–God, as we enter the holy month in honor of the first revelations of one of your great prophets I only pray that Your People may take this time to step away from the violence and killing over petty differences and resources that has so plagued our world in recent times and find new ways of coming together for the great work our generation and humanity must pursue in our time in order to build the society our children deserve to experience. Give us the strength and wisdom to stand up to the forces of our times and give us the resources and contacts we need to see our society rebuilt once more.–
As we enter the holiest month of the Muslim calendar in which over a billion of the world’s believers will take the time to fast, sacrifice, and reflect on their lives this is a good a time as any to renew our thoughts and pursuits of peace and reconciliation even in these most trying of times. While many of us, may not believe in the holy revelations received by the Prophet Mohammed, Peace be upon him, from the Angel Gabriel during these next thirtyish days, all of us can still believe in possibility of building peace and sustainable societies from the ashes of the great turmoil we are experiencing in our world as peace is ultimately a belief which knows no denomination, no race, and no class.
While I am not a religious man by any means, mostly from having seen far too many people in this world willing to selfishly take human life in God’s name, I hope to use this month for a bit of inner reflection even in the middle of one of the hottest warzones one the face of this planet. Despite all of our modern technology and far reaching global networks, we still haven’t figured out how to modernize our religious beliefs to start building more bridges rather than walls. Maybe there is something deep and psychological about such unquestionable beliefs in the divine that prevent us from questioning some of our actions and attitudes even if are directly hurting God’s fellow children and our own brothers and sisters on this planet. It seems to have become too much of a game of who is right and wrong, who is destined for heaven or hell, and who prays to the One, True God rather than just a foolish pagan deity every night before laying their heads to rest
Religion in today’s world is definitely in need of a revival and definitely not the type of the ultra-conservative, backwardly focused sects that are abundant in all of the world’s major religious denominations. Rather than looking backward into scripts written thousands of years ago for a different audience in different times, we need to bring ourselves forward to see how belief in the divine is a manifestation of our shared human values and our mutual human condition. Whatever God truly exists, I highly doubt he would ever want us to kill in his name or to look at nonbelievers as anything less than His beloved children just like ourselves. All of the major religions share beliefs in helping the poor and the less lucky in this world and in building strong, stable, equitable, and sustainable societies yet too many have slipped farther and farther from this task in favor or proselytizing and trying to “win” believers as if the key to heaven was some type of a convoluted democratic process of party politics.
In the spirit of Ramadan, let’s just try to find some ways of coming together. Peace is a slow process, but it is by no means an impossible goal. Keep the faith boys and girls…ours is truly some type of noble work.
Peace be upon all of you,
1 AUG 2011, 2300 AST, Orgun-E, Paktika, Afghanistan