one monastery, they have plenty of different monasteries, their Orthodoxy is still tied to ethnicity. So you have the Roman Orthodox

00:38:18--> 00:38:57

Church, you have the Greek Orthodox Church, we have the Russian Orthodox Church, we have the Serbian Orthodox Church cetera. And so therefore, they all have their branches up there. The craziest thing about it is, however, that for over 1000 years, there has been no wife, or no woman, rather, on that island. It's just men, they isolated themselves. They call it the island of mother, Mary, and it belongs to mother, Mary, therefore, no woman is to enter. And for over 1000 years, they kept orthodoxy, as it was essentially established at the Nicene Creed. It's fascinating to go there, you need a visa to enter, etc, etc.

00:38:58--> 00:39:08

But this is where I went to seek refuge, essentially, to look for gods or went to the monastery and I was thinking to myself, I'm going to leave my then girlfriend, and I'm going to become a monk.

00:39:09--> 00:39:52

When I went there, I have to say, I felt guided by gods. I felt I had to make that experience. But one thing changed my whole perception of it. Because it is kind of hard to get into those monasteries, you have to apply for it. And I didn't know that. So I was on a path through this island through forests and mountains without having prior to that applied to get there. So I was going from door to door to those monasteries begging for them to let me in so I don't have to sleep outside. And finally one monastery led million, and I just felt Wow, everything clicked, everything connected. And God really brought me here until the mom looked at me and told me, Wow, it must have

00:39:52--> 00:39:54

been Mother Mary that brought you

00:39:55--> 00:39:59

and that sounds may be strange, but I cringed. I cringed.

00:40:00--> 00:40:20

Really cringed. It didn't make any sense to me whatsoever. I thought to myself, why would have Mother Mary brought me here? How? Why would it be her? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever? If anybody, it was God. And that was essentially me going into the depths of Christianity go into the monastery, and then it started falling apart from there.

00:40:21--> 00:40:36

Very interesting. So that's a perfect segue to. So where did Islam come in? Like, where did you first become exposed to Islam in a meaningful way that it started kind of peeking your interest? was a more academic, did you have someone that you knew?

00:40:38--> 00:40:51

It's a very interesting question. And I don't think I can give you a direct answer to it. Because I don't remember what exactly piqued my interest. I just remember from Mount Otto's on my faith, falling apart.

00:40:52--> 00:41:31

And for other Orthodox Christian is exactly the opposite. They go there every year, like a pilgrimage for them, it is to build up their faith, right? For me, it was the opposite. It broke my faith. And this is when I started, essentially looking into anti Islamic content, like David woods, and the lives because I wanted to debunk Islam, right and to debunk it. And then I thought if I debunk Islam, then Christianity will make all the sense of the world again, because I know it's true, right? It's trying to stroke, it must be true, and Islam must be wrong. So if I debunk it, then I will be so much stronger within my own faith. This is essentially I started reading the

00:41:31--> 00:41:35

Quran, just with the intention to debunk it.

00:41:36--> 00:42:03

I really wanted him to talk about it on my YouTube channel, I said, I'm going to read the whole Quran and then I'm going to make a video and tell everybody how bad Islam was. That was my initial idea. And then it turned out to be the exact opposite. So yeah, there was nothing necessarily positive that I encountered that would have interested me within Islam. But it was simply by wanting to debunk it and reading the Quran by myself and being quite surprised that I didn't find all of those evil things within it.

00:42:05--> 00:42:45

That's fascinating. Was there anything else that surprised you? In a positive sense when you I mean, no, we that was the kind of the first question we touched on in the family structure and things like that. And the pure monotheism Is there anything else that kind of just like surprised you in a positive way? When you read the core? You have for me it was, the Quran starts essentially we're saying that we seek refuge from Satan. God eternally merciful, eternally gracious. And that was surprising to me, because as I said, I want to debunk Islam. And I thought that I'm going to find Satan, somewhere in the detail of the Quran by reading the Quran somehow, I was convinced the devil

00:42:45--> 00:43:10

will be in that book, right? Some of the devil's manual, right, The Satanic Verses and whatnot, I thought it's gonna be all in there at this stage. And yeah, I was reading it, I noticed that we always seek refuge in God away from Satan. And I thought to myself, Okay, this is exactly opposite day. How can this be? This is not what I expected at all. Yeah, that was the most surprising thing I would say next to the monotheism.

00:43:11--> 00:43:17

Yeah, that's, that's really fascinating for me. I mean, I had a somewhat different path. But it's just amazing how many parallels there are.

00:43:18--> 00:43:42

For me, when I when I got to university, I first encountered Islam in a serious way. And for me, I think I was always someone who was very interested in politics and current events and things like that. And so growing up at the time of the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, you know, I had a lot of sympathy, I think, for Muslims, even before I understood what Islam was.

00:43:44--> 00:44:26

And I already kind of talked a little bit about what led me to atheism and the kind of rejecting all religion. But when I came back around to university, I had a Muslim professor. And, you know, we were taking some classes on sort of the Resistance movements to colonialism, or, you know, imperialism in the Middle East and in the Muslim world. And, you know, the people there when they're justifying what they're doing, you know, they're using quotes from the Koran, or they're using like, you know, statements from the messenger, there's a lovely setup. And so that was the first thing was like, Whoa, that's kind of that's kind of interesting. And so that kind of started off the sort of

00:44:27--> 00:44:42

process for me, we're looking into it and just like you kind of, you know, we're kind of like surprised by how first of all, there's no devil there. There's no secret page where it's like, and here's where we worship the devil. It's actually it's actually the opposite.

00:44:43--> 00:45:00

I was surprised at how specific the guidance was, and also how it it was also comprehensive. So two very, very difficult things to manage two things that are often intention right usually

00:45:00--> 00:45:26

The, if you're gonna find something that's very specific that it's also very limited in scope. If you have some of those very, very broad scope that it's very kind of vague and ambiguous and things like that. And when I first read translation of the crown, I was like, this is very, very, like it's touching on everything. Like what here we're talking about family. Now we're talking about warfare. Now we're talking about economy. Now we're talking about, you know, interpersonal relations, and then personal development, all these sorts of things.

00:45:27--> 00:45:51

And not in a vague vanilla way, in a very, very detailed way. That was something that really, really surprised me. And I think this goes back to something that you said, about how Christianity has no law. Right? And so the law fascinated me, like, to be honest, a lot of people think it's a big scary thing that should yeah, but I was just like, wow, okay, how to use the bathroom,

00:45:52--> 00:46:34

how to wash ourselves, right? When we're preparing to pray, you know, all the different sorts of things, but the timings of the prayers and the motions that like, it just sort of fascinated me. And so the more and more I kind of learned, I was like, because it's really fascinating, and a lot like, just as you said, it's like, you have to go from one extreme to the next, and then you try to find balance for me. You know, I think that resonates with me, because Christianity, for me was all about sort of personal development, and being a nice person and these sorts of things. And I was frustrated, as I got more political, at how it didn't have anything concrete to offer about society,

00:46:34--> 00:47:14

or politics or economy or things like that. So then I swung to the other extreme, I was, you know, I was an atheist, I was an anarchist, I was on the far left, I was going to protests and sleeping, and, you know, the IMF would come to town, and I'd be there, you know, getting beat up by the cops and stuff like that. And so this is, you know, I went to the other side was like, everything's just about the big picture. What are we going to do what, you know, property, like, you know, economy, and politics and theory and this stuff, and it didn't have any sort of personal development aspects, or it wasn't making you a better person. And so when I encountered a slab, it was the best of both

00:47:14--> 00:48:00

worlds. It was like, wow, okay, here's a system that you can actually apply. And it will lead to just outcomes when it comes to, you know, yeah, warfare, when it comes to economy when it comes to governance, and these sorts of things. But it also pays a lot of attention to the individual and to the development and the family and these sorts of things. So that's, you know, I ended up going and studying Sharia law, like big battery law, that's actually like, the name of one of my degrees. I found it just so fascinating. Um, so yeah, I mean, your story resonates a lot. I wonder if there's things because for me, once I became, you know, I sort of experimented with Islamic worship, I

00:48:00--> 00:48:42

think, as I was learning, you know, I had that that old sensibility that I had that, you know, religion should be something more, or worship should be something more than so when I learned that Muslims have to pray five times a day, they have to fast 30 days a year, it was very intuitive to me, it's like, yes, sure, of course, like why why wouldn't we have to put in that much effort. And so I kind of experimented with on my own I started like praying by myself, and like, you know, in secret and fasting in secret and kind of just trying it out. And I had such a positive experience that it really propelled me to, to eventually accept Islam formally. And then eventually go study,

00:48:42--> 00:49:22

right? Because part of the the quest that I feel like both you and I are on this, like quest, to figure out things, and I just couldn't ever be happy, just stopping in the doorway, so to speak, right? It's like, once I accepted it, I was like, I can't, I don't want to read this in translation. It's like I want to go. And I want to, like access the original language I don't want to have, because I know like, just like we talked about with Buddhism, and how different people will claim to be authorities and they'll misrepresent things, and they'll try to pitch it in a certain way. Like I don't want those middlemen or those intermediaries kind of trying to spoon feed me a certain sort of

00:49:22--> 00:49:59

light or a certain sort of ideology. I want to go and see for myself and do it myself. And so from the minute I accepted Islam, I knew that I was going to try to find a way to study it formally and try to go to the Middle East and learn Arabic and these sorts of things. And, you know, I'm very grateful that I was able to do that. Yeah, I lived in Medina for almost six years and I graduated from the university there, study, focus and Sharia law and things like that. And so, you know, part of my process was always keeping these sorts of questions in my back pocket because when you when you encounter something new, you know, sometimes

00:50:00--> 00:50:36

Things come up and you're like, Oh, well, that doesn't really make sense to me, or I'm not really sure about that. Or well, I wonder about this other sort of thing? You know, what does this have to say about that? And as I was able to study more, and sort of get more comfortable and move along, I was able to kind of check those off. You know what I mean, one by one. And so I'm wondering for you, are there any sort of open ended threads or things that you're curious about that you're not quite sure about? Or that confuse you about a slum or, you know, points that maybe you're you're seeking resolution on?

00:50:40--> 00:51:26

Before I go into what I am still doubting or where I have questions upon within Islam, I have to clarify, the reason why I haven't converted is because I have such a long history with experimentation. What I mean by that is, if I would find out about something, I would jump right into it. Right. So when I found out there is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and there are gyms I just went to the gym right away. When I found out about veganism, and I researched it for an afternoon, I decided to become a vegan. I did plenty of such things within my life, just to then find out that they were not correct at all, even though during the time I believe that they are the ultimate

00:51:26--> 00:51:40

truth. But the ultimate truth with a capital D I was 100% convinced, for example, with veganism, that we are not supposed to eat meat, that we are the bad guys killing animals, etc. So I was a vegan for two years as well actually have terrible

00:51:41--> 00:52:06

worst the worst diet on this planet? Yeah, anyways, so because I was so invested. And I was even doing YouTube videos during that time promoting veganism, essentially spreading the gospel of vegetables. And then to just come out on the other end and to see Wow, how delusional was I? This is the main concern I have with Islam. So now

00:52:08--> 00:52:14

with Islam, if I would commit, and then God forbid, I would drop out.

00:52:15--> 00:52:53

I couldn't live with myself anymore. I can't take another loss. I really have to admit this. I'm 35 years old, I went through so much, I can't commit to something, see it as the ultimate truth and then say, not anymore. I've done so much exploration, it is enough. And this is why I'm taking my time. The first time that I open up the Quran is already two years ago, by now, two years ago. Since then I read the Quran. Just before this podcast, I had rebek lessons, believe it or not, are really cool. Yeah, yeah, I had Arabic lessons was my third one. So I'm just at the beginning. Awesome. And

00:52:54--> 00:53:34

I feel at the moment is if I have to learn so much at first before I commit, because as I was, for example, with veganism four years straight, it took me to realize that it was wrong. Now I'm two years researching within Islam, and up until now, I cannot find anything wrong with it. But I want to learn more before I commit because if I commit, I want to commit for good, I want to be at peace, and I don't want to look any further anymore. I want to close the chapter of seeking, and I just want to be at peace. That is amazing. Totally, totally respect that and they are for full disclosure, you know, you probably have picked up on this I I'm not the guy that's gonna be giving

00:53:34--> 00:53:56

people shadows at the dollar table. Right? That's not my that's not my, my thing and no no shade to those guys who do that sort of thing. But my, my product, my process is more like yours. You know, it's like experiment, question, ask and then, you know, everybody has to come to it on their own. And there's no, there's no rush and no sense.

00:53:57--> 00:54:39

So maybe then the question would be more like those areas that you feel like you need to study more and understand more. Yes. What are what are those areas? You're actually the perfect man for this? Because you said you studied Sharia law? Honestly, up until now, I don't understand Sharia law. Let's put it that way. I don't understand if there is a fixed law set or if there are different interpretations of it, of how many laws it is composed, etc, etc. So can you tell me at first if there are different variations of it with a different reputation, so is there one Sharia law like the 10 commandments? Okay, fantastic. Yeah. So I'll say this that what is Sharia law? Or what is

00:54:39--> 00:54:59

Sharia? Even better, right? I think it's better within the English language to just say Sharia. Because there's because of how we understand law, okay. So when we understand the law, in the English language, we understand that as rules to be followed, right, and we live at a particular time.

00:55:00--> 00:55:05

I'm a political science guy. So we live at a particular time in history, where

00:55:06--> 00:55:09

law is separated from morality. Right?

00:55:11--> 00:55:21

You don't expect your government to make you into a moral person, okay? That's something that they're going to leave to the family, they're going to leave the church, they're gonna leave to the Boy Scouts, whatever it is.

00:55:22--> 00:55:36

They only care with what is legal injury, right? Injury, if you injure somebody else, now you're in trouble with the law. Right? Or if you injuries against the state, now you're in trouble with the law. Okay. So what makes the city

00:55:37--> 00:56:22

different and pre modern is that it is a unity, right? Just as the creed of Islam is a unity of sort of all divinity within one entity, that's Allah, the Sharia is a unity of law and morality. Which is why if you pick up any sort of book, you know, in these books I have on my shelf, and it happens to be these are the books of law, or *ty, or whatever you want to call it. It always starts with water. And it starts with what types of water are permissible to use to wash up for prayer and which aren't. And then it goes to prayer that it talks about fasting, and it talks about charity, it talks about all these sorts of things before you get into the stuff that we think of as law, before you

00:56:22--> 00:56:36

get into the laws of war, and, you know, usury, and interest and you know, invalid commercial contracts and these sorts of things, right? And that's not an accident, right? That's not an accident, because

00:56:37--> 00:57:17

in order to obey the Creator, when it comes to those macro things, you need to be able to obey the creator with the micro with your personal worship and devotion. And so it's a transferable skill. It's almost like a crescendo. Right? You're building up the capacity to have faith to be to have that virtue of obedience. And it's going to be a step up. He said, You're a personal trainer. It's like a personal training program. Right? Yeah, we're gonna start just with water, and then just how to, you know, make these prayers, and then you're going to move up to this, and then that, and then that. Until, yeah, at the very end, it's like talking about criminal law, right? Like, what happens

00:57:17--> 00:58:01

if somebody murders somebody, what happens if somebody you know, God forbid, rape somebody or whatever. So, at a parodic Matic level, right? That's what the idea is, that surely is a complete system of the unity of morality and law, that's an expression of the Creator's will. That's an expression of what the creator wants from us. Okay. And this is a point, I was talking with some other guys last night about, you know, sort of pushing back against this idea that a lot of people have with the spirit of the new age or whatever, that, well, I'm spiritual, but not religious. And, you know, God knows my heart, and I'm doing okay, and I like, I think I'm fine the way I am. And

00:58:01--> 00:58:02

then, you know,

00:58:04--> 00:58:48

my, my response was kind of like, Well, God knows your heart, but how well do you know your heart? Right? Because it's not like, if you have any relationship, if you and I have a friendship, right? I could be putting out maximum effort. 100% effort, but maybe it's not being registered or accepted by you. Right? If if I if you have auto, let's say you're let's say you're allergic to flowers, right, I could give you flowers every day. Right? And I could say that, like, look at how I'm proving to you that I care about our relationship, you're like, bro, it's like, I'm allergic to those things. I throw it in the garbage. Right? Every single time it reaches my house, right? And so there's, it's

00:58:48--> 00:59:32

not just about us, right? It's not just about the ego and what we're putting out. It's about how is it being received? Right? What is a sanctioned expression of gratitude? And what's not? What's a sanctioned expression of devotion of worship and what's not? So that's what the city is, the Sharia is just a collection of what is a what is the what does the Creator what from you? Like? How does he want you to live your life and so it covers a ton of stuff when it comes to the micro, you know, the internal self, how you should be relating to your internal self and looking to those around you. The prophesy set up said look to those beneath you don't look to the, to those who are above you,

