Thursday, August 11, 2011

Being enslaved to the culture


11th day of Ramadhan 1432 (2011)

The moment we step foot into this world, we are exposed to a way of life that we ourselves did not choose to follow, the particular culture of the region. We grow in that environment and the right and wrong within in it becomes our norm. We follow the norms that our forefathers have taught us and strive to protect them.

Although it’s perfectly fine when we follow what is beneficial, there are times when the things within a culture become burdensome, destructive and contradict common sense.

One of the examples in my culture that immediately popped into my mind is how difficult it is to get married. I am sure that this is also the case in many cultures. The groom and bride need to make a cumbersome amount of preparations if they are to get wed. That range from preparing financial requirements to organizing the ever so large wedding reception.

While the truth is, to want to get married is a pure and noble thing, and should be facilitated for ease, especially in these times where adultery and fornication are prevalent. Why would people want to make difficult a noble effort? The answer is because of the culture. Because everyone else is doing it. Because of the shame of not going along with the culture, even though it’s burdensome, of little benefit, or even harmful.

Whatever culture we follow from those before us should always be looked with a critical mind and heart. Don’t be a slave towards it. Especially if it is not part of Divine guidance sent down by God. Because we will indeed be responsible for all of our actions, and we will be in loss if what we followed is actually useless or even harmful for us in the end.

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