Religion & Religionists

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.

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5 Responses to Religion & Religionists

  1. Zameer says:

    I see a Man with some sense atlast !
    Good one Atul !

    Like

  2. Ragunaath says:

    // 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.//

    Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that ‘God is ultimate’ or ‘God is our better nature’ or ‘God is the universe.’ Of course, like any other word, the word ‘God’ can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that ‘God is energy,’ then you can find God in a lump of coal.
    – Steven Weinberg

    // This means that at essence, there is an underlying unity among religions. //

    The unity is nothing but the belief in Creator / Super Natural.

    // And yet, religion has led us to so much conflict and bloodshed. //

    The “natural question” is, “why” it led us to so much conflict and bloodshed, if there is Unity!

    The God / Supernatural / Superbeing is created by us, homo-sapient. Not the otherwise.

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  3. 9minnon says:

    That the definition of God is broad is but natural, dont you think, Ragunaath? Can we have a one-line definition for an ocean? About the point of why religion has led to a lot of bloodshed is because people interpret religion in their own narrow ways, and then believe that their own narrow definition is a universal definition, and this leads to conflict. This is something like the story of the blind men trying to describe what an elephant is like, Not able to understand, though, how, based on the things you have mentioned, you have been able to come to the conclusion that man created God? Like to help with that, Ragunaath?

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    • Ragunaath says:

      // Conclusion that man created God? //

      First, Define God, be it one line or more than that. I didn’t give any online definition for God or Ocean.

      How did you came to the conclusion there is a Creator? created What?

      // About the point of why religion has led to a lot of bloodshed is because people interpret religion in their own narrow ways, and then believe that their own narrow definition is a universal definition, and this leads to conflict. //

      What is religion, why people interpret in their own narrow ways, What and which is the broad / open interpretation of God / Allah / Creator.

      PS: I wish you could avoid metaphors, mostly those are irrelevant.

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      • 9minnon says:

        I thought you were complaining about the fact that people have very broad definitions of God. That’s why I asked you about your definition. Besides, if you believe that man created God, then it should be easier for you to define God by your paradigm, being a human construct. For example, it’s far easier to define a clock (a human construct) than to define time (a natural characteristic).

        You are asking me how I came to the conclusion that there is a Creator. If there is a creation, stands to logic that must be a Creator. Or why do we live in a universe where there are consistent laws of nature to begin with? What gives consistency to these scientific laws? This leads to only one logical inference.

        About your belief that metaphors are irrelevant, would be grateful if you could point out why you think them to be irrelevant?

        Like

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