Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Here is the problem statement:
Does Islam in its Book the Holy Qur'an condone socialization as religion?
There are three possible answers to this: yes, no, maybe. That covers the full gamut of answers.
The following verses seem to suggest that the unequivocal answer of the Holy Qur'an to this question is a loud NO, and there is no other answer:
[ here is some homework assignment for the reader for their own due diligence --- can you find and enumerate those verses in context of socialization and blindly following the religion of ancestors? ]
The condemnation of the above verses is universal and categorical --- the deprecation does not say that it only applies to non-Muslims and obvious idol worshippers alone, that Muslims born into Muslim homes are absolved from its condemnation, that it is okay for Muslims to follow whatever socialization context they are born into if it is labeled “Islam”. It is not a conditional condemnation dependent on what beliefs one is born into. It is a categorical and principled condemnation and applies to all.
What is instead countenanced in the Holy Qur'an is to discover and follow the unadulterated religion brought by the Messengers of God, and not what is easily aliased and canonized into culture, religious literature, pulpits, and the religion of the state, by the mind of man as the religion of God. To correctly distinguish between the unadulterated religion of God and the socialized religion made by man is mankind's open challenge.
Consequently, due to the unequivocal and universal condemnation of the Holy Qur'an against blindly following the religion of one's forefathers, whatever religion or belief system that may be, every Muslim, both man and woman, born into a Muslim home really ought to introspect whether they too are fundamentally socialized into their religion and mistaking their man-made beliefs and the age-old practices of their ancestors as the religion of God? Specifically, socialized not just into being a Muslim by the accident of birth, but also socialized into one of the many Muslim sects that they open their eyes into, mainly under the rubric of the two macro Muslim sects, Shia and Sunni, which are further subdivided into myriad other subgroups and subsects, each one more self-righteous than the other?
Again, this introspection can only lead to one of the following answers: yes, no, maybe (or partially). That covers the full gamut of answers.
If they don't answer No, i.e., if they truthfully answer yes or maybe (or partially) socialized into their religion of birth, then it behooves a rational mind to reflect on how he or she might rise above that socialization into one's religion of birth and move towards the unadulterated religion of God. An irrational mind is absolved from such obligation because it is fundamentally ill-equipped for this task.
If they answer No, meaning they boldly aver that they chose their religion by sheer due diligence, then it still behooves a rational mind to prove that assertion that one is in fact not socialized into one's religion and belief system of birth, at least to one's own intellectual, spiritual and emotional satisfaction --- for religion is always intensely personal choice and one need not justify that choice to anyone else but to oneself.
The problem inherent in seeking such self-satisfaction and self-justification are of course many fold, which, as every astute student of psychology knows, inevitably lead to being emotionally deluded and subconsciously subjective despite all overt pretenses to objectivity. These pitfalls include: the problem itself being self-referential and thus inherently subjective; prone to confirmation bias; data availability bias; perception bias; emotional bias; spiritual bias; to mention just a few psychological and subconscious cataracts that get in the way by self-servingly “preloading” that quest for self-satisfaction with one's own preferences and presuppositions without being consciously aware of it. This is the most common instinctual trait (or failing) due to socialization by birth and psychological predisposition towards what one deems to be one's own, which is whatever one opens one's eyes into, that has led to such diversity of beliefs and practices among Muslims despite all sects and subsects espousing the same singular Divine Book of Islam, the Holy Qur'an. The truth of these words is beyond doubt. It is self-evident. And quite empirical.
As one may perceptively note, this fundamental question of religion as socialization is orthogonal to the banal question of amicable mutual co-existence --- for the latter is but a truism, a platitude. One can, and sensibly should, always seek to co-exist with those whom one disagrees with, whether or not the disagreement is religious, scientific, philosophical, or petty. That is but a fundamental human right to be able to live in peace without being forced to conform to the thoughts and beliefs of others. Whether or not this basic human right is honored by the systems of power that control human behavior is an orthogonal question to the question at hand.
Try not to confuse the two questions. The question under discussion is not how to live amicably with those whom we disagree with, and for which Surah Al-Maeda verse 5:48 has given a categorical prescription in the most straightforward language, but whether each one of us is following the religion of our ancestors which just happens to come with the label “Islam” in the mistaken belief that we are in fact following the unadulterated religion of Islam contained in its scripture the Holy Qur'an.
The article Averting Shia-Sunni World War perceptively probes the Religion as Socialization aspect for individual responsibility to oneself with its concomitant existential impact on society, and does not waste its time with obvious platitudes on how to treat others unlike oneself. Mutual coexistence among all mankind in the Holy Qur'an was previously explored in depth in: What does the Holy Qur'an say about Multiculturalism and Pluralism? Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization.
Source URL: http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2016/07/religion-as-socialization-what-quran-say.html
Print URL: http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2016/07/religion-as-socialization-what-quran-say.html
First published Sunday, July 10, 2016 | Last updated Tuesday, August 2, 2016 1045
Religion as Socialization - What does the Holy Qur'an say?