The word religion seems to be a bad word in the modern world. To say that one believes in God and furthermore, to admit that our life is influenced only by the will to please Him, seems to be interpreted as an absurdity. Within our communities of like to like faiths, these words are the norm and no one questions or challenges such concepts, but out in the real world, it seems that believing in the unseen is a sign of diminishing intellect. The spiritually that dwells within every human remains a well hidden reality that gets brushed under the carpet every time it reveals its glow of enlightenment.
To challenge those who mock the concept of faith, we need to empower ourselves with knowledge. And with this knowledge, our own spirituality will strengthen, helping us to stand firm against any attack against the very centre of who we are. The concept of life after death, the existence of child abuse and poverty, violent natural disasters that instantly kill thousands of innocent people – these are all difficult to explain through faith when one has a lack of knowledge.
I was once asked about the hereafter – what was I to do if, after my death, I discovered that there is no god? Will I not have wasted my life on earth chasing a god that never existed? My answer was firstly to highlight the absurdity of the question, after all, I would remain worm food after death, never re-awakening to discover that there was no god – it was a paradoxical question. And secondly, I let the person in question know with no uncertainty that ‘chasing a God’ was not a waste of time. My life is a content one and following a religion only serves to improve the quality of that life. How can one be wasting one’s life when one’s heart is settled in the firm knowledge of the purpose of existence? Proof is in the heart.
Child abuse, and other heinous acts are a vile part of the human psyche. Only true faith – faith in God and humanity – can keep such predatory behaviour at bay. The next question that naturally follows is that perpetrators of such acts are sometimes those who have a high position in the hierarchy of organised religion, therefore contradicting the previous statement. There is no justification in the eyes of God for such acts, so one can only question the quality of faith in the hearts of the perpetrators. God will judge.
Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return” They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)
Natural disasters and poverty are a cry for help. One that all of us should be responding to by donating our time and money. Our response will determine our own fate in the hereafter. Those who do not have a faith often say: if there was a God, then he would not allow such atrocities to happen – but a person without a faith cannot justify such words as again, these words are paradoxical when the belief in God simply doesn’t exist. They have to look at themselves as the cause of such inequality, just as people of faith do, the difference being that believers of God accept that all the problems of the world are a form of trial for humanity and as such, it is our responsibility to absolve them whilst praying to God for guidance.
So let’s make it our responsibility to defend the belief of the unseen with heartfelt vigour. It is unfortunate that this is even necessary, as those of us with the true conviction of faith do not desire to justify what is true, but it is a necessity in the modern world. May we find the strength to search for the knowledge and practice upon it. Ameen.