All about Religion
My child! Now that you have assured me to accept the truth of your willingness and are committed to the true religion, in order to strengthen your faith and to enable you to do the same for others; I am going to offer you some explanations about the need for religion, the faith, Islam and some examples of its exalted commandments and the spiritual and intellectual greatness of its leaders. My child! Now that you have assured me to accept the truth of your willingness and are committed to the true religion, in order to strengthen your faith and to enable you to do the same for others; I am going to offer you some explanations about the need for religion, the faith, Islam and some examples of its exalted commandments and the spiritual and intellectual greatness of its leaders.
My child! Religion is needed for everyone. Man must have religion to enable him to have an enjoyable life. Members of society by gathering together meet their material needs and their industrial development but will not be satisfied with only what is rightfully their own.
And if and When some of them could, they would invade other's rights in favour of their own comfort, even if it would be at the cost of other's comfort and well-being. Wisdom allows seeking that degree of comfort, which does not conflict with other's rightful interests. But beyond these limits, it would end up in deprivation of someone's genuine rights. That of course, is not allowed, since it will result in a guilty conscience.
Therefore, a set of laws is needed to stop the invasion to the rights of others and rather to protect people's rights. Such laws must be general, i.e. to work day and night, at home and on a journey, inside and outside the house, when alone or in the company of others, in the city or in the country, and in short, in all given times, places, and occasions. It must be enforceable against everybody, and people must have respect for it as well as be fearful of breaking it.
A man made law, although general, may not have all these characteristics. That is to say that it may allow a person to break it at times. An example to when none is watching, one may feel free to break the law because his unlawful act shall never be discovered. He may do so simply because he is not afraid of any consequences.
However, the Divine Law which is made available to man through Allah's prophets, creates a faith in him that tells him no matter where you are, who you are or whatever the occasion may be, Allah will punish you for any sin you may commit. As Allah is everywhere, no sin will go unnoticed by Him.
Therefore, the Divine Law is for the protection of society and the rights of its members. It is effective in preventing corruption. This Divine Law is nothing but religion and its articles as contained in the Holy Qur'an which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S.) through Divine Revelation brought by the Angel Gabriel.Therefore, the Divine Law is for the protection of society and the rights of its members. It is effective in preventing corruption. This Divine Law is nothing but religion and its articles as contained in the Holy Qur'an which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S.) through Divine Revelation brought by the Angel Gabriel.
My child! As in the present age, the industrial and intellectual revolutions progress and the mass communications are rapidly made available, the disease “Anxiety” is progressively on the rise. The cure for this disease is Iman (faith). Iman, apart from the being a social order has numerous independent benefits. Because a man with faith enjoys a feeling of peace within himself, he never feels lonesome or at a loss. Rather, he believes that somehow by the divine grace he shall be rid of his problems. A faithful person will never become fade up with life, bored or commit a suicide.
The famous Dale Carnegie, after describing his father's difficulties, debts, failures, worries and anxieties in his life, continues:
“One day my father sopped his horse on a bridge over a big river and looked in the river for a long time. He was worried about his problems and was debating whether or not he should jump into the river. Of course he did not. Years later, my father told me the only thing that prevented him from jumping into the river was my mother's strong faith. She would say: “If we love God and do what he wants us to do, everything will okay.”
“My mother was right. Everything did work out okay. My father enjoyed another forty two years of life. He died in 1941 at the age of eighty nine.
Throughout those difficult years, my mother would never worry. Through prayers, she would take the problems to God Almighty. Every night at bedtime, she could read a chapter on faith from the Bible. We would kneel in prayer in the small country home and would beg God for his love and mercy.” 1
Dale Carnegie again writes:
“As the electricity, water and good food are useful and important in my life, so is faith. Electricity, water and food help me to provide a better and more comfortable life, but the advantages of religion relatively far exceed than all these material things. Religion gives me faith, hope and courage. It takes fear and anxiety away from me; determines a course and an aim for my life.
Religion, to a large extent, completes my happiness and gives me wellbeing. It helps me find a quiet oasis during the stormy times of my life. Today, the most modern science (psychology) teaches what the divine prophets have taught in the past. Why? Because the psychiatrists have found out that prayer, meditation and having a strong religion, worry, anxiety and fear.” 2
One of the pioneers in science says:
“One who really believes in religion shall never have psychological disorders.” 3
“Today, even the psychiatrists are preaching religion. They do not preach religion for the sake of saving us from the fires of Hell on the world to come. Rather, from the hell of ulcer disease, Angina Pectoris, nervousness and insanity.” 4
Dale Carnegie writes about the meeting he had with Henry Ford:
“When I asked him if he had ever worried, he said no. He then said: “I believe that God takes care of everything. Besides, he needs no recommendation or guidance from me. Because God is in charge of things, he will do everything in the best way. So there is no reason to worry.” 5
If the late Mahatma Gandhi, who after Mahatma Buddha was the greatest leader in India, had not received help and inspiration from powerful prayers, he would definitely be destroyed. How do I knows this? Well, from what he himself has said:
“If it were not for the prayers, I would have long become insane.” 6
Professor William James of Harvard University says:
“The most effective medicine for anxiety is a religious belief.” 7
In another place, he says:
“Faith is one of the forces that man lives by and its total absence means the downfall of humanity.” 8
Still, in another place he says:
“The roaring waves on the surface of the oceans never disturb the peacefulness of their depth, and to those who are dealing with more significant sublime realities and who are more stable, the life's hourly ups and downs are rather insignificant. Therefore, a truly religious person is free from any sort of anxiety. He is calmly prepared to do any job that life may bring to him.” 9
Immanuel Kant, the famous German Philosopher says:
“Have faith in God, as we need such a belief.” 10
Dr. Carl Jung, the most famous psychiatrist in one of his books, writes:
“During the past thirty years, I have treated hundreds of people from the civilized world. Among those older than thirty five years of age, I did not find even one whose problem was not eventually related to a religious belief in life. I can say with certainly that each to them were ill because they lost what the major world religions have given to their followers. And those who had not gotten back their religious belief, did not really get cured.” 11
Dr. Alexis Carrel, the author of the book, Man - the Unknown (1935), and Noble prize Winner (the greatest academic honour) in an article writes:
“Prayer and meditation like the gravity is the greatest force which has an actual eternal existence. In my medical profession, I have seen people who got rid of their melancholy through the force of prayer after all other treatments had failed. Prayer, like Radium, has a brilliant source of energy created by itself. Through prayer, man tries to increase his limited energy by resorting to the unlimited source of all forces.
When we pray, we connect ourselves with the endless motivational energy that connects the whole universe. We pray that some of the energy may be appropriated to our needs. According to this demand, our shortcomings will be eliminated. Then we will get up with a better feeling and with more energy. When we address God with warmth and excitement in our prayers, both our bodies and souls will change for the better. It is impossible for a man for a woman to engage in one moment of prayer without getting something positive out of it.” 12
My child! For the right way of life, we should choose a religion that meets with intellect and logic; a kind of religion by which we can achieve confidence; a kind of religion that gives our hearts peace and enlightenment; a kind of religion that prevents wrongdoings; a kind of religion that makes us conduct an ethical way of life; a kind of religion with clear proofs; a kind of religion with no vague or incomprehensible points a kind of religion that guides an supports man step-by step through life; a kind of religion that we can rely on during our difficulties and to be able to resort to it in hard times; and finally, a kind of region whose commandments and directions are fresh and lively at every epoch and that does not become obsolete by the scientific and industrial progress, but instead their hidden secrets become unveiled.
My child! Now we have to see which religion had all the above characteristics. A study of different religious faiths indicate that Islam 13 is such a religion, because it is a collection of laws that ensure the prosperity of its followers. The Islamic religion commands to perform good deeds and to avoid bad ones. The Islamic religion calls for gentleness, fortitude, patience, steadfastness, resistance, struggle and sacrifice in the way of a holy cause, fairness, mercifulness, generosity, chastity, modesty, justice, honesty, truthfulness, equality, brotherhood, know-now and performance, glory, endeavour, earning a living, an cleanliness. And it warns against inactivity, laziness, idleness, begging, treason, telling lies, arrogance, selfishness, injustices and violating the rights others.
Count Henry Decasterie, the French scientist, in the book Islam and Thoughts, writes:
“Islam had occupied an extensive area of the world because of its grand and simple instructions. It was the sound and firm Islamic Laws that persuaded and uncivilized, fantical idol worshippers to accept the faith of Islam and to fly its flag not only on the roof tops of their houses but also throughout their country as well as major countries of the world.” 14
Lothron Stodard, the famous American scientist and historian says:
“For the greatness of Islam it is enough to say that despite all obstacles, it still manifests its truths and excellence in the world. It does so, because Islam is a simple and prudent religion.” 15
Wells, the famous English historian in the book General History writes:
“Islam is a social order, and a civil law for the humanity. It appeared in the Dark Ages and has struggled against any kind of tyranny, treason, crime, and injustice with its holy instructions.” 16
Dr. Gustave Le Bon, the French historian, in the book, The Islamic culture and the Arabs, writes:
“The simplicity and clarity of the principles of Islamic beliefs and its beneficent way of dealing with masses, which is minted on the coin of the Islamic faith, is the reason for its conquering of the globe.” 17
Sir William, an Englishman in a book about Islam, writes:
“Islam like a fast horse has taken big steps in the path of human progress and civilization. It has rapidly come a long and difficult way and has entered the land of truth. Its noble commandments teach lessons in morality, sociability and conduct in a beautiful way.” 18
Prince Boorguise in the book New Italy, writes:
“The greatness of Islam is apparent from the fact that the Islamic civilization began with the start of Islam and the appointment of its prophet (S.) whereas the European civilization became apparent six hundred years after Christ and Christianity.” 19
The English Lady Evelyn Cobbold, in the book “Towards God”, writes:
“Islam in all senses is a great and flawless social law; because its principles are on the fundamental of civilization, progress, intellect and reason, it shall never die.” 20
Conte de Gobineau in the book, Three Years in Asia, says:
“Islam has brought a chaste, immaculate and flawless religion for humanity.” 21
Emile Dermenghem, author of the book “The Life of Mahomet”, writes:
“Islam, like a loud call, moved the hearts and it’s awakened the East and the West from impiety and ignorance. It had such an impact on hearts that throughout ages, the human history does not remember such a spiritual revolution and a social movement” 22
John Bernard Shaw, the famous writer in his book Getting Married, writes:
“I have always looked at Mohammed's religion with extreme respect because it has wonderful energy and freshness. In my opinion, it is the only religion that can adjust itself to different stages of a free life. Its instructions are compatible with time.” 23
My child! Islam has form and valuable instructions on productivity. I will tell you of one such instruction so you would become aware of how its leaders have advised people to strengthen their financial mean and to increase their wealth through productive activities.
Imam As-Sadiq (a. s) says:
الكيمياء الاكبر الزراعة
“Agricultural is the greatest Alchemy” 24
Everyone is in search of “Alchemy”, hoping it will make their dreams in getting all they want in life come true. Here, our sixth Imam is saying that the best Alchemy is Agriculture. Whoever wants to meet all his needs must pursue them in this way.
Take a good look and see how beautifully he is expressing a noble idea in such a simple phrase. What a rich and meaningful statement. One cannot but to admire its clarity. I believe on order to better introduce Islam, Its leaders and its wealth of knowledge, this sort of maxims should be written in large letters and in a calligraphic manner and be placed in all agricultural colleges and learning centers.phrase. What a rich and meaningful statement. One cannot but to admire its clarity. I believe on order to better introduce Islam, Its leaders and its wealth of knowledge, this sort of maxims should be written in large letters and in a calligraphic manner and be placed in all agricultural colleges and learning centers.
My child! Our religious leaders through interpretation of the Holy Qur'an, as a duty, have explained to us all the good and the evil. Their instructions are concerned with our individual as well as social welfare and happiness in both this world and the world to come. Their word, without any shortcoming, is a complete guide for a happy, free from anxiety, and a prosperous individual and social life.
But unfortunately, we have not pondered into them deeply enough. In many literary sources of the East and the West, I have come across the fact, that more than a thousand years ago, our Holy Book and religious leaders have been the pioneers in revealing valuable sublime realities about life. They have excelled in doing so, at a time when there were no scientific or intellectual thoughts available.
Think about it and see the guidelines and instructions our religious leaders have given us on morality, hygiene, psychological, scientific, social and political issues. And see how recently we have been getting similar instructions as new and modern Ideas from the Western countries! At this time I would like to present you some guidelines and laws of others and in order to prove their truth would quote some Islamic religious commandments what I call, the hidden treasures (of knowledge) in the East as follows:
1. In the advanced countries, now they have found out that you cannot put a man's body and soul through too much work. And that the maximum length of work as well as minimum length of rest period should be eight hours. This idea is now a universal law, whereas this same thing was said by Imam ‘Ali (as) more than thirteen hundred years ago. In the Nahjul-Balagha, his unique book of wisdom, he says:
للمؤمن ثلاث ساعات: فساعة يناجي فيها ربه، وساعة يرم معاشه، وساعة يخلى بين نفسه وبين لذتها فيما يحل ويجمل
“A believer divides his day into three parts. He spends one for worshipping Allah, another for making a living, and another for resting and for legitimate pleasurable activities.” 25
Of course, by worshipping Allah, we do not mean that one should spend all his time only in prayers, rather to become engaged in activities which pleases Him, such as serving people and charity of public interest.
The Holy Prophet (S) said:
ان اعظم الناس منزلة عندالله يوم القيامة امشا هم في ارضه بالنصيحة لخلقه
“One who endeavours the most in goodwill toward people on earth, shall have the highest rank with Allah in the day of Judgement.” 26
سئل رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) من احب الناس الى الله تعالى؟ قال انفع الناس للناس
“The Prophet of Allah once was asked who the most beloved person in the eyes of Allah is. He replied: “The one who benefits people most.” 27
The Prophet (S) of Islam also said:
من اصبح لا يهتم بامور المسلمين فليس بمسلم
“He who spends a say without making any efforts in the affairs of Muslims, is not a Muslim himself.” 28
The Holy Prophet (S) also said:
انسك الناس نسكا انصحهم جيبا واسلمهم قلبا لجميع المسلمين
“The best worshipper of all is the one who is the most truthful and the most benevolent to and the most found of the Muslims.” 29
Thus, if a person in addition to the prescribed obligations such as the daily prayers, engages himself in such actions as assisting, encouraging others by soft words, visiting the sick and ridding someone of his problems, he has done acts of worship. If every Muslim follows these instructions, by spending several hours a day in the affairs of public interest would not then the Islamic countries be the best countries and the Muslims people be the most tranquil people of the world?
II. Dale Carnegie under the heading of “Don't hurt of ungratefulness” writes:
“The owner of a national corporation gave ten thousand dollars as a Christmas bonus to thirty four employees. None of them thanked him for it. And he was complaining about it.” 30
Imam ‘Ali (a.s) discussing this same topic said:
لا يزهد نك في المعروف من لا يشكره لك
“Do not get discouraged when you do someone a favour but he does not appreciate you for it.” 31
III. Homer Croy has entitled one of his articles:
“After any hardship there is a relief.” 32
First of all, the Holy Quran under this subject matter says:
فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
“Even with difficulty, there will be relief.” (The Holy Qur'an 94:5)
Secondly, still in this matter Imam ‘Ali (as) says:
عند تناهى الشدة تكون الفرجة وعند تضايق حلق البلاء يكون الرّخاء
“When hardship comes to an end, relief comes about, and when the rings of difficulty become too tight, there comes comfort.” 33
IV. Dale Carnegie on page 95 of the book How to Live, under the topic of “Take with calm has no cure” concludes:
“Get along and cooperate with what is incurable.”
He also quotes Arthur Schopenhauer as saying:
“Submitting to the incurable events is the most important provision for a journey through life.”
Now, let us examine the sayings of our own religious leaders, which are full of wisdom and are based upon faith on Allah, regarding the topics earlier discussed.
Imam As-Sadiq (as) says:
لم يكن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول لشىء قد مضى لو كان غيره
“About the events, the Holy Prophet (S.) never would say I wish they would have happened in a different manner.” 34
He also asks:
باى شئى يعلم المؤمن بانه مؤمن؟
“How could one know that he is a believer?
بالتسليم لله والرضا فيما وردعليه من سرور او بسخط
“Through submission to Allah, and being satisfied with whatever joy or anxiety that comes his way.” 35
V. Dale Carnegie in the book How to live on page 130, concludes:
“Never attempt to take revenge because you will hurt yourself more than others.”
With paying a little attention, you will find this same conclusion in what our own religious leaders have said.
On this subject, the Holy Prophet (S.) says:
الا ادلكم على خير اخلاق الدنيا والآخرة؟ تصل من قطعك و تعطى من حرمك وتعفو عمن ظلمك
“Shall I advise you of the best disposition in this world and the world to come? To the one who rejects you, attach yourself. To the one who deprives you, give. And to the one who treats you with injustices, offer forgiveness.” 36
Also Imam ‘Ali (as) has spoken eloquently about this matter as follows:
قدرت على عدوك فاجعل العفو عنه شكر اللقدرة عليه
“In being thankful for coming out victorious forgive your enemy after you have defeated him.” 37
My dear child! These were just a few samples of the many brilliant topics on our faith and religious beliefs that explained to you. I hope you have found them interesting. You can take it from here to see that every single Islamic commandment is just as acceptable s these, as one can find no faults with them. Religion is an important topic and the discussions about it are extensive. There have been numerous books written on it. But for the sake of brevity, and in order to make you tired, I will stop at this point. I will never wish to impose upon you my opinion or to force you into accepting a certain belief without any logical reasoning.
As much as I thought it might be advisable, very briefly, I offered my guidance. That, I feel is enough for you. The rest, I shall leave up to you. Allah has granted man intellectual power by which he may distinguish the Good from the evil, and accordingly may select the best course for himself. I whole heartedly accept and faithfully believe in the matters I have just discussed with you. You can think them over and if your intellects permits you may accept and believe in them, as well as other Islamic instructions and obligations regarding prayers, social, and ethical issues.
Your explanations about religion have enlightened me and have created an optimism in me. Now I am looking at religion with respect. What I have learned from you, has made one realize that what I thought to be ambiguities in religion in fact are not. Rather, I had not understood them correctly. Through asking questions and research, we must eliminate any such uncertainties. At last, I understand that Islam can be a worldwide religion. It can manage the affairs of people. And it can establish discipline and universal peace. And finally it can provide eternal happiness for mankind.
- 1. How to Live pp.178-181.
- 2. How to Live pp. 181-192
- 3. How to Live pp. 179-185.
- 4. How to Live pp. 178-185
- 5. How to Live pp. 179-185
- 6. How to Live pp. 179-185
- 7. How to Live pp. 179-185
- 8. How to Live pp. 179-185
- 9. How to Live pp. 184-188
- 10. How to Life pp. 184-188.
