Do they then seek the judgment of the Time of Ignorance? Who could be better at giving judgment than Allah for people with certainty? (Surat al-Ma'ida: 50)
Allah's Messengers and the Qur'an are the only guides for believers, as we read in: "Say: 'Am I to desire other than Allah as Lord when He is the Lord of all things?'" (Surat al-An'am: 164)
Unbelievers, however, find and adhere to guides and chiefs other than Allah, follow unjust ideologies and movements, and so live in complete delusion. But when they die and see Hell's eternal torment, they will confess this great delusion, "And they will say: 'Our Lord, we obeyed our masters and great men, and they misled us from the Way" (Surat al-Ahzab: 67) and express their regret.
The factors that determine the attitudes and beliefs of the majority of these people, who feign ignorance about what will happen to them after death, are society's rules, principles, and customs. Following their ancestors, the surrounding society, or their leaders, these people go astray, for any thought and attitude that disagrees with the Qur'an is flawed.
Believers, on the other hand, abide by Allah's commands and meticulously avoid all forbidden thoughts and attitudes, regardless of time and place. Whenever doing something or making a decision, they refer to the Qur'an and the Sunna of our Prophet (saas), and consider Allah's command related to that particular situation. They conduct themselves according to the Qur'an's commands, and not according to their own whims and desires, unjust societal traditions, or ancestral customs. Indeed, Allah tells believers:
And this is a Book We have sent down and blessed, so follow it and do your duty so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-An'am: 155)
People who do not admit Allah as the sole Judge, oppose His commands, or fabricate judgments other than His stray from the right path. They hold their society's norms and mores more dear than Allah's commands, and remain tenacious and strict in this attitude. Even though their conscience admits the truth, they reject Allah's commands out of arrogance and bigotry. In the Qur'an, Allah informs us about such people as follows:
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)
Similarly We never sent any Warner before you to any city without the affluent among them saying, "We found our fathers following a religion, and we are simply following in their footsteps." Say: "What if I have come with better guidance than what you found your fathers following?" They say: "We reject what you have been sent with." (Surat az-Zukhruf: 23-24)
This stance only hinders people from embracing Islam and having faith in Allah. For instance, Pharaoh and the chiefs of his people said: "Have you come to us to turn us from what we found our fathers doing, and to gain greatness in the land? We do not believe you" (Surah Yunus: 78), when Prophet Musa (as) and his brother Prophet Harun (as) called them to worship Allah and subject themselves to Him.
In the same manner, the people of Prophet Shu'ayb (as) asked: "Shu'ayb, do your prayers instruct you that we should abandon what our fathers worshipped or stop doing whatever we want to with our wealth?" (Surah Hud: 87), and then rebelled. As these verses maintain, people summoned to Allah's path by the Prophets always reply: "Your argument disagrees with the path that our fathers and forefathers followed."
At all times, people reacted to the Prophets' guidance with enmity and rebellion, and insisted upon their own stance. Yet, all Prophets summoned people to worship Allah, submit themselves to Him, follow His religion sincerely, and to worship Him alone by seeking only His good pleasure.
Our Prophet (saas) also summoned people to submit to Allah alone and to comply with His commands. The Qur'an tells us that on the Day of Judgment, people will be held accountable for obeying or disobeying Allah's commands. In the Qur'an, Allah warns those who take deities other than Himself and fabricate a new and distorted religion based upon their fancies in the following terms:
Or do they have partners who have laid down a religion for them for which Allah has not given any authority? Were it not for the prior Word of Decision, the judgment between them would already have been made. The wrongdoers will have a painful punishment. (Surat ash-Shura: 21)
In another verse, our Lord commands:
Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to you the Book that is recited to them? There is certainly a mercy and reminder in that for people who believe. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 51)
As these verses maintain, some of those who reject the Messengers' guidance do so on behalf of their false man-made religion, and accuse the Messengers of distorting this religion. Alternatively, considering Allah's argument and His Messenger inadequate, they fabricate a false religion. However, the fact remains that the Qur'an Allah sent down to us is enough for people.
People of faith are not concerned about the faith and faith-related practices of other people, for they pay attention only to Allah's commands and our Prophet's (saas) practices. The Qur'an's revelation ended the unjust beliefs and practices of many people. Our Prophet (saas), disregarding the people's accusations and enmity, held fast to Allah and the Qur'an. In our own day, believers must hold fast to Allah, the Qur'an, and the Sunna of our Prophet (saas), and never seek a path other than that of the Qur'an.