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In the Name of God بسم الله
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[In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful] Some people may object to my embrace of Islam. "Oh, Islam is such a difficult and demanding religion" they will say "It's too difficult to be a Muslim, especially in the West". I wholeheartedly disagree. Islam is not difficult at all, unless you allow it to be. Submission to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the natural state that humans were created for, so I have not found it terribly difficult at all thus far and even if it was, that doesn't mean that it's not worth pursuing (actually, challenges are good for us because they force us to persevere and grow in the process of overcoming). Religion and faith are not toys to be played with and put away on a shelf until the next time that you have a job interview, wind up in jail, or face an illness- Religion and faith are aspects of the human experience that should fundamentally change us as people, and always for the better. This is the difference between a fulfilling life and a life of constant desire for the cheap thrills of this world (which never satisfy), religion is the difference between heaven & hell; as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sees all we do + his judgment of us will ultimately come down to how perfectly we submitted, how closely we followed his commands, and the weight of our sins of both commission & omission in this life (sins of omission would be neglecting salah, charity, or treatment of his creation, etc). I honestly never thought I was going to be able to embrace Islam. There are enough posts on SC where I sound apprehensive and lean in that direction. What I have noticed is that within the past week, I have thrown myself into developing my practice of Islam with a much greater sense of mindfulness than I ever did with my Christianity. I believe that this is because in Christianity, we expect God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to "work within us" and change us without having to put in much effort ourselves besides reading the bible and praying daily. If we expect someone else, even our concept of God, to do this work for us it will likely not be done. We have to put forth the effort to change ourselves and develop our religion and Insha'Allah, we will become better, more complete human beings. In just a week, I have gone from near-total ignorance of the Quran, inability to pray without reading off a sheet, and praying "when I remembered" to keeping salah, memorizing the process of offering my five daily prayers, and setting five alarms on my phone (complete with an adhan for added immersion). I've even been able to commit short surahs to memory (in Arabic nonetheless!) so that I can offer my prayers properly as they were modeled by the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). I never in my wildest dreams even two weeks ago, imagined that I would be capable of doing this, so I am both excited and at the same time, feeling a sense of serenity- that this really is "it" and that I have found the path that I belong on in order to develop as a person. Today, I received my misbaha (dhikr beads) and have begun to offer dhikr, starting with the tasbih of Fatima (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) this afternoon. I have also ordered a modest prayer rug. Now I find myself wondering what my next steps are to improve my practice of Islam; namely what other parts of my religion can I begin to practice and what parts of myself I can work on improving. Although I am just a "baby Muslim", I truly feel as if I am changing for the better and that perhaps I should give myself just a bit more credit than I do for how far I have personally come in such a short period of time. However, as easy as practicing Islam has been for me + as natural as it feels, I realize that my experience is just that- my experience. Brothers and sisters all across the planet, many in this nation of mine (America), may not have such an easy time adhering to their faith. For some (Uyghurs in China, Bosnians), the practice of Islam comes with the very real risk of persecution & death from the unjust & tyrannical, but nonetheless they keep the faith without probably ever making blog posts like this one. I believe that all of us, including the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) can learn something about fidelity, devotion, perseverance and not least of all courage, from these brave brothers and sisters in these countries that are much more hostile to Islam. How do you think I can improve my religious practice from here on out? How can you improve yours?
The topic doesn't imply 'Putting yourself before others'. Altruism is a beautiful virtue; not many possess, but the great ones did. What's as important or perhaps even more important than putting others before yourself, is to improve your own-self before doing so. It should be kept in mind that the one who's drowning can't save the others, who're drowning. The one who's sick, cannot properly heal other sick ones. Someone gave a good example of how they ask you to "Put your own oxygen mask before assisting others" on an airplane during the safety walk-through. It's for the same reason that if you're unconscious, you cannot help others. Imam Ali (as) said, Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching others, he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach & train others. Buddha in regards to the same thought said, A man who conquers himself, is better than a man who conquers a thousand men in battle. So, before you go out there to help others, be your own doctor & check whether you're suffering from the same disease or not. Improve yourself, before you go out to improve others.
What do you think about High Tech in Sports? You have heard of Oscar Pistorius who won gold medals in the Paralympics and was known by the nickname Blade Runner, because he was using carbon fiber prosthetic blades. Also there is doping and modern medicine which improve the efficiency of athletes. Do you think in the future High Tech and medicine decides who wins a competition instead of own performance?
The Basic Question Of This Topic Is Dont You Agree? first of all technology is improving and upgrading every day, so every time a newer model comes out with just a tiny new features the company makes billions from us,technology is the main reason that homelessness is increasing around the world, as i have read in the last 20 years in bank branches there used to be 20-30 people working at one branch and today as i visited the branch i only spotted 8 people and its getting less every day as technology is upgrading, over 5000 people who are poor could easily get a job in the last 20 years then today with technology, technology has ruined our childrens brain like iPads and iPods and it is all because of technology. today instead of me opening my book to study i open my ipad and study from it, instead of looking in a dictionary i am looking at the computers dictionary, instead of me walking around without glasses, today i am, all because of technology, although technology have done us many services, it is also ruining our lives in the long run. today instead of me walking to shops to find the product i am looking for i just go on the internet and order it for delivery, instead of me using my brain to count my money i use a calculator, why?, isnt our brains smart enough to calculate the amount of money i have left, if today technology didnt exist i wouldnt have heard of homelessness all over the world, there are many things that we humans can do but the computer cant, we are much smarter than technology and we are created by the beneficial the merciful Allah, who invented computers? so the question is , Do you Or Do You Not Agree That If Technology Wasn't Advanced As Today, Do You Think Poor People Living On The Streets Would Have Jobs Today Instead Of Begging For Money, Do You Think That Technology Has Made Us Lazy, For Example, Instead Of Calculating 9 X 5, I Just Press Those Buttons On The Calculator, Do You Think Technology Is Destroying People Jobs Every Day, Jobs That Pay For Your Family To Support Them And Provide Them With Good Education?
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