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Not sincere in my religion

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Guest amina

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For about 1 year or so I became more aware of my religion and what it actually means. I came to the conclusion that I follow my religion blindly because my parents taught me so. When praying, I don't even know what i'm saying, if I'm even saying it right and my concentration is really bad and other things will cross my mind during prayer. I also feel 'nothing' when praying, it's like doing a task that must be done. I'm pretty sure it's the same for my brothers, they do so because our parents said so. I have very little knowledge about islam or shia islam, yes I know the basics, but a lot I don't know. If an atheist would ask me a question about islam im pretty sure I would not be able to answer it. If someone would ask me why are you wearing hijab? I don't even know what to answer. I just wear it because my mum told me. I have no idea where in the Quran or where in the hadith it says to wear hijab, I have no idea why i'm wearing it and what's the meaning of it. I feel not genuine doing this or praying. I want to change everyday, but somehow I am unable to? I want to be more sincere and to have more knowledge but I don't know where to start. Im really scared that all my prayers etc were for nothing and that all my prayers have been rejected. 

Please guys help me out. I have love for Islam, but i'm too 'lazy' to change anything or to find love when praying. I want to pray not because it feels like a task that I have to do, but rather out of my own will because i like it. 

I can't go to mosque, because we don't have any shia mosques. Also I can't reach out to other shias because I have no one in my environment. 

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I would recommend approaching things one by one, taking this big and complicated problem and dividing it into many small and simple tasks. You can start by kicking some of your bad habits, working on developing your character, trying to be more helpful with the little things, etc. And if you want knowledge, I would recommend listening to lectures by just about anyone. Lectures are an easy way to learn, you can even play it while doing chores or commuting. Any initiative, even a small but sincere one, will bring you towards God at 400mph. I vaguely remember a hadith that went something like: If you stand for me, I will walk toward you. If you walk toward me, I will walk quickly toward you.

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14 hours ago, Guest amina said:

For about 1 year or so I became more aware of my religion and what it actually means. I came to the conclusion that I follow my religion blindly because my parents taught me so. When praying, I don't even know what i'm saying, if I'm even saying it right and my concentration is really bad and other things will cross my mind during prayer. I also feel 'nothing' when praying, it's like doing a task that must be done. I'm pretty sure it's the same for my brothers, they do so because our parents said so. I have very little knowledge about islam or shia islam, yes I know the basics, but a lot I don't know. If an atheist would ask me a question about islam im pretty sure I would not be able to answer it. If someone would ask me why are you wearing hijab? I don't even know what to answer. I just wear it because my mum told me. I have no idea where in the Quran or where in the hadith it says to wear hijab, I have no idea why i'm wearing it and what's the meaning of it. I feel not genuine doing this or praying. I want to change everyday, but somehow I am unable to? I want to be more sincere and to have more knowledge but I don't know where to start. Im really scared that all my prayers etc were for nothing and that all my prayers have been rejected. 

Please guys help me out. I have love for Islam, but i'm too 'lazy' to change anything or to find love when praying. I want to pray not because it feels like a task that I have to do, but rather out of my own will because i like it. 

I can't go to mosque, because we don't have any shia mosques. Also I can't reach out to other shias because I have no one in my environment. 

Salaam sister, 

Pray and read the Quran (these are the tasks) 

During these tasks, make it a point :

to pray on time

To pray with humbleness and sincerity.

To stand as if a servant stands in front of his master

To read Quran with contemplation

To read it's translations and think on them. (you might recite only 15 verses but do it with great focus).

Get well versed in those chapters of Quran that you recite in your prayers

These are the first steps.

When you have worked enough on the previous part then, 

Listen to speeches of good orators like:

English: Hasnain Rajabali, Usama Abdulghani, Khalil Jaffer or Salim YusufAli

Urdu: Aqeel ul Gharavi, Nusrat Bukhari

Persian sub English short clips : Agha Alireza Panahian

Marked in bold are the best from my experience. Underlined one is the most amazing. With the course of time, if you find someone better, you can also add him. That is upto you. 

