Religions & Limit To Freedom of Choice
Since the rise of radical Islam, religions are now losing their credibility. Every eye which is looking at the religions today is prejudiced and doubtful. As a result of this, things which are complex and delicate are given wrong meanings. One needs to have an unbiased, unprejudiced approach and attitude to understand any celestial religion.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are celestial religions. These religions mandate a very strict law for their followers; people who have enjoyed freedom do not like any law controlling them. However, whether you like it or not, one has to understand the fact that God is your creator and he wants you to live your life the way he wants. He allows you to do certain things and he prohibits you from doing other things. If you do what he does not want you to do, it is known as a sin. If you do what he wants you to do, it is known as obedience.
With all these things, he has given human beings certain privileges and rewards. All these rewards can be divided into three categories: rewards in this life, rewards after this life in paradise and rewards in form of his love, nearness and friendship.
Rewards that bring one closer to God are rewards which are for the elite. Rewards in form of paradise and its contents are for devout practitioners of the religion. Rewards of this world, along with the rewards of paradise and the privileges of being in God’s nearness, are given to selected people from the elite. So, some of God’s elite enjoy all three rewards. Some others do not enjoy the rewards of this world if they are going to be given the rewards of paradise. Some people choose luxuries of this world. If you choose for yourself luxuries of this world, then you are shutting upon yourself the doors of paradise.
In religions, there is no such thing as freedom.
For people who don’t believe in life hereafter, who don’t follow any religion and who don’t believe in God, this world and its luxuries are everything. They want freedom; they hate to be controlled and disciplined by any religious or divine law.
However, those who practise a religion have to live their life according to the commandments their prophets received for them.
For example, according to the law of Moses, somebody who commits adultery will be stoned to death; the same as in Islam. God is not stopping you from having sex, but what he wants from you is to have sex with one permanent partner. I think [adultery] is very much an antisocial act.
Maybe some strict laws are strict so that God can successfully tame you. Some things are more delicate than others.
When you are honest and loyal with your partner, this is called fidelity. Whether your partner is your wife or your partner is your lord, you need to be loyal.
No Christian, Jew or Muslim will appoint a partner with God. That is the most disgusting disobedience in the eyes of God. These three religions are monotheistic religions; they believe in one God. If you are loyal to your lord, God is happy with you. Similarly, if you are loyal to your wife, your wife is happy with you. Whether she is Christian, Hindu or Jewish, if a wife finds out that her husband is cheating on her, she will forget all forms of freedom.
Although both partners say, ‘This is my life,’ even then, there are certain things that you cannot do being in a relationship with somebody.
As a wife or as a husband, your freedom is limited. So if you have a relationship with God, why do you expect that there will be no restrictions or discipline and you will enjoy complete freedom?
Adultery is a big word; to make it appear soft, you can simply say, ‘To have sex outside marriage.’ In Islam, if somebody commits adultery, they must be stoned to death. Even so, according to Prophet Mohammad, more severe a sin than adultery is to speak ill about somebody behind their back.
All we need to do is to empty our minds from any prejudice and become impartial. If your opinion is influenced by the existence of terrorists, you cannot see goodness in any religion.
What terrorists are doing is not coming from the teachings of any religion. It is the result of misinterpretation of the divine book and manipulation of the meaning. Taking meanings from words is a very fragile and delicate matter. Background information and circumstances have a role to play in order for you to have correct understanding of the situation.
No religion is bad, but when people modify it or fiddle with the meaning, then this wrong interpretation starts to hurt people and create doubts and reservations. What we see today is that some people who don’t even belong to Islam have started defaming and derogating the religion, quoting the Bible and Quran. They think they have all the knowledge, that they will read the Quran and understand it.
Never think any religion promotes violence, whether it is Judaism, Sikhism, Islam or Christianity. However, the verses that mention killing and stoning to death talk about punishing the wicked ones, the mischief mongers.
If God said, ‘Kill them,’ God did not mean to kill everybody. He was addressing Prophet Mohammad in the Quran, not the Muslims. You cannot take the law in your hand.
About his second coming, Jesus said, ‘Do not think that for the second time when I come, I will come for peace. I will wage wars, shed blood.’
If you know what it means and you’re a peaceful citizen, you will have a sigh of relief. Jesus is coming to wage a war against killers of humanity, hateful souls: the wicked ones who are not only enemies of humanity, but also enemies of messengers and prophets.
Religions have lost their credibility after the spiritual system in the religion was destroyed. When, with the help of the spiritual system, you attain spiritual strength, power and ability to communicate with God, you become good. But when the spiritual system is destroyed, the spiritual aspect of the religion is gone.
Without the spiritual aspect, religion will not help anybody. For example, we have plenty of doctors; but if we don’t have medicine, there is no point in having a doctor. Religion is like a doctor and spirituality is like medicine.
Today, we have religions as doctors and everybody advising [what medicines to take] but there is no medicine. Whether someone is a Pakistani, Indian, Bengali, British or American doctor, no doctor can help anybody with a disease if we do not have medicine.
Religions have lost their credibility because the spiritual medicine which is dispensed by religions is lost. As a result of this, Christians are Christians, but they are no more good Christians. Jews are Jews, but they are no more good Jews.
Spiritual knowledge in Judaism is known as Kabbalah; mainstream Jews disapprove of Kabbalah. Similarly, Muslims disapprove of Sufism. In the same way, Protestants and Methodists also disapprove of spirituality. Christian spirituality has been very famous, Kabbalah has been talk of the town and Sufism has been greatly appreciated even by Christians and Jews. However, as we speak today, a majority of religious clergy in all three religions have either forgotten about spirituality or have had a change of heart in a negative way; reaching God or getting united with God is not their goal anymore.
These religions have stopped benefitting humanity in the absence of spiritual knowledge and power.
This is when Muslims are not good Muslims anymore. I will not say, ‘Bad Christians, bad Jews and bad Muslims,’ they are simply Christians, Muslims and Jews. But if they obtain spirituality in all their religions, they will become wonderful creatures on Earth.
People who don’t believe in God have illogical and irrational justification of their choice of having all sorts of freedom. For example, the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris is full of satire. You can say anything you want to say, but there is a limit. What you do should not hurt anybody or deprive others of practising their freedom. Charlie Hebdo make blasphemous cartoons of Jesus, Moses and Mohammad. They say, ‘This is democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of choice.’ What if somebody makes derogatory cartoons about your sister, mother or wife – do you approve of such an act? You should also bear in mind that people have more respect for their messenger and prophets than they respect their mothers and sisters.
You should be able to practise what you want, and have freedom of choice and opinion. While exercising your freedom, you must make sure that you are not depriving someone else of their freedom.
If you think there should be no such thing, then why are there ratings on film such as U, 12, 15 and 18? Why doesn’t freedom of choice and speech apply here? It means some things are not beneficial for kids, therefore you have to hide things from them. There are parental locks on websites, PCs and televisions. If a boy aged 5-7 years comes to his mother or father and says, ‘I want to exercise my freedom of choice and watch a pornographic movie,’ would he be allowed to do that? It means freedom of choice should be controlled.
If you don’t control freedom of choice, it will destroy civility and society. If you hurt somebody’s feelings and call it freedom of choice, I do not think it is just or good.
We have been taught by Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi to respect all religions and individuals. We don’t force our belief system on others. We can talk about it and share it, but we are not allowed to force it on anyone.
Similarly, there should be a law about freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. If freedom of choice is ruining somebody’s life, then you have to reconsider whether or not it should be reformed with new rules and regulations – in which you say what you want to say and at the same time, nobody is hurt or offended.