Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cultural muslim

I still make sure that the meat I eat is halal. I don't drink wine. I don't engage in sexual activities. My religious upbringing has a lot to do with that, but I believe that I don't indulge in these activities as I genuinely consider most of these activities to be unwholesome.

Its mind boggling to see how many different facets of your life are touched by religion -- from birth, to daily activities, to marriage and eventually death. While its easy to let go of certain rituals and practices as an individual, letting go of communal rituals and practices is a little harder to do. The coming ramadan will probably be the first (since growing up) in which I will not fast though I will probably celebrate eid -- not as a religious festival but as a cultural one.

I confessed my present state of belief to a friend recently. I had had extensive discussions with the same friend last year as I was drifting further and further away from Islam. Even though it was patently obvious to him that I did not believe in any of the fundamental tenets of Islam, I was surprised when he mumbled -- almost in a state of confusion and disbelief -- that I was still a muslim. It might have been that he genuinely believed that I was still a muslim at some level or it might be that being a muslim has got much more to do with your cultural values and traditions than a mere set of beliefs and that I was a muslim in the former sense if not the latter.

1 comment:

  1. Dude...even I hv d same feeling....im becoming more n more skeptical dese days