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Guest Saddioo

My sibling may now be atheist

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Guest Saddioo

My sibling said to me in a separate discussion that they think life is meaningless and that they agree with the nihilist perspective (which I think hints to them being an atheist).

I have not done anything so far to convince them and just maintained normal relations, although in my heart I do feel sad. Is there any need for me to do so or can I go my separate ways? They don’t seem to want to have such conversations in the first place. Nonetheless, what would be some arguments that I could use regarding atheism (for my own benefit as well), any books, videos or literature?

Can I still continue to be friendly with them or I need to maintain a barrier? Do I need to refrain from food they touch or wash my hands if they are wet? I want to refrain from telling my mother even though she had a feeling in the past, it’ll only make her grieve.

Please pray for us all.

 

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2 hours ago, SoRoUsH said:

Give your sibling time and space. You don't know what's in his/her heart, and you may not know what recent experiences they've gone through that has pushed them towards their current beliefs. 

Just be there for him/her, and act kindly and compassionately. Don't be judgmental. Empathize. 

Sometimes going through periods of uncertainty is really good for the person, especially if they're culturally religious and not religious due to their own research and active seeking. (And most religious people are culturally religious. They grew up in a religious environment and just copied the people around them.)

Interesting response. Would I be right in assuming that you are not culturally religious and that you did your own research and active seeking?

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Guest itsAwonderfullWorld

im 34 now ive dealt at least for at least 10 years with people who I known from childhood who later went through this experience of atheism , friends from the local masjid /school /community/etc who were born Muslim(Sunni and Shia) and later on in life when we went through uni post high school etc that they went through this phase and also people I knew shorter periods of time same thing

and let me tell you the common denominator amongst all of them , its not an ideological issue it never is about that no matter what people say at the time

its always about finding justification for something they want to do which their religions doesnt allow them , about dealing with some high pressure situation

we live suppressed lives ,we all do ,that is Islam , especially today, it requires sacrifice there is no doubt about it, you will need to sacrifice your wants and needs and desires to keep this religion , we have to avoid so much food, we have to avoid so much company/intimacy/ or just even social constructs, we have to avoid a whole lifestyle of the many in the west ,which is the party lifestyle that usually becomes prominent from high school to university well into the 30's that people in west experience , we have to avoid even so many places such as beaches or social places like nightclubs/even restaurants where alcohol is served , not to mention we have to hold views that are unpopular with in modern society, we don’t agree with homosexuality we don’t agree with open free sex or even just being in environments were men and women get quiet close to each other , we can’t even shake hands for example etc

so yes it puts us out of many scenarios many social places, many social groups, it outcasts us from almost everything and we look weird, old school, backwards outdated and even are accused of worse things like being anti-social or they assume the worst things about us like we are a danger to everyone around us(media is responsible for this islamaphobia) which again outcasts us from almost everything and everyone and puts us in very Imam Hussein ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) type scenario when he was left all alone standing to 40,000 people who see us as a threat due to the media characterization of us and just of the fact that we have different ideologies about so many issues that seem very outdated and backwards to many

add all this up and you have a pretty heavy burden to carry, often you will find Muslims supressed outcasted  frustrated people don’t trust us cause of all this and consider us weird , this is alot of social pressure to deal with in a already very competitive environment for things like jobs social acceptance friendship etc

all of this is weighting down on people and many people will crack under the pressure and try to find an ideological way out , especially the new generations kinda of just dropped into an already hostile environment towards Muslims plus all of those things

so hence your sibling probably doesnt have an actual issue with believing in God but rather is looking for a way out of the very difficult lives Muslims today experience , I can almost guarantee you this fact

he probably wants to fit in wants to have fun wants to be accepted wants less stress(as if the stress of life and university and jobs and earning money isnt enough) and all the social engineering that is also required to survive in todays society with all the various variables and factors to juggle

this is the real issue of your siblings and many Muslims today , this is really what is the root cause of things like this

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42 minutes ago, Jay93 said:

Interesting response. Would I be right in assuming that you are not culturally religious and that you did your own research and active seeking?

Yes and no. My background is Iranian but my parents weren't religious. For example, my father didn't pray or fast. And my mother's religiousity was certainly very cultural. Neither had/have in-depth knowledge of the religion. I first started to properly study religion, in my later university years. Before then I would say I was quite uninformed, especially about the Shia faith, which is ironic, since I spent my early years in Iran. 

