What Hinduism Is Lacking

There seems to be some defect in Hinduism, because it is clearly not as respected as Christianity and Islam worldwide.

There seems to be some defect in Hinduism, because it is clearly not as respected as Christianity and Islam worldwide. Hindus struggle to get a fair representation for Hinduism in the media or in the textbooks, whether it is abroad or at home. This is hard to understand, because Hinduism has the best philosophical basis of all and is in tune with modern scientific framework. It acknowledges that the essence in all is consciousness (spirit) and shows practical ways to realize this one spirit. It is therefore even in tune with the ever growing tribe in the west, who say “I am spiritual, not religious”.

When India was ruled by the Christians and the Muslims, it was understandable that those in power promoted their religion as the best and denigrated the ‘primitive native religion’. But today, when there is an open market of ideas, why is it that Hinduism is still getting a rough and unfair deal, when it actually deserves the highest respect, and how can this be changed?

One fine morning I realized what Hinduism is lacking and how this could be rectified. Hinduism could finally be on the same footing as Christianity and Islam.

It is simple.

The ancient rishis had left out one important sentence after passing on their insights. This one sentence obviously makes all the difference, whether a religion is respected, powerful and keeps gaining followers or whether it is demeaned, ridiculed and loses followers.

This sentence is: If you don’t believe what we tell you, the supreme Divinity will throw you for all eternity into hellfire.

Let’s imagine Maharishi Vyasa, after compiling the Vedas, had added: “Whoever does not believe in the Vedas as the only truth, will by the will of Brahman, burn for all eternity in hell.” Or after writing the Mahabharata, if he had added “Whosoever does not believe that Sri Krishna is the only true mediator between man and Brahman, will burn eternally in hell.”

If Valmiki, after writing down the teachings of Guru Vashishta to Prince Rama, had added that Vashishta alone is the true guru and whosoever does not believe in Him, will end up in hell. Or even today, if Mata Amritanandamayi, for example, who has several miracles to her credit and an unparalleled outflow of love, would claim that she is the only indigenous daughter of God and those who do not believe it, will burn forever in hell.

If this had happened, Hinduism would not have remained the underdog. It would have been on the same level as the other ‘respected’ religions. In fact, not all is lost. Since, the Bible and the Quran were written down after Jesus and Mohamed had died, respectively and several earlier versions were discarded, maybe Hindus could still amend their sacred texts?

In case, it is not clear, of course I am not serious. But it struck me one fine morning that the respect for dogmatic religions is based on irrationality and how easily it could be corrected, if only Hindus would chose to be as irrational and back up their irrationality with blasphemy laws. Hindus could, then, take part in the one-upmanship of “only we are right.”

Actually, it is not so much about irrationality as it is about cunningness. After all, those who made those claims of eternal hell for the outsiders, in all likelihood did not believe it themselves. It could not have possibly come from any Divine inspiration, but instead it must have been driven by worldly power.

The rishis in contrast, were truthful, not cunning or irrational, and Indians – all Indians – can be proud of them. But pride is not enough. Present day Indians need to take care that this irrationality does not eat into their society, because it will lead to its downfall. It is not difficult to find examples for such societies. Dharma finds expression through people who stand up for it and if necessary fight for it. Adharmic forces need to be called out and challenged.

It seems a Mahabharata war is always on, in all ages, on this world stage. Yet, ultimately, at a higher level beyond the dichotomy of good and evil, all are absorbed in the one eternal Brahman, from whom all has originated.

There won’t be a huge cauldron of fire where billions of human beings will burn for all eternity. This claim by both Christianity and Islam does not deserve our respect. Since, that is the core claim by which they hold their flock together, what does that say about those religions?

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.
  • Sam

    It isn’t necessary to join others in flinging feces. However, it would be good to stop being so polite and start talking about how primitively the others behave. The problem is that the Hindus’ innate tolerance for other faiths, no matter how backwards, means that their bad behavior gets glossed over while the openness of Hinduism is taken as a weakness. This is why other “pagan” open-minded ancient religions lost out to the monotheists elsewhere in the world.

  • chakkala

    They say the biggest set back of hinduism is the presence of caste system. But how many divisions are there in christianity. The converted christians are not treated equal to the traditional christians. Various sections of christians have different churches and they dont visit each other or marry from each other. Similarly how many divisions are there in Islam. Shias and Sunnies are at each others throats. In hinduism they all go to the same temples and worship the same gods. Their religious texts are the same.

  • chakkala

    There was no religion. In the early days to educate people rishis brought out vedas, upanishads, etc. To make people take serious note they had to reprimand the general public that they have to study vedas and live by it. When Christianity was formed, people were reluctant to take on to this new faith. Many were killed. Kind Constantine who spread Christianity had to several cruel acts. Just see how many centuries it took to have Christianity established worldwide. Similarly Islam had its own history. It is a part of history of India how cruel were the islamic invaders. They killed non believers, looted their wealth, destroyed their temples etc. Christians and Muslims ruled this countries for four and eight centuries each. They could have destroyed the hindu faith and made all the people either christians or muslims. Hindu culture was indestructible. It is called sanathana Dharma. Now there are more hindu temples in US and Europe and more people study Geetha. Many people want to become hindus, but the hindus dont have the procedure of conversions. It is a belief. It is open to anybody to believe in hinduism. If people respect christianity and Islam why should they want to become hindus.

  • Nanda Kumar Das

    proof Jewish Theology comes from the Vedas http://www.equalsouls.org

    Florida International University

    February 28, 1996

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have read with great interest Bill Glick’s manuscript, The Rabbi and I and I find it a thoughtful, provocative piece of work.
    As someone who has worked in the general area of Indo-Judaic studies for a number of years, I find much new material in the manuscript, Glick has culled Judaic mystical literature and found striking parallels in Hinduism, Gaudiya Vaishnavism in particular.

    I commend his manuscript as a thoughtful exploration of a tantalizing theme.

    Sincerely,

    Nathan Katz
    Professor and Chair

    Department of Religious Studies
    University Park, Miami, Florida

  • Seeker

    The writer’s understanding of Islam/Christianity is very shallow. Here are few simple concepts to help clarify this :
    1. Author mentions that these great world religions are driven by worldly power. In fact, this view runs in complete opposition to what Quran says. If you read Quran, the life of this world is described such as this sentence :

    “And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the house in the hereafter for those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Will you not then understand?” (Quran, Al-An’aam: 32)

    This has many quotes from Quran on this topic :
    http://www.studying-islam.org/articletext.aspx?id=1258

    The author is perhaps confused with Muslim rulers who were after worldly power. So were all rulers. You should compare them to today’s politicians, they want their kursi – that’s it. A Muslim king or a Hindu king do not necessary represent Islam or Hinduism. They represent POLITICAL POWER.
    I leave out the Christian part – though I have tremendous reverence and respect for Jesus – as a Muslim, he brought the same message as Muhammad and many others before him.

    2. Author also mentions that there is no Divine message in Quran/Bible and separates Hinduism into a separate category. Per Quran, God inspired the best of mankind to deliver true guidance. There were more than 124000 such messengers sent to every nation and every people throughout the world – Muhammad being the last. Quran only names 25 and relates their stories. It includes names like Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus and of course Muhammad. Were Rama, Buddha or Krishna possible messengers of God ? The likeliness is high given the fact that every people had their guides. So where is the problem ? The problem lies in what people did after these messengers left this world. Islam is purely monotheistic and so is Christianity and Judaism. Though Christianity has a problem with the doctrine of Trinity – this is where Islam differs from Chrisianity. In Hinduism, there is idol worship which goes in complete opposition to the monotheistic principles. At the core of Hinduism, there is only one God but there are intermediaries. Vedas do prohibit idol worship if you carefully read it (again, I am no expert, but you can investigate yourself :-)). Bottom line – there are no intermediaries between man and God. There is no need for man to worship another man or some creation. Man should worship God alone who is the creator of everything. The right to be worshipped is His alone. If everyone believes in some God, then what is the definition of God ? To Muslims, God is One who is Universal. You may call Him with a differnt name but He is One Supreme God who has no partners in Divinity and He is not a human being or some one’s father or son. He is outside of time/space and creation. He is the Creator. I am sure you can find this info in Vedas too.

    3. Finally, the question of Hell. Why do we need hell and why will God punish non-believers ? My question is where is the justice for tyrants, killers, mass murderers and other criminals who hurt innocent people ? We wil never have perfect justice in this world, but God will do perfect justice to all. Another dimension of justice is – are we doing justice to our Creator ? Are we grateful to Him and turn back to Him in His pursuit seeking truth without exercising prejudice or arrogance against anyone ? Please note turning back to Him means also accepting His commandments – such as sacrificing that amount you saved up for vacation for someone in need ; not hording wealth (it is a sin in Islam) and giving charity to help the poor and needy. And more than anything, that pursuit brings humility and love for all. Now, if we are not just, then there will be penalty. I am sure you agree on this one. Human beings are not like animals, we have a soul. We are not here just to earn, eat, procreate, live and die. We are here to discover the truth and turn back to our Creator in humility and love.

    4. Forced conversions etc.
    The author makes this mistake and he/she is not alone here. This has been repeated by most people for a long time now. But you will not like the truth – you probably do not like to hear it. Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and has surpassed Catholicism and has the largest number of adherents. Search it on the web – there are Muslim converts everywhere in big numbers from Europe to America. So where is the sword ?? Who is forcing them to convert ? Here is the truth – they read Quran. There is actually a fear in the West – “if you read Quran, you will become a Muslim”. So there I gave away the secret! I call it the Quran test. Most fail and in reality succceed :-).

    If I did not wish what I have for others, then I do not have faith in God. This includes Islam – I believe this is the best way of life that will give me tranquility in this life and take me to heaven so I wish everyone has this treasure. It is however upto those people if they want it or not. After all, this world is a test, and we are here to make a choice. God gave us free will, so exercise it cautiously. Whatever good or bad comes of this choice is all our doing. Do not blame God for it.

    And finally, there is no need to make it a “us” vs “them” battle. We are all here together in this world. We should just not tolerate but respect each others choices. In this age of knowledge, ignorance is not bliss and bigotry is foolishness. So, read up before you write about anything. It is just closing your own doors to this beautiful world and its various cultures. Keep an open mind. You can he a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Sikh, Jewish etc. This is purely a personal choice if you ever read Gandhi’s take on religion. No tribalism please. Get the prejudices out of your system. This is what Quran said on this topic :

    O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
    Verse (49:13)

    No disrespect meant to anyone. Welcome to seekers of truth and knowledge. READ. That was the first word revealed to man from God via Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him).

    Salaam – Peace to all.

    • Stephen Knapp

      After reading the Koran fully, I find that the few verses that justify a calm and open view of Islam and the great wisdom of Allah are but few and far between. Yes, the verses you use are praiseworthy, but how many other Muslims use those verses to live by? How many other Imams are there who propose the view you are sharing? Or pushing? Why is there so much terrorism perpetuated by Muslims who should be aware of the views you present in the above commentary? You state that the writer of the article should read before writing, I say Muslims should practice what the Koran says, however in most cases they do, because there are plenty of other verses in the Koran which certainly sow the seeds of the very fundamentalistic attitude that many display. So yes, I have read before writing, and I’m not so impressed.

      • Seeker

        Terrorism is a political problem, giving it a religious color is the biggest mistake we make. Some Muslims use religion for violence, but we can’t help that. They need recruits and propoganda. Are you willing to do their propoganda for them ? I am not. They are terrorists. So, they give it a religious color as Muslims are easily drawn when religion is involved. Muslims happen to be a group that is more serious about their religion than others – I did not make this up. Just check how many Muslims are fasting in this month of Ramadhan – me included. We also have countries that want to capitalize on political turmoil and utlize the opportunity to shape their geo-political goals. So, they exaggerate the problem of terrorism and present themselves as the solution providers.

        Early Muslims were tortured and killed. So there was existential threats for Muslims, and Islam allowed Muslims to defend their lives, property, religion and their way of life. So, armed struggle was allowed in self defense but greater emphasis was always on patience and perseverence. Muhammad (sas) and his followers patiently endured 13 years of hardship, torture and humiliation in Mecca. The last 3 years of this period was a total social boycott by the Meccans. They were driven out of their homes and forced to live in the desert surviving on some leaves and occasional food by some kind hearted people. Muslims were eventually forced to fled to Medina. Meccans then attacked Medina as they did not want Islam to take hold. This is when war was allowed in Islam – to defend themselves. If you read verses of war in Quran, you are reading verses that were revealed after this period. If you notice, God is always exhorting believers to be just and not transgress. You can’t miss that in Quran. It is right after the sentences that allow armed struggle. Just read a few more lines to get full context.

        I agree we have some Muslims who do not understand the concept of armed struggle well. And there are many who do not follow Islam. It is probably same for other religions too. People identify themselves as belonging to a certain religion but rarely show their strict adherence to it. A minority of Muslims think when you use the name of God and call Allah Akbar, God is on their side. Well, God loves people who are just. He will never like tyrants, criminals or transgressors of justice – there are countless verses on this in Quran. A lot of imams in the third world countries are not well qualified. The press makes it even harder as Muslims start learning about Islam from non-Muslim sources. In fact, the new concept of jihad (neo-jihad, nothing to do with what Muslims did in past) was introduced by CIA to fight soviets in Afghanistan and contries like Pakistan have abused it. Islam is more secular than any religion. When Muhammad (sas) emigrated to Medina, he gave the city a new constitution. It ensured religious freedom for all and everyone shared in the responsibility of defending the city as one people. They had freedom to settle their matters using their own religious scriptures or laws. You can find this here :

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Medina

        The biggest threat we have today is from opportunistic political leaders and weapon manufacturers. Throw in Wall Street hawks and their likes from across the globe, religious right wingers, racist nuts, you have the recipe for disaster. If people start blaming religion for their problems, they will never solve their problems. We have a lot of people with enormous greed to gain everything in this world unjustly. This is the problem.

        Religion tries to take people away from this material world into a higher consciousness to gain closeness to Him. Muslims all over the world are almost at the end of their month-long fasting, busy spending their money to help the needy (charity is an obligation for every Muslim), spending long nights praying. In this holy month, someone who happens to be a Muslim commits a crime against humanity, and every one jumps against Islam. Well, we do not see that person having to do anything with Islam. We are fasting daily, feeling what is hunger so we can understand the plight of those who are not fortunate to get two meals daily, suppressing our desires to get closer to God. How is a terrorist related to us ? In what way ? Because he uttered “Allahu Akbar” before his cruel act ? By associating terrorism to Islam, majority of people are just alienating Muslims. Both Muslims and non-Muslims somehow play in their hands. We should stop labelling Islam and Muslims and instead work together to fight the social evils. We need to stand together for justice – this is what it means to be just from Quran :

        “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [ Quran Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 135]

        Thanks for reading.

