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The subcontinent’s Muslim is influenced more by Hinduism than Islam

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Khajur, Oct 16, 2009.

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  1. Khajur

    Khajur BANNED

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    The subcontinent’s Muslim is influenced more by Hinduism than Islam

    The subcontinent’s Muslim ethos is influenced more by Hinduism than Islam

    Aakar Patel


    This year, again, the world’s Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr Id-ul-Fitr twice. Eid was on Sunday, 20 September, for 850 million Muslims—350 million Arabs, 235 million Indonesians, 16 million Malaysians, Somalis, Nigerians, Chinese, Turks, Kurds, Iranians, Kosovans, Uzbeks, Afghans and Chechens.

    Eid was Monday, 21 September, for the world’s other 480 million Muslims—Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis.

    The second group fasted when the first was feasting. Only Satan fasts on Eid, so this is a serious matter. And Muslims love their ummah, so what explains the split?

    The first group anticipated Eid. They consulted science to know when the lunar month of Ramzan ended, and when the first moon of Shawwal would appear. The second group would not end Ramzan till they physically saw the moon. The difference isn’t trivial. On 19 January 1998, two Muslims preaching rationalism in Mumbai’s Jama Masjid were killed in a dispute over the Shawwal moon. Without this visual satisfaction, every year, desi Muslims refuse to end their fast.

    Why? Their culture isn’t really Islamic; it’s Hindu. That explains the idolatry towards the moon. Only one group of South Asian Muslims celebrated Eid on Sunday with the rest of the world, and that was the Pashtuns of the Frontier. We instinctively know they are different: more Afghan than Indian.

    Indian Islam, like Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and the animism of the scheduled tribes, is really an aspect of Hindu culture. Muslims bow to a different deity, but in India that means little. The Patels of Charotar worship Krishna as Rannchhod. The word means “he who ran from battle”. It refers to Krishna’s fleeing the ferocious attacks of Jarasandh and his general Kalyavan, abandoning the people of Mathura for Dwarka. Patels are not an insignificant community: Vallabhbhai, Praful and half of America’s motels. They worship Krishna’s instinct of self-preservation because it saves his life. But it will put off other Hindus who venerate the war-like Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita, a very different deity from Rannchhod.



    Muslims might see themselves as having two identities, Muslim and Indian. But the first is quite superficial, and the second is really Hindu.

    In his Vijayadashami address on 27 September, RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat said this: “The word ‘Hindu’ does not symbolize any particular way of worship, language, province, creed or religion. Actually it signifies an ancient culture, a way of life that has come down to us through (the) ages.”


    He’s right, and the RSS is wrong to oppose reservations for Muslim OBCs. Reservation is inclusive, and ends separatism because it fragments identity. That reservations are also opposed by puritanical Muslim groups should be a giveaway to the RSS. But it’s not a body of intellectuals and hasn’t had an original thinker since the great Golwalkar.

    The source of European culture is Christianity. The source of South Asian culture is Hinduism.

    The Hindu-Muslim divide on the subcontinent is quite artificial. Outsiders cannot separate us easily because we behave identically. Culture is how we behave in traffic, how clean we keep our streets and our neighbourhood, how we spice our food, whether we live as independent men or with our father, how tax-compliant we are, how intrusively we pray and celebrate and how corrupt we are. Muslims show no difference on these counts. Civilization is to be found in a nation’s thana (jail) and kutchehri (court). The Pakistani police station and post office is run with exactly the same incompetence as the Indian. The two-nation theory is bogus.

    Jinnah founded Pakistan, but a brilliant man from Maharashtra made it Islamic. Abul Ala Mawdudi was the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the modernist end of Islamism if Taliban and Deoband represent the conservative end.

    Mawdudi is the intellectual source of Al Qaeda’s ideology, a matter of pride and shame for Indians, depending on how one looks at it. American writers usually trace Osama bin Laden’s ideas to the Egyptians Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. Both men lifted the work of Mawdudi, starting with his Al-Jihad Fil Islam written in the 1930s, and followed by a succession of very readable tracts on Sunni Islam in the modern world.

