Exposing Atheist’s Extremism – Legitimising Abuse.

In the wake of recent events in France, the term secularism is again in discussion. I came across a post by Dhruv Rathee where he claimed something which was not so unusual for me to hear as i keep on hearing these type of arguments since long. To people like him, secularism is termed as a political manifestation of Atheism or in a loose sense a subjugation under man made laws which undermine any law which claims to be of divine origin. This manifestation embodies not only ever changing laws to suite majoritarian sentiments but also sneaks the right to mock, abuse and insult in the name of freedom of expression.

How else this could be as for the people of atheism, there is no objective moral standard. To them we are just protoplasmic creatures by chance struggling to be in an hierarchy in pursuit of following survival of fittest. Right, wrong, good, bad, morality, modesty etc. smells too religious. The very definition of morality do not exist as we are all “a random chance” and everything in universe is a meaningless cause and effect. Leave the issues to evolution and natural selection and nature will take care. This is what they believe in core and make victim of any other practice which is contrary to their satanic whims. To slip down to the roads of contempt, mocking and insulting by pretending it to be a healthy criticism they secretly enjoy what satan inspires him to do.

Let’s look at the post content.

“I took this photo in Venice 2 months ago. This is a portrait of a Nun, but look closely what it’s made of. It was showcased in an art shop which was 100 meters away from the most famous Church in Venice. This is extent of Blaspehmy which is normal in Europe. French Secularism, which has had its influence all over Europe accepts Blasphemy. Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it. Otherwise they are free to live in hundreds of countries where Blasphemy where abusing gods is against the law. This post is in reference to the attacks happening in France today”

First of all Dhruv should understand that there is no such thing as blasphemy in Secular dictionary. So, saying that “… Europe accepts blasphemy makes no sense. For seculars, every religion is same piece of box (they call it idiot’s box or garbage box) and every God is same to them as they do not believe in any God. If he is referring that the religious people in Europe has accepted these acts as normal, well then they are not religious in the first place. A person is religious only if he/she has a full conviction that there is a creator of this universe and the sense of right and wrong emerging in heart and mind is a gift from spiritual realm which is further explained in revelations of prophetic traditions. Instead, Dhruv should say that non-religious secular population (practicing cultural aspects of a religion only) of Europe are neutralised to the idea of blasphemy.

The remark “Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it” is an aggression. People have different sensitivities to the people they love. The picture you have posted for a Nun, with semi-nude pixels of women may be right to your moral standard. To prove his moral standard, Dhruv should post a similar picture of his sister, mother, wife/girlfriend and let other people enjoy the scene, if he is hypocrisy free in this subject here. What gives anyone right to make an image, painting or cartoon without a consent. Muslims in general do not make images, paintings or idols for any religious figures. Let it be Islamic or of any other faith. This is well known to the world. They consider this a crime. Even for the prophet Jesus, mother Mary muslim consider its portrayal to be a crime, but they do not go out and make a big deal for Christians considering they have the right to do what they want. At the same time we muslims do not expect anyone to make a portrayal of our beloved prophet Muhammad pbuh as we do not do it and we do not do it for any other faith as well.

Also, Dhruv suggest to let people migrate (if they are hurt) to a place where abusing God is blasphemy. This implies Dhruv advocates “abusing God” in a “secular” world. So, no matter how good in person you are, your relationship will always be at stake as your religious conviction is subjected to be abused legally (as per what Dhruv advocates here). Advocating “Abuse” in secular world is a manifestation of atheistic social values.

Is it not a double standard that Dhruv is suggesting to “Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it“. Why someone should tolerate an act which he feels uncomfortable with? If someone makes a seminude picture of your mother, sister, daughter or wife and suggest you to tolerate it, how will you react? There is a big problem here in defining what should be tolerated and what shouldn’t be. For muslims, our holy prophet is beloved more than anything we imagine in this world and hereafter and if anyone make an insult to it will definitely hurt the feelings, and you are suggesting to tolerate it? I only wish you come across on the same crossroad where the whole world start mocking you the person you love most, be it your mother, wife, father, sister or yourself. It may be possible that you do not have this sensitivity of love as for materialists, love, sacrifice, virtues and kindness are nothing but chemical reactions manifesting in some psychological way. For them life is “survival of fittest”, mutation, biological evolution and majority wins.

Here is my comment for For my fellow muslims:

In situations where we face violent, abusive and coercive response, we are commanded to practice patience.

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:68-72)

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him.

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَنْ تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ وَإِنْ تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لَا يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُوا بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۖ لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ

And leave those who take their religion as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded. But remind with the Qur’an, lest a soul be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than Allah no protector and no intercessor. And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it. Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned. For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to disbelieve.

قُلْ أَنَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُنَا وَلَا يَضُرُّنَا وَنُرَدُّ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ كَالَّذِي اسْتَهْوَتْهُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فِي الْأَرْضِ حَيْرَانَ لَهُ أَصْحَابٌ يَدْعُونَهُ إِلَى الْهُدَى ائْتِنَا ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۖ وَأُمِرْنَا لِنُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Shall we invoke instead of Allah that which neither benefits us nor harms us and be turned back on our heels after Allah has guided us? [We would then be] like one whom the devils enticed [to wander] upon the earth confused, [while] he has companions inviting him to guidance, [calling], ‘Come to us.’ ” Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance; and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.

وَأَنْ أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّقُوهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And to establish prayer and fear Him.” And it is He to whom you will be gathered.

Holy Quran, Al-Maaida (5:105)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.

Holy Quran, Aal-i-Imraan (3:20)

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

So if they argue with you, say, “I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, “Have you submitted yourselves?” And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.

If we study Holy Quran, we will notice in numerous places Allah tells believers that the guidance is Allah’s affair and Muslims are only commanded to present the message in the best way possible. This is Dawa’h and this is what we do.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

Our believe and conviction is sourced in the divine message of Holy Quran.

Holy Quran says:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”

(Qur’an: al-Nahl: -16:125).

Further it says:

“There should be no coercion(compulsion) in religion’

(Qur’an: al-Baqarah -2:256).

It also gives us specific limits of discourse as:

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:107)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.

Hence, it is very clear with these verses that what we do is “to convey the message” of “submission to God’s will” only. We do not have any other intention. If people accept the message, reject the message, mock on us, abuse us or even harm us physically, we are not commanded to retaliate in any unlawful way in the course of Dawah. People who carry hate, will never be coherent with the message of love. We always pray for those who throw stones to our messages.

Pegasus, Corona, India and the Power of Symbolism

[Disclaimer: All the characters discussed in this post are totally fictional. Any resemblance to any living or dead is just a coincidence]

No matter what you believe in, be it your religion, your version of nationalism, your approach in life situations, or just the simple actions of interacting with nature, it can be viewed as a stack of three layers. The innermost layer is the Layer1, defining the core ideals and belief components (philosophies dealing with Origin/God, Nature and Hereafter/Parlok). The middle layer Layer2, is where you perform like rituals, methods and procedures, habits and actions. The outermost layer Layer3, is where you produce some outcome, like happiness/sorrow, love and affection, positive/negative results etc. This is important to understand and sometimes introspect the three concentric circles, to find out if “our claim to allegiance” to “what we believe in” is in coherence or not. We are all exposed to these layers or some of them at different ages and comprehend them with our life experiences. The lack of true understanding disrupts the harmony/coherence and we see confused people confidently stuck in limbo, which i call to be “Stuck in Symbolism“.

Meet Ahmed, a devout muslim. He thinks a mosque going muslim, is always honest. The act of dishonesty disappears if someone professes him to be in faith (reciting Kalimah), and to trust a muslim brother is great in heavenly rewards. The act of “being a mosque going” is a testimony of being spiritually high and a key indication of trustworthiness in all the matter. For him the image and appearance of being a muslim is a dominant consideration in deciding someone to be honest or dishonest. Sooner or later, when Ahmed faces some big time cheating from a fellow muslim brother, he gets disturbed as his “Symbolic” definition/conception shatters. However, instead to giving his mental paradigm (of thought) a second look, he keeps his idea of Symbolism intact and accuses the cheater of not being a good muslim.

Meet Anurag, a devout Indian nationalist. He thinks a hindu can never be anti-national. The act of anti-nationalism disappears if someone, with his/her true emotions calls for “Vande Mataram” or “Bharat Mata ki Jai“. Someone in the same tune and reciprocation of emotional exchanges will be a testimony of his allegiance to motherland. The act of being a slogan-reciprocator/shouter, supporting a cricket team, or a specific political party/agenda solidifies his/her trustworthiness in all the matter. For him the image and appearance of being a nationalist is a dominant consideration in deciding someone to be patriotic or unpatriotic. Sooner or later, when Anurag faces some big time treason from a fellow hindu brother/politician, he gets disturbed as his “Symbolic” definition/conception shatters. However, instead to giving his mental paradigm (of thought) a second look, he keeps his idea of Symbolism intact and accuses the cheater of not being a good Indian. Nowadays this is so rampant and most of us have felt that when someone criticise Modi/Yogi, Anurag think that he/she hate India, and when someone criticise BJP/Sangh/RSS, he think of them being anti-national.

What is the common problem here?

The genius of current ruling regime lies in herding Indians towards a “Symbolic reality (i.e. Layer3)” of everything a democratic society is ought to thrive in. This is a repeated pattern of all the great dictatorial powers ever existed in history. This of-course can not happen if people are educated and the agenda of political party is bigotry free. Only if people are just literate and loaded with subconscious biases, they can be exploited by external agents. Ahmed and Anurag are the classic examples of innocent people stuck in symbolism. It is just a matter of whose community counts more heads, the problem will remain same, the colour will be different. On one side, where religious Layer1 (Core religious beliefs, Quran/Sunnah) could have given Ahmed the wisdom of religion, another side Anurag could be made more informed nationalist if he ponders more in constitutional values, democratic institutions and understanding civic duties. In the end this is an exercise of understanding the three layer of existence in the ideology we believe in.

This need some more explanation. Let’s meet Umesh and Akhlaq. They both are police constables in a local Thana (Police Post). Of course Umesh is a proud Indian and so Akhlaq is. Behind the apparent display of nationalism, Umesh is proud of his Hindu traditional practices and Akhlaq takes great pride in his Muslim rituals. This is apparent when you go to their desks with a beautiful lord Shiva portrait with fresh flowers near Umesh’s desk and few Tasbeeh (beads to count recital of verses) near Akhlaq’s desk. There is no conflict in symbolism, they exist side by side in harmony. And of course a portrait of Modi ji is on the wall along with Mahatma Gandhi and Baba Ambedkar. The other day few files for passport police verification arrives in the office. Umesh and Akhlaq are assigned with separate files.

Akhlaq never misses his congregational prayer at mosque in night. He takes great care and take immense pride in walking to mosque, meeting and greeting people, enjoying his status of a policeman, who can act as a saviour if there is a security threat to the fellow community members. Great, isn’t it? Next day morning, he calls people and inform them of the passport verification, and depending on the class of people, situation and influence, earns huge bribery. For him, this is a matter of this materialistic world, and this act of sin (if it qualifies for) will get compensated with the hasanaat (blessings) with the next congregational prayer in night, and of course he has a plan for Hajj, where all of his sins will be wiped ultimately. What about bribe and inconvenience to all people? Well, this is all accepted practice in the society. Everyone does it, and well we policemen have so much of stressful work to serve the nation, so people should appreciate this and pay for it.

Umesh on the other hand never misses morning offering to Lord Shiva, the Gaytri Mantra hymns and a nicely placed Teeka post aarti to start the auspicious day. With all the divine blessings on his side, he is ready today to serve the nation, the motherland and fight all the anti-nationals. Umesh calls people and inform them of the passport verification, and depending on the class of people, situation and influence, earns huge bribery. Is it bribery? You are not educated well my friend. This is the norm and you don’t know these people. They never pay tax to the government. If we do not put pressure on them, these anti-nationals are burden to national economy and we are the Karma agents God has assigned, to take care of them. Spitting carelessly the Guthka, Umesh discusses the next foreign policy, next Modiji masterstroke and of-course the populated termites of selected religious and social class.

The common denominator here, the common thread is the “Symbolic reality” they live in. Both of them (Akhlaq and Umesh) thinks, speak and practise something which is very contrary to the “Actual reality”. Both of them are in fact doing an anti-religious and anti-national act, however they content themselves with the reasoning and logic they develop themselves reinforced by the Political and Religious gurus they follow. The very institution to provide a service falls victim to its own followers if they resort to mere dry Symbolism. Wandering in Symbolic reality is a quick gratification for the spiritual ailments people develop for which they don’t seek a solution but a justification.

Did i just said dictatorial powers few paragraphs back?

Yes, it is a new form. A morphological evolution. In old times, a dictator use to lead a nation with all good and bad and we can debate it. Dictatorship was a result of collective failure of humans in getting in an agreement of fair and equal opportunity to appoint head of state. As the population is so the result be. This changed over times, and we kind of get to this stage of at least having a process of democratic election and a constitutional agreement. This, however has not altered people to a great deal, as we do have the same insecurities as our ancestors had, but is manifested in new forms. Ignorance leads to dictatorship. Period. One of the prominent ignorance of 21st century is assuming one to be educated and able on the face value of seeing him/her to be literate. Politicians build narratives. Narratives drive perceptions. Perceptions are made tangible political manifestos. Political manifestos are as vulnerable as the narratives in first place. The result of such perception discussed with Ahmed, Anurag, Umesh and Akhlaq, which is rooted deeply in false political narratives (polluted whatsapp forwards), is very hard to confront with. You see a colleague who you have good relations supporting a mass killer, or a conspirator, and if you criticise them, they make you feel anti-national. How you can have a healthy social relationship? I think this issue is not so easy to fix. All of this contribute to a crowd-sourced mandate for a dictatorial power, which even elites in our society fail to realise, unless it backfires in forms of man made disasters like crisis mismanagement of Covid, unemployment resulting due to poor economic insights, severed relationship with neighbours, state vs. centre debate, Pegasus snooping and many more. Of course you view them as our internal problem or a foreign conspiracy, depends on what degree of Symbolism you carry.

If you read this far, thank you for staying with me. Have a nice day ahead.

Salora TV, Dilip Kumar, 1980s

Year 1988-89: Did i liked Dilip Kumar in my childhood?

Of course not.

That evening Ammi told we are going to visit a friend’s house in Karamganj. I was curious, and asked, do they have TV at home?

Yes they have, ammi answered. I was filled with joy.

We didn’t had TV set at our home, and we used to go to our neighbours for watching Sunday serials like Ramayana/Mahabharat, Sigma, DuckTales, Tarramtoo etc. and countless fun. Having a black and white TV was far too luxurious for us to afford. I remember standing hours near my father’s shop neighbouring “Jaiswal TV Store” [Katki Bazaar Darbhanga] and watch TV sets and running DD1 programmes.

Well, when we entered and was greeted, we saw a film was in progress and a song “saathi haath badhana… was going on”, i was excited and enquired, is this movie having “mera joota hai japaani actor”? I was deeply disappointed to know Dilip Kumar is the actor. For me at that time, he was a dull actor, never do fight stunts (dhishoom dhishoom…), or run and chase like Raj Kapoor or any comic madness of Shammi Kapoor. I did liked Dev Ananad, but dont know why? Maybe for some of his movies showing nice cars and set locations, like “Hare Rama Hare Krishna…”, and his leaning style. I liked people and food though.

We grow and enable processes and services like machines and develop sensitivities to different emotions with time. Just like machines, i was not having any understanding of screenplay of emotions and drama Dilip sb portrays in his films. With great disappointment i watched Mughl-e-Azam once hoping great fight and action in the film, but was upset in seeing songs, dialogues and stuff which never interested me.

So, if you would have done following query in 80s to me,

$ service –status-all

You would have seen all the services relating to emotion, romance and drama results in inactive, leaving others active 🙂

I watched later, Naya Daur 3-4 times, and was amazed with the way a character is played and story of-course. While watching one of the filmfare award on Youtube i saw Dilip sb’s response to some of the questions by SRK. How simple he was away from all the ostentatious gestures. Only an educated and humble soul can respond in such mannerism.

