Friday, December 30, 2022

Why Should God Be Concerned Whether You Worship Him Or Someone Else?

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 30 December 2022 I generally refrain from stretching a subject or issue a trifle too long but I thought of letting NAI's Mr S Arshad know that I didn't write my Shirk piece from the perspective of a polytheist. That's a pigeonholing on the part of the writer and an attempt to limit someone for whom religions, scriptures, gods and tenets have no significance. I'm neither a monotheist nor a polytheist. And I'm also neither a theist or atheist. I've gone beyond your worldly limits. I call myself an apatheist for the want of a better word at the moment. Now let me ask Mr Arshad, how can Shirk be an act of ingratitude? St Augustine said that the god is free of human attributes. Gratitude and ingratitude are human traits. Upanishad, esp. Chandogya Upanishad, calls god, Parasamvedanam Iti Aparibhootam (अपरिभूतम). In other words, He (resorting to god's gender according to you; I use IT) is beyond all quotidian concerns. That's why, He's Neti, Neti (नेति- नेति, beyond human perceptions) in Upanishads. So, why should he be concerned whether you worship him or someone else? If he's so rabidly jealous, he cannot be the god of Universe. Didn't Tagore say, " I'm able to love my god because he gives me freedom to deny him?" The problem with humans is that they created and concocted god and imbued it with either human qualities or extremely intangible attributes. There's no cerebral middle path. Humans tend to oscillate between extremes and that's why Buddhist genius Nagarjun chose a Middle Path or Madhyam Marg. That way, you can be able to relate to god and experience the Truth, however nebulous that may be. Thus far, you all have read your respective scriptures and understood your god's nature. I'm afraid, it's still beyond your comprehension. Stop seeing god through your limited prism of understanding. Lastly, like a ' true Muslim ' ( is it a sarcasm?), let me quote an Urdu couplet written by Ravish Siddiqui, "Kar Vusa'at Paida Apni Soch Mein/ Tu Dekhta Aaya Hai Khuda Ko Apni Nazar Se " (Broaden your vision/ So far, you've been seeing and conceiving him with your own limited understanding). I rest my case here. It ain't a rejoinder. I don't resort to arguing in a circle. Lastly, despite caring for nothing, I shall request to spell my surname as Paul, not pal. ---- 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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