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Monday, January 9, 2012

Mantra of good life

PP Wangchuk , Hindustan Times

‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ can be a good title for a film or a book. And yes, this is the title of the latest book by Irshad Manji. It is all about the vital elements of life like God, liberty and love and how one can use or misuse them for one’s personal gains. The holy Quran, like any other religious book, is a great treatise on the philosophy of life, teaching one the art of living a pious, useful, purposeful and helpful life. It is no good your being good unless you use your goodness to help others who are less fortunate and less aware of the responsibilities and the principles of life. At one stage, the Quran says, your being a believer in Him is of no good if you shun away the nonbeliever. It is your duty and responsibility to get the nonbeliever “back home” and show him/her the right path to become a true son of God so that he too, later on, does what you did.

Much of the ills that the world is afflicted with are because of the inability of the people to change with the times. The Quran advocates the change of mind and heart in a manner that they can adjust with the fast-changing world. It calls for change within before one goes for change without.

Don’t we have the saying that God helps those who help themselves? Manji too says something similar by quoting the Quran that Allah does not change the condition of the people until they change what is inside them.

Manji wants that the Muslim community should not be left behind in fostering peace and progress in the world. It must come out of its cocooned existence. The clergy particularly has a great role in making the community a dynamic of change. The Quran lays great importance on the need to understand its basic principles so that the world becomes free of any kind of strife; and peace and progress are on everybody’s mind.

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