I’ll admit it. I was hoping Islam would be something I’d want to throw myself into, like I did with Christianity. But there are aspects that are just bothering me.
- It seems legalistic about worship and about morality (although I both love and hate the morality part)
- It having started out as a self-governing society means that there are people who feel it can’t be practised fully outside of that kind of setup; if it can, it requires interpretation which goes against the mainstream
- Mentality of maximising rewards without understanding why certain things get more reward
- Stark divide between believers and non-believers; no praying for their forgiveness, inheritance etc
- War (esp. aggression), slavery, banditry, special restrictions on Muhammad’s wives… there may be an argument for this being OK/not OK within Islam that I can agree with, but how do I know it’s correct?
- Tawheed – is it really so important?
- Not sure about love of God
- Can’t ignore picture painted by hadith as might be true
Most of this is a matter of working out the true character of the religion; if I know that then I can be more confident about interpreting things in light of it. I suppose the Quran is the best source for this, considering it’s the most likely to have been preserved accurately. So I will base my conclusion on this. If there is a contrast between the character of the Quran and that of the hadith, I will go with the Quran and interpret hadith-related things in light of it.
The only doctrinal things on the list are tawheed, and the divide between belief and disbelief, which sort of comes from the importance of tawheed. Fundamental Christianity (and probably most religions) similarly have criteria for being “in the fold”.
If I like the character of the Quran, and it is convincing, and I resolve the doctrinal questions, then I may be able to say that it was from God. I should then be able to approach the rest of it armed with confidence.
If not, well then at least I can lay it to rest.