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Rituals and Ethics

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    Rituals and Ethics

    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.

    #2
    11111111111111111111111
    Last edited by Bobby1; 2 weeks ago.

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    • MujtabaIK
      MujtabaIK commented
      Editing a comment
      Well I am not a Saudi citizen so I cannot speak for Saudi Arabia, and I will not do so.

      All I know is that it was the law of the land.

      But I have accepted the Hijab or the Islamic headscarf for women.

    #3
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.

    Regardless of whether I agree or disagree on the topic its been since forever I saw a valuable substance here in R&P section. Thank you for the post
    Attitude is more important than facts.
    "Life is 10% what happens to us..and 90% of how we react to it"

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    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the encouragement. Perhaps I will post some more ideas on topics like these.

    #4
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.
    As a matter of principle, agreed.

    But if the rituals of ibadah are sincerely performed they can have secondary effects. May take a while but yes they can. Just like you said practice makes a person better in sports. Not everyone becomes good in sports some take time.

    What I am saying that people have to be patient and not criticize those who might not be 'showing' morality yet performing the rituals.


    Also morality is in some ways unrelated to rituals or ibadah.
    Impress me..with your intelligence and wit. :-)

    Comment


    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. I agree. I think you added more detail to what I said in a simplified form.

    #5
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.
    The sports analogy is incorrect for the following reasons:

    1. In a sports context, if you perform in the match, your absence from practice can be overlooked. Islamically speaking, if you neglect namaz, roza, hajj and eating and drinking halal, then that in itself is morally deficient. There are different duties according to religion and neglecting what you are referring to as rituals means the duties in question remain unfulfilled, and the person doing so is still accountable for them, regardless of whether they are otherwise acting "morally" or not.
    2. If you lose the match, and you didn't attend practice, that will still count as something that you should have done but didn't.




    Tell your assassin to aim for her head...because she doesn't have a heart.

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    • Captain Obvious
      Captain Obvious commented
      Editing a comment
      If on the other hand, ritual obligations were neglected while people are particular about "ethical" obligations, then the ethical obligations would not make up for the lapse in the ritual obligations either. So both need to be observed.

    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      This is exactly the point that I think should be re-evaluated

    • Captain Obvious
      Captain Obvious commented
      Editing a comment
      On what basis should we re-evaluate this notion? If the ritual obligations are only a means to achieve good behaviour, honesty, ethical behaviour with others, then they would not have the emphasis in the Qur'an and Sunnah as they do. Both the ritual and moral acts have their own value and there is no need to re-evaluate this. The one who is lacking in ritual practices needs to make up his/her deficiency in that aspect and the one lacking in "ethical" behaviour needs to do the same for the aspect where he/she is falling short.

    #6
    Originally posted by Captain Obvious View Post

    The sports analogy is incorrect for the following reasons:

    1. In a sports context, if you perform in the match, your absence from practice can be overlooked. Islamically speaking, if you neglect namaz, roza, hajj and eating and drinking halal, then that in itself is morally deficient. There are different duties according to religion and neglecting what you are referring to as rituals means the duties in question remain unfulfilled, and the person doing so is still accountable for them, regardless of whether they are otherwise acting "morally" or not.
    2. If you lose the match, and you didn't attend practice, that will still count as something that you should have done but didn't.



    Yes.

    My last sentence above goes along with you.

    Good explanation.
    Impress me..with your intelligence and wit. :-)

    Comment


      #7
      Originally posted by Captain Obvious View Post

      The sports analogy is incorrect for the following reasons:

      1. In a sports context, if you perform in the match, your absence from practice can be overlooked. Islamically speaking, if you neglect namaz, roza, hajj and eating and drinking halal, then that in itself is morally deficient. There are different duties according to religion and neglecting what you are referring to as rituals means the duties in question remain unfulfilled, and the person doing so is still accountable for them, regardless of whether they are otherwise acting "morally" or not.
      2. If you lose the match, and you didn't attend practice, that will still count as something that you should have done but didn't.



      lol, how can you perform in match without practice?
      Turn the table...
      Sun to sahi jahan main hai tera fasana kya.

      Comment


        #8
        Originally posted by krash View Post
        You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
        This is good analogy for religious behavior.
        There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
        All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

        A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.
        very well explained. an atheist asked me how is offering prayer a moral act. I replied, these rituals make us obedient to God and make us follow act of compassion like zakat, help avoid backbiting and so on.
        Turn the table...
        Sun to sahi jahan main hai tera fasana kya.

        Comment


          #9
          Originally posted by ajazali View Post
          lol, how can you perform in match without practice?
          That is besides the point but there can be a number of practice/training sessions prior to a match. So if a player were to miss one or more such sessions and then still perform during the game, missing a training session here and there would not be an issue. However, if you were to miss one namaz at its appointed time, it cannot be substituted by performing other "moral" actions. The deliberate negligence of the ritual actions is immoral in itself.

          I'd say a better analogy to the ritual actions would be like paying your taxes. A government collects taxes presumably to provide services to the people, although you can often see that they spend the money irresponsibly and/or extravagantly. Now when the government spends the peoples' tax money without keeping the best interest of the people of the people in front of them, it still doesn't make it legal to withhold paying taxes.

          Likewise, while those who perform ritual practices should develop certain qualities within themselves, but if someone doesn't immediately have all the qualities sought from namaz, roza, hajj etc. it doesn't render the performance of the said rituals null and void.

          At the very least, even if one doesn't have the qualities they should after performing namaz, roza, hajj etc. they will be absolved of the obligations. These obligations will only be absolved when the respective rituals are performed. So if a person misses his namaz, even if he donates a million dollars in charity, the latter action will not absolve the failure to perform the ritual.
          Tell your assassin to aim for her head...because she doesn't have a heart.

          Comment


            #10
            Originally posted by Captain Obvious View Post

            That is besides the point but there can be a number of practice/training sessions prior to a match. So if a player were to miss one or more such sessions and then still perform during the game, missing a training session here and there would not be an issue. However, if you were to miss one namaz at its appointed time, it cannot be substituted by performing other "moral" actions. The deliberate negligence of the ritual actions is immoral in itself.

            I'd say a better analogy to the ritual actions would be like paying your taxes. A government collects taxes presumably to provide services to the people, although you can often see that they spend the money irresponsibly and/or extravagantly. Now when the government spends the peoples' tax money without keeping the best interest of the people of the people in front of them, it still doesn't make it legal to withhold paying taxes.

            Likewise, while those who perform ritual practices should develop certain qualities within themselves, but if someone doesn't immediately have all the qualities sought from namaz, roza, hajj etc. it doesn't render the performance of the said rituals null and void.

            At the very least, even if one doesn't have the qualities they should after performing namaz, roza, hajj etc. they will be absolved of the obligations. These obligations will only be absolved when the respective rituals are performed. So if a person misses his namaz, even if he donates a million dollars in charity, the latter action will not absolve the failure to perform the ritual.
            This is the very point of our disagreement and that is why I made this specific analogy.

            What I am saying is that if rituals do not lead to moral actions then there is no reward for them. Otherwise, we see situations where people act immorally on a regular basis and then try to make up for it by performing rituals extensively.
            Or, they don't take moral actions seriously because they think they have earned enough rewards from their rituals

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              #11
              Another analogy is preparing for an exam and taking an exam.

              rituals = preparing for an exam
              moral actions = taking an exam

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by krash View Post

                This is the very point of our disagreement and that is why I made this specific analogy.

                What I am saying is that if rituals do not lead to moral actions then there is no reward for them. Otherwise, we see situations where people act immorally on a regular basis and then try to make up for it by performing rituals extensively.
                Or, they don't take moral actions seriously because they think they have earned enough rewards from their rituals
                In both cases that you mentioned, the people behaving that way are wrong as per the religious view itself. As per Islamic principles, any wrongdoing against another person (Huqooq ul Ibad) must to be resolved with the wronged person. If the wrong is not redressed in this world, then in the next the people whom they wronged will be compensated with the reward of the good deeds of the person who wronged them.

                The other point where your analogy falls apart is that there are penalties for the neglect of the Ibadaat as well. So someone who doesn't pray, someone who doesn't fast etc. can still be penalized for failing to fulfill these duties, whose obligation is not waived due to him being otherwise good and honest. So both the sports and the exam analogy fall apart here. That's where I bring in the notion of being absolved of these duties. Due to some deficiency, the "rituals" may not be rewarded to their full extent, but if one at least observes the rituals notwithstanding what else they might do or not, they are absolved of the obligations and thus spared from the penalty for their neglect/omission. On the other hand, if someone just focuses on being otherwise moral, ethical, honest etc., this will not absolve them from the obligation of the rituals and they will still be accountable for any such lapses.
                Tell your assassin to aim for her head...because she doesn't have a heart.

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