Alan Dean Artist
Introduction Culture is a word most of us believe we understand very well. We've heard this word used many times in our lives. We have used it many times in conversations about ourselves, our way of life, or when we are talking about other people's way of life. We also use the word culture whenever we are talking about people from different countries and other religions. However, I believe that most people today misuse and misunderstand this word, culture. Culture is the root word of cultivating, and when I say this, the meaning of culture should become a little clearer. The true definition of culture is growth and development. That which helps us to grow and develop as a person, family, or society is our culture based on this meaning. If this is true, then anything or any way of life that does not serve to bring about growth and development can't be considered as culture. What we mistake for culture in our conversations today, should be classified as people's traditions, customs, rituals, and even superstitions. Just because a community of people is practicing something in their daily lives does not mean that this is something that is serving their growth and development as people. To begin to understand the problems we are facing in our society today, we must start studying the difference between culture, traditions, customs, rituals, and superstitions versus religion. We must learn the difference between that which is helping us from that which is hurting us, and why. According to the story of God and man, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, humanity was sentenced to live on earth with enmity and hatred between each other for their disobedience. I believe anyone who is preaching hatred towards others and blaming others for their problems is a part of this same curse from God. No matter how justified they think that their reasons are when someone chooses to see the worse in others or blame others for their problems, it usually ends up bringing out the worse in them. For example, look at the crimes that terrorist has committed against innocent people because they think that others have done them wrong. We all can see that enmity and hatred are growing worse all around us and in the world today. Is there a solution to this problem, or are we doomed to destroy each other eventually? I believe the answer is clear. If this curse of hatred between one another began with us disobeying God, then we must return to obeying God to end it. Yes, we do already have religions in the world, but each faith today is claiming that their way is the only right path to God and that the others are wrong. It sounds like even our religions have enmity and hatred between them. So, how can they lead us out of this madness when they have falling victim to the same curse themselves? God tells us that He created humanity to worship Him and to see who is best in conduct. Also, that He made us different so that we will Get to know one another, not that we will despise one another. Would you rather be on this path that God created for us instead of living in confusion and hatred towards one another? If so, then you must accept that all good is from God and that all bad in from ourselves. However, to continue climbing the stairway to culture, you must leave one step behind as you take one step up. In this case, you must leave behind everyone who rejects that all good is from God and that all bad is from ourselves, even if it is a family member or a friend. Then, you must seek out those who believe as you do and join them in a race to see who can do the most good for each other and the world. This is the only way to lead our family, friends, and the world back to obeying God out of this curse of enmity and hatred. God said, let there arise from out of you a group of people that come together in what He says is right and forbid each other from doing what He says is wrong. God continued by saying that it will be these who will achieve peace, fulfillment, and happiness in this life. And that they will also be the ones that God will reward with the paradise that will last forever in the next life. A message to Muslims