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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Subjective Conscious Experience

Science rests on philosophical assumptions. There is no philosophy free science. So if you want a deeper and more accurate understanding of the implications of scientific conclusions, then study philosophy. Otherwise continue to drown in a puddle thinking it’s an ocean.

It is somewhat frustrating that some of the loud evangelical atheist voices online completely disregard this point. (Please note people are different. Not all atheists are the same, and there are many intelligent atheists who understand the point I’m making).

Take neuroscience as an example.

Neuroscience’s assumption is that neurobiological events are in some way the same as subjective conscious experience. This assumption cannot be demonstrated scientifically. Philosophical enquiry is required to demonstrate the coherence and validity of such an assumption. Nothing neural could justify that assumption because neuroscience requires it as a starting point to make sense of subjective consciousness. Professor Raymond Tallis (who is an atheist) discusses this point from the perspective of neuroscience:

“If we could obtain a complete record of all neural activity, and we were able to see the firing state of every individual neuron, would this advance our understanding in the slightest?… For this to be the case, one thing at least would necessary: we would have to be sure that neural activity we observed was in some strict sense identical with consciousness… we need to move on from the technical limits and methodological muddles of scan-based cognitive neuroscience to the conceptual, indeed philosophical, problems neuromania ignores.”[1]

Hence, neuroscience cannot fully explain subjective consciousness because it stops at neural activity which is based on the assumption that neural activity is identical to subjective experience. However, as discussed above, this clearly moves away from observation to philosophical reasoning. Philosophers of mind, Riccardo Manzotti and Paolo Moderato, summarise this point:

“There is a big difference between the experimental validity of neuroscientific research as such and the unwarranted mental ontology it conveys.”[2]

(Final note: I do appreciate everyone is on an intellectual and spiritual journey, including myself. So no hating, and let us all display tolerance and humility 🙂😉)

[1] Tallis, Raymond, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity. (New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 84.
[2] Manzotti, Riccardo, and Moderato, Paolo. “Is Neuroscience Adequate as the Forthcoming “Mindscience”?” Behavior and Philosophy 38 (2010):
[3] Image: https://neurosciencenews.com/consciousness-vibration-10217/: Image Link 

Hamza  Tz.

The result of chance

Imagine you woke up one morning and walked to the kitchen to prepare your breakfast. As you approached the kitchen table, you found two pieces of toast with your favourite chocolate spread all over them. However, the spread has been arranged into the words ‘I love you’. You are surprised, but why? Do you think that the pieces of bread somehow managed to toast themselves, and the chocolate spread was able to arrange itself in such a way—all by chance? Or do you assume that your loved one decided to wake up a little early and prepare the toast in advance? Every rational human being on this planet will deny that it happened without any intention or cause; blind chance does not suffice as an explanation.

The universe is no different. It has an orderly and precise cosmic architecture that points towards purposeful design. The universe has the right set of laws to permit the existence of life, and it is ordered in a particular way to allow humans to flourish. If the laws were different or the universe did not contain a life-sensitive arrangement of stars, planets, and other physical things of varying sizes, you would not be here reading this book. In fact, there would be no human life at all.

Consider another analogy. Imagine you are an astronaut working for NASA. The year is 2070, and you will be the first human being to visit an Earth-like planet in another galaxy. Your mission is to search for life. You finally land, and as you get out of your spaceship, you see nothing but rocks. However, as you continue your travels you eventually find something that looks like a huge greenhouse. Inside, you can see human-like creatures walking around, eating, playing, working and living normal productive lives. You also notice plants, trees, and other vegetation. As you approach the structure, friendly ambassadors receive you and invite you in. During your initial meeting with these friendly ‘aliens’, they tell you that the structure has the right levels of oxygen. It also has adequate amounts of water and chemical compounds to facilitate the production of food and life-supporting vegetation.

