The World Today
By Tahir Hamid
These are strange days and times in the world. I feel that an increased sense of loneliness pervades societies today. People have become excessively introvert. You rarely know who lives next door and your neighbors really come and meet you. This is especially true in Pakistan within posh areas. Unlike European nations and in USA where strangers often exchange courtesies wherever they may be, this is not so when it comes to the upper cadres of society in Pakistan.
Even relatives meet one another when they celebrate the occasion of Eid. It is much like how Americans celebrate the occasion of 'Thanksgiving'. Other than that relatives hardly visit one another. People are more busy in their children and watching television rather than interacting with one another or exercising. It is work and back for the employed and to school and back for young children. Children are hooked onto the web or to playing games on the computer.
Social websites such as 'Facebook' and numerous dating sites are places where individuals seek to mingle and interact with one another. Marriage websites are being utilized to find suitable matches. There are numerous friendship websites as well.
It is this lack of affiliation and interaction amongst people that is giving rise to various mental illnesses. It is this lack of feeling part of group or society, it is this lack of feeling loved or liked, it is the feeling of being isolated that drives so many to insanity.
If people were able to empathize with the poor and needy, if married people were willing to take care of their elderly parents, if we could steer clear of judging people, if we could learn to treat one another with kindness and love, if society could learn to help the sick, the elderly and the weak and poor, if the employed helped the unemployed, etc. our societies today would have been so much better.
We choose to spend our lives today feeding our Self and our Ego. Each human wants to be loved and to feel important. Every individual dreams and works for earning unlimited wealth. The inability to do so creates an anxiety within us. There is a fear at the back of our mind which suggests to us that what you have is insufficient. No matter how much wealth you may have, at the end of the day there is an urge to make more; there is the constant thought that it is not enough.
Therefore we are all today lost in a rat race which is mostly about earning loads of money and about the monthly paycheck. It is that paycheck which is essential for our survival and for our ability to follow a certain lifestyle. More often than not it is this paycheck and job that guarantees us an ability to enjoy our lives. Therefore making money is a very important priority in our lives; the benefits of a good job and wealth cannot be undermined. And yet wealth alone cannot guarantee you happiness. What is wealth if you don't have the health to enjoy it? What is wealth if it can't stop death?
There was a moment when people used to cherish morality and look down upon immorality. There was a time when people used to look upto people who were honest and sincere. In our Pakistani society, it is unfortunate that virtues such as honesty, truth and sincerity are not common. Each man is at daggers with the other. It is unfortunate that backbiting, lying and hypocrisy are common. Relations are weighed in terms of the benefits derived.
It is unfortunate to find that today in a so called Islamic State, more and more parents are being left in the care of old retirement homes. This is a tradition which is more common in USA and other European nations. Whilst God commands believers to look after their parents in old age as they cared for them whilst they were children, it is strange to find that more and more people across the globe are depositing their parents in old retirement homes.
The world has become a place where people of different castes, religious sects and religions harbor various prejudices against another; unfounded prejudices that perpetrated the ancient Crusades, that fueled the Spanish inquisition, that have fueled wars, that continue to fuel sectarianism and hate amongst Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus.
According to the Holy Quran and other Holy Scriptures such as the Old Testament and Taurat, God only differentiates amongst people on the basis of their actions and deeds. Those who remember God and submit to His Will and commands are those on the righteous path and as for those who disobey Him are on the path that the Devil impresses them to do so. Hate, anger, spite, greed, envy, arrogance and other negative and evil thoughts are all the Devils way. It is his objective to lead man away from calm, peace, security and love which all come from God.
Man is not perfect. He continues to sin and for some the evil and the sins that they indulge in are not sins. Infact many of the sins have been introduced in our way of life as modernism. Gambling, feeding on interest, the practice of magic, homicide, suicide, genocide, spite, backbiting, adultery, homosexuality, the worship of anyone other than the Creator, being disobedient to ones parents, vulgarity, the intermingling of sexes, etc are not allowed by God and yet we have amended His Commandments to suit what we feel is suitable and what is not suitable.
There is unrest in our societies because the evils that we sanctify as modernism spawns more evil. It is the culture of letting evil persist and its tolerance that spawns more evil.
Look at our societies today. Man kills man without mercy. There are child abusers, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, assassins, mafias, pimps, human traffickers, prostitutes, transvestites, black magicians, gangs, etc. USA has the highest rates of homicide in the world and yet arms and ammunition are openly sold for criminals to use. There has to be a war fought against human trafficking and drug traffickers on a global scale to rid the world of evil men and women persisting in such heinous crimes.
Instead of continuing to sell or buy weopans of mass destruction, nations should be working together to eliminate terrorists, mafias, drug traffickers and human traffickers wherever they maybe or to combat global poverty. Rather than work against one another, nations should perhaps work with one another for finding ways and means to bring peace and prosperity in the world. However as it is there are certain nations in the world where the rulers are more concerned about cloak and dagger games and of global conquest.
Institutions such as the United Nations are impotent. The five nations with a veto power especially the United States have repeatedly vetoed any action against Israel when they murder innocent men, women and children in Palestine. For punishing Saddam Hussein and his merry men, multiple UN sanctions were put on Iraq. As food and medicine were not allowed into Iraq, 500,000 young babies and children died. This was a callous act and yet the entire world kept quiet.
Such unjustified acts of callousness fuels hate in the mind of Muslims against the United States and the Jews. The Muslims had no love for Saddam Hussein or his regime but the act of bombing civilians and utilizing sanctions to kill millions was an act of barbarism.
Global Peace cannot be bought about when those capable of restoring peace don't want it. Obviously some nations rely upon creation of wars to fuel the sale of their weopans and tools of mass destruction. Unless there are conflicts, who would buy weopans and ammunition. When tyrants placed by USA within different nations dare to deviate from the policies dictated by Washington, they are either assassinated or punished.
Civil war was planned and instigated by the Americans in Libya. Obviously Qaddaffi had been one man who had always opposed US interests in Middle East and Africa. He had been the one man who had called for the African States to unite and for the Muslims to unite. The unity of Muslims does not figure well for USA.
However two hands are needed to clap and most of the restlessness in the world stems from dictatorships and democracies under the rule of weak or cruel men who are tyrannical. Countries today don't need democracy or dictatorships; they need men and women who are sincere and capable; capable of addressing the multiple issues and problems that their countries face. Unfortunately there are many nations across the globe where governments and institutions seek to torture or murder their own people. Uprisings and rebellions are quelled. Often the country's intelligence is used for monitoring dissenters and apprehending them or killing them in cold blood. This was what the SAVAK did in Iran under the rule of Raza Shah Pahlvi. The SAVAK had been trained by the CIA.
The mass genocide of Jews under Hitler is a prime example of how cruel rulers can be. Similarly the mass murder of Bosnian Muslims by Serbs and the massacre of Tutsis by Hutus are more examples of what hatred can cause and perpetrate.
It is unfortunate to find that monetary institutions such as the IMF are guilty of forwarding loans to different nations but alas these loans come attached with policies directed by Washington, USA; policies which have wrecked a lot of economies. Hence there is a need by nations to resist borrowing from monetary institutions that seek to weaken economies. This is what the famous economist STIGLITZ has mentioned in his book 'Globalization and its discontents'.
Imagine monetary institutions being utilized by governments to destabilize global economies. Corruption and lack of unity amongst people in a country is also utilized by scavenging nations seeking to wreac havoc in such nations.
At other times, the few people that own wealth and power in a poor nation seek to weaken national institutions and are beyond the laws of the country. Quite often the political parties are manned by goons seeking to misuse their tenures in power to loot the national exchequer. In Pakistan, the present government was responsible for corruption worth 94 Billion Dollars in its first four years. And this is a country where 60 percent of a population of 190 million people lives on less than 2 dollars a day. In short the rulers themselves continue to perpetrate conditions that weaken the country each day.
