SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ISLAM AND HINDUISM – Part 6
Dr. Zakir Naik
In this series of articles, we are analyzing similarities and common grounds between two major religions of the world: Hinduism and Islam. In the previous article we examined and highlighted similarities between the concept of prophethood, and the attributes of God, in Islam and in Hinduism as mentioned in their respective scriptures. In this month’s article, we shall study the various prophecies in Hindu scriptures of the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
MUHAMMAD (PBUH) PROPHESIED IN HINDU SCRIPTURES:
a. Muhammad (pbuh) prophesied in Bhavishya Purana:
According to Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III, Khand 3, Adhyay 3, Shalokas 5 to 8
“A Malechha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions, His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the ‘panchgavya’ and the Ganges water (i.e. purging him of all sins) offered him the presents of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, “I make obeisance to thee, ‘O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, ye have collected a great force to kill the devil and you yourself have been protected from the malechha opponents”.
The Prophecy clearly states
(i) The name of the Prophet as Muhammad.
(ii) He will belong to Arabia; the Sanskrit word Marusthal means a sandy track of land or a desert.
(iii) Special mention is made of the companions of the prophet i.e. the Sahabas. No other Prophet had as many companions as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
(iv) He is referred as the pride of mankind (Parbatis nath).
The Glorious Qur’an reconfirms:
“And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character”
(Al Qur’an 68:4)
‘Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern (of conduct)’
(Al Qur’an 33:21)
(v) He will kill the devil i.e. abolish idol worship and all sorts of vices.
(vi) The prophet will be protected against his enemies.
Some people may argue that Raja Bhoj mentioned in the prophecy lived in the 11th century C.E.i.e. 500 years after the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that he was the descendant of the 10th generation of Raja Shalivahan. These people fail to realize that there was not only one Raja of the name Bhoj. The Egyptian Monarchs were called as Pharaohs and the Roman Kings were known as Caesars. Similarly Indian Rajas were given the title of Bhoj. There were several Raja Bhojs who came before the one in 11th Century C.E.
The prophet did not physically take a bath in Panch gavya and the water of Ganges. Since the water of Ganges is considered holy, taking bath in the Ganges is an idiom meaning washing away or making immune from all sorts of sins. Here the prophecy implies that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sinless i.e. ‘maasoom’.
b. Muhammad (pbuh) prophesied in Bhavishya Purana:
According to Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III, Khand 3, Adhyay 3 Shalokas 10 to 27 Maharishi Vyas has prophesied:
“The Malechha have spoiled the well-known land of the Arabs. Arya Dharma is not to be found in the country. Before also there appeared a misguided fiend whom I had killed; he has now again appeared being sent by a powerful enemy. To show these enemies the right path and to give them guidance the well-known Mohamad (Mohammad) who has been given by me, the epithet of Brahma, is busy in bringing the ‘Pishachas’ to the right path. O Raja, you need not go to the land of the foolish Pishachas, you will be purified through my kindness even where you are. At night, he of the angelic disposition, the shrewd man, in the guise of a pischacha said to Raja Bhoj, O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been made to prevail over all religions, but according to the commandments of Ishwar Parmatama, I shall enforce the strong creed of the meat eaters. My followers will be men circumcised, without a tail (on his head), keeping beard, creating a revolution announcing Adhan (call for prayer) and will be eating all lawful things. He will eat all sorts of animals except swine. They will not seek purification from the holy shrubs, but will be purified through warfare. On account of their fighting the irreligious nations, they will be known as Musalmaans. I shall be the originator of this religion of the meat-eating nation.”
The Prophecy states that
(i) The evildoers have corrupted the Arab land.
(ii) Arya Dharma is not found in that land.
(iii) The present enemies will be destroyed just as the previous enemies like Abraha had perished. The Qur’an speaks about these sorts of previous enemies in Surah Al Fil:
“Seest thou not how thy lord dealt with the
Companions of the elephant?
Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray?
And He sent against them flights of Birds
Striking them with stones of baked clay
Then did he make them like an empty field
Of stalk and straw, (of which the corn) has been eaten up.
(Al Qur’an 105:1-5)
(iv) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been given the title Brahma to guide the opponents of truth.
(vi) The Indian Raja need not go to Arab land since his purification will take place in India after the Musalmaan will arise in India.
(vi) The coming Prophet will attest the truth of the Aryan faith i.e. Monotheism and will reform the misguided people.
(vii) The Prophet’s followers will be circumcised. They will be without a tale on their heads, they will keep beards and they will create a great revolution.
(viii) They will announce the adhan i.e. ‘call for prayer’.
(ix) He will only eat lawful things and animals, but will not eat pork. The Qur’an confirms this in no less than 4 different places:
In Surah Al-Baqarah chapter 2 verse 173
In Surah Al-Maidah chapter 5 verse 3
In Surah Al-Anam chapter 6 verse 145
In Surah Al-Nahl Chapter 16 verse 115
“Forbidden for you for food are dead meat, blood, flesh of swine and that on which had been invoked the name of other than Allah.
(x) They will not purify with grass like the Hindus, but by means of sword they will fight the evil-doers.
(xi) They will be called Musalmaan.
(xii) They will be a meat-eating nation.
The Qur’an permits humans to eat herbivorous animals in Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse no. 1 and in Surah Mu’minoon chapter 23 verse 21
According to Bhavishya Purana Part – III, khand 1, Adhyay 3, shlokas 21-23
Corruption and persecution are in seven sacred cities of Kashi etc. India is inhabited by Rakshas, Shabar, Bhil and other foolish people. In the land of ‘Malechhas’ the followers of the ‘Malechah dharma’ (Islam) are wise and brave people. All good qualities are found in Musalmaans and all sorts of vices have accumulated in the land of the Aryas. Islam will rule in India and its island. Having known these facts O Meeni, glorify the name of the Lord”.
The Qur’an confirms:
“It is He who hath sent His messenger with guidance and
the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion,
even though the pagans may detest (it).
(Al Qur’an 9:33 and 61:9)
and a similar verse ends with:
‘And enough is Allah for a witness”.
(Al Qur’an 48:28)
c. Prophet Muhammad prophesied in Atharva Veda
In the 20th book of Atharva Veda Hymn-127, some Suktas (chapters) are known as ‘kuntap sukt’. ‘Kuntap’ means ‘the consumer of misery and troubles’, thus meaning ‘the message of peace and safety’. This translated in Arabic means Islam.
‘Kuntap’ also means hidden glands in the abdomen. These mantras are probably called so because their true meaning was hidden and was to be revealed in future. Its hidden meaning is also connected with the naval or the middle point of the earth. Makkah is called the ‘ummul Qura’, or ‘the mother of the towns’ or ‘the naval of the earth’ in many revealed books. It was the first house of worship of the One God where Almighty God gave spiritual nourishment to the world. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“The first House (of worship) appointed for men
was that at Bakka (Makkah) full of blessing
and of guidance for all kinds of beings.”
(Al Qur’an 3:96)
Another name for Makkah is Becca. Thus ‘kuntap’ stands for Makkah or Becca.
Several people like M. Bloom Field, Prof Ralph Griffith, Pandit Rajaram, Pandit Khem Karan and others have translated these kuntap suktas. The main points mentioned in the kuntap suktas in Atharvaved book XX Hymn 127 verses 1-13 are:
He is narashansah or the praised one (Mohammad).
He is Kaurama the prince of peace or the emigrant, who is safe even amongst a host of 60,090 enemies.
He is a camel-riding Rishi, whose chariot touches the heaven.
He is Mamah Rishi.
Vachyesv rebh ‘Oh! Ye who glorifies.’
We glorify or praise the great hero with a song of praise and a prayer. Please accept this praise so that evil may not befall us.
(i) The Sanskrit word ‘Narashansah’ means ‘the praised one’ which is the literal translation of the Arabic word Muhammad (pbuh).
The Sanskrit word ‘Kaurama’ means ‘one who spreads and promotes peace’. The holy Prophet was the ‘prince of peace’ and he preached equality of human kind and universal brotherhood. ‘Kaurama’ also means ‘an emigrant’. The Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madeenah and was thus an emigrant.
(ii) He will be protected from 60,090 enemies, which was the population of Makkah. The prophet would ride a camel. This clearly indicates that, it cannot be an Indian Rishi since it is forbidden for a Brahman to ride a camel. According to Manu Smriti chapter 11 verse 202 sacred books of the east, volume 25, Laws of Manu pg. 472 “A Brahman is prohibited from riding a camel or an ass and to bathe naked. He should purify himself by suppressing his breath”.
(iii) This mantra gave the Rishi name as Mamah. No Rishi in India or any other prophet had this name. ‘Mamah’ is derived from ‘Mah’ which means to esteem highly, or to revere, and to exalt. Some Sanskrit books give the prophet’s name as ‘Mahamad’ but this word according to Sanskrit grammer can also be used in the bad sense. It is incorrect to apply grammar to an Arabic word. Actually Mamah has the same meaning and somewhat similar pronunciation as the word Muhammad (pbuh).
d. Battle of the Allies described in the Vedas.
It is mentioned is Atharvaveda Book XX hymn 21, verse 6: “O Lord of the truthful! These liberators drinks, these feats of bravery and the inspiring songs gladdened thee in the field of battle. When thou renderst vanquished without fight the ten thousand opponents of the praying one, the adoring one.”
(i) This Prophecy of the Veda describes the well-known battle of Ahzab or the battle of the Allies during the time of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). The Prophet was victorious without an actual conflict, which is mentioned in the Qur’an:
“When the believers saw the confederate forces they said:
This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us,
and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.”
And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.
(Al Qur’an 33:22)
(ii) The Sanskrit word ‘karo’ in the Mantra means the ‘Praising one’ which when translated into Arabic means Ahmed, the second name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
(iii) The 10,000 opponents mentioned in the mantra were the enemies of the prophet and the Muslims were only 3000 in number.
(iv) The last words of the Mantra ‘aprati ni bashayah’ means the defeat was given to the enemies without an actual fight.
e. The enemies defeat in the conquest of Makkah.
It is mentioned in Atharva Veda book 20 Hymn 21 verse no. 9.
“You have O Indira overthrown 20 kings and 60,099 men with an outstripping chariot wheel who came to fight the praised one or far famed (Muhammad) Orphan”
(i) The population of Makkah at the time of Prophet’s advent was nearly 60,000.
(ii) There were several clans in Makkah each having its own chief. Totally there were about 20 chiefs to rule the population of Makkah.
(iii) An ‘Abandhu’ meaning a ‘helpless man’ who was far famed and ‘Praised one’ [Muhammad (pbuh)] overcame his enemies with the help of God.
f. A similar prophecy is also found in Rigveda Book I, Hymn 53 verse 9.
The Sanskrit word used is ‘Sushrama’ which means praiseworthy or well praised which in Arabic means Muhammad (pbuh).
g. Muhammad (pbuh) did not drink his mother’s milk.
It is mentioned in
(i) Samveda Agni, mantra 64 (S.V. m-64)
(ii) Samveda Book 1 chapter 2, decade 2, verse 2 (S.V. 1:2:2:2)
The habits of this child are very strange. He does not go to his mother for milk, his mother does not feed him milk and yet as soon as he is born he takes up the noble assignment of prophet hood”.
Muhammad (pbuh) was an orphan and thus none of the wet nurses were interested in taking care of him. On the other hand, no mother was willing to give her child to Lady Halima because she did not seem to have enough milk. Thus Lady Halima took Muhammad (pbuh) home for breast-feeding, and as soon as she began to breast-feed Muhammad (pbuh), there was a surge of milk in her breasts.
h. Muhammad (pbuh) prophesied by name as Ahmed
(i) Samveda Uttararchika, mantra 1500
(Samveda Part 2 Book 7 chapter 1 section 5 verse 1) and
(ii) Samveda Indra chapter 2 mantra 152
(Samveda Book 2 chapter 2 decade 1 verse 8)
Similarly he has been prophesied by name as Ahmed in
(iii) Yajurveda chapter 31 verse 18
(iv) Rigveda Book 8 hymn 6 verse 10
(v) Atharvaveda Book 8 chapter 5 verse 16
(vi) Atharvaveda Book 20 chapter 126 verse 14
Muhammad (pbuh) has prophesied by name as Ahmed also in Samveda Uttararchik mantra 1500 Part II Book VII chapter 1 section 5 verse 1 and Samved Indra chapter 2 mantra 152 Book 2 chapter 2 decade 1 verse 8)
“Ahmed acquired from his Lord the knowledge of eternal law. I received light from him just as from the sun”. The Prophecy confirms –
(i) The name of the Prophet as Ahmed. Since Ahmed is an Arabic name, many translators misunderstood it to be Ahm at hi and translated the mantra as I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father.
(ii) The Prophet was given eternal law i.e. Shari’ah.
(iii) The Rishi was enlightened by the Shari’ah of Prophet Muhammad. The Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Saba:
“We have not sent thee but as a universal
(Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings
and warning them (against sin), but most men
(Al Qur’an 34:28)
i. Muhammad (Pbuh) Prophesized as Narashangsa.
The word ‘Narashangsa’ is the combination of ‘Nar’ and ‘Aashangsa’ – Nar – means man and ‘Aashangsa’ means ‘praised’, therefore ‘Narashangsa’ means ‘the praised man’.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned as ‘Narashangsa’ in the Hindu scriptures in several places including:
j. Kalki Avatar
It is mentioned in Bhagvata Purana Khand 12 Adhyay 2 shlokas 18-20:
“It is in the house of Vishnuyash, the noble soul Brahmana chief of the village called sambhala that Lord Kalki will be incarnated”.
“The Lord of the universe, endowed with eight spiritual powers and excellence was unsurpassed in splendour and glory. Riding on a fleet horse given to him by angels, and with a sword in his hand, the saviour of the world will subdue all the miscreants”.
It is mentioned inBhagwat Purana Khand 1 Adhyay 3 Shloka 25:
“Then in the twilight of the Kali age, when kings will be as good as robbers, this protector of the world will be born of Vishnuyasa under the name Kalki“. The description of the Kalki Avatar i.e. the final Avatar is given in the verses Kalki Purana chapter 2 verses 4, 5, 7, 11 & 15.
1. Mother’s name Sumati i.e. Aaminah
The name of his mother will be Sumati (K.P.2: 4 & 11), which means gentle and thoughtful, Prophet Muhammad’s mother’s name was Aaminah, which means peaceful and gentle.
2. Father’s name Vishnuyash i.e. Abdullah.
His father’s name will be ‘Vishnuyash’ which means ‘worshipper of Vishnu’ i.e. ‘worshipper of God’. Muhammad’s father’s name was Abdullah which means ‘obedient worshipper of Allah i.e. God’.
3. Born in Sambhala i.e. Makkah
He will be born in a village called ‘Sambhala’ which means house of peace and security. Makkah is known as Darul Aman, which means house of peace and security.
4. Born in house of Chief Priest.
He will be born in the house of chief of the village Sambhala. Muhammad (pbuh) was born in the house of the chief of the Kaaba.
5. Born on the 12th day of Madhav i.e. Rabi-ul-Awwal.
It is prophesied that Kalki Avtar will be born on the 12th day of the bright (first) half of the month of Madhav. It is a historical fact Muhammad (pbuh) was born on the 12th day of the bright half of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal.
6. He will be the Antim or final Avatar
He has been described as the ‘Antim’ i.e. ‘the last and final’ of all the Avatars. The Qur’an also mentions:
Muhammad is not
The Father of any
Of your men, but (he is)
The Messenger of Allah,
And the seal (the last and final) of the Prophets,
And Allah has full knowledge
Of all things
(Al Qur’an 33:40)
Thus the Qur’an states that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the Seal, i.e. last and final Prophet of Allah.
