R is for Rules
Today’s topic comes from an interesting encounter I had with a friend a few months ago. This friend doesn’t practice any particular religion, but we are pretty close, so she is familiar with Islam. I was telling her about some concept I had recently learned that didn’t quite make sense to me. It had to do with making up prayers, and the way I had originally thought the process works ended up being wrong and the correct way was what didn’t make sense to me.
Her response to this was really intriguing to me.
“Why don’t you just do what you originally thought was right if that is what makes sense to you?”
I understand where her solution came from, but it just shows how vastly different our two world views are. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond at first because the thought never once crossed my mind to “just believe something else.”
What I ended up saying: I can’t just change the rules like that. I didn’t make the rules; God did, so I play by his rules.
In believing something, you come into belief with the assumption that what you believe is fact. I believe the words in the Qur’an, and I believe that the things that the Qur’an say will happen will in fact happen no matter what everyone else “believes.” People can believe whatever they want, but that doesn’t change what the truth is.
By my Islamic paradigm, I have to follow the rules set by God in the Qur’an if I want to get to Heaven. There is no changing the rules because I don’t like them. I didn’t create the world. I don’t know the true nature of humans. If I believe that God is the supreme being with knowledge of all things, it would be silly of me to live by any other rules than the timeless rules he set for all of mankind.
It never even occurred to me before that conversation with my friend that this outlook is not universal. The concept of belief is such an interesting thing.