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Islam and Pluralism (19 Jan 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Swami Vivekananda And Sri Aurobindo's Contribution Towards Regeneration of India

 

 

 

 

 

THE INDIAN MINDSCAPE:

Swami Vivekananda And Sri Aurobindo's Contribution Towards Regeneration of India

 

By Jagmohan 

Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo were the two towering figures of the Indian renaissance who contributed most to the regeneration of the Indian mindscape and the consequent reflowering of the Indian culture. About the former, whose birth anniversary was observed on 12 January, the latter had recorded: “British rule has been the record success in history in the hypnosis of a nation. It persuaded us to live in a ‘death of the will’, creating in ourselves the condition of morbid weakness the hypnotist desired, until the master of a mightier hypnosis laid his finger on India’s eyes and cried, ‘Awake’. Then only was the spell broken, the slumbering mind realised itself and the dead soul lived again.”

 

This awakening created a great turning point in Indian history. For about a thousand years after the fall of Harsha’s empire, decay and degeneration had set in, and the Indian mind had suffered a long spell of drought and desertification with a few meadows of green appearing here and there.

 

The lofty thoughts produced by the once powerful and profound mind were submerged in the desert sand of the times. And society was plagued with scores of evils ~ superstitions, fatalism, caste oppression, sati, child marriage, callousness towards women, etc.

 

In the early phase of British rule, an influential section of leadership even attempted to bury the few strands of the Indian culture that were still visible from underneath the desert sand. Lord Macaulay made the intentions clear in his well-known Minute of 1835: “We must have a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” He went to the extent of saying: “Who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library is worth the whole native literature of India.” At that time, even a large section of educated Hindus openly denounced Hinduism and said that they were ashamed of their origin.

 

It was in those dreary and depressing circumstances that Swami Vivekananda appeared on the scene like a hurricane, blowing out the desert sand and bringing to surface the treasures of Indian thought and philosophy. In a voice ringing with poetic perception and passion, he declared: “Here is the same India whose soil has been trodden by the feet of the greatest sages that ever lived. Here first arose the doctrines of the immortality of the soul, the existence of a supervising God, an immanent God in nature and in man ... We are the children of such a country.”

 

Such stirring declarations, made by Swami Vivekananda, during his extensive tours in the country, generated a wave of self-confidence in the nation and also a will to stand up and be counted. An intellectual and spiritual environment conducive to the growth of the freedom movement was created.

 

Being a cultured savant par excellence, Swami Vivekananda did not denounce the western civilisation or the Indian baiters like Macaulay but showed them the deep chinks in their civilisational armoury: “You, Christians, who are fond of sending out Christian missionaries to save the souls of heathens, why do you not try to save their bodies from starvation. It is an insult to a starving man to offer him religion.”

 

At the same time in a dignified tone and tenor, Swami Vivekananda brought home to the outside world how superior was the pattern of Indian thought and how unique was the Hindu religion. In his famous address to the Chicago World Parliament of Religions, delivered in September 1893, he expounded the essence of Indian civilisation and culture with unmatched eloquence and clarity: “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance... The Hindus regard all religions as so many attempts of the human soul to realise the Almighty, determined by the conditions of its birth and association and each of these marked a stage of progress.

 

Every other religion lays down certain fixed dogmas and tries to force society to adopt them. It places before society only one coat which must fit Jack and John and Henry, all alike. If it does not fit John or Henry, he must go without a coat to cover his body”.

 

The impact of his speech was tremendous. Indian civilisation and culture was placed on the highest pedestal. So too was the prestige of Indians. This is evident from a comment in the American press: “We send missionaries to Vivekananda’s people. It would be more fitting that they should send missionaries to us.” Later, reflecting upon Swami Vivekananda’s visit to America, Sri Aurobindo observed: “It was the first visible sign that India was awake, and she was awake not only to survive but also to conquer.”

 

Sri Aurobindo expanded the ambit of Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts and took the movement for cultural regeneration to greater heights. Functioning from his somewhat secluded ashram in Pondicherry, he served the country as a powerful lighthouse of inspiration, showing to its people the right way ~ the way of emancipating the soul of India and building a great future for her on the foundation of her great past. He infused confidence in the otherwise diffident nation by constantly reminding the people: “Ours is the eternal land, the eternal people, the eternal religion, whose strength, greatness and holiness may be overloaded but never, even for a moment, cease”. Time and again, he said: “India of the ages is not dead, nor has she spoken the last creative word; she lives and has still something to do for herself and the human people.”

 

What did Sri Aurobindo mean when he talked of India’s destiny and India’s religion? He himself provided the answer: “When it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatana Dharma that shall rise. When it is said that India shall be great, it is the Sanatana Dharma that shall be great. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion because it is the universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and limited purpose.”

 

Such views, propagated through his extensive writings, thrilled a good part of the nation and created new confidence, new urges and a new sense of mission. They also made the Western world take greater interest in India and look at her with greater respect.

 

Sri Aurobindo wanted Poorna Swaraj, complete freedom, for India. This, he thought, was absolutely necessary not only for the well-being of the country but also for the well-being of the rest of the world. She alone could “free the world from its enslavement to materialism and to point out the way towards a dynamic integration of Spirit and Matter and to make life perfect with Divine Perfection”.

Unfortunately, only a few strands of the great movement for the cultural regeneration of India are visible now. Today, she is without any great inspiration, without any elevating philosophy which could serve as a guiding star for activities in various walks of life.

 

The writer is a former Governor of J&K and a former Union minister.

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=3&theme=&usrsess=1&id=240509

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Swami Vivekananda’s speech

 

By Madhu

 

Swami Vivekananda (January 12 1863 -July 4 1902), whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta (Narendranath Dut-tta), was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He is a major figure in the history of the Hindu reform movements.

 

 While he is widely credited with having uplifted his own nation, India, he simultaneously introduced Yoga and Vedanta to America and England with his seminal lectures and private discourses on Vedanta philosophy. Vivekananda was the first known Hindu Sage to come to the West, where he introduced Eastern thought at the World’s Parliament of Religions, in connection with the World’s Fair in Chicago, in 1893. Here, his first lecture, which started with this line “Sisters and Brothers of America,” made the audience clap for two minutes just to the address, for prior to this seminal speech, the audience was always used to this opening address: “Ladies and Gentlemen”. It was this speech that catapulted him to fame by his wide audiences in Chicago and then later everywhere else in America, including far-flung places such as Memphis Boston, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.

 

The following is a link  that seems has Audio of Swami Vivekananda’s Speech at Chicago in 1893:

 

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamPlayVideo.aspx?Film=NAI100024519

 

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THE DISCOVERY OF INDIA 

by: Jawaharlal Nehru

(Excerpts about Swami Vivekananda)

 

  About the same period as Swami Dayananda, a different type of person lived in Bengal and his life influenced many of the new English-educated classes. He was Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a simple man, no scholar but a man of faith, and not interested in social reform as such. He was in a direct line with Chaitanya and other Indian saints.

Essentially religious and yet broad-minded, in his search for self-realization he went to Moslem and Christian mystics and lived with them for years, following their strict routines. He settled down at Dakshineshwar near Calcutta, and his extraordinary personality and character gradually attracted attention.

 

People who went to visit him, and some who were even inclined to scoff at this simple man of faith, were powerfully influenced, and many who had been completely westernized felt that here was something they had missed. Stressing the essentials of religious faith, he linked up the various aspects of the Hindu religion and philosophy and seemed to represent all of them in his own person. Indeed he brought within his fold other religions also.

 

Opposed to all sectarianism, he emphasized that all roads lead to truth. He was like some of the saints we read about in the past records of Asia and Europe; difficult to understand in the context of modern life, and yet fitting into India's many-collared pattern and accepted and revered by many of her people as a man with a touch of the divine fire about him. His personality impressed itself on all who saw him, and many who never saw him have been influenced by the story of his life. Among these latter is Romain Rolland, who has written a story of his life and that of his chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda.

 

Vivekananda, together with his brother disciples, founded the non-sectarian Ramakrishna Mission of service. Rooted in the past and full of pride in India's heritage, Vivekananda was yet modern in his approach to life's problems and was a kind of bridge between the past of India and her present. He was a powerful orator in Bengali and English and a graceful writer of Bengali prose and poetry. He was a fine figure of a man, imposing, full of poise and dignity, sure of himself and his mission, and at the same time full of a dynamic and fiery energy and a passion to push India forward. He came as a tonic to the depressed and demoralized Hindu mind and gave it self-reliance and some roots in the past. He attended the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, spent over a year in the U.S.A., travelled across Europe going as far as Athens and Constantinople, and visited Egypt, China, and Japan. Wherever he went, he created a minor sensation not only by his presence but by what he said and by how he said it.

 

Having seen this Hindu sanyasin once, it was difficult to forget him or his message. In America he was called the ``cyclonic Hindu.'' He was himself greatly influenced by his travels in Western countries; he admired British perseverance, and the vitality and spirit of equality of the American people. ``America is the best field in the world to carry on any idea,'' he wrote to a friend in India. But he was not impressed by the manifestations of religion in the West, and his faith in the Indian philosophical and spiritual background became firmer. India, in spite of her degradation, still represented to him the Light.

 

He preached the monism of the Advaita philosophy of the Vedanta, and was convinced that only this could be the future religion of thinking humanity. For the Vedanta was not only spiritual but rational and in harmony with scientific investigations of external nature. ``This universe has not been created by any extra-cosmic God, nor is it the work of any outside genius. It is self-creating, self-dissolving, self-manifesting, One Infinite Existence, the Brahma.''

 

The Vedanta ideal was of the solidarity of man and his inborn divine nature; to see God in man is the real Godvision; man is the greatest of all beings. But the abstract Vedanta must become living-poetic-in everyday life; out of hopelessly intricate mythology must come concrete moral forms; and out of bewildering Yogi-ism must come the most scientific and practical psychology.'' India had fallen because she had narrowed herself, gone into her shell and lost touch with other nations, and thus sunk into a state of ``mummified'' and ``crystalled'' civilization.

 

Caste, which was necessary and desirable in its early forms, and meant to develop individuality and freedom, had become a monstrous degradation, the opposite of what it was meant to be, and had crushed the masses. Caste was a form of social organization which was and should be kept separate from religion. Social organizations should change with the changing times. Passionately Vivekananda condemned the meaningless metaphysical discussions and arguments about ceremonials, and especially the touch-me-notism of the upper castes. ``Our religion is in the kitchen. Our God is the cooking-pot, and our religion is: `don't touch me, I am holy.''

 

He kept away from politics and disapproved of the politicians of his day. But again and again he laid stress on the necessity for liberty and equality and the raising of the masses. ``Liberty of thought and action is the only condition of life, of growth and well-being. Where it does not exist, the man, the race, the nation must go.'' ``The only hope of India is from the masses. The upper classes are physically and morally dead.'' He wanted to combine Western progress with India's spiritual background: ``Make a European society with India's religion....

 

Become an Occidental of occidentals in your spirit of equality, freedom, work and energy, and at the same time a Hindu to the very backbone in religious culture and instincts.'' Progressively Vivekananda grew more international in outlook: ``Even in Politics and Sociology, problems that were only national twenty years ago can no longer be solved on national grounds only. They are assuming huge proportions, gigantic shapes. They can only be solved when looked at in the broader light of international grounds. International organizations, international combinations, international laws are the cry of the day. That shows solidarity.

 

 In science, every day they are coming to a similar broad view of matter.'' And again: ``There cannot be any progress without the whole world following in the wake, and it is becoming every day clearer that the solution of any problem can never be attained on racial, or national, or narrow grounds. Every idea has to become broad till it covers the whole of this world, every aspiration must go on increasing till it has engulfed the whole of humanity, nay the whole of life, within its scope.''

 

 All this fitted in with Vivekananda's view of the Vedanta philosophy, and he preached this from end to end of India. ``I am thoroughly convinced that no individual or nation can live by holding itself apart from the community of others, and wherever such an attempt has been made under false ideas of greatness, policy or holiness-the result has always been disastrous to the secluding one....

 

The fact of our isolation from all the other nations of the world is the cause of our degeneration and its only remedy is getting back into the current of the rest of the world. Motion is the sign of life.'' He once wrote: ``I am a socialist not because I think it is a perfect system, but half a loaf is better than no bread. The other systems have been tried and found wanting. Let this one be tried, if for nothing else, for the novelty of the thing.''

 

Vivekananda spoke of many things, but the one constant refrain of his speech and writing was abhaya - be fearless, be strong. For him man was no miserable sinner but a part of divinity; why should he be afraid of anything? ``If there is a sin in the world it is weakness; avoid all weakness, weakness is sin, weakness is death.''

 

That had been the great lesson of the Upanishads. Fear breeds evil and weeping and wailing. There had been enough of that, enough of softness. What our country now wants are muscles of iron and nerves of steel, gigantic wills which nothing can resist, whith can penetrate into the mysteries and the secrets of the universe, and will accomplish their purpose in any fashion, even if it meant going down to the bottom of the ocean and meeting death face to face.'' He condemned occultism, and mysticism... these creepy things; there may be great truths in them, but they have nearly destroyed us....

 

And here is the test of truth - anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, truth is all-knowledge....

 

These mysticisms, in spite of some grains of truth in them, are generally weakening....

 

Go back to your Upanishads, the shining, the strengthening, the bright philosophy, and part from all these mysterious things, all these weakening things. Take up this philosophy; the greatest truths are the simplest things in the world, simple as your own existence.'' And beware of superstition. ``I would rather see everyone of you rank atheists than superstitious fools, for the atheist is alive, and you can make something of him. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softening, degradation has seized upon the life....

 

Mysterymongering and superstition are always signs of weakness.’ Most of these extracts have been taken from Lectures from Colombo to Almora by Swami Vivekananda (1933) and Letters of Swami Vivekananda (1942) , both published by the Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora, Himalayas. In the Letters, P-390, there is a remarkable letter written by Vivekananda to a Moslem friend. In the course of this he says:

 

``Whether we call it Vedantism or any ism, the truth is that Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought and the only position from which one can look upon all religions and sects with love. We believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity. The Hindus may get the credit of arriving at it earlier than other races, they being an older race than either the Hebrew or the Arab; yet practical Advaitism, which looks upon and behaves to all mankind as one's own soul, is yet to be developed among the Hindus universally.

 

``On the other hand our experience is that if ever the followers of any religion approach to this equality in an appreciable degree in the plane of practical work-a-day life-it may be quite unconscious generally of the deeper meaning and the underlying principle of such conduct, which the Hindus as a rule so clearly perceive - it is those of Islam and Islam alone....

 

``For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam.-Vedanta brain and Islam body-is the only hope.

 

``I see in my mind's eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.''

 

This letter is dated Almora, 10th June, 1898 - footnote

 

So Vivekananda thundered from Cape Comorin on the southern tip of India to the Himalayas, and he wore himself out in the process, dying in 1902 when he was thirty-nine years of age.

Article URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-pluralism/swami-vivekananda-and-sri-aurobindo-s-contribution-towards-regeneration-of-india/d/1132

 




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   26


  • It is true that no religious is perfect and free from flaw. Man is progressing from low to High.So in every stage of evolution there would be some darkness/doubt which makes it necessary for further innovation ,research . In Islam Mohanned and Koran are the untimatum.similarly in Christianity It is Jesus and Bible. That is really a stagnation. But in Hinduism no religious Book holds supreme.There is always scope for innovation and new vedas.The people would accept any Book if it has merrit.

    By Dr.A.Anburaj - 10/1/2013 2:57:26 AM



  • "Fanatics wherever they are should be wiped out for welfare of humanity." Loved this statement very much Dear Lekh Raj Gogiaji. I do not know, where you are and would it be possible for you or not to be able to attend that kind of classes, but I know of one such class which you might like to attend. The classes are attended by Muslims and Non-Muslims alike and is organized by Centre for Peace and Spirituality, in New Delhi at Nizamuddin, where about 90 years old Maulana Wahiduddin Khan presents his understanding of Islam. The remarkable thing about him is that he is a perfect pacifist- a die-hard believer in peace, and 180 degree opposite in his approach towards religion in comparison with any other Maulvi and Maulanas. You may check for the website by his name or by the organisations name.
    By sadaf - 3/13/2013 8:35:18 AM



  • I (aged 73 years) was attracted to New Age Islam (NAI) while surfing the net a few weeks back.Was impressed by the presentation very much. Due to age factor concentration level is now on the lower side.Even otherwise I do not have deep knowledge of the religion in which I was born.  I am only concerned with humanistic approach of all the religions. The NIA has changed my notions(which were NOT negative) about Islam. I wish some regular class room lectures for the persons like me are held periodically at a place nearer to the place we live. Fanatics wherever they are should be wiped out for welfare of humanity. Thanks again
    By LEKH RAJ GOGIA - 9/21/2012 12:33:23 PM



  • Dear JB, I am hindu . And also, by your arguement you also hindu. Please look at my previous comment that no religion is free from flaws including Hinduisam.Then, If  we say Ramayana and Mahabharata is free from flaw,then we become hypocrities. we may be athiest but not be hypocrities.Eventhough, Ramayana , Mahabharata and Bible having historical events, those books are nor free from flaws. Anyone who had knowledge in those books like me can prove it.
    Vishnu  Puran greatest book of Hindus, clearly told that kaliyug is full of confusions. All religous books have flaws and knowledage. only ourselves have discriminiation  to segregate things.
     Given importance to humanity this is first than any other.
    By mani - 8/19/2012 3:02:25 AM



  • @ dear JB and Mani, If you want to address me kindly address as mohd yunus(2). There are two persons of the same name. Other is the Mohammed Yunus(1) the writer in newageislam.
    By mohd yunus - 8/19/2012 2:48:10 AM



  • @ JB and Mani
    Only Mohammed Yunus(1) and few others are capable to understand the Quran.
    It is total failure on part of Allah to provide clear guidance. What do you say if shortcomings become Miracles?
    Why not understanding of Maududi, hasan al Banna, Abdullah Wahab, Reza khan Brailvi, Asharaf Ali Thanvi, Sufis, Motazalis is not acceptable. If acceptable then what is the need of new?
    Nasser Sahib bought logical fallacies in my comments. I don't understand logical arguments and fallacies. I need simple understanding not allegorical one. Quran tells us that allegorical verses are to make some readers confused (not for contemplation).
    There are some words in the Quran Alif Laam Meem, Kaff ha Ya Ain Swad etc. Their meaning is not clear even to Prophet. Muslim's answer is " Only Allah knows their meaning. Guidance is not depended on these words so don't put emphasis on these words"
    Why these are included if they are not for guidance in a clear guide book. Can future make them understandable? Will there be a new prophet? Impossible.
    Will you include irrelevant psychological terminology into the physics book?
    Mohammed Yunus (1), you both and others can write a better book in better style on respective subjects.
    You might have come across the fact some books are written so well you wonder Aaha! what a clear and simple book.
    when I read a book "The Unholy Legacy of Abraham" by G.M. Woerlee I fell in love of writer.
    However it is subjective matter. Beauty of Quran's style should be objective as it is claimed to be guide book for mankind for every time and place.

    We are deaf and dumb in Quranic terminology. Allah has sealed our hearts so no amount of counseling can benefit. What we want to understand Allah is not ready and what Allah wants to make us understand we are not capable.
    Have a nice day.

    By mohd yunus - 8/18/2012 11:04:21 PM



  • We are not finding faults. Suppose I contemplate on Quranic verses and find conclusion contrary to my dear Mohammed Yunus(1) conclusion. Then what?
    It seems that scholars are only capable to understand the Quran while Guidance is mandatory for all in order to get Allah's grace.
    History tells that lot of people (Arabics and non-Arabics) understood the Quran but reached to different conclusions. Am I wrong?
    Sir Mohammed Yunus(1) has dedicated his full time to understand the Quran. He wrote a book too. Few people may agree with his understanding.

    This is the clear evidence that Quran is not a clear book for guidance. It is not possible for every person to understand the Quran. What is the guarantee your understanding is right and others understanding false.
    I ask why clues not clear guidance.
    Because Allah wants to fill the hell He created in advance.

    What do you say about Allah says in the Quran "I will fill the hell with Jins and ins"
    I would like to read his book because I want to check in what style he has written his book.
    Is it in Quranic style(haphazard) which is also a Miracle of Quran in the Eye of Majority of Muslims.
    He is highly educated in Chemical Engineering, retired from a very reputed post. I ask how many bookshe read written in Quranic style. He might have contemplated on some chemistry topics. For the benefit of students he should write a book on his understanding in Quranic style.
    Why the Islamic scholars are writing books in a style contrary to style of Quran which is highest exalted style (miraculous).
    He is requested to write a book in Quranic style on any known (scientific non-scientific) topic. His book will be counted as A Miracle.
    Again he will say wrong questions bother me.

