Where is ‘extremism’ in India and where in Pakistan?

How confused, uninformed and maybe mischievous the discourse on religion and extremism has become, was obvious again at the recent General Assembly of the United Nations. A Pakistani diplomat, in his reply to the speech by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, lambasted the “unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Adityanath”, the chief minister of UP, for “advocating the religious superiority of Hindus”. He also bemoaned that in India claims of religious superiority get patronage all across the country.

Did anybody get the irony of it all?

Pakistan’s grouse is that there are Hindus who advocate Hindu Dharma as superior to Islam and Christianity. They call such Hindus as extremists or fundamentalists. They even claim that a Hindu organisation like the RSS is the “breeding ground of terrorism in the region”.

Now what is the reason for Pakistan’s existence? The reason is Islam. A part of India was cut off and became a separate country only, because those, whose forefathers converted to Islam for whatever reason, wanted to live among themselves according to the tenets of Islam which they believe are necessary to reach paradise. That severed part of India became the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. Islam was declared as state religion. Islam is advocated in Pakistani schools and everywhere else over Hindu Dharma and other traditions. Any criticism of Islam is banned. A blasphemy law is in force with death as punishment. Religious minorities had and have a tough time. Hindus have been almost wiped out – driven out, converted or killed. Their percentage dropped from at least 15 per cent at the time of partition to under 2 per cent.

So how can a person from such compromised country, who has some degree of fairness, object to Hindus advocating Hindu Dharma in India when his own country is not only advocating Islam, but suppressing and almost exterminating other traditions in the name of Islam? Yet in India, ever since partition, the percentage of Muslims is growing proportionally faster to that of Hindus. So where is ‘extremism’ in India and where in Pakistan?

The reason for his brazenness might have been that he was sure that nobody in this illustrious gathering at the UN was likely to mention any connection of Pakistan with Islam. Neither will mainstream media. It seems, Islam must not be mentioned, except if one praises it. Yet Hinduism can be freely vilified.

This Pakistani diplomat can even be sure of support for his comment within India. Why? Because NGOs, media and not least the Congress president Rahul Gandhi have already  scared the world that India under Prime Minister Modi is in great danger of becoming a Hindu nation where democracy is in danger and Muslims and Christians will be at the mercy of Hindus. There is clearly an attempt to paint Hindus as extremists and even as terrorists, and in this way deflect from the real danger which is jihadi terrorism and jihad is no doubt an important part of Islam.

Any terrorism has an objective. So what is the objective of jihadis? They want a world where ideally only Muslims live, or non-Muslims are at least subdued, because that objective is a core tenet in their doctrine. They believe they are not only allowed but will be rewarded for treating non-Muslims ‘harshly’ and even can kill them without committing a sin in the eyes of Allah. Millions were killed in the attempt to rid the world of infidels over the centuries, and the killing still continues –not only by ISIS. The difference between victim and perpetrator is only that the killers or their forefathers have converted to Islam and now believe that the Highest hates those who don’t acknowledge that Islam is the only true faith.

It is no doubt a strange faith where the Highest Power, who is the cause for this vast universe, is seen as hateful and jealous, and who will let those, who don’t accept his commands, burn forever in hell. Yet strange as it may seem, such faith is officially the belief of about half of the human population on earth – Muslims and Christians. The Christian god, too, is allegedly jealous and rejects those who don’t believe in him. And worse, such a hateful god is claimed to be the ‘true god’, and belief in him is enforced with the bogey of eternal hell, whereas the benign Hindu Dharma has been successfully, but highly unfairly, vilified as an oppressive, primitive, depraved, idol-worshipping religion.

Many diplomats at the UN might have fallen for this vilification campaign by vested interests and might have agreed with the Pakistani diplomat that it is an ominous sign when Hinduism is advocated in India and that this needs to be stopped, whereas it’s ok when Islam and Christianity expand their reach.

Yet nothing can be further from truth. Anyone who dives into Hindu Dharma will realise that it is clearly superior to those two religions which demand blind belief in unreasonable and divisive dogmas.

Here is just one reason for its superiority: Hindu Dharma propagates universal brotherhood of all human beings because the essence in all is the same divine consciousness. In contrast, Islam and Christianity propagate conditional brotherhood  – the condition is that one needs to belong to their particular religion to be seen as a brother, because the Highest allegedly loves only Muslims and Christians respectively.

What is more likely to be true? Even science supports the Hindu view by claiming that all is an interconnected whole.

Religions are supposed to be about truth. As there can be only one truth, it needs comparing the different contenders for the truth and find out what is more likely to be true.  That, which is more likely to be true and which can even be proven as true, is naturally also superior.

Don’t we even in daily life compare and choose what is superior? Any reasonable person would do that. How much greater is the need to choose the best option when the question is about how to live our lives in an ideal way and in tune with the cosmic laws?

The fact, that the superiority of Hindu Dharma is rather obvious to any intelligent person, may have been the reason why the dogmatic religions, which showed up relatively late in the long history of mankind, do not just claim superiority, because this would open them to being compared with the traditions before them. Instead, each one of the two claims that it alone is true, that their holy book contains the word of the true god, and all must follow it at the threat of eternal hellfire.

Such claim, drilled into kids early on, is preventing them even as adults from daring to make an informed choice. “What if this claim of eternal hell is true?” they may think – and remain stuck in blind belief not daring to intelligently enquire into what is true about themselves and this universe – to the detriment of humanity as a whole.

By Maria Wirth


  1. Excellent post, Madam. Please permit me to share this with my friends in my blog.

    1. sorry, didn’t i answer yet? of course you can share it.

  2. Laljee Verma · · Reply

    Excellent exposition! Extremism is against humanity. Any religion which distances from humanism cannot be for whole of humanity. Hinduism is closest to humanity and nature, and that is its beauty!

    1. tarish kaushik · · Reply


    2. A Chakrabarty. · · Reply

      Very correct.

  3. Hemant Tulpule · · Reply

    Very well put forth, as always, thank you ma’am 🙏

  4. […] via Where is ‘extremism’ in India and where in Pakistan? — MARIA WIRTH […]

  5. […] Note: This article is borrowed with thanks from  HERE. […]

  6. Proud to be your reader and your fan. 🙂 An inspiration, as usual.

  7. Sanatana Dharma is humanistic and closest to the absolute truth. Islam exists only for Muslims, otherwise why all Muslim states declare that they are Islamic states at its inception. They lure or force conversion. There is no concept of proselytisation in Hinduism or in the sanatana dharma.

