The Common Psychology and Forms of Behavior in Ignorantism (1/6)
The philosophy of life and rules of Ignorantism stem from a superstitious belief that is the exact opposite of the Qur'an's moral values. This wicked mentality dominates a person's entire life and society regards it as natural. Attitudes and behavior described as models of poor moral values in many places in the Qur'an are usually accepted as legitimate and applicable by those who live by the Religion of the Ignorant. This false religion is a lifestyle wherein
Society possesses a number of rules inherited from its forebears. In unbelieving societies, its adherents say, "... We found our fathers following a religion and we are simply following in their footsteps" (Surat az-Zukhruf, 23). They preserved these rules almost as if they were Divine laws.
It's not at all easy to step outside these laws' boundaries. Everything is done according to these predetermined rules, from ways of eating to the time people go to bed, from ways of displaying love and affection to welcoming guests. Everyone who selects this false religion and wants to progress within it is obliged to adopt a style and attitude that the great majority approves of. Indeed, the expert manifestation of these attitudes is regarded as a measure of superiority. Choices are made not for the sake of Allah but according to the misguided rules and measures set out by the religion of the ignorant. Among adherents of Ignorantism, this distorted mentality leads to wide-ranging defects of character and behavior. Below are some of the most important.
1- Affected Attitudes and Behavior
Instead of the sincerity, naturalness and authenticity found in Islam, the Religion of the Ignorant contains artificial attitudes and behaviors, far distant from sincerity. Specially adjusted, they gradually become a part and parcel of the individual's character.
As a result of his distorted mindset, an adherent of Ignorantism quickly reveals himself with the artificial behavior and gestures of his insincere style. Each of these artificial attitudes and forms of behavior is intended toward a particular end, such as communicating a message, attracting attention, showing off, or furthering personal interests.
In the Religion of the Ignorant, the expression of emotions is generally based not on speech, but on looks and behavior. Individuals cannot reconcile the open expression of many emotions with their own self-esteem. They therefore express emotions indirectly, through their actions and behavior. Such behavioral defects constitute the basic identity structure of adherents of Ignorantism. "Uncomfortable" feelings such as anger, irritation, envy, desire and admiration are often expressed indirectly.
In contrast to the nobility in Islam, coarseness is the dominant theme in Ignorantism. Silent protests, such as turning away in anger during arguments among friends, refusing to speak, suddenly turning one's back and storming out, sulking for protracted periods of time, deliberately not laughing at comical things, or wearing down the opposing side by refusing to answer or giving curt and abrupt responses are just a few of these vulgar, banal forms of behavior.
Giving Oneself Airs and Belittling Others
Adherents of the Religion of the Ignorant constantly seek to establish superiority over one another, and do everything they can to put others down, because they imagine they can rise to the top only by pushing others down.
Workplace supervisors or people of high rank generally use behavior such as appearing irritable and abrupt, or giving the impression that they are very busy and have no time for their own subordinates. Engaging in behavior that makes it clear one has no respect for others is regarded as quite justifiable in Ignorantism. One way of belittling other people in this religion is to address only certain individuals in a group, to look only at them and to ignore everyone else. Another device frequently employed is to address everyone around but the person whom one does not want to appear to be dealing with directly, even though one knows that he is interested in that particular subject.
Continuing to do what one was busy doing while another is talking, displaying as little interest as possible by refusing to look at someone who is talking, or deliberately avoiding to answer a question even though one has clearly heard it, are seen as signs of strong personality in Ignorantism. Appearing to have risen above certain things is seen as one way of attaining superiority. As a means of belittlement, the appearance of being uninterested is scrupulously adopted in all walks of life. For instance, it's very important to be the one who's greeted first. Great care is taken to ensure the other person utters the first "Hello!". Ignoring a greeting is another oft-used method of belittling another. Yet the moral criterion revealed in the Qur'an is quite different:
When you are greeted with a greeting, return the greeting or improve on it. Allah takes account of everything. (Surat an-Nisa', 86)
Seeking to achieve superiority over others by means of artificial actions and behavior, and to conceal one's own flaws and deficiencies, are defects seen in those who lack full belief in Allah and the Hereafter. Believers trust only in Allah and fear nothing but Him, but adherents of the Religion of the Ignorant, who fail to appreciate Allah as is due, live in a constant state of fear, insecurity, restlessness and flawed identity. Being humiliated in front of others, being left behind or ignored, all represent major problems for such people. They, therefore, develop a so-called internal defense mechanism, which constitutes one of their major weaknesses. In order to conceal that weakness in society, they generally act from the wicked logic of "An attack is the best form of defense."
The Behavioral Disorder of People Living by the Religion of the Ignorant: "arrogance"
Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview on Kanal 35 (Izmir) (February 1, 2009)
ADNAN OKTAR: Pharaohs and nimrods also have this self-centredness that man has. When it covers all one's body, one goes mad. He loses his consciousness. He becomes evil. This is the attribute of dajjals, pharaohs and nimrods. This also holds true for man. That is, that body goes out of control, the man goes mad out of pride, self-centeredness and arrogance. You can no longer keep him under control; then he almost totally loses his consciousness. Said Nursi says, "The whole body becomes engrossed in arrogance." He becomes insane out of arrogance, out of self-pride. He admires himself in every aspect and believes his every idea to be true. There are many such types of people, I don't know if you have ever met any. They think they are scholars, that they know best, that they are the wisest, who speak the best words and make the most appropriate diagnoses. They know no other being except themselves. The fact is however, that Allah says, I take refuge in Allah from satan, "Over everyone with knowledge is a Knower." But they think they know best.
To attract attention, to make one's presence felt or to prove oneself in a group environment, the most obvious of the artificial behavior and attitudes resorted to are:
Seeking to appear different and to give oneself a unique air by engaging in inappropriate behavior,
Adopting a heavy and serious air in a happy environment, speaking little,
Engaging in frivolous activities in situations where concentration is required,
Reacting more than is appropriate or else exhibiting an inappropriate lack of reaction,
Behaving as if one were very calm when in fact one has a storm raging inside,
Engaging in sudden changes of meaningless behavior, such as turning serious in the middle of laughter,
Starting to behave exuberantly from having been very calm, or emitting sudden guffaws of laughter,
Suddenly moving from normal speech patterns to exaggerated ones—raising one's tone of voice for example, or starting to speak in an excessively low voice; giving the same impression simultaneously by one's facial expression or gestures,
Showing off by means of adopting unusual postures,
Refusing to behave warmly until someone else has taken an interest in one, Ignoring those who do take an interest in one, looking down one's nose at people,
Seeking to be useful to or attract the attention of those who ignore, belittle or look down their noses at one,
Giving the impression one is very busy, Giving the impression of being distracted or worried,
Deliberately making mistakes or causing a scene,
Describing an event one did not witness as though one actually had...
The above displays are based on role playing. Some examples are:
Behaving as though one were surprised, angered or pleased, even though that is not actually the case, and to imply this, using the appropriate facial expressions—raising one's eyebrows, frowning, glaring, looking askance, pursing the lips and eyes; embracing protest behavior, or adopting an opposite position even when one actually shares a particular idea; refusing to speak about certain attributes, even though one actually possesses them, and waiting for others to bring up the subject; engaging in false modesty when these subjects are raised, so as to give the impression that one has other latent superior features that one hesitates to mention out of a sense of modesty.
Observing One's Own Interests
By engaging in insincere behavior, people hope to obtain various advantages. Seeking to appear pleasant to someone one does not like but who can serve one's interests, acting sycophantically and seeking to attract a person's notice at every opportunity, trying to make oneself popular, displaying false loyalty to and respect for one's employer or superior but immediately turning disloyal as soon as circumstances change—these are all normal forms of behavior in adherents of Ignorantism.
Failing to tell the truth one knows in hopes of acquiring an advantage or out of fear or hesitation; and glossing over the subject with talk of democracy and the like, are other examples of such behavior.
Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)
The above verse emphasizes how boasting and display, major characteristics of the Religion of the Ignorant, are widespread among people. In Islam, the greatest aim in life is to gain the approval of Allah, whereas in the Ignorantism, the greatest aim is to attain that of other people. In the Religion of the Ignorant, display is therefore of vital importance. Being liked, admired, approved of or envied is more important than anything else. In this false religion people dress, speak, decorate their homes, or choose professions to impress those around them. Their greatest aim in everything they do is to gain others' approval. When they go to a bookshop, for instance, they look at the bestsellers rather than at books about the subjects that actually interest them. When choosing a book they wonder which will be most "cool" and in line with current fashion, because their aim is not to advance their experiences, knowledge or personality, but to have something to tell others about.
In raising their children, a great many people take pains to ensure that their children acquire attributes that those around them approve of, whether these be right or wrong, rather than trying to help them become patient, tolerant, devout, compassionate or generous. For example, they send their children to the most prestigious schools, hire piano teachers even though their children have no talent, allow children to call them by their first names in order to show off to their friends that raising an arrogant child is perfectly acceptable. In Ignorantism, a child is an important opportunity for display. For the sake of the parents' prestige among their acquaintances, it is most important for their child to study at a good school, know various foreign languages, to dress attractively, be popular and have many talents. Indeed, when adherents of the Religion of the Ignorant speak, parents prefer to discuss things that will be the subject of other people's envy, rather than how modest, how affectionate or how gentle their children are. They are more interested in appearances than in their children's moral values.
Another element of display lies in having a dashing home. Rather than considering their own comfort, people attach more importance to the opinion of those around them. Which area is it located in? How many floors does it have? The kind of view it affords and the amount of floor space available will increase their own prestige. They furnish and decorate entirely in the light of other people's opinions. Even if they prefer another color, they opt for the one in fashion at the time. They buy exceedingly uncomfortable furniture just because it is expensive and showy, and put up with styles of décor they thoroughly dislike just to be able to say that such-and-such a designer carried out the work. Though they spend much of their time in that home, they never enter the drawing room except when they have guests, on the grounds that having spent so much money on it, they want "to keep it pristine." Some people even cover up the furniture and sit in a tiny room somewhere else. In short, they set aside half their home for show and half for living in.
Boasting is such an intense passion for people that they seek to show off even to those closest to them. One of the best places to do that is at parties. They issue invitations not because they actually want to see their guests, but simply to show off. They prepare every little detail for the party with that in mind. They select the food not for its taste, but for its ability to display their wealth. Their objective is not for their guests to enjoy the party, but to envy the amount of money spent on it. At such dinner parties, everyone looks at everyone else's clothes, shoes and handbags, and the jewelry and perfumes people are wearing.
At such parties, the conversation is a kind of "show-off" competition, wherein everyone seeks to prove himself on some subject. Women seek to put down other women by discussing their trips abroad, the beauty of a country they visited, the difficulties in finding good domestic staff, the make of clothes they have bought, their hairdressers, and the jewelry they have ordered. Men, on the other hand, talk about their successes in the business arena, their network of contacts, commenting on economic or political matters as if they were experts on the subject. Any sincerity, warmth or friendship is therefore impossible in conversations in Ignorantism. Indeed, such guests, as soon as they leave the gathering, without fail, end the event by criticising those who remain. They discuss the insincerity of the people concerned, their attempts to show off, how boring they were, their hosts' vulgarity, the ugliness of their interior design and the tastelessness of the food. Tired, bored and offended, they leave parties where the Religion of the Ignorant reigns.
Know-It-Alls and Priggery
Anyone following Ignorantism will be far from possessing the reason and sharpness of understanding revealed in the Qur'an. Nevertheless, such people greatly admire their own intellects, imagining themselves as far more intelligent than others. An adherent of the Religion of the Ignorant believes that he has sufficient experience to give anyone advice on any subject whatsoever. Half-absorbed information garnished from all around is fused with the conclusions drawn from his own experiences, and the individual thus imagines that he or she has acquired a great knowledge of life. Such people then seek to demonstrate that experience at every opportunity. Such attributes as reason, intelligence, moral values and culture are relegated to second place. One of the most important credibility factors here is that of age. This alleged superiority is emphasized in expressions like, "I was doing that while you were still wet behind the ears," or "I have witnessed your childhood."
Even if a person realizes that an idea he's proposed is wrong or that his alleged knowledge of a particular subject is actually limited, it's very rare for him to admit that. Having one's mistakes or errors revealed is unacceptable to members of Ignorantism. In any case the important thing is not to arrive at a conclusion or to determine the truth and the facts, but generally to satisfy one's own need for prestige.Children brought up in such environments acquire such characteristics from an early age. For example, the offspring of a cultured, intellectual, wealthy family, but one far removed from Islam, will generally become the kind of adults who knows it all, undervalue others, and believe themselves constantly in the right and well-informed on every matter. Unless children who assume the appearance of a know-it-all from an early age are given an Islamic education, they will maintain such a character at all times.
The Behavioral Disorder of People Living by the Religion of the Ignorant: "Egoism and Self-interest"
Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview On Buyukhaber (December 12, 2008)
ADNAN OKTAR: Materialist-Darwinist ideology automatically brings with it an egoistical and selfish spirit, that is the philosophy of selfishness. People think, "No matter what happens to others, let me be safe and secure." Egoism is something horrible. It is very disturbing. Selfish societies, selfish people. Selfish workgroups always seek their own interests because they approach matters selfishly. Then, of course, they observe no laws and orders. They do not recognize legal order. They regard beauty, love, compassion, mercy and respect as utterly unnecessary. That is why this global ecomic crisis of today can flourish so well on this basis. However, were people to trust in Allah and see goodness in everything, be compassionate, protect their neighbors more than themselves, and adopt the words of our Prophet (saas), "Those who are satied while their neighbors are hungry are not one of us" as a beautiful moral tenet, then there would be a very different environment. For instance, people do not give alms, they hardly give zakat. However, Muslims protect the poor and do good to other people. They especially forgive people's debts, which is very important. They do not fear for the future and greedily accumulate wealth. They do not accumulate gold, silver or money and use it on Allah's path because they hope Allah will give them. That is why there is tension all over the world. That is because everyone holds onto his money. Everyone keeps his gold and silver back, nobody wants to engage in production. Everyone waits to see what the end will be in fear and anxiety. That should not be the case. This is a collapse. That is deadlock in the true sense of the word. This is a sickness.
Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview On Cay Tv (February 25, 2009)
ADNAN OKTAR: ... For instance a Muslim approaches an old, pure grandfather with compassion and wants to help him cross the street. He wants to carry his load or gives him his seat on the bus. But someone who is brought up as a selfish, egoist, irreligious person starts to look out of the window when he sees such an old man. He turns his head away, for instance, if he is walking on the street. The old man may be doubled over and in great pain from carrying his load. The other person, on the other hand, is as fit as a fiddle. He may offer the old man help with carrying his load. He can show him love and respect, and that makes one happy. Then Allah will give him strength, joy and happiness. The other person thinks he is being very clever, but the pain of that cruelty, that egoism, immediately afflicts him. He suffers an immediate blow.
In the Religion of the Ignorant, the existence of people's eccentricities are seen as interesting and acceptable. While a great many people may actually have quite normal personalities, they engage in unbalanced behavior to obtain prestige and admiration from those around them.
Due to this distorted mindset of Ignorantism, some even risk their own lives to attract attention. Young people in particular put on irrational displays in order to show off their courage and win their friends' admiration. They drive at irrationally high speeds, and try to overtake the car in front, even on dangerous bends. They play "chicken" by driving towards oncoming traffic and pulling over only at the very last moment. Valuing their own lives and those of others at nothing, they want people to say, "He is insanely brave and isn't even afraid of death." The fact is, though, that he engages in such behavior not because he has lost his fear of death, but because he's fallen under the spell of the Religion of the Ignorant. However, if a young person driving at insane speeds actually has an accident, then that madness on his face will be replaced by an expression of terror. He will begin to pray for help and not to be killed. At that instant, Ignorantism will lose all its power and will be replaced by fear of Allah.
