The Religion Of The Ignorant
When We bless man, he turns away and draws aside. When evil touches him, he despairs. (Surat al-Isra', 83)
This lack of a firm identity engrained in the character of unbelievers emerges in the Religion of the Ignorant as an attempt to find identity. That is because the Ignorantist is all about attaining status in society. Since members of the Religion of the Ignorant possess no genuine, unchanging and stable identity in the way that Muslims do, they set out various worldly identities for themselves.
The most significant of these is professions. Adherents of Ignorantism find an identity in terms of the professions they belong to, and develop a character appropriate to them. Muslims have professions too, of course, but their place of work or status do not determine the characters of people with sincere faith in Allah. Muslims do not enter the state of mind that their profession brings with it, and never make any concessions on their attitudes.
In the Religion of the Ignorant, people are only as valuable as their professions. People enjoy as much esteem as the money they earn. That is why, within minutes of meeting someone, the conversation turns to what work they or their fathers do. Establishing that is of great importance in terms of establishing the other party's worth. The criterion by whether a person is to be taken seriously is their career, income or rank. When people from different professional groups meet together, everyone generally seeks to imply that he has the most highly regarded profession, and that the others' are less important.
In Ignorantism, every profession has its own particular psychology. If it requires higher education, then its psychology will consist of the individual's having been to university, and indoctrination starts with teachers and senior students.
Doctors, for instance, are indoctrinated from the moment they enter their medical studies with the idea that everyone's health depends on them, and that theirs is the most sacred profession. They carry that mindset throughout their lives. Pharmacists develop a similar psychology. Those who graduate from law school regard themselves as fundamental pillars of justice, as the most intelligent and clever people around, with the best powers of judgment, the best able to determine the true facts. Engineers think that everything they encounter in daily life is the product of their profession, and, based on that thesis, that their own role is a most exceptional one.
The self-employed and those engaging in commerce see themselves as the backbone of social and economic life and imagine that nobody can take their place. At every opportunity, they raise the idea that were it not for them, people would be in a dire state, even unable to surviveâ€”and that they themselves are very important.
These people construct their identities and characters on such psychological bases as arrogance, pride, stubbornness and self-admiration brought about by the feeling that their work is irreplaceable, sacred, exceptional and unique. Members of the Religion of the Ignorant are therefore very sensitive about their own professions. They regard every word spoken about their profession as if it were aimed at them personally, and defend their professions as if it were a matter of honor.
Professions that require no education, that are based more on physical skills or experience, on knowledge passed down from relatives or physical ability, have their own different psychologies. Workplaces such as studios, shops, boutiques and offices all have their own very different psychologies and ethical conceptions, determined by Ignorantism. The external manifestation of the pride, arrogance and egoism of those working such jobs takes place more in the form of inferiority complexes, caprices, aggression, bad temper, vulgarity and a know-it-all attitude.
The work ethic of the Religion of the Ignorant reveals itself even while people are looking for employment. The most important, even the sole criterion when seeking work is the salary that job will bring in. The point of the workâ€”its purpose, which belief, idea or individual will be served, and the harm it may doâ€”are never made part of the equation.