Globalization and Mahdism (Messianism): Two Visions about the Future
Seyed Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi
Today dialogue has become a culture in most of the countries of the world. The presidents, government institutions, the NGOs, and the public education from school to the university levels show interest in dialogue. Great institutions and international organizations through official recognition of dialogue between civilizations practically direct the peoples towards a point where the possibility of gnosis of each other as well as mutual understanding and exchange of views is provided. And human beings will be able to have mutual respect and healthy, constructive and positive coexistence. However, may thinkers maintain that peaceful coexistence among human beings can be achieved in the light of rule of law. But the fact is that dialogue is a kind of common understanding accompanied with tolerance of human beings of each other, whose continuity goes beyond the law and is stronger than the rule of law. The law in the history has been trampled upon frequently even when there have been consensus on it, mutual understanding is basically backed by ethic and conscious, wakeful consciences. The human beings, the government institutions, and the private institutions have tried much in this arena to raise man’s hope for life accompanied with respect and compatibility with man’s dignity. Hence, dialogue has created a number of expectations in all its civilizational, cultural and religious aspects. In fact due to the identification and signification of religious people and associations, this expectation is considerable in the light of common religious doctrines for followers of all religions.
The committed followers of religions believe that the religious doctrines, ethic and spirituality are sublime in divine religions and schools of thought. Hence they can be called the common values of religions. The first and foremost duty of all followers of the divine religions is not only according respect to the religious values and cultural, religious heritages of each other, but to preserve and safeguard these values as well as protect the sacred values and religious heritages and also not to encroach upon or desanctify these values. Today the top expectation of the followers of religions from each other is mutual protection. In fact, the following questions are asked by the followers of the religions: What assistance have we rendered to the religious leaders and followers on the basis of our own facilities? What assistance have they rendered to us? We are continually witnessing the sacrilege of many Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religious values and religious values of other religions. These include the sacrilege of Jesus Christ, Prophet of Islam, the sacred scriptures such as the Bible and the Quran. These have agonized us and we have condemned them, for we believe that the sacrilege of the Jesus Christ, Moses and other messengers is tantamount to the sacrilege of all the divine, monotheistic religions. Does the other partner of the dialogue think and practice like us?
Dialogue is not only a simple conversation for acquaintance with the religious teachings of each other, but it is also a way and instrument for achieving common principles for social life and peaceful coexistence among human beings and the believers. Today the religious communities follow two approaches to the inter-religious dialogue. Some of the religious traditionalists are basically opposed to dialogue. They consider their religious teachings the absolute truth that has been revealed by God. They have blocked any way for even suspecting these absolute truths. Some others follow the approach that they should have constructive, positive interaction with others. The second group has always been under the pressure to answer the following question: What results have you gained from your dialogues? What support have you received from your partners in dialogue during the crises that come forth for the religions and religious heritage of mankind? These questions do not always lend themselves to an easy answer. Answer to these questions requires a return to conscience of human beings and their assistance at the time of a crisis. Have we, the followers of religions, ever thought that besides having common features as human beings, are also common in our belief in the source of creation, that is, belief in monotheism? We believe in the Single God and consider all the religions different ways of proximity to Him. We also believe that His spiritual, ethical teachings in all the religions are different ways to salvation and redemption of human beings, which is the ultimate goal of all the divine religions. The holy Quran considers various religions different ways and their diversity the necessity of man’s perfection. The final judgment about them belongs to God. The different religions are complementing points for each other and back each other, Any weakening and doubt about the values and doctrines of any religions will be undermining and weakening all other religions and their followers. Today, the religious people and the religious leaders have generally a common concern, that is, preservation of the collective faith of the believers across the world for redemption and salvation. This incentive can be the greatest factor for unity and solidarity of the religious leaders and the followers of various religions. Dialogue is an instrument for the consolidation of this spiritual intention. But one should never merely engage in focusing on this instrument as it is, rather it should be used for cooperation in various affairs that the religions are now entangled in.
It is long time that the era of dialogue has begun and has demonstrated its results and introduced its advocates to the world, but we should not stay in this stage forever. The yesteryear world entailed the beginning of the dialogue and its main incentive and engine was the firm history of interaction among the followers of the religions. However, what is required today is cooperation and entry into the sphere of practice in order to guarantee the continuation of goal-oriented and constructive dialogue.