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INFLUENCE OF ISLAM

Moral and Ethical behaviour

Hinduism encourages duty based philosophy. It shares similarity with Islam in enforcing
moral and ethical standards on one’s behavior like abstain from alcoholic beverages.

Rituals and Fasting

Both religion encourages family system, having progeny, respect for elders. Orthodox
Hindus and Islamic condemns homosexuality. Two religion also shares similarity when it
comes with devotion to rituals (like five times Namaz in Islam and Naam Jap/ Prayers in
Hindus).Muslims observe strict fast during Ramadan whereas Hindus on different days
and occasions. Muslims encouraged to do charity (Zakat) during Ramadan whereas
Hindus consider 3 1/2 days reserved for charity one like Akshay Tritiya and people are
encouraged to do good work , donations on such days, this is another similarity.

During the Muslim conquests, Islam gained many converts on the Indian sub-continent
primarily from Hinduism or Buddhism; the two dominant local religions. Inter-marriage
and immigration from other Islamic lands have helped in instilling this idea in the people
of Greater India. Many of the new Muslim rulers looked down upon the idea Hinduism as
having Iconodulistic religious practices and were to various degrees iconoclastic.
Prominent examples of these are Mahmud of Ghazni and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb
on either end of the timeline for Islamic rulers. In addition, Muslims in India also
developed a caste system that divided the Foreign-descended "Ashraf" Muslims and the
"Ajlaf" converts, with the "Arzal" untouchables at the lowest rung.The term "Arzal"
stands for "degraded" and the Arzal castes are further subdivided into Bhanar, Halalkhor,
Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Maugta, Mehtar etc.

In contrast there were also many Muslim kings who wished to live in harmony with the
Hindus for interests of the Islamic empire. Akbar and Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Bijapur
Adil Shah dynasty are notable examples. Akbar's court was home to intellectuals and
saints both Hindu and Muslim, among them the great musician Tansen who converted to
Islam, and he (Akbar) even went so far as to try and create a new religion (the din ilahi)
to create a rapprochement of both creeds for creating a stable empire. 'Todar Mal' who
was highly regarded Hindu minister (vizir) of Akbar. Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, does not
credit Akbar for saving the temple instead gives credit to the "infidels" for building their
own temple by demolishing the mosque. Frustration in the sub-continent grew as a result
of this leading to the gradual decline of the Muslim mughal empire replaced by the Sikhs,
Marathas, the Vijayanagara kingdom and later the British.

Quran and Science


The verses of Quran dealing with the nature of heavenly bodies, celestial organizations,
the water cycles and the sea, the earth’s atmosphere, the origins of life, human
reproduction, the animal and vegetable kingdom etc. are dispersed through out the
book. The Quran and the sayings of prophet (called Hadith) would have been certainly
the motivating factors behind the development and creation of science during the
period. I quote here few verses from the holy Quran: Chapter 27, verse 61, Chapter 25,
verse 53.

The Quranic description of certain stages in the development of embryo corresponds


exactly to what we know today. The following news appeared in various news papers in
1984 under the headings: “Ancient holy book 1300 years ahead of its time” the Citizen,
Ottawa (Canada), Nov. 22, 1984 and “Koran scores over modern science”, the Times
of India (New Delhi), Dec. 10, 1984.

“A university of Toronto embryologist has made several trips to Saudi Arabia to help
explain some of the verses from the Koran relating to human embryo development. Dr
Keith Moore’s findings, corroborated by test tube baby pioneer Dr. Robert Edwards,
reveal the verses contain an accurate description of the stage by stage development of
the human embryo, something which was proposed by western experts only in 1940 and
most of which has been proved only in the past decade and a half”[15].

The prophet of Islam inspired love and passion for learning among Muslims and called
the mankind to develop its faculties and intellect. He was particularly concerned for
arousing general interest in medicine and drugs as is clear from his sayings in this
regard:

“There is no ailment created by God for which He has not created a treatment”
(Bukahri (a), vol. iv, p. 7).

“There is medicine for every ailment, when it is taken for any ailment; it cures by the
order of God” (Muslim, vol. ii, p. 225).

These sayings encourage both the physicians and the patients; trigger a ray of hope and
zeal for research in medicine in order to bring diseases under control.