Why Do Religious People Fight?

©2015 merdeka.com/arie basuki

Why Do Religious People Fight?

This story approaches emotional feeling of people, so they can understand that spirituality is way more complicated than just imitating certain rituals.

Then we question, why does religion make us argued each others?

Conflict, dispute, or war exactly never happens in mammalian world. Those just happen around human, as religious believers. Imagine, human can kill others because of their religious teachings. How is it going to happen? There are many perspectives to explain it, as many as people explaining it.      

Getting a question above, I always remember a fascinating story.

Read More

There were three people who were about to search the Deep Truth. They worked hard to find a truly way. The first man, had isolated himself, contemplating until his head was sore. The second man, recited zikr day and night, and the last man read books until his nose bled. 

Those ways did not give them result as expected. Though that their effort went to hopeless, they tried to find another way. Hence, they decided to isolate themselves in a cave, for several days. They spent their time to perform dua together. Suddenly, a mysterious old man came to them.

“Are you the Great Khidr?” the first man asked

“I am not sure, maybe he is the master of masters”, the second said.

“I am sure he is the chosen one of the ancient propechies” said the last man.

“You all are wrong”, the old man replied. “I am what you may think to be. I know what you want”, then he said to the three people. “There are many ways to get the Deep Truth. You, go to the Land of Fools. And you, you have to find a magic mirror. As for you, the last one, you must ask for help to the Jinn of the spring. Now, Go!” 

He ordered them with his hand waving to each person. So saying, the mysterious old man dissappeared.

The three truth seekers got confused. They argued one another about the right way to find the truth.  Finally they followed the elder man’s advice.

The first man, called Baba, hurried up to the Land of Fools without knowing the place where the fools settled. After long time in search, he arrived in a strange village.

Baba met a grup of people in a field. They were in fear, seeing a huge watermelon. “This giant is really creepy. He will certainly grow up larger and will devour all of us”, someone said to Baba. 

Not much to say, Baba took out the knife to chop the watermelon and then ate it. The people around him were shocked and screamed with fear. Some ran and jumped up and down. There was someone giving some money to him so that he left out from the village soon.  

This made him aware that he had to speak, think, and live like the fools. His awareness led him surviving in the village, day by day he changed the way some of the people lived. His patient and fortitude led him to Deep Knowledge. Baba became a saint in the village. He had many followers and disciples. Many years after he died, the people in the village called Baba as The Killer and Drinker of the Giant Blood. Many tried to copy the way he lived and did to get the Deep Knowledge by chopping a watermelon. But there was nobody that was able to gain as Baba had achieved.  

As far the second man, called Agha, was trying to find the magic mirror as the old man ordered him. He asked saints, temples, librarians, but no one was able to give the way. Untill a day when he heard the magic mirror was in a old well. Soon he came to the well where not many people knew about. He saw the mirror that was hanging on the well with small rope. The mirror was protected by a creepy giant.

Agha, an expert in divine power, was able to defeat the giant easily. Agha grabbed the mirror and look at it seriously. Prayers and devotions he had memorized were mauthed in front of the mirror. His body shook, then he got the Deep Knowledge directly.

Agha lived with the magic mirror and his Deep Knowledge in a temple, became a saint for a long time, and had so many disciples. After he died, the mirror was also vanished. His students continued and developed Agha’s method, which performed ritual in front of a mirror—thinking of it as a Agha’s magic mirror—to gain Deep Knowledge. Agha’s method was followed by his students from generation to generation down through the ages. But they were not able to achive Deep Knowlegde as Agha did before.

The third man, called Kalandar, went to several countries to look for the Jinn of the Spring. For years, he was not to meet that Jinn. At one point when hope seemed imminent, it reached a village. In the new place, he surely wanted to settle in it. He just wished that the Jinn would come out of nowhere spontaneously, and accidently the Jinn Kalandar had been looking for was around and passed by him in the village.

The Jinn said “I come to you, what is it you have been looking for?, “I want to have Deep Knowledge, tell me how to find it?”, “It’s easy” the Jinn answered. “all remain for you is to say such-a-such a phrase, such-and-such a song, such-and-such an action, then you will gain Deep Knowledge”.

Kalandar was so exited and thanked to the Jinn and started the programme. Month passed, then years, he was performing his devotions and exercises. Many people came, saw, and copied, hoping to be like Kalandar. He gained Deep Knowledge but his disciples never did because they just copied the last step of Kalandar’s programme. So he had many followers and disciples.

Down through the ages, when the disciples of Baba, Agha, and Kalandar met, they would have argued how to find the Deep Knowledge. One of them said, “I have a magic mirror, look at me, and you will gain Deep Knowledge”. Another one said “let scrifice a watermelon, it will help you to find Deep Knowledge as Baba have done before”, as for the third disciple stated, “all is impossible. The only way to gain Deep Knowledge is to do patient, perform prayers, and sing a song like Agha”.

Usually, the disciples just looking up to what have been taught to them will start dispute and they are often going to kill one another. Their family who does not know about the root of the problem will hate others. Then the hate is passed down from generation to generation until their grandchildren hate each other through the ages and so on, so forth.

Some scholars consider “the three truth seekers” as a critic to the followers of their religion who feel that they have gained Deep Knowlegde by only following and copying that things.

Another version of the tale is in Tales of the Dervishes: Teaching-Stories of the Sufi Masters over the Past Thousand Years by Idries Shah. According to this book. This is a summary of a long tale, entitled  “What Befell The Three.” It is written by a sufi master, Murad Shami, who died in 1719.

This story approaches emotional feeling of people, so they can understand that spirituality is way more complicated than just imitating certain rituals.

Wallahu a’lam.

Translated from an article on Islami.co https://islami.co/mengapa-para-pemeluk-agama-sering-bertengkar/ by Heru Prasetia