Islam: The Principle Of Correct Human Devt (17)
THE primary responsibility for man is to have an intelligent understanding of what the nature of the will of God is. When we are talking of submission to the will of God by man, there is nothing man could submit to the will of God other than his own will. Man as we may all agree, has a vague idea of what his will power entails. It is usually about having his way if possible to the detriment of everything on his path. That may give you an idea how terribly selfish the use of the will of man can be in his operations in this world.
So if we have embarked on proving the truth in the concept of Islam that it is about the correct development of human personality and not about any religious dogma, then your mind may be at rest that no one is out to blaspheme nor mislead anyone. You will get to understand the vital aspiration of the concept of Islam in our lives when you get to appreciate how undisciplined man can be in the application of his will power. But because he doesn’t want to face the truth of his shortcomings in this respect, his satanic instinct has a way of encouraging him to turn credible principles into objects of worship to delude himself about his own righteousness.
This is what you get in all organised religions. But when Mohammed came to tell us that the only religion before God is Islam what He tried to do in that one precise word is to direct the attention of everybody to the truth that Jesus had enunciated before Him that faith and the practical reality of it is the only thing in the life of man that matters before God. To start with, it may have to involve the truthful understanding of the nature of God, the acknowledgement and the efficacy of His will, an intelligent method of unraveling the mechanism of his will and the mode and method for man to practically collaborate with the method.
This is all about a process of knowledge. But because man is indolent and very lazy when it comes to matters that will stretch his intellect — mental and emotional faculties in getting the correct understanding of the nature of God as He should be universally accepted by all of us, his selfish instinct will encourage him to turn the matters to God into an organised religion and adopt sometimes strange, ridiculous, irritating and probably debilitating modes of worship to get to Him. It is very consoling to know that Jesus significantly said it before leaving this world that ‘it is not everybody that is saying Lord! Lord! That will enter into the kingdom of heaven. The organised religions as we have them today might never have a place in the coming schemes of God for man. Jesus Himself made this clear in one of his vital statements. He said ‘The hour cometh… when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit and they that must worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth’.
If Jesus could say this which obviously was to contrast the nature of the organised religion of Judaism that was in vogue in His time, you might then have an understanding of what I am trying to say that as far as all the great prophets of God were concerned, the only thing that mattered in religion if you have to call it religion at all is in the understanding of the development of FAITH. It was in this language that Jesus recognised the nature of true religion in His time. When Mohammed came along, He called it Islam.
Ayo-Vaughan, a psychologist, lives in Lagos