What is Baba's view of religion?

Expert Answers info

karaejacobi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write713 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

Baba is not a particularly religious person, and in fact, he seems to be against the kind of religion that gets taught in school. When Amir comes home and tells him what he has been taught about sin, specifically that Islam considers smoking and drinking sinful, Baba dismisses that version of religion. Instead, Baba has his own kind of theology. He tells Amir,

"Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. . . . When you kill a man, you steal a life," Baba said. "You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?"

This definition of sin as "theft" and of all other sins being "a variation of theft" later becomes ironic, as Amir learns that Baba was also Hassan's father, and he never told his sons the truth. Amir feels that his father stole the truth and all of the subsequent effects of that truth from him. He even believes Baba's lie contributes to Hassan's death, as Amir feels if he knew Hassan were his brother, he would've acted differently toward him, and maybe Hassan and Ali would have gone to America with Baba and Amir.

Baba and Amir are Sunni Muslims, and this is the majority religion in Kabul. On the other hand, Hassan and Ali, their servants, are Shi'a Muslims, and because of that and their ethnic group, they are persecuted in Afghanistan. Baba's majority faith probably allows him to be more blasé toward religion. It's also possible that losing Amir's mother during childbirth led to a crisis of faith for Baba.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,387 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Baba finds that religion is really an excuse for all kinds of behavior that he finds despicable.  At the same time he thinks it is very important to act honestly and he spends a great deal of time and effort being sure that Amir learns these lessons.  Part of his problem with religion may be due to the fact that organized religion prevents him from publicly accepting his son Hassan whose mother was a Hazara.  Part of it is also likely due to the way that he sees fundamentalist religious leaders tear his country apart after the overthrow of the Soviets.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now