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The Central belief:
There is only one God, Allah, and that the Prophet Muhammad was his final messenger.
The word Islam comes from aslama (to submit), and the one who submits–a Muslim–is a believer who achieves peace, or salaam. God, the creator, is invisible and omnipresent; to represent God in any form is a sin.
The Prophet Muhammad was born in A.D. 570 and became a merchant in the Arabian town of Mecca. At the age of forty, he began to receive a series of revelations from God transmitted through the angel Gabriel. His monotheistic message, which disdained the idolatry that was popularly practiced at the Kaaba (now in the Great Mosque and venerated as a shrine of Muslim pilgrimage) in Mecca at that time, was ridiculed by the town’s leaders. Muhammad and his followers were forced to emigrate in 622 to the nearby town of Yathrib, later known as Medina or “the city.” This move, the hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic era. In the ten years before his death in 632, the Prophet continued preaching and receiving revelations, ultimately consolidating both the temporal and the spiritual leadership of Arabia.
The Quran, the holy scripture of Islam, plays an important role in Muslim social organization and values. The Quran, which literally means “reciting,” is recognized by believers as truly the word of God, and as such it is eternal, absolute, and irrevocable. The fact that Muhammad was the last of the prophets and that no further additions to “the word” are allowed is significant; it closes the door to new revelations.
The Five Pillars of Islam:
The five pillars of Islam consist of certain beliefs and acts to which a Muslim must adhere to affirm membership in the community.
Shahada (testimony), the affirmation of the faith, which succinctly states the central belief of Islam: “There is no god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is his Prophet.” To become a Muslim, one needs only to recite this statement.
Salat, the obligation for a Muslim to pray at five set times during the day. Muslims value prayers recited communally, especially the midday prayers on Friday, the Muslim sabbath. Mosques have emerged as important social and political centers as a by-product of this unifying value.
the obligation to provide alms for the poor and disadvantaged .
the obligation to fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, in commemoration of the beginning of the Prophet’s revelations from Allah.
The final pillar is the expectation that every adult Muslim physically and financially able to do so perform the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in his or her lifetime. The pilgrimage occurs during the last month of the Muslim lunar calendar, just over a month after the end of Ramadan.
The word Jihad is from the Arabic root word JHD which basically means striving or struggle.
In translation, [the] Qur’an says, “Those who believe, who strive in the cause of God with their wealth and their persons, are the ones who are successful.” So, the winner is not the human being who overcomes the wrong temptations but the winner is God in this inner Jihad. If we do not submit to the will of God then we are submitting to the will of the devil and the winner is the hunter who overtakes our souls at that moment of wrongdoing.
Jihad, the “striving.” : Jihad is often misunderstood in the West and India, where people think of it as a fanatical holy war.
The inner Jihad, which is the Jihad and the most important part of Jihad, I must say that there are two forces within us operating all the time in opposite directions. One is inviting us to do good and the other inviting us to do evil. These opposing forces are trying to take over our hearts and our minds which have control over our actions to go in their direction. The inner Jihad is overcoming the forces of evil by the forces of good and the triumph of one over the other.
An analogy of inner Jihad is in Hinduism ,are controlling the objects for gratification of the five senses – Kama (desires), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachments) and Ahamkara (ego). So Hindus are also Inner Jihadis.
Thus if there is a tyrant ruler who is oppressing people and one stands up to that tyrant and says a word of truth against his rule it is also one form of Jihad
Jihad is also called “the Holy War”. In fact, the word holy war came from the crusade when this call was made to the crusaders by then the Pope Urbana to unite them to fight against “infidels” who were occupying the birth place of Jesus (peace be upon him). Yet, it is true that one form of Jihad, that is the external form, can be described as taking up arms in defense of Islam and Muslims when they are attacked by external forces. But, this form of Jihad can only be declared by a head of the Islamic state who is a practicing Muslim or a consensus of Islamic Ulema or Scholars when they agree on a clear-cut threat on Islam or on Muslims by external forces. If a call for Jihad is made by a non-practicing Muslim ruler then [the] Muslim masses are not to heed such call.
Tose who fight external Jihad are mujahidin. The Afghan rebels waging an insurrection against the Soviet-backed government in the 1980s deftly used this term to identify themselves and hence infused their struggle with a moral dimension.
Siha and Sunni
Sunni:The larger of the two major subdivisions of Islam, followed by a majority of Pakistanis.
About 97 percent of all Pakistanis are Muslims. Official documentation states that Sunni Muslims constitute 77 percent of the population and rest around 20% Sihas. Iraq Siha percentage is morethan Sunnis.
There are two major sects, the Sunnis and the Shia, in Islam. They are differentiated by Sunni acceptance of the temporal authority of the Rashudin Caliphate (Abu Bakr, Omar, Usman, and Ali) after the death of the Prophet and the Shia acceptance solely of Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and husband of his daughter, Fatima, and his descendants.
Over time, the Sunni sect divided into four major schools of jurisprudence; of these, the Hanafi school is predominant in Pakistan.
The Shia sect split over the matter of succession, resulting in two major groups: the majority Twelve Imam Shia believe that there are twelve rightful imams, Ali and his eleven direct descendants. A second Shia group, the numerically smaller Ismaili community, known also as Seveners, follows a line of imams that originally challenged the Seventh Imam and supported a younger brother, Ismail. The Ismaili line of leaders has been continuous down to the present day. The current leader, Sadr ad Din Agha Khan, who is active in international humanitarian efforts, is a direct descendant of Ali.
Islam in India, the start of Hindu-Muslim Conflict and hatreds:
The initial entry of Islam into India came in the first century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad
The Umayyad caliph in Damascus sent an expedition to Balochistan and Sindh in 711 led by Muhammad bin Qasim (for whom Karachi’s second port is named). The expedition went as far north as Multan but was not able to retain that region and was not successful in expanding Islamic rule to other parts of India. Coastal trade and the presence of a Muslim colony in Sindh, however, permitted significant cultural exchanges and the introduction into the subcontinent of saintly teachers. Muslim influence grew with conversions.
Almost three centuries later, the Turks and the Afghans spearheaded the Islamic conquest in India through the traditional invasion routes of the northwest. Mahmud of Ghazni (979-1030) led a series of raids against Rajput kingdoms and rich Hindu temples and established a base in Punjab for future incursions. Mahmud’s tactics originated the legend of idol-smashing Muslims bent on plunder and forced conversions, a reputation that persists in India to the present day.
During the last quarter of the twelfth century, Muhammad of Ghor invaded the Indo-Gangetic Plain, conquering in succession Ghazni, Multan, Sindh, Lahore, and Delhi. His successors established the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mamluk Dynasty (mamluk means “slave”) in 1211 (however, the Delhi Sultanate is traditionally held to have been founded in 1206). The territory under control of the Muslim rulers in Delhi expanded rapidly. By mid-century, Bengal and much of central India was under the Delhi Sultanate. Several Turko-Afghan dynasties ruled from Delhi: the Mamluk (1211-90), the Khalji (1290-1320), the Tughlaq (1320-1413), the Sayyid (1414-51), and the Lodhi (1451-1526). As Muslims extended their rule into southern India, only the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar remained immune, until it too fell in 1565. Although some kingdoms remained independent of Delhi in the Deccan and in Gujarat, Malwa (central India), and Bengal, almost all of the area in presentday Pakistan came under the rule of Delhi.
The sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if superficial, relations with Muslim rulers in the Near East but owed them no allegiance. The sultans based their laws on the Quran and the sharia (Islamic law. Based on the Quran and the sunna (q.v.) with interpretations of Muslim jurisprudence) and permitted non-Muslim subjects to practice their religion only if they paid jizya (A tax imposed on non-Muslims in a Muslim state meant to compensate the state for the protection given to non-Muslims who are not permitted to serve in the military.) or head tax. The sultans ruled from urban centers–while military camps and trading posts provided the nuclei for towns that sprang up in the countryside. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the thirteenth century. The sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance resulting from the stimulation of Islam by Hinduism. The resulting “Indo-Muslim” fusion left lasting monuments in architecture, music, literature, and religion. The sultanate suffered from the sacking of Delhi in 1398 by Timur (Tamerlane) but revived briefly under the Lodhis before it was conquered by the Mughals.
Then Everyone knows from moderate Babar to fundamentalist Auranjeb.
What is the Hindu Religion?
“What is this religion which we call Sanatana, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and forever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal Sanatana religion, because it is the universal religion, which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot he eternal”.
“HINDUISM is a relentless pursuit after truth and if today it has become moribund, inactive, irresponsible to growth it is because we are fatigued; and as soon as the fatigue is over, Hinduism will burst forth upon the World with a brilliance perhaps unknown before. Of course, therefore, Hinduism is the most tolerant of all religions. Its creed is all religions. Its creed is all embracing”.
Formation of RSS in September,1925
Founder Dr. Hedgewar founded Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which he, after years of deliberate and patient preparation, founded at Nagpur on 27th September, Vijayadashami Day of 1925.
Dr. Hedgewar said often, “Even if the British leave, unless the Hindus are organised as a powerful nation, where is the guarantee that we shall be able to protect our freedom?” His words have proved to be prophetic. Conjointly with Independence, parts of Punjab, Bengal, Sindh and the frontier-areas were sundered from Bharat; and, four and a half decades after the nation’s attaining freedom, Kashmir remains a thorn in the flesh.
Formation of VHP, August, 1964.
Shri Shiv Shankar Apte invited prominent Hindu leaders, Dharmacharyas, thinkers for the first Convention at Bombay for founding the V.H.P. in August, 1964
Text of his letter:
It is proposed to call a convention of representatives of all sects, faiths and religions, which have arisen, in this land. All those whether born here in this country or abroad who regard Bharat as the fountain source of their faiths, religions, culture and philosophy and worship her as the Motherland and the Holyland, are intended to be invited to this Vishva Hindu Parishad. Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Vaishnavas, Veer Shaivas -Lingayats and all denominations falling under the generic term Hindus are being approached with a request to come together in this first convention of its type.
On account of historic reasons chiefly among them being the aggressions and the consequent enslavement for over a millennium, social thinkers and leaders of our nation did not get time and opportunity to come together and reconcile the disintegrating forces and tendencies with the lamentable results from which we are suffering today. But free and politically united as we are now, it should be our ambition to mitigate the differences, recognise the unity behind the diversities and bring in a harmonious understanding, national integration and an order in the life of the whole society in accordance with the genius and spirit of our ancient and noble heritage.
The urgency is great today because of the sorrowful conditions to which our nation, which claims a unique and universal philosophy of life, catholicity and tolerance taught by all our faiths and religions and the affluence of culture and civilisation, has fallen in spite of wishful endeavors on the political plane. The reasons are patent and plain and need no discussion. To usher a new order satisfying the demands and exigencies of the modern scientific age are without of course sacrificing our eternal spirit and soul, our popular leaders and wise thinkers must come together, deliberate upon the present conditions of our society and prescribe ways and means to achieve the objective. This used to happen in this our land since Vedic days. The need is greater to day to discover the common principles and practices of our maltipotal society and on their basis to reinforce the abiding unity.
Hindu peoples in Hindusthan and abroad need an awakening into their essential unity in Philosophy, Religion and Culture. Establishing a Central Organisation to maintain contacts, to supply the pure spirit of the Hindu way of life and make it possible for all from all countries to draw inspiration from the fountain source of their spiritual heritage is the standing need of our times. Building up of Hindu solidarity and encouraging the Hindus in other parts of the world to make their impression on the environments in which they live, and to enrich the culture of the countries of their adoption should be the object and function of this Convention and the Centre which is proposed to be evolved out of it.
The first meeting of the convenors will be held on August 29 and 30, 1964 in Bombay. The meeting will determine the name, aims and objects, the venue, time, programmes and functions etc. of the main convention as well as form the managing committee and elect its Chairman.
We solicit your approval of the idea and respectfully invite you to attend the first meeting and give your consent to join the panel of convenors.
The undersigned proposes to call on you personally and explain the idea in details. May I, therefore, hope to get an indication as to when and where I should call on you. A line in reply will greatly oblige.