The Religion Of The Ignorant
11- THE CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING
FRIENDS IN IGNORANTISM
In Islam, the sole criterion for choosing friends is their moral values. In the Religion of the Ignorant, the yardstick is very different.
Every culture has a number of rules peculiar to itself. For example, someone from a pseudo-intellectual milieu will be careful that the friends he selects are compatible. He will first look at external appearances and prefer to establish friendship with someone who dresses scruffily, wears a neckerchief around his neck, thick boots on his feet, pays little attention to cleanliness, and has a goatee and odd accessories, rather than someone clean and tidy who dresses classically in well-ironed clothes. That is because in Ignorantism, external appearance generally reflects a particular culture. This view of life cares little for moral values or other people, and thinks that nobody has any responsibilities toward anybody else.
There are also circles that consider only the financial circumstances of the person before them. In the Religion of the Ignorant, the price of the clothes a person wears must first be analyzed to establish whether he is worth talking to, taking ideas from and establishing friendships with. The make of a person's jacket, shoes, bag, perfume, wristwatch, shirt and even socks are all of the greatest importance. Next, it's important to establish whether they have a car, if it's parked anywhere visible, and if so, the particular model.
These are preconditions for taking the first step. In the second step, information needs to be obtained about the individual's family, such as their father's profession, where they studied, their mother's acquaintances, the hairdresser they frequent, where they vacation, which district they live inâ€”all are necessary in deciding whether to establish a permanent friendship. If the person before them passes all these tests, then that individual's moral values, character, beliefs or world view, no matter what they may be, are of no importance: He or she enters the category of potential friend.
Some people possess all these qualities, but are totally without any form of culture. Not well-rounded, coarse, they have the most repellent moral values. They mock those around them and protect their own interests above all else. They have no idea how to mend relations with people, apologize, or even admit their mistakes. In situations that conflict with their own interests, they find it easy to lie and take no interest in others' problems. They put up with no difficulties for the sake of others' comfort, health or happiness, and are ignorant of self-sacrifice. Yet you see a huge number of admirers around such people. In fact the only reason for the interest shown in them, even though everyone sees their character and moral defects, are the warped criteria prevailing in Ignorantism.
Therefore, in the society of the ignorant, you seldom see groups of friends from different classes with very different material means. The rich establish friendships with other wealthy people, the moderately well-off with other moderately well-off, the cultured with the cultured, and the poor with others like themselves.
12- OPPORTUNISM AND SELF-INTEREST
One of the most distinguishing features of anyone who takes the Qur'an as his guide is exceptional altruism. Such a person knows that all his possessions actually belong to Allah and have been given to him in trust to seek His approval, for which reason they have to be consumed on our Lord's behalf. That expenditureâ€”in other words, the giving of almsâ€”is one of the main religious observances in Islam.