I learned a little while back, the respect Muslims held for their holy book, The Noble Qu’ran. No one would dare putting the Qu’ran on the ground or even under a pile of books. They often position their Qu’ran on the top of their library, some even place them on its on tablet. Now THAT is respect!
My books don’t get much respect. After four years of university studies, they basically are gathering dust wherever space can still be found. So when I decided to acquire a Quran, I was warned that it shouldn’t just go in one of my piles of books.
This got me thinking about respect for religion and its rules. So many believers, Christians, Muslims, or otherwise, have a “take some, leave some” attitude towards religion, but in their ways of “taking and loosing” make incredibly strange choices. For example, Christians celebrate lent, the fourty days Jesus spent in the desert before Easter. The tradition upheld that one should only eat water and unlevaned bread for fourty days. As Christianity progressed, most started eating other foods, and so it was said that we should not eat meat during lent. Meat started becoming more widely available, and people started eating more. The tradition held that there should be no meat consumption on Fridays, something that was particularly true during lent. Nowadays, lent is barely the fast it used to be: people give up “one thing” for forty days, and much like new years resolutions, they often break their vow within the first few days. That’s only one of the way tradition was changed. We have lost tracked of the true meaning of lent which was the deprivation from human desires.
What about the story of Marie-Magdeleine: “he who hath not sinned shall cast the first stone”? This story shows that God alone has the power to judge. Humans are inherently sinful; therefore, should not judge one another.
Similarly, Muslims have five pillars: 1-To believe in only one God and Muhammed as God’s prophet, 2-To pray five times daily, 3-To give charity, 4-To go on pilgrimmage, 5-To fast during the month of Ramadan. Number 1 is inherently true for most Muslims, 2 & 5 are the ones you will hear of most often, and to perform 4 gives you a saintly status within the community… but what about 3? What about Charity!? This pillar is too often forgotten or is given very little value.
We need to start looking back at our religion and see the simpler rules and put the rules that benefit our world before those that benifit ourselves. We need to build a better world for others so that we can truly be worthy of God’s world and promise. Maybe we need to put others on the highest shelf!