It happened few months ago. I was flipping through news channels when suddenly my attention was drawn to a live coverage on some street protest in London where Islamic cleric Anjem Chowdhury was leading a peaceful demonstration. There was huge police presence with the anticipation that English Defense League, a political outfit, which does not want Sharia Law in Europe in general and England in particular, might come on the street and start fighting with the group which Anjem Chowdhury was leading.
One female journalist was asking questions to the demonstrators. When she had reached Anjem Chowdhury she started asking him questions. It is impossible to think that people will discuss about religion and will not talk about Paradise or Hell. So the journalist asked the cleric’s opinion about that. And the cleric replied that a true Muslim will go to Paradise. She further asked that since she was not a Muslim what would happen to her and the cleric replied that unless she accepts Islam she would burn in hell fire forever.
Islam is based on Al Qur’an which is a book of revelation which God had revealed to the prophet of the faith at many stages.
Christianity or rather the modern version of it is based on few simple rules which can be appreciated by using common sense.
The first and the most important one called the ‘golden rule’ states that ‘treat the way like to be treated’. The second one is ‘who committed no sin throw the first stone’ and immediately followed by ‘go and sin no more’. The third one is the rule of ‘seventy times seven’ when it comes to forgiveness.
Human civilization will forever extract all its nutrients to survive and to flourish from the substratum of these three principles, no matter what faith people would adhere to.
Hinduism at its core is based on the idea which states that there was nothing before this creation and there will be nothing at the end of it. Anything which started with ‘nothing’ and will end into ‘nothing’ its ‘reality’ is questionable. Hence it proposes that this universe is a manifestation of consciousness which exists into everything; only consciousness is real everything else is a manifestation of it.
Does this idea help a person in day to day life, not at all; it essentially says that the universe is not real, in other words the world appearance is a cosmic delusion. If that be so then why we talk to each other, why I have written this and why are you reading this, why we go to work every day? But after long journey, when we sit down either beside a fireplace or under the shade of a tree and contemplate on the past, the present and future then this weird idea makes some sense.
We do not need to reject any idea; they are priceless and as important as road maps and are useful at different stages of our journey.
And lastly what will happen to me at the end of this life, after all I am not a Muslim. I live in India where every single day teen aged girls are being raped. Even four year old girls are raped by their school bus drivers almost every single day. Shall I be afraid of living in Hell, which would be a better place to live?
Author: Mintu Ghoshal
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