Category Archives: Inter Religious

Articles of Inter Religious Interest

An Interfaith dialogue with Islam

== An interfaith dialogue on Hinduism and Islam ==
On 2nd may, we had an invitation at the [ Salaam center] which is a center for Islamic studies in Jayanagar, Bangalore. ABTN members Mr Vijay Venugopal and Mr Narasimha Rao along with four other members received a warm welcome exactly at 10:30 a.m. Mr Wahid invited the guests Mr Vijay Venugopal , Mr Omer Sheriff and speakers Mr Narasimha Rao and Mr Khrushid on the dias. The event began with a recitation from the Holy Quran. Then the host introduced the speakers and guests. And called upon Mr Vijay Venugopal to speak.

== ABTN chief guest speaks ==
Mr Vijay Venugopal recalled his stay in Oman where he had many such discussions with his Islamic colleagues. He put forward a strong case for mutual friendly co-existence based on tolerance and mutual respect. He said that there could be differences and we need to learn to tolerate the differences to live harmoniously. Each person is an individual spirit soul. We are accustomed to identifying every person with the label that is attached to him, like Hindu, Muslim, Indian and Pakistani etc. We need to come out of these labels and identify ourselves with the individual spirit soul a servant of God.

There are various similarities that exist in the both religions. There is one God and that we need to serve him. There are regulative principles like no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling. Meat eating is regulated in both the religions. In Hinduism, one can offer a goat and not any other animal if he desperately wants to [ eat meat]. In Islam, there is the concept of halal.

Various differences exist among the two religious sects. The major differences that exist are in related to reincarnation and cow killing. He also explained how cow killing as an evil In Hinduism. Cow feeds all humans with her milk and so it is given the position of a mother. So once she stops giving milk she should not be slaughtered. And there are various quotations from the holy vedas that prohibit [ cow slaughter].

We should learn to accept these differences and learn to develop harmony on this basis and we should not let the extremists elements use us. In fact we should focus on other people outside who are not even following the any of these basic regulative principles. The differences between us and atheistic people are more severe than the differences among ourselves and so we need to arrive at a harmony. With this he created a perfect setting for an honest interfaith dialogue.

== Muslim scholar speaks ==
After Mr Vijay Venugopal ended his talk, the host introduced Mr Umer Sheriff (in picture) and invited him to talk. Mr Omer Sheriff spoke on the following points:

We should agree to disagree on certain points. In essence we should accept that there are differences and we disagree on certain points. He also mentioned that there is only one God and that is Allah. Also He spoke on Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet who has come to deliver the Holy Quran. So he stressed the acceptance of Quran as a book for mankind.

Talking on cow killing. He referred to Mohandas Gandhi’s book and the works of Swami Vivekananda, He tried to establish that cow killing was common in Hinduism and since the spread of Buddhism and Jainism, the killing of cows has been reduced and now Hinduism doesn’t accept killing of cows. (This was later answered by Mr Narasimha Rao that all such misconceptions are due to lack of proper understanding of Vedas. The vedas clearly [ prohibit] cow slaughter). He also pointed out that there are thousands and thousands of sects in Hinduism and all of them have their cultural differences. So its difficult to take any one particular sect as reference for Hinduism. He also said this country has never been ruled by same people he said the Aryans once invaded and colonized and it is they who brought the Vedic scriptures. (This Aryan Invasion theory was later refuted by Mr Rao).So quite in contrast to the earlier speaker the tone and tenor was not in favor of finding a common ground .

== Fundamentals of Hinduism ==
by ”Mr Narasimha Rao”

Then the host invited Mr Narasimha Rao who was speaking on behalf of Hinduism. Mr Rao put forward the following points:
* Hinduism is the most misinterpreted religion. He explained the origin of the word Hindu which was coined by the Persians when they first came to India. They referred the people on the other side of the river Indus as Indu and from that came the word Hindu. Actually there is one Sanatana Dharma that is the eternal religion for all.
*Veda means knowledge and so the Vedas are essentially knowledge coming from the Supreme Lord Vishnu Himself. He said that the most important scriptures in Sanatana Dharma apart from the Vedas are the Upanishads, the Vedanta Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita they are called as ”Prashtana trya” and explained that anyone proposing a new philosophy based on vedas must comment on these three to establish their view and reconcile it with these scriptures. And by far only four personalities namely [[Shankaracharya|Shankara]], [[wikipedia:Ramanuja|Ramanuja]], [[wikipedia:Madhvacharya|Madhvacharya]] and [[wikipedia:Baladeva_Vidyabhushana|Baladeva]] have achieved this feat. All views purportedly from Vedic scriptures should be reconciled with entire Vedas otherwise the interpretation is void. Not that someone takes some verse that says that you can eat meat and establish that meat eating is permitted. He quoted from Sastras on how meat eating is regulated in sastras and cow killing is strictly [ prohibited].
* He clearly established the hierarchy of scriptures in Vedas. The itihasas and puranas are integral part of the vedas as mentioned in upanishads. He also established Bhagavad Gita to be the essence of all upanishads hence the srutis and Bhagavatha Purana as the proper commentry on Vedanta Sutras, Mahabharata and Puranas. Hence that is the supreme authority especially in ths age of Kali yuga where we have only very few vedic scriptures extent.
*He explained atma-jnana or identity of the self is the first lesson in Hinduism. And all living entities have souls and are transmigrating different bodies. We have to learn about our self as atma and Krishna is paramatma who is ultimate all knowing all pervading supreme atma or paramatma who is a person as well.
*Then he explained about the concept of [ reincarnation], [ free will] and the [ laws of Karma]. He explained about the differences that exist in living entities, how one is rich, one is poor, one is born with diseases etc. The reason for this is the Karmas they do and the merits and demerits they acquire. Based on that, they are rewarded and punished in subsequent lifetimes. He explained the Koran and Bible has no answers for such questions.
* Then explained about the different types of yoga, i.e. Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. said, Karma Yoga meant doing activities and offering the results to God. Jnana yoga means developing knowledge of God by reading the scriptures. But above all these is Bhakti Yoga which is performing devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
* The Vedas present a [ scientific approach] towards life and reality as [ opposed] to Quran which is just a bunch of do’s and don’ts that people need to follow which is anyway part of vedic metaphysics. And he also stated that Islam couldn’t explain the [ philosophical intricacies] that are explained in the Vedas. We believe that the [ Prophet Muhammad] although aware didn’t mention about these because the circumstances and the audience were not ready for it. The Prophets come at different times according to desa, kala, patra and spread message according to the situation. For example Prophet Muhammad had to explain that no one should not have sexual relationship with one’s mother and sister. Such was the consciousness of the people in Arabia at that time. But Vedas are the eternal message of God coming from the breath of the Supreme Lord Mahavishnu’s breath as mentioned in the upanishads.
* Also he talked about the [ Vedic culture] was present all over the globe at least till the satya yuga but they moved out of Bharata varsha because of Lord Parasurama’s threat to Ksatriyas and after being cut off from the main stream they later evolved into some corrupted cultures in west asia, africa, america and other parts of the world. And in-order to reestablish sanity in society the Lord sent forth Jesus and Mohammad.To bring them to at least to the platform of humans from platform of animals. That was their primary role they gave an opportunity for those who were sub human to come to the level of humans. They may be able to promote themselves to heaven but salvation can be given only by Lord Mukunda the giver of liberation.
* He also exposed the myth of [ Aryan Invasion theory]. The British had invented this theory to create a division between North and South Indians. It has no truth in it. he questioned Mr Umer who hails from Tamil Nadu if he knew the history of Sri Vaishnavas who have a history of more than 5000 years of existence in South India and they were worshippers of Vishnu who is an Aryan God.
* The best part of his presentation was the he presented four books of [[Islam_and_Vedas|Dr Akif Manaf Jabir]] which established that God has [ form] in Islam and the prophet’s emphasis on following [ vegetarianism]. Later in the Q&A Muslim scholars acknowledged that there is a possibility that Allah has a form.
Explaining these, Mr Narasimha Rao ended his talk. Mr Narasimha Rao explained the basics of Sanatana Dharma as explained in vedic scriptures at the same time giving due respects to the [ Prophet] who was a genius misunderstood.

== ”Fundamentals of Islam” ==
”by Mr Khurshid ”

Then Mr Khurshid spoke about Islam. He explained quoting various references from Quran to establish the following points. He quoted ”isolated” references from Vedas apparently derived from talks of [ Dr Zakir Naik] to establish concurrence with Islam. We also present our views and reasoning most of which were presented later in the Q&A of the program.

