Abstract: Sacred Texts in World Affairs
What is the role, in modern times, of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
as Secular governments struggle with societies’ instability?
Today, we observe the complete collapse of moral values as governments
are overwhelmed by the conflicts worldwide that they have helped
create. The results are tragic for the average citizens, who are
being exploited, so a few can maintain the power of their
affluence. This behavior was not alien to religions that engaged
both in exploitation and conflicts along their histories.
Scriptures shall be revisited with an examination of interpretations
over times in order to analyze their influences in shaping societies to
Sacred Text in World Affairs:
Political, Economical and Social Stability
Copyright 2014 Nadine Sultana D’Osman Han-Dawson
Wrong?" -"The selfish pride of birth, the massing of power and wealth
in the hands of a few, the slaughter of female infants, the orgies of
gambling and drunkenness, the frauds of temples and idols and priests,
the feuds and arrogance of tribes and races, the separation of Sacred
and Profane, as if the unity of All Life and All Truth did not flow
from the unity of God Most High." - The Holy Qur’an. C. 36 -
At the start of the 21st Century we find ourselves confronted by the
same challenges as our forbears — how to reconcile nature’s
contradictions and opposites in the context of human well being on
earth. The cosmos itself is violent by nature, and that violence
is reflected both in the Heavens and on Planet Earth. Hence, for
every positive there is a negative: i.e. the nebulous mystical Divine
paradise vs. the harsh realities of life on earth, good vs. evil,
wealth vs. poverty, light of day vs. darkness of night. This we
can call the duality of nature.
existence is a contradiction to the nature of the planet that we oppose
in every way, unlike other species that share it with us. In our
search to the path of heaven we have nonetheless to compromise with
These difficulties give
rise to the awareness of our moral frailties and intellectual
inadequacies, causing physical pain and spiritual agony as we struggle
with the inequalities of nature. From time to time, exceptional
human beings — whom we refer to as Prophets — were enlightened by the
light of knowledge (revelation) in the darkness of ignorance, much as
the modern scientists transformed the darkness of night by the
application and control of electricity. Both have had an
immediate consequence on the life of humans, both good and bad.
These revelations to the Prophets such as Abraham, Isaac, Jesus Christ
and Muhammad, were considered "Oral Law"; the direct Commands from God
— the Creator of all goodness, both in the heavens and on earth.
Over time, these oral revelations were compiled in texts by collective
writings, by those who believed in these revelations, sometimes
centuries after the death of the Prophets. The collection of
these revelations/sayings became the "Sacred Texts" and the Teachings
that gave rise to religions. Here, we are exploring only the main
Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We are
particularly interested in their application to redress inequalities
both in the justice system and in social and economic justice.
These problems are not new to our times, but perhaps are exacerbated by
the expansion of populations and the inevitable advance in our
abilities of mass destruction.
There is no
doubt that religions have been a necessity not only to give meaning to
the puzzle of the very existence of mankind, but in order to create a
civilized society in a world that was no longer isolated. It
could be argued that secularism could achieve the same goal, although
that has yet to be achieved. This said, there is a major
difference between secularism and religion in that while secularism
could create a just and civilized nation, it is voluntary. On the
other hand, religion is bounded by the Commands of God to apply justice
and compassion in all their affairs pertaining to mankind itself.1
In a secular government a President has great potential for developing
a nation with social and economic justice. In fact, a secular
President has a certain liberty, not being restricted by religious laws
in his own individual judgment of character, and with this liberty come
the responsibilities of his actions. Hence, his judgment and
moral values cannot be less than those of a Prophet. A Leader by
definition leads others who depend on him for their well being during
their journey on earth. The absolute basic requirements for life
demand food, shelter and the prevention of harm in any form. It
should not be a privilege to become a leader, but should instead be the
recognition that one has mastered the knowledge of governance along
with the qualities of humanity and tolerance at home and with
neighboring nations. Leadership cannot be bought any more than
spirituality. A Leader should be able to differentiate between
Legal Law and Moral Law.2
Legal Law is the strict adherence to a code of Justice based on
Truth. Moral Law, as its name suggests, is based on moral values
of tolerance and compassion. Life is not all black or white;
there are many shades of gray. Hence, sometimes the Legal Law
must compromise with the Moral Law for the sake of peace and fairness
to the weaker side. This would be invaluable in conflicts to
avoid war and in economics to balance the social and economic
justice. As an example, if a Nation seems unfriendly, unless
under a direct military attack, a true Leader would abstain from
threats of retaliation using Moral Laws to maintain peace. There
is no doubt in my mind that all humans want Peace, it is only the fear
of the "Alien" that precipitates our rush to offensive actions.
The Sacred Scriptures are quite clear on the treatment due to
strangers. Exodus XXII, 20:23 verses in regards to strangers: —
"Heb. ger: A resident alien; see XII, 19. ....shalt thou no
wrong. The Rabbis explain this term to mean that nothing must be
done to injure him or annoy him, or even by word to wound his
feelings. The fact that a man is a stranger should in no way
justify treatment other than that enjoyed by brethren in race.
This law of shielding the alien from all wrongs is of vital
significance in the history of religion. With it alone true
Religion begins. The alien was to be protected, not because he
was a member of one’s family, clan, religious community, or people; but
because he was a human being. ‘In the alien, therefore, man
discovered the idea of humanity’ (Hermann Cohen)."3
In regards to economics, while the Legal Law may be legally on the side
of corporations and wealthy financiers in regard to taxation or other
protection of their affluence, Moral Laws while not penalizing wealth
unfairly, should encourage a good will tax to lighten the burden of the
struggling citizens. In addition these corporations/businesses
must pay their workers decent and fair wages. At the same time, a
good Leader should not waste the hard labor of his citizens, by
unwarranted warfare and the support of its enormous expenditure to the
detriment of life itself. Nonetheless, this does not grant to the
poor the right to exploit their plight. Poverty is neither a
crime nor an acquired right over the wealthy, but a misfortune.
Therefore, as many scriptures instruct us, we must, each of us, make an
ultimate effort to be self-sufficient, and to request assistance only
in dire circumstances. Civilization requires the participation of
all to the best of their abilities.
Secularism does not necessarily reject religion or spiritualism, but
makes a political separation of the State from the authority of
religion. In reality, the line between the two is often blurred
and the influence of religion on policy making cannot be lightly
disregarded.4 During the reign of the Seljuk Dynasty under Malik
Shah (1072-92), this truth was recognized by the very respected and
humane Prime Minister, Nizam, as reported in the "The Age of Faith" by
Will Durant: "He (Nizam) strongly recommended religious orthodoxy in
people and king, considered no government secure without a religious
base….." The Prime Minister had other recommendations for good
leadership. "A ruler must avoid excess in wine and levity; must
detect and punish official corruption or tyranny; and must, twice a
week, hold public audiences at which even the lowliest subject may
present petitions or grievances."
Religious Scriptures/Traditions in World Affairs
In contrast to secularism that deals primarily with practical physical
matters, religion has a more nebulous dimension into the mysteries of
the heavenly universe. The Divine cannot be described, but it is
perceived in what we call spirituality or Soul and it is indivisible.
Spirituality is the truth of our conscience and the direct
communication between our conscience and the Divine (God). It is
this link between heaven and earth that allowed the Prophets to receive
God’s Revelations to guide us on our journey; we could say that, in
truth, the Prophets were the "chosen people" for their mission as God’s
messengers. This is because spirituality is also the awareness of
the miracle of life itself, and its journey on earth toward its final
destination to the Kingdom of God.
Christianity and Islam all received some revelations along this earth
journey, but at different times (eras).5
Contrary to belief by some religious leaders that their particular
faith is the only right one, in truth, the revelations suggest that the
Sacred Scriptures of each of these religions complete each other like a
puzzle or the progression of a book by different authors. I
believe that the Epilogue has not been yet revealed, because mankind
has not yet graduated to a civilized humanity. In other words,
the Revelations are similar to the road signs along the way, and the
last one shall be visible only if we do not take a wrong turn by
missing one or several of the previous signs. The outcome would
be determined by whether or not someone finds us, to direct us to the
right path. In a storm, to lose one’s way might become life
threatening. This is precisely the present situation of the world
as we observe the eminent collapse of the very fabric of the world and
annihilation of mankind.6
is right in its belief of the "Kingdom of God" on Earth (albeit not on
any particular piece of land) because a piece of the Kingdom of God is
in us; for while men are divided into many bodies, they are united in
ONE SOUL. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that Prophets
received their revelations in the Middle East regions that comprise a
great expanse of desert lands. What could be more conducive to
meditative contemplation than a landscape of open space stretching, in
deep silence over a lost horizon of emptiness where limits are never
quite certain? This was the land of the mystics and of the
wonders of nature; where mirages and dreams met halfway, never quite
reaching reality. How could one not respond to the call of the
beyond and the invitations of the gods? For this was indeed the
land of the great gods of Egypt as well as the Revelations from the God
of the Universe: The ONE GOD.7
is also correct in claiming that Jesus is part of the Divine in human
form, because God’s message is that His Presence is the goodness of our
thoughts, reflected in our actions. This may explain the
ubiquitous analogy to the "Trinity". What is reality? To us
it is limited to Life on Earth, but to Jesus and his apostles, it may
have been the illusion of earth in a cosmic dimension. Hence in
this context, "Jesus the man" can also be "Jesus Christ the Half-God"
or the ‘Son’ of God". Reza Aslan made this significant
distinction very intensively in a discussion in his recent book
is correct in believing that each prophet does not replace the other,
but improves upon each other for the transmission of a civilized code
of behavior from the Divine. The Qur’an emphasizes strongly this
point. "It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth,
the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of
Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this as a guide to mankind, and
He sent down the Criterion (of) judgment between right and
wrong." S. III, 1-3. Islam is also correct to believe
that Hz Muhammad is the last Prophet, because we are close to the end
of our journey- However, the present world
situation shows that we have lost our way. The question becomes:
will someone find us in time to save us?
