and Human Rights
Chapter 4: Idolatry, Islam and India
March 8, 2017
Why did the
Muslims destroy Hindu temples? One can say that it was an excuse
to plunder India, and an attempt to spread the message of the
is some truth in both the assertions, the reality is psychological,
whose roots go back into the ambitions of the Prophet Mohammed
himself. This statement may be somewhat ambiguous and thus requires
Like the physical
order of the universe, the social structure of mankind is also
hierarchical, that is, broadest at the base and narrowest at the
top. This is the reason that an organization is not possible without
observing this principle. Thus, a nation of several million people
is governed by a government of twenty to thirty members, who are
themselves headed by one person called the Prime Minister, President,
Dictator or King. This truth was represented by the conduct of
Alexander, the Great, who believed in a universal monarchy. Taumburlain,
the Conqueror, stated it eloquently: "As there is one God,
so this earth can support only one King."
What are the
connotations of this statement? It means that humans are endowed
with a psychological peculiarity, which may be described as Dominance
Urge; it goads people individually, and collectively to dominate
others. One can see this urge in operation during political elections
when competing candidates use all methods at their disposal to
gain power; the concepts of morality, munificence and mercy are
shouted at top voice, but are usually rooted in mischief, mordacity
and malevolence. The urge of dominance admits only one conduct
which leads to victory. Hence, might is right, and the idea of
"right as might" acts just as a deceptive joke to appease
In fact, urge
of dominance is a peculiarity of all animates and expresses itself
through antagonism. Take, chickens, for example. Chicken "A"
pecks chicken "B" simply to express its physical superiority
and chicken "B" does it to chicken "C" for
the same reason. Not only that, if C becomes stronger, it may
turn on B to establish itself as the powerful.
of Dominance, nobody will try to rise to the top, create law and
order and compete with others. However, urge of dominance also
has its bleak side which occasionally clouds its effulgence as
can be observed in the destruction of Indian temples. Even great
countries have suffered a similar fate at the hands of foreign
predators. England was subjected to plunder, persecution and perdition
by the Vikings for over 250 years. Subjugation of nations by outlandish
raiders through sword and fire is for establishing their dominance.
Urge of dominance
has an unusual aspect; it does not always die with its possessor.
When a mundane ruler breathes his last, this urge may die with
him but in people, known as prophets, it proves to be immortal.
A prophet commands people from his grave what to do and what not
to do; he succeeds in doing so through the body of laws which
he claims to be of divine origin, and leaves behind. Those who
follow them qualify for heaven, and those who defy them go to
hell. These laws are, in fact, a product of the prophetic mind
purporting to impress his power on the minds of his followers
through a system of reward and punishment, no matter how imaginary.
The Islamic Law devised 1400 years ago is an example in point.
created half a century ago to practise this law but people are
still awaiting its introduction. The reason is simple: it is not
workable. In fact, Pakistan follows the Common Law of England,
which is totally averse to the Muslim traditions The Islamic Law
is the legacy of Muhammad, requiring his followers to acknowledge
his supremacy through obedience to his legal code. It cannot be
of Divine origin becauce this universe and all that breathes is
kept in order by the principle of change which demands constant
adjustment. Allah does not seem to realise that humans live in
a changing world and do not need static law, devised fourteen
centuries ago. After giving man free will, which enables him to
make laws to suit his changing circumstances, He could not have
interferred with him by forcing him to observe the archaic laws
which have no relevance to his problems.
From the above
discussion, one concludes that prophethood is the highest expression
of dominance urge. Since it is the prophetic dominance-urge which
caused havoc to the Hindu temples and culture, it is appropriate
to delve deeper into its make-up and purpose:
is a person who claims that he is the vicar or lieutenant of God
on earth. He stresses that he carries the message of the Almighty
who is the Creator of this universe and anxious to make man righteous
by waging war against evil. The prophet insists that God does
not communicate with anyone directly but through him. Since he
is the divine medium, whosoever wants to approach the Creator
must do so through his agency or perish. Yet the prophet declares
that praise (worship) belongs to God; he himself is His humble
servant, and does what is told by the Lord.
In fact, prophethood
is a stratagem to project one's self as God in the guise of humanity.
By asserting himself to be the agent of God, the prophet asserts
his own righteousness by awarding himself a certificate of behavioural
excellence irrespective of what he really is; the presumption
is that God shall not appoint someone His agent, who has a second-rate
character. A part of this stratagem is the assertion that the
prophet has no axe to grind in it; whatever he does, he undertakes
to obey the Lord. This impersonal approach is a sharp psychological
weapon to convince people of the prophetic mission.
Once we look
into the nature of prophetic claim, its righteousness soon loses
its radiance. If God is the Creator, and He is so anxious for
man to go straight, He would have surely designed human nature
in such a way that he could not err. The God who depends on the
good-will of a man, who calls himself a "prophet" cannot
be more than a play-thing, and does not have the power to check
the prophet from twisting His Word if he so wishes. This is a
logical conclusion; if God cannot stop other people from doing
what they want to do, how can he coerce the wilful actions of
a prophet, who is obviously a clever and determined man. The God
who is dependent on a man, has a lower stature than him. This
is the real purpose of prophethood; a prophet is a man who aspires
to be acknowledged as God indirectly because it is much easier
to proclaim one's prophethood than Godhead.
one ought to say that the device of prophethood is not suited
to spreading the truth by its very nature; making the prophet
an absolute medium of Divine instructions, limits the Godly purpose;
one man, no matter how clever, could not reach the whole world.
It is especially true in terms of medieval ages. Acquainting mankind
with the Divine Will would have been far more effective if the
Lord had created them with a mechanism to receive His messages
directly. Since He has not done so, He obviously needs no prophets,
who are the cause of srocial strife, mutual hatred and wars. As
man is endowed with intelligence and free will, he is quite capable
of steering his own ship of life. It amounts to self-contradiction
on part of God to coerce the intelligence and free will of man
by sending messengers. In fact, the mere concept of prophethood
has an air of ridiculing God.
a prophet declares that praise (worship) belongs to God, and he
himself appears to be praising and worshipping Him. This is, in
fact, mockery of Godhead for two reasons: firstly, worship is
the worst type of flattery, and it is well known that a lover
of sycophancy has a dwarfed, devious and detestable personality
because it seeks to destroy the dignity, decorum and distinctiveness
of others by forcing them to demean, degrade and debase themselves.
A person with a flattened ego is like a bird with trimmed wings
which loses the ability to fly higher. The purpcse of life is
to elevate ego with moral splendour, a superb will and sense of
personal greatness, which come from being upright and serving
the cause of fellow-beings, and not by crying, creeping and crawling
before an imaginary God, whose arrogance knows no bounds.
reason is more profound but crafty. In fact, it is a piece of
as we know is that the concrete attracts and holds attention far
more easily than the abstract. This is the reason that modern
methods of teaching make use of toys, pictures, drawings/ etc.,
instead of relying on mere verbal instructions, which are less
effective for being abstruse and thus usually beyond the reach
of imagination. The concrete objects serve as visual aids to comprehend
facts and the reality behind them. This is the philosophy of idol
worship. All devotees know that a statute is just a stone, a piece
of wood or a lump of clay, but their shapes help impart understanding
ot the meaning of reality. It is a symbolical representation of
the truth. Though there is no mention of idol-worship or temples
in the Rgveda, I am inclined to think that the origin of organised
idolatory lies in India. The reason is, the Vedic people believed
that there is a power of divine origin behind every natural phenomenon
such as lightning, cloud, fire, wind, etc. That power, they referred
to as god or goddess, and adored it. These physical phenomena
did have visibility: lightning could be seen, thunder could be
heard, wind could be felt. They were glimpses of the gods and
goddesses lurking behind these natural processes. Eventually,
it led to the creation of idols representing the respective deities,
whereas the priest knew the truth, the ordinary worshipper accorded
gadly status to the idol itself. As every idol identified a particular
natural phenomenon, it did not represent the totality of Divine
Power individually. Though worshippers were particularly enthusiastic
about the greatness of the statues they worshipped, they did not
revile the idols of other devotees because of their belief that
they, too, were divine for representing natural forces. This is
what created pantheism, i.e., the doctrine that identifies God
with the universe, leading to the worship of all gods. Oneness
of Gad became ascendant, almost every nation followed the model
of an Indian temple which housed all the gods. Thus jealousy among
the gods did not exist, and if it did, lacked the force to engender
sectarian animosity and carnage. In fact, the co-existence of
idols prompted the attitude of "live and let live."
of prophethood is very similar to the idols as far as they act
as the symbols or visual aids to recognise the divine power or
deity concealed behind them, and eventually worshipping the idols
themselves and not the deity concerned. When a person claims to
be a prophet, he projects himself as the shadow, and God as the
Reality, but as he possesses an immense dominance-urge, he is
extremely anxious to reverse the order of priority, that is, people
should think of the shadow as the Reality and of Reality as the
shadow. This inverse ratio of relationship is the real goal of
prophethood. The difference between idolatory is:
worship statues through ignorance,
b. alternatively they know them to be mere visual aids,
having no divinity in themselves.
I ought to
add that hypocrisy is no part of idolatory because it is brought
about by ignorance or the fact that a statue is just a visual
aid. On the contrary, prophethood lacks sincerity because it is
the goal of a prophet to be treated as God without taking off
his mantle of humanity. It is done by exaggerating the wonders
of the prophet to such an extent that he begins to look the reality
and God recedes into the background as shadow. This reversal in
terms of power and reverence imitates the principle and practice
of idolatory whereby people take the idol for the Reality and
forget all about the Reality itself.
is an offshoot of Judaism, it may be helpful to illustrate the
issue with reference to Moses, the founder of the Jewish nation
and its philosophy.
It was Moses
who brought out of Egypt, the Jews who had been subjected to cruelty
and hard labour for over four centuries. They had lost their moral
dignity and intellectual capacity through an incessant pressure
of torment, tyranny and torture. The long servitude had made them
submissive, and receptive to suggestion. Moses, who had been brought
up in Egypt as a prince, was not only endowed with high capabilities
but also had a tremendous urge of dominance. With these qualities
went his stupendous love for his people whom he wanted to make
into a great nation. This extraordinary man had the ability to
turn his own ambition and national dignity into a harmonious whole.
As the Jewish
history shows, he projected himself as the model of behaviour
by declaring himself as the law-giver. But he did not say that
the laws were invented by him. Following the old Semitic tradition,
he announced that he had been appointed as the Vicar (prophet)
by God, who had revealed His will through the laws which must
be obeyed to escape the Divine condemnation. He knew that the
nationhood of the Jews, who were no more than a rabble at that
time, could not be affected without giving them a common measure
of identity. So he declared:
1. Yahwe is the God of Israel (the Jews) who are his chosen and blessed
2. To make Godhead of Yahwe as the foundation- stone of
the Jewish nationhood, he assured them that the Lord would not
forsake them (Deuteronomy 4: 31) provided they kept his law. The
first commandment says:
shall have no other gods before me."
goes even further to declare that the extreme love is to be reserved
thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
might." (Deuteronomy 6: 5).
To make sure
that this divine order is taken seriously, Deuteronomy 5: 9 spells
out in no uncertain terms that the Jewish God is a jealous God,
who visists the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto
the third and fourth generation of them who hate Him i.e. worship
someone other than Yahwe.
With a view
to inculcating this message still further into the Jewish heart,
sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be
( As a footnote to this discussion, I may add that despite all
the Jewish assertion of monotheism i.e. Oneness of God, the Bible
acknowledges polytheism, that is, there is more than one God:
shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people."
(Exodus 22: 28)
Here, I seem
to be contradicting myself because Moses attaches supernatural
authority and reverence to God and not himself. This is the sophistication
of the doctrine of revelation or prophethood. The concept of God
is abstract and therefore cannot be easily comprehended by the
masses who need a visual aid for proper understanding. Once people
nave confirrned their faith in God, the prophet, who is His sole
medium of approach, projects himself as the Symbol of Divinity
the same way as an idol acts as the representation of God. The
stratagem lies in the fact that prophet looks uninterested in
the divine honour, yet he bestows so much sanctity on himself
that he begins to look God's superior, and people actually adore
him instead of God, who ranks as a euphemism. Thus, in fact, it
is prophet who is jealous of idols and everything else which may
be adored. Therefore, he wants to see no other idol except his
own and insists on their destruction.
he presented the concept of the Lord God.
2. However, before doing this he assured people that he
did not want the apostolic dignity, and was acting as Prophet
under duress to escape the wrath of God (Exodus 4: 10-14).
3. Then he proceeded to exert his superiority over God:
As the story
goes, worship of the molten calf by the Jews kindled Yahwe's jealousy.
He appears in divine glory and intends to consume the children
of Israel with his boiling wrath, his gives Moses a chance to
establish his superiority over God. He tells Yahwe impolitely
that He is about to do a wicked thing against his own people and
shames Him by asserting what the Egyptians would say if He destroyed
them. After all, Yahwe had gone out of the way to secure the release
of the Jews from Egypt.
the Lord to refrain from this evil and repent. (Exodus 32: 12-14).
What an event it becomes: God surrenders to man! Yet the Jews
claim that their faith is monotheistic.
I must add
that this is not the only occasion when Moses, the Prophet, humiliates
God in front of every one. In an episode of similar nature when
the Jews denigrate the Promised Land, and want to return to Egypt,
Yahwe's indignation reaches boiling point and He threatens to
kill them all. Moses steps in and skames God publicly. He yields
to Moses as usual ( Numbers 1 4: 11 - 20 ).
with the above events, one should also remember the following
episode described in chapter 32 of Exodus:
As Moses took
longer to return from God, his people contributed golden earrings
to make a molten calf to worship it. God tells Moses to rush back
to his people who have corrupted themselves. As he came near the
camp, he found them dancing round the calf. Moses' anger knew
no bounds; he burnt the calf in the fire, and ground it to powder,
which he dissolved in water and made the children of Israel drink.
left the molten calf to stand, it would have become a symbol of
divinity, and eventually the Divine. He could not accept this
situation because he had assumed the status as the sole Medium
tradition was enthusiastically followed by the Prophet Muhammad,
who repeatedly claimed that Islam was not a new faith but the
same religion as promulgated by Adam, Noah, Ibrahim, Moses and
Jesus. He called himself the last exponent of this faith. He hated
idols and advocated their destruction because he himself wanted
to be treated as an idol to be worshipped. It seems a crazy theory
but it happens to be the truth. To understand it, one must bear
in mind that Allah was originally an idol of the Kaaba where it
was worshipped by the Quresh, clan of the Prophet. I shall demonstrate
later, Muhammad was inspired to idolise himself by Allah-worship.
He destroyed all statues of Kaaba including that of Allah, yet
he raised Allah to the status of God who is the Almighty, the
Creator and the Omnipotent. He did so to replace Allah's statue
with himself as the symbol Gf divinity. He knew that it is the
symbol of divinity i.e., the idol, which eventually comes to be
worshipped as God.
Now I may
provide evidence in support of my claim:
the Mosaic model, first he claimed that Allah, the Islamic God
had forced him into accepting prophethood ( Sahih Muslim: 301)
. Having narrated this episode in my took: "Islam The Arab
National Movement, " I need not repeat it here.
2. In the beginning, to impress upon people that he had no axe to
grind in the matter, he asserted:
is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger." This
is the basic belief of Islam and is called Shahadah. Until he
gained a large following which guaranteed him suzerainty, he projected
himself as a mortal who was entrusted with the duty of Allah's
message. See for yourself:
a. The Koran calls the Prophet a servant.
( The Cow: 20 ).
does not know the Unseen.
( Cattle: 50 )
c. He does not have the power to perform
( Thunder: 5 )
d. "... say, Glory be to my Lord! Am I aught
but a mortal, a messenger."
(The Night Journey: 95)
e. "... I have only been commanded to serve
God, and not to associate
aught with Him. To Him I call, and to Him I
turn. " ( Thunder. 3 5 )
Prophet being a mortal, is equally subject to Allah's reward and
will, He will have mercy on you
( Muhammad ), or if He will, He will
chastise you." (The Night Journey: 55)
g. The Prophet is warned by Allah:
"Set not up with Allah
another God, or you
wilt be cast into
Gehenna ( Hell ), reproached
and condemned. "
( The Night Journey: 40 )
So far the
Prophet has claimed that he is just a human who has been forced
by Allah to convey His message to the people. He desperately needs
this approach to convince people that he is simply discharging
his duty. Thus it is easier for the masses to listen to him and
believe him, but when he becomes powerful enough and can stand
on his own, he discards this style and expresses himself as an
integral part of Allah:
h. It is no longer enough to obey God only:
" Obey God and the Messenger
( Muhammad ) .
( The House of Imram: 25 )
i. "Obey God and the Messenger: haply so
you will find mercy."
( The House of Imram: 125 )
j. "Whoso obeys God
and His Messenger, He will admit him
(Women: 15 )
k. As the Prophet gets stronger, he becomes a co-sovereign with Allah
because whatever they do, they do it together, and people are
not left with any choice but to obey the decision:
not for any believer, man or woman, when God and His Messenger
have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever,
disobeys God and His Messenger, has gone astray into clear error."
(The Confederates: 35)
the Prophet, who was once a mortal and Allah's servant, and then
an equal partner in Godhead, now raises himself to the status
of real God, and Allah himself becomes Muhammad's devotee. It
sounds blasphemous, but this is how the Koranic truth is. Here
is the authority:
"God and His angels pray peace to the Prophet,
O believers, do you also bless him, and
pray him peace."
(The Confederates: 55)
is the highest form of worship. It is very much like the devotional
movement within Hinduism known as Bhagti which came into being
during second or third century A.D. The Bhagti attitude has been
inspired by the Bhagavadgita though Ramayana and Puranas have
also contributed towards it.
the intense emotional attachment and love of a devotee to his
personal God. Though a Hindu can choose any of his gods as the
centre of his devotion, it has been particularly developed around
Vishnu represented by his two earthly incarnations, namely, Rama
worship includes the recitation of God's name, singing of hymns
in his praise, undertaking pilgrimages to the places associated
with him, adoring him in shrines, private meetings and temples
as well as through charitable acts.
especially of the Indian sub-continent have adopted the same attitude
towards the Prophet: they have developed a highly emotional cult
known as "Ishq-e-Rasool" i.e. the intense love of Muhammad.
This devotion is so great that a priest, politician or "pioneer"
can easily mislead the Muslims in the name of Muhammad and make
them do anything, no matter, how irrational. The Muslims hold
that a priest, politician or "pioneer" can easily mislead
the Muslims in the name of Muhammad and make them do anything,
no matter, how irrational. The Muslims hold exclusive meetings
to recite the name of Muhammad for hours, sing his praises endlessly,
visit the holy places and even recite his name in the regular
It is amazing
that when the Hindus pray to their gods with the aid of their
statues, which are symbolic representations of the Reality, they
are dubbed as idolators, but when the Muslims resort to similar
practices, they become monotheists! In fact, they carry the magic
of this riddle even further. In Hinduism, it is inevitably man
who worships God, but in Islam, both angels and Allah worship
Muhammad by praying peace to him!
Islam is essentially
the cult of Muhammad-worship, yet it is called the True Religian
of God, instead of being termed as Muhammadanism. How did the
Prophet create such a large band of followers, who worship kim
but claim to prostrate before God?
One can find
the answer to this enigma by considering the following facts:
destroyed the statue of Allah which was housed in the Kaaba: it
was considered the most sacred idol of the Arabs because people
took it for the real God owing to ignorance and tradition. As
long as the statue of Allah existed, nobody could take the place
of Allah because His statue was His divine symbol. It had to be
demolished by someone to present himself as the divine symbol
of Allah. Muhammad did that by projecting himself as the sole
representative of Allah on earth, and like other idols came to
be treated as the real God. He chose Allah because it represented
his tribe and was considered the most sacred and powerful.
further his cause, the Praphet claimed that he was sent into this
world as mercy i.e. love for mankind:
not sent you, except as mercy unto all
beings." (The Prophets: 100)
himself as love, he helped himself to become the centre of love
of his followers. There are several hadiths which ardently advocate
for the love of Muhammad. For example:
"No person attains faith, till I am dearer to him than the
persons of his household, his wealth and the whole of
mankind." (Muslim, Vol. 1: 70)
3. To be obeyed to the dot, he claimed that he was the divine model
of behaviour and must be copied by all his followers:
"You (believers) have a good example in God's
Messenger for whosoever hopes for God and the Last
Day." (The Confederates: 20)
It is clearly
stated herein that whoever wants to go to paradise ( "hopes
for God and the Last Day" ) must imitate the behaviour-pattern
of the Prophet. This is what Sunnah is; all Muslims want to live
as Muhammad did, even to the minor details such as eating, drinking,
walking, talking, sleeping, dressing, etc. In fact, the Prophet
has come to control the psyche of his followers.
4. Intercessory power of the Prophet is the master stroke of his
divinity. Though I have given its fuller account in the Second
Volume, 6th issue of "Liberty," I may briefly state
here the Koranic attitude for the benefit of readers; it repeatedly
states that on the Last Day, it is exclusively for Allah to decide
whether a person will go to heaven or hell.
To suit Muhammad's
purpose, as in several other important affairs, the Koran changes
its tone and eventually states:
Day no intercession availeth except (that of)
him unto whom the Beneficient (God) hath given leave
and whose He accepleth." (TA HA: 109)
This point is well explained by the following Hadith (Sahih Muslim:
Vol. 4: 5655)
be the first intercessor and the first person whose intercession
will be accepted (by Allah).
It means that
the Prophet has the power to force Allah to do whatever he wills.
He will send his followers to paradise even if they are murderers,
rapists, thieves and liars but shall specify hell for all non-believers
even if they have been highly righteous. The Koran states:
this is the word of a noble Messenger
having power, with the Lord of the Throne secure,
obeyed, moreover trusty."
(The Darkening: 15-20)
interpret it to mean that on the Day of Judgement, the Prophet
will share the Throne of Justice with Al lah and sit on His right-hand
side. His recommendations will be binding on God. This is what
they sincerely believe is meant by "obeyed, moreover trusty."
Now, one can
see that Allah is no more than a figure of speech because the
Prophet has taken over the destiny of humankind. In "Islam,
The Arab National Movement,'' I have shown that Allah is a factotum
of Muhammad because He does what He is told by the latter. For
example, the change of Kibla, the vital issue, is decided by Allah
to please Muhammad. Again, it is an Islamic law that if a Muslim
has more than one wife, he must treat them all equally but God
gave dispensation to the Prophet to suspend any of his wives as
he thought fit. One should also bear in mind that the Islamic
law lays down that a Muslim cannot have more than four wives at
the same time, but the Prophet had at least nine wives simultaneously.
He was obviously above Allah's laws. It is universally accepted
that law is equally binding on the law-giver. Unless Muhammad
believed himself to be Allah's superior, he could not defy His
law. It shows the intensity of the Prophetic dominance-urge.
Now, it is
obvious that the Prophet did not disapprove of idolatory but hated
other idols because he wanted to substitute himself for them.
In short, he himself aspired to be worshipped to the total exclusion
of all other idols.
Prophet realised that there are other people who have a tremendous
ego and want to be remembered as spiritual heroes and adored accordingly.
So he allowed the creation of a pantheon under his own divine
shadow, which means that whoever believed in these lesser deities,
automatically followed him. One learns about these minor divinities
in Hadith no. 145 of the Sahih Muslims: they are members of the
household of the Prophet, namely Ali (Fatima, Hassan and Hussain)
as well as Abu Bakr, Umar Usman and several others who served
him well to make his mission a success.
