Is your Islam better than mine?

After years of Islamiat, a Canadian university opened my eyes; religion is as sacred as you make it.

Maida Amir April 10, 2011
Growing up, I studied about the history of Islam, religious battles and tales of bravery in our compulsory Islamic Studies class at school. I was taught to learn and believe in the religion - and so I did.

Then, I went to college.

My romanticized opinions were shattered when I took a course on  religious studies. As I entered a new discourse, one that compared Islam to  Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, I found myself questioning my preconceived notions of righteousness.

The class taught us the difference between "rational thought" and religion. When I looked around my class I felt orthodox, but certainly not superior.

By comparing rationality to different religions, I was required to question the validity of religion. This was difficult for me. A voice in my head kept saying
“Hello? This isn’t what you are here to learn. You should believe - not question!”

But I continued and completed the courses.

At the end of the semester, I  started questioning some old beliefs. When I heard a professor talk about Islamic history I realised reverence was personal. Islam was sacred to me only because I believed in it.

I learned that other religions – which earlier lessons had taught me to regard as ‘false’ - are sacred too. Not for me, as a Muslim, but for those who believe in the sacredness of their respective religions.

We spend our lives protecting our religion, trying to maintain its sanctity, while we miss out on the most vital part that Islamic history can teach us: universality.

Tell me, is your Islam better than mine? If no human is created superior than another, there should be no better sacredness; after all spirituality is personal.

To the contrary, Islam in Pakistan is being misused to control and to deprive.

Personally, I choose to remain confused...
Maida Amir The author is a digital media and communications professional based in Toronto. She holds a masters degree in Communication and New Media from McMaster University.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


sars | 12 years ago | Reply @Progressive Right If you do not exalt your religion by your thoughts and actions, the likelihood of "spreading" Islam effectively is unlikely.Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but a more tolerant approach is more welcome. Being a Hafiz e Quran is a noble achievement, but understanding the spirit of the message and applying it to our lives, is on many levels, a bigger challenge
Nobody | 12 years ago | Reply @Hamid from Lucknow: But it allows you to generalize an entire population and judge an entire country? Yes, anyone can pick up on the heavy condescension in your words (unless that was your only intention...?).... However, as you are entitled to post your opinion (or whatever that was) with respect to your point, I'd like to say that no well-educated Pakistani will disagree with the fact that the mullahs have hijacked Islam to pervert it into some unrecognizable concept in Pakistan, spewing bigotry, intolerance, violence and hatred, but by exposing the holier than thou attitude, you've done no favors to yourself. Are you here just to let us know that YOUR Islam is better than Pakistan's Islam, or are you going to offer a suggestion/solution, or rather anything of value? I live abroad and MY Islam allows me all that YOURS does, but it doesn't allow me to condescend another's situation or flash a holier than thou attitude, as that is the very problem with today's Islam in parts of the world. Cheers!
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