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In the Name of God بسم الله

Jew/Israeli, questions on reverting to Islam

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Wa alaykum Asalam, welcome brother.

Allah says in the Quran "You did not know the Book, nor the faith, but We made it a light, guiding thereby whom We please of Our servants." (42:52)

Praise be to Allah for guiding you to the right path. There are many things to learn about Islam, and right now you're on the research phase where you haven't fully converted yet but you are deeply thinking about it. Right now you need to be strengthening your faith and love to God, and by doing that you must keep reading and learning. Read books like Nahjul Balagha [peak of eloquence] by Imam Ali (as) [the successor of the Prophet (saw)] to get a glimpse of what reality really is from an Islamic point of view. You can even read Tafsir al-mizan by Allamah al-tabatabai since you have a high interest in the Quran, it's an exegesis of the Quran explaining the meaning of each verse in it.

Tafsir al mizan - http://www.almizan.org/

Nahjul Balagha - https://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-1-sermons and https://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-2-letters-and-sayings

Have a look at this thread that gives you a list of different online books to read for each subject:

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Guest Isaac Alfasi

Thank you for the responses.  I've emailed two masjids in my area (the two closest to me) but I haven't heard a response from either so far.  Can one just show up at a masjid without prior notice?

This may sound like a foolish question, and perhaps it is the result of media influence, but is it possible I will be treated with suspicion or hostility because of my background?  After all I did live in Israel for a couple years, and I served in their military, although I am no longer a supporter of Israel.  Is that something that would prevent me from being accepted by Muslims?  In either case I would want to convert, since ultimatley it is the Truth I am concerned with, and wherever it is I intend to go.

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On 30/05/2017 at 8:11 AM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Thank you for the responses.  I've emailed two masjids in my area (the two closest to me) but I haven't heard a response from either so far.  Can one just show up at a masjid without prior notice?

This may sound like a foolish question, and perhaps it is the result of media influence, but is it possible I will be treated with suspicion or hostility because of my background?  After all I did live in Israel for a couple years, and I served in their military, although I am no longer a supporter of Israel.  Is that something that would prevent me from being accepted by Muslims?  In either case I would want to convert, since ultimatley it is the Truth I am concerned with, and wherever it is I intend to go.

:salam:

First of all, congratulations for entering the family of Islam. Your story is amazing.

As for you question, I would say that it may definitely raise suspicion since shia Islam has an overall staunch anti israeli stance.

You now have two choices for frequenting a community :

- Go all out and tell everyone your background in detail, that might make you gain some respect. But some people will always be hesitant or reluctant to approach you.

- Go low profile, and make no friends.

Not easy...

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On 5/28/2017 at 2:43 AM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Salam aleikum, my brothers in the faith of Abraham.

I am an American born Jew of Israeli/Moroccan ancestry.  Growing up I didn't participate much in my own religion, so curiosity led me at the age of 18 to explore Orthodox Judaism.  Ultimately I wasn't satisfied or convinced by it, and I returned to a secular way of life.  At this point I began to really delve into philosophy, specifically the Western philosophical tradition, but something felt like it was missing from my worldview.  Fortunately, I discovered the writing of Rene Guenon who wrote books promoting the validity and importance of the world's spiritual and religious traditions.  His way of thinking influenced me greatly.  I then started to explore the ideas of many different world religions, but a deep-seated bias against Islam kept me from studying their ideas despite the fact that Guenon himself was a revert to Islam.

While finding many profound things in all of these traditions that I read about, they always seemed somehow incomplete or inadequate.  Then I finally acquiesced and decided to give a look into Islam, but with a detached frame of mind and with no serious intention of ever becoming a Muslim.  I quickly became engrossed by the Islamic world view, impressed by the completeness and perfection of its religious content, and humbled by the magnificence of its history and the greatness of its personages.  But it has been reading the Quran (I am currently at the 46th Surah) that has impressed me above all.  I need not explain to you the wonderful qualities that this book possesses, as that must be something all too evident for you, and it's not something I feel capable of expressing. 

