Similarities between Hinduism and Islam debunked

In this article, I am going to analyze some strange stupid claims made by Islam-Hinduism website about worship between Islam and Hinduism.

  • Idol Worship Is Prohibited in Hinduism:

Oh god! Once again the same stupidity. Here the original author of the article Dr. Zakir Naik quoted some verse from several scriptures and claimed that idol worship is prohibited in Hinduism.

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires they worship demigods i.e. idols” (Bhagavad Gita 7.20)

My response:

The author is using Iskcon translation. The demigods mentioned here are devatas, i.e, deities like Indra, Varuna, Mitra, etc. Bhagavad Gita, just like Mundaka Upanishad, here calling Karma Kanda of Vedas as Apara Vidhya indirectly. What this verse says is that people who desire for material things such as progeny, cattle, long life, etc will worship Devatas in the form of sacrifice.  The word demigods mentioned here is not idols.

He also claimed that Svetashvatara Upanishad 4:19 and Yajur Veda 32:3 says “Na Tasya Pratima Asti” i.e., of him, there is no image.

My response:

Na Tasya Pratima Asti means There is no likeliness of him. The word Pratima occurs several other times in the Vedas. I challenge anyone here to find where the word Pratima can be translated as image other than this verse.

His next claim:

It is also mentioned in Yajurveda, Chapter 40, verse 9:

“They enter darkness those who worship natural things (for e.g. air, water, fire, etc.). They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti i.e. created things (for e.g. table, chair, car, idol etc.)” (Yajur Veda 40:9)

My response:

He can simply claimed as Isha Upanishad verse 9. Anyway, refutation is here:

अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते ।
ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्यायां रताः ॥

Meaning:‘They enter into blinding darkness who worship avidya; into still greater darkness, as it were, do they enter who delight in vidya.’

I am using Kanva Shaka of Yajur Veda 40.9-12. The author might have used Madhandiya Shaka which has the words Asambhuti and Sambhuti. Both the words are replaced by Avidhya and Vidhya in Kanva Shaka. So, Sambhuti means Vidhya and Asambhuti means Avidhya. This has nothing to do with idols or natural things or created things.

  • Charity:

The author mentions that in both Islam and Hinduism there is a concept of donation, in Islam it is called as Zakat and in Hinduism it is called as Dana. Here I agree with him that charity is also a part of Hinduism. However, I don’t think charity in Hinduism is as same as charity in Hinduism. Zakat is giving earning money or agricultural goods or metals. On the other hand, Dana in Hinduism is not that much compulsory except food donation, which a person should give to get rid of debts to humans. Other than that, even the following things can also be given as Dana:

229. A giver of water obtains the satisfaction (of his hunger and thirst), a giver of food imperishable happiness, a giver of sesame desirable offspring, a giver of a lamp a most excellent eyesight.

230. A giver of land obtains land, a giver of gold long life, a giver of a house most excellent mansions, a giver of silver (rupya) exquisite beauty (rupa),

231. A giver of a garment a place in the world of the moon, a giver of a horse (asva) a place in the world of the Asvins, a giver of a draught-ox great good fortune, a giver of a cow the world of the sun;

232. A giver of a carriage or of a bed a wife, a giver of protection supreme dominion, a giver of grain eternal bliss, a giver of the Veda (brahman) union with Brahman;

233. The gift of the Veda surpasses all other gifts, water, food, cows, land, clothes, sesame, gold, and clarified butter.

Is giving water or bed or Veda or house as Zakat permitted? NO! So, comparing Zakat with Dana is stupidity.

(All verses are from Manusmriti, Chapter 4)

  • Fasting:

At first he mentioned about fasting in Islam which is one of the five pillars of Islam which a healthy Muslim adult must practice regularly in the month of Ramzan. Muslims are supposed to fast during day time and can eat a lot during night time during Ramzan.  Such a fasting is not mentioned in any of the Hindu scriptures.

He also claimed:

There are different types and methods of fasting in Hinduism. According to Manusmriti, chapter 6, verse 24,

“Fasting has been prescribed for a month for purification.” (Manusmriti edited by Dr. R. N. Sharma)

My Response:

Manusmriti 6.24 “Bathing at the three Savanas, he shall offer libations to the gods and Pitṛs; and practising harsher and harsher austerities, he shall emaciate his body.”

He also claimed that fasting has also been prescribed in Manusmriti, chapter 4, verse 222 and Manusmriti chapter 11, verse 204.

My Response:

Manusmriti 4.221-222 “The food of those other persons who have been successively mentioned as those whose food should not be eaten,—the wise men describe as skin, bones and hairs. After unknowingly eating the food of any one of these, there should be a three days’ fast. Having eaten it knowingly, as also on eating semen, ordure and urine, one should perform the “Krccha” penance.”

This verse is all about an atonement for eating forbidden foods. I don’t think Islam prescribes fasting as an atonement for eating forbidden food.

Manusmriti 11.204 “If a man has uttered the syllable ‘hum’ against a Brāhmaṇa, or has addressed a superior person as ‘thou,’—he shall bathe, fast for the rest of the day and having saluted him, shall propitiate him.”

