The Lost Prophet of Hindu Race
By: S. Abdullah Tariq
The People of Noah too have lost their Prophet
It is said that once during his stay in London Krishna Menon was with his friends when suddenly a friend of his addressed him thus: “This friend, sitting in front of you is a Jew. He asserts that he possesses a divine Scripture called The Torah and this book of theology was given to them by God through Moses.”
“I know it,” answered Krishna Menon.
Next, this very friend of his pointed towards a Christian and said, “He is a Christian and he too professes to be in possessions of a divine Scripture, namely, The Gospel which God has sent unto them through Jesus.”
“I know that too”, Krishna Menon answered with a smile as if he was astonished by the repetition of these universally known facts. But the speaker was serious and, pointing towards a Muslim, started his topic again. “Here is our Muslim friend. He too professes to be in possession of a divine Scripture The Qur’an and the personage through whom God sent this book of theology is Prophet Mohammad.
“Dear brother, I am fully aware of these things”, Krishna Menon answered in an extremely wonder-struck mood “exactly said the same friend, “every one of us is absolutely aware of these facts. But my dear friend, none of us knows who was the first human being to be inspired by The Vedas, which you call Adi Granth – the earliest, the most ancient and the great Book of theology from God to the mankind.”
If is said that in the midst of the inquisitive smile and surprise in the entire gathering, Krishna Menon, for the first time, got genuinely wonder-struck. He fell in a thoughtful silence as if he had realized for the first time the validity of the question. As if for the first time he felt a vacuum in the professed scholarship of the Vedic philosophers. The Messengers through whom God sent The Torah, The Gospel and the Qur’an to men are known. If the Vedas are also, like these, word of God and thereby, Holy Scriptures then who was the prophet who brought them from God. The event may be a fact or a fiction but, undoubtedly, the questions raised here will have been lurking in the minds of the followers of the Vedic religion for the last thousands of years.
Hindus accept that Ramayana and Mahabharata are written by human beings but the majority of them regard the Vedas as the word of God. However, they fail to tell through which prophet these were sent to the world. They have lost their prophets in mythologies. Each religious community of the world regards the personage associated with its scripture as its prophet but Hindus are the only religious race who have forgotten their original prophet. Keep this fact in mind and concentrate upon the following Hadith of the Mishkat (a book of the Hadiths).
“Narrated Abu Sa’d; Allah’s Messenger said: Noah and his people will come (on the Day of Resurrection) and Allah will ask (Noah), ‘Did you convey (the Message)’? He will reply, ‘Yes, my Lord!’ Then Allah will ask Noah’s people, ‘Did Noah convey My Message to you?’ He will reply, ‘Mohammad and his followers (will stand witness for me).’ So I and my followers (will stand witness for me).” So i and my followers will stand as witnesses for him (that he conveyed Allah’s Message).”1
Here are the points to ponder upon: On the one hand, Hadith tells us that the people of Noah will refuse to recognize him as their prophet, and, on the other hand we know that of all the religious communities only Hindus do not know their prophet. Again, on the one hand we know that after the change the Hindu people will be the followers of Mohammad, the present Muslims being a means of bringing about this change and on the other hand, the Hadith also states that after Noah’s people refuse to recognizes Noah, the followers of Mohammad (PBUH) will bear witness that Noah had conveyed the message of God to them. In other words, the witnesses, among the followers of Mohammad, will be knowing the relation between Noah and his people. Shouldn’t we infer from these obvious proofs that the present Hindus are the people of Noah?
Hindus are the people of Noah
Even otherwise, it is an established fact that the Vedic religion is the oldest of all the religions of the world and Noah the earliest of all the prophets with Shari’at (the revealed law). But, before taking it for granted, it is very essential to investigate it from the Vedic religion itself. For the time being let us not accept this claim of Hindus that The Vedas are the Word of God but we should at least investigate that who, according to their scriptures, was the prophet to whom they were revealed. A French writer, A.J.A. Dubois, who studied the Hindu religion and Indian Civilization for forty years subsequently wrote a voluminous and most authentic book of its kind on Hindu rituals, customs, manners and traditions. Some of the facts, he related in this will certainly be of vital interest to our reader:
“Suffice it to remark that a celebrated personage, revered by the Hindus, and known to them as mahanuvu, escaped the calamity in an ark, in which were also the seven famous Penitents of India… The appellation mahanuvu… is a compound of two words – Maha, great and Nuvu, which undoubtedly is the same as Noah.
“It is practically admitted that India was inhabited very soon after the Deluge, which made a desert of the whole word…
“It is definitely stated in the Markandeya Purana and in the Bhagavata that this event caused the destruction of all mankind, with the exception of the seven famous Rishis or penitents whom I have often had occasion to mention, and who were saved from the universal destruction by means of an ark, of which Vishnu himself was the pilot. Another great personage called Manu, who, as I have tried elsewhere to show, was no other than the great Noah himself, was also saved along with the seven great penitents…. The universal flood is not, to my knowledge more clearly referred to in the writings of any heathen nation that has preserved the tradition of this great event, or described in a manner more in keeping with the narrative of Moses, that is in the Hindu books to which I have referred.
It certainly remarkable that such testimony should be afforded us by a people whose antiquity has never been called in question…
The details about the event of Noah and Deluge have also been given in the Bhavishya Purana and the Matsya Purana, the references of which will be given in the chapters to follow.
The word Manu has been used for a number of Hindu religious personages6 but Manu who figures most in the Puranas, the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures is Noah undoubtedly. Even in the Vedas the mention of Noah by the name Manu is at 75 places. The English translator commentator of the Vedas, Griffith writes in explaining the word Manu, in one of the mantras:
“Manu is the man par excellence, or the representative man and father of the human race, regarded as the first institutor of sacrifices and religious ceremonies.
Besides these references of Noah in the Vedas and the purans, I am presenting here yet another authentic proof of the affiliation of Hindu race with Noah. Generally speaking, the relation between a race and its prophet can be established by the calender which, in one way or the other, starts with the prophet himself. For example, Muslims count their calender from prophet Mohammad’s Hijrah (Migration from Mecca to Madina), and the Christians theirs, from the departure of Jesus. Like-wise the Hindu people count the time of their main events from Noah’s times, and, thereby, count the period that elapsed since the Deluge in terms of sixty years as one year. Dubois writes “…the commencement of the true era of the Hindus, that is to say, of their Kali-yuga, dates from about the same time as the epoch of the Deluge—an event clearly recognized by them and very distinctly mentioned by their authors, who give it the name of Jala-pralayam, or the Flood of waters…. And curiously enough, in all their ordinary transactions of life, in the promulgation of all their acts, in the their monuments, the Hindus date everything from the subsidence of the flood… Their public and private events are always reckoned by the year of the various cycles of sixty years which have elapsed since the Deluge.
These are a few examples of Noah’s unique affiliation with Hindu history and scriptures: We have also seen from the Hadith of Al Bukhari, quoted in the beginning of this chapter, that the people of Noah will not recognize him as their Prophet and we also know that in spite of having a close relation with Noah, the entire Hindu race at present does not know him. It is also clear from this Hadith that on the Day of Resurrection the Muslims will testify that Noah had brought the Message of God unto his people. We also know that various other Hadiths also hinted at the race emerging finally as the true followers of Prophet Mohammad.
From all these testimonies it is obvious that after getting included amongst the followers of Prophet Mohammed they (Hindus) alone will be the witnesses on the day of Resurrection. However, in spite of all these testimonies the final and the most authentic proof needs to be discussed it is the Holy Qur’an.
Evidence from the Qur’an
All the people of the world have been divided into two races: Semitic races and Non-Semitic race. in non-Semitic races are included the Aryans, and in Semitic race the Jews, the Christians and the Children of Isma’il from Arabic peninsula. The Qur’an also bears testimony to this division of the world into two races, and attributes the origin of one of these races to Noah:
“Those were some of the prophets on whom God did bestow His Grace -- of the posterity of Adam, and of those … whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah; and the poster … -one. Race -- ity of Abraham and Isral - of those whom We guided and-other race … chose.” (19:58):
This verse of the Qur’an implies that in the posterity of Adam are to be found two different races: one of Noah and his companions, the other that of Abraham and Israel or what can be termed as the children of Ismael, and the Children of Israel. We know that the children of both Ismael Israel are Semitic races. It is obvious, therefore, that Noah’s companions and their posterity should belong to Non-Semitic or Aryan race. The Aryan races inhabit largely in India, besides various other countries of the world.
