Conversion Story For Ali Smart

Published on 24 Jun 2019
Are You A Convert To Islam?  Tell Us Your Story

I wish I would have kept a journal, honestly, when I first became Muslim, because I'm sure there's a lot of things that I forgot. Just because, when you're... It's so hard to... It's like, literally it's like being born, you know? So you don't see things the same. Sometimes I wish, like people ask me questions, and I wish I could remember what it felt like to not be Muslim. And I've been Muslim for so long. I don't remember. Like, I work in a company where it's all Americans and whatever. And honestly, I hear they talk about going to the bar and going to disco, whatever. And I remember a time when I was doing that, but it's been so long that I don't remember what was pleasurable about that, like, now when I hear that I just feel sorry for them. Like, why would you do that? It's so stupid.

I was born and raised in Southern California, in Long Beach, which is the South Bay. It's pretty close to the ocean, so it's not a stereotypical Southern California community, but it's probably..... it's not Beverly Hills 90210, but it's,  I guess compared to most places in the world, it's fairly upscale. And we lived in different areas, but in my childhood, we lived in a fairly wide affluent area of Long Beach, California.

I was raised with..... it's a very diverse community, so you're exposed to all different points of view. My parents were hippies in the 1960s, so they were all over the place as far as philosophy, religion, etc. My dad had influences of Buddhism and Christianity and everything. And my mom was raised a Christian, a very devout Christian, actually in the Lutheran Church, but she sort of not really went away from it, the fundamentals were still there, but she wasn't an active Christian, but we were raised by our grandparents.

I guess I wasn't the typical child in the sense that I was always intellectually curious. I was never satisfied with just going to church. The typical Christian scenario is you go to church on Sunday, you commit sins the rest of the week, do whatever you want, and then you just repent on Sunday. I mean, I was never satisfied, I always saw that as being hypocritical, and it was not very satisfying, etc. So I was always questioning the theology of Christianity, why they believe in this, etc, etc. So I never was just satisfied with people saying, believe, and just accept.

Like my brother, I would get in arguments with my pastor. He would literally kick me out of his office because they don't welcome deep theological questions, because they're not stupid. They understand the problems in their theology just as well as I did, and they don't have very good answers a lot of the time. They tend to focus on the community, goodwill, charity, and doing good to your fellow men, which is great, I mean I'm all for that, and I was very happy that they did do that. But at some point, it's like eating junk food, you want something more substantial, something more spiritually nourishing, etc. So I would continuously ask questions, and I wouldn't get very satisfying answers. 

So as a result of that, I started doing a lot of my own research. They couldn't comprehend why I would even care. All of them were Christians, because their parents were Christian. I mean, frankly, if you ask them, that's why they're Christian, unfortunately, like why most Muslims are Muslims, I'd say. I know I'm skipping ahead, but most people in general, tend to, like the Qur'an says, we found our forefathers following this religion, so we're following in their footsteps.

So most people in general are like that, including Christians, and so most of them, didn't think that deeply about it, and didn't care that much about it. They, like my brother was mentioning, went through confirmation class, which was kind of the Genesis, they just saw that this is a class they had to take and pass the test and get through it, so they could be considered a member of the church and they could take communion.

I didn't see it that way. I saw it as an experience to really delve deeply into the philosophical, theological underpinnings in the church. But I was pretty much, me and my brother were the only people that saw that nobody else did. They're just like, okay, when's the final exam? What do we need to study? You know, that's how they thought of it.

But the pastor was frustrated with us, so he communicated that frustration. My grandfather was frustrated, because I would ask him, you know, like he was telling you, I would look at the Bible, and I would say, this is the Gospel of John. And then I would look in the notes in the Bible, and I would say, the author anonymous. And I would take it to my grandpa: so they call it the Gospel of John, did John write it? And he would say, yeah, John wrote it. And I would say, I don't know how much you know about Christianity, so I would say you mean, the disciple of Jesus, John? And he would say, well, we're not really sure.... somebody named John probably wrote it.