This verse is all about an atonement for hurting or injuring a (practicing) Brahmin. It is asking to fast a day if a member of other three castes insulted him. I don’t think this fast has similarity with Islamic fasting.

  • Hajj (Pilgrimage):

His claim:

There are various places of pilgrimage in Hinduism. One of the sacred places mentioned in Rigved, book 3, hymn 29, verse 4 is

Ilayspad, which is situated at Nabha prathvi.”

‘Ila’ means God or Allah, and ‘spad’ means place, therefore Ilaspad means place of God. Nabha means center and prathvi means earth. Thus, this verse of the Veda prescribes pilgrimage to a place of God situated at the center of the earth.[1]

[1] He is linking with Mecca! LOL!

My Response:

“In Iḷā’s place we set thee down, upon the central point of earth,
That, Agni Jātavedas, thou mayst bear our offerings to the Gods.” (Rig Veda 3.29.4)

What is the need for Zakir Naik to reinterpret this verse when Aitareya Brahmana already interpreted it?

Aitareya Brahmana 1.5 “The Hotar now repeats, ‘We put you (Agni) in the place of Ila, in the center of the earth to carry our offerings.’ By Nabhi, the center of the Uttaravedi is meant.”

This is clearly a Mantra which should be chanted at a certain sacrifice. From this Aitareya Brahmana interpretation, we can understand that the word Nabhi, i.e, center (Nabha as mentioned in Rig Veda 3.29.4) here denotes center of Uttaravedi (northern altar, i.e, a type of Vedic altar). So, this Vedic altar is regarded as entire earth. The term Ila here too refers to Vedic altar. Ila is the daughter of Manu, who is believed to be the first instructor of sacrifice. So, Vedic altar is called as Ila. Nabhi in Sanskrit means center or navel (navel exists in the center of the human body). Nabha too means the same. Even if it inferred that the earth here doesn’t denote Vedic altar and planet earth only and nabha here means center of the planet earth, there is no mention of pilgrimage here.

In Vedas, there are many verses which assumed entire sacrificial altar as entire earth. For example Rig Veda 10.53.8 says:

“Thy spirit, that went far away, away to the four-cornered earth, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.”

One Sanskrit word used here is “चतुर्भृष्टि” which means four cornered. Hindu phobics often quote this verse to prove that this verse says earth has four cornered, so Hindu scriptures contain scientific errors. But the reality is, the earth mentioned here isn’t planet earth, but sacrificial altar. This is what Satapatha Brahmana 6.1.2.29 says:

“Now this earth is four-cornered, for the quarters are her corners: hence the bricks are four-cornered; for all the bricks are after the manner of this earth.”

The earth mentioned here is sacrificial altar, not planet earth. With this we can conclude that Rig Veda 3.29.4 also personifies a sacrificial altar as entire earth.

Does the Valmiki Ramayana 5.9.26 says earth is four cornered? The answer is no. There is no word चतुर्भृष्टि in the entire verse.

pr

As you can see, Valmiki Ramayana 5.9.26 merely says Ravana’s palace is covered with a large carpet and on that carpet the earth characteristics such as rivers, mountains, oceans, forests are painted.

He also claimed that Narasamsa in Rig Veda 3.29.11 refers to Muhammad? But the reality is different!

“As Germ Celestial he is called Tanūnapāt, and Narāśaṁsa born diffused in varied shape. Formed in his Mother he is Mātariśvan; he hath, in his course, become the rapid flight of wind.” (Rig Veda 3.29.11)

This first half of this verse says Agni is called as “Tanunapat” when he is in the stage of embryo in the wood. Tanunapat means son of oneself, here the oneself is milk. From cow (grandfather of Tanunapat), milk can be obtained and from milk only ghee can be obtained and with ghee only we can kindle fire in the sacrifice in the beginning stage. So, in that stage, Agni is called Tanunapat.

Narasamsa is also one of the names of Agni. Agni is called so because after the fire is properly formed in the sacrifice, Agni is praised using Vedic hymns during sacrifice by the men who perform sacrifice. Nara means men and Samsa means praising. Vedic verses/hymns praising Agni are already given to us by seers. Humans who perform sacrifices use those verses/hymns in sacrifices which are in praise of Agni. So, in that stage when the Agni is fully spread all over the wood and the wood started burning vigorously, Agni is called Narasamsa.

This has nothing to do with Muhammad. Muhammad means praiseworthy and Narasamsa may also mean the same. However, here it is addressed to Agni, not Muhammad.

Agni is called by the name “Narasamsa” in Rig Veda 1.13.2:

Rig Veda 1.13.2 “Dear Narasamsa, sweet of tongue, the giver of oblations, I Invoke to this our sacrifice.”

Mecca in Rig Veda 1.128.1? Again a big NO!

By Manu’s law was born this Agni, Priest most skilled, born for the holy work of those who yearn therefore, yea, born for his own holy work. All ear to him who seeks his love and wealth to him who strives for fame, Priest ne’er deceived, he sits in Iḷā’s holy place, girt round in Iḷā’s holy place.

Once again the word Ila is used. Again the Ila here is referring to Vedic altar, just like Rig Veda 3.29.4. Ila is the daughter of Manu. Ila is believed to be the first instructor of sacrificial rites, so Vedic sacrificial altar is called as Ila in Vedas.


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