In the end, it all matters out of how many people who know us and what we matter to them. Are we a reason of inspiration/happiness to them or a source of pain, or they don’t care as we are too indulged in our desire/greed and selfishness? It is so important to reflect on our attitude towards people we know and our relationship with divine. We have to strike a balance with what we desire in this world and how we do justice with our selves in the light of divine commandments.

Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded? – Holy Quran 45:23

Wishing Dilip sb’s best journey to hereafter. May we all inspire each other and live a meaningful life.

Further on Communal Harmony

This is a follow up note on our recent discussion happened over the religious harmony video [Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8liXJfq_xWo&t=91s%5D. In the response i explained: “how important it is to know the right understanding of a concept we believe in”. Only if we know what we believe in, 1) we will be able to reconcile our belief with our self, and 2) to an extension reconcile and live with peace with others. Knowing the differences is almost as important than knowing the communalities and gray areas. Further understanding the right concept gives us an opportunity to assess our own position as well, to whether we should carry on the belief system we are taught to or not. This is a stance taken when A) we are mature enough to question the status quo and B) ready to accept alternative options with peaceful reconciliations with whom we love and value to our life.

The next big question is: How does it work in different age groups, different social classes and different belief systems? Especially how the differences and commonalities are taught to younger generations?

I think the pertinent theme in the video portrayed is a very innocent lesson being taught by an innocent kid to an old man (a Muslim figure), that there is no difference in Gods people believe in, whether be a “Hindu idol present in a Mandir (referred Bhagwaan)” or Muslim’s God being remembered in a mosque (referred “Allah”). Is there a scope of disagreement in this proposition? Let’s see.

First of all the portrayal of the old man here is questionable as he is unable to explain the answers of young kid with right wisdom and correct understanding. The old man might be hesitant in receiving the offering for so many reasons. One conspicuous reason could be the “aastha” associated with an act of religious ritual. He must have been cautious that if he takes what is not supposed to be his, that may offend the family of that kid. We see these kinds of issues in society not only in religious circles but in our social transactions. Regarding the brief discussion of presence of Allah in Masjid and Mandir, the premise of kid’s argument is, what i will call is very innocent and natural. On the other hand, the response of old man is not so wise and in line with the Islamic teachings of such a discourse in hand.

Leaving religion aside, the old man should have explained the kid that this food is meant to be received by the person whom it is intended for (Obeying parents is more important here). For the sake of argument if we take in consideration that the child has got a notion that the food is being offered to a “God”, the old man should have explained that the food is made for mortal being like humans and animals and not for God. Instead, food can be given to poor and needy directly without any ritualistic means of religious nature.

For the question on, if Allah is everywhere, why is not he present in the Mandir, or conversely if we call referred deity “Bhagwan” to be present everywhere, why is he not in the Masjid, let’s analyse this premise in some specifics here. First of all, the deity referred in Hinduism (taught to general hindu masses) are considered as the intermediaries or tools (as swami Jaggi Vasudev aka Sadhguru refers in his talks) to practice spiritual exercise in an effort to realise divine presence, referred “God” in some sense. In Islam the term Allah is used for one God, who is the reason for all existence we see and is the creator of this space and time continuum we see and experience. There is a distinction in the concept in Islam as we believe Allah to be ultimate creator and separate from its creation (in an empirical sense), however Allah’s knowledge encompasses all the creation. This contrast is referred as Pantheism (in Hinduism) and Monotheism (in Islam). So for Muslims, a mosque is not a place where God or its any intermediaries exist in any form we can rationalise, however it is just a place where Muslims gather to remember Allah. Allah is beyond what we can comprehend or imagine and is not limited to a specific piece of land. The importance of Masjid exists as its sole purpose of existence is to facilitate group prayers and imparting religious knowledge. Nothing less nothing more. Whereas in Mandirs, we have specific deities, the priests, offerings and specific rituals of religious importance. This is the reason kid’s mother sent the food for a Pandit, as it is with a belief that with some rituals associated with specific jaap/mantras if the food is served to poor, ultimately its equivalent form will reach to the soul of deceased in heavenly realm. However, if the same food is served in Masjid, A) A masjid do not entertain food and religious rituals to satisfy any dead person in heavenly realm, B) It will be dishonest for a masjid Imam to take the food and upset the daughter (or son) of the dead person. The portrayal of old man’s hesitation reflects point (B), as in Indian subcontinent, getting offended on religious grounds cost dearly, even life and especially if you happen to be a minority [“Muslims minority in Hindu majority” or “Hindu minority in Muslim majority”].

How can we explain this difficult situation to a 7 years old kid?

Well, it starts at home. It starts with rising above superstitions and a sincere reconciliation with what we believe in. The Imam could have explained what is “God”, “Soul” and “Nature”  and should have advised the kid to feed the poor instead of offering on an idol (if the kid was a Hindu) or a dead person in a grave (if the kid was a Muslim). Parents should look for an opportunity to work on religious ethos, rather than dry practises. It is important to give a poor and needy a blanket, rather than offering chaadar on Dargah and feed the poor directly rather taking a redtape route via a stone idol in Mandir. If we practice religion with the right spirit, in line with scriptures and question superstitions, we will live a life of love and our actions will cement the differences, else we will be fighting on differences created by politicians and religious gurus. Religion is to acknowledge the spiritual component of our self which calls for being Good and tells us to avoid immoralities, and if we escape this calling we are just another animal in a race of survival of fittest, where nothing is Good or Bad, except to survive and excel in the race. We choose what we are destined for.

 

 

Decoding components of destiny

The subject of destiny seems to be complex if we seek an immediate answer, in terms of the way we want to understand topics in 5 minutes YouTube session. In recent times with the advent of information age, humanity at large is seeking a more quick impatient lifestyle. We started to appreciate Industrial revolution in colonial past and we matured to be in this age of free thinkers, which (it seems) enabled us to have tools and technology at our disposal like never before. The mesmerising effect of the magical encounters made people to be more earth-centric (materialistic) forgetting hereafter, equipping themselves with enough reasons to not believe in what is beyond this material life.

The reason it seems to me has never been the case of Islam vs. science but people falling under what is termed as “category mistake”. What it means is that people accept an explanation of “how/why something works” as “who made it working”? Science addresses “how/why” aspect, whereas Islam addresses “Who/Reason” aspect [1]? This distinction is presented as a question to humanity in Quran in following verse.

“Or were they created by nothing? Or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and Earth? Rather, they are not certain.” Holy Quran 52:36

As an example, in day to day life we know that motion of any object we see around follows a set rule of nature, which was explored and put forth lately by Isaac Newton in classical laws of mechanics (Category 1: How/Why) [2], however mere existence of these laws will not set a ball in motion. We will need an external agent who initiates the motion (Category 2: Who/Reason). Scientific philosophy at best keeps silence over category 2 when it comes to the origin of universe (to the extension existence of energy, creation of matter, matter getting life i.e. totipotency [4] and life getting a consciousness), whereas zealots with atheistic allegiance make it a matter of certainty that there is no God and universe popped out from nothing just like a bunny from a magic hat. This is an irrational proposition[3].

Having said that, the subject of this discussion here is destiny and the understanding of this subject can not be dealt in isolation with the concept of divine. Those who reject divine, can not comprehend destiny, free will and reckoning. In simple terms, if you reject the concept of a divine supreme as a creator and perceive this life just as a meaningless array of sequence and events propelled by cold, blind, random physical processes, there is no reason for a discussion over destiny. The life under such assumption is an “accident”, devoid of any meaning. In strict terms, the evolutionary core engines namely “survival of fittest” and “mutation” (discussed in context of biological evolution) drives a cruel flow where love, joy, pain, sorrow, sacrifice and overall human creative capacity is nothing but some chemical reactions. This is more extreme (blind faith) to believe that the creative capacity of human beings (expressed in poetry, engineering, humanities and different arts) emanates from random, cold, blind chemical reactions. How can something gives rise to a quality which in itself do not contain [5]?

In early school days, if we recall, we all have studied basics of relations and functions. There in we study dependent and independent variable in following way (equation #1).

y = f (x)  <= equation #1

Here y is a variable which depends on a variable x. the letter f denotes some kind of relationship between x and y which depends on attributes of “the system” under investigation. The system itself should have a capacity to entertain the variable x, and a capacity to produce an output y. If the system do not have such capacity, the function do not exist. Alternatively if a system (i.e. function) exist and is producing some outputs as y, there has to be some input which manifest as a processed result, we term as output. Here we can ask a question: “Do we know a system/function which produces a fine-tuned, measured output without any input and without a system (in existence)”? Think for while, have we ever had a magical moment in our life experience (talking empirically) where we witness a system which is producing an output without 1) an input being provided, and 2) a system processing the input?

In mathematics, such a relation between x and y is called a “function” where x is an independent variable. What we mean by an independent variable here is that the value of x in respect to the system (i.e. f ) and output (i.e. y ) is independent. It can assume any value it like. However the system must be able to process the value x and the output y will always (necessarily contingent upon) depend on x. One other interpretation of such interdependent relationship is that, for multiple values of x, we can have same value of y; but it is not possible to have multiple values of y for same value of x. In simple terms, it is possible that you were at home at both 9AM and 10AM, but it is not possible for you to be at home and in office (5KM away from your home) at the same time 9AM. Why? Since your position (specifically material position, not talking a skype chat or video conference) is dependent on time, and your existence in time domain is contingent on the value of time. Is it possible for you to escape this contingency?

With the above example, if we go back to equation #1 we realise that the events in this materialistic realm like the “spatial existence” of any person (y) is dependent on a system (f) which is this space-time continuum (heavens[6] and earth and overall cosmic movements) and an independent variable we call as time (x). Here the independent variable x (which is “time”) is a “perceived outcome” of the events (which work in synchronisation) resulted by the perceived relative motion of planet earth, sun and moon, giving us a meaning of our mortal position [material sensory]. In general terms we call this “perceived output” as morning, noon or evening or week, months or years or hours, minutes and seconds to the milliseconds and microseconds. Here “You exist” (i.e. y, the output) in “This Moment” (i.e. x, the input) as a result of  “Cosmic Movements” (i.e f, the system).

spatial existence = f (time) <= equation #2

material existent position = space-time-continuum (this moment) <= equation #3

Here we should also appreciate that there exist a relationship between the independent variable time and the cosmic movements in space time continuum as well (as i hinted in previous paragraph), in a way that the independent variable time (which we perceive as independent on planet earth) is a dependent variable on the outcome of cosmic movements. Just imagine someone in a place devoid of any relative motion between his material presence and its surroundings. Will time exist for that person? If there exist a possibility of biological progression of human body in that state (hypothetically, highly improbable though), how the ageing experience will be interpreted as we have no relative motion (i.e. no day/night)? Let’s also ponder over the “question of a function” whose output is the cosmic movements. We are going in the direction of general and special theory of relativity, but without going in much details, we can comprehend that the existence of a necessary independent function necessitates for a logical conclusion of what we perceive as a moment which gives us a material meaning. In a pure theistic term, this implies “since i exist, a creator exist”, else i do not exist [taking in consideration not only the material laws, but the life governing laws and its source]. This understanding is of a paramount importance as it will serve as a foundation to further explore possible discourse of Destiny.

Till now i have tried to put forth a reasoning in terms of basic mathematical logic of relations and function, as 1) this is very easy to reflect upon for people who know even basic mathematics and 2) functions are the basic building blocks of all the systems we observe in nature. Now, let us explore few specific examples.

Destiny in a simple term is defined as “the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future”. It also refers to the hidden power believed to control future events called fate sometimes. How does it fit in the design of universe we see around? Can we have a logical construct to rationalise this term? To understand this, let us investigate this term in some details.

Let me ask you a question. Imagine you are holding a ball and you release it. Where the ball will go? If i ask you, what is the destiny of a ball (in terms of its future position) when you release it from a height? You will answer, it will fall to the ground. We know this destiny of a ball “based on our experience”. There is nothing special about this answer as we all know that everything on the earth is attracted to earth, and we are witnessing it since long, making it no miracle to predict its future state. Although there is a precise equation which governs the movement of ball, but we do not realise its existence unless we explore it (we do not see the law, but we experience its existence). Just to demonstrate it, if i ask another question: “what is the speed of the same falling ball after 10 second?”. Now this is complex as “speed” is a derived term (it amounts to the magnitude of motion contained in an object), and can not be seen in the units of meters and seconds with our eyes (unless we are in a car and see it in meter reading), though we can see the movement and say it is fast, slow or at rest. However if we know the laws of gravity and the relationship between speed, time, acceleration and “Gravitational constant”, we can tell that the speed of ball after 10 second will be approximately 98m/s. How do we get this number “98m/s”? We got this number by decoding one of the laws of nature and knowing the constant (the gravitational constant) by which material objects attract each other, and the relationship between associated variables namely speed and time. In another way, we were able to predict the future value of a property associated with a matter by knowing the rules in which it operates. In more general way we can say that we predicted the “destiny of speed” of a moving ball by knowing the details of forces it was acted upon.

This was a very simple example to explain how destiny operates and how can we predict the destiny of any system, or the property of a system if we know the constants and variables associated with its existence. The same holds true for other natural laws like electrostatics, magnetism etc. We may have various theories and explanations for laws, but the point is, if we understand the equation of interactions in a law, it gives us an insight to understand its current and future state. In scientific terms the objective of such an analysis is always to know “how a stuff works”? The question “why” remains unanswered and is left to other interpretations as this is not the subject of science to deal with these questions. The interim whys can be answered in developed theories and these theories have a lifeline as they are always subjected to be reviewed against another better explanations (or better complied with the established facts and more precise experimental outcome). The logical conclusion of a supreme being as a lawgiver of all these experienced laws is something detested by atheistic community, and they try all the possible theories to reject God. They develop theories like multiverse and existence of material particle popping in some special nothingness but will not accept any theory of religious sources. To me such a proposition arises with the lack of self introspection and a predestined divine will for people who ignore the self innate calling for echoing the definition of good and bad within themselves.

There are other laws beyond inert material laws, like the laws which govern life, its existence and its propagation. We know that at some point in time, long ago, universe came in existence with matter and associated energy. There are a set of laws we know and understand about matter and energy. In explaining life, at some point of time we know that the cold, dark, blind physical process (as some scientists see (not the most), and atheists to an extension believe in it) got life like property in the development of prokaryotic cells, and then eukaryotic cells and then to various other complex life forms. There is a hidden underlying law there as well which we understand in terms of totipotency, survival of fittest, biological evolution or sudden mutations. We also see that these life forms were diversified and different ecosystems exists to support and nurture them. At a next stage we see one specific life form getting the property of “consciousness” (to be self aware and to name, classify and understand actions) and acting as a builder for this planet earth making an impact no other species has. So, why the matter was originated? Why it got life? Why life gets a consciousness? And then why one life got consciousness to such a degree? Is it all random or there is a purpose? It is debatable and not part of this article.

What if we know all the laws and all the equations of this universe? not only the material, biological and psychological laws, but the laws that give rise to these laws and the source where it ultimately originates. If we know all the laws, and all the dependent laws, and ultimately the source of laws, we will be truly in a position to see the future state of material, life and consciousness we call destiny. The answers of an ultimate destiny and our actions impacting the future state of our destiny will only be understood if we are such a reference frame where we have explanations for each and every laws which govern us [in a sense outside the realm of this space and time].

Is it possible? Hopefully i will explore some more key points in another article.

References:

[1] The Qur’an, Chapter 52, Verses 35 and 36.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_mechanics
[3] This argument has been inspired by and adapted from Idris, J. (1994) The Contemporary Physicists and God’s Existence. Available at: http://www.jaafaridris.com/the-contemporary-physicists-and-gods-existence/ [Accessed 23rd November 2016].
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_potency#Totipotency
[5] Chapter 5. The divine reality: God, Islam and the mirage of atheism by Hamza Tzortzis
[6] Here Heavens means anything except earth. Please do not confuse this with Paradise, which is opposite to Hell and exists in a form we can not comprehend with our limited sensory faculties now.

