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Yusuf Estes

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My name is Yusuf Estes and I am a retired chaplain for the United States Bureau of Prisons. I wasn’t always a chaplain and I wasn’t always a Muslim.

 

The fact is that I was raised as a strong Protestant Christian, born in Ohio, raised and educated in Texas and was a successful marketing entrepreneur and preacher of Christianity for almost 50 years.

 

My ethnic background is English, Irish and German and a little American Indian. I was what they called a “WASP� (white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant). My family moved to Texas in 1949 while I was still in grade school, so my accent changed from ‘Yankee’ to ‘Texan’ real quick. We learned how to say, ‘ya’ll’ instead of, ‘youse guys’ and ‘Howz ever thaang?’ instead of ‘Waz up?’ We also learned how to eat ‘Corn bread ‘n bains’ instead of ‘Johnny cakes and beans.’

 

 

 

I grew up in a very religious home. My parents and their relatives were all ‘good Christians.’ Basically that means that you never drink alcohol, except on very special occasions and never gamble expect Bingo at the church. Religion was a real part of my life. I believed very much in God and the Bible as His Word. While other children were playing ‘school’ and ‘cops and robbers’ I would sometimes play the ‘Preacher.’ I can still remember my first sermon, standing on the ground in Doug Hidemen’s backyard: “We must learn the Way of God! And then stay on that Way.� (That’s all I said. I couldn’t think of anything else)

 

 

 

My whole family on both my mother’s and father’s sides were very active members of the same denomination of Protestant Christianity. We all loved to go to church on Sunday mornings for Sunday school and sermon (well maybe we didn’t all love the long sermons). Then of course, special activities and holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween and parties were always a part of our lives in my early years. Our church was originally called only “Christian Church.� It wasn’t until I turned 10 or 12 years old that the church ‘split’ into two different groups that we started calling ourselves ‘Disciples of Christ.’

 

 

 

My father was a full time businessman and an ordained minister at the same time. He was also very active in church work, as a Sunday school minister and fund raiser for Christian schools. He was the ‘expert’ in the Bible having read it all the way through for the first time, while still only a young boy. It was through my father that I came to know about the various versions, translations and editions of the Bible as well as the introduction of pagan worship to Christianity at the time of the Emperor Constantine (325 C.E.). He, like many preachers would answer the question: “Did God actually write the Bible?� by saying: “The Bible is the Inspired Word of Man FROM GOD.� Basically, it means that humans (inspired humans, but humans just the same) wrote the Bible. That quickly explains the errors, mistakes, deletions and additions which have crept in and fell out of the Book over the years. He would add: “But it is still the Word of God, as inspired to man.�

 

 

 

God was frequently on my mind. I was ‘baptized’ into the ‘Spirit’ at age 12 and surprised even the minister (an ex-Jew who accepted Jesus) by my seriousness and intent on being a ‘full real follower of Christ.� I would think about Him and what He wanted us to do and why He created us in the first place, very often. Many times I would be caught ‘day dreaming’ about God when I was supposed to be paying attention to other things, like watching the pots boil over on the stove or not listen to the teachers at school. Sometimes I would rest my head on my arms on the top of my desk and try to imagine: “What will happen when we die?� and “What will Heaven be like?� or “Can we ever see God’s angels or the devil?�

 

 

 

My mind was frequently preoccupied with these types of thoughts as a child. But then as with most youth, I became distracted from my pursuit and began to be influenced by my peers. Other children would make fun of me if I talked about these questions and thoughts, so it seemed like a good idea to keep it to myself. No problem. I like to be alone with my thoughts of God anyway.

 

After growing up and owning many businesses, I realized that I did not want to be a ‘preacher.’ I was too afraid that I might be a hypocrite or call people to something that I myself didn’t truly understand. After all, I had ‘accepted the Lord’ and considered myself a true Christian, but at the same time I could not resolve the idea of God being One and at the same time He is ‘Three.’ And if He is the ‘Father’, how could He also be the ‘Son?’ And then, I asked myself, “What about the ‘Holy Ghost?’ (In later versions of the Bible, they changed ‘Ghost’ to ‘Spirit’).� But my big question was always the same: ‘How do three equal one?’

 

Over the years I had tried to ‘find’ God in many different ways. I checked out Buddhism, Hinduism, metaphysics, Taoism, different forms of Christianity and Judaism. The one most attractive to me was a combination of vegetarian from Hindu mixed with Gnosticism (Christian mysticism) and Cabbalism (Jewish mysticism) and metaphysics. This actually is a form of pantheism (God being throughout His creation) and is similar to some of the ‘Sufi’ mystics of today. But this concept in its entirety ultimately repulsed me because I did not want to imagine myself as being a ‘part of God.’

 

God is Pure! God is Perfect! God is All Knowing and All Aware of all things! So, how can I come along and say things like I was hearing from the other preachers: “In a way, we are all gods. It’s in the Bible.�

 

 

 

So, I read the Bible; “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.� (Quoted from the Old Testament; Psalms [82:6]) & “I said, you are gods� (New Testament John 10:34)

 

 

 

The rationalization which comes about in the books attributed to the Apostle Saul (changed his name to Paul), are full of statements which basically cancel the Torah or Law of the Old Testament. He makes it a matter of how you ‘understand’ something that makes it ‘permissible’ or ‘forbidden.’ As an example in the English Revised Standard Version which I have carried with me since 1953, it says in Paul’s letter to the Romans:

 

“I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean.� [Rom 14:14]

 

And again, in the same letter:

 

“So do not let what is good to you be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.�

 

[Rom 14:16]

 

 

 

By these types of statements, Paul pretty much destroys the entire Old Testament Commandments. Yet at the same time, in the same English version of the Bible in the first book of the New Testament, we are told that Jesus preached a message which was exactly the opposite of St. Paul:

 

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth shall pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.� [Mt. 5:17-20]

 

 

 

So according the St. Paul’s own testimony in his letter to the new Roman Christians, he is relaxing not just the least of these commandments, but basically all of these commandments. And he justifies everything with his rationalization that if you don’t think it’s bad, then it’s not!

 

 

 

I just felt that something was wrong in this message and decided to try to uphold the Commandments according to the Old Testament as much as I could. That would mean: No Pork; circumcision; no sex outside of marriage; no adultery; worship on Saturday (not Sunday) and most important of all: No worship of anything which is in the creation.

 

 

 

This is in direct line with the verse which says: “You shall have no other gods before (besides) me. You shall not make yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.�

 

[Ex 20:3-6]

 

 

 

It seemed reasonable to me, that there should only be One God. He should be All in Charge and without any partners. Reason also would demand that only He should be given any worship because He Alone deserves it. And as God, He should be the One to set the rules and give the orders. Then it would be clear who really loved Him and who was following His Commandments.

 

 

 

I had tried not to deal with these issues for many years. But now I was getting close to fifty years old and needed to do something for the Lord. After all, He had done everything for me. So, it was time for me to get serious about my religion and make some head way for the Lord. I decided to join in with some of my friends who were evangelists and preachers who preached in various parts of the country and even in Mexico. We travelled together and praised the Lord together and shared in ‘the spirit’ and went where the ‘spirit lead us.’ One of them use to carry a huge cross on his shoulders and drag it down the highway and give out little ‘mini-Bibles’ to those who cared to stop and visit. It was enjoyable to go to those who had given up hope or had no money or jobs and give them food, money, assistance and at the same time call them to the message of Christianity. I took my Bible everywhere and was very fast to whip it out and begin to ‘preach the message.’

 

 

 

I was ‘born again.’ I needed to ‘be in the light of Christ.’ I needed to share the ‘message.’ There was only one problem:

 

 

 

“What is the message?�

 

 

 

Oh sure, I know what some of the ‘Born Again Christians’ are saying as they read this: “The message of salvation of Jesus Christ!� – “He died for your sins!� – “He paid the price of redemption.� – “He is the Risen Son of God!� – “Jesus is LORD!�

 

 

 

Right! - I got that.

 

 

 

I preached that message myself and thought I understood it as well as anyone else did. The problem is when you start to really think about what you are saying. There are some very serious problems in these teachings that cannot be resolved and we are told to just “have faith.�

 

 

 

Then comes, THE QUESTIONS NOBODY WANTS TO ANSWER - What about the Bible? Who actually wrote it?

 

 

 

* What was the original language of the Bible? (Was it Hebrew? Was it Aramaic? How about Koine Greek?)

NOTE: - The Bible was never in English during the time of Jesus, peace be upon him, or any prophet (not even Muhammad, peace be upon him,) - because English did not exist until after 1066 AD!

* Does the Bible exist in the original form anywhere on earth? (No)

* Why does the Catholic Bible have seven (7) more books than the Protestant Bible?

* Why do these two Bibles have different versions of the same books?

* Why are there so many mistakes and errors in the Bible from the very first verse right up to the very last verse?

* Why do ‘Born Again Christians’ teach concepts that are not from the Bible?

* There is no word “Trinity� in the Bible in any version of any language?

* The oldest forms of Christianity do not support the ‘born again’ beliefs. Why?

* Jesus of the English Bible complains about the ‘crucifixion.’ Why?

(“Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani? - My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?�) [Mk 15:34]

* How can Jesus be the ‘Only Begotten Son’ of John 3:16? When in Psalms 2:7 David is God’s ‘Begotten Son?’

 

* Would a ‘Just God’, a ‘Fair God’, a ‘Loving God’ – punish Jesus for the sins of the people that he called to follow him?

* What happens to people who died before Jesus came?

* What happens to those who never hear this message?

* What about innocent children who die although their parents are not Christian?

* Didn’t God create Adam from dirt? – So, why does he need Mary to make Jesus?

* What about God? How can God create Himself?

* How can a man be a God? How can God be a man? How can God have a son?

The Bible says, “Enos is the son of Seth, and Seth is the son of Adam, and Adam is the son of God.� [Luke 3:36]

* Can’t God just forgive us and not have to kill Jesus?

* What about Jesus? Jesus did not even carry the cross – Simon Cyrene, a passer-by did! [Mk 15:21]

* Jesus of the Bible was NOT on the cross for longer than six (6) hours -- NOT three days -- (from the 3rd to the 9th hour) [Mk 15:25 & 15:33]

* Jesus of the Bible did not spend three days and nights in the tomb -- Friday night - until Sunday before dawn -- is only two nights and one day, not 3 days and nights!

* Jesus DID NOT claim to be God - or even equal to God!

 

 

 

My friend with the huge cross became tired of trying to answer all of my questions and in desperation one day, he told me to read the story of Abraham in Genesis in the Old Testament; especially the part of sacrificing his son for the sake of God. He seemed to feel that this was going to explain the whole concept of sacrifice and obedience to God.

 

 

 

I read it. – But instead of convincing me that this was the meaning of punishing the good so the bad do not have to suffer, I saw a totally different message here.

 

 

 

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son on an altar for the sake of Almighty God, if that was what God wanted from him. But God did not really want to take the life of an innocent boy for sins that Abraham committed. That was not even the story here. And as far as replacing his son with the ram for sacrifice, this also does not match the story of Jesus on the cross.

 

 

 

I told myself, “Stop! Think!� – Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son to test the loyalty of Abraham. He did not withhold his son from God, so God’s angels ordered him to offer a ram in place of his son. God was pleased with his total submission and as a result, God Blessed him and his offspring. [Gen. 22:9-18]

 

 

 

Now think about the New Testament story of ‘salvation.’ Jesus asked God NOT to put him through this ordeal.

 

“Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.� [Luke 22:42]

 

Notice in the next verse, an angel from heaven also appears to Jesus to “strengthen him.� Abraham’s angel comes to offer a ram as a sacrifice instead of the son.

 

The next verse, Jesus is in AGONY as he prays “more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.� [22:44]

 

Then I looked to the account of the story in the Book of Mark. Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane and his soul is; “very sorrowful, even to death.�

And; “Going a little farther, he fell on the ground prayer that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.� [Mark 14:32-39].

 

Meaning, somehow when the time came for the event to take place he could escape it. This was NOT the submissive attitude of Abraham.

 

Next, I noticed in verse 36 of the same chapter in Mark, Jesus says: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.� And then he goes to his disciples and wakes them up and then returns to pray “... saying the same words.�

 

This whole concept was so totally different than the one from Genesis talking about Abraham and his son.

