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In the Name of God بسم الله

Undeniable Idea of God


Zainuu

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"And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him...."
Each and every creation (makhlooq) in this universe has a natural innate attachment with the creator. Every being that is created, itself carries a signature of the creator in every form and shape and also submits to the reality of existence of its creator. This is not something for which a creature needs something from outside his being. His existence itself contains those elements that lead his way towards his creator. If we try to specify those elements within a human being, our first attention goes towards the conscience (fitrah) of a human being. This conscience is captured in our soul and is completely intrinsic to our being. The spirit is the being which is the home of conscience while body is just the outer representation of our being.
Our conscience is the one which tells us the right and wrong and all such moral principles. Hence, it needs to have an orientation or inclination. Orientation will set a direction for a being and finally a direction will have no end without an inspiration. So, basically, every spirit has a conscience which sets the moral principles and in order to do that, we ultimately and naturally need an ultimate inspiration. The entity that might act as an inspiration can have a scope. But there needs to be one entity, neither more nor less, which needs to be above every entity. To explain this mess, I would like to take an example of a student pursuing a career:
Let's suppose that a person has an orientation of caring and healing others. A sudden thought comes to his/her mind that he/she should become a doctor. Also, he/she defines certain objectives to achieve his/her career. This is the direction that was taken according to the orientation. According to the scope of final objective, inspiration or motivation is also recognized. And finally, he/she goes to the school and college and studies to become a doctor which is the path to reach the inspiration.
If we carefully notice this example, everything is clear-as-sky that the career path selected is due to the orientation which acts as a cause and it is pointing towards a direction to become something which is guided by the inspiration. And the inspiration here can be multiple but one, the ultimate is definitely needed. So, that states our point of view that the idea of God is an idea of ultimate inspiration which is undeniable if we have a conscience that is willing to set it's moral principles. Now, because taking care of morality is intrinsic to our conscience, the idea of god is also intrinsic and an innate reality which cannot be denied by our conscience.
This argument stated above begs a question. What about the conscience of a person who denies the existence of God? The simple answer is that it is impossible. Because it is not our words that testify to the idea of God but it is our conscience and our conscience doesn't work exactly according to us. Every being has an ultimate inspiration within his self. If someone denies that ultimate inspiration, his self will start recognizing something else as an inspiration and if he still denies this new inspiration then his self will cling to something else and so on. So, denying the idea of God means ultimately denying the idea of existence or submitting to something at some point by stopping the loop of denial. My physics teacher in school once said that most of the scientists our athiests and they don't believe in god. But he was forced to conclude his statement by saying that there god is nature. So, one can say that 'his idea of god is different than others' but cannot deny the idea itself. So, we conclude that atheism by definition has no value and it is fundamentally impossible to deny the existence of God. And the Holy Quran states in this context:
"The seven heavens declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving." Al Isra (17:44)
The above verse shows how the idea of God is within every creation. And another verse which states that how our conscience says opposite to what a proponent of athiesm might say:
"Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day." Al Isra (17:14)
Our self definitely contains this fundamental idea of god and that is the reason it will be a proof against us finally. Also, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states, "The one who recognized his self, recognized his lord" implying that ultimately our self consists all those fundamentals we need to understand the idea of God in its entirety. So, now let us go further to address what is left with us.
We see that ultimately we now have to see what can be the possible reality of God. And we shall only use the most basic rational ways to reach the results inshallah. We can easily think of some possiblilities. Either God is one or more than one. Within these two broad categories of reality of God lies a long list of classifications. We are not going to mention them as it is not at all necessary to ponder on each and every speculation regarding these categories. Definition of more than one gods is followed in the polytheistic systems. This is a possibility but let us match this idea with what our self testifies. It doesn't matter for us over here whether Gods are two, three or more than that but the fact of the matter is that does our pure and perfect self which is the essence of our being accept it? Our self contains the innate idea of God which must be an ultimate inspiration. Can we have more than one ultimate inspiration? If we have many inspirations within our idea of God, those inspirations should either be absolutely equal or they should differ from each other. If they are equal then why are they having multiple forms? There multiple forms is a proof of the fact that they are different. Even if there forms are identical in a way that they are exactly a replica of each other then they cannot be absolute or independent. Because a replica needs to have an original version which means it depends on it's original form and that implies that it is not absolute but rather relative to the existence of the original version. Another proof is there similarlity which itself testifies that they are not unique.
So, absoluteness with exact equality is impossible and hence we are left with another option that they are different. Now, being different is itself a proof that one inspiration is better than another and one is best of all of them. So, again the multiplicity of the inspiration will finally melt down into a single inspiration which is best of all of them. We see this in the polythiestic faiths where one god is better than other and one of them is best of all. Because establishing such an idea is possible but it will not sustain. It will finally break into a hierarchy. This defeats the argument of multiple gods. As the gods which are different, comparative and have a hierarchy can be an inspiration but not ultimate inspiration. Our soul is traversing on a path which should end up on the absolute, the ultimate inspiration and objective rather than a passer-by-checkpoint or a short term goal. A doctor will never settle alone with a medical science degree. He/she will explore more unless and until he reaches a point where he doesn't need to strive further.
The Holy Quran challenges the idea of multiple gods or even a lower form of god by stating:
Do not associate with Allah any other god, lest you sit down despised, neglected. Al Isra (17:22)
This verse is not neglecting the possibility of a human being to accept multiple gods but rather it is clarifying that one would not achieve and would be finally neglected and despised if they do so. Because, naturally it means lowering the bar of the objective and inspiration which will be problematic for none but the self of the person as his soul will loose the ability to explore, think and ascend further. Finally, submitting to something less than the ultimate inspiration actually means submitting to someone who carries it's own inspiration. As Quran says:
"Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord-- whoever of them is nearest-- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of." Al Isra (17:57)
So, we notice how beautifully these verses state which is extremely fundamental to our souls. How these verses convert the fundamentals of every being into words and negate the reality of polythiestic ideologies. The verses of Quran are definitely speaking the voice of our self here which we don't listen. Concluding the above argument, we stand clear that atheism is impossible and an athiest has a god which he submits but is unaware of his own submission. And polytheism which might be a possible inclination will vanish if we deeply ponder upon the fundamentals of our self. We will understand if we ponder carefully that all the entities that we accidently thought of as gods were short of being an ultimate inspiration.
Now, if we enter into the realm of monotheism, we again need to deal with several questions. Now, the focus of discussion has shifted from 'what is the suitable idea of god?' to 'how should we define a single inspiration/God?' There can be a few possibilities. But those possibilties are not what we are looking to identify but rather what our soul will find to be the best. We need to understand that we are not forcing our conscience to accept something which is not asked for and is inferior. The concept of a single inspiration is proven but that inspiration should fit into the exact criteria of what our conscience fundamentally wants. It was stated in the above discussion that there must be atleast one ultimate inspiration above all that should suffice the requirement of our final destiny or objective on this journey of our soul. Further, we also stated while having an argument on polytheism that inspiration can be comparative and different but such inspiration cannot be considered ultimate inspiration. It might be the best among all but if it is comparable then it is not unique. Our ultimate inspiration should be one, unique, independent and above everything while being the origin of everything. Can an entity within the realm of creation fulfill such a criteria? Can we call a creation, an origin of other creation? Even if this creation is not known to us or it is something really amazing and out of the box? The problem over here is that, whatever it might be, it is still a creation and hence it doesn't fulfills the criteria of being above all. Because, it lies withing the realm of creation and is remotely comparable to something even if the comparison is not that close. A star we see in the sky might be a million light years apart but the distance is still finite and it can be compared to other stars because it is has all the features of a star. So, this short example shows that our conscience will never settle with an ultimate inspiration which is not unique in all aspects and has nothing remotely similar. One might say, what about this universe as a single entity? Well, this universe is a system which is dependent upon several physical forces and natural phenomenas and if we contemplate the origin of these forces we are left with a question mark. It doesn't suffice the criteria of the self that the inspiration should be independent. So, whatsoever we might imagine and regardless of how much we move ahead, our self searches for more.
We our left with nothing but to take an option of this ultimate inspiration which is away from all bounds. This process of reasoning to reach the final conclusion is quite clear in the Holy Book (Qur'an) where Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) says:
So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones.
Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people.
Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: O my people! surely I am clear of what you set up (with Allah).

Al Anaam (6:76-78)

As Imam Ali (عليه السلام) states the definition of that one god, the ultimate inspiration below:
Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks......
He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
(excerpts of Nahj ul Balagha sermon 1)
As Amir al Mumineen (عليه السلام) defines, this is the ultimate destiny and inspiration our self is looking for and this is the only inspiration which can set pure moral standards for our conscience. Hence, this is the best and most beautiful definition of monotheism as it is testified by the soul and it is fundamental and intrinsic within ourselves.
Concluding this entire discussion now, we reach a conclusion which is solely given to us by our pure soul and our conscience. Similar to this, as described in the above verses, every particle in this entire universe is in complete servitude to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) (the ultimate inspiration). Hence, while setting up moral principles, they should be derived from this inspiration and nothing else. Such should be the fundamental of the religion of our conscience. Therefore, monotheism in theory and in action is our fundamental principle whether we accept it or deny it. As the verse below says:
"Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray...." Al Isra (17:15)
At last, the acting upon this principle just means pure servitude. We end on where we started. Serving the commandment of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the only way to act upon the principle of monotheism and for this Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given commandments in his book of principles i.e Quran. Along with this he has brought the guiding inspirations which are not the ultimate inspirations but just the checkpoints on the path. Not the destiny but the bridge that connects to destiny. These are the prophets and Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). This is just a brief Islamic point of view to elaborate the principle of monotheism and not necessarily the scope of our discussion for now. In this way we conclude our discussion by claiming from the purity of our soul that:
"Verily, we belong to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and verily to him do we return."
[Al Baqarah (2:156)]

Edited by Zainuu

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      Q2.
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      ·         Furthermore, one may contemplate the question: Didn’t any of the Muslims ask the Prophet how they are to govern themselves after him? What about the Sahabah who are held at such a high status? Didn’t any of them ask the question?
       
      ·         Questions we as Muslims may ask:
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      -        Did he set up an Islam method of how to elect the ruler?
      -        If he had left choosing the ruler to the Muslims (and the Sahabah) to decide, did he tell them how to do it?
      -        Did he tell them the proper Islamic system of election? Or did he leave them to be confused about such a paramount issue?
      -        Why would he leave them without clarifying to them what to do?
      -        Is this expected of a wise person, let alone the last Prophet of Allah?
      -        If there is Islamic system of election, where can we find it?
      -        Are there any hadiths on this issue, since it is so important, and the Muslims were divided because of it?
      -        Since governing is paramount in Islam for justice to prevail (as we mentioned above) why can’t we find proper and abundant fiqh derived directly from the Quran and hadiths about it?
      -        If none of the above, then it would appear that Islam is not a complete religion as the Quran, and the Muslims claim.
      -        Is this acceptable?
      -        Why is this subject so unclear and engulfed by so much confusion, while the Prophet told us everything else, even how to wash when we go to the toilet?
      -        Is this confusion deliberate?
      -        Why?
      -        Who is behind it? And who benefited from it?
       
      ·         What about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? Did He leave this important issue without clarification to the Muslims (who are humans and can make mistakes) without telling them what to do, and how to do it?
      ·         If so, then if there is injustice due to the wrong choice of ruler, we should blame Allah for not showing us the way.
      -        Is this acceptable?
      -        Isn’t it kufr to believe that?
      ·         If this is not acceptable, and we believe it is not, then we should categorically claim that the solution is available somewhere. And in a very clear way.
       
      Every Conceivable Probability
       
      Every conceivable probability, reasoning and justification are acceptable, no matter how illogical they are, except the one probability that the Prophet named a person to be after him. This probability is never logical, never included, and never accepted. As if the Prophet had no right, or did not know how, to select a good Sahabi to succeed him.
       
      The Sunnah of the Prophet
       
      The Sunna of the Prophet is everything he said, did or gave tacit approval to.
       
      For those who believe that the Prophet left choosing the ruler to the Muslims (and the Sahabah) to decide, then it is a sunnah, and should be followed and abided by. Also, this sunnah must be Allah’s order and command, because the Prophet applies the Quran to the letter. It should not be disobeyed.
       
      ·         Why did Abu Bakr not abide by this Sunnah when he appointed Omar to rule after him? Is this not disobeying the sunnah?
      ·         Is this a new phenomenon that was not part of the Islam of the Prophet (i.e. a bid’ah) that Abu Bakr invented?
      ·         Is disobeying the sunnah, not disobeying Allah?
      ·         Also, when Omar accepted to be appointed, is this not disobeying the sunnah, and the command of Allah?
      ·         Omar, in turn, appointed a group of 6 people to choose the successor after him:
      -        Is this not disobeying the sunnah and the command of Allah?
      -        Where did this number 6 come from?
      -        Is this number 6 available in the Quran or sunnah?
      -        How were these 6 people selected out of the rest of the Sahabah?
      -        From an Islamic point of view, what are the virtues and abilities of these 6 people to be eligible as rulers?
      -        Is there anything about that in the fiqh books?
      -        Were there no other Muslims worthy of including in this group?
      -        Where is this information available?
       
      ·         The Imam Ali was the leader of the Muslim army during the time of the Prophet. Is this not a sunnah?
      ·         Why is it that the first three Kalifas did not abide by it?
      ·         Where is the military role of Imam Ali during their reign?
       
       
      Justification
      For those who say that Abu Bakr appointed Omar because the situation required it. We may ask:
       
      ·         Abu Bakr’s actions major decisions should all be Islamic. Is appointing a ruler after his death Islamic?
      ·         Is it in the Quran?
      ·         Is it a Sunnah?
      ·         Did the Prophet give Abu Bakr this right?
      ·         When the Prophet died, was the Muslim situation so good that they did not need the Prophet to appoint a successor for him? Or at least an advice for them as to what to do?
      ·         What about the fact that the Ansar and Muhajireen (who assembled in Saqifat Bani Sa’ida and were discussing who should be the ruler for three days) drew their swards and almost killed each other due to the fact that the arguments and disagreements between them were so high, while the Prophet’s body was still not buried?
      ·         Did this situation not warrant the Prophet to advise them about it?
      ·         Did the Prophet know this would happen?
      ·         Did Allah not tell the Prophet that this would happen, and what to do to evert it?
      ·         Was is it proper for the Sahabah to meet for three days to argue about this issue (meeting and arguing for three days means there was a big disagreement between them), leaving the Prophet body not buried?
      ·         Imagine the Sahabah meeting for the first whole day. During this day they would go home to eat then come back to the meeting (perhaps more than once). They go to the toilet. They pray etc. They go home to sleep, then come back to the meeting. They did this for three days, and the body of the Prophet is left without them attending to it (except Imam Ali, the Prophet’s family, and a few notable Sahabah who did not attend the meetings).
      ·         Was this proper of the powerful Sahabah to do?
      ·         Is this a show of respect to the Prophet, who is the beloved of Allah, the Creator of all things?
       
      The Guardianship of Islam
       
      Guardianship goes beyond ruling. In fact, ruling is part of this guardianship, and the guardian must be the ruler, otherwise how can he have the required influence and authority to protect Islam and the Muslims?
       
      ·         Who was the guardian of Islam?
      ·         Naturally the Prophet himself was the guardian.
      ·         Who made him the guardian?
      ·         Allah did, since Allah is the ultimate guardian. Islam is Allah’s religion.
      ·         Did Islam need a guardian after the Prophet?
      ·         Who is the guardian after the Prophet death?
      ·         Who appoints him? Shouldn’t it be God since it is His religion, and He is the one who knows the best person for the task?
       
      Most Muslims at the time of the Prophet were new to Islam. Some entered into Islam only few years before the Prophet died. Most people did not know how to read or write, and needed someone to explain the Quran and the rules to them. Understanding the Quran and its explanation is not a simple matter that one can take lightly. Even at our present time, with the high education available, we still need someone specialised to explain the Quran properly. There has to be one person, or a group of Sahabah, who should have been able to do that.
       
      But there is a problem:
       
      What about if the Sahabah make a mistake? Is the correct interpretation lost forever? In other words; the real Islam is lost for ever.
       
      For the person, or group of Sahabah, to be such that they don’t make a mistake,
       
      ·         This person, or a group of Sahabah, must be chosen by the Prophet himself because he is the only one who knows the eligible person, or persons, for the task.
      ·         But how does the Prophet know?
      ·         He must be told by Allah. In other words, it is the command of Allah.
      ·         Then, the guardian, or guardians, must be chosen by Allah who knows the eligible ones to guard his accepted religion.
      ·         Hence, guardianship is Allah’s appointment. This point is of paramount importance that we need to pay attention to.
      ·         It cannot be perceived that Allah leaves such an important issue to humans, who can make mistakes, to decide.
       
      Some may say that a group of Sahabah will make sure that they tell each other and make sure that Islamic rules are preserved.
       
      The question, then, becomes:
       
      ·         How may Sahabah are required to make sure that Islam is preserved?
      ·         Who choses these Sahabah?
      ·         And who are these Sahabah?
      ·         Some say if ten Sahabah (as a minimum) agree on a verse in the Quran, then it is right, and that how the Muslims put the Quran together during the time of the Khalifah Uthman.
      ·         Why ten?
      ·         Is this an infallible number?
      ·         Who decided on the ten?
      ·         Where did this magic number come from?
      ·         Is it in the Quran? No.
      ·         Is it the order of Allah? No.
      ·         Did the Prophet say it? No.
      ·         This also entails, for us Muslims, that the number ten should be acceptable for any other subject. Is this acceptable?
      ·         If none of the above, then we discard the tales related to this number, particularly with regards to putting the Quran together during the time of the Khalifah Uthman.
      ·         Furthermore, these people are telling us the number of people is more important than one actually knowledgeable person. Shouldn’t the level of expertise be more important than the number of people?
       
       
      The Companions:
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 62 (Al-Jumu’a), verse 11:
       
      وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
      But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, "What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers."
       
      Surat Al-Jumu’a was revealed to the Prophet on the sixth year of Hijrah. That is 5 years before the Prophet died. Even then, most Muslims (except few, and it is said 12 of them) used to leave him while he was delivering the Juma’a speech of the Juma’a prayer to go to worldly things, to the extent that necessitated Allah to dress them down.
       
      People say all the Sahabah maintain justice and piousness. So, whoever you follow, you will be guided. This is in direct contradiction to the above verse.
       
      This is also in direct contradiction to Chapter 63, in the Quran: المنافقون Al-Munaafiqoon (The Hypocrites). This chapter clearly says that there were hypocrites who were part of what we now call Sahabah (since Sahabah are defined as anyone who saw the profit even once).
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 9 (At-Tawba), verse 101:
       
      وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَعْرَابِ مُنَٰفِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُواْ عَلَى ٱلنِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍۢ
      And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.
       
      Prophet Moses and the Israelites
       
      The events of the Prophet Moses with the Israelites that the Quran tells us are eye opening examples.
       
      The Israelites saw with their own eyes how Prophet Moses split the sea with his stick. They crossed the sea to safety while the water was high around them. No one told them the event as a story. It happened to them first hand. Only a few days later when Moses left them to converse with Allah, they gathered the gold from women. Every woman donated her gold to make a calf, and worship it.
       
      The Quran goes on about other stories of the Israelites with Prophet Moses.
       
      Most people think that this behavior is a characteristic of the Israelites. They forget that the Israelites are humans like everybody else, and that this behavior is a human behavior of those who are either not believers, or they are new to the belief and don’t fully understand it.
       
      The Quran tells as many stories about the people of the Prophets.
       
      Why do Muslims think that the new Muslims during the time of the Prophet Muhammed are any different while the Quran, and the Prophet himself told them that they will behave no different from the people before them.
       
      The Quran says in Chapter 3 (AaL Imraan), verse 144:
       
      وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِنْ مَاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ
      Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So, if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
       
       
    • By Abdul-Hadi in Chasing Islam
         3
      I am alone at home for the week. Mom has gone to visit my aunt & uncle in New York state. I'm happy for her because she hasn't gone on a vacation since before COVID19 began it's rampage through America; so it's good that she's getting to visit them. She'll be visiting with my cousin Hannah as well. However, it's just me here with the cats (after all someone had to stay around to feed, water, scoop, and spend time with them). I have the house to myself for a week. Just me, completely alone and that got me thinking about my progress in Islam.

      There is a masjid here in town. A Sunni masjid but a masjid nonetheless. I have gone there before when I was first investigating Islam, but not since I have decided to follow the Shia. I wanted to attend Jummah today, but the masjid is still closed because of COVID19. Unfortunately, even if the masjid was open, I can only think that I would be castigated by nitpicking brothers for how I pray, the way I perform the wudhu, and have to get into debates that I am not prepared for (and don't want to get into) as to why I "pray the wrong way" and how I am a heathen, so on and so forth. There is no Shia Islamic Center anywhere remotely close to my hometown. The closest one is 120 miles to the north of me and that's simply too far to drive for a Jummah service every week with the price of gas being what it is and me not even working at the time being (as well as not being able to leave the county without permission, but we won't get into that).

      It makes me lonely as a revert. A revert who is the only Muslim in his family, let alone his household. I read through the Quran, sure but a lot of brothers and sisters have and many of them many more times that I already have. I have no background with the Hadith and don't know how to determine which are reliable, which I am allowed to use, and how to read them. I have no older brothers who can mentor me in Islam, as I feel like I am the only Shia in the area even if that is not true. What I liked about being a Christian, despite the glaring theological problems with Christianity, was the community and fellowship that was available to me at any of the hundreds of churches in the area. There were older Christians who could mentor me in the faith, Bible studies that were run that I could attend, service work in the community I could participate in... the communal aspect of religion is very important; but sadly I do not have any of those luxuries right now whether it's because of the town I live in or whether it's because I'm in the minority of an already minority religion in America. On one hand, I find myself wishing that Islam in America was like Christianity while on the other hand, for reasons I'll not get into here that I've already outlined in numerous threads, I thank Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that it is different entirely. Shia Islam, despite being the minority of a minority in America, has yet to become infected and corrupted the way that Christianity has and inshallah, it never will. Inshallah, Islam in America will truly grow in to the "fastest growing religion" and will bring about a revival of traditional values and morality that this country desperately needs.

      But before that day comes, what is there that can be done?

      The answer: cling closely to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), the example of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Glorious Quran. Read it every day without ceasing, when you finish the final surah-- go back to the beginning and start over again. Make your five daily prayers wherein you spend time with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and for those five wonderful times throughout the day, spend time before Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Recite the Tasbih. Renew your Wudhu always. Read Islamic literature and watch Khutbas, and offer dua that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) might bring you some upright brothers to fellowship and pray along with, who encourage you as you encourage them. Perfect your prayers (which can be quite the challenge for Westerners with no background in Islam or Arabic). Enjoin good and forbid evil. Do the little things for family and friends to let Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) light shine through you and make this world a better place.

      Being alone in your deen can be rough, it can certainly test your resolve to stay on the right path. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) never tests you beyond what he knows that you can handle and like steel in a furnace, these tests are to refine you into something more beautiful. Alhamdulillah.
    • By 3wliya_maryam in spoken words/poetry/ deep thinking
         4
      The correlation between OCD and being sensitive may apply only to some people. There is no clear evidence that highly sensitive individuals are prone to the disorder, although one of the symptoms indicate sensitivity to be a major factor. For instance, one may begin to obsess over hygiene as they fear being contaminated or infected with bacteria at home, so they start washing their hands repeatedly or attempting to maintain the cleanliness of the house. They are sensitive to any foreign substance present within their surrounding environment.
      In Islam, we must sustain purity before prayer. That means performing ablution or a full body ritual purification that is called 'ghusl'. Nevertheless, one may start developing doubts as to whether they are truly purified. Women may have doubts about discharge whilst men may begin to worry about excreting semen. Perhaps their clothes were impure, or that they passed gas during prayer. It could lead to repeatedly showering, performing ablution or using the bathroom more frequently. For the individual it is undoubtedly stressful and can lead to physical health problems, such as dry skin and hair as well as acne.
      The flashback memories of my past childhood always affects me till this day. I was born as a sensitive and naive child. Sensitivity is that one trait people often despise, even the carriers of it. I was faced with difficulties for self acceptance, because not only did I loathe my self for my overreacting personality, I was a victim of fat shaming. I wanted to feel happy, free of worries by claiming my desires. But unfortunately we do not live in a Utopian world; not everything we wish for can be granted, unless we choose to put the effort. I definitely take it to heart if someone still fat shamed me, even if it was merely a 'joke'. It evokes all my memories of self loathe, where I was rather too young to be feeling insecure followed by wasted effort from dieting and physical activity. We dislike being called sensitive despite us being fully aware. We refuse to admit our behaviours because we choose to not be defined by it. We feel weak, with no self control towards our impulses. When these emotions begin to overwhelm us, our mental health deteriorates. We feel violated if one makes a remark, which leads us being defensive.
      One must also understand that sensitive people can vary. Some are just easily emotional and have deep empathy, whereas others I previously mentioned have the tendency to take everything so personal. Normally these individuals have insecurities followed by low self esteem and hence their weakness is criticism. They are not skilled to ignore varying perceptions because they choose to listen to them and not their own conscious mind. It is the fear of judgement that they may receive.
      You may be wondering about its relevance to scrupulosity, but in some form it plays a role. Again, it is not necessarily the cause of the disorder and this is only an elucidation of my own personal experience. I investigated within myself and realised that one of the triggers towards OCD was my highly sensitive personality. Followed by the altering chemical changes, my overreactions led to repetitive self harm out of guilt and loathe. My personality may have been a stepping stone towards the disorder; the smallest of things I felt was a grave sin and through time it only had gotten worse.
      Do not let others define you, a very important lesson that I wish I had grasped years ago. People like to manipulate and make you feel bad, even though you may be the victim. That does not mean you should play its role, rather you should only believe in what your heart feels right. Sometimes we know that our very own mind controls us too and causes us to react or act in ways we regret later, but do not let the past define you. Every now and then I feel hurt from my own levels of faith, because when you have that love and dedication to the Lord, the judgements you receive will become meaningless.
       
       
    • By Hameedeh in Think Positive
         21
      Marriage is not easy. You have to get to know each other. You are used to doing everything your own way. Now you need to compromise. Share with each other. Give and take. If you take more than you give, it won't be as sweet. Do not expect more from your spouse than your spouse will need from you. Life is good. It's better when you are together. If you both do your best. 
      ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      My eyes tear up at this kalaam... O Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)... Please reveal Imam Mahdi (عليه السلام) soon and make us amongst his supporters...
       
       
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