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In the Name of God بسم الله

Why follow a religion?

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  • Veteran Member

For one moment, look around and empty your mind of all things religion (especially the one that you follow). Then ask yourself why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

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  • Advanced Member

For one moment, look around and empty your mind of all things religion (especially the one that you follow). Then ask yourself why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

I did not choose Islam as the path for me to follow. God chose it for me. The finite cant guide or even choose for itself. But The Infinite does.

And therefore All paths that God calls ppl to are correct. :)

Edited by eThErEaL
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  • Advanced Member

For one moment, look around and empty your mind of all things religion (especially the one that you follow). Then ask yourself why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

Because the physical world as we know it is a subjective experience... we actually don't know what reality is.

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Salam Alykum,

I think it's fairly simple to say that everything in this world requires some rules to follow and therefore for human lives we have a religion to follow, that keeps us from harming ourselves.

And, moreover it gives us an aim and satisfaction and contentment at heart, which can not be achieved from anywhere else.

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Salam.

...why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

I would follow my religion because:

It is a religion of reason and knowledge: there is a reason for everything and we must increase our knowledge to discover this reasons.

It is a religion of compassion: it is a religion with a divine being who offers guidance to a person who turns to God, even slightly. it is a religion which teaches us to respect our fellow human beings and to regard ourselves as equal (except in piety, which motivates us to do good).

It is a religion of spirituality: worshipping God and loving His prophet and the prophet's family.

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

We need purpose and we need order in our lives. Only religion gives us a true purpose; for example, there is no point in collecting materials (they will be redistributed our death and they cannot help us in our spirituality). I would not choose Christianity because its scripture contradicts itself, is historically unreliable, and has confusing doctrines (such as the trinity, no-one can understand it: how can something be mortal and immortal at the same time? how can something be all-knowing and ignorant at the same time?) that were attributed to the religion decades that Jesus, peace be upon him, did not teach. I would not choose Judaism because of its changed scripture (and there is proof of this) and its racism (only Jews are favoured? What sort of unjust God is this?). I would not choose Buddhism because it ignores God and the whole point of religion is God. Buddhism's purpose is to remove suffering from yourself: but sometimes suffering is inevitable and sometimes suffering is good. I would not choose Hinduism because it is not truly a religion, but a culture. I would not choose atheism because there is no proof that God does not exist (and to choose atheism on the basis that "there is no proof that God does exist" would be hypocrisy). I would choose Islam because its prophet was a man who did not accept materials in exchange for giving up preaching monotheism and who did not become materialistic or arrogant after gaining power. Also Islam's scripture is astounding in its approach to the world (both the spiritual and the practical are focused on, whereas most other religions are concerned mostly with the spiritual, ignoring we are physical beings), and its evidence.

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Salam.

I would follow my religion because:

It is a religion of reason and knowledge: there is a reason for everything and we must increase our knowledge to discover this reasons.

It is a religion of compassion: it is a religion with a divine being who offers guidance to a person their rel who turns to God, even slightly. it is a religion which teaches us to respect our fellow human beings and to regard ourselves as equal (except in piety, which motivates us to do good).

It is a religion of spirituality: worshipping God and loving His prophet and the prophet's family.

Many Buddhists and Christians (to mention a few) say that their religion i s also 'reasonable'. They also say their religion is a religion of compassion. all those reasons you have given are not unique to Islam (except reverence to Muhammad (s) and his family).

We need purpose and we need order in our lives. Only religion gives us a true purpose; for example, there is no point in collecting materials (they will be redistributed our death and they cannot help us in our spirituality). I would not choose Christianity because its scripture contradicts itself, is historically unreliable, and has confusing doctrines (such as the trinity, no-one can understand it: how can something be mortal and immortal at the same time? how can something be all-knowing and ignorant at the same time?) that were attributed to the religion decades that Jesus, peace be upon him, did not teach. I would not choose Judaism because of its changed scripture (and there is proof of this) and its racism (only Jews are favoured? What sort of unjust God is this?). I would not choose Buddhism because it ignores God and the whole point of religion is God. Buddhism's purpose is to remove suffering from yourself: but sometimes suffering is inevitable and sometimes suffering is good. I would not choose Hinduism because it is not truly a religion, but a culture. I would not choose atheism because there is no proof that God does not exist (and to choose atheism on the basis that "there is no proof that God does exist" would be hypocrisy). I would choose Islam because its prophet was a man who did not accept materials in exchange for giving up preaching monotheism and who did not become materialistic or arrogant after gaining power. Also Islam's scripture is astounding in its approach to the world (both the spiritual and the practical are focused on, whereas most other religions are concerned mostly with the spiritual, ignoring we are physical beings), and its evidence.

The quran seems also just as historically inaccurate as the Bible. In fact a christian can say that the bible is historically accurate about the resurrection Jesus Christ..a view that he quran does not endorse. and Buddhism is not a God-less religion, but a god-less religion.. because its teachings are no more different than what Irfan teaches. And Christian beleif in Jesus as Divine is no more different than Islamic belief that Muhammad is the Representative of God.

I think it is immature to say that in order for my religion to be true it necessarily must preclude other divine religions as paths to God.

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Salam

Many Buddhists and Christians (to mention a few) say that their religion i s also 'reasonable'. They also say their religion is a religion of compassion. all those reasons you have given are not unique to Islam (except reverence to Muhammad (s) and his family).

Christians say their religion is reasonable, so it is? No.

Christianity is without a doubt not a logical religion. The doctrine of the trinity, as a good example, is not understood by anybody and could not be called a doctrine of reason. For example, how can something be mortal and immortal at the same time? how can something be all-knowing and ignorant at the same time? Another example is the crucifixion. It is not logical to say that God let an innocent man be tortured to death to forgive the sins of people who believe he was a liar (when he claimed prophethood). Some Christians believe the crucifixion's main purpose was not to forgive ordinary sins but the original sin. In which case, it is not logical to say that God let an innocent man be tortured to death to forgive a sin He didn't bother forgive thousands of years ago, and made everyone inherit this sin even though they hadn't committed the sin. These are the main doctrines of Christianity but they are not reasonable. Christianity may possess compassion, but it does not possess reason. So it can be rejected for this reason.

Buddhism is not a proper religion, since it simply aims to end suffering. A purpose which is flawed, when we remember that some suffering cannot be avoided (for example, your grieving when your parents die) and some suffering is good for us (for example, some people turn to God in their our of need, and stop focusing on their materials and wealth). Buddhism is not really a proper religion (depending on your definition) as it ignores God. So Buddhism must be rejected, since its main purpose is flawed.

The quran seems also just as historically inaccurate as the Bible. In fact a christian can say that the bible is historically accurate about the resurrection Jesus Christ

I haven't heard the Quran is historically inaccurate? (at least not except from the infamous anti-islam website).

To claim the Quran is on the same level of (potential) historical inaccuracy suggests to me, maybe wrongly, that you are ignorant of the reliability of the Bible. The resurrection depends on the crucifixion. With focus on the truth of the crucifixion and the historical Jesus, respectfully here are some facts which may be new to you:

1) The "original" New Testament is lost. The majority of manuscripts of the NT date after 1000ce. Here is how many manuscripts we have of the NT from each century:

From the 9th century or before: 517

From the 8th century or before: 327

From the 7th century or before: 265

From the 6th century or before: 218

From the 5th century or before: 146

From the 4th century or before: 93

From the 3rd century or before: 48

From the 2nd century or before: 8

From the 1st century or before: 0

On top of this, the vast majority of these "s[Edited Out]s of parchment" don't even matter. For example, when you are looking for a historical Jesus, Paul's letters won't help you, because he doesn't say anything about Jesus's life. In-fact, as Paul didn't even meet Jesus and wasn't there at the crucifixion, Paul's letters are useless with regards to discovering the historical Jesus or determining whether Jesus was actually crucified. If you want records of Jesus' life, you have to go to the gospels: the only gospel fragment available is from the second century and is a postcard-sized snippet from John. In other words, we do not have early manuscripts of the gospels (the only sources on Jesus' life in the Bible).

2) Why is this significant? Because the NT has changed vastly. It is well-established there have been thousands of changes in the Bible, both accidental and on purpose. A simple example is the gospel of Mark. Mark ends very abruptly; Jesus was crucified. He said to have risen. Then what? The gospel just ends there. (The verses commonly shown after this are an insertion, and not by the same author who wrote the gospel of Mark. A couple of proofs of this are the ending is missing in the oldest available manuscripts and the style of the verses are different to the rest of the gospel). So the (real) ending of Mark has been lost. This is a simple example that change, sometimes major change, occurred in the NT. Mark is the oldest gospel and so the most reliable historically.

3) The NT was written decades after Jesus. Someone on another forums writes this next problem far better than I could:

The earliest - earliest - writings about Jesus are all from at least half a century after his death... not his ministry, not his miracles, half a century after his death before someone thought to write something about Jesus. And all of the writings we have of Jesus are by supportive writers - not a single critical word about his life - and all can be traced back to one or two originating documents (probably Mark and Q). And all of those writings contradict each other

The earliest letter in the NT was written by Paul (who I have already pointed out isn't helpful to us) in 50-60ce. Jesus was supposedly crucified about 30ce. So the earliest letter is written two decades after Jesus' ascension/disappearance. The later books in the NT were written several decades after. The gospel of Mark (the earliest gospel) was written in 60-80ce. It is a major dent in the reliability of the NT. Can someone seriously believe that facts weren't distorted in these decades and the Christians' beliefs didn't change? Islam is a very well-recorded religion in comparison, however even it suffered millions of fake hadiths (bukhari rejected millions of hadiths as an example) and lying accounts within its first few decades AND there occurred several splits in the communities, with each group believing different things. When it comes to a religion with a poorly recorded (whether orally or textually) history like Christianity, can we seriously expect to believe that beliefs didn't change and accounts weren't invented? There were many circulating letters and books, and only a selection (approved by the christian group with power, see point 5) made it into the NT. However the historical reliability of many of the books in the NT were disputed:

The illustrious Irenaeus (b. ca. A.D. 130), for example, considered the Shepherd of Hennas to be inspired, but rejected Hebrews, Jude, James, 2 Peter, and 3 John. Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 150-213) included the Apocalypse of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas in his Bible. Tertullian (b. ca. A.D. 160) — best remembered for his dictum, Certum est, quia impossibile est ("I believe it because it's impossible") — threw out all the New Testament books except the four gospels, Acts, thirteen "Pauline" epistles, Revelation, and 1 John. (I didn't write this paragraph. I don't have the source to give credit).

4) Outside of the NT, there is NO evidence whatsoever of the crucifixion. There are about 5-10 non-Christian historians accounts roughly within that time frame. About half of them were edited later by Christians to insert their beliefs into it. But none of them actually prove anything apart from a group of Christians suddenly emerged and were spreading the news of a man called Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. There is no historical evidence to support the crucifixion. For example, there are no records in Pilate's trials of Jesus' trial.

5) Power passed from James's group (James was the half-brother of Jesus) who didn't believe in Jesus' divinity or crucifixion to the Pauline group who did believe in these things. The Pauline group were the victors and the James group were killed or died out. The victors became the church who then selected from numerous letters and books, only those writings which promoted a theology which they agreed with ,and these became the canon. The church in later centuries tried to suppress certain letters and books by burning and destroying all copies. Obviously the victors group would want to promote their version of events and so include letters and books which support their theology, including the crucifixion and divinity of Jesus.

So in conclusion power passed from one group to another with the second group having widely diverging beliefs about Jesus and they approved only a selected group of letters and books out of many circulating writings made into the canon of the New Testament. A canon which vastly changed and whose original manuscripts don't survive.

So the New Testament is quite unreliable and to say its reliability is the same as the Quran is silly. The Quran is unchanged, thanks to oral memorisation and early textual compilation. The Quran was compiled by a few companions in the prophet's life. Even if you accept the traditional sunni story of how Uthman and his group preserved the Quran, then these are all people in the same generation as the prophet, and who lived with him, and learnt the Quran from him. Whereas many books of the NT probably aren't even written by who Christians say they were written. If I remember correctly, half the letters in the NT by Paul were written after Paul's death.

..a view that he quran does not endorse.

So? The Quran doesn't believe in the crucifixion so it's wrong? Asad (one of the best translators of the Quran, who is Sunni just in-case someone wants to know) writes:

Asad wrote: Thus,the Qur'an categorically denies the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.There exist, among Muslims, many fanciful legends telling us that atthe last moment God substituted for Jesus a person closely resemblinghim (according to some accounts, that person was Judas), who wassubsequently crucified in his place. However, none of these legendsfinds the slightest support in the Qur'an or in authentic Traditions,and the stories produced in this connection by the classicalcommentators must be summarily rejected. They represent no more thanconfused attempts at "harmonizing" the Qur'anic statement that Jesuswas not crucified with the graphic description, in the Gospels, of hiscrucifixion. The story of thecrucifixion as such has been succinctly explained in the Qur'anicphrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, which I render as "but it only appearedto them as if it had been so" - implying that in the course of time, long after the time of Jesus, a legend had somehow grown up (possiblyunder the then-powerful influence of Mithraistic beliefs) to the effectthat he had died on the cross in order to atone for the "original sin"with which mankind is allegedly burdened; and this legend became sofirmly established among the latter-day followers of Jesus that evenhis enemies, the Jews, began to believe it - albeit in aderogatory sense (for crucifixion was, in those times, a heinous formof death-penalty reserved for the lowest of criminals). This, to mymind, is the only satisfactory explanation of the phrase wa-lakinshubbiha lahum, the more so as the expression shubbiha li isidiomatically synonymous with khuyyila 1i, "[a thing] became a fanciedimage to me", i.e., "in my mind" - in other words, "[it] seemed to me"(see Qamus, art. khayala, as well as Lane II, 833, and IV, 1500).

Indeed if we study other pagan religions and beliefs at that time we find the christian bits (i.e. the bits Muslims reject) of the story of Jesus are identical to these pagan beliefs. Mithras is the most famous example. Mithras was born on 25th of December, rose again after 3 days (although Christians claim Jesus rose after three days, this contradicts the timing in the gospels), and there were similar rituals such as baptism to remove sins. Here are some examples but more in-depth from a website i found on google: http://www.culturalvision.net/html/merry_mithras.html

I think it is immature to say that in order for my religion to be true it necessarily must preclude other divine religions as paths to God.

I'm not saying that. I'm saying if we examine a religion we can find usually whether it is true or false. We can examine the list of most followed religions and see if they are true or false (usually).

Pluralism, if that's what you're advocating, is wrong because each religion represents a number of beliefs; beliefs that are simply in opposition to each other often. As with Islam, it's plainly opposed to some other religions. It cannot be true while at the same time some polytheistic religion is true; that's contradictory.

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Sallamun Alaykum

actually i beleive your question is incorrect since a religion is a way of life and whatever u beleive that is your religion - your path that u chose to take unfortuantly many people especially athiests misunderstand what religion really is and end up attacking themeselves with the comments they make.

ws wr wb

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(bismillah)

This is quite a relevant question and as you probably know, a theistic person is not necessarily a religious person. In fact some theists are equally hostile to organised religion as are atheists, an example being 'deists'. Alot of reasons are cited for the rejection of religion such as it being a means of mass control and it's historical role as a cause of excuse for conflict. The more rationally inclined may even ask why an Omnipotent Being asks for worship and whether this implies a privation on the part of the Being and hence reveals a logical contradiction vis a-vis religious theism, etc.

But in my understanding, this simplistic view of the concept of organised religion stems from a frog-perspecive of religion. The way to appreciate the logical necessity of religion is to adopt a bird-perspective of the concept. Such an appraoch requires a more elementary or philosophical view of theism and reflection on the natural/logical implications of a simple and correct understanding of God. This approach can be explained briefly as follows.

Once we accept the existence of a perfect God we attest to the fact that God possesses all perfections. Among those perfections are the following two attributes and their implications explained:

1) Wisdom: God's infinite wisdom negates the possibility of any trace of futility to be found in God's Will or Actions. As such every atom and entity of the universe exists for a meaningful purpose and is thus moving on an evolutionary journey towards that goal.

2) Love (i.e. compassion, mercy, grace): God’s unlimited (though not unconditional) Love precludes that He abandons His creation. Rather, an implication of (2) is the principle of Universal Guidance, permeating every atom in the universe and every created entity, animate and inanimate.

Hence, by virtue of the above, all created entities and beings possess purpose and achieve this through evolution. In this evolutionary project they are guided by the Benevolent to the extent of their individual purpose and capacity. This philosophical truth is confirmed in the Qur'an although its veracity, as shown, can be deduced independantly of revelation: … Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it (to its goal). [Qur’an 20:50]

A holistic and objective way of looking at the concept of religion in my opinion is the bird-perspective. It views religious guidance as simply a component of the general Universal Guidance that is visible throughout the whole universe and pertaining to its various systems:

In the same way that laws of physics regulate the interaction of inanimate matter in ways to produce order thus enabling the universe to move towards its purpose, the Revealed injunctions are only different in so far as applying to the interactions of a higher order that pertain to (animate) human life. But unlike the lower forms of creation humans have the distinguishing gift of choice, whereby they can either choose or refuse the mercy of Divine Guidance. Though it is evidently in humankind’s greatest interest to embrace this Mercy wholeheartedly, in the same way that it was beneficial for the desolate particles of dust, gas and matter in space to abide by the guiding laws of physics and gravity to result in the formation of galaxies and within them stars, planets and diversity of life.

apba

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For one moment, look around and empty your mind of all things religion (especially the one that you follow). Then ask yourself why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

I don't have a religion so I can't ask myself why I follow mine. I don't know why there would be something beyond the physical world we know but I don't see any reason to start making wild guesses and then taking them really really seriously!

No problem! To conform maybe? Avoid all the condemnation of those around me? Most people don't exactly seem to be free to believe what they choose, particularly in Islam it can cost you your life.

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I am not a religious scholar but if there was one thing in Islam which would have struck if were an atheist would be Imam Hussein`s sacrifice.I think any one reads about the suffering of Imam Hussein and his family members can not but be struck by his conviction. This in my opinion is the ultimate weapon which win any one over. No one in the history of mankind has kind and merciful to their enemies but Muhammad and his Ahylul Bayat.I think every heart would yearn for such a spritual master who kind and merciful to not only to his friends but his bitter enemies. Hope that answered your question.

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I think if any of the prophets would be here now, they would say that religion is not a purpose. it is only a bridge to a purpose. the fact that they all leave an opening to the new coming of something says to me that religion is not fixed. it is the WAY, and on this way something unfolds in the human. It seems to me that whatever has created the human has a grand plan. and in this plan, the angels are not seperate from human's purpose, and the planet,etc.. it's all connected. this is what I'd say to 'why follow a religion' at this moment.

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  • Advanced Member

For one moment, look around and empty your mind of all things religion (especially the one that you follow). Then ask yourself why you follow your religion. Why would there be something beyond the physical world as we know it?

Picture yourself as one who does not follow a religion. What would be your reason for choosing Islam, Christianity or any other religion?

Reason for choosing Islam: Aql and Adl happy.gif

I think the most important principle in life for all humans of all schools of thought is the idea of justice. I'll take that a step further- I believe justice is more important than even right and wrong. Because you wouldn't even think about what is right and what is wrong unless you knew it would be unjust of you not to think about it. This ability to know what is fair and what is unfair is innate to all people. If you snatch a toy from a child then even that child will know, without being told, that what you've done is wrong. There's a good reason why we have this sense- it's a tool to find God.

So I would be drawn to the religion that appeals strongly to my sense of justice. That rules out, for example, a religion endorsing the concept of original sin. A religion God's mercy and love for His faithful is justice in itself and not a burden to paid for would make far more sense.

Secondly, an important characteristic admired by all people is "aql" or intellect. A religion not appealing to the mind or one that does not allow the use of aql is instantly ruled out. Emotions and fancies are not reliable indicators of what is best for us. A person might love chocolate, doesn't mean they should stuff their face with it. And how many brainwashed women adore their abusive husbands? The glutton might think he/she is happy and the woman might delude herself into thinking it's worth hanging around with the abusive hubby, but the clear minded will see at a glance that while they're happy, it's only because they're in a fool's paradise. Opinions should be changed to fit facts, facts shouldn't be mutated to fit opinions.

Using the mind to think out what is the just religion will inevitably lead to Islam. And, beautifully enough, those are the very principles endorsed and encouraged by Islam. Alhmdolillah.

This actually a very short answer. From Aql and Adl a whole cascade of beliefs begins. You first conclude there is one God. From concluding there is one God you believe this one God must be omnipotent. If God is omnipotent He is omniscient....and so on and so on for all the principles of Islam.

Nice question.

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I know its just how to state things, but I prefer to say, why have God in your lif? And there are many many reasons for it. The most important reason that I have come to realize after getting more in touch with my inner self, is that I feel human, really human, now that I have a stronger relationship with God. I feel as if I have a purpose, a purpose beyond my being but at the same time necessarily needing my contribution. And in my heart of hearts, I know that Islam as God has given to us, is the best means for me to achive that purpose.

Don't know if that makes sense.

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I am not a religious scholar but if there was one thing in Islam which would have struck if were an atheist would be Imam Hussein`s sacrifice.I think any one reads about the suffering of Imam Hussein and his family members can not but be struck by his conviction. This in my opinion is the ultimate weapon which win any one over. No one in the history of mankind has kind and merciful to their enemies but Muhammad and his Ahylul Bayat.I think every heart would yearn for such a spritual master who kind and merciful to not only to his friends but his bitter enemies. Hope that answered your question.

Nope sorry I can't see that at all. Mohammed and the other early Muslims were warriors of their time and by todays standards they we're guilty of the worst of crimes, genocide. Countless people have suffered terrible fates in the history of mankind what was special about this case? There was a war of succession that's all and true to Arabic honour culture the split has been kept alive all the way through the centuries. So if you were an atheist as I am this is no "ultimate weapon".

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