Mufdil’s Weblog

Religion as The Need of Man
Desember 16, 2009, 10:53 am
Filed under: Karya Ilmiah


Presented by: Mufdil Tuhri

(arranged to be Presented in Speaking Skill Lecture)

According to history, religion grew along with the development of human needs. One of those needs is the human interest in meeting the spiritual hunger that is spiritual, that is something that is considered able to give motivation and encouragement in the spirit of human life. Therefore, the spiritual element that can provide the spirit sought and pursued until they found a substance that is considered holy, has power, high and mighty mighty power. In accordance with the level of development of their thinking, people began to discover what he regarded as God. It is understandable that the nature of religion is an instinctive human nature to grow and develop from within himself and eventually got fertilization of the surrounding natural environment. [1]
Human beings also known as created by God with the potential to do good and evil. In the language of the Qur’an is known as Nafs. Mentioned that, the potential possessed by human beings Positive stronger than the potential negatives, but the attraction is stronger than evil attraction goodness. Humans are required to keep himself from trend to trend, then the negative behavior at the same time people need a true religion to human needs.[2]

In addition, human life is always faced challenges, both coming from outside and that comes from within it, at the same time the negative effects tend to be turning people away from God. then, no other human needs at the time of religious observance that will fortify the temptations and challenges of this way of life.
Keyword: Faith/Religion, Human, needs

1. Religion in the various definitions

Agama is one of the terms in the Indonesian language derived from Sanskrit. The term is derived from two words namely a and gam. A defined here, is not, and Gam interpreted Gaan, go, gehen, walk-street. so do not go, still place, inherited from generation to generation. Religion does have such properties. So that the term religion can be summed up as Traditional rules, teachings, and collection laws. In short, what ever hereditary and determined by the customs.[3]

In Indonesian society other than the word religion, also known as Din said in Arabic, and Religion in European languages. Din said in the language of al-Qur’an, often equated with the word Agama. The word is composed of three letters of hija’iyah dal, ya, and nun. However the way you read it, meaning always describe the relationship between the two parties, one of higher social status than others. Like Dain which means the debt, or din which means response and compliance, and the relationship between humans in a low place with Allah the Most High.[4] In the Semitic languages means the law or the law.

The word religion comes from the Latin by one opinions, so Harun Nasution said that the origin of the word religion is relegre which means collecting and reading. Such understanding is also the history of the religious content that contains a collection of ways to serve the God who gathered in the holy book to be read. But according to another opinion, the word comes from the word religere meaning binding,  religious teachings are bound to God. [5]

The experts define religion in terms of variety name, it John Locke (1632-1704 M), which states that “religion is special, personal, soul and the source is impossible for others than me, giving me instructions, if my own reluctance to accept instructions It. “Indeed, some experts have tried to describe it. “Religion is the knowledge of God and his efforts to emulate,” said Seneque (2-66 M). “Religion is a service of humanity,” said Auguste Comte (1798-1857 AD). “Religion is a set of divine instructions delivered through the prophets / messengers to be guidelines for human life and bring happiness adherents of the world and the hereafter,” writes Mahmud Syaltut (1960 AD). “Religion is our duty to make all the commandments of God are sacred and must be implemented,” so according to Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 AD).[6]

From various kinds of the above understanding, Quraish Shihab is concluded that religion is the perceived relationship between the human spirit and one power of the Most Powerful, with the nature of his very beautiful and perfect, and it encourages people to serve and draw closer to – Him. Devotion is done either out of fear or the hope of getting the love of his special, or it could be because the impulse of admiration and love. If so, to be called “religion”, then at least there are three things that must be fulfilled.[7]

First: Feel the soul of the presence of Almighty power, create and organize the universe. His presence was to be sustained, not only when someone was in the holy place, but each time, either when people realize, and when he was asleep or sleep; when he lived in this world, and after his death.

Second: The Birth of encouragement to myself to make contact with these forces, a relationship reflected in obedience implementing what is believed to command or his will, and away from his ban

Third: Believing that the Spirit that is fair, so that certainly would give a reply and a perfect reward at the appointed time of his. In other words, this belief is a reflection of beliefs about the day of reckoning, a day later.

2. Human Needs of Religion

a. Religion As Fitrah

In the Islamic view, diversity is fithrah (something inherent in human beings and carried since birth) It is understood from the word of God in surah Al-Rum (30): 30.

So set thy purpose (O Muhammad) for Religion as a man by nature upright- the nature (framed) of Allah, in Which He hath created man. There is no altering (the laws of) Allah’s Creation. That is the right religion, but must men know not”.[8]

Referring to the nature mentioned above, it can be concluded that the origin of humans since it happened, bringing potential straight religion, and understood by the scholars as tawhid.
In another verse (in surah al-A’raf (7): 172) Allah said:

“And (Remember) when thy lord brought forth from Children of Adam, From their reins, their seed, and made them testify of them selves, (saying): am I not your lord? They said: yea, verily. We testify. (that was) lest ye should say at the Day of Resurrection: Lo! Of this we were unaware”[9]

