What Does Islam Teach Us About Religion?

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What Does Islam Teach Us About Religion?

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Islam teaches that religion is in the nature of human beings. To be human is to be concerned with religion; to stand erect, as men and women do, is to seek transcendence. Human beings have received the imprint of God on the very substance of their souls and cannot evade religion any more than they can avoid breathing. Individuals here and there may reject religion or a society may turn against its God-given religion for a short time, but even those events possess a religious significance. Men and women are created in the “form” (surah) of God, according to the famous Prophetic hadith. Here surah means the reflection of God’s Names and Qualities, for otherwise God is formless and imageless.

Men and women are created in the “form” (surah) of God, according to the famous Prophetic hadith. Here surah means the reflection of God’s Names and Qualities, for otherwise God is formless and imageless. 

Also, God breathed into human beings His Spirit according to the verse:

“I have made him and have breathed into him My Spirit” (15:29).

To be human is to carry this Spirit at the depth of one’s being and therefore to be concerned with religion and the author of all religion, who has breathed His Spirit into us.
According to Islam, as in all traditional teachings, men and women did not ascend from lower forms of life, but descended from on high, from a Divine prototype. Therefore, humanity has always been humanity and has always had religion. The first man, Adam, was also the first prophet. Religion did not evolve gradually during the history of humanity, but has always been there, in different forms but always containing the eternal message of Divine Oneness until, as a result of forgetfulness, its teachings were neglected and corrupted, only to be renewed by a new message from Heaven. Monotheism did not evolve from polytheism. Rather, polytheism is a decadent form of monotheism necessitating the ever newer revelations that have characterized human history.

Religion did not evolve gradually during the history of humanity, but has always been there, in different forms but always containing the eternal message of Divine Oneness until, as a result of forgetfulness, its teachings were neglected and corrupted, only to be renewed by a new message from Heaven. Monotheism did not evolve from polytheism. Rather, polytheism is a decadent form of monotheism necessitating the ever newer revelations that have characterized human history.

It is religion alone that can bestow meaning on human life, because it and it alone issues directly and in an objective manner from the same Divine Source as human life itself. Religion alone can actualize the potentialities within human beings and enable them to be fully themselves. It is only with the help of Heaven that we can become what we are eternally in the Divine Presence. Religion provides that supreme knowledge which is the highest goal of the intelligence and reveals the nature of that Reality which is also supreme love and the ultimate goal of the will. Religion is the source of all ethics and values, providing the objective criteria for the worth of human actions and deeds. It is also the source of veritable knowledge of both the Divine Principle and the created order in its relation to that Principle as well as the bearer of those principles that constitute the science of beauty and of forms in a traditional civilization.

Religion is the source of all ethics and values, providing the objective criteria for the worth of human actions and deeds. It is also the source of veritable knowledge of both the Divine Principle and the created order in its relation to that Principle as well as the bearer of those principles that constitute the science of beauty and of forms in a traditional civilization.

Islam cannot accept a human world in which religion is irrelevant. It can understand perfectly what it means to rebel against God and His prophets and has a fully developed doctrine concerning the nature of evil, the trials and tribulations of the life of faith, the dangers of unbelief, and the consequences of being responsible, as a being endowed with freedom to choose, before God. But the idea of humanity without religion as normal and a world in which the being or nonbeing of God is irrelevant and inconsequential as acceptable are totally rejected by Islam, which sees religion as the sine qua non of human life. Indeed, it is a human being’s relation to the Absolute, whatever that relation might be, that determines his or her relation to the relative. The loss of religion for the individual can only mean separation from both inner beatitude and the beatitude of the Beyond and, for a society as a whole, a sure sign of the disintegration of that society as a viable human collectivity.

Source: Islam; Religion, History, and Civilization 

 

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Daily Hadith
لا يكونُ أخوكَ أقوى مِنكَ على مَودّتِهِ.
Do not let your brother be stronger than you are in your amity for him.