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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by HopefulBeliever

  1. Thank you all for your level-headed and respectful responses... some things to think about. I highly doubt I'll follow through given the stigma attached and the potential consequences of following through. I will continue to search for a long-term husband for the time being but seriously the (halal) dating world is tough... and it feels impossible to find somebody. I may take you up on your offer at some point - thank you! Likewise, happy to give feedback.
  2. It's a very valid point which I've been thinking about. I doubt I'd follow through... I'm just doing some research. I just don't want to be celibate for the rest of my life. Isn't this a major double standard and doesn't it wrongly put virgin women on a pedestal?
  3. Thanks for your response. I guess that makes sense but was hoping that people would respond on here because SC has a level of anonymity.
  4. I’m wondering how common it is for women to do mut’ah. I’m in my late 20s and have tried every avenue to try and find a suitable long term husband. I’m thinking about this as an option in order to avoid haram.
  5. Are you serious? You should be able to wear as little as you want in the privacy of your own bedroom. I wear shorts and a vest top around the house on a hot summers day. Let’s not make Islam harder than it needs to be. What your mother is suggesting is cultural.
  6. Salam alakum, First of all I'd like to thank you @sirat-al-nur for your wonderful, heartfelt and thoughtful response. I have read your post a few times and it has made think about some things a bit differently. It also brings me a lot of comfort so thank you. Also, thank you to the kind soul who PM-ed me to offer their help and support (you know who you are). Honestly it's people like you who show me the potential of God's love, guidance and light and bring me some hope despite how I am feeling. Thanks to the others who have sent supportive messages too. There are a few others who haven't really fully grasped where I'm at. I don't need things "proven" to me...or I am not here for a debate. I am having a genuine crisis of faith and have listed some of the potential reasons that may have influenced my change in heart. As I have said, I have always experienced peaks and troughs with my level of spirituality which I know is completely normal but never have I lost that connection with God. I don't feel him present, I don't feel that faith and love that I once felt. I say "alhamdillalah" but I don't feel anything. I pray and it is a purely physical act. My crisis is a crisis of the heart. This pains me. It's a struggle. Your duaas are much appreciated. P.S. thank you @ShiaofAli12 I will give this a listen inshA.
  7. @starlight thank you for your well wishes and responding to my post. It does give me some comfort that I am not the only one experiencing this. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) show us the light and guide us. @ShiaofAli12 thank you for your thoughtful message. I appreciate that we all go through moments where we experience dips in faith but this is the first time it has happened to such a degree which is why I'm feeling so troubled. I've felt disconnected to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and spirituality in the past but on this occasion I am outright doubting my faith in Islam. This feels very different. Nevertheless you have given me food for thought. Over the past year or so I have taken on some part-time formal Islamic study but I think committing to a series of lectures may be a good way to go as lecture series give a more motivating/ inspiring angle than academic study. Also reflecting and digging deeper into Qur'an is a good suggestion. If you could point me to some of the relevant/ helpful Imam Ali hadith you mention about feeling disconnected to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that might be helpful. @pseudonym thanks for your response. I can accept that the context in which revelation was revealed was a very different context and we have to look at hadiths and texts in this light but it does feel like a lot of texts do allude to the inferiority of women and I find that the majority of Muslims just accept this and move on. If the majority of Muslims came to a consensus that a lot of these texts should be reinterpreted/ rejected fine but this doesn't tend to happen. @Shahrukh K I am going to ignore you as you sound like a troll. God forbid one of your friend's approaches with you these challenges and you respond in this way. You're more likely to push them away from the religion.
