Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Faith

I was born a Muslim and always lived my life that way. I had a bit of a setback growing up which made me read up on Islam so I can then argue in the future that I am a Muslim because it is the religion of my choosing not one that has been brought upon me from my family. I have always been a non-practicing believer. I attend the occasional Friday prayers and become extremely committed one month a year. One of the main reasons I believe in God is because I need there to be a God to explain things to me. My concerns are more social than they are divine. I need to know that the children that die in their mother's wombs, the tens of thousands of people killed in natural disasters, the women who get raped, the massacres that happen, all have explanations.

It all started last Thursday. I was in the office and wanted to go get my suits from the cleaners. As I was leaving the office I ran into a colleague of mine and decided to have a smoke with him to kill the time before heading out. The topic of religion and faith was brought up and after an hour long debate this is when it hit me. The vast majority plan their days around prayer times. 'Okay so we do this this and that after/before this prayer'. If one truly and so passionately believes in whatever religion he/she follows, wouldn't everyday life be revolving around religion and prayer? If you believe that Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) went through a painful and stressful of a life spreading the words of Allah, wouldn't one dedicate their entire lives praying and worshiping? If one really believed in what one followed then the priority would be how to kill the time in-between prayers. Okay here is where my confusion begins. If a person was to truly believe that we are living in a transitional phase before moving on to the eternal afterlife, doesn't that, more often than not, kill all ambition? But here I digress from the point I originally intended to shed light on with this post.

I got to leave relatively early today. So I had all these plans for an unspectacular night; hit the gym, pick up a friend, meet the boys for a quick cup of coffee before I head back home, put in my ear phones and surf the web a bit before I crash in all my clothes. As I was heading out my plane ticket falls out of my folder. My flight to Beirut is in a month. One small accidental thing stirred up a thousand thoughts. They're not exactly crystal clear in my head even but this is what came up. I intend to go to Beirut and have a week that I will never remember. Just completely consume as much liquids as I can get my hands on. I would be lying if I said that I am drinking purely to enjoy my night. I would also be lying if I said I am drinking because of the lack of it where I am. I do it for a lot of reasons and enjoying is but a minute one. I remember 3 maybe 4 years ago, I would stop 40 days before the expected month comes around. Some might think its hypocritical but I don't like mixing things together. What I need to do and what I want to do are two completely separate things. Assume I die before even finishing this post, I would much rather be someone who drank and has prayed rather than someone who just drank. Many might argue well then why don't you stop drinking and the answer is simple, same one I use for smoking, because I don't want to.

My flight just so happens to be within the 40 day boundary yet for some reason I don't see it to be a problem this year. I know it's not for lack of faith neither is it me distancing myself from religion because I intend to fast and pray and do all the things that would make me a "good" Muslim. I still believe in and fear God to the bone. I also believe that God is a thousand times more merciful than we could even fathom. I just don't necessarily believe that God will torment you for eternity because you slipped up for a few years while you're here. I don't know if you're going to be able to dissect what I just wrote into something that makes sense because truth be told, I feel like I just put a hundred unstructured thoughts into a few paragraphs but hey, isn't that what a blog is all about.

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