Three Religion Concept Of Haji Rahemtullah Khan
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Three religion concept of Haji Rahemtullah Khan

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See interview of Ashok  Kothare

As I grow old often go in reminiscence of old events and try to know what right and what wrong happened. In a way it was like reviewing my life. In one of such memories, forty years ago, I learned about three religion concept that was put to me by one business man from Afghanistan who was friends with me. 

Haji Rahemtullah was his name, an elderly gentleman from Afghanistan about 72 then. He was importing dry fruits from Afghanistan and exporting textile to Afghanistan. One day I happened to visit his office as I always used to do. Hajisab was sitting in his chair and he welcomed me as usual. There was nothing special to talk on and so we were siting without any conversation. After some time as time for Asr prayer began Haji sab stood for the prayer and I was watching him perform his prayer. That was usual scene. However, on that day something else happened. Haji sab had just completed one rakat, began his next rakat and phone began to ring. Those were days when mobiles were not available. Haji sab stopped his prayer and went to his sit and took that phone call. He continued his conversation on the phone for a long time and after that call was over he began to make calls to other contacts and that conversation continued for some time after about twenty minutes of talking business was over. He relaxed in his chair contemplating on his business discussion. I realized that he has forgotten prayer, Asr prayer time was not over until then. 

I became curious about his this behavior. I wanted to know why he did not continue his prayer? I was so much curious about that so I could not control and asked him to remind him of his prayer. On that he gave a big grin.

He took a time and began to answer my query; "Look Ashok bhai, I am not very particular about all these things but I have to continue to practice these things because I have to stay honorably in my society". Then he told me about his theory of three religions.

He told me that he believes in three religion theory for a person to make his living honorably in whatever society he lives. Haji sab told me his first religion is for his soul or Atman, that is religion of goodness. To be good and encourage goodness around, to discourage badness anywhere. This is religion for his soul. He said since, it is for his soul it is most important religion.

Second religion is for his body. That is business or service whatever is required to make living possible. Without this religion he told me nothing is possible. In importance it is next to goodness. So this is a very important religion and everybody must abide by it. Of course, this religion one must practice in accordance with first religion of goodness. That means he cannot indulge in any such avocation that breaks rules of goodness. Here he made to me clear about preferences in these three religions. Religion for Atman is first priority and religion for body has second preference.

Last comes religion for society. He told me with a smile on his face that Islam is for society. That has least priority in the three religion arrangement.

 Then he told me why he did not bother to continue prayer. He told me if in place of me a Muslim person were to sit he would have continued the prayer but since I was not a Muslim he told me laughingly, he did not need follow third religion meticulously at that moment of time.

 That explanation satisfied me and then we together chatted on many relevant topics. I wonder if all sensible people accept Haji sab's three religion theory there will be less tension in this world. In a secular society like ours third option becomes irrelevant and so not necessary! However, first and second religions are essential and cannot be neglected.

 Note for those who do not know about basics of Islam. Islam is a religion based on five pillars. They are, (1) the shahadah (creed, to accept that Allah is the god and no other god and Mohammad is his apostle and no body else is apostle), (2) daily prayers (salat, five times), (3) alms giving (zakah, charity), (4) fasting during Ramadan month and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime. The one who accepts these five is belonging to Islam and nobody can claim otherwise.

 There is no mention of goodness or earning for living in these five and so Haji Rahemtullah Khan's concept is different. I was so much impressed by his teachings that ever since then I follow this three religion theory in my life. If you follow it you also will be comfortable in life, just thing on it! Before I end this episode let me tell my readers that his family is the richest family of Afghanistan though they no more stay in Afghanistan for security reasons.


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