I’ve outgrown the other blog. Everytime I opened the thing I just felt like it wasn’t at all representative of my thoughts and opinions.
I’m hanging on to Islam with one hand and that hand is slipping. Perhaps I will let go altogether. I don’t know. This transformation has developed in a relatively short time and I’m not impervious to the fact that I sometimes jump into things head first. So in the name of prudence I’ve decided to cling on a little while longer and take some time to really deconstruct this thing.
I may end up being Muslim in name and tradition only. The Islamic version of the Christian who only attends church on Easter and Christmas, weddings and funerals. Somehow though this seems disingenuous. But then I wonder why belief should be so black and white. Can you believe in the basic principles of a belief system but not the details?
While I’ve always had my doubts about certain aspects of the orthodoxy, I’ve never before had the notion that my own beliefs just can’t be reconciled with Islam or that Islam can’t be formed into something wholly just and reasonable. Until now. Indubitably, we all pick and choose from the texts. But, when we bend and mold the religion in order to elucidate an outcome which satisfies our own inclinations, when does it cease to be Islam and become something else?
After seven years I can honestly say I don’t see anything superior about Islam.
A few things I hope to address:
–Revelation. In Islam, Muslims believe that the Quran is the direct and unadulterated word of God. I just simply don’t believe that. Even progressive, moderate and liberal “Quran only” Muslims hold this as the foundation. But I see a doctrine specific to 7th century Bedouin culture. It’s harsh. There’s a lot of threat of burning in hellfire. No matter how you reinterpret things there are misogynistic verses there. No semantic or linguistic gymnastics will change this fact in my mind. In the Christian and Jewish traditions it is well known that the Bible and Torah had writers and there are often more than one account of a particular myth or story. However, in Islam to propose the Quran was written by a human is akin to blasphemy and in almost all circles this opinion puts one outside of the fold.
There are great truths in the Quran, but no more than any other religious or philosophical text. There are many troublesome things within the text as well.
–Prophethood. Did the “prophets” really have some direct link to God, or were they closer to what is known as mystics? Did God really speak to humanity through them or did they just have some particularly convincing ideas about the divine. Much like a philosopher with a theistic bent.
–Religion. Do we need it? Sure, many areligious folks will try to pose the argument that religion is the bane of human kind. The catalyst for wars and murder. I believe that these things don’t exist because of religion, but in spite of it. Hitler and Stalin weren’t religious people, but insane power-hungry dictators. Does a thinking person really need a religion? What is the purpose of religion if not to understand the divine and our very existence. Wouldn’t we better serve ourselves in this endeavour through knowledge of all the religions, philosophy and science?
And last but not least, believe it or not I do have other interests besides Islam and plan on doing quite a lot of blogging about those as well. I’m absolutely enamored with poetry. I’ve recently started to study Western philosophy and would like to explore that as well. Often times I’m just sick to death of thinking about Islam and need a break and time to engage in other cerebral activities.
And yet I continue to hang here with hand slipping, blisters forming from the friction of it.