What Is Religion?

What Is Religion?

Religion refers to the beliefs and a series of practical and moral instructions that the prophets have related on behalf of Allah to guide and lead human beings.

Believing in these tenets and performing these instructions result in man's prosperity and happiness in this world and in the world Hereafter.

So if we abide by religion and follow the orders of Allah and the Prophet (S), we will become prosperous not only in this short life, but also in the everlasting and endless world Hereafter.

We are aware that a happy and prosperous person is one who has a true objective in his life and who does not live in misdeed and aberration. He possesses a good and praiseworthy demeanor and performs good deeds and has a confident, strong, and peaceful heart in this turbulent world.

The religion of Allah directs us towards this happiness and prosperity. Without religion, there would be no prosperity and bliss. Religious tenets are like secret police in the heart of man and always accompany him. They keep man away from moral wickedness and force him to be virtuous.

Belief is the strongest and most solid refuge in which man never confronts fear and anguish in the ups and downs of life. The worshippers of Allah never lose their courage in any circumstances and never feel disdain and inferior, for they see themselves connected to the infinite might of the Creator of the world and under all circumstances, they remember Allah and seek refuge with Allah; they possess a confident, strong, and peaceful heart.

Religion commands us to have a praiseworthy behavior and to perform good and decent deeds as far as we can.

Therefore, religion is divided into three parts:

(1) Beliefs;

(2) Ethics;

(3) Commandments.

This brief account should be elaborated to be acceptable to the honorable readers.

1. Beliefs

If we use our commonsense and conscience, we realize that this world of existence with its wonderful order could not be created by itself and this astonishing order of the world of creation could not be achieved without an organizer.

Undoubtedly, there is a Creator Who has created this vast and magnificent world with His infinite capability and knowledge and who has established the world of creation with exact order by the invariable and unchangeable rules that He has set up throughout the world of existence. Nothing has been created uselessly and extravagantly. No creature falls outside the purview of the laws of Allah that govern the world.

Can it be believed that such a compassionate Allah with all the grace and blessings that He has toward His creatures would leave man, the masterpiece creation on his own? And that He would leave human beings to man's wisdom which is mostly victim of carnal desires and is, as a result, faced with aberration and misery? The reply to this question is self-evident.

Consequently, Allah must send instructions to human beings by prophets - who are free from any kind of sin and error - to lead men to happiness and prosperity by following them.

We realize that in this world, the signs and valuable benefits of adherence to religious principles do not become completely evident. Neither the righteous are rewarded, nor the criminals and oppressors are punished for their deeds.

From this, we understand that another world must exist where people's deeds are closely investigated, so that if one has done a charitable act, he would be rewarded or if he has committed an indecent deed, he would be castigated. Religion encourages people with these tenets and other rightful beliefs, which will later be thoroughly discussed in this book, and warns them of paganism and ignorance.

2. Ethics

Religion decrees that we adopt praiseworthy qualities in life, have a good nature, and accomplish ourselves with good and commendable attributes. We must be conscientious, benevolent, philanthropic, kind, faithful, good-natured, pleasing to meet, and just.

We must defend our own rights. We must not transgress our own limits and rights and should not encroach upon the property, reputation, and lives of people. In search of knowledge and civility, we must not spare any effort for self-sacrifice and self-denial whatsoever. Finally, we must have equality and moderation in all affairs of life.

3. Commandments

Religion decrees that we perform acts that are beneficial to ourselves and to our society during our life and refrain from acts that cause corruption and immorality. It also teaches us to engage in reciting salat (prayers), observing sawm (fasting), and performing similar other duties which are signs of servitude and obedience towards Allah.

These are the laws and instructions the religion offers and invites us to perform. As it is evident, some of them are doctrinal, others ethical, and some others practical. As mentioned before, acceptance and performance of these principles is the only means of happiness and prosperity, for we are aware that man should be nothing but realistic and should live with good ethics and praiseworthy deeds.

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