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I don't know if this is a message better suited to one of the other forums, so please forgive me if I'm mis-posting this (since I have not yet converted).

 

Essentially, I laid out my dilemma in my introductory post, namely:

 

I'm a 30-something Caucasian male born and raised in New England. I was raised Jewish but have come to see that as more a culture/tradition than an active religious identity for myself. Instead, I'm fascinated by Islam.

 

This fascination comes from some very obvious sources: my spouse, my academic studies, the post-9/11 environment, etc. But, for a very long time now, I've thought about converting.

 

That's mostly why I'm here -- I'm trying to sort out my motives for considering conversion, where it leaves me with Judaism, and what sort of Muslim I can/will be. I live a fairly secular life and don't foresee a radical change in lifestyle; rather, I'm trying to work through how I see myself and how I identify myself.

 

Have others on this forum addressed similar situations? If so, what process did they work through that might be helpful to me?

 

Much thanks in advance for your troubles!

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PropellerAds

Did you look through this subforum: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showforum=149.html&"]why did they revert[/url]

 

It has over a hundred stories of why people converted (reverted) to Islam.

 

Try this search page: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?act=Search"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?act=Search[/url]

 

Type in some key words you think will bring up similar stories and then narrow your search to only the "why did they revert" subforum. This should be a good start for you. Here is an example I just did:

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?act=Search&CODE=simpleresults&sid=13b88941aa105de6c4607264bf01a00d&highlite=%2Bacademic+9%2F11+%2BJewish"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?act=Searc...%2F11+%2BJewish[/url]

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Did you look through this subforum: why did they revert

 

It has over a hundred stories of why people converted (reverted) to Islam.

 

As I look through many of these accounts, I find I'm running into the same problem that I've previously experienced: Namely, most of these people speak with such certainty, a trait that I seem to be lacking.

 

I have not had any theophany, any personal and sudden enlightenment to Islam. Nor am I looking for a radically new way to conduct my life.

 

Rather, I find the questions raised by Islam to be the same questions I have. And, I have a number of loved ones in my life who I respect and admire who are themselves Muslim.

 

So, until I find an account along these lines, I continue to ask: How do I know when I am or when I should be Muslim? Again, I doubt that I would be an exemplar (of any religion), but I would like to align myself more genuinely...

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I'll admit, I'm a young revert. I'm 19 years old. I have been thoroughly educated in various religions throughout my entire education, though I was raised Roman Catholic. Nearing the 8th grade, when I was taking classes to prepare me for the Sacrament of Confirmation, I began to doubt the truth behind that religion. I kept that doubt to myself for a couple years, and continued just learning about other religions (mostly centering on Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism). Eventually, around 10th grade, I started expressing my doubts to a select few of my friends. I was pretty much convinced by this point that Catholicism wasn't the truth. One of my Muslim friends asked me if I had read more deeply into Islam, and then offered me some books to read. I was hooked, and began only reading on Islam. By the time I graduated highschool, I was sure that Islam was the proper religion. But, I was not ready to revert yet. I finally did during this past summer, at the end of June. The "certainty" which you speak of probably did not exist in any of us who reverted, until we made the decision to do so. Even then, a lot of reverts who move quickly often doubt their decision AFTER taking shahadah. I hope this helps make you feel less alone, because you definitely are not. It took me many years to take the leap and make shahadah, due to doubts of the religion, my own ability to fulfill the religion, and the opinion of people who surround me. If you wish to talk more, I'd gladly do so.

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But, I was not ready to revert yet. I finally did during this past summer, at the end of June. The "certainty" which you speak of probably did not exist in any of us who reverted, until we made the decision to do so. Even then, a lot of reverts who move quickly often doubt their decision AFTER taking shahadah. I hope this helps make you feel less alone, because you definitely are not. It took me many years to take the leap and make shahadah, due to doubts of the religion, my own ability to fulfill the religion, and the opinion of people who surround me. If you wish to talk more, I'd gladly do so.

 

I would definitely like to hear more, Amna. On one hand, 19 feels young to me as someone in my 30s; my views as a 19 y.o. are not necessarily my views now. On the other hand, perhaps I was less cluttered back then, more able to look within myself clearly than with all the attachments of being a husband, father, co-worker, etc. pulling on me.

 

To some degree, the feeling of certainty after shahaddah sounds little bit like the psychology of cognitive dissonance -- that is, one convinces himself or herself that the choice made was the right one. That's not to say the choice wasn't the right one, but the mind may artificially amplify that evaluation. I'd like to avoid that, if possible.

 

Could you tell me more about the opinion of people who surrounded you? I don't want to be swayed by others, of course, but I also want to be realistic in terms of how others might see this sort of decision.

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How do I know when I am or when I should be Muslim? Again, I doubt that I would be an exemplar (of any religion), but I would like to align myself more genuinely...

I think it becomes obvious to yourself when you know its right - and it is a different experience for everyone who reverts although they may have the same feelings. It's very hard for anyone to come here and say when you should be a Muslim because you need to feel its right.

 

Have your read the quran in full ?

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I think it becomes obvious to yourself when you know its right - and it is a different experience for everyone who reverts although they may have the same feelings. It's very hard for anyone to come here and say when you should be a Muslim because you need to feel its right.

 

Have your read the quran in full ?

 

I have read a majority of it in English, yes. I cannot honestly say I've read it cover-to-cover, but I would safely say I've read 80% of it at least.

 

Does its wholeness communicate something, you feel, that my near-complete impression of it might not?

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I have read a majority of it in English, yes. I cannot honestly say I've read it cover-to-cover, but I would safely say I've read 80% of it at least.

 

Does its wholeness communicate something, you feel, that my near-complete impression of it might not?

Well I am just speaking from personal experience here...

 

I am a revert.. I was learning about Islam about 3 years ago - I hated it and I thought I couldn't relate at all with some things but the way I was learning it was wrong. Even when I said shahadah I knew nothing really and I probably did it for the wrong reasons also. I was reading articles about Islam instead of going to the quran so I always advise people to learn about Islam from the scripture not secondary sources. I just decided one night to read the quran by picking a random chapter and it landed on surah ad duha which is when I knew I had to be a Muslim just from the way the words spoke to me..

 

But in ramadan this year I read the quran in whole in one month (which is a short amount of time in my opinion) and I felt like a different person - I can't explain what it was but its just like the whole message becomes clearer when you read it altogether...its just like the quran become smaller because the message is all the same in all the stories of the prophets i.e. believe in one God.

 

I would just advice you to read the quran in whole, learn about the life of Muhammad (good articles can be found here (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetkalamullah(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/)"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetkalamullah(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/)[/url] and if you have any queries do ask us here.

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I just decided one night to read the quran by picking a random chapter and it landed on surah ad duha which is when I knew I had to be a Muslim just from the way the words spoke to me..

 

But in ramadan this year I read the quran in whole in one month (which is a short amount of time in my opinion) and I felt like a different person - I can't explain what it was but its just like the whole message becomes clearer when you read it altogether...its just like the quran become smaller because the message is all the same in all the stories of the prophets i.e. believe in one God.

 

Hm! I don't know if this is a lost reference to you, but that sounds positively Augustinian to me -- he was looking for guidance, his Bible flipped open to a random page, and the passage there spoke to him in a way that he never doubted his Christianity again. :sl:

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Hm! I don't know if this is a lost reference to you, but that sounds positively Augustinian to me -- he was looking for guidance, his Bible flipped open to a random page, and the passage there spoke to him in a way that he never doubted his Christianity again. :sl:

It wasn't really a thing that erased all my previous doubts with Islam - it was just I felt it was the right religion for me - a lot came after that such as actually learning the quran and of course believing in it.