00:59:32--> 00:59:38

because then you're going to be little, the the blessings of Allah that He gave you. Right? And then the macro stuff. Yeah, the

00:59:40--> 01:00:00

criminal law, that sort of thing. So at a paradigmatic level, that's what's going on. Is there just one Sharia Well, yes or no? Yes or no? Like there's one sorry, in the sense that what Allah subhanaw taala expects from us, yes, is one, but in any endeavor where the Creator

01:00:00--> 01:00:37

There has communicated with human beings, there has to be a moment of interpretation. Right. And that is the difference between, I think, people who are honest and upfront about the degree of certainty and truth that we have and things and people who are trying to make an ideological statement, right, all of these sorts of movements and sects and sort of like, that I'm aware of within Islam or outside of Islam, they attempt to erase the interpretive moment, right? And act like there is no such thing as interpretation. There's only one way to think about it. And that's it. And then if you're, you're with us, you're with us. And if you're not, you're with the terrorists, as

01:00:37--> 01:01:18

George W. Bush said, Right? Right. So I mean, things aren't always that, that black or white. And that's not throwing into doubt, the authenticity of everything that's on the books, right? That's simply saying that interpretation is a human endeavor. Now, there's a happy medium, right? So we can go on one extreme, and say, Okay, well, these are these people who have some sort of political agenda or political goal, right, you know, the ISIS and these sorts of people, like there's absolutely no room for interpretation at all. Right? You have to agree with us and what we say, or your, you know, off with your head. And then there's maybe what you and I are more used to that

01:01:18--> 01:01:48

people like, oh, it's all just open and you know, your personal truth, and whatever, you know, you think it means it speaks to you and like that, then the truth is, is between those two extremes, so what we have part of, you know, many of these books, there is a theory of interpretation, right? There is you know, how to interpret there's rules for how you interpret things. There's reasoning, there's legalistic reasoning. And these are things that scholars have been writing about for 400 years.

01:01:49--> 01:02:32

So we say that there's interpretation, but yeah, of course, there's interpretation. But it's not a free for all, it's an open season for anyone who wants to come, who come along and interpret it in any way. There are certain rules, and the rules to the these two interpretation, the important thing is that it is consistent with itself, that it's not being you know, it's really fascinating, both you and I talked about the creeds, right? Yes. And so one of the problematic aspects of Christianity and other religions as well, is that it's top down, theologically, okay, what that it's completely unscientific. When we're talking about like, scientific method we're talking about, we're going to

01:02:32--> 01:03:10

decide what's the truth, and then we're going to superimpose that upon the text. And we're going to go back and reinterpret things, according to the interpretation that we decided is true. Okay, that's completely backwards. It's like the science for veganism, right? It's like, you already know the conclusion that you want, you're going out and you're you're cooking the books, you know, and that's why it's very hard to trust scientific research these days. Because everybody knows the sugar industry funds their own research, you know, to prove that sugar is not not a problem and every cent eaten by research by scientists these days, right? So that's the Christian methodology to to

01:03:10--> 01:03:10

theology

01:03:11--> 01:03:39

is is cooking the books and forging the research so to speak. Islam was the opposite when it comes both to the city and to Arcadia means that the first discussion is okay, what's valid evidence? What is valid evidence that we're going to admit into this thing? Okay, great, fantastic. Hadith, which ones? How do we tell a hadith is authentic? What are the criteria that we have to determine whether this thing is actually something of the prophesy set up set?

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How certain Can we come? Right? To knowing whether this is something that Prophet said so, I said,

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what degree of certainty is required for us to consider this statement? You know, do we have to be 100%? Certain, do we have to be 70%? Certain, we have to be 60% Certain, okay, what if we have two statements, one of which is 90%? Certain one of which is 60%? Certain, how then, do we integrate those two together? What should be the relationship all of this is discussed and hashed out? In the books of legal reasoning and legal theory, it's called solar.

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At once you set your ground rules your method, right? Then you go, then you interpret, okay, that's like, Well, okay, we know that the Quran says this. And my, you know, the Arabic language like it, like we have three possible meanings for this particular you know, particle or preposition or whatever. And this is, you know, the Hadith that we have, there's five Hadith about this. And this hadith has 90% certainty that the Prophet SAW Selim said this, and since this one other is 60% certainty, then you're talking about interpretation. Which one well, we're gonna exclude this one because it's not, you know, I'm not, I'm not content with with how with how certain I am that that's

01:04:55--> 01:04:59

an actual statement. And this interacts with this and this way, this interaction, but there's

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There's schools that have distilled these sorts of methods of interpretation. And the important thing is that you're consistent that you're not mixing and matching just to suit to get the outcomes that you want. Right? So there can be a difference of opinion, when it comes to law when it comes to. But the important thing is that what is generating the difference of opinion? Is it a valid, we have an ability within Islamic law within the Sharia, to differentiate between a valid difference of opinion and a difference of opinion, that's not valid. So if you're using valid scriptural reasoning, if you're using valid legal reasoning, then we can say, okay, yes, like, you can get that

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interpretation from the text. And even if it's not my preferred interpretation, you've got, I can't say that, for certain that you're wrong. I don't think that you're right. But I can't say for certain that you're wrong. But if somebody goes outside of those rules, and they're just playing fast and loose, or whatever, you know, that it's like, no one's even gonna pay attention to you. It's like, it's, it's completely out of the fold. I'll give you an example. I'll give you an example. And all of this should be said with the fact that most of the time, there's no disagreement about what's the best thing to do. Okay. But they will often find disagreement as to what's the bare

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minimum, that's acceptable.

