For most of my adult life, I have been labeled as non-religious, agnostic, in-denial, closet Muslim, atheist, and for a large part of my life I have let people believe in whatever they want to believe, because honestly speaking I have never thought of it to be my concern about how they choose to think about me. But it is hurtful when a person who does know you can be so rude and hurts you badly because of your believe, or because how people who don’t even know you perceive you, or simply because it is easy to raise fingers on others than on yourself.
So this is a sort of an attempt to clear that. Here goes nothing!
My religious believes are something that I myself have to find. As a child yes, I did believe in God, not because I chose to, but simply because I inherited it. But as I grew up, the question needed to be answered, whether I truly in my heart believed in Him. I know that most of us go on believing in whatever believes, religious or contrary, have been given to us when we still are in our mothers laps. But I believe that with age and maturity we should ask ourselves this question about why is it that we believe and in what! Otherwise our believes can never have any substantial foundations.
So do I believe in God? I don’t know. Have I seen God in the millions of faces that surround us? Maybe. Have I seen Godly acts? yes!
This is my believe. I am not sure if God exists, although I am open to the idea that maybe on day I will find him, but so far what I have seen is Godly strength and courage among people. And that in itself needs to be appreciated.
You can find it in the face of a mother who is tired but can still find time for all the people in her life, in a parent who can learn to forgive you for everything wrong that you have done, you can find it in a friend who despite being tired and having his owns problems would listen to you and be there for you, you can find it in a stranger who offers to give his seat and stand for hour or more in a bus in a city like Karachi, in the eyes of a father who is looking at his new born, God like is when a person decided to forget the wrong of a person and learns to trust him again, its when a person knows the good and the bad about some one and still can see beyond that.
So yes, I don’t believe in God, but still I am sure that the characteristics of God can be seen among many of us. And maybe if I learn to appreciate that then I have done my bit in understanding God a little more. And then if tomorrow there is a hell and heaven, then I let God be the judge of me, and then he can decide if I had any of those Godly qualities in me or not… And if not, then hell residents beware.. I am on my way!
So you can say whatever you want about me, at least am not one of those biased people who many honk about religion all that they want but then won’t have an ounce of sense of what God can be like. I didn’t ever, even in my youth where religion meant something to me, pray regularly, or fast, or paid zakat, but I do think that I was a good human being. So maybe that only goes on to prove that my love for god wasn’t that strong as it was for humanity, and that is the basis of my “God-like characteristics” theory.
But I can still appreciate nature, I can still accept the concept of Sufism, I love Rumi and its poetry and I love the spirit that is in it. Confusing? Sure it is! Even I am trying to understand it. That is why I don’t appreciate a label on me!
Labels simply tend to show one half of the picture, when the truth of the matter is that humans and an individual are much more complex to be defined by one word. But reality is that people would always find something to call me, if its not atheist, it would be “humanist”,”ultra-modern”, “conservative”, or some new word…. but a word can never define my characteristics. It can never define “ME”