Essay No. 112:
Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone: This is saying of the Holy Bible that bread is not only the thing to sustain man’s life. No doubt bread is necessary for man to live in the world. He cannot remain alive without bread. But apart from the world. He cannot remain alive without bread. But apart from bread, man needs many more things in life.
Man likes to hear music in moments of loneliness. Music creates a sublime impact on the mind of man. Those who have a weakness for classical music, often lend their ears to it when they are sad or fatigued by the complexities of life. Music is a part of human culture.
A man also is impressed by painting and art of architecture. These things are a part of man’s life. He cannot rise above the callings of art in different forms. It must, however, be admitted that appreciation of art commences after men’s requirements of bread are properly met in life.
Love is another instinct which accompanies man throughout his life. Man loves his blood relations life father, mother, sister, brother, son etc. he also loves someone in life. Love cannot be ejected out the life of man. Man must love someone otherwise he is like a cold stone devoid of emotions in life. Tennyson – a great English poet in one of his poems rightly says:
“tis’ better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
Life without love would revert to animalism. One can’t underwrite the importance of love in human life. It is the most supreme force in the life of man. Religion bears on man the need for love in life. All revealed religions including Islam, have given the message of LOVE to man. Believers are asked to love the creatures of Allah.
God loves those who love His Creatures. Man is regarded as the centre of the world. Man must love his fellow human beings. He must consciously to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow beings.
Islam attaches the highest importance to love and exhorts behaviours to love Allah through the prescribed recipes to seek the enlightenment of his soul. He must, however, not ignore to love his fellow-creatures under any condition.
The man should look after his body in the world. However, too much preoccupation with the body, can create a void in the life of man. If body i.e., bread, becomes the only objective of life, then it can degenerate to the level of animality. If the objective is to satisfy physical hunger, then there is no difference between man and animal.
When a cow is hungry it can move into anybody’s field to satisfy her hunger. Man is a social animal of a higher category. He has to respond to the higher calls of life. He must look to the development of his soul, which in no way should remain starved. Religion plays the role of its own by educating man the need for looking into his inner self and respond to its calls.
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The Quran declares that it is only through the remembrance of Allah that man can satisfy his starved soul. Man thus should endeavour to seek a balanced development of body and soul. But religion in no way should be used as a weapon of exploitation of the sentiments of the gullible, the illiterate.
The West in its blind craze for materialism has neglected religion. It seems to have thrown religion out of its life. It is after materialism to make life as comfortable as possible in terms of material conveniences. It has discarded religion. In my last visit to England, in 2004, I saw with my own eyes the church located near the Bronte Parsonage practically empty on a Sunday.
The bell rand to invite the Christian for service but the church could not draw a handful of persons. On the other hand, down the lane, the public house was seen overpopulated. The young, the old held tumblers of wine in their hands.
They perhaps drank off the worries of life by consuming liquor. My impression was that the religion of people in the UK lay in material merry-making. A man should not eliminate religion from his life. He should seek a blend of body and spirit.