Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ghadir, Discord or Unity

In my acceptance address, in the 2006 Champion of the Earth Award Ceremonies in Singapore, I made the point that we need to search for the genuine champions. I referred to a narration from Imam Ali Ibn Abitalib which says that: " The true champion is he who exercises control over his self" . In his simple words of wisdom, Imam Ali has made a point that relates very closely to our current global conditions. Currently, we precisely lack leaders who have gained control over their egoistic desires and their selfishness.


Today is a religious holiday and eid (joyous celebration) in Iran and some Islamic countries.Many people travel or go to visit and greet friends and relatives . We were in Isfahan last night, where there were a lot of fireworks and celebrations and people were enjoying the beautiful riversides of Zayanderood. Isfahan is a beauty.

Returning from his farewell pilgrimage to Mecca, 63 years after his birth, in a place called Ghadir Khom, the Prophet of Islam indicates that he might be leaving this world. This creates much worry, but questions also arise on the future of this rapidly growing religion, and the road map the Muslims should take afterwards. The Prophet Muhammad who is the final messenger as well , points to the Holy Quran and His True Successors as the road map that would take humanity to its ultimate destiny. He points to the illustrious personality of Ali Ibn Abitalib as one who could lead humanity to salvation.

The paradox lies in the fact that contrary to certain interpretations that set grounds for discord and misunderstandings among Muslims on the basis of the Ghadir event, this event is the theoretical basis for unity among all sincere followers of Divine religions. Jewish prophecies in those days predicted that a sign of for Ahmad( the alternate name for Mohammad) is that the Messenger will appoint Elia(Ali in Hebrew) as his successor. In addition, the verse attributed to Ghadir is the 67th verse of Sura Maida chapter from the Quran. It is interestingly located between verses concerning Jewish and Christian traditions and practices. Collectively , the verses indicate that Ghadir is the connection between divine teachings. Can we say that Ghadir is an extension of Islam into the future? Can Ghadir provide a road map for the bewildered generations of our time but also for truth seekers and freedom lovers from now to eternity?

2 comments:

Fazel said...

Unity that's right,but what should be done by lack of tolerance, understanding and respect?
I suppose that we need to let ourselves to hear all beliefs then others will do it certainly.

Rakhshan Bahar said...

Religion, be it monotheistic, pagan or otherwise, has devolved. It has devolved from an attempt to explain the universe around us, share our mythology about our origins and give us a place to rest our fears, hopes and prayers...into mullahs getting rich from liquor sales and priests raping boys.

I strongly believe that following any organized religion gives the leaders of that religion undeserved powers over the followers, which are often abused to control individuals, congregations or take entire nations to war.

The only true religion is the religion of the heart. Take ideas from each religion, or from no religion as is the case with Buddhism (a philosophy), and integrate them into your own personal view of God. Find strength in giving thanks and in prayer. For each request you make from God, give ten times as many thanks first.

I do not believe that the benefits of going to a church or mosque outweigh the evils of endowing religious leaders power over you by your attendance there.