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Notes And Comments

NOTGS AND COMMENTS By B. A. Rafiq A belief in One God, Who is the Heavenly Father Who hears the supplications of His ailing creatures, Who endlessly showers mercy on the erring human beings, has easily been acceptable since the days of antiquity. Thus was the God Almighty of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Ahmad (on all of whom be peace and blessings of God). One is, however, hopelessly lost in total incomprehension when one is told that Jesus of the Gospel narrative, who ate, drank and behaved like ordinary mortals, was God. What divine model and example did he leave to the world? The events in his alleged life do not warrant the crown of a deity fit for worshipping. If he appeared to the world again no one would recognise him. No one, indeed would be so overwhelmed that he would instantly prostrate in adoration at his feet. What credentials did he bring for being God? Look at his behaviour after the crucifi- xion. He appears to be a mere man who is brutally mishandled, cruelly tortured and beaten down, who is mercilessly bruised, who needs bandaging, rest, and quiet. This God does not want anyone to touch him for fear of pain yet he allows Thomas to feel his wounds. He moves about in the country disguised in different clothes; meets his disciples behind closed doors, often at night; is nervous to be recognised and again betrayed. There is big fear in his mind and no expression of joy anywhere. Does he present to the world the picture of a God who is victorious over death? Why did he not go to the Jews who were his murderers and hail to them his victory? This is an overwhelming combination of ecclesiastical twist and unreasonable faith which chokes people by its unpalatability. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, God Almighty, alone, had been the master mind. In designing the universe there has been no partner in His admirable plans. He Himself is the Source of all guidance and no other son or ghost was ever required to lend Him a hand in dispensing justice. He alone has, ever since the beginn- ing of the world, forgiven sins, bestowed favours or punished the arrogant and the haughty. No proverbial pound of flesh was ever required from Jesus or anyone else to remit the sins of the people at large. He is the Master and as a good Master treats his servants with THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS mercy. So does God act benevolently towards them and forgives their trespasses. The pagan mind had been patiently waiting for the approach of a divine deliverer who would carry their sorrows and bring salvation to them. In such a ceremonial drama the chief figure was the sun- god or Son of God. He was also the Avatar, Bodhisattwa, the world- Saviour. Generally he was called the Coming One. Those who believ- ed in such an advent always thought that such a man could never take a birth as a person in history. The long chain of world saviours antecedent to Jesus were types and not persons begotten in history’. No God born as a man can bring godliness in his single person. Only the attributive throb of Fatherly compassion can transform all hearts and exalt all minds into the likeness of His image. The high prestige exerted by the belief in the historical Jesus, being pushed to the point of myth, ominously matches with the allegorical concurrences in the dramatic and the mythic representa- tions of several earlier figures who made their appearance in the anci- ent religious systems. It is strange that when God did descend to the earth, in the person of Gospel Jesus, to establish a universal religion to save human beings, his life precisely copied the already publicized careers of some scores of previous personages. He truly matched and dramatized typical characters or sun-gods of antecedent religions. The earlier characters whose career he repeated were non-historical or legendary semi-historical persons. The Gospels have a discon- certing identity in many places with the incidents in the known lives of Horus, Izdubar, Sabazius, Mithra, Andonis, Hercules, Witoba, Mardux, Krishna, Buddha, Rama, Zoroaster, Orpheus and Hermes. It is a strange thing that the Gospel Jesus should have presented a model which had already been on view in nearly every ancient nation for centuries. The concept of God as a man in the historical perspective, however, jams the lock and opens nothing to the reasoning intelli- gence. This shift of Christianity from man divine to a divine man in an historical personage has brought direct confusion in the structure of its system. It has appealed to the less intelligent folk for whom it has opened the hypnotic gullibility of religious piety and pitiable slavery to religious superstition. It is the greatest tragedy ever worked out in the world which will make the most lugubrious chapter in human history. This idea of a God as “a man” who ate, drank, slept, walked and spoke like an ordinary mortal man has drowned the saner sense of mankind. The appendage to this idea of an historical personage fashioned THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 10 into the physical Son of God, is the assurance of each man’s salvation if he believed in vicarious shedding of blood. For centuries millions of misguided souls have leaned to someone other than the real God to take away their sins. A meaningless worship has repeatedly been paid out to this man divine whose mini-life is found in the contra- dictory narratives of a few unauthentic accounts. Piles and piles of adoration is heaped upon this figure pleading him to take away the sins from them. Life in fact, grants nothing to any unit of being that it has not earned. If it does it would be to introduce favouritism and particularity into the universal economy. Thus there is the danger of inequity and chaos in the counsels of evolution. Every human being can, however, qualify for the mercy of God Almighty independent of any earthly Saviour. It is surprising that the saving principle of God’s grace should have been held off until the birth of a babe freely accessible to the righteous people antecedently. Millions of people had died without believing in any Jesus before his birth. No one had carried their sins vicariously. Why was it that God’s love was stirred into action so late in history? Why the Divine compassion was held in abeyance, stopped, until the man Jesus arrived nearly four thousands years after Adam’s fall. It is rather too late to open the door of salvation till the man-God Jesus had landed on this planet. Salvation, therefore, could be secured without his existence as it must have been done before he lived. The Christ of John and the Evangelists is only a super added and super numerary theological luxury. He cannot be any element in the system of redemption and no scheme of human redemption ever vitally needed his blood. It could do without him. God has bestowed upon me the understanding of the Quran. God has taught me the language of the Quran in a miraculous manner. God accepts my prayers more than of any other person. God has supported me with heavenly Signs. God has bestowed upon me Signs from the earth. God has promised me that I shall triumph over everyone who comes forward to oppose me. (The Promised Messiah)