  8. Book lover: You’ve misread both Maria’s essay and the Indian constitution. Nowhere in her writings did Maria advocate extremism. She mentioned contemporary leaders of the democratically elected government of India. You may indeed be one the the Indians about whom she wrote in this essay, that the Pakistani diplomat will find support for his comment even within India, where certain members of the opposition have “scared the world that India under Prime Minister Modi is in great danger of becoming a Hindu nation where democracy is in danger and Muslims and Christians will be at the mercy of Hindus.” We know this is a political ploy and not a realistic view of the future of India. Additionally, Articles 25 -29 guarantee rights to minorities that are not grated to the majority population. Hindus, are denied the same rights as minorities in the very constitution that you site. Please do not advocate what is not correct. Btw, Medieval times in India were not dominated by Hinduism, but it was Hindus who were dominated by a strict, conservative Islam, the doctrine of which was alien to the more ecumenical spiritual traditions found in Bharat. Where in official offices are government officials discriminating against minorities? Doesn’t happen!

    1. Kindly, go through my reply too because I be condemned Pakistan as a chaotic state. It is Islamic fundamentalist state. They’ve never had a stable government. I don’t give them any importance but you are hell bent there.

  9. India’s constitution gives equal rights to all religions, colour, caste, creed. When people in office discriminate, they go against the constitution. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The new Hindu fundamentalists are not only diminishing the basic rights of an Indian citizens but also dragging it to medieval times. Please do not advocate what is not correct.

    1. Mitra Vinda · · Reply

      Book lover, it is strange that you pontificate to us, when we are the only nation in the world who have co-existed with all faiths on earth without obliterating them as the Abrahmics did(What happened to Egypt, Malaysia, Europe as a whole?), being a majority Hindu nation. Now what you see is a Hindu uprising against the Abrahamics and is bound to reach a crescendo and we by that time would not be caring for your pontifications

      Strange you do not know the story of Asia Bibi a Christian in Pakistan who is about to face the death sentence for “Blasphemy” and the entire Pakistan is baying for her blood. And that this diplomat attacks Sushma Swaraj and preaches to us, is the height off “Abrahamic hypocrisy”. Abrahamic rascals day and day out belittle Sanatana Dharma, its deities and practices. I do not find your pious self pontificating against that. We also have a sense of self respect and our good will and accommodating spirit has been taken for a ride for centuries. Rather you mouth platitiudes and hyperbole like “Two wrongs do not make right” and such similar BS. Enough is enough for us. One day push will come to shove and then you will see.

      1. Please go ahead and fight the rest of the world. It seems you need to went your anger, so go ahead. But remember one thing that Hinduism is in no danger but only from people like you. I wonder who has put you incharge of Hinduism. And please let’s not get into a debate. I would like to remind you that Hinduism is a peace loving religion. There is a lot to learn here. And please Pakistan is too insignificant and backward for me to even get into a debate about it. Let us as a nation know one fact that Pakistan is a chaotic nation and unfortunately our neighbour. Peace be with you. Jai Hind!

      2. Mitra Vinda · ·

        Sorry i am not saying i want to fight with the rest of the world. But i wont sit and watch by when a bloody rogue Jihadi nation whose very existence is based on the Sharia, ethnic cleansing of minorities etc is talking about us, a nation with one of the most number of Muslims in Asia. A nation were Muslims hold important positions in all walks of life like politics, sports, business etc etc. Show me one minority in Pakistan in such a position?

        Who has put in me in charge of Hinduism? What kind of crappy question is this to ask? You feel it as anybody would feel it and feel outraged by such things. Hinduism in its original form also had war in it. And it was this Kshatriya spirit despite all of our internal squabbles kept invasion at bay. See it is not a dharma which has an unrealistic view that “Everything is great and ok and all that matters is peace and love”. The same Hinduism adores the destruction and anger of Rudra just as it adores the nurturing protection of Vishnu. Raudra is very much part of life. And it was this Kshatriya spirit despite all of our internal squabbles kept invasion at bay. I am not sure you read
        the Panchatantra but it advocates war when the situation demands it and so does the hitopadesha, Mahabharata, Ramayana etc. This kind of impotent thinking is what makes us soft targets and encourages a nation like Pakistan to talk like this This kind of thinking coupled with the stupid impotent “Absolute non violence “ideology M.K. Gandhi has emaciated us and made us utter imbecile

        And for the record, Pakistan is a nuclear Jihadi state plush with Saudi/Wahabi cash, with the ISIS knocking the doors of India through them and threatening to rip apart the country and convert into a Sharia paradise. And “Your royal highness” considers Pakistan as too backward and insignificant??
        God!!!! which planet are you living in? Do you live in the same India as i live? Have you never heard of the Kashmiri pandit cleansing in 1981(500000 of them), which was perpetrated by Pakistani Jihadis ?? Not a voice was raised by the then congress government against this.Strange that you do not consider such Jihadis and the ISIS an existential threat to Hindus and consider me a normal peace loving Hindu who is enraged on seeing what is happening around him as a threat to Hinduism. What kind of a warped statement is this?

      3. tarish kaushik · ·

        Good rejoinder Mitra!

  10. But, no one is advocating Hindu fundamentalism, India is a secular country with secular constitution.

    1. Mitra Vinda · · Reply

      lkv1941 India is only secular because of the Hindu Majority. It was we Hindus who coexisted with religions who wanted to exterminate us for centuries. If it was not so it would be either a door mat for Arabic imperialism AKA Sharia country or a Vatican poop yard.

    2. A Chakrabarty. · · Reply

      Very correct.

  11. Wow the truth is something isn’t it? But mostly because it is written or spoken far to rare in this ‘modern’ age. Thanks you for being you without fear or shame, my brother of the nation of the unified soul, love and light to you 🙂

  12. This is same as McDonald’s and fast food joints advocating that vegetables are bad for you. I don’t know why no one seems to understand this or chooses not to understand this. Isn’t this the case always and why are you fighting the tides.

  13. Chetram Sharma · · Reply

    Your views about Hinduism are simply true, open, just and obvious, for the Hindu thought process is natural and not an imposed doctrine. Your deep knowledge regarding ultimate truth and command over language moves anybody to go through your write-up till end. Thank you.

  14. Laljee Verma · · Reply

    Rather confusing article by Kapil Bajaj. Syncretism is great but it is there in monotheistic religions. These advocate that salvation is possible but only through their way, all others can go to hell. Syncretism is humane, but only if it exists. If Hindu is not acknowledged as a Hindu, then what term you like to use for all the Hindus in India and abroad? Bhartiyata cannot be the correct term as it is not only Hindus that reside in Bharat, or India, there are followers of other religions.

    1. Confusion lies in your mind, not in my lengthy comment which you describe as an “article” — the whole point of which is that the colonial-imperial concept of ‘religion’ openly and madly rejects ‘syncretism’.

      In Christianity, they say quite openly that ‘syncretism’ is not acceptable.

      Acceptance of ‘syncretism’ would be the end of ‘Christianity’ as it exists because then the Christian god or divinity would become one of the numerous gods or divinities found in cultures across the world (much like the temple in an Indian household in which a number of deities reside and more are often added).

      ‘Syncretism’ is also not acceptable to Islam for the same reason. So Islam deem ‘Shirk’ as apostasy which is punishable by death. ‘Shirk’ means violating the unique and exclusive status of Allah by revering other divinities. It should be easy for anyone to see how this tool of ‘Shirk’ can be used as an ethnocidal weapon.

      So obviously I am not contending anywhere that the so called “monotheistic religions” have ‘syncretism. I am saying exactly the opposite.

      However, I am also saying that even by ‘rejecting’ syncretism a community cannot reject it — just as you cannot reject the air your breathe by saying ‘I reject the air’.

      The second important point I made that your confused mind has failed to absorb is that ‘religion’ is term that applies only and only to ‘Judeo-Christianity’ and ‘Islam’. It must never be used for any human culture or any element of human culture.

      That is to say, there is no such thing as Hinduism the religion.

      There is no such thing as Buddhism the religion.

      There is no such thing as Jainism the religion.

      There is also no such thing as Sikhism the religion.

      There are only three entities — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — that can be called ‘religion’. Two if you hyphenate Judaism with Christianity. One if you hyphenate all three as Judeo-Christo-Islam.

      (Now try to get your mind out this silly “other religions” stuff; there are no “other religions”.)

      So the great Indian cultural matrix has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘religion’.

      I go beyond that and say that the concept of ‘religion’ is alien (indeed inimical) to all human cultures found on Earth throughout history — not just the Indian cultural matrix.

      Since the word ‘Hindu’ has become associated with the false concept of ‘religion’, it should be shunned altogether. The word we should use for ourselves is ‘Bharatiya’. And the word we should use for our great cultural matrix is ‘Bharatiyata’.

      1. I still hold your article or comment is confusing. Sorry but I am of the opinion that syncretism is missing from Judo-Christian-Islam faiths and does exist in Hindu ism. We do not follow Bhartiya as a religion or faith but Hindus follows Hinduism, Muslims follow Islam, Sikhs follow Sikhism, Buddhists follow Buddhism, Jains follow Jainism, and it is incorrect to say that Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are not religions; there are fundamental differences, as there are fundamental differences between Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma.
        I recommend you read some books on religion and philosophy to clear the cobweb. There is no reason to continue this debate, individuals are entitled to hold differing opinion.
        Regards, and best wishes,
        Laleje Verma.

      2. There is no concept of ‘religion’ in Bharatiyata. In other words, Bharatiyata has nothing to do with ‘religion’. The word ‘religion’ itself is a European word and concept.
        There is no religion called ‘Hinduism’. In other words, ‘Hinduism’ the religion has no existence whatsoever.
        So there is no question of any ‘followers’ of ‘Hinduism’.
        Similarly, there are no ‘religions’ by the name of ‘Sikhism’, ‘Buddhism’, and ‘Jainism’. As I said, the Great Indian Cultural Matrix never had anything that even remotely resembles the grotesquerie called ‘religion’.
        ‘Religion’ is an exclusive descriptor for Judeo-Christianity and by natural extension for Islam.

      3. What is the translation of religion in Hindi?

      4. What is the translation of ‘Vairagya’ in English? And what is the translation of ‘Maya’ and ‘Satogun’ and ‘Rajogun’ and ‘Tamogun’ and ‘Sanskar’ and ‘Brahm’ in English? What is the translation of ‘Dharma’ and ‘Karma’ and ‘Yog’ and ‘Purusharth Chatushtaya’ and ‘Bhakti’ and ‘Nishkam’ in English?

      5. Dear Kapil Bajaj, that is not the answer to my query.

      6. Your response is not an answer to my questions either.
        Do you think only people like yourself, who think there is something called ‘religion,’ have a right to demand an answer to their questions?
        Don’t people like myself, who think ‘religion’ is an entirely fraudulent concept acting merely as a cover for imperialism and ethnocide, have the same right too?

      7. Laljee Verma · ·

        Your evasive reply shows your ignorance. The question is whether Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma can be called a religion or not? You say that only Judo-Christianity qualifies to be called a religion. You also advocate Bhartiyata as a religion. Right? I have countered that and said that when we say Bhartiyata it includes all ethnic groups in India, and therefore cannot be a representing term for all. Since Hindus are a separate practicing religious group they are known to follow Sanatana Dharma which, for convenience is called Hinduism. What is wrong in that? Translated ‘religion’ is Dharma in Hindi.

      8. I say “religion is an entirely fraudulent concept acting merely as a cover for imperialism and ethnocide” and Laljee Verma reads that as “advocacy of Bhartiyata as a religion”.

        Very smart!

        You are the most intelligent discussant of such topics as “religion” I have ever encountered. And the way you nailed my “evasion” and “ignorance” is very impressive!

        Since you know a lot about “Hindus” — whom you describe as “a separate practicing religious group who are known to follow Sanatana Dharma which, for convenience is called Hinduism” — I assume you must be a “Hindu”.

        So what exactly do you do after waking up in the morning until you go to bed to “practice” your “religion” and how exactly do you “follow Sanatana Dharma”?

        What exactly does this “practicing” and “following” entail?

        Do other “Hindus” you know also “practice” what you “practice” and “follow” what you “follow”?

        How many people do you know who “practice” and “follow” and how many who don’t? (And how exactly did you ascertain whether or not they “practice” and “follow”?)

        What if they don’t “practice” and don’t “follow”? Won’t they be “Hindu” then? Who will decide?

        What will be those who don’t “practice” and don’t “follow” called? Non-Hindus?

        Is there a way of throwing people out of “a separate practicing religious group” that Laljee believes exists and is called Hinduism?

        How are such “non-Hindus” different from those who don’t “practice” and don’t “follow” Christianity and those who don’t “practice” and don’t “follow” Islam?

        If you acknowledge the existence of people who don’t “practice” and don’t “follow,” you would probably realize that “religion” is a delusion that you are laboring under.

        Kapil doesn’t “practice” what Laljee “practices”. Kapil doesn’t “follow” what Laljee “follows”.

        Kapil “practices” what he likes and “follows” what he prefers. So Kapil has a ‘religion’ called ‘Kapil-ism’.

        Likewise, ‘Laljee’ has a religion called ‘Laljee-ism’.

        Where is “Hinduism” in all of this?

        As I said, “Hinduism” — “a separate practicing religious group” — is a cherished delusion in the mind of a very intelligent guy called Laljee Verma!

      9. Pl read ‘ Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma and Monotheistic religions’ and my name mis-spelt (typo) ‘Laleje’ as ‘Laljee’.

      10. If the so called ‘Hinduism’ or ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is ‘religion’, a term that was used exclusively for ‘Judeo-Christianity’, then ‘Judeo-Christianity’ is also ‘Dharma’.
        So going by the ‘Laljee logic’, ‘Judeo-Christianity’ — and by extension ‘Islam’ — are nothing but ‘Dharma’!

  15. Dear Maria, you do a grave injustice to your own cause by using terms like ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hindu Dharma’ and putting them in the same category as ‘Christianity’ and ‘Islam’ which you call ‘religions’.

