Ghadeer - The Day of "HOPE"
The 313 Foundation “Day of Hope” annual program aims to unite believers of all faiths under the banner of peace, hope, and a promising future that is devoid of violence, injustice, and tyranny.
Although we see the day to day absurdity of life on the planet, and we feel very much disheartened by some of the events we have witnessed, consciously and unconsciously we perceive the possibility of another world, an alternative system. We imagine how it could be, and the mind is flooded with many images and sounds. Immediately, we snap back to 'reality,' back to the disillusionment that is the current state of affairs.
Statistics show that globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression which is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Close to 80,000 people die yearly due to suicide which is the second leading cause of deaths in young people. Moreover, 52, 000 people die from drug overdose in the U.S. yearly. Youth are turning to drugs when they are not able get work or receive an education and feel they are out of options. Even when jobs are found, workers are not paid a livable wage and are cut off from their very creative potential. Today, the way the financial system works, there are many people who are simply excluded from participating. Capitalism has made living difficult, and for some people it has become unbearable. Entire countries' populations are left starving, and at the same time there are eight individuals whose wealth is equivalent to 50% of the world's most poor. If it wasn't for such hoarders, starvation, homelessness, and the problem of healthcare could be taken care of this instant. There are new technologies that can help solve these problems but companies are preventing them from doing so. Frustrated, people are blaming each other, the end result being the formation of new conflicts and a rise in racism. How can we bring an end to such desperation, discrimination, hatred, despair, and greed...?
Even the planet, our common space of residing, is shouting in need. The ice caps are melting even faster and causing sea levels to rise drastically. It is a visible sign for us; earthquakes are happening more frequently in some areas, and scientists believe that by 2025 some countries will start running out of fresh water. All this is an indication that our existence is something contingent and not necessary. Our survival is predicated on us reevaluating our beliefs to see whether or not they are in fact, consistent. Are we really even getting what it is we want?
There is no human being who does not strive to attain peace, even if just for a few moments; it is a basic fundamental right that is a necessity, and not a luxury. Before peace and happiness can be attained, humans must embark on the journey that is “hoping” and “waiting." This process of hoping and waiting must be an active one; this can only be done with the presence of a clear vision for the future.
Rationality tells us that when wrongdoing is not only not condemned but rewarded, and evil is supreme, then we are living in a society whose spiritual sensibilities have been deadened. Under the current system, our conscious awareness is being diverted towards consumption and ego, causing people to lose their sense of dignity. The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard has said, "The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.”
When the love of God is numbed in human beings' hearts, and a poisonous wind begins to blow, the mercy of God then ordains that life should be breathed into dead hearts again, and the earth should be refreshed with a blow of pure air that cleanses everything in it. As there are changes of seasons in the physical world, there are also revolutions in the spiritual world.
The idea of hoping and waiting for a promised savior is a universal concept that is established in the doctrine of mainstream religions. In many faiths, there is an expectation for a savior to come and help the oppressed and eliminate injustice. This hope can be likened to a forcefield that protects one from sways of grief that lead to despair and gives one strength, knowing that his efforts serve a purpose. These sources of hope may be different, however, the concept of promised leadership that will bring good to the world is prevalent.
Jesus Christ represents the savior and “messiah” for the Christians, and the Jews believe in a “mashiach” who will come in the Messianic Era where the Jewish monarchy would be restored. In Hinduism, the promised apocalypse called "the tenth Avatara" is remembered. In Buddhism, the Apocalypse is the promised Savior "Five Buddhas," and the Buddhists are waiting for this manifestation.
In Islam, the "Mahdi" is the divinely appointed leader from the progeny of the Last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his purified Household) who will rule over the world and fill the earth with justice and equity after it was filled with tyranny and injustice. The commonalities between Islam and the other divine revelations are noted not only in the historical past and holy scriptures, but also carry a similar vision for the future.
In attempting to cleanse the world of spiritual malady, we have to be conscious that for us to get out of this predicament we must change our collective habits. We have to admit we don't know, humble ourselves, and seek guidance. Only then can our hearts become enlightened. For this to happen we have to stand up against any injustice we see. We have the ability to do so, and we are certainly more creative than those who chose to remain indifferent to the plight of mankind. As long as we continue relying upon our source of hope, we can form mutual solidarity in active waiting: preparing ourselves for his time by engaging, getting ourselves and others ready, and making sure our actions coincide with the world he is going to build. The people are realizing the truth. And the Mahdi is causing the plots of the evil doers to go awry in ways they could have never predicted. We have to know that we are not the ones in control; this is actually one of the most hopeful things there is for one to be hopeful about; yes, we don't have control, more importantly, neither do they. They don’t have any power. "And verily we have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder: My righteous servants will inherit the earth." ~ Al-Quran 21:105