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Eric muhalla

I feel my faith is dying

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Asalamu alaikum, 

I am a devoted Muslim in my early teens. I pray and read Quran everyday and have never drank, fornicated (sex out of marriage) , or gambled in my life. Yet I feel that my faith is just waning away. It stared a few years back when I was still in school. Most of my friends either believe in God only or are atheists and do the opposite of whatever I do. Aside from that the knowledge that I have read and saw across the internet that proves that things like homosexuality being alright and that its fine to just have sex without being married has gotten me to the point were I feel I don't need Islam in my life. I always do go back to it thought and try my best to not give up on it but I feel that someday it will disappear. I have talked to my parents many times about this yet I have realized that if I keep on asking they'll start to get angry and disappointed of me. For now I am trying my best to stay strong but I feel that on the inside I really don't want to be a Muslim anymore and just do what the west does since it seems so successful. I still believe in God but I'm losing hope in Islam just to remind you. I hope someone can help me get over with this and help stand strong against all the temptations of the shaitan and what the west has to offer since I feel like Nabih Musa when he was constantly seduced by maids and asked God for help but was still forced to stay there instead of God sending him to prison. 

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This topic is best be in the unmarried brothers forum, they all can understand you there.

Welcome to SC. There are things that are naturally uneasy in this earth: Relations and controlling carnal desires (which is why most people are obese and cant help it)

Yet, Islam provide you with a path in which the struggle against these naturally hard issues is rewardful. Your friends might be happy with being free from obligations, but at some poit, random relations are more of a burden than a relief.

Peer pressure though is but temporary. It is a phase and after  few years you will grow out of it. What will remain from it though is the need for someone around you, a friend , a partner. That will be hard specially for those living in west and for those who are convert or the only practicing muslim in their family.

 

 

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Welcome as well. Some people have that feeling, that Islam is just a drag and a drain, while non-Muslims seem to be successful, happier, and doing well with a more open, free, and permissive lifestyle.

But don't be fooled. One of the tenants of faith is believing in the unseen. That's just not a reference to God himself, but to many things in this world, including the effects of actions. What others do might seem better or feel good temporarily, but behind the curtain, there is corruption and emptiness. Some things might not seem evident until the next world.

You might think drinking or eating pork has no effect and people seem fine and happy, but once the God given veil is lifted, I'm sure it won't be pretty.

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The means for strengthening belief:

 

Man is naturally in search of perfection; he endeavors constantly to move on from deficiency to perfection to attain excellence in all aspects. Although he might err and derail in his efforts to gain perfection, seeking perfection is a natural tendency with all human beings.

Faith or belief is one of the indicators of perfection and also the most important of them. It is relative and can differ from person to person. However, every believer should endeavor to enhance his belief and conviction.

In order for a person to strengthen his belief, he must struggle in three scientific, practical and emotional arenas.

1 – Scientific arena:

All Shiite jurisprudents have said that it is not permissible to follow another person in the fundamentals of faith. It is necessary that he should conduct a research and believe in the principles of Islam with his own insight and understanding.  Therefore, every Shiite individual should substantiate his beliefs using strong scientific arguments; he should make it a daily habit to conduct research and investigation into religious issues. He must expand his religious information on daily basis so that he may be able to distinguish between genuine beliefs and superstitions which are created and presented in the name of religion by malicious and uninformed people. If a person believes in something with concrete proofs, he will stand firm and steadfast. Nothing can make him flinch at all. All the recommendations of Islam and the Quran towards seeking knowledge and contemplation are in line with the same purpose.

Every Shiite individual studying Shiite beliefs becomes aware and convinced about the superiority of these beliefs to those of other religions. His faith is strengthened once he comes to realize the superiority of his beliefs.

A Shiite individual must know who he has taken his religion from and whom he is following as a model. Shia is proud of following people whom Allah has purified of all impurities and made them the sources of knowledge and virtue. [1]

Also, it is necessary to be highly sensitive towards the doubts which are likely to come to our minds. If there is a question, it is necessary that a precise and convincing answer be prepared for it because a doubt is like a contagious disease which, if not treated properly and quickly, might cause difficulty for the afflicted person and also spread to other people. If religious misgivings and doubts are not dealt with properly and logically, they will gradually affect and destroy the beliefs of both the individual and society.

2 – Practical arena:

Self-purification which, in our religious sources, is termed as ‘jihad akbar’ (greater holy war) is the most important means for strengthening the pillars of faith. As well, performing religious rites and acts of worship as prescribed by Shari’ah will leave a positive influence on one’s beliefs making them further strong. According to the Quran, a person’s deeds play a very effective role in either strengthening or weakening his religious beliefs. The Holy Quran says:

“And serve your Lord until there comes to you that which is certain.” [2]

On the other hand, an evil or a sinful action weakens the faith and even leads to disbelief. The Holy Quran says:

“In the long run evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil; for that they rejected the Signs of Allah, and held them up to ridicule.” [3]

3 – Emotional aspect:

One of the important aspects of human personality is the emotional aspect which has so effective a role in one’s religious beliefs that in some religious traditions the religion has been interpreted as being equal to love. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Religion is nothing but love.” [4] Real love makes a person obedient to his beloved; the lover does what the beloved wants him to do. That is why Imam Sadiq, peace be upon him, recites the following verse after he says the above:

Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [5]

For this reason, strengthening the emotions on the basis of accurate knowledge and understanding is another means for promoting Shiite beliefs.

 


[1] - Imam Khomeini wrote in his Last Will and Testament: “We are proud to be followers of a religion whose founder has been designated by divine commandment and in which Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), this servant of God, free of all bonds and shackles of servitude and serfdom, has been appointed to deliver mankind from all the chains of slavery and thralldom. We are proud to have had as our leaders the Infallible Imams ... (22), from Ali (AS) down to Hazrat Mahdi (AS) ... (23) who, by the grace of God, lives in occultation, and watches our doings. We are honoured to have had as our fifth Infallible Imam, Baqer-ul Uloom (AS) ...(32) (profound knowledge, a title given to the fifth Imam), this superlative world personality whose true station can be appreciated by none save Allah, His Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallible Imams (pbut).” Imam Khomeini, A thematic attitude to Last Will and Testament of Imam Khomeini (r.a), pg. 6, 8th edition, Institute for Preparation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, Tehran, 1383 (2004).

[2] - Al-Hijr, 99.

[3] - Al-Room, 10.

[4] - Shaykh Saduq, Al-Khesal, pg. 21, Jama’at al-Mudarresin fi al-Hawzah al-Ilmiyah, Qom, 1362 (1983).

[5] - Aal-e Imran, 31.

 

With Duas.

Narsis.

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Salam and welcome to SC. :)

Everything has its ups and downs and so you will always struggle along the way, whether it be in following a religion or life in general. You are in a very critical period in life (i.e., early teens; Identity vs Confusion in Erikson's theory of Psychosocial development) where youths start exploring and experimenting in order establish a a stable identity.

Imam Ali [as] has said: "The heart of a youth is like an uncultivated piece of land, it shall accept whatever is planted on it.”  Don't let your malleable heart be molded into whatever is thrown at it by your peers or society.

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Salam Alaykum

The problem is something that can solve other problems as well. We can't say marriage has nothing to do with our theological belief but a faithful spouse of you would strengthen your beliefs also. This is something which has been experienced  and practically proved to be true. Some acquaintances of mine did so and then their problems were solved. 

I think you have heard of a hadith from the prophet saying that marriage saves half of your faith and -in some narrations- two third of your faith and then you must struggle for the rest.

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2 hours ago, Eric muhalla said:

Asalamu alaikum, 

I am a devoted Muslim in my early teens. I pray and read Quran everyday and have never drank, fornicated (sex out of marriage) , or gambled in my life. Yet I feel that my faith is just waning away. It stared a few years back when I was still in school. Most of my friends either believe in God only or are atheists and do the opposite of whatever I do. Aside from that the knowledge that I have read and saw across the internet that proves that things like homosexuality being alright and that its fine to just have sex without being married has gotten me to the point were I feel I don't need Islam in my life. I always do go back to it thought and try my best to not give up on it but I feel that someday it will disappear. I have talked to my parents many times about this yet I have realized that if I keep on asking they'll start to get angry and disappointed of me. For now I am trying my best to stay strong but I feel that on the inside I really don't want to be a Muslim anymore and just do what the west does since it seems so successful. I still believe in God but I'm losing hope in Islam just to remind you. I hope someone can help me get over with this and help stand strong against all the temptations of the shaitan and what the west has to offer since I feel like Nabih Musa when he was constantly seduced by maids and asked God for help but was still forced to stay there instead of God sending him to prison. 

Wa `alaikum as-salaam,

What you are experiencing is normal, and there are many others like you (with many more to follow. It is very difficult to live in this society and remain unaffected by the constant barrage of propaganda and anti-religious values that are constantly pumped out. Potentially, it could get even worse if you go to university, depending on the subject you study (for example, social sciences), because then there is academic credibility attached to these viewpoints.

So, what to do? Well, the first thing you need to do is decide on what worldview you want to adopt. A worldview is basically the lens through which you view the world, the things you take for granted, and the way in which you distinguish between right and wrong. So for example, you could have a secular worldview (the dominant one right now in the West, even among those who are members of various religions), a feminist world view (in practice, part of the secular worldview now), a specific cultural worldview (common for example, among older generations from Muslim countries), a Christian worldview, or an Islamic worldview. I'm simplifying slightly, because obviously there are different worldviews within all these worldviews. But the point is, everyone has one, whether they realise it or not.

To give an example of how different worldviews affect the way people perceive the world, imagine we have 3 people, with three different worldviews: Islamic, Christian, and secular. Let's say they are considering the concept of polygyny. Now, before we even get into any details, discussing the pros and the cons, the Christian immediately has to rule out the possibility of one man marrying several wives, because it goes against his values. The Muslim has no problem, because it is allowed in his religion. As for the secularist, in principle he should be fine with it (assuming he is consistent), although the cultural baggage attached to it will make him slightly uncomfortable. This is due to the strong strand of feminism that runs through modern secularism, and to the association of polygyny with religion. But in principle, as long as one woman could marry several men, or other polyamorous combinations were allowed, in principle (leaving aside practicalities), the secularist has no real reason to be against it.

Now, let's take one of the examples you brought up, homosexuality. For the Muslim and Christian (again, assuming they are consistent), this is ruled out due to the evidence in their religious texts. As for the secularist, he doesn't believe these texts carry any authority, so he has no reason (other than cultural conditioning) to be against it. Theoretically, if sufficient evidence could be shown that it was undesirable in some way, then he could perhaps be persuaded otherwise, but in practice it would be very hard to provide that kind of evidence. What is important to understand here is that the acceptance of homosexuality doesn't come from 'proof'. There is, and can be, no 'proof' that it's acceptable, since what is 'acceptable' depends on your worldview. The acceptance of homosexuality comes from adopting a viewpoint from which there is no reason to think there is anything wrong with it in the first place. Of course, people of different viewpoints then try to convince others with 'evidence', but this isn't how people are convinced. It is more for distraction than anything else. Some evidence for that is the fact that the most often repeated mantra with regards to homosexuality is that 'two consenting adults should be able to express their love in whatever way they want', or some variant of that. This has strong emotional appeal (especially thinking as secularists), but a little bit of thought quickly shows that nobody is really in favour of this. Who is proposing that two brothers should be able to get married for example? You can read about the various methods that were used to change people's attitudes here, and none of them involve 'proof': http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235031610-how-homosexuality-became-normal-in-america/

As for having sex outside of marriage, then again, there is no real reason for secularists to be against this, since they have no reason to assume it's bad. Actually, in both cases, there also reasons they have for encouraging promiscuity and homosexuality, but I don't want to make this post even longer by going into that. What is important to realise is that they start from this viewpoint, so there is no 'proof' needed for them to accept it. Rather, proof is needed for them to reject it, but due to the nature of what we are talking about, the kind of conclusive proof they would need is almost impossible to give (at least for now).

Now, does this mean that Muslims shouldn't care about evidence, and just blindly follow the religion without thinking? No, of course not. However, we look at the evidence as Muslims. So when discussing sex outside marriage, we can see plenty of evidence that this leads to undesirable consequences: STDs, children born out of wedlock who don't have the security of married parents, children not knowing who their parents are, destruction of parental authority, objectification of women, etc. The secularist wouldn't deny that all these things are present in society, but would rather look for alternative explanations, because it better fits their worldview. On the other hand, this evidence perfectly fits the Muslim's worldview, so he has no reason to look for alternative explanations.

Anyway, sorry if this has been a bit rambling at times. I just typed this up quickly without thinking too much, or revising it, but I hope it conveys some of the issues at stake, and why being conscious of our worldview is so important.

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Salam

It's important to put in perspective, that patience for the sake of God is all about gaining God's Name. Personally for me, the most amazing qualities of Quran is the whole flow surah to surah with the beginning of it (by the name of God...) and what the surah flows with respect to the statement made by the Name of God. I am scratching the surface of that here:  http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235031310-the-bismallah-verses-meaning-thread/

In fact the theme of Ismallah is perhaps a bigger reason why Ali's Name was not mentioned explicitly in Quran, there is a majesty to it, in that, you learn Allah refers to him as Ismallah (the name of God) in Suratal Inshirah a long with Mohammad being that.

I think if you begin to study Quran, while some of it's ahkam may seem extreme, the over all basis of the message, the clear teachings, it's science regarding God's face/Name, is so majestic, so eloquent, so logical, and if begin to embrace God's Name yourself and are initiated in the love of Ali and his successors, then there is a wonder to it. A wonder I think try as we might, we cannot create a chapter like it and place it anywhere in the Quran that would make it more exalted or just as exalted.

In particular, I think if humanity tries to bring an opening first chapter better then Suratal Fatiha and with more wisdom, and with more eloquent flow with it, they cannot. Suratal Fatiha is the clearest of miracles out of the whole Quran in my view, and it's the heart of why other Surahs are miraculous (how they flow with respect to Suratal Fatiha). Think about it. Think about it a lot.

 

 

 

 

Edited by StrugglingForTheLight

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Salam

 

Also, it may not be a bad idea, to go to ground zero. Assume everything you know not be true. You may not know you are a perpetual identity. You may not know you have objective value or worth. You may not know praise or morality is not a delusion, magical thinking with no basis. You may not know you have free-will. Then seek certainty in those things. These essential things. 

And read Quran seeking how you come to know these things to be true. What makes you know? How can you know?

Then work yourself from there. How do you know God is One and there aren't many or infinite absolute beings? How do you know that there is an absolute being as opposed to a limited Creator?

How do you know this being would send Prophets? Work yourself up.

Go on a journey of self-discovery.

Be brave and have courage. It may not be what you like (ie. nihilism maybe what you find to be the reality) or it maybe the most beautiful best majestic reality you can wish for.

I wish you the best. I went to ground zero even though it was short lived.

Seek knowledge. Don't be lazy or apathetic to the issue.

 

 

Edited by StrugglingForTheLight

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A hadith from kitab sulaym bin qays comes to mind. The holy Prophet (pbuh) gave many instructions to Imam Ali (as) and foretold a lot of things to come. One part is as follows (rough translation): "O Ali, adhere more strongly to religion the more you find the people moving away from it".

Your obedience to parents and compliance to social norms has a limit which is sharia. So if you see something unislamic, turn your gaze away from it. If the TV shows women without hijab, stop watching TV. When I was your age I have done that. But remember when you may get hate thoughts or holier than thou thoughts, do not entertain those because when you abandon humility the whole exercise will become counter productive. Just start abandoning everything unislamic. See, if in a society enough people had done that then they wouldn't need to, say, present naked women in commercials and on bill boards and it would not have become a custom in the society. They put them there atop new cars or holding clothes precisely so it would attract people's attention. So be the first drop of the rain, in fact I'm sure you will find others, even if few, who are already doing these things. Just don't hate those who are unlike yourself rather try to guide them by explaining yourself when asked.

Edited by Darth Vader

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Wa salam,

The teenage years are tough, im sure i dont need to tell you that. Youre having to negitiate the world with more personal power and responsibility and preoccupation with identity tends to be very strong at this stage of life. There can be a lot of conflict between the desire to be included and accepted by your peer group and the desire for independence and to strike out on your own and experience what life has to offer. Its important to allow for questioning. If questions are popping up theyve already happened and are living in you, so you might a well engage with them. But if youre going to question and take a sceptical approach, dont go half measures with it. Be sceptical of your scepticism too. By all means question untested beliefs, but dont just consign your questioning to what you'd consider matters of religion, question cultural messages also and be mindful of your limits. The best advice i can offer is to prioritise knowing yourself. Look at your nature (and do this by looking at human nature generally, because human nature is your nature). Notice how desires, confusion, weaknesses and strengths play out. Notice how and why people seek to justify certain behaviours. Notice what that deep voice of integrity is telling you and how your egotistical voice is arguing against it, trying to justify its desires, its arrogance and its fear. Dont be scared of questioning, trust in Allah that he will guide the sincere seeker and continue to be attentive and patient.

