Islam: The Principle Of Correct Human Devt (20)
Islam is about submission to the will of God and when we talk about submission to the will of God, the statement implies the recognition of the will of man. This is because the real thing in man that man can submit to God is the will of man itself. So the principal religious or spiritual duty for man is to understand what the nature of the will of God is, what the nature of the will of man is and work towards the method of harmonizing the two.
This is the process of practical submission to the will of God. It is now up to humanity especially those in Judaism, Christianity and purported Islamic religion to now tell us in what ways their different organised modes of worship do lead to submission to the will of God. They should tell us how in their various traditions of ceremonies, rituals creeds and dogmas people are being led to submit to the will of God. It was the concern of Jesus in His observation of humanity’s approach to the issue of religion that made Him to say that the time is coming when people may have to be made to realise that their popular approach to religion is not the proper approach; but that the true approach to religion will be one in which humanity will know how to worship the Father correctly in spirit and in truth.
The Lord’s prayer suggested that the new approach to worship must be anchored on the understanding of how the will of God must be done on earth as it is heaven. I really don’t know how fasting, making pilgrimages and peculiar modes of praying can help to achieve it when man generally everywhere are not bothering themselves at all to understand the nitty-gritty of the true practice of morality. It is clearly for this reason that Jesus must have been compelled to say that it is not everybody that says Lord! Lord! That will enter into the kingdom of heaven notwithstanding their efforts to prove to God and Him how much they were faithful to traditions.
As Mohammed was trying to make it clear, man must never lose sight of the fundamental truth of his being because it is the fundamentality of that truth that not only unites all the great messengers of God in their missions on earth, but also holds the whole of creation and the universe together. This fundamental truth is — Islam — submission to the will of God. If you are not prepared to understand the nature of this truth through the application of intelligence, no traditions of man glorified through the avenue of religion can really help and man will continue to perish as if he has no knowledge to guide him.
Ayo-Vaughan, a psychologist, lives in Lagos