Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

At the moment I'm visiting my parents for Christmas. My siblings are here visiting as well so we're all together as a family, which is a blessing.

While attending church with my family this Sunday and again this evening for Christmas Eve, I've been hit by some pretty hard feelings. As I've mentioned in the past, should I convert, I expect the holidays and family events to be the hardest parts. I haven't converted, the family events are wonderful, but the holiday is still a little tough. Truthfully, my eyes watered and I almost cried a few times while at church at the thought of leaving behind everything that I've believed for so many years.

I've decided that Islam appeals to the mind whereas Christianity appeals to the heart. The thing I like about Islam is that the contradictions of Christianity appear to be accounted for; there's no Trinity to boggle the mind. Obviously, faith is required but it is much more straightforward and well laid-out. However, when attending jumuah, I've never once had the feeling of spiritual communion with God that I often have while attending church services.

Jumuah consists of a lesson, prayer, and fellowship. They're informational and effective; you learn, you pray, you be friendly to your neighbors; in the prayers I assume the usual praise, concerns, and thanks take place but it's not a very joyful atmosphere. Church, on the other hand, has all of the above but adds spirit. Besides just listening to the readings and the sermon, the congregation participates in the sacraments and gives praise through song. The entire package is a much more spiritual experience than jumuah. I'm sure there are also spiritual Islamic events, I've been told that hajj is a very powerful experience, but jumuahs, at least the ones I've attended, aren't.

Spirituality is an important part of religion but it can definitely go overboard. However, religion lacking spirituality is simply dry rules and regulations; it's law. I can't accept a religion without spirituality but, on the other hand, there needs to be substance behind the spirit. Both have substance but at the moment I'm having trouble unraveling Christianity's. I'm able to understand Islam's substance but can't find the spirit.

In any case, I need to wrap it up for the night so Merry Christmas or Happy Eid!

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