I grew up Seventh Day Adventist. For me cultural diversity, debate and discipline were a big part of my Faith identity. I started to have some questions about Christianity theologically early in life. I vividly remember asking my Pastor pointed questions about Christianity and Ellen White before I decided to get baptized.
I didn't believe. I believed in God, that much I knew, but I wasn't big on this "Seventh Day Adventist thing". I wanted to watch college football on Saturdays, not go to church.
In any case, I had my Obediah moments in college and had been looking into different faith paths as I my questions took me further away from the church. I took some courses on religion and religious history. I read a few books like "GOD", many books on African spirituality and culture like 2000 seasons, etc.
In the end I decided that I needed a God that was familiar in a way to me. Islam seemed to be the liberal but disciplined, familiar yet different and had piqued my interest in a post 9/11 world.
After joining a few Muslim online communities with people my age and engaging in dialogue about Islam, I finally decided to take the train to a local Mosque and convert.
I converted in 2003. I don't practice now. I still believe in Islam in my heart, but after my younger brother died in an accident nearly two years ago and now that my older and last brother is dying right now, I just have the SPIRITUAL strength to believe, if that makes any sense.
You talked about the inability to really FEEL on the piece about the soul during depression. I just feel empty and while salat makes me feel better, it also feels like a betrayal somehow. Even though I don't really BELIEVE this, there is a sentiment deep in my being that says nearly aloud: "what good is God if God can't bring my brother back?"
I talked about Religion, Depression, Islam and achievement with Award winning Author Melody Moezzi. She's an NPR and Huffington Post contributor. You might want to talk to her about that aspect of Islam- of healing. Here's a link to our conversation and her site:
More information about text formats