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And why this occurs historically, is because the first generation the disciples, the companions of the Prophet, Muhammad SAW that they weren't like us, they weren't concerned with doing the bare minimum to get by. They wanted to do the most that they could. And so it didn't come up. Right. So then when you're talking about legal interpretation, and the differences between this and that, a lot of that has to do with, well, what if what is the bare minimum? What if somebody only did this what account is valid? So that's where a lot of the disagreements sort of manifests I'll give you an example. So when we wash up for prayer, okay, we okay, we wash your hands, wash your face or nose or

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mouth, okay, and then we wipe the head. Okay? How much of the head do you wipe? Okay, we have the two verses of the Quran, one of them is is very, very important. It says that webshow butyl Oh, SQL, and wipe your head. Okay? How much of the head do we wipe? Okay, everybody says,

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wipe all of it. No problem. That's the best thing to do. Okay, what if I didn't? What if I only wiped a tiny portion of it, or half of it, or a third of it, or whatever doesn't count. There's different interpretations when it comes to that. And all that has to do with interpreting this one particular Arabic letter the letter. But what does it mean when a lost power to Allah says no Koran to wipe over beautiful SQL like your heads like, and so there is one school, one legal school that says it has to mean all of the head. And then another legal school that says it means two thirds of the head, because that's the majority or whatever. Another legal school says, a third of the head,

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because the Prophet salallahu Salam was known to cut his hair to get hijama. You know, I don't know if you've ever done the bloodletting yet. But there's a particular medicinal practice that the Prophet Muhammad, so Saddam did in the early Muslims did of bloodletting, right. And so he would shave the back of his head, and then kind of like, do the cups, you know, do the cut and the cup, and so he would blood left from the back of his head on the neck. And so they say like, oh, just just a third. And then another legal school says, even if just like the absolute bare minimum of what you could, what could be called your head, right? All of those schools of law, they're using

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the Koran for evidence. They're using Hadith for evidence, they're using the Arab language for evidence, and they simply only differ in how to interpret it. But there again, they're deferring on the bare minimum, right? Not what's the best thing to do?

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I'll pause like, Do you have any if you have any sort of follow up comments or questions?

01:09:10--> 01:09:49

Yes, I do. Actually. They're all concerning Sharia law first and foremost, that was a very very interesting explanation. I didn't know that that the differentiation is mainly due to the bare minimum that has to be done it's very interesting to me. I have questions about Sharia law to follow up because if we have that body of knowledge so to speak if we have all of the explanations for what is right what is wrong as a crow cetera I'm wondering why we don't see Islamic countries on the full Sharia law. Haha, I've just Well, that's that's getting back to my first my first degree because we don't have it's political. Yeah, it's political.

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We live in an era of the nation state.

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And that's the biggest obstacle to true Shediac. Okay, the nation

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The state is inherited from colonial domination from the European powers. It's the political technology or the system of governance that they left behind. And, by default, what's the logic of the state is that the state is the ultimate authority. True sovereignty exists with the state. That's why we have something that's called emergency powers, right? Martial law, right? These sorts of things even take the most model democracy, quote, unquote, in the world, with the Constitution, and the checks and balances, and the separation of powers and all these sorts of things. There are some sorts of emergency powers that are there. Right? When they decide when they decide they can

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suspend those rights, when they deem it necessary, they can suspend the Constitution, they can trample your rights. And they do this to us. And they do, right. So that at a paradigmatic level, that is the biggest obstacle to the implementation of Shediac. Because before the modern era, before the coming of the nation state, you had a situation where the owner, the right, the scholars, who are the interpreters of the law, they were decentralized, they weren't state employees, okay, they weren't on a an official salary from the government. They were organically funded at the local level, in a decentralized way, they were completely independent. Nobody was telling them what to

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say, et cetera, et cetera. And whatever government was in power, they had to get legitimacy. And work through, these are the map. So there was a check and balance, right? If somebody were to come, and were to say, you know, what, we're not going to follow the Sharia, we're going to follow something else, then there would be chaos, right? There'll be a revolt, there'll be nobody would give legitimacy to that sort of thing. That's not to say that people didn't try to,

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you know, misinterpret or mess with that, or try to even like,

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you know, interfere within that process. They tried, they tried, but by and large, you had something that was over the state that the state actually had to seek legitimacy through. And that was the idea, right, they had to be seen as valid within the city in order to have any control or any power at all, in the modern state, then the modern state has the ultimate authority, they can, you know, they control all of the religions. They don't control all the religious scholars, I don't mean to say that, but they have control over the institutions of learning, the official ones, they have control over, they have their own scholars, their own scholarly classes, right? That they kind of

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prop up here and there and they can dismiss you, if you step out of line, if you say something that disagrees with them. And they can use the religion when it benefits them. And they'll toss that aside. The second that doesn't benefit them. So that's the that's the single greatest obstacle in my, in my opinion.

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Very interesting.

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If

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it was come to a, let's say, new caliphate, but the people on those lands are still secularized. So that's just an image, just an imaginary example here. In a few years in new caliphate rises, but the people are secularized. The people are not religious anymore. The people enjoy their freedoms. How would an implication of Sharia look like on those lands? That were interesting to me? Would everybody be forced, for example, to certain dress codes? Or would it be step by step? It's an imaginary explanation? Yeah, definitely. Well, it's a very useful thought experiment. And I think that

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from the different sort of people I see in the Muslim sphere, I think there's there's a couple of extremes that people go to because it can't be just just a top down thing, right, you have to change people's hearts. And I think that we're actually at a really interesting moment in history where people like you and me, see, people like you and me have lived through the darkness, right? We've stared the Abyss in the face. And we've seen what the modern world has to offer. And it's actually quite terrifying. Right? And so you need to go through a process of

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changing people from the inside and accustoming them to a different way of doing things, right. That being said, Yeah, of course, like, in any sort of, in any sort of structure of government, or governance, you're going to have people who aren't happy with it, who have to live by the rules. That's everywhere. I said America, right. That's it. That's, that's in Europe. Right. So it's between those two things. Both of those concerns are true. Okay. There's there's not some sort of, and if you go into the, the history books, like especially the early Muslims, like they were very non interfering, right when it came to local populations. What you know, the city is most concerned

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with is with public morality, right. Now that you know, there

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is a statement of the city it kind of stops at your doorstep right? You know, no one's gonna be a loss as the Corolla justice. We don't spy on other people, right? Like there's not this sort of we have surveillance now we have way more surveillance surveillance in with the modern state the secular state than we would have in a true Sharia system right because the Sharia cares about the public morality and what people do behind closed doors is their business.

