Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion

BODY IS THE MOTHER OF SOUL (Mushtaq A. Shaiq) Abortion has long been a controversial problem to human beings, from both medical and social points of view, because in some cases it is natural and in many cases it is criminal. The former case is permissible when the life of a pregnant woman is considered to be in danger if she gives birth to a child. There are two functions: anti-abortionists and pro-abortionists and by divergent views, they try to prove their sides with’arguments. Basically, it is the man and the woman concerned who are to decide and sometimes it is the woman alone who is to decide termination of pregnancy, or in other words, to kill an^ unborn baby. ‘ • Anti-abortionists are of the view that when conception has taken place, its termination very much amounts to culpable homicide, which being illegal, should be punishable by law. Pro-abortionists give their arguments to prove that an abortion cannot be termed criminal because termination of pregnancy in the womb of a mother is not killing since the life of a human being begins only after its birth. They also contend that till the birth of a child, whatever grows inside the womb of a woman is in the stage of fetus, and abortion within this period does not amount to killing, hence is not illegal. It is a known fact that whatever religion postulates, science confirms it. Islam divulged to the world fourteen hundered years ago that whatever grows within a woman’s womb, after conception, is a human being right from its conception. The Holy Quran mentions seven different stages of human physical development and growth within the mother’s womb: ” Verily We created man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a drop of sperm of life in a safe depository. Then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then We fasioned bones out of this shapeless lump; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into the best of creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators.” (23:13-15) 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Again the entire period of life is narrated so exclusively that modern science has to yield to accept that whatever we read in the Holy Quran is true from God: “He it is Who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop,, then from a clot, then brought you forth as a child; then He lets you grow that youmay attain your full strength, then you become old. “(40:68) “He it is Who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clot, then brought you forth as a child; then He lets you grow thatyoumay attain your full strength, then you become old.”(40:68) The Holy Quran purports in the above quoted verses that human beings are created from clay, then sperm as a seed of progeny is cast into a depository (woman’s womb). The sperm becomes a clot, which after a passage of exact time, becomes a shapeless lump, out of which bones are fashioned to be clothed with flesh, before it- is developed into the best creation. It means that God Almighty bestows a’new creation on the body with a soul that is prepared in the womb. If we look deeply into the process of birth, we conclude that the soul does not descend from outside into the womb of a pregnant woman. Similarly, the question arises: how do all sorts of germs generate inside a person’s stomach or how does dirty linen secrete hundereds of lice? It cannot be said that all these came from outside or can be observed as descending from heaven. The affirmation that a. new creation is manifested from the body is a mystery that reveals the reality of the soul and points to the strong relationship between the soul and the. body. It is an absolute truth that the soul is a fine light which is developed inside the body and is nurtured in the womb. To begin with, it is hidden and imperceptible, and later is made manifest. From the very beginning its essence is the sperm. It is related to the sperm in a mysterious manner by the design and command and will of God. It is the bright and illumined quality of the sperm. It cannot be said that it is a part of the sperm as matter is part of matter, nor can it be said that it comes from outside or’fallen upon earth and gets mixed with the matter of the sperm. It is latent in the sperm as fire is latent in flint. The” word of God does not mean that the soul descends from heaven'(when He says in the Holy Quran, “Then We developed it into a new creation.”) as a separate entity or falls upon earth from the atmosphere and then by chance gets mixed with the sperm and enters the womb with it. There is no basis for such a notion. The law of nature rejects it. We observe daily that thousands of insects infect impure and stale foods and are generated in unwashed wounds. It cannot be said that all these come from outside. The truth is that the soul is developed in the body and this also proves that it is created and is self-existent. BODY IS THE MOTHER OF THE SOUL 7 It will be interesting to note that the first International Conference on Abortion was held in Washington, D.C. in October 1976. The participants from different fields like medicine, law, ethics and the social sciences made the following unanimous conclusion (19 to 1): ” The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of sperm and egg, are at leaset the blastocyst stage, and in the birth of the infant, at which point we could say that this was not a human life. (Blastocyst stage is shortly after fertilization and would account for twinning) The changes occuring between implantation, a six week embryo, a six months fetus, a one-week old child, or a mature adult are merely stages of development and maturation.” The above unanimous conclusion of doctors, lawyers, ethicists and social scientists clearly supports the idea that abortion at any stage of pregnancy meant the killing of a human being or an unborn child and is a crime in the sight of God as well as in the eyes of the law. Why abortion? Pro-abortionists indirectly put a curtain on the increased sexual freedom and immoral practices which have degenerated society with the following outcomes: a. Complete freedom of living together (male and female) without marriage, resulting in fornication and adultery. b. Increase in divorce rate. c. Adult men and women living together as unmarried heterosexual couples. d. Discarding of legitimate parenthood and increase in the birth rate of . illegetimacy. e. Increase in teen-age pregnancy. f. Increase in such diseases as AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In short, it is not only in the United States of America but the majority of Western cultures have been degenerating by allowing permissive abortion without putting a taboo on it. These cultures are becoming increasingly entrapped in the clutches of soaring divorce rates, promiscuity, delinquency, illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases and family disintegration. 0 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS In order to get rid of these social evils, it is time to turn our attention to the religion of Islam. Islam has struck at the root cause of these ills very effectively by forbidding intermingling of the opposite sexes. In this regard the Holy Quran guides us and clearly warns about the after effects of intermingling and directs that none of your parts which can attract the opposite sex should be made visible. Woman are not allowed to show their bosoms or private parts or display their beauty to anyone except to their husbands. “Islam tells us that we can avoid the commission of the sin of adultery by shutting the doors through which temptation may enter, viz: the doors of sight, hearting and touch. When a man beholds a beautiful person or- listens to laudatory accounts of beauty, when he hears a charming or seductive voice, or touches a soft, smooth body and is gratified with what he sees, hears or touchs, he is drawn towards it. This may lead to what the whole world unites in condemning as a dangerous poison for society and morality.” Islam directs its followers not only to refrain from looking at a female lustfully, but orders them not to look at women at all, so the eye and the heart remain secure from temptation. It is this temptation which may lead to unwanted pregnancies and ultimately to abortion. At a tender age, teen-agers may be unaware of the negative effects of immoral social relationships, mentally and physically. They may become susceptible to habitual miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, menstrual irregularit- ies, abdominal pain, dizziness and headaches. Dr. Callahan writes of the teen-ager: “One of the main difficulties of being a teen-ager is sex, at once a great discovery, a great mess, a great pleasure, a great frustration and an all round great muddle.” Mrs. Louise Summerhill of Canada writes: ‘ “Allowing a woman to empty her womb, particularly a teen-ager, treats only the sypmtom, not the cause. The teen-ager may be striking out at her parents or looking for affection desperately. Psychologists say most women get pregnant deliberetly, even though they may not realize it. Such a person is likely to be a repeater.” BODY IS THE MOTHER OF THE SOUL 9 It is very much a known fact that marriage in Islam is a requirement as a religious obligation of a Muslim. God says in the Holy -Quran: “One of His Signs is this, that He has created wives for you from among yourselves, that you may find peace of mind in them and He has put love and tenderness between you.” (30:22) ” He it is Who has created you from a single soul and made therefrom its mate that he may find comfort in her.” (7:190) “You seek them by means of your property, marrying them properly and not committing fornication.” (4.25) Islam has totally abolished the idea of unwanteded pregnancy and abortion. PROVERBS’TO THINK OVER A good example is the best sermon. A man of words but not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds. Denying a fault doubles it He who tries to please everybody pleases none. The greatest wealth is contentment with a little. In character, in manners, in style, in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity. A rotten sheep infects the whole flock. continued from page 19 There was no note worthy third religion. Guru resented Hindusim Sikhism had not yet came into being. In this situation only Islam was left . According to our investigation Guru Ji was not a pagan’. On the other hand he was an orthodox Muslim. His own words are quoted in Sikh book Chritar Guru Nanak Dev No. X , /, ̂ ,\’ “I am thankful to God of Glorious Throne that I am a Momin (Muslim).”