Personal Note on Being Religious and Being Kind


“The sharia is like a candle,” said Shams of Tabriz. “It provides us with much valuable light. But let us not forget that a candle helps us to go from one place to another in the dark. If we forget where we are headed and instead concentrate on the candle, what good is it?”

Being on my mid 20’s in such chaotic world with infinite access of information, I must not be the only one who is questioning about religion. For God, I never had a single doubt about God although as I grow up, I, myself, keep learning that God doesn’t work the way I thought and was told at school.

But religion? Does it make a human being kinder? Does it make Earth a better place? I know that more and more people are analyzing it and even more are dropping it. On the other hand, those who stick tightly are struggling harder to convince that to be religious means to be good. Some of them are very strict about it that everyone has to do it their way. Some just take the advantage of it, for influence and power, or even money. Nothing new, actually. Only now we see it clearly. Having internet access and social media nowadays surely gets us an idea of having mind reading device, which is frustrating.

I’m a practicing Moslem myself. I was raised in a practicing yet moderate Moslem family. I pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan, cover myself, and strictly don’t consume alcohol or pork, and so on. I was also taught Islamic good values; trust, honesty, fairness, justice, respect, patience, hard work, struggle, bravery, commitment, punctuality, generosity, forgiveness, and even more. They are universal; hence by practicing them, I’m sure that you are good by universal definition. I see good in religion, and in my case it is Islam. I respect the others and I want to be good and to do good to universe.

“And We have not sent you, except as a mercy to the universe.” (QS Al-Anbiya 21:107)

So now, I’m telling myself again that I want to peacefully be and do good to universe which I believe, belong to God. I would spread more positive energy, create value and spread the good ones. I would let the blame, the lies, the provocation, the hatred, the vengeance, the conflict, the judging people who keep telling that I’m understanding and doing religion wrong, or any other kind of negative energy in the name of religion go. I would judge less what I know so little about.

Let God be the judge, the one and only, the Al Hakam.

Let me end this post with another quote from The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Safak:

If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so.
– Shams of Tabriz


We see the news of people dying, blaming each other, accusing, judging, sharing lies, spreading hatred and even playing God. We compare prayers, and making contest of sufferings. A lot of us shout in the name of God while the others say that they defend the human right and justice.

I started to think that it’s humanity that we all should pray for, then I took a second thought. Maybe this is the real face of humanity. Like Cain and Abel, our ansectors, we grow hatred then we kill and get killed as God watching us.

“Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr.Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult think in the world to shake off.”

— Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle