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Making time to pray five times daily
March 21st, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Why do Muslims pray five times daily?

Editor's Note: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the fight over a mosque’s construction in the heart of the Bible Belt. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” airs at 8 p.m. ET March 27 on CNN.

Text by Soraya Salam, for CNN, photos by Angie Lovelace, CNN

ATLANTA, Georgia - It’s 6:00 a.m. The sun isn’t up yet, but Wahaaj Mohammed is.

He’s performing a ritual washing in preparation for his first prayer of the day. He’ll go on to pray four more times before the day is through, a practice called “salat” that many of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide perform daily.

It’s a practice that Mohammed, a 21-year old recent graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology, can’t imagine life without.

“It reminds you about God throughout your day,” he says. “At fixed intervals, no matter how busy you are, all of a sudden you have to take out a few minutes and you’re remembering, OK, why am I really here?”

“And while I was doing whatever I was doing, was I doing it in a manner pleasing to God?”

Praying five times a day is considered the second most important of Islam’s five pillars, after professing that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that the Prophet Mohammed is God’s messenger.

Each prayer includes a series of movements, supplications, and recitations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in its original Arabic.

Muslims consider prayer to be a spiritual and physical act, with various standing, bending, and prostrating postures symbolizing devotion to God.

“When you’re at your lowest point, your head is on the ground, you’re saying ‘Oh, praise to my God, the most high,’” says Mohammed, who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “It’s very humbling.”

Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College - which is aiming to be the first accredited Muslim college in the United States - says salat symbolizes what Islam considers the purpose of creation: to worship God.

“As a human being, I have a physical body, I have an intellect, and I have a spirit, and the ritual prayer involves all three of those aspects,” says Shakir, who is also a professor of Islamic theology at Zaytuna.

“My entire being is involved in my prayer, and that symbolizes the dedication of my entire being to the service of my creator,” he says.

The first prayer, called “Fajr” is performed before sunrise; the second prayer, “Thuhr” comes just after noon; the third prayer, “Asr,” arrives during mid-afternoon; the fourth prayer, “Maghrib,” is just after sunset; and the last prayer, “Isha,” is performed at night.

These prayers are considered an obligation for every Muslim by the time he or she reaches puberty. Mohammed says he has rarely missed a prayer.

Preparation

Before each prayer, Mohammed performs a ritual ablution, called “wudu.” The process involves washing the hands, face, arms and feet. Wudu symbolizes a state of physical and spiritual purity required to stand before God.

“There’s a saying (in Islam) that our external form impacts our internal state, just as our internal state has an impact on our external form,” says Shakir.

When Mohammed is away from home for a prayer, he washes up in a public restroom.

“You do feel kind of awkward,” he says. “And it usually happens, for whatever reason, that someone always walks in and your feet are in the sink and they’re thinking, ‘What’s this person doing?’”

Afterward, Mohammed finds a quiet, clean place to perform his prayer, during which he will face northeast towards the holiest site in Islam, the Kaaba. The cube-shaped building is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and, according to Islamic tradition, was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.

“(Muslims) all pray in the same uniform way, wherever they are, whether they’re in India or Indonesia or Saudi Arabia or America or Japan,” Mohammed says. “They all pray in the same manner, facing the same direction.”

Mohammed raises his hands to shoulder level while reciting, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is the greatest,” signaling the start of the prayer.

Making time

Mohammed often gets questioned about how he finds the time to pray so many times a day.

“I think it’s just where you put your priorities,” he says. “If you put (prayer) at a high level, then it’s not hard.”

As a college student, Mohammed would schedule his classes and social events around the prayers. He says they mostly take five to ten minutes to complete and that technology has made it easy for him to remember when to pray.

“When the prayer time starts, (my phone) sends me a text message,” he says. “I know a lot of people that have the iPhone app that gives a little alarm or a text or something. And some people even have the iPhone app that shows them the direction of the prayer.”

Zaytuna’s Shakir says the intervals between prayer demarcate transitions within the day that necessitate the remembrance of God.

“In the morning we’re getting up from our sleep, so we’re beginning that day by praying to our Lord and our creator,” he says. “And then at noon… just as we take our lunch break to replenish our physical body, we take time to reaffirm our commitment to our creator and thereby replenish our spirit.”

“At night, before we turn in and go to sleep to regroup, we don’t know if we’re going to see the new day,” he says. “Once again, (we) take time to acknowledge our creator and the rights he has over us.”

When Mohammed is at his mosque in Atlanta, Georgia, he has the “adhan” to alert him that a particular prayer time has begun. The adhan is the Islamic call to prayer that consists of a series of phrases recited melodiously, including, “God is the greatest,” “Come to prayer,” and “Come to success.”

In Muslim-majority countries, the adhan is called from an outdoor loudspeaker. For Muslims in America, it is recited in the mosque or in the privacy of one’s home. Mohammed compares it to the ringing of a church bell to signify the start of a service.

Mohammed says that in addition to adding structure to his day, salat helps keep him accountable for his daily actions and lets him have a personal relationship with God.

Striving for spiritual success

In the glow of a recent coming dawn, Mohammed and his family complete their first prayer of the day with a phrase in Arabic that means, “May the peace and mercy of God be upon you.”

He notes that the call to prayer before sunrise has an extra phrase added in: “Prayer is greater than sleep.”

“So, no matter what you’re doing in your life, it’s always, ‘God is greater than that’ - whether it’s sleep, whether it’s work, whatever it is, God is the greatest,” Mohammed says, pausing to rub his eyes.

“Behind any type of success,” he says, “there’s always a sacrifice.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Prayer • Uncategorized

soundoff (834 Responses)
  1. chuckmartel

    Putting terrorism aside, I think the US needs a bunch of rag headed religious fundamentalists who threaten cartoonists with death and whip out rugs to pray 5 times a day. The bible bangers are not enough. In Moscow, France, and other European countries the muslims clog the streets with their rug praying and block traffic. I can't wait.
    By the way, since when are the enlightened PC so ga ga over people who pray 5 times a day, censor American cartoonists under threat of death, kill filmakers they don't like, keep trying to kill cartoonists in Europe and have no concept of seperation of church and state? Is it the rugs, the beards, or maybe you don't like infidel cartoonists?

    March 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      chuckmartel.

      You mean to say the cartoonists who draw images and call it to be the prophets of God? Or are they the ones who draw for the sxtoon industry? Or those draw images and call it God? Those who make fun of people deepest beliefs and respects?

      Well I do not want to say that what they do hurting many for a bunch of money provided to hurt others beliefs....

      To disbelieve does not give them the right to hurt,insult feelings of those who believe! Who attacked who here first??! Although that does not mean I agree with how the problem was dealt with...nor agree with the freedom that gives you the right to insult others but allows you only to debate them within a mutual respect..

      Read about our faith of belief,should you be unaware of;

      Al-Ikhlas (Faith) sura 112:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4).

      Al-Baqara (The Cow) sura 02:
      Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous. (255) There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (256) Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (257).

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      "Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2) Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; (3) And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. (4) These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. (5)". 

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      "The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers – We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (285) Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk. (286)".

         

      March 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  2. Abdul Azziz

    Islam is not a religion, but a political movement designed to control the people. That is why liberals and progressives like it and bow down to it. They love for the govt to contrrol eveyones lives........Obowma even bows to our leaders!

    March 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      What is happening today among Muslims is above Islam which is being blamed for,for example take the wars Muslims against Muslims all through history when were kingdoms and empires.

      Recent history the hot and cold wars between sunnies and shiaa's (Iraq vs Iran)(Iraq vs Kuwait)(Yemen civil wars) and so on a list can be made ! Although we were told that the Muslim has a right against Muslims;

      http://muslimways.com/imam-an-nawawi-s-forty-hadiths/hadith-35-the-brotherhood-of-islaam.html

      What ever is happening is nothing of Islam. A Muslim calling a Muslim as infidel for having difference of opinions in between, is not of Islam...!!! What is happening is evil teachings that are non of Quran of Islam...

      Those who allowed them self to spill blood of a Muslim for any reason religious or non religious, will not mind spilling bloods of any people Muslims or non for any reason they will invent because they became as addicted as those playing it video games on play stations...
      What is happening to the world? The whole world was brainwashed with video games and play stations of making a kill by wars from street wars to army wars? Sad to see most have it as Arabs and Muslims being the enemy calling Allah Akbar with each terror move? Allah Akbar and kill the infidel was a recorded message in an imported children toy guns and pistols,the recording plays sound of shooting and back ground voice shouting these things ! Aren't such games considered as brain washing kids,teaching them violence. 
      Toy companies has marketed for violence and wars more than any other games,same was for the film industry that had added to that violence education...
      Read once about an Indian immigrant family living in America,who's young boy of theirs was addicted to a game that has a man using hooky stick to kill people...as learnt from the game he prepared the hooky stick killing his father,mother,young sister and run away back to collage pretending not to know until the neighbors smelled the rotting corpuses called the police to find rooms filled with flys....
      What generations we prepared for are the ones who we are to meet sooner or later.                     

      March 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  3. Abdul Azziz

    You will see liberals on here say disparaging things about Christianity. These people are self-hating, sick, disgusting liberals. Thank you liberals for white washing radical Islam, and our true mission! Alluh Akbar!

    March 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Muneef

      It is obvious that Abdul Aziz is a fake Muslim and only here to bring more hatred to Muslims.

      March 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Al-Anaam sura 06:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Yet they ascribe as partners unto Him the jinn, although He did create them, and impute falsely, without knowledge, sons and daughters unto Him. Glorified be He and high exalted above (all) that they ascribe (unto Him). (100) The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort, when He created all things and is Aware of all things? (101) Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things. (102) Vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtile, the Aware. (103) Proofs have come unto you from your Lord, so whoso seeth, it is for his own good, and whoso is blind is blind to his own hurt. And I am not a keeper over you. (104) Thus do We display Our revelations that they may say (unto thee, Muhammad): "Thou hast studied," and that We may make (it) clear for people who have knowledge. (105) Follow that which is inspired in thee from thy Lord; there is no God save Him; and turn away from the idolaters. (106).

    Hud sura 11:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And he said: Embark therein! In the name of Allah be its course and its mooring. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. (41) And it sailed with them amid waves like mountains, and Noah cried unto his son – and he was standing aloof – O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers. (42) He said: I shall betake me to some mountain that will save me from the water. (Noah) said: This day there is none that saveth from the commandment of Allah save him on whom He hath had mercy. And the wave came in between them, so he was among the drowned. (43) And it was said: O earth! Swallow thy water and, O sky! be cleared of clouds! And the water was made to subside. And the commandment was fulfilled. And it (the ship) came to rest upon (the mount) Al-Judi and it was said: A far removal for wrongdoing folk! (44).  

    March 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Abdul Azziz

      alluh akbar

      March 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  5. Abdul Azziz

    We pray 5 times a day for Sharia Law all over the world, especially in the USA. Liberals in the USA are useful idiots for Islam, as they whitewash our true ambitions with their tolerant muti-culteralism. Fools!!!! Please re-elect our friend, Barack Huessein Obama! Muslims all over the world will send money to re-elect this friend of radical Islam, as we did in 2008. Thank you United States.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Bryan

      Not as subtle as you would have liked. Nor as sarcastic. Just comes across as trollish.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Abdul Azziz

      Brian is the troll. He speaks with forked tongue. We will eliminate infidels like Brian!

      March 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Bryan

      Ok. I'm bored. I'll join in. Thanks for proving your worth by misspelling a name that's right in front of you.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Abdul Azziz

      I will pray for you Bryan. Hope you move to middle east, where you belong!

      March 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  6. sftommy

    Comes down to purpose:
    Is humanity here to feed the vanity of God by prayer?
    or
    does God have some purpose beyond our ability to conceptualize?
    I favor the second, but venerate God all the same without adopting any religion extolling what other people and other books would deceive me into believing. Faith in God before all men and all books...

    March 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  7. DarkwarriorJ

    Lemme explain something, Judaism/Jews came first with their idea of god, Jesus came along and revised it causing another religion, then Mohammed came along and revised that. See a trend?? Also, Muslims are usually good people, but some IDIOTS do something bad in it's name. Just like the stereotypical evil Russian dude who does something evil in the name of Russia. Furthermore, the current state of the Muslim nations makes it only a dream to catch those bad guys. People try to find the good, but the bad people/idiots obscure their view. Thank you for listening

    March 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  8. salina

    Would your prayers count if you faced west instead of east?

    March 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Bryan

      Prayers always count

      March 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's Countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (115).

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (148) And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do. (149) Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be (O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice – Fear them not, but fear Me! – and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided. (150).

      March 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • derp

      Dumb question. The earth is round. If you face the wrong way, the prayers will juts take longer to get there.

      March 22, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  9. Beasley

    If you bashers were real Christians- not in name only- you wouldn't be spewing such hate. I am a proud Christian who has no doubts about my faith and in whom my salvation lies, but part of my faith is to speak the truth in LOVE. Your nasty rhetoric will NEVER save a soul and you WILL be held accountable for every nasty comment that you spout that may have caused others to have deaf ear concerning believing Christianity is a cold and uncaring religion. It's cool to engage others in religious dialogue. In fact it's commanded for us to seek and save the lost, but there is a proper way of doing it. I'm tired of you fake Christians with no love or compassion in your heart highjacking my religion and making us all look bad.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Bryan

      Thanks for being Christ-like 🙂 Salaam Alaikum, Peace and the Lord be with You.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  10. servantrdw

    The prayers fall onto deaf ears, they could double the prayers and nothing

    March 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  11. johnpaul

    mohammed molested children as do catholic priest this is the only similarity between the two religions

    March 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • j

      can you prove if really mohammed molested children

      March 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  12. Mick

    It's very simple: either Jesus was right, or Mohammed was. Now, between the two of them Jesus was the one who was clearly more concerned with the state of Man on Earth. Jesus never sought political or military office, wealth, fame or family. Mohammed gave in to all of these Earthly temptations. Finally, virtually everything that Jesus said, we have now cone to know is true. The only one we can't prove, and have to accept on faith, is that he was and is the living, divine, son of God. Now, if everything else he said was true, doesn't it stand to reason that would be as well? Let's also remember that Jesus, before his death, admonished us to be wary of those who would come after him, claiming to be him, or to be greater than him (which Mohammed clearly did). While I don't question that there are many good and decent persons of the Muslim faith, the fact remains that they are following a faith established by an agent of Satan, and thus, no true good can ever come of it!

    March 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Bryan

      I just really don't see why there has to be a contest. Live and let live.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Stevedore Boatwright

      Actually, both were almost certainly wrong.

      However, to take your logic to where it belongs, if a religion is validated by it's track record of not going to war, by being able to co-exist with other religions without oppression or violence, by not falling into war and oppression against other denominations of its own religion, by not imposing itself upon government, then the winner by far is Buddhism. Not perfect, not at all, but much better than the others. Christianity and Islam are amongst the worst failures by this approach.

      And of course, studies show that non-religious cultures are the most peaceful and lowest in crime (and usually the most prosperous).

      March 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  13. johnpaul

    what a wast of time

    March 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  14. Iqbal Khan

    Learn more about Islam check....www.911Bible.com

    March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Tim

    I agree with you Bryan. Wish you could get all Muslims to share that opinion.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  16. Tim

    To Bryan- You don't accept the divinity of Jesus. Fine. Yet you accept the vewracity of a waar mongering pedophile with absolutely no evidence to support his "vision" and conversation with an angel, who supposedly gave him the word of God (though as the word of God it should have been perfect, yet it's been changed quite a bit). Howveer, how do you explain the evidence Christianity espouses to support the divinity of Jesus (i.e. the empty tomb, the validation of that by both Romans and Jews-hardly fans of Jesus, his appearance to hundreds of witnesses that coooberate it, the willingness of his disciples to be tortured for their belief ina "lie" etc. etc.). Do you just ignore that evidence?

    March 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bryan

      I take the evidence, I weigh it in my own mind, I pray to God about it and I make up my own mind. In the end, it is only I who is responsible for my actions here on Earth, and it is only my beliefs for which I am responsible. Simply, if I don't believe in the Christian aspect of Jesus, who am I hurting besides myself? If you do not accept Muhammad as the greatest prophet of God with His great message, then why should I bother trying to convince you? Live and let live. There should be no compulsion in religion.

      March 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • RD

      If you do not accept Muhammad as the greatest prophet of God with His great message, then why should I bother trying to convince you.

      Muhammad did not have a great message I don't think because he talked about control and violence. Islam says Jesus is not divine, but he is and I just pray for you Bryan about seeing that. You seem like a nice guy and I ask specifically that God will direct you to Him, not to Allah.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  17. Jesus

    There are literally thousands of religions being practiced today. Here are 20 of the most popular, along with an estimate of the number of followers:

    Christianity: 2.1 billion
    Islam: 1.3 billion
    Hinduism: 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    Buddhism: 376 million
    African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
    Sikhism: 23 million
    Juche: 19 million
    Spiritism: 15 million
    Judaism: 14 million
    Baha'i: 7 million
    Jainism: 4.2 million
    Shinto: 4 million
    Cao Dai: 4 million
    Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo: 2 million
    Neo-Paganism: 1 million
    Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
    Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
    Scientology: 500 thousand
    If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.

    In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.

    In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to "believe" in one of them.

    The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:

    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
    A rational person rejects all human gods equally, because all of them are equally imaginary. How do we know that they are imaginary? Simply imagine that one of them is real. If one of these thousands of gods were actually real, then his followers would be experiencing real, undeniable benefits. These benefits would be obvious to everyone. The followers of a true god would pray, and their prayers would be answered. The followers of a true god would therefore live longer, have fewer diseases, have lots more money, etc. There would be thousands of statistical markers surrounding the followers of a true god.

    Everyone would notice all of these benefits, and they would gravitate toward this true god. And thus, over the course of several centuries, everyone would be aligned on the one true god. All the other false gods would have fallen by the wayside long ago, and there would be only one religion under the one true god.

    When we look at our world today, we see nothing like that. There are two billion Christians AND there are more than one billion Muslims, and their religions are mutually exclusive. There are thousands of other religions. When you analyse any of them, they all show a remarkable similarity - there is zero evidence that any of these gods exist. That is how we know that they are all imaginary

    March 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Matt

      Jedi, yeah its a growing religion now. I am not even joking

      March 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Did you know that non-religious people would rank fourth on that list, just under Hindu? And atheism would rank just below Buddhism? Rather encouraging that there are that many people free of the tyrrany of religious doctrine.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Hugo

      Aren't people who proclaim to be atheists really their own god?

      March 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Hugo, that one gets thrown around a lot, so allow me to give you a serious explanation of why an atheist would never think that.

      Merriam Webster defines god as: "The supreme or ultimate reality: as A : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe. B Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
      2: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality

      I do not have (nor do I believe I have) any of those supernatural powers or attributes. I have never met any atheist who did or thought he/she did. I am quite fallable, and have very little power over people and events, even in my own life. I cannot circ-umvent any natural laws. I am just another human, 1 in 7,000,000,000.

      So, as you see, I am not my own god. That is one of the thing projected on us by religious people who, having been so deeply immersed in the concept of God, cannot fathom how someone who has no gods would think and act. Another fallacy is that we would act more immorally, but study after study proves we actually behave somewhat more morally (less crime and divorce, less support for torture and war, etc.). Yet another is that we are actually angry at God, which always gives us a giggle – are you angry at Thor or unicorns? Of course not.

      Just as you have difficulty understanding our mindset, I similarly cannot even remotely comprehend how anyone could believe in something like a god for which no absolutely evidence exists, not only believe it but passionately devote their lives to it, especially when religion has such an ugly history of war, oppression, torture, and intolerance.

      I hope that explains it a bit.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  18. Notty

    Derp- What's really hilarious is reading posts by people that use the word "fricken". Does that rhyme with "chicken" or "freaken"? What was your intent? You seem...sort of dim witted and angry. You OK

    March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • derp

      What's really hilarious is reading posts by people that use the word "fricken". Does that rhyme with "chicken" or "freaken"? What was your intent? You seem...sort of dim witted and angry"

      It's fricken, like chicken. If it were freakin, I would have typed freaken.

      I would have typed f@*&$#g, but the censors here at CNN really hate that.

      And I'm not angry at all. Maybe you missed the ten or so posts where I totally made fun of the whole subject. I just could not help seeing the absolute irony in a christian telling a muslim to use "the power of reason" to switch from islam to christianity. They are both faiths, there is no "reason" involved. Duh!!

      March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  19. Freddie

    Hey Derp- You are pathetic. You use the words of a lunatic to "prove" he was a Christian. There is more to it than just saying it. He was an occultist as well. He was certainly no Christian. Germany was a Christian nation so he was obviously playing to that. he did not practice the faith, he did not attend church or worship and he lived a life totally at odds with being a Christian. Are you really that simple and believe he was a Christian?

    March 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • derp

      "You use the words of a lunatic to "prove" he was a Christian"

      He was christian, period. You may not like what he did, but he was christian. He was certainly NOT an atheist. Atheists don't hate Jews like Hitler did.

      "he lived a life totally at odds with being a Christian"

      That's your opinion. White supremist groups stiil quote the bible as justification of their hate. Again, Hitler killed jews. He blamed them for killing jesus. Sound familiar?

      "Are you really that simple and believe he was a Christian?"

      There is nothing unsimple about it. He killed in the name of his religion, just like al qaeda, or the crusades. Do you think Osama Bin Laden is "not muslim" just because most muslims disagree with what de does as a muslim, and in the name of Islam?

      No different than Hitler and christianity. You just can't deal with it, because with Hitler, it's YOUR religion that got hijacked.

      March 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Hitler is not a good piece of evidence in a religious discussion as he does not fit into any category presently at play. He had a belief in God and destiny; as stated in Mein Kampf, "What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our race...so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe...Peoples that bas-tardize themselves, or let themselves be bas-tardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence."

      He was born a Catholic but did not practice it much nor align himself with the potential political power of the church (they probably would have been very supportive if he had, at least initially).

      However, he was hardly orthodox: The Hitler who once said "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." also expressed (to Goebbels) "his revulsion against Christianity. He wished that the time were ripe for him to be able to openly express that. Christianity had corrupted and infected the entire world of antiquity.

      Most of his deological references were to "providence", and he definitely felt he had a special destiny (atheists cannot have destinies). His few comment about atheism were universally hostile. He was not an atheist.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  20. derp

    "Use your god given power of reaon"

    That is fricken hilarious. Use the power of reason to switch from one cult to another. Brilliant! Priceless!

    March 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Li

      All religion is a joke, but if you had to choose, would you pick the religion that's poster child never harmed or killed anyone. The one that basically just said to love one another, and forgive your enemies? Or would you rather follow the one that had the pedophile, mass-murdering, thieving, treaty-breaking rapist as theirs?

      I'd pick Christianity. How about you?

      Though, I'm gonna stick with:

      My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
      Thomas Paine

      March 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Li, if you choose a religion based on the least war, oppression, intolerance, and political power-lust, if you pick one with the most tolerance for other religions and other denominations of its own religion, then Buddhism is long and away the best (but definitely not perfect). Christianity has a really ugly history, as of course does Islam.

      I too go for what Paine said. I can't make myself believe in Buddhism either.

      March 22, 2011 at 1:13 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.