Foreword: If you have reached this part of my web page, chances are, you have a quest to learn and this section is basically meant for scholarly purposes. We don't mean to demean or discredit any religious thoughts and would appreciate any constructive criticism and opinions and I promise to incorporate them into this article.
Hailing from the Indian subcontinent, I often pondered and was asked by a few of my Hindu colleagues, "If according to Islam, messengers or prophets were sent as a prophet to each and every nation of the world, then which ones were sent to Indian subcontinent? Can we consider major deities of Hinduism, the Rama and Krishna to be apostles of God and will Muslims respect them as much as they respect their own who are mentioned in Quran?".
I didn't have any satisfactory answer to this, then. As far as I knew, Qur'an does mention about the prophets sent to Jews( Moses) and Christians (Jesus) and finally to Pagans of Arabia in particular and the whole mankind in general (Muhammad-*saw*) but it doesn't mention anything about this part of the world, i.e., Hindus. Although, Holy Quran does state:
A lot has been written by Muslim scholars and converts, about the coming of prophet Muhammad (saw) in almost all the major world religions. Interfaith dialogue videos present at Ahya website and True Message bears testimony to the truthfulness of this divine book called as Holy Quran. But had the Almighty Allah(swt) willed, the whole world to consist of nothing but Muslims, then it would have prevailed, but probably HE has His own plans known best to him and such attempts by Muslims to prove that they indeed are the inheritors of the Truth... serve little purpose BUT to consolidate their own faith in Allah(swt) and increase respect for theirs and others religion, for this proves, that all the religions had initially originated as the adherents of ONE, True God.
Once in a blue moon, such writings and dialogues do end up convincing a non-Muslim that Islamic teachings and monotheism is indeed the True path and then he/she reverts into the fold of Islam and if that happens for one in a thousand who read this article, I would consider this a victory for eternal truth.
My quest for the answer to the question above, finally arrived in the form of a book written by A.H.Vidyarthi and U. Ali, "Muhammad in Parsi, Hindu & Buddhist Scriptures," which is indeed a scholarly work with detailed references and scans of the original texts. Few of which I will try to reproduce below.
Recently, I read the work of Dr. Zakir Naik, an authoritative source in matters of comparative religion and involved in various Interfaith dialogues all over the world. You can ask him questions or refute his findings at his website (irf.net). He is based in Bombay (India) and in a recent dialogue with Swamiji of Ramakrishna Mission he mentioned these points, of which the Swamiji had no answers. I have also seen the video of this Interfaith dialogue and it's available for download at ahya.org website. Please provide me with the refutations to these findings and I'll be most happy to put them here online.
To start with, Dr. Naik mentions the
two places where there is a usage of the word Allah(swt) in Hindu
There is every probability that you will find words in Sanskrit texts that sound
similar to Arabic words. But there are huge difference between present
interpretations of Islam and the Upanishads.
Coming to the claim by some of the Hindu faithful, to the idea of Rama and Krishna as also the prophets of Allah(swt) and Muslims should regard them as such, wrt the Quranic verse..."We did aforetime sent 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. . ." [Qur’an 40:78]. In 1935, Dr. Pran Nath published an article in the Times of India that showed that the Rig Veda contains events of the Babylonian and Egyptian kings and their wars. Further, he showed that one-fifth of the Rig Veda is derived from the Babylonian Scriptures. From a Muslim perspective, it is likely that the Hindus were given a revealed book or books that contained description and struggles of Allah’s Prophets sent previously to other peoples. It is also possible that commentaries written about them were incorporated later and became a part of the revealed books.
We as Muslims, might also consider Hindu gods as prophets of Allah(swt) minus the mythologies written about them by various writers through different ages. Even then, we need to take a look at these prophesies mentioned in the religious texts of Hinduism which talk about the advent of the Last and Final messenger of God (Allah):
Readers comment: Hindus do not consider 'Bhavishya Purana as authentic religious scripture, nor do we hold it in high regards but for argument sake, I would like to clarify here that 'Malecha' means 'degraded' and or 'of low caste' and not what you claim in your translation. Also, 'Mahamad' when broken into parts in sanskrit means 'maha=big' and 'mud=mischief', hence 'big mischief'.
