Becoming Muslim

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Becoming Muslim: A Discourse on the Prophet’s (p) Delineation of Identity Markers of Religiosity

This seminar discusses the different dimensions of our religion and how they differ from one another. What makes someone a Muslim, Mu’min, or a Shi’a? What do we mean when we consider someone “religious”? How do we maintain a balance between creedal matters and ethics? Rituals and historical facts? Contemplation or cultural conventions?


  • By far the greatest thing you have done for the community. You gave people an entire Islamic framework upon which they can base their life on.
  • The case studies at the end really drove home the point of this presentation and what it means to be religious
  • I’ve been reflecting on this seminar and there is so much depth to Islam than what we are aware of. Combining this with your lectures on the Seerah, I feel my understanding of what it means to be a religious Muslim has become far more comprehensive.

Part One

0:00 Introduction

4:30 What do you think it means to be religious?

11:35 A community: scenario one

16:25 Same community: scenario two

22:45 What is the benefit of this discussion?

29:06 Are Karamaat a sign of religiosity?

39:00 Dimensions of religion: al-Ghazali’s opinion

40:45 Dimensions of religion: Mir Damad’s opinion

43:10 8 dimensions of religion

56:45 12 religious affinities

57:20 1) Taqlidi

59:50 2) Superstitious

1:03:20 3) Tragedy

1:04:35 4) Rational

1:06:00 5) Polemical

1:07:05 6) Ideological

1:09:40 7) Personal gains

1:11:00 8) Dogmatic

1:12:28 9) Spiritual

1:13:00 10) Humanistic

1:13:30 11) Enemy-Oriented

1:14:20 12) Ambiguous

1:16:20 Participant surveys

1:28:45 Sources for determining identity markers

Part Two

1:45:40 Recap

1:47:30 Set 1: Purpose of religion

2:01:30 Conclusion on set 1

2:02:50 Set 2: Definition of Islam, Iman, Din, Shi’a

2:20:30 Summary of concepts in set 2

2:34:10 Conclusion on set 2

2:35:00 Set 3: Prophet’s invitation letters

2:37:35 Conclusion on set 3

2:38:45 Set 4: Government policies of the Prophet (p) & Imam Ali (a)

2:45:20 Conclusion on set 4

2:47:03 Set 5: Friday & Eid sermons of the Prophet (p) & Imam Ali (a)

2:48:55 Conclusion on set 5

2:49:55 Set 6: Final wills & advice of the Prophet (p) & Imam Ali (a)

2:55:15 Conclusion on set 6

2:55:45 Set 7: Apparent conduct & quantity of actions

2:58:24 Conclusion on set 7

2:58:45 Set 8: Successful companions

3:00:51 Conclusion on set 8

3:01:20 A remark on narrations on etiquettes & cultural practices

3:06:00 Final conclusion on all sets of narrations

3:11:05 Identity markers of religiosity in order of priority

3:14:30 Case study 1: Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi’s ruling on studying in educational institutes where hijab is banned

3:20:05 Case study 2: Imam Khumayni postponing his wedding to the month of Ramadan instead of Rajab or Sha’ban

3:22:03 Case study 3: Sayyid Khu’i canceling his Ziyarat trip to not risk his life

3:24:30 Case study 4: Sayyid Fadhlullah questioning the details of the attack on Lady Fatima’s house

3:28:10 Case study 5: Ayatullah Ha’eri Yazdi prohibiting debates on the details of Raj’at

3:31:25 Case study 6: Sayyid Khamenei’s speech in 2012 to the youth of North Khorasan

3:38:30 Final remarks