Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:21 am Post subject: Has Anyone Thought of Leaving Ismaili Faith?
<p>Hello/YAM,</p><p>Most recently, I've been thinking it may be a good idea to leave the Ismaili faith. I feel like when I go to JK I just don't fit it. I try to say hello to people, I've tried volunteering to make friends to fit into the community but it's not easy. It's hard to be accepted into circles that have been long standing. </p><p>For example, during Deedar I had asked to be part of the volunteering inside the Hall. I filled out the form and was told I would be included as a volunteer inside the Hall. I found out later that the lead for the team o­nly wanted volunteers who had volunteer for a long period of time as there was a chance that Hazar Imam may stop and talk to volunteer who volunteered in the hall. As I was new and really no o­ne knew me I was tossed to the parking lot to volunteer. It was okay, I accepted it, but I was hurt that just because someone thought I was not a long-standing dedicated volunteer then I didn't deserve the volunteer position.</p><p>I find more and more that its hard to find a friendly face in Khane. </p><p>I started goin morning Khane and stopped because the "vara" lady was insulted that I would not take sukreet varo. After khane I explained to her that I start work at 7:00am so I would be late - that's why I don't take varo. But she rolled her eyes. She told her friends that look at this "young girl she thinks works should stop her from doing seva". To avoid problems I stopped going khane.</p><p>I pray at home but I think it's nice to belong to a community, sadly I think it's o­ne that doesn't accept people easily and maybe I should leave.</p><p>Thank you </p>
Jamatkhana and people who are in Jamatkhana are separate concept. If you have problem with people there, why would you stop going in Jamatkhana.
I used to sit on sukhreet when I was young, I don't anymore. That does not stop me from going to JK. If I am refused a sewa, it does not matter, there are plenty of opportunity outside jamatkhana to serve the Imam and his Jamat.
One is to be an ambassador of the ethics and values demanded by our faith, to show our faith by example. This means: care for the poor, care for the weak, care for the aged, care for those in need, developing your intellect, being generous, be a role model, serve society at large. What other do is their problem. What you do with your life is in your hand
Religion is a matter of conviction, once the conviction is not there anymore, it is useless to practice that religion.
I think the people in the JK and the JK itself are intertwined, they are not separate in my mind because the climate in a JK is created by the people there. Yes the space is there but the people there either make it welcoming or not so. I also think communicating why decisions are made is important. Removing or adding people to volunteer groups because the team lead may "feel" they were doing more or less seva should be communicated, this way everyone knows where they stand.
Religious disaffiliation may not have been a big deal in the past, so people left no big deal because people joined as well.
At this time it's important for leadership to perhaps know why people leave. I would say that people leave for many reasons. I have know to date 12 young Ismailis who no longer are affiliated with our faith. They practice no faith and do still love the Imam but do not come JK. At first I could not comprehend why they would leave its impossible to think of, right?
This is what they shared with me:
1. They felt lonely and as though they didn't know anyone. Couldn't identify with anyone in JK. Hard to make friends.
2. People judged them and when people did talk to them superficial and judgemental.
3. Lots of gossip and insane amount of politics and in fighting.
4. One girl was sexually assaulted in Nandi when an man stood behind her and pressed his penis against her back and ran off. She NEVER came back and was devastated by it.
So it's not all just find your path and serve Imam. There are issues that make people leave.
Yes many many times . I and my few friends have a group where we discuss this on regular basis. Our topmost reason is that coming to JK has become more materialistic than spiritual. who wears what, when and which car they come in, which group of rich friends they have who is in which top majalises etc.
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