Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Losing Game

What to answer when a Muslim asks why I am interested in other religions? Asks what Islam doesn't have that other religions might? Asks to convince them that there is better than Islam! To prove that another religion can better worship the one true God.

First, I am not even a member of any other religion so who am I to represent another religion? Second, as a Muslim set in her beliefs (not me, her), why would she ask me this except to end with her telling me it's not convincing? Doesn't this sound like a game I will lose in if I participate?

I'm finding the questions a little bit frustrating. I'm not sure what I will answer exactly but I want to stay far away from debate! Why should I, a person with respect for Islam, argue with a Muslim about a religion I don't belong to directly (but respect a lot too - UU)?

5 Comentários:

Sarah said...

Sounds like she's looking for a dawah opportunity! I guess you could just say that you want to educate yourself about different religions and find out what they are like, what they have in common etc., to understand others better. Something like that?

I hope you enjoy it if you go to the UU service, would be interested to hear :)

Nikki said...

Personally I don't consider UU a "religion" in the common sense of the word because religions (at least highly structured religions like the big 3 (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)) tend to make claims of ultimate truth. They take the 'us' and 'them' approach, at least in orthodox circles. UU is kind of a celebration of the diversity that God gave us in religious traditions and focuses more on finding the truth for oneself rather than a communal truth. Maybe I'm wrong? I've never actually been to a service but have read over their sites, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that there needn't be any debates between Muslims and UU members (some of which are Muslim) because to be UU you are not saying Islam is wrong, you are just more open to the enlightenment available in other paths, as well.

I have considered attending a UU service, but I really think it's not exactly synonymous with my beliefs. I do believe people who are not Muslim can get to Heaven if they are well-intentioned and 'God-aware,' but I also think that Islam is the "right" path, the end of revelation so, in essence, the straightest path to God, although as I just said, I think others' can follow more winding paths and still reach God in the end.

Candice said...

Your suggestions are pretty close to what I ended up writing!

Here is my reply:

"I'm curious about every religion and always have been. UU principles are principles I believe in but that alone does not make me UU so I'm in no place to try to convince anyone of the truth of this religion. UU's themselves are so varied, from Christian to other monotheists to pagans to atheists. The goal with this religion seems to be to promote the values described in the principles (compassion, equality, justice, etc - I don't know them by heart) and to simply advance on our own individual search for spirituality and truth if need be.

Maybe ____ could come explain a bit further. She is UU but also Muslim. The two don't necessarily cancel each other out. Some Muslims might consider a person who believes in UU beliefs to not be Muslims but the opposite is not true."

Sarah: I will definitely write a post if I decide to go!

Nikki: I consider it a religion because it has its own adherants, funding, congregations, beliefs. It is very broad and open-minded compared to other religions though. You are right that they don't make a claim to know the ultimate truth but that alone wouldn't make me stop thinking of it as a religion.

Your last paragraph is so *me* a little while ago. I still keep this approach when talking with Muslims because I don't want to leave Islam or anything. A little while ago I really believed it when I said Islam was the closest and truest path to God even if I accepted other paths as right, but now I don't know how much I even believe that. I shall continue on my journey though...! :)

lala said...

I always ask how I can level with others of diff religions, or be strong in my own, if I never explore what else is out there. For example, I can easily converse with Christians about the bible and Islam because I have studied the bible. Deedat is a good example of someone who has put such knowledge to great use...

BuLaN said...

in my opinion UU is just an ideology. it seems ideal because it doesnt require the followers to "practise" as in Islam. we need to practise. perform the daily prayers, fasting etc. so UU seems to be more attractive. i dont know much about it. well, everybody can be "nice" but who actually really want to have certain guidelines, obligation and "practice"?
if you are muslim you dont need to be a UU, Islam is complete.

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