Opinion on Supersitition by Syed Mustafa Ahmad

1 February 2021

 It is truly said that superstitiSupersuyon is the religion of feeble minds. In the age of rationalization, it is still prevalent in our society. A lot of people believe in superstitions. Generally, the word ‘ superstition’ is referred to such beliefs which are beyond reason and cannot be explained. Thus, the things that have no scientific explanation, can be termed as superstitions.       Superstitions are the legacy of every civilization and are inherited by the following generations. It originated when man was at the mercy of natural elements. These elements are the forces of nature like the Sun, the Moon, water, etc. The men worshipped fire because of its destructive ability or power. When men started falling prey to diseases, he started appeasing the God’s with offerings, penances and sacrifices to ward off evil spirits.       It is important to understand various reasons for the birth of superstitions. Illiteracy, lack of knowledge and incapacity to reason out are the basic reasons which generate superstitions. Something which is mysterious, unknown and unexplainable may arouse feeling of fear and anxiety. The fear in its turn gives rise to blind faith, complexes and superstitions. The sense of  some insecurity, fear of ill luck and the dread of the unknown forces in the Universe are ingrained in human nature. It is believed that only illiterate people living in rural areas are believers of superstitions. But it is not wholly true. The people living in the cities are also prone to superstitions. Nowadays, highly educated people living in urban areas are not free from these. They are educated but not enlightened. They only now the superficiality of things and are unacquainted with in-depth knowledge of things.     All the people in the world share some common superstitions. Believing in spirits, ghosts, witches, the cries of owl, the mewing of cats, etc., to name a few, are superstitions followed all over the globe. A cat crossing one’s path, sneeze or when someone interrupts or calls while one is going out are considered as bad signs. Similarly, there are auspicious and inauspicious days. People consult astrologers and priests to know the auspicious hours and days to start their work, projects and journey. The time and date of marriage, inauguration are fixed according to the advice of astrologers and the position of the planets and stars.     Apart from these, the worst form of superstitions followed in India is human sacrifice. Small children are sacrificed in the name of offerings to gods in order to appease gods and become wealthy. Even animals, without any religious authentication, are mercilessly killed. It is illogical in every sense. How can God be happy by killing those who have life? We are advised not to harm a living in any respect.       Superstitions can sometimes lead to horrifying crimes. Women, who are suspected of practising witchcraft are tied and burnt alive. A lot of resources are wasted in serving the so-called the champions of any religion in order to please gods. These become middlemen between God and a devotee. It results in narrow meaning of any religion and gives rise to superstitions. In our Muslim society, a large number of superstitions are prevalent. Our religion abhors any type of superstition. Anything that is good, happens by the grace of God. The natural phenomena are the creations of God. There is no room for superstitions. Rationality is the mantra of the Muslims. But unfortunately, we have become the most superstitions community in the worldly terms.      Now, the question that is of utmost importance is that even after scientific developments, what is the place of superstitions in our lives? The reality of God is a big mystery. When it is almost decided that the whole Universe runs according to a plan, planned by the creator in a subtle manner. What is the need of superstitions? Against this background, the Indian Constitution talks about the eradication of superstitions through the fundamental duty in Article 51A. It states to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. To completely eradicate superstitions from our society, it is important to change the mindset of people. Spiritual teachers can be the best remedy. They teach the realities of life in a most sophisticated way. They talk of the ordinary things of life. They don’t talk of supernatural things. They make you believe that a disease is a test from your creator. He loves us. He promises to help us. He loves those, who love humanity. This mindset will make it clear that there are no enemies. Any calamity is from God to teach us something. Our beautiful bodies are the gifts of God. He, whenever likes, can take back all these things from us. The awareness of new kind can be imparted to those who are prone to superstitions.     A bill to curb superstitions was approved in the state of Maharashtra, after the assassination of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, an anti superstition activist. It criminalizes the practices related to black magic, human sacrifices, use of magic, remedies to cure ailments and other such acts that exploit people’s superstitions. It is a nice gesture towards removing the practices that are unimaginable in the age of science and technology.      However, mere amendments in law cannot ensure a permanent solution to this persistent problem. Stringent enforcement of the law, collective responsibility taken up by the government is activists and public play a crucial role in eradicating superstitions. In today’s world, it is necessary that we do not blindly follow any superstition passed by our ancestors and being passed by the present society. We are becoming modern day by day. We have gained  a lot  in every respect. We have progressed miles ahead. However, we do have shortcomings. But the shortcomings should act as a muscle power for the progress of our nations. It is important to have a judicious look for some logical reason behind every superstition before accepting it. So, let us at our individual level pledge that we will try our best not to fall prey to the illogical superstitions.
Writer:syed Mustafa Ahmad.Syedmustafaahmad9@gmail.com.