My suggestion is for you to study under a scholar who lives his life 24/7 to please Allah . Some deep understanding of Islam can be acquired by studying under a good teacher which might be almost impossible to gain it through just reading some scholarstic works. Have you read a biography of Hamza Yusuf? you'll find his story to be inspiring.
Allah Knows Best.
لا إله إلا الله
محمد رسول الله
there is no religion which offers a complete way of life, the christians associate partners with God, ask the christians about washing the hands before eating and cleanliness and they won't know what to say whereas a muslim refers to the sunnah. Educate yourself on islam.
opportunis, you have to first prove that any of the other religions are the same as they were at the time of their divine revelation. No religion except Islam has proof of this. Christianity cannot even authenticate its Gospels properly and neither can Judaism. No other religion has this level of "peer revision" as Islam does. No other religion is rigorously self-analyzed as Islam is.
Since we can prove that nothing in Islam has changed over the past 1400 years, we at least know that the religion has not changed, whereas other religions have since they cannot prove anything of their origins. If we know that nothing is changed, then we know that all things that are reported, at least in the ahadeeth, are completely true. From this, we learn about Rasoolullah , whose entire life is an example for us Muslims.
I can even venture to say that no other religion can claim to have garnered a huge following during the lifetime of its founder. During the time of Rasoolullah , there were hundreds of thousands of people who became Muslim. Within its first generation, there were millions as Islam spread throughout Asia and Europe. No other religion can claim such level of success the closer you go to its origin.
ياايها الذين امنوا اذكروا الله ذكرا كثيرا
Bismillah Ir-Rehman Ir-Raheem
Dear Brother, may Allah guide you, me, and all of us to the Straight Path and the pleasure of our Lord and Creator.
Oh, Brother, how often we delude ourselves! Brother, religion is important, yes, and Islam is the Truth from our Lord. Of this, there can be no doubt (2:2). I say this not because I read the same words in the Quran. I say this because this is the essentially discoverable truth that I found when I was not searching for a religion, and I did not know what the Truth was. Therefore, I request you, my Brother, to please read my journey to Islam to hopefully gain an understanding of why I chose Islam (and thereby perhaps also have some questions answered in your mind of why anyone chooses Islam) in my former posts, post #128 and post #20. I cannot answer for others regarding "why Islam." I can only answer for myself. However, as someone who was once lost to Islam, even if I were to hypothetically collect today the worst of unknown enemies, I would not wish for any of them the loss of iman (faith). I say this because I know the reality: Life without Islam is like living in a dark dungeon, without lasting hope, without lasting goodness, without lasting convinctions, and without lasting happiness; I know this because I lived this life for seemingly endless years before Allah, Alhamdullilah, saved me.
Brother, I do not doubt that you are an intelligent young man with an inquisitive mind, but I also do not doubt that your journey to understanding religions, if that is indeed an accurate description of your quest, is only starting. You are not the first person to ask this question, and I do not believe you'll be the last. But in my own journey to Islam, I learned that the questions are not as important as the journey to discovering the answers to those questions. So, don't be in loss (103:2) by asking those questions without searching for answers from within yourself and outside of yourself and understanding the nature of humanity. Be smart about your studying Islam, and yes, you should study it not because I say it or someone else says it but because you owe yourself the opportunity to understand what you will be giving up before you give it up. Is that not logical, my dear Brother? In my own story, if you perhance read it (and I sincerely encourage you, Brother, to read it perhance that you may benefit), you will find that I was a child, and I had not developed the powers of logic enable good decision-making nor the requisite knowledge to be able to have iman (faith) beyond the superficiality of as my religion, which is why I called myself an atheist later in life. But, Subhanallah, you are in a better situation than I was, Brother, because I did not have this Forum as a resource; I was alone. You, however, have the option of shaping your destiny in a better way, and I would honestly wish for you to fare better than I did.
Also, Brother, I had written this once in another thread a long time ago, which I quote here, again perchance so that you may benefit, and Allah knows best:
In the same thread, like I had told the sister for whom I had written this post, I had not originally written it to share it with anyone, as I remember. However, I later posted what I had written because, Subhanallah, I had the priviledge given by Allah to share my understanding with my beautiful Brothers and Sisters in Islam:What your brother has found is correct in that all religions have a kernel of truth. But I want to ask: Can a singular grain of rice be enough to fill your stomach? In that same way, can a kernel of truth be enough to lead you in life? The answer is no. I used to be one of the people who had rejected the Divine in my early childhood, and I have also studied world religions. I studied Islam the last but I did not study Islam with the intention to become a practicing Muslim. I just studied for my interest and my heart submitted. So, yes, I know 100% that all other religions are false. I do not say this because I am a Muslim. I say this because after studying those religions, those religions failed on one count or the other in the test I had devised to determine the Truth. You may find the acid test I had devised in my quest in post#20 in thread called “Atheist/Agnostic to Islam?” Thus, when I say I stand by Islam, I say this with my eyes open, my ears open, my heart open, and my mind open. So, the question your brother raises of a Muslim being biased does not for a fact applies to my situation and also I am sure does not apply to many on the Forum. Also, your brother may be interested to learn from reverts on this Forum as to what attracted them from Islam.
Human beings are in dire need of religion. Our nature as human beings is to seek solace in times of difficulty or need and this cannot be obtained unless we have contentment in our lives. The reality of contentment is to be patient with whatever is willed in the share in times of difficulty which is well nigh impossible to do without religion as then your whole existence becomes the ephemeral world. And thus when that ephemeral world is jeopardized (or threatened), in sets despair. Other human beings may offer solace or comfort but that will not be of any lasting effect or in reality suffice as the exclusive focus is on the present situation. And religion is the only concrete belief system that offers any solace or comfort by asking the observers to look beyond the present situation and into the future of death and beyond to a time where the times of difficulty or need will not matter. In fact, religion is the only belief system that offers hope by means of belief in a Higher Power through periods of happiness and unhappiness. This is essential as human beings naturally look to something greater than them to suffice them (in matters that appear beyond their control).
Science and technology cannot replace religion. Science is only progress in knowledge accumulation which enlightens as to the workings of the natural world and technology is designed to work as a human agency to achieve a simpler and more streamlined life. And as wonderful as our contemporary world perceives science and undeniably science is an instrument of wonder, science has its limitations. Its emphasis on empirical evidence necessarily means that its assertions are relative to discoverable truths of time and thus science is ever-evolving. Nor can technology replace the advantage of human emotions or instincts nor can it serve to originate on its own ideas outside the bounds of human input. Under the power of humans science and technology can be used for either good or evil ends. They can be used for destruction or used for construction. How it is used depends on what the ideology of that time is and what the objective of the ideology is. Only religion can offer a true moral compass as any ideology on its own will lack the essential all-encompassing nature of religion to govern the specific examples to the general principles of its [technology and science's] uses and in fact a large share of any moral ideology extant today is derived from religions and its traces is even present in our nation’s laws and legislative undertaking.
Ideal morality cannot replace religion. No matter how highly developed an ideal morality is, it still lacks the essential component of a solid foundation to be able to always act as a guiding force for human beings. For example, if we accept part of the ideal morality to be good to others to attain peace, then what happens if we are isolated from others and therefore do not have the opportunity to be good to anyone. So, in isolation, this principle would fail. Thus, the ideal morality’s range would be limited in scope as what it necessitates would be out of the bounds of human control: a) willingness within to be good and b) people on which to practice being good towards. Thus, the result would be no peace in the situation. Ideal morality promises but may not deliver whereas religion promises and delivers because its foundation is built on the belief on a Higher Being which directs the morality and does so on the basis of religion’s nature to be all-embracing of whatever the human condition or situation. So, it is not necessary within religion to do unto others good to attain peace because peace is attained independently of that by simply having belief in a Higher Power and principles of action follow from that belief.
Islam is the only religion which offers educational values and ideals and ideas that fit the reality of human instinct and practical living and human culture for all time. So, if your brother is rejecting Islam because he believes that human culture or society has evolved, then your brother should know that a culture moving in a certain direction is not proof of its evolving but only rightness should be and a criterion is needed to evaluate this so as to judge whether the culture is in truth evolving or devolving. And in the West, no doubt, perceivable societal evils are proliferating under the current climate which in my humble opinion speaks to the culture devolving. A good example of this is discoverable in the book authored by Pamela Paul which discusses the pornified culture of the West. (The West comprises of a pornified culture when Islam strives for a purified culture. Which then is truly evolved?) Many other books and articles discourse on the different problematic aspects of our fast-paced contemporary society and science and technology have in fact added to the complexity of the problems facing us today. Also, even a highly progressive culture is not actually proof of a culture evolving from its yesteryears and part of that is because the burden of toil continues to increase whereas in yesteryears toiling was less in terms of time and exertion whether we take the example of the hunter-gatherer societies or the nomadic.
