On 29th of November, The author had a family gathering at his home which he used to conduct his second ever lecture on the topic ‘What to follow- tradition or religion?’
A video of the entire thing has been uploaded on youtube so do check it out, given below in this blog post are just excerpts from random parts of the script. This is barely quarter of the actual content.
Traditional Religious Practices-
a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures, in particular.
—Origin of traditional religious practices—
- Monetary Benefit
- Political Dominance
- Information passed on to generations.
—Forms of religious divisions—
- Sectarian Divisions
- Further divisions within a sect due to difference in rituals
- Custom religious settings, it’s like build your own religion!- follow what benefits you and deny what doesn’t! oh and, if it’s cool enough you can make a sect out of it or maybe another religion too!
[…] it’s very easy for people to fall into such traps because most of the people in a religion, they are of that religion cause they were born in it, not cause they went seeking for truth.
That brings me to another point about tradition, we follow everything in our religion because our ancestors use to follow it and because if I don’t my parents are going to hit me and like you know, take away my stuff or whatever. It’s the same case with every religion- be it Islam, Christianity, Hinduism etc.
Brothers and sisters that is a very wrong approach, do not do that, your children must know why they pray, they must know why they fast, they must know we pay zakah, they must know why is pork haram, they must know why is dancing discouraged, your daughters must know why they wear hijab and the wisdom behind every Sunnah and obligatory act. […]
Why were sects created? Over here we can have three situations.
One, Historical differences or differences in beliefs out of which either or both sides do not match the Quran- I’m not going to specify any sect but if any of its verdicts go against the Quran- leave your sect and come to the word of Allah, like how I don’t like calling myself in any cause of the verses I listed above.
Two, To gain political dominance, not just in large scale as sects but even when it comes to the birth of a new ritual- someone must have done it to get people to come to him and gain political and influential dominance in a region or among a society.
Personally, the Christian concept of ‘confession’ seems like something that was done so the priest can be the one the people have to come to- as an intercessor- and now guess what? He knows all the sins that numerous people have done and he can ask you to carry out various chores in return for ‘forgiveness’.
· Now, I’m not saying this because I’m a Muslim and I want to oppose Christianity for no good reason but guess what the bible says about intercessors and medians?- It’s mentioned in the Book Of Leviticus, 20:27- “Men and women who act as medians or who consult the spirit of dead must be stoned to death”
· Besides this, the bible does talk about confessions but that doesn’t obligate confessing to your local neighborhood priest to then go pray for you or whatever. And that confession mentioned refers to humility so you may not repeat them again. Honestly, your inner feeling of regret should matter more than what the society thinks about you.
· The same applies to Hindus when they worship and overly praise a priest or worship a certain given idol in the name of a temple, it’s mentioned in the Bhagwadgita 7:20- “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires- they worship demigods”.
· Similar messages about idol-worship and making images of God is mentioned in the Yajurveda 40:9 (They enter darkness those who worship material things, they sink deeper in darkness those who worship created things),
· the Svetaswatara Upanishad 4, Shloka 19-20 and Yajurveda 32:3 (There is no image of God, and his image is unseen),
· the Yajurveda 40:8 (God has attained into the bright, bodiless, woundless, sinless, and pure which evil has not pierced)
You know so basically most of the stuff related to idol worship and interceding and praying to the dead for yourself is all made up stuff with no religious background actually.
Now anyways moving on,
The third one, ah, the most interesting one in my favor, you know how you get those lego blocks and you can make like literally anything and everything and all you need is imagination?
Yep that’s the third reason to making of sects and traditional practices that aren’t religiously backed up. People look at religion like a lego set you know, take a bunch of things that benefit you, follow. what doesn’t benefit you, chuck it.
You get to like build your own religion you know, like oh ok so im a muslim now what do I have? Oh prayers okay fine, oh hijab? Nah my friends don’t do it, oh interest is haram? Nah nevermind ill take it anyways cuz money right whats wrong.
And then what happens? That version of Islam that you just formed, it’s gonna pass on to your progeny.
This has already taken place in our past and that’s why we have something very sad that takes place in India especially,
In India, if someone starts wearing Hijab or growing beard- suddenly its like they have ‘attack me’ written all over their head cause the whole family is going to start questioning them and pestering them to get it off.
Like wow okay hold on,
One, Islam commands Hijab, Modesty and lowering gaze in Surah Noor 24:31- (And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment)
Ahzab 33:59- (O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments)
Now counterpoint, people might say that why only women? But guess what, it’s not only women, actually, Allah commanded the men to be modest before he told the women, I mentioned how the command to women went in verse 31 of Surah Noor but you know, the command of being modest went to men in the previous verse- verse 30- (Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them.) and then only after that did he mentioned “tell the women to…”
Now people might also say, it’s just Islam that commands this, all the other religions have modernized- but no, actually, the other religions have even stricter commands-
· 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, says that “Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if the woman be not covered , let her also be shorn : but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven , let her be covered
· Genesis 24 64-66. (New International Version (NIV)
64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel
65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
66 “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
- “when brahma has made you a woman, lower your gaze and not look up. You should not reveal what the garment and veil conceals” [Rigveda Book 8 Hymn 33 Verse 19]
- When Purshuram comes. Rama tells Sita- “…put on the veil” [Mahavir Charitra Act 2 Page 71]
Secondly, let’s just pretend- for argument sake- Hijab was not a command of Allah-
When it comes to that, you should be knowing that in Arabian territories, in the past, everyone veiled themselves, that was their custom- whether muslim or not, it was for modesty- not cause someone told them to.
Then also, it’s their personal will on how they want to dress, everyone goes around speaking for liberalization right, on how everyone should have freedom? Now when these women want to wear a hijab or these men want to grow a beard, then where are your notions of freedom gone? Where is liberalization now?
In reality, all of us have corrupted our religion by mixing into it the concepts of society and the traditional practices and beliefs that formulated.
The existence of such problems is understandable and inevitable and the blame still lies on us, and not on our ancestors who adopted these things because- why are we not looking for the reasons we follow certain things? Why don’t we do our research? Why are we not studying Islam and finding out it’s true wisdom?
Allah holds us accountable for this, Allah says in the Quran in Surah Israa Ch17, Verse 36- “And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned”
Surah Hujurat 49:6- “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate.”
We have come up with such complicated terms and words about our religion and so many things that are actually not there in the Quran or Sunnah. We have complicated our religion by not checking our facts right, by not confirming whether or not something is right or wrong. We just follow what we hear, we follow what others follow- ignoring whether that is right or wrong- and that, brothers and sisters, is a great problem.
Let us all strive for Heaven and take with us whoever we can. It’s time brothers and sisters- it’s up to us, to purify this mixture and see what is right and what is wrong. Allah has already made the truth evident from falsehood. Now it is up to us, to separate the falsehood from truth and walk in the straight path.