Religion is no Joke

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Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi, the head of the Imam Khomeini institute in Qum, spoke about our relationship with this world.

Commentating on the verse – ‘That is because you took the verses of Allah in ridicule, and worldly life deluded you.’ (Surah Jaathiya: 35) – His eminence stated: “The world has deceived them and has become the reason for them to mock the verses of God, even some of those people who claim to be religious, in reality, mock the religion through their actions.”

He continued: “Why is it that some Muslims, who express their beliefs a few times throughout the day and believe in the hereafter as a part of the roots of religion, have no difference in their lives with the disbelievers? They spend most of their time watching television and playing computer games and this tends to take up their time for worship, exercise and other duties. At most we may manage to pray a weak two rak’at prayer.”

Explaining further the importance of making the most of our time, this respected scholar stated: “We must not let even a moment of our lives be spent for others, however, it must be said that what we mean is not that we should only be busy is prayers and supplications. Academic research, solving different philosophical doubts and other skilled work can be for the hereafter if a person carries these out for God, protection of Islam and the Islamic society. If one works for his own pleasure, this turns into desiring the world.”

Explaining the verse – ‘They will say, “We bear witness against ourselves”; and the worldly life had deluded them, and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.’ (Surah An’aam: 130), his eminence stated: “Highlighting the reason why some do not accept the message and the warnings of the Prophets of God, God has stated that the beauty of this world has deceived them, they become heedless and think that life means to gain pleasures solely from those things that are in this world and nothing else exists after.”

Stressing the importance on having an uncompromising stance on religious principles, the Ayatollah stated: “One of the cultural ministers mentioned that the development of culture is not possible without freedom and with filters. The Supreme Leader answered this in his speech in Mashad in which he stated that we cannot allow everything using the excuse of freedom.”

He continued: “Is it possible that we also allow heroine with the excuse of freedom? Just as the government is responsible for protecting us from harmful drugs due to the dangers they bring, it is responsible for protecting us from steps which may be taking place that damage religious and Islamic values. If someone believes in God and the afterlife, they must not say this is not our responsibility and just the responsibility of the scholars.”

Explaining the role of materialism in such a thought process, his eminence stated: “They are intimidated by the thunder and lightning of this world, by the material advancements of some countries and they say that we must choose either this world or our religion, they say that these rulings are not for this day and age, rather, these rulings belong to 1400 years ago. They have limited progress to material and worldly progress.”

“They have taken the religion of God lightly. God has sent religion so that its rulings can be followed word by word, however, these people do not take them seriously.”

Continuing his topic on how we should treat this life, Ayatollah Misbah said: “What is condemnable in this life is if we are in the pursuit of our desires, money, food, sleep and status, things which have no effect on our overall success and happiness. If these same things are done within the bounds of Islam, with the intention of raising the level of honour for Islam and gaining self-sufficiency for the Muslims as oppose to dependency on the disbelievers, then all of these acts can become mustahab or even obligatory.”

He continued: “This world and everything that has been created inside of it were created on the basis of divine wisdom and in and of themselves are not bad. It is attaching oneself to this world which results in losing the infinite pleasures and the hereafter.”

Speaking about true success and true happiness, Ayatollah Misbah stated: “God has stated that the happiness of this world is not comparable to the happiness of the hereafter. You should be careful that this [worldly] happiness does not deceive you – ‘And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.’ (Surah AaleImran) – You were not createdfor these pleasures; these are just tools used to test you so that you may make good use of them and reach success and eternal bliss.”

In conclusion, Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi spoke about the importance of understanding and using the various tools God has given us to reach perfection. His eminence stressed upon the idea of seeing the bigger and more difficult duties as oppurtunities to reach perfection quicker.

Ayatollah Misbah Yazdi concluded: “Regardless of how difficult a duty seems, we must not try and escape it. Just like a person puts his body through intensive training in a gym to become stronger, it is the difficulty in duties which will allow us to reach perfection.”

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