Rituals: Put Faith to the Test


Man usually commits himself to activities with clear-cut goals which eventually are to his interest on various levels. He may exercise to keep physically fit and healthy. He would be on a diet that prevents chronic diseases. He further has a job that secures life necessities; that is in addition to other activities that develop his capacities and boost his power to pave the way before him for all forms of amenities and conveniences.

It is also familiar that man gets engaged in altruistic activities that come to the benefit of others. A volunteer partakes in many areas such as emergency units, societies that care for people with special needs, and elderly homes. He pays alms and shares in preparing meals for the needy. All of these activities bestow on him a high spiritual pleasure that delights his soul in an ecstasy not equaled by any physical sensory pleasure.

In fact, the motion of human spirit is limited in two and only two directions: fetching pleasure and pushing pain away. It has no motive to act outside this scope. It is not provoked towards what can’t bring along pleasure or push pain away.

In other words, the human spirit does not take any bizarre action with senseless goals, as it views such an act an absurdity that may cause fruitless hardships.

That’s why man disapproves the painstaking efforts exerted to achieve anything he does not appreciate its value and he does not find pleasure in. A worker would mock the trouble the researchers and scholars industriously undertake to travel and detect a manuscript inscribed several centuries ago.

That’s simply because he does not appreciate its value and does not comprehend the importance of finding it, documenting it, and examining it, as he had never entered the realm of research and got to know its significance by any means.

Likewise, you find most people view collecting and keeping old currencies and coins futile and absurd. For them, such currencies are no more than papers that lost their purchase value. So keeping them as well as searching for them is fruitless. This is at a time some currencies are extremely expensive in the special market of numismatics who know its historic and traditional value. In fact, the price of some rare currencies is really unbelievable. Take for example, the Palestinian pound which was exclusively printed in 1936; the value of one pound of this rare currency is 200 thousand dollars.

This disapproval as contrasted to the extreme care is the dividing line between those within the group of tradition researchers and those without, and between the coin collectors and others; for such activities are not practiced except by those who appreciate their value. Such activities for those who do not appreciate their value are no more than absurdities that expel the fans off the way of the rational. It is the title that identifies the fans and distinguishes them from others.

This principle applies on worshipping rituals that do not appear to have any practical goal but faithful worshipping as imposed by the religion man believes in. Such rituals are also various and continuous in religions, whether divine or non-divine, and even among intellectual and political irreligious groups.

Rituals such as Hajj rites are acts of worship and total submission to Allah Al Mighty performed by a Muslim to show his identity and confirm his obligation and commitment to the teachings of Allah Al Mighty and to follow the trail of His prophets. Thus the sublime value of such rituals are perfectly clear to him. It is worthy for him to bear all kind of painstaking to follow Ibrahim Al Khalil, Ismael the Slain, and the Master of all Messengers and be inspired by their example in the obedience they showed to Allah Al Mighty and which right graciously did Allah Al Mighty accept.

Such concepts can’t be comprehended except by those who ushered the realm of faith and came to understand its meaning, believed in its terms, and tasted its sweetness. These very rites, however, are mere aimless acts from the perspective of the fair outsiders who never tasted this sweetness, and irrational absurdities for the unfair outsiders.

Hereof justifying such acts for those who do not believe in them causes much trouble to no avail though, and searching for a value for them in the eyes of those who did not embrace their principle renders them meaningless.

Thus such rituals put the faith of the belief-claimers to the test. He who is proud of them has deep-rooted faith in the principle and sincerely belongs to it. He who searches for benefits, goals, and excuses that satisfy others is a waver with a hesitant belonging and an unclear identity because faith as a goal does not satisfy him; thus he searches for other goals, and in case he does not find other goals – and he may not – his faith would be shaken because he does not find in the declaration of faith and submission to faith a sufficient goal.

{It is neither their flesh nor their blood which matters to Allah but it is piety on your part that matters to Him}.


 Noor Al Islam