title: Hereafter in the Glorious Qur’an,
By Dr Zakir Naik
Belief in the Hereafter is a basic and fundamental pillar of Islam. Without believing in this truth, a person could not be a Muslim. This doctrine has been eluciadated in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah in detail. We present here some refrences that clarify this reality:
1. Live Once in this World and then be Resurrected in the Hereafter
Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an:
How can you disbelieve in Allah? seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return. (Al-Baqrah 2:28)
Islam states that a human being comes into this world only once, and after he dies, he is again resurrected on the day of judgement. Depending on his deeds, he will either dwell in heaven i.e. Paradise or he will dwell in hell.
2. This Life is a Test for the Hereafter
It is mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:
Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk 67:2)
This life that we lead in this world is a test for the Hereafter. If we follow the commandments of the Almighty Creator and we pass the test, we shall enter Paradise which is an eternal bliss. If we do not follow the commandments of our Creator and fail the test, we shall be put into hell.
Full Recompense on the Day of Judgment
It is mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). (Aal `Imran 3:185)
Al-Jannah i.e. Paradise is a place of perpetual bliss. In Arabic, ‘jannah’ literally means ‘the garden’. The Glorious Qur’an describes Paradise in great detail, such as gardens underneath which rivers run. It contains rivers of milk unchanging in flavor and rivers of purified honey. In Paradise there are fruits of every kind. No fatigue shall be felt in Paradise neither shall there be any idle talk. There shall be no cause of sin, difficulty, anxiety, trouble or hardship. Paradise shall thus have peace and bliss.
Paradise is described in several verses of the Qur’an including Aal `Imran 3:15, Aal `Imran 3:198, An-Nisaa’ 4:57, Al-Ma’idah 5:119, At-Tawbah 9:72, Al-Hijr 15:45-48, Al-Kahf 18:31, Al-Hajj 22:23, Al-Fatir 35:33-35, Yasin 36:55-58, Al-Saffat 37:41-49, Al-Zukhruf 43:68-73, Al-Dukhan 44:51-57, Muhammad 47:15, Al-Tur 52:17-24, Al-Rahman 55:46-77, Al-Waqi`ah 56:11-38.
5. Hell – Jahannam
Hell is a place of torment where evil-doers undergo the most terrible pain and suffering caused by being burnt by hellfire, a fire whose fuel is men and stones. Further, the Qur’an states that as many times as their skins are burnt, the residents of hell shall be given fresh skin so that they feel the pain. Hell is described in several verses of the Qur’an including Al-Baqarah 2:24, An-Nisaa’ 4:56, Ibrahim 14:16-17, Al-Hajj 22:19-22, Fatir 35:36-37.
6. Logical Concept for Differences in Different Individuals
In Hinduism, the differences between two individuals at birth is explained by stating past Karma i.e. actions of the previous life, as the cause of the differences. There is no scientific or logical proof or evidence of the cycle of rebirths.
How does Islam explain these differences? The Islamic explanation for these differences in different individual is given in Surah Al-Mulk, Almighty Allah says:
Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk 67:2)
This life that we live is the test for the hereafter.
Furthermore, the sufferings of mankind in this world have been explained logically in an article entitled ‘Predestination and Sufferings of Mankind’ published on our website. For more information, please click here.
Source: Taken from www.islamandhinduism.com with modifications.
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title: Predestination and Human Action,
No good or bad and no benefit or harm happen to a person except with Allah’s Will and Predestination. Testifying and believing in this is one of the pillars of faith, and without it the faith will not be valid.
There is no contradiction between luck and the belief in Allah’s Decree and Predestination. The person’s luck or portion in something is predestined by Allah. However, believing that a lucky person could achieve what Allah did not prescribe for him, or that only his luck can bring him benefits and repel from him harms, this is something rejected by the Glorious Qur’an, Sunnah, reason and reality.
It is authentically reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah! None can prevent what You have willed to bestow, and none can bestow what You have willed to prevent, and no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone, as from You is all wealth and majesty.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prayer and Pre-destination
It is wrong to say that Allah does not accept our supplication, because accepting the supplication does not necessarily mean that a person should be given exactly what he supplicated for. Rather, one’s supplication may be answered, or an affliction is driven away from him because of his supplication and this will be better for him than what he asked for, or that Allah reserves the reward for him in the Hereafter as stated in a Hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
As far discrimination between people, then this is evident; however, Allah does this out of knowledge and wisdom and not out of ignorance and injustice. There is absolutely perfect wisdom in Him doing so; Allah Almighty says:
Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction. (Al-Isra’ 17:21)
Allah Almighty also says:
And have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate. (Az-Zukhruf 43:32)
In fact, poverty may be for some people better than richness, and richness is better for some others, in the same way health is more beneficial for some. It is reported in a Hadith Qudusi (there is a controversy about its authenticity), “Among My Slaves there are those for whom nothing is better than richness, and if I were to impoverish them, they would be corrupted. And among My Slaves there are those for whom nothing is better than poverty, and if I were to make them rich, they would be corrupted. I manage (the affairs of) My Slaves, I am indeed the All-Aware of their circumstances.”
You should know that real happiness is not by obtaining some money and other temporary worldly pleasures. Rather, the real happiness is in faith and acts of good deeds. Allah says:
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer— We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. (An-Nahl 16:97)
Finally, it should be noted that there are some etiquettes that must be observed when supplicating and there are some matters that prevent the supplication from being accepted.
Submission to the Predestination
Submission to Allah in regard to His Predestination is something required in Islamic faith. If Allah decrees something, there is no one who can overturn His Decree, and if He rules, there is no one who can overturn His Rule. Allah says:
And Allah decides; there is no adjuster of His decision. And He is swift in account. (Ar-R`ad 13:41)
This submission is even more required in regard to matters of the unseen, among which is Predestination, which is the hidden secret. At-Tahawi said in his book entitled Al-`Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah: “The essence of Predestination is the Secret of Allah in His creation which neither a close angel nor a Prophet knows.”
Allah does not do anything except for wisdom; some people might know it and some others might not know it. However, asking about the wisdom in order to reassure one’s heart is acceptable, but asking a question as a way of objection is not permissible, as this is the approach of the devil. Allah says about him:
And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He said, “Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?” (Al-Isra’ 17:61).
Is Predestination an Excuse for sinning?
Scholars stated that it is permissible to argue that Predestination is the reason for the calamities that befall a person but not for the sins that he commits.” Ibn Taymiyyah said: “One may give Predestination as an excuse for calamities but not for sins.”
Everything is predestined is something determined in the texts of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, it is not acceptable to use Predestination as an excuse for committing sins as we have already clarified in the first point. So, this is our answer to those who say: “What is my fault if this is predestined for me?”
In matters of religion, if one fails to perform an obligation due to laziness, then he is held accountable for that. The congregational prayer is an obligation according to the preponderant view of the scholars and if one fails to perform it without a valid reason, one is sinful.
No sane person would see the fire coming to consume him and he waits for it with the pretext of destiny. Of course, a sane person in this case would not wait but will struggle to run away.
For those who want to rely on Predestination, they are advised to work and do their effort. ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There is no one amongst you except that his place in Hellfire is written and his place in Paradise is written.” The Companions asked: “Shall we not rely on our book (i.e. Predestination) and not act? He said: “Rather, you should act, as every person is facilitated for what he was created for…..” Ibn Hajar said: “It means that you should be preoccupied with acts of worship, and what you were created for and ordered to do. Then, you should let the matter of the unseen which only Allah knows to its Owner (i.e. Allah), you do not have to do anything about it. This is the summary of the statement of At-Tibi.”
We have not seen anybody leaving his worldly benefits because of relying on Predestination, while some people abandon the means of guidance out of relying on this, and this is contradictory.
Ibn Taymiyyah said in his book entitled Minhaj As-Sunnah: “Using Predestination as an excuse (for committing sins and leaving religious obligations) is unfounded according to the agreement of the Muslim scholars and wise people. The person who uses it as an excuse when committing evils and wrongdoings is someone who contradicts himself and follows his desires. A scholar said, “In matters regarding obedience, they say that they have a choice, but in case of acts of disobedience, they you say that they are forced. They only follow that which corresponds to their desires.”
Source: Taken from www.islamweb.net with modifications.
tags: arya-samaj / banaras / bhag / dayanad / decree / destiny / fate / ganesh / garhan / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatry / karma / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / luck / messengers / monkey-god / paganism / phone / polytheism / predestination / prophethood / quran / re-birth / sarasvati / statues-hindu-gods / varanasi /
title: The Prophet Adam in India,
This article deals with the first person and the first prophet, our master Adam
(peace be upon him) comparing what was stated in Islam and what was narrated in the Hindu texts.
Who were Prophets of Hinduism?
Rasool (messenger) Nabi (prophet) and (wali) (friend of Allah) are Islamic terms that have a specific connotation. It is not logical to search for the same word or similar words in Indian and Hindu culture; rather, we have to look into the similar characteristics and qualities under any title or term. According to Islamic theology, the prophets and messengers are a medium between God and the general public in receiving the message from divinity and conveying them to the common people. They are essentially human beings connected to the higher world selected by divine will to receive guidance and information through their spiritual purity and their detachment from worldly and physical distractions. However, if we look in the Hindu culture, we find some words that are similar to Rasool, Nabi and wali in meaning in general.
A- (अवतार) Avtar a descent (especially of a deity from heaven), appearance of any deity upon earth (but more particularly the incarnations of Vishnu in ten principal forms or any new and unexpected appearance, (any distinguished person in the language of respect is called an Avatara or incarnation of a deity) (1)
B- Rishi (ऋषि) “glorious”, “glorified” or “glorifier”, somebody who sings or composes the Vedic prayers.
C- Muni (मुनि) = philosopher, thinker.
D- Sadhu साधू a person who is good according to scriptures, straight, right, leading straight to a goal, straightened, kind, willing, obedient, successful, peaceful, secure, Powerful, excellent, good, virtuous, honorable, righteous, a good or virtuous or honest man, a holy man, saint, sage, seer, a Jina or deified saint.(2)
The existence of such terms in the Hindu religion brings the distance between Hinduism and Islam nearer and connects the earth with heaven and man with God.
Adam and Hawwa in Islam
According to Islamic authentic sources, Adam (peace be upon him) is the first human being and the first Prophet on the face of earth. The Prophet Adam has been made from the clay like a statue then life was blown into it. After that his partner and wife; Hawwa was created from his rib. One of his ribs was taken from his body and the rib was turned into a woman who is called Hawwaa. According to another opinion, Hawwa was not created from the rib of Adam; rather, she was created separately and independently.
Adam from Paradise to the Earth
Adam and Hawwa lived in Paradise peacefully and enjoyed every blessing and favor of it. Every fruit was allowed for them to eat except for one. As one of the fruits were forbidden for them for their test. However, they were lured by the devil to taste the forbidden tree but Allah the Almighty forgave them after their repentance, however, He commanded them to come down on the earth and leave Paradise.
The Prophet Adam in India
Some Islamic sources mention that the Prophet Adam first set his foot on the land of India in Serendip, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that was a part of India.
A narration says:
(Adam was sent down in India and Eve at Jaddah. Then he came in her search and reached Jam’a (in Saudi Arab); then Eve came near to him, so the place became known as al-Muzdalifah, and they had come together at Jam’a so it was known as Jam’a.)(3)
In addition, there are some references in Hindu scriptures that narrate stories regarding the first human being with different names.
The existence of Adam’s foot on a rock on a mountain in Sri Lanka is famous for more than a thousand years. There is also a bridge between India and Sri Lanka, which is said to have been built by Adam, (peace be upon him). This also attests the landing of the Prophet Adam in India
The Prophet Adam in Hindu Scripture
One of the Hindu scriptures says:
“Adam and Eve took birth from Vishnu’s (God’s) mud. In the Eastern part of the Paradise, Parmeshwar (God) had constructed a big and beautiful forest spreading over an expanse of 4 Kos (eight miles). Adam’s impatience to see his wife led him to see Eve under the forbidden tree. At once Satan appeared there in the guise of a snake. This cunning enemy cheated Adam and Eve, made them violates the commandment of Vishnu (One of attribute of God), and the husband took the forbidden fruit that led both of them to this terrestrial universe. Both of them sustained by means of the leaves of the wild fig. Subsequently a number of children were born to them, and all of them were called Malechh. Adam lived for 930 years”. (4)
Matasya Puran describes in allegorical term that Brahma made two parts of his body and formed two person – one part formed was male known as Svayambhuva Manu and other part formed was female by name Shatarupa. (5)
Who is the First Human being in Vedas?
Rigveda says in this regard:
“All are progeny (children) of Manu.” [Rigveda 1:45:1]
And the Glorious Qur’an says:
“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs.”[An-Nisaa:1]
Qur’an states that messenger or prophet was sent to every nation and every community. Qur’an mentions 25 prophets by name. The Holy Qur’an clearly states that there are prophets and messengers who were not mentioned in the Qur’an. The Qur’an says:
(And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you.) (Ghafir:78)
It is not possible that Qur’an will mention name and details of each of hundreds of thousands of prophets, Qur’an is mainly book of guidance and by mentioning 25 prophets Qur’an guides us for this world. Surely, every community and nation was bestowed with prophet. The prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was sent to India.
Is Islam a New Religion?
Many people have the notion that Islam is a religion “founded” by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 1400 years back. Nowhere Qur’an claims that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the founder of any religion nor God says that through Qur’an any new religion came into existence. God clears that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of prophets (Last prophet). And that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not given any new religion rather the same old age religion of God that was previously given to all prophets.
Pure Divine Message is the Faith of All Prophets
The religion of all prophets and messengers over time is represented in the message of Islam. The Qur’an says:
“He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].” [Shura 42:13]
As per Islamic belief, there has been Prophet and messenger of God in various places in different era and all of them taught and propagated the same religion of God. This religion is called “Islam” in Arabic language and which is based on pure monotheism and lofty moral principles.
Were Hindus in India without Prophet?
All theist communities – those who believe in religion and existence of God – associate themselves with their Prophet. Even though the belief regarding their prophet is distorted, yet they know him-at least.
If you ask a common Hindu; what is the God’s word in Hinduism? Most of them will say Bhagwad Geeta or Ramayana or Mahabharata. But you have to remind them that these all are human written books; only Vedas are claimed to be God’s word in Hinduism. Vedas are considered ishwani (God’s word) or aupaurishya i.e. divine. Though every Hindu loves Ram, Krishna most but he does not attribute Vedas being revealed to any of them. If Vedas are God’s word then there must be someone on whom it was revealed. Our country has lost its prophet in mythological stories. The first recipient of Vedas was the messenger on whom the book was revealed.
Allah has mentioned that for every community a prophet was sent.
a. “For every Qaum (nation or community) there has been a warner.” [Surah Fatir 35:24]
b. “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community) a Messenger.” [Surah Namal 16:36]
It will be highly surprising that no prophet was sent to India which happens to be one of the important cradles of human civilization. Definitely, some Prophet would have come to this country India among Hindu masses. May be that Prophet is lost into mythological stories.
After we admit that the land of India was the first place where the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) set his foot and he was a messenger from God and received the revelation and the message, it is possible that the remnants of his teachings were present in the Hindu scriptures such as the four Vedas. It is not surprising that the messages of ancient Prophets and messengers, however, they have been distorted and changed such as the Torah and the Bible.
(1) A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C-4 p.99
(3) See: Subhatul Murjan Fi Aasar e hundustan, by Sayyid Ghulam Ali Azad Al-Belgirami, p.5.
(4) पवित्र वेद और इस्लाम धर्म, लेखक: क्यू. एस. खान. पृष्ठ ७.
(5) See Hanuman Prasad Potdar, Ram Charit Manas.(Gita press Gorakhpur, Ed. 15,) P. 154 and Kh. Hassan Nizami Dehlwi, Hindu MazhabKi Ma’lumat (Halqa Mashaikh, Delhi edition, 20 December, 1927) P. 6.
tags: adam / avtar / ceylon / earth / eve / hawwa / hinduism / islam / muni / paradise / rishi / sadhu / serendip / shatarupa / sri-lanka / svayambhuva /
title: Funeral in Islam and Hinduism (1/3),
By Editorial Staff
All religions have traditional ways of dealing with death, and the traditions in Hinduism and Islam reflect each religion’s beliefs.
Hindu and Muslim communities often live side by side, but their religious beliefs and rituals, including funeral customs, are very different.
In Hindu and Muslim traditions, the body of the deceased is washed soon after death. None of the two religions traditionally embalm or preserves the remains of the deceased, so funerals often occur within one to two days of death. For Muslim funerals, the remains are wrapped in a white cotton shroud, while Hindus may put flowers and special beads called malas around the deceased’s neck and place other symbolic items with the body.(1)
Animal dead bodies: A gift to the nature
However, in the animal kingdom a dead body arouses no feelings of fear or repulsion. In most cases, it is looked upon as a generous gift of nature, of which the fullest advantage is to be taken.It is difficult to appreciate how vast a number of birds, beasts and insects inhabit the fields and woods, and we may well ask ourselves the question “What becomes of their dead?” In a day’s search, we may not find among all the teaming wild population a single stiffened body, or one bright eye glazed in death.(2)
There is no problem with the dead bodies of animals and birds on this earth. However, the problem is with the human dead bodies that are thrown in the rivers or half-burnt human dead bodies that are scattered here and there on the banks of Ganges and are devoured by the dogs.
Different nations and disposal of dead bodies
Many ancient nations, however, purposely exposed their dead to the predatory instinct of animals. For instance, the Cyrenians abandoned their dead to wild dogs. The ancient Ethiopians threw their dead into the water to be devoured by aquatic animals. The Parsees (Persians), as far back as 400 B.C. and for an untraced time previously, exposed their deceased friends upon high gratings to feed birds of prey, and such towers of silence are in use up to the present day.
In India, they are accustomed to carrying the body to the top of a hill and place it upon a stone slab, returning for it in order to bury it when the bones are picked clean. Disturbances have frequently taken place recently between the Hindus and Parsees owing to this practice, for the vultures and other birds often let fall portions of the dead body during their flight into the gardens of the Hindus.
Hindus often expose their dead by the banks of their sacred river to the attacks of the river monsters; some of them even, when fuel is scarce, cast the partly burnt body into the Hooghly. Some Indian tribes also remove the dead out of sight to spots in the bush, where they are devoured by wild beasts. (3)
Burning the human dead body in Hinduism
Cremation is preferred in Hinduism, but a minority of Hindus chooses burial instead, and infants are always buried
rather than cremated. In India, Hindu funerals traditionally occur at the cremation site on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. A Hindu priest and the eldest son of the deceased preside over the ceremony, making offerings and saying Vedic prayers before lighting the funeral pyre. In other countries, this service may occur at a crematorium. Historically, Hindu women do not attend cremations, but this is changing in modern times.(4)
Whatever may be said for burial or cremation as a method of disposing of human dead bodies, frequent controversy on the subject has been the means of inducing people to give some thought to the whole matter of funeral reform.
Burning the dead a funeral ritual in Hinduism
However, Hinduism has the tradition of burning the human dead body since the ancient times. There are some references in Hindu scriptures to the issue of cremation. The Yajur Veda says in this regard: “The human body’s relationship with the rest of mankind continues until his dead body is burnt.”(5)
The cremation of dead body of a Hindu became known for the people of the world. As well as, some Hindu writers have written articles on this subject and defended the ritual with references from the ancient Hindu scriptures that show the practice of burning the dead as a unanimous and accepted tradition amongst the Hindus.
In Hinduism, holy men, women, children and the young girl are buried and not burnt as well as a person with leprosy disease or who died from snake bite are also buried.(6)
Throwing the dead body in river in India
Throwing the corpses in river in India is a common practice. This method is popular especially amongst the Hindus who live on the banks of Ganges because they believe that throwing the dead body in the blessed river is a cause of salvation for the soul of the deceased person.(7)
Aghori Ascetics and human dead bodies
It is worth mentioning that some Hindu ascetics called “Aghuri” wait for the arrival of human dead bodies on the banks of the river and when they see any dead body floating immediately they pick it up and carry it to their tent, cut it in pieces and roast them on the fire and eat. There are videos of this kind on YouTube that are really horrible and disgusting.
In addition to that, throwing the dead bodies in the water leads to water pollution across the river, which is harmful to human health and aquatic animals; rather this practice spoils the entire environment. There are pictures and videos on the Internet that show the half-burned human bodies lying on the banks of rivers in different states of India, not only Ganges river. Also Hindus, in general, burn their dead bodies on the banks of the rivers.
Burning a widow alive in India
Additionally, burning a widow alive in India was a common practice before the new era, and this kind of saddening incidents was seen as late as the year 1829, when “suttee” was abolished. Till that time, the Hindu widow voluntarily perished in the flames of the funeral pyre at the death of her husband. Once, a widow was led to where her husband’s body was already being consumed by the fire. Scorched by the fierce heat of the flames, her courage forsook her, and the poor creature ran back and threw herself into a pool of water, from which she was dragged again to meet her fate. Three times she tore herself away and fled.
If there is no mercy for the poor, weak and helpless widowو then how can we expect any honorable treatment for a dead body?
We do not find perfect information on the exact beginning of the burning the dead bodies. However, we find in the divine scriptures some important statements on the beginning of burying the human dead bodies. In the light of the sacred texts, we can conclude that the tradition of burying the human dead body is as old as the existence of humanity itself on the face of this earth.
The first burial in human history
It is interesting to know the concept of burying the dead that was first taught by a crow as was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an. The first human being according to Islamic and other divine traditions was the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and his son Habeel was the first murdered human being on this earth.
Habeel (Abel( the son of Adam fell victim of envy and jealousy of his brother Qabeel (Cain). Before him, human history never knew a problem as to the disposal of human dead body. Perhaps, it is not surprising that human history begins with the death of Habeel. It was an indication that a long conflict between good and evil will continue on this earth for the same reasons of the first crime; envy and jealousy. We heard our elders saying that the root-cause of any corruption or murder on this earth is one of three that begin with Z: Zan (Woman), Zar (money) Zamin (land).
The details of the story of Habeel and Qabeel are well known. It is worth mentioning that when Qabeel killed his brother he became confused and perplexed as how to get rid of the corpse or dead body of his brother. The murder was weird and the first of its kind in the human history; no human dead body was seen on this globe and the first grave was dug for the disposal of human dead body. The divine mercy intended to show him the best way to deal with human dead body. Qabeel was reluctant; will he bury the corpse? Will he burn it? Will he leave it for the beasts to eat it?
The Glorious Qur’an has mentioned the story in brief.
And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers. Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful. (Al-Ma’idah 5:29-31)
Crow as a teacher of human being
It is said in the interpretation of the above-mentioned verse that Allah (Glory be to Him) sent two crows that began fighting with each other and the fighting ended on the death of one of the two crows, the killer crow dug the earth with its talons and beak pushing the dead body of the crow into the excavation pouring down the dust upon it until the corpse of the dead crow was buried under the soil while Qabeel was seeing the whole scene in order to apply the same on the corpse of his brother.
This is about the first burial in human history as was stated in the Glorious Qur’an and its commentaries and Hadiths.
It is also notable that the Pharaohs of Egypt used to embalm the dead bodies and bury in boxes in the pyramids.
(1) http://people.opposingviews.com/comparison-between-hindu-funeral-islamic-funeral-4148.html (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
(2) Funeral Customs, Bertram S. Puckle, T.WERNER LAURIE LTD. 30 NEW BRIDGE STREET, EC 4 1926, p.209.
(3) William Eassie, C.E. Cremation of the dead; its history and bearings upon public health, Smith Elder and company, 15 Waterloo Place 1875, p. 25.
(4) http://people.opposingviews.com/comparison-between-hindu-funeral-islamic-funeral-4148.html (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
(5) Pandit Lekhram, Kulliyat e Arya Musafir, Mufid `Aam, Lahore, 1903, p. 176.
(6) https://scienceurdu.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/taboo-rituals-ممنوعہ-رسومات/ (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
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title: What Is Hajj?,
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.
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: Bhagavad Gita and Islam,
Bhagavath Gita is an ancient Indian religious scripture. The word Bhagavad Gita means “Songs of God” similar to Psalms of the Old Testament books. Bhagavath Gita is influenced by the book of Psalms because the Kingdom of Solomon (Prophet Sulayman, peace be upon him) extended across the whole earth. It was the major book for guidance in the Kingdom of Solomon.
In addition, there is a third Veda among Hindu scriptures, which is known as “Sama Veda” actually singing hymns, and Bhagavad Gita directly mentions about Sama Veda in Vibhuti Yoga.
Indian sages composed many books, perhaps, based on the teaching of some ancient Prophets. Later, as other books were altered, there were some additions that were added to these books, but by spiritual support one can understand the truth in all those books.
Bhagavad Gita and Submission to the Will of God
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 verse 15 says: “The immoral, the foolish and the lower levels of humanity, do not surrender unto Me; their discrimination degraded by the illusionary energy, they betake the nature of demoniac.”
Comments: Complete submission is necessary or one must strive to remind himself of complete submission, avoiding all evil ways and isolating from evil people.
When Krishna through the author Sage Vyasa speaks on the Eternal Laws of God (Shari`ah of Allah or Sanathan Dharma), some people foolishly think that Krishna was speaking about himself to worship him, just as people misunderstand the words of Christ (peace be upon him) as his own words and taken him as god, but Christ and Krishna were speaking the words of God the Almighty which were revealed to them.
For example, when a Prophet came to the people and said: “Worship God Alone, God has sent me to teach you religion”, and when he explained the words of God directly, people, generation after generation, took him as God and worshipped him instead of worshiping the One Who Sent him to teach the divine message.
Bhagavath Gita in Chapter 7 Verse 15 recommands submission to God, and explains those who do not submit themselves to Him. “Four kinds of people do not surrender unto me—those ignorant of knowledge, those who lazily follow their lower nature though capable of knowing me, those with deluded intellect, and those with a demoniac nature.”
And Islam in Arabic means (submission/surrender to the Will of God) that requires to turn away from Demons (Devils).
The Glorious Qur’an says:
O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. (Al-Baqarah 2:208)
Quality of God in Bhagavad Gita and Islam
According to Bhagavath Gita, God is Unmanifest, Unborn, and never begotten. Bhagavath Gita Chapter 7 Verse 24 says: “Unable to comprehend my imperishable, exalted and supreme state of being; the spiritually deficient regard Me, the unmanifested coming into existence.”
Comments: God is Unborn and not-Begotten,
God never dies, all honor and glory to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent. (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)
In addition, Bhagavath Gita Chapter 7 verse 25 says: “I am not manifest to everyone, being veiled by My illusory potency in the external energy. The ignorant in this world cannot understand Me, the unborn and imperishable”.
Comments: If God has manifested as a man or ghostly spirit, then everyone from the creations would have seen him and known him. For example, if a person who lives among people is God, then both righteous and sinners have seen God, both devils and unrighteous could see God and certainly in the Vision of God there is Salvation.
So people making pious sages and Prophets as God is certainly a form of wickedness and lawlessness, and lawlessness is the work of Satan, Lawlessness is deception. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of display of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie.
Faith and Good Deeds in Bhagavad Gita and Islam
Good deeds without faith and not in accordance with the divine laws and comments are in vain, as Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 40 says: “But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God’s consciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.”
Furthermore, Bhagavath Gita , Chapter 17:28 says: “O Arjuna, offering oblations, enacting charity, austerities and anything else performed without faith is declared as counter productive; not in this world, nor in the next.”
In addition, Bhagavath Gita Chapter 18 Verse 30 says: “O Son of Prtha, that understanding by which one knows what ought to be done, and what ought not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared , what is binding and what is liberating, is in the mode of goodness.”
Comments: The Last Revealed Scripture is the Qur’an which means everyone has to follow its message and instructions completely with his whole heart. One must follow the Laws and Commands and perform the good deeds according to the prescribed ways. At least; one’s “Intentions” (niyyah) must be sincerely for the sake of Only God and in the correct faith as taught by the prophets and sages!
Bhagavath Gita Chapter 18 Verse 30 explains the three religious knowledge, notably, `Aqeedah (Theology/Faith), (Fiqh) Jurisprudence and Akhlaq (moral values).
For example what to be done and what not to be done is the knowledge of Jurisprudence/Fiqh (Shari`ah/laws). What to be feared and what not to be feared is related to the belief and faith.
When calamity strikes him, a believer recites: Inna Lillah wa Inna ilaihi Raji`un, we are from Allah and to Him we will return. (Al-Baqarah 2:158)
“There is no authority and power without Allah’s Will.
The Knowledge of liberating and binding related to the knowledge of purification of the heart is tazkiyah and akhlaq.
So the straight path has always been with divine laws, correct faith and spiritual purification (Fiqh/`aqeedah and akhlaq or Jurisprudence, theology and Ethical values).
About those who do not attain God consciousness, the Qur’an:
Satan has mastered them and caused them to forget the Remembrance of Allah. Those are satan’s party; and satan’s party shall assuredly be the losers. (Al-Mujadalah 58:19)
In addition, the Glorious Qur’an says:
Whosoever blinds himself from the Remembrance of the Merciful, We shall assign for him a evil satan who will be his (ever misleading) companion. (Al-Zukhruf 43: 36)
Furthermore, Allah the Almighty says in the Glorious Qur’an:
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (Aal `Imran 3:85)
And Bhagavath Gita 4:40 says: “If a person is ignorant of the Knowledge of God, the person who lacks faith in God and the one who is full of doubts in his own self, will undoubtedly be destroyed. If one has doubts, he can never achieve peace and Bliss in the world, nor in the after-world.”
And Bhagavad Gita in 17:28 says:” Anything done as sacrifice, charity or penance without faith in the Supreme, O son of Pṛthā, is impermanent. It is called asat and is useless both in this life and the next.”
And the Glorious Qur’an says:
Say, “Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, Creator of the heavens and the earth, while it is He who feeds and is not fed?” Say, [O Muhammad], “Indeed, I have been commanded to be the first [among you] who submit [to Allah] and [was commanded], ‘Do not ever be of the polytheists.’ (Al-An`am 6:14)
Nevertheless, we would like to point that the divine or holy scriptures in other religions of the world include some remnants of the teachings of divine message, but we cannot rely upon them as we can rely on the Glorious Qur’an. This is because the holy scriptures in other religions have been mixed up, changed, altered and distorted, also their chain of transmission is broken and unauthentic.
The transmission of the Glorious Qur’an and blessed traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), has continuous chains to the Prophet (peace be upon him). If the sages, prophets and spiritual leaders of other religions were alive in the time of the Last and Final Messenger of Allah, they would have followed his message. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Verily I have brought to you a manifest, clear (clear as milk) religion. And if Mose (peace be upon him) were alive, he would not have a choice but to follow me.”
