// Can you try a religion for a month?
    Peace be upon you,
    Welcome to Madinat Al-Muslimeen, the City of the Muslims. Please feel free to visit the different hot spots around the Madina and post any discussion, articles, suggestions, comments, art, poetry, events, recipes, etc etc. Basically anything you would like to share with your sisters and brothers!! Non-muslims are also of course quite welcome to share their comments. If this is your first time here, you need to register with the city council. Once you register you have 15 days to post your mandatory introduction and then you will be upgraded to a Madina Citizen, God Willing. Please note that our city does have regulations which are listed in the city constitution. Read them carefully before moving in. P.S. - You can also post anonymously if you wish. P.S.S. - Also be sure to check out our ARCHIVES from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. :)

Random Quote: Knowledge raises the low, but ignorance brings down the mighty. -Ali (RA)
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Can you try a religion for a month?  (Read 568 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
BrKhalid
Bro
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 27
BrKhalid barely matters :(BrKhalid barely matters :(
Gender: Male
Posts: 1352



« on: Jul 04, 2011 02:25 PM »


Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Perhaps we cold have a similar trip where Muslims go away and learn how to behave with adab and respect? Wink





People usually think of religion in terms of a lifetime of commitment, but could you learn anything from trying one out for a month?

The call to prayer sounds from Eyup Mosque in Istanbul and local Muslims gather on the marble square outside for prayer. Men on one side, women the other, they crowd on mats for the Friday ritual.

Among them this week though are a few faces looking less than confident about what comes next.

Barbra Taylor, from Hawaii, and Terry Goldsmith, from Bury, Greater Manchester, are two of them. They're not Muslim, but guests for nine days.

This is part of Muslim for a Month - a programme from social enterprise group The Blood Foundation where participants get to "test-drive" a religion


"Coming away to do this process, some of my friends have questioned it and said, 'Are you crazy? Aren't you going to the enemy camp?'" Taylor says.

"They feel anyone who's even remotely affiliated with the Muslim faith is a terrorist. I just felt this programme is interesting to me - I had an interest in Turkey and also I felt there was a misunderstanding about perhaps the second largest religion in the world."

For Goldsmith it was his changing surroundings at home that inspired the trip.

"One of the things is that there are a large number of Muslim people in the area I live in," he explains.

"I don't really know much about the people and I'd like to learn something of the religion and the culture."

Participants pray, fast, have lectures from Muslim scholars and spend time with Turkish families. Most are here for their first taste of Islam, but some for a deeper understanding of the Sufi culture of Turkey.

H Masud Taj is an architect from Canada, brought up Muslim in India. There were a number of questions about why he needed to become Muslim for a Month.

"My first response was that I was bemused, frankly," he says. "I was bemused that something that we take as sacred as religion could become like a shopping mall - try this out for a month.

"It really seemed a very post-modern phenomenon, but, once here it really envelops you with its own world view so I think it's fascinating."

Like many of the participants, Taj felt that Turkey was the place to hold this course. It may not have worked in other Muslim countries.

There were tougher moments for participants; some women found being separated from the males in the group somewhat jarring. The organisers say this is all part of the experience.

"I mean these are very hot points that often if they're not dealt with can be blown out of all proportion," says Ben Bowler of the Blood Foundation.

"The difference is sticking with that and working through that and certainly there is an element of how women are treated in a religious sense in Islam, which is different from what we would expect in our culture. But this is the point of a cultural exchange - if it was exactly the same it wouldn't be interesting."

Taylor says she's taking home a different outlook, although she won't be pushing it with her friends back in America. The subject's still too sensitive, she says.

"I've really learnt a lot this trip. We've been fully immersed - praying in a mosque, the ladies coming to show us what to do, really it's been a real eye-opener for me in a positive way."

But the organisers say it's been a tough ride. The title Muslim for a Month has put many people off, with some parts of the travel industry refusing to promote it because of the unease surrounding Islam in some quarters.

"Sufi for a month" is going to start running as an alternative and plans for "Sikh for a week" are under way.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13989013

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
pearl
Sis
Full Member
*

Reputation Power: 6
pearl has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 117


« Reply #1 on: Jul 04, 2011 03:25 PM »

I agree, Bro Khalid!

I like the intent of this program, but I suspect that many serious practitioners of Islam, Christianity, Sikhism or any other religion might balk at the prospect of being required to pray in the manner of another religion.

An inclusive program would need to give people the option of witnessing religious rites rather than actively participating.
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #2 on: Jul 04, 2011 04:02 PM »

wsalam,

I know many converts actually tried out things like praying and fasting before converting so this type of program sounds really good. Obviously there's a whole element of faith missing here but cultural understanding and exchange can never be a bad thing, esp when ppl go in there thinking 'Muslims are the enemy!'
BrKhalid
Bro
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 27
BrKhalid barely matters :(BrKhalid barely matters :(
Gender: Male
Posts: 1352



« Reply #3 on: Jul 05, 2011 05:19 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Quote
An inclusive program would need to give people the option of witnessing religious rites rather than actively participating


Perhaps they could have a two tiered program which addresses this point but, overall, anything that exposes the true spirit of our religion to non Muslims should be a good thing.



Quote
I know many converts actually tried out things like praying and fasting before converting..


Ramadhan is actually a fantastic month for dawah since it gives us all an easy opportunity to discuss religion with non Muslims we work or interact with.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #4 on: Jul 08, 2011 02:39 AM »

I think it is a good idea! Remember watching an Oprah episode where some white guys dressed like Muslims for a month trying to gauge reactions of non-Muslims. It exposed a lot of misconceptions.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: