Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I want to pray

I want to get closer to Allah and be a better Muslim. I really do! I have some things I need to work out to have stronger faith and it's not happening very easily for me. A former atheist, I now have belief in God at least (alhamdulilah), but it's a way of seeing things that just evolves and doesn't change like lights operated by a light switch. It's more of a dimmer situation (except that hopefully the light is getting brighter in my situation)!

I enjoy praying salat. It's such a great ritual that really makes me feel more connected to Allah, and that only enriches my life; I know it. But I am not very good at keeping it... I guess it has a lot to do with laziness, which I need to get rid of really badly. But anyway, I have ups where I pray better and downs where I don't pray at all, and I'm finding it frustrating to always start having ups right before I get my menses, which of course makes me have to stop. And it's hard to start up again.

Women, do you have this experience too?

I guess making a habit of dua during this "period" (lol) would be a good idea to keep spirituality up. And reading Qur'an... I think I need a more structured and strict plan. Any ideas? What do you do?

12 Comentários:

Melek said...

Hi Candice,

It's interesting that you posted this today. I've been following your blog for a while but I don't think that I knew that you were a former atheist (or maybe I did, can't remember!) I am a former atheist as well and now a Muslim too, alhamdulilah.

I have been looking for some one is a similar situation because I think it is a rather unique position and it's something that I struggle with. I want to develop my faith and belief further like you do, but I think because of our lack of a foundation like Christian or Jewish converts, it means we are starting from the beginning.

I like to think of myself as a baby in this respect, and it helps take some of the pressure off of having to know/do everything immediately. For me, it's important to believe, but it's also important to understand and feel.

I also enjoy praying salat and am pretty good at keeping it. I am a full-time student at a school in a country where covering/praying is not allowed and miss prayers on those days. I pray them when I get home but feel bad about missing them. But I think this is important - the feeling bad about missing prayers. It shows how important it's become to me.

I'm dealing with that time of the month right now. Strangely it always comes right when I'm really getting into praying and makes me sad to have to miss them. But I try to make an effort to do more research/reading during the time that I would otherwise be praying. I'm reading Martin Lings biography of Muhammad and it's great.

For me, having a structured and strict plan just sets me up to fail. I decided instead to do what I can, ask every question that comes to mind, and think more. But everyone is different..

Sorry to write so much, but it was just so strange to see this post from you today.

Melek said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Candice said...

I don't think I've ever mentionned being atheist on my blog. I don't think it really came up! I wasn't like hardcore "GOD DOESN'T EXIST!" but that was still what I believed, though I was longing for signs and belief in more. So being atheist wasn't an important part of my life, I was just without belief in God. I believed it was all a kind of random occurence and I wondered a lot about where our intelligence came from... our mind, the way we think... our innate knowledge of right and wrong. But I didn't think it was God. I tried to find ways to believe it was chemical or something.

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. And I'm glad to hear about you (a person in my situation) being so good with prayers. I aspire to that. :)

nk said...

I've recently discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoying it as well as finding it rather interesting.. the path to Islam. Being born Muslim, I know nothing else and hardly think of the struggles that reverts will experience.

Having made salaah ever since puberty, every day, 5 times a day, it doesnt become a struggle anymore. Yes, at time, it becomes less spiritual and more routine, which is something we all need to improve on.. but just the fact that I know I have to do it, the more you do it, the more you start appreciating the effort you take to do it that ul never not do it (if that makes sense). its difficult when u're sick in bed, or very sleepy at Fajr, but doing it anyway, makes u realise that no matter what is happening when, theres always that time of the day to once again be conscious of Allah and make shukr.

When u get up for Fajr in your sleep, it reminds you Allah is watching. Allah granted you sleep and you should be thanking him for it. When you have a busy day at work, Thuhr reminds you there is calmness in the chaod and Allah is with you..etc.

sorry for the long post. difficult with so much in my head :)

nk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Candice said...

I love the way you put it, nk. I need to keep this frame of thought in my daily life to encourage me to observe salat more regularly. Thank you for your comment.

Muslimness said...

As'salamualaykum,
Hmm, my advice would begin with charting out those off days so you know when to search for friendly support or have that stack of books, learning to fall back on.
You could also shock yourself back into routine by putting the alarm in.. the bathroom? !
Find those small things that uplift you and surround yourself with them. The biggest challenge is talking about it and you've already done that here! Kudos.
Have Quran on Cd. That's inspiring and be recited along.

Zaufishan, loving this personal blog.
www.muslimness.com

Candice said...

Thank you :) Good tips and advice. I need a prayer clock for sure. And a prayer rug (it's less motivating to have to grab a towel or blanket like I have to do). And I am looking for ways to make the home feel and look more Islamic. I have some posters with inspiring verses on them, and I keep our Qur'ans as decoration just under that area, but it would be nice to have a more complete area too where I could feel fully relaxed to read Qur'an and listen to recitation.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I think a lot of Muslims have trouble praying on time, I've heard it from a lot of people. I also have to force myself sometimes, even though I love praying. It is all about laziness with me as well, and I really need to stop that!

Mrs. S said...

When I'm not praying I try to be more conscious to make dua. I like to make it in Arabic. You can make dua in any language, but I've found that saying a few in Arabic reminds me of actual prayer and helps me to feel more connected.

As far as making your home more “Islamic”, I try to incorporate pieces I’ve gotten overseas that match my personal decorating style. I want to avoid the tragedy of fake flowers, random ayats and uncomfortable furniture that plagued the Muslim-Arab households.

A friend of mine has this great reflection area set up in her house. She’s got a table, two comfortable chairs, a lamp, a plant, bookshelves, her iPod doc and her prayer rug. She keeps a beautiful oversized Qur’an on a wood reading stand next to her prayer rug and various books and Qur’ans on her table. I can’t help but pick up her Qur’ans, thumb through a book or see what lectures, surahs and ahadith she’s got on her iPod when I’m there. Maybe something like that could work for you.

Candice said...

My husband was in Egypt just recently, but didn't get anything good for the apartment, unfortunately for me. I agree about the "tragedy" of the fake flowers and uncomfortable furniture. That is exactly what his mom's place looks like (and he loves it, gah).

My Islamic area is a bit like you described. I will make something similar at my new place. I have my Islamic posters beside a couch and a small table displaying our Qur'ans. In my other place, it'll be bigger so I will add a light and I'll have it be a chair instead of a full couch. Anyway, I'll work it out. :)

Nermine said...

Dear Candice,

Do not forget that before anything you are Human and we are subject to make mistakes all the time and to feel "weak". However, I'm very proud of you because you actually have the COURAGE to admit things, and this in itself is a very important step I believe.

Once something hurts us, we don't necessarily always know why, but we know where. So once we identify the pain location, we should start taking care of it. The cure and the tools will come in a later step...

So inshaAllah, you will do just great. Easy on yourself though :)

Walk in peace,

Nermine

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