Interview with Eddie
IT is not usual that the genre of movie has been used to inspire, redeem or progress the quality of lives. But that is exactly what ‘From Dunya to Deen’ is all about. The anxiously-anticipated documentary movie, which is the moving story of Eddie Redzovic, founder and host of the popular ‘The Deen Show’, about how he came to embrace Islam, is ready to be screened. [Trailer embedded below.]
With his indifferent attitude to school, a bad friend circle, and a gang membership, Eddie’s troubled journey of life finally sees light when in the solitude of a jail cell he realizes the futility of his life. Then began his second journey – a journey of purpose and of his search for the Truth. Saudi Life interviewed Eddie to find out more.
Saudi Life: What is the message of the movie ‘From Dunya to Deen’ and who is your target audience?
Eddie Redzovic: The movie aims at enlightening the minds and correcting its one-way track, which is obsessed with just one thing – how am I going to satisfy my desires? Party, money, cars, women – there’s no peace. The objective of ‘From Dunya to Deen’ is having people to really reflect upon the very purpose of life and have them change their lives for the better. Our purpose is met if they walk away from the movie with the realization that this way of life – Islam – has been proved as the most rational and logical way of life.
What were the obstacles (if any) that you had to face in the making of the movie? How did you overcome them?
Alhumdulilllah All praise be to Allah (SWT) that there weren’t many obstacles. With my hectic lifestyle and the many responsibilities, I had to make a lot of effort to give enough time to the movie, since a lot of things had to be done and attention to details was indispensable. With Allah (SWT), the Creator, there is never any wasted time. We should always try to do good every second, and do it with the right intention because Allah (SWT) is recording all our deeds and will reward us accordingly Insha’Allah.
Please shed some light on your life before you embraced Islam. Also, what moment was it precisely when you decided to become a Muslim or was it a gradual realization?
Islam is an Arabic word that means to submit yourself to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Instead, what we find ourselves doing is submitting to futile worldly things, such as our bosses, paycheck, women, and in case of women, to fashion, latest trends and a certain kind of lifestyle, etc. Islam is calling us to surrender to the Owner of all that exists. Before embracing Islam, I wasn’t doing this. The movie talks about the shallowness of my life. Fun was always there, but sans all the peace and contentment. There was stress and emptiness. Although these qualities may exist for a Muslim as well, it is not without knowing that at the end of the tunnel there is light. Islam gives hope, knowing there is a purpose in life, which is to live according to the Creator.
I started to pray right away when I realized the Truth. There was a lot of gradual learning and comparative study. Although I have a Muslim family background, my family comprises of what I call ‘Muslims on Batteries’ or ‘Cultural Muslims’. We didn’t even know what the word Islam meant. It was these gradual steps of investigating the Truth, reading and reflecting over death that I fully submitted to the laws of Allah SWT.
How and when did The Deen Show begin?
The Deen Show began in 2006. I was preparing for Haj when I met with many sheikhs and that’s when I realized that a platform like this, a media outlet, which Allah SWT has provided me with, will be more effective in reaching a wider audience than just speaking to people individually. I was excited about sharing all that I had learned. Islam provides all the proofs. I thought if anybody would read them and listen to the success stories of others, they would accept Islam.
In view of the current propaganda-driven media, which is often Islamophobic, how do you view the need for high quality Islamic media? It would be helpful for the readers if you can name some of your preferred reliable media sources.
We need high quality Islamic media. Most of the media is propagating falsehood, man-made ideas, some of which are good, but many take you in the wrong direction. Islam provides all the logical rational evidences. The media packages all the other man-made ideas, which people are hungry for and therefore, take to it. However, that is not nourishment for the soul, Islam is.
Some media sources that I recommend are: Peace TV, Huda TV, Aljumuah Magazine, Europe Paper, Islam TV and of course, The Deen Show.
I read that you also run a martial arts school. What are your activities and interests apart from The Deen Show?
I run a martial arts school that specializes in the Gracie Brazilian jiu jitsu, which has been proven to be the most effective style of martial arts.
Over a decade ago, when Royce Gracie stepped into an arena called the Octagon to fight with other martial arts styles, he defeated all. This always reminds me of Islam, the Holy Qur’an and its way of life. When it comes to the table, Islam, with all its evidences, defeats everything else. Falsehood perishes, and only the Truth stands out clearly, and that is Islam.
Your comments on Saudi Arabia and Saudi society in general.
Islam started with Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and was completed with the final messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Saudi Arabia. This is why the youth and society need to be an example for the rest of the world and humanity. There is a need for this society to implement the Prophet’s Sunnah and Islam.
We in Jeddah and in other cities of the Kingdom are enthusiastically looking forward to a screening here. Any plans? How we can have a screening here?
Anyone who would like to screen the movie can contact our local film representative for Saudi Arabia – Umm Zakiyyah – and fill out an application form, after which the process will begin Insha’Allah.
What are you future plans/ projects with regards to both the movie and The Deen Show?
As for the film, we are working towards trying to get this story out there to the world. From all the emails and requests I received for my shows and interviews with people, who share their stories about how they came to this beautiful way of life, I realized that people wanted to know my story. I had a film maker friend who came up to me and told me that he would like to record my story. I thought that when people would watch the movie they will Insha’Allah benefit from it and connect with the person in the movie. Majority of the people, especially the youth, and even old men are still seeking a purpose in life. Insha’Allah there can be some guidance for them all, and if they earnestly seek it Allah SWT will guide them.
And as for The Deen Show, we are currently available on five different satellites and have millions of viewers Masha’Allah. We want to become a household name, just like Oprah, for example. This (The Deen Show) is better than Oprah and more enlightening. By watching one episode of the Show, you can benefit more, learn more and it is not boring Insha’Allah.
MashaAllah it is your passion for Dawah among other things that has made your show such a great hit. What advice would you give youngsters and adults alike to inculcate in them such zeal and fervor for the cause of Allah SWT and do their bit, in whichever way they can?
Know that this life is short and can end anytime. Imagine a scenario where you have a wonderful boss, who gave you a list of things to do. You would go to great lengths to please him and then he would reward you with a big paycheck or a big bonus. You will be telling everybody about how amazing this boss is. Similarly, the Boss of all – Allah SWT – is calling us to something that is better than all the wealth of this world. When this becomes a reality in our mind, we will develop the passion to please Allah SWT by doing things that He has asked us to do and to make du’a to earn His pleasure. Our deeds should be such that they take us away from wasting our time – listening to music, watching movies, sitting in cafes – all useless activities, knowing that we shall be accountable on the Day of Judgment for our time spent in the world. We should reflect upon death, call people to Deen, to goodness and away from all evil by doing Dawah. This is how you can be truly successful in this life and have the highest ranking with Allah SWT in this life and the hereafter. A realization of this should steer up and create that zeal in everybody. I really hope that Saudi Life readers, who have the time, tune into The Deen Show and also benefit from my story ‘From Dunya to Deen’. Insha’Allah I will be there with you guys soon and peace be onto you. Salamu alaikum.
JazakAllaah khayran Brother Eddie for your time. May Allah SWT bless and forgive us.