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In the Name of God بسم الله
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arshiraza

Questions From Someone Trying To Understand Islam.

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Salaam brothers and sisters,

I've never been very religious even though I've been born into a Shi'a Muslim family. I mostly just follow the basics of Islam because it's what I've grown up around, not because I understand them necessarily. Recently, however, I've been trying to get closer to God and find out answers to some questions I've had my whole life.

However there are some questions that I'd like answers for that are more personal than factual, and they are presented below. Some of these questions are to do with facts, but I would really like your own opinion on them. I would highly appreciate if you guys could attempt to answer these to the best of your ability.

A little disclaimer: I am not trying to be rude or disruptive or disrespectful, although some of these questions may come off that way. I am just trying to present the questions the way in which they are laid out in my head. I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone.

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Why do we have to pray salah in order to "talk" to Allah? Why does there have to be such a formulated method? Can't we just talk to him as our hearts desire and at whatever time we need instead of at certain times during the day in a certain way? Can't we show our love and gratitude to him in a more personalized/unique way?

2. What is God? (I'm sorry if this question is offensive, I swear I'm not trying to be rude.) I've read somewhere that Allah doesn't have emotions, and that if we say he gets angry it means we have disobeyed him and that when he gets happy we have obeyed him. Doesn't that boil down to him just being a bunch of laws? Or as Agnostics say, is God not something but everything, as in he is in our hearts, he is nature, etc etc?

3. Why must one worship Allah in order to gain paradise? Isn't being a good person enough? Why is salah or reading the quran necessary?

4. Why does Allah have such severe punishments for some presumably small things like not wearing the hijab properly or listening to music? I understand there is some reasoning behind everything, but Allah is all-merciful?

5. Continuing on from the previous question, sometimes it feels like God is trying to catch me/us out (for lack of a better phrase), since he is always testing us. Why? Personally, I feel closer to the Imams than to Allah because he seems too BIG and INTIMIDATING, and I even do things for the sake of the imams than for Allah, which is totally wrong.

I hope these questions make sense and that you guys answer them. Thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge. :)

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Salaam brothers and sisters,

I've never been very religious even though I've been born into a Shi'a Muslim family. I mostly just follow the basics of Islam because it's what I've grown up around, not because I understand them necessarily. Recently, however, I've been trying to get closer to God and find out answers to some questions I've had my whole life.

However there are some questions that I'd like answers for that are more personal than factual, and they are presented below. Some of these questions are to do with facts, but I would really like your own opinion on them. I would highly appreciate if you guys could attempt to answer these to the best of your ability.

A little disclaimer: I am not trying to be rude or disruptive or disrespectful, although some of these questions may come off that way. I am just trying to present the questions the way in which they are laid out in my head. I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone.

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Why do we have to pray salah in order to "talk" to Allah? Why does there have to be such a formulated method? Can't we just talk to him as our hearts desire and at whatever time we need instead of at certain times during the day in a certain way? Can't we show our love and gratitude to him in a more personalized/unique way?

2. What is God? (I'm sorry if this question is offensive, I swear I'm not trying to be rude.) I've read somewhere that Allah doesn't have emotions, and that if we say he gets angry it means we have disobeyed him and that when he gets happy we have obeyed him. Doesn't that boil down to him just being a bunch of laws? Or as Agnostics say, is God not something but everything, as in he is in our hearts, he is nature, etc etc?

3. Why must one worship Allah in order to gain paradise? Isn't being a good person enough? Why is salah or reading the quran necessary?

4. Why does Allah have such severe punishments for some presumably small things like not wearing the hijab properly or listening to music? I understand there is some reasoning behind everything, but Allah is all-merciful?

5. Continuing on from the previous question, sometimes it feels like God is trying to catch me/us out (for lack of a better phrase), since he is always testing us. Why? Personally, I feel closer to the Imams than to Allah because he seems too BIG and INTIMIDATING, and I even do things for the sake of the imams than for Allah, which is totally wrong.

I hope these questions make sense and that you guys answer them. Thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge. :)

 

Hello brother i too was in the same way you feel! Heres my shot at it from what i understand

 

1. It is obligatory to what i understand so that firstly everyone would have shown appreciation to Allah and so some people might think 10 seconds of saying thank you is enough. With a prayer as a benchmark everyone will have to show the minimum level of gratitude. People will then take thanking Allah for granted and will only remember Allah when they need it in the hard time. The different timings make sure you always remember Allah throughout your day and to avoid sin since prayers will be soon.

 

2. Allah cannot be compared to a human, he has judgement however so if you do something wrong we use the word 'anger' to describe, although we cant actually say Allah feels anger. i'll work on this and update it 

 

3. :Paradise is worth ALOT, standards of whats good changes from time to time so there must be a set rule or requirement to get in. Plus imagine you hold this amazing event for homeless people, they get food, shelter etc forever from you, dont you want a thankyou at least in return? Measure up 20mins a day of prayer to eternal life in absolute bliss.

 

4. Allah makes it serious to scare the hell out of you. Pun intended. This way you wont say to yourself 'ehh its a small thing i can handle it' Likewise if Heaven is so great it only makes sense that the opposite would be so great too. Think of it like this, even with the scary punishment, no one takes god seriously except a minority.

 

5. Allah wants to be with you and have a strong bond, you have the wrong idea of the status Allah carries i will recommend a series im sure you will love it helped me alot. It will guide you through 1-7 videos and is really informative!

 

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3. :Paradise is worth ALOT, standards of whats good changes from time to time so there must be a set rule or requirement to get in. Plus imagine you hold this amazing event for homeless people, they get food, shelter etc forever from you, dont you want a thankyou at least in return? Measure up 20mins a day of prayer to eternal life in absolute bliss.

I just want to clarify for the OP, (you probably know and understand this) God doesn't want a thank you for Himself, He is beyond that and even if we were to say thank you non-stop 24/7 it would not measure up to all the favours He provided for us. We are to say thank you to God so that we may benefit, not God.

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I just want to clarify for the OP, (you probably know and understand this) God doesn't want a thank you for Himself, He is beyond that and even if we were to say thank you non-stop 24/7 it would not measure up to all the favours He provided for us. We are to say thank you to God so that we may benefit, not God.

I see my mistake and how that could have been understood wrong, thanks for the clarification i didnt know how to put it down into words right

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Salam,

These are amazing brief audio files , very relevant to your questions:

The most important part of islam :

What is Zikr

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7n3kpbyjznibsns/zikr.mp3?dl=0

Wisdom behind Azan and Salat:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8ly08gw0dmsve9/wisdom%20behind%20azan-salat.mp3?dl=0

Eitquette before Salat :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2d6z8oi19avspue/etiquette%20of%20praying.mp3?dl=0

Wisdom behind wudhu:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4h56anismengetm/wisdom-of-wudhu.mp3?dl=0

What does it mean to understand Quran ( forqan )

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f18n7nhu40nyppo/forqan%28understanding%20quran%29.mp3?dl=0

If you found these files of interest let me know so I can share more.

Wasalam

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Salam,

What amazing questions!

These are amazing brief audio files , will definately answer your questions Insha Allah.

The most important part of islam :

What is Zikr

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7n3kpbyjznibsns/zikr.mp3?dl=0

Wisdom behind Azan and Salat:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8ly08gw0dmsve9/wisdom%20behind%20azan-salat.mp3?dl=0

Eitquette before Salat :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2d6z8oi19avspue/etiquette%20of%20praying.mp3?dl=0

Wisdom behind wudhu:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4h56anismengetm/wisdom-of-wudhu.mp3?dl=0

What does it mean to understand Quran ( forqan )

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f18n7nhu40nyppo/forqan%28understanding%20quran%29.mp3?dl=0

Hijab

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7uio3yxy95784ho/hijab-maryam%20the%20secret.mp3?dl=0

If you found these files of interest let me know so I can share more.

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Salaamun Alaykum,

 

I hope that the following answers are useful for you:

 

1. The prayer as we know it has existed since the time of Adam(as), and there is a reason behind its every move and utterance  which is connected to our spiritual reality, of which we are so ignorant. The great scholars have written books on the secrets of the prayer. By following the instructions of Allah and the Infallibles we can reach to our perfection and happiness, instead of trying to comprehend everything with our limited intellects.

 

2. God is the source of existence and the ground of all being. Every goodness and perfection that there is stems form His Holy Essence. If there are existents which are alive and aware and conscious, He is alive and aware and conscious to the utmost level. If there are existents which have knowledge, power and will, He has knowledge, power and will to the utmost level. In fact He is the source of all these attributes in others, while they themselves continually depend on Him for these attributes of theirs. Every goodness and perfection which the Imams had they got it from Him whereas He didn't get it from anywhere else because He is the very source of existence.

 

3. The point to understand about Paradise and Hell, and punishment and reward in the Hereafter is that it is not arbitrary but rather is a direct result of one's actions here. Good deeds cause a person to grow and develop spiritually such that they can go to Paradise, otherwise it is impossible to go to Paradise. For example, a 2 year old cannot go to university, they simply do not have the necessary growth and maturity. Now Allah clearly stipulates in the Quran that good deeds must be accompanied by faith (iman). So the rejection of faith despite knowing that Allah wants it from you is itself the worst deed imaginable, causing massive retardation of the soul - the only place for such a person will be in the Fire. And faith means to obey Allah and perform good deeds in the way he has stipulated and with the intention of gaining proximity to him.

 

4. Just as every act of the prayer has a wisdom and secret behind it so are the laws which he has stipulated for us grounded in truth and connected to our full spiritual reality. Giving lenience to disobey an obligatory law would mean sabotaging the path of our own perfection, and God will never do that. It is not the smallness of the law that matters, but the greatness of the one being disobeyed, as what happened with Iblis / Shaytan clearly demonstrates. Worship means obedience: 'And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship Me.' (51:56)

 

5. Allah is not trying to catch us out. There is nothing that he wants more than for us to go to Paradise, but we have to earn our way there, there's no other way. When a person lives a life of goodness through the exercise of free will the level they attain is much higher than if Allah was simply to put them in Paradise from the beginning. It is that high level, reward and perfection that Allah wants for us, and this is the only way.

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All of these questions are due to assuming that serving God does Him any favor. Whereas serving God is a favor you do to yourself, when you pray in a particular method that method is meant to make you physically, mentally and spiritually strong because otherwise God can listen every word you say or don't say, namaz doesn't make for a better communication equipment so that your voice and actions reach Him properly, no, it works by elevating your status; by tuning you for the better.

-- Wearing hijab and avoiding music all have this aim; better you and better society, the severity of the punishment is a reflection of the overall harm it brings to individual and society which we fail to realize, its not just a small act but it is what we send forth, what accumulates and gets bigger, in this case immodesty and the music-dance-culture. 

 

Allah is the source of Love, He loves. He likes, He dislikes. What is meant by Him not possessing emotions is that He isn't emotional

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Allah is the source of Love, He loves. He likes, He dislikes. What is meant by Him not possessing emotions is that He isn't emotional

 

I would say God is the perfect utmost emotion that is the source of all positive emotions, he himself is that perfect reality that loves, hates, is angered, likes, dislikes, has compassion, forgives, punishes,  is grateful, etc...but that there is no division in his being, so how he unites all these, with some (like love) preceding others (like wrath), with no movement from state to sate, with no complexity, with no parts. 

 

In reality, God doesn't have a name over one of another, even though some written names in their outward are more closer in expressing the value of God, at the end, God is Sheer Perfection, and God is Loving.

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I'll limit my answer to the first question alone. You need to pray 5 times as a minimum to guard yourself against Satan's attacks. God didn't send you immune to satan in this world. That's why you need a minimum of 5 namazes placed at strategic timings to guard you from attacks. Once you've got the 5 namazes in place, do all the loving you want.

 

P.S. Getting these 5 namazes through will also be counted as highly loving.

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Bismillah

1) to give your inner dialogue a break.

3) man can't attain true goodness without following what He has taught. who knows you better than He who created you? and have you heard the saying of Imam Ali about the three kinds of worshippers? the slave, the trader, and the free man?

4) hell is also part and parcel of His mercy. no matter where you live, you will always be governed by man made laws. crime and punishment. hell and heaven? same idea.

5) do you have a mother? or did you have a mother? remember how she stayed awake all night just so that you could get some sleep? who inspired her to do such a thing? answer this question yourself and then ask yourself your same question, am i to be intimidated by Him who made my mother so merciful towards me?

God bless you brother. keep questioning. our salvation lies in it.

