Thanks again, Muslim First, and Anajmi,
I do understand the logic behind saying believe it or not. There are lots of issues as an outsider that I see. As a former Catholic at college there was a constant friendly banter about the authenticity of Muslim sources vs. Christian sources. Now, I'm reading more about the authenticity of Bukhari/Muslim/Muawwiyah/Horairah, and Ali and the Imams. As someone looking outside-in, it is rather strange that Ali and his family is quoted far fewer times than others when, in fact, he was the closest to the Prophet....being his family? I mean if Christ had a brother who narrated his story, I would believe him over Simon Peter, right? Jews have plenty of "hadiths" from Aaron, Moses' brother, and yet so few hadiths about Ali? Who grew up in the Prophets household? Married his daughter? Fought in every war, bar one? Was present for every revelation? Complied the Quran? Kind of sounds suspicious, don't you think?
What's my point here? Fabrication, half-truths, and interpretations of "authentic" sources has happened over and over. As a doctor, I constantly read publications that end up getting redacted because of fake data...and this is happening after a "thorough" review process in this technological day and age! To say that one would believe an author who has obvious biases to the source material is being disingenuous at best, and completely myopic at worst!
Let me give you an example of human memory fallacy. I had an elderly patient who used snuff---you know, tobacco, in Atlanta. In his late 70s he had a myriad of issues mostly related to his snuffing (which I don't need to tell you all that tobacco is just bad all around). When I ask him how often did/does he use this? The answer was never predictable....sure as you age you are bound to lose your memory, but he was in good mental state.....and this happens for many of my patients whatever age they are. That is why we docs always ask a next of kin to verify this information. If you can't recall something as basic as what you consume, how much, and how often..........
Now, as a disclaimer, as I have mentioned previously, my belief about religion would put me in a camp of "skeptics" for ALL religions. Do I believe Christ walked on water? Do I believe Christ raised believers from the dead? I grew up being taught about this, but my rational scientific logic tells me this is not humanly possible...ever! What is possible is that Christ was a magical person who changed the way we think about ourselves and our surroundings, much like Rev Martin Luther King Jr. did for the civil rights. That is a huge miracle itself...why do we need to fabricate other superhuman capabilities on top of all this?
For some people, it works. For some it doesn't. There is nothing more to it. Remember, during the time of the prophet (saw) there was first hand information available to people all around him. Even then he wasn't able to convince them all. God tells the prophet (saw) in the Quran that his job is just to deliver the message. He is not to worry if people believe in the message or not. If you are not convinced, then you are not convinced. No one can do anything about it unless Allah himself decides to change your condition.