CHAPTER 1 WHY WE ARE WHAT WE ARE ?
CHAPTER 1 WHY WE ARE WHAT WE ARE ?
In asking this question I am referring to the religions that people profess. Why are we Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Ahlul Sunnah (Sunnis), Shiahs, Jews, Zoroastrians and so on ? The answer for the vast majority of us is because we were born into families that were already professing one of these religions. Its as simple as that. Few of us want to question what our parents and grandparents have taught us.
Hindus put ash on their foreheads and pray to stone carvings which they believe represents their gods. They do this because their parents taught them so. A stone carving of a human shape with an elephant’s head for example is representative of a Hindu god. Others like the Sunnis and Shiahs may find such beliefs illogical.
Why does it appear illogical to the Sunnis and Shiahs ? Because they were born into families where parents teach their children to pray toward a stone building in Mecca which they call the Ka’aba. To the Ahlul Sunnah and Shiah the representation of god in the form of a stone that looks like a human and elephant hybrid is not acceptable. To the Ahlul Sunnah and Shiah praying towards a cubical shaped building also made of stone is more logical than praying towards an elephant human shape also made of stone.
But to the Christian, both the Sunni and Shiah prayer facing a stone building and the Hindu prayer facing a stone carving is also illogical because they have been taught by their parents that a Christian prays towards a cross which may be made of stone or wood or he may even pray towards a stone carving of a human form of Jesus or his mother Mary. To the Christian it is more logical that he pray towards crosses, Jesus and Mary.
Then comes the Jew who says his ultimate holy of holies is a stone wall in Jerusalem. His parents have taught him to nod his head and rock his body to and fro in a wailing motion in front of this wailing wall. Praying facing a stone wall makes better sense to the Jew rather than praying facing a cross, a stone building or a stone carving of a man-elephant hybrid.
The Zoroastrian has done away with all these stone shapes. However the Zoroastrian still has his ‘holy fire’ - the eternal flame that must not go out.
Each person who is born into a sunni, shiah, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Christian or Jewish household will defend his religion to the hilt simply because he was born into the religion. There are some converts into each religion of course who convert out of choice but once converted their children are automatically born into the adopted religion of their fathers.
Why do we believe and uphold our religions so much ? Again the answer is simply because we were born into these religions. We blame it on our parents. We inherit our religions from our parents.
What does the Quran say about inheriting religion from our parents ?
[Surah 2.170] And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What ! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way.
[Surah 7.28] And when they commit an indecency they say: We found our fathers doing this, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency; do you say against Allah what you do not know?
[Surah 7.173] Or you should say: Only our fathers associated others (with Allah) before, and we were an offspring after them: Wilt Thou then destroy us for what the vain doers did?
So we cannot blame our religion on our fathers. God will hold us responsible for our own beliefs - not what our fathers believed because ‘What if our fathers had gone astray ?’ How do we answer to that ? Surely we must exercise our own free will and exercise our own good judgement instead of just blaming it on our fathers.
It is difficult for the human to believe in an Unseen God yet that is what is required of the human :
[Surah 2.3] Those who believe in the unseen and uphold their commitments and spend out of what We have given them.
But the human wants something tangible - a stone carving, a building, a cross, a wall or even fire. Something to make it easy for him to focus on his deity. And he also has his fathers to blame for teaching him his religious logic. But the One God wants us to believe in the Unseen. There can be no manifestation at all of the Unseen God. It is just Trust.
[Surah 2.170] And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way.
But the human being will not give up his tangible objects of worship. The Sunnis and Shiahs will refuse to read and understand the Quran. They will reject the clear teachings of the Quran which refute all the Sunni and Shiah beliefs that are stolen from the Christian Bible. Out of sheer force of habit and fear of leaving his comfort zone the Sunni and Shiah will choose to prolong the religion of his fathers without wanting to find out what is written in the Quran. The Sunni and Shiah will continue to uphold the Bible.