Author Topic: Let the de-programming begin...slowly  (Read 1194 times)

scaredmuslimah

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Let the de-programming begin...slowly
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:24:14 AM »
Peace everyone,

As I was offering fajr this morning, my mind drifted (as it so often does when I pray my methodical Sunni prayers).  I asked myself why I was afraid of taking this journey into "God Alone."  I asked a question that so many already ask : "How do we know how to pray if we don't have hadith?" 

It dawned on me then that as a Christian, my prayers were never regimented.  They were honest and deep thoughts and pleas to God for forgiveness, insight, and thankfulness for the blessings I received.  Of course, I shaped them in the form of The Lord's Prayer (never recited the actual words in the Bible), but nevertheless, I used whatever words I felt were needed at the time.

So why am I so scared to leave the strictness of my current prayers?   Because I have been PROGRAMMED to believe that if I do not pray that way, my prayers are not answered, that is why.

During sujood, many recite duas that were recited by Muhammed (pbuh) because they believe there are more blessings in doing it that way.  I never do.  That is my time to say what I feel to my Lord.  That is the part of my prayer in which I often am moved to tears. 

This morning I finally felt more connected to Allah than I have in a while during my prayer.  Of course, I have not mentioned to anyone my current decision to begin studying true Islam.  I feel this leg of my journey deserves a little more time than my last, simply because for the first time in my life I am not going with a majority, and I am not being fed information mass produced by a group. 

So...Insha'Allah, let the de-programming of Amina begin...

TheNabi

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Re: Let the de-programming begin...slowly
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:36:41 PM »
Peace

Good job. God always hears you. ;)

Joe
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Magnus

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Re: Let the de-programming begin...slowly
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 12:38:24 AM »
Peace, Amina!

This sounds like the best approach. With patience and humility you can't go much wrong, by the grace of Allah.

FWIW, ritual sunni prayer is much too fast for me, the whole notion of doctrinally mandated synchronized body positioning left unquestioned.
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

scaredmuslimah

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Re: Let the de-programming begin...slowly
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 06:22:47 AM »
FWIW, ritual sunni prayer is much too fast for me, the whole notion of doctrinally mandated synchronized body positioning left unquestioned.

Not to mention that trying to keep track of what rakah one is on, and if arabic is new to a person, that makes it even tougher.  Like I stated earlier, my mind often drifts during the ritual prayers and I am starting to believe it is because it is not being done in the language that I understand, even though I translate as I go.

Then I feel guilt as I realize that my heart has not truly been in the prayer. 

With peace,

Amina

Magnus

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Re: Let the de-programming begin...slowly
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 01:48:37 PM »
Yes, counting raka is very distracting.
I think doctrinal sunnism (and that whole type of mindset, more generally) puts the cart before the horse when it comes to prayer. I believe that there are indeed body positions and Quranic passages and times that are conductive to good, efficient and comfortable prayer, but what goes on inside the person praying - the sincerity of the act - is everything in importance compared to the outer forms of how it's done, or how often, or at what time, or in what language even. If I were you I'd try not to fret over those things (and especially forum user's differing opinions about them!) too much, and rather strive for that sincerity you probably felt closer to as a christian, when you were more comfortable with freestylin' it. If you keep trying to pray regularly, the Lord will increase your guidance and gradually let you realize the how and why of it more fully.
Yet, the words of Allah in Arabic is the very best tool to help you pray, and to remind you. Keep practicing, just remember that the Lord understands other languages too, and the most important thing now and always is that we remember what we must and say to Him what we have to. If anyone told you it's bad to mix languages in prayer he's a fool, I think it's the best way to learn. Say it any way you can!

I hope your marital situation will improve soon. Allah tests his servants, and getting purified/winning paradise is hard enough that relatively few succeed. Islam is so infinitely worth it, but it's not always easy - due to our shortcomings and Satan's tricks mind you, not because Islam is very difficult, God forbid.

I hope my words make sense to you and bring you some amount of comfort. I used to be lonely and scared too, wishing for something firm to latch onto. I want to remind you that the only thing that is truly firm is the Creator and His Truth - whether this is conveyed through the Book or through Guidance, or ideally both together. Hold onto that, remind yourself of that, submit to that. Live for that.
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.