Arab societies practices... Cultural or religious

Culture is defined as people’s complete way of life. It consists of all the ideas, objects and ways of doing things created by a certain group of people. Culture includes beliefs, customs, language and traditions (World Book Encyclopedia).

Many people portray the issues and events about Islam that get treated as “news” in the mainstream media as “problems in Islam,” the religion itself , while they are actually problems of culture, traditions, politics, superstitions, and tribal or ethnic behaviors of the majority of some Muslims in different regions . I think most of the readers would agree with me that it would be unfair to judge a religion (whether Islam, Christianity, or any other religion) by the practices it does not condone.

There are certain integrated points. For example, people’s religion influences their culture, and their culture influences how they practice their religion but in Islam, there is a clear distinction between both.
In order to explain the differences between Islam and culture, I think it will be useful if you could imagine a Catholic family in Minnesota, a Catholic family in South America, a Catholic family in Italy, and a Catholic family in Africa.

Although these four families have the same religion, they have different cultures. They eat different types of food and listen to different types of music. Their style of clothing is different and, of course, their languages are different as well. More than this, they have certain cultural and traditional practices that are not derived from Catholicism. I think the same would be true for Protestant families or Jewish families in different parts of the world.

In the same way, Muslims from different parts of the world have different cultures even though they share the same religion. For many Muslims, as with people of other faiths, their cultures play a strong role in their lives. So, we should distinguish between the Islamic practices and the cultural ones practiced by the majority of Muslim countries as "Not Everything Done by Muslims is necessarily Islamic".

Many of the countries that are commonly called “Islamic countries” – which in reality are merely “Muslim-majority countries” – practice an amalgam of Islamic practices and pre-Islamic/non-Islamic practices. More than 10 centuries ago, when Islam became the predominant religion of the part of the world that today is Muslim-majority, many countries already had very distinct and patriarchal cultures, and many of them remain patriarchal till now. After embracing the religion of Islam, many of these cultures abandoned some of the pre-Islamic cultures and traditions, but they stick to some of them.

Arab societies have been trapped in darkness for long centuries as they were intellectually and politically controlled by local and external tyrant powers. The Expatriated lived for centuries on the same captive and narrow -minded local entities. Therefore, the whole of their cultural and social conditions of living were the result of the specificity of cultural disintegration, external oppression, political despotism, degradation of social ties, and the disruption of social interaction. . It is a culture of defeat and humiliation which led to the tyranny of a new type of behavior in the recent religious practices which condemn the surface or the crust that led to the emergence of the symptoms of fragile religion like osteoporosis, that means the lack of great vulnerability in the network of collagen for the deposition of calcium salts , and it appears usually in the old as a natural result of the weakness which affects their bodies , and as also their inability to create and manufacture collagen fibers that lead to further weakness , vulnerability and the erosion of these bones .. !! .

It is what actually happens in the religious practices that have a Lack of their own network of collagen, which links each other and eventually leads to the correct values for these practices. The symptoms can be attributed to the fragility of contemporary religious faith for several reasons: adherence to the form at the expense of substance, the breach of simplification and reduction, and waste. So, you'll find many of these Muslims live today just as a picture of the "social piety" that justifies why some of them do not leave their day in prayer, but at the same time does not conform to the Islam limits in the work or may act with other injustice.

So then, what is meant by the Islamic practices? The Islamic practices and beliefs are those that have roots in the Qur’an (which Muslims believe to be the last and unchanged revelation from God) and the Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Any belief or practice, even if common among some Muslim – majority country, which does not go back to the Qur’an or the Sunnah, is not an Islamic belief or practice.

Just as it is unfair to judge Christianity for un-Christian and inappropriate actions of some of the people who call themselves Christians, it is unfair to judge Islam by non-Islamic and inappropriate actions of those who call themselves Muslims. Just as every action of every Christian is not necessarily based on Christianity, every action of every Muslim is not necessarily based on Islam.

By Somaia Mohamed Badry


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