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Theme Changer

 Topic: On becoming a Muslim

 (Read 7194 times)
  • 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • On becoming a Muslim
     OP - September 01, 2010, 05:38 AM

    Hi all!

    Here's a bit about who I am and my journey to, through, and out the other side of Islam.

    I was first introduced to Islam when I was 18 years old by way of my former husband, a none-too-practicing (at the time) Sunni Muslim from Egypt. We fell in love quickly and soon planned to be married, as he felt Muslim guilt (sigh) over having a girlfriend. I figured I should find out something about Islam if I was going to spend the rest of my life with a Muslim, so he arranged for me to meet the wife of a friend of his who was an American convert. She gave me a Quran and answered my questions and in the coming months we spent many hours talking on the phone. I was curious, but skeptical and asked all manner of perplexing questions, such as, "How do you know aliens didn't write the Quran?" Smiley I had no intention in the beginning of converting, I had decided to learn a bit merely to better understand my fiance's background and beliefs.

    I was impressed by the fact that this woman clearly had chosen a lifestyle and not simply a neat set a beliefs to hang on a shelf and pull down when times got tough. I was surprised, but not put off by the fact that she dressed very modestly and wore a headscarf. I thought it was cool that she was so out of the mainstream and I identified with that as I had always felt different from the world around me. I listened intently as she described the relations between the sexes, Islamically-speaking, and thought it made sense to have more boundaries in society. On an unconscious level I suppose I wanted some rules to live by, though I was probably the most free-spirited person I knew at the time.

    After some weeks of thinking and reading, I began to feel drawn to Islam on a more personal level. Through my teen years I had struggled with the big questions to the point of almost feeling that I would go crazy. Why, why, WHY were we here, I would ask myself again and again. How could there be a God? How could there NOT be a God? Over and over my mind would race and move in circles and debate itself. By the time I met my husband though I had more or less reconciled myself to agnosticism and had thrown all of my energy and passion into the study of dance. It gave me something to focus on and helped mute the questioning voice in my head.

    The month of Ramadan was soon upon us, and I took the surprising step of deciding to take a month off from my dance training and experience the fast. Initially I tried to do both, but a full day of dance classes doesn't really work without food and drink in your body. By this time, Islam was clearly impacting my thinking and affecting me emotionally. However, I had rejected Christianity previously because it didn't provide the proof I was looking for and was not compatable with science. Any other religion would have to pass where Christianity had failed. So despite my attraction to Islam for its structure and unique way of life, I didn't accept it right away because I wanted some concrete proof that I could fall back on in my moments of doubt.

    I ended up going to the local mosque in Brooklyn, NY (which incidentally was the mosque that Meir Kahane's murderer attended) for a weekly halaqa for American converts. At some point I was introduced to the idea that Islam was perfectly compatible with science.  Intrigued, I went to a lecture on science and the Quran around this time, but I left still unconvinced.
    A few months later I was off to Egypt for a 6-week honeymoon and had my first taste of the Muslim world. I was particularly curious about Muslim women and how they were treated in the family, and especially by their husbands. We stayed with my brother-in-law and his wife who fortunately both spoke English. I talked to my brother-in-law's wife about Islam and eventually they brought someone they considered knowledgeable and religious to come answer my questions, most of which at the time centered on the status of women in Islam.

    I had issues with polygamy, male dominance, unequal inheritance, etc and I asked about all of those and more. I was struck with how this man had an answer for everything, though the answers were not always what I wanted to hear. After he left I felt depressed and confused and remember crying in frustration. I had developed an emotional attachment to Islam, felt it was probably from God, WANTED it to be from God, but at the same time, felt some of its laws were just too hard to swallow.

    I returned to the US not any more convinced than when I had left in an empirical way, but with less fear and more understanding of the Muslim way of life, and this set the stage for me to continue my journey with less trepidation than I had previously felt. I continued attending the classes at the mosque and eventually acquired a copy of "The Bible, the Quran, and Science" by Maurice Bucaille. Though I had approached this subject early on, I was emotionally primed, I now realize, to WANT to accept Islam by this time. The author's thesis that within the Quran there were so many scientific pieces of information that were unknown at the time of its writing that it must have a supernatural author was just what I wanted to hear and see him prove. By the end of my reading the book, I was ready to become a Muslim.

    Ok, the curser is wigging out, so I guess I'll make another installment about what happened next. I know you are all on the edge of your seats. Tongue
    UPDATE: Writing this bit about my journey has inspired me to write a more detailed version of the story and so it is taking a while. Look for it in the bios section....sometime hopefully in the near future.





    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #1 - September 01, 2010, 05:44 AM

    hi newsoul welcome !!

    did you know that the author of that book never converted to islam ? he was a private doctor to the saudi king and he made serious $$$ from his publications.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of this story  Afro

    Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. - Voltaire
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #2 - September 01, 2010, 05:48 AM

    ...I'm about to fall off my seat...


    welcome Smiley

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #3 - September 01, 2010, 05:50 AM

    Thank you!  Smiley Actually, I did read that while I was re-investigating Islam. I haven't found anything which confirms or denies that story from an official source related to him. Have you?

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #4 - September 01, 2010, 06:05 AM

    what happened next???  ohmy
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #5 - September 01, 2010, 06:06 AM

    i dunno about 100% official source because this is not really a scientific discussion in which case ill just look up a journal  Roll Eyes

    but here is something neat:

    http://www.islamicbulletin.com/newsletters/issue_6/embraced.aspx

    notice how he bounces around answering whether he is a muslim or not. its very evident that he wants his book to be published and looked at from an "academic" angle.  Here are the interesting parts:

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Have you embraced Islam?

