Asalaaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
I come from a Hindu background. I reverted to Islam a few years ago. My parents still follow the essentials of Hinduism and visit temples. Recently I visited a temple with my parents out of respect and tolerance. When I walked around and looked at each idol, a feeling of peace creeped all over my body. At the mosque I go to near my college, I have never felt this kind of peace at the jummah khutbah or prayer. I have only felt this kind of peace at a tiny Bengali mosque I prayed at in NYC. Why did this happen shaykh? Why can I not feel the peace in my heart at the place of worship of my religion?
wa `Alaykum as-salaaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
Sadly, today many places of worship, whether Hindu, Christian, Jewish or Muslim, are dominated by a rhetoric of extremism and toughness. This is something that cannot be whitewashed.
My advice is stick to the lovely little Bengali mosque where your heart finds peace. More importantly, seek out a living guide in whose physical and spiritual presence you feel that same sense of tranquility. Then carry that guide with you in your all the time. Such saintly people are called awliya in Islam and are hidden treasures, but if you seek you will find.
Regards and praying for you,