Open Question & Answer Session
(Duration – 46 minutes)
Mohammad Naik: JazakAllah. Thank you for your patient listening. Now we would have the question and answer session. To analyze the similarities between Hinduism and Islam adequately for all those present here today in the limited time that we have available now, we would like to following rules top be followed during the question and answer session.
3 mikes have been provided in the ground, one next to the stage for the gents, one on my right and one on my left and one mike has been provided for the ladies in the centre aisle in the front section of the ladies. The fourth question would be allowed from the slips. Please stand in the queue in front of the mikes if you wish to put forward a question to the speaker and speak in the mike only when the mike handling assistants hand you the mike.
Your questions should be on the topic ‘Similarities between Hinduism and Islam’ only. Questions not relevant to the topic including any general question on religion will not be permitted. Kindly state your question briefly and to the point. Only one question at a time per questioner will be allowed for your second question you would have to queue up at the back of the row and await your second chance which seeing the time limitations I am doubtful you may get.
We will allow 1 question at a time on each of the mikes in clockwise rotation. The first question from the ladies mike, the second question from the brothers who queue up on my right and the third question from the microphone on my left down here, the fourth question will be from the slip and we again rotate in serial order in similar fashion. Written question on slip papers which are available from the volunteers in the aisles and in the gangways can be sent up through the seating volunteers up to the stage on my left and the stage management director would handover the same to me.
In the interest of avoiding wasting time on irrelevant issues and to ensure a more educative and interesting question and answer session, my decision to allow or disallow questions which are irrelevant will be final. In this I would also be assisted by the director of stage management and one of the officials from the police who have been deputed by DCP Mr. Himanshu Rai.
Kindly state your name and profession before putting forward your question so that the speaker can give you an adequate level response. Can we have the first question from the sisters please?
Questioner: I am Mrs. Rangwala. You have praised Raja Ram Mohan Roy in your talk. Do you know that he was against Purdah? Why does Islam degrade women by keeping her behind the veil? Isn’t a Hindu woman modest in her Salwar Kameez?
Dr. Zakir: The sister’s asked a very good question that I spoke highly about Raja Ram Mohan Roy in my talk and about the reform he brought in Hinduism but he even spoke against the Hijab system that’s there in Islam so do I know about that? And why does Islam degrade the woman by keeping her behind the veil and is a Hindu woman who does not wear a veil and wears a Salvaar Kameez, is she modest?
Sister you should understand that if I appreciate certain points of a person that does not mean I agree with all his points, for example 4 years back, 4 years back the Home Minister of India, Mr. L.K. Advani he suggested the law that the rapist should be put to death and I appreciate it that he agreed with the Islamic philosophy that a rapist should be put to death but when I appreciated Mr. L.K. Advani that doesn’t mean I agree with him totally but I do agree with his suggestion that a rapist should be put to death same as Islam says. Similarly Raja Ram Mohan Roy, I appreciate him, he is a great reformer, I really respect him. I also know that he was against the Hijab system which is mentioned in Islam.
Now today if we analyze the modesty level of a human being, it differs depending upon the surroundings they live in. for example there are certain Muslim countries in the Arab land who say that if anyone looks at a woman or stares at a woman, it is considered immodest. Anyone stares at a woman, it is immodest. In India as long as you don’t touch a woman, you are modest. Therefore while they greet, the ladies and the gents, they fold their hands but they don’t touch anyone. If you don’t touch a woman, you are modest. In some of the western countries shaking hands is modest, if a man shakes hands with a lady, it is modest and if you don’t shake hands it is considered that you are not friendly. In other western countries, if you kiss a woman, that is modesty if you go beyond kissing, it is immodest. Some western countries as long as the man and the lady, anything they do, as long as they do willingly, it is modest.
So different people have different levels of modesty depending upon where they live for example in America if a lady wears a mini skirt or shorts, she is considered modest but if the same girl if she comes to India and she wears a miniskirt and shorts we will say she is immodest.
When I gave a talk in America there was an American who told me “Brother Zakir! Do you know that Indian woman are immodest?” I was shocked! I didn’t agree with him. He said “Of course, the Indian women when they wear the Saree, they expose their belly” So according to the Americans exposing the belly is immodest. So depending upon different people the level of modesty keeps on changing.
Let us try and analyze what our Creator, All Mighty God have to speak about modesty. Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Nur ch. no. 24 verse no. 30
“Say to the believing man that he should lower his gaze and guard his modesty.”
Allah first speaks about the modesty for a man and then for the woman. Whenever a man looks at a woman, any brazen thought comes in his mind, he should lower his gaze.
There was a Muslim who was staring at a girl for a long time; I told “Brother, what are you doing? It is haraam to stare at a woman!” he told me “Our beloved Prophet said: “The first glance is allowed, the second is prohibited” I have not completed half my glance” what did the Prophet mean when he said that the first glance is allowed, the second is prohibited? What he meant was that if you unintentionally look at a woman, do not intentionally look at her to feast on her beauty, that does not means you can look at a woman for 10 minutes without blinking and say I have not completed my glance.
The next verse speaks about the Hijab for the women. Allah says in
Surah Nur ch. no. 24 verse no. 31
“Say to the believing women that she should lower her gaze and guard her modesty and display not her beauty except what appears ordinary off. And draw her veil, a head covering, over the bosoms except in front of her father, her husband, her sons…”
And a big list of Mahrams who she cannot marry is given.
And the criteria for Hijaab is given in the Qur’an and the Sahih Ahadith.
There are basically 6 criterias.
The first is the extent i.e. the extent for the man is from the naval to the knee. For the woman, the complete body should be covered; the only part that can be seen is the face and the hands up to the wrist. The remaining 5 criterias are the same for the man and the woman.
The second criteria is, the clothes they wear, it should not be transparent so that you could see through.
The third is, it should not be tight fitting so that it reveals the figure.
Fourth, it should not be so glamorous so that it attracts the opposite sex.
Fifth, it should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
And sixth, it should be clothes which are signs of the unbelievers.
And the reason for Hijab is given in
Surah Ahzaab ch. 33 verse 59 in which Allah says
“O Prophet! Tell to your wives and your daughters and the believing women that whenever they go abroad they should put on a clock so that they shall be recognized and it will prevent them from being molested”
Suppose there are 2 twin sisters who are very beautiful, who are equally beautiful and if they are walking down the streets of Bombay, down the streets of Pedder Road and one of the twin sisters, she is wearing the western clothes, a mini skirts and shorts and the other twin sister, she is wearing the Islamic Hijab, the complete body covered except the face and the hands up to the wrist. And if they are waking down the streets of Pedder Poad and if round the corner there is a hooligan, there is a ruffian who is waiting for a catch, who is waiting to tease a girl, I am asking you a question, which girl will he tease? Will he tease the girl the mini skirts or shorts or will he tease the girl wearing the Islamic Hijab? But natural he will tease the girl wearing the western clothes.
Let’s analyze what do the Hindu scriptures have to speak about modesty. It is mentioned in
Rigveda Book no. 8 Hymn no. 33 verse no. 19, it says that
“When Brahama has made you a dame, when Brahama has made you a woman, you should lower your gaze and should not look up. You should put your feet together and you should not reveal that which the garment and the veil conceals”
So Rigveda says that the woman should wear the veil, they should lower the gaze and should not stare.
Its further mentioned in Rigveda Book no. 10 Hymn no. 85 verse no. 30, it says
“Unlovely is the person, is the husband who covers his thighs with the garment of the wife”
So Rigveda says that wearing the clothes of the opposite sex is prohibited. It’s further mentioned in
Mahavir Charitra Act 2 Page no. 71 that
“Rama says when Parushraam comes, Rama tells his wife Sita that “he is our elder, please lower your gaze and put on the veil”
Rama tells his wife Sita that put on the veil and lower your gaze. If you read historical books, the books talking about the Coin Age or the age of Gupta and Post-Gupta Age, there are coins which have women wearing veil, Indian women up and their veil goes up to their shoulders, some go up till their arms.Many Indian women, if you go the villages, they wear the veil, they cover their head, some of the women even cover their face.
So if you analyze even the Hindu scripture say that the women should wear the veil, that the women should lower their gaze, it’s a pity that Raja Ram Mohan Roy, he might not have read these verses. God willing if Raja Ram Mohan Roy if he would have read these verses, even he would have told that the women should wear the veil. Four years back I appreciated the Home Minister L.K. Advani for suggesting that the rapist should put to death. May be the next Home Minister, he would advice that the women of India should wear the veil.
Mohammad Naik: Yes brother, can you state your name and profession?
Questioner: Assalamu Alaikum! My name is Afroz Wasaya, I am a manager in a private limited company. I would like to put one question. It is a common belief of all the religion that God can do everything then why can’t he become a human being?
Dr. Zakir: The brother has posed a question that all the religions believe that God can do anything and everything so why can’t he become a human being? Most of the religions besides Islam, they believe in a philosophy known as ‘Anthropomorphism’ that means All Mighty God, he takes human forms.
And they believe in the philosophy that All Mighty God is so holy, he doesn’t know the short comings of the human beings, how will a human being feel when he is hurt, how will a human being feel when he is in trouble or in problem so All Mighty God has come down in this world and become a human being to set the rules for the human being.
On the face of it, it’s a very good logic but I tell these people that suppose I manufacture a VCR, do I have to become a VCR to know what is good or what is bad for the VCR, since I am the creator, I don’t have to become a VCR, I just write an instruction manual that if you want to play the VCR, Video Cassette Recorder, put in the video an dress the ‘PLAY’ button, if you want to fast forward, press the ‘FF’ button. If you want to stop, press the ‘STOP’ button. Don’t drop it from a height, it will get spoilt. Don’t immerse it in water, it will get damaged. I will write an instruction manual, similarly All Mighty God, since He is the Creator of the human beings, He does not have to become a human being to know what is good or what is bad for the human being. What does He do? He chooses a man amongst men and He reveals a revelation. And the last and final revelations for the human beings, it is the Glorious Qur’an, the Dos and Don’ts.
If I agree for sake of argument that All Mighty God can do anything and everything so why can’t He become a human being? If I agree with you for the sake of argument that God can do anything and everything that He can even become a human being, if God becomes a human being, He ceases to be God because God and human beings have got different qualities. All Mighty God, He is immortal, human beings are mortal. You can’t have a person who is mortal and immortal at the same time. God has got no beginning, Human beings have a beginning, you can’t have a person who has a beginning and no beginning at the same time. All Mighty God has got no end, human beings have an end. You can’t have a person who has an end and no end at the same time, it’s meaningless. So either you can have God or you can have man, you can’t have a God-Man, it doesn’t make sense. Human beings, we require to eat, All Mighty God does not require to eat.
Allah says in Surah Anam ch. no. 6 verse no. 14
“All Mighty God feedeth everyone but does not require to be fed”
We human beings require rest and sleep, All Mighty God does not require rest.
If I agree with you for the sake of argument All Mighty God can do anything and everything in that same argument, All Mighty God can even tell a lie, it is ungodly to tell a lie. The moment God tells lie, he ceases to be God. If I agree with you God can do everything, God All Mighty can even be unjust but the moment God does injustice, He ceases to be God.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Nisa ch. no. 4 verse 40 that
“All Mighty God is never unjust in the least degree”
If All Mighty God wants He can forget but to forget is ungodly. Allah says in
Surah Taa Haa ch. No. 20 verse no. 52 that
“Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) never forgets”
The moment All Mighty God forgets, he ceases to be God. If All Mighty God wants He can make a mistake but to make a mistake is ungodly, Allah says in
Surah Ta Ha ch. no. 20 verse 52 that
“All Mighty God never makes a mistake”
The moment God makes a mistake, He ceases to be God. No where in the Qur’an it is mentioned that God can do everything. What Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Faatir Ch. no. 35 verse no. 1 is
“Inna Allaha ala kulli shay-in Qadeer”
“That Verily Allah has Power over All Things”
It’s mentioned in several places. In
Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 106,
In Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 109,
In Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 284,
In Surah Ale Imran ch. 3 verse 29,
In Surah Nahl ch. 16 verse 77,
in Surah Faatir ch. 35 verse no. 1 Allah says
“Inna Allaha ala kulli shay-in Qadeer”
“For verily, Allah has Power over All Things”
Allah says in Surah Burooj ch. no. 85 verse no. 16 that
“Allah is the doer of all He intends”
Whatever He intends, He can do but All Mighty God will never intend telling a lie, will never intend making a mistake, he will never intend becoming a human being. He will only intend things which are Godly. Hope that answers the question.
Mohammad Naik: Next question from the brother on my left…
Questioner: Assalamu Alaikum. My name is Aatif Sumar, I am a student and my question is that Hindu scholars when… when they are doing idol worship, they claim that they are just worshiping the All Mighty God but the idol is just for concentration so according to Islam is it allowed? Is this allowed?
Dr. Zakir: The brother asked a question that the Hindu scholars, they agree that idol worship is wrong but to concentrate on All Mighty God the idol is only used for concentration they agree God has got no images but they use it for concentration so is it right? All these Hindu scholars, they have read the Hindu scriptures, the Hindu scholars agree that All Mighty God has got no images but what they say that those people who have lower consciousness, they require idol for concentration, once you reach a higher level of consciousness then idol is not required so I tell these Pandits and scholars that those people who have higher consciousness they don’t require an idol to concentrate so we Muslims have already reached that higher level of consciousness, we don’t required an idol to concentrate.
Furthermore once a Pandit told me that when we speak to children we have to make them understand easily, If your child asks you why does it thunder, we give the reply that “Aai Maa Chaki Peesti hai” it is thundering because “Aai Maa Chaki Peesti hai”, grandmother in the heaven she is grinding flour. I told him in Islam we don’t agree in telling a lie even if it’s a white lie. If I tell my son that it thunders because “Aai maa Chaki peesti hai” and when he goes to school, he learns that thundering is due to sudden expansion of rapidly heated air. He will start thinking that my father is telling a lie. What we have to know that we have to speak the truth. The Pundits and the Scholars, they say that at a lower level, the idol is required for concentration at a higher level, we don’t require concentration like how if we study at the lower standard one…. its required, higher level its not required.
I tell them that suppose we teach mathematics in standard 2 when we teach mathematics we say 2 + 2 is equal to 4 but the same 2 + 2 is equal to 4 remains in 10th Standard, remains when he does his graduation, it even remains when he does PhD, basic teaching of any subject remains the same 2 + 2 will remain the same irrespective in 2nd standard or 10th standard or graduation or PhD. It is very clear that in the Vedas, in the Hindu scriptures God All Mighty has got no images, it’s the basics, you can’t change your basic. If someone tells me that in Standard 2, 2 + 2 is equal to 5 so you can’t tell your son, don’t worry when you reach Standard 10, I will tell you 2 + 2 is not equal to 5, we have to correct him immediately. So it’s the duty of all the Hindu Scholars to tell the Hindus that according to the Hindu Scriptures, All Mighty God has got no images, that’s the basic. So even at the basic level that they should preach to the scholars that idol worship is wrong. Hope that answers the question.
Mohammad Naik: The next question which is the 4th question of the day and 1st on the slip is by brother Rohit Shah, he asks: if Islam is the religion of peace then why does it preach the concept of Jihad i.e. fighting and killing the Kaafir infact Hinduism is the religion of peace.
Dr. Zakir: The brother has asked a very important question that Islam is the religion of peace why does it preach about Jihad i.e. fighting and killing the Kaafir infact Hinduism is a religion is a religion of peace.
There is a great misconception as far as Jihad in Islam is concerned. This misconception is not only among the non-Muslims, it’s even among the Muslims. They think that any war fought by any Muslim, for any reason whether it be for personal gain whether it be for fame, whether it be for money, any war fought by any Muslim is Jihad. Jihad does not mean nay war fought by any Muslim. Jihad comes from the Arabic word Jahada which means to strive, which means to struggle, in Islamic context it means to strive against once own evil inclination, it also means to strive to make the society better, it also means to strive in the battlefield in self-defense, it also means to fight against tyrant and oppression. Jihad basically means to strive, it means to struggle and very often the critics of Islam, even the Hindu critics even Arun Shourie he writes in his book, ‘The World of Fatawa’ and he quotes
Surah Tawbah verse no. 9 verse no. 5 and it says that the Qur’an mentions
“Wherever you find a Kaafir, into brackets ‘Hindus’, whereever you find a Kaafir, you kill them.”
And if you open the Qur’an and if you read in this Qur’an ch. no. 9 verse no. 5, it does say that wherever you find a Kaafir, you kill him but it’s a quotation out of context. For the context, read a few verses previous. The first few verse of Surah Tawbah speaks about a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriks of Makkah. This peace treaty was unilaterally broken by the Mushriks of Makkah so Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) by the time He reaches verse no. 5, He gives an ultimatum to the enemies, to the Mushriks of Makkah, you put things straight in 4 months time otherwise a declaration of war and in the battlefield Allah says to the Muslims wherever you find the enemies, wherever you find the Kaafir, you kill them. This verse of the Qur’an is talking about the battlefield when the Muslims are fighting for truth against falsehood, against the enemy, if they come to attack you, don’t get scared, kill them! Any army general to boost up the moral of the soldiers, will say that kill the enemies, he will not say that let the enemies go. So Qur’an speaks the same and Arun Shourie after verse no. 5 of Surah Tawbah jumps to verse no. 7, any intelligent person knows that verse no. 6 has the reply to his allegation. Verse no. 6 says that
“If the enemies, if the Mushriks want asylum don’t just let them go escort them to a place of security so that they will hear the word of All Mighty God”
The most generous Army General today will say that let the enemy go which Army General today will say that escort the enemy to security that is what the Qur’an says.
