A Cursory Assessment of the World Today Now we possess the light which we can use to look at the world and observe the situation of existing nations, specifically the "developed" ones with respect to shirk and idol worship. Since this book has been written with consideration to utmost brevity, we shall firstly concentrate on signalling the most important features and, secondly, keep the current condition of followers of all religions, not discuss the reality of their faiths and, thirdly, only mention those nations who hold some level of cultural significance. Otherwise, this story could become so long that it will be very difficult to bring it to a close. For ease of debate, we shall review nations of the Far East and followers of Buddhism, then look at India, followed by Western Europe and the United States on the one hand and Russia on the other, so that we may assess the dark and distorted forms of polytheism hidden in these cloaks of modern civilization. In spite of the claim of researchers that polytheism has disappeared from the world, it is widely spread out throughout the world. Far East The majority of people in the Far East are followers of four religions: Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. The original, oldest religion of Japan is Shintoism and it remains the main one to date, although Japan is considered to be the land of 500 religions. In the beginning of 6th century C.E, Buddhism entered through Korea, but when a strong nationalist movement took root in 9th century C.E, Shinto rose up again and since then, it is the official and national religion. The key principle of this religion is worship of nature and elders. It has about 8 million deities but the main is the goddess of the sun, whose grandson, according to Japanese belief, became the first ruler of Japan and the crown has been passed on generation to generation, with the current King, Micado. The progeny of this goddess has been ruling Japan for thousands of years, although various goddesses of the seas, rivers, mountains, fire etc are also worshipped. Brave warriors of the nation and loyal servants of the royal family are also worshipped. However, the first principle of this religion is to worship the original elder goddess, her relatives and descendants. The main religions of China are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Worship of ancestors, ghosts and devils, goddesses and gods has been the characteristic of these religions from ancient times. The first two religions believed in ancestor and nature worship in principle. Buddhism does not believe in ancestor worship but when it reached China, it absorbed the beliefs of the other two religions and now all three deify ancestors, evils and their demonstrations. Magic, casting of spells and tricks are their common features and the list of superstitions of their followers is so long that the reader gets exhausted. Laozi was the originator of Taoism. His philosophy is the philosophy of negation. His religious book would be about half that of the Gospel of Mark, but the followers of this religion have added so many superstitions to the book that their details could not be contained within thick volumes. Tao monks have been in search since before the birth of Jesus (sws) of the dragon pine that is said to grow in an island of fairies of the eastern sea. They have covered the entire sky with gods and goddesses and the entire earth with magicians and sorcerers and believe that if humans can negate their desires and locate the secret of eternal life, they become heavenly gods. Of their heavenly goddesses, the most significant is the "Queen of Heaven" or the "Sacred Mother". This goddess is also the goddess of the seas, storms and waves. She is the protector of every Chinese sailor, fisherman and marine tourist. When there is any trouble in the sea, she is called upon for help and she immediately appears in the skies with her sword and destroys the greatest of storms. If sailors are lost in the darkness of seas, she shows them the way with red lanterns. The founder of Confucianism was Confucius. The original religion of China is ancestor worship and the reality of Confucianism is nothing other than that it was an authority for ancestor worship. Ancestor worship is the backbone of Chinese mythology. Souls of the dead are given most significance and glorified. They control the divinity of China. Although the Chinese pay homage and sacrifice to all of their gods, they worship the souls of their forefathers with the greatest sincerity of heart. According to Chinese belief, souls of the dead remain on earth and if they are not fed, kept satisfied or worshipped, they become upset and this anger of theirs causes many calamities. According to their faith, if a person's soul is not respected and worshipped by his children, that soul becomes embroiled in permanent wretchedness. The concept of individual existence is absent in China. Every person is assumed to be connected with the long association of his ancestors that extends from the beginning of existence to his own life. The being of every Chinese is totally dependent upon the mercy of the souls of his ancestors. If there is the least negligence in paying homage to them or obeying all the necessary rituals as per established rules, it is enough for him to be damned. Thousands of years have passed: the ancestors of Chinese have moved out of nomadic life and entered modern times; 25 royal families have ruled over them; terrible wars and great revolutions have changed the parameters of the country, but ancestor-ship in China remains unaltered to date. Confucius has also given many moral principles. But all of these teachings are based on ancestor-ship. He says that they must believe their ancestors to be ever present and offer sacrifices for them and worship souls as if they existed within individuals. Although he has not claimed to be a god anywhere in his teachings, but due to the all embracing nature of the religion in the country and above teachings, he has become a deity, as had Laozi. Today, he is worshipped as a major god in China. Buddhism was born in India but Brahmans chased it out such that it never went back. Exiled from here, it found refuge in the eastern islands of Hindustan, Burma, China, Japan, Tibet, etc. Except for Japan, where it met with defeat after the nationalist movement in the 17th century, it exists prominently in the other places. China and Tibet have a large number of its followers. It is commonly believed about Gautam Buddha that he was a denier of God. But this is not correct. Ancient history of the world is full of polytheists but atheists are found only in current times. How could it be assumed about Buddha that he did not believe in God? The research we have carried out on the history of Buddha's times and his religion tells us that he was a believer in Unitarianism. Before his time, the philosophy of Upanishads had already been spread in Hindustan. It is not possible for one who believes in oneness of existence to deny God. He believes that the entire universe is false and illusion and that only the ego is truth. The ascetic spends his life in seeking to absorb himself in the soul of the universe, in other words the "ego", letting go of the fear of death or love of wealth and life. The history we find of Hindu hermits before Buddha's time is demonstrative of their painful efforts to extract themselves from the net of wealth and become one with the soul of the universe. When Guatam Buddha opened his eyes and his heart yearned for this release, he turned to the same philosophy and began to carry out extremely difficult exercises to obtain release from the tussle of life and death and human desires. After some time, the reality dawned upon him that those efforts were unnecessary to remove the cover of materialism. The way to this was to purify one's soul of desires and gain freedom from emotions of the heart and soul. Thus, as far as painful exercises were concerned, he reformed the ways of the Brahmans and developed rules that focused on obtaining purification and celibacy and that emphasised internal sacrifices rather than external ones. The last slogan of Unitarianism is "I am God and I am the truth." This made every Hindu mystic a spiritual force instead of a servant. Gautam Buddha's struggle was also for this purpose. Hence, he, too, shed off his materialistic cloak according to his belief and absorbed himself into the universe. After his death, his followers made him a deity and spread various senseless stories about his birth to prove that he was a personification of God who had come to give new life to the world. He is now worshipped as a god in China, Japan, Tibet, Burma etc and his magnificent statues and temples surprise many onlookers. His followers in China are also involved in worship of all kinds of ghosts, spirits, gods and goddesses. There is a worse situation in Tibet. The greatest religious priest of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, is believed to be Buddha's incarnation and exercises godliness similarly. When the Dalai Lama dies there, every woman is desirous of giving birth to a new god and the new god is chosen through casting lots from among the children who are born during that period. India One is filled with fear when stepping on the ground in Hindustan. Here, every grain of sand is a god. From the ant to the elephant, from a grain to the sun, all are idols and sacred. One can find worshippers of rivers, mountains, animals, birds, cats, mice and even unmentionable parts of the human anatomy. In the Vedas, the story of Indra who gave a thousand eyes to a peacock taught drunkenness and inebriation to its followers. Then came the trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The former is the creator, the second is the protector and the last one kills and burns. After each period of the world's existence, Brahma destroys it and gives it a new birth. His temple is still to be found in Rajputana and thronged with people. Whenever a major calamity occurs in the world, Vishnu descends upon the world to save its people. To do this, he is born many times in various incarnations. Ten of his incarnations are famous in Hindu mythology. Shri Krishan is also thought to be one of his incarnations and the manner in which his life has been presented and the stories connected with him that are spread throughout the Hindu nation are too embarrassing to be mentioned. Then comes the philosophy of Pathanjali, or Hindu mysticism. It is based on Unitarianism. This philosophy includes only the ego: everything else is illusion and delusion. The extreme form of this is that the grain becomes the sun, a drop the river and the human being God. The path towards this is assumed to be release the soul from the body through extremely hard work. The details of ways to do this created by Hindu hermits and Yogis are such that one is filled with horror and their practical demonstrations are enough to make ones hair stand on end. But anything can be expected from the person who risks his life for ordinary reasons when he desires to become God. One must admit, therefore, that examples of the exertions Hindu Yogis have gone through would not be easy to find in world history. In Hindu mythology, gods are followed by goddesses. They are numerous too. It would not be useful to discuss their features but Lakshmi Durga, Bhervi and Kali Mai are commonly known. The latter one holds great significance for the Hindus. Dreadful diseases such as small pox, cholera, etc are assumed to be a result of her anger. Whichever sects exist within Hindus, they are either worshipers of these gods and goddesses, or are influenced by the Geeta and Pathanjali. Some groups appear to be different, but these differences are on the surface only. There is no difference in their substance and reality. Only two sects hold distinct features. One is the Arya Samajis and the other the Sikhs. Both have been influenced by Islam and have come somewhat close to the concept of tawḥīd. However, this closeness has been created as a result of defensive measures. This is why, in spite of their closeness, they remain far from Islam. The founders of these sects thought that it would be difficult to worship idols while fighting with Muslims. Thus, they gave up praying to their idols and accepted a reform, which, in their minds, brought them closer to rationality and the belief of the times. They thought that they could not combat the Muslims. This is why they possess the most enmity of all sects against Muslims from the very beginning, although, being closer to the latter in their principal belief, they should have feelings of love towards them. Whatever the reason for accepting this reform, it is an important one and they have come closer to the basic teachings of Islam. It is now easier to communicate tawḥīd and its requirements to them, provided truth comes to them through the right path. This is the situation in India. All common people and elites are involved in such polytheistic beliefs. The Unitarianism, which in itself is a major issue, of Geeta rules over the best minds. The best feature of Aryas and Sikhs is that they deny idol worship but our readers who have noted the earlier discussion are aware that they need to cover many milestones to reach true tawḥīd. Just as Arya and Sikh came into existence in India due to Muslim rule, a new group has emerged due to colonisation by the British and modern thought and ideology. This group is, on the whole, more progressive. It has released itself from the superstitions of Hindu mythology, but it is creating another mythology based on material from the West. New gods and goddesses have replaced the older ones. Humans themselves are gods, make their own rules, implement these over themselves and blow the trumpet of their kingdom over God's world. This is called democracy. Western Europe and America The real religion of Europe and America is Christianity. We have explained the distortions in these religions in previous pages. After the council of Nicea, faith in Trinity became the state religion and control by the Pope and Church began. We have also clarified that Aryus and his party, which had inherited the beliefs of Peter that possessed true Christian beliefs, became a minority state and, in fact, was oppressed and downtrodden. The rituals of the Christian church were then established on the basis of Paul's alterations. We now need to take a brief look at the centuries in between until reformation of the church. During this intermediary phase, we observe two very significant points: the singularity of the Christian church, and its wide ranging control. In the Middle Ages, the rule of the church was so over powering and over reaching that all small or large states had become mere tools. Even the great Byzantine rule had become lifeless against the church. The church misused this power completely. Drunk with this rule, it started the crusades that took hold of Europe for 200 years. During this period, those at the helm of the church committed such crimes; spilled the blood of so many people; destroyed young children by brainwashing them with dreams of the wars and placed all creative abilities on the path to subversion that left many people highly disturbed mentally. Defeats on the battlefield and the massive destruction caused chaos among thinkers. They began to believe that the rule of the church was the cause of the destruction. People who loved research and knowledge thought that the church had occupied the minds of all like a nightmare, and until this nightmare was removed, all paths to reason and thought would remain blocked. Leaders began to think that control by the church over government was irrational and against nature and that politics should be separate from religion. Different nations of Europe began to believe that the Roman Catholic church control over the state was merely an excuse for Roman control: it should end. Even from within the church, a group was formed that started thinking that they had strayed away from the true teachings of Jesus (sws) and become obsessed with evils of this world. Their purpose seemed to be only collection of wealth, showing off pomp and glory and destroying the world. They should return to the life of poverty, service of humanity, giving up of the world and obedience of Jesus (sws). The combination of all of the above gave rise to the chaotic condition which we know by the name of the Renaissance. People of knowledge such as Bacon, politicians such as Machiavelli and Hugo Grotius and liberal thinkers such as Gardeno Bruno belong to this period. The church answered the resistance by these people through setting up courts that determined and punished religious crimes (the inquisitions). Such horrible punishments were given to those desiring reforms and seekers of knowledge that it is impossible even to think about them. But these punishments served only to increase the demand to rise against the church and bring the control of the Pope to an end. Nations wanted to protect their own nationalities; people of knowledge became increasingly desirous of enhancing research and thought and the science of philosophy became determined to cut down the roots of church dogma. Demand for reform from within the church too became so strong that reform supporters such as Wycliffe Hus and Luther rose to take action. They divided the unified the Christian church into two and thus formally set the foundation of the Protestant sect. The basic concept of this sect was there was no need for connection between Jesus (sws) and God and that every Christian had the right to understand and obey the Bible, just as the Pope had. Nation states had begun to be created during the 13th century. By the time the 16th and 17th centuries arrived, the forces of nationalism, unified states, separation of religion and politics and religious tolerance had increased to such as extent that the church, regardless of whether it was Catholic or Protestant had to give way. All sectors of knowledge, politics, business, trade and economy were cleansed of the influence of the church and political institutions of the 17th and 18th centuries came into existence in which religion was a personal matter. Instead of control of priests and elites, control of common people and parliament came into existence. It becomes clear from this detail that Christians were never provided the blessing to worship God solely. Paul involved them in worship of Jesus (sws), Mary (rta), the Holy Spirit and evil forces and opened up the door to the polytheistic beliefs of the Roman catholic church. Luther's reforms removed the church from collective life and gave control to people, members of the parliament, kings and presidents and thus different rulers of public life were created. When the weakness of democracies was demonstrated by World War I, dictatorship was installed in some European countries. The difference between dictatorship and democracy is one of numbers of the rulers. Many deities make the law and act as gods in democracy; in dictatorship, only one deity does so with help from his supporters. USSR The USSR is managed through communism, which is the last step of democracy. Democracy had connected religion and God with private life; communism has cut off this connection too and installed the rule of humans over all sectors of human life. Instead of the trinity of Christianity, it possesses the trinity of Marx, Lenin and Stalin. The beliefs, moral behaviour and economic systems which this fundamental trio has designed is the religion of the USSR. (Translated by Nikhat Sattar) ـــــــــــــــــــــــــ  The good people of this party were those who later believed in the Prophet (sws) after his prophethood. They, and not those who obeyed Paul and were enemies of tawḥīd, have been praised in the Qur'ān in various places.