I am American born with a father of European descent and mother of Ashkenazic descent. Growing up I was influenced and introduced to both Judaism and Christianity; however, Judaism was more prevalent in my life. I am very proud of my heritage. I admire my mother’s ancestors for what they have been through and how strong of community they have continued to have. But I believe that aside from the culture and heritage, the religious side has become a bit confusing. There are multiple Jewish sects and they do not entirely agree with one another, not only on the fundaments, standards, but even on the idea of God. As generations continue the Jewish youth have continued to get away from the image of God. It’s become more about a culture or heritage than having any religious significance on life. I fear that without the sense of unity or agreement the culture has become compromised. I believe that the Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews, have continued with the main traditions of the Jewish faith, however, with the modern influences, European and Euro-Asian influences and then finally how the west has influenced Judaism, I believe that assimilation has become tradition.

I cannot speak for every family or Ashkenazic growing up, but my family had been very compromised and assimilated; there were many confusions and contradictions that came with that. In result I grew up with an illusion of an identity. A projected identity that I was expected to maintain. Without any substance it was impossible. Many modern Jews have become comfortable that this is what it is. Interfaith marriage has become more and more common and statistically it is shown that many Jews within an interfaith marriage lose identity or become complacent. I feel the younger generation of Judaism has had more of an influence of “spirituality”, and religion as a whole seems to be an unwelcomed thing. Many of the younger generation have embraced Judaism as a heritage and a culture and not so much as a religion. They follow eastern religion ideologies more closely than that of the Torah. Some have even gone as far as to leave the identity of Judaism to assimilate more into Buddhism or Taoism. I cannot speak for the entirety of the world, but especially for the younger Western Jews. I believe more Jews do not convert to Islam because of two reason: one, because Islam would bring about traditions that younger Jews may feel are too orthodox; and two, because Jews do not truly grasp an idea of “conversion” therefore, they wouldn’t truly understand converting to another religion.

Reiterating, I was brought up with a confused sense of identity. Constant contradictions, whether it be from my father’s side and witnessing the many denominations of Christianity that are so determined that their way is right but disagree with other Christians; my mother’s side of Jewish sects that don’t entirely agree; my generation of Jewish individuals that are leaving the grass roots of Judaism; and the confusion of Judaism and Christianity being assimilated in front of me. There was a constant struggle for truth and understanding. I wanted to know God in the purest form. I couldn’t live blindly by faith nor could I live riding on the idea that I am of the ‘chosen people.’ I came to a point of utter existential uncertainty, and had no guidance of how to live my life or what to believe. Alhamdullilah, there were Muslims that I knew, and considered to be friends. I began to ask questions and what they didn’t know they found the answers for me. What I found was consistency, facts, knowledge, understanding, and true guidance without relying solely on personal interpretation. Allah had given law and taught how to properly worship, and when to worship-how can there be misconceptions in that? How could we argue that one Muslim is worshipping better than another Muslim, when we are all given the knowledge of how and when. I found it interesting that there is appreciation for science and logic within Islam. There is appreciation for balance and control. The very same God that I was taught about with multiple interpretations and contradictions, was delivered with certainty, acceptance, and understanding. There’s no longer the battle of: ‘who am I’, ‘what do I believe’, nor how to I deliver or execute those beliefs. Here it is, right in front of me, written deliberately so that the previous texts could be brought together and eliminating the confusion. And even though, my introduction and understanding of Islam is still very limited and my journey has just begun, I have found more encouragement and undeviating knowledge. I am not getting one Muslim telling me to do this and another Muslim telling me to do something different, nor am I looking at the Quran and finding my interpretation is different than that which is taught to me. It’s all compatible. Insha’Allah, others will see the peace, heuristic knowledge, empirical and sensible guidance, and the overall truth delivered to Muhammad, peace be upon him, from Allah to present to all of us.