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Makes sense? Very interesting. So now, you mentioned the creeds and you mentioned Aikido, which is Islamic creed. Right. This comes from orthodox apologetics. Within the debate scene, they used to attack Muslims by saying that their Aqeedah is not as concise as for example, the Creed's within orthodoxy. How would you explain Aqeedah to my viewers, that's crazy. So he this is theology. I think it translates pretty pretty easily to theology. And to say that Islam doesn't have a concise theology is insane. Because Leila has Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah, that's the testimony of faith. And that's the Aqeedah. That's, that's the theology right there. There is no god worthy of worship

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except for except for Allah. And Allah is the name of God. Okay. And Mohammed is his last messenger, which tells you all that you need to know that we by implication, believe in all the messengers before, including Jesus, and that we believe that there is no messenger after him. It also places everything in its proper relationship to the Creator, right you have, we believe in a dualistic world 100%, there is the creator and the created, and there is no third category. And there is nobody that shares divinity with the Creator. And all of that is expressed in that extremely concise formula that we say to become a Muslim law law. I have the Russell

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Rosing, Amazon. That's what I thought without being a Muslim researching it. For me, the creed of Islam was the Shahada. There was a very, very simple and blatantly obvious, but some people want to make it more complicated. Talking about Christianity, my thoughts on one of those, let's say roadblocks towards Islam is the crucifixion.

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For you coming from a Christian background, I would just like to hear how you saw out once you start reading the Quran, if that was a roadblock for you at all, how you would see the spread of Christianity and the spread of that crucifixion doctrine itself that prevailed for so many hundreds of years before Muhammad came about, then this will be a fascinating that that doctrine would spread at all, if it is then flawed or false? Sure. No, that's, that's really, really one of the more important things to touch on, you're 100%. Right.

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The crucifixion, the story of the crucifixion is one of the most powerfully emotive stories that we have in religious literature. It's an extremely compelling narrative, okay. And where people get they run into issues is they have trouble separating the emotional aspect and the symbolic aspect of that narrative from actual actual history work and trying to verify if it actually took place, or if it took place in the way that it's claimed. Okay, and this is something that is a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam, which is has to do with the authentic the authentification of the texts, and the preservation of the texts, and how we know what we know.

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Okay, that's the thing, okay. Most Christians don't realize that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those are names that people put on to those gospels later, they didn't come with those names attached to them. And that those names were put there later. And they're obvious I don't know, if you're, you're probably familiar with, with Paul Williams of blogging theology, he, he's more of an expert of this as I am.

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And I have a few people in my circle such as him, and there's another person I know that actually was a Carmelite monk converted to Islam. And he has also books about sort of these sorts of things about how everything that we know about Christ, and about the life of Christ is something that you have to take with a grain of salt, because it is historically on very, very shaky grounds.

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So, if we talk about how do I know that the Prophet will have this Elisa said, X statement, okay. I have a chain of narrators. I say that well, the companion This is his name, whoo hoo writer heard it and that He taught his students. His student was this guy. This was his name. And his student then was taught, that was his name. And then the next guy that he taught, he wrote it down. And this year, this is the manuscript and now we have that manuscript existing today. And we have biographical dictionaries I have some on the wall that

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It goes into detail, but who each and every single person in that row is. Where do they live? Where do they go? Are they trustworthy? Are they accurate? Are they strong? memorizers or not? Right? Like we have copious amounts of information about these sorts of people, like this stick to this one Biographical Dictionary I have is 30 volumes, it takes up an entire bookshelf that I have, right? So the amount of it's unparalleled, like to be honest, like the it's absolutely unparalleled, the amount of effort that Muslim scholars have put into, to be able to say, Yes, this is a statement that the Prophet Mohammed sites have actually set versus Well, okay. And they'll admit, they'll

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admit, it's like this might be but we don't, we're not, we can't say that we know for sure, right? Or the Koran, that it's like this with 100% Certainty is the final recension of the Koran that was recited by here's the chain, right. We even have people that exist today that know their whole chain of narration, like they get it written on a piece of paper, and they know everybody, anyway, this doesn't exist in Christianity. Okay, so if you talk about

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the Sermon on the Mount, or you talk about, you know, like any particular miracle that happen, are you talking about any detail of Jesus's life of Christ's life? What's the evidence that we have for it? How far back can we go? How far back does the paper trail go? Most paper trails, they only go to the fourth century, three hundreds after the Roman Catholic, see me after the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, and then the manuscripts explode. Right? If you look within the first 100 years after Christ was removed from the earth, according to our belief, died, according to Christian belief.

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How many manuscripts exist?

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One?

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How big is it? It's that big. Right? So everything is just it's hearsay. It's literally hearsay. Okay. Let's say the Gospel of Luke was written like 70 years, perhaps they we can carbon data to say it's allegedly written was written like 70 years after Jesus was on earth. Okay, great. Who are the people in between the event and the writing down? Okay. How many people were there? Was it orally transmitted? Who is it orally transmitted by? We don't know, we literally have no idea. Zero idea.

