I had forgotten how it felt like to be Jihadi-anxious. I remember the 7/7 bombings in London 8 years ago and how I prayed that it wasn’t a bunch of Jihadi evildoers. When that it emerged that it was and the media was rubbing it in our Muslim faces, I had a sinking feeling. Almost like nausea. I remember reading about Muslims who had crises of faith after this event. I didn’t blame them for it either. It’s a very testing time to be Muslim. When it emerged yesterday that the Chechen bombers were Muslims and followers of the lunatic Shiekh Feiz, I had the same sinking nauseating feeling. I was hoping and praying for a few days that it wouldn’t be (a selfish prayer indeed, I’m sorry to say). When I found that it was, I felt sure that there would be more Muslims distancing themselves from Islam. It is sad that these Jihadi evildoers actually push people away from the beauty of Islam. So ironic.
A crisis of faith sounds bad. Extremely bad. After all, how can one after discovering the truth turn one’s back on it? It simply sounds very traitorous. However, as human beings, our connectivity with Allah isn’t like a simple one off process. Like the weather, we don’t always get sunshine. Sometimes we get cloudy days, other times it may drizzle and still other days, it may even storm on us. As human beings we can only do our best to cope with the weather.
Faith is like this. Fortunately for us though, Quran does not seem to be as judgemental as Conservative Traditional Islam. It does not seek to persecute, let alone execute such people. Rather it gives us a method through which we can see why we have chosen this path. Of course this means requires a deep introspection and work. It should also be stated that Quran does not appear to see faith in the same way as Conservative Traditional Islam. Quran does not have a set checklist of items of faith which one needs to confess to in order to be a believer. Rather it is about a process of living our lives consciously and acquiring an existential experience of faith.
The first passage relevant to this begins with Chapter 2, Vs 21. It is very interesting that a passage addressing a crisis of faith occurs very early on in the text. More interestingly, this is the first passage in which there is a call to mankind. This calls tells us to serve our Lord who evolved us so that we may be preserved. Here the evolution of the self and its preservation becomes the open ideas. Faith does not come blindly, it comes with a certain process. The next verse, 2/22, tells us about basic existential facts – the skies above us and the earth below and how we are nourished and sustained. Then comes the famous verse 2/23 which challenges the doubtful reader to bring a discourse like what he has just read – which is the evolution of the self and our existential reality. My understanding is that there is nothing like this discourse. We cannot find anything comparable to our being in the world. We exist as human beings and through this existence, we can find truth. Sometimes we may lose sight of this but once we remember, we can easily return to it.
Very interesting 2/24 after this asserts that we wouldn’t be able to (although we need to verify this for ourselves possibly through reason). We would then face the tests of life (symbolised by the fire) which comes from the people around us and the various immovable objects in our lives. However, the good news is that when we believe in this and act to actualise it, we would be in the garden both in this life and the next as per 2/25.
The passage of this flow shows us that doubt is not a bad thing. Rather, it is simply part of the verification process. If we follow this carefully, we would achieve the self-actualisation necessary to repair our faith and at the same time, our lives themselves.