Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Built In Mechanism : God and Faith

"Do u believe in supernatural?"

"Well, it depends. What kind of supernatural being are you talking about?"

"Well, do u believe in ghost?"

"I do actually, primitive;but I believe they exist. Though that because sometime there is physical evidence"


"Aha, well, that's a 50-50. But being a nerd, I am.. Yes"

"Hell and heaven?"

"Well, that no. That doesnt exist. I think when we die we just stop existing".

A few months ago, I met this young chap. 
Very dashing indeed. He stood tall. 
He stood with his back arch straight. 
The way a man is supposed to stand.
His bag slinging from his left shoulder. 
His smile was dashing indeed!
His hair was tossed to the left, so when flips it, it makes a silent "wosh" sounds.
Silently his hair was also irresistible. 

I never spoke to him before. 
I never find him amusing.
Till he tells me his a fan of Orhan Pamuk, George Orwell and Syed Naquib Al-Attas
Oh, then I found him all that interesting!

Never did I knew him, I knew his name. 
I knew his course. He wears black and white almost daily.
He was inquisitive in nature. Quite. Non Melancholic. 
But overall, a pretty much regular chap.

This is a brief story about his journey in finding God.This is a conversation I had with a him a few months back.The conversation was in a noisy law faculty.With dirty floors. Dirty mugs everywhere. People coming in and out. Busy with their own whereabouts. And we were there, talking about God and religion as if it was a shopping spree.It was a fairly interesting conversation. He told me about his personal journey. It was his nature to be inquisitive. It was his nature to have a high sense of curiosity.First it starts with a question. What is god. Then it became a progressive shot of question.How does God look like? Which one is my God?

He told me, how it begins with a question and progressed into a journey.
However, I find it quite admirable. 
Instead of rejecting his own religion, he started approaching it.
First he began reading the Al-Quran. Translated it word by word.
Then he read Syed Naqquib Al-Attas, Ibn Khaldun and several other Islamic Scholars.
Might I add, for a so called avid reader  - I myself find his reading comprehension and ability to read such materials impressive and nonetheless - interesting. 

He told  me how he liked the idea of what Syed Naqquib Al-Attas views on Islam and Islam's nature. Though he wasn't inclined to the idea as a whole. Then he began reading the Bible. Calling it poetic and sort of beautiful, he liked it as well. Though he didn't like the whole idea of separation of religion that both Islam and Christians have. The whole syiah sunni/ Chatolic Mormon Orthodox ordeal is just to messy.

Next he began reading the Torrah. He told me that was a bit difficult as he had to read it in a PDF version. No Torrah in Malaysia. Okay. He told me it is amusing how this three religion was so similar yet they have so much hate with each other - he was referring to Muslim and Jews. I then beg to differ, saying that its not the religion that hates each other, its them themselves who brought the idea to the religion
I quote saying:

"We can't blame a shepherd for the mistakes done by the lamb".

He took my point and left it the question. Then next he told me how he read Buddha.He pointed out that he liked the idea brought by Buddha however it was much more for a life's philosophy. I agreed to this notion. I asked whether he read Mahabharata or Ramayana. He paused and said no. He added saying, he looked high and low for his God. He didn't find his. He added that he tried to do what he was told. He prayed. He prayed again. Again and Again. But he didn't find anything. 

Who's at fault here? Him? Or God?

Of course, we can't blame God. Out of the question. Okay. It's him. It's his fault that he didn't find God and faith. But really, he did try? Maybe faith needs to knock on his heart instead? Is it even anyone's fault? Maybe we could blame the parent, teachers, friends as well. Society is at fault too! They make him the way he is.

I didn't feel mad at him. Instead I was a bit sorry for him. I was sorry that he didn't have anything to hold on too. Maybe he would say he didn't need anything to believe in. But I believe, that everyone has this - need to find something to believe in. Something much more Superior to ourselves. 

Its like this. Humans are considered to be like lambs. We need shepherds to lead us. Guide us. Help us. We are born with a built in device to find something or someone superior to us to guide us. For example, when we are born - we tend to look at adults/parents for guide. They taught us to walk, to speak. We believe in our leaders, we believe that being a collectively together that one leader could lead us to a greater humanity.

Simple right?

Everyone has to have that built in mechanism. But could someone like him, loose that built in mechanism. Can someone live in such ways without the built in mechanism. I mean, he couldn't be the only one right? Maybe every atheist lost their mechanism to believe. Maybe all atheist are not the condemn, just the disable. - The disability to believe. 

Maybe everyone without a god should be viewed as a disable person. Maybe we could have a parking slot especially for them. Poor thing, they don't have the built in mechanism that the rest of us have. But seriously, who is at fault? 