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And so then for people who say, well, everybody believes that how can everybody believe it a lie? Well, this is basic for Muslims who actually study the law because we have a concept of it's called toe toe toe toe toe is a concept that's like, so many people have witnessed it and reported it that it's impossible that it could be agreed upon as a lie. Okay, so there are many the entire Koran is to answer it satisfies this criteria.

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Many Hadith, not the majority, but many Hadith also satisfy this criteria, where we've, they've traced all the narrator's and the people who witnessed it actually witnessed it. They've traced all the people that the witnesses told, and there's so many people involved, and they spread out geographically that it's impossible that they colluded, it would be like a vast conspiracy, that's impossible to imagine. When it comes to the crucifixion. Okay. Who was there?

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Were the disciples even there? What's the evidence that the disciples were there? Okay, you have How close were they? You have certain accounts say that disciples were far away from a hill, like watching from the distance. Okay. Who are the actual people that were there? What was that? What were their names? Who did they tell? In which books was it written? Right? So I mean,

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I'm not gonna get too controversial here. But let's talk about like, major events, such as, like, 911. Okay.

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Something really, really intense happened that day.

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There's several interpretations as to the cause, and why some of the details are known. So the details aren't known. Okay.

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And we say, with 100% certainty, you know, that, Oh, you know, like, this particular group was responsible for it. And they did that, you know, even though the event has spread across the earth. Right. They talk about it 100 years from now, 20 years from now, if you believe the mainstream, yes, yeah. If you believe the mainstream, but there's going to be exactly like there's different sort of, if you peel back the onion, there are different narratives and other facts that don't jive with the narrative. And there's other sorts of things right. This is why why is the crucifixion any different? The Crucifixion is rare. And the Islamic account of the crucifixion is not like that.

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Nobody ever died on that day. Nobody was crucified, this whole thing's made up. It's that they got the wrong guy.

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They thought that they were crucified Jesus, but a law stepped in to you know, miraculously saved Jesus and one of the people who was there was resemble Jesus and so he was crucified. Right? So

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Again, it just has to do with verification. People who want to believe in that narrative, and they've, they've invested so emotionally, you know, within that narrative, and it carries so much think about, I mean, the Christian church has like, put all their eggs into that basket, right? When it comes to, you know, so it's like I can, I can definitely respect how hard it would be for somebody to give that up right away. It wasn't a problem for me, honestly, just because of kind of the way I went about studying Islam. I kind of went about it about it in a very systematic way. And I dealt with these sorts of issues of authentification, and manuscripts and stuff like that pretty

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early on. That was one of the things that impressed me a lot about a snub. So when I got to that point, it's like, how can I be sure that that Jesus was actually crucified? I can't. I can't, and nobody can to be honest. Like, like, there's there's, like, we know that people were crucified. Yeah, we can say that. We can say that. Jesus wasn't there anymore. Yeah. 100%. But the documentary evidence and the eyewitness evidence, it's just, it just doesn't exist. We don't know the names. We don't know the people if they were reliable witnesses, these sorts of things. We know that there was a Jewish mob, that handed over a guy to the Roman authorities, and three people were probably

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crucified. And then a lot of people believed that Jesus was actually crucified on that day. But you know.

01:26:24--> 01:26:31

Yeah, the crucifixion itself has such a powerful influence on my psychology and obviously millions and millions of people.

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I come from a background on the Balkans, there is a lot of witchcraft and dark magic still. And what I witnessed is that through exorcisms, for example, through using the cross the symbolism of the cross, right, there was a way of getting rid of those demons. Right. So for me, the question is still there? What is the implication? Why would a demon flee the body? If it sees the cross? Sure. Is there any truth to that doctrine? Within my research, and throughout my spiritual experiences, I saw that there is a validity to it, of course, I could be completely deceived, and those spiritual experiences could have just showed me something that I wanted to see. But I have this deep imprint.

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And as I said, within the physical world, I saw people really being possessed. I can't otherwise explain it. Yeah, modern day science would say they're mentally ill. But then after that, they've been freed through Christian exorcisms. Right. So this is where I see the power within the grace. Sure, the symbolism itself, oh, this is definitely a big thing. And and you're right, 100%, because a lot of Christian missionaries, especially the evangelical ones, will use this as sort of proof. But we have to ask the question like that proof rests upon an assumption that the demons are only going to leave because of something that's completely true. And I'm not convinced of that

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assumption. In fact, within the Islamic community, we have, we have the same thing. We have possessions, we have exorcism, and it's well known. Yes. Well, that's the good exposition. But we it's well known that there are people that perform exposition with more powerful magic, right or through other reads, right. So we don't within Islam, like we don't have the assumption that the only way to get rid of a possession, or the only way to perform exorcism is with the Absolute Truth, therefore, that the, you know, exorcism would then be a proof of of the truth. There's a lot of people actually, that abuse this and that.

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They, they do a lot of shady stuff. Like, you know, we had only had one of the guys the community, I bring the story up locally, that's kind of become an inside joke. You know, somebody was dealing with something, and they went to someone they thought was a religious authority, like a like a Muslim, like, you know, elder. And they said, like, okay, we can solve this bring me a White Pigeon, he said,

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and then he calls me up on the phone. He says, he's telling me to bring my pager like don't do it. Don't don't bring him away visit because he's going to resort to a different type of magic to remove another type of magic.

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Okay, those fair enough, of course, when you mentioned that, if I look into shamanism, here, again, those things can work to that doesn't mean that they are the ultimate truth either. Because actually a very good explanation of why Christianity could work potentially but wouldn't imply that therefore it is the ultimate truth. Now thought about it like that. I simply saw it. Okay. If it works, it must be the right religion. But yeah. And I thought about it like that.

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Yeah, essentially, those are my main questions. As I said, the main reason why I'm still holding back is predominantly because I know myself and I think that the only way towards truth is by knowing yourself, knowing exactly that you are coming from an honest place. And ultimately, you will have to know where you're at right now. And that's it for me there is this

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Less doubt within myself ultimately, I can be completely honest about that this last dollar still holding me back because I want to experience Islam almost fully even though I know I cannot experience it as a non Muslim. I cannot do the pilgrimage, I could fast. I tried praying. Now I'm going to mosques here. I want to understand even a bit further before I could fully commit, but in terms of questioning of minor questions, you know, I was wondering about circumcision. Do I have to do it as a converse? Things like that? Yes, yeah. Well, here's, here's one thing I tell anybody who is considering becoming a muslim and with full full respect to for your process and your

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temperament, because that makes complete sense, you know, for for your history where you've been through. But one thing I try to tell people is that, you know, Islam is like a long, long ladder, right, and it's got many rungs. And sometimes it can be, sometimes it can be intimidating, looking up the ladder and seeing how far it goes.

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But the bottom rung, the absolute bottom rung is that concise statement of faith that we talked about earlier that Allah Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah, you know, with full respect to you don't want to obviously,

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commit to something you're not ready for, you don't want to enter something and then leave it and get disillusioned with it, of course. But when somebody

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comes to certainty, or they feel certainty within themselves, in that statement, by Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah, that puts you on the bottom ladder, the bottom rung of the ladder as far as I'm concerned. And then what happens next is, it's up to you, right? It's up to the individual, how do you there's some people that spend their whole lives just sitting on that ladder, that realm, that level, but there's other people that feel like they want to climb after that. And they want to see like, what else there is, what else can I do? What else can I know? What else can I learn? Right? And so it's a, it's a balancing act like everything else, right? Like, we don't want to, we don't

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want to obviously do anything before we're ready. And we don't want to, you know, especially put ourselves in a situation where we might be backpedaling at some point. But, you know, we also have to realize that faith itself is its own process, there's that it's sequential, right there, there are things that happen, and then certain things that happen, unlock other developments, right. And so there's actually a story that is really, really fascinating to me that one of my teachers in Medina used to tell, I'm sure if you're familiar with Omar, Toby's a second sort of Khalifa, leader of the Muslims, after the prophet will have a slice of him passed away. And he reigned for 10 and a

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half years, and his his rule was absolutely incredible.

01:32:58--> 01:33:17

You know, books and books have been written about it. And so at one point, so the territory is expanding, more and more places are coming under Muslim rule, and up towards Sham, which is like, you know, Syria, Turkey or that area, there's some sort of local chieftain or whatever. And

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he kind of wants to accept Islam, but he's kind of not sure. And so the local guys, local Muslims that kind of are the delegates or the messengers that come to him,

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he kind of has a conversation with them. And he says, I want you to, I'll become Muslim. He says, If I can be the ruler after Omar

01:33:38--> 01:33:45

Oh, it takes a lot of balls to say that, you know, like, he's like, like, basically like, okay, it's like I want I want the power, like, I want it.

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And the muscle guys, they were taken aback, but they didn't know how to respond. And so they write back to Omar, this is, you know, obviously, it's gonna take a while you got to send the messenger on horseback to all the way to Medina, but it's got to come all the way back.

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And in the meantime, when they're waiting for the response, this man he passes away, he dies.

01:34:07--> 01:34:16

Well, so the letter comes, and the guy has already passed away. And in the letter Omar had written he said, tell him, he can have it.

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To tell him he can have it because of a law guides him into the doorway of faith, that Allah will continue to guide him after that.

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You know, and that's, that's a crazy story to me, because it was a story. Yeah. Right. But yeah, so I mean, there's certain things I'll say that there are certain things that you can figure out before getting on the ladder. And there's other things that can't be figured out until you get on the ladder.

01:34:50--> 01:34:52

And it makes perfect sense. Yeah.

01:34:54--> 01:34:59

The samurais used to call this you have to step on to the arena and you didn't

01:35:00--> 01:35:11

even stepped onto the arena. That's a seminar I sang from Miyamoto Musashi, one of the greatest memorized Overleaf body I fully understand ultimately, for me it is because I know myself as ABS pretty well, by now.

01:35:13--> 01:35:35

I similar to the way that you explained it would go forward in all in, I can't simply scratch a surface of anything, essentially, it doesn't matter what it is, it could be a sport, or I'm obsessed with jujitsu, it could be whatever, what have you. The point of the story is that knowing that

01:35:36--> 01:36:04

and seeing that letter from the distance, I would have to understand it, because I'm not going to jump half of the letter again, in our world climates. That is my character. I need to understand that letter, at least to an extent before sign up for it. But as you said, correctly, you need to actually start climbing to understand is that I understand as well. I would have to do a free trial, like in a gym basically and go pray in a mosque, I guess. Yeah, yeah, you should.

01:36:05--> 01:36:44

Yeah, definitely. And obviously, you know, now we're acquainted with each other. If there's any sort of help that I can offer, I mean, the discussion of the *tiest stuff is really just like an ocean. So I mean, there's a lot of stuff to talk about. So if you have any particular questions or something comes to you, yeah, please do reach out. And I'd be happy to be happy to help or share what I know, or try to bring in bigger guns. If there's something that I don't know. Because there's lots I don't know, you know, I'm not an expert of any sort. I've just studied a bit. So, yeah, so happy to help and I completely, completely respect your process. Thank you very much for that. And

01:36:44--> 01:36:50

if you ever make it over to this area of the world, definitely let me know. Yeah, no, I certainly will.

01:36:51--> 01:37:09

Amazing. Okay. Maybe this is a good part a good time to stop this particular session. But you know, this was a pleasure. Thank you so much, Bobby, for being on and I hope to have more sessions. This is like talking to an old friend. But you're not just saying yeah, God willing. So Okay. Take care.