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Myths of Composite Culture

Equality of Religions

Harsh Narain

© Author


I. The Myth of Composite Culture 1

II. India: Dar aI-J:Iarb Of Dar aI-Islam ? 37
HI. The Myth of Unity and Equality of
Religions 47
Index 73

"May. 1991

Printed by Suman Printers and Stationers. 1/9346-B. West Rehtas

Nagar, Shahdara, Delhi-110 032 and published by Voice of India
2/18 Ansari Road, New Delhi-lIO 002.
Chapter 1


During the early phases of modern Indian renaissance, it

was the Vedic-Upanii?adic phase of Indian culture which was
accorded the pride of place in describing and evaluating Indian
culture. Later, it came to be rivalled by what the atheists and
the materialists, the agnostics and the rationalists, and tl,le
humanists and the modernists combined to call anti- Vedic~
U panii?adic culture fathered by Carvaka and the Buddha.
Lastly, during the struggle for India's independence thr.ough
non-coop6ratioD and civil disobedience against the British,-
coupled with pandering to the so-called mmorities' freaks of
fancy culminating first in the KhiliiJat movement and then in
the vivisection of this country, a veritable communalization of
Indian politics set in, camouflaged as 'secularism', leading to an
exaggerated fancy on the secularists' part for India's Muslim'
past and thereby for the so-called composite, Hindu-Muslim

The st:ated or unstated postulates of 'secular' reason In the

present context are:

1. That Indian culture is a composite culture.

2. That the composite culture is pre-eminently the culture
supervenient upon the mingling of the Hindu and Mus lim
cultural streams.

3. That the Hindus should be thankful to the Muslims for

the latter's contribution to the composite culture.
4. That it is this phase of Indian culture which is of para-
mOllnt importance as conducive to communal harmony and
national integration.

That such a composition of cultures i$ al~ays gesirable.


The protagonists of this concept of composite Indian culture zationfmodernization. Has Bertrand Russell not predicted
feel committed to paint the Hindu-Muslim relations during the ,(gloomily) that time will come when 'the only difference between
pre-British times in the brightest possible colours. To them, all East and West will be that the former is more Western' ?1
was well before the inception of the British rule in this country. Likewise, the onslaught of Islam on Indian culture has
Indeed, they sometimes wax so enthusiastic in flaunting their undeniably had some impact or other, which deserves to be
whim of prennially persisting 'ideal' Hindu-Muslim relations stuoied responsibly. Tara Chand's findings need suitable
,and pay such glowing tributes not only to the Indian Muslim -refurbishing and rehashing. •
·community but even to ,the most universally despised persecu- Even so, there is a genuine apprehension that some of
'tors of the Hindus and destroyers of all that is Hindu that the -the abiding fundamentals and ideals of perennial Indian culture
,unway are led to forget that India was ever partitioned on .run the risk of getting distorted or clouded at the hands
,account of just the non-coexistential disposition of the Muslim -of the advocates of composite Indian culture or of undiscerning
.mind. ,admirers of Indian Islam and Muslim rule. The tendency is
,already on the ascendant of playing down the achievements of
Through an eulogy of this , phase of Indian culture as a
pre-Islamic and pre-Buddhistic Indian culture and of creating
model for our times; a mentality is sought to be created which
the impression that all that is significant and sound in Indian
threatens to drive Indian culture into self-alienation, if not
-culture is creditalbe to either Buddhism or , to the Muslim
self-oblivion or outright self-cancellation. Thanks to overt or
covert politicization of the' class of even our intellectuals,
ev,erybody is toeing the line of the political demagogues. India It would be pertinent to point out, before we proceed
has strayed in its self·complacent quest for its cultural identity. 'further, that culture has two strata: culture of the aristos and
culture of the demos. It is the former which represents and
On the other side, cultural purists tend to dismiss the idea ,defines society, imparts its own identity to it, and determines
-of composite culture out of hand and assert that it is civilization the course of events in it. ' There is little notable difference
rather than culture which can afford to be composite. Is it so among the different cultures of the demos. The culture of the
as a matter of fact or as a matter of logic? They seem t(:) be demos has no appreciable form of its own, wherefore it is
inclined to the second alternative. comparatively easy for it to intermingle with other such
cultures. In what follows, therefore, we always mean aristo-
The situation is not that simple. For one thing, as it were, cratic culture by 'culture'.
the protagonists of the con-cept of composi,te culture seem to Now, what do the protagonists of the ccmposite view of
t'ake cultur.~ and civilization together without worrying about Indian culture mean by 'composite culture'? Three meanings of
the nice distinction between these. For another, although there ihe term suggest themselves: cultural congeries, electic culture,
does exist a line of demarcation between culture and civiliza- and synthetic culture. Sorokin defines cultural congeries as
tion, does it rule out the 'possibility of interaction and inter-
follows: 'Any collection of cultural phenomena interrelated
mixture between the two? Social life cannot be divided into
only by spatial adjacency (or time-adjacency, like many newsreel
watertight compartments. Culture is not civilization-proof, nor
events) makes the most conspicuous case of cultual congeries.'2
is civilization culture-proof. It is true that they have their own
1. Allen Wood, Ber/rand Russell": A Passionate Seep/ie, London, 1957,
dynamics each, yet they each can receive stimulus even from p.136. '
outside. Just see, where is the purity of our culture today? It 2. Pitirim A. Sorokin , Social Philosophies of all Age of Crisis, London,
has 'coine to be gripped by a tremendous process of Western i- 1952, p. 192. '

Do the sponsors of the composite view of Indian culture mean Theoretically speaking, there is no logical bar to the concept
to say that there is no internal, essential relation between the of composite cult:.Jre. But, being in the nature of a more-
various constituents of Indian culture but only a spatial and/or -subtle, evasive, and elusive reality than civilization, and
temporal one and that, occupying as they do one and the same virtually a second nature with, its bearers, it is far from as
space, they are mutually separate and independent? An allied easily compoundable with other socio-cultural phenomena as
question is: Is there peaceful coexistence amongst the cultures the media of its expression constituting civilization. As regards
constituting this congeries or are they constantly at war with the particular case of India, we have reasons to believe that
one another? That ours is a pluralistic society goes without while Indian society and civilization are definitely composite:
saying. Indian culture cannot be called so, notwithstanding the patent
fact that the latter betrays sure signs of other cultures' influence
Now, if Indian culture is not just a congeries of cultures, is
upon it. But being influenced is one thing; being composite,
it of the nature of an eclectic culture? Eclecticism implies
,quite another. For that matter, Western culture is exercising a
random intermixture, irrespective of and indifferent to the greater influence on it than Muslim culture ever did, and yet
native or nascent urge for unity, self-identity, and genius of the Indian culture cannot be said to be a composite culture on that
respective cultures concerned, often as a house divided against account. And there is the phenomenon of something like a
itself. A congeries just happens to be, whereas eclecticism is religio-cultural counterattack on the West from the East ,
rather an invited phenomenon. Thanks to the loss of vitality of especially from India. In fact, mutual give and take among
a culture, for example, its bearers tend to become mimics of the various cultures has been taking place from time immemorial,
good bad or indifferent traits of other cultures, which results but cultures combining to form a ~omposite culture is a rare
in a' hot~hpotch of cultural patterns, tending often to do more phenomenon in history.
harm tban good. Yamunaca rya, the great pre-Ramanuja
Vai:?l)ava philosopher, warns against intermixture or eclectici~m As a matter of fact, perennial Indian national culture is a
(sQl~kara) of different Tantric traditions thus: 'TIle Saiva, the broad unity, is one omnibus culture, dating from the pre-Vedic
Pasupata, the Saumya, and the fourfold Lagu<;la Tantra-s [have or rather pre-historic times and coming down to us after
their own identities and] are meant to be different. They must suffering a long series of vicissitudes constantly changing its
not be intermixed.'l Then do the upholders of the composite colours and contours, often sloughing off its dead weight and
Indian culture theory purport to say that Indian culture is an absorbing new elements, and yet retaining its identity for the
eclectic culture, a mere intermixture of cultures, without a whole world to see. The following UrdU couplet of AJ:1mad
cardinal culture for the constituent cultures to hinge on? Nadlm Qasiml appears to fit it weB:

The third and last alternative meaning of composite culture Jab bhi dekhii hai tujhe fiurat-i nau dekhii hai
is a synthetic 'syn thetized /i ntegrated culture, a culture born of a Mar(wlah tayy na ' huii teri shiniisii'i kii
happy blending of different cultures. If the upholders of the
,(Whenever I saw thee I saw thee in a new form. The problem of
composite view of Indian culture mean such a culture by com- thy identity remains unsolved.)
posite culture, they are living in a fool's paradise. The partition
of Indi a and the Muslim problem miscalled communal problem The Buddhist, the Jaina, the Sikh, and such other 'cultures'
are a standing challenge to it. of Indian origin as are considered non-Hindu, semi-Hindu, or
marginally Hindu 'cultures' are in the nature of subcultures of
1. Yamuna, AgamaprtimalJya 109.
.and firmly rooted in this great national culture. Similar, at best,

is the case with the 'secular culture' of to~ay. And the purely (5) ~~mmohun R~ and (6) Jawaharlal Nehru. 1 And Gandhi?
OmISSion of his name is significant and, to all intents and
atheistic-materialistic tradition of the Carvaka variety, thriving
purposes, provides_ a clue to the mental reservation on the part
on nagation of religion .pure and simple, has had no culture of
of the author. Again, according to him, the composite culture
its own, nor anything in the nature of a subculture of the great
of India includes . the following seven streams of influence:
culture. So far as the cultures of non-Indian, Semitic origins are
(1) Vedantic vision, (2) Bhakti marga, (3) humanistic concepts
concerned, their role here has all along been that of a counter-
of Islam, (4) tht! message of ljulb-i kull (peace for all and
culture or inculture by and large, with the reservation, however,
complete peace) of SUfism, (5) syncretic Indo-Muslim cultural
that, despite all that can be preferred against the Christian
values,. (6) cosmopolitanism of modern urban development, and
missions in India, it must be acknowledged in all fairness that
(7) herItage ofIndian national movement. 2 Elsewhere, he adds
their activities have led to a sort .of unpr.ecedented acculturation'
'the essence of the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gitii' as the
of the down-trodden, the neglected, 'the dust and the dross and
second item, thereby revising the list to include eight items. 3
the scum of the earth', so to speak. Intended primarily, though,
~he emphasis of this list, too, on the role of Islam is clear
to subserve the counter-culture, the process of acculturation .is ,
standing the national culture also in good stead. Be whatever '
it may, it is Hindu culture which is the presiding (abhimiinin) , As against the claims of the upholders of the theory of
culture of this country, the aforesaid other 'cultures' being composite, Hindu-Muslim culture, it is extremely significant tbat
either adventitious (anusayin) or adjunctive/accretional in, no Indian philosopher has ever shown any awarness of Muslim
nature. religion or philosophy right from the dawn of Islam till the
All this will receive embellishment as we proceed. inception of British rule in India. Indeed, even thereafter no
Well, it bears repeating that our quarrel is not so much with Indian philosopher appears to have taken more than pa~sing
the protagonists of composite culture as such, nor even with the notice of Muslim thought or culture in shaping his own thought.
protagonists of composite Indian culture in general, but with the Barring the honourable exceptions of Dadi Shukoh, Akbar, and
protagonists of composite Hindu-Muslim culture, who are out possibly Zayn al-'Abidin 4 and FaYQi 5 , no Muslim theologian,
to exhibit Islam as a progressive cultural force and a boon to· 1. R~sheeduddin Khan, 'The Problematique: The Heritage of
India. They seem to take it for granted, and approvingly, that Composite Culture As an Input in the Process of Building a New National
their brand of composite culture has helped antiquate the pre- Identity', Composite Culture of India and National Integratioll Rasheed·
uddin Khan, ed" a product of a seminerg the Indian Institute of Advanced
Muslim phase of Indian culture, rendering it fit only to sink
Study, Simla, held in 1984 on the subject, Simla, 1987, p. 55.
into oblivion. This is why the Muslims and the so-called 2. Ibid, pp. 39-41. .
secularists seldom talk of the great pre-Muslim culture of 3. Rasheeduddin Khan, 'The Root and Origins of Composite Culture
Greater India except, as in the case of quite a number of the of India', Composite Culture and Indian Society .. Problems alld ProspectS
of Integra/ion, Proceedings of Dr. Zakir Husain Educational and Cultural
secularists, to malign it implicitly and sometimes explicitly.
Foundation, ·Radhey Mohan ed., New Delhi, n.d. pp. 5-6.
This is reflected, for example, in their choice of represen- 4. ~~ltiin Zayn al- 'A.bidin of Kashmir wrote a work, Shikl1yat, based on
tatives of composite culture. For instance, Rasheeduddi1l' Yogl1'VaSl~{lra, no longer extant.
Khan's list of 'the most illustrious representatives of the com- 5. Fay~i authored a book entitled Shiiriq al-Ma'rifat, 2nd ed.,
posite culture of India spanning eight centuries' consists of Lucknow, 1885, setting out certain Vedihitic theses of the Srimad·
Blziigavata al'id tho Yogaviisi~{ha. It is difficult to say how far he him elf
(1) Amir Khusrau, (2) Kabir, (3) Nllnak, (4) Dara Shukoh ..
upheld them.

thinker, or even Sufi has ever thought it fit to have a peep into -country does not entitle a plunderer to be looked upon as
Indian religion or philosophy while formulating his Yiews. indigenous.- It must first be seen whose interests be is out to
serve. What is his attitude towards Indians? Take an example.
Even during the British rule, it was taken for granted that
European settlers entered America and ruined the original
the expressions 'Indian philosophy', 'Indian religion', and
inhabitants, whom they named 'Red Indians' (under a miscon-
.'i~dian , culture' stood for the philosophy, religion, and
ception), completely. To expect the remaining Red Indians to
~ulture' of India. Muslim philosophy and religion, too, regard their European-born rulers as equally indigenous would
came to flourish on Indian soil, which gave birth to such be a cruel joke beyond their understanding. It is indeed not f{)~
leading lights in tbe field as Shaykh Al).mad Sarbindi nicknamed nothing that while white Americans celebrate as the Thanks-
MUjaddid Alf-i Thani (1564-1634), Shah Wali Allah, Shah giving Day the date on which the Pilgrim Fathers stepped OIl
Is:ma' i1 Shabid, Fazl-i l:Iaqq Khairabadi, Qasim Nanautawi, American soil, the native Red Indians observe it as the Day of
and Sir Mul).ammad Iqbal. But none of these find place in the Mourning. This poor lot has been reduced to the status of a
histories of Indian philosophy and religion, with the solitary 'stranger in its own hon;teland, like the poet who laments:
excep~ion of Iqbal, who is sometimes taken notice of in the
syllabus of certain universities. Everybody was convinced that, Ghurbat-zadah-i nisI chu man dar watan-i man
eve~ though the Muslims had permanently settled in India,
their religion, philosophy, and culture-in fact their entire way (There is none so much of a stranger in his own homeland as I
:of life and thought-were alien; that their rule was a foreign am in mine). It is a different matter that the Red Indians are on
rule; and that their centre of gravity belongs elsewbere than the brink of extinction thanks to exploitation and tyranny of
this country. That is to say, Muslim culture was taken to be the Euro-Americans and that there is nobody to challenge the
;having not an essential or organic but only a spatio-temporal latter.
relation with Indian culture.
This holds good in the case of India with a vengeance. It
It was Lala Uijpat Rai who was the first to moot the idea needs no emphasis that the bulk of the Muslim rulers in our
t'hat 'the Hindus and Muslims have coalesced into an Indiall. land were preoccupied with uprooting Hindu religion and
people, very much the same way as the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, .culture within their limitations, which were severe enough,
D anes and Normans formed the English people of to-day'! however. They left no stone unturned in de-Hinduizing or
',and that 'the Muslim rule in India was not a foreign rule'.2 The ,denationalizing the Hindus, in effect de-Indianizing the
'non-communal', 'secular' l1istorians began to follow suit. Their Indians, in various ways. It is preposterous to question their
contention is that, despite Islam's being a religion of foreign credentials as true Muslims. Their 'Ulama' exhorted them off
'origin and the Muslims' establishing their rule here as foreign and on to make the best of their sword to root out the Hindus
iI;lvaders, they settled here for all time to come and became ,and convert India into a full-fledged Dar ai-Islam . Sayyid NUr
Indians, forgetting all about their native lands. They ruled ad-Din Mubarak Ghaznawi Suhrawardi, at once a leading SUfi,
, ~ndia from within India, unlike the British who exercised their a leading Muslim divine, and the Shaykh aI-Islam of Sultan
sway over India from afar. I1tutmish, led a deputation of 'Ulamii' to tbe Sultan and advised
This logic has little, force. Mere permanent settlement in a bim to give an ultimatum to the Hindus to embrace Islam or
\ ,"/.
face death. The Sultan's prime minister pleaded powerlessness
'" ,1'. Young India, pp. 73-75, refened to in R.C. Majumdar, Historiography
i ll Modern India (Bombay, 1970), p. 49.
2. Loc. cit.

on his behalf to do SOl Then the Sh k Iran, Afghanistan, etc.-wherever they turned, they brought
suggestion" th k" h ay h offered an alternative
d' h .,.. e 109 s ould at least strive to disgrace all-round disaster. Tbey massacred the unbelievers; enslaved
IS onour, and defame th M h" .. them en masse; wreaked ,all sorts of indignities upon them;
Hindus Th . . e us nk and Idol-worshipping
thI'S . W''h" e S1gn
h of the kmgs being protectors of the faith is· converted them forcibly; destroyed their language and literature,.
,ht . en t ey. see a H'In d u, their ' faces turn red and they art and culture, and all that it implies-in short, all the marks
WIS 0 swallow hIm ali '2 A . . of their identity.
to Jalal _ .~e.... sImIlar suggestion was made'
tbat H' ad-DID Khaljl, who returned ruefu))y: 'Don't you s~e- Why did the native languages of the countries in general
Indus, who are the worst enemies of God and f I I
~:~s ~:ilt below my royal ~alace to the Jamuna beati~g d:::::~ under Muslim rule not survive or flourish? 'Because', contends
Shibl;: Nu'mani (1857-1914), 'the other nations felt ashamed to
.p y ng flutes, and practIse before our eyes the w h' f'
the Idols with all the r~tual~ ? Fie on us unworthy lea~:~s IPw:O'
compose poetry in their own language in the presence of the
poetry of Arabia (Is lie ki 'Arab ki sha'iri ke age dusari qaumon
real kourselves
' MuslIm
, kIngs'... . Had I b een Ma ' ruler,
usllm leo apni zaban men sha'iri karne men sharm ati thi)'.l And this,
h 109, or a pnnce and feIt myself strong and powerful' after acknowledging in clear words, as if to contradict himself
enoug to protect Islam, any enemy of God and the f 'th f
~:~ P~ophet
I of Islam would not have been aUowed t~1
later: 'Look at Arabia itself. The country whose doors and
walls hummed with poetry sank into an all-encompassing calm
in e s In ~ ca~e-:ree manner and put on a clean garment or live- all of a sudden immediately after the advent of Islam (Khud
K pe~_ce. Qa(;h Mughfs ad-Din's advice to Sultan 'AI-'u'd-D-
h haljI w~s. on similar lines, and the Sultan c~nfesse~ that ~:
'Arab leo dekho. Wahjis lei dar-o diwar se slza'iri lei awaZ ati thi
Islam ke ate hi charon tara! sannata chha gayii)'. 2 In fact, only
t::u h~~~~:ted an~ pauperized the to bis utmost even Turkish could manage somehow to survive under the Muslim
g , out canng to know the provIsions of the Shari'ah yoke, After the conquest of Iran by the Arabs, Persian went
on t he subject. 4
into a coma of two centuries' duration and could regain
I It i~ no won~er :.the Muslim conquerors and rulers have aU animation after considerable Arabicization. Reason? 'Abd Allah
a ong een dOIng It everywhere. Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, bin Tahir's order was to destroy all the books of Iran, owing to
which Persian poetry ceased to be composed till the time of the
1. At the instance of the kin M " , - -
the 'UJama' : g, lOlster NI+amad-DID Junaydi said to Sassanids, as reported by Dawlat Shah. According to tbe
Majma'al-Fu/ia/:!a (1284), the Arabs burnt down all of Persian
ki Mllsalmtin dar-miyti I, _I;_
'Fa-amma dar jn IVaqt k' Ii' d
~/~an naIV-gir ast IVa Hindu chandan asl
bisiytir b~r na a ad ,n-I IS Im~ a-!ari~ - i namak andak dar-ayad,
literature but its infinitesimal part which the Iranians could
fanmid na b: ~ k: kl aga~ ma fzllkm-I madhkur ba-ishiili kar khaham conceaLs
az a/ld~ki-i t;a t I yak-dlgar shaIVand, sM'alt-i 'alam shaIVad, IVa ma Spain happens to be the only country which, having suffered'
, qa na-ytiram IVa az har taraffit l - d
chilli chand sal ba-guzarad d- " /101 I zaya , Fa-amma the thrall of Islam for some seven centuries succeeded in over-
Mllsalmal ti b _ IVa aru l-mlllk IVa kltitat IVa qa~abiit throwing it, re-asserting its Christian identity, and bidding
ba HU/ludl,,~~:::;~rand; IVa lashkar-ha bisiyiir gird ayad, ma albauah
, _, _ -qat u amma 'l-Isltim" pesh amadani am.' good-bye to Muslim culture, thereby plugging up the avenues to
J;>lya ad-DIn Barani, SaMfah-i Na't-i M I d" misconstruction of the imperialist usurpers' rule as indigenouS'
Rampur, MSS), pp. :::91-392 u,mmma I (Riza Library.
2, Loc. cit. 1. Shibli Nu'mani, Shi'ru 'l-'Ajam, Vol. J, 5th impression, Azamgarh,
3., .J;>i:,ii' ad-Din Barani, Ttirfkh-i Firozshtihi p. 217 1962, p, 17
Ibid., p. 291. Cpo p. 297, ' 2, Ibid" p. 16
3. Ibid, p. 15
rule. It is India alone where those out to uproot the whole
these statements open the eyes of those who are never tired of
gamul of the mainstream of our religio-cultural tradition are
hailed as national heroes. condemning the Hindus for their proverbial exclusiveness
vis-a-vis the Muslims.
Before the advent of Islam, India was inhabited by a whole
humanity comprising multifarious religio-cultural traditions and Contradistinctively from this, the Hindus' sense of gratitude
was buzzing with inter-traditional dialogues and debates under knows no bounds to Muslim rulers like Zayn al-'Abidin (1420-
the umbrella of a common cultural milieu conducive to socio- 70) of Kashmir, 'Alau'd-Din Husayn Shah (1493-1519) of
cultural and religio-philosophical equilibrium of a unique kind. Bengal, and Akbar the Great Mughal, who behaved towards
Ind.eed , even the Parsis and a section of the Jews persecuted in Indians as Indians and at whose hands they could heave a sigh
theIr homelands got asylum here to live like human beings as of relief from religious persecution. The three rulers tried their
part a~ld parcel of the Dharma-inspired, broad-based Indian utmost to Indianize theire rule and restore the dignity of Hindu
humanIty. Why, even pre-Muslim as well as Muslim Arab community and culture, the latter essaying the uphill task of
traders were welcomed in the South and received handsome integrating Islam therewith, followed in this behalf by Prince
gr~nt.s as well as encouragement from the Hindu rulers for Dara Shukoh. Who that has any the faintest sense of history
bUlldlOg mosques and converting people respectively. Indeed can dispute the point that they were all intensely Indian, putting
driven out by.!:Iajjaj bin YUsuf in early eighth century, a sectio~ many a Hindu to shame in their patriotic fervour. The post-
of even MuslIms sought asylum in India and were settled in Kalhal)a Kashmir historian Jonaraja declares Zayn al-'Abidin
Konkan and the Cape Camorin area.
an incarnation of Narayal)a :
Thus, even Muslim traders and refugees received whole- Adbhuldniim paddrthiiniim tad-riijye sangraho 'bhavat.
hearted welcome here and it is only the Muslim marauders who N iiriiya/Javatdro 'yam, j niiyeta katham anyatha?l
were dreaded and detested by the peace-loving people. AlberUnI
~bserves that 'the repugnance of the Hindus against foreigners Likewise, in Akbar the Brahmal)a-s saw the reincarnation of a
tnc~e~sed m~re and more when the Muslims began to make Yogin named Mukunda Brahmacarin. 2 'Alii'u'd-DIn Husayn
th~lr IDroads Into their country; .. Mal:tmlJd (Ghaznawi) utterly Shah was a born Arab, yet bis love for the Hindus earned him
rumed the prosperity of the country, and performed there the honour of being regarded as an incarnation of K:r$l)a.
wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of
The Ku~al)a emperor Kani~ka, who belonged to a nomadic
dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the
Turkish tribe called Yueh-ci and who ruled from Purui?apur
mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish of Course
(Peshawar) over vast territories of Northern India, Afghanistan,
the most inveterate aversion towards all Muslims.'l' AlberUni
and Turkistan, cast many coine carrying the engravings of the
adds: 'This is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired gods of Greece, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism and
far away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and did a lot to promote Indian religions and traditions. He convok-
11ave fled to places which our hands cannot yet reach to
ed the fourth Buddhist council to settle the text of the holy
Kashmir, Benares, and other places. And there the antago~ism
scriptures. This Turk came to enjoy fame in Buddhist literature
between them and all foreigners receives more and more
next only to Asoka.
nourishment both from political and religious sources.'2 Let
1. Jonaraja, (DvitTyli) Rt1jataraligilJi 973
1. Alberuni's India, Edward C. Sachau, cd. & tr., 1st Indian cd., Delhi 2. Bhavitya-Purtil;la, Pratisarga-Parva-Kb"aT;l4a 4, Adhyaya 20, Sloka- s
etc., 1964, pp. 21-22
2. Ibid., p. 14 9 i'.

As it is, almost all foreign hordes invading or entering thing to , note in this regard is the patent fact that, as-
India before the advent of Islam, such as the Greeks, the .compared with the other countries totally Islamized 'by the
Parthians, the Sakas, the HUt;las, the Gurjaras, the Pratiharas, Muslim conquerors, India happens to have been, and still
the KUi?al)as, the Scythians, etc., were assimilated to the cultural remains, too vast a country with a vaster population to be
mainstream by Hindu inclusivism. On top of it, the process of exposed to easy Islamization. Elimination, conversion, or trans-
assimilation had been surprisingly non-violent and peaceful all formation of a subcontinent like tbis is not cbild's play, Even
through. This process consisted usually in assignment of the -so, Islam has registered a signal success to its credit in carving
.aliens to different castes or in creation of new castes for them three independent Muslim states-Afghanistan,! Pakistan, and
under the umbrella of the relevant VarIJa-s. This is the secret of Bangia Desh-out of India's mainland; in Islamizing in toto the
the multiplicity of the much-maligned castes. A full-scale Indonesian archipelago, Seistan, Transoxiana, Sinkiang, and
research needs to be undertaken into this phenomenon as well Maldiv and several other islands colonized by tbe Hindus and
.as into how the all-assimilating Hinduism contracted the disease forming part of wbat is known as Greater India; and Islamizing
of exclusivism and touch-me-not-ism. Albertini's explanation our country to such an extent tbat tbe Muslim population of
referred to above will prove a beacon light in this area. To be even this truncated India is greater than that of any Muslim
'sure, Islam was out to deal a death blow to the equilibrium, .country other than possibly Indonesia. To gauge the extent to
exuberance, and cosmopolitan character of Indian humanity, which our name-and-mark (niim-o nishiin) still survives, we have
later designated as Hindu culture in juxtaposition to Indian also to take account of tbe facts that the ratio of Hindu and
·culture. Muslim population in undivided India in 1800 A.D. was 7:1; in
1850 A.D., 6:1;2 and now, less than 3:1. Is our name-and-
We do not purport to deny that there occurred sporadic acts
mark not hastening to extinction that way?
,o f violence between certain sects in pre-Muslim India. We have
not minced matters in this behalf in our relevant writings, nor Besides, incidentally, the scheduled castes and tribes as well
<10 we intend to do so here. But it is equally undeniable that as other backward castes and classes are already on tbe way to
'Such acts were exceptional, and exceptions serve only to prove -secession from Hinduism en masse. The former are also under-
the rule. going conversion and all that it implies-anti-Hinduization,
Well, the Muslim rulers left no stone unturned in doing to denationalization, and de-Indianization-, steadily and on a
the Hindus what they did to the other races and cultures. mass scale. Besides, the caste Hindus, too, are undergoing a
peculiar process of secularization with a clearly anti-Hindu bias.
Nevertheless, they could not wipe the former out:
It appears, God forbid, the day is not far off when tbey will
Phir bhi magar hai biiqi nam-o nishiii't hamarii '
think of sounding the note of declaration of independence from
(Still our name and fame persist). Why? 'The wonder is not', Hinduism. Alas! our native self-complacency is standing in the
says Sri Ram Sharma, 'that so many were converted but that the way of due appreciation of this crisis. India is crying her heart
vast majority of Hindus kept their faith amidst so many tempta- out for a saviour of her soul.
tions and such persecutions.! The picture of Hindus' plight during the millennium long
Reasons are many, which it is difficult'to go into in this 1. Afgh a ni s t~n was a Hindu- Buddhist state before Muslim invasion
work. Even so, certain indications can be given. The first thereon, comprising Gandhiira and Kam boja.
2, K .S. Lal, Growth of Muslim Population ill Medieval India, Delhi,
1. Sri Ram Sharma, The Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, 1953, p. 156
Bombay, 1962, p.

need exercise force on his slave. It does not become one to

span of Muslim rule cannot be overdrawn. Eulogizing the role
scowl at a goat which is being reared for one's meals. Why
of the sword of Islam in devastating Hindustan and ravaging
should one wield a sharp sword for one who will die by [just] a
Hinduism, Amir Khusrau sings: 'Thanks to the sword of our
fierce look 7'1
holy warriors, the whole of this land has become a forest
denuded of its thorns by fire. The land has become saturated That fact of the matter is that Muslim rule in India, as else-
with the water of the sword, and the dust of Kufr is lying where, was wedded to the cause of Islam, to the propagation of
underground. The strong among the Hindus have been trodden Islam to be precise, and to the blotting out of Kufr/Hinduism
under foot, and are constrained to pay tribute with their hand altogether. In its eyes, Hindu society was nothing more than a
under that of the tribute collector... lslam became triumphant so hunting ground of the Muslims. It was a rule of the Muslims,
gloriously and leaders of Kufr [Hinduism] suffered the scourge for the Muslims, and by the Muslims, so to speak. 'In the
of Islam so ignominiously that, had not the Shari'ah [Muslim medieval Indian chronicles,' writes K.S. Lal, 'the sovereign is
law, here the Banafite Muslim law] granted exemption from always mentioned as "the king ofIslam", the territories of his
death by payment of Jizyah [poll tax], the very name of the empire are referred to as the "land of Islam", its armies as
Hindu would have been extinct root and branch.'l Likewise, "soldiers of Islam", and its religious and judicial head as
gleefully describing the Hindu predicament under the Sultanate, "Shaikh-ul-Islam". The monarch was committed to make Islam
he puts this statement into the mouth of a subdued Raja ; the true basis of private and public life through the enforcement
'Thanks to the perennial, well established convention of the of the Shariat and to convert the people to the "true
world, the Hindu has all along been a game of the Turks. The faith".'2 To the Muslims, the Hindu was saleable, enslavable.
relationship between the Turk and the Hindu cannot be describ- and slayable at will. It was a firm policy of some of the Muslim
ed better th an that the Turk is like a tiger and the Hindu, a rulers to keep the Hindus in abject poverty and illiteracy so as to
deer. It has been a long established rule of the whirling sky that incapacitate them from living as Kafirs. 'The dominant culture
the Hindus exist for the sake of the Turk. Being triumphant in the Gangetic plain,' writes Nirad C. Chaudhuri, 'became
o¥er them, whenever the Turk chooses to make an inroad upon Islamic, and the Hindus became a cultural proletariat.'3 He
them, he catches them, buys them, and sells them at will. Since
the Hindu happens to be a (wretched) slave in all respects, none 1. A z il; bih ma-dtili lIisbat- f Turk-o Hillllti
Ki Tllrk ast chuli sher Hil/du chilli allil
'Zi rasm-i ki raft ast charkh-i ralVali ra
1. Tamtimi kislllvOI az tegh-i ghiza- k tir
Chu kharistali'zi atish gashtalr bi-kheir Wlljad az pa'ye Turk shlld Hil/duali ra
Ki Tark ast ghalib bar-ishtili chu k oshad
Zamil/-ash ser-khurd-i ab-i slwmshir
Ki ham girad-o ham kharad ham fal'oshad
Firau khuftah ghubtir-i kufr dar zir
Zabardastcil/-i Jiil/df, gashtah ptimtil Chu Jiil/dti 'st balldah ba-har-sa,i ki bcishad
Firau-dasttili hamah dar dcidol/-i mtil Kasf ZOl' bar bal/dah-i khud I/a pcisltad
Na shayad dar a,; buz I/azar tez kardan
Badili 'izzat shudah Islcim man,var
Radtili khari sartin-i kufr maqlrii. Ki parlVardan-ash hast az bahr-i khurdan
Ba-dhimmalz 'gar na badi rukh$at-X shar' YaH k'az I/azar tez kardan ba-mirad
Na maildi lIam-i Binda 'zi '$1 ta far' Kasi khal/jar-i tez bohr ash chi girad
Arnir Khusrau, MatlmalViyy-i DalVal ROlli Khizir Xhli';'" RashId Al,1mad' ArnIr Khusrau, MathnalViyy-i' Nuh Sipihr, Wahid Mirza, ed., Calcutta
Salim An~arl, ed., Aligarh, 1917, p. 46 1948, Sipihr II, pp. 89, 130-131
2. K.S. Lal, op. cit., pp. 159-160
3. Nirad C. Chaudhuri. Hinduillm. New Delhi, 1919, p. 127

further observes: 'Thus the course of political history in northern Again, it was the policy of the Muslim rulers in general to
India reduced both Hindu culture and religion to the fevel of a build mosques, khanqahs, inns, orphanages, and school!) of
folk culture and folk religion by depriving it of its elite. Both Islamic learning from state funds, that is to say, in effect, from
lost their sophistication and pride. Sans~rit learning virtually the pockets of the Hindus. but they did not feel concerned to
disappenred from the region. '1 provide anything of the sort for the Hindus.
With the loss of royal patronage, the Brahmal)a-s and Certain contemporary historians of leftist persuasion demur
K~atriya·s had to give up their caste vocations and become to the division of Indian history into Hindu, Muslim, and
peasants, thereby depriving Hinduism of its higher expression. British periods first introduced by James Mill. Romila Thaper
The destruction of temples and centres of learning dealt a further wonders why he did not choose the word 'Christian' in place of
blow to the leadership of Hindu society. 'Thus Hindu culture 'British'.l Her wonder is set at rest by the foregoing account:
'here wears ~'"'\ appearance of poverty which was not its old Muslim rule served the interests of Islam; British rule did not
'condition. It is the religious expression of this culture which is serve the interests of Christianity.
the "popular Hinduism" of English writers. In reality it was
only tbe remanent, the detritus of the old Hinduism.'2 The two The fact of the matter is that Islam or the Ummah (Muslim
higher castes suffered further depletion through mass enslave- culture/community) knows no cooperation on tbe basis of
ment. The monarchs and other members of the ruling class equality or peaceful coexistence with the Kafirs, to whom it
were interested in handsome boys and girls, who abounded in offer.s at most only four alternatives: Islam, the sword. slavery,
the higher castes. Ala'u 'd-Din Khalji had 50,000 slaves. or Jlzyah-at most because non-Banafite Muslim law a]]ows
Firozshil.h Tughluq came to have 1,80,000 slaves. Mu]:lammad survival on payment of Jizyah to the Jews and the Christians
Tughluq sold thousands of slaves every day at throw-away only and no Muslim law permits any non-Muslim faith within
price.• And so forth. Indeed, there was unprecedentedly brisk Arabia. Such a religion, culture, or rule is a far cry from an
business in the slave markets in India and abroad, thanks to indigenous one in this country. Geographical participation can
slave hunt under Muslim rule in India. And the slaves had have meaning only by subservience to cultural participation.
perforce to embrace the religion of their masters. For instance, T~e nationhood of a nation consists in its self-identity, and an
on the capture of Kalinjar in 1202, 'fifty thousand kaniz-o alIen culture grafted upon a country subjugated by it and
ghuliim, having suffered slavery, were rewarded with the honour preoccupied in destroying its self-identity does not deserve tIle
of Islam.'6 Mul,1ammad Ghori is reported to have converted appellation of an indigenous culture or part thereof. Indi-
three to four hundred thousand Khokhars and Tirahias to genousness is not purely a geographical concept; it bas cultural
Islam.7 In fact, forcible conversions on a large scale have been overtones supersessive of the claims of geography in the event
taking place frequently right from the rise of MUJ:t~mmad b~n of a graft threatening extinction of the original stock.
Qusim down to the fall of Tip'U Sultan. or rather tlll today In
Tbe sun tradition of Islam is adjudged comparatively
Pakistan if not even in Kashmir.
liberal towards non-Muslims. Such a tone is set by Jala:l ad-Din
I. Loc. cit. Rtimi in the famous parable of Moses and the shephered. The
2. Ibid. , p. 128
3. Shams Siriij 'Am, cited in K.S. Lal, op. cit., p. 114 shepbered worships God in bis own unsophisticated way. not
4. Ibid.• p. 115 conforming to the code prescribed by the revealed religion of
5. Loc. cit.
6. Firishtah, cited in Lal, op . cit., p. 106 1. Romila Thapar, Harbans Mukhia, Bipan · Chandra, Communalism
7. Loc. cit. and tire Writing of Indian History, 4th print, New Delhi, }984, p. 4 .
the day but as best as he was capable of. Moses takes him to
task on this account. Upon which God rebuffs Moses for non- Qiidiriyyah SUfi-s from Gulbarga. Bidar, and Golconda were
recognition of the multiplicity of ways of worship and remarks: the most fanatic murderers of Hindus and destroyers of temples.
'I have endowed everyone with a temperament of his own, given We have already noted the role of Sayyid NUr ad-Din Mubarak
everyone an idiom of his own; so that what is praise for him is Ghaznawi Suhrawardi in setting the Muslim state against the
blame for thee. what is honey for him is poison for thee, what Hindus. Another Sufi, Jalai ad-Din Bukhari Suhrawardi,
is light for him is fire for thee, what is rose for him is thorn for nicknamed Makhdum-i Jahaniyail Jahailgasht, fell ill and the
thee, what is good for him is evil for thee, what is beautiful for Hindu Daroghah (a revenue official) of Uchh, named NawahUil
him is ugly for thee. In the people of Hindustan the idiom of or Nahawan visited him to ask after his illness and, full of
Hindustan is praiseworthy; in the people of Sind, the idiom of reverence for the saint, remarked: 'May God restore His
Sind is paiseworthy . I do not see the outward and the speech; I Holiness the Makhdum to health. The blessed soul of the
see the inward and the state [of feeling]. For the heart is the Makhdum is the last/seal of the saints, even as Mu1).ammad
substance and speech an accident. So, the accident is sub- .(God bless and keep him!) was the last/seal of the prophets.'l
servient, the substance is the [real] object. The religion of love Upon this, the saint observed, 'You have recited half of the
stands apart from all religions. For lovers the [only] religion and Kalimah (Islam-confessing formula), recite the other half and
creed is God.' This whole speech of God is introduced with the become a full-fledged Muslim, failing which you will have to die.'
exhortation to Moses, 'Thou camest to unite, thou didst not On his refusal, the Hindu was produced before Firoz Tughluq
come to divide.'l Farid ad-Din'Attar, an earlier Sufi master and got beheaded. 2
(1142/43-1220) of Nishapur, also places devotion above Islam Again, when 'Ala'u 'd-Din Khalji sacked Deogiri, hundreds
and Kufr. 2 Certain Indian Sufi-s follow suit. In fact a sizable of Sufi-s betook themselves to the South and established
section of the SUfi-s had been comparatively free from the monasteries, to finance which fat sums were extracted from the
proverbial emphasis on coercion for the spread of Islam and for local chiefs. I;lajji Sayyid alias Sarwar MakhdUm, I;lusam ad-Din,
elimination of Kufr. It can boast of a representative li ke Dara and several other SUfi-s took part in offensive wars openly, on
Shukoh, who made history by rating the Upani~a ds above the account of which they were entitled Qattiil (the great slayer) and
Qur'an and wrote a book entitled Majma' al-Babrayn in Persian Kuffcir-bhaiijan (destroyer of the Kafirs).3 Shaykh JaWJ ad-Din
and another entitled Samudrasailgama in Sanskrit demonstrating Tabrizi demolished a large temple and constructed a Takiyah
that both Sufism and the Vedanta and thereby Islam and (khanqiih) at Devatalla (Deva Mahal) in Bengal. He also
Hinduism are true and essentially one. converted a large number of the Hindus there. 4 Another Sufi:
But the role of the Sufi tradition in bridging the gulf between Shah Jalal of Sylhet (d. 1347), confused by Ibn Battutah and
Islam and Hinduism or laying the foundations of a composite many others following him with Shaykh Jala1 ad-Din Tabrizi,
culture has been greatly exaggerated. The SUfi-s belonging to was also a warrior Sufi given to forcible conversion of the
the Chistiyyah, Subrawardiyyah, and Naqshbandiyyah orders Hindus. Mir Sayyid 'Ali Hamadani (1314-1385) began to get
and monasteris are found to have fanned or favoured the I. Dhtir-ptik-i makhdii'1l khtitam-i aw/iya' ast, chllnari-ki Mubammad
fanaticism of the Muslim rulers in medieval India. The ,ui//a 'Utill-u 'alay- hi wa sal/am khtitalll-i allbiya' bl/d.
I. Jal ii l ad-Din Riimi, Marll/lawiyy-i Ma 'lIawi (with Payrtihan-i Yiisu!i) •. Jamiili Kanboh Dihlawi (d. 1536), Siyar al-'Arif'ill. Delhi, 1893, p. 159
7th print. Lucknow. 1943, Vol. II, pr. 11 3- 119 2. Ibid.• pp. 159-160
3. M .A. Karandikar, Islam ill IlIdia's Transition to Modernity, Bombay,
2. Farid ad-Din 'A Hiir, Man(iq af-Tayr, 15th print. Kanpur, 1896,
1968. p. 122
p. 28, for example
4. Jam iili, p. 17l

