Common good will not appear in a society where asking questions based on critical wisdom is not prevalent, according to senior cleric Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaqeq Damad. Following are excerpts from his remarks about ignorant religiosity.
The most important function of civil institutions is infusing awareness and promoting questioning in society. Thinking, contemplating and removing ignorance from society must be a constant effort. On this path, we should talk and hold dialogue about how the society can be led to awareness and questioning.
Gaining knowledge is a must, Today, it is a duty and necessity to raise awareness so that people know their rights and responsibilities. If we do that and familiarize the society with the concept and examples of their rights and duties, we have opened a useful path for all.
If we respect people’s intellectual growth, we should make efforts to help them learn about civil, personal and citizenship rights and try to promote the concept of right for citizens. Our problem is understanding rights. A society that does not know what rights it has will not experience change and reform.
Today we are duty-bound to promote dialogue with people and bring to the public sphere the rights and responsibilities. Enlightening people about rights and social responsibilities and efforts by the elites to enhance public awareness and thinking is necessary.
One of the beautiful institutions in Islam is Tawbah (repentance). It is the beautiful face of Islam. In my view, one of the effective and fruitful ways for society’s reform is admitting to mistakes. The Quranic statement about turning sins into virtues with Tawbah maybe evidence of how repentance can reform destructions. One can criticize some approaches while maintaining respect.
Ignorance plays a role in abandoning all ethical principles. One of the problems the society is facing today are ignorant people who want to overtake God and His Prophet (in religiosity). One way to strengthen the institution of religion is to introduce a simple and practicable religion to the society. We should do something to make the religion popular.