I told myself to post frequently on this blog but it seems that I have been away for this few days. The reason is I was too busy living my life to the fullest. Haha. Okay, just kidding. It was the national day and hari raya so obviously there was a lot going on. We held a small feast at our house during the second raya. I did not really invite my friends because many of them had come during Aidilfitri and the opening of my mum’s new spa. And most of them probably couldn’t come anyway. Then we went to Penang on Sunday and to Perlis yesterday to drop my sisters off. It is the beginning of the new semester and mine’s coming up next week. Today, in fact, right now I’m back at the gym to work as usual.
Anyway, last night I opened my askfm feeds and saw some shout out questions. I rarely open askfm so I thought of killing some time there. One of the questions kind of intrigued me. Why does religion exist? I don’t know who ask that though. It is a simple question but I can say there are various answers to that. Instead of replying there, I’m just going to write an entry to answer it based on my own perspective. Different people have different perspective so you can’t really say which one is correct and which one is wrong, right?
Religion. It’s a word that has a very deep meaning behind it. As I mentioned earlier, different people have different perspective. It’s also applicable on the terms of religion. Some people held on religion tightly. Some people are average. Some people believe in religion but they are not quite bond to it. And some people don’t believe in religion at all. They are called atheist, those with no religion. But why religion exists at the first place? And what makes us with religions different from those with no religion?
For me, religion is everything. Religion is your life and it is also your death. Religion is faith. Religion is belief. Religion is holding on to a power that is beyond us. I believe in one God. Some people believe in more than one God. Some people believe in deities or spiritual energy. The point is, we believers, believe in the power of the Almighty. We are humans. And as humans, we are actually weak. We are not really as strong as what we think we are.
Life has its upside downs. There are times when things are just hard for you until you come to the point of not knowing what to do. Whether you lost a person you love the most, or you might have been kicked out of your own house, or one of your family members has been diagnosed with a disease, or you get fired from your job, or you messed up in your examinations. There are times when it is just too much and you feel like bursting everything outside of your chest.
Some of you might have shoulders to lean on. But some of you might not. Everything going on around you is just too much. You probably want to fight back but there’s just nothing that you can do. You burst out to tears and sit alone, hoping that something like miracles will help you to get out from your situation. And somehow, you might not realize it, you are praying for a greater power to give you a hand. You pray. You want to believe something will change. And it will.
Religions exist to help people to overcome these situations. The believers believe that we can pray to God to ease our burdens. How about the non-believers? I am pretty much sure that they also will experience these difficulties in their lives. But who should they call when they need a help the most? They do not believe in God. They do not believe in religion. Then if they do not believe in themselves anymore, who should they believe? Their family or friends might hear them out, but what can they do to help in that situation? They are just the same people that cannot do anything to change the fate. At the end of the day, the non-believers will just torture themselves. Deep down in their hearts, I’m sure everyone will have the needs for help when they are in trouble. I don’t think it’s different with atheist. I think it’s sad that they are denying that they need help from a greater power in those situations. They are just contradicting themselves. Isn’t it painful to contradict yourself?
I also believe that religion is giving you a purpose in life. People keep living everyday, and we are claiming that we’re living our lives to the fullest. We eat, sleep, play, go to school, go to universities, go to work, hang out with friends, visit various places and we do the same thing all over again. But does by doing that, we are satisfied? Are we actually living our lives to the fullest? Do you really satisfy with the way things are? If that’s the case, I would probably say no. I’m not fine with the way things are if I’m just doing the same thing all over again.
Here is when religion is very useful. A religion promises you with something better and greater than what you are having now. I don’t really know about the other religions. Some people believe there are incarnations. If you do well, you might be reborn in the next life. But if you do badly, you’ll just turn into the ashes. Some people believe in karma. What you give, you’ll get back. If you are good, you will receive rewards in return. But if you do something bad, a disaster might follow you. Of course, in Islam, we don’t believe this kind of things but it’s their belief and I respect that. In Islam, we believe in the Heaven and the Hell. Those who practice good deeds will end up in the Heaven and vice versa. I think the concept is almost the same with Hindu and Christian. I’m not saying Islam is the same as other religions, I’m just stating the fact that those religions also using the same concept but probably a bit different depending on their belief.
Anyway, everyone wants to get good rewards. Nobody wants to be ashes, or get misfortunes, or go to Hell. Only those who are not in their right minds would want that. In order to receive, we need to give. We need to perform good deeds to get our amazing rewards. From the Islam perspective, we need to pray, fasting in Ramadan, giving out the zakat and much more as they are the commands from Allah SWT. When people perform these actions, they know that they aren’t wasting anything. These actions will bring us one step closer to our ultimate goal, which is to enter the Jannah.
Anticipating for something good is the best feeling ever. We perform good deeds in hoping for something great in return. We have goals in life. That is why I can ensure you that we are not living a wasteful life, as we are actually striving for a good place in the afterlife. It feels good. It feels really good if you can have a place in Jannah. That’s why you shouldn’t just go on and waste your life as it is. Do something good and earn your rewards. Let’s do this together.
However, it is a different case for the atheist. As they are non-believers, they do not believe in afterlife, I guess? It would be weird if they do not believe in God but they actually believe in something that is also cannot be explained scientifically. Atheists only believe in scientific explanations. Or some of them probably do not believe in anything because they have closed their minds from accepting anything. It’s kind of sad to think that there are people that cannot feel the pleasure in having a religion. They live, work and struggle until their last breath. And that’s the end of it. When they die, they just die. Don’t you think life is more than just that? Life is more than just living it. Life is purpose. A test from God to see whether you deserve the great rewards or not.
I believe religion has more than that. The purpose of the existing of religions is also to fill in the hole in your heart. There are times when you just feel empty. You are probably sitting down or staring at a blank space, thinking what bothers you deep down inside. You might have everything. You have your family, friends, husband, wife, children, your career, your house, your dream car or you probably have everything you want. But sometimes you just keep asking yourself. Why do I feel empty? Why do I feel as if there’s a hole inside my heart? I have everything in my life, but there is something missing. What is it? What is that missing piece?
If you have that kind of questions in yourself, I would gladly answer that. It’s your God. Your faith. Your belief. Your spiritual. It’s probably not missing; it’s just that you don’t put your religion as a priority. You are chasing your education, your work, your success, your fame, but sometimes you do not feel like chasing something that you cannot see. That’s the reason to your empty heart.
Religion is faith. Faith is something that you cannot see or hear or even tough with your bare hands. That what makes we, people, tend to forget something that is abstract. However, think of it clearly. Hearts, feelings, emotions, are also abstract. In order to fill your empty heart, you also need to hold on something that is abstract, which in this case in your faith. I think an emotional satisfaction can mostly be gain by emotional struggles. If we put more effort into remembering and believing, then you are one step closer to what you are actually searching for. I’m saying this because I am also one of His servants that is trying to fill the holes in my heart. We are just normal people, but if the prophets can do it, why can’t we?
Point is, I believe there is more than that in a religion. I just feel very proud, lucky and grateful for having Islam as my religion. I’m just grateful for being chosen to be in this wonderful religion. I don’t know if I’m actually answering the question but I hope it somehow helps. And thanks for the question. I want to thank the readers too if you are actually reading this until the end. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thank you and have a nice day. Photo credits: Google