Secondly, I do not find that the Quran ever taught blind faith. Somehow, this “faith” element” seemed to have been given a twist and “hype” it does not deserve in the objective search for knowledge and Truth by the religious folks. “Faith” has also been equated with blind belief, it seems. I must clarify that I am not suggesting that “faith” and “belief” do not have any role. It is the blind “faith” and “blind belief” that I am unable to accept. Contrary to what some religious folks say, I find that the Quran emphatically require the seeker to evaluate and query even that belief which is held by our parents and forefathers.
“When it is said to them: "Follow what God has revealed:" They say: "No! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance? (Quran: 2.170) [see also verses: 5:104, 7:70, 11:87, 12:40, 21:53 and many more with the same message]
Obviously parents deserve respect and love for they are good people. However, let us not confuse “good people” with people with wisdom and knowledge. They, too, like most us, may be blind followers. For example, we do not follow the ways of our fathers by posting letters all the time, do we? We now use emails frequently. Religious approach makes us illogical. Deen approach allows us to use common sense and thinking. Another series of verses from the Quran that is relevant and interesting to consider are the following:
“No! they say: "We found our fathers following a certain path, and we do guide ourselves by their footsteps." (Quran: 43:022)
“Just in the same way, whenever We sent a warner/giver of notice before you to any people, the wealthy and arrogant ones among them said: "We found our fathers following a certain path, and we will certainly follow in their footsteps." (Quran 43:23)
“He (the giver of notice) said: "What! Even if I brought you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?" They said: "For us, we deny that you are sent (on a mission at all)." (Quran 43:24)
It should now be obvious that sincere and intelligent inquiry is encouraged by the Quran strongly. In fact, the Quran goes on to say that on Judgment Day, we cannot blame our parents for our refusal to evaluate and think.
“In the event you should say: "Our fathers before us may have taken false gods, but we are merely (their) descendants after them: will you then destroy us because of the deeds of men who were futile?" (Quran 7:173)
The religious approach on the other hand requires a total, unquestioning acceptance coupled with the dubious notion of “fear of being sinful if questions are asked”. The religious approach negates the fact that one may already be misled by never understanding what one believes in.
On the contrary, I find the Quran explicit on the requirement of thinking, verification and evaluation of whatever you experience or hear in life. You are not expected to believe or accept anything without rational basis and or that which cannot be made sense of by using any or all the five senses plus the cognitive process. For instance, it is by using some of the five senses plus the cognitive process that I come to believe that “wind” exists even though I am unable to see it with my eyes. If you believe something without thinking or verification, you are likely to be fooled. This is Reality.
“And follow/accept not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Quran: 17:36)
Even though I was “born into a Muslim family”, I like to think that it was the above verse (17:36) that actually sparked my journey to delve into the Quran seriously and eventually led me to accept the Quran as a practical guidance from the Creator.
Anyway, back to our discussion, for example, it does not matter if you blindly believe that a knife will not penetrate your body. It will if it is sharp enough. Once you know the characteristics of the knife and the human body, you will understand the physics of why the knife will penetrate your body. You may then believe it when someone else tells you to be careful with a knife. This “belief” is grounded on facts. The Ad-deen approach of the Quran is precisely that – get your facts right in life.
In the case of the person who deeply believe that knife will not penetrate normal skin, he will certainly think that he is right. We tend to get carried away with “religious fervor” due to the religious mentality. I have often seen people who have abdicated the thinking process being called “very religious”. Some of them are admired and that baffles me. Believing that you are right does not and will not make you right. The only way you can be right is if your belief is consonant or consistent with the facts.
I admit there are certain matters that require belief that may not be contemporarily comprehensible yet. For example, the belief that it is possible for someone in Malaysia to talk with and see another person in America. It is possible today with internet. However, this idea may be unimaginable just 30 years ago. My point is that the religious approach emphasizes on blind faith in substantial and fundamental matters of practical life. The Adeen approach on the other hand emphasizes substantially on reasoning, common sense, knowledge and REALITY. Less hype and more facts.
NEXT: Ad-Deen Approach of the Quran. – Part Three
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