Im not sure what you mean by this:

Quote

do what the west does since it seems so successful

What is 'western' that seems so 'successful'?

Edited by Ruq
took the full quote out.

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"Notice what that deep voice of integrity is telling you and how your egotistical voice is arguing against it, trying to justify its desires, its arrogance and its fear. Dont be scared of questioning, trust in Allah that he will guide the sincere seeker and continue to be attentive and patient."

Greatly summarized @Ruq. Integrity shall prevail, regardless of any faith crisis we may eventually have. Integrity is a matter of self respect and love, and one shall fight for it regardless of sacrifices (and honestly, it will always be better in the long run, both in this life and in the Hereafter, to sacrifice desires instead of integrity).

I have had my doubts regarding the inculcation of religion in kids due to their lack of critical thinking. However, I have always had a firm belief that integrity shall be a key role in education. Thus, whatever moral code the West may have (or lack of), there is no reason to lose one's integrity. And in many cases, losing religion and faith is a synonym of losing integrity.

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I think you should reflect on why u started being a Muslim in the first place. What was it that u fell in love with? Whats so unique about it? How did it change you?

It's also very important that u remind you're self about the punishments, fearing god, judgement day, when u're in ur grave, etc. etc..

But also the mercy, love, kindness, forgiveness of god..

Truly Islam is the only truth. Best wishes for u. I hope and wish for u, that u will never lose ur faith and ur salah, because if you do, you loose everything.

Asalamu Alaikum.

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21 hours ago, Ruq said:

 

What is 'western' that seems so 'successful'?

Salam,

I don't want to sound like a jerk but isn't it obvious? I know that the west has its cons, and many which are true. But for the most part they seem to have everything in their lives going well for them especially with being the most advanced and peaceful part of the world. I know that they do this by exploiting other nations. But it seems that as the west they are doing just fine with out religion. Perhaps I am wrong for the most part since I wrote this when I was on the edge. 

 

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On 1/1/2016 at 4:45 PM, Haydar Husayn said:

Wa `alaikum as-salaam,

 

Now, let's take one of the examples you brought up, homosexuality. For the Muslim and Christian (again, assuming they are consistent), this is ruled out due to the evidence in their religious texts. As for the secularist, he doesn't believe these texts carry any authority, so he has no reason (other than cultural conditioning) to be against it. Theoretically, if sufficient evidence could be shown that it was undesirable in some way, then he could perhaps be persuaded otherwise, but in practice it would be very hard to provide that kind of evidence. What is important to understand here is that the acceptance of homosexuality doesn't come from 'proof'. There is, and can be, no 'proof' that it's acceptable, since what is 'acceptable' depends on your worldview. The acceptance of homosexuality comes from adopting a viewpoint from which there is no reason to think there is anything wrong with it in the first place. Of course, people of different viewpoints then try to convince others with 'evidence', but this isn't how people are convinced. It is more for distraction than anything else. Some evidence for that is the fact that the most often repeated mantra with regards to homosexuality is that 'two consenting adults should be able to express their love in whatever way they want', or some variant of that. This has strong emotional appeal (especially thinking as secularists), but a little bit of thought quickly shows that nobody is really in favour of this. Who is proposing that two brothers should be able to get married for example? You can read about the various methods that were used to change people's attitudes here, and none of them involve 'proof': http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235031610-how-homosexuality-became-normal-in-america/

 

Salam,

I liked your post a lot. It was very detailed and yet concise to what I need to hear. Yet another reason about why I want to accept homosexuality is since I want to go later to America since I want to publish my novels, since the middle east is really fond of reading especially where I'm from. Also I want to become famous so that I can help Muslims around the world and help teach the world that we aren't bad people. (I know this might sound cheesy to you but I really want to make a change). So if I want to become famous I will need to be very careful on what I say and how I act since I am selling my novel to people who thing otherwise on many of my beliefs. Even if people in the west are fighting to protect Muslims and Syrian refugees, at the end we don't like gays and they like gays,. Eventually either one will have to win and the other has to lose, which I fear at the time at least will be me as the loser. Unfortunately since the west is always the place to go for opportunity, especially in my position, I have no choice but to say I'm neutral or something like that if they ask me that question. 

If you were in my position what would you do? 

P.S. I want a real answer and not that I should just stay in the middle east because I love to write and the only place for me is the west since who else is going to read my books? 

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6 minutes ago, Eric muhalla said:

Salam,

I liked your post a lot. It was very detailed and yet concise to what I need to hear. Yet another reason about why I want to accept homosexuality is since I want to go later to America since I want to publish my novels, since the middle east is really fond of reading especially where I'm from. Also I want to become famous so that I can help Muslims around the world and help teach the world that we aren't bad people. (I know this might sound cheesy to you but I really want to make a change). So if I want to become famous I will need to be very careful on what I say and how I act since I am selling my novel to people who thing otherwise on many of my beliefs. Even if people in the west are fighting to protect Muslims and Syrian refugees, at the end we don't like gays and they like gays,. Eventually either one will have to win and the other has to lose, which I fear at the time at least will be me as the loser. Unfortunately since the west is always the place to go for opportunity, especially in my position, I have no choice but to say I'm neutral or something like that if they ask me that question. 

If you were in my position what would you do? 

P.S. I want a real answer and not that I should just stay in the middle east because I love to write and the only place for me is the west since who else is going to read my books? 

It's a difficult question. The easiest answer would be to try to avoid certain topics in your writings that could cause offense here, but realistically that is getting harder and harder. Still, I think there is plenty of room to write novels that don't mention homosexuality, especially if you are writing about the Middle East. Of course, it would be much easier to become famous if you did write about such things, since the West loves that kind of thing. I have no expertise in writing though, so I can't really offer any good advice. Just remember the importance of taqiyya, and don't lose sight of your beliefs. It's quite hard to be in those circles with Muslim beliefs, since (famous) writers tend to be ultra-liberal.

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As a gay myself, I see the biggest issue with homosexuality is related to people's reaction and culture, both in the West and in the East.

I do believe there are enough legitimate reasons for gays to choose to stay celibate (as I didn't and I know the delusions and suffering you go through). I see celibacy as a legitimate choice that doesn't necessarily requires any religious prohibition to make sense, and in that sense, I feel the forced acceptance in the West has gone too far, as it pressures even those gays to come out and live the so-called gay lifestyle (which is an extremely confusing delusional and dangerous path). Family problems, social margination, exposure to a vicious lifestyle (because one can't expect to meet other gays as innocent and pure out there), high chances of getting STDs (we talk much about this, but waiting for a HIV test result is extremely unbearable, talking from experience), confusing relationships and identity, etc. Honestly, when you put all that in a balance, you seriously start to consider that staying celibate is a wise choice, regardless if you are religious or not.

I believe it is important to respect individual freedom, not hold any prejudice nor unjustified hate, and share your thoughts in a mature and clear way, always in the proper context. In such a way, maybe you can explain why you don't support homosexuality. However, don't expect not to be criticized if you mention that subject. I have been called an homophobe once and my opinions on the topic, especially outside of this forum (out of respect) tend to be very liberal xD!

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22 minutes ago, Eric muhalla said:

Salam,

I liked your post a lot. It was very detailed and yet concise to what I need to hear. Yet another reason about why I want to accept homosexuality is since I want to go later to America since I want to publish my novels, since the middle east is really fond of reading especially where I'm from. Also I want to become famous so that I can help Muslims around the world and help teach the world that we aren't bad people. (I know this might sound cheesy to you but I really want to make a change). So if I want to become famous I will need to be very careful on what I say and how I act since I am selling my novel to people who thing otherwise on many of my beliefs. Even if people in the west are fighting to protect Muslims and Syrian refugees, at the end we don't like gays and they like gays,. Eventually either one will have to win and the other has to lose, which I fear at the time at least will be me as the loser. Unfortunately since the west is always the place to go for opportunity, especially in my position, I have no choice but to say I'm neutral or something like that if they ask me that question. 

If you were in my position what would you do? 

P.S. I want a real answer and not that I should just stay in the middle east because I love to write and the only place for me is the west since who else is going to read my books? 

where from middle east?

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Are there mainstream, well-known (since the OP wants to be famous) writers in the west who could be described as being practising Muslims?

