Channel: Yusha Evans
Yusha Evans – How i came to Islam, An epic journey from Christianity to Islam
Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Al Hamdulillah alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. While early he was had he a German woman well, early on with Dean want to shadow and in the hate la la de la sharika why shadow Mohammedan Abu rasuluh aka turban nabin warahmatullah alameen wa Diane in LA. He was Sarah Jim monniera. And my dad
is a pro hire for all of your attendance. He surprised me that we get so many people in such a small space, we're hungry.
as a disclaimer, if it takes my thoughts a little while to process and I yawn frequently. No, that's because it's 5:10am for me, and so I'm would just be waking up. So equivalent have been up all night. We're 111
I was born and raised in South Carolina, in the United States. And I was raised by my grandparents. I was raised by my grandparents who were very conservative Christian. My grandfather was Native American Indian full blooded. And my grandmother was an Irish, the daughter of an Irish immigrants. So I was raised by my grandparents who took me to church. Every single Sunday, we went to church on Wednesdays.
It was a tradition our house that we prayed before we went to bed my grandmother made sure we prayed we prayed before we eat. And in the Christian faith that's considered strictly religious. There was no music allowed in my home other than music that my grandparents approved of there was no girls allowed in my home. There was no craziness. I did not go to parties. I was not allowed to go to school dances and all of these things as a child.
And this was my upbringing. And the only thing that I really knew about religion, other than the fact that I did what I was told to do was what I learned in Sunday school, this was my religious upbringing as a child was Sunday school.
And in Sunday school, we learned the beautiful stories about the Bible. For instance, we learned about Noah, and how he preached for 1000 years and very few people listen to his message and God destroyed the world with the flood. And we learned about Moses and the children of Israel in the bondage of Egypt and him splitting the Red Sea and Pharaoh and all of these things. We learned about David and Goliath story with David kills Goliath. We learned about Solomon building the great temple, we learned about Jesus feeding the 5000 with the fish and the loaves of bread and the Sermon on the Mount and the crucifixion and the resurrection. And this this is all that I knew about
Christianity, but that was supposedly as good as we needed to know, as a child. And then after that, my grandparents would come and drag me out of Sunday school into the regular service, which was very boring. We went to a Methodist Church and Methodist Church is not like the televangelism that you see on TV. There was no drums and guitars and singing and shouting and there was none of that. In the Methodist Church. You listened to the preacher talk you stone you stood up and you sung to him. You sat down, you listened, you stood up, you sung you sat on your Listen, you stood up your song, and then you left. That's pretty much it.
And that was how I grew up. And all of that changed when I was 14.
That's the only thing that keeps me going. So I have to keep it going.
At the age of 14, my grandparents took me to Saturday evening Youth Services for the first time, and they were held at the gym at our church. And the Saturday evening youth services were quite different. Because we got to play volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, we ate pizza and cake and candy. But then at the end, our youth pastor who lived across the street from me, would sit us down and give us a 30 minute sermon or lecture about religion and something having to do with youth and being closer to God and they etc.
And this I liked because this wasn't like normal church. And when I turned 15 I started high school, and I had not yet acquired my license. So and my grandmother was ill she was battling cancer on and off. Most most of my teenage years.
She convinced my the youth pastor through his mother to give me a ride to school every day. And to me that was
Pretty prestigious because not only was he a youth pastor that I looked up to, he was the class president of my high school, he was the senior. And he drove a really nice car was rebuilt 67 Mustang. So it was a very auspicious thing for me to be able to go to school with him. So we became friends needlessly, even though he was three years prior that ahead of me, and it was four grades ahead of me.
But he started to take me to other youth Christian Fellowship services throughout the Upstate of South Carolina, what is known as the Piedmont area of North Carolina and the the northern east corner of Georgia. And it was called young life, young life fellowship ministries, he started to take me to these meetings. And these meetings were more like what you see on TV, there was guitars and drums, and it was singing and shouting, and people speaking in languages that I couldn't even understand and people falling on the floor. And it was all this kind of, you know, in the preaching was not like our pastor who just said and read from the Bible, the preaching was screaming and
yelling, and in your face, and it was entertainment at its best. And I would say that at this point in my life, I began to become Christian out of choice. And I fell in love with my religion. And I gained an emotional attachment to my faith, which is what kept me for as long as it did keep me was this emotional attachment. And I keep that out. Just as a side note, I wanted to mention emotional attachment. Just as a side note that a lot of people ask me
during our workshops and things of that nature, how is it that people can have a faith that we look at and see it is so backwards, but yeah, they can look at it and draw a logic out of it at the same time. And that is because of that emotional attachment that I just mentioned. People can become emotionally attached to something and not see the realities of it or not see the negative effects of it, even though they may be blatant to everyone else. And that happens. That's why people are able to live these crazy lifestyles. That's why a drug addict doesn't see the damage that they are doing to themselves and their family or an alcoholic because of their emotional attachment to their wrong.
This is why a lot of marriages end up in divorce. And even now this is becoming rampant the Muslim community, because relationships begin on infatuations, which is a heavy emotional attachment to someone. And then what happens when you get married, and the emotional attachment wears off, you realize that you know they don't like each other anymore, and you get divorced. And this is starting to happen in the Muslim community because a lot of marriages are beginning on a basis. That's not correct. You have men and women now boys and girls starting to gain emotional attachments to each other improperly, which we know is by the shape on and then they get married and shaytaan loves the
breaker marriages. So he removes himself from the situation. The emotional infatuation goes away and then the marriage falls apart. This is a lesson for our youth. But when those two people get married according to the Quran and the Sunnah, based on the pleasure of Allah Subhana Allah then the law creates love and affection between them. And those marriages last but that's a whole nother issue. Let's keep going with the story. For I get off on a tangent, but I emotionally attached myself to Christianity at this time.
my friend Benjamin graduated, and I went on to be a sophomore, and he started to attend a Bible College in my hometown, which is very famous in the United States. And it is somewhat world famous amongst learned conservative Christians. It's called Bob Jones University. It's like a NEO ultra conservative Christian biblical College in Greenville, South Carolina, and his field of study, other than theology and all of these other things. His focus was on textual criticism. And if I were to tell you what textual criticism is, we would be here for another two hours, which which we don't want to be, but a textual critic. The easiest way for me to describe it is like someone who is
specialized in textual criticism is like a more Hadith of the Bible, in a sense, because just like the muhaddith has to have knowledge in sciences of Hadees they have to know the chains of narrations. They have to know the narrator's they have to know the the the text and build a word against other relevant text and all of these different sciences, a textual critic of the Bible has to do the same thing with the existing documents that we have left of the Bible, which are scattered, found from scattered all over the world. They're in different languages. They don't agree with each other. In most cases, they disagree with each other. So a textual critic has the job of
sifting through all of these documents, which at last tally was almost 7000 various documents of what is now known as the Bible.
And they have to try to find out which one is the most correct. Which one, since we have no originals, and we don't know what they originals ever said, then the textual critic scholar has to find out what is the closest to what the author originally penned down, or their original thoughts. And it's very difficult when you have no originals. And most cases, you have no chain of transmission. It's the chain is broken somewhere, always there's no such thing as a text of the Bible with the train of transmission back to the author.
But anyway, that was his field of study. And being that I was his best friend. He was my role model. I was an apprentice in every means.
I in turn, wanted to be like him, I wanted to become a youth minister. I wanted to become a Bible scholar. So I enrolled into Bob Jones University in my sophomore year, because there's a long waiting list. It's a small college, I wanted to become a missionary. At the age of 16. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a missionary. I wanted to be a Bible scholar. When I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, I wanted to preach it from knowledge.
I wanted to do be ordained in the ministry, I wanted to do all of these things. Because
I guess it's a flaw in a sense, and it's part of my system is that I am a perfectionist. It's just part of my wife says, I have an OCD. And over Compulsive Disorder, I don't know if I want to take it that far. But I have to do things to perfection. It's just the way I am. I don't accept really much less than that. And it drives my family absolutely insane. Because things have to be a certain way. And if they're not a certain way, I go crazy. And they and I don't rest until it's done that way. For instance, when I was going to be a Christian, I was going to be all of those things, the best I can be. When I was I started taking martial arts at 14. That wasn't enough. So I got one black belt.
