Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Reflections on Verses of the Quran on Religious Diversity

Quran Lays Stress on Respect of Common Religious Values Main Points: 1. Every community was sent a messenger. 2. Every religious community has been prescribed a different way of worship. 3. Every religious community has been given a different Shariah. 4. Evil communities were destroyed. 5. Fasting, animal sacrifice and pilgrimage are common in different religions. ------- By New Age Islam Staff Writer 25 October 2022 The holy Quran is not an isolated book but an extension and reminder of what was revealed earlier. The prophets were also the part of a chain of messengers to carry forward the message of God. God wanted diversity in every walk of life and so He also wanted diversity in religious observances. That's why He revealed different ways of life and shariah for different communities. And for every community God sent a messenger so that he could convey His message in their own language. "For every community, there is a messenger."(Yunus: 47) "For each of you We have appointed a law and a way of life. (Shira' and Minhaj)". (Al Maidah: 48) We find the truth of these verses in the diversity of religions and their religious practices in the present world. God says in the Quran that animal sacrifice, namaz and fasting have been prescribed for every religion. You who believe fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God."(Al Baqarah: 183) "And for every religion, We have appointed a rite (of sacrifice) that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals. But your god is one God: submit then your wills to Him and give thou the good tiding to those who humble themselves. "(Hajj: 34) We see that the rite of animal sacrifice and fasting is observed by the followers of Vedic religion in India. Moreover, the practice of Maun Vrat is also popular among them. We find mention of Maun Vrat in the Quran on two occasions. Hadhrat Mariam is instructed to observe 'silence' when people would ask about her pregnancy. She is instructed to tell them that she was observing 'Rahman Ka Roza' and so she would not reply to them. The second mention of Maun Vrat is in the verse about Hadhrat Zakaria when he prays to God for a child. He is instructed to observe silence for three days. The Quran tells us that evil communities were destroyed. They were destroyed because of their disbelief, corrupt ways of life and moral and economic evils. The nation of Aad, Samud, Lot a.s., pharaoh, Mohenjo-Daro and many other communities were destroyed because of their evil ways. However, the nations of revealed religions have survived. "For every community there is an appointed term, when their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment." One verse of the Quran says that believers among Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabians will be rewarded in the Hereafter. And in another verse it says that the Mushrikeen among the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Majusi and Sabians will be judged by Allah on the Day of Judgment. "Indeed the believers, Jews, Christians and Sabians -- whoever truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good will have their reward with their Lord and there will be no fear for them nor will they grieve."(Al Baqarah: 62 and Al Maidah: 69) "And those who are Muslims, and Jews and Sabians and Christians and Majusi and those who commit shirk indeed Allah will judge them on the Day of Judgment. Before God is everything."(Al Hajj: 17) All the above-quoted verses give good reasons to believe that the followers of the Vedic dharma, generally known as Hindus are one of the communities mentioned in the Quran. They have survived along with the followers of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism etc. Evil nations were destroyed. They observe fasting, animal sacrifice and Maun Vrat mentioned in the Quran. They even undertake religious pilgrimage to holy sites. There are ample evidences to show that the people of India were followers of numerous messengers and prophets calked rishis. Some of them are Rishi Atharva to whom Atharva Veda was revealed. Other rishis whose names are known are rishi Angira, rishi Angiras, rishi Satyavah and rishi Vashistha. Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi pointed out the graves of nine prophets on a hillock in Bras in Indian Punjab, some three kilometres from Sirhind. The graves of Hadhrat Sheth a.s. and his family members are said to be situated in Ayodhya in India. Graves of some prophets belonging to the family of Bani Israel have reportedly been discovered in Gujarat in Pakistan. Obviously, those prophets spoke in Sanskrit and other regional languages. The Vedas and Upanishads preach monotheism. It cannot be denied that over a long period of time many innovative practices might have crept in Vedic dharma but it cannot also be denied that they are nations of prophets raised for their guidance and salvation. Buddhism is said to be reform movement, within the Hindu dharma and not a new religion according to Indologists. Prophet Nuh pbuh (Maha Nuh or Manuh) lived in the coastal area of India. A town in the state of Haryana in India is called Nuh. It is close to Bras where graves of prophets are situated. Tannur is a coastal town in Kerala which is mentioned in the Quran from where the Great Deluge (Mahaparlayawan) started. The Great Deluge is mentioned in Bible, Hindu scriptures and the Quran. The caste system prevalent in India during prophet Nuh's India is evident in the following verse: "And We sent Noah towards his people (and he, said) that I warn you in clear words that do not worship except Allah; I fear for a day of severe torment on you, then said the disbelieving chiefs of his nation, ' we see you only a man like us and we do not see any one following you except the lowliest (Arzal) among you without giving it much thought'."(Hud: 27) All this indicates that the people of India largely known as Hindus are communities of various prophets. Therefore, Muslims need to reorient their religious attitude towards Hindus and other religious communities of India and abroad. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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