By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
November 17, 2013
As it is, in developed and so called civilised countries, it is incumbent upon drivers to obey the traffic code so as to maintain safety of all road users and decongest traffic flow.
Concurrently it is the responsibility and obligation of the authorities that the roads are kept in good conditions, correctly marked and prominently signposted for travellers’ progress.
Similarly too, on the freeways of thoughts and actions for a civilised society, it is incumbent for it to accept responsibilities to conduct its affairs within the given parameters of freedom to maintain harmony with in the nation-communities.
The societies which had balanced these freedoms, that of expression of thoughts and propagated their ideas with responsible conduct, have progressed and prospered but those that furrowed within ruts had constricted, restricted use of intelligence the nature’s gifts had stagnated, regressed and finally ruined.
A wise man of ancient times philosophised that ‘it is unbelievable that nature that gave mankind intelligence would not want it to make use of it’.
The one institution that stands out amongst others that mankind has constructed for itself as unnatural authority to enforce moving in the rut is that of religions.
Superstition, fear, ignorance coupled with the alliances with influential classes has managed to congest the traffic on highways and freeways of ideas and thoughts; thus causing blockage to human progress.
Dr Rashid Shaz in his article “Lastampokh” makes a good analogy of this and says:
“This was the first occasion when I was caught in the traffic jam of Istanbul. But I was not surprised at all; for in cities where life is otherwise a chaotic race; to lose precious time in traffic jam is taken casually. Yes, but in progressive cities where alternate routes and flyovers are built to meet the traffic demands, the sense of chaos are felt less and less”.
He further adds:
“As it is with traffic, the construction of freeways eases congestion, so it is with civilisation where intellectual thoughts and vision freezes if new ways are not open to advancement. These too need new highways, flyover and freeways to keep moving ahead”.
However in literal sense, there remains the dilemma of different Highway Codes in different countries. Today the planet earth is called a global village and crossing from one country to the other in a vehicular transport sometimes causes confusion too.
Imagine if the British and/or the Europeans insisted on driving on their respective Highway Codes, how chaotic and dangerous that would be?
A global highway traffic code on the other hand where a UK driver entering at Dover and coming out through the Channel Tunnel at Calais does not have to change lanes in order to drive from left to right and vice versa for the Europeans.
But it is not possible in the foreseeable future. As De Gaul had said in the sixties, that the British have yet to abandon their Empire and island mentality and so have not evolved into Europeans, so he vetoed them out of EEC entry for a decade or so, contending it will stifle European progress!
It is therefore argued that if all religions were constructed for harmony and peace then all their core values would be global in essence and there would only be one church and one religion, or no church and no religion at all. As a result, this would be like illuminating whole of mankind with the lamp of wisdom of the one and only Creator. Whatever mankind would like to name the Lamp in all its different languages
ہم دل کا دیا جلا کے لاۓ۔۔ تب جا کے تيرا سراغ پايا
Hum Dill Kaa Diyaa Jalaa Kay Laaye--Tab Jaakay Teraa Suraag Paayaa
We lit the lamp of our heart – only then were we able to trace you.
Muslim religions and their church operatives, whose interest lies in perpetuating religions will not change their island mentality based on their theologies, insular learning, elitism and show of piety, contrary to 53-32, not to elevate oneself in holiness. But all world religions are holy lucrative industries.
Let alone apply the Quranic idea of Believers being a Brotherhood 49-10. (Believers and not Muslims); they are light years away from implementing it, as can be seen by their dogma of not including even their sisters without separating them under the mental and material ‘hood’.
The statement of-- humanity being created as one nation 10-19 as is believed by many to be so that – “all men are created equal”-- is far from a reality and can be said to be drifting ever further apart on all fronts; rich and poor, black and white, men and women and of course different religions!
The modern demographic one way traffic from the third world; politely referred to today as the developing world, of its people travelling to the materially advance countries, is a phenomenon worth looking into, and to determine the cause or causes of this one way congestion.
One of the causes is the very obvious one; that of abject poverty and the magnetic attraction of material benefits provided by many of the developed first world States and opportunities there to advance in that direction.
Poverty has many shades of “darkness”. The darkest being, ignorance brought about by lack of mainstream educational facilities for the masses. The gap is being filled by the church schools. If only they would cultivate there free thoughts and not only give free meals!
The rich, in these poor countries however have a way out of this dilemma by travelling in comfort to the developed countries.
The poor must risk their lives and limbs to get there by whatever means available to them. But such detours are also prowled by human and animal predators.
If ever at all they reach the other side of the borders and shores safely, there is the hurdle of catching up to do with completely different culture, norms and even religion to cope with.
In their ignorance often compounded by rigid religious teaching and beliefs imparted by its operatives, there is the attempt to mould the surrounding in the darkness of their home countries and hence the ghettoisation of many areas in the first world.
The third world may also have the vehicular highways and freeways, yet the culture of “implementing” the Highway Code is non-existent and creeping into the cross roads at red light—a dangerous act-- is a common practice.
Law of the land takes a second even third place to performance of religious rites!
When this analogy is seen in the context of religious fervour, it is commonly observed that the free flow of traffic on the road to and from the houses of worship is blocked illegally on religious and festival days, as it is done in their home countries, where it is customarily accepted.
To some this may be a trivial issue since it is considered as a minor inconvenience caused to the travelling public. However it is not that simple. Inconvenience caused to the public, without due legal authority is a serious matter for maintaining law and order. It causes confrontation, disharmony and discontent in the community; which is a prerequisite for any civilised society to avoid.
This is an important moral, ethical and social duty. A duty of every citizen, to maintain harmony and peaceful co-existent in the community that one has adopted to live in voluntarily!
It is a simple example that reflects many aspects of migrant community’s education and knowledge. For example there is no reason in this context, not to hold two or even three congregations to avoid confrontation with the travelling public. And there is nothing to stop them from negotiating with the authorities to grant exemption for these occasions. The authorities may for various reasons not grant this request, which is its prerogative.
Holy rites and its showmanship at the expense of public and duty to it are ridiculed as not being piety 107.
Mankind cannot be judged by how it behaves and acts in public without considering the effect of that act on the community. It is just a matter of being courteous and also common duty to obey law of the land.
4-59 & 83 are quite clear in this respect:-
“Obey God and the Apostle (when he was alive) and those charged with legitimate authority among you (the legitimate State)”.
The responsibilities lies with all concerned to maintain peace and harmony as an ordained duty.
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer