Nazir Al Mujaahid on Outstanding Muslim Parenting

Episode 15

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Hosted by
Maruf Yusupov

I help people discover their purpose in life and follow their passion to live in prosperity.

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Nazir was raised in a family environment that some of us may call broken. It is not what happens to you, but what you do with it counts. 

Today he is a father of 10 children and a Muslim parenting coach. 

Listen to this episode to discover his story what led him to make this 180 degrees change. 

Show Notes

Outstanding Muslim Parents

Interview transcript

Maruf: Hey! Assalamuwalaikum. This is your host, Maruf. Welcome to the show Muslims On Fire. Today, I have a friend of mine, a brother of mine from the US. That’ll be necessary. He is Muslim parenting coach. He has not one, not two, not three, but ten kids Masha’allah.

And he also had his own show, at the Huda TV, and he also appeared as, a couple of times, in tv shows. So if you follow brother Eddie as well, we comes to Muslim parenting. I look up to him as one of the experts.

And today we getta deep dive with him. And get to know his life story in Insha Allah. Assalamu alaikum, brother Nazir! Welcome to the show.

Nazir: Walaikumussalam. It’s definitely a pleasure to be here. He thank you. 

Maruf: How are things? 

Nazir: I’m developing the world as fast-moving as always. 

Maruf: It’s good. You’re always busy with something. That’s good. So well, you know the show what we do is we get to know you, you know, as your friend, your life story. Hopefully we can learn a thing, you know, to improve our lives better. 

So having said that so, brother Nazir, can you tell us about your early childhood and childhood memories? What do you remember and what do you think that shaped who you are, when you’re looking back at your childhood? 

Nazir: Okay, good stuff. Well, it’s always a challenge to find out where to start. But let’s start at the beginning. My parents were teenagers actually when I was born. So, they were 16 years old when I was born.

So you can already imagine that there can be some challenges, right? There just in that part and of course, you know as you mentioned it from the US and my father’s African-American and my mother’s Puerto Rican, so Little bit of a different culture where Spanish was the the main tongue of my mother.

And of course, you know English here of my father, but born pretty much into, you know, average household or just middle-class little below middle-class living and one of the things my parents, you know wanted to do at the bequest of a request of my grandparents is to you know, make sure had some type of good education or good schooling. 

So, they admitted me into the same school My father went to which was a local Christian school. So I was raised in a Christian family and went to a Christian grade school and high school. So that was mainly my upbringing.

Maruf: Okay. So I think one of the things for me that’s strange. I guess it’s that you know, usually the kids, like especially, countries like the US go to normal school. But in your case you went to a Christian School right from the beginning. 

So, I would say your family were late towards Christianity with more than other families. Is this correct? 

Maruf: Yes, actually, my family, they were there’s a you have to really kind of understand the Dynamics of the US when it comes to racism and slavery in ways that systems are set up I mean the US public school system was designed based on the Prussian system, which is, you know made to Paris pretty much make obedient workers and good soldiers. 

So the challenge is that with racism and redlining and property taxes the way the schools are funded. If you live in an area that is not affluent, then you have less money to pay for the schools. 

So you get less quality teachers and overcrowded classrooms and so on. So the Milwaukee Public School System. I mean even right now actually has the largest gap in the lowest achievement scores across the entire country. 

So even though you know my parents they probably didn’t know that but I know my grandparents did because they moved from down south. South was called a great gration after slavery is a lot of people weren’t came from down in the south in the United States. 

And they moved up north in the end. We ended up here in Washington, just right outside of Chicago saying I have a lot of relatives even in Chicago. So the school system here, the public school system is really horrible and they wanted to have a better life for me. 

And my siblings so they enrolled us into a private Christian parochial school. Not that they were super religious or anything like that, but they want to make sure that at least the academic part was better. Because the smaller classroom sizes and stuff like that and their belief system was just a bonus with that when it came Christianity.

Maruf: I understand. I mean, the expectation probably when you grow up you become a good question, I guess but somehow he didn’t turn out that way. What happened?

Nazir: Yeah. Absolutely. Um, well, I actually studied more than my parents studied. I study more than my grandparents studied, is really what happened because in all actuality learning the Bible every day in school and you begin to form questions.

And I remember like second grade was pivotal for me because I remember asking myself. You know, what is my purpose here? What was before this life, you know, and I also had questions about creation because we were told and taught in Christianity God created the Earth or the world.

And everything in six days and on the seventh day. He rested and that’s why they have church either or they have the Sabbath day or they haven’t Sunday. There’s this day of rest and day of worship and I never understood that because I asked myself, you know, okay. 

Well, we have a god who’s supposed to be Almighty all-knowing all strong. Why would you need to rest exactly? Why’s he tired? Who was taking care of the rest of creation of God rested like, you know, and I remember having seen in second grade. 

And I was just told to, you know have faith and God works in serious ways and you know, you don’t question those types of things and stuff like that. I never got into didn’t receive a satisfactory answer so I continued my quest throughout school. 

And as I got older I recognize more people gave lip work or they were mainly Hypocrites. So they will say one thing with their moms. They hey believe but their actions weren’t congruent with that. So that really affected me as well. 

Maruf: So you were speaking to see that people do, I guess.

Nazir: Absolutely, I think one of the first times in most long I guess most lasting times was when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. You know, when it came to Christmas and they had a celebration in the church and all this stuff and you have to Santa Claus step. 

They had Christmas trees and many other things but my parents of course like many hundreds of millions of people here in the US celebrated Christmas. So they tell this tale about Santa Claus and everything else. 

I remember I was five years old and my father woke me up. I’ll sleep it is like Christmas Day or Christmas morning woke me up and took me on a porch, maybe like 1 2 o’clock in the morning and had me looking up in the sky. 

There was snow on and it’s cold and I’m looking up in the stars and he told me Santa Claus just left, you know, and then I came back in the house. Then I saw there were toys and there’s a little bicycle and all kinds of other stuff there.

And I’m just so happy to see that Santa Claus brought these gifts and left them and stuff like this. So I had all of this emotion infinity put toward that story because of the trust of my parents and then come to find out that they were lying. 

I felt really betrayed but I couldn’t tell them that at such a young age when I found out he actually was a fairytale but then I began to question these things help that they’ve taught me exactly how.

Maruf: It’s amazing how small I mean, what do they are thinking I guess? Okay, one day he’ll find out you just pointed to a big lie, but instead of the other let’s tell a little bit wide like, you know to make their life more interesting.

But it ends up there is a lesson for all of us, I guess for especially parents that how little or small there’s nothing no such a thing as small a little white lie, cause it is the things that lie or the truth, right? 

Nazir: Absolutely. It one of the things is that when you’re dealing with your children. People who have very intimate relationships with that no matter, this is not even little because it was huge in reasons. 

Because at a lot of emotional feelings attached to it, but when a foundation is cracked, I mean it just starts with a small split. You may not even be able to see it. But that’s all it takes to start the crumbling of that foundation is that crack.

And that’s how I felt, you know, so I feel betrayed that was one of the biggest things I knew in my mother and my father were teaching these things and that also caused me that I didn’t question the religion as much. 

Because they still believe that we still went to the services but I began to study it more. I guess there was a subconscious. I just wanted to make sure it was the truth and the more I dug in the farther I dug and the lack of congruence between those who believed in it. 

those who preached it and everything else and then my behavior as I grew older, I started recognizing, I can’t just do this Christianity which is super easy.

Because all you have to do is believe and be baptized or do communion and didn’t everything you’ve done has already been paid for some doesn’t matter what bad you do. You know Jesus forgive you that he died for your sin. I mean, it’s a really simple religion. 

Maruf: Yes. Then why do people go to the Church? 

Nazir: Exactly. Why don’t they wish for death? Because you don’t in Paradise is supposed to be so much better. Why don’t you just wish for death? was to stay in this land holders pain, you know, so there’s questions ahead with that. I mean I question about you know, why are we eating pig? 

But the old testament says don’t eat here and then I get answers like well, that’s the Old Testament and Jesus brought the New Testament and then I come back with world the 10 commandments of the Old Testament too. 

Maruf: Here’s the thing, In this New Testament, he doesn’t say yes, either, does he??

Nazir: No. Actually, it says the opposite after thing is Matthew 25 where Jesus is alleged to have said I didn’t come to change the law of Moses but I can’t get every Iota. So if you come to change anything he says is out of his own mouth is your book.

You know, but people do what they tend to do and you know again that caused me to kind of distance myself from those who followed the book because I believed hey, this is you know, this is supposed to be word of God.

So, why are people you know, you cheating on your wife or you know, all these types of things began to affect me as I got older and then at the same time my house was a toxic household. So I’m living in a household where my father was taking alcohol, it used different drugs throughout the house. 

There was infidelity going on, you know with him, but also my mother, you know, so there are different things going on the skin. Like I said, I was born to them, when I was 16. He except married at 21. 

Maruf: So I can see that. From the childhood, 

it’s not been easy for you. Like I mean going through. So I’m just trying to analyze that. And you try to be a Christian I guess as much as you can.

But still there’s some question as there’s still something that urgency you know to deeper, right? So is it how you discovered Islam or you were other? So I just want to know that. You could be like transitions the re-discuss what’s coming people.

Nazir: The first time I ever heard about it when I was in eighth grade. And the pastor was teaching us about different religions and different sects and he was talking about we were I was a Lutheran at the time and he was talking about Baptists and Protestants and Catholics and a number of different things.

He drew a diagram on the overhead projector and he put like a circle with a dot and the dot was the saving truth and he put up like different ovals are different shapes and those that kind of encompass the saving truth. 

But they might have been off on some other ideas. So, you know, he put that Christians teacher saving truth basically, but there are many differences. However, you said in Islam. He said Muslims, they don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and everything else. 

So, you know the truth so I’m like wow. Okay. Well, they must be stupid. You know, it’s my first response obviously like doesn’t believe this Jesus. They’re just dead. This is dumb. And I remember that.

Maruf: But if you believe that everything becomes easy though, right? And you don’t have to do anything.

Nazir: Exactly, you don’t have to prove anything. You don’t have to it’s nothing, you know innocent man was supposed to execute it which happens unfortunately the time but he’s supposed to pay for everything and that’s that, you know, and God incarnate so Delta first time I heard about it and again, I wasn’t interested at the time. 

But as I got older, I was around here’s got divorced when I was 12. So fatherly structured in a detailed kind of discipline in place in some order was no longer there and I was coming to my young adolescents coming to being young man at least so I thought was immature. 

So I’m hanging around more with other friends. I mean I first smoked my first joint had weed when I was 14 years old, you know, those experimental alcohol just different things and I knew that my lifestyle wasn’t right. So even going to Church is something I may go every once in a while my mother and I will see that there were more women than men.

You know, and I didn’t agree with certain tenants like turning the other cheek and I standing up for justice or being a pacifist. It was very difficult to see my community the different oppression that was born on whether it be police brutality. 

I’m actually it’s my first time being proved last place when I was 15 years old when I took my mother’s car and returned to when she was at work and the joy riding on the officers arrested me. It took me to the station and beat me up pretty much the flashlight. 

Maruf: It doesn’t make sense to me. I mean if you just borrow your mom’s car, why would the officers take you?

Nazir: Well, because she was at work. Okay, and I took her car without her permission. She thought it was stolen. Okay reported it stolen because I was out there with my friends and doing things I was supposed to do but I returned the car before she got off work little did I know that she was going to take a lunch break and eat her car so that’s why. 

I parked it and I was already walking away. They didn’t catch me in the car. I was already walking away, but I was underage and there’s a curfew for people under 18, you are supposed to be at home. 

And it’s like three o’clock in the morning and I’m walking away from the area. So they put me on free rent and they got me and then that’s when they took the station beat me. So these things, you know, leave an imprint on somebody.

Because I was young and pretty immature and I should have got it but regardless that is mean, you know, I go to church and everything just gonna be okay here, you know. I didn’t really feel that I was doing right. 

I knew I wasn’t do I know I was doing wrong, but Christianity would just say hey, all you do is believe or just have communion and you’ll be forgiven everything. Okay, and I didn’t go with that I wasn’t rocking with that.

Maruf: In the beginning, it was easy to believe because if you believe everything goes well, there must be a moment in your life, I guess, when you are, no longer can just take this as believe. Because it can’t be that simple . That’s wht you are Muslim, isn’t it so or there must be some transition? I just want to understand.

Nazir: Well the transition occurred between these teenage years of basically 15 to 17. Okay, what occurred again I was duped. I was being immature. I was drinking, I was gonna party as teenager and so on and I ended up.

I met a guy who was Muslim. First of all, Mom was dating this guy. He was Muslim. Nut he wasn’t practicing Muslim. The only thing that was most about him is that he said he was Muslim. But he was a part of the organization or the street gang were claiming that as well. 

I didn’t know anything about it. I saw the movie Malcolm X when I was 16 and I respected Malcolm and I said wow, you know, like women dressed and stuff and I would that was pretty much it. I respect him as a man as someone looked up to it, out that spoke the truth.

And everything else you know, it affected me, but I wasn’t interested in following lies in my life or anything like that. It didn’t leave me to follow but it left an imprint on my heart that that’s a strong man who has fought for what he believed in. 

And he made change. So I saw that and I heard about people converting overcoming whistles whether jail, so he told me about Islam because of who he was. 

Maruf: Cause you are looking at the religion, right? I guess.

Nazir: Exactly, I was looking at the way he’s behaving. He’s a Muslim. He’s dating my mother then married you know where their accurate dogs are doing other stuff. That just wasn’t right and he was really sneaky. So I said I’m not giving up my women my weed my baby back ribs. 

Maruf: Yeah, because he’s not giving you a woman in the white, which should, right? He is I mean what I’m trying to understand is that even though he said he was Muslim, but he was dating another person right into case your Mom and but he’s teaching gather why she doesn’t make sense  does it?

Nazir: Right. And he didn’t come with any ideas from Islam. He just said hey is true this innocent that I’m like that’s not a way to really convince somebody you know Islum is true. You should be listening to check this out as it is pretty. 

So I wasn’t interested. So, what I did is I just disowned organized religion. I said, you know what? I know the way I’m living is not right and it can’t be just so simple to just drink, eat, flesh and communion to go ahead and just be saved and I’m okay with what I’m doing. 

I heard many people. I mean rob many people, I can carjacked, I’ll go smoke weed. I can sell drugs I can do this and everything is okay because Jesus died for my sins. So that makes no sense at all. And Jesus never said that you know, either in the Bible. 

So I was like, okay. Well, I know that there’s a God there’s a bigger purpose to all of this. So I just own it and I went on my own search as the old ancient African kemetic religions all see our society study Buddhism even look at this Hinduism such as I look at anything I can find. 

On spirituality and God and I wasn’t satisfied with what I had seen until I got into some trouble I had, I got arrested for what was I doing some carjacking stuff that it happened, but I was carrying a pistol. I was 16 years old. 

I had a pistol on me and I was not supposed to

And I got arrested. So the same guy that I was told about the introduced me to Islam prior to he was in prison for his behavior when he was already going. Well, he sent me a book called Welcome To The Islam’s like some page book. 

And I digested the book in three days because the book premise was that it was going to dive into the monotheistic origins of monotheistic religion. So we talked about the roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 

And that’s what I want to get. I want to get at the roots. It’s not at the branches with outskirts. So I saw as I was going through the book. I’m seeing parts that I can agree upon with different parts of Judaism difference Christianity.

But then when it came to a Islam and it showed the simplicity and the magnificence of pure monotheism, I got it in the way I saw that was reading in Sora Ikhlas. I saw it and I read it and I said this is what I believe will be, you know chapter 112 over The Quran.

Like this is it. I believe this so you see, you know, stay here last one, you know Allah is self-sufficient, which means he doesn’t eat or sleep. He doesn’t need any dress or any arrests. There’s no resting on the seventh day, you know, he begets not nor is he begotten. 

Okay, so he doesn’t have children at the child of Eden when I believe this and there’s nothing co-equal or comparable into him at all. And I read that in English and I’m like this is deep. This is exactly what I believed as a kid. 

There was no confusing Trinity. There was no Divinity between God man, man God there’s no this is of my mother giving birth to God and all this stuff was out the window and I’m like, this is what I believe right here summed up in a couple short sentences simple. 

This is it, you know, so that point I said I sent myself a Muslim then I had to go on a journey to find out what that meant is, you know, so I look at this.

Maruf: Is this what happened when you’re in prison, is it correct? 

Nazir: I was in a detention center. Because I have been to prison but as a juvenile you can go to prison anyway, but I was in a detention center for a few months and he sent that to me. So at the time and energy and every vet re-evaluating my life because I didn’t want to be like my uncles and other individuals.

And I saw them, you know, some selling drugs others using it, you know, being a byproduct of you know, kind of government counterintelligence program with, you know, trying to stop the rise of any type of unity among black people in particular that you know fight for the Liberation. 

So two communities were flooded with drugs and then of course, it’s mass incarceration. I don’t want to go that same route because I could see the route they were going out. I would witness it in the home. I will see different domestic violence. 

No, not at all. I knew there had to be better than me at 12 years old just to backtrack a second. I believe in God had a deep sincere belief in God. I know this but on June 24th 1988 when I was leaving a corner store a block and a half from my house. 

I decided I was going to run across the street before this car came, before there was a bus that was parked in the corner and I ran out in a car. Right there. Boom. Hit me in my left eye and I flew into the air and I landed on my side. 

But there was nothing broken. No, no major damage or anything, but I was just shaking from the adrenaline running through my body and they wanted me to go in the ambulance or hospital refused. But I remember in the air because time just seemed. 

Maruf: It’s like a Matrix style. 

Nazir: Alright Matrix. Yes. Absolutely. Yes, just like the Matrix. It was like I saw this card lets me know. I’m praying to Jesus. You know, I’m praying to God Jesus name. Yeah, okay, and then I hit the ground.

So I’m like, okay, I’m dead. You know, here’s the car. I’m gonna die. That’s what I was thinking or at least when I was in the air, that’s why mate prayer because I’m like, oh God I’m dating life is over for me right now. It’s a bad decision. 

But I remember that and at that point I’m like, you know, like can go at any time, you know, it was a mortality moment for me. So I got a little more serious even though I started doing some dumb things. 

Couple years later, I smoked my first joint hanging around the wrong people. I still have that in my head with you know, about death and I wanted some solid answers. I never received that since second grade until I read that when I was 16 years old when I read Ikhlas. So, you know that was the transition period there. 

Maruf: So how long did it take you from that point? Let’s say you were 16 years old Detention Center so. You decided then I guess. Did it take your Shahada officially somewhere or is just you know, that’s it. I’m gonna decide this I’m gonna have to throw you, right? 

Nazir: I didn’t know anything about the shot at all actually to willow your later, but I was praying in English got a little prayer book and all that kind of stuff. 

