title: Do Muslims Worship the Kabah?,
content:
By Editorial Satff
"Do

All Muslims understand that the Ka`bah is just a symbol and does not harm or benefit anyone.

We hear many people here and there who ask: Do Muslims Worship the Ka`bah? If not then why Muslims go to it? In, fact, this type of misunderstanding is raised by those who misapprehend the true status of Ka`bah in Islam. They think that Ka`bah is like their deities or idols, but it is not a deity or an idol in Islam.

We would like to declare that Muslims always adhere to the commands of Allah (Glory be to Him) and the instructions of His Messenger (peace be upon him).

Facing the direction of Qiblah (prayer direction) is a condition of the validity of prayer in common situations. There is no controversy on this issue. Allah the Almighty says:

So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. (Al-Baqarah 2:144)

However, there are some exceptions in this ruling according to some urgent conditions, where a person is unable to face the direction of Ka`bah, such as the prayer of fear (during a war) and non-obligatory prayer for a person traveling on a riding animal or any other means of transportation. In these cases and similar situations, facing the direction of Ka`bah is an un-obligatory issue and the prayer is valid if it was performed to any direction.

As Allah the Almighty says:

And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (Al-Baqarah 2:115)

Islam urges Muslims to face the Ka`bah during the prayer to symbolize the concept of unity among all Muslims all over the globe. If the issue is left open to everybody, everyone will be facing a different direction and this might cause disunity.

All Muslims understand that the Ka`bah is just a symbol and does not harm or benefit anyone.

Muslims also go around the Ka`bah in Hajj to symbolize the divine unity of Allah the Almighty. At certain times during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Bilal (may Allah be pleased with) stood on the Ka`bah and gave the Adhan. If there is any kind of worship, they would not have done that.

Islam came to preach the worship of Allah the One and Alone. The message of Islam has invited people to abandon the worship of idols and deities in any form. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:

But they have taken besides Him gods which create nothing, while they are created, and possess not for themselves any harm or benefit and possess not [power to cause] death or life or resurrection. (Al-Furqan 25:3)

All Messengers and Prophets were ordered by Allah the Almighty to worship Allah the One, Who has no form, shape or idol.

The Glorious Qur’an says in this regard:

And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:25)

Muslims Worship only the Lord of Ka`bah not the Ka`bah

It is strange to label Islam with idolatry, while Islam has been characterized across its history with the principle of monotheism in all aspects of human action, including: faith, worship, dealing and actions. Since its advent until today, monotheism has been its identity just as the concept of rebirth is the distinctive feature of Hinduism.

Every Muslim in the world, whether educated or un-educated, intellectual or non-intellectual announces clearly that Allah is the One Who must be worshipped Alone and not the Ka`bah or anything else. Indeed, Muslims turn their faces to the direction of Ka`bah during the prayer because Allah (Glory be to Him) has ordered them to do so. That is why they implement the Command of Allah the Almighty in order to obey Him and worship Him. The implementation of His Orders and Commands has been regarded in Islam as the most meritorious kind of worship. Worship in Islam is not directed to Ka`bah itself rather it is directed to the Lord of Ka`abh, the Lord of the whole universe. In addition, Muslim jurists have concluded that the Muslims who live in distant places or in other countries and could not see Ka`bah in front of them during their prayer, such people do not need to face the physical building of Ka`bah directly. For such Muslims, it is enough to face the direction of Ka`bah only and their prayer is valid. This is unlike the idols of Hindus who set idols of their gods in every home and shop. Also they carry them wherever they go or travel. Hindu temples are also filled with idols and statues of their gods, while the mosques of Muslims in any country or place of the world are completely free from all kinds of images and statues.

Bayt Al-Maqdis: The First Qiblah of Muslims

It is noteworthy here that Muslims in the beginning of Islam used to turn their faces to the direction of Bayt Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem during their prayers, because the Prophet Muhammad

(peace be upon him) and his followers were ordered by Allah the Almighty to turn their faces to the Bayt Al-Maqdis. Thereafter, Allah (Glory be to Him) ordered them to turn their faces to the direction of Ka`bah in Makkah, since then the Muslims began turning their faces to Ka`bah implementing the Command of Allah the Almighty. Thus it has become clear that Muslims are merely bound by the orders of their Lord the Almighty. When He (Glory be to Him) ordered them to face the direction of Bayt Al-Maqdis they obeyed His Command sincerely and when they were ordered again to face the direction of Ka`bah they implemented it immediately. That is why Allah is worshipped and He is obeyed in all cases, not the Ka`bah as was misunderstood by some people.


tags: alms-giving / amarnath / arya-samaj / banaras / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / do-muslims-worship-the-kabah / fasting / featured / ganga / hindu-gods / idolatry / jagannath / kabah / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / makkah / pilgrimage / sarasvati / saudi-arabia / shivling / tirath / varanasi / worship / yamuna / yatra /



title: Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (4/4),
content:

""

Hinduism is basically based on permission and prohibition regarding the sexuality.

In the two parts of this article we have presented some issues related to sex and sexuality in Islam. In the third part of this article we discussed some topics of sex and sexuality in the light of Hindu philosophy. In this last part and concluding part, we will present some issues that could not be covered in the previous parts.

Sex has become like flood or tornado in this age; rules of permission and prohibition regarding sexuality are in danger now. No matter how much human abandons the moral values, but his conscience is always alive and urges humans to commit the ethical principles. These are the main reasons and motivations that led me to write these articles.

Is adultery a sin in Hinduism?

The answer is yes, Manusmriti forbids sexual intercourse with a virgin girl (without marriage). It includes provisions for the atonement of this sin. Carnal intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with (unmarried) maidens, with females of the lowest castes, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, they declare to be equal to the violation of a Guru’s bed.[ Laws of Manu, Chapter 11:59]

In addition, when the gods lusted for Gautama’s wife and raped her, their intelligences were destroyed by lust. Then they were terrified and went to the sage Durvasas [an incarnation of Siva], who said, ‘I will remove all your defilements with the Satarudriya Mantra [an ancient Saiva prayer].’ Then he gave them ashes which they smeared upon their bodies, and their sins were shaken off.”(1) 

Also, whoever committed sexual intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, with unmarried maidens, and with females of the lowest castes, shall perform the penance, prescribed for the violation of a Guru’s bed.[ Laws of Manu, Chapter 11:171]

If a person of lower varna (caste) has sexual intercourse with a woman of higher varna, with or without her consent, he is to be killed. (Manusmriti, VIII: 366)

Adultery by a Female is prohibited in Hinduism:

 Some Hindus criticize the principle of punishment for adultery in Islam. However, Hindu scriptures are clear in prescribing the punishment for adultery whether by a male or female. In this regard Manu says:

 If a wife commits adultery she would be punished and one of the punishments is: “Let him (the husband) leave the unfaithful wife to dwell robbed of her dignity, dirty, living only on a mouthful, despised (hated), and sleeping on the ground; but if she has got with child by the stranger, then it is laid down she shall be cast off.” (2)

 Another text says: “Where she is unfaithful to her husband, there is, for the woman, shaving the head, sleeping on the bare ground, bad food, and bad clothing (or: bad housing, kuvasas), and for work the removal of garbage and rubbish.” (3)

Regarding the punishment, one of the oldest and most revered Vedic rishis, Vasishtha ordains:

8. But if (a wife) has actually committed adultery, she shall wear during a year a garment smeared with clarified butter, and sleep on a mat of Kuśa grass, or in a pit filled with cow dung. After (the expiration of) the year, (the husband) shall offer eight hundred burnt-oblations, (reciting) the Sāvitrī (and the Mantra called) Śiras, while she is immersed in water. It is declared in the Veda that she becomes pure (thereby).

9. But if she commits adultery with a Guru, she is forbidden (to assist her husband) in (the fulfilment of) his sacred duties.

10. But (these) four (wives) must be abandoned, (viz.) one who yields herself to (her husband’s) pupil or to (his) Guru, and especially one who attempts the life of her lord, or who commits adultery with a man of a degraded caste. (4)

According to Baudh, the adulteress must do kricchra. And so on. But if the faithless wife has atoned for her sin, then she must be treated just as before her misdeed. A stirring picture of the woes of adultery is given in Kuttanim. Throwing out from the family, the censure by people, and danger to Life, the journey to hell, and other pains are given as the lot of the wife forgetful of virtue. The cutting off the nose, riding an ass, and so on is well enough known out of Indian literature. (5)

The adulteress has no right of life according to Hinduism as we have already been told, in losing her virtue she has also lost her womanhood and rights as a woman: if anyone kills her, he is practically left unpunished.

“When a married woman commits adultery, her hair shall be shaved, she shall have to lie on a low couch, receive bad food and bad clothing? And the removal of the sweepings shall be assigned to her as her occupation.”(6)

“The unchaste wife should be deprived of authority, should be unadorned, allowed food barely sufficient to sustain her body, rebuked, and let sleep on low bed, and thus allowed to dwell.”(7)

These are some punishments prescribed for a woman if she commits adultery, but the condition is that if she is married.

Punishment in Hinduism for helping others on Adultery

In Hinduism, we find a punishment for helping others to commit adultery. The punishment is the hellfire.   

“Of course, he, too, is a wicked man who helps others to adultery: “He that seduces or touches another’s wife, or gets her for another, goes to hell.”(5)

According to Islamic tradition, a person who guides and helps another to do good is like the doer in reward. And according to the reasoning and analogy, the one who helps another to bad deed is like the wrong doer. 

Brahman-Murderer and Adulterer is Equal

According to Hinduism an adulterer is even to be punished with death. For unnatural desires, of whatever kind, the law writings and the Puranas lay down various purifications and penances (and expulsion from the caste). Anyone practicing such lewdness or other forbidden sexual intercourse is the same as a Brahman-murderer.

Is Homosexuality Forbidden in Hinduism?

Perhaps, many Hindu brothers do not know that homosexuality is forbidden in Hinduism and according to logical analogy the lesbianism must be forbidden in Hinduism as well.

So, too, homosexuality is a dreadful sin: ” The blind ones, evil-livers, very foolish ones, however, who find their delight in intercourse with a base womb (especially of an animal, but also of a woman of low rank) (viyonau), and with men, are born again as men incapable of begetting.”(9)

In the above-mentioned text we find three types of sexuality prohibited in Hinduism; sexual intercourse with an animal, with a woman of low caste and with men and the last one is sexual intercourse with man that is called homosexuality.

Ruling on Masturbation in Hinduism

According to Hinduism, sexual pleasure is a part of kama, one of the four goals of life on the earth. On the matter of masturbation, Hindu scripture is silent, neither labeling bad nor encouraging the practice. Traditional Islamic thought, on the other hand, regards masturbation as haram, or forbidden. This is usually based upon several Qur’an and Hadith verses, which state that people should refrain from illegal sexual acts and Glorious Qur’an praise those men and women who guard their private parts.

Is Sexual Intercourse in Mouth Prohibited in Hinduism?

There are some sorts of sexual intercourse prohibited in Hinduism. Hindu scriptures say in this connection:

It must not be practised in the open air and must be practised secretly, in the latter passage is added that it must also be in lawful wife, which may mean the restriction to one’s own wife, but it refers to the ritu. Then there is only the vulva for it; if it is done in the mouth, it is a crime. (10)

What is Ritu?

The days of purity for a woman from her menstruation, is called in Hindu terminology as Ritu. So, Ritu is the monthly cleansing, and then in particular those days after the period, from the fourth day onwards, which in the Indian view are proper for conception.

The days and nights when the sexual intercourse is recommended in Hinduism are mentioned specifically. 

Sixteen nights are the “” Season ” of women. Among these he should approach them during the even nights. Let him avoid the Parvana nights, and the first four nights. By so doing he would be even a Brahmachari. (11)

Is Intercourse in period prohibited in Hinduism?

It is highly virtuous to practice love on those days with the wife. Subhadra in vii, 78 cries over her son fallen in the tender bloom of youth, Abhimanyu, and for him wishes in a long drawn out prayer of blessing that he may in the world beyond enjoy the happiness to be won through the noblest, best, and most pious human deeds and thoughts. And here she brings this in, too: “Good luck is for those who are obedient to father and mother and of those that only find their delight with their own wife; and good luck hastens towards those wise men who at the time of ritu go to their wife and keep themselves away from strange women.” 

“They who do as is hitting with their own wife at each ritu, and faithfully carry out the sacrifice by fire overcome disasters.”

Furthermore, cohabitation in the ritu is one of the virtues leading to heaven and also one of the things whereby a Shudra obtains the being born again as a Brahman although not without intermediate stages. But on the other hand, it is then found to be an ethical command that the husband keep not only from all other women, but from his own wife, too, outside the ritu or ritukala (time of the ritu). He that obeys this law and practices chastity is equal in virtue to him that wholly abstains. As chastity has two forms: monasticism and copulation in the ritu only. “How does one become a brahmacharin (sexual ascetic)?” Yudhishthira asks Bhishma, and the answer is: “Let a man go to his own wife during the ritu “the holy duties of the father of the family are enumerated, and there we find: “Let him call his wife only at the time of the ritu (nanritau).”

In addition, copulation outside the ritu is set beside killing a cow and relieving the body into water, and it stands along with the denial of the divine. (12)

In Hinduism, sexual intercourse with unclean woman is strictly forbidden. To have sexual intercourse with a woman during the monthly flow is reckoned among the dreadful crimes set forth in Arjuna’s formula of self-cursing.

To visit a rajasvala (menstruating woman) is one of the seven things whereby a man loses his happiness or long life. (13)

Is Bath after the end of Period Necessary in Hinduism?

It is often emphatically laid down that the husband during the ritu must visit (ritugamana) the wife, and it is a sin for him not to fulfill his married duty then. It also has been mentioned that the evil-minded man (dushtatman) who does not let his wife have her rights, when she has bathed after the monthly cleansing.

The last line of the reference mentions bath for the woman after the end of her menstruation.

Sexual Intercourse in Daytime is Prohibited in Hinduism

There are some regulations for the pleasures of sex in Hinduism. It should not be in public, not outside the vulva, not by day or at certain other times, not with another woman than the wife.

One should never approach his wife in the day-time. “Day and Night are Prajapati; its day is spirit, its night matter. Those who unite in love by day waste their spirit, but to unite in love by night is right.” So also Sankha-Likhita: He should not approach his wife in day-time, though in season.”(14)

“He who does not approach near his wife, when she has bathed after her monthly course, incurs the horrible sin of killing the fetus, there is no doubt in it.”(15)

Conclusion:

After this study in the philosophy of sexuality in both religions of the world; Hinduism and Islam, we can conclude: First: Sexual intercourse is recommended during the ritu (beyond the menstruation days) and this is in Islam and Hinduism.

Second: There are many rulings common denominator between Hinduism and Islam. The adultery is forbidden in both religions, and all types of abnormal sex are forbidden in both religions, and the punishment of adultery is in this world and the hereafter in both religions.

Third: In the case of menstruation according to Islamic jurisprudence. Women have special provisions in worship. They should not perform the prayer or observe fasting, and should not touch the Glorious Quran or enter the mosque unless they are purified of menstruation and do full body bath. However, in Hinduism, women in the case of menstruation are considered unclean and everything that is touched by them is also unclean. And in some areas, menstruating Hindu woman is isolated in separate huts not to touch or to be touched.      

 

———————-

(1) Padma Purana 4:101:174-9.

(2) Manu, xi, 177.

(3) Narada xii, 91-92.

(4) Vāsiṣṭha Dharmasūtra by Vāsiṣṭha, 1882.

(5) Sexual Life in Ancient India: A Study in the Comparative History of Indian

 By Johann Jakob Meyer p.521

(6) Yajnavalkya Smriti, by Yajnavalkya, Commentaries by: Vijnaneshvar, Visvesvara and Balambhatta PayagundeEdited by: S.S. Setlur, Brahmavadin Press, Georgetown, Madras (Chennai), 1912, p. 137)

(7) Ibid.

(8) Sexuality in Hinduism. P. 279

(9) Sexual Life in Ancient India: A Study in the Comparative History of Indian By Johann Jakob Meyer p.242

(10) Ibid.

(11) Yajnavalkya Smriti, by Yajnavalkya, Commentaries by: Vijnaneshvar, Visvesvara and Balambhatta PayagundeEdited by: S.S. Setlur, Brahmavadin Press, Georgetown, Madras (Chennai), 1912, p. 151.

(12) Sexual Life in Ancient India.

(13)Ibid.

(14) Yajnavalkya Smriti P.152.

(15)Ibid.


tags: adultery / hinduism / homosexuality / intercourse / islam / lesbianism / lusts / marriage / masturbation / philosophy / sex / sexuality / wife /



title: Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (3/4),
content:

Definition of adultery in Hinduism

""

Prohibition and permissibility in the matter of sexuality is for the benefit of human beings and the emergence of diseases such as AIDS and others because of uncontrolled sex is a clear proof.

 In the part 1st and 2nd of this article, the philosophy of sexuality in Islam has been outlined. In this part, we will study and present the philosophy of sexuality in Hinduism in a comparative method. It is clear that Hindu religion according to its religious scriptures is neither absolute licentious nor absolute prohibitive, but inclines to both: the permissibility and prohibition. Similarly, Islam is not absolute licentious and absolutely forbidding, but some sorts of sexuality are permissible and some are prohibited. This is a point of convergence between the two religions in general.

Is Adultery Same in Hinduism and Islam  

There is no doubt that Islam forbids sharing wife with others, but allows one man to marry four women if the man is able to be fair between wives in fulfilling their marital rights and providing food, drink, dress and housing.

According to Hinduism, adultery is believed as an act involving, sexual intercourse between two individuals, of which one is married (not to the same person).

Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband.

The definition of adultery as has been given by the prominent scholars of Hinduism is different from the definition of adultery in Islamic terminology. According to Islamic jurisprudence, in the definition of adultery, there is no condition of “married”.

So, Islamic jurisprudence regards as adultery if the sexual intercourse takes place between an unmarried man and woman or between married man and woman who are not husband and wife though both were agree for sex. Only condition is to be adult and grown-up and absence of marriage contract between the parties involved. Islam regards adultery even if the both parties were agreeing with the sexual activity but there was no contract of marriage between them.

The question: Is sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman permissible in Hinduism?

According to my study, there are at least two sorts of sexual relationship allowed in Hinduism out of marriage contract; Niyog and sexual intercourse with a prostitute with payment. We will explain with more detail in the following lines.

Is Prostitution Allowed in Hinduism?

Sexual intercourse with a strange woman and with a woman who has a child from her husband as well as with a woman, who is wife of a person, is prohibited in Hinduism. But the question is; if a woman is independent not a wife, and she does not have a child; is sexual intercourse with her a sort of adultery or not? But if we take the meaning that strange means who is not married with him then the ruling is similar in Hinduism and Islam. But some texts of Hinduism suggest that sexual intercourse with a prostitute who is not wife of a specific man is allowed.

Public Woman and Private Woman

It is important to point out here that the ancient Indians have classified women into two categories: a private and married woman who has a husband and this category of woman is not allowed to be a bed for another person. The other category is a public or unmarried woman who is free from the marriage bond with any specific man or she is a prostitute, in this case, there is no sin or blame in exercising sexual intercourse with her rather, it is allowed for a person to enjoy her body sexually because she is not specific to a certain man through marriage.

Hindu kings in ancient times created a group of women to entertain and help some men traveling and visiting Hindu holy places, or soldiers and regiments on travel and fighting on the border or remote countries and their wives are not with them and they needed to enjoy the physical lust and sexual intercourse to fulfill their sexual needs with payment of some fees. In addition, this type of sexual intercourse had been regarded according to the Hindus a meritorious act and a sort of charity as adultery was only if the woman was married and has a husband. However, it was very bad act if the fee was not paid to the woman for the sexual intercourse. Additionally, it was among the practices of some Hindus to gift their beautiful young daughters to the Brahmins and religious mentors who served the Hindu temples expecting rewards from their gods. (1)

Is Adultery prohibited in Hinduism?

In the light of the sacred texts of Hindu scriptures, we can conclude that adultery in general is prohibited in Hinduism. Additionally, there are some punishments prescribed in Hinduism.

Mahabharat says:

“With unknown women, with such beings as belong to the third sex, with women of loose morals, with the wives of others, and with maidens let not a man have union.”(2)

This text has two possibilities according to our understanding; the first one is that a person should not have a union by marriage, in other words a man is not allowed to marry those who were mentioned in the text. And the other meaning is that a man should not have a sexual intercourse with those who were mentioned because it is a sort of adultery.

The text is also clear in prohibiting the sexual affair with she-males (neither man nor woman) that were denoted by the third sex who are neither complete male nor complete female rather they are the third gender.

Sexual intercourse without marriage

Manusmriti forbids sexual intercourse with a virgin girl (without marriage). It consists of provisions for the atonement of this sin.

Carnal intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with (unmarried) maidens, with females of the lowest castes, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, they declare to be equal to the violation of a Guru’s bed.

He who has had sexual intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, with unmarried maidens, and with females of the lowest castes, shall perform the penance, prescribed for the violation of a Guru’s bed. (Laws of Manu: 59, CHAPTER XI.)

In Hinduism Hell as a Punishment for the Adultery

It is also noteworthy that besides the unknown woman, the woman with child is named as forbidden in Mahabharata. Furthermore, in all cases a man must never approach the wife of another. For there is naught (curse) in the world which so shortens life as that the man on earth should visit the wife of another. (Manu, IV, 134). As many pores as are on women’s bodies, so many years will he sit in hell. (3)

 Another Punishment for Adultery in Hinduism

The concept of re-birth in Hinduism is its identity; perhaps, the philosophy of re-birth is the common ground between the religious sects and sub-religions of India. Therefore, we find a punishment for adultery according to the philosophy of re-birth.

He who touches another’s wife is born as a wolf, as a dog, as a jackal, and then born as a vulture, a snake, a heron (a large fish-eating bird), as also a crane (long-legged and long-necked bird).

A bad character person who ruins his brother’s wife becomes for a year a Nightingale cock. Who satisfies his lust and puts his hands on the wife of his friend or his teacher (guru), or of the king, is born after death as a swine. He will be five years a swine, ten years a porcupine (an animal with a covering of long, sharp quills), five years a cat, ten years a cock, three months an ant, one month an insect, and then, having had these embodiments will be born in a worm’s existence. In this worm’s existence he will live fourteen months, and then, having atoned for his evil, be born again as a human being. For five offences, indeed, there is no atonement (nishkriti), through them a man becomes an outcast, unworthy of intercourse (asambhashya) with forefathers, gods,  and pious men, goes to hell, is roasted there like a fish, and has to live there on matter and blood. These are: the murder of a Brahman, cow-slaying, intercourse with another’s wife, unbelief, and living on a woman (xiii, 130.37-40). In the same way Ram., iii, 38.30 teaches: “There is no greater sin than to touch another’s wife.” On the other hand xii, 35.25 prescribes, indeed, an atonement for him that seduces the wife of another; but it is noteworthy that it is the same vow of mortification that is also laid on the Brahman-murderer. The former, however, only need keep it for a year. “Then he is free of his sin.” This punishment falls on him “as a robber of another’s property.” (paradarapahari tu parasyapaharan vasu).

These texts clearly indicate that adultery is prohibited in Hinduism and entails a painful punishment in this world and in the Hereafter. In addition, this attitude of Hinduism is identical to that of Islam on this issue.

