Questions From A Muslim With Answers From Khan
I downloaded Bhagvad Geeta from your site and read it. I am extremely impressed and moved by the teachings of Krishana Ji. But being a Muslim, some questions arose in my mind. If you could help me to finding their answers, I will be grateful to you.
I downloaded Bhagvad Geeta from your site and read it.
I am extremely impressed and moved by the teachings of Krishana Ji. But being a Muslim, some questions arose in my mind.
If you could help me to finding their answers, I will be grateful to you.
1. Why different religions, and I am refering specially to Islam and Hinduism, in contradiction to each other? Is it that some are really from God and others not?
Thank you very much.
Asalaamulakum and Hare Krishna
My name is Khan and I have visited Pakistan. My parents are both muslims. And they like good muslim parents encouraged me in the islamic way of life. I had a firm belief in God and feared the day of judgement so tried to be good. But sometimes I would fail. Other times I would speculate more about what Allah was like and what heaven is like. But when I asked my elder Muslim brothers and fathers they would often tell me not to think of these things and just take what the Quran and hadith say, full stop.
At this stage in my life I was of the thinking that only Islam, Christianity and Jeudaism were authentic religions since they were all memtioned in the Quran but the Jewish and Christian scriptures had been changed whilst the Quran had stayed the same. But I thought all the other religions were man made idol worship concotions. My muslim upbringing had showed me that Islam was the last and final religion and that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was the last Prophet.
But at the age of 17 I, as are you, was most fortunate to come in contact with the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and Srila Prabhupada’s books. As I read the BHagvad-Gita and many other smaller books I began to realise that all the religions were actually linked. Each religion would come due to time place and circumstance to elevate those particular people to the level of human beings who would begin to engage their minds on God.
“Hinduism” is the oldest then Budhism then Judaism then Christianity then Islam then Sikhism and then Lord CAitanya came. Each had their purpose. You can research each if you want. But when you compare the scriptures of each you will begin to see that there is a common link. Each believes in ONE ultimate God/Reality and each gives processes on how to reach this final goal/reality.
You said in your enquiring message:
1. Why different religions, and I am refering specially to Islam and Hinduism,are in contradiction to each other? Is it that some are really from God and others not?
Well some contradictions that I originally thought of between Hinduism(specifically Bhakti Yoga) and Islam:
1)Reincarnation- I always had a strong inclination that reincarnation occurs even before I came in contact with Krishna consciousness. But Muslims believe that after this life one is judged by God to go into heaven or hell to enjoy or suffer forever onwards. Whereas the Vedic literatures teach us that indeed at the time of death one is judged according to the deeds one has done in that life(ie Karma) and given appropriate next life in either heavenly or hellish body based on qualifications and deire. In fact it is some dear servants of God that look after this process not God directly. Why because in doing so they please God in their service. So if you act righteously and do good deeds and desire to go to heven, after death your soul will be transfered to heaven and you will be born into a heavenly planet. There are different levels of heavenly planets ==7different levels== same as the Islam teaches us in Quran and HAdith that there are 7 levels of heaven. But the real difference in spiritual life of the vedic literatures is that God does not live in the heavenly planets. Even the Quran says that God created the Earth and the Heavens which means that He existed before the Heavens and therfore these are not His eternal abode. So not only do the Vedic LIteratures explain about what the heavenly planets are and how to get there it also explains about Gods abode and how to get there. This is the SPIRITUAL WORLD. In fact there is a HAdith that explains that when Prophet Muhammed ascended to God he penatrated all 7 layers of Heaven. So in fact the aim of life in both religions is to get to God and help serve Him, not simply a paradise were you can enjoy your senses more.
The issue of reincarnation is about realisation really. If you come to the understanding that you are not the body that is constantly changing but rather you are pure spirit soul covered in the materialism then this is a start. (concept of soul is in Islam). But the next stage is to realise that the soul is not the same as the body. It is eternal. But then you may argue that only God is eternal. But God is the eternal master (allah hu akbar) and we are the eternal servants. How can you be a master if there is noone to master over. So the real understanding I have gained is that the soul was not created, we are part and parcel of God. But simultaneously different.
2)Vegetarianism- Now many Muslims almost think that it is faraz(a must) to eat meat to be a muslim. This is simply wrong. At that time remeber the civilisation was quite degraded and the majority of the people would be eating meat, intoxicating on alcohol and gambling and so many other corrupt things. If you study the Quran it will show in the earlier time that the Prophet allowed alcohol in moderation, but later verses do not allow. This is due to at that time place and circumstance to slowly raise the level of the people. Similarly although meat eating is allowed it is not necesarry. In Islam when you kill an animal the halal you must look the animal in the eye and recite Quranic verse and offer 6/7ths of the animal to the poor and eat the rest with your family. Who does this now? In England they have big slaughterhouses. Even Muslim ones and they have a tape player of an Imam saying the payers that recirculates agian and again while the animals are killed one by one in a profit business fashion. I am vegetarian and would only eat meat if necesarry.
Muslims would even ask me about Eid and HAjj, shouldnt you eat meat then? But lets look at the story behind this. When Prophet Abraham was about to sacrife his son due to God asking him in dreams God stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a sheep instead. But does this really mean that every muslim to celebrate this day should kill a sheep and enjoy and laugh and have party and dress in new fashionable clothes? Or is the moral of the story that on this day we should be prepared to sacrifice something that we are attached too much to(like TV or pop music or so on)?
3)Deity worship- In Prophet Muhammeds time there was an ancient Vedic culture in ancien arabia. But this had become corrupted. And instead of worshipping God people were woshipping stones for some material benefit. MAny idols of many so-called Gods were present. THe general society was degraded—women and men dancing naked around the Kaba and alcohol drinking and gambling and so many other degrading acts.
So at that time place and circumstance a system needed to be introduced to change this society into more of human civilsation. So the Prophet came with Quran and began to win many followers and destroy all these idols and degraded society. Islam would preach no Idol Worshipping, drinking and gave a social structure where women would be honoured.
But Diety worship is not the same as idol worship. Dieties are the authentic forms of God. Just as in the Quran there are many different names of God (for to Him belong all the beutiful names) at least 99 showing His different attributes. So similarly in the VEdic scriptures there are many different forms of God. No one says that since the muslims call Allah by so many different names then they believe in so many different Gods. So if you begin to see Hinduism in this light then you will realise that even the Hindus believe in only one God.
You also asked:
For me personally it helps me to think of Krishna better when I can see a picture of Him rather than reading a name like Allah or Krishna. But remeber even the names are so spiritually powerful. Because Allah is absolute that means His name, form and voice are non-different. Remember often in the Quran it says that prophets heard God say this or that. So if you can hear God what is the difficulty in seeing God. God is on the absolute platform. So if you can keep the beutiul names of Allah on your lips all the time then you will be spiritually successful.
Even in the Quran there are references of God’s personmal features. These I can give you. Where it mentions that God has eyes,hands, face etc. Remember this is not a material limited body like ours. When a devotee sees a picture of Krishna the picture acts as a spiritual tool because straight away he is reminded of God. So I recommend that you continue to remeber God in the best way you can. If this means keeping His names on your lips then this is also very perfect.
PLease keep reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. They are not ordinary books. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. So many people are converting. But those who convert from Islam, it takes something really powerful to do this. For me I have found this in the Vedic literatures. But remeber you don’t have to give up or throw away anything. You can still pray 5 times a day, go to Masjid and celebrate Eid. But if you want to increase your spirtual life even further then please my Muslim brother take advantage of the knowledge in these books. And distribute it to as many people as you can. After all Muslim means one who submits to the will of Allah.
Please let me know if there are more confusions. Remeber spiritual life is a process of realisation. It may not happen overnight.
Please take care and thank you very much.
Khud Hafiz and Hare Krishna