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April 5, 2018 Conforming to Survive or to Go Astray

Assyrian Proverb: “The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut” 

This element of conformity to not be targeted is evolutionarily instilled in us 

Across the entire animal kingdom you see a similar pattern with fish and birds

The reason for this is that it makes it difficult for the animal to focus on anyone out of the group to target so the hunter gets confused and fails in their approach

Zebras blend in to confuse the lion

The thought is that if everyone is responsible then by theory no one is responsible because it is hard to assert blame when everyone is involved

While this works for animals in the wild to preserve their physical survival, the opposite is true for our spiritual survival 

A sure-fire way of not making it to heaven is thinking that if we stick with the majority and just believe what we were told by our parents or religious scholars will be sufficient

[74:49] Why are they so averse to this reminder? [74:50] Running like zebras. [74:51] Who are fleeing from the lion!

We are each responsible for what we believe and how we choose to live our life. On the Day of Judgment, we cannot say that we were only following the group. 

[6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess. 

The Majority of People Do Not Believe

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe. [12:104] You are not asking them for any money; you simply deliver this reminder for all the people. [12:105] So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly!

The Majority of Believers Destined for Hell

[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

“When you're the only sane person, you look like the only insane person.”

[19:73] When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Which of us is more prosperous? Which of us is in the majority?" 

Luckily for us God made the Quran easy to learn. You don’t need to be a scholar or even know Arabic to understand the Quran

[54:17] We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn? 

Those who are sincere will understand it 

[6:20] Those to whom we have given the scripture recognize this as they recognize their own children. The ones who lose their souls are those who do not believe.

Additionally, God holds us responsible each individually based on what information we know and the decisions we made in our own lives. And God made the Quran easy to learn.

Crucial Advice

[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

Following Parents Blindly

There are millions of beliefs in this world, ask yourself what is the probability that the belief you were born into was the right one? Maybe it was, but statistically this is pretty low.  

Maintaining the Status Quo: A Human Tragedy

[2:170] When they are told, "Follow what GOD has revealed herein," they say, "We follow only what we found our parents doing." What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided? [2:171] The example of such disbelievers is that of parrots who repeat what they hear of sounds and calls, without understanding. Deaf, dumb, and blind; they cannot understand.

We Are Born With Instinctive Knowledge About God*

[7:172] Recall that your Lord summoned all the descendants of Adam, and had them bear witness for themselves: "Am I not your Lord?" They all said, "Yes. We bear witness." Thus, you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, "We were not aware of this." [7:173] Nor can you say, "It was our parents who practiced idolatry, and we simply followed in their footsteps. Will You punish us because of what others have innovated?" [7:174] We thus explain the revelations, to enable the people to redeem themselves.*

Following the Parents Blindly: A Common Tragedy

[31:21] When they are told, "Follow these revelations of GOD," they say, "No, we follow only what we found our parents doing." What if the devil is leading them to the agony of Hell?

Do Not Follow Your Parents' Religion Blindly

[5:104] When they are told, "Come to what GOD has revealed, and to the messenger," they say, "What we found our parents doing is sufficient for us." What if their parents knew nothing, and were not guided?

We Are Each Responsible For Our Own Souls

[5:105] O you who believe, you should worry only about your own necks. If the others go astray, they cannot hurt you, as long as you are guided. To GOD is your ultimate destiny, all of you, then He will inform you of everything you had done. 

[2:134] Such is a community from the past. They are responsible for what they earned, and you are responsible for what you earned. You are not answerable for anything they have done. 

[6:121] Do not eat from that upon which the name of GOD has not been mentioned, for it is an abomination. The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.*

Religious Leaders 

Idea is that this person did all the research I’ll just follow them instead of figuring out myself

Religion is too important for it to be left to the religious scholars 

[14:21] When they all stand before GOD,* the followers will say to the leaders, "We used to follow you. Can you spare us even a little bit of GOD's retribution?" They will say, "Had GOD guided us, we would have guided you. Now it is too late, whether we grieve or resort to patience, there is no exit for us."

Upholding the Teachings of Religious Leaders Instead of God's Teachings

[9:31] They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords,* instead of GOD. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners. [9:32] They want to put out GOD's light with their mouths, but GOD insists upon perfecting His light, in spite of the disbelievers. 

We each choose a path when it comes to belief the thought that I won’t choose, but instead go with the flow is still a choice

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

Don’t follow the group blindly.

Example of Abraham, Muhammad, Lot, Saleh, Hud, Noah

Ego 

But don’t do the other extreme either and be one who follows only their own ego

The Ego as a god

[25:43] Have you seen the one whose god is his own ego? Will you be his advocate? [25:44] Do you think that most of them hear, or understand? They are just like animals; no, they are far worse. 

Common Form of Idolatry: The Ego As A god

[45:23] Have you noted the one whose god is his ego? Consequently, GOD sends him astray, despite his knowledge, seals his hearing and his mind, and places a veil on his eyes. Who then can guide him, after such a decision by GOD? Would you not take heed?

[47:30] If we will, we can expose them for you, so that you can recognize them just by looking at them. However, you can recognize them by the way they talk. GOD is fully aware of all your works. 

[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD's revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer.

People with ego lack sincerity

[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: "We make no distinction among any of His messengers." They say, "We hear, and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny."