It's our dear Mahatma's anniversary- 138th and our reflections rest with His Excellence's struggle for peace. More so, now being Ramadan, we tend to be more peaceful and calm. One person recently said to me that this fasting should be embraced by UN in order for humanity to return to their roots of community living and empathising with the lesser fortunate. It's a shame that wars are still ravishing human souls and plucking young trees off the farm of family life. Ramadan 2007 is like a tribute for Ghandi's peace movement.
Ghandi opposed such constant engagement of violence, witnessed senselessly around most circles these days, and even for justifiable reasons and instead showed us that an non-violent approach or Satyagrah can achieve more that anything aggressive ever could. We are advised during fasting that if someone says something ignorant or wishes to pick a fight, we're to simply say I'm fasting as a reminder, for both victim and perpetrator.
That the respect of the soul necessitates avoidance of hurting others. Faith is the decisive element behind the greatness of Ghandiji. The new movie on him and others resonate the power of Faith. Yes, it's easy to say religion is an opium for the ignorant masses. And, while admittedly, wars have been waged by both religionists and atheists, at least Faith has brought an end to them wherever such souls like Ghandi, Muhammad, Jesus, Martin Luther and others bowed to the Power who created peace.
These humble giants of Salam/Shalom refused the meal of violence during their lifelong Ramadan struggle against tyrannical ego, and in doing so, sanctified their sacrifice of spiritualized fasting on the altar of human brotherhood.
The Quran reminds us about this fundamental foundation of human civilization in 6:54 'When those come to you who believe in Our signs, Say: 'Peace be on you: Your Lord has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! He is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.'
Light a candle and this global darkness will dispel; otherwise an eye for an eye will make us blind!
Yours truly,Habeeb Alli