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It wasn't really a thing that erased all my previous doubts with Islam - it was just I felt it was the right religion for me - a lot came after that such as actually learning the quran and of course believing in it.

 

Was learning Arabic part of that process for you?

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Was learning Arabic part of that process for you?

I did take an introductory course on the arabic alphabet but I haven't really pursued it further as of yet although I intend to in the near future.

 

Also..of course I have learnt surahs in arabic but that is just through listening to mp3 versions of them over and over until I know it

Edited by Lost_In_Paradise

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I would definitely like to hear more, Amna. On one hand, 19 feels young to me as someone in my 30s; my views as a 19 y.o. are not necessarily my views now. On the other hand, perhaps I was less cluttered back then, more able to look within myself clearly than with all the attachments of being a husband, father, co-worker, etc. pulling on me.

 

To some degree, the feeling of certainty after shahaddah sounds little bit like the psychology of cognitive dissonance -- that is, one convinces himself or herself that the choice made was the right one. That's not to say the choice wasn't the right one, but the mind may artificially amplify that evaluation. I'd like to avoid that, if possible.

 

Could you tell me more about the opinion of people who surrounded you? I don't want to be swayed by others, of course, but I also want to be realistic in terms of how others might see this sort of decision.

 

The cognitive dissonance reference could be true in many people. I waiting until I was positive that it was what I was doing, the main thing holding me back was my family. I've always been the "problem child", and didn't want to disappoint the parents anymore (I had "straightened up" around 10th grade).

 

I received no pressure from the Muslims surrounding me. They were extremely willing to answer questions and provide more materials as needed. I talked extensively with Catholic priests, Mormon missionaries, and less with other religious leaders while making the decision. They obviously all attempted to dissuade me, but in the end, their arguments guided me closer to Islam. I have some friends who don't provide an opinion on my conversion, but there are a multitude who expressed disapproval... including my parents. To be honest, if the people who surround you are uneducated on Islam, probability of them readily accepting a reversion is quite low. My mom has begun to read and learn more about Islam, insha'Allah she will continue. I would suggest preparing them slowly, but trying including an "interesting fact" about Islam during regular conversations and/or discussions now. This does not commit you, obviously, but it will help pave the road for their education and acceptance of your reversion (if you decide to do so). Does this make sense?

 

Where are you located, by the way?

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Does this make sense?

 

Where are you located, by the way?

 

It does make sense, though I am unsure of its applicability to me personally. I do have a supportive family and have rarely ever been out of their good graces. So I suppose I'm less worried about my family than I am about my social circles. My friends and coworkers all act very open-minded, but I can't predict what the actual responses might be to my conversion.

 

(Also, I can picture quite a few eyebrows raised to my using the term "reversion" rather than "conversion." It may sound to them like I feel they are in the wrong and practicing an illegitimate faith.)

 

I live just outside of the Boston area, Amna.

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It does make sense, though I am unsure of its applicability to me personally. I do have a supportive family and have rarely ever been out of their good graces. So I suppose I'm less worried about my family than I am about my social circles. My friends and coworkers all act very open-minded, but I can't predict what the actual responses might be to my conversion.

 

(Also, I can picture quite a few eyebrows raised to my using the term "reversion" rather than "conversion." It may sound to them like I feel they are in the wrong and practicing an illegitimate faith.)

 

I live just outside of the Boston area, Amna.

It's okay to use the term "conversion", I think. This website has free brochures, translations of the Qur'an, and other simple materials for anyone: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwhyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwhyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/[/url]. If they have questions, these materials are useful just to give out (they sent me 20 packages, free of cost). It's what I gave to my mom and roommates originally.

 

The social circles, it's going to depend. Do you go out to clubs and/or bars? Do you watch football and drink with your buddies? That will probably be the largest thing your friends will have an issue with. If you don't, or don't often, I don't forsee any major issues. My sister just turned 21, so it came up with my friends about my 21st birthday. Many of them objected when I told them it would be "dry".

