19/08/2015: @speak4them|Religion & Culture
Muslim: When I was born, my parents took me to the Islamic religious scholar with the purpose of having me in the circle of Islam. The Adhan was recited in my right ear followed by Iqamah in my left ear. I was given the name Umer and since then I’m obligated to all Islamic principles.
Hindu: When I entered this world, Jatakarma was performed to welcome me into a Hindu family by putting some honey in my mouth and whispering the name of Gods in my ear. I was named through a ritual Namkarna and since then people call me Karan.
Judaism: When I was born, my father was given the honor of an Aliyah (an opportunity to bless the reading of the Torah) in Synagogue (a place where Jews worship). At that time, a blessing was recited for the health of my mother and me. I was named after the eight days of birth rituals and now everyone calls me Adam.
Christianity: When I entered this world, I was taken to priest in a church where he poured water on my head in the name of the father, son and the Holy Spirit. I have been considered as the disciple of Jesus Christ since that day. I was named at the time of Baptism and now people call me John.
If I was born in United States in any Christian family, I’m sure that I would have been Christian today. If my parents were following Judaism, I would have been Jew today and most of the Muslims in the world would have been cursing me for I am Jew. As a Muslim, I found this fact a little distressing. My religion seemed to have more to do with my life than any kind of free will choice. The obvious problem with this is that if only one religion leads to heaven, then the chances of us finding that religion are greatly diminished when God places us into a “deceived” culture. God is effectively blocking us from salvation. The other problem with the most of the religions is predestination which means that your destiny is planned by God. It means that we are simply like puppets and playing out roles that God has written for us.
God may insist that he is fair in every religion but life certainly seems unfair. There is inequality everywhere I look. Some children are born into wealth and others into poverty, some are born healthy and others are born sick, some are born geniuses and others are born developmentally disabled, some live to 8 while others live to 80, and some are born into Islam while others are born into other religions. With all these variables, how can we say that God has created an even playing field, where everyone has the same opportunity of getting into heaven?
Life is all about learning new experiences and making attempts to try out new things but I have a fear because I am a believer and God has put restrictions on me.
The Writer “Umer Haideri” is a Student of Medical Sciences at Aga Khan University, Karachi & Usually Writes about Socio-political phenomenons to Speak4them!