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In the Name of God بسم الله

Can anyone else relate?

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  • Advanced Member

As salaamun aleikum dear brothers, sisters and friends-

What follows is related to another post i made. While responding to another member, i began to get frustrated. I didnt address my frustration in that thread because it would have been way off topic and not relevant, so i decided to make a new thread here.

My frustration is due to something that i dont see a legitimate excuse for, which is why is there not a simple, laid out blueprint for study when it comes to our religion? Especially for the converts, and even for born muslims who come from families that for all intents and purposes, dont have a real clue about or understanding of our religion?

The post i am refering to had to do with an atheist, someone who says he is so because he wasnt "indoctrinated". I am understanding this as him being "a clean slate", and so  if he at some point desires to begin "writing", he wont have to "overwrite" anything previously written, as is the case with many people.

What is interesting, is this man, by not having been subjected to any kind of indoctrination (i wonder though,  if a lack of indoctrination is actually still a type of indoctrination) is less muddled and clearer fitri wise than those of us who were born into a particular religion, or reverted, and/or had to struggle and sift through all the extra embellishments and overexagerations of particular aspects of our religion, trying to figure out what is truth vs falsehood, and in doing so (at least in my case) have arrived at a rather burned out state  of spirituality and understanding due to all the time and effort spent in attempting to move forward,only to be consistently bogged down at almost  every turn by some type of nonsense that in many cases, doesnt even belong to the religion-and i am only speaking of the academic aspect of it. 

Based on all the mumbo jumbo and false beliefs and ideas that have infiltrated religion, i will be 90 years old (If i live that long-) before i am able to arrive where this man is currently at, simply because he wasnt subject to a lot of unnecessarry nonsense. What i am refering to is the stripping away of all things that act as a veil to Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. The last 9 years of my life as a convert has unfortunately resulted in my acquiring  of certain wrong ideas that have acted as barriers towards correct understanding, ie veiling. Now, i must begin a process of elimination and re-learning once the barriers have been identified. As if i need more stuff to work on,lol.. Most, if not all of this couldve been prevented if there had been a school textbook style blueprint with steps A-Z clearly defined and taught and made available to those whom seek to learn and understand our religion CORRECTLY.  Without correct understanding of the very basics of our religion, the rest of our understanding will be off. 

 I converted to Islam later in life. I feel like I don't have time to waste, as we never know when we will pass, and it is frusterating  when I look at all the stuff I've had to sift through and wrong ideas i have inadvertently collected over the course of the last 9 years. A fair ammount of time and energy has been spent in accumulating religious waste that now needs to be purged and unlearned, in order for me to move forward in clearer waters-this "waste" wasnt there when i started, yet now i have the task of removing it when it never shouldve been accumulated to begin with...sigh...

Ultimately, in sha Allah kheyr. Im sure there is wisdom to all of this, but I cant help but think how it wouldve been if things were more straightforward..i cant imagine someone who wants to become a mathematician having to go through the same disorganized, time consuming and in many cases, waste of time information  and teachings just to reach fractions after so many years, for example. And i wouldnt even say i have reached the "fractions" level of things yet:/  Seriously, though. With the correct blueprint and outline, i could have a Masters and moving towards a PHD by now, but alas, i am nowhere near such a thing:/ I am still scraping along in the dark, trying to see if this puzzle piece fits here, or if this puzzle piece fits there...

Almost since the beginning of becoming Muslim, i have felt as if my process has been akin to builing a house STARTING WITH THE ROOF:/ Then, putting up 1 wall, then pouring the cement slab, then needing to tear down the 1st wall, then, installling the plumbing, then putting up another wall, then having to dismantle the roof and install the electrical wiring, then trying to put up another wall, but wait, all the wiring needs to be disconnected and removed first because it is within the 2nd wall that needs to be torn down,etc. In a sense, getting almost nowhere at the expense of precious life-time.

People who work in construction as i once did, know and follow a reasonable,rational,orderly and necessarry process to building a house. Things must be done IN A SPECIFIC ORDER for the project to reach successfull fruition.

The basic order of building a house is:

Grading and site prep

Foundation construction

Framing

Installation of windows/doors

Roofing

Siding

Rough electrical

Rough plumbing

Rough HVAC

Insulation

Sheetrock

Underlayment

Trim

Paint

Finish electrical

Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets

Finish plumbing

Carpet/flooring

Finish HVAC

Hookup to water main, or well drilling

Hookup sewer or installation of a septic system...

If an attempt is made to build a house outside the order of this list, MANY problems will arise.

Why is learning our religion and in sha Allah our further spiritual advancement not laid out or able to be learned in such a way as the orderly progression of building a house is?

Is our religious and spiritual progress less important than building a house? No-

Im sure there is a formula and a general "plan/guide" that can be followed, but...where is it? Where is the blueprint? Has it not been drawn or laid out by ANY of our scholars from old times til now? How can such a priceless and necessary guide not  exist? Even the Department of Motor Vehicles provides a clear and defined handbook on how to pass the drivers test:/ Where is our handbook? And before someone says we have it, it's called a Quran,  that is not what I'm talking about. I am talking about an A through Z, clearly defined and outlined book or guide that tells you exactly where to start, what the next step is and how to build on the previous steps in order to gain spiritual knowledge and to advance forward with the correct understanding of each step. At this point, a person interested in learning their religion has no particular guide or format to follow-you just end up reading random books on random subjects that most of the time do not explain the relation to or overlap of any of the other aspects of our religion.. It is broken knowledge without the proper guidance and explanation of how it all relates. Of course, any book or guide written  would need to be derived from the Quran, but I don't understand why we do not have a clear and straightforward book available to us.

Short of going to hawzah, (and i am assuming they take such an orderly approach there),there isnt anywhere else that i am aware of where a person can move in an orderly, step by step, timely and  efficient process without having to waste precious non-refundabale human lifetime going through what i and im SURE many others have gone through.

I just dont get it. We as Muslims, have the Quran, the teachings of the Imams,(AS) and many other benefits that Islam provides, yet, learning and teaching of our religion outside of seminary takes such a disorganized and haphazardous path, so much so, that it appears that some of us are more "lost" and "off the right track" than a person who grew up "without indoctrination" is and who is possibly closer to the truth than those of us who have strove and continue to strive.

This is a shame:( And i dont know what to do about it.

When i stand back and "look" at what i perceive to be my understanding of Islam, what i see is, a 4 dimensional rubics cube with most of the blocks missing, and the blocks that ARE there, are not on the correct side with the appropriate and corresponding colors.

How can this be remedied for the future of our religion, for those of us who are converts, for those who WILL be converts, as well as for  those who are born into the religion but come from families who dont have a clue or decent understanding of religion themselves?

Piecemealing things together by a majalis here, and a majalis there, i know is not sufficient, but if we had a clearly defined, A-Z, 1,2,3, guide, maybe THEN we could move forward not only as individuals on a spiritual path, but as a community as well..