That wasn't enough. So I got two black belts in another martial art. That wasn't enough. So I got another black belt, another martial art. That wasn't enough. So I got certified in Krav Maga, that wasn't enough. So opened up three martial arts schools, I just don't stop until there's nothing left to do. I try to meet everyone at what it is that I'm trying to do. And that that drives me crazy after a while. But
so I wanted to be like him. And as he began to become more involved in his studies, he was not able to be as involved in our church. So he passed over the youth pastoring to me temporarily, because I was pretty much too young, at that time 15 to be a youth minister. But I had already begun giving sermons at young life in different places like this. And people said that I have a I had a gift for speaking. So my pastor started letting me do some youth pastoring. And when he liked what it is that he saw from me, and people were very much happy with me, he decided to just leave me as the youth pastor as long as I want it to be even though I wasn't really old enough to be ordained as youth
so and as my friend Benjamin was studying textual criticism, guess who else was studying textual criticism, I was everything he was studying, I would study with him, when he would learn he would pass it on to me. Because as again, as a perfectionist, I wanted to be so far ahead of everyone else. When I started my freshman year at Bob Jones, I wanted to graduate in two and a half to three years I wanted to be done. So I wanted to get as far ahead as I could.
So everything was going fine and dandy at this point until the summer of 1996.
The Summer of 1996.
My friend Benjamin came to me and he asked me a question which caught my eye caught me off guard.
He came in he asked me said,
Have you ever read the Bible?
And I'm like, What are you talking about? I've ever read the Bible. I'm running around doing your job as the youth pastor and you're asking me if I've ever read the Bible. I was like, What do you mean? He's like, you know what I mean? Like, if I asked you, have you read Stephen King's latest novel, you know what I mean? You've read it from cover to cover, you know what it's about, you know, the major
players in the story. You know, the plot, you can tell me some of the major incidents that happened. You can tell me how it begins and how it ends. This is what I mean. Have you read the Bible? And I told him I have? No I've never read the Bible like that. And I did not know anyone who had read the Bible cover to cover Genesis to Revelation, who could tell you how it ended, or how it began, how it ended, who were all the players, what happens here in the middle in between. That's, that's a rare gym to find in even even in pastors. Even if they say they have read the Bible cover to cover. It's probably they said, we've read it cover to cover over a period of 1015 years and we've dabbled here
and dabbled there. It's and it's not like that.
So he asked me, he said, Well, how can it be that we want to preach the Bible, we want to teach God's word, which is the acronyms bi ble, meaning the basic instructions before leaving Earth and we have not read it like that.
No, I like that. How can we even claim that we are preaching God's word when we don't know it intimately?
I said, Okay, what do you, what do you suggest? He said, Let's take this summer, it was almost summertime. And let's read the Bible beginning to end, spend these next three months and just cover it, cover the cover, don't touch any of the books. Let's just read Genesis 112, in Revelation.
He said, Because and this was my belief, and I've had plenty of people challenged me and said, I was never a Christian, which is very funny.
But this is my belief that God was God, he was also Jesus as man. And there was also a third percentage of God being the Holy Spirit. And that part of God lived inside of me. Therefore, if God lived inside of me, or stuff that Allah, then I should be able to read his word, and he should speak to me, it should tell me what God wants from me. So he said, Let us read the Bible and let the Holy Spirit speak to us, sir. Okay, let's do that. So I started Genesis one, one.
And if I told you all of the things I saw, we would be here forever. I have, I have tried to put a lot of them together in some of my videos, like the true history of Christianity and etc. But I think it would take a couple of DVD series, for me to put them all together, all the things I saw,
like the like the contradictions in language that my friend Benjamin was pointing out to me, which are very interesting, by themselves. If you read the Hebrew text of even the tour, I will get the one from from from the who, the Jews, you'll see, and even their own scholars, I've approached them with this there, they won't admit it other than their silence, that there are places in the Torah where the language is so beautiful, in the Hebrew, that it cannot be the language posed by human beings, because human beings don't speak this way. And then you'll find many other places, which is actually more than than not, you'll find places where you can tell the language is a different
person speaking, it's a lot more remedial.
Hebrew, it's like second, third grade, maybe fifth grade Hebrew, but not very proficient, the grammar doesn't even really match up. And there's a lot of you can tell that it is different people who are speaking is different people who are writing these things down. It's not coming from the same author. But that really, Benjamin was pointing that out to me. But I was like, Yeah, okay, whatever. What caught what I wanted to read was the content, the context. And what caught my attention more than anything, was not all the contradictions which there are hundreds of 1000s of them.
What caught my attention, more than anything, was the stories of the prophets.
In the Bible, this is where I began my end of Christianity.
For instance, I started in Genesis
with the story of Noah, and he said in
the Bible that says no preach for 1000 years, not very many people listened to him, but he kept going. And then God finally got tired of all of the disobedience of him because these were the first people ever to disobey be big God were the people of no one. We believe this is a Muslim as well. The first people to deviate were the people of No. So God decided to destroy the earth with a flood. He told Noah to build the ark, and we know the story.
There's another story about Noah, that's not so prestigious. It says that after the flood,
Noah learned that there was a such a thing called alcohol that if you let wines, or if you let grapes ferment, they make this wonderful drink that makes you intoxicated. And it says that no, and this is a direct quote from Genesis. Noah became so intoxicated with alcohol one day, that he was passed out in his home naked.
So apparently, somebody saw this because no one didn't. Right. He was passed out naked. So apparently, Noah was laid out in front of people passed out naked in his home, intoxicated. Now, it nowhere refers to him as being an alcoholic, in a sense, but when you do someone that drinks enough to be passed out in their home, but naked, they're an alcoholic, I don't care Anyway, you try to put it around this person the is it has an issue with alcohol. Because I know a lot of alcoholics and I've never seen one of them laying in their house naked.
So no one had an issue with alcohol. And so I caught myself and I said, Wait a minute.
God's prophet that has kept hitting in my head God's prophet. I thought they were the you know, in my mind, God's prophets with best human beings, there was no one like them. And this is the reason God chose them for this purpose is that they lead people to God's way by their their speech and their actions. So I thought to myself, God's prophet passed out in his home drunk, naked. There's a problem with this for me somewhere
to kind of play it off, because it was a shock for me, I said to myself,
now I know why nobody listened to Noah.
He was an alcoholic, who people found out was laying in his house naked.
Nobody listens to those people. If you go to the city center, and I'm sure in every city center in the world, there's bombs who get drunk every day and pass out on the streets and beg for money, right? sure that Australia is no different. Now, let's say that same bone home, you see every day passed out,
urinating on himself and all other kinds of things. One day, all of a sudden, he jumps up on the park bench and says, you know, what God chose me to be a prophet sent me with a message to tell you that if you don't follow me, I'm going to build this huge boat in Sydney Olympic Park. And if you get on it, you'll be saved. If not, God is going to destroy all of you. How many of you are going to be following this guy and go get on this boat, even if he can build it? That's what I thought. So I said to myself, now I know why no one listened to no way except his family.
And even then his son didn't listen to him.
So I was like, wow, but that's really weird. So issue for me, but I kept reading. I was like, Okay, let's just go. The point is to read the book from beginning to end, I can't get stuck in Genesis. So I kept reading. And I got to the story of lat look at a Sam, there is differences of opinion about from biblical scholars, whether or not la was a prophet. And I've even had some preachers debate me a lot wasn't a prophet, I said, Who cares or not whether or not you believe is a prophet God saw at fit that this man was important enough to put in his book. So he, there's reasons to talk about him. He's in your book for reason. So the story of what Islam is the story of lat and solid Sodom and
Gomorrah, the cities that were overrun with homosexuality, and God decided to destroy that city, due to their sins. And he sent lots of them to warn them.
Now, there's another story about light that's really, really, really, really not as prestigious. And because we have young children here, I have to water the story down, because if I give it to you, uncut, it's not PG, not even pG 13, you would need to show ID to be able to tell you the story in full detail.
And I'm just very serious. There are plenty of stories in the Bible that you need identification, to prove your age.
It will be in one of those little stores with the blacked out windows. I don't know if you have those over here. But it The story is of lightness, two daughters, lot had two daughters and no sons. He had no one to pass on his lineage as a male child, and his daughters were worried about this because he was getting old. So his daughters decided to fix it. The problem. And the way they decided to fix the problem was the oldest daughter got a lot intoxicated, he would go with alcohol. Again, it seems like an overwhelming message in the Bible. Lot's daughter, oldest daughter got a lot intoxicated one evening, and then slept with him and became pregnant by him, so that she could
possibly have a son. And just to make sure that there was a 5050 chance. The youngest daughter did the same thing the next night. And they both became pregnant by their father.
So now I'm really have an issue, because now we have two drug profits, and one of them is sleeping with his daughters.
So this is starting to become a bad theme to me. So now I'm really interested in the stories of the prophets. So I'm reading all of it, but I'm reading kind of quickly through because there's a lot of parts of the Bible that really you would wonder, like, What in the world is this even doing in this book?
Has nothing to do with anything. There's an entire book called Ruth, in the Bible that never even mentions God. It's a love story. It's like a romance novel. You like what? You finish it you like, okay, whatever. There's nothing
that came out of that.
But so I kept reading. And there were a couple of other stories, but I don't want to keep you here to the budget. And the two that really caught my attention the most after, after the one about what was the story of Solomon, and David, Solomon are a ceram. And they in de la Sarang.
And the story of Solomon is that he was one of the greatest kings of Israel. In the Bible, he established the temple, which is now the Temple Mount, which is what the Jews are trying to destroy a medical officer to rebuild thinking that the Messiah is going to come which is just going to be the details, so I don't know what they're inheriting for.
But there's another story about Solomon in the Bible, where it says that Solomon once became so weakened his faith that he worshipped idols.
He committed Chuck should have been the greatest shook.
And I'm like, okay, God's prophet is now
worshiping other gods. So what if people followed him? Would they be right or would they be wrong? Was the God's prophet?
Something like Yeah, that's it. That's, that's a serious problem. And now I get to the story of David. And this is where I had to say, Okay, enough is enough. How many of you know the story of the woods?
The wood was David and Goliath, where David killed Goliath should all know the story. If not, you need to go pick up a castle salon via trauma.
There's another story about David that's,
again, not so great. It's a story of a David and a woman named Bathsheba. In the Bible. Bathsheba is known as a very beautiful woman in the Bible. She was very gorgeous. David saw her sunbathing one day on her porch.
And he decided that this woman was so beautiful. He had to have her. So he wouldn't he slept with her.
The only problem is, she's married. And she's married to one of the commanders of his army named Uriah. And so David committed adultery, a sin punishable by death, according to his own law.
And now David has to figure out how to solve the problem. He feels bad about what he did. So he says, Okay, let me fix the problem.
Do you think he fixes the problem by repenting and becoming a better person and you know, admitting his sin? No. He sends a letter to his army, saying when the battle is fierce, because they were fighting and Philistine at the time, he said, when the battle is fierce, I want everyone to abandon Uriah. So they dies. So they did that Uriah was killed. And now David is able to have Bathsheba and nobody can say a thing. So he committed adultery and then covered it up by committing murder, or conspiracy to commit murder.
So now I'm like, wait a minute. Enough is enough, man, you know, I mean, this is getting way out of control. I don't even want to go any farther than this. This is just seriously out of control. I thought God's prophets were the best human beings on earth. Now we have prophets who are alcoholics passed out in their home naked, we have prophets who are sleeping with their daughters, we have prophets who are committing idolatry, committing adultery, and murder. These are like the first five capital sins. These are the first breaking the first five commandments. See, these are seriously the first five commandments have no other gods before me covet thy neighbor's wife, all of the you broke
And I'm like, these are not the best people, not only they're not the best people, these are some of the people who you would see on America's Most Wanted instincts. You know, that guy john wall's with the leather coat, he'll be looking for these guys. If I see these guys, I'm calling the police. If I I would not leave my four year old son alone with the with David, or Noah. And if not got anywhere near my daughter. I'm gonna kill him myself.
And these are God's prophets. So there's an issue here for me.
There is a big issue for me. So I started to commit
the biggest sin in Christianity and Christians challenge this, but the ones who've left Christianity they know I'm telling the truth. The biggest sin in Christianity is law started asking way too many questions.
I started asking way too many questions that I had no business asking.
say whatever they want to say. That's the biggest thing in Christianity. And when I started to ask all these questions, I got to ask my pastor, a youth pastor, a couple of pastors, I even got to ask one of the greatest televangelists in the world. His name is Benny Hinn. How many of you ever heard of Binney in? He's one of our favorites, right? He loves us, right? We love him. He doesn't like us. When would we like him?
They all told me the same thing. It was kind of like a pre recorded message. They would tell me, brother Joshua, don't let a little bit of knowledge wreck your face. Because we are not justified by knowledge. We are justified by faith. This is Paul's teaching. By the way, we are justified by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sharing of his blood for the redemptions of sins. This is a direct quotation from Paul. He said, so it is your faith alone that gives you justification unto salvation, not knowledge. So basically, you don't need to know nothing. You just need to believe it.
And he told me, my pastor told me that real faith is belief beyond the capability to understand. That's real faith is faith beyond the capacity of reason, faith beyond the ability to understand it. That's real faith.
So in the back of my mind, I'm like, you know what that sounds like? I'm being run game on. You know, like, I don't know if you guys use that term over here on game. But you know, a lot of the Shabaab like to try to run game on everybody, including the parents. And I know and I said, I know what I'm trying to be sold snake oil, you know.
I know like you're trying to
Eskimo ice. So this doesn't really sound good to me. I said, but and then he told me, my pastor told me, but why are you even meddling around in the Old Testament? The Old Testament is the Old Covenant. It is for the children of Israel. It is their direct relationship, and they had with God that is now passed over into the new covenant of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have the New Testament. So why don't you go read the New Testament? Why don't you read the life of Jesus Christ, and you will find something completely different.
And then he tried to tell me about, you know, that the prophets were.
They were prophets. Yeah, they were human beings. So they had natural flaws. And they tried to show us how you could have natural flaws and a human being yet still be used as God's best, wasn't really buying it. But I didn't want to argue at that time, because I didn't want to lose my faith, you have to understand that I had my whole life ahead of me. I had already founded my life on this religion, and doing this work. And I wanted to see that the cracks quick. So I started to go to the New Testament. But before I did, I finished the Old Testament. And there was some things about the Old Testament that were clear. Even the things there were so many things were unclear. There were things
from the Old Testament that were extremely clear.
And the number one thing that was clear from the Old Testament was that God was one. This was without a doubt, God was one and the most unique of senses. And there's so many verses that say, the speak of God's oneness and the Old Testament that it's not even, we don't have the capacity to relate them all. In this time. City. Like for instance, here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one here, O Israel, the Lord your I am the Lord your God, and there is none else. Here, oh, Israel, I am the Lord your God and there is none like me. Here, O Israel, the first commandment was what thou the way they translated in the King James is thou shalt have no other gods before me, which is not
really the correct interpretation of the word because that that kind of says, okay, you can not have any other God before me. But I've had one person I even had
I even had a Hindu Tell me, okay, yes. And the first commandment is you should have no other gods before me. But God didn't say anything about beside me or behind me.
So it's not a good translation. The correct terminology of that verse is God says, In the first commandment, you shall have no other God along with me. Or you should not have any other God that you make as an equal to me, meaning what God said in the first commandment was that you do not make anything as an equal with me. You did not give anything that which rightly belongs to me, Your Worship is for me alone, your sacrifices are to me alone. This is what is meant by this commandment.
So this was very clear, without a doubt. And number two, God was very jealous. He was extremely generous. And the only time he would really flip out on the children of Israel was when they would worship something else other than him. That they were he would flip out on them and run in and make their lifestyle more and more and more strict. That's why you think the Sharia is strict. you've not seen anything like the Hasidic Jewish law. Hasidic Jewish law is so strict, just because of the fact that this is the adaptable law that is placed on them, that if they want to continue to follow that law, that broken law, it's very strict. It's really, really strict. There's so many things they
can't do. It makes absolutely no sense. It's kind of like being in prison.
And that is a reason for that. There's a reason a lot did that. Because prison is for what reason is to contain criminals. Yes. But also prison has a lot of things that are psychological, for instance, like all of the bars, any of you have ever because I used to do a lot of prison work been inside a prison, you know, there's too many there's, there's more bars than necessary. They're bright colors, they make you wear silly jumpsuits, the food is completely nasty. All of these things are not only to punish you, but also to remind you every single day that you wake up, you in jail, and you're here for a reason, and don't come back. This is the point of a lot of things in prison. And this was
the point of a laws restriction on the children of Israel to remind them that I am a law. You don't disobey me, I make the rules not to. You want to disobey me, I'll just make it tougher.
And another thing I realized from the Old Testament was that salvation, that means that if you wanted to go to heaven, in the Old Testament, there was one two ways to do it to only two, you worship god alone, and you obey Him. This was it. That was it, you worship God, and you obey Him and you go to heaven. That's it. And the last statement of the Old Testament, and if you know what the last statement of the Old Testament is, it's a very profound statement. The last statement of the Old Testament in Melaka, which is the last book of the Old
Testament, God says to the children of Israel, I do not change. I do not change, therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed. He says, I don't change. That's why I have not destroyed you is basically his last message in the Old Testament is that I don't change my mind, basically what law is saying, I don't change. That's the reason I have not destroyed you because I made a covenant with you. And I don't break it. Because I don't change my mind. And we know this from the Quran where Allah subhanho wa Taala says that the son of Allah does not change the way a law deals with his creation does not change. So I began to read the New Testament, the life of Jesus Christ.
And if I went into all the problems of the Old Testament, all of the textual problems, all the historical problems, all the contradictions of the message and the themes and, man, it's, it's a headache. Trust me, if you want to know more you can, you can, if you want to know all of those, you can go to my website, and I have a lecture series called The truth of the history of Christianity, on there talks all about the New Testament.
But what I wanted to see was Jesus, what was his message? Who was he? What did he teach? What did he preach? What was his life like? So I started to study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and john. But I studied it differently than any other Christian would ever study it. And this is why they don't see what I saw so clearly, is because the way they look at it, this is why I love the the study of textual criticism, I even apply that to my Islamic Studies, because it gives me a much deeper knowledge.
Like you have Matthew, you have mark, you have moved, and you have john, and they're all stories about Jesus and the way most Christians read them as they read them, Matthew to the end, Mark to the end, Luke, and john to the end, and what they think their reading is, for of the same story told by different people, just a different perspective. But the way if you read it the right way, and you read linearly, instead of you read like this, cross rather than down, you see something completely different. The way you do that is I read the first chapter of Matthew, which has a certain amount of set of stories, then I would read the first chapter mark, then I'll read the first chapter of Luke
that are read the first set of john then go to 22233. Because then you're seeing the same stories by all four people at the same time. And you realize there's really something wrong here is really an issue here, because it's not the same story, but not by the same people. They don't mean the same thing. But what I did see from the New Testament was that this is what Jesus taught. He taught that God was one, that without a doubt, he taught that God is one. He even says it, he quotes Deuteronomy, here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one. In john 17, verse three, he says, This is life eternal, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
He teaches equivalent, many times that God was greater than him. He said, I the father is greater than I. He says that God is greater than I, when somebody asked him said, Call them good master. He said, Why do you call me good Master? For there is none. That is good. And actually, that's the real connotation of the Greek which is not a language Jesus spoke. So it's hard to even know that that's what he said, because it's by language, a man didn't speak. But in the Greek it's, it says, Jesus said that all good comes from God. Everything that is good comes from God. He said, Why are you calling me good? For there is none. There is none that is a source of good except one. And that's
God does this. This is Jesus's message that God has one.
So what did Jesus teach about salvation then? Because I was thinking to myself, I thought Jesus was God. But he couldn't be God, because he's saying that God is one. But wait a minute, it is one, because he is God at the same time. No, he can't be God, because Jesus when somebody asked him, when was the day of judgment, he said, No man, no with our, not even the son meaning himself. Only the father, meaning God, and Heaven knows the hour. So he can't be God. He didn't even know that this gentleman was going to be when he taught people to pray, he taught them to pray, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, it is in heaven,
praising God. And then he asked God Give us this day, our daily bread, that so the, the Lord's Prayer is separated into two parts, which is very interesting to me. Now, as a Muslim, the first part of the Lord's Prayer is praising God. And the second part of the Buddhist prayer is asking for redemption and deliverance onto the right path, which is very interesting. But
as I'm saying, he can't be God.
Because God is not all knowing and knowing. God is not someone who doesn't need anything which is the God of the Old Testament. He needed nothing. And he needs things that God's nature and Jesus nature are not one in the same.
So I said, Okay, well then how do we go to heaven if Jesus is not God?
Maybe he was just the Son of God. Maybe we just got on the plane.
But then I read on.
And a man once named named Lazarus once came to Jesus and Richmond once came to Jesus. And he asked him, oh, good Master, how do I inherit eternal life? How do I go to heaven? How do I get salvation?
Now, Jesus didn't reply, saying, I'm going to down the cross, resurrect myself on the third day, etc, etc, etc. He said, Follow the commandments. He said, obey God, obey God's law. And the man said, I've done that. I've done that this is a lot of Christians, they misinterpret these things, because of their emotional attachment, preconceived notions. He said, I've done that. And Jesus told me, he said, Okay, if you've done that, that means you're perfect. Then what you need to do is you need to go to your house, sell everything you have, and you need to come work for me. You need to come to what I'm doing. If you're so perfect, I need some help. You need to come work with me. And
the man realized at that point, he was not perfect in God's eyes. So he left crying. But this was Jesus's message to the man, keep the commandments, follow God's law, you want to go to heaven, follow God's law. I'm like, what happens? The crucifixion. And I'm starting, so I started looking for any way, Jesus says that he's going to die on a cross on the third day of the resurrection for the sins of humanity in that language, and what I find out is it's not there. The only places you can find that is
in what is the word, I'm looking for implicit terminology, meaning he said something that you can take to mean that if you already think that's what it means, but if you didn't know anything about the crucifixion, you would not necessarily deduce those things. So I'm like, wait, but God's message is clear. God's message, the Old Testament is clear. I'm one worship me go to heaven. And this is the same thing that Jesus teaching. God is one, worship Him go to heaven. So now I'm like, Okay, what about the crucifixion? And I promise you, we're getting close to the end.
So I'm like, I have to now find out what the crucifixion is all about. Because it's in all four books of the New Testament. What is it about? Why did they try to crucify Jesus? Why was the crucifixion even necessary? If Jesus is teaching the salvation, light and following the law, and Jesus is saying that he is a fulfillment of the law, he didn't come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. And he told people to follow the law. But get as a Christian, we don't follow the law. We are told by Paul that the law is cursed. Paul writes, that the law is not a way to salvation. And here's Jesus saying the law is salvation. I'm confused. I'm conflicted. Jesus saying the law leads you to
salvation. And Paul is saying that the law was only our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. Once we have Christ, we're no more need him the schoolmaster, which is the law, and that the law is cursed, even starts out his book of Galatians. And this is where I caught it. When I started to read Galatians. When I read Galatians, Paul teaches, and he starts out by saying, Oh, you foolish Galatians. Why are you still following this curse law. And Paul says that the law was a curse. And he says that Jesus Christ was cursed on behalf of the law, in order to remove us from the curse of the law, for it is written, and he quoted an Old Testament passage. Everything that hangs on a tree
is cursed. And I stopped right there. Because that caught me. I said, Why? Why did Paul say this? There has to be a reason Paul made this statement that Christ was crucified and cursed according to the law, in order to remove us from the curse of law, what is written, everything hanging on the tree is cursed. So I go back to the Old Testament, I started to read that passage that Paul quoted, and it is in Deuteronomy. And I start to realize that crucifixion was the worst capital punishment that you could receive, according to the law of Moses. And it says in Deuteronomy, that whenever you hang someone on a tree with crucifixion, to take them down that same day, don't let them hang on the
tree overnight. Because everything that you hang on a tree, crucify is cursed by God. So be saying, take them down, bury him that same day, because they're cursed. People don't leave them hanging overnight.
And all of a sudden, it clicks to me.
I know now, why they wanted to crucify Jesus. And I know now, why Jesus was not crucified. And I know now why his crucifixion was not a means to salvation, and why Jesus emphasized the law so much. And I know now why Jesus did not want to be crucified. Because all of that used to play my mind. It made no sense that Jesus whole mission is to come and die on the cross. But yet when they come and tell him, they're going to crucify you, he runs to the garden against 70 falls on his face, prays to God saying, God, if it'd be pleased, let this cup pass from me. I don't want to go to the cross. He's begging God crying so hard that his sweat becomes as a source of blood, asking God don't let
them crucify me. I'm like, wait a minute, this man. This makes absolutely no sense. at all, Click together
Rather than going through the whole line of it, I'm just going to tell you why. So we can get to the end. There's one reason they wanted to crucify Jesus.
Number one, Jesus was a man who came to people who had completely lost God's message to the children of Israel. And there was a group of people amongst them, who were called the Sadducees. And the Pharisees, these were the older man of the time. But the older man were very corrupt. The scholars were very corrupt. They were using God's law and God's religion, to subjugate the people, and to get rich off the people and to get wealthy and have status and prestige. They were using God's religion to make themselves better than everyone else. And they were keeping the people ignorant. They were keeping the people poor and all of this other things.
Jesus came to put a check on that, basically, he came to put things back at a level playing field. This is why he did some of the weird things they didn't see when he walked through the cornfields on the Sabbath day and all of this, he was trying to let the tune of Israel know that God's law is meant for God to help you, not for you to hurt one another with it. And he came and said, I have been sent to what an adult, an adulterous and murderous nation, meaning these Pharisees and Sadducees talking to them, one of the first things he did when he entered to Jerusalem, or the last thing, depending on which book of the New Testament, you read, he went into the temple and what he
saw there were people changing money inside the masjid or below, he came in, he flipped the table, he said, this is not the place for that. So we came to put things back together. And this was his biggest crime. His biggest crime was not his message. They knew his message was good. They knew his message was right. They knew he was the Messiah. The problem was that Jesus was not the Messiah they envisioned, he was not someone who came and sat on the king on the king's throne in the Temple of Solomon, and ruled the world with an iron fist. This was what they were looking for, this is what they were expecting. Why? Because they become so attached to this world, this dunya had consumed
them so much, that they thought the only salvation was to control this world. And they clung to it very heavily. And this is what a lot tells us in the Quran, that you will find them the most arduous of people after this life, that if you were to give them a life of 1000 years, it would not be enough for them. And ally even challenges them with that, if that tells them if you are God's chosen people wish for death, they will never do it. So I began to see this in the Old Testament in the New Testament that this was the problem of the children of Israel. That is the only way they would accept Jesus the Messiah, as if he ruled with it with an iron fist over the whole world. But Jesus
was trying to tell them was I did not come to bring you the kingdom of this world. I came to bring you the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the hereafter. That's what God is wanting for you that, not this, this means nothing. Jesus spent his whole life trying to show them that this world is nothing what I've come to bring you is that you're after. And this is the message of all the prophets, all of the profits that they came to take us to the kingdom of the Hereafter, this world is really nothing. But they were trying to hear that. Not only that, but then he went even farther than that, they might have been able to let that go. They might have just said he's
just an idiot. The biggest sin of Jesus was that he challenged the authority. He challenged the authority in the ruling elite, the people who were subjugating themselves over everyone else, he challenged their prestige, and he showed them for who they were to the people. So of course, anytime I don't care what your messages, I don't care how good your messages, I don't care how pure your way of life is, the moment you become a threat to the status of the ruling elites, the moment yours your way of system that you're trying to bring becomes a direct threat to the system that is set up to subjugate human beings, you will become public enemy number one, and they will exhaust no efforts to
silence you and get rid of you. That's that's what happened to Jesus, which happened to every other prophet that came along. And this is what was happening now foretold our resource of the Lord's lamb he already knew how many you remember that story when he went to war for the novel worker said, I wish that I was a young, strong young man so that I could stand beside you with my sword when the day your people will throw you out. And he said, they'll throw me out. He said, No one has come with what you came with, except that they're people through them.
So this is what Jesus made himself a threat to so what did they do? They had to get rid of him. Jesus has to go, he's gotta go. So they had to find a way to get rid of this man. But not only did they want to get rid of him because Jesus wasn't like any other prophet. They realized that this Jesus came blazing with miracles He was God. Allah sent him with with miracles like had never been seen.
They said not only do we need to get rid of them, because they could have killed them. Jesus had no tribe. He had no lineage and no father, so they could have just killed him and dumped them in a ditch. Nobody would have done anything about it.
But what they wanted to do was to discredit him. This is what they needed to do. They needed to discredit who he was. They needed to make him look so stupid that no one would ever believe in his message again. And they realized, they were very smart. They said, there's one way we can get rid of them. He's coming, saying he's bringing the law of God, he's the fulfillment of the law of God, because they tried other things. If you read the New Testament, they tried to trick him. Many times. They even tried to get him to speak against Caesar. If you if any of you read the New Testament, they came and asked Jesus one time they tried to trick him, they said, Do you think we should pay
taxes to season? And Jesus said, No, that's it. That's that's, that's a capital crime, they would have killed him on the spot. He said, a trick them he said, give to God who belongs to God and give to Caesar what belongs to season, and leave me alone.
So they asked him many things trying to trick him.
So they couldn't figure out any of that. So what they decided to do was they decided to start calling him that he was saying that he was the king of the Jews. In a direct challenge to to Caesar's Empire, they started calling the King of the Jews. And that's actually believe it or not, when he was crucified for not for calling himself God, because they even nailed the book, The cross that they were supposedly whoever was crucified on. Here lies, the kingdom, the Jews, but they started saying that he was calling himself divine by some of the things that he said like the father and I are one but they were misinterpreting the things he said which question is due today the same
thing? They took that and started to say that he was in direct challenge to the seat of season. So they were taking him to Pontius Pilate and said, You need to crucify this man you need to kill him. He sees a direct threat. When Pontius question Jesus, what did he say? He said, I find no fault in this man take him. But eventually they they, they convinced Pontius to try to crucify him. And there's one reason they wanted to have Jesus crucified. Because, gee, they, Pontius asked, What do you mean to do with him? It's a crucified. It's like crucify Jesus crucified, was one reason why, because of that old testament statement that everything that hangs on a tree is cursed. They realize
if we can crucify Jesus, he cannot be the Messiah. Because you cannot crucify God's Messiah and curse him according to the very law that he is saying, He's coming to fulfill what an idiot, he will look like, if we can crucify him, and no one will ever believe in him. This is also why Paul said that the crucifixion was the stumbling block of the Jews. They were laughing at the Christians, you believe in a crucified Messiah? Are you serious? There's no such thing as a crucified Messiah. It can't happen. They knew this. So this is why they wanted to crucify him. And when Jesus realized that, that's why he went to the garden that gives him money. That's why he fell on his praise and
prayed to Allah so hard saying, y'all What do not let them crucify me? Because he understood if they crucify me, they'll never believe in me, I've wasted my mission. All this work is for nothing if they crucify me.
And we know that Allah subhana wa tada answered this, I realized this now as a Muslim. And as a side note, which I'm going to get to the end and promise you, but I hope I'm not boring anyone to death. As a side note, we know that our Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam said that every prophet was given a door off in their lifetime that a lot of promise to answer, yes or no, every profit was given one free ticket by Allah s whatever you like. I'll give it to you. Aloha Adam, but this may have been Jesus has to offer he may have pulled that out at this time. And without that, get out of whatever free card and said your last name is Dawn now. And some scholars deduced that this may be what
happened because quoting the Gospel of Barnabas, which don't use it as as direct evidence, because Gospel of Barnabas has his issues as far as textual relativity, but in the quoting the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus made this to Allah. And then all of a sudden angels came and took him. And this was the answer. But Allahu Allah, Mama saved him from this.
So I realized to myself, Jesus could not have been crucified, I realized that no matter I don't care, because when I started to read the crucifixion story, again, I started to focus on it. Even in the New Testament, I realized, wait a minute, it was not Jesus there was crucified is there's a different there's different stories about what's happening here. There's different stories about what happens during the crucifixion. There's different stories about what happens after the crucifixion, even in the resurrection. Because I started to question the crucifixion. And the guy told me no, look, even we even have witnesses in the Gospel of Thomas, where Tom has said that he
went to Jesus. And there's another book that's not in the Bible. He said, he went to Jesus. And Jesus said to me, oh, Thomas, why do you doubt that I was crucified? Look into my hands and see the marks. I said to myself, wait a minute. crucifixion is not through the hands. This was told to me by a rabbi when he was laughing at the crucifixion story. He said, You think you're because people have you ever heard of the Christians getting the stigmata? You ever heard of the stigmata? Where's the stigmata? up these people. So you see with these miracles
In the hands, it is physically impossible to crucify somebody through the hands. You, you nail somebody through the hand, and you hang them on a
pole, see how long they're going to stay up there, their body weight is not even going to let them be there. So I laugh at this. This is your miracle
stigmata to the hand, Christ could anatomy crucified through the hands, crucifixion would have been through the arm and through the the shin bones. So you get some issues. But anyway, so I realized Jesus could not have been crucified. So I started asking, now these questions. And of course, I was quickly removed as these pastor no longer was able to even speak in public anymore, which I didn't want to anyway, because I could not continue to preach a message that I did not believe in. And finally, my friend, Benjamin, when I told him what I was saying, He smiled, and he said, Come with me, he took me to his textual critic professor.
And his textual critic professor told me, Joshua, the book you have in your hand, the Bible is a book written by the hands of men and women, over 1000s of years, and it's been passed down by hand, written for 1000s of years, and people made lots of mistakes in their copying. Sometimes the mistakes were accidental, sometimes they were purposely changed for many various reasons. He said, But But what you have in your hands now is a product of the hands of menza women, and they left their fingerprints on it. So it's not without error. It's not perfect. No, it's not. He said, but the people who believe in it, believe in it by faith. And it is that faith, which takes them to
justification and salvation. It is that faith, which leads them to have salvation, because true faith is what believe beyond the capability to understand the needs beyond the capability of reason, even belief in in the face of blatant evidence.
And so I said to him, I said, let me tell you something.
I said, Would you tell me is a bunch of garbage? I said, because God is perfect. Yeah. He said, Yes. I said, therefore, God's book should be perfect. Therefore, God's prophets should be perfect. God's message should be perfect. And everything that comes from him, is perfect. His universe that he created is perfect. You're telling me God is perfect. The world he created is perfect. The system is set up as perfect. The human being the developer is perfect. But now all of a sudden, when it comes to his message, to human beings to live their life, now all of a sudden, it's completely imperfect, his profits are worse than more people I've ever met in my entire life. His book is rubbish. It has
no authority, no whatsoever. The religion is so stupid that the only way you can believe in is if you turn off your logic that God gave you as a sense to understand the world around you. And that's the only way I can be saved. He's like, yep, I said, Well, this is not the religion for me. And I left, I left Christianity completely and said, this is garbage. And I started to look for other religions. I studied Hinduism.
That's like a soap opera of gods.
Seriously, it's like a soap opera. When God gives birth to another god who then turns and kills his mother in these sleeps with his sister.
