The Incredulous Millions

incredulous-millions

What is thought of ‘religion’ as one that denies people their capacity to think and act reasonably, in every activity of life, whether religious or secular, social or spiritual, could apply to any religion but not to Islam; and the credit goes to the frame of mind created by the Qur’an and Hadith, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.

“Unfortunately, human beings are extremely good at maintaining the basic makeup of their planets, even under very extreme circumstances. Leon Festinger, an American social-psychologist who was the founder of cognitive-dissonance theory, and his collaborators, once studied an apocalyptic cult led by a woman named Dorothy Martin (known to generations of psychology students by the pseudonym Martin Keech). Following Martin’s lead, members of her group became convinced that the Earth was going to be destroyed on December 21, 1954, but that the true believers wouldbe rescued by aliens the night before. The cult members were extremely serious; they quit their jobs, left their families, and huddled together toawait the big day. Festinger was curious as to how they would react when as his own planet of belief led him to surmise, nothing special happenedon the appointed day. Would they, confronted with the unassailable fact that their leader’s prophecy had been incorrect, change their minds abouther mystical powers?

The day came and went, and afterward, the believers were more convinced of Martin’s prophetic ability than ever. On the morning of the twenty-first, as it happened, Martin had conveyed a new vision: it was precisely the unflagging belief of their small group that had been able to prevent the Earth’s destruction. Overjoyed, and very ready to believe, herfollowers doubled down on their commitment, and proceeded to try tospread the word of their insights as widely as possible.”

The above is from a recent science book called, ‘The Big Picture on the Origin of Life ..’ (p.119-120) by Sean Carroll, a Theoretical Physicist at the California Institute of Technology (One-World Publication, 2016) and the objective is to demonstrate that religious people are somewhat low of IQ, not very logical or reasonable, and so, ever ready to believe in any absurdity in matters of faith and beliefs. In contrast, scientists are rational, not at all prone to credulity, who go by demonstrable facts alone.

The allegation about the religious section of humanity is not entirely untrue. In contrast, the self-praise of the scientists is also not entirely true. At all events, most religious groups, including the leading and largest ones, would agree about themselves. In contrast, scientists would never agree about their own irrationalism. But can the assessment be applied to Muslims? The answer is a no, neither to Muslim scientists nor to Muslim common folk. Why? Well, it is because the source book of this religion is the Qur’an. It does not allow its followers to be unreasonable on any occasion, at any moment. Being itself entirely free of any absurdity and unreasonableness, it checks any such tendencyamong its adherents, except for those Muslims whose true religion is other than Islam, who have perhaps never opened the Qur’an.

Accordingly, we see that the Qur’an speaks of the Doomsday almost on every page, but gives no indication of its date of occurrence. Similarly, Hadith literature (reports from Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him)is replete with warnings concerning the Last Hour, but, and despite insistent demands by the Prophet’s contemporaries, (Muslim and non-Muslim) no date was prescribed. A few signs of its advent are given, but never a datein unequivocal terms.

In contrast, Jewish and Christian scholars have been persistently making predictions of the end of the world throughout the times. Counting the Christian era alone, there have been some 200 major predictions of the Doom’s Day, all with definite dates set. When one was made two decades ago, by an American Evangelist, a large number of Americans withdrew from active life and took refuge in basements, waiting for the Doom. However flimsy the last one’s excuse for the failure of his or her prediction was, there were enough followers ofthe nextone –Dorothy Martin–like – to pack up and say good-by to their dear ones.

In comparison to the recorded 200 predictions from the Western hemisphere, there have been as many as three from among the Muslims, and none of the three were treated seriously by the Muslims (in the numbers that followed Dorothy Martin) but, perhaps, a few hundred. In fact, the last who predicted with a date for the end of the world: Rashad Khalifah of the United States, was actually murdered (presumably for the very crime). Far from believing in his prediction, he was never believed when he earlier demonstrated that the Qur’an is mathematical miracle, although the claim is nearer to being truth since the Qur’an itself is an inimitable miracle.

Therefore, we can conclude that what is thought of ‘religion’ as one that denies people their capacity to think and act reasonably, in every activity of life, whether religious or secular, social or spiritual, could apply to any religion but not to Islam; and the credit goes to the frame of mind created by the Qur’an and Hadith.