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saba2
Moderator

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, September 07, 2010  -  12:26 AM Reply with quote
Abdullah welcome to the forum, it's okay you don't need to apologize. We are all learning here. Tell me something can you read urdu the language in which Isfi has written? You can ask any questions you want discuss any view point you hold.
isfi22

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, September 07, 2010  -  4:33 AM Reply with quote
Dear Brother Abdullah, I also welcome you here and appreciate so much your original, neat and lovely emotions and wishes. I repeat our forum moderator, Ms. Saba 2’s words that it’s quite ok, you don’t need to apologize. We are all students of God’s guidance, book and religion. I am happy to know about you that you have recently accepted true religion of God, Islam and trying to learn more about it. This all efforts and sacrifices done by you are admirable and appreciate able on a big and high level. Again you are most and warm welcome here. I usually write in Urdu as our respected moderator told you already. But if you don’t know Urdu, I will try my best to talk and exchanges with you in commonly understandable language English. Wish you all the very best. Was Salam……….

Respected Moderator…….. Thanks so much for replying on my behalf and putting some clarification from my side.

Edited by: isfi22 on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 4:35 AM
Abdullah7

USA
Posted - Tuesday, September 07, 2010  -  10:29 PM Reply with quote
I do not understand Urdu. I can read arabic script but must refer to a dictionary frequently. I am thankful for the ability to learn and get feedback. I am happy to have others to talk to about Islam and study. My focus right now is arrangement of Al-Quran. Nazm. I took the first module on it classical view and contemporary view. I got a passing grade B. I hope to do better on the second module. I am very dedicated to the coarse and I am going to put forth all my effort to complete all the coarses available. I need to pay more attention in the text as to who said what. I got the ideas correct on the test but failed to link the "who" to it. Well thank you for welcoming me and I will do my very best to learn the material and be involved.
saba2
Moderator

PAKISTAN
Posted - Wednesday, September 08, 2010  -  12:04 AM Reply with quote
Abdullah you are doing good, there are course forums available too you can join a discussion or start a new thread the moderators and other participants will reply to you. These forums are open to you too come join our discussions voice an opinion ask a question it would be nice to hear from you.
Maybe Isfi can write the main points of this discussion in English for you.
Pastway

USA
Posted - Thursday, September 09, 2010  -  2:03 PM Reply with quote
Welcome, Abdullah! I'm in rather the same situation that you are that there are no Muslims in my community to study with, and I am grateful daily that I found these wonderful people and have the opportunity to learn with them. One book that you may have in your local library (or they may be able to order it for you) that you may find very useful in your studies is "A New Introduction to Islam" by Daniel W. Brown. I will forewarn you that it is NOT a book of study written specifically for Muslims, but is rather an undergraduate college textbook on the history of Islam and its development in the world. I recommend it because not only is it very well written, but when read with the help of self study on the internet and the input of the wonderful people here, it allowed me to get a very enlightening worldwide view of Mohammed's (pbuh) Message.
Abdullah7

USA
Posted - Thursday, September 09, 2010  -  3:52 PM Reply with quote
Wa alaykum salaam my dear brother Pastway, Tank you for your reply. I am glad you are here. I will check out the book you have recommended and look forward to communicating some ideas and thoughts on it. Nice to know I am not alone on my situation. Again
Pastway

USA
Posted - Friday, September 10, 2010  -  11:34 AM Reply with quote
It makes me very happy if I have given you some comfort in being here! However, I do have to clear up a couple of small misconceptions . . . firstly, I am female, though I know that my screen name does not indicate that so no offense is taken in the slightest. Secondly, I am sorry to say that I am not Muslim; a very long story made short, I cannot convert because my fiancee - a man of great ethics and faith - has not converted yet, and I am not willing to put a three month timeline on him. When he converts is between him and Allah, and he has much to work out because of problems he had with his previous religion. I ask Allah for forgiveness and understanding every day, for I feel He brought us together in the first place.

I hope that these differences, rather than being seen as opposites, can be seen as a chance for discussion and friendship, Insha'Allah!

I do have some other resources that you might find helpful, and my apologies if for any reason it is not permissible to share these here:

Mahinda Arabic is a free online course for learning or brushing up on your Arabic. It is Modern Standard and offered by the Saudi Arabian government, I believe.

Play and Learn is an Islamic site that is geared toward teaching children, but many of the resources are very useful for people of any age for learning about the Qu'ran and the Message. The free eBook section is great and you can download Microsoft Reader for free here. In particular I would recommend reading the book "Hajj", which is beautiful and touching.

IslamCan is a great site as well. In particular I love the VERY extensive collection of stories.

I would have loved to provide a link to this one, but sadly my favorite channel that hosted them (GlobalUmmah) has had the account suspended on Youtube. As such, you will have to search yourself. Look for "Stories of the Prophets" videos, by Yusuf Estes. They are made for children (my household very fondly has dubbed Brother Yusuf as the "Muslim Mr. Rogers") but his storytelling is amazing.

Peace TV is an Islamic channel that you can stream live right from their website. Programming is in English and Urdu, so if you don't understand what is being said in one show, don't hesitate to check back (or just sit back and enjoy the beautiful sound of Urdu!)
safimera

CANADA
Posted - Saturday, September 11, 2010  -  7:36 PM Reply with quote
dear Abdullah7 and pastaway...

salam

many salutes for your efforts for truth....

but I need to know from both of you that WHat attracts you in ISLAM????

I mean how you both got the real ISLAM....?

I am a born muslim but then there was a time when I was fed up with the ISLAM which was presented to me....
and then Allah did mercy on me (still I have His mercy . Alhamdoolilalah)...
and I continued to go for TRUTH OF LIFE.....and found true Islam....(and reading Quran with translation was very important in this regard).....

so I just want to know HOW u people came close to ISLAM and did not get trapped to many many wrong interpretations of ISLAM?????

By the way!!!! PEACE TV IS RUN BY VERY SINCERE PEOPLE , i BELIEVE , BUT not all STUFF are rightly interpreted there...so be careful.....

GOD knows better

Edited by: safimera on Monday, September 02, 2013 10:47 PM
Abdullah7

USA
Posted - Saturday, September 11, 2010  -  9:08 PM Reply with quote
Dear Safimera, I was introduced to Islam while I was in prison. I was caught up into street and gang life and while I was serving time an Islam services was offered. A muslim brother saw that I was struggling to find pupose and meaning to life. He invited me to Taleem and Jummah. I went as a visitor at first but after studying and much reading I then was at the point for my Shahada. Ever since I have done my best to learn and better my situation and change my life. Alhamdulillah for Allah guiding me to the truth. The Islamic Center of Spokane Washington provided a sponser to hold the services and I was privileged to learn from him. He was a native speaker of Arabic Language. Now I am miles away from any Mosque or other muslims so now I am online. I have my copie of the Qur'an and some material given to me by the Imam. The name of the mosque I attended while there is called Masjid al-Sunnah. I hope that explains what you would like to know about how I came close to Islam.

Edited by: Abdullah7 on Saturday, September 11, 2010 9:10 PM
saba2
Moderator

PAKISTAN
Posted - Sunday, September 12, 2010  -  1:39 AM Reply with quote
Good to hear from you Safimera, you seem to be busy and occupied. I am glad you have found your faith again. I have never lost my faith in
god and Islam but sometimes the people claiming to be devout Muslims and who are preaching Islam put me off.
Pastway

USA
Posted - Sunday, September 12, 2010  -  2:52 AM Reply with quote
Safimera - my apologies in advance, this will be LONG!

My immediate family was never religious, though my grandmother did take me occasionally to the Protestant church she attended. They were not a church that took questions well, and I was still quite young when I decided I would not attend any more after hearing the answer "Because it's in the Bible, that should be enough answer" one too many times. As I got older, I felt I had made the right choice; it didn't make any sense to me that one religion, Christianity, could have SO many different churches that, all from the same book, said such vastly different things. Nor could I understand how Christian churches could be so opulent while so many of their parishioners went hungry. There was just so much WRONG with it all, but I still wanted very badly to believe . . . I just couldn't believe as they wanted me to.

