The Quran about conformism
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
The example of those who closed themselves is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand. (2:171)
And We have certainly created for Hell many of the invisible creatures and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock! Rather, they are more astray! It is they who are the heedless! (7:179)
Conformism is the conscious concessions of a person to the opinion of the majority (recognized authority, religious tradition, etc.) in order to avoid conflict with it.
One of the deepest fears of a man is the fear of being rejected by: friends, relatives, society or jamaat. That’s why we are so influenced by public opinion.
Studies of psychologists show that the average person seeks to identify self with as large group of people as possible and does so, ignoring his character and adjusting himself to the standards of society (and no matter rational or not). It is from here that such an obsessive desire to follow the opinion or tastes of the majority by all means is achieved. Moreover, in those who deviate from the norm, the majority begins to see the source of the social threat, and therefore it begins to exert pressure on it – pressure in the form of ridicule, insults, social condemnation or even direct rejection of the “deflected” person.
Of course, in this case it is not about breaking some generally accepted norms of morality, set forth, for example, in the Ten Commandments or verses of the Quran. These are the norms of a higher level that determine the integrity of society and civilization itself. But in our ordinary, everyday life, the pressure of public opinion at least hinders the realization of our internal potential.
What is the cause of conformism?
From the point of view of the informational approach, a modern person cannot check all the information that comes to him, and therefore relies on the opinions of other people when it is shared by many. A person lends himself to a group pressure because he wants to have a more accurate image of reality (in his opinion – majority cannot be mistaken). On the other hand, a person lends himself to the group pressure because he wants to have some of the advantages given by membership in the group, wants to avoid conflicts, avoid sanctions if he deviates from the accepted norm, wants to support his further interaction with the group.
In general, following the opinion of the majority is a psychologically harmful phenomenon, a person follows the group opinion without having his own views, acting as a puppet in the hands of others, or a person realizes himself as a hypocritical opportunist capable of changing behaviour many times and externally expressed beliefs in accordance with the “where the wind blows” at the moment, in favor of the authorities of the majority.
In a scientific experiment conducted by the group of neurobiologists from Russia, the dependence of human behaviour on the opinion of the majority was investigated. With the help of a magnetic resonance scanner, scientists studied brain activity. As a result of a series of experiments, the researchers found that at the time when the subject is in conflict with the opinion of the majority, the brain produces an error signal. Moreover, if this signal is strong enough, then the subject changes his opinion towards the majority. The results of the experiments show that when you are different from the majority, for our nervous system this is a mistake. Consequently, we change our opinion quite automatically in the direction of the opinion of the majority.
That is, according to our nervous system, the difference from others is a mistake, it triggers certain protective processes, and at some point the mind recedes, and we automatically try to merge with the crowd, even if its behavior is irrational.
…and mankind was created weak. (4:28)
God warns us in the Quran that the opinion and position of most people is wrong, that the majority is like dumb cattle, does not hear and does not understand.
He said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful!” (7:16-17)
Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock. Rather, they are [even] more astray in [their] way. (25:44)
A revelation from the Gracious, the Merciful – a Prescription whose signs have been detailed, an Arabic Literature (Quran) for a people who know, as a giver of good tidings and a warner; but most of them turn away, so they do not hear. (41:1-4)
People fall into deftly placed snares of the disobedient, losing the guiding line.
…and God is full of bounty to the people, but most of the people do not show gratitude. (2:283)
And what will be the supposition of those who invent falsehood about God on the day of standing before Him? Indeed, God is full of bounty to the people, but most of them are not grateful.” (10:60)
And indeed, your Lord is full of bounty for the people, but most of them do not show gratitude.” (27:73)
It is God who made for you the night that you may rest therein and the day giving sight. Indeed, God is full of bounty to the people, but most of the people are not grateful. (40:61)
Lack of gratitude towards God leads to depreciation of the divine truths in the hearts of people. Without eternal values, a person cannot follow a straight path and, in the end, withdraws from it.
And judge between them by what God has revealed and do not follow their desires and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what God has revealed to you. And if they turn away – then know that God only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] trespasses. And indeed, many among the people are apostates! (5:49)
Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of God and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Prescription before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are apostates! (57:16)
And We have already sent Nuh (Noah) and Ibrahim (Abraham) and placed in their descendants messages and Prescription; and among them is he who is guided, but many of them are apostates!
Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy and monasticism, which they innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the contentment of God. But they did not observe it with due observance.
So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are apostates! (57:26-27)
Apostasy presupposes not following the Divine laws, which, in turn, is expressed in distrust to them. Naturally, if a person does not trust the Word of God, then he begins to give his own conjectures and assumptions.
And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of God. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying! (6:116)
Most of them follow not except assumption. Indeed, assumption has no benefit for the truth. Indeed, God is Knowing of what they do! (10:36)
Basing on their conclusions, most people do not pay proper attention to the signs of God. For them, the signs of God do not matter much, they simply neglect them.
So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless! (10:92)
God does not fail in His promise, but most of the people do not know. They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the hereafter, are unaware. (30:6-7)
Negligence, spiritual blindness and deafness become natural barriers to the cognition of Divine laws.
Or have they taken gods besides Him?
Say, “Produce your proof. This is the reminder for those with me and of those before me.” But most of them do not know the truth, so they are turning away. (21:24)
And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know. (34:28)
Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it], but most of the people do not know!” (34:36)
And when harm touches man, he calls upon Us; then when We bestow on him a favor from Us, he says, “I have only been given it because of [my] knowledge.” Rather, it is a temptation, but most of them do not know! (39:49)
The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of the people do not know! (40:57)
But, as it is said, ignorance of laws does not absolve from responsibility, only this time, it can be expressed in the future punishment.
Do you not see that to God prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom God humiliates – for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, God does what He wills. (22:18)
Truth is impartial. It calls everything by their names, puts them in the right place. All this causes rejection in most of the people, turning them into hatred.
Or did they not know their messenger, so they are toward him disacknowledging?
Or do they say, “In him is madness?”
Rather, he brought them the truth, but most of them, to the truth, are averse! (23:69-70)
Hatred overtakes the mind and turns off the logic. Without realizing this, people begin to deny the signs of God, His truth.
They recognize the favor of God; then they deny it. And most of them closed themselves. (16:83)
And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Literature (Quran) from every kind of example, but most of the people refused anything except closed nature. (17:89)
And We have certainly distributed it among them that they might be reminded, but most of the people refuse except closed nature! (25:50)
Interestingly, most people on earth consider themselves, to one degree or another, as believers in God. However, God Himself testified that the majority will be at a loss.
And We have certainly revealed to you signs [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the apostates! Every time they oblige, a party of them threw it away? Indeed, most of them do not believe. (2:99-100)
Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra.
These are the signs of the Prescription; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most of the people do not believe. (13:1)
Moreover, the belief of the majority is based on pantheism.
And most of them believe not in God except while they associate others with Him. (12:106)