The present world turmoil caused by worldwide warfare and inhumane
poverty proves that without spirituality there can be no civilization.
Religion is not a spiritual abstraction, but a real influence in all
aspects of societies. Religious leaders are the administrators of
the Prophets (like Prime Ministers and other officials in a secular
government) to protect and safeguard the Soul of humanity. This
high responsibility does not allow for shields of justification for
wrongdoing;9 like mapmakers or air traffic controllers, there is no
room for error, in order to avoid catastrophic accidents.
Religious leaders must be above reproach and practice what they
preach. Dissension among religious practices/rituals does not
promote their mission as guides and teachers for a peaceful and just
to reverse the disastrous return of mankind into beasts of barbarism,
Judaism, Christianity and Islam with One voice must become advisers to
secular government for the benefit of all. In the eyes of God
there is only One people, and God manifests His Presence through our
conscience.11 There is no other Truth.
That humans were equal in the eyes of God finds support, among others,
in the related comments by Rabbi Akiva and the following quote, as
reported by Abraham Joshua Heschel in "Heavenly Torah": "Precious are
humans, that they were created in God’s image. A special
affection they have in that it was made known to them that they were
created in the Image, as it is written, ‘In His Image did God make man’
Religion can improve the
condition of individuals and mankind as a whole with the aid of
rituals. Rituals bind people together toward a single goal or
purpose of life. Like an orchestra, religious spiritual rituals
can harmonize different cultures like instruments of music. The
power of rituals can be the miraculous salvation for a group of people
when confronted by unimaginable adversity. The best example of
the resilience and survival of a doomed people by the sole reliance on
their religious faith through rituals is the remarkable epic of the
Jewish people. During the 1st Century, under the rule of the
Roman Empire in Palestine, the Jews of Jerusalem probably unwisely
declared Jerusalem /Galilee the "Kingdom of God", themselves the
"Chosen People" of God, and Menahem’s grandson of Judas of Galilee,
declared himself a "messiah-king". Non-Jews were not welcomed
into the new "Kingdom of God";12 and we are back to the story of Cain
and Abel. The consequences were swift and brutal. The
Emperor of Rome, Vespasian, vowed that he would exterminate the Jewish
people, destroy their God, their Temple in Jerusalem that was the House
of God and the Center of the Jewish very existence, and all their
lands. This was accomplished in 70 C.E.13 in a most horrific and
methodical fashion. Only the Torah repository of the Jewish Faith
was taken as a trophy of war to Rome. This was a war of religion,
and the God of the Jews had been defeated, but not the faith within the
Jews. Now, the Jewish people found themselves without a Nation or
Temple or home. Yet, in their utter dispossession, they found
their true identity through the Law of God expressed and preserved
solely by their rituals. They became a transnational scattered
tribe of Jewish identity united in a strict code of religious rituals
that could be understood by any one of them, regardless of the loss of
their original language or home.
example shows the power of religious rituals as a powerful unifying
force across races, cultures, classes, and even religion’s preferences.
Conflicts between common scriptures ideologies vs. realities in context with wealth and poverty
Judaism, Christianity and Islam share a fundamental truth that there is
only One God. Hence, religions must be one in the concept of
humanity in a diversified world, since everything on earth is a part of
God.14 They all agree on the principles of sharing with the poor, while
not condemning wealth per se. Numerous texts or verses from the
Tanach/Talmud, Bible and Qur’an attest to this fact. A few are
quoted here as examples.
proclaims that God rejects even the cultic practices of the Jewish
faith if there is no social justice, and this is reflected in: "…share
your food with the hungry, take the poor to your house, clothe the
naked, never turn from your fellow man." Isaiah 57; "Keep your
life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He
has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'." Hebrews 13:5
- Deuteronomy 31:6.
Christianity echoes the
same sentiment: "Sell your possession, and give to the needy.
Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old...." Luke
12:33 - Matthew 6:20; "No one can serve two masters…you cannot serve
God and money." Matthew 6:24 - Luke 16:13.15
Islam agrees with the other two faiths in this regard, as quoted from
the Qur’an: "Vain were worship without heart and soul." S.
CVIII, C. 87; "…wealth is for use and on trust for mankind; hoard not,
nor misuse it." S. IX, 30-42, C. 94; "Do not oppress the
orphan, nor reject the beggar." S. 93, 9-10.
Yet, then as now, these fundamental principles have not relieved
poverty in spite of efforts made by alms and charities. Verse
after verse, the message from God through Prophets and disciples make
the caring for the poor the ultimate virtue. "There shall be no
needy among you." Deuteronomy 15. No one disputes these
values. In fact, religious institutions are known for building
hospitals, schools, soup kitchens and providing other services for the
poor with the help of concerned citizens. Yet, the reality of
economic justice remains as elusive as ever.
Why is social and economic justice so difficult to achieve?
There are several reasons.
1) Poverty is actually a commerce that enriches the wealthy.
3) Religious complicity.
To alleviate poverty is a complicated issue with many underlying
facets. It may not be enough just to address this problem by
charity, due to the growing need as population exploded and that is
still expanding at an alarming rate. Common sense would require a
balance of earning equity between employers and employees.
Mankind has been torn over the ages between the resolve to make its way
in a hostile world and it’s yearning for the goodness of its
soul. To resolve this dilemma, when economic life grew more
complex, a new interpretation of the Sacred Texts became necessary, as
well as the compromise with original meanings. This is not as
surprising as it may sound, because the scriptures are not static but
in practical terms reflect wisdom to every day lives, thus must evolve
with the passing of time. In fact, the scriptures of the three
faiths do indicate the desirability of the interpretation’s evolution
of the "Oral Law" to meet the need of a particular era. But they
also caution us strongly that this must be done with wisdom; we are
warned against misinterpretations for gain or power.16
One of these misinterpretations that widen the gap between the rich and
the poor is the institution of lending money with interests, in what we
call usury. Lending of money is not necessarily a bad thing, and
it was not forbidden under the scriptures as long as it was interest
free.17 Generally, wealthy people were willing to help out, not only
family members and friends but also strangers. Their reward was
the knowledge that they had contributed to a good cause by
re-establishing the borrower’s self-sufficiency. They were also
rewarded, consciously or unconsciously, by the lifting of the burden of
guilt over their affluence, and perhaps pride from a good deed.
This psychology was well understood by religious leaders who introduced
monetary sacrifices in their rituals. Unfortunately, due to
nature’s duality, good deeds are always in danger from the lurking
corruptive shadow of exploitation. Hence, the helpful institution
of money lending fell prey to usury. According to Will Durant in
the "The Age of Faith", the Talmud Baba Metzia V, 1:2, 11, and
Pentateuch Deuteronomy 23:20, that allowed lending to non-Jews (with
interests), but forbade it to Jews themselves, led to the lending among
Jews "through a Christian intermediary or through a silent partnership,
in an enterprise and its profits — a device allowed by the rabbis and
several Christian theologians. Since both the Koran and the
Church forbade the charging of interest to Moslem and Christian
borrowers — including ecclesiastics, churches and monasteries — who
applied to Jews for loans…. In the 13th Century… [due to new
interpretations] Christian bankers adopted the [usurious] methods…
developed by the Jews, and soon surpassed them in wealth and
range." This unfair system is still with us today and penalizes
disproportionally the poor. This practice is not restricted to
secular bankers. The Temple in Jerusalem was much more than of
place of worship. It was an integral part of the Jewish
community, its center of commercial and financial activities, and a
state within a state. It is this proximity of money exchange that
eventually corrupted the Priests within and brought unrest and misery
to their people, and the eventual destruction of the Temple.
The Temple of Jerusalem at the time of the Roman Empire (and to some
extent the Vatican today) could be compared to the institutions of the
World Trade Center and Wall Street in the United States. They are
in some way houses of worship of money, and rarely stand the test of
time, because the inequalities that they inevitably generate lead to
resentment and revolt by those who are thus exploited.
