One of the best attributes of a Muslim who believes in Allah by heart is not to follow the majority but to act in compliance with what best suits Allah’s consent and the voice of his conscience no matter what the circumstances may be. For such a person, the thoughts and behaviors of other people do not matter. A Muslim only attaches importance to earn Allah’s good pleasure and thus aims at displaying the best attitude and the most suited words in compliance with the Qur’an.
This attribute of moral perfection displayed by sincere Muslims manifests in its perfect form in the lives of prophets. No matter how people lived in their societies, prophets never adopted a lifestyle and morality except from what is revealed to them by Allah and never tended to unbelievers’ perverted beliefs and wicked habits. They had been subjected to the oppression and torture of unbelievers, those associating partners with Allah and hypocrites all through their lives solely because they had faith in Allah and submitted themselves to Him. They faced death threats; they were imprisoned, slandered, tortured and exiled from their homelands. They spent their lives in constant suffering. Even some of them were martyred in the way of Allah.
The prophets responsible for conveying Allah’s revelation hardily faced up to threats and never stepped back because of difficulties they encountered.
Allah exemplified prophets’ and genuine Muslims’ moral perfection to Muslims thus:
‘’Many a Prophet has been killed, when there were many thousands with him! They did not give up in the face of what assailed them in the Way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they yield. Allah loves the steadfast.’’ (Surah Al Imran, 146)
One of the major aims of a Muslim who deeply loves Allah should be, just as how all prophets did throughout their lives, not to fear the condemnations of those who condemn them and live with fear of Allah in the way that best suits Allah’s good pleasure.
In societies in which people do not live by the morality of the Qur’an crowd psychology pervades. People act not in compliance with their own intelligence and conscience but with crowd psychology. This mood dominates all their lives. The pleasures, understanding of aesthetics, love, style of speaking peculiar to them are replaced by socially accepted artificial and insincere moods that are, most of the time, also disliked by themselves.
Because practices incompatible with those of the society immediately attract attention and, in some cases, get reactions, people who are not guided by the Qur’an and our Prophet’s (saas) Sunnah utterly turn a blind eye to their wisdom and conscience and act in accordance with the societies’ expectations. They blindly adopt an attitude, without calculating whether it is accurate or not, or whether it will bring any responsibility in the Hereafter. Consequently, loveless, unfaithful, selfish, interest-ridden people bereft of compassion and mercy appear. These arrogant people are full of hatred, greed, grudge and are prone to gossip and argument. Although these people who live by such morality also suffer from the harms of these wicked moral features themselves, they remain imprisoned in this wicked system throughout their lives merely because the majority of people around them live in this way and, probably because in a contrary situation they deem they will be oppressed, be defeated or remain without protection. In one verse in the Qur’an, Allah relates what consequences following the majority will yield as follows:
‘”If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you from Allah’s Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing.’’ (Surat Al-An’am 116)
The fact is however, this is what distinguishes a genuine believer. A Muslim never takes the opinion of the majority as a measure to distinguish the right from wrong. He never assesses something to be right because people think so and vice versa. A Muslim evaluates everything in compliance with the Qur’an and our Prophet’s (saas) Sunnah. If Allah relates an attitude, a happening to be erroneous and wicked, even if the whole world displays that attitude, a faithful believer never condescends to assume that reprehensible attitude. If everyone in the world does not assume an attitude Allah praises in the Qur’an, a Muslim assumes it with honor and dignity. A Muslim never displays a crude attitude contrary to the Qur’an. He conserves his noble attitude in every environment and under all circumstances. Even if people approach him with the most wicked morality, he knows that he will always prevail and that Allah will always protect him as long as he treats them with an attitude favored by Allah and the morality of the Qur’an. As Allah relates in the verse, ‘’Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers.’’ (Surah Al Imran, 139), he is aware that he is morally superior and noble because he has faith.
That a Muslim does not follow the majority does not mean that he turns his back to everything he sees in the society and that everything the majority does is corrupt and erroneous. A Muslim evaluates what he sees around him in the light of the Qur’an; he takes the aspects that are in compliance with the Qur’an and considers those that are aesthetic as beautiful. For instance a person may have a morally flawed attitude. For instance he may be prone to anger. Yet he may also be very self-sacrificing. In such a case, only because that person has a furious personality, ignoring his self-sacrificing aspect and considering him as a wicked person as a whole would not be right. A Muslim appreciates the beautiful aspects of this person while trying to correct his morally wicked traits by explaining them to him with beautiful words and wisdom. A Muslim has a rational and balanced spirit. Even if held in the most arduous environment and subjected to all forms of adversity, his eye immediately catches a single beauty and his spirit turns to that beauty, for he knows that it is Allah Who manifests everywhere and in everything and that beauties are blessings from Allah. He is well aware of the fact that Allah creates the morally reprehensible traits in people around with purpose, to make him take lessons and have fear for Him. He also grasps that Allah specially creates the beauties so that he can admire and take as an example. For this reason, while not following the majority, a Muslim should not reject all the attributes he sees in the majority as a whole. He should simply turn his back to those traits incompatible with the Qur’an but adopt the beautiful details that are in compliance with it.