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: A Hindu Brother Became Sa`ad,
By Editorial Staff
This video is about a spiritual and divine experience by a Hindu brother. This is an attractive dialogue between a Muslim teacher and his Hindu student on some hot Islamic issues such as women’s personal freedom and Hijab in Islam.
Our new Muslim brother began his speech, with the praise of God, sent bouquet of peace and blessings to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and then he greeted the honorable audience in a traditional way in Arabic.
His name is Muhammad Sa`ad, and he accepted Islam 7 years ago. His spiritual journey began when he met some Muslim brothers in college. He used to study math with one of his Muslim teachers who used to come to his home to teach him tuition. The student continued his study with his Muslim teacher for several months.
Idol-worship in the Major Religions of World
According to brother Sa`ad, the talk on comparative religion began between them. The topics were like: What is Islam about? What is Hinduism? What are the teachings of Sikhism? What is Christianity?
The Muslim teacher tried to explain to him the teachings of Islam. During the debate, the teacher asked his Hindu student, if Hinduism has the concept of idol-worship. The student argued saying: What is wrong with it? Hinduism has idol-worship and idol-worship is famous amongst Hindus.
The Muslim teacher: Who is superior; the potter or the idol? Rather, who is higher: the idol-maker or the idol? Undoubtedly, who makes the idol is mightier and higher than the idol.
The Hindu student: Yes, you are right and logical.
Hijab for Woman in Islam
The Hindu student and the Muslim teacher exchanged talks on different issues such as: Purdah or Hijab for woman in Islam.
The Muslim teacher: Hinduism does not have any way of life. Does Hinduism say something about how a woman has to lead her life?
The Hindu student: What are the teachings of Islam about woman’s way of life?
The Muslim teacher: Islam recommends Purdah or Hijab for woman and adult girls. (Purdah or Hijab in Islamic jurisprudence refers to any dress or garment that covers woman’s whole body except her hands and face in front of strange people according to Hanafi School of jurisprudence.)
The Hindu student: Why Hijab or Purdah for woman in Islam? Is this not a sort of restriction for women’s personal freedom, specially, if a woman does not want to do so? Isn’t it an injustice to women? If a woman wants to live her life according to her own wish and thought, she has full right to do so. Isn’t it?
The Muslim teacher: The question is: who is more exposed to bad comments and silly talks by the youngsters or youths sitting on the streets and roads? The woman who is modest covering her head and wearing a black and loose dress is safer than the woman whose head, hair and legs are uncovered and who is wearing transparent and tight clothes?
The answer is that a respectful, veiled woman is always far from bad comments; abuse and harassment while a common woman in an indecent and describing dress is always vulnerable to harassments when they are out of their homes.
Killing an Animal for the Food
Killing the animal rather, the cow for the food is one of the major issues in modern India. The issue of cow slaughter in India has now become a thorny issue and a major problem. Human life now became cheaper than the life of a cow. Sometimes, innocent people are being killed for the sake of cows. Human beings are beaten and trampled mercilessly on the ground by some Hindus who have been brainwashed with extremist ideas away from disciplined education. Humans in India are now killed more harshly and ruthlessly than the slaughter of cow.
In addition, the cows are thrown in dirty and filthy places in the name of Gao-mata protection or Gao-Rakhsha and are left hungry and thirsty dying slowly with thirst and hunger. If the cows are slaughtered and eaten it is more respectful merciful for them than these miserable conditions. But who has free and logical thinking?
Do Bacteria Have Life?
Some Hindu brothers object to Muslims that they kill the animal for their food which is a sort of selfishness and injustice. In this video, brother Muhammad Sa`ad responds to those Hindu brothers arguing that Hindu brothers also do wrong and injustice to the trees, vegetables and plants when they cut it for their food and this is more offending and merciless act because the animal can escape and run while the plant cannot do anything in defense. Moreover, they cause death of many animals when they eat yogurt because it includes many of the bacteria that are a sort of tiny animals.
Sa`ad’s Conversion and the Fasts of Ramadan
Further, brother Muhammad Sa`ad talked about the subject of Paradise and Hell in Islam and Hinduism. However, when he became fully aware of Islamic Creed he became eager to pronounce the testimony of faith “Ash hadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan rasul ullah”.
“I bear witness that there is no God except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah.”
Then he prayed the first prayer in his life and it was the Zhuhr prayer (noon prayer) then he began fasting; one of the pillars of Islam. He observed the fasting of Ramadan for the first time. The next year, again he fasted the whole month of Ramadan. His mother objected to his conversion to Islam until he was expelled from his house but he preferred Islam over his house and parents.
tags: acharya / allah / amarnath / angels / avtar / beef / bhagavata / bharat / conversion / cow / dharma / ganesh / gao-mata / gharvapsi / ghaznavi / god / hindi / hindu / hinduism / indian-subcontinent / islam / kali / krishna / kumbh / mahabharat / muhammad / muslim / pramod / prophet / purana / quran / rama / ramayana / saad / sanatan / sanskrit / shivling / sita / varanasi / vedas /
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 /
title: What Does Islam Give Woman?,
By Aisha Stacey
Fourteen hundred years ago Islam gave woman rights; rights that could not have been imagined by European counterparts.
It’s the words that have been spoken repeatedly, especially in the last two or three decades by Muslim converts, and Islamic writers, academics and educators across the globe.
Women’s rights, responsibilities, and choices have been the subject of books, articles, essays, and lectures. Sadly however, convincing the world that Muslim women are not oppressed by Islam is a message that is just not getting through. Media headlines scream oppression and the words Muslim, women, and oppression seem to have become inextricably linked.
No matter what Muslim women do or say to try to convince the world otherwise, words like hijab (veil), burqa, polygamy, and Shari`ah (Islamic Law) seem to do little but convince people that Islam oppresses women. Even educated, articulate women fulfilling the modest conditions of hijab can do little to dispel the myths.
Women who conduct themselves with decorum and grace and function effortlessly in the modern world have their achievements and successes celebrated. However, if a woman wears a scarf that covers her hair or puts her religion above worldly pursuits she is immediately labeled oppressed.
The most visible sign of a Muslim woman’s faith is the headscarf or hijab; it is also the garment that leads people to believe that Islam oppresses women. Although Islamic scholars unanimously agree that modest dress and head coverings are obligatory in Islam, for the majority of Muslim women around the world, to cover, or not to cover, is a freely made choice.
The women who chose to wear hijab view it as a right, not a burden and many describe wearing hijab as liberation from the need to conform to unrealistic stereotypes and images dictated by the media.
What exactly do Muslim women say about themselves in relation to the issue of oppression? In 2005, a World Gallup Organization Poll, entitled ‘What women Want’:
‘Listening to the voices of Muslim woman, revealed that the majority of women polled, in predominantly Muslim countries resented lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption. The headscarf or hijab, or any garment covering the face and body, often depicted as a tool of oppression was not even mentioned.’
The report concluded that ’…most women in the Muslim world are well aware that they have the same capabilities and deserve the same fundamental rights as men. Majorities of females in each of the eight countries surveyed said they believe women are able to make their own voting decisions, to work at any job for which they are qualified, and even to serve in the highest levels of government.’
Islam raised the level of women, they were no longer chattels being passed from father to husband. They became equal to men, with rights and responsibilities that take into account the nature of humankind. Unfortunately across the globe, Muslim women are victims of cultural aberrations that have no place in Islam. Powerful individuals and groups claim to be Muslim yet fail to practice the true principles of Islam.
Whenever the media reveals unconscionable stories about honour killings, genital mutilation, forced marriage, the punishment of rape victims, women being confined to their homes or women being denied education they are revealing a tale of men and women who are ignorant about the status of women in Islam.
O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the bridal money you have given them. And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and God brings a great deal of good through it. (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)
The religion of Islam demands that women be treated with respect, honour, and justice. It condemns oppression of any kind. In Islam women, like men, are commanded to believe in Allah and to worship Him. Women are equal to men in terms of reward in the Hereafter.
And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of God, such will enter paradise; and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date stone, will be done to them. (An-Nisaa’ 4:124)
Women in Islam have the right to own property, to control their own money to buy and sell, and to give gifts and charity. It is not permissible for anyone to take a woman’s wealth without her consent. Islam gave women formal rights of inheritance. Women in Islam have the right to an education; seeking and acquiring knowledge is an obligation on all Muslims, male or female.
Muslim women have the right to accept or refuse marriage proposals as they see fit, and married women are completely free from the obligation of supporting and maintaining the family. Working married women are free to contribute to the household expenses, or not, as they see fit. Women have the right to seek divorce if it becomes necessary.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked: “O Messenger of Allah! How can we know her permission?” He said: “Her silence (indicates her permission).” (Al-Bukhari)
A woman was given by her father in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to the Messenger of Allah and he declared that marriage invalid. (Al-Bukhari)
The religion of Islam declares that women are worthy human beings deserving of respect, and the right to be free from oppression. Women have the right to a decent life, without facing aggression or abuse of any kind. They have the right to pursue a life that is pleasing to them within Islamic boundaries. Nobody has the right to force women to be less then they want to be. The true teachings of Islam, declare that women should be held in a position of high regard.
Sadly, it is true that some Muslim women are oppressed, but across the globe, some women are treated badly by some men, of all religious persuasions and ethnicities. It is possible to say that such and such a government oppresses women, or that Muslim men in such and such a country think it is acceptable to beat women, however, it is not correct to say that Islam oppresses women.
If women were given their due rights, as set out in the religion of Islam, the global oppression of women could be trampled into oblivion.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)said: “None but a noble man treats women in an honourable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully.” (At-Tirmidhi)
For information about woman in Hinduism, please, click here.
tags: divorce / divorcee / dress-code / equality-of-woman / equity / hijab / hindu-widows / islamic-law / modesty / niyog / oppression / parvati / polygamy / sati / second-marriage / shariah / true-religion-of-islam / veil / woman-rights-in-islam / woman-status-in-islam /
title: Real and Fake Worship in Islam and Hinduism,
In this article we will look into the issue of animal-worship in Hinduism and compare it with the concept of worship in Islam analyzing the issue in the context of religious developmental process alongside the history of Hinduism.
Animal’s Status in Hinduism
In the Hindu scriptures it has been said that there is not only human being who equality and equity but animals deserve the same. Just as human beings they feel sadness and pain. Therefore, the rule of proper care has been made. Those who take care of animals also get a lot of rewards. Even there are some animals, that are worshiped according to Hindu philosophy.
The Animals That Are Worshiped in Hindu Community
Snake: According to scriptures, snake is the beloved creature of Shivaji. Shiva holds his neck and this is why snake is worshiped in Hindu culture. Nag Panchami is a special annual occasion and specific festival devoted for the worship of snake.
Cow: It is believed that all deities dwell in the body of the cow. This is why the cow has been considered sacred and holy. A person who regularly worships the cow gets all the pleasures.
Bullock: Shiva’s vehicle is bull and it is worshipped for this reason. Agricultural work in the rural zones begins with the worship of bulls, because the work of agriculture is done with the help of oxen.
Elephant: The elephant is considered to be the symbol of Hindu deity Ganesh. The face of Ganesha is similar to that of the elephant, hence the elephant is worshiped. The person who regularly worships the elephant receives the grace of Lord Ganesha.
Horse: In ancient times whenever King-Maharaj used to go to war, he used to worship horses before it. It was then believed that after worshiping horses, the victory in war is certain.
Mare: During the marriage, the bridegroom sits on a mare and before that the mare is worshiped. Only after the worship, the groom sits on a mare. It is an ancient tradition, it is considered auspicious. In this connection, there is a belief that marriage and bride’s marital life will be full of happiness and prosperity by following this tradition.
Worship in the Religions of the World
According to Vedas teachings, and Snatan Dharma philosophy and Aryasamaj movement, the worship is only for Ishvar, no one else, deserve the worship. And according to Islam and Judaism, worship is only for Allah.
However, the true message of Vedas is based on monotheism but the Hindu community has countless deities and gods.
Original Worship and Fake Worship
If we analyze the phenomenon of polytheism in Hindu society, we can conclude; that the concept of One God in Hinduism is original, divine, enceinte, right and coinciding with other religions of the world.
While, the polytheism or idol worship is fake, manmade, later addition, wrong and disagreeing with other religions of the world.
If we try to find some justifications for animal-worship we can conclude that the worship is based on the benefits that are expected from them, or some animals has a relation with some Hindu deities like the snake with Shiva, or some resemblance with some Hindu deities like the elephant with Ganesh, or some represents an incarnation like some river tortoise.
How Have Idol-Worship Begun and Developed?
In the light of general natures and tendencies of divine religions, the worship of One God; formless, eternal and powerful is the first divine doctrine. And idol-worship is a later addition in any divine religion. Idolatry has in fact begun with some historical, psychological and social factors, as the human being in society is not equal but there is a big difference in the rank of the human being, some of them are humanistic, philanthropist, benevolent and connected to the Lord, loved by every member of society, but death is written and destined for every living being that could not be avoided by any mean. If an honored person died, his lovers or devotees carved a statue and erected it in the public space out of love, over time he has occupied the place of the God, even though the man himself was one of devotees of God, but the people made him a god.
Who Deserves the Worship? Dog or God
But the plain logic and the divine message in general requires directing the worship to the One God the Creator the Owner, having no form shape or body. Suppose, if one worships a horse because it helps human being, then the One who has created the horse is more worthy of worship.
tags: animalworship / aryasamaj / bullock / cow / devotion / elephant / ganesh / god / hinduism / horse / ishvar / islam / judaism / mare / nagpanchami / oxen / snake / snatandharma / worship /
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).
tags: amarnath / aryasamaj / astha / banaras / bijmargi / cholimargi / cremation / darshan / dayanad / dead-bodies / dharmshastar / ganga / gosain / hindi / hindu-gods / hinduism / india / indian / islam / islamic-shariah / kirtan / kumbh / kumbhmela / lakshmi / laws-of-manu / lekhram / namaz / niyog / pilgrimage / prayers / preventive-measures / puja / puranas / sangam / sarasvati / sati / satti / shivling / temple / tirath / upanishads / vedas / viwah / world-water-day / worship / yamuna / yatra /
title: Islamic Civilization: Impact on Intellectual Reform in the World,
This article presents a general sketch of some significant fields in Islamic civilization that inspired and influenced Indian and Western scholars during the medieval period.
Islamic civilization in Baghdad, Cairo, and Cordoba during its prosperous times had many famous and influential educational centers and universities. The mosques in Islamic countries were centers of educational activities, like Al-Zaytunah (734A.D) in Tunisia, Al-Azhar (970 A.D.) in Cairo, Bait Al-Hikmah (830 A.D) in Baghdad, Al-Qarwiyin (959 A.D.) in Morocco, and Jame`a Cordoba (784 A.D.) in Spain.
Robert Briffault says in this context:
“The cities of the Saracenic world, Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova, Toledo, Were glowing centers of civilization and intellectual activity. It was there that the new life arose which was to grow into a new phase of human evolution. From the time when the influence of their culture made itself felt, began the stirring of a new life.”(1)
He adds saying:
“There is not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable.”(2)
These Islamic capitals were attractive cities for students and research scholars from different backgrounds and various disciplines including Christians, Jews and Hindus who took advantage of the sciences taught by Muslim scholars in those learning centers, which were characterized by the independent reasoning. On the other hand, Muslim civilization has benefited from previous scientific traditions and Muslim scholars were always zealous to study other civilizations’ achievements.
The movement of translation in the reign of Al-Ma’moon (d. 833) played a distinct role in transforming the knowledge and sciences of various human civilizations in the Islamic world, such as Greek, Babylonian, Indian, etc. Muslims studied the heritage of Greece enthusiastically and comprehended the points of strength and weaknesses within it. There is no doubt that Muslim thinkers were influenced by Greek philosophy, as the books of theology that emerged in Islamic civilization after the known translation movement attest this opinion. But at the same time, Muslim scholars have left a significant impact on the legacy of the Greek textual tradition. The compelling historical evidence clarifies that Muslim scholars examined Greek philosophy through their own experiments and made many valuable modifications to Greek ideas.
Moreover, Christians and Jews in the Islamic capitals studied the Arabic language and understood principles of Islam, the love of Christians for Arabic and Islamic studies was so high that Alvaro de Cordoba (d. 861) said:
“My Christian brothers study the books of Muslim jurists and philosophers eagerly, not to refute them but to learn the method of eloquent Arabic, while I do not find in today’s world anyone who loves to read religious books or recites the Bible. The young Christians who are highly talented do not know any language or literature except Arabic, because they are fond of the books of Arabs, they love to collect them to make huge libraries that cost them huge amounts of money, while they hate Christian books and belittle them.”(3)
It is worth mentioning that the French Pope Gerbert d’Aurillac (d. 1003 A.D.) studied Arabic and Islamic sciences in Jame`a Cordoba. Some of them were inspired by the thoughts of Muslim thinkers, which led them to translate hundreds of books from Arabic into European languages. This resulted in the rise of reforming movements and activities in Western societies that attempted to reshape the mentality of their people and reform them religiously, culturally, and intellectually until the West was prepared to carry out a scientific, religious, and intellectual revolution.
The Christian thinkers were subjects of persecution by the church; any new idea was regarded as anti-Christian doctrine and every scientific notion was seen contrary to the common faith. Such thought was regarded as a punishable crime rather than an act of apostasy. Many liberal thinkers were killed and their books were burned on the pretext that their thought was a deviation from the true Christianity. When some Western intellectuals during the medieval ages in Islamic capitals met eminent Muslim scholars and saw their scientific and cultural movements at their peak, they were inspired and influenced by the glory of Islamic civilization, especially in Spain and Baghdad. This led them to rebel against their own churches’ hostile attitudes towards science and innovation.
Such environment sharpened the hearts and minds of the people in the West and inspired them to further scientific research and religious reformation. The activities of intellectual reformers in the West were directly influenced by Islamic culture and science. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) says in his celebrated book The Discovery of India:
“But still Baghdad continued as the cultural center of the Islamic world and even far-way Spain looked to it for inspiration. Europe was backward then in learning and science and art and the amenities of life. It was Arab Spain, and especially the University of Cordoba that kept the lamp of learning and intellectual curiosity burning throughout those dark ages of Europe and some of its light pierced the European gloom.” (4)
The influence of Islamic civilization upon the East and West has been extensively recorded in Arabic and Urdu sources. The most famous figures who mention this subject in the Islamic world include Abul Hasan An-Nadwi, Dr. Muhammad `Imarah and Dr. Raghib As-Sirjani. Moreover, evidence is abundantly available in Arabic historical resources and encyclopedias of Islamic history such as Al-Bidayah Wan-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir, which verifies the role of the Islamic civilization in awakening Eastern and Western minds to research and innovation.
Intellectual influence and the transmission of information have historically formed the evolution of human civilizations through intercivilizational dialogue and the flow of knowledge between cultures. Such a phenomenon confirms the strong bonds of brotherhood among all human beings.
The analysis of such a broad range of sources makes an important contribution and fills a critical lacuna in present scholarship dealing with the influence of Islamic civilization on Western intellectual traditions. Such article helps to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding between Western and Islamic discourse and eases the tense relations between the West and Islamic worlds, since both civilizations come from one common human heritage that has historically shared mutual influences.
Role of Islamic Civilization in Illuminating the Hindu Intellectuals
As well as, Islam was an important factor in the liberation of minds in the Indian sub-continent from the shackles of myths and legends and from blind following of the distorted religious tradition. A steal look at the religious Hindu scriptures reveal the extent of the control of the myths on the ideas and philosophies of India. Hindu philosophy remained always indistinct in its opinion about God, the universe and human. Its basic nature is a theoretical not practical in most cases, such as the concept of incarnation, rebirth, mixing the divinity with humanity, god and goddess with the nature.
(For more information on this subject, please, click here.)
Unlike Islamic culture in various aspects, theology, philosophy, belief, Shari`ah and ethics; all these aspects are clear, specific and inclusive of all walks of life in Islam, unlike the Indian philosophy, which is surrounded by mystery in everything. Islamic culture is also characterized by the practical tendency more than the abstract philosophy. Islam has left a clear impact on the Indian culture after its first contact since the first century of Hijrah. Perhaps, the Indian mind became ready for embracing the modern science due to the intellectual liberation that was brought to Indian people during the golden age of Islamic culture in Indian subcontinent.
(For more information on this subject, please, click here.)
K. M. Panikkar says in this regard:
“One thing is clear. Islam had a profound effect on Hinduism during this period. Medieval Hindu theism is in some ways a reply to the attack of Islam; and the doctrines of medieval teachers, by whatever name their gods are known, are essentially theistic. It is the one supreme God that is the object of the devotee’s adoration and it is to His grace that we are asked look for redemption. All Bhakti cults are therefore essentially monotheistic.”(5)
Ghulam `Ali Azad Bilgrami highlights the role of Muslim scholars in the propagation of awareness and science and says:
“After India came under the rule of Muslim rulers, and the flags of victory fluttered on this country, a group of eminent Muslim scholars blessed the Indian soil with their auspicious presence and lit the lamps of mental and religious science spreading their lights of knowledge all over the country. And since then a group of scientists was present in every time who remained occupied with their intellectual contributions.”(6)
As a result, many reforming movements have originated in India after the Indian intellectuals studied Islamic culture and rebelled against Hinduism and adopted the Islamic principles in humanity and monotheism and rejected idolatry.