Another major contributing factor to the widening gap between the rich
and the poor has been the disastrous wars that have plagued humanity
from the very beginning of our existence. The first-born son,
Cain, of Adam and Eve, committed the first act of violence against his
brother. The motive seemed to have been jealousy over their love
for God. This event is recorded in the scriptures of the three
faiths. We are told that God favored the sacrifice of sheep from
Abel over the crops of Cain.18
This poses a
grave problem. The suggestion that God could have a favorite and
perhaps could discriminate on a material level (sheep vs. crops) is
disturbing by its implication. This would in some manner justify
inequality. What is even more disturbing is the fact that this
rift between brothers remains with us today when we consider the
animosity between Abraham’s sons leading to conflict among their
descendants/followers; as we are witnessing between Israelis and
Naturally, we are aware that
notwithstanding direct revelations from God to the Prophets, the fact
remains that many different authors transcribed the written scriptures
over long period of time, and these writers are only human.
However, regardless of the motive for the crime of Cain, it has set a
precedent for violence. This is emphasized in the Qur’an: "The
jealousy of Cain against Abel, which led to the murder of innocent
Abel, is the type of the jealousy between the People of the Book and
their younger brethren in Islam. Jealousy leads to envy and
murder. Such crimes against individuals are often crimes against
whole peoples…." S. 20-46, C. 72.
Many verses in the Scriptures deal with warfare, revenge or
retribution. We are cautioned to use mercy in war whenever
possible, but it appears that on the whole the scriptures recognize
(just) wars; a contradiction in itself. The fact is that war can
only bring pain and suffering to all parties, as we can observe
everyday in every part of the world in our modern times. Wars
cannot and never could bring lasting peace, only illusory short
reprieve until retaliation takes its course to the next war.
Peace can be achieved only by the banishment of warfare and the removal
of its arsenal. Again, the corruption of money is behind the
continuing justification for conflicts. It is ironical that we
sacrifice so much for the greed of wealth that is only of use for a
very short period on earth; and that shall bankrupt us in the spiritual
Judaism: The Jewish
scriptures often refer to God as a "jealous God" who tolerated no
foreign presence in the land of Israel he set aside for his chosen
people, the Jewish people. "As for the town of these people that
the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let
anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them
all — the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites,
the Hivites and the Jebusites — just as the Lord your God has
commanded." (Deuteronomy 20:17-18).20
Christianity: As was reported in "Zealot" Jesus was no pacifist:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have
not come to bring peace, but the sword." (Matthew 10:34 - Luke
12:51). Perhaps this startling pronouncement can be explained in
part by the quote in "The Age of Faith" — "Jesus, in Anan’s view, had
aimed not to found a new religion but to cleanse and strengthen
Judaism. (Gaetz, III, 308)." —
As reported in the "The Age of Faith", "The Qur’an made no
pretense at returning good for evil." And as quoted from the Qur’an:
"And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner"….Whoso defendeth
himself after he hath suffered wrong, there is no way (of blame)
against them." (S. II, 194; XLII, 41).
The negative texts in the Sacred Scriptures are troubling because God
is the very Essence of goodness, compassion, justice, tolerance and
that of purity and perfection, thus the Revelations can only be of the
highest qualities of the heart, mind and soul. Therefore we must
disregard the negative interpretations which must be the
misinterpretations made by imperfect men.21 This brings us to Adam and
Eve and the sin of Eve. Her sin is the sin of knowledge that she
communicated to Adam. All three faiths agree on this as the
reason for our fall from paradise and our life long hardships as
repentance for that sin. Women are particularly penalized, since
it is Eve that had sinned. Under the scriptures’ interpretations
women were forbidden access to knowledge, and later allowed it with
severe limitations; this is still enforced in many parts of the world.
God is knowledge itself, and it is through spirituality that it is
communicated to humans. A Hebrew proverb agrees: "The world is
saved by the breath of school children" and a Rabbi recommended that
"Every sacrifice must be made to give the child an education, i.e. to
instruct the mind and train the character by a knowledge of ‘the
Law and the prophets’ ". Yet, we are told that we must accept
contradictions. I disagree with that opinion, for it would be
against the Commands of God that demand of us to know between right and
wrong. Civilization cannot exist without spirituality and the
awareness of spirituality cannot exist without knowledge. Hence,
Eve was granted the gift (revelation) of knowledge by the Divine, thus,
she was the first Teacher of mankind. In truth, Eve was the first
Prophet with Adam.22
The second disturbing
sin is the one committed by Cain. He committed the crime of
fratricide due to jealousy over the love of God for Abel. Again,
God is above all blemish of any kind; hence only men can be guilty of
favoritism. Possibly, the parents of Cain preferred their second
These events at the start of mankind
(or at least the interpretations in the scriptures that they happened)
are very significant, because they were to shape the whole conduct of
societies to come to this day, and legitimize the aggressive nature of
First, the so-called sin of Eve
legitimizes discrimination against women. In addition, her
descendants shall suffer as repentance for her sin. Punishments
are particularly severe with her daughters. From now on, in
addition to many forbidding laws, it legitimizes the abuse of
child-marriage to this day, as well as exploitation of the
defenseless. This is the gravest sin of deceit!
Second, the sin of Cain (a gift of crops of less monetary value than
the sheep of Abel) legitimizes the discrimination between classes, and
the resulting social and economic inequalities. It also makes a
virtue of material greed that today takes the form of unrestrained
capitalism and corruption, both in politics and social justice as well
as the total corruption of moral values. We all know that this
behavior is in direct opposition to the message from God; these kinds
of twisted deceits are deeply shameful to our conscience.
Furthermore, the crime of jealousy committed by Cain has brought the
endless warfare that we still suffer worldwide, as we were warned in
the quote above from the Qur’an, S. 30-46, C. 72-25. The
curse of exile put on Cain haunts us to this day, as we repeat the
curse of uprooting people by the millions, sending them wandering in
destitution, from one refugee camp to another in a no-man’s land;
certainly not in accordance with the teaching of God that is adamant
that: "You must not do to others what you would not like them do to
In Christianity, the
misinterpretation of the Divine’s message that the children must suffer
to save the Soul of their Father’s (parents), gives a shield of
justification for all sorts of wrongdoings. An example is the use
of drones, by the United States, that kill any children, individuals or
groups that they perceived must be punished for being related in any
way to an individual or group, that they consider (rightly or wrongly)
has injured them, by deeds or words. We see these same kinds of
justified guilt free atrocities, as collective and preventive murder
war crimes are committed with impunity, from Palestine to Africa, Asia
and Europe. All Holy Scriptures warn us against this kind of
association with the Devil. In fact, there are so many warnings
that it is not possible to quote them all, and yet we are stubbornly
blind and deaf as we refuse to heed the Divine?s message of
righteousness. "Those who break God’s Covenant after it is
ratified, and who sunder what God Has ordered to be joined, and do
mischief on earth: these cause loss (only) to themselves."
Qur’an, S. II, 27.23
As we can see
these misinterpretations of the message brought to us by prophets are
the direct origin causes of our self-destruction. Much like a
computer, we have been hacked by "malware" (the devil) and unless we
can correct it, like a computer overloaded by errors that will
eventually crash, ourselves we will be annihilated.
Because again while humans are separated in different physical bodies,
the Soul is One. Let us take the Human Body to illustrate the
point. The body appears as one form but it is composed of many
parts: head, arms, legs and the less visible organs. If we keep
injuring these different parts or remove them (by surgery or accident)
eventually the body will die. This is what the Soul is and the
individual humans are its parts. Hence, if we keep abusing each
part by warfare, or any of the other wrongdoings, our Soul will
disappear in what we might call the black hole of the universe, not as
an individual human form, but as the whole of humanity, because
humanity is united in One Soul only.
essential that we grasp this Truth of the Soul, in spite of our limited
intellectual capacity of expression. The word is constrained to
the meaning of it, and cannot express the subtle nuance of the
intuitive language of spirituality. It may not be desirable that
it be so. Meditation is the absence of both oral and written
words. This may be the reason why Prophets that were illiterate
were chosen, because their minds being uncluttered, allowed them to
receive the Revelations sent. This sentiment is echoed in the
It cannot be overstated that it
is not possible to describe God because His Essence is a form of
unknown energy; His Presence can be felt only in the energy of goodness
trapped in our spiritual Soul. When the Scriptures revealed that
man was created in the image of God, the meaning is not directed at our
physical human form — of no importance, it is only made of earthy dust
and shall return to dust — it is referring to the "Soul" of man.
In truth, the Soul of man (and it is indivisible within the whole of
mankind) is only a very small reflection of the Essence of God —The
Blinding White Light that our words are not adequate to describe or
explain must remain a mystery to us. It is this spiritual Soul
that enables man to elevate himself above the beast of nature in
Him. Perhaps, it is this unexplained and mysterious cohabitation
that was the original sin, and indeed for the Soul to be on earth is a
fall from paradise.
How can we save humanity and the planet?
We were able to create organizations and laws for wrongdoings:
military, secret services agencies, laws of intimidations and
discriminations, dictatorships both secular and religious, mafia-style
corporations and financial institutions, and many other abusive
governmental tools of control.
Now it is
time to transform them or create new ones for a universal civilized
society of humanity, free of prejudice.
The following are some suggestions:
1) Departments of Unity should replace All Departments of
Military Defense. The soldiers of war should become soldiers of
2) Any Legal Laws must be
fair and humane, based on the principles of Goodness and Human
Rights. Our conscience demands it.
