The awakening of Saira
Dear Ali Sina,
Last week, I had never heard of you and God am I pleased that I found your website. It all started when the poor Abdul Rahman was nearly sentenced to death because he used his free will.
I was born a Muslim but was one of those who found Islam by herself. I've always practised but I only started to read the Quran in depth recently to understand it better. Of course, soon, I saw I was always worshipping a God that punishes and condemns so easily.
Most of my good friends are Christians and I envied them so much for the special relationship they had with their loving God. I tried praying to 'another' God instead. It didn't work. It was only last week that I could no longer worship 'that' God. Reading all your articles helped me go ahead with my decision. All you say makes so much sense and one would have to be blind to overlook this.
I'm in such awe, I thought I was going crazy. Though I feel so much better, I can't help but feeling so alone. Belonging to a Faith makes you feel like you're part of something bigger. So, I feel like I've lost my bearings. Though I pray now using those nice prayers of Psalms, I don't know what to do.
Do you mind me asking what Faith group you belong to now and how to go about making that decision?
Before I end, I have to thank you for bringing me out of darkness. What you're doing is so great and I admire the fact that even death threats won't stop you!
I hope you have time to give me some words of wisdom. You’ve been through this before so you know how this feels.
I was also wondering if you can keep my address and name anonymous...
Dear Saira (name altered)
I am glad you saw the truth in such a short time. It took me much longer. Of course, back then there were no sites like Faith Freedom. Actually the Internet was at its infancy and few had it.
I do not have a religion and will not choose one ever. What I found is that truth is everywhere. There is no need to follow anyone else to find the truth. It’s right where you are. It’s within you. Truth is a pathless land.
But Psalms contains beautiful prayers that can bring tears to your eyes. I used to read Psalms and they gave me inner peace. Gradually of course, my thoughts changed and I no more believe in asking for help from an external source. I still believe in God but it is not the same God taught by religions. It is not a God that needs my prayers. It does not listen or answer to prayers. God is not aware of you and me. It is awareness itself. It is not a loving god; it’s Love itself. It is not knowing; it’s knowledge itself. God is not a being with atributes. It is the principle underlying all things. You feel God in every breath you take in and in every heart beat.
However, you should follow your own intellect. If you find Psalms give you peace, read them. If the belief in God gives you strength, believe in him. Christianity, although a myth, is essentially a religion of peace and love. I know the expression of “religion of peace” makes us cringe, but this one is for real. There have been bad Christians who have done terrible things, but don’t blame Christianity for that. There are also good Muslims, but you should not credit Islam for them. All religions are essentially good, Islam is essentially evil. Only a fool would put Islam in the same category of other religions. You can find beauty in all religions, except in Islam. Philosophically, I find Buddhism much more logical than all other religions. Zoroastrianism also has very good teachings. Neither Buddha, nor Zoroaster claimed to be prophets. Their teachings were somewhat corrupted by their followers.
Perhaps you would want to pick and choose what you think is best from all religions and philosophies. That would be the wisest thing to do. Then again when you do that, you'd be a freethinker and not a follower. This is what I do. I listen carefully and from each garden I pick a flower. Anyone can be my teacher, even a child.
If you want to follow a religion, my advice is, make it personal. Make sure your religion is between you and your God alone. If you need a community, I think the best is Unitarian Universalist Association . There you can have a community and listen to spiritual and uplifting teachings and yet keep your own personal religion.
Join the forum of FFI. There you’ll meet many people who have walked down this path and can be of great help to you. An online community can be just as supportive and uplifting as a real one.
Good luck and wish you the best.