When they do anything that is shameful, they say: “We found our fathers doing so”; and “Allah commanded us thus”: Say: “No, indeed, Allah never commands what is shameful: would you say of Allah what You do not, know?” (Al-Araf, 28)
It is impossible to imagine that true religion can exist wherever the Qur’an is abandoned. Therefore, a very clear distinction must be made between the religion of the Qur’an and those traditions which are wrongly considered to be a part of true religion.
The concept of religion requires special attention. Religion, that is, Islam, is purely and simply the implementation of the Qur’an. Whatever “religion” is considered to be nothing but a series of traditions handed down from the time of our forefathers is certainly not Islam.Today, many people consider themselves religious, although they do not know much about the Qur’an. This shows us how the situation has deteriorated. Religion may continue to be a heritage from our forefathers, but trying to perpetuate such heritage has no value in the sight of Allah. In many societies where people are either Buddhists, Jewish or idolaters who live in an African clan and worship totems, they do what they do simply as a matter of tradition. Therefore, none of their practices amount to true religion. For most of the people following one of those “religions,” the aim is not to seek the pleasure of Allah but, to try to live in conformity with society, satisfying their nostalgia by keeping their traditions alive and driving some personal interest from their religion.
Most people have developed a concept of religion, not by looking at its original sources, but by looking at their forefathers, so that their traditions of impressions about religion are, in fact, impressions about tradition.
As for tradition, it has a very large repertoire. This repertoire includes, many meaningless superstitions, invented stories, about saints false sayings and practices attributed to the prophets and the saints, unreasonable explanations of supernatural events, all of which are thought of as amounting to true religion.
In fact, many people who learn these traditions from their family and the society they live in, realize that these traditions stand on slippery ground and are full of countless sophistries. But because they do not want to put themselves out to search for the truth and the true nature of the religion, these people either choose to accept religion the way it is, or as mentioned in the beginning, stay away from it as far as possible. As a matter of fact, the very existence of those sophistries attributed to the true religion pave the way for justifying their escape from religion.
So, in order to understand the nature of true religion, what we should do in the first place is to refer to the Qur’an as a basic source of religion, ponder upon it and try to understand the scriptures as for as we are able. This is not something difficult to figure out. We should remember the fact that even non-believers directly refer to the Qur’an when they want to know something about Islam. Can you think of any better reference than the Qur’an as the original source of religion, which has been revealed by Allah to explain His divine system? Of course, certain other references should also be taken into account, but one should not forget that their actual value is to back up the Qur’an and lead us to refer to it in our attempts to understand religion.
People who build religion upon superstitions instead of the Qur’an are mentioned with disapproval;
“What is the matter with you that you should judge so ill?
Or have you a book that promises you whatever you choose?” (Al-Qalam, 36-37)
Religion should be the most important topic for a Muslim. He should know how to distinguish true religion from other systems, and should take as a duty the quest for the correct form of religion:
“...Now those who submit their wills - they have sought out the path of right conduct” (Al-Jinn, 14)2009-04-04 14:56:28