Lessons learned

There was a time I had stopped making salat (5 daily prayers). It started when I witnessed some friends missing it, I thought it was okay too because of work, or I was out, or there are guests in the house. My friends made me feel it was okay to do it as Allah would understand. I am glad that after some days, I started feeling bad and troubled, and that got me back on Youtube and searched for podcasts about the importance of salat. I have learned that no matter where or what the situation is, if it is time for salat, I have to make salat.

Alhamdulillah, I am slowly back at it now.

……

One big lesson I have learned the past few weeks is to choose what to believe in the things others say about Islamic beliefs and practices. I realized that learning Islam through friends can cause confusion as they may be teaching you beliefs that are more of their culture than that are of Islam.

Before believing and practicing, I check their credentials and their sources, from Imams, scholars, or not. What they tell us is just their understanding or what they have been taught. Above all else Allah (SWT) is most merciful. His mercy comes before all else. So if someone says something that sounds harsh or violent I think twice and look for other references.

I am responsible for my own Eeman (Eeman belief in the 6 foundations of Islam, and living with it through actions of the heart and actions of the body). I have to be the one to really search for credible information, and not just settle for what is conveniently passed on to me.

I am now doing online Islamic Studies. MashaAllah I am getting it from a very credible website: http://www.newmuslims.com/.
There are 7 levels and each level has many lessons. I take a quiz every lesson. So far my average score is 100%.

I am still learning Arabic. Believe it or not, I can already write and decode characters (very slowly and with a cheat sheet though.) I just have to learn more vocabulary and be more familiar with the accents and grammar. I still have a long way to go with reading and understanding the Quran. I go to http://understandquran.com/. The lessons have four stages: Learning basic Arabic (characters, sounds, accents); Understanding 50%, Understanding 75%, and Understanding 100% of the Quran.

I still see my Arab friends for Arabic conversation and pronunciation.

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