• Why do some people prefer to live as if they are unaware of religion even though they know that they need to believe?
• What are the obstacles that prevent people from having sincere faith?
Allah created man with a nature suitable to faith. Our Lord revealed this fact in one verse of the Quran:
“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)
Some people deny this fact revealed in the Qur'an and condemn themselves to a difficult life. There are some reasons that these people have preferred a difficult life instead of faith, which is eminently suitable to their creation and would bring great strength to them morally.
The sense of pride, meaning arrogance, in some people prevents them from living the true religion because these people made themselves believe in the righteousness and perfection of their ideas, believes and life styles. These people who are too clever by half never want to accept the existence of a more truthful idea or faith. Even such a thought would bother them. As Almighty Allah reveals in the verse, "When he is told to have fear of Allah, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell will be enough for him! What an evil resting-place!”
(Surat al-Baqara, 206) what lead these people to denial or prevents them believing is this “pride” meaning arrogance.
When invited to living by the morality of the Qur'an, these people deny it because submitting to true religion would mean that they have had a superstitious faith until now. It is a great disaster for these people to realize that they have followed the wrong path for years, they have chosen the wrong people as leaders or to realize everything they have written, read and understood until now has been a great misconception. Not wishing to go through this disaster, they do not want to accept the destruction of their ideas even if they are proven wrong because their arrogance would not allow them to. Their pride “leads them to sin” as revealed in the verse.
However what they need to do after they realize the Qur'an is the sole truth is to immediately accept that they are on the right path, listen to their conscience, repent and start a completely new life. This is the attitude that is easiest and would please Almighty Allah. The opposite would mean a troublesome life in this world and the hereafter. Almighty Allah reveals the dark spirit of those in denial in the verse "And they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, in spite of their own certainty about them. See the final fate of the corrupters.”
(Neml Suresi, 14). Their arrogance keeps these people off the true path and causes great damage to them.
• Not Knowing the Qur'an
For a majority of people, the Qur'an is a book, which simply stays in one corner of the room without being touched and which they believe that will protect them from evil even though they have never read it. (The Qur'an is beyond that). These people are unaware that the Qur'an, which is an illuminator and guidance, would protect them from Hell and bring them the Garden if they follow and practice the commandments and prohibitions of Almighty Allah. Therefore, they prefer to learn the religion from their grandparents or ancestors instead of learning it from the Qur'an, which is the true source. However, Almighty Allah reveals in one verse that some people abandoned reading the Quran as such:
“The Messenger says, ‘My Lord, my people treat this Qur’an as something to be ignored.’” (Surat al-Furqan, 30)
In one of his hadiths, our Prophet (saas) explained that the Qur'an is a guidance that leads to salvation as follows:
"He who puts the Qur'an first, the Qur'an will take him to the Garden. He who leaves it behind, it will takes him to Hell." (G.Ahmed Ziyaüddin, Ramuz Al Hadith, volüme 1, Gonca Publishing, Istanbul, 1997, 227/9)
A majority of people try to live a religion that is full of the ignorance brought by not having read the Qur'an, traditions, mistaken knowledge and wrong applications of the past. The rules, prohibitions and moral values of this religion are different than of those of the true religion. The most dangerous consequence of this psuedo-religion, which brought about many rules that are not in line with the revelations of Almighty Allah and the sunnah of our Prophet (saas), is that it causes a bias against true religion among people. So this psuedo-religion, which is full of complicated rules that are difficult to apply, lead people astray from the moral values of the Qur'an.
Almighty Allah reveals this truth with the verse, “Is it other than the religion of Allah that you desire?...”
(Surah Al Imran, 83). In another verse it is revealed that these people also do not abide by this new religion they forged:
“...We put compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him. They invented monasticism – We did not prescribe it for them – …” (Surat Hadid , 27)
However, the religion commanded by Almighty Allah is very easy; it is neither complicated nor difficult to apply. People are created to live the true religion Almighty Allah has chosen for them. In the Qur'an, the behaviors Almighty Allah likes and dislikes, things that are forbidden and that which are legal are explained very clearly. Therefore, openness of the conscience and mind, submission to destiny and living the true religion as would please our Lord by submitting to Almighty Allah is quite easy. Our Lord reveals this truth in one verse of the Qur'an:
“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)
The morality of the Qur'an provides people with a lifestyle that encompasses happiness, comfort and real freedom. This lifestyle frees the person of the direction of “false idols” that morally enslaves the person and gets him or her closer to to Allah, Who has infinite wisdom and beauty, Who controls all things and Who is compassionate and just.
• The Psychology of Going With the Crowd:
The reason that prevents some people living the moral values of the Qur'an is the psychology of going with the crowd. These people feel that they need to go along with the lifestyles of the majority even though their conscience does not approve and they consider this as an obligation to be a “normal” member of society. With this psychology, they cannot comprehend the true meaning of religion and they make themselves believe that there are some rules, which all people in the world have to follow –other than the rules of Allah- and people have to abide by these rules. However in the Qur'an Almighty Allah reveals that the lifestyle most people choose, their false rules and sanctions do not direct people to the truth; on the contrary going with the crowd is a danger that misguides the person:
“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.'” (Al-An‘am, 116)
Therefore the fact that most people have chosen a lifestyle opposed to the true religion, that they are derisive and cruel towards other and even rebellious against their governments, that they commit sins without even thinking, must not affect other people. The fact that such people are in the majority is no excuse for the mistakes committed by individuals. This is because a non-Quranic life style, which is adopted with the psychology of going with the crowd, instead of the life that is clearly defined in the Qur'an and would please Almighty Allah, would open the doors to Hell let alone providing any gains for people.
• Not Being Able To Understand That Freedom Is Only Through True Religion:
Some people are mistaken in thinking that living without following Allah’s commands and in the direction of the wants and desires of their inner selves is freedom. However, a person could only be truly free if he serves Allah, submits to Him and is completely saved from serving other beings or values, because true freedom is not only physical but in the soul. This is the totality of feelings of openness, comfort, trust and peace that Almighty Allah inspires to a person’s soul and heart. However, Almighty Allah emphasizes this freedom, which only believers could have, in one verse:
“...in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace.’ (Surat Ar-Ra‘d, 28)
Our Propet (saas) called people to the most reputable and beautiful way, Allah’s way, and strived to be guidance for people’s salvation in this world and the hereafter. In this hadith, our Master (saas) clarified this fact explicitly: “No doubt that the most beautiful word is the Book of Allah. The most beautiful way is the way of Mohammad.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, I'tisam 2, Ebed 70; Kutub Al-Sitta, Interpreted by Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Canan, volume 2, Akçağ Publications, Ankara, p.338)
• The Logic of “I Will Do It in the Future”:
People who could not truly grasp the necessity of the moral values of the Qur'an think that they believe in Almighty Allah and the Qur'an but they will perform their prayers at a later point. Behind this utterly mistaken thought, they think that if they live according to the moral values of the religion, they will not be able to enjoy simple things in this world, and they ignore the fact that death could come any moment and that they do not completely believe in the hereafter. However all these thoughts are because these people are unaware of true religion because Almighty Allah promises believers who live by the true religion both this world and the hereafter with the verse, “Say: ‘Who has forbidden the fine clothing Allah has produced for His slaves and the good kinds of provision?’ Say: ‘On the Day of Rising such things will be exclusively for those who had faith during their life in the present .’ In this way We make the Signs clear for people who know.”
(Surat al-A’raf , 32) and warns people about the day of judgment by reminding them that death is very close to everyone whether young, old or child with the verse, “Every self will taste death...”
(Surah Al Imran, 185). The hereafter is more real than this world, as revealed in many verses of the Qur'an, because it is eternal. No doubt, the excuses of these people who postpone living according to the moral values of religion with the logic of “I will do it in the future” are all invalid. Almighty Allah warns His servants in the fact of this truth as such:
“The Day when the excuses of the wrongdoers will not help them.The curse will be on them and they will have the most evil Home.” (Surah Ghafir, 52)
Satan’s Suggestions Prevent Living the True Religion
Satan is what prevents people from living the true religion. Satan stealthily approaches people without being hasty. He slowly gives small suggestions to prevent people from living by the morality of the Qur'an and in the long run keeps them away from true religion. However, people can only have a healthy mind and soul by living the true religion because living the true religion saves people from worldly bonds. It makes the person responsible only to Allah and commandments in His True Book. This is a great ease for people. Almighty Allah reveals the easiness of the religion of Islam in many verses of the Qur'an. For example, He reveals as "We will ease you to the Easy Way."
(Surat al-A'la, 8) and heralds Muslims the He will ensure peace in great ease and Allah opens the path of His servants and helps them reach His true path. He holds the Qur'an as guidance and helps people come out of their dark lives. In one verse Almighty Allah heralds believers who follow Him unconditionally as such:
“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith. He brings them out of the darkness into the light....” (Surat al-Baqara, 257)