Every time I share the link to my blog with someone, I end up with statements like ‘You posted about Ashoura? I didn’t know you were a Shi’i Muslim!‘ and ‘You have a lot of posts about Islam, It’s good to have some Muslim bloggers around.‘
OK, here’s the deal.
If I post about Ashoura, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a follower. I don’t blame some people for having these thoughts since I am greatly interested in Islam and it gets its way through to my blog posts, but no. I respect and sometimes advocate for the true form of some religions, but that is nothing personal.
I will sum-up my core beliefs into five major points (VERY briefly):
1- I’m a person who believes in keeping an open mind. I do not believe in a religion that tells me that something is an unquestionable absolute truth. I do not believe in a God that gets mad at me if I don’t believe in something blindly. My beliefs have to spring out of my own reasoning. That doesn’t mean taking a religious argument and performing the action of self-convincing. It means empowering your mind such that you can critically and confidently evaluate religious arguments as they come across.
This WILL make you uncomfortable. This was one of the biggest steps for me to make. It required me to leave my safe zone, a zone which told me that I was safe with a one-way ticket in heaven just by following some written laws, a zone that made me fit-in with my extended family, a zone that defined me as a person without me doing anything. It was an identity that I did not choose, though I’m glad I had the opportunity to be in it since it shaped some solid beliefs I have today.
2- I’m a person who does not believe in black and white. I do not believe that there is one universal religion, whose followers would go to heaven and all the billions of other people on this world would perish in hell. It’s not like all Christians are ‘right’ and all the others are ‘wrong‘. Nothing is black and white. I will not be judged by any labels.
3- I’m a person who does not think religion is genetic. Although I’ve been attempting to find the religious gene in Genetics class in college, I’ve failed. Religion is not something run in families and clans. In that case, if I was born in India, I’d be a Buddhist. If I was born in China, I’d be a Taoist. This just does not make any sense. Religion is a personal decision and not a forced doctrine.
4- I’m a person who believes in good intentions. It is not only the action that matters, it’s why you do it. There are no taboos here. I do believe in that if there was a judgement in the end, it has to be thorough, fair, and fully considerate. It certainly will NOT be shallow in any way. It’s greatly related to the society I’m in and the knowledge I have.
5- I’m a person who believes in a loving creator. I do believe in the presence of an initial creator that set the natural orders of the universe we live in. That entity/energy is not selfish and does not crave mere attention. That entity/energy wants to see us advance, cares about us, and deserves our utmost respect and love.
I know that spirituality feels good, and lots of people have used their spiritual connection as the driving force for their success in life. I am personally not against that. On the contrary, I fully support that as long as it does not directly harm others or the progress of society. These are merely some of my basic beliefs.
These beliefs are not set in stone. They are subject to change if I was sufficiently convinced in the need to change them, which is highly probable since there is a lifetime full of experiences spread ahead of me. One thing I know for sure, I will be satisfied with whatever decisions I take, and whatever beliefs I end up with. That’s just beautiful.
Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe in Mohammed? Do you go to a church/mosque? Are you a Christian or a Muslim? How do you pray? I can not give short answers to these questions. They are not simple questions and they certainly do not deserve short answers. I will hopefully tackle these topics in future posts.
The purpose of me posting this is not to get people’s opinions regarding my spiritual beliefs. I am not advocating for a religion. I am not trying to convert you to anything. I do believe in that one can learn something from everyone. All what I have in mind is to help reach a society where talking about one’s faith, or the absence of it, is not an issue.
You might be labeled by people as something you’re not, just because they did not take the time to/refused to logically understand your beliefs. This does not change the person you are.
May you stay true to yourself, whatever you do.