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22 minutes ago, Eric muhalla said:

Salam,

I don't want to sound like a jerk but isn't it obvious? I know that the west has its cons, and many which are true. But for the most part they seem to have everything in their lives going well for them especially with being the most advanced and peaceful part of the world. I know that they do this by exploiting other nations. But it seems that as the west they are doing just fine with out religion. Perhaps I am wrong for the most part since I wrote this when I was on the edge. 

 

It's all superficial. They are 'peaceful' within their borders, but are constantly at war outside (killing many innocent people). And the reason things are so peaceful at home is because people are placated with 'bread and games'. Nobody starves, and everyone is distracted by sports entertainment and celebrity culture. If you were to take one or the other of these things away, then you would see lots of instability. Look at the riots that broke out in Greece when the economy went into freefall, and that was still nothing compared to the conditions in other countries around the world. As you point out yourself, the West also exploits other countries, keeping them in a state of poverty, but it also directly interferes in their internal affairs if they feel that their own interests are threatened. They have a long history of overthrowing governments they don't like, and installing puppet regimes. For example, look at how they support the murderous dictator Sisi in Egypt who has killed thousands of innocent people. On the other hand, look at how they are willing to allow Syria to be completely destroyed just for the sake of getting rid of someone nowhere near as bad as Sisi who isn't on their side.

Now, if we look more closely at the lives of people living in the West, even the apparent happiness is not quite what it seems. Millions of people are on anti-depressants, millions drink alcohol or take drugs, all for the sake of altering their reality. If they were truly so happy, they wouldn't need to do this. They also numb their minds with the aforementioned celebrity culture, needless consumerism, various forms of media, and sports entertainment. Meanwhile, the family structure has deteriorated, anti-intellectualism is rife, and all kinds of things that were considered immoral throughout human history are rampant. The only real success you can take about is technological, and intellectual (among the elite). In terms of academic output, there is no doubt the West is currently superior to the rest of the world, and this is also part of the reason they are so far ahead technologically (although much of this is also due to the economic exploitation of other countries). A byproduct of the changes in morality has undeniably also been a positive change in certain attitudes (mainly racism), so from a selfish point of view that has been a good thing, but whether it outweighs everything else is questionable.

From a more metaphysical angle, it's pretty obvious that the Devil is only going to be able to tempt people into sin if the sin can be made enticing. So in order to get people to forget about God, you obviously need to give them a comfortable life. Difficulty is more likely to make people turn towards God.

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55 minutes ago, Eric muhalla said:

Salam,

I don't want to sound like a jerk but isn't it obvious? I know that the west has its cons, and many which are true. But for the most part they seem to have everything in their lives going well for them especially with being the most advanced and peaceful part of the world. I know that they do this by exploiting other nations. But it seems that as the west they are doing just fine with out religion. Perhaps I am wrong for the most part since I wrote this when I was on the edge. 

 

I guess there are 2 parts to the question 1) what is it youre deeming a 'success' (you said the 'peace') and 2) what is 'Western' (as opposed to 'religious or Islamic'??) that youre putting that 'peace' down to?

People in the west generally dont have to go about worrying that a bomb is about to drop on them its true, but i dont know that we're saturated with peace over here. I see a hell of a lot of stress playing out around me. We're not the most addicted, obese, medicated and in-debt we've ever been for no reason. Materially people generally have a high standard of living. If youre going down the pan spiritually that doesnt count for so much imo.

 

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50 minutes ago, Bakir said:

As a gay myself, I see the biggest issue with homosexuality is related to people's reaction and culture, both in the West and in the East.

I do believe there are enough legitimate reasons for gays to choose to stay celibate (as I didn't and I know the delusions and suffering you go through). I see celibacy as a legitimate choice that doesn't necessarily requires any religious prohibition to make sense, and in that sense, I feel the forced acceptance in the West has gone too far, as it pressures even those gays to come out and live the so-called gay lifestyle (which is an extremely confusing delusional and dangerous path). Family problems, social margination, exposure to a vicious lifestyle (because one can't expect to meet other gays as innocent and pure out there), high chances of getting STDs (we talk much about this, but waiting for a HIV test result is extremely unbearable, talking from experience), confusing relationships and identity, etc. Honestly, when you put all that in a balance, you seriously start to consider that staying celibate is a wise choice, regardless if you are religious or not.