    Why Sant Vinoba Bhave and Gandhi and some other? Did they embrace Islam? Why not Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Ibn Waraq, Swami Dayanad?
    Muslims are trying hard to find what is not in the Quran. Period


    By mohd yunus - 8/18/2012 10:22:31 PM



  • Dear Mani/JB

    These are the major bottom lines of the Qur’anic message (I am speaking from a position of authority as co-author of a duly approved/ authenticated exegetic work) that I am extracting from some of my recently posted articles.

    1. Each member of the universal faith of Islam, whether he or she is a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or has any other faith not explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an because of its historic context, will be judged solely on the basis of his/her deeds and none can claim any spiritual supremacy over the others.

    Re: Muslims Have NO Qur’anic Basis for Religious Supremacism, writes Islamic scholar Muhammad Yunus for New Age Islam

    http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/muslims-have-no-qur’anic-basis-for-religious-supremacism,-writes-islamic-scholar-muhammad-yunus-for-new-age-islam/d/5802

    2. In light of the Qur’an’s recognition of the divinity of all religions (1 above), and its unqualified sanction of religious freedom, there can be no Qur’anic basis whatsoever for any punishment, let alone capital punishment, for changing religion or apostasy

    Islam does not Prescribe Any Punishment for Apostasy: Muhammad Yunus Defends his Contention

    http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/islam-does-not-prescribe-any-punishment-for-apostasy--muhammad-yunus-defends-his-contention/d/6026

    3. A good muslim (generic term) is a believer in God - regardless of religion, race, cast, creed or affiliation with a spiritual fraternity, who is active in good deeds, is conscious of his social, moral and ethical responsibilities and preserves against all that is gross, immoral and unjust. Since God alone can judge human’s faith (iman), deeds (‘aml) and moral uprightness (taqwa), a non-Muslim in the divisive human language can be a better muslim in divine record than a Muslim (follower of Prophet Muhammad). Hence the Muslims have absolutely no basis to call the non-Muslims as kafirs (denier of truth), individually or collectively

    The broader notion of din al-Islamis inclusive of all monotheistic faiths.

    http://newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/by-muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/the-broader-notion-of-din-al-islam-is-inclusive-of-all-monotheistic-faiths/d/8054

    4. The Qur’anic declaration: “O People! We have created you as male and female, and made you into races and communities* for you to get to know each other. The noblest among you near God are those of you who are the most heedful (atqakum). Indeed God is All-Knowing and Informed” (49:13).

    5. “It (the Qur’an) calls upon the Muslims to believe in all previous prophets (10:47),1 and the previously revealed scriptures, and to make no distinction between any of the Prophets (4:152).2 It also affirms that all the messengers are not mentioned in the Qur’an (40:78),3 and declares that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets.4”

    - Ch. 2.2 Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publication, Maryland, USA- 2009.

    Please read your scripture seek its best meaning, remind yourself that the Hindus were regarded as fellow believers until Aurangzeb’s era and think what might have been the demography of India had the Spaniard and conquered it a time they had the unique advantage of gun powder and absolute disregard for non-Christian life.

    There are no doubt there are extremely bad Muslims and bigoted kings like Aurangzeb but there are also extremely good Muslims as is the case in all religions. I know you have said nothing to offend my feeling but there are commentators out to demonize the faith, the Prophet and the community. If you think, I am afraid of the mullas, wait for my next article please.
    Kindly do not confuse mohd yunus with me: Yunus (1).


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/18/2012 10:19:31 PM



  • Great example Shri Md. Yonus. I totally agree with your example with a human touch. My fundamental problem with the Quran is what you explained in detail. The Quran was composed in a way an average human will do and yet Muslims claim Quran is the unadulterated word of God, when I find God is not smart enough to make his "final" revelation to mankind through his "final" prophet in a more careful manner. I find it hard to believe God acted with all the human frailties in a haphazard manner. Whereas if you look at the Ramayana and Mahabharata you will see clear chronological history, precise mention of the dates of event highlighted by astronomical events, eclipses, geographical description and these were compiled a few thousand yrs before the Quran.

