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Faith

Is your belief and faith natural to you?

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Faith

Is your belief and faith natural to you?

How is it that you have come to hold a belief that you doubt in? What was the process? Shouldn’t you develop an understanding, and then take on beliefs naturally in a way that you are at peace with what you believe? 

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How is it that you have come to hold a belief that you doubt in? What was the process? Shouldn’t you develop an understanding, and then take on beliefs naturally in a way that you are at peace with what you believe? 

Having been raised and having grown up in a Muslim community, one of the things I find deeply disturbing is the way children are taught to believe things that are not natural for them. Please note the issue is not whether the beliefs that they are taught are true or not. A belief may be true, but not necessarily come naturally for a person. 

There is no problem in having a belief, as long as a person has evidence for holding that belief. In fact, if a person has evidence, and I don’t just mean intellectual evidence, then not holding that belief becomes very hard for the person, i.e. holding that belief becomes very natural for the person. 

In fact, this trend of people holding beliefs that are not natural for them is widespread in Muslim communities. One of the reasons that I have identified this comes from the encouragement of the pulpit for people to adopt beliefs and somehow convince themselves through repetition that these beliefs are true. People of many persuasions, not just Muslims, find themselves in this predicament. This method of dedication to a belief however, does not bring contentment of the heart, which cannot be tricked into believing things by over eager minds.

However much someone devotes themselves to establishing a belief in this way, there will always be lingering doubts. Truth does not allow itself to be mixed with falsehood, and so in this way a belief cannot be taught to someone unless they are in a natural position to accept it. The reality of the matter is far more profound and beautiful. When a person is in a natural state to accept a particular belief, and the final piece of the puzzle comes into place, a person will find joy in adorning themselves with that belief, and in that moment there will be no space for doubt, because all the necessary prerequisites for the acceptance of that belief have been fulfilled. 

Let me test you. 

Do you believe that God spoke to the Prophet? Did you see them speak? 

Is the Qur’an the word of God? Did you see God say these words? Did you see the Prophet say these words? 

Is the Qur’an perfect? Have you read and understood each of its verses? 

Is it possible that a single letter of the Qur’an has been distorted? If not, how do you know? 

I am not questioning the truth of the beliefs you hold – even though I know that not holding a belief naturally is tantamount to not holding the belief at all. Such beliefs are like dust scattered by the wind. 

How is it that you have come to hold a belief that you doubt in? What was the process? Shouldn’t you develop an understanding, and then take on beliefs naturally in a way that you are at peace with what you believe? 

What is wrong with saying ‘I don’t know’ about something you have doubts in? If you say you believe something but secretly you harbour doubts about that thing, doesn’t your Creator know that you really aren’t sure? Even if you don’t want to admit it to people, shouldn’t you at least be honest about it when you talk to Allah? If you don’t have evidence that the Qur’an is perfect, and you tell Allah that you believe it is, will He believe you or rather be disappointed that you can’t be honest with Him? 

This is the predicament that many Muslims find themselves in from a very young age. This may be hard to accept, but I am going to say it anyway. When you insist to your child that they say that the Qur’an is perfect, is there anyway for them to know this? Can they accept this belief naturally whilst they have gathered the evidence for this? Or is it something really that at their capacity they have no way of knowing and should therefore not be taught about? Is it your insecurity that they will be ‘misguided’, another way of saying be different from your ideals, that leads you to insist that they adopt a belief that can obviously in no way come naturally to them? 

This is the current circumstance of many, saddled by beliefs that they have little evidence for, having been raised in the aforementioned method. Remember that I am not talking about the validity of any particular beliefs, only whether beliefs come naturally for us or whether they are imposed by circumstance. 

Let me leave you with a thought. Have you ever tried to prove your existing beliefs true when faced with doubt? Why don’t you prove your existing beliefs false? Or better, be objective? 

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