In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Driven with the flow

It is less challenging when we follow the mainstream concepts. Followers of a majority is seemingly a trouble-free path. Standing out as a minority brings up a lot of criticism as it never appeals to the majority. Because of our weakness, it is so difficult not to be driven with the flow. This has been a tragic human loss ; the tendency to follow the masses and the fear of supporting what goes against the crowd, no matter how righteous and logical it sounds.

This tragedy has a serious impact on our spirituality and redemption. Quran warns against peer and social pressure and sets for many educational standards to assist in making choices. God has specifically commanded to use the brains and to verify all presented information (17:36). God has warned that each soul is held accountable for its own choices and that no soul will bear responsibility for another (6:164). He has informed us that we return to Him as individuals irrespective of our affiliation with a majority or a minority on this earth (19:95, 6:94, 18:48). Yet, we regress, intimidated and pressured to choose the easy path and go with the flow. The fear of loneliness, rejection and criticism when we express our opposition to the majority pushes us further into that regression.

A clear example of this fear and pear pressure is the tendency to blindly adopt our families' beliefs or paths even if they are against the guidance of Quran. It is one example of how we choose the trouble-free road and go with what would please them, while losing God's approval. God has warned us enough, but rarely do we take heed:

[9:24] Proclaim: "If your parents, your children, your siblings, your spouses, your family, the money you have earned, a business you worry about, and the homes you cherish are more beloved to you than GOD and His messenger, and the striving in His cause, then just wait until GOD brings His judgment." GOD does not guide the wicked people.

[43:22] The fact is that: they said, "We found our parents carrying on certain practices, and we are following in their footsteps."
[43:23] Invariably, when we sent a warner to any community, the leaders of that community would say, "We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps."
[43:24] (The messenger) would say, "What if I brought to you better guidance than what you inherited from your parents?" They would say, "We are disbelievers in the message you brought."

Because of our weakness, we seek social strength and popularity with the majority on the expense of compromising the truth in Quran. This is another example of peer and social pressure. God reminds us enough in Quran that we shouldn't fall into the illusion of a "powerful, prosperous, or popular majority". Satan will eventually claim the majority. Why then are we impressed by the power of the doomed? God's support is exclusive for those who strive to stay on His path. This is the only valid support:

[6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.

[34:20] Satan found them readily fulfilling his expectations. They followed him, except a few believers.

[5:100] Proclaim: "The bad and the good are not the same, even if the abundance of the bad may impress you. You shall reverence GOD, (even if you are in the minority) O you who possess intelligence, that you may succeed."

[3:160] If GOD supports you, none can defeat you. And if He abandons you, who else can support you? In GOD the believers shall trust.

[19:73] When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Which of us is more prosperous? Which of us is in the majority?"
[19:74] Many a generation have we annihilated before them; they were more powerful, and more prosperous.

[2:249] .....Those who were conscious of meeting GOD said, "Many a small army defeated a large army by GOD's leave. GOD is with those who steadfastly persevere."

[11:62] They said, "O Saaleh, you used to be popular among us before this. Are you enjoining us from worshiping what our parents are worshiping? We are full of doubt concerning everything you have told us."
[11:63] He said, "O my people, what if I have solid proof from my Lord, and mercy from Him? Who would support me against GOD, if I disobeyed Him? You can only augment my loss.

[30:60] Therefore, you shall steadfastly persevere - for GOD's promise is the truth - and do not be intimidated by those who have not attained certainty.

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.

[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

Through this bad company and with his allies (Satan), we trade in simple truthful stands with social and personal gains. We become hypocritically involved with everybody, side with falsehood for the sake of popularity or to please some friends or to gain some power and control. Satan knows our weakness, but so does God. He has sufficiently warned us, yet, we can easily be hypocrites on a daily basis without perceiving.

[29:25] He said, "You worship beside GOD powerless idols due to peer pressure, just to preserve some friendship among you in this worldly life. But then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown one another, and curse one another. Your destiny is Hell, wherein you cannot help one another."

[7:169] Subsequent to them, He substituted new generations who inherited the scripture. But they opted for the worldly life instead, saying, "We will be forgiven." But then they continued to opt for the materials of this world. Did they not make a covenant to uphold the scripture, and not to say about GOD except the truth? Did they not study the scripture? Certainly, the abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who maintain righteousness. Do you not understand?
[7:170] Those who uphold the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), we never fail to recompense the pious.

[2:174] Those who conceal GOD's revelations in the scripture, in exchange for a cheap material gain, eat but fire into their bellies. GOD will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. They have incurred a painful retribution.

[4:142] The hypocrites think that they are deceiving GOD, but He is the One who leads them on. When they get up for the Contact Prayer (Salat), they get up lazily. That is because they only show off in front of the people, and rarely do they think of GOD.
[4:143] They waver in between, neither belonging to this group, nor that group. Whomever GOD sends astray, you will never find a way to guide him.

God has cited for us all kinds of examples and He warns us against ourselves. Yet most people tend to go with the flow, ignore all the divine warnings, bypass the difficult path, and choose an imaginary peace, joy and contentment with the crowd of "friends," " family," "community," etc... even if they are compromising the truth:

[90:1] I solemnly swear by this town.
[90:2] The town where you live.
[90:3] The begetting and the begotten.
[90:4] We created the human being to work hard (to redeem himself).
[90:5] Does he think that no one will ever call him to account?
[90:6] He boasts, "I spent so much money!"
[90:7] Does he think that no one sees him?
[90:8] Did we not give him two eyes?
[90:9] A tongue and two lips?
[90:10] Did we not show him the two paths?
[90:11] He should choose the difficult path.
[90:12] Which one is the difficult path?
[90:13] The freeing of slaves.
[90:14] Feeding, during the time of hardship.
[90:15] Orphans who are related.
[90:16] Or the poor who is in need.
[90:17] And being one of those who believe, and exhorting one another to be steadfast, and exhorting one another to be kind.
[90:18] These have deserved happiness.

[73:8] You shall commemorate the name of your Lord, to come ever closer and closer to Him.
[73:9] Lord of the east and the west; there is no other god beside Him. You should choose Him as your advocate.
[73:10] And remain steadfast in the face of their utterances, and disregard them in a nice manner.
[73:11] And let Me deal with the rejectors, who have been generously blessed; just give them a little time.

[76:24] You shall steadfastly carry out your Lord's commandments, and do not obey any sinful disbeliever among them.

[13:19] Is one who recognizes that your Lord's revelations to you are the truth equal to one who is blind? Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.
[13:20] They are the ones who fulfill their pledge to GOD, and do not violate the covenant.
[13:21] They join what GOD has commanded to be joined, reverence their Lord, and fear the dreadful reckoning.
[13:22] They steadfastly persevere in seeking their Lord, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), spend from our provisions to them secretly and publicly, and counter evil with good. These have deserved the best abode.
[13:23] They enter the gardens of Eden, together with the righteous among their parents, their spouses, and their children. The angels will enter in to them from every door.
[13:24] "Peace be upon you, because you steadfastly persevered. What a joyous destiny."

[7:126] .... "Our Lord, grant us steadfastness, and let us die as submitters."

[2:250] ...."Our Lord, grant us steadfastness, strengthen our foothold, and support us against the disbelieving people."

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.