Are We Really Faithful?

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My ancestral home at Faizabad is around 6 Km from Ayodhya, the birth place of Sri Ram. The last I and my wife visited Ayodhya was in 1973 when we went to most of the Mandirs and the Babari Masjid. It was an interesting and expensive experience, as we were asked by the pandas to make offerings in each place of worship as and when we paused to admire the fine architecture and its sanctity. I must have shed out around a hundred rupees,which was quite a sum during those days when my monthly income was around Rs 800 or so per month! 

On entering the Babri mosque after showing my identity card to the security guard I observed a small idol placed on the floor at the center of the structure. Did I fume or feel agitated? Did I feel anything at all? No, I did not! Perhaps, my background of being an airman’s son, educated in premier public school and an army soldier, obliterated and obfuscated my emotional feelings arising from the religious enigma! 

To me it was an unnecessary dispute between Hindus and Muslims bearing no true  relationship to faith and religion.  As the dispute turned violent and lives were lost my belief strengthened that it was essentially a political issue exploited by the vile and self serving sections of our society of all hues and color. 

Do we have to pray in a mosque? How many Muslims do it daily? On a few occasions I have offered  prayers in mosques on Fridays, Eid and during Muharram, however very rarely visited them on any other days. I find it more convenient and comfortable to pray at home. I read that Quran does not define a certain place to pray, but requires Muslims to make certain places mosques, in order to meet the social needs. Legally, everywhere on earth is free for praying as long as the place is clean enough. There is no problem for Muslims to pray in a church as long as its authorities permit it.

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(In Jerusalem, picture by Jafar Shameem)  

The problem arises from praying in front of an idol which is Shirk (Sin). Allah is very clear when He instructs the Muslims,

[4:48] GOD does not forgive idolatry, but He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up idols beside GOD, has forged a horrendous offense.

Again the very concept of God as I have read in the Quran is at variance from those who see Them born and, in one or other form or shape. Surah Ikhlas one of the profound verses in Quran tells me.

  1.  Say, “He is God, the One.
  2.  God, the Absolute.
  3.  He begets not, nor is He begotten.
  4.  And there is nothing comparable to Him.”

  My feelings for my friends of other faiths with whom I live and breath has forever remained the same and will continue until my last days. My respect for their faith and belief has strengthened over the years even though it may differ from my own. The demolition of the Mosque did hurt my sentiments to the extent that it raked a communal frenzy which resulted in killings of innocents, spread of hatred and venom. For me Surah 109 of the Holy Quran became more relevant as I witnessed the unholy environment spread across the country. 

Say : O ye that reject Faith!

    1. I worship not that which ye worship,
    2. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
    3. Nor will I worship those whom you have worshipped;,
    4. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
    5. To you be your Way, and to me mine.

The Supreme Court verdict has set at rest the contentious issue. Why then did we have to destroy the structure? Why did we kill one another? Is this part of our faith and belief? Are we really faithful to the Creator? Please do ponder!

6 thoughts on “Are We Really Faithful?”

  1. Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
    Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
    Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
    Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

    Just follow this as a mantra for life, people need peace within to establish peace around them and in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual very well written dear Baqir. I agree with your views about religion. I feel, we should not allow vested interests to divide us based on religion. We should follow our faith & respect the right of others to follow their own. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Religion is like cars. Is a car-accident because the car was bad or the driver was in the wrong? And there will always be cars in this world, and the atheists be reassured, as long as cars are there, there will be drivers! So if we wish to create an accident-free environment, we will need to focus on training future drivers to respect other drivers (co-exist with other religions), respect other drivers’ rights to drive (practice the religion), give space to other drivers (avoid contentious issues), and NEVER INSIST THAT MY CAR (RELIGION) IS THE BEST AND I AM THE BEST DRIVER. There will always be cars (religions) and there will always be drivers (Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Agnostics, Atheists, Cultists etc.),

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reminding all of us. Hope your message spreads to those who are being exploited through their misinterpreted religious beliefs. The example of the ‘car’ is aptly presented.

      Like

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