California Catholic reporter Mary Rose visits a California college each week and ask students about God, good, and evil.
Saghar, studying biology, and Karina, studying business. In front of Loker Student Union at CSU Dominguez Hills
- Do you consider yourself religious?
- Saghar: Yeah, I guess. I do go for prayers and I try to stick by the rules of the religion but I’m not like overly religious. I’m Muslim.
- Karina: For me, I don’t really go to church but I believe in God.
- Does it affect your life a particular way?
- Saghar: No. Basically, I try to be a good person just like how humanity is: be nice to people, don’t kill anyone, all of that regular stuff. I’m not supposed to eat pork and I don’t and other stuff, but other than that but I think the views in Islam are similar too many other people so it’s not hard to do what I’m supposed to.
- Karina: No, not really.
- Why do you believe in God?
- Karina: I was raised that way. But my parents were never strict on me about religion. My parents never took me to church except for spring break. They took me a lot for that week but that’s it. Not for Christmas or anything like that.
- Do you see evidence for the existence of God?
- Saghar: I feel like the world how it is – there has to be Something. Like how there is humanity – there wasn’t before and we’re here now. I just believe there is God. From what you hear, the stories do make sense but not to the extreme or stuff.
- Karina: No. I think you just have to believe in it. It’s up to you, whether you want to or not.
- Do you believe in an afterlife?
- Saghar: I think I do. I was watching the show Lucifer and there’s an afterlife in it, too. It’s about the devil and everything. He tells people, I’ll see you in hell, you’re not going to be coming to heaven just for doing this and that. It’s just a show, but I do believe you have to do something in order to get to heaven.
- Karina: I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it, but maybe. I think maybe, yeah. I think everybody goes there.
- What do you believe God is?
- Karina: I think he’s like a figure. At least, for my parents, they’d be like, he’s providing food for us, he gave us work, like that type of thing. Also, when things are bad, you want to kind of have faith in him. I don’t know how to explain it, but you want to believe. I feel like you can’t just go around in life not believing in anything, not having a purpose. It’s more you. What you picture him to be. For me it’s not that he’s an actual person. Like a figure. I think that’s the best word I can put it in.
- What do you think of terrorists who claim they’re called to kill by their Islam faith?
- Saghar: I don’t think they understand what Islam is really, because we’re supposed to be the religion of peace. That’s what we want. We don’t care if you’re Christian or Jewish or whatever, it’s not up to us to judge. We believe there’s a God and everyone will be punished for whatever sins they have in life. If I judge someone, that’s not a good thing. Who am I to judge – I’m doing sins myself every day. The people who do killings and call themselves terrorists and say, oh, we’re doing good for Islam and this and that, they’re not supposed to do killings. I don’t think they understand the religion. There are more good Muslims than bad Muslims and you don’t see the good ones on the news. You just see the bad ones. We don’t get recognized for our good stuff.
- How do you know what’s a sin?
- Saghar: You have that guilt. In Islam you’re supposed to cover up your hair and I know people that do and I don’t and people are like, she’s the liberal one. But I don’t feel bad about that because it’s a choice for me. Maybe I might one day, maybe not. I don’t know. It’s whatever I think is bad. In the Koran there’s stuff that tells you what you’re not supposed to do and what you’re supposed to do. There’s no killing in there. From what I know and from what I learned everything is about being peaceful. if you’re rich or even if you have money you’re supposed to do donations based on how many children you have, how much wealth you have. There’s supposed to be a deduction on money that you’re supposed to give out for charity or you do sacrifices of animals to help out the poor. It tells us we’re supposed to pray daily, we’re supposed to fast for a month, it’s just like the general stuff were supposed to do. But if someone says Allah told me to kill, it’s not in the Koran or anything.