Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"struggling" - Being Muslim

'struggling', from blog "life struggles" inspired the topic for this entry. (struggling, if you mind me linking back or mentionning you, let me know and I'll remove it!)

It made me think about how similar I feel. I'm not Muslim, but the biggest thing keeping me away from Islam are Muslims! I don't especially want the label of "Muslim" on me, even though to me, a Muslim is one who follows Islam, one who submits to the will of God. But I know that this is not what the label means to people and that's why I don't want it. By my definition, many labeled Muslims would not be Muslim, and many that do not consider themselves and are not considered my others as Muslim would be Muslims to me.

Anyway, I try hard to figure out my pure beliefs, but the influence of people is always there. And will always be there, considering I'm not a prophet, receiving messages and revelations from God. I do believe that the strongest thing I have is my God-given sense of good and evil, and that is the purest thing I have, and what I try to follow. But if I were to figure out that the Qur'an is from God (something I don't feel sure of right now), I know I would have the same difficulties as 'struggling', not necessarily wanting to be Muslim but wanting to serve God.

I think that Islam is a life system... a way of life. And I think that it would be helpful to be a community of Muslims, but that a person can have a a perfectly meaningful and healthy relationship with God, and follow God's system by keeping it private and just acting right. Courage to you, 'struggling'! (Sorry to use your name between quotes, I just don't want it to be confused with a word.)

12 Comentários:

Sara said...

I just stumbled on your blog and I love it :)
I completely agree with you; as a Muslim having grown up in a non-Muslim country, I was shocked when I moved to Cairo and realized that what put me off Islam was Muslims themselves. That's why I strongly believe that Islam is one thing, and Muslims another. I did finally manage to "find God" and now I am a happy Muslim, (although I don't like applying the label to myself) and I really think that 90% of Muslims are not really thinking hard enough about Islam. This is not to say that I think MY Islam is right or the best, but I consciously put in a lot of effort to seek knowledge, understand, and find different opinions on issues, instead of blindly following the majority.

Candice said...

I'm so glad you stumbled on my blog! :)

I hate that about "Muslim" because I don't want people to see me as Muslim because of what they think Islam is, and because of what so-called Muslims are. But really, I love the word Muslim and it's the right word to describe someone trying their best to submit to God.

Anisah said...

I hear ya...I had decided to marry a Muslim man and never had any intention of converting at all. This was because I thought if a man SAID he was practicing and SAID he was a good Muslim.. meant he was... I learned much differently. But then...as fate would have it... I turned to Islam and reading more about it to understand the contradictions I saw in his character...and realized and learned that just because someone says they are Muslim...doesn't make them a good person. I was devastated by this..but then eventually the more I learned the more I wanted to become Muslim.
I would also like you to codier smth else...There are many good and many many bad ppl in other religions too. right? So... like.. if you use this reason...that some Muslims are bad...and ruin for the good ones.. what about "labeling" oneself a christian or Jew? I mean there is Mr. Hitler...and now the Israelites...but are the good ones gonna not be Jew or Christians because of these bad ppl and the stigma they give?

I would liketo add... that my children struggle with this too..They do and act like Muslims.. but are ashamed to say it outloud and will downright deny in public that they are Muslim. Incha'allah this will change as they meet and get involved with good Muslims in the community and see how proud they should be. Incha'allah.

Candice said...

It's true about other religions, but Islam is something I'm considering might be truth. Not all those other religions, so it becomes different for me personally, just for that reason.

The Muslim Kid said...

I think it is important for you to have faith in Islam and do what the Quran says but there is a very important aspect of Islam that involves being Muslim.

Muslims are distinguished my Allah in the Quran, at points he calls upon Mankind saying, Ya Ayuhan-nas.
O mankind

Yet at other points it is, Ya Ayuhaladhina Amanu: O Believers.

There are many hadith that underline the importance of Muslims sticking together.

Sure I guess it is "possible" to live life by Islamic Morals while believing in God but yea I dont think many people would understand that fully, including me.

Nice blog, my name is Faique, I also have a blog, you should check it out.


Oh and I'm fourteen :D

-The Muslim Kid

Blue said...

The whole point that Islam is right because the Quran says so is very ironic. What exactly did you expect the Quran to say? It's the MUSLIM holy book.

And the New Testament says Christianity is right. And the Old Testament says Judaism is right. And any holy book of a certain religion will say that that religion is right.

Excuse me, but that's not enough.

I choose a religion because it makes sense, not because a book says so. I think that the book can be a very useful guide to a religion, but not what the religion is about.

But then you'll argue, not all people agree on what makes sense. Muslims make sense of the fact that a man can have four wives simutaneously, but not Catholics. Catholics make sense of the fact that you can't divorce, but not Muslims. That's why I think that social affairs are better left to the judgement of the community, whever that community may be.

However, there can only be one God, and one Truth. I care about the metaphysical aspects of a book more than the physical, because nobody knows if these metaphysical descriptions are true of not, but I bet some make sense and some don't. That truth is something more complicated that doing what's in a certain book. It's something between you and your conscience.

Asiya Abdullah said...

Candice: Would you give up the title of "white" because of all the negative stereotypes that are applied to white people?

Would you give up the title of "woman" because of all the negative stereotypes that are applied to women?

I'll let you answer, but I truly don't think so! So why is it so easy to brush off the title of muslim just because of all the negative stereotypes that are applied to muslims? Is that fair?

Blue: You are right that all the religions claim to be the truth and use their books as evidence. The difference with islam is that it doesn't just claim to be the truth, but it backs up this claim with evidence. I suggest reading something on miracles in the Qur'an. Actually, the Qur'an itself is a miracle, but that's another subject.

I wonder if you are a native Arabic speaker(?), if so I can suggest some valuable works on ths subject in the Arabic language, inshaa Allaah.

Candice said...

Asiya Abdullah, in this case, it's more than what people outside of Islam believe Muslims to be. That part doesn't bother me. But I also differ with what the supposed good Muslims are. So not only do I not especially want people to see me as Muslim, I don't want to be part of the Muslims. The only part of being Muslim that I believe in is that it is the correct word to use for someone who wishes to submit themselves to God's will.

Asiya said...

Okay I can totally appreciate and accept that, Cand. Many muslims do have jacked up views about what a good muslim is, usually a result of mixing culture with islam.

But now tell me, what is your definition of "God's will"? And please tell me your source for this definition as well.


Candice said...

Well, as easy as the concept is to understand, it's impossible to know what God wills for us for certain. We all have our beliefs about it though, and what I feel is the truth right now about God's will is that the most reliable source is our own personal inner knowledge of right and wrong. We know God wants for us what is right and for us to keep away from what is wrong. I think that person is a "Muslim" in many ways, but such a person probably would not use that label because that's not what it means to most people.

Hope I made sense! No time to proof-read and arrange my ideas!

Asiya said...

But what about if one person's sense of right and wrong is completely different than another's?

For example, one person feels a monogamous pre-marital relationship is perfectly okay. Nothing wrong in it whatsoever. That as long as he/she doesn't "sleep around" with several different people, he/she is doing no wrong. While another person may feel it's wrong.

Or like you mentioned in another post, you don't see it's right to marry cousins. While another person feels there's nothing wrong with it.

If we leave everyone to their own sense of right and wrong, with no clear guidelines, it would be utterly impossible for humans to co-exist in the world!

I do acknowledge that a person who is seeking out the truth like yourself must go on his/her sense of right and wrong. But that can't last very long. What about the millions of other people in the world who are at the moment seeking out the truth in life? Each one of them has his/her OWN sense of right and wrong. If we leave it "to each his own," there will be no order in the world.

God, in His perfect and infinite wisdom and knowledge, did not leave us on this great big earth to our own vices. He did indeed send down, through His prophets and in His books, laws to live by.

True submission to the will of God is submitting to those laws, after recognizing that although we may intelligent and intellectual individuals, our knowledge is only of piece of His knowledge that He graciously bestowed upon us, and that we can never and will never encompass God's complete, perfect, infinite knowledge.

Candice said...

I don't think people's inner senses of right and wrong are different at all. They might interpret certain small things differently, but even two people making rulings based on the Quran can do that.

About having pre-marital sex, I think a lot of people don't care about it much and will have sex with different people, but I think they all know sleeping around is not the ultimate good. And I think that a person who has sex only when in a committed relationship is not having pre-marital sex. What is marriage but a public and committed relationship? They are not much different than people who have signed the paper.

About cousins, I think people who don't want to marry their cousins are fine. People who do... it's weird to me, but it's fine. And even legal here.

It's funny because I was reading the intro to the Quran translation yesterday and it said just what I was believing from the beginning... The concepts in the Quran are not foreign to us because they're within us in nature. If we all returned to our natural states, we'd know the message and will of God.

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