Just because people go through the motions, it doesn't mean they know about religious teachings. Conformity is always the lazy, easy way out of various types of confrontations.

Edited by SoRoUsH

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24 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

Yes and no. My background is Iranian but my parents weren't religious. For example, my father didn't pray or fast. And my mother's religiousity was certainly very cultural. Neither had/have in-depth knowledge of the religion. I first started to properly study religion, in my later university years. Before then I would say I was quite uninformed, especially about the Shia faith, which is ironic, since I spent my early years in Iran. 

Just because people go through the motions, it doesn't mean they know about religious teachings. Conformity is always the lazy, easy way out of various types of confrontations.

I'm new to this site so can you briefly explain what the Shia faith is? I assume as you studied it you became convinced that it was true. What was it that convinced you?

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44 minutes ago, Jay93 said:

I'm new to this site so can you briefly explain what the Shia faith is? I assume as you studied it you became convinced that it was true. What was it that convinced you?

No. I can't briefly explain it to you. Shi'ism can't be reduced to one or two things, and there wasn't one or two things that convinced me. 

It takes time for a religion to be properly understood. 

Shi'ism is the essence of Islam, it's the spirit within the body of Islam. The Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) are the only path to knowledge of the divine. They are the Sirat al-Mustaqim. And it takes quite some time to properly understand these statements.

 

We shouldn't derail this thread from the OP's original concern.

Edited by SoRoUsH

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3 hours ago, SoRoUsH said:

No. I can't briefly explain it to you. Shi'ism can't be reduced to one or two things, and there wasn't one or two things that convinced me. 

It takes time for a religion to be properly understood. 

Shi'ism is the essence of Islam, it's the spirit within the body of Islam. The Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) are the only path to knowledge of the divine. They are the Sirat al-Mustaqim. And it takes quite some time to properly understand these statements.

 

We shouldn't derail this thread from the OP's original concern.

OK well I'd interested in learning more about your beliefs if you want to talk away from this post. But if you don't want to that's fine.

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As salaamun aleikum br,

Welcome to Shia Chat:bye:

I can relate to your situation in a similar way. I am a convert of 10 years to Shia Islam. Originally, I as well as the rest of my family were catholic, but in my teens I became a strange sort of agnostic. I "felt" inside there was "something" greater than me, and I also knew right from wrong when it came to certain societal pressures and personal choices, hiwever, the classic idea of "God" according to Christianity did not sit well with me. I couldnt accept such a limited idea. Long story short, after the loss of my iranian, non-practicing fiance due to a brain aneurysm when I was 29, I went on a serious quest for spiritual answers..after much study into different religions, I became Shia. 

Regards your original post, of the 3 of us siblings, the youngest is a good Christian, alhamdulilah, but the middle one is a self proclaimed atheist. He is not very social w ANYONE,  but 5 years back, him and I had some dialogue which was fairly philosophical and spiritual in nature. Nothing "religious" or dogmatic, just trying to present facts to help him towards the "non existence is impossible, so everything could not have come from nothing" line of thinking. Im not sure that went anywhere. He is still the same today. Hes had a rough life and may have some psychiatric issues.

At this point all I can do is to be the best Muslim version of myself as possible. Maybe that will have an effect on him. In all actuality, it is out of my hands as it is Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) who is Al Hadi (The Guide) and He doesnt need me to guide my brother. He can guide through angels or even the right kind of dream, so don’t lose hope, but don’t cut your connection with your brother either. In sha Allah he will be guided, and if he isnt guided in this life, just know that Allahs(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) mercy procedes His wrath.

W/s

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15 hours ago, Guest Saddioo said:
2 hours ago, Shia farm girl said:

As salaamun aleikum br,

Welcome to Shia Chat:bye:

I can relate to your situation in a similar way. I am a convert of 10 years to Shia Islam. Originally, I as well as the rest of my family were catholic, but in my teens I became a strange sort of agnostic. I "felt" inside there was "something" greater than me, and I also knew right from wrong when it came to certain societal pressures and personal choices, hiwever, the classic idea of "God" according to Christianity did not sit well with me. I couldnt accept such a limited idea. Long story short, after the loss of my iranian, non-practicing fiance due to a brain aneurysm when I was 29, I went on a serious quest for spiritual answers..after much study into different religions, I became Shia. 

Regards your original post, of the 3 of us siblings, the youngest is a good Christian, alhamdulilah, but the middle one is a self proclaimed atheist. He is not very social w ANYONE,  but 5 years back, him and I had some dialogue which was fairly philosophical and spiritual in nature. Nothing "religious" or dogmatic, just trying to present facts to help him towards the "non existence is impossible, so everything could not have come from nothing" line of thinking. Im not sure that went anywhere. He is still the same today. Hes had a rough life and may have some psychiatric issues.

At this point all I can do is to be the best Muslim version of myself as possible. Maybe that will have an effect on him. In all actuality, it is out of my hands as it is Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) who is Al Hadi (The Guide) and He doesnt need me to guide my brother. He can guide through angels or even the right kind of dream, so don’t lose hope, but don’t cut your connection with your brother either. In sha Allah he will be guided, and if he isnt guided in this life, just know that Allahs(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) mercy procedes His wrath.

W/s

 

Have you seen if he could be interested in Buddhism?  Sometimes a certain religious form might speak more to a someone.  If he is interested in Buddhism and Meditation that is a huge break through.  If he actually practices something like transcendental meditation then he is opening his heart to faith.  As he continues this you might then subtly let him know that the experience in meditation of boundless presence is precisely the message of Tawhid, found in all heavenly religions.  This approach might speak to him more because if he accepts the premise that there is One Reality and hat there are many Ways, then there might be a possibility that he would look into Islam with an open mind.

Edited by eThErEaL

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15 hours ago, Guest Saddioo said:

My sibling said to me in a separate discussion that they think life is meaningless and that they agree with the nihilist perspective (which I think hints to them being an atheist).

I have not done anything so far to convince them and just maintained normal relations, although in my heart I do feel sad. Is there any need for me to do so or can I go my separate ways? They don’t seem to want to have such conversations in the first place. Nonetheless, what would be some arguments that I could use regarding atheism (for my own benefit as well), any books, videos or literature?

Can I still continue to be friendly with them or I need to maintain a barrier? Do I need to refrain from food they touch or wash my hands if they are wet? I want to refrain from telling my mother even though she had a feeling in the past, it’ll only make her grieve.

Please pray for us all.

 

Reasoning with him may not work.  Aesthetics and Beauty, however, might work for him.  Beauty does not mean inciting of passion but precisely the opposite, the calming down, peaceful, relaxing, and surrendering of passions.  Beauty is stillness and  procures a deepening of awareness beyond the thoughts and rationalizations of the mind.  This is all that is required of him.  Dogma is going to repel him even more.   Your brother is actually spiritually gifted, but he needs the right nourishment, inshallah.  A spiritually gifted individual wants to dive straight to the heart or meaning of things.  Finally he will come full circle again, on his own accord, and will appreciate the dogma (without being limited to it).  

Edited by eThErEaL

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1 minute ago, eThErEaL said:

Reasoning with him may not work.  Aesthetics and Beauty, however, might work for him.  Beauty does not mean inciting of passion but precisely the opposite, the calming down, peaceful, relaxing, and surrendering of passions.  Beauty is stillness and  procures a deepening of awareness beyond the thoughts and rationalizations of the mind.  This is all that is required of him.  Dogma is going to repel him even more.   Your brother is actually spiritually gifted, but he needs the right nourishment, inshallah.

Nabi Noah, at some point in time had to board the ark, he left behind some of his family members. He was able to save 2 animals of every kind, but not his own kin. Wisdom is to be found in our traditions.

  1. Lead by example 
  2. Dawa by actions
  3. Warn the people of Allahs wraith
  4. Board the ark before it too late 

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25 minutes ago, azizaliallah said:

Nabi Noah, at some point in time had to board the ark, he left behind some of his family members. He was able to save 2 animals of every kind, but not his own kin. Wisdom is to be found in our traditions.

  1. Lead by example 
  2. Dawa by actions
  3. Warn the people of Allahs wraith
  4. Board the ark before it too late 

I believe that God can give life to the dead.  Same goes for the heart.  Dawa is by by beautiful character (Husnul Khulq), not by actions (Fi'l).  One can be generous in action and yet be miserly in his or her heart (if his intention is wrong).  Beautiful Character is a state of one's being, a state of a wholesome heart.  That is what my post was in reference to.  

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