The religion of Islam

Islam, although the youngest of the world’s major religions is the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world, presently constituting 20% of the world’s population and as shown elsewhere is likely to overtake Christianity at the global level, and to overtake Hinduism in the subcontinent by around the year 2050 AD. In the Indian subcontinent the number of Muslims in 1991 was 323 million and constituted around 30% percent of the world Muslim population.

Muslims have always aggressively held that Islam is the only perfect and the final religion created by God. Unlike ancient religions like Hinduism and Taoism (which they contend are unhistorical religions based on mythology alone), they declare that Islam is a historical religion with all events and teachings truthfully recorded. It is THE final revelation of God. In this and the next chapter we propose to examine these claims. It is important to do this so that we can better understand the psychology of Muslims in general and the Muslims of the subcontinent in particular. The tenets of Islam are briefly covered in Appendix D. In this chapter we shall review their claims of historicity and also survey their basic scriptures and beliefs. This will enable us to philosophically examine this religion alongside with Christianity, its sister religion, in the next chapter before we proceed to study the religion in our subcontinent in the subsequent chapters.

ORIGIN AND EARLY YEARS OF ISLAM

According to the accepted version of the origin of Islam, the founder of this religion was Muhammad who was born in Mecca, Arabia in 570 AD. As an orphan he was brought up by his grandfather and uncle who belonged to a well known family in the Kuraish tribe. He was a sensitive young man given to deep contemplation and often went to a nearby mountain for meditation. There in 610 AD, he had a vision of the angel Gabriel who declared that God or Allah had chosen him to be the prophet of the true religion and also that he, Muhammad would be the last of the prophets of the Abrahamic faiths. The Angel was a go-between Allah and Muhammad and continued to give revelations until the end of Muhammad’s life. Muhammad had earlier married a rich widow, his employer, and carried on trade on her behalf for which he had to travel extensively across the nearby regions in the course of which he came into contact with several Jewish and Christian groups and studied their practices closely. He shared his revelations with close friends and relatives who became his first followers. After his death the revelations were collected together from various sources and came to be known as the Koran. Later on, ‘acting upon the advice of the Angel, he started to preach his religion openly which brought him into conflict with fellow Meccans who were polytheists. Ultimately he had to migrate to Medina in 622 AD. This year is taken as the start of the Muslim era. In Medina he consolidated his position and ultimately captured Mecca in 630 AD. He became the undisputed master of Arabia and consolidated his hold over the whole of the country and converted the Arabs of his country to his religion which he called Islam or ‘peace’. He died in 632 AD. His successors, the Caliphs, continued his mission-of; conquest and within one hundred years of the Prophet’s death, the Arabs became masters of a vast region extending from the Bay of Biscay to the Indus and the frontiers of China, from the Aral sea to the Upper Nile. The traditional chronology of the more important events in the early years of Islam, is given in Appendix B.

A study of Islamic scriptures reveals that Muhammad was not a original thinker; he did not formulate any new ethical principle or philosophy, but merely borrowed them from existing traditions and faiths. His genius lay in mixing old ingredients of Judaism, Zoroastrianism and the ‘pagan’ Arab rituals into a new panacea for human ills and forcing it down by means of the sword. It is obvious to anyone who has some knowledge of religions and traditions of the time that the Islamic varnish only thinly covers the prevalent Arab rituals and superstitions (particularly pilgrimage to Mecca).

According to Ali Dashti1 Muhammad himself emerges as a shifty character who stoops to political assassinations, murder and elimination of all opponents. ‘Pious Fraud’ is an approved strategy in Islam. This verdict of Muir, one of the earliest English biographers, is accepted by non-apologist western authors. His other verdict which has also been accepted is that in Mecca, Muhammad, was a sincere seeker of truth and religiously motivated, but in Medina he showed his feet of clay and was corrupted by power and worldly ambitions. His revelations appear to come very conveniently; and as his pet wife Aisha has put it, not without a touch of irony it would seem, ‘Truly your God seems to have been very quick in fulfilling your prayers’.

The traditional Muslim accounts of the life of Muhammad and the story of the origin and rise of Islam are based exclusively on Muslim sources, namely, (1) the Koran (2) the Muslim biographies of Muhammad and (3) the Hadith. We shall briefly examine their content and authenticity.

The first biography known to us of the Prophet was written one hundred and twenty years after his death, by lbn Ishaq (d. 768 AD). The original is lost and is only available in parts in a later biography by Ibn Hisharm (and an even later biography by AI-Tabari) who died in 834 AD, two hundred years after the death of the Prophet. The other popular biographies have been written only after the first two hundred years. This long interval along with the other factors discussed below throws doubts on the authenticity of the material available from these biographies. A recent book, ‘The Quest for the Historical Muhammad’ edited by lbn Waraq (Prometheus Books, March 2000) has dealt with precisely this issue of historicity.

The Hadith or Hadis is greatly revered in the Islamic world and consists of a collection of saying.and doings attributed to the Prophet and traced back to him through a chain of supposedly trustworthy witnesses called ‘isnad’. Six authentic collections written in the ninth century are available, and an encyclopedia of 29000 traditions called Musnad has been compiled by Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855 AD). Since the Koran does not cover all aspects of the religion and law, and since the Muslims consider the life of the Prophet as the Divine force in action, the sayings and doings of the Prophet compiled in the Hadith along with the Koran guide the jurisprudence of Islam.

CLAIMS OF HISTORICITY

Hadith

It has been generally held that amongst the world’s major religions, only the historicity of Muhammad and Koran are undisputed and that the details of his life are more historically verifiable than the founders of other major religions. Recent findings suggest that this claim is not true and in fact, there is now a strong view that there has been a large scale fabrication of the prophet’s life and scriptures and that there has been a considerable influence of neighbouring religions and rituals as well as traditional pagan Arabian faiths and rituals. The present position has been neatly summed up by lbn Warraq in his book, ‘Why I am not a Muslim?’2. Unfortunately this book has been banned in India and therefore we can only list the original sources to which the reader is requested to refer for detailed information. The reviews of this book have been collected and summarised in ‘Time for Stock Taking.3

Speaking of historicity, many Indian scholars feel that the Mecca shrine, Kaba, the chief mosque of Islam itself was originally a Shiva temple and quote a Sanskrit verse to prove the same. P. N. Oak, 4 who has done pioneering studies in proving the Hindu origin of several ‘Muslim’ monuments in India, claims that the word Arabia itself is derived from Arvastan i.e. land of horses (Arva = horse in Sanskrit). He says that it was a part of Vikramaditya’s empire and the shrine was built by him. As a proof, he quotes some verses of pre-lslamic poetry preserved on gold and leather plates which escaped the destruction after Muhammad took over Kaba. These poems are part of an anthology of pre-lslamic Arab poetry known as ‘sayar-ul-okul’ compiled by Harun-al-Rashid and published in 1864 AD in Berlin. Oak also claims that the Prophet’s clan was mostly Hindu. Unfortunately no traces of the old Arabian culture has been left by Islam. Hindu scholars have to pursue this research further with whatever meagre evidence that is available.

Towards the end of nineteenth century, Western scholars began the process of sifting all available information and data on Islam since there was some suspicion that some of the traditions were deliberately forged in order to further the interests of certain groups and families. Wellhausen divided the historical traditions into two categories – the apparently authentic primitive traditions, which have been recorded in the late eighth century, and second, a parallel tradition that was deliberately forged to rebut the first. The second version was found to be full of tendentious fiction. Goldziher, another reputed scholar of the era, studied the Hadith extensively and demonstrated that a vast number of hadiths accepted even in the most rigorously critical Muslim collections were outright forgeries compiled from around the late 8th and 9th centuries.5 The reason for this parallel tradition can be traced to the politics of competition among the early successors of the Prophet, who had often assumed his mantle after eliminating their predecessors with great blood shed; and had hence to humiliate their memory and that of their forefathers through their version of the tradition, apart from proving their own legitimacy (see chronology of early Islam in Appendix B). Under the Abbasids (progeny of the Prophet’s uncle), the fabrication of hadiths greatly multiplied, with the explicit purpose of proving the legitimacy of their own clan as against that of the Alids (progeny of Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet). The storytellers also excelled in inventing entertaining hadiths in order to make a fortune by drawing large crowds. Of course Muslims scholars were aware that forgeries abounded and attempted to eliminate many of them in the six authentic collections. But even these were not free from later interpolations an therefore there are several texts of the Hadith in use.

Since the biographies on the Prophet appeared much after his death and were based on these traditions, the early twentieth century scholars working at that time considered them suspect.6 Their conclusions were subsequently investigated by a group of Soviet Islamologists7 who concluded that the life of Muhammad and that of his immediate successors are as ‘mythical’ as the accounts of Christ and the Apostles (discussed later) and that Islam was merely an offshoot of Arianism (a Greek Christian doctrine) and that the Arian Islamites were indistinguishable from the Jews until the impact of the Crusades made them assume a separate identity. In fact some of them wondered if Muhammad was not a necessary fiction since every ‘historical’ religion must needs have a founder.

From the 1950s, Islamic studies received a further impetus under Schacht8 His conclusions were even more radical and disturbing. He proved that many Islamic traditions did not exist at a particular time by showing, for example, that they were not used as a legal argument in a discussion that would have made reference to them imperative, had these traditions existed. He in fact concluded that every tradition allegedly traced back in time to the Prophet must be considered inauthentic and the Fictitious expression of a legal doctrine formulated at a later date! Traditions introduced from around the time of the Successors (to the Prophet) were offered as traditions from the time of the Companions (contemporaries of the Prophet), and traditions from the time of the Companions to the Prophet were offered as traditions practiced by the Prophet himself. Details from the life of the Prophet were invented to support legal doctrines. He also showed that the beginnings of the Islamic law cannot be traced further back in the Islamic tradition, than to about a century after the Prophet’s death. Thus it did not directly derive from the Koran, but developed out of popular and administrative practices under the Urnmayads which diverged often from the intentions and even the explicit wording of the Koran. The integration of the two was done at a later stage.

Many scholars were convinced of the essential soundness of Schacht’s analysis and developed his thesis further. Wansbrough9 argued that the Koran and the hadith grew out of sectarian controversies over the course of a long period and then were projected back in time onto an invented Arabian point of origin. He felt that Islam emerged only when it came into contact with rabbinical Judaism,

The Koran

Doubts over the authenticity of the Hadith prompted scholars to take a critical look at the Koran too. As we have seen earlier, Muslims claim the Koran to be a historically verifiable scripture, which is the collection of the revelations of Allah through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet. These revelations were communicated by the prophet to various persons in his lifetime and many others were taken down by Muhammad’s scribes. According to one tradition, after Muhammad’s death, the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, appointed the former secretary and scribe of the Prophet, Zayd ibn Thabit, to undertake the task of collecting all available material and compile it together. He collected them ‘from pieces of papyrus, flat stones, palm leaves, shoulder blades and ribs of animals, pieces of leather and wooden boards, as well as from the hearts of men’. He compiled all the material in the amazingly short span of two years and handed it over to the Caliph. The Suras or chapters in the Koran have been so arranged that the longest suras find place in the beginning and the shortest in the end. Thus there is no way of knowing when, exactly the Prophet received a particular revelation. This becomes important since the message of a particular revelation, as we shall see later, is often contradicted by the message of a later’ revelation. Scholars, both Muslim and Western have generally been able to separate the revelations received in Mecca and those in Medina since the message of Allah is conciliatory in the former and aggressive in the latter.

According to traditions many versions of the book began to be circulated and serious disputes arose. According to the traditions, the third Caliph, Uthman (650-656 AD) approached Zayd again to edit and prepare the official text. This was prepared and circulated widely and the other versions were destroyed. According to orthodoxy, this text has not undergone any change since then and is the standard version followed all over the world.

Historical research, however, indicates otherwise. Wansbrough showed that far from being fixed in the seventh century, the definitive text of Koran had still not been achieved even as late as the later part of the ninth century. Thus, a statement of Muslim creed, Fiqh Akbar I, dated to the middle of eighth century, does not refer to the Koran at all, which is quite surprising. The ninth century also saw the first collections of the ancient Arab poetry seeing the light of day, in which too there are instances of manipulation, as alleged by some scholars. Both have perhaps gone hand in hand with an attempt to prove the antiquity and sacredness of the Arabic language and culture so that God could hand over the Koran in pure Arabic. Very much influenced by rabbinic Judaism outside Arabia, the early Muslim community took Moses as a model and Muhammad’s credentials as a prophet were gradually established in Moses’ likeness. The aim was to have a swadeshi prophet and a scripture in competition with the Jews and Christians!

Both Islam and Christianity, in comparing themselves with pagan faiths to establish their superiority, claim historicity for their founders. But Western scholars have also questioned the historicity of Jesus Christ. They have shown that the gospels were written towards the end of the first century, some forty to eighty years after the supposed crucifixion of Christ, and that there was considerable interpolation afterwards. Thus the letters of Paul do not mention many extraordinary details of Jesus’ life. Even the post-Pauline letters written before 90 AD do not contain any convincing historical details. It now seems highly unlikely that any of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospels was ever spoken by a historical figure. Hoffman10 concludes, ‘scholars now count it a certainty that the Gospels are compilations of “traditions” cherished by the early Christians rather than historical annals’.

The Koran extensively quotes from Pentateuch (called Taurat after Torah in Hebrew) i.e. the first five books of the Old Testament. Now the present opinion of the western scholars is that instead of being written by or revealed to Moses by God, it is a work of four different writers and edited by a fifth person around 400 BC. Hence the early prophets are probably not historic figures, but only legends.11

We have already seen that the same applies to Jesus. It is even doubted that they existed at all. Now the question arises that if the Biblical Prophets and their history is itself doubtful, what veracity does the Koran have as an eternal truth revealed by God himself, considering the fact that the Koran too acknowledges the old Testament to be an intrinsic part of the history of Islam.

The Last Prophet

A group of scholars, Cook, Crone and Hinds12 continuing the work of Wansbrough took an even more radical stand. They regarded the entire traditional Islamic history down at least to the time of Abd al Malik (685-705 AD) as a later fabrication. As a counter check, they studied the contemporary, neighbouring non-Muslim sources like the Greek, Syrian and Armenian. A totally unexpected picture emerged, as a result. The only facts they could confirm were that a merchant called Muhammad existed, that something significant happened to him in 622 (the year of Hijra), and that Abraham was central to his teachings. But there is no mention of Mecca, no indication that Muhammad’s career unfolded in inner Arabia and no reference to the Koran until the last years of the seventh century. Also, the Muslims prayed in a direction much further north than Mecca; hence their sanctuary could not have been in Mecca. Also when the first Koranic quotations appeared on coins and inscriptions towards the end of the seventh century, they showed divergence from the canonical texts. The earliest Greek source speaks of Muhammad being alive in 634 AD, two years after his death as per the accepted version of Islamic traditions. An Armenian chronicler of the 660s describes Muhammad as establishing a community which comprised both Arabs and Jews with the aim of conquering Palestine. The break with the Jews is placed immediately after the Arab conquest of Jerusalem. The oldest Greek source makes the sensational statement that the prophet who had appeared among the Arabs (Saracens) was proclaiming the coming of the (Jewish) messiah, and speaks of the Jews who mix with the Arabs, and the danger to life and limb by falling into the hands of these Jews and Arabs.

On the basis of available non Muslim evidence, Cook and Crone13 give a new account of the rise of Islam. Muhammad told his Arab followers that as descendants of Abraham through his first son, Ishmael they too had a claim to the land God had promised to Abraham and his seed. His message appeared as Judaic messianism which lead to intimacy with Jews and marked hostility towards Christians. The Arabs soon quarreled with the Jews and their attitude softened towards Christians. But they yet had to develop a religious identity and religious structures. Here they were influenced by Samaritan philosophy. The latter were an offshoot of the Jews but they had a separate identity. They only accepted Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament and had a high regard for Moses. Under their influence, the Arabs proceeded to pattern their faith after Moses as follows

 

Moses Exodus Pentateuch Mt. Sinai Shechem

Muhammad Hijra Koran Mt. Hira Mecca

Evidence Of Fabrication

1. There is no reference to Mecca in early non- Muslim references. Mecca was supposed to be a very flourishing trading centre as it was on the trade route from South to North Arabia (i.e. from India to Europe) when Muhammad was born, but Crone has shown that geographically it does not fall on this natural trade route. In fact, the alignment of early mosques and literary evidence of Christian sources, suggests that the direction in which the early Muslims prayed was northwest Arabia. Mecca was chosen as a Muslim sanctuary much later in order to relocate their history within Arabia, to complete their break with Judaism and finally to establish their separate religious identity.

2. According to the traditions, Koran had many versions and Utthman destroyed all but one. Similarly Hajja (661-714 AD), the governor of Iraq, had collected and destroyed all the writings of the early Muslims.

3. The Koran is strikingly lacking in overall structure. It appears to be a product of hasty and imperfect editing of materials from a plurality of traditions.

4. Many traditions in the Hadith appear to have been invented to explain the presence of some passages in Koran. Seemingly precise data seems to have been cooked up to provide authenticity. Thus the early historian, lbn Ishaq (d. 768) was vague about many events, whereas Waqidi (d. 823) gave precise dates and other details for the same events! If so much spurious information had accumulated in two generations, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that even more must have accumulated in the three generations between the Prophet and lbn Ishaq.

Having looked into the weak foundations on which stands the historical edifice of Islam, we shall next see the message of Koran.

MESSAGE OF THE KORAN

The Koran or Quran is written in Arabic and is divided into chapters called suras or surhas and verses called ayah. There are 114 suras and about 6200 verses. Except for the first sura, the Fatihah, the longest sura is placed first and the shortest at the last, without any regard for their chronology, that is, the temporal order in which they were revealed to Muhammad. The original text, the Muslims believe, is in Heaven, and it is eternal and uncreated. To the Muslim, the Koran remains the final word of God sent down to Muhammad, God’s messenger, through the Angel Gabriel, in perfect Arabic. Not a single syllable can be altered. To a non-Muslim, the Koran although very poetic in many places and exhorting usual morality, is also tedious, repetitive and even shockingly violent.

Sometimes it appears that it is Muhammad himself who is speaking and not God! This difficulty has been obviated by inserting the phrase ‘say’ meaning that God has commanded Muhammad to speak thus. In a few cases the translators have themselves inserted ‘say’, not found in the Arabic original as in sura 6.104, 6.114, 27.91 and 17.1. Only Fatihah, a prayer or invocation, is an exception. But in some instances this leads to confusion. Thus in sura 111, where Muhammad’s uncle and bitter opponent, Abu Lahab is bitterly cursed, the words appear to be unworthy of ‘God’ (and even of a prophet). Even some Muslim scholars and laymen have felt that God could not have called such passages ‘a noble Koran on a well guarded tablet’. And if we were to apply the same reasoning to all parts of Koran, there would be very little that was suited to be the word of God, since very little in the Koran is worthy of a merciful and compassionate, all-wise God. We also have instances of the Almighty God praising Himself and swearing by Himself.

The Language

We have earlier seen that there is only one standard text approved by Uthman. But here the limitations of the Arabic script came into play. The text was unpointed (i.e. without dots) and hence many consonants like ‘b’ and ‘f’ or ‘th’ could not be distinguished from each other. This applied to several letters like ‘f and ‘q’, ‘t’ and ‘z’. Pointing was done much later and this led to a lot of confusion. The vowels presented even a worse problem since the Arabs had no linguistic symbols for short vowels. These were introduced much later, further adding to the confusion. Adams ‘“ notes, “it must be emphasised that far from there being a single text passed down inviolate from the times of Uthman’s commission, literally thousands of variant readings of particular verses were known”. Eventually in the tenth century, some standardization took place but even this resulted in fourteen possibilities. At present two versions of the Koran are in use. Hence it is very difficult to ascertain the exact word Allah had used originally.

 

Although the Koran has been declared to be in pure Arabic, scholars like Jeffery have identified around 275 words which may be considered to be ‘foreign’. Of course, Muslim scholars counter this allegation by pointing out that these words, although borrowed, were earlier a part of Arabic at the time of the Prophet. The word ‘Koran’ itself comes from the Syriac, and Muhammad evidently got it from Christian sources. Critics have also indicated the stylistic weaknesses of Koran. Ah Dashti estimates that there are more than one hundred aberrations from the normal rules and structure of Arabic.

Missing and Added Verses

 

It also appears that there are some missing verses and some added verses. For example, there is a tradition from the Prophet’s wife, Aisha, that there once existed a ‘verse of stoning’ where stoning to death was prescribed as punishment for fornication. This is no longer to be found in the accepted texts of the Koran and instead the Koranic punishment for this crime only prescribes one hundred lashes. But the early prophets carried out stoning for adultery, and Islamic law still prescribes it. According to the above tradition, more than one hundred verses from the original, are missing. Shiites of course claim that Uthman left out a great many verses favourable to Ali, for political reasons. Muhammad himself, as we know, is said to have suppressed the now famous Satanic Verses. The authenticity of many verges has been called into question not only by modern Western scholars, but even by Muslims themselves. On the other hand, most scholars believe that there are many interpolations making the Koranic style uneven. Some of them are of a political and dogmatic character, such as 42.36-38, which seems to have been added to justify the elevation of Uthman as Caliph to the detriment of Ali. Of course, any interpolation, however trivial, is fatal to the Muslim dogma that the Koran is literally the eternal, uncreated word of God revealed to Muhammad and thereafter unalterable and unchanged.

Contradictions And Abrogations

 

Far worse is the matter of abrogation or cancellation of passages in the Koran. The Koran abounds in contradictions and hence Muslim theologians have a rather convenient strategy by which they abrogate or replace certain passages and verses with other verses and passages with a contrary meaning, and which, they claim, was subsequently revealed by Allah to Muhammad. This problem of contradiction would never have arisen had there been a specific chronology of the revelations, which would have enabled us to determine which verse was given earlier and which later. In the absence of it, there is obviously a lot of arbitrariness in determining the time of the replaced verse. There has been some unanimity in determining the Meccan i.e. early suras and Medinan i.e. later suras. While the former has many passages preaching tolerance when Muhammad’s faith and supporters were still in a minority, the later Medinan suras, when Muhammad was already a winner, abound in intolerance like the famous verse of sura 9.5, ‘Slay the idolaters wherever you find them ‘. This verse, along with others given in Appendix A, obviously nullifies the earlier 124 verses that exhorted tolerance and patience, and which are quoted extensively by the Indian Muslim scholars to deny accusations that the Koran and Islam are inherently violent and intolerant.

 

As an example let us take the oft quoted short sura 109, ‘The Unbelievers’, thought to be a Meccan sura, which says, “Say: Unbelievers I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion, and I have mine. How can this be reconciled with the numerous examples given in Appendix A (sections on Idolaters and Instructions to Believers) which are mostly Medinan verses and preach hatred and intolerance? A reading of these directives from Allah leaves no doubt that so far as noil- Muslims are concerned, the Koran is not a religious book at all but a war manual and a penal code!

We also have strange incidences of an earlier verse cancelling a later one in the same sura. Thus verse 2.234 replaces verse 2.240 (dealing with maintenance of widows). In all, over 200 verses (some scholars estimate the figure to be 500, i.e. about 8% of Koran), have been cancelled or abrogated by later ones.

 

The doctrine of abrogation makes a mockery of the Muslim dogma that the Koran is a faithful and unalterable reproduction of the original scriptures that are preserved in heaven. If God’s words are eternal, uncreated and absolute, then how can we talk of God’s words being superseded or becoming obsolete? Are some words of God to be preferred to others? And who is to judge this? The doctrine of abrogation has indeed been very convenient to bale out Muslim scholars and politicians out of the difficulties that such questions create!

Monotheism

The Koran is unambiguously monotheistic. No other God except Allah is recognised and this has led to immense intolerance and violence. Now the question arises whether monotheism is essentially superior to polytheism. Philosophers like Schopenhaur and Hume have shown that intolerance is intrinsic to monotheism; an only God is by nature a jealous God who will not allow another to exist. On the other hand, polytheistic Gods are naturally tolerant, they live and let live as is seen in the non-abrahamic faiths in India and the rest of Asia and the pre-lslamic and pre-Christian faiths of Europe. Americans. thc Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Monotheistic intolerant dogmas like Christianity, Islam and Marxism have been responsible for almost all the violence, totalitarianism and destruction on earth.

But even monotheism after some time introduces mediators and agents like saints, demi-gods and angels and slowly introduces idolatry in subtle form (e.g. Cross. Mother Mary). Islam officially recognises the existence of angels and jinns and extensively classifies several categories of them. Superstitions are also prevalent, only they lake another form.

Eliminating polytheism in Arabia has been hailed as Muhammad’s great achievement, but it is yet to be proved that as a result, Muslims have become better people or that they have attained a higher degree of evolution than those of other faiths. Nor did they evince any need for spiritual solace and were quite content with their customs and rituals. In fact Margoliouth15 states. ‘When (Muhammad) was at the head of a robber community it is probable that the demoralising influence began to be felt, it was then that men who had never broken an oath learned that they might evade their obligations, and that men to whom the blood of the clansmen had been as their own, began to shed it with impunity in the cause of God, and that lying and treachery in the cause of Islam received divine approval, hesitation to perjure oneself that cause being reprehended as a weakness. It was then. too, that coveting of goods and wives (possessed by the Unbelievers) was avowed without discouragement from the Prophet.’ The Arabs preferred Allah to the old gods because he delivered the goods – lands, loot and women – here and now.

As Crone16 has put it: The Arabs were told, ‘if you hold out…then their property, their women, their children and their country will be yours’. God could scarcely have been more explicit. He told the Arabs that they had a right lo despoil others of their women, children and land. or indeed they had a duty to do so: Holy War consisted in obeying. Muhammad’s God thus elevated tribal militancv and rapaciousness to the heights of supreme religious virtues.

Freewill

The omnipotence of Allah is so absolute that man cannot be said lo have a will of his own as will be evident from the verses on fatalism in Appendix A. But as in other cases there is contradiction here also as seen m the verses below:

1. As for Thamud. We offered them Our guidance, but they preferred blindness to guidance (41.16)

2. This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it, and whom he wilt, deny it (18.28)

Thus man is not responsible for his acts, and it seems doubly absurd to punish him in the sadistic manner as shown above. The Koran describes hell in gory details in order to put fear in the hearts of men as can be seen from Appendix A. Moreover the punishment is perpetual, there is no release from it forever. There is an inordinate disparity between finite offences and infinite punishment. According to John of Damascus living in the eighth century, the difference between predestination and freewill is one of the chief points of divergence between Christianity and Islam. Mill has said that there is something truly disgusting and wicked in the thought that God purposefully creates beings to

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fill hell with, beings who in any way cannot be held responsible for their actions since God Himself chooses to lead them astray. Allah is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, yet He is proud, jealous and behaves like a petulant tyrant.

Having reviewed some of the contradictions and intolerance in the Koran, we shall now briefly survey, the Hadilh or Hadis, its companion.

THE HADITH

We have seen earlier that the Koran and Hadith were more or less simultaneously compiled so that they complemented each other. Ram Swarup17 has written a brilliant commentary on the Sahih Muslim, one of the six authentic texts with 7190 traditions grouped in 1243 chapters and 41 books as well as the compiler’s notes on them. We highlight below some of his important findings. The Hadith constitutes a voluminous literature describing even insignificant details of the Prophet’s life. Every hadis has a text {matn) and a chain of transmission (isnad). The same text may have several chains, but each text must be traced back to a Companion (as-hab), i.e. a person who came into personal contact with the Prophet. The Companions related their stories to their successors (tabiun), who passed them on to the succeeding generations. It is said that there were over six lakh traditions, but after much debate, only a few thousand have been accepted as ‘authentic’! Six such collections have stood the test of time.

Muslim theologians do not make any distinction between the Koran and the Hadith. To them the Hadith is the Koran in action, revelation made concrete in the life of the Prophet. In the Koran, Allah speaks through Muhammad, in the Sunnah he acts through him. Thus Muhammad’s life is a visible expression of Allah’s utterances in the Koran. God provides the divine principle, Muhammad the living pattern. Allah with the help of His Prophet has provided for every situation. Whether he is going to a mosque or his bedroom or the toilet, whether he is making love or war, there is a command and pattern to follow which has been faithfully adopted by Muslims wherever they are. The morality of the thoughts and actions of believers is defined and derived from the Prophet’s actions and is valid until the end of lime. There is also no reference to any inner quest, which is the-subject of our next chapter.

The very first book in Sahih Muslim is the ‘Book of Faith’ containing 92 chapters. It is stressed that belief in 41iah iions is not sufficient; it must be accompanied by belief in the apostleship of Muhammad. It holds a wrong theology to be worse than wicked deeds. The second and third books deal with acts of physical and ritualislic cleanliness. The fourth book, ‘Book of Prayer’ is the longest with 203 chapters. The fifth, “Book of Zakaf is on charity tax. Charity is confined only to the believers. Apart from helping the poor and the needy, the funds of the Zakat are also utilised for religious warfare and gifts for new converts. Although Zakat initially provided the wherewithal for the religion’s survival, it was subsequently no longer necessary as the means for survival because of huge war booties, twenty percent of which were appropriated to Zakat.

The sixth and seventh books concern fasting in the month of Ramadan and Hajj, both counted among the pillars of Islam, Many of these practices have been adopted from the pagan Arabs although paganism has been strongly denounced in Islam. The eighth deals with marriage and divorce. Muhammad discouraged self-denial and forbade celibacy. A Muslim man may have only four wives at a time, but there was no restriction on the numbers of slave concubines and women obtained as war booty.

The ninth book deals with business practices and the next three, the tenth, eleventh and the twelfth books deal with inheritances, gifts and bequests. The next two, the thirteenth and the fourteenth books of the Hadith deal with vows and oaths. The fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth books concern crime and punishment. The punishments are quite harsh but a Muslim is not punished with death unless he has killed another Muslim, or has been found guilty of adultry or has forsaken Islam. A woman’s testimony has only half the weight of a man’s.

Jihad And War Booty

The seventeenth book is on the all important concept of Jihad. Theologically it is an intolerant idea; a tribal God, Allah, trying to be universal through conquest. Historically, it was an imperialist urge masked in religious phraseology. Allah made war booty lawful for Muslims and this proved to be the most important incentive for marauding Muslim hordes who overran settlements and nations in the name of Islam. The distribution of the booty among the hordes was always a heated and disputed issue. The Prophet described war as a ‘stratagem’ while sonic have construed it as ‘cunning’. In the event of an armed conflict one fifth of the plundered booty went to the Prophet. If the enemy surrendered without war, the whole of it belonged to him or to the Muslim victors after him. Nothing was left in the hands of the infidels and what could not be carried away was destroyed. The prisoners were either taken as slaves or exchanged for a hefty ransom. Jizya was levied on the conquered if they were non- Muslims (zimmis. or second class citizens), and besides being made to pay the special tax, they were also required to be supplicant lo the conquerors. The issue of Jihad is again covered in the next book on Government in which, eternal Paradise as the reward for Jihad is elaborated. Since all territories which are not Islamic (dar-al-harb or region of war) have to be conquered by Muslims to be so converted (dar-al-Islam), jihad was the most important activity of the faithful in any nation.

Spiritual And Political Leadership

A closed politics or civics is a necessary corollary of a closed theology. The Khalifa or the successors of the prophet who constituted the spiritual and political leadership of Arabia had to be from the Quraish tribe to which Muhammad belonged. Members of this tribe were considered supreme in all matters and thus was established one of the most durable and privileged caste in history. The Saiyids, the direct descendants of the Prophet were the cream of this caste. Absolute obedience of the ummah to the ruler is expected.

 

The remaining books of the Hadith cover various other aspects of mundane life

19 Hunting; rules regarding suitability of animals for eating

20 Sacrifices (of animals for worship)

21 Drinks

22 Clothing and Decorations

23 General Behaviour

24 Salutations and Greetings which also covers magic, spells, medicines, Poisons, etc.

25 Use of correct Words

26 Poetry

27 Visions and Dreams

 

Although Muhammad did not prohibit drinking in his Mecca days, he prohibited it later. But drinking of wine and other kinds of alcohol is fairly widespread in Islamic countries especially among the social, cultural and intellectual elite. Pre -Islam Arabs were fond of wine and hence it could not be easily eliminated. The Koran expressly forbids pork as an abomination and this can be understood only if we see these restrictions as attempts of Muslim self-definition, especially vis-a-vis Judaism and Christianity. Pigs were not known to constitute a part of the culinary habits of pre-lslamic Arabs. Chess was forbidden. Homosexuality was tolerated and therefore prevalent in all sections of Arabian society. The next two chapters deal with the Prophet and his companions. The bodily characteristics of the Prophet have been described in great detail. His many miracles are also detailed. The Prophet’s Companions, especially Aisha, his favourite wife, are also eulogised.

 

The next four books are

30 Virtues, Good Manners and Relationships

31 Destiny

32 Knowledge

33 Remembrance of Allah

We have already referred to the theory of predestination, subject of the thirty-first book. Muhammad believes that everything is predetermined, ‘Evil one is he who is evil in his mother’s womb’. The next two small books deal with knowledge and remembrance of Allah. There are ninety-nine sacred names of Allah whose remembrance ensures entry into paradise. Knowledge refers only to that found in the Koran and that which should he implicitly believed. The next five books deal with the after-world

34 Heart-Melting Traditions

35 Repentance

36 Hypocrites

37 Day of Judgement

38 Paradise

39 Turmoil and Portents of Last Hour

 

Heaven And Hell

 

Muhammad says that the majority (among Muslims) of those entering Hell will be women, and they will only be a minority in Paradise. He says that he has solved all the problems of the world except those created by women. The poor fare better in his hands. While he will

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not allow everyone to have his own God, Muhammad believes that everyone has his own devil (qarin) attached to him, who leads him astray – the eastern polytheist theologies see a secret Godhead in man; a prophetic one, a devil!

 

The book on Paradise emphasises more the description of hell than that of heaven. And the occupants of the paradise are able to see the tortures undergone by their unfortunate brethren in hell and rejoice that they have been spared! The Koran describes in great detail rivers of water, milk and honey, flowing in the most beautiful fruit gardens of Paradise and numerous youths of perpetual freshness and beautiful virgin damsels waiting on the lucky inmates. The pleasures of paradise are eternal. Unfortunately the faithful Muslim women are denied analogous rewards. There are seven grades of habitation in Paradise, with the apostles occupying exclusive quarters.

 

In Hell, a smoky Fire seventy times more furious than anything known on earth will wrap the inmates and large stones will hurtle down on them. Their torment when they are fed with molten metals and the bitterest plants is described in great detail. In some of the seven regions in Hell, there are countless deadly snakes and scorpions to torment the occupants. Obviously the punishment is eternal and for the unbelievers it begins right from the day of death. They do not wait for the day of resurrection like the Muslims. Of course for most Muslims it is only a purgatory with a relatively comfortable environment. Hell is an important elements of the theology finding full scope for hatred and misanthropy.

Allah‘s Mercy And Allah‘s Judgement

The thirty-fifth book deals with the all important subject of repentance. The Prophet says, ‘if you were not to commit sins, Allah would have swept you out of existence and would have replaced you by another people who have committed sin, and then asked forgiveness from Allah’. A man’s sinning is doubly rewarding. It helps him as well as his Maker. It helps the believer to realise that he is a favoured creature and provides an opportunity’ for Allah to exercise His mercy. It is not an accident that religious theologies of man’s sinful nature, like that of Islam and Christianity have also sought a God of mercy. Of course His Mercy is reserved for the believers only and the unbelievers and pagans have only His wrath in store. In fact He punishes the unbelievers for the sins of the believers. In this way both His mercy and His wrath is established. Muhammad says, ‘when it will he the Day of Resurrection, Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: ‘That is your rescue from the Hell-Fire’. Allah’s sense of fairness and justice is no better than that of the believers! Thus the believers have created Allah in their own image. Repentance is not only for the other world, it is very much part of this world also. Apostasy is severely punished. Doubters were seen as hypocrites. Social cohesion and political and ideological compliance were secured by means of social ostracism, psychological pressures, political boycott, and ideological untouchability. In offending the party, religion or the prophet, even more than the after-life, you face the wrath of its strongmen and hangmen. It is no wonder that Bertrand Russel considers Communism and Islam similar – ‘Muhammadanism and Bolshevism are Practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world’.

According to Muir, one of the earliest English biographers of Muhammad, the ninth sura. ‘The Repentance’ is chronologically the last sura revealed to the Prophet. The Muslim scholars also date it on the occasion of the capture of Mecca, a little before the Prophet’s death. It is entirely fitting that a sura of such bitterness, condemnation, and inspiration should be the last inspiration of a life that breathed such pathological hatred toward the non-believers who constituted then, and do even now, the majority of men and women in the world.

The fortieth book deals with ‘Piety and Softening of Hearts’ and along with the thirtieth book contains several usual moral teachings like kindness towards widows, orphans and the poor, the need to practise charity, and abhors vanity of worldly riches and ostentatious display of one’s deeds. Even here the great theological sin of polytheism does not go unmentioned and the teachings are restricted only to the ummah. There is no elaboration of inner life at all. It is only an outer code without any sublimation of the soul. The forty-first and the last book in Sahih Muslim is called ‘The book of Commentary’ giving superficial information about some of the Koranic verses, particularly the context in which they were revealed.

THE ISLAMIC LAW OR SHARIA

The scriptures alone are not sufficient to guide the follower in his daily life. They have to be interpreted by competent authorities. Islam does not have a formal system like the Catholic institution with the Pope as its supreme head and a well-formed Catholic Hierarchy which issues canons to cover various situations. Instead they have the sharia (fiqh), i.e. Islamic law based on four principles – the Koran, the savings and doings of the Prophet or Kunna summarised in the Hadith, consensus or ijma of scholars, and kiyas, the method of reasoning by analogy.

Interpreters or faqih, specialists in law, are even now needed to interpret various obscurities in the Sharia. Many schools of interpretation sprang up, out of which four, all surprisingly valid, have survived. The Muslims in India follow the Hanifi school. In the beginning of 900 AD, the Muslim law became rigidly and inflexibly fixed because scholars of all schools felt that all essential questions had been thoroughly discussed and settled. All future activity was confined to explanation and interpretation. This rigidity enabled it to maintain stability over the centuries which saw the decay of the political institutions of Islam.

In spite of this rigidity, rulings by the ulemas (plural of alim or one trained in the religious sciences) are needed lo deal with any situation that arises and is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary Muslim. Such rulings or decisions are called Fatwas, which have become particularly notorious after the fatwa issued on Salman Rushdie for his book, ‘Satanic Verses’. Although a very rigid religion, Islam has given birth to a number of sects over time. These, as well as the position of women in Islam and spiritual cults like Sufis, particularly in the Indian context, are discussed in Chapter four which deals with Muslim society in India.

REFERENCES

1. Twenty-three Years. A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammed. All Dashti, London, 1985

2. Why I am not a Muslim, lbn Warraq. Prometheus Books, New York, 1995 .

3. Time for Stock Taking. Whither Sangh Pariwar, Ed. Sits Ram Goel, Voice Of India, New Delhi, 1997

4. Some Blunders of Indian Historica! Research, Oak, P. N. Bharati Sahitya Sadan. New Delhi.

5. Muslim Studies, 2 vols. Translated by C.R. Barber and S.M. Stern, Goidziher Ignaz, London, 1967-71

6. Islamic History. A Framework for inquiry, Humphreys, R. S., Princeton, 1991

Mohammedanism. Hurgronje Snouck, C, New York, 1916

7. Russia and Islam, Smimov, N.A., London, 1934

8. An Introduction to Islamic Law, Schacht Joseph, Oxford, 1964

9. Quranic Studies Wansbrough, J. Oxford, 1977

10. The Origins of Chistianity. Hoffman R. Joseph Amherst, N Y., 1985. p. 177

11. The Unauthorised Version, Fox R L., London, 1991, p. 176

12. Muhammad. Cook. M ., Oxford, 1983

God’s Caliph. Crone P., and Hinds M., Cambridge, 1986

13. Hagarism. The Making of the Muslim World, Crone P., and Cook, M., Cambridge, 1977

14. Quran : The Text and its History, Adams C.E., in Encyclopedia of Religion, pp 157-76.

15. Mohammed and the rise of Islam, Margoliouth D.S.. London, 1914, p 149.

16. Meccan Trade and Rise of Islam. Crone P., Oxford, 1987, pp 234-45

17. Understanding Islam through Hadis, RamSwarup, Voice of India. New Delhii, 1987

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Yogi Shri Aurobindo Ghosh

Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be arrived : You can live amicably with a religion whose principle is toleration, but how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is ‘I will not tolerate you’? How are you going to have unity with these people (Muslims)? Certainly Hindu-Muslim unity can not be arrived at on the basis that the Muslims will go on converting Hindus while the Hindus should not covert any Mohammedan.