I believe it is important to respect individual freedom, not hold any prejudice nor unjustified hate, and share your thoughts in a mature and clear way, always in the proper context. In such a way, maybe you can explain why you don't support homosexuality. However, don't expect not to be criticized if you mention that subject. I have been called an homophobe once and my opinions on the topic, especially outside of this forum (out of respect) tend to be very liberal xD!

Salam, 

I have been meaning to talk to a gay person about this subject, and since its anonymous even better (I hope you understand why). So as a Muslim, I want to stay with what the Quran says but then when I grew older and I ventured farther and father into the internet I then saw that homosexuality seems to be perhaps normal in some way. Thus I concluded that I shouldn't only question my beliefs but also everyone else's beliefs thus I have to say that it seem homosexuality, in the short run, is harmless as it is. Yet in the long run can perhaps cause damage to society either in  accepting more radical forms of homosexuality. Like pedophilia (Search Nambla) and then incest, bestiality etc. aside with higher divorce rates and no children and a lot of other things that can damage a community morally. 

Yet if it doesn't happen then I might have to accept homosexuality. Also there is pressure from my family. If I do this then it will be a lot harder and more awkward to converse with them. 

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From my experience with Atheists, is that they justify and believe incest is OK (over all, this the Atheists I talk to on forums). They only have a problem with parents and their children, as that seems to be an abuse of power or parental role.

The west seems to be heading towards Atheism as far law goes, because it's secular morality. That means they can't take into account religious morals into law. Therefore even if they believe in God or Christianity, it seems, incest will one day be OK if things keep going in the direction they are going.

 

 

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If you live in a country with several religions (and that is probably every country) then you can't fairly have a legal system that just implements the law according to the dominant religion (unless your saudi arabia maybe... without the fairness...). The alternative is a secular system tries to find the common ground and to limit the harm that individuals can do to others where the common ground can't be found. 

I'm an atheist, I don't like incest and I can see legitimate reason for the law to prevent incestuous relations that will result in inbreeding because it will/may lead to harm for the offspring. If an infertile brother and sister, or two brothers, want to do it then I don't see an what basis I can step in and forbid or prevent it. Religion perhaps allows you to step in and punish them but for me this is just a way of outsourcing difficult moral questions. I have no evidence for the following observation but it seems to me that the taboo against incest has become stronger than ever in the west as it has become more secular. It is no longer cool to marry your cousin here and it used to be quite acceptable.

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7 hours ago, Eric muhalla said:

Salam, 

I have been meaning to talk to a gay person about this subject, and since its anonymous even better (I hope you understand why). So as a Muslim, I want to stay with what the Quran says but then when I grew older and I ventured farther and father into the internet I then saw that homosexuality seems to be perhaps normal in some way. Thus I concluded that I shouldn't only question my beliefs but also everyone else's beliefs thus I have to say that it seem homosexuality, in the short run, is harmless as it is. Yet in the long run can perhaps cause damage to society either in  accepting more radical forms of homosexuality. Like pedophilia (Search Nambla) and then incest, bestiality etc. aside with higher divorce rates and no children and a lot of other things that can damage a community morally. 

Yet if it doesn't happen then I might have to accept homosexuality. Also there is pressure from my family. If I do this then it will be a lot harder and more awkward to converse with them. 

From what I have been able to understand in Islam, one of the main reasons is the harm to the moral fabric of a given society. It is possible to explain why, especialize if you contextualize it in a muslim society (the laws on social interaction are meant for a society in which homosexuality doesn't prevail). History tell us there was no prosecution of gay and effeminate men in the time of the Prophet saww, but there was no tolerance to public sin either.

It is also generally seen as a misuse of one's nature by certain scholars.

I believe it is one of those topics that is useless to debate in the West. I mean, it only makes sense in a given muslim society, where the social structure is based on islamic guidelines instead of... whatever "guidelines" we got today.

I liked very much Haydar's post (as always xD). To be honest, I like the tolerance towards LGBT in the West, but I dislike the intolerance towards those who choose to stay celibate (not speaking about me as I've been no saint). Why? Because I think it shouldn't be a taboo topic, and I believe there should be tolerance towards the different approaches each culture, community and individual has to it (which is something that doesn't happen in the West nor in the muslim countries).

 

As a side note. Talking about these subjects with conservative families tend to make them think you may be struggling with gay urges xD! Be careful lol.

Edited by Bakir

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