By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
03, February, 2014
An economist lecturer seeped in her spirituality, expressed dismay at the people who believe in sole Supreme Being, the invisible, intangible God, wielding infinite authority over her kind, the intelligent human race!
“How can it be and for what purpose” asked my religious but intelligent economist sister of a non-monotheistic religion?
Although, she may not have observed closely the practices of the so called monotheist, they do worship many god’s; revere and pray to live and dead personalities and have houses and institutions to worship them in. And the latest addition is the Arabic language for Malaysian Muslims.
However two thoughts seem inherent in this one expression of hers!
Firstly, for her, it is illogical for intelligent human being to accept the concept of such an entity of god, and that such an entity if existed; it cannot demand obedience from her. And therefore to her the idea serves no purpose.
It seems though; on the basis that it has been largely accepted for ages by intelligent reformers, that there is a purpose. In human history over the millennia, messengers, philosophers, reformers and teachers have believed in and propagated Monotheism. So, it is worth reconsidering.
From time immemorial these people had grasped the concept of an invisible Authority in the universe, and saw its glory with their inner vision. To them, achieving unity and dignity for the human creation, it was the natural progression from monotheism.
For they believed that indignity, which comes from subservience to others; can only be eliminated by constructing a unified and close-knit family of nation with just one Universal figure-head.
All these people, their biography tells us, had few things in common. They were all people of higher status, wealthy and some also of princely positions and intelligent deep thinker and philosophers, obsessed with reforming the unequal human society of their times. One element of inequality they concluded was the distribution of wealth.
From Muhammad, of the ruling Quresh family to David, Gautama, Rama and even an Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and beyond; such as Abraham the son of a high priest and idol carver (Terah of Bible, Genesis 11 and Azar of Quran An’am 6-75), were all people having influence over their community, in one form or the other.
Essentially they propagated harmonious society of human being with values and obligations to be shared by all. The moral and emotional reality of the family bond then would not let any member go “wanting”. That was essentially the main “purpose”.
The laws in nature they realised as being more powerful, that could wipe off their existence if opposed. This invisible force they named All Mighty, Lord or Father in Heaven.
The religions then named it God, and made it an esoteric entity to confuse the gullible who asked “auw nara rabbanaa”, why do we not see our Lord says Quran-25-21?
In modern age of computers with long list of font sizes available today, this concept of invisibility may simply be illustrated on the screen to an intelligent child, by answering its typed question –“What is ………God?”
Answer-………..“GOD is the one who created everything”
--“Who created ..god?”
Answer-…. “Big GOD created god”.
-- “ who created big god then?”
Answer-“Bigger GOD created the big god”.
If this process was to be carried further few steps, with the answer in ever increasing font size for ‘GOD’, eventually it would be so large that it disappears off the screen making it “invisible”. It is possible to assume that an intelligent child would realise that the word god is there in cyber space but not visible on the computer screen.
Human intelligence had long reached the level of understanding to accept this invisibility, and all powerful authority that exists in the cosmic space.
Secondly and importantly, the reformers believed that this worldly wealth must be distributed differently and so they confronted the existing pockets of power in their midst. In many cases they even abdicated their own power.
That is an example of moral courage and selflessness which is the hall mark of all such reformers. Only very few examples of such courage in modern times ever exists.
To establish this ideal system, it was imperative to distribute wealth equitably, within the “family of nation”, verse 2-213, 10-19 of Quran; under the tutelage of one universal father-figure. And, in accordance with the common message of all previous messenger too.
Perhaps such one-nation-families were established, for a period during the time of the reformers, when common people took to heart the message, and rationally applied the model for harmonious society.
The State and the Church as separate entities of authority and power were abolished for all purposes of governance—“there is no god but God”. This God with capital G was not the god of houses of worship, the temples, but an intellectual insight. The reality observable clearly in various fixed phenomena manifest in the universe.
As is seen from human history; that this somewhat egalitarian system for society was objected to at every stage and fought against vigorously. To preserve the pockets of power and privileges for the few, by the few and of the few, as is the case today.
The political institutional “Statehouses” stood side by side with the “religious houses”, to recover the mutually lost privileges.
Azar /Tehra isms always triumphed, not for human intelligence falling short of understanding the message, but as a result of constant brain washing by the institutions with power to control the wealth and masses and, the masses prone to suffer in silence under the yoke.
The latest report of Oxfam sums it--Dr Helen Szoke says …”economic inequality is crippling the fight against poverty”. Why should Oxfam, do battle against poverty?
The annual World Economic Forum being held in Davos is a regular “talkfest” which the mayor of London Boris Johnson once said was, "a constellation of egos involved in orgies of adulation". Obviously he wanted to see practical actions and results.
The G20 gathering too knows that there are inequalities in the world. Allegedly twenty nine million humans held under total slavery, sixteen millions of those in the subcontinent of India and Pakistan alone. It needs more than just talkfests to eliminate it.
Will new Bob Geldofs there, ever stand up for the world’s poor?
Will President Obama achieve what he promised to the American poor if not the world poor-- “…action to reverse the tide of deepening inequality” in his speech?
Though not alone, in this context philosopher-poet Iqbal maintained that monotheism is not out of intellectual grasp of mankind. He said:-
Bayan’ May Nuktaa Towheed Toe Aasaktaa Hai,--Unitarianism can easily be discussed intelligently,
Teray Dimaag May Buut Khaanaa Hoe Toe Kiyia Kahiye? - Alas what can be said if your brain is stuffed with temple full of idols.
And attempted to explain monotheism:-
Sarwary Zebaa Faqat Uss Zaat-E-Behamtaa Ko Hai,- glory rightfully belongs to that incomparable being,
Hukmaran’ Hai Ik Wahi, Baqi Butaan’-E-Azari, for Him, the Sovereign; the rest being idols in Azar-ism!
A couplet from a poem titled simply ‘Nanak’, with reference to Guru Nanak, propagating once again the message of Gautama, giving the same message as Abraham’s:-
Buut-Kadah Phir Ba’d Muddat Kay Magar Roshan Huwa, The Dark temple of idolatry was, after a long time lit bright,
Noor-e-Ibrahim say Azar Kaa Ghar Roshan Huwaa.- House of Azar shown bright again with Abraham’s glow.
The ignorance of the many to give reverence to the false power of the few, who coupled with the arrogance and greed on the same highway; are not obliged to care for the former.
This is manifestly a reality in illiterate, hence resultant poverty stricken unequally constructed societies where slavery in many forms prevails.
Ignorance needs no intelligence to acquire. But, to manipulate masses in believing that “god loves the poor”, when actually trapping them in cycle of poverty and slavery, nothing can go past the cunning and con of religious institutions.
With bleeding heart cried the poet!
Khhuda Wanda Yeh Terey Saadah-Dill Banday Kidhar Jaaen’?
Oh Lord where can your simpletons seek refuge?
Keh Darweshi Bhi Ayyaari Hai Sultani Bhi Ayyaari!
For, sainthood is as much a con as is kingship!
All Mighty Creator too had expressed disappointment for the wistfulness that descended upon His creation as in verse 36-30 of Quran, for those who rejected this message.
Construction of an equal society is left for the courageous, moral and intelligently responsible humanity! As the Oxfam Report shows, this is a huge task:-
“The report says 1pc of world owns 50pc of its wealth”. The poor had always accepted this imbalance in their ignorance as a fact, and the rich in their arrogance as their right.
As is now evident with the group called G20. Yet there are about two hundred members of the world body called United Nations, representing whole humanity!
This imbalance must be addressed urgently in all institutions of Humanity, to bind it in the natural bond of one Family-Nation, with all the obligations and responsibilities that it carries. Economic Forum and G20 must act now as a united force.
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer