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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Salaam, I had a somewhat similar situation two years ago. I was living in one city for my internship and traveling back to the city where my university was (about 60 miles away) once or twice a week to attend classes. I fasted the entire time regardless, but wrote in to my marja to ask about what I should do. The response I got back said that I must break my fast even though I was required to travel for classes. I ended up having to make up about half of the month. :( I did read that traveling for work is fine (which was why I thought I would also be fine traveling for school), BUT you should write in and ask regarding your specific situation.
  2. I'm a convert as well, and I most certainly empathize with what you are feeling and experiencing now with being an outsider. We don't fit with our American families or friends, nor the greater society around us. Yet we also don't fit in with the few born Muslims around because so many of them prefer to follow their own cultural practices over Islam. I gave up long ago trying to find Muslim friends, and non-Muslims always hold me at arm's length. I feel like I'm suspended in ambiguity, always unknown, always on the outside, never understood. I agree that it's not anyone's fault really, we're the minority and people (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are going to do activities they like and be with people they feel comfortable around (i.e. those who are similar). So we're left on the outside. It's taken a pretty heavy toll on me mentally, but I just try to get by, day by day. I always remind myself of what God says in the Quran: "Do people think they will be left alone after saying, "we believe" and not be tested?" (29:2) God will always test the believers to reveal our true character and our sincerity, not to Him, but to ourselves. And of course, such trials are necessary because we gain so much valuable knowledge, wisdom, and insight from passing through these trials. We wouldn't achieve higher levels of iman and knowledge if our lives had become so easy and laid back after finding the right path. Fi aman Allah.
  3. Also - I found you on facebook and just sent a friend request - I wanted to message you first but I didn't see that option! I have a picture of me standing in front of a big Christmas tree as my profile pic

  4. Salaam! My parents live about 1.5 hrs from you (Cedar Rapids) - I always drive to see them, but this year for the first time I'm flying (I live 10 hrs from them)! Toooo bad, because I pass right by Rock Island since I take I-80 to get there! But this year I won't have a car. :( Hmm... if I can't see you this time, maybe the next time I go visit them I can drive so I can visit you too, inshAllah!

  5. salaam sis

    thank you sooo much for answering my somewhat weird question lol

    inshallah hope to contienue to talk with you inshallah in the future

    and i also replied to your answer on my post thing..lol

    inshallah khuda hafiz talk with you soon

  6. Salaam ukhti, I understand how you feel with no Shia mosque nearby! I also live in an area with no Shia mosque. I'm a convert, and I am the only Muslim among all my colleagues where I work. I'm also the only Muslim in my family, and actually, my family doesn't even know I'm Muslim (I don't wear a scarf when I see them; just a hat). There will be very serious consequences if I tell them, because they are very conservative, close-minded Christians and hate Islam a great deal. I can't tell them much about myself or my life anymore, and I always feel so alone. I'm isolated from my family, from my coworkers - from everywhere. At least you still have your family, mashAllah. You should be so grateful to Allah for blessing you with a loving, Muslim family who believes the same way you do. You're in the quad cities? My parents live near there... I'll be visiting there over New Year's, inshAllah... Definitely check out the websites other posters have provided; I keep myself occupied with reading and learning about Islam, listening to Shia lectures, and participating in Shiachat. I stay so involved in all of those things that I always feel surrounded by Islam even though physically I am not. I would also recommend http://www.ahlulbayt.tv/. You can watch their shows live 24/7 - I watch it constantly. :) Best wishes, may Allah help you and continue to guide you - fi aman Allah~
  7. Salaam,

    Thanks for your kind comments! :)

  8. I read your post on your husband and conversion in "Best Way to Explain to a Girl...", and it was quite beautiful. I wish you all the best inshaAllah. :)

