Seeking God, or Remaining in Self Imposed Exile/ Ignorance?
In a photo I recently viewed, it depicted a conversation between a missionary and an Eskimo man. The Eskimo asked the missionary,”if I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”, the priest replied,”No, not if you did not know”, the Eskimo replied, “then why did you tell me?”.
At first glance, it seems as if the wisdom of the Eskimo whipped the religious person by logic, for introducing him to God. It glorifies intentional ignorance, willing ignorance. Some would argue, why would a God want people to know about Him, if the only consequence of knowing Him is a life of servitude and an afterlife of punishment?
Such a trend of thinking is pivoted on the belief that knowing God is detrimental to the human’s existence. To the contrary, humans only have life due to God, therefore a person should always be seeking to answer the ultimate question: why do I exist and for what purpose? As previously mentioned, it takes a person’s willful ignorance to avoid asking or even attempting to answer this question. A person cannot live life without ever having done some form of introspection, it’s human nature to ask ‘why’. Therefore to deny knowledge about God, or to deny seeking out this knowledge on a day to day basis, necessitates that effort be placed to enforce such ignorance. Such wisdom can be seen in the term ‘kafir’ from the term ‘kufr’, which generally means ‘to deny’, or ‘to reject’ the truth.
Therefore, the fault of the Eskimo or whoever it may be, is to ask, “then why did you tell me?”, rather they should have asked, “why didn’t you tell me sooner?”. However, regardless of when the Eskimo would have been told, no one is outside of the mercy of God. Whether the man learns of God on his deathbed or when he is a child, God’s mercy can envelope a person at anytime in his life:
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” – Qur’aan 39:53.
A person should rejoice in learning about God and God’s purpose for them. This knowledge, gives life meaning, gives life purpose. To live life for any other reason than seeking God is wasteful, and spiteful, for such a life is pivoted on the intentional ignorance of seeking one’s purpose for existence or in modern language, ‘the meaning of life’. In conclusion, there is no wit or graceful logic being employed in this conversation by the Eskimo or non-religious person. Glorifying willful ignorance is both absurd and nonsensical, and at the very least, it denies one of the very pillars of human nature – consciousness – being aware, to ask ‘why’.
and God knows best.