One topic which seems to be popular with them is that of religion. What I often hear them do is explore the ways that all religions in the world are similar to each other in their essence. Have to be, after all, because all religions talk about the same God, and the same man, and the same relation between man and Maker. Hardy pointed out to this blog which talks about two great saints, Mirabai, and Baba Bulle Shah, echoing essentially the same thoughts, in different words. So how can there be any difference at all?
Having said that, there are loads of differences today between the religions, nay, between the practice of these religions. And these differences, according to these guys, are created by the followers of those religions. This results also from wrong understanding of the scriptures. Laurel, for instance, cited the Kalima Tayyibah …
lā ilāha illā -llāh, muḥammadun rasūlu -llāh
Translated, this means:
There is no god but Allah, [and] Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
There are some interesting points here. Allah means the Creator, or God. So, in other words, if translated using only English, this would mean that there is no God except God. This is important because, if one looks at this Kalima deeply, one understands that men usually have a number of gods; for some, money is god, for some, fame, and for some, power is god, and this Kalima is simply instructing man that he (or she) shall not acknowledge any god except the Creater, or God, or Allah. This also says that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of God, but nowhere does this claim exclusivity which can be seen from the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) honoured Jesus Christ as a Prophet of God. In fact, Islam says there have been 124000 messengers, from Adam, to Jesus to Mohammed, to name a few, sent with a message to man for his guidence. Islam believes that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was the last among the Prophets. The commandment in Islam is about not worshipping the creation made by our Creator, rather, the Creator is the only one who we should worship, which is a message which gets lost in translation, like when Jesus referred to God as His Father, people started worshipping Jesus. Actually, Allah means “the Maker or Creator” and not a God or a person or idol. If looked at deeply, one would find in Islam the idea of praying to your Maker, whichever way you look at Him, whether be Ram, or Bhagwan, or Allah, God, or Yahweh.
On the other hand, are the 10 Commandments, where again the 2nd commandment says:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me!
Again, this isnt about exclusivity of a particular god, rather, a deep look at this commandment will tell us how this is so deeply related to the Kalima Tayyibah. The meaning that emerges from the Kalima could, in more or less the same way, be applied to the commandment as well. This means that at essence, there is an underlying unity among religions. And yet, religion has led us to so much conflict and bloodshed.