7. Will receive knowledge on the mountain from the Lord and then go towards North and come back.
Kalki Avatar will go to the mountains and receive knowledge from Parsuram, then go towards the north and come back. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did go to Jable-Noor i.e. the Mountain of Light, where he received the first Revelation from Archangel Gabriel. Later he went north to Madeenah and later made a victorious return to Makkah.
8. He will have the most graceful personality.
Kalki Avatar will have unparalleled grace. Qur’an mentions in Surah Al-Qalam chapter 68 verse 4:
And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.
9. Endowed with eight special qualities
Kalki Avatar will be endowed with eight special qualities. These qualities are wisdom, respectable lineage, self-control, revealed knowledge, valour, measured speech, utmost charity and gratitude. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had all these eight special qualities.
a) Wisdom – He was very wise. It is no wonder that several people approached him for guidance, even before he claimed to be a prophet.
b) Respectable lineage – He belonged to the noble tribe of Quraysh who were the caretakers of the sacred Kaaba.
c) Self-control – He was the best example of self-control. From history, we learn that his enemies on many occasions tried to instigate him. However, he was always patient and responded wisely.
d) Revealed knowledge – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received the last and final revelation of God, which is the Glorious Qur’an through Archangel Gabriel.
e) Valour – Muhammad (pbuh) possessed great physical strength and courage. He took active part in the battles against his enemies and most of such battles were fought in self-defence against aggression by the other party.
f) Measured speech – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spoke with emphasis and deliberation that people could not forget what he said. In his intercourse with others he would sit silent among his companions for long time but when he spoke his speech was eloquent and full of meaning and advise.
g) Utmost charity – Muhammad (pbuh) was very charitable and never disappointed anyone who asked for help even in situations when he himself was in financial difficulties. Many poor people lived only on his generosity.
h) Gratefulness – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was known for his gratefulness He showed immense gratitude to the Ansaars i.e. the helpers from the city of Madeenah.
10. Teacher of the World.
The Kalki Avatar will be the saviour of the world i.e. he will guide and teach the world. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not only guide and save the Arabs but the whole humankind. The Qur’an mentions:
We have not sent thee
But as a universal Messenger
To men, giving them
Glad tidings, and warning them
(Against sin), but most men
(Al Qur’an 34:28)
11. Shiva will present a steed to Kalki avatar.
It is prophesied that Shiva will present an extraordinary steed to the Kalki Avatar. Muhammad (pbuh) received a steed from Almighty God, which was known as ‘Buraq’ and whose speed transcended.
12. He will ride a horse and carry a sword.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received a heavenly steed from Almighty God called ‘Buraq’ on which he made his heavenly journey known as ‘Miraaj’ or the ‘Ascension to the heavens’.
Moreover, we also learn from the history of the Prophet that he himself took part in battles, most of which were fought in self-defence, and on many such occasions, he rode a horse and carried a sword in his hand.
13. He will subdue the wicked
It is mentioned that Kalki Avatar will subdue the wicked. It was prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who purified (transformed) bandits and miscreants and established them on the path of truth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came at a time, which was known as ‘Yaumul-Jahiliyah’, which means the “age or era of ignorance”. People indulged in various types of vices. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought them from darkness to light.
14. He will overpower the Devil with four companions
It is prophesied that Kalki Avatar, with four of his companions, will disarm Kali i.e. the devil. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), with his four most trusted companions, fought against the mischief and the evil of the devil. These four companions were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all). These four companions later became the first four Khalifas and spread the religion of Islam. In Islamic parlance these four are referred to as ‘the rightly guided Caliphs’.
15. He will be assisted by angels.
The Kalki Avatar will be assisted by angels in the battlefield. In the battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was assisted by angels who descended from the heavens. This is also mentioned in the Qur’an in:
Surah Ale- Imran chapter 3 verse 123-125
Surah Al- Anfal chapter 8 verses 8 & 9