This means that humans can not break away from religion. This is consistent also in the Prophet Muhammad’s Hadith which states that every child born has a nature (the potential of religion), then the second person who made the child his parents are Jewish, Zoroastrian Christianity atu. God created this, because religion is a necessity of life. Man is able to postpone it for so long – may be up to his death. But in the end, before the spirit left the body, he will feel the need.
Evidence that human beings have the potential of this religion can be seen through the historical and anthropological evidence. Primitive human beings to whom the information had never come to know god, it turns out they believe in god even if limited imagination. Furthermore, these beliefs known as Dynamism[10], Animism[11], Polytheism[12], and more information see Harun Nasution in Islam Observed from various aspects, this prove that all humans have the potential godless.
Furthermore, Murthada Motahhari mentioned that there are at least 5 proposed hypothesis about the growth of human religion. Religion is a product of fear, Religion is a product of ignorance, of religion as the motivation of human attachment and yearning for justice and order, and Marxism[13].
The conclusion that a background of human beings need in religion is that in humans there is the potential for religion. The potential of this religion requires habituation, direction, floating, and so on in a way to introduce religion to him. In such circumstances, recognize the existence of Islamic prophets and messengers sent to mankind to inform you that the god they’re looking for is God, the God who created and must be worshiped. Thus the name of God for God is not a fantasy for men.

b. Human Weakness and Deficiency.

Another factor behind the human need for religion is in addition to having the perfect man also has shortcomings. Although humans are considered as being the greatest and highest of all creatures in nature, but they have weaknesses and shortcomings such as limited capacity. Furthermore it is said that people become weak because in him there desires that tend to take to crime, then there is another evil that is always trying to misguide people from the truth and goodness. Humans can only fight these enemies with weapons only religion.[14]
God created man and said “that man has created it with certain limits and in a position of weakness. In Surah Al-Qomar (54): 49.
”And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius”[15]
Islamic Theology in the literature we find the view of the rationalists Mu’tazila, because a lot of sense in opinion strengthen the argument revelation. However, they agree that people with a reason to have a weakness. Intellect is to know the good and the bad but not all the good and the bad can be known by reason. In this context, the Mu’tazila require the revelation of God in order to reduce in order to have common deficiencies can be equipped with information that comes from revelation (religion). Thus, indirectly Mu’tazila view that human beings need revelation.

To overcome her weaknesses and out of these failures there is no other way except through revelation and religious guidance.

c. Human Challenges

Other factors that cause people just need a religion is because man is because man is in life always faced challenges both from within and from outside. Challenges from within can be a boost from the lust and the whisper of satan while the challenge from the outside can be engineered and the efforts made by people who deliberately want to be turning people away from God. They are willing to pay, energy, and thoughts in various forms dimanipestasikan cultures containing mission in which humans away from God.
Unbelievers were deliberately not cost them a bit to use to get people to follow his desire, various forms of cultural, entertainment, drugs and so on are made deliberately. For that effort to overcome it and fortify the human is to pursue them to perform religious obedience. Temptations and challenges of life today so that increased efforts to secure community that is important.

3. Conclusion

Begrson (1859-1941) says that we will find a human society without science, art and philosophy, but there is never without religion. Religion in this case believed to be the nature and basic human needs that continue to grow in a variety of forms[16]. From the beginning, Islam also believes that religious consciousness has been there within the individual human being.
This is the indication that mentions that Religion is essentially a human need.

[1] Khotimah, Makna Agama dan Munculnya Agama Baru, Jurnal, PDF edition, copied from internet on Saturday, december 12nd‑,2009

[2] M. Quraish Shihab, Wawasan Al-Qur’an, (Bandung: Mizan, 1996), cet III, h. 286.

[3] Mudjahid Abdul Manaf, Sejarah Agama-Agama, (Jakarta:PT.RajaGrafindoPersada,1996).Hal.1-2

[4] Quraish Shihab, Apa Yang Salah Dalam Keberagamaan Kita?, Artikel Ilmiah diterbitkan oleh Pusat Studi Al-Qur’an (PSQ).

[5] Harun Nasution, Islam Ditinjau dari berbagai aspeknya Jilid 1, (Jakarta:Penerbit Universitas Indonesia, 1985), h. 2

[6] Quraish Shihab, Apa Yang Salah Dalam Keberagamaan Kita?, Artikel Ilmiah diterbitkan oleh Pusat Studi Al-Qur’an (PSQ).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Qur’an, (wp:Omar Brother Publications,wy). p. 292

[9] Ibid.,p. 134

[10] Belief in magic is on certain objects and the impact on human life

[11] Belief that teaches that all good things animate and inanimate has a spirit

[12] Trust in many gods, can also be understood with the belief in the gods

[13] The Political and economic theory of KarlMark (1818-1883), Favaouringstate control of Production and a society without a class structure. (See: Oxsford; advanced learner’s dictionary (New York: Oxsford University Press, 1995) p. 719

[14] Abuddin Nata, Metodologi Studi Islam, (Jakarta:PT RajaGrafindoPersada,2004), h. 24.

[15] Op. Cit. p. 378

[16] Bustanudin Agus, Agama dalam Kehidupan Manusia;Pengantar Antropologi Agama. (Jakarta:PT.RajaGrafindoPersada, 2006) hal. 3-4


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