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Answers to the precious comments of my valuable readers on the last post.

Referring to the last post by the name of  Search for Ways to ensure a Placid World full of Peace and Tranquility-II 

Comment by Durdana Irshad — August 26, 2011 @ 3:16 pm
I feel that many aspects of religion are left to ones own interpretation and perception, to make it more personalized. The core principles dictated by a religion remain the same while the entire structure is rests on that frame work. The design of the building may vary for each person. Making peace is the core spirit that pervades through religions.

How an artist or a poet may perceive God or religion is also left to the individual’s thinking and there may not be much need to modify it..No one can be told that his way of understanding the personal aspects of religion is wrong, it may not be the best way but its not wrong nonetheless,as long as it does not prove harmful for the rest of the world.

Also, the sweet smiles of Mona Lisa were perhaps not so sweet after all. Speculations have it that this painting by Da Vinci was really the painting of Hermes and Aphrodite; merged into a single body. Artists are strange, eccentric creatures. Part of the definition of an artist is that he deviates from the standard norms, they may want to question it as well. It’s a trait of a creative person- that he questions.

I believe that as long as a person follows the directives of his religion, he can find peace within himself because the ultimate peace lies in faith for all mankind. Having a faith is the panacea for the human race.Peace within ensures peace without.

Reply by the author by Tariq Razi — August 27, 2011 @ 11:34 am

I am pleased to read your candid comments on the latest post. I have noted for myself for future articles that some main points must be elaborated more lucidly. I would make an observation on your first comment which says some aspects of religion are left to ones own interpretation, though all major religions do have this freedom and especially Islam where the difference between Shariah and Fiqh is an example in itself, mostly not under stood by some of their own scholars. Broadly Fiqh is the interpretation of Shariah, showing that inherent freedom. The point we want to highlight is that the problem also arises due to this flexibility, an inbuilt feature of every religion, but if misused, can result into extremism. Today this is mostly seen in Islamic nations but it has always been present in one form or the other, even what the Jews of that time thought they have crucified Jesus was a manifestation of the extremist tendencies developing in any religious practices with the passage of time. This feature is clearly available in Islam in the form of the institution of “Ijtihad”, as discussed above. Therefore one can conclude that there is a dire need to harness these tendencies, which is only possible if ignorance along with the lack of wisdom is not allowed to creep into any religious tradition at any stage, main cause of certain “isms” taking route into every religion with the passage of time. If God be willing, we will take this process of development in all religions and especially in Islam.

Same way in your second part of the comments we are confronting similar problem as far as the very concept of the divine Reality is concerned, this personalized god too is the main cause of the diversities resulting into many facets of one single Reality, a common tendency found in all religions. In Islam, Wahdat-al-Wajood, a concept extended by Ibn Arabi has raised unnecessary discussions and given birth to such diverse tendencies which might be one of the causes for great decadence in Muslim nations today, which requires detailed discussion at a separate platform. However it is evident that such ideologies were quickly imbibed and vehemently followed by already decaying religious philosophies in the west, as the term “pantheism”, is widely used which means same as Wahdat-al-Wajood. Rise of such tendencies in Islam is especially unbelievable in view of its clear percepts such as given in Surah Ikhlass, proving the existence of these tendencies in man because all religion, especially Islam invites man to contemplate and ponder over the great realities, all around making manifest, one single Reality. This was mentioned in the last article as the concept of “Afaq” as elaborated by Iqbal in his lecture in Allahabad.

This is a vivid example of how man gets lost even in his genuine pursuit of God, like in Islam, in spite of clear ordains emphasizing not only believing but professing the theme of the unity of God so precisely stated in concrete parameters leaving no place for any further developments. Yet one finds so many variants of this fundamental principle of Islam depicting clearly the disadvantage of adventurism in religious domains especially the very concept of the divine Reality.

Lastly what you have said is of vital value, one of the aims of all our endeavors, that all religions have emphasized the value of virtue and profess that service to humanity is the raison d’ etre of human existence then why religion itself and man himself is is the cause of all bloodshed and misery in the world. This is the purpose of all this discussion and in the coming discussion will focus on this question.

Search for a real peaceful world

Comments from Nusrat

This is only possible if all mankind are sincere in their effort and they all have to try irrespective of who they where they what they are, this needs education and for that again we all will have to try our best so these some of the steps which are a prerequisite for a peaceful world. Another vital aspect is the courage to call a spade a spade, we all man kind have to grow far above a level to except hypocrisy at any cost and say no to corruption and exploitation of weak in all its manifestations.

How from a Teacher Flows a kind of Life-But it depends who is the student

Reflections of one of my students-Raheel Waqar 

Words of Wisdom

Sitting in the Geography class in school, I remember how fascinated I was when we were being taught all about the Dead Sea .

As you probably recall, the Dead Sea is really a Lake , not a sea (and as my Geography teacher pointed out, if you understood that, it would guarantee 4 marks in the term paper!) It’s so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. You can almost lie down and read a book! The salt in the Dead Sea is as high as 35% – almost 10 times the normal ocean water. And all that saltines has meant that there is no life at all in the Dead Sea . No fish. No vegetation. No sea animals. Nothing lives in the Dead sea . And hence the name: Dead Sea .
While the Dead Sea has remained etched in my memory, I don’t seem to recall learning about the Sea of Galilee in my school Geography lesson. So when I heard about the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and the tale of the two seas – I was intrigued. As it turns out the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea . Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from river Jordan . And yet, they are very, very different.
Unlike the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is pretty, resplendent with rich, colorful marine life. There are lots of plants and lots of fish too. In fact, the Sea of Galilee is home to over twenty different types of fishes. Same region, same source of water, and yet while one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?
Here apparently why. The River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee and then flows out. The water simply passes through the Sea of Galilee in and then out –
and that keeps the Sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life. But the Dead Sea is so far below the mean sea level, that it has no outlet.
The water flows in from the river Jordan , but does not flow out. There are no outlet streams. It is estimated that over 7 million tons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day. Leaving it salty, too full of minerals and unfit for any marine life.
The Dead Sea takes water from the River Jordan, and holds it. It does not give. Result? No life at all.
Think about it.
Life is not just about getting. It’s about giving. We all need to be a bit like the Sea of Galilee . We are fortunate to get wealth, knowledge, love and respect.
But if we don’t learn to give, we could all end up like the Dead Sea . The love and the respect, the wealth and the knowledge could all evaporate. Like the water in the Dead Sea . If we get the Dead Sea mentality of merely taking in more water, more money, more everything, the results can be disastrous.
Good idea to make sure that in the sea of your own life, you have outlets. Many outlets. For love and wealth – and everything else that you get in your life. Make sure you don’t just get, you give too ————————-

A Search for Ways to Ensure Peace in the World

let’s see so many intelligent people, if reading, this join hands in an endeavor to look for ways to ensure a really peaceful world, free of hatred, exploitation, injustice and treachery in all its manifestation, a few to mention. We can do it though it is a challenge, man has no history of any such movement as all such movements too were for some ulterior motive or the other, resulting in colossal bloodshed and gave man no peace. But we believe “Since the time immemorial man is gaining intelligence……..” then why is it so that we are day by day getting closure to disasters in one form or the other, may it be wars, terrorism, dictators in disguise even natural calamities too are on the increase. We are also faced with if global warming on one hand the ozone layer on the other. Why is that nature too seems to be as hostile with every passing year as we ourselves as mankind are slowly heading towards a hostility which can result into catastrophes much greater than even world wars and barbaric incidents like Boer War. Let’s seriously and sincerely ponder over this dilemma, if man is committed can reach the moon why can’t we reach a solution that saves our beloved home we all share, we call world. I would just complete the above dictum to make our job a little easier, “Since the time immemorial man is gaining intelligence but not wisdom”. Hoping to see us all rise to this necessity with wisdom as this is the only path to our salvation.
with best wishes for all those who love peace and are ready to mobilize their minds for a start, any other kinds of mobilization we see all over the world only results in more bloodshed, which is what we are aiming to stop.
Tariq Razi. Islamabad Jul 09, 2011