_________________

(1)Mirza Muhammad Kazim Barlas, Al-Hunood, Fath Al Kareem, Bombay, 1896, vol.3rd, p.415.

(2) Mahabharata, xii, 90.32.

(3) Sexual life in ancient India, p.246.


tags: arsa-vivaha / asura-vivaha / brahma-vivaha / daiva-vivaha / divorce / divorcee / dress-code / equity / gandharva-vivahaa / hijab / hindu-widows / hinduism / islam / islamic-law / kamasutra / modesty / niyog / oppression / paisacha-vivaha / parvati / polygamy / prjapatya-vivaha / rakshasa-vivahaa / sati / second-marriage / sexuality / shariah / veil /



title: Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (2/4),
content:

By Editorial Staff

Permissible Sex: Worthy of Reward in Islam

""

Mankind is not only a sexual being and not only a divine entity, rather a combination of both.

This issue has been elucidated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he said: “And in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is a Sadaqah (or a reward equal to a charity given to poor).” They (the Companions) asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Is there a reward for a person among us who satisfies his sexual need?” He answered, “You see, if he satisfies it in something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he satisfies it legally, he should be rewarded”. (Muslim) In this Hadith, Prophet Muhammad has explained clearly that if one comes to his wife for sexual intercourse, and intends to fulfill his own and wife’s sexual need and keep himself and his wife away from forbidden sex, then he gets the reward on his natural act. The same is applicable if the wife intends the same. Furthermore, if both seek a righteous descendant useful to them after the death, they are rewarded for this pure intention.

Supplication before the Intercourse

It has become clear from the previous lines that the sexual intercourse between the spouses is a good act for which both, husband and wife, get reward from Allah the Almighty. Therefore, it is recommended for the couple to recite the following words before beginning the sexual foreplay. (Bismillah i, Allahumma jannibna-sh-shaitan, wa jannibi-sh-shaitan ma razaqtana) ‘In the name of Allah, O Allah, keep us away from the devil  and keep the devil away from what you have blessed us with.’ If the supplication is recited, the child conceived and born after the recitation of this prayer will never be harmed by Satan. This du`aa’ (supplication) is very important because reading this du`aa’ before intercourse keeps the expected child after the intercourse from many kinds of moral, physical, psychological, behavioral, mental and other diseases, especially from the diseases of permanent disabilities and the developmental problems. Reading the du`aa’ keeps Satan from participating in the sexual intercourse.

Why is Anal Sex with Wife Prohibited in Islam?

Muslim jurists have concluded from the evidence of the Glorious Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that sexual intercourse in the wife’s back is prohibited like the vaginal intercourse during her bleeding period. Allah the Almighty has forbidden sexual intercourse in her vagina during the time of menstruation because menstruation is dirt and harm so the intercourse in her back (anal) has the same reason. The wife is described in the Qur’an as a place of sowing in order to get progeny and that is in vagina and not in the back. In addition, all types of sexual intercourse and enjoyment between the spouses are permissible and legitimate according to Islam except wife’s vagina during her period. Her entire body for her husband and his entire body for the wife is allowed to be enjoyed sexually except the vagina in the case of menstruation and sex in her back. Homosexuality and anal sex with male or female are strictly forbidden in Islam.

Sex outside Marriage in Islam

The intimate relationship between men and women in Islam is not based on mere free lusts, rather, intercourse outside the marriage is strictly forbidden. While intercourse within the framework of marriage between men and women is a matter of reward and merit in Islam. Additionally, the reward is doubled if the valid sexual intercourse is accompanied by goodwill and pure intention. Basically, intercourse in Islam is a natural source of continuation of human offspring on earth. Also, sex is a natural source for the continuation of animal kingdom on the earth in general.

Prohibited Marriages in Islam

In Islam, marriages between men and women having certain family relationship to one another are prohibited. These prohibited marriages are either of a permanent nature or a temporary. The permanently prohibited marriages have been explained in the Glorious Quran. Allah the Almighty says: “And do not marry those [women] whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and hateful [to Allah] and was evil as a way. Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives’ mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives unto whom you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And [also prohibited are] the wives of your sons who are from your [own] loins, and that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (An-Nisaa` 4:22-24) The relations mentioned in the Glorious Quran in the above-mentioned verses are not marriageable in Islam, and the marriage is invalid if conducted.

Some Temporary Prohibited Marriages

According to Islamic Jurisprudence, there are some marriages that are invalid for temporary reasons and when the reasons end the prohibition ends as well. Those marriages include the following: 1) Keeping two sisters in marriage together at the same time is prohibited in Islam. Allah the Almighty says in this regard: And [also prohibited is] for you to take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:23) Similarly, it is prohibited in Islam to take [in marriage] simultaneously a woman and her paternal aunt or maternal aunt. 2) The wife divorced three times by her husband is not allowed to remarry the same husband as they cannot return to each other but only after she gets married with another husband and is divorced again. Allah the Almighty says: And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. (Al-Baqarah 2:230) 3) The fifth wife for a person, who is already married to four wives and the wives are still in his marriage. Islam has permitted a man to marry four wives and keep them in his marriage in one time if he is able to fulfill their rights properly. So, it is not permissible for him to marry the fifth. Allah the Almighty says: Then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those, your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. (An-Nisaa’ 4:3) 4) It is forbidden to marry the wife of others, and also the woman who is in the waiting period after a divorce or death. Allah the Almighty says: And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. (An-Nisaa’ 4:24) Allah the Almighty says about waiting period for a divorced woman: Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods. (Al-Baqarah 2:228) About the waiting period after the death of the husband, Allah the Almighty says: And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days]. (Al-Baqarah 2:234) 5) It is not allowed for a Muslim woman to get married with a non-Muslim man. In addition, it is not permissible for a Muslim man to get married with a polytheist or atheist woman but he is allowed to marry a Jew or Christian woman according to some Muslim jurists. Allah the almighty says in this regard: And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. (Al-Baqarah 2:221) Furthermore, Allah the Almighty says: And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. (Al-Ma’idah 5:5)

Forbidden Sexual Intercourse in Islamic Jurisprudence

We will discuss here some forms of the forbidden sexual intercourse in Islamic Jurisprudence which are not mentioned directly in the Glorious Quran, but they were mentioned in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or in the consensus of the Muslim scholars. According to the Islamic jurisprudence, there are four types of basic legislating sources for permission or prohibition in Islam: 1- the Glorious Qur’an’ 2- the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); 3- The consensus of the Muslim scholars on the permissibility or prohibition; and 4- The Qiyas (analogical reasoning). If anything is found permissible or prohibited in one of these sources, it is forbidden or permissible in Islamic jurisprudence, although the four sources are not same in strength rather, there is a big difference between them in authenticity.

Cohabitation of Wives Simultaneously

It is not permissible in Islam to have sexual intercourse with more than one wives at the same time and in one bed. Suppose, if a man has four wives, the husband is allowed to have sexual intercourse with each wife alone and separately but it is not permissible to have intercourse with two of them or all of them at once. Co-wives or the fellow wives are not allowed to uncover their private parts to each other. All of them are wives of the same man, but not wives to each other.

Sexual Intercourse with Animals

According to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the consensus of Muslim scholars and the Qiyas (analogical reasoning), sex with animal is prohibited in Islamic jurisprudence, for both men and woman.

Masturbation in Islamic Jurisprudence

Most Muslim scholars forbade masturbation for male and female, referring to the verse of the Glorious Qur’an: And they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. (Al Mu’minun 23:5-7) In addition, the sexual intercourse; whether permissible or prohibited; both lead to the major ritual impurity for both parties. According to Islamic jurisprudence after the sexual intercourse, a full body bath is required before any prayer, entering a mosque or touching a Qur’an. In addition, this bath is compulsory after any ejaculation caused by any sexual activity. Moreover, the sexual intercourse between husband and wife must be kept in complete secrecy, privacy and away from the eyes and ears of the people and it is prohibited to disclose the private activities done or talked between the couples during the intimacy to other people. Therefore, it is forbidden in Islam to take a video or photo of the intercourse between the husband and wife to show others. Additionally, lesbianism and homosexuality in Islam are prohibited and are considered a major sin.

Abstract:

The issue of sex in Islam revolves between permission and prohibition. The subject of sex in Islam is characterized by dignity, shyness, decency and privacy, not to harm others and not to be harmed by others. Islam does not deprive human being of fun, pleasure or enjoyment in the framework of common taste, social norm, religious tradition intending to build a stable, peaceful, strong and tranquil society and community through the family regarding the sexuality a source of good offspring. The philosophy of Islam does not view human being as mere animal or mere angel. Islam sees mankind as a mixture of materiality and spirituality, rather, human being is a respected entity in the universe that surpasses the angels if he/she is good and rightious and lower than animal if he/ she is evil and bad.

To be continued…


tags: arsa-vivaha / asura-vivaha / brahma-vivaha / daiva-vivaha / divorce / divorcee / dress-code / ejaculation / equality-of-woman / equity / featured / gandharva-vivahaa / hijab / hindu-widows / hinduism / homosexuality-polygamy / islam / islamic-law / lesbianism / masturbation / modesty / niyog / oppression / paisacha-vivaha / parvati / polygamy / prjapatya-vivaha / rakshasa-vivahaa / sati / second-marriage / sexuality / shariah / true-religion-of-islam / veil / woman-rights-in-islam / woman-status-in-islam /



title: Fruits of Hajj (2/3),
content:

Fruits of Hajj (2/3)

"You

You are commanded to keep patient and endure the difficulties and annoyance from others, and do not react to others harassment except in good way and with toleration.

By Mohamed Okasha

You are commanded to keep patient and endure the difficulties and annoyance from others, and do not react to other’s harassment except in good way and with toleration.

Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is one of the best deeds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was once asked, “Which deed is the best?” He said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.” He was asked, “Then what?” He said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah.” He was asked, “Then what?” He said, “An accepted Hajj.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

We talked in the previous article about four messages that one catches from visiting the sacred House of Allah, the Ka`bah, for Hajj. We are going to continue this interesting topic as we find it useful for the pilgrims to take these messages into their consideration, having returned from Hajj.

Fifth: Message of Belonging to Islam

When one puts the first foot in Mecca, one gets amazed not only by the enormous numbers of people but also by the diversity of their colors, genders, ages and languages. One sees the Arab and the non-Arab, the males and the females, the old and the young, and people with different colors, nationalities, cultures, histories, jobs and life conditions. The common factor between all of those is one thing, namely belonging to Islam. If you want to describe all of them with one word, you can simply say “Muslims”, a designation given to them long ago by the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him). The Glorious Qur’an says:

And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims”. (Al-Hajj 22:78)

They follow this religion because it knows no discrimination on any basis. The only thing with which a human being excels another human being according to Islam is attaining taqwa, a word that means piousness, fear of Allah and obedience to Him.

In his Hajj, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stood on the `Arafat mountain speaking to the masses of people who offered Hajj with him, in his Final Sermon, “No Arab is superior to a non-Arab and no white man is superior to a black man, except in terms of taqwa.”

Affiliation to Islam means to accept Allah as your God, Muhammad as your Messenger and Islam as your way of life.

Sixth: Message of Humbleness

When commencing Hajj, a pilgrim enters into a state of Ihram (ritual state for Hajj or `Umrah). Every male pilgrim wears a specific dress consisting of two white garments that have no pockets or decoration. It is so simple that reminds of the hereafter.

In Prayer, you stand side by side with someone who may be less than you in rank or position, but still he is not allowed to wear expensive clothes, precious watch and fragrant perfume, even he can not cut his nails or trim his beard. As in Hajj, once you enter into the state of Ihram, you have to wear only two white garments wrapped around your body, and you are forbidden to wear any sewn clothes, apply perfume, or trim your nails or hair. All pilgrims looks the same, with same dress and look. Does not this teach you humbleness?

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honor when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).” (Muslim)

Seventh: The Message of Forbearance

The great masses of people bring unbearable crowd, annoyance and harassment as well as the calls of help from others. In this atmosphere you offer your Hajj rites with utmost hope that Allah accepts your deeds, and fear that your Hajj may be rejected.  However, forbearance is what makes this easy for you. You are commanded to keep patient and endure the difficulties and annoyance from others, and do not react to other’s harassment except in good way and with toleration. Actually, this is another message of Hajj.

There are three kinds of forbearance: forbearance on performing worship, forbearance on keeping away from sins and forbearance on the decrees of fate. In Hajj, you are experienced to a lot of hardship and fatigue also you have stayed for a long time in waiting and you are commanded to endure and tolerate. Almighty Allah says:

O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful. (Aal `Imran 3:200)

Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account. (Al-Zumar 39:10)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

________________________

  Taken from: www.new-muslims.info with modification.


tags: allah / hajj / islam / kaabah / makkah / mecca / pilgrimage /



title: An Ex-Hindu Leads about 108,000 Non-Muslims to Islam,
content:

By Sameer Mandhro

Deen Muhammad an ex-Hindu, reverted to Islam in 1989. He said when he read the Glorious Qur’an he realized that false gods were useless. Such are Deen Muhammad Sheikh’s powers of persuasion that he led 108,000 people to the light of Islam since 1989, the year he left his birth religion Hinduism behind.

Now he is the president of the Jami`ah Masjid Allah Wali and Madrassa `A’ishah T`aleem-ul Qur’an – an institute for the introduction of Islam.

"A

Where is the sword in the hands of this man? Where is the money in the possession of this person? Where is the power or authority in the hands of this simple man?

His zeal for D`awah is ideal, as he says: “My heartfelt wish is that the entire world becomes Muslim.” He expressed his sublime and pure goal, when he was asked about his mission in a celebration of new Muslims who accepted Islam on his hands.

He added: “I always loved Islam; I read the Glorious Qur’an and realized that 360 gods were not of any use to me.”

At first, he had to study the Glorious Qur’an in secret. There was the risk of being misunderstood if a Muslim caught him with the holy book. He started fasting and in fact, he would begin a day before Ramadan started.

Sheikh’s mother grew alarmed at her son’s forays into another faith. She thought that if she married him off, he would leave. Thus, he was barely 15 when his wedding took place, followed by the blessings of four girls and eight boys.

Despite this, he was drawn back to his curiosity and managed to find a teacher, Sain Muhammad Jagsi, who instructed him in the Glorious Qur’an and Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Fortunately, Sheikh’s uncle was of the same mind and the two men agreed that they would support each other.

After Deen Muhammad Sheikh accepted Islam, he made it his mission to call others to the message of Islam. He began preaching of Islam among his own family, before addressing others. Encounters with the rich and powerful Muslims helped pave the way and they offered Sheikh money and required funds in order to achieve his Da`wah goals. He urged concerned authorities to provide jobs for some new Muslims.

Now, Sheikh says, his fame has spread and people come to him from remote parts of the country from all religions and sects, who liked to accept Islam. A small mosque has sprung up in his residential compound along with a number of rooms where children – mostly girls – are taught how to say their prayers and recite the Glorious Qur’an.

Sheikh is aware of the difficulties new Muslims face when they came to follow a totally new system of life. He makes life easy for the first 40 days. “They only have to pray obligatory prayers!”

In addition, Sheikh says: “I tell them that I was a Hindu too.”

He alleges that he was kidnapped along with his daughter-in-law by influential Hindus who threatened him so that he would stop inviting people to Islam.

Despite 108,000 new Muslims on his call, the record of every one of those new Muslims has been kept in written form with detailed information about their names, families, identities, addresses. However, Sheikh still doesn’t feel that his work had been done or his duty has been fulfilled. He wants everyone to be a Muslim and learn from his example.

The image of this post belongs to a great man, who is not a governor nor an authority nor a rich, nor a Sultan, he is only a simple man who was guided by Allah to Islam and his heart have seen the light of Islam after he was a Hindu. Indeed, it is the effect of his words and deeds and the blessings of Allah the Almighty and His special support for his noble mission. That is why thousands of people have been guided on his hands to the light of Islam. It is not a history or forgotten past, it is in our time and it is present in our society. It is a true example of Islamic Da`wah that never encourages forceful conversion.  It is ample evidence that Islam never was spread by the sword.

In my conclusion, it is the blessing of the message of Islam, the pure, clear and evident religion of Allah. The question is why people do not accept Hinduism despite their noticeable endeavors; as they tried their best to lure the people to their religion through the establishment of numerous organizations and movements such as the movement of Shudhdhi. This example makes very easy to understand the matchless success of Islamic Da`wah throughout the history that never trusted in money or power.

__________________

Source:  www.tribune.com.pk. with modifications. 


tags: allah / almighty / bhagwan / caste / conversion-from-hinduism / ganges / gharwapsi / god / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatry / india / indian-subcontinent / lakshmi / lord / mehandar-pal-arya / messengers / monkey-god / paganism / parmatma / parmeshwar / polytheism / prophethood / proselytization / river / shuddhi / snake / statues-hindu-gods / vedas / vishnu / vyshyas / yamuna-arya-samaj /



title: Hindu Scriptures and Beef Eating (2/2),
content:

Yajna and Animal Sacrifice

"The

The flesh of cow is prescribed as a medicine for various diseases. It is emphatically advised as a cure for irregular fever.(Therapeutic Section, Charak Samhita)

Some Hindus argue that Yajna never meant animal sacrifice in the sense popularly understood. Yajna in the Vedas meant a noble deed or the highest purifying action. Therefore, there is no justification for beef eating at all according to them.

Adhvaraiti Yajnanaama – Dhvaratihimsaakarmaatatpratishedhah.(Nirukta 2.7)

According to YaaskaAcharya, one of the synonyms of Yajna in Nirukta or the Vedic philology is Adhvara.

Dhvara means an act with himsa or violence. Therefore, a-dhvara means an act involving no himsa or no violence. There isa large number of such usages of Adhvara in the Vedas.

 The True Meaning of Dhvara (Violence) and A-dhvara (Non-violence)

The above-mentioned interpretation of A-dhvara (non-violence)is incorrect because the word ‘Adhvar’ has been misplaced and interpreted incompletely. Yaska is merely giving the etymology of the word ‘Adhvar’ and not where it is to be applied and what constitutes violence. To know the true application of the word ‘Adhvar’, we will have to turn to Shatapath Brahman, which gives the complete understanding of why ‘Yajna’ is called ‘Adhvar’. Shatapath Brahman says:

devānhavaiyajñenayajamānāṃtsapatnā

asurādudhūrṣāṃcakrustedudhūrṣantaevanaśekurdhūrvituṃte

parābabhūvustasmādyajñoadhvaronāma.(1)

“Once when the gods were engaged in sacrificing, their rivals, the Asuras wished to injure (or make dhvar) them; but, though desirous of injuring them, they were unable to injure them and were foiled: for this reason the sacrifice is called adhvara (‘not damaged, uninterrupted’).”

Thus, the argument of the polemicist turns out to be a deception aimed at fooling those who have no access to the original texts. The passage of Shatapath Brahman makes it clear that ‘Adhvar’ is called so because the priests performing the Yajna did not become victims of violence. It has no connection to the violence of the animals done in the Yajna.

Renowned classical commentator of the four Vedas, SayanaAchary also gives the same reason for calling Yajna as ‘Adhvar’. He says in his comments on Rigveda.(2)

अध्वरं हिंसारहितम् ह्वग्निना सर्वतः पालितं यज्ञं राक्षसादयो हिंसितुं प्रभवंति

“Adhvar is called ‘without violence’ because being protected by Agni on all sides it is uninterrupted by Rakshashas or violent enemies, who are unable to mar it.”

Again we see that Acharya Sayan expresses the same view as that of the Shatapath Brahman i.e. the violence referred in the ‘adhvar’ is not for the sacrificial animal in the Yajna.

Sacrificing an Animal is a New Life for the Sacrificed Animal

Renowned Hindu scholar, Swami Prabhupada, explains the so-called violence in Yajna in the following words: “Although animal killing in a sacrifice is recommended in the Vedic literature, the animal is not considered to be killed. The sacrifice is to give a new life to the animal. Sometimes the animal is given a new animal life after being killed in the sacrifice, and sometimes the animal is promoted immediately to the human form of life.”(3)

Even Manu Smriti echoes the same opinion in a more clear way, as it says:

“Svayambhu (the Self-existent) himself created animals for the sake of sacrifices; sacrifices (have been instituted) for the good of this whole (world); hence the slaughtering (of beasts) for sacrifices is not slaughtering (in the ordinary sense of the word).”(4)

 Again Manu Smriti Chapter 5, verse 44 says:

“Know that the injury to moving creatures and to those destitute of motion, which the Veda has prescribed for certain occasions, is no injury at all; for the sacred law shone forth from the Veda.”

Thus, this argument stands nullified and it became clear that the violence on animals in the Yajna is actually no violence.

 Animal Sacrifices in Vedas Including Cow

 Chapter 24th of the Shukla Yajurveda includes some important points that will help us throw light on the animal sacrifices in the Vedas. This chapter contains an exact enumeration of animals that are to be tied to the sacrificial stakes, with the names of the deities to which they are dedicated. Several of the animals cannot be identified. This entire chapter is a weird puzzle which is difficult to solve for the modern vegetarian Hindus. They are simply unable to explain the coherent meaning of this chapter. You will be amazed to know that even a Vedic scholar like Swami Dayanand is unable to throw any light on it. He merely says that we should know the qualities of each animal by relating to the qualities of the deity to whom they are dedicated.  This statement of the Swami is itself a puzzle, as it gives no clear beneficial knowledge to us. Even Pandit Devi Chand, an Arya Samaj scholar, who based his English translation of the Yajurveda on Swami Dayanand’s work, is clueless about the exact meaning of this chapter. He says in the footnote to verse no. 1:

“The exact significance of these animals being attached to the forces of nature is not clear to me.”

Does this mean that no Hindu scholar for thousands of years has been able to understand the meaning of this chapter? I would say that this is not the case. If we go to the Brahmanas and the classical commentators of the Vedas, the puzzle is solved. According to them each animal dedicated to a particular deity in this chapter has to be sacrificed to that deity.(5)

If this view is not accepted as the correct one, then every verse of this chapter would be a question mark with no answer.  For example, verse 1 dedicates ‘a cow that slips her calf’ to Indra. But the question is what will Indra do with such a cow? Is Indra going to give a sermon to it? Or is Indra going to punish it? Such questions require satisfactory answers which modern vegetarian Hindus are unable to provide.

 The Yajnas include rice and meat of bulls that were cooked and offered to the deity.

 Rigveda says:

अद्रिणा ते मन्दिन इन्द्र तूयान सुन्वन्ति सोमान पिबसि तवमेशाम |

पचन्ति ते वर्षभानत्सि तेषां पर्क्षेण यन्मघवन हूयमानः ||(6)

“Your worshippers express with the stone fast flowing exhilarating Soma-juices for you. You drink them. They roast bulls for you, you eat them when you are invoked, Maghavan, to the sacrificial food.”

 This was interpreted by Sayana Acharya as follows:

"Where

Where is the honor of Gao Mata when you give the dead cow to chamars who cut and skin it?

“You (O Indra), eat the cattle offered as oblations belonging to the worshippers who cook them for you.”

Acharya Sayana explicitly mentions about sacrificing a bull in the introduction to Atharvaveda 9/4/1 as follows:

“The Brahman after killing the bull offers its meat to the different deities. In this hymn, the bull is praised, detailing which parts of the bull are attached to which deity as well as the importance of sacrificing the bull and the rewards of doing the same.”

 What is Ashwamedha Yajna?

The ‘Practical Sanskrit English Dictionary’ by V. S. Apte (1890) gives the following meaning of ‘Ashwa-medha’

अश्वः प्रधानतया मेध्यते हिंस्यते अत्र

“A Yajna in which a Horse is primarily sacrificed is called Ashwamedha [a horse sacrifice].”

 The dictionary further goes on to say:

“In Vedic times this sacrifice was performed by kings desirous of offspring.”

This statement is right when we turn to Shatapath Brahman 13/1/9/9.

To give readers a brief idea of Ashwamedha Yajna, I will briefly mention the entire ritual based on Hindu texts like Katyayana Srauta Sutra, Apastamba Sutra, etc; but I will not mention the obscene portion of the Ashwamedha ritual as it is irrelevant with the topic at hand.

"If

If you claim Ahinsa why do you annihilate the microbes of the wounded cows?

The horse to be sacrificed is sprinkled with water and the Adhvaryu and the sacrificer whisper mantras into its ear. Anyone who should stop the horse is ritually cursed and a dog is killed symbolic of the punishment for the sinners. The horse is then set loose towards the north-east, to roam around wherever it chooses, for the period of one year (or half a year, according to some commentators). The horse is associated with the sun and its yearly course. If the horse wanders into neighboring provinces hostile to the sacrificer, they must be subjugated. The wandering horse is attended by a hundred young men, sons of princes or high court officials, charged with guarding the horse from all dangers and inconvenience. During the absence of the horse, an uninterrupted series of ceremonies is performed in the sacrificer’s home.

After the return of the horse, more ceremonies are performed that have been omitted here but those who wish to read them can see Shukla Yajurveda Chapter 23; verses 19-31 with the commentary of classical scholars.

Conclusion

Anyway, the validity of the slaughtering cow and bull in the Hindu religion has become clear and obvious due to the evidences and ample proofs that have been presented in this article. And Hindu scriptures have allowed beef eating. We do not know why Hindu brothers insist on their rigid attitude. This article does not intend to invite Hindu brothers to eat beef, it intended only to call them to renounce violence against those who eat meat or beef according to their own faith or religion.On the other hand, we find Muslims patient and tolerant to those who eat pork, which is definitely forbidden in Islam and they never exercise any pressure on the people who eat the pork according to their belief or tradition. Is it reasonable to kill a human being or create serious trouble or sectarian strife because of eating meat? Is not your brother of human being higher and more important than an animal? Is it reasonable to leave slaughtering animals on the grounds of compassion and mercy then you slaughter a human being mercilessly? Is not a human being more deserving of your mercy and tolerance, especially when he eats meat because it is permissible in his religion and faith? Also when people slaughter the animal they slaughter them in the slaughterhouses far from your sights in order to avoid hurting your religious feelings. I think if you ask your own mind far from the dictates of the religious and political leaders you would be more just and tolerant to your human brothers and I am sure that you will find many satisfactory excuses for your brothers of same country and land.

________________

Footnotes:

(1)Shatapath Brahman 1/4/1/40.

(2)Rigveda 1/1/4.

(3) Bhagavad Gita 18/3.

(4)Manu Smriti, Chapter 5, verse 39.

(5) See: Shatapath Brahmana 13/2/2/1-10

(6)Rigveda 10/28/3.

______________________

Source: This article has been taken from:islamhinduism.com with modifications.


tags: amarnath / aryasamaj / astha / banaras / beef / brahmin / darshan / dayanad / dewali / dharmshastar / eid-al-fitr-and-eid-al-adhha / ganga / gao-rakhsha / gharwapsi / google-docs / hindi / hindu-gods / hinduism / holi / india / indian / islamic-shariah / itihasa / kirtan / kumbhmela / lakshmi / laws-of-manu / lekhram / maha-shivratri-and-the-islamic-festivals-a-comparison / mandir / manusm%e1%b9%9bti / namaz / pilgrimage / prayers / puja / puranas / sanatanshastar / sangam / sarasvati / sharing-in-google-docs / shivling / shivratri / temple / tirath / upanishads / vedas / worship / yamuna / yatra /



title: Hindu Scriptures and Beef Eating (1/2),
content:

""Herbs,

“Herbs, trees, cattle, birds, and (other) animals that have been destroyed for sacrifices, receive (being reborn) higher existences.” (Manu Shastr)

Present day Hindu culture is pivoted solely on the cow. Its material and spiritual concepts are both engulfed in cow worship. The Hindutva brigade propaganda machinery uses the politics of cow to mobilize the innocent Hindu masses and make them angry. The ban on cow slaughter is one of the pillars of the Hindutva ideology. According to M.S.Golwalkar, a Hindutva ideologue, beef eating in India was started by Muslims and was followed by the British people.(1)
In the past, several futile attempts have been made by proponents of Hindutva to pass a law to ban the slaughter of cows at the national level. In the NCERT school textbook for Class VI, 2002 we read:
“Among the animals, the cow was given the most important and sacred place. Injuring or killing of cow was prohibited in the Vedic period. The cow was called Aghnya (is not to be killed or injured). Vedas prescribe punishment for injuring or killing cow by expulsion from the kingdom or by death penalty, as the case may be.”(2)

Opinions of Some Hindu Scholars on Beef Eating

But the theory that in Vedic times there was no cow slaughter is historically inaccurate,as beef was offered as food to guests and persons of high status. Ancient Hindu scriptures clearly permit the consumption of meat, even of cows. True scholars know this. For example, Swami Vivekananda who is considered as a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India admitted that ancient Hindus used to eat meat. He says in this regard:
“You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it.”(3)
He adds: “There was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could remain a Brahmin.”(4)
Let us now look at the evidence from Hindu texts which prove that Hinduism not only permits beef eating but also requires its followers to institute certain cow sacrifices.

Yajna and Animal Sacrifices

In Hinduism, Yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes. A Vedic yajna is typically performed by an adhvaryu priest, with a number of additional priests such as the hotar, udgatar playing a major role, next to their dozen helpers, by reciting or singing Vedic verses how to deal with the animal that is to be sacrificed in the Yajna, be it a goat, a horse or a cow.

Rituals of Cutting the Sacrificial Animal in Hinduism

The rituals were mentioned in the Aitareya Brahman of the Rigveda as follows:

“Turn the animal’s feet northwards. Make its eyes go to the Sun, dismiss its breath to the wind, its life to the space, its hearing to the directions, its body to the earth. In this way, the Hotar (priest) connects it with these worlds. Take of the entire skin without cutting it. Before opening the navel tear out the omentum (a fold of peritoneum connecting or supporting abdominal structures such as the stomach and liver). Stop its breathing within (by stopping its mouth). Thus the Hotar puts breath in the animals. Make of its breast a piece like an eagle, of its arms (two pieces like) two hatchets, of its forearms (two pieces like) two spikes, of its shoulders (two pieces like) two kashyapas (tortoises), its loins should be unbroken (entire); make of its thighs (two pieces like) two shields, of the two kneepans (two pieces like) two oleander leaves; take out its twenty-six ribs according to their order; preserve every limb of its in its integrity. Thus he benefits all its limbs. Dig a ditch in the earth to hide its excrements.” (5)

In addition the scripture says: “Present the evil spirits with the blood.”

Subsequently, the same Aitareya Brahman instructing how to distribute different parts of the sacrificial animal says:
“Now follows the division of the different parts of the sacrificial animal (among the priests). We shall describe it. The two jawbones with the tongue are to be given to the Prastotar; the breast in the form of an eagle to the Udgatar; the throat with the palate to the Pratihartar; the lower part of the right loins to the Hotar; the left to the Brahma; the right thigh to the Maitravaruna; the left to the Brahmanuchhamsi; the right side with the shoulder to the Adhvaryu; the left side to those who accompany the chants; the left shoulder to the Pratipasthatar; the lower part of the right arm to the Neshtar; the lower part of the left arm to the Potar; the upper part of the right thigh to the Achhavaka; the left to the Agnidhra; the upper part of the right arm to the Aitreya; the left to the Sadasya; the back bone and the urinal bladder to the Grihapati (sacrificer); the right feet to the Grihapati who gives a feasting; the left feet to the wife of that Grihapati who gives a feasting; the upper lip is common to both, which is to be divided by the Grihapati. They offer the tail of the animal to wives, but they should give it to a Brahmana; the fleshy processes (maanihah) on the neck and three gristles (kikasaah) to the Grahvastut; three other gristles and one half of the fleshy part on the back (vaikartta) to the Unnetar; the other half of the fleshy part on the neck and the left lobe (Kloma) to the Slaughterer (Shamita), who should present it to a Brahmana, if he himself would not happen to be a Brahmana. The head is to be given to the Subrahmanya, the skin belongs to him (the Subrahmanya), who spoke, SvaahSutyam (to morrow at the Soma Sacrifice); that part of the sacrificial animal at a Soma sacrifice which belongs to Ilaa (sacrificial food) is common to all the priests; only for the Hotar it is optional.All these portions of the sacrificial animal amount to thirty-six single pieces, each of which represents the paada (foot) of a verse by which the sacrifice is carried up.”
“To those who divide the sacrificial animal in the way mentioned, it becomes the guide to heaven (Swarga). But those who make the division otherwise are like scoundrels and miscreants who kill an animal merely.”
“This division of the sacrificial animal was invented by Rishi Devabhaaga, a son of Srauta. When he was departing from this life, he did not entrust (the secret to anyone). But a supernatural being communicated it to Girija, the son of Babhru. Since his time men study it.”(6)

Excuses of Some Hindus

Some Hindus make the excuse that these are the translations of a non-Hindu European scholar with ‘ulterior motives’. This is a common response by some Hindus, who have negligible knowledge of Hindu scriptures. To establish the authenticity of the above translations, I will produce before you passages from the ‘Purva Mimamsa Sutras’ of Jaimini, its commentary called ‘Shabarbhasya’ and the views of renowned Arya Samaj scholar, Pandit Yudhishthira Mimamsak on them.
It must be noted that the Purva Mimamsa Sutras (compiled between 300-200 B.C.E.) was written by Rishi Jaimini, one of the most important ancient Hindu philosophical texts. It forms the basis of Mimamsa, the earliest of the six orthodox schools (darshanas) of Indian philosophy.

Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini and Beef Eating

Commenting on Purv Mimansa Sutra Adhyaya 3, Para 6, Sutra 18, the Shabarbhasya says:
संति च पशुधर्माः- उपाकरणं, उपानयं, अक्ष्णया बंधः, यूपे नियोजनम्, संज्ञपनं, विशसनमित्येवमादयः
There are also certain details to be performed in connection with the animals, such as (a) Upaakaranam [Touching the animal with the two mantras], (b) Upaanayanam [Bringing forward], (c) Akshanyaa-bandhah [Tying with a rope], (d) Yoopeniyojanam [Fettering to the Sacrificial Post], (e) Sanjnapanam [Suffocating to death], (f) Vishasanam [Dissecting], and so forth.(7)

Comments of Pandit Yudhisthira Mimamsak on Beef Eating

Expounding on this, AryaSamaj scholar, Pandit Yudhisthira Mimamsak writes in his ‘Mimamsa Shabar Bhashyam’
“In this case and otherwise it appears from the Jaimini Sutras that the offering of sacrificed animals is to be made in the Yajnas. It is clearly mentioned in the Mimamsa Sutras.”(8)
Moving on let us see Mimamsadarshan Sutra 3/7/28 which says:
शमिता च शब्दभेदात्
The ‘Shamita’ (slaughterer of the animal) is not distinct from the major priests.
Commenting on it the Shabarbhashya says:
क्लोमा चार्द्धवं वैकर्तनं च शमितुः तद् ब्राह्मणाय दद्यात् यद्य ब्राह्मणः स्यात्
“The liver and the upper quarter belong to the Shamita Priest; one should give it to a Brahmana if he be a non-Brahmana.”
Notice that this is exactly the same things that we saw was said in Aitareya Brahman Book 7; Para 1 above (the highlighted part). This proves that Shabarbhashya is confirming the Aitareya Brahman and the translation is also accurate.
Pandit Yudhisthira Mimamsak also confirms this when he says:
“The division of the meat of the sacrificed animal as instructed in the Aitareya Brahman clearly proves that during the time of the writing of Aitareya Brahman and the time when it was edited by Saunaka, animals were sacrificed in the Yajnas and their meat was consumed by the Brahmins.”

