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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Conformism with Prevalent Norms

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I want to have a discussion regarding conformism with prevalent norms (especially social norms).

Personally I think it is completely wrong except in the cases where things are deemed permissible and then that too should be for a higher aim or when the system is based on the Imamate of a ma'soom Imam (as).

Why should one refrain from something mustahab or indulge in something makrooh (forget about wajibat and haram) just because there is a lot of external pressure. Any and every action should be based on pleasing Allah by following the Ahlul Bayt (as) and if there is a lot of direct or indirect pressure against it, then that pressure should be seen as a difficulty and hardship and not passed off as 'impractical'.

I was listening to a lecture once and the speaker was speaking about Ayatollah Mutahhari's interpretation of Ghadeer Khum. Now I do not remember the details and this account is probably inaccurate but I will try to get the gist of the message across. The word maula also used to mean someone who freed a slave. For example if a person comes and pays the slave's master to set him free then the slave would call the person his maula, someone who frees from slavery. In the event of Ghadeer this maula meant someone (Prophet Muhammad (as) and Imam Ali (as)) who freed the people from all sorts of slavery whether it is slavery of one's tribe, or nafs or whatever and made the person a free human being who worships none but Allah.

In today's world the reality is that we have become slaves to the system. How many times have you heard a person saying oh I can not pursue religious education because I have a job which takes away all my time and I have no choice but to do the job (slavery to the economy). Or 'XYZ is mustahab but it can have negative effects'. Or 'XYZ is permissible but does that mean we do it'? These are just a few examples but if we look deeply I think we will find slavery everywhere. The only hope of freedom would be an Imam and that would be Imam Mahdi (as).

So I believe conformism is a form of slavery, it undermines your free will, strips you off it, affects your ability to think freely and most importantly it stops you from living like a human as shown by the Ahlul Bayt (as) especially in todays times. I can not understand how people living in harmony with the prevalent system today, enjoying life can bold statements about supporting the Imam (as) or asking questions like 'oh why isnt he coming' and stuff like that while this whole world is full of oppression and yet they conform with it and go about justifying it. I myself believe that I am not ready for Imam Mahdi (as) and while making aspirations is fine, but making bold statements about supporting him are out of question.

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Conformity is nothing negative in itself. People partially define themselves from the perception of other people. I am not immune to this nor is anyone else. The belief you have that conformity to societal norms is itslef a conformity to your intrepration of Islamic thought. The problem here seems to be a conflicting value system; you value the life as protrayed by the the Ahlul Bayt yet others value life for an inumerable amount of reasons; perhaps the life protrayed by popular media or anti-media, popular culture and again anti-culture, or life as afforded by government (I'm thinking of but not limited to forms such as socialism, communism) or the break of government (anarchy!) and on and on...

So then is the judging other's value systems subjectively just? Or should we objective? I don't know...

But one should recognize that saying conformity is bad is itself a conformity...

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