*No mortal being can become God.
*He mentioned that Vedas never propagate Idol worship. He said that Vedas are the original supreme revelation and that other scriptures like the Upanishads, the Puranas are the works of various sages and so cannot be considered as an original reference.
** This was later refuted by Mr Narasimha Rao by qouting the vedic statements to prove that itihasas and puranas are also vedic pramanas. The puranas encourage [ deity worship] but condemn idol worship and the upanishads like Gopal Tapani upanishads also mention about the word [ Krishna] and that he is the supreme person and he has a form.
**Mr Rao also quoted Bhagavatha Purana to prove that the Supreme Lord Krishna can be realized in three stages namely ”Brahman” or nirakara, nirvisesa formless which is inferior to ”Paramatma” or as an all pervading person with limited attributes and the ultimate being ”Bhagavan” or the Lord with all qualities and attributes. How can the Lord not have a form when mortal humans the he created have a form? He must have most beautiful of all forms hence the name ”Krishna” the ”all attractive”.
**Also it is interesting to note that Mr Khurshid who had earlier considered Puranas to be inferior qouted from the same to advocate similarities with Islam for example to prove existence of 21 hellish planets.
*The concept of life after death was not mentioned in Vedas either. It was later brought forward by various sages in the Puranas and Upanishads.
** Mr Rao later refuted this by saying all the Vedic quotations have multiple meanings that are comprehensible only to acaryas in parampara not for anyone to interpret. Also we can’t speak for entire Vedas because no one has access to entire Vedas as it is said only 6% is extant . He said this argument is invalid because reincarnation is described all over the scriptures and this approach is mischievous and far from truth. Puranas are valid sources they are said to be panchama veda in the upanishads.
He also spoke of the basic beliefs of Islam that are :
*Belief in monotheism
*Belief in the prophet hood of Prophet Muhammed(peace be upon Him) and
*Belief in the Life after death and the Day of Judgment.He explained about the concept of life after death. He explained that Islam believes that after death, a living entity needs to wait till the Day of Judgment. Then, the living entity is rewarded or punished based on the pious and impious activities.
** This came to serious question in Q&A as ABTN member asked that reincarnation is required to answer differences at time of birth, which Mr Khurshid answered this by saying it was just by chance and a test for individuals if they can believe in God in spite of all odds.
**ABTN members countered that it was illogical and [ untenable] because it goes to say that all our suffering and happiness in this world has no cause but random tests by God.
He also quoted from the Quran and also from other pseudo vedic scholars to conveniently suit his arguments.
** This was refuted by Mr Rao because he argued neither they are from a parampara or a disciplic succession which alone could ensure proper vedic understanding nor have they commented on prashtana traya as explained above to prove their point.
*Mr Khurshid said Islam teaches only one God, Allah and anyone who accepts Islam alone can be liberated. He clarified at this point that Islam means submission to the will of the Lord and anyone who submits to the will of the Lord is a muslim and so is entitled for liberation.
**ABTN members mentioned Vedas also describe [ one God]. The Vedas are ultimate truth for all time to come past, present and future. So in principle, the followers of Sanatana Dharma are better Muslims than the so called muslims. Because in [ Bhagavad Gita] also Lord Krishna concludes that the prime duty of the soul is to surrender to Lord abandoning all varieties of religion.
*Belief that Quran is the final revelation and that Prophet Mohammad was the last prophet.
**ABTN members said perhaps it could be the final revelation in terms of time but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a complete revelation for all times to come.
** ABTN members said the Lord descends once in every yuga and other times he sends his selected representatives to deliver people. Many times such teachings are temporal subject to the time and situation. Prophet Mohammad had to mentioned few things like this this because people of his times were prone to concoct the teachings. It could have been said to prevent any change in the teachings or the followers taking to deviations. And there have been great saints after him like Ramanuja, Madhvacharya and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who have established clearly that the Supreme person is Krishna who also couls be called as Allah or Jehovah it doesn’t matter.
So in summary although some of the qoutations from Vedas were acceptable but rest of Mr Khurshid’s quotations from Vedas were misrepresented due its nature of being taken out of context and there are proper explanations for those from the above mentioned saints. And his quotations were actually taken out of context and hence not reconcilable with other part of Vedas. So it is just ”ardha kukutti nyaya” or half hen fallacy[1] just take some portions and reject other portions.

== Question and Answer session ==
After Mr Khurshid’s talk, there was a gap for half an hour and then at 1:30 PM there was a question and answer session.

The question and answer session began with ABTN members asking questions to Mr Khurshid. Mr Khurshid tried to defend from the Islamic point of view. The questions were mostly on the personal nature of Allah in Koran, the concept of rebirth and differences at the time of birth etc, Mr Khurshid tried to answer the questions quoting references from both the Quran and the Vedas. He attempted to sideline the Upanishads and the Puranas and tried to establish that Vedas alone are authoritative and that deity worship, personalism and rebirth are not mentioned in Vedas but were written in Upanishads and Puranas later by various sages and hence thet are not valid. But Mr Rao was able to establish that Upanishads and Puranas are as authoritative as the Vedas as they form the fifth veda. also said such gross misinterpretation is just half hen logic and hence he can’t pick up a shloka from the scriptures and use it to suit our purpose. He also cautioned of using the translation of vedic scriptures of western indologists which are not always authentic. In the end Mr Khurshid acknowledged that there was a possibility of Allah having a form and he doesn’t know.

Mr Narasimha Rao also faced various questions related to caste system; if Krishna means black, how can black be beautiful; how can God become a chariot driver etc. answered the questions convincingly. On the question on caste system he explained that one’s [[Varnashrama|”varna” and ”ashrama”]] system doesn’t come by birth there is a natural division in a factory like someone is a manager, someone manages accounts, and someone works on machines. All can’t be given the same job. We cannot nullify these differences irrespective of our attempts. also explained about the meaning of Krishna which also means “All Attractive”. All these had an excellent impact on the audience. He also made a point that Quran doesn’t explain in much detail as does the Vedas.

At the end both the speakers exchanged good wishes and decided to continue the discussion in future. Mr Rao requested the Islamic followers to understand Hinduism from the [ four authentic parampara] which has unbroken connection with Supreme Lord Krishna.

Many other questions on Hinduism in Islamic perspective perspective answered [ here].

However the most important part of it was that many people got access to ”The Hidden Treasure of Al Qur’an” by [[Islam_and_Vedas|Dr Akif Manf Jabir]] who is a muslim by birth and a disciple of Srila Prabhupada founder acharya of ISKCON.

Also many people received a copy of Bhagavad Gita as it is by [[wikipedia:A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada|A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]] who is a authentic teacher coming in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The guests of the function received a gift copy of the Qur’an along with a few CDs of lectures by [ Dr Zakir Naik].


== Conclusion ==
*Vedas are complete teachings of God.
*Vedic knowledge from scriptures can be understood only from a proper parampara system.
*The itihasas and puranas constitutes the fifth veda and they are valid sources of knowledge.

== Observation ==
*The timeless vedic scriptures should be learnt in a proper way to understand truth, it is being utilised by people with ulterior motives to mislead or convert people as it was attempted by [ British Indologists]. The people sympathetic to Sanatan Dharma should strongly object to prevent its misuse.

== References ==
[1] There was a hen which used to lay golden egg. But the farmer just wanted to have the egg everyday but not feed it so he cut the hen into half. Alas! the hen died and no more eggs. So one cannot selectively take from Vedic scriptures and ignore the rest.

Islam a Religion of Peace?

== Introduction ==
Islam a Religion of Peace! Most would disagree or scoff at the thought of it, the reason being evidences out weigh against other opinion. Here is analysis of two renowned scholars on this topic. The first is [ Prof Tawfik Hamid], a former member of an Islamist terrorist group, and now an Islamic reformer and a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He has brought out a new valid interpretation of Quran. And second is [ Dr Akif Manaf Jabir] an Islamic scholar, who is an Islamic theologian and also a practitioner of Vedic vaishnava siddhanta. He is also a renowned scholar in this field of comparative religions.

== Need for introspection ==
” by Prof Hamid ”
The film “Fitna” by Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders has created an uproar around the world as it linked violence committed by Islamists to Islam. Many commentators and politicians — including the British Government, which denied him entry to the country last month — reflexively accused Mr. Wilders of inciting hatred. The question, however, is whether the blame is with Mr. Wilders, who simply exposed Islamic radicalism, or with those who promote and engage in this religious extremism. In other words, shall we fault Mr. Wilders for showing photos of the hanging of homosexuals, or shall we fault those who actually promote and practice this crime?

There is a certain schizophrenia among many Muslims who seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion, while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as “a religion of peace, love and harmony.”

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic Institutes and Universities continue to propagate statements like Jews are “pigs and monkeys,” that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn’t, then, Mr. Wilders’s criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.

While many religious texts preach violence, the interpretation, modern usage and [implementation of these teachings make all the difference. For example, the stoning of women exists in both the Old Testament and in the Islamic tradition, or “Sunna” — the recorded deeds and manners of the prophet Muhammad. The difference, though, is that leading Jewish scholars agreed to discontinue these practices centuries ago while Muslim scholars have yet to do so. Hence we do not see the stoning of women practiced or promoted in Israel, the “Jewish” state, but we see it practiced and promoted in Iran and Saudi Arabia, the “Islamic” states!

When the British government banned Geert Wilders from entering the country to present his film in the House of Lords, it made two egregious errors. The first was to suppress free speech, a canon of the civilized Western world. The second mistake was to blame the messenger — punishing, so to speak, the witness who exposed the crime instead of punishing the criminal. Mr. Wilders did not produce the content of the violent Islamic message he showed in his film — the Islamic world did that. Until the Islamic clerical establishment takes concrete steps to reject violence in the name of their religion, Mr. Wilders criticism is not only permissible as “controversial” free speech but justified.

So, Islamic scholars and clerics, it is up to you to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, and that [ declaring war] to spread Islam is unacceptable, and killing apostates is a crime. Such a book would prove that Islam is a religion of peace.
Ref: From the Wall Street Journal Europe.

== Vedic Observer ==
”Our humble thoughts”
=== The real Prophet Mohammad ===
Prophet Muhammad is perhaps the most misrepresented person in history. He is perhaps the most loved and most hated person engulfing the world today. Many followers of Islam worship him as the most perfect personality in history. To them, anything written in name of Prophet Muhammad becomes example. And then, they attempt to justify the same. On other hand, ex‐Muslims and rationalists blame Muhammad for being a violent lascivious person whose teachings and manipulations have caused bloody warfare throughout history and cause terrorism today.

Spurred by the strong opinions – both positive and negative – that are available on Prophet Muhammad, lets set out to explore his life and evaluate what would have made him so hated and so loved? We shall produce detail summary of our findings in this post. But the conclusion is very clear – Muhammad was a legendary revolutionary far ahead of his times and perhaps one of the most inspiring persons of history. But only a few could understand the man and his vision properly.

Thus his character has been maligned both by his admirers and detractors. His admirers view him as final answer to everything ignoring the fact that he was a messenger, and as every messenger he was subject to social and cultural conditioning as per his era. On other hand, his detractors find him an easy scapegoat for all the nonsense that happens in name of Islam – gender discrimination, slavery, terrorism, bomb blasts, hijacking and superstitions. They refuse to dig deeply and explore the possibilities of Muhammad being victim of situations and false slander.

We would provide sufficient points to explore the third possibility – a visionary revolutionary noble intentioned legend being misinterpreted and misrepresented. Just think for a while. Why would he call his religion Islam (that means peace) and its followers Muslims (those who humbly submit) if he were to propagate violence and violent means? He could have chosen some other name as well. But why there has been a specific emphasis on Peace and Humility? To us that is Prophet Muhammad – A Genius misunderstood the primary theme of Muhammad’s message and everything else should be interpreted in this light alone.

The Arab of his times were deeply drenched in immorality and superstitions. If you carefully study his life, you would find that he risked even his life to bring the corrupt Arabic culture of his times towards enhanced sensibilities. He was born in an era where people even used to marry each others daughters. Incest was also prevalent and so was slavery. He knew that these practices could not be stopped instantaneously. Not having opportunity to learn from any teacher and complete even a basic education, he began a self motivated journey of analysis of the practices of his times and trying to discover what should be the right way. He did it to best of his capabilities and knowledge. And considering his education and society, he could think of a long way. He then tried to stop or dilute many of these practices through a variety of tactics – by explaining to them, by showing them fear, by giving them incentives and at times even fighting them.

And another reason to give this third possibility a deep consideration is Meat was primary diet of his era. Yet he called for compassion on animals. We may complain that he did not ban meat-eating altogether. But we forget that it would have been too ridiculous for his times considering that meat was staple diet of his times. We should admire the foresight shown by Muhammad that has made many Muslims are the most ardent proponents of [[Islam_and_Vedas#Vegetarianism_in_Islam|Vegetarianism]].

=== Suspicion of Interpolation ===
Also the fact that Koran was compiled at least twenty years after the disappearance of Prophet Mohammad brings to focus the possibility of [ corruption]. There are numerous evidences that Prophet Muhammad’s teachings were caught between manipulations by several sadistic individuals and genuine followers. Hence Quran and Hadiths become a mixture of original teachings of Muhammad interspersed with unverifiable manipulations. This is where the scholars believe all these [ ”Satanic Verses”] have found their way to serve the interests of some political zealots.

=== Islam in modern context ===
What we need to understand is Prophet Muhammad had to preach the message of God in an extreme conditions where people were almost barbarians had no regard for rules or regulations. They had been tyrants to the core. So in order to deal with them he had instructed prospective muslims to be vigilant and adopt some tactics which would ensure their survival and propagation of God’s message. But in the modern day context where there is a well established ethics and sense of morality in the society. And there is a sense of rationality being perpetuated through education and people are much saner and open minded towards other culture. And as everyone hopes to see a better tomorrow that is more tranquil, relevance of such extreme instructions ceases to exist with no purpose to fulfill. Instead the radicals would do better if they take their fight inside against the eternal vices who rule us namely lust, greed, envy, pride and illusion. That would fulfill the soul of Prophet Muhammad.

=== Islam and Vedas ===
The conservativism in Islam or any religion is required to bring in a regimen and discipline amongst its followers which is necessary for any sane and civilized society. If these strict regimen is not in place cultural degradation in society cannot be checked. This is there in all scriptures of the world. The Manu Samhita talks about so many rules and regulations to be followed. The secular society would however prefer liberalism. That being one extreme the other is the is proselytizing [ fundamentalism] in Islam, and intolerance towards other authentic spiritual faiths without giving a proper thought on how actually it compliments Islam should be condemned and banished. So there is a need for proper understanding of Islam, have a completely different perspective free of all the stereotypes in conjunction with the eternal spiritual truths the Vedas. That is where the contribution of scholars like [[Islam_and_Vedas| Dr Akif Manaf Jabir]] have a role to play.

The followers of Islam would benefit to know that Koran is not the summum bonum because it is no more than a bunch of rules and regulations. Whereas the Vedas is an encyclopedia of science and arts. It goes far beyond rules and regulations. For instance the Bhagavad Gita talks about the laws of karma which explains the differences amongst humans at the time of Birth. Both Bible and Koran and the derivative scriptures have no explanation for this phenomenon of differences at birth, they only talk about one life of humans but it fails to explain why someone is born blind or born in a poor family. There are many such [ questions] that Bible or Koran doesn’t satisfactorily answer.

== Conclusion ==
The Vedas are the first and foremost knowledge that had been from the time of creation. There are many instances where Prophet Mohammad has mentioned that there is more to Quran. Like for instance it is said in Quran that when Mohammad met Allah, the Lord clearly prohibited him to not teach few things that was taught to him. Muslims would benefit if they give benefit of doubt to these statements and explore the Vedic knowledge which assimilates all the good instructions in Quran and teaches much more than the rules and regulations. To know more on what we are talking, visit [[Islam_and_Vedas|here]]. To conclude the scholars of all religions should come together and work for a fresh and legitimate interpretations of Koran and Bible keeping in mind their temporal relevance they should look them in the light of transcendental vedic scriptures. This can benifit the humanity and peace can be given a chance.


== References ==
#[ ABC Test of Radical islam].
#[ Holy Text and Terror]
#[ Scrutinizing study of Islam]
#[ Islamic designs for India]

Vegetarianism in Islam

= Islam and Vegetarianism =
== Introduction ==
Those familiar with Islam may balk at the thought of an animal-friendly or vegetarian Islam. After all, of the three monotheistic religions, Islam is the only one that still calls for animal sacrifice. The Quran is also as explicit, if not more so, as the Torah or the New Testament with regard to using animals for human purposes. While these observations are true. A deeper look at the tradition will reveal teachings of kindness and concern for animals, teachings that may indicate Muslims need to take another look at the animals they eat nowadays.

Not too long ago, We had the privilege of talking to an eminent Islamic scholar, who wishes to remain unnamed. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics. The one closest to his heart, however, was the treatment of animal kind according to the tenets of Islam.

== Islam and Animal Welfare==
“Islam was one of the earliest faiths to care about the rights of animals,” he waxed eloquent. ‘In general, kindness to animals has been promised by reward in the life hereafter’. We find this sentiment in line 178 of verse 8, Chapter 7, Book 6 of the Mishkat-al-Masabih. This is the groundwork: it tells us what our attitude should be in general towards animalkind. Then we have more specific references. Consider this line from Abu Umama, Al Tabarani: ‘He who takes pity even on a sparrow and spares its life, Allah will be merciful to him on the Day of Judgement.’

“Yes, but Islam allows the killing of animals for food and for religious sacrifice,” I interposed. “If Islam cares so much about animal welfare, why does it allow meat-eating and slaughter?”

“A good point,” the scholar conceded good-humouredly instead of taking umbrage. “We have to remember that several customs and conventions prevalent in Arab lands may be pre-Islamic and thus without specific Islamic sanction. Furthermore, nearly 1500 years ago, what was Arabia? Mostly desert land, and war-torn at that. There were few peaceful and settled agricultural communities as we had in India, for instance. The nomadic tribes found food when they could – by hunting animals and eating them. That is no longer true, and Arab countries today are very modern in many ways. They have plenty of vegetarian food available, as with India. So there is absolutely no compulsion as such to eat meat. I can only hope that individual Muslims will voluntarily give up meat-eating because nowhere is it said that meat-eating is compulsory….”

“And what about cruel sports such as cock fights? In some neighboring countries, the utterly barbarous practice of bear-baiting continues still!”

“Ah, but our Holy Prophet forbade the setting up of animals to fight each other! We can find this in Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi. It is my understanding that the government of this neighbouring country has forbidden bear-baiting as un-Islamic, but the practice continues because of the greed and cruelty of men. And in Muslim, we are told that the Holy Prophet forbade the beating or branding of animals. Once he came upon a donkey which had been branded on its face. He is reported to have exclaimed: ‘May Allah condemn the one who branded it.’ He also disapproved of the cutting of a horse’s tail, for example, as unnatural and interfering with the natural beauty of the horse. He was clearly opposed to mutilation and vivisection of any animal, according to Ahmad and other authorities. As you may know, our noble religion of peace and harmony emphasises intention. Therefore, the Holy Prophet’s intention was clearly to instruct us, his followers, to be kind to animals and not to diminish their health and dignity in any form. I would say that this was quite advanced for the times.”

“Oh, absolutely,” I concurred heartily. “Many people do not know these things. Please tell me some more about the Holy Prophet’s sayings regarding treatment of animals.”

“Well, there is plenty of material, although – as far as I know – those who preach in the mosques never seem to highlight these important teachings. For instance, there is the story of the Prophet hearing the call to prayer one day. He wanted to take along his prayer mat, but one of his cats was curled up on the carpet, comfortably asleep. Not wanting to disturb the cat, and yet being required to take his mat along, the Prophet solved the problem by carefully cutting off a portion of the carpet and taking it with him. Then there is the story he told his followers about a prostitute, according to Muslim. On a hot day, a poor dog lay panting from thirst near a well. When this woman came along, she took pity on the poor creature. She lowered her socks into the well, drew water in them and squeezed it into the dog’s mouth. Our Prophet said that, because of this one act of kindness, all her sins would be forgiven her. In the same source, we learn that he had a vision about a different kind of woman. Although not a sex worker, she was chastised after death because, on earth, she had tied up her cat continually and neglected to feed it or water it – so that it was not free even to fend for itself! In all of these narratives, the intention is crystal clear: Whatever our position in society, we must be kind to animals and must not neglect them or hurt them wantonly.”

“But meat-eating….”

“True. Perhaps the unsettled conditions of the time and the aridity of the land did not allow of vegetarianism. Yet, as I said, many more of us should be voluntary vegetarians for our own good.”

“And animal sacrifice?”

“That is, it is true, mentioned in our scripture. However, in our Holy Quran, we also find this extraordinary line in Chapter 22, Verse 37: ‘Their flesh will never reach Allah, nor yet their blood – but your devotion and piety will reach Him.’
“This wonderful saying lends itself to a very humane interpretation: namely, that we should concentrate on our prayers and personal devotion rather than relying blindly on animal sacrifice. Could that not also be extended to mean that animal sacrifice is not actually mandatory? Who is to say?”

“Perhaps those among you who preach and lay down the law?”

“Yes, one does wish that these eminent scholars and theologians would pronounce just such a ruling. The intention could be that we should exert ourselves in the matter of personal holiness rather than killing some poor animal.”

==Sufism and Vegetarianism ==
Although the majority of Muslims are meat eaters, there is also widespread remembrance of Muhammad’s warning, ”Do not allow your stomachs to become graveyards!” For this reason, meat is used in moderation in many traditional recipes. Many Sufis (esoteric Muslim practitioners) maintain that vegetarianism is in complete accord with Islamic doctrines and principles. The Sufi Qadiri Shaikh Abdul Karim Jili, commenting on Ibn Arabi’s advice to avoid animal fat during retreats, stated that “animal fat strengthens animality, and its principles will dominate the spiritual principles.”

Similarly, the Chishti Sufi Inayat Khan, who introduced Sufi principles to Europe and America in the early 1900s, observed that vegetarianism promotes compassion and harmlessness to living creatures, and that a vegetarian diet aids in the purification of the body and refinement of spiritual faculties.

== Conclusion ==
Centuries ago, when it became necessary to feed large groups of persons in the desert, perhaps a camel was sacrificed. There is no need for it in this day and age. Let us hope that the custom would be abolished. Ending as I began, I should like to go back to another saying from the same book in the Mishkat-al-Masabih: ”A good deed done to a beast is as good as doing good to a human being; while an act of cruelty to a beast is as bad as an act of cruelty to human beings.” In the light of such a marvellous pronouncement, it is my earnest hope that our Muslim religious authorities in India will do their utmost to prevent needless cruelties to animals.”

== Vedic Observer ==
Islam and Christianity are not complete religions according to the Bhavisya Purana rather they are set of instructions given by prophets according to that time, place and circumstances. At one point in time Vedic culture was prevalent all over the world but as the time passed there was a a gradual degradation in values as predicted by [ Srimad Bhagavatam].

Hence in order to regulate the people the Lord ordained Judeo-Christian religions through some of his representatives so that people who have given up their vedic culture can at the least be humans instead of being as good as animals. So these religions evolved in western Asia. Their literature are no more than a set of rules and regulations that helps bringing some sanity and purpose in their lives. But they do not go in detail with respect to the Supreme God his qualities and the ways to approach him. That is the subject of the Vedic Scriptures. Devout and sincere followers of these religions might get an opportunity to go to heavenly realms to enjoy the results of their previous pious deeds but to relieve oneself from the cycle of birth and death one has to surrender to Lord Krishna.

== References ==
#[ Creatures_of_God].
#[ Islam_and_Animals]
#[ Vegetarianism_in_Islam].
#[ Islamic Concern: Animals in Islam]
#[ Islam and vegetarianism]
#[ Vegetarian News – Islamic Vegetarians]
#[ International Vegetarian Union Food of the Gods]
#[ vegetarian ABC — why/how]
#[ Muslims can’t be Vegetarian? Islam : Dietary Law]
#[ Feasts of the prophet: Ramadan and vegetarianism in Islam]
#[ vegeterian muslims]

Compiled by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#Lndasa|LNDAS]]

Vegetarianism in Christianity

St Francis
= Christianity and Vegetarianism =
== Introduction ==
Many Christians seem to turn a blind eye to the suffering of animals that is inflicted by humans. Sure, they are generally kind and caring people, who may love their dog or cat, but they do not seem to be at all concerned about the plight of the pigs, chickens, sheep and cows that they themselves eat.

It is difficult to understand why Christians, who generally consider themselves to be compassionate and caring, are not concerned about the suffering of these animals. On one hand they teach about a loving, compassionate, merciful God, but they contribute to so much unnecessary misery and suffering in their own lives. Here we try to explore the issues of Christianity and Vegetarianism on this page.

== Animals have Souls? ==
One widespread rationalization in Christian circles, often used to justify humanity’s mistreatment of animals, is the erroneous belief that humans alone possess immortal souls, and only humans, therefore, are worthy of moral consideration. The 19th century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, condemned such a philosophy in his On the Basis of Morality.

“Because Christian morality leaves animals out of account,” wrote Schopenhauer, “they are at once outlawed in philosophical morals; they are mere ‘things,’ mere means to any ends whatsoever. They can therefore be used for vivisection, hunting, coursing, bullfights, and horse racing, and can be whipped to death as they struggle along with heavy carts of stone. Shame on such a morality that is worthy of pariahs, and that fails to recognize the eternal essence that exists in every living thing, and shines forth with inscrutable significance from all eyes that see the sun!”

What does Bible say in this regards? [[Animals_have_Soul|Lets analyse]].

==St Francis and Animals ==
Most intriguing of all great apostles is St. Francis because many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis deal with his love for animals. He not just saw that animals are living entities with Soul, he went a step ahead and did preach to them as well. [[St_Francis_and_Animals|Here]] are three accounts of such interaction.

== Thou Shall not Kill ==
One of the Ten Commandments by Moses. But remains the most misunderstood one as well. For some its ”Thou shall not Murder”. Another convenient misinterpretation by deceptive ideologues. According to Reuben Alcalay, one of the twentieth century’s great linguistic scholars and author of The Complete Hebrew-English Dictionary, the commandment refers to “any kind of killing whatsoever.” The original Hebrew, he says, is Lo tirtzakh, which asks us to refrain from killing in toto. If what he says is true, we can analyze the commandment as follows: “Thou shalt not” needs no interpretation. The controversial word is “kill,” commonly defined as (1) to deprive of life; (2) to put an end to; (3) to destroy the vital or essential quality of. If anything that has life can be killed, an animal can be killed as well; according to this commandment, then, the killing of animals is forbidden. [ More]

== Scholars view ==
”Animals are God’s creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God’s sight. … Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God’s absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.”
– Rev. Andew Linzey, Professor of Theology, Oxford University

”To me, vegetarianism is fundamental to compassion, and I personally believe that a loving and compassionate God would prefer humans to be vegetarian, especially these days, and especially when it is better for our health, is less wasteful of resources, and is more sustainable for the beautiful planet that He has created.”
– Rev David Ogilvie

== Vedic Observer ==
In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says

”sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ”
”tāsāḿ brahma mahad yonir ahaḿ bīja-pradaḥ pitā”

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father. – [ BG14.4]

All living entities have soul and the soul transmigrates from one body to another. So no one can kill an animal and escape the sin associated with it. So to conclude Jesus Christ did practice and preach love towards all the creatures and did not advocate their large scale mechanized murder and consumption of meat.

Compiled by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#Lndasa|LNDAS]]

Questions that Lord Buddha did not answer

Questions that Lord Buddha did not answer.

1.   Is the universe eternal?

2.   Is the universe non-eternal?

3.   Is the universe  at one and the same  time eternal and non eternal?

4.   Is  the  universe   neither  eternal   nor non-eternal?

5.   Is the universe infinite?

6.   Is the universe finite?

7.   Is the universe  at one and the same  time infinite and finite?

8.   Is  the  universe  neither  infinite   nor finite?

9.   Are  the  vital  principle (jiiva) and the body identical?

10. Are  the  vital  principle  and  the  body non-identical?

11.  Does the Tathaagata (“he who has gone (or come) thus.”) survive death?

12.  Does the Tathaagata not survive death?

13.  Does the Tathaagata  both survive death and not survive  death?

14.  Does the Tathaagata  neither  survive death nor not survive death?