    I wonder if Muslims ever think about these things. My guess is they are threatened by the mullahs not to question these things. Again, if God's purpose is to help humans find the truth from time to time, why should he make Muhammad claim he is the final prophet when apparent that a lot of Muslims themselves need extreme help to understand the message. One explanation I can think of is that the message is garbled or the messenger did not do his job.

    By JB - 8/18/2012 11:12:08 AM



  • Dear Yunis,
    Again you people relied upon third party person like vinoba bhave who hailed from India. Even not reading his book we come to conclude he wrote in terms of Hindu style.
    Some saints you may know or not Yogananda Pramahamsa who hailed from hindu family started to intepret bible ,the book of genius in his own style. ie serpent denoted  kundalini likewise.As I had good knowledage in kur-on, Even myself start to intepret kur-on in my own way not understanding arabic culture and  kur-on terminaology.
     we must relied upon the person came from Arabic background who knew  very well about arabic culture is the right person to intepret kur-on for example the great Ali sina an Irainan coming in the decendant of Mohammed  well known to you.
       Many people relied upon translation of vedas by Europians .But those Europaian does not know even about Hindu culture. Their resources are not primary resources to comprehend hindu vedas.
        Here, Mr.Naseer Ahamed's main allegation is that non-muslims not getting proper information from muslims. Earlier you are shown to be very clear person, now seems to be very confuse person.
     That's all. Please relied upon primary resources not  from Gandhi, Saint venobhave like persons . They said and write something in order to get attention from muslims.


    By Mani - 8/18/2012 6:07:06 AM



  • Dear Yunis,
    I accept your argument. All religions had flaws. So. Do not claim anyone my religion is superior than your religion.
    But, problem in Islam, denial that's the main thing. For e.g., repeatedly shown Aurangzeb is fantastic king even Muslims also suffered because of his polices, most of the Muslim web sites prasied him lot like pious Muslim, saint, great emperor and likewise. Even, they justified his demolition of great Kashi Viswanath temple by saying some bla bla things.
    Humanity come first than any other religion rather saying I am Hindu, I am Christian and I am Muslim.

    By mani - 8/18/2012 1:28:01 AM



  • An open answer to those commentators in this thread who find fault with the Qur’an

    The Qur’an-sceptic come up with varying set of questions, challenging the substances of hundred of its verses. Only a consummate mufassir (exegete) – a rarity these days will be able to explain each verse in its historical, allegorical or psychological context/ bearing. However, the Qur’an offers a carte blanche answer to all, potentially 6,666 questions as each verse can stand out as a question to the skeptic.

    Among other things, the Qur’anic pronouncements often related to the immediate context of the revelation and its tone and contents varied according to change of the context and read on real time basis post revelation appear self contradictory. Let me illustrate this by a simple example. Say you maintain a diary on your exhortations to your son. When he is 16, you ask him not to drive a car. When he is 18, you ask him to drive very carefully. When he is fit, you encourage him to rise early morning and go out for a walk or a run. When he is sick, you ask him to stay in bed till late in the morning and keep from morning walk or run. Now suppose you maintained the diary for 23 years, but did not enter any date, nor made your entries without any explanation or order. Your son understood you all through, but your grandson who never witnessed your interaction with your son is totally at a loss and charges you of mental disorientation. Now you think who suffers mental disorientation – you or your grandson. This is precisely what happens when we people try to understand the Qur’an centuries after the revelation. Events are recorded without any date, chronological order or thematic flow, which is indeed utterly confusing. But the Qur’an has given clues to help comprehending its message at all times. Take it or leave it, but let not your mental disorientation prompt you to challenge divine speech for that will be a merely wasted exercise, and only create confusion (3:7) and to your utter dismay, you will find fresh blue blood entering this faith despite what you think of it or its Prophet. .

    The Qur’an commands humanity to probe its verses (38:29, 47:24) with a positive state of mind (56:79) focusing only on clear verses (ayatum muhkamat) – such as those free from any ambiguity or confusion (mutashabihat) (3:7) and seek the best meaning in it (39:18, 39:55). It declares:

    “He is the One who has revealed to you (O Muhammad,) the Book which contains (some) clear verses that (form) the essence of this Book, while others are allegorical. As for those with perversity in their hearts, follow that which is allegorical seeking confusion and seeking an interpretation. No one knows its interpretation, except God.

    The Qur’an also asserts its own perfection and completion (5:3) and claims to be its own best interpretation (25:33).

    Therefore, if you seek to grasp the message of the Qur’an, you have to steer clear of the verses that you find confusing and focus on its clearly stated commandments. I have indeed read the translation of the Qur’an back to back at least 6-7 times over a span of some 15 years, identified its clearly stated verses that bear its ahkamat (3:7), interpreted them using Qur’an’s internal illustrations and jointly with a fellow researcher of the Qur’an, co-authored a book, Essential Message of Islam (Amana Publications, 2009). The book is approved by al-Azhar al-Sharif  (2002) and endorsed by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Law, UCLA in these words:

    “Readers who wish to learn the theological and moral dogma of Islam will find this book indispensable.  But this book is not just an informative tool for the fair-minded and interested reader.  This book is an educational tool for both Muslims and non-Muslims—it is an authoritatively reliable text to teach young Muslims, or even Muslims who never had the time to study the Qur’an, or the fundamentals of their religion.”

    So, you may get a copy of the book or read Saint Vinoba Bhave’s ‘Essence of the Qur’an’ (published in 1962) that is posted in parts on this website to get the crux of the Qur’anic message.
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/17/2012 11:26:12 PM



  • To all
    Muslims should thank Lee jay walker and his ilk for the issues they have raised. You all must update your knowledge to know how enemies of Islam(in your view) are finding flaws in Your religion. You people are repeating the same arguments(conspiracy theories etc) to refute the charges leveled by enemies.
    Quran is like a fertile piece of land. From it all kind of plants(poisonous and non-poisonous, sweet smelling and foul smelling) draw nutrition. Terrorists find suitable verses for their purposes and peace loving people also find peace verses.  
    Terrorists  and peace loving individuals both are justified. They are inspired by Quran equally.
    You cant say they are wrong.
    Please don't accuse Hadith literature to promote the ugly side. Hadith sometime overcome the Quran. Hadith is equally important for Muslims. Some Muslims try to get rid off the hadith because it include indecent narrations. That doesn't mean it is trash. Majority of Muslims is not ready to abandon a single hadith. Hadith is equal to Muhammed for Muslims  in love.

    When somebody quote a hadith, it is taken granted as truth, no if and buts. Nobody ask its authenticity even when it is ridiculous.

    I repeat the version of Islam is proposed by Janab Mohd Yunus(1), Janab Sultan Shahin has less appeal to majority of Muslims educated or uneducated, bearded or non-bearded. They are fed by: Islam is greatest religion, fast growing releigion, Muhammed the man for whom this universe is created, Mohammed is first in the list of Hart, swarm of people entering into Islam(westerns) etc. To live in pride is easier and everybody choose easier path. For a community deprived of achievement in Science takes refuse in historical pride.
    Enemies are as shock treatment. Muslims should wake up from slumber. Instead of inviting others blaming others do something for yourself.
    Haque sahib once asked my side. I take side of humanity not any reliogion.
    Haque sahib is not coming up from conspiracy theories. I also suffer at the hands of emotions as Haque sahib. We should not forget reason Emotions is the part of our psyche but emotions take away us from reality.
    I ask why do you expect favor from enemies? Let them say whatever they say. After all it is part of creation plan of God. Your reward is definite with Allah. 
    Happy Eid to all
     

    By mohd yunus - 8/17/2012 11:05:48 PM



  • Dear Naseer Ahmed
    you are seem to have good debating skills. Then, please visit main.faithfreedom.org run by Ali Sena who is ex-muslim explaining neatly about Islam because you blaming non-muslims not learning Islam from muslims.
    Or else, please read books of Anwar Shiekh who is also ex-muslim.
    By mani - 8/17/2012 11:01:07 AM



  • Beautifully placed,  Mr. Naseer Ahmad! Welcome.


    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/9/2012 6:16:15 AM



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