A Battle of Faith & Love

Love, Life & Religion

Losing My Religion?

*Warning: The following may upset some readers. Please keep in mind that this is not meant to insult anyone, rather it is a way for me to process my thoughts/doubts/fears/etc.  This will probably end up being a multi-part post.*

Since I started this blog, I’ve been reading more and more blogs that are focused on religion. Some of them are the blogs of disbelievers, but most of them are blogs by Muslim women. You can find a mix of both on my blogroll. I consider all of these blogs though provoking and enlightening, although I may not agree with some of the views, and this goes for both sides of the religious aisle.

Through reading these blogs, I’m impressed and intrigued by the deep conviction that is expressed by the authors – atheists that are staunch in their belief that there is no god, Muslims devoted to opening minds and presenting new ways of thinking, Muslims that find nothing wrong with polygamy – in short, a wide range of views, but all with the same grounding and conviction that they are right. Well not “right” in the negative sense, but “right” in the positive sense.

While I may have more concrete beliefs on other subjects and aspects of life, I have to honestly say that I don’t have the deep religious conviction that I see expressed elsewhere. Religion has always been an interesting topic for me, I’ve worked at a center for interreligious understanding for almost two years (yesterday was my last day). I consider myself very knowledgable not only about Islam, but about Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism, to name a few.

I was raised Muslim by observant Muslim parents and I have wonderful memories of Eid festivities at the small masjid we were once a part of. We spent evenings during Ramadan reading from the Qur’an, my favorite sura is Al-Bakara [The Cow]. I even went to two different Islamic schools for 3rd and 4th grade.

But through all this, I’ve always felt that I’m Muslim because my parents are Muslim, and because I don’t want to be a Christian or a Jew. I do believe in Allah, but when I see truly devout Muslims at the masjid, I feel like I’m lacking something. Like I’m a half-assed Muslim, which I probably am.

Adding this whole love/Ivan situation in the mix, I’m wondering where I will go from here. I don’t feel the need to be an atheist or denouce Islam, but I know that if I am to marry Ivan, I won’t really be welcome in Muslim circles. Have no doubt, I am aware that what I am doing/will do is considered a sin by many. I have dreams that I’m going to burn in hell because I love this man and because I will disappoint my parents.

There’s a saying that being a mother isn’t for everyone.. I wonder if being religious is like the same thing. I do have inner faith, but I’m pretty sure that I would not pass for “religious.” But does that mean I’m no longer Muslim?

To be continued…

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4 Comments»

  icanplainlysee wrote @

Hi.

I’m sad to see that you suffer with such guilt and pain, and face what you think might be a lifetime of shame because you aren’t “Muslim enough”.
I see two options..either dive into Islamic culture fully, grab a burka and take a backseat to men the rest of your life, among other things. Or, through prayer and reflection, determine a new spiritual path for yourself.

Either way involves risking the anger of those you love. Let’s hope that love isn’t conditional and respect for you doesn’t depend on your obedience to others.

Thanks for letting me comment on what otherwise is none of my business. 😉

  zwemple wrote @

Good luck on your journey. If nothing else, take heart in the fact that you are earnestly wrestling with your faith. That alone displays more ‘real faith’ than many. If you’re true to yourself on your journey, you’ll end up where you are supposed to be. Just don’t compromise yourself for the world, no matter what your faith, that path only leads to misery.

The good news is that you are not taking your faith lightly, or taking it for granted. I’m hopeful that means when you reach the end of your journey, you will have truly reconciled your faith in your heart, a place where it cannot be moved or swayed by anyone or anything.

Carry on, and keep searching.

  mousehunter wrote @

I see your struggle. As mentioned by the other commentors, if you earnestly search the truth, the truth will find you. Muslims believe (or at least they should) that if somebody earnestly seeks the truth, and prays for truth and betterment, then Allah won’t abandon your calling. He will guide you to the truth, and open up ways to bring you closer to Him. Keep that in mind. This is your struggle and test, and if you proceed with sincerity, Allah swt will not disappoint you.

  zeeshanhasan wrote @

Ever hear that song? It’s a good one. =)


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