Archive for April, 2013

16
Apr

Timeless Life Lessons!!!! Do They Still Exist?

Few weeks back we all decided to go on a family trip for the weekend. We hired a driver as it was going to be a long drive and none of us was willing to drive for that long. The driver came early morning around 6 AM so that we could make an early start. We all packed, and put our luggage out. My mother was the last person to come out and as soon as she was out she saw that the driver was smoking. My mother cares for everyone and considers it her duty to correct lives of everyone around her. So, being a good person, she told the driver, “Son, you are too young. Listen to my advice and stop smoking as it can kill you”. The driver probably got scared fearing that he might not get his pay and threw the cigarette away.

Seeing this I realized that there are many such occasions in all of our lives when we meet people who will give timeless advices which they have applied in their lives and are according to them the only way to live life. No matter how grown or successful you become, you will keep encountering such people in the form of your parents, friends, relatives, office colleagues and even strangers.

Parents – Whether to Listen to them or not?

One of the most common categories of people who would give you advice is your parents. My mother always wants things to happen her way and God forbid if you try to do anything different. I agree all she wants is to protect her kids and not let them make the mistakes she did. But in reality she wouldn’t give suggestions but absolute decisions and if you don’t follow, she would not talk to you for weeks, behave as if she is the victim in the house and will keep a sad face. This will go on till you go to her and admit that she was right and that you will do as she says.

I agree she has lived her life for so long and learned her lessons as life moved on. But that was a complete different era, one cannot expect everyone to behave the same way and follow the same old principles in the changing times. There are no timeless lessons, life teaches you your own lessons. Everyone wants to make their own mistakes and learn from them, not to be spoon fed.

I always try to ensure that I do not give any advice unless I’m asked. If someone thinks that my opinion is going to help them, they would come and ask and if they don’t follow it then also I will not be offended. Now this has earned me the honour and respect and my opinions are valued as well. I prefer not to interfere and let people learn their own lessons. Most important, I always try to stay diplomatic, never tell people they are wrong, appreciate what they think and add-on to it.

Learn your own lessons!

Now that I have grown up, I like to do things on my own. I prefer to take my own decisions and let people around me also do the same. In fact when I look back in the childhood and see the advices my parents gave, some of them were so absurd that I ponder, “What the hell were they thinking?” Those lessons and advices sure would not work now.

That’s just one part, I have met many friends and relatives also who would want to impose their life lessons on me. But I have now realized one important lesson of my own, there are no timeless lessons, life moves on, situations changes, generation changes and everyone should learn their own lessons. Listen to people brag about how great they are and how they have come up in life coz of those principles, but make your own decisions and learn in life as you go ahead.

10
Apr

Do We Need Another Renaissance Movement?

I have never shared a lot of personal things about myself on this blog, but due to some recent happenings I couldn’t stop myself from sharing some things.

I was born and raised in a Muslim family. My mother is a strict religious person and she never even likes to hear anything against Islam even if inside she knows it’s true and that’s why we end up having lot of arguments. I know now that I cannot change her and likewise I cannot change the strong headed people who are living like these puppets since birth.

Absolute Power

The sect to which I belong has many idiotic customs which I fail to comprehend many times. Among those one such absurd custom is for everyone who earns, to pay a share of their earnings to the religious leaders which they like to call as Zakat. One day while having my tea, I asked my mother – “Ma, why do we need to pay to those leaders, why cannot we directly pay to poor people the way Quran says?” My ma is very naïve, she had no answer but she believed that whatever these maulvis were saying was the truth so she asked me to keep quiet and do as I was told to do.

Now from what I have read about various religions around the world, Islam is one which strongly promotes public charity. According to me, public charity means rich families generously giving money for the welfare of the community. It’s good, right. Unfortunately, the religious leaders in our sect think otherwise. They believe that we all should stop giving money to poor and instead we should give money to them and they will then decide whom to give as and when they please. Not to mention that they would take a huge share from that money as a service fee. I think these private acts of charity are a threat to these leaders and they wouldn’t let common people such as ourselves to steal the limelight and help people. When they would give money people will think that the leaders are so generous without even thinking that actually this money is coming from us only.

I have no issues with these authorities, but I have issues in following their autocracy. We do need some authority to bind everyone together, just like a country needs a government. But if they tell us to make them God and forget what Allah says, then it’s not correct.

This is not the end, the worst part is that we are forbidden to understand what was written in Quran as it was in Arabic and most of us didn’t know that language. They said, you come to us and we will tell you what is written coz only we can know the real meaning. Are they indirectly trying to tell us, forget what is written, you need to know and learn only what we tell you.

I believe in Islam, I also believe in Allah, but my heart never is able to believe in these religious leaders who only want to rule and create an army of robots who are willing to even jump in fire if they say so.

The True Essence

Does that mean that we all should run as free birds and not follow religious preaching? No, one should differentiate between the fundamental principles of religion and the other secondary matters. The fundamental principles are belief in the Prophet, believe in Zakat, etc. The secondary matters are to do with the law, social relations and our daily affairs. What these leaders are trying to do is take us away from the principles and dictate us the laws for these secondary matters.

There is only one essential message of Quran, justice and equality of all human beings. There is just one Al-Mighty. Unfortunately, after Prophet’s death the message has been forgotten. After him the community is still in a war within itself fighting over sects and leadership. I don’t think Prophet would have wanted to have any such leader who would rather run for money instead of betterment of community.

People have been dumbed-down over the years, they have been made to think like puppets. It’s not easy to come out of this spider web of the authorities. The only solution is that everyone needs to educate themselves and start thinking radically. But it’s easier said than done, I’m afraid most of the people are so deep into these leader-induced hypnosis that they will not wake up soon.

I know if I start questioning and start writing names, I will be shunned by my own community. Isn’t it ironic, Christians started renaissance movement centuries ago and got free from the authority of Church, and we who are their brothers still live in the dark ages!