Islam is a worldwide and universally applicable religion. We can clearly see that there are subtle differences in the way Islam is practised accross the world but the essence remains the same. Islam is a simple religious code of conduct and shouldn’t be confused with culture. Although culture plays a vital role in the way Islam is practised, they are each separate of themselves.
Sometimes culture can overcrowd the religious injunctions of not only Islam but all religions. Culture seeks to accommodate and iron out every day issues through mutual aggreements; which can be seen to complicate religious injunctions. An example of cultural ideologies in Islam is that Islam tells women to cover up. Yet the fourth khalifa of Islam said,
“In a country where women walk around naked, wearing clothes is hijab.”
In the Western culture people notice a woman observing a full niqab yet seem to overlook a woman wearing decent and modest clothes, blending in to the environment.
In the Eastern culture, women should observe the full niqab as the cultural needs are different. The goal of religion is to develop and strengthen our bond with God, nothing else. Islam is simple; culture is complicated.