Sometimes, doubts are good, even in religion, if they increase you in certainty and steadfastness.
“Yukkkk! You guys worship your chappals.”
She asked me when she saw the sandals placed in front of all the rows.
The mosque adjacent to our school was not big enough to accommodate the large congregation of Friday prayer (especially in Ramadan). So, they had to set a couple of rows outside the mosque premises on the ground near the gate of our school.
“No, they are worshipping Allaah only. Sandals are kept there lest those would be stolen,” I replied.
“Still, you guys bury your dead in the ground to be eaten up by worms…Yukkkkk,” she came back.
“At least it turns into healthy compost for ground. We do not burn our dead to pollute the air (PERIOD),” I replied.
I Know. I know, folks. It was not a polite reply. However, this was the most rational answer as a child I could give. And, of course, no hard feelings for my friend too. She was also a child. We were in grade 5 or 6 probably when this incidence happened. Anyways, both of us left for home and departed our ways. However, I could never forget what footprints those two questions left on my impressionable mind at that age.
What I said to my friend near the gate of our school was just a spontaneous reply. There was no deep thought behind. In fact, I had never thought about religion or God before that. I was just a child. I said to her whatever has to be said. As if a pebble was just dropped in the water and ripples had just spread out.
“What if we worship the wrong way?”
“What if burning the dead is a better option?”
“Who told us that we should bury only?”
“What if there is no God?”
“Or, the worst…what if I do meet some other god?”
“Some other God…How can there be many gods?”
With no logical end, there were ripples coming one after another. I started thinking a lot. I wanted an answer. And, what do you think, what might happen to a child if he or she suddenly starts questioning these things at home?
I remember those days my grandmother used to be with us. Beating around the bush I would try to bring over the surface the subject of God; however, I wanted to see it float ing there, not their ways, but my ways.
And, I remember how scared I was to ask. Not just because I was unable to put in words what all was going in my mind. I was not sure if as a child I could talk about that. I knew my mother wouldn’t like that. She might find that mature of my age.
More confusion. As a child, I couldn’t take it and then something even more strange happened. Every day around Maghrib I was scared; scared of the death and meeting God. I stopped playing. We had a small room ‘andar waala kamra’ in our home. Every evening when sun was about to set, I hid myself there with some excuse. And, my family was completely unaware of what was going within me. One day finally, my grandmother who was very intelligent asked me what was wrong. And, I broke down.
“I do not wanna die. I feel scared of the dark.”
“I am scared of getting buried after death to be eaten up by worms.”
After that, I do not remember much what happened, except that my family comforted me by saying ‘you should play and not think all these. Act your age.’ And, after a couple of days my taaya abboo too, who always loved me a lot, told me to read surah Yaseen more often. Maybe the elders talked about me or he just said casually. Whatever the case was, I became normal after that (maybe I was embarrassed). I behaved normal.
The seed had been sown.
After those two questions of my friends that I could never forget, my interest in knowing religion not only just grew, I became more inquisitive about things. I was always all ears whenever somebody around was talking about God and religion. A doubt ‘what if what we are being told is not true’ never ceased to cast its shadow over each and everything I learned in life. (Perhaps, it is the reason I never forwarded the ‘Forward to ten or go to hell’ types of msgs on WatsApp, LOL)
I realised; doubts are not that bad. Sometimes, doubts are good.
I am so thankful to my Lord that He gave me doubts, then the courage to face them and finally the ways to fight them. By Allaah, I wouldn’t have been the same Muslim and the same person today if I had never doubted who I was. I would not have loved my Deen like this if I would have acquired it just by birth and legacy. Alhamdulillaah. Summa Alhamdulillaah for the blessing to be born in a family where I got the testimony of monotheism by birth. However, it is even more beautiful to comprehend this testimony of faith by a conscious thought process.
When you doubt your own ways. Not always you are hazy, you are strong.
When you have doubts. It means you have an alive mind that thinks.
When you have doubts. It means at least you are not too proud to challenge yourself.
When you have doubts. It doesn’t always mean a lack of faith. It also means that you are craving for it.
You are just searching, O my friend in doubt.
Sometimes, doubts are good, even in religion.
Yes, I know; doubts can create mountains. However, faith can move them.
The Might of Pen ❤️