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    Should I call myself a Muslim?

    Salaam,

    I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

    I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

    I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

    I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

    So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

    But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

    Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

    -MM

    #2
    Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

    Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
    Salaam,

    I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

    I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

    I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

    I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

    So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

    But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

    Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

    -MM
    You're not Muslim unless you intend to be, Islam is all about intentions, and I hope you find guidance in our religion.
    عوّد على السهر يا الله
    Upon Prophetic Methodology

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

      Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
      Salaam,

      I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

      I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

      I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

      I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

      So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

      But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

      Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

      -MM
      If u will not write full word 'assalamualikum' isn't obligatory for muslim to reply u back with 'waalikumassalam'. Salam means 'peace' and it is not sunnah way, if u see any muslim using this form just don't follow this please.
      Allahu Alam, I believe u are very close, but this what make u confusion it's mixing different books. Just stay with interpretation of Quran as it's only one Book which is original.Not Torah or Bible.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

        Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
        Salaam,
        As salaam alaikum.

        I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

        I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

        I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

        I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

        So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

        But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

        Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

        -MM
        Holy Quran ( in translation) 4:94
        ... and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace "You are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
        I am inclined to recognize you as a Muslim.
        You say you took the shahada- testimony of faith.
        You say there were multiple Muslim witnesses, although you didn't mention on what forum or who they were.
        You say you have since prayed and would like to fast, meaning you have a basic understanding of Islam and the pillars of faith.

        It is sufficient for Muslims to recognize that that you yourself declare to be true and that you are trustworthy.

        To Muslims: I mentioned the Quranic verse/aya 4:94 which Ibn Kathir reports was revealed regarding a expedition sent out by the Prophet to a region of Arabia called Idam where their were polytheists who opposed Islam. They dispersed when news reached them that the Muslim force was approaching, however one remained. That one greeted the Muslims with "as salam alaikum", and in another report, he said the testimony of faith to them. However, the force killed him and took his sheep and wealth and returned to the Prophet with it, telling him of the incident.
        This verse was revealed warning against this action, and that Muslims once lived among the disbelievers and hid their faith as well.

        MM, there are many many examples of Muslims who had belief in their hearts even when they do not practice it in public, or lived among disbelievers. Many of the companions of the Prophet were in such a situation. And even here, there are many former Christians. So your story is not so foreign or different.

        MM, it appears you are having doubts about being a Muslim. I say that because you said that in retrospect, you agreed with the Muslims online philosophically, but perhaps not with complete sincerity.
        As Abu Jarir mentioned, sincerity of intention is the key.

        Sincerity in your heart is superior to philosophical experimenting. Open up your heart to Allah. As you said, you know Allah to be the Truth, and Islam to be the Truth, and the Prophet to be the True Messenger of Allah.
        And Allah has created us with the instinct and nature to worship only Him, and we have already testified to His Lordship. So submitting to Allah and accepting His Deen is totally natural and in harmony with our being.

        But Islam addresses both the internal spirit, and the external material literal world. Thus, purify your heart and make a sincere declaration to Allah. Do it while you are alone in a room, or do it on a mountain top. And then, when you have time, take a day journey to a town with a mosque. Set up an appointment if you can- call in advance. Take a day trip to visit the mosque in order to take the shahada in public. When you do so, they will bring two witnesses or more. In some mosques, they will issue you a certificate. the certificate is only a piece of documentation, but it can enable you to travel to Makka and Madinah where you can perform Hajj, the 5th pillar of Islam, or Umrah ( the lesser pilgrimage). And you can see how the worship of Allah is done with Muslims as it has been for 1400 years, and even 1000s of years before.
        Allahumma, aranee al haqqu haqqan wa arzuqnee itiba`ahu, wa aranee al baatilu baatilaan wa arzuqnee ijtinaabahu.Oh Allah! show us the truth as true, and inspire us to follow it. Show us falsehood as falsehood, and inspire us to abstain from it.
        " Do you know what destroys Islam? A mistake made by a scholar, the argument of a hypocrite in writing and the ruling of leaders who wish for people to stray

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

          Bro I think this is just whisperings from the shaitaan trying to mislead you

          You took shahadah, you believe in Allah and his messenger sallaho alayhi wa sallam khalas

          Drive these thoughts from your mind and strive to be the best Muslim you can for the sake of the one who created you and gave you all that you have
          It may not be easy, you may not understand it, but you need to have the Imaan to trust Allah when life doesn't make sense.
          "Whoever intends eternal happiness, then let him hold tight to the threshold of servitude.” ibn Taymiyyah.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

            Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
            Salaam,

            I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

            I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

            I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

            I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

            So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

            But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

            Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

            -MM
            Wa alaykoom assalam

            All heavenly religions had the same message and all the prophets convey one message which is there is no God but Allah..

            ("And We sent not before you (O' Muhammad) any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me, so worship Me."") Quran 21:25


            If you believe in your heart that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messanger then you are Muslim ...

            I think you are a little bit confused and don't know from where you start learning about Islam..

            So before you practise prayer, fasting or Hajj you should first focus on fundamentals of Islam like monotheism, the six pillars of Iman "Faith " etc.

            I recommend you to start learning Islam from this website :

            http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/

            Also you can find many useful books in this website

            https://www.kalamullah.com/non-muslims.html


            https://www.kalamullah.com/new-muslims.html
            Ibn Al Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him said: ("
            The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator..”
            )

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

              Originally posted by Abu Jarir View Post
              You're not Muslim unless you intend to be, Islam is all about intentions, and I hope you find guidance in our religion.
              This
              Say what somebody can do instead of the haram if you want to help.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                Thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement. I do believe in the Shahadah which I pray in each of my prayers with full intention.

                I do need to start greeting other Muslims correctly and without shortening my greeting, thank you.

                I think I was confusing personal submission to Allah with public expressions of being Muslim. At some point, I should join a mosque and make a public declaration with witnesses.

                Thanks
                Last edited by MysticMonist; 13-08-17, 01:02 PM. Reason: Typos

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                  Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
                  Thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement. I do believe in the Shahadah which I pray in each of my prayers with full intention.

                  I do need to start greeting other Muslims correctly and without shortening my greeting, thank you.

                  I think I was confusing personal submission to Allah with public expressions of being Muslim. At some point, I should join a mosque and make a public declaration with witnesses.

                  Thanks
                  May I ask how do you pray? I mean you pray like us 5 times in a day with ruku "bowing", Sujood "prostration" etc.. Or you still learning?

                  You can check my reply in this thread

                  http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthrea...Proper-prayers
                  Ibn Al Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him said: ("
                  The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator..”
                  )

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                    Originally posted by Tayoofa View Post
                    May I ask how do you pray? I mean you pray like us 5 times in a day with ruku "bowing", Sujood "prostration" etc.. Or you still learning?

                    You can check my reply in this thread

                    http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthrea...Proper-prayers
                    I'm still learning. Thanks for the links. There are some good resources on the prayer section of the forum. Sometimes I'll play the prayer videos and follow along. I have a lot of memorizing to do.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                      You are a Mumin (believer), that is clear. I do suggest getting in touch with a Muslims community in search of knowledge about the Deen (religion).
                      If you are isolated and can't get in touch with a Muslim community. Than I do recommend studying Islam by yourself. People here can give you names of scholars and lectures to watch.

                      I enjoy watching lectures by Mufti Menk, you can find them on youtube.

                      If you have any trouble with something or have any questions, than we are here to help you.

                      (I know it is hard to get into Islam and some Muslims aren't helping either. But all is with good intentions.)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                        As a matter of fact, you are a Muslim and you should be proud of that, Insha-Allah. Just focus on becoming a better Muslim each day by learning slowly. What you are just thinking is very common in new Muslims. I came accross a lot of emails about this particular uncertainty, whether you are good enough to call yourself a good Muslim or not. I even puplished an article recently addressing this matter and you can check it out through the following link Insha-Allah.

                        MUST YOU KNOW ISLAM BEFORE YOU CAN BE A GOOD MUSLIM?

                        Jazakallah Khairan Katheeran

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                          Originally posted by Abarika View Post
                          As a matter of fact, you are a Muslim and you should be proud of that, Insha-Allah. Just focus on becoming a better Muslim each day by learning slowly. What you are just thinking is very common in new Muslims. I came accross a lot of emails about this particular uncertainty, whether you are good enough to call yourself a good Muslim or not. I even puplished an article recently addressing this matter and you can check it out through the following link Insha-Allah.

                          MUST YOU KNOW ISLAM BEFORE YOU CAN BE A GOOD MUSLIM?

                          Jazakallah Khairan Katheeran
                          I loved the article and some of the links it in. Thanks!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                            Originally posted by abu jarir View Post
                            you're not muslim unless you intend to be, islam is all about intentions, and i hope you find guidance in our religion.
                            this
                            Wa-Alaikum-Salaam


                            iKnowWhatiWant

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Should I call myself a Muslim?

                              Originally posted by MysticMonist View Post
                              Salaam,

                              I've enjoyed this advice to new converts section, some good advice here. When reading everyone's story made me really rethink if it is proper to think of myself or use the title Muslim. My story is so different from others here.

                              I welcome your honest input or criticism. I pray Allah guides me aright and I'd rather be corrected in my error than left to be lost in delusion.

                              I've studied philosophy and Christian theology for years and it was my undergraduate degree. I've always been drawn to the intellectual side of things but also the mystical/spiritual side and have been a religious person of some kind all my life. When I was 6 I decided I wanted to be a priest. But later as an adult I lost my faith and practiced Buddhist meditation. I kept being bothered by guilt and doubts though. Then my teacher died and I was really lost. God found me and I found Him again in practicing Hassidic Judaism and the Torah. Praying in Hebrew and studying Torah and observing the Law was amazing. But I still had many doubts and intellectual struggles. I got more into theology and study to help. I read the Quran and thought it was nice, went back to Judaism. Later I picked up the Quran again and thought this time it was great and said the same thing as Torah, went back. Finnaly a few weeks ago I picked up the Quran again and I loved it. The clear message spoke directly to my doubts. I heard the call to listen and submit to Allah alone and to associate no partners and no distortions of His message. I learned to listen and trust Allah in my life where I was ignoring Him before.

                              I ended up talking to some Muslims online. They asked me to say the statement of faith if I agreed with it. I do. I absolutely believe there is no God but God. My favorite prayer in Judaism is the Shema "Hear oh Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One." I also believe Mohammad (PBUH) truly is Allah's messenger. The prophet brought the message of monotheism and rejected the additions of the Christian theology of the trinity and such as well as rejecting the addition of some many layers of rules and intreprations to the Torah of the Rabbis and their Talmud. I also do submit myself to Allah alone.

                              So my friends said that I was now a Muslim. I was just agreeing with them philosophicaly. I didn't really have a big, emotional conversion (like I did when I first prayed in Hebrew). Since then I've sort of embraced being "Muslim" and switched my observances from Torah based to Islamic ones. I pray five times a day, though to be honest I don't always pray the Rakaats or in Arabic (sometimes I do) but I do make an effort to pray for at least a few minutes each time with various prayers. I was already not eating pork or blood. I now eat shellfish and no longer mark the sabbath. I don't drink alcohol. I'm going to try to fast for Ramadan and at some point wish to join a mosque with the goal of wiring towards the hadj. I figure I should at least work towards the five pillars if I'm adopting other Islamic elements in my contemplative practice and theology.

                              But there are no mosques my area. I'm a white American and I haven't changed any of my cultural practices really. I don't pray in public but in private.

                              Am I really a Muslim? I won't be offended if you think no because I know that I accept the message of the Quran and I am submitting myself to Allah and trying to lead a good life. Allah is merciful and I put all my trust in Him. But I don't want to say that I'm Muslim and offend others by saying such.

                              -MM
                              If you believe with conviction in the Shahada, that Islam is the only legitimate Religion from Allah عز و جل and submit to his commands, your a Muslim,

                              May Allah عز و جل grant you Hedaya/Guidance and help you to succeed in Dunya and Akhira


                              آمين يا رب العالمين
                              http://www.ilovepalestine.com/campai...imesinGaza.gif

                              "It does not befit the lion to answer the dogs."

                              – Imam al-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah)

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