Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I believe...

Here is a starter list that I've been wanting to write out of things that I believe that are in common with Islam and things I believe that don't really match up well. Each point is related to the one in the other list (points 1 for each list are related, etc.) Comments?


1. One God (not sure I believe in a personal God at all, but I believe in unity)

2. Qur'an being divinely inspired (as well as the Bible and Torah)

3. Agree and see benefit/merit in a lot of things in Islam
+ 5 daily prayer a very beneficial ritual
+ Hijab and the importance of modesty overall
+ The importance of charity
+ The religion demands a lot and pushes us to be better
+ Sense of community with other Muslims

4. Belief in as-sirat al mustaqueem

5. Every single good or bad "deed" counted, and we will get true justice in the afterlife.


1. I have a pantheistic view

2. Do not believe Qur'an is the word of God
+ Belief that a lot of other texts and religions are divinely inspired, not only in Islam, Christianity and Judaism

3. Cannot agree with a lot of things considered islamic
+ Women obeying husbands and having to be under the care of a man
+ Homosexuality being forbidden and homosexuals not having the same rights
+ Killing of a person who converts out of Islam
+ Complete segregation of men and women

4. Belief that there are many different paths leading to God... Islam is not be the right one for everyone, but that it's important and valuable to imagine that everything we do should be having a good purpose.

5. I don't believe in literal Heaven or Hell

20 Comentários:

Arbab said...

I have been following your blog for the past couple of days and I noticed something very interesting. Your earlier posts abt 3 years back used to reflect enthusiasm and willingness to learn abt Islam. But now it seems that doubts have crept into your mind.
Believe me your doubts are completely uncalled for!!
I feel the reason for your doubts is that while you have done a lot of research on Islam and gained a lot of theoretical knowledge , you haven't quite understood the spirit of Islam.
My advice would to you would be to stop visiting all Islamic sites...don't follow any scholar or school....just read the quran by yourself ..pray five times a day ...give zakat..and love your family,your neighbours and all human beings for that matter...this is what all muslims should be doing today instead of devoting all their attention to minute details ...
I don't want to discourage you from learning more about Islam but you must understand that quran contains the entire religion. Once you are well versed with the teachings of the quran you can move to hadith. But with hadiths you need to believe only the ones you feel are in spirit of the quran. Its not that they're wrong, its just that some of them have been corrupted during transmission. But Allah SWT kept his promise and has guarded the Quran from any sort of corruption. So stick to the quran rather than visiting sites or following ulemas because remember on the day of judgement YOU will be accountable for your own deeds so stop following scholars and sites. Just follow Allah and do wat you feel is right.
Phew I haven't written so much since my school exams.....but I feel that you r a really nice muslim and there's no reason for u to have these doubts...ok my fingers hurt now so I must stop typing...take care and may Allah guide you and the rest of us

LK said...

Best wishes to you dear. A list is a great way to organize how you feel.

Susanne said...

Nice list. What does this mean?

4. Belief in as-sirat al mustaqueem

Thank you!

Candice said...

Susanne: I left it pretty general and vague, didn't I? It is literally "the straight path"... and I love this phrase and I love imagining my life as a path that needs to be walked... In al-fatiha, it says, "guide us on the straight path" and it's part of the prayer I love and find important.

For a lot of Muslims, it's ONE narrow path with lots and lots of ways for a person to go wrong and specific ways to go right, but I don't see it that way at all (if you look at the pairing in the other list). So finding this Islamic concept important is a "for Islam" and having a different way of interpreting it than most Muslims is a "against Islam" point.

Candice said...

Arbab: I thank you for your comment. I didn't really like you saying my doubts about Islam are "uncalled for". I think it's a natural and healthy part of exploring to have doubts and I listed the things I believe in that conflict with more traditional interpretations of Islam, so in no way are my doubts "uncalled for", they come from interpretations of Islam that not only exist but are prominent.

Your suggestions are good though. I don't visit Islamic websites or look at fatwas because I know already that I don't believe in all those things. I am exposed to scholarly opinions from friends and acquaintances who are Muslim and the blogging world though and I wouldn't ditch the blogging world only to shield myself from fatwas I disagree with.

Your suggestion to go back to the basics is an important one though and you are right in assuming that I haven't been doing that lately. I want to for my own spirituality and plan on it. I should take out my Qur'an and prayer carpet and use them. :)

BuLaN said...

start with the easiest part. praying 5 times a day, eat only halal food and cover yourself...insyallah others will be easy

Arbab said...


In retrospect even i feel i should not have made that comment. Islam encourages us to think rather than blindly follow things. Therefore doubts are only natural.
I am not a scholar. Infact at 22, I'd say in some ways even I, like you, am exploring Islam. But I have read the Quran and believe it to be the word of God which was sent as an inspiration to Prophet Mohammed PBUH through Angel Gabriel.I consider it the ultimate authority and would believe in nothing that goes against the Quran. Therefore,let me analyze some of your doubts from the Quranic point of view.
3.1 Women obeying husbands and having to be under the care of a man
In the same verse that God asks women to obey their husbands He also asks men to be kind to their wives and not mistreat her. And obedience to men is limited to only their just demands and not blind obedience.
3.3 Killing of a person who converts out of Islam
I'll quote two ayats from the Quran
'There's no compulsion in religion'
'Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind '
I am pretty sure that after reading these ayats you'll be quite convinced that Islam does not advocate killing of a person who would chose to convert out of Islam out of his own free will.
3.4 Complete segregation of men and women.
Again I find nothing in the Quran that calls for complete segregation of men and women. Infact if you look at the wives of Prophet you'll realise that they were quite active in public life. Ayesha R.A. along with other muslim women took part in battles alongside men. Women and men prayed together in the same mosque. The Prophet's daughter Fatima R.A. delivered a sermon in a mosque full of men.
Nowhere was segregation practised or advised.
Islam preaches the virtue of modesty to both men and women. The verse that advises women to dress modestly is immediately followed by a verse calling men to lower their gaze in front of women.

I'd love to discuss more of the points you have mentioned in the light of the Quran but the other ones are deep and a simple explanation from me wont suffice. So as I advised you in my previous post you yourself should go back to the Quran for guidance and Inshallah all your doubts will be cleared.

Again I'd apologise for my previous comment. I admire your quest to attain 'sirat al muttaqeen'. And I agree its not a narrow path. But its not the view of a 'lot of muslims' as you mentioned in one of the comments but just a handful. The majority of muslims believe that Islam is too vast, too accommodating a religion to be confined to certain do's and dont's.
So you may have all the doubts in the world, as long as you believe in Allah, you will continue to recieve His guidance. And I'm pretty sure by now you would have realised that muslims dont worship a personal God or a muslim God. Allah is the God of all mankind. He's the same God that Christians, Jews and people of all other religion worship. We are followers of the religion of Abraham. I'll end with this ayat from the Quran
"There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut [anything worshipped other then the Real God (Allah)] and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower."

ellen557 said...

perhaps it's that the things you don't agree with are things you are looking at from one perspective? i don't want this to come across as rude though so let me know if it is ok <3 i will put the numbers next to yours...
2. like for e.g., the qur'an - as converts, we read it in english and it's pretty easy to say it's not the word of God when we see it written as it generally is. but how do you feel about the arabic script? e.g. do you believe al fatiha is divine? that sort of thing?
3. have you tried checking out other madhabs and their response to this? i would very much recommend reading up on sayyed Fadlallah (ayatollah) and his writings on segregation and women's rights. i know that's from the shi'a school, but i think you would benefit a lot from reading what he has to say ^_^

4. i think the qur'an says that doesn't it? i think...

5. what about psychological? i heard a christian pastor say that hell is an eternity without God. without His goodness, gifts, everything. perhaps think about what hell (i.e. the opposite of something beautiful/perfect/amazing) would mean to you?


Safiyah said...

I think it's very healthy that you have doubts, and that you follow what feels good for you. I believe that we know the truth of things deep inside, in our soul, as you will, that we were born with this knowledge, because we are God's creation. Therefore,I believe it's important to listen to your own heart and what you feel is right. We don't know for sure what exactly happened so many centuries ago, and how many of the hadiths and stuff got corrupted, but I do think we are in touch with the Truth and so it's more important to follow your own heart :)

truth said...

He (Sa'id Raageh) is an imam of masjid in Candad(toranto?), I think somewhere near your place .he may help you correct you misconceptions if any.
He is one man but has done the work of many. Co-founder and Chairman of Journey of Faith, Shaykh Said Rageah is a distinguished Muslim Imaam and Scholar, dearly loved and celebrated for his substantial community service. Powerhouse of knowledge, kindness and leadership, Shaykh Said Rageah is the esteemed Founder of Oasis magazine, Youth Hotline, Orphans Matter, Muslim Youth Camp, Muslim Student Loan Foundation and Muslim Basketball Association.
Born in Somalia and raised in Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Said earned his B.A in Islamic Studies and Masters in Shari’ah from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Fairfax, Virginia. He studied under prominent Scholars like Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al Fowzan, Shaykh Yusuf Ashubaily, Shaykh AlKhudair, Shaykh Rashid Aladawni and Shaykh Fahad al Alhaoud. Before moving to Canada, Shaykh Said founded and served as Imaam of Masjid Aya in Maryland and established ‘IQ’ Qur’an Institute.
In Canada, he worked as a counselor at the University of Calgary and Muslim Chaplain in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Shaykh Said Rageah moved to Toronto where he is the Imaam of Abu Huraira Islamic Center, Instructor at Al-Maghrib Institute and Director of Ummah Times Magazine. He is married and has four daughters and two sons. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and playing basketball with his “boys” (students).


L.L. said...

what is a personal God?

Candice said...

Arbab: I think you are right that there are things in my "does not work with Islam" list that are not really a contradiction with Islam (with less traditional interpretations). It's how I became Muslim. And making the list, I realized that my beliefs haven't changed that much since I converted to Islam. I feel further away from the religion and I feel more strongly that it's not made to be the religion of choice for everyone (and that makes me question if I am made to be Muslim)

I really like that you see sirat al-mustaqeem as vast. It's not the impression I get sometimes from Muslims but maybe I just don't know the right ones :P

What is the chapter and verse for that last quote? I really find that meaningful. Thanks :)

Ellen: I wrote this list from a more traditional Sunni Islam point of view and I know that a lot of my doubts and "contraditions" can be explained away with alternate interpretations of Islam. I just learned now that Shia Islam does not at all view God as a personal God like Sunnis and it feels comforting to read that.

I will try to read up on Fadlallah. Is he the one who passed away in the past months?

As for Heaven and Hell... Yes, I view it as psychological so so it's one of those things where my view is different than the literal rivers and wine, etc. but could still be Heaven and Hell. Not a huge contradiction really.

Safiyah: I agree totally. We are all in touch with the Truth... It's within us all.

truth: Sorry, I'm not in the Toronto area. I'm not even in that province.

Arbab said...


Candice:The last quote in my earlier comment is from Chapter 2 Verse 256

Another verse of the Quran that I'd like to mention here is :

"“…And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?” (Surat-ul Qamar, Verses 17, 22, 32, & 40)

This verse is repeated four times. Allah has encouraged us to read the Quran and understand its message ourselves without having to rely on clerics or scholars.

Chapter 9 Verse 31 says "The Jews take their rabbis (teachers of law), and the Christians take their monks, as well as the Messiah, son of Mary, for Lords besides God (by holding as lawful or unlawful what the teachers of law and monks decree to be lawful or unlawful, as against God's decree), whereas they were commanded to worship none but the One God. There is no deity but He. All-Glorified He is in that He is absolutely above their association of partners with Him."

I'm sure you would be aware of the verse of Surah Al Fatiha which we recite in every prayer
" You alone we worship and you alone do we ask for help"

So, I'd again recommend you to read the Quran with an open heart and inshallah you'll find yourself nearer to God and nearer to Islam.

truth said...

YOU SAID : 2. Qur'an being divinely inspired (as well as the Bible and Torah)

(2:136) Say ye, `We believe in GOD and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob and his children and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them; and to HIM we submit ourselves.'

Candice said...

Arbab: The Qur'an itself definitely fits into what I believe a LOT better than "Sunni Islam" with all the emphasis on scholars and all the emphasis on the hadiths.

I will take out my Qur'an tonight and read at least a little of it insha'Allah.

truth: What I said about the Qur'an being divinely inspired is something that matches Islam - you might be confused about the list you are reading.

Candice said...

LL: It's funny that the answer to your question seemed kind of obvious to me, but that in trying to get you a better answer I found an answer I wasn't expecting. Here is a link from wikipedia:

I found out that the idea I had about a personal God in Islam is mostly the belief in Sunni Islam and not the case in Shia. A step closer to Islam again! Thank you for that.

truth said...

i knew that.
that ayah may not be relevant or close to this post.but helpful for those who are thinking of changing their belief from islam to youyou or theythey.

Becky said...

Loved your list Candice, and I think a lot of your beliefs are similar to mine. I think I might just have to go and make a list too!

Candice said...

truth: If it's not relevant, don't write up a comment as though you think it is!

Becky: You should totally make a list!

True Believer said...

Hello, I have a question for you; Why believer in the as-sirat al mustaqueem but not jannah or jahaneem? Why are you crossing the as-sirat al mustaqueem, to go where?

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