As global tensions increase once more, I reflect on Carl Sagan’s words.
“My concept of religion has broadened over the years. My mother was a Baptist, and my father was a Methodist. They both believed that Jesus was the son of God. I don’t believe that, but I believe he was an important prophet like Moses. I believe that on judgment day, my parents will be in heaven, not because they were without fault, but because they were decent, loving human beings, and they believed in God.
We all have the same God, we just serve him differently. Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans, all have different names, but they all contain water. So do religions have different names, and they all contain truth, expressed in different ways, forms, and times. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew.
When you believe in God, you should believe that all people are part of one family. If you love God, you can’t love only some of his children.”
~ Muhammad Ali, The Soul of a Butterfly
The Holy Qur’an in verse 22:67 provides immense food for thought, especially relevant in our time of rampant sectarianism and increasing animosity between people who ally themselves to different religious traditions.
The verse indicates that all religions are from God, which means there must be a Divine Wisdom and Blessing in the diversity faith and spirituality takes in our Human Family. Surely then, this is not something to condemn as the closed minded do; rather this is a blessing from God, perhaps a phenomenon we should learn more about and reflect upon…
“Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this.
We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.
For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr, (31 March 1968)
Happy New Year! May Allah SWT bless everyone in our Human Family through 2015 and beyond!