The Purpose of Religion

{ Friday, April 27, 2012 }
What is the purpose of religion, any religion? Those who don't believe in a higher power will probably say that it's designed by men to control others. 
Since I do believe in God, I don't think that control is the original purpose. Sure, there are enough religious clerics in any religion who think they have the right to tell others what to do. There will always be people like that, religious or not, and it's up to the individual to get his/her own knowledge and not believe everything that other people say. A true scholar is humble, and doesn't get offended if people reject his/her ideas. He/she doesn't expect blind obedience from others. He/she is not God, although some sure seem to think they are. 

To me, the purpose of religion is to create a better society, where people remember to be grateful and humble, and not let their carnal desires run away with them. A society where people are good to one another, and treat others like they want to be treated themselves. A society without arrogance, greed or vanity. Of course, it's not easy to achieve such a society, and it requires constant striving, and questioning of the self. Do I believe that there will ever be a society like that? Maybe, if people will have the courage to take a good look at themselves. If I look at Muslims today, I can't help but shake my head and sigh. Many of them have forgotten the purpose of Islam in the first place. It wasn't revealed so they could swear at a sister for not wearing hijaab or niqaab. It wasn't revealed so they could fulfill their carnal desires and take a young second wife without ever looking at the first again. It wasn't revealed so little girls could be mutilated and forced to marry at a young age. Wake up! The purpose of Islam is to create a just society, where all members are respected and honored. If someone thinks that swearing, selfishness, abuse, intolerance and oppression is going to create such a society, I can't help but laugh at their  ignorance. It means he/she wants to recreate jahilliya society all over again (hello Saudi Arabia)! Don't you think that would be a little odd, given that Islam came specifically to abolish such nonsense? Very odd indeed, yet that is exactly what Muslim societies are doing. How can someone pray five times a day, and then go and hit his sister? It just totally baffles me. What baffles me even more is that there are women out there who are harder on their own sex than men. I've come across plenty of them on the internet, and if I look at Egyptian parliament then the queen of female oppression is sitting right there. Apparently those women think that the only way to have power over their lives, is to promote patriarchy, be honored by men for that and be pushed to the front as a result to make other women's lives miserable. So they acquire power, but at what cost? 

Anyway, there are so many abuses of religion that I could dedicate a whole blog to the subject. What it all comes down to, however, is a twisted view on the basic reasons for religion: a better society, peace, humbleness, gratitude towards a higher power, giving worth to all people. It's not hard to see that such abusers are doing the exact opposite. 
May God guide them, and help us create a better society where there is no injustice towards anyone, ameen.


Sui generis Writer said...

My thinking exactly! Religion was never meant to be a cause of disharmony. All the religions encourage hamanity and peace. It is such a pity that there are those who abuse the name of religion.
I agree with your words here.

God bless!

MarieHarmony said...

All your words talk to me so much Safiyah, it is maybe why I don't have much faith in religion. I have seen too many horrors already.
That does not mean I don't have faith in God, I just feel God is much bigger than religion, God's love is in my heart. It's maybe one of the reason I am staying away from established religion, feeling Christian, Muslim, my heart.

Interesting subject dear, as always. Stay well and have a lovely day!

Safiyah said...

@Sui: I agree with you too! =)

@Marie: I feel you, dear. Eventhough I chose Islam, I always want to stay open-minded towards all ways of life. I believe there is something to learn in every tradition, and every living creature deserves to be respected and loved. Take care! x

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