Peace

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Salaam brothers and sisters,

 

1. Why do we have to pray salah in order to "talk" to Allah? Why does there have to be such a formulated method? Can't we just talk to him as our hearts desire and at whatever time we need instead of at certain times during the day in a certain way? Can't we show our love and gratitude to him in a more personalized/unique way?

2. What is God? (I'm sorry if this question is offensive, I swear I'm not trying to be rude.) I've read somewhere that Allah doesn't have emotions, and that if we say he gets angry it means we have disobeyed him and that when he gets happy we have obeyed him. Doesn't that boil down to him just being a bunch of laws? Or as Agnostics say, is God not something but everything, as in he is in our hearts, he is nature, etc etc?

3. Why must one worship Allah in order to gain paradise? Isn't being a good person enough? Why is salah or reading the quran necessary?

4. Why does Allah have such severe punishments for some presumably small things like not wearing the hijab properly or listening to music? I understand there is some reasoning behind everything, but Allah is all-merciful?

5. Continuing on from the previous question, sometimes it feels like God is trying to catch me/us out (for lack of a better phrase), since he is always testing us. Why? Personally, I feel closer to the Imams than to Allah because he seems too BIG and INTIMIDATING, and I even do things for the sake of the imams than for Allah, which is totally wrong.

I hope these questions make sense and that you guys answer them. Thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge. :)

 

Wasallam.

 

1. You don't have to pray to talk to God. Allah s.w.t knows all and hears all. Many people probably get their requests answered without having prayed at all. But, prayer is probably the most humble and pure way of talking to God. No one said you only talk to God on specific 5 timings a day. You don't even need to "say" anything to God and God already knows your desire and wishes.

 

2. There is no point in asking this because we will never know. God is One and Eternal. God is Perfect. But we can't truly understand what each of these means. We are not meant to know because we don't have the capacity to know. We don't even fully understand our own universe let alone the One who fashioned and created it.

 

3. God grants paradise to whom he wishes and to whom deserve it. Praying and obeying laws makes it easier to gain access to paradise. But maybe their are exceptions. Trying to get into medical school for example, one needs a high GPA and mcat score amongst other things. But if you look at the statistics, you might find someone with a low GPA like less than 2.0 or a low mcat score yet they still got in somehow. What we know is that God is All merciful and compassionate.

 

4. We don't truly know the punishments. But don't look at the sin itself, but who you are disobeying. Sure not wearing a hijab or listening to music might seem like "small sins" to us (though considering anything a small sin is a sin itself) the bigger problem is that we think its Okay to disobey our Creator for these smalls sins. What we are saying through action is: "I recognize you are my creator, but this small sin is more important to me than You otherwise I would easily avoid such an easy sin".

 

5. Maybe there is a reason why their are prophets and imams. They are human that we can relate to. they go through the same struggles as us, they eat and sleep like us, they bleed and cry. It is natural for us to feel closer to them than our Creator but in reality God is closer to us than our jugular vein. Don't do things for the sake of imams, do it for the sake of Allah otherwise you might end up committing polytheism which is the worst of sins.

 

anyways that what I believe. i might be wrong though.

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Salam alaykum

1.You can talk to God whenever you want. Praying is a form of paying tribute to God, Thanking him, Praising him and asking for forgiveness.

2.We cannot fathom God in his entirety. Since he created everything, therefor he has created every emotion you have ever felt and maybe more we cannot comprehend. Read Ali (a.s)'s chapter on this in Nahjul Balegha, I think it is the first or second chapter. God is your creator.

3.The Quran and Islam is a guide on how to be good, surely other religions will also make it to heaven such as Christians and Jews, but only if they believe in God and the afterlife and do good (Quran 2:62). To not believe in God is a form of arrogance itself. Atheism is ignoring God's call to worship him to say "no you did not create me". Why should he deserve paradise then? You will find most people far from God, don't really do many good deeds if any.

4.Sins are bad, because they harm yourself not God. When God says don't drink alcohol it is for your benefit not his. You will notice all that is labeled haram has a moral and scientific reason on why it is haram. Pork is haram because the meat is bad for you, there is no other reason. God does not want to torture you. (not sure that music is haram) 

5. The Imams and Prophets wouldn't be who they are without God. 

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