Everything Is Relative II
Me: Something's been freaking me out.
Him: So what else is new?
Me: Am serious.
Him: Something I did?
Me: Something you said.On Friday.
Him: On Friday?So why didn't you bring it up before?
Me: Was afraid you'll say something that'll freak me out even more.
Him: Getting good at that am I?
Me: You have your moments.
Him: So what is it?
Me: In Meena Salam. In the bookstore. You said I read too much about religion.
Him: So?You're always saying I read too much about work. Don't notice myself having quiet hysterics about it.
Me: Am not having quiet hysterics. Am trying to have a mature, grown-up discussion about your religious beliefs.
Me: What did you mean by imaginary restrictions to reassure ourselves?
Him: You showed me a booklet called fiqh elkhala'a.
Him: Don't you find that ridiculous?The Islamic way to go to the toilet?
Me: Yes.It was ridiculous but how is it reassuring?
Him: Think about it. To feel God is so interested in you that He cares whether you enter the bathroom with your right or left foot.Whether you eat with the right or left hand. Every detail of your life is watched over by this compassionate being out there. You're never alone.Some people never want to be alone. They don't want to make any decision. So they picture a mother figure kind of God holding their hand every step of the way.
Me: So you don't believe in any restriction at all?So why do you tell me it's haram to smoke?
Him: Because it's bad for your heatlh.
Me: No you said it's haram - as in God doesn't wish me to do it - so your God is a mother figure too.
Him: Smoking is bad because your body reacts badly to nicotine. God created your body. If He had wanted you to smoke He would have changed your body chemistry so it thrives on tar & nicotine. He could have made nicotine your sustenance, not your poison. You don't need a fatwa to know smoking is haram. Nature says it is. And God is Nature. Now does Nature care if you enter the bathroom with the right foot or left?God just cares that you do what benefits yourself & others. And it's up to you to figure what that is.If you don't you will pay.
Me: God is Nature?Are you a pantheist?
Him: La zindeeq.
Me: Seriously you don't think God provided any Guidance?
Him: Sure He did. He gave you a brain didn't He?
Me: I mean something from God.
Him: Your brain is from God.
Me: So why do we have Holy books?
Him: Those are words but you still have to teach yourself the language or they will tell you nothing.
Me: So you don't believe in Divine Wisdom?
Him: All wisdom is Divine.
Me: So why do you pray?
Him: Congregational prayer is good. A group of people get together & perform the same rituals. They bond around a set of decent values. It creates brotherhood. A good brotherhood. Ini uhibuka fi allah kind of brotherhood.
Me: So you don't believe in praying on your own - just between yourself & God.
Him: Sure but when I want to pray just between me & God it doesn't have to be a certain time or a certain place or a certain ritual. I can pray anywhere anyhow. The point of organized congregational prayer is the community spirit. Everything in Islam is like that. Umar Ibn Ekhattab used to say :"A3tooni ma yinfa3u elnas u3teekum ma yusaniduhu min elshar3."And there is a hadith:"Isa'alooni fi umoor deenikum wantum adra bidunyakum".
Me: I was right. You did freak me out even more.
to be contd.