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Interfaith Dialogue ( 18 Jul 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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In Abrahamic Religions Cooperation is Not a Choice but a Duty

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

19 July 2021

Cooperation Establishes a Spiritual Environment That Creates Humanitarian Ethics in the Society

Main Points:

1.    'United we stand and divided we fall' is the key to life in a culturally diverse and rich society.

2.    Holy Bible says, a human being can neither live alone nor can die alone.

3.    The human being needs to redevelop a social structure that is based on cooperation to sustain the social obligations of living in the 21st century.

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(Photo courtesy: article1000.com/types-cooperation-role-cooperation)

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The saying, 'united we stand and divided we fall' is the key to life in a culturally diverse and rich society.

All religions and faiths command their followers to cooperate for an atmosphere of love and compassion in the world. Where there is no cooperation there is no spiritual development of the social network. Cooperation establishes a spiritual environment that creates humanitarian ethics in society.

Allah the Most Gracious says in the Holy Quran and in the Holy Bible:

O, men, We created you from a male and female and formed you into nations and tribes that you may recognise each other. (Al-Hujurat: 13) - Ahmed Ali

Fear Allah in whose name you ask each other (for your rights), and fear (the violation of the rights of) the womb-relations. Surely, Allah is watchful over you... (An-Nisa: 1) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. (ROMANS 14:7)

The above-mentioned verses of the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible describe human beings related to each other as brothers and sisters, this is why the sense of community is by nature ingrained in our living ethics. The above-mentioned verse from the Holy Bible says, human beings can neither live alone nor can die alone. He needs the cooperation of society in birth as well as in death. Being cooperative towards brothers and sisters is the axis that runs our society without any hitches. Non-cooperation is the reason for our spiritual and social downfall. There are various reasons for the birth of a non-cooperative mindset and the most prominent among them is the sense of supremacism, envy and materialistic greed.

Unfortunately, the world is passing through a phase that has converted the world society into an amalgam of all the negativities a human being can imagine of.  The materialistic race has created a society that is devoid of the ethical positivities that are the beauty of human life. Sense of non-cooperation is the result of the ethical downfall of human nature.

The human being needs to redevelop a social structure that is based on cooperation to sustain the social obligations of living in the 21st century. In this fast-paced world, it is difficult to live in an uncooperative milieu as it is capable of breaking the social norms and that is what many of us are doing. There are no socially acceptable norms that command us to take care of the ones that need our moral assistance to keep going.

During the last two years of Covid-19 society witnessed how cooperation along with all other things saved lives that were left alone to fight the pandemic. People from all strata of society, irrespective of religious beliefs, castes and communities came out in hordes and took the responsibility of cooperation for the safety of the life of the people they never even knew. It was the humane sense of community cooperation that people from all over the world helped each other breaking the barriers of international borders and religious animosity.

Humanity has been a witness to Muslims lighting pyres of Hindus fulfilling all the religious customs. Hindus and Sikhs running distributing food for the hungry and destitute. Mosques and Churches and Temples opened their doors to establish Covid care centres for medical care of the Covid-19 patients. People exchanged and donated plasmas for the needy to help save human life.

It is said that ‘hard times reveal your true character and that of those around you and the Covid-19 revealed human being’s ingrained characteristics of cooperation. We the human being proved that we are the children of Adam and Eve and have all the positivities of one of the highest-ranked creations of Allah.

Quranic Verses Commanding to Create Cooperation in the Society

And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (Ayah al-Ma`idah: 2) - Sahih International:

So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you (Al-Anfal 8:1)

So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy (Al-Hujurat 49:9-10)

Prophetic Traditions Establishing the Value of Cooperation

People will continue to be blessed so long as they invite each other towards good, discourage each other from evil, and cooperate in goodness and piety. (Tahdhībul AHkām, 6:181)

(You should group together and beware of separating, because the Devil is always there when one is alone, and he is further away when there are two people.)) (Ibn al-Mubarak – Mohammad bin Soukka)

A wolf only attacks a stray lamb. (Abu Dawud)

We were people in the days of ignorance, we worshipped idols and ate meat of already dead animals, we committed evil-doings, cut the ties of relation with relatives, we treated our neighbours badly, the strong among us abused the weak. And we were living that way till Allah sent down a Messenger from among us. We knew his family name, and his honesty, trustworthiness. He called us to believe in the one God: Allah Almighty, with no associates, and to worship Him. And to abandon all the idols and statues that we and our forefathers used to worship. Now listen attentively- and he ordered us to be truthful in what we say, and to give back what we have been entrusted with, and to join the ties of relations, and be good to our neighbours, and to stop any fighting) (Narrated by Ahmad and his team except for Isaac)

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. (Muslim)

“O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it.” (Muslim).

“Protect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

“The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body; if one part of it complains, the rest of the body joins it in staying awake and suffering fever.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The Ash'ariites if they are widowed in the invasion, or the food of their children in the city, gather what they had in one garment, and then divide it among them in one pot. - (Abu Musa al-Ash'ari )

Verses from the Bible Commanding to Cooperate One Another

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (GENESIS 11:6)

For if they fall, the one will lift his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. (ECCLESIASTES 4:10)

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (AMOS 3:3)

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (JOHN 13:14)

For the body is not one member, but many. (1 CORINTHIANS 12:14)

If the foot shall say because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1 Corinthians 12:14)

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (EPHESIANS 5:21)

Judaism and the Value of Cooperation

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.  (Luke 11:23)

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:16)

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  (Philippians 2:2)

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Nehemiah 4:6 ESV / 72 helpful votes

So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. - (Ephesians 4:3)

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! - (Psalm 133:1)

But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. - (Exodus 17:12)

And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. - (Mark 2:3)

 

Photo courtesy: Organization for International Cooperation

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Scholars Say Cooperation is a Medium of Success

Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."  --Helen Keller

Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is a success."  --Henry Ford

Together ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results. - Becka Schoettle

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent." -- John Donne, English poet

Cooperation Paves the Way to Success Here and Hereafter

It is said that ‘there's always something good coming out of something bad and it has come true in more than one instance during one of the worst pandemics, Covid -19, the world faced and is still not out of it. The good thing that the world witnessed is that our human ethos is intact and we are more than ready to cooperate with our human fellows. In the light of what Allah, the Most Gracious says in the Holy Quran, ‘Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds’ (Surah Al-Hud: 114), let us be sure of our misdeeds in the form of war and supremacist attitude will pave the way and we will be forgiven and guided on to the righteous path once again.

And Allah Knows the Best.

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Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/abrahamic-religions-cooperation/d/125098


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