Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | July 24, 2016, p. 12
Religion is not merely a set of rituals. Just being born in a family or being associated with some group does not make one a religious person. These are all outward or external things. These do not constitute the real essence of religion. The actual reality of religion is internal realization, which is superior to all outward things.
Religion produces right thinking in a man. It enables man to see things, which common eyes cannot see. It enables man to learn lessons, from the past; and see the future in the present. It makes man a superman. In short, religion is the source of human progress. There are two aspects to our world. One pertains to the visible world and the other to the invisible world. The visible world can be likened to an iceberg. Only a very tiny part of it is observable, while the major part of it remains hidden from the eyes, being submerged within the water. Religion enables a person to see the major part of this iceberg, and he is able to cross the surface of the sea to the deeper level—that is, to the bed of the ocean.
Repeatedly, we find such occasions in life, when a person feels he is helpless. When he feels that all the ends of life have slipped away from his hands. At that point in time, religion appears to him as his saviour. It saves his sinking ship. At that juncture, religion becomes a source of courage and conviction for him.
Religion is the source of all positive ethics. Religion gives one the power to forgive the offender. Religion raises him above greed. The feeling of envy is uprooted. He treats people with tolerance. He honours people without any discrimination. He saves himself from committing injustice, always sticking to the path of justice. He treats, even his enemies with justice and fairness. In society, he becomes a giver rather than just a taker.