Forced Conversion to Hinduism in India: (Analysis and Comparison) (2/2)

By Editorial Staff

 Good deed is more effective in Da`wah than mere words, so try to practice before you preach.

Good deed is more effective in Da`wah than mere words, so try to practice before you preach.

Please, read the first part of this article on this link.

We have clear historical proofs about the spread of Islam in the world through the individual efforts of Muslim traders and preachers.

Thomas Walker Arnold (1864–1930) says in this connection:

“But among the fifty-seven millions of Indian Musalmans there are vast numbers of converts or descendants of converts, in whose conversion force played no part and the only influences at work were the teaching and persuasion of peaceful missionaries.”(1)

He adds saying: “How little was effected towards the spread of Islam by violence on the part of the Muhammadan rulers, may be judged from the fact that even in the centers of the Muhammadan power, such as Dehli and Agra, the Muhammadans at the present day, in the former district hardly exceed one-tenth, and in the latter they do not form one-fourth of the population.”(2)

We will refer here to some reasons and motives that led to the spread of Islam in the world, especially in the Indian sub-continent.

First:According to the plain texts of the Glorious Qur’an and blessed Sunnah, all Messengers of Allah (peace be upon them) from the first prophet Adam (peace be upon him) until the last and final Messenger the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were missionaries, who invited people to the right path of Allah. Islam is not a new religion, rather; it is a continuation of the previous divine messages of Allah. Invitation to Islam began since the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) declared his prophethood. Various Qur’anic texts and their practical applications in the era of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) verify this fact. Islamic Da`wah succeeded in attracting people from around the world to its sublime, inspirational, perfect and pure message by their own conviction and desire. The message of Islam found its place and respect in the most parts of the world within a short period relatively. Islam presents a complete vision about the ethics, principles, rules and regulations of the Da`wah alongside the practical examples of this sacred duty through the pure biographies of previous messengers.

There were many reasons for the success of Islamic Da`wah in the world. The Glorious Qur’an and blessed Sunnah include many texts that make Da`wah  obligatory on the Muslim community as whole, and in some circumstances Da`wah  becomes obligatory on every individual of Muslim nation, everyone has to invite others to his faith to the best of his abilities. This issue is referred in Islamic Da`wah books as Fard `Ayn(collective obligation) and Fard Kifayah (individual obligation). However, Hindu religion is totally void of the idea of calling others to Hinduism.

Second: Islam has a plain and clear doctrine system that presents lucid idea on universe, humankind and God. It defines the nature of relationship between universe, mankind and God in a clear style.

Dr. Tara Chand says in this regard:

“Islam appeared upon the scene with a simple formula of faith, well-defined dogmas and rites, and democratic theories of social organization. It produced a tremendous effect.”(1)

According to Islam, the universe was created for humankind andthe humankind has been created for the worship of Allah, but this does not mean to denounce the world and reside in jungle for the worship. As every good work is a worship as par Islam and the doer is rewarded by Allah the Almighty.  If you work to earn money in order to spend on your dependents, it is a sort of worship. The only condition for this is to work in a permissible job. Your hand should be on work but your heart should be with Allah the Almighty, as was said by a Muslim poet. If you read the Glorious Qur’an you can verify our claim by your self.

However, if you try to find the concept of God in a logical and clear style in Hindu scriptures you cannot find, but you will face many philosophical and absurd ideas that will lead you to serious confusion and you would not be able to determine; who is the Creator and who is the creation? Who is the worshiper and who is the worshipped?

Third: Hindu religion is based on racial discrimination and caste system. Once a child is born in a Brahaman family he is higher and nobler than any person from other castes. A person from low caste, though he is a scientist and virtuous,can not be equal to an evil and ignorant Brahaman. When Indian people realized that Islam abolishes all types of segregation and discrimination based on caste, race or family background and establishes the Islamic society on justice and equality between all human beings they were attracted to the message of Islam.