Amazed by what you hear, you ask them how they managed to create a fully functioning ecological system that sustains life. One of the ambassadors responds, “It happened by chance”.

Immediately your mind starts to comprehend the implications of such a ludicrous statement. The only possible explanation for the structure is that it was designed by an intelligent being, not some random physical process.

As these thoughts run through your mind, another ambassador interrupts and says, “He is only joking.” Everybody laughs.

If a small ecological structure on a rocky planet evokes the conclusion that it must have been designed, then imagine what we should conclude about the whole universe. The universe and everything within it obeys physical laws. If these laws were different there would be no complex conscious life. The universe contains billions of stars and galaxies. Among the countless galaxies occur innumerable planets. One of these planets is our home, Earth. Our planet contains trillions of conscious creatures. Imagine the conclusion we must reach if the reason these conscious beings exist is due to a sensitive arrangement of celestial bodies and physical laws.

The inevitable conclusion is simple, yet profound: this was not a result of chance.

Excerpt from

The Divine Reality: God, Islam & the Mirage of Atheism

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

The X-MUS Phenomena

The very first time i experienced an ex-muslim thought process was a small discussion of a young man named Nabeel Qureshi (2003). I saw him in a Youtube video where he was explaining his journey and advocating Christianity. I was very interested, as it generated the curiosity of how such a shift happens?

His arguments in the short reference was Chapter 15 verse 91 where he was sticking to one ayah and trying to prove that the Quran itself says that it is made in shreds. This was a very dishonest selective interpretations as the verse, if read in the context of the chapter explains that the “warning is given to the people who accept part of Quran and reject parts of it”, based on their own convenience. Later on, i watched numerous debates and came to the conclusion that his interpretations were nothing more than dishonest academic copy and paste work. He was refuted in many live debates with prominent Daee’s like Shabir Ally. The complete context can be understood if we refer the first four ayahs.

Holy Quran, Al-Hijr (15:89-92)

وَقُلْ إِنِّي أَنَا النَّذِيرُ الْمُبِينُ

And say, “Indeed, I am the clear warner”

كَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَى الْمُقْتَسِمِينَ

Just as We had revealed [scriptures] to the separators

الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ

Who have made the Qur’an into portions.

فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

So by your Lord, We will surely question them all

Actually this reference made by Nabeel was a case against his own statement.

Later on in 2015, i had two personal experience with the people i know since long with the similar arguments. I can not put those details as this might offend them in disclosing the event in a public forum. Both the gentlemen, so far i know, were not practicing nor having any first hand spiritual insight to the subject of Islam. A recent clip by NAS Daily is of similar sort. A beautiful explanation on this subject can be found here: Reply to Ex-Muslim Nas Daily

These experiences became the profound inspiration for me. To me, in my dim past i had somewhat similar attitude to the whole subject of Islam and used to indulge myself in long discussion with practicing religious people, in proving the superiority of knowledge based on scientific methods than on spiritual insights. I remember in one of the heated discussion in my 3rd year engineering class i made a very strong statement in the jest. I said “is your Islam and Book (the Quran) more complex than the microelectronics we are learning here (pointing the famous textbook by Sedra and Smith)” In those days my argument was simple. Science and Technology works and religion takes us back in time. So what is the use of such a believe and system?

The reason i found truth and conviction in the message of Islam is a different story to be told. In this article i will try to put my perspective on self proclaimed ex-muslims.

Before i start, it is worth quoting the ayah from Chapter 10 verse 99. Here Allah sets the expectations clear that it is the will of Allah for some people to believe and some to not. No reasoning, logic or miracle can convince a person to believe if he/she is ordained to not believe.

Holy Quran, Yunus (10:99)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنْتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ

And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?

I believe that every event around is predestined and there is an element of test for people to choose from what is in truth from the options of falsehood. It is the only mercy of Allah that someone gets the understanding of Islam and follows the path to minimise sins. Understanding divine, believing unseen and receiving guidance  is not in human capacity, rather the true intention of seeking knowledge can make one capable of getting in the fold of Almighty’s mercy.

