Analysis : METHODOLOGY OF LOOKING INTO MIRROR
METHODOLOGY OF LOOKING INTO MIRROR
- Ali Mohammad Naqvi
A few days back, one of our dear members forwarded a letter that was sent by the President of an extremist organization, asking that the Qur’an should be banned because t contains verses of Jihad, hatred and also obscene references.
It was rightly observed by other members that such utterances or acts of extremists of any community should not be forwarded in a Forum whose very purpose is to spread love and interfaith understanding. Our very dear and revered Swami Hariprasadji has rightly observed that some rejoinder is needed clarifying doubts about the Quran which may have been sown in the mind of some youth.
At that moment a few astray thought came to my mind which I am sharing and dedicating it to our inspiring Swamiji
Firstly, I agree that such hate mails should not be forwarded on this, or on any Forum, because this, indirectly helps in spreading their culture of hatred. Our mission should be to spread LOVE and not hatred. There are enough forces just doing that.
I will request all members to avoid forwarding emails reflecting views of extreme segments. And again, I request that we should avoid our views about political events on the national and international scene so that we can focus on our mission. I am grateful that members are sticking to this policy:
Now I am sharing my idea emerging of this demand to ban the Quran and the forwarding of this mail.
We would have avoided both these things if we had taken the points that I am going to mention:
METHODOLOGY OF LOOKING INTO MIRROR
Our methodology should be, before we are going to criticize others, should ponder what the other can say about us.
With little application of this methodology, we will realize the best way is for all to, with profound reverence and sympathetically read Scripture of each other and make ourselves able to grasp their real and deeper meanings.
The methodology of ‘LOOKING INTO MIRROR’, which we are suggesting is that before poking on another look inside you, apne gareban mein jhank lein.
I am sure no one will criticize others, write such mail or re-post such mail to show the ugliness of the other if for a moment he can think about what the other person can say before you.
If you are going to ridicule other for his ugliness, just stand before the mirror first to see your own ugliness. Even if you are very beautiful, you may realize your nose is a bit flat or too pointed and you may never criticize or ridicule lips of an African. You will instantly realize all are beautiful, created by the All Beautiful, All-Loving God.
Take the following points: before protesting why a representative of Hindu extremism has failed to understand deeper spiritual layers of the Quran and real meaning of Jihad verses and asked that the Quran should be banned.
With this methodology of ‘what the other can say’ or the Methodology of looking into Mirror’, now we are looking about some posting in this forum and also what is not posted but is whispered elsewhere and find the fallacy:
1) If the motive of the dear member who forwarded the letter of the Hindu fringe Group President was to show that Hindus are such fanatic, he should have pondered what the fringe extremist groups like Hafiz Said or al Qaida may have said about the Hindus and their Scripture, that all Kafir should be dispensed off. If Hafiz Said does not represent mainstream Islam, why you consider this gentleman represents Hindus.
2) Secondly, can any sane person imagine that the Scripture of 1.6 billion population of the world who constitute 55 countries in the United Nations can be banned in the 21st century? Why be over concerned.
3) If the purpose of forwarding this mail was to show the fanatic nature of this Hindu organization. But if he has pondered over the fanatic nature of some Muslims like Qaida and ISIS, he would not have forwarded this.
The best policy is to neglect and overlook words and acts of extremists of all faiths, not consider them as representative of Hindu, Muslim or Christian mainstream.
However, this is the responsibility of those who are mainstream personalities of every faith to condemn the extremist utterances and acts of their own community. But as unfortunately none of us does, there is no ground for complaint, there is the only scope for hoping so, and trying so in our own little way, though it may be just singing of a nightingale among the beating of war drums (naqqarkhane mein tooti ki awaz hogi)
4) The gentleman who sent this letter asking that the Quran should be banned because it contains verses about Jihad should have not sent that letter, had he applied the methodology of ‘looking into the mirror ‘thinking about your own glass house before hurling stone toward your neighbour:
He would not have sent this letter asking that the Quran should be banned , has he just thought about the following points:
(a) Someone may say that Rig Veda is basically a book of war. Indra, Agni, Varuna all are invoked to give victory over shudra
(b) Someone may say Mahabharat by definition is a book of war
(c) Someone may say Gita has a great message but the essence is that Sri Krishen goads and incites Arjunato to kill all those he had referred-his cousins, dear ones teachers etc
(d) The Bible, Old Testament is full of war-mongering.
Should all this Scripture be banned? Only the New Testament will perhaps escape on this count and may be asked to ban on some different ground.
So na rahega baans , na baje gi baansri No religion will be left and there will be no religious differences. All banned!!!
Is this sane, is this correct.
