During the month of Ramadan, I had the chance to read an article about the excruciatingly long fasts Scandinavian Muslims are blessed with (not being sarcastic). After glossing through it, I proceeded – due to the impulse of an unfortunate habit – to read the comments.
‘Why should God care about my dietary habits?’ Quite an interesting question. So here, I will attempt to approach it from a Muslim’s point of view.
Even if there was a God, he’s probably too preoccupied to care about what I do and what I eat seems to be the general feeling.
The question however is: what kind of a God is preoccupied? What kind of a God is so burdened with the pressure of maintaining his kingdom that he can’t spare his attention for the creation he created to worship him (As as the Quran claims).
What kind of God grows tired and neglectful or dismissive and lenient? What kind of God doesn’t give his creatures clear outlines on how to live? An analogy would be that of an inventor that leaves no manual for his/her invention.
If such a God even existed, He wouldn’t be a God but rather a god (with the lower case g) – the semblance of a divine being but not actually divine, a wizard or a witch or a ghost, not a being worthy of worship.
Though it’s easily understood that a being outside of time has powers beyond our wildest comprehensions, C.S. Lewis still tackles this question with the sure finesse of a seasoned christian apologist.
Since God is independent of time (or at least He has to be to be a ‘god’) – he says – he is able to spend an incalculable amount of time with each of his servants and direct his attention towards anything he wishes without the fear of being ‘overwhelmed’.
I don’t agree with this explanation as it is too lousy and paints a God with a limited attention span. That’s not a God. That’s a High schooler texting on his phone. But the point is made. For a being of infinite power, keeping track of the minutiae of a trillion galaxies and the inhabitants therein is (or shouldn’t be) no big deal.
These are not complicated questions but seldom asked; and that is understandable. They are deeply personal and answering them the right way means coming to terms with uncomfortable ideas; namely submission. It is clear (a least to me or to any other creature with a thinking faculty) that a creator must provide a purpose for His creation and also a guide on how to achieve this purpose. It is nonsensical to imagine a god who plays dice and paints galaxies like an amused 4 year old discovering paint for the first time. Common sense dictates God is the perfection of all virtues and prudence.
The next logical conclusion is submission to this purpose. Submission is uncomfortable. Submission is blasphemous – to our ego’s at least. Submission is terrifying. Most poignant of all however, is that Submission is voluntary enslavement; in this case, voluntarily forgoing food till sunset for a month (Ramadan).
Strangely enough, all of this is summed up in one word describing a faith practiced by over 1.7 billion; Islam.