Religion and Praying, what do these concepts stand for indeed?
God has stated in Quran that he has not created the humans and elves unless to pray him:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِیَعْبُدُونِ (ذاریاتُ ۵۶)
[and I didn't create the elves and humans but to pray]
We already know from definition that God is never affected by anything of his creatures, then why should his creature pray him if he does not need their praying at all? Why has he created us for solely praying him as living a life has many other aspects as well? What is religion that praying God is a direct consequence of it? Let bring some examples of praying and the orders given in the context of a religion before to give an answer to these questions. God has ordered us, e.g., to respect our parents, to assist those who need our hands, to help those who have not food or dress, to ask God directly for a solution to our problems, to pray him -without necessarily asking anything special- by murmuring and repeating some specific words taught to us by his prophets. It seems in a first sight that all of these orders, but only maybe the last one, are directly related to our own lives and God has only ordered them for us not to forget what can bring us global justice and peace. But what about the last one? Well, it seems that this last order urges us to stand in front of God, speaking with him directly through some specific predefined words, so that we remind that we have a God, that we are living a universe that is not created accidentally and will not end in nothingness, that we are not free to do what we want although we are given ability to do what we want, that goods and bads are not the same, that we have to travel a directed way and we should avoid deviations from it, and etc., that is, it seems to be a reminder and we should speak to God directly to recall he exists and always know what we are doing and how we are living. Well, now we can define religion as the set of all guidelines that our creator is given to us as a catalog for using his creations that we are, how to live and how to behave: what to eat and what not to eat, what to dress and what not to dress, what to say and what not to say, what to think and what not to think, what to do and what not to do, and etc. . Indeed, religion has two parts, one is about ideology and the other is about rights and wrongs and behavior. As much as I have understood in Arabic “دین” is a general world for religion which consists both the ideologies and the whole set of rights and wrongs, and “مذهب” is to denote specifically the set of rights and wrongs in our behavior and style of life (در واقع «مذهب» از ریشه ی «ذهب» میباشد با معادل مصدری «رفتن» در فارسی و در نتیجه معادل «مذهب» در فارسی میشود «رفتار» که دیگر معنایش معلوم است، و دین شامل مذهب هم میشود), e.g. we are Muslims and Islam is our religion, but as Muslims we are also Shia as we are to behave like is stated in Shia's manifest. Anyway, in a complete religion there is nothing that occurs during a life sample and religion has no statement about it. Praying God is then the usage of arbitrament and choosing to behave like God has ordered (and the creator knows best the goods and bads for his creations), in any event of our lives. With such definition for religion and praying, now one can understand better why God has stated in Quran that he has not created us but only to pray him, as now we know by praying here it is not meant merely speaking with God and every time that we undergo his orders we are praying him, even if it is about eating, dressing, speaking with others, spending money, and etc. . Therefore, God has created us to use our arbitrament and choose what is best for us according to our creation. This material world -from our birth to our death- is then just a place for us to try, to try to choose the best for us when our carnality is preventing us from choosing the best by illusively showing the world to us differently with all its goods and bads upside down. This is then a battlefield in the inside of any individual of us, both our wisdom and our carnality are trying to use our arbitrament and which of them that we choose to win would form our personality. Choosing between which of these two part of us to win is almost a continuous task through our lives, at each event of our lives we may choose either our wisdom or our carnality to win, and what we choose in an event would become our default choice for the next event (those who constantly choose their carnality to win, or insist on this choice of themselves, can less probably return mentally to a position to choose their wisdom to win the battle later on, and those who constantly choose their wisdom to win can choose the wisdom again more easily), and this battle would have only one final result at the death of the person who has come to the end of his “trying-to-choose-the-best” opportunity. The personality that we die with at the end of our this-life is the way we have chosen for ourselves to exist for ever after, although some minor (ignorable in many cases) modifications are still possible to happen in our personalities.
Well, this was (maybe) the last post of me on a ground discussion about the intrinsic nature of the universe that we live in and the God-based religions (in their original form not rewritten and re interpreted by the bad humans) that give us the best guidelines for living our lives, from my viewpoint of course, but I guess it goes well with the Shia Muslim's understandings as well. Now on, if God would let me so, I will discuss about some other thinking areas that so far I have thought about. Once again it should be emphasized that I do not state my thoughts for them to be stated, but to be read by others, to be criticized and discussed by others.