A comparative study of religion and Deen, should help us understand the vital and fundamental characteristics of each and the differences between the two: “Religion & Deen (Islam)”
? Religion is merely some sort of subjective experience and is concerned only with the so-called private relationship between God and man. Deen is an objective reality and a system of collective life. Every follower of a Religion is satisfied that he has established a communion with the Almighty, and the objective of each individual is his own salvation. The aim of Deen on the other hand is the welfare and progress of all mankind, and the character and constitution of a society indicates whether or not it is founded upon the Divine Law.
? Religion does not afford us any objective. criterion by which we could determine whether or not our actions are producing the desired results. In a social order governed by Deen, the development of a collective and harmonious life correctly indicates whether or not the people are pursuing the right course.
? Religion is hostile to scientific investigation and is an adversary of reason, so that it could flourish unhampered with the aid of a blind faith. Deen helps in the development of human reason and knowledge, allows full freedom to accept or reject on the basis of reason and arguments, and encourages investigation and discovery of all the natural phenomena to illumine the path of human life and its advancement in the light of the Permanent Values.
? Religion follows the susceptibilities and prejudices of men and pampers them. Deen seeks to lead men to a path of life that is in harmony with the realities of life.
? In every age, therefore, Religion sets up new idols and mumbo-jumbos in order to keep the people’s attention away from the real problems of life. But Deen is rational and radical: it breaks all idols, old and new, and is never variable in its principles.
? Religion induces a perpetual sense of fear in the minds of men and seeks to frighten them into conformity; While Deen treats fear as a form of polytheism and seeks to make men courageous, daring and self-reliant.
? Religion prompts men to bow before every seat of authority and prestige, religious as well as temporal. Deen encourages man to walk about with his head erect, and attain self-confidence.
? Religion induces man to flee from struggle of life. But Deen calls upon him to face the realities of life squarely, whatever the hazards.
? Religion treats the world of matter with contempt and calls upon man to renounce it. It promises paradise only in the Hereafter as a reward for the renunciation of the material world. Deen, on the other hand, enjoins the conquest of matter and leads man to immeasurable heights of attainment. It exhorts him to seek well-being and happiness in this world as well as felicity in the life Hereafter.
? Religion encourages belief in fatalism, and this tends to dissuade man from active life and self-development. Deen gives man power to challenge fate, and provides energy for a life of activity and self-development.
? Religion seeks to comfort the weak, the helpless and the oppressed with the belief that the affairs of this world are governed by the Will of God and that its acceptance and resignation helps to endear them to God. This sort of teaching naturally tends to morbidity, and emboldens their religious leaders who profess to interpret the Will of God, so that they indulge in their misdeeds with perfect impunity and persuade the adherents to a complete and quiet submission. Deen, on the other hand, raises the banner of revolt against all forms of tyranny and exploitation. It calls upon the weak and the oppressed to follow the Divine Laws and thereby seek to establish a social order in which all tyrants and oppressors will be forced to accept the dictates of right and justice. In this social order, there is no place for dictators, capitalists or priests. They are all enemies of Deen.
? Religion enjoins religious meditation in the name of worship and thus induces self-deception. Deen exhorts men to assert themselves and struggle perpetually for the establishment of the Divine Social Order, and its betterment when attained. Worship in din really means obedience to the Laws of God.
? Religion frowns and sneers at all things of art and beauty. Deen defies those who forbid the enjoyment of the good and beautiful things of life which God has created for the enjoyment of man.
? Religion denounces everything new and declares all innovation as sin. Deen holds that the needs and demands of human life keep changing with the change in the conditions of life; change and innovation are, therefore, demanded by life itself. Only the Divine Laws are immutable.
It should now be easy for us to see the fundamental difference between Deen and Religion. Islam means saying “Yes” to life; while the response of religion is “No”!
Ahmad Parvez is an author of this article. Article Source: http://www.parvez-video.com