The question, how to label the posterity of Noah’s companions as Noah’s “Ummah” should not arise because in order to be an “Ummah” of a particular prophet it is not obligatory to be from his posterity. We are Muslims, the “Ummah” of prophet Mohammad even though most of us are not from his pedigree. We are his ‘Ummah’ because we accept him as our prophet. Among the Jews those who accepted Jesus as their prophet were called “Ummah” of Jesus Christ (Christians). With Noah only few of his companions were saved from the Deluge who were believers as well as his followers. Since the posterity of Noah’s companions or the present Hindus of Aryan ancestry do not accept the prophets after Noah as their prophets, we have termed them as Noah’s Ummah or the people of Noah or Noah’s race in these essays. It is a different question that these people do not recognize even Noah in his true capacity, which is what I meant by saying that they have lost their prophet in mythologies.
Mention of the Hindu Race in the Quran
An allegation against the Qur’an: I have overheard a large number of sincere Hindus, who are greatly impressed by Islam and acknowledge greatness of the Qur’an, complaining that though there is mention of other races in the Qur’an, there is no mention of the Hindu race. When we attempt to answer their complaints through various elusive explanations, aren’t we becoming unknowingly or unintentionally a party to the leveling of this allegation against the Qur’an?
I quote here from the book Masabihul Islam written in Urdu by Shri Ganga Prashad Upadhyai:
“At so many places in the Qur’an it has been stated that God had been sending different prophets to guide the different races but none of these has been mentioned in particular. The strange thing is that the most ancient races like Hindus and Chinese etc., whose civilization is thousands of years old, are not even hinted at, It seems as if this divine inspiration called the Qur’an the Word of God has nothing to do with human races of the world in general.
Verily the first people spoken to the Qur’an were Arabs. But if it is not merely a 1400 ear old book but a book that accounts for all the events and circumstances to come then how is it possible that it makes no mention of the oldest of all religious races which had been living in this world thousands of years before the Qur’an! was revealed and still continues to exist in a large number. It is an allegation against the Qur’an! Did we ever try to trace out the name or reference of the Hindu race in the Qur’an? The Word ‘Hindu’ is nowhere in the Quran but is the word ‘Christian’ there? Shall we conclude, there by that there is no mention of Christians in the Qur’an. The Qur’an, on the other hand, uses the word Nasara though, we know for certain that those people who call themselves Christians are phrased as Nasara by Quran. No Christian of the world calls himself Nasara by Quran. Like wise, the people who call themselves Hindus may have been mentioned by some other name in the Quran.
No research has yet been done about the names of all the races mentioned in the Quran. There are a number of races mentioned in the Qur’an whose identity is yet to be traced by its commentators. These are As’habur Rass and Qaum-e-Tubb’a. The Sabean in particular have been mentioned (in the Qur’an) at various places along with the jews and the Christians as if they are a big and one of the most prominent races of the world. For example; “Lo! of those who believe (in the Qur’an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabeans, whoever believe in God and the Last Day (the Day of Resurrection) and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord: up on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62)
In this verse the Sabeans have been mentioned along with the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians. Besides, wherever the Sabeans have been mentioned in the Qur’an, it is along with these big races. We have no still been able to trace out this most important race, whereas, like the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians, they must at present and for the times to come, be as one of the prominent religious communities of the world. If we concentrate we will know that the field of our research has extremely narrowed. How many prominent religious communities are still in the world besides the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians? The Sabeans verily should be one of them. let us look at it from a different angle.
Among the prophets of great stature the most important ones repeatedly referred to in the Qur’an are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and lastly Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). See for example:
i) “And remember we took from the prophets their covenant, as (We did from the (O’ Mohammed), from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of May. We took from them A solemn covenant”. (33:7).
ii) ‘The same religion has He established for you as the one which He enjoined on Noah-That which we have sent by inspiration to thee—and that which we enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus…’ (42:13).
We notice in these Qur’anic verses that the big races mentioned together are the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews and the Sabeans. Similarly, the prophets of great stature mentioned here together and also at other places, are Mohammad, Jesus, Moses and Noah. Amongst these the Muslims regard Mohammad as their prophet, the Christians to Jesus, and Jews to Moses. But about the Sabeans? We do not know. Consider again: the people of Mohammad are called the Muslims, of Jesus the Christians, and of Moses the Jews. But what about the people of Noah? No one knows. Is it probable that the people of Noah have been called the Sabeans?
The Sabeans are the people of Noah
Tafsir Ibne Kasir (the commentary of the Qur’an by Ibne Kasir) also refers to the statement of Abdul Rahman bin zaid that the Sabeans claimed to be the people of Noah.
I have gathered below the sayings along with my notes as well as the explanations, regarding the Sabeans, given by Hazrat Umar, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ishaq, Abu Alzanad, Qartabi, Allama Ibne Timiya, Imam Gazali, Imam Raghib, Mua’alim, Ibne Jarir, Ibne Kasir, Imam Suheli, Allama Showkani, Qazi baizavi, Abdul Majid Daryabadi and Syed Sulaiman Nadvi.