“…You can’t build unity on such a basis. Perhaps, the only way of making the Mohammedans harmless is to make them loose their fanatic faith in their religion.” (Evening talks with Sri Aurobindo; recorded on 23.7.1923 by A.B. Purani, published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1995, page 291)

Hindus may have to fight the Muslims : On 18.4.1823 Sri Aurbindo told in reply to a question of a disciple : “I am sorry they (‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malavia and Chakravorty Rajagopalachari) are making a fetish of this Hindu-Muslim unity. It is no use to ignore facts; some day the Hindus may have to fight the Muslims and they must prepare for it. Hindu-Muslim unity should not mean the subjection of the Hindus. Every time the mildness of the Hindus has given way. The best solution would be to allow the Hindus to organize themselves and the Hindu-Muslim unity would take care of itself, it would automatically solve their problem. Otherwise we are lulled into a false sense of satisfaction that we have solved a difficult problem, when in fact we have only shelved it.” (ibid p. 289)

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If Muslims learn tolerance : On 29-6-1926 a disciple asked Sri Aurobindo, “If it is India’s destiny to assimilate all the conflicting elements, is it possible to assimilate the Mohammedan element also?” Sri Aurobindo replied :

“Why not?

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India has assimilated elements from the Greeks, the Persians and other nations. But she assimilates only when her Central truth is recognized by the other party, and even while assimilating she does it in such a way that the elements absorbed are no longer recognizable as foreign but become part of herself… The assimilation of the Mohammedan culture also was done in the mind to a great extent and it would have perhaps gone further. But in order that the process may be complete it is necessary that change in the Mohammedan mentality should come. The conflict is in the outer life, and unless the Mohammedans learn tolerance I do not think the assimilation is possible.

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“The Hindu is ready to tolerate. He is open to new ideas and his culture has got a wonderful capacity for assimilation, but always provided that her Central Truth is recognized.” (ibid p. 282)

Danger of civil war : On Hindu-Muslim relation Sri Aurobindo said on 30-12-1939: “I told C.R. Das (in 1923) that this Hindu-Muslim question must be solved before the Britishers go, otherwise there was a danger of civil war. He also agreed and wanted to solve it. (ibid., p. 696)

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Contradictions in the Quran

Faithful believers go to any level to bend all rules of logic to deny the undeniable, defend the indefensible and explain the unexplainable.Why should there

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be a need to explain contradictions in a ‘clear book’? The best answer to show that the Quran must not be interpreted in any other way than its obvious meaning comes from the Quran itself. The Quran repeatedly claims to be a “clear book” (5:15) “easy to understand” (44:58 , 54:22 , 54:32, 54:40) “explained in detail” (6:114), “conveyed clearly”, (5:16, 10:15) and with “no doubt” in it (2:1).

1. Who was the first Muslim? Muhammad 6:14,163, Moses 7:143, some Egyptians 26:51, Abraham 2:127-133, 3:67 or was it Adam 2:37?

Muslim explanation: These people were the first Muslims “of their community” not humanity. This explanation is completely wrong since nowhere is it mentioned in the Quran that they were the first Muslims of their community. “Of their community” is invented by some Muslims to explain a clear contradiction. It is also a heinous sin to alter the words of the Quran, which those who are trying to explain this are doing.

2. Verses 22:47 and 32:5 say that Allah’s day equal to 1,000 human years. But 70:4 says that it is equal to 50,000 years.

Muslim explanation: Chapter 70 Verse 4 says, “Angels and spirits ascend unto Allah in a single day the span of which is 50,000 years”. These are 50,000 years for angels and spirits, not human beings. An year for an angel or spirit may be different than one for a human being.

This explanation again puts words in the mouth of the author of the Quran since nowhere is it mentioned that the span is 50,000 years ‘for spirits and angels’. The Quran, which claims itself to be a clear book, with no confusion, would have explicitly mentioned that these 50,000 are years for spirits and angels, and not human beings. Since this verse was going to be read by humans, it is only certain that 50,000 years mean 50,000 human years unless explicitly mentioned. This is a clear contradiction, and if there is some explanation, God would have given that explanation in the book itself being aware that this is a strong case of being seen as a contradiction.

3. Will people be raised from dead on the Last Day to receive their punishment and rewards 6.36, 7.57, 2.260, 21.21, 30.50, 35.9, 43.11, 72.7, or do they receive it right after their death? 3.169

4. Verses 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, and 25:59 say the universe was created in six days while verses 41:9-12 say it was created in eight days. Then again in 2:117 we are told that “He [3rd person] saith to it: ‘Be,’ and it is”. These are three different versions of creation – six days, eight days and instantaneously.

5. 54:19 says Allah destroyed the people of Aad in a day. 41:16 says it was days (three or more) 69:7 specifies seven nights and eight days in succession.

Now there may not be a contradiction between 41:16 and 69:7 since more than three days can mean seven (though it should have been specified in 41:16 itself that there are 7 nights and 8 days) but there is a clear contradiction between 54:19 and 69:7.

Muslim explanation: 54:19 says “One day” which means the starting day, and continued for 7 days. But 54:19 does not mention ‘started’

“For We sent against them a furious wind, on a Day of violent Disaster Plucking out men as if they were roots of palm-trees torn up (from the ground). Yea, how (terrible) was My Penalty and My Warning!”. This verse nowhere mentions that furious wind lasted more than one day. It is clear that there was only one day of violent disaster from this verse. Hence this explanation is also wrong.

6. The food for the people in Hell will be only “Dhari” 88:6, only foul pus from the washing of wounds 69:36, or will they also get to eat from the tree of Zaqqum 37:62-66?

Muslim explanation: Here, someone tries to explain the unexplainable by saying that God is simply saying that food in Hell will be horrible and that God uses different words for the same thing. This is a clear contradiction-foul pus is different from Dhari and tree of Zaqqum is also different. Nowhere is it said in the Quran that Dhari is same as pus and Zaqqum’s fruits. Forcible explanations to explain the unexplainable are all wrong.

7. Who takes the souls at death: The Angel of Death 32:11, THE angels (plural) 47:27 or Allah 39:42?

8.How many angels announced the birth of Jesus to the

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Virgin Mary? One angel 19:17-21 or several angels 3:42-45?

9. At the Day of Judgment, people are divided into three groups 56:7 or two groups 90:18-19, 99:6-8?

10. 21:30 says “heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We [1st person] clove them asunder?” But 41:11 says “Then He [3rd person] directed Himself to the heaven and it is a vapor, so He said to it and to the earth: Come both, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly.” So were the heaven and earth joined originally and Allah separated them or where they separated and Allah joined them? There is a contradiction.

The above verse also assumes that heaven and earth have wills of their own and can obey or disobey God’s orders. This is good for children’s story but it is not science.

For a complete list of contradictions, this link is useful

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Mistakes in the Quran

Faithful believers go to any level to bend all rules of logic to deny the undeniable, defend the indefensible and explain the unexplainable.Why should there be a need to explain contradictions in a ‘clear book’? The best answer to show that the Quran must not be interpreted in any other way than its obvious meaning comes from the Quran itself. The Quran repeatedly claims to be a “clear book” (5:15) “easy to understand” (44:58 , 54:22 , 54:32, 54:40) “explained in detail” (6:114), “conveyed clearly”, (5:16, 10:15) and with “no doubt” in it (2:1). For such a book, if errors and contradictions appear to be obvious, then the book itself should clarify the explanations- human explanations to clarify clear contradictions reveal that the book needs human interpretations to understand.

The Quran says: The food for the people in Hell will be only “Dhari”

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88:6, “only foul pus from the washing of wounds” 69:36, and “they also get to eat from the tree of Zaqqum” 37:62-66?

There are many contradictions in the Quran. Even a single error is enough to dismiss the Quran as a word of God. All religious books are also written by humans. The Bible too contains many mistakes, many contradictions, as does the Jewish scripture, Talmud. Hindu scriptures like Vedas, Puranas too contain contradictions and factual errors. But Hindus do not regard their books to be written by GOD to be obeyed

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by all without question. They know that all books are man-made, and that they are free to accept or reject any or all parts of the books. Same open mindedness shown by all, with respect to their religious books will ensure tolerance and world peace. When everyone understands that all books are human made, not just of their own religion or others’ religion.

1- Contradictions in the Quran

2-Other major blunders

For a complete list of Quranic mistakes, this link is very useful.

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Preface

  Islam has been present in the Indian  subcontinent for over thirteen centuries (Since AD 636). It has ruled over a greater part of the country for over five hundred years (AD 1206 to 1707). The saddest part of it is that even when Indians won their freedom the subcontinent was partitioned on communal basis, losing one fourth of its territory to Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh and from which the Hindu population has been hounded out. These countries along with elements in India have not allowed Hindus even a moment of peace since Independence. But Hindus have refused to learn even after the partition of their country on communal lines. Even now they talk loosely of Sarva-dharma samabhava and ignore the long term implications of their innocence.

They have forgotten the fundamental fact that to deal with your adversary you should know everything about him and have better organization and weapons than what he has. Sadly even organizations which are dedicated to this cause have failed to understand the problem fully and take effective remedial measures. If we carefully study the demographic trends in the subcontinent for the last century and project them we can see that in all probability Hinduism will cease to exit in its homeland by the end of twenty-first century. We have barely a decade or two left to initiate effective action.

At least until the time of Mahabharata, the Hindu society did not hesitate to use force when necessary and eliminate the Asuras and Rakshasas of those days. The rulers maintained powerful, well equipped armies as well as a good espionage system. Later also, we were successful against tribes like Shakas and Hunas which had ravaged Europe, and since they did not have any aggressive religion, they were eventually absorbed by our society. But Islam and Christianity have proved to be different. To deal with then we have to find an answer to the following dilemma : How does tolerance deal with intolerance?

Hence it was thought that a preliminary study of recent important literature available on Islam should be considered as to form a small handbook for the concerned. Its contents may be divided into three main sections. Chapters 1 and 2 cover the origin, development and theology from historical as well as a Hindu viewpoint. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 cover various aspects of Islam in India and also give views of some of our ‘secular’ scholars who have looked into the religion seriously. Chapter 6 covers the demographic aspects of the religions in India. Some beliefs of Islam and Christianity are given too for a reader completely unaware of these two religions.

The contents of these chapters are briefly summarized below. Each chapter may be read independently:

1. The Religion of Islam

The chapter critically covers and analyses the development and contents of the basic scriptures and tenets of Islam. Modern research indicating probable myths and fabrications which shaped their formation and development is also highlighted in some detail.

2. Islam and Christianity – A Hindu View

The two basic divisions of the world’s faiths and religions – Abrahamic and ‘pagan’ (which includes Hinduism) are first described. The various contradictions and shortcomings of the former (prophetic) religions are clearly brought out from the viewpoint of a Sanatani. A convincing explanation of the origin and nature of the Semitic God and its prophets is given from the yogic standpoint.

3. Islam in India – History

Important events of the Islamic period are highlighted to show the valiant resistance shown by the Hindu rulers and the hollowness of several myths associated with the Muslim conquest and rule.

4. Islam in India – Social and Cultural

This chapter covers four important aspects of Islam especially in Indian context – a. Sufis; b. Fatwas; c. Women and d. Sects and Castes.

5. Secular Scholars on Islam

When genuine seculars have looked into Islam impartially, they have drawn conclusions which are close to the concerns expressed by Hindu leaders who are dubbed communal and fundamentalists. This chapter lists some of their findings.

6. Demography of Islam in the Subcontinent

This important chapter along with Appendix C presents several official statistics from 1881 and shows the demographic trends with projections upto 2050 AD and brings out the serious threat to the very survival of Hindu faiths.

Four appendices provide useful general information which is common to many chapters. Of particular importance is Appendix C which gives vital data on demography in a nutshell. Similarly Appendix A lists a few passages in Koran which hurt the sensibility of Hindus.

It should be made clear that this work only summarizes the views of various authorities and the serious reader is requested to study the sources indicated in the original for more details. It is hoped that this will enable the reader to remove many current misconceptions among the Hindus about Islam and also prompt the scholars to study the original sources on this religion without depending on non-Indian scholars.

Criticism of Islam does not mean condemnation of all its followers. We must clearly accept that most Muslim individuals are honest and good-neighbourly and make good citizens. Only they either themselves act brutally or condone such acts when their religion is invoked by their clergy. In other words it is their religion which makes them fanatic. Hence both Hindus and Muslims should be educated about the following points elaborated in this book.

1. The Muslim rulers who ruled parts of India were mostly Turks (not Arabs). They held Indian Muslims in low esteem.

2. The British did not capture India from Muslims. Also Muslims did not rule the whole country for over one thousand years.

3. Although Islam talks of Ummah, in practice the Muslim nations are strongly tribal and nationalistic and are always at each others throats – Iran-Iraq and Iran-Kuwait wars and the inability to fight Israel unitedly are recent examples. Violent Shia-Sunni sectarian quarrels are also well known. Even within an Islamic state there is no peace as in Pakistan. The Hindu society is far more peaceful.

4. Many passages in Koran and Hadith are anti-secular and extremely offensive to the Hindus. Hence they should either be declared as outdated or made applicable only to Arabia.

5. Sharia is outdated and the fatwas issued by the ulema on its basis are illogical. Ethics is reduced to obeying their orders. Muslims will be far better off if they follow modern civil laws.

6. The brotherhood of Islam is NOT a universal brotherhood. In fact it is often a sectarian brotherhood.

Education will be the mildest way to change the attitude and behavior of Muslims. And it is to be hoped that the enlightened Muslims of this country will in turn influence their brethren in Pakistan and Bangladesh and then the subcontinental Muslims will lead a renaissance of the Muslim world.

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Foreward

The Hindus of the Indian subcontinent have, even in the face of extreme cruelty and death, resolutely confronted and resisted the threat to their life, property and religion for over a thousand years – first by successive Muslim invaders of all shades and hues, who ruled the land of the Hindus for over five hundred years, and then by Christian traders and missionaries who occupied their land for two hundred years. Colonial rule ended with the vivisection of our Bhoomi, creating a separate nation-state for Muslims but the threat from Islam and Christianity, to what remains of India, has not mitigated. The Hindus of divided India are still under siege. The Church has declared that it is determined to plant the cross in Asia and will ‘harvest’ the souls of the Hindus and gather them into the Christian fold, while Islam is as determined as ever to conquer territory through violent means after altering the demography of territories in their favour.

Large parts of Asia managed to survive the holocaust of colonialism because of the pervasive influence of the Hindu (and this includes the Buddhist) civilization which had deep roots in almost all the social structures of these societies. Asia and Africa share a common history in that many of their countries were occupied and subjected to alien rule, first by Muslim invaders and later by European colonizers. In these countries for example, – in Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Iran, and Afghanistan, to name only a few – all traces of pre-Islamic and pre-Christian religions and cultures have been wiped out completely. Islam and Christianity have divided between them, almost equally, the entire continent of Africa.

This book was triggered by the conviction that a similar fate awaits Asia if effective resistance is not built up to stanch the expansionist designs of both Islam and Christianity, both of which have built into their theology as the religious duty of the faithful, to wipe off from the face of this earth, all other religions.

The first step towards formulating any strategy to combat the expansionist, ambitions of Islam and Christianity would be to subject both religions to close, intellectual scrutiny. This would entail a study of their theology and their worldwide, which alone will explain the psyche of the adherents of both faiths. Unless we understand why the entire Muslim and Christian clergy, without exception, and large sections of the Christian and Muslim laity, consider it their religious duty to destroy all other faiths and cultures through religious conversion by force or fraud, we cannot even begin to devise effective strategies to stop them. Some beliefs of Islam and Christianity are given for a reader completely unaware of these religions.

Hindu dharma classifies victors in war into three categories – the dharmavijaya, the lobhavijayi, and the asuravijayi – that is, he, whose conduct during war and after the war, with regard to the people and the territory he has won, is governed by the norms of Dharma; he, whose conduct during and after the war is governed by greed (this involves waging a war motivated only by greed and looting and plundering the people who have been overrun); and he, whose conduct during and after the war is asuric, which means any and every means are employed to kill, maraud, loot, plunder, offer physical violence to women, and finally completely devastate and exterminate the conquered. Hindus and all other non-Islamic and non- Christian peoples would thus consider Islam and Christianity to be asuric religions because both the Koran and the Bible call upon the faithful to destroy all other religions and cultures, and thus for twenty centuries now, the adherents of non-aggressive religions have been victims of wave upon wave of the asuravijayi.

The concept of secularism, which plagues our polity and informs the mind of establishment intellectuals, is the biggest hurdle that stands in the way of unmasking the face of these two religions in India. Both religions have historically proved that they do not subscribe to the concept of nation, to the idea of the sanctity of societies and their traditions and cultures, and above all to the concept of democracy. But in India, both religions expect that the Hindus will be democratic, secular, respect their religions in total, which includes even those dogmas inimical to the existence and well-being of Hindu themselves, and above all, will provide them the ideological space for cultural, religious and political pluralism to enable them to work unhindered to fulfill their religious duty to convert this nation to their faiths.

This book is timely effort to look at the theology of Islam from the Hindu perspective and to trace the history of the presence of this religion in the sub-continent. The book also deals with the imminent threat to Hindus posed by the demographic changes that are occurring in large parts of our country.

This book has been written from a sense of dharmic duty towards this Bhoomi and her rishis and acharyas who have preserved for all of us, through several yugas, this most ancient of all religions, our sanatana dharma. It is our sacred duty too to protect this dharma and pass on the sacred heritage to out progeny. We hope this book will motivate more and more Hindus to do their duty by their religion and culture.

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

The great apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity had to commit :

(i) “In so far as the charge is correct, the Mussalmans take less interest (in freedom movement) because they do not yet regard India as their home of which they must feel proud. Many (Muslims) regard themselves, quite wrongly, I think, as belonging to race of conquerors”. (Young India, April 2, 1925)

(ii) “The Mussalman being generally in a minority has, as a class, developed into a bully.” (Young India, June 19, 1924)

“Mussalmans have an ordeal to pass through. There can be no doubt that they are too free with the knife and the pistol.” (Young

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India, December 30, 1942)

My own experience but confirms the opinon that the Mussalman as a rule, is a bully and the Hindu, as a rule is a coward. (The Biography of Gandhiji, written by Dhananjay Keer, published by Popular Prakashan, Mumbai, 1973; page 402)

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more that Gandhiji spoke against Islam.

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Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

All quotations are from ‘Pakistan or The partition of India’ by B.R. Ambedkar, 3rd edition, 1946: BAWS Vol. 8, 1990, Govt. of Maharashtra Publication; previous name of the book : Thoughts on Pakistan

Hindu is a Kafir-not worthy of respect : “To the Muslims, a Hindu (and any non-Muslim) is a Kafir. A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). Given this, not further evidence seems necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu (or for that matter any non-Muslim) government.” (p. 301)

Brotherhood of Muslims for the Muslims only : “Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only_ There is fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity.

The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria is unthinkable. Wherever-there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country.

In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt Indian as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.” (ibid pp. 330-331)

Difficult to see difference between a communal and Nationalist Muslim : “It is difficult to see any real difference between the communal Muslims who form the Muslim League and the Nationalist Muslims. It is extremely doubtful whether the Nationalist Musalmans have any real community of sentiment, aim and policy with the Congress which marks them off from the Muslim League. Indeed many Congressmen are alleged to hold the view that there is no different between the two and that the Nationalist Muslim inside the Congress are only an outpost of the communal Muslims.” (ibid., pp 408)

Muslim invaders planted the seeds of Islam in India : “The Muslim invaders, no doubt, came to India singing a hymn of hate against the Hindus. But, they did not merely sing their hymn of hate and go back burning a few temples on the way. That would have been a blessing. They were not content with so negative a result. They did a positive act, namely, to plant the seed of Islam. The growth of this plant is remarkable. It is not a summer sapling. It is as great and as strong as an oak. Its growth is the thickest in Northern India. The successive invasions have deposited their ‘silt’ more there than anywhere else, and have served as watering exercises of devoted gardeners. Its growth is so thick in Northern India that the remnants of Hindu and Buddhist culture are just shrubs. Even the Sikh axe could not fell this oak.” (ibid. pp. 65)

Muslim’s strategy in politics : “The third thing that is noticeable is the adoption by the Muslims of the gangster’s method in politics. The riots are a sufficient indication that gangsterism has become a settled part of their strategy in politics.” (ibid p. 269)

Murderers are Religious martyrs : “But whether the number of prominent Hindus killed by fanatic Muslims is large or small matters little. What matters is the attitude of those who count towards these murderers. The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however, never condemned theses criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr. Barkat Ali, a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr. Gandhi.” (ibid. p. 157)

Hindus and Muslims are two distinct spiritual species : From a spiritual point of view, Hindus and Musalmans are not merely two classes or two sects such as Protestants and Catholics or Shaivas and Vaishnavas. They are two distinct species.” (ibid. p. 193)

Islam and Casteism : “Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries.”

