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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 4:19am
But why would I need to accept Jesus (PBUH) as my personal savior to get to God? I believe there is a straight path to God, that we can connect directly with Him. Islam involves constant connection with God and not through anyone else.

In some ways, I agree that Islam goes a bit overboard with rituals and constantly worrying about angering God, constantly trying to build a shield between his wrath and you by praying and doing everything as prescribed. That's what holds me back I think. I don't know if I want to constantly worry about upsetting God by not doing everything right.

On the other hand, I think that much of what is done in Islam is to have a constant connection with God. And I do need to be closer to Him. I have struggled with faith for a long time and Islam definitely keeps God on one's mind at all times. And although it sometimes looks like God will just be angry at us for so many things, the Qur'an says over and over that God is "Often-giving, most merciful." It says that so many times that it must mean that God is forgiving and merciful.

I will keep reading and learning. Thank you again for your post.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Amjad Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 5:06am
In fact, the rituals in Islam are not heavy at all. For example, prayers (the most frequent form of worship) takes <20 minutes a day.

People spend much more time each day in eating, sleeping, playing, etc.

What are the things that might upset God?
lying, cheating, stealing, etc. You are not doing such things already. There might be some new things that you need to avoid such as drinking alcohol, eating pork, etc.   But be sure that Allah will make it easy for you and once you give them up, you'll feel no need to go back to them.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 6:34am
Thank you for telling me that praying is less than 20 min per day. It doesn't sound too hard to give that much time to God each day. And you're right that I don't steal and I'm very honest and care very much about others. I haven't really been eating pork lately. I never ate it much anyway. I don't like it except maybe bacon but I can do without that. I like to drink alcohol every once in a while but I don't really need that either.

I know that as a Muslim, I would worry more about how I dressed. I'm already dressing more modestly than I did before. I never dressed inappropriately but now I tend to like to wear long sleeves unless it's very hot. I bought several shirts at an Islamic bookstore that sells clothes too. They are long with long sleeves. I feel better being more covered but I don't want to feel obligated to wear long sleeves on very hot days. If I was a Muslim, I know I'd feel more guilty about things like that.

I don't know what I want. I feel so torn right now. As I said before, one part of me wants to just say the Shahada and become a Muslim but another part really holds me back. Maybe it is Shaytan whispering in my ear. I hear that during Ramadan, all the Shaytans are chained up and the gates to hell are closed and the gates to heaven are open. Maybe the truth will come to me during that time, Insha'Allah.

Thank you so much for keeping my son and I in your prayers and thank your wife too. That means a lot to me. Mostly pray for my son because he is having a hard time not having his father anymore. He needs all the prayers he can get.

You are a good person. Thank you for all your kind words and wisdom. I'm very glad that you joined the forum here.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Nura Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 9:44am
Originally posted by searching



I know that as a Muslim, I would worry more about how I dressed. I'm already dressing more modestly than I did before. I never dressed inappropriately but now I tend to like to wear long sleeves unless it's very hot. I bought several shirts at an Islamic bookstore that sells clothes too. They are long with long sleeves. I feel better being more covered but I don't want to feel obligated to wear long sleeves on very hot days. If I was a Muslim, I know I'd feel more guilty about things like that.



Maybe I have wrote it in an old post, but I just want to tell you that the verse about the hijab was revealed about 13 years after the first revelation. Most women at that time were already veiled anyway, but it wasn't a religious duty yet.
I think that there i wisdom even in the chronological order of the revelation. At first you build the fundamentals of your faith by learning about Allah, the Prophet, and the hereafter. later on you build the walls by starting praying and doing the most important duties. At the end you build the roof by less important things like the hijab.
You don't have to be worried at all about it, or feeling guilty, the most important thing is declare that there's only one God, Allah.
Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 3:28pm
Nura,

I didn't know that the verse about the hijab was revealed that much later than the first revelation. It does make sense to build the basics of the faith then add things like hijab later. Thank you for telling me that.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Amjad Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 5:08pm
In fact according to many scholars, the verse about hijab was revealed 16 years after the first revelation.

Moreover, the verse about Fasting in Ramadan was revealed 13 years after the first revelation.

Even prayer. Muslims were not obliged to pray the 5 prayers until the 9th year after first revelation.

Alcohol was prohibited in steps. It was not completely prohibited until 12 years after the first revelation.

Muslims did their first Pilgrimage 18 years after first revelation.

The most important thing in Islam is to have the faith. All other things come gradually later.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote freedom-lover Replybullet Posted: 25 July 2010 at 10:18pm
Hi searching

Thanks for your comment. If you do not believe me, please ask any Muslims whether they are fully sure of meeting their Creator in heaven. Not even a single Muslim among 1.5 billions! Do you know the first word when people received Jesus as their Savior and Lord? Joy! More precisely speaking, overflowing joy! Why overflowing joy? Because finally they became the children of God again. We used to be the enemy of God by our sin and rebellion against Him. Why overflowing joy? Because finally we can have full confidence to meet face to face our Creator, who planned us before the creation, waited for us anxiously, and watched our arrival with a big smile. Do you know God's motive for creating you? The most clear answer is found in the Bible. "God is love" (1 John 4:16). You are the focus of His love and the most valuable of all His creation.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 26 July 2010 at 12:27am
Originally posted by freedom-lover

If you do not believe me, please ask any Muslims whether they are fully sure of meeting their Creator in heaven.


Yes sister, we are sure of that In-Shaa-Allah

God clearly says in The Qur'an that believers in Heaven will see their Lord

May Allah guide us all to His Straight Path

Ameen

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote freedom-lover Replybullet Posted: 26 July 2010 at 10:00am

Hi searching

 

While Christianity is all about a faith based relationship with God, even some Christians take it as a religion such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Unfortunately these people try to make religious duties and rituals, and try to perform them before God in order to make Him happy. Their main concern is to earn a right to heaven by doing good works in order to compensate the mistakes and sins they have committed in the past. They try hard to reach the unachievable high standard for heaven, namely, righteousness. Righteousness is a state where one can stand with God without any harm. This is the same as trying to go up to heaven by their human effort. Actually this is true for all religions in the world. In reality, however, God knows we are incapable of perfect and sinless. He knows we are weak so that it is an impossible task for the sinful to achieve righteousness in their own effort. Out of His compassion and love for us, He Himself decided to come down to earth from heaven in order to give us Himself as righteousness. Of course He is Jesus Christ. This is a fundamental between Christian faith and all the other religions of the world.

 

Some people may comment, “Then, we do not need to do good works for others!”. The reality is the opposite. We have received the wonderful gift of eternal life through Jesus without paying the price. In fact the sacrificial death of Jesus for us is priceless! Because of this undeserved grace from God, we offer our heartfelt thanks to God and express our love for God through our love for other human beings such as social outcasts. Mother Teresa is one of good examples. Here is another fundamental difference between Christian faith and the other religions of the world. The believers of these religions try to do good works either as a religious requirement or to outweigh their past mistakes and sins in the balance of judgement, while we do it out of thanks and joy.

 

You can receive this wonderful gift of eternal life by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, and that is all! You do not need to perform religious duties and rituals in order to take away God’s anger toward you. God is not angry against you. He loves you with all His soul, with all His heart, with all His mind and with all His strength. Because "God is love" (1 John 4:16).

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 26 July 2010 at 8:13pm
It does sometimes seem to me that Muslims almost have to be perfect. Prayers need not simply be done 5 times a day, but at specific times, changing by 1 min per day. So you're supposed to pray down to the minute. That seems kind of demanding. And waking up at 4:30 in the morning to pray when I have problems getting to sleep at night sounds pretty hard.

As I posted before, the Qur'an seems to often say that Allah is Often Forgiving and Most Merciful but still, it seems like a Muslim can do so much wrong and make Allah angry. Even down to wearing nail polish. At the masjid, my teacher told the students their prayers were not being heard since their toenails were painted and water therefore couldn't reach them during wudu. This sounds so demanding to me. Not only praying at specific times, but washing ritual before all prayers and prayers not even heard after all this effort if we have nail polish on. That just sounds like Allah is just very picky and we have to be perfect. I don't know.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote freedom-lover Replybullet Posted: 27 July 2010 at 9:30am

Hi searching

 
You asked me this question, “Why do we need an intermediator between God and us?” It is indeed a very interesting and important question. Part of the reason for asking this question comes from the fact that people often forget how perfect and holy God is and how sinful and immoral we are. Have you ever read the book of Exodus, part of Torah? And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen." (Exodus 33:17-23)
 
This is a very interesting description where God revealed Himself to Moses. No matter how great man Moses was, he could not stand with God because he was still a sinful man. Before the almighty God it does not matter whether there are more good works than bad in our life. Any slightest blemish would destroy us before God as you read the above story. Unless the problem of sin is dealt with completely, we could never go before God, thus eternally separated from God. It does not matter how many good works you perform to compensate your past mistakes and sins. This infinite gap between the perfect God and the sinful human beings must be filled by an intermediator, Jesus Christ. If you still believe you do not need the intermediator between God and you, it comes from your ignorance about the infinitely perfect and holy nature of God, and about the sinful and immoral nature of human beings. If you dare to approach God directly, actually you are inviting disaster on yourself. You would be immediately consumed to nothing by the glory of God because there are still some sins in you. This is why Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 28 July 2010 at 12:08am
I really wish Islam wasn't so complicated. I wish it was just the belief in only one God, believing Muhammad (PBUH) was his last messenger and Qur'an being the word of God. I wish it didn't involve such precise, down to the minute prayer times and entering one place with the left and exiting with the right and the opposite for other places.

There are prayers to remember for exiting and entering different places and other things like fasting or breaking fast. It just seems like anything one does has some rule or prayer attached to it. It seems like it would greatly complicate my life.

Even fasting is so hard. I only made it 9 hours. My Muslim friend makes it 16+ hours and runs several miles at the end of the day, too. I could never do that. I really think I haven't converted because I'm so worried about not being able to keep up with all the demands of Islam. There was a book in an Islamic bookstore called "Islam, Religion of Ease." I almost bought it but I don't have much money so I didn't. I have to say though, it almost sounds like an oxymoron...lol. Maybe next paycheck I'll try to buy it. I wish I wasn't so worried. I wish I could just make a decision.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote stranger Replybullet Posted: 28 July 2010 at 12:27am

in islam, we are suppose to focus on the obligartory things first like the prayers, fasting etc..

the whole foot thing is sunnah and Allah is not going to punish people for forgetting to step in with a certain foot...i didnt even pay attention to that stuff until really really recently...i just focus on doing my prayers and staying away from major haram stuff
 
islam is a lifelong process and it really is a religion of ease (just five pillars and 6 articles of faith and everything else is secondary) Allah forgives everything else except shirk so no need to worry about messing up because Allah intentionlly made us imperfect which is why he is so forgiving!
 
...and people built up their iman as they go...no one is a shiek right when they enter islam
 
and the reason for so many rules is because islam is an entire way of life so there is an answer for everything so we know exactly how to live our lives and please our Lord
 
 


Edited by stranger - 28 July 2010 at 12:28am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote searching Replybullet Posted: 28 July 2010 at 1:31am
Thank you for your answer, Stranger. I just think that even the five pillars are hard to fulfill. Declaring our faith isn't and Zakat shouldn't be but fasting 16 hours every day for a month and praying at certain times, down to the minute would be. And on top of that, some Salah have 2 rakah and some have 4. And they all involve memorizing not just holy revelations, but revelations in Arabic.

Honestly, right now I'm leaning towards staying exactly as I am. Not attached to any religion. Free to pray to God in my own language and not through Jesus Christ (PBUH) who I don't believe is God's son anyway. Free to read the Qur'an and learn from it without feeling guilty about not following it's every command.
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