De-engineering mythology

It is a phenomenon that is pervasive to the human instinct


Jahangir Kakar September 07, 2022
The writer is a civil servant based in Quetta

Mythology is never Greek only. It is a phenomenon that is pervasive to the human instinct. Myths are narrated when reality is not discernible but the former can never be the substitute for the later. For sakes of pacification and reliance on some omnipotent potency, it helps human reconcile with miseries of life. The roots of mythical personas in the subcontinental landmass has been predominant with mystical personalities providing relief by quantumns unimaginable and those that strikingly point to metaphysical incidences. While the sanctity of those personas, heralded by the people telling their self-established tales, is never debatable, the propagators of enlarging those personas in fathoms larger than life is perturbing. Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza could be controversial for many things but there can be no disagreement on his role as the purifier and one who has broken the metaphysical myths by trio tools: the Quran, the Hadith and the Common Human Intellect.

What has been the Muslims of the subcontinent attracted by are the supernatural incidents. It has a long history that traces to pre-Islamic days of the subcontinent. Magic and the likes of personas showing wonders beyond the limits of physical science has been the predominant inspiration capturing the awe of the people. While Islam discards any supernatural powers called karamaat of persons stemming out of them as their personality cults or as intended and planned actions, it advocates stringent teachings of cause and effect that abide by normal physical limitations. The narrative of karamat — super human traits — has been built upon by writings of people from ages to ages that when put to tests of narration cannot qualify the rubrics of authenticity.

What the young Engineer-Scholar has attained is to break the myths of Super Men and has brought back the real spirit of doing wrong shall have wrong ends and vice versa. His crystalline approach with references from the Quran and Hadith and his commonplace reaching-out to the common public is transmitting the message with visibility and audibility.

The core of Islamic theology is not some unfounded mythology. Islam indeed is a religion that answers tangibly and relies on concrete assertions than mere hallucinations. Building up a clergy between the Man and Him is not allowed within the grand Islamic frame. This further discards the idea of someone being able to exercise such super natural powers as to deceive physical laws except in mere circumstances as ones those of heavenly assigned personalities called Prophets.

What has been transcending overtime unchecked has been the fairy tales associated with the personalities of virtue. Though through their own lives spent, they hardly seemed to have claimed clamouring any such providential powers. The tales have been added to their acts by the generations later out of many reasons such as the unbounded love, adoration and inspiration. The fallout has been that ascribing those emotions with those personalities overtime tinctured the fundamental beliefs taught by the religion. This further opened up the floodgates of false ideas. People disgruntled by social and economic factors found recourse in people narrating those fairy tales. This created an economy of perpetuity for those people while dargas and other such symbols of accreditation have flourished as their socio-economic dens. The role of clergy has been fast established in this way and the intermediaries began to hold the status of religious sanctity.

The real, pristine and vivid teachings of monotheism therefore blurred under the loads of personas preached by clerics and oratory tuned in to take space. In this time and space, the efforts advanced by Engineer Mirza seem to be those imposed by divinity for purifying the beliefs of the people through tangible facts, physical laws, reason and above all the Quran and the Hadith. This process will have collisions and intersections but still it would add to the awareness and understanding of the common folk in practising the true beliefs and in keeping away from practices not taught by the perfect religion, Islam.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2022.

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