title: Islamic Ethics during Coronavirus/COVID-19,
We are in a terrible moral crisis and ethical problem these days that has appeared during the days of isolation or quarantine or lockdowns in many countries around the world. This epidemic has exposed the worst aspect in human soul in terms of moral endemic and behavioral decline, due to the fear and shock that prevails in the world.
Losses after Coronavirus or COVID-19
What will be the corona’s death toll? What will be after the collapse of international companies and the bankruptcy of governments? How long will it take to return to the normal? How much will be the unemployment rate? The answers for these questions are unknown, but we are sure that the losses will be large and long-term. Under the current circumstances it has been revealed that selfishness, self-interest, greed, miserliness, self-love and denial of others remained visible when the supermarkets, Wal-Mart’s shelves got empty. The impacts of moral declination and selfishness are more dangerous than the epidemic itself for the individual, society and nations.
Test for Ethics in Pandemic of Coronavirus
Greed, stinginess, miserliness, self-love, denial of the other, forgetting of virtuous morals, mean behaviors, these immoral viruses remained hidden in human souls and inactive in the essence of the people until the Coronavirus pandemic surfaced over the scene that caused these moral diseases to show their symptoms clearly.
Community members were careless of the collapse of the moral values among the individuals and groups, but suddenly they woke up when the crisis worsened, shelves in stores became empty instantly, who could swiftly to collect multiple items has collected them without any consideration of others and their needs. Basic goods, necessary items were gone, and greedy merchants have monopolized the goods and raised their prices. Heads of states and governments appealed to people not to be anxious and terrified reassuring that the necessary materials are available and people should not worry, but people did not listen to them because the moral instincts have died and the behavioral foundation have collapsed a long time ago, when the individual and society did not feel the importance of ethics, and they may now feel the need for ethics more than their need to find medicine and drug for the recent pandemic Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Spirit of Cooperation in Adversity
There is no need to mention the related texts extensively here. It is sufficient to point out some important points. It is necessary to acknowledge that this epidemic has reminded the people all over the world of their fragility and weakness: rulers and ruled, presidents and subordinates, the governor and the governed, rich and poor, all are equal before nature, before the general epidemic or before the Divine judiciary and destiny, you may own money, deposits, and possessions but you are only a partner in the sources of life; you are not alone to own them.
The spirit of cooperation and assistance is one of the principles implanted in the human creation, which is the dominant nature of the normal and healthy human in any country in the world. Harming others purposely is a rare and an exception from this general habit, and wherever it is found it is a sign of psychological illness and moral disease as we have seen in some videos that a person with coughing symptoms began coughing purposely on the handle of shopping trolleys one after another with the intention of polluting others when they will hold the handle. This incident does not represent the general character in human at all, Yes, anomaly may occur from an abnormal person anywhere in the world.
Ethics when Shopping During Pandemic
Remember that people need the same things that you need, and people hold their lives dear, just as your life is dear, and their family and children are dear to them, just as your family and children are dear to you. Do not fill the cart with extra numbers of items especially during the natural epidemics or pandemics. Do not buy multiple or double items and remember the needs of others. Do not buy more than you really need out of fear, do not be selfish, be merciful, fair, helpful, supportive, cooperative and kind, be brave and do not be a coward and fearful.
Do you want all people in this world to die and you should live alone? This world is beautiful for you because of others, imagine yourself alone in this world, imagine how stranger and how alien you are in this world, how weird you are and how much anxious your sense of loneliness, isolation and fear will be without others. People are a source of adornment for you and a source of pleasure for you even if you do not feel that when you are surrounded by them.
Lend a Helping Hand to those around You
Being a human being requires you to extend a helping hand to those around you who are members of your society, remember, the members of society are not equal in money, wealth, prestige and position, among them, there are poor and rich, a working person and a jobless, but they are helpful for you and for each other and you are benefited by their services over all.
An Arab poet demonstrates this reality saying:
“People, whether they are from the city or from the villages or countryside, everyone is a servant to other even if they do not realize it.”
For example: The farmer is a servant to you, he serves you by planting, sowing and harvesting and providing food for you, and you are a servant to him and serve him with your money and wealth when you buy food materials from him.
Be Reasonable and do not be Foolish:
At the time of epidemics or abnormal conditions, some people pretend to be brave and do not care about infection of Coronavirus, this is a stupidity and foolishness and may lead to destroy himself and others, but remember, if he causes any harm to himself or others he will be responsible for that. For example if his recklessness and foolishness lead to contract the virus or spread the infection, know that he will bear his sin and the sin of everyone who will be infected because of him even the number reaches a thousand. Everyone has to listen to the health and epidemiologists involved; now everyone has to maintain social distance and should stay at home.
We can advise those foolish people, wait and be patient now, perhaps, if you survive this pandemic you may get another opportunity to show your courage and bravery. However, now you need to use your logic more than your bravery. This is a serious and tough time and you need to listen to people of specialization and medical expertise.
(Altruism) Preference of Other over his Own Need
In Islam there is a great moral value, which is called Ithaar (or altruism), which is to prefer the need of others over the need of one’s own self, and giving the other the thing that he own self needs more.
Itahr, or selflessness, is one of the noble qualities emphasized in Islam. One who is selfless places concern for others above concern for himself. The selfless person is generous with his time and freely lends aid and support to others.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded the believers of the noble quality of selflessness when he said:
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
(Altruism) Or Ithaar in Qur’an
Allah the Almighty has praised and admired the moral value of Ithaar (self-sacrifice for others) in the Glorious Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:
(and give them preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.) (Al-Hashr 59:9)
The Prophet Muhammad Example of Altruism
It has been reported on the authority of Ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “A boy came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and said: My mother asks you so and so, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: We have nothing today to give. Then the boy said: my mother asks you to gift me your shirt, the Prophet (peace be upon him) took off his shirt and gave him and he himself sat in his home without a shirt on him.(1)
The most important results:
First: Good manners and noble behavior are a dividing line between human and animal.
Second: Good ethic is a habit and an instinct rooted in the human soul, and it has manifestations in deeds, actions and words.
Third: The moral instinct in a person is affected by companionship and friendship, and it can tend to good and bad, so a person should maintain and observe whom he accompanies.
Fourth: Some moral values are universal, such as goodness of honesty and badness of lying, goodness of helping others and cooperation, badness of harming others, goodness of generosity and kindness and badness of miserliness and greed, goodness of sincerity and badness of betrayal, goodness of fulfilling the promise and badness of breaking the promise, and so on.
Fifth: Translating noble moral values into good deeds and actions is praiseworthy all the time and in times of crises, epidemics and disasters is more praiseworthy and important.
Sixth: Noble person is respected in every society in the world while a bad-mannered is cursed and detested in every society in the world.
(1) See: at-Tafsir al-wasit lil-Quran al-karim by Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Dar al-Maarif 1992. Surah Al Israa ayah No29.
tags: altruism-or-ithaar-in-quran / altruism / arab-poet / bad-mannered-is-cursed / badness-of-betrayal / badness-of-harming-others / badness-of-lying / badness-of-miserliness / calamities / compare-and-contrast-islam-and-hinduism-essay / coronavirus / covid-19 / epidemic / ethics-when-shopping / ethics-when-shopping-during-pandemic / glorious-quran / good-ethic / good-manners / goodness-of-fulfilling-the-promise / goodness-of-generosity / goodness-of-helping / goodness-of-honesty / goodness-of-sincerity / greed / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-alike / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-different / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-similar / immoral / islam / islam-about-hinduism / islam-and-hinduism-by-zakir-naik / islam-and-hinduism-common / islam-and-hinduism-conflict-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-connection / islam-and-hinduism-essay / islam-and-hinduism-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-pdf / islam-and-hinduism-similarities / islam-and-hinduism-venn-diagram / islam-aur-hinduism / islam-aur-hinduism-me-yaksaniyat / islam-buddhism-hinduism-judaism-christianity / islam-buddhism-hinduism-similarities / islam-in-hinduism-books / isolation / ithaar-altruism / miserliness / moral-declination / moral-endemic / moral-instinct / moral-values / morals / noble-behavior / noble-person-is-respected / pandemics / quarantine / selfishness / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism / stinginess / the-prophet-muhammad-example-of-altruism /
title: Coronavirus/COVID-19 between Islam and Medical Science,
Until writing these lines, the world, despite the unbelievable advancement in all fields of sciences, could not be able to discover a vaccine or injection to prevent and treat coronavirus infected peoples, we supplicate Allah the Almighty to guide the medicine scientists to succeed to discover something that can help the people.
Nature of Divine Message
A Divine Religion represents a divine guidance in matters of faith and the worldly life, according to my belief, Islam is a divine religion that originated from God the Almighty and remained preserved from distortion and alteration. And Islam is the last divine message. We are going to present here some ideas on teachings of Islam on prevention and treatment for the coronavirus.
We do not claim that Muslims have a specific and definite text for Coronavirus or COVID-19, but those texts are general that include this virus and other viruses and epidemics, SARS and MERS may outbreak in the world in the future, as it is evident that Coronavirus will not be the last of the epidemics or pandemics.
Religious guidelines are general and comprehensive, such as the laws, principles, and regulations, for example: the Constitution of India, Article 15 says:
“Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”(1)
The article does not specify any religion or follower of a religion but suppose, if Mustafa is a Muslim and citizen of India then surely the article will include him and will include others who have the same description and would be unlawful to be discriminated, though the article did not mention the name Mustafa. The same is applicable to the religious texts.
What is Coronavirus? Can Virus be seen?
Virus is a small infectious agent that multiplies only within the living cells of the organism. Viruses can infect all types of life, from animals, plants, microorganisms and bacteria. Viruses are so small that most cannot be seen with a light microscope, but must be observed with an electron microscope.(2)
Coronavirus and the Lungs
The coronavirus is a respiratory virus that influences first the lungs and the related system. Coronavirus is a group of viruses that can cause many symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia.
The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.(3)
Coughing and Sneezing and Coronavirus
Coughing and sneezing are among the major causes of the spread of coronavirus from the infected person to the air and then to the other people.
The experts say in this regard:
It’s likely to be transmitted in droplets from coughing or sneezes, and the virus has a two- to 14-day incubation period. (Incubation is the period of time between infection with germs and the appearance of symptoms of illness or disease.(4)
Teachings of Islam When Sneezing and Yawning
We are presenting here some of the rulings and manners when sneezing and yawning from the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). I think that those manners if are followed are not helpful only in containing the Coronavirus or COVID-19 but for other infectious viruses related to the lungs or respiratory system in human body.
The narration says: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sneezed; he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth, suppressing the sound this way. [Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
This narration demonstrates the habit of the Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) when he sneezed. There is another hadith that commands others to do same when they sneeze.
The Hadith says:
Whenever one of you sneezes, he should cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth, suppressing the sound. (Reported by Al Hakim)
In this hadith, there are two etiquettes of sneezing: The first: covering the mouth with hand or a piece of cloth. Second: reducing and lowering the voice.
“Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by: Coughing or sneezing unclean hands.” CDC advises: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.(5)
Islamic Etiquette When Yawning
It is noticeable that medical centers concerned with coronavirus or COVID-19 or with infectious viruses does not mention yawning and its part in spreading the infection, but they mentioned only sneezing and coughing, although we find in the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) teachings and etiquettes when yawning. It is evident that yawning also causes to breath out infected air from the respiratory system in human body.
The Hadith says:
“When one of you yawns, he should put his hand over his mouth.” (Reported by Muslim)
Another narration says: “When one of you yawns, he should repress it as much as possible.”
One of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence is that the similar case will be added to the original and that the like will take the same ruling of the principle case or subject. Therefore, the hadith did not mention coughing, but according to the principles of jurisprudence, coughing will take the same ruling of the sneeze, because the reason for the ruling is the same in both cases. For example, wine is forbidden by the text of the Qur’an, and the reason of forbidding is intoxication, so new drugs are forbidden because of the intoxication even if the names of newly produced intoxicants were not mentioned in the Qur’an.
Hence, all actions that lead to the spread of any infection or the virus, whether corona or other, are not permitted in Islam. Such as; travel, meeting, gathering, shaking hands, hugging, kissing, spitting, talking face to face and so on.
Washing Hands after Waking up
Purification from any dirt or impurity on the hand or from germs or bacteria that may cause disease, it is recommended in Islam to wash hands after waking up immediately, before touching anything.
A Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “When one of you wakes up from his sleep, he must not put his hand in a utensil till he washed it three times, for he does not know where his hand was (while he slept)”. [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
Purification System in Islam: Prevention from Viruses
The purification system in Islam has its role in the removal of bacteria and reducing the spread of diseases and infectious viruses. The system of purification in Islam is a distinct system between the religions of the world. In Islam, there is a complete list of pure things and impure things, as well as directives in the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) bear for us clear and inclusive instructions in this context. Full body bath or shower with water is obligatory after any sexual intercourse between man and woman and this is not optional rather, it is necessary for them. Washing the urinary organ and the back passage with water is also necessary after defecating. To perform purification ritual called Wudu is obligatory that is washing the face, both hands, arms, and feet, cleansing the inner mouth and nostrils. A full body shower for a woman after the end of the menstrual cycle is also necessary. A full body bath for woman after giving birth after the postpartum blood is also necessary. In fact, these few lines cannot accommodate all those subjects in detail, it is easy to search on the Internet by the key words, like; purification in Islam, or purification in the Qur’an, purification in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and many results will be before you. In our contemporary language, those manners can be included and listed in healthy manners, hygiene, purity from germs, bacteria, viruses, sterilization, and so on.
The Sex System in Islam: Prevention from Diseases
The sex system in Islam has a major role in limiting the spread of diseases and transmitting viruses. Sex in Islam is not absolute permission or absolute prohibition, but it is based on balanced ruling that is fully appropriate for general human taste natural human need. Sex outside marriage is prohibited in Islam, and marriage is not permitted except between male and female, so the same-sex or same-sex marriage, whether a woman with a woman or a man with a man is absolutely prohibited in Islam, and sex during the menstrual cycle is forbidden in Islam, and sex in the back or anal sex is also prohibited in Islam.
From a medical perspective and preventive aspects, and from a social angle, all of these provisions and rulings are in the interest of society and the individual, for example; sex during the days of menstruation in vagina and also anal sex are causes for bacterial contamination and impurity and thus a cause of disease. Therefore, they have been regarded as prohibited.
Diet System in Islam: Prevention and Treatment
The diet system in Islam is a balanced one, which is prevention and treatment according to latest medical point of view. Vital effect of the diet system in Islam is clear in limiting the spread of diseases and epidemics, and it is essentially based on the interest of the individual and society. It is not absolutely permissive as we see in the tradition and habits of some countries that eat everything from worms, insects, snakes, bats, dogs and so on. The diet system in Islam combines plants, grains and some meat with conditions in the animal and conditions in getting the meat. From an Islamic perspective, there are conditions in animals and conditions in the process of obtaining meat.
The Prohibited Animals in Islam
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) has prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons.
The Hadith mentions general principle for Halal (permissible) and Haram (prohibited) animals. The category of prohibited wild beasts includes wild beasts that have fangs by which they devour their prey such as lions, tigers, wolves, elephants, cheetahs, panthers, leopards, dogs, foxes, wild pigs, jackals, cats, crocodiles, tortoises, hedgehogs, monkeys, hyenas and the like.
The Hadith includes category of prohibited birds, according to this Hadith it is prohibited to eat birds that have claws by which they hunt such as eagles, falcons, hawks, accipiter, kites, owls and the like. It is also prohibited to eat birds that devour carrion and dung such as eagles, crows, vultures, hoopoes, martins and the like.
In addition, the cattle or chickens and the like whose fodder is mostly dirt and impure, it is prohibited to consume their meat, their milk, and their eggs until they are detained and fed with pure fodder, to the degree that one becomes almost certain of their purity.(6)
In addition, An-Nawawi said: “The views of scientists regarding the land insects, scorpions, snakes scarabs, cockroaches, mouse and the like are that they are prohibited: it is our view that they are haram (prohibited), and it is the conclusion of Abu Hanifa, Ahmad and Dawood.(7)
An-Nakha’i said: All birds are halal (permissible), except for the bat. This is forbidden because they are malicious, which the Arabs do not like, and they do not eat them.(8)
After looking at the aforementioned, it is clearly evident that the prohibition of certain things and actions by Islam and permissibility of other things is based on human interest and well-being.
We can conclude some important points in the following:
First: dead animal’s meat and pig are prohibited in Islam, the latest medical findings advise to avoid them for health prevention.
Second: it is not permissible to torture the animal when slaughtering or before it. The animal must be slaughtered in its throat with a sharp, fast-cutting knife or cutter so that its blood, a big source of contamination and germs are gone and meat becomes pure, free of germs and bacteria.
Third: Names of God must be recited when slaughtering because the animal is God’s creature and it is not permissible to destroy a life but when you mention God’s name it is as if you sought Allah’s permission for slaughtering and using it as your food.
Fourth: if people of the globe irrespective of their faith, race, color, religion and gender practice Islamic rulings on food, sex, purification and manners, the world will be safer, happier and more prosperous. This does not require full conversion to Islamic faith.
Fifth: Coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19 will not be the last of its kind that threaten the existence of human being on the earth; therefore, those humanistic manners, practices and guidelines are important for ever not only for this infection, coronavirus or COVID-19.
Sixth: if you bought a car and followed the related instruction you will be safe and will benefit from the product but if you misused and crossed the red-light or violated the speed limit you will destroy yourself and will harm others. You are a creation of God who revealed for you guideline and instruction in the form of religion, follow the true religion and be safe, happy and prosperous and save others from your harm.
(7) An-Nawawi, Al Majmu`a” (9 /16-17.
(8) Ibn Qudamah, Al Mughni.
tags: anal-sex / bats / cdc / common-cold / constitution-of-india / coronavirus / coronavirus-and-the-lungs / coronavirus-covid-19-between-islam-and-medical-science / cough / coughing / coughing-and-sneezing-and-coronavirus / covid-19 / diet-system-in-islam-prevention-and-treatment / divine-message / drugs / epidemic / fever / forbidden / full-body-shower / god / intoxicants / intoxication / islam / islamic-etiquette / medical / menstrual-cycle / mers / nature-of-divine-message / pandemic / prevention-and-treatment-for-the-coronavirus / purification-system-in-islam / religion / respiratory / runny-nose / same-sex / same-sex-marriage / sars / severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome-sars / sex-outside-marriage / sexual-intercourse-between-man-and-woman / snakes / sneezing / sore-throat / the-prohibited-animals-in-islam / the-quran / the-sex-system-in-islam-prevention-from-diseases / virus / viruses / washing-hands-after-waking-up / what-is-coronavirus / whooping-cough / wine-is-forbidden / wudu /
title: The Miraculous Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad,
By E-Da`wah Committee
Allah (Glory be to Him) says in the Glorious Qur’an what means:
Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Al-Israa`a’ 17:1)
The Date of Al-Isra’ Wal-M`iraj
There is no doubt that Al-Israa` (the night journey) followed by Al-Mi`raj (the heavenly ascension) was one of the miracles in the life of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to the most accepted view, it happened on the 27th of Rajab, the seventh month of the Hijri calendar, in the tenth year of Muhammad’s prophethood.
It is reported in Hadith literature, that the Messenger of Allah was carried from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the “Farthest Mosque” (Al-Masjid al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem on a creature called Al-Buraq in the company of the archangel Gabriel (peace be upon him). There he led a congregational prayer of the prophets of God.
Then Gabriel took him to the heavens where he met the prophets Adam, John, Jesus, Idris, Aaron and Moses (peace be on them all). In the seventh heaven, he met Abraham (peace be on him). He was then brought to the Divine Presence. The details of this meeting are beautifully detailed in the beginning of Surah An-Najm: 52.
Prayer A God-Given Gift
During this time, Allah ordered for his nation fifty daily Prayers. However, on the Prophet’s return, he was told by Prophet Moses (peace be on him) that his followers could not perform fifty Prayers. Thus, he went back and eventually it was reduced to five daily Prayers. After this, the Prophet returned to Makkah on the same night itself.
Therefore, Muslims should be thankful to Allah for this gift. They should take care of it and never neglect it. The prayer is the worship that allows a Muslim to communicate with the Creator five times every day.
Lessons from Al-Isra’ and Al-M`iraj
One major lesson of that miraculous event was that the system of the space and time is at the command of Allah the Almighty. On that night, the time and space were bridged for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as he traveled this auspicious journey to the heavens by the will of Allah the Almighty.
The implications of the night journey cannot be overstated. The miraculous nature of the Prophet’s journey established his divine-stated legitimacy as the seal of all prophets and messengers. Allah brought the Prophet to His blessed court to show us his true worth and dignity in the sight of Allah.
Miracles as Divine Support for the True Prophets
All religious traditions share the concept of miracles that accepts and believes in some supernatural events that surpass logic, nature or the established constitutions in this world.
We will limit our discussion to legitimate miracles from Allah, which are the only true miracles. When the forces of disbelief are strong, typically the prophetic miracles that oppose them are stronger and more powerful. The Prophet Moses was given several miracles, which included his stick that turned into a massive snake and helped him in his parting of the Red Sea, as a divine response to the extreme infidelity of Pharaoh.
Similarly, the Prophet Jesus was given even the power to raise the dead, in order to establish his legitimacy before the Jews who ultimately tried to kill him for blasphemy. Nevertheless, his miracles were undeniable by their nature, and it was only the obstinacy and arrogance of his people that led them to deny him.
The Reaction of the People of Makkah
The Prophet Muhammad’s night journey was obviously not easy for the pagan Makkans to believe. Nevertheless, the Prophet proved it logically by describing the approaching caravans that he overtook on his miraculous return. Thus, this particular prophetic miracle not only established the Prophet’s eminence for Muslims as discussed above, but it also helped to prove his prophethood to the non-believers of his time.
Celebrating the Event
As far as the Muslims are concerned, there is no particular celebration, fast or prayer to commemorate Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. However, in some places, the Muslims themselves have started to have commemorative functions, where the story of the night journey is told in poetry or lectures. There are scholars who maintain that gatherings meant to remind the Muslims of the importance of Al-Mi`raj in the history of Islam, or to remind us of the importance of love for the Prophet and the significance of the city of Jerusalem, are permissible.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu /
title: The Story of the Prophet’s Night Journey (1/2),
What is Al-Israa’?
Israa’ and sara in Arabic language refer to traveling in the night(1) and Israa’ here denotes the miraculous night journey of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem with Angel Gabriel on al-Buraq, a white and long animal larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule. This journey is called al-Israa’ that took place merely by the power and order of Allah the Almighty. This was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an in a Surah named “Al-Israa’”(2)
What is Al-Mi`raj?
Al-Mi`raj was derived from the Arabic root-word `uruj that denotes ascending or climbing. In Islamic theology, the word Al-Mi`raj denotes the miraculous travel of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Jerusalem to the heavens and skies to see the sublime and unique beautify of the divine worlds and to be blessed with conversation with his Lord and to observe the divine beauty within minutes or hours or a small part of the night that did not take even the whole night.
The Mi`raj followed the Israa’ in the same night and the story of al-Mi`iraj was mentioned in brief in Surat An-Najm according to the opinion which says that the verses of Surat An-Najm describe the Prophet’s ascension to heavens, beside many other Prophetic traditions. Bothe the Israa’ and the Mi`raj were in awakening not in dream.(3)
When Did the Miraculous Event Happen?
According to the most famous opinion, the Israa’ and the Mi`raj took place on Rajab 27th, about a year before the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Madinah. No doubt, there are other views in this regard. However, Muslims in the world celebrate this precious occasion on Rajab 27th every year.(4)
The Story of Al-Israa’
It is narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said that he was brought al-Buraq that is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, which would place its hoof on a distance equal to the range of its sight. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) mounted it and came to Bait Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem, then he tethered it to the ring used by the prophets before him. He entered the mosque and prayed two rak`ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought him a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk but the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) chose the milk, then Gabriel said: You have chosen the natural thing.
The Story of Al-Me`araj
After that the miraculous and heavenly journey started as Gabriel took the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to the nearest heaven and asked the gate of heaven to be opened and he was asked who he was. He replied: Gabriel. He was again asked: Who is with you? Gabriel said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? Gabriel replied: He has indeed been sent for. The door of the heaven was opened for them and at once they saw the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then they ascended to the second heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked the door of heaven to be opened, and he was asked who he was. He answered: Gabriel; and was again asked: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened, when he entered the Prophets `Isa ibn Maryam and Yahya ibn Zakariya (peace be upon both of them), cousins from the maternal side welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing.
On the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Heavens
Then he was taken to the third heaven and Gabriel asked for the opening (of the door). He was asked: Who are you? He replied: Gabriel. He was again asked: Who is with you? He replied Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and he met the Prophet Yusuf (peace of be upon him) who was very beautiful rather he had been given half of the beauty of the world. He welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then he ascended with him to the fourth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the gate to be opened, and it was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was again said: Who is with you? He said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them, and suddenly he met the Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. It is noteworthy that Allah (Glory be to Him) mentioned the Prophet Idris in the Glorious Qur’an and said: “We elevated him (Idris) to the exalted position.” (Maryam 19:57)
Then he ascended with them to the fifth heaven and Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied Gabriel. It was again said: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and then he was with the Prophet Harun (Aaron) (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing.
