At Peace

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Sincerity is not enough

I told Kamal Fariz once, that I believe there were 2 choices for muslims to make:

1. To devote oneself to the religion that he has to isolate himself from the rest
2. To live a fair life, work, have family etc, but then we are not up to the standard of the first choice.


Religion is from God. We have tried so hard to please God that we are prepared to do many things (to the point of silliness), without ever knowing whether God approve our act or not. We say that we want to isolate ourselves, or only eating grass, or be a vegetarian, or injuring ourselves during festivals, or fasting the whole year etc - which one of these acts actually does God like?

We are in dire need of guidance from God. Without His say, we will do everything that our mind could think to please him. Would helping other people enough? Or not sleeping during the night, going outside and think about the creation and The Creator- is that enough?

Evidence based Religion

In Islam, we are guided by the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. There is only 1 version of Quran. The sayings of Prophet Muhammad were analysed by the Scholars to make sure that it originates from the Prophet himself. Not only we check the text that it doesn't go against the Quran, we also check the reliability of the transmitter- whether they are liars or trustworthy, whether they have good memory or has Alzheimers. The hadith have been scrutinised by the scholar to make we know which one is definitely coming from Prophet ((Sahih, hasan), which one is probable (Daif (weak)) and which one is fabricated. It is a bit like medicine - there are Grade A,B,C evidence from the trials. The evidence in Islam is complete while in medicine the trials will never end. Plus we rarely check the reliability of the person who did the trial, while in Islam, if the transmitter ever known to be a liar, the so-called hadith will be rejected.

Which one is better, God's way or human's way of worshipping God? Would God then leave human being in searching of the ways to worship him, or (because He is Most Wise) will he send guidance to guide the mankind? Hence the Prophet. If you think that there is a Supreme Being, but did not believe in organized religion, then God might not be as clever then. Why would he create us to worship Him if he didn't show us some sort of ways to worship him? Exalted God from all the defects. Probably 'organized religion' might not actually be as bad as the what we see being portrayed.

Ikhlas is not enough

In Islam, ikhlas (sincerity) is vitally important in order for our worship to be accepted by God. If we pray or fast or giving charity in order to be respected by human beings, then it will not be accepted by God. Similarly if we pray Maghrib 4 rakaat instead of 3 in order to please Allah sincerely (ikhlas), would that be accepted then? Definitely not. Because that is not in accordance of what God wants!! We want a nice amber colour car, but we got an expensive shining pink jeep - it just doesn't suit us. (Of course we can sell the jeep to get extra money and then buy the car we want, but God is not in need of the extra money!!)

So we come to the second requirement for our worship, that is our way of worshipping has to be according to what God wants - in Islam, this is according to what Quran and the Prophet said. Why is this important? This is to prevent people from inventing new ways of worshipping God and say God likes it because we are doing it sincerely for Him. As I said earlier, sincerity alone is not enough.

Application of these 2 concepts

Back to my original 'conclusion' to Kamal Fariz, that we Muslims have 2 choices to make. After knowing these 2 requirements, I have come to the conclusion that there is only 1 option. There has always been only 1 option. Number 2.

Prophet Muhammad is the perfect example of how our life should be. Of course there are parts where he used camel and we use cars, etc. What i meant was the religion of Islam is complete with him being the primary example. If he, being the last Prophet of God, still work, and marry, and had children, and smile, and cry, - who are we to say that we should not work and isolate ourselves, or not get married, or should not be happy? Do we think we know religion more than the prophet? Silly me to think that way 10 years ago!!

May Allah forgive us and keep us in the straight path.


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