Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Finding my religion

I want to write a book on what Islam really is all about. Islam happens to be the faith I practice, but right now, it's sounding like the name of some boy next door.


How's Islam doin' today?
Hey, how are you Islam? Where've you been, haven't seen you around lately?
Hey Islam, where do you want to go today?

All right. So. I want to write a book about Islam. Which will require a few more years of research and perhaps validation of myself, too. I am, after all, concerned about reviews; and anticipating the debates and counter-debates that will inevitably follow. I need to maintain a convincing upper hand.

There will be, as I see, a tremendous increase in the knowledge pool of the ignorant and the knowledgeable alike. This will be the way things and lives are made better. This will be my contribution to the world. This will be my great road to salvation; my ticket to pearly Paradise.

One cold December night last year, I was emaciated, fatigued, and lonely as a plant transferred out of its mother ecosphere. As I lay sunk in bed and stared at the ceiling trying to find Happiness and Purpose - I realized, Oh! This is my life.

As in, you know, this is my room. This is me and my four limbs and the rest of me. My mind. My heart, when it feels kind enough to be my own. So if all of me is here, and this is my existence, then where, possibly, can be my Purpose? Happiness? Meaning of life? When, exactly, will be the time that I start living what I believe in?

Silly, isn't it? I have to find happiness, and THEN I will be happy. And then I have to find a ready-made tangible purpose, and then live it.

I have to write a book on Islam, and then, MashaAllah, Alhamdolillah, I will be a great Muslim.

As if.

UPDATE: A fish needs a bicycle. A Lust for Life needs your feedback. Yes, move. Move!


  1. Let me suggest a book I have heard about. "Why am I a Muslim: An American Odyssey" by Asma Gul Hasan

    This is indeed a very noble cause, I wish you best of luck!

  2. Thanks - the link is quite interesting. The quest for meaning (and whatever) seems uniquely individual for each person. I am wondering if there is a common answer? Perhaps the destination is common, and the routes are many.

  3. "Once more unto the breach..." An interesting starting point: do you know what the meaning of the word "Islam" is? Literally translated it means "Submission". If you want to find "your" Islam you must see the universe through your eyes and not through anyone else's. It's a very personal process even if supported by certain elements. Finding your faith isn't something that happens in a blaze of glory, not at least in my experience. A lot of things shape it for you. But don't let any rhetoric or stereotypes or hand-me-downs shape it for you. That would be a sin. Humans are not drones. We were created to think and judge. And that is why we will be judged. The ability to judge is the foundation stone of faith. If you cannot judge you are not accountable. It is the difference between sentience, primitive instinct and conscious awareness that puts us at the top of the existence food chain. The tools are at your disposal. The stage is set. If it is happiness you seek, you must let it come to you. No one ever achieved happiness by chasing it. Happiness can never be caught, that is an delusion. Let it find you. Also you don't need [to write] a book to be great. A book is just a manifestation for others, not for yourself. It's really all in your head and in your soul. That's where the greatness begins -- and ends. :-)

  4. *gazer:

    As always, a very profound input by you. "Finding my religion," is about the inability to realize the simple realization that Islam or happiness or purpose or even power, etc., do not lie beyond or outside us. Rather, they are personal and lie within us.

    I in fact believe that in order to avoid the sometimes disturbing process of looking within oneself, we instead opt the more socially acceptable, evident, and psychologically easier process of looking OUTSIDE ourselves. Which is where we may find a lot of social acceptance for our cool activities & philosophies, but never the true essence of that which we seek.

    This thought has bothered me enough to merit a post of its own, and having recovered my oft-forgotten password, I will take up that subject now.

    You are an interesting and very helpful critic/ commentator.

  5. Well everyone wants to be accepted and acknowledged. That's the final frontier of this day and age. If you look at the careers in this region of the world they are seldom about achievement -- they are about acceptance. Everyone wants to get into a high profile career and job, not one that achieves something. And we measure our successes not by our achievements but by our fame, PR and being "in" with the mainstream jet-set. That's why we always come in as 2nd-class followers on the world map. Because we're not a society that sets trends, we're one that keeps up with the latest trends.

    How can one find himself or herself when he or she insists on following the next guy. This is also a leading cause for our religious shallowness, because we choose to adopt rather than ponder and learn. Our religious inclinations are often just another trend each of us follows depending on our backgrounds, etc.

    Thanks for the compli. I am just a drifter, nothing more. Don't mind me.

  6. Stargazer, Ramla, and Mr. Blogger. I realllly appreciate ur concerns and thoughtful comments. I am happy to see people who REALLY ponder over such matters as these: Identity. Self. One's reality and the quest. (etc.)

    I am viewing Ramla's blog too.. and I should like to know if Stargazer also maintains a blog or website. Keep it up :)


  7. "Anonymous"

    What do you really want to say?

    P.S. I should like to know your name.