Maruf: So you can be serious. 

Nazir: I have to keep studying. So I studied. I went to the Nation of Islam location because I didn’t know where Muslims worship anything like that. So I was trying to find the truth. Look at their process of stuff with Farrakhan. I was not interested. Are you still there? 

Maruf: I’m here. I’m listening. 

Nazir: Anyway, I didn’t like the idea of following her calling any human honorable, but honorable Elijah Muhammad, I don’t know who Louis Farrakhan anything like that. I was not interested in following a man because I know men will lead you astray just like pastors and preachers and ministers done in the church that I was parked South.I wasn’t interested in that so I want to get to the roots.

Maruf: I mean why that’s one of the things? Why do you have to put people in between you if you can go directly to God, Allah, right? 

Nazir: Exactly. That’s what we were doing with the whole Jesus thing. You don’t recognize for some reason Kris is just don’t recognize the difference you praying to God and then you trade in Jesus name you using an intercessor. 

That means these are two inked entities if you’re so. So, I never understood it never got an answer to that so I didn’t want to be misguided by that. So I read the autobiography of Malcolm X and looked at how he broke off.

Then I want to go to roost like who’s responsible. You know, who was this man because again, I believed in the Bible. So when I initially picked up the Quran after he never welcome to Islam I was like, okay, I’m going to look in this book. I’ve been shocked to find errors. 

And I couldn’t and it also was very confusing because the Bible is written again in third person with a bunch of stories and tales and stuff like that supposed to be written by men inspired by God. 

So when you read the Quran, the Quran is talking directly to you from, you know, so it’s direct from Allah. 

Maruf: So the communication dialogue going on between you. 

Nazir: Exactly, it’s not as you know, it’s not a transition of what piece together the story. Sometimes they like in the Book of Ezekiel in that wouldn’t be very explicit an x-rated and stuff like that. None of this is. 

There’s an elegance even in the English translation that we don’t have so it really blew my mind and caused me to just beat it more and more and more than I want to fight. Okay. Well this is supposed to go from Allah to the angel Jabril to Prophet Muhammad who is his Prophet Muhammad because he’s a man. 

And all men are fallible. So I want to find out and then I kind of search further and it led me to a A certain community of Muslims that studied Islam they were closer with it was with the Elijah Muhammad, son who kind of broke off from the nation and brought him around to a closer version of Islam.

And I was there. And then there were some different things that they were saying they were following him more than ever following prophet Muhammad. So I kept it on my study in my journey because again, I don’t want a man to leave me a straight thing. 

You’re not my leader period so then I study little more, I found it was a Masjid and a sister had given my wife and I met my first wife and I met in high school is as freshman and I was talking about Islam. 

Also when I was studying she actually took a shot before I did she was raised in a Christian School at the Christian High School of going to but the sister gave me some information about all heat by Bilal Philips and it was an entirely different understanding. 

So the fundamentals of Tawheed is what that book is called right after the whole thing for this. So now again reduced to pure Islam find out who the prophet Muhammad saw some amazing and read the book, you know, the serial the Hecmatun the sealed nectar.

And then I began to develop a relationship with who understand who the promise I don’t was and how the Quran was revealed how things are put in order then started learning about the history and of you know of Islam and how its spread and these different things. 

So now there was that sweetness of man and hoody kind of flood again because this is the ropes I found because if you go far as the roots like the over say a spring coming out of the earth. 

That’s where is the most pure but as it goes in form streams and rivers and their be all kind of pollutants that getting it and so on so they could be challenges by the time and it gets to you to give you a stagnant water sure, but the root is where it’s pure so when I found that that’s what I said, I believe in.

And that’s what I found out Malcolm actually believe when he was a Muslim for 11 months before he was assassinated I can pull off so that is when I became Muslim officially and I was 17 and a half years old and then got married at 19 years old because again, I wanted to be on the right lifestyle, but I still had you know, yes like my parents.

Maruf: I’m really glad. So, that was a different path But that’s a very interesting story like how you change your life from that to what you do today? I would say one of the 80 degrees difference right you do have. Mashallah. You have 10 kids. You do some parenting. You coach people. 

You have some courses well, and actually I would like to deep dive on that part as well. You see some people might have stopped there. You say, okay. I’m going to assume that that’s possible. 

That’s just already a great achievement, but you just stop that you went ahead and learn. And today, you’re actually helping other Muslim parents to how to you know, grow their inner educate your kids to be, you know, the next generation of Muslims practicing Muslims, I guess. So, how did it happen? What inspired you? 

Nazir: What inspired me was Islam because I become a Muslim. So now I have something totally different. It was a brand new world. I never saw Muslims worship. I didn’t know I’ve never seen that when I was a kid. I didn’t know how Muslim Donita So Muslim praying. 

And I remember so vividly that was when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was 14. I was a freshman in high school and the Gulf War the first Gulf War started in the Rock and they sold his Muslim. They showed somebody was dead on the ground.

And somebody was mourning over that person. I was dead and then it showed in it cut to a scene of somebody that was praying. And I’m like, yeah, you know it blew my mind. I’m like, okay. Wow, this person is like praying. 

So I remember them praying and saying like Allahu Akbar something like that and I was like at the time I was like, yeah, we’re going to war we going to you know, kill Saddam or whatever. I was saying just, you know, due to the societal conditioning it didn’t make any sense. 

But I remember seeing this person praying and it brought back to me the Bible because in the Bible all throughout are you here Jesus fell on his face and prayed. Abraham fell on his face and prayed Moses fell in the face of great and I was like these people who desert on their face praying.

But it never really went farther than that in my conscious maybe my subconscious but I do remember you know it from that perspective. So what caused me is like, okay now, I have a whole new lifestyle now, I know how the Angels told all the prophets how to pray and how do you learn how.

And what my goals are, where am I going, what I want to do for my family because I want my family to be totally different than the household. I grew up and I don’t want alcohol, domestic violence other abuse has to be going on in the home, raising children who are righteous.

I want to be the answer to the do eyes and the prayers of my ancestors who were captured. They were enslaved they lost their religion along the way but I’m sure many of them prayed that we return to our Dean in our strength. 

So I want to be the answer to their two eyes and in doing so I had to learn Islam because my relatives didn’t have it. It didn’t exist. I’m still outside of you know, my family that night nuclear family that married to and my children 99 when I was 10. My brother says I thought I was laughing.I had one cousin. She’s Muslim. That’s it. 

Maruf: Okay. So even today you’re like most of your family are still keep on doing what they’re doing, right? 

Nazir: Yes. I do have the empty lot of the honor though that of my brother Ronnie and my father who did take the shot. Yes, and I did not expect that one at all. But my younger brother he used to when I first became Muslim he said just come with us and tag along and me.

And a number of other brothers, we used to do Islamic music and rap back in the day and so on with announcer productions, so it was more of a political Islamic bass trout. It would come with us to travel and see us pray. 

There was never any pressure on him and I gave him some materials and talked about Christian Muslim dialogue and we talk you know about what Islam is and everything. In one day after several months.

She knows my heart that I was leaving happy about that because I have given my mother books of the with our to my mother. Okay, and she was you know, she could not keep up with the arguments or anything and I’m pointing out in the Bible.

Because I know it better than her because she sent me to the Christian school and I care for her. So I’m going to give her the truth. I gave her a book called Christian Muslim dialouge which just broke stuff down very thin book very easy read about a conversation most of the Christian.

And she gave it to my brother. So she indirectly did that to my brother because she throws not so my brother saw that and he went to Sunday school because he’s still living with my mother and she made him what our Sunday school.

So he went in there and he started eating and  it was going on Sunday school teacher. Hey, I bet you I can find errors in the dishonesty that  $50 well in front of the entire class and my brother proved that there were errors in the Sunday school teacher got very upset. 

And my brother got suspended from going to the class. And then he went back again and did it again and then my mother got upset and said that he got kicked out of the church, but you know shortly after that. He said I want to become Muslim.

So he became Muslim at 14 and unfortunately, well, you know he died on time but he was killed in 1997 to the case of mistaken identity was actually a friend of mine who looks similar to us. 

He’s light-skinned curly hair said he was a little taller, he got into a fight with a rival gang. That wasn’t a game, but one guy from a rival gang. They had all beat them up in the guy hitting the alley with a gun. Then my brother came out from the house going to the store and my brothers light-skinned and tall and he came across my brother.

He was 32 years old. My brother was 16 at the time and my brother got killed. You know, that could be any fight back and everything is one of the eight categories of Shahada of the show, but prior to this. Well, my brother became Muslim. 

Then my mother kicked him out of the house. Just kick both my brothers out of the house. They both became muscle my brother who’s 14 became Muslim and my brother who is 11. They both took the shot, right?

But my mother said you Christian in this house you got to get out and what happened was it was a need so my brother took off school and I picked him up. We all want to set out to eat together. They want to pray and stuff at a Good Day celebration and see that was the last straw for her. 

So she said I don’t come back, you the Christian hear or you get out so he got out. None of my other relatives could take advantage. I really could take it. And I was living in the basement of my in-laws house with my wife my new baby. So there wasn’t enough space.

But when my teacher Shaky Jazz. He took us in and he taught him. You know, it’s Tajbeed, Quran and things like that and he stayed with him for a couple of months and then he came back to my mother’s house and in two weeks later when he got killed. So he was really around really good brothers and everything. 

Last month’s of his life and began to learn the Dean and got killed when he was 16. So that was my brother Nasser, my father, his conversion was he saw me. He saw me change and I become Muslim and I have my first child and he’s like, well, I’m gonna get her baptized again.

Because he went to the same school and you know, he, you know, they don’t know anything about Islam. So he was telling me how he was gonna get her baptized and things like that. I’m like, no you’re not gonna do that. That happened and so on and so forth, but he said, you know you change something has you I want to know what that is.

Because it must be powerful when he saw the life that I was living with, you know, Robin being out on the streets, you know being slick just kind of be a miniature version of him. So what I did was I gave him a book by Ahmed deeda called Christian Muslim something. He has his famous book Christianity and Islam something. 

But it was like volume one and two. And make me laugh just even thinking about it, but he digested the book. I’m like a day in the park. That was the most heartfelt to him that made the most sense to him was the exact same thing that made the most sense to me, Soratul Ikhlas. 

So he read it and he was like, okay, so he had a lot of questions and things like that and he didn’t take a shot anything right away, but we’re talking about a smile not get some more books and you know his heart began to soften up. 

And I never would have thought that my father of all people would have become Muslim less, you know a loss as to plan my father would alcoholic drug addict, you know saw a lot of stuff that he’s done and it was just, you know, I was not expecting that at all. 

So what happened one day I picked him up he want to learn more about Islam and I said, you know what, let’s go to Jhakie Chases place. So we went over there. We had some food because he’s a Desi. Business for a long time. And also he has a Desi UK accent using the US. Really loving brother. 

He’s one of the people are really started learning true Islam from but we went over there answer this question about Islam and simple different things like that and in Shaky Jazz surprisingly just said, you know, why don’t you become a Muslim? 

Maruf: He was close. 

Nazir: They want us to become us to repeat after me and they started saying the Shahadat gets my father repeatedly after him almost cried and took Shahadat which was totally unexpected and everything. So he took a shot. 

And then, you know began to learn more and I began to teach him, lead him so that and stuff like that. And then in 2006 in June 2006. He found out he had lung cancer smoking ever since he was 16 years old, smokes cigarettes and put all kinds of other things in his body. 

So, on September 19th 2006 he died. I’ll take care of this throughout the janaza and everything else over the injections of many of his siblings and stuff like that. But so those two people, they became Muslims and they passed you know, so I’m the patriarch if you will of my family now.

Maruf: But you have 10 kids. I was gonna say, tell me about them like you’re with 10 kids. Like how is it like to live in a family with ten kids? 

Nazir: Well, what a couple things one is that I have two wives. So, you know that makes it a little more leverage in two homes. So my wife that’s what I’ve been married for 24 years. So we have seven children. 

I have four daughters and three sons. Okay. So my oldest daughter now, here’s the thing. Usually we take 10 kids. We think a lot of kids running around think of young children. The good part is that’s not necessarily the case. 

They’re like twins and triplets and stuff like that because my oldest child just turned 24. So she’s already graduated college and other than my next child my next daughter. She’s 22. All right, she stays at home with us. She just finished over a bain Institute doing a dream program last year.

And then my other daughter is 19 year old. She’s at home. She just graduated with honors in my 17 year old. She’s about to graduate high school. So they’re older, you know, they’re more numbers and stuff like that. So, you know, they’re not a burden at all now since they’re driving. 

With running their younger brothers around because yeah, it’s four daughters are older from 24 to 17. And then I have my son’s so there are thirteen, twelve, eight, seven, four and two make sure to call them. Yeah, well wanted to, in a team.

So I have six. Um, so my second marriage will be 9 years. So I have 24 and 9 years of marriage and for my second wife has three biological sons. They don’t have two steps. So it’s really a dozen. Okay now call it a bonus feature. 

So the ages really make a difference because we really teach this 3 by 3 framework with outstanding Muslim parents. And basically there are three stages that our children go through in the first stage is obviously when they’re young or infants up to about 7 years old. 

That’s kind of the first stage where they begin to have been you are the main influencer. So three by three weeks three stages the the entrance the seven and then there’s the eight to kind of 12 or 13 years and then there’s teenage years so that only three states that children really grow through before they become adults okay.

Or as they go into adults I should say and then the roles that we have as parents kind of late what that is three seats are three C’s meaning Celebrity Confidant and Coach and that means that you model for our celebrity not just from with some Muslims On Fire podcast and many other things to do. 

A celebrity because of your children’s eyes, especially in stage one. You are the one who looks up to your star. Mom is the Superstar who me she is the Superstar. Okay, they want us after Mom maybe like mom. So that means as a celebrity that we had a role model who thinks that we do good or bad. 

They will imitate. I remember my father again. Like I said, they smoke cigarettes both my parents smoke so I picked up one of his cigarettes and I was five years old.

And I tried to smoke. And he saw me and I’m like, okay what you know, he told me don’t do that and I’m like, well you do that. He’s like don’t do what I do. Do what I say. 

Maruf: It doesn’t make sense.

Nazir: You know at all I did and you can’t talk back to me because I don’t like that some of the dumbest advice ever, you know, and he drank beer and alcohol. I’m like, I want to drink something. That’s my dad. I want to be like my dad, right? 

Then he’s like, no, don’t do it. Like well if it’s good for you, it’s not good for me. That’s basic human logic. You know, so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do that to my children. I wanted to exemplify what I said. I was going to do what I want them to do. 

So I have to be congruent. I want to build that trust. So I’m not going to be trading by telling these lies and I’m also going to be congruent with them. So these are things that shaped kind of where we are. 

So as a celebrity we have to be that good moment and utilize our influence to kind of anchor their identities the second part. The second C is Confidant. Okay, The Confidant someone that they can go to and kind of share whatever is on their minds. 

And we have to be wise enough to help them read between the lines. Now when they were talking old different Terror attacks and so on it, you know first thing comes to mind by the meteors oldest must be some Muslim. That’s some crazy thing when in reality, you know, the biggest terrorist out there. 

We know that there are Muslims but you know the challenges that we have to help our children understand and read between the lines was being said so that they can really function properly and consciously in society and make a progressive positive change. 

Maruf: What you’re trying to say like we have to be close to our children so that they can open up their thoughts. We have to be their close friends. Like you said they all the other always welcome to talk to us with any topic at all, right? 

Nazir: Yeah. You should be approached. We have to be open and approachable because as you get older that confident kind of turns it to me the Consultants. Okay, so they should be able to if they have questions about sex or marriage or you know today they’re gonna have a lot of questions a lot of different questions. 

I mean Society saying, you know, hey your boy you have boy parts, but you feel like a grown in size of your girl. So there’s a big transgender going on. There’s LGBT thing going on. There’s a conversation that it must be had, you know, and as they get older It goes with being a confidant another level being a consultant. 

Because now they want your advice or opinion on something or maybe some strategy or some help. Well again, we have to actively work on being able to speak with our children. Not only talking to our children. 

So that’s the second word. The third one is the Coach obviously cheer leads, the coach can see the potential of the player, the coach can see the rules and understands the rules of the game in the casino. The talent but the coach must also enforce discipline and what we need in Muslim parents with discipline isn’t punishment.

Discipline, for example, when we look at Islam Islam is disciplined. That was one of the things that initially turned me off about it when the guy was telling me but I was like it’s too discipline, you know, you pray five times a day and all of this stuff but the discipline is exactly what we need. 

So as a coach we need to enforce discipline meaning, you know, since Islam talks about when we pray and fast, you know, what times of duty, different things in our life that’s all about discipline and it provides instructure. 

Self-discipline is always looked at as a positive thing, you know corrective discipline. That’s usually where punishment you might have to take her phone away or a child might have to get in push-up position or be in the horse position or something like that when they’ve done something wrong, you know or might Elevate to a level of spanking or something right depending on us.

But that’s part of the coaching that happens our role as a coach and then the three E’s are Engage, Equips and Empower we must engage those conversations, understand how to ask a conversation versus you know, how was your day, today? It was good. Okay, cool. 

Let me get back to my device to ask you something specific about their goals are what they’re headed for or how something made them feel and why and let him know it’s okay, you know your emotions or to cry as a boy your understanding if the best person that ever lived the planet probably that’s what Islam cry and was emotional wasn’t scared to show it how we in such a society that demeans it. 

You know, so there are things that we must do so we engage we equipped with now that your information and history and Dean and etiquette and masculinity and femininity. We do this and then we Empower by putting them off into the world encouraging letting them fail and getting the lessons from it. 

So even though I’ve experienced many different challenges in life, we all do these things don’t define us. The difference is if we let these things affect us in a negative fashion by choice or if we choose to get the lesson from it and help ourselves and others with that. 

So it’s not what happens to us. But it’s what we think about what happens to us. They really make the difference. 

Maruf: Yeah. So this is what happens, what it means and how we react to it. 

Nazir: Exactly, that meeting we put on it. 

Maruf: That’s beautiful. Very beautiful. By that note, I think we were gonna run up to the time this episode. So why don’t you tell the audience where they can find more about you. And I believe you have a course for parents if those for those of us who are listening as parents, they want to check out more learn more. 

Nazir: Oh, No problem. You can find us at Outstanding Muslim Parents.com. We have an inner circle monthly where we do a live broadcast yet worksheets and downloads different courses and everything like that. So I was Outstanding Muslim parents.com and the same on YouTube or Facebook is the same handle. 

Maruf: That’s good. Thank you for sharing your life story, very emotional moments with us. May Allah give you blessing to whatever you do and increase your impact, you know, so you keep inspiring more Muslim parents. So we end up having more even more, you know, practicing Muslim children in the future by that I say Assalamuwalaikum.

Nazir: Walaikumussalam.

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Episode 15