He couldn't be the only person who has no religion and never tried searching it before. You can't point a finger and say, "Aha, U r at fault. U r ignorant. U didn't read the Koran. U never tried praying". Truth is, he might have read the Koran better than any of us. He might even read and understand the Koran better than u. Heck he even read other Muslim scholar. 

In my opinion, I can't called him shallow or ignorant. He tried. The shallow and ignorant is those who blindly follows their religion, the ones who prays day by day without one bit of understanding. They have religion to protect them, but no sense of moral values. Those who follows their religion so close without one bit of understanding, go ask him about what the Koran says, he would reply by saying " I read it because my parents asked. I don't understand it". Those are so close to their believes, they condemn other. Fill their heart with what they called belief but condemn others. 

Those are ignorant and shallow. 

So what is he? 


Who is at fault?

I can't answer that. But I pray for him. Insyallah, he will gain faith. Faith is a slow process. Its not something you are given to by hand. It is something that we individually have to seek for. 

But that is up to Him to decide. 

I would end this with a saying by Rumi. 

“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”  Rumi


  1. "Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves."

    As quoted by Dan Brown in his book Angels & Demons.

    Oh well, aku rasa aku tahu siapa.

  2. "For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." - Charles Bukowski

  3. Good post you got there. I hope he will find what he's looking for soon.

    just an addition, sometimes there are people who finally found peace in one religion that they decided to follow the religion whithout questioning it. It's not that they follow the religion blindly, it is because from the peace they found that might make them not questioning things. But sometimes it is good to not question things. Maybe it just a mentality of people who think that all these alim kids , they just follow without thinking.

    But for some cases, For those who still searching for the lights, it is acceptable if they would learn and read and intrepret quran , bible and etc. Maybe it is time for him to stop learning and questioning but start listening. This thing doesn't come a day. For someone who had done a lot of research that he may had so many question , it will be hard for them to accept what's coming because of there is a barrier to go through to the heart.

    I am like that too before, questioning everything that i realise at the end i did not learn anything and haven't changed at all. Till one day I stop questioning and open my heart to start listening.

    but I respect him for his willingness to read all these religions book. I hope he would at the end find his light. InsyaALLAH :)

  4. I think u might have a point, its true that at some point he should stop questioning things. Its true, that some people has the privilege to enjoy our respective religion the way we do - despite the fact some of us do take that for granted.

    But here in this point I wasn't pointing towards those who follow their religion with an open heart - I was referring to those who literally doesnt want to understand or to ignorant to understand our religion - those who was born into a good religion a good strong faith but they somehow take it for granted. I was pointing out to those people.

    On your other point, Yes I agree that we sometimes need to keep our mouth shut and evaluate. But in his circumstances, and maybe millions other out there who r going through the same thing. What makes them stop questioning things? That also comes into question. I think its everyone's journey in finding faith. Some question, who knows - if god willing insyallah he will one day see light. But at this point, I see this guy not only just a lost person -
    he represent not only an individual but a whole lot of things.

  5. This post really got me thinking...a lot.

    I myself question a lot about God and religion, always having internal disputes with myself. Most of the time I view our belief in a logical perspective but of course, our capacity to think is limited. Most of the time, I too wish that God, heaven, and hell were evident, just to satisfy my own curiosity and confirm my belief.

    I find that it's impossible if there's no God. If there's NO PURPOSE to our life. If our life and death is just that, life. And death. Then we get eaten by maggots and poof, fertilize future floras around us...How very sad it is to think so very little of our very own existence...

    To me, those who persistently seek the truth with good intention, God will definitely help them in the end.

    I read the bible too, but just a teeny bit...coz I find it rather confusing. Or maybe it's just coz my brain can't handle too much Old English. Lol? My point is, the Quran itself is a complete 'life-manual'. The language is out-worldly, the beauty of it is mind blowing and I know it's illogical that the Quran is man-made.

    What I can see from this 'Atheist Guy', maybe his thorough search-for-God is too logic-wise. Maybe the heart itself wasn't affected by all those readings? Or maybe he actually believes but just needs some form of (solid) confirmation? Who knows right?

    I also feel sad for him. Sadder if there are loads out there just like him. It's sad too, if someone blindly follows his religion adamantly without regarding the reason behind all of it. That's why in some cases, people just give up praying. (Like you said)It's coz they dunno why in the world were they doing it in the first place.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing this post which in fact, re-boosted my imaan :D

    I love Rumi :D :D!!


    May God make us among those who are constantly blessed with the light of imaan.

    May the Turner of Hearts make our hearts firm on His Deen.