I would start asking these kind of questions and I would get either very unsatisfactory answers, or people just didn't know and they would try to hide their own ignorance by making up an answer. So I was never satisfied with that. So I would do my own research, I couldn't find all of it.

So my brother was telling the story, but I'll retell it, it's basically the same story.  There were several classes in our church about Islam, and they were, of course, very negative; this is a cult and etc, etc. so I remembered those. So when my mother told us that she had become Muslim, when she came to San Francisco, and we're living with our father, we were kind of shocked, horrified, didn't know how to react, angry, all kinds of different reactions, because it's as if she said, I'm going to go live on Mars or something weird. There's no, you have nothing in your brain that would give you what the appropriate reaction is in that situation. So we just didn't know what to do, we just were kind of amazed and angry; we saw it as a betrayal of us.

As a result of that kind of shock, I moved away from... I never stopped believing in God, I wouldn't say that I was agnostic, I still believed in God firmly. But I wasn't so sure that they was any organized religion that was true or correct. I thought all religions were, it's a mistake that a lot of people make, I assumed that all religions were like Christianity, where at some point there was some grain of truth, Divine truth that came down, but it had all been corrupted and it was made by people, and they made it just to control people, And they weren't really interested in pursuing truth, it was just about control and power and those kind of things.

I still did study religion, but I was not very happy with any kind of organized religion, so I kind of went that rebellious teenage phase. Like I said, my brother was in a band, I was actually the singer and I played keyboard. And so we really got into music and playing music and trying to succeed in that and pursuing that. 

For me, I'm going to make the story a little shorter, but for me, it was a kind of an existential crisis, where if somebody from the outside would have witnessed my life and what was going on, it would have been seemingly very pleasant and nice. I was in a band, we had all different people coming over all our house all the time, we're having fun, are in college etc. etc. But inside I felt very empty, very spiritually dead. I remember, at some point, I was listening to music, and I was watching the smoke, I think I was smoking a cigarette or something, and I was watching the smoke go out of the ashtray, and I was thinking, I wish I could just like fade away just like the smoke. I wish I could just... I never thought about killing myself. but I just thought, I wish somehow I could just disappear, I wouldn't exist anymore. Because I didn't see existence as...... I saw it kind of as pointless, because there was nothing really fulfilling in my life. It was just going through the motions and going through these series of exercises that didn't really result in any kind of spiritual nourishment at all. And I was always looking for that, and I just wasn't finding it. I found it that my life is very unsatisfying. 

So my brother came to the session, where we were supposed to do our recording session, and of course, I never talked to the person he said, so I was thinking, okay, finally, we're going to do this, so I was really excited about it. And suddenly he unplugs his guitar, throws everything and walks away. And I was just like, what is going on? I was the leader of the band. So I was even more angry than everybody else. I was the one who was really yelling and saying, you know, what are you doing? We've been preparing for this, literally, for years. We have this guy who's ready to give us money for a recording contract, and all this other stuff. What's wrong with you? 

So he told everybody. And it was amazing. I wish I would have recorded it because he was sitting there perfectly calm, composed, explaining I have become Muslim. And here's why. And, and I was just like, I wanted to punch him. I mean, people had to hold me back. I mean, I literally was I mean, and I'm not a violent person, but I was extremely violently angry. And I said, what are you talking about? How could you, you know, whatever. So I said, I'm going to prove to him that this is wrong. I mean my whole thing was, I mean, when I get angry, I get angry. But then I get calm. And I'm like, okay, you want to become Muslim? I'm going to prove you wrong. 

So I remember, my mom had given me books about Islam, whatever. And I never really read... I mean, I read like some books of hadith.  I never really took it seriously though. I said I'm not doing anything else. I'm calling off of work. I'm going to stop the band, I'm going to do everything. And I said, I'm going to read the Qur'an cover to cover, and I'm sure because I've done this with the Bible before. I'm sure I will find contradictions, I'm sure I will find a way to disprove it.

But what I said, and the key to this all was, and I don't know where this inspiration came from, but I said, if I'm going to do this, what I have to do first is I have to have a very clear mind when I do this. So I stopped whatever I was doing that you can probably imagine, you know chemical things. I'm going to stop anything that would alter my judgment or my reason. And I'm just going to sit here as long as it takes and I'm going to read the Qur'an. And I was determined to do this. And really, subhanAllah what's amazing is...... so. well he was introduced to Islam and he became Muslim because of this conversation, I feel like what introduced me to Islam was literally the Qur'an. And of course in English, I couldn't read Arabic, didn't understand anything. So it was the Yusuf Ali English version of the Qur'an. 

As I started reading it cover to cover, because you have to understand to the Bible, no one reads it cover to cover, they just quote certain verses and they give all kinds of pop psychology from Oprah Winfrey, and this person and whatever. So nobody ever is just reading the Bible, like they do the Qur'an. So I said, you know, I definitely, but it's subhanAllah for in the first Surat al-FatihaSurat al-Baqarah and Surat Aal Imran I mean, as I was going through it, I felt like I was going to fall on the floor just from... I said, all of the things that I found in the Bible that I knew were not true, it's like here's the Quran coming and correcting it and even explaining more than I could have ever imagined would be in a book was in that book. 

It was as if Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, as if God was reading my thoughts and telling me, okay, you've been thinking all this, okay, I'm going to give you the answers right here. Here's all the answers you've been searching for, here you go, 1, 2, 3. And, subhanAllah, I remember, for about a week, I didn't do anything else. I didn't go to work, I didn't go to school, all I did was just read the Qur'an. And by the end of that time, I mean, I just said, this has to be the truth. I mean, there is no human being could write a book like this. It's impossible. No, no person could have ever come up with this. It has to be from God. It's too comprehensive, it's too amazing. It speaks directly to your heart in a way that nothing else does, nothing else could, you know.

After I had pretty much, I mean, in my heart, I knew that I was going to become Muslim. But I said, I have to do my due diligence. I don't want to just have this be an emotional reaction, because I was very emotional. And I was like, I don't want this just to be an emotional reaction. So I need to make sure I understand what I'm doing. And so I went and I talked to the person that he talked to. But I was already much further along than the process than he was. So I wasn't going there for him to convince me because I already was convinced. It was just a case of what about this, and what about that? And I just had a lot of questions. So I heard this, and is this true and whatever. So it wasn't like till four in the morning. I mean, there was a series, he already knew my brother. So by the end of that I knew that I had become Muslim. And it's a process. I mean, it's almost like you can see your ultimate destination at that point, but you're not there yet. You still have a lot of work to do; it's a process you have to go through. But that was the point where I realized, yeah, I'm going to be Muslim. And this is the right religion. And it was through that experience.

And then obviously, I gave up music, same thing with him [my brother]. I just didn't, all the things, and that's what I was telling you about. Sometimes I wish that I had a recorder or I'd go back there and remember what it was like, because so many of the things that were so appealing to me before they don't appeal to me at all anymore. I work in a company where I'm around non Muslims, and I get invited all the time, oh, why don't you come with us to the bar? Why don't you go to the restaurant with us, and you know, drink, whatever. And even when I see people doing that, it just makes me sick. And I feel sorry for those people. I don't feel like it's something even if I was allowed to do, it doesn't appeal to me anymore. Playing music and going to concerts and going to clubs and all this other stuff. It just, what immediately happened was all of the fascination and appeal of those activities just like faded away. I didn't have any interest in that anymore.

I had an interest in developing a relationship with God, with learning about the religion. And I spent years and years and years reading books and learning about it, but that was the genesis of the whole thing was that experience. It's strange how, at least for me, and my brother kind of said this too, for me, when I recognize the truth, I had no choice but to follow it. I couldn't... like, right now, I mean even at that point, and I feel the same way today, even if I wanted to not follow Islam, I couldn't. I could pretend I didn't believe in it. Like if somebody said, I'm going to chop your head off unless you say you don't believe in Islam, of course, I could say that, but nowhere in my heart is that true. And in no way for any reward or any, whatever benefit, because we've suffered a lot as Muslims, you know, we have gone through a lot of difficult times.

We were rejected by our family, were rejected by our friends, by our peers, I've lost jobs because of it, I've lost a lot of friends because of it, etc. So we did go through a lot of hardship. But at no time did I feel like I had a choice to follow Islam or not. And that was never a question, because when I recognize the truth, what are you going to do? I mean, it's as clear as the sun in the sky. So no matter how much you don't want to believe the sun exists, it's still going to be there when you wake up in the morning, regardless. So what are you going to do? You just have to accept it. So I mean, yes, I had the ego. And yes, I did think at some point, I considered my options, but it really wasn't an option for me to not follow. It was just a question of, you know, when your friends ask you, well, how come you don't want to go drinking with them, what are you going to say? And, when people say this, what are you going to do in this situation? 

So you know, there's a lot of image management, and I guess that's ego to a certain extent, because you don't want to be seen as the outsider, as the weird person, as that whatever. But it was never a question of whether I believe in it or whether I'm going to follow it. It's really, the surah I think about the most is Surat Aal Imran, because it talks about the real story of Jesus. So for me, all of the things in that surah are things that I thought probably had to have been true even before I read the Qur'an. So the image of Jesus that I had in my mind, and the stories that I thought of this is probably how it happened, even though nobody told me that, I found all of those stories in that surah

So I said, well, there must be something to what I was thinking, because here it is, I mean, and it makes sense, you know, it can't be.....So that was probably the first one that affected me. But of course, as you go through the process, you change as a person, so nothing is static. So the parts of the Qur'an that appealed to me most when I first became Muslim are not the same ones that appeal the most to me now, because I'm a different person. Not the Qur'an, it is not different. But in the beginning, yes, that was the surah

Just when it talks about the story of Sayyidah Maryam alayhaassalam, and how the birth of Nabi Isa alayhissalam, and how, especially the part that says God has made me kind to my mother and has made me... and blessings on me the day that I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I will be raised up again. And the way that Nabi Isa alayhissalam talked to his mother and the way...... because in Christianity, it's a very weird thing about ...... you have the story in one of the Gospels with the feast of Canaan, where he says to his mother, woman, go away from me and you think a Prophet, somebody like Jesus would never talk to his mother like that. 

And the beautiful examples you have, I mean, it's throughout the Qur'an, but especially in that story of the relationship between Sayyidah Maryam alayhaassalam and Nabi Isa alayhissalam, and the way that relationship is explained, it's a beautiful picture of what you would imagine a Prophet would be like, and they call it a surah in the Qur'an is a picture. So when you read those stories, you get a mental picture of what the Prophet was like, almost to the point you can see him. And those were the most amazing parts because the image that it had in the Qur'an was fit with the image in my mind that I always had. 

It's always temporary, you know. Well, one interesting story was, one of the guys that was in the band with us, his name was Mike. He, initially when we .....obviously both of us became Muslim, the band broke up. So, for a long time, we lost him as a friend because, you know, whatever, and he was Catholic. But then actually, over time, we actually kind of reconnected and he eventually became Muslim. So, and I think it had to do with our, and he's actually still Muslim, married to a Muslim woman, he has kids. So there are stories like that. 

But of course, there's also lots of stories... our grandparents for many, many years, you know, we had no relationship with them. And then eventually, we did reconcile, but it was painful, and it was very awkward, and it was very uncomfortable. We would go to the the family gatherings and, you know, in Islam you can't break off relations with your family. Islam tells you that you have to keep that relationship, but it's not easy when people... they grew up and saw you a certain way, and then now you're a different person. And it's just painful, you know, difficult.

I'm not going to say what company but I worked for a large company before 9/11. You know, now I'm pretty much doing taqiyyah. Before 911, I was pretty open about the fact that I was Muslim. And, people told me that you're never going to go anywhere in this company, because you're Muslim, and they eventually fired me, they found an excuse to fire me. So I mean, those kind of things happen. But, of course, those things are nothing compared with the joy that you get from being a Muslim and living as a Muslim and progressing spiritually. I mean, the person that's found Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, has found Islam, whatever else he lost, because of that is nothing, it's inconsequential. And the people who have everything, but they don't have Islam, what do they have? 

So no matter what you lose,  you're not losing anything of value. But I've lost, we've lost. I married my wife, we've been married for 13 years alhamdulillah, to a woman from the south of Lebanon. And we have three kids Zaynab, Ali and Mahdi. I decided that I wanted to marry somebody who was Muslim, who was Shia. And you know, like any marriage, any relationship,  there are ups and downs, but alhamdulillah it's beautiful, and it's based on how Islam teaches you to treat your wife and how Islam teaches her to treat her husband, so you can't go wrong with that, so alhamdulillah

My brother moved to Dearborn in 2000 for a job and my mom moved here after him, and then my sister moved here and like usual, I was the last one to move here, and I went back and forth. And I was working in California for a while, then I came back here. So it's a nice community, especially for my wife and for my daughter, they both wear the hijab. So living here, you feel that you're part of the Muslim community, even though obviously, it's not perfect. And when my wife and my daughter go out in public, nobody looks at them weird or harasses them or anything. So it's more comfortable. We live in a predominantly Muslim area. So you just feel more yourself, you feel more comfortable being yourself and you know, then you don't have to always hide your identity.

And it's natural that if someone is Iraqi, their parents would want them to marry somebody who's like them. There's nothing wrong with that. And Islam that didn't come to eliminate culture, it just came to perfect it. It came to make it better. So we, as Americans, especially white Americans, it is more difficult for us because we don't have a lot of potential spouses to choose from. There are other revert Anglo American women who are converts that I was introduced to, it just didn't click.

People are people and I understand why Pakistanis want them their kids to marry Pakistanis, Iraqis want to marry Iraqis, there's nothing wrong with that, I don't have any objection to that. But it wasn't easy for me to find my wife and I had to use my skills and I had to go through uncomfortable situations and things. I mean, that's part of life, I'm sorry, don't be a wimp. I mean, if you've chosen a religion, it's much more difficult to become a Muslim and to reject your whole society and everything else than it is to find a spouse from a different culture. It's not easy, but you can do it, just get a little bit of courage and just keep working at it, and it's not that hard. And I'm sorry, this is kind of a sore subject, because like him [my brother], I used to go on to Shiachat, and one of the reasons I stopped going on to Shiachat is because every person,  I was a moderator for a while, and every person that would be about this subject, they would say, oh, brother, I'm having such a hard time getting married, can you please help me, I'm a revert. And I'm just thinking to myself, it's really not that hard. I don't know why you guys are having such a hard time with it. It's like anything else, it's not easy to get a college degree, it's not easy to find a job, it's not easy to buy a house, a lot of things in life are hard, you just have to keep working at it. 

If you're having a hard time, I can give you my advice, I can tell you what I did, it's not necessarily going to work for you, because every person is different, every situation is different. I'll try to help, but have faith in God, say dua's, try to be a better person, because if you want to attract somebody, you have to be attractive, I don't mean physically attractive. I mean, you have to perfect your iman, you have to be able to exist in the society as a person of substance, as a person who's knowledgeable. If you do that, you're gonna find people are going to be attracted to you, all different kinds of people. So try to make yourself that kind of person, don't just complain about oh, I can't find a spouse.  

