So I'm still reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel, amidst a dozen other books. It's still a magnificent text. I'm currently at the moment in the book where Ayaan is challenging why Islamic women have second-class status, why the Koran dictates such unequalness---yet describes the sexes as equal.
She's at a point where she is enthralled with learning about Islam, not because of her mom's scornful tongue, or the promises of everlasting Hell fire and tormenting, but out of general curiosity.
I never knew that Islam meant submission. It means total submission. Wow that's a very interesting concept, total submission. My first question, as is Ayaan's is why? Even as a Christian I've learned that accepting dogma without understanding what's behind it is a waste of time. Isn't the whole point to understand why, not just to do?
God is knowledge no matter what religion you believe in, if you do believe in religion. Anything or anyone that takes away your ability to speak to your god, is a problem to me. Religion was intended to be a way of life. It wasn't supposed to be packaged up as a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday event. It's supposed to be something that actively governs your actions. It should be embedded in your consciousness. Your faith should be both your shield and your cane.
So reading this particular section of the book reminds me of myself on my constant quest to understand more, to be a better person, to be a better Christian. So many times I've heard man wrote the Bible, the Koran, the Torah...if you believe that can you define yourself as religious?
Or are you the type of person that says man may have made changes to the divine words and therefore I will go back as far as I can to figure it out for myself? What good is religion if only for convenience? What good is religion if you mouth prayers only to stave off Hell's fire? What good is it if it isn't in your heart?
Dogma, beatings, forced prayer won't give you the answers that you are looking for. Religion is a personal journey, no matter what anyone tells you. Yes there is a communal aspect, but no one can save your soul but you. No one can lose your soul but you.
I wish you well on your journey and I hope that you'd wish me the same.