Being Religious


(photosource: Calligraphy of Hassan Massoudy)

I read two articles in Alwatan newspaper today and I thought I would like to share it with you guys….

One by Abdulrahman AlNajjar you can find it here

The other by Abdullah AlHadlaq you can find it here

For my non-Arab friends (but if you are a non-Arab but read Arabic then you’re not my friend (well not the friend I am referring to here anyways) and you can go back and click on the two links above) I am not sure if I have the capability (aka energy) to translate so I will summarise the best and shortest way possible …

In the first Article Mr. AlNajjar speaks about the misuse of the words “3adat(customs)” and “taqaleed(traditions)” … I will not talk about this article since it wasn’t the initial choice of subject I wanted to write about … But lately I’ve been hearing those words a lot and often from young people who may not even be aware of what were 3adatna o taqaleedna (not say am that old) … He briefly talks about how people use those terms only for their own “political” use …. when it serves their agenda but never when it goes against it … anyways in my opinion customs and traditions derive 90%  from humans and are always changing … there are things that worth preserving and things that should be changed …

The second article by Mr.AlHadlaq is the article that I most wanted to share … it speaks about religion and ethics (Islamic ethics) … He speaks about how Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) speaks highly of ethics being the basis of Islam (or any religion as a matter of fact) … and he compares it to many contradicting practices adopted by “in my vocabulary” the  new Islam … He speaks about what does it mean to be truly religious? and he speaks about how todays definition of being religious (unlike in the old “Islamic” days) has been narrowed to a set of practices and appearances that a person undertakes rather than the ethics and humanity that he/she values and installed in him/her …  I will also add to that (from an interview on Aljazeera) how Allah encouraged us to think (hence our brains) about everything and how inheriting one’s religion from his parents doesn’t make them a believer if they don’t  truly accept it (and that comes only when a person thinks! and starts questioning the rights and the wrongs)…

He ends his article in a question that I would like to end this post with(with slight modification): what does “being religious” really mean?

8 responses

  1. His

    Regarding traditions…I have seen documentaries about Japan and their traditions. Although they are one of the most advanced countries in the world. They stick to their traditions strongly.

    I think traditions are part of the culture yet it’s not a must.

    July 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    • i agree … but in every culture there are some good and bad traditions(it has a big definition) … even Japan had to let go of some traditions and kept many others … as you said it’s not a must

      July 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm

  2. I guess that a true religion is when a person loves his/her God with all his/her strength, all his/her mind, all his/her heart and all his/her soul. His/her action, the fruit, represents what he/she believes consistently. A true religion looks after the poor, sick, oppressed and homeless.

    July 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  3. I had the same exact conversation with my sister today and i totally agree that religion is what you truly believe in not what your parents pass down to you or what other people preach to you. Ofcourse parents help to guide you in the right direction and offer their knowledge but ultimately it is our decision. To me being religious is acting with kindess, being true to yourself and everyone around you. Treating people with respect and most importantly being closer to god.

    July 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

    • very true … sometimes we lose track of what being close to God is …

      July 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

  4. Hi Bud,

    This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart.

    When I was at university I went through an unhealthy religious experience, where I became an extremist, demanding too much of myself and those around me.

    I think “being religious” means adhering to the teachings of your religion. The problem isn’t in “being religious” but what you understand your religion to be.

    Is it about the rituals you must perform, or the relationship with God you want to build?

    Do you have to rely on faith, or trust your reason?

    Does religion necessitate self-sacrifice, or does it promote self-respect?

    When you change how religion is understood, “being religious” can have negative connotations.

    I’m starting up a new blog that deals with the topic of understanding Islam and, more importantly, taking an approach that respects rationality, rather than condemn it. The blog is at Rational Islam, but it’s still in its early days.🙂

    July 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    • Thanks for your comment … I will checkout the website for sure

      July 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

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