Hindu temples demolished and the Hindus converted by reckless 1413), a liberal Sultan of Kashmir, turned into a ferocious SuI1 an
use of force throughout his sojourn in Kashmir. He is said to for the Hindus and began to be known as Sikandar Butshikan
have converted 37,000 Hindus to Islam. He commended to the (iconoclast), and his powerful Brahmal)a noble SUhabhatt a
rulers reinforcement of the notorious 'covenant of 'Vmar' for embraced Islam under the name "Sayaf ad-Din and became a
the Dhimml-s.1 And this in the regime of Sultan Qut b ad-Din terror for the BrahmaI)a-s. Guided by the teachings of Mit
(l37~-89), who followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Mu]:lammad, Sikandar played havoc with the Hindus through
SiJlt ~n Sha.h Mir ~regime 1339-1342) in maintaining cordial Sayf ad.-Din, destroyed their temples, undertook forcible con-
relatIOns wIth the Hmdus and anticipated Sultan Zayn al-'Abidin versions, and imposed Jizyah on them for the first time in
in respecting Hindu shrines, participating in Hindu festivals, and Kashmir. 1 Indeed, he out-Aurangzebed Aurangzeb in his
so forth . Qut b ad-DIn dressed in the Hindu way, celebrated Hindu-persecution-mania. Muslim historians are full of praise
Hindu festivals, visited Hindu shrines, and once performed a for him as an uprooter of Kufr from Shaykh A1)mad
yajna to avert a famine. Shah Mir bad gone to the extent of" Sarhindi Naqshbandi, nicknamed Mujaddid-i Alf-i Thani (1564-
marrying his daughters to his BrahmaI)a chiefs. 2 Thanks to the 1~34), strained every nerve to turn the Mughul rule into an
influence of Hamadanf's Sufi son Mir MuJ:tmmad (b. 1372), who engine of repression and total destruction of Hinduism. In his
stepped into his father's shoes after the latter had left Kashmir epistles to to various quarters, he tries to bring home the idea
after failing to pull on well with Qutb ad-Dm, Sikandar (1389- that 'Islam and Kufr are mutually opposite. A meeting of the
two opposites is impossible, and honouring either entails
1. MIr Sayyid 'Ali Hamadiini, Dlzaklrfralz a/-Mu/iik, Amritsar, 1903 .4,
pp. 117-118, where he has reframed the covenant as under: dishonouring the other. Honour of Islam lies in dishonour of
1. The Hindus will not build new temples. Kufr. Whoever holds the Kafirs dear renders Muslims humilia-
2. They w~1l not reb~j(d temples which may have fallen into disrepair. ted. They (Kafirs) should be kept at a distance like dogs ....
3. They WIll not prevent Muslim travellers from staying in temples. Excellence of Islam lies in this that even mundane concern with
4. They will provide them three days' hospitality in their houses. them should be avoided and should not be cultivated with
5. The d!Ii~nmi-s will not act as spies nor shelter spies in their houses.
6. They WIll not prevent from conversion anyone inclined towards Islam. them.'2 His preceptor, Khawajah Baqi Bi 'llah (b. 1563-64)
7. They will resp ect Muslims. 'was highly inflamed when a Hindu physician was brought for
8..They will courteously receive Muslims wishing to attand their meet his treatment at his death-bed and could be comforted only
when it was reported that he was was brought at the instance of
9. They will not dress like Muslims.
10. They will not take Muslim names. 1. Ibid. 596-671; Srivara, Zayn -Riijatarmigi!li, otherwise known as
] 1. They will not ride horses with saddle and bridle. Trtiyti Riijataragi!li 5.75-77
12. They will not possess sword bods, and arrows. 2. Isltim wa kufr {iidd-i yak-digar alld. I~ltimiil-i jam'-shudan-i
13. They will not wear signet rings. ill do fj idd mulliiI ast wa 'izzat-diidan-i yak -i rii musialzilll-i
14. They will not openly sell or drink intoxicating liquor. khiiri-i digar ast. 'Izzat-i Islcim dar khiir'i-i kllfr ast. Kas'i ki
15. They will not abandon their traditional dress. ahl-i kufr rti 'aziz diishl ahl-i Isliim ra khiir siikhl.
16. They will not practice their customs against Muslims. Dar ratig-i sagtin islztiJi [kllffiirJ rii dar btiyad diisht ... . Wa
]7. They will not build their houes in the neighbourhood of Muslims. kamii/-i Isliim iin ast ki az iin glzara4-i dunytiwi lIiz biiyad
18. Thep will not carryor boy their dead new Muslim graveyards. guzaslzt wa ba-islztin na biiyad pardiikht.
19. They will not mourn their dead loudly.
20. They will not buy Mus lim slaves. The author then refers to the Qur'anic teachings against the Kafil's.
. 2. Jonal'iija, 257, for example Sayyid Al;lmad Sarhindi Naqshbandi Mujaddid-i AIf-i Thani, M ak rii-
bat-i Imam Rabbani, Kanpur, n.d., Vol. I, pp. 165-166

:his mother.'l expense of much that. was precious in our perennial culture,
lhere did take place some give and take between the two
Most of the Stifi-s engaged themselves in proselytizing -c ommunities or cultures the impact of which is noticeable even
-activities. 'Moplas of the south coast were converted to Islam today, yet it must be borne in mind that the process failed to
by the disciples of Malik ibn Dinar (d. 744), the Dudwalas and culminate in the emergence of a composite culture worth the
Pinjaras of Gujarat by al-F.lallaj (d. 921), Labbas of Trinchi- name. Peaceful, if not constructive, coexistence is the sine qua
nopally by Ni ~a r Shah (d. 1039), Memons of Cutch by Ytisuf. non of anything composite, much more so of composite culture,
aI-din Sindh'i, the Dii'tidpotas of Sind and Baluchistan by the and we have seen that precisely this has been lacking here all
Qaramite missionaries of Sind, the Bohras of Gujarat by through. The ethos of Islam is too radically different from,
Abdumih Kharrazi, a tribe of Wakhan and the Afridi Pathans -exclusive of, and incompatible with that of Hinduism and its
by Na~ ir-i Khusrau, and the Khojas of Gujarat by Isma'ili attitude too uncompromising for it to join hands with any other
missionaries like Ntir Satgar. In the Ghaznawid Lahore culture. In fact, the Qur'an and the Prophet forcefully forbid
organized proselytization was begun by Shaykh Isma'il Bukhari the Muslims to befriend the Kafirs,J even the best of whom
(c. 1005); and al-Hujwiri is reported in hagiological tradition to are inferior to even Muslim slaves. 2 The Prophet goes to the
have converted Rai Rajll a Hindu general of the Ghaznawids to length of ruling that one who follows the example of some
Islam.'2 Shaykh Dawtid of Chati converted fifty to a hundred other people actually belongs to them (Man tashabbaha bi-qawmin
Hindus each day.3 The Mujaddid converted thousands of fa hua min-hum).
Kafirs (haze/ran hazar kujfar).4 Shah 'Abd al-'Aziz claimed to
have converted hundreds of Hindus. s We do bave an eclectic architecture, which owes its existence
primarily to remodelling of or outright new construction (of
In 1947, Muslim society succeeded in extorting recognition mosques, kbanqahs, tombs, palaces, etc.) on temples and other
as a separate culture and nation and getting the country Hindu buildings demolished by the Muslim rulers, secondarily
vivisected on that basis. It is another matter that, in order to to the extensive use of native materials, sleills, and styles, and
hide our shamefacedness or out of thoughtless obduracy, we go tertiarily to the natural tendency to imitate the ways of the
on harping on the theme of the truncated India's belonging to 'Powers that be. It has all taken place on the pbysicallevel and
Hindus and Muslims alike and its culture's being a composite bas had nothing to do with meaning and motif, in wbicb alone
culture, a culture composed of Hindu and Muslim religio- -does art consist qua art. The Muslims have been religIously
cultural traditions. indifferent to, if not contemptuous of, Indian sculpture. Thanks
Granted that, even against the nation's will as also at the to the taste of the Stifj-s, the Muslims took some fancy to
i. Kalimlit-i Tayyaliit, fol. 19b, quoted in S.A.A. Rizvi, Muslim Indian music. The main gamut of Indian literature has also
R evivalist Movements in North India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth been untinged with Muslim literature and historico-cultural
Centuries (Agra, 1965), p. 189 .allusions.
2. S. Mujeeb, The Indian Muslims, 2nd impression, London, 1969,
Poets like la.yasi, Ra}:lim, and Raskhan are rare phenomena.
3. ' Abd al-Qiidir Badiiyiini, Muntak hab at-Tawiirikh, Vol. HI, Wolsele So -are saints like Kabir, Nanak, and Gharib Das. They
Haig, Eng. tr., Calcutta, 1925, pp. 57-60 attempted a synthesis of the two cultural streams in the field of
4. See Saiyid MharAbbiis Rizvi, A History of S/~fism in India , New literature in their own way. But their endeavours were severely
Delhi, 1983, Vol. II, p. 428 I. AI'Imran(3) 28, 118, 119; an-Nisii (4) 144, al-Mii'idah (5) 51, 57
5. Shiih 'Abd al 'Aziz, Ma!fiiziit, Meerut, 1896-7, p.22 2. AI-Baqarah (2) 221

limited and short-lived. They failed to be popular amongst and Tbe opposition between the Hindu and the Muslim percep-
tions of history is thrown into bold relief by Iqbal, who is all
influence the Muslims.
praise for Aurangzeb and all condemnation for Akbar and Dara
Urdu language and literature, the much-vaunted symbols or Shukoh : '(Aurangzeb was the last arrow in our quiver in the
vehicles of composite culture, are not the result of intermingling war between Kufr and Islam. Akbar sowed tbe seed of irreligion,
of Hinduism and Islam but reflect the Muslim image in Indian which grew in tbe character of Dara... (But) tbe lightning of his
garb, whose yarn is predominantly Islamic and whose embroi- (Aurallgzeb's) sword burnt down the barn of irreligion and
dery, too, is imported from without. Iqbal appears to be lighted the lamp of Islam in our convivial assembly.' :
sincere in his confession, 'Let my jar be ever so 'Ajami (noo-
'Arabic, barbarian), 'Arabic my wine is. Let my song be ever Darmiyan-i karzar-i Kufr-o Din
so Indian, 'Arabic my tune is' : Tarkash-i ma ra khadang-i akhirin '
Tukhm-i il/:uid-i ki Akbar parwarid
'Ajami khum hai to kya may to lfijlizi hai meri Baz andar fitrat-i Dara damid
Naghmah Hindi hai to kyli lay to Hijazi hai meri lfaqq guzid az Hind 'Alamgir ra
On the whole, Urdu culture could not cross the deadline of An faqir-i {iabib-i shamshir ra
Muslim culture. Sauda, the classical Urdu poet, for example" Barq-i tigh-ash khirman-i il/:zad sokht
refers to India as an unholy land: Sham'-i Din dar ma/:1fil-i rna bar-farokht

Gar ho kashish-i shah-i Khurasan to 'Sauda' Now, Christian culture, too, has had it. impact here, less"
Sajdah na karun Hind ki napak zami,i par however, than Islam. Its direct impact is discernible in tbe
ideology of tbe Brabma Samaj and in the spirit of service
(If the king of Khurasan draw me near, I would not bow (to- characterizing tbe Ramakrishna Mission. On the other side,
God) on the unholy land of Hindustan,) Christianization as also Islamization results, by and large, in
Likewise, pre-Muslim Indian history has never been fortun- denationalization. The moment one converts to Christianity or
ate enough to be owned, nor have the Hindu heroes and Islam one's love for and self-identification with India undergoes
savants been fortunate enough to be honourned, by the Muslim abatement. This process gets inordinately accelerated in the
community. Indeed, even the Hindu fighters for freedom from event of conversion to Islam. The convert's adberence and
the British yoke go unsung and unwept by the Muslims save for allegiance to the mainstream of Indian culture gets diluted and
Nebru and that, too, for his pro-Muslim stance. So far as we' dissipated often beyond recognition, if not totally wiped out.
can see, even l\zad, the model 'nationalist Muslim', has had no The great traditions of the f{ii·s and muni-s, ascetics and saints,
word of appreciation for the Hindu men of destiny, ancient or Tirthankara-s and Buddha-s, Siddha-s and Yogin-s, Valmiki-s
modern, witb tbe natural exception of Gandhi. And the and Vyasa-s, Rama-s and K:r~!)a-s, and so forth' cannot catch
question of the Hindus being impressed by Muslim history and the fancy of the Christian and Muslim hearts, which have an
heroes as tbeir own history and heroes is ruled out by the very innate and self-existent predilection for the Biblical and
nature of the case. Nevertheless, however, some of them have Qur'anic prophets and personages. All Indian history prior to'
gone out of their way in showering words of praise over the tbe advent of Islam or Christianity becomes an age of darkness
historical role of Islam and in sometimes defending such perse- for the convert. Indian heroes become irrelevant, if not villains
cutors of the Hindus and Hinduism as Aurangzeb and 'Ala'u outright.
'd-Din Kbalji.
cultures like Islamic did take place during the medieval times,
Parsi culture is also an alien culture, but alien in name only, we would do well to examine whether the extraneous elements
for, tolerant from the first, it has got blended with Indian that have entered into Indian culture are in order or are such
culture almost beyond recognition. Being the relics of the as to spell disaster for it.
Iranian branch of the great Indo-European Aryan family, a
branch sisterliest to the Iranian branch of the Aryans, and being As a matter of fact, Muslim culture invaded Indian culture
persecuted and forced to seek asylum in this country by the not to make friends with it but to wipe it out. Its declared aim
Islamic invaders, the Parsis have grown more and more non- was Islamization and method Crescentade/Jihad, which changed
different from the Hindus. Besides, the Parsis' is not a prosely- its colours and contours according to changing circumstances.
tizing religion, hence they do not pose any coexistential problem Hence Muslim culture cannot be said to be an integral part of
to others. Their identit~ stands out in and is confined to their Indian culture and must be regarded as an anticulture or
way of worship and disposal of dead, chiefly. And they are too counter-culture in our body politic.
few and far between. Therefore, Parsi culture constitutes an
Now, let us examine whether it would be proper to designate
almost infinitesimal subculture in this country. Likewise,
as composite culture the combined gamuts of cultural traditions
forest and hil1-dwelling tribes subsisting on the fringes of the
-Vedic-Pural}ic, Buddhist, Jaina, Lokayata, etc.-baving indi-
vast Indian social system are fast losing their cultural identity,
genous origin.
which they are bound to, thanks to the process of their
modernistic acculturation and assimilation in the body politic. Well, India did produce the Lokayata philosophy, which
Presently, they are so cut off from the mainstream of Indian could not fructify, however, into a Lokayata culture. It could
life and yet so much on the way to assimilation therein that not in fact have, as Jayanta BhaHa, the great Nyaya-Vais e~ ika
their cultures cannot claim a better status than vanishing philosopher of circa 1000 A.D. would have it :1
sub-cultures or rather side-cultures. Na hi Lokayate kiificit kartavyam upadisyate.
The greatest impact that our culture displays at present is VaitGlpjikakathaivasau, na puna/:! kascid agamah.
that of Western culture, whose chief traits are modernity and That is : 'The Lokayata is not an Agama, viz. not a guide to·
scientific temper. This modern, scientific culture is fast assuming cultural living, not a system of do's and don't's; hence it is
global proportions and appears to be out to devour al1 national nothing but irresponsible wrangling.' In fact, the Lokayata
cultures. Indian culture, too, is catcbing its hues, which are operated and developed as a tradition of universal criticism or
growing faster and faster. These are good, bad, and indifferent, negativism, without caring to evolve a durable or regular life-
of course. We must be on our guard against the bad hues. Our order, a socio-cultura l order, of its own, with the result that it
need to guard against evil influences of the Semitic cultures is failed to commend itself to society at large. No wonder tha t a
much greater. Our leaders are propagating the myth that the branch of the Lokayata, the Nilapat a school, so called because
confluence of cultures is always good, is all good. Their mad its members dressed in blue, were responsible for inception of
propaganda of composite culture points in the same direction. what may be called an inculture (apa-samskrti ), a tradition of
It is forgotten that, not to speak of intermingling of cultures, wanton living, about which it is said :2
sometimes even the contact of another culture proves unwhole- 1. Jayanta Bhatta, Nyiiy amaiijar i (ess, Varanasi, 1936), PramaJ)a-
some, fataP Therefore, if a commingling of Indian and other PrakaraQa, p. 247
2. Purtifaflaprabafldhasailgraha, p. 19
1. See Harsh Narain, 'Pracya aur Pascafya Smnskrtiyoil ka $ammilan a
Varadana yii Abhisiipa', Smnskrfi, 27 (March, 1985), pp. 32-35
Na nadyo maaa-vdlzinyo, na ca mii?'nsa-maya naga/:z,
Sarva eva hi Jainiinam pramii1Jam laukiko vidhib,
Na ca niiri-mayam visvam, katham Nilapata/:z sukhi ?
Yatra samyaktva-hiinir na, yatra na vrata-dulja1J am .
That is : 'How can the Nilapata feel happy till rivers begins
Buddhism, too, is basically a life-negating religion havin
little interest in social order, strictly speaking. The Buddha ha~
to overflow with wine, the mountains are made of meat, and
,the world is full of women ?' This sect violated all socio-cultural
pr.escribed rules of discipline~ compiled under the title Vinaya_
norms, which led to their massacre to a man by king Bhoja. 1 Pltaka, for the monks but precIOUS little to govern the conduct
Jainism, too, failed to develop any cultural identity of its of
. .
. ...
and. others. And the process 0 f
own. Jaina ascetics can be called culture-disregarding, thanks IOvitatlOn to or Imtlatton mto monkhood is a process of
to their life-negation and non-participation in socio-cultural breaking a.way from socio-c~ltural life in effect, J leaving the
life. On the contrary, the Jaina householders are as good rest of socIety to fend for Itself in planning socio-cultural
Hindus as others, culturally speaking. To be sure, elements of co~duct, with the result that it has to fall back Upon the
Hindu religion, philosophy, and culture are so ingrained in the mamstream of Indian culture called Hindu culture for it. Some
Jaina tradition that the latter leaves us no alternative but to classical philosophers-Vacaspati Misra (circa 900 A.D.),
regard it as part and parcel of Hindu culture. Jainism shares Jayanta Bhatta, and Udayana (circa 1000 A.D.), to be precise
with the Hindus their pantheon, practice of propitiation of the -feel amused at the phenomenon and make a fling at the
dead, caste rulers, and even untouchability. According to one Buddhists for the latter's lack of a comprehensive code of
of their texts, water of a well, pool, tank, etc. dug up by the conduct governing all stations in and stages of life and their
untouchables must not be used for drinking or bathing :2 dependence willy-nilly on Vedic-Smrtic code of conduct.
Vacaspati Misra, the versatile genius responsible for commen-
Antyajai/:z khanita/:z kupii, viipi, pUljkari1Ji, sarab
taries on almost all orthdox systems of Indian philosophy,
Te~amjalam na tu griihyam snana-paniiya ca kvacit.
remarks that the Buddhists have no religio-social code-neither
Not only this. It is also laid down that one ought to give up one to govern social organization nor one to guide individuo-
muttering prayers when an untouchable appears, speaks, hears, familial life-order, on which account they have perforce to lean
sneezes, passes wind, and gapes in one's presence :3 upon the injunctions in the Vedic-Sm:rtic scriptures. ~ Jayanta
Bhatta contends that it is under the guidance of Vedic autho-
Vratacyutiintyajatiniim dadane, bhtiSa1Je, srute,
rity only that the Buddhists and others like them treat the
kljute, 'dhovatii-gamane, jrmbha1Je japam utsrjet. Candala-s etc. as untouchables. 3 Udayana, the great Nyaya-
Some of their texts open the door for importation of much Vaise~ika philosopher, observes that the Buddhists and others
more from Hinduism. It is ruled, for example, that the Jainas 1. See Harsh Narain, 'SriimOliya al/r Nirviiria kii Lokavyavasthii se
can accept any injunctions from others subject to the condition Sambant!IJa', Diirsanika Triiimiisika, XXII, 2 (April, 197'7), pp. 99-110
that the injunctions do not militate against the ideals and vows 2. 'f 'if~Tl{TTf+lT CTurf'>fl1T'qn;o<r<l'f~T~Tlif ~ f'l~illTm: f~lTT: 1111!/Tl'fRfT:
of Jainism :4 Sf'lfRrll"ff fcrGufcr I if f~ Sf:qTurr'licr-<rr.rrT~f1T:qT arf'f <'fTilllTTifTlTt 'l.J:fcr~,!crrfi:T~m ­
~urf.n:. <te:rf1T+r+rmurT W'fcf;:ij" I arf'f g a-sf'f ~icJ:crlri:TfGfcr Sf,CTTVTT milllTTif~t
1. SiliilJka, Siitrakrtiiliga-Bhiiiya, pp. 280-81
2. Dlzarlllarasika 3.59
'>f tlTroil<rriftn:f;:o I
~ ~

3. Ibid. 3.33 Viicaspati Misra, Nyiiyaviirtikatiitparyafikii, CSS, Varanasi, 1925, 2.1.69,

4. Somadeva Siiri, quoted in Muni Nathamal, AhilhsiitattvadarSalla, p.432
p.175 3. <r~Tsf'f '5:ml1T'1T ifGsrTl1TUlTf<Jlifl1clT qq "umrrf~ 'ff~Rr I
Jayanta BhaHa, op. cit., p. 234

like them have no alternative but to perform Vedic rites. the Greater Hindu Culture, of perennial Indian culture, are
maintain the distinction of touchables and untouchables, and subcultures, pure and simple. As pointed out above, there is no
atone for violation of these rules. l such thing as Lokayata culture as such, and that, if it did exist
to any extent and in any form whatever, it would have been no
To tell the truth, the entire ,gamut of what is called the better than a subculture, to the greater culture. The modern
Srama1)a (ascetic) tradition owes its origin to the perennial Lokayata, vi:&. secularism, is of course evolving, .if it has not
Indian r~ligio-cultural mat~ix describable as Sanatana Dharma.
yet evolved, its own culture, and it appears that in the long run
from viewing his weltanschauung as a revolt from this tradition,
it is destined to merge with the scienlific world-culture which is
the Buddha declares the former as a fulfilment of the latter. He
in the offing. But it has not yet been able to isolate itself from.
is all praise for the SramalJa-s and Brahm(1)a-s of old, Vedic
the perennial Hindu culture, like a subculture to which it is.
seers, the quadritype organization of society called VarVa-order.
growing up. Needless to mention that it is Hindu culture which!
He never spoke against the division of Arya (freeman) and Diisa
is providing shelter and nourishment to it. Were it Islamic
(slave). Thus, Buddhist culture does not merit treatment as
culture instead of Hindu culture, secularism would die illl
separate or different from Hindu culture. It is just a subculture
infancy, as has happened and is still happening in the bulk of
thereof. the countries under Muslim fule. As a matter of fact, it is its
The net result of the foregoing discussion is that our time-tested traditions of tolerance and tranquility that go
national culture, Indian culture, is a unity, describable as· naturally to orient it towards universal brotherhood and cosmo-
Aryan culture, Hindu culture, A rliii (seers') culture, Saniitana- politanism, as represented by not only Vedic-Upani~adic seers
Dharma, Mdnava (Manu-s') culture, or even greater Vedic and the Bhagavad-Gitii, the Buddha and the Bodhisattva-s, but
culture as comprehensive of its pre-Vedic phase. Why Manava in our day by Vivekananda and Ramatirtha, Gandhi and
culture? Because, traditionally speaking, it was inaugurated, so Nehru, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan.
to speak, shaped, patronized, developed, and advanced by a Thus Indian culture is Hindu culture: even if predominantly.
pre-Vedic gaUaxy of Manu-s mentioned not only in the epics it is predominance that gives the name. Muslim and Christian
and the Pura1)a-s but in the Vedas themselves. The Vedic seer cultures are counter-cultures. Lokayata culture is a non-culture
prays to his gods not to deflect l1im from the ancestral path of .or subculture. SramalJa culture is a subculture. And Parsi culture.
Manu :3 too, is something like that, practically speaking.
M ii nab pathab pitryiin M iinavdd adhi duram nailita pardvata(J In point of fact, Hindu culture alone deserve. the credit of
recognition as the national culture (abhimiinin) of this country"
(0 Gods! do not let me deflect from the ancestral path of
as the culture owning and possessing this great nation, along
Manu.) So, the Buddhist, the Jaina, and other 'non-Hindu'
cultures rooted in the Indian soil are not independent, self. with other Indian-born cultures like Buddhist and Jaina cultures
contained cultures worth the name but are part and parcel o f as its subcultures, Muslim and Christian cultures being in the
nature of tenant-cultures, parasitic (anusayin) culturt<s, or out-
1. ;,Htil<f ~1lf<f ~ ~t'taf~'Wlrsfq "'~T!'ffiTrnf6cqlirat <if~'l>T f~ll't ;;AI . and-out counter-cultures. The distiction of master-/possessor-/-
<fTrrf~ofa 'fq!l'll'H;ql!lnf~fcf'llrrt 'IT rrFf~rra-,
'.:ll ' C. Co ~ -:I
<lffCl~i'r 'ifrq~rrTf~~Tll'f1fii~ "If, owner culture and tenant-/parasitic culture has its own significa-
'iT'lfCl 6?ifi'f I nce. Our body is inhabited by a host of souls, out of which the
Udayana, Atmatattvaviveka. Varanasi, 1983, p. 433 master-soul, the body-owning or body-possessing soul, the
2. Rg-Veda 8.30.1 primary and predominant soul, is only one, which is fully
responsible for the body and by which alone the body and the
embodied are defined. The other souls inhabiting the body are
secondary souls, which own no direct responsibility for the body least two centuries and a half. No use mincing matte
.. If . rs or
save as they are constrained to. 1 Among the secondary sO).1ls, pr~ctlslOg se -decepsIOn. Says Dharmakfrti, the great Buddh' t
some are innocent parasities, which tend usually to do good to philosopher, 'If this is what is relished by things as they a IS
who are we?':l re,
the body without doing it any harm, whereas there are other
second~r):' souls which prove harmful to the body, the good of 'Yadidam svayam arthiiniim rocate, latra ke vayam?'
which lies in their removal by use of medicines etc. The Our culture is not composite the way our leaders glibly and
incultures/counter-cultures come under this head, with this rather irresponsibly talk about and want us to believe. Even so,
difference, however, that, where there is the will there is the eff?rts.c~n ~nd_~h~uld be made to popularize the way of Zayn
way to humanize or indigenize them. al- Ab/dw, Ala u d-Din J:Iusayn Shah, Akbar, midi. Shukoh
. .As indicated at the outset, one must be clear in one's mind and suchlike among the Muslims. It is futile, as was sought t~
that, whereas there is hard ly any warrant for bolding Indian be done by Abu 'l-Kalam Azad, to exhort the Muslims to hark
'Culture to be a composite culture the way it is flaunted to, back to the so-called joint nationalism or single nation idea
despite its"'being influenced and even inspired by other cultures limmatun wfi/:zic1ah, envisaged in tIle historic agreement concluded
in some measure, there can be no ' gainsaying the fact that between the Quraysh led by the prophet of Islam and the Jews
Indian society and civilization are composite society and of Medinah shortly after the hegirah. 2 As remarked by Abu
civilization. And this must also be perfectly clear to us that 'l<Ala Maud?df, and rightly, it was in the nature of a military
civilization does have its impact on culture, that sometimes a allJ~nce, whIch fell apart in two or three years, some Jews
mighty civilization helps transform a culture even beyond havlOg been deported and the rest killed to a man. Besides, to
recognition, and that a mightly culture helps evolve its own be sure, s~ch an agreement would be barred by the Qur'anic
civilization. Today, there is little room for civilizational verses of JIhad. This point cannot be dilated upon in this work.
differences. All civilizations are on the way to transformation Again, instead of harping upon the so-called secularism in
into a '''world civilization. Culture cannot afford to remain season and out of season, our leaders would do well to find
uninifluenced by the phenomenon. Indian cultux:e is still wa~s and .~eans to inculcate in the Muslim psyche a love for
mainr ining its identity, its native genius, thaJ,lk~ to the IndIan religIOus, philosophical, and cultural traditions the need
inexhaustible sum of its poten~ia.1ities and capacity to ·adill)'lt
itself t~ ..~han~ing time-place-~i rcumstance (;litta).
to shed their Katir-complex, and openness enough embark;0
upo~ an era of give and take with others, with a view to
It would nli>t be . going ·too .far to sugg~st that al;ly world- clearIng the way t~ intercultural understanding and, if you
c'ivilization, apd world-culture•..will. be inc~IJ?plete ! }}'ith9u;t choose the expreSSIOn, to composite culture. The Muslim
drawi r\g~p,rofusely upon it for its spiHtual, (n. r~li~i07Philosonh'c. system of education current in thousands of Madrasah-s scat-
content. But this is ~ i9ng story whic~ cannot be told, in .the
I " . ' • • t ~. • tered all over t~e c.o~ntry acts as a bulwark for what S. Maqbtil
spape-.budget at our disposal. AI:tmad calls polItICal fanaticism'3 and turns out still more
- To' resume the: thread of the" discussion, Muslim and J. Dharmaklrti, Prama!!avartika 2.2.210
Cnristtan cultures remain alien here in intent and content 2..Ibn Hishiim, Sirarll Sayyida-//Ct MII~lam/llad, 'Abd al-Jalil Siddiqi &
GhuI~m RasGI Mihr, Urdu trs., under the title Siratu 'n-Nabiyy-i Kcimil
despite' the Iormer 1s coexistence with the mainstream of Indian DeIbl, 1982, Vol. I, p. 554 '
culture for more than a thousand years and the latter's for at 3: S. M.aqb~1 Al;1mad. 'Madrasa System of Education and Indian
L p. Sa~lkar~, Sarirakabhii,~ya 3.1.24 Muslim SocIety, Indian alld Contemporary Is/am S T L kb d II d
Simla, 1971, p. 32 ' . . 0 an wa a, e .,

thousands of Hindu-haters every year. The mis-schooled Muslim

graduates of these institutions need to be de~schoole~ and th.en
e-schooled fOI adapting them to cooperative coexIstence with
~he Hindus. To this end, their inflated sense of identity needs
Chapter II

also to be brought within limits. We are inclined to believe that INDIA: DAR AL-HARB OR DAR AL-ISLAM ?
re-education along the foregoing lines and inc~l~ation . of
scientific temper in them which is the moving spmt behmd The Qur'an bifurates humanity into the Faithful/Mu'mins!
Sir Sayyid's unfinished eommentar~ ~n t~e ~ur'a:n .ca~ ,,:ork Muslims and the Unfaithful/Infidels!Ka:firs, and the latter into
wonders and pave the way to their mdlgemzahon/lndlamzatJon/ :ScripturaFies and Polytheists/Idolaters/Mushriks. It rules om
national integration. lasting cooperative, friendly, or even peaceful coexistence of the
Muslims with the Ka:firs, all contempory apologetic and
rationalization to the contrary notwithstanding. The quinte-
ssence of its commands to the Muslims vis-a-vis the Ka:firs (in a
Dilr al-lfarb) as perceived, preached, and practised by the
Prophet, his Companions and Followers, and later Crescentaders
.and theologians/jurists, can be put as under:
1. Try to convert the Kafirs to Islam.
2. If any of them resist,
(1) try to consign them to the grave before Allah
consigns them to the hell-fire, plunder and loot their
property (al-anjal/al-ghanti'im) movable and immo-
vable (al-amwal wa 'l-amltile), enslave them, menfolk
(tlsrii') and womenfolk and children (sabayti) alike;
(2) or, where imposition of Jizyah is permissible, let the
Kafirs escape death and compound their offence of
Kufr (infidelity) by disgracefully paying Jizyah,
abjectly surrendering to the brute force of the
Muslim8, and suffering all sorts of indignities as
Dhimmi-s (protected ones);

(3) or, again, if you find yourselves too weak to deal

with the Ka:firs the way outlined above, take
recourse to hejira (hijrah) and bide your time.
Taking their cue from such Qur'anic provisions, the
Faithful were led to bifurcate the world into two opposite
-domains: Dar al-Isltim (the domain of Islam) or, as Mu]:lammad
bin Al:tmad as-Sarkhasi would have it,! Dar al-Muslimin, and
J:Iijaz is ordained as an exclusive preserve of Islam for to
Dar al-J:larb (the domain of war). Sometimes, a third domain
is also proposed, particularly by Imam Shafi'i and Imam
~ollow Abu'l-Kal~~ AZ~d,l the Muslims could take ref~ge i~ it
10 tbe event of he]lra (hljrah) or expulsion from a Dar al-J:larb.
Mul:tammad bin al-I;Iasan, conceptuaIly midway between
the two and designated alternatively as Dar al-'Abd, Dar-as The motto of a sizable section of the theologians is: Once a
fJulb, Dar a/-Amn, Dar al-Amcln, and Dar as-Salm. Shaykh AbO Dar a/-Is/am, always a Dar al-Is/tim. But the consensus is that a
Zuharah, a contemporary Egyptian scholar, regards it as a Dar al-blam does become a Dar al-Ffarb under certain condi-
separate domain in its own right. tions. Thus, Dar a/-Ffarb is of two kinds:
But there is hardly any reason to regard it as more than a 1. A territory that has never been a Dar al:Islam
variety of Dar al-J:larb. It is, as a matter of fact, a Dlir al-J:larb
qualified by a purely temporary truce or suspension of hosti- 2. A territory that is no longer a Dar a/-Islam
lities, for the simple reason that the Muslim psyche rules out According to Imam Ab'u J;Ianifah, as understood by
as·Sarkhasl (loc. cit.), a Dar aI-Islam changes into a Dar al-]Jarb
permanent settlement with Kufr on terms of equality. Indeed, in
Islam, as is well recognized outside the world of Islamic under the following three conditions taken together:
apologetics, war with the Kafirs is the norm and peace is 1. When the territory in question adjoins a Dar al-lJarb,
contingent upon special circumstances. This is why the great without any Dar al-Islam intervening between the two.
Imam Abu I;Ianifah counts the so-called Dar as-Sul/:z as part of
Dar a/-Is/am and its non-Muslim subjects as rebels, which, to 2. When no Muslim or Dhimmi therein enjoys the security due
all intents and purposes, is indistinguishable from a Dar a/·lJarb, to 11im on the basis of former protection rights.
so far as the possibility of war against the rebels is concerned. If even one such person enjoys such security, it would mean
If it is a Dar ai-Is/am at all, it is a Dar a/-Is/am only de jure. that the Mushriks/Kafirs have not yet established their
This will be clear as we proceed. paramountcy and ascendancy fully (tamam) and hence the
Dar a/-Islam is held to be of three kinds: territory has not ceased to be a Dar a/-Is/am.

1. l;Iaram/I;Iaramayn Sharifayn (Mecca and Medinah), which 3. When the rule of the Mushriks/Kafirs is freely and absolutely
only the Muslims are permitted to visit and inbabit and exercised (ya?lzaru abkamu •sh-shirk-ifi-hii).
which the Kafirs cannot even pass through. However, Imam If even one Islamic regulation (such as adhan or circumci-
Abu I;Ianifah permits the Scripturaries to pass through it. sion) remains in force, it will indicate that they have not yet
2. l:lijaz, tbe beartiand of Arabia, including tbe I;Iaramayn been able to establish their absolute rule, and hence the
Sharifayn (Mecca and Medinab), which barring tbe J:Iaramayn territory has not ceased to be a Dar aI-Islam. On the Imam's
Sharifayn, of course, the Kafirs may only pass through but behalf, Mul:tammad bin Ma!:lmUd al-Asbtrawshani adds that,
wbere they are not permitted to bury or cremate their dead. where even a part of the causal situation is intact, the eff~ct
Tbe Prophet is traditioned to have wiIIed that no Kafir: remains extant, too, by the force of the former's endurance. 2
should be permitted to reside there. 1. Abu 'J-Kalam Azad, Khurbtit, Lahore, n.d., p. 42 . I

2. Mu/:lammad bin Ma1.lmud al-Ashtrawshani Kitiib a/.FII~ti1 Vol. J

3. The rest of the territories of the world. leaf 2, Dar a!·'UHim Deoband MSS, quoted by Sa'~d Al;Jrnad Akbarii biidi:
1. Mul;Jammad bin Al;lmad as-Sarkhasi, Kitab a/-Mabsll{, Vol. X, BiiJr 'Hindustiin ki Shar'i I;Jaythiyyat', Blirluill, 1967, vide Naqshaw 'I-Ma~a'iir,
al-Murtaddin, p. 114 etc., Aligah Muslim University, n.d., p. 61
The foregoing ruling of Imam Abu I:Ianifah is rejected by have been landed in a Muhammadan rising infinitely ' more
bis own illustrious disciples, Imam Abu YUsuf and Imam serious than the mutinies of 1857. The whole status of the
Mu1:lammad, nicknamed as Sti(7iban (the two masters), who lay
Musalmans would have been suddenly changed. We should have
down that the mere replacement of the rule of the Muslims by been in the position of an Infidel power who has seized and
the rule of the MushriksjKafirs and the merest inception of the occupied a Country of Islam." With remarkable patience the
latter's dispensation are enough to convert a Dar ai-lsitim into a Company waited for exactly a hundred years (1765 to 1864) to
Dar al.J:!arb. In his al-Mabsflt, however, Imam Mu1:Jammad also let the Muslim power wither away by imperceptible gradations,
observes: 'When a Country of Islam falls into the hands of the -so that it is difficult to put one's finger on any given year or
Infidels, it remains a Country of Islam if the Infidels retain even decade as that of the change-over. It was by Act XI of
Muhammadan Governors and Muhammadan Judges and do not 1864, however, that the British government did away with the
introduce their own Regulations.'l institution of the Qa<;!i-s, the last vestige of Muslim rule in
When the Marathas came to power, beyond exacting Chauth India.
(one-fourth), they did not interfere with or disturb the actual
It appears that the difference between Imam Abu I:Ianifah
administration by Muslim Subedars and Qa<;!is, who continued,
and the Sdl:zibiin is not so fundamental as it is made out to be.
on demise, to be succeeded by new ones of the same religion.
The former seems in effect to have in mind Ddr ai-Islam de
That is why India continued to be regarded as the Dar al-Isltim
jure, whereas what agitates the mind of the Stibibdn is Dar
as it was under Muslim rule.
aI-Islam de facto. Dar al-Isldm de jure is a territory which has
The East India Company in its early phases followed suit. not yet been completely infidelized and thereby has not yet shed
All-powerful as they were, they left the Muslim administration its character of Dar ai-Islam. For example, even though, during
of the provinces intact, retained the Shari'ah as the law of the the declining Mughul rule, real power passed into the hands of
land, to be operated by the Qa<;li-s, and acted in the name of the the Marathas, the Sikhs, the Rajputs, and, above all, the
Muslim emperor. 'Indeed,' writes Hunter,2 'so afraid British-all infidels-, even Sha h WaH All ah (1703-1762) did
was the East India Company of assuming the insignia of -not deem India to be a Ddr al-lfarb, for, as indicated earlier,
sovereignty, th at long after its attempts to govern the country 'the Mughuls continued for long as the titular head of the state.
through the Musalmans had broken down, in consequence of In fact, a Ddr al-J:!arb and a Mushrik-ruled Deir al-Islam both
the indescribable corruption of the Muhammadan administra- invite Jiha d, but, while hejira (wholesale exodus) from the
tion, it still pretended to be the Deputy of a Musalman Iformer is the second sanctioned alternative, this is not available
Monarch. It is a matter of history how this pretence in the end to the Muslims of the latter. Something more about it in the
sank into a contemptible force and how we struck coins in sequel.
the name of the King of Delhi, while our Resident was paying
the poor pensioner a monthly allowance for his table expenses.' Certain Indian theologians have sought to simplify the I I
Hunter adds a little later that 'had we hastened by a single .definitions of Dilr al-Isldm and Dar al-J:!arb in a more straight-
decade our formal assumption of the sovereignty, we should forward manner and much more in keeping with the spirit of
Islam. According to Sayyid Mu1:Jammad Miyan of Jam'iyyat
1. [mam Muhammad, Kitab al·Mabsu{, cited in W.W. Hunter, The al-'Ulama'i Hind, Dar al-Isldm means a Muslim state, whereas
Indian MIl,mlmal/; (reprint of 3rd ed. , Delhi: Varanasi : Jndological Boo~
Dar al-lfarb means a non-Muslim state even though there be
House, 1969), p. 122
2. Hunt,::r, pp. 129-130 1. Ibid., p. 130

no war between the Muslims and the non-Muslims and the latter had only two courses open: Jihad or hejira. Sayyid A1:lmad I
enjoy the fruits of equality before law. According to Shah 'Abd Shahid and Shah Isma'il Shahid declared Jihad on Maharaja I
al-'Aziz (1746-1824), Shah WaH Allah's illustrious son, a Ranjit Singh and came to grief. In 1857, thirtyeight 'Vlama' of
territory remains a Dar al-lsltim as long as the war between the Delhi issued afatwa followed by another by many others against
Muslims and the Kafirs continues. He adds that the territory the British government, which brought forth an uprising of
ceases to be a Dar aI-Islam and changes into a Dar al-Ifarb ninety thousand 'mutineers' in Delhi.
even when the Muslims are unable to fight and yet live in peace, Parallel to the movement of Jihad, certain 'UIama' started
retain their possessions, and have full religious freedom, thanks the movement of hejira in 1841. Sometime after, they brought
to the tolerant temper and benignity of the Kafirs rather than out what may be called a manifesto of hejira under the title
to the prowess and dominance of the Muslims. 1 Obviously, the Hijrat ka Risalah, discovered in 1869 and published for the first
Sllah's emphasis is not on freedom but on dominance as time in June 1988. J
decisive on the issue. His position is a far cry from a host of
Certain other 'Vlama' chose to call British India a Dar
the theologians' and runs counter to the ruling given by Ibn al-'Ahd, or a Dar aI-Amon respectively, on the ground that the
'Abidin Shami, 2 to the effect that a territory will not turn into Muslims enjoyed complete religious freedom during the British
a Dar aI-Ifarb if regulations of both the Muslims and the regime. Iqbal sardonically remarks:
Mushriks/K afirs are in force therein. That is to say, if a
Hai Hind men mulla ko jo sajde ki ijazat
territory is governed/administered by the Muslims and the
K afirs jointly or in their respective spheres-let us add, on the Nii.dan yeh samajhta hai ki Islam hai azad
basis of equality or otherwise- , it cannot be regarded as a Dar (Thanks to the freedom that the MulIa enjoys to bow down (to
al-Ifarb, according to Shami but must be regarded as a Dar God), the fool thinks that Islam is free.)
aU/arb according to Shah 'Abd al-'Aziz. It is usually forgotten, however, that, even if British India
When in 1803, dealing a crushing defeat to the Marathas, was a Dar aI-Islam, the doors of Jihad were by no means
tlle British forces entered Delhi triumphantly and there was no closed to the Muslims, who had lost their sway to tbe Kafirs
hope left of saving the Mughul throne, Shah 'Abd al-'Aziz after all. J:Iijaz was a full-fledged Dar aI-Islam during the
issued the famous fatwa (decree) that India had turned into a Caliphate, yet the first Caliph had to declare Jihad on the
Dar al-Ifarb, insofar as 'in administration and justice, in apostates. According to the Shan'ab, 'If infidels press hard or
matters of law and order, in the domain of trade, finance, and occupy a town in a Country of Islam (Bildd-ul-Isla m ), it is
collection of revenue-everywhere the Kafirs are in power.' absolutely incumbent (Farz-'ain) on every Muhammadan man,
Although, as indicated above, real power had passed into the woman, and child to hurt and drive away the Infidel Ruler.'2
hands of the Kafirs prior to it, reducing the Mughul emperor to Hunter adds, 'This is so established a rule, that the King of
the status of a mere titular Tuler, even Shah Wali Allah Bokhara was compelled by his subjects to declare Holy War
entertained some hope of resuscitation of the Muslim rule, to against the Russians as soon as they entered the Country of
which end he invited A1:lmad Shah Abdali to teach a lesson to· Islam.'3 Indeed, during Akbar's reign, India remained a Dar
the Kafirs. aI-Islam, and yet he had to face decrees of Jihad and bloody
Now, those who took Shah 'Abd al-'Aziz's verdict seriously'
1. Hijrat ka Risiilalz, Ma'tirif, CXLI, 6 (June, 1988), pp. 438-440
1. Shiih 'Abd al-'Aziz, FatalVa, Delhi, 1311/1893-94, T, pp. 162-163 2. Hunter, p. 123
2. Ibn 'AbidIn ShamI, Radd a/-MII~ltar, Vol. III, p. 275 3. Loc. cit.
Nevertheless, however, during early British rule, Maulawi
Karamat 'Ali of Jaunpur decreed that India was a Dar ai-Islam
Sa'id Ahmad Akbarabadi maintains that there are not two
but four domains: Dar aI-Islam, Dar al-IJarb, Dar ai-Amlin,
and that, therefore, Jihad against the British was unlawfuI.l and Dar al-'A/:ld,l but asserts that this truncated India is none
Now, what is the status of India left truncated by the of these. 2 According to him, these distinctions are valid where
the Muslims are one party and the non-Muslims another, but
Britishers ? The bulk of the 'Ulama' are keeping mum on this
issue. The Deoband school has, however, all along been main- India that is Bharat is one nation, governed as one nation in
accordance with a Constitution, which alone rather than the If
taining that it is a Dar al-IJarb. The fatwa of Shah 'Abd
majority community has vouchsafed to the Muslim the rights
al-'AZlz, one of the great forerunners of the Deoband school, has
already been quoted. Mu1:lammad Miyan asserts that South they enjoy, on the basis of equality with the majority com-
Africa is a Dar al-IJarb: 'Dar al-IJarb means a non-Muslim munity. Hence, he concludes, that the foregoing classifications
state even if it be free from warfare, there be a peace treaty of domains are far from applicable to our country. He appears
with' the Muslims or an understanding regarding peace and to be inclined to viewing the classifications as outmoded. That
tranquility, or the law of the land be such that the Muslims feel is why he coins a new term, al-watan al-qawmi with its English
protected thereby. If it is not a Muslim state, it is not a Dar equivalent 'national home'. to define this country's status in
al-Islam.'2 This definition/verdit fully applies to India of today. terms of the Shari'ah. 3
I:Iusayn A1:lmad Madani, the greatest nationalist Muslim with
It is true that it is the Constitution to which the Muslims
Abu 'l-Kalam Azad so called, was more candid. In a letter owe their rights but it is truer that it is the majority to whom the
written during the British regime, he states his position thus: Constitution owes its existence. Therefore, in the last analysis,
'Hindustan is a Dar ai-Ifarb. It shall continue to be a Dilr our country is ruled by the will of the majority community and
al-J:Iarb, as long as it is dominated by Kufr.'3 In another letter the Muslims' participation in government on the basis of
written after Partition, he is equally candid: 'Hindustan has equality with others is due to the benignity of the majority
been a Dar al-lfarb over since Islamic rule ended here.'4 The communis. Declaring India as the national home of the
recently published collection of the Deoband fatwas, Fatawa-i Muslims does not appear to alter the issue.
Deoband, contains a Fatwa on the issue in hand, to the effect
that even free India is a Dflr al-IJarb. 5 The ground adduced is As indicated earlier, the Muslims in a Diir al IJarb have only
that, allegedly, Islam and the Muslims are denied their share of two alternatives:
freedom; that the Muslims' life and property, honour and
dignity, are not yet safe; and that the Muslim community 1. To embark upon Jihad with a view to converting the Dar
remains miserable (Millat-i Isllimiyyah sogw.1r hi hai).'6 al-IJarb into a Dar ai-Islam.

1. Ibid., p. 124, and Appendix III 2. Failing which, to migrate to a safer territory. If, therefore,.
2. Muhammad MiyiiJi., AI-Jam 'iyyat Daily, May 27, 1966, p. 4, col. 1 India is a Dar al-J:Iarb, the danger of an outbreak of Jihad
3. Hus~yn Ai:lmad Madani, Makliibtit·i Slzaykh al-Isltim, Vol. II, is anybody's guess. And, if it is a Dar ai-Islam de jure, the
letter No. 33
requirements of the Shari'ah will not be met till it gets
4. Ibid., letter No. 64
5. Fatawii-i Deobal/d, Vol. II (Fatwa-s of Mufti 'Aziz ar-Rai:lmiin converted to a Dar ai-Islam de facto. It is, indeed, up to the
·Uthmiini). n.d. 1. Akbariibadi, op. cit., p. 75
6. ibid., p. 269 2. ibid., p. 96
3, Ibid., p. 103

Muslim community in India to decide if it will maintains the

distinction of Dar aI-Islam and Dar al-lJarb and hold fast to
all that it implies or bid good-bye to this part of the Chapter III
Shari'ah. Needless to say that the implications of their
decision will be far-reaching. AkbarabadJ's thesis does
appear to tamper with the Shari'all but would feel powerless
before the might of the doctrine of Jihad, as summed up at
the very outset. In the opening chapter. we have essayed the task of explod-
ing the myth that Indian culture is a composite culture, a
cultural unity composed predominantly of pre-Muslim Indian
culture and Muslim culture. The religious dimension of culture
deserves separate treatment, which we proceed to be up to in
the present chapter.

There are some to whom only their religion is true and

some others to whom all religion are false or foolish. They do
not concern us in this chapter. Our concern here is with the
comparatively new-fangled notion that all religions are one,
equal, or equally valid, which to us is a pleasant falsehood and
thereby the biggest stumbling block in the understanding of
religion and the religions. It is, in fact, at the back of many
a mind inclined to belief in the theory of composite Indian

The tone and templer of the three Semitic religions, viz.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is exclusivistic. Each of them
asserts that only that is true and that alI other religions, not
~xcluding the remaining Semitic' religions, are either false. from
the first or are perverted ' versions of the only true religi on-
'outgrowths of error, 'sin, and malice', as Arnold Toynbee
would' ha~e it. That is why Cbristianity and Islam are prosely-
• l. f'~ to'

tizing religions. Amongst the Sl1fi-s in Islam, however, there
were some who appear to have some sympathy with the foll-
.. owers of other religions or their ways of worship. In the
preceding chapter, we have seen how RUmi comes out with a
powerful plea for equal validity of alI ways of worship in thO
eyes of God, in his story of Moses and the shepbered. Another
Safi. Ni:?am ad-Diu Awliya' (l238-1325), once read the follo-
wing verse to his disciples including Amir Kbusrau :
Har qawm rast-rahi dini wa qiblah-gdhi
them. But Hinduism has outgrown it all. After all, Hinduism
Which means: Every (religious) community is on the right ~s truly a dialectical religion in the sense that it is perpetually
path, (indeed,) every religion, every way of worship. Yet he 10 a state of flux thanks to the perennial conflict of contrary
sometimes went against this dictum and observed, 'Kafirs will developments therein, with the result that it cannot remain
ever remain in torment.'l Dara Shukoh believed both Kufr and ~ightly tied to any of its forms, any of its articulations, any "Of
Islam to be the pathways to God. Kabir, Nanak, DadU, and Its tenets for long. In this consists its dynamism, all-inclusive-
other monist saints thought on the same line. In order to ~ess, and spirit of tolerance. This is why, wllereas other relig-
establish the truth of both SUfism and Vedanta, and thereby Ions are condemned to swear by, bear responsibility fOT, and
Islam and Hinduism, as also to harmonize and s:ynthetize them, be bound down to each and every word uttered by their founder
Dara Shukoh wrote a book entitled Majma' al-Babrayn in Hinduism is ever ready to slough off or outgrow any .of it~
Persian and another entitled Samudrasangama in Sanskrit. He ossified forms without compunction and assume newer fOQlls
held the Upani~ads in the highest esteem, believed them to be so that it becomes rather difficult to pinpoint what falls outsid;
divinely revealed, identified them as the 'hidden book' (kitab ~induism or even to define Hinduism at a particular POlDt of
maknun) referred to in the Qur'an~ and described there as 'the tIme. What AJ:tmad Nadim Qasimi has to say to his beloved:
mother of the book' (umm al-kitdb),3 and rendered fifty of them
Jab bhi dekha hai tujhe fiurat-i nau dekha hai
into simple Persian for propagation of their message amongst
Mar/:zalah !ayy na hua teri shinasdi ka
the Muslims. 4
(Whenever I saw thee, I saw thee in a new form. The problem
As pointed out in the opening chapter, however, not all of thy identity remains unsolved.)
the Sufi traditions belonged to this way of thought.
~ow, :he modern tendency of regarding all religions as true
As regards Hinduism, it is well known for its inclusivistic
beglD.s WIth Ramak~~l)a nicknamed Parama harnsa (1836-86),
and tolerant attitude towards other religions, cultures, and practIcally an uneducated saint. He maintains that the . _
traditions, wherein, too, it discerns rays of truth and, under- " meaom.,
o f a II reI IglOns are one and the same, whatever their complexion
scoring and highlighting its own uniqueness, universality, and
and contours, and that they are es entially one and lead to one
excellence, it does not forget to add, in unison with RUmi, so to
and the . same
. goal that is God . He declares that 'all re1"Iglons
speak, that people following other ways of worship are also
pursulDg dIfferent ways will finally reach the same God' It .
qualified to attain the summum bonum. I I' . IS
comm?n y c aImed tha~ h~ ~ractised the spiritual discipliaes
It is true that some of the Hindu scriptures do not lag. preSCrIbed by even ChrIstIanIty and Islam and found tllem t )
behind others in damning followers of different paths to hell In her great works, Isis Unveiled and S€cret Doctrine, : ;:
and sometimes going to the extent of preaching violence against Blavatsky. the founder of the Theosophical Society, has
unde.rt~k~n the stupendus task of diving deep into the
1, Fawii'id a/-Fu'iid, Shaykh Niziim ad-Din Awliyii's sayings, compiled multlphclty of religio-occultist traditions of the world d
by his direct disciple Arnir l;Jasan 'Alii Sanjari alias Khawiijah I;Iasan prod~ced a~ impressive compound of the ideas discove:d
Dihlawi, Urdu tr. by Muslim Al;1mad Niziimi under the title Jrshiid-i therem . ~akJng his cue from her, Bhagavan Das compiled a
Ma~lbiib, Delhi, n.d•• p. 129
2. Siirah al-Wiiqi 'ah (56) 78
book entItled Essential Unity of All Religions. Gandh i' sarva-
3. Al 'lmriin (3) 7; Ibriihim (14) 39; az-Zukhruf (43) 4 ~harma-samabh~va is ~nother contribution to this way 'Of
4. Dara Shukoh, Sirr-; Akbar, Introduction though t. As WIll be eVIdent in the sequel, be hold ull relig!ons
not only true but eqully true. Rene Guenon moot d the idea of

the existence of a perennial religio-philosophic tradition of disciplines as well. But his own statement on tbe subject is
huminity which constitutes the corner-stone or rather matrix of conspicu?us by its absence from tbe Gospel of RBmakrlilJa,
the religions and cultures of the world. Following in his foot- the earhest record of his words. It is said that a devotee
prints, Frithjoff Schuon, a German philosopher of religion Swami Saradiinanda, met the saint in the last two year;
renamed 'Isa NUl ad-Din on conversion to Islam, wrote a of the latter's life and wrote a work, Sri Ramakrishna: The
numbers of works including the one on 'transcendental unity' Great Master, running into 1050 pages 25 years after, in which
of religions. Zimmer, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Aldous the saint's Sadhana-s of Islam and Christianity came to be
Huxley, Mercia Eliade, and Seyyed Hossain Nan are other described for the first time. From the book it appears that the
important names belonging to tbis way of thought. They saint spent three days each in the two disciplines. His practice
propound a philosophia perennis (sanatana-dharma) as the of Islam covers only one page, reduced to ten lines by Swami
common ground and unifier of all religio-philosophic traditions. Nikhilananda in his shorter biography of the saint. This Swami
In what follows regarding Ramak:r~lJa, we have thought it says that the saint began his Siidhana of Islam under the
fit to use the information contained in the little, revealing book guidance of a Hindu named Govind Ray converted to Islam.
entitled Ramakrishna Mission: In Search ofa New Identity by Ram 'After three days he saw a radiant figure, perhaps Muhammad.
Swarup profusely. Ramak:r~lJa told his devotees, on September This figue gently approached him and finally lost himself in
19, 1884, 'God made me pass through the disciplines of various Sri Ramakrishna.' Ram Swarup comments, 'In Siiradananda,
paths. First according to the PuralJa-s, then according to the the radiant figure remains nameless; in Nikhilananda, the name
Tantra. I also followed the disciplines of the Vedas.' We are at becomes a guess; in subsequent Mission lore, it becomes a dead
our wit's end in trying to make out wbat 'the disciplines of the certainty.'l Eight years after, in November 1874, followed the
Vedas' could mean, and that, too, to one far from learned in practice of Christianity, in which not even this was involved.
the Vedic lore, and how on eartb it became possible for the The saint listened to some readings from the Bible and was
-practically unlettered saint to master the Pural)a-s and Tantra-s moved. One day he saw a painting of the Madonna and the
'so as to be able to practise the welter of disciplines prescribed ,Child on a wall and fell into ecstasy. The ecstatic mood lasted
in them, and that, too, in such a limited span of time. And for three days, at the end of which he saw a luminous figure,
what does he actually mean by 'disciplines' as prescribed in the appearing, entering into, and merging with him. Siiradananda
Vedas Purana-s and Tantra-s? If at all, they prescribe an calls it 'the Master's vision of Sri Ish'. Nikhilananda says that
unma~ageabie ~ultiplicity of disciplines often of a mutually .'the effect of this experience was stronger than that of the
contradictory character, so much so that one Pural)a extols its -vision of Muhammad.'
own disciplines to the sky and condemns the others' as unmit- What was the mode of the Islamic Sadhana ? Ramakrsna
igably sinful. Indeed, believe it or not, one and tbe same PuralJa "repeated the mantra Allah ...and said Namaz thrice d~iIY.
sometimes applauds one discipline Or set of disciplines in one dressing and eating like a Muslim. Then he felt a great urge to
of its parts and condemns it outright in another. Any way, on take beef. He entered a dog's body astrally and tasted the flesh
April 12, 1885, the saint said, 'I practised all sorts of Sadbana... ·of a dead cow floating in the GaJ'Jga. It is completely forgotten
During my Sadhana period I had all kinds of amazing visions.' however, that in Islam flesh of a dead animal is a tabo~
Then be describes his Sadhana-s and visions. These Sadhanas (bariim). And. again, Islam prescribes saying Namaz five times
cleatly bear the Hindu stamp, presuppose tbe Hindu context. a day.
His devotees' claim is that he practised Christian and Islamic
1. Ram Swarup, Ramakrishna Mission in Search of a New Idenlily,
New:Delhi, 1986, p. 9, r.n.

During the saint's practice of Islam and Christianity, the are all equaL'! According to him, all religions are equal,2
Hindu gods and goddesses disappeared from his mind. It is true,3 and equally true. 4 Also: 'All prophets are equal'S and
also contended that during the practice of Islam he got convert- 'equally true'. 6
ed to Islam. If so, after the two or three days' Islamic Well, this doctrine does not appear to be well based. It
discipline, the saint relinquished Islam and became an apostate finds no support from any religion whatever. We have referred
(murtadd) , and Islam penalizes apostasy (irtidiid) with death. to RUmi's teaching accommodating all forms of worship. Even
Islamically speaking, to embrace Islam temporarily and remain he takes those to task who hold all religions to be true, or false,
in Kufr permanently are one and the same, in effect.
for tbat matter:
Be it as it may. From the foregoing account, it transpires
that the saint had the vision of Hindu g0ds and goddesses while Ali ki goyadjumlah baqq ast abmaqi 'st
W' ail ki goyadjumlah batil iiil shaqi 'st
practising Hinduism, of Jesus Christ while practising Christian-
ity, of prophet Mu]:lammad while practising Islam. Then how '(Whoever says all (religions) are true is an idiot, and whoever '
has it been established that the goal of the three religions is one says all are false is a rogue.) Jayanta Bhatta sardonically
and the same? Each religion took him to a particular deity or remarks that, if it be contended that all religions are valid, true.
prophet. Unity of the three religions would have been demons- then, if I, too, found a religioh today. it, too, would become'
trated if they had made him attain to one and the same deity/ 'valid, true, with the passage of time:
prophet or to the deities/prophets of all these religions.
Sarviigama-pramii7J,atve nanvevam upapiidite
Bhagavan Das's Essential Unity of All Religions is little Aham apy adya yam kancid agamam raeaytimi eel,
better than a compilation of the goody-goody points from Tasyiipi hi pramii1J.atvam dinaib katipayair bhavet.'
eleven religions, on the basis of which no such tall claim can be
made as that all religions are essential1y one. His work throws . 'The Mahabharata contains a remarkable couplet in this connex-
little light on the disputed points amongst the religions, not to ion, to the effect that the fundamental moral principles in gene-
speak of trying to examine and synthetize them. ,ral may be shared by all religions in common and even equally
~but their philosophical positions are often different :8
Gandhi, Vinoba, and their followers insist that all religions .
are equally true. Says Gandhi ; 'The Hindu instinct tells me Tulyam saueam tapoyuktam, daya bhute~u eanagha !
that 'alI religions are more or less true. All proceed from the Vratiinam dhara7Jam tulyam, darSanam na samam tayob.
same God, but all are imperfect because they have come down 1n his Brha~tika, Kumarila invites our attention to the innate
to .us through imperfect human instrumentality.'l He also says, differences amongst the different religious traditions and argues
'I believe the Bible, the Koran, and the Zend Avesta to be as against the idea of their equal validity:
much divinely inspired as the Vedas.'2 But 'even the Vedas, 1. Ibid" 16.1.1937
the Quran and the Bible are the imperfect word of God.'3 He is
a believer in 'the equality of all religions.'4 His fundament al
,:. Ibid" 28'11.1936; 4.5.1947 I
3. Ibid., 6.4.1934; Stibamatr, 1928, p. 17
position is: 'Religion is one and it has several branche5 which · 4. Harijall. 30.1.1937
5, Ibid., 13.3.1937 1\
1. Youllg Illdia, 29,5.1924, p . 180
2. Ibid., 6.10.1921, p. 317 6. Loc. cit.
7. Jayanta BhaHa, op. cit., p. 248
3. H arijan , 16.2.1934
4. Ibid, 5.12. 1?36; 26.1.1947
.8. Maluibhtirata, Santi-Parvan 300.9 I

Tirthakrt-samayiinii:m ca paraspara-virodhatab Thus, it is evident that the Qur'an can lay claim t~ the unity
Sarvel/iim aplatii niisti, kascid eva bhaved gurul:z. of the Semitic religions only, rather than of the other religions
as well. To be sure, in the eyes of the Qur'an, idolatrous.
Yamuna claims that the Tantra schools are intended to be
polytheism is irreligion, pure and simple, rather than religion
different and that, therefore, they must not be confused to be-
fundamentally one with the Semitic religions.
one and the same :1
There are some who find in the Qur'an glimpses of equal
Saivam, Piisupatam, Saumyam, Liigw!am ca caturvidham
respect for all religions, indeed for polytheism and idolatry as
Tantra-bhedal:z samuddil/tal:z, sankarom no samacaret.
well. One of its verses relied upon by them runs thus :' 'Unto
The Qur'an claims and proclaims that religion is only one,. you your religion, and unto me my religion' (La-kum dinu-k~m
which was revealed by God to man through different prophets. wa /i-ya din).1 But this verse teaches nothing like respectability
and in different forms to different peoples in different times and of all religions. The full chapter containing the verse is repro-
climes. God has sent His prophets to every nation and every duced below for a proper appreciation of the import of the
age to proclaim the one religion 2 (ad.din)3 called Islam 4 or ' verse:
J:Ianafiyyah. 6 He gave to Mu!:J.ammad the same religion to 'Say: 0 kafirs (Qui: Yii ayyuha 'I-kafiruna) !
propagate, as He had given to his predecessors like Noah"
Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. 6 Mawlana Abu 'l-Kalam Azad "I worship not that which ye worship (Lii a'budu mii
was a well known protagonist of the unity of religion (wal:zdatu- u'budtana).
'd-din). 'Nor worship ye that which I worship (Wa Iii antum 'iibiduna
But from a ·close scrutiny of the revelation it transpires that rnii a'budu).
the author of the Qur'an has the Semitic races in mind. It 'And I shall not worship that which ye worship CWa Iii anii
clearly indicates that God has revealed His books or rather "iibidum mii 'abattum).
book to only two nations-Jews and Christians. 7 It also informs
us that prophethood and the Book (of revelation), together 'Nor will ye worship that which I worship (Wa la antum
with kingship, are the hallmark of the clan of Israel, 8 viz. the 'iibidrma rnii ii'budu) .
line of the twelve sons of prophet Ya'q'IIb (Jacob) considered 'Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion (La-kum
collectively, who became the progenitors of the twelve families dinu-kum wa /i-'ya dini).2
of the Jews. Incidentally, a problem arises here. Mul;1mmad
belonged to the clan of Ishmael, and not to that of Israel. How According to Jalal ad-Din Suy'IIi;i, the verse in question
then did he come to be anointed with prophethood ? We cannot stands abrogated by the verse of Jihad .3 MulIa J:Iusayn Wa'i:?
afford to go into this question in this work. Kashifi in his Persian commentary entitled Tafsir-i I)usayni on
1. Yamuna, op. cit. , 109 the Qur'an and several other classical (Arabic and Persian)
2. Ar-Rii'd (l J) 7; Yunus (10) 47; al-Fa~ir/aJ-Malii ' ikah (35) 24 commentators of the Qur'an follow suit. Ibn Kathir, one of the-
3. AI-'Imrao (3) 19; ar-Rum (30) 30; ash-Shura (42) 13 leading classical commentators in Arabic, has a different story
4. Al -'Imriin (3) 19
5. AI-Baqarah (2) 135; AI '1m ran (3) 67, 95, 135; an-Nisii' (4) 125; 1. Al- Kiifirun (109) 6
al -An'iim (6) 162; Yunus (10) 105; an-Nal;1l (16) 123; ar-Rum (30) 30 2. Ibid. loG
6. Ash-Shlira (42) 13 3. See Jal iil ad -Din a~-Suyu~i, AI-Ittiqtill fi •Ultlm al-Qur'iin, Vol. II.
7. AI-An'am (6) 157 Urdu tr. by Mul~ammad I;Ialim An~ari Daulawi, Firozpur, 1908, .pMl
8. AI-Baqarah (2) 47; aI-Mii'idah (5) 20; al-Jiithiyah (45) 16 (Section) 47, pp.61-62

to tell. According to him, this chapter of the Qur'an is intended religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence of Islam with other
to proclaim and throw into relief the Prophet's disclaimer of or religions. But many classical commentators claim it to have
.aversion (bara'ah) to Kufr. Abu 'I-'Ala MawdtIdi, the leading ,b een abrogated by the Jihadic verse. QaQI Ab'll Bakr Ibn ai-
·commentator in Urdu, discusses the chapter at length and 'Arabi (b. 1076 A.D.), a great classical commentator in Arabic.
comes to a similar conclusion. He makes it abundantly clear represents them all when he observes: 'Wherever in the Qur'an
that it rules out for good the possibility of cooperation, com- there are directions to forget, forbear, forgive, and avoid the.
promise, or coexistence of Islam with Kufr. In other words, Kafirs, all such directions stand abrogated by the verse of the
islam is Islam and Kufr is Kufr, and never the twain can meet. 'sword (ayat as-say!), which is, "Then, when the sacred months
MaWd'lldi adds that its teaching is a far cry from religious have passed, slay the idolaters whenever ye find them, and take
toi~rance as it is erroneously made out to be. Another modern them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each
<:'o~ment~tor Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi also interprets the chapter ,ambush. But, if they repent and establish worship and pay the
~nder cons'i deration as throwing into relief Islam's aversion poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo ! Allah is forgiving,
(tabarra) to and exclusion (mufliraqat) from Kufr. A third merciful."1 This verse has served to abrogate one hundred
modern commentator, 'Abd aI-Majid Daryabadi, remarks that t wenty-four verses. 2 Same is the case with another verse:
it is preposterous to interpret the Qur'anic verse in question to .. ... Wouldst thou (0 Mu!).ammad!) compel men until they
t each religious tolerance and forbearance. According to him the become believers ?'8
position is just the reverse. The verse proclaims failure and The full verse containing the words 'La ikrahafi 'd-Din'
fruitlessness of religious syncretism of all kinds, such as the one 'runs thus: 'There is no compulsion in religion. The right has
once founded by Akbar. His words are memorable: 'Ba'z henceforth become manifest as distinct from the wrong. So, he
logon ne 'ajab "khush-fahmi" se kam lekar is ayat ko Islam ki 'Who rejecteth false gods and believeth in Allah is hearer,
'~rawada"i" aur "ma-ranjan ma-ranj" policy ke thubut men pesh knower.' Shah Wali Allah interprets it in such a way, however,
kiya hai, ki Islam ne hal' madhhab wale ko apni jagah qa'im aur that it ceases to rule out the use of force in propagation of
baqi rahne ki ijazat di hai. Halan-ki waqi'ah is se bar-'aks hai. islam and, instead, provides a basis for just the use of such
Yah ayat to Akbar (farmiin-ral;Vii-i Hind) ke nikiile hue makhluti force. He writes: 'There is no compulsion for the sake of
din aur lsi qabil ki sari koshishon ki Iii-bat/iii aur na.-kami ka. 1"eligion, that is the doctrine of Islam has been demonstrated.
i~lan kar rahi hai.' ('Out of strange "good sense", certain Hence it is not tantamount to compulsion, as it were, though
persons have presented this verse in proof of Islam's policy of com-pulsion it is, on the whole. (Nist jabr kaand bara'i din.
"tolerance" and of "neither inflict pain nor suffer pain", (which Ya'm; bujjat-i Isldm ~iihlr shud. Pas guyii jabr kardan nist, agar-
i.s) that Islam permits the followers of every religion to stand .che ji 'l-jumlah jab,. biishad). 4
firm and remain in their own place. But the position is just
Before closing this section of the present chapter, we would I
opposi te. This is a verse which is proclaiming the fruitlessness
,do well to examine one more verse of the Qur'an, which reads
a nd failure of the syncretic religion invented by Akbar (the
emperor of Hind) and of all attempts of this type. ')
thus: 'Lo ! those who believe (in Islam), and those who are I
1. At-Ta wbah (9) 5
Another oft-quoted verse in this connexion is, 'There is no 2. As-Suyu~I, loco cit. Particularly about the abrogation of 'La ikraha
compulsion in religion' (La ikriihaji 'd-Din).] From it, too, the fi 'd-dill' , see his Ad-Durr al-Mallthur, Maymanah (Egypt), 1314 A.H.,
unwary or the unscrupulous are wont to hear a declaration of Vol. I, p. 330
3. Yiious (10) 99
1. AI -Baqarah (2) 256 4. Shah WaH AWih, Ta!sir.i Fat(l ar-Ra(lmtill ,2-256
Jews, and Christians, and Sabeans-whoever believeth in Allah. community of Zoroastrians, whom he categorized as near.
and the Last Day and does right-surely their reward is with- scripturaries and on whom, accordingly, he levied Jizyah. And,
their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither' if ~here did exist any Sabeans in l;Iijaz during his time, they
shall they grieve.'! This verse refers to four religions: Islam•. mIght have existed only exceptionally.
Judaism, Christianity, and Sabeanism. Their followers will be
The Qur'an is also acquained with a variety of atheism, an
rewarded by God, if they believe in Him and the Day of
irreligion, according to which there is no other world and time
Judgment. Idolatrous polytheism is conspicuous by its absenee ' (dohr) is the destroyer of alU
from the list of the religions, along with Zoroastrianism, though
the Qur'an refers to both elsewhere. Indeed, it knows the Now, when the Jews and the Christians did not respond
following half a dozen religions: I. Islam, 2. Judaism, . favourably to the Prophet's call, the Qur'an declared them
3. Sabeanism, 4. Christianity, 5. Zoroastrianism, and 6. Idol- Kafirs,2 along with the idolatrous polytheists. Where is the'
atrous polytheism (shirk). 2 Many commentators adjudge the- unity or equality of religions, in the Qur'an ?
previous verse abrogated, and there is good ground for the'
view. In a later verse the Qur'an itself rules, 'And whoso-
seeketh as religion other than Islam it will not be accepted I Well, what do we actually mean by the unity and equality of
from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.'s all religions? The following alternatives suggest themselves in
this behalf:
The Qur'am appears to regard Judaism and Christianity as·
1. Uniformity, formal identity
earlier forms of Islam which have undergone distortion and'
perversion through history. 4 It condemns idolatrous polytheism· 2. Commonness of core
as irreligion pure and simple, without any revelational founda- - 3. Essential unity, commonness of essence
tion, masquerading as religion. The mission of Islam is to '
abolish it allogether, reinstate Judaism and Christianity in their 4. Cognation/cognateness, or common origin
pristine purity that is Islam itself, and establish Islam through- 5. Organismic unity
out the length and breadth of the world. Though certain verses. 6, Unity of objects of worship/devotion
of the Qur'an are construed to criticise Zoroastrianism, 6 the
Qur'an actual1y leaves its status undefined. As regards 7. Unity of spirit and of purpose
Sabeanism, the Qur'an contains no adverse remarks, but it 8. Unity of means, of approach
leaves its status, too, undefined. In fact, these two religions .
9. Equal validity of differences in perspective and in spiri-
posed no problem to the Prophet. His first acquaintance with
tual competence diversifying essential unity.
Zoroastrianism was through Salman Farsi, his favourite who ·
had renounced Zoroastrianism and converted to Islam. It was When we talk of unity or equality of religions, which
only in Ba1:lrin, however, that the Prophet met with thec' meaning do we have in mind?
1. AI -Baqarah (2) 62. It is almost identical with al-Mii 'idah (5) 69. The first alternative, that of uniformity or formal identity p
2. AI -I;Iajj (22) 17 is patently false. It is belied by experience, which testifies to
3. Al 'Imran (3) 85
4. For example, see al-I;Iadid (57) 27 multiformity or formal diversity of religions.
5. AI-I;Iajj (22) 17. Zoroastrianism appears to be referred to indirectlyr 1. AI-Jiithiyah (45) 24
in al -An'am (6) 1 2. AI-Baqarah (2) 41, for example

The second alternative, that of commonness of the core of, !O dialec~ics and swearing by it in season and out of season in
religions, too, does not hold water, The core of the Semitic ' lOterpretmg socio-cultural phenomena, are found to behave as
religions may be said to be common more or less. In fact, we enemies No. one of Hinduism. They are rather embarrassed and
-can attempt even a grouping of religions on the basis of exasperated by the dialectical character of this great multi-
,commonness or near-commonness of their core. Yet to claim all dimensionol religion, for they fail to find 10 it a sta'tionary
religions to be having a common core would be a travesty of point to strike at !
Islam is an Allah-, Mul:tammad-, and Qur'au-intoxicated
As regards the third aIternatiye, what is to be understood by religion, so to speak, with a non-negotiable belief in angels,
essence? As we have seen, the gulf dividing Hinduism and , heaven and hell, Day of Judgment, Allah seated on the
Isiam is too yawning to be bridgeabl~. The centre of gravity of Empyrean on the seventh heaven, wherefrom flowed His words
Hinduism is, on one hand, the realizable or in the ultimate to the Prophet through an angel named Gabriel in the form of
analysis rather etern~lIy self-realiz~dAtman,the Self, as agai~st the Qur'an. Such an account no amount of rationalization can
a wholly other, rather whimsical, jealous, extracosmic personal hope to reduce to the status of merely a figurative description.
·Goq of Islam; on another, self-realization, self-enlightenment, Islam is a religion iconoclastic to the core, closing the doors of
as against correct .b elief and unquestioning obedience to the Divine grace upon the Kafirs and virtualIy outlawing all those
letter of the law as in Islam; on a third, due regard 'for varying of them who do not surrender abjectly barely to subsist as
levels of spiritual competence (adhikara-bheda) as against dhimmi-s, with few fundamenlal rights.
-antipolytheistic, iconoclastic monotheism of Islam, despite Tbe Buddha's teachings, as also Hinduism's generally, are
RlImi's readiness to accommodate diverse. conceptiOQs of God marked by the absence of any such emphasis on monotheism
'and forms of worship determined by the diversity of levels of unitary divine revelation, etc. Islam knows neither reincarna~
'religious insight and Jiimi's recognition of gradations of tion (samsara) nor its cessation (nirvalJa/molqa) characteristic of
'spiritual experience (bif~-i maratib), which the two Sufi savants Buddhism and Hinduism. Hinduism's insistence on eternalit~
·stood for in spite of Islam's uncompromising stance to the of the Self and the Buddhists' on the denial of the self are well
-contrary; and, on a fourth, Dharma-the variously manifesting known, though the bulk of the latter involve themselves in a
individual, social, as well as cosmic Norm-, historical instanti- contradictory situation by postulating Nibbana/Nirvana in
:ations of which are subject to change with the changing time- eternalistic parlance . Christianity cannot admit to its h~aven
place-circumstance (desa-kdla.nimitta) , as against Din, as in ' anyone bereft of ,an absolute faith in Jesus, whereas Islam
Islam, fixed for all time to come. subordinates the faith in Jesus to faith in Mu1).ammad; in that
Indeed, Hinduism is an open religion, an evolutionary faith in not only Jesus but also in all other prophets is a
religion, a pluralistic religion, an aIternationistic religion, and ,necessary condition for admission to the Islamic Jannah but
what-not. Above all, it is describable as a dialectical religion in the sufficient conditiOtl thereof is provided by ~ crowning 'faith
in Mu1).ammad.
'both the fundamental senses of the term 'dialectical' :
1. It is a process. Schleiemacher says, 'Tile deeper one progresses in religion,
the more the whole religious world appears as an indivisible
2. Its growth often takes place through conflict and whole.'! And Max MUller, 'There is only one eternal and
contradiction in the realm of ideas and approaches. L See Friedrich Heiler, 'The H istory of Religions as a Preparat ion
It is strange, however, incidentally, that many people wedded for ,the ·Co-opera.tion o~ .Religiof.Js,: The History of Religions: Essays in
MefrlOdology, 2nd unpresslOD, Universi ty of Chicago, 1962, p. 141
. . d' b ve beneath, and beyond all <:ourse, of their mystical accretions or rather superadditions.
universal rehglOn stan 109 a 0 , b 1 'J It is also
religions to which they all belong or can e the hi h
asserted that there are seven principal areas of umty of g To say, therefore, that all religions are essentially one or
religions, which are :2 equal is a gross overstatement, unsubstantiated or unsupported
by the nature and history of the various lines of religious
1. The reality of the transcendent, the holy, the divine, the .development of humanity.
Now comes the fourth alternative. The question is, Do all
2. This reality is immanent in human hearts. religions owe their origin to a common source, or are they
3 It I' S for man the summum bonum, th.e highest truth, cognate ones? It must be granted that down the ages there has
. righteousness, goodness, beauty, an d 10deed extending been a lot of impact of one religion Upon another and vice
beyond these. versa by way of mutual borrowings and exchange of ideals,
rituals. It is also beyond doubt that certain high religions have
4. It is ultimate love which reveals itself to men in men.
had a common origin. It needs no emphasis that the Semitic
5. The way to It is the way of sacrifice. religions represent a common line of origin and development.)
6. The way to the neighbour side by side with the way to Even the Qur'an bears testimony to it. 2 Judaism appears to
have had a Zoroastrian source to an enormous extent. SUch of
the divine.
the former's fundamentals as God and some of His names,
7. Love as the superiormost way to the divine. eternal struggle between God and the Satan, angels with their
names and offices, cosmogony, the Resurrection, future life,
These characteristics hold good by and larg~ for mys~ical
heaven and hell, are undoutedly traceable to Zoroastrianism. 3
religions like Vedantic-Tantric Hinduism, Mahaya~a BuddhIsm,
Christian and Muslim mysticisms, broadly speakmg. F~r that And it is admitted on all hands that the Zoroastrian religion
owes muca to the ancient Vedic lore or, in the alternative, that
matter, these mystical religions display two ~ore, km~red
the Zoroastrian and the Vedic religions have a common Source.
.areas of unity, which are numbered eighth and mnth below.
Thus, all these religions are cognate ones to some extent or
The ideal of what the Gita calls 'trigu'fJatita',a namely -other. All the same, this does not appear to be true of the bulk
8. the stage beyond gOOQ and evil, virtue and sin, righteous- of the tribal religions, which must be regarded by and large as
ness and unrighteousness, d'h arma and adharma ,'-an . wild growths rather than as owing their existence to some
offshoot, of course, of the third point and yet deservmg ,common matrix. Besides, most of the cognate religions took
separate enunciation. such different and even opposite lines of development that their
9. The metaphysics of silence, viz. acknowIed.gemen.t in all cognateness has become meaningless today.
humility of the ineffable character of the saId reahty.
But those whom we have referred to earlier as upholding the
But what about the prophetic religions? Items 2, 4, and 6 great Tradition of Philosophia Perennis understand the cognate-
to 9 cannot be said unreservedly to apply to them, short, of ness of the religions differently. They usually fight shy of
1. Lac. cit. 1. Ganga Prasad, Fountaill Head of Religion, 6th ed., Ajmer, 1957,
2. Ibid., pp. 142-151 Chapters I, II, IV
3. Bhagavad-Gita 18.17 __ 2. See, for example, as-Shiira (42) 13
4. Kallla-Upaniiod 1.2.14; Mu~rJoka·Upaniiad 3.1.3; Glta 18.66 3. Ganga Prasad, op. CiT., ch. IV

recognizing the theory of evolution as applied in the..field of called the Madhumafi-bhumi are wont to involve the "'wayfaret
religion. They seem to maintain that all the religIOns are in various temptations. The illustrations of the teinptatiobs
different manifestations or representations of the common given therein remind one of the pleasures of the paradise,
tradition of humanity and that, therefore, there is a kind of Jannah, or Svarga.
transcendental unity among them. Maybe, though there is no-
tangible evidence to go upon, humanity was fortunate enough Hinduism provides choice of a deity (il/ta-devatd) suited· to.
in the beginning to acquire from some now unknown s~urce a one's own taste, temperament, or spiritual competence, signified '
fund of religious knowledge, which peeps through dlffere~t by the term adhikdra-bheda. The Gita says that the choice of
religious traditions even today. Even so, however, these tradi- one's deity is determined by one's own native temperament. 1 .
tions stand so radically apart today that it is preposterous to It would be pertinent to point out in this con~exion that:
try and hu nt up any significant strain of unity among them.
some Tibetan Lamas are said to claim that .thought ca~ create;
Now let us take the fifth meaning. Are the different a tangible object, a thought-form, which they call tulpa. It is;.
religions' different organs of one and the same organism? Their also claimed that human beings can project .mental or seml-
cognateness does provide an atmosphere fa~o~rable to such a pbysical phantasms. A thought-form can sometime's be seen .by·.·
conclusion . Yet the organismic view of rehglOn ceases to be others, have a temporary life of its own, and even break f~e~
significant today no less than the cognateness view, and for the from control and wander off. 2 It can be evoked even inadvert-
same reason. ently.a Indeed it is also claimed to be possible to create il'lJ
that manner even 'hills, enclosures, houses, forests, road's,
Now about the sixth meaning. Do all religions enjoin bridges.'4 Then, are the variously worshipped deities ' not'
devotion to or worship of a common deity? The Buddha does mental projections or mental offspring of the worshippers or
on occasion prescribe worship of gods and goddesses as al.s~ of rather of those who claim to have envisioned them? ids
his own relics,l yet it is of a secondary moment. Jalllism significant that Kumarila fights shy of giving credence to Yogic
knows no creator of the cosmos. It can, therefore, and does intuition as a case of valid knowledge on its own. He argues
.prescribe worship of only human beings, viz. Tir~aIik~ra.s,
that, if an empiricaI.fiash of intuition unsupported/ unverified .b
who are liberated human beings, Yahwe/Jehova, Allah, ~1~~U,
Co' Devl- , and suchlike look like one and the .same, or Similarf 1. '11Pltr tf~ ~\ ifcrnAT: \l'll'~;~ S'll'~croT :
"Iva, ~ ~ f'flfll'ilf<llii ~T Rl«rr: fcrliT II ' ' •:
deities, yet they can be said to belon~ ~o different .st,ages. 0
Ii) Ii) <rT lit o'!,\ 'If!ffi: JIT~Ts~r~f9"
spiritual development. A Slltra of PatanJah reads .thus:- St~a~~­
upanimantra1;Le sangasmayiikara/Jam, pl~nar anzl/ta-prasangat .. m:<r oflIT'T<'fT ~r orit<f f<t~Ul1'll"~ "
That if a deity proper to a particular stage of trance m-m ~T,!. f'l"C!,! < f'l"C!~(f1:
ifaTR < if~r, 'irRf 'i"mf;r;iTsfq- ;rTq, 11
tempts the wayfarer, the Iatte~ mus: not succumb to ~he ~ ~

~~ wf~ JITW if'ffo 'ilrm !

temptation, otherwise he will agam fall lOtO trou.ble. Accordl~g .
~)sq' ~(f), <r) <r~:[: tr tff tr: II
to the Vyiisabhiil/ya thereon, the gods belonglOg to what IS
~ tTTf~T ffi'!. 'ill'l<:llliftr 'FiffiT:
1. Digha-Nikaya, Vagga II, Sutta 3, pp. 71, 110. for example ifaT,! "!.01fVrT!l!: 'IT<if <r;;r.a- oTl1trT .,..,r: II
2. Yoga-Safra, Vibhuti-Piida, 51 Gila 7.20-21; 9.25; 17.3-4
2. Geoffrey Ashe, The Anciel Wisdom. London, 1971, p. 195
3. Ibid., p. 196
4. Loc. cil.

Ye yathii miirh prapadyante tliilS tathaiva bhajiimy aham

perc:eption, inference, etc. is not accorded the status of valid Mam vartmiinuvartante manu~yiib Piirtha ! sarvasab
knowledge, the Yogic intuition fares no better ;1
(In whatever way devotees approach me in that same way do
Lauk iki pratibhii yadvat pratyak~ iidy anapekl1i]Ji
I return their love. 0 Arjuna ! they tread my own path after
No. ni.~cay iiya pary(7ptii, tathii sydd yoginiim api
all and by all means.)
According to Pa;rthasarathi Mis ra, another Pllrva-Mimarhsii
On this plane, the belief in the unity of objects of worship/
philosopher, Yogic intui tion is caused by brooding (bhiivanii)'j
devotion acquires significance. Since, however, the worshipper's/
and semblance of reason etc. (Iingiidyiibhiisa),3 for which
devotee's tendency in this direction is in the darkness of
reason be assi gns 110 probative value to it. Sadhu Santinatha, a
ignorance, the unity and equality of religions in this sense has
'modern yogi n who is no more, practised Yoga for over four
little practical value. On the theoretical plane, too, it is like the
·decades and came to the conclusion that what the Yogin
.-.en.visions is not reality as such but just a creature of his own proposition that, since all is Brahman, human beings, animals,
imagination in tensified by constant brooding. 4 It appears that and inanimate objects are all one and the same.
"this point does have some bearing upon the issue of projection Let us now turn to the seventh meaning of the unity and
'Of thought-forms by a section of the La mas. We are not com- equality of religions, which is, unity of spirit and of purpose.
petent, however, to pronounce upon it. There is hardly any difficulty in maintaining that the broad
Well, the Gitii presents another side of the picture, which purpose of all religions is one and the same, which is, attain-
appears to lend support to the view that religions have IIlore or ment of the summum bonum. A verse in the Mahiibhiirata runs
less a common deity to worship, willy-nilly. It says that even thus :1
those who think they worship deities other than God actually Asramii/Jlirh co. sarveslirh nil/thiiyiim aikyam ucyate
worship God Himself, though not in an appropriate manner :& (Unity of the Asrama-s/stages of life consists in the unity of
Ye 'py anya.devatii-bhaktiib yajante sraddhayiinvitiib
Te 'pi miim eva Kaunteya! yajanty avidhipurvakam
For our purpose, we can rewrite it like this;
(Even those who devote themselves to other gods and sacrifice
to them filled with faith, do really worship Me though not SarVel/iirh sampradiiyiinli?i'/, nil/thiiyiim aikyam ucyate
according to rule.) That is, the unity of the religions consists in the unity of
The Giui also claims that at bottom all are oriented towards their spirit of devotion. Indeed, the Sutasarhhitii, believed to
God and that in whatever way people approach God in their belong to the Skanda-Purii]J.a, designates as 'dharma' and
devotion in that same way does He respond to them :6 thereby accepts as authentic even such a religion as is bOrI;t out
of the generative insight of its founder independently of the
i. Mimarilsiislokvtirlika 1.1.4, Pratyak~a-Sijtra, 32
2. Siislradipikii, Chowkhamba, p. 52 Vedas, in a spirit of devotion :~
3. Loc. cit. Svamanil1 ikayotpanno nirmulo dharma-sanFiiitab
4. Sadhu Santinatha, The Critical Examination :'of the Philosophy of Sraddhayii sahito yas tu so 'pi dharma udiihrtal;z
Religion, Amalner, 1938, Vol. I, pp. 1-12; PriicyadarSanasamik$ti, Poona,
1940, pp. ka-rla (Le. Prastavana); Experiences ~of a Truth-Seeker, Vol. I,
1. MahCibhtirata, Santi-Parvan 270.36
Part 1, Gorakhpur, n.d., COllc!uding chapter
2. srttasmilhitti 4.20.13
5. Gila 9.23
6. Ibid. 4,11


(If something called 'dharma' is not well rooted/not rooted in
the Vedas and is purely a creature of one's own thought, but i~
backed by faith, that is also dharma,) farer. I am ashamed of my Kufr, for it has the smell of Islam
as well.)
Once the text goes to the extent of adjudging as the good
whatever is inspired by devotion or faith :l The upshot of these utterances is that a sincere faith does
'have the capacity of saving one, even if it is in something not
Sraddhayti sahitam sarvarh j reyase blmyase bhavet considered worthwhile by others. In fact, true, steadfast, and
(Whatevery is inspired by faith has the capacity of leading to lasting faith is always orien ·.ed or directed towards what one
the Summum bonum.) finds to be true . Hence, if and when one comes to discover that
what one takes to be true is at bottom false, one's faith is bound
The same spirit appears to be breathed by the following to change its orientation or direction accordin gly. Such real
lines of Iqbal: faith must be distinguished from the dogmatic, blind faith of
Agar hai 'ishq to hai Kufr bhi Musalmtmi the masses having little serious concern for higher verities. A
Na ho 10 mard-i Musa/man bhi Ktifir-o Zindiq 'highly meaningful Vedic couplet is :1
Mirza Ghalib is more straightforward and poetic in his- Drfltvii rupe vyiikarot safyiil1rte Prajtipatib
following lines. Asraddhiim anrte 'dad!liic clzraddhiim satye Prajiipati(l

Wajiidiiri ba-shart-i ustawari afl/-i imtil'l hai That is, God has established a distinction between truth and
Mare butkhiine men to Ka'be men gacjo Barahman ko 'falsity, locating belief in truth and disbelief in falsity. That is
Nahin kuchh subbah wo zunniir ke phande men gira'i to say, human mind is naturally bent towards truth and has a
Wajiidari me,i Shaykh-o Barhamall ki iizmii'ish hai ma tive aversion towards falsity.
According to Iqbal, the test of true religion, Islam, is true In spite of everything, however, the professed, declared
devotion: a devoted Kafir is as good as a Muslim and a devo- goals of the religions sometimes seem to be irreconcilable. The
tionless Muslim is as bad as a Kafir. According to Ghalib, the .summum bonum of the bulk of the religions, high or low, is
essence of religion is steadfast fidelity/faithfulness, so that a attainment of heaven; of Hinduism in its higher reaches some-
BrahmaJ)a steadfast in fidelity to his idols deserves the honour thing higher, called Mok$a; of the Bhakti cult of Hinduism
of being buried in Ka'bah like a true Muslim. The rosary and. 'something transcending Mok$a as well, called Bhakti itself; of
the sacred thread are powerless to grasp the true meaning of ,early Buddhism Nibbana/Nirval)a interpreted in divergent and
religion. The Shaykh (Muslim divine) and the Brahmal)a have sometimes mutually opposite ways; of the Bodhisattva-yana of
to stand the test of fidelity/faithfulness for their claims of Mahayana Buddhism universal Nirval)a, NirvaIJa of the whole
religiousness. To crown all, Shibli Nu'mani sings: world.
Do dil budan dar iii rah sakhl-tar 'ayb ast s~/ik rii As regards the eighth meaning of unity and equality of
Khajil az Kufr-i khud hastam ki dtirad bu·i imiin ham religions, viz . unity of means or unity of approach, it has no
supporters. The means envisaged by the religions for attainment
(Having divided loyalty is the greatest drawback in a way-
of the summum bonum-the eightfold path in Buddhism, Self-
1. Ibid. 4.3.23 realization in Hinduism in general, Bbakti in Vai$l)avism, faith
in the Christ in Christianity, faith in Mu1).ammad and fasting
1. Yajllr- Veda 19.77

etc. in Islam, and so on-are patently different and rule out the is not religion but irreligion. Is such a religion also true? Then
question of their unity entirely. Jayanta BhaHa's sarcasm will hold good, that, if all that passes
for religion is true, a 'religion' arbitrarily conceived by him will
The ninth and last meaning of the unity or equality of also become true in course of time!
religions is equal validity of differences in perspective and in
spiritual competence. A couplet of RUmi is : From the foregoing discussions, it is evident that unity,
equality, or equal validity of all religions is nothing better than
Az na?argah ast aiy maghz-i wujud!
a myth. Every religion has two dimensions, generic and specific.
Ikhtilii/-i Momin.o Gabr-o Juhud
In its generic dimension, it shares certain characteristics in
That is, the difference of Muslim, Zoroastrian, and Jew common with other religions, while, in its specific dimension, it
consists in the difference of perspective. We have already has characteristics proper to itself, which distinguish it fro~
discussed the Hindu theory of aclhikara, which helps explain other religions. To the first dimension belong ethical teach ings
much of the differences amongst certain religious traditions. in general; to the second, metaphysical and ritualistic doctrines
Yet it is far from helpful in explaining away the difference in general, which serve often to set one religion against another.
amongst, say, the Semitic religions on one hand and the non- Even ethical teachings sometimes turn into specific teachings.
Semitic on the other. It can explain the differences in the con- 'Thou shalt not kill' is a generic ethical teaching, shared by the
ception of the deity and devotion to a considerable extent, but religions. But, if some religion qualifies it so as to restrict its
it can have no bearing upon the conflicting tenets of the application to its own followers, tbe general teaching will turn
religions. Of course, no stretch of imagination backed by the into a special teaching, a teaching proper to tbe particular
theories of perspective and aclhikiira, or by any theory for that religion. For example, again, certain religions teach universal
matter, can hope to reconcile anti-polytheistic monotheism a~d brotherhood, whereas Islam restricts the feeling of brotherhood
trans-polytheistic monotheism, iconoclasm and iQol-worshlp, to its own followers. t Likewise, modern conscience will revolt
ihad and the adhikiira doctrine itself. against the very thought rof enslavfment, while the Qur'iin
Only one, general point remains now to be considered. recognizes slavery and has a place for it in its social s tem.
What does the'term 'dharma'j'religion' denote in the expression Thus, even general ethical principles are set at nought by certain
'unity and equality of all dilarma-sjreligions'? Whatever is religions.
named 'dbarma'jreligion' ? Or is there any line of distinction The truth of the matter is that unity and disunity, equality
between religion so called and religion as such? Gandhi says and inequality, and validity and invalidity are multi-level
that all religions are true and equally true. Are consideration phenomena. Hence, instead of passing sweeping remarks on
for other religions (envisaged in the Gila) and aversion for religions vis-a-vis unity etc., we had better try and determine
other religions (displayed in the Qur'an) equally true? The their levels of unity etc.
Mahiibharata says :1
Besides, multiplicity of religions does not always involve
Dharmam yo badhate dlzarmo na sa dharmab kuclharma lat the question of their validity or otherwise. It is more often than
Avirodhiit tu yO dharma(1 sa dharmab satyavikrama ! not as innocent as the multiplicity of flowers, which are there
That is, if a religion hindersjoppresses another religion, it to cater for a multiplicity of tastes and temperaments. (Any
1. Malttibluirata, Vana-Parvan 130,11. 'Kudharma' is un-PiilJinian 1. 'IlI/lOma '/-mu'mfniina ikhwatlln', al-I;Iujuriit (49) 10

thorns in the midst,of flowers must be taken care of, to be sure.)

"The gre~t' Urdu poet Zauq'& couplet is :
Gul-hti-i railgii-railg se hai rawnaq-i chaman
Aiy Zauq ! is jahclIi ko /wi zeb ikhtiliif se

That is, even as the splendour of the garden consists in AbdiiH, A!}mad Shah,42 anti-culture, 29
<Abdulliih Kharraji,24
"flowers of various colours, the beauty of this world consists in anti-Hillduization, 15
ablrimtillill, 6, 33 allusoyin, 6,33
difference of.ideas. Indeed, every religion has its personality, Abu I:fanifah, Imiim, 38,39,40,41,43
'which ser'ves .to distinguish and differentiate it from other apa-sarnskrti, 29
Abu Yusuf, Imam, 40
religions and t6~reby to give it its own identity. That has to be
apologetic(s), contemporary, 37;
Acculturation, 6 Islamic, 38
id~ntified. · , .ad-Din, 54
apostasy/apostate, 52
adlrtin, 39
Arabia/Arabs, 11,19,31
adlriktira, 70
Arabic, 26
adhikiira-bheda, 60,65
Arabicization, 11
Afghanistan, 11,13,15
architecture, 25
"Afif, Shams Sir5j, 18
art, 11,25
Africa, 44
Aryans, 28,32
Mridi Pathans, 24
ascetics, culture-disregarding, 30;
.Ql!ama, 29
AgamaprtimiilJya, 4
as-Sarkhasi, 37-38, 39,42
age of darkness, 27
Ashe, Geoffrey, 65
agnostics, 1
A§oka, 13
Ahil71siitattvodarSona, 30
assimilation, process of, 14
A!;lmad, S. Maqbul, 35
atheism/atheists, 1,59
Akbar, 7,13,'27,35,43,56
Akbarabadi, Sa'id A!}mad, 39,45,46
Atmatattvaviveka, 32
'AWir, Farid ad-Din, 20
al-Anfal /al-ghana'im, 37 Aurangzeb, out-Aurailgzeb, 23
-al-Ashtrawshani, Mu!}ammad bin Aurobindo, Sri, 52
Ma!)mud,39 Avesta, Zend, 52
"Al au'd-Din I:fusayn Shab, 13,35. Awliyii, Niziim ad-Din, 47
AlberGni, lL, 14
Ayah as-Say/, 57
A/beruni's lndia, 12 Azad, Abu 'J-KaJiim, 26,35,39,43,44.
al-Ballaj, 24 54
al-Hujwiri, 24
o/-ltliqcin Ii' Ufiim af-Qur'tin, 55 Badayun J, ' Abd aI-Qadir, 24
Allah, 3,7,51,61,64 Babrin,58
a/-MabSIt{,40 Baluchistan, 24
af-w%n a/-qowmiyy, 45 BangIa Desh, 15
America, 9 Baqi Bi'lliih, Khawiijah, 23
Amir Khusrau, 6,16,17,47 Barani, J;>iya, ad-Din, 10
(The) Anciem Wisdom, 65 beef, 51
angels, 8, 61
belief, correct, 60; non-negotiable, caste, 14 Hindu, 33; (the) greater Vedic, 32. Daryiibiidi, 'Abd al-Miijid, 56
61 caste Hindus, 15 Hindu, 5,6,9, 14, 18,30,31,32, 33; Dasa, 32
Benares, 12 Indian, 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,14,27,31,32,34,
Chandra, Bipan, 19 Da'udpotas, 24
Bengal, 21 47; Indian-born, 33; indigenous,
Chaudhuri, Nirad C., 17 Dawlat Shah, 11
Bertrand Russell: A Passionate Chishtiyyah, the, 20 19; inter-mixture of, 4; Islamic, 33; Day of Mourning, 9
Sceptic, 3 Christ, Jesus, 52,69 inter-mingling of, 28; Jaina, 32,33; deity, choice of a, 65
beyond, dharma and adlrarma, 62; Christianity, 47,49,51,52,58,6\ Lokiiyata, 29,33; master-, posse- de-Im;lianizatioD, 15
good and evil, 62; righteousness Christianization, 27 ssor-, owner-, 33; modem scientific denationalization, 15,27
and unrighteou sness, 6::; virtue and Christian(s), 19,54,58,59 29; Manava (Manu's), 32; margi: Deoband school, the, 44
sin, 62 Christian missions, 6 nally Hindu, 45; Muslim 578 11 Deogiri,21
Bhagavad-Gitii/Gitd, &, 3:,6:>,G~,66, circumcision, 39 ]9,26,28,47; Muslim and 'Cbri~t;an' Devatalla (Deva Mahal), 21
70 civilization, 2,5,34; composite, 34 / 33,34; national, 5,28,32,33; (the) Deva Mahal, 21
Bhagavan Das, 49,52 co-existence, constructive, 25; co- national, 33; non-Hindu 5 32' of Devi,64
Bhakti (-marg), 7,69 operative, 36,37; peaceful, 19,25,37, non-Indian Semitic origins,' 6;' of devotion, 68, above Islam and Kufr,
Bharat,45 57 the aristos, 3; of the demos 3' 20; spirit of, 67; true, 68,69
Rhavi$ya -Purii!1G, ] 3 coexistential problem, 28 parasitic, 33; Piirsi, 28,33; pe~en: 'dharma', 67,68,70
Bhoja,30 communal harmony, 1 nial, 25; perennial Hindu, 33; Dharma as cosmic Norm, 60
Bible, the, 52 Communalism and tire Writing of perennial Indian, 33; pre-Muslim, Dharmakirti, 35
Biltidul Isltim, 43 Indian History, 19 6; presiding (abhimanin) , 6; purity Dizarmarasika , 30
Bidar,21 communalization, 1 of our, 2; Semetic, 28; semi-Hindu, Dhimmi-s, 22,37,39,61
Blavatsky, H.P., 49 communal problem, Muslim problem 5: Sramal)a, 33,34; tenant- 33' 'dialectical', meaning of, 60
Bodhisatlva(s), 33 miscalled, 4 Western, 28 ' , dialectics, 61
Bodhisattva-yana, 69 community, Muslim, 19 Crescentade, 29 dialogues and debates, inter-tradi-
Bohras, 24 Companions, the 37 Crescentaders, 37 tional, 12
Brahman, 67 competence, spiritual, 60 (The) Critical Examination of the Digha-Nikaya,64
BriihmaJ;la-s, 13,18,23,32 Composite Culture and India Sadty: Philosophy of Refgion, 66 Diidwaliis, 24
Brahma Samiij, 27 Problems alld Prospec ts of Integra- (ad-) Durr al-Mallthiir, 57
tion, 7 Cutch, 24
Brha!!ikii, 53 East, 3,5
Composite Culture of India and dahl', 59
British/Britishers, the, ],8,41,42,44 (the) East India Company, 40
National Integration, 7 Danes, 8
British govemment/lndia/regime/ruJe, eclecticism, 4
code of conduct, Vedic-Smrtic, 31 Dar al-'Afrd, 33,45
43,44 education, Muslim system of, 35
congeries, 3,4 Dar al-Amn, 38
brotherhood, universal, 71 Egypt, 19
conquerors, Muslim, 10,15 Dar a/-Aman, 38,43,45
Buddha(s), the, ],27,32,61,64 Eliade, Mercia, 50
conversion(s)/converted, 15,16,21,23, Dar al- f:Tarb, 37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44, emperors, Mughul, 42
Buddhist/Buddhists, 3,5,13,31
24 45,46
Buddhism, Mahiiyana, 62,69 Empyrean, the, 61
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K., 50 Dar aI-Islam, 9,37,39,40,41,42,43,44,
enslavement, 18,71
Buddhist Council, the fourth, 13
cultural proletariat, 12,17 45,46
BUkhiiri, Sayyid Jaliil ad-Din, 21 equality, 19,30,4J ,45
cultural purists, 2 Dar aI-Islam de facto, 41,45
Bukhiiri, Shaykh Isma'i1, 24 Essential Unity of A l/ Religions, 49~
cuiture(s), alien, 19; aristocratic, 3; Dar ai-Islam de jure, 38,41,45
BII/'han,39 52
Ar~a, 32; Aryan, 32; Buddhist, 32, Dar ai-Muslim ill, 38
European settlers, 9
Caliphate, the, 43 35; Christian, 27,34; composite, 1, Dar as-Salm, 38
evolution, theory of, 64
caJ;l<,iiila-s, 31 2,3,6,7,8,20,24,25,26,28,29,34,35,47; Ddr as-Sul[z, 38
exclusiveness/exc!usivism, 12,14
Cape Camorin, 12 cofluence of, 28; counter-, 6,29, nadii,48
Experiences ofa Truth-Seeker, 66
Ciirviika-s, 1 33,34; fo lk, 18; (the) Greater Darii Shukoh, 6,7,13,20,27,35,48
Dadanika Trailllasika, 31 faith, 68,69


Huxley, Aldous, 50 Israel, 54
Faithful, the, 37 i~!a-deva((i, 65
!;Iaramayn Sharifayn, 38 Ibn '.Abidin Shiimi, 42
fanaticism, political, 35 Harijan, 52,53 Islam, 3,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15, I7, 19,20,.
farz 'ayn, 43 Ibn al-'ArabI, Qa~i, Abu Bakr, 57
heaven, 69 23,24,26,39,41,43,44,47,49,51,52,54,
fatlVa (decree), 42,43,44 Ibn Banu~ah, 21 55,56,57,58,60,68,69,70,7 J; ethics.
Heiler, Friedrich, 61 Ibn Hisham, 35
FattilVa-i Deoband, 44 of, 25; mission of, 58; the prophet
hegirah hejirah, 35,37,39,41,43; a lbn Kathir, 55
FalVa'id al-Fu'tid, 48 of, 25; the scourge of, 16; the sword
manifesto of, 43 iconoclasm, 70
Fay~i, 7 of, 16; tbe spread of, 20
heroes, Indian, 69 identity, 28,34,36; cultural, 20,30;
FaQI-i Baqq Khairabadi, 8 Islam-confessing formula, 21
'hidden book', 48 Christian, 11
Firishtah, 18 Islam in India 's Transition to Moder-
bifz- i maratib, 60 idolater(s), 37,57
force, use of, 22 nity, 21
Hijrat kti Risti/a!l, 43 idolatry, 55
Fountain Head of Religion, 63 Islamization, 15,29
I;Iijiiz, 38,39,43,59 idols, 10
freeman, 32 Ismii'i!i missionaries, 24
Hindu(s), J,2,8,9, 10,12, 13,14,16,17,19 idol-worship, 70
21,22,23,24,30,36; de-Hinduizing or lItutmish, Sultan, 9
Gabriel,6 1 Jamiili Kanboh Dihlawi, 21
de-nationalizing of, 9 Imiim Abii I;Ianifah, 38,39,40,41 ,43
(Jandhara, 15 Jama' iyyatu '1-'UJamii'-i Hindi, 41
Hindu-haters, 36 Imam Abu Yusuf, 40
Gandhi, 7,26,33,49,52,70 Jiimi,60
Hinduism, 13,14,15,17,20,23,16,33,39, Imiim Mul;lammad (bin al-I;!asan),
Ganga, 51 Jamunii, 10
52,60,61,69; popular, 18; Vediintic- 38,40
Gangetic plain, the, 17 Jannall, 61
Tantrik,62 Imiim Shafi'i, 38
GMlib, Mirza, 68 Jaunpur, 44
Hinduism, 17,18,23,25,48 inclusivism, Hindu, 14
-Gharib, Das, 25 Hindu-Muslim relations, 2 Jayanta BhaHa, 29,31,53,71
inculture(s), 6,29,33,34
GhaznawidS,24 Jehova,64
Hindu-persecution-mania, 26 India, 5,6,12; truncated, 45; undivi-
Ghaznawi, Ma~miid, 12 Jesus, 52,54,61
Hindus' plight, 15 ded, 15
Ghori, Mul.Jammad, 18 Jew, the, 12, 19,35,54,58,59,70; of
Hindu predicament, 16 India and the Contemporary Islam,
.(Bhagavad-) Gita, 7,33,62,65,66,70 Medinah, 35
Hindu scriptures, 48 35
God of Islam, 69 Jihiid, 29,35,43, 44, 45, 46, 55, 70; tbe
Hindu society, 17,18 Indianization, 36
Golkunda, 21 verse of, 55
Hindustan, 16,20,26,44 (The) II/dian Musa/Illans, 40
(the) Gospel of Ramakrishna, 51 Jihiidic verse, the, 57
historians, Muslim, 23; non-com- Indian Muslims, 24
Govind Roy, 51 Jizyah,16,19,23,37,39
munal secular, 8; of leftist persua- Indians, de-Indianizing the, 9
gradations of spiritual experience, 60 joint nationalism, 35
sion, 19 India's independence, 1
-Greater India, 6,15 Jonaraja, 13
Historiography in Modern India, 8 indigenization, 36
Greece, gods of, 13 indigenousness, 19 Judaism, 47,58,63
history, division of Indian, 19; Hindu
G reeks, the, 14 Indonesian Archipelago, the, 15 Junaydi, Niziim ad-Din, 10
and Muslim perspectives of, 27;
GrolVth of Muslim Population in infidels, 37 Jutes, 8
Indian, 26,27
Medieval India, 15 intuition, Yogic, 65,66
Gujarat,24 (The) History of Religions .- Essay in
Mehodology, 61 Iqbal, Sir Mul}ammad, 8,26,27,43,68 Kabir, 6,25,48
Gulbarga, 21 Iran/Iranians, 11
(A) History of Sufism in India , 24 Kiifir(s), 17,19,23,24,25,37,38,39,40.
'Gurjars, the, 14 Iraq, 10
Holy War, 43 42,48,57,59,61; destroyer of the, 21;
irreligion, 27,55,58,59,71 devoted, 68
I;Jajjiij bin Yusuf, 12 householders, Jaina, 30,31
Irshtid-iMabbub,48 Kiitir-complex, 35
I;Jajji Sayyid alias Sarwar Makhdiim, humanists, 1 irtidtid/murtadd, 52 Kalinjar, 18
21 humanity, 37; the common tradition
'lsa Nur ad-Din, 50 Ka/imtit-Tayyabat,24
Hamadiini, Mir Sayyid 'Ali, 2J,22 of, 64; Indian, 12,14
Ishmael,54 Kamboja,15
I;Janafite Muslim law, 16 HiiQa-s, the, 14 (The) Isis Unveiled, 49 Kani~ka, 13
I;Janifiyyah, 54 Hunter, W.W. , 40,43
.l;Iaram, 38 Husiim ad-Din, 21

kaniz-o glruliim ,18 Lokiiyata, 28; the modem, 33 modernity, 28 perspective, 70

Karamat 'Ali, Maulawi, 43 modernization, 3 Peshawar, 13
(at-) Mabsii(, 40
Karandikar, M.A., 21 Madani, J;Iusayn Ahmad, 44 Namaz,51 ph~lo sophia perennis, 50,62
Kiishifi, Mullii I;Iusan Wa'iz, 355 Niinak, 6,48 philosophy, Hindu, :!O; Indian 8'
Kashmir, 12,13,18,22,23 Niinautawi, Qiisim, 8 Lokayata, 29; Muslims 7 8 ' ,
Madonna and the Child, 51
Ka(ha-Upani$ad,62 Naqshbandiyyah, 20 P ilgrim Fathers, 3 ' ,
madrasah-s, 35
Khairiibiid i, Fac;U-i I;Iaqq, 8 Naqsltat/l 'l-Ma$diir, 39 Pinjaras, 24
Mahabliiirata. the 53 67 70
Khalji, 'Aliiu 'd-Din, 10,18,21,26 Narain, Harsh 28 31 po~t:y, 11; Arab!c, 11; Persian, 11
Khalji, Jatal ad-Din, 10
Ma1;lmiid (Ghazn;wi): 12
Majma' al-Babrayn, 20,48
Nii~ir Khusra~, 24 politIcal fanaticism, 35
Khan, Rasheeduddin, 6,7 Nasr, Sayyid Hossain, 50 polytheism/polytheists, 1;37, 55 ; idola-
Majma' al-Fu$a(la', II
Khawiijah Biiqi Bi 'Hiih, 23 NathmaI. Muni, 30 trous, 55,58,59
majority community, 46
Khiliifat movement, 1 nationa l integration, 36 population, ratio of :Hindu-Musl'
Majumdar, R.C., 8 15 un,
Khojas,24 nationalism, joint, 35
Makbdiim-i Jahaniyiiti Jahiiilgasht,
Khokhars, 18 l1ationhooct, 19 PriicyadarSal1asamik,ra, 67
21 Prasad, Ganga, 63
Khurasiin, 26 NawahGn/Nahawan,21
Khusrau, Amir, 6,16,1 7,47,68 MaktubCit·i Imiim Rabbani, 23 Pratihiiras, 14
K husrau, Nii~ir, 24 Makt/lbiit-i Shaykh aI-Islam, 44
near-scripturaries 59 prophets / prophethood 53 54 61 '
Biblical, 27; of Islam,'35; Qur'~nic'
KIH/tbat, 39 Nehru , Jawaharl;l, 7,26,33
Malfilziit , 24
King of Bokhara, the, 43 Nikhilananda, Swami 51 27; seal of the, 21 '
Malik ibn Dinar, 24
Ki/iib al-Fu$tiI, 39
Man(iq at-Tayr, 20
NjJapa~a () , 0 ' Prophet, the (Mul,lammad) 102537
Kitiib al-Mabsti(, 38,40 Nilapata sc hool, 29 3 ,55,58,59,61 " , ..
Manu(s), 32
Kitiib lIlakllllll, 48 Nibbiina/Nirviil)a, 61 ,69 proselylizat,on, 24
'Ma·ranj.o ma-ranjan', 56
Koran (Qur'an), the, 52 Nisiir Shah, 14 Puriioa-s, tbe, 32,50
Maratbas,40,41,42 PllrtUat/vallibandlrasafigralra 201
K!'$J;la-s, 27 Nisha pur, 20
mass enslavement, 18 purists, cullural, 2 '
K$atriya-s, 18 Niziim ad-Din Awliya',47,48
master-soul, the, 33
'Kudbarma', 70 Noah,54 PUrll$a pur (Peshawar), 13
materialists, 1
Kuffiir-blralijan, 21 Normans, 8
Matl1llawiyy~i Dawal Rani Khirfir Qiidiriyya h, 20
Kufr, 16, 17,20,23,27,37,38,44,48,56, Norm, cosmic
Khiin,16 Qariim ite missionaries, 24
69 Northern India, 13,18
Matlrnawiyy-i Ma'nawiyy, 20 Qiisim, Mu1;lammad bin 18
Kumiirila,53 Nu'miini, Shbli, 11,68
Matltnawiyy .i Nuh Sipihr, 17
Niir Satgar, 24 Qiisimi, AI~mad Nadim: 5
Labbas,24 Maulawi Karamat 'Ali, 44 Qat/til, 31
Nyityaviirtikatatparyatikii, 31
Liiguc;la-Tantra-s, 4 Maudiidi, Abu 'I-'Alii, 35,56 Qur'iin, tbe, 20,25,36,37,52,54,55,56,
Lahore, 24 Max Muller, 61 57,58,59,61,62,70,71. Besides it is
Mecca, 38 Pakistan, J 5,18
' Lal, K.S., 15, 17,18 referred to in the foot-notes to
medieval India, 20 Piirsi-s, the, 12, 28
Lii ikriilra fi 'd-dill', 56 pages 25,18,54,55,56,57,58,59, and
Medinah, 38; the Jews of, 35 Parthasiirathi Misra, 66
'La kUI/I dinu-kum wa liya dill', 55 71 by Siirah (chapter)-titles.
Parthians, 14 Quraysh,35
Lamas, Tibetan, 65,66 Memons, 24
metaphysics of silence, 61 participation, cultural, 19, geographi- . Qutb ad-Din, Sultiin, 22
language, 11
cal, 19
levels of religious insight, 60 Mill, James, 19
Mimiililsiislokavartika, 66 Partition, 4,44 Radd al-Mubtiir, 42
life-negation, 30
minorities, 1 Pii§upata,4 Radhakrishnan, S., 33
life-order, 29
Mir Mu1;lammad, 22,23 Pataiijaii, 64 Ral:tim, 25
literature, 11, Buddhist, 13; Indian,
modernists, 1 peace, 38 Riii, Lilla Liljpat, 8
25; Muslim, 25; Persian, 11 persecution, 13 Rai, Riiju, 24
Persian, 11 Riijatarangif,li,

(Dwitiya), 13 pluralistic, 60 Sallludras(IJ;gallla, 20,48 self-realization, 60,69

prophetic, 62 SUllatalla-Dharma, 32,50 Shiifi i, Imam, 38
(Tritiyti) /Zayn, 23
proselytizing, 28,47 SlIlilskrti, 28 Shah 't.\bd al-'Azlz, 24,42,44
Raj puts, 41 Shah Tsma'il Shahid , 8,43
Semetic,47 Smikara, 34
Rama-s,2 7 Shah Jalal of Sylhet. 21
Riimakrishna (Paramaharnsa), Sri, syncretic, 56 Sanskrit learning. 18
tribal, 63 Sarad iinanda . SwamI, 51 Shah MIr. Sullan, 22
true, 68 Sarwar Makhdiim. J:Jiijji Sayyid Shah WaH Allii h. 8,41,42,57
Riimakrishna Missian, 27
unity and equality of, 59,67,69,70,711 alias, 21 ShamI, Ibn 'AbidIn,42
R amakrishna Mission .. In Search of a
Sarhindi, Shaykh Abmad, 8 Slwri'all, I O,J 6,40,43,45,46
New Identity, 50,51 universal, 62
Sur~akabha$ya, 34 Shiiriq al-Ma'rifat, 7
Riimmohun Roy, 7 Vedic, 63 Sharma, Sri Ram. 14
As-Sarkhasi, Mubammad bin AQmad,
Ram Swarup, 50,51 Zoroastrian, 63
37-38 Shaykh Al:1mad Sarhindi Naqsh-
Riimatirtha, 33 religious insight, levels of, 60
religio-social code. 31 Sarvadftarma-samabhtiva, 44 bandI, 23
Ranjit Singh, Mahiirajii, 43
(The) Religious Policy of the Mughar Sassanids, the, 11 Shaykb ' Ali Zuharah, 38
Raskh an,25
Emperors, 14 Seistradipikti, 66 Shaykb ai-Islam, 9
rational ists, 1
renaissance, modern Indian, 1 Saumya,4 Shaykh Da'ud, 24
rationalization, 37,61
Rene Guenon, 49 Sazons. 8 Shaykh Isma'II BukharI, 24
Red Indians, 9 Sayf ad-Din , 23 Shiktiyat, 7
revelation, 54,61
re-education, 36 I,tg-Veda, 32 Sayyid A1;lmad Shahid , 4 Shirk,58
Sayyid Jalll ad-DIn Bukhiiri Suhra· Siddlw",27
refugees, Muslim, 12 RizwI, Sayyid Mhar 'Abbas/S.A A. ,
wareli, 21 SItI'ru 'I·' Ajalll , II
reincarnation, 61 24
'religion', 70 Sayyid MUQammad Miyiill, 41 Sikandar (8I11Shi"01l), 2:, 23
Roy, Rammohun, 7
Allcuting under religion are to be r$i-s and muni-s, 27 Sayyid Nul' ad-Dill Mubarak ikhs, 58
printed thoutchanging lines each rule./ruler(s), British, 2,7,8; infidel, GhaznnvI SuhrawardI, 21 Silcillka, 30
cuting are under 'cultur'. 43; Mughul, 23,41; Muslim, 3,6,8,9, . scheduled castes and tribes, J5 Sindh, 20.24
religion(s), 10.11,14.1 6,19,20,25,33 ,42 Schleiemacher.61 single nation idea, 35
Allii h-, Mu1:lammad, Qur'an-intoxi- RftmI, Jaliil ad-DIn, 19,20,47,48,53,60._ Schuon, Frithjof, 50 Sinkiang, 15
cated,61 70 sciences, Hindu, J2 Sirata 'n - Nabi:yy-i KejllJiI, 35
a ltema tionistic,~ 60 Russell , Betraud, 3 scientific temper, 36 Sirr-i Akbar, 48
cognateness view of, 64 Russians, the, 43 scriptura ries, 38 Sir Sayyid (AI)mad Khan), 36
core of, 60 scriptures, Vedic-Smrtic, 31 Siyar aI-'Arifin, 21
sabaya, 3,17 sculpture, Indian, 25 8kandn-Partil}a. 67
Stibarmatf, 53 seal of the prophets. 21 slave-markets, 18
essence of, 68
Sabeanism, 58 seal of the saiJlts, 21 slavery, 71
evolutionary, 60
Sabeans, 58,59 (The) Secret Doctril/e, 49 slave(s), 18,25,52
folk, 18
Sachau, Edward C., 12 sects in pre-Muslim India, violence social order, 31
has a personality, 72
sadhana(,s),50,51 between, 14
high,63 Social Philosophies of aI/ Age of
Hindu, 9,12,18,30 Seidhu Siilltillatha 66 secularism, 1
Crisis, 3
SaMball, 40,41 secularization, 15
Indian. 8 society, M ; composite, 3:1 ; quadritype
Sal;ijaft-i Na't-i Mubammadi, W· secularists, 6,33,35
multidimensional, 61 organization of, 32
saints, seal of the, 21 Seistan, 15
multiplicity of, 71
Muslim. 7,8,18,19 Saiva, 4 Self, the eternally self-realized, 60 socio-cultural order, 29
mystical, 6~ Saka-s, the, 14 self-complacency, 15 Somadeva Sliri, 30
open,60 Salman Farsi, 58 self-enlightenment, 60 Sorokin, Pitirim A ., 3
organismic view of, 64 sOlilsara, 61 self-identity, 19
soul(s), the body-possessing, 33; a temptations, 65
host of, 33. the master-, 33; the Thiinawi, Ashraf 'Ali, 56 unity etc., level of, 11 war, 38
primary and predominant. 33; Thapar. Romila, 18 unity, transcendental, 50,64 warrior snfi(s), 2\
secondarY, 34 universal brotherhood, 33 weltallschmlllg, 32
Theosophical Society, the, 49
South, the, 12,21 untouchable(s) 'untouchability, 30,31 West, 3,5
'There is no compulsion in religion',
Spain, 11 ' unto you your religion, unto me my Westernization, 2-3
Spiritual competence, (levels 00, 60. thought-form(s), 65,66 religion. 55 world-civilization, 34
65 Upani~ad s , the, 20,41
world-culture, 34
T ibetan Lamas, 65
spiritual experience, gradations of Time. 59 Urdu culture, 26 Wood, Allen, 3
60 Urdu language and literature, 26 worship, 20,47,48 ,53.60
Tipfl Su/!all, 18
Sramatta -s, 32 I/sra', 37
Tiriihias, 18
Sri Ish, 51 Yahweh , 64
Tirthankara-s, 24,27
Srimad-Blttigavata, 7 Vacaspati Misra, 31 yajiia , 22
tolerance, religious, 56,57 Yiijur-Veda , 69
Sri Ramakrishna: the Oreat Master, touch-me-not-ism, 14 Vai ~ lJavism , 69
51 Valri,iki-s; 27 Yft muna/Yii munacii rya, 4,54
Toynbee, Arnold J. , 47 Yiiqub (Jaco b) , 54
Srivara, 23 traders, Muslim Arab, 12 var(za-s, 14
Varna-order, 32 yoga, 66
subculture(s), 5,6,33 trance, 64 Yoga-Sittra , 64
Ved'iinta/Vedantic, 7,20,48
i ll/b-i kl/II, 7 ' transcendental unity', 50 YOK(l veisi~' I"a, 7
Sul~anate. the. 16
Veda-s, the, 32,50,5 ,67,6R
Transoxiana, 15 Y gic intuition, 65,66
~iifi(s) /~iifism/Siifi tradition. 7,8,19, tribute (Jizyah). 16 Vedl lore, SO
Ved ic s r(s), .12 y in-s, 27
20,21 ,24,25.47,48 'trigll~liitita', 62
d i · pu n i ~n di eors, 3 Yo ullg [lidia, 8,22
Siihabhana,23 tradition(s}, ascetic. 32; Buddhist,
verse of the sword, the, 57 Yueh-ci, 13
Slltasmhltita. 67 29; hagiological , 24; Indian religio.
Villaya-Pi!aka, 31 YU uf ad-Din Sindhi, 24
Slitrakrtiillga-B(uii ya, 30 philosophic and cultural, 35; Iaina, Vinoba, 52
Suy ii~i, Jaliil ad-Din, 55,57 29,30; Lokiiyata, 29; perennial Vi ~ I)U, 64 Zawq.72
Swami Nikhilananda, 51 religio-philosophic, 50; S rama!/Q, Zayn al-' Abidin , 7,22,35
Vivekiinanda, 33
syncretism, religious, 56 32; Vedic-PuriilJic, 29 (ZaYII -) Rtij Marmigi(li, 23
Vyasa-s, 27
Syria, 10 Trichinopally, 24
Vyiisabhti$ya, 64 Zend Avesta, 52
Sythians , 10,14 Tritiya R(ijatarQligi~li, 23
Zoroastrianism, 13,58,63
Shrawardiyyah. 20 true religion as true devotion, 68
wa(ldatll 'd.dill. 54 Zoroastrian(s), 59,70
Suhrawa rdi. Sayyid Niir ad-Din Tughluq, Firozshiih, 18,21 Wa khiin, 24
Mubiirak Gha znawi, 21 (u lpa,65
Sayyicl .Ialal ad-Din Bukh ii ri, 2.1 Turk(), 16
Tu rkey, 10
Tabrizi, Shayk h Ja liil ad-Din, 21 Turkish, II
Torsir-i Fa/It ar-Ra(lmGII , 57 T urk istan, 13
Tarsir -i UusaYlli, 35
Tahir. Abd AI/lilt bill, I 1
Uchh. 21
Tantra , 50,54
Udayan3, 3 / ,32
Tanlric lrrdi lions, 4
'Ulamii ', 9, 10
Ta ra Chand, 3
Tariklt -; FirozshdM, J9
temperament. native, 65 'Uma r, convent of, 22
lImma/-leitab, 48
temple(s), 22.23,25; destroyer(s)/des- /IInmatllll fVti(lidalt, 35
(ruction of, 18,21 Unfaithful, the, 37
'--rT - -



F.II. No. II/correct Correct

Page No. Line No.

prennially perenniallY
2 6
unway unwary
2 6
That The
17 5
rayya/tit Tayybtit .
rulers rules
30 16
parasities parasites
34 4
templer temper
47 16
Stibamati Stibarl17ati
53 3
I;Ianafiyyan J;Tanifiyyah
54 13
kaalld kardal/
57 27
27 ya'mi YO'lIi

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