    You seem to suggest, at least in this blog post, that there is a ‘religion’ called ‘Hinduism’, just as there is a ‘religion’ called ‘Christianity’ and ‘Islam’.

    The problem is there is no such thing as ‘Hinduism’.

    And there is certainly no such thing as ‘Hinduism’ the religion.

    In fact, there is no such thing as ‘Hindu Dharma’ — when this term is meant to convey something singular and applicable to all — just like ‘religion’.

    There is certainly ‘dharma’ in plural — as perceived from an individual standpoint.

    I think there can also be ‘Dharma’ in singular — i.e. singular from individual standpoints without the possibility that any of these individual standpoints can ever be projected as some kind of dogma that can be imposed on vast numbers, a la ‘religion’.

    What is ‘religion’ then? It used to be synonymous with ‘Christianity’. That is ‘religion’ was once another descriptor for ‘Christianity’ and a term used only for ‘Christianity’.

    ‘Religion’ is a purely an artificial construct. It’s artificial because it rejects ‘syncretism’ which is an essential element of all human cultures that have ever existed.

    In fact, in its rejection of ‘syncretism’, ‘religion’ becomes an outright false and fraudulent concept.

    That is because no human community and culture can ever exist without ‘syncretism’.

    So rejecting ‘syncretism’ is like saying ‘I reject the air’ which words you can’t utter without breathing the same air!

    It’s like fish (to take another metaphor) saying ‘I reject the water’.

    (In fact, even the so called ‘Christian’ and even ‘Muslim’ societies — even those that are 100 per cent ‘Christian’ and ‘Muslim’ — cannot exist without ‘syncretism’.)

    I am sure you know it better than I do that ‘Christianity’ rejects ‘syncretism’ (as does Islam). Anyone not sure can go to Vatican’s website and check references to the term ‘syncretism’.

    (Islam rejects ‘syncretism’ through the false Quranic concept of ‘Shirk’. The concept of ‘Shirk’ is used as a means to brand people and to straitjacket cultural diversity into Islamic homogeneity.)

    Muslims use the term ‘Deen’ for Islam, but they seem to be OK with using the term ‘religion’ too for Islam. The so called Islam is, after all, built on the Judeo-Christian mythologies. (Their falsehood and fraud is derived from the falsehood and fraud of the so called Judeo-Christianity.)

    It should be easy to see for any sensible person that ‘religion’ is a colonial-imperial construct that should be used only and only for ‘Judeo-Christianity’ and ‘Islam’ — not for any other human culture.

    In fact, this colonial-imperial concept of ‘religion’ has always been alien to all human cultures — not just Indic cultures — across the world through history.

    Isn’t it easy for anyone to see that ‘religion’ is exactly synonymous with ‘imperialism’ when one looks at how Christianity started European colonialism 500 years ago — with Papal Bulls (formal papal decrees) of the 15th century giving explorers the right to claim lands they “discovered” for the Catholic Monarchs of Portugal and Spain?

    Imperialism (i.e. ‘religion’) must have started even before European colonialism, with the supplanting of the diversity and autonomy of cultures in parts of the world (particularly those that are now called the West) by the uniformity and heteronomy of ‘Christianity’.

    With imperialism (or ‘religion’) came the imperial epistemology — i.e. the practice of mislabeling human cultures as ‘religion’. Thus came ‘Hinduism’ the religion, ‘Buddhism’ the religion, ‘Jainism’ the religion, even ‘Shamanism’ the religion, and so on.

    This mislabeling is a pernicious manifestation of the colonial-imperial age in which we live, compelling everyone who exists in this ‘modern’ age to pretend as is there is some such thing as ‘religion’ — and that the world population is divided into adherents of ‘religions’.

    The fact is ‘religion’ has no real existence. Only ‘culture’ exists.

    (‘Religion’ exists only as a mental abstraction based on a reification of ‘belief’ which is non-material and by pretending as if everyone has the same ‘belief’ which is an impossibility.)

    (‘Culture’ lives and breathes and creates beautiful things only because of its gene-cum-meme called ‘syncretism’.)

    And ‘cultures’ get terribly eroded and damaged by the artificial and colonial-imperial construct of ‘religion’ (which rejects ‘syncretism’) —- so much so that the loss of cultural diversity ultimately threatens the human existence on Earth.

    What we have always had in India is the great Indian cultural matrix embodying mind boggling diversity as well as autonomy and including dharmas, panths, sampradays, gnan margs, bhakti margs, ways of living, etc.

    (So dharmas, panths, gnan margs, bhakti margs, etc. are all inherent in this great Indian cultural matrix and do not transcend this great Indian cultural matrix.)

    Let’s call it that — i.e. ‘the Great Indian Cultural Matrix’. We can also call it simply ‘Bharatiyata’.

    Let’s not call it ‘Hinduism’. Let’s not even call it ‘Hindu Dharma’.

    We should completely shun the root-word ‘Hindu’ and its derivatives (‘Hinduism’, ‘Hindutva’, etc.) and instead use the terms ‘Bharatiya’ and ‘Bharatiyata’.

    1. Haven’t I made it clear in so many posts that I do not consider them in the same category?

      1. You must have, but in this blog post you not only make them comparable, you also reinforce this comparability by deeming “Hinduism” as “superior” to Islam and Christianity.
        This assertion of “superiority” is unwarranted because any day, any human culture, anywhere in the world is “superior” to ‘religion’ (i.e. Christianity and Islam) as ‘culture’ gives a human being all she/he needs; there is no need for this grotesquely artificial construct called ‘religion’.
        ‘Culture’ is the real McCoy. ‘Religion’ is only a pretender.
        So any comparison of ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ is meaningless.

    2. this following reply is by Maria Lozano, who could not post it. so i post it for her:

      May I comment something? The world is mastered by the West, the frame is given by the West, the NU is commanded by the West.
      The West in its expansionist ambitions has developed laws that AFFECT THE WHOLE WORLD, including India and the so-called Hinduism. Even if we sanathana dharmis KNOW that “Hinduism” is not a religion as such, sometimes ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF convenience, one has to pay more attention to the results that to the term itself: I, a Hindu westerner, can tell you that, in certain contexts, it is more CONVENIENT for the benefit of Dharma to call it “religion”.

      Why? I will give you an example: here in my country, Spain, we are struggling for the official recognition of “Hinduism” AS A RELIGION, even though we know that it has nothing to do with the so called “religions”. But, given the circumstances (a western country), only if we get this recognition, it will be AT THE SAME LEVEL OF RIGHTS (AND DUTIES) THAN THE OTHERS; right to the performance of samskaras with its legal consequences, right to education in terms of EQUALITY with the others (and legal consequences), right to “religious” services in hospitals, etc. Will Dharma get any official recognition from our government if we say, for instance, that “it is a way of living”? They will say “keep on living in your way of living, what an official recognition can we give you for a way of living?”

