The Difference between the Hereditary Muslim and the Refined Muslim
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
There are billions of Muslims in the world today, yet few know anything about their religion other than that fact their parents are Muslims, or that they live in a Muslim country. The onslaught of Muslims globally is easily carried out by our enemies from all angles, from innovations, murder, oppression and the most serious and deadliest is the ideological warfare. Sheikh Abdul Hameed ibn Badees, an Algerian scholar wrote an article describing the problems and the differences between hereditary Muslims and refined ones. In this article we will discuss some of his points.
A person is born from two Muslim parents is considered a Muslim. Then when he grows up from a child to an adult, and then to senior citizen, he will be counted as Muslim. The words of being a Muslim flow from his heart to his tongue and are carried out as acts of worship on his body. To die is easier for him than to apostate. If you counted him as being other than a Muslim, you’d notice his outward rage towards you. However, this Muslim hasn’t truly learned anything about his religion, nor does he know anything about the foundations and principles of his creed or Islamic character, manners, and actions. Moreover, he hasn’t spent anytime in learning the meanings of the Quran, or the Hadiths. This is the Hereditary Muslim.
The Hereditary Muslim inherits Islam from his family. He takes in everything they gave him, even the things that weren’t from proper creed, harmful actions and even bad customs. For that reason, everything he has inherited to him is measured as being Islamic. Accordingly, someone who doesn’t agree with everything he’s inherited isn’t a Muslim in his eyes.
Islam that is inherited is a blind-following traditional type of Islam. It is passed down from the parents, grand-parents and those close of kin. Hereditary Islam is what most of the common people practice today from the Muslim world. This is why you find so many innovations in belief and actions. They wholeheartedly adhere to what they inherited and are unwilling to change.
The Hereditary Islam has weakened the Muslim Ummah and in particularly the Arabs. The Arabs have weak personalities and are weak in Arabic Language. Nonetheless, if you measure their character and family unit, you’d find that they are superior in those areas. For example, maintaining chastity and family lineage. The Muslims are victorious in this area when compared to other nations.
At any rate, hereditary Islam can’t uplift a nation. The only way the Muslim ummah can rise up again is by waking up to reality by avoiding blind-following.
The true essence of Islam is in the refined Muslim. He understands the principles of his religion correctly. As a result, he has achieved the beauty of sound Islamic creed and character. The refined Muslim is the one who gained correct manners, understand Islamic laws and actions to the best of his ability. This understanding is derived from the Quran and the Sunnah. This will result in him building everything off that foundation. Hence, he will able to distinguish between what is Islam with evidences and reject what isn’t based on false proofs.
The refined Muslim’s life is one of consciousness, belief and actions. The love he has for Islam is one planted in his mind and heart. Allah mentioned some words about the refined Muslim. He said: “Say (to them O Muhammad): I exhort you on one thing only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and reflect.” [34:46]
We are Muslims. Islam calls us to be Muslims, who are true Muslims in the essence and refined! So, how can we reach this target???
There is only one way to do it; Learning! We can’t be refined Muslims until we really know what Islam is. Every individual and community have a role to play in teaching the males and females, the men and the women to the best of their ability. Everything taught is good regardless, how small and simple it is. Allah said: And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is they any that will remember? [54:22]
Written by Sheikh Abdul Hameed ibn Badess in February 1938
Arrange and translated by
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle