“When I was in high school, I wasn’t doing good spiritually. I was having depression. I was paid 5 bucks to wash the dishes for an hour. A lot of people take advantage of immigrants. That was when I started to get the idea of what Islam is and how deep it was, and how it wasn’t what the media was portraying. And that cured my depression.
So, one, I’m Latino and two, I’m Muslim. I’m gonna get attacked on both sides," he chuckled
“My mum found out that I was studying Islam and she kicked me out of the house and threw all my clothes out. She said I was doing terrorisation, following a cult and was training to kill people. At that point of time I also stopped eating pork, but my mum said that when she fed me beans, she would purposely put pork in it.
There was once when my mum decided to come into the community and see the people. They came up to her saying that her son is feeding the homeless, being a good member of the community etc. She came up to me and asked me why didn’t I tell her that? I said, well she didn’t ask and she wasn’t interested with that so I didn’t tell her,” he giggled.
He then continued, “I believe them seeing how much change Islam had in me was to make me a better person. My mum now accepts Islam.”
Right after she recited the shahada, Olga Sanchez, his mother, said in front of the jemaah, “Forgive me for how I reacted but I gave my son a hard time about this religion. I said I wouldn’t be a part of this religion. And now here I am.”
Raul continued, “The next day, my mum told me that she hadn’t felt that much peace in years. Islam changes everything.”