Essay No. 226: 

‘And Who Is Saved From Narrow Mindedness Such Are They Who Are Successful’ (Al-Quran): Narrow-mindedness is a great enemy of man. It eats into the vitals of man. It makes man give up objective thinking and stick to parochial thinking. Man falls a prey to prejudice in life his outlook tends to be colored by narrow thinking. Man suffering from narrow-mindedness beings to view things in a narrow perspective and is removed away from the realities in life.

Islam considers narrow-mindedness as a great flaw in the life of believers. That is why it exhorts the believers to avoid it. Followers of the creed of narrow-mindedness are thus losers as love slips out of their life and is replaced by petty parochialism and hatred. Hence if success is the objective, then vision should be broadened to part with smallness.

A community that is split into different sects is exposed to a number of weakness. Followers of one sect are at war with the followers of the other sects. Each sect considers it a matter of obligation of enforce its faith in the society. This ushers in permanent strife between different sects due to limited narrow approach. The society becomes a sort of hell for humans to live in. followers are overtaken by parochial thinking and cease to demonstrate large heartedness.

Pakistan society is a bedrock of sectarianism. It has passed through a state of inferno and has paid a heavy price for sectarianism. Shias and Sunnis stick to their faith most zealously and in the process of conflict create destabilization in the society. Both the sects may adhere to their faith but avoid narrow-mindedness in fanning hatred against each other.

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Prejudice eats up virtue. It needs to be avoided at all cost. The US and the West European countries being the champions of capitalist system were at loggerhead with the champions of capitalist system were at loggerhead with the former USSR, that professed to be the practitioner of socialism. Both the blocks stuck to their beliefs and created cold war.

The followers of both the ideologies should have remained within the limits of normalcy but that did not happen. Limited approach suggests limited thinking and action. It is a reflection of narrow-mindedness. Liberalism is the best ideology of escape narrow-mindedness. One should thus take a liberal view of things to avoid parochialism.

The Islamic history affords many examples of a liberal attitude shown by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on a number of occasions. The Jews were treated kindly. Islam thus condemns narrow-mindedness and stipulates rightly that the followers of this creed are the most unsuccessful. It must be said good-bye once and for all.

We must demonstrate liberalness and tolerance to put up with the existence of those who do not share our faith. We must learn the lesson of tolerating our adversaries with patience. The philosophy of co-existence is a better mode of living. In our daily life, we must avoid narrow-mindedness and build traditions of tolerance. In order to be successful we must shun narrow-mindedness.

“‘And Who Is Saved From Narrow Mindedness Such Are They Who Are Successful’ (Al-Quran)”