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Why is Islam so structured?

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Anyone who studies and learns about Islam will find that Islam is a very structured religion. It has clear guidelines and instructions on virtually all of its religious practices.

One example are the 5 daily prayers Muslims perform, the entire act of praying has a clear set of instructions on how exactly it is to be done, how Muslims are supposed to purify themselves, what Muslims are supposed to say and do during the prayer time and so forth.

For some this may seem strange, they may wonder why such rigidness? When we do look at the matter though, we find that it makes a lot of sense for Islam to have a very rigid structure on its acts of worship.

As humans we ourselves have very rigid structures on how we live our lives, sometimes even for the most mundane of things. Most people have a structure to how they wake up, what they do, and afterwards etc. Now if we can place a structure on such things, then why not have a structure in place for something as important as religion, which at the end of the day has your salvation in hand.

The fact that Islam has clear instructions on how to do things poses several benefits. Firstly it allows the believer to know what to do, and how to do it properly, so there is no confusion. If someone wants to pray, Islam tells him how to, if someone wants to fast, Islam tells him how to, and on it goes so there is no confusion.

Having a clear structure also allows you to separate the orthodox and correct way, from that of the introduced innovations that really have nothing to do with the religion. So if somebody starts coming doing something contrary to what is actually commanded, then it allows the Muslims to easily be able to tell the right from wrong, and so you have a very good criteria in place to differentiate between what is actually Islamic, and what’s not.

If there were no clear instructions, then anybody could come do what they want, and call it ‘Islamic’ and being part of the religion, but since there are clear instructions from A-Z this isn’t possible. Obviously it doesn’t stop people from trying, but at least the Muslims are able to see through it.

More on the last point, if there were no clear instructions on how to pray and perform religious acts, then people would indeed just make and invent their own rules, everybody would have something different, and everybody would make something according to their own desires. The religion then becomes something like a plaything, there’s no instruction on how to pray, or how to perform religious act B, so religious leader C comes up with his own method, and religious leader D with his own, and everybody else is left confused and asking how exactly they’re supposed to be praying.

We have to also ask, how much sense would it make for God to introduce a religion he wants you to follow, for your salvation, but leaves no proper instructions on how to properly follow that religion. That would make no sense, and people would even complain about it, that they’ve been left in the dark, and why hasn’t God explained the matter in detail to them.

It’s an act of mercy from God that he has given such clear and rigid instructions, because it removes the doubts, removes the confusion, and makes everything clear and straightforward. Everybody knows what they have to do for certain acts of worship, nothing is left in the air, God has laid it all down for you, and this is what we would expect an all-knowing and all-merciful and compassionate God.

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