    Under Mawdudi’s guidance and with Saudi assistance, in the late 1970s, Pakistan legislated fierce Shariah laws: stoning to death for adultery, beheading for murder, cutting off hands for theft. But Pakistanis are too afraid to execute these laws. Why? Because they are foreign, even if they are Islamic.

    In Pakistan nobody has ever been stoned to death or beheaded or amputated, unlike in Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. The laws exist only to make Pakistanis feel more Muslim; to separate them from Indians, because otherwise very little does. Like Hindus, however, Muslims are quite good at discrimination. Pakistan has apostatized the Ahmedis, who cannot call themselves Muslim, recite the kalima, or go to mosques. Just like Dalits. In India, the ulema of Deoband and Nadwa pass fatwas asking Muslims to not give starving Ahmedis food or water.

    Pakistan discourages Hindu culture—khayal, dhrupad and kathak—but it’s the only culture they have, there being no such thing as Muslim music or dance. That is why Pakistan is a cultural wasteland; that is why Muslims are comfortable in Bollywood. Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Hassan sang to illiterate audiences in Lahore and Karachi who could not identify a raga, because they were taught to deny their own culture. That is why Pakistani singers love India.


    Zakat, charity, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory, not optional, on Muslims. The Pakistani state debits 2.5% from all Sunni bank accounts (Shias are exempt) in Ramzan and spends it on the poor. In 2004, it collected Rs141 crore. This fell to Rs107 crore in 2008 and to Rs70 crore this year. Why? Sunnis withdraw their cash before Ramzan and then re-deposit it later. Many temporarily declare themselves as Shia. This opportunism is not unfamiliar to Hindus, and will not sit well with the idea India’s Muslims themselves have of their uncompromising beliefs.

    Mawdudi’s heir in India is Jamaat-e-Islami’s Syed Geelani of Kashmir.

    The Hurriyat Conference constitution promises (liberals, please note) to “make endeavours, in keeping with the Muslim majority character of the state, for promoting the build up of a society based on Islamic values, while safeguarding the rights and interests of the non-Muslims”.

    But Muslims have failed to build “a society of Islamic values”, there being no such thing, or give equality to Hindus and Christians.

    South Asian Muslims pine for more Islam but once they get it, like they have in Pakistan, they don’t know what to do with it because they’re not Arabs.

    Pakistanis keep succumbing to dictatorship because of their identity crisis. Mawdudi’s Islamic state is utopian but deliverable only by a dictator. And so all coup-making generals are welcomed on arrival by Pakistanis.

    But their essentially Hindu character ensures that Pakistanis keep lapsing out of dictatorship, unlike the Arabs. Gaddafi has ruled 40 years, Mubarak 28 years, Saudis 82 years. Saddam ruled 24 years, Assad 30 years.

    Indian and Pakistani Muslims love Arabs, and Urdu papers are marked by an obsession with Palestine and Jews. India’s Sunnis and Shias were also once loved by Arabs and Persians. For centuries under the Mughals, Haj ships leaving from Surat funded the tribal economy of the Hejaz. Lucknow’s Shias funded Iran’s waterworks till the 19th century.

    But then both nations discovered oil, the Saudis in 1938 and the Persians in 1908.

    Now their per capita income is six times that of ours. The love is gone, and we are irritants, not one of their own.

    A Pakistani acquaintance of mine, a retired colonel from Musharraf’s batch, discovered this during the siege of Mecca in 1979. The Saudis imported soldiers of many nationalities, some from the West, to retake the Kaaba from fanatics. A Saudi peasant inquired about Iftikhar’s identity. “I’m Muslim,” Iftikhar announced proudly. From where, asked the Saudi. “Pakistan”. Where’s that, the peasant asked. Iftikhar explained the geography. The Saudi finally understood: “Hadha Hindi!” he thundered, using the Arabic word for both the people of the subcontinent and those who follow its faith.

