Do you want to learn more about Islam? So don’t believe everything you hear, and investigate for yourself! Seeking the truth is the most important decision of your life. it’s not like choosing which degree to get or which house to buy. Actually; this life has a purpose and has an end. If you earnestly seek the truth, here are some tips on how to approach Islam .
The teachings of Islam consist of two main aspects:
1- Quran; the holy book of the religion.
2– Sunnah; the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Prophet Muhammad says: “I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will not go the wrong way. They are the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet.”(1)
The holy Qur’an is the foundation of Islam and if you want to understand Islam, you should read the Qur’an.
There are commentaries written by learned Muslim scholars that make understanding the Quran easier.
In fact, it’s too hard to fully grasp the meaning of the verses without the help of a commentary.
If there is anything in the Qur’an you don’t understand, you can refer it to scholarly or theological works written about the Qur’an.
Try reading Ibn Kathir’s tafsir books, watching Quran Weekly videos on Youtube, and listening to Nouman Ali Khan lectures/ Bayyinah podcasts .(2&3)
Sunnah, teachings of the prophet, the second only to the Quran in authority. There are about 25,000 Hadiths (Prophetic Sayings) collected.
There is no aspect of human life which is left unaddressed by the prophet (peace be upon him). Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are the most reliable books. (4)
Try to read books written by famous Muslim theologians and mystics.For instance, ‘The Alchemy of Happiness’ by Al-Ghazali is one of his interesting books. It talks about how Muslims should live their lives (with references to the Qur’an and Hadith)
Other sources that may help you:
1- Obtain an introductory book about Islam:
Choose books that give an overview regarding the basic beliefs, the 5 pillars, prayers, rituals, etc. Make sure that the book is not biased and if possible written by a practicing Muslim.
2- Search for scholars and website about Islam:
There are many websites about Islam and there are online scholars who are more than willing to answer your queries. Get help from them when you are in doubt.
3-Visit an Islamic Center:
Go visit & ask to learn more about Islam.
Visiting a Muslim country will also help you lot .
4- Meet other Muslims:
Locate a mosque in your areas and visit them at prayer times.
How to overcome the obstacles in your way to search for the truth?
1-Examine any preconceptions you may have about Islam.
If you have preconceptions, they may prevent you from getting an unbiased view of the religion.
2-Learn about the good and the bad aspects of certain religions.
Don’t just look at people’s interpretation of their religious doctrine.
Look instead at the doctrinal content of religion. What is its essence and what does it teach?
Decide for yourself if these people were properly following the religion or if they were simply abusing their power.
3-Do not believe all of what is being revealed in the Media.
In the back stages of media, there are people who are controlling it.
People who hate Islam because it is the religion that is against their interests.
Watch the news and analyze. Do not be only recipient to the TV or the internet on whatever being showed about Islam.(2)
To sum up, Read books, articles and magazines about Islam from different sources, but most importantly, read Quran because it will have the answer you are looking for.keep patient, open minded, and non-judgmental. Question everything. Do not feel guilty for disagreeing with a particular belief!Investigate, Be Patient, and Keep Reading!
(1)Book 46, Hadith