Guided Ones- The translation of Verses 5-27 (Sanskrit text of the Puranas, Prati Sarg Parv III: 3, 3) that's presented above, is from the works of a Muslim but a Sanskrit scholar Dr. Vidyarthi. He also states in his book, that, this word is NOW used to degrade people, meaning unclean or even worse. Its usage varies and depends on who is using it and for whom. Sir William Jones had great difficulty in recruiting a Pundit to teach him Sanskrit because he was considered unclean (Malechha). It is not known when this word began to be used in the derogatory sense but Mahrishi Vyasa, the compiler of the Puranas, has defined a wise Malechha as “a man of good actions, sharp intellect, spiritual eminence, and showing reverence to the deity (God). Through my elementary knowledge of Sanskrit, I can tell that, substituting 'unclean' as the usage for this word here, will make no logical sense for the sentence because it's followed by the word 'Acharya', which means a spiritual/religious teacher. Same is the case of 'Mahamad', according to your definition, the sentence should read like...'A low caste spiritual teacher will appear with his companions, his name will be 'big mischief'. Does this make sense? I agree, that Hindus do not hold 'Bhavishya Purana' as authentic texts. Some Pundits have now begun to reject the Puranas simply because they find in them many prophecies and vivid signs of the truth of Prophet Muhammad (saw). A case has been made that the present Puranas are not the same collection that Vedas refer to and the real books were lost. Nevertheless, this contention is not correct. It is impossible that all the Puranas which were so widely read and keenly studied, could have fallen in oblivion and totally wiped out, whereas the Vedas, which only a few could read and understand, remained intact until now, but then what about the text from 'Atharva Veda' which I had already mentioned before this?
Readers Comment: This translation from the original Sanskrit is wrong. The reference to 9 gates (or portals) occur quite commonly in many Hindu scriptures. Sanskrit scholars from time immemorial have translated these shlokas from the Gita and Upanishads and everywhere they refer to these 9 gates which in turn refer to the 9 portals in human body: 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, mouth, anus and genital.
Correct translation by Devi Chand: "THIS CITADEL OF THE BODY, unconquerable by the ignorant, equipped with circles eight and portals nine, contains the soul of full of myriad power, ever marching on the joyful God, surrounded by the Refulgent Supreme Being."
Our Reply: Your replies does not
prove that the translation of these lines of Atharva Veda by Dr. Vidyarthi is
wrong. We can go for a word by word Sanskrit translation in this
Even if we agree about what you say regarding 9 gates of HUMAN body and the portals they refer to, then I have a question for these Sanskrit translators/ scholars (from time immemorial)! "Does the word 'HUMAN' only stand for MEN in Vedas, Gita, Upanishads etc. or have they conveniently forgotten the two openings on the HUMAN bodies of WOMEN from where most of the us, get our first feed from our mothers, as soon as we come into this world. Doesn't this make 11 gates in humans and also in most of the mammals body? Although, such interpretation is highly illogical and unfortunately makes little sense to start with. Think about it yourself.
Readers Comment: This is a very clever attempt by the author, to try to Islamicize the Hindu texts to suit his own whims and fancies. A crude interpolation of texts, which can only convince the most illiterate amongst Hindus. For those who wish to see the truth behind the Hindu philosophy of nine gates in our body read this: "The stable person, renouncing work through knowledge, neither acts himself, nor forces action on others, but takes refuge in the body, the city of 9 gates" ( Gita V: 13)
Let us consider the above
translation of the verse from Gita by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada :
sarva -- all; karmani -- activities; manasa -- by the mind; sannyasya -- giving up; aste -- remains; sukham -- in happiness; vasi -- one who is controlled; nava-dvare
-- in the place where there are nine gates;
pure -- in the city;
dehi -- the embodied soul;
na -- >>never;
eva -- certainly;
kurvan -- doing anything;
na -- not; karayan -- causing to be done.
Hence according to Hinduism all you need to do is to control yourself and stay within the body ( as if the soul has a choice to leave the body ), I find it difficult to understand how the soul can get out of the body, if it did not control itself. I hope you get the picture?
Hence Hinduism has a lot of problems on account of misinterpretation of sacred texts as well as adulteration of sacred texts.
Your comments does not point out the place or words where the translation of these lines stands out to be mere interpolation or a bluff on the part of Dr. Vidyarthi. Further than this, I have no comments.
1[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 736 & 737] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
Excerpts from Prophet Mohammed in World Scriptures Available at Amazon.com