But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. As an illustration one may take the conditions prevalent among the Bengal Muslims. The Superintendent of the Census for 1901 for the Province of Bengal records the following interesting facts regarding the Muslims of Bengal :-

The conventional division of the Mahomedans into four tribes- Sheikh, Saiad, Moghul and Pathan-has very little application to this Province (Bengal). The Mahomedans themselves recognize two main social divisions, (1) Ashraf or Sharaf and (2) Ajlaf. Ashraf means ‘noble’ and includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and coverts from high caste Hindus. All other Mahomedans including the occupational groups and all converts of lower ranks, are known by the contemptuous-terms, ‘Ajlab’, ‘wretches’ or ‘mean people’ : they are also called Kamina or Itar, ‘base’ or Rasil, a corruption of Rizal, ‘worthless’. In some places a third class, called Arzal or ‘lowest of all’, is added. With them no other Mohomedan would associate, and they are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground.

“Within these groups there are castes with social precedence of exactly the same nature as one finds among the Hindus.

1. Ashraf or better class Mahomedans.

(2) Saiads, (2) Sheikhs, (3) Pathans, (4) Moghul, (5) Mallik and (6) Mirza

2. Ajlaf or lower class Mahomedans.

(1) Cultivating Sheikhs, and others who were originally Hindus but who do not belong to any functional group, and have not gained admittance to the Ashraf Community, e.g. Pirali and Thakrai.

(2) Darzi, Jolaha, Fakir, and Rangrez.

(3) Barhi, Bhathiara, Cluk, Chrihar, Dai, Dhawa, Dhunia, Gaddi, Kalal, Kasai, Kula Kunjara, Laheri, Mahifarosh, Mallah, Naliya, Nikari.

(4) Abdal, Bako, Bediya, Bhat, Chamba, Dafali, Dhobi, Hajjam, Mucho, Nagarchi, Nat, Panwari, Madaria, Tuntia.

3. Arzal or degraded class.

Bhanar, Halalkhor, Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Mougtra, Mehtar.”

“Similar facts from other Provinces of India could be gathered from their respective Census Reports and those who are curious may refer to them. But the facts for Bengal are enough to show that the Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability. (ibid. pp. 228-230)

Muslim canon oppose social reform : The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils. But there is relieving feature about them-namely, that some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in their existing practices. It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child-Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18 on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslim cannon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but that when it became law they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act.” (ibid. p. 233)

Muslim politicians oppose secular categories : “Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against the capitalist. Why? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor aginst the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capitalist he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community.”  (ibid. p. 236)

India can not be common motherland of the Hindus and Muslims as per Muslim Laws: According to Muslim cannon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Cannon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans-but it cannot be the land of the ‘ Hindus and Musalmans living as equals’. Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land become subject to the authority of a non-Muslims power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb.

It must not be supposed that this view is only of academic interest. For it is capable of becoming an active force capable of influencing the conduct of the Muslims”. (ibid., p. 294)

Jihad to transform Dar-ul-Harb India to Dar-ul-Islam : It might also be mentioned that Hijrat is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Cannon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rules of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam.

The fact remains that India, if not exclusively under Muslim rule, is a Dar-ul-Harb and the Musalmans, according to the tenets of Islam are justified in proclaiming a Jihad.

Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavour a success.” (ibid., pp. 295-296)

Why is Hindu-Muslim unity a failure? : “The real explanation of this failure of Hindu-Muslim unity lies in the failure to realize that what stands between the Hindus and Muslims is not a mere matter of difference, and that this antagonism is not to be attributed to material causes. It is formed by causes which take their origin in historical, religious, cultural and social antipathy, of which political antipathy is only a reflection.” (ibid., p. 329)

Hindu-Muslim unity is out of sight : Nothing I could say can so well show the futility of any hope of Hindu-Muslim unity. Hindu-Muslim unity upto now was at least in sight although it was like a mirage. Today it is out of sight and also out of mind. Even Mr. Gandhi has given up what, he perhaps now realizes, is an impossible task.” (ibid., p. 187)

Transfer of minorities is the only remedy for communal place : “The transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace, is beyond doubt. If that is so, there is no reason why the Hindus and the Muslims should keep on trading in safeguards, which have proved so unsafe. If small countries, with limited resources like Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, were capable of such an undertaking, there is no reason to suppose that what they did cannot be accomplished by Indians” (ibid., p. 116)

The problem of majority-minority will continue : “The Musalmans are scattered all over Hindustan-though they are mostly congregated in towns and no ingenuity in the matter of redrawing of boundaries can make it homogeneous. The only way to make Hindustan homogeneous, is to arrange for exchange of population. Until that is done, it must be admitted that even with the creation of Pakistan, the problem of majority vs. minority will remain in Hindustan as before and will continue to produce disharmony in the body politic of Hindustan.” (ibid. p. 117)

Protection of minorities a constitutional method : “So much for the problem of boundaries, I will now turn to the problem of the minorities which must remain within Pakistan even after boundaries are redrawn. There are two methods of protecting their interests.

“First is to provide safeguards in the constitution for the protection of the political and cultural rights of the minorities. To Indians this is a familiar matter and it is unnecessary to enlarge upon it. (Ibid., p. 379)

Exchange of Hindu-Muslim population-a possible solution : “Second is to provide for their transfer from Pakistan to Hindustan. Many people prefer this solution and would be ready and willing to consent to Pakistan if it can be shown that an exchange of population is possible. This no doubt is the sign of a panic-stricken mind. If the matter is considered in a cool and calm temper it will be found that the problem is neither staggering nor baffling.” (ibid., p. 379)

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Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833)

Muslims tortured the Hindus : The Muslims did tremendous harm to the Hindus, especially the Brahmins, because they continued to stick to the Hindu religion, and they did not abandon their religion despite of the unspeakable torture and death-threat by the Muslims.

Muslims never spared non-Muslims with religious zeal : The Muslims assumed the ayats of the Quran as the orders of Allah and determined that their duty is to kill and torture the idolaters (Hindus) as ‘Allah’s order. According to the Muslims the Brahmins are the vilest of all idolaters (Hindus). That’s why the Muslims became fanatic and never spared to kill the non-Muslims with religious zeal”. (Complete works of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in Bengali, page- 726-727, 1973 edition, Haraf Publications, Kolkata)

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Nirad Chandra Chaudhuri (1897-1999)

The famous intellectual and the great thinker of the modern times, said :

Islamic doctrine creates differences with non-Muslims : “According to Islamic doctrine a Muslim is bound to consider all Muslims as his brother and all non-Muslims as his enemy. Due to the inner equality and brotherhood of Muslim society, the Muslims are more conscious about their differences with the non-Muslims.

Division of world in two parts Islamic and non-Islamic states : According to the Islamic theology, the world is divided into two distinct parts to a Muslim – (1) One is called Dar-ul-Islam, meaning the land ruled by the Islamic laws. (2) The second is Dar-ul-Harb. Meaning, the land of Jihad, the land which the Muslims must have to conquer by war to establish Islamic laws.

Muslims must constantly fight in Dar-ul-Harb : According to the Islamic doctrine, Muslims can not live under the non-Muslim rule. Not only that, the Muslim world constantly should be at war against the non-Muslim world. That’s why the non-Muslim land is called the Dar-ul-Harb, meaning the Land of war. For this Islamic mandate there can never be any friendship between a state of Muslims and a state of non-Muslims, unless the later becomes a land of Islam. Until that happens every Muslim must have to fight or conduct Jihad against all non-Muslims.

Jihad gives three choices : As per the theory of Jihad, the non-Muslims have three choices : (a) Either he has to accept Islam (b) Or he has to surrender and accept slavery to the Muslims by paying Zijiya tax or (c) Has to fight. According to Islam there is no fourth option for a Muslim to approach a non-Muslim.”

(An article namely “Hindu-Muslim-Birodher gorarkotha” (the fundamental reason of Hindus Muslim enmity) in “Aamar Desh, Amar Shatak” (My country-my century) by Nirad Chandra Choudhury compiled in Nirad Chandra Choudhury-Shata barshiki sankalan, published by Mitra and Ghosh, in 2000 pp-170-471)

Muslims destroyed thousands Hindu temples : “I say that the Muslims do not have the slightest right to complain about the desecration of one mosque. From 1000 A.D., every Hindu temple from Kathiawar to Bihar from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas, has been sacked and ruined. Not one temple was left standing all over northern India… Temples escaped destruction only where Muslim power did not gain access to them for reasons such as dense forests. Otherwise it was a continuous spell of vandalism.

No nation, with any self-respect, will forgive this. They took over our women. And they imposed the Jaziya, the tax. Why should we forget and forgive all that? What happened in Ayodhya would not have happened, had the Muslims acknowledged this historical argument even once. Then we could have said : All right, let the past remain in the past and let us see how best we can solve this problem…

Muslims invented permanent revolution : “The gist of the argument is that the Hindu view of life and the Muslim view of the life are completely oriented towards a clash. The Muslims were the first to invent the theory of permanent revolution. The communists took over from them. No Muslims can live under the political dominations of non-Muslims. Secondly, the Muslims divide the world into two : regions of peace and regions of conflict. It is the duty of every Muslim to bring the latter within the fold of Islam”.

(Sunday Times of India, August 8, 1993; in an interview to its Editor Dileep Padgaonkar)

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Jadunath Sarkar (1870-1958)

The world famous historian wrote :

Polytheism is sin : “Therefore, the toleration of any sect out side the fold of orthodox Islam is no better than compounding with sin. And the worst form of sin is polytheism, the belief that the one true God has partners in the form of other deities. Such a belief is the rankest ingratitude (kafir) to him who gives as our life and daily bread.

Meaning of Jihad is “to exert in the Path of God :” “Islamic theology, therefore, tells the true believer that his highest duly is to make exertion (jihad) in the path of God by waging war against infidel lands (dar-ul-harb) till they become a part of the realm of Islam (dar-ul-Islam). After conquest, the entire infidel population becomes theoretically reduced to the status of slaves of the conquering army (Muslims). The men taken with arms are to be slain or sold into slavery and their wives and children induced to servitude. As for the non-combatants among the vanquished, they are not massacred out right, as the Canon lawyer Shafi declared to the Quranic injunction, it is only to give them a respite till they are so wisely guided as to accept the true taith.” (The History of Aurangazeb. Vol. 3, pp. 163-164 by Sir Jadunath Sarkar; published by Orient Longman 1972)

Murder of non-Muslims is a merit : “The murder of infidels (even if they are innocent) is counted a merit in a Muslim. It is not necessary that he (Muslim) should have his own passion or mortify his flesh, it is not necessary for him to grow a rich growth of spirituality. He has only to slay a certain class of his fellow-beings (non-Muslims) or plunder their lands and wealth and this act is itself would raise his (Muslim’s) soul to Heaven. A religion where followers are taught to regard robbery and murder as a religious duty, is incompatible with the progress of manking or with the peace of the world.” (ibid., pp. 161-169)

No peace between Mohammadan king and neighbouring of infidel states : “According to the Quranic law, there can not be peace between a Mohammedan king and his neighbouring infidel states. The latter are Dar-ul-Harb or legitimate stated for war, and it is the Muslim king’s duty to slay and plunder them (non-Muslims) till they accept the true faith (Islam) and become Dar-ul-Islam. (Land of Muslims alone), after which they will become entitled to his (Muslim king’s) protection.” (Shivaji and his Times, pages 479-480, by Sir Jadunath Sarkar; published by Orient Longman.)

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Bipin Chandra Pal (1858-1932)

The great freedom fighter observed:

Muslim first then Indian : “The Indian Muslims are first Muslims, then Indians. According to the Muslim leaders like Syeed Amir Ali, if the foreign Islamic countries invade India, the duties of the Indian Muslims will be to help those Muslim invaders against India, because ‘Muslim identity’ is more important to them.” (‘Rashtraniti’, by Bipin Chandra Pal in ‘Bijaya’,

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Maharashi Satyananda Saraswati

Maharshi Satyananda Saraswati, the founder of ‘Shaktibaad’, wrote :

Islam and communism are similar : “There are some striking similarities between Islam and Communism. There is no spirituality in Islam. Muslims worship Allah just to get houris (the beautiful girls of the heaven), but not to get knowledge of the

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God. So Islam only indulged in earthly and sensual pleasure. Mohammed invented a theory to create a group of followers of Allah by loot, rape, and murder of the non-Muslims.” (‘Shaktishali Samaj [meaning strong society,] by Swami Maharshi Satyananda Saraswati, Shaktimath, Kolkata, 1375 Bangabda,)

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Dr K.S.Lal

The great historian writes in his book “Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India” Vol, Delhi, 1999 as below:

Quran does not permit continuance of other faiths : “The two belonged to two different religious streams. The Muslim sultans reigned according to the dictates of the Shariat, the Hindu emperors on the principles of Dharmashastra. Their rules of war and governance were poles part.

The Quran does not permit the existence or continuance of other faiths and their religious practices. Of the 6236 ayats in the Quran about 3,900 are directly or indirectly related to Kafirs, Mushriks, Munkirs, Munafiqs or non-believers in Allah and his Prophet. Broadly speaking these 3,900 ayats fall into two categories-those relating to Muslims who for their faith will be rewarded in this as well as the world hereafter, and those relating to Kafirs or non-believers who are to be punished in this world and are destined to go to Hell after death.” (pp. 4-5)

Quran reads like a manual of war : “The Quran reads like a manual of war on mankind rather than a charter of brotherhood for al mankind. For people of other faiths, Jihad or permanent war was the command of the Quran and order of the day. Islam recommends Jihad or perpetual war on adherents of other religions – to lay hold of them, bind them, strike off their heads ad burn them in the fire of hell. This makes Islam a totalitarian and terrorist cult which it has remained ever since its birth.” (p. 5)

Muslim invaders came to impose Islam on India : “Muslim invaders and rulers had come not only to conquer but also to impose the Islamic religion. And the gulf created by the phenomenon has not been bridged. For, Islam is an imposition on India. Worse, it has been imposed through conquest. Ralph Borsodi, an American educationist and social thinker, in his the Challenge of Asia observes that “everywhere in the world except in Asia Minor, the three great Semitic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – are intruders; that indigenous Asia in Brahmanist, Confucianist, Buddhist, Taoist; indigenous Europe is pagan; that in Europe, Christianity is a superimposition; in Asia, Islam is.” (pp. 6-7)

Jihad means killing or converting Non-Muslims : “Jihad is the highest duty of a Muslim Jihad means attacking, killing, enslaving or converting non-Muslims even when they have done no harm to the Muslims, even when they are unarmed. Jihad is waged for the sake of Allah; war and worship in his service are the same. Shirking Jihad is the greatest sin’ obtaining glory through Jihad is the highest grace. Islam suffers from the ego of triumphalism. It says that it should triumph over others, because it alone is true and all others are false. Not all exclusivists belong to the militant extreme, but all are convinced that their religion alone is true. This is Islamic fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is belief in the inherency of the scriptures of one’s religion. Fundamentalism is not accidental but essential to Islam.” (pp. 9-10)

In Islam, truth is established by sword : “What Islam always meant by “knowledge”
(ilm) was religious knowledge by “revelation”, the logic that all that is in Islam is right. It sees unchageability as strength. That is why the word reform is so abhorrent to Muslim thinkers and religious leaders. In Islamic scriptures there are commands, directions and orders. There is no mention of discussions or consensus arrived at. This was the practice in Arabia after its conquest by Muhammad and this was the practice wherever Muslim armies marched. In Islam, truth is established by the sword, not through arguments.” (p. 10)

Iconoclasm is important in Islam : “Image breaking is a contribution of prophetic religions. In Islam, iconoclasm is important, but it is more important that the shrines of non-Muslims are desecrated and destroyed rather than spared through agreement or in exchange for wealth. (What Mahmud of Ghazni declared at Somnath according to Attar, is the gist of the true spirit of Islam).” (p. 10)

Islam permits no separation of state and Religion : “The Quran and the Hadis provided the foundation upon which theology and law of Islam were raised. Totalitarian nature of Islam permits no separation of state and church. “Law in Islam is more intimately related to religion than to jurisprudence as modern lawyers understand it.” (p. 10)

Islam a creed of aggression and violence : “The ponderosity of the Jihad gave them the energy and the rapidity of electric current. And Islam came to be what the world has ever since recognized it to be – a militant religion, a creed of aggression ad violence.” (p. 12)

Islamic expanded for economic gains : “Islam originated in the land of the Arabs. The rise of Arabs as a political power has been elucidated by a large number of writers on Islam. T.W. Arnold observes that the expansion of the Arabs was due not so much to the religious spirit as to their desire to obtain the lands and goods of their neighbours who were richer and more fortunate than themselves. Most Arabs of the day of prophet Muhammad were poor. They needed a reformer to improve their economic condition. There are two ways of alleviating poverty and gaining economic well-being. One way is to work hard and raise one’s resources through labour and sweat. The other is to attack and rob others and thereby grow rich. The early indigent Arab Muslims could either be persuaded to make a

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living by working hard, or encouraged to attack and plunder the others. Islam resorted to the second alternative as ordered by Allah. Recruits, mainly from among the slaves or lower classes, began to swell the rank of the believers, or in the flowery words of Edward Gibbon, the spepherds were turned into robbers and robbers were collected to form an army of conquest. “Soldiering was not only the noblest and most pleasing professions in the sight of Allah but also most profitable.” (p. 12-13)

Islam spread by armed might : “Islam spread through unparalleled feats of armed might. Some Muslim merchants spread their creed by peaceful means also by making their employees and other beneficiaries join their faith. Peaceful propagation of Islam was ruled out by the fact that the majority of early Arab Muslims were not educated enough to discuss, debate, argue and convince. Hence they were not trained for spreading the new creed through any missionary endeavour. They could only wield the sword very well. Hence Muslim historical literature repeatedly mentions that Islam spread through military conquest when the vanquished were offered the alternative of Islam or death. They accepted Islam because they had hardly any other choice. Death is no choice because nobody chooses death, so they chose Islam.” (pp. 14-15)

Tolerance is found in Meccan, and killing of non-Muslims in Medianan Ayats : There are one or two passages in the Quran evincing tolerance like: “Your religion to you, my religion to me; or, there is no compulsion in religion.” “All passages preaching tolerance are found in Meccan, i.e., early Suras, and all the passages recommending killing, decapitating, and maiming are Medinan, i.e., later toleration has been abrogated by intolerance. For example,

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the famous verse 9.5, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” is said to have concelled 124 verses that dictate toleration and patience.” (p. 15)

Islam has to different sets of morality for Muslims and Non-Muslims : “Islam has two sets of principles of morality, ethics and justice : On e for Muslims and the other for non-Muslims. Sincerity, well-wishing and brotherhood are for the believers and faithful. For non-Muslims the principles and standards of behaviour are different.” (p. 15)

Arab invasion of Sindh : The Arab and later Turk Muslims spread into India throught three major waves of invasions, but it took them five hundred years to do so. After the conquest of Iran by 643 CE, the boundaries of the Caliphate touched the frontiers of India. India, known to early Arabs as Hind wa sind, too could not escape Muslim expansionist designs, and they sent their armies into India both by land and sea. They proceeded alone the then known (trade) routes – (1) from Kufa and Baghdad, via Basra and Hormuz to Chaul on India’s west coast; (2) from West Persian towns, via Hormuz to Debal in Sindh; and (3) through the

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land route of northern Khurasan to Kabul via Bamian. But progress of Muslim arms and religion in India was slow, verty slow. For, the declarations of the objectives of Muslim invaders had not taken into account the potentialities of Indian’s stiff and latent resistance. Caliph Umar (634-44 CE) had sent an expedition in 636-37 to pillage Thana. It was followed by some attempts on the part of Caliphs Usman and Ali. But in vain. The four ‘pious’ Caliphs of Islam died without hearing of the conquest of Sind and Hind. (p. 17)

The spread of Islam was military : “As Dr. Ali Issa Othman, for some years adviser to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) on education said; “The spread of Islam was military. There is a tendency to apologize for this and we should not. It is one of the injunctions of the Koran that you must fight for the spreading of Islam.” The success achieved in this fight for spreading of Islam is also the main story of the medieval Muslim chronicles. The importance of ‘force’ in Islam should be acknowledged rather than minimized. The denial of force as a means of spreading Islam by a few modern apologists, like Aziz Ahmad and Muhammad Mujeeb cannot alter the basic truth about the history and philosophy of Islam, nor spirit behind words like Kafir, Jihad, Jiziyah, etc.” (p. 23)

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