And oh, by the way, this week, another god we found one though, no, there's another one that this
craziness. Buddha studied Buddhism. I don't know how that's a religion. Buddha. Buddha never mentions God. He never even alludes. The God exists. So don't know how that's religion. I studied taylorism some very good teachings, but still a lot of rubbish. I studied.
weaken, which is the spells magic, witchcraft, all that good stuff. I studied Buddhist.
Bushido, which is the samurai Code of Conduct very good code of conduct, except for the whole falling on your sword thing. Not really down for that.
But I studied every religion that I could get my hands on.
And I had one person Tell me a pastor, he left and he was very arrogant the way he said it.
You just proved yourself a liar, telling me that you studied the world's major religions in less than a year and a half. You're such an idiot. I said,
You're right. I'm such an idiot, that I would take a glass of dirty water, which is the world's religions. And I would drink a sip of it realize how dirty it is. Oh, but let me keep drinking it until I finished the whole glass and hopefully the last sip is good water.
That's the world religions. When I took one sip and saw how dirty it was. I spit it out and I put the cup down. That's what I did. When I studied the religion far enough to realize it's garbage. It's garbage was digging in. If you go in the dumpster and realize it's only garbage, what do you want to find at the bottom? More garbage, so I left it alone.
So and I also read a book about Islam.
I got a book from the public library, about Islam. I don't remember the name of it. But it said that Muslims in o s le M, which is a very derogatory word, it means someone who presses someone else coming from the war, the volume, Muslim Muslim means one who commits volume, which is oppression or wrong or harm evil. It's a very sleight of the tongue, said that Muslims worship a moon God called a law who lives in a box in the desert of Saudi Arabia. And then all all Muslims were atoms, and they had many wives, and they beat them all day long. And the greatest deed of a Muslim was to kill a non Muslim at any time at any place without discretion, and then they would get virgins when they went
So I put that book back on the shelf.
And I marked this lamb off the list like this. And I said to myself, if I ever said another religion, it never be Islam. And if I ever see a Muslim, I'm going to Bruce Lee him on the streets, and I'm going to call the FBI.
But I've never seen a Muslim. I live in South Carolina. Never seen a Muslim in my life. So how are you? I'm good. So I left religion alone completely at 17. And I send you know what gun, you don't want to help me out, I help myself. You don't want to show me the right way. I'll make up my own way. And I promise you, I'll show you how much better I can do at doing my thing. So I started to drink and party and get in all you know, all of the things that you can get into as a youth 17 years old, lost, angry God, angry religion, there's a lot of trouble you can get into. And like I said, I'm a perfectionist. If I was going to be a Buddhist, it would have been orange robe and bald head
and sandals. If I was going to be a Wiccan it would have been spilled on everybody. I was gonna I was gonna be a samurai Ottoman running around in the dress and sword and Katana and all that. That's just the way I am. So when I went out to the streets, I wanted to be a proper gangster, you know, proper thug, I wanted to you know, hold Tupac Thug Life movement was heavy at that point. typographers got killed and Biggie and all that stuff. I was I was in it. And my biggest problem was my anger issue. I was getting into fights got kicked out of school.
had to go to night school not finishing get my secondary degree. I had to I got arrested one night for a fight that a young man didn't want to get off the phone. So I made him get off the phone.
payphone and it didn't really help because I broke the phone.
And it turned out that he was the son of a judge
that it really didn't work out for me. But I had an anger issue.
I was just angry. And I thought that you know, I had a black belt at that time. So I thought I was Bruce Lee reincarnated from Hinduism. Picked up that from Hinduism. So I thought that if I was rudely reincarnated, you know, anytime somebody got in my way, I was gonna, you know, kung fu connection, right down the streets. And I didn't really need a reason I would try to find a reason, you know, to get my anger out. So I got me in a lot of trouble. But there were two things that change that. The first one was I was on Oh, by the way, I played baseball all of my life. Baseball has been in my blood, I live, breathe and eat and slept. And that was even more than martial arts. I
had a natural talent at it. And my sophomore year of high school, I was promised that if I graduated with a C average, I had a guaranteed four year scholarship to one of the best baseball schools in the country, Clemson University, I lost that when I beat up the young man at the payphone.
So I decided that if I couldn't go to Clemson, I was going to party there. So I went to I was coming back from a party at Clemson with a friend of mine, and we were both highly intoxicated. And we flip the car over.
They say on the poor seven and a half times, but I don't really know who did the counting. Because the car broken half, one half of the car was in the in the in the ditch, the other half was in the middle of the road. And
the funny thing about it was we destroyed the car. And we were both unharmed. He had a broken ankle, which for that type of break was nothing and I had a cut right here in my arm that I still have a scar to today. That was it. We walked away from the accident. And the police officer they came, told us he told me said that God has a purpose for you to young man's life because people don't live through things like this. He said, I've been to too many accidents, much less than this. And if people don't walk away from this.
He said that God has a purpose for your life, you need to figure out what it is. And I laughed at him, not in his face in the back of my head because I wasn't going to jail. And I didn't want to push it. My friend was.
And I said that. If God has a purpose for me, he had his chance. And I looked at my friend and said God must have a purpose for you. That must be why we're both here. So I appreciate it. And a couple months, like a month or two after a few weeks. I didn't learn my lesson. So I decided to go to New York City with my friend My dad was living in New York at the time. So I went to New York, and me and this friend were in the hole
Tell them I said I need to go to the ATM. So I went to the ATM to take some money out of my grandmother's account, because she spoiled me way too much. And in New York, the ATMs are in glass rooms. I don't know if you guys have that over here. But you slide your card in the in, you go into the ATM, and it locks behind you with little magnets so that nobody, the only one person goes in is private. But thieves are pretty, pretty intelligent, pretty ingenuity.
They're pretty ingenious. They would stick rocks at the corner of the door, so that when the door closes, the magnets don't really touch but it looks like the doors closed. And then you go and you take out your money. A guy comes behind you with a gun or a knife. What are you gonna do, you're stuck in a classroom with a guy with a gun, you're going to give him the money. So I pulled out my money and turned around, there was a guy with a gun in my face directly in my face. And it was a revolver. I'll never forget it to this day. I don't know what kind of revolver it was. But when it's in your face, it looks like one of those Dirty Harry, you know, long ones like in Batman, you know
where you had to pull it out like this. That's what it looked like in my face like a cannon.
And he must have really needed this money. I'll never forget his face. And then forget the gun what it looks like. But he looked me directly in the eyes. He didn't say a word to me and say Put your hands up and say give me the money. He looked in my face, he pulled the trigger. And I remember that distinct to this day how the revolver makes this distinct turning noise and then this click this this sound, I can hear it to this day, like it happened 10 minutes ago. And the gun did golf in my face. And you can tell at that time, both of our eyes got big. My eyes got big because I didn't he didn't blow my head off. His eyes got big because he didn't blow my head off. And we're both looking
at each other like this. And neither one of us know what to do. Because you when stuff like that happens, you enter what is called fight or flight syndrome. Your bodily just drops adrenaline inside of you. And one or two things happen either freezes you and mobilizes you, or you can use that adrenaline for something like you've ever heard about mothers picking up cars with their babies, that that can happen physically. And that adrenaline dumps in you like that you can do the craziest things. So we're both stuck like that. And all of a sudden, I realized in my head, wait a minute, if you don't go, this guy is gonna kill you. You don't you know, it's like a little guy running around
in my head like ringing a bell like, Are you an idiot? You know, I mean, like, if you don't move, it's not gonna happen twice. So I bone rushed him, and I tackled him and the gun would fly. And he went flying the money when flying, and then I jumped an hour flying. And I told my friend we have to go. So I went back drove back south carolina that night, 18 hours. And I told I didn't tell anybody. Because I knew if I told my grandmother, what happened, who would tell my father that I went to New York, after I had almost killed myself in the cracks and almost got shot in the face. My father would just finish it and just kill me himself.
So I didn't say anything.
until I started to have bad nightmares about these two incidences and these nightmares turned into night terrors. I don't know if any of you ever had a nightmare. But it's your worst nightmare. in HD. It's your worst nightmare and high definition.
It you smell it, you sense it and it's just totally sensatori dreams. And these two dreams are about these these incidences about the gun and the car accident. And normally, you don't relate bad dreams to anyone. But for the purpose of the story, I put this one in these dreams ended with my death. And in this thing, and usually you don't die in dreams. It's very rare that you die and dreams. Usually you wake up at that point. Why we don't know. But you wake up at that point. But in these dreams, I would die. In the moment after I die. There were two things that would happen immediately, I would have a smell of strong sulfur. And I remember that to this day strong sulfur smell. And there would
be something that would be waiting for me on the other side. Like I don't can't explain it you went from one existence to another. And whatever it was that was waiting to greet me on the other side. Stephen King and his most crazy thoughts could not dream up something like this. Whatever this thing was that was waiting for me and in the hereafter. If that is 1,000,001 small millions of how bad what is waiting for the disbelievers on the app in the next life. I don't want any of it, because it's the most frightening thing I've ever seen in my life. And I wake up screaming. And after I woke up screaming a couple nights my grandmother asked me what was going on. So I told her what was
happening the gun and the gun was killing me in the dreams. My grandmother told me, God has a definite purpose for your life. And if you don't see that, you're the biggest idiot I've ever seen and I did not raise an idiot. God really, really really wants something from you. And if you don't figure it out, you're going to hell this was this was she told me kitchen table breakfast. I haven't even finished my eggs yet. She's time I'm going to hell.
So I tell her Okay, what should I do? She told me you need to get back together and find God. I said I
I looked for him and I didn't find them. She didn't tell me to go back to church, my grandfather had already passed away in this. This time few years ago. She said, God didn't go anywhere. You just haven't found them yet. But you need to keep looking. So I became a deist. A deist, is someone who believes in God just has no religion. So I started to pray, how I had seen the prophets of God, in every religion, in every religious book pray, I started praying on my hands and knees on the ground. And I think this is what happened to me when I changed is I stopped trying to chase God down. And I got on my hands and knees one day, and I said, God, if you want me to know you, then you need to
guide me. You need to show me the right way. I can't do it by myself. I need your help. And I need you to show me the right way.
So I started to, you know, delve into these religions again, a little bit. But there was one condition I had for taking another religion, one condition, and this was it. This is why no other religion met my satisfaction.
I did not want to hear what I shouldn't believe anymore. I wanted to see it. How did I want to see it? I wanted some tangible proof. I wanted someone to give me something in my hands that prove to me the validity of their religion. So the Bible didn't do it. The Torah didn't do it. The Bhagavad Gita didn't do it. The Vedas you couldn't go through in a lifetime. didn't do it. The scrolls of Teo didn't do in the books of Buddha didn't do it. The Bushido code didn't do it. The Wiccan book of spells didn't do it. They all were fraud. So I didn't find anything. One day, I was sitting at a friend's house, who was a Muslim. I didn't know I knew him for a couple years, and I never knew he
was a Muslim. We were at his house and talking about religion. And my friend, we were debating about religion. And we and I didn't know this guy was a Muslim for two reasons. Number one, he was an African American. And I didn't I thought Muslims were atoms. And number two, I didn't know that Muslims along with their worshipping their moon got in the box and killing non Muslims and being their wives. I didn't know they could sell drugs.
That's what this guy did is a profession. He sold marijuana for a living.
so I was at his house, me and another friend were debating about religion. And he walked in the room. His name was blunt. But
his name was Moosa, but we called him blind. He was from New York.
And I should have known him because he's always talking about getting that money and dealing with the Arabs in New York and things. But anyway, he came in the room and he said, Have you ever heard about Islam? I'm like, Yeah, man. I heard all about it.
He was like, Well, I'm a Muslim. I was like,
I was like, I know you were comedian do when you needed to stand up with that axe?
He was like, and I was like, wait, but really, you should not really run around telling and we call and know you like that. You should not be telling anybody like that. I mean, you have the FBR open this place. You already got an opportunity to go to jail forever. Now you want to run telling me you're Muslim? He's like, no, no serious. I'm a Muslim. I'm like your black man.
I don't know that.
I was like, You can't be a Muslim. They're Arabs. He's like, What are you talking about? So I told him what I knew about Islam. He was like, Man, what in the world, whatever you read, the biggest garbage ever seen. He said, Islam is complete opposite of that.
So I told him, I was like, Alright, tell me about Islam. He said, I can't because I'm not the best Muslim. So I can't. He said, I barely pray five times a day like I'm supposed to. I I don't do the best that I should. He said, but I do know where you can go. To find out about Islam. I was like, where he's like, come with me on Friday, to the mosque for Juma. I'm like, okay, the only thing I understood out of that sentence was Friday.
Something on Friday. He said the mosque is like church for Muslims. And Juma is like Sunday service. It just doesn't have any change. I'm like, Cool church with no chairs. That's good. That's the worst part about church was those benches. So I said, Okay, how are we going to get to the mosque? Because neither I'm not driving that far. Because I've my thoughts were the mosque had to be somewhere in another state. I've never seen one. He's like, it's on wedding Boulevard. I was like, man, now I know. You kidding. I live within the boulevard. There's no mosques in the mosque in Greenville. I've been all over this city. He said, Yes. You know, where Lee road intersects with Hampton.
I was like, all right now really quick jokes. I live on the roll. There's no mass dude. He's like, No, you know, that missionary training facility on the corner. I said, Look, your buddy. I used to take missionary classes to become a missionary, to probably go to Muslim countries and convert Muslims. I used to take missionary courses there. There is no mask there, man. Let me tell you, he said you know that brick building in the same parking lot is the church with the gold thing on top. I'm like, Yeah, the gym. He's like, Nope, that's the mosque.
So I'm like, Oh my God, not surprised, like, wow, I was like, Oh my god, these crazy Muslims, even the end of my road
delivered into my stream. And I didn't know. So I said, Okay, I'll meet you there on Friday. So when I went to my grandmother, did you know these crazy Muslims have the end of the road? And she's like, yeah, they don't bother anybody. And I'm like, Well, I'm going there on Friday for the prayer. She's like, okay, just be careful.
So I went on Friday, but I didn't just walk up in the mosque, you think I'm an idiot? You know, I mean, ask some street smart. I have a little bit of street education, and I know better. I see. There's only one way to get in this building, and not going in it because it's the only way to get out. I'm gonna sit on the church steps and watch. I want to see what goes into this, this thing, this mosque, guess who goes in atoms, atoms, atoms, maybe some Pakistanis. But at that time, you all seem to me.
So there's nobody. There's a few Africans, but they weren't African Americans. They were real deal Africans. So I'm looking at there's not one single American into this building. So what do I say to myself? Check number one, all Muslims, Adams, except for maybe a few Africans. And I start paging loosen. Because he's not here and start painting and blunt. He's not because the cell phones weren't a big thing back then. So I started paying him and he's not responded to me. I'm like, What is this? Do? You know? I mean, he's the one invited me and is not here. And then all sudden, some guy pulls up in front of me gets out short with one. And he's like, Can I help you? And it was very soft
spoken, very short, maybe five foot two foot three? I said, Yeah. Moosa invited me to come watch your prayer services. And he's like, yeah, we know Moosa, he just doesn't really come here that much. He said, But come in, and I'll take care of you this and that he was very nice. I thought he seemed a little too excited to get me in the building. But
I did not see anybody go in the building, that I didn't think I couldn't handle two or three of them.
So I went in, I didn't see any, we was all men that went in, I knew that know, the woman came from the other side. I went in, they gave me a chair at the back of the machine. I'm sitting on this chair like this. This is big group of atoms in front of me. And all and there's this curtain that's right here behind me. And there's women talking back there. I can hear them chitter chatter, like what are the women doing back then? How'd they get back there? So why are they behind the curtain? I said, it's probably because of all the bruises.
And they probably like live in the basement or something. You know, the men just come in and pick them like flowers and take them home and beat them and bring them back.
So I'm sitting here looking at this, and I'm like, Man, this is the craziest thing I've ever seen. You know, and at that point,
I have kids as you can tell, my spider sense started going off. How many of you know Spider Man is with Spider Man is around danger. He has this tingling sensation. Yeah, started tingling right then. And I thought to myself, you've been set up before.
Because I've been set up to get jumped on when you beat a lot. When you find a lot of people, somebody is going to get you back. And I thought, you know, it kind of felt like this. You had the same feeling that night. And you were right. And I started thinking why is musona here and I started thinking about all the times he talked about doing these shady deals where Arabs and getting that a lot of money. And
I said this guy Moosa works for these items,
to bring Americans to the mosque for Friday so they can do their job after Juma and get the Virgin.
I'm like I've been set up. I have been set up. I am the sacrificial lamb here today.
That's why they got me sitting in the back in this chair. What worries me so far away from the door goes way over there. There's no way for me to get out. So I start thinking to myself,
how many old adult men I can knock out to get on the way out.
I started thinking to myself, should you go through the curtain? You know, but then I'm like, there's too many women back there. And I already know with good sense you don't deal with a mob of women. And then I thought maybe that's why they keep the swords and the weapons.
might not want to go back there. And then all sudden, the man gets up on the stairs, he gets up on these steps. And I'm like, okay, maybe I'll leave after he, while he's talking. You know, I mean, everybody's paying attention to him. But I didn't think he was just gonna stand up and you know, tell everybody to kill me anyway. I was like, I just don't. He was very sweet. So I didn't see that man jumping up on the podium and telling people to kill me. So he gets up on the podium. And he says, in metal 111.
I'm like, Oh my
God, he's telling them to kill.
me screaming me screaming in Arabic. He's pounding on the thing. He's pointing in my direction.
And he's smiling.
I've never seen somebody sound so angry is fine.
So I'm like, that's it. I'm done. It's all when I said, I gotta go now, you know, I mean, I was I was this close to flipping out and just going Jackie Chan in the building
safe, I'm not going to fight you know, I mean, I'm not going out like that I started looking at the window and I thought to myself, I wouldn't have that shatterproof, I can go out of that thing. So I start freaking out, I'm flipping right now I'm like,
do not want to die today. So he stopped screaming in Arabic. And he starts translating what he says, All praise belongs to God, the Creator of all that exists, we praise Him, we seek yourself, we ask for his forgiveness. We seek refuge with the creator from this evil that lives now, you know, the translation. So we started doing that translation. And I thought to myself, wow, you know, it caught my attention. It really it caught me as like, that's what he said. You know, I've never heard anybody say it like that. I didn't know you had to scream and smile to say it.
So he, I listened to the whole sermon in English. And the football was that the forgiveness of a law is open to anyone, at any time, at any place. Without discretion, no matter what you've done. And the only way you cannot be forgiven is through. He said, the only way you can not be forgiven by God is if your soul has reached the throat meaning that death has come to you. If you have worshipped something else other than the Creator, knowingly or three if the sun has risen from the west, meaning the day of the last days have started it's over. I didn't understand the last one till now but and he quoted a long hadith of Prophet Mohammed Salah law and he was sending them an angel
jabril I don't I'm not going to narrate the Hadees because you've already been here long enough but it's a story about where our souls are met angels are real and angels real told him to tell the Muslims that our law has told them that if they steal that allow it forgiven them. So even go tell the Muslims that are lost a few stelia forgive you. So they would ask him Okay, what about this other sin? What about this other sin? So he would keep having to go back to jabril and ask him Okay, what about this other sin, to be able to go to Allah come back and say, Okay, tell him you forgive me for that too, till Finally, who came and went back and he said,
Tell the Muslims that our law has said this, that tell them that Allah has said no matter what they have done, no matter how great the amount of sins they have committed, as long as they have not associated a partner with Allah, He will forgive all of it. And I was like, Wow, I've never ever ever heard something like this. And that the the, the way to come forgiven was to just repent, go to Allah turn back to him repent, seek forgiveness from Him and do not do the actions again and allow forgive at all he is he is the most forgiving, the Most Merciful. So I said to myself, Wow, you really really did a very bad thing by writing these people off for that one book.
Let them change the table.
So I said to myself, you really need to do some more investigation into this Islam thing. So he finished in the Muslims got up to start praying. And I looked at
you know, the lineup wall wall and somebody came and told me we're gonna pray. I said, Pray to who said to God, I'm like, which one is like, the only one Creator of heaven in the earth said okay, so when I heard the Quran recited, it meant nothing to me. And this is a lesson for us and our download events. When we spend 15 minutes reciting the Quran in Arabic at the beginning of it, it means nothing to people who don't understand it.
It only meant something as a hobby because they understood what it meant. The English translation is different. But I didn't understand what the Quran meant when it was recited. But when I saw the Muslims bow, and prostrate on the ground, I so many verses of the Bible rang in my head, so many verses of other religious books that I have read rang in my hand, and this is the way that God has ordered people to pray. And then I knew I said, Wait a minute, this is not prayer. What they are doing is not praying. They are worshiping God. This is worship. It's not prayer. I know there's a difference. So this is worship. So after the prayer, the Imam came to me you know how we do are the
five pillars of Islam Are those the six beliefs are that am I look, buddy. I don't mean to be mean. But there's nothing you can tell me that's gonna make me believe in your religion because I've heard it all before. I've heard everybody's little spiel about what their religion is about. And I'm not going to nothing you could say can make me believe I was a little bit arrogant, but I said, but
I want to ask you something. Do you have
proof is the proof because my grandfather taught me when I was a kid, and I've used this ever since then. He said to me, young man, the truth always comes with proof. Therefore, if somebody tells you, they're telling you the truth, ask them for some proof. So I said, Do you have proof? Do you have something you can put right here in my hand, to tell me what your religion is? And he smiled. He said, Come with me. He took me to his office, he reached on the shelf, and he pulled off a book, he put it in my hands, and I looked at it, and it said, the Holy Quran, I said, he said, this is our book from God. And he started telling me, you know, the prophet Mohammed was revealed this book that
said, okay, you don't need to tell me anything. If your book is what you say it is. It'll say it all by itself. So I took the Koran home and I started reading it. I started reading the Soto Fatiha, it reminded me of the Lord's Prayer.
What caught my attention more than anything, and what really, really made me read the book was the second verse of the second chapter. The second verse, the second chapter told me that this is the book that has no doubt in it. No discrepancies. No, because I was reading the novel with a little commentary, no discrepancies, no contradictions, no distortions. And it is a guidance for those who fear God. I was like, Are you serious? Really? You think so? That was a challenge to me. Because I found out in every book, I found contradictions in every book, I found discrepancies in every book. I said, I'll find it in this book. So the reason I read the Quran initially, was to find fault with
it. So I started reading him sort of democritus sort of dilemma and sort of the Nisa. And I started to notice names like Abraham, no lot, Moses, David Zechariah, john, the Baptist, Jesus, all of these names I started to read. But there was a difference. The stories in this book, were of people who were at the highest level of morality, they not only preach the message, they live the message, they were the most perfect human beings to walk the face of the planet. They were people who you could look at and emulate them to live a life pleasing to God. And the only thing I could say to myself was, these are prophets. These are God's prophets. And then I kept saying in the book, that if
you're in doubt about this revelation, that find contradiction in it, if you're in doubt about it, then make something like it. And I'm saying to myself, wow, this is this is heavy. This is the heaviest stuff I've ever seen in any book. And I'm starting to see over and over and finally, I could not put the book down when I read the the Nativity story of how Jesus was born. And Jesus life, there were three chapters of the Quran sort of early in Brian Soto, Israel and sort of the meriam that answered every question I've ever had about Jesus. By the time I put the book down, Sunday, three days, I was addicted to this book. By the time I turned chapter 114 of the Quran.
I was it was late at night in my room at home. And I remember I was I was in tears, because the only thing I could say to myself was, this is the book that has no doubt in it, and is indeed is a guidance for those who fear God. And I said to myself that day, I want to be a Muslim. I don't care what these people are. Don't Katie, I don't know anything else about them except this book. If they follow this book, then I want to be like them. So on Monday, I went back to the masjid, it was locked. So I found the Imam, somebody took me to his house. And I told the man, I want to be a Muslim. And he was shocked. He was like, well, I said, Yeah, this book is what you say it is. It is
what you say it is. That's enough for me. He said, so you believe there's only one God and he's the only one that should be worshipped. I said, I've always believed that. I've just never seen it like this. He said, But I have to tell you a little bit about Mohammed, because the second parts of Boko Haram send them the second part of this Shahada is to believe in Mohammed Salah sent him I said those only I said, there's only one thing you need to tell me about Muhammad. He said, what I said didn't give us this book. He said, Yes, I said there is a profit. This is evidence. I said, because God is perfect. This book is perfect. Therefore whoever it came through, they're perfect. So I said,
so that day,
December of 1998 accepted Islam. I said, this is it. This is my way of life. And I know I've kept you forever. But I want to spend five minutes telling you why I tell my story. Because if I do it just for entertainment, then well, I I could have stayed at home. I could have saved myself 15 hours on the plane series. You couldn't put it on the screen and watch it on YouTube probably better than life. The reason I tell my story is because I don't want to see anyone else struggle for the truth, the way I had to struggle for the truth. I don't want to see anyone else have to go through what I went through. And there are so many people in the world that are where I was in 1998 they're lost
and they want to know the right way. But they want to know it with truth and proof and evidence.
And there's so many people in
Australia like that. I know and I've never been, there's so many people in Sydney, just like that. I know, and I've never been here. There's so many people in your neighborhood, just like that. And I know that there are laws and they want to know the truth.
So what are we doing? We are the ones that have
Why are the people having to chase us down? Why is it that I had to chase down the Muslims who lived across the street from me my entire life?
That's the question we need to ask ourselves tonight. Why are people having to chase us down? Why is it that every time I hear someone that is accepted Islam, I always ask them how? Why is it that four out of five of them had to look for you to come to the truth about Islam? This is the real thing we need to question ourselves about, that we are allowing these people that we should be concerned about, that Allah gave us as an Amana, this Deen of Allah Islam. And he has entrusted us with these people who are ignorant about Allah and about this Deen because they are a trust for us. Because we are considered in us in a sense of authority. We when you have the truth, you as an authority upon
you to pass it on. So why is it they're having to look for us? Why is it that we're not doing our job? This is something that really really needs to change. This is why I tell my story to let people know that this they should stop.
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