My Praying Tasbih Approved!

When I first announced my adopting of the Islamic Tasbih and Dhikr, not everyone here
was so enthusiastic, in fact I seemed outright condemned for it. A few here and my little
brother (to be priest) insisted that I at least consult a priest on this, so I took the Ask a
Priest challenge. I went to confession, then after went asking about the Tasbih, explained
how I use it, and he said that as long as I remember MY roots, it is not out of line with the
Catholic Church. The father only warned me to be careful that I not let it make me Muslim. :smiley:

So that’s it, my Tasbih and Dhikr approved by a Catholic priest, I can say Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar (33 times each) plus La illaha illa Allah, along with whatever Catholic prayer I can mingle into it, and still be in good stands with Christianity. :gopray2:

Again, I ask my fellow Christians here to consider this in light of 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

In 1980 the Catholic Book Publishing Company released a book entitled the New St. Joseph People’s Prayer Book. It is one of their largest comprehensive collections of prayers ever produced, including not only traditional and official prayers from the Catholic faith tradition and liturgy, but prayers from other faiths, including Islam.

In chapter 5, Prayers from Other Religions, there is a “Prayer to Walk Uprightly Before God,” the “Prayer of the 99 Names of God,” the “Prayer for Obedience to God,” and another in “Praise of the Ineffable God,” all traditional Muslim prayers. All the prayers in the book can be said by Catholics, and the book has a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.

As a Roman Catholic from a Jewish background I understand a little of where you are coming from. Fellow Catholics can get really squeamish when they learn that you might worship in ways that they never knew have approval from the Church. It is best to be patient with others as these details of the faith are generally unknown and left unapplied except in the case of a minority from a different culture.

Conversion to the Catholic faith does not mean we are forced to assimilate. Mexican Catholics are allowed to continue to celebrate Dia de los muertos and are allowed to create ofrendas (a table of offerings to the dead) every November and have been doing this for generations. Irish Catholics have been allowed their ghostly customs of Halloween. Several Christmas customs in some lands come from non-Christian cultural observances. These things are accepted without a blinking of the eye by Catholics. But do something associated with an Eastern land where Jews and Muslims live and suddenly you might hear, “Oh no! You can’t do that!” Be patient when that happens.

The world is shrinking faster than most can keep up with. And there is a lot to the faith that we often don’t know exists. The unknown makes people fearful. And when people sometimes tell you “no you can’t” when they don’t really have all the facts straight, remind yourself that even their mistakes show they just have our best interests at heart and are trying to protect us from what they (mistakenly) believe can be harmful.

And while 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 can be applied here in regards to you and others who know where you come from, don’t forget Romans 14:22: “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”

Thanks, I’ll keep that Prayer Book in mind, and thank you so much for understanding. It is so hard to be patient with others, it really is. Thank you also for Romans 14:22.

  1. Why don’t you add 2 names to the 99. Add savior and redeemer.
  2. Just because a catholic priest said it was OK does not make it OK. I am not judging whether it is right or wrong I am just saying I have heard of priestly advice that was horrible.

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Mentioning Halloween and Irish Catholics, the Church tolerates Halloween, moreso in recent years where it has lost much of it’s resonance with earlier times but in the past the Church in Ireland at times strongly attempted to discourage Catholics from celebrating Samhain as it has roots that stretch back way before Christianity and whilst that in itself is not a reason to condemn it (as things are not bad simply because they are pagan), some of the customs associated with Samhaim had roots that are simply not compatible with Catholicism.

I totally agree.

However, in the case that someone may misunderstand what I meant: The comparison was not made to those Halloween customs that are incompatible with Catholicism but the customs which are* completely compatible.*

There are aspects of Eastern customs which are intertwined into the Islamic religion that have become a way of life and a means of speaking to God for the person in question, and this is what is being referred to. That proper ecclesiastical authority has approved of some prayers from Muslim practice in an approved prayerbook for the Catholic faithful is a perfect example of how the Church herself views the prayers of those outside the Church. Does God hear only the prayers of Catholics? Do prayers of Muslims who currently have no desire or thought of joining the Church get ignored by God? Apparently God does indeed hear the prayers of Muslims since they are directed to him. Otherwise how would this person who started this thread have become Catholic? God had to be hearing their prayers to begin with, correct?

As a Jewish Catholic I am allowed and even encouraged to show that the Church has not demanded assimilation to Western culture. I observe or recognize holy days, some of my fellow Jewish Catholics keep kosher, wear yarmulke, etc. But we are also very careful that none of our practices overshadow the fact salvation is through Christ alone, not by means of any custom.

If even Samhain can be “Christianized,” so to speak, why can’t the customs of Muslims and Jews that are even more compatible? After all, we are the physical descendents of Abraham. If customs of pagans like Samhain can be adjusted to be acceptable, why not customs from those who were worshiping the true God to begin with? Wouldn’t they be more compatible with Catholic worship than the customs of pagans? Or are only pagan customs allowed to be adjusted and accepted in this manner?

If I can find the prayers in a prayer book which has a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur in it, then I don’t see a problem with incorporating them into my private devotions. Yet this is the key point it would stress is that these will be used for private devotions, since doing them publicly might scandalize those who do not know better.

I do actually have two large beads between the tassel and the smaller
counting beads, so perhaps I will take you up with your suggestion.

Fair, but I never believed I had to ask for permission, I simply did it for the sake of those who
asked me to do so. I am staying in the parameters of Christianity, so I’m still in good stands.

Uh-Oh…I thought about mentioning this last night, but I didn’t think it was necessary, but
seeing now that it be worth noting: I hope you’re not mistaking that I was once a Muslim.