A Question on Sacrifice and its Answer

Some half-baked Hindus who like to play games might try to call all these references as later interpolations. However, the scholar Yudhisthir Mimamsak out rightly rejects such a bogus conclusion when he says: “There is no strong evidence to consider these passages as later interpolations.”(10)
Further in Mimamsa Sutra 3/8/43 it is mentioned:
मांसं तु सवनियानां चोदनाविशेषात
“Only the ‘Savaniya’ cakes should consist of flesh”
All these passages prove that the flesh of the sacrificed animal was consumed as per the instructions of the Hindu texts.
______________________
(1) M.S.Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, p. 496.
(2)Social Sciences Textbook for Class VI, p. 89.
(3)The complete works of Swami Vivekananda, vol. 3rd, p. 536.
(4)Ibid.
(5)Aitareya Brahman, Book No. 2, para 6 and 7.
(6) Aitareya Brahman, Book No. 7, Para 1, Translated by Martin Haug.
(7) Shabhar bhashya on Mimamsa Sutra 3/6/18; translated by GanganathJha.
(8) Mimamsa Shabharbhasyam, adhyaya 3, p. 1014.
(9) Shabhar bhasya on Mimamsa Sutra 3/7/28; translated by GanganathJha.
(10) Mimamsa Shabarbhashyam by YudhishthirMimamsakAdhyaya vol. 3, p. 1075.
______________________
Source: This article has been taken from:islamhinduism.com with modifications.


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title: Beef Eating in Islam and Hinduism,
content:

By Editorial Staff

"If

If you do not permit the killing of any animal or insect intentionally or unintentionally, you can not be able to live in this world.

Why is Beef Forbidden in Hinduism?

Through authentic evidence it has become crystal clear that the Hindu religion in origin does not prohibit eating beef or meat; rather slaughtering animals was a common practice in ancient India. However, the later Hindus denied slaughtering animals, especially cows. Perhaps, amongst the reasons for the prohibition of beef in Hinduism was agricultural but over the time it became a religious issue.

Why is Meat Permissible in Islam?

On the other hand, Islam has elucidated that the whole world was created for mankind and mankind was created for the worship of Allah and to discover the secrets of the universe in order to build it. The world has been created for the benefit of man to help him in his noble mission. This fact was explained in many verses of the Glorious Qur’an, including the verses that say:

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.”(Al-Baqarah2:29)

In addition to that, Allah (Glory be to Him) said:

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Were Some Hindu God’s Hunters?

When we look into the cause of the prohibition in Hinduism we find two possible reasons for this prohibition. The first is that they think that slaughtering is agonizing for the animal and the meat could not be obtained without slaughtering, therefore eating meat is prohibited. However, this illusion becomes meaningless when we find most of the Hindus eat meat of the goat, chicken, fish etc. Also Hindu scriptures, Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagvat Geeta mention that Rama, Lakshman and Krishna were huntsmen and hunting is painful for the animals? Why non-Hindus are forced to avoid slaughtering animals for the meat? If we follow this delusionوwe have to avoid killing even the harmful animals, insects, reptiles such as scorpions and snakes that are worshipped by some Hindus. The prohibition of slaughtering animals leads to recession of financial, social, economical activities of a large part of the society.(1)

On the other hand, what will you say to those Hindus who prohibit killing any and every kind of living being and some of them exaggerate this issue to the extent that they put masks on their mouth and nose in order to avoid killing any insect. When goats and chickens are slaughtered or when fish is taken away from the water they jump here and there in pain and the feelings of those Hindus are hurt and their beliefs are dishonored? What is your justification for that?(2)

Is Cow Truly Sacred in Hinduism?

The second reason for the prohibition is that cow is sacred in Hinduism and they do not like any kind of hurt to them, but only after the cow dies they give it to chamars whose hereditary occupation is tanning leather and skinning the dead animals who cut and skin the dead cow. Then where is the honor of Gao Mata? Also the skins of dead cows are used in shoes, ropes and drums that are used by Hindus and non-Hindus. Isn’t it a sort of disrespect for Gao Mata?

Also if this prohibition is based on the sanctity, why this honor is specific for cow only? Why is the bull deprived of this honor? They never respect oxen; rather they load on them over their strength and treat them badly. It is a sort of clear contradiction.

What is the Logical Reason for the Prohibition of Beef in Hinduism?

It is surprising that Hinduism recommends burning a widow with her deceased husband and makes killing one’s self seeking salvation as a meritorious act. Some of them prefer to go to Kashi (Banaras) to be sawed by a saw for the meritorious position. Some of them immerse them selves in Ganges River and die. Some of them climb the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh and perish themselves in the snow in order to seek paradise. Also some of them walk in the direction of the south blindly to fall in trench or well. And this kind of death is a recommended act in Hinduism. It is really a sort of clear contradiction when people are encouraged under the name of religion to protect an animal and make human life less important than an animal.(3)

Plain human mind also concludes that slaughtering animals for their meat or for any other benefit of people is not bad, since using the less important thing for preserving the most important one is acceptable and applicable everywhere in the world. We see that if a cow, a horse or a bull is injured and the wound caused worms, it is acceptable and recommended to annihilate those harmful worms to preserve the life of the cow, horse or ox; there is no objection. Likewise, if the human life needs or if there is interest for human beings in slaughtering some animals or killing some harmful serpents there should not be any objection. In addition, slaughtering animals was not forbidden in ancient Hinduism as was proven with authentic evidence. If Hindus object that slaughtering animals was permitted in the ancient Hinduism but now it became forbidden, we say to them that there is no objection to the Muslims; it is permissible in Islam now as it was permissible in Hinduism in the ancient time. We should keep in our mind that still eating meat is not forbidden in entire Hindu population because, the Shaivites think that eating meat is permissible and they sacrifice sheep and buffaloes for their idols and deities.(4)

Some Hindus may object that slaughtering animals is unjust and painful for the animal and causing pain to anything for one’s interest is selfishness and forbidden. The answer is that if you follow this deviant philosophy, you should not light a fire in your kitchen or fireplace and should not light a candle in your home as it causes the death of many insects and innocent tiny creatures. This is also a sort of injustice and selfishness. You should not boil water or cook food. You should not use antibiotics and pesticides, and you should not kill any scorpion or snakes.(5)

Does Hinduism Permit Killing Harmful Insects and Animals?

Furthermore, by this logic jobs such as an army officer would be prohibited and forbidden because they kill thieves, robbers and enemies of the country that is a kind of pain and selfishness.

What do you think when worms in human stomach are formed? Will you treat or will you leave a human being dying without treatment? Even by this logic you will forbid the lofty and honorable medical profession because the physician prescribes medication and antibiotics which kill the bacteria.(6)

In addition, what do you say when some carnivores prey on some animals like a lion preys on a poor deer or an innocent rabbit and kill them pitilessly?

What are the Regulations of Permission and Prohibition in Islam?

The basic principle in Islam is that the meat of some animals for the benefit and welfare of the human being is allowed and the interests of human beings are always preferable to everything. Therefore, he is allowed to kill some permissible animals for their meat, also their usages in carrying goods and riding and in tilling farms are permissible. As well as killing some dangerous animals in order to preserve human life is permissible in Islam. In fact, this ruling is corresponding to the nature of the general human instinct.

However, the philosophy invented by some Hindus on slaughtering animals and eating meat is based on illusions which contradict the natural activities of human life. How can you justify burning a widow with her husband mercilessly? How would you permit killing oneself in order to obtain alleged spiritual perfection while you deprive the whole world of consuming beef that is an important source of food for the people across the globe? Every man can judge what is right and what is wrong in this subject.
________________________
(1)Ahmad Rida, Anfasul-Fikar Fi Qurban Al-Baqar, Da`awat Islami, 1881 A.D. p.12.
(2) Ibid.
(3)Muhammad `Ubaidullah, Tuhfah Al-Hind, Matba`at Faruqi, Delhi, 1861 A.D. ,p.131.
(4)Ibid.
(5)But Shikan, Khal`atul-Hunood, Matba`a Siddiqi 1864 A.D. p.99.
(6)Ibid.


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title: Fruits of Hajj (3/3),
content:

By Mohamed Okasha

"The

The stoning of the Jamarat, the purpose behind it is to follow the command and it is a sign of clear submission and servitude to Allah.

 

In fact, the pilgrims remember the action of the Prophet Ibrahim with the cursed Satan, when he attempted to cast doubts in the heart of Ibrahim.

Allah, the Almighty, has made sublime purposes for the legislation of the acts of worship. For example, regarding Prayer, Almighty Allah says:

And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

Concerning fasting, Allah (Glory be to Him) says:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

As regards Hajj, Almighty Allah says:

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass. That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah.(Al-Hajj 22:27-28)

These verses indicate that the acts of worship have been prescribed for certain goal, which is only attainable through performing the worship in conformity with the commands of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Notably, these goals are focusing on the enrichment of morals and ethics and enhancement of the faith.

In the former articles, we touched on a number of the lessons and messages taken from Hajj. We are going to complete this topic in this article.

Eighth: The Message of Facilitation

While performing his only one time of Hajj, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his companions the right way to perform the rituals of Hajj. Yet, some companions would mistake the right order of performing these rituals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded to this confusion with utmost easiness and facilitation. It is reported that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked on the day of `Eid Al-Adha about anything that has been advanced or deferred he would say, “Do, there is no harm.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) He did not approve negligence at all, but, in forgiven matters, there should be facilitation and pardoning.

It is the message of facilitation and moderation supported by the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Almighty Allah says:

Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship. (Al-Baqarah2:185)

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was never given the choice between two things but he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not a sin; if it was a sin he would be the furthest of the people from it. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Extremism and intolerance are abhorred by Islam. Keep as much as you can to the orders of Allah and do not overburden yourself because you may lose your enthusiasm and fall short to perform even the basic acts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ninth: The Message of Abandoning Erroneous Customs

We all know that the Ka`bah was rebuilt by the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Isma`il (Ishmael) (peace be upon them). Since its foundation, people would come to visit and make pilgrimage to it. However, they would make a plenty of acts of disbelief and repugnant acts while performing the Hajj. Among the rites of Hajj during the pre-Islamic period of ignorance was to circulate around the Ka`bah fully naked. Also, they surrounded the Ka`bah with the idols they worshipped. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came, he eliminated all the censured customs of disbelievers and all the forms of disbelief from Hajj and Ka`bah and admitted the only good things, such as providing water to the pilgrims.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has taken away from you the arrogance of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period of ignorance) and its pride in forefathers.” He (peace be upon him) refused and disdained the bad habits of the Jahiliyyah, such as pride in forefathers, riba (interest-based dealings) and revenge. He taught us that Islam corrects the Muslim’s way of life, sets his principles aright, improves his good morals, admits the good things with the other even if he is a dissenter and builds the independent Muslim personality.

Tenth: Message of Man’s Enmity with Satan

Stoning the Jamarah is one of the obligatory rituals of Hajj. It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) seated Al-Fadl behind him on his mount, and Al-Fadl said that he did not stop reciting the Talbiyah until he stoned the Jamrah. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  “As for the stoning of the Jamarat, the purpose behind it is to follow the command and it is a sign of clear submission and servitude to Allah. The aim is also to imitate Ibrahim (peace be upon him), when Iblis (devil) (may Allah curse him) appeared to him in that place to instill confusion in his mind or tempt him to sin, and Allah commanded him to throw stones at
Satan in order to drive him away and dash his hopes.”

So, the pilgrim keeps in his mind this fact while throwing the pebbles. They remember the action of the Prophet Ibrahim against the cursed Satan, when he attempted to cast doubts in the heart of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Actually, the enmity and deceit of Satan never end as he always tries to tempt the human beings to take them away of Allah’s way. So, always remember that Satan is your worst enemy.

________________________

  Taken from: www.new-muslims.info with modification.


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title: What Is Hajj?,
content:

 

"A

A pilgrim remains careful and does not harm anyone by his words, deeds or actions; he tries to give up all sorts of abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles and bickering.

Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam that is performed at a particular place at q particular time of the year. It is a set of rituals that spreads over five days and is performed at Makkah, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.

Every Muslim having enough strength and wealth must perform Hajj at least once in his lifetime. Islam is based on five deeds; the word of faith, Salah, Sawm, Zakah and Hajj. The word of faith is to testify that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. Salah is to offer Prayer five times a day at particular time period and with certain conditions. Sawm is observing fasting for 30 days in the month of Ramadan.

Zakah is giving alms to the poor in which a particular percentage of the possessions of money, gold, silver and cattle wealth should be given to the poor every year. Finally, comes Hajj which is to be performed at least once in the lifetime. While all the four deeds could be done at any place, Hajj could be performed only at the place meant for that deed.

Ihram in Hajj

Hajj starts with entering into Ihram (wearing special dress). When a person is in Ihram, he is forbidden from doing certain things like having sex, removing hair, etc. Hajj ends with Tawaf Az-Ziyarah (circumambulation of visiting). Hajj is a must only for those who are capable of doing it since it demands more money, more energy and more mental power. So, it is better to perform Hajj at one’s young age.

Rituals of Hajj

When the days of Hajj starts, people have to wear Ihram, the seamless white dress for men, and the normal dress for ladies. Covering the face at that time is prohibited both for men and women and covering head for men is also forbidden. That is why the pictures of Hajj show men in white dress with open heads.

Pilgrims start their Hajj by going to Mina. They stay in Mina for a day and then go to `Arafat Mountain the next morning after the Fajr (dawn) prayer. Then the time of Hajj starts at noon. Making Du`aa or supplicating Allah to give all goodness is the main deed at `Arafat. After Maghrib prayer time, Pilgrims should leave the place to Muzdalifah without praying Maghrib. Muzdalifah is located approximately 8 km from `Arafat. After reaching Muzdalifah, they should pray both Maghrib and `Isha’ prayers.

After spending the night at Muzdalifah, they should leave to Mina to throw stones. This should be done before noon. Stoning of Satan continues for three days. In the meantime, the pilgrims should head over to Makkah and finish their Tawaf Az-Ziyarah. Once it is completed, they are out of Ihram and could lead normal life.

In real sense during the days of Hajj, the pilgrims relive the life of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail (peace be upon them). Allah (glory be to Him) was pleased with their sacrifice and so He has destined all pilgrims to revive certain moments of their life in order to show his love for his Prophet.

Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah

After completing Hajj, people stay in Mecca for few days and then go to Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. The blessed Madinah is the place where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived his later part of life and where he died and was buried. Though visiting his burial ground is not a necessary part of Hajj, people go there to offer their Salam to their beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) before they return home.

____________________________

Source: Taken from www.whatisHajj.com with modifications.


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title: Prayers: A Special Connection with God,
content:

"someone

The important aspect of a believer’s faith is his or her relationship with God.

Islam signifies the subjection of all activities in all walks of life to the Law of God Almighty, and leaving nothing to the whims and fancies of anyone else. God has commanded the believers to declare:

Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life, and my death, are (all) for Allah (God), the Cherisher of the Worlds (Al-An`am 6:162)

This means that a Muslim is a person who has submitted his or her whole self and whole life to God, so that the first duty of a Muslim is to lead a life of obedience to God alone.

And the above quoted commandment also implies that it is wrong to consider our lives to consist of water-tight compartments, saying that “this is the part of my life within the bounds of religion where I am bound to obey God, and these are the secular areas of life where God’s laws are irrelevant.”

The twin sources of Islam — the Qur’an and the Sunnah — teach  that when God Almighty is accepted as the Creator, Sustainer, and Lawgiver, we cannot go after “other gods”.

Islam is a complete way of life that asks its followers to mold their entire lives in accordance with its principles laid down in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This in fact is not an unrealistic idea; it only means a change of perspective or approach.

Of course, such a change is bound to have its impact on our life, both internal and external; but for those who wish to lead a good life here, Islam is the way.

The important point to note here is that Islam does not impose on its adherents rituals for the sake of rituals, as they are likely to be performed mechanically without understanding their meaning in life.

God says in the Qur’an, which Muslims believe is His word, what means:

It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and give zakah (regular charity); to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing. (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

That is to say, if our rituals do not have any impact on our day-to-day life, they are of little value. Similarly, if we do our daily duties that are considered to be outside the generally recognized borders of religious ritual with sincerity and faith expecting reward from God, they too become acts of worship.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once told his Companions that they will be rewarded even for having sexual intercourse with their wives. The Companions were astonished. They asked: “How are we going to be rewarded for doing something we enjoy very much?”

The Prophet asked them: “Suppose you satisfy your desires illegally, don’t you think that you will be punished for that?”

They replied, “Yes”. “So” he said, “by satisfying it legally with your wives, you are rewarded for it.” (Muslim)

This all-inclusive approach to worship encourages people to purify and spiritualize their whole lives. But this is not to disparage ritualistic worship. In fact, rituals, if performed with a full understanding of their inner significance, equip the worshippers with a moral and spiritual power that help them to carry out their daily activities in the various spheres of life informed by the guidance of God.
Thus in Islam, the term “worship” (in Arabic, `ibadah) does not signify merely the “pillars of Islam” such as Prayer, fasting, charity or pilgrimage. It includes all the activities of a believer; in fact, it stands for everything a Muslim believes, says, or does. When believers perform all the activities of their lives seeking the pleasure of God, then all their deeds become worship. Naturally, this also includes the rituals they perform, such as prayer.

We can see that the worship of God as visualized in Islam — whether it is ritual or non-ritual — prevents evil thoughts and actions, thereby purifying life. Indeed, sincere Islamic worship trains the individual to lead a life of complete obedience and submission to God.

Prayers

Of all the forms of ritual worship in Islam, Prayer (in Arabic, salah) is unique. It is typical of Islam and is entirely different from the usual kind of Prayer familiar in other religions.
The prostration in Prayer symbolizes the worshipper’s total and unconditional submission to God Almighty. Of course, certain supplications are recited in Prayer, following the Prophetic teaching.
But the objective of Prayer is not this-worldly. Muslims can pray to God for the solution of the immediate problems they confront any time, in any language. But they are not authorized to change the language of the utterances in Prayer, nor can they change its form or content. Muslims have to strictly adhere to its form as taught to by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Muslims believe that God has made Prayer compulsory for all His prophets as well as their followers, as it is evident from the Qur’an. To Moses, God said what means,

Verily I am Allah: There is no god but Me: so worship Me only and establish regular prayer for My remembrance( Ta-Ha 20:14)

The important aspect of a believer’s faith is his or her relationship with God; and nowhere is this relationship exemplified as in Prayer. Prayer lifts a person spiritually towards his or her Creator and if it is done with devotion and sincerity, his or her heart will be filled with the love of God and the hope of Paradise.
Praying five times a day helps Muslims to constantly remember God and seek His forgiveness and pleasure. Besides, it offers an occasion for repentance, so that they earnestly ask Allah for forgiveness of the sins they committed. Prophet Muhammad said: “Imagine a stream outside a person’s door and imagine that he bathes in it five times a day; do you think he would have any dirt on him?” The people said, “Not at all.” The Prophet then said, “The five daily prayers are like that: Allah wipes away the sins by them.” (Al-Bukhari)
The most important aspect of a person’s relationship with God, is his or her strong faith and sincerity. This relationship with God is clearly borne out and strengthened by Prayer. If the Prayer is performed with true devotion to God and with a sincere heart, it will have a lasting effect on the person.
God says in the Qur’an what means:

Establish regular prayer: for prayer restrains from shameful and evil deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that you dd. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

Certainly a person’s God-consciousness awakened by Prayer strengthens him or her against temptations arising from the weakness of the flesh.
Again God says in the Qur’an what means:

Truly man was created very impatient; fretful, when evil touches him; and niggardly, when good reaches him; not so those devoted to Prayer and those who remain steadfast to their prayer(Al-Ma`arij 70:19-23)

Thus, it is the Prayer that enables believers to keep in constant touch with their Creator and to keep steady in the face of the temptations and the pressures life.

____________________

Taken with slight modifications from Onislam.net.

 


tags: acts-of-worship / connection-with-god-through-prayer / how-muslims-pray / muslim-prayer / prayer-in-islam / salah / the-second-pillar-in-islam /



title: Muslims of India! Do not Fear,
content:

By Editorial Staff

You can read this article in Hindi here :

""

Hindus and Muslims are both eyes of India, both eyes help each other to see, and add to the beauty of each other.

in this short article islamforhindus would like to remind the Muslim brothers and sisters in India to strengthen their faith and trust in Allah the Almighty and their love for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). A Muslim always puts his trust in Allah the Almighty.

1- Do you remember that Allah the Almighty saved the Prophet Muhammad and his companion Abu Bakr As-Siddiq in the cave with spider net and pigeon’s eggs on the entrance of cave as his enemies thought that no one is inside the cave and left the cave while they were inside the cave.

2-The Glorious Qur’an has mentioned the story of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh who tried to kill every male child in bani Israil’s community, but Allah the Almighty made the Prophet Moses to be raised by Pharaoh until he was grown up.

3-The Glorious Qur’an has mentioned the story of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) who was thrown in the fire, but Allah the Almighty ordered the fire not to harm the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to be turned into garden and it became a safety and peace for him.

4- Your life and death are in the hand of Allah the Almighty, you will never die before your time, so try to be true follower of Islam. And do not leave Islam because of fear because, it is better to die as Muslim than to die on denying your faith.

5-Forget the sectarian thought, if you are Barelvi Barēlwi, Deobandi, Salafi, Ahle-Hadith, Tablighi-Jamaat, Da`awat e Islami, Hanafi, Shafei, Hanbali, Maliki, you are all Muslims; you all say la ilaha illallah Muhammadur-Rasulullah, and remember: tiny differences or controversies do not expel you out of your religion.

6-Yes, you cannot follow the Qadyani sect who became apostate because of their denial of the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).""

7- Select the Muslim politician to support like Asaduddin Owaisi or who are on the same method.  Stand behind them, support them, follow them.

8-Try to avoid religious debates on controversial issues, and boycott any of those scholars who always raise Munazrah or debate on small issues. People in the modern world unite despite of basic controversies in their faith, culture and ideology while Muslims are divided into sects despite, they belong to the same religion, faith and culture.

9-Try to teach your kids; sons and daughters the Glorious Qur’an and make them memorize some sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with translation and teach the basics of Islamic faith.

10-Try to educate your family members secular and worldly sciences, never, leave your kids; sons and daughters illiterate or uneducated. Take the benefits of the government schools, colleges, universities and educational centers in your country and it is your constitutional right. You must realize that education is life and illiteracy is death.  The enemies always try to deprive you from education. When you are deprived of education you are loser and the poverty will be your destiny forever.

11- Use the latest technology in educational purposes and learning goals; do not use them in bad and useless activities.

12- Be careful about the situation in India when you are traveling long journey in trains or buses or when you are in the majority of Hindus specially illiterate areas because the mob lynching cases are high in the illiterate and uneducated communities who are jobless and poor and their life and death are equal, no use if they are alive, and no harm if they dead. They easily follow extreme thought or ideology blindly.

13- Try to avoid arguments with the illiterate people who are brainwashed and filled with hatred. But if you got surrounded with such situation, then call the police, or emergency no. It is the duty of police to protect the people irrespective of their faith, caste or religion.

14-Try to appeal your political leader to submit a memorandum to the prime minister reminding him of the past mob lynching incidents appealing him to issue instructions to the police departments all over the country  to safeguard the people and punish the criminals severe punishments and save the name and fame of India that is being destroyed by a small group of people. Now, every crime is watched and spread all over the world within minutes.

""

You can help by calling the police

14-If your brother or sister in Islam or any innocent, Dalit or any human being is attacked by the illiterate mobs, don not be silent, rather, defense your brother and sister and do not leave the person dying on the hands of beasts helplessly. At least you can call the police to inform them about the ongoing incident. The police are paid from the treasury of the government to protect the people.  We see today’s world people watch and record the videos while his brother or sister is beaten or killed in broad daylight. Why are people so coward these days?  Where is the courage to defense and interfere?

15- I am sure if these advises are implemented properly by the Muslim community, India will become haven again, and people will feel safety and security, and nonresident Indians will long to return to their beloved country to enjoy its natural and composite home environment.


tags: ahle-hadith / asaduddin / barelvi / bjp / daawat-e-islami / deobandi / hindus / india / modi / muslims / owaisi / salafi / tablighi-jamaat / %e0%a4%87%e0%a4%b8%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%b2%e0%a4%be%e0%a4%ae / %e0%a4%ad%e0%a4%be%e0%a4%b0%e0%a4%a4%e0%a5%80%e0%a4%af / %e0%a4%ae%e0%a5%81%e0%a4%b8%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%b2%e0%a4%ae%e0%a4%be%e0%a4%a8 / %e0%a4%ae%e0%a5%8b%e0%a4%a6%e0%a5%80 /



title: Hajj: A Symbol of Equality,
content:

"In

In Islam, an impoverished person stands next to the rich and a servant stands next to his master in prayer and Hajj.

By Faisal Kutty

Millions of pilgrims from all over the world converge on Makkah every year. They retrace the footsteps of millions who have made the spiritual journey to the valley of Makkah since the time of the first Prophet Adam (peace be upon him).

Hajj literally means, “To strive continuously to reach one’s goal.” It is the last of the five pillars of Islam (the rest includes a declaration of faith in Allah, the five daily prayers, offering Zakah and fasting during the month of Ramadan). Pilgrimage is an once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

Hajj is essentially a re-enactment of the rituals of the great Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them). Pilgrims symbolically relive the experience of exile and atonement undergone by the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), Hajar, as she ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa searching for water for her thirsty baby. She was answered with the well of Zamzam. Lastly, the pilgrims also commemorate the sacrifice of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) for the sake of Allah.

Yet, the Hajj is more than these elaborate rituals. It brings about a deep spiritual transformation, one that will make the pilgrim a better person.

In the Islamic tradition, Hajj encapsulates this spiritual journey toward this essence. The current state of affairs —both within and outside the Muslim world— greatly increases the relevance of some of the spiritual and universal messages inherent in the Hajj.

Indeed, the Qur’an teaches:

Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. (Aal `Imran 3:195)

Clearly, you see the white sea of men and women side by side performing tawaf (circumambulation) around Ka`bah. The fact that millions of Muslims transcending geographical, linguistic, level of practice, cultural, ethnic, color, economic and social barriers converge in unison on Makkah, attests to the universality of the Hajj. It plants the seed to celebrate the diversity of our common humanity. Pilgrims return home enriched by this more pluralistic and holistic outlook and with a new appreciation for their own origins.

One of the most celebrated Western pilgrims (one who has completed the Hajj), the African-American civil rights leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabbaz, profoundly reassessed his previous views during the Hajj. This transformation, of course, sealed his break with the Black Nationalist Movement of the Nation of Islam.

Contrary to the teachings of the Nation, he concluded that Islam encompassed all of humanity and transcended race and culture. He says: “In my 39 years on this Earth, the holy city of Makkah had been the first time I had ever stood before the Creator of all and felt like a complete human.”

In Makkah, he discovered himself mixing with, “fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was whitest of white.” Malcolm X was so inspired by what he witnessed, that, in letters to friends and relatives, he wrote, “America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.”

Upon returning to America, he embarked on a mission to enlighten both blacks and whites with his new views. Malcolm X understood that in order to truly learn from the Hajj, its inherent spiritual lessons must extend beyond the fraternal ties of Muslims to forging a common humanity with others.

In fact, as part of the spiritual experience, the pilgrimage links people across religions through a past shared by several Ibrahimic traditions. This, combined with the Islamic teaching regarding the common origin of humanity, holds out much hope. Indeed, the Qur’an teaches:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

This is a great celebration of the differences and at the same time unity of all of humanity.

Another essential spiritual message of the Hajj is one of humility to Allah and His Supremacy and control over all that we know. The multitude of people and their inner beliefs and practices are all to be judged by Allah and Allah alone in His infinite wisdom and full knowledge. Indeed, as the Qur’an insists,

“Let there be no compulsion in matters of faith, truth stands out clear from error.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

The result of a successful Hajj is a rich inner peace, which is manifested outwardly in the values of justice, honesty, respect, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and empathy. And it is these values –all are Attributes of Allah, the Almighty— are indispensable to us all if we are just to get along in this world.

Hajj and congregational prayer in Islam represents the highest and clearest representation of equality between all human-beings, far from any discrimination based on the caste system, race, color and sex. In Islam, an impoverished person stands next to the rich and a servant stands next to his master in prayer and Hajj.
In the pilgrimage, people from around the world including rich and poor, black and white come together and assemble in one place in one dress.
The value of equity in Islam is not limited to prayer and Hajj, rather, the whole system of Islamic Shari`ah intends to teach equality and equity in human society.

Unlike the Hindu religion which differentiates between people on the basis of caste, a Shudra cannot enter the temples of the upper castes, the people of low caste are not allowed to read the Vedas and they cannot sit next to a Barahman. In fact, the faith of the Hindu religion itself declares that it is a human product that was invented and developed by some Hindu monks to humiliate mankind. On the other hand, the nature of Islamic principles declares that message of Islam is a pure revelation from One Allah the Creator, Who never differentiate between His slaves.

And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” (Ahmad)

 

__________________

Source: Taken from www.whyislam.org with modifications.


tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / astha / banaras / bhajan / darshan / dayanad / ganga / hajj-a-symbol-of-equality / hindi / hindu / hindu-allahs / hinduism / idolatry / india / indian / jagannath / kirtan / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / mandir / namaz / prayers / puja / sarasvati / shivling / temple / tirath / worship / yamuna / yatra /



title: Hajj: A Historical Background,
content:

"The

The rite of Hajj is a commemoration of pious lady Hajar, her husband Prophet Abraham and her son Prophet Isma`il, an honor by Almighty Allah to eternize the memory of His pure slaves.

By Sayyid Abu Al–A`la Al-Mawdudi

Hajj, or pilgrimage, is the fifth obligated act of worship, which Islam enjoins upon you, as referred to in the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the five pillars of Islam. Like the prayer, fasting and almsgiving, it mounds your life and prepares you so that you may live in surrender to Allah.

The word Hajj means to make a resolve to visit a holy place: visiting the Ka`abah in Makkah is therefore called Hajj.

How did it begin? The origin of Hajj is rooted in the Prophet Ibrahim’s life (peace be upon him).

The Prophet Ibrahim and Ka`abah

Muslims, Christians and Jews dignify Ibrahim (peace be upon him) as their leader. The Prophets Musa, `Isa and Muhammad (peace be upon them) are all his descendants. It is the lamp of guidance lit by him that has for long illuminated the whole world.  It was in Makkah that Ibrahim and his son built the Holy Ka`abah, the center of the Islamic movement, on a site chosen by Allah Himself. This building was not intended for worship only, as mosques are; its purpose was to act as the center for spreading the universal massage of Islam, a world-wide gathering point for Muslims to assemble to worship Allah in congregation and go back to their respective countries carrying with them the message of Islam. This assembly was named Hajj. Exactly how this center was constructed, with what hopes and prayers both father and son raised its walls. The Qur’an described this:

Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. (Aal `Imran 3:96-97)

Have they not seen that We made [Makkah] a safe sanctuary, while people are being taken away all around them? (Al-`Ankabut 29:67)

Peace always reigned in and around the Ka’abah, when all around it were rampant plunder, murder, devastation, conflict and warfare, such was its sanctity that even the Bedouins who respected no law, if they detected in its precincts the murderer of even their father, did not dare to touch him.

Prayers of Ibrahim

Look at Ibrahim’s prayers to find out what the real purpose and significance of Hajj is:

And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” [Allah] said. “And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination.” And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.  Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:125-129)

And the Glorious Qur’an says:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this city [Makkah] secure and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. My Lord, indeed they have led astray many among the people. So whoever follows me – then he is of me; and whoever disobeys me – indeed, You are [yet] Forgiving and Merciful. Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (Ibrahim 14:35-37)

Moreover, Almighty Allah says:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass. That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor. (Al-Hajj 22:26-28)

This is the story of the beginning of that Hajj which is the fifth pillar of Islam. You now understand that Makkah was head-quarter for the mission of the first Prophet appointed to propagate the message of Islam. Ka`abah was the focal point from where this preaching was spread across the world, and the worship rites of Hajj were introduced so that all those who chose to live in surrender to Allah Alone should belong to one center where they could assemble every year, and go around it again and again. Their lives of faith were to be like the wheel tied to and revolving around its axle.

The historical background of Hajj shows clearly the monotheistic nature of Hajj since Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) renewed the faith of Monotheism in Makkah.  It is interesting to talk in brief about the Kumbh Mela in India that is believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth which held every 12 years on the banks of the ‘Sangam’- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and holiest of them.[1]

When we take a quick look at both religious gatherings; the great religious gathering in Makkah and the ritual gathering of Hindus at the shores of Ganges, in terms of historical, religious, moral and social aspects, we find Hajj closer to the human instinct and the purest, whether morally or religiously. In Hajj, every act that defies the common taste is prohibited; rather it presents a figure of piety, spiritual atmosphere that could not be found in any religion of the world except Islam.  From a historical perspective, we find Kumbh Mela farther from the requirements of the human sense and farther from the public ethical taste. Its historical background is filled with myths and superstition.

We find completely naked monks who do not have even a thread on their bodies standing with each other at the bank of river Ganges. However the instinct of modesty and shyness in human nature is a gift from Almighty Allah that never remain silent. There is a picture of Kumbh Mela that dates back to 1953 which says: “Photographers! Please note that no photographs are allowed within the sangam (confluence) area beyond this point.” I think the prohibition of photography was due to the fact that their naked pictures and images would not spread among Muslims that will become a mark of disgrace for their religious ritual as those pictures are enough to undermine their faith.

On the contrary, we find the pilgrimage in Makkah is overflowing with spiritual, moral and religious feelings.  When a pilgrim returns from Makkah he is more determined to do good and righteousness, even a viewer to those scenes though he is not on the pilgrimage becomes inspired and motivated for the worship of Almighty Allah. Anyway, the rite of Hajj carries herewith the ample evidence of honesty, truth and guidance, while Kumbh Mela holds inwardly and outwardly the evidence of lying, nullity, deceit, guile and sensuality.

__________________

Source: Taken from www.whyislam.org with modifications.

(1) http://kumbhmelaallahabad.gov.in/english/index.html (last accessed on 26-8-2013)


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