        • VarunaPraghasa

          Mr Seeker,
          You probably know that the verse of the sword Al-Sayf has abrogated all other previous verses, given below. This alone explains everything

          9:5. Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun
          {unbelievers} wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them,
          and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and
          perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat {the Islamic ritual prayers}), and
          give Zakat {alms}, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is
          Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

          Also the verse you quote would have been abrogated. Please do not tell that the concept of abrogation or “Al Nashq” Does not exists. It is accepted by all scholars right from the grand mufti of Makkah, Al Azhar etc. The Quran itself lays out the principle of abrogation:

          2:106. Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We {Allah}
          abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to
          it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

          “We are fasting daily, feeling what is hunger so we can understand the
          plight of those who are not fortunate to get two meals daily,
          suppressing our desires to get closer to God. How is a terrorist related
          to us ? In what way ? Because he uttered “Allahu Akbar” before his
          cruel act ?

          Yes your sentiments are noble no doubt. But the ISIS and other terror groups do not just shout Allahu Akbar. They quote relevant verses from the quran and the Hadiths for their actions. Take any you tube video on the attacks and see what they quote. And curiously the number of attacks have increased during Ramzan. You selectively quote peaceful verses only. Why then ISIS caliphate Al-Baghdadi who is a scholar never quotes those?

          What do you say about this verse
          “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their
          properties for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of
          Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Qur’an 9:111)

          So there is an explicit saying that people who fight for Allah and kill. I know your answer. You would say i quoted out of context. But if you choose to reply that way what is the context?”

          And this one
          “O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as
          allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief. And whoever does so
          among you – then it is those who are the wrongdoers” (9:23).

          And what about the verses that sanction slave taking of infidel women in Qur’an 4:3, 4:24. These are the one’s quoted by the ISIS and Boko Haram when they enslave infidel women.

          I could go on and on. You as a person seem to be offended by terrorists and want to follow a good noble path. But that does not mean that Islamic theology does not support terrorism. The author is right in this article. Do not tell me that Islam was propagated without Jihad and conquest and bloodshed and all was so rosy and peaceful. Especially in India.

          • Seeker

            In understanding Quran, understanding context is very important. Quran was revealed over a 23 year period and guided people in all affairs of their lives. Here is an example :

            Indeed Allâh has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Tha’labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning her husband (Aus bin As¬Sâmit), and complains to Allâh. And Allâh hears the argument between you both. Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by (Zihâr) (i.e. by saying to them “You are like my mother’s back.”) they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allâh is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. (2) And those who make unlawful to them their wives by Zihâr and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case is the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not repeat such an ill thing). And Allâh is All-Aware of what you do. (3) And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty Miskîns (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allâh and His Messenger. These are the limits set by Allâh. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment. Quran 58:1-3.

            The verses refers to an evil practice Arabs of that time followed – when the wife becomes older, they divorce her by saying “you are like my mother’s back” and abandon her to marry a younger one. This practice is admonished and a big penalty was set for such offenses. Freeing a slave person was a costly affair.

            Fast forward background of the conditions:
            Since Muhammad (sas) called people to worship One Universal God (plus follow all social, legal, political and economic commandments), most of the Meccans got angry and did no heed his call in the early days of Islam. Forced migration of Muslims followed systematic humiliation, torture and killings. The Meccans attacked Medina where Muslims took refuge, and surprisingly, a small number of ill armed Muslims many of whom were old and some youngsters prevailed. This started a series of wars as rich and powerful tribes of Mecca were enraged and wanted to kill Muslims and any trace of Islam. There were three wars initiated by the Meccans on Medina. In all these wars, Muslims are fighting for their right to live their lives by Islam. The Meccans are fighting to end Islam as a way of life. The Meccans represented jahilliyah (age of ignorance) values such as :

            1. Burying new born girls alive as they believed it brought shame to the family.
            2. Going naked around kaaba as a form a worship – not sure how they can associate this to God (this was built by Abraham for the worship of One True God).
            3. Ill treatment of slaves.
            4. No rights for women (except for few rich families which can take care of their women). You see an example in the verse I quoted above.
            5. Widows, orphans and the weak were neglected and often were abused.

            The list is long but all of this existed as an amalgum of religion and culture which was accepted and prevailed in the society.
            Islam brought the following :

            1. Equality for all – men, women, slaves and their masters are all equal.
            2. Women have rights in inheritance, can own property and will decide who they will marry (yes – they have to say at the time of nikah if they are willing or not even before the groom).
            3. Freeing of slaves is a virtuous act – some 60,000 plus slaves were freed by Muhammad (sas) and his close companions through their lifetime.
            4. Charity for the poor and needy.

            When the peace treaty of hudaibiyya was enacted between Muslims and Meccans, the Arabs saw the Islamic values in action and were convinced of the truthfulness of the message and mission of Muhammad (sas) and people started converting enmasse. But the Meccans violated the truce and ambushed and killed Muslims. Muhammad (sas) marched into Mecca with an army of 10,000 men. This was the fourth war. In all previous wars, Meccans came to kill Muslims and end the story of Islam. But when Muhammad (sas) marched to Mecca with his companions, he did not kill anyone. There was no war. Instead he forgave everyone including the worst enemies who killed and mutilated his beloved uncle in the second war. In fact, the punishment he gave to the person who killed his beloved uncle was that he did not want to see his face as it will bring back the memory of his uncle whose body was mutilated after killing. The person who killed his uncle was now a Muslim and he had to stay away from Medina. Almost all Meccans accepted Islam once Muhammad (sas) declared general amnesty for everyone and the leader of Meccans (Abu Sufiyaan) accepted Islam.

            So, when the “verse of the sword” was revealed, most of Arabia was already Muslim as a result of preaching and exchange of ideas. To give you an idea, the total number of Muslims and non-Muslims killed in all the battles with Muhammad (sas) and his companions is less than two thousand. And how many people accepted the message in the life of Muhammad (sas) ? Hundreds of thousands of people – practically all of Arabia. The conflict was primarily between Meccans and Muslims. Some tribes and Jews joined forces in the third battle but that was short-lived and the alliance did not last. This was partly funded by Jewish tribes who had emigrated there some 60 years ago to join the new prophet of God that was predicted in their books that would appear in the city of Medina (older name:Yathrib). But, they were jealous and arrogant as he was not from their own progeny and instead was an Arab.

            The “verse of the sword” was a threat – no one was killed as a result of this verse. There was a very small number of pagans that remained. Some bacame Muslim and a few had to leave. They were given four months to plan what they want to do. And this verse was applicalbe to Arabian peninsula only. No one can use this as justification for any war anywhere in the world. Under Muslim rule, Jews and Christians were allowed from day one, then Zoroastrians were added to the list as Islam grew in Persia. Groups like Yazidis were also added. And the Hindus were added by Indian Muslim rulers. Non-Muslims were to pay “jizya” or a special tax. Muslims were required to pay “zakat” or charity (tax) which is an Islamic requirement but non-Muslims were not required to pay that. So they had to pay jizya or tax to be part of the system.

            Here is a full video by a renowned scholar on this (Dr Yasir has a Phd from Yale):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqHeDNhB2Ss

            Minutes 34 – 43 deal with this subject. But the whole episode talks about other background info etc. I would recommend the full series on the life of Muhammad (sas) for anyone who wants to understand Islam and Quran. Without the details on the life of Muhammad (sas), understanding a big part of the Quran is almost impossible. All scholars look at Quran through the life of Muhammad (sas) or sunnah.

            Here is the full verse you quoted – it is worth reading the full than just one sentence, adds a lot more context :
            Surah Al-Tawba
            Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allâh and His Messenger (SAW) to those of the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh), with whom you made a treaty. (1) So travel freely (O Mushrikûn – see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allâh, and Allâh will disgrace the disbelievers. (2) And a declaration from Allâh and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah – the 12th month of Islâmic calendar) that Allâh is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikûn (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikûn) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allâh. And give tidings (O Muhammad SAW) of a painful torment to those who disbelieve. (3) Except those of the Mushrikûn (see V.2:105) with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them for the end of their term. Surely Allâh loves Al- Mattaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2). (4) Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islâmic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikûn (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, then leave their way free. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[] (5) And if anyone of the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allâh (the Qur’ân), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not. (6) How can there be a covenant with Allâh and with His Messenger for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allâh loves Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2) (7) How (can there be such a covenant with them) that when you are overpowered by them, they regard not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant with you? With (good words from) their mouths they please you, but their hearts are averse to you, and most of them are Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

            Coming to the next verse :

            “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their
            properties for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of
            Allah, so they kill and are killed.” (Qur’an 9:111)

            These are the most powerful verses of armed jihad (spiritual jihad is the higher one – to struggle against your own desires/lusts by staying away from them) revealed in the Quran. These were applicable to the battle of Tabuk in Northen Arabia at the time of Muhammad (sas). This was a test for the early believers to hold steadfast to the new religion. Every adult male was asked to join as a proof of their belief. Remember, Muslims were weak when Islam started and were afraid to practice their religion. They prayed in secret. But God is the source of all power, so He made Muslims strong. Why should Muslims fear when the One who Created you is the source of all power and majesty ? Everything including our lives belongs to Him. How can the enemies of God who do not want to follow His commandments have power over believers in this world ? They are the criminals because they follow the most evil practices and associate it to God.

            If people are applying this verse to their cause today, then they are just twisting it for their political goals. Again, this is the position of the scholars/ulema. I am not making it up to make anyone happy. When you are looking for meaning of Quranic verses, look for the right sources. Learn Islam from renowned Muslim scholars, people who have spent their life studying Islam and live by Islam. Do not learn Islam from those who hate Islam for whatever reason. Do you want to learn Hinduism from me ? I have watched almost all episodes or Ramayana/Mahabharatha, that is more time than someone who read negative propogandist articles on Islam on the net. Muslims have a lot of enemies and haters as we have ruled a big part of this Earth for a long time and people have qualms, complaints, hatred, jealousy and some are determined to ensure that Islam never rises again in power so they can have all the power. All powers oppress mankind – Islam came to liberate mankind from the clutches of tyrannical rulers and leaders. Muslims ruled the world because they were just. It was the Europeans who started a negative PR campaign against Muslims in their churches nearly a thousand years ago at the time of crusades. This has spread to many parts of the world now – and it has grown in India in the past few decades. Church’s influence over the West if declining and Islam is growing rapidbly among the educated people – to your surprise, it is the educated women who are becoming Muslims more than the men. Eventually, truth will prevail. Success of Islam is no conicidence – it was also prophecized by Muhammad (sas) that it will overtake all religions when they were a small insignificant group under attack by Meccans. Sadly, we also know that Muslims will suffer greatly. At the end of the day, what matters is if you have recognized your purpose of your life and turn to God in humility. This life is temporary, hereafter is permanent.

            And for the actions of ISIS or Boko Haram, all major scholars came out and denounced all their actions. They do not represent Islam in anyway.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/muslim-scholars-islamic-state_n_5878038.html

            Slavery is present in this world since ancient civilizations – Greece and Rome practiced slavery and so did many more civilizations before them. Remember Islam did not start slavery. Instead, Islam called for freeing of slaves as a virtuous act. Islam promoted the idea of “equality” of all men in front of God and it condoned abusing of slaves in many places in Quran. Though Quran gives certain permissions depending on what was prevalent with regards to slaves, it also moderated such practices and set course for eventual abolition.

            There is no need for God to enslave people into Islam. He gave us free will so we can choose. The judgement is when we go back to Him. As for the verses where it mentions that if they become Muslims, they should be let go etc., these are for the ones who opposed Islam and Muslims violently. They tried to subdue the message of Islam. If you believed that Islam is the truth for a moment, then you will agree that God the all powerful will make such people pay for their crime. Can someone suppress the message of God who is the Creator of the Heavens and Earth ? It will be a joke right ? God proved it to them and all of us by making a small group of weak people prevail over the strongest empires of the world.

            Quran is a book of guidance and people who look for guidance will find in it. The more you read and understand it, the more you grow in God consciousness and it takes you away from worldly desires into a tranquil and content life. This is the meaning of Islam/submission – knowing that God has placed you in a condition that is best suited for you to excel and you grow in guidance and connection to God. If you are determined to follow your lusts and desires and not give up anything for God, and then read Quran to justify it, then God will increase you only in misguidance. I wish and pray that God guides everyone and do not want anyone to go to hell fire. And as a Muslim, we want the best for our brothers in mankind. But we cannot make anyone do it. The belief is in one’s heart and only God knows what is in one’s heart.

            There are a lot of “right” sources on the internet to get the correct info on Islam such as :
            http://www.islamicity.com/
            http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/329-yusuf-estes-correcting-quran-misquotes
            http://muslimmatters.org/2014/11/13/top-five-misquotations-of-the-quran/
            This has the list of authentic web sites :
            http://muslimah4life1984.blogspot.com/2010/03/list-of-most-authentic-islamic-websites.html
            http://www.cyberistan.org/

            There are many more sites that say they are Islamic but they are run by enemies of Islam to tarnish the image and message of Islam. They are primarily there to stop people from converting to Islam and promote wars in Muslim countries.

            Peace.

          • VarunaPraghasa

            Also Mr Seeker, read about the glories of Islamic Slavery existing even now from
            https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/black-slaves-for-sale/

            I will give an extract which shocked me. Don’t tell me these are invalid Hadiths or they are not reliable and only the Quran is valid. They are Shahih Hadiths and are accepted as Sunnah. This is precisely practiced by The ISIS and other “Moderate” Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Sudan etc

            Sahih Bukhari 5:59:512

            “The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: ‘The smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives…’”

            Commentary by Ibn Kathir on Koranic chapter Al-Rahman (55), verse 72

            “A man from the Ansar called Basrah said: I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: She will get the dower [“morning gift”], for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her…”

            Sunan Abu-Dawud 11:2070

          • Seeker

            I checked the web site in the above link. This is a site run by those who hate Islam and Muslims, and has the worst things to say about Islam. I respect honest criticism and genuine questions, and will be happy to answer all of them. But this site is a completely one-sided that attacks Islam. And you mentioned names of certain people who are not the big scholars of Islam, instead some of them are accused of terrorism. You do not need to even look for big scholars here, your questions are very simple and a result of negative propoganda and brainwashing against Islam. I did mention earlier that I know a lot of Ramayana and Mahabharatha – watched almost all episodes, but do you want to learn Hinduism from me ? You learn a religion by those who follow and live by it, not by those who read some books here and there fishing for the info they want and presenting it as facts. If you do not understand the core message, you will never understand the texts. The core message is to purify yourlseves from racism, injustice, shahawath (indecency, lewdness, shameful and sexist behavior). I want you to pay attention to this last part – because lewdness takes you far far away from Islam. Somehow, you are trying to show the opposite. We will come to slavery after this. So, what does Quran say about lewdness, shameless behavior of sexual nature ?

