The Concept of Religion – Part II

Research by scholars suggest that human history has been associated with religion, and man has never considered himself independent of religion. Even many atheists believe that the world empty of religion is unimaginable. Research on this long-standing phenomenon (using wisdom and citation) has always preoccupied the minds of many people. This article also refers to the same subject.

What is the origin of religion?

The discussion of the origin of religion is one of the important discussions that has attracted the attention of contemporary intellectuals, the origin of religion can mean two things:

A. How did religion exist in the context of historical reality? Has its origin been natural and supernatural, or natural and divine?

B. What has been the origin or the agent of human tendency towards religion throughout history? Has its origin been within humans or outside them, and what has been that internal or external factor?

 

Has the creator of this world abandoned his creatures

It can be said that the origin and need religion is God’s will to guide mankind which is manifested by revelation on Prophets. If there was no God, or Almighty had forsaken his creatures, then religion would have not been based on rational principles. So, religion is a divine phenomenon. Allah has offered religion to mankind through the Prophets. The basis and essence of religion is submission to the divine will.

«إِنَّ الدِّینَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلامُ؛

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam (and submission to the truth) [Al Imran: 19]

This truth and unique gem has been available to human beings in different periods of history in the form of heavenly laws. These laws are: The Sharia of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the Prophet of Islam (PBUT).

Have all religions gone the right way?

What we said, was related to the religions and the laws of heaven and the truth. Throughout history, there have also been other religions that had a human origin, and none of them are a part of true religion or Sharia though in them, there are also the correct teachings and are in accordance with the righteous Sharia, which either originated from the human intellect or was derived from the teachings of the revelation.

What is the origin or the agent of human tendency towards religion over the course of history?

There are different opinions about this issue, the sum of them can be divided into two naturalistic and theistic views

Theistic views:

From the perspective of theists, there are two sources for the human tendency to religion, which include: nature and wisdom.

Why a human looks for truth, beauty, goodness and …?

A. Nature:

Theologians believe that the factor that is responsible for human tendency towards religion is Nature. The innate tendencies of man provoke him to a series of transcendental and valuable facts. Man loves the transcendental truths and has a tendency towards them because of his nature. Although, the reality may not be realized due to the absence of conditions or the existence of barriers. Psychologists, consider these tendencies as the best human tendencies.

The feeling or desire for truth, the feeling or desire for the beauty of friendship, the feeling or the desire for morality or goodwill, and the feeling or desire of sacredness, are considered to be the most prominent human desires. All these attributes are related to the human nature. It can be said that all the great desires of the human soul reflect in one desire and that is the desire for perfection. Since a man is truth seeker, loves goodness, sacredness and beauty, all these are manifestations and examples of perfection, and since a human being looks for perfection he wants it.

Whenever a man reaches a level of perfection, he is set for moving to another level and his seek for perfection has no end point.

On the other hand, whatever a man has found both in the realm of social reality and in the realm of natural phenomena, is limited and bound to decay; for this reason, his desires cannot be fulfilled in this world, hence, he develops a tendency to a world beyond nature and transcendental truth. However, man has not been on the right path to imagine this truth because his perceptual device has adapted itself to spatial and temporal beings. And often, he looks for this transcendental truth in natural symbols.

William James writes about human nature: “We feel that there is a fault within us that is a source of our unrest. We also feel that if we communicate with some super power, we could get rid of this unrest and discomfort. Since human being suffers the faults within him and overcomes it, and his intellect is more perfect than this fault and this is enough for him to resort to a bigger truth.”

B. Wisdom

The tendency towards religion is also the result of rational thought. When one looks at the mystery of the world, he finds the signs of the unique creator inside and outside him, and does not consider the creation of clouds, wind, fog, the sun and the sky mere a plaything. Looking at the order and coordination between these things, it seems that all these things that are apparently silent, are speaking and are talking about the Almighty.

To be continued….


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