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In the Name of God بسم الله

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This fellow's name has been thrown around here a couple of times and once someone asked me what I thought of him. Well, I was trapped in the house by rain and checked him out. This is what I think of him.
(My thread is purely from a personal and Christian perspective.)
This gentleman is really delightful.I like him. I really do.  He is sort of like an Old English Sheepdog. You have to love  them even if they sometimes come across as goofy and dumber than a bag of hammers. Here are excerpts from his bio ( with my comments interspersed) from the site of a Salafi who is as concerned about his grasp of Islam as I am about his grasp of Christianity.
 
Biography of Yusuf Estes
(Joseph “Skip” Estes) 
 

Born to A Musical Christian Family
Joseph Edward Estes, nicknamed “Skip” Estes, was born in Ohio to a Christian family in 1944. His mother played the piano, and his father played the piano and the clarinet. Joseph and his family moved to Houston, Texas in 1949. He was baptized in the Disciples of Christ Church in 1956.

 

 

LCM: Nice! :-)

Show Business, NASA, and Jesus
Joseph “Skip” Estes completed his music studies in the early 60’s, became a music teacher, and even played accordion for popular musical productions in 1968. He was known for doing grandstand and performing in touring road shows.  He even worked for NASA in some capacity in the 60’s.  He started owning music stores in the 70’s, and later became a music minister, calling people to Christianity through his love of music, Jesus, and the Bible.

 

LCM: Sooooo...was he a " music minister" or a trained pastor?

 NASA in " some capacity"? Space cadet?

Skippy the Clown
Joseph was known for his humor.  Many people are surprised to find out that at one time, he even performed as an actual clown.  “Skippy the Clown,” as he was known, would entertain local audiences with his laughable antics.  Skippy would also offer children pony rides. 

 

LCM: Okay...a little creepy, but okay....

 
 

Scholarly Ancestry [disputed]
Yusuf Estes once made the claim that he is from a long line of Andelusian teachers, the “Ostaz” Family, dating back to early Muslim Spain. They migrated to England, changing the name to “Estez”, which later become “Estes”, as the claim goes. (source) It seems that this claim was discontinued sometime in or shortly after 2008, casting doubt on its historical accuracy.

 
LCM: Someone must have checked him out on Ancestors R Us or something.
 
 

A Doctorate in Christian Theology [disputed]
There exist unverified claims that Joseph studied Christian Theology formally, and even obtained a PhD in the field. While some organizations promote him today as “Dr. Yusuf Estes”, the claim behind this remains unsubstantiated and highly questionable. Critics note that the academic institution that issued the degree, the subject of the thesis, the related prerequisite degrees and the associated research, and which years of his life he spent in all of that are completely unknown, unmentioned, and undocumented factors. Furthermore, no reference to such a formal education can be found in any of his widely available autobiographies written over the years. Needless to say, anyone being told that Yusuf Estes is a “Doctor of Theology” (or “Divinity”) would do well to request official documentation.

Furthermore, due to widespread claims in Arabic, many people tend to believe that Yusuf Estes was a former priest.  While this is clearly untrue, denied explicitly by Yusuf Estes himself, it still remains a widespread title for him used in many of his videos that have been translated into Arabic: ( القسيس السابق ) or ( القس السابق ).

 

LCM: So....Does anyone know...does he ever produce credentials? From his talks it appears he does not understand such things as : textual criticism, biblical history, original languages, canonical construction, church history,or other things one would expect of a Doctor of Divinity.    It seems perfectly in keeping with a Music major who also happened to be a business person and a part-time itinerant preacher, though.

 ( If you don't have part-time unlearned itinerant preachers in your religion, be thankful. In Christianity they often preach ignorance and heresy. In fact, in one story he recounts, he goes to yet another itinerant preacher to get ideas on the  concept of the Trinity and ,although he is touted as a " Christian scholar " by Muslims ,did not seem to recognize the heresy of modalism that the other preacher was promoting. )

Now some of the Salafis apparently think  Sheikh Skippy is preaching heresy, too. Well, share the joy Salafis. Why should Christians have all the fun? This is what you often get when you glorify folks with no credentials.

 

 

I will leave the Islamic stuff up to you.

 

 

Formal Islamic Studies [disputed]
In a 2006 autobiography, Yusuf Estes claimed to be a student of Islamic knowledge under the following teachers:

  • Dr. Jafar Shaykh Idris (Sudan)
  • Dr. Abdullah Hakeem Quick (South Africa)
  • Dr. Fateeh Al Ghareeb (Egypt)
  • Dr. Sayeed Rizwan Ali (Pakistan)
  • Dr. Bilal Phillips (Qatar)

He has made other vague claims that he has studied from those who he refers to as “the best scholars on earth” and that he has discussed very specific rulings with them.  Yusuf Estes occasionally makes direct and indirect claims to be an Islamic scholar himself, yet he explicitly dismisses this claim at other times.