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title: Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (1/4),
By Editorial Staff
The subject of sexuality is an interesting religious, philosophical and social issue. Our site always tries to explore and introduce some new aspects of similarities and differences between Hinduism and Islam. This article tackles many issues such as: permissible sex, prohibited sex, marriage, polygamy, sexual intercourse during the menstruation and puerperal bleeding, definition of adultery in Hinduism and Islam, forbidden ways of sex with wife, etc. This will be presented in the light of sacred texts in Islam and Hinduism. We hope that these lines will be useful for Muslims interested in the study of Hinduism and Hindus interested in the study of Islam and for the lovers of philosophy, religion and culture in general.
Sexual Instinct in Animal Kingdom
Sex is a common instinct between human beings and animals. According to the general observation, majority of the animal kingdom is based on the system of reproduction for its offspring through sexual activity. Some of them are based on the natural system of pregnancy and begetting system like; cow, goat and sheep. However, bats are birds but they are amongst the mammals not amphibians. Furthermore, the system of reproduction in some animals is based on the natural system of egg and chicken. Perhaps, most of the animals feel pleasure and happiness when they have sex and both, male and female, are driven by their natural instinct to meet. However, some animals do not accept more than one in its female partner in one time like the lion. Many of them accept more than one in its partner, like pigs.
Sexual Difference between Human beings and Animals
Animals in general do not tend to abnormal sex methods such as homosexuality and other forms of sexual activity. In fact, purposely abnormal or unnatural sex is rare in animal kingdom, or naturally they are not interested in abnormal sex. In most cases, the animals are motivated for sex in definite periods or specific seasons for breeding or reproduction and one male can have sex with many female animals of its kind irrespective of its mother or daughter as can be seen in the species of goat, cow, horse, etc. Most animals do not have sex only for sex; rather, they have sex in the natural seasons for reproduction. However, human beings are the only known creature whom Allah the Almighty has given absolute will for good and evil; including sexual activities. On the other hand, the angels were created on the nature of obedience for Allah the Almighty and they are free from lusts, hunger, thirst and other natural needs according to Islamic belief.
Adam and (Eve) Hawwa’ or the First Human Beings
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) are the first human beings who were created by the power of Allah the Almighty without prior example. Adam was created from clay and after that Hawwa’ was created from one of the ribs of Adam according to one opinion in Islam. Another opinion is that Hawwa’ was not created from the ribs of Adam; rather, she was created separately and independently like Adam (peace be upon him). And both of them were attracted to each other and exercised sexual intercourse and the human generation began spreading on the globe. The story of Adam and Hawwa’ was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah.
Ancient Marriage System and Abel and Cain
The tradition of marriage during the dawn of human history was different from the marriage system now. It has been stated in Islamic sources that Eve, the first woman on the earth, gave birth in every pregnancy twin; male and female. It was the law of that period that the male of one pregnancy married the female of another pregnancy. It was prohibited to marry the female of same pregnancy. In other words, the male twin was not allowed to marry his own female twin but the twin of another birth. Abel and Cain were sons of the first man on this earth and the first Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Cain was born with a beautiful twin sister, and Abel was born with a twin sister less in beauty. So Cain was not happy to marry the twin of Abel and wanted to marry his own twin sister. The story ended on the murder of Abel at the hand of his brother Cain. For more detail, the books of interpretation and translations of the meanings of the Quran in English with comments can be referred. (Al-Ma’idah 5:27)
Is Sexual Instinct Good or Bad?
The sexual instinct according to Islam is not good or evil in itself, but its goodness or evilness lies in its use. We can liken it to a knife which is not good or evil in itself, but both qualities lie in the usages. If a fruit is cut with the knife to eat, then no doubt that it is a good thing and there is no objection for this use. But if the knife is used to kill an innocent, then it is surely an evil. If you defended yourself with the knife against an enemy or predatory animal, then it is also good and beneficial and there is no blame in using the knife for this or for similar good purposes. The instinct of sex and lust is like the knife. If a person uses sexual power to satisfy the sexual thirst of his wife and to please her or to get a good offspring through a legitimate marriage, then it is good. This kind of good deeds deserves human reward before a reward from God as well as he gets good reputation among the people. Such righteous person will be recognized by his good character and nice behavior regardless of his faith and belief. But if a person uses the instinct of sex in the forbidden intercourse, illicit sex, rape, adultery, molestation, or in abnormal sexual activities, this undoubtedly is a bad use of this instinct. Such actions cause social destruction and create an atmosphere of enmity between individuals and families leading to anger of Allah the Almighty. Such persons are regarded as mean and ugly and deserve bad reputation from the people before the anger of Allah the Almighty. These facts about the sexuality are evident and intuitive in most of the world’s human societies; in India, China, the Arabs, non-Arabs, the East, the West, Islamic, non-Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain or other communities. Because there are some religious facts those are general human truths, such as goodness of honesty and truthfulness and the ugliness of lying and deceit. And the same is in the case of adultery and illegitimate sexual intercourse. These facts are obvious, clear and plain and they are ingrained in the nature of the people.
Marriage: A Legal Bond for the Legitimate Sex
In most religions in the world, including Hinduism and Islam, marriage is a sacred contract and a true path to the legitimate sexual intercourse between man and woman. Marriage issues are mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith in detail. Through the marriage agreement each spouse is allowed to enjoy other’s body freely, weather with the intention of offspring or only for enjoyment. This subject has been dealt with in the Glorious Qur’an and the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in clear words. Allah the Almighty says in the description of marriage bond between spouses: “It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:187)
Why Are the Spouses Described as Dress in Qur’an?
In the above-mentioned verse, the description of dress is a metaphor for the spouse because both of them protect and cover each other from any sort of harm and abomination, as the dress protects the body from the heat and cold and covers the private parts from being exposed to others. The style of expression in the Glorious Quran for this meaning has a high level of figurative method and a lofty genre of simile. Because sex, intercourse or lusts are words a normal man and woman feels ashamed when pronouncing them. Therefore, the words of the Glorious Qur’an are very nice, when described that intimate relationship in a pleasant and metaphor that suites to high taste. Furthermore, Allah the Almighty says: Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers. (Al-Baqarah 2:223) According to Islam, the spouses are allowed to enjoy each other sexually and there is objection in that. Regarding the carnal desire, the husband and wife have to avoid what has been declared forbidden in the Qur’an or in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as sexual intercourse in wife’s back (or anal), which is a major sin in Islam, and sexual intercourse in wife’s vagina during her bleeding whether menstruation or after child birth. Allah the Almighty says: And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. (Al-Baqarah 2:222) Except the above-mentioned prohibited forms of sexuality, the wife and the husband have full freedom to enjoy each other in the framework of approval and not harming any party.
To be continued……
tags: arsa-vivaha / asura-vivaha / brahma-vivaha / daiva-vivaha / divorce / divorcee / dress-code / equality-of-woman / equity / gandharva-vivahaa / hijab / hindu-widows / hinduism / islam / islamic-law / 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: The Quran and Gita: Similar?,
By Editorial Staff
In this video, a Muslim research scholar who got Ph.D. in Sanskrit language and ancient Indian scriptures, tried to comprehend the universal message for the humanity in Vedas, Upanishad and Bhagawad Geeta. He explored through his extensive study the necessary teachings in the early Hindu sacred scriptures without which a person does not deserve the title of human-being.
What is Sanatan Dharma?
The scholar tried to explain the eternal religious truth or the Sanatan Dharma through the intuitive law of mathematics that is a universal fact. Like 2+2=4 is a universal fact. Everyone, whether in Arabic, Sanskrit, English or German, in Kalkatta or England realizes that 2+2=4; similarly the eternal reality or Sanatan Dharma is a Universal fact and one.
Why Hatred between Hindus and Muslims?
The question is: Why is there an atmosphere of hatred between Hindus and Muslims especially in this era? Why is violence committed against each other? What is the basic reason or root-cause for this phenomenon in Indian society?
The reason for this enmity through the point of view of the speaker is the ignorance of Muslims about the original Hindu creed, faith and the tradition and the ignorance of Hindus about Islamic culture on its true face on the other hand. The lack of knowledge about each other or, in other words, ignorance of the culture of the other is the basic source of hatred. Elimination of the feelings of hatred is possible only through the elimination of ignorance. The more we know the other, the more the hatred will decline and disappear. If we really want a stable society for us, we have to spread the light of knowledge and eliminate the darkness of ignorance.
Bhagavad Gita and the Quran
The Glorious Quran has declared clearly that the Last and Final Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not bring a new message rather he was sent by Allah the Almighty with the previous divine message that was forgotten and altered due to the countless centuries of gap.
The message of the previous Prophets, Messengers, Rishis, and Munis was refreshed, renovated and rebuilt by Allah the Almighty at the hand of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to the speaker, the same fact has been expressed in some verses of the Bhagavad Geeta (is it Gita or Geeta?).
The Bhagavad Gita says in this connection:
“Lord Krishna said: I taught this Karma-Yoga, the eternal science of right action, to King Vivasvan. Vivasvan taught it to Manu; Manu taught it to Ikshvaku. Thus, the saintly Kings knew this science of proper action (Karma-Yoga), handed down in succession. After a long time, this science was lost from this earth. Today, I have described the same ancient science to you because you are my sincere devotee and friend. This science is a supreme secret indeed.” (4.01-03)
Only One God in the Quran and Geeta
Also, there is a verse in the Glorious Quran that quotes the supplication of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) who prayed saying:
“Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.” (Al-An`am 6:79)
In this regard the Bhagavad Gita says:
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (Gita 18:66)
The doctor says that the essential fact is similar in both texts though there is a huge time gap between both scriptures.
Libration from Re-birth in Bhagavad Geeta
It is well known that Islam rejects the philosophy of re-birth according to the Hindu belief, but that does not mean that Islam believes in the pure nothingness of nonexistence of human-being after death, as atheists believe.
In fact, punishment and reward after death and resurrection is one of the essential Islamic beliefs. Islam recognizes that the human being is a combination of soul and body. But mankind after the separation of soul does not return to this world again as Hinduism believes. But there are two types of punishment and reward for the mankind; one is individual wherein everyone gets the reward or punishment according to his deeds after his death until the doomsday and then there will be a collective, general and comprehensive reward and punishment after the doomsday and the creation will be restored again. Thus, Muslims do not believe in the philosophy of re-birth.
Even in Bhagavad Geeta, there is a verse that points to the idea of libration from the cycle of re-birth and the moksha can be achieved through remembrance of Allah the Almighty.
The Bhagavad Geeta, Adhyaya 8, Shloka 13 says: (Shrikrushna says): The one who dies while chanting ‘Om’ and remembering Me is elevated to a very high level after death.
In addition, another verse says: (Shrikrushna says): There is no doubt that the one who remembers Me while dying reaches me. (Bhagavad Geeta, Adhyaya 8, Shloka 5)
Moreover, another verse of Geeta says: The dwellers of all the worlds-below the domain of Brahma-are subject to the miseries of repeated birth and death. But after attaining Me, O Arjuna, one does not take birth again. (8.16).
These verses show clearly that there is no re-birth for the righteous people who always remember Allah the Almighty even when they are departing from this world.
Is Namaz (prayer) a Sanskrit Word?
The speaker also proves that the word Namaz for prayer in Urdu language is originally from Sanskrit that came to Urdu through Persian. The Sanskrit word namah refers to worship, to praise or to devote. Thus, namaz is a modified form according to linguistic requirements and nature.
Note: Some parts of this video show the head of the lady who conducted the dialogue uncovered and we apologize for that, because Islam orders women to cover their heads and hair in front of strangers.
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title: Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (2/4),
By Editorial Staff
Permissible Sex: Worthy of Reward in Islam
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.
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…
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title: Funeral in Islam and Hinduism (3/3),
Burial and Environment
In the previous parts of this article, Part 1 and Part 2 on funeral rituals, advantages of the burial and disadvantages of burning the dead body were mentioned briefly. Now, we would like to quote here some modern non-Muslim experts in the field of disposal of the dead bodies who are keen and eager to preserve the environment from pollution.
Some of those experts suggested that the dead body should be placed in a large jar filled with sand, soil and water, and then a plant or seed should be planted on the mouth of the jar so that the roots of the tree can absorb the remains of the body and can convert them into food for trees.
Thus, people can choose what tree or plant they want to be after they die. It is noteworthy that most Muslim graveyards are located in the open fields outside the city and the graveyards are full of trees, grasses and other natural plants that absorb through their roots the toxins of the decaying body in the grave and converts them into oxygen.
Modern Science Supports the Burial Method
This Italian method (The Capsula Mundi project) of burial has been invented and developed in Italy. The method is similar to burial on Islamic way as it appears clearly from the pictures.
This is an idea captured perfectly by this beautiful new burial method developed in Italy. The Capsula Mundi project by designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel has developed an organic, biodegradable burial capsule that will turn the deceased’s body into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of their remains.1
After being encapsulated in the fetal position, the deceased is buried and either a tree or tree seed is planted above their capsule. The project’s site already has a number of trees to choose from.2
Thus, the burial ground turns into more fertile land and the Muslim graveyards become a green territory that produces fresh air.
Burial is pretty much the standard way that most humans have been burying each other since a long period. As the body decomposes, it can release nutrients to the soil.3
This is the opinion of experts regarding burial who concluded that the burial method is suitable for the environment and nature. The difference between burial in the Islamic tradition and the Italian one is that they place the dead body on sitting position in a large jar; however, Muslims put the dead body lying down straight on the back in a grave.
There is no doubt that the dead body in a cooked earthen jar will take time longer for decomposition than the period of decomposition in natural earthen grave.
Mushroom food from the dead body
In order to expedite your body’s decomposition, you may want to invest in the Infinity Burial Suit. The death suit has mushroom spores embroidered into the fabric. An alternative embalming fluid is used after death, which helps facilitate mushroom growth. Not only does this have the benefits of biodegradable coffins, but it actually takes it a step further by purifying the soil from the toxins already in your body. As the body decomposes, the mushrooms take up the preservatives, mercury, lead, and other toxins that have accumulated over a lifetime. Those toxins then become fixed in the mushroom and are not left to pollute the soil. In 2011, the suit’s inventor Jae Rhim Lee gave a TED Talk and explained the suit in detail.4
Islamic ruling on re-usage of the old graves
It is important to note here that Islam permits reuse of old graves for the new burials specially when the previous body has disintegrated and turned into dust after a long period of its burial. This is an important ruling in this regard that was stated by many Muslim jurists in their books.
The Famous Hanafi jurist Az-Zayla`i (may Allah have mercy on him) says: “When the dead body becomes ragged and turns into dust; then it is permissible to bury another dead body in that grave and it is also permissible to cultivate and grow plants and build on it, and all types of utilizations are permissible.”5
A legal ruling was issued by the Fatwa Centre, Jordan on the issue of re-use of an old graveyard in (`Ain Jana). The Fatwa says: “The graveyard (mentioned in the question) is old, and no one was buried in it since 1933. So there is no problem according to the Islamic Shari`ah in using the graveyard again, to bury the new dead bodies if the remaining bones of the previous one were treated with respect and honor and were put in an appropriate place and the remnant should be put at the end of the grave at sides of the grave.”
Modern science has discovered that the period of decomposition of the body is one year, but the bones need a longer period for the decadence.
A study on the issue of reuse of the old Muslim graveyard for new burials recommended the following:
1- It is the duty of the state to secure and provide appropriate land for the burial.
2- The state has to pass laws preventing people from building on the graves so they can be used for burial for second and third times.
3- The state should grow trees and plants on the graveyards.
The problem of the graveyards in the cities
During the preparation of this research, I came to read a study carried out by the BBC on the problem of burial in Greece. The study shows that the disposal of human dead bodies is a big problem in this country.
“Cemeteries in Greek cities are so overcrowded that bodies are often only kept in the ground for three years. Then families have to pay for exhumation – and for the bones to be kept in a building known as an ossuary. But many cannot afford to pay even for this limited degree of dignity in death.”6
I think that such problems commonly emerge from the negligence and mismanagement by the body in charge. The issue is not the issue of burial or cremation. Many countries have numerous problems in traffic, sewage, birth and child, diseases, patients, hospitals. Many of these problems are due to poor management and negligence in public services. This does not mean that birth itself is an abnormal phenomenon, or illness and treatment are contradictory to the human nature. In fact, the problem of burying the dead bodies in some countries is a result of carelessness and mismanagement by the government. It is the duty of the city administration to organize the graveyards by allocating new lands out of the city limits due to the expansion of the population and the spread of urbanization.
The Hindu cremation results in many serious disadvantages on the environment and causes pollution of air. Also, burning a dead body needs a large amount of wood that leads to cutting forests and trees that contributes to air pollution. Also, the Hindu way of burning is an expensive one and unaffordable for the poor people, contrary to the way of Islamic burial that is cheap and best.
The city Varanasi is on the banks of the Ganges River, which is holy to the Hindus. According to the Hindu religion, it recommended to burn the dead body in the fire which is called Mukti “Salvation”. Both Varanasi city and the River Ganges are sacred in Hinduism. Therefore, they try to get the body burned there on the bank of the river.
That is why a complete facility for the burning of dead bodies has been made available in Varanasi on the bank of the river. There are many open crematoriums prepared for this purpose. Cremation ghat’s fire is lit ceaselessly over the whole year. An average of 300 dead bodies are burnt every day.
Hindus believe that if a person dies in Varanasi is rewarded paradise and salvaged from Hellfire. Therefore, several guardians bring their beloved ones who are close to the death hoping their death in Varanasi in order to achieve salvation.7
The method of burning the dead body adopted by the Hindus leads to many evils; we will mention here some of them briefly:
1- Burning a dead body is contrary to the dignity of human being.
2- The tradition of burning the dead body sometimes causes to leave half-burned dead bodies naked on the banks of the rivers, whether the deceased is a male or female.
3-Burning the dead body hurts people with its bad smell and smoke emanating from the corpse fire.
4-Burning the dead body causes pollution of water across the rivers in India.
5-Burning the dead body results in polluting the environment and the air through its smoke and smell.
6- Burning the dead body is too expensive for the poor Hindus because people need a large quantity of wood, moreover, some rich people prefer sandalwood for their cremation that is very expensive, while many poor people do not get a morsel of food.
7-Burning the dead body and throwing the ashes into the rivers abolish the chances of investigation in the case of crime and closes the door of inquiry if there was a felony connected with the dead body but if it was burned or was thrown into the water the chance of inquiry has missed forever. On the contrary, the burial is free from this problem and many investigations were carried out on the dead bodies buried in the graves.
8-Burning the dead body causes poisoning the fish in the rivers due to eating the human bodies.
9-In some cases, Hindus also bury their dead, such as unmarried woman, infants and Sanyasis (celibate).
10-Hindu scriptures never said that burning the dead is more environment-friendly; rather they say that fire librates the soul. But Hindu brothers began claiming that burning the dead body is a good method for disposing the dead body.
This article does not intend to invite Hindus to bury their dead as Muslims do but the intention is to uncover the truth about something important regarding the environment.
As India tried reviving the river once before, and failed. The 1985 Ganges Action Plan cost $250 million over 20 years and succeeded in treating only 35 percent.8
(1) http://www.boredpanda.com/biodegradable-burial-pod-memory-forest-capsula-mundi/ (Last accessed on 26/12/2015)
(3) http://www.iflscience.com/environment/what-do-when-youre-dead-science-edition(Last accessed on 26/12/2015).
(4) Badruddin Al-`Ayni, Al-Binyah Sharh Al-Hidayah, Dar Al-Kutub Al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2000, vol.3, p. 252.
(5) http://latest755.rssing.com/chan-14774636/all_p40.html(Last accessed on 26/12/2015).
(6) http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34920068 (Last accessed on 26/12/2015).
(7) http://www.trt.net.tr/urdu/جنوبی-ایشیا/2015/10/01/ہ-342878 (Last accessed on 26/12/2015).
(8) http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/ganges-cleanup-will-cost-tens-of-billions-of-dollars-but-is-a-great-idea/?_r=0 (Last accessed on 26/12/2015).
tags: afterlife / arya-samaj / banaras / bhag / bhoot / bhut / day-of-judgment / dayanad / death / grave / hereafter / hindu / hindu-gods / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatry / karma / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / messengers / prophethood / re-birth / reincarnation / renaissance / resurrection / samsara / sarasvati / soul / spirit / transmigration-of-the-souls / varanasi /
title: Funeral in Islam and Hinduism (2/3),
By Editorial Staff
Pyramids or the graves of Pharaohs
Much also has been written about the greatest of all earth’s burial-places (the Pyramids of Egypt) in which the Pharaohs were laid and buried but now the Pyramids have been excavated and the mummified dead bodies of ancient Pharaohs have been transformed to the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt.
The Pharaohs of Egypt intended to preserve their dead bodies, perhaps, they believed in the resurrection or returning of the souls into their dead bodies.
