by Farhan Iqbal
Islam is a wonderful religion and Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him), is the greatest person in the history of mankind, according to a renowned Hindu scholar in India. He also said that for learning and understanding Islam, Prophet’s life and teachings are the best source.
The Hindu scholar, Swami Lakshmi Shankaracharya, said, “We are talking about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and we should keep it in our mind that he is the greatest individual in history. If anyone wants to know about Islam, one should judge Islam by Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life and his teachings.”
While delivering a lecture on “Seerat-un-Nabi” (Prophet’s life) at a conference held in Patna, the capital city Bihar province, recently, Swami who is also the founder of Jan Ekta Manch, said that peace and humanity is the core teaching of Islam.
But, unfortunately, most of the Muslims don’t follow Islamic teachings and they hardly learn from the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Exhorting Muslims, he urged, “It is the duty of every Muslim to save and protect the humanity, and that the Prophet would forgive his enemies and showed patience when he was harmed by others, this was his moral teachings which made Islam an international religion.” He cited the stories of “Fatah-Al-Makkah” (Conquest of Makkah) when enemies of Islam were given the amnesty despite being made prisoners of war by the Muslims. On Jihad, he clarified that it has nothing to do with innocent killings or terrorism.
The first permission to take to arms was accorded in verse 22:39 of the Holy Qur’an, which reads: “Permission (to take up arms) is hereby given to those who attacked, because they have been wronged.” The Holy Qur’an further says: “Fight, for the sake of Allah with those that fight against you, but do not be aggressive.”
He also cited extensively from the Hindu scriptures to validate Islam’s endeavor to establish peace on earth.
It is interesting to note that the Hindu seer was initially very critical about Islam and its concept of Jihad. He considered Islam to be the root cause of global terrorism. This thinking had cropped up in his mind because of his study of negative materials on Islam and behavior of some Muslims. Later he wrote a book, “The History of Islamic Terrorism,” too. However, on being urged to study Islam from its original sources, the Swami read the Holy Qur’an from cover to cover besides the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He realized that he had misunderstood Islam. While accepting his mistake he wrote sort of a rejoinder to such negative materials in a book titled, “Islam – Aatank ya Aadarsh” (in Hindi) and its English version, “Islam: Terror or Ideal Path.”
In this book, he clarified the real meaning of Jihad and why Islam is the religion of peace. He concluded that Muslims were enjoined to fight in self-defense to establish peace, without resorting to terror.
The conference was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Bihar. Nayyaruzzaman, the regional president of the Jamaat, presided over the conference.
He emphasized on the acquisition of true knowledge of Islam and practicing it as was done by the Prophet’s companions.