Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Future of Love

The problem is collective, it goes beyond one religion, and needs the cumulative efforts of a group of people from various backgrounds. This problem I refer to is in regards to the materialism that is increasingly pervading our societies and determining our interactions with people. It goes to the extent that it affects our multifarious conceptions of love as well.

Although we may live in a non-Muslim world, or in a Muslim world, be religious, or not be religious, generally we would want to live till a good age, be able to retire at a decent age in peace, and have a loving family or someone that we love.

But if you think about it, this is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. With the logical consequences of feminism leading to women eventually retiring at the same age as men, the retirement age rising (the pension age has risen to 67 (1)), the rise in old care homes, the fall in family values, the rise in divorces, all mean that the future is going to be a lonely timezone. The age of "Asr wuHdaaniyya" (epoch of loneliness). Every type of community is being affected by this problem (even Japan (2)).

This is because people are increasingly deluded by the dunya and chase it. They then lose touch with themselves, with their true nature. When they don't know their true nature, they don't know how to actually care for people on a humane level and assume that everyone is after the dunya. So they themselves have bad opinions of other people and think "oh he's just helping me, to use me". Thus friendships become relationships of use (3), and relationships of use are not truly deep relationships nor true love. Even many of the intimate relationships these days, are relationships of barter, where one trades goods for the physical, or physical for the physical and then moves on to another person after time.

So when the old people/parents are handicapped or constrained, what use are they to their materialistically minded children or to the economy? They can't contribute much to "economic growth" (the measure of modern national success). Thus the government spends less on the old people than is needed, and actually have incentives that they die early (after all, more people on the planet means less resources, so evolution means survival of the fittest and thus the death of the "weak". Evolution is materialism's love). Many of the old may even reach poverty because of the lack of funds towards them. In fact, being lonely means that one of the major psychological needs is left unfulfilled (humans traditionally were part of large families), and you are likely to die early (many old people die at hospital because no one visits them).

Just imagine yourself, that you are 67 years old, and you have no one to look after you, you are alone, probably in an old care home. Or if you are on your death bed, that no one visits you. To die a lonely death. How would you feel? Do you want to be in that situation?

Therefore how we deal with the materialism today, will directly affect our future. We need to encourage more people to look towards the Divine, the Transcendent (through Islamic values), so that we don't treat humans as things to be used, or as material objects, but as humans that we must respect because Allah swt has obliged that and honoured mankind. Even if it costs us to love people, we should still strive to help them. We need to raise children properly, inculcate the Prophetic and Sahabic way in them. This means that we must educate ourselves in regards to Islamic knowledge and the Prophetic way. We need to have both the external (fiqh) and the internal (tasawwuf) forms of Islam in each of us, since then we live according to the perfect way (Islamic way) of living.

The Qur'an says "We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation." (17:70)

1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/nov/29/george-osborne-state-pension-age
2) http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/04/20124285139116752.html
3) See the book "Affluenza" by Oliver James. Also it is from my observation and what was told in top professional firms that I worked in

1 comment:

  1. An awfully pessimistic update there. I am curious to understand what you meant by the line 'even japan'. Im not sure about friendships of use, personally I cant think of a specific example.