Welcome to my blog!

This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Loving God and the Prophet

Gee, did I say I had a posting schedule? Oops. Sorry. About that.

Muslims are told to love Allah and love the Prophet, peace be with him, but we aren't given concrete ways to learn to have, to do, this love.

"Just love the Prophet, peace be with him."

"If you love God, you'll love the Prophet."

But how do you love God and the Prophet? How do you build that sort of relationship - any relationship?

It's a process. It's not as simple as "Just love God/the Prophet." A real relationship takes time and effort. It takes knowing the other person, knowing their good parts, their bad parts, knowing how they think and feel, what they like to do, what they don't like to do. A healthy relationship means spending time with the other person - a lot of it. Relationships are the blending of interactions with others, time spent together, adventures shared, sadness condoled and joy celebrated with on another.

For me, I tend to feel very distant from the Prophet, peace be with him, and see him as only a distant figure of some vague authority. But I also know that when I hear a particularly skilled storyteller talk about his life as a person, about him taking the time to console a street urchin whose parrot and only friend had died, who let a little girl lead him through the streets just to show him her toys, and who played with her for a while before going back to lead an entire city, that's when the Prophet, peace be with him, becomes real to me.

Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, but it seems to me that a lot of Muslims deal in the abstract, without giving concrete ways to love God and the Prophet like we're supposed to. It's very difficult, in their defense, to teach someone how to fall in love, but the Prophet needs to be a real and sympathetic person to you before you can love him, and that means presenting his stories in ways that people today can connect with.

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