Special Reports

‘Ignorance is the mother of misunderstanding’

Patna: Syed Abdullah Tariq, popularly known as the ambassador of communal harmony, said here ‘Ignorance is the mother of misunderstanding’. Many social conflicts take place because of misconceptions.

Delivering a talk on ‘’Communal Harmony - Key to co-existence” at Bihar Urdu Academy here on 16 September, he said, “Peace is desired, not demanded and harmony is achieved, not acquired. Integration was an outcome of adjustment, and it is different from unification. Brotherhood is totality of fraternity.  It is a matter of feeling, not indoctrination.

The programme was organized by Shanti Sandesh Kendra, Patna and The Temple of Understanding, an inter-faith global organization’s Bihar Chapter at Patna.  

Talking on Monotheism in the Vedic, or Sanatan Dharma, he said unfortunately the original teachings are being concealed from the common man. ‘Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan’ which means ‘there is only One god, not the Second; No, nor, not in the least’.  This is the Brahm Sutra of Hindu Vedanta.  Original Hindu religion presents the conception of One God in the same way as has been presented by Islam.  But general people are kept away from this fundamental teaching of Hinduism.

‘Kafir’, an Arabic word generally used for a non-Muslim, is, in his view, completely misplaced.  To him, a Kafir means ‘one who refuses to accept, who conceals, who is ungrateful’. Until Muslims deliver the true message of Islam to non-Muslims, how can they declare that non-Muslims have refused to accept Islam and hence could be declared kafir?  Other meanings of ‘kafir fit most Muslims as they conceal the message of Allah from non-Muslims on different grounds and despite having Holy Qur’an in their possession, they are ungrateful to Allah and keep inviting Allah’s wrath.

On Jihad, Tariq clarified that it has nothing to do with killing of innocents and terrorism.  Jihad means consistent struggle to establish peace. The first permission to take up arms was accorded in verse 22:39 of Holy Quran, which reads: “Permission (to take up arms) is hereby given to those who attacked because they have been wronged.”  The Quran further says: “Fight, for the sake of Allah against those that fight against you, but do not be aggressive” (2:190). Islam, like any other creed, allows war when all avenues for peaceful resolution of dispute are exhausted. In fact, in the same manner, the Bhagwad Gita too says: “Slain, you will gain heaven; victorious, you will enjoy the earth” (2:37).

Mr. Abdul Majid Qasmi of Shanti Sandesh Kendra, asserted that the need of the hour is to go back to religion as it is the only means of uniting people.  Despite various differences, he said, there still exists an unchallengeable common bond among all human beings, i.e., their being created by one God.  Quoting Holy Qur’an and Adi Granth like Veda, he emphasized on commonalities and similarities among different religious scriptures and communities.

Secretary of The Temple of Understanding, Bihar Chapter, MT Khan, stated that humanity’s prosperity and peace lies in mutual respect and co-existence.  We must get rid of the systematic hypocrisy of proclaiming one vision of mankind but building a world of fundamentalism and fanaticism against one another.  We must fight against all those anti-humanity, anti-religion groups who spread hatred and ill-will among different communities. Our mission is to acquaint the general public with the beliefs, customs and historical sources of different religions and religious traditions of the world, in order to foster interfaith communication and inter-religious harmony.

S.N. Jha, Chairman of Bihar Human Rights Commission and former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir, presided over the function. He emphasized that humanity is the spirit of all religions. (M Naushad Ansari)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2012 on page no. 14

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus