// when does it become easy
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Christine_1208
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« on: May 28, 2010 07:45 PM »


Hey guys been awhile, but I need to get some stuff off my heart. I need to vent and just spill. This forum has always been an inspiration, so when I struggle I come here. If anything I say offends I am sorry, but I need to let it out or I am gonna break.

First let me say, I will never NOT believe in Allah. He has granted me many blessings and can never be grateful enough.

I just want to know when Islam becomes easier, when does it not feel like suffocation and overwhelming in all areas of ones life.  Yes, my hormones are alittle edgy with pregnancy, so I do have more emotion. However this has been building and building. For those that don't know, I converted to Islam Dec 8 2008, after taking classes in theology while working for the Bishop of Pittsburgh.

I have been eating Islam for 2 years, everyday, pushing, learning. I am burnt out. I can't do anymore. I sent my Imam a question about Muhammad (saaw) He replied back giving me 8 books to read and asking me to come in for 3-7 sessions. I just started to cry. I can't do this anymore, no one understands what I am going through. My revert sisters they just pray and that's about it, they don't even study arabic. I had such a close relationship with God as a Catholic, and I think that was partly, because I knew my prayers, I knew the chaplets, I was highly involved and I still could live my life. But when I learned I was worshiping wrong, I changed and became a muslim. So I want to keep that level of devotion like I did as a Catholic.

I feel so disconnected at the masjid with the Arabic, I feel I can't learn it. My husband had on qu'ran and I went into the other room, he came in and almost died. I had put on my head phones, he said is that qu'ran because I have it playing why did you leave. I said I am sorry, then he heard it was music I was listening to. He just could not understand why when he put on qu'ran I left to go listen to music. I tried to explain, I can't relate to recitation, it has no meaning to me, though it is pretty, I don't "feel" anything. At lease with the words of the music I can feel something if it is music that makes me think about God.

I am tired of the ppl at work driving me crazy with my scarf. I am tired of being stared at. I am tired of my children loosing friends because there parents don't want them to be around me cause I am muslim. Like it is a disease. When my son cried about his friends at I had no idea what to say. It hurt me so much. I am tired of my family and their comments. My mother told my sister she will baptize my baby when it is born behind my back. Which is driving me crazy. I confronted her and she said she never said it. But I seen my mom do it to my sister's child. She is a born-again christian, they don't baptize when they are babies. I feel envious of my husband, because of his closeness with Allah. His enjoyment as he hears the Quran, it makes me cry. I can't even pray with him anymore, because I just wanna get my prayer done and over with. I was told Allah does not accept salat in english, by a sister, which set me off. I hear my husband with kind words tell me. Sweety relax it is easy. Yeah easy for him, he has full understanding, he has a muslim family. He has no idea what it is like to be hot and miserable in the summer. He does not know what it is like to have ppl stare and whisper. He never had an "old life" that he loved, but sacrificed. I lost alot of my friends, my family, my hobbies, stopped drinking, stopped dancing, Had to find a new job, I am an artist and can't even draw anymore. I have this big jealous/anger thing when I see girls wearing what they want, and how beautiful they are. I am feeling so ugly and insecure about myself. I feel like I am spinning out of control. I know baby steps. But I want my relationship with God back to the confident close level it once was.

I can't even listen to qu'ran now without feeling angry. I just wanna quit and say yeah this is too hard, but I can't imagine eternity without God. Can't I just believe, do my prayers 80% arabic 20% english with the 2 surah's I know and that's it, for now? I need to find a happy medium where I am not feeling so suffocated. I don't know what to do. I just feel like I am drowning, but it hurts because I love God. I just feel like I can't go any further.

Now that I have finished my tantrum like a 2 year old.

Any help, tips or advise. Thanks guys.


I believe in Islam like the sun rising, not because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010 08:43 PM »

dudette!! Angry Angry Angry Angry i think i told u when u converted to take it slow?? or was that someone else?

people who have been born muslims have had their whole lives to learn about it to reach the level they are at. someone who has just converted should not be expected to try to fit that 20 years into 6 months, which they usually try to do at the pressure of others.

this is why we have a 50% recidivism rate. it's just too difficult to change your whole life, your way of thinking, everything you do, how you think, all your relationships etc etc.

seriously whatever are you doing to put so much pressure on yourself? especially when pregnant?? take it easy!! do what's absolutely required and take care of your kids, your family and yourself. this is as rewardable as much as any ibadah.

also let your husband know about your feelings so he takes it easy on you. sometimes muslims just don't realize what they're doing because again they've had 20 years to be muslim!! find some revert sisters to hang out with that aren't weird or judgemental and hopefully they can help you through the pregnancy. i'm sure a lot of this is the hormones talking too Smiley * runs away

wsalam

Christine_1208
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010 10:41 PM »

Wasn't me.. but thanks Jannah. Somehow having my rant made me feel better.

Don't run from the statement of hormones.. I am sure it does play a heavy part in it.

I believe in Islam like the sun rising, not because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 15, 2010 08:05 AM »

Assalam-o-laikum, Sister. First of all, I want to say that I really admire you for giving up dancing, drawing and your "old life that you loved" because you wanted to be Muslim. That is just so amazing and so profound. I'm a born Muslim and I feel that your Iman is greater than mine, but only Allah can judge that accurately.

From what I've read there's this immense overflow of negative, and I think that is partially because you have so many expectations of yourself. As a person who sets standards for herself which others consider "high", I know how you feel. So here is my advice: take it easy. You might want to get where you want to be with an inexplicable urgency, but that never works. I've tried it with some of the things I've wanted to do and all it does is make your situation worst. So, lower the expectations and give yourself air to breathe.

Second, I am no professional on reading Arabic. I've been learning it since I was a child and when I first got into prayer, I found it dry and boring. As an English and Urdu speaker, I couldn't understand what I was saying. Reading the Quran was not something I looked forward to, especially since my mother used to slap me when I made a mistake. (This is not done commonly to all Muslim-born children, it was just my Mother, Allah bless her.) I found religious activities boring even though I had an unbreakable faith and fierce loyalty. But as I grew older I found that I couldn't pray inattentively like I had been doing since the time I learned to pray. So I made an effort and found God in the words I didn't understand. It didn't happen immediately; I didn't expect it too. I had to think about it, but once I made the effort, it was like I was in a relaxed trance and every time I bowed down for sajda I had a smile on my face. As Allah says,
When the believer comes to Me walking, I go to him running.

I think to connect spiritually with God--and I am basing this on my experiences only--you have to find Him in those two Arabic surahs you know. And to do that you need to reflect on Him for a while. It's difficult to feel an automatic connection with God. I'm sure there are people in this world who can do it effortlessly, but I'm not one of them. As for praying in English, it may not be technically accepted by God but I think that He would appreciate the time and effort you gave Him, even if it wasn't in His language of choice. Praying intently in English is better than rushing through your prayers in Arabic. That is my personal opinion, because the former still contains the spiritual essence of prayer. Of course, many others will disagree and I expect them to. But that's just what I believe in terms of spirituality.

And I think you should continue to learn surahs and more Arabic, just do it in a relaxed manner. I don't know what process you go through, but instead of taking full-on Arabic classes a faster method is to memorize the Arabic lines. Read a phonetic translation of the words and repeat them to yourself so that they are stuck in your mind forever afterwards. It's kind of tedious and you get less out of it but it's faster and maybe even easier, depending on how you are currently learning your Arabic.

Also, about the Imam that gave you 8 books. . . his knowledge is probably far greater than mine, but a great book about the Prophet (saw)'s life is Muhammad by Martin Lings. Maybe you've read it before, but it's considered by many people to be the best biography on the Prophet (saw) in English. It's gorgeous and profound, just like the story it narrates. For me, it really helped me love the Prophet (saw) more and learn more about him. Another great book is Purification of the Heart by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf. It helps you look at yourself and see what you're doing wrong and is really aimed at bettering yourself as Muslim and a human being.

As for the staring and whispering. . . it happens. But you've got to stay strong, hold your ground and love Allah so much that you won't care. Also, for the people who do believe that Islam is so horrible, be kind to them. It might create some love in their hearts for you. It's what the Prophet (saw) would have advised you to do. And I understand that it's horrible, but you've got such a good faith. . . What could those people possibly know? (And think, what could you possibly teach them?)

Also, do things that you like. You said you were an artist and used to draw. . . Well start drawing (things that are allowed in Islam, of course) again to relax yourself and have fun. Read novels. Eat good food. Whatever makes you happy, makes you feel pleased, do it moderately. It will keep you positive, trust me.
 
Anyhow, Sister, I hope my advice helped Smiley Assalam-o-laikum.
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 19, 2010 12:11 PM »

My dear Christy .. take it easy ..  princesssis

You don't have to quit your daily life just because you're a muslim  what
You can draw .. watch movies .. go to theater .. choose your own clothing style  purplehijabisis
..
(as long as you're avoiding the haraam .. )

Gradually you'll find your own taste adhering to Islam ..

I recommend this small chapter to read:
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/hadeeth/riyad/00/chap014.htm    - (Riyad-us-Saliheen)

Especially the Hadith:

Quote
145. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can't do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of night".
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  Besides moderation in worship, this Hadith enjoins that such times should be fixed for worship when one is fresh so that one feels pleasure in performing it. But this principle is for optional and voluntary prayers only. Obligatory Salat are to be performed at the prescribed times only.



I used to have this kind of feelings, but it fades away when i keep my worship moderate ..

About reading the Quraan, i suggest you can read it just for curing your feeling/ resolving your problems ..
It works for me:
Bring a nice notebook .. write what are you feeling ? bored .. depressed .. sad .. happy?
or write what problem you're having .. Make it as a header title .. Place a bookmark on this page for indexing (Glowing bookmark - optional    balloons) .. Start reading the Quraan, thinking what Allah is advising you regarding this issue .. You may get the meaning hidden or clear .. But for sure you'll get it .. & you'll feel much better ..

(If you can't understand Arabic .. read the translation first ..
You'll love the Arabic and learn it easily when you taste the meaning ..)


Asking Allah swt to ease your feelings & give you comfort ..

Salaam

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« Reply #5 on: Jul 22, 2010 09:05 AM »

 salaam

Honorable sister,

    I pray that Allah make your situation better.  The major beliefs of Islam are the truth and reality.
 Allah is one is true, the hereafter is true, jannah is true. It is a great blessing from Allah that He has guided us to the truth, and not left us in a state of ignorance and wrong; specifically the path of those that the shaitaan mislead
earlier.

    The best advice for you is to spend time with someone knwledgable, that you can ask questions,
and get answers, even thousands of questions. The person should be someone that knows the answers
from the ulema (scholars). These answers would be "explanation" of the Quran.

    It is absolutely important to look for answers from the imams, shuyukh, and scholars, that will explain to you
the correct information, and not look at other directions which is actually trickery from the shaitaan to mislead
you. You may not be able to understand the Quran directly in the arabic language, you may want
to listen to many good lectures available on the Internet in English, which are explanations of
Allah's words.

   In the hereafter, there are two places.  Why would one want to change their future destination?  Why should someone follow a wrong belief where commercialism and  materialism had changed the original correct belief in one Allah?
  



    What you suffered in the loss of your peers in the past, you should go to the classes and events in the masajid, and you will meet many good friends. Incha
Allah, they will encourage you to be on the right way.

    Again, listening to some good lectures of Islam, in English, would really
affect you in a good way, because it would increase your ilm (knolwedge).
Listening to the Quran without understanding it would not be appropriate,
rather listening to the scholars explaining would be best.

    You should not listen to the old gospel music and recording from Christianity,
because they are based on shirk (associating partners to Allah), and many wrong
innovations that were introduced to the faith afterwards, from the whims
of individuals that diverged far from the correct belief. It is incumbant on
you to correct those wrong ideas to that of the truth, by listening to the
scholars of Islam. You should also stick to the effort and struggles that you
are doing to follow Allah's command. May Allah will reward you immensely
in the akhira. You should also keep in communication with the people of knowledge,
the imams, shuyukh, and be in the environments of benefit like the masajid, and
avoid the evils environments like bars, and places where people may say derogatory
things about the deen.

    The imam, in your situation, may have said things that are very strong on you.
I hope you can overlook that, and in the future keep in touch with the imam, and
spend more time so that you can benefit from the Islamic advice, and learn
the beneficial knowledge, and the noble Islamic law.    

And Allah knows.

May Allah increase you in knowledge.
Take a look at my site:  http://www.tajwid.info

Also a good site with several mp3 durus of beneficial knowledge from our ulema, fiqh explaining the book "bulgh Maram" , Q&A, http://www.imamfaisal.com
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 22, 2010 11:09 AM »

I'm at work and shouldn't really be surfing the web like this but anywhoo...

You sound so frustrated and fed up subhanAllaah and I wish there was something that I could say that would make things easier for you, but as I'm tight for time and have too many thoughts in my head I can only address a few things:

Yeah easy for him, he has full understanding, he has a muslim family. He has no idea what it is like to be hot and miserable in the summer. He does not know what it is like to have ppl stare and whisper. He never had an "old life" that he loved, but sacrificed.  I lost alot...my hobbies... Had to find a new job, I am an artist and can't even draw anymore. I have this big jealous/anger thing when I see girls wearing what they want, and how beautiful they are. I am feeling so ugly and insecure about myself.


Not everyone who is born Muslim has an understanding of their faith or let's say the 'correct' understanding.  Plus many families are ignorant and so there is often a conflict within families when someone wants to be 'more practising' or when someone chooses to do something differently because they believe that is the correct way to do it islamically, much to the family's chagrin.

About being hot in summer- lol you are not alone in this!!  Just a few weeks ago I wanted to leave a place because I was so hot and my hubby was taking his time, to which I said to him that I was more hot than he was as I was more covered, i.e. scarf, long sleeves and legs covered underneath my dress, etc!  Just think how many Muslim sisters around the world are in the same predicament ;-), so try not to personalise it to yourself and that might make it a bit easier to deal with insha'Allaah.

Stares- when you put a scarf on your head or you do things differently to others, unfortuantely this is the most typical reaction.  It is so easy to become negative about this, but when I start to let things like this bother me, I try to remember all the positive things that have also happened, such as people making lovely comments about the scarves that I wear (non-Muslims included) and even amazing comments, particularly from non-Muslims, wo have said things like I seem so calm and they wonder if I've got that serenity from Islaam, subhanAllaah Smiley.

Hobbies- what kind did you have before?  I'm sure there are still many you can do, perhaps find ways of making things more acceptable islamically so you can still do them?  It's kinda hard to advise on this one without knowing what hobbies you're referring to.

Many people have left jobs because they realise some element contradicts a tenet of the Islamic teachings, whereas others have chosen to stay, depsite knowing they shouldn't really be there but for whatever reason decide not to leave.  There are certain things we cannot draw but I'm surprised that you've given up drawing altogether? There are still lots of things that you can do.  I don't know if it would be helpful to check out something like Siratt and see what ideas you could take from there http://www.siratt.com/epages/Store2_Shop2046.sf, and there's also this guy in the UK, though there may be an issue about how he draws his figures  http://www.aerosolarabic.com/v2/gallery.php?gallery=allgraffitimurals.

As for wearing what you want- you still can to some extent but you just need to be creative as to how you can dress modestly in compliance with the teachings.  Maybe check out how other sisters are dressing and see if you could try something that you like.  This reminds me of a sister who approached me last week to see if I could help with some kind of a fashion show for some of the younger girls so they can get ideas as to how to dress more modestly, presenting it to them as a fun girly thing Smiley, from which insha'Allaah they'll take the message and maybe act on it when they can.

Take care.

'If he woke up and had enough food for the day and shelter (a roof over his head) and he does not fear for his safety, then it is as if he has been given the dunya.'
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 22, 2010 02:56 PM »


Christine - you are already on the right path ...


... there is a saying, " How do you eat an elephant?" .... the answer: one bite at a time... the goals you have in front of you is great but daunting, focus on one for one that you feel  is important... all others can wait... I saw the other thread where you submitted a "change request" for yourself in Ramadaan - that's great! Do only that ... all others will come eventually...

By putting it in down on paper means that you've made a contract with yourself to get something done (inshallah). If you want, print out the request and post it somewhere you can read it, so that you can review it and remember. And by mid sept ... you can look at it and reflect what you have accomplished!

We willl pray for you inshallah, that Allah (swt) gives you the strength and energy to complete the change - and that this change is permanent - for the better...

 thobebro
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Your heart will not truly open until you understand Surah 21 : Verse 92  (Al-Anbiya: The Prophets)

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