Please forgive me for getting waaay off track.I dont expect answers to my rant.

Thanks again,

W/S

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  • Veteran Member

Salaam sister @shia farm girl,

I understand what you are saying. 

Striving to become a better Muslim is something born-in and reverts go throughout their lives. As a matter of fact, "jihad" refers to striving in the path of Allah. It can mean fighting which is the smaller jihad. Struggling and striving in the way of Allah is the true and bigger jihad. So what you have described is you actually following a very important furuh-e-deen (practices of faith).

24 minutes ago, shia farm girl said:

What is interesting, is this man, by not having been subjected to any kind of indoctrination

Godlessness is also a form of indoctrination. He is actually further behind than ahead. What I mean is that if someone believes in a deity, then their struggle is to find the right deity. But for an atheist, he has to first accept that there is a deity/higher being/superior authority AND then investigate which is the true deity.

24 minutes ago, shia farm girl said:

The last 9 years of my life as a convert has unfortunately resulted in my acquiring  of certain wrong ideas that have acted as barriers towards correct understanding, ie veiling. Now, i must begin a process of elimination and re-learning once the barriers have been identified

There was a very famous aalim (can't remember his name) who spent 20+ years compiling his tafsir of the Quran in multiple volumes. Towards the end he realized that he had made some grave errors in his assumptions so he destroyed 20+ years of his work. Point is - the search for truth is not easy but Alla rewards the search more than we can imagine.

Hope this helps.

Edited by ShiaMan14
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  • Advanced Member

Hi, Shia Farm Girl,

I'm reminded of what Jesus said before He returned to heaven and left His followers without their guide and mentor and teacher that He had been for three years to them...

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. - John 14:16-17

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. - John 14:25-26 

Ever since I became a follower of Jesus in 1976, I rely on the Holy Spirit every day to lead me in truth. Many days, He gives me the answer before I have the question. It is amazing. The answers all fit together. They are consistent and prove themselves true.

Peace and blessings,

Marty

Edited by MartyS
To correct date...I'm not 100 years old!
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  • Basic Members

You definitely struck all the nerves here. I reverted to Islam 9 months ago, and it was all online. I was (and am) in a situation where I cannot go to a mosque, or meet other Muslims for guidance. I have mass media, and .pdfs for training, and sometimes I don't know what way is even up to PUT that roof down first.

My initial introduction to Islam was on the other end of the spectrum than Shi'ism, and only recently have I admitted to myself that I have honest questions. There was no real blueprint for that line of thinking, and I've also not found one for this. I take a topic I wonder about, and read until I feel satisfied...nothing so complete or comprehensive.

Some have told me that 'X' book is good for this topic, while another of the same sect/school, disagrees entirely. Being in one sect is painful enough to get true info about, but when you're attempting to study and find the path that is right, sometimes it feels like you've already moved in the furniture before laying the floor.

When even the most fundamental of our faith is differed upon (aqeedah) from sect to sect, how can anyone not in a school for this, or having the blessings of great parents, even begin to know where to begin on the right path. So to even have a list of stepping stones for that path would have meant such a difference.

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  • Veteran Member

:salam:

There are `ulama, and there is us.

For `ulama, they have their agenda, which is certainly questionable btw. 

For us, there are simple and evident guidelines in the Qur'an and in the sunnah of prophets and aimmah.

Why not trying to inspire from those ?

Since it is Friday, surat al Kahf is filled with precious advice :

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا ﴿١١٠

Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone." (110)

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22 hours ago, shia farm girl said:

As salaamun aleikum dear brothers, sisters and friends-

What follows is related to another post i made. While responding to another member, i began to get frustrated. I didnt address my frustration in that thread because it would have been way off topic and not relevant, so i decided to make a new thread here.

My frustration is due to something that i dont see a legitimate excuse for, which is why is there not a simple, laid out blueprint for study when it comes to our religion? Especially for the converts, and even for born muslims who come from families that for all intents and purposes, dont have a real clue about or understanding of our religion?

The post i am refering to had to do with an atheist, someone who says he is so because he wasnt "indoctrinated". I am understanding this as him being "a clean slate", and so  if he at some point desires to begin "writing", he wont have to "overwrite" anything previously written, as is the case with many people.

What is interesting, is this man, by not having been subjected to any kind of indoctrination (i wonder though,  if a lack of indoctrination is actually still a type of indoctrination) is less muddled and clearer fitri wise than those of us who were born into a particular religion, or reverted, and/or had to struggle and sift through all the extra embellishments and overexagerations of particular aspects of our religion, trying to figure out what is truth vs falsehood, and in doing so (at least in my case) have arrived at a rather burned out state  of spirituality and understanding due to all the time and effort spent in attempting to move forward,only to be consistently bogged down at almost  every turn by some type of nonsense that in many cases, doesnt even belong to the religion-and i am only speaking of the academic aspect of it. 

Based on all the mumbo jumbo and false beliefs and ideas that have infiltrated religion, i will be 90 years old (If i live that long-) before i am able to arrive where this man is currently at, simply because he wasnt subject to a lot of unnecessarry nonsense. What i am refering to is the stripping away of all things that act as a veil to Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. The last 9 years of my life as a convert has unfortunately resulted in my acquiring  of certain wrong ideas that have acted as barriers towards correct understanding, ie veiling. Now, i must begin a process of elimination and re-learning once the barriers have been identified. As if i need more stuff to work on,lol.. Most, if not all of this couldve been prevented if there had been a school textbook style blueprint with steps A-Z clearly defined and taught and made available to those whom seek to learn and understand our religion CORRECTLY.  Without correct understanding of the very basics of our religion, the rest of our understanding will be off. 

 I converted to Islam later in life. I feel like I don't have time to waste, as we never know when we will pass, and it is frusterating  when I look at all the stuff I've had to sift through and wrong ideas i have inadvertently collected over the course of the last 9 years. A fair ammount of time and energy has been spent in accumulating religious waste that now needs to be purged and unlearned, in order for me to move forward in clearer waters-this "waste" wasnt there when i started, yet now i have the task of removing it when it never shouldve been accumulated to begin with...sigh...

Ultimately, in sha Allah kheyr. Im sure there is wisdom to all of this, but I cant help but think how it wouldve been if things were more straightforward..i cant imagine someone who wants to become a mathematician having to go through the same disorganized, time consuming and in many cases, waste of time information  and teachings just to reach fractions after so many years, for example. And i wouldnt even say i have reached the "fractions" level of things yet:/  Seriously, though. With the correct blueprint and outline, i could have a Masters and moving towards a PHD by now, but alas, i am nowhere near such a thing:/ I am still scraping along in the dark, trying to see if this puzzle piece fits here, or if this puzzle piece fits there...

Almost since the beginning of becoming Muslim, i have felt as if my process has been akin to builing a house STARTING WITH THE ROOF:/ Then, putting up 1 wall, then pouring the cement slab, then needing to tear down the 1st wall, then, installling the plumbing, then putting up another wall, then having to dismantle the roof and install the electrical wiring, then trying to put up another wall, but wait, all the wiring needs to be disconnected and removed first because it is within the 2nd wall that needs to be torn down,etc. In a sense, getting almost nowhere at the expense of precious life-time.

People who work in construction as i once did, know and follow a reasonable,rational,orderly and necessarry process to building a house. Things must be done IN A SPECIFIC ORDER for the project to reach successfull fruition.

The basic order of building a house is:

Grading and site prep

Foundation construction

Framing

Installation of windows/doors

Roofing

Siding

Rough electrical

Rough plumbing

Rough HVAC

Insulation

Sheetrock

Underlayment

Trim

Paint

Finish electrical

Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets

Finish plumbing

Carpet/flooring

Finish HVAC

Hookup to water main, or well drilling

Hookup sewer or installation of a septic system...

If an attempt is made to build a house outside the order of this list, MANY problems will arise.

Why is learning our religion and in sha Allah our further spiritual advancement not laid out or able to be learned in such a way as the orderly progression of building a house is?

Is our religious and spiritual progress less important than building a house? No-

Im sure there is a formula and a general "plan/guide" that can be followed, but...where is it? Where is the blueprint? Has it not been drawn or laid out by ANY of our scholars from old times til now? How can such a priceless and necessary guide not  exist? Even the Department of Motor Vehicles provides a clear and defined handbook on how to pass the drivers test:/ Where is our handbook? And before someone says we have it, it's called a Quran,  that is not what I'm talking about. I am talking about an A through Z, clearly defined and outlined book or guide that tells you exactly where to start, what the next step is and how to build on the previous steps in order to gain spiritual knowledge and to advance forward with the correct understanding of each step. At this point, a person interested in learning their religion has no particular guide or format to follow-you just end up reading random books on random subjects that most of the time do not explain the relation to or overlap of any of the other aspects of our religion.. It is broken knowledge without the proper guidance and explanation of how it all relates. Of course, any book or guide written  would need to be derived from the Quran, but I don't understand why we do not have a clear and straightforward book available to us.

Short of going to hawzah, (and i am assuming they take such an orderly approach there),there isnt anywhere else that i am aware of where a person can move in an orderly, step by step, timely and  efficient process without having to waste precious non-refundabale human lifetime going through what i and im SURE many others have gone through.

I just dont get it. We as Muslims, have the Quran, the teachings of the Imams,(AS) and many other benefits that Islam provides, yet, learning and teaching of our religion outside of seminary takes such a disorganized and haphazardous path, so much so, that it appears that some of us are more "lost" and "off the right track" than a person who grew up "without indoctrination" is and who is possibly closer to the truth than those of us who have strove and continue to strive.

This is a shame:( And i dont know what to do about it.

When i stand back and "look" at what i perceive to be my understanding of Islam, what i see is, a 4 dimensional rubics cube with most of the blocks missing, and the blocks that ARE there, are not on the correct side with the appropriate and corresponding colors.

How can this be remedied for the future of our religion, for those of us who are converts, for those who WILL be converts, as well as for  those who are born into the religion but come from families who dont have a clue or decent understanding of religion themselves?

Piecemealing things together by a majalis here, and a majalis there, i know is not sufficient, but if we had a clearly defined, A-Z, 1,2,3, guide, maybe THEN we could move forward not only as individuals on a spiritual path, but as a community as well..

Please forgive me for getting waaay off track.I dont expect answers to my rant.

Thanks again,

W/S

Salam. Yes I can definitely relate. I am on my way to work, but later on today I will post a reply. 

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  • Advanced Member

This is IMMENSELY TRUE! 

When half the world thinks that Islam is Wahhabism and are filled with all kinds of sick preconceptions of what "Islam" is, then it should strike a chord somewhere. I have been thinking about this lately. 

(currently the internet has memes of: Drawing Muhammad (PBUH), Hijabs and the sarcastic use of "Islam is a religion of peace")

In terms of the general public, they tend to have no knowledge even of the Sunni/Shia split - let alone what, how and why we believe what we do. They also have no idea about where we disagree with eachother on many topics as Muslims.

As a convert, it took me a long time to fully grasp what Islam is on a deeper level. Most Westerners don't give it the time of day. 

To bring it around, the wider world definitely could benefit from a more intricate introduction to Islam, it's kind of initiatory in a sense - how learning works, we start at a point of ignorance on a topic and get more depth the further we go along, leading to full realization and appreciation of the complexities of the topic and it's subtle details.

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There are many intros to Islam...

but which intro?

everyone claims to have the better intro.  There are so many divisions in the Religion, so many interpretations, so many sects, and then sects within secs within sects within sects.  

Well, hence the importance of Tawhid/ Oneness.

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22 hours ago, shia farm girl said:

As salaamun aleikum dear brothers, sisters and friends-

What follows is related to another post i made. While responding to another member, i began to get frustrated. I didnt address my frustration in that thread because it would have been way off topic and not relevant, so i decided to make a new thread here.

My frustration is due to something that i dont see a legitimate excuse for, which is why is there not a simple, laid out blueprint for study when it comes to our religion? Especially for the converts, and even for born muslims who come from families that for all intents and purposes, dont have a real clue about or understanding of our religion?

The post i am refering to had to do with an atheist, someone who says he is so because he wasnt "indoctrinated". I am understanding this as him being "a clean slate", and so  if he at some point desires to begin "writing", he wont have to "overwrite" anything previously written, as is the case with many people.

What is interesting, is this man, by not having been subjected to any kind of indoctrination (i wonder though,  if a lack of indoctrination is actually still a type of indoctrination) is less muddled and clearer fitri wise than those of us who were born into a particular religion, or reverted, and/or had to struggle and sift through all the extra embellishments and overexagerations of particular aspects of our religion, trying to figure out what is truth vs falsehood, and in doing so (at least in my case) have arrived at a rather burned out state  of spirituality and understanding due to all the time and effort spent in attempting to move forward,only to be consistently bogged down at almost  every turn by some type of nonsense that in many cases, doesnt even belong to the religion-and i am only speaking of the academic aspect of it. 

Based on all the mumbo jumbo and false beliefs and ideas that have infiltrated religion, i will be 90 years old (If i live that long-) before i am able to arrive where this man is currently at, simply because he wasnt subject to a lot of unnecessarry nonsense. What i am refering to is the stripping away of all things that act as a veil to Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. The last 9 years of my life as a convert has unfortunately resulted in my acquiring  of certain wrong ideas that have acted as barriers towards correct understanding, ie veiling. Now, i must begin a process of elimination and re-learning once the barriers have been identified. As if i need more stuff to work on,lol.. Most, if not all of this couldve been prevented if there had been a school textbook style blueprint with steps A-Z clearly defined and taught and made available to those whom seek to learn and understand our religion CORRECTLY.  Without correct understanding of the very basics of our religion, the rest of our understanding will be off. 

