By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
21 December 2016
As is said by the sages, scholars and scientists that the universe: The cosmos, the planet earth and everything in between operates and relates to other systems as a systematic whole obeying fixed rules of nature. This then gives mankind a firm datum to function with certainty and security. For example, navigating with stars.
It can be argued then that human beings too, given the capacity and liberty to acquire knowledge and “think” for itself, should be able to implement an irrevocable system of laws applicable for mankind, so as to interact with people of different cultures and systems that have evolved over millennia; so as to minimize if not eliminate clashes and navigate through life with certainty and security. This is particularly important because it has only this planet earth to live on; at least for the foreseeable future till it finds another liveable planet!
The clashes that have and do occur, have certain basic primitive instincts that mankind attributes to ‘animals’. Mankind has been incapable of discarding them in spite of the fact that it is endowed with intelligence and capacity to think independently. To use a cliché from a cultured nation, “to which the laws of nature and nature’s god has entitled it”. These remnant instincts mankind has clung to since it was kicked out of the Garden of Eden play a major part in the conflicts that has plagued it ever since.
Conflicts and clashes that arise from Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth-- the so called Cardinal sins are said to be the source of all other vices of evil, immorality, and barbarity are routinely applied in modern times. Nations with military might and power display their greed and pride in this age has no precedent of scale in past history for savagery. Displacement of and loss of Life on unimaginable scale is only considered as collateral damage and not accounted for. Whereas cities turned into mounds of dust, jungles turned into deserts and rivers poisoned are proudly displayed in the media for the world to see.
Then how can these clashes be called clash of civilization? Civilized nations behave morally and not like animals. But then barbarity is not common instinct in animals. A pride of lion will kill one deer and will busily consume it while the rest of the herd of deer will merrily continue grazing in the vicinity. There the natural instinct to kill is to satiate hunger and on needs basis only.
In comparison mankind’s inhumanity to man is limitless, savage and brutal. For the purposes of dominance, influence and power, killing and destroying on ever increasing scale has no equal in animal kingdom. “We do it because we can” is the given wisdom and justification today for those with power. Norm Chomsky has summed up the concept of the clash as being a justification for a nation “for any atrocity that they wanted to carry out”.
That is to say, plunder and loot-- “What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine too”, although the newer version of it is more elaborate as: “What is mine is mine, what is yours is mine and what is theirs is mine too”. That completes the wisdom for clash of pride and greed.
Possession of material wealth, and for that matter every other capability, capacity and ability that enhances status, has no value if it is not “displayed and compared” with others and those who have none or less of the same.
As long as there is any leftover part of “the world” to conquer, plunder, colonise, subjugate and influence, mankind will attempt to do it, even cruelly if required. No nation, in history or modern age is exempt of such instinctive capital or cardinal sin. Religion is often employed in the process as an added justification to recruit the ignorant others in the evil causes. Barbarism is also a religion of a sort.
Yet many a sages and apostles have recognised all these evil traits and particularly the above. “How much shall we give?” asked the people of one past nation? “All that is beyond your need” was the reply of the Apostle. Morality and ethics was supposed to determine the proportions.
When an old woman untied from her scarf the smallest and the only coin she had and handed it over to charity, the others who gave a bit more, mocked her for giving so little. The Apostle pointed out to them that “she gave all that she had”. The capital virtue of “sharing” that is an antidote to the culture of cardinal sins.
Share and share alike must therefore be the cardinal virtue. For one such scripture had stated this basic ideology in 2-3 of its Code Book and further elaborated it as:-
“Have you seen him who belies the Code, the one who is an enemy of those who are orphans/helpless, those who urge others not to nurture and nourish the needy? So curse those who (shamelessly) parade their piety, who are neglectful of their duty, their false piety is only for display, and they put barriers across the free flow of sustenance”, Quran 107.
The UN Ambassadors of recent times please take note of the bold italics!
The ideology and its message: “Share and share alike” has had profound influence on thinkers; ancients, past and present, who understood the impact of this message. The essential outcome of it being the reduction of the so called ‘gap’ between haves and have not. And therefore establish equality and harmony that is the prerequisite for mankind’s happiness: The measure being “Gross National Happiness, GNH” instead of GDP, the measure of material wealth. Thanks are due to the tiny country Bhutan for reiterating the ultimate ideology. That is the basis of equitable economy that should govern civilization.
Imagine if the trillions spent on destruction in the manufactured so called “clash of civilisation” recently were spent in eliminating poverty, want and ignorance round the world? There would be half of it left over for all other beneficial projects, to compound the GNH!
The operatives of all institutions are the individuals in positions of authority. If they were to embrace the capital virtues that their respective sages have advocated, instead of the cardinal sins the operatives and their ignorant followers have applied; humanity may still prove the angles—the operatives of God’s church-- wrong when they warned Him that His creation ‘the mankind’ will put the earth in conflict and clashes. But God seems to be still hopeful that human intelligence will fulfil His plans to establish “civilisation”!
Secular and not so secular, religious and not so religious governments all pride themselves of their so called civilization and wish to dominate others and impose upon them the same in the name of their civilization, sometimes claim that it goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Those were not civilizations but evolving cultures which deteriorate and rot with age and so they have perished. Civilization by definition is to civilize and reclaim from barbarism, a quality that is enduring and permanent as those laws of nature that are operating in it. In order to avoid all kinds of clashes Humanity too should implement irrevocable system of laws applicable for mankind to function harmoniously on the only planet earth.
Let us celebrate Christmas despite not yet fulfilled God’s plan.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer
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