 

LCM: He has some fun stories.

My personal favorite : 

In one of his stories he relates how he preached to a " Catholic priest" he met in the hospital. ( Note: this man had claimed to be from the planet Venus the minute before but Brother Yusuf somehow accepts that he is a priest....please tell me the Muslim audience didn't swallow this ) He later found this " missionary priest from South America" in a homeless shelter and took him to his house. ( Missionary priests and others are usually attached to an Order .... Why would one be in a homeless shelter?) This poor fellow eventually converts to Islam. Not sure if there are mosques on Venus. 

( I did notice that he used the same name for this gent as that of a rather flamboyant New York priest who was often in trouble with his superiors ....and in the newspapers....for , among other things, running a restaurant and getting into an insurance scandal. He stayed Catholic until his death a few years back and his 80th birthday party was attended by such notables as Walter Cronkite and Yoko Ono...so you can see why I doubt the fellow in Yusuf's living room is the same guy. But if this story isn't real, I can see where he came up with the moniker.)

 

Conclusion : Not sure why some Muslims are holding up this cute funny old lump of coal and saying it is a diamond.

 

 

 

 

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No, don't apologise! I am grateful to you for the entertainment. I hope he is doing better on learning Islam than he learned Christianity.

 To touch on one rather minor example just for fun....I have never heard any minister who did not understand that the fish symbol in churches is generally understood to mean the Greek acronym for " Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior". Most Christians know that by the time they are teenagers....especially evangelical Protestants who are wary of putting any  unwarranted images in their churches. 

But be of good cheer...the Sunnis may be kicking him out soon because of his tolerance of you folks.

If the Shia get him ,I will be conflicted over whether to congratulate you or not.

 

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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On 3/22/2016 at 0:48 AM, LeftCoastMom said:

 

 

I've seen that video before, its beyond hilarious. If that's the way you categorise someone's religion then I'm a mix of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and who knows what else because I tolerate other people's beliefs. 

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His education, like many other convert preachers (both "Christian-turned-Muslim" and "Muslim-turned-Christian"*), is what's interesting.

Just research who his teachers were and where they studied. You will find plenty of reasons for his strangeness.  He may not be as extreme as his education would suggest, he's quasi-Salafi at best. That's why hardcore Salafis wouldn't accept him.

 

*Make no mistake, being a convert (either way) is a big business. One the Islamic side, you have those that were "saved from idolatry" who have discovered the "true, pure, unadulterated Islam" aka Salafism (in their minds). On the other side, you have "former Muslims/terrorists" who found Christianity to be the truth and have discarded a "violent, hateful, false religion".

On both sides, you should conduct a thorough analysis of both their backgrounds and their new education. It wouldn't be a bad idea to look at their vocations, either.

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^ I agree. However, I'm not qualified to assess his Islamic credentials. I will have to trust you folks on that. I am reasonably qualified to assess his Christian credentials and he is either ignorant or lying. Not a great choice for his Muslim listeners. Were I ever to get the mic, I would simply ask his hearers to take out their iPhones and Google such things as the decisions of Council of Nicea, the symbolism of the fish in Christian art, the course listings at the local Catholic seminary, etc... Check out anything he said. That's all I would have to do, quite honestly.

He has likely had little to no formal theological training. Muslims may be unaware that certain small sects of Christians have " lay" preachers ...or even ordained preachers ( ordained with simple laying on of hands, etc.) without requiring formal academic learning. That's why you have eight-year-olds preaching in some of them.

 

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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6 hours ago, LeftCoastMom said:

^ I agree. However, I'm not qualified to assess his Islamic credentials. I will have to trust you folks on that. I am reasonably qualified to assess his Christian credentials and he is either ignorant or lying. Not a great choice for his Muslim listeners. Were I ever to get the mic, I would simply ask his hearers to take out their iPhones and Google such things as the decisions of Council of Nicea, the symbolism of the fish in Christian art, the course listings at the local Catholic seminary, etc... Check out anything he said. That's all I would have to do, quite honestly.

He has likely had little to no formal theological training. Muslims may be unaware that certain small sects of Christians have " lay" preachers ...or even ordained preachers ( ordained with simple laying on of hands, etc.) without requiring formal academic learning. That's why you have eight-year-olds preaching in some of them.

 

Alot of it is just confirmation bias.

Someone says what you feel is the truth, you go for it. That, and people think they are immune to research. 

You have people like Bilal Philips and Yusuf Estes on one side, and Nabeel Qureshi and Walid Shoebat on the other. It's a real money-making enterprise. Once someone has established a good story, it's incredibly difficult to enlighten their followers. Take Ayaan Hirsi Ali for example. No amount of debunking her background has any effect on her following.

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I'm not saying he's not worth listening too. Before I was a Shia I would listen. I wasn't a fan, but I would at least hear what he had to say.

I've met him before. At the masjid I used to attend, he spoke for our fund-raiser. His kind of preaching is good for those that are on the fence I suppose. 

The truth is, people come to Islam in all kinds of ways. I started as a Salafi. It wasn't the ideology that got me, rather they make pretty good arguments if your coming from the "Islam is bad, my religion is good" side of thing. It's important that we recognize that Allah doesn't just guide those Allah wills, but Allah guides them HOW Allah wills. Some of us take the long road.

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1 hour ago, A175 said:

I'm not saying he's not worth listening too. Before I was a Shia I would listen. I wasn't a fan, but I would at least hear what he had to say.

I've met him before. At the masjid I used to attend, he spoke for our fund-raiser. His kind of preaching is good for those that are on the fence I suppose. 

The truth is, people come to Islam in all kinds of ways. I started as a Salafi. It wasn't the ideology that got me, rather they make pretty good arguments if your coming from the "Islam is bad, my religion is good" side of thing. It's important that we recognize that Allah doesn't just guide those Allah wills, but Allah guides them HOW Allah wills. Some of us take the long road.

so wait you were born salafi? or converted salafi, howd you come to shia

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3 hours ago, sidnaq said:

hehe, by judging the comments on this page, i feel people may not like this person.hahaha i know some people say that people like him are not wroth listening to and stuff,

It's not a matter of not liking him. I think he is cute.

But he said completely untrue things about:

the Council of Nicea and other aspects of church history

courses priests take in seminary

the meaning of passages of Christian scripture

and those are just a few of his mistakes regarding Christianity that he is telling his audiences. So he is not worth listening to regarding any in-depth insight into the Christian Faith, IMHO.

I'm sure Muslims don't appreciate it when ex-Muslims say stupid things about Islam, either.

What would you think of a person who purported to be a biology professor who told you a snail was a mammal?

At that point, whether one likes him or not is irrelevant.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

It's not a matter of not liking him. I think he is cute.

But he said completely untrue things about:

the Council of Nicea and other aspects of church history

courses priests take in seminary

the meaning of passages of Christian scripture

and those are just a few of his mistakes regarding Christianity that he is telling his audiences. So he is not worth listening to regarding any in-depth insight into the Christian Faith, IMHO.

I'm sure Muslims don't appreciate it when ex-Muslims say stupid things about Islam, either.

What would you think of a person who purported to be a biology professor who told you a snail was a mammal?

At that point, whether one likes him or not is irrelevant.

 

 

 

hehehe i see

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5 hours ago, A175 said:

Once someone has established a good story, it's incredibly difficult to enlighten their followers. 

Oh, I think he has a " good story" alright. I would love to meet this " priest" of his and check out his background. Lol.

Most of the lay preachers of this ilk are fun because they are light on doctrine and heavy on ego. As they say about  pretty but useless horses " All show and no go".

But you are right, the religion business can be quite lucrative. Wonder what Jesus would think.

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17 hours ago, zainabamy said:

I've seen that video before, its beyond hilarious. If that's the way you categorise someone's religion then I'm a mix of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and who knows what else because I tolerate other people's beliefs. 

It would likely be a far better world if you were up there preaching and not him.

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10 hours ago, sidnaq said:

so wait you were born salafi? or converted salafi, howd you come to shia

I converted to Islam in a Salafi jammat. Rolled with them for may a year to a year and a half, then started studying and practicing Maliki fiqh. Maliki fiqh led to Ja'far, which led to me asking questions to Shias instead of just about Shias.

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Seriously how can anyone talk against yusuf estes? , he has done more for islam than any one of you little google scholars.  His speaches are excellent   and he is a better muslim than many of those who consider themselves  muslims.  If you want to say something then try to be a better preacher to bring people to islam. 

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5 hours ago, AliKadem said:

Seriously how can anyone talk against yusuf estes? , he has done more for islam than any one of you little google scholars.  His speaches are excellent   and he is a better muslim than many of those who consider themselves  muslims.  If you want to say something then try to be a better preacher to bring people to islam. 

Whats he done for Islam? Nothing, hes brought people into a deviant Jahmi 'Aqeedah and makes us look dumb. Plus hes a clown

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On 23 March 2016 at 0:25 AM, A175 said:

You have people like Bilal Philips and Yusuf Estes on one side, and Nabeel Qureshi and Walid Shoebat on the other. It's a real money-making enterprise. Once someone has established a good story, it's incredibly difficult to enlighten their followers. Take Ayaan Hirsi Ali for example. No amount of debunking her background has any effect on her following.

Don't forget Ergun Caner. For anyone that doesn't know about this individual, I would invite you to do a YouTube search for something like 'Ergun Caner exposed', or something similar. It has to seen to be believed. And this guy wasn't some low-level clown appearing on TV. He had (and still has among many of his deluded fans) pretty serious credentials in the American Evangelical movement. He was even invited by the US military to deliver a talk on Islam (or jihad) to some of their troops (which says a lot about the US military).

Here is a small example of some of his cluelessness and lies:

 

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