Muslim women’s perspective on why people leave religion
Nowadays, many people claim not to follow anything. Their reasons are varied and often confusing. I recently met a very successful businessman who said that he doesn’t feel the need to pursue anything. I didn’t think it wise to discuss religion with him because he already felt so challenged just looking at my headscarf. Any additional provocation with my words may have made him more defensive.
I kept thinking about his statement over the next few days and the words I had heard earlier came to mind: “Anyone who does not bow down to One God bows down to all.” It may sound counterintuitive at first, but thinking deeply makes a lot of sense.
Modesty stands out in a world of idolatry
What are celebrities or famous people called today? They are called “idols” and are worshiped by their fans without even questioning them. A few years ago, it used to be Hollywood celebrities who were worshiped like this. Now there is another brand of celebrities called “influencers”. Ask them about their qualifications and you will be surprised. They can’t even manage their own lives, let alone try to “influence” others. The saddest part is that their “followers” tend to belong to the younger segments who are easily impressed with a rich lifestyle and party culture. These “followers” mimic the lifestyle and choices of the influencers, thereby destroying their individuality and becoming part of a herd.
Compare that to a modestly dressed Muslim woman who stands out for her choice to submit to the Creator. She not only retains her individuality but she also doesn’t feel the need to conform to the latest fashions. Although there is invisible pressure to look and act the same as the majority, the one who submits to God does not feel the need to obey harmful rules set by those who should not have the right to set those rules, since most they are just pushing unhealthy lifestyles on an ignorant lot.
Why do people leave religion?
I am curious to know what are the underlying reasons that make a person leave their religion.
To be honest, I have yet to make sense of secularism. In itself, it is an ideology like any other on this planet. Secularism, to me, sounds like “Hey, God! I believe in you BUT I choose not to follow your laws since the ones we humans have made are superior and better. Dear God! You have competition.”
When a person says they don’t believe in anything, they basically don’t realize they have beliefs but not in God. The human mind and heart are designed to never be empty. There is always something we believe in. There are basic sets of values that every human being must rely on just to survive in life. That same “core set of values” is our religion. It’s just a matter of choosing what we prefer. If a person says “I don’t believe in ‘organized religion,’ that essentially means that there are other values, orders, or systems that appeal to this particular individual. All the “isms” that we follow are, in essence, a religion that we respect; capitalism, socialism, globalism and environmentalism, to name a few. These are ideologies that shape a certain lifestyle and therefore become our belief system.
Why do people get discouraged by religion?
I think the reason many people are turned off by religion is that they don’t want to follow the rules and restrictions of religion because it conflicts with their wishes or they are turned off by the way religion is used politically and presented in the media.
Islam does not conform to the modern understanding of religion in that it is not limited to private worship rituals. Rather, Islam is a way of life that includes the religious or ritualistic part, but also goes further to include guidelines for every sphere of human life. This differentiates Islam from other religions. In addition to sentences, it also sets standards for different spheres of life, including social norms to preserve the value system and environmental controls to conserve habitat.
How Islam differs from other religions
Islam has established guidelines for a healthy and prosperous society. We live in an individualistic and somewhat disconnected society. Islam focuses on the community and caring for each other without neglecting one’s own individuality. That is not to say that individualistic societies are all bad, but rather that the level of care that a human being needs to thrive cannot be established in a society that focuses more on oneself, thus creating a selfish existence that focuses only on own desires or happiness. A healthy and prosperous society can only be one in which the elderly are respected and are not left alone at the mercy of institutions and the young are protected by the responsible adults of an extended family. After all, the saying goes “It takes a village.”
The importance of accepting our limitations
The new trend is to deny God and find a reason not to follow the commands set by Him only to arrogantly turn around and blame Him when something starts to go wrong because our actions were contrary to His rules. When a person drinks alcohol and eventually damages the organs, he may become bitter and say “look what God did to me”. But the person should not have been drinking in the first place as God already commanded. Those who cherish their secular beliefs have yet to acknowledge God in the true sense and how when “man-made” religion is removed from society, it is simply replaced with another “man-made” system. Also, it will benefit them to be humble and accept the fact that we as humans, with our limited capabilities, know so little about so much.