The correct approach is you recognize that main message of Rig Veda, Upanishad Gita is ‘Shanti, peace, bliss and spiritual perfection; likewise, the main message of the Bible and the Quran is peace, rahmaniyat, grace and Mercy of God on all, Godliness, justice and Spirituality.
Everything that is said should be e understood in this light and understood with the special context in which it was said.
Thus, neither the Quran has to be banned, nor the Veda, Mahabharat, Gita or Bible, have to be banned; Neither a Muslim should attack Hinduism on this count nor Hindus attack Islam and Christianity. All will be peace, all will be bliss, all will be National development. Is this not a beautiful scenario for which all of us should work?
5) If the gentleman who bought the translation of the Quran from NizamuddinL Locality (obviously from the Book Store of that publish books of Maulana Waheeduddin Khan (because this is the only good bookstore in that locality), should have looked about a dozen books in the same book store written by Maulana Waheduddin Khan and others, explaining the real meaning of Islam and how Islam is the religion of peace, he would have perhaps better understood the verses of Jihad and had not written that book (unless he has a political agenda, which obviously he has)
6) I caution in reading any Scripture through translation. In translation, the spirit o and beauty is lost and only rugged exterior remains. I will confess, I had the same feeling when I studied Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda through Griffith’s translation. One feels boring crude, repetitive expressions while the beauty and greatness of shlokas are lost. The same is true when reading the Quran through the translation (English or Hindi or in any language) Thus my humble view is that the Scripture should be read either in the original language or with glosses and notes by one of the followers of that faith. Thus, read the Quran with Abdullah Yusuf Ali notes or any other translation with notes. The same may be true about the Vedas and the Upanishad. Gita may be an exception.
7) For understanding the real meaning of Jihad, Jihad verses of the Quran, so much has been written all over the world (a whole library that nothing new is needed. For ready reference, we can just go into Google search, write: the meaning of Jihad in Islam’ or ‘Islam the religion of peace’ and find out some important points.
8) The Gentleman would not have never made insinuation about obscenity, sensuality and sexist jargon in the Quran referring to mention of ‘big breast houris’ in paradise, had he think for a moment what the others can say about the images in Khajuraho temples and about the image of Ling in Shiva temples and the institution of Ling Puja, about many apparent sensual scenes in the great Epics and all the Scripture. Likewise, no Christian or Jew will taunt Muslim’ Holy Book on this count if they could just remember a few stories of the Old Testament.
If we interpret Ling puja as just a symbolic expression of God’s attribute of Creativity by sages who addressed men of five thousand years back, why we can not interpret vivid description of paradise pleasures as a symbolic way of impressing upon common people that spiritual bliss of Paradise is higher than any you can think or imagine.
If you are not prepared to take this as such, do not expect that the others have to understand ‘ling puja or sex images of the Khajuraho and another temple in any other way.
This is the method of reflection in the mirror. Not only, in this case, each will be ridiculing and taunting the other, and not an only a deeper understanding of religions will be sacrificed, but also Love and Interfaith understanding will be sacrificed.
9) One of our respected members had forwarded a post which seemed very devastating because quotes from top Scriptures were reproduced to show that Shudras and Dalits were considered sub-human and prescribed to be ruthlessly suppressed and discriminated. However, he would not have forwarded this post, if he had the following points in his mind:
10) It is best that the week point of any religion is mentioned by reformers of that Faith themselves. If some outsider is doing it, it will be considered as sowing differences or taunting the other; none of which is correct or helpful and may be self-defeating.
This principle should be never forgotten that do not try to reform others; let their own reformers do that job, tum to apne gareban mein dekho
11) Our respected member would not have forward this asking the Hindu personalities to give their comment if they have quoted all the fatwas and utterances in which one sect of Muslims condemns the other sect, calls them kafir and even wajijul qatl. How he would have reacted if a Hindu member had posted that and ask us to comment !!!
LOOKING INTO MIRROR, FIRST SEEING OURSELVES BEFORE CONDEMNING OR CRITICIZING THE OTHER IS THE BEST POLICY AND BEST METHODOLOGY. WITH THIS METHODOLOGY BEFORE THROWING STONE ON THE OTHER, EVERYONE WILL THINK ABOUT HIS OWN GLASS HOUSE. THE SAME METHOD HE EXPECTS OTHERS TO APPLY WHILE SYMPATHETICALLY UNDERSTAND HIS RELIGION, HE WILL ADOPT THE SAME METHOD WHILE UNDERSTANDING THE OTHER RELIGIONS
Thus everyone will be sincerely committed to his own religion, at the same time work for spreading Love and Harmony :
TALI AIK HAATH SE NAHEEN BAJTI