Unity and Equality

Unrecognised powerful religious forces are at work in the world, particularly the “modern” world. The first, particularly for Americans who religiously and sanctimoniously export it, is equality: “all men are created equal”, which is patently false. Neither by genetic nor familial inheritance is it true, nor in terms of wealth and social advantage is this the case. If we look carefully the reality is that there are no two things in the cosmos that are equal in any sense. Each one is a unique creation, and to make one equal to another is to do an injustice to both. The statement is an “ought-to-be”, and in that it is a great denial of “what is”. Tellingly it is preceded by “we hold these truths to be self-evident”.

A self-evident truth is an axiom, and this is the intrusion of a kind of mathematical thinking into the modern world, a mathematics not using numbers, line, areas, volumes or algebraic symbols. However, where mathematicians wrestled with their axioms critically, with great rigour and intellectual honesty, this one on equality is a bland assertion with little thought behind it. Yet Americans killed each other in their Civil War for it, over 600,000 dying and untold numbers of wounded and other kinds of casualties that are not quantifiable. This civil strife is still not over for them, and for that reason they export it with missionary zeal to the rest of the world. Missionary export is perhaps their only way to avoid falling on each other once again in civil strife and murder. 

But another mathematical form entered this matter, more immediately recognisable as such: “the Union”. Mankind has always recognised Unity as an essential Divine attribute. Thus, its manifestation in the world and its evocation can be troublesome. Calls for unity have a certain simplistic appeal, but somehow are not what they appear to be. Again with the American Civil War and its appalling toll, it was originally launched to “save the Union”. But what use is a Union that has such a dreadful price? A union is a union of something, but if of the actual substance of the union, its people, those who survive are full of gloating that they won or resentful that they lost, the gloating and the resentment lasting for centuries and looking unlikely to come to an end in the immediate future, what sort of union is that?

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973, and, at his suggestion, studied Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences in Cairo for a period. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s one of the imams khatib of the Norwich Mosque, and again from 2002-2016. He has translated, edited and typeset a number of classical texts. He currently resides with his wife in Denmark and occasionally teaches there. 14 May, 2023 0:03

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