The treatment of the dead known as embalming was carried on by the ancient Egyptians from apparently the remotest times. They believed in the transmigration of souls, and their return in three thousand years to the same body; hence the practice.1
Burying the dead body in Judaism
Furthermore, the Jews and Christians bury their dead in the grave but Christians bury the body with the coffin. The Jews have their own ideas on the subject of the burial-places which they call “House of Life.” The family vault and putting a body to rest on a shelf are forbidden in Judaism; they do not permit to put one coffin above another in the earth. The orthodox Jews believed that the actual process of decay is a punishment of sins committed during the lifetime. We are not therefore surprised to find secret efforts often made with a view to shortening this unhappy period. The earth was placed in the coffin, and holes bored in the wood to accelerate decomposition. Perhaps as a claim to special consideration the Jews sometimes made their coffins from the boards of a table at which the poor had been fed.2
The coffin is another example of the different methods of burial in Christianity; for example, they put their dead inside the sealed coffin of wood or metal and bury the body.
After we looked at the burial traditions in different religions and civilizations in a brief manner, now we will talk in a few lines about the way of burial in Islamic jurisprudence, to clarify the difference between them in this regard.
Burial of dead body in the Glorious Qur’an
In Islam, it is obligatory for the people to bury the dead body under the earth in the grave so that no wild animals can unearth it. The burial in Islam intends to save it from the natural floods and to protect the surrounding environment from the pollution of the integrated dead bodies. There is no dispute about this issue amongst Muslims.
And this is what the verse of the Glorious Qur’an denotes:
From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time.(Taha 20:55)
The blessed verse denotes that the first human being, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), and every person was created from the earth and every person has to return to it after his death when he is buried in his grave.
And the Glorious Qur’an says: Have We not made the earth a container of the living and the dead? (Al-Murslat 77:25-26)
The nature of the Arabic text in both verses alongside the context refers to the method of disposal of the dead body of human being and burial of the body of the deceased in grave. This is the opinion of the majority of commentators and interpreters of the Glorious Qur’an.
The burial of the dead is a famous and established matter in Islam so is the issue of burning the dead in Hinduism. However, the followers of the divine religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have the tradition of burying the dead body since distant and immemorial times.
It is not permissible that one expresses his will to burn his body after his death, because burning the body in general is forbidden in Islam. Some scholars quoted in the context of the prohibition the Hadith reported by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Breaking the bone of a dead person is equal to breaking it whilst he is alive.
Furthermore, the body of a human being is sanctified in the Shari`ah, even though it may be that of a non-Muslim.(3)
Moreover, the Glorious Qur’an says:
From what substance did He create him? From a sperm-drop He created him and destined for him. Then He eased the way for him. Then He causes him to die, then assigns to him a grave. (`Abasa 80:18-21)
The apparent meaning of the last verse testifies the meaning of burial for human dead body.
Al-Tahir ibn `Ashur (may Allah have mercy on him) says in the commentary of this verse.
“This verse bears evidence that burying the dead body of human being is an obligatory duty, and not burning it with fire, as is the tradition of the infidels of India and not to throwing it to the lions or birds in open yards surrounded by walls without a roof as is the tradition of the Persian Magis and not to throwing it in the deserts as was the practice of the Arabs during the pre-Islamic days especially with the bodies of those fighters who were killed during the fight to show pride and arrogance.”4
Burying the human dead body in Islamic jurisprudence
The inherited and applied way of disposal of the human dead body is to bury it under the earth in the grave without any box or coffin. It is recommended in Islam to put the body in the grave touching the earth directly with only the grave-clothes.
There are two ways for digging the grave in Islam; the first is to dig a small cavity in the center of the grave only as wide and as long as to be enough to put the dead body in it. Then logs equal to the width of human hands are put in line until the dead body is covered and then the excavated dust of grave is poured upon it.
The second method is similar to the first except that a side excavation is dug in the wall of the grave in the direction of Ka`bah not in the centre of the grave as is done in the first method. In both methods, the logs become barrier between the dead body and the poured dust.5
It is noteworthy that the blessed and pure body of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was buried on the same way in the city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Also the bodies of other Prophets and Messengers were buried in graves around al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine. In addition to that the bodies of the Prophet’s senior companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and the bodies of our ancestors, scholars, rulers pious figures were buried the same way.
The minimum depth of the grave must be equal to the chest of a man having the medium height but the deeper the grave would be the more meritorious and praiseworthy would be in the Islamic Shari`ah.6
Environmental significance of Islamic burial
It is noteworthy that putting bricks or stone instead of log is prohibited in Islam.
Both Islamic methods of burying the dead body are environmentally friendly, healthy and helpful for the disintegration of the body and converting it into the dust very soon.
Additionally, mud bricks and logs instead of stones or cooked bricks are better and meritorious and faster in disintegrating the body parts and limbs and turning them into the dust easily and in a short period of time.
The earth has a natural quality to absorb the elements of moisture, mold and stinking of the dead body turning them into the soil as well as ground insects, sunlight, etc. helps the earth on this procedure. In addition to other qualities, the earth has the value of purifying.
It is also clear that when Islamic method of burial is compared, it is cheaper, more honorable and friendlier with nature than any other method of disposing the dead body practiced in the world.
According to the Islamic belief, the body would be resurrected on the Day of Judgment for the accountability even if the body was burnt or cremated or if a person was swallowed by a big fish or was eaten by a lion. There is nothing impossible in the power of Allah the Almighty.
1- William Eassie, C.E. Cremation of the dead; its history and bearings upon public health, Smith Elder and company, 15 Waterloo Place 1875, p. 30.
2- Funeral Customs, Bertram S. Puckle, T.WERNER LAURIE LTD. 30 NEW BRIDGE STREET, EC 4 1926, p.209.
3- Ibn `Abidin, Radd-Almuhtar, Dar `Alam Al-Kutub, Ar-Riyadh, 2003, vol. 3rd, p. 156.
4- See: al-Tahir ibn `Ashur, At-Tanweer Wat-Tahweer, Ad-Dar At-Tunisiah, Tunis, 1984, vol. 30th, p. 125.
5- See: Burhan-uddin Abul-Hasan `Ali ibn Abu-Bakr Al-Marghinani, Al-Hidayah, Idarat Al-Qur’an Wal-`Ulum Al-Islamiyyah, Karachi, Pakistan, 1996, vol.2nd, p.151.)
6- See: Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah, second edition, Al-Matba`ah Al-Amiriyyah, Bulaq, Egypt, 1892, vol.1st, p.166. This collection of Fataws was prepared by a group of Indian Muslim jurists and scholars in the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (may Allah have mercy on him).)
tags: afterlife / arya-samaj / banaras / bhag / bhoot / bhut / day-of-judgment / dayanad / death / featured / grave / hereafter / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatry / karma / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / messengers / prophethood / re-birth / renaissance / resurrection / samsara / sarasvati / soul / spirit / statues-hindu-gods / transmigration-of-souls / varanasi /
title: Who Is God?,
By Editorial Staff
God is One. God is an eternal and timeless Reality. Everything is from Him, but He is not from anything. He is the Creator of everything. He is the Sustainer of the whole universe.
“Allah Almighty is the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His command extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.”
“Say (O Muhammad!): “He is Allah, the One, Allah is the Self-Sufficient, Master, Whom all creatures need, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
(Surah al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)
Attributes of God from Qur’an
It is noteworthy that above-mentioned Surah presents a clear and lucid concept about Allah Almighty, the concept that is far from those impurities, defects and stains that were added to the faith of Monotheism across the human history. Allah is not many, He is only One, everything needs Him, He needs nothing, He is Master of all things by Himself, He was not begotten and He does not beget. He is too Exalted to begot or to be begotten. He is the Eternal and Absolute. No one and nothing is equal to Him in
Consequently, this verifies the invalidity of all sorts of godhood attributed to human beings, stone, animal, river, sun, moon, earth, fire etc. The above mentioned facts clarify the falsehood of idolatry, the worship of cows, the worship of vulva and private part of a male.
Thus, even a common person can compare between the sublime and pure principles of Islamic faith and between the descriptions and attributes of God and His divinity in Hindu scriptures. I think that even an ordinary individual does not need long thinking and deep knowledge to distinguish between the purity of Islamic faith and between the imperfections and serious flaws in the doctrines other than Islam about Allah the Almighty and His attributes.
Think! Before It’s Too Late
O my brother! Be careful and think about both beliefs and judge fairly which one is more practicable and more useful for you in this world and the Hereafter? This life is an exam and test, it is only seventy or eighty years and then everyone will die and would be held accountable for their choice and the argument would be proved against you and the chance would be missed forever.
Allah Almighty says:
“And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”
For more information about God in Hinduism, please, click here.
 Sayyid Sabiq, Al-`Aqa’id Al-Islamiyyah, pp. 50-52-53, Al-Fath Lil I`alam Al-`Arabi, Cairo, Egypt, 10th edition 2000 A.D. with modifications.
 Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Satyarth Prakash, English translation by Durga Parsad, p.311, first edition, Virjanand Press, Lahore,1908. And Abul Hasan `Ali An-Nadwi, Maza khasir al-`alam bi-inhitat al-muslimeem, p.49, Maktabat Al-Iman, Al-Mansurah, Egypt.
tags: allah / almighty / banaras / beef / bhagwan / cow-urine / dayanad / featured / gaomata / gharvapsi / god / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hindusim / india / lekhram / lord / parmatma / parmeshwar / puja / shivling / tirath / varanasi / vedas / vishnu / worship / yamuna / yatra /
title: Dharm Yuddh (Holy War) in Hinduism,
Translated by Editorial Staff
The interviewer: welcome again in our show “The word of God”, we are going to talk here with Swami Lakshami Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya ji! I welcome you again in our show; you have talked in our show on many subjects. Today we have an important topic that has a lot of conversations and disputes, an issue that creates continuous debates in our society and all over the world, that is Jihad. Now people attribute terrorism to Islam that has no relation with any religion. There are efforts to relate it to Islam directly. That has many reactions and there are many misunderstandings about this issue. It led to many wars and hundreds of thousands people were killed. We would like to benefit from your study on Islam and from your knowledge about other religions that have instructions and causes for fighting similar to Jihad. If there are words, Shlokas or something of this kind then please, explain to us so that we can clear in a comprehensive manner the misconceptions of the people abut this issue. You can explain for us in full detail.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: We should bear in our mind that the concept of Jihad is nothing new in this country (India). Before the advent of Islam, this country (India) had fought wars, I can give you an example for this that is the story of Mahabharat. Jihad means religious war, if we are eager to understand it in detail we should refer to the history of Mahabharat. When Korus oppressed Pandus, there was discussion between both parties in order to end the injustice. At last they concluded that five villages must be given to the five Pandus as well as Kirishn Ji also suggested that. The Pandus were five so they deserved five villages. Thus, the dispute will come to its end, but Yudhishtra the leader of the korus refused the suggestion and said: giving five villages is an impossible matter; rather, if you want to take even a little piece of the land as small as the threading hole then you have to fight a war or a face a battle. Therefore, if all possible means of talks and conversation fail, and when the injustice and untruth become on the peak war becomes a need. Moreover, when war becomes necessary to defend the truth, then war is a religious duty because it is used for defending the truth and justice and not for any personal gain. Likewise, when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Makkah spread the message of truth that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah. However, people could not understand the message of truth and equality. In fact, the people of Quraysh were in power and authority, so they felt pride and arrogance. They were in arrogance of power and money and due to their arrogance, their power of perception was damaged and they began opposing him. Nevertheless, the message of truth was a universal reality not a personal one, although he was opposed, and all types of injustice were exercised, assaults on him and his followers continued for a long time about thirteen years, until he and his followers were compelled to migrate from Makkah to Al-Madinah. Even after their migration, they were harassed with many kinds of harassments, some talks took place, and a treaty was signed that is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah that was breached by them. When all methods failed, there was only one method to confront the terrorism of Quraysh. In fact, the terrorism that is attributed to Islam now Islam came to fight it.
The interviewer: Yes, this is an important point.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) fought terrorism his entire life. The order of Allah came to confront the terrorism, it never was to oppose any person or religion. This was only to fight the terrorism; the intention was to fight the terrorists. No one fought terrorism as strongly as Islam fought it. The command of Allah came to fight the terrorism. Surah no. 22 and Verse no. 39 says:
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.
Those who are fought without reason have been permitted to face them because they are oppressed, religious war is based on some strict regulations. It is not permitted to fight as one wishes.
The interviewer: You mean not like what happens these days, bombs are thrown from sky randomly, and a lot of innocents; children, women, old man and women are killed, and hundreds of thousands of people are murdered. This is the method of fighting terrorism nowadays. But what was the method (of war) those days according to your study?
Lakshami Shankaracharya: The method has been explained in the Glorious Qur’an, Surah no.2 and Verse no. 190 says: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.”
So, old people, women and children would not be harmed, rather they must be protected. The war used to be fought in a regulated and disciplined manner. According to my study there were irregular wars over five or six years and there was more than one war but those who were killed or murdered during all those wars from both sides were less than one thousand. The total numbers who were killed in wars all over the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was less than one thousand. The war was very regulated and disciplined, because it was fought to protect the religion, the truth, the equality and self-defense. Therefore, according to my approach, the definition of Jihad includes every kind of effort and endeavor that is done to protect the truth, justice and to confront the terrorism and for self-defense, war is the last option in this effort.
The interviewer: When all options fail (the option of war comes).
Lakshami Shankaracharya: That is true. Please, let me complete. Nevertheless, why is Jihad mixed with the terrorism? As I have explained before, some Muslim rulers and others for their personal gains and benefits misused Jihad. You cannot use Jihad for your personal gain, but some used it for their personal use.
The interviewer: Yes, Jihad should not be used for land, power, expansion of the authority or for wealth. Jihad is only for the protection of the instructions or words of Allah, or when there are obstacles to practicing the religion then only the option of Jihad would be applied.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: Yes, of course. I have studied in history that Rana Sanga invited Babar to attack on Ibrahim Lodhi who was on the throne of Delhi. However, both Babar and Ibrahim Lodhi claimed Jihad. This was for personal gains. Such people defamed the name of Jihad for their personal benefits. This gave the historians and opponents of Islam a chance to present Islam in a bad manner.
The interviewer: What do you think about the incidents that happen in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East and America? Many things happen in the name of terrorism and Muslims are often labeled with terrorism. Those people may be purchased persons or under pressure of some party who do not have any knowledge abut Islam and who have abandoned Islam. It is also possible that they commit such crimes in order to defame Islam for their business after they were purchased. What is your opinion about this issue?
Lakshami Shankaracharya: Of course, undoubtedly, I agree.
The interviewer: They are originally not Muslims, their dress and appearance may be like Muslims, such as beard, cap, long jubbah, but when they open fire it is not under the instructions of Islam, rather, they shoot in order to defame Islam.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: Of course, undoubtedly, indeed, it is true.
The interviewer: And they are very few people.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: It is unimaginable; I cannot imagine how can a Muslim open fires or commit suicidal attack on the people who are in mosque, in prayer, in prostration? No Muslim can do that and if a person commits it cannot be a Muslim. These incidents are carried out in order to spread hatred and detestation to defame particular religion. It is well planned but it is a foolish step; it will not lead the world to its wellbeing. If we want to spread peace in the world we must stop such incidents, we should endeavor to stop it.
The interviewer: What kind of efforts should be spent? What should be done with those people? The terrorism as we talked is the crime of some radical elements of any religion, but the steps that are taken to fight (the terrorism) such as wars again the innocents are killed. So the good does not win in both cases, rather, the sin is the winner and sins are increasing; the innocents are murdered. This is not something strange in the world.
Lakshami Shankaracharya: You are telling the truth, but I believe that evil can’t defeat the good. It may appear for us for a while, or it may continue for a short time, after that it will end by itself or the time will wipe it out.
The interviewer: Swami Ji! Please, explain for us in brief in the end; the people who try to label Muslims with terrorism, how can we convince them, or who try to attribute any religion to terrorism, how can we refute their misconceptions?
Lakshami Shankaracharya: We would like to mention here what I am doing, I explain Islamic issues, but I receive threats from some Hindus, there were attempts to murder me, it was in Maharashtra, and the attempt was made in the morning and in the evening. But why they do that? The reason is the present situation as you mentioned that some people try to accuse Islam of terrorism, and I also understand that some try to defame Islam or some Muslim brothers do that who do not know about Islam any thing, and do in foolishness, due to that Hindu community that watches the attacks think that we are talking lies. So they are angry with us, their anger is natural, we do not censure them, their anger is a result of the situations that they see. So I appeal them not to see Muslims in order to understand Islam rather, they should look at Islam itself. As they are angry with me now the same I was angry with those who would try to reconcile but when I realized the reality I became satisfied that they are foolish and do not understand anything.
The interviewer: You are right, Swami Ji! We will end our talk here. Thank you very much; you gave us your time. Our audience! We end our talk here, see you again. May Allah protect you.
tags: avtar / bhagvan / bharat / buddhism / conversion / dharm-yuddh-holy-war-in-hinduism / geeta / hindi / hindu / hinduism / incarnation / india / islam / jainism / journey-of-faith / mahabharat / messenger / moses / prophets / rama / ramayn / rebirth / reversion / sarasvati / shiv / upanishad / vedas /
title: Some Philosophical Questions on Hinduism,
Non-Muslims have raised some intellectual and philosophical questions against Islam even in the era of the Prophet (peace be upon him); i.e. during the period of the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an. And Allah (Glory to Him) in many cases answered those questions in the divine revelation directly.
The Glorious Qur’an says in this connection:
And he presents for Us an example and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated? Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. (Yasin 36:78-80)
We will refer to the circumstances, context and event of the revelation of the above-mentioned blessed verses in the following lines.
Questions against the faith of resurrection during the period of revelation
It was narrated that Ubay ibn Khalaf came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) carrying in his hand obsolete and decayed bones to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then he smashed them by his hand scattering them in the air and then said in mocking style: “O Muhammad! Do you think that God will bring these decayed bones back to life? The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) answered: “Yes, God will cause your death then He will bring you back to life and He will admit you the hellfire.(1)
In addition, there are many examples of this kind of conversation and discussion in the Glorious Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah. Moreover, the Muslim scholars throughout the ages followed the same method and undertook the duty of refuting the questions and critique by the opponents of Islam; and explained the secrets and wisdom behind the Islamic doctrine, (Shari`ah) the law and the system of life in Islam. You can read in this subject the books of Ibn Qutaibah Ad-Dinawari (d. 889 A.D.), Ta’wil Mushkil Al-Qur’an and Ta’wil Mukhtalif Al-Hadith.
Additionally, there were hot debates and strong conversations between Muslims and Hindus in the Indian sub-continent throughout the history after the entrance of Muslims to India. And Muslim arguers and debaters raised some serious philosophical critiques and logical questions against Hinduism challenging Hindu spiritual leaders to give convincing answers to those questions. I am going to present here some of them in a brief manner stating that the challenge is still open for Hindu spiritual guides to answer the questions objectively.
Some challenging and logical questions on Hinduism
Who can answer the following questions? The answers are warmly welcomed.
1- According to Hindu religion, there are 84 thousand kinds of creation and the best creation on the earth is the human being. Then the question is: Why are the cow, elephant and dog worshipped by human beings, and the worshipped must be superior and better than the worshipper? It is a sort of philosophical contradiction.
2- There are 33 million Devi and Devta (gods) in Hinduism, who over millions of years managed to make only a few million people Hindu most of them are Hindu by their birth not by their choice. However, the Hindus were so weak in their faith that they accepted Islam and became Muslim by just simple efforts of Muslim preachers. When the Hindus were invited to Islam and became familiar with the Islamic message, they entered into the religion of Allah in multitudes. If the Hindu beliefs were stronger, better and more suitable than Islam, they would have never accepted Islam.
Prince Dara Shikoh (1615-1659 A.D.) says in his book Safinat ul Aouliya about Khajah Moinuddin Chishti (1141-1236): “Large numbers of non-Muslims were blessed with Islam by his auspicious invitation, even those who did not embrace Islam used to send to him treasures of gold coins of gold.”(2)
Why did the Hindu god create people in low caste and high caste?
3- Hindus believe that Brahma has created the people but the question is: why has he divided them into high and low, pure and impure, touchable and untouchable castes? Why did he make four castes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras? Is this not a racial discrimination and a clear injustice by the God?
Why does Shiva sit on a lion’s skin?
4- Shiva sits on the skin of lion as his images and paintings show. The question is: how did Shiva get this skin; is it not a sort of offence against the lion? Is it not killing of an innocent animal?
5- Hindus believe that Rama is their Lord. According to Hindu scriptures, Rama waged a war against Lanka in order to free his wife Sita. Undoubtedly, this was his personal battle and for personal cause then why has he pushed the whole society into the war?
What was the contribution of this war to the wellbeing of the common people? As Ravana was the king of Lanka since a long time and his nature was evil and Rama knew all about his vice acts why did Ram not fight him before the abduction of his wife to teach him a lesson in advance? What was the benefit of this war for the society and country?
Where was the wife of Lakshmana during the exile period?
4- When Rama went to his exile for 14 years and took with him his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana who was already married and had wife, the question is: where was Urmil the wife of Laxman during the exile period?
5- If Hinduism is many thousand years old and a divine true religion, then why has it not spread outside India? Before our modern days, there was no presence of Hinduism anywhere in the world except the Indian sub-continent whilst Islam became more popular and attracted more followers than Hinduism? What is the secret behind this?
Why did Dasaratha, the father of Rama, have four wives?
6- According to the Hindu religion, if second marriage for a man is prohibited, especially when the first wife is alive; the question is: Why had Dasaratha the father of Rama four wives? What is the justification for his marriages according to the Hindu philosophy?
7- Hindu scriptures state that once Shiva chopped the neck of his son Ganesh then he cut the head of an elephant and installed it on the neck of his son Ganesh instead of his own head.
The question is: Why did Shiva order to bring another animal’s head to put on Ganesh’s body! Why so? If he had so many powers, he could easily put back his own head? Who gave him the right to harm an innocent animal? Additionally, how can an elephant’s head match with the neck of a human baby?
Why did Rama kill an innocent deer?
8- If the meat is forbidden in the Hindu religion, then why did Rama go to haunt the golden deer?
If you say that Rama killed the golden deer for its “kasturi” (deer’s navel or the substance with a persistent odor, obtained from a gland of the male musk deer situated in its back or rectal area.) for his wife Sita then the question is: is killing an animal for kasturi permissible then why is it not permissible for its meat?
9- If Rama is God, then why did he not know that Ravana’s belly button includes elixir of life until he was informed by others? Moreover, if he would not have known the elixir of life in Ravana’s belly he never would have been able to defeat him. If he could not know such simple thing then he cannot be a god.
10- According to Hinduism, Krishna is a god, but the Hindu scriptures state that Krishna watched secretly some nude women who took bath in the river. How can such a person be a god who is worshipped by Hindus?
11- What is the wisdom behind the worship of Shiva’s penis instead of his other body parts?
Why was Khujraho regarded a temple despite the sexual images?
12- Khujraho monuments have provocative and shameful sexual images, then why was the building regarded as the temple? Do the provocative and sexual images deserve worship and devotion but the question is why?
These are some simple questions that may come into the mind of any fair researcher in Hinduism. In fact, they are objective and fair questions and the Hindu brothers are requested to give reasonable answers in an objective framework. This is not a challenge, but it is a discussion that intends to seek the opinions of other religions and philosophies for a better understanding.
(1) See: Abul-Barakat `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Mahmud An-Nasafi, Madarik At-Tanzil Wa Haqa’iq At-Taweel, Dar Al-Kalim At-Tayyib, Beirut, 1998, vol.3, 113.
(2) See: Dara Shikoh, Safinat ul Aouliya (in Persian language), Madrasah Agra Press 1853, p. 159.
tags: allah / beef / bhagwan / caste / featured / ganges / gharvapsi / god / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatory / islam / lakshmi / lord / makkah / messengers / monkey-god / paganism / parmatma / parmeshwar / polytheism / prophethood / quran / river / snake / statues-hindu-gods / vishnu / vyshyas / yamuna-arya-samaj /
title: Angels in Hinduism,
By Editorial Staff
This article tries to shed some light on the concept of angels in Hinduism. Some writers say that there is no concept of angels in Hinduism. However Hindus believe that there are certain super-beings, which perform acts, which cannot be done by normal human beings. These super-beings are worshipped as deities by some Hindus.(1)
The Numbers of Deva and Devta:
Some authorities of Hinduism assert that there are many Devi and Devtas in the Hindu belief. A Hindu writer says in this regard: “We have 33 million Devi and Devta who are considered as gods and goddesses, but I estimate that the number might be higher than this. This number is merely based on the probability not certainty. The truth is that the number of Devi and Devta in Hindu belief is unlimited and countless.”(2)
The above mentioned passage verifies that Devi and Devta in Hinduism are innumerous and they are gods. While Islam declares that the angels are a creation of Allah Almighty, however, the number of angels in Islam is untold.
Allah Almighty says:
And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. (Al-Mudaththir 74:31)
It is also noteworthy that Hinduism is based on the concept of incarnation that means God and spiritual beings manifest in bodily forms. That is why Hindus believe that even God appears in human shape and the human entity is named Avtar. This concept turns a human being into a god and the god into a human being as well. Due to this belief, it is hard to differentiate between what is divine and what is earthly, what is angel and what is devil, and what should be worshipped and what should be cursed.
In Islam, the angels are soft, spiritual and luminous beings, who were created out of light. They are not like humans, they do not eat, drink or sleep and they are free from carnal desires and lusts. They are infallible so they never commit any sin or disobedience of Allah Almighty. They can appear in human form.3
Sometimes Angel Jibril came down to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the shape of his companion Dihyah Al-Kalbi. Also the Glorious Qur’an asserts that Angel Jibril came to Maryam in the form of a young man.
Allah Almighty says:
Then We sent to her Our Ruh [angel Jibril (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects. (Maryam 19:17)
It is possible that Hindu culture had the concept of angels in its earliest time similar to the concept of angels in Islam. Perhaps, Devi and Devta were the words that denoted the angels but during the later periods of Hindu culture, the notion of angels was distorted and perverted as happened with the concept of monotheism in Hindu religion. Thus the pure and spiritual beings were worshipped by Hindus and images and statues of Deva and Devta were made.
In fact, the Hindu faith is a loose and a ductile system in the subject of worship and adoration. Who deserves worship and who does not is obscure and undefined and that led them to the worship of Devi and Devta or supernatural beings of this world while they might be synonymous with the concept of angels in Islam.
On the contrary, Islam is clear in every subject including the matter of worship. In Islam no one deserves worship or adoration whomsoever; prophets, angels, spiritual mentors, or their images, statues or idols. No one is worshipped in Islam except Allah Almighty that has neither any shape nor any form.
It is also notable that Deva in Hindi language denotes the gender of male while Devta denotes the gender of female. Most Hindus use the words Deva and Devatā interchangeably, and the feminine form of Deva is देवी (Devī). Yet there is no such gender change for the word Devatā which implies both masculine and feminine genders.(4)
If the matter of masculinity and femininity was limited to the use of such words interchangeably without believing in the presence of the real meaning of gender in the nature of these supernatural beings, there was no prohibition or objection. But the statues and idols of Devi and Devta that are found abundantly in Indian civilization indicate to the deep-rooted doctrine of masculinity and femininity in Hindu gods and Devtas.
Undoubtedly, it contradicts the concept of angels in Islam which asserts that the nature of angels is contrary to the meaning of gender. Their nature is not in a state that accepts the masculinity or femininity.
Some polytheists of Arab also believed in the female gender of angels during the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an. They regarded angels as the daughters of Allah Almighty, though they hated daughters for themselves, rather, it was seen as an insult to their dignity and social prestige. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
And they assign daughters unto Allah! – Glorified (and Exalted) is He above all that they associate with Him! And unto themselves what they desire. (An-Nahl 16:57)
And Allah Almighty says:
And they make the angels who themselves are slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) females. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned! (Az-Zukhruf 43:19)
The Literal Meaning of Deva and Devta
The word Deva has been derived from the root-word Dev that has 10 meanings; 1- to become happy
2-the will of defeating the evils
3- to deal
6-to be happy and pleased
7- to be fearful or to tremble with fear
9-beauty and charm
10-to move or to exist.(5)
These connotations do not contradict the nature of angels in Islam except the meaning listed under No. 8 or to sleep. According to the doctrine of Islam, angels do not sleep since their nature is totally different from that of humans. But if the word sleep is understood in a metaphorical style that denotes deep absorption in the remembrance of Allah because angels are always absorbed in the obedience of Allah Almighty then there is no objection from an Islamic point of view. As well as, angels are far strong who can defeat the evils. They always praise Allah Almighty and they are happy with the worship of their Lord. Also they are fearful of Allah Almighty due to their true perception and full awareness of the Dignity of their Lord. They are a beautiful creation of Allah who can move from the earth to the sky very fast.
The Worship of Deva and Devta
Dayanand Sarsati elucidates that the sun, moon and lights are not luminous by their own, they are only radiant by the help and light of Parmeshvar, so Parmeshvar is the highest Devta and He is the One Who deserves our worship.6
It is clear that Dayannd rejects any kind of worship for Deva and Devta, sun and moon making the worship for Parmeshvar only. Yet we find the worship of Deva and Devta shockingly prevalent in the Indian society.
On the other hand, Islam presents a comprehensive, accurate, well defined and complete concept about angels that asserts that angels are a pure creation of Allah Almighty who never disobey the commands of Allah and they are sincere slave of Allah.
The Reality of Deva and Devta
Some Hindu writers say: “The root दिव् (div) in Sanskrit means to shine or to be bright. Primarily it refers to the natural light that is received on earth as the source of illumination and that which is the cause of all life on earth. The Deva are supportive of life.”7
When we think in the aforementioned passage about Deva and Devta we can not extract any specific or defined nature of Deva and Devta as it makes the light coming from the sky on the earth or the natural light as Deva. If it is true, then why do you worship it instead of the Creator? Why do you make idols for that light while the natural light has no specific form or shape? And the shape and form of the idols made by you defy the nature of light.
In brief, we can say that Islam presents the idea of angels in an evident and clear style, far from any kind of obscurity or darkness. Islam does not describe what they do not worth. In fact, faith of Islam in angels will keep you from mazes and delusions. So it is more deserving of acceptance and faith if we hope for safety in this world and the Hereafter.
(1) http://www.islamandhinduism.com/ih/Concept%20of%20Angels.html (Last accessed July 23, 2013).
(2) http://mantrashastra.com/sastra/mantra-parts/devata-the-enlightener/ (Last accessed July 23, 2013).
(3) `Abdul-Latif Muhammad Al-`Abd, “Definition of Angels”, in Encyclopedia of Islamic Concepts (Egypt: The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, 2009).
(4) http://mantrashastra.com/sastra/mantra-parts/devata-the-enlightener/ (Last accessed July 23, 2013).
(5) Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Rigvedadi Bhashya Bhumika, Urdu translation by Nehal Singh Arya, first edition, Vidya Darpan Meerath, Press,1898.p.42.
(7) http://mantrashastra.com/sastra/mantra-parts/devata-the-enlightener/ (Last accessed July 23, 2013).
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