Reverts, they complain a lot, I'm sorry, some of them. And I have some sympathy for them, but you know, when I became a Muslim, and we became Muslims in the 1980s, I'm sorry, there was no internet. If we wanted to get a book about Islam, we actually had to go find a bookstore, go to book table and buy an actual book, and read it and spend our own money to buy it, and we had to go seek people out and find people. We didn't have the internet, we couldn't just go and do a Google search and find it. It was difficult, we really had to put forth a lot of effort to learn about Islam. So well, for people today it's much easier, there's a lot more information available, it's easy to find things out, you know.

And I would say the same thing about Americans who don't know about Islam who are missing the wonderful opportunity to learn about Islam and become Muslim. That's your fault, because there's plenty of information available. Challenge yourself, try to grow and progress as a person intellectually. Don't be satisfied with your situation. Don't be satisfied just with working, going to your job nine to five coming home sleeping, going to the bar, going to disco, spending all your money.... don't be satisfied with that life. That's not life, that's not living. Make yourself feel uncomfortable sometimes, do things that you're not sure about, make mistakes. Ask questions you think people are going to... put yourself out there.

Yes, it's true that sometimes I've had reverts tell me that, well, I went to the mosque and the people, they were nice and everything, but they seem kind of uncomfortable, because whatever. Well, yeah, if you're sitting in the room and an elephant walks in, and you're going to think it's kind of strange. I mean, there's not ....most mosques, unfortunately, are dominated by one particular group, you have the Iraqi  mosque, you have a Lebanese mosque, and whatever. So somebody who's not from that culture when they come in,  people are not going to be mean to you. I never had an experience in a mosque where anybody was mean to me. But yes, you're going to be the unusual person. Fine. Okay. But, take that as an opportunity to grow as a person, to grow spiritually. Don't see it as a barrier. And I don't think everybody should be accommodating every request they have, because it makes you weaker to some extent. Try to become a strong person rather than asking everybody to roll out the red carpet. 

You know, the early Muslims didn't have it easy. They had it much harder than we did. They suffered much more than we did. Or am I going to compare myself to a Imam Husayn 'alayhissalam?  No, of course not. So you're not going to have to go through that, you're not going to go through close to that. So man up. 

Well,  there's two parts to that question. You asked, Are there triggers? And then could I be a trigger? Yes, I could be a trigger. But I think it's not necessary for me to be a trigger. There's plenty of other triggers. When the Boston Marathon bombing happened, the tragic, horrible event and these crazy idiots who did this, people should say, is this what Islam is? They say these people are Muslim. So where in Islam does it tell people that they should...... find out about it. This is a trigger for you, you should, it should trigger you to think, I mean, it's a horrible, tragic event. What happened in London when the person was beheaded ...... Well, I don't want to go into 9/11. But what happened with lots of .....there's lots of triggers.

You're confronted constantly in your life, with things that don't fit the narrative that you've constructed in your own head about reality. That's constantly happening to everybody. Most people choose to, instead of investigating it, instead of looking into it, and I'm sorry, I've always done that, I'm not bragging about myself, I've made a lot of mistakes and done a lot of wrong things, too, but I've never been afraid to question my beliefs and to question what I believed about the world. And so if people don't do that, it's a choice. There are triggers, there are things all the time that should make you question.

How could I be a trigger? I mean, like my brother, I've been involved in numerous different activities. I'm not currently involved in anything actively right now. But since I've been a Muslim, I mean, it's hard to even remember how many different projects I've been involved in. We tried to start Islamic schools here. I'm a business person, so I've done business plans, tried to help them with their financials. And I've done different things like that, acted as a consultant, and I've written plays before and had plays produced, I had a play produced about Imam Husayn 'alayhissalam. So I mean, I've written a book also. And it's basically about the concept of al-jihad al-akbar. And talking about how that filters through Islam, the theological foundation of that, and how that basically talking about through the lens of American culture, whatever, but I mean, it's still a work in progress. 