      Let´s not get lost in petty things like terminology, and let´s try to help for beneficial results for our beloved DHARMA. Let´s go for the essence and not waste time in concepts. The essence is: there are religions that are aggressive, and in many aspects harmful for the rest of humanity; there are traditions like Dharma that are helpful for humanity, including for those belonging to other religions. Let´s walk around this TRUTH.

      (Sorry for my English, just want to make myself understandable)

      1. You talk as if you have already reached the be all and end all — “the essence” — of “DHARMA” (in singular).

        So you say “let’s not get lost in petty things” like “terminology” and “concepts” and that “it is more CONVENIENT for the benefit of Dharma to call it religion”.

        And who do you include in “we sanathana dharmis” and in “our beloved DHARMA”?

        I am sorry I have no idea what “DHARMA” you are talking about. I am sure like me many Indians won’t have the foggiest idea what you are talking about.

        But then there is a difference between you and the Indians like me.

        You are the Enlightened One, having already reached the “essence” of “DHARMA” (in singular) and so beyond any need to examine the terminologies and concepts.

        What or who stops you, the Enlightened One, from describing “DHARMA” as ‘religion’ or anything else?

        Certainly not I, nor any other unenlightened Indian.

        So please continue doing what you are doing in Spain. Have your own Dharma. Do whatever you want to do with it.

        But don’t expect unenlightened Indians like myself to live up to this “enlightened” logic of yours that delving into concepts is a “petty thing” because a Spaniard has to get “official recognition” from Spanish government for “DHARMA”!!!

      2. Frankly, i also felt you have a strange way to react. i wouldn’t call it aggressive but rather sarcastic. it does not sound as if a Hindu who has done sadhana is speaking.

      3. Dear Maria, Interesting to learn that you expect your blogs to be read by and commented upon by “Hindus who have done Sadhana”.

        I am neither sure what you mean by that, nor certain if you have any means to assess as to whether a reader/commenter fits the bill fully or partially.

        However, if a “Hindu who has done Sadhana” means someone who holds the view that uncovering terms and concepts amounts to “wasting time on petty things”, then I would rather NEVER become such a “Hindu”.

    3. Why do you have to be SO aggressive in most of your comments??.Is it really required?? Do you think you are more right by that way?? You do not know how to say the things without being offensive to others??

      1. There is only reason in my comments, no aggression. But can you notice the aggression of this outburst of yours (or the proverbial four fingers pointing at you)? Is that all you are here for? Calling people “offensive”?

    4. tarish kaushik · · Reply

      Great eye opening write up!

  16. […] via Where is ‘extremism’ in India and where in Pakistan? — MARIA WIRTH […]

  17. Mitra Vinda · · Reply

    Laughable, Pakistan is a Jihadi country right at it’s heart, a country with Blasphemy laws where a Christian Asia Bib is on the verge of a death sentence for supposedly Blaspheming Islam. Where And the Pakistani diplomat is lecturing about religious supremacy to us!!! Possibly miss Sushma Swaraj was not unaware of this fact. In fact if the diplomat had spoken to me like that i would have taken care of re-educating the scoundrel.

    All Abrahamic religions are supremacists religions at heart, and the adherents have the temerity to lecture to us about.

    @@@Kapil Ji
    Any day Sanatana Dharma is superior to the other Abrahmist religions. This can be unequivocally stated by considering the total manslaughter committed by all the 3 of them(Yes the Mosaic Jews too were slaughtering people around them like Canan etc as said in the old testament). That would amount to 100 millions in these 3000 years of their existence. It is also good to use today, terms in existence to combat those Abrahamist bullies of religions in a language they understand. If we use Bharatiyata we need to be clear that it means only the traditions that grew up here on this soil before any of these Abrahmic abberations were even conceived into existence. Also it is a very dangerous term since these Abrahamists may use Bharatiyata to include theirs into it. It can never be so. For example Christians shamelessly wear Orange robs, wear ashes, have flag posts in Churches, celebrate car festivals of Mary etc. It should be noted that Abrahmists hate their mother nation and its traditions and look up to the Vatican or Mecca or Judea or whatever. So all your terminological hair splitting is just a waste of time

    1. Dear Mitra Vinda, Why would you respond to my “terminological hair splitting” if you were so certain it was all “a waste of time”?

      All “dharma” that you talk about is inherent in Bharatiyata. And Bharatiyata is manifest only in the lives of people. There is no such thing as “dharma” outside a culture or cultural matrix.
      So “dharma” is a pretty abstract thing. It becomes meaningful only if the cultural matrix that sustains it is alive.

      If you turn “dharma” into a dead letter by comparing it with “Abrahmist religions” (you do that comparison when you call dharma “superior to the other Abrahmist religions”), you are left with only an illusion.

      You can spend your life in this silly illusion. I won’t.

      It’s like a child telling another child “my sneakers are better than yours” and the latter contradicting that and retorting with the same words.

      1. Mitra Vinda · ·

        But your “my sneakers are better than yours” wont apply for Abrahamics. If it is Islam the moment you say so, one of the many things might happen.

        1. If you uttered this in a Sharia(Sunni or Shia does not matter) country like Saudi or Pakistan, you will be beheaded or hanged for Blaspheming the prophet.

        2. If you uttered this in Sharia areas in the India, you are likely to be killed too or atleast hurt or threatened, like the Hindus in Khairana or in Malapuram. You might want to visit the places and try your concepts of cultural Matrix(Including the “Beautiful Abrahamic ones”) and see the results for yourself.

        If you utter my sneakers are better than yours” in Christian dominated areas of Kanyakumari and Tuticorin, you might want to be sure you know how to defend yourselves or your are in for a severe drubbing. Again i’m a native of Tamil Nadu and i know too well.

        So your example is utterly wrong and simplistic and does not take into account the intrinsic Heathen/Kafir hatred in these 2 supremacist religions. It is not as simplistic as two kids fighting over a pair of sneakers. You can only say the above in a Hindu area and country and extremely highly likely you will come out alive or even be entertained with a lively debate or best ignored as a lunatic and shunned. You wont come to harm my friend. Please understand this. This why even though i find your terminological discussions a waste of time, i find it utterly dangerous when you talk of 2 supremacist religions who wanted to always exterminate us even now as being same as sanatana dharma. Go and see wherever these 2 reign supreme none, of the other religions can exist. Can you think of building a Vinayaka temple in Saudi Arabia or the Vatican?

        Again i reiterate “Sanatana Dharma is far superior” to the Abrahamics a fact your mind refuses to accept.

      2. The Abrahamics — which belong to a category called ‘religion’ — are surely colonial-imperial, supremacist and genocidal, which is precisely the reason why people should not denigrate their own traditions by putting them in the category of ‘religion’.

        That is, they should not vilify their own traditions by mislabelling them as ‘religion’. That is the most terrible disservice they’ll do to their own traditions.

        It’s self-defeating; you have lost the battle and the war even before you started to fight it when you acquiesce in having your traditions put in the category that is made up of Judeo-Christianity and Islam.

        That’s precisely what you do when you assert that “it is also good to use today terms in existence to combat those Abrahamist bullies of religions in a language they understand”.

        It’s plain idiotic to adopt the fraudulent terminology of your bullies and oppressors to describe your own traditions — instead of disassociating yourself from those bullies and oppressors by rejecting their fraudulent terminology.

        First accepting the fraudulent framework of ‘religion’ and then pretending to fight against ‘religion’ is an obvious act of imbecility.

        Step back and think with a calm mind.

        And do yourself another favour: start to read others’ comments CAREFULLY before launching into unwarranted disquisitions on why “Abrahamics” are supremacist and genocidal.

        I don’t really need your long lecture to know that “Abrahamics” are supremacist and genocidal. You would know that if you had read my comments CAREFULLY.

  18. tarish kaushik · · Reply

    Superb essay. I’m so happy for humans who find their rootedness in being human.

  19. MW, congrats for articulating such an excellent article.

  20. Hindus are under Constant Attacks from Muslims, Christians since so many Centuries, because they have FAILED to live a life of FUNDAMENTAL HINDUISM

    I request HINDUS to Understand FUNDAMENTAL HINDUISM, to SURVIVE and SAFEGUARD your Motherland from the Clutches of Looters, Plunderers, Terrorists, Rapists

  21. I agree with Manoj Kumar that hinduism needs to be protected against constant attacks on it from other religious groups, and sadly, from Hindus for political gains. Hinduism is nearest to humanity, and therefore it has to survive, and become world religion, or way of life where no one despises another way of thinking, another philosophy, another sect as Hinduism believes in only one Truth, and accepts all rivers of philosophical thoughts just as an ocean accepts all rivers.

    1. Namaste,
      After so long action of Looting, Plundering, other countries, Christians badly FAILED to CONVERT the whole world into CHRISTIANITY, and they lately REALISED that now Christianity has Lost Its Power to FOOL Human Minds, hence they INVENTED few other Ideologies like COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM, SECULARISM, FAMINISM, DEMOCRACISM

      1. It is nit really looting through communism etc., but yes, I will say that the method now is economic colonization. The most recent example is how China is luring many countries by offering soft loans. But we should not forget that most inventions have taken place in the West, and in a consumer world our life is full of consumables produced in the West, or with licensed production in the developing countries. We cannot fault them. If they produce high quality defence products and developing countries buy these due to fear from each other can we really blame them. To get out of it is simple but not achievable. Have no fear of another country attacking you by peaceful co-existence. Alas, that may not be possible. The other option is indigenous development in science and applied technology. But that comes over a period of time, not instantly. The greatest fear is religious divide that always keeps different followers on the brink.

      2. Communism is just like JCB machine for Christianity. It Uproots the Earlier Culture and Builds a Base for the New Christianity over the Traces of Earlier Culture

        You will never find Communism where Christianity is Completely Established
        You will never find Communism where Islam is Completely Established

      3. French anthropologist Pierre Clastres on states, ethnocide (excerpted from Archeology of Violence, originally published in 1980):

        pg. 103 – “Ethnocide is […] the systematic destruction of ways of living and thinking of people different from those who lead this venture of destruction. In sum, genocide assassinates people in their bodies, ethnocide kills them in their minds… Ethnocide shares with genocide an identical vision of the Other; the Other is difference, certainly but it is especially wrong difference… Others are exterminated because they are absolutely evil.

        Ethnocide, on the other hand, admits the relativity of evil difference: others are evil, but we can improve them by making them transform themselves until they are identical, preferably to the model we propose and impose. The ethnocidal negation of the Other leads to self-identification.”

        pgs. 104-105: “Who, moreover, are the practitioners of ethnocide? Who attacks people’s souls? First in rank are the missionaries, in South America but also in other regions. Militant propagators of Christian faith, they strove to substitute the pagan’s barbarous beliefs with the religion of the western world.

        The evangelical process implies two certainties: first, that different – paganism – is unacceptable and must be refused; secondly, that the evil of this wrong difference can be attenuated, indeed, abolished… Secular discourse says the same thing when it announces, for example, the official doctrine of the Brazilian government regarding indigenous policies.
        ‘Our Indians,’ proclaim the administrators, ‘are human beings like anyone else. But the savage life they lead in the forests condemns them to poverty and misery. It is our duty to help them to emancipate themselves from servitude…’ The spirituality of ethnocide is the ethics of humanism.“

        pg. 108 – “Ethnocide, it is said, is the suppression of cultural differences deemed inferior or bad; it is the putting into effect of principles of identification, a project of reducing the Other to the Same (the Amazonian Indian suppressed as Other and reduced to the Same as the Brazilian citizen).

        In other words, ethnocide results in the dissolution of the multiple into One. Now what about the state? It is, in essence, a putting into play of centripetal force, which, when circumstances demand it, tends towards crushing the opposite, centrifugal forces.

        The State considers itself and proclaims itself the center of society, the whole of the social body, the absolute master of this body’s various organs. Thus we discover at the very heart of the State’s substances the active power of One, the inclination to refuse the multiple, the fear and horror of difference. At this formal level we see that ethnocidal practice and the State machine function in the same way and produce the same effects: the will to reduce difference and alterity, a sense and taste for the identical and the One can still be detected in the forms of western civilization and the State.”

        pg. 111 – “Ethnocidal violence, like the negation of difference, is clearly part of the essence of the State in barbarous empires as well as in the civilized societies of the West: all state organizations are ethnocidal, ethnocide is the normal mode of existence of the State.”

      4. Christianity (to which the pernicious term of ‘religion’ was originally applied) is the progenitor of colonialism and imperialism and the concomitant destruction of cultural diversity of the world.

        Here’s Prof. Walter Mignolo on how Christianity has always acted as the prime mover behind colonization of the world.

        “Western imperial/colonial expansion started with Christianity, Castile and Portugal mainly with the conquest and colonization of the Americas, but also the expansion to Asia (Macao was the first Portuguese colony in Asia; Spaniards were in the Philippines and Formosa [today Taiwan]). Thus the West extended its arms and laid the foundation for modern/colonial globalization. After Castile and Portugal came the Dutch, the French and the British mainly (Germany and Italy were ‘minor’ imperial powers). And then the US which maintained colonialism, but without colonies. That would be the history of Western modern/colonial expansion.”

        (So ‘Christianity’, which was originally called ‘religion’, is not just a colonial-imperial force, it’s the most sophisticated machine ever invented in human history to undermine and destroy all cultures found on earth and bring them to their knees before the hierarchy, the heteronomy and the regimentation that church administration represents.

        Christianity is the most evil, the most organized, the most systematized, and the most ubiquitous force for destroying the autonomy of cultures or communities found on Earth and of giving church administrators a handle as to how those cultures or communities will henceforth be ‘run’ or manipulated.

        Since ‘Christianity — which was originally called ‘religion’ — is the predator and a ‘culture’ is the prey, a ‘culture’ or any element of a ‘culture’ should never be called ‘religion’. Doing that would be akin to equating the prey with the predator.)

  22. “Why did Muhammad called himself as Messenger of God? : Actually Muhammad didn’t. He thought he was possessed by a demon.
    The first time when Muhammad saw the vision in the sky, he was 40 yrs old and had gone to his usual retreat, the cave of Hira. One day an apparition appeared to Muhammad, who was sleeping with a cover sheet made of brocade cloth with writing. This apparition asked him to read (ma agra’u)#. When he said he didn’t know how to read, this phantasm caught him violently and commanded him to read and pressed him so hard that Muhammad thought he was going to die. Again he overpowered me and choked me a third time until I could bear it no more. Then he released me and said: [1]
    ‘Read in the name of your Lord who created;
    He created man from a clot.
    Read! Your Lord is the most noble,
    He who taught by the pen.
    He taught man what he did not know'[2]
    By now, Muhammad was extremely scared.[3]
    According to Muhammad, ‘then he [apparition] went away from me and I rose up from my sleep as if it (the vision) were drawn into my heart””. “”Then I said: I will never let Quraysh think so about me. I am going to reach the top of that mountain, fall down it and kill myself.’[4]
    But then he rushed home with his heart beating severely and lay down shivering on the floor, asking his wife to cover and embrace him and pour water over him, as he believed something bad was going to happen to him.
    When he told his wife about his encounter, Khadija told him that Allah would never disgrace him.[5]
    None other than Qadi ‘Iyad has recorded this: On another occasion, he seemed to have told Khadija, “”I used to hear a voice and see light, and I fear lest I may be afflicted with insanity””.[6]
    She then went to her blind Christian Priest cousin Waraqa ibn Naufal [he had found Muhammad when he was a 2 yr. old, who ran away from his foster mother Halima in Mecca] who supposedly told her that her husband was visited by the angel Gabriel and was the next prophet. And when Waraqa met Muhammad personally, he told him, “”By Him in whose hand is my soul, you are the prophet of this community, and there has come to you the greatest Namus, he who came to Moses. They will call you a liar, molest you, drive you out, and fight you. If I live to see that, I will come to God’s assistance in a way which he knows.”” [7]
    Few questions immediately come to mind.
    Why did Muhammad himself not know that it was angel Gabriel who visited him?
    Why didn’t the apparition tell him that he was angel Gabriel?
    Why did this phantom treat Muhammad so violently and mishandle him so savagely that he thought he was going to die?
    Why did Muhammad get so scared by being confronted by an angel of Allah and think he was afflicted with insanity and will not let the Quraysh think so [insane or possessed by Satan?] about him?
    Why was this apparition ignorant of the fact that Muhammad couldn’t read?
    How did Khadija know this was not an evil being? After all Muhammad himself claimed later he was possessed & deceived by the Satan.
    How come everybody else other than Muhammad seem to know that this was not an evil being?
    Why would a Prophet visited by God’s angel believe that something bad was going to happen to him?
    Why would Khadija use the word ‘Allah’ when she is known to have worshipped only Al-Uzza? A convenient substitution?
    Was it that Khadija was scared that this incident seemed like a case of ‘possession by a devil’ and could destroy her flourishing business (which it eventually did) so used his cousin to manipulate Muhammad?
    After all Muhammad used to get exorcized often for removing the ‘evil eye’ and Khadija asked him do so even he began reporting these visitations more frequently.
    Ibn Ishaq narrated: Before the revelation was revealed to Allah’s Messenger, he used to be exorcised against the evil eye in Mecca. So, when the Qur’an was revealed to him, the symptoms (of the evil eye) befell him. Then Khadija said to him: Shall I send someone to exorcise you (to safeguard you against the evil eye)? The Prophet thereupon said: “”Now, no””.[8]
    More Questions:
    What were these symptoms that Khadija was referring to? Were these the same seizures the he had since he was a 2yr old child and Halima thought them to be the work of the devil?
    Is this why even Khadija wanted Muhammad to be exorcized?
    How did a blind Christian Priest know specifically that it was the angel Gabriel and not any other angel, ghost or demon?
    How did Waraqa know that Muhammad would be called a liar, be molested, driven out and fought with by the others?
    How did Waraqa know that Muhammad was going to be a Prophet? He had a hotline to Gabriel? Seems like he was helping save his sister and her business.
    Why would a Christian Priest acknowledge any other prophet other than Jesus?
    Incident 2: The visions ceased to come to the Muhammad for a while, and Khadijah said to him, “”I think that your Lord must have come to hate you.””[9]
    This deeply grieved Muhammad. He began to go to the tops of mountain cliffs, in order to fling himself from them and commit suicide; but every time he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel appeared to him and said to him, “”You are the Prophet of Allah.”” Thereupon his anxiety would subside and he would come back to himself. [10]
    At one such time, Muhammad was walking alone when he suddenly hears a voice from the sky. He looks up and sees the same apparition who had visited him at the cave of Hira’, sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth [Allah ?].©[11]
    Muhammad is terror-stricken (fa-ju’ithtu minhu : I was terror stricken by him), hurries home and tells his wife Khadija, ‘Wrap me’, ‘Wrap me’. So, Khadija covers him with a cloak. And then the following verses were revealed.
    ‘O you wrapped up! Arise and warn and magnify me and purify your clothes.'[12]
    In another version by Ibn Kathir, when Muhammad was climbing towards a cliff to commit suicide, he is said to have heard a voice: “O Muhammad, I am Gabriel and you are the prophet of God.” On the horizon was a gigantic figure that filled the sky. Muhammad felt stuck, as if he were glued in place. No matter which direction he turned his head, the angel filled the sky with six hundred wings on each side. One version of the story relates that Muhammad first saw the angel in human form close-up, so close it could almost be touched. The angel only assumed its majestic size at Muhammad’s request, but when he saw him in his true form looming over the entire horizon, Muhammad was knocked unconscious. Gabriel then shrank back down to human size, revived him, and “wiped the saliva* off his cheeks.[13]
    [*The mention of saliva is significant, as people in the grip of an epileptic seizure are often unable to swallow and saliva drools from their mouths. The fact he could see the angel no matter which way he looked is also revealing, notes Dede Korkut, a Turkish-born neurologist and psychiatrist who authored a study of Muhammad’s neurological and psychological disorders. If Muhammad had been looking at an external object, it would no longer have been within his field of vision when he turned his head away. “But if the image is being falsely electrically generated in a dysfunctional part of the temporal lobe of the brain, then it will persist no matter which way the person turns.[14]]
    Why was Muhammad grieved for not getting the visions which had terrified him so badly?
    Why did he want to commit suicide? He was so terrified when he had the visions. Because he wanted to be terrified again? The logic seems weird. Nobody would want to encounter such a frightening being again.
    After seeing Gabriel so many times by now, shouldn’t Muhammad have been used to seeing him by now? It seems abnormal. Frightened, if you see, Depressed if you don’t.
    He said he was stopped from committing suicide by Gabriel and his depression would cease. Then why was he terror-stricken when he saw the Gabriel apparition again?
    Why is it that the apparition in the sky evoked so much dread in the Prophet, than fill him with spiritual bliss as other saints of other religions around the world have described their experience in the presence of the divine?
    How do we know Muhammad’s encounter was with Gabriel and not someone else? Not once did this apparition reveal his own identity as Gabriel, nor was the word ‘Allah’ used by this being. The word used in Arabic was ‘your lord’ (رَبَّكَ : rabbaka : Your Lord) and not ‘Allah’, as is given in the English translations.
    Could it be that this ‘lord’ was someone else than what Khadija, Waraqa or Muhammad believed it to be?
    According to Bukhari, this description of Gabriel is in Muhammad’s own words: Abdullah (bin Mas`ud) informed us that Muhammad had seen Gabriel with six hundred wings.””[15]
    More Questions:
    Why didn’t Muhammad talk about seeing Gabriel with 600 wings in any of his initial narrations to his wife or his followers?
    He has only mentioned about a man sitting on a throne on the horizon. So who was that man? Quran [81:19-24] tells us it’s the ‘Lord of the Thrones’ which cannot be anyone other than ‘Allah’.
    So was it Gabriel or Allah? Is the Quran wrong or is it Muhammad?
    If he was visited by Gabriel first, then who is this with 600 wings? And if this is the real Gabriel, then who was the one who visited him before?
    Incident 3: Another incident mentioned by Ibn Ishaq, where Khadija devises a plan to verify whether this apparition was an Angel or Satan is too interesting to be glossed over.
    One day the 65 yr old Khadija tells her husband Muhammad to inform her when he is visited by this being. So Muhammad tells her when he sees the apparition again. She asks Muhammad to sit on her left lap and tell her whether he still sees the visitant. He says, ‘Yes’. She tells him to turn around and sit on his right thigh. When he does so, she asks him again, ‘Can you see him?’ He replies in the affirmative. She now asks him to sit in her lap and asks him the same question, ‘Can you see him?’ He says he could. Then she removes her veil and her clothes and when she is fully disrobed and naked, she asks Muhammad if he could still see the unearthly visitor. He says, ‘No’. At that she said, ‘Rejoice cousin. By Allah, this spirit is an Angel and not Satan.'[16]
    Was this the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for judging the presence of Satans and angels?
    If so, who told Khadija about this SOP?
    Isn’t it a dangerous proposition for any woman and wife to disrobe herself infront of an invisible being? What if it really was Satan or a Jinn who could possess her?
    An angel is used to the most beautiful women of Paradise (al-hoor al-‘iyn). Why would he stay there to look at an old woman’s disrobed body?
    On second thoughts, why would even Satan stay there for the same reason?
    Aren’t there enough young and more beautiful women out there in the world whom he could easily seduce? After all he is Satan, whom Allah also has not been able to eliminate or have not eliminated for unknown reasons.
    # Some scholars say “ma aqra’u” means “recite” and not “read” as the verb “qara’a” can mean “”read”” as well as “”recite” but the context is that this angel asked Muhammad to “read the writing on his brocade cover sheet”. Quran [7: 157] clearly calls Muhammad the “unlettered prophet” and Sahih Bukhari [1: 1: 3] also uses the word [‏‏اقْرَأْ : aqra : read] not “recite”
    [1] Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3; Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya by Ibn Katheer, Vol 1, p. 279; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 67-76; Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, p. 106-107
    [2] Quran 96:1-5
    [3] Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3; Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya by Ibn Katheer, Vol 1, p. 279; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 67-76; Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, p. 106-107
    [4] Ash-shifa by Qadi ‘Iyad, tr. Gehan ‘Abdei-Raouf Hibah (2009), p. 562
    [5] Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3; Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya by Ibn Katheer, Vol 1, p. 279; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 67-76; Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, p. 106-107
    [6]Ash-shifa by Qadi ‘Iyad, tr. Gehan ‘Abdei-Raouf Hibah (2009), p. 562
    [7] Sahih Bukhari 1:1:3; Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya by Ibn Katheer, Vol 1, p. 279; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 67-76; Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, p. 106-107
    [8] Ash-shifa by Qadi ‘Iyad, tr. Gehan ‘Abdei-Raouf Hibah (2009), p. 563
    [9] Quran 74:1-5; Sahih Bukhari 4; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 70-76
    [10] Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 70-76
    © Its interesting to note how the details of Muhammad’s apparition increase as time goes by. The earliest version of Ibn Ishaq (704-770 CE) has no mention of the physical attributes of Gabriel. Al-Tabari (839-923 CE) adds details of ‘Gabriel sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth’. Ibn Kathir (1300-1373 CE), about 650 yrs after Muhammad’s death, adds ‘600 wings to Gabriel’. And all three versions are considered ‘genuine’ by muslim scholars. Even the versions in the Quran are different. While in Quran (53:2-18) it is Gabriel, in Quran (81:19-24) it is ‘Lord of the Throne’ Allah himself. Then again the version changes to ‘holy spirit’ in 16:102 and 26:192-194. As one knows Quran is not in chronological order. Among theses verses, Ch 81 was revealed 1st, Ch 53 was 2nd, Ch 26 was 3rd and last came Ch 16th.
    [11] [11] Quran 74:1-5; Sahih Bukhari 4; Al-Tabari Vol 6, tr. & annotated by Montgomery Watt, M V McDonald (1998), p. 70-76
    [12] ibid
    [13] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 9, p. 309-310
    [14] Cited from: Was Muhammad an Epileptic? by F. W. Burleigh, http://americanthinker.com, 11,May, 2015; See: Korkut, Dede, Life Alert, The Medical Case of Muhammad, p. 55.
    [15] Sahih Bukhari 6:60:380
    [16] Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, tr. as ‘The Life of Muhammad’ by A. Guillaume (2004), p.107
    Disclaimer: The information provided herein is purely an academic exercise. For references, footnotes have been provided for corroboration purposes. This article has no intention to hurt the sentiments of any person or group.

    1. Please don’t write such long and so many comments, some are repetitive

  23. very interesting post, thank you for sharing

  24. Profound clarity of thought on the subject matter. Well written and articulated. Congratulations.

    1. Thank you

  25. India has carried out 4 surgical strikes on Pakistan which have been very damaging.
    Read below:


    1. This site is not for playing politics, as I understand. Sahir’s post ‘India carried out…’ is out of place and in bad taste. India has already done what it wanted to do.

      1. It’s a political satire.

  26. A Chakrabarty. · · Reply

    Very correct.

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