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171 Religions Are So Confusing!

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There are so many religions and some of them claiming followers in the bilions or in hundreds of millions. How is it that these hundreds of millions of normally rational people be led to believe that it is only 'their religion' that is true and correct? What is happening to allof us?
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  1  2 171 Religions Are So Confusing! Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, We live in Sri Lanka where we mix with people belonging to a variety of religions. We call it a plural society. The main religions of the people of Sri Lanka are Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Of course there are some Sri Lankans professing other religions as well, but generally speaking what I have mentioned are the 4 main religions amongst the people of Sri Lanka. Globally too there are many religions, but these four religions, that is Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are probably the most widespread all over the world and may even be considered as the four main or the four dominant religions of the world. You would have observed that when we promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination this multi religious or multi cultural factor has great appeal. Humans from all over the world delight in experiencing the flavors of different cultures. The more exotic the better! Do we not talk about as well as prepare for the many different Holy days and festivals of different religions and cultures? Do we not enjoy tasting the varieties of foods, music, dance and even dress associated with the many different cultures? Do we not ‘  sort of get the feeling  ’  that this multi religious environment would actually blossom with refrains of peace and harmony because of the presence of different religions, and especially  because of the energies that would flow through the efforts of those communities in practicing their different religions?  Now when I use the word religion, the picture or the explanation to that word that arises in my mind is something wonderful. Why is it wonderful? What is it that I expect or anticipate from religions? Let me list my thoughts on this subject; 1. It is through religions or through our religion that we learn the truth of this world, the revealing or the enlightening truth of life. 2. We learn to prepare for and to face death and to learn the truths and to prepare for that otherwise ‘frightening unknown’, which we refer to as ‘life after death’ . 3. We learn great human or we could even describe them as divine values. These are values that have been cherished and protected over many generations, and in fact has now been and handed over to us as ‘our heritage’  4. It is through religions that we learn peace, to live in harmony, to practice tolerance and  patience. 5. Religions teach us not to look at faults of people, not to harbor jealousy or other evil qualities. 6. It is through religious learning that we recognize good qualities as well as learn to inculcate these qualities in to our lives. 7. It is through religions that we learn the objective of our life and how to achieve or reach that objective.  3 8. It is through religions that we learn how to respect our parents and our elders. 9. It is through religions that we learn the true rights of the weak, even the rights of women, the poor the differently abled and even of orphans. Actually to put it in a nut shell; Religion is the essence of everything that is good. Irreligiosity, or to go contrary to religious teachings, is the field or the foundation of all evils. Oh it is so wonderful to listen to or to read the virtues of our religion and the wisdom of a religious person and the amazing harmony in a religion based society, a sort of a utopian state where all its citizens are knowledgeable, law abiding and happy. People are always smiling, courteous and helpful and where there is no poverty or weaknesses and no one to oppress or even to bully. Wonderful isn’t it?  But then do we see it? Do we not   think that through religion the Buddhist is becoming a better person, the Hindu is  becoming a better person, the Christian is becoming a better person and that the Muslim is  becoming a better person? Or on the other hand, are we thinking that only we who belong to our religion are becoming better  persons whilst all those who belong to and are following the teachings of other religions are in fact on the course of moral decay? Is it that all of us, whether we are Buddhist or Hindu or Christian or Muslim are thinking that it is only we who belong to our specific religion are on the path of a true religion whilst all others  belonging to the other religions are on the paths of an evil and way that they have been duped in to believing that it is a religion? Should we not be honest with ourselves and do some long overdue soul searching? Is it that very subtly we are progressing not from ‘ only practicing our    religion ’  but gradually moving in to efforts that oppose those who practice other religions or oppose what we perceive as the progress of other religions? In other words in our intensity to demonstrate or to establish the truth of our religion or the superiority of our religion are we in fact, without realizing, actually moving away from practicing the teachings of our religion? Frightening thought, isn’t it?  Should we not be honest with ourselves and do some long overdue soul searching? So then just think! From what I have observed in this world, almost every society or community claims the practice of a religion, and they claim that it is this religion that is the truth and it is this religion that moulds us in to being good and it is this religion that is so wonderful. But then astonishingly I do not see ‘ this wonderfulness ’  in the practice of any of these religions.  Now how do I explain this? I am sure many of you listeners would also agree with me that in practice we do not see ‘ this wonderfulness ’  of religions.  4 But then again, just like me, I am sure that many of you listeners would be wondering as to how you too could explain this? How could we even dare say that religions do not appear to be wonderful and then say that we are not talking about the other religions, but in fact we are also including our religion  in that description. How could we even dare to say that! It is a great paradox! We listen to sermons on religion we read so much about religion, oh the descriptions are so wonderful, but then, what we see being practiced just does not make sense! So then, let me attempt to explain. I am a Muslim. Now obviously when I talk about religion or religions, I am referring to all religions, especially the 4 major religions of Sri Lanka as well as the World. However in my talk I will as far as possible, refer to points that draw my attention to my religion, to Islam; However I am sure that through my descriptions, listeners would be able to identify  parallel problems flowing from within their own religion, as well as from other religions. Being a Muslim, from my childhood I have been listening to the virtues of Islam and the virtues of Muslims. It is obvious to me that there are many virtuous Muslims in my community, however I also notice that there is global attention being focused on atrocities being carried out by Muslims under the claim that they are carrying out the injunctions of the religion. All religions enjoin tolerance, patience and forgiveness. As Muslims we are reminded again and again as to how Merciful God is and how forgiving He is and we are also instructed that God expects us or has even enjoined upon us to be tolerant, merciful and forgiving. How then could we explain the act of the Nigerian organization which has labeled itself with a rather imposing banner, as the The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad  (  Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad  ), and is now globally recognized by localized name Boko Haram ; figuratively meaning Western education is sin What have they done? They have kidnapped over 200 Nigerian school girls claiming that western education is against Islam. Could this act, by any stretch of imagination be described as religious? This is one act of this organization that is getting global attention but there are many other acts of terrorism that this group is accused of or is claiming responsibility for in Nigeria. This is not the act of one individual but appears to be the work of an organization or a movement which apparently has some support and appeal from a section of Muslims from some parts of  Nigeria. Maybe you could not describe this as a mass movement but you could describe it as a movement that has some following, as well as some degree of appeal as well as clout. This is what makes it even more astonishing.

Anova

Jul 23, 2017
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