Where I grew up we had three major religious groups: Christians, Jews, and Wiccans (the Wiccans being a very small but growing minority that now accounts for about 15% of the population in the area). In my teens I became a Wiccan, and in time I was even an ordained Priestess. For ten years I was a polytheist, led and wrote rituals (but never "spells"; even then I believed that to try to do anything to try to force the will of the gods was an affront to them, something almost all Wiccans would disagree with me on), and lived what I considered at the time to be a virtuous and spiritually fulfilling life. But one day I read something written by another Priestess, that she claimed was one of the deepest teachings of Wicca: "All Goddesses are one Goddess, all Gods are one God, and the God and Goddess are One." It hit me like a ton of bricks that this was a truth, and I asked myself, "if the are all One, than why worship many? And if deep in my heart I knew this all along, how could I remain a Priestess admitting that I was teaching a lie?" That was the very swift end of my being a Priestess. My ritual tools were packed away, though I still have them (I will not destroy them, because they tell the story of my journey in faith, and from time to time I come across them in their wrappings in their box and I smile at how far I have come since them, and feel thankful for where that journey brought me).

Forward another ten years, and during that time there was really no spirituality in my life. I had gotten married, had a wonderful daughter, but unfortunately the marriage had turned out very badly and I got divorced after that 10 years (my ex was not a good husband, but he truly is a wonderful father, thank Allah). A time after my divorce I became engaged to my current fiancee, who in his youth had planned to study to become a Catholic priest, but left his Church after the Vatican had removed their elderly Priest, taken their altar (which had been donated by the congregation) simply because it was beautiful and they wanted it for themselves (they dropped it while moving it, shattering it before it even made it out the door of the church) and shut down their Catholic school. However, he never lost his faith in God, just in how humans deal with him. It reawakened a return for faith in me . . . but I didn't know really what for. No "religion" made sense, people had distorted it, used it for gain, and had made a mockery of worshiping God. So I was content with simple faith, and had no idea that I was following, in a very simple way, one of the simplest Truths: God knows best. I put my faith in Him and Him alone, because I knew that what everyone around me was saying about religion could not be right.

In time we were both laid off from work and decided to return to college, and since we are not as young as we once were, we decided we would dedicate our lives to something that means a lot to us: preserving ancient sites, buildings, and artifacts; I particularly wanted to work with preserving mosques, because I always thought they were beautiful. Both of us have always wanted to visit the Middle East, but we frankly knew very little about it beyond the Byzantine Empire and what we had seen on TV about the archaeology there, which was almost entirely about Judaism and Christianity and their rise in the area. We got talking about this and wondered, "why is there no information about Islam? It's not exactly unheard of in the Middle East!" So I decided to research it - and yes, to me at the time it was scientific research! - and went to the library and took out three books: a textbook on Islamic history, a copy of the Qu'ran, and an autobiography of a woman who had travelled alone to Iran.

The Qu'ran went back to the library unread. It was a horrible translation that had been completely rearranged by the author's whim, and knowing it wasn't what it was supposed to be, I refused to read it. The story of the American who went to Iran, called "Neither East Nor West", I read in a day; here in America, we hear the most awful stories about Muslims and Islam and the Shari'a, and while I had never believed it, that book was a real eye opener about Islam in general to someone who had been fed nothing but sound bytes and sensationalist news from the media. The textbook was exactly what I thought I was looking for: a historical and scientifically laid out story of the Islamic religion. However, as it was designed to be used in a classroom, there was much in it I didn't understand, so I went to the internet.

And read.
And learned.
And watched videos.
And read the Holy Qu'ran.
And came here, and met all of you!
And ultimately realized, this is the Truth. This and only this can be the true Word of God. Islam has REASON, not excuses, it provides ANSWERS, not empty questions, it is PEACE within its people, not conflict (okay, there is always conflict, but even THAT is addressed in the Qu'ran! Had Allah wanted, he could have made us all the same, after all!).

But, I cannot give my shahada yet. Allah tells us to be patient, and since I cannot be married to a non-Muslim, I will wait for him to convert and seek Allah's forgiveness for following this prohibition in this way.