- 11. How to Life pp. 184-188.
- 12. How to live 8th Edition p. 186
- 13. Here it will be appropriate to refer to definitions of Islam as defined by Imam Ali (as) as follows:
“Praise be Allah who revealed Divine Laws through Islam. For its followers He made its code easy to understand and gave its principles a position so exalted and so noble that their eminence overcomes all contentions and objection. He destined Islam to be a harbinger of eternal peace and haven of unfailing security for those who enter its fold. Its doctrines provide logical and well founded arguments for those who what to defend truth and justice. Its precepts contain the best precaution for piety and virtue.”
“It is a heavenly beacon unto seekers for light, and a great source of enlightenment for intellectual persons. Who pay due attention to it will find great wisdom in its teachings, and its careful examination will prove it to be a very bright manifestation of the goodness of virtue. Islam furnishes most educative patterns and instances to those who want to discern between right and wrong and who are willing to accept its timely admonitions of the consequences of evil and falsehood, It brings salvation to tis testifiers, great moral strength to its believers, perpetual peace and comfort to its faithful followers, and considerable power of resistance against sin and vice to those patiently beat suffering in life.”
- Nahjul-Balagha Sermon No.109
“You must be thankful to Allah that He made you a Muslim and selected you to represent and propagate Islam. As its name indicates it is a religion which brings peace and salvation to mankind. He has bestowed universality of truth through its simple, distinct and intelligible code as well as, through the deeper and far reaching significance and inferences hidden in its orders and interdictions. The wonders that Islam can achieve in improving human mind and miracles it can work to raise the standard of human life, will never come to an end.
Islam holds secrets of real peace and prosperity which you will never acquire but through its help; it can direct you to ways of improving your knowledge (about material as well as spiritual world), and you can never attain this but through its guidance. The Merciful God had ordered you to faithfully accept its principles and to sincerely and diligently obey its commands and interdictions. It brings salvation to those who follow it, and worldly protection to those who enter its folds.”
- Nahjul-Balagha Sermon No.156
“Have you fully realized what Islam is? It is a religion founded on truth. It is such a fountain-head of learning that from it flow out several streams of wisdom and knowledge. It is such a lamp that from it several lamps will be lighted. It is a tall beacon lighting the path to Allah. It is a set of principles and beliefs which will satisfy every seeker of truth and reality.
Know you all that Allah has made Islam the most sublime path towards His supreme pleasure and the highest standard of His worship and obedience. He has favoured it with noble precepts, exalted principles, undoubtable arguments, unchallengeable supremacy and undeniable wisdom.
It is up to you to maintain the eminence and dignity granted to it by the Lord, to follow it sincerely, to do justice to its articles of faith and belief, to implicitly obey its tenets and orders, and to give the proper place in your lives.”
- Nahjul-Balagha Sermon No. 203
- 14. Hygiene in Islam
- 15. Hygiene in Islam
- 16. Hygiene in Islam
- 17. Hygiene in Islam
- 18. Hygiene in Islam
- 19. Hygiene in Islam
- 20. Hygiene in Islam
- 21. Hygiene in Islam
- 22. Hygiene in Islam
- 23. Hygiene in Islam
- 24. Foru'e Kafi Fifth Ed. p, 261
- 25. Nahjul-Balagha, p. 545
- 26. Wafi, Third part, p.99
- 27. Usul Kafi, Second Volume, pp.163-164
- 28. Usul Kafi, Second Volume, pp. 163-164
- 29. Usul Kafi, Second Volume pp. 163 -164.
- 30. How to Live p. 138
- 31. Nahjul-Balagha
- 32. How to Live. p.271
- 33. Nahjul Balagha. p. 536
- 34. Usul Kafi, Second Volume p. 63.
- 35. Usul Kafi, Second volumes p. 63
- 36. Usul Kafi, Second volume, p.107
- 37. Nahjul Balagha, p.470.