By Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
27 Dec, 2012
Hinduism is not a religion. It is a geographical conception, where the earliest reference can be traced to a tantric of the 8th century C.E. where it means a people and not a follower of any religion. The correct term should either be a Vedantist i.e., one who follows the Vedas or one who follows Sanatan Dharma i.e., eternal religion or ancient religion. But I do not mind the term ‘Hindu’ being used in terms of religion.
The term Ahl-e-Kitab is used for those who have got revealed scriptures. The Quran mentions specifically by name three faiths that are called as people of the books, they are the Jews, Christians and Sabians. There are several verses in the Quran which speaks of love for the Christians, respect for the Jews, heaven for Jews, Christians and Sabians.
In the Quran, Allah says that He has sent several revelations on the face of the earth and that Allah has sent warners and messengers to every nation.
“To every people (was sent) a Messenger: when their Messenger comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged.” (Al Qur’an 10:47)
For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger (with the command), “Serve Allah and eschew Evil”: Of the people were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth). (Al Qur’an 16:36)
And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (In the past). (Al Qur’an 35:24)
And to every people- a guide. (Al Qur’an 13:7)
Of some messengers We have already told you the story; of others we have not and to Moses Allah spoke direct. (Al Qur’an 4:164)
We did aforetime send Messengers before you: of them there are some whose story We have related to you, and some whose story we have not related to you. (Al Qur’an 40:78)
According to a Sahih Hadith in Mishkatul Masaabih Vol. 3 hadith No. 5737 Ahmad Ibn Hambal Vol. 5 page 265-266: “There were 1,24,000 prophets sent by Allah.”
I believe that Hindus are also People of the Books. The reason I say this is because there are so many similarities between the two. Some of the verses and ideas of the Quran match a hundred percent with the Vedas. This only shows the common origin of these books.
When Moses was asked ‘what is the first commandment?’, he replied “Hear O Israel, our lord, our God is one God”, a few centuries later when Jesus was asked the same question, he too replied verbatim what Moses had said, “Hear O Israel, our lord, our God is one God. “ six hundred years after Jesus, Muhammad was asked “O Muhammad, what is your concept of God?”, Muhammad, so to say, presses his spiritual buttons, he gets the answer from his Lord:
“Say: God is one and only” (The Quran)
Muhammad’s definition is crisp, to the point, without any vagueness. I find stark similarity between this verse and the verse from one of the Upanishads, which says:
“Ekkum Evadityam”, which means: “God is one without a second”.
The Brahma Sutra also matches totally with the Quranic teaching and verse, it reads:
“There is only one God, not the second, not at all, not at all, not in the least bit”.
“God, the Absolute, the Eternal” (The Quran)
In the Bhagvad Gita, the same message is repeated:
“He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginning-less, as the Supreme Lord of all the Worlds.” (Bhagvad Gita 10:3)
“He begets not, nor is He begotten” (The Quran)
“Of Him there is no parents nor Lords” (Shwetashvatara Upanishad)
“And there is none like unto Him” (The Quran)
“There is no likeness of Him” (Yajur Veda)
It is mentioned in Ch 46, verse 10, God commands:
“Say: “See ye? If this teaching be from Allah, and ye reject it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel testifies to its similarity with earlier scripture, and has believed while ye are arrogant, how unjust ye are. Truly Allah guides not a people unjust.”
God here wants us to notice that the similarity with earlier scriptures is a mark that a book is a revelation from the Most Wise. This, according to me, proves that Hindus are indeed People of the Books.
There is also one more way to prove that Hindus are People of the Books. It is by pointing out Muhammad was prophesised in these earlier revelations. Just as Moses and Jesus (pbuh) had prophesised the coming of Muhammad (pbuh), similarly do the Hindu scriptures prophesise the coming of Muhammad.
According to Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III, Khand 3, Adhyay 3, Shalokas 5 to 8
“A Malechha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions, His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the ‘panchgavya’ and the Ganges water (i.e. purging him of all sins) offered him the presents of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, “I make obeisance to thee, ‘O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, ye have collected a great force to kill the devil and you yourself have been protected from the malechha opponents”.
It is mentioned in Atharva Veda book 20 Hymn 21 verse no. 9.
“You have O Indira overthrown 20 kings and 60,099 men with an outstripping chariot wheel who came to fight the praised one or far famed (Muhammad) Orphan”
At that time the population of Mecca was around 60,000; there were 20 chiefs to rule Mecca. An ‘Abandhu’ meaning a ‘helpless man’ who was far famed and ‘Praised one’ [Muhammad (pbuh)] overcame his enemies with the help of God.
There are numerous other prophesies that point directly to him without any doubt. This not only proves that the concept of God in Hinduism, according to authentic scriptures and Islam is the same; similarly Muhammad is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures.
Dr Zakir Naik goes out of his way to say that since Muhammad is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures so Hindus should follow Muhammad, that is become Muslims. But he is portraying half the picture. Because the concept of God in Hinduism and Islam is the same and Muhammad is prophesised in these books, it also proves the authenticity of these revelations that these books are, without doubt from God.
While reading Romila Thapar, I found this surprising account of the beginnings of Indian history. This is what she writes in pg 99 in The Penguin History of Early India’:
“The earth was ruled by the Manus, of which the first was Manu Svayambhu (the Self-born Manu); born directly of the god Brahma. It was during the time of the seventh Manu that the great flood occurred, when everything was submerged. The god Vishnu had warned Manu of the flood, and told him to build a boat to carry his family and the seven sages of antiquity”.
I believe that if one were to follow what Keshub Chandra Sen had once said then there will be universal and eternal peace, this is what he had said:
“Our position is not that truths are to be found in all religions, but all established religions of the world are true. Whoever worships the True God daily must learn to recognize all his fellow countrymen as brethren If I believe that my God is one, and that he has created us all, I must at the same time instinctively, and with all the warmth of natural feelings, look upon all around me — whether Parsees, Hindus, Mohammadans or Europeans — as my brethern.”