A Battle of Faith & Love

Love, Life & Religion

Losing My Religion? Pt. II

I’ve already received a comment to my most recent post. Let it be known that I welcome all comments, as long as they have something to contribute.

Anyways, the part of the comment that stuck out the most for me was this: “Can you see how this situation is moving further and futher away from Islam?”

I may be being naive, but I think that this whole situation has helped me sort out how I really feel about religion and general, and more specifically, how I feel about Islam. I personally believe that no religion is perfect because they are applied and practiced by man – and humankind in general are not without sin (meaning no one is perfect). There is a lot going on in Islam right now that I do not agree with, and I think that with the ways things are in the global arena, we are more able to see how peope are misusing Islam on a much wider scale.

Anyways, I honestly believe that if I was a true devout “religious” muslim, I wouldn’t have ended up in the situation that I am currently in. In fact, Ivan and I joke about how we wouldn’t be with each other if either of us was very religious. I mean, how many strict Orthodox Jews do you see running off with shiksas?

I hate to say it, but I think one reason that I don’t have the “conviction” that others have is because I never chose to be Muslim. I don’t mean that in a way like “I never chose to be born,” but rather, my parents made a conscious decision to be Muslim. For my siblings and I, Islam was the status quo.

This may or may not make sense, but don’t flame me!

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9 Comments»

  everythingiseventual wrote @

i understand what you mean, but now that you realize that you never consciously “chose” Islam, maybe you can do that now? perhaps now is the time for you to study your religion, or rather give yourself the opportunity to actually believe that Allah exists and that the Quran is his word. Unless you have actually come to believe that yourself you’re going to be stuck in limbo (trust me, I know). Once you have that faith, that thought that will always stay with you in the back of your mind that “Allah is One, He exists and the Quran is His word” you’re probably going to rethink everything you do, everything you believe in, everything you thought you valued and everything you thought you wanted out of life. My sister is in your shoes sort of. Shes in love with this non muslim guy who has converted to Islam, but only for the sake of marrying her. Its just the same with her, she probably wouldn’t have gotten into the situation she is in if she was more strong in her faith, if she actually ‘believed’ with all her heart and soul, and I don’t think we have to label that ‘religious’ or ‘irrelegious’ or whatever. She never actually studied Islam or appreciated it for what it really is and thats why I believe she herself is so confused. As for your previous post, in Islam we are meant to follow the Prophet pbuh, and you know what he said about marriage, I pray that you do whats right, because in the end this is about you and your relationship with Allah. I guess in the end you just have to ask yourself the question, “what if I died tomorrow?”,well thats what works for me anyway.
salam

  chickpea wrote @

I don’t know if I was clear about this earlier, but I believe that Allah exists. I believe in the Qur’an. I have studied Islam in many different mediums – on the collegiate level, on the professional level (I spent almost two years working at a center for inter-religious understanding, and I was the resident “Muslim,” as well as the go-to person whenever specific information regarding Islam was needed) and in my home life with my family. But after all that, I’m still where I am now.

Oh have no fear, I pray about this every night.

Thanks for the comment 🙂

  mysteryofiniquity wrote @

Hey Chikpea,
I thought I’d stop by and read your blog. It looks like you and I are in the same boat, but in separate religious backgrounds. I think what it comes down to is that it’s perfectly alright to have faith with religion. It’s called spirituality and it’s less restrictive and more freeing than anything religious observance can provide. My problem is missing the community activities of my religion, but despising the controlling tactics of this male defined world. My thoughts are with you in your struggle.
Ann

  nimbu wrote @

Hey Chikpea,

I really love your blog and I personally know and have known many people in your situation. The love that one person feels for another is a magical thing. It’s quite difficult for others that are not in your situation to “imagine” what it’s like. But I can tell you from experience that as a Muslim, the guilt, the constant back and forth about picking a direction of my faith/culture or the love of my life, is highly toxic.

People of faith all over the world are torn between love, culture and religion, with respect to relationships. Many of my friends struggled, as you do, with the idea that if they were more devout, perhaps they never would’ve fallen in love with someone of another faith. Well, I say BS. You don’t fall in love with another person because of a lack of faith; you fell in love because you like him…and he likes you.

I’ve known this example too: Two kids, both Muslims from different parts of the same town in Pakistan. They had struggled with the exact same thing you’re talking about. Except in their case, it didn’t boil down to Muslim/Jewish/Christian, but rather the simple act of falling in love was in question. Their parents struggled with the thought that they could’ve prevented this outrage only if they had done (fill in the blank). If only we didn’t buy our daughter that cell phone; if only we didn’t let her attend school with boys; if only we had walked her to and from school. You get the picture.