As such, I have become convinced that there is no tradition on Earth equal to Islam, and that the Quran is a book that can be relied upon for guidance in this life.  It is precisely this aspect of "guidance" that I felt was conspicuously lacking from other traditions.  Further consideration has led me to conclude that Shi'a Islam is the more reliable branch.  Briefly, my reasoning is as follows: as a non-Muslim I wish to learn what it means to be a Muslim and who better to learn from then the Ahl al-Bayt and those who were their direct students?  Just like if someone wished to learn French he would ideally prefer to go to France itself in order to learn from the locals rather than learn from those who merely know it through reading textbooks.  The reliability of the transmission of the holy book of Islam as well as the transmission of teachings regarding it is one of the things that set Islam apart from other faiths, so naturally I had to apply that same criteria when judging between the different branches within Islam itself.  Allama Tabatabai's book "Shi'i Islam", as well, has helped in clarifying many Shi'i points of view for me.

At this point I wish I still had some substantial objection to Islam, or some excuse to disregard it, but I don't.  And my desire for the truth is greater than my fear of what others will think.

I'm unsure of where I go from here. How do I know if I'm ready to convert?  I feel like I've barely scratched the tip of the iceberg, and I want to know more.  What do I do about my family situation?  If they find out they would be shocked and devastated, and probably cut off all relations with me.  Can one just show up at a local masjid at any time?  I don't know any Shi'a masjids in my area or which ones to go to―would it matter if I just went to a regular Sunni masjid or "Islamic Center"?

Is anyone here from Los Angeles?  Maybe we can talk through email.  It would be nice to know someone in my area.

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan Mubarak, 

As someone who was raised in another religion (Christianity) and converted / reverted to Islam in my early 20's, I can tell you that seeking knowledge is a lifelong process. Although I have been muslim now for 20+ years and have been actively studying the religion during that time, I also feel I have barely scratched the surface. That will probably never go away. 

About your family, you are imagining the worst case scenario. I was raised in an Evangelical Christian household. When I did my Shahada, things were 'rocky' for a while between me and my family, but it got better with time, and other members of my family also accepted Islam after I did. 

Oh, and I am from Los Angeles (Long Beach). I live in Michigan now, but lived most of my life there. There is the Islamic Education Center of Orange County (Sayyid Mustafa Qazwini). I would recommend going there if you live in Orange County(the masjid is near the John Wayne Airport). In Bell Gardens, there is the Jaafari Hall, Islamic Center. That one is mostly Pakistani, not sure how many programs they have in English. If you have any more questions, please post. 

You will know when you are ready to do Shahada, you will just know, let's put it that way. Also, you don't have to say it publically, according to Jaafari Fiqh(Shia). Saying it to yourself is just as valid, but it's nice when it is done in some kind of public forum(even online) because it strengthens the Iman(faith) of other brothers and sisters. But again, it is not required in order for the Shahada(testimony of faith) to be vaild. 

Salam and Shalom. 

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On 5/30/2017 at 2:11 AM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Thank you for the responses.  I've emailed two masjids in my area (the two closest to me) but I haven't heard a response from either so far.  Can one just show up at a masjid without prior notice?

This may sound like a foolish question, and perhaps it is the result of media influence, but is it possible I will be treated with suspicion or hostility because of my background?  After all I did live in Israel for a couple years, and I served in their military, although I am no longer a supporter of Israel.  Is that something that would prevent me from being accepted by Muslims?  In either case I would want to convert, since ultimatley it is the Truth I am concerned with, and wherever it is I intend to go.

I'm not going to lie to you, there is a long history (not a good history) between Muslims, particularly Arabs, and Israelis. That is very obvious. 

Because of that, some people may be overly suspicious of your intentions. In order to mitigate that, I would not ask people too many detailed questions regarding their families(specifics like names and locations), or what their political alliances are and what groups they support. Some people might volunteer this information on their own, but you should be careful about asking specifics. If you keep the topic of conversation to religion / philosophy / history only, you will be ok. Also, if you are continuously going to the same masjid or center, after a while the people there will get to know you and will start to trust you. It will happen gradually, but it will happen. It largely depends on your behaviour. 

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On 6/3/2017 at 3:52 PM, Abu Hadi said:

I'm not going to lie to you, there is a long history (not a good history) between Muslims, particularly Arabs, and Israelis. That is very obvious. 

Because of that, some people may be overly suspicious of your intentions. In order to mitigate that, I would not ask people too many detailed questions regarding their families(specifics like names and locations), or what their political alliances are and what groups they support. Some people might volunteer this information on their own, but you should be careful about asking specifics. If you keep the topic of conversation to religion / philosophy / history only, you will be ok. Also, if you are continuously going to the same masjid or center, after a while the people there will get to know you and will start to trust you. It will happen gradually, but it will happen. It largely depends on your behaviour. 

Thank you for your honesty and advice.  Also thank you to everyone else who took the time to read and respond.  Thankfully, I'm someone who is naturally indifferent to and uninterested in politics.  In some ways that can be a negative thing, but that's generally the attitude that's most characteristic of me.  Even my decision to join the IDF was ultimately with no political motive, hard as that may be to believe.  I suppose most people just follow the norms that they are born into, and I am no different.  After all, I never asked to be born to the particular milieu I was born into.  Still, I'm quite worried of being ostracized or rejected, as one of the things that appeals to me about Islam is its completeness in the sense that nothing is lacking in it and all aspects of life and existence are included, and one of those major aspects is communal life.

As far as "just knowing that I'm ready for Shahada", I fee like I'm already Muslim inwardly, and it's just a matter of going through with the 'formalities' now, and figuring out the details.  Is that what you mean? Only thing preventing me are apprehensions and fears.  And regarding my family situation, unfortunately there is a lot of racism against arabs among Israelis (and for many Israelis muslims = arabs, an equation no rational explanation can dispel in their minds) and Muslims are considered an outright existential threat, not to mention all the stereotypes about perceived fanaticism, violence, abuse of women etc .  A decision to convert on my part would constitute a serious break with them.  Sorry for the TMI, but I gotta get these things off my chest and I don't have anyone around to confide in.  Hopefully you are correct, though, and at least some of them will be able to eventually come to terms with such a decision.

Anyway, more to the point: I'm actually from SFV so there aren't any Shi'a that close by (also no car), so what about a attending a Sunni masjid?  Seems like a reasonable option given the circumstances.  What do you (or anyone else) think?

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Salam, 

A couple of quick points

I. Never mention that you were in the IDF when you are around muslims, particularly Arabs, and particularly Lebanese and Palestinians. Since there are alot of Lebanese and Palestinians in the L.A. area, If you are at a masjid or gathering, most likely there will be some there who's family members were killed or injured by IDF or their house or neighborhood was bombed by a bomb from the IDF. So it is a personal issue with them, just as it is with an Israeli who's family was a victim of a suicide bomber. It is just as intense on both sides. But you haven't really seen the other side, yet. You've probably only heard one side of it up to this point. 

THere are more educated and more religious muslims who can separate out the issues in their mind (emotions vs rational thought). There are others (probably the majority unfortunately) muslims who are what we call BNO, (By Name Only), they stick to the religion more as a cultural thing and have not accepted it rationally and they are usually not educated and react emotionally to things. You are going to have much better luck talking to the first group vs the second. 

This is going to be the most sensitive point and your greatest challenge about fitting into the community. I would reach out over the net or other ways to find Jewish / Israeli reverts (you are not the first one, lol) to Islam and ask them how they dealt with it. I knew a few when I was living in the area but unfortunately lost contact when I moved out of the area. 

There is no problem attending a Sunni mosque, but I would also try to reach out to some followers of Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) in your area. I don't know how you live in L.A. without a car, that must be difficult. 

I know some brothers in the SFV, I can reach out to them on your behalf. 

About the Shahada, I think this Holy Month of Ramadan is the best time to do it. If you feel you are ready. The vast majority of reversions actually take place during this month.If you would like to do your Shahada here on ShiaChat, that would be wonderful and would inspire other brothers and sisters who are here. 

About the word, reverts. Why we call ourselves reverts rather than converts is because the word revert means to go back to the original state. We believe that every human being was born on the fitra(innate nature) of Islam(in submission to the One and Only God whom we call Allah(s.w.a)). It is their family and society that make them into something else (Jewish, Christian, atheist, agnostic, etc). When you revert, you go back to this original, innate nature of your birth. 

Also, If you haven't seen it already there was a great movie made about Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) that is very inspiring. It was made a few decades ago, but just as relevant today. It gives a good overview of the religion, although it leaves out some things (which we can discuss later). Link is below

 

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11 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

I know some brothers in the SFV, I can reach out to them on your behalf. 

Thank you! That would be amazing.  Personal contacts are just what I need.  Otherwise it feels like I'm walking into a dark room blindfolded.  Your willingness to help a total stranger is not taken for granted, and I sincerely and deeply appreciate this gesture.  They can contact me at this email:

juanbaptistefitzcarraldo@gmail.com

(It's a pseudonym, as is Isaac Alfasi for that matter)

As for taking the Shahada, how does that work exactly?  Doesn't it need to be with witnesses?  Once you take it does it mean you've taken upon yourself the full obligation of following all Islamic laws?  Will I need to start fasting?  Should I already be fasting now?  Should I learn how to pray first?  There's still lots of things I don't know about Islam even though I have come to agree with the essentials.

Edited by Khadim uz Zahra
Corrected email address based on user's request.
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On 6/4/2017 at 0:02 AM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Thank you for your honesty and advice.  Also thank you to everyone else who took the time to read and respond.  Thankfully, I'm someone who is naturally indifferent to and uninterested in politics.  In some ways that can be a negative thing, but that's generally the attitude that's most characteristic of me.  Even my decision to join the IDF was ultimately with no political motive, hard as that may be to believe.  I suppose most people just follow the norms that they are born into, and I am no different.  After all, I never asked to be born to the particular milieu I was born into.  Still, I'm quite worried of being ostracized or rejected, as one of the things that appeals to me about Islam is its completeness in the sense that nothing is lacking in it and all aspects of life and existence are included, and one of those major aspects is communal life.

As somewhat of a convert myself (albeit an Arab convert), I'd like to stress the importance of keeping ties with your own community as well. Shi`a communities in the West are quite recent, and limited in size and organization; they're mostly cultural centres. Most are centered around a few diaspora cultures - namely, Persian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Iraqi, Khoja, and Afghan. Their programs are usually offered in their native language, and English programs will depend on the mosque. Multicultural integration in ethnocentric communities takes time. A lot of converts who do not fit neatly into one of the above categories (including myself) will generally have trouble making lasting connections. Some have trouble getting married. Programs are also very formal and devotional.

Online communities like ShiaChat partially exist because it is a casual, multicultural space, available to both genders and to individuals scattered with little communal life. Anonymity also helps in discussing topics that may be taboo in a formal mosque program.

So after your conversion, your family and friends would still be a safety net and an important source of support. Of course, it's still very important to make Muslim friends, and to surround yourself with good people. I would definitely keep the IDF experience to myself in your place, because it is quite sensitive, perhaps especially in the Lebanese communities.

On 6/4/2017 at 8:10 PM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

As for taking the Shahada, how does that work exactly?  Doesn't it need to be with witnesses?  Once you take it does it mean you've taken upon yourself the full obligation of following all Islamic laws?  Will I need to start fasting?  Should I already be fasting now?  Should I learn how to pray first?  There's still lots of things I don't know about Islam even though I have come to agree with the essentials.

Once you convert, you'll have to commit yourself to learning how to pray, how to fast, what to eat/drink, what to avoid, etc. and as you learn, you then apply those things into your life. So you wouldn't necessarily be doing them on the day you convert, but within the time that it takes to learn them. We can provide you with links, videos, and answers to any questions inshaAllah.