On the Sixth and Seventh Heavens
Then he was taken to the sixth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was said: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and there he was with the Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then he was taken up to the seventh heaven. Gabriel asked the gate to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He said: Gabriel It was said. Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad (may peace be upon him.) It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for us and there he found the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) reclining against al-Bait al-Ma`mur “the Frequented House” (that is situated in the 7th heaven, directly above the Ka`bah on earth and seventy thousand angels enter into al-Bait al-Ma`mur every day who never gets the chance to visit this place again.
The Sidrat al-Muntaha is a very large Lote Tree beyond the seventh heaven. It was named Sidrat al-Muntaha because whatever ascends from the earth and whatever descends from heaven terminates there.
Then the angel Gabriel took the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Sidrat al-Muntaha whose leaves were like elephant ears and its fruit like big earthenware vessels. When the Lote tree was covered by the command of Allah, it underwent such a change that none amongst the creation has the power to praise its beauty.
The Gift of the Prayers
Then Allah (Glory be to Him) revealed to him a revelation and He made obligatory for him and his followers fifty prayers every day and night. Then he went down to Moses (peace be upon him) who asked him: What has your Lord enjoined upon your followers? He said: Fifty prayers. The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) said to him to return to his Lord and beg for reduction (in the number of prayers), for his community shall not be able to bear this burden. As he has put to test the children of Isra’il and tried them (and found them too weak to bear such a heavy burden). The Prophet (peace be upon him) went back to his Lord and asked his Lord to make the prayers lighter for his nation. The Lord reduced five from the fifty prayers for him. He went down to Moses and said the Lord reduced five prayers for him, He said: Verily your nation shall not be able to bear this burden; return to the Lord and ask Him to make the prayers lighter. He then kept going back and forth between his Lord Exalted be He and Moses, until He said: There are five prayers every day and night. O Muhammad! each being credited as ten, so that makes fifty prayers. He who intends to do a good deed and does not do it will have a good deed recorded for him; and if he does it, it will be recorded for him as ten; whereas he who intends to do an evil deed and does not do, it will not be recorded for him; and if he does it, only one evil deed will be recorded. (Muslim)
Leading the Prophets and Messengers in Prayer
Some authentic narrations say that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) met the prophets in the heavens, then he returned to Jerusalem again and the prophets (peace be upon them) came down with him then he led them in the prayer in Bayt Al-Maqdis, after that he rode Al-Buraq again and returned to Makkah. In fact, Allah (Glory be to Him) made Adam and other prophets alive for him and he met them and led them in prayer.(5)
To be continued…
(1) Az-Zamakhshari, Tafseer Al-Kashshaf, Dar Al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, edit.3rd, 2009, p. 589.
(2) See: `Abdul-Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi, Madarij An-Nubuwwah, Urdu translation by Mufti Sayyid Ghulam Mu`eenu-ddin Na`imi, Shabbir Brothers, Urdu Bazar 2004, vol.1st p.209.
(3) See: Abu-Ja`far At-Tahawi, Al-`Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut 1995, p.15.
(4) See: Abul Hassan An-Nadawi, As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, 1425 A.H., p. 216.
(5) See: Al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, vol. 3, p. 113., Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 29 and As-Suyuti, Al-Khasa’is Al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 404.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / installing-windows / installing-windows-7 / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu / windows /
title: The Story of the Prophet’s Night Journey (2/2),
Click here to read Part 1
The Reaction of Abu Jahal and his Followers
After the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned from his miraculous night journey, we was sure that people would not believe when he will tell them about the special blessing of Allah.
Abu Jahl passed by him and asked him mockingly: Was there anything from heaven? The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Abu Jahl asked: What is it?
The Messenger of Allah said: I was given a miraculous night journey.
Abu Jahl asked: To where?
The Messenger of Allah said: To Bayt al-Maqdis.
Abu Jahl said: Then you came back to be among us?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Abu Jahl deciding not to belie him in order to encourage him to tell it to the people, he cunningly said: If I invite people over here, will you tell them what you have told me about?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
The Messenger of Allah said: I was given a night journey.
They said: To where?
The Messenger of Allah said: To Baytul Maqdis.
Abu Jahl said: then you came back to be among us?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Then some of them clapped their hands while others put their hands on their heads, as a gesture of disbelief.
They asked: “Can you describe the Mosque of Bayt al-Maqdis in Jerusalem as some of us have travelled to Jerusalem before and saw the Mosque?”
The Messenger of Allah said:
“I started describing it to them until I could no longer do that. Then, Jibril brought a view of the mosque close to the neighboring house of `Uqail, then I resumed describing it while I was looking at it.”
The Messenger of Allah added that the description included details that I no longer remember.
The people, then, commented saying: “Concerning the description of Bayt al- Maqdis, by Allah, he told the truth.” (Musnad Ahmad)
This narration clearly shows that the people of Makkah investigated the story of the Prophet by asking him questions about the mosque in Jerusalem and his answer and description were verified by those who had visited it before, though the Prophet never visited the mosque of Bayt Al-Maqdis before.
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and the Prophet’s Night Journey
When the Prophet Muhammad reported to the people about his journey, most of the unbelievers of Makkah found it strange and unusual and some of them said: By God! This is really a strange happening, our convoys take one month from Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis; one month in going and one month in returning, and how is it possible for Muhammad to go in one night and to return to Makkah in the same night?
Therefore, people came to Abu Bakr and said: “O Abu Bakr! What do you think about your friend who says that he went tonight to Jerusalem and prayed there then returned to Makkah in the same night? Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: do you tell false on his behalf? They said: no, here is your friend in the mosque who announces it to the people. Then Abu Bakr said: by God, if he says that, he is surely true, why are you in surprise? By God! he tells me about the revelation that comes to him from sky to the earth in moments, any time in the day or night and I believe in his talk. In fact, what you have been told about his night journey is easier than the issue of revelation has been believed by me.
Then Abu Bakr came to the Messenger of Allah and said: O Prophet of Allah! have you really told them that you visited Jerusalem tonight? He said: yes, then he asked the Prophet of Allah to describe Bayt Al-Maqdis as he had traveled to it. The Messenger of Allah began describing it, Abu Bakr said on each description “You are true, and I wetness that you are a true Messenger of Allah” until the Messenger of Allah has finished his description then he said to Abu Bakr: O Abu Bakr! You are Siddiq (a man of truth) since then Abu Bakr became known with this title. (Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami`li-Ahkam Al-Qur’an, vol. 10, p.257)
Logical Evidence of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj
It is known that miracles are a common denominator among most religions of the world; even Hinduism has many stories and legends based on the miracles. However, we are not sure of their authenticity and accurate transmission through the ancient ages. While the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad in general and the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj particularly were mentioned in more than one narrations of the Hadith.
In addition, the story of Israa’ was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an while the story of Mi`raj was mentioned in the blessed Sunnah, which was transmitted to us by countless people who belonged to different countries and centuries, also the numbers of the narrators are so big that is impossible to agree on a false or fabricated narration. The number of those companions who heard the story from the Prophet directly was very big then the next generation of the narrators who heard from those companions was also big in numbers and the number was same in the next coming generations until the period of the compilation of the narrations. Thus, the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad were transmitted by countless narrators in every age that could not be a mere lie. For example, many of us have not seen the North Pole of the planet or the Himalaya Mountains but we believe in their presence because a large number of people told us about their presence who saw them by their eyes.
How is it possible to travel to the heavens in one night?
It can be said that how is it possible to travel around the heavens in one night, rather, in a small part of the night? In our modern age, we know that spacecrafts that go to Mars, moon or other planets with astonishing speed, even though they take months and years to arrive at them, so the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to the heavens seems impossible.
It is easy for those who believe in the existence of God, who can do everything and whose power is limitless, “His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it “Be” and it is!” I think that most Hindus believe in the existence of God the Almighty. The Israa’ and the Mi`raj were carried out by the will and command of Allah the Almighty who created the world and organizes, directs and runs the system of the universe. Nothing of this world is beyond His command and power. So Al-Israa’ Wal-Mi`raj are miraculous journey that took place by the power of Allah the Almighty whose supremacy is not limited to our limited thoughts, views or opinions.
Moreover, we say to those who do not believe in God or who want to interpret the universe and life in the light of laboratory experiments, we ask them; have you interpreted everything in the universe? The answer is no, as we see many scientists say in many studies; “We do not know”, but there is a big difference between “We do not know” and “It is impossible”.
For example: Humans before three centuries used to reject the reality of transmission of sound to thousands of kilometers, rather, it was believed as an impossible idea, but now most people talk on phones and Mobiles from one country to another even they hear the transmitted sound by their own ears. Now, most people believed in the transmission of the sound in a single moment from one country to another.
In fact, the modern scientific discoveries in various fields help us a lot in giving satisfaction with the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad including the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj, because mankind before these scientific discoveries was unaware of many secrets in the cosmic system, planets, space, atom and many other items of the universe. According to Islam, Hinduism and other religions of the world, the system of the world was created by God the Almighty. Indeed, the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj is strange and unbelievable only when it was claimed to be a result of human power or strength, but when it is done or carried out by the power and will of Allah the Almighty then there is no room for denial or refusal, because, Allah is the Creator of all things and He is Only One who sets the system of the world and it is not difficult for the Creator to stop the system of His created universe for a specified time.
Why the Israa’ and the Mi`raj?
There are many secrets in the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj; some of them were explained by our honored scholars in the light of the Glorious Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah. Sheikh Jalal Addin As-Suyuti (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his booklet “Al-Israa’ wal-Mi`raj” twenty secrets behind this miraculous journey. Some of them are mentioned below.
- The kings and princes honor exalted personalities of their courts when they finish their assigned duties in a unique style or when they achieve some important missions they are honored with awards, medals, and valuable prizes. There is no comparison between the standard of honoring by Allah the Almighty and human being.
After the Prophet Muhammad had suffered a lot of violence, cruelty and damage from his people in order to convey the message of Allah the Almighty to the people, Allah (Glory be to Him) wanted to honor His excellent servant, the Prophet Muhammad by inviting him to His blessed court and to make him see His major signs in the universe and the heavens.
- The Prophet led in the prayer all Messengers and Prophets since Adam until the Prophet `Isa (peace be upon them) that shows the honor, prestige and merit of the Prophet Muhammad amongst the entire humanity.
- The importance of the five prayers for the Muslim community is evident from the Israa’ and the Mi`raj. As the prayer was a special gift from Allah the Almighty for him and his followers that was given in an extraordinary and honored way. Therefore, the prayer has been regarded as a Mi`raj for Muslims as was the ascension to the blessed court of Allah the Almighty a Mi`raj for the Prophet .
- Mi`raj is a hope for those Muslims who are in sorrow and sadness. Any grief or damage in the way of Allah is always followed by some wonderful divine blessings and gifts that are beyond our expectations and imaginations.
- The Israa` and the Mi`raj were dividing lines between a strong believer and between a weak believer, rather, they were a distinction between belief and disbelief. Some became Siddiq (the man of truth) due to his strong belief in Mi`raj and in the Prophet Muhammad while some become infidel and disbeliever due to the rejection of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu /
title: A Brief Biography of Prophet Muhammad,
The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad:
Muhammad, son of `Abdullah, was born in Mecca, in the year of Elephant Event,* on Monday morning, the 12th Rabi` Al-Awwal, 570 A.D.1 `Abdullah means slave of God. His mother was ‘Aminah, daughter of Wahab the chief of his tribe Banu Zahrah. ‘Aminah was the noblest woman in Quraysh. `Aminah in Arabic refers to peace and security.2 During her pregnancy with Prophet Muhammad, she saw and felt many blessings and extraordinary incidents and miraculous happenings that assured her the uniqueness of her expected child.3
`Abdullah, father of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him), died before his birth. After his birth, he was named Muhammad, which is an Arabic word that means the highly praised one. As well as, amongst his names was Ahmad, which is a superlative form of the Arabic root word ‘Hamd’ (praise). It also means “the highly praised one”.4
On the seventh day of his birth, a feast of `Aqiqah was held in his home by his grandfather and dignitaries of Quraysh were invited on this auspicious occasion. When they asked `Abdul Muttalib: “What have you named him?” He answered: “Muhammad”.5
Many miraculous events accompanied the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and his childhood as was mentioned by most of the historians. In the night therein Prophet Muhammad was conceived by his mother, all the idols of Mecca were thrown down on the ground. And when Prophet Muhammad was born the palace of Kisra (King of Persia) trembled and its fourteen chandeliers fell down. The flames of the fire-worshippers were extinguished for the first time, though that fire had been burning for more than a thousand years.6
In fact, those miraculous events were indications and signs that denoted that humanity was going to see unlimited mercy of Allah through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his sublime message.
