Firstly, let me say that I am sure readers will find my text for this topic to be not the usual sort of discourse. But, then, not everyone with my sort of circumstances will be able to own up as much as I do.
There are some challenges to my describing my position. For one thing, my relationship with my mother did not work for me, and I am not even sure that I can affirm that English is my mother tongue. Certainly, English was the only language spoken; but my mother spoke it in a way that was not so natural for me.
On the face of it, there is quite complicated semantics involved here. My mother and my siblings never accepted me as a family member. And it has been left to me to go forth and find who I am. This has left me with a complicated situation to deal with. In various ways, my three books explain things. But human development has stuff which is subconscious, as well; and one can only start to fill in such gaps by reference to the psychoanalytic method.
These family members also argued that I was mentally ill, but I was discharged as a patient. And to be in conflict with one’s mother is not the same as being mentally ill. Yes, I was upset and disoriented; but that was a dishevelment for me to come to terms with.
So, then, I have progressed and tried to contextualise the background to my matters of faith and religion. And we also need to understand that my faith in my mother is one that is multiply broken; some will try to argue that that in itself makes life impossible. And, indeed, I used to feel that I was left abandoned.
Atheists will try to argue that everything is rather explicable. I personally find that there is the subconscious stuff that we can join together only by means of understanding something of the processes of human development; but that is a philosophical method and is nothing particularly solid or reliable.
Whether I have liked it or not my ability to exist and progress has depended on my writing about the family feuds; it has involved me in asking myself questions. My religious endeavours are about another rather challenging journey, I would say. These family feuds were about totally disgusting and hateful things. And being able to practice religious faith depends quite a bit on being able to find tranquillity and contentment; one rather needs to see that as something which Allah can provide.
But there are further mysteries for me to unpack, and here I must emphasize that it is not for me to preach religion to others. Having hope for one’s future is described in various ways in the Qur’an and in the hadith of the prophet. And it is not for me to try to unpack all of that for the reader; rather that is a journey which any one of us can start off on and try to explore. Personal circumstances can play a part also. My circumstances have been very particular and are not easy to make generalisations about; the circumstances of readers also will be utterly unique.
This journey through life is described as one which angels watch over. The interactions between Allah and the human being is indirect. And I can perhaps quite usefully mention the accounts given by the psalmist in the Psalms. I can also add that if one has vey low quality family relationships one is also left in the dark with the knowledge one has about oneself; and one has vaguely similar challenges in finding a way forward.
I can perhaps make the observation, also, that if we are usually shaped so much by the views of our parents then I would suggest that we all have questions to ask about how and why we are here.
I should think the above description is a satisfactory enough first look at matters of faith and religion. And, obviously enough, I have not (thus far) referenced the Five Pillars of Islam or the Shahadah; but then I think it is appropriate that I concentrate (at first) on my personal origins.
Without my yet going into too many further explanations, I can say that the Qur’an emphasises that one’s choice of faith or religion is a matter of personal choice. So, I do stand back and refrain from proselytising, as do most Muslims. Some parts of Islam do however encourage outreach or invitation with the term da’wah being used.
I have found a general, descriptive article on the three Abrahamic (monotheistic) religions by the American Media organisation PBS. It appears to be written from a multicultural viewpoint and that is what I believe they would aim for. Religion: Three Religions, One God is a useful article for me to refer to, seeing as I am a writer and need to be respectful of the common traditions. It also gives a fair-seeming account of the differences and similarities across the three major religions.
I have learnt to read and write in Arabic, although I am not fluent. I am also conversant in French. For me, my origins from a non-Muslim culture have involved me in doing my homework and getting up to a background-knowledge level that I feel more comfortable with. There are a number of cultural adaptations I have made that are in accordance with my faith.
There is a very extensive article on Wikipedia, Abrahamic Religions. 08/05/2022