There is a subtle danger that leads people away from religion, prevents them from submitting to God as their Lord, and ultimately brings numerous other forms of trouble and distress upon them. This danger can be recognised in many different areas of our lives: the clenched fist of a fascist, the rousing anthem of a communist, or in the words of a letter written by a young man expressing his love to his loved-one. All arise from the same pernicious source.
The most disturbing aspect of this danger is that an overwhelming number of people do not see it as a danger at all, nor do they realise either that it is actually a state of mind completely inimical to religion. In fact, many view it, not as a dangerous error, but rather as a virtue to be encouraged and widely propagated.
Stir up any of them you can with your voice and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry and share with them in their children and their wealth and make them promises! The promise of Satan is nothing but delusion. (Quran, 17:64)
This danger of which we are speaking is sentimentality that leads people to live, not according to their reason, but according to their emotions; that is, according to their desires, hatreds, their susceptibility to temptation, and their stubbornness.
Sentimentality has become part of a culture of ignorance that has now brought millions of people throughout the world under its influence. In fact, it is one of the weapons that Satan uses to divert people from following the way of God, because someone who has fallen into the clutches of sentimentalism loses the ability to use his reason. And, when he cannot use his reason, then he cannot appreciate the fact that God has created him, nor can he come to recognise His signs and purposes, nor can he live in accordance to the sublime truths of religion. A life lived righteously is dependant on the use of one's reason, for God sent the Qu'ran "so that men of understanding may ponder its Signs and take heed." (Qur'an, 38:29)
More precisely, if not treated, the disease of sentimentalism renders it impossible for a person to understand or experience religion in its true sense. Moreover, unless treated, the disease of sentimentality will make it impossible to bring an end to the pointless disputes, senseless suffering, assaults, distress and cruelty people inflict upon themselves in this world.
This book will deal with the subject of sentimentalism by considering a few examples of this culture of ignorance, both in recent history, and in our own daily lives. No one should consider himself immune from this danger; on the contrary, everyone should be on their guard from the mire in which Satan wishes to trap us.