            Do not go near adultery, surely it is an indecency, and an evil way [of fulfilling sexual urge]. ( Quran 17:32)

            “And those who cannot marry should practice restrain (or abstinence) till Allah enriches them out of His bounty.” (24:33)

            “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘O Muhajirun, there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with Allah lest you live to see them: Promiscuity (sexual immorality) never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them. …..”
            —?Sunan Ibn Majah – 4,019

            Another hadith mentions that there are two things that will take you away from Islamic faith – shubuhath (doubts in the Quran/Sunnah) and shahawath (excessive sexual pleasure). So those who are after excessive sexual pleasure are going astray – far away from faith into hell fire. I want to make another point here – per Quran, God misguides only those people who do not want to follow His commandments and insist on sinning/wrong-doing. People after excessive sexual pleasure crossing all boundaries (which is one of the big sins) are clearly led astray per Quran and hadith. Are there people who use some parts of the religion to fulfil their sexual pleasure ? Of course, there are such people in all religions. We Indians should understand this much better. There are lot of stories of religious gurus/swamis who have raped women, have you been reading news in the past months/years ? The Devdasi system in Hinduism is part of illicit sex carried out by certain swamis. I do not want to label all Hindus or Hinduism itself as problematic due to this. Religions are from God when they are all centered around the One Perfect Creator and Sustainer, but human beings are humans beings – they have their desires. Some follow the true path, while others want to follow their pursuits which are directly in opposition to what God’s commandments, and also want a justification from religion for their actions. This is the territory of the rich and powerful who force clergy to change religious (or any law) laws for them – change what is outlawed into lawful. If you have understanding, this is the crux of all problems we face today. Human desire for everything irrespective of it being lawful or unlawful versus a path of contentment, patience and perseverence. When you show patience in adversity and show humbleness when you are in power, you are in submission to His will and this is what Islam really means.

            Coming to slavery, this system existed in all cultures/civilizations in various forms. The slavery in America was the most brutal and inhumane. When we talk about the word “slavery”, we get these horrific images in our heads. The Arabic word we are talking about is “abd” for men and “ama” for women. This actually translates to “servant” in English. Islam did not start slavery, but it put a lot of laws around it to moderate the practice and eventual elimination. In Islam, if someone commits big sins, they were asked to free a slave. If you ever read history of India, you should know there was something called a “Slave Dynasty” that ruled a big part of India. Now, you tell me if any religion or idealogy has made slaves come to power and rule dynasties or empires. It happens only in Islam. Every one is equal under God in Islam. This also clearly proves that the servitude of a man to another man in Islam is not the same as in other religions/civilizations. You can go do some research on this, here is a starting point :

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamluk_Dynasty_(Delhi)

            Ever heard od Qutb Minar in Delhi ? It was built under the rule of Qutb uddin Aibak – the descendent to a slave family. Evidence is all around you. I will also quote one small incident that haters of Islam do not like to hear :

            When Babar (the first Mughal emperor) was riding in a market place, he saw a dire situation for a little toddler on the ground while a big elephant was about to crush the little one. A powerful kshatriya figure was riding this elephant and he had no regard for the life of this little boy, and the mother was a low caste achooth who was crying for help. No one in the crowd was willing to save this little boy by being crushed as it belonged to a low caste family. Absoultely, no humanity in the hearts of the people in the market place. Do you know who saved the baby ? Babar jumped off of his horse, attacked the elephant with his weapon to distract the elephant and eventually saved the boy. Babar knew the value of human life and equality of all men in front of God and risked his life to save this little boy belonging to a low caste family. Open your eyes, you still have this problem. Yet Islam haters have the audacity to attack Islam, are YOU KIDDING ME ?

            Here are some Quranic passages for you :

            It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and giveth his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God fearing.
            Qur’an 2:177 Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

            Nay, I swear by this city… We verily have created man in an atmosphere… But he hath not attempted the Ascent, Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Ascent is! It is to free a slave, And to feed in the day of hunger, An orphan near of kin, Or some poor wretch in misery. And to be of those who believe and exhort one another to perseverance and exhort one another to pity.
            Qur’an: Surah 90 Al-Balad (The City)

            You cannot force any slaves into sex against their will, read this verse from Quran:

            Tell the believing men… And tell the believing women… And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid servants. If they be poor; Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware. And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing of emancipation, write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, Lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful…
            Qur’an 24:27-34 Surah An-Nur (Light)

            It is clear from above that extreme sexual pleasure and ill treatment of servants are not traits of any Muslim believer (I choose not to use the word “slave” as slave is an English word that comes with a baggage of Western inhumanity, and I refuse to carry that burden).

            Coming to 72 wives – We do not understand the nature of life of the hereafter or Jannah. It is completely a new dimension. Since we are “not after the pleasures of this life, we are not after the 72 wives” which is not present in Quran. Quran repeats about Jannah which is a place where we live in beautiful houses or mansions under which rivers flow. And we will have women of the best character (imagine respectable ladies with a headscarf or Christian nuns if that helps, who have dignity and respect. Take the hot bikini claden women filth out of your heads whenever Quran talks about beautiful wives. The hot girl in bikini phenomenon is a 20th century disease, never existed in earlier times).

            Here are some hadith (sayings of prophet Muhammad sas) on slavery :

            Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari: “The Prophet said, “Give food to the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and release (set free) the one in captivity (by paying his ransom).” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Food, Meals, Volume 7, Book 65, Number 286)”

            Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “When the slave of anyone amongst you prepares food for him and he serves him after having sat close to (and undergoing the hardship of) heat and smoke, he should make him (the slave) sit along with him and make him eat (along with him), and if the food seems to run short, then he should spare some portion for him (from his own share) – (another narrator) Dawud said:” i. e. a morsel or two”. 4097. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4096)”

            Narrated AbuDharr: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Feed those of your slaves who please you from what you eat and clothe them with what you clothe yourselves, but sell those who do not please you and do not punish Allah’s creatures. (Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud, General Behavior (Kitab Al-Adab, Book 41, Number 5142)”

            Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported: “When I was beating my servant, I heard a voice behind me (saying): Abu Mas’ud, bear in mind Allah has more dominance over you than you have upon him. I turned and (found him) to be Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). I said: Allah’s Messenger, I set him free for the sake of Allah. Thereupon he said: Had you not done that, (the gates of) Hell would have opened for you, or the fire would have burnt you. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4088)”

            THERE ARE PLENTY OF QURANIC VERSES OR HADITH THAT WILL IMPART A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAM. THERE IS NO CONFUSION HERE. BUT THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM WILL KEEP ATTACKING ISLAM BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE. IT IS THEIR PROBLEM. God promised Muslims that Islam will dominate the world when the Muslims were weak in the land , just a few thousand. This is a prophecy that we see fulfilled. There are many more. In fact, the attack on Iraq and the chaos in Muslim countries is all predicted and we exactly know what events will unfold. All these problems will be solved by the coming of Mehdi and Jesus (yes, he is coming back per Quran). If you want a full understanding, the gates of God’s Mercy and Guidance are wide open. He sent Muhammad as a Mercy to Mankind. Do not get brainwashed by those who are playing games only to get the political power, or haters would hate even if they know that they are doing wrong. There is much good in this world and in your own hearts, respond to that. Respond to the calling of your Merciful Creator. Do not accept when people associate worse things to God and make Him part of the creation. This fuels your inner desire to sin as you do not see good in God Himself. You are just being tricked into serving your own lusts and desires. Serve the One who created you, and you will be truly free. And you will fulfill the purpose of your creation. God bless. PEACE.

