The Religion Of The Ignorant
All this stems from the fact that the affected character is built on an unbelieving system. They never employ their consciences, and are never clean, altruistic and considerate as commanded by Allah, unless forced to be.
Their Views of Religion
In the affected personality, religion is perceived very differently from the manner described in the Qur'an. For many with such a character, religious belief stems not from devotion to Allah but from a desire for social acceptance. For them, being religious needs to be practiced as a general rule of society. Such people therefore use devotion as a means of display. They sometimes remember Allah, and say that they believe in Him and accept the Qur'an, but fail to adopt the relevant moral values and lifestyle. Allah has revealed the existence of such people in the Qur'an. In verses, Allah says:
Have you seen him who denies the religion? He is the one who harshly rebuffs the orphan and does not urge the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who perform prayer, and are forgetful of their prayer, those who show off and deny help to others. (Surat al-Ma'un, 1-7)
These characters have a distorted understanding of religion, peculiar to itself and far removed from the Qur'an. Even if they say they are religious, they are actually very flexible on the subject of what is permitted and prohibited in the religion. They don't tremble in fear of Allah as they should. They therefore abide by those religious provisions that seem easy to them, and ignore those that seem difficult or incompatible with their interests. For example, they perform one daily prayer, but if invited to a party or feel sleepy, or need to go shopping at the other times of day, they come up with a new provision and may say, "Once is enough, there is no need to perform them all." Or they may reach such an erroneous conclusion as, "It'is my intention that counts, not my actions."
In this character, religion enters the equation only on specific days, alongside specific people or during specific events. For example, during funerals or the Mawlid, people with affected personalities bring up religion, because such occasions are opportunities to show how devout they are. Praying for the dead or raising the subject of their lives in the Hereafter are important to demonstrate the importance they attach to religion. This is of course praiseworthy behavior if performed with sincere intentions, but the difference is that in speaking of the dead and the Hereafter or praying for them, people with affected characters forget about Allah, regard death and the Hereafter as being far removed, and seek only to put on a show for those around them.
In fact, most of those who live by the affected philosophy put on a thin headscarf on occasions of this kind, wear predominantly black elegant and expensive clothes and head off to the funeral. Where they see the relatives of the deceased, they assume a sorrowful expression and express their condolences with sorrowful words. Reference is made to the deceased's "time" having come and to wishing healthy lives for those who remain. As this takes place, however, there is no state of mind that feels helplessness before Allah, that knows that death is close at hand to this person as well, and that fears having to render account. On the contrary, the funeral is perceived as a social meeting, albeit with a different form and rules. Competitiveness in looking elegant and gossiping continue here, too. Who has attended? Who is wearing what? Who is wearing what brand of headscarf and what make of glasses?
The mind of the affected character is the exact opposite of that brought about by religion. Affected people may appear to remember Allah frequently, especially at times of accidents, sickness or events they regard as important to themselves. Yet they never think that Allah pervades and enfolds all places, has dominion over them at all moments, of the responsibilities religion imposes on them, or of Allah's punishment, justice or might. They may never think of acquiring any understanding on these subjects. They generally do not know what is written in the Qur'an or the moral values it commands, and if they do know, they certainly do not practice them.
It is actually very easy to spot this aspect of the affected personality. If asked to make a sacrifice for Allah's approval, then these mentalities will probably rise to the surface. Such people are unwilling to undertake even the slightest difficulty for the sake of Allah's approval. They cannot countenance renouncing their lifestyles, luxuries or surroundings. For example, if they think that there will be a reaction from others as they perform a religious obligation, they choose other people's approval over Allah's. They never make any concession for the sake of religion with regard to their wealth, entertainments, travel, ways of dressing or habits.
The fact is, religion must influence a person's whole life and moral values. Those who believe in Allah live their entire lives according to His religion and compatibly with His approval, and practice the moral values of the Qur'an. They never evaluate the religion of Allah according to whether it is compatible with their own interests. When that evaluation occurs, then that is not true religion. The view of religion in the affected character, therefore, is far distant from the spirit and logic of Islam. In verses, Allah states that religion must be made unique to Him: