Dialogue With Those of Another Faith

Throughout my entire life, people have come to me recommending that I change my faith. Some people suggest that I adopt their faith, while others suggest that I should not adopt any faith at all. And there are those who wish that I adopt any faith but Islam. I have never felt contempt towards any of these individuals. Though I totally disagreed with their premise, I totally agreed with their intentions. Their intentions were to lead me to truth and stir me from falsehood as they preceived truth and falsehood to be. I can accept criticism and denouncement of my faith. It is insults and belittlement that are uncalled for. Helpfully my sentiments are shared with those of other religions.

My books are a criticism of all the major religions, including Islam. I just hope that people realize that there is no harm, only progress, in criticism that is devoid of denigration. Dialogue and scrutiny are ultimately how we arrive at the truth. There is no belief system that is beyond scrutiny. There is no belief system that can not be ridiculed, including scientific theories. I feel the greatest hurdle to jump is the notion that our beliefs are personal and that they should not be discussed with other people, particularly other people who might disagree. One problem with that idea is that our beliefs are the guide by which we interact with other people. I most certainly want to know what other religions say about me and how I am to be treated. (There is little doubt that non-muslims sources have made it their duty to TRY to articulate how muslims view non-Muslims, but this job is best suited for a Muslim.)

Another problem with keeping our religion to ourselves is that some people will never find the truth. Most people adhere to the religion that they were raised in. Though they may at one time or another lose their faith, when people are in search of answers to their life, they inevitably return to what they are familiar with. But to be clear, there is only one truth, while there can be several falsehoods. In other words, someone is on the wrong path. As sincere followers of our religion, how can we allow others to go down a path of error without attempting to give them the proper directions? In our efforts, we may find that we have been off course. But if we never ask, we will never know.

Peace to all.


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