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The Problem With Religion

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The problem with religion as we know and experience it today is that it seeks to make absolute what is relative and contingent, while the problem with many Muslims--fundamentalists, traditionalists, and modernists--is that they seek to make Islam a religion. As I have stated before, Islam is not a religion, it is true freedom from religion. And if the "Islam" you are practicing is not freeing you from fear, greed, dogma, mullahs, superstition, tyranny, and your personal demons then you may not have yet found the Islam that is humanity's exit door out of religion, even the religion of atheist secular humanism. We live in a world where more and more people are seeking a relationship with God, with Ultimate Reality, that is beyond religion, and only those who have found that "desert plain" as Rumi calls it, will be able to help them fulfill this most noble quest. For my Beloved Friends and Teachers Who Insist On Calling Islam A Religion: Would you say that an ant living the fullness of its ant-hood is practicing a "religion"? Would you say that an elephant truly living as an elephant is practicing a "religion"? Or that a rose bush bursting with red rose blossoms is practicing a "religion"? Or that the Sun radiating life giving light and warmth is practicing a "religion"? God teaches in the Qur'an 30:30 that Islam or "loving surrender to Ultimate Truth" is the innate, natural, and primordial form of humankind, so Qur'anic Wisdom teaches that Islam is the most ancient Divine Path to enable people to live in the fullness of their humanity, as spiritual beings in this physical realm. God calls Islam a "Deen", which is closer in meaning to the Sanskrit word "Dharma" than to the English world religion which is a word of disputed and uncertain etymological origins according to many scholars of the English language. Equating "Deen" with religion is like insisting that a river is equal to a SHORELESS and BOTTOMLESS ocean, they both consist of water with marine life and the former may lead you to the latter but there most of the similarities end. If you are happy with calling Islam a religion then please be my guest, that is your choice, there are billions of people who agree with you, and I am happy that you are happy. But do not become an intellectual terrorist and find fault with those of us who choose an understanding of Islam that some teach is more aligned with the teachings of the Qur'an, Authentic Sunnah, and our greatest Muslim metaphysical masters, an understanding that is certainly not for everyone but one that definitely resonates with the hearts and intellects of a growing segment of the world who know both the importance of being rooted in religion while ultimately transcending it like "a tree firmly rooted with branches in the celestial realm". With love and respect, Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = "“Beyond Islam and unbelief there is a desert plain. For us, there is a passion in the midst of that expanse. The knower who reaches there will prostrate, there is neither Islam nor unbelief, nor any 'where' in that place.” - Rumi"
2 Enakshi Ganguly = "Read the Qur'an on Deily!"
3 Enakshi Ganguly = "Dharma, in its root meaning, is structure. It can also mean the essence of something, the natural state of it. In other contexts, it can also mean duty. In this particular writing, I want to say that dharma is the structure, the support, that one needs to attain that desert plain, where not even a place exists."
4 Enakshi Ganguly = "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad"