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Two pillars of socio-spiritual chaos, Part 1 9 June 2008

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Misc.
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The first pillar of socio-spiritual chaos is polytheism. When you have multiple gods to choose from (including God Himself), then your heart is vulnerable. You have multiple directions to turn. You might define the whole system of deities in your belief system to be one unified monotheism, or one unified pantheism, or outright polytheism, but, what matters in this situation is the number of sources you turn to for fulfillment of your needs and desires. If you have multiple such directions, then you have, in reality one direction. When you have multiple gods then you do have one god that supercedes all other gods. That real god is your Commanding Self, your nafs al-amāra. Your appetites become your god.

How would a person navigate among the many gods, except when the need arises in his/her life? When that need arises is dictated by the components of the Self. When the Self is left to wonder freely then, for many such people, they have opened the door wide open for their nafs al-amāra to take over. Thus, when the their Commanding Self tells them they need something, then they turn to those relevant gods to fulfill that need, while the other gods are not needed. When they need something else, then they turn to the other gods.

And Allah knows best…

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1. A Hindu - 9 June 2008

Thats just grand Moz. So basically Hindu’s who are polytheists are just damned eh! Cute. I suppose the Islamic world with all its ills now, is just going to be sittingin paradise plucking the low lying fruits when it really counts eh?

2. abunooralirlandee - 9 June 2008

Of course, many if not most of us who call ourselves monotheists basically function in a similar way.

Regardless if they/we always implement it correctly upon ourselves and regardless if they/we sometimes focus too much on superficial appearances rather than substantive realities, this is the key continuing insight of the Salafis (of course it is originally the insight of Islam but the Salafis are the ones who stress it in our time) — just because one calls oneself a monotheist or even a Muslim does not automatically mean these tendencies are gone.

For example, many people in traditionally Muslim societies would/do act just as you describe, visiting the grave of this or that saint, calling upon this or that “holy” person or using this or that amulet; sometimes calling to the Prophet (saw), of course above all this they had their true God Allaah. But they behaved a way that would externally appear to be polytheist. (Allaah knows best what was in their hearts)

These are some thoughts I have…. feel free to tell me if I am way off base…I in no way mean to offend anyone.

3. abunooralirlandee - 9 June 2008

A Hindu,

Maybe I’m missing something, but Mozaffar doesn’t seem to make any of the points you accuse him of making in his actual post.

I happen to agree with the point he is making (it is a point God makes in the Qur’an) but a more fruitful discussion could perhaps be had if you engaged with him substantively rather than in the bizarre way you chose to do so.

Like, for example, you could say I know many Hindus (or any other type of people) who are openly and admittedly polytheist but they seem to have their self under control and not to be a slave to their desires. I don’t know that much about Hinduism, but I believe it would be correct to say that in the general perception of the public Hindu “holy people” or religious teachers are thought of to be more in control of their selves and desires than Muslims. I know someone like Gandhi was VERY serious about trying to control his nafs. I have not read much about Gandhi discussing his own polytheism, in fact most polytheists I have come across have been very “aplogetic” in discussing their own polytheism and usually try to downplay or make it seem like it’s really monotheism. This could just be because I live in a society where polytheism is in a minority, most Muslims one would hear speak in this society are also generally apologetic and would rather tell you how they are just like Christians and Jews than how our beliefs are different.

Allaah knows best.


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