The pandemonium of commercial life has halted us from listening to the divine call of nature
Anxiety is a spiritual malaise. It is a deficiency of the requirements that are prerequisites for spiritual health. Shaheed Murtaza Muthari, a modern Islamic philosopher, maintains that the soul necessarily requires faith to strike at quietude. Like our body needs different vitamins and proteins to be in a hale position, our soul similarly requires various nutrients to have composure. He evaluates knowledge as one of the prerogatives of spiritual health. The search for true instincts is born in human beings. A man is born with this thirst and he strives to discover truth to appease this thirst. Like we harbour bodily desires, we have spiritual desires as well. Unaccomplished bodily desires like food, exercise, sleep, etc make us sick, similarly, if our spiritual requirements are not fulfilled, we suffer from anxiety. A void occurs in us that is felt but not observed. Anxiety is an ailment that is not treated by over-the-counter medicine pills. Spiritual treatment is altogether a different thing.
Shaheed Muthari analyzed the spiritual malaise that modern human beings undergo in this delicate age due to encounters on a daily basis with various anxious incidents that send shivers down their spine. He researched its causes and gave solutions for it. Diffident in the enormous potentialities, modern man has become the haunt for various pessimistic ideologies and philosophies that crippled not only his physical growth but spiritual growth as well. In a world full of meaning, these philosophies taught us meaninglessness that propelled us afar from our basic framework as human beings worthy to live a happier and composed life. He criticized existential philosophies that drove hope out of our lives. He strictly believes that hope for a higher power is indispensable for spiritual health. Here he differs from Soren Kierkegaard who does believe in the leap of faith but mistakenly denies the existence of hereafter. If a leap of faith is true, there must be another life more beautiful and more adventurous. Believing in a higher power but not in the next world separates these two philosophers.
We lost our moral equilibrium. Our morals are now like the scrolling of the internet. We scroll one and hear some beautiful verses of the holy Quran. We scroll two and hear a Bollywood song. We again scroll and watch a promiscuous dance. Such inputs give a similar output, anxiety and depression. This has plundered us of spiritual health. We have become sick. Instead of treating ourselves, we make ourselves more sick by finding treatment at the wrong places from inexpert doctors. This sickness will become so severe one day that we will have no treatment for it except spiritual death which is worse than physical death.
The pandemonium of commercial life halted us from listening to the divine call of nature. The detour has become almost irreparable now. Shaheed Murtaza Muthari counts this deviation as another component of anxiety. Jean Jacques Rousseau writes in the treatise on education that children should be taught at home till they inculcate the basic values and principles of life. The outer world corrupts the natural instincts of a human being and cripples his growth. This is true. Our socially constructed values and principles are not lucrative in the growth and development of a child. They distort the true nature of a child and equip him with the ideas that turn things topsy-turvy. We live in the age of ideologies. These ideologies are very impressive. They rot our basic humanitarian values inside us and teach us the values that lead to spiritual anxiety.
Shaheed Muthari believes instead in the society that moulds man. It is also true. Good society makes good people and bad society makes bad people. But Rousseau means the same thing. Good people make good societies and bad people make bad societies. Rousseau’s saying that man is born free but everywhere he is in chains challenges the bogus norms of our societies that do not permit our natural instincts to grow. Social norms are thrust upon us and we are not expected to act inverse to them. Syed Allama Ghulam Hassan Askari, the founder of Tanzeemul Makatib, says that even the religion is itself socialized now. It had lost its quintessential part due to its socialization. More customs are now socially invented than we already had conveyed to us through divine religions.
Shaheed Murtaza Muthari takes a great dig at this socialization and customization of religion. It has disrupted the coherence of the spiritual life of a human being. Prayers and supplications have lost their essential uplifting power for human beings. Now a rosary in one hand and whisky in the other has been normalized. Lying and trickery are considered skills and expertise. Clergies preach lullabies now. The mosques have become the greatest controversial spheres. The results are flabbergasting according to Shaheed Muthari, thralldom and domination. The basic component, the soul, is now damaged. Now the single solution stands: either we have to change ourselves completely to change everything else or everything else needs to change to change us. We are the centre of our systems. We are to be blamed for our systems.
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