A New Perspective on Islam

I’ve been ruminating on my waning connection with mainstream Islam. Ever since we came to the United States, I’ve been slipping away from ritual practice. The events of 9/11 pushed me to the brink of apostasy. I’ve been sitting on that prickly fence ever since.

Islam keeps pulling me back, in unexpected ways. Last week, as I put my grandson bed, his mom said, “Read Qur’an on him. He likes it,” so I read a few suras, surprising myself that I remembered how to do so with tajweed.

The child lay quietly, and a little smile settled over his face as he gazed into my eyes. I kissed him, said I love you, and good-night. He was asleep almost before I closed the door to his bedroom.

I do not call myself a moderate Muslim. I dislike the word “moderate” because it calls up the notion of immoderate Islam, or extreme, thus giving legitimacy to what is often called extremism, or fundamentalism.

I also dislike the word “fundamentalism” because it implies that its followers observe the fundamentals of their religious beliefs, and that’s far from the truth.

I’m not a “progressive” Muslim, either. That word implies that those who came before were not civilized enough to develop the religion to meet the needs of modern life, as if Islam needs to grow  from a state of immaturity.

So what kind of Muslim am I? I don’t know anymore.

Am I a “reformist” Muslim? What’s that? Did you know that there is now a Reformist Qur’an available?


Did you know that the number 19 has been analyzed and found to reveal a code of some sort that lends credence to Islam’s claim of authenticity of the Qur’an?


I keep these ideas at arm’s length for now, but they are interesting. What do you think? I’ll study them; perhaps they will resonate with me, and I’ll feel secured in faith once again.