Association of humans with religion remains one of the longest and spans the entire recorded and non-recorded history.
Social scientists and historians both agree that centers of worship have always had shaped human life in significant ways. As such, religion throughout the long spectrum of human history, has been a predominant factor in determining the human behavior.
Dr. Durant, after a comparatively detailed discussion of atheism of certain people writes that despite all that he has mentioned, these are exceptional cases, and the old notion that "religion" is a phenomenon that generally extends to all human beings, is true.
The question of religion in the view of a philosopher is one of the basic questions of history and psychology. He adds that, from time immemorial, religion has always gone hand in hand with human history. The idea of piety can never be removed from human heart. (History of Civilization vol .1, pp. 88-89). R1
Alfred North Whitehead, one of the great Western philosopher in recent time, writes: "It is the peculiarity of religion that humanity is always shifting its attitude towards it. ...
Your character is developed according to your faith. This is the primary religious truth from which no one can escape. Religion is force of belief cleansing the inward parts. For this reason the primary religious virtue is sincerity, a penetrating sincerity." R2
In the history of mankind, we learn of people who were famous in their society for always telling the truth and acting honestly. Then a time reached when they claimed that they were messengers of God, and they persistently invited people to have faith in One God and to act in a certain way.
As a result of their efforts and the persistent hardships faced by these special people in different areas of the world, many groups had faith in them. Thus the efforts of Moses caused the inception of Jewish religion, the birth of Jesus became the beginning of the Christian calendar and the migration of the Prophet Muhammad started the Muslim calendar.
Now, we see that how these messengers attracted human beings to religion and to follow particular rules, caused them to fear punishment for their bad deeds and made them sure that they would be tried in the Great Court of Justice before the Righteous and Wise Judge, the Almighty God.
They trembled at the imagination of hardships and dangers of the Resurrection and the severity of the punishment in the Day of Judgment, and made humans fearful of these things.
Do the warnings of such noble, truth telling and honest group of people make us realize the possibility of harm and danger? Is it right that we should ignore the words and deeds of such truthful, honest and righteous people of this world, when we see that they spared no efforts and sacrifices, to deliver a true message of the Almighty about how we should spend our lives here and what is coming after death?
Clearly, the words of the messengers, if they do not convince someone, at least provoke us to think: that perhaps what they say is true. Then what in fact is our duty, if it is correct that these Messengers of God tell the truth? What answer will then we give in the Court of Justice of God?
Here reason reckons the necessity of preventing this possible harm, and urges us to at least search and find a true way of life, a true religion.
What is more, these messengers invite us to a healthy and civilized life, and they also say that after death an extensive new world and everlasting blessings await one who has performed his duty, and give happy news that in that place is another existence overflowing with peace of mind and certainty of spirit, where there is no disease, distress, agitation, anguish or fear.
Does reason allow us to ignore this important message?
Must we not give weight to the fears and threats of such messengers, who say that sins and transgression have their penalty and good deeds and noble tasks have their everlasting rewards? Should we not follow a true religion and reflect on the call of true, honest and noble people? R3
The following sources are used to prepare the above article. Some
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1. Group of Scholars, Rationality of Islam (1978), under the auspices of Ayatullah Sayyid Abu'l Qasim al-Khu'I, Publisher: Islamic Seminary Publications, Pakistan
2. Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making, A Series of Four Lectures delivered during February 1926, at the King's Chapel, Boston, USA.
3. The Roots of Religion (1982), Dar Rah-e Haq Publisher