Sunday, January 22, 2012

We are One. So don't make Fun (of each other's beliefs)

Love, who am I? Who are you? Who are we?
The fruit of love grows on the tree of adversity.
The dress of love is stitched by our folly,
The flame of love is white in colour,
The hope of love is in loving one other,

I am not waiting for answers,
I have not asked any questions,
The crown of love is the crown of strife,
The life I live, and the life I will give away
I will return to Him that gave me life,

So do not say that I am one of you…
Besotted with names and forms…
Spellbound to destination and endings…
'Heaven! heaven! heaven!' sings the melody,
But never asking the question of
Who am I? Who are you? Who are we?

We are one. Many missionaries and evangelicals of religion are selling a good story. Believe in God. Obey God. Follow the holy scriptures. Believe in the family, work hard and do not steal, lie or cheat. If you do believe in the existence of an Omnipotent Divine Being, there is not much to argue with here. The common truths are common to everyone, and if you leave out the God bit, even atheists will be hard put to debate against the importance of the family unit and basic human decency.

What truly mystifies me are preachers and politicians (as sadly both tend to be the same nowadays) who insist that there is an ‘us’ and ‘them’ - Between Muslims and Hindus, Christians and Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists and the whole barrels of faith that trundle through the path of life.

Shiva. Yesterday, I had breakfast outside, and as I was taking my seat I heard a strange Indian tamil music coming from one direction, I wondered where the song came from for I saw no speakers. Then it struck me that it came from the cellphone of the Indian man at the next table. I knew it was a religious song because I recognised the name 'Shiva' being repeated again and again in the chorus. The man was obviously affected, and I saw in his eyes that far-away look which I bet I also have when I am engrossed in music about God and Love. So I empathise with him, I understand and I certainly do not ridicule his beliefs. Why, we are almost exactly the same...

Do not make fun. We share so much in common that it makes no sense whatsoever to belittle the faith of another. Indeed I would go so far as to say that it is the voice of a mad believer to make fun of the disbelief of an atheist. Sarcasm, Cynicism and ‘put downs’ are all marks of pride and hubris and is a dishonorable badge to be worn by any believer, in whatever faith you hold.

The message is blurred. The truth is that such acts do not shame God at all but it shames us. Yet when people judge our religion, they will judge by our tolerance, wisdom, compassion and humility, so do not then say that such people have heard the ‘true message’, when we have been so darn hard working in deforming and destroying the message of our faith.

I would like to return to the common ground that we all share. Trust me. I am almost exactly like you. Only perhaps a little bit more of a sinner.

Thank you for sharing your Sunday with me, sunshine.

Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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