          • VarunaPraghasa

            Mr Seeker,
            I guess i am wasting time debating with you. Please continue to follow whatever brand of Islam you wish. But meanwhile the world especially Europe as of now is burning due to the Islam of the Quran and Hadith’s. There is no debating this. Peace and prosperity be unto you

          • Seeker

            Around a million innocent people died in Iraq – no one cares for it. Is anyone questioning why they were killed ? Less than a thousand innocent Europeans have died as a result of this conflict and you call “Europe is burning”. In fact, people are calling for a world war because of the dead in Europe. You tell me what should the Iraqis call for ? Where is your humanity and sympathy for the innocent people killed using bombs dropped from air in Iraq and elsewhere ? We need to be sympathetic to every innocent human life lost. We have to be just. I am not following an exotic brand of Islam – everything I have written above is all from Quran and hadith. I have read Quran since I was a kid and I pray 5 times a day like every other Muslim. This is mainstream Islam if you cared to understand. Looks like you have already made up your opinion about Islam even before you understand it. I hope people like yourself would understand and not become part of the problem by blaming Islam. I repeat one last time – do not learn Islam from the haters of Islam. This is just a geo-political game to control the world by big powers. They create a buzz in media to drive people to believe that war is the only solution. Humanity faces very many problems, but you seldom hear it. People starve to death in Africa, but no one cares about them. They want to democratize every country against the wish of the people by toppling governments, funding insurgent movements etc. Syria is a great example. The west knew that the dictator of this country would take any step to safeguard his own interests against foreign-funded groups. But the western powers did it any way without any regard for consequences. They did not care what happens to the people of Syria. But when governments get elected democratically, West supports coups and dictatorships against them. Why ? Well, the people chose a religious party. Examples ? Algeria in 1990-91, Egypt recently, and we know the story of Iran. The West was almost wishing that the coup in Turkey succeeds. There was no support for the democratically elected government of Turkey from all big powers initially when the coup started. Do you see a pattern here ? Well, it is apparent to me and almost every Muslim for the past 20-30 years. I hope people see this and force their governments to deal with problems of poverty, jobs, hunger, disease etc. and not waste their money on wars. Did you read the news on Chilcot Report ? Now that it is proven that the war on Iraq by some 30-40 countries was based on lies, is anyone asking these countries to pay for all the destruction they caused. They cannot bring back the ones killed, but can they at least help in rebuilding Iraq ? No. Nothing of this sort came out. Why ? Is there no justice left on this Earth ? Is any country capable of delivering justice to Iraqis and Syrians ? I just want you to open your eyes and see what is really going on. If everyone thinks about this situation without any prejudice, there will be justice in the world. We do not have to share the same faith to be just. Justice is a common denominator for all mankind. Peace.

          • Kraken

            I think there’s no point wasting time on these vile scumbags.

            “So fight them until there is no more shirk, and none is worshipped except Allaah alone with no partner or associate, and trials and calamities, which are disbelief and polytheism, are lifted from the slaves of Allaah on earth, and religion is all for Allaah alone, and so that obedience and worship will be devoted to Him alone and none else.”

            Note that the preposition “until” establishes the finality of this commandment and renders the “out of context” argument logically invalid.

          • Seeker

            Mr.”The one who has gone berserk”–>You just introduced yourself with fancy words – now we know ho you are. Do you really believe God wants Muslims to fight everyone if they do not believe in Him ?

            “THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION” – QURAN

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Baqara_256

            You are responsible for your belief and action and I am responsible for my belief and action. KARMA. The problem is people believe in all kinds of nonsense in the name of religion, even worshipping human sex organs. How can such people understand the purity of true message of God when they have filth in their heads ?

            The translation you quoted is also problematic. I looked up a lot of translations, and none of them match exactly what you quoted above. It seems you try your best to find a translation that suits your needs to attack Islam – what are you trying to do ? Trying to deceive people and prevent people from entering Islam ? You are deceiving yourself.

            Just remember one thing – these verses were revealed to people who were oppressed, tortured and killed, and driven out of their homes only because they chose to believe in a different religion. And this verse applies to such circumstances. Even then, if you read the lines before and after, it boils down to self defense. Muslims were encouraged to fight those who have caused harm to Muslims, but no others.

            For people who want to understand, here are some helpful links. For haters, no links can cure their disease.

            https://controversialislam.wordpress.com/quran-verse-839/

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ajZkO9WIWw

          • Kraken

            Mr. “the one who seeks undue attention by peddling lies over and over again” -> Do you actually believe Non-Muslims are foolish enough to fall for your deception? Ever heard of symbolism (as regards the religious practices of you know whom)? Ever read the works of Ibn Kathir (as regards abrogation of the aforementioned verse)? And now that you know that I hate Islam and that I can’t be “cured” of this so-called disease, you should really fuck off and stop pestering me with your stupid notifications.

          • Kraken
          • VarunaPraghasa

            @disqus_jLQLMmN3DW:disqus
            Thanks for providing a good blob of information. I do not wish to debate him because i am tired of the “You are quoting the verses without context” crib. Where does seeker provide context for the verses of the sword? There is no context for the verse but it is just a blanket injunction.

            @disqus_UcnLLNGZYA:disqus
            I am not going to argue from a theological point of view. I anticipated this answer of “Context”. Please read this article on abrogation and why the peaceful verses you quote are not valid now http://www.raymondibrahim.com/2014/03/05/islamic-jihad-and-the-doctrine-of-abrogation/. Why don’t Islamic scriptural geniuses like Al-Baghdadi, Al-Zawahiri, Anwar Awlaki, Osama-Bin-Laden and countless other scholars from Al-Azhar, the grand mufti from Mecca etc understand whatever you say? They are native Arabs and are brought up in that culture. Do not tell me that they misunderstand!!!. Most of them are Hafeezes(Knowing the Quran from memory). And many of them lead admirably simple lives like Osama, Al-Zawahiri and so on. All are highly educated and are from wealthy, respectable families. So worldly power and pelf cannot be their interests. So why do you think they gave up high paying jobs or businesses and choose to live a life of a renegade, waging war, killing the infidel, fighting for the establishment of the Sharia in its most purest form? This is out of hate for Dunya or “Wordly” stuff. Once the desire for Dunya has gone out something else must be replacing “Dunya”. The only alternative is the Islamic scriptures and it’s promise of Jannah. This promise of Jannah is 100% given to the Jihadi who “Fights in the way of Allah, kills or gets killed” until “Religion exists alone for Allah”. Ignoring the theological angle, Why so much of violence in the name of Islam and not other religions? In terms of sheer statistics alone the numbers are mind boggling. Do you think that without fire there can be smoke?

            Also please do not give me the myth that these are a tiny minority. It took just 4 attackers to bring down the twin towers. Please do not tell me this a plot of the Jews, the eternal scapegoats of Islam. Out of 1.5 billion Muslims if 0.5% are considered terrorists, that would mean a half a million Muslim terrorists. Frightening figures don’t you think so? What about all those “Few millions” in each Muslim country that support introduction of Sharia? What about Saudi Arabia?. One cannot even dream of performing any Hindu Pooja within the confines of home or even keeping a picture of a Hindu god/goddess in one’s pocket there. Does Saudi Arabia not know “To you your religion and to me my religion” from the Quran which is so eloquently (mis)quoted by scholars to show tolerance in Islam? Why are non Muslims not allowed in Makkah and Madina?Why are apostates killed in Saudi, Iran and Pakistan. I could go on and on. But the fact is Islam is not peaceful. Sure you may practice the peaceful aspects, and that’s great. But if you insist that it is so you risk yourself being called a Munafiq or an apostate

  • Abhi

    Dear Writer of the blog

    More than anyone, it is actually you who has represented the Hinduism in the most wrong manner. Religion is not a faith because faith can be changed but not the religion. It doesn’t matter if Hinduism is famous or not but what does matter is whosoever is following Hinduism knows the truth. And the truth is that we all are servant of Supreme Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is Supreme have been established by all Vedas –Ishavra Param Krsna Sachidanad Vigraha — and In Bhagvad Gita 15.18 Lord Krishna says that he is the Supreme God

    yasmāt kṣaram atīto ’ham akṣarād api cottamaḥ ato ’smi loke vede ca prathitaḥ puruṣottamaḥ

    Word for word:

    yasmāt — because; kṣaram — to the fallible; atītaḥ — transcendental; aham — I am; akṣarāt — beyond the infallible; api — also; ca — and; uttamaḥ — the best; ataḥ — therefore; asmi — I am; loke — in the world; vede — in the Vedic literature; ca — and; prathitaḥ — celebrated; puruṣa-uttamaḥ — as the Supreme Personality.

    Translation:

    Because I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person.

    And in 15.9 He says that intellegent person engage himself in his service

    Bg 15.19

    yo mām evam asammūḍho jānāti puruṣottamam sa sarva-vid bhajati māṁ sarva-bhāvena bhārata

    Word for word:

    yaḥ — anyone who; mām — Me; evam — thus; asammūḍhaḥ — without a doubt; jānāti — knows; puruṣa-uttamam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saḥ — he; sarva-vit — the knower of everything; bhajati — renders devotional service; mām — unto Me; sarva-bhāvena — in all respects; bhārata — O son of Bharata.

    Translation:

    Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is the knower of everything. He therefore engages himself in full devotional service to Me, O son of Bharata.

    Buy reading Gita one understand his position and the position of Supreme Personality of Godhead. The main problem with Hinduism is that they don’t read their own scriptures. And they do not try to find out authentic, authoritative system to learn the Vedas they rush here and there to a cheater guru and than make films like PK and Oh! My God. There are authentic teachers like Srila Prabhupada -One can read his work online by googling Vedabase . His books helped millions and continue to do so — I suggest this writer to once read Bhagvad Gita as it is and than again write one article on Hinduism there will be a difference in his/her approach —

    • Rajinder Sharma

      Sorry friend, you are becoming guilty of same exclusiveness as practiced by Christianity and Islam. First let me try to correct you, your choice accept it or not, Hinduism is not a Religion, the very meaning of religion creates barriers, sets its doctrine apart, compartmentalizes it, makes it rigid like Christianity and Islam. Hinduism is DHARMA. A collection or compendium of certain principles that guide humans into their journey in search of the ultimate, Brahma, or Krishna if you like to call him so. But, it does not confine this search into a set system of compulsory rules, but it gives freedom to explore the infinite, divine in any way the seeker wishes to. That is why Hinduism endorses and preaches the cult of “Shastrarth”, a system of divine discussion. There are umpteen instances of such a Shastrarth in Vedas and Upnishads. So, Hinduism cannot and must not be confined to specifics like other RELIGIONS, otherwise the very spirit of HINDUISM shall be lost, and we shall be left with one other RELIGION divorced from truth, only aspiring to increase its followers, and offering nothing factual, logical or divine to the follower. The very spirit of search within shall be lost to proselytising and we too would become bigots like others, killing innocent people for dissent. And I would never want that to be.

  • Prit Dutta

    This article is not going anywhere and is more to degrade the value Hinduism brings. Christianity/Islam were spread through forced missionary work using Bible/Quran as so called truth. If you search through these two books, they commands people promoting violence, hatred to other religion, rape/enslaving women.. Most who converted never read these books. Hinduism is a practice not dictated in similar fashion by one book, forcing wars to convert. Now take example of ISKCON, by just focusing on Gita and adapting the peaceful missionary work this group is so successful across the globe. Where in most Western countries people stopped going to Churches after realizing the mess in Bible/Quran. The problem with Hindism is not having a proper structure to run temples, perform missionary work, run charities and education centers. If you look through Bible/Quran, there is no concept of appreciating nature around us, anything similar to Yoga? They complain of worshiping multiple gods and idols, when that is basically respecting those natural powers. No wonder, mid east and center Asia is desert now, because brainwashed people just eats everything.

    • Rajinder Sharma

      I accept your viewpoint, but wish to differ in your evaluation of the above article expressed in your very first sentence. I believe that what the author is saying is exactly what you are saying. Only difference being that the author is slyly, sarcastically denigrating the spirit of chrislamic religions and honouring the wisdom and truth enshrined in the fundamental doctrine of Hindu Dharma. Let me add one more point here, Hinduism is not a religion in the strict sense as Christianity and Islam are. It is Dharma, a compendium of wisdom, a rational explanation of universe and with it divinity. It does not differentiate divinity from material world, but ascribes divinity to everything visible or not. The very essence of Hinduism is acceptance of dissent, a journey into the unknown, through as varied ways and methods, as personal choice of the seeker. It is ultimately a search for the ultimate, and that is search within oneself, and our own relationship with the ultimate.

  • gandhism along with nehruvian secularism is instituted at every level in government institutes.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    The elephant in the room is not what the Moslems and the British did but what the Indian Republic has done since 1947. They confiscated the temples, lands, educational institutions, irrigation tanks, treasure, religious freedoms and other commonwealth of the People of Dharma* in 1959 and deflected the anger of the people from the British, the Moslems and themselves to the Brahmins and the Princes.

    By eradicating the traditional, hereditary law giving priesthood and the custodians of the commonwealth, the “Hindu” lumpen that the British created since 1921 to swamp the People of Dharma nd the congregational temples welfare system with Non Hindus such as Dalits (a term coined by the British in 1921) and others became a thousand cults.

    Thereafter, what “Hinduism” is or is not, what it may perform or not perform has been at the whims and fancy of India’s erudition, arithmetic, culture, integrity, hygiene,alacrity and assiduity challenged, PANGOLIN** Politician-Bureaucrat-Judge-Police-Jounralist-Crony Kleptocracy

    *The People of Dharma, Until 1921, comprised those who adhered to Aryan (Brahmin) Law that flowed from the Prathamo Upanishad (Karma and Dharma) and the Aryan Constitution represented by the Swasthika. They followed many religions that may be represented in a five by five matrix of convenience. Along the horizontal axis, you have five cardinal philosophical proclivities: Dwaita (self the supplicant and deity the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient) Vishishta Dwaita (Self realized is divinity discovered) Adwaita (Self realized is divinity realized), Shankhya (agnosticism) and Shoonya (atheism). Along the vertical axis, the 64 Tantras resolve themselves into the five cardinal methodologies Shaiva (asceticism), Dakshina (Self discipline), Samaya (balance), Vama (Catharsis) and Kaula (hedonism). Post 1921, those who did not follow Aryan (Brahmin) Law were labeled Dalits by the British, the Law giving priesthood was persecuted, the commonwealth of the People of Dharma, their temples, religious freedom, treasure, water bodies, agricultural and grazing lands, educational institutions, and other common wealth was confiscated and all those who were not Din e Kitabi (i.e. People of the Book driven foreign religions) were labelled “Hindu”. The Bhagavad Gita was propagated in the courts and elsewhere as a substitute for the Brahmins who used to interpret the law. In 1959, the PANGOLIN* Indian Republic carried out the British Loot, Plunder, and Destruction of the People of Dharma to definitive effect in what remained of British India and the princely states over which their brutal “social engineering” writ ran.

    ** PANGOLIN: An enemy of India who believes in inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and persecution of some for the benefit of others. At present, the sole purpose of the Indian Republic, Constitutional or otherwise, is to pamper and provide for certain constitutionally preferred sections of society who the British found useful to hold and exploit India at the cost of those who the British hated and persecuted. The Pangolin is a creature that is unique to India and feeds on ants that are known in nature to be industrious and hard working if not quite as fruitful as bees who flee to better climes. (PANGOLIN is an acronym for the Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Other (alien) Religions-Communist Consensus that usurped the British Mantle and has worn it with elan to loot, plunder, and rape India since 1921 and re write History and laws to their exclusive benefit since 1947)

  • Ramaj

    It is a tragedy that this realisation has not befallen in those who are claiming to be Indians, Hindus. The idea of tolerance, democratic values is imbibed in the genes of Hindus, who believe in the Almighty and has a strong notion that the paths may vary but the destination is same. That is why emergency was severely opposed by Indians and any attempt to bring in autocracy fails here.

  • Lalitaditya Muktapida

    What is Hinduism missing?
    In one word –> Ba ……………………….
    Ooops! I mean “Testosterone”
    That was close
    Phew!

  • Vijay Nadgir

    Hinduism spread to the far East peacefully along with Buddhism. How ever the conquering hordes of barbarians following Christianity and Islam spread in all directions across the world. Hindus never waged WAR and tried to impose their religion. ALL Christians and Muslims have been under threat converted from their Pagan beliefs. When Christians conquered the North & South America, Africa, Australia etc to name a few wiped out the native populations and the remaining few managed to survive through conversions. Even WORSE were the Muslim invaders who were pure barbarians and most EVIL & SADISTIC took violent measures with delight and either murdered those who resisted or under threat of having their heads chopped converted out of fear . These conversions were all forced and the zeal of the converted is only too well known and established fact. We see today with the Christian Missionaries who without using force are now resorting to devious and odious methods to fool the ignorant poor uneducated or the erroneously labelled Lower Castes of Hindus to convert. The Muslims are totally INTOLERANT and under the label of a Peaceful Religion are doing exactly the opposite and imposing their will and resorting to cruelty, terror, violence,intimidation,murder and rape to dominate wherever they may go. These are the AWESOME reasons that HINDUISM is LACKING. The rest is HOGWASH.

  • Sarada Charan

    Thank you. Hindus now must forget their differences first: regional, caste, etc and call themselves Hindus. Secondly, they should show some Kshatriya spirit which is lacking. “My wife is attacked? ok….” is not the attitude. They must defend. Thirdly, educated Hindus should stop thinking they know everything of Hinduism and must read a little. Fourthly, Educated Hindus should spend time in educating the poor, downtrodden villagers about Hinduism. Removing superstitions, giving the correct ideas, and uplifting the masses is important.

  • Ashoka

    You people need yo improve your knowledge. It is nothing like that as you written. Some people are trying to defame Hindu religion. It is the ancient and peaceful religion in the world. History also proves the same.

    • Maria Wirth

      It seems you misunderstood. please read again..

  • Audit Uscirf

    Hindus give one-way respect to those(i.e. Islam,Christian,Communist,Atheist,Dravidian racist,Socialist) who disrespect Hinduism. This one-way respect strategy has failed and needs to be replaced with reciprocity.

    Not demanding reciprocal respect is a major hindu defect.

    • Maria Wirth

      Reciprocal respect is not possible as long as the doctrines of Christianity and Islam are what they are. They consider it as their divine right to ‘rule’ humanity. All other faiths must finally disappear with them (means only one of them…) alone left standing.
      So do you want to beg for mutual respect (which they may sometimes cleverly give verbally but not on the ground in their actions) or is it not better to expose their irrationality and cunningness?

      • BvB09

        Ms. Wirth
        Nice irony. You set me off wondering idly and I could only come up with one instance – Gita, where Krishna tells Arjuna explicitly, “na SroShyasi vinaNGSyasi”. However, very soon Krishna also says, “yathA icChasi tathA kuru”.

        • Silbey

          Wonderful! You used the verse aptly.

      • Audit Uscirf

        I understand that xtian and islam theology will not allow for equality or reciprocal respect but first step is to explicitly ask for it in thoughts and action.This puts the indian secular ball, of respecting all religion,in abrahamic court. First step would start debate of irrational exclusive claims which would likely trigger next step of moving from 1-way respect to reciprocal disrespect.

  • B.R.Venugopala Rao

    Maria Wirth is perfect in comparison, pointing out flaws and analysis of doctrines of Christianity and Islam.

    I never differ with her.

    But what I emphatically believe in, is that those who enjoy the bliss of God by following the spirituality gifted by Dharma (Sanatan) must always PRACTICE Dharma and whatall is propounded by it. They should demonstrate to the world how marvellous all mankind could be, by presenting themselves as live examples.

    I believe this alone is going to convince the world about all the logics that we are discussing here.

    Ranting negativities and flaws in other religions however true that might be, will only invite hatred and defence from followers of those religions. Truth when naked, is harsh and does hurt. Look into the Sun ?

    Followers of Dharma must practice, demonstrate. Rest will be taken care of, by Dharma itself.

    • Rama

      Dharma includes protection of the very Dharma itself and it means ACTION on the part of Hindu Kshatriyas. Pacifist attitude like that of Gandhi is what brought Hinduism to what it is today. To it’s knees.You can denigrate Hinduism and get away with it whereas you cannot do so with Abrahamic religions. That is a fact. Until and unless Hindus stand up and assert themselves and for their Dharma, nothing will change.

      • Savarkar’s Disciple

        Your right about asserting our Dharma but many of us will also have to act as BAD COPS and use every strategy and method to “MAKE IT UNCOOL TO BE AN CHRISLAMIST/WESTERN UNIVERSALIST”

    • VarunaPraghasa

      I first want to thank you Maria for analyzing the issue thoroughly and provide a forum for discussion. Though you were born a Westerner, you have an understanding of dharma which many “Born” Hindus lack to the core.

      There is the saying “Dharmo rakshati rakshitiha” “Dharma protects those who protect it”. A true kshatriya would be defending every bodies svadharma in addition to performance of his own. But in the absence of a true kshatriya, we need to do it our self. We need to be aggressive like parashurama and not passive. I think more than Rama and Krishna the deities/heroes that need to be worshiped/emulated are Bhargava Rama or parushurama We need his sheer courage and occasionally his ruthlessness.. No pacifism helps. If that was so then there needn’t have been a Kshatriya varna at all.

  • Jitu

    As always, you make me smile Maria Wirth. It’s a pleasure reading your pieces. If only we present day Hindus had as much clarity of thought and respect for our own religion.

    Keep writing. 🙂

  • Jana krish

    What’s surprising is how could a vast majority of people believe in Christianity and islam when its nothing but BS.

    • Maria Wirth

      That’s what i tried to address: irrational claims backed by blasphemy laws prevented/ prevent people from leaving for fear of their lives, and made those religions grow and “respected”.
      Since Christianity has lost its power to punish heretics, many leave the Church. This is not yet the case with Islam.
      We have to call out these irrational claims as ridiculous.
      An atmosphere must be created where religious tenets of both the expansionist religions can be criticised. At present only Christianity can be criticised, at least in the west.
      In India, both religions are still “respected” and any criticism evokes a shrill reaction from their clergy and certain other quarters.

  • Shreevalsan

    Hinduism does enjoy some respect worldwide though it is true that, unlike Muslims, Hindus are not feared. That’s because Hindus are not violent like Muslims or cunning like Christians. I wish Hindus would unleash justified violence against traitors in the media, politics and academia so that Hinduism is not mocked and insulted the way it is in India today. It would be foolish for Hindus to think that a BJP government at the centre or the Sangh Parivar would do anything to defend Hinduism and Hindus from the daily hit jobs by the media, secular politicians and academia. They are too cowardly and are known for their total lack of intellectualism. Christianity and Islam stand self-condemned by their utterly nonsensical ideas like eternal hell fire etc. Thank God Hinduism does not share the irrationality of the desert religions.

  • Shubhangi Raykar

    Is it tongue in cheek? Hinduism is not respected? We respect it. We do not care what the religions of the book with their dogmas and placing trust in crafty Abraham and his newsroom agents-may be son of God or the last prophet have to say.

  • DD

    bakwaas article, just another hitjob on hinduism..

    • VarunaPraghasa

      you are wrong she hit the nail in the head. I think she meant “Respected” in a sarcastic sense and actually says that the Abrahamics are cunning than truthful. And unfortunately nowadays in kali yuga you need to be more cunning than straight to succeed. Remember the Panchatantra story whose moral is “If you are too straight a branch you will be the one to be cut off first”.

    • Rahul Dattani

      clearly you just did not read the article, read it this time before making comments.

      • DD

        i got it, i got confused. she is saying correct

    • Jitu

      At least read the article.