The commands of Islam and how a believer should behave are thoroughly defined in the Qur’an. The phrase “religion of fathers” means a made-up religion based on past habits, traditions or hearsay, acting by many rules that have nothing to do with the commands of the Qur’an. It is this “religion of fathers” which is the source of superstitious beliefs and practices that are not mentioned anywhere in the Qur’an and in the hadiths.
People who live by the “superstitious religion of fathers” are found in great numbers within ignorant societies. People who live in these societies follow various prayers and rituals without questioning why they do it, or examining the way they have been inherited from their forefathers, and simply assume that they are performing satisfactory and acceptable religious acts. Quite clearly, their purpose is not to gain the good pleasure of Allah, but instead to preserve the corrupt inheritance they have received from previous generations. The example of the people of the Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) given in the Qur’an relates to this subject:
As seen in the above verses, the Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) departed from the false religion of his people, turned only to Allah and communicated to his people that Allah is the only God and the only religion to follow is His religion.
Many messengers have been accused by their people of rejecting the religion of their fathers and of aiming to destroy the religion of that time, and have been threatened by its followers. The following Qur’anic verses relate to this theme: