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Manifestations of Practical Religiosity in the life of a Muslim

MIT
9/28/2017
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All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , is His Slave and Messenger.

 

To understand the roles of the manifestations of  practical religiosity in the life of a Muslim, we should first of all know its definition.

 

Religion could briefly be defined as under: Religion (din) is an all-round movement in the light of faith in Allah and a sense of responsibility for the formation of thought and belief, for the promotion of high principles of human morality for the establishment of good relations among members of the society and the elimination of every sort of undue discrimination.

 

The religious attitude is always based on the belief that there exists an all embracing ,transcendental, moral law and that we human beings are bound to submit to its commands. We may define religion also as an all-round movement in the light of faith in one God and a sense of responsibility for the formation of thought and belief, for the promotion of high principles of human morality for the establishment of good relations among members of the society and the elimination of every sort of undue discrimination.
 

For the proper development of human life man needs two kinds of things, first are the resources to maintain life and fulfill the material aspects of the individual and society and knowledge of the principles of individual and social behavior to enable man to have self-fulfillment and to maintain justice and tranquility in human life. The Lord of the universe has provided for both of these in full measure. To cater for the material needs of man He has provided nature with all kinds of resources, which lie at the disposal of man. To provide for his spiritual ,social and cultural needs He raised His prophets from among men and revealed to them the code of life which can guide man's steps to the Right path.

 

Man’s need for religion is greater than his need for any of the other necessities of life, because man needs to know what pleases Allah and what angers Him; he needs to acts in his own interests and to ward off things that will harm him. Sharee’ah is what distinguishes between actions that will bring benefit and actions that will cause harm. This is Allah’s justice towards His creation, and His light which shines for His slaves. People cannot live without laws (sharee’ah) to help them distinguish between what they should and should not do. 

 

Because man has a will, he has to know what he wants, is it beneficial or harmful? Is it good for him or bad for him?

  

Some of these things may be known instinctively, some of it may be known by working it out in a rational manner, and some of it may only be known from the teachings and guidance of the Messengers. See al-Tadmuriyyah by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, p. 213, 214; Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah, vol. 2, p. 383.

 

Muhammad Fareed Wajdi says: “It is impossible that the idea of religion could diminish, because it is the most refined inclination of the soul and its noblest emotion, in addition to being the inclination that ennobles man. Rather this inclination will increase and the religious nature of man will remain so long as he retains that reason which enables him to distinguish between beauty and ugliness. This instinct will increase according to his level of rationality.” (Ibid., p. 87) .

 

Manifestations of practical religiosity in the life of a Muslim takes various aspects, among of which is as follows;

 

Religion leads man by means of an inner ,mostly intuitive experience to the acceptance of the unitary explanation of life. The religious man knows that whatever happens to him and within him can never be the result of a blind play of forces without consciousness and purpose. He believes it to be the outcome of God's conscious will alone and therefore organically integrated and connected with a universal plan. To understand further the concept of Religion we must observe the following aspects in this relation,

 

1 . Faith and righteous deeds: This is the greatest and most fundamental roles of the manifestations of practical religiosity in the life of a Muslim. Allah says:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).” [al-Nahl 16:97] 

 

Allah tells us and promises us that whoever combines faith with righteous deeds will have a good life and a good reward in this world and in the Hereafter. 

The reason for this is clear: those who believe in Allah – with sincere faith that motivates them to do righteous deeds that change hearts and attitudes and guides them to the straight path in this world and the Hereafter – follow principles and guidelines by means of which they deal with everything that happens to them, be it the causes of happiness and excitement or the causes of anxiety, worry and grief. 

They deal with the things that they like by accepting them and giving thanks for them, and using them in good ways. When they deal with them in this manner, it creates in them a sense of excitement and the hope that it will continue and that they will be rewarded for their gratitude, which is more important than the good things that happen to them. And they deal with bad things, worries and distress by resisting those that they can resist, alleviating those that they can alleviate, and bearing with goodly patience those that they cannot avoid.

 

2 .  Sanction for the principles of Morality: Religion provides a sanction for the principles of morality like justice, honesty, righteousness, brotherhood, equality, virtuousness, tolerance, sacrifice, help to the needy and other kindred virtues. These are the virtues without which, not only our life will lose its order and normalcy but it is very likely to be turned into a chaos. Of course, it is possible to acquire these moral and social qualities without the aid of religion. But certainly in the absence of firm religious belief, these values appear to lose their meaning and become a series of mere unbinding recommendations. These qualities are rather based on an internal feeling and faith and are naturally beyond the scope of ordinary law.


It is only faith in the existence of an Eternal Being, who knows man equally from within and without and who has full control over him, that cultivates these virtues within man and impels him to automatic righteousness and adherence to duty, and if need be, to make sacrifices for the sake of others. The well-known philosopher-cum-historian, Will Durant says in his book, 'Pleasures of Philosophy' that, without the backing of religion, morality is nothing more than arithmomancy, as without it, the sense of obligation disappears.

 

3 . Encounter with Ideological vacuum: Man cannot live in an ideological vacuum for long and as such his tendency towards a wrong ideology and false values becomes definite. His intellectual life is not filled with sound beliefs and healthy teachings. A superstitious and even destructive ideas may find way into his spiritual firmament and may forever pollute his brain. Instances of man's tendency towards idolatry, man worship, diverse superstitions and credulity regarding the influence of irrational things over destiny, can be witnessed even in the lives of world intellectuals. All this originates from spiritual vacuum. It is religion which can fill the ideological and intellectual vacuum with sound teachings and can save one from a tendency towards absurdities and irrationalities. Hence, true understanding of religion can play an important role in combating superstitions, though it is true that even religion itself, if not understood correctly, may promote superstitions.

 

4 . Power to endure adversities of Life:  Religion provides power for facing adversities and serves as a bulwark against undesirable reactions of despair and hopelessness. A religious Man,  with firm belief in Allah, and of His munificence, does not find himself in utter desperation even in the worst moments of his life, because he knows well that he is under the protection of a Being who is Almighty. With faith in the fact that every problem can be solved and every deadlock can be resolved with His help, he can overcome every disappointment and hopelessness. For this very reason, it very seldom happens that a truly religious man suffers from the acute reactions of desperation like suicide, nervous breakdown or psychic ailments which are products of frustration and defeatism.

Allah says:

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَن

"Surely the friends of Allah-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve." (Surah Younus, 10:62).

 

 






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