Religion, Theology and Self-Improvement Sundays: Women, Religion, Theology and Society Part 2
Islamic, Christian and Jewish theology all agree that the last few thousand years have been a time period in which the rule of Satan has dominated and the knowledge of God has not been totally pervasive. All three religions teach of a certain time period in which Satan's or the Devil's influence would dominate humanity, world leaders, and governments. And all three religions teach of the coming of at least one human being -- a herald, messenger, or messiah who would announce divine judgment and/or begin and/or finish the process of destroying Satan's influence on human life. After Satan's power over the human family was broken, a new government or kingdom would be permanently established which would be characterized by peace, happiness, freedom, justice and equality --these theologies generally teach.
If that is the case, it should not be hard to understand why women and all other human beings are in the condition that they are in today. If Satan is in power and has overcome, to some degree, the prophetic communities organized by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, then we can expect that as a result, women would be suffering from mistreatment at the hands of those who are in power; the general ignorance of the Word of God and God's nature; the ignorance of their origin in the world and the massive falsification of history and mis-education; and the misinterpretation of holy scripture and revelation.
This suffering comes from wounds that are externally inflicted and internally and externally perpetuated.
What makes the devastation of the woman most dramatic is that it begins with improper concepts and ideas about the concept of "woman" and her nature -- which is her purpose, structure and function. Once the improper concept of the nature of the female spread from person to person and became codified in humanity's governing and social institutions it became almost impossible to entangle as whole communities, societies and nations "buy into" the wrong idea of the purpose, structure and function of the female.
It becomes like a web that is almost impossible to entangle as the concept of female among the human family moves further away from its origin in the Mind of God and closer to the interests of the dominating individual(s) and group(s) ruling the masses of the people. These individuals and groups hold the power to define what a female is and are in control of the means by which their view is disseminated on a massive scale. They rule females and humanity, in general, through their view of the world and their control over the law-making process and cultural imagery.
In his book Islam and the Economic Challenge M. Umer Chapra writes:
Every society or system is dominated by its own worldview which is based on a set of implicit or explicit assumptions about the origin of the universe and the nature of human life. This worldview controls, in the words of Arthur Lovejoy, " the nature of man's reflections on almost any subject". Differences in views about human nature lead to different conclusions about the meaning and purpose of human life, the ultimate ownership and objective of the limited resources at the disposal of human beings, the relationship of human beings towards each other (their rights and responsibilities) and their environment, and the criteria for efficiency and equity."
Just think about this in terms of the confusion that humanity is burdened with over the origin of the universe and the nature of human life.
But is everybody confused about these matters? Is it possible that a small minority of individuals and groups are not confused on the issues of the origin of the universe and the nature of human life? Could it be that this minority knows the truth of these matters but teach lies to the masses of humanity, through a variety of means, in order to rule the majority? Some may think such questions are irrelevant, but just look at the condition of women who are improperly used by men, kept out of circles of power and who suffer from low self-esteem and the lack of a self-concept. Is it not possible to argue that such mistreatment of women occurs when the majority of human beings are confused over the origin of life itself and their own nature?
If humans don't know these two things, how can they come to know, respect and love themselves? How can a female generate self-love and self-respect if she lacks the knowledge of herself? How can the majority respect, honor and treat her properly if they are ignorant of the same? And is such general ignorance an accident that "only happens to benefit" a few who rule and are wealthy? How can sincere individuals and governments govern with full freedom, justice and equality if they are ignorant of the most basic of questions pertaining to the universe and human life?
In his book This Is The One, Minister Jabril Muhammad writes, "One's understanding of a society can be no better than one's grasp of the nature of the people constituting that society. One does not know man's nature unless one knows man's origin. To come to know man's origin is to come face to face with man's God."
Is the religious community prepared to accept its responsibility in the degraded condition of women worldwide today? And is the political process and cultural imagery ready to be informed by a view of the female that has its origin in the mind of the Creator of the universe? And are those hurt and sincere individuals who attack the symptoms and not sources of the mistreatment of women ready to be informed by the view of the female in the mind of the Supreme Being?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then Satan's grip on the female and humanity, embodied by and exercised through a minority of individuals, can be broken.
Sunday, October 22, 2000