Before I start, I have to make an honest confession that I am a believer in the theory of Creationism, and I believe that there is a Higher power above us, u call him God, Allah, Bhagwan that is your business which does not interest me.
I have had many arguments with Atheists who question that if God is there why He/She/It does not help humanity, why are there mass murders, famines, etc. the usual arguments that we are all familiar with. My point is either you believe (then everything becomes a miracle of God's power and He tries you and your faith with tribulations and hardships) or you do not (when everything can be rationally explained or can it?).
God the idea or the entity that we (believers) believe in, is also a mirror of how we project Him in our heads and how this faith also affects and shapes us as individuals.
I have people in my family who are very religious.
My elders often told me ‘do this or Allah will be angry and He will punish you!’
As I grew up and tried to understand religion on my own, I realized that more than anger it is love, compassion and mercy- attributes or words that are used more often in the Quran to describe Allah. I just could never understand if He loves us and we love Him back, why would we do anything to upset him deliberately. And even if we did something wrong, we could always ask for forgiveness. As He has said in all religious scriptures that we could always go back to Him with a pure heart. Purity of the heart, kindness, charity, and saving others’ from one’s anger and selfishness are the things that we have heard He likes and are universally accepted by all religions as attributes of a good believer.
The idea of a wrathful God makes Him distant, a merciful God is more near, and more loving. The idea to obey Him because of fear cannot take you very far with your faith in Him, in my opinion. And if God is so loving how can the believers be far behind, why can’t they love each other. If He can be forgiving, why cant we?
Which God can be happy with hurting others physically or verbally (that too in the name of religion)? If God is wrathful, full of revenge and unforgiving, believers would be rigid too. If you want to please God, you cannot upset his creations. I cannot understand that if you are full of displeasure towards His beings, how can you please Him?
Our behavior is often a mirror of our personality. A very beautiful woman would not be very attracttive if her behavior is ugly or rude. Only thinking about one’s own self, or being rigid about one’s own wishes can make one not just unpopular in this world but in the Other World too.
Bible has a beautiful passage on love, which I had the honor to recite in my Christian school in a ceremony in Urdu. But I only very recently understood its deeper meaning -
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
It is not love towards one, but love towards all that it preaches. This love towards all will also lead to the One full of love.