I think that
I have said enough about the nature of Islamic attitude towards
idolatory: it is really not iconoclastic i.e. anti-idol, but idolatrous
as long as it is only the Prophet Muhammad, his close relations
and associates, who are adored under his spiritual hegemony.
of this article is "Idolatory, Islam and India." I have
so far discussed the relationship of Islam and idolatory but have
not touched upon the Islamic attitude towards India, especially
in terms of idol-worship.
of history know, the Muslims have always done their worst to destroy
the pre-Islamic period of every country where they have been able
to spread their tentacles. Even Arabia, the cradle of Islam, is
no exception to this rule. It is not easy to trace its pre-Islamic
history. However, certain facts can be discovered from the Hadith
(sayings and practices of the Prophet) and scholarly writings
found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Having studied these sources
of information, I come to the conclusion that the Prophet Muhammad
had developed an unfavourable attitude towards India. It is because
he was a national leader, par excellence. His patriotic zeal required
of him to destroy the glory of Egypt, Iran, Byzantine and India.
The last i.e. India, posed a special problem. Why?
It is because
India constituted a real threat to the dreams of Muhammad, who
was highly enthused by the love of his people, the Arabs, and
wanted to make a great nation of them. He also knew that Moses,
before him, had created a magnificent nation of Jews who should
perpetuate his name. So the national dream of Muhammad sought
to deify himself through the efforts of a great Arab nation to
fight for his glory, which should also prove the pivot of Arab
nationalism. Having told this story in my book: "Islam, The
Arab National Movement," I need not repeat it here but must
explain, why India stood in the way of the apostolic designs of
Muhammad. The reason was that the Arabian way of life and religion
were deeply influenced by the Indian culture and religious attitudes.
To make the position clear, I must add that as the Indian sub-continent
is dominated by the Islamic way of life today, so was the Arabian
peninsular under the Hindu influence at the time of the Prophet's
advent. Unless he could successfully strike at the roots of Hinduism,
he could not make himself adorable. In a nutshell, he had to destroy
the Hindu idols to erect his own.
Is there evidence
for this point of view? Of course, there is. Let us start with
the following hadith:
Amr bin Al-As reported: "Allah's
Messenger (may peace be on him) saw me wearing
two clothes dyed in saffron, whereupon he said:
These are the clothes (usually worn by) the non-
believers, so do not wear them."
(Sahih Muslim: 5173)
The next hadith
no. 5175 reports this event in a more heated manner:
Seeing Abdullah b. Amr attired in two clothes which had been dyed
in saffron, the Prophet said, "Has your mother ordered you
to do so?" Abdullah replied: "I will wash them."
The Prophet replied: "Burn them."
The Hadith no. 5177 adds that the Prophet forbade reciting the
Koran when one wore gold and clothes dyed in saffron!
the built-in prophelic hatred of Hinduism in particular, and India
at large, one must realise that colour of the Hindu or Om flag
is saffron, which is also called Bhagwa, Gerva and Kesariya. The
Om flag also represents the rising sun which not only alludes
to the saffron colour but also to the internationally ascendant
might of the then India. I have discussed these historical facts
in my book: "The Wonders of the Rgveda." Saffron was,
in fact, the national colour of India because the Hindu heroes,
seers, sages and monks wore clothes dyed in saffron. Moreover,
it implied the Hindu tradition of valour, elegance and commitment
to noble causes as laid down by the Scriptures: some hymns of
the Atharva Veda openly refer to the saffron colour. Therefore,
it is not just traditional but also a part of the Hindu religious
piety, purity and probity.
From the above
quoted hadiths, it is evident that not only the Arab divines but
also ordinary people wore yellowish clothes under the Indian influence
which the Prophet hated to such an extent that he advocated burning
of satfron dresses and forbade the recitation of the Koran when
one wore such garments.
bear in mind that the Prophet wanted to create a distinct Arab
nation dedicated to spreading his greatness. This is the reason
that he told his followers to dye their hair and beards red (henna)
so that they should look different from the Jews; to wean them
from the Hindu tradition, he prescribed green colour for his followers.
has stated almost all its major tenets ambiguously i.e. relationship
between Allah and Prophet, free will and predestination and so
on. It equally applies to the Idea of creation and procreation.
In this context, one can see the influence of the Gita on the
Koran, which states:
originates creation, then
brings it back again,
and unto him you shall be returned."
(The Greeks: 10)
of Lebanon, a sect of Islam, practise the Hindu doctrine of Samsara
ardently even today. This is a continuation of the pre-Islamic
tradition which is a remnant of the Hindu influence on the Arab
practically obliterated the pre-Islamic history of his people,
which makes cultural assessment of Arabia a very hard task, indeed.
Yet the modern scholarship has discovered certain religious facts
about this country which confirm that it would have been impossible
to establish Muhammadanism without destroying Hinduism in Arabia
is that the Arabs were not only statue-worshippers but their idolatory
was founded on the Hindu principle of triad, also known as Trimurti.
Since the Prophet wanted to plant his own image in people's mind,
it was not possible without aupplanting the Hindu idols, which
had considerable appeal owing to their visual effect and the legendary
magic, built-up over a period of many centuries. I am certainly
not forging history, the hadith (Prophet's sayings and record
of his actions) provides cogent evidence to this effect:
b. Samura reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as
saying: I recognise the stone in Mecca which used to pay me salutations
before my advent as a Prophet and I recognise that even now. (Sahih
confirms three facts:
1. Though the Muslims assert that Muhammad was a prophet even before
the creation of Adam, this statement demonstrates that it is not
so, and is borne out by "before my advent as a Prophet."
Again, it is historically known that he claimed to have received
his first revelation when he was forty. It is.at this point of
life that the Prophet started preaching Islam. Obviously, it could
not have been his religion earlier. If it were, he would have
started disseminating its fundamentals from his cradle. What was
then his religion previously? This hadith also answers this question:
2. "Stone in Mecca" cannot be anything but the Black Stone
(Hajr-E-Aswad) at Kaaba, the main temple of Mecca, which also
housed many other statues. The words: "used to pay me salutations"
clearly show that the Prophet Muhammad was a fairly regular visitor
to the temple before becoming the founder of Islam. I hardly need
say why people go to the temples.
