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A matter of faith, or wishful thinking

Posted: 20 Aug 2013 05:11 PM PDT

So this is not about us. They are not trying to save our soul so that we can join them in heaven. Humankind is just too selfish for such things. They just want an assurance that they are right. And the only way they can get this assurance would be if we, too, believe what they believe. And this is why Malaysian Malays must be Sunnis and not Shias.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Practitioners of organised religions regard their beliefs as the indisputable truth. Any disagreement with their belief is regarded as a violation of God's wishes. It is a declaration of war that needs to be met with a hostile and at times a physical response. It is God's punishment on man by fellow man who acts in the best interest and as a legitimate representative of God.

Who appointed them as the legitimate representative of God? Did God officially and legally appoint them? What are their credentials and do they posses any testimonial as evidence that God had legally and officially appointed them as this legitimate representative?

They do not need any legal or official appointment, or any testimonial to confirm this appointment. They speak on behalf of God by the mere fact that they follow God's commands. They are the faithful and their faithfulness is the only testimonial that they need. They are, after all, self-appointed and their legitimacy comes from the fact that they are the faithful.

Hence their belief is called faith. And those who follow this belief are called the faithful. And those who reject this belief are called the unfaithful. They are the infidels -- the non-believers, the disbelievers, the atheists, the rejecters, the heathens, the gentiles, the pagans, the heretics, the non-worshippers, and all sorts of words to describe those who do not follow God's commands and do not deserve to be allowed to live.

Unfaithful comes from not being faithful, basically not being faithful to your faith. It is the breaking of the covenant, your covenant with God. But when did you enter into this covenant with God?

You entered into your covenant with God the instant you were born into this world. That was the agreement between you and God. God gave you life and you, in turn, would be faithful to this God that gave you life. Hence, if you break this covenant, then you no longer deserve to live.

You have broken the agreement to obey God. So God, too, can break the agreement by taking back the life He gave you. And man, who represents God as His legitimate representative on earth, will deliver this punishment to those who break their covenant with God.

Hence you break this agreement at your own peril. You violate God's commands at the risk of losing your life because you no longer deserve to live. You broke the agreement so God, too, can break the agreement. And your agreement was to obey God in exchange for the life that God gave you. So, while you can take back what you gave God -- your promise to obey God -- God, too, can take back what He gave you -- your life.

And that is why, for thousands of years, man kill fellow man whenever they do not keep their side of the bargain that they made with God. And this is perfectly legal and justified because promises to God must never be broken. You take back what you promised God and God, through man, can take back what He gave you. You disobeyed God so you must die.

And this belief is very important to most of humankind. It is important because no one likes to feel that his or her life on earth is in vain. We all like to believe that after this life there is a more meaningful second life that will go on and on forever and will never end. And to be able to believe this, we must first believe that there is a God. If there is no God then when we die we just die. There will be no better and permanent second life after death.

Everyone fears death. Even those who believe that there is a heaven and that they are without a doubt destined for heaven fear death. If there is a heaven, and since you are going to heaven, and since heaven is a far better place beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, then why fear death?

You should welcome death. You should long for death. You should be impatient to die. You should become tired of this life and would want your life to end because when this life ends the other life begins. And this other life is millions of times better than the present one.

If I believe in heaven and if I believe that I am going to heaven then I would want to die now, immediately, without any further delay. Why would I want to prolong my miserable life when a better and permanent second life awaits me?

This life is nothing. This life is useless. This life is a waste of time. This life should have ended the minute I was born so that I need not linger in misery for 63 years while I await the time to go to the better life.

It is like the joke about the Angel of Death visiting you. "I have good news and I have bad news," says the Angel of Death. "The good news is you are going to heaven. The bad news is you are going now."

Why should it be 'good news' and 'bad news'? It should only be good news. Dying NOW and going to heaven are BOTH good news -- if you believe that heaven is a far better place than this world.

It is puzzling that people can believe that there is a better second life in a place called heaven and yet they refuse to die now so that they can immediately go to this better place and prefer, instead, to linger in this terrible first life on earth. Where is your faith -- your faith that when you die you will enjoy a far better and permanent life in a place called heaven?

And that is what faith is all about. I have said this many times before: faith is the word we use to describe lack of evidence. When there is lack of evidence and we cannot prove our beliefs then we call it faith. Faith is basically about believing in something that cannot be proven.

We declare that we have faith. And there is such a thing called the Articles of Faith -- or akidah, as the Muslims will call it. And our faith makes us believe in the unproven.

It will no doubt be proven one day, after we die. Only then will we know whether we are right or wrong. But by then it will be too late to change our faith. We would have made our bed and would now have to lie in it. In the meantime, we hope we are right and that our beliefs are correct.

But that is mainly about oneself and our faith, plus our beliefs. We place our trust in our instinct and cross our fingers and hope we are right. We try to prolong our life on earth as long as we possibly can and when it is no longer possible to do so we close our eyes and accept death, the only way to get to this better and permanent second life.

But if the matter ends there then it is okay. We decide for ourselves and accept the wisdom or folly of our decision, whatever the case may be. However, it does not end there. We not only decide for ourselves, we also decide for others. We tell others what they can and cannot believe. And when they do not believe what we believe we punish them and force our beliefs upon them.

And this has been the problem with organised religions for thousands of years. It is not enough we believe what we believe. Others, too, must believe what we believe. And if they do not then they must be persecuted and punished.

Hence Muslims cannot leave Islam (just like at one time Jews and Christians cannot leave Judaism and Christianity or Romans leave the old Roman religion, etc.). And even if they do not leave Islam and remain a Muslim they must follow only a certain sect of Islam.

Malaysian Malays can only follow the Sunni sect of Islam. They cannot follow, for example, the Shia sect of Islam. If they do then they will be persecuted and punished.

But how do Malaysian Malays know that the Sunni sect and not the Shia sect is the correct version of Islam? For that matter, how do they know that, say, Zoroastrianism is not the correct and true religion of God?

They do not. But you must follow them anyway. And you must follow them because this is what they believe. So you must believe what they believe. If you do not believe what they believe then you are saying that what they believe is wrong. And they do not like to be told they are wrong because they need to go to heaven when they die and if they are wrong they will not go to heaven.

So this is not about us. They are not trying to save our soul so that we can join them in heaven. Humankind is just too selfish for such things. They just want an assurance that they are right. And the only way they can get this assurance would be if we, too, believe what they believe. And this is why Malaysian Malays must be Sunnis and not Shias.


Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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