It is the unequal distribution of wealth and power and the increased disparity amongst the rich and the poor that fuels the source of discontent in nations and across the globe.
In society today, men and women have become servants to their circumstances and their desires. It is within societies and nations that worship wealth and materialism whilst looking away from Gods Commands that moral degeneration takes place. And in an atmosphere that is conducive to immorality and other social evils, human values of humility, kindness, charity and empathy gradually disappear.
When human values erode, those things that have been mentioned to be a sin within the Bible, the Quran or in the Taurat become common amongst men and women in different societies. Murder, rape, divorce, hate, jealousy, envy, spite, gambling, child pornography, sexual abuse, pedophilia, etc become common. Lust and selfishness are gradually replacing love; the love for everything that is good. Friendships and relations sadly revolve about mutual benefits that can be extracted. Human goodness and decency is being replaced by ego and arrogance. There is a general lack of tolerance in the world today. It is this intolerance of other people's perspectives, views, cultures and opinions of life that often fuel sectarian, human violence and a disregard for other nations and cultures.
All religions sent by God to the Prophets over the course of time, speak about the remembrance of God, of goodness, about decency, about love, of mercy, of charity, of tolerance, of humility, etc. The folly of religious bias and antagonism is therefore naïve. God states that Judgement of human beings is His to do and not for individuals to decide. And yet each man and woman continually seeks to judge others. We look for perfection in others when we may ourselves be imperfect. There is a lack of self-introspection. Many of us seek to justify ourselves being correct and others wrong when the opposite may be correct. There are so many times when we sit and choose to back bite about others. We don't seem to have a control over our tongue. If we could learn to think and then say something, we can all perhaps save ourselves from indulging in sins such as lying, backbiting, cursing, from saying words that hurt the emotions of others and much more. So many times we lose our anger and lose control of ourselves and the situation. There are so many things that are said and done that have a negative impact on our friends, colleagues and surroundings.
Today in the world, there are some people who worship the devil, some who still worship idols and multiple Gods, then there are so many hypocrites and liars, there are those who still worship the sun, the moon and the stars, there are also those who apply some Commandments of God to their lives and they mix it with a lot of acts that God has forbidden. There are those who don't believe in a single Creator and continue to fool themselves into believing that this entire creation of the Universe and that which is contained in it is a chance.
FACT: No one is entirely happy.
FICTION: Rich people have no worries.
FICTION: Money alone is the cause of your happiness.
FACT: It is being at peace with what you are, who you are and spirituality
that brings inner happiness and peace.
FICTION: Education brings enlightenment
FACT: Education provides you with monetary security
FACT: Inner strength of a person is bought about by faith
FICTION: Faith is baloney
FICTION: The rich are the best people in the sight of God
FACT: They will be more accountable to the God as compared to the
FICTION: It is negative self-suggestion when you think you are not important
FACT: That you have been gifted with life in itself suggests your
Importance to God.
FICTION: Dressing up in skimpy outfits would attract men to me
FACT: More often than not it will attract the eyes of perverts or men who
prey upon women with weak morals
FICTION: Governments want to bring about peace and order
FACT: Powerful nations create war and disorder. These wars are needed
by them to sell weapons of mass destruction which will generate
billions in revenues for their nations. It will also provide them the
opportunity of destroying countries for placing their cronies in
power, for rebuilding the country, for latching onto resources
Including oil, gas and what not.
FICTION: The tolerance of immorality in society and evil in all its forms is an
FACT: Allowing evil to persist in a society or nation will eventually lead to
trials and tribulations for the nation. Read about destruction of the
people of Aad and Samud or about the People of Pompeii or
about the Mughal or Roman Empire for instance.