Stone, as I shall discuss shortly, is an unshaped idol which still
adorns the Kaaba and forms a prominent part of the Islamic rituals.
The Prophet claims that this statue used to salute him. Since
salutation is a form of worship, Muhammad was inspired by idolatory
at Kaaba to be worshipped like an idol. Therefore, it was necessary
for him to replace other idols with his own person to perpetuate
Muhammadanism. He picked on Hinduisnn because it was the source
of the Arab idolatory. Am I making it up? Not at all. Here is
the evidence drawn from the most reliable source i.e. Encyclopaedia
is no mention of idolatory in the Rgveda, the principle of triad
or trimurti is clearly stated therein:
the seven-rayed, the triple-headed
Agni all perfect...." (R.V.1: CXLVI: 1)
Triad or Trimurti
is the fundamental principle of Hinduism. It means three-in-one
i.e., the reality has three faces yet in essence it is one. For
example, the most sacred Sanskrit word: ''Om" represents
the triad of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva as well as the Hindu belief
in three universes, and so on.
of the god Agni as having three faces is the basis of the three-headed
Shiva, who has been depicted as such on some seals found in the
Indus Valley. It should be borne in mind that Shiva is a Vedic
god, known as Rudra. He has been mentioned so often in the Rgveda
that it is hard to call him a minor deity. Though there is no
mention of image- worship in the Rgveda, the Shivite traditions
represent the tampered form of the Vedic doctrines the same way
as non- violence has become the basic principle of the modern
Hinduism though the Vedas and Gita prescribe fighting for a righteous
cause and declare it the greatest honour for a true Hindu. Dasa
and Dasyus, the epithets of contempt, were invented for these
dissenters, who were every bit as Aryan as anyone else. It shows
that the Rgveda is older than the Indus Valley Civilisation, and
this fact is also supported by the archaelogical excavations which
have taken place in the areas close to Rawalpindi (Pakistan) during
recent years. It demonstrates the antiquity of the Indian civilisation.
The idolatrous principle associated with the three-faced Shiva
became a fundamental doctrine of the Arab religion and culture
as triad in the same way as it is known in India the triad of
Vishnu-Brahma and Shiva. One has only to look at the Arab history
to realise this fact:
lofty claims of antiquity, the word "Arabs" does not
appear in historical sources until the middle of the First millenium
B.C. The Arabian peninsula had received cultural inspiration from
the Indus Valley many centuries earlier, but its religious influence
increased dramatically when changes took place in the Greco-Roman
trade routes to India during the first century B.C. The southern
Arabia i.e. Yemen had experienced the Indian faith for a long
time, but then its cultural effect shifted northward to the Hejaz,
land of the Prophet Muhammad.
In the south
Arabian kingdom, the principle of Triad or Trimurti was practised
extensively. For example, they had a triad of astral deities representing
the moon god, the sun goddess and the Venus god. The chief deity
of this triad was the moon god, who protected the principal cities.
However, it ought to be mentioned that the god EL, the Allah of
Mecca was not well known in the south. A triad of gods was also
found in Palmyra; it consisted of Bel, Yarhibol, a solar deity,
and Aglibol; a lunar deity. Belshamini (Lord of the Heavens) also
stood in a triadic relationship with the god Malakbel and Aglibol.
principle travelled from the south to Mecca. The Koran itself
describes the three daughters of Allah, namely, ar-Lat, al-Uzza
and Manat. It is worth mentioning that al- Lat in Palmyra was
equated with the Greek goddess of Athena; al-Uzza was a goddess
of the Nabataeans whereas Manat (Fate) was associated with Ihe
Greek Nemesis at Palmyra.
It is absolutely
misleading to say that Islam is free from idolatory. They have
an idol in the central Islamic shrine of Kaaba which marks the
climax of hajj because the faithful have to kiss it individually.
This is the Black Stone known as Hajr-E-Aswad, and according to
Ibn al-Kalbi, is a continuation of the Square Stone which was
central to the cult of al-Lat at at-Taif. Suidas, a Greek compiler
of encyclopaedia of C.A.D 1000 states that the Dhu-Shara at Petra
had a similar Black Stone on a gold base.
say that when Allah expelled Adam from paradise, He gave Adam
the Black Stone which is now built into the eastern wall of the
Kaaba and consists of three large pieces and some fragments, surrounded
by a stone ring and held together by a silver band. It was carried
away by members of the Qarmatian sects in 930. However, the above
evidence shows that the other Arab temples had similar black stones;
God would not have given Adam that many black stones to carry.
What was then, the reality behind a black stone in the Arab culture?
sacred object in Arabian religion was the stone, either a rock
outcropping or a large boulder, often a rectangular or black basaltic
stone without representative sculptural details." Such stones
were considered suitable material of worship to form part of the
house of a god i.e. temple. This is the reason that the Christian
writers of Byzantine during the 5th and 6th centuries called such
a stone Baetyl, which is derived from Bet'EI (House of the god).