This is also to be understood that our mental faculty is in a continuous learning evolution and our learning is limited to our sensory interpretations of the five senses. The senses serve as an input to mind, which in turns assimilates all what is seen, heared, smelled, felt and spoken at some event and gives us a unique experience for us to react. This experience, resulting in knowing something as a result of using our sensory is limited. If one of the sense is not present, or ill, we will get an entirely different experience. This is called knowledge based on learning using our sensory and mind. Further, this is contextualised based on observer’s condition as well. We tend to believe and make something true and false based on our subjective interpretations.

In the cases of ex-Muslims, i have a simple question to ask. I will put the question in a different way to make it clear. Imagine you are an Indian citizen living in Australia. You lived for some time in Australia and then decided to go back. For the entire stay, you never applied for a residency or citizenship. Is it a fair argument for you to make that i rejected being Australian citizen? You were a tourist for some time and you never had a citizenship in the first place. The fair statement could be, i didn’t like to be an Australian citizen and i am happy being Indian. However, saying that i rejected Australian citizenship is a false statement because,

  1. You never applied for an Australian citizenship,
  2. You were never offered to be an Australian Citizen.

And if you make a claim that you are rejecting Australian citizenship, then in case you have to prove that either you applied and withdrew your application or you were offered and then you denied.

So, when you say that you left Islam, you need to explain few things. A few critical questions like,

  1. Were you a Muslim by choice in the first place?
  2. Why you were a believer? What conscious, logical, rational or scientific reason was for you to choose Islam as a way of life?
  3. What are the reasons you choose to deny your creator now, and how do you reconcile your earlier acceptance of Islam.

If you look back in your life, in a typical scenario, the situation could be that you were born in a Muslim family. If you are born in a Muslim family, you do not claim paradise by virtue of having Islam as a religion in your birth certificate, rather it is your action which will make you enter in heavenly bliss or hellfire. Each one of us are tested. Born Muslims are tested for how they treat the message of Quran in their life and convey the message, on the other hand born non-Muslims are tested with how they deal with the message they receive in their holy books and if they lead the life following good or not. The ultimate judgement is with Allah the one, as Allah decides the Qadr. Each one of us in our lifetime gets a conscious moment to choose Islam. Islam i.e. submission to one unseen God alone. If we accept, we accept Islam.

So, in saying i reject Islam, you must accept Islam at some point in your life with all your conscious mental state. If you followed a religion just because your parents, friends or community was practicing it, well, you might be living in the Mercy of Allah in getting blessings out of rituals you perform. But, this is not called accepting Islam. In Islam, accepting Islam is called Shahadah, meaning declaring with your genuine self that you acknowledge a creator of this vast universe. If you were a Muslim due to n numbers of external reasons and one fine morning you realise this all wrong, it means you are rejecting the religious rituals you were surrounded with, not the religion itself. As in the case of Islam, it requires reason to accept and reason to reject. If you did not applied reason to accept the message, you can not apply a self created reason based argument for rejection.

In Islam, the divine book is Quran. In the second chapter itself is described as to what is to be believed in order to accept Islam. Anyone, who claims to be a muslims acknowledges that he/she believe in unseen and regard this book to be the book of Allah. So, if you say you were a Muslim and now you are an ex-Muslim, you must prove first the evidences you had to believe in unseen and considering this book divine, and now what you have to reject the same.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqarah (2:1-6)

Alif, Lam, Meem. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah. Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]. Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful. Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe.

If you really introspect, you will see that you never were a believer in the first place. You are on the path of what you desire. You wanted a escape to the situations you were in or it could be many other reasons. Remember, you do not have the ability to leave or accept Islam. Islam accepts or leaves you based on what your intentions and actions are, and you exist just because Allah is the most merciful most high.