No religion forbids falling in love, and no religion should. I think you’ve read my blog – I’m no longer a Muslim, but rather an atheist now. I was born in Pakistan into a Muslim family. I too studied both Islam and Christianity at great lengths, so I know quite a bit. I’m still in a loving relationship with all of my family members. We celebrate Ramadan and Eid and Hajj. I just don’t vocalize my opinion or try to persuade the rest of them to follow me.

The “problem” with interfaith marriage is that it’s never appreciated as love, but rather some political situation. Everybody but the families involved look at it as a social/religious situation. But nobody ever considers love. When you ask a second party about your situation, I would take anything they offer with a grain of salt. Unless they struggled with the same dilemma and chose to marry the one they loved, they cannot possibly know your situation. If you only talk to people that were in the same boat, but chose their family and religion over their love, then they cannot possibly know your situation.

Only you know your situation. After years of inner turmoil, the end result for me and my friends is that love is supreme, and if your family and friends truly love you, then nothing will change. My sister married outside “our” religion, and we love her and her husband and their children. It was a difficult time for about 2 years. The end result is that the family is intact, everybody’s happy. Now, I wish that we could recapture those 2 years of wasted pain and agony.

One last thing: In every religion, you can find justifications for pretty much any action. In the “old” days, when you could keep your daughters locked up at home or only attending girls schools, it was a lot easier to keep religion within the family. But in a global setting where men and women of various religions intermingle, love is unavoidable. The only solution, according to these religions, is to put blinders on and never speak to anybody of the opposite sex.

It sounds like your love is a beautiful thing; don’t dilute it by thinking it happened because a lack of your faith or his. Even if there is a God, I would challenge him to look down on you for loving somebody. That kind of God we can all live without.

  mousehunter wrote @

I understand your statement that you never chose to be muslim, Muslims use that statement about children that don’t choose to be christian or hindu etc, but are brought up in the religion of their parents. But as muslims we believe that Islam is introduced to every single human being at some point in their lives, its what they choose to do with that information that ultimately determines their faith. Now I’m not bashing you, but its a common issue where children are not taught by their parents to love Islam, or shown its wonders, it all rituals and customs or as kids may see it…routine tasks. But, being born into a muslim family, and having knowledge of it, give you a head start. As I said in your previous post, earnestly seek truth (not Islam per se). As a muslim I will say that by seeking real truth, you will find Islam, true Islam, don’t study Islam to find truth (because you think its the right way).

One thing I have to object to though, is your statement:
“I personally believe that no religion is perfect because they are applied and practiced by man”

Again I say this as a practicing Muslim (and not to bash), we believe that the religion of Islam is perfect. But I agree that the people that practice it are not. You commented that you believe in Allah, and the Quran. By stating that the Religion of Islam is imperfect, you doubt the words of Allah swt. But ponder what I have said about seeking truth, I think its your best bet. Inshallah, you will find hapiness and peace of mind in your search.

  apostate wrote @

Don’t apologize for your views. This is your blog!

  Gil wrote @

I understand when you say that you did not choose to be Muslim. I was raised Catholic. I didn’t choose it. I have since left that religion and as to this day am unsure of what I truly believe. I totally agree with you when you say that no religion is perfect because they are applied and practiced by man. I don’t believe the Christian bible is infallible because it was written by man (one of the reasons I left the Catholic faith). There are too many arguments when it comes to religion which is why I rarely discuss it with others. Without having a concrete belief in any religion I am left with doing what I feel is right. Unfortunately right and wrong is something that can also be debated. Well let’s just hope when judgement day comes ( If there truly will be one) that I lived a good life and I will not be judged too harshly.

  iluvislam wrote @

@ nimbu

I would just like to say that as a Muslim I believe we shouldn’t marry for love or looks because neither lasts, we should marry for God’s sake. Love will come later on but first and foremost marry for God’s sake therefore a relationship can never go wrong IF the husband and wife love and fear God. Peace

  Amy wrote @

Hi, I just wanted to say I’m so glad I found this site, as I don’t know many people in my situation. I have the same problem… except my boyfriend is a Muslim, and I am not religious (though I respect his beliefs). After 5 years his parents still do not know about me and it’s been so hard to cope with not being seen together in public, not being able to phone his house or even go to his house! I have encouraged him to tell them but I guess if it is going to make trouble then we may as well carry on as we are. This September I am moving away to go to University and my boyfriend has to make the decision of whether to stay at home, or move in with me. I feel like if he isn’t ready to tell his parents about me now he never will be – so I guess if he doesn’t come it will probably fizzle out between us, and he will end up having an arranged marriage pretty soon (he’s 21). Anyway that’s the story so far, sorry for such a random comment! But no-one else really understands unless they have been through it and I thought I’d share another point of view.

Amy


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