How Can I Choose the Right Path? | About Islam
Home > Ask About Islam > How Can I Choose the Right Path?

How Can I Choose the Right Path?

Questioner

Bethany

Reply Date

Sep 21, 2016

Question

Dear Respected Scholar, At this point in my life, I am becoming very frustrated with my spirituality and concerned about where my soul is headed. Since I graduated from high school, I have been able to investigate the major monotheistic religions. How do we know that a single religion is correct while another is not? I feel as if the Bible and the Quran are each trying to “sell” themselves to me, persuading me to follow the ‘true path’ professed in each book. I have read numerous texts arguing for and against both faiths, but I still feel the internal struggle to make my decision. How am I supposed to figure this out? There are aspects of both religions that trouble me, which means that I wouldn’t be accepted as a true believer because I have doubts on certain subjects … I feel like my time is running out and indeed it is! My heart is pulling me away from Christianity and closer to Islam, but my head is saying: ‘NO’ because of certain aspects of Islam that clash with the way in which I enjoy my life in the West (is this a sign of great weakness?).

Consultant

Answer


How Can I Choose the Right Path?

Salam (Peace) Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question, which I take as a truly soul-searching one.

I pray from the depth of my heart to Almighty Allah to keep on illuminating your heart for you to see the truth for yourself so that you can make the right decision by yourself.

The feelings you are having right now, sister, indicate that God is knocking at your heart, drawing you towards a reality or rather towards plain truth free from any falsehood. But what is that truth? How can you discern it from falsehood? You are the one who has the keys to the answers.

This is due to the fact that man is granted a mental faculty that enables him to find answers to all posing questions, to find solutions to all intriguing problems. But confusion gets greater and tougher when it comes to religion; when it comes to taking a decision that will not only decide one’s fate on earth, but rather determine one’s afterlife.

Indeed sister, Allah will help you see the truth as He says in the Quran:

{And say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”}

Surah 17 Verse 81

Sister, you are a truth-seeker, just as the book described you:

{Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.}

Surah 2 Verse 256

Just try to know Islam from its pure sources. Don’t presume that what some of the followers say or do defines what Islam is. After this, try to compare what you learn to what you have known about Christianity and your knowledge of its scripture.

Certainly, the confusion you are having now will dwindle away bit by bit as you get nearer to truth. So you ought to reason out objectively for yourself.

We always say here too that one does not leave Christianity to convert to Islam, but while converting to Islam he is changing his understanding of Christianity to become more authentic, acknowledging Jesus as a prophet, who came with the New Testament. This while Muhammad came with the last testament.

I also see no problem in your logic regarding the Islamic teachings. The real issue is culture and the impact of the dominant lifestyle on your commitment to Islam. You see, sister, for worshiping to be of high worth it must be dedicated for the Divine Being.

The rules that govern that worship must not be man-made rules, otherwise man will normally have rights to change these rules as it pleases him.

So these rules must be divine themselves, must be something from above [the word ‘above’ here means higher, beyond any mortal’s ability to produce]. That is, the religion – embodying these rules and codes – must be DIVINE.

All you need here is to feel empowered by Islam. You should not feel uncomfortable with practicing it. I think it will be soon enough that you will look back and wonder how you were so attached to other ways of life!

This is also clarified in the Bible:

[It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’] (Luke: 4:8)

I want you sister to reflect upon the above-mentioned issues, by yourself. Then, if you have any questions please address us, allow us to explain and have a dialogue. Don’t ponder on them alone by yourself. Forward them to people sticking to the pure source of this religion for clarification. This will help you a lot and make your spiritual journey very comfortable.

Of course, we are always available insha’Allah. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact us.

May Allah help you and show you the straight path!

Mr. Lamaan Ball, former editor of Ask About Islam, adds:

What matters above all is your sincere search for the truth.

You may find certain aspects of Islam difficult at first but with time you will discover that it is a much easier religion to live fully than Christianity is.

Islam recognizes your needs as a human being and does not set impossible ascetic moral ideals for you. Islam is quite pragmatic and gives people a large degree of freedom to work things out for themselves. There is no church to obey in Islam and to take away your responsibility. You alone are responsible for your soul.

If you do accept Islam, this doesn’t mean that your search stops there. Within Islam there are many valid differences of opinion, including on the topics you are probably most concerned about. What matters is that you are sincerely trying to follow God’s guidance, whatever the opinions you have now or in the future.

Let me explain briefly about being kafir. God does not make people Kafir except through their own actions. It is certainly not something people are born with. The seals on the hearts and the veil on the sight etc., referred to in the Quran are for people who have made a clear choice to reject Islam and to ignore whatever is said to them. Clearly this is not the state you are in.

The very fact that you are sincerely trying to find out what is right to do and to believe and that you believe in God implies that you are already on the right path of submitting to the will of God. You just remain to be fully convinced of the message of Muhammad. It is our duty as Muslims to make sure you get the answers to the questions you have and to tell you what you need to know:

{So if they dispute with thee, say: “I have submitted My whole self to God and so have those who follow me.” And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: “Do ye (also) submit yourselves?” If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in God’s sight are (all) His servants.}

Surah 3 Verse 20

In one particular way you are already much more Muslim than Christian: The very fact that you are investigating Islam by making your own efforts shows that you don’t recognize the authority of any priest to tell you right from wrong and, in particular, how you should see Islam.

{Say: “O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to God’s Will).}

Surah 3 Verse 64

This is crucial factor of differentiation between Islam and Christianity as is pointed out in the earlier answer: Comparing and Contrasting Islam and Christianity

Salam and please stay in touch.




About kamal badr

Kamal Badr holds a Masters Degree in International Law & Shariah from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, with a thesis written on "Modes of Reparation in Sharia & International Law -- Comparative Studies". He is working on His Ph.D. He has been an editor-in-chief for prominent Islamic websites.

find out more!