Also, Brother, I wanted to address your last post, because that point you had made, perhaps with good intentions, distrubed me. Brother, believers are like mountains, and gusts of wind cannot shake them. So, Brother, your doubts or questions are like gusts of wind. It concerns us, Brother, because we honestly and genuinely care for you and all our brothers and sisters in our ummah and wish the best for you and them. But Brother, someone's questions, if Allah wills, never shakes our iman (faith). I say this, oh, my Brother, because do you not know that Quran says that satan is never able to seduce away Allah's sincere servants (15:40)?Purpose of Life
This is a matter on which I had previously written for a separate purpose which I post here for your brother’s perusal:
If the purpose of life is to acquire wealth, then know that wealth is a fickle mistress and its only guarantee is that you cannot of it be certain. I ask you: Do you own your possessions or do your possessions own you? If you are not even its owner but its slave, you have not found a purpose but a cruel master.
If the purpose of life is to have children, then know that if you are lucky your children will survive you but otherwise you will survive them. Either way, neither can your children fight your battles in life nor can you fight their battles in death. If your children, despite being an extension of your body, are unable to struggle on neither your behalf nor you on theirs, they are not the purpose of your life nor can you be the purpose of theirs.
If the purpose of life is play and amusement, then know that no amusement is eternal. A movie begins and it ends. You can read a novel from the first chapter only to its last. You go to the amusement park and from there onto your own home you must return. How can that which cannot hold you sustain as a purpose of life?
If the purpose of life is to “live and let live,” know that the keen instinct in human beings is to survive and reign supreme over others. The combination of competitive instincts and aggression has led to past wars and continues to be true of wars fought today. When the foundation of life on earth comprises of us, inherently flawed beings, whose cooperative involvement is necessitated in this maxim of above, how can the aforesaid ideal ever be realized? How can then that which cannot be realized be the purpose of life?
If the purpose of life is to love and be loved, know that to love is no guarantee of being loved nor does being loved guarantee on the part of the beloved the loving. Also, know that humans amidst themselves as much abuse as with this they amuse themselves. How can that which itself depends on the condition of the beloved, the one who loves, and the loving act as that on that which you depend? Can that which is so conditional on many different factors be the purpose of life?
If the purpose of life is fame, know that you will find yourself neither free of critics nor admirers. And when death comes unto you and renders you impotent in your grave, neither would your detractor’s criticisms hurt you nor the love of admirers benefit you and yet some that outlive you will not stop while others will have long forgotten. How can this be the purpose of life when you are only a small part of the dialogue of some that remember and not of most others that have long forgot?
If the purpose of life is good moral living, know that no one has the same ideas of a good moral living. It will certainly be the case that the most disliked way of good moral living will be confronted and be bypassed by the majority and the most liked way adopted. But more than that, morality in and of itself does not lend towards the heart knowing what is right or wrong because the heart likes to follow its own desires.
What then is the purpose of life?
“Life is a journey” and the purpose of life is death. But the soul’s journey does not end with death. In fact, the soul’s journey did not even begin with life. The soul’s journey is towards Allah, whether a believer or unbeliever. And that journey will be complete only after Judgment Day wherein finally the believer is rewarded and finally wherein the unbeliever is punished and the former receives as recompense Paradise and the latter receives as recompense Hell. There is no question of the soul not possessing this innate intimate knowledge of his Lord as the knowledge asserts and expresses itself via different avenues within the spiritual compass given to humanity so that each may endeavor to search and then rediscover what their true and ultimate purpose in life is.
Brother, for every doubt, knowledge is cure. But like anything in life, it takes time and effort. Brother, in religion, there are two pathways, the easy one and the hard one. The harder path is more frutiful in the long-run, but running away from religion, and turning to agnosticism or atheism, is the easier path. I tell you this because I once called myself an atheist. But Brother, you do not have to make my mistakes to learn from them. In fact, the wisest people on this earth learn from other people's mistakes. So, do not be like me, Brother; be better than me and make better choices than I once did. You have the power to choose your destiny, and Allah will guide you if you ask for His guidance. I suggest that you do ask for that Guidance, because hearts are in His control, and neither you, nor me, nor anyone else has the power to guide our ownselves without His Guidance. Also, the reason I said two pathways within religion is because you might be interested to know that once a court ruled in 2005 that atheism is also essentially a religion. And over the course of studying how atheism operates, I have to agree that atheism shares many principles in common with religion and therefore worthy of classification as a religion.
Also, Brother, I advise you sincerely to peruse the following videos, as they might answer any other lingering questions Insha-Allah:
Divine Speech Prologue 1
Divine Speech Prologue 2
Points to Ponder - Surah Fatiha
Anyway, Brother, I am a sincere advisor to you, and if Allah allows me, a servant to His creation. So, please, Brother, your benefit is also my benefit, and your gain is also my gain. So, I leave you in the hands of Allah, as you always ever were, and indeed, Allah is Trustworthy.
If I have said anything that is good and true it is from Allah and anyting other than that is my own mistake.
Last edited by Anybody; 19-05-2012 at 01:14 AM.