Forgiveness in Islam? Where is it?
I want to feel a forgiveness by which I need nevermore fear, nor feel ever again the need to seek it. How could I conceive of such forgiveness if I didn't believe it to exist? How could I want it if I didn't believe it possible? Who is there that can give that to me and who is there that can confirm its existence? Does it? And if not, is life actually hopeless?
Am I forever doomed to be a repentant sinner? Is not 50 years of conscious living within the knowledge and love of God enough?
My belief in the reality of Christianity provides that or at least the confidence that it is possible. I feel whole, safe, confident and forgiven. But is not Reality One, or am I in illusion yet again? I feel no confirmation of reality in any of my teachers in Islam. They're all very happy to tell me what it is, but If I follow what appears to be their example, based on their "understanding" and imitation of the "behavior patterns" of Muhammad PBUH, I must go for the rest of my life with my head bowed saying and constantly repeating formulaic words of repentance in a fervent yet nearly futile hope for salvation later. What kind of religion is this?
Are all of the "self-realized, success oriented people in the world actually going to be doomed to hell for their lack of humility before God and willingness to take on a lifetime of repentance? Can I not live in a world where "humble" behavior is not necessary or required for appearance or reality - where a healthy aggressive life is not the sure sign of condemnation? Is there not a place in truth and reality wherein I am whole, complete, forgiven and accepted? Do I really need to "fear" God and be in endless repentance for my own existence? If this life is not God in Action then I am surely doomed.
Why do I not find confirmation of this forgiveness, perfect happiness and freedom anywhere in the studies of Islam? Why is it all based upon fear? Is there no reality to forgiveness, but only the endless and constant seeking of it? It's promised, can we not experience it, or is it that we simply do not want to and if not, why not, if it's promised and the 'goal' of all our hard work? I simply do not find any confirmation for the reality of forgiveness in the teachings or teachers or notice any talk of it or any guidance toward the actual experience of it except in my own life IN Allah in a reality without teaching, teachers and "guides". There is only some mention of a secret body of knowledge for the revelation of which the throat must be cut. What's that? Is this an admonition to keep the secret? Is this the teaching that the Imam Mahdi will reveal?
Do I have to live in sin in order to live a guiltless life? Can I not take advantage of the life in freedom that I was given in the country and land of my birth without having to feel guilty for it and be constantly seeking it? Must I constantly be on guard against and making an enemy of my Self?
What is all this? Is this what's passing for and being taught as religion? Why should I want it if it does not set me free? Did not the prophet instruct us to not become slaves of religion? Is that not a form of endless guilt? Is it impossible for me to be forgiven once and for all and be set free or do I have to die? Is that the Life God gave me - "Life sucks and then you die"? What kind of courage do I need to be free?
Where do I find confirmation of my free and happy self from among the teachers or teachings in Islam? Did not the Prophet AS say that all children are born Muslim? Are we not told that to enter heaven we must be free and innocent as little children? How do we get there? Is it possible? Can we not enter it in this life? Is that not in fact the very goal of religion? And if not, why are we told it as a goal? And how do we attain it if not by tasawwuf? Do we need to take on guilt in order to learn how to expiate it?
Who's going to answer my questions for me? Must I stand forever all alone? And if so is there a special Station for me? And shouldn't I be recognized, or should I keep my mouth shut and be part of the secret, or am I simply among the doomed? Are there answers that I want to hear or must I sacrifice my desire and my quest and my goal for my self and humanity on the altar of endless dissatisfaction and call it longing?