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In the Name of God بسم الله
Bahlool

Your conversion to Islam

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This was hard for me to understand at first also. 'God willing' or 'If God wills'. 

 

In Islam, it is possible for God(s.w.a) to want something, and yet not to will it. If he wills it, then it will happen, but if he wants something, then wills that we have a choice in the matter, then we have a choice in the matter. For example, God(s.w.a) wants everyone to pray, but not everyone does. Because God gave us free will in this thing, whether to pray or not to pray. So some people do and some people don't. Some get the reward from God for praying, and some don't. 

 

God has absolute power over everything, but some of his wants superceed some others. For example because he wants us to have free will, he realizes that some of the things he wants are not going to happen, i.e. that everyone prays. This is attached to a long discussion about 'Qadr' and 'Qadaa', free will and predestination. But I won't get into that. 

 

From a practical, not a grammatical, perspective, 'God willing' and 'If God wills' mean approximately the same thing. It means that I intend to do something, and if it is Gods(s.w.a) will that it will happen, then it will happen. If it is not God's will, then it will not happen. Both are a reminder and an acknowledgement that Gods(s.w.a) will and God's(s.w.a) power is Greater than mine. 

Once He wills it and we have a choice in the matter, then we reach that choice point in the algortithm of life. So, if I understand correctly, Allah swa provides the path and THEN we get to choose. It makes sense.

 

---------

 

Something that I have been reading about lately is the Islamic perspective on what happens to the soul when we die. Shi'a funeral rites and customs have been high on my reading list lately. There are steps that must be observed and if anyone has some input regarding this, then that would be really appreciated.

 

The Day of Judgment is reckoning day. We will all remain at our gravesite, but the amount of space we will have in the hereafter will depend on how adherent to Islam we were during this life.

 

Am I basically correct on this?

Edited by Convertible

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The situation in the grave will one of three states

 

1) It will be a 'garden' from the gardens of Paradise. Meaning it will not be Paradise, the eternal Paradise, because it will have an ending (i.e. The Day of Judgement) but it will be very pleasant.

 

2) It will be a fire from the Fires of Hell. No need for more detail about that. 

 

3) It will simply be a sleep. It will be a state of unconsciousness, similar to when you are asleep in this world. 

 

The first state is for the good people, i.e the ones who died after having had all their sins forgiven by Allah(s.w.a). 

 

The second state is for the bad people. The ones who were truly and thoroughly bad, the extreme cases. 

 

The third state is for the ones who are neither really good or really bad. Their final outcome is being suspended till the Day of Judgement. 

 

That is a very simplified version, and there are many lectures on this subject which I would recommend. 

 

 

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Me i have a particular story i think.

Im born in France to an iranian father and french mother. My father is "non practicing shia muslim" and my mother a "non practicing catholic".

My parents never really learn me the basic teachings of these two religions but only the very basic things (jésus son of god , shia believes Ali (as) is the successor etc).

During a lot of years i was "religious without religion" because i was not christian or muslim because my parents dont raised me in these specifics religions maybe because they wanted  i chose myself later.

 

During a lot of time i was attracted to christian catholicism because its the religion of my family mother side , because its "more french" and also because at this time i had bad picture of islam because of western propagande and islamist terrorism.

So i bought a bible , i read a big part of the old testament (not all) and i read new testament. That was interrested but... i dont know there were good things and good morals but there were also many thing i found contradict the logic or stupid....

Like the "Trinity" or the fact that God must be "crucified for our sins", the contradictions in the different gospels... And the fact that many different editions of the bibles are very different among themselves etc...

 

After i tried to read quran... but i will be honest the first time i tried to read that i didnt really like that. I found that strange , not very good traduction and at this time i found that some sura or verses were violent (but now i know there are always a context or a specific interpretation).

 

So i tried to be atheist. I thought i was like that during approximately one year. But day by day i understood i must believe in God.