    Aakar Patel is a director with Hill Road Media.

    Send your feedback to replytoall@livemint.com

    The subcontinent?s Muslim is influenced more by Hinduism than Islam - Columns - livemint.com
     
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  2. r3alist

    r3alist SENIOR MEMBER

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    trying too hard, thread fail.
     
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  3. garibnawaz

    garibnawaz SENIOR MEMBER

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    It has a lot to do with Hindus converted to Islam and the original culture.

    Many muslims in India still have hindu sirnames as they were converted under the Mughals for various reasons.

    You will see 80% muslim women wearing Mangalsutra (an ornament of Hindu married woman) after their marriege.

    As I said religion changed, culture remained the same.

    GB
     
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  4. gubbi

    gubbi SENIOR MEMBER

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    Refute the post with substantiated referenced claims, instead of stupid one-liners. Got a counter claim with references?

    edit: nvm....
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  5. Khajur

    Khajur BANNED

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    Buddy,

    its not my view...read again these views are expressed by Aakar Patel,an prominient muslim intellectual in the sub continent.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/aakar

    His columns appear regularly in Jang group news paper "The News International "
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  6. EjazR

    EjazR SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well the correct title should have been sub-continent muslims are more influenced by Hindustani culture than Arab culture. I understand that he is trying to use the term Hindu in the cultural sense, but people like the previous RSS heads and Praveen Tagodia, Advani during the 90s and Bal Thakery and the likes have completely changed the definition and made it quite rigid, moreover Aakar Patel's understanding of Islam and difference between tribal/arab culture and Islamic principles is sorely lacking.

    And still the content wouldn't be accurate. The moon sighting even if taken scientifically wouldn't be visible in the subcontinent at the same time as in the Arabian peninsula. For example In Australia and Indonesia, it was on Saturday because the the new moon was visible in this part of the world but not in the ME or sub-continent. It is only region specific and doesn't have to be exactly the same day around the world. Although there does exist difference of opinion on this matter, this is the consensus view.

    Idolatory to the moon? Again, false propaganda, because even the most illiterate muslim knows that no one "prays" to the moon. The different phases is used to keep track of time and that is it

    Saudi Arabia didn't exist before 1932, this area was under the Ottoman Turks which where the superpowers of their time. Jews from Europe would go there to escape persecution. The leading intellectuals from China India Europe would come to Baghdad to translate and study in the sciences at that time. Even the hard line view in SA today started only in the 70s and 80s, before that you had cinemas e.t.c. there.

    There were international compulsions like 67 war with Israel, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the destabalising movements against the Saudi royal family that they had to legitimize their rule and used Islam for their political purposes giving power to the extremist clerics from the area around Riyadh while marginalizing the cosmopolitan Sunnis in the west around mecca and medinah and the shias in the east. They will have to revert back to the true spirit of Islam in time.

    Already they are running local elections and people are able to elect their representatives for local bodies and even the King's council. A Saudi female has also become minister in the cabinet. Saudi females graduates are more in number than males in higher education and female literacy is almost 80%. There is nothing UnIslamic about this. Similarly the stupid rule about women not driving cars, even the clerics say that its is not against Quran or Hadith for women to drive "but" it is better because there is lot of bad people around and can cause strife in society. Such rulings indicate a mindset of male-dominant culture rather than faithfully following Islamic teachings.

    A dictatorship is definitely not Islamic and a kingdom is no different. So in that sense Indian muslims are following the Islamic principle of rule with consensus, while the arabs are not yet. But the population wants to, its not that they are happy with having a dictatorship. The Kingdom will have to go and a true democratic / shura setup will have to come for it to return to Islamic principles.

    I disagree that Indian Muslims worship a "different" diety. We actually worship the same One God who even Hindus worship but call with different names and worship the same God. Even the Jews and the Christians worship the one God who they call Yahweh or Jehovah. He may also be referred to as Ishwar, and he has different qualities which incorporates Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, but this are the different attributes of the one Parmatma and Ishwar. This is also according to the Vedas which calls for worshipping the One God which is formless. The closest sects would probably be the Vedantists, lingayats and Arya Samajis in this regard who also are also monotheists and abstain from idol worship.

    European culture is based on Greek, Roman and Gaulic culture. Christianity is hardly there any more. Christian texts prohibit alcohol and homosexuality, the Bible has even more harsh punishments than the Shariah laws. "Eye for an Eye" is from the bible. Infact, it was the Dark Ages where the Catholic church had full sway over the European continent.

    After the interactions with the Ottomans and the Andalusian people in Spain, the Renaissance was given birth in Europe. So its really an interaction with Muslim majority civilizations (I actually prefer to call it Turkish, Spanish, Egyptian, Persian Indian civilizations based on the region) which again interacted with Greek Ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations that we have present day Europe. The same thing applies to India, the present day culture (the culture not the religion) is a result of the interaction of Persian and Turkic influences along with a strong dose of British and European influences in the recent past.

    And Islamic values are based on the same values of universal brotherhood, freedom of religion(secular) and expression, consensus of people (democracy), charity to the poor and needy, kindness to neighbors and so on. Whats wrong with that? Almost all major religions have some sort of values like this. Infact, this is what the whole world is trying to uphold and muslims would naturally join this effort because of their religion as well.

    Singing is also allowed, and the most hardline view would be that only the duff should be used as a musical instrument. Infact, even during the Prophet Muhammad's time, he would appreciate and let the girls of Medinah sing songs during Eid and other festivals for people to enjoy.
    Even today, many Qawallis and naths-songs in praises of the prophets and saints are sung as well.

    The problem is that some of today's songs have become vulgar in many cases and any parent would be opposed if their kids saw some songs or heard their lyrics. But as long as the music isn't vulgar e.t.c there is nothing wrong with it.

    Unfortunately, because of people like Bin Laden and Syed Qutb who used Islam for political purposes and grabbing power and also were influenced by Communist and Fascist revolutions in Europe that were taking place a lot of misconception of Islam has come.This is where the problem is and any group that uses Islam for political purposes no matter what it is, can't represent true Islam because when it comes to politics you have to get dirty, change your aims and do what ever it takes to maintain your power, even if its unethical and contrary to your core beliefs.

    On the other hand there is a group of people who have already closed their minds and formed a negative opinion of Islam, anything favorable is seen as unIslamic because according to them how can anything good come out of Islam? Falsehood and distortions are used to present negative image of Islam. "Its not muslims, Its Islam" they say ignorantly without even having any objective study of Islam or the Quran taken. This situation will change because its not true. People should learn to open their minds and approach Islam objectively and that is already happening.

    Islam is based on five pillars
    (1) Belief in One God and that Muhammad was his messenger
    (2) Prayers or Salat
    (3) Fasting in Ramadan only if you are healthy enough to do so
    (4) Giving in charity a minimum of 2.5% of wealth only if you are well off
    (5) Go to Hajj once in a lifetime only if you are healthy AND you have the money to do so

    Other than 1 and 2 all other are conditional, and as long as a person follows this he is a muslim. You can be a Chinese, speak Chinese wear Chinese clothes, have Chinese friends and live and eat like Chinese and still be a good muslim

    The same thing applies to the muslims of the sub-continent. For example many muslims and even Hindus wear the sherwani as a special dress, and the ladies wear sarees, shararas, shalwar shirts e.t.c there is nothing unIslamic about or Islamic. Its a cultural thing. Similarly wearing jewellry is a cultural thing and if someone wears a mangalsutra there is nothing UnIslamic about it because its just jewellry. Just because an Indian muslim wears shalwar kameez or sherwani instead of an Arab head dress and body gown doesn't mean he is a less muslim.

    The problem is there is a lot of misunderstanding between people of the othe religion and this applies to both Hindus and Muslims. For example a close Hindu friend of mine after a few years asked me saying he didn't want to offend me but why in the masjids you guys always chant Mughal king Akbar's name and why not other kings. It was after I explained that it just means Great or Allahu Akbar means basically "Ishwar sabse bada hai" did he understand and appreciate it. Otherwise he (and many others) thought that muslims keep praising a Mughal king in our prayers!

    On a religious level there are some similarities between Hinduism and Islam, Zakir Naik has discussed this in various lectures and quoted from the vedas and Quran, so there is some commonality there.

    I think Aakar Patel is writing with a genuine heart but he has some misconceptions. I'm not sure he is Muslim but if someone can provide some good links that would be good. I knw he is a pretty prolific journalist though and writes articles in many papers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
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  7. Al-zakir

    Al-zakir ELITE MEMBER

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    Which deshi daru are you drinking? Are you out of your unworthy mind?

    Stop making thing up, will you? Everything from Hinduism is haram in Islam.
     
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  8. Coolyo

    Coolyo FULL MEMBER

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    This is just some Indian-Nationalist propaganda! The author is probably an RSS and BJP nutcase!

    He is quick to insult Muslim cultures, and glorify the backward and illogical religion of Hinduism! But in reality, it was Muslims that brought light to the sub-continent, and ended long-time oppressive Hindu practices and traditions...

    Hinduism brought little good, while Islam brought and continues greatness to all those who accepted it, and practice it...

    PS: Countries like Saudi Arabia have little to do with historical (and true) Islam. They follow the tradition of Wahabism/Salafism, which is quite new to the Muslims (a few centuries)!
     
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  9. jeypore

    jeypore SENIOR MEMBER

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    That is absolutely uncorrect statement. One should study little harder before making such statements.
     
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  10. arihant

    arihant SENIOR MEMBER

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    I didn't expected rotten egg in the fresh apples.
     
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  11. alirulesall123

    alirulesall123 BANNED

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    Who cares. Subcontinental Muslims have consistently shown themselves to be 10x more progressive and modern than middle eastern muslims, and more tolerant too. And it's not like Pakistanis can help having some Hindu traditions, we lived with them for 700 years. Oh, and the part about how Pakistan is a "cultural wasteland" is utter BS, that's where i stopped reading.
     
  12. Panditji

    Panditji FULL MEMBER

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    Zakir, why this trash talking, and why make those assumptions about other's worth?

    That was not making things up. I am in India, and I see that as a fact. Have you been around these places? If you had been, you too would have seen it.

    Note that this practice is among the middle class and lower middle class, as they are the ones holding close to their traditions and culture. The upper classes in both India and Pakistan seem to be westernized yuppies, so forget basing your observations on them.

    Now, What do you mean by "Everything"? Is there any substantiation of this sweeping statement?
     
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  13. Nomad

    Nomad FULL MEMBER

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    Please give me some proof !!!!!

    I am not going to justify Hinduism as I am not Hindu. Please explain a little bit about this light Muslims brought (I do hope its not the flashes of light that kill a bunch of innocents with the suicide bomber's head flying off.)

    If I had do deal with oppressive practices.... i would rather deal with the problems in India than the light of muslim Pakistan. (I thank God every day that I do not have to deal with either.)


    PS: Countries like Saudi Arabia have little to do with historical (and true) Islam. They follow the tradition of Wahabism/Salafism, which is quite new to the Muslims (a few centuries)!

    Oh yeah!!! please let me know of one country that follows the wonderful true Islam that i feel compelled to convert.
     
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  14. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    i will not go into detail because i dont think it is necessary but i think that pakistani culture is more influenced by sufism than with hinduism but i do think that the way we practice our religion in pakistani is slightly different than the way arabs practice it but its not very different.
     
  15. arihant

    arihant SENIOR MEMBER

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    One must understood, that more or less South Asian Muslims are different. Similar is with Indian Hindu and USA born Hindu.
     
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