I also have questions that I pray for answers to, for I would not be a good Muslim if I didn't receive them. One that weighs heavily on me is the other members of my household . . . two dogs and a snake. All three came from households where they were neglected or abused, and with us they have found a safe home, medical care, food, and much love. One dog I believe could rightfully be called a guard and hunting dog, as he is a breed specifically bred to protect property and hunt small pests such as rats; however, he must live in the house, as winters here get to -40C. But the other is very old, almost blind, had to have most of his teeth removed from infection . . . . The snake I would fear for the most. I was a reptile keeper for several years and know from personal experience, the number of people who know how to care for snakes properly is very small (why they even SELL large snakes for pets in the first place is beyond me, since almost always they end up dying from maltreatment). Yet I know these animals are unclean, and keeping any animal in a cage (the snake in this case) is haram. Allah made them as they are, and they are safe and well cared for here. How could I turn one of His creatures away simply because it is as He made it? Mohammad (pbuh) ordered the killing of dogs, yet the people of the cave kept their dog inside with them and were visited by angels? Dogs are unclean, yet the prostitute would enter Paradise because she gave water to a thirsty dog?

I know Allah does not mind questions if they are asked in love and devotion to Him, and I know in time, He will provide answers. I must be patient.

So how did I find the Truth? I am STILL finding the Truth, and probably will be until Judgment Day; I will never have all the answers, and Allah knows better.

As I write this, I keep looking up at the whiteboard near my computer desk. While I was taking a Psychology test at the town library, my fiancee watched a movie I had recently purchased about the life of the Prophet (pbuh). Written across the top of the board is six simple words:

"Peace and blessings be upon him."

It looks like he is still finding the Truth as well. :)
safimera

CANADA
Posted - Sunday, September 12, 2010  -  4:48 AM Reply with quote
Eid mubarak to all....

Abdullah7 and pastway: Good luck to your search for truth and God bless you....

just to add a little, after reading your stories===>
in my belief, religion is not something which is related to this world's gaining.....it is something which tells you what would happen after death....the judgement DAY......
it is something which gives you solution of DEATH....what would happen after death.....

DEATH==> which has to happen to everybody.....

and true religion (ISLAM) gives you the solution of this riddle of life.

secondly and most most importantly Islam is not a new religion, it is the continuity of christainity, and before that; judaism,
before that; religion at the time of prophet of Ibrahim,
before that; prophet HUd,
before that; prophet Noah and
before that; first prophet Adam.

God sent prophets when most people deviated and lost the original teachings of same religion of prophet ADAM. and Islam is the last part of that continuity....

saba2: yes I am little busy...preparing for one exam for upgrading of my profession.....
just pray for me that I pass....
although my wife does not think I could pass because of the way I am preparing...haha...May God help me.....
saba2
Moderator

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, September 13, 2010  -  4:04 AM Reply with quote
Pastway I have asked guidance concerning your question and as soon as I have it will let you know.Don't worry about asking questions unless you ask how can you clear your doubts.

Safimera Our prayers are with you and yes you need to give time to your studies and clear those papers they are more important than being on the forums. You can come back when you are done with them.
I will come back to your observation about Islam and after life after you are done with your exams. Have faith in yourself, may Allah grant you success ameen.
saba2
Moderator

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, September 13, 2010  -  7:59 AM Reply with quote
Pastway can you please ask your question directly from our Dean & CEO
Dr. Shehzad Saleem his email is ssaleem100@gmail.com a direct reply from him will be better than my first asking him and then posting it on the forum.
Pastway

USA
Posted - Monday, September 13, 2010  -  1:37 PM Reply with quote
Safimera -

It is a shame that most Christians and Jews (at least on this side of the pond) do not share the view that Islam is the continuity of Allah's message. I know that here in America if you were to ask the average person what Muslims thought of Noah, Abraham, and Jesus, for example, they would say they either did not know or that Muslims think Muhammad (pbuh) was the ONLY Prophet. Even many non-Muslim religious leaders share this mistaken belief. That is likely where the idea that Islam is a "new" religion came from.

Saba2-
Thank you for the suggestion, I'll e-mail him. I know however that this is unfortunately one of those questions that even the scholars may disagree on depending on traditionalist or modernist views. A common modernist interpretation is that during the time of Muhammad (pbuh) diseases such as rabies and parasites were common among stray dogs, and therefore the prohibition against dogs would make sense; however, with the advent of pre-treatment (rabies shots, flea and worm preventatives), supervised dogs (ie. pets) could be considered clean. But there is no doubt that the wording of the hadith does not grant this leniency specifically, thus the traditionalist would be likely to answer a definitive "no". But I shall ask, thank you.

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