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All religions are conduits to God


I always cringe when I get to watch folks like Zakir Naik and others disparaging other religions and taking arrogant pride in debating that somehow their religion is superior over all others, that it is the only truth. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (greatest living scholar of not only Islam but Religion and a sufi) says something I really like, “No one religion can ever be the only truth because God’s mercy and justice can never allow majority of His creation to follow a path that does not lead to Him. All religions are conduits to God and each religion is complete unto itself. All beings are manifestations of aspects of God.” It makes sense to me because if you consider just the current percentage of Muslims in the world, it is 23% and if you reckon all of humanity since the 7th century then it would be much less. Can a merciful God allow more than three quarters of His creation to burn in hell? I don’t think so. Also, Muslim means someone who completely submits to God, so whoever completely submits to God is a Muslim. “God has written the mark of beauty upon all things.” – Prophet’s hadith. Our world would be a much better place if we all live by this belief.

Few more snippets and quotes from Nasr’s lectures and books: “The face of God shines everywhere. In the heart of all religions and philosophies is this abiding truth.” “Those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.” – from Dao (i.e. all that we say about God is nothing compared to what we do not say about God). “To know God is to enable God within to know God.” “The word Tauheed does not only mean One but also the integration of everything into One.” “Evil is separation from the good.” – from Dante’s Divine Comedy. “We all return to God then why not walk this journey with a smile on our face.” – from Rumi’s Mathnavi. “It is us that are veiled, not God. God is a passive lake and we are snowflakes falling upon it.”

Finally, a short poem from Hafiz (1326-1390), who, as his name suggests, was a hafiz of Quran,

I am in love with every church
And mosque
And temple
And any kind of shrine
Because I know it is there
That people say the different names
of the divine.

And Amir Khusraw (1253-1325),

I am an infidel of love; I don’t have any need of being a Muslim.
My every vein is a thread; I do not need the thread of a [Hindu] Brahmin.

Nasir ud-din Tusi’s (1201-1274),

“The need for Justice … arises from the absence of love, for if love were to accrue among individuals, there would be no necessity for equity and impartiality … In this regard, the virtue of Love over Justice is obvious.”

Amir Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (1254-1338) poet, sufi, and compiler of one of the most famous books of Islam in South Asia, the Fava’id-ul-Fuvad, in his divan,

The work of the lover is the work of the heart:
Those meanings are beyond Belief [din] and Unbelief [kufr].

Khwaja Ghulam Fareed’s (1845-1902), who was himself a scholar of Quran and shariah,

Oh! Real-True Beauty, Beginning-Less Light!
Shall I call you Mosque, or Temple, or Convent?
Shall I call you Pothi, or shall I call you Quran?
Shall I call you Rosary (tasbeeh)? Shall I call you Caste-String (worn by Brahmans)?
Shall I call you Dasrat, Bichman, or Ram?
Shall I call you Sita, my Darling One?
Shall I call you Maha Dev? Shall I call you Bhagwan?
Shall I call you Gita, Granth or Veda?
Shall I call you Beloved of Every Heart?
Shall I call you Houri. Fairy-lass, or Handsome Lad?
Shall I call you Blush? Shall I call you Kohl? Shall I call you pan?
Shall I call you Beauty? Embellishment and Adornment?
Shall I call you Tablah or Tambour?
Shall I call you Dholak? Shall I call you Metre or Note-Beat?
Shall I call you Love? Shall I call you Science?
Shall I call you Without Color? Shall I call you Without Any Likeness?
Shall I call you Without Form? Shall I call you Ever-Every Moment?

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