There are those who claim to have faith in Islam and to be fairly acquainted with the Qur'an, yet who readily disregard some of its rulings. Some fall into this error unwittingly, while others—under the influence of some particular rationale of their own making which is not proper in terms of the morals of the Qur'an—deliberately and willfully ignore its rulings. Meanwhile, they pay no attention to the consequences of such an attitude in the Sight of Allah, or how far it removes them from His good pleasure. But in the Qur'an, Allah warns that those who do not pay heed to His commandments will face torment in the Hereafter. Based on a distorted system of conduct, not suitable considering the morals of the Qur'an, representatives of this mentality attach priority to some of Allah's commandments due to a rationale of their own making, while entirely abandoning others. In fact, such distorted conceptions of religion are the legacy of centuries-old superstitious ideas. According to this popular superstitious conception, those who violate the fundamental commandments may be plagued by pangs of conscience. But neglecting the ones to which people attach little importance -even though they too are part of the Qur'an- will cause little discomfort. Deeming punishment unlikely, many do not observe certain acts of worship that Allah has made obligatory and violate various prohibitions, saying, "We will be forgiven" due to a distorted outlook. But nowhere in the Qur'an does Allah condone such an outlook. On the contrary, He makes clear that all commandments and prohibitions therein come from Him and are equally important. Therefore, just as a person prays five times a day and fasts, so he must also meticulously observe the other Divine ordinances in the Qur'an. For example, under the influence of society's moral indoctrinations, a person may avoid acts that Allah forbids, such as theft or adultery. However, he may readily gossip, slander, break promises, befriend others who deny verses of the Qur'an without suffering any feelings of guilt. He may fail to spend for Allah's cause, and may neglect to glorify Allah regularly at the specified times or to feel grateful to Him—in brief, he may consider it unimportant to observe many of Allah's commandments. One cannot say that such a person displays the character of a believer or lives by the principles of Islam. For no matter how much he claims to be a true Muslim, this individual actually adheres only to a superstitious conception based on custom yet embellished with some Islamic concepts. His grave mistake is feeling content to comply with only a few commandments of the Qur'an. Because he never considers the possibility that his rationale is flawed, he feels assured that he is indeed a true Muslim. Surely, there is a reward in the Sight of Allah for every act of worship performed purely to earn Allah's good pleasure. In the Hereafter, however, people will also be held responsible for the commandments they disregarded. By the will of Allah, provided that a person is sincere, if he fasts and attends to his prayers, he will earn the rewards for those acts of worship in the Hereafter. Yet, if one intentionally disregards and neglects other commandments in the Qur'an, then his acts of worship may well become unacceptable in the Sight of Allah. For this very reason, Allah warns all believers against the danger and summons them to abandon the misconceptions of religion they have inherited from their forefathers, which were shaped by a superstitious conception and ignorant reasoning:
"When they are told, 'Follow what Allah has sent down to you,' They say, 'We are following what we found our fathers doing.' What, even though their fathers did not understand a thing and were not guided!" (Surat al-Baqara; 170)
Yet some people, despite having been given guidance, insist on this kind of superstitious conception.
The purpose of this book is to serve as a reminder to those who have not realized their error or considered the penalty such an attitude will entail and to summon them to live by the true principles of Islam. Allah declares that man is responsible for all the commandments in the Qur'an. Someone who becomes distracted by everyday matters—who ignores numerous verses of the Qur'an, assuming that Islam means merely praying five times a day and fasting—will not dare to say in the Hereafter, "I was unaware of those verses" or offer excuses to justify his negligence in learning the commandments of the Qur'an. Allah describes the situation of such people:
Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? And on the Day of Rising, they will be returned to the harshest of punishments. Allah is not unaware of what you do. (Surat al-Baqara; 85)
For this reason, we will examine some frequently ignored commands of the Qur'an and call on believers to live according to all its verses, thus avoiding the terrible pangs of which they warn.