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Interfaith Dialogue ( 16 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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While Muslims Are Busy In Protests, Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya, Pragya Mishra and Ravikant Bharti Counter Hate Campaign against the Prophet with Arguments

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

17 June 2022

A New Batch of Ambassadors of Islam Has Emerged From Among Hindus in India

Main Points:

1.    Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya has been spreading the message of Islam through his books and lectures.

2.    Ravikant Bharti, a young scholar has been refuting allegations against Islam and its prophet on social media.

3.    Youtuber Pragya Mishra refuted Nupur Sharma's statements against the prophet pbuh in her videos.

4.    They advocated positive approach towards religions.

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The holy Quran warns the Muslims in some verses that if they do not fulfil their responsibilities towards Islam, God will raise better ambassadors of Islam from other communities. This is what we have observed during the blasphemy issue in India. While the Muslims are engaged in violent protests over blasphemy against their prophet pbuh causing inconvenience to the people and most of the time causing loss and damage to themselves, some Hindu scholars and researchers have taken up the task of removing misconceptions about Islam and refuting unfounded allegations against the holy prophet.Their refutations are based on arguments.

There are at least three researchers and scholars from the Hindu community who have been trying to remove misconceptions about Islam and refuting baseless allegations made against the prophet of Islam pbuh. For this they have studied Islam and the life and practices of the holy prophet pbuh.

Here a young youtuber Pragya Mishra deserves special mention. She runs a youtube channel Pragya Ka Panna (Pragya's Page) on which she raises current issues. After Nupur Sharma made remarks on the marriage of prophet of Islam pbuh with Hadhrat Ayesha r.a. and also on the Burraq ( the holy prophet's vehicle on the night of Meraj), she made three videos with the purpose of refuting them and making people aware of the truth.

One of the episodes is on the issue of the prophet's marriage with Hadhrat Ayesha r.a., she says that there are differences of opinion among Islamic scholars on the correct age of Hadhrat Ayesha r.a. at the time of marriage. She quotes some Ulema who say it was 6 years and some who say it was 18 years. However, she quotes a hadith of Bukhari Sharif which mentions Hadhrat Ayesha's marriage at the age of six years and the Rukhsati at the age of 9 years. She says that Muslim scholars tell us that the age of puberty in girls are different in different geological regions. In cold countries, girls menstruate at a later age while the girls in hot counties menstruate early. In Saudi Arabia which has a hot climate, girls menstruate at around 9 or 10 years of age. She also says wih reference to Islamic scholars that when a girl starts menstruating, she is considered fit for marriage. So Hadhrat Ayesha's marriage with the prophet pbuh was consummated at the age of 9 when she had attained puberty.

Ms Pragya then goes on to give out the true social and political contexts of other marriages of the prophet pbuh. She says that the prophet pubh married old widows and divorced women to change the mind-set of his followers about women. In Arab, women were treated like slaves. Women were bought and sold in markets like commodities. If they became divorced or widowed they would be sold in the market or pushed in the flesh trade.Due to this plight of women, people would kill their daughter in infancy. The holy prophet pbuh married widows and divorced women to set a precedent before his followers and encourage them to own up helpless women of the society and provide them social security. She also says that what Nupur Sharma said was not the right thing and we should not say anything that hurts the religious sentiments of others. She suggestively said that Shri Krishna is also said to have 16000 queens.

In another video, she raises the issue of burraq, the holy prophet's vehicle on the night of Meraj. She says that Nupur Sharma had ridiculed the Muslims' belief in the Burraq but we have similar beliefs in Hindu and other religions. We believe that God and rishis and prophets have divine powers and they work miracles. Hindus believe in the horse of Ma Sherawali or divine powers of Lord Shiva. So we should not joke about the belief of the Muslims in the swiftness of Burraq on the night journey of the prophet pbuh.

In another video, she deals wih the prohibition of image worship in Islam. She quotes from the Islamic scriptures on the prohibition on making pictures and images. She also says that this belief is not specific with Islam but is found in Upanishads too where the Supreme Power or Parameshwar is said to be without form. Therefore, no one should mock at the beliefs of others because all believe in the same Supreme reality.

Another scholar and researcher is a young youtuber who despite being a staunch Hindu has studied Islam and the life of the prophet Mohammad pbuh. He says in his video that Prophet Mohammad pbuh was one of the greatest religious personality. He says that the prophet was a symbol of humility and sacrifice. This is the reason the Muslims revere and love him so much. He says that Del Carnegie is known for his ideas as he teaches how to influence and impress people. He says that one should lend his ears to anyone who speaks to him and should not discriminate between the rich and the common. But this principle was taught and practiced by the prophet of Islam 1400 years ago. The prophet pbuh would listen to everyone with attention irrespective of whether he was a poor or rich man. He also pardoned those who gave him trouble and tortured him. On the day of victory in Makkah he granted general amnesty to all.

Mr Ravikant also mentiions one good trait of Muslims. He says that Muslims respect all the prophets and give respect to all the human beings. The Muslims even address their children with respect. Generally people mention Jesus Christ simply by his name but the Muslims call him Isa alaihissalam. Therefore, he criticises Nupur Sharma and Yati Narsinghanand for their blasphemous remarks. He says that he read three books on the prophet's life in three days and wants to make a series of episodes on his life so that ignorant people may understand Islam and its prophet in the right perspective.

The third Hindu scholar who has been spreading the message of the Quran and removing misconceptions about Muslims and Islam is Swami Lakshmi Acharya. For about the last ten years, he has been working to build bridges between the two communities and gives lectures on Islam. He has formed an organisation called Hindu Muslim Jan Ekta Manch. He has studied the Quran and the life of the prophet pbuh extensively and quotes the Hindi translation of the verses in course of his lecture in the same way as Zakir Naik does. He is a scholar of Hinduism and,so knows the Upanishads, Gita, Ramayan and Mahabharat and other Hindu scriptures.

But his story is interesting as well as thought provoking. Initially, he hated Muslims and considered Muslims terrorists and a violent community. He narrates an incident. Once he read an article written by the famous RSS ideologue Balraj Madhok published in Dainik Jagran. The title of his article was "Dange kyun hote hain?" In that article he had quoted some verses of the Quran to prove his point that Quran promoted terrorism or violence. Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya wanted to confirm from an authentic translation of the Quran whether the verses quoted by Mr Madhok were correctly quoted. He went to a book store in Allahabad and bought a copy of translation of the Quran by Maulana Fateh Mohammad Jalandhary and Maulana, Abdul Barik. He found the verses to be the same. He thought that Mr Madhok was right. This created a negative image of Islam in his mind and he wrote a book titled "Islami atankwad ka itihas"(The History of Islamic Terrorism). Balasaheb Deoras liked the book very much and got it translated in Engish.

After its publication, a businessman advised him to write a book on the threat to the America from Islam as it would earn him fame and fortune. So he started to read books on the life and practices of the prophet of Islam. But this proved to be a life changing experience for him. When he read the biography of the prophet Mohammad pbuh, all his misconception about Islam were removed and the realisation that he had misunderstood the Quran dawned on him. He realised that the life and the practices of the prophet pbuh did not promote violence or acrimony against others but he lived his life only to establish the truth La ilaha illallah (There is no god but God). He thought that he had made a mistake. He had misunderstood the Quran because he had a negative approach to the Quran. So he read the Quran again and found that the verses of the Quran did not promote terrorism or violence but enjoined Muslims to fight terrorism and injustice.

Therefore, he wrote another book titled "Islam Atank ya Adarsh"(Islam: Terror or ideal).The book was published in Hindi and English. He wrote another book titled "Islam: Jeene ki kala"(Islam: The Art of Living).

Here he makes one important point. He says that the reason behind his wrong understanding of the verses of the Quran was either lack of correct explanation or wrong translation or explanation. The true meaning of a verse can be understood when the context and timing of the revelation of the verse is also explained.

He said that once someone old him that the British Prime Minister Gladstone had held a copy of the Quran in the Parliament and made some negative remarks about it. Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya says that Gladstone also must have been misguided by a wrong translation.

He says that if a non-Muslim will read the translation of the Quran without proper explanation, he will think that the verses are against him. That's what had happened to him. However, thanks to his search for the truth, he found the truth and has been working to create harmony between the Hindus and Muslims. He says "sallaho alaihi wasallam' every time he mentions the name pf the prophet pbuh.

He also says that a lot of hatred against the Muslims is observed in India. The reason of the hatred lies in our history books. The history of Muslims from Mohammad bin Qasim to Aurangzeb has been written in such a way that creates hatred of Muslims. This history shoul not be written in this way. This history was written by the British rulers under the Divide and Rule policy and this history continues to be taught in schools. Secondly the misdeeds of some Muslim brethren also contributed to the hatred.

He underlines tolerance and forgiveness in the character of the prophet pbuh. He says that after years of torture, humiliation and hardships at the hands of the Quraysh, when he entered Makkah with an army of ten thousand faithful’s, he announced general amnesty to all. The people of Makkah had shut themselves in for fear of retaliation but the prophet announced that all were free. This is what forms the true basis of Islam.


In short, Hindus like Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya, Pragya Mishra and Ravikant Bharti are the flagbearers of new India who understand religion in its true spirit. Swami Lakshmi Shankracharya says that one should know his religion and then know about the religion of his neighbour but the tragedy is that we do not know our own religion leave aside knowing the neighbour’s religion. He says that if the misconceptions of the two communities are not removed, it will lead to a disaster and therefore he has formed his organisation to spread the message of Gita and the Quran which equally speak of fighting against injustice and oppression and of peaceful co-existence.

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S. Arshad is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.


URL:   https://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/muslims-protests-shankaracharya-hate-campaign-prophet-/d/127263


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