Dr. Tara Chand says in this regard:

“His central doctrine was the unity of God, and his most important ritual the daily prayers. Fasts, alms, pilgrimage and belief in Muhammad as the Prophet of God were the main pillars of the faith. On the social side, its most impressive feature was the assertion of the equality and brotherhood of Muslims and hence the absence of a priestly class.”(2)

I think that the absence of equality in Hindu religion and racial discrimination represented in the Hindu caste system led people to take refuge in the shade of Islamic principles of equality. The true application of this value in practical life in Muslim communityencouraged low castes of India to embrace Islam in crowds.As well as many Hindu kings and princes and numerous Hindu spiritual leaders and powerful and influential personalities were influenced by the merits of Islamic message and preferred to leave Hinduism and accept Islam.

The principle of equality in Islam was the most important factor and motivation that led to the success of Islamic Da`wah in the Indian sub-continent. The people of low castes in India enjoyed the advantages of equality soon after they accepted Islam; thus a Dhobi (washer man) became equal to a Brahman under the shade of Islam.

Fourth: Muslim preachers and traders were pious and devout people who sacrificed everything for the sake of Da`wah, neither trade nor sale diverted them or their attention from their Lord or from their sacred duty of Da`wah.They were role models and live examples in upholding the high and good behavior and ethics of Islam.This was one of the most important factors for the success of Islamic Da`wah in the Indian sub-continent.On the other hand, these days we find many Hindu spiritual leaders involved in financial corruption and sexual scandals who have been arrested and were sent to the jail.

Fifth: Islamic Da`wah is characterized by a divine system for every field of life including the field of worship. Islam has a unique system of worship such as the daily five prayers, Friday prayers, `Eid prayers, fasting of the month of Ramadan, Hajj and Zakah. Some kinds of worship are obligatory and some are un-obligatory. Some are performed in congregation and some others are performed individually. Some acts of worship are performed daily while others are performed weekly or yearly. Some Islamic worships are performed bodily and some others are performed by spending money.

The daily five prayers are obligatory in Islam on every adult Muslim, male and female.

The daily five prayers are obligatory in Islam on every adult Muslim, male and female.

It is noteworthy that some people are now attracted to Hinduism by the name of Yoga but if you compare yoga system with the system of prayer in Islam you will find a big difference between them.

The Islamic system of worship is more spiritual, perfect, authentic, logical and beneficial than yoga of Hinduism. For example, Zakah in Islam is a basic worship obligatory on the wealthy people and at the same time Zakah is a kind of charity that must be spent on the poor, the needy and philanthropic works like building schools, hospitals, stations and bridges, etc. Likewise, the congregational prayer in Islam is more meritorious than performing it individually by twenty-seven times.

 The five prayers and their bodily benefit.

This indicates that Islam is a religion that encourages convergence and meeting with each other and share with each other the joy or sorrow of daily life through these religious gatherings. The role of Islamic worshipin spreading peace, tranquility and harmony in the hearts of people is noticeable. The percentage of suicide among observant Muslims is relatively low because of the spiritual blessings of the five prayers. Islamic worship is based on pure monotheism away from any kind of paganism and polytheism.

In contrast, Hinduism is based on paganism in its worst forms.In addition, Hindu worship in general is accompanied with dancing, singing, beating drums, squandering milk, and Ghee in large quantities and a lot of money is spent in crackers and fireworks. Therefore, no Hindu worship can compare the spirituality of worship in Islam at all.

Milk is being offered to a Hindu god

Milk is being offered to a Hindu god

Sixth: Islamic sources present a clear vision on Islamic Da`wah, the most important of these principles is not to compel anyone to convert to Islam as was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an itself:

 

There is no compulsion in religion.(Al-Baqarah2:256)

This principle is a key milestone in the freedom of religion introduced by Islam more than fourteen centuries ago.The earliest Muslim preachers applied this principle in a true sense even the contemporary Muslim preachers applyit when they invite people to the right path of Allah.The primary means of spreading Islam was the method of dialogue and discussion in a friendly and peaceful manner as was instructed in the Glorious Qur’an:

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.(An-Nahl16:125)