    A: I wanted to make it quite clear in the very beginning that even before I learnt the first letter of Bismillah, I was convinced that God was unique and all- powerful and when God guided me to undertake a study of the Quran, my inner soul cried out that Al- Quran was the Word of God revealed to his Last Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.).

    In my book "Quran, Bible and Science," I have mentioned these facts and the book has met with instant success in the entire Christian world. In this book I have devoted myself to discuss all problems from purely academic angle, rather than that of faith or belief which would have revealed only my personal convictions. This was because I desired to be treated by the world as an academician rather than a theologian. About my faith and belief, God knows what is in one's heart. I am convinced that if I identify myself with any creed, people will invariably dub me as one belonging to such and such group and feel that whatever I say or do, I do so from only the angle of such and such creed group. I know my fellow beings very well and understand their mentality only too well. I wanted to assure them that all my pronouncements are based on scientific knowledge and not on any religious dogmas.

    Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. - Voltaire
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #6 - September 01, 2010, 06:11 AM

    It's 1 AM where I am. Time for night-nite. You'll have to wait until tomorrow...and on the edge of your seat, naturally.  dance

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #7 - September 01, 2010, 06:17 AM

    Seems I read some mutterings to that effect before. Wouldn't really make sense to take that line after the fact of writing the book, but whatever. I guess I can kind of see his point.

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #8 - September 01, 2010, 06:42 AM

    Welcome!  I too was attracted by the "scientific miracles" but spent a lot of time looking into them only to discover they were all bullshit.


    I don't come here any more due to unfair moderation.
    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=30785
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #9 - September 01, 2010, 09:52 AM

    Welcome to the forum, newsoul. Looking forward to reading the rest of your story!

    He's no friend to the friendless
    And he's the mother of grief
    There's only sorrow for tomorrow
    Surely life is too brief
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #10 - September 01, 2010, 01:09 PM

    Welcome, welcome! Smiley

    German ex-Muslim forumMy YouTubeList of Ex-Muslims
    Wikis: en de fr ar tr
    CEMB-Chat
    I'm on an indefinite break...
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #11 - September 01, 2010, 02:19 PM

    Welcome

    So once again I'm left with the classic Irish man's dilemma, do I eat the potato or do I let it ferment so I can drink it later?
    My political philosophy below
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwGat4i8pJI&feature=g-vrec
    Just kidding, here are some true heros
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBTgvK6LQqA
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #12 - September 01, 2010, 02:32 PM


    Hi newsoul  Afro

    Interesting life story, with some themes and experiences that I think many here will recognise.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #13 - September 01, 2010, 04:33 PM

    Glad to see you finally here from facebook.  This place is miles better  Wink

    My Book     news002       
    My Blog  pccoffee
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #14 - September 01, 2010, 05:19 PM

    It's 1 AM where I am. Time for night-nite. You'll have to wait until tomorrow...and on the edge of your seat, naturally.  dance


    THUUUDD! ouch, just fell off my seat.  comp26

    please continue.....

    ...
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #15 - September 01, 2010, 06:11 PM


    Hi and welcome;

    it was really a nice read and I enjoy to read what's coming next. Your surely somebody with the sens of humor; it was my feeling by reading your message.

    Best regards
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #16 - September 01, 2010, 06:24 PM

    Welcome newsoul! Can't wait for the next part to the story  Smiley

  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #17 - September 01, 2010, 07:39 PM

    I met you on youtube, silly.  grin12 Or did you have a psychic perception about my facebook addiction? Cheesy

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #18 - September 01, 2010, 07:41 PM

    Thank you all for the welcome and words of encouragement. Will get on the 2nd installment hopefully sometime today. dance

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #19 - September 01, 2010, 08:22 PM

    A: I wanted to make it quite clear in the very beginning that even before I learnt the first letter of Bismillah, I was convinced that God was unique and all- powerful and when God guided me to undertake a study of the Quran, my inner soul cried out that Al- Quran was the Word of God revealed to his Last Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.).

    I am convinced that if I identify myself with any creed, people will invariably dub me as one belonging to such and such group and feel that whatever I say or do, I do so from only the angle of such and such creed group.I know my fellow beings very well and understand their mentality only too well. I wanted to assure them that all my pronouncements are based on scientific knowledge and not on any religious dogmas.

     Cheesy

    "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well."
    - Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #20 - September 01, 2010, 08:23 PM

    hey welcome to the forum Newsoul Smiley

    i love reading member's stories. i'm yet to post a proper one .

    "Tomorrow is the today you were worried about yesterday" Unknown
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #21 - September 01, 2010, 11:35 PM

    Welcome to the forum, newsoul. hugs

    Interesting story and well-written.  Afro

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #22 - September 02, 2010, 04:30 PM

    Welcome, newsoul, now finish the goddamn story!!!!!

    fuck you
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #23 - September 02, 2010, 04:57 PM

    ok? grin12
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #24 - September 02, 2010, 06:13 PM

    Hadr, ya effendim! Taht omrak!  yes

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #25 - September 02, 2010, 07:47 PM

    Didnt I warn you on facebook that its difficult to leave this place once you post  Wink

    My Book     news002       
    My Blog  pccoffee
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #26 - September 02, 2010, 09:29 PM

    Nope, 'twas youtube.  Smiley You make your way around, I see!

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #27 - September 02, 2010, 09:33 PM

    I am omnipresent like God

    My Book     news002       
    My Blog  pccoffee
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #28 - September 02, 2010, 09:47 PM

    I am omnipresent like God


    And I come from nowhere to impregnate virgins and disappear again like the Holy Ghost. And hang out with prostitutes like Jesus, and kill people for offending me like the Father. I got the whole Trinity down, baby.

    fuck you
  • Re: On becoming a Muslim
     Reply #29 - September 02, 2010, 10:24 PM

    Plus, your picture is so HOT!

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."~Steven Weinberg
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