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In the Name of God بسم الله

ibnkevin

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  1. I think a more precise word than "fear" is needed for this conversation. I used to be terrified that I might get something wrong and that my mistakes would be the reason I might be isolated from my loved ones for eternity. That wasn't healthy but it's what many people think of when they think of "fear of God." Why should I be terrified of someone who made me out of love so that I could know Him? These days, I understand it as being aware of God. It's not that God's a bogeyman, but everything I do carries a consequence. And in my best moments, I remember that how I treat others is how I'm treating other people who were made with as much love as I was. I also try to be realistic about myself- my limitations and my faults- and ask Allah for the strength and wisdom to be a better person.
  2. As someone who has disruptive thoughts like these, I can only encourage Askari to follow the advice of IamHussaini. I can tell you that a mixture of mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication has helped me immensely, and to see these as what they are- just disruptive thoughts. And that's just works for me. What works for you might be totally different. My point is that you do have options and no matter what they are, they can be integrated into a life faithful to Allah and His messenger.
  3. I like to gather many different perspectives and I found this one to be of interest. It's by Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, who is orthodox but gives a particularly unorthodox perspective. The title of the lecture is "God is not moral and the Torah is not righteous." I didn't agree with a lot that he said, but I think his curiosity and fearlessness in the face of being labelled a heretic are admirable. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9hNrd5FTToufkNjMXA3Y0NrU2dPd3I0bUFucHNPWGRINTk4cVA0LWdTUDE1YWdUeFR2STg&usp=sharing
  4. Don't know if anyone is interested in this still, but the atheist polemicists seem to ignore that Jeremy England is actually a devout Orthodox Jew.
  5. What might not be a good idea for someone who is already a Muslim and is in the process of selecting a spouse speaks to a different reality than a person who is already married and has built a family with that person. Not to be dramatic, but I've got nearly a decade of affection and trust built up with my wife, and with her Allah delivered me to this point. Why should I despair of His mercy now?
  6. Dear Christianlady, The Hadith I referenced appears in Tirmidhi, and in Nawawi's Forty Hadith. http://40hadithnawawi.com/index.php/the-hadiths/hadith-19 I hope this helps. I am from a mixed Jewish/Catholic background, so I've spent a lot of time examining the gospels through the eyes of the Torah and the larger rabbinic tradition, if you'd ever like to talk. Jesse
  7. I will look into Ayatullah Jannati. Just so you know, I wasn't planning on throwing my hands up in despair. Coming to Shia Islam has been a gradual process based upon a conversion of heart and careful consideration of the evidence. I can't believe that Allah would lead me here only to lose hope. I just can't turn my back on a partner who has loved me and been supportive, either. And so, a disturbing thought worth thinking about. Thank you for your caring concern. Really. I appreciate you guys a lot.
  8. This is certainly interesting. Coming from someone in this situation, I can say that I assumed that fiqh would be as it is in much of current Sunni practice, permissible but not recommended. Obviously, I'll have to do a lot of reading and correspondence, but I don't know if I could ever act on a ruling like this. My wife is a great support to me and a loving partner, and a fantastic mother to my three children. It would be disruptive to their lives and hurtful to someone who has only tried to do right by me. And it would serve only to defame Islam in the eyes of my friends and family. I can only agree with counseling hikmah if you're talking to others in interfaith marriages, because this is a disruptive thought to say the least.
  9. I think that those who engage in polygamy need to be really aware of the feelings of their partner. Even if a choice is halal, it doesn't necessarily make it the best choice for that relationship. It just makes it an option. I can conceive of possibilities that would justify a woman having a partner other than her husband if that was a legal possibility. I had a friend who had shingles and due to nerve damage, sexual intercourse was a source of extreme pain as a result. His wife, who he loved a lot, was neglected as a result. They both became extremely depressed and tried to stay together for their children and because they cared for each other deeply. He loved her enough to divorce her, but now he'll be alone because nothing will ever make sex enjoyable again. Unless he finds someone asexual to be with. He would kid about letting his wife have a boyfriend... But she just wouldn't do it. I have no desire to have a second wife, nor would I be comfortable with my wife having someone else. Even if it was a halal option. I like the intimacy of monogamy, even if our desires don't always match, even if we aren't always happy with each other, this would be the halal choice for me and anyone I would be with.
  10. Salaam, Thank you for the clarification. I see a "Book of Islamic tenets" and "Practical Jurisprudence" (which I'm assuming are a statement on fundamentals of belief and his risalah, respectively) on the English version of his site. However, when I click on it, it opens up something in Arabic. This may be an issue with formatting for mobile so I'll try it on my computer later. I don't see a place to order his books, either, and I like having hard copies of certain important texts. Are you aware of a place to order them from? And jazakallah Khair for your family's help. This community is amazing. Jesse
  11. Dear tendersoul, I listened to those talks during my AM commute. They are amazing, particularly the comments on zikrullah. Your mentor has a way of making a deep notion clear and accessible. That's a precious gift. If you wouldn't mind sharing more of those recordings, I'd really appreciate it. Umm Muhammad mentioned that your teacher has composed a risalah and that there's an English version, I believe. Is there any way I could get a hold of that so that perhaps I could start there? Does your mentor take on new students (guiding their study)? And would he consider doing so at a distance via Skype and correspondence? If not, at the very least, I'd love to hear what he has to say about relationships. as-Salaamu alaykum, Umm Muhammad, A few quick questions, just to make sure that I'm looking at the right books. For the Pooya tafsir: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0940368846/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445376907&sr=8-2π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=pooya+tafsir For Mutahhari's Usul wa Fiqh: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1502538695/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445377226&sr=8-2π=SY200_QL40&keywords=jurisprudence+mutahhari&dpPl=1&dpID=61ZGZkO9tmL&ref=plSrch For Shirazi's Mantiq: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484082354/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1445376726&sr=8-1π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=summary+of+logic+shira as-Salaamu alaykum, Umm Muhammad, A few quick questions, just to make sure that I'm looking at the right books. For the Pooya tafsir: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0940368846/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445376907&sr=8-2π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=pooya+tafsir For Mutahhari's Usul wa Fiqh: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1502538695/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445377226&sr=8-2π=SY200_QL40&keywords=jurisprudence+mutahhari&dpPl=1&dpID=61ZGZkO9tmL&ref=plSrch For Shirazi's Mantiq: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484082354/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1445376726&sr=8-1π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=summary+of+logic+shira as-Salaamu alaykum, Umm Muhammad, A few quick questions, just to make sure that I'm looking at the right books. For the Pooya tafsir: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0940368846/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445376907&sr=8-2π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=pooya+tafsir For Mutahhari's Usul wa Fiqh: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1502538695/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445377226&sr=8-2π=SY200_QL40&keywords=jurisprudence+mutahhari&dpPl=1&dpID=61ZGZkO9tmL&ref=plSrch For Shirazi's Mantiq: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484082354/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1445376726&sr=8-1π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=summary+of+logic+shira as-Salaamu alaykum, Umm Muhammad, A few quick questions, just to make sure that I'm looking at the right books. For the Pooya tafsir: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0940368846/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445376907&sr=8-2π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=pooya+tafsir For Mutahhari's Usul wa Fiqh: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1502538695/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1445377226&sr=8-2π=SY200_QL40&keywords=jurisprudence+mutahhari&dpPl=1&dpID=61ZGZkO9tmL&ref=plSrch For Shirazi's Mantiq: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484082354/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1445376726&sr=8-1π=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=summary+of+logic+shira
  12. as-Salaamu alaykum, Abu Muhammad, I appreciate your recommendation of Imam Berry. His education seems impeccable and it sounds like he has a first hand grasp of the realities of living in the U.S. He hasn't published a risalah (at least I couldn't find one on his site), but the rulings that were there made sense. I may ask him a few of my more pressing questions, too. I'll definitely avail myself of any help you might have to offer or any recommendations you might have. I live in the southwestern U.S. (Tucson, AZ) and Shia communities seem to be scarce out here. With a wife and three kids, moving away from our families (particularly grandparents) is unfair right now. But that said, I'm hungry for knowledge and I'm willing to put the time I have into it. I feel like I have to for my kids and for my own growth. I figured that my learning would have to be unconventional, but knowledge is knowledge- I don't have to do a formal hawza, I just need to learn. Thank you so much, Jesse
  13. as-Salaamu alaykum, Umm Muhammad, My thanks and jazakallahi khair for your insight. Of the maraji you listed, are there any who have discussed life in the west in depth? As my wife hasn't converted, and I don't know that she will, I'm particularly interested in discussions of relationship dynamics and parenting in interfaith marriages - particularly navigating holidays and cultural events. My wife is supportive of my conversion - more than I would have expected- and I want to be supportive of her, too. I'm also politically active, and I'd be interested in food for thought on involvement in a western political system. You also basically laid out a progression of study for me (amazing) but are there any sources that are helpful for assessment of my own understanding? Tests? Reflection questions? I can read books and take notes, but then I only have my own voice and not a teacher to provide context or to challenge my understanding. Is there software or a self study format that you'd recommend for learning Arabic? Are there ulema that are willing to work with students at a distance and field questions to help put readings in context? Are these books available on-line? Thank you again, Jesse
  14. Thanks hameedah. I am Jewish by upbringing and a convert. Thank you for pointing out my negligence of my profile.
  15. Salaam Shiahislamicdawamission, I'd be interested in your advice on my own study. I am a recent convert to the Shi'ism, and don't have the resources of a nearby community. I could use any advice that you might have.
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