 I converted to Islam later in life. I feel like I don't have time to waste, as we never know when we will pass, and it is frusterating  when I look at all the stuff I've had to sift through and wrong ideas i have inadvertently collected over the course of the last 9 years. A fair ammount of time and energy has been spent in accumulating religious waste that now needs to be purged and unlearned, in order for me to move forward in clearer waters-this "waste" wasnt there when i started, yet now i have the task of removing it when it never shouldve been accumulated to begin with...sigh...

Ultimately, in sha Allah kheyr. Im sure there is wisdom to all of this, but I cant help but think how it wouldve been if things were more straightforward..i cant imagine someone who wants to become a mathematician having to go through the same disorganized, time consuming and in many cases, waste of time information  and teachings just to reach fractions after so many years, for example. And i wouldnt even say i have reached the "fractions" level of things yet:/  Seriously, though. With the correct blueprint and outline, i could have a Masters and moving towards a PHD by now, but alas, i am nowhere near such a thing:/ I am still scraping along in the dark, trying to see if this puzzle piece fits here, or if this puzzle piece fits there...

Almost since the beginning of becoming Muslim, i have felt as if my process has been akin to builing a house STARTING WITH THE ROOF:/ Then, putting up 1 wall, then pouring the cement slab, then needing to tear down the 1st wall, then, installling the plumbing, then putting up another wall, then having to dismantle the roof and install the electrical wiring, then trying to put up another wall, but wait, all the wiring needs to be disconnected and removed first because it is within the 2nd wall that needs to be torn down,etc. In a sense, getting almost nowhere at the expense of precious life-time.

People who work in construction as i once did, know and follow a reasonable,rational,orderly and necessarry process to building a house. Things must be done IN A SPECIFIC ORDER for the project to reach successfull fruition.

The basic order of building a house is:

Grading and site prep

Foundation construction

Framing

Installation of windows/doors

Roofing

Siding

Rough electrical

Rough plumbing

Rough HVAC

Insulation

Sheetrock

Underlayment

Trim

Paint

Finish electrical

Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets

Finish plumbing

Carpet/flooring

Finish HVAC

Hookup to water main, or well drilling

Hookup sewer or installation of a septic system...

If an attempt is made to build a house outside the order of this list, MANY problems will arise.

Why is learning our religion and in sha Allah our further spiritual advancement not laid out or able to be learned in such a way as the orderly progression of building a house is?

Is our religious and spiritual progress less important than building a house? No-

Im sure there is a formula and a general "plan/guide" that can be followed, but...where is it? Where is the blueprint? Has it not been drawn or laid out by ANY of our scholars from old times til now? How can such a priceless and necessary guide not  exist? Even the Department of Motor Vehicles provides a clear and defined handbook on how to pass the drivers test:/ Where is our handbook? And before someone says we have it, it's called a Quran,  that is not what I'm talking about. I am talking about an A through Z, clearly defined and outlined book or guide that tells you exactly where to start, what the next step is and how to build on the previous steps in order to gain spiritual knowledge and to advance forward with the correct understanding of each step. At this point, a person interested in learning their religion has no particular guide or format to follow-you just end up reading random books on random subjects that most of the time do not explain the relation to or overlap of any of the other aspects of our religion.. It is broken knowledge without the proper guidance and explanation of how it all relates. Of course, any book or guide written  would need to be derived from the Quran, but I don't understand why we do not have a clear and straightforward book available to us.

Short of going to hawzah, (and i am assuming they take such an orderly approach there),there isnt anywhere else that i am aware of where a person can move in an orderly, step by step, timely and  efficient process without having to waste precious non-refundabale human lifetime going through what i and im SURE many others have gone through.

I just dont get it. We as Muslims, have the Quran, the teachings of the Imams,(AS) and many other benefits that Islam provides, yet, learning and teaching of our religion outside of seminary takes such a disorganized and haphazardous path, so much so, that it appears that some of us are more "lost" and "off the right track" than a person who grew up "without indoctrination" is and who is possibly closer to the truth than those of us who have strove and continue to strive.

This is a shame:( And i dont know what to do about it.

When i stand back and "look" at what i perceive to be my understanding of Islam, what i see is, a 4 dimensional rubics cube with most of the blocks missing, and the blocks that ARE there, are not on the correct side with the appropriate and corresponding colors.

How can this be remedied for the future of our religion, for those of us who are converts, for those who WILL be converts, as well as for  those who are born into the religion but come from families who dont have a clue or decent understanding of religion themselves?

Piecemealing things together by a majalis here, and a majalis there, i know is not sufficient, but if we had a clearly defined, A-Z, 1,2,3, guide, maybe THEN we could move forward not only as individuals on a spiritual path, but as a community as well..

Please forgive me for getting waaay off track.I dont expect answers to my rant.

Thanks again,

W/S

Salam,

i found the house building sequence amusing and funny.  But I do have sympathy nevertheless.

ill just keep it short:

it is normal to sometimes feel the way you are feeling, but it is in moments like this that we should appreciate whatever realization we have (however little we may think we have of it).  God says in the Quran that “if you are grateful He will increase you in whatever you have”.  Secondly, God is with us wherever we are and so we should not ever feel like God has abandoned us or has left us misguided.  He is taking care of each and every one of us and is giving us everything we need to be guided.  Just as we should not have a bad opinion of others, so also we should not have a bad opinion of our worth.  God sees tremendous worth in you and He loves you and so you simply need to believe in that (whatever or whoever is saying otherwise is the ego).  Failure in life exists only when one sees themselves as one.  Because the ego judges himself (just as it judges others). Don’t judge yourself, leave that to God.  The path is not about you and your level.  It is about God and How Absolutely Amazing and Perfect He is.  Whether you are in a very low level or a high level, whether you are wisest or the most foolish, whether you are the most sinful and wretched or the most saintly and pure, God remains as He always and eternally has been, He remains pure, intact Absolutely Perfect and unaffected.  And this alone should give us our happiness.

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There is a system, but the problem is not the system, it is human nature. Let me explain

Most people learn about Islam from someone who is already muslim. Almost always (since reverts are rare, which shouldn't be the case, but that is another subject), the person who is teaching the revert is someone who was born into a muslim community (Indo / Pak community, Iranian Community, Arab community, etc). This muslim/a's main concern is their image, reputation, and standing in the community. You will find very, very few who have a primary concern other than this. 

So their main agenda item vis a via the Revert, is to teach them things which will increase their reputation and 'polish' their image in the community, and not necessarily what is most useful and beneficial to the revert on their journey. So, for example, if the revert is a sister, the first thing they will tell them is how to wear hijab. They will make sure that when they are seen in public with this new sister, that her hijab is perfect when they are seen together at this masjid or events. Although hijab is important, there are things and information which would be more important and beneficial for the new revert. They may or may not get those. If the revert is a brother, they might first teach him how to do Salat and wudu and maybe recite Surat Al Fatiha. Again, although those things are important. Although these things are important, again the overriding reason for this is that so when this person is seen together with the new revert, the other people in the community will not criticize them and say 'Why didn't you teach him how to pray and do wudu'. That is the main reason. This person may or may not care at all about the faith of the new revert. We can't assume that they do or don't. Alot of the time, they are just trying to 'polish' their own image in the community. I am not saying everyone is this way, but it is very common, especially in a place like California where public image and image consciousness is the main concern, more than other places. That is one of the reasons why I left and moved to another state. 

So this leads to the 'Revolving Door' of reversion in the US (West in general) where people enter Islam then quickly leave the religion. The main reason is because if someone knows how to pray and recite Surat Fatiha but doesn't know 'Why' they are doing this or what is the meaning behind it and doesn't have the necessary foundational knowledge to understand what they are doing, in more than a mere surface sense, then after a while it becomes mere meaningless sound and movement. If a sister wears hijab but doesn't know 'Why' she is doing it or the meaning and philosophy behind it, and doesn't receive this in a structured way that she can understand, she will see hijab as meaningless and eventually take it off. 

On the other side you have brothers and sisters who will try to 'dump' the entire philosophy of the Islam on a new revert in a single session or a few sessions. This is what I call 'Swallowing the elephant whole'. You cannot eat an elephant in a single sitting. You can eat it, but it needs to be broken down into pieces and sections, and you need time to digest each bit before you move on to the next one. Trying to shove an elephant down someone's throat in a single sitting will be uncomfortable for someone, and may even be counter productive to their spiritual health. 

In short there is a systematic approach, and you don't need to go to the howza, but you need someone to teach who is not primarily concerned with their public image and someone who is willing to take some 'flak' from the community and someone who is willing to devote time to this. The most important, this person themselves must be knowledgeable in the religion. Salam. 

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Building a person is not at all like building a house. The point is the process. There is never in this life a finished product. So if you spend five years building and the next six months tearing back down, it is still progress. We are born pure and innocent, and we spend our entire lives trying to regain and maintain the state we started with. 

Edited by notme
Typo.
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20 hours ago, MartyS said:

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. - John 14:25-26 

Hi Marty,

The Helper also translated as The Comforter, The Counselor, the Advocate is Prophet Muhammad (saw) per Muslim belief but we digress....

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18 hours ago, MartyS said:

His followers without their guide and mentor and teacher that He had been for three years to them... 

No prophet left his followers without guide after him but most of his followers didn't accept his guide and mentor ,this is the same that majority of muslims left & ignore Imam Ali (as) for 25 years although after that they don't completely accepted him & they backed to him because they were in great despair & need but after choosing him as leader again most of them stand against him

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@shia farm girl
Salam imam Sajjad (as) said because Allah knew that in end time people will come that doing research & have deep insight so he revealed Surah Tawhid & 6 first verses of sura Hadid and who searches about Tawhid more these verses will be perished

http://shabestan.ir/detail/News/456058

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8 hours ago, notme said:

Building a person is not at all like building a house. The point is the process. There is never in this life a finished product. So if you spend five years building and the next six months tearing back down, it is still progress. We are born pure and innocent, and we spend our entire lives trying to regain and maintain the state we started with. 

As-salaam alaikum sister, I agree with you in as far as building a person spiritually goes, but I still believe that teaching Islam or learning Islam academically should happen or at least be made available to people and a successive and progressive series of lessons. Much like you cannot teach a person algebra who has not learned basic addition subtraction multiplication, Etc. But yes, building a person spiritually happens in many different ways, through many ups and downs and going backwards and forwards and so forth, and each person's path and means of progressing will be different spiritually, but the basic one two threes and ABC's of Islam shouldn't vary at all. I just think it would be much easier if there was a basic format and layout.

W/s

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18 hours ago, Laayla said:

Bismehe Ta3ala,

Dear Sister @shia farm girl

Assalam Alikum and Joum3 mubaraqa.

I'm glad you shared your concern, because that means other people are going through what you are going through.

It is no surprise that when they say Imam Mahdi will come out with a new religion because of what you described in your OP.

I hope this doesn't discourage you in continuing to search the truth.  Have you ever read the biography of Salman al Mohamadi?  If not please do so, I think you will be inspired by his beautiful story.

Also, sister I think the best suggestion I can give is just practice what you already know.  Meaning, anything you have knowledge of practice it.  Like you know on Friday it is highly recommended to do ghusul al joum3, do it.  There is no second guessing about this ghusul.  It is very musthab, so practice what you are certain of.  You know about salat al layl, if you can't do it every night, bring it forth whenever you can even once a few months.

When fasting it is highly recommended Mondays and Thursdays.  Give sadaqat without people knowing.  Our religion is about action.  Not just acquiring knowledge and then not putting it into practice.  

Hold fast to Quran and Ahulbayt and there lies the truth.  

God bless you and protect you from all harm.

@starlight

@Hameedeh

Sisters & brother, your input on this topic?

@Abu Hadi

As salaamun aleikum @Laayla thank you for your input, sister, and for tagging others in your post. I truly appreciate the input i am getting from everyone, as well as it is helping me to not feel so alone in this endeavor:)

W/s

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Bismehe Ta3ala,

Wa Alikum Assalam dear

@shia farm girl

Habibti sister, no thanks necessary. You are such a kind sister.

when you have time to watch videos about various Islamic topics, I recommend

Dr Shomali 

Hajj Khalil Jafar

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJIfDtlDOJvOQpB3lENeBgw

Asad Jafari the series he gave for Muharram 2018

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=asad+jafri+illuination+of+the+inner+light

God bless you and protect you from all harm.

M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah

 

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12 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

There is a system, but the problem is not the system, it is human nature. Let me explain

Most people learn about Islam from someone who is already muslim. Almost always (since reverts are rare, which shouldn't be the case, but that is another subject), the person who is teaching the revert is someone who was born into a muslim community (Indo / Pak community, Iranian Community, Arab community, etc). This muslim/a's main concern is their image, reputation, and standing in the community. You will find very, very few who have a primary concern other than this. 

So their main agenda item vis a via the Revert, is to teach them things which will increase their reputation and 'polish' their image in the community, and not necessarily what is most useful and beneficial to the revert on their journey. So, for example, if the revert is a sister, the first thing they will tell them is how to wear hijab. They will make sure that when they are seen in public with this new sister, that her hijab is perfect when they are seen together at this masjid or events. Although hijab is important, there are things and information which would be more important and beneficial for the new revert. They may or may not get those. If the revert is a brother, they might first teach him how to do Salat and wudu and maybe recite Surat Al Fatiha. Again, although those things are important. Although these things are important, again the overriding reason for this is that so when this person is seen together with the new revert, the other people in the community will not criticize them and say 'Why didn't you teach him how to pray and do wudu'. That is the main reason. This person may or may not care at all about the faith of the new revert. We can't assume that they do or don't. Alot of the time, they are just trying to 'polish' their own image in the community. I am not saying everyone is this way, but it is very common, especially in a place like California where public image and image consciousness is the main concern, more than other places. That is one of the reasons why I left and moved to another state. 

