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India Our Land and Its Virtues-I

Among all the communities residing in India, only Muslims have firm religious belief that they are the descendents of Adam, the first man on the planet Earth. It is inseparable part of their belief based upon Qur’anic verses that entire humanity on this earth has originated from Adam. Contrarily, rest of the communities in India believe in the gradual evolution of homo sapiens.

Islamic literature tells us that Prophet Adam descended directly from the heaven on Indian soil. India was his first domicile and the entire human race has spread from here. For this very reason the nomenclature A’dmi is used to denote human being. We find numerous references to this effect in Muslim magnum opus i.e. Subhatul Marjan Fi Tarikhe Hindustan, written by the celebrated Islamic scholar Allama Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami.

Several references can be found in the Bible as well to support this claim--specially the chapter that deals with the ancient period. In Tafsir Ibne Kathir (Chapter 1, Page 80) it is written that when Adam descended upon this earth, he had with him Hijre Aswad (the black stone). While leaving the paradise, he felt sad. To keep the memory of paradise alive, he collected the leaves of different flowers and scattered them upon the land he descended upon. From these leaves, it is said flowers and fragrance have originated and spread in the world. And this is why all kinds of flora are found in India only.

According to one Hadith (saying of the Prophet), the entire humanity on this planet is but one community. According to another, in each and every community a Prophet has been sent for guidance. In Subhatul Marjan, it is written that Adam’s offsprings first spread on Indian soil and got engaged in agricultural work. Therefore, according to Islamic traditions and teachings, India is the original habitat of Muslims. Those who do not trace their origin from Adam cannot legitimately claim India as their original homeland.

India is the homeland of Muslims by Virtue of their Faith
As per Qur’anic revelations and the teachings of Islam, all true Prophets professed Islam as their religion. Thus Adam and his descendants too followed Islam and were Muslims.

The Holy Qur’an informs that initially the whole human race belonged to one community. "Mankind was but one nation" (Surah Yunus: Verse: 19) Later on sharp religious differences crept in and as a result various religious communities came into existence. The Almighty Allah from time to time sent Prophets in different communities all over the planet for their guidance whenever and wherever they deviated from the true path—Islam. The deputation of Prophets among deviant communities was for the sole purpose of guiding them to the right path. "Innaddina Inda- Allah Al-Islam"- Sura Aale Imran, J.3.A.19

It is, therefore, quite possible that before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pubh) in Arabian Peninsula many prophets came to India to preach Islam at various intervals. It is said that many Sufi saints during their meditation, at different locations in India, have come across the graves of prophets. Numerous references to this effect exist in various books of Muslim scholars i.e. Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thani and Mirza Mazhar Jane Ja’na. Unfortunately, however, like Christians and Jews who due to interpolation in their religious scriptures have deviated from the right path, the Hindu community has also deviated from the original religion that was nothing but Islam.

In short, India has been the cradle of Islam since time immemorial. The country, therefore by faith, is and shall remain the original homeland of Muslims.

India: A country of Muslims by virtue of their domicile
Unlike Hindus and Zoroastrians who completely destroy the dead body, either turning the corpse into ashes by placing upon a pyre and later throwing it into the rivers or by placing it on the Tower of Silence for birds to consume it, only Muslims bury the dead body into graves. Unlike them, even after death, a Muslim remains attached to the soil. Their graves remain intact. And as per Muslim’s belief, on the Day of Judgement, it is from these graves that they would be resurrected into yet another life. Though the dead body of Muslims placed beneath the earth also gets destroyed, it is from the remaining particles that their new existence would come into being. Thereby, Muslims’ physical relationship to the land would remain till the dooms day.

Contrary to this, the community that burns the dead body or feeds it to the birds cannot claim their physical relationship to India after death. And it is for this reason that we hardly find the vestiges of their ancestors at any place. However, the entire Indian subcontinent is dotted with graves and mausoleums that are zealously guarded by the Muslim community as remnants of their ancestors.

India: A country of Muslims by virtue of their spiritual belief
Contrary to Muslims’ belief, other communities living in India (especially Hindus) believe in transmigration of soul. According to Hindu Shastra, a human soul transmigrates and converts into other entity in order to receive reward and punishment. Therefore, human souls after death are converted (in accordance with their good and bad deeds) and given the shape of insects, birds, animals and even rebirth in the shape of human beings. However, the transmigration of a soul does not necessarily take place within the geographical boundary of his/her previous birth. Thus there is no guarantee that a Hindu soul dying on Indian soil will again take birth in India only. Therefore, according to this belief, a man who died in India can be reborn in America, Africa, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. Thus the relationship of soul and body is completely ruptured after death. Besides, the soul’s relation with his/her community, village, city, country is totally broken.

According to Muslim’s belief, the soul and body relationship (even though intangible) is maintained even after death. After death soul is kept intact in Alam-e-Barzakh, (Isthmus) where it receives reward and punishment in accordance with his/her good and bad deeds committed in the world. Though here also the soul and body relationship is superficial and intangible, there remains a distant relationship between these two. On the basis of this relationship, though distant and superficial, soul will rush to the grave and penetrate into remaining particles of the body--giving it a full fledged human shape. It is the same as when we leave our home and family, we still have some sort of relationship intact with them. Muslims, therefore, visit graveyard and pray for the peace and salvation of the departed soul. Does such emotional relationship exist with the dead man in communities that turn their dead into ashes and throw it into the rivers and oceans?

Burning a dead body, however, is like displacing or making a soul homeless. Burying it into the grave is like making a permanent home for the departed soul.

Thus for the departed soul of a Muslim, a grave is like radio station, which is connected with numerous centres, where messages are received and transmitted. 

Muslims association with the soil remains even after death
According to Islamic faith and its teachings, a day (Doomsday) will come when every living being will die. Those who had died earlier (their bodies converted into soil) will be resurrected and restored to their original shape. With their regained physical status, they will be consigned either to hell or taken to heaven (according to their deeds). Therefore, in the very land where a man is born, found nourishment and fulfilment of all necessities, he would continue getting benefited even after death. Contrary to this belief of the Muslims, Hindus hold a view that is just opposite. They believe that their souls come into contact with the bodies that are made from soil which is different from the previous one. After penetrating into new found body, the soul altogether forgets the previous one.

India: Muslims are its indigenous inhabitants like any other Community 
Like the Aryans, Greeks, Egyptians, Turks, Mongols et al who all have come to India from outside and have permanently settled in this country, Muslims too have made India their permanent homeland. Like others, they too have done cultivation, made it their permanent home and have rendered their valuable services in every walk of life. Like others, Muslims came a thousand years ago. Generations of Muslim have lived and died in this country and are thus an indivisible part of its history. It is an established fact that thousands of indigenous Indian inhabitants were attracted to the truthfulness of Muslims’ faith and embraced Islam. And today, the majority of Muslim population in India consists of the original inhabitants of this country. 

They and their generations will prosper in the same land where their ancestors have been buried for the centuries. 

Editor’s Note: The above is an edited version of a long article by the late Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani, translated from Urdu by Mohammad Anwer Hussain.

India our land & its virtues-II

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