22
Sep
07

What is Religion?

This word that most people are willing to die for, that wars have been fought over, that people have been persecuted and isolated for…Is something most people don’t really know much about!.

As amazing as that sounds, it is absolutely true. Different people have different understanding of the word ‘religion’. Some think it is a ‘club’ which only the ‘chosen ones belong’;

– Some think it is ‘mandatory’ on all people (even children);

– Some think it is ‘for the poor’ to give them hope;

– Some think it is ‘just rituals’ and has no real significance in real life.

Yet, none of the above views gave us a definition as to ‘what’ religion really is!.

Is religion a bunch of laws and rituals which must be followed?.

Or is it much more than that?.

Let us turn to the Quran for a definition:

“The only religion approved by GOD is “Submission.” Ironically, those who have received the scripture are the ones who dispute this fact, despite the knowledge they have received, due to jealousy. For such rejecters of GOD’s revelations, GOD is most strict in reckoning.” (Quran 3:19)

This sound pretty severe!.

Does this mean that GOD is ordering us to follow some ‘religion’ which goes by the name of ’Submission’?.

Are we to simply hunt down this ‘submission’ and take its laws and rituals and that is it!.

When we find this ‘submission’, do we then force everyone else to follow and accept it?:

“Are they seeking other than GOD’s religion, when everything in the heavens and the earth has submitted to Him, willingly and unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned?” (Quran 3:83)

If everything in the heavens has submitted to His ‘religion’, then who are we to argue?.

“He is the One who sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, to make it EXPOSE all other religions, in spite of the idol worshipers.” (Quran 9:33)

How can a ‘religion’ expose other ‘religions’!!!

Dose this mean that in this ‘submission’ when we pray with our hands to our sides, it will expose those other ‘religions’ who pray with their hands folded?.

Or, does it mean when we give our charity, it will expose the other ‘religions’ who also give charity?.

Obviously none of this is making any sense!.

“The count of months, as far as GOD is concerned, is twelve. This has been GOD’s law, since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the PERFECT religion…” (Quran 9:36)

How are 12 months considered a ‘perfect religion’?.

What about using 19 months or 10 or 13?. That is still a ‘religion’!.

But by saying you have 12 months is a more ‘perfect’ religion?.

What is ‘Religion”?

I think we are now close to the heart of the matter.

Obviously, religion is not merely a collection of laws and rituals which people are simply walking around with saying ‘religion, religion’!.

Let us look at the story of Joseph which gives away the true meaning of ‘religion’.

When we read the story of Joseph (Sura # 12), we follow that Joseph went to Egypt and after a few incidents became one of Pharaoh’s high counselors responsible for the distribution of food and commerce.

Joseph is approached by his brothers (who tried to kill him in the beginning). He want’s to gain his younger brother by setting a scheme whereby the King’s golden measuring rod is placed in his younger brother’s belongings.

The scheme of Joseph is to let his brothers reveal the law of theft according to their own ‘religion’. This law is the one used by Abraham and Jacob and is the one revealed by GOD:

“They (Egyptians) said, “What is the punishment for the thief, if you are liars?” They (Joseph’s brothers) said, “The punishment, if it is found in his bag, is that the thief belongs to you. We thus punish the guilty.” (Quran 12:74-75)

After snaring them in his trap, and letting them expose their own law which they follow (rather than using Pharaoh’s), Joseph was thus able to keep his younger brother with him:

“He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother’s container, and he extracted it out of his brother’s container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king’s RELIGION. But that was the will of GOD. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable.” (Quran 12:76)

The King of Egypt did not have a ‘religious sect’ that he was implementing on the crime of theft, but he did have a SYSTEM.

It was thus Joseph bypassed this ‘system’ and replaced it with the one used by his brothers!.

Religion = System

Thus GOD clarifies the revelations, that we may understand…

It is not a ‘religion’ that GOD has given us which is made up of strange components and rituals…But rather it is the PERFECT SYSTEM which He has been decreeing through all his prophets:

“He decreed for you the same SYSTEM decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: “You shall uphold this one SYSTEM, and do not divide it.” (Quran 42:13)

You see: GOD is our Maker. He did not construct our minds, bodies, life, souls, the universe, gave us access to the spirit, etc. Just so we could stumble and be lost in this world.

We are on Earth with ‘free-choice’. We are free to choose whatever paths we desire…

We are free to come-up with as many systems as we like…

However, He is giving us a great mercy by telling us that His system is the PERFECT system:

“The count of months, as far as GOD is concerned, is twelve. This has been GOD’s law, since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the PERFECT religion…” (Quran 9:36)

You see, there is nothing to stop us from using 11, 10 or even 13 months (that is what some of us do). However, although these systems may work, GOD is telling us that His is PERFECT…We will not stumble when we properly use a 12 month count which will keep us in-line with the seasons and the movement of our planet.

What have our systems done for us?:

The Roman system of the senate and the emperor made Rome turn on itself…

The Monarchy system of France caused all power and wealth to be concentrated while the populace went hungry (French revolution was the result);

The military system of the Mongols left them with no identity after all their conquest;

The Dynasty system of China also crumbles when many parties wanted the power that was in the hands of the emperor.

What about our existing systems:

Communism (crumbled in late 1980’s due to its inability to recognize individual uniqueness and talent);

Capitalism (created much wealth for the individuals, caused money to be the only goal in life, made families dysfunctional, created misery to the masses);

The monarch systems of the Middle East cause massive in-balances of power and wealth which has led to the wealth being sucked dry, while the populace gets poorer and poorer;

The Dictatorships established around the world lead to massive corruption and usually civil wars or strife.

Yet, the funny thing is, with all these obvious problems, people still TURN-AWAY from the PERFECT religion…

They cannot believe that GOD can provide them with better than what they can come-up with!.

They cannot understand that He who creates, is NOT like one who is created!.

All we need to do is just reach out our hands and grab hold of the rope that has been thrown down from heaven to us…

“Are they seeking other than GOD’s system, when everything in the heavens and the earth has submitted to Him, willingly and unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned?” (Quran 3:83)

Do we see the Sun having a problem with its orbit?. Or do we see the Moon smashing into the Earth?

Each of these objects has taken the SYSTEM that was designed by GOD and followed it…Had they designed their own system, they would have been destroyed or knocked out of orbit eons ago.

Yet, we still falter!.

We still think we know best!.

What we do not realize is that our bodies and minds are only the HARDWARE.

We had no problem accepting our hardware from GOD and taking them when we came to Earth…

Yet, it is the ‘Operating System’ that we have a problem accepting!.

We keep running different programs and systems, when in the end, it is only ONE SYSTEM that is compatible with us:

“He is the One who sent His messenger with the guidance and the system of truth, to make it EXPOSE all other systems, in spite of the idol worshipers.” (Quran 9:33)

It is only now that we understand what this ‘religion’ is, that we can understand how it will EXPOSE all other ‘religions’.

The perfect system of GOD, when put into use, will show the weaknesses and fallacies of all other systems invented by man…

The system of GOD is the only one that not only caters to the ‘physical’ needs of the human being, but it also recognizes his ‘spiritual’ part and addresses those needs as well.

The human that follows the system of GOD by ‘submitting’ to it, is not only a self-sufficient person, but is also a happy person with strong family ties, intellectual endeavors, philosophical views, community awareness, and, above all, a realist.

What else can we say?.

“Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Submission/Islam as the SYSTEM for you…” (Quran 5:3)

You have probably already tried many systems for yourself…Give ‘submission’ a go…It is the only one from the ‘manufacturer’!.

http://www.free-minds.org/articles/gods_system/religion.htm

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1 Response to “What is Religion?”


  1. 1 Farthel
    September 22, 2007 at 3:27 am

    Religion, there is no religion. Just love, Lennon was right, All you need is Love. And Sex.


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