Religion or Faith are issues that strike such heavy cords in our conversations and relationships. Each one of us wherever we are in our journeys in faith or not, consider it the only way to be. And as we get stronger in our beliefs, we also get closer to being judgmental and intolerant of other people's beliefs. This world and the Muslim world specially, is ever increasingly facing problems due to intolerance. In these days, there is no perfect way to follow any religion. When millions of people from different cultures and backgrounds consider themselves a part of one religion, they will bring their own understanding to it and we have to be respectful of that.
My sister and I were just remembering how a decade earlier, she was the one between the two of us who had stronger ideas about faith. She was studying the the Quran with tafseer1 and passionate about understanding it better. A couple of things which she believed were important in her practice of religion were things I considered not very important then and we both would discuss it but stand our own ground. Now years later as we are in our own places with our faith., the same point came up in a conversation. This time I was inclined towards what she used to believe in then and she was where I was at all those years ago! And as we talked about how a person and his faith changes, she said something to the likes of 'I have learned never to judge anyone. Our Imaan (faith), is not constant, it changes, our beliefs change’.
I kept thinking of her words later on too. We never know our journeys, our life/faith/beliefs/us as humans, nothing stays the same. The things we face in our lives make our faith stronger and sometimes even weaker. We might be the reason someone turns towards faith or we might be the reason someone turns away from it. We won't and shouldn't be in the same place ten years from now. Life is a journey, not a destination, and so are our beliefs. We should make an effort towards learning and understanding more than anything, and if we’re not becoming a better person in our journey of faith, there is something lacking. I find it so interesting how Allah time and again mentions in the Quran how He dislikes arrogance and yet we notice it around us and in ourselves as we think we are becoming more ‘religious’. Lets try to pass on the good that we know and learn, but lets try not to judge, try not to think ourselves better than the other person. Who knows what journeys in faith are in store for us in the years to come.
Just some thoughts I wanted to share. Thanks for reading, lots of love.
1Tafseer is a detailed commentary of the Quran. Many scholars have written their own detailed accounts. One favorite is by Muhammad Asad.