I saw this article the other day and it filled me with such calm: During Lent, a Christian tried praying 5 times a day.
While I do understand the author’s concerns over the fear of blurring the lines (for e.g. can I as practicing Muslim truly practice yoga? What does it mean that my “yogi” is a white woman from Texas?), a big part of why I love interfaith work is that it deepens my own faith commitment. When you’re asked to talk about why you believe what you believe and why you do what you do to someone who doesn’t know and would like to know, you are forced to ask yourself the truly important question: why?
I am so grateful to have been born into a Muslim family. I don’t know what I would have been had my parents not been Muslim and emphasized the importance of Islam in my early years. Would I have found Islam on my own? I honestly don’t know. I know some people in the faith community might say you should never question, that it’s a slippery slope to disbelief. But I think it’s important for all believers to at least THINK about it. Because a faith that is unexplored, in my opinion, can be used for means that are selfish or political or just plain evil.
Ignoring the reality that revealed religions are indeed ambiguous leads to immobility.
I can’t say that each time I pray, I truly feel I am connecting with God; I often find myself being ambushed by thoughts and tasks completely irrelevant to my current station. But a part of me also feels like God knows this. The struggle of coming back to God when the empirical world has you in its grips is why I think we are asked to pray multiple times throughout the day – whether we want to or not.
When I talk to my non-Muslim believing friends or colleagues, we often end up agreeing that at some point you just gotta let go. Faith is believing in concepts that are not always observable or explicable. The opposite of faith is not disbelief; it’s hubris, in my opinion, thinking that we human beings are capable of answering all the myriads of questions we have and have always had.
In a way, I see it as a dialectic, this relationship between God and us… as long as we are willing to truly engage in that conversation.