Do Unto Others…

About three weeks ago I was going about my routine and cooking dinner for my family. And out of nowhere it hit me: I’m generally a good and moral person. Now that probably doesn’t seem like a major revelation initially. But when I coupled it with the fact that I wasn’t part of an Abrahamic faith(or the ‘Desert Dogmas’ as a friend of mine calls them), it was an epiphany. I stopped making salat in November 2010. I hadn’t attended church religiously since 2009. Yet here I am, still an upright human being. I don’t treat my fellow humans any worse since leaving organized religion. I don’t cheat or steal. I don’t lie. I’m not violent. I abide by the laws of my community. I show the same love to my family and friends. I am not perfect, but I basically do the right thing. I treat people as I want to be treated.

It’s not a fear of eternal punishment that inspires me to live this way. Nor is it a desire to earn good behavior points from an Almighty Being. It doesn’t stem from a belief that all my deeds are being recorded for a Day of Judgment. No, I adhere to this ethical code because my conscience lets me know it’s the right thing to do. I now realize that I don’t need to attend church and hear “the word of God preached by a sent man of God” in order to know and do the right thing. I don’t need to bow in prayer five times a day and follow the sheikhs to know what is moral. God gave me the inner compass, all I have to do is listen to that. No further instruction is necessary.

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A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

3 thoughts on “Do Unto Others…

  1. I came to your blog from Stephanie’s and have been nodding in agreement from your most recent post. But then I read this one and just had to comment.

    The thing is, I feel that I am a better person now that I am no longer feeling guilty about EVERYTHING. I feel free, literally. I no longer worry about what bad sin I am committing just by being a woman! ANd it got to a point where I felt that I was just a walking bag of sin, just by being me. But now I see that I am a good person without following some ridiculous rules and regulations (which seem manmade to me!). I am much calmer and more at ease and at peace with the world. I am just nicer.

    I think though for me I feel that I am Muslim by faith, rather than by religion. It is a part of me. My ancestors were Muslim as far back as I can see. And I can’t discount this part of my llife and my family. I am quiet about my beliefs because I could hurt the people that I love the most. It is hard and I wonder how long I can go on like this, but I try not to think ahead too much.

    Now I am off to read the rest of your blog!

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