This is second step. 

Then, Do hijab but parallely try to understand the importance of it. Keep on doing this consistently with sincerity along with reaching to the real spirit of these practices. 

For the rest of the part, Allah will surely guide you. And sister, don't be hopeless:

If you will take one step towards the Almighty, Allah will come ten steps closer to you. 

Allah says: “Call upon Me and I will answer you" [UDO'OONI ASTA JIB LAKUM]

May Allah bless you and guide you as Allah is the only guide. 

May Allah make you firm in faith and sincere in actions. 

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17 hours ago, Guest amina said:

For about 1 year or so I became more aware of my religion and what it actually means. I came to the conclusion that I follow my religion blindly because my parents taught me so.

Why do you want to be a sincere practicing Muslim?  Why not just leave?  Is it because you are afraid of a Hell that might exist?  Or is it because you feel that by being a sincere Muslim you will feel more fulfilled ?  Or maybe it is a combination of the two above?  
 

1) If you are fearful of a Hell (that might exist), that is because you have some faith (iman) in scripture / Quran (God’s revelation).  (Know that this is a good sign)

2) If you think that being sincere in your practices will enable you to live a fulfilling life, then this is also true, but also know that you cannot “want to have a spiritually fulfilling life”.  It is something that you have to discover rather than something you have to want.  You need to inquire what is it about a spiritual life that will make you fulfilled?  Try to pin point the exact thing about it that you feel will make you fulfilled.  And then (whatever it is), try to find it in your experience / life in whatever it is that you do from moment to moment.  A essence of a spiritually fulfilled life is that one is content with their situation and their circumstance (as God has willed it).  Contentment or gratefulness is not the same same complacency.  
 

Quote

When praying, I don't even know what i'm saying, if I'm even saying it right and my concentration is really bad and other things will cross my mind during prayer. I also feel 'nothing' when praying, it's like doing a task that must be done. I'm pretty sure it's the same for my brothers, they do so because our parents said so. I have very little knowledge about islam or shia islam, yes I know the basics, but a lot I don't know. If an atheist would ask me a question about islam im pretty sure I would not be able to answer it. If someone would ask me why are you wearing hijab? I don't even know what to answer. I just wear it because my mum told me. I have no idea where in the Quran or where in the hadith it says to wear hijab, I have no idea why i'm wearing it and what's the meaning of it. I feel not genuine doing this or praying. I want to change everyday, but somehow I am unable to? I want to be more sincere and to have more knowledge but I don't know where to start. Im really scared that all my prayers etc were for nothing and that all my prayers have been rejected. 

Please guys help me out. I have love for Islam, but i'm too 'lazy' to change anything or to find love when praying. I want to pray not because it feels like a task that I have to do, but rather out of my own will because i like it. 

I can't go to mosque, because we don't have any shia mosques. Also I can't reach out to other shias because I have no one in my environment. 

 

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19 hours ago, Guest amina said:

For about 1 year or so I became more aware of my religion and what it actually means. I came to the conclusion that I follow my religion blindly because my parents taught me so. When praying, I don't even know what i'm saying, if I'm even saying it right and my concentration is really bad and other things will cross my mind during prayer. I also feel 'nothing' when praying, it's like doing a task that must be done. I'm pretty sure it's the same for my brothers, they do so because our parents said so. I have very little knowledge about islam or shia islam, yes I know the basics, but a lot I don't know. If an atheist would ask me a question about islam im pretty sure I would not be able to answer it. If someone would ask me why are you wearing hijab? I don't even know what to answer. I just wear it because my mum told me. I have no idea where in the Quran or where in the hadith it says to wear hijab, I have no idea why i'm wearing it and what's the meaning of it. I feel not genuine doing this or praying. I want to change everyday, but somehow I am unable to? I want to be more sincere and to have more knowledge but I don't know where to start. Im really scared that all my prayers etc were for nothing and that all my prayers have been rejected. 

Please guys help me out. I have love for Islam, but i'm too 'lazy' to change anything or to find love when praying. I want to pray not because it feels like a task that I have to do, but rather out of my own will because i like it. 

I can't go to mosque, because we don't have any shia mosques. Also I can't reach out to other shias because I have no one in my environment. 

I am like you though being a boy but i am not allowed to go except my job because my mother gets worried and i dont want her to stress out for me. 

When you dont know abt islam you dont know abt salah or prayer. Allah (S) didn't ask u to start praying without understanding its rights  its unfortunate that there are many books on philosophy of furu-e-deen but we seldom read. 

Do not feel embarras if an athiest ask you question neither deny him answer say him or give me some days to think upon for its new to me and i want to research it.

About prayer, its reminder who created you what you came from how will you thank Him (s) for creating you. 

So, when you make ruku you say i bow only to orders of Allah when you stand in prayer you say i am on your side my lord. When you make sajidah you say i was nothing but clay when you rise you say i was created from clay when you prostrate you say i will die and be clay again and when you rise, you say i be resurrected. 

Start from searching first question in your mind that's first brick and rest of the doors will keep on opening.

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23 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

Why do you want to be a sincere practicing Muslim?  Why not just leave?  Is it because you are afraid of a Hell that might exist?  Or is it because you feel that by being a sincere Muslim you will feel more fulfilled ?  Or maybe it is a combination of the two above?  
 

1) If you are fearful of a Hell (that might exist), that is because you have some faith (iman) in scripture / Quran (God’s revelation).  (Know that this is a good sign)

2) If you think that being sincere in your practices will enable you to live a fulfilling life, then this is also true, but also know that you cannot “want to have a spiritually fulfilling life”.  It is something that you have to discover rather than something you have to want.  You need to inquire what is it about a spiritual life that will make you fulfilled?  Try to pin point the exact thing about it that you feel will make you fulfilled.  And then (whatever it is), try to find it in your experience / life in whatever it is that you do from moment to moment.  A essence of a spiritually fulfilled life is that one is content with their situation and their circumstance (as God has willed it).  Contentment or gratefulness is not the same same complacency.  
 

 

Both. I fear of hell but I also find Islam interesting and I want to learn more about praying, fasting, the life of the prophet, the history of islam, the imams, the other prophets, the companions of the prophets.

Btw I saw on your profile that you're agnost? does that mean you're not muslim?

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17 hours ago, Guest amina said:

Both. I fear of hell but I also find Islam interesting and I want to learn more about praying, fasting, the life of the prophet, the history of islam, the imams, the other prophets, the companions of the prophets.

Btw I saw on your profile that you're agnost? does that mean you're not muslim?

Salamun Alaykum,

If I were you, I would just hang a lot around people who also like that and who you would consider to be more advanced in those areas.  You should do this at all costs.  Like, even consider moving to another state, another country (if you have to).  This is perhaps the most valuable thing you could or would do for yourself.  

I am an Agnostic only because I don't take my beliefs all too seriously.  But I am a Muslim.  

Ethereal

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18 hours ago, Guest amina said:

Both. I fear of hell but I also find Islam interesting and I want to learn more about praying, fasting, the life of the prophet, the history of islam, the imams, the other prophets, the companions of the prophets.

Btw I saw on your profile that you're agnost? does that mean you're not muslim?

Spoiler Alert!

Fasting is to learn how to restrain yourself along with feeling that how it feels if you are hungry or thirsty so that you know the pain of poor and animals. 

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:salam:

Some of the links may help you discover our religion (credit to brother Qa’im for some of the links):

(Note that al-Islam.org is an excellent resource for any of your questions)

A series of resources related to hijabhttps://www.al-islam.org/tags/hijab

Prayer with translation (may be good to familiarise yourself with what you are saying): https://www.al-islam.org/nutshell/files/prayers.pdf 

Nahj al-Balagha: A collection of eloquent sermons, letters, and quotes attributed to Imam `Ali (as): https://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-1-sermons 

Summary of the important parts of Nahj al-Balaghahttps://www.al-islam.org/what-true-success-excerpts-peak-eloquence-nahjul-balagha/1-know-god#concept-god-his-oneness-and-his-divine-attributes