 

 

 

 

 

A miracle called water

Water is beautiful. As seas it is delightful to look at. People sit for hours at the shore, doing nothing but looking at the waves rolling against the land. As lakes it is no less captivating; its smooth surface, like a plain sheet, with ripples, is mysteriously soul-touching. Falling down the cliffs, its beauty is breathtaking. It evokes romantic feelings too as it manoeuvres across in rivers, taking odd turns. Springs have their own attraction. People travel long distances to drink in handfuls from a mountain spring. As ice spread over the landscape it is no less enthralling. And it lends beauty to mountain tops clothing them in glory. Falling down as snow, it offers another fascinating sight. And as a long-awaited downpour, it pulls people out into the open to receive it on their bodies. In fact, even in small quantities it is effective. As tears in women’s eyes, it helps soften the hearts of men.

Even its sound is beautiful. As it crashes down a waterfall with a roar, it invites people to come close. As waves, it pounds the land with a rhythmic corral-music. As mountain brooks, it makes a hustling sound that touches the soul. As it clatters on the roofs raining deep in night, people wake up from their slumber, but soon the noise merges with their dreams, and with the music of the noise steadily receding, they go back to a heavier and sweeter slumber. It is also a refreshing agent. A mere face-wash is refreshing. A bath can do by way of removal of fatigue, what nothing else can. A good shower freshens the face of the landscape to lift a downcast soul.

There is about 1.4 billion cubic kilometer of water on earth of which humans consume an infinitesimal amount. Can water be ever used up? No. It is recycled. Because of nature’s water cycle, there is as much water on earth today as there ever was – or ever will be.  Water changes only from one form to another, and moves from one place to another. The water you drink now could have been in the Zam Zam well sometime back. It has passed through thousands of humans, animals and plants before it will go through your body. We are related to others of the humankind in more than one way.

What are the constituents of water? Oxygen and hydrogen: both are gases. But when the two are mixed in the ratio of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms a miracle happens. That miracle is water. And the bonding is pretty strong. It will require lot of energy to separate the two. (It will need to be heated to 2,0000 C, to break the bond and separate apart the oxygen and hydrogen atoms). When the mixture evaporates, therefore, it evaporates as water molecules. The oxygen and hydrogen atoms do not separate out. Had the bond broken when heated, we would be in serious trouble not knowing how to combine them together to get back our water.

To be sure, today, no more water comes into existence. That requires large amounts of oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere, and at the same pressure level. Oxygen happens to be there. It is about 25% of the atmosphere. But hydrogen is a trace element, i.e., found in small quantity. Further the two are not found at the same level in the atmosphere. Oxygen being 16 times heavier than hydrogen stays at lower levels, whereas hydrogen rises to upper levels, from where, some of it actually escapes into space. There is no opportunity for the two, therefore, to combine together.

The time of the earliest presence of water on earth, and its early quantities could not be determined scientifically. But it is not difficult to guess that once all water would have been in the atmosphere. As its both constituents – hydrogen and oxygen – are gases, they could have only been in the atmosphere, where by some mechanism, they coalesced and eventually came down as water to settle into the seas. (The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the process in quite some detail). It is conjectured that it must have rained heavily for thousands of years. The Qur’an is specific about it (50: 9), “And We sent down (in heavy quantities), from the heaven water, blessed, and brought out thereby gardens and the harvest-grain.” The word for bringing down is not simply anzalnaa but rather, nazzalnaa which is for exaggeration lending the meaning of bringing down heavily.

The Qur’an in fact seems to be quite assertive about the fact that water was once sent down from above in large quantities.

It is said, (78: 6-14),

“Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs? And (have We not) created you in pairs, and made your sleep for rest? And (have We not) made the night as a covering, and made the day as a means of subsistence? And (have We not) built over you the seven firmaments, and placed (therein) a light of splendour? And have We not sent down from the clouds water in abundance?”

Here the word used for abundance is thajjaajan which is used for pouring out in large quantities. Further, since all the blessings recounted above are those which occurred at the time of creation, the verse speaking of rain also seems to be speaking of the coming down of heavy amount of it in the earlier stages of the earth. Thus the Qur’an confirms the facts that science has been able to discover only lately. Asimov wrote: “In the early stages of the earth’s history, even if our planet was then moderately hot, all the water must have been in the form of vapour. Some geologists believe that the water was then concentrated in the atmosphere as a dense cloud of gas, and that, after the earth cooled, it fell in torrents to form the oceans.” (Asimov’s New Guide to Science, Isaac Asimov, Penguin Pub., 1984, p. 229).

This matches with the Qur’anic description (80: 25), “(Let man consider) How We poured forth water in great quantities.” (The original uses the word sabban which is like emptying a bucket full of water).

Water has properties that are so unique to it that it deserves to be called a miracle. It is the only element that is present on the earth as solid, liquid, and gas. No other substance appears in these three states within the earth’s normal range of temperature. And this temperature itself is possible because planet earth has been placed at the right distance. It is at 93 million miles from the sun in a sphere around it known as the eco-sphere. Nearer, the earth would have been too hot, and more distant, it would have been too cold, both conditions not favoring life.

That water is liquid has made possible the appearance of life on earth. No other common substance is liquid at ordinary temperatures. In fact, the temperatures at which water is a liquid are unusual. Water is a liquid between 00 C, its freezing point, and 100 C, its boiling point.  But other substances with a structure like that of water are not liquid in this temperature range. These substances include gases that contain two atoms of hydrogen, plus an atom of the elements. E.g., Tellurium, Selenium, or Sulphur.  Their formulas show how close they are to water: H2Te, H2Se, H2S. Thus, H2S is made from two atoms of  Hydrogen and one atom of Sulphur (just like two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen, which makes a molecule of water). But H2S does not become liquid. “At room temperatures, H2S is a gas, not a liquid. In fact, the temperature has to drop to -860 C before H2S freezes into solid:” (Cell and Molecular Biology, Gerald Karp, John Wiley & Sons, 1996, p. 37, f.n.). All these substances then, H2Te, H2Se, or H2S, although so close to water, are not found in liquid form on the earth at normal temperatures. If water behaved like these close relatives, it would be a liquid between about -1000 C and -900 C.  In that case, there would be no liquid water on earth because the earth’s temperatures are far higher than –1000 C.

Surface tension is another unique property of water. This property is the ability of a substance to stick to itself and pull itself together. Water’s surface tension is extremely high. A dripping tap shows how water sticks to itself. As the water drips, each drop clings to the tap, stretches, lets go, and then snaps into a tiny ball. Water molecules cling together so tightly that water can support objects heavier than itself. For example, a needle or a razor blade can float on water. Insects can walk on water. Water can also stick to other substances, such as cloth, glass, and soil. It is this property that helps us wipe water off our faces.

Another of water’s quality is its ability to climb up a surface against the pull of gravity. You can see water’s climbing ability in a glass of water. The water is higher around the edges, where it touches the glass. This quality helps it circulate through soil, and up through the roots and stems of plants. It also helps circulate blood, which is mostly water, throughout our bodies, since blood has to climb up from the feet to the heart and further up the head.

Yet another of water’s qualities is that it is a good solvent. It dissolves the hardest rocks as it runs over the land and seeps through the ground. In time, it carries the dissolved materials to the oceans where it undergoes circulation. It dissolves and carries the nutrients in the soil to plants and to the cells within plants. Water also dissolves the food that people and animals eat, and then carries this food to the cells. If the substances did not dissolve in water, like they do not in honey, then the stomach would have been unable to send the digested food to the cells of the body. Yet, strangely, when substances dissolve into water, water molecules do not hold them into strong bonds. But rather, in very weak bonds that separate out whenever need arises. E.g., it is the medium through which materials are transported from one compartment of the cell to another. However, once the material reaches the destination, magically, water is separated out from the nutrients, said thanks, and dismissed. Without water as the solvent and carrier, cells would not function.  Yet, water, although such a great solvent and also reactive with many agents, is the least reactive liquid compared to many alkalis and acids, which react very strongly and dissolve anything that gets in touch with them. Sulphur-dioxide for example, reacts strongly. It will make a hole if you poured a quantity of it in your palm.

If water did not make weak bonds with the material it dissolves, the dissolved material would have risen with water molecules when they rise up as vapors. For example, sea-water has about 1% of salts dissolved in water. There are other chemicals too. But, when water rises up, it breaks away from the other materials to escape as water molecule alone: without any impurity whatsoever. This is a great quality of water which is the sole reason for bringing us sweet water from the seas.

Allah said about this (56: 68-70), “Have you considered the water you drink? Did you bring it down from the clouds or was it We who brought it down? Had We wished, We could have made it bitter. Therefore, why do you not give thanks?”

Water stands apart from every other substance in one of its strange qualities. It contracts as it cools until just before freezing, after which it expands until it becomes ice. This is a unique property of water among all liquids. (And it seems it violates nature’s laws). Most substances contract as they grow colder. Water also contracts when cooled. But that is only up to 40 C. If cooled further, to say less than 40 C, it expands. At 00 C when it becomes ice it occupies more space than the same amount of liquid water since it has expanded. For this reason it floats over liquid water. This is a great property and absolutely essential for all life on earth. If ice had contracted, it would sink and settle at the bottom. If that was the case, each winter more and more of ice would accumulate at the bottom and slowly the entire water system would turn solid. What would remain is a thin sheet of water, at the top, and only in summer but the rest of it ice. In winter it will be all ice and water cycle would stop to function. The thin sheet of water would have absorbed the heat preventing the ice at the bottom from becoming liquid. But, because ice expands in volume, it floats at top so as to prevent the cooling of water below the surface. (In laboratory experiments, the upper part of a container of water with ice at bottom was heated from above to boiling temperature, but ice did not melt at bottom).  If not for this property, (a) most of the water on earth would be permanently frozen into vast beds of ice. (b) This also helps in cracking rocks through ice formation in fissures. This is very important for washing and bringing in more chemicals to the soil below.

When ice melts or water evaporates, heat is absorbed from the environment. Heat is released when the reverse happens. This is known as latent heat. The latent heat of freezed water is again one of the highest of all known liquids. If not for this property, (a) the climate would be subject to far more rapid changes. Small lakes and rivers would vanish and reappear constantly. (b) Warm-blooded animals would have a far harder time ridding their bodies of heat. E.g., a person’s body working hard for an hour “generates energy equal to 1,000 kilocalories of heat” (Michael J. Denton), which would raise the temperature of the body by 10 degrees, killing instantly if the heat is not released to the atmosphere. The body does this by sweating “and the heat required for the sweat to evaporate is taken from the body, which thus becomes cooler” (Gerald Karp). Actually, as Denton points out, “the large heat capacity, high latent heat of evaporation, heat conductivity, and low viscosity (of water) conspire to serve the end of temperature regulation in a large organism like a man” (Nature’s Destiny, p. 42).

Water is different from all other elements in one another quality: specific heat. The thermal capacity or specific heat of water, (which is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of water by one degree centigrade) is higher than most other liquids. If not for this, the difference between summer and winter would be extreme and weather patterns would be less stable. It takes in lots of heat before boiling. It boils at 100 C. Had it boiled at lower temperatures, the earth, whose temperature is largely controlled by the watery sea, would have had very different weather conditions. We might quote Asimov again: “In general, the greater the molecular weight, the higher the boiling point. Water, with a molecular weight of only 18, boils at 100 C., whereas Propane, with more than twice this molecular weight (44), boils at much lower temperature of – 420C.” (Asimov’s New Guide to Science, Isaac Asimov, Penguin Pub., 1984, p. 476). This is another quality that is essential for life’s survival. E.g., humans need to remove their body heat. Otherwise they would die from internal heat.

We are far from finished with water’s very strange properties. The thermal conductivity of water, (which is the capacity to conduct heat), is four times greater than any other common liquid. Without this, it would be harder for cells which cannot use convection currents to distribute heat evenly throughout the cell. The thermal conductivities of ice and snow are low. If they were high, the survival of many forms of life in the higher latitudes would be lost. Also, water would cool more rapidly and small lakes would be more likely to freeze completely.

Again, water has a very high surface tension: the highest than any liquid except Selenium. This helps draw the water up through the soil within the reach of the roots and assists its rise from the roots to branches in tall trees. If surface tension of water was the same as most other liquids, tall trees would not have received water at the top branches.

We should consider another property of water: its viscosity. The viscosity of tar, olive oil, or sulfuric acid, are 10 billion times, one hundred times and twenty-five times that of water. Water’s viscosity is almost the lowest among the liquids. If it was higher, marine life would have been either extremely difficult, or impossible. Living bodies couldn’t move in water. If viscosity was slightly higher, any movement of material within the cell would be impossible. In fact, the cells themselves wouldn’t have been able to replicate, or move about. Blood circulation through extremely tiny capillaries would have been impossible if the viscosity of water was any higher. And, strangely, if the viscosity was lower, blood circulation would yet be more difficult.

The density of Water is one gram per cubic centimeter. This plays a very important role in marine life. If water was a little more dense all the living organisms in the sea would have been possible only at the top surface. There would be no life at the bottom of the sea. And if was a fraction less dense, all marine life would sink to the bottom of the sea, without the possibility of any life at the upper level.

Life, therefore, depends entirely on the strange properties of water. Protoplasm is the basis of all living matter, and the vital power of protoplasm depends on the constant presence of water. Also, replication is the key to the propagation of life. But no replication would be possible without water. Indeed, it is hard to even think of life except in a liquid state. A little consideration tells us that gases cannot be the ingredients of a living body. For atoms in a gas are volatile, always moving about, jutting into each other, and bouncing away. How can we create a cell with complicated machinery inside with the help of atoms floating around? Or, consider solids. Each atom in a solid is tightly held and is under compression from all sides. How could we make cells from it and make them replicate themselves?

It is not surprising then, that the Qur’an should have spoken so much about water in a very meaningful way. It compared this life to the cycle of water.

It is said (18: 45), “Strike for them the example of the life of the world: Like water that We sent down from heaven. Then the vegetation of the earth mingled with it (and grew up). Then it became dry and broken which the winds scatter about. And Allah has Power over everything.”

We might quote Michael J. Denton here, “.. Water gives the appearance of being uniquely fit for the type of carbon-based life that exists on earth. Every one of its chemical and physical properties seems maximally fit not only for microscopic life but also for large warm-blooded organisms such as mammals.. If the properties of water were not almost precisely what they are, carbon-based life would in all probability be impossible. Even the viscosity of ice is fit. If it were any greater then all the water on earth might be trapped in vast immobile ice sheets at the poles. If the thermal properties of water were even slightly different, the maintenance of stable body temperatures in warm-blooded organisms would be problematical. No other liquid comes close to water as the ideal medium for carbon-based life.” (Nature’s Destiny, The Free Press, 1998, p.19).

The greatest surprise however is from the other miracle, the Qur’an, which asserts that all life is created of water.

It says (24: 45), “Allah created all creations from water.”

This is a statement the like of which is found in no other book as old as the Qur’an. The information as it came 1400 years ago is amazing. For, it is science of the modern times alone that informs us that not only all life is water, but it is impossible to have life, as we understand it, without water. In fact, not only is life impossible without water, but water is the major component of all life: A human is 60 – 65% water.  An elephant is about 70% water, a potato 80% and tomato 95%. If our body loses 20% of its water, we will die in a short time. That is true of all living bodies. We all live in water as much as fishes do.

J.Z. Young adds his voice: “It has been suggested that Ammonia might substitute for water in life-like systems elsewhere in the universe. But Ammonia is liquid only between -770 C and -330  C. A further serious disadvantage is that solid Ammonia is denser than the liquid, whereas ice floats. Furthermore, if ammonia was split by organisms as water is by photosynthesis, it would presumably produce Nitrogen, which would never have filled the place that oxygen has in making energy available for life.” (An Introduction to the Study of  Man, J.Z. Young, ELBS pub., 1979, p. 25).

In another place the Qur’an asserts (21: 30), “Have not the unbelievers seen that the heavens and the earth were joined together; then We burst-separated the two; and that We created all living being from water? Will they not then believe?” And it said about the human beings (25: 54), “It is He who created out of water a man, and then appointed for him kindred by blood and kindred by marriage.”

And the messenger who brought the Qur’an, seems to have well understood the implications. When asked at a well by a suspecting and could-be informer as to where he was from, he replied, “We are of water” and moved off. The man quipped while he looked at the fading figures of the Prophet and his two Companions: “Water? Which water? Of Iraq?”

We can conclude with Michael J. Denton’s remark, “There is indeed no other fluid which is remotely competitive with water as the medium for carbon-based life. If water did not exist, it would have to be invented. Without the long chain of vital coincidences in the physical and chemical properties of water, carbon-based life could not exist in any form remotely comparable with that which exists on earth.” (Nature’s Destiny, p. 46).

Source: Young Muslim Digest, Editorial, July-2003

https://messageofislaam.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/a-miracle-called-water/

What if?

What if,
 
What if we get power to know what is going on in someone’s heart and mind. Not the psychometric deductions or any intelligent psychological guess work, but in real, as you listen and see the mechanical waves and light radiations. What if the thoughts a person is processing echoes in your mind in real time.
 
The benefit of doubt created by not knowing, in a sense is a blessing. The space created by not knowing the exact thoughts of someone you are speaking to is in fact a “psychological shock absorber”.
 
For a moment, think.
 
With so much exposure of social media and people expressing, reacting, debating and sometimes abusing or laughing at someone has become more prevalent than ever before. We all are moved by with the issues we concern about. Be it political, social or religious, we sometimes feel the urge to speak our mind and in the process keep ourselves vulnerable to reactions from people including our loved ones to react in a way, which we do not exhibit generally “in person”. Sometimes (or manytimes), the intentions, feelings and motives as percieved in words are not same as written in a post. The process of deciphering meaning of message depends on the writer’s ability to meticulously present a nice correlation of “what he meant” and “what he writes”, plus the state of a reader. A reader of a message will always try to understand the message to 1) his/her belief, 2) knowledge and 3) the level of personal interactions he had with the sender.
 
One more key point to note is that, this new dimension of fast communication, which we call social media have exploited the inherent weakness of human psyche which calls for self approval, self portrayal and peer appreciations. In a sense it creates a cosmos of news and events around a person based on his/her choices, likes and dislikes. If a person is not intelligent enough to swim in this information sea, he/she is more likely to get drowned to the whirlpool created by “competing vulnerable self” and “social expectations”.
 
We should think what we value in our life. If we are not in a good relationship personally with a person, why should we have an online connection? And if we do have, then for what purpose? Do the digital deduction of self in electronic media is an alter version of ourselves?
 
So, we are trying to peep in and cross the natural harmony electronically in a voluntary approach. By presenting a self which is not real, smileys and lols as a digital abstractions of what is expected from others and keeping the conscious soul detached with the real time interactions. The more we get in, the more it gets messed up, till we exhaust all spiritual sense and become a mechanised homo sapiens.

Why they love Modi?

Pride and Arrogance blinds a person to see the light of truth.

Recently i had an interaction with one of my friend. It started with a FB post. I will not go in the details of the post, nor will discuss the thread. Out of the unrest over insensitive laughters in the comments section, i decided to call him. I wanted to know “the reason” why people tend to ignore and be normal to fascism and support oppressive regimes.

In past i had similar experience and i know very well the root cause of such an understanding. But in past, issues were not clear as it is in current age. One of my colleague those days asked me: “why you are always against Modi?”. Well i said: “he is a liar”. She asked “how you know?”. Well, time proved it.

modiny

To my friends, Modi is a leader which gives India an image of “Pride” India deserves? They often says “If not Modi, Who?”

This issue of Pride is inherent in every culture. People search and want to be identified with a uniqueness which gives them a feeling that they are better than others (“individual pride”). In case of India we see this vulnerability rampant in our families. Be it the wedding event, birthday party or kitty get together, the sense of pride projection can be sensed and felt. This disease of Pride transcends to “family pride” to “community pride” to “National Pride”.

Can we put Pride on the scale of right and wrong?

To me “feeling proudy” is a grave “sin”. This is not only a sin in the spiritual realm, but in the materialistic world, pride becomes a blindfold and make people incapable of discovering truth.

If this is the case, then what is “to feel proud of”?

“Should we not feel proud of our country?” 

The real (and right) way to celebrate ones importance (if at all is needed) is to acknowledge one’s achievement and to “be grateful” to the resources that led the person to achieve something. In materialistic point of view (from an atheistic perspective) being grateful means to be humble to the people, tools and available time. from a theistic point of view (in spiritual realm), it means to be grateful to God. Once we are in such a state of gratefulness people will eventually recognise the greatness and will salute not only the value of our accomplishments, but the people/team who bring these changes. This in a sense is also called “commanding respect” (as opposed to demanding respect). Here one should sincerely search the answer for “the achievements and credentials of Modi, Yogi and Shah”, except to the fact that they joined hindutva bandwagon and gained power by steering false political narratives (True Lies anyone can see in daylight).

Since, most people (almost all) are atheist or subconscious atheist (this include polytheists and panatheists), they do not identify any “objective moral standard”. Morality to them is “ever evolving process” and widely subjective. This narrative along with the widely accepted theory of evolution for human species origin, which makes “survival of fittest” and “mutation” as the core necessity of life and driver of life’s progression, in turns oversimplifies the kind of injustice we see in our society. As the cruel flow of nature (which they identify with a random blind physical force of matter and energy) is in tune of survival of fittest, so is the human’s driving a political process. “My might is right and this is my moral standard”. The vacuum of such an assertion do not provide any anchor for any virtual moral principles. Why should we not kill, steal or lie? If we are strong, it means nature has given us the opportunity that we should overpower weak to maintain the natural law of “survival of fittest”. Here the concept of self sacrifice is a matter of Joke.

General people do not think much about the philosophical insights of the belief system they hold. They just follow the popular narrative. Likely, they follow what feeds their sense of pride, fear and greed. For NRI’s in general, what they need? They need a good figure to represent India abroad. They are (NRIs) least interested in feeling the heat of Indian systems and processes and like to have a nice portrayal of their homeland. A portrayal which gives them their sense of pride.

And they do not shy away with the lie and propagandas. Well, they justify it by saying that “telling a lie to stupid population” or for a greater cause is not a crime (sam, dam dand bhed logic). This is all right in course of setting a greater good. You see how the core fundamentals of basic humanism is dismantled.

While in discussion they apologetically distance themselves with the controversies of past riots, corruptions and issues of humanities related with the kind of MLAs and MPs they select. Occasionally, they bring “whataboutery”, the term i first heard from Dhruv Rathee. They are never interested in listening to the divisive philosophy of Sangh/RSS. They whitewash the whole discussion by calling them a “cultural organisation”.

Deep in their heart, they all are in favour of vengeance. For example, if you talk of killing of 3000 innocent people in Gujarat riots, they will quickly turn to Godhra incident. The psychology works like this: They do not feel an iota of disgust when it comes to state sponsored riots, but they feel prompt and enthusiastic in making questioner a victim of favouritism, as if the questioner is only interested in muslim’s killing. They do not see that the incident of Godhra was a state intelligence failure and the incident of Gujarat riot was a vengeance exercise sponsored by state machinery. Similar is the case of Babri mosque and Mumbai riots, or Kashmiri Pandits and further Genocides. There is a hidden “YES” to the atrocities as they feel that to control muslims/minorities in India, these type of aggression is necessary, and call it a retaliation, backlash or collateral damage.

Specifically to Gujarat, to me, both the incidents, as far as the victims are concerned are of same magnitude. In Godhra incident, government can excuse by saying that the issue was spontaneous or was not handled promptly, however in the riots, they do not have any excuse. And the silent people over these riots are the silent supporters of these riots.

As the disease of pride throbs in their heart, so is the disease of vengeance. They complement each other and are hand in hand.

In this state, what will work? Will you be able to suggest something? Will you land on any common ground?