Jawaharlal Nehru says in this regard:
“The impact of the invaders from the north-west and of Islam on India had been considerable. It had pointed out and shown up the abuses that had crept into Hindu society — the petrifaction of caste, untouchability, exclusiveness carried to fantastic lengths. The idea of the brotherhood of Islam and of the theoretical equality of its adherents made a powerful appeal, especially to those in the Hindu fold who were denied any semblance of equal treatment. From this ideological impact grew up various movements aiming at a religious synthesis.” (7)
The Glorious Qur’an was the first book of pure divine guidance and comprehensive source of divine law in all areas of human life including basic principles of natural science, mental and intellectual philosophy. In the shade of the Glorious Qur’an and the divine revelation, numerous great personalities, philosophers, theologians, jurists, commentators, historians, linguists, experts of geography, geology came into sight who changed the shape of the world, like: Al-Khawarizmi (780–850 A.D.), Al-Ghazali (1058–1111 A.D.), Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980–1037A.D.), Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (1126-1198 A.D.), Al-Bayruni (973-1048 A.D.) and many others who filled the world with the light of science and knowledge. People all over the world have benefited from their knowledge, when the whole world was in the bottom of the darkness and ignorance, the Glorious Qur’an remained an important factor in awakening the thirst towards science and knowledge.(8)
(1) Robert Briffault, Making of Humanity, London: G. Allen & Unwin ltd. 1919, p. 189.
(3) See. Khalid `Abdul Halim Suyuti, Al-Jadal Ad-Dini, Dar Quba, Cairo, 2001, p. 74.
(4) Jawahar Lal Nehru; Discovery of India, Rekha Printers, Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, p. 229.
(5) K. M. Panikkar, A Survey Of Indian History, Asia, Publication House Bombay, 1954, P.130.
(6) Ghulam `Ali Azad Bilgrami, Ma’athir Al-Kiram, Mufid `Aam, Agrah, 1910, p. 180.
(7) Jawahar Lal Nehru, Discovery of India, Rekha Printers, Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, p. 264.
(8) Moulvi Chiragh Ali Khan, Islam ki Dunyawi Barkaten (The Worldly Blessings of Islam), Naval Kishor, Lahore 1909, p .104.
tags: al-biruni / al-ghazali / al-khawarizmi / amarnath / arya-samaj / averroes / avicenna / banaras / dayanad / ganga / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / hindus / ibn-rushd / ibn-sina / idolatry / islamic-civilization / kumbh-maila / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / parvati / sarasvati / shivling / sita / varanasi / yamuna /
title: Purification in Islam and Hinduism (4/4),
The Concept of Purification in Hinduism
In the Hindu Religion, taking “bath” is considered the most important daily ritual. “Bathing” is defined in almost all Vedas, Upanishads, Suthras, etc. in many ways. The early morning is considered the most auspicious time in the Hindu Religion. It is known as “Pratha Kala” or “Brahma Muhoortham” or the most auspicious time. Most of the “Rishis” (Saints) in Olden days used to take bath in this hour and attained the sainthood.
The Vedas and Upanishads further advise the Married people to take bath twice daily and insist Saints for bathing thrice a day. However, the bachelor is allowed to bathe once a day.
Daily Three Bathes for Hindus
Brahmins Chattaris have to take bath three times every day. The first is in the morning since the light of morning begins to appear until the sun rises. The second is in the middle of the day, when the sun becomes in the middle of the sky. The third is in the evening, the time of this bath begins one hour before the sunset and ends when the sun sets. If a person missed the last bath, he has to make an ablution by pouring some drops of water on his head while reciting the prescribed prayer.
In addition, there are three types of bath in Hinduism that are regarded causes of blessing and success.
Goumaya Bath: Goumaya bath refers to a bath among Hindus with cow dung. They should take some cow dung and rub it on the body this is called Goumaya bath. The dung of the mother cow is considered an abode for Lakshmi (blessing).
Panchagavya Bath: This type of bath refers to a bath is taken by Hindus with five things come from the cow; like; cow dung, cow urine, cow milk, yogurt of cow milk, ghee and cream of cow milk. The bath which is taken with all these five products of cow is called Panchagavya Bath. This bath has many spiritual, religious and medical benefits according to Hindu faith.
Wayvya Bath: This type of bath refers to a special bath according to Hindu religion. The bath includes usage of sand touched by the hoof of a cow. The method of this bath is that a Hindu takes the soil beneath the cow’s hoof and dissolves it in the water and then rubs it on the body.(1)
Bathing in Ganges River
During the Kumbhmela at Prayag Raj (Allahabad) millions of Hindus from all parts of India take a dip in the Ganga River believing that this act will bring them untold merit. Some say that on festival days the water of the Ganga River transforms itself into nectar and anyone who bathes in it will erase all his sins. Recently, biologists are talking about the contamination of river water from industrial effluents and the unhygienic condition of such waters, but this has not undermined the belief of people in the magical properties of Ganga water.(2)
Bath before and after Sexual Intercourse in Hinduism
Additionally, there is an authentic proof on the necessity of bath for husband and wife after intercourse. Most of the Hindus view that taking a head-bath after sexual relationship is not necessary.
However, Tantra teaches that a bath before sex can enhance pleasure. At times, taking a bath can also be associated with the joy of freedom, privacy and understanding the passage of time. A cold bath releases negative ions, refreshes the body and strengthens psychic forces. Once it was customary for Indians to wash their hands and feet before entering their homes, but modernization has made such rituals rather difficult to sustain.
According to Manu Shastr, taking bath is necessary for a person who had sexual intercourse with a woman.
Manu Shastr says: “Bathing is prescribed for him who has had intercourse with a woman.”(3)
This ruling is similar to the Islamic ruling mentioned in Islamic jurisprudence. In Islam, taking bath after sexual intercourse is compulsory specially when a person intends to do some compulsory worship, like; prayer, entering the mosque or touching the Glorious Qur’an. However, there are many exceptions in this issue, specially, when a person is out of water or fears of harms on his health. In these situations, a person can do tayammum or dry ablution and bath that is to put both palms of the hands on pure earth or sand and to wipe the face and both arms thus he becomes pure. The Glorious Qur’an says:
And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (tayammum). (An-Nisa’4:43)
What is Tayammum?
Tayammum means to put the hands on the earth and then pass the palm of each on the back of the other and then blow off the dust from them and then pass (rub) them on the face, this is called in Islamic jurisprudence tayammum.
Tayammum is one of the merits and distinctions of the Islamic Shari`ah. We do not find anything similar to this in Hinduism. Purification through tayammum is a manifestation of divine mercy on the human-being. What will a patient do if the usage of water harms him? What will a person do if he does not have water? In such situations, a person can do tayammum and can perform whatever worship he wants.
There is a bath after some situations and conditions, that is called “Nimittika Shnan”.
What is Nimittika Shnan?
Nimittika Shnan is performed after completion of certain types of situations like after eclipse, vomiting, haircutting, bad dreams, sex, touching bones, visiting cemetery, touching women after pregnancy, touching women at the time of menstrual period, touching a dead person.(4)
Bath during Kumbh Mela
Hindus men and women gather to dive in Ganges River on the occasion of Kumbh Mela, where Naga Babas attend this feast while they are totally naked. Their pictures and videos are available online. But Islam is completely free of such a tradition that brings men and women in this impudent manner. This type of tradition cannot be a source of purity; rather a source of impurity if we judge on the basis of free logic and philosophy.
The system of worship and purification in Islam is unique and distinctive through many aspects: religious, spiritual, physical and medical.
This includes the prayer, fasting, hajj, zakah, and charity. The system of purification for the prayer, like; taking bath after janabah, and wudu’ for the prayer or reciting the Glorious Qur’an is a complete system in Islam.
If there is no water or water is harmful for a person, he can make tayammum instead of wudu’ and bath.
After presenting and studying the religious and philosophical views and rulings on the purification, ritual bath and ablution in Hinduism and Islam, and come up with the following results:
(1) Hinduism regards a menstruating woman as impure and everything touched by her during the period as impure. However, in Islam, a menstruating woman is allowed to do all types of devotion except for touching the Qur’an, entering the mosque, and prayer. And nothing becomes impure by her touching.
(2) According to Hindu traditions, news of birth causes impurity for the relatives just when they receive the news in another city. But in Islam, no impurity moves with the news of birth, however, a woman after childbirth is allowed to exercise all types of devotion except for touching the Qur’an, entering the mosque, and prayer. And she can touch everything and nothing will become impure by her touching. After forty days, she has to take a bath and after that she can perform all types of prayers and devotion.
(3) In Hindu culture, death of a person causes impurity for the whole tribe and relatives from twelve to sixteen days. In Islam, there is no impurity caused by the death. However, it is obligatory to wash the dead-body before the funeral prayer and burial. This is a symbol of honor and respect for the dead-body.
(4) All types of excreta and feces including; cow-dung and cow-urine are impure in Islam. However, cow-dung and cow-urine are pure and purifier according to Hinduism, and they are a divine gift for Hindus and sometimes they give the cow-excreta more importance than its milk. Hindu philosophy is the only philosophy in the world that regards animal excreta pure and purifier and Hindus are the only nation in the world that kills human-being to protect (Gau Mata or) the mother-cow.
(5) We did not find any concept of tayammum (or dry purification) in Hinduism, contrary to Islam that has complete philosophy of tayammum (or dry purification) a symbol of mercy and kindness for human-beings especially when they are in dire need. Absence of tayammum causes problems for the person who does not have water or usage of water harms him.
(6) Both cultures, Hinduism and Islam, are equal in prescribing a full bath for the man who had a sexual intercourse with a woman, but the text of Manu Shastr is silent about the bath for woman. However, in Islam bath is obligatory for both man and woman after sexual intercourse when they intend to perform the prayer.
(7) In Hinduism, there is no proper method for man and woman for purification after urination. Generally, a Hindu man wipes with his dress after urinating. They prefer urinating standing as well as they are against the tradition of circumcision. All these reasons cause pollution and impurity and create unhealthy situations across the country. In India, at train stations especially in small towns, people urinate in the corner of the road on the walls and urine spots are seen everywhere. It seems as if Hindu brothers do not regard human-urine as unclean and impure rather, they regard it pure and purifier like the cow-urine.
But the issue in Islam is an entirely different as the purity from urine is a key issue. This purity can be achieved by using water, or by wiping with odd numbers of small stones or sandy balls that can absorb the drops of urine and other means of cleaning and disinfection.
The Messenger of Allah (May peace of Allah and His blessings be upon him) said: “Keep away from urine, for verily most of the punishment of the grave is due to it.” (Ad-Daraqutni)
(8) Hindus regard bleacher or washerman, Dalits and other castes as impure by birth. Their impurity could not be removed by any mean; they born impure and they will remain impure always. They are not allowed to enter the worship place of upper castes. But in Islam, there is no caste system; the real impurity is the impurity of wrong faith, bad habits, and hurting others. When a person abandons the wrong faith, bad habits and bad actions and decorates himself with true faith, good behavior and righteousness he becomes equal to his brother in humanity. Bilal Al-Habashi was a slave but when he accepted Islam he became equal to the senior companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
(9) Perfection in the purification system in Islam is one of the proofs that prove the finality of the message of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent when humanity was in its full maturity. The message of Islam is the last and final revelation that cancels and terminates all previous scriptures, specially the jurisprudential issues. Every religion of the world religions: Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity were changed and altered, but Islam represented in the Qur’an has been preserved as it was revealed. Nothing of it was changed or altered.
(1) https://puridunia.com/जानिये-कैसे-कैसे-होते-हैं/2411 (Last accessed on 8/8/2016).
(2) http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1624 (Last accessed on 8/8/2016).
(3) The laws of Manu translated by G Buhler, The Clarendon Press 1886, p. 194.
(4)http://theancientindia.blogspot.com/2013/12/bathing-ancient-method-of-body-cleaning.html (last accessed on 8/8/2016).
tags: ablution / allah / almighty / ashnan / avtar / bath / bhagwan / cleanliness / dewta / god / hindu / hinduism / ishvani / ishvar-allah / islam / kumbh-mela / lord / naga-babas / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophet / puja / purification / sadhus / sanatan-dharma / sanskriti / veda / vishnu /
title: Funeral in Islam and Hinduism (1/3),
By Editorial Staff
All religions have traditional ways of dealing with death, and the traditions in Hinduism and Islam reflect each religion’s beliefs.
Hindu and Muslim communities often live side by side, but their religious beliefs and rituals, including funeral customs, are very different.
In Hindu and Muslim traditions, the body of the deceased is washed soon after death. None of the two religions traditionally embalm or preserves the remains of the deceased, so funerals often occur within one to two days of death. For Muslim funerals, the remains are wrapped in a white cotton shroud, while Hindus may put flowers and special beads called malas around the deceased’s neck and place other symbolic items with the body.(1)
Animal dead bodies: A gift to the nature
However, in the animal kingdom a dead body arouses no feelings of fear or repulsion. In most cases, it is looked upon as a generous gift of nature, of which the fullest advantage is to be taken.It is difficult to appreciate how vast a number of birds, beasts and insects inhabit the fields and woods, and we may well ask ourselves the question “What becomes of their dead?” In a day’s search, we may not find among all the teaming wild population a single stiffened body, or one bright eye glazed in death.(2)
There is no problem with the dead bodies of animals and birds on this earth. However, the problem is with the human dead bodies that are thrown in the rivers or half-burnt human dead bodies that are scattered here and there on the banks of Ganges and are devoured by the dogs.
Different nations and disposal of dead bodies
Many ancient nations, however, purposely exposed their dead to the predatory instinct of animals. For instance, the Cyrenians abandoned their dead to wild dogs. The ancient Ethiopians threw their dead into the water to be devoured by aquatic animals. The Parsees (Persians), as far back as 400 B.C. and for an untraced time previously, exposed their deceased friends upon high gratings to feed birds of prey, and such towers of silence are in use up to the present day.
In India, they are accustomed to carrying the body to the top of a hill and place it upon a stone slab, returning for it in order to bury it when the bones are picked clean. Disturbances have frequently taken place recently between the Hindus and Parsees owing to this practice, for the vultures and other birds often let fall portions of the dead body during their flight into the gardens of the Hindus.
Hindus often expose their dead by the banks of their sacred river to the attacks of the river monsters; some of them even, when fuel is scarce, cast the partly burnt body into the Hooghly. Some Indian tribes also remove the dead out of sight to spots in the bush, where they are devoured by wild beasts. (3)
Burning the human dead body in Hinduism
Cremation is preferred in Hinduism, but a minority of Hindus chooses burial instead, and infants are always buried
rather than cremated. In India, Hindu funerals traditionally occur at the cremation site on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. A Hindu priest and the eldest son of the deceased preside over the ceremony, making offerings and saying Vedic prayers before lighting the funeral pyre. In other countries, this service may occur at a crematorium. Historically, Hindu women do not attend cremations, but this is changing in modern times.(4)
Whatever may be said for burial or cremation as a method of disposing of human dead bodies, frequent controversy on the subject has been the means of inducing people to give some thought to the whole matter of funeral reform.
Burning the dead a funeral ritual in Hinduism
However, Hinduism has the tradition of burning the human dead body since the ancient times. There are some references in Hindu scriptures to the issue of cremation. The Yajur Veda says in this regard: “The human body’s relationship with the rest of mankind continues until his dead body is burnt.”(5)
The cremation of dead body of a Hindu became known for the people of the world. As well as, some Hindu writers have written articles on this subject and defended the ritual with references from the ancient Hindu scriptures that show the practice of burning the dead as a unanimous and accepted tradition amongst the Hindus.
In Hinduism, holy men, women, children and the young girl are buried and not burnt as well as a person with leprosy disease or who died from snake bite are also buried.(6)
Throwing the dead body in river in India
Throwing the corpses in river in India is a common practice. This method is popular especially amongst the Hindus who live on the banks of Ganges because they believe that throwing the dead body in the blessed river is a cause of salvation for the soul of the deceased person.(7)
Aghori Ascetics and human dead bodies
It is worth mentioning that some Hindu ascetics called “Aghuri” wait for the arrival of human dead bodies on the banks of the river and when they see any dead body floating immediately they pick it up and carry it to their tent, cut it in pieces and roast them on the fire and eat. There are videos of this kind on YouTube that are really horrible and disgusting.
In addition to that, throwing the dead bodies in the water leads to water pollution across the river, which is harmful to human health and aquatic animals; rather this practice spoils the entire environment. There are pictures and videos on the Internet that show the half-burned human bodies lying on the banks of rivers in different states of India, not only Ganges river. Also Hindus, in general, burn their dead bodies on the banks of the rivers.
Burning a widow alive in India
Additionally, burning a widow alive in India was a common practice before the new era, and this kind of saddening incidents was seen as late as the year 1829, when “suttee” was abolished. Till that time, the Hindu widow voluntarily perished in the flames of the funeral pyre at the death of her husband. Once, a widow was led to where her husband’s body was already being consumed by the fire. Scorched by the fierce heat of the flames, her courage forsook her, and the poor creature ran back and threw herself into a pool of water, from which she was dragged again to meet her fate. Three times she tore herself away and fled.
If there is no mercy for the poor, weak and helpless widowو then how can we expect any honorable treatment for a dead body?
We do not find perfect information on the exact beginning of the burning the dead bodies. However, we find in the divine scriptures some important statements on the beginning of burying the human dead bodies. In the light of the sacred texts, we can conclude that the tradition of burying the human dead body is as old as the existence of humanity itself on the face of this earth.
The first burial in human history
It is interesting to know the concept of burying the dead that was first taught by a crow as was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an. The first human being according to Islamic and other divine traditions was the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and his son Habeel was the first murdered human being on this earth.
Habeel (Abel( the son of Adam fell victim of envy and jealousy of his brother Qabeel (Cain). Before him, human history never knew a problem as to the disposal of human dead body. Perhaps, it is not surprising that human history begins with the death of Habeel. It was an indication that a long conflict between good and evil will continue on this earth for the same reasons of the first crime; envy and jealousy. We heard our elders saying that the root-cause of any corruption or murder on this earth is one of three that begin with Z: Zan (Woman), Zar (money) Zamin (land).
The details of the story of Habeel and Qabeel are well known. It is worth mentioning that when Qabeel killed his brother he became confused and perplexed as how to get rid of the corpse or dead body of his brother. The murder was weird and the first of its kind in the human history; no human dead body was seen on this globe and the first grave was dug for the disposal of human dead body. The divine mercy intended to show him the best way to deal with human dead body. Qabeel was reluctant; will he bury the corpse? Will he burn it? Will he leave it for the beasts to eat it?
The Glorious Qur’an has mentioned the story in brief.
And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers. Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful. (Al-Ma’idah 5:29-31)
Crow as a teacher of human being
It is said in the interpretation of the above-mentioned verse that Allah (Glory be to Him) sent two crows that began fighting with each other and the fighting ended on the death of one of the two crows, the killer crow dug the earth with its talons and beak pushing the dead body of the crow into the excavation pouring down the dust upon it until the corpse of the dead crow was buried under the soil while Qabeel was seeing the whole scene in order to apply the same on the corpse of his brother.
This is about the first burial in human history as was stated in the Glorious Qur’an and its commentaries and Hadiths.
It is also notable that the Pharaohs of Egypt used to embalm the dead bodies and bury in boxes in the pyramids.
(1) http://people.opposingviews.com/comparison-between-hindu-funeral-islamic-funeral-4148.html (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
(2) Funeral Customs, Bertram S. Puckle, T.WERNER LAURIE LTD. 30 NEW BRIDGE STREET, EC 4 1926, p.209.
(3) William Eassie, C.E. Cremation of the dead; its history and bearings upon public health, Smith Elder and company, 15 Waterloo Place 1875, p. 25.
(4) http://people.opposingviews.com/comparison-between-hindu-funeral-islamic-funeral-4148.html (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
(5) Pandit Lekhram, Kulliyat e Arya Musafir, Mufid `Aam, Lahore, 1903, p. 176.
(6) https://scienceurdu.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/taboo-rituals-ممنوعہ-رسومات/ (Last accessed on 11/12/2015).
tags: afterlife / allah / arya-samaj / banaras / bhag / bhoot / bhut / day-of-judgment / dayanad / death / funeral-in-islam-and-hinduism-samsara / grave / hereafter / hindu / hindu-gods / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / idolatry / islam / islamic / kaaba / karma / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / messengers / muhammad / muslim / nasheed / prophethood / ramadan / re-birth / reincarnation / renaissance / resurrection / sarasvati / soul / spirit / transmigration-of-the-souls / varanasi / west /
title: Worship between Islam and Hinduism,
By: Dr. Zakir Naik
There are various and different types of prayers and modes of worship in Hinduism. One of them is called ‘shashtang’. The word ‘shashtang’ is made up of ‘Sa’ and ‘Asht’ which means eight and ‘Ang’ which means ‘parts of the body’. Thus, shastang is a mode of worship touching eight parts of the body. The best way a person can do this is like Muslims who prostrate in their Salah touching their forehead, nose, two hands, two knees and two feet.
Idol Worship Is Prohibited in Hinduism
Idol worship, which is very common amongst the Hindus, is prohibited in Hinduism. It is mentioned in Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7, verse 20:
“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires they worship demigods i.e. idols. (Bhagavad Gita 7:20)
It is mentioned in Svetashvatara Upanishad chapter 4, verse 19 as well as in Yajurved Chapter 32, Verse 3:
“There is no image of Him.” (Svetashvatara Upanishad 4:19, Yajurved 32:3)
It is also mentioned in Yajurveda, Chapter 40, verse 9:
“They enter darkness those who worship natural things (for e.g. air, water, fire, etc.). They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti i.e. created things (for e.g. table, chair, car, idol etc.)” (Yajurved 40:9)
Zakah is the third pillar of Islam, which means purification and growth, as it purifies the giver from sin and his wealth from impurities and saves his property from lose and damage. Every rich Muslim who has a saving which is more than the minimum level called ‘Nisab’ and equal to 85 gms of gold, should give 2.5% of his wealth in charity every lunar year.