  8. Salam alakum, I’ve experienced peaks and troughs of faith during my life which I figure is normal however I’ve never felt the way I do right now. I currently don’t feel the presence of God in my heart like I used to and it’s been like that for the past month or so. My genuine faith and love the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) isn’t there anymore. Tbh although I’ve always had utmost respect for the Ahlulbayt I’ve never had enough knowledge to develop a deep love for them but now I have little interest for them. I’m still keeping up my salat but I’m doing it out of habit and I know I’m just going through the motions. I’ve occasionally read the Quran over the past few weeks and although I do enjoy the melodical nature of it hasn’t helped. Sadly I have nobody to turn to about this and I’m genuinely not sure what to do. It makes me sad because I want to bring this faith back. On the simplest level my identity is rooted in Islam so I want to resolve this for that reason. Also this life isn’t satisfactory enough and I want to believe there is something better to come. Just to fill you in on where my mind/ faith is at right now- from a purely logical view I have always known there to be a higher power and creator . Also there are parts of Islam I have always seen as very progressive and liberating for humanity and society (compared to any other system I have come across). I like the holistic nature of it. You may also wonder where these feelings may have come from and I don’t think I’d be able to pinpoint it exactly but here are some potential reasons in no particular order-— 1) I get overwhelmed by the level of pain and injustice in the world a lot of the time and perhaps can’t reconcile this with the belief there is a just God. 2) I’m living in a secular society where there is always a strong anti-religion sentiment and liberal culture and media. There is some islamaphobia and as a hijabi even if it’s not explicit you are under estimated and treated as a second class citizen. 3) As a woman I feel there is very little space to be well and truly part of Islamic mosques and spaces. Women are always tucked into a side room and I genuinely feel like a second class citizen in Muslim spaces. Again, I feel that women are underestimated in the Muslim community as a whole and are not treated as an equal. Please note that my family and friendship circles are quite progressive in that regard. I’ve always been surrounded by successful and confident women and have been raised to be my best self (professionally and spirituality). 4) One thing that I have always struggled with is the embedded misogyny in Islamic text - whether it is Hadith, Qur’an etc. As somebody who is very very passionate about women’s rights this has always been a struggle for me. Any time I mentally come to terms with one Hadith or aya another one crops up. The most recent one is about a Hadith that says Imam Mahdi’s army (AF) will have a lot more men than women and justifies this by hinting that women are inferior (I can’t remember the exact reasoning or wording). 4) I can count over 10+ friends or acquaintances who have taken their hijab off over the past 5 years or so. One quite close friend who was very practising took her hijab off and told me she is not convinced about Islam and is searching for the truth. I wonder if to some degree this has had an impact on me. When she said this to me at the time I was very sad, disappointed and worried for her. 5) I am currently experiencing some mental health issues- depression, existential issues, anxiety which contributes to my inability to see beauty in the world. These issues have always existed though and my faith has helped get me through. I have decided that I need professional help so am seeking a therapist (bit of a struggle to find one right now). 6) Although I am blessed with a good job, income, good friends and family I have struggled to find a husband and have prayed for this (and been very proactive) yet nothing has come off this. Deep down I feel like this is a simple ask but why has God not granted me with this. Also if God has created me with a need for companionship and physical affection why would this not be fulfilled? If you have read this post all the way through, thank you for taking the time out to do this. I am here because I have nobody to turn to. Any help or guidance is welcome. Although I am quite thick skinned I would appreciate your compassion/ empathy too.
  9. Because I am a woman and I feel disadvantaged by the religion I have chosen. Try stepping into a woman’s shoes for a few weeks...
  10. Salam alakum, I realise the irony of my screen name and my topic of discussion. I have never expressed this so openly to anybody so I'd appreciate if you respond sensitively and thoughtfully. Sadly despite living in a country with many Muslim communities, speakers and Islamic centres I have nobody to turn to to have this conversation openly and frankly. This is a failure which can be addressed on a different day. I grew up in a Shi'i practicing balanced Arab household, with a light-touch Islamic education with exposure to lots of popular speakers. From my teenage days I remember that there were always certain expectations and curfews that I experienced but that my brother didn't. This is likely to be because of a mixture of cultural and religious reasons. I still had a lot of freedom but I always felt like men have a better deal in every domain- freedom, financial, control etc. Growing up I started to realise the occasional misogynistic things speakers would say on the pulpit... backed up by hadith, quran etc. I don't think I need to spell out what these are but they relate to the permissibility of wife beating, polygamy, unequal share of inheritance, husbands control over wife etc etc. When I asked my parents they would give me vague answers and brush it off. Similarly speakers would skirt around it, down-play the meaning and essentially I have never been fully satisfied with the answers. Last year I started to take up Islamic study at the Al-Mahdi