 

It seemed the more I asked questions and delved into ‘those kinds of stories’ the more I would like to facilitate the truth.

 

I prayed to God and asked for answers. Strange things began to happen to me and those around me, many strange things, very strange.

 

 

 

My father began doing business with a man from Egypt. He wanted me to meet this gentle and kind man, a strange man – a Muslim. I wanted to “convert� this man to Christianity. He accepted my invitation with a strange challenge.

 

 

 

Some time later I met a Catholic priest while visiting patients in the Veterans Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He was a heart patient with a strange story. I took the Muslim with me to meet the priest and things began to develop in a strange way.

 

 

 

Strange things began to happen, very strange. Somehow, both the priest and the Muslim ended up coming to my father’s large home in Midlothian, Texas, not far from Dallas to live with us for some time. They stayed with us there for several months, working with us, eating with us and sharing understandings of God, His Creation and His purpose for mankind – and with strange proofs, very strange.

 

 

 

It all started by praying directly to God and asking Him for answers. The story is strange, but it is true. I know, because it happened to me and my family.

 

 

 

Yours truly,

 

Yusuf Estes

 

 

 

For the details of this strange story and why so many preachers and priests are coming to Islam, please visit the website:

 

IslamTomorrow(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/yusuf.htm

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PropellerAds

I love his story. I just recently heard him say the story it is more interesting hearing it because he makes jokes, funny expressions, and is a good story teller.

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Asalamualaykum,

I love his lectures alhumdulillah! I can relate to him more so than the Pakis and Indian lecturers cuz we're from the same area (raised in southern US), plus humor is awesome!

Here is an audio from him if you don't like reading or you're laying in your bed and just want to relax

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.islamindex(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/islamindex/download.aspx?id=1"]Audio[/url]

He has alot of lectures about all different topics on Islamtoday.com.

I do suggest your read the article one time during you life though :D Alot of good information in there.

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Asalamu Alaikum,

 

:D Sister MaryamK for the audio attachment, i just listened to it. Mashallah it was a great! story..... :D

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Asalamualaykum,

I love his lectures alhumdulillah! I can relate to him more so than the Pakis and Indian lecturers cuz we're from the same area (raised in southern US), plus humor is awesome!

Here is an audio from him if you don't like reading or you're laying in your bed and just want to relax

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.islamindex(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/islamindex/download.aspx?id=1"]Audio[/url]

He has alot of lectures about all different topics on Islamtoday.com.

I do suggest your read the article one time during you life though :D Alot of good information in there.

 

And now you have a chance of listening to him (if you get to read this post on time!):

 

Assalaamu Alaikum All

 

1) Benedictine MSA BBQ: Saturday, May 21, 12pm, at Blackwell

Forest Preserve. (Free)

2) Former Christian Minister Shaykh Yusuf Estes: "Passing the

Torch"

May 20, 8-10pm, Islamic Foundation. (Free Admission)

2A) Shaykh Yusuf Estes: Sisters Only Event

May 20, 4:30-6PM (Dinner Provided)

--------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------

2) Former Christian Minister becomes a prominent Muslim

Scholar

 

Shaykh Yusuf Estes

"Passing the Torch"

 

Friday May 20, 2005

Islamic Foundation. Villa Park, IL

8:00PM - 10:00PM. Free Admission

 

2A) Shaykh Yusuf Estes

Sisters Only Event

 

Friday May 20, 2005

2233 S. Highland Ave. Apt. 1415.

Lombard, IL 60148

4:30PM - 6:00PM. Dinner Provided.

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ignore the above post, since the lecture's already over! I got the email last night and i assumed the lecture would be tonight, but it ws actually last night!

 

i wish we could edit posts in this forum :D

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Asalamualaykum,

From the pieces that I caught of the lecture, it was a very good - I was trying to keep up with it and explain to my friend (who is a revert and from slavia) what he was meaning, because he's from Texas and he was a Christian she didn't understand what exactly what he was talking about 90% of the time. Mashallah he looked so well but one of the speakers of the masjid said that he was leaving early due to feeling ill.

I wasn't able to go to the Saturday one, did anyone go to that one?

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