Very hard. Nearly impossible. One of my friend commented that “i only post negatives about India”. Another commented that “i propagate hate in my post”. Similarly few people said “i never appreciate India”. One thing is common in all of them is that all of them in a way or other favour Modi or have an apparent or hidden liking for BJP/Sangh/RSS.

In fact when i criticise Modi/Yogi they think that i hate India, and when i criticise BJP/Sangh/RSS they think i am anti-national.

The result of such perception, which is rooted deeply in false political narratives (polluted whatsapp forwards), is very hard to confront with. You see a colleague who you have good relations supporting a mass killer, or a conspirator, and if you criticise them, they make you feel anti-national. How you can have a healthy social relationship? I think this issue is not so easy to fix. I do not want to discuss Islamic eschatology here, but let me quickly remind here that the future is not bright. In coming days this divide will further broaden and will lead to a national emergency (though i personally do not wish this to happen). As i said this is all about the perceived perceptions.

Politicians build narratives. Narratives drive perceptions. Perceptions are made tangible political manifestos. Political manifestos are as vulnerable as the narratives in first place.

Pride and Vengeance make people Arrogant.

We are also witnessing the ubiquity of resources and proliferation of technological intimacy. This makes information very accessible and knowledge a victim of rumors. How can we control the flow of truth in information pipeline. In old days, classically, to get the right information and get equipped with knowledge, people always bank to libraries, school and colleges. Complex issues were the subject of research and masses weren’t poking half-cooked comments in the general life. Nowadays it is very easy to pass any information and the amount of pollution we introduced in the information cosmos is colossal. They way we have polluted Ganges and Yamuna, so is the sacred divine scriptures and spiritual realm of heart and mind. We do not realise it. Information is short lived and the “theory of survival of fittest” acts here as well. If you want to see the practical aspect in action, just see the troll industry of every political party, especially BJP IT Cell headed by Amit Malwiya.

They also reference the issue of population, as if Indian population is the reason of everything. This is a false logic. I will write a different post on this subject as this need a great deal of information. Specially in NRI circles, this perception is rampant.

So, Modi fills the vacuum of a “sense of Pride”, Indians diseased with the sins of pride and arrogance search. Since there is no absolute right or wrong to them, you will never find a common reference frame to talk with. They will make you wild and exhausted running from Mughal period to end of times and you will never be able to educate them with right history and the sense of constitutional values.

Jai Hind to those who mean it, else be happy with what you believe in.

The Guardian: The mindfulness conspiracy

A truly revolutionary mindfulness would challenge the western sense of entitlement to happiness irrespective of ethical conduct. However, mindfulness programmes do not ask executives to examine how their managerial decisions and corporate policies have institutionalised greed, ill will and delusion. Instead, the practice is being sold to executives as a way to de-stress, improve productivity and focus, and bounce back from working 80-hour weeks. They may well be “meditating”, but it works like taking an aspirin for a headache. Once the pain goes away, it is business as usual. Even if individuals become nicer people, the corporate agenda of maximising profits does not change.

If mindfulness just helps people cope with the toxic conditions that make them stressed in the first place, then perhaps we could aim a bit higher. Should we celebrate the fact that this perversion is helping people to “auto-exploit” themselves? This is the core of the problem. The internalisation of focus for mindfulness practice also leads to other things being internalised, from corporate requirements to structures of dominance in society. Perhaps worst of all, this submissive position is framed as freedom. Indeed, mindfulness thrives on doublespeak about freedom, celebrating self-centered “freedoms” while paying no attention to civic responsibility, or the cultivation of a collective mindfulness that finds genuine freedom within a co-operative and just society.

Of course, reductions in stress and increases in personal happiness and wellbeing are much easier to sell than serious questions about injustice, inequity and environmental devastation. The latter involve a challenge to the social order, while the former play directly to mindfulness’s priorities – sharpening people’s focus, improving their performance at work and in exams, and even promising better sex lives. Not only has mindfulness been repackaged as a novel technique of psychotherapy, but its utility is commercially marketed as self-help. This branding reinforces the notion that spiritual practices are indeed an individual’s private concern. And once privatised, these practices are easily co-opted for social, economic and political control.

Rather than being used as a means to awaken individuals and organisations to the unwholesome roots of greed, ill will and delusion, mindfulness is more often refashioned into a banal, therapeutic, self-help technique that can actually reinforce those roots.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/14/the-mindfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

The Obvious Crime of Dr. Zakir Naik.

In a casual discussion some of my friends says Dr. Naik demean and mocks other religions. He says only Islam is the best religion.

When truth is presented, its our attitude which decide how we take it. Dr. Naik talks equally about the wrong practices of Islam which has attracted a sizeable opposition in muslim community as well.

Those people who are not ready to accept the truth will always find good speech, advise and deeds offensive. They say there is no absolute right and wrong. Whatever suits to our taste, desires, logic and understanding is right. They think morality as an evolutionary process, and don’t expect any criticism from holy scriptures. To them holy scriptures are just for bookshelves, an identity to belong to, a tool to be executed in the matter of life, death and special occasions. This is darkness, disbelief and superstition. They stand for “don’t preach, and don’t correct, we are happy”. They don’t want to offload burden of ignorance, custom, culture and developed hatred they carry for others.

Dr. Naik do not say undermine any other religion or culture however he corrects people’s belief and call for what is in the scriptures to be followed.

However this calls people to change and follow the true religion. Most of the people with their continued disbelief have hardened their heart so much that any correction call seems offensive and satanic proud calls for rejection.

This is not religion A vs. religion B. This is about a personal inclination towards goodness. If we do not want to be good and do not get an urge for moral upliftment, we resist and follow our desires.

These are the same people who conspired with Roman Empire against Jesus(pbuh). These are the same people who killed Gandhi. MalcomX and JFK. They can’t handle truth. “You smell logical, truth, … Well” Bang. You are dead. Echo my sentiments, else face the wrath of my sentimental lynching.

These are the same people who stoned Muhammad(pbuh) in Taif. We are in power, we are more, we control politics. How dare you stand with your truth?

These are the same who boycotted Rasulullah(pbuh) in Makkah. The same evildoers of no consciousness.

Dr Naik. Dr Zakir Naik is fortunate to live the life of those who we take as an inspiration. It’s a victory to stand on truth like a lion and be killed rather hiding, killing self consciousness and to be in herd of greedy wolves.

#SupportZakirNaik
#SupportTheTruth

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Following verses are from Holy Quran worth reminding.

Holy Quran Chapter 22, 52-60

Satan’s Influence

52. Whenever We sent a messenger or a prophet before you ˹ O Prophet ˺ and he recited ˹ Our revelations ˺, Satan would influence ˹ people’s understanding of ˺ his recitation. But ˹ eventually ˺ Allah would eliminate Satan’s influence. Then Allah would ˹ firmly ˺ establish His revelations. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 53. All that so He may make Satan’s influence a trial for those ˹ hypocrites ˺ whose hearts are sick and those ˹ disbelievers ˺ whose hearts are hardened. Surely the wrongdoers are totally engrossed in opposition. 54. ˹ This is ˺ also so that those gifted with knowledge would know that this ˹ revelation ˺ is the truth from your Lord, so they have faith in it, and so their hearts would submit humbly to it. And Allah surely guides the believers to the Straight Path. 55. Yet the disbelievers will persist in doubt about this ˹ revelation ˺ until the Hour takes them by surprise, or the torment of a terminating[ 664] Day comes to them.

Justice on Judgment Day

56. All authority on that Day is for Allah ˹ alone ˺.[ 665] He will judge between them. So those who believe and do good will be in the Gardens of Bliss. 57. But those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, it is they who will suffer a humiliating punishment. 58. As for those who emigrate in the cause of Allah and then are martyred or die, Allah will indeed grant them a good provision. Surely Allah is the Best Provider. 59. He will certainly admit them into a place they will be pleased with. For Allah is truly All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

Divine Justice

60. That is so. And whoever retaliates in equivalence to the injury they have received, and then are wronged ˹ again ˺, Allah will certainly help them. Surely Allah is Ever-Pardoning, All-Forgiving.