PERSUASION by Bein Alameen *
Have you been in a situation where in your friend, colleague, relative, or even a total stranger pops up on your doorstep trying to persuade you in believing his/her ideologies which are at times weird, alien, strange, or just plain in opposition of yours? It sucks right? This is where the notion "what do you think?" when your friend asks your opinion about the dress she'll be wearing' on her date or the movie you just had or to somebody you've both just met. Politically speaking, "what do you think?" is supposed to ask one's opinion on a subject matter; but in most cases, Reality that is, it is just a way of knowing if one's opinion is similar to yours - checking out if they agree with yours or not beforehand. Funny as it seems but true.
Now going back, think about it when persuasion occurs in lieu of religion or a certain religious point of view for that matter. Street preachers (sometimes on buses too), missionaries, and those guys who goes on tandem knocking at doors splurting out "share lang po namin ang mabuting balita" (we'll just share the good news) - i wish the news will be me winning some raffle draw or even a lottery jackpot, which i doubt to happen 'cause i haven't joined any for a very long time. Or some Clergyman asking be a freedom fighter and guarantee a spot in Jennah (heaven). Sometimes we shoo this people away, sometimes we entertain them.... but do we actually listen?
I remember a friend of mine going to the extent of pretending to be an atheist just to get away. I myself before have used the phrase "nagsusuri pa ako" (im still analyzing) - religion that is, which has become successful on repelling these approaches. Only got stumped when a family member said, "pano pag oras na ng paghuhukom, haharap ka ba sa diyos at sasabihin mong nagsusuri ka pa?" (What if it’s the hour of judgment, are you gonna tell god you're still analyzing?).
That's the time I started taking religion seriously - man I was a loose cannon back then and even though my religious knowledge is mediocre, I always tend to go on sensitive debates and discussions armed with biblical verses and loopholes? Hoping to trump and get the opposing party humiliated without caring on religious impact. That's the danger of little sensitive knowledge + brash youth = expect the unexpected.
But as I grow older, to my surprise, wisdom and reason can be synonymous with each other. Even pondered.... what if the guy who worships cows has the true religion, or what if "that guy who founded a church" is truly an angel, and the "southern" clan is family of saints, not to mention animists and atheists? Man! Then eternal damnation is waiting for me for sure, for my beliefs are not even up par to theirs. Don’t get me wrong but I have much respect with Religions - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity; all practicing Monotheism or the belief in one true God.
All others, Sects, Cults, and Breakaway groups are make beliefs, politically motivated and unguided visions which only benefit their leaders/founders who promise salvation. and don’t ever feed me "what about Sunni, Shiite, Salafis, Sufis, Wahabbis, Sadrists, Hanbalis, Hanafis, Allawis... etc" I am a Muslim and my Creator guided me to be that way for I fear not on walking in the middle of the straight path and not choose sides. Bear in mind that we need to believe in the IDEALS and not some Shiny or Living IDOLS.
However my take on things on a religiously relevant topic is only on a personal level and not speaking on behalf of my own religion in general. I am but a student and my learning process only ends on my deathbed. I will try to answer queries and questions (with regards religion that is) as much as i possibly can.
It is true that my limited knowledge may not always have an exact answer to every query that i may encounter, wherein I am tasked to relay the question to whomsoever had the wisdom and maybe able to provide the answers later on. May the Almighty guide us on all our actions and opinions that we may not err our own Faith thru misconceptions, misinterpretations, or misunderstandings.
* Bein Alameen is a knight :)