A few days ago, as I was sitting on one of the benches in Canal Walk, waiting on my sister while she was in one of the shops, I overheard a gentleman explaining to another gentleman (some friend or acquaintance of his) the philosophy behind the trinity and quoting lines out of Genesis and some other religious texts in which he believes. I listened with growing curiosity, as my knowledge of the belief system of Christians is quite limited, as well as their division of the different sects (is that what they are called?) and what they each respectively believe in.
Here’s the little that I do know: they (or some of them) believe in the notion of the ‘trinity’, that god is divided into three entities — the father, the son and the holy spirit. But these three seemingly separate entities are, in fact, believed to co-exist within one divine being — god. So, this kind of boggles my mind and I’ve always found it really difficult to make sense of. And then here, right next to me (well, with a sufficiently halaal distance between us, of course :P), I had a man who firmly believes in this concept of god trying to explain it to another gentleman who appeared to be confused by it all (I think the first man was trying to convert the second man). So I lent my ears out, wanting to hear this man’s explanation. It still didn’t seem to make sense though. What he was saying was just a rehash of everything (and by that I mean ‘the very little’) I had heard before: “God is three… but… one…” Hmmm… yeah. That still doesn’t really explain anything to me.
As I was sitting there, listening to this gentleman explain his beliefs to the other man, with none of them really making much sense to me, I badly wanted to interject and explain to him what I believe. I wanted to tell him that God is One. That He is Self-Sufficient, that He is neither a father, a son, nor a holy spirit. He is Allah (God). He doesn’t need anyone to assist Him in being the Lord of man and all the worlds; he doesn’t need to be a three-in-one version. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful. He has no son (or daughters) and no father (or mother), and there is no entity which is co-equal to Him or which co-exists with Him. He is One [refer to Surah al-Ikhlas, The Qur’an, Chapter 112].
But I said nothing.
I just sat there and listened. I wish I had had the courage to say these things, but I didn’t know how to tell a complete stranger that everything he believes does not make sense. How do you tell anyone, stranger or not, that the beliefs upon which they’ve based their whole life is baseless? And aside from that, there is the fact that they were men. And I am a Muslim woman. And my hijab extends further than just the scarf on my head. So I couldn’t just randomly talk to these strangers. But regardless, I feel that, as a Muslim, I should have said or done something. But, instead, I sat there until it was time to leave, and then I walked away. I left the one man to continue believing what he does, and I let the other man be open to the possibility of believing in a three-in-one version of god.
The Prophet Muhammad (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said:
Whoever of you sees an evil must then change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it ] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the weakest [effect of] faith.
[Reported by Muslim]
So, taking this hadith into consideration, what do you think I should have done? What would you have done differently?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.