After the horror of World War II, in reaction to a shocked conscience,
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter was born, December
10, 1948, for a coherent Global protection of human dignity and simple
humanity. Regrettably, because Religions were not an integral
part of it, its achievement has been somewhat limited in its
application. In theory it is a Universal Human Rights Charter,
but in practice it is not Universally complied with.
A joint United Nations (UN) Charter with Judaism, Christianity and
Islam could realize such a goal of Universal compliance for human
rights, but it requires complete harmony between religions.
Within a reconciliation framework of religious philosophies, dogmas and
faiths, a new spiritual awareness must emerge to be an effective tool
to strengthen the UN in its efforts to combat injustice, human
cruelties and the many ills in our present society.
Unfortunately, over the long history of mankind, religions, while
promoting moral values, did engage in many wars and conflicts.
This must be reversed.
The power of
Religions cannot be contested. Religions were able to influence
the Laws of Monarchies as well as influence secular Governments (past
and present), still relevant such as abortion issues, or
marriage. In modern times, they must have an active part in
governance to uphold the principles of conscience on a global
dimension. An attempt was made by a number of Religious Leaders
when they joined the "Appeal of Conscience Initiative" in the 1990’s,
but it failed due to irreconcilable differences in spite of declared
Good Will from All.25 In the 21st Century, all Nations, along with
Judaism, Christianity and Islam, must transform the UN into a Universal
Government Overseer with the power to control the good governance
worldwide, without favoritism. Its Headquarters must be on
neutral territory to avoid any outside pressure to compromise their
integrity and conscience.
3) The present scattered and
inefficient Ecology Union should coordinate, with expert scientists,
the destruction and safe disposal of all arsenals of destruction (from
all nations without exception), nuclear, biological warfare, industrial
pollutants, agricultural pesticides and any other contaminants that
harm the health of humans and other living species. Japan proved
that knowledge to build nuclear energy does not guarantee its safety,
or its preparedness to control it, as demonstrated when disaster did
strike with the Tsunami.
The Light of Humanity in its true meaning must replace the darkness of
our present societies. This century must see the birth of the
Culture of Humanity in a transnationalism dimension. Presidents
must be re-titled Governors of Nations, responsible to a Neutral
transnational Universal Central Authority — a combination of UN &
Appeal to Conscience Initiative — that is divided into a Secular Body
and a Religious Body working closely together. Regular yearly
meetings should take place between these different Government Agencies
to address any issues facing Humanity and the Planet.
As the former United Nations Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold, said
in a quote: "The United Nations was not created to take humanity to
heaven, but to save it from hell" and "It is our collaborative effort
that can prevent us from disaster."26
1. All quotations from the Qur’an, are from The Holy
Qur’an. Text, Translation and Commentary, by A. Yusuf.Ali.
(Maryland: Amana Corp. 1983). S. ixi, 30-42, C 94;
S. ix, 119-129, C. 98; S. xviii, 1-22, C 133.
2. Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud, translated by Chaya
Galai (New York: Bantam Books, 1976) see chap.24. Adin Steinsaltz
was the Head of Israel Institute for Talmudic Publication. He
shares a great understanding of Laws with the readers, as defined in
3. Pentateuch &
Haftorahs, 2nd Ed. Hebrew Text, Translation andCommentary,
edited, by Dr. J.H. Hertz, CH (London: Soncino Press, 1993),
313. Dr. Hertz was The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire.
4. President Putin of Russia is a good example of a secular
leader influenced by religious values, as reflected in his decision,
based on moral values, not to legalize same sex marriage. The
notion that freedom of love should grant same sex marriage is to
misinterpret moral values. It is this same distortion of the
spiritual scriptures that allows child marriage in many countries.
5. Ibid. Qur’an. S. iii, 120, C. 54.
6. Ibid. Qur’an. "Closer and closer to mankind comes
their Reckoning; yet they Heed not and they turn away," S. xxi,
1; S. xxi, 2-4.
Dawson [D’Osman Han], The Light of Truth Beaming on the Human Race (New
York: Exposition Press, 1980), 16, see also chap. 5, 10-11; ibid.
Qur’an. "But he grew steadfastly in virtue and purity; Untaught
by men, he learnt from them, and learned to teach them", C. 23.
8. Ibid. Qur’an. S. xxi, 1.
9. Ibid. Qur’an. S. xxx, 20-40, C.181.
10. Ibid. Qur’an. "…His Unity is shown in His
Creation; yet man will turn to false gods, and dispute about
religion. Faith has been one at all times, but sects and
divisions rose through selfish Contumacy. Let all contention
cease, and conduct weighed but the just balance of God’s word…— one,
yet diverse!", S. xlii, 1-29, C. 211.
11. Ibid. Qur’an. S. lxii, 1-11, C. 241.
12. Ibid. Qur’an. S.xxv. 123-159, C. 166; S. xx, 71-104, C. 145.
13. Le Petit Robert 2: Dictionnaire Universel Des Noms
Propres. 6th Ed. Edited by Le Robert (Paris, France, 1982).
I shall translate from p. 934 & p. 936. "Jerusalem was built
from early Canaan era by the Jebusites, a pre-Israelite Tribe,
descendants from Canaan. Jerusalem in Hebrew means ‘Peace will
come’." The name is ironical when we consider its turbulent
history. Nonetheless, one must remain optimistic.
14. Ibid. Qur’an. S. xvi, 31-83, C. 125.
15. Quotations from Bible Gateway Site. New International
Version (Biblica, 2011). http://www.biblestudy
16. Ibid. Qur’an. C. 8;
the records of man are imperfect, and the memory of man unstable: the
names of many of these messengers are known in one place and not in
another; and some of their names may have perished utterly; but their
message stands one and indivisible, even though it may have been
forgotten, or trusted by ignorance, error, superstition or perversity;
or misunderstood in the blinding light of times or torturous
circumstances," C. 9.
"If the People who received earlier
revelations confine themselves to partial truths, and in their pride
shut their own eyes to the whole of the Book of God, their day is
done:…," S.iii, 21-30, C. 55.
Ibid. see in bibliography, The Age of Faith and its notes, p.
1114 (Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe, H. Pireene, 134);
18. James l. Kugel, How
to read the Bible: A guide to Scripture Then and Now (New York: Free
Press, 2007). chap. 3, Genesis: 4: 1-16.
19. Ibid. Qur’an. "How can Unbelievers realize the
Mystery of Revelation? They do not even see the marvel and Mystery of
Time….," S. xxxii, 1-30, C. 185.
20. See in bibliography, Zealot: The Life and Times of
Jesus of Nazareth, 15-16; 122-123, and, The Age of Faith notes 1113.
21. Ibid. #16 above.
22. Ibid. Qur’an. S. II, 32-36; S. vii,
16-20. And ibid. How to read theBible, chap. 2, Genesis
23. Ibid. Qur’an. S. lxvi, 1-2, C. 245.
24. Ibid. Qur’an. C. 1-8.
25. The Appeal of Conscience Initiative was launched in the early
90’s by The Appeal of Conscience Foundation located in New York at 119
West 57th St., which was founded in 1965 to promote religious freedom
and Human Rights throughout the world. It was very active in the
ex-Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The post-Cold War gave rise
to extreme Human Rights violations that prompted the Foundation into
action. Hence, several Declarations were signed: Berne,
Switzerland 1992, The declaration of the "Appeal for Peace in Bosnia
and Herzegovina" was signed by H.E. Rene Felber, President of the Swiss
Confederation, with H.E. Reverend Vinko Puljic, H.E.Patriarch Pavle;
H.E. Rais Ulema Jakud Efendi Selimoski, all from Sarajevo, and Rabbi
Arthur Schneier. In Istanbul, Turkey 1994, a Conference on "Peace
and Tolerance in the Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia" brought
together Chief Rabbi Aseo of Turkey; H.E. Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, President
of Religious Affairs in Turkey; His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch
Barthlomew I; Rabbi Artur Schneier; H.E. Cardinal Roger Etchegaray from
the Vatican and H.E. Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukar from Azerbaijan. In
Vienna, Austria, the "Appeal of Conscience Conflict Resolution
Conference" on March 30, 1995, signed a new Vienna Declaration in
presence of The President of Austria, H.E. Dr. Thomas Klestil.
This Declaration was to address the unresolved conflicts in the
Balkans. On March 18, 1999 the Vienna Declaration "Kosovo Peace
and Tolerance" was signed again with the President of Austria, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chancellor Viktor Klima and the
Vice-Chancellor Wolfang Schussel. This last Declaration was
supported by President Bill Clinton of the United States;
Secretary-General of the UN, H.E. Kofi Annan; His Holiness Pope Paul
II; Chancellor of the Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroder, President
of the E.U, and many others. Despite all these signed
Declarations firmly denouncing the killing and all acts of violence, it
has not enforced yet World Peace.
proposal "Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Universal
Declaration of Human Rights by the World Religions" was debated during
a Conference at the Center for the Study of Comparative Religion &
Civilization, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, January 17-19,
2009, in which I participated, but we are yet to see it fully
26. Quoted from
the quote by Raymond Sommereyns in the Journal for the 60th Annual
DPI/NGO Conference at the UN, NY, 15 August, 2007
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