Thursday, November 24, 2022

All Religions Like Unquestioning Conformists Because They Pose No Threat/s And Follow The Religious Tenets Like Sheep

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 23 November 2022 " Life loses its passion If one doesn't question Remain a faithful till the end But use reason as a bookend " Bayazid Bastami, loosely translated from Pahlavi by the author " If a man doesn't keep pace with his companions, perhaps it's because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Kar Sakte Nahin Gunaah Jo Ahmaq Un Ko, Berooh Amazon Mein Laga Deta Hai (Josh Malihabadi) (Those fools who can't commit a 'crime'- not something serious or felony- are engaged day in and day out in soulless Namaz) " Those who devoutly worship Have a brain like a turnip " -An old rhyme in Scottish Gaelic dialect, translated into modern English by the author " Khuda Tujhe Kisi Tufaan Se Aashna Kar De Ke Tere Bahar Ki Maujon Mein Iztaraab Nahin Tujhe Kitaab Se Nahin Faraagh Ke Tu Kitaab Khawah Hai Magar Sahib-e-Kitaab Nahin " Muhammad Iqbal (Zarb-e-Kaleem or The Rod of Moses) (God bring you acquainted with some storm!/ No billow in your sea break in foam/ And never from books can you be weaned/ Which you declaim, but not comprehend) The urge to conform (Mutabiqat or Hum Aahangi in Urdu) or kow-tow is strong in most of us, but if society were entirely made up of conformists, life would be very dull. To be genuinely different and original is a gift to treasure in ourselves and others. It's not easy to be out of step, and not all different ideas are good, but through the ages, it's the non-conformists who've stimulated progress. So long as you follow the society in a grovelling and unquestioning manner, abide by the tenets and dictums of it without any protest and calmly accept the ways of the masses, you are placed on the highest pedestal and almost deified. But the day you defy or even dare deny, you are crucified. We love a person not because he has certain independent virtues and qualities, we love him because he seconds our irrationalities. Society always likes and respects an individual, who is a mere extension of it. An odd man out is always at odds with society. A placid society is like a pond of stagnant water without ripples. It needs a stone of change to come out of its complacent stagnancy. But we are still not ready to accept those who have an iconoclastic mindset. We are all traditionalists. If anyone goes 'astray', we condemn him and put his head under the guillotine. Societal acknowledgement eludes a person who defies its ossified ways and questions their veracity as well as validity. A person, who swims against the tide, is a threat to society. So, eliminate him. But who swims with the tide is always welcome, because there is no fear. Docile is imbecile! Only those who dare defy the decrees of their times, are remembered by the succeeding times and eventually celebrated as Heroes. Question because your questions are the remnants you leave behind as your legacy for posterity. We conform because it doesn't require to question or militate against anyone and anything. In other words, conformity is comfortability. Gradually, it makes us slavish. That's why Urdu poet Arsh Malsyani urged, " Mere Dost, Muwafiqat Se Bach/ Kar Wahi Jo Tujhe Lage Sach " ( My friend, eschew conformity/ Do what you think to be true). Docile conformity is particularly appreciated by religions. All religions like unquestioning conformists because they pose no threat/s and follow the religious tenets like sheep. An unknown Urdu poet described this so trenchantly, " Rakh Apne Idraak Ko Girvi Tu / Maanind-e-Ahmaq Ibadaton Mein Kho Jaa / Samajh Isi Ko Apni Qismat / Padh Namaz Aur So Jaa " (Mortgage your prudence/ Get lost in worship like a fool/ Think this to be your fate/ Offer Namaz and go to sleep). ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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