Institute- a very progressive institute which encourages the study of a diverse range of research and texts. I was driven because of my desire to get closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) but also to learn for myself what Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says about women and their rights. I am studying part-time so it's still very early days and I have started to discover "alternative" non traditional interpretations of some texts. However, I still get the feeling that there is an apologetic reading of Islamic texts and I cannot ignore the swathes of misogynistic texts (from main sources) and interpretations. It has been 10-15 years and I still do not feel satisfied with the answers I am getting. Also, I am in my late 20s and have struggled to find a suitable husband. This will be due to multiple reasons but deep down I know it is partly because I cannot deal with overtly traditional views that a man is in control of the woman. I understand men and women are different but sadly even men raised in the west who act "modern" freak out when I talk about women's rights due to the level of ingrained misogyny. I have faith in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)'s- I have experienced His love and feel like He is watching over me. i feel like without my faith and prayer and spirituality I would be nothing. Even recently I felt like He was calling me to pursue Islamic studies to find the answers. However I am truly struggling with the wider Islamic religion and what mainstream Muslims are preaching. Please note that one of my close friends who I would have previously classed as religious has abandoned Islam and is looking for truth elsewhere. This saddens me... I couldn't comfort her... but I can see why she decided to leave as sad as it is to say... Also, I have one other friend who have abondoned the hijab... lives a none Islamic lifestyle and she's married a non- Muslim man. I can see how tempting this is. Unfortunately, I feel like I'd be more likely to meet a suitable man who is non- Muslim than a Muslim because many Muslim men can be so closed minded in my experience. Please note that the men in my life (my father and my brother) are incredible human beings that treat women with utmost respect so it's not to say I don't have good examples of good men in my life...
  11. Erm... this post took an interesting turn. Thanks to those that stayed on topic and for leaving thoughtful responses. It would be good to hear from those with experiences marrying into Sunni families. My Sunni friend interested me to a good Sunni guy which is what triggered this post FYI.
  12. Salam alakum, I have posted before about my difficulty in finding a Shia male spouse. I haven’t even come close to finding somebody so I would appreciate that for this post you do not advice me to do this as I know this is the ideal scenario/ options. I would like to know your experiences of meeting and marrying somebody Sunni. How did you navigate the process. Is there anything you’ve learnt or what would you do differently? I would rather you share your own personal experiences or those of somebody you are genuinely close to. I’d just like to say I am in two minds about whether marrying a Sunni would be a realistic option for me but I do want to be open minded about this as I don’t want to be alone forever and this is a halal route.
  13. Just a metal pizza dish which worked out ok. I had it with shakshuka, a Moroccan breakfast dish . Only thing is I used too much oil to coat the pan so I would use less oil if I was doing this again.
  14. I tried this today and it was delicious and surprisingly moist!!! My dad bought gram flour by mistake a few months ago and wasn’t sure how to use it up. You can buy gram/ chickpea flour from south Asian/ Pakistani stores it’s a staple in their diet as it’s used for pakoras.
  15. I eat a gluten free diet and just came across this. I’ve never heard of this type of bread. What’s the origin? Can’t wait to try it as we have tons of chickpea flour. Also I love the za’atar addition in the recipe! I don’t have a cast iron skillet, could you recommend an alternative?
  16. Salam Alakum, I am currently working full- time from home during this pandemic and would like to help wherever I can. I have heard that there is a shortage of volunteers in the community, particularly women, able to do ghusl for the dead. I have just registered to be trained to be able to perform ghusl. I’ve never seen a dead body before and have never fully considered doing this. One of the reasons I’m doing this is because I beleive it is our duty to step up at this difficult time. Many of us have signed the petition asking the UK government to ensure Muslims are not cremated during this pandemic but are we ready to actually support? As I’m sure you’ll agree, it is important that a Muslim has a dignified ghusl and burial. If you have any (short) recommended reads around the importance of an Islamic burial please do share. Also I would appreciate any tips and pointers from anybody who has experience along the following lines: 1) my parents will most likely discourage me from doing this and may object as they are scared I’ll be at risk. I believe it is my duty to step up so if you have any persuasive points around the benefits of it please let me know. 2) how can I stay level headed and calm when seeing and touching a dead body. 3) I am a little forgetful and I’m nervous I might forget anything complicated that needs reciting. Will I need to remember or recite any difficult duaas? I have seen a video which only says that I need to make niya at each stage which is fine for me. 4) any other pointers are much appreciated Here is the training video I watched for initial research purposes FYI:
  17. Salam gents, In your experience meeting and getting to know women (for marriage of course), do you like women to be less forward and more mysterious, playing hard to get? I’m pretty up front with guys and openly show that I’m interested but perhaps I should hold back a little. What do you think?
