(167): Losing my religion: A call for dialogue
By Muhsin Ibrahim
I have observed a disturbing development among some young Muslims on social media. As soon as they read some philosophy books, they begin to question their faith and condemn their ‘conservative’ culture.
The youth view anyone disagreeing with them as ignorant, uneducated and uninformed. That enrages some of their followers, who, in turn, insult them (back), and things fall apart. Both sides are wrong.
First, I call on those youth not to rush in their conclusion on matters they barely understand. I, for instance, passed through a similar stage. While growing up and reading voraciously, I imagined myself as more learned than I actually was. In public (especially online fora), I challenged some people, including a professor many of you here know. I was wrong.
Second, those who respond to those young guys in kind (by abusing them back) should change their approach and tactics. We need to listen to them. We must find ways to answer them with wisdom, patience and restraint. If you can procure Jeffrey Lang’s Losing My Religion: A Call for Help, please do.
Lang is a professor of Mathematics at The University of Kansas, United States. He is a Muslim covert. His books are a must-have for people who struggle with their faith and others who are often bamboozled by science and philosophy. He also excellently responds to several questions, primarily from young men and women.
Overall, I urge us all to be more considerate and broad-minded. We cannot avoid differences and disagreements. The (in)famous Mubarak Bala could have been a freeman if he had minded his business and played his cards cautiously.
You must not share the same beliefs with people around you. I work with people from all walks of life, people of all or no faith. Our journey has been absolutely smooth – Alhamdulillah. What’s the secret? Respecting other’s choices. Coming to social media or elsewhere to lambast other’s beliefs is unwise and should be avoided.
Remember, Allah (SWT) says, “Invite all to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and kind advice, and only debate with them in the best manner. Surely your Lord alone knows best who has strayed from His Way and who is rightly guided” (Quran, 16:125).
We may have doubts and want to ask questions about our religion. It's okay. Even Prophets asked some pressing questions. My honest advice is: hold onto your faith. Reportedly, the late Ahmad Deedat once told an atheist co-debater that he would rather worship God and later find out that He doesn't exist than reject Him and later find that He exists!
May we be guided, amin.