So this leads to the 'Revolving Door' of reversion in the US (West in general) where people enter Islam then quickly leave the religion. The main reason is because if someone knows how to pray and recite Surat Fatiha but doesn't know 'Why' they are doing this or what is the meaning behind it and doesn't have the necessary foundational knowledge to understand what they are doing, in more than a mere surface sense, then after a while it becomes mere meaningless sound and movement. If a sister wears hijab but doesn't know 'Why' she is doing it or the meaning and philosophy behind it, and doesn't receive this in a structured way that she can understand, she will see hijab as meaningless and eventually take it off. 

On the other side you have brothers and sisters who will try to 'dump' the entire philosophy of the Islam on a new revert in a single session or a few sessions. This is what I call 'Swallowing the elephant whole'. You cannot eat an elephant in a single sitting. You can eat it, but it needs to be broken down into pieces and sections, and you need time to digest each bit before you move on to the next one. Trying to shove an elephant down someone's throat in a single sitting will be uncomfortable for someone, and may even be counter productive to their spiritual health. 

In short there is a systematic approach, and you don't need to go to the howza, but you need someone to teach who is not primarily concerned with their public image and someone who is willing to take some 'flak' from the community and someone who is willing to devote time to this. The most important, this person themselves must be knowledgeable in the religion. Salam. 

As salaamun aleikum brother @Abu Hadi Thank you for your response and taking the time to come back to this post after work. You make many good points in your post, as well as providing a perspective i had never seen things from.

Your post opened my eyes to something im PRECISELY going through right now. A childhood friend since 2nd grade in Catholic school and i have recently been reunited and shes showing a genuine interest in Islam. I found the 2nd half of your post extremelly helpfull in how i will procede with my communicatiins with her. (She lives 6 hours away from me so the only contact we have is via text.) I love our religion, and am more than eager to share it with her, as well as being genuinely concerned for her as she lives in Eureka,Ca. and she has a lot working against her due to her environment as well as not having a muslim community there, but that may be a blessing in disguise...Anyhow, i am not wanting her to eat an elephant, so thank you for bringing that up. Its easy for me to get carried away when it comes to sharing something i really love, but i definetly dont want to do this at the expense of possibly turning someone away from Islam by overwhelming them:/

W/s

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On 10/25/2018 at 8:00 PM, shia farm girl said:

The last 9 years of my life as a convert has unfortunately resulted in my acquiring  of certain wrong ideas that have acted as barriers towards correct understanding, ie veiling. Now, i must begin a process of elimination and re-learning once the barriers have been identified

Born a muslim, I've went through this, am still going through this, and have accepted that I will be going through this all of my life - I've come to the conclusion that this is how it's meant to be to some degree; one of the tests of life. Honestly, for me, studying Islam is like diving into the ocean, the more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn, the harder it is to learn, and the more foolish you feel about your past. Still, the spirituality increases overall over time despite the exhaustion, sub7anallah.

The good news is, in my opinion, you've got the hardest part of the life-long process out of the way. The fact that you realize and are willing to question the most basic ideas that you have - that's very significant.

What I mean is that most people, especially those in their older years, are somewhat arrogant and refuse to admit certain things that they have believed in all their life is actually false.

An small example,

My parents were born/raised sunni, by the time I was born they identified as Shia. Anyway, later on in my teen years of my own volition I began my own 'research'; one of the first things I learned was that the Prophet (pbuhf) wasn't actually terrified to death and didn't need reassurance from some old lady after he received the first revelation "Iqra" from Jibrael (a.s). I tried explaining this to my mother, she completely rejected it and was adamant that the Prophet (pbuhf) was shaking from fear under his bed covers, and the old lady explained everything to him as if he is a clueless man. 

Thankfully, being in my teens, I was able to come to the same realization you came to; the past 17 years of my life at the time was full of false ideas and incorrect beliefs. From then on I promised myself I'd be open to anything and willing to change if it was proven to me, no matter how core the belief. And boy oh boy, the amount of stuff I believed which turned out pure nonsense and counter-productive to my life.

On 10/25/2018 at 8:00 PM, shia farm girl said:

A fair ammount of time and energy has been spent in accumulating religious waste that now needs to be purged and unlearned, in order for me to move forward in clearer waters-this "waste" wasnt there when i started, yet now i have the task of removing it when it never shouldve been accumulated to begin with...sigh...

I can see where you're coming from here, but I just wanted to say it's not necessarily all "waste". A lot of the things that I've had to unlearn/re-learn actually convinced me more of the basics of Islam. 

There are two possibilities when you are open to all ideas/perspectives - either you are exposed to truth, or, you have the opportunity to further prove how wrong that idea is. Think of the waste you're ridding yourself of as the latter. That's an avenue in which one can gain wisdom.

On 10/25/2018 at 8:00 PM, shia farm girl said:

Most, if not all of this couldve been prevented if there had been a school textbook style blueprint with steps A-Z clearly defined and taught and made available to those whom seek to learn and understand our religion CORRECTLY.

Great idea, perhaps sometime in the future you can write 'Basic Guide for New Shia Reverts'!

Edited by dragonxx
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I'm not sure if there's a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, or linear ten-step program either. Humans are complex, and our beliefs have both voluntary and involuntary; selfish and altruistic components at the same time. We also have different priorities and interests, and varying abilities. For some converts, it's enough to just marry into a Muslim family and follow along. For others, they must go to hawza and even there they can't find satisfaction. Some are drawn to the du`as and ziyarat, others are drawn to philosophy and polemics, others are drawn to fiqh, others are drawn to history, others to worship, others to poetry, to politics, to mysticism, etc. Since Islam is all-encompassing, it's hard to create a program that is all-encompassing for people that are not all-encompassing themselves.

I would say a good start for everyone is to understand the shahada -- why is it true, what does it entail, and what are its logical conclusions? Then, one should humble themselves, and train their nafs. Then, one should seek knowledge and understand it. Then, one should act upon it. We periodically need to go back and redo these steps.

Practically speaking, learning to pray is the first priority for a convert, even if that prayer is very minimalistic. If they can learn to commit to salat, then they'll be able to develop the tenacity and consciousness for the rest of the deen.

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On 10/26/2018 at 8:00 AM, shia farm girl said:

I converted to Islam later in life. I feel like I don't have time to waste, as we never know when we will pass, and it is frusterating  when I look at all the stuff I've had to sift through and wrong ideas i have inadvertently collected over the course of the last 9 years. A fair ammount of time and energy has been spent in accumulating religious waste that now needs to be purged and unlearned, in order for me to move forward in clearer waters-this "waste" wasnt there when i started, yet now i have the task of removing it when it never shouldve been accumulated to begin with...sigh...

Ultimately, in sha Allah kheyr. Im sure there is wisdom to all of this, but I cant help but think how it wouldve been if things were more straightforward..

Piecemealing things together by a majalis here, and a majalis there, i know is not sufficient, but if we had a clearly defined, A-Z, 1,2,3, guide, maybe THEN we could move forward not only as individuals on a spiritual path, but as a community as well..

Please forgive me for getting waaay off track.I dont expect answers to my rant.

Thanks again,

W/S

Salam,

Every Prophet start from Adam (as) to Muhammad (saw), experienced different and unique path toward upholding the Truth or the Deen.  Each Imam (as) is unique in their ways to observe the Deen.  What is common, they were all guided, because they are sincere servants of Allah swt and relied on Allah swt to guide them.

There is no cookbook created by humans to practice Islam that "will guarantee us" to be guided.  Even if our father is a prophet, it will NOT guarantee that we are guided.  The ultimate cookbook or gps is with Allah swt to those sincere servants.  

There are cookbooks / proven methodologies if you want to be muhaddith, mufassir, irfani person...etc.  Sufism is known to have cookbooks on how to embark on spiritual journey.  There are cookbooks to be engineer, architect, singers...and also given degrees if you achieved it.  But all these are not equal in methods of upholding the Truth according to Wills of Allah swt and to be guided.

The best is to make  intention to hold on to Quran and Ahlulbayt, and with the sincerity and struggles to reach Him, Allah swt will show us the right path..specific to our capabilities and capacities.

As for society, the cookbook or gps is shown through a leader of that society... Iran, Iraq and Lebonan. Follow those leaders.  In the past, some Sahabahs failed to follow.

If Allah swt shows to public our cookbook on how we are going to be guided by Him...every single syaitan and enemies of Islam will easily destroy and misguide us.

We plan, Allah swt plan...Allah swt is best planner.

Everyday we pray and ask Allah swt...show us to the eight Path.  Even Prophet and Imams ask Allah swt the same way.  Except, Allah swt protects the Maksuumin from uncleanliness (interferences, syaitans, mistakes...)

Therefore...keep learning and keep up the struggles until we die.

And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.

(Ankabut:69)

 

Layman.

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6 hours ago, shia farm girl said:

As salaamun aleikum brother @Abu Hadi Thank you for your response and taking the time to come back to this post after work. You make many good points in your post, as well as providing a perspective i had never seen things from.

Your post opened my eyes to something im PRECISELY going through right now. A childhood friend since 2nd grade in Catholic school and i have recently been reunited and shes showing a genuine interest in Islam. I found the 2nd half of your post extremelly helpfull in how i will procede with my communicatiins with her. (She lives 6 hours away from me so the only contact we have is via text.) I love our religion, and am more than eager to share it with her, as well as being genuinely concerned for her as she lives in Eureka,Ca. and she has a lot working against her due to her environment as well as not having a muslim community there, but that may be a blessing in disguise...Anyhow, i am not wanting her to eat an elephant, so thank you for bringing that up. Its easy for me to get carried away when it comes to sharing something i really love, but i definetly dont want to do this at the expense of possibly turning someone away from Islam by overwhelming them:/

W/s

The first thing I always tell new reverts is to please, please, please don't confuse Islam with Muslims. Islam is a divinely inspired religion sent to Prophet Mumahhad(p.b.u.h) and Imams of Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) to guide the people to truth and the true nature of reality. Muslim are human beings who were (except in the case of reverts) born to parents who were muslim and/or were born, brought up in a part of the world where the majority religion is Islam. We put Islam into practice in our lives more or less and some not at all. When we meet a muslim, we can't assume anything (i.e. if they practice Islam or not). You will know a true muslim (i.e. someone who puts Islam into practice in their life) by their acts, and not necessarily by their words. If you want to know if someone is a true muslim (they submit their will to the will of Allah(s.w.a)(God)) try to observe them in situations where they have something to lose, in a material, dunya related sense, by obeying Allah(s.w.a) but they obey Allah(s.w.a) regardless of this or do they ignore obedience to Allah(s.w.a) and go after the dunya(material world) in that situation. If they obey Allah(s.w.a), it will tell you that this is their priority and not the dunya, i.e. this is a true muslim. 

May Allah(s.w.a) help you sister. Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) said to Imam Ali(a.s) 'If someone comes to Islam thru your actions, that is better for you than owning the red camel'. This must be understood in context. We can't 'make someone muslim', we don't have the ability to do that, the person must choose Islam for themselves as an act of their own free will,  but we can lead someone toward Islam thru our actions. In those days is Arabia, camels were one of the most valuable things. People used to measure their wealth by the amount of camels they owned. A red camel was the rarest and most valuable even of the camels because there were only a very few around at one time in the whole of Arabia. So in other words he is saying this act is an act which carries a huge amount of spiritual value for someone in the next life (and this life also to a smaller extent) so it is worth expending effort for. 

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Effective use of our time in this world ;7 practical tips for a mu’min Sheikh dr Usama Al atar 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktc-uiGTWPw

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On 10/26/2018 at 10:13 AM, Abu Hadi said:

So this leads to the 'Revolving Door' of reversion in the US (West in general) where people enter Islam then quickly leave the religion. The main reason is because if someone knows how to pray and recite Surat Fatiha but doesn't know 'Why' they are doing this or what is the meaning behind it and doesn't have the necessary foundational knowledge to understand what they are doing, in more than a mere surface sense, then after a while it becomes mere meaningless sound and movement. If a sister wears hijab but doesn't know 'Why' she is doing it or the meaning and philosophy behind it, and doesn't receive this in a structured way that she can understand, she will see hijab as meaningless and eventually take it off. 

:salam:

This part of the post is crucial.

This revolving door thing, a very good analogy btw, is not only touching reverts but an immense majority of Muslims.

I remember when I decided to start praying, I hurried to learn how to recite and pray which now makes me feel my desire to get closer to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى got 'polluted' with formatted ideas ( I started with sunni stuff unknowingly lol). Looking back, I wish I had taken some time reading  Quran and then started praying MY way rather than being dictated by such or such school.

Maybe that way I would have sensed purity of intention and action, going back to that stage now is much harder of a task.

In short, sister @shia farm girl you are not alone.

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Salaam alaykom dear sister 

If you have not learned nothing to shia islam you must start from the bottom up! I'm sorry I couldn't read the whole post due to time however I hope I got the idea. Do start off little if you got your basic down like prayer wudu etc do learn beliefs like prophethood imams oneness day of judgement and justice after and establish that first. Akhlaaq is good however it isn't the ground to your house as you really need the basic in first. 

I am a convert of 10 years and to be honest I havent even got a drop of knowledge from this ocean, if you get what I mean. I will study till I die and that  is just how it will go because you will come to understand you can't know it all. That will in sha Allah make you feel humble in your whole walk on this journey to learning the truth. 

If you need any support I'm here to help. Do learn basic and join us at Quran and etrat for diploma level, I mean it's a start.

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@shia farm girl

I understood now. The problem is that religion is huge sister. It involves many different things to be organized in a good fashion. Let me tell you in points form:

1. There are three type of people who learn religion:

    a). A child who is born in Muslim Shia family.

         i). A child who born in Shia family should have be facilitated with community religious institution that teaches him:

             (a). Basic information.

             (b). History.

             (c). Quran and its Tafseer.

             (d). Philosophy and Basic Ilmul Kalam.

             (e). Employing his talent according to his passion in certain field.

    b). A Child who is born in Muslim Sunni family.

    c). A Child who is born in non-Muslim family.

          i). For such child, there has to be a common platform where it learns about religious differences and unity and it may be community institution that I mentioned above to ask questions.

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Salaamun Alaykum sister,

Living as we do in the information age, there is no obstacle for us to gain knowledge of the Religion of Allah, as it has come in a narration from the sixth Imam:

<Kufa will soon become empty of believers and knowledge will withdraw from it the way a snake coils up. Then it will appear in a city called Qom and Qom will become a mine of learning and excellence, such that there will not be on the earth left anyone who does not have sufficient awareness of the religion; even women in their houses will be able to access the knowledge and that will be close to the time of the reappearance of the Mahdi...> [Bihar al-Anwaar, v.57, p.213]

The only two issues are firstly making sure that the knowledge is from a reliable source, as it has come in the tafseer of the verse of the Quran:

<Then let man look to his food> [80:24]

from the fifth Imam, when he was asked what 'his food' is, he replied:

<His knowledge which he takes, from where does he take it.>

Also from the fifth Imam, Imam al-Baqir(as): <In the East or in the West you will not find correct knowledge except that which has come from us the Ahlul Bayt>

And secondly acquiring the knowledge in a systematic way - otherwise it will result in a jumbled up and confusing picture of the religion in your mind. Like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are all there but in the wrong place, or like a building where all the bricks are there but in a heap, instead of having been systematically placed on top of each other.

So taking the example of a house as you have, that which corresponds to the foundation of the house in the religion are the Beliefs (Aqaid). And the beliefs contained in Islam are countless in number - the Quran and narrations are full of details regarding the world of the unseen and the Hereafter. However the right place to start is with the principle and main beliefs of the religion - i.e. Tawhid, Prophethood, Imamate and Resurrection. So what you should do is create a separate file for each of these and seek knowledge on each of them through books, lectures, etc.

After the foundation of the house comes the body of the house, which in the case of the religion is the Sharia, or the laws and rites of the religion, covering everything from ritual purity to the rites of worship, pilgrimage, laws of transactions and punishments for crimes. So you should create a separate file for Fiqh and seek out knowledge of the laws of the Religion of Allah. Everybody today is looking for spirituality - what could be more spiritual than to submit yourself to the will of God in all your actions? But it requires detailed knowledge of the law.

And finally comes the inner and outer adornment of the house, its beautification and perfection. This corresponds to the morals and ethics in the Religion (Akhlaq), which is the ultimate aim of the religion, as in the famous Prophetic narration:

<I was sent for the perfection of noble character traits>

So you should also create a file in which you gather the knowledge of Akhlaq.

Also it should be noted that you can seek knowledge of all three of these areas at the same time, not that you have to do one after the other like in the case of a house. Except that you should know that qualitatively they depend on each other in the order mentioned, and also that they reinforce each other - so the practicing of the rites and laws properly will deepen your faith, and gaining a deeper understanding of the beliefs will improve the quality of the rites, etc.

Finally, you should give special importance to the daily recitation of the Quran along with its meaning, because in the Quran is gathered all of the above sciences, and all of Islam, in a combined fashion.

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@shia farm girl

Honestly, don't stress. There is a lot of knowledge out there and what we acquire is just a drop from the ocean.  

In any hawza, the main objective is to train students in such a way so they can acquire the tools to understand our books of hadith etc. There is a lot taught which is not compulsory for us, unless we want to become a scholar. For example, learning mantiq (logic), higher levels of jurisprudence and hadith sciences are all there as tools for students who wish to study traditions or derive Islamic rulings.

For just regular people, we literally have to understand Islamic laws (ones which are applicable to us), have the basic knowledge of the fundamentals of faith - Imamah, Tawhid, Justice of Allah etc.

The rest is just additional knowledge which you can acquire to further strengthen your faith.

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As salaamun aleikum, was listening to this lecture and was like, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I AND SO MANY ARE SAYING AND GOING THROUGH:/

Great lecture, alhamdulilah, but to cut to the chase of the whole point of why this thread was made, start at 18:40...i was like, subhaanAllah, almost VERBATIM what i said...

W/s

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Though I am not a fellow traveler in this journey of yours, I do understand your frustration.

But I hope you realize that you are fortunate enough to have a quest. 

I was born and raised in a sunni family, converted to Shia but my parents married me in a staunch sunni family. 

So now I am Shia only by my allegiance, in my heart. 

There is no journey, no quest, nothing there to be attained and acquired anymore ; just a secret and silent pledge of love, that too without practice. 

 

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On 11/16/2018 at 10:46 PM, MJ1015 said:

Though I am not a fellow traveler in this journey of yours, I do understand your frustration.

But I hope you realize that you are fortunate enough to have a quest. 

I was born and raised in a sunni family, converted to Shia but my parents married me in a staunch sunni family. 

So now I am Shia only by my allegiance, in my heart. 

There is no journey, no quest, nothing there to be attained and acquired anymore ; just a secret and silent pledge of love, that too without practice. 

 

What made you turn to shia?

Kindly answer briefly so to make it convenient for yourself and me.

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On 11/16/2018 at 9:46 AM, MJ1015 said:

Though I am not a fellow traveler in this journey of yours, I do understand your frustration.

But I hope you realize that you are fortunate enough to have a quest. 

I was born and raised in a sunni family, converted to Shia but my parents married me in a staunch sunni family. 

So now I am Shia only by my allegiance, in my heart. 

There is no journey, no quest, nothing there to be attained and acquired anymore ; just a secret and silent pledge of love, that too without practice. 

 

As salaamun aleikum brother,

My sincere duas for your situation. I cant imagine what that is like. The only words of solice i can offer, is that we are all on this journey and quest together, as humans and as fellow muslims, and even though much of what we have come to know of as Islam involves outwardly and in some cases ritualistic acts, tbose acts are of almost no use if we are empty and void in our hearts. You may not be able to attend majalis of Imam Hussein(AS) or participate in other events Shias partake in, but Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى knows your heart, intentions, and situation better than even you do. There are end times hadiths that say (paraphrasing)

"the masjids will be glorified, but the peoples hearts will be empty".

It doesnt sound to me like you have an empty heart, infact, i sense a feeling of sadness and despair that you arent able to openly express yourself and your love of wilaya in the same manner many take for granted, but Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى knows and will provide a means of guidance for you somewhere and somehow.

Dont give up, and try not to be sad. Many of us here grow spiritually through this very Shia Chat community.

You have us here on Shia Chat- We will be your help,support, encouragement and community as best we can, in sha Allah.

Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى guides whom he wills:)

W/s

 

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