But I'm not here to promote myself, because there's many people that are much more knowledgeable than me that should be on TV that should be talking that are much smarter than me. But I could be a trigger and I could contribute in some small way, inshallah I can, to this, but it's not necessary for me to do that. There's people have lots of opportunities.

The most important thing is the purity of your intention and of your niyyah, it all starts with that, like my brother said. When he became a Muslim, he sincerely asked to God, guide me, I want to be guided, guide me, I don't know what's going to happen after this. I don't know what God's gonna say, what he's going to require of me, what he wants me to do. But I don't care. I want to be guided. I'm sincerely asking for guidance. That's all you need to do. You don't need to be a college graduate, you don't need to have to learn Arabic. You don't need any of that. All you need is to be sincere, to have ikhlas, to have purity of faith and to have a sincere niyya, have an intention that's pure and sincere between you and God. Forget what everybody else thinks. So, I don't know why it's so hard for people. It's hard for me too, wallah I swear, I feel like sometimes that I haven't progressed enough in my spirituality. I feel like I've made a lot of effort since I'd become Muslim, but there's still I find all kinds of things I could be doing too, more, myself to progress spiritually. 

I mean, you look at someone I mean, they've all mentioned this, you look at someone like Imam Ali, you look at someone like Imam Hasan alayhissalam, Imam Husayn alayhissalam. Forget about that. Look at someone like Bahlool. Look at someone like Salman al-Farsi. Look at someone like Mukhtar, look at someone like Imam Khomeini. There are so many examples of people that have so far surpassed us in their faith, that we feel ashamed even to call ourselves Muslims, if they're Muslims, right? Why haven't I gotten to that level? I don't know. You tell me, I don't know. Maybe I'm not sincere enough. Could be. So I'm not the person to give advice to other people because, honestly, I'm not anywhere close to those people. If I learned anything, if I have any good things about my personality, it's from the dust of the feet of Imam Husayn alayhissalam, sincerely, I am not worthy even to kiss his feet myself.

People can, wherever however far down you are, you can always move up, there's always a way to move up, God will always provide you with some kind of path to move up. And the key to that is being sincere. The key to that is being honest with yourself. Honest before God, being sincere, having a good intention. That's the key. If you do that, you don't need the internet, you don't even need books. There's people that have progressed spiritually not even knowing how to read.

One of the things that I remember that my brother, actually my brother and his friend, told me about how he became Muslim is.... and it stuck with me, is that when he told him that you can have monkeys throwing letters all day long, and they'll never spell the Constitution, just like you can have random genetic mutations forever, for all of eternity, they'll never result in a single cell, they'll never result in blue green algae. Evolution will never happen, it's mathematically impossible, right? So you know this. So why don't you admit this? You know that's true. Why don't you admit it? And my brother said, well, well... and his friend told him, because you're a coward. That's why. Because you're a coward. And then something about when he said that. He said my brother's face turned red and he got mad. What! You're calling me a coward? Who are you? I just met you five minutes ago.

But it's true. I mean, anybody who rejects something they know, people tie themselves up in knots in their brain all the time like that, because they know something's true, but they're too much of a coward. I've met people so many times in my life who've told me, I know Islam is right, and I agree with you, and it's a beautiful religion, but I can't stop drinking. I love alcohol. People came up to the Prophet Muhammad (S) and they said, we love your religion, but can you just delete prayer, can you just delete sujud? And the Prophet would say, well, it's not up to me, it's not my religion, that's from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, I can't change anything. But people, that's what they want. So a lot of what stops people from progressing spiritually is they're a coward. And that's what stopped him and when somebody called him a coward to his face, and he realized it, something changed inside of him/ So don't be afraid just to be honest with people. I tried it but usually it doesn't work very well.

This video was first published on 9 Jul 2013 by ABTV Reborn as Reborn - Looking At Imam Ali Made Me Muslim. We are grateful for their cooperation.

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