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Interfaith Dialogue ( 25 Jun 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Teachings of the Holy Quran, the Bible, the Bhagwad Gita, the Guru Granth Saheb and Other Holy Scriptures on the Importance of a Pluralistic Society Are Overwhelmingly the Same

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

26 June 2021

Our Lost Faith In Religions, Religious Scriptures And Religious Leaders Needs To Be Restored To Create An Atmosphere Of Pluralistic Ideals

Main Points:

1.    It is time to think of a pluralistic society before it gets too late.

2.    The pluralism and the plural feelings of humanity will reignite the sense of a common goal.

3.    The noble and divinity rooted words like solidarity, humility, brotherhood, pluralism, honesty and modesty have been dumped in the dustbin of the social lexicon.

4.    The ray of hope can be seen at the end of the tunnel if we consciously propagate the religious and spiritual teachings that are laced with humane traits of love and brotherhood.

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Holy Scriptures and Their Relevance

It is time to think of a pluralistic society before it gets too late. Our lost faith in religions, religious scriptures and religious leaders needs to be restored to create an atmosphere of trust and love among the citizens of the world. The pluralism and the plural feelings of humanity will reignite the sense of a common goal. It will increase the happiness index of the world.

Religion and all the religious scriptures have become an item of decoration. The holy scriptures are proudly exhibited to advertise the religious faith of the family concerned. No one has time to even talk about them and their teachings. During the religious functions when these Holy Scriptures are preached, almost all the attendees are busy on their mobile phones either replying to the business-related queries or just passing the time. The noble and divinity rooted words like solidarity, humility, brotherhood, pluralism, honesty and modesty have been dumped in the dustbin of the social lexicon. Children of the materialistic world are deprived of divine teachings both in their homes and schools. Society is running helter-skelter towards an unknown destination.

Mankind will have to strive hard to make the relevance of the Holy Scriptures a reality to save humanity going on the destructive path. Every religion and its religious epics can be consulted for lessons be it on science, technology, psychology, medicine or environment not to talk of the lessons on the spiritual development of the social life of the human beings. If the pluralist process in everything is not brought into action, doomsday will approach faster than expected. Humanity will suffer as it is suffering at the moment at the hands of Covid-19 and its various variants.

 

(Photo courtesy: World Atlas)

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Each One, For Himself'

Societal feelings like solidarity, harmony, teamwork and unity have disappeared from the life of human beings. Lack of societal divine uniformity is dwindling the social fabric of the world society irrespective of developed or under-developed nations. World society is profoundly divided into nations, religions, communities, ‘I’ and ‘you’. Nations are concerned for their well-being, religions are concerned with their supremacism and the people are thinking of themselves. None of these is in coordination with the overall development and happiness index of humanity at large.

All these races of individual selfish goals are creating an atmosphere like that of the Day of the Judgement where there will be no relationship of any kind or worth. Nobody will think of anybody except for himself.

This phenomenon of the Day of Judgement is called, 'each one, for himself'. One is unable to see any difference in the human social life on earth and that of the Holy Scripture’s described situation on the Day of Judgement. Going through the newspapers of any nation, watching the news on Televisions or social media news channels is enough to create a kind of uneasiness in any individual of conscience. One gets shockingly astounded and devoid of any kind of feelings. The negativity has taken over the world.

The ‘each one, for himself’ mentality has broken the pluralistic ideals of the world bestowed upon us by the Creator of the universe. Just getting rid of this individualistic approach towards happiness will replace the ‘each one, for himself’ mentality into ‘all for one, one for all’ thinking and we will be living with divinity laced pluralistic ideals. We must follow the ideals of our religions without discrimination and follow the teachings given below.

Teachings of the Holy Quran on the Importance of Pluralistic Society

“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favour of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire…” (Quran, 3:103)

....therefore make peace between your brethren ... (Quran, 49:10)

“Indeed this, your religion (Ummah), is one religion (Ummah),... (Quran, 21:92)

And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful torment. - (At-Tawbah 9:34)

And when it is said to them, “Spend from that which Allah has provided for you,” those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Should we feed one whom, if Allah had willed, He would have fed? You are not but in clear error.” (Yasin 36:47)

They give [the immigrants] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation - (Al-Hashr 59:9)

Prophetic Traditions Depicting the Pluralistic Ideals

The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “Three things are the best acts; first, to treat people with equity and justice; (Bihar-al-Anwar, vol.74, p.392])

`Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Every day… two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends (in Your cause,)’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Bring destruction to one who withholds.’ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, When the people of Ash`ari tribe ran short of food during battles, or the food of their families in Medina ran short, they would collect all their remaining food in one sheet and then distribute it among themselves equally by measuring it with a bowl. So, these people are from me, and I am from them. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Holy Books of Hinduism and the Lessons of Pluralism

One who is free from enmity with all human beings, a friend of all and kind…  (Bhagavad Gita)

‘When a person sees one undivided spiritual reality within all diverse living beings that is knowledge in the mode of goodness.’ (Bhagavad Gita 18:20)

One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from a false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. (BG 12.13–14)

A true yogi observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere. For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me. Such a yogi, who engages in the worshipful service of the Super soul, knowing that I and the Super soul are one, remains always in Me in all circumstances. He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna! (BG 6.29–32)

Equanimity in all, either good or bad. 6–9 (Bhagavad Gita)

By Me in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. (BG 9.4)

Ideals of Pluralism and the Holy Bible

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. - 1 Corinthians 12:13

Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; - Ephesians 2:12–19

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. - 1 Peter 4:7–9

Communities gathered together by the Holy Spirit experience this kind of organic unity: a readiness to prioritize love for one another over personal fear and ambition. - Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians

 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: - 1 Peter 3:8

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. - Galatians 5:15

Buddhism and the Goal of a Pluralistic Society

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” - Buddha

“May all that have life be delivered from suffering.” - Buddha

“Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.” - Buddha

“Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace.” - Buddha

“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.” - Buddha

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” - Buddha

“Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.” - Buddha

Sikh Holy Scriptures and Pluralistic Ideals

I am neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, I belong to and am of God, Who may be called either by the name of Allah or Ram. (Gurbani)

Those who are imbued with the love of God, love all creation. (Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 557)

O, Lord! Out of thy mercy save this burning world Save it whatever way it can be saved. (Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 853.)

That which seemeth is but thy manifestation Then why hate anyone. (Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 383)


All Is Not Lost

The everlasting wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and prevailing terrorism in Pakistan and Turkey and South African countries along with the white supremacist militant activities have diminished the sheen of the glorious past of human society. Humanity is lost in the wilderness of enmity, anger, jealousy, and one-upmanship and supremacist attitude on almost every level of life. The ray of hope can be seen at the end of the tunnel if we consciously propagate the religious and spiritual teachings that are laced with humane traits of love and brotherhood.

The problems of hunger that the world is facing today can be easily combatted with the show of solidarity towards our unfortunate fellow beings. Solidarity and pluralistic ethos are the cure of the social evils that the world has accepted as a norm that is taking society on the brink of utmost pain and misery. Religious and spiritual teachings are the messengers of integration and social love. Let us be collective rather than being individualistic. The powers that be should play ‘Big Brother’ in a positive sense.

And Allah Knows the Best.

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Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/quran-bible-gita-guru-granth/d/125022


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