Need some advice: something to keep me busy

January 21, 2008 at 10:45 am (Personal)

I need to do something other than work at the office and stay at home. (I could blog…but I need something that gets me out of home.) Something distracting, useful, and productive. There are therapeutic reasons too: I’m quite frustrated with a number of issues, which only increases the longer I am home. Not good. Plus I need to have my world include elements other than work, home, and blog.

The reason I want to ask for advice is because I need to be very careful. Whereas I would rather find something with my church or another Christian organization, so as to fellowship with other Christians, doing so would involve deceiving and lying to my parents (as they would strongly and vehemently oppose any such involvement with Christians or non-Muslims for that matter). After all they’ve been through with a certain of their children constantly lying and deceiving, I do not want to do the same. Plus, I don’t think God would particularly like the fact I’m lying for His sake. So, nothing religious. (If I started hanging out with Muslims, my father will be concerned I might turn radical; my mother would be concerned I am not hanging out with the right Muslims (the right Muslims being South Asian Hanafi Barelvi secularist Muslims: one of the my cousins got into religion and has become somewhat of a bother, so even the right Muslims may not cut it).)

I joined the Freemasons, but both my parents dislike them (my father because he thinks they’re a waste of time and just want my money; my mother because she thinks they’re a Christian group).

A book club? Diabetes club? Volunteer somewhere (hospital? politician? library?)?

What have you been involved with that you would recommend?


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Of the divided nature of Islam

January 21, 2008 at 12:30 am (Islam, Islamism, Religion, Religions)

When many people think about Christianity, they are aware of the fact that Christendom is quite divided. There are significant divisions even within the major forms of Christian. These people are also aware that there continue to be major disputes regarding doxa (belief) and praxis (practice). The same exists for Judaism: also quite divided with lingering debates and disputes. People are also aware that issues being disputed can become quite heated. In other words, there are true and genuine divisions within the various factions and interpretations of Christianity and Judaism.

When it comes to Islam, though, the picture changes. Most people are aware that Islam is divided into three major divisions (Sunni, Shiite, and Sufi, even though Sufism is not a separate division but more of a spiritual or mystical movement). Most people believe this is it, other than the much-touted efforts of fringe elements to hijack Islam and kill their opponents. But the same “inter-denominational” divisiveness that plagues Christianity and Judaism (and, indeed, practically every religion and religious movement) also persists in Islam and has since the death of Muhammad. (There were divisions and debates within Shiites and within Sunnis back then too.) Read the rest of this entry »

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