Risalat al Huquq: A very short book detailing the rights of God, your body parts and your relationships:  https://www.al-islam.org/treatise-rights-risalat-al-huquq-imam-ali-zayn-al-abidin

Lantern of the Path: A collection of Hadith by the 6th Imam on knowledge, behavior, remembrance, prayer, and fear of God:https://www.al-islam.org/lantern-path-imam-jafar-al-sadiq

Sahifa Sajjadiyya: A collection of supplications of Imam Zayn al-`Abideen, the 4th Imam: http://www.duas.org/sajjadiya/sajjadiya.htm 

A nice translation of the Qur’an by Ali Quli Qarai: http://al-quran.info 

Tafsirs (exegeses) that you may find useful:

Multiple translations of Quran + tafsir Allama Pooya in one link: https://quran.al-islam.org

An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Quran: https://www.al-islam.org/enlightening-commentary-light-holy-quran-vol-1

Tafsir al Mizan by Allama Tabatabai: http://www.almizan.org/ 

Some books on the basics of shia islam:

https://www.al-islam.org/principles-faith-usul-al-din-husayn-wahid-khorasani

https://www.al-islam.org/what-everyone-should-know-about-islam-ibrahim-amini

https://www.al-islam.org/rationality-islam-sayyid-abu-al-qasim-al-khoei

https://www.al-islam.org/islamic-teachings-brief-sayyid-muhammad-husayn-tabatabai

Al Kafi (a hadith book for us Shias)
A selection of hadiths from the first volume of al-Kafi: http://www.imamiyya.com/hadith/usul-kafi 

A PDF of some chapters in al Kafi (like Tawhid, knowledge etc.): https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Al-Kafi.pdf
Daily hadiths on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AhlAlBaytDaily/ 

Books to respond to atheism and other faiths: 

https://www.al-islam.org/divine-wisdom-prophet-muhammad/chapter-1-debates-prophet-muhammad-s-scholars-and-representatives

https://www.al-islam.org/life-imam-ali-bin-musa-al-ridha-baqir-shareef-al-qurashi/chapter-5-his-debates-and-his-arguments

https://www.al-islam.org/tradition-myrobalan-fruit-hadith-al-halila-imam-jafar-al-sadiq/hadith
https://sapienceinstitute.org/the-divine-reality/

Books specifically For shia-Sunni issues:

https://www.al-islam.org/then-i-was-guided-muhammad-al-tijani-al-samawi

https://www.al-islam.org/peshawar-nights-sayyid-muhammad-al-musawi-al-shirazi

Books for the biography of the Prophet Muhammad:

https://www.al-islam.org/sunan-nabi-sayyid-muhammad-husayn-tabatabai
https://www.al-islam.org/life-muhammad-prophet-sayyid-saeed-akhtar-rizvi

https://www.al-islam.org/message-jafar-subhani

https://www.al-islam.org/prophet-muhammad-shiah-perspective-muhammad-legenhausen
https://www.al-islam.org/seal-prophets-and-his-message-sayyid-mujtaba-musavi-lari

Books for the biography of the Ahlulbayt (the 14 Infallibles):

https://www.amazon.com/Fourteen-Infallibles-Compilation-Speeches-Lectures/dp/1908110058

https://www.al-islam.org/survey-lives-infallible-imams-murtadha-mutahhari
https://www.al-islam.org/brief-history-fourteen-infallibles/preface

https://www.al-islam.org/fourteen-luminaries-islam-ahmad-ahmadi-birjandi
------

Popular YouTube speakers (I have highlighted the ones I watch)

Sayyid Ammar Nakshawani (start with the biographies of the infallibles here: https://youtu.be/zse6az5uqNo), Sayyid Mahdi Modarresi, Hassanain Rajabali, Brother Khalil Jaffer (spirituality see The End of negative suffering series and freeing the butterfly within series), Farrokh Sekaleshfar (expert on irfan and spirituality), Hamza Sodagar, Sayed Hossein Qazwini, Hussain Makke (start with Answering the atheists), Usama Abdul Ghani, Sayed Moustafa Qazwini (Start with the Life of the Prophet (30 clips 30 minutes each) ), Seyyed Hossein Nasr (excellent for philosophy), Maulana Ali Raza Rizvi (primarily urdu but some English, start with The legendary knowledge of al Imam Ali ar-Ridha)


Some of my favourite YouTube videos:
Great Scientist and Philosopher Imam Jaffer Sadiq (18 minutes)

Prophecies made by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) (18 mins)

Some more cooler prophecies made by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) about the End Times (short, 6 minutes)

Imam Ali (عليه السلام) describes God from Nahjul Balagha (25 minutes - breathtaking)

Imam Ali Ridha debates a Christian, a Jew and an Atheist (7 minutes) 

Linguistic Miracles of the Qur’an (2 hours)

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in other religious scriptures (3 hours)

Please also see:

Some scientific correlations found within the Holy Qur’an (42 minutes)

Some more short clips about the miracles in the Holy Qur’an:

https://youtu.be/4s2UTAtSKd0 (10 minutes)

https://youtu.be/yYY1BGKrr1E (10 minutes)

Funny story of Aussie convert to Islam (see Ahlulbayt Reborn for more such clips): https://youtu.be/CcxzIE4xxrI (15 minutes)

 

Keep me in your prayers,

Wsalam

 

 

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On 12/5/2020 at 11:56 PM, Guest amina said:

For about 1 year or so I became more aware of my religion and what it actually means. I came to the conclusion that I follow my religion blindly because my parents taught me so. When praying, I don't even know what i'm saying, if I'm even saying it right and my concentration is really bad and other things will cross my mind during prayer. I also feel 'nothing' when praying, it's like doing a task that must be done. I'm pretty sure it's the same for my brothers, they do so because our parents said so. I have very little knowledge about islam or shia islam, yes I know the basics, but a lot I don't know. If an atheist would ask me a question about islam im pretty sure I would not be able to answer it. If someone would ask me why are you wearing hijab? I don't even know what to answer. I just wear it because my mum told me. I have no idea where in the Quran or where in the hadith it says to wear hijab, I have no idea why i'm wearing it and what's the meaning of it. I feel not genuine doing this or praying. I want to change everyday, but somehow I am unable to? I want to be more sincere and to have more knowledge but I don't know where to start. Im really scared that all my prayers etc were for nothing and that all my prayers have been rejected. 

Please guys help me out. I have love for Islam, but i'm too 'lazy' to change anything or to find love when praying. I want to pray not because it feels like a task that I have to do, but rather out of my own will because i like it. 

I can't go to mosque, because we don't have any shia mosques. Also I can't reach out to other shias because I have no one in my environment. 

Salam Amina

You are not the only one ...welcome to the club:)

I was going through the same situation, luckily I heard to a lot of lectures, and I started with basics like with Namaz. I translated the Namaz in my native language and while praying I was focusing on the translation. After sometime I started reading the Quran with translation and tafseer. I started watching short informative fiqh / shariat clips on YouTube. Allah is the most forgiving and if you were not aware of these things doesn't count as sin or wasted but if you want to change yourself...the door to Allah is always open. Start with your daily routine. Make a schedule and focus on those things you really want to change. Get some motivational books and read Quran with translation. Start small conversations about Islamic topics with your parents and siblings or other shia friends. Try to get information from different sources. Just, for example: When you love someone, you want to know everything about it, and we are talking about Allah. Just look around you, you will find so many reasons to thank Allah. So while praying keep that in mind that this is a way of thanking to all of his blessings. I hope my thoughts helped you in some ways. But everyone has their own way to find the love for Allah.

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On 12/7/2020 at 11:16 AM, Guest amina said:

Both. I fear of hell but I also find Islam interesting and I want to learn more about praying, fasting, the life of the prophet, the history of islam, the imams, the other prophets, the companions of the prophets.

Everyone goes through this process of curiosity. Read about theology. First, of course, Shi’i theology and philosophy given that’s what you practice. 

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