Monday, March 14, 2011

Unity of Religion, Moderation and Tolerance

13. Moderation
If you choose moderation,
You must be moderate
To those who are not.
And not let your understanding
Lead you to become
What you oppose.

MODERATION. I get moderation. But oh, in so many aspects of my life I am immoderate... my temper (especially while sharing the road with idiotic drivers - see!), my liberal food consumption, my cigarettes... all these bad things I do... I do it immoderately well.
While talking to an old buddy of mine last night, the topic spanned into Islam, secularism, the OIC, belief and how religion has been co-opted into the politial mainstream. This I hope to write about later. What I wish to share with you is when he accused me of being tolerant of other faiths!
GOD LABELS. I guess you could say that I am understanding. Indeed what brought this up is when I said that when it comes to dealing with your co-religionists, it is important for you, whether you are Christian, Jewish or Hindu to support and conform to the forms and labels of your religion. After all, that is the distinguishing fact by which you build unity and brotherhood within your faith. On the other hand, when it comes to interaction with other faiths, what is important to highlight is not the forms and labels - but rather the commonly held belief behind the different names and forms by which the One God is worshipped in different creeds. Common beliefs like steadfastness, patience, kindness, charity, love and compassion. These things by which God is recognised and devotedly worshipped and loved by a Rabbi, a Reverend or a Buddhist Abbot.
IF IT IS EASY IS IT TOLERANCE? But can you say that I am tolerant? For me (and I may be mistaken), tolerance means that there is some will or conscious decision on your part - an inner struggle to accept/tolerate what does not conform to your personal world view. But the pluralism which underlies my belief in the Quranic message of Unity of Religion (see earlier posting on Mawlana Abul Kalam Azad's writings on this -Click Here) is not the conclusion of intellectual thought. It is an overwhelming feeling. So I do not have to struggle to be 'tolerant'. It just happens.
Oh well, who cares, sunshine. After all, isn't my obsession is in the meaning behind the words and not the words themselves? So what does it matter by which names you and I are called... when in Truth, I only hope to follow your good example - united in worship to the Absolutely One God Almighty.
Have a delightedful Monday, pet.
Pax Taufiqa
Picture - It is the Church of the Transfiguration, in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. I just thought it looked beautiful in a cozy sorta way.

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