Qur'an 103: 01-03
By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), Most surely man is in loss
Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is: "Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan" (Sanskrit transliteration) "There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit."
"Na tasya pratima asti" "There is no likeness of Him." [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]1
Surah Al Ikhlas 112 :1-4. The Unity, Sincerity, Oneness Of God (Allah) is depicted in Quran as such:
"...He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him."
Foreword: If you have reached this part of my web page, chances are, you have a quest to learn and this section is basically meant for scholarly purposes. We don't mean to demean or discredit any religious thoughts and would appreciate any constructive criticism and opinions and I promise to incorporate them into this article.
Hailing from the Indian subcontinent, I often pondered and was asked by a few of my Hindu colleagues, "If according to Islam, messengers or prophets were sent as a prophet to each and every nation of the world, then which ones were sent to Indian subcontinent? Can we consider major deities of Hinduism, the Rama and Krishna to be apostles of God and will Muslims respect them as much as they respect their own who are mentioned in Quran?".
I didn't have any satisfactory answer to this, then. As far as I knew, Qur'an does mention about the prophets sent to Jews( Moses) and Christians (Jesus) and finally to Pagans of Arabia in particular and the whole mankind in general (Muhammad-*saw*) but it doesn't mention anything about this part of the world, i.e., Hindus. Although, Holy Quran does state:
". . . And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past)." [Al-Qur’an 35:24]
A similar message is repeated in Surah Rad, chapter 13 verse 7 ". . . and to every people a guide." [Al-Qur’an 13:7]
Allah (swt) also says in Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 164: "Of some messengers We have already told you the story; of others we have not." [Al-Qur’an 4:164]
A similar message is repeated in Surah Ghafir chapter 40 verse 78: "We did aforetime send messengers before you: of them there are some whose story We have related to you, and some whose story We have not related to you. . ." [Al’Qur’an 40:78]
Also, The Glorious Qur’an mentions in Surah Rad, chapter 13 verse 38 "For each period is a book (revealed)." [Al-Qur’an 13:38]
A lot has been written by Muslim scholars and converts, about the coming of prophet Muhammad (saw) in almost all the major world religions. Interfaith dialogue videos present at Ahya website and True Message bears testimony to the truthfulness of this divine book called as Holy Quran. But had the Almighty Allah(swt) willed, the whole world to consist of nothing but Muslims, then it would have prevailed, but probably HE has His own plans known best to him and such attempts by Muslims to prove that they indeed are the inheritors of the Truth... serve little purpose BUT to consolidate their own faith in Allah(swt) and increase respect for theirs and others religion, for this proves, that all the religions had initially originated as the adherents of ONE, True God.
Once in a blue moon, such writings and dialogues do end up convincing a non-Muslim that Islamic teachings and monotheism is indeed the True path and then he/she reverts into the fold of Islam and if that happens for one in a thousand who read this article, I would consider this a victory for eternal truth.
My quest for the answer to the question above, finally arrived in the form of a book written by A.H.Vidyarthi and U. Ali, "Muhammad in Parsi, Hindu & Buddhist Scriptures," which is indeed a scholarly work with detailed references and scans of the original texts. Few of which I will try to reproduce below.
Recently, I read the work of Dr. Zakir Naik, an authoritative source in matters of comparative religion and involved in various Interfaith dialogues all over the world. You can ask him questions or refute his findings at his website (irf.net). He is based in Bombay (India) and in a recent dialogue with Swamiji of Ramakrishna Mission he mentioned these points, of which the Swamiji had no answers. I have also seen the video of this Interfaith dialogue and it's available for download at ahya.org website. Please provide me with the refutations to these findings and I'll be most happy to put them here online.
To start with, Dr. Naik mentions the two places where there is a usage of the word Allah(swt) in Hindu scripttures:
Word "Ilah" is used in Rigveda Book 2 Hymn I verse II
Even in the Rigveda which is the most sacred scriptture of the Hindus, one of the attributes given to God Almighty in Book no 2 Hymn no I verse II, is ‘Ila’ which if pronounced properly is the same as 'Allah'.
Amongst the various Upanishads one of the Upanishad is named as ‘Allo’ Upanishad in which God is referred to as "Allah" several times.
Readers comment: There is every probability that you will find words in Sanskrit texts that sound similar to Arabic words. But there are huge difference between present interpretations of Islam and the Upanishads.
The most significant being, that Upanishads do not need a personified god, while such a god could indeed be a very useful device. While most current flavors of Islam have to start with a personified god called "Allah" in specific. The answer to the above is therefore, that it is not really relevant. While there indeed could be such names, the name is not central to Hinduism. Or Buddhism or Jainism etc. A name is only a place holder.
GuidedOnes: We agree with you totally - unlike Christians (who will insist that Gods name is not Allah its Jehovah) the name of God is not so important to Muslims. What is not important is the name you give God but your attitude to God and belief in him -for instance the pagan Arabs used to call God 'Allah' - but they would say 'Allah' has a child, or 'Allah' is this statue , etc - similarly the Christian Arabs of today call God Allah but say Allah has a son or Allah came down to earth in human form - both this incompatible with being God or His nature. So Muslims say "khuda hafiz" when they depart (may God protect you) - 'khuda' is the Persian name for God - that is less important than the fact that Muslims understand that Khuda/Allah/God is one and unique.
The reason the word "Allah" is used by Muslims other than say God is that the word Allah has no masculine or feminine gender and means "The God" in Arabic - thus negating any possibility of believing that God has any partners or associates - (the word God can imply the existence of goddess, godfather, godmother etc.)
Coming to the claim by some of the Hindu faithful, to the idea of Rama and Krishna as also the prophets of Allah(swt) and Muslims should regard them as such, wrt the Quranic verse..."We did aforetime sent messengers before you: of them there are some whose story We have related to you, and some whose story We have not related to you. . ." [Qur’an 40:78]. In 1935, Dr. Pran Nath published an article in the Times of India that showed that the Rig Veda contains events of the Babylonian and Egyptian kings and their wars. Further, he showed that one-fifth of the Rig Veda is derived from the Babylonian Scriptures. From a Muslim perspective, it is likely that the Hindus were given a revealed book or books that contained descripttion and struggles of Allah’s Prophets sent previously to other peoples. It is also possible that commentaries written about them were incorporated later and became a part of the revealed books.
We as Muslims, might also consider Hindu gods as prophets of Allah(swt) minus the mythologies written about them by various writers through different ages. Even then, we need to take a look at these prophesies mentioned in the religious texts of Hinduism which talk about the advent of the Last and Final messenger of God (Allah):
"O people, listen [to] this emphatically! the man of praise [The name 'Muhammad' literally means 'praiseworthy' in arabic)] will be raised among the people. We take the emigrant in our shelter from sixty thousand and ninety enemies whose conveyances are twenty camels and she camels, whose loftiness of position touches the heaven and lowers it". Read Muhammad's(uwbp) history of emigration to medina and see this prophecy being fulfilled. No Hindu explanation of this exists as to my knowledge. [Atharva Veda 20:129] (Click on the pic to enlarge)
The translation of Verses 5-27 (Sanskrit text of the Puranas, Prati Sarg Parv III: 3, 3). The word 'Malechha' means a man belonging to a foreign country and speaking foreign language.
"A 'malechha' spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mahamad..."
Readers comment: Hindus do not consider 'Bhavishya Purana as authentic religious scriptture, nor do we hold it in high regards but for argument sake, I would like to clarify here that 'Malecha' means 'degraded' and or 'of low caste' and not what you claim in your translation. Also, 'Mahamad' when broken into parts in sanskrit means 'maha=big' and 'mud=mischief', hence 'big mischief'.
Guided Ones- The translation of Verses 5-27 (Sanskrit text of the Puranas, Prati Sarg Parv III: 3, 3) that's presented above, is from the works of a Muslim but a Sanskrit scholar Dr. Vidyarthi. He also states in his book, that, this word is NOW used to degrade people, meaning unclean or even worse. Its usage varies and depends on who is using it and for whom. Sir William Jones had great difficulty in recruiting a Pundit to teach him Sanskrit because he was considered unclean (Malechha). It is not known when this word began to be used in the derogatory sense but Mahrishi Vyasa, the compiler of the Puranas, has defined a wise Malechha as “a man of good actions, sharp intellect, spiritual eminence, and showing reverence to the deity (God). Through my elementary knowledge of Sanskrit, I can tell that, substituting 'unclean' as the usage for this word here, will make no logical sense for the sentence because it's followed by the word 'Acharya', which means a spiritual/religious teacher. Same is the case of 'Mahamad', according to your definition, the sentence should read like...'A low caste spiritual teacher will appear with his companions, his name will be 'big mischief'. Does this make sense? I agree, that Hindus do not hold 'Bhavishya Purana' as authentic texts. Some Pundits have now begun to reject the Puranas simply because they find in them many prophecies and vivid signs of the truth of Prophet Muhammad (saw). A case has been made that the present Puranas are not the same collection that Vedas refer to and the real books were lost. Nevertheless, this contention is not correct. It is impossible that all the Puranas which were so widely read and keenly studied, could have fallen in oblivion and totally wiped out, whereas the Vedas, which only a few could read and understand, remained intact until now, but then what about the text from 'Atharva Veda' which I had already mentioned before this?
Atharva Veda X, 2, 28: [On Ka’bah]
The Ka’bah is not exactly cubical and its sides are not of the same length. Till date, it has remained unconquerable. The Holy Sanctuary (Haram) of which Ka’bah is at the center remains open day and night (eternal life) throughout the year and it is always filled with people praying to Allah (the One True God). Muslims face toward it during prayer forming circle in the Haram (Holy House) and the circle extends out in this manner throughout the planet Earth.
Any other explanations of these lines is most welcome!
"Whether it is built high, its walls are in a straight line or not, but God is seen in every corner of it. He who knows the House of God, knows it because God is remembered there. This abode of the angels has eight circuits and nine gates. It is unconquerable, there is eternal life in it and it is resplendent with Divine light."
Readers Comment: This translation from the original Sanskrit is wrong. The reference to 9 gates (or portals) occur quite commonly in many Hindu scripttures. Sanskrit scholars from time immemorial have translated these shlokas from the Gita and Upanishads and everywhere they refer to these 9 gates which in turn refer to the 9 portals in human body: 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, mouth, anus and genital.
Correct translation by Devi Chand: "THIS CITADEL OF THE BODY, unconquerable by the ignorant, equipped with circles eight and portals nine, contains the soul of full of myriad power, ever marching on the joyful God, surrounded by the Refulgent Supreme Being."
Our Reply: Your replies does not prove that the translation of these lines of Atharva Veda by Dr. Vidyarthi is wrong. We can go for a word by word Sanskrit translation in this regard.
Now earlier according to Devi Chand the 8 circles were = 8 steps of yoga
Now the 9 portals are 9 holes in our body
1) Is your body equipped with yoga? ( meaning 8 steps, parts whatever), If your answer is “Yes”, then apparently the rest of mankind are unaware of it, If it is “NO” then your understanding and Devi Chand’s understanding that the 9 portals refers to holes in our body becomes absurd.
Even if we agree about what you say regarding 9 gates of HUMAN body and the portals they refer to, then I have a question for these Sanskrit translators/ scholars (from time immemorial)! "Does the word 'HUMAN' only stand for MEN in Vedas, Gita, Upanishads etc. or have they conveniently forgotten the two openings on the HUMAN bodies of WOMEN from where most of the us, get our first feed from our mothers, as soon as we come into this world. Doesn't this make 11 gates in humans and also in most of the mammals body? Although, such interpretation is highly illogical and unfortunately makes little sense to start with. Think about it yourself.
The Ka’bah was built by Prophets Abraham and Ismail. It has remained unconquerable as explained in the preceding verse. Many verses of the Holy Qur’an and of the Old Testament in the Bible describe the divine blessings in this Holy house. The House of God has nine gates - Baab-e-Ibrahim (Abraham) , Baab-al-Wedaa, Baab-as-Safa, Baab-e-Ali, Baab-e-Abbas, Baab-un-Nabi, Baab-as-Salaam, Baab-az-Ziyarat, and Baab-e-Haram. Further, the eight circuits are the natural lines enclosing the areas between the surrounding hills, the names of which are: Jabal-e-Khaleej, Jabal-e-Qaiqaon, Jabal-e-Hindi, Jabal-e-Laalaa, Jabal-e-Keda, Jabal-e-Abu Hadidah, Jabal-e-Abi Qabees, and Jabal-e-Umar.
"Brahma (Abraham in Arabic) stayed in this abode which is illumined by heavenly light and covered with Divine blessings. It is the place that gives (spiritual) life to the people and is unconquerable."
The Sama Veda contains many prophecies of the advent of Prophet Mohammad. Here, one of them is presented. It is found in Sama Veda, II:6,8: Prophet Muhammad’s other name was Ahmed (both are from root letters h, m and d), both words have the meaning the “praised one” except the latter emphasizes a higher degree to it. The Holy Qur’an states that Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus, pbuh) mentioned the last Prophet’s name as Ahmed. Incidentally, it's my last name too ;)
"Ahmed acquired religious law (Shariah) from his Lord. This religious law is full of wisdom. I receive light from him just as from the sun."
Readers Comment: This is a very clever attempt by the author, to try to Islamicize the Hindu texts to suit his own whims and fancies. A crude interpolation of texts, which can only convince the most illiterate amongst Hindus. For those who wish to see the truth behind the Hindu philosophy of nine gates in our body read this: "The stable person, renouncing work through knowledge, neither acts himself, nor forces action on others, but takes refuge in the body, the city of 9 gates" ( Gita V: 13)
Our Reply: Let us consider the above translation of the verse from Gita by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada : sarva -- all; karmani -- activities; manasa -- by the mind; sannyasya -- giving up; aste -- remains; sukham -- in happiness; vasi -- one who is controlled; nava-dvare -- in the place where there are nine gates; pure -- in the city; dehi -- the embodied soul; na -- >>never; eva -- certainly; kurvan -- doing anything; na -- not; karayan -- causing to be done.
In English according to him it becomes : "When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.
Now let us compare the translation that you posted
"The stable person, renouncing work through knowledge, neither acts himself, nor forces action on others, but takes refuge in the body, the city of 9 gates" ( Gita V: 13)
Let's try rationally to understand this verse as conveyed by both translations
1) If the soul is controlled it achieves contentment
2) When that happens, the soul is happy and stays within the city with 9 gates (IF NOT, what happens, does the soul gets out of the city?)
3) When that happens it also renounces all work ( meaning wondering around or shall we say be as a destitute )
Hence according to Hinduism all you need to do is to control yourself and stay within the body ( as if the soul has a choice to leave the body ), I find it difficult to understand how the soul can get out of the body, if it did not control itself. I hope you get the picture?
Hence Hinduism has a lot of problems on account of misinterpretation of sacred texts as well as adulteration of sacred texts.
Your comments does not point out the place or words where the translation of these lines stands out to be mere interpolation or a bluff on the part of Dr. Vidyarthi. Further than this, I have no comments.
Gita 7-24: "The ignorant believe that un-manifest Para Brahma (One God) incarnates or takes manifestations, because they do not completely understand My highest, immutable, incomparable, and transcendental existence."
There is no compulsion in religion.
The right direction is henceforth distinct from error.
And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break.
Allah is Hearer, Knower.
1[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 736 & 737] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
Excerpts from Prophet Mohammed in World Scriptures Available at Amazon.com