The Religion Of The Ignorant
In short, believers definitely do not regard themselves as perfect, flawless human beings destined for Paradise. On the contrary, they try to do all they can to remedy their deficiencies, correct their mistakes and mature in faith. For that reason, as is revealed in many verses of the Qur'an, they pay the greatest attention to warnings issued to them. Since members of the Religion of the Ignorant are very fond of themselves and regard themselves as flawless, they never listen to any advice. When called to the book of Allah, they turn away and gloss over the subject by maintaining that they are in any case exemplary Muslims. They close all conversations by saying, "Alhamdulillah, I am a Muslim, too." The situation of such people is revealed thus in one verse:
Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided. (Surat al-Kahf, 57)
They even make statements intended to exonerate themselves, along the lines of "I come from a very religious family," or "My grandfather was an esteemed scholar on the subject of religion whose opinions were sought, a hadji, an imam." Or else they bring up a good deed they once performed, such as a large amount of money they gave to a poor person, and hint at how saintly (!) they are. Such people are referred to in these terms in the Qur'an:
Do you not see those who claim to be purified? No, Allah purifies whoever He wills. They will not be wronged by so much as the smallest speck. Look how they invent lies against Allah. That suffices as an outright felony. (Surat an-Nisa', 49-50)
Adherents of Ignorantism produce various religious observances of their own, according to their own lights, and imagine that by performing these they will go to Paradise. One can often hear the statement, "Work is a religious observance" from the lips of such people. Starting from that logic, they then say that their own professions are religious observances. According to this logic, since they serve the religion by means of their jobs, there is no need to abide by the provisions of the Qur'an. The person saying this may be a civil servant, a barber, a doctor, a tradesman or a tailor. They all imagine that they help people through their jobs, and that this is the greatest form of religious observance. Yet this is a great error.
These people have chosen the job that will bring them the most money, the best lifestyle and the most fame, but then they claim that they give the religion their service through that job. Religious observance means serving Allah. Helping others is a religious observance only if done for the sake of Allah's approval. A person cannot fail to abide by the moral values of the Qur'an and then say, "I helped such-and-such a person. That is a religious observance." If they wish to perform a religious observanceâ€”in other words to serve Allahâ€”then they must try to fulfill all the provisions He set.
Some verses in Surat at-Tawba explain this in the finest manner. These verses refer to the custom of the polytheists in Mecca of giving water to those people coming to repair the Kaaba or coming to it on pilgrimage. It is revealed that this action by the polytheists is not regarded as a religious observance, despite being a positive deed. That is because, as already stated, religious observance means serving Allah. Yet the polytheists performed that action not for the approval of Allah, but for show, and as a requirement of tradition and custom:
It is not for the idolaters to maintain the mosques of Allah, bearing witness against themselves of their disbelief. They are the ones whose actions will come to nothing. They will be in the Fire timelessly, for ever. (Surat at-Tawba, 17)
Do you make the giving of water to the pilgrims and looking after the Sacred Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] the same as believing in Allah and the Last Day and striving in the way of Allah? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people. (Surat at-Tawba, 19)
There is no end to the varieties of distorted concepts of Islam produced by the Religion of the Ignorant. Some members of this religion are convinced of the correctness of the path they follow and express their confidence with such statements as "If Allah did not love me, would He have given me this house, family, assets and property?" In seeking to justify themselves with such thoughts, they are unaware that they may fall within the provisions of the following verse: