Tuesday, 6 July 2004

India is a land of prophets, say Muslim scholars

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 13: Two days after RSS chief KS Sudarshan asked Muslims to recognise Sri Krishna as one of the prophets of Islam, city Islamic scholars have declared India as the land of holy prophets and the first soil on the earth to receive the Divine Message from Allah.
"Islamic traditions hold that the first Prophet of Islam and progenitor of humanity, Hazrat Adam, descended on Sarandeep Island (now in Sri Lanka) after he was sent down from the Heaven in the wake of the Adam-Eve episode of eating the forbidden fruit. Since India is one of the oldest civilisations, many prophets may have been sent to guide humanity," says Mufti Sadiq Mohiuddin of the Department of Fatwas of 135-year-old Jamia Nizamia Islamic University.
The Mufti in his opinion (Fatwa) told this correspondent that early Islamic personalities including Ibn Asakir and Allama Ibn Saad had mentioned in their sayings (Riwayat) that Adam had landed on the Indian soil. Even famous Arab traveller Ibn Batuta had mentioned in his travelogues of having visited Sarandeep island where the first prophet of Islam had descended from the Garden of Eden.
Muslims believe that God had sent about 1.24 lakh prophets to all parts of the earth. However, the names of only 25 prophets have been mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Stating that the Holy Quran holds that Allah had sent His Prophets to all places at different times, Mufti Sadiq Mohiuddin points out that while Islamic scholars all over the world are of the view that India had been the land of prophets, they are divided on whether Sri Rama and Sri Krishna were prophets of Islam. "They may or may not have been the Prophets. We want to remain silent on the issue. But it is the duty of every Muslim to respect the religious personalities of other religions," he observed.
According to All-India Muslim Personal Law Board general secretary Abdur Raheem Qureshi, some Indian Islamic scholars believe Dhul-Kifl, one of the
holy personalities mentioned in the Quran, refers to Gautam Buddha. "There's no "P" sound in Arabic. Dhul Kifl means resident of Kifl or Kapil (Kapila Vastu). Some scholars also hold Mahavir was also a Prophet of God.
Islamic scholar Hafiz Shujat Hussain refers to the writings of eminent Islamic personality Moulana Tayyab Qasmi of Darul-Uloom Deoband who had held that Sri Ramachandraji and Sri Krishnaji could also be the prophets. "We should give utmost respect to Hindu prophets as we give respect to prophets from Hazrat Adam to Hazrat Muhammad including Hazrat Musa (Moses) and Hazrat Isa (Jesus).
City Muslim scholars also quote from "Subhatul Marjan Fi Tarikhe Hindustan", written by eminent Islamic scholar Allama Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami in Arabic, which describes India as the first domicile of Adam.
"In Ayodhya, the birth place of Sri Rama, there is a long grave. This grave is said to be the burial place Adam's son, Prophet Hazrat Shish," Hafiz Shujat points out.
Though Islamic scholars have different opinion on the prophet-hood of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, they all agree that since India is the place where Hazrat Adam had descended, it had acquired the status of the first capital of entire humanity. Since Adam received angels and revelations from God, India could be called the first land where man ever received the enlightenment.
"Indian Muslims have always believed that God had sent His prophets, messengers and guides to India. We all hold Sri Rama and Sri Krishna in high esteem, not because Sudarshan advises us to do so, but because the Holy Quran and Islamic traditions wants us to. There are Islamic traditions that Prophet Muhammad used to say that he gets the smell of Paradise from India," says Peerzada Syed Shabbir Naqshbandi, president of All-India Religious Leaders' Association.

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