God of the 21st Century
By Mohamedarif M Suleman (Nairobi, Kenya)
While meaning no offence to the Hindu Community, which of course Dr Zakir Naik emphatically catapulted is a non starter for the name of any religion in the first place but rather the social grouping of people living along and across the Indus Region, present day followers of the…well Vedas? Er..Geeta, Ok their Holy scripture, are suffering from excessive polarisation of their faith. Whereas their faith offers no tangible or contemporary answers, the resultant outward push by members of the younger generation is predictable casting the rest of the upper stratus into a religion of rituals and devout acts.
Islam, on the other hand, hijacked by deities emanating from the Indian Sub Continent, and blunderously preached as a religion of glory and mythical might by zaakireen from India and Pakistan for centuries, have dealt a severe blow to the present day status of Muslims across the world.
On the other end of the pendulum swinging this awesome planet, spurred by infinite and rapid scientific and technological growth, believers of the cross or goers of the synagogue, sought hard to replace science as a controlled tool for seeking and producing answers to questions hitherto thought to be in the knowledge of God’s domain alone.
Here is an interesting excerpt from In the 21st Century, does mankind still need God?”: “Man is not born to exhaust all his intellectual and material resources on the building of the pyramids or the Great Wall of China, as they did in the ancient world, or on devising the most destructive weapons of war or spending colossal sums on the exploration of distant planets while millions die of malnutrition, but in finding a solution to the problems of its own existence.”
The parents and grandparents of the founders of science were, almost without exception, devoutly religious individuals. But the atmosphere of intolerance which became the hallmark of the church prompted many men and women of science to use their particular genius as a tool for flattening the whole structure, rather than urging a timely revision; many declared God a fantasy, and that science could now explain virtually every event witnessed in the formerly marvellous show of Nature.
But several generations on, scientists plumbing the depths of molecular or biological matter, or the most distant ends of the universe, find that rather than becoming more simple and easy to understand, the universe is becoming more complex and harder to grasp.
The inexplicable behaviour of subatomic particles, the mathematical support for hidden dimensions, and the staggering complexity of biological devices such as the human brain, dwarfing even the combined activity of all the activity of all the computers on earth, point to a perfection and subtlety which seems to elude man’s intellectual comprehension. But is there another sense, another tool of the brain which is designed to at least partially interpret the true nature of the universe, and to which all the religious founders pointed with conviction? “
A lead story in covering India recently aired on CNN showed young Muslims lashing at the establishment, reminiscent of the rebellion that blighted the Church, centuries ago and declaring that they were fit to do their own Ijtihad. Women spokespersons that appeared on the show said things had changed and Islam being a dynamic religion should accommodate changes in lifestyles and rules for women. The backlash of years of suppression by the mullah class where people were condemned to be kafir when asking questions, have yielded a sorrowful plight of our current Generation X. To add insult to injury, Al Jazeera recently aired a workshop in Morocco in which facilitators were talking to Muslim boys and girls about Sex before marriage and by the time I zapped to another channel, they had almost persuaded them that if Islam had not prohibited the act, nobody would think of it as bad because all would love it. Oh did I forget to mention a point that all boys in the episode were unanimously in agreement that the rule only applied to girls and that boys could engage in such acts. In another TV show from the UK, a Muslim man stood his ground to remain an active homosexual and yet stay a Muslim because he was merely appreciating the way god had created him…beautiful!
Back to the Hindu gods of course, as they are in our ancestral lineage from where we inherit so many of our traditions, the poor deities have to take a lot of beating when things go wrong by their devout followers.
All around us, this new God of the century as depicted by all powerful individuals, suffering from moral diseases, tell us that this new God is flexible and let’s you be democratic and capitalist…hold on, if democracy is equity and equality, and capitalism is competitive struggle, how can the two opposites co-exist on one plane? Another one of society’s self created ambiguities.
Imam Ali (AS) forecasts the different types of believers in the following manner: “There are people who worship Allah to gain His Favors, this is the worship of traders; while there are some who worship Him to keep themselves free from His Wrath, this is the worship of slaves; a few who obey Him out’ of their sense of gratitude and obligations, this is the worship of free and noble men.”