Another way to be feared and thus respected is to pretend from time to time to be unable to control one's anger. The most obvious manifestations of this, as required by the Religion of the Ignorant, are punching the wall when annoyed by something, by cutting one's hand by smashing a window, by covering one's face with both hands while waiting to calm down, or immediately resorting to alcohol. Many people even seek prestige by depicting themselves as half mad by making statements such as "I have a nasty temper," or "I have a dark side, but it doesn't always show."
Many sports that pose a risk to human life are also engaged in for the sake of projecting that image. Even though they fear being crippled, physically harmed or even killed, most people have a tendency towards such sports in order to show off to those around them. Thus Ignorantism manages to force a normally rational person to behave abnormally and to acquire a sick personality.
The Religion of the Ignorant demands an erroneous belief that the wealthy must be physically incompetent. This is based on the logic that wealthy people hire others to do physical work that involves expending energy. They don't prepare their own meals, for instance, but hire cooks. They do not clean their own homes, but hire staff to do the job.
They do not darn their own torn clothes, nor expend any energy on picking up the pieces up when something breaks on the floor. They give the address to their driver whenever they want to go anywhere and expect him to find the way. They have shops deliver goods to their home rather than go shopping in person. They call a private doctor to visit them at home when they are unwell, and have no idea of the hospital procedures. If their cars break down, have a flat tire, they delegate to their hired staff the task of putting matters right. These attitudes are all peculiar to the rich. These people have grown accustomed to support from others, and never feel the need to acquire any skills themselves.
This mentality leads many perfectly competent people to feign helplessness in order show off by giving the impression of great wealth. For that reason, giving the impression that one has never developed any abilities is particularly prevalent among women. That is the logic behind a young girl telling her friends, "I can't even boil an egg. I can't remember ever going into the kitchen to make something to eat. I've never sewn anything or even threaded a needle," though she knows how to do these things perfectly well. Such people seek to give the impression of being accustomed to having others do everything for them.
Being Difficult to Please
Why does someone dislike an object and regard it as worthless? Someone living in a mansion, for instance, may not like an apartment and may criticize the décor. Yet an apartment block will seem like a palace for anyone who lives in a hovel, under much worse conditions.
Why does a person not admire someone else's intelligence? Because he believes himself to be far more intelligent. Why does a person not enjoy someone else's ideas? Because he has much better ones. Why does a person not value someone else's profession? Because he imagines that he possesses far greater abilities. Not liking things, therefore, generally means that one possesses a better version of them.
Therefore, those who wish to give the impression that they possess the best of everything never much care for anything. Even if they do like something, they never admit it and always try to find some fault to criticize. For example, someone who accompanies friends to a high-class restaurant will always look for something wrong with the food, or the décor, or the behavior of the waiters, even though he has never been to such a high-class restaurant all his life. He will imply that he's eaten in far superior places by offering such criticisms as "I didn't think the food was all that good. The view was very poor, and how did they do such decoration? It was distressing."
Whenever young girls see a more attractive rival, they always look for flaws to emphasize their own superiority. A girl who admires her own hair, if she sees someone with even prettier hair, will make criticisms like "Look at her hair, that style really doesn't suit her, and it looks a bit thin." When a tall girl sees another prettier, but slightly shorter girl, she will immediately seek to belittle her by saying how short she is.
Due to that mistaken mindset in Ignorantism, you'll never hear anyone praising anyone whom they perceive to be superior, more intelligent, attractive or talented. It is next to impossible to see a newspaper commentator praising other newsmen of roughly the same age, praising them as more intelligent, or saying that their analyses are more accurate than his own. It's equally rare for any artist to esteem another artist whom he regards as enjoying the same standing, or to admit that the other artist is more beautiful and talented. Rather, one generally sees fierce criticism raging between such people. For instance, one psychologist will not like the methods employed by another. A dietician will criticize the methods used by another dietician, and a television presenter will always find something to criticize in his rivals.