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Dear God

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Dear God,
I don’t think it’s going to be very easy writing a letter to someone who I don’t completely believe exists, and who will never get said letter anyways. But I think it’s important to get my religious views (or lack thereof) out of me and into you some way.

I was born into a semi-religious family; one that practices Islam. We’re not the most orthodox bunch of Muslims, but my whole family at the very least has read the Qur’an and acknowledges your presence. When I was young, my grandmother lived with us in our modest one-story home in Moorpark. Every morning, when I would wake up to go to school, I would see my grandma, up at 6:00 in the morning, on her knees, praying to you. Every morning, on the ground was her soft, green, and velvety prayer rug; every morning, on her head was that silken veil, covering almost her whole body whilst kneeling; every morning was that same whisper, that same prayer, that same flow of Arabic scripture that creeps into my memory now and again to this very day. I would always creep past, as quietly as possible, to my bathroom, trying to pick up a word or two, and figure out what she was praying about. But all I would get was something like: “Ashado An La Elaha Ellah Allah, w Ashadoh Ann Mohammadan Rasoolo Allah.” Not that I knew what any of it meant, I was still vaguely interested in this strange ritual of standing and kneeling, standing and kneeling, that my grandma would do five times a day.

As I grew and “matured” my views about you and your followers changed time and time again. At one point, I considered myself an unorthodox Muslim. I would pray to you every night, thanking you for the food, shelter, and overall, the life you had given me. I would pray for the health of my loved ones, for good fortune in upcoming events, and for the continuance of a steady satisfying existence. I even made an attempt to read the Qur’an. I was in my own little unorthodox world, saying traditional Islamic prayers, yet knowing nothing about them; keeping a Qur’an by my bedside, yet not understanding a single word of Arabic. It was comfortable state of not knowing, yet believing.

However, as you might have noticed, my prayer habits began to slowly dwindle. I would sometimes only put my head down to thank you for another safe and rewarding day, and some nights not pray at all. I really cannot tell you why I stopped praying. It wasn’t because I stopped believing in your existence, for I kept my Qur’an by my bedside and I hadn’t really begun to doubt there being someone, or something, like you. I just stopped. Maybe life got busier, maybe I got tired of unanswered prayers. I to this day do not know.

It wasn’t until I met my good friend True, that I actually began to speculate and delve deeper into my belief system. True, coming from a Jewish mother, yet being a firm believer in atheism, would engage in heated debates on your existence with me. I would come forth sometimes and say: “How could something as complex and as ingenious as the human body just spring out of nowhere? It didn’t. God designed it.” Then, he would come back and explain to me the theory of evolution, or some other disproving argument that always shot down my statement.

The thing is there was never any evidence in your support. There was never anything I could say that wouldn’t just sound completely ridiculous and improbable. So, in light of my acquaintance with True, my belief in you actually started to diminish. I began to see things in a new, more logical perspective. There, that’s the thing that came into play: logic. The logic to say to myself: “Seeing is believing.”
Recently, I wrote an essay consisting solely of a list of what I believe. One of my beliefs was about you. I said, “I believe that there must be a God, I just can’t see him,” and that, God, is my belief. It’s not something spoon-fed to me by some preacher in some church, or by some rabbi in some temple, or by some mullah in some mosque. It’s my belief.

This, in turn, brings me to religion. Religion, and the belief in you, to me, are two completely different things. To me, religions are like fairy tales. Fairy tales that people have died over and over again to protect and endorse. Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. have been fighting to this day over who has the best and most accurate fairy tale. They have been so busy in revising, defending, and advertising their fairy tales that they have forgotten what the moral of the story is. You. You are the moral. I stay away from religion not simply because I do not believe a word of the stories, but because it distracts me from you. To me, it doesn’t matter which story is right or wrong, just like it doesn’t matter which tale of Jack and the Beanstalk is more correct. There is only one you, and it doesn’t matter which story there is behind it, it will always be you.

I have decided, God, to be in the grey area between agnosticism and atheism. I don’t know what that is called and I really don’t care. It’s my belief. I will keep my Qur’an by my bedside and the possibility of your existence in my thoughts. But, I can’t commit to one side just yet. I still have much growing up, learning, and experiencing to do, and until then, I don’t know whether I can believe in you or not. Maybe if I got a sign, it would help. But, you are no doubt a busy God, so I don’t expect one any time soon. Keep me in your thoughts though, and one day, if you really are out there, prove me wrong. Please.




Sincerely,






Kassra





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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

PrznDood said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm

HAHAHAHAHA

no

its ME that didn't know what a word of it meant

its ME that kept a Qu'ran by my bedside without understanding a word.

MY GRANDMA on the other hand, has read the Qu'ran many times over.

 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 12:13 am
This is Teen Ink, so I'll just say that it's very well-written and moving.

However, I cannot help but feel that you could've read a translation of the Quran. 
 
PrznDood replied...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I dont understand your comment...

are you saying I should give the Qu'ran a chance?

 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Yes, but to be more specific:

Not that I knew what any of it meant, I was still vaguely interested in this strange ritual of standing and kneeling, standing and kneeling, that my grandma would do five times a day.

She could've googled the meaning.


And someplace else, she says that she kept a Quran by her bedside in spite of not understanding a word---

she could've kept a translation by her bed instead. 

 
PrznDood replied...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

HAHAHAHAHA

no

its ME that didn't know what a word of it meant

its ME that kept a Qu'ran by my bedside without understanding a word.

MY GRANDMA on the other hand, has read the Qu'ran many times over.

 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

LOL, I think we're misunderstanding each other.

Okay, here's what I'm saying: The author, who I assume is you even though the username is different, is saying that she (the author) didn't understand Arabic, correct, even though she prayed and stuff.

What I'M saying is that Kassra--the author--could've just GOOGLED THE MEANING OF THE PRAYERS AND QURAN instead of living in a state of oblivion.

Does that make sense now? (Sorry for the caps. Those are for emphasis--I'm not ye... (more »)

 
PrznDood replied...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 12:55 am

oooohhhhhh i see

heres where the confusion came from

Kassra is my name, yes, i am the author, but I am also a he :P

 

ANYWAYS

yes, i suppose i could have

but, as i said, i was in a comfortable state of not knowing, yet believing. i had no desire to delve deeper than i already had. i dont know why, it was a long, long time ago.

 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm
OKAY, I don't know if my reply even posted, so if this comment comes up twice, I'm sorry!! 

OHH, now I get it. I'm just used to names that end in "a" as being female--it's like that in Arabic--so I just assumed....yeah. Sorry. 

Btw, was True actually the guy's name? Or was that like some sort of metaphor...thing. 

And I think that the Quran IS the sign from God. That's it's point. You know the verses? In Arabic, the word "ayah" means "signs". 
 
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