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The Morality of Religion is in Conformity with the Natural Inclination of Mankind

So set your face firmly towards the religion, as a pure natural believer, Allah's natural pattern on which He made mankind... (Surat ar-Rum: 30)

Surely, it is Allah Who best knows the nature of man, which He has Himself created. This being the case, He is the One Who best knows people's needs and the ways to meet them. From how to maintain one's physical well-being, to how to remain spiritually strong, or how to attain a satisfying social life, are all known to Allah. For example, a human being, by nature, is attracted to all forms of mercy, love and virtuous conduct. He expects to be treated with mercy and compassion. He detests and avoids injustice, immorality, and all forms of wickedness. He feels so by Allah's Will. Because, Allah has instiled these values as part of a human's nature, he likes the good and avoids the wicked.

There are certain basic values in the Qur'an that Allah commands man to adopt; to be compassionate, merciful, reliable, honest and humble and to avoid tyranny, injustice and wickedness. In other words, that which is demanded by the religion of Islam, which Allah has revealed to mankind, and what man is naturally inclined to, are like the lock and the key that unlocks it, in perfect harmony with one another. Allah informs us of this fact in the Qur'an as follows:

So set your face firmly towards the religion, as a pure natural believer, Allah's natural pattern on which He made mankind. There is no changing Allah's creation. That is the true religion-but most people do not know it. (Surat ar-Rum: 30)

Unless people observe the limits set by Allah in the Qur'an, they wrong their own souls. Because, by failing to adopt the values that are in accordance with their creation, they appropriate attitudes against their very nature; this causes anxiety not only in themselves, but also makes them troublesome to society. As here stated:

...Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves. (Surah Yunus: 44)

We need to keep in mind that one can only live by the values praised by the religion of Islam if he feels it sincerely, with a heartfelt desire. A morality of religion that is imposed by force is both unacceptable in Allah's Sight, as well as a cause for the proliferation of insincere people, referred to as hypocrites in the Qur'an. This leads to the formation of an undesirable societal structure. Allah commands that people must not be compelled in the name of religion:

There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false Allahs and has faith in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 256)

Consequently, in no realm does the religion of Islam exert pressure on people; on the contrary, it provides the basis upon which true freedom of conscience can be established. A person who adopts the values of the Qur'an can in no way be bound. Since he lives in compliance with the morality of the Qur'an which is the requirement of his faith of his own accord, and through the exercise of his reason, he always feels contented and at peace.

Those who do not adhere to these religious values, on the other hand, can never attain the freedom believers enjoy, due to the countless void norms and traditions that prevail in society. Societies that fail to live according to the values of Islam formulate false values and criteria themselves, embracing taboos, and thereby, of their own doing, merely limit the freedom endowed to them by Allah. This being the case, those who are distant from the religion remain deprived of spiritual freedom, due to inappropriate rules and sanctions the society has imposed on them, as well as the many principles they unnecessarily adopt themselves.

The main force binding man, greater than any law of society, is the corruption of his own soul. Immoderate desires are a source of continual anxiety to him. They foster in him feelings of insecurity and fear of the future. Because of these negative tendencies within himself, he becomes ensnared in a difficult struggle with his various passions and desires. His soul relentlessly commands him to accumulate more assets, to make more money, or to win the admiration of others. Yet, these are all insatiable desires. The desire for wealth is a deep-seated passion, common to many. However, the fulfilment of this desire only arouses further false desires. Essentially, worldly desires always tend to become part of a vicious cycle.

Man can only save himself from such ignorance through faith in Allah and surrender to Him. Allah reveals thus in the Qur'an: "...It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful." (Surat al-Hashr: 9)

Man attains freedom only when he ceases to be a slave to his passions. From then on, satisfying the endless desires mentioned above finally ceases to be his purpose in life. He begins a life in which earning Allah's good pleasure becomes his only purpose, the purpose for which Allah created him.

This is true freedom; being a servant to Allah, and thus liberating oneself from everything other than Allah. It is for this reason that the wife of Imran prayed thus:

...My Lord, I have pledged to You what is in my womb, devoting it to Your service. Please accept my prayer. You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surah Al 'Imran: 35)

For the same reason, as it is stated in the verse, the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) said to his father:

Father, why do you worship what can neither hear nor see and is not of any use to you at all? (Surah Maryam: 42)

Throughout history, the messengers Allah sent to humanity invited them to save themselves from the corruption of their own souls, or becoming servants to human beings, to serve only Allah. Only when they save themselves from such perversion, which is against the purpose of their Creation, can they find relief. It is for this very reason that Allah's messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is depicted in the Qur'an as a person who "...relieves people of their heavy loads and the chains which were around them":

...those who follow the Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel, commanding them to do right and forbidding them to do wrong, making good things lawful for them and bad things unlawful for them, relieving them of their heavy loads and the chains which were around them. Those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him, they are the ones who are successful.' (Surat al-A'raf: 157)

Another factor in Islam's conformity with human-nature is its simplicity. Allah has also made the religion, which He has revealed as a religion in conformity with the creation of the human being, easy to practice. This fact is stated in various verses:

Allah desires to make things lighter for you. Man was created weak. (Surat an-Nisa': 28)

...Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you... (Surat al-Baqara: 185)

But as for him who believes and acts rightly, he will receive the best of rewards and we will issue a command, making things easy for him. (Surat al-Kahf: 88)

From a drop of sperm He created him and proportioned him. Then He eases the way for him. (Surah 'Abasa: 19-20)

This simplicity also holds true for acts of worship. Regarding the rite of fasting, a religious duty observed during the month of Ramadan, Allah commands the following:

The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur'an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with Clear Signs containing guidance and discrimination. Any of you who are resident for the month should fast it. But any of you who are ill or on a journey should fast a number of other days. Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you. You should complete the number of days and proclaim Allah's greatness for the guidance He has given you so that hopefully you will be thankful. (Surat al-Baqara: 185)

To conclude, Islam is a religion that is entirely in conformity with the nature of man. Because, it is Allah Who is pleased with Islam as a religion for man, and it is He Who has created him. Allah desires not difficulty but ease for His servants, and determined as their religion those values that best conform to their needs, wishes and manner of living. In a verse of the Qur'an, our Lord commands as follows:

...Today unbelievers have despaired of overcoming your religion. So do not be afraid of them but be afraid of Me. Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed My blessing upon you and I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you... (Surat al-Ma'ida: 3)

 

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