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The danger of socialising the religion Continuing on exploring the topic of spirituality, Abbas Di Palma argues that sentimentalism and subjectivity can only work if it is driven by Love of God


eligion is a spiritual attitude and a way of life adorned by voluntary surrender, faith and piety. Social life also is part of human life and therefore religion endorses it as an important aspect of human nature. It would be incorrect to think that religion exclusively promotes unworldly issues and detachment from worldly affairs. This has been contrary to the view of all Abrahamic faiths while being much closer to the position of gnostic movements in the early Christian era or to some unorthodox Sufis. However, in some cases the opposite extreme prevailed with little or no concern over spirituality, focusing on the corruption of wealthy religious or political establishments vis-à-vis a


islam today

March 2018

socially-committed class ready to fight for justice and its affirmation in society. If this is the case, it follows that prophets and saints would be no more than mere revolutionaries or social reformers. Such situations are at times particularly visible in certain modern religious gatherings and celebrations where the spiritual call can barely be felt, where a celestial profound experience has been reduced to a very subjective sentimentalism leaving no space for the human will to push the intellect, with the help of divine grace, towards objective and universal truths. Sentimentalism often destroys reason and makes the person more similar to an animal rather than an intellectual or a moral being. Sentimentalism also

easily ends in abstract ecumenism as the focus would be to subjectively ‘feel’ something having a spiritual flavour rather than realise an objective truth. The difference is when sentiments are driven by God’s love expressed along the path of faith. In such cases, we cannot talk of sentimentalism but of religious inclination or even divine zeal. The love for the Prophet and the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt falls also into this category. Nowadays man is intrinsically changed not by a natural process of education and cultural advancement but due to mass-mediatic agendas, music and multifaceted fashions devoid of real significance. So the virtues established by faith and divine love have been

Islam today issue 57 march 2018  
Islam today issue 57 march 2018