Why Can’t I – Questioning Faith/Iman

Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem

Why can’t I date a girl?

Why can’t I eat a pepperoni pizza?

Why can’t I have a beer?

Why can’t I believe like everyone else does?

Imagine a young Muslim girl, age eleven, walking down the street, holding her father’s hand. Her father is a well-known scholar of Islam, who has published a number of books on Islam and is a pillar of the community. She asks her father, “Daddy, what would you do if I became a Christian?” He is taken aback, but responds kindly. He reassures her that he has always loved her and will always love her, but that he would worry about her if she left Islam. He emphasizes the peace and serenity that Islam brings.

At some point in the life of a Muslim, he/she will have a phase where he/she wonders about all the rules in Islam. This is perfectly normal and it doesn’t mean you are a Kafir

An important rule to remember is that no thought can take you out of the fold of Islam.

In fact, no thought can even count against you as a sin, no matter how dirty, disgusting, or anti-Islamic.

When you have a question about Islam, where’s the 1st place you should look for an answer? The Quran should be your first place to go. Allah says in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” (4:59)

You might think that the Quran can’t have an answer for my question, but you will be surprised how often we can find answers if we simply look in the Quran. Also, it is a good habit to go to the Quran first when we have questions. If you go to the Quran and don’t find an answer, you should look in the Hadith. However, researching through the Hadith is an advanced skill and not everyone is equipped to do it. Ask another Muslim who you feel knows more than you do.

When you have a question about Islam, unfortunately, you can’t go to just any Muslim. Some Muslims will say that you shouldn’t question Islam. Some will say just pray to Allah and you’ll get an answer. Of course it is important to turn to Allah for answers but authentic Hadith tell us that when we have questions we should ask the people who know. Look for a Muslim with knowledge as well as compassion. Even if you have to turn to someone outside your immediate community, sometimes that is the best way. Two resources I would highly recommend are Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, a scholar trained in Medina, with a wide range of knowledge. His email is public and it is yqadhi@gmail.com. I would also recommend Professor Jeffrey Lang, who became Muslim in 1982, and has written a number of books including Even Angels Ask and Losing My Religion. His email is also public and is lang@math.ku.edu.

When you lose faith or iman in Allah, and we all do at times, you may think you should stop praying. You feel like you are not really a Muslim. You may feel like a hypocrite praying when you feel like you don’t believe in Allah. But this is not the time to stop praying. In fact, this is the time you need to pray the most. If your faith were a body, then your prayers would be the blood of that body. When your body is hurting, why would you want to lose any more blood?

Remember always that faith is a precious gift. Allah bestows faith upon whom He wills. Whomever He guides, none can lead astray, and whomever He allows to stray, none can guide. Most Muslims who lose faith regain their faith. I can’t tell you how long it will take to get your iman back because it will vary for everybody. You should use times when you lose faith to keep yourself humble. You should never look down on another person, thinking that you are better because you have more faith. Anyone who is alive has a chance to turn around and become stronger in faith. Someone who is a beer-drinking, pork-eating, idol-worshipping Hindu could embrace Islam, memorize the Quran, and become closer to Allah than any one of us. The prophets did not come to fill us with pride or to make us self-righteous. Quite the opposite, they came to teach us humility and reverence for Allah.

Resources

yqadhi@gmail.com

lang@math.ku.edu

Losing My Religion by Professor Jeffrey Lang

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  1. #1 by iappreciateorg on June 20, 2009 - 10:40 pm

    wow this was an amazing post man…thanks for sharing

  2. #2 by mohannad on July 26, 2009 - 1:55 am

    “In fact, no thought can even count against you as a sin, no matter how dirty, disgusting, or anti-Islamic.”

    What about hasad.. “jealousy”

  3. #3 by asad123 on July 26, 2009 - 11:20 am

    Mohannad raises a good point. Hasad, or jealousy, is a major sin in Islam. I hope Allah protects us all from it. However, I am not sure if what Allah punishes is thoughts of jealousy or acts of jealousy. I do know that if one suffers from jealousy, one should make dua that Allah removes this from one’s heart and that good will come to the person that one is jealous of.

  4. #4 by maire [ marwa] on June 7, 2010 - 5:07 pm

    i randomly came across your blog, i typed in how to regain iman..overall it was a feel good article. i think i gained SOMETHING from it. recently i’ve stopped praying but i believe in God and have outmost respect of Prophet Muhammed *S* [ although I’ve come across a lot of nasty things in relation to him but I know that in my heart he was a good man and the lies they spread, are just that lies]
    I was looking for step by step guide to becoming a better Muslima.
    How to read the Quran without getting bored, or listening to Islamic lecture or Praying PROPERLY. 3al koli 7al, May Allah bestow his blessings upon you and your family.

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