No, I was born Catholic, became a Goddess worshiping Pagan, then I came
back to the Catholic Church, and as a Catholic, I’m simply adopting sayings
which Christianity and Islam share in common.

I hope I didn’t lead anyone to think I was ever a Muslim. :blush:

While you’re at it, why not consider saying the 95 daily recitations of The Most Great Name of God (for Baha’is) which is Allah’u’Abha (God is the Most Glorious!)?

Won’t take take up much more of your time and it adds an extra dimension of universality :slight_smile:

Technically speaking your issue is about wishing to adopt the practice of a people you don’t belong to. If adoption of this form of prayer was not from your own ethnic background and custom, and you have been given permission to adopt it privately, it is not proper to make an issue of it here in a public forum.

Since Jews are related to Muslims in faith and culture, as a Hebrew Catholic I feel comfortable enough to let you know that the reverse of 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 may be the result of your actions. Jews and Muslims are usually insulted when our practices are adopted and undertaken by Gentiles who have no proper claim to them.

If you were to adopt, let’s say, wearing yarmulke and the prayer of Friday night kiddush but were not Jewish I would be insulted as a Catholic and a Jew. This observance can be more a stumbling block to others unless people knew you were a Jew and what it means to hold onto the identity of a Jew. The Jewish culture has been threatened by mass murder and extermination, and many people, even Catholics, have risked their lives to ensure its survival. To do anything to make another view kiddush with any disfavor would be an affront to all this and what many people have sacrificed, both Jew and Gentile.

Similar struggles have been endured by members of Islam. To adopt a practice of a people privately is one thing, but to make a public matter of it in the atmosphere of today where people are already negative about things from Islamic culture may be just as equal an affront.

Doing more harm than good, your actions may also be seen as a dishonorable witness to the spirit of eccumenicalism in Catholic worship. While I stand by the things I wrote, I do not feel that they necessarily apply to your case. Personally I am considerably hurt by this and for my brother Muslims who also consider themselves descendants of Abraham.

If this prayer book brings you closer to G-d then it’s a good thing for you to use it :slight_smile:

By the way, is there a Christian prayer book at all? I’ve never seen one :blush:

Well I’m sure there are a lot out there. I myself
have a little booklet with prayers to Saint Jude.

Yes there’re books with prayers out there, but what I meant is that there isn’t a prayer book universally used in the Catholic church at mass or other church services. There’s a song book used in church, and this songbook has a view basic prayers on the first pages, but it’s not a prayer book per se where you have morning, afternoon and evening prayers in that order.

There is the Divine Office, and the Missal, both are comprised of prayers/Psalms taken from the Sacred Scriptures.

Catholic Daily Missals I’ve seen often have Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Prayers. Also, Catholics have the “Liturgy of the Hours” (I believe is the Catholic name for it, may be wrong) with full-sized or abbreviated versions.

Orthodox have plenty of prayer books that range from basic (morning/afternoon/evening, which are generally abbreviated prayers of the Hours) to more complete books for praying some or all the Daily Cycle (see this Wiki page). The Jordanville Prayer Book (see here) and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery Prayer Book (see here) are two of the more popular Orthodox prayer books that are somewhere between “basic” and “complete,” as they’re still somewhat abbreviated but much more full than the various “pocket prayer books.” Also there are things like the Horologion/Book of Hours.

The Anglican Book of Common Prayer also, AFAIK, has daily prayers in it as well.

Great post. I wish I could be as eloquent in my post

Now having a chance to talk to cath4alltime because
I am not able to respond to her private message:

[INDENT] To be a Muslim, I need to recognize Muhammad as the Messenger of God (Rasulallah)
which I don’t, accept the Qur’an as God’s “Final Testament” which I don’t, believe in the
Oneness position of God which I don’t, etc. Why would you hope that for me?

Now you say you got “in trouble”, how? :confused:
if I may ask, I’m clueless here on that.

What you’re being is bitter now. I am Roman Catholic, hold
true to Christ’s Divinity and his sacrifice for my sins, I’m still
a horrible sinner as any, and I need my Lord and Savior, ( &,
of course, I acknowledge the Pope ).
[/INDENT][RIGHT]Now I am sorry everybody that
I ever brought up this personal
devotion that I started, okay?
:frowning:
[/RIGHT]

Your private devotional life is nothing to be judged or to apologize for.

The problem is that you’ve come to the forum to make issue over a subject you shouldn’t have. Once your priest gave you permission to adopt this practice there was no need to return to the forum to tell others about it as if others were incorrect in what they previously told you. Your sisters and brothers on this forum were no more in the wrong when they voiced their concerns about the practice in question than you were to adopt it.

Since it was not an issue of ethnicity and/or culture then perhaps you could have exercised a little more discretion, that is all. Always remember that we do no good if we adopt other people’s customs but disturb them and our fellow Catholics in the process.

Once more in regards to what your private prayer life consists of, you have nothing to apologize for. But as for the rest, I point again to Romans 14:22: “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God.” Or as another translation puts it: “Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”

If you want to be a muslicatholic go right ahead. It sounds rather strange though. Also, a priest can be wrong concerning these issues. They are not infallible and can often make mistakes or lapse of judgement.

Personally, I would do Liturgy of the Hours. There is no reason to put prayers from other faiths in your own prayer life. However, if you are intent on doing this then there really is no reason to have even begun discussing this.

In short, the whole thing seems rather strange and odd. Actually, my brother is very similar to you. He wants to be a Jewcatholic and has begun reciting all of their prayers. So if nothing else you’re not alone!

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