Religion As Described In The Qur'an And The Religion Of Our Fathers
When they do anything that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "Allah commanded us thus": Say: "No, indeed, Allah never commands what is shameful: would you say of Allah what You do not, know?" (Surat Al-A'raf: 28)
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)
It is impossible to imagine that true religion can be practiced wherever the Qur'an and the Sunna of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) are disregarded. Therefore, a very clear distinction must be made between the religion of the Qur'an and people's understanding of religion in various societies.
Special attention should be drawn to this point: Whatever "religion" is considered to be nothing but a number of false ideas and superstitious beliefs handed down from the time of our forefathers, rather than the implementation of the Qur'an and the Sunna, is certainly not true Islam.
Today, the existence of a great many people who are regarded as devout in various societies although they do not know much about the Qur'an and the Sunna of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), shows us how the situation has deteriorated. Religion may continue to be a supersitious heritage from our forefathers for these people, but it would be a mistake to hope for it to have any value in the Sight of Allah, unless He so wills. In many societies where people are either Buddhists or idolaters who live in an African clan and worship totems, they do what they do simply as a matter of tradition. Therefore, none of their practices amount to true religion. For most of the people following one of those "religions," the aim is not to seek the pleasure of Allah but, to try to live in conformity with society, for most of the time for a number of people in satisfying their nostalgia by keeping their traditions alive and deriving some personal interest from their religion.
The approval of Allah is the essence of the religion revealed in the Qur'an. A Muslim must base himself on that. The subject is set out in a verse as follows:
Who is better: someone who founds his building on taqwa of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of hell? Allah does not love wrongdoers. (Surat At-Tawba, 109)
As can be seen from this verse a faith that is not constructed on Allah's approval may lead to terrible consequences, since the conception, religion founded on, is unacceptable.