On being Muslim
People are often surprised when I say that I’m Muslim. I guess that’s a part of why I became Muslim and why I tell people. I like the shock. After all, I’m probably the last person a person from my culture would look at and think “He’s a Muslim” It’s actually not too dissimilar to when I tell people I was a Marine. I don’t fit that billet either.
I’m not six foot + and cut with muscles, I don’t have a beard or wear a Muslim man-dress. I’m not a dyed in the wool patriot and frankly, I think a lot of what other Muslims call Islam is manufactured bullshit, just like every other MANufactured religion.
A Muslim in the truest sense of the word is one who submits themselves to the will of God. Let me rephrase that – a Muslim is one who realizes it’s pointless to struggle against the will of God. That’s me, but here’s the difference – I don’t claim to know the will of God and I think that anyone who does (including most of those who call themselves Muslim, Christian, or other fundamentalist sects) is full of self righteous bullshit. And I think they are self delusional. Yes SELF delusional.
I like Quran. I think it offers a nice text for interpretation by the self. Just like Tarot cards do, just like the Tao te Ching does, just like every other holy book. In fact, by my reading of many holy books, I don’t find them to be too dissimilar from one another. In fact, the one thing they all have in common is that they tell you point blank “You can’t understand God.” I wonder why it is that so many people delude themselves and others by saying that they understand God through these books?
Get this…most people know there are many kinds of Christians but in the west, most of them don’t know there are many types of Muslims. There are Muslims who believe Quran needs to be read and interpreted by individuals without outside experts explaining it. There are Muslims who believe that some other Muslim understood Quran better than they can, so they resort to these religious scholarly authorities (and they mostly disagree with each other). There are Muslims who believe the Prophet Mohammad (and peace be upon his name so as to avoid offending anyone) was the final prophet and there are those who believe more prophets are coming. There are those who believe in Hadith as ‘extension’ of the word of God and those who reject it outright. There are those who believe the descendants of the Prophet are holier than the rest of us and those who believe he was simply a messenger and once he had recited Quran his job was done. There are those who think the prohibitions on drinking, etc are metaphorical and those who believe that the lessons of the Quran were metaphor for ancient camel jockeys. Then there are those who believe that each word spoken or written in Quran or by the Prophet is law. There are those who believe in ‘baraka’ from saints who can intercede and those who believe in none of that.
You know what I believe? I believe we were each endowed with the possibility of happiness and if we use the holy words and good advice of those who were enlightened to discover our own truth, we can find our way to that path laid out by the big whatsitsname in the sky, name it what you will. When we stray from that path, we become less happy, when we accept the challenges put in front of us and accept our lack of an ability to ‘know’ fuck all, that’s when we become more happy.
Clouds are Muslim because they do as they must, your blood is Muslim as it doesn’t argue with it’s role, animals are Muslim because they don’t struggle against what comes to them naturally. I like that Quran tells about the greater jihad which is the struggle with our own sense of right and wrong.
You know what? I’m Muslim – but I don’t know shit – in fact, it’s that lack of certainty that makes me Muslim. At least by my definition. You know how you become Muslim…you say “There is no God but God and Mohammad is his prophet”
Great. I can’t define God and certainly there is no undefinable except the undefinable. As to Mohammad (more peace upon him to avoid offending anyone) – I would say that he was most certainly a messenger of the undefinable and delivered one of the greatest works that describe how undefinable the undefinable is.
Allah alihi illallah wa Mohammadan Rasullallah. Say it out loud and you are a Muslim. No need to say it 3x fast, spin around, or wear a white robe.Go ahead, say it and then decide what it means to be a Muslim- since you are one.