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Constructive Interaction Between the World Religions

Jul 24, 2009, 6:29 AM | Article By: Alhaji Ousman M. Jah

Fifth Principle: Man moves according to his own particular epistemological perspective. If his epistemology is limited to his senses and sensory experience, his ontology in turn becomes restricted to the material realm, and his life-due to his false belief-ends up being strapped in the confines of the  straightjacket that the natural world becomes for him. But if his epistemological perspective is broader and includes not only empirical reason but also abstract intellection, then his ontological perspective is given free rein in the more expansive realm which includes both the material and the immaterial. For it is only in proportion to man's awareness of Reality that he gains freedom in the physical and metaphysical realms. The materialists and the myopic worldlings  are and have always been in a psychological and military war with the free-minded believers regarding the physical and meta-physical. God, almighty, relates the bad behavior of  the crooked-minded in relation to the prophets in this way:{ How regrettable of the servant  There did not come to them any apostle but  that they used to deride him.}[ Quran 36:30]

The underlying reason for their deriding and mocking the prophets is their stagnation  based on the limited knowledge of the physical add natural world. The Quran says:{ When their apostles brought them manifests proofs, they exulted in the knowledge they possessed, and they were besieged by what they used to deride.}[ Quran 4o:83}

So if the prophets of God such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the last of them, Muhammad [PBUH] have been the object of profanities at the hands of  evil promoters and  peace enemies ,or the ilk of the destroyers of the  religious understanding and harmony, it is because they are prisoners of the natural world and consider the free space outside their prison to be nothing but fairy tales.    

Sixth principle: The official mandate of the prophets is to inform man about the world, about man himself, and about the bond and nexus between man and the world; their responsibility is to equip man with doctrinal knowledge, ethical character traits, jurisprudential laws and legal stipulations so that he neither goes astray himself, nor becomes an obstacle in the way of others. Such an exalted task calls for unity in the source of receptivity [or material cause], which can be had by way of an analysis of man. Such an endeavor also requires the unity of the source of action [or efficient cause], one which is guaranteed by the creator and Lord of the three-way relationship mentioned above and one which is had by tracing the causes of the unity and unicity  of the Godhead. On one hand, the common goal of all of the prophets and all of the unity promoters is to cultivate and bring to blossom the potentials of human nature, and on the other hand, their goal is to teach the book and wisdom vis-à-vis knowledge and vision, and the spiritual cleansing of the souls vis-à-vis effort [ the application of the will]. Hence, every former prophet was the harbinger of the prophet that came after him-and every later prophet was the confirmer of the ones that preceded him. God speaks of the project of former and later prophets in this way: Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest proofs, and We sent down  with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain Justice.} Quran 57;25]

According to this explanation, the secret of  success of the divine prophets is in their bringing forth the law. Now, because in such a scheme the subjects of the law or the ruled are one-as per their original human identity, and because the lawgiver, God Eternal, is One, and because the bringers and expounders of the Law, the Prophets, are united in their integrity and trustworthiness-we can conclude that all of the elements and prerequisites for the balanced interaction and all of the factors for a mutual understanding are obtained. In such case there is no reason to entertain agreements and contracts based on "friendship".  

It is the absence of prophets or rather disregard of  them that causes the harmonious order between  the followers of the world's religions to break down.

Seventh Principle: The world is there to be in the service  of man, not man in the service of the world; that is why God, the keeper of the heavens and the earth, has spoken of man subjugating the expanses of the earth and mastering  the flow of history, and not being subjugated by them. Man's proper use of the ocean depths and the far reaches of space becomes possible when there is an exchange and interplay of ideas and not when they are set in to conflict-being [ forcefully] imposed and [ meekly] absorbed. This interplay of ideas is very much like the marriage that takes place between opposite sexes and it paves the way for the unfolding of knowledge and the production of arts. World unity [ or peace] by way of political, economic, and industrial artifices, or their like, is tantamount to a façade, whereas faith forms the foundation upon which these artifices are to be built. The only principle that can procure a harmonious world order is a unity of faith or the alliance of the believers in the world's religions and their various branches. Although unity may be difficult to achieve, the formation of an alliance is not as demanding. The World Islamic Forum has had the honor  to convene  such a prestigious gathering and, as such, will be the point of departure for constructive interaction. Those engrossed in worldly concerns and dealings, who are alien to the very principle of faith, must know well that when they carry out sacrilege  and profanation of religious sanctities, or when they murder the men of God, or when they insult and blaspheme the paragons of religion,[ and they do all this for a material world that is dark, dismal, and spiritless], then these acts of theirs will stop them from making any type of progress, and apart from the repercussions, if they, at the hands of the people, such deeds will only lead to Divine punishment. It could be that human battles are a potion of that Divine retribution, for as the Quran says: Make war on them so that Allah may punish them by your hands and humiliate them, and help you against them}[ Quran 9:14].

The current analysis  and explanation of this matter is the responsibility of religious scholars in their role as the inheritors of the prophets. 

Eighth Principle: The purpose for convening such symposiums, whether  as the World Islamic Forum do or in any other forum, is not to sign a political agreement or to affect a military ceasefire; rather, the purpose is to save existing cultural links and to deepen religious relationships--such as will not be altered by any political or economic events. Solidarity amongst the prophets and the unity of their common goal is pertinently portrayed by the Quran Foe God says of those who belied their own prophet that they have actually belied all of the prophets: Certainly the inhabitants of Hijr denied the prophets.} [Quran 15:80]

{The people of }' Ad impugned the apostles} [ Quran 26:123].

{The people of Lot impugned the apostles} [Quran 26:160].    

It is possible that what is meant here is that they denied prophet hood itself and, hence, the evil consequence of such a denial is to belie all prophets. In any case, what is being said here is that those who go beyond the bounds of mutual understanding [ and respect] for people, always end up destroying whole generations and their tilth, and wherever they invade they leave in ruins.

However, apart from these and there ilk, those who do have the capacity to carry on a scholarly exchange, can, nay rather they must, apply themselves to enumerating  the intellectual errors of the former and must carry out their discussions in a perfectly open forum that is free from sacrilege.   

With the hope that we will come to witness a world full of peace, freedom, and prosperity, I would like to once again urged the followers of the world religions and religious schools of thought  to come together and join efforts for the benefit of unity.

The same call is directed to all Islamic NGOs, Propagators of Islam and other religions through conferences, Radio or Television progarammes , Imams and mosque committees , Daras and { Tariihas} Tijaniyah, Muridiyah  and other denominations  live in our beloved country the Gambia to reject all baseless  fabricated differences and work  together for common interest. That is the pure Sunnah  and tradition of our beloved prophet, otherwise we lead ourselves to extremism, terrorism and total destruction of the world which is not the objective of our creation..The End.

Dear reader, your observations and your constructive criticisms are always welcomed, either through my e-mail address or my phone numbers: 9913609/7063332/4393533. Thanks