  18. Salam alakum, Alhamdilalah I am a practicing Muslima with faith in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). I experience real moments of connection with Allah on a day to day basis and during ibadah and understand from a rational/ logical perspective that He knows what's best for me with regards to putting me through hardship, making me wait to meet a partner and reach my career goals etc etc. However, I feel like my heart does not fully believe this because why am I anxious about the future, uncertain and unsatisfied with my current situation? I'd like to know if you struggle with this with too and whether you have any recommendations for 3amal/ duaas prayers, for reading or general lifestyle tips. I hope this makes sense- I know the question is a little bizarre. Thanks in advance.
  19. I have rarely picked up a gripping Islamic book. The issue is that most Islamic books tend to be poor translations or too textbook like. Also, the books about the Prophet and Imams don't tend to contain many biographical elements but typically tend to touch on generic hadiths whilst complimenting and praising these wonderful personalities without any justification. I want to learn about their up-bringing, childhoods, challenges, struggles, relationships, encounters etc. I would appreciate any book recommendations that you have read and enjoyed as a native- English speaking person considering my comments above. Feel free to recommend books that are not necessarily about the holy personalities.
  20. Salam alakum, Growing up I listened to various genres of music. In my community I was surrounded by individuals/ family/ friends who were very strict and did not listen to music at all under any circumstance (they would walk out at weddings with music playing) and others who would listen to music in every circumstance. I saw it as harmless, it generally lifted my spirits, entertained me and allowed me to relax. My favourite genre was "indie" music which had no/ minimal profanity and was rarely offensive. However, over the years I stop listening to music for the duration of Ramadan and found this quite easy. Since Ramadan 2018 I have not played any music at all. At that point I decided it was better for my soul not to rely on songs and musicians to sooth me and instead I will focus on dhikr and my faith instead. Since I decided to quit listening to music I have had moments of temptation but I haven't given up even when I had really low and depressing days. Please note I have not been diagnosed with depression or any mental health illnesses but I have seasonal bouts of depression, anxiety and low moods which can be very difficult i.e. I question my life and find it hard to get through the day and continue with life. Today, I am having a low day and am really tempted to play something uplifting. Please share your thoughts and experience about using music to calm the mind and entertain etc. Feel free to share hadiths etc about the above-mentioned topics but please note that my madhab permits playing music with no profane content but I am just taking a precautionary stance: http://english.bayynat.org.lb/Editorials/Shariah_Music.htm
  21. Salam alakum, I appreciate your responses. I have become a lot more flexible with age- even considering guys 8-9 years older as I now realise older guys are more likely to be mature and want to settle down. Although the older the guy the more I start to think that he may have messed around in haram relationships if he has never settled. Anyhow- that's a discussion for another day and I am giving these guys a chance. I am also looking for men online on various match-making websites... I am very active in the community and have many interests but very rarely do you get anybody approaching you if they're interested/ looking for marriage- when were muslim men ever gutsy enough to do that (with class i.e. not being creep). With regards to waiting for when I'm older for proposals it's less about my "fear" of not meeting somebody later in life it's about my fear of not meeting somebody soon and committing haram as a result of this. I do appreciate your reassurances though. Thank you all for your kind words and support- they have been helpful.
  22. Thank you for your response. I actually live in London- probably one of the most diverse, shia packed city outside of muslim countries. My issue is just the quality men available for marriage.
  23. I'm ok thank you. Marrying somebody my father's age is a tad disturbing. Also, the generational gap is too much- our mentalities would be very different. Even the imams recognise the differences and gaps between generations.
  24. Of course, marrying a sunni is a last resort particularly because of the issue of raising children. Yes, all of the guys I've met but just don't seem to know how to keep a conversation going or have any interests outside of the gym or shisha. I've met plenty of interesting non- muslim non-shia guys in my life but all the prospective men have been dull and in-inspiring. Probably just my luck or maybe all the good guys are taken, lol. Tbh a lot of my beautiful, intelligent, practicing friends are single and it really boggles my mind. Like you said I can't fake my personality and don't want to. Alhamdilalah I get on with the majority of people and am very sociable so my qualities can't be that unattractive surely. Also I've noticed an interesting juxtaposition (if you can call it that)- many men want a sexy, attractive woman but want a super, hijabi, modest woman... so when you share pics they assume you're one and not the other. You can't win.
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