 

I saw that in France islam is rising very fast (approximately between 10 and 15% of french population now) , and i understood that this religion became very powerful and attractive , and i was more interrsted about the religion of my father family. So i tried again to read the quran. And... hamdoulilah i was impressive , that was a very powerful text , and i read the entire book in few days ( i found the bible a little boring to read lol).

And at this time there were many videos on internet about religion comparison between islam and christianity , and with many researches i found islam more logical and more attractive than christianity so i chose to become again muslim hamdoulilah !!

 

But at this time i didnt know very well the différences between sunni and shia. So i said i was "just muslim".

Later i saw many anti shiites video on the internet but that was the religion of my father so i tried to do more researches again about shia islam.

 

Finally now im shia muslim :) .

 

This is in very short part my story :D .

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@alidu78:

 

"Religious without religion" is a term that I have heard before. My Jordanian and Syrian-American friends have described the phenomena as being "Muslims without Islam". It had a lot to do with the secularization process in Jordan and Syria over decades and decades (centuries?). Over time, Jordanians and Syrians began to feel like they were just Muslims going through the motions. This is what my friends shared with me about the struggle between trying to be religious in a highly-pressurized secular society.

 

Growing up in a Christian culture, I understand the Bible. And what I came to understand is that, while most of the messaging is good, it is incomplete and has been over-translated to the point of oblivion of the original message. Also, the claim that Jesus' (pbuh) words were recorded by the Disciples in the Gospels of the New Testament is debateable.

 

With this said, when I first began to read the Holy Qur'an, I would laugh because it sounded so much like stories we heard in Sunday School. The stories and themes and morals presented were so similar to the Bible. Islam was a natural fit for me because it is an update of the Word of God. The Qur'an is a much-needed refreshening of the Message that has maintained the core of its integrity; the Arabic language. I don't know of anyone who has memorized the Christian Bible, but there are milliions of people who know the Qur'an forward and backward. So vibrant and poetic. It has rhythm.

 

Shi'a Islam was even more of a natural fit because of its intellectual integrity regarding the Hadith. I find Shi'a Islam to be far more progressive and adaptable than Sunni. I find Shi'a to be more adherent to the Qur'an itself, but also more flexible in culture than the Sunnis. But that is a debate for a different thread.

 

How it relates to my conversion is that I had a negative impression of Islam growing up. When I was a kid, we would watch the Revolution in Iran on our television and the journalist would say Shi'a, Shi'ite, Shi'a Shi'ite....over and over, with riots in the streets.

And then the hostage situation in Iran and more blaming of and rage against Shi'ites. And then Hezbollah and the Beirut barracks......on and on.

 

But I still found myself standing on the corner as an 11-year old shouting "Peace in the Middle East!!!" with a peace sign high in the air. The point is that I never really hated Islam at all. I was into punk rock music, which sang about world events and Western hegemony and stuff like that. I knew of the struggles for power and self-rule going on around the Middle East and the major impact that Great Britain, United States and France have had on the region. Luckily, I never hated Islam or had any real irrational fear about it. I was more curious than anything. My conversion was very natural and not a struggle.

 

Around this time my Mother and oldest brother converted to Baha'i. I began to read about the Baha'i faith and more about Iran and Shi'a Islam in general. I never fully took on the Baha'i faith, but I have read the Book of Certitude and a few other texts and it is good, but is really an affirmation of Islam and The Qur'an.

 

My conversion was all about guidance as I move into the second half of my life. I have always been spiritual, but not well-guided. Shi'a Islam is best suited to guide me on the path that I want and need to be on.

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Salaam walikom brothers and sisters. I have been following shiachat two years now but never commented, but decided to give my story of coming to islam and introduce myself. My name is Rachid I'm from johannesburg Southh Africa. I first got introduced to islam when I was about 7years old when my sister married a man from Morocco, I took my kalima when I was 13 years old. I grew up in a home where my mom was new apostolic and my dad was Catholic. I never really knew about Christianity only what I saw on TV. Growing up I learned a lot from my sister about Islam, I would read the Quran she had when I visited her and found a lot in there that made sense. Even though I didn't understand it I loved how my sister and husband would pray, I learned to love the salaat when I was about 11. Even though I wasn't muslim I'd always say I'm half muslim half Christian lol!!!!! I officially became muslim when I was 13 a few months after my father passed away as he would never have accepted me being muslim, Ma sha Allah I felt happy knowing that I'm worshiping the one true God, the God of Abraham Musa, Dawud, and Isa (peace be on them all). I left islam when I was 18 as I had then been exposed to the Wahabi movement and this everyone else is wrong and judgement upon anyone without a beard and Kurth movement that they tried forcing on me, I studied different religions and faiths, the bible and different cultic movements but nothing came near the beauty that I saw as a youngster in Islam. When I was 22 I met a guy from Iran who introduced me to this movement my brother in law and his friends hated, the Shia. I went with for the morning of Imam Hussein (AS) by his place as there where not many Shia centres aroun. I cried so heavily as he recited, I didn't understand a word but knew about the events of karbalah but this just caused my tears to fall. I often regret leaving islam when I was younger but also know if I didn't I might not have found this beauty that I the jafari mudhab. I'm now 27 and passionate about my Deen and educating the sunni to see that what these enemies of Ahlul Bayt(AS) say is nonsense. This is my first post but hopefully the start of many to come and many friendships in sha Allah. 

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This began to form in my mind this morning as I was praying. This is the story of my conversion.

 

I was wandering
Lost
Alone
Weary
My lonely heart 
Heavy with sorrow
Each step was pain
Every decision to turn
Was war
Until one day a procession passed near me
Their faces joyful, peaceful
The hum of their chanting
Filled my chest
I closed my eyes to listen
When I opened them again
I was following in their path
With every step becoming more sure
More aware
Awake
I realized soon I was not moving
But was being moved
Propelled and guided by your hand
Comforted, I wept
Comforted, I smiled
Now I cannot feel pain
I cannot feel sadness
I am not lost
I am one of yours now
I follow your word
And I am taken to where I need to go


 

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:salam:  My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, this is my revert story.

 

So before i really get into the meat of the story. I live in south carolina with christian family, and i was forced to go to church. then when i was at high school i was first introduced to Islam and found it very uniform with everyone praying the same and saying the same thing (pretty much).   Then after college i was having an existential crisis i guess you could say. so i picked up a book from barnes and noble called the varieties of religious experience by william james. which was a psychological examination of why some people are more religious than others, and why some are religious while others aren't. when i was done reading it i was researching all kinds of religions, pagan religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Baha'i, and Islam. no matter how much i looked into a religion there was something always drawing me back to Islam to learn more. I started watching dawah videos, emailing imams in my area, and reading other revert stories. then one august night i decided to say Shahada to myself just to see what it sounded like and if i felt any different. I did.  after i said it i felt warm on the inside like i had some bowl of soup or hot tea, but it was all over my body even my feet. i also felt like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders, and like it was my birthday or something. so i wanted to make sure this wasn't a coincidence so i decided to say Allahu akbar. when i said the word Allah a chill went down my spine and made me shiver. everytime i said Allahu akbar i felt the shiver.  a few months later when visiting a friend in a city that had a masjid, i decided to go and formally say my Shahada(apparently there is a video on the internet of it somewhere).  It then took me a few more months to tell my parents and they didn't agree with my decision but said that i'm old enough my make my own decisions. a little while after that i found out there is a masjid in my city and have been going there for about 6 years. so yea, that's my revert story. :grin:   

 

 

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I'm not a revert, there are many many hangups I have about numerous theological points/behaviors expected from Muslims based off of just "Why would The God want people to do that?" type logical questions in my head, keep in mind I also suffer with mental illness and have a history of substance abuse so I tend to look at things in unconventional ways because my brain obviously doesn't function properly.

I first heard about Islam as a child from the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves through Morgan Freeman's character. My family was Catholic and thus, pretty ignorant to the basic tenets of many world faiths (this was also the pre-internet era). I never thought much of it until the propaganda started coming in my Southern US high school after Manhattan '01 (CE). Islam was supposed to be associated with brown people or at least, all the sorts of people that were ruled as troublesome in the early 2000s (CE) Southern US cultural milieu. Evangelical Christianity was very heavily pushed by the rightist political channels during that time and I reacted against it by going to the secularist hedonist thing. Once I hit about 25, the drugs and that whole element stopped being entertaining and I just felt lost. So I tried moving in with a woman I was dating in upstate NY/Twin Tiers area and that failed miserably, I had a mental collapse, and I came back to FL where I can't seem to make good for myself and everyone just gets the idea that I am slow.

I started going to a twelve step program and I met a Sunni there. I went to the local Masjid (Sunni, unsure what school of Jurisprudence) and met a few men who seemed mad pushy in the way that many of the Baptists are (which was what made me avoid Evangelical Christianity in the first place). They are mostly older men of all ethnic backgrounds that seem like they are pretty good people, but having been conditioned by public schools and the media for so long, I have this horrible tendency to look at them with suspicion of motive, much like I look at the other religious communities in the area (Do you *really* care, or do you just want another worshiper to validate your beliefs? sort of thing. It's [Edited Out]py cynicism but it's a major issue I deal with across my life in general).

I'm still hunting around digging for reality. I do feel mostly let down and disgusted by the common mantra of American culture and Christianity, despite my depth of knowledge on it for someone who never finished college; So trying to learn something that seems very much more intense and at odds with the general way I am taught to believe I have to live in order to get by in society has raised many important questions about the nature of reality. Sometimes I really struggle with the possibility that this life and experience could in fact, be all there really is & I've blown it already. I try not to think about that because the depression becomes too burdensome to bear, but I have no clue as to what is really going on.

I'm still paranoid that the hydra of Western consumerism has got me distilled down to the perfect victim of it's machinations and is just ready to eat me alive within the near future. Maybe I need to go back to sleep, as I had a rough night with the racing thoughts.

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10 hours ago, GD41586 said:

I'm not a revert, there are many many hangups I have about numerous theological points/behaviors expected from Muslims based off of just "Why would The God want people to do that?" type logical questions in my head, keep in mind I also suffer with mental illness and have a history of substance abuse so I tend to look at things in unconventional ways because my brain obviously doesn't function properly.

I first heard about Islam as a child from the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves through Morgan Freeman's character. My family was Catholic and thus, pretty ignorant to the basic tenets of many world faiths (this was also the pre-internet era). I never thought much of it until the propaganda started coming in my Southern US high school after Manhattan '01 (CE). Islam was supposed to be associated with brown people or at least, all the sorts of people that were ruled as troublesome in the early 2000s (CE) Southern US cultural milieu. Evangelical Christianity was very heavily pushed by the rightist political channels during that time and I reacted against it by going to the secularist hedonist thing. Once I hit about 25, the drugs and that whole element stopped being entertaining and I just felt lost. So I tried moving in with a woman I was dating in upstate NY/Twin Tiers area and that failed miserably, I had a mental collapse, and I came back to FL where I can't seem to make good for myself and everyone just gets the idea that I am slow.

I started going to a twelve step program and I met a Sunni there. I went to the local Masjid (Sunni, unsure what school of Jurisprudence) and met a few men who seemed mad pushy in the way that many of the Baptists are (which was what made me avoid Evangelical Christianity in the first place). They are mostly older men of all ethnic backgrounds that seem like they are pretty good people, but having been conditioned by public schools and the media for so long, I have this horrible tendency to look at them with suspicion of motive, much like I look at the other religious communities in the area (Do you *really* care, or do you just want another worshiper to validate your beliefs? sort of thing. It's [Edited Out]py cynicism but it's a major issue I deal with across my life in general).

I'm still hunting around digging for reality. I do feel mostly let down and disgusted by the common mantra of American culture and Christianity, despite my depth of knowledge on it for someone who never finished college; So trying to learn something that seems very much more intense and at odds with the general way I am taught to believe I have to live in order to get by in society has raised many important questions about the nature of reality. Sometimes I really struggle with the possibility that this life and experience could in fact, be all there really is & I've blown it already. I try not to think about that because the depression becomes too burdensome to bear, but I have no clue as to what is really going on.

I'm still paranoid that the hydra of Western consumerism has got me distilled down to the perfect victim of it's machinations and is just ready to eat me alive within the near future. Maybe I need to go back to sleep, as I had a rough night with the racing thoughts.

And even if this life is all we have got, don't underestimate the power of certain indifference towards it. At times I think that's the only way to actually live it.

I believe there are many ways to approach a religious life. Mine was religious humanism, but others do actually develop some sort of relation with God that bit by bit pushes them to find what makes them closer to Him.

If any, what all people who get closer to God have in common is a sincere heart and genuine wish to approach, obey and love God.

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I'm not throwing it out or discounting it by any means. I'm still attempting to unravel the threads of truth at this point, if truth is something that can in fact be known and is not subjective as is the current fashionable way to view it.

I'm sitting on the fence a great deal between blatant Orthodox Christianity because it still feels very comfortable and safe. I notice as I dig deeper and deeper into Islam, that Islam has a few glaring benefits, but also a few glaring issues that will cause me a major headache in down the road... or simply aspects that I do not yet understand. (I went through the same thing with the majority of Christian theology/soteriology that I have researched which is a good part of why I am where I currently am).

I really need to delve into those resources that were linked in the other thread to see if I can answer my own questions.

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Assalamu alaikum, 

I first became curious about Islam when I was 11/12, I read a book set in Afghanistan and it mentioned Islam a lot. I love to write and was inspired by this book to write a similar story so I researched Islam to help write my story. The more I learned the more interested I became. I was raised an atheist. My father was Catholic and at 15 he began to question his religion and ultimately left it causing his mother to disown him. He has a very bad view of all religion particularly Islam just due to lack of education and not willing to learn about it. So I was raised to not believe in any god, to pretty much hate religion. I never fully shared the view of my family... I tried to learn about many different religions and I tried them all. I thought Christianity would be easiest considering I lived in a very small town with seven Christian churches - pretty much like the Bible belt. But I just didn't connect with the religion. I even looked into Judaism and Hinduism and just so many different religions. But I kept remembering Islam so I decided to look into it further and see if it was right for me. I began to defend Islam and Muslims when my family would make uneducated remarks. My mum kind of caught on and she told me I wasn't allowed to follow any religion especially Islam while I was living under her roof. So I just gave up, I didn't bother continuing my journey. I thought what's the point? By the time I was 16 I had started to go down a very bad path. I drank a lot, dropped out of school, fighting with my parents all the time. I was extremely self destructive. I moved out of my parent's home and moved in with my grandparents in the city. 

I was going to school and the school I went to had a program for kids learning English as their second language, lots of these kids were asylum seekers. I met a guy and he was Hazara from Afghanistan and we started dating. I didn't care about myself at all and I ended up getting pregnant at 16. My family was very supportive and I stopped drinking and hurting myself because I knew I had to be a mother now and it wasn't just about me, I had my baby to think about. I started looking into Islam again... I'm not sure what drew me back to it but I just wanted to learn more and I wanted to try to convert. My partner was brought up Shia but he had pretty much lost his faith. I was aware he wasn't practicing but I didn't realise he didn't even consider himself Muslim anymore. I thought he would be really pleased about me wanting to convert but he didn't care. I still tried, I started praying, I decided to wear hijab... But I didn't educate myself fully. I kind of just rushed it, did what I thought I was supposed to do but didn't understand the meanings behind what I was doing. I faced a lot of hate at school from several Shia girls I knew. First I thought they were being helpful and would help me learn about Islam and that kind of thing since my partner didn't care about it... But they were very nasty to me they only told me what I was doing wrong and asked me questions about Islam and if I didn't know the answer they would laugh at me, they called me horrible names and made up lies about me, they told me 'How can you be Muslim when you're pregnant and unmarried?' and I began to think that way as well. Eventually I just started thinking why am I bothering? I am in a haram relationship, my partner has no religion, I've committed so many sins. At this point I felt no real connection to Allah. I felt only anger and fear so I again just gave up, turned my back on Allah. 

Let's fast forward a little bit. My partner and I were really in love and planning to get married but I started doubting myself, I started thinking I wasn't good enough for him, that he deserved someone better. There was also a problem with his family who still live in Afghanistan. They would disown him if they knew he was dating/marrying an Australian girl, especially one with a baby and who wasn't Muslim. I didn't want him to lose his family. Our relationship ended. Again I felt myself being drawn back to Islam. I thought now I'm not in a haram relationship, I can start over and I can try to be Muslim. I had this thought in the back of my mind for a while but never acted on it. Then a couple of months ago I received the news that my son's father (my partner) had been killed in a car accident. My son has lost his father. It broke me inside and I didn't think I'd be able to go on because I loved him so much and I just couldn't believe he was gone. It was really hard. My son is too young to understand fully but I needed a way to explain it to him when he was older. The tragedy also kind of woke me up - I started to think 'What if I died tomorrow? Would I be happy with how my life is? What would happen to me if I died?' And so again I was pulled back to Islam. 

This time I didn't rush, I went through my Quran, I went to the Index and really poured over the chapters that I wanted to know most about, i watched lots of lectures and anything I was curious about I just started researching and researching. I wanted to rush right into it and start wearing hijab again and i wanted to be able to do all my prayers in Arabic straight away and just know everything all at once but I've slowed myself down, I am taking it one step at a time. First goal is to be able to pray all my prayers in Arabic by the end of the year, second goal is to be wearing hijab by the end of the year. I met a Shia guy, he was friends with my son's father, he's also Hazara but he is practicing and was really strict up until this year when he started being influenced by his friends who were not really practicing. We started talking and I knew we really like each other but we both didn't want to be in a haram relationship. We agreed to do Mutah and so we've done that (maybe some people won't agree but it is working for us as he is still in school and we are both young and we are just not in the position to get permanently married). He was incredibly supportive of my conversion. He is helping me learn everything I want to know. It can be hard sometimes because he was raised Muslim he doesn't understand how overwhelming and mind-blowing and wonderful this is for me - he already knows a lot, he has been Muslim his whole life, he didn't get to discover all these things on his own, it's not brand new to him like it is for me. the whole world seems brand new to me now that I'm looking at it with an open mind/eyes and heart. 

This is the way I want to raise my son. This time around I feel not only fear of Allah but this overwhelming love and gratitude. Every day I wake up excited for everything He has blessed me with, I look at the sky, the trees, the flowers, my little boy and I am just so thankful. My eyes have been opened and now I think 'How could anyone deny Allah? How could anyone wake up every day and see everything around them and not see that this is all Allah's work?' I keep almost bursting into tears when I think about how blind I was before. I just think that even though I turned my back so many times Allah kept bringing me back to His path, how else can I explain the fact that I kept walking away and then suddenly being drawn back to Islam time and time again? Honestly this journey has ups and downs, it is so hard. Sometimes I feel all the things I just described and then suddenly I'm so overwhelmed and scared and i doubt myself and its all just so much to take in that I want to give up and walk away because it is easier to just deny Allah and do whatever you want and not care about the consequences. But I ask for Allah's guidance, I pray He makes this easy for me and strengthens me. I feel a lot of comfort knowing I can always turn to Him, that He is always there. I am so thankful He guided me to this path and I am so excited to wake up every day for the rest of my life and be part of this amazing journey. I can't wait to pass on the things I've learned to my son and to help him learn and watch him grow. My family is still not 100% supportive but inshallah they will come around, educate themselves more and see how much I am changing (for the better) because of this. It's life changing and I wish everyone could experience this and feel the emotions I feel because it's just I don't know I've never felt these kinds of heart-stopping emotions and feelings and connections before. 

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