1. They were the inhabitants of the same place in Iraq where Abraham was born. [It has been affirmed by the excavation of the ruins of Orr, the birth place of Abraham, and the Indian civilization at Harappa and Mesopotomia that there has been a close relation among these two civilizations.]
2. They were ‘the people of the Book’. [It can be inferred from the references of the Sabeans in the Qur’an because they have always been mentioned along with those who were the people of the Book. Which book or Scripture Noah brought to the Sabeans will be discussed later.]
3. They used to recite La ilaha illallah (there is no God but Allah) but were still polytheists. [that the kalma of the Hindus is also La ilaha illallah will be analyzed in the following pages.]
4. They used to offer prayers (Namaz) facing Yemen. [It has also been established by the studies of civilizations that a large number of the Hindu race had settled in Yemen. We still find there the forts called Shyam and Hind.]
5. The Sabean is a non-Arabic, rather than an Arabic name.
6. They were the worshippers of the Angels. [In Hindu religion most of the gods are the distorted versions of Angels. They worship them.]
7. They had a firm faith in Astronomy. [Among all the races of the world there is hardly any race which has such a keen interest in Astronomy as the Indian Hindu race has.]
8. They were the worshippers of the stars. [The worship of stars is part of the customs of the present Hindu race.]
9. They were the worshippers of the Fire. [The fire worship at the time of Havan, marriage and death rites is still in vogue in the Hindus.]
10. They were Zoroastrian race Persian descent. [Zoroastrians are also fire-worshippers like Hindus. They are Aryans and the Aryans came to India from there only.]
11. They used to perform Ablution a number of times during the day. [In the world the importance of ablution or bathing in a ceremonial way is most prominent in Hinduism. None of their prayers is complete without bathing. Besides, on some occasions the collective bath is obligatory on their part.]
12. They were proselytes [That the same Hindu race will accept the Truth has already been proved in the previous chapter.]
13. They were subjugating and credulous. [About the substitution of this race there is a reference towards them in Hadith, as has been pointed out in the previous chapter.)
Such are the diverse, and even contradictory, conceptions of our scholars and commentators regarding The Sabeans and, surprisingly enough, all these come true about the Hindu race. Even if the different commentators in different ages had different opinions regarding the Sabeans, at present all these qualities are found in this (Hindu) race alone. It might be that in the past all the groups having the above qualities and conceptions had migrated to and assembled in India. I do not think there is still any place of doubt left as to who are the Sabeans. It is possible that in early ages the definition of the Sabeans could have been applied to different groups but in the present age, it is crystal clear as to who are meant by the Sabeans.
The discussion will remain incomplete if we do not mention here that even Hazart Shah Waliullah regarded the Sabeans as Aryans as can be attested to by the following references.
“Christ was verily a saint who attempted to carry his teachings to non-Israel people or, in other words, to the Sabeans or the Aryan races.”3 “Iran at that time was the center of Aryans or the Sabeans. Prior to it India enjoyed the status of being the center.4” Besides, see also Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadvi’s assertion, in which he too regard the Sabeans as the inhabitants of the ancient India: “Just as there as Magdub (Wrath earners) and dal (the people who went astray) among the people of the Book, there are similar other communities, in our opinion, with similar temperamental conditions among those who resemble the People of the Book. The two communities that the Qur’an familiarizes us with, are the Zoroastrians and the Sabeans which include the inhabitants of the Ancient Persia and India.”
At the end let us also take into account that a small sect is found in Iraq and Syria which calls itself ‘Subi’. These people do not acknowledge any prophet after Hazrat Yahya (Jonah of the Bible) and it is most likely that the Qu’ran may have called them the Sabeans too. But renowned researchers and discerning thinkers like Sulaiman Nadvi and Maulana U’baidullah Sindhi have identified the Sabeans as the Hindu race only. Verily they will be knowing about the sect ‘Subi’. Besides, there is hardly any such quality in this ‘Subi’ sect, in addition to their being the people of the Book, as commentators have attributed to the Sabeans – these I have already mentioned above.
According to my understanding, the different terminologies used in the Qur’an have been applied to different communities at a time, and some times to different communities at different times. Therefore, it is possible that the term, ‘The Sabeans’ used in the Qur’an may also be applicable to the ‘Subi’ sect (referred to above) but, undoubtedly, the Hindu race is also included in the definition of the Sabeans.