The Disease of Ir-religiousness
Advising his people, Hadhrat Shu’ayb عليه السلام said, “O my people! Worship (Only) Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. There is no Ilaah for you besides Him. Do not reduce (articles) in weight and measure (do not underweigh and undermeasure when trading). Indeed I see you in fortunate (prosperous) circumstances but (if you continue doing wrong) I fear for you the punishment of a day that will surround all (when everyone will be destroyed)”.150
However, the reply he received from the people was, “O Shu’ayb! Does your salaah (prayers) instruct you (to tell us) that we leave what our forefathers worshipped or (does it instruct you to tell us that we should leave) doing as we please with our wealth. Surely you are (more) tolerant and sensible (than this?)”.
This attitude of deriding a person and accusing him of suffering from the disease of religiousness is common even today. When they are unable to accept the truth coming from someone with a religious conscience, sinners and transgressors of the Deen mock and say that the person has had an overdose of Ibaadah and is suffering from over-religiousness. May Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى save us all from such an attitude. Aameen.
Not a New Light, but an Ancient Darkness
In the statement quoted above, the people of Hadhrat Shu’ayb عليه السلام made it clear that they preferred to follow the ways of their forefathers rather than subscribe to what he told them. This statement summarises the difference between Islaam and ignorance. While Islaam dictates that anything which is contrary to the commands of Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is rejected, ignorance dictates that anything done by the forefathers is worthy of emulation without question, regardless of how absurd it may seem.
Islaam teaches us that religion is not confined only to spirituality, but givens even one’s worldly activities such as social interaction, civil life, politics and every other aspect of a person’s life. People neither are nor free to do as they please, but need to restrict their activities to conform to that which pleases Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Ignorant people who shun Deen believe that religion is strictly confined to acts of worship and that everything worldly needs to be divorced from religion.
The concept of secularism we see today is nothing new, but was exactly what even the people of Hadhrat Shu’ayb عليه السلام said in the above statement quoted in the Qur’aan.
The Concept of Secularism is not a new light, but an ancient darkness.