  9. Salaam alaykum, Perhaps I can help. I was a non-Muslim (Christian) American girl interested in a Muslim guy. We were friends initially but both of us started to like each other beyond that. He told me that he couldn't continue the relationship unless I agreed to do a temporary marriage with him. He sent me information about it from a website (it might have been al-islam.org; offhand I don't remember exactly though) that explained everything in detail. That way I could read through it, think about it, and pray about it. I was struggling a lot as well with my feelings for him because he was, God forbid, a Muslim. I didn't want to think about the future because I didn't see how we could be together permanently. But in the meantime, I liked him a lot and was awed by the fact that he would give me up for the sake of his religion. He gave me time to think about it before asking me what I thought. I did finally agree because I wanted to do it for his sake, as it was very important to him. I had a few reservations about it being termed as a 'marriage' since I wasn't ready for that yet, BUT the 'temporary' label helped. To me, it seemed like a dating relationship only with clearly defined boundaries and built-in protection for both individuals. Dating is always so confusing and agonizing as you never know exactly where you stand with the other person, and such frank discussions are often avoided. But with mutah, everything is out in the open - and it is very relieving. So trust me, if this girl really likes you, she'll do it, no matter what hesitation she may initially have to the idea. So, I agreed - he told me to repeat the words (in Arabic) after him, and then he gave me a dowry. He had asked me what I wanted, and I was so overwhelmed and honored that he would actually want to GIVE me something... I didn't even want anything, but he insisted and I finally decided on perfume. :) After that, I got down to business trying to convert him to Christianity (because I cared about his eternity, and also because I really did want a future with him somehow).... but Allah subhanawatala had other plans. Although he was content with me being Christian and made no concerted efforts to guide me to Islam, his unwavering logic, clear vision, and profound wisdom (stemming from the teachings of the Ahl Bayt) had an immense impact on me. Instead of converting him to Christianity, in my quest to educate myself more deeply about my religion in order to be better equipped to convince him, I uncovered the real truth of the Bible and Christianity, and ended up converting to Islam instead. :) Neither of us anticipated that at ALL... and now he was suddenly faced with the fact that our relationship could now be continued permanently. He began to tell his family about me, little by little, but they still don't accept it as I am American and simply don't count in their eyes. So who knows what the future holds - BUT - you never know what a simple mutah can do to completely change the life of another person. In the end, even if we end up not being able to be together, he'll still have given me the most precious gift of all that will stay with me for the rest of my life - the influence and guidance of the Prophet and the Ahl Bayt (alayhum salam). If done correctly, honestly, and sincerely, mutah does not necessarily hurt and damage the feelings of the females involved - rather, it can completely change their lives.
  10. MashAllah, thanks so much everyone for your prompt replies! You all are very helpful! And yes, I did mean Sayyed Mustafa Qazwini - the last two years (the only times I've gone), he came from California to speak in Dearborn. I think Sayyed Hassan did the Arabic lectures, at least the nights I was there...
  11. Salaam alaykum all, Muharram is coming up soon and I was hoping to travel to Dearborn, MIchigan to listen to various speakers next weekend, inshAllah . Does anyone know who will be speaking and where? The past few times I've gone, I went to listen to Sayyed Mustafa Qazwini, but recently I've discovered Sheikh Jehad Ismail and would love to hear him if he'll be around.... Any information would be greatly appreciated!
  12. Salam alaykum brother Abu Hadi, Perhaps I could help you out - I have a master's in counseling psychology, so I'm familiar with the process of becoming a certified marriage & family therapist. Essentially, one needs a master's degree in the field (counseling, social work, clinical psychology, etc.) from an accredited master's program, several hours of supervised clinical work (often through internships, often unpaid, no less) - the required hours vary by state (I think where I was the requirement was 2000 hrs), and then a state exam (and sometimes a national exam, depending on the state). A license is required for those wanting to service clients with most types of insurance, along with Medicare & Medicaid. You can work as a counselor without a license, but most insurance companies won't cover it, unfortunately. It is possible to work without a license, as long as you are supervised by a licensed counselor. One of my reasons for pursuing a counseling degree was to work with Muslims (and Shia in particular), but I got stuck when I graduated and didn't have nearly enough clinical hours to be able to sit for the exam. Unfortunately, my program didn't fully prepare us for licensure, and our only option was to continue school in another year and a half long program. I was already in a great deal of debt, completely broke, and really needing to start working, so I just put it all on hold and began working with my other master's degree (in education). I'd still like to do counseling, but am on the fence as to what to do at this point. Even if I went through the extra year and a half, that doesn't necessarily guarantee a valid license in other states. Each state has its own requirements, which means certified counselors may have to take more classes and do more clinical work when relocating. It's a frustrating, disorganized process. I think the federal government should streamline all the requirements so that one can become certified through a regular master's program, just like one can do with nursing or in social work. LSWs (licensed social workers) can work as therapists too, so I'd recommend going that route if you are interested. From what I understand, the social work master's programs are very organized and planned out, so upon graduation, you are eligible to take the licensure exam. I have a few friends who went this route and are now working as therapists (while I'm out here in limbo with a degree that doesn't really work, despite having taken many of the same classes and having gone to school for the same period of time).
  13. Salam, It's been a while since you posted this but I was just doing a search for the same thing and your post came up. I don't know of any Shia centers around Dayton or Columbus (although a few months ago I did manage to come up with something in Columbus, but have since been unable to find it again). However, if you are still in Dayton, you could go to either one of the halal groceries (on Wayne Ave and on Springboro by the mall) and ask the ones working there, as they are Iraqi. I don't know if they are Shia, but being Iraqi I imagine the chances of them being Shia or knowing about Shias is pretty good! If you find out about anything, let me know!
  14. MashAllah brother, welcome to Islam! I'm also a revert (of 2 years), although I was raised as an Evangelical (Protestant) Christian. I was very religious and steadfast in my faith up through college, but then I started having questions about the true identity of Jesus (as). I thought my questions could never be solved though, and decided not to become a missionary as I had originally planned - since I thought it would be hypocritical trying to convince others that my path was right while I still had questions of my own. It wasn't until the end of my graduate studies that I first encountered Islam - walked into my very first classroom teaching experience with a room full of Arab Muslims, and realized I knew absolutely nothing about them. I started reading up on it, and even befriended a few Muslims who started discussing religion with me. I was deadset on converting them to Christianity, but alhamdilulah, by the grace of God, I ended up converting instead. :) In my earnestness to convert them, I began pouring over a book written by Biblical scholars tackling the tough issues regarding the Bible (so I could answer their tough questions!), and was entirely unconvinced and found the explanations illogical and based on far too many assumptions and little evidence. At the same time, I was becoming very attracted to the Ahl Bait (as), as my Muslim friends were Shia. I was amazed at the Prophet's (saws) kind, compassionate family with such amazing wisdom (especially Imam Ali, (as)... it caused me a great deal of confusion - how could some other 'invalid' religion be full of such purity, morality, wisdom, and truth? Very early on, before I had any actual interest in Islam other than finding what was wrong with it, I had thought to myself that if I had to choose, I would definitely pick Shia over Sunni, partly because of the Ahl Bait, and also because what I had already researched about Islam that I had found to be illogical and seemingly 'man-made' was from Sunni Islam. After reading Nahjul Balagha and the Quran, I was completely convinced. I did some more research into the sects as I wanted to be thoroughly sure, and found the decision to be incredibly clear and easy. The detailed version of my story is in my signature line (also my blog). I used to live near St. Louis - in Jefferson City, actually. It sounds like you've found a community there, which is great. InshAllah your Ramadhan will be easy and a great blessing to you. I also hope that your wife and family will accept your new beliefs, and will also be attracted to the Ahl Bait, just as you were.
  15. Wow this is a really old thread... but hey, since we're on the subject... here's mine (the post regarding my conversion story is in my signature line): http://sakina08.wordpress.com/
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