Many years ago, when I was an impressionable schoolboy in a religious school, I was stunned by a startling announcement made by my Ustaz (a religious teacher).
"Do you know that Neil Armstrong is a Muslim?!!" he said emphatically.
I was flabbergasted.
"You mean THE Neil Armstrong? The first man on the Moon?" I asked.
"Of course I mean that Neil Armstrong! How many Neil Armstrongs do you know?" was the reply, "There was a big convention when he came to Malaysia... Tabligh (a religious organisation) brought him over.. there were thousands of people who went"
... Wow... I thought... But somehow, deep within my gut I was still skeptical... you know the feeling, like you want to believe something with all your heart, but you know that something just isn't right.
But it's not something to lose sleep over is it?
And so every few years, the news would surface somewhere that Armstrong was Muslim, and many Muslims just accepted it to be natural - Of course he's Muslim, they would say, he saw this light over Mecca, heard the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) in space etc... Of course it's only natural he's Muslim.
Well, today out of the blue my thoughts suddenly came back to this issue (I think it was after seeing a picture of Buzz Aldrin), and I decided to google it.
Guess what I found?
In the link you will find all the evidence that says he isn't and that he never was. There are even links to the original scanned documents. Have a read through.
The funny thing is, even after reading this, many Muslims will say things "Oh the evidence has been concocted" and "That's just what they want us to believe, but we know better".
Which leads me to my thought of the day - Why is it that many Muslims are so insecure about themselves and their religion? Why is it that they have to keep trying to convince themselves and other people that their religion is superior, and that it is only natural for people of other faiths to gravitate to Islam, simply because that's just the way things are... I mean, 'look at Neil Armstrong' they would say.
I write this post, a strong Muslim as ever, but I feel that I do not need the validation of other people embracing Islam to be able to truly appreciate and embrace the beauty of my faith. Of course it is nice to know that there are many people out there who choose to embrace Islam as their faith, and of this I am forever glad... But this should not be the pivot upon which hinges my belief in my religion.
Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it...
Maybe many Muslims out there do not do their homework before committing something to belief.
Maybe it's just blissful ignorance than damning insecurity.
But still... That can't be good can it?