SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ISLAM AND HINDUISM – Part 4
Dr. Zakir Naik
Concept of Angels in Hinduism and in Islam
1. Angels in Islam
Since angels are a creation of God, and not God, Muslims do not worship angels.
2. Angels in Hinduism
CONCEPT OF REVELATION IN HINDUISM AND IN ISLAM
(i) Concept of Revelation in Islam
“For each period
2. Four Revelations mentioned by name in the Qur’an:
Torah is the Wahi, the revelation which was revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh).
3. All previous revelations were only meant for a particular group of people and for a particular time period.
4. The Qur’an was revealed for whole of Humankind
a. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
Alif Lam Ra. A Book
b. Here is a Message for mankind;
c. Ramadan is the (month)
d. Verily We have revealed
Al Qur’an is God’s Word. It is the most sacred scripture of Islam. It is the Last and Final Revelation of Almighty God which was revealed in the sixth century of the English Calendar to the last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
5. The Qur’an is mentioned in the previous scriptures and in scriptures of other religions
Without doubt it is (announced)
The mention of the Glorious Qur’an, this last and final Revelation of Almighty God, is made in all the previous scriptures and in the scriptures of various religions.
(ii) BOOKS OF HINDUISM
Sruti means that which has been heard, perceived, understood or revealed. It is the oldest and the most sacred of the Hindu’s Scriptures. The Sruti is divided into two main parts: the Vedas and the Upanishads and these two are considered to be of divine origin.
Smrti is not as sacred as the sruti. Yet it is considered to be important and is popular with the Hindus today. Smrti means memory or remembered. This Hindu literature is easier to understand because it speaks about the truths of the Universe through Symbolism and Mythology. The smrti are not considered to be of divine origin but are accepted as human composition. The Smrti lists rules governing the actions of the individual, the community and the society, which regulate and guide individuals in their daily conduct. They are also known as Dharma Shastra. Smrtis consist of many writings including the Puranas and Itihaas.
There are several Holy Scriptures of the Hindus; among them are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas.
ii) The Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Sam Veda are considered to be more ancient books and are known as ‘Trai Viddya’ or the ‘Triple Sciences’. The Rig Veda is the oldest and has been compiled in three long and different periods of time. The 4th Veda is the Atharva Veda, which is of a later date.
Rigveda is mainly composed of songs of praise.
iii) There is no unanimous opinion regarding the date of compilation or revelation of the four Vedas. According to Swami Dayanand, who was the founder of the Arya Samaj, the Vedas were revealed 1310 millions of years ago and according to other scholars they are not more than 4000 years old.
iv) Similarly there is a difference of opinion regarding the places where these books were revealed and the Rishis to whom these Scriptures were given. In spite of these differences, the Vedas are considered the most authentic of the Hindu Scriptures and the real foundations of the Hindu Dharma.
i) The word ‘Upanishad’ is derived from ‘Upa’ meaning ‘near’, ‘ni’ which means ‘down’ and ‘shad’ means ‘to sit’. Therefore Upanishads means sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him the sacred doctrines.
According to Samkara, Upanishad is derived from the root word ‘sad’ which means ‘to loosen’, ‘to reach’ or ‘to destroy’, with ‘upa’ and ‘ni’ as prefix. Therefore Upanishad means ‘Brahma knowledge’ by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed.
The number of Upanishads exceeds 200 though the Indian tradition puts it at 108. There are 10 principal Upanishads however some consider them to be more than 10, while others state that there are 18.
ii) The Vedanta meant originally the Upanishads, though the word is now used for the system of philosophy based on the Upanishad. Literally, Vedanta means the end of the Veda, Vedasya-antah, the conclusion as well as the goal of Vedas. The Upanishads are the concluding portions of the Vedas and chronologically they come at the end of the Vedic period.
iii) Some Pundits consider the Upanishad to be superior to the Vedas.
3. ITIHAS – EPIC
4. BHAGVAD GITA
Maharishi Vyasa has divided the Puranas into 18 voluminous parts. Chief among the Puranas is a book known as Bhavishya Purana. It is called so because it gives prophecies of future events. The Hindus consider the Bhavishya Purana to be the word of God. Maharishi Vyasa is considered a mere compiler of the book the real author being God.
6. OTHER SCRIPTURES
7. MOST AUTHENTIC HINDU SCRIPTURES ARE THE VEDAS
Thus we have examined and highlighted similarities between the concept of angels and revelation in Islam and in Hinduism as mentioned in their respective scriptures. In subsequent articles in the present series, we shall study the similarities between the concept of prophethood, life after death, fate & destiny and worship in Islam and in Hinduism.
And all praises are for the One and Only God and Creator Allah, who alone is worthy of devotion, complete submission and worship.