A Battle of Faith & Love

Love, Life & Religion

Archive for Skepticism

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!

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…