The quest eternal

Of faith, bias and infirmities that make us human

WORDS WITHIN

FIRDOUS SYED

Man is the prisoner of his own biases.  Even a relatively enlightened mind is not entirely free of bias. It takes years of persistent effort to free the mind from all prejudices. True faith and any type of bias or an iota of bias cannot coexist in the same vessel that we characteristically identify as complex human mind. Syed Ali ibin Usman Al-hajveri RA, popularly known as Daata Ganj Bakash, in his legendary work Kashf-ul-Mahjoob explains the three stages of Eeman-- faith; Alim-ul-Eaqqen (faith of knowledge) Haq-ul- Eaqqen (faith due to conviction) and finally the Ein-ul Eaqqen (absolute faith). Obviously the third stage of faith is absolute that may not require the crutches of conviction or for that matter of knowledge. When faith becomes experience where remains the necessity of knowledge or conviction to instill the spirit of faith. This might be the pure state of mind wherein a man is fully awake; free of all the biases and impurities.
Why do we pick up the arms, needs to be explained for the sake of posterity. Very few amongst us were fully cognizant about the goal or what we were up against, at the time of real action. In the perusal of a dream, people willingly offered immense sacrifices. Now they are being told that at the time of real reckoning the protagonists of the armed struggle may not have been fully aware of their challenges, or what we really stood for, honestly speaking it sounds really a criminal oversight. At least in my case, I was not reacting out of any oppression, poverty or unemployment problems.  Moreover the idea of armed struggle was being discussed and perused rather vigorously much before the so called rigging of 1987 elections. As I was not particularly driven by any nationalist pangs, for that matter who was? Perhaps it was the same ideology that inspired the creation of Pakistan, which pushed us towards the armed struggle. For us it was idea of Pakistan which in a way overlapped with the dream of Islamic renascence that proved to be the real trigger. Pakistanís continued uncertain ideological moorings apparently may lessen our criminal burden that we were driven by that idea but hardly knew what in real terms it entailed. Yet there seems to be no real escape.
Though we were greatly inspired by an ideology, yet the idea was not sublime, it was highly biased and distinguished people between us and other. We aimed to seek Azadi for ourselves yet at the same moment we loathed the people whom we considered to be other.  We wanted salvation for ourselves yet sought the destruction of the other. The movement for right of self determination even today I hold as a just cause. But question still remains what it entails to change after acquiring a state.     
Nationalism is nothing but a collective bias of a people and particularly the language based nationalism is so limited in scope that it is incapable to hold the legitimate aspirations of all the people and races residing in J&K. And in case democratic systems only have to prevail even after attaining Azadi than why to break-away from India. Whatís the higher purpose other than to change a set of corrupt rulers with more inept and corrupt people? And if the call is to join Pakistan, will it serve any ideological purpose or else the desire is still inspired by the hate of other.  Even after nearly seven decades having been passed-by since the partition, a vociferous debate is still going on in Pakistan; whether itís an Islamic or a secular state? Pakistan is still indecisive about its future, why should it inspire us today if it is going to be another democratic secular state. If we are not really inspired by an idea of real change, what drives us other than hate and bias?   
All the territorial disputes are basically driven by a quest for power. However the salvation of the man in the present day world thatís being described as a global village does not necessarily lie in the resolution of the disputes per se. Even after bringing to end the territorial disputes, the plight of a common man may not change at all. Indeed people infested with conflicts carry along greater burden of miseries and sufferings, yet humanity on the whole is confronted with many critical challenges. The nature of the time has to dramatically change; the struggle ought to be not against a particular people but to change the entire system. The struggle has moved beyond a conflict with a state, system is the real adversary now.
Prophet Muhammedís (SAW) blessed life is a beacon for all the times to come. He successfully taught his followers only to strive to change the nature of the time. Whosoever embraced the truth came to be known as faithful and became part of `We', even the strangers purely on the basis of commitment and piety were wholeheartedly accepted as `Us'. And Prophetís SAW blood relations who tried to obstruct the revolution; they turned out to be the Other. Any struggle that doesnít aim to change the tyrannical nature of that time is not worth fighting for. Primarily it's battle of ideas, struggle between good and evil and not necessarily any attempt to conquer a territory.  Can we rise above our individual biases and think about a universal change. 

Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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