There may be dozens of religions in the world but the aim of every religion is to provide ways for the betterment of humanity. After thousands of years of experience, some rules and rituals were laid down in every religion so that the evils can be kept away and virtues can be adopted in society. Apparently these rituals or procedures may appear different for different religions but the aim of each one of them is the same. Here, the spirit behind some of the religious rituals like Fasting, marriage between persons of opposite sex and banning of illegal sexual relation, prohibition of intoxicants, providing help for the needy and poor etc. is more or less based on the law of nature. They may appear as part of some specific religion but if observed minutely, they will prove themselves more as social reforms than part of any religion because they remove the evils not only from the self but from the society as a whole for passing a smooth and clean life. For they have a universal effect for the betterment of society.
Fasting is followed in some way or the other practically in all major religions of the world not only for self-control, self-discipline and self-improvement but also for sacrifice, and sympathy and to help those who are less fortunate and do not possess even basic necessities for comfortable passage of life. People not only abstain from eating and drinking but also refrain from obscene language, lies and bad behaviour apart from wrong use of their other organs like the eyes, ears, tongue etc. If anyone does not refrain from lies and ill conduct, God has no need for him to abstain from his food and drink. It also provides the fortunate, wealthy members of society to experience the pains and sufferings which millions of people go through every day without food, water and other basic requirements of life. By depriving his soul of the basic necessities of life for some hours, one is able to teach the soul self-restraint and self-control from such evils as anger, revenge, lying, stealing, sexual immorality and so on. Fasting bridges the gap between the rich and the poor, sustained and impoverished, fulfilled and needy.
The religion does not consider sex to be something dirty or shameful but it sees union of opposite sexes as something natural and essential for both of them and also for continued propagation of human species in a methodical and dignified way. Therefore, it has made marriage compulsory between the persons of opposite sex so that it can fulfil the aforesaid requirements without creating any evil or curse in the society. Wherever this institution of marriage, as specified by religion, is not followed and extra-marital relations are established, the result is disastrous. If the statistics regarding AIDS is studied minutely, we come to know that the number one killer for persons between the ages of 25 and 44 is now AIDS. On the other hand, the number of cases of AIDS at the places where extra-marital relations are not permitted is almost negligible.
The extra-marital relations not only destroy the family life but also produce illegitimate children which no one accepts and thus they themselves face a lot of problem for their survival apart from becoming a burden over the society. Therefore, for a neat and clean society every religion is not only strict in prohibiting illicit and homosexual relation but in some religions it is taken as a very serious crime and the guilty can be given even the capital punishment.
The greatest gift God has bestowed on human beings and which distinguishes humans from animals is the mind and the ability to think so that people can analyse and decide about right or wrong, good or bad and logical or illogical. If the greatest killer of life is AIDS then the greatest killer of the mind and moral is the intoxicant, especially alcohol and drugs. They have brought a hell of problems in the society due to which innumerable young lives are lost and minds are destroyed. Their addiction brings a lot of ills and illegal acts in the society and since one wrong doing gives way to another, it opens an unending chain of crimes which engulfs and destroys the whole society. Therefore the religion prohibits use of intoxicants especially drugs. However, in some of the religions these are strictly banned and their use or trade in any form is a major offence and may lead to capital punishment.
Religion also ensures preservation and proper use of wealth so that there may not be extravagant expenditure by some while others starve. This not only shows kindness to the poor and helps to alleviate the problems resulting from poverty in the society but reduces the gap between the rich and the poor. Likewise, religion encourages the giving of voluntary charity to the needy. At least in one religion, it has been made compulsory and even the percentage of wealth to be given to the poor and needy ones who are really deserving is fixed. Thus religion ensures uplift of the poor from the wealth of the rich to maintain a balance in society.
It is a universal fact that, since the time immemorial, the job of earning and protection of the family has always been done by the male member of the family. And to achieve this, they are required to go to difficult work sites, battlefields and other such far off and remote places where risks to their lives are many times more than those to the females, who are mostly confined to their homes doing their household work and looking after the other members of the family. Even today, when women are having equal rights with their male counterparts, the protection and earnings for the family is primarily the responsibility of the male members and therefore, due to the sheer nature of their work, they are more exposed to the risks of life than females. In such conditions, the ratio of 50:50 provided by nature is misbalanced, leaving a lot of hapless ladies without the protection and support of males. In these circumstances, only the under mentioned two options can be offered:
i. Leave them alone unprotected on the mercy of others, to struggle even for the basic necessities of life. In this case there was every likelihood of their exploitation as we have been coming across horrifying stories about the widows and girls. It was also possible that, having no other option for their survival, they might have been forced or themselves fallen in some illegal and immoral trade.
Or ii. Give them in the protection of another competent male who can smoothly navigate the rest of their life with peace and honour.
The latter option is naturally more dignified. Therefore, in Islam just to save ladies from social evils, the males were allowed to have more than one wife with strict understanding that he will treat them equally in every sphere of life.
Again, in Islam, the girls were given the right of inheritance in the assets of their parents so that even after their marriage, they can have the financial and moral support at their back and do not remain only on the mercy of their husbands or in-laws because in such cases there was every likelihood of their exploitation.
Most of the religions preach that all human beings are equal in front of God and the differences created in this world like rich and poor, blacks and whites, upper and lower castes are wrong. This brings all human beings on the same platform to avoid any kind of racism or untouchability and discards the evils from the society where one human being hates the other.
After thousands of years of practical experience and weighing pros and cons, religions have laid down the guidelines not only for easy and comfortable life for the human beings but also ensured their existence on earth for all times to come. Any irresponsible act like making homosexuality legal will threaten and destroy the existence of human beings who are the most intelligent creature on earth and due to its sheer superior mind, finds the ways for the survival of others to maintain eco-balance. Those who are pleading for recognition of homosexuality as legal, may please answer only one question, where they would have been, had their parents adopted homosexuality as pleaded by them? Naturally, they would have not been in this world to plead for homosexuality as they are doing it today.