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Why can't I make a decision?

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Topic: Why can't I make a decision?
Posted By: searching
Subject: Why can't I make a decision?
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 6:02pm
I don't know what's wrong with me.  I still can't decide if I want to convert or not.  Sometimes, I just want to go right to the local masjid and say my shahada.  I've been going to a local masjid on Mon and Wed for 2 hour classes.  I've also gone to a 2 1/2 hour women's group at the masjid.  My son has gone with me twice to learn Arabic and learn about Islam.  He likes it. 

I enjoy masjid so much and I love that Islam is about worshipping one God and not some son of God, etc.  It seems like many of the messages of Islam make sense.  But something continues to hold me back.  I guess I'm worried because it's not really a decision you can go back on.  And that is something that I really don't like too much about Islam.  Apostacy is taken so seriously and is basically a crime in the religion.  I also worry about learning the prayers and everything.  If I convert, I want to be a really good Muslim.  I don't want to mess up and slack off.

Anyway, I know that this is a personal decision so I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting this.  Thanks for reading it.

Sister Searching




Replies:
Posted By: a well wisher
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 6:58pm
Hello Sister Searching...
 
Thank you for sharing
 
Nothing is wrong with you...You are just walking your path and making a sincere effort to know...Masha Allah your son likes learning as well:)
 
The Qur'an says:
 
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error." [2:256]
 
This is an unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith given by God which also applies to changing of faith...Only God has the right to judge...Apostasy is punishable in case of treason...when people misguide others and accept Islam to sow sedition and then leave it when the objective is met (hypocrites )...Even the ones God would punish eventually in His court most probably would be the ones who knew the truth in their heart(had surety) and yet for whatever reasons chose not to submit and leave...thats a choice everyone is faced with ...even Muslims.
 
 
So the only thing you should focus on is your relationship with God or finding the truth which you Masha allah are already doing..I think since He is witnessing your struggle ,He would guide you to the answers Insha Allah...please don't lose hope at any point and keep praying..Don't worry too much...Whatever you choose eventually would be for the best Insha Allah
 
 
Just follow your heart when the time comes...Like every major decision, this is a leap of faith ...May God ease your heart soon and help you with your answers.. Aameen
 
 Take Care and God Bless You


-------------
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah


Posted By: shamstar
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 7:24pm
Salam Searching,

The law of Apostacy is only applicable if you live under Islamic Sharia Law, something which does not exist in any Country.  Apostacy was punishable by death only when Muslims left and colluded with the enemy against the Muslims or the apostate left and caused serious problems, like talking others into leaving, thus causing problems in Muslim societies.

The Law states there is no compulsion in religion, you would be free to leave Islam, but ultimately God would still judge you in the hereafter and that judgement will come to us all regardless of being Muslim or not.  

Best advice I can give you is...

Our beloved Prophet Pbuh said:

 "If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but God Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Apostle, and that Jesus is God's Servant and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, God will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few."

I would say hold onto this as it will save you from being of the losers. 

Good luck in your journey, whatever you decide. 


Posted By: UmDanu
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 7:55pm
Can you really see yourself going back, Searching?  To worshipping a man?


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 9:52pm
Thank you all for your answers. You all had very good points. And kind words. And UmDanu, I laughed when I read your post. I actually never have thought of Jesus (PBUH) as the son of God. I guess I was never really Christian in that case. I belong to no religion. I just believe in only one God for now and pray.

Thanks again for the encouragement.

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


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 10:22pm
Originally posted by UmDanu

Can you really see yourself going back, Searching?  To worshipping a man?


I disagree with you. We worship only one God or His different revelation as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Please do not be confused. Do you not agree that the almighty God could reveal Himself or His presence to human beings in a hundred different ways if He wants? Do you limit God’s ability and power?

Muslim readers like to make the following argument: 1 God (the Father)+1 God (the Son)+1 God (the Father Spirit) = 3 Gods. Therefore Christians worship three Gods. Certainly they are confused about deity and non-deity. They apply non-deity mathematics to deity. We cannot compare deity with non-deity. Deity is eternal, while non-deity is mortal. Deity is perfect, while non-deity is imperfect. Deity is pure, while non-deity is impure. The difference between deity and non-deity is like sky and land, and in fact even more. Deity is like infinity, while non-deity is like finite. For non-deity mathematics, 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. But deity mathematics, infinity + infinity + infinity = infinity, not 3 infinities. There is no such thing as 3 infinities.

I ask Muslim brothers to pray earnestly to your God (Allah) to reveal Jesus in your dream or vision if He is really the Son of God or not. I believe this is the best way to know the true nature of Jesus.


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 22 July 2010 at 11:43pm
I don't understand the trinity at all. It makes no sense to me.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 12:02am
Hi searching

While Christianity is all about a faith based relationship with God, apparently you took it as a religion such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. As you said before, you might never be a Christian before. A Christian is one who has received Jesus as the Savior and Lord in the heart. It does not matter if the person goes to church every Sunday, or he/she was born to Christian parents, or he/she was baptized when young, or he/she was a priest, pastor or even Pope. One important feature of a Christian is overflowing joy in a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. "God is love" (1 John 4:16). I will explain it more tomorrow.


Posted By: stranger
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 12:28am

sister searching...

you said before that you believe in the basic messages of islam so basically you are a muslim in your heart and well in your actions as well so all that is left is testifying to the message of islam
 
i think maybe think it over and find the reasons as to why you are being held back and remember that Allah wants all muslims to be sure about their faith...
 
anyways just keep asking Allah to help you with your decision
 
and try not to worry so much (its bad for your health...speaking from experience)...islam is really not meant to be hard and i hope Allah makes it easier for you
 
 
 


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 1:05am
Freedom lover,

I just can't pray through Jesus or to Jesus and I don't believe that he is my personal savior. I only pray to God. Jesus has been elevated in Christianity to the level of God. This human has been elevated even above God in Christian's eyes. How can a human be looked at as a savior? And how can you think that you are taken care of through Jesus? Where did God go in this picture? I see the WWJD and all the other Jesus worshipping ads from Christians and truly wonder if they ever think of God at all, or is just about Jesus (PBUH) now, a human?

I just don't believe in the basic foundation of Christianity at all. Islam honestly makes more sense to me. But thank you for your input. I appreciate all input.

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


Posted By: Babalawo
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 1:20am
Originally posted by searching

I don't understand the trinity at all. It makes no sense to me.


You don't have to understand at all. Faith, as I see it, is not the corollary of reason. To be a believer you must be willing to accept things that make no sense. I've heard it said that the production of the Qur'an is a miracle in itself. Were I to be a rational man I could say that the Qur'an is just part of great Arab oral tradition, and a such, no miracle at all. But billions of Muslims accept it as God's revealed word, and the fact that it may not speak to me personally doesn't make it any less true or redeeming.

Look, Jesus of Nazareth was either the illegitimate son of a carpenter or the Christ. Believing the latter notion flies in the face of reason. But for those who were willing to be sacrificed in the sand of countless Roman colosseums in the name of that same Jesus, it wasn't senseless at all. Those whose faith in that Christ formed the basis for their fight against injustice can't all be easily dismissed as misguided, senseless people. I don't know what makes anyone think that Jesus is going to save them when they have Bull Connor, dog leash in hand, staring them in the eye.

No, none of it makes any sense. You make your decision according to what your heart tells you. Your brain can only get in the way here. Come to think of it, so does reading the opinions of absolute strangers like me in internet fora.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 3:56am
Make sincere pleas for God to guide you, and to protect you from the whispers of the devil.
 
Do you believe that there is nothing worthy of worship except for Allah, your Creator? That no person, object, or even idea is worthy of your devotion and love, and effort in this life, except for Allah?
 
And do you believe that Muhammad is Allah's messenger to mankind?
 
If you believe these things, then in your heart you're already a Muslim, right?


-------------
http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 9:27am
Searching,

the previous posts gave you already good advice. The only thing I can add is that, when I read your posts, I have always the feeling you are already a Muslim. You have learnt very much about Islam, and some of your answers are better than those of born-Muslims or long-time converts.
To me you are already Muslim, but you don't know it yet


-------------
Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 9:39am
Originally posted by searching

I don't know what's wrong with me.  I still can't decide if I want to convert or not.  Sometimes, I just want to go right to the local masjid and say my shahada.  I've been going to a local masjid on Mon and Wed for 2 hour classes.  I've also gone to a 2 1/2 hour women's group at the masjid.  My son has gone with me twice to learn Arabic and learn about Islam.  He likes it. 

I enjoy masjid so much and I love that Islam is about worshipping one God and not some son of God, etc.  It seems like many of the messages of Islam make sense.  But something continues to hold me back.  I guess I'm worried because it's not really a decision you can go back on.  And that is something that I really don't like too much about Islam.  Apostacy is taken so seriously and is basically a crime in the religion.  I also worry about learning the prayers and everything.  If I convert, I want to be a really good Muslim.  I don't want to mess up and slack off.

Anyway, I know that this is a personal decision so I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting this.  Thanks for reading it.

Sister Searching

 
 
 

Hi searching

 

This is a short description of my spiritual journey with God.

 

When my children were small, I remember the deep satisfaction of watching them sleep. Sometimes the day had been filled with problems and disobedience, but asleep they looked contended, secure, and peaceful, and I was reminded of how much I love them. They do not have to do anything for me to love and enjoy them. I am happy to just watch them breathing, because they are my own children. This is how God loves His children. When they are sleeping, God gazes at them with love because they were His idea. He loves them as if they were the only person on earth. You may have had unpleasable parents or leaders as you were growing up. Please do not assume God feels that way about you or God were like them! He knows you are incapable of being perfect and sinless. God loves us just as we are, because we are His own children.

 
Although we were the enemy of God by sin and rebellion against Him, everybody can again become the children of God by receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord. Jesus said He is the way to the Father.  I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Yes, we become the children of God again only by accepting Jesus as the Savior and Lord who died on the cross to save us. We do not need to perform religious duties and rituals to make God happy. When people deeply experience the breadth and depth of God's love that was most explicitly demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for all human beings, they naturally stay away from immorality. This is the most powerful way to stay away from sin. I am one of many living examples. I am as moral as anybody in the forum, not because I am threatened by hell fire, but because I am deeply moved and touched by the unconditional love of God through Jesus Christ. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8).
 
We are greatly thankful to God that the broken relationship with God was restored by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We are joyful because we are confident of our eternity in heaven and the heavy burden of life was lifted from our shoulders. We are also holy because the deep experience of God’s love through Jesus causes us to gladly stay away from sin. Yes, both JOY and HOLINESS describe well our spiritual journey with our Creator. God wants to have a loving relationship with “YOU”. You only need to open your heart to Jesus Christ and that is all! I hope you will fall in love with God so intimately and deeply that you would feel like you were the only person in the entire universe with God. God is love.” (1 John 4:16).

You deserve much better than who you are now. You were born for much better than who you are now. You were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals.

 

 

 

 

 



Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 1:40pm
Originally posted by searching

I don't know what's wrong with me.  I still can't decide if I want to convert or not.  Sometimes, I just want to go right to the local masjid and say my shahada.  I've been going to a local masjid on Mon and Wed for 2 hour classes.  I've also gone to a 2 1/2 hour women's group at the masjid.  My son has gone with me twice to learn Arabic and learn about Islam.  He likes it. 



The month of Ramadan is usually a good time to make such a decision. For some reason, it is easier to pray in Ramadan, and it is easier to do good deeds

If there are any doubts you have left, I suggest you make a check list of them to specify what exactly you need to clarify.

Making du'aa for God's Guidance is also an excellent approach

May Allah guide you to the right decision

Ameen




-------------
Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 23 July 2010 at 3:34pm
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Originally posted by searching

I don't know what's wrong with me.  I still can't decide if I want to convert or not.  Sometimes, I just want to go right to the local masjid and say my shahada.  I've been going to a local masjid on Mon and Wed for 2 hour classes.  I've also gone to a 2 1/2 hour women's group at the masjid.  My son has gone with me twice to learn Arabic and learn about Islam.  He likes it. 

I enjoy masjid so much and I love that Islam is about worshipping one God and not some son of God, etc.  It seems like many of the messages of Islam make sense.  But something continues to hold me back.  I guess I'm worried because it's not really a decision you can go back on.  And that is something that I really don't like too much about Islam.  Apostacy is taken so seriously and is basically a crime in the religion.  I also worry about learning the prayers and everything.  If I convert, I want to be a really good Muslim.  I don't want to mess up and slack off.

Anyway, I know that this is a personal decision so I'm not sure what I'm looking for by posting this.  Thanks for reading it.

Sister Searching

 
 
 

Hi searching

 

This is a short description of my spiritual journey with God.

 

When my children were small, I remember the deep satisfaction of watching them sleep. Sometimes the day had been filled with problems and disobedience, but asleep they looked contended, secure, and peaceful, and I was reminded of how much I love them. They do not have to do anything for me to love and enjoy them. I am happy to just watch them breathing, because they are my own children. This is how God loves His children. When they are sleeping, God gazes at them with love because they were His idea. He loves them as if they were the only person on earth. You may have had unpleasable parents or leaders as you were growing up. Please do not assume God feels that way about you or God were like them! He knows you are incapable of being perfect and sinless. God loves us just as we are, because we are His own children.

 
Although we were the enemy of God by sin and rebellion against Him, everybody can again become the children of God by receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord. Jesus said He is the way to the Father.  I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Yes, we become the children of God again only by accepting Jesus as the Savior and Lord who died on the cross to save us. We do not need to perform religious duties and rituals to make God happy. When people deeply experience the breadth and depth of God's love that was most explicitly demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for all human beings, they naturally stay away from immorality. This is the most powerful way to stay away from sin. I am one of many living examples. I am as moral as anybody in the forum, not because I am threatened by hell fire, but because I am deeply moved and touched by the unconditional love of God through Jesus Christ. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8).
 
We are greatly thankful to God that the broken relationship with God was restored by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We are joyful because we are confident of our eternity in heaven and the heavy burden of life was lifted from our shoulders. We are also holy because the deep experience of God’s love through Jesus causes us to gladly stay away from sin. Yes, both JOY and HOLINESS describe well our spiritual journey with our Creator. God wants to have a loving relationship with “YOU”. You only need to open your heart to Jesus Christ and that is all! I hope you will fall in love with God so intimately and deeply that you would feel like you were the only person in the entire universe with God. God is love.” (1 John 4:16).

You deserve much better than who you are now. You were born for much better than who you are now. You were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals.

 

 

 

Hi searching

 

I wish your heart overflows with joy, thanks and freedom in a loving relationship with Jesus Christ just like me, a JOYOUS and HOLY life in the love of God. God is love.” (1 John 4:16).



Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 1:04am
You know, the more I read the posts about Christianity, the less I believe it.  I don't see why we would have to have a relationship with God THROUGH Jesus (PBUH).  It makes no sense that a powerful God would kill his own son in order to forgive us when he could just forgive us. 

In Islam, Adam and Eve asked for forgiveness and God forgave them.  He didn't need to kill his supposed son to do it.  And why would an all knowing, all powerful God need a human son, anyway?  It's weird to me that God would actually impregnate a woman.  It makes more sense that He would just create a baby by making it so.  Islam really makes MUCH more sense to me than Christianity.

Thank you all for your replies.  They have been helpful to me.


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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 9:29am

Hi searching


Thanks for your comment. Indeed it is an important question.


Have you ever read Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)? If not, please read it yourself instead of being told by your religious leaders. You are an intelligent enough adult. Then you would be familiar with animal sacrifice that was absolutely required before starting a fellowship between God and the people of Israel. Do you know its meaning? The animal sacrifice devised by God reveals the characters of God, both his justice (The consequence of our sins must be paid) and his love (The consequence of our sins is paid on pure animals instead of us to spare us from the punishment). God is so holy that even the smallest blemish of impurity would evaporate before Him. Therefore, if man is to come to God, his sins must have been justly punished. “Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:7). “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). In order to allow man to come to God, He permitted man to "cover" his sins by sacrificing pure lambs (without defect) in their place, although it was only temporary. By laying hands on the animals, the sins of man were symbolically transferred to the animals that must be pure and without defect according to God’s specific instruction. Then the animals were slaughtered and burned completely as the punishment of our sins on our behalf, which allowed man to come to God.

 
The book of Hebrews tells us this was a prophetic shadow of things to come, where God would sacrifice the Lamb of God, sinless Jesus Christ, to cleanse away the sin of man, that whosoever would take His sacrifice for their own, would be able to stand in the presence of God. So, God's justice and His love are both fulfilled in the sacrifice. Instead of pouring his wrath and curse of judgment on his children because of our sins, God chose to pour them on Jesus to spare us from the punishment. He bore the sin of many” (Isaiah 53:12). “He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5)”. The consequence of sin is death so Christ died on the cross to pay the full price on our behalf. The Bible says the blood of Christ cleanses us of all unrighteousness. And therefore we have confidence before God without fear of punishment, because the consequence of our sins was fully paid by Jesus Christ and there is no more punishment left for us! God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18)
 
The animal sacrifice, which was an absolute requirement before God in the Old Testament, was not an accident but had a very important prophetic implication for our salvation. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)  


Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 10:13am
Originally posted by searching

You know, the more I read the posts about Christianity, the less I believe it.  I don't see why we would have to have a relationship with God THROUGH Jesus (PBUH).  It makes no sense that a powerful God would kill his own son in order to forgive us when he could just forgive us. 

In Islam, Adam and Eve asked for forgiveness and God forgave them.  He didn't need to kill his supposed son to do it.  And why would an all knowing, all powerful God need a human son, anyway?  It's weird to me that God would actually impregnate a woman.  It makes more sense that He would just create a baby by making it so.  Islam really makes MUCH more sense to me than Christianity.

Thank you all for your replies.  They have been helpful to me.


Pardon me for saying this but your reasoning seems to be anti-Christian based rather than pro-Islam.  I'd take more time coming to a final decision if a choice of religion was my dilemma. From a psychological POV, I've found that people who make  comparative decisions such as this are almost never satisfied.


Posted By: Francophile
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 12:08pm
I wish someone on this forum would explain to searching what happens if she does accept Islam and at some point down the road changes her mind.
 
There are various views of apostasy, as I'm aware, but I hope searching will become aware too.


Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 1:44pm
Originally posted by Francophile

I wish someone on this forum would explain to searching what happens if she does accept Islam and at some point down the road changes her mind.
 
There are various views of apostasy, as I'm aware, but I hope searching will become aware too.


Oh my, do you really think that sort of pre-historic thinking prevails today amongst more intelligent people and civilized society?  


Posted By: Francophile
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 3:17pm
No, but I think it prevails in the hearts of some Muslims.


Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by Francophile

No, but I think it prevails in the hearts of some Muslims.


Sounds like an inside job to me .. the gutting and cleaning out, I mean. 


Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 4:17pm
What is going to happen to searching if she leaves Islam? She's going to make us all sad. And all other consequences are by Allah only.

Serching, I have seen other sisters who said that they want to be absolutely sure about Islam before saying the shahada because they are afraid to go back to kufr. Well, being sure is very important, but don't let the devil whisper too much into your heart or you'll never take a decision.
If you accept Islam and then leave it again (God forbid), then you will be a non-Muslim. If you don't say the shahada, you will be a non-Muslim anyway. So, where's the difference?

Allah says:

O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (submission to God). 3:102

What counts is in which religion you die. You could die tomorrow or in 100 years, only God knows it. If somebody dies as a non-Muslim (who has heard of Islam and knows the message but doesn't accept it) or dies as an apostate of Islam, this makes no difference indeed. And read the next, beautiful verse:

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.

 

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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 5:16pm
Sister Searching,

I joined this forum today after Fajr prayer. I read ALL your posts. You can't imagine how happy I am by your sincere struggle to find "the right spiritual path for yourself". You made me feel how great Islam is.

Just by reading your posts, I believe that you are a real GOOD Muslim already. You believe in all the basic foundations of Islam and moreover you have really learnt many many things about Islam, even things that some born-Muslims don't know.

I have a question for you:

There is a woman who wants to make a decision regarding marrying a man. She loves him so much and has a strong belief that amongst all other men, he is the one that best fits her. She believes that marrying him will make her so happy and will make her life much better. BUT, she is afraid that after marrying him for a while, this love might probably go or become less. There is no obvious or reasonable reason for this feeling.

What will be your advice to this woman?

Do you advise her to marry him and enjoy a better life, and leave her fears of future to future?

Or you advise her not to marry him and continue on her regular life that lacks happiness and full of questioning and looking for a better life and true love?


P.S. Sorry about my poor English. I am not a native English speaker.


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 9:30pm
Brother Amjad,

I can't believe you read all of my posts. That was very nice of you. And by the way, your English is very good. I didn't even notice your accent.

Your question about marrying a certain man really was a good example. It made a lot of sense. Thank you for your compliments about how much I've learned about Islam. I'm trying really hard to learn. One cannot make an informed decision if one is not informed.

I will let everyone know when I make a decision. For now I will just keep learning and keep praying for guidance.

Thank you all for your support and advice.

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


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 24 July 2010 at 11:21pm

Hi searching


Here is one of my posts in another thread. It is a result of my actual conversations with several Muslim friends. I hope it would be helpful for you to make a decision.


I have had several Muslim friends from Iran, India and Morocco. After a number of conversations with them, I have found their common spiritual journey. I shared this story with other Muslims without any objection. If I am wrong, please correct me. Their spiritual journey is as if they were crossing a huge canyon through a narrow bridge made of ropes. They are afraid that they might fall off the shaky bridge to the bottom of the canyon by disobeying one of the religious duties they were supposed to follow at all times. They are not sure if they would meet their Creator face to face in heaven by successfully crossing the seemingly endless bridge. They appear weary and burdened with keeping all the religious duties and requirements at every moment. They are guilty of breaking one of them and afraid of Allah’s punishment for their failure. They are uncertain about their eternity in heaven in spite of their hard efforts.

 

Here was my short answer to them that I also want to share with you. Are you sure or uncertain that God loves us? I believe you are 100% sure He loves us. Are you sure or uncertain that God wants to bring all of us to heaven by crossing the canyon successfully? I believe you are also 100 % sure He wants to bring all of us to His place, heaven. Then, why does God not provide us the sure way to eternal life, because He created us as the focus of His love? Then, why does God make the way to heaven so difficult for His own children that even one of you is not sure of spending eternity with their own Creator? God wants to meet us much more than we want to meet Him, just as parents want to meet their children much more than children want to meet their parents.

 

The wonderful news is that the eternal life is a gift from God. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). This wonderful gift of eternal life is obtained by faith, not by hard works. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact the most precious things in life such as air that we breathe, Sun light that we receive, and our very life are all gifts from God or parents, for which we do not even pay a penny. We receive this wonderful gift of eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, and thus becoming the children of God. This is the key word. Yes, becoming the children of God again! You only need to open your heart to Jesus and that is all! You do not need to perform religious duties and rituals to make God happy.


Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 25 July 2010 at 4:09am
Originally posted by searching

Brother Amjad,

I can't believe you read all of my posts. That was very nice of you. And by the way, your English is very good. I didn't even notice your accent.

Your question about marrying a certain man really was a good example. It made a lot of sense. Thank you for your compliments about how much I've learned about Islam. I'm trying really hard to learn. One cannot make an informed decision if one is not informed.

I will let everyone know when I make a decision. For now I will just keep learning and keep praying for guidance.

Thank you all for your support and advice.


Salam sister "Searching"

I did, I read them all. I first read this post then tracked down all the other posts through your profile. I was very curious to know your story from the beginning.

Yes, keep learning. Don't hesitate to ask any question or share any feelings or concerns. Take as much time to think as you need before making your decision. Ask Allah for help and guidance.

My wife and me are praying for you. We wish the best for you and for your lovely son and all of your family.


Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: Amjad
Date 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.


Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: Nura
Date 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.


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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: Amjad
Date 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.


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date 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.


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date 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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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: freedom-lover
Date 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).



Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date 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).


Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: stranger
Date 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
 
 


Posted By: searching
Date 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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Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 5:06am
Sister Searching,

I am really very happy that you are sharing us all your feelings and concerns.

Let me first explain to you a fundamental difference between Islam and other religions.

Islam is not for spiritual practices and rituals only. Islam is a way of living. Islam is a complete and comprehensive system that affects every aspect of Muslims's life.

Islam teaches us how to worship Allah and be spiritual.

Islam teaches us how to sell and buy.

Islam teaches us how to deal with each others.

Islam teaches us how to dress and how to walk in the street.

Islam teaches us how to drive our cars and respect driving signs and traffic lights (according to all the scholars, violating driving rules is Haram).

Islam teaches us how to deal with our neighbors, with our relatives, with our employer, and even with our rulers.

Islam teaches us how to marry and how to divorce.

Islam teaches us how to be clean and organized.

Islam teaches us how to keep our bodies strong and preserve its fitness.

Islam teaches us how to be productive and how to do our work diligently.

Therefore, all the rituals in Islam aren't for spiritual purposes only. They are all intended to help Muslim live a better life. Let me give you an example:

Prayer: in addition to its spiritual benefit, it's a way to improve humans life:
1- It helps Muslim be constantly aware of Allah and hence not committing sins (all the sins including violating red light or speed limit while driving!)

2- Prayer helps the Muslim manage his time efficiently. Prayer times make the Muslim sense time passage be always aware of time. Most of the Muslims use prayer times as deadlines for their daily tasks.

3- Prayers makes the Muslim be both clean (washing up before the prayer) and active (the movements done in the prayer). Every day when Dhuhr time comes, I really feel like I need to wash my face and move my body to get myself refreshed. I find prayer the best thing for this.

4- Fajr prayer is the most important in a Muslims life. It helps him keep healthy, active, and productive. A Muslim usually goes to bed early and wakes up early in the morning. It's proven that the Fajr time is the best for human activity since the ration of O3 is the largest in the air at that part of the day. When I try to do some work after Fajir Prayer, my productivity is probably 5 times if I do the same work later in the day. "Early to bed early to rise, makes man healthy wealthy and wise."


Of course no one can be perfect. Allah wants us to do our best. In Islam, everything good you do in your life is a form of worship. When you stop on the red light you please Allah and will be rewarded. When you play sports and take care of your body, you please Allah and will be rewarded. When you preserve your beauty to please your husband, you please Allah and will be rewarded. And even when a husband and his wife have sex, they please Allah and will be rewarded.



Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 6:03am
Originally posted by searching

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.


Can someone get a PhD degree in science by staying at home and claiming that he loves science?

To get a degree you should go to the university and spend many ours attending classes, doing assignments and projects, studying for exams, etc. If this is true for a PhD degree, wouldn't it be true for the Paradise?!


Believe me my sister Islam is so easy. Prayers are not so hard. They will take you less than 15 minutes each day and you don't have to pray in a certain precise time as you said. For each prayer you have a period of time that you can do the Prayer within. For example, here in Bay area you can pray Dhur anytime between 1:16 pm to 5:06 pm. So you have almost 4 hours. And even if you couldn't pray in this time, you are allowed to combine Dhur with Aser prayer and pray them together. The period now becomes from 1:16 pm to 8:35 pm.

Likewise, you can combine Ishaa and Maghreb.

Is it difficult for you to find 5 minutes to do the prayer within this period?

Moreover, you don't have to do the prayer in the Mosque. You can pray at home, at work, even inside your car!

If you can't stand to pray, you can pray while sitting down. You can even do the prayer while laying in the bed if you can't neither stand or sit to pray.

Also, if you can't memorize anything from Quran, you are allowed to say anything (e.g. ask Allah for his forgiveness and mercy). If you can't say it in Arabic, it's totally fine to say it in any language.

As for Fasting, keep in mind that all Muslims find the first few days of Ramadan difficult, but it becomes much easier for them after 3 or 4 days of fasting. They even feel healthier and more active than some non-Ramadan days. Even some little kids can afford fasting 16 hours after few days of training!

If you can't fast for some reason or another, you make up the days later or can pay charity instead.

Allah says in the Quran:


O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.
(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill or on a journey the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more of his own free will it is better for him and it is better for you that ye fast if ye only knew.
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.


In fact, you'll love fasting when you see how greatly it affects your life positively. Many Muslims like to do Voluntary fasting in days other than in Ramadan.



