Faith, Conflict and Cognitive Dissonance


Fatima Altaf

This post was originally published in The Muslim Vibe.

Faith tries to restrain me as infidelity beckons me,

Kaaba is behind me, while the Church stands before me … (Ghalib)

Internal conflict is what defines the children of Adam. So long as there is faith and belief, there will always be an oscillation between belief and disbelief. In the above verse, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib has most eloquently described this internal struggle between two contradictory notions or sentiments, the feeling of being pulled in two directions. To believe in one thing while doing another.

This age-old struggle may also be seen as a conflict between the heart and mind – the spiritual and the material, intuition and rational thought. Whatever the case, but this vacillation is a depiction of a conflict which is entirely natural to the human mind. It is indeed for this reason that this internal struggle was deemed Jihad…

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