It was a custom among the rich and noble families of Quraysh to send their infants to the Bedouin tribes whose women visited Mecca twice a year to get infants to foster them and suckle them on their breasts. A few days after the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, according to this custom he was given to Halimah Al-Sa`diyah. As soon as Halimah took the Prophet Muhammad, the blessings started coming down on her and her family, even her neighbors and relatives were blessed by the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad. Her donkey that she was returning on became more energetic and lively while it was weak and tired when she rode it to Mecca. When she reached her tent the she-camels, goats and sheep became full of milk, the days of drought and famine came to end and the rain was profuse everywhere and the arid land turned into green lawns. Not only this but the entire life of Halimah was changed, her poverty was changed into a fortune, her sorrow was transformed into a pleasure.6
Thus she fostered him for a few years then she brought him back to Mecca, but as an epidemic was spreading in the city of Mecca at that time, Prophet Muhammad was sent back to the desert where he lived for about six years.7
It was the practice of the nobles of Mecca to get their babies fostered in the tribes of desert so that their child’s physical structure could grow sounder. And they would able to learn the purest and most classical Arabic language, since they avoided the multi-cultural conditions of Mecca, which was usually crowded with different tribes, especially during the season of pilgrimage. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself told his companions: “I am the most perfect Arab of you all. I am of Quraysh, and I was suckled and brought up among the tribe of Banu Sa`d ibn Bakr.”8
When Prophet Muhammad was six years old, his mother ‘Amnah took him to Al-Madinah where she lived for about a month. On her way back to Mecca on reaching a village by the name of Al-Abwa’, she breathed her last and was buried there.9
`Abdul Muttalib now took the young orphan in his charge and always kept Muhammad with him. But `Abdul Muttalib also died when Prophet Muhammad was about eight years old.10
Muhammad felt his grandfather `Abdul Muttalib’s death grievously. Before his death, `Abdul Muttalib left Muhammad to the care of his son, Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib. `Abdul Muttalib had ten sons. Abu Talib was full brother of `Abdullah, father of Prophet Muhammad and loved Prophet Muhammad as he loved his own children. Later, when Prophet Muhammad was persecuted by the people of Mecca, this good and kindly uncle often served as a shield to his beloved nephew who had been subjected to different types of aggressions by his opponents.
At about the age of 10 or 12, Prophet Muhammad herded goats for some time. Unlike India, this was not held in disrepute by the Arabs, and was generally followed by the noble and rich families of Quraysh.
The scholars say that the wisdom behind herding the sheep and goat before the prophecy is to make the Prophets patient with their nation, because herding sheep needs patience and tolerance. Furthermore, it teaches how to save the goats and sheep from beasts. Thus they were prepared for their great mission of saving their nation from destruction.11
His Journey to Syria:
At the age of 12, Prophet Muhammad accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on the mercantile expedition to Syria. It was on this journey that he met the Christian Monk Bahira, who, on seeing Prophet Muhammad, said that he recognized in that young boy the future Prophet whose advent had been prophesied by the prophets that had preceded him.12
On several occasions, he had accompanied his uncle to Syria on business; he had gained reputation for honesty and fair dealing. He had kept his accounts clear, fulfilled his promises and had come to be known as a trustworthy, truthful and faithful person. People readily trusted their wares to his care and he undertook the responsibly on the usual consideration of sharing the profits.13
He had now attained the age of 25 and had taken his share in the public affairs of his time and had established creditable business relations. His fame for honesty and trustworthiness attracted the notice of a rich widow of Mecca named Khadijah. She was extremely rich and was known for her gentle nature and spotless character. She was aged 40 and had two sons and a daughter from her previous husband. Khadijah invited Prophet Muhammad to take her merchandise to Syria promising to pay him twice as much as she paid to anyone else. He accepted the terms. Three months after his return from this journey, she expressed that she wished to marry him. Prophet Muhammad gave his consent and the marriage was duly celebrated in the presence of his uncle and the elders of his family.
It is noteworthy that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never offered any worship to any idol, nor did he ever join any rites pertaining to the worship of any idol, or in any celebrations held in honor of any deity. He refused to partake of feasts of sacrifices offered to the idols. Indeed Allah had meant him for some higher purposes. The future Prophet of Islam could not step down below his level, and he who later divulged the profound secrets of Godhead, established true principles of an eternal religion, taught the simple ways of a beautiful morality, stood high above the crowd of men who lived the life of beasts.14
When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in his forty, he often retired to a cave called Hira’, about three miles distant from Mecca, where he used to spend months in contemplation and prayer. Thus he (peace be upon him) was ready to bear the full weight of the message which had to be revealed to the world through him. Till at last, one fine morning, he met an angel who told him to “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists).” (Al-`Alaq 96:1)
[*] The year wherein the Abyssinian king had attacked Ka`bah, however, the Ka`bah remained unharmed and the attackers were destroyed by Allah Almighty.
 Abul-Hasan An-Nadwi, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah, Volume1, 12th ed. (Damascus; Dar Ibn Kathirm, 1425 A.H), p. 157.
 Some Hindu scriptures had predicted the manifestation of a prophet namely ‘Kalki Avtar’ the last Messenger of Allah. In the ‘sacred’ book of Hindus the father’s name of ‘Kalki Avtar’ is mentioned as ‘Vishnu Bhagat’ and his mother’s name as ‘Somanib’, in Sanskrit, ‘Vishnu’ stands for Allah (Glory be to Him) and the literal meaning of ‘Bhagat’ is slave. ‘Vishnu Bhagat’ therefore, in the Arabic language will mean Allah’s slave or `Abdullah. While ‘Somanib’ in Sanskrit means peace and tranquility which in Arabic is denoted by the word ‘Aminah the mother of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). (See. Q.S. Khan, Kalki Avtar and Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, Urdu translation by Sayyid Anisuddin, Mumbai: Harmony and Welfare Publication, p. 4.
 The Vedas have prophesied about the coming of a sage whose name will be Narashangsa that indicates a person whose very name means ‘The Praised’. The Arabic word Muhammad means ‘The Praised’. (See. Q.S. Khan, Muhammad Sahab and Holy Narashansa, Mumbai: Harmony and Welfare Publication, p. 1.
 Ibn Kathir, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah, edited by Mustafa `Abdul Wahid, Volume 1 (Beirut: Dar al-Ma`arifah, 1976) p. 210.
 Ibid., p. 227.
 Abul-Hasan An-Nadwi, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah, Volume 1, 12th ed. (Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1425), p. 158.
 Shafi Ahmad, Prophet Muhammad (India: G.A. Natesan and Co. Madras) p. 10.
 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah, ed. Mustafa As-Saqa, volume 1, (Cairo: Mustafa Albabi Al-Halabi, 1955), p. 167
 Ibn Kathir, As-Sirah An-Nabawiah, p. 241.
 Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Fath al–Bari, (Dar Ar-Rayyan, 1986) p. 516.
 Shafi Ahmad, Prophet Muhammad, p. 10.
tags: angel / avtar / god / haleemah / hinduism / hindus / hinid / incarnation / indian / islam / kabah / kalki / khadijah / lord / madinah / mecca / messenger / milad / miladunnabi / monotheism / muhammad / muslims / paigambar / polygamy / prophet / quran / rabeea / rasool / sadiyah / seerah /
title: World Water Day: The Islamic Perspective,
By: E–Da`wah Committee
As water has become a matter of concern for the modern world and its international organizations, such as the UN- officially designating a yearly World Water Day observed on 22 March, Islam was the first to place such importance on the matter.
Being the most important element of nature, and therefore the very basis for all life on Earth, water in Islam in terms of importance and necessity is as old and deep-rooted as the religion itself. Islam is a comprehensive way of life based on the guidance of Allah. That’s why it came for the good of humanity – for man’s well-being and welfare in this life and in the hereafter, calling for every good and prohibiting every evil.
As a comprehensive way of life, Islam cares for environment and calls for protecting all its elements that keeps life’s balance. The following are some aspects of Islam’s concern for water as a critical element in protecting life.
1-The Importance and Necessity of Water
There are tens of verses that talk about the importance and necessity of water as life-giving and how important it is to protect and reserve this source of life on earth:
Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:30)
Allah has created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goes upon its belly and (a kind) that goes upon two legs and (a kind) that goes upon four. Allah creates what He will. (An-Nur 24:45)
It is He Who has created man from water: then He has established relationships of lineage and marriage. (Al-Furqan 25:54)
In another place in the Qur’an, God speaks of such importance differently:
And we send down from the sky water in measure, and We give it lodging in the earth, and lo! We are Able to withdraw it. (Al-Mu’minun 23:18)
Being sent “in measure” means, as God indicates, that water is a highly valuable and precious resource.So if it is not used efficiently, it is therefore in Allah’s power to “withdraw it”. About the blessings arising from water, God says:
Then We produce for you therewith gardens of date-palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you and whereof ye eat.(Al-Mu’minun 23:19)
2- Islam Forbids Wastage and Water Misuse
Islam is a moderate religion standing firmly against abuse and overuse of anything:
And waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters. (Al-A`raf 7:31)
And squander not in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the evil ones; and the evil one is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.(Al-Israa’ 17:26-27)
Also, there are many hadiths that forbid the abuse of water as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) urged moderation and thriftiness in the use of water during ablution.
Upon seeing a man making ablution and using too much water, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “What is this waste?” The man said: “Is there waste in ablution also, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Yes, even if you were near a flowing river.” (IbnMajah)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) manifested these words with action.
“Narrated `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used only onemudd(equals a handful of an average-sized man) of water for ablution and one sa’ (equivalent to 4 mudds) of water for his bath.” (Agreed upon)
3-Islam Prohibits Monopoly
Due to the essential role water plays in life, Islam prohibits monopoly or exclusive control of some people over water resources. Being a gift from God needed by people all, water should be freely available to all, and any Muslim who withholds and deprives others of it commits a sin.
Inciting believers to share the earth’s resources, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “All individuals share alike in three things: water, pasture and fire.” (Abu Dawud, Ahmad and Ibn Majah)
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: “Don’t withhold excess water so as to prevent therewith the (growth of) additional herbage.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
4-Giving Water in Charity
Supplying water to those who don’t have easy access to it is an appreciated good deed in Islam. As we see in the following Hadith, a drink of water is considered a charity by the Prophet.
Reported Ibn `Abbas, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Every kindly word is a charity; help rendered by a man to his brother is charity; a drink of water given to someone is charity; and the removal of harmful objects from the road is charity.” (Al-Bukhari, Ibn Hibban, and Al-Albani)
Thus, the simple deed of giving water to others is a way for a Muslim to get closer to God.
In another hadith the Prophet said: “Receiving your friend with a smile is sadaqah (charity), helping people load their animals is charity, and pouring some water in your neighbor’s bucket is also charity.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Not only for humans, even a drink of water given to an animal,a dog, is a charity in Islam:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine.’ So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?” He replied, “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate being.” (Al-Bukhari)
Abu Hurayrah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:
“There was a dog moving around a well, which thirst would have killed. Suddenly a prostitute from Bani Isra’il happened to see it and she drew water in her shoe and made it drink, and she was pardoned because of this.” (Muslim)
5- Digging Wells
There are repeated encouragements by the Prophet for his followers to do what is good and helpful to others.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whosoever digs a well will receive reward for that from Allah on the Day of Judgment when anyone among jinn, men and birds drinks from it.” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim)
It is thanks to the Prophet’s exhortations that`Uthmanibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) purchased the well of Rumah and endowed its water for public use:
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The one who would dig the well of Rumah will enter Paradise.” So, `Uthman dug it. (Al-Bukhari)
It is also considered a great act of “sadaqah-jariyah” (continuous charity) to dig a well; to bring this critical source of life to those who have water supply problems, and don’t have easy access to it, like South Africa.
6- Combating Water Pollution
As it is the Muslim’s duty to protect and conserve Allah’s creation, preserving water and safeguarding its purity is no exception, particularly with the critical role in preserving life on earth in mind.
We must use water wisely and we have to save this resource and keep it clean and pure as much as possible. The Prophet for example warned against water pollution by forbidding urination in stagnant water.
Reported Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Avoid the three actions that bring people’s curses: defecating in water sources, on roads, and in the shade.” (Ibn Majah)
The Prophet even taught us not to leave food or drink exposed overnight, in order to be protected from pollution or harmful creatures:
“Cover the vessels and tie the water skin, for there is a night in a year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass an uncovered vessel or an untied water skin without some of that pestilence descending into it” (Muslim)
The Importance of Water in Hinduism
Water in Hinduism has a special place. According to Hindu faith it has spiritually cleansing powers. There are seven sacred rivers, namely the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri.(1)
Hindu holy places are usually located on the banks of rivers, coasts, seashores and mountains. Sites of convergence, between two or three rivers are sacred in Hinduism and carry special significance. Kumbha-mela is a pilgrimage of Hindu devotees and is held every three years at four different places in turn – Hardwar, Nasik, Prayaga and Ujjain.(2)
The Ganges River in Hinduism
Ganges River is the most important of the sacred rivers. Its waters are used in puja (worship) and a sip of this water is given to the dying person due its blessings. It is believed that those who bathe in the Ganges and those who leave some part of themselves (hair, bone etc) on the left bank will attain Svarga (the paradise). The river is said to flow from the toe of Vishnu to be spread into the world through the hair of Shiva.(3)
It is noted in the above-mentioned quote that Hindus believe that leaving hair and bone after death on the north bank of the river leads to paradise. This belief leads to leave the remains of dead bodies of Hindus after burning them. Undoubtedly, every Hindu individual hopes that some parts of his dead body should be left on the left bank of the river to seek paradise. Can you imagine how many people dies every day in all parts of India, taking into account that India occupies the second place in population that reached about one billion, two hundred fifty three million, eight hundred twenty thousands (1,253,820,000).(4) and there are about 3.14 million deaths a year and most of them are cremated. Also the most cremations are still done the way they have been done for centuries.(5)
It goes without saying that the above mentioned belief played a big role in the pollution of the Ganges River.
This conclusion can be verified by a lot of photos and videos of human dead bodies thrown here and there on the banks of Ganges River.
Furthermore, Hindus believe that “The river flows from the toe of Vishnu to be spread into the world through the hair of Shiva.” This belief contradicts the evident reality as the beginning and end of every river are known; there is neither toe nor hair.
Some Hindu Rituals and Water Pollution
In addition, the funeral grounds are always located near a river. After the cremation the bones and ashes of the deceased are thrown into the Ganges. Even those who are not cremated near the Ganges have their ashes placed there. In the old days thousands of un-cremated bodies were thrown into the Ganges during cholera epidemics, spreading the disease and producing more corpses.(6)
Today only bones and ashes are supposed to be scattered in the river. Even so the cremation process, especially among those who can not afford the large amount of wood needed to burn the entire body, leaves behind a lot of half burned body parts.
It is noticeable that some Hindu religious traditions led to the contamination of a lot of clean rivers in India, particularly the Ganges and Yamuna, including many other famous rivers in India, because of burning the dead bodies of Hindus and throwing the dust and remains in these rivers.
Immersion of Hindu Idols in the Ponds and Rivers
As well as throwing the statues of the gods and idols such as Ganesh and Sarswati and others in the rivers and ponds leads to the water pollution across India that happens every year in all parts of India.
I think the teachings of Islam have no place for such religious traditions that lead to water pollution in rivers, ponds and seas. Undoubtedly, the Islamic concept of monotheism and abolishing the worship of idols are a guarantee to reduce such harmful phenomena.
In addition to that, the burial of dead on Islamic way is better and more distant from polluting the environment. This shows that Islam is a religion that coincides with human nature and instincts. As well as everyone can find that Islamic rituals meet the requirements of the nature and environment and Islam presents an integrated vision to preserve the environment, especially rivers, ponds and seas. Thus, it is clear that human being would be more happy and safe if they follow the path of Islam as a way of life.
(1) http://hindi.speakingtree.in (Last accessed on 20-3-2015).
(2) http://www.africanwater.org/religion.htm (Last accessed on 20-3-2015).
(4) http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/ملحق:قائمة_الدول_والتبعيات_حسب_عدد_السكان/الدول_العشر_الأولى (Last accessed on 20-3-2015).
(5) http://factsanddetails.com/asian/cat64/sub413/item2627.html (Last accessed on 20-3-2015).
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title: Is Holi Unholy?,
Festivity and Mankind
Holi is one of the most famous Hindu festivals in the world. The phenomenon of holidays, celebrations and festivals coincides with the human nature. The event of expressing the joy in specific times and days exists amongst most of the nations on earth, whether civilized people or the primitive tribal societies, including the people who adhere to a religion, whether, the religion is a divine message or a human creation.
However, the method of celebration varies from folk to folk, from tribe to tribe, from religion to religion, from culture to culture. Festivals in the most religions have links to some stories, tales or legends, as is the case in the Hindu festival Holi.
This article aims to study the Hindu festival Holi, comparing it with Islamic festivals. We will shed light on the nature of Holi, the aspects of the celebration and the ways of expressing the pleasure. Also, we will talk about Islam’s position regarding the ways of celebration and festivity. Are the ways and methods of celebration based on divine revelation, or they are merely human creation? Do the ways of celebration match the nature of the society? Do they fulfill the religious, ethical and social requirements and hunger of mankind? This article will address these questions in a fair and academic method.
Historical Background of Holi
Holi is considered one of the most important festivals of India, which is known as the festival of colors. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of Phalguna when the moon is full according to Hindu calendar.(1) That coincides with the month of March and sometimes in February as per the Gregorian calendar.
The origin of the word Holi returns to Holika, according to the Hindu mythology she was the sister of an Indian king called Hiranyakashyap who worshipped Shiva and exercised some sort of severe devotional and spiritual exercises until he got a blessing and a divine promise that he will never die, neither on the earth nor in the sky, neither in the evening nor in the daytime, neither by human being nor by an animal. Having received the blessing and promise, he claimed his superiority over Vishnu. Thus, people became afraid of him and his power. He announced that no one will mention the name of Vishnu and that there is no god except him. He had a son called Prahlad who was a true devotee of Vishnu and believed Vishnu as his only god. No one was able to move him from his faith. That is why Hiranyakashyap was determined to eliminate him by any mean, but he could not harm him. He tried frequently to kill him, but failed, until he ordered his sister Holika to enter a fire with Prahlad and burn him alive. It was a promise from god that the fire will never burn Holika. She obeyed her brother’s order and took Prahlad in her lap and tied him in her arm then entered the fire. Large pieces of wood were thrown over them and fire was lit. The fire did not affect Prahlad and he remained unharmed, but Holika began to scream and shout and tried to escape from the flames of the fire. People did not believe her screaming as she entered fire many times and came out totally unharmed, thus she was burned completely and died in the fire, while Prahlad came out of the fire reciting Hari Hari. Vishnu incarnated into Narsingha; in a shape of half man and half lion to eliminate Hiranyakashyap. Holika got her due punishment for bad doing by trying to burn Prahlad. As a revival of this anniversary effigy of Holika is burnt each year in the night of Holi.(2)
Some Logical Observations on the Myth of Holika
This myth has been mentioned in some Hindu scriptures, but it is merely a fictional not realistic, it is based on shaky ground that could not stand before the mental and logical critique. We are going to summarize some logical observations on this myth in the following points:
First: This story has no chain of narration; no one knows who saw this incident and who reported it, while the story goes back to thousands of centuries. How this story came to the author who recorded it. Were the reporters trustworthy or liars? However, we find in Islamic culture that any Hadith has its chain of transmission, from the author to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), for example, when Imam al-Bukhari reports any Hadith, he mentions the entire narrators between him and the Prophet (peace be upon him). The science of Hadith never accepts any Hadith without a continuous chain. Also, all narrators of the Hadith must be trustworthy and pious, if any of them is a liar or fraud the narration would be rejected. There are many strict rules for the acceptance of a narration or story in the science of Hadith. But this story of the Hindu festival Holi, rather, any scripture of Hinduism does not have any chain of narration at all. How can we accept a religious faith without a chain of narration?
Second: How can a human being obtain immortality in this world? Every human being who comes to this world must die sooner or later. This is the common rule and natural law in the universe. No one lives forever in this life. This is the common rule with every living thing in this world that has been declared clearly in the preserved and authentic divine message, the Glorious Qur’an.
Third: A child cannot distinguish between good and evil, between right and wrong, between belief and disbelief. A child is the one who plays with a snake which looks to him smooth and colorful. How did the child Prahlad know Vishnu? The children, mostly follow their parents and repeat what they hear from them. All these observations refute the authenticity of this story.
Fourth: Why the child was not thrown into the fire alone? Why they needed a woman to accompany him in the fire? If they wanted to burn the child it was easy to throw him into the fire alone. Furthermore, if the woman escaped the harm of the fire many times because she had got a promise from her God, why was she burnt in the fire this time?
Fifth: It was better to burn the effigy of the King Hiranyakashyap who claimed divinity for himself and not his sister who was a helpless woman and had no option but to execute a command of her brother, who was a tyrant king.
Only some rational and intellectual critiques have been mentioned, however, there are many other suspicions about the authority of this nonsense that have been avoided so that it would not lengthen.
Some Social Negatives of Holi in Present Days
Mostly, the festival of Holi turns into a means of sexual harassment in the streets and roads. Girls are subjected to shameful harassment in broad daylight, as was mentioned in an article published in Times of India.
Holi has, for long, been an excuse for men to sexually harass women across the country. Women of all ages recall being drenched in color put on them by strangers and were pelted with water balloons.
The article says: “It was around this time that some greeting cards began displaying vulgar messages that legitimized sexual harassment during Holi. Wide-scale protests by feminists across the city forced the company to withdraw them and apologize.The harassment, however, continues.”(3)
Furthermore, the common societal norms regarding touching strange women and girls are relaxed during Holi. Hooligans and roadside thugs are not the only ones who misuse the festival of Holi, friends, relatives and neighbors, too, are known to make overt and covert sexual advances towards women and teenage girls during Holi.
There are some videos on the internet that reveal the facts of these criminal acts during Holi festival in India, and no one dares to object or stop the troublemakers as the Holi is the day of joy and pleasure.
We do not judge the religion according to the actions of its followers, but the reality is that such actions are done in the name of religion and faith. The religious leaders and Hindu priests never try to correct such religious and social deviation, unlike, the Muslim scholars and preachers who condemn any action that contradict the Glorious Qur’an and blessed Sunnah.
In fact, the principal Hindu festivals were founded on the changes of seasons such as spring and autumn; the time when the sun begins its course to the south.
Nearly all festivals have legends connected with them, in honor of the gods and goddesses who are worshipped with devotion and faith. The Durga Puja, for example, is a celebration of an imaginary fight, and worship is paid to her instead of the One True God, the source of all our blessings.
An English writer says about the Hindu festivals:
“The worship which they perform on these nights consists merely in drumming and shouting, fireworks, in the dragging of the idol car by annoying noisy crowds, in singing and dancing, and in all sorts of shows, noises and riots. On the occasions when this worship is being performed no one ever gives the people who are assembled any exhortation for the good of their souls, nor is any means, then put in operation for the promotion of virtue, and hence the so-called worship promotes immorality instead of good morals.(4)
We note that Islamic festivals are always followed or preceded by congregational prayers and a sermon that invites people to virtuous deeds, moral values, doing good with relatives, neighbors, friends and parents, helping the poor and needy irrespective of race, religion, faith, nationality or affiliation. As can be seen in the sermon of Jumu`ah, `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha and in the sermon of Hajj in `Arafat.
Characteristics of the Islamic Festivals
If you compare the Islamic festivals and Hindu festivals you will find a clear difference between them in everything; in faith, action and behavior. Islamic festivals are characterized with honest belief, pure action, good behavior, high ethics, and love for all, the distribution of alms and charity among the poor and needy and feeding the orphans and widows. Islamic festivals exemplify the love of good for all and philanthropic exertion for everyone. Even, `Eid Al-Adha, for example, embodies the common welfare for the poor and needy, the meat of sacrificial animal is divided into three portions: one for the poor and the needy, the second for the friends, neighbors and relatives, and the third for one’s family. Do you not see that Islam through these festivals intends to spread goodness and joy among all people and does not include any harm to any person a Muslim or non-Muslim?
On the contrary, we find most of the Hindu festivals include serious deviation in the beliefs and corruptions in the action, even some of them include actions that hurt the feelings of others, male and female, wasting money and sexual harassment, as was mentioned previously.
In fact, the sound mind and the true religion are compatible and not contradicting. You need merely to liberate your mind and your thought from the shackles of the tradition and blind following. If you have courage, nothing can stop you from the recognition of the blessings of Islam, its truthfulness and usefulness. (For more information on this subject, please, click here.)
I pray to Allah the Almighty to save us from going astray and guide us to the straight path.
(1) Sudha Singh, Ancient Indian Festivals, University of Allahabad, U.P. India, 2002, p.75.
(3)http://m.timesofindia.com/city/delhi/When-festivity-takes-on-unholy-hues-onHoli/articleshow/12181373.cms (Last accessed on 26-3-2014).
(4) John Murdoch, Hindu and Muhammadan Festivals, “Asian Educational Services”, New Delhi 1991, pp.72,73.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / astha / banaras / brahmin / darshan / dayanad / dewali / dharm-shastar / eid-al-fitr-and-eid-al-adhha / ganga / hindi / hindu-gods / hinduism / holi / india / indian / islamic-shariah / itihasa / kirtan / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / laws-of-manu / lekhram / maha-shivratri-and-the-islamic-festivals-a-comparison / mandir / manusm%e1%b9%9bti / namaz / pilgrimage / prayers / puja / puranas / sanatan-shastar / sangam / sarasvati / shivling / shivratri / temple / tirath / upanishads / vedas / worship / yamuna / yatra /
title: Female Child between Islam and Hinduism (1/2),
It was a blessing of Islam to all mankind in general, and the Hindu girl, especially, that Islam kept her life and salvaged her from certain death. Every country where Islam entered called its people to abolition of the tradition of killing girls, inviting parents to show mercy and compassion for their daughters. Islam warned them of the punishment of Allah in the Hereafter if they violate the rules and regulations regarding their girl’s rights. History says that Islam remained the main source and honest guard for the life of girls through its unique rules, strict laws and practical examples.
Its good impact was that the heinous tradition of killing innocent girls was wiped out from the human society and people became aware of the ugliness of this practice.
The Arabs in ignorance used to bury their daughters alive mercilessly as the birth of a girl was considered as ominous and a sort of insult in the society. They never felt any shame or guilt of this brutal act and terrible crime, rather, it was a common practice in many parts of the world; it was a widespread custom in the human societies including India,as we will talk in this article. In fact, their mind was unable even to perceive the cruelty of this act and no one was to condemn this inhumane practice until the light of Islam illuminated on the horizon of the world and the divine revelation was sent down on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that announced an open war on these bad practices. The clear and precise verses of the Glorious Qur’an awakened awareness and consciousness of good and evil and drew their attention to the horror of these crimes. The divine verses were a light in the darkness of the ignorance and misguidance.
Read the following verses, perhaps, it will guide your heart to believe that the Glorious Qur’an is a true revelation from Allah the Almighty, as no one has perceived such humanistic principles during those days, instead, the whole humanity remained wandering in the jungle of such barbaric acts centuries after centuries, until the guidance of Allah came in the form of the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked. For what sin she was killed?(At-Takwir81:8-9)
This verse drew the attention of the people to the heinousness of this act warning that the killer would be accountable in front of Allah the Almighty on the Day of judgment, and would be questioned why the girl has been buried alive?
Allah (Glory be to Him) described the bad feelings of a person when he was informed of the birth of a female in his house and said:
And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide. (An-Nahl16:58-59)
Now we would like to present some examples that verify that the rights of Indian girls were breached in every walk of life.
Sacrifice of Girls in Ancient India
We find in the books talk about Indian civilization many examples of human sacrifice in general and sacrifice of children in particular.
Wright, Caleb, (d. 1869) says: “About one hundred miles south-west of Cuttack is the country of the Kunds. They worship a goddess called Bhuenee. To secure her blessing upon the soil they cultivate, they deem it important at certain times to offer human sacrifices upon her altars.”(1)
The victims, who must be in the freshness and bloom of youth, are brought by stealing children from distant villages and rearing them until they become large enough to be acceptable to the goddess. At the time of sacrifice, the victim is tied to a post; the sacrificer, with an axe in his hand, slowly advances towards him, chanting to the goddess.
Among the Jerejas, fierce and warlike tribes, who live in the north-west part of India, great numbers of female infants are put to death immediately after birth. In one village, in which were twenty-two boys, not one girl was to be found. The villagers confessed that they had all been murdered. In another village were found fifty-eight boys and only four girls; in another, forty-four boys and four girls; and, in many other villages, the number of boys exceeded that of the girls in nearly the same proportion.(2)
Furthermore, Chapman, Priscilla says in this regard:
“And there is many a touching scene when the knife is laid upon the favorite kid as a sacrificial offering.”(3)
This is unlike Islam and its principles as Islam has honored women and gave them their due and full rights.A Surah of the Glorious Qur’an has been named “An-Nisa’” (The Women) to honor them and exalt their position. It is the influence of Islamic teachings that Muslims in most Islamic countries honor their daughters, love them and treat them with equality; there is no discrimination in treatment between male and female.It is the impact of Islam on the Hindus that many of them gave up this bad practice, as is evident from comparing the conditions of Hindus in the past and the present.
Womanhood was Regarded as a Curse in Hinduism
The phenomenon of insulting women and demeaning them and making them a source of bad luck and omen led some Hindu women to hate themselves for being a female.This was noted by a female Hindu writer, Ramabai Sarasvati who says:“In less than six weeks a school was opened in Bombay with two pupils, one of whom had thrice attempted suicide, restrained only by the fear of being born again a woman.”(4)
According to Hindu tradition women are incapable of exercising any degree of mental capacity, for the men are accustomed to treat them as merely created for their enjoyment or for their service, and really do not esteem them to be of the same order of beings.(5)
Prohibition of Marriage of Widows in Hinduism
Debate on the issue of the second marriage of widow continued between Muslim scholars and Hindu religious leaders in the past century.Undoubtedly, second marriage is permissible in Islam for man and woman if she was divorced by her husband or was separated by the death of her husband. However, some Hindu leaders believed that it is contrary to the Hindu religion and regarded Neyog as a solution to some social and marital problems. The debates with Muslims led some Hindu spiritual leaders to be lenient in this issue. And some of them tried to find evidences in Hindu scriptures that permit second marriage for Hindu widows.
However, the injunctions of the sacred books of the Hindus are unequivocally and positively against their marriage. Thus, widows become a burden on their own families, and are yet debarred from entering anew into the married state, and becoming the centre of a new domestic circle, who are denied the ordinary enjoyments of life, and who can taste no pleasures which are not illegal. This system is utterly incompatible with the general welfare of society.
This custom of marrying girls in their early childhood and as soon as possible, though common to all castes, is most strictly observed by the Brahmins. Once a girl has passed the marriageable age, it is very difficult for her to find a husband.
When the poor girl becomes a widow before she has even become a full woman, and as by the custom of her caste she may not marry again, she is oftentimes tempted to lead an immoral life, thereby reflecting discredit on the whole caste. Everybody recognizes these abuses, but the idea of remedying them, by allowing a young widow to break through the stern rule of custom and marry again, would never even enter the head of a Hindu, more especially of a Brahmin.(6)
In fact, the second marriage for the widow as was prescribed in Islam is a solution to all these social problems.
The grand source of misery in a native house is the degradation attaching to widowhood, and the prohibition of the perhaps yet infant widow to marry again. It is not simply the violation of all the dictates of nature which gives rise to almost universal demoralization, but widows of riper age are too frequently wholly destitute of provision, and in their fall from comparative ease to the worst state of dependence, they become a ready sacrifice to the horrors of vice.(7)
The Practice of Sati in Hinduism
One of the negatives of the Hindu society is the ugly tradition, known as Sati, that has been practiced in the Hindu society up to the past century but the debates with Muslims awakened in some Hindus awareness of the brutally of this crime against humanity and the practice of Sati disappeared these days, but the austerity and isolation of life by Hindu widows is still continued to this day.
Chapman, Priscillaalso noted this phenomenon in India and said: “The Orthodox Hindu still uphold the right of Sati; no less than eight of the wives of the late Rana of Udaipur, the highest family in India, have been burnt to death on his funeral pile.”(8)
On the contrary, we find that Islam forbids suicide and Sati is not but a kind of suicide, the Glorious Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah are full of texts that prohibits killing oneself. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.(An-Nisa’4:29)
In addition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Whoever kills himself with an iron instrument will be carrying it forever in hell. Whoever takes poison and kills himself will forever keep sipping that poison in hell. Whoever jumps off a mountain and kills himself will forever keep falling down in the depths of hell.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
When we compare Islam with Hinduism in the provisions related to the female gender we find Islamic rulings more coinciding with the logic, wisdom and practice. Islam never orders to do anything that contradicts human nature or harms him.
(1) CALEB WRIGHT, A. M. INDIA AND ITS INHABITANTS,BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY L. P. CROWN & CO.1854, p.6.
(3) Chapman, Priscilla, Hindoo Female Education, L. and G. Seeley, Thames Dittom, Surrey, 1839, p.14.
(4) RamabaiSarasvati, 1858- The High-Caste Hindu Woman,New York, Revell, p.18.
(5) Chapman, Priscilla, Hindoo Female Education, L. and G. Seeley, Thames Dittom, Surrey, 1839, p.24.
(6) Dubois, J. A. (Jean Antoine)(1765-1848), Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies,Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1906. p.213.
(7) Chapman, Priscilla, Hindoo Female Education, L. and G. Seeley, Thames Dittom, Surrey, 1839, p.34.
tags: amarnath / aryasamaj / banaras / dayanad / dowry / feminism / ganga / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / hindus / idolatry / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / parvati / polygamy / rights-of-woman / sarasvati / sati / shivling / sita / tirath / varanasi / widows / woman / women-in-islam / yamuna / yatra /
title: Ghunghat Or Hijab in Hinduism and Islam,
In this article, we will talk about modesty, shyness and Hijab (purdah) for woman in Hinduism and Islam. It is noteworthy that Hinduism has some religious instructions on the modesty in general?
Some historians think that purdah has been introduced to the Indian society since the Muslim’s advent in Indian peninsula, before that there was no trace of purdah for the Indian woman. While some Hindu brothers support the idea that purdah in its border sense was a symbol of modesty in India since the Vedic period. Ghunghat is nothing but another name of purdah in Hindi. Also, the Sanskrit and Hindi literature is rich of vocabulary denoting the purdah which is a sign of originality of idea in Hindu culture.
During this study, I came to read an article in Hindi on the concept of ghunghat in the Hindu culture in the light of Hindu scriptures proving existence of veil in ancient India. However, the article has attracted a lot of comments by Hindu visitors refuting the idea of the writer and falsifying the veil in Hinduism. However, my conclusion on the subject is that the references are not enough to prove the obligation of purdah in Hinduism in general. Those references are just signs and indications not clear and general rule for the subject.
But the references are presented here for our readers:
Ghunghat in Ramayana
The Valmiki Ramayana is considered by the followers of Sanatan Dharma as one of their theology sources. It has been said in this scripture that after the Lanka victory, when Sitaji was brought from Ashok Vatika to Rama by Vibhishan, Rama became angry at the efforts to remove the crowd of Sita’s devotees, and said:
व्यसनेषु न कृच्छ्रेषु न युद्धेषु स्वयंवरे।
न क्रतौ नो विवाहे वा दर्शनं दूष्यते स्त्रिया: ।। (1)
(In times of adversity, on the occasions of physical or mental suffering, in war, in self-interest, in marriage, the presence of women in Yajna appearing to others is not a matter of blame.)
So, in normal condition, appearing woman to strangers is blameworthy according to the text.
The veil was also present at that time, after the death of Ravan, the Queen Mandodari and other queens reached on foot to the battlefield mourning. Maharani Mandodari says:
दृष्टा न खल्वभिक्रुद्धो मामिहानवगुण्ठिताम्।
निर्गतां नगरद्वारात् पद्भ्यामेवागतां प्रभो।। (2)
(O Lord, today I do not have a veil on my face, I have come here on foot from the city gate. Why do not you get angry by seeing me in this condition?)
Ravana and Ram’s Cultural Affiliation
In fact, Ravana and Ram belonged to the same religion and the same culture, the only difference was that the first one was demon, evil and cruel while the other was just and compassionate. Ram was a Kshatriya and Ravan was a Brahmin, grandson of Rishi Pulastya and son of Rishi Vaishhava and the practice of ghunghat (veil) was common in both communities. It is evident from the examples of Sita and Mandodari that at the time of Rishi Valmiki when he had composed his Ramayana in India, especially amongst the upper-class women, the ghunghat (veil) system was prevalent. This period may be the third or fourth century BC.
Hijab or Veil in Vedas
In addition, it is mentioned in the Rig Veda: “When Brahma has made you a woman, you should lower your gaze and should not look up. You should put your feet together and you should not reveal what the garment and the veil conceal.” (3)
We find in the above-mentioned text some beautiful instructions for a woman: (a)a woman should lower her gaze. (b) she should put short steps while she walks to avoid exposure of adornments in her feet.
It is further mentioned in Rig Veda “Unlovely is the person or the husband who covers his thighs with the garment of his wife.” (4)
Here, the Rig Veda says that wearing the clothes of the opposite sex is prohibited.
in addition, Rama Commands Sita: “When Purshuram comes, Rama tells his wife Sita that “He is our elder, please lower your gaze, and put on the veil. “(5)
These are the proofs referred by the supporters of ghunghat in Hinduism.
Hijab in the Glorious Qur’an
The Glorious Qur’an has instructions on hijab for woman in detailed and clear manner as you can see in the following text of Qur’an.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” (Surah An-Noor:30-31)
After reading both texts on ghunghat in Ramayana and Veda and hijab in Islam, we see clear similarities between the commandments of both religions. At the same time, we find very important details in the commands of Qur’an that is very brief in Vedas.
- The Glorious Qur’an commands both; men and women to lower their gaze, not only for men.
- The Glorious Qur’an commands to guard their private parts from prohibited acts.
- The Glorious Qur’an has commanded woman to cover their whole body and not to expose their adornment to strangers.
- The Glorious Qur’an has mentioned that the adornment of a woman can appear to some close relatives and attendees who are children.
However, the Islamic purdah and the Hindu ghunghat differ from each other in many aspects:
(1) The Islamic purdah is from outsiders and strangers, not from blood relatives and not from father in law. On the contrary, Hindu ghunghat is also from the relatives and strangers.
(2) The Islamic purdah is for female, only if she is adult, whether she is a daughter-in-law or a daughter. While Hindu ghunghat is only for a woman in her husband’s house, not for the daughters in her father’s house, whether she is married or unmarried.
(3) The Islamic purdah is based on the commands and teachings in the Glorious Qur’an and Sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) while Hindu ghunghat is based on social practice and custom, not on religious scripture.
(4) Hindu ghunghat is also from some women. In Rajasthan, Bengal and Mithila daughter in law veils from her mother in law out of respect.
(5) According to Hindu practice, the daughter-in-law will veil from her father in law, she will do the same with her husband’s elder brother, but she will not veil from her husband’s younger brother. And every male in the whole village who is older than her husband will be treated like her own elder brother in law and everyone who is younger than her husband would be treated like her own younger brother in law. However, according to Islamic law, she must veil from brother in law, younger or older if he is adult.
(6) According to some Hindu brothers, ghunghat is only a symbol of respect and honor for the elder and head of the family. Therefore, a daughter in law will do veil from her mother in law.
- वाल्मीकीय रामायण, भाग- 2, सर्ग 114.
- वाल्मीकीय रामायण, भाग-2 , सर्ग 111.
- Rig Veda Book no. 10 Hymn no. 85 V. no.30
- Rig Veda Book no. 8 Hymn no. 33V. no. 19
- Maha veera Chritra Act 2 page on 71.
tags: combination-of-islam-and-hinduism / common-things-in-islam-and-hinduism / compare-and-contrast-islam-and-hinduism-essay / difference-between-islam-and-hinduism / difference-between-islam-and-hinduism-pdf / ethical-standards-of-islam-and-hinduism / ghunghat / hijab / hinduism / hinduism-and-islam-book-pdf / hinduism-and-islam-god-is-one / hinduism-and-islam-relations / hinduism-and-islam-the-common-thread / hinduism-and-islam-the-common-thread-pdf / hinduism-vs-islam-religion / history-of-islam-and-hinduism / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-alike / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-different / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-similar / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-the-same / how-old-is-islam-and-hinduism / in-what-region-did-islam-and-hinduism-meet / indian / islam / islam-about-hinduism / islam-and-hinduism-by-zakir-naik-pdf / islam-and-hinduism-common / islam-and-hinduism-comparison-chart / islam-and-hinduism-connection / islam-and-hinduism-essay / islam-and-hinduism-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-pdf / islam-aur-hinduism / islam-aur-hinduism-me-yaksaniyat / islam-buddhism-hinduism-judaism-christianity / islam-buddhism-hinduism-similarities / islam-copied-hinduism / islam-e-hinduismo / islam-from-hinduism / islam-hinduism-christianity / islam-hinduism-comparison / islam-in-hinduism-books / islam-o-hinduismo / islam-on-hinduism / islam-or-hinduism-which-is-older / islam-origin-hinduism / islam-over-hinduism / islam-prophet-hinduism / islam-quran-hinduism / islam-to-hinduism / islam-to-hinduism-conversion / islam-to-hinduism-converts / islam-vs-hinduism-chart / islam-vs-hinduism-history / islam-vs-hinduism-in-hindi / islam-vs-hinduism-vs-buddhism / judaism-and-hinduism-islam / mix-of-islam-and-hinduism / purdah / quran / ramayana / religion-that-combines-islam-and-hinduism / sikhism-mixture-of-islam-and-hinduism / similarities-between-hinduism-and-islam-dr-zakir-naik / similarities-between-hinduism-islam-and-judaism / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism-by-dr-zakir-naik / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism-pdf / similarities-of-islam-and-hinduism / similarities-with-islam-and-hinduism / veda / veil / what-do-islam-and-hinduism-have-in-common / what-do-islam-and-hinduism-in-fact-represent / what-does-hinduism-islam-and-judaism-have-in-common / what-does-islam-and-hinduism-have-in-common / woman / %e0%a4%98%e0%a5%82%e0%a4%82%e0%a4%98%e0%a4%9f / %e0%a4%aa%e0%a4%b0%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%a6%e0%a4%be / %e0%a4%b8%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%a4%e0%a5%8d%e0%a4%b0%e0%a5%80 /
title: Devadasi Tradition in Hinduism,
Devadasi: in Hindi dasi means a female servant and deva means god, thus devadasi means a female servant of god. In the Hindu culture, devadasi is a girl dedicated to worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life.
However, devadasi girls are physically abused after they are made to reside in temples in the name of religion.
Devdasi practice is thousands of years old that have been changing over the ages. Despite its legal prohibitions in India, there are reports of this kind of incidents in some areas.
Important Information about Devdasi
* It is said that the practice began in the sixth century.
* Some virgins were donated to temples in India under the name of religion.
*Parents gave their daughters in marriage to a deity or dedicated them to the temples.
*Sometimes, the guardians used to vow their daughters to dedicate them for the service of the temple and the visitors after some of their wishes were fulfilled.
* The women who were married to Hindu Gods were called Devadasi.
* They were supposed to live the simple and miserable life and were physically abused.
*Matsya Purana, Vishnu Purana and the commentary of Kautilya mentioned the practice of Devadasi.
* When we celebrate the occasion of Women’s Day we have to make the people aware of such bad practices under the name of religion and faith.
Kalidas and Davadasi
The services of Devadasis included: maintaining the temples, preparations for worship, a dance at the temple, etc. Kalidasa has mentioned in ‘Megdutm’ virgin girls dedicated to the temple, perhaps, he intended the devadasis.
The Hindu Devadasi Practice was abolished by Islam
When Islam entered India through the Muslim traders, travelers and scholars, the culture of India was influenced by the culture of Islam. The philosophies, social and religious practices of the Indian people were reformed. The concepts of Indian people towards women, their purity, and impurity, the status of Hindu widows, the issues of Sati were corrected by the influence of Islamic culture in India. Islamic culture has clear rulings regarding all those issues.
The Influence of Islamic Culture on Indian Culture
Islam permits a widow or divorcee to marry another person again when she wants that, but Hinduism does not permit that, Hinduism permits burning a widow with her deceased husband, but Islam does not permits that. In all these and similar issues, the Islamic culture influenced the Indian culture. Islam has eradicated many of the Hindu traditions and harmful religious practices opening the eyes of the people to wider horizons in many fields. Islam influenced the Hindu belief system, thought, culture, dress, way of eating, drinking rather the whole life system, including the crafts and professions. In addition, Hindu women‘s conditions have improved under the Muslim rule in India.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / banaras / dayanad / devadasi / dowry / feminism / ganga / hindu-gods / idolatry / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / parvati / polygamy / rights-of-woman / sarasvati / sati / shivling / sita / tirath / varanasi / widows / woman / yamuna / yatra /
title: Does Islam Give Women Freedom?,
By Editorial Staff
O people of media, please, do not write my whole speech; rather, write down in your newspapers the following point only.
Do you know what Islam has granted women? How lofty position was bestowed upon women by Islam? Think wherever Lady Hajar, (wife of Ibrahim) ran between Safaa and Marwah and wherever she passed by and wherever she walked slowly, her walk became obligatory to be imitated in the Hajj as it became a part of worship in Islam to walk fast wherever she walked fast.
Haji’s Commemoration in Hajj
Allah the Almighty has commanded that the worship of Hajj would not be accepted unless her style of walk and her way of running is imitated. And this is a followed tradition in Hajj until the Day of Judgment. Her footsteps became a part of worship in Islam. The footstep of a woman became an important part of worship to Allah the Almighty.
Is there for a woman any position higher than this? Which religion can give a woman such a sublime position?
My brothers! The footstep of a woman became the part of worship to Allah the Almighty in Islam. A man has been commanded to imitate a woman when she ran fast.
In fact, Islam cannot not be compared with any religion in the world. No religion in the world has given a woman as high and honorable position as was granted by Islam. Can you give her that position? Freedom! Freedom! What freedom? Oh, that freedom! Let me explain.
Advice of Wolves to the Goats
Once, a wolf went to the herd of the goats and advised them saying: Your owner always oppresses you and keeps you tied, so cry and protest against him and try to get your freedom. Go to the forest, where you will find greenery everywhere; the atmosphere would be nice and fine. You can walk and jump freely. Whilst, here you are in prison, you have to eat every day the same kind of fodder; even sometimes, you could not find anything to eat. Quite the opposite, if you go to the forest, you can run, jump and walk. The goats believed the wolf, and began protesting against the owner and began crying: Bein, Bein, Bein, and then the owner asked: O goats! What is wrong with you? And the goats began coming out of their logs. Let us walk freely, give our freedom; we do not like a life of slavery. The goats were already brainwashed by the wolf. There was an old and weak goat which tried to advise them and told them: “In fact, the wolves are your enemies. Do not believe them. Be happy with your little fodder here. You are safe and secure here. But if you walk freely in the forest, you will not be safe and secure.”
The goats started opposing: O mother! You became an old and you are old-fashioned! You have already lived your life. But we are still youthful, and we have a long life ahead to live and enjoy. We want only our freedom, and we do not like your advice at all.
The goats protested against their owner until the owner became angry, and made them free from their logs and said: if you want your freedom then, go and be free, no one will stop you, moreover, you did not like the sincere advice of the goat. As soon as the owner set the goats free, they became extremely happy and celebrated their freedom and entered the forest running and jumping. One day passed, and two days passed easily, but on the third day, they entered even more dangerous forest were the ferocious wolves were sitting and waiting for them eagerly. Suddenly, the wolves came out of the bushes and caught the goats and tore them and ate them. However, the old goat remained safe with its owner, but all other goats were tore and eaten.
Human-Wolf and the Freedom of Woman
My mothers and my sisters! Those who are shouting for the freedom of woman, and who are calling out for the freedom of woman here and there are in fact, wolves. Those are wolves who are not thinking about your freedom, instead, their intention is only to get a hold on your body. And they cannot achieve it but through the dream of your freedom.
Otherwise, show me any place in the world where you are safe and protected. If you enter the field of cinema, the director plays with your body. If you work as someone’s personal secretary, he exploits you and your body. Show me any place in the world where you are not exploited and you are not molested.
Those who are shouting for the freedom of woman are the wolves who hide within them a fraudulent devil, who intend to exploit your body under the name of freedom and they are successful in their goals.
My sisters! Try to realize that those people who are shouting for your freedom never intend your freedom in reality. Therefore, seek the freedom that has been granted on you by Islam. And that is enough for you. Thus, you are secured and you are tranquil.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / aurat / banaras / dayanad / devadasi / dowry / feminism / freedom / ganga / hindu-gods / idolatry / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / parvati / polygamy / rights-of-woman / sarasvati / sati / shivling / sita / stree / tirath / varanasi / widows / woman / yamuna / yatra /
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: Islam: A Divine Blessing for Hindu Girls,
By Aisha Stacey
This article deals with the issue of girls or female in both religions: Hinduism and Islam.
Hinduism(1) is the third largest religion in the world, with more than 950 million adherents. Although Hindus live predominantly in India and Nepal, they are scattered throughout the world. In some ways Hinduism and Islam can be thought of as polar opposites. Two of the most basic beliefs of Hinduism conflict completely with the most basic beliefs of Islam. In Islam worship is for One God, Muslims do not worship idols, statues or representations of God. Hindus, on the other hand worship many gods and deities.(For more information on this subject, please, click here.)
Muslims believe that we each have one life, upon which we will be judged and rewarded or punished accordingly, whereas Hindus believe in reincarnation, the process of rebirth and the transmigration of souls. In this article we will talk about the status of women in Hinduism and compare it with the teachings of Islam.(For more information on this subject, please, click here.)
Women in India suffer from a wide range of social injustices and the status of women is usually discussed on a nationwide basis. However it is important to note that more than 80% of Indians are Hindu and the majority of negative behaviors towards women can be attributed to Hindu practices. Indian women rank high in worldwide statistics on prostitution, the murder, neglect and abuse of young girls, the number of women sold into slavery, as victims of AIDS, and living below the poverty line.
Infanticide, the killing of a child soon after birth, has been prevalent in India for centuries. In 1834 it was reported that, “in some villages, no girl babies were found at all; in a total of thirty others, there were 343 boys to 54 girls.” One hundred and fifty years later the killing of girl babies has been streamlined. In a 2007 article, Reuters reported on the high level of female feticide (the practice of aborting female fetuses) in India. According to UNICEF, ‘A report from Bombay in 1984 on abortions after prenatal sex determination stated that 7,999 out of 8,000 of the aborted fetuses were female.
Reuters also reports that “Around 10 million girls have been killed by their parents over the last 20 years. Female infanticide and feticide, although illegal, are still prevalent with boys preferred to girls.” A 2006 government survey found that 45 percent of girls were married before the legal marriageable age of 18. India’s adult female literacy rate in 2004 was 47.8%, compared to the adult male rate of 73.4%. What is it about Hinduism that allows such blatant discrimination against an entire gender?