Sister Searching,

There is a general rule in Islam that we learn from Quran. Allah says:

Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope.

And says:

Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties.

So you aren't supposed to do things that you can't afford.

In fact, our prophet Mohammed says that Allah will indeed be pleased when someone takes advantage of the facilities of his religion (when she needs it) exactly as He is pleased when someone does more good deeds.

Don't worry my sister. Islam is really easy.


Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 6:51am
Sister Searching,

In the authenticated Hadith that is reported in Sahih Muslim: a man came to the prophet Mohammed PBUH and said:"If I pray only the five obligatory prayers, fast Ramadan, do what is Halal and avoid what is Haram, and don't do anything more than this, will I be among those who enter paradise". Prophet Mohammed replied: "Yes". So, the man said: By Allah (I swear), I will not do more than this.

I'll help you make a decision:

1- Do you believe in God?

2- Do you believe that Allah is the only God?

3- Do you believe that Mohammed is his messenger?

4- Do you believe Jesus is a human and he is the messenger of Allah?

5- Do you believe that Quran is the words of Allah?

6- Do you believe in the hereafter?

7- Can you wake up in the morning anytime before sunrise (around 6:00 am) and spend 3 minutes to pray Fajr prayer? If this is hard for you, can you pray Fajr any time before noon?

8- Can you find <5 minutes each day to pray Dhur anytime afternoon?

9- Can you find <5 minutes each day to pray Aser anytime before sunset?

11- Can you find <5 minutes each day to pray Maghrib anytime within an hour after sunset?

12- Can you find <5 minutes each day to pray Ishaa anytime starting one hour after sunset and until one hour before sunrise next day?

13- Are you willing to fast of Ramadan as much as you can?

14- Can you avoid major Harams (drinking alcohol, adultery, killing someone, killing yourself, etc)?

15- Can you pay Zakah (2.5% of your savings that stayed with you for at least one year)?

If your answers to these questions are "Yes"s, then you are ready to be a very good Muslim!

Actually, if you really do these things, you will be better than many many born-Muslims!


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 10:12am
Originally posted by searching

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.
 
 
 

Hi searching

 

Thanks for your comment. As I read your posts, immediately I can see you struggling with numerous religious rituals and getting enslaved by them. That is not what we were borne for. We were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God’s anger against you. God is not angry with you. Instead 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).

 

Now let us look at what you and Muslims are doing. Their religious leaders obligated prayer so that they "must" pray only at certain times a day, and only to certain direction, and only in certain ways. It becomes a mandatory requirement to avoid the punishment of hell fire from their God. Other ways of doing rituals do not count. Here is the fundamental difference between Muslims and Christians. To them prayer is their duty. If they miss it, they are guilty and afraid of the punishment. But to us it is our joy, not duty. If we miss it, there is no problem. We are still joyful because of God’s everlasting love for us that was shown most explicitly through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ on the cross. Instead of being picky and impatient, our God is very gracious and patient that He is not angry or offended by missing of our prayer from time to time. Even if we forget our prayer for the whole month, our God is still not angry or offended, but instead grieved and starts to miss us. Of course we also start to miss our Creator. Now do you see the fundamental difference between Muslims and Christians?

 



Posted By: shamstar
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 11:58am
Originally posted by freedom-lover

 
 

Hi searching

 

Thanks for your comment. As I read your posts, immediately I can see you struggling with numerous religious rituals and getting enslaved by them. That is not what we were borne for. We were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God’s anger against you. God is not angry with you. Instead 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).

 

Now let us look at what you and Muslims are doing. Their religious leaders obligated prayer so that they "must" pray only at certain times a day, and only to certain direction, and only in certain ways. It becomes a mandatory requirement to avoid the punishment of hell fire from their God. Other ways of doing rituals do not count. Here is the fundamental difference between Muslims and Christians. To them prayer is their duty. If they miss it, they are guilty and afraid of the punishment. But to us it is our joy, not duty. If we miss it, there is no problem. We are still joyful because of God’s everlasting love for us that was shown most explicitly through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ on the cross. Instead of being picky and impatient, our God is very gracious and patient that He is not angry or offended by missing of our prayer from time to time. Even if we forget our prayer for the whole month, our God is still not angry or offended, but instead grieved and starts to miss us. Of course we also start to miss our Creator. Now do you see the fundamental difference between Muslims and Christians?

 



Still waiting for you to fully answer the questions I asked of you on the other thread.

Why did Jesus in the Old Testament instruct people to pray, fast and observe other religious duties and rituals?


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 28 July 2010 at 1:44pm

Hi shamstar

 

Thanks for yet another question (Why did Jesus in the Old Testament instruct people to pray, fast and observe other religious duties and rituals?). You seem to be confused about my point. I am not saying that all rituals are wrong. Rituals can be used to draw our attention to God. As I read the writings of Muslims and searching, I am convinced that they struggle with every detail of numerous rituals and get enslaved by them.

 

Now let us look at what Muslims are doing. They must pray only at the prescribed times. Other times do count. They must face to the prescribed direction. Other directions do not count. They must bow on prescribed mats of specific design and size. Other mats do not count. They must wash certain parts of their body such as face, hands, feet, beard, and moustaches again in a certain way. Other part or other way of washing does not count. They must follow the prescribed sequence of actions and words at each ritual. Other way of doing it does not count. Furthermore, if they miss or cannot form certain rituals for whatever reason, they are guilty and afraid of dreadful punishment from their God.

 

This is what searching also wrote in her recent post. 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.

 

I feel close to God. It is like an intimate (sometimes intense) loving relationship between a man and a woman. That is why I often suggest other readers this sentence: I hope you would fall in love with God so intimately and deeply that you would feel like you were the only person in the entire universe with God. Is this level of intimacy with God coming from numerous rituals I perform or have performed? No! The only thing I did was that I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, and gave my life to him as my Lord. That is all! Christianity is all about a loving relationship with the Creator. We are enslaved only by the love of God, while Muslims are enslaved by religious duties and rituals. We were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God’s anger against you. God is not angry with you. Instead 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).



Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 29 July 2010 at 2:33am
Brother Amjad,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write several posts for me to read.  I kind of tend to answer all of your questions, or at least most of them with "Yes" but still don't feel ready to convert.  I'm just really struggling with this.  I don't know why I feel such turmoil about this.  It doesn't seem like it should cause me stress but for some reason it is.  I know that I don't need to make a decision immediately but somehow I feel a pressure to make a decision.  Obviously, it's pressure only from myself.  No one else is pressuring me to convert or make any decision.  I guess I need to learn more patience, even with myself. 

Sometimes I feel very free, not being attached to any religion.  I posted about this before.  I don't have to worry about rituals or anything like that.  I can just talk to God and thank Him for things and ask forgiveness.  It is a truly free feeling sometimes.  But other times I feel like I'm kind of flailing, lost between the major religions out there.  Wanting to belong to something but belonging to nothing.  I don't believe the concepts of Christianity.  I really do believe the concepts of Islam more but I just can't get myself to completely embrace Islam and convert. 

I hear that during Ramadan the Shaytans are all chained up and the gates of hell are closed while at the same time, the gates to heaven are open.  Maybe then, without Shaytan potentially whispering in my ear, I will be able to make a good decision.  Until then, I will just try to pray more for guidance on this. 

Thank you to everyone for helping me.  I really appreciate the time you take to post.


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Posted By: Amjad
Date Posted: 29 July 2010 at 3:14am
You are welcome sister Searching.

I totally understand your feelings. I believe that what you feel now is normal.

Deciding to embrace a religion is not easy. You \need to think deeply and make your decision after basing it on knowledge and true belief.

Sister Searching,

Allah created us for a purpose which is to worship Him and love Him in a way that pleases Him.

IF we do this in this life, we will enter paradise in the hereafter, or the hell fire otherwise.

We can't know what pleases Allah if He doesn't tell us. Allah (SWT) sent the messengers (e.g. Adam, Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, .. ) to teach us how to worship Allah and please him.

Mohammed is the last messenger and his message and teachings are last that was sent down from Allah to all the mankind.

This life is nothing but a test. Allah wants to see who will adhere to his message and worship Him in the way He prescribed.

If you really love Allah and want to please him, you should worship him as He wants you worship Him.

Think of the university degree I mentioned in a previous post.


My Sister,

No rush. Take your time. Learn more about Islam. Try to meet more Muslims and talk with about Islam.

May Allah guide you to the right path that makes happy in this life and in the hereafter.


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 29 July 2010 at 10:04am

Hi readers

 

Recently I start to hear more about fasting from Muslims as their Ramadan is approaching. I am not saying that all your fasting and rituals are wrong. But if your heart is not circumcised, all your fasting and rituals are only a mechanical movement. Whether the fasting is one month, or one year or even ten years long, God does not listen to you if your heart is not circumcised. What is circumcision of the heart? First of all what is circumcision? Circumcision is removing the foreskin of a penis. The foreskin is an obstacle that blocks the seed of a sperm from reaching an egg. Thus removing the foreskin allows the seed to flow freely to the egg, producing a new life. If the egg does not meet the seed, it dies and gets out of the body as dead blood. The spiritual meaning of circumcision is that our heart needs to be open to the seed of the Word (Jesus Christ) so that it reaches the egg of our soul in our heart, producing a new creation. If our soul does not meet the Word, it is separated from God and dies eternally. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is called the circumcision of the heart, which is the spiritual meaning of circumcision. Interestingly though, the concept of being circumcised in the heart is not a new idea. In fact it has been an important consideration under the Old Covenant since the book of Deuteronomy. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. (Deuteronomy 10:16) The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. (Deuteronomy 30:6) Without circumcision of the heart, the circumcision of flesh (real body) is nothing and meaningless. Without circumcision of the heart, all your fasting and rituals are only a mechanical movement. I also say the same thing to some “religious” Christians to tell them what is really important. I hope your heart would be circumcised by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.



Posted By: stranger
Date Posted: 29 July 2010 at 9:18pm
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Hi readers

 

Recently I start to hear more about fasting from Muslims as their Ramadan is approaching. I am not saying that all your fasting and rituals are wrong. But if your heart is not circumcised, all your fasting and rituals are only a mechanical movement. Whether the fasting is one month, or one year or even ten years long, God does not listen to you if your heart is not circumcised. What is circumcision of the heart? First of all what is circumcision? Circumcision is removing the foreskin of a penis. The foreskin is an obstacle that blocks the seed of a sperm from reaching an egg. Thus removing the foreskin allows the seed to flow freely to the egg, producing a new life. If the egg does not meet the seed, it dies and gets out of the body as dead blood. The spiritual meaning of circumcision is that our heart needs to be open to the seed of the Word (Jesus Christ) so that it reaches the egg of our soul in our heart, producing a new creation. If our soul does not meet the Word, it is separated from God and dies eternally. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is called the circumcision of the heart, which is the spiritual meaning of circumcision. Interestingly though, the concept of being circumcised in the heart is not a new idea. In fact it has been an important consideration under the Old Covenant since the book of Deuteronomy. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. (Deuteronomy 10:16) The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. (Deuteronomy 30:6) Without circumcision of the heart, the circumcision of flesh (real body) is nothing and meaningless. Without circumcision of the heart, all your fasting and rituals are only a mechanical movement. I also say the same thing to some “religious” Christians to tell them what is really important. I hope your heart would be circumcised by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.

Our fasting has less to do with not eating and drinking and more to do with getting closer to our one and only creator and savior, ALLAH. we are open to the word of prophet jesus (pbuh) and that is why we are bowing down to Allah just like he did. Im Ramadan, Muslims try to think less about this world and all the worldly things and truly turn to Allah and purify our hearts and bodies. We try to open our hearts and  push ourselves to be like the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). All our fasting and rituals are the best way to get closer to Allah and they are far more than just "mechanical movements" and im sure all the prophets would agree. Our hearts are circumcised and if you tried fasting, maybe you would see.


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 12:04am
I have actually learned a fair amount about Ramadan from my classes at masjid.  I don't know as much as muslims know, of course, but I've learned about the importance of fasting with your heart, hands, legs, eyes, ears, etc.  And that if we do things like back biting and gossiping, we may as well not fast at all. 

Of course, I haven't made a decision yet so Ramadan may not even be relevant to me if I'm a non-Muslim, though I respect it as a religious holiday for Muslims. 


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Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 8:10am
Originally posted by searching

I have actually learned a fair amount about Ramadan from my classes at masjid.  I don't know as much as muslims know, of course, but I've learned about the importance of fasting with your heart, hands, legs, eyes, ears, etc.  And that if we do things like back biting and gossiping, we may as well not fast at all. 



Sister,

there are more than one billion Muslims on the earth, and believe me, you know much more about Islam than millions of Muslims do.
There are many degrees about knowledge in Islam. I think that just a minority of Muslims know which du'a to recite for every occasion, and a very tiny minority pay attention on the foot they use to enter the bathroom (I must admit I never do).
Sadly, there are even millions of Muslims who don't pray and don't fast.
I think the knowledge you have now, the 5 prayers, fasting as you can and paying zakah would be more than enough to enter Islam.

(by the way, the only Surah you have to know in order to pray is al-Fatiha, all the rest is optional. And the prayer times mean that you have time from the beginning till the next prayer, not that you have to pray at the first minute of the prescribed time - except if you are a man and want to make every salah at the mosque with the imam, which is possible in islamic countries but not in the USA)


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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 12:22pm

Hi stranger

 
Thanks for your reply. I do not think your heart is circumcised. Have you really met the World (Jesus) to become a new creation by receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord? Has the Holy Spirit come to your heart to live? Otherwise, still you are far from God and not the children of God.
 
Do you have confidence to see your Creator in heaven face to face? If not, it indicates that you are not a child of God. You are still separated far from the Father and Creator, the source of everything. Real children are not afraid of their father. Basically you stand before the Judge (God) like a criminal, anxiously waiting for a sentence you would receive from God. Basically you are in the court of the Judge instead of being in the house of the Father. You may have the wrong concept of fear of God. You may think that being afraid or being scared before God is the fear of God and a sign of humbleness. Then you are wrong! The true fear of God is the acute awareness of the presence of God’s great power that produces in us a sense of awe and calls forth from us reverence, honour and respect. Because I became a child of God through Jesus Christ, God is not my Judge anymore, but my Father. I am in the house of the Father instead of being in the court of the Judge. Do you see the difference now? You are in the court of the Judge as an afraid defendant anxiously waiting for a sentence from Him, while I am in the house of the Father as a loving child having an intimate fellowship with Him.

 

You were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God’s anger against you. God is not angry with 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).



Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 4:43pm
One does not have to accept Jesus (PBUH) to be accepted by God.  God does not have a son.  Why would he decide to have a human son?  Why would He allow his own son to be killed in order to forgive us?  He can forgive whoever He chooses to forgive and would have no need to sacrifice His own son.  Christianity just doesn't make sense to me.  God is all powerful and has no need to get a human pregnant, have a son with her and then kill his own son to forgive other humans when, as I said, he can forgive whoever he chooses.  Think about it.  If you really think about it and don't just blindly accept it, it makes no sense at all.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 5:44pm

Hi searching

 

Thank you very much for your comment. I understand your point well. Have you ever read the whole Bible very deeply without any input from outside? It clearly shows that complete forgiveness requires paying the appropriate consequence for the sins in addition to repentance, and that is God’s way. Repentance is very important for forgiveness, but really a first step to complete forgiveness. It may be different from what you want or wish it to be, but that is God’s way. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) Do you know why animal sacrifice was such a critical component before having a fellowship with God? Because the consequence of the sins of God's people had to be paid onto the animals before coming to God. God is so holy that even the smallest blemish of impurity would evaporate before Him. Why onto the animals? To spare His people from the judgment. Otherwise, His people would have been destroyed completely because the penalty for sins is death according to the perfect and high standard of God. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:7). “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Do you really want to pay the consequence by yourself, which means eternal death? Or do you want Jesus to pay the consequence for you, which means eternal life? Now God is offering His best ever grace to human beings including you.

 

 



Posted By: stranger
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 10:08pm
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Hi stranger

 
Thanks for your reply. I do not think your heart is circumcised. Have you really met the World (Jesus) to become a new creation by receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord? Has the Holy Spirit come to your heart to live? Otherwise, still you are far from God and not the children of God.
 
That is your opinion, not a fact. the holy spirit doesnt exist and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is not dead and he sure isnt a Lord or a savior. He is just a mere human being just like all the the other porphets pbut)
 
 
Do you have confidence to see your Creator in heaven face to face? If not, it indicates that you are not a child of God.
 
I will insha'allah see Allah face to face when I enter Heaven insha'Allah.
 
You are still separated far from the Father and Creator, the source of everything.
 
Again that is just your opinion.
 
Real children are not afraid of their father. Basically you stand before the Judge (God) like a criminal, anxiously waiting for a sentence you would receive from God. Basically you are in the court of the Judge instead of being in the house of the Father. You may have the wrong concept of fear of God.
 
When I stand before Allah, I do not think of him as my judge (although he will judge everyone on the day of judgement) and i most certainly do not feel like a criminal instead, i think of him as my creator who gave me a wonderful life and makes good things happen to me all the time. I think of how much he takes care of me and makes me happy. He put peace into my heart and I know he loves me. I absolutely love Allah and I know that his mercy is much greater than his wrath.
 
 You may think that being afraid or being scared before God is the fear of God and a sign of humbleness. Then you are wrong! The true fear of God is the acute awareness of the presence of God’s great power that produces in us a sense of awe and calls forth from us reverence, honour and respect.
Because I became a child of God through Jesus Christ, God is not my Judge anymore, but my Father. I am in the house of the Father instead of being in the court of the Judge. Do you see the difference now? You are in the court of the Judge as an afraid defendant anxiously waiting for a sentence from Him, while I am in the house of the Father as a loving child having an intimate fellowship with Him.
 
Allah is closer to me than my jugular vein. I do not think any part of the trinity can ever be that close to a human so no competition between Allah and the father or son or the holy spirit (well the trinity doesnt exist anyways). And i can talk to Allah directly and ask him for forgiveness without having anyone shed blood for my sins and insha'allah i will be forgiven for all my sins.

 

You were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God’s anger against you. God is not angry with 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).

I was created to submit to Allah, not run around without a purpose. I know God is not angry with me. I KNOW Allah loves me which is why I am a muslim and i try to return the same love. I think you need to learn about islam more and learn ALL of the attributes of Allah. Wrath is just one attribute. In every chapter of the Quran, it says bismillahir rahman nir rahim which means, In the name of Allah, the most COMPASSIONATE and the most merciful. it doesn't begin with the angry God who wants to punish everyone.
 
 
i think you just do not want to be held accountable for your actions in this life. Well lets just face reality, everything has consequences.


Posted By: Squeegie
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 10:42pm
Originally posted by searching

One does not have to accept Jesus (PBUH) to be accepted by God.  God does not have a son.  Why would he decide to have a human son?  Why would He allow his own son to be killed in order to forgive us?  He can forgive whoever He chooses to forgive and would have no need to sacrifice His own son.  Christianity just doesn't make sense to me.  God is all powerful and has no need to get a human pregnant, have a son with her and then kill his own son to forgive other humans when, as I said, he can forgive whoever he chooses.  Think about it.  If you really think about it and don't just blindly accept it, it makes no sense at all.
 
Searching, I think you've bought into a misunderstanding of the nature of Jesus. He did not become God's son at the moment of incarnation. He has been from eternity past God's son. For the space of 33 years Jesus lived as a human, living with all the limitations that implies yet retaining his divine nature at the same time. God's justice requires a perfect sacrifice for sin. A sinless human being who shares God's nature has the infinite nature that can satisfy infinite justice and because God is eternal, making this payment for sin will not utterly destroy him as it would us. BTW, if God shares the human experience in the person of his son, he learns what it's like to be human. Yes he designed the human machine, but in the son God learned what it's like to be a human in a way he never could by any other means.
 
A perfect sacrifice had to be made or any notion of God being just is a sham. Can a just God forgive sin based upon nothing more than his good will? This would be tantamount to turning a blind eye to sin. "So you killed ten people when the guy at Starbucks screwed up your coffee? No Problem! Welcome to heaven" Instead, God poured out his infinite wrath on the infinite son, the only person in the universe who can withstand such wrath without being crushed. All he asks is that we trust that this sacrifice is all that is required to restore our relationship with God.
 
This Islamic notion that God will forgive for no reason is probably the principle reason I can't accept Islam. As you said, " If you really think about it and don't just blindly accept it, it makes no sense at all." Whenever someone asks me how I'm doing my standard answer is "better than I deserve". I know that there is nothing I can do to curry God's favor and I know a just God must punish sin. I also know enough about the universe to know there must be a balance to things. God can't forgive without something being there to balance the scales. Jesus' death reset the scale, and his resurrection served as proof that the balance had been restored.


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Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 30 July 2010 at 11:16pm
I understand that a guy who killed ten people would not just go into heaven. He would have to be punished for his sins. But why would God have a son, which I don't believe anyway, and then sacrifice him for something someone else did ie. Adam and Eve. Should the nice guy at Starbucks die to pay for the sins of the crazed murderer? Again, this makes no sense.

And God is all knowing, He doesn't need a human son to understand us. I just don't accept the beliefs of Christianity at all and that's not going to change no matter how many posts I read about Jesus being a savior and paying for our sins. He was a human and a prophet, not the son of God.

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Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 11:26am
Wasn't it God who created the whole universe?
Wasn't he who created the day, the night and the four season - or better created planets and starts which move in a way that we perceive as day, night and seasons?
Wasn't he who made some places as deserts and others as forests?

I find it perfectly natural that, among with physical laws, he created also spiritual laws. We have to pray at certain time of the day because we belong to the big system of the Universe, and we have to be in harmony with it. We pray in a certain direction because it was choosen by God, as he chose the North Pole as the pole of magnetism. We humans are not only soul, we are also bodies, and our bodies require rituals.
Every mother knows that babies are quite and happy when they follow the same rituals every day. Why shouldn't a godly religion require rituals from us as well?
Of course the spirit, the heart shouldn't be neglected. But spirit and body should find harmony. It's important that the heart is clean, but we are required to clean the body as well before praying. Hearts should be "circumcized", as Jesus said, but this doesn't mean men don't need the "other" circumcision. The heart fasts by staying away from sins, but the stomach sometimes has to fast as well.
There is no dualism body vs soul in Islam.


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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 1:09pm
That was a good explanation, Nura.

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Posted By: Squeegie
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 4:05pm
Originally posted by searching

I understand that a guy who killed ten people would not just go into heaven. He would have to be punished for his sins. But why would God have a son, which I don't believe anyway, and then sacrifice him for something someone else did ie. Adam and Eve. Should the nice guy at Starbucks die to pay for the sins of the crazed murderer? Again, this makes no sense.

And God is all knowing, He doesn't need a human son to understand us. I just don't accept the beliefs of Christianity at all and that's not going to change no matter how many posts I read about Jesus being a savior and paying for our sins. He was a human and a prophet, not the son of God.
 
 
Then it sounds to me like you need to change your screen name from searching to found in that you seem to have found what you were looking for. Obviously Islam is sufficient for the life you're living on earth. Hope it's sufficient for the life that follows (though I have my doubts).


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Posted By: stranger
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 4:41pm
Originally posted by searching

That was a good explanation, Nura.
 i agree. i wish i could have put it like that.


Posted By: shamstar
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 8:01pm
Originally posted by Squeegie

 
Searching, I think you've bought into a misunderstanding of the nature of Jesus. He did not become God's son at the moment of incarnation. He has been from eternity past God's son. For the space of 33 years Jesus lived as a human, living with all the limitations that implies yet retaining his divine nature at the same time. God's justice requires a perfect sacrifice for sin. A sinless human being who shares God's nature has the infinite nature that can satisfy infinite justice and because God is eternal, making this payment for sin will not utterly destroy him as it would us. BTW, if God shares the human experience in the person of his son, he learns what it's like to be human. Yes he designed the human machine, but in the son God learned what it's like to be a human in a way he never could by any other means.


Jesus pbuh was not sinless.  He made a whip from cords, lost his cool, turned over the tables and drove out the money changers from the temple.  Obviosly in typical Bible fashion, Matthew, Mark and Luke place this event towards the end of his ministry, but John places it towards the begining at chapter 2.

Then there are the banned Gospels that were popular during early Christianity, but later expunged during the course of History because they went against the picture the church was trying to paint.  Amongst these forbidden books were the infancy accounts of Thomas giving a rare insight into the child Jesus pbuh; here it is written aged around 5, Jesus pbuh was hit on the shoulder from a stone thrown by a boy, Jesus pbuh caused the boy to drop dead for his mistake.  Jesus pbuh also made sparrows from mud on the day of Sabbath and blew life into them, causing them to fly away. 

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6516


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 8:37pm
Squeegie,

You might be right about that. I'm basically arguing that the beliefs of Islam are correct but haven't converted yet. I'm not sure why. But I guess it's because it's such an important decision that I have to be absolutely sure before taking my Shahada.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 10:18pm
Hi searching

If people want, with a dozen of friends they could start the perfect religion in the world that sounds most logical to human beings. Do you not know that quite a large number of western intellectuals were drawn to communism and gave their lives because it made more sense to them? Now where is communism? Would those intellectuals still believe North Korea as the most ideal society in the world? They surely did not know what ordinary people went through inside, because it was hidden to them. Making sense to human beings is not the same as making sense to God. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverb 14:12)

You wrote the following post in this thread.
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.

Do you really experience joy (more precisely speaking, overflowing joy) out of these layers of religious rituals in Islam? Where is heavenly joy in you, which I and many Christians enjoy every day and all human beings deserve? You deserve much better than who you are now. You were created to be loved by God, not to perform religious duties and rituals to take away God's anger against you. God is not angry with you. God loves you with all His soul, with all His heart, with all His mind, and with all His strength. The best answer is found in the Bible. "God is love" (1 John 4:16). 


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 31 July 2010 at 11:13pm
Thank you for your reply. I don't think that Islam is like communism. That passed after a short time. Islam has been around for about 1400 years. I understand what you mean about the rituals. I still have concerns about that. But really praying only takes about 15-20 mins total for the day. That's not really a huge burden. And though I still feel a little intimidated about the part of pleasing Allah or making Him mad, the Qur'an repeatedly says that he is "Often Forgiving, Most Merciful." It wouldn't say this so many times if He wasn't forgiving of our errors or sins. I'm actually starting to feel better and better about Islam. Maybe I'll make a decision soon, insha'Allah.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 12:01am
Hi searching

Thanks for your reply. Do you know the strongest love in nature? It is mother's love for her offsprings, in particular, human mother's love for her children. This is because she shed her own blood with great pain when delivering a new life. In fact it is simply a reflection of God' love for human beings through Jesus Christ, who shed His own blood with great pain in order to create a new life. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Did your God show such sacrificial love for human beings, because He loves them so much? Islam is not exception, and all religions claim that their God is most merciful. But what about sacrificial love for us?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (as a sacrifice for our sins) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"
(John 3:16).


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 12:50am
I do not believe that Jesus PBUH was God's son.  And I don't think that it makes any sense that God himself would have to sacrifice his own son in order to forgive us, when he is all powerful and can forgive who He chooses to forgive.  This idea of him having a human son and then killing him just so that he can forgive us is absurd to me.  But I respect that this is your belief and have no problem with anyone who believes differently than me.

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Posted By: Traveller
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 4:42am
Originally posted by freedom-lover

This is because she shed her own blood with great pain when delivering a new life. In fact it is simply a reflection of God' love for human beings through Jesus Christ, who shed His own blood with great pain in order to create a new life.
 
Huh?
 
It wasn't because Eve made Adam ate that apple and therefore women will have to bear the pain of childbirth as a collective punishment?
 
 


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In life, be like a traveller. Take only what you need


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 6:22am
I thought that in Islam, Eve isn't really blamed. I thought they both were. And then I thought God just forgave them when they later repented. I didn't think that in Islam this is the explanation for the monthly period.

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Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 9:01am
Originally posted by Squeegie

 
 
Then it sounds to me like you need to change your screen name from searching to found in that you seem to have found what you were looking for.


I agree


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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: Traveller
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 12:05pm
Originally posted by searching

I thought that in Islam, Eve isn't really blamed. I thought they both were. And then I thought God just forgave them when they later repented. I didn't think that in Islam this is the explanation for the monthly period.
 
Yes, you are correct. I was jesting with freedom-lover.


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In life, be like a traveller. Take only what you need


Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 7:50pm
Dear searching,

If you can't make up your mind, then that is your decision ... for now. 

Why rush a momentous decision like choice of religion?  Or why make that decision at all?


Posted By: Squeegie
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 11:25pm
Originally posted by Nura

Originally posted by Squeegie

 
 
Then it sounds to me like you need to change your screen name from searching to found in that you seem to have found what you were looking for.


I agree
 
 
Nura and I agree on something. "O frabjous day, caloo callay" (Lewis Carrol, Jabberwocky)


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Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 01 August 2010 at 11:32pm
Originally posted by Grotham

Dear searching,

If you can't make up your mind, then that is your decision ... for now. 

Why rush a momentous decision like choice of religion?  Or why make that decision at all?


Not being able to make up my mind does mean that I'm not converting for now.  But I will make a decision.  I need to have religion in my life.  I need to get closer to God.  And I'd like to belong to a religious community, too.


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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 03 August 2010 at 1:34pm
Originally posted by Traveller

Originally posted by freedom-lover

This is because she shed her own blood with great pain when delivering a new life. In fact it is simply a reflection of God' love for human beings through Jesus Christ, who shed His own blood with great pain in order to create a new life.
 
Huh?
 
It wasn't because Eve made Adam ate that apple and therefore women will have to bear the pain of childbirth as a collective punishment?
 
 
 
 

Hi Traveller

 

Everybody knows what you have in mind about woman by reading your reply to me. You were not jesting with me, but said just what you think about woman as a Muslim man. Woman is as precious as man. Woman is as worth as man, not only one half. In a sense the existence of human beings is the result of their precious blood and great pain of women. Please do not belittle woman, Traveller.



Posted By: Slave of God
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 4:45am

Assalamo alikom

 

Sister searching,

I've just joined this forum today and by sudden I read one of your posts talking about Islam like Muslims which attracted me to search about you and I found this topic, actually I read from the beginning to the end to understand why you are undecided.

 

I think I understood you, I see that you searched and learned about Islam and I see that you believe in Islam in the matter of  faith I see that you know that Islam is the right decision, but you feel that you won't be able to afford the duties of Islam and you may anger god, this is one, also you think that when you are Muslim you will be responsible about the duties which you didn't or about your sins but if you still non-Muslim you won't be responsible because you are not Muslim this is the second.

 

But I must remind you that you knew the right bath but you are afraid of going into that path.

 

Sister,

That life is like an exam, you should answer correctly but you don't have to get the full mark, just pass it, but you will never pass the exam if you answered math in the sheet of biology exam! What I mean is that choosing the religion (Islam) is the base which will guarantee the heaven if your sins are more than your good deeds then your sins will take you to the hell for a while then you will go to the heaven and may God forgive you and go to the heaven directly, but stilling non-Muslim and you know that Islam is the right religion will take you to the hell even if you did a lot of good deeds.

 

Sister,

No one is perfect indeed, but you have to work, to do your best, as God said in Qur'an "so fear God as much you can" (Al-taghabon;16) and like brother Amjad said "to have a PhD you must work hard, is the heaven less than the PhD" , you want the religion to be easy to be just a faith and this isn't right in any relegion.

 

Sister,

 you think you can't effort the duties of Islam, so tell me how do Muslims effort them, they will be habits, you won't find them hard, just take the first step then God will help you and if you did a sin and asked his forgiveness he will forgive you.

 

Sister,

You said that you may take the decision in Ramadan, who guarantees that you will live to Ramadan. I don't want you to be hasty or precipitated, but I'm telling you if you found the right religion don't hesitate for a second, because fearing that you may not be able to make all the duties is not a justification because no one is perfect, but if you haven't found the right religion yet so take your time.

 

At last sister searching, I'm sorry being tough but that because I have compassion toward you.

May God guide you to the right path.

Asslamo alikom 

 

   



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"All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!"


Posted By: Traveller
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 6:56am
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Originally posted by Traveller

Originally posted by freedom-lover

This is because she shed her own blood with great pain when delivering a new life. In fact it is simply a reflection of God' love for human beings through Jesus Christ, who shed His own blood with great pain in order to create a new life.
 
Huh?
 
It wasn't because Eve made Adam ate that apple and therefore women will have to bear the pain of childbirth as a collective punishment?
 
 
 
 

Hi Traveller

 

Everybody knows what you have in mind about woman by reading your reply to me. You were not jesting with me, but said just what you think about woman as a Muslim man. Woman is as precious as man. Woman is as worth as man, not only one half. In a sense the existence of human beings is the result of their precious blood and great pain of women. Please do not belittle woman, Traveller.

 

Lol!

Maybe you need to understand the islamic position on the issue of Adam and Eve, which you obviously don't. What I wrote there is a christian perspective, blaming Eve for the 'original sins'.
 
Woman (mother) is 3 times as precious as man (father), going by the teachings of prophet Muhammad.
 
 


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In life, be like a traveller. Take only what you need


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 10:46am

Hi Traveller

 
Apparently you forgot a more well known verse from your scripture. You should have quoted it as a right balance.
 

A woman is worth one-half a man. ( http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/2/index.htm#282 - 2:282 )



Posted By: Traveller
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 12:03pm
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Hi Traveller

 
Apparently you forgot a more well known verse from your scripture. You should have quoted it as a right balance.
 

A woman is worth one-half a man. ( http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/2/index.htm#282 - - 2:282 )

 
Why don't you stick to your 'love' preaching and leave the exegesis of the Noble Quran to the scholars.
 
 


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In life, be like a traveller. Take only what you need


Posted By: Slave of God
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by freedom-lover

Hi Traveller

 
Apparently you forgot a more well known verse from your scripture. You should have quoted it as a right balance.
 

A woman is worth one-half a man. ( http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/2/index.htm#282 - - 2:282 )

 

Hey freedom lovers,

 

I see that you are cheating in that quote or some one cheated you, here is the verse you are talking about:

 "O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down. Let a scribe write it down in justice between you. Let not the scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so let him write. Let him (the debtor) who incurs the liability dictate, and he must fear Allah his Lord, and diminish not anything of what he owes. But if the debtor is of poor understanding, or weak, or is unable himself to dictate, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence). You should not become weary to write it (your contract), whether it be small or big, for its fixed term, that is more just with Allah more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves, save when it is a present trade which you carry out on the spot among yourselves, then there is no sin on you if you do not write it down. But take witnesses whenever you make a commercial contract. Let neither scribe nor witness suffer any harm, but if you do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So be afraid of Allah and Allah teaches you. And Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything" (2:282)

 

Can you tell me where your words are "a woman is worth one half-man"

 

The (real) verse is talking about witness for debts and God said that two men are required at least for witness if there aren't two men so a man and two women are required, and this doesn't mean that a woman is worth one half-man.

 

Also you should understand two things: (shahada) and (ishhad) which both are translated witness but the difference between them that (shahada) is when someone go to the court claiming for something and have a witness who was present upon the problem (remind that he was present suddenly), and (ishhad) is when some one making a deal or some thing like that so he say who witnesses for that deal (and that is upon the deal not in the court).

 

And what is mentioned here in the verse is (ishhad), but why God said two men or man and two women? That's because a man may forget that deal so the other man will remind him, and why God said two women with one man? Because women are more able to forget, and that's true.

 

But is this also applied in (shahada)? The answer is not in all the cases, because the messenger of God Mohamed peace be upon him accepted a witness (shahada) of one man in the court in the case of what related of money, but that man should be trusted and even if they are ten men they should be trusted, also one woman can witness in the court (shahada) if she is trusted but not in all the cases according to its ability in the case, like the cases which are relative to women. so (shahada) has another rules differs from (ishhad). 

 

I hope you understood, and I hope you learned not take a quote without reading it yourself, and my advice to you read about islam and its issues from the view point of Muslims not from the enemies of Muslims.

And about this conversation I see it's not its place, this topic is not for this kind of conversations, so please talk in the subject of the topic please!

 

And peace be with you all



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"All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!"


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 5:07pm

Hi Slave of God

 

You made the following comment to searching.

 

That life is like an exam, you should answer correctly but you don't have to get the full mark, just pass it, but you will never pass the exam if you answered math in the sheet of biology exam! What I mean is that choosing the religion (Islam) is the base which will guarantee the heaven if your sins are more than your good deeds then your sins will take you to the hell for a while then you will go to the heaven and may God forgive you and go to the heaven directly, but stilling non-Muslim and you know that Islam is the right religion will take you to the hell even if you did a lot of good deeds.

 

But you did it out of ignorance of the nature of God. In particular you said “which will guarantee the heaven if your sins are more than your good deeds”. Part of the reason for this kind of comment 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. Do you think Moses could not stand before God because there were more sins than good deeds in Moses? No. 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 not by struggling for more good deeds, but 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).


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 6:55pm
That really doesn't make sense to me at all. Saying our good deeds aren't enough to allow us closeness to God or heaven seems ridiculous. Simply stating that one accepts Jesus as their personal savior is supposed to ne the way to God? I think that God would really rather that we do good deeds than say Jesus is our savior. Jesus was a prophet, not a God or son of God as is explained in the Qur'an which was the last book God revealed to humanity.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 04 August 2010 at 11:33pm
Hi searching

Whether you think Jesus is the Savior or a human prophet does not affect his true nature. Your opinion does not change who Jesus really is. Your statement (Saying our good deeds aren't enough to allow us closeness to God or heaven seems ridiculous) really comes from your ignorance of the nature of God, which was well demonstrated in Torah such as Exodus 33:17-23. I kindly ask you a question. Have you ever read Torah carefully (hopefully through the help of the Holy Spirit)?