 

An important thing to remember, is you will still be you.

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As I look through many of these accounts, I find I'm running into the same problem that I've previously experienced: Namely, most of these people speak with such certainty, a trait that I seem to be lacking.

I think a certain amount of triumphalism is to be expected of these accounts. It wouldn't be much of a testimony to say "I think Islam is right, probably, or at least it seems right enough that I went with that option."

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This website has free brochures, translations of the Qur'an, and other simple materials for anyone: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwhyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwhyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/[/url].

I got my first English translation of the Qur'an from whyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link). They seem like a nice outfit.

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It's okay to use the term "conversion", I think. This website has free brochures, translations of the Qur'an, and other simple materials for anyone: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwhyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/. If they have questions, these materials are useful just to give out (they sent me 20 packages, free of cost). It's what I gave to my mom and roommates originally.

 

The social circles, it's going to depend. Do you go out to clubs and/or bars? Do you watch football and drink with your buddies? That will probably be the largest thing your friends will have an issue with. If you don't, or don't often, I don't forsee any major issues. My sister just turned 21, so it came up with my friends about my 21st birthday. Many of them objected when I told them it would be "dry".

 

An important thing to remember, is you will still be you.

I think your last point is the most applicable here (and very much appreciated). It's not that I'm considering Islam so as to change; I'm considering it because I suspect I already think and intuit in a manner that I see reflected in Islam.

 

But, heh, my clubbing days are long over -- and none of my peers drink very much (or else they get sleepy and have to go to bed early). I already live amongst the humdrum!

 

No, my concern would be with maintaining their trust in my judgment skills. I know this is an unfair comparison, but think I if one of your friends announced he wanted a sex change. (However, he'd still date women; he just identifies more with the "thinking and intuiting" of lesbians as he perceives them.) You might be supportive and kind, but it could leave you wondering what else in his (now her) life is so alterable and changeable. I don't want my friends to think they no longer know me.

 

I got my first English translation of the Qur'an from whyislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link). They seem like a nice outfit.

I think I'll do that right now! I have access to a digital Qur'an, and there's a print one in my household already, but none of them feel like "mine."

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any Islamic website in english like biblos (contact admin if its a beneficial link)? I mean that it has a "concordance" etc etc

Not that I know of, although a google search did turn up some references. I just don't know how reliable the sites that come up are.

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Namely, most of these people speak with such certainty, a trait that I seem to be lacking.

 

I haven't read all of this thread but the only advise I can give you is to simply.. Ask God himself. Just ask God to guide you and give you that 'certainty'. That 'certainty' you talked about some posts above is 'Iman'. It's faith. I don't just mean faith as in "I have faith.." but it's something that God puts into your heart. It's hard to explain unless you have tasted it's sweetness.

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I haven't read all of this thread but the only advise I can give you is to simply.. Ask God himself. Just ask God to guide you and give you that 'certainty'. That 'certainty' you talked about some posts above is 'Iman'. It's faith. I don't just mean faith as in "I have faith.." but it's something that God puts into your heart. It's hard to explain unless you have tasted it's sweetness.

Not saying that Odyssean will suffer this fate, but what if he, or someone else, asks God to guide them and give them that certainty and it doesn't happen?

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Not saying that Odyssean will suffer this fate, but what if he, or someone else, asks God to guide them and give them that certainty and it doesn't happen?

 

Just keep at it. God might not give you something straight away but that does not mean he will not give it to you in the future. Be sincere with God and beg Him. That's the only thing I can say.

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Just keep at it. God might not give you something straight away but that does not mean he will not give it to you in the future. Be sincere with God and beg Him. That's the only thing I can say.

So, are you saying he shouldn't move forward with Islam until he has such a certainty?

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Well, that's not what I am saying, although, if you are not certain of something how can you follow it? And if someone doesn't believe Islam to be the truth in their heart then they are not really Muslim.

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