Some argue that the Hindu scriptures allow such practices. An obsession with sons stems from the age of Atharva Veda when it was written “Let a female child be born somewhere else. Here let a son be born.” However Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, although this appears to not make a great deal of sense, it does, in the sense that Hinduism is a mixture of religious and cultural practices. The Hindu religion calls for rituals to be conducted in honor of women yet at the same time, women are denied any form of last rights at death or a fair share in family inheritance. In a letter to an Indian newspaper in 2002 one woman tried to explain the increase in feticide.
In India marrying a girl off is very expensive and the boy children bring home a bride and a dowry. Also Hindu law requires that only a SON may light the funeral pyre of their mother and father. We all know it is very costly to marry off a girl whereas the marriage of a son brings back whatever has been spent on him since his birth. This is a fact and unless this is addressed to, female feticide cannot be stopped.
Baby boys are desired, whereas, girl babies are despised. In the Arabian Peninsula before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam, baby girls were buried alive. This was an ignorant practice and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated unreservedly that female children are a blessing and that raising them to be righteous believers is a source of great reward. In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah the Almighty declares those who despise daughters as evil.
And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide. (An-Nahl 16:58-59)
The traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) show very clearly that raising girls is a source of pleasure both in this life and in the Hereafter. His beloved wife `Aa’ishah relates stories that demonstrate the desirability of female babies.
A lady along with her two daughters came to me (`Aa’ishah) asking for some alms, but she found nothing with me except one date which I gave to her and she divided it between her two daughters, and did not eat anything herself, and then she got up and went away. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) came in and I informed him about this story. He said: “Whoever raises daughters and treats them generously (with benevolence) then these daughters will act as a shield from Hell-Fire for them.”(Al-Bukhari).
“Whenever a child was born among them, `Aa’ishah would not ask if it was a boy or a girl. Instead she would ask: ‘Is the child healthy (and without defect)?’ If she was told: ‘Yes,’ she would say: ‘All praise is for Allah, Lord of All the Worlds.’”
A common social ailment amongst the Hindus is the practice of the bride’s family paying a dowry to her new husband’s family. Although this practice was formerly outlawed in 1961, it is still pervasive.
Due to the difficulties and hardships that dowries cause and the humiliations and dishonor inflicts a girl, Islam has no such custom or requirement. Instead, Islam has what is known as the mahr. It is a gift of money, possessions or property made by the husband to the wife, which becomes her exclusive property. It is an admission of her independence, and is intended to show the husband’s willing acceptance of bearing all the necessary expenses of his wife.
As you can see from two examples, the status of women in Islam is very different to the status of women in Hinduism. While one religion, Hinduism, claims to honor women, it is up to the secular Indian government to make laws forbidding the atrocious treatment Hinduism allows. On the other hand respect for women is enshrined in Islamic law.
If a Hindu girl is really eager for the true liberty, honor, security and spiritual peace, she can enjoy all those blessing in the shade of Islamic rulings that have no room for any sort of discriminatory or oppressive ethnic constitution against the feminine gender.
Islam is a blessing for a Hindu girl even when she is a fetus in the womb of her mother, because Islam secures her from being aborted as such heinous act is strictly forbidden by Islamic Ruling. Islam is a blessing for a Hindu girl when she is a marriageable woman, because Islam prohibits any kind of excessive expenses in marriage and Islam saves her from the curse of dowry that leads many girls in Hindu society to commit suicide, instead of that, Islam urges a bridegroom to present gift to his bride during the marriage contract. Islam is a blessing for a Hindu girl when she is a widow because Islam forbids burning a widow with her husband’s funeral pyre as well as Islam allows her for second marriage after her husband’s death. Islam is a blessing for Hindu girl when she is a mother as Islam regards that Paradise lies under the feet of mothers. In fact, Islam has honored woman in all stages of her life, rather, Islam has breathed a life into the dead and oppressed being of a female gender.
 Except for specific quotations the majority of the information about Hinduism is obtained from the following web sites. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/ataglance/glance.shtml) (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2122.html) (http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism4.htm). (www.religiousconsultation.org) (www.sanatana-dharma.tripod.com) (www.religionfacts.com)
Source: Taken from with modifications.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / banaras / dayanad / dowry / feminism / ganga / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / hindus / idolatry / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / parvati / polygamy / rights-of-woman / sarasvati / sati / shivling / sita / tirath / varanasi / widows / woman / women-in-islam / yamuna / yatra /
title: The Rights of Women in Islam and Hinduism,
1. The Hindu Woman has no right to divorce her husband.
2. She has no property or inheritance rights.
3. Choice of partner is limited because she can only marry within her own caste. Moreover, her horoscope must match that of the intending bridegroom or his family.
4. The family of the girl has to offer an enormous dowry to the bridegroom or his family.
5. If her husband dies she should commit Sati (being cremated with her dead husband). Since today’s law forbids Sati, society mainly punishes her in other “holy” ways, as would be explained below.
6. She cannot remarry.
7. The widow is considered to be a curse and must not be seen in public. Also she cannot wear jewelry or colorful clothes. She should not even take part in her children’s marriage.
8. Child and infant marriage is encouraged.
1. The Muslim woman has the same right as the Muslim man in all matters including divorce, as Islamic Shari`ah gives her the right of Khul`a, that is a kind of separation from her husband .
2. She enjoys property and inheritance rights. Which other religion grants women these rights? She can also conduct her own separate business.
3. She can marry any Muslim of her choice. If her parents choose a partner for her, her consent must be taken.
4. The dowry in Islam is a gift from a husband to his wife.
5. A Muslim widow is encouraged to remarry, and her remarriage is the responsibility of the Muslim society.
6. Mixed marriage or marrying outside of one’s social group is encouraged and is a means to prevent racism creeping in society.
7. A Muslim mother is given the highest form of respect.
What right do the Hindus have to criticize the Muslims? Have you ever heard of a Muslim burning his wife? In parts of India, women die daily of dowry deaths; Hindu women being burnt by the husband or in-laws. The Brahmins are trying to claim that Muslims do not give freedom to their women. I ask you again. “Do the Hindus respect their women?”
You be the judge.
Sister Noor: A Converted Hindu Woman Find that Islam does not Oppress Women
I came from a purely Hindu family where we were always taught to regard ourselves (i.e. women) as beings who were eventually to be married off and have children and serve the husband , whether he was kind or not. Other than this I found that there were a lot of things which really oppressed women, such as:
* If a woman was widowed, she would always have to wear a white Sari, eat vegetarian meals, cut her hair short, and never re-marry. The bride always had to pay the dowry (bridal money) to the husband’s family. And the husband could ask for anything, irrespective of whether the bride would have difficulty in the payment.
The Curse of Dowry in Hindu Society
* Not only that, if after marriage she was not able to pay the full dowry she would be both emotionally and physically tortured, and could end up being a victim of “kitchen death” where the husband, or both the mother-in-law and the husband try to set fire to the wife while she is cooking or is in the kitchen, and try to make it look like an accidental death. More and more of these instances are taking place. The daughter of a friend of my own father’s had the same fate last year!
Worship of a Particular Deity for the Marriage of a Hindu Girl
* In addition to all this, men in Hinduism are treated literally as among the gods. In one of the religious Hindu celebrations, unmarried girls pray for and worship an idol representing a particular god (Shira) so that they may have husbands like him. Even my own mother had asked me to do this. This made me see that the Hindu religion which is based on superstitions and things that have no manifest proof, but were merely traditions which oppressed women could not be right.
Are Women Oppressed in West ?
Subsequently, when I came to England to study, I thought that at least this is a country which gives equal rights to men and women, and does not oppress them. We all have the freedom to do as we like, I thought. Well, as I started to meet people and make new friends, learn about this new society, and go to all the places my friends went to in order to “socialize” (bars, dance halls, etc.). I realized that this “equality” was not so true in practice as it was in theory.
Outwardly, women were seen to be given equal rights in education, work and so forth, but in reality women were still oppressed in a different, more subtle way. When I went with my friends to those places they hung out at, I found everybody interested to talk to me and I thought that was normal. But it was only later that I realized how naive I was, and recognized what these people were really looking for. I soon began to feel uncomfortable, as if I was not myself: I had to dress in a certain way so that people would like me, and had to talk in a certain way to please them. I soon found that I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, less and less myself, yet I could not get out. Everybody was saying they were enjoying themselves, but I don’t call this enjoying.
I think women in this way of life are oppressed; they have to dress in a certain way in order to please and appear more appealing, and also talk in a certain way so people like them. During this time, I had not thought about Islam, even though I had some Muslim acquaintances. But I felt I really had to do something, to find something that I would be happy and secure with, and would feel respected with. Something to believe in that is the right belief, because everybody has a belief that they live according to. If having fun by getting off with other people is someone’s belief, they do this. If making money is someone’s belief, they do everything to achieve this. If they believe drinking is one way to enjoy life then they do it. But I feel all this leads to nowhere. No one is truly satisfied and the respect women are looking for is diminishing in this way.
In these days of so called “society of equal rights”, you are expected to have a boyfriend (or you’re weird!) and to not be a virgin. So this is a form of oppression even though some women do not realize it. When I came to Islam, it was obvious that I had finally found permanent security. A religion, a belief that was so complete and clear in every aspect of life. Many people have a misconception that Islam is an oppressive religion, where women are covered from head to toe and they are not allowed any freedom or rights. In fact, women in Islam are given more rights and have been for the past 1400 years, compared to the only-recently rights given to non-Muslim women in some western and some other societies. But there are, even now, societies where women are still oppressed, as I mentioned earlier in relation to Hindu women.
What are the Rights of Women in Islam?
Muslim women have the right to inheritance. They have the right to run their own trade and business. They have the full right to ownership, property, disposal over their wealth to which the husband has no right. They have the right to education, a right to refuse marriage as long as this refusal is according to reasonable and justifiable grounds. The Glorious Qur’an itself, which is the Word of God, contains many verses commanding men to be kind to their wives and stressing the rights of women. Islam gives the right set of rules, because they are not made by men, but made by God; hence it is a perfect religion.
Why Muslim Women are Covered from Head to Toe?
Quite often Muslim women are asked why they are covered from head to toe, and are told that this is oppression – it is not. In Islam, marriage is an important part of life, the making of the society. Therefore, a woman should not go around showing herself to everybody, only for her husband. Even the man is not allowed to show certain parts of his body to none but his wife. In addition, Allah (Glory be to Him) has commanded Muslim women to cover themselves for their modesty:
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they could be known as such (i.e. decent and chaste) and not molested. (Al-Ahzab33:59)
If we look around at any other society, we find that in the majority of cases women are attacked and molested because of how they are dressed. Another point I’d like to comment on is that the rules and regulation laid down in Islam by Allah do not apply just to women but to men also. There is no intermingling and free-running between men and women for the benefit of both. Whatever Allah commands is right, wholesome, pure and beneficial to mankind; there is no doubt about that. A verse in the Glorious Qur’an explains this concept clearly:
Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (i.e. from indecency, illegal sexual acts, etc.); that will make for greater purity for them. And God is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (from indecency, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.); and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments.( An-Nur 24:31)
What is Hijab?
When I put on my hijab (veil), I was really happy to do it. In fact, I really want to do it. When I put on the hijab, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and happiness. I am satisfied because I had obeyed Allah’s command and I am happy with the good and blessings that come with it. I have felt secure and protected. In fact, people respect me more for it. I could really see the difference in behavior towards me.
Finally, I’d like to say that I had accepted Islam not blindly, or under any compulsion. In the Glorious Qur’an itself there is a verse which says:
Let there be no compulsion in religion. (Al-Baqarah2:256)
Satisfaction with Islam:
I accepted Islam with conviction. I have seen, been there, done that, and seen both sides of the story. I know and have experienced what the other side is like, and I know that I have done the right thing. Islam does not oppress women, but rather Islam liberates them and gives them the respect they deserve. Islam is the religion Allah has chosen for the whole of mankind. Those who accept it are truly liberated from the chains and shackles of mankind whose ruling and legislating necessitates nothing but the oppression of one group by another and the exploitation and oppression of one sex by the other. This is not the case of Islam which truly liberated women and gave them an individuality not given by any other authority.
Sister Noor embraced Islam while an undergraduate studying in the
Department of Biology at the University of Essex, U. K.
This article was taken from:www.sunniforum.com with modification.
tags: amarnath / aryasamaj / banaras / benazeer / dayanad / dowry / feminism / ganga / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / hindus / idolatry / indra-gandhi / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / malalah / parvati / polygamy / rights-of-woman / sania-mirza / sarasvati / sati / seeta / shivling / sita / sonia-gandhi / tirath / varanasi / widows / woman / women-in-islam / yamuna / yatra /