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23 hours ago, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Thank you! That would be amazing.  Personal contacts are just what I need.  Otherwise it feels like I'm walking into a dark room blindfolded.  Your willingness to help a total stranger is not taken for granted, and I sincerely and deeply appreciate this gesture.  They can contact me at this email:

juanbaptistefitzcarraldo@gmail.com

(It's a pseudonym, as is Isaac Alfasi for that matter)

As for taking the Shahada, how does that work exactly?  Doesn't it need to be with witnesses?  Once you take it does it mean you've taken upon yourself the full obligation of following all Islamic laws?  Will I need to start fasting?  Should I already be fasting now?  Should I learn how to pray first?  There's still lots of things I don't know about Islam even though I have come to agree with the essentials.

OK. I will reach out to the them. 

For Shahada, once you do then you are responsible for following all the Islamic laws you are aware of. For example, you can't drink alcohol or eat pork(you probably know that already), you need to start learning how to do the Salat (obligatory prayers), and yes, since this is Ramadan, you would need to start fasting if you plan on doing your Shahada within the next 19 to 20 days. Today is the 10th of Ramadan and the month lasts either 29 or 30 days (by the lunar calendar). 

You don't need to fast now, since you are not muslim. The Shahada is what makes you a muslim, officially. 

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Thanks again for all the help, everyone.  Abu Hadi, I look forward to hearing from them!

As for links/resources, my favorite format for learning has always been books (and there have already been a few mentioned here).  Otherwise, any kind of resource is appreciated.  Off the top of my head some books I've already read/currently reading:

- Understanding Islam by Frithjon Schuon

- Introduction to Islam by Mohammed Hamidullah

- Shi'i Islam by Allama Tabatabai

- And Then I was Guided by Mohammed al Tijani

- The Meaning of the Glorious Quran by Marmaduke Pickthall

- Nahjul Balagha

- Islam: Ideals and Realities by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  I did start Muhammad Asad's Road to Makkah, but got distracted by other things, and I've been meaning to look into Henry Corbin who someone mentioned earlier.  Other than that I've been watching  lectures and documentaries on youtube mostly.

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4 minutes ago, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Just dropping by to let everyone know that I'm now a Muslim.  I made my Shahada by myself at home. 

Welcome to Islam, Brother. Allah bless you. :) 

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13 minutes ago, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Just dropping by to let everyone know that I'm now a Muslim.  I made my Shahada by myself at home.  Abu Hadi, now I know what you meant by "just knowing".  It hit me like a bolt of lightning, and it was like I had no choice (not in a negative sense) but to testify that there is no god but God and that Mohammed is His prophet.  I guess is where the real journey starts.  Thank you, again, to everyone for the help and advice.

Congratulations! Your reward from Allah will be very pleasant Inshallah! You should register an account here on the forums, would be great to have you with us here :) 

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On 6/15/2017 at 4:04 AM, Guest Isaac Alfasi said:

Just dropping by to let everyone know that I'm now a Muslim.  I made my Shahada by myself at home. @Abu Hadi Abu Hadi, now I know what you meant by "just knowing".  It hit me like a bolt of lightning, and it was like I had no choice (not in a negative sense) but to testify that there is no god but God and that Mohammed is His prophet.  I guess is where the real journey starts.  Thank you, again, to everyone for the help and advice.

Congratulations brother, 

Are you fasting ? 

My original contacts which I tried to reach out to are not responding. I am still working on getting someone for you to speak with. Give me a few more days, InShahAllah(God Willing) I will get ahold of someone. 

In the mean time, If you have any questions, you can post here and I will try to respond ASAP. 

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Here are a few books which I recommend. They give a good introduction for the foundation of Islamic beliefs. 

First one is philosophy, not lite reading, but a good summary of belief in God and Prophets, and Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h)

https://www.al-islam.org/revealer-messenger-message-sayyid-muhammad-baqir-al-sadr/part-3-message#islam

This is about belief in Allah(s.w.a) specifically, very good  introduction

https://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari

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On 15 ביוני 2017 at 1:20 AM, Hassan- said:

Congratulations! Your reward from Allah will be very pleasant Inshallah! You should register an account here on the forums, would be great to have you with us here :) 

 

On 15 ביוני 2017 at 1:20 AM, Muhajir said:

I second that. One thing about this forum brother is it will definitely help you stay connected with like minded people and will help you grow as a muslim guaranteed.

Thanks, this is my account now.  Not sure how often I'll use it, but it's good to have in case I need it.

On 15 ביוני 2017 at 1:26 AM, Muhajir said:

I also highly recommend this book https://www.amazon.com/Shii-Islam-Origins-Faith-Practices/dp/190406311X

heres the free version https://www.al-islam.org/discovering-shii-islam-mohammad-ali-shomali/introduction

after reading this you might understand why his last name is shomali which means windy lol... seriously.

Thanks, that was a nice short read.  Good overview.

4 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

Congratulations brother, 

Are you fasting ? 

My original contacts which I tried to reach out to are not responding. I am still working on getting someone for you to speak with. Give me a few more days, InShahAllah(God Willing) I will get ahold of someone. 

In the mean time, If you have any questions, you can post here and I will try to respond ASAP. 

So, as far as fasting―kind of.  I'm not quite going all out because I don't want to raise any alarms at home, and if you know anything about Moroccan families you'll know that nothing raises alarms like not eating, but I've been managing to go most of the day without eating.

 

My main concern now is how to practice Islam, what to learn and in what order to learn it.  I used some of the resources provided on this forum to learn "Wudu", and probably the next thing to learn is how to pray so I'll try working on that.  So in your opinions, what should my priorities be as far as figuring out practice?

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1 hour ago, al-Fasi said:

 

Thanks, this is my account now.  Not sure how often I'll use it, but it's good to have in case I need it.

Thanks, that was a nice short read.  Good overview.

So, as far as fasting―kind of.  I'm not quite going all out because I don't want to raise any alarms at home, and if you know anything about Moroccan families you'll know that nothing raises alarms like not eating, but I've been managing to go most of the day without eating.

 

My main concern now is how to practice Islam, what to learn and in what order to learn it.  I used some of the resources provided on this forum to learn "Wudu", and probably the next thing to learn is how to pray so I'll try working on that.  So in your opinions, what should my priorities be as far as figuring out practice?

Ya I wouldn't recommend you worry about fasting this year. Just try to absorb as much has knowledge as you can and next year try to do the fast inshallah. The first words of Quran which were revealed the the Prophet pbuh was read and this shows that the first thing that you should do as a muslim is read and become more educated and learn as much as you can and this is better for you than doing any type of rituals right now but learning the wudu and salah is also good but make sure the number one priority right now is to read and learn.

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also @al-Fasi I recommended that you start posting in the other parts of the forum. One thing I will warn you tho is that there are some very rude members and ignorant ones who might try to teach you or be rude and annoying but dont let them give you the wrong idea since most people on this forum are cool. At the end of the day nobody is above us but Allah so ya have no fear about your past or anything just talk to us as friends.

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On 6/17/2017 at 1:16 PM, al-Fasi said:

 

Thanks, this is my account now.  Not sure how often I'll use it, but it's good to have in case I need it.

Thanks, that was a nice short read.  Good overview.

So, as far as fasting―kind of.  I'm not quite going all out because I don't want to raise any alarms at home, and if you know anything about Moroccan families you'll know that nothing raises alarms like not eating, but I've been managing to go most of the day without eating.

 

My main concern now is how to practice Islam, what to learn and in what order to learn it.  I used some of the resources provided on this forum to learn "Wudu", and probably the next thing to learn is how to pray so I'll try working on that.  So in your opinions, what should my priorities be as far as figuring out practice?

The priorities are what are called the wajibat (required acts). They are often reffered to as the 'Five Pillars'

1) Salat (Prayer). 

2) Saum (Fasting during Ramadan)

3) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja). This is only required if one is able to make the journey, i.e. has the money and the time to do it, but once you have the money and the time, it is then required (wajib). 

4) Zakat (no good translation in English). This is basically a required form of charity in which you give 20 percent of your excess income or savings after one year. Excess means money left over after you have paid all your living expenses, so basically savings. If you have no savings, then this doesn't apply. There is also Zakat on others things like crops, livestock, etc, but since you live in L.A I am assuming that part doesn't apply to you. 

5) Tauhid. It is mandatory to believe that there is One God with no Partners or associates, sons, etc.

We, the followers of Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)), say that there are actually another 4 pillars, which are the required beliefs (the 'Five Pillars' above are  agreed on by all muslims, albeit with slight differnces between them in how these are actually practiced)

The additional four pillars of belief are

1) Adl (Divine Justice). Belief that God is Just and Fair in everything and doesn't oppress anyone. 

2) Nabuwwat(Prophethood). Belief that God reveals his message to people thru Prophets and Messengers. These include the first, which was Prophet Adam((عليه السلام)) to the last which was Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h). These also include most of the Prophets mentioned in the Bible(albeit we don't accept all the stories in the Bible about their actions)  such as Nuh(Noah), Ibrahim(Abraham),Ayyub(Job),Lut(Lot), Yusuf(Joseph), Ishaq(Issac), Yaqub(Jacob), Musa(Moses), Harun(Aaron), Elias(Elias), Dawood(David), Sulaiyman(Soloman), and I'sa(Jesus), may peace and blessings be upon all of them.  All these are mentioned in the Holy Quran. 

3) Imamate. We believe that God would never leave the world without a guide that has authority from Him(s.w.a). After Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h), there are twelve leaders who carry Divine Authority and knowledge necessary to guide humanity toward the right path that is pleasing to God.The first was Imam Ali((عليه السلام)), then his sons, Imam Hassan((عليه السلام)), then Imam Husain((عليه السلام)), Then Ali son of Imam Husain((عليه السلام)) called Zain Al Abedeen (ornament of the worshippers)((عليه السلام)), then Muhammad son of Ali called  Bakir((عليه السلام)), then Jaafar son of Muhammad called  Sadiq(the truthful)((عليه السلام)), then Musa son of Jaafar called  Kathim(the one who restrains his anger)((عليه السلام)), then Ali son of Musa called  Reda(the well pleased with God)((عليه السلام)), then Muhammad son of Ali called  Jawad(the generous)((عليه السلام)), then Ali son of Muhammad called  Hadi(the guide)((عليه السلام)), then Hassan son of Ali called Al Askari(the name of the region in Iraq where he lived)((عليه السلام)), then the living Imam(who is currently alive but in occultation) called Al Mahdi(the guided one), Al Muntathir (the Awaited One), and many other titles. (a.f.s). 

On a side note, at least three(maybe more) of our Imams((عليه السلام)) had mothers who came from the region of North Africa(Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), where your family is from

4) Al Ghaib (belief in the unseen). We are required to believe in the unseen world, heaven, hell, the life in the grave (alim al Barzakh), and the Day of Judgement. 

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1 hour ago, al-Fasi said:

Do you think it's feasible to learn salat on one's own?  I've looked into it a bit on this site and it seems like a very complicated subject.

No you should make contacts with masjids and have them teach you. It similar to exercise like in the sense that you need a coach and a personal trainer. So inshallah brother Abu Hadi will connect you with the right people and you should look at the Imam like a coach to help you learn the stuff.

Edited by Muhajir
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On 6/18/2017 at 5:13 PM, al-Fasi said:

Do you think it's feasible to learn salat on one's own?  I've looked into it a bit on this site and it seems like a very complicated subject.

It's probably the most complicated of the wajib things, but it's not rocket science (lol). 

I would recommend you learn in a group setting or at a masjid. 

When someone became muslim during the time of Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h), he used to tell them 

to make ghusl (a shower where you start with washing your head, then right side, then left side in sequence), then he would teach them two rakats (two units) of prayer. So maybe start with that. 

The ghusl is to wash away your sins, because when you become muslim all sins that you committed before your Shahada are forgiven unless those sins involve oppression and taking the rights of others. That's a huge blessing which most people on this site who were born muslim wish for. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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