Giving Zakah contributes to the eradication of poverty from this world. There will not be a single human being who will die of hunger. Zakah ensures that wealth does not circulate only amongst the rich. Almighty Allah says:
In order that the wealth may not (merely) circulate amongst the wealthy. (Al-Hashr 59:7)
Charity in Hinduism
Charity is also prescribed in Hinduism. In Rigved, book, 10 hymn 117, verse 5:
“Let the rich satisfy the poor implorer, and bend his eyes upon a longer pathway. Richest come now to one, now to another, and like the wheels of cars are ever rolling.” (Translation by Ralph Griffith).
“If it is expected of every rich man to satisfy the poor implorer; let the rich person have a distant vision (for a rich of today may not remain rich tomorrow). Remember that riches revolve from one man to another, as revolve the wheels of a chariot.” (Translation by Satyaprakash Sarasvati & Satyakam Vidhya Lankar) (Rigved 10:117:5).
Charity has been prescribed in Bhagvad Gita in several places including chapter 17, verse 20 and chapter 16, verse 3.
‘Sawm’ or fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. Every healthy adult Muslim has to abstain from eating and drinking, from dawn to sunset, in the complete lunar month of Ramadan with the intention of worshiping Almighty Allah.
The wisdom behind fasting has been mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Today the psychologists inform us that if a person can control his hunger, it is very likely that he will be able to control most of his desires.
Fasting for one complete month is a good opportunity for giving up one’s wrong habits. If a person can abstain from drinking alcohol, from dawn to sunset, he can very well abstain from alcohol from the cradle to the grave. If a person can abstain from smoking, from dawn to sunset he can very well abstain from smoking from the cradle to the grave.
Also, there are various medical benefits of fasting. Fasting increases the absorption of the intestine; it also decreases the cholesterol level.
Fasting in Hinduism
There are different types and methods of fasting in Hinduism. According to Manusmriti, chapter 6, verse 24,
“Fasting has been prescribed for a month for purification.” (Manusmriti edited by Dr. R. N. Sharma)
Fasting has also been prescribed in Manusmriti, chapter 4, verse 222 and Manusmriti chapter 11, verse 204.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. Every adult Muslim who has the means to perform Hajj to the holy city of Makkah should at least perform Hajj once in his life time.
Hajj is a practical example and demonstration of universal brotherhood. The Hajj is amongst the largest annual gathering in the world where about 2.5 million people from different parts of the world gather, from U.S.A., from U.K. from Malaysia, from Indonesia, from India and other parts of the world. All male pilgrims wear two pieces of unsown cloth, preferably white, such that you cannot differentiate whether a person is rich or poor, king or pauper. People of all races and of all colors gather together in unity to worship the One Creator.
Pilgrimage in Hinduism
There are various places of pilgrimage in Hinduism. One of the sacred places mentioned in Rigved, book 3, hymn 29, verse 4 is
“Ilayspad, which is situated at Nabha prathvi.”
‘Ila’ means God or Allah, and ‘spad’ means place, therefore Ilaspad means place of God. Nabha means center and prathvi means earth. Thus, this verse of the Veda prescribes pilgrimage to a place of God situated at the center of the earth.
The Sanskrit-English dictionary by M. Monier Williams, (Edition 2002) states that Ilaspad is “Name of a Tirtha” (i.e. place of Pilgrimage) however its location is not known.
According to the Glorious Qur’an:
Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Bakkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. (Aal `Imran 3:96)
Bakkah’ is another name for Makkah and we know today that Makkah is situated at the center of the earth.
Later after seven verses Rigved book, 3 hymn, 29 verse 11, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned as ‘Narashansa’.
Thus, we can conclude that this Ilayspad, place of pilgrimage mentioned in Rigved is Makkah. Makkah is also mentioned as Ilaspad i.e. Allah’s holy place in Rigved book 1, hymn 128, verse 1.
Thus, we note clearly that Hinduism has some sorts of worship similar to the worships in Islam, however, in Hinduism those worships have been twisted and changed and were mixed with polytheistic rituals and additions until the true monotheistic nature and quality was lost. On the contrary, Islam brought its system of rituals and worship in a true nature and was preserved in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah. The principles of worship and their proofs were saved by the practical examples of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Also those worships were transmitted by his companions and were followed by the Muslim community, generations after generations throughout the glorious Islamic history. Truly, a sound mind demands us to follow the message of Islam which represents the last, final and preserved divine message.
And all praises are for the One and Only Allah, the Creator, Who Alone is Worthy of devotion, complete submission and worship.
Source: Taken from www.irf.net with modifications.
tags: alms-giving / amarnath / arya-samaj / bam-bam-bole / banaras / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / fasting / ganga / hindu-gods / idolatry / jagannath / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / pilgrimage / sarasvati / shivling / tirath / varanasi / worship / yamuna / yatra /
title: Purification in Islam and Hinduism (3/4),
Impurity in Hinduism
Undoubtedly, Hinduism has a concept of impurity and a system of purification. According to Hinduism the impurities are of two types; visible and invisible. The invisible type of similar to that of Islam. The visible includes the human urine and stool. If something is polluted with one of them, it is compulsory to wash it with sand and water. But if the pot is made of copper, brass or bronze, it is necessary to put it in the fire, after that it should be washed with water.
In some cases, when a pot of bronze is touched by the human mouth during drinking something from it, the pot must be washed with ashes and water. But if a pot of gold or silver is touched with the filth, it is enough to be washed with water. However, some Hindus say that if the pot is made of gold, it becomes pure by the air. If a pot is touched with the mouth of a non-Hindu, it requires washing it with sand after putting the pot into fire.
It is noteworthy that Hindus regard cow dung, cow urine and horse’s excreta pure and purifying while they regard the mouth of human being the (Nar Nara’ini or the representative of divine) impure though the pure names of Allah and the holy words are recited by his mouth.
Moreover, Hindus regard a dress that is used once as impure and when the dress is taken off it becomes impure and should be washed and purified to wear it again before performing any worship or devotion. To purify it, it is a must to wash it if it is made of cotton and it is white but if it is colourful, it is enough to sprinkle some water on it. A dress made of silk becomes pure by exposing it to the air or sun.
Additionally, Hindus purify the ground with cow dung mixed with water. According to Shastra, when someone urinates or passes stool, he has to wash the fingers of the left hand ten times, then the palms of the left hand ten times with sand and water then both hands together should be washed seven times. After that the mouth must be washed twelve times, then a person becomes pure.
Spiritual Purification in Hinduism
The previous lines have shown that Hinduism has some ideas about spiritual and physical impurity and therefore there are some instructions on purification.
Some methods for spiritual and physical purification were mentioned in Manu Shastr. The following Mantr includes three types of impurity; spiritual, mental and physical and the method of purification.
The Manu Shastr says in this regard:
“The body is cleansed by water; the internal organ is purified by truthfulness, the individual soul by sacred learning and austerities, and the intellect by (true) knowledge.”(1)
This Mantra mentions some ways of purification; body is washed with water while the heart is purified and polished by truthfulness and righteousness while the soul is purified by renunciation of worldly desires and the mind is purified by true knowledge.
In addition, the basic goals of the Islamic message are to spread knowledge, to teach wisdom and to cleanse and purify. This teaching is common between both cultures. The Glorious Qur’an says:
Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. (Al-Baqarah 2:151)
System of Purification in the Laws of Manu
There are some important statements about the methods of purification. The Manu Shastr presents instructions for cleansing pots and other objects. A mantra says in this regard:
- The wise ordain that all (objects) made of metal, gems, and anything made of stone are to be cleansed with ashes, earth, and water.
Furthermore, Shastr says:
- A golden vessel which shows no stains, becomes pure with water alone, likewise what is produced in water (as shells and coral), what is made of stone, and a silver (vessel) not enchased.
How to Purify According to Shastr
Some methods were mentioned in Manu Shastr for purification, such as
- A Brahmana who has touched a human bone, to which fat adheres, becomes pure by bathing; if it be free from fat, by sipping water and by touching (afterwards) a cow or looking at the sun.
- The learned are purified by a forgiving disposition, those who have committed forbidden actions by liberality, secret sinners by muttering (sacred texts), and those who best know the Veda by austerities.
Impure Things according to Hinduism
- An earthen vessel which has been defiled by spirituous liquor, urine, ordure, saliva, pus or blood cannot be purified by another burning.
- Land is purified by (the following) five (methods, namely) by sweeping, by smearing (it with cow-dung), by sprinkling (it with cows’ urine or milk), by scraping, and by cows staying (on it during a day and night).
Generally, in Hinduism, water and cow-urine its dung and milk are always basic factor for purifying anything.
Purification after Urination
It is also noteworthy that Hindus did not use stone or water after urinating, rather they move their sexual organ two or three times and wear the dress though the drops are still running, but the issue for woman is even worse. Though, in our modern age there are usages of tissue papers and other modern means, which are helpful in cleansing process, still the condition in rural areas of India is worse.
In addition, there is no concept of circumcision amongst Hindus which is a source of cleanliness and purification.
According to Islam, Muslims have to wash their private parts with water or cleanse them with other means after urinating or relieving nature and they have to make wudhu before they enter any worship or intends to recite the Glorious Qur’an or touch it.
In Hinduism, there is a sort of ablution or purification of body with milk, curds, clarified butter, honey, and sugar, which they call the Ashnan– –panjah and Paraish-chat.
It is compulsory for a Brahmin to put the Brahminical thread on his ear during urinating or passing the stool and sit facing the direction of north during the day time and in the direction of south during the day time.(2)
Ablution in Hinduism
Some writers mention ablution in Hinduism. The method of ablution is to sit on a pure place putting both hands on both thighs facing the direction of north or east then you have to recite the prescribed prayers. If the person is youth, he has to pour some water in his right hand and to drink it. After that the mouth should be wiped with the backside of the hand, followed by putting some water in the hand and the finger should be dip into the water and the nose and the ear should be wiped with it.
The water must be free from bubbles and foam. And water should be sprinkled on the head many times and the nose must be closed with hand until the breath is stopped and the prescribed prayers must be recited directing the face towards the sun.(3)
(1) The laws of Manu translated by G Buhler, The Clarendon Press 1886, p. 188.
(2) Pundit Shardharam, Usool e Mazahib, Urdu translation Dabistan e Mazahib, Mitrolas Lahore 1881, p.169.
tags: ablution / allah / almighty / angel / ashnan / avtar / bath / beef / bhagwan / cleanliness / cow-urine / dewta / gao / god / hindu / hinduism / ishvani / ishvar-allah / islam / kumbh-mela / lord / naga-babas / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophet / puja / purification / sadhus / sanatan-dharma / sanskriti / veda / vishnu /
title: Suryanamaskar in Yoga and Islam,
By: Editorial Staff
We have already presented a comparison between the yoga and the five daily prayers in three separate articles, published on our website. To read them, please, click here:
And now we would like to address the issue of Suryanamskar in Yoga system.
What is the Meaning of Suryanamskar?
The word “Suryanamskar” is composed of two separate words Surya (the sun) andNamskar (saluting), thus the phrase means saluting the sun. Saluting the sun is a form of worship which is known to Hindus because the sun is one of the Hindu gods.
It is also a plain reality that forcing a person to a specific practice or a certain sport of exercise is unacceptable according to the simple human mind, for example, it is not permissible for me to force a person to sit on the chair. However, sitting on a chair is a permissible thing that has no religious prohibition or objection. This is a clear logical ruling that does not need any reasoning or inferring. It is clear for every human being that has even a simple sense or fair mind. But if you are forcing a person on a practice that has religious prohibition, the act would be strictly forbidden.
Bad Results of Imposing “Suryanamskar”
Since Suryanamskar includes religiously forbidden factor for Muslims and other people it should not be imposed on them especially when we claim following the logic and reason. In addition, there are other religious communities that refuse Suryanamskar such as Jews and Christians; there is no plausible reason for imposing yoga or Suryanamskar for everyone, irrespective of his faith and religion.
In fact, this type of actions leads to some dangerous social and religious problems, because it creates amongst the minority atmosphere of enmity and hatred toward the majority, and it gives them feelings of injustice and humiliation. All these factors are like cancer in the body of social and religious unity and harmony, which lead to the disintegration and decay of human unity and harmony.
I am sure that those who want to impose religious practices of a particular culture on the people of different religions are wrong in their judgment or they are not sincere to their country and people especially in India the country of religious pluralism since thousands of years.
Such practices lead to sectarian strife and serious social problems. I think that the sectarian strife that took place in India after independence and the number of people died because of these communal clashes are more than the strife that occurred during the ten centuries of Muslim rule in India. This is because of such random behaviors of some foolish particularly in sensitive religious issues.
The Daily Five Prayers and Non-Muslims
Question: Would you permit to impose the five daily prayers and fasting of Ramadan on all people: Jains, and Buddhists, Hindus and followers of Aryah Smaj and Snatan Dharma, because the five daily prayers and fasting of Ramadan contain many health benefits as was concluded by many experts, Muslims and Non-Muslims. In addition, the faith in Godgiveshumans the strength of the resistancetosuicidal tendency.Is it logical to be imposed on all people because of these interests?
With all these benefits, Muslims never triedin the days oftheir gloryand strengththroughoutthe longcenturiesto imposethe five daily prayersandthe fasting month ofRamadanontheir non-Muslim subjects. You can not present even a single incidentof this kind. In fact, they were very careful for preserving the religious feelings of non-Muslims; rather,the Moghal Emperor Akbar allowed Hindu worship in his home.
Why is Suryanamskar Important?
There are so many social urgent and critical issues in India that need prompt solutions, for example; do you think if Yoga can solve food problems in India? With 21% of its population undernourished, nearly 44% of under-5 children underweight and 7% of them dying before they reach five years, India is firmly established among the world’s most hunger-ridden countries. The situation is better than only Congo, Chad, Ethiopia or Burundi, but it is worse than Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan or Nepal. This is according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) which combines the above three indicators to give us a Global Hunger Index (GHI) according to which India is 67th among the worst 80 countries in terms of malnourishment. That’s not all. Data collected by GHI researchers shows that while there has been some improvement in children’s malnutrition and early deaths since 1990, the proportion of hungry in the population has actually gone up.
Why so much energy and money are being spent on Yoga and Suryanamskar while there are urgent problems that need attention and solution?
India is a country where many schools of philosophies and religions of the world flourished since ancient ages, and everyone had the religious freedom none has the right to impose the religious rules, regulations or identityof a particular religion on all people. Here all people of all religions stay united and do everything according to their religion. One religion cannot impose anything on another religion.
If a particular community wants to do Yoga and Suryanamaskar, it is well within their rights. But they should not impose on others just because it is believed to be useful. Surya Namaskaris against Christians too. Christians bowed only before their God Jesus and not before any other Gods. It is known that one can perform Yoga at any place or time since Yoga is about keeping oneself healthy and fit.
However, the five obligatory daily prayers in Islam are performed on their fixed times but they can be performed at any place with the condition of purity and cleanliness.
The sun, as “Surya Bhagwan” is a God to the Hindus, and as such is worshiped by them along with the moon and other ‘Nava Grahas’.
In Islam, only Allah is the God! To compel Muslim students to do ‘Suryanamaskar’ is against the principle of freedom of worship. Suryanamskar is not acceptable in Islam because, its asanas and nature defy the basic principles of the Islamic faith. Muslims have to obey the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah which are their religious authorities. Indian Muslims are natives of India as Hindus are! We speak Tamil,Malayalam,Bengali,Telugu,Hindi,Urdu, and are dark skinned too. They all may have mix parentage through centuries. They are all Indians! They are born in India,live in India and share the same land and its blessings.
Yoga and the Five Prayers
Those who believe in Yoga and Suryanamaskar should not force others who do not believe in it to adopt religious practices of a particular religion that contradict the identities and basics of other religions. We should try to follow the advice “Live and let Live”, we have to defend the right of religious freedom everywhere in the world.Whoever wants to do yoga or Suryanamaskar he is free, but we should bear in our mind that Muslims have their own system of prayers and fasting that are more comprehensive, proper, complete as per the Glorious Qur’an and blessed Sunnah. They listen to five times a day the call for Prayer (Adhan)and perform prayers in congregation every day. The five daily prayers are the best form of spiritual and physical exercise for Muslim men and women in a decent manner. The Muslims have the most comprehensive and accurate system for a healthy life? They do not need neither, Yoga nor Suryanamaskar, the five prayers are the divine gift for all Muslims that can give them all kinds of physical, spiritual and mental peace and fitness.And when someone performsfive times dailyNamaz (the prayer), then there is no need of anything else, Namaz itself has many health benefits.
The Sun as a Hindu God
Hindus worship Sun, Wind, Water, Earth and Space (Panchabhut- Agni,Vaayu,Jal,Bhumi and Aakash) how can a Muslim participate in an exercise that includes salutation to the Sun? Muslims worship the Creator of the sun and regard it as a creation of God and worship the Creator alone. Yoga is a Hindu spiritual exercise that is believed to be a source of union with divine world. In fact, the working people in villages who awake early morning and walk in clean air never needed yoga and livehappily.It is the stressed community, who lived on other people’s hard works discovered yoga to suit their own needs. One can live happily without it like millions of physically hardworking villagers.
When the farmers work hard and run behind their duties their respiratory system becomes stronger and healthier, perhaps, that health and strength could not be gained through Yoga. Rather, many people will regard it a kind of wasting of time.
A Muslim man has to go to the mosque five times every day, as congregational prayers are more meritorious for a Muslim man than his lonely prayer. Concentration on the sublime power of God and His Majesty is the essence of the prayer, if you think in the conditions of the prayer, its positions, postures, timings, the recitation of some verses from the Glorious Qur’an you would be sure and convinced that the system of the five prayers is more perfect, simpler, proper, practical, healthier than the system of yoga.
In fact, the philosophy of yoga is an invention by an Indian philosopher Patanjali. However, the system of the five prayers according to the Islamic faith is a divine gift that was given to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the miraculous night journey of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And there is no comparison between what was gifted by the divine and what was invented by human thought.
In fact, Muslims failed to introduce the unique system the daily five prayers and their benefits while Hindus managed to introduce their yoga to east and west, therefore, we see many non Hindus practice yoga all over the world including the West? And many scientific studies have been done and countless articles and books were prepared to validate the use of yoga for many diseases.
If the Islamic system of the five prayers and the fasting of the month of Ramadan would have been introduced properly to the people it would have been a source of attraction for many people in the world, perhaps, more than the attraction to the yoga.
A Muslim is not allowed to practice Suryanamaskar, they connect their mind with Allah while performing the five daily prayers, why a Muslim is forced to follow a system that is contrary to his basic belief? Muslims don’t do Namaskara to anyone. Why do Hindus want to force it upon Muslims and followers of other faiths? If it is good then they are free to do it no one has the right to object.
Even Christians cannot do namaskar to anything that has been created by God (surya, chandra or anything, else) but only to God Himself. God is the Creator of all things and everything, so worship God and not His creation. We should not think only of our Physical well being (health, wealth, knowledge etc.) let us think of our spiritual well being (love, forgiveness, truth, purity etc.). The question is: By doing yoga can I stop telling lies? By doing yoga can I stop loving money? By doing yoga can I stop hating others? If not then consider how we may seek for God and His truth because God can help us overcome our sins. No one should ever be forced to do anything against their will or religion. If Muslims do not want to do it, they must never be forced. This is against the religious and personal freedom.
Even if yoga is good it cannot be imposed on others.Meat eating is good for health but one can’t force others to eat it.Forceful imposition is harmful for democracy and therefore it should be left to the wisdom of the people to decide. The daily five prayers and the fast of Ramadan have been proven scientifically useful for human spiritual, physical and mental health can you allow to be imposed on other faiths?
If somebody does not like to do particular thing then it’s his freedom we cannot force them especially when it goes against his faith and religion.
In addition, sun is a creation of the Creator,so prostrating before the Creator makes sense, but prostrating before the sun or moon has no justification. India should focus on the development and other urgent issues of its people,far from imposing Hindu religious practices on the minorities. People claim that yoga is a sort of mental and spiritual exercise if it is so it should be practiced by will not forcibly; forcing some kind of religious identities and practices always lead to detrimental effects. Everyone like their religious practices and try to stick to it. Hurting their religious sentiment will never bring peace to the mind or soul. Forcing Yoga is not the way. many scientists have woken up to the benefits of the daily five prayers (concentration, heart health, uplifted & centered feelings etc) and prisoners are known to the benefits and good impacts of the daily five prayers and fasting of Ramadan.
In Hindu religion sun is worshipped as a God but Islam places immense emphasis on the oneness of God, and worshipping Him Alone. Suryanamaskaar involves praying to or bowing to sun which is against the basic faith of Islam.
As well as, Muslims don’t have to worship cow to use its milk. It doesn’t matter to them if somebody else worships cows. However, many Hindus, especially the Hindu women worship the moon as a God. The brilliant stars are also worshipped as ‘Rishis’ by many Hindus.
Paganism in Yoga
I also support the view that basically some aasna of Yoga is good for health and for the respiratory system, but the system of Yoga in general has been spoiled by including mythical gods and paganism in it.
As a Muslim I would say that prayer (Namaz) is the best form of spiritual and physical exercise in Islam as it revitalizes the body thoroughly five times a day. Islam is the monotheistic religion; it forbids its followers to bow before anyone or anything except their God. So technically, Suryanamaskar is against this rule.
Suryanamaskar should not be made mandatory in government schools, because Muslims bowed only before ‘Allah the Almighty.’
This is not the first time that such a row has erupted. There was a similar propaganda last year when some Hindu ruled states tried to make singing of Vande Mataram compulsory in schools provoking Muslim protests.
tags: amarnath / aryasamaj / barat / belief / bilal / conditions-of-prayer / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / dr / eit-al-fitr / hindi / hindu-gods / hnduism / iftar / imsak / in / india / indian / karvachauth / kumbhmela / lakshmi / lekhram / namaz / philips / prayer / prayer-in-islam / puja / requirements-of-prayer / rulings-of-prayer / sarasvati / sawm / scriptures / self-control / shivling / siyam / suryanamaskar / tapasya / taqwa / the / tirath / upvaas / upvas / upwas / varanasi / varat / worship / yatra / yoga /
title: Bharat Mata: A Country or a Devi?,
By Editorial Staff
Is it permissible for Muslims of India to chant “ Bharat Mata Ki Jai ” or not? This is the subject we are going to handle in this article.
On the national level, there is a heated debate on the slogan of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”
Muslims believe in the Oneness of God, the only worthy of real worship.This belief is the basic and first principle in the Islamic faith.A Muslim has to bear witness that there is no god or worthy of worship except Allah the Almighty who is the Creator and who is the only entity that deserves to be worshipped. Every belief or action contrary to this principle is prohibited in Islam.
However, this does not mean that there is no respect or exaltation in Islam for others. There are many things that are respected and sacred in Islam. The prophets, messengers, true friends of Allah and parents are esteemed and exalted in Islam.Mosques are sacredand hallowed places in Islam, and so on.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
And whoever honours the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.(Al-Hajj22:32)
The symbols of Allah include the sacred Ka`bah, the mountain of As-Safa and Marwah, the plain of `Arafat, etc.. If a Muslim honours them or other sacred things, it denotes true faith and piety in the heart of the doer.
But the question is: what is the difference between common respect and the worship? This is the basic idea that needs to be explained in a lucid way.
What is worship in Islam?
Worship in Islam refers to an action out of utmost respect for any entity believing that the worshipped is the Lord and the Creator of the worshipper or the worshipped is a partner of Allah in His lordship or the worshipped has independently any kind of Lordship. This faith must be accompanied with the action of reverence or exaltation for the worshipped intending His worship.
In all actions of worship, the intention is significant and important, suppose you bowed down for your mother in respect for her believing that she is a slave of Allah the Almighty who created her and everything in the world and she does not deserve any type of worship at all, then the act would not be regarded as worship, rather, it is a sort of mere respect. But suppose you bowed down for your mother for her respect and you believed that she is a Devi or god and you are intending to please her with this act, then bowing down for your mother would be regarded an act of worship in Islamic theology.
The intention is an important and pivotal issue in matters related to worship. However, there are some actions and rituals that are religious identities of some non-Muslims nations that are prohibited for Muslims to do or adopt.If a Muslim does that particular religious action that is an identity of some non-Muslim people, the doer becomes sinner if he does it unknowingly or un-intentionally. But if he does it deliberately, he becomes out of the fold of Islam.
Wearing a cross, the identity of Christians, or putting Sindur on the forehead after offering to Hindu gods or wearing the sacred thread around the neck, the identity of Hindus, all these actions are religious identity of non-Muslims.In addition, uttering “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” is amongst the religious rituals and identity of Hindus and Muslims are not allowed to chant it for the reason of identity and its pagan background. In the same way, reciting “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem” (in the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful” in the beginning of any good work is a religious identity of Muslims, and perhaps, Hindus will never agree to recite the words, rather, they will become angry if some Muslims ask them to recite it.
Is Bharat Mata a Devi?
In the matter of worship, Hinduism is based on confusion and disorder and we do not find clear boundary between what is divine worthy of worship and what is un-divine not worthy of worship. In general, Hindus can worship anything and everything.Some of them worship tortoise and some of them worship snake, while many of them worship cow and regard it as an abode of deities and gods. On the contrary, Muslims are very sensitive in the matter of worship; they never worship any being except Allah the Almighty. They respect all Prophets and Messengers in general, and they revere the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and love him more than anything in the world, but they never worship him. Moreover, they respect elderly people and parents but they cannot worship them.
An Interesting Story
Once there was a small Hindu community in Bengal where the writer of this article lived few months. A Hindu family had a tree behind his house and one morning when he was cleaning his backyard around the tree and worked to remove unwanted grasses, according to his statement he came to discover a plain beautiful rock like the shivling worshiped by Hindus he came out shouting “Come, everyone, see, the god has appeared in my home.”He claimed that he was blessed with shivling in his backyard.
People including children, males, females and the elderly rushed there and there was a gathering within few seconds.Flowers, milk, water were poured upon the stone while people appeared emotional and filled with the feelings of reverence and worship. The person also claimed that the holy stone is deeply rooted in the earth and supported by some spiritual power as it is not moving from its place while he pretended to move it and shake it from its position but it never moved or shaken. Upon that, one of the gatherings came forward and tried to shake it to verify the claim of the person, immediately the stone was in his hand and when he became sure of his friend’s lies, he threw it on the ground in anger. Thus, the miraculous stone became a common rock and people falsified the house owner who was trying to turn his home into a temple and earn offerings and money.
This story sheds light on the true tendency of Hindus towards worshiping everything and anything. Perhaps, many temples came into existence in this or similar ways. And this story shows the absence of order and regulation for worship amongst the Hindus in general.
What is Bharat Mata?
Why India is called Bharat is a question that comes to the minds of many people who are not aware of the ancient history of this country.
The geographical term Bharat is used by many Indian languages in its variations. The eponym of Bharat is a theological figure that Hindu scriptures describe as a legendary emperor of ancient India.
India is a name that has been given to this country by its rulers. However, the real name of the country is Bharat or Bharatvarsha. Even the constitution of India recognizes this fact when it opens with the sentence ‘India that is Bharat’. The ancient sacred texts like the Puranas and even the Gita refer to India as Bharat.(1)
In addition, Mata in Sanskrit and Hindi means mother, and many Hindu female gods are called Mata like Kali Mata, Sarsati Mata, Gao Mata, etc.
Bharat: An Ancient Indian Emperor
According to a legend, the name Bharat comes from the name of Bharat Chakravarti, an ancient brave king of the land. He was the son of King Dushyanta and Queen Shakuntala, who conquered a huge territory that was converted into a political entity named after him.
However, the fact remains that the real name of India is Bharata that is mentioned in the ancient Hindu texts. The name Bharata comes from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, Bharata is a derivative of Bharata that was originally used for Agni. This word also stands for someone who is engaged in the search of knowledge.
Bharat is the name of Rama’s brother; the son of Dushyanta, and first monarch of all India.And Bharatkhand, one of the nine divisions of the world, between Lanka and Sumeru, i. e. India from Ceylon to Tartary.(2)
Thus, Bharat is a name of king that ruled India, as well as it is the name the country called India. It is noteworthy that many kings of ancient India became worshipped gods of Indian people.
In addition, the Sanskrit and English dictionary says in the explanation of Bharata:
“Bharati, female of Bharata; a female descendant of Bharata, also name of a deity (in Rig Veda, often invoked among the Apri deities and especially together with Ila And Sarasvati, according to Nir. viii, 13 a daughter of Aditya; later identified with Sarasvati, the goddess of speech.”(3)
This quote also verifies that Bharata is a name of ancient Hindu deity.
The principle of the Islamic faith “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion” (Al-Kafirun109:6) is the best principle for countries that have followers of many religions and sects like India.And this Qur’anic philosophy is more practical for the country characterized by religious pluralism and perhaps this principle is much better than the principle of live and let others live.
No wise and just person can accept imposing religious rites for a particular religion over the followers of other religions. Bharat Mata Ki Jai is one of the religious slogans of the Hindus. So it is against the logic and wisdom to impose it on Muslims, especially when we know that Islam is extremely sensitive in the matter of worship. However, Muslims love their country and they were and are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the mother country, and the history is a best witness for that.
(1)http://pediaa.com/why-india-is-called-bharat/ (Last accessed on April, 1, 2016).
(2) Duncan Forbes, A Dictionary, Hindustani & English: Accompanied by a Reversed Dictionary, London Sampson Low, Marston& Company, 1858, p.140.
(3) Monier-Williams, Monier, Sir, 1819-1899, A Sanskrit-English dictionary, Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C-4, 1960, p.753.
tags: alms-giving / amarnath / arya-samaj / bam-bam-bole / banaras / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / fasting / ganga / hindu-gods / hinduism / idolatry / islam-for-hindus / jagannath / kumbh-maila / lakshmi / lekhram / pilgrimage / sarasvati / shivling / tirath / varanasi / worship / yamuna / yatra /
title: A Sikh Scholar Talks About Islam,
English Translation By Editorial Staff
Allah the Almighty has appointed the Prophet Muhammad as His last and final messenger. He is Rahmatul Lil-`Aalamin (a great mercy for all worlds). I have studied his Seerah or his whole biography. I completed my Ph.D. degree in comparative studies in the world religions in London, UK. In the whole history of Islam or in his entire biography, there is no single battle where he was the initiator or first in attack or offence. All the fights that were fought by him were in defense. He always tried to avoid the battles and to spread the peace and tolerance.
Fath Makkah (Conquest of Makkah)
I have studied his whole life, including Fath Makkah (Conquest of Makkah). On the occasion of Fath Makkah, he appeared with a slave to the people. He remained always humble with all the power he had and with all the authority he possessed even when he became victorious and when his opponents who had oppressed him and insulted him were hiding from him out of fear. Those people were anxious and thoughtful: What will happen to us now? The Prophet has entered Makkah as a triumphant; the people were scared and crying. They were really worried: His holiness, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has arrived and now he is accompanied by a large number of his followers.
The opponents of the Prophet were hiding out of fear, (ten thousand companions were with him) but the Prophet (peace be upon him) announced: “I forgave you all.” When the people saw his forgiveness and his tolerance, they began accepting Islam crowds after crowds. This event shows his mercy.
A Jew’s Funeral and the Prophet
In addition, there was funeral procession for a Jew, when it passed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) he stood for him in respect, the companions informed that the funeral belonged to a Jew or non-Muslim, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: isn’t it a human being? This is the message of humanity that we learn from his life.
The anger of the Prophet on burning the Ant’s Houses
This is the merciful Prophet (peace be upon him) who became restless and nervous when some houses of ants were burnt by some people, and he expressed his anger saying: Why are you burning the ants?
His Forgiveness for a person who urinated in the Mosque
Once a person urinated in his Masjid, the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) became angry and irritated, however, the Prophet (peace be upon him) told them: “Please, keep calm, and do not be angry. The person is strange and does not know anything about the religion.”
After that the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised the Bedouin with love and mercy and ordered his companions to wash the urine with a bucket of water. He avoided even to disturb him during his urination and asked his companions as well not to disturb him.
Yes, it is the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Favors of the Prophet Muhammad on Muslims
I am sad, and what saddens me the most is the failure of Muslims in conveying the true biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I have a complaint about Muslims that I want to express here. I would like to say: the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saved you from idol-worship, he kept you away from paganism and guided you to Allah the Almighty. The Prophet Muhammad between Allah the Almighty and people is like a bridge, whoever wants to get closer to the Lord, he has to follow the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Islam has both aspects: the belief in the Oneness of Allah the Almighty and the firm belief in the truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Whoever does not believe in the Prophet Muhammad is not a Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad has helped you to be connected with Allah the Almighty.
The intercession of the Prophet Muhammad on the Day of Judgment
Furthermore, on the Day of Judgment, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will intercede for you to Allah the Almighty.
4. maliki yau-mid-din
5. iyyaka na’ budu wa iyyaka nasta`in
6. ihdina as-sirata-l mustaqim
7. Sirata-lladhini an`amta `alaihim,
ghairi-l maghdhubi `alaihim,
(Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path -The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.)
This is Al-Hamd Shareef or the blessed Surat Al-Fatihah that mentions the Day of Judgment. On the Day of Recompense, the Muslims will be honored with the intercession of the Prophet Muhammad to Allah the Almighty. He will ask for the forgiveness of the sins of the Muslims. The Muslims were honored with such a great blessing for doing nothing but only for free.
Sacrifices of the Prophet Muhammad for Islam
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sacrificed many of his family members in order to protect Islam. He accepted the martyrdom of his dears and nears.
Failure of Muslims in Spreading the True Biography of the Prophet Muhammad
My complaint of the Muslims is about their failure in conveying his true biography to the world. How great your prophet is! And how lofty his career is! Why have you failed in conveying his great biography to every house in the world? What have the Muslims done? Why do they not go to every house to tell his biography? Why this restlessness in every house in the world?
Today, there is no need of missiles, no need of any atom-bomb, and no need of neutron. Rather, today we need his biography, we need from Muslims to move to every house and convey his message. Thus, the whole world can turn into a garden of peace.
The host: please, Sardar ji, stand, let us hug. Please, Sardar ji, stand, let us hug. Well-done! Sardar ji. Really, wonderful! Excellent, Sardar ji!
Sardar Ji has presented the essence of the message, no, question, no if, and no but. The message is convincing, why did you not explore his message? How wonderful! No any other message, yes, the message of Islam.
tags: acharya / allah / amarnath / angels / avtar / bahadur / beef / bhagavata / bharat / brahmin / caste / chamar / conversion / cow / creator / dharma / fasting / ganesh / gao-mata / gharvapsi / ghaznavi / god / hindi / hindu / hinduism / hirasingh / indian-subcontinent / islam / kali / khuda / krishna / kumbh / lal-qila / lalqila / mahabharat / muhammad / mukti / muslim / pramod / prophet / purana / quran / rama / ramayana / ramazan / sanatan / sanskrit / sardarji / shah / shivling / shudra / sikh / sita / sultan / taj-mahal / tajmahal / tipu / varanasi / vedas / zafar /
title: Rituals and Worship in Hinduism,
Every religion in the world whether divine or man-made has some sorts of worship. Likewise, Hinduism has some types of worship and religious rituals. Mostly, the worship in Hinduism is associated with idols.
The most popular worship in Hinduism includes:
1- Puja: Ritual worship, especially of the deity.
2- Arti: The greeting ceremony with lamps, etc.
3- Bhajan or Kirtan: Hymns and chants (often during Arti).
4- Darshan: Visiting a deity or holy person.
5- Prasad: Offering and eating some sacred food or sweets that are presented to idols.
6- Pravachan: Talk or lecture on the scriptures.
7- Havan: The worship of sacred fire.
8- Japa/Meditation/Prayer: Internal practices of worship.
9. Parikram/Pradakshina: Circumambulation or moving around a sacred object or idol.
10. Selva: Active service, to the deity, holy people, etc..
Furthermore, dance, drama and music also have been regarded as worship in the Hindu culture. Worship can be performed at any time and frequently. While nothing is required, it is recommended that a regular frequency to be chosen in the morning or evening, and sometimes on the way to or from work, in addition to participating in major festivals at their local temples.
It is noteworthy that these acts of worship are unconditional, unrestricted and not dependent on fixed time. They are optional not mandatory and can be performed individually or in congregation, at home or in a temple. The nature of worship in Hinduism remains undefined; it depends on the will of a person, it is not obligatory. Every house has some idols, family members are free in their choices of worship. If one prefers to worship the idol of Kali, he is free in his worship and he can place an idol of Kali in his house while his father, mother or brother can choose an idol of another deity.
However, worship in Islam is a comprehensive term that includes any good act that is performed with the intention of seeking the Pleasure of Almighty Allah. Helping a needy is one kind of worship in Islam. Pronouncing good words has been regarded as worship that pleases Allah, the Almighty. Also, there is some mandatory and daily worship in Islam like the five Prayers. There is some weekly compulsory worship like Jumu`ah (Friday) prayer. There is some yearly and occasional worship like `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adhha.
There is a very spiritual worship of fasting during the month of Ramadan that represents a secret and special relationship between the Creator and His slave. Also, there is some worship related to spending one’s wealth on poor and needy like Zakah and charity. There is a spiritual, physical and financial worship like the pilgrimage. In Islam, some acts of worship are optional and individual like Nafl (non-obligatory) Prayers and fasting in other than Ramadan.
In brief, Islam brought a system of worship that is appropriate and suitable for human nature and its spiritual need. Those acts of worship teach and implant all kinds of sublime, ethical and moral values in human mind and heart. A Muslim woman has to cover her whole body whether in prayer or out of prayer. Also, the Muslim man who has to cover his body, contrary to Hindu worship as is seen in the Kumbh Mela where men and women mingle in an indecent and impolite manner and take holy dive in Ganga River together. Once every 12 years, up to 10 million people share in ritual bathing at the Kumbh Mela festival at Allahabad where the waters of the Ganges and Jamuna combine.
In this context, we would like to present some sorts of worship in Hindu society. The intention is merely to compare between the concept of worship in Islam and Hinduism. If the comparison was possible without mentioning them, it would have been preferably avoided, but the nature of comparison demands to mention them here in order to explain the characteristics and distinctions of worship in both religions. This never intends to hurt sentiments or religious feelings of any community in any sense.
Worship of Shivlingam
In Hinduism, Shivlingam and Yoni are worshipped, Lingam and Yoni in Sanskrit means the male and female sexual organs respectively. Hindus are allowed to worship anything, including the sexual organs. It is common among them to name their children as Shiva Lingam (God Shiva’s sexual organ) or Rama Lingam (God Rama’s sexual organ).
In some places in Karnataka, the gods demand both male and females to pray naked together. Devadasi (Religious Prostitution), the Devadasi system was set up, according to a Times of India’s report (10-11-87), as a result of conspiracy between the feudal class and the priests (Brahmins). The latter, with their ideological and religious hold over the peasants and craftsmen, devised a means that gave prostitution their religious sanction. Poor low-caste Hindu girls, initially sold at private auctions, were later “dedicated” to the temples. They were then initiated into prostitution even to this day this religious prostitution blessed by Hindu religion is still alive in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Brahmins have also created Kamasutra; a set of instructions on how to have sexual intercourse. Some of the postures detailed in Kamasutra are so complex that they can only be performed with the help of one or more assistants! Some Hindu temples have stone carvings of Kamasutra sexual poses and Hindus worship them. One feels shame to visit those naked idols lonely not to mention with family.
The Devadasi System
Times of India, 10th Nov 1987, confirms that the practice of dedication young Harijan (Hindu) girls (Mahars, Mangs, Dowris and Chamar) at childhood to a goddess, and their initiation into prostitution when they attain puberty continues to thrive in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of South India. This is largely due to social backwardness, poverty and illiteracy. The Brahmins with their ideological and religious hold over the Hindu community devised this practice which acquired religious sanctions. They noted in their study on -“Devadasis”- “the link between religious culture and child prostitution”.
The study revealed that girls from poor Hindu families were sold after puberty at private auctions to a master who initially paid a sum of money to the families ranging from 500 to Rs. 5,000. The study, made during health camps organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Devadasi populated areas, revealed that the dedicated girls formed 15 percent of the total women involved in prostitution in the country, and as much as 70 percent of the prostitutes in the border districts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
In fact, the word Devadasi has a religious sense as the word Dev denotes a deity or god and Dasi means a female slave, thus Devdasi means a female slave of god. Those girls were devoted to the gods and dedicated to satisfy the carnal desires of priests in the name of god and worship of god. Human mind disdains to ascribe such system of worship to Ishvar, rather it’s more deserving to be attributed to some selfish priests who have invented such heresies under the name of religion and worship.
When we compare the system of worship in Islam and the system of worship in Hinduism it shows clearly that Islam is distinguished in its worship system. It includes every kind of spiritual, physical and mental purity. Take for instance the five prayers in Islam, every prayer must be preceded by purity of body and place of Prayer. Every Prayer includes Beautiful Names of Almighty Allah His Glorification and Praises. In fact, Islamic Shari`ah is a divine, complete, comprehensive and pure guide in every aspect of human life.
Human Sacrifice in Hindu religion
A recent report by the press trust of India stated that during the past three years more than 2,500 young boys and girls were sacrificed to goddess Kali in India, an AFP’s recent reports say: “Hundreds of young boys and virgin girls are sacrificed every month for the deity Kali. In one case, Rama Sewak hacked his eight year old son to death in broad daylight in Delhi, because Goddess Kali had told him he would come back to life and bring him good fortune. Blood-thirsty Kali is worshipped openly in the length and breadth of India. Kali’s statue stands naked aside the inanimate body of the Hindu deity Siva, tongue stuck out with blood dripping from fang-like teeth. She holds a noose, a skull-topped staff, a blood-encrusted sword and a severed head. She is also known as Durga, Devi, Shaktima, Uma and Parvathi in manifestations.
Such traditions cannot be a result of divine guidance. How Allah may order to slaughter the innocent boys and girls in His Name. The only justification can be sought for this type of inhuman ritual is that it is a clear misguide by the devil. This act defies the true nature of divine revelation and a simple human mind; it is totally rejected by ordinary logic and wisdom. Such fables could not be found in Islam, the last and final revelations from Almighty Allah Who guaranteed its preservation and maintenance until the Day of Judgment.
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