Monday, June 3, 2013

Is Religion supposed to be Divisive?

Prophet Muhammad SAW once said that Islam would break up into 23 sects while Chritianity would break up into 22. What we see today is that not only is the world being divided up by religious beliefs more than racial origins, but people of the same religion are going against each other. Be it in the same country and nation or between countries and nations.

Religious beliefs or faiths, therefore, seem to be the most devisive social element in society today, causing open violence and deep seated hatred between people, as it used to be in the days of ignorance and brutal intolerence between people of different racial stocks and cultures. We see instances of such violence and brutalism in both the west, the middle east and the east, with the middle east capturing the limelight.

Is religion supposed to be such a social element in society? Is it not supposed to be the bridge between human beings and their Creator, the compendium of human goodness and ethical excellence, the source of human kindness and benevolence, the source of righteousness and divine justice etc. So what has human beings turned religion into? An excuse for destroying and killing each other, a dogma that sanctified the shedding of human blood and taking away innocent lives and sowing the seed of hatred among fellow human beings?

As people living in the age of knowledge and wisdom,high technology and culture, refined in customs and ethics, the reality of religion today defies what we believe ourselves to be. There is so much of ruthlessness, violence, barbarianism going on that can make us ashamed to be considered as human. There are animals that show more love, kindness and consideration for each other than what some humans are are doing to each other in the name of religion although the evils of politics seem to hide behind all such action. We speak about religion in the most reverent and God fearing manner but we often act in a manner that negates those show of piousness.

In many of the Islamic countries,the age-old war between the various mazhabs such as between the Shiites and the Sunni, the Sunnah wal-Jamaah and the followers of other mazhabs like the Wahabbis, continue to break up people and nation. They are all supposed to be Muslims, praying to and prostrating themselves before the same Allah. But they never seem to be able to tolerate each other let alone live in peace and harmony, each claims that their approach towards attaining Allah's grace and Jannah ( heaven) is more in line with the teachings of the al-Quran and the Prophet Muhammad SAW. The problems they raised in society far outweigh what religion is supposed to do for society.

While the teachings and prescriptions of religion seem to bear less and less influence in the everyday decision-making of the modern Man, the pride over one's religion seem to be on the increase. So much so that religion ceases to become a moderating factor in our attitude towards each other, a pacifying factor in our search for internal peace and external relations, and a universal torch for leading us to world peace, but rather a magnifying glass that highlights differences and incompatibilities, and the rationale for fighting each other.

When, therefore, is human beings going to put religion in its rightful place as a common bridge towards seeking the love of our Creator, no matter what structure or shape the beige takes. It's just the bridge between our terrestrial life and the kingdom of heaven, between our selfish self and our our soul wherein the feeling of Godliness lies. When can we modern people of the world make religion an instrument of world peace rather that an adjunct to the pursuit of human bickerings and warlike tendencies?


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