Shape or no
shape, a stone which is an object of worship, is an idol. Moses
forbade images of any kind but Muhammad allowed to continue the
worship of the Black Stone in the Kaaba to make it the most sacred
shrine of Islam for national reasons. The idea was, if Arabia,
lost its political dignity, even then the Muslim nations must
bow before it. God lives everywhere in the world but the genius
af Muhammad seems to have permanently housed Him in Mecca for
the benefit of his own people, the Arabs.
also realise that an annual pilgrimage was a principle celebration
of the pre-Islamic Arabs. All tribes having the sarne god were
required to gather at his sanctuary and go around the baetyl in
a cermonial procession. The Prophet also retained this pre-Islamic
rite to benefit his nation financially. What relationship can
have this pagan ceremony with the true God?
usually forget that the Prophet was the founder of the Arab Empire;
it could not be built without structuring a really strong nation
which could batter, blast and bewilder the powers of the time
such as Iran and Byzantine. As other nations sought strength from
their gods through crying, cringing and crawling, the Prophet
wanted his people to sigh, solicit and supplicate him for inspiration,
might and victory. For this reason, he aspired to become an idol
himself, the object of adoration and worship. Adroitly, he projected
Allah as the God but became the driving force behind Him on the
Indian principle, which holds that there is a deity behind every
physical pehnomenon. However, he could achieve this ambition by
destroying other idols only. As long as they existed, his chances
of becoming the object of worship were minimal. Since India was
the home of idolatory, the Muslim warriors made this land the
target of their ambitions.
is not based on uniformity but multiety. It is because man is
endowed with free will. Without free choice humans cease to be
human. Therefore, Allah, if He is the real God, cannot order murder
of those who do not believe in him. In the case af India, it is
even more absurd because the Hindus had developed the concept
of Prajapati, the Lord of Creatures; He was more monotheistic
than the Arabian Allah whose divinity is shared by the Prophet,
his descendants and companions. His oneness is theoretical only.
Therefore, the Muslims had no quarrel with India on account of
a Universal God. Their dispute centred around Muhammad who declared
that faith without believing in him along with Allah, was useless.
The true God
is the champion of virtue, but the God, who sanctions murder,
rape, arson, slavery to make people acknowledge Him, falls far
short of the standard of righteousness. He is not only extremely
selfish but also impotent; if He is the Almighty Creator, He could
have surely created a believing and obedient man. Again, what
kind of God is He whose own satisfaction depends upon man's acknowledgement?
When man accepts Allah, He feels glad but when he rejects Allah,
He becomes sad. This concept of Godhead is nothing but the gross
contempt of Allah. The Muslims must realise that they do not adore
Allah but deplore Him.
is the search for peace of mind and moral perfection. Making innocent
children orphans, and turning happily married women into widows,
cannot be the command of God. Seeking suzerainty over other people
for usurping their freedom is no part of righteousness, but the
religion that the Prophet Muhammad invented, expressly sought
dominance over non-believers. The Koran repeatedly says:
it is who hath sent His messenger with
the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may
cause it to prevail over all religions, however much
the idolators may dislike." (Repentance: 33)
a pe-manent excuse for fighting non- believers, the Prophet abrogated
all other religions by declaring them, as false (Sahih Muslim,
chapter: LXXI) and then announced a permanent state of war against
them until they were completely uprooted (Sahih Muslim no. 31,
32 and 33). The whole purpose of acquiring dominance through carnage
is that the Prophet should have the largest following. (Sahih
Muslim no. 381)
for followers to satisfy the Prophetic urge of dominance brought
the Muslims to India, the home of polytheism.
search for the roots of polytheism not only leads to India but
also to the Indian glory whose radiance has been tarnished by
the dark clouds of history for a very long time, indeed. I am
not trying to be a misguided patriot who treats fiction as a fact
to mollify the painful national scars inflicted by the caprices
of history but a sober student of this subject, who is satisfied
with establishing the truth irrespective of its palatability.
aversion to writing, especially the reluctance to keeping historical
records, is the main cause of the Hindus lacking pride in their
traditions; it has heavily contributed to the lowering of national
aspirations and standards of honour. However, the truth cannot
be held back indefinitely. It is like the sunlight which eventually
breaks through the barriers of a dark eclipse. Until some fifty
years ago, we were told that the Hindus had been so primitive
in their ways that they never left the Indian soil. Thanks to
the modern technical advancement, which revealed that the Hindus
held a political sway over the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java,
Bali, Borneo, Champa (Annam), Cambodia, Burma, Siam and Indo-China.
The political hegemony of India over these lands extended for
about a 1000 years, while her cultural influence over all the
Far Eastern countries survives even today.
Yet, it is
only a part of the Indian glory. This picture becomes more vivid
when we study the European civilisation with reference to paganism.
Then, one can see that once European countries were dominated
by the Vedic culture, which is a peculiarity of India, and clearly
shows that the Aryans were the people of Indian origin, and not
the other way round, as we have been led to believe by historians.
If this were not true, one could not find the Europeans observing
Asvamedha i.e., the horse-sacrifice, closely associated with the
Vedas. On a 5,000 year old Harappan seal, we find an ithyphallic
figure seated in a yogic position, which is the prototype of Shiva,
also known as Pasupati, Lord of Beasts. We also notice this figure
(Shiva as Pasupati) on the interior of the cauldron, which is
in the Danish National Museum, Copenhagen, and belongs to the
2nd century. Shiva, a Vedic god, would not have reached the Western
lands without the Hindus themselves. That the Europeans took their
polytheistic faith from India is proved by the triadic principle
of representing godhead as discussed earlier. Having dealt with
this issue fully in my unpublished work, "The Wonders of
The Rgveda," I need not go into detail here hut ought to
point out that even today there are thirty images of a three-headed
god extant on the European Continent. That is the mighty Shiva
the Greek mythology with that of India, we realise that Zeus,
the Chief God of Greece, is none other than Indra, the Chief God
of India. There is abundant evidence which demonstrates that the
Greco-Roman polytheism is firmly rooted in the Indian doctrine
of idol- worship. The Christian writers refer to it as paganism
As Islam challenged
idolatory in India, Christianity declared war on it in the West.
However, the two tales have different endings. Christianity succeeded
in smashing idolatory in the West, and whatever persists in the
Roman Catholic Church is just a shadow of the original but it
has survived in India despite persistent persecution at the hands
of the foreign predators and has risen once again with a vigour,
virility and vivacity unknown to any religious movement. On the
contrary, Islam has ceased to have any relevance with the Koranic
principles; it has become a slogan of the power- seekers, and
this fact is fully vouched for by the recent histories of Palcistan
Why do these
monotheistic religions i.e., Islam and Christianity seek destruction
these religions are dictatorial in essence, and violently oppose
the principle of People's Power. They both claim that the government
belongs to God and must be run by the theocrats i .e., the clergy
and the Mullah. Idea of the Oneness of God is appealing and logical
but presenting God as a power-maniac, is the gross insult to Him.
To start with, presentation of monotheism through the exclusive-
agency of a prophet is a big joke, indeed. No matter, what the
prophet calls himself, he is an equal partner in Godhead right
from the outset; for example, belief in Allah alone is totally
useless unless Muhammad is also included in it. If God is absolute
and Almighty, then believing in the Prophet is a glaring proof
of Shirk or polytheism. Not only that, a prophet always bestows
divinity on the members of his family, and thus creates a pantheon.
Just look at the Sayyads of the Indian sub-continent, who are
believed to possess intercessory powers for their Muslim followers.
What applies to the Muslims, is equally true of the Christians.
The Popes became infallible despite the fact that many of them
wer just mundane rulers, and had mistresses and illegitimate children.
The Christ rose to become the Son of God, and many Christians
believe that He was God-incarnate.
Why do these
so-called monotheists oppose polytheism? It is because monotheism
serves the purpose of dominance-urge by concentrating power in
one person. It is the representation of human jealousy for personal
worship and glory. On the contrary, polytheism advocates belief
in many gods, who happen to be equally sacred. This doctrine distributes
power from person to people. This is the reason that the Vedic
society calls for electing a king if he fails to govern according
to the dharma, or leaves no issue to follow him.
have been perpetrated to please God than to suppressing Devil.
Destruction of the Indian idols was partly an exercise of the
Muslim invaders to satisfy their lust for power and wealth. This
is what brought Mahmud Ghaznavi to India repeatedly. Though his
raids were abominable, yet I am reluctant to praise my Hindu ancestors
who defied the Vedic Principle of Power and became the devotees
of Ahimsa, an utterly non-Hindu doctrine. I find it hard to bear
this most painful disgrace but accept the fact that it is the
destiny of a sparrow to be humbled by a falcon. One ought to know
that Falcon, being a Vedic bird, is a symbol of the Ksatriya qualities.
The Hindus brought misery on themselves by acting as sparrows.
The nation which loses its hawkish virtue is bound to be molested,
mutilated and murdered by the Messengers of perdition such as
Mahmud Ghaznavi, Juna Khan and Feroz Shah Tughlaq.
acted likewise against polytheism in the West. They closed down
pagan temples and confiscated their property. Constantine discouraged
pagan sacrifices; Constaus went even further to forbid them on
pain of death. Constantius ordered the closing of all pagan temples
and rituals. Those who disobeyed, perished at his command. However,
these Byzantinian Emperors were succeeded by Flavius Claudius
Julianus, who was born in 332. He was not only a competent administrator
and soldier but also a philosopher. He ridiculed the basic tenets
of monotheism and justified use of idols in worship. He thought
of the deities of polytheism as impersonal forces and did not
believe in their anthropomorphic forms. He preferred to be called
the priest of polytheism instead of an emperor. He was able to
reverse the tide of Christianity, at least during his reign, by
withdrawing state subsidies from the Church and closing to the
Christians, chairs of rhetoric, philosophy, and literature in
the universities. He insisted that these subjects should be taught
by the pagans only. He went even further: he permitted demolition
of the Christian Churches, which had been built on the lands seized
from the pagan shrines. He ordered reconstruction of the pagan
temples and imposed levies on the Christians to make full reparations
for the damage that had been caused to the pagan institutions
during preceding reigns of the Christian emperors. His orders
provoked riots but he stood firm, and succeeded.
Here is an
example for the Hindus to follow. Polytheism represents the Hindu
ethos. They shall not be able to live honourably without sticking
to their basic way of life, especially when it harms nobody. Though
I am not an idolator, I support the human right to worship as
one thinks fit.
urge is the biggest predator of human rights. Though I have said
enough to explain it, yet its description is not complete. It
has another aspect; human psychology is polar like physical objects,
which have negative and positive sides. As humans are naturally
kind and curt, sagacious and stupid, they are also dominant and
submissive. Thus, dominance and submissiveness are the opposite
poles of human disposition. They both have their virtues, but
when dominance has no purpose except enjoyment of power at the
expense of people's honour, safety and freedom, then it becomes
the worst evil that there can be. On the other hand, submission
without fighting the dominance-seeker or aggressor is even greater
vice because it makes the dominant or aggressor a lot more daring,
devilish and destructive. A wolf without pugnacity is just a lamb
- only fit for the dining table. The nation which loses nerve
to defend its honour, becomes a football to be played with by
every Tom, Dick and Harry. By making Ahimsa i.e, non-violence
the uay of life, Hindus have made themselves a tempting target
for any aggressor. This is not a religious virtue but a sign of
profanity and a shameful exercise to enshrine a most despicable
vice as a splendid virtue. Gods do not want cowards for devotees;
they bless the Vedic patriots who fight with a sense of honour.
a footnote to the above discussion, I may add that this thesis
agitated my mind for a long time but I resisted the temptation
of putting it on paper because I did not want to open up the old
wounds. After reading works of some patriotic Hindu scholars,
I realised my mistake; their cuts have not healed but become deeper.
Though it is painful, it is a sign of renaissance - a new life,
because it is only the senseless who forget the humiliation of
1000 years; the lively seek rejuvination through honourable conduct
based on determination and the will to succeed.
views are totally different, I salute the Indian writers who have
written on this subject. Among them is the intellectual giant,
Sri Ram Swarup, whose piety forbids him to pass judgement on the
atrocious conduct of the foreign iconoclasts. Sri Sita Ram Goel
is another scholar whose patriotic protests echo through the flourish
of his pen and desperately seek the restoration of Hindu ascendancy.
Sri G. M. Jagtiani, the Maratha mystic, is a Vedic preacher, whose
writings are expressive of deep grief, which seeks relief through
an immortal national glory. Sri A. Ghosh of Texas, is the Ksatriya
stalwart who wonders what happened to the cutting edge of his
ancestral sword. He will do anything to revive the martial character
of his people. Next page
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