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death"
(Proverbs 14:12)



Posted By: Slave of God
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 4:49am

Hi freedom-lover

 

I'd like to ask you a question, why are we in this life? Why God created us?

Are we in this life to do whatever we want? Are we in this life to steal, to fraud, to commit adultery, to kill, or to destroy?

Tell me, do you want every body to do whatever he wants without punish and tell me God's forgiveness and God's glory?

If the life is like that, to believe that Jesus is the savior and then to whatever you want, so this is a chaos this doesn't represent the glory of God.

 

I will give an example if your boss in work told you "don't do this" and you did it then he gave you a chance and told you "don't do this again" and you did it again and every order of him you ignore it, then he left you without punish, should I then say "WOW, how great he is?"  Huh, that doesn't make any sense.

 

And about the sins and the good deeds, I think you didn't get it. Here how it works, if you made a bad work, it will be counted one sin, but if you did one good work, it will be counted ten good deeds, even more if you made a bad work then you asked God's forgiveness he will forgive you.

And forgiveness has condition (1. to stop doing that bad work---2. to regret ---3. to resolve not to make this bad work again---4. Making amends to those whom you have wronged, or asking for their forgiveness) remind you that the condition is to resolve not to make that bad work again, but he may do it again, and if he asked god's forgiveness again truly by its conditions, God will forgive him, and here is the glory of God he forgive you when you ask his forgiveness truly from your heart, but leaving you doing whatever you want then leave you without punishment and even you didn't ask his forgiveness, that doesn't represent the glory of God.

 

And in the after life, if your sins are more than your good deeds you will go to the hell for a while until your sins are finished, then you will go to the heaven, this is the justice, to punish who sinned and then reward him for his good deeds, but the one who have good deeds more than sins, then he will go to the heaven directly, but if you are not a believer from the beginning and you ignored religion and ignored God then you will go to the hell forever, that's it. I hope you understood it.

 

Peace be with you all.

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"All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!"


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 5:22am
I have not read the Torah. I have not read the bible from cover to cover. But there have been so many versions written and rewritten by humans that the Torah and the Bible are not necessarily the true word of God anymore. That is why the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH). This was the final book of God and remains the same as when it was originally revealed. It hasn't been translated multiple times, with the original version being gone. I am currently reading it and it is beautiful.

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Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 6:03am
Originally posted by searching

I have not read the Torah. I have not read the bible from cover to cover. But there have been so many versions written and rewritten by humans that the Torah and the Bible are not necessarily the true word of God anymore.  

You are definitely incorrect about Torah and Tahakh .. I cannot speak for "Bibles" but I certainly do for Hebrew Scripture.
 


 


Posted By: shamstar
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 7:38am
Grotham, earlist Torah is dated hundreds of years after the death of Moses pbuh.  One of those who helped write it, records how Moses pbuh predicted the rebellious Jews, claiming to be his followers, would in fact change his message after his death.




Posted By: Grotham
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 8:15am
Originally posted by shamstar

Grotham, earlist Torah is dated hundreds of years after the death of Moses pbuh.  One of those who helped write it, records how Moses pbuh predicted the rebellious Jews, claiming to be his followers, would in fact change his message after his death.




That's just more of your unsubstantiated claptrap.  It didn't happen.  The  Torah is unchanged and uncorrupted.


Posted By: jimdi3
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 8:57am
Originally posted by searching

I have not read the Torah. I have not read the bible from cover to cover. But there have been so many versions written and rewritten by humans that the Torah and the Bible are not necessarily the true word of God anymore. That is why the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH). This was the final book of God and remains the same as when it was originally revealed. It hasn't been translated multiple times, with the original version being gone. I am currently reading it and it is beautiful.
 
 
Let us not have double standards now. You refer to translations do you not? The originals were not in English. The copies of the originals do not differ except for scriptorial errors.
 
I regularly refer to differing versions (translations) of the Qur'an. All differ and further more the comments enclosed in brackets explaining the translated passage also differ.
 
The final (sic) book is not the same as that spoken by Muhammad, as there are leaves missing......
 
ha well .... no double standards please.


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hype the sensationalism by capitalizing on the propensity of a few. Grotham


Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 9:47am
The translations may not be entirely correct, but in Arabic, the Qur'an hasn't been changed and many people still read Arabic. Many Muslims try to learn Arabic to understand the Qur'an better. This is MUCH different than the multitudes of bible versions like New Testament, Old Testament, King James Version, etc. The Qur'an exists in Arabic as it was revealed. Attempts to translate it into so many languages of the world so that all can understand it are known by Muslims to be less accurate than reading the original Arabic. But there are no King whoever or new or old testament or other versions. The Qur'an is simply the Qur'an. If one can read Arabic, she will be able to read the Qur'an as it was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH).

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 10:00am

Hi searching and shamstar

 

Although Jews and Christians have different perspectives, we Christians appreciate greatly the great effort of Jewish people to preserve God’s words. Because the Bible was transcribed by human hands for so many years, there could be a few errors in words and phrases. But I do not really mind that. The only difference between Jewish believers and Christians is that Jews try to interpret God’s words from the Jewish perspective, while Christians try to interpret them from the perspective of all human beings. This is because the Bible was given to all people (through Jewish people). But we Christians do not claim that the Old Testament was corrupted, in order to justify our belief against Judaism. We do not accuse Jews of the corruption of the Old Testament in order to start a new religion. Jewish people did their best to preserve the Bible, which is greatly appreciated by all human beings. Likewise Jews and Christians do not accuse Muslims of corrupting their own scripture in order to justify our belief. In this respect Muslims are exceptional among all the believers of the world.

 



Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 1:36pm
I don't think that this is really a criticism Muslims have against Jews and Christians. Muslims respect the Torah and the Bible but believe they have been rewritten so many times by humans that they were corrupted. But Muslims believe that in their original form, they were both the word of God. If you wrote books and found that people had rewritten them so much that they change some of your original meaning, wouldn't you want to give them one last book that wasn't corrupted? This way it would be clear what you were communicating. It would clear up errors that started being called your own words. The Qur'an is the last revealed book and was revealed to show humanity what God wishes for us to know.

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 2:17pm

Hi searching

 

Thanks for your comment. Your accusation is very arbitrary and thus groundless. If certain sections of the Bible are not consistent with the religious rules and traditions of Islam, they argue it was corrupted as they please. But if is consistent with theirs, they argue it is genuine as they wish. When they are asked where the original is, they reply it is permanently lost. What a convenient answer! No, the Bible (the Old and New Testaments) was not corrupted as your scripture was not corrupted. Muslims are the only people in the world who accuse others of corrupting the scriptures in order to justify their own religion of Islam. Did you see Hindus do that? Did you see Buddhists do that? Did you see Jews and Christians do that?

 



Posted By: Nura
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 3:03pm
Freedom-lover,

have you ever heard about Biblical criticism? You can refere to this website

http://www.biblecriticism.com/

"One of the dominant ways of understanding how Biblical narrative emerged was and is the documentary hypothesis which posits four separate and independent story lines fused together by a series of editors who kept what fit their compositional agenda and discarded material which didn't. " This is a quote by Tzemah Yoreh,  the youngest PhD in the history of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Humanities and a professor of Bible at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

Modern biblical criticism begins with the 17th century philosophers and theologians -Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Richard Simonand others - who began to ask questions about the origin of the biblical text, especially the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). They asked specifically who had written these books: according to tradition their author was Moses, but these critics found contradictions and inconsistencies in the text that, they claimed, made Mosaic autorship
improbable. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_criticism).

I admit this is all copy and paste, and I'm not saying that Biblical criticism is right, but you cannot seriously claim that: "
No, the Bible (the Old and New Testaments) was not corrupted as your scripture was not corrupted. Muslims are the only people in the world who accuse others of corrupting the scriptures."
I accept that you, a Christian, believe in the Bible as I believe in the Qur'an. But Muslims are no way the only ones who claim that the Bible we have nowadays is not the original one. 


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Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen. K.Gibran


Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 3:43pm

Hi Nura

 

Thanks for your prompt reply as well as for your research on the topic. Scripture criticism is not a problem with me. I am open to it. Under the same scrutiny no scripture is above reproach to some degree. Proper criticism of the concerned scripture is done best by the people who practice and know the concerned faith because they know the context and history better than anyone else. In your comment you also forgot the most important part of my sentence.

 

Muslims are the only people in the world who accuse others of corrupting the scriptures in order to justify their own religion of Islam.



Posted By: searching
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 5:40pm
Muslims don't criticize other scriptures to justify their own religion.  I think that Muslims show respect for the other texts by saying that they were originally the word of God and therefore should be respected, but that they have been corrupted by being rewritten.  But as I said, there is still respect for these books.  

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Posted By: freedom-lover
Date Posted: 05 August 2010 at 6:08pm

Hi searching

 

Thanks for your comment. Now you seem to tone down the accusation in front of confrontation. I disagree with you. The Bible was not corrupted as the Quran was not corrupted. These are some of the important verses in Christian faith. Were these verses corrupted? If yes, when and which part of them was corrupted? You do not know, because the original was permanently lost? By now I am very familiar with this kind of  childish argument.

 

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (as a sacrifice for our sins) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

 

The Bible was not corrupted as the Quran was not corrupted!




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