Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What would it take for you to renounce your religion?

This post is inspired by the apostasy cases which were heard in the Federal Court today. If you'd like to read about the case, you can read about it [here] and [here].

For some reason, the cases made me wonder: what would it take for us to renounce our religion?

I am somehow reminded by the story of Salman the Persian, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. He was born and raised as a Zoroastrian who then converted to Christianity (after meeting a Nestorian Christian group) and afterwards converted to Islam after meeting the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h.

Three different religions in one lifetime.

For Salman, the decision to renounce the religion of his family, Zoroastrian, was of his own making. And it was the same when he decided to again renounce Christianity.

Can we influence someone to convert to another religion?

A number of examples have shown that we cannot. Point in case: Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. died without embracing Islam despite being a strong supporter of the Prophet and even though the Prophet asked him to pronounce the shahadah on his deathbed, he did not do so.

Even in the case of Salman the Persian, he was imprisoned by his family (which he escaped from later) after he converted to Christianity.

Why? Matters regarding faith rests in the heart of man, for we cannot lie to ourselves and bow down (prostrate) to what we do not believe in. We have been given free will, hence we have the freedom to choose and decide in which faith do we want to profess to.

"... And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered." (Surah Al Anfal 8: 24)

In a hadith the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. mentions, "Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes." Then the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. said: "O' Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience."

Thus we could say that matters of the faith is a reflection of the heart of man. If your heart turns to another faith, perhaps then, that is what it takes for you to renounce your religion to another.

I pray that we all be guided and may our hearts be kept steadfast on the straight path. Ameen.


xoxo Fareiny