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The God Question: I think about God's existence but I try not to stress myself

Once every two weeks we will bring to you perspectives from people who have sought the face of God on how they reconcile their beliefs with modern-day demands from their religion.

Image generated using the AI model DALL·E

When people who believe in God come into positions of power, are they compelled to be morally upright, protect the weak, and defend the truth?

In The God Question, a new series by Pulse Nigeria, these are the questions that we aim to answer. Once every two weeks we will bring to you perspectives from people who have sought the face of God on how they reconcile their beliefs with modern-day demands from their religion.

In this inaugural edition, we speak with Lateef. He is a Gen-Z Muslim who says religion has turned into a money-making scheme.

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This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

I do. I believe that everything happening is God’s doing. When you're going through hard times, you pray and things get better. Like when I was having health issues, He saved me. I don’t have any medical documentation for this. I do not have any tangible evidence to show. But it happened.

I feel like God didn't create religion. He just said “Worship me,” and he described the way we should worship him. The ways to worship Him are written in everybody’s books. Some of these books, like in my case, the Quran, are products of religion.

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I feel like in religion people add things that God doesn't even expect us to do. Religion makes everything feel like we have to do the right things at the right times and in the right manners. Religion enforces it on you and people just really don't care. But God knows the person's prayers he will accept and that has nothing to do with religion.

The Quran, according to my reading of it consists of certain surahs and the prophets are given the surahs by God. According to what is in the Quran, God says we should not ask too many questions. I feel like sometimes I think about His existence, but I try not to stress myself.

I'll surely ask some questions. But the thing is I don't want to be trapped in the realm of stressing myself, thinking about things and thinking about why I'm not moving forward. I just want to live my life and move on.

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As a human, I think everyone is pursuing money. Everybody is desperate to get money. If you kill someone there are rules guiding that in the Quran. If the person is worth killing, say if it's self-defence, then there is no sin there. If it's done willingly, then that is a sin, and the person has no fear of God.

Everyone is scared of God. I feel like everyone does bad things. Everyone is a sinner. We are human beings. I feel like they are going to meet their waterloo.

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I don’t feel any type of way because it is not like the whole Boko Haram are Muslims. I am against them. But I can't show it very publicly because I might become one of their victims. I don’t think Muslims can fight them anyway. They should be for the government to tackle. If I was part of a militia maybe I could speak to them one on one. But there’s no word I can say to them that will make them stop.

I do not even like this at all. Why are you being an extremist? Just follow what is written in the Quran. I don't like the extremist clerics. They take religion too seriously which God didn't say.

What we do with modern-day religion is just gather people to generate funds for faji, and they just preach for preaching sake. People suffering is none of their business. They do praise and worship just to distract you.

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