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Losing self

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Beechlgz View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 July 2010 at 4:34am
One thing I have trouble with when it comes to Islam or even religion in general is getting the little details right. I'm no good with fiddly little details. The bigger picture is something I handle much easier, but you can't get it all right if you don't have those little details. So please bear with me when I ask my question, I might get things wrong so just correct me where I do, and help me gain a better grasp of the little details.

Something that scares me about Islam is God/Allah. Really that comes from a lack of overall understanding. I have grown up believing, despite what I was always told, that worship and submission to anything or anyone, including yourself and including God was wrong. First because I didn't believe there was such a thing as God(s). Second because I didn't believe anything or anyone was any better or worse than yourself, thus you shouldn't act like there is anything better or worse than yourself.

To this day the way I hear God/Allah (speaking of The One and Only God mentioned in Islam, not other religions) being portrayed as being like nothing else in the universe, and it is senseless to try to apply human attributes to God because God doesn't need these things and is the only One greater than you or I. But that confuses me so much because God approves of worship and adherence to Islamic teachings and disapproves of lack of worship or the worship of His creations and fictitious idols. Am I right? Confused I'm not sure. I also hear/read that God "loves" believers and not non-believers. But to me that sounds like you're applying duality and emotion to God, but I thought duality and emotion were purely human (and animal) aspects?

From that I get this mental picture of God having an ego that needs to be fed, and that God will cast aside those who were unfortunate enough to be unable to grasp life's lessons, while rewarding those who had the fortune to be able to understand what they must do in life to advance spiritually. That greatly upsets me. I struggle to not feel suspicious of God, that He is not some kind of being out to trick us by winning our trust. I mean, what happens to those souls who are unable to make it before death? Are they punished eternally in the afterlife? Or do they reform?

A lot of things about God just like that scare and upset me, and I only wish for more of an understanding of why God is like this. To me it sounds very... evil, dare I say, and I don't say this to upset anyone. I'm just being sincere in how I feel. I mean the very reason I'[m posting this here is in hopes someone can come along and prove me wrong, or at least make the picture a little clearer for me so that I can see it for what it is, and not for what my perception tells me it is.

I understand that in order to understand I need to lose myself and my possibly incorrect presumptions and perceptions. I am piecing together a picture from very incomplete pieces and filling in the gaps with ideas that come from myself: a very flawed, scared, angry and confused creature. The missing pieces that I create make the picture look very distorted and twisted. I need to remove them and replace them with the correct pieces. Can anyone help me with this please?

I know my question is far from specific, but I don't really know where to start. Maybe someone else here might know the best place I can begin finding the right pieces, so I can see for myself what this is all about rather than be left wondering and speculating and disbelieving without even looking at the evidence (which I don't even know how to find).

I like science. It would be unscientific of me to disbelieve with my current limited knowledge and understanding, considering what great benefits and astounding claims I have seen Islam bring to people. Claims that could not be proven by science until hundreds of years later. I definitely believe there is more to this, but I don't as of yet believe in God.
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islamispeace View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islamispeace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 July 2010 at 12:18pm
Hi Beechlg,

Welcome to the forum.  You have some important questions, and I can see that you are very earnest to learn.  That is a good sign.  InshaAllah, I will try to help you in finding the answers.

Concerning God, I think perhaps the first step in discussing Him is to first establish whether He exists.  It will be hard to answer your questions if you don't even believe in Him.

I think the best evidence for God's existence lies in the universe itself.  Can you honestly say that this vast, complex and beautiful universe just came into existence by itself, by mistake?  What would you say if I presented a complex model of the solar system and then told you that I didn't put it together but that it just came together by chance. Would you believe me?  Your assumption would be that someone had to have put it together.  But, then wouldn't someone have put together the universe too?  That someone is God. 

Now, does God need our worship?  Absolutely not!  Rather, it is we who need Him.  Because without Him, we would not exist.  And if we reject Him now, after He created us, we would ultimately destroy ourselves.  And of course, to worship His creation, something that cannot help or hurt us, would be ludicrous.  We would only be deceiving ourselves if we refused to worship Him, who has always been, but worshiped His creation, which is finite. 

God does say He loves the believers and not the unbelievers.  This is to let us know that God loves and protects those who follow Him, so that we will have faith.  That does not mean that the unbelievers have no hope.  If your heart is still seeking answers, then you still have hope.  Someone like you has more hope than someone who arrogantly and boastfully goes about daily life saying "God does not exist".  You are still seeking answers.  Like you said, there is more to this matter than meets the eye.  In my view, that is a step in the right direction.     

This is a preliminary analysis of the issues you have raised.  I would like to know your opinions.  InshaAllah, this will help you. 
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Hayfa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hayfa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 July 2010 at 4:47pm
Hi Beechlgz,

You have asked questions I certainly have asked! Really, truly.

I don't proclaim to have answers at all. If I did I could write a book or two. Smile

I think you are write in understanding and figuring out your own presumptions and assumptions is key. I am like you as I did not come from the same perspective as i was raised Catholic. Yes raised to "believe in God" but also in a society with self-ego and power is explored.  Islamic is very different.

For example: if I say, get a college degree, it is due to ME and my hard work. In Islamic thought it is because of God. If my circumstances had been different none of the "good things" would not have happened. It is different.

Worship: I look at worship this way.. God does not need me. The worship is to benefit me to lead a more disciplined, spiritual life. And helps me to reflect upon my life, for it will end as I know it. We humans like to convince ourselves that we are in charge. And we are not. And I am not a ritual person by any means. I actually don't feel "connected" but that is my personality. I actually feel quite in awe and humble as I study the spiders that live in my apartment. Quite incredible.

I understand too the scary part! yeah, it is kinda scary.. gee wiz we are specs of dust. We are not in control. I could die tonight. That's it. When you reflect upon life and death it can be scary. Its why alot of people seek escape from these thoughts.




When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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xx__Ace__xx View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xx__Ace__xx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2010 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by Beechlgz Beechlgz wrote:

From that I get this mental picture of God having an ego that needs to be fed, and that God will cast aside those who were unfortunate enough to be unable to grasp life's lessons, while rewarding those who had the fortune to be able to understand what they must do in life to advance spiritually.

God is also just and fair though, judging by the fact he's gifted us humans with common sense to understand what's right and wrong, what's to be done and what's not to. Fortune? Nah. I believe God brings the truth to every person, which being fair, he should, regardless of whether the person seems to want to accept it or not. It comes down to the person letting common sense prevail and being open-minded about things.






Edited by xx__Ace__xx - 31 July 2010 at 4:49pm
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MorningStar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MorningStar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 August 2010 at 11:27pm
For the sake of discussion:
@ Beechlgz

If you were a creator.
And your some of your creation starts saying "I came on my own, by chance..., Big Bang, [whatever]".
What would you feel?
Would you support the creation that obeys and submits to you or the ones that go against you?



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