Why do we need a Religion?
By Yahya Ibrahim
Lecture delivered at UWA, Western Australia on 14 September 2002
The question posed in today’s lecture is "Why do we need a religion?" I am not going to answer this particular question directly. In fact, I view the "religion" itself as being offensive. It is a misrepresentation of the word "deen", which means a complete, structured, divinely ordained way of life. Therefore the topic today is "Why are we in need of a correct way of life?" We have been placed on this earth for a special purpose, and one day we will be questioned regarding the fulfillment of that purpose, and whether we have fulfilled our obligations to God, society and to ourselves. Religion must address essential humanistic needs - physical needs, societal needs, emotional needs and psychological needs. My mission today is to show you what Islam puts forward in relation to these needs. It is not my purpose to "win you over to Islam." We hold firmly that your entering Islam will not benefit Allah in all His Glory in any way, and His Glory will not be diminished by your rejection of Islam. My mission is simply to get you acquainted with what one-fifth of the world’s population espouse as being the Ultimate Truth. It is to clarify your doubts, address your stereotypical assumptions and to call you to the realization that Allah calls you to worship Him Alone. Physical needs Turning first to physical needs - it is essential that a person’s physical needs be met, regardless of the individual’s place or situation. Examples of physical needs include food, the quenching of one’s physical thirst, the displacement of one’s sexual drive, the need for freedom, security and peace. Islam touches upon all of those essential aspects of our physical life – what we eat, how we eat, why we eat, with whom we share our food, etc. It is a complete way of life. The Prophet (sala Allahu ‘Alihi wa Salaam - Peace be upon him) gave the example of an individual...