Creation, Religion and God's will.
Essence of creation, religion and God’s will.
We exist, and that is a fact of life and perhaps depending on our orientation, we can trace us back to a singular source; be it the intelligent design, big bang or the evolution. For the sake of using a common word or a generally acceptable identification of that causer, we can name that creator and the sustainer, a God**(note below)*, love or simply the causer of life.
When the matter and life came into being, each one was designed to seek its own balance. For example, the Planet Jupiter has been precisely set to circumambulate around the sun, and it has been doing that for millions of years; it has its own place in the scheme of things, and designed to stay on its course, it respects the other planets' space and co-exists with them.
Whereas, the humans were not put on that trajectory, they were given the freedom to create their own space and balance. The creator is all about love and intentionally reached out to each one of the seven billion of us and delivered a beautiful formula called religion through the spiritual masters to live in peace with oneself and others.
Even though the claims of the self appointed guardians of religion tend to be based in arrogance, religion itself is opposed to arrogance. Indeed, religion is about humility. The claims of truth are fine, but when that truth is based on denying other versions of the truth, then it is sheer arrogance and strips the humility from religion and becomes dirty politics. Furthermore, claims like the best, the oldest, the wisest, the peaceful, the non-violent are all colored with arrogance and goes against the very grain of the religion; humility. We need to go back to the basics and do the research and give credit to God’s wisdom; let’s not lock up God and confine his words to mean exclusive benefits to us. God cannot be a small guy in his outlook towards his creation.
When you find in peace with yourselves and what is around you, when you feel that you do not hate any one, do not cultivate ill-will towards others and do not look down upon others, then you have become a peace maker yourselves. You have understood the wisdom of your own faith, and you would have earned the capacity to be a contributor towards peace and balance towards what is around you. You cannot be secure and safe when others around you are not. As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I would say, faith is in the heart of the believer.
Please remember that God did not skip any one, (Sura Hujurat 49:13) he reached every soul, every tribe and every community. Furthermore, he did not sign a deal behind any one's back to favor one over the other, or privilege one or the other, he just cannot do that, if he did that he would be a sneaky God and that is not what God is all about. Just as we love whatever little we create, God loves us all despite our shortcomings. He has blessed us with an opportunity to be our best in creating balanced societies (One self, to ones' own family to the world) where one can live without fear, where justness is the norm of the society.
What is God’s will?
Qur’aan has stressed our duties and obligations towards others, think of it, there are two parts to Islamic teachings; i) Connecting with the Creator for serenity and peace from within and ii) extending and sustaining that balance with others.
Islam has crated beautiful pathways to be in peace with oneself. Every act of worship; fasting, sharing (zakat), and Hajj has the component of bringing the communities together – to create harmony and build the idea of co-existence.
One who does good to others is dear to God. God cares those who care themselves (not exclusive but inclusive themselves) Doing goodness involves the existence of others. Prophet Muhammad explains the good deed as an act of planting the tree, knowing well that you may not be the beneficiary of its fruits and shade.
What is the ultimate will of God?
It is the harmony in creation through Justness.
Each one of us is dear to the creator and it is our individual and collective responsibility to keep that ecological, social, moral or spiritual balance within us and with what surrounds us; life and environment. Those who sin, i.e., creating an imbalance in the society through murder, theft, falsities or taking advantage of others, will pay a price for it in terms of un-settling emotions and discomfort within. Those who work for keeping that balance intact will rejoice a balanced tranquil life.
The verse of Qur’aan 49:13 can be summed up in the following manner. Please remember that God did not skip any one, he reached every soul, every tribe and every community.
Jesus was a Pluralist, he embraced every one and set the example to us that we should not reject any one because they are lepers, prostitutes or whoever we don't agree with, he was representing God's point of view. Moses was a Pluralist uniting the tribes to live in peace under One God; Muhammad was a Pluralist who brought all the differing tribes and faiths to co-exist and live their own traditions under the Madinah pact and he declared no man is superior to the other and that all are equal (acknowledging the otherness of other) in God's presence. Buddha was a Pluralist and taught the principle of pain (internal hell) and pleasure (paradise), Mahavir taught to accept the different views to find solace within; Krishna the Pluralist said whenever there is immorality on the earth, he will emerge and restore the balance back to the society; Zarthustra the Prophet of Pluralism taught the concept of what is good and bad some five thousand years ago; Pluralist Nanak said service to mankind with a blind eye amounts to creating beautiful societies, and Bahaullah, the pluralist said we are all one race and one humankind and all religions are beautiful. The Shamans in Cherokee, Mayan, Toltec and all other native traditions in America, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia taught us to co-exist, live together with our differences. They were all God's men and women and God is all about pluralism; i.e. co-existence.
The day is not far when individuals of every faith, race and ethnicities will work with you in the same office and live in the same neighborhood, perhaps it is the same street and the same community. We have to learn to live with all and keep that elusive balance, and it comes from learning to accept the otherness of other, and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
It is sad that a few men, including a handful of Muslims attack the idea of co-existence. A majority of people in all faiths understand that Pluralism is not a religion, but a practice of 'living and letting others live'. It is simply an attitude of accepting the otherness of other and respecting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. Pluralism is an attitude of religious co-existence, letting others to be who they are and resisting the temptations to look down upon others who believe differently. What is the need for it?
By initiating and signing the Madinah pact, Prophet Muhammad boldly acknowledged the otherness of other religions and peoples and taught us not to live in denial. The Sura Kafirun incorporates the idea of co-existence and embodies the ideals of a civil society - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer on Islam, Pluralism, interfaith, peace, civic issues and India. He initiated the World Muslim Congress with a belief that what is good for Muslims has got to be good for others and vice-versa for the world to co-exist in peace and harmony. He expresses his ideas through several forums and Blogs dedicated to each topic. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network offering pluralistic perspectives on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net.