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Converting to Islam

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Converting to Islam

There are many cultures and traditions throughout the world, which have sprung up throughout history. Along with the different traditions of each culture, there are also the different religions. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are just a few of these religions. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have somewhat the same beliefs in the way that they have evolved and in the customs as opposed to those of Buddhism and Hinduism. Well before going astray on that tangent on Buddhism and Hinduism that would ultimately lead away from the desired topic, let us get back to the topic at hand: the religion of Islam and whether or not to convert to it?

In order to decide whether or not one would desire to convert to Islam, one must know where, how, why it came about and what reasons would cause them to want to convert. Enable to know these things, one must read and analyze the Qur’an to learn about the religion, its beliefs and its customs. Listening to sermons given by a person of the religion would not hurt either. The Qur’an is a book containing suras sent down to Muhammad and other messengers by God. In these suras are the messages of God given to his people. These messages were something that was non-existent to the people of Arabia in these ways; therefore, it was a new religion to them. However, before it could become an actual religion, people had to believe in it and follow it. Those who follow the beliefs of the Islamic religion are an Umma. To do this, Muhammad had to preach the messages of God to the people. Getting a group of people to convert to a new religion is not an easy task, it must be done with patience and understanding for their present beliefs or it may be taken in offense and cause serious repercussions to one’s self.

Now, Muhammad was a determined messenger, however, since I have never really been involved with religion, not saying that I am atheist, exactly how I would react to these new views is not quite clear. This does not mean that my views would be closed-minded or negative, what it means is that they would be open, yet cautious of these teachings. In my believing that something created all of which is on earth, both living and non-living, does not mean that my beliefs are of the supernatural.

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This would pose a dilemma as to whether or not I could express true faith in God as my creator. However, if a group or person came across with an idea on our creation, possibly, if strong enough, I would change my views. Whether or not I would consider converting to Islam would depend on how strong the argument was to say that it is the true way of happening. Those persons that are Christian and Jewish with strong faith in their religion would undoubtedly have no problem rejecting the thought of converting, however, those who do not have strong faith would be more apt in the possibility of converting. Pagans on the other hand, in light of their beliefs in worship, would undoubtedly have difficulty in believing in one God rather than many idols. That does not go to say that it wouldn’t be conceivable that they would convert, just that it would take convincing. The same goes for the Christians and Jews. Now, wealth has never been a factor in one’s beliefs so there is no reason in which that should apply here. It takes the rich just as much to convert as it wills the poor to convert to Islam; it depends on present beliefs.

Muhammad received the suras not in the order that they are in the Qur’an, but rather in order of importance. Of these suras was “The Pen” (Q 2). “The Pen” presented the message that in order to avoid punishment, one must follow God’s will. “A slanderer, going about with calumnies…So there came, on the (garden) a visitation from thy Lord, (which swept away) all around, while they were asleep…Such is the Punishment (in this life); but greater is the Punishment in the Hereafter — if only they knew!” (Q 68:11, 19, 33) In this, humankind did not follow God’s will and their punishment was the loss of their garden. At first, they believed that they were on the wrong path of life, and then they decided that it was their punishment for their slandering of faith. I feel that this punishment is better than death, however, I do not feel that anyone should receive punishment for what he/she says or speaks about in public. Therefore, I feel that I would not convert knowing that something I say may get me an unjust punishment.

Islam is a religion in which prayer plays a major role as a support for the devotion to the religion. In this passage:

Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night —

Half of it — or a little less,

Or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.

Soon shall We send down to thee a weighty Message (Q 73:2-5).

The Qur’an is speaking about prayer. What it is saying is that one shall pray at night, every night, however one shall pray a respectable length. After the prayer is done in respect to tradition, God, if prayer was done right, will send down a message having great impact on oneself. This idea of praying every night shows how dedicated one must be to be a Muslim. However, one does not pray only at night, rather, one must pray five times a day to God while facing the west. For myself, I feel that I would not be able to participate in this practice for the mere fact that I do not believe in the supernatural.

What does “The Calamity” mean (Q 101)? What “Calamity” means is that one is disturbing life for oneself and others. “(It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about,” in this verse, humankind is running about with no real purpose to what they are doing, all they are doing is causing hectic (Q 101:4). A person with “good deeds” will live a good life whereas a person who does not present “good deeds” will lead a life that is full of troubles and hardship. “(It is) a Fire Blazing fiercely!” meaning that if one contains mischief, then their life will go up in smoke (Q 101:11).

In order to lead a life of true faith, or in other words be a Muslim, one must believe in God as the Almighty. Not all can achieve this feat; only those willing to practice and worship God may become Muslim. When determining whether I would be willing to convert to Islam I had to contemplate what it meant to be a Muslim. Though I have nothing against Islam or being a Muslim, I feel that I would be lying to their beliefs and myself if I were to convert. Therefore, I would have to say that I would stay with my present beliefs, whatever they might be, rather than lying to myself and to those who truly believe in Islam.

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