However, we find Hindu organizations in India try to convert poor people through material inducements and bright promises of job opportunities, houses and ration cards. Sometimes, the Hindu activists threaten some poor Muslims of beatings and killings. Most of those Hindu activists are criminals and followers of some Hindu political and religious leaders who do not know their own religious teachings. Therefore, such attempts are doomed to fail surely. These activities were initiated when some Hindus were provoked by numerous people’s willingness to convert to Islam voluntarily after they saw countless people from around the world study Islam and become convinced with Islamic doctrine system. Those people  were fascinated by Islamic way of worship, ethical values and merits of Islamic law. Therefore, they decide to convert to Islam honestly with their own free will and choice after their deep study and fair examination of Islamic ruling. The exciting success of Islamic Da`wah all over the world angered some Hindus so they began to imitate and copy the method of Islamic Da`wah.

 

A B.J.P. leader could been seen threatening them.

A B.J.P. leader could been seen threatening them.

Recommendation:Due to the above-mentioned reasons, we are sure that the efforts of Hindu organizations will fail, but Muslims should not underestimate these activities as Muslims were ordered by the Glorious Qur’an and blessed Sunnah to take necessary measures to prevent such events. Therefore, Islamic institutions, Da`wah societies and related organizations in India and abroad should pay attention to the poor areas inhabited by Indian Muslims. The needed preventive steps are listed below:

1- To appoint Muslim preachers and teachers in those areas to spread among them religious awareness and to teach them the recitation of Glorious Qur’an and the principles of Islam for men and women of all ages.

2-To establish mosques and Islamic educational centers.

3-To hold religious meetings on a regular basis to demonstrate for them Islamic doctrine system and Islamic rulings of purification, ablution and method of the five daily prayers.

4- To teach them read and write in their own language regardless of their age, because illiteracy is very high in the poor areas, and then to provide them with Islamic materials in their own language in a simple style with illustrated images of ablution and performing prayer.

5-Since a number of scholars and graduates complete their Islamic education in Islamic schools in India every year who can work as teachers and orators among those Muslims if they were honored with reasonable salary in return of their services after training them on educating men, women and children. I think they can carry out this mission in a better way if they are provided with a decent life.

6-To take advantages of Muslim graduate girls of Islamic schools in India after preparing them for the education of Muslim women in poor areas.

7-To provide these teachers with computers with Internet connection and train them on its usage to benefit from Da`wah materials available on Islamic Internet sites, especially the unique and authentic materials prepared by the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC) in Kuwait that presents Da`wah  materials in different world languages including: Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Malayalam and English in a wise method that can address the mentality of the modern world. But Muslim preachers can not reach those useful materials either due to the lack of computer skills or because they do not have a computer.

8-To encourage learners and students of those poor families with some modest prizes from time to time to promote them to come to the centers and learn.

9-Islamic organizations and associations must collect Zakah and alms in India to take care of those Muslims and to extend helping hands to the needy and poor people irrespective of their race, religion or faith especially in those areas that are feared of forced conversion or influence by physical allurement by Hindu organizations.

10-Islam has self and divine power to survive and face all challenges, every Friday prayer is preceded by a sermon, and Muslim orators can seize this opportunity to make Muslims aware of these dangers and can remind them of the importance of Islamic faith and how our Muslim ancestors were brave enough to face all types of tortures and agonies but they never thought to pronounce even a single word by their tongue against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or Islam. They sacrificed every thing even their souls to protect their faith. The story of the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and blessed Muslim martyrs of Badr and Uhud can be mentioned in order to inspire Muslims to protect their faith against the forced conversion to Hinduism.

Any gathering for political or social purposes needs a lot of money and strength to congregate people, but Muslims all over the world come together for Friday prayer willingly without any call or need of money. Muslim religious leaders need wisdom and insight to take advantage of this exalted gathering to face the dangers of Hindu organizations in a peaceful and wise manner.

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(1) T. W. Arnold, Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, 2nd ed., Constable & Company Ltd.1913,p.208.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Dr. Tara Chand, Influence of Islam on Indian Culture, Printed and published by K. Mittra, at the Indian Press, Limited, Allahabad, 1922, p.34.

(4) Ibid.

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