And there is another misconception in Islam that Jihaad means holy war. Holy War in Arabic is ‘Harbum Mukadassa’ no where in the Qur’an Harbum Mukadassa mentioned, no where it’s mentioned in the Hadith. Holy war is not the translation of Jihad, this holy war was first used to describe the crusaders, the Christian crusaders who conquered many lands and killed thousands of people in the name of Christianity. Now today they use this ‘holy war’ for Muslims which is totally wrong and unfortunately many Muslims scholars in inverted commas even they use holy war as the translation of Jihad which is totally wrong.
Let’s analyze what do the Hindu scriptures have to speak about Jihaad.
It’s mentioned in Bhagvad Gita ch. no. 2 verse no. 50
“Shri Krishna tells Arjun that strive for yoga, that’s good for you.”
Strive means struggle. So even Shri Krishna tells Arjun to strive and struggle and if you read the Mahabharat, Mahabharat, Mahabharat speaks about the battle between the cousins, the Kaurav and the Pandavs. There are thousands of verses which only speak about fighting, multiple times more than the Qur’an. And if you read Bhagvad Gita, Bhagvad Gita is Holy Scripture of the Hindus; it speaks about advice given by Shri Krishna to Arjun in the battlefield.
Bhagvad says in ch. no. 1 verse no. 42 to verse no. 46, Arjun says
“I would prefer dying unarmed and without fighting rather than kill the cousins, the Kauravas, the sons Dhritharashtra”
Shri Krishna replies in the next chapter ch. no. 2 verse no. 2
“O Arjun! How could such impurities come to your mind? That you don’t want to fight. You will not enter into heaven. How could you get such impotent thoughts which weaken your hearts?”
Shri Krishna says in Baghvad Gita ch. no. 2 verse no. 31 to verse no. 33, it says
“O Arjun! You are a Kshatriya, you should fight then only will you go to heaven otherwise you won’t go. And blessed are those Kshatriya who fight for truth in the battle”
And many of the critics, they speak against Qur’an and the Hadith and they quote
Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 4 Book of Jihaad ch. no. 2 Hadith no. 46 in which our Prophet said
“Mujahid is a person who strives in the way of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and if a Mujahid dies in the battlefield, he will go to Jannah, to paradise and if he wins, he will get the booty of the war.”
Exactly same thing is mentioned by Shri Krishna in Bhagvad Gita ch. no. 2 verse no. 37
“O Arjun! Go and fight, if you get killed, you will go to heaven and if you win the battle, you will enjoy the good of this world, this earthly world.”
This is exactly the same thing what is mentioned in the Hadith. Imagine if I quote saying that Bhagvad Gita says, you should kill your cousins, it will be devilish on my part, I am telling out of context, it will be devilish! The right thing is Bhagvad Gita says that you have to fight for the truth against falsehood and even if it be your cousin who are on the falsehood even if you have to kill them for the truth, there is no problem. So quoting out of context is devilish. So here we understand that if while speaking with the different types of people, we should know how to convince them. Believe me, hundreds of Hindus have spoken to me and saying Jihad is wrong. The moment I say but isn’t it mentioned in your Bhagvad Gita that you should kill your cousins. They tell me “No! But that is Shri Krishna is talking about fighting of truth against falsehood” I said that is what the Qur’an says. “O is that is what the Qur’an says then we agree with the Qur’an”
Mohammad Naik: Yes sister…
Questioner: My name is Saira, I am a teacher. In your talk you mentioned about pillars of Eemaan i.e. faith in Islam and showed the similarities of the same in Hindu scriptures. Is there any mention of the pillars of Islam in Hinduism?
Dr. Zakir: The sister asked a question that I have mentioned about pillars of Eemaan in my talk and compared with similarities in the Hindu scripture, are there any similarities between pillars of Islam and the Hindu scriptures? Yes sister, time didn’t permit me to speak about all these similarities, you can speak for days together. As far as the pillars of Islam are concerned, it’s mentioned in
Sahih Bukhari vol. no. 1 in the Book of Eemaan Hadith no. 8, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“Islam is based on 5 principals, on 5 pillars, the first is Affirming “La ila ha ill Allah Muhammadur Rasoolullah”. There is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is the messenger of Allah.
The second is establishing Salaah.
Third is Zakaat, Charity.
Fourth is Saum i.e. fast in the month of Ramadhaan and
Fifth is pilgrimage to the city of Makkah once in your lifetime.”
These are basically 5 pillars, the first one about one Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and the final messenger Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), I have already discussed in my talk.
Regarding the second pillar of Salaah, the main portion of Salaah in Islam is Sujood i.e. prostration. Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Ale Imran ch. no. 3 verse no. 43
“Ya Maryamu oqnutee li Rabbiki wasjudee…”
“O Mary! Worship your Lord devotedly and bow down with those who bow down”
Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Hajj ch. no. 22 verse no. 77
“Ya ayyuha allazeena amanoo”
“O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourself and prostrate with those who prostrate.”
So the major part is prostration. In Hinduism there are various types of worship. One of the types of worship is called as ‘Sashtang’ Sashtang comes from ‘Sa’ meaning. Aath meaning ‘Eight’. ‘Ang’ mens part of body so Sashtang means 8 parts of the body. That means when you worship you should touch 8 parts of the body. Now if you analyze the best way a Hindu can do ‘Sashtang’ is the Sujood we do in Salaah, the 8 parts of the body we touch, is the forehead, is the nose, is the 2 hands, is the 2 knees and the 2 feet.
The third pillar of Islam is Zakaat, that’s charity. 2.5% of excess wealth in charity every lunar year. Charity is even prescribed in the Qur’an in
Surah Al Hashr ch. 59 verse no. 7 that
“Charity has been prescribed so that the wealth does not circulate only amongst the rich”
This is exactly what is mentioned in Rigveda Book no. 10 Hymn no. 117 verse no. 5 that
“Give charity to the poor and you may never know today you are rich, tomorrow you may become poor. And wealth circulates like the wheels of a chariot.”
Same thing as Islam.
Pillar no. 4 is Saum, that means fasting for the complete lunar month of Ramadhaan, abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset.
Hinduism has various types of fasting. One type of fasting mentioned in Manusmriti ch. no. 6 verse no. 24 is
“Fasting for 1 month”
Fasting is further mentioned in Manusmriti ch. no. 4 verse no. 222 and Manusmriti ch. no. 11 verse no. 204
The fifth pillar is Hajj that every adult Muslim who has the means to perform Hajj should at least perform Hajj that is pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah in the month of Hajj.
There are various types of pilgrimage in Hinduism, one type is mentioned in Rigveda Book no. 3 Hymn no. 29 verse no. 4, it speaks about ‘Elaispad’. A Tirtha, a place of worship called as Elai Spad, Ellah means Allah. Spad means place. So Elaispad means a place of God and it says, it is in the center of Prithvi, earth and we know that Makkah is the center of the world. So Veda says one place of pilgrimage is the House of Allah, we call it as Baitullah which is the center of the earth and further if you read in
Rigveda Book no. 3 Hymn no. 29 verse no. 11, it speaks about Narashansa, about Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam). So this place of pilgrimage is nothing but Makkah and if you open and read the Sanskrit dictionary, it says Elaispad means a place of God, a place of Tirtha. Makkah pilgrimage is also mentioned in
Rigveda Book no. 1 Hymn no. 128 verse no. 1
These were in short similarities between Hinduism and the pillars of Islam.
Mohammad Naik: Yes brother…
Questioner: Sameer Khatib, I am in business. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been proph.. prophesied in 4000 old scriptures of Hinduism, Vedas and the…. Puranas. Therefore Dr. Zakir Naik, you believe that these books are God-Sent and therefore Hindus are also Ahle Kitaab?
Dr. Zakir: The brother’s asked a very good question that since Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) is prophesied in Vedas and in the other Hindu scriptures can we consider these scriptures to be the word of God? And can we call them the Ahle Kitaab. Brother Ahle Kitaab as I mentioned in my talk it’s a word used for People of the Book specifically referring to the Jews and Christians. Ahle Kitaab refers to Jews and Christians.
Regarding your question that can we consider Vedas or the other Hindu scriptures as the word of God?
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Ra’d ch. no. 13 verse no. 38
“Likulli ajalin Kitab”
“In every age have We sent a revelation”
But by name only 4 revelations are mentioned in the Qur’an, Torah, Zaboor, Injeel and the Qur’an.
Torah is the wahi, which was revealed Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).
Zaboor is the wahi, which was revealed to Prophet David (peace be upon him).
Injeel is the wahi which was revealed to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him).
And Qur’an is the last and final revelation revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Now all these revelations that were revealed, they were revealed only for those people and that time. All revelations before the Qur’an were revealed were only for those people and for that time. Qur’an was revealed for the whole of humankind.
Your question, can we consider Veda or the Hindu were it word of God. Since the Vedas are not mentioned by name in the Qur’an we cannot say for sure that they were the word of God. What we can say may be they were the word of God. You ask me since Allah has sent various messengers can we consider Ram or Laxman as the messenger of God. See Allah says, He has sent several revelations on the face of the earth, he has sent several messengers since Veda is not mentioned in the Qur’an to be the word of God, I can say may be they were the word of God, I cannot say for sure. Similarly neither can I say that Ram or Krishna are the messengers of God, I can say, may be they were. Since they are not mentioned by name, I cannot say for sure they were, may be. But even if Ram was the messenger of God, even if Krishna was the messenger of God, even if Veda was the word of God, they were meant for those people and for that time. Today whichever part of the world you are living in, you should follow the last and final revelation i.e. the Glorious Qur’an and the last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is even mentioned in the Hindu Scriptures as Antim Avtar.
Mohammad Naik: The next question from the slip is Brother Amar Sinha, he has asked, you promote interfaith dialogues in this do you agree with those who say all the religions are same?
Dr. Zakir: The Brother asked a question that that since I promote interfaith dialogue do I agree with those people who say that all religions are same. There are various interfaith dialogues going on throughout the world even in Bombay and we find that religious personalities of various religions come on the stage and say all religions are the same. A Hindu personality comes, a religious leader and says “All religions are same”. a Muslim personalities comes and says “all religions are same” and a Christian personalities comes and says “All religions are same”.
I ask them a simple question that if you agree all religions are the same then will a Christian priest give up Christianity and will he become a Muslim. Will a Muslim person give up Islam and will he become a Hindu. Will a Hindu priest give up Hinduism and will he become a Christian. The answer is no. these people they try and portray an image of being secular, they scratch each other’s back. It’s like a student asking a teacher that 2 + 2 is equal to how much? Is 2 + 2 equal to 3 or is it equal to 4 or is it equal to 5? 3 teachers come on the stage and say all three answers are correct. 2 + 2 is equal to 3 also, 2 + 2 is equal to 4 also and 2 + 2 is equal to 5 also. This is nothing but garbage.
I being a student of Islam and comparative religion, I have read the various scriptures; I know the practices of the various religions are not the same. I believe in communal harmony, I believe in interfaith dialogue, what I say if we make an assumption that lets assume that at least among all the various scriptures, various religions at least one scripture is 100% authentic the word of God. Now this assumption, no religious personality would object to, I would not mind accepting at least one of the religious scripture as the word of God. The Christian would say fine, at least means at least Bible is the word of God. Hindu will say, no problem at least the Veda is the word of God, the Muslims will say no problem at least Qur’an is the word of God. Now what you do you collect all the hundreds of teachings from the Christian Bible, from the Hindu scriptures, from the Veda and from Islam, the Qur’an. Now you find the commonalities. Suppose 50 are common, now when we take out 50 commonalities, the teachings from all these religious scriptures everyone will at least agree that this portion of the various scriptures at least is surely the word of God and no one would object in implementing it because it is present in all the scriptures. This technique of communal harmony is based on the Qur’anic verse of
Surah Ale Imran ch. 3 verse 64 which says
“Ta`alaw 'Ilá Kalimatin Sawa'in Baynana Wa Baynakum”
“Come to common terms as between us and you”
There may be other differences, there may be other differences in the religions, I can give a talk even on differences between Islam and Hinduism but since we are coming on commonalities no one would object on following the commonalities because it is present in all the religious scriptures. There may be some people who may not be well versed of their scripture, they may sometimes be offended for example if you point out that all the religious scriptures whether the Bible, whether Veda whether the Qur’an says you should not do idol worship. Now since he is not aware of the Vedas, he may feel offended but yet, he will not go against me because if he goes against me, he is going against the Veda which is considered to be the word of God. So this is the best way for interfaith for interfaith dialogue and communal harmony that come to common terms as between us and you. Hope that answers the question.
Mohammad Naik: yes brother…
Questioner: My name is Mubeen Solker and I am a lawyer by profession. Before I put up my question I must say sir that I am really impressed by your knowledge of Hindu scriptures, it’s really amazing. My question to you is that you’ve said that there are so many similarities between Islam and Hinduism; does that mean that according to Islam a person can be a Hindu?
Dr. Zakir: Brother’s asked a very critical question that since I have pointed so many similarities between Islam and Hinduism, does it mean that according to Islam a person can be a Hindu.
Brother, if by the term Hindu you mean a geographical definition, a person who lives in India then according to Islam there is no problem in a person being an Indian. I am an Indian and I am a practicing Muslim, I am proud of my country India and I am proud to be a Muslim. So no problem in Islam if you are an Indian and practicing Islam but if you mean by the term Hindu, a person who follows the religious scripture of Hinduism then I have got no objection as long as that Hindu strictly follows the established truths of the scriptures of Hinduism.
What do I mean my established truth? Established truth means those truths mentioned in the Hindu scriptures which have been reconfirmed by the last and final revelation of God i.e. the Glorious Qur’an and I am referring to Vedas and the Qur’an which I talked in my lecture, both of them believe there is one God, they believe in the messengers, they believe the last messenger is Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), they believe in the Hereafter, if they believe in all these established facts, I have got no objection but if you tell me “No, Hindu is a person who believes in everything what is mentioned in the Hindu scriptures then I being a student of comparative religion, I don’t agree, why? It’s not possible for a Hindu to believe in all the teachings in the Hindu scriptures because many a times the teachings of different scriptures of Hinduism, they contradict. Many a times, the same scriptures, Rigveda, they contradict themselves Manusmriti, they contradict themselves for example one place it says that you should not have pork, one place it says that you should have pork so a person cannot follow contradicting statements simultaneously.
So what we have to realize… That even in the Hindu scriptures there are certain things which are unethical as spoken by the great reformers, they believe in caste system which Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Justice Ranade spoke against, they spoke against the Sati system that the wife should burn in the funeral fire of the husband so these things a person cannot follow. That’s the reason I say that as long the Hindu follows the established fact and also agrees that there is one last Rishi, Antim Rishi when Buddha came and he tried to purify Hinduism of the superstition many people went against him that how come he is coming to purify the Vedas, later on they agreed that he was the 23rd of the 24 Avtars, they even agree that he was the 9th Avtar of Vishnu similarly when you read the scripture, it talks about Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) is the 24th Avtar, he is the 10th Avtar of Vishnu, he is the Antim Rishi so if the Hindu believes in the established fact, believes in Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) as the messenger of God, believes in one God, believes in the hereafter, there is no problem in him being a Hindu.
Mohammad Naik: Just a minute as I close the programme though Dr. Zakir would love to answer questions I think for another 1, 2, 3, 4 hours, the rules here do not permit us to continue, I have got a final ultimatum to close the programme. If you have any further questions on the topic or on Islam or on comparative religion you are most welcome to get in touch with the IRF to attend the lectures followed by the open question and answer sessions which we have after any kind of lecture on Saturday at 4pm, every Sunday at 10:30 pm for gents and on Monday for ladies at 3pm.
Those who have not filled up the guest registration slip are kindly requested to do so at the registration counter while leaving so that you can be in touch and we may be able to inform you of our program.
Lastly we thank Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for making this programme possible on behalf of the IRF and our organizing committees I thank all our gusts, the press and all the professionals who are involved in the running of this programme as well as our staff and volunteers and all persons who have helped up in making this programme successful especially with the help of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). JazakAllah. Assalamu Alaikum.
Audience 1: Such type of lectures as Dr. Zakir Naik has conveyed here, 100% people are convinced.
Audience 2: It was a very nice programme and such programmes must be conducted more and more, that is very nice. Ajay Vaidya.
Audience 3: Mujhe toh yeh umeed hai key eh bahut bada ek… jisko bolte hain naa Raahe Manzil ka ek chiraag ban jaayega.
Security: Speaker Chaan Bol le. Sarv Bhasha Ashi Sapsht hoti.. ekayla yehto ke aandee samajat yehtoh.
Audience 4: My humble request is that to Mr. Dr. Zakir Naik is that come and preach in the slum area also.
Audience 5: I…I… I simply pray to God, to All Mighty God that a person of his caliber if only 5% of persons in this earth are of his caliber, I think there will be no problem in the world.