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India our land & its virtues

(Continued from: India our land & its virtues-I)

A question, why do Indian Muslims maintain strong relationship with the Muslims of other countries? And why do Muslims residing in India cry whenever Muslims are persecuted in other parts of the world? A simple answer to these questions is: according to the teachings of Islam, Muslims are an Ummah ( a Community of Believers). Their relationship is the bond of spirituality that springs from their faith and religion. It is thus quite natural that Muslims of one country would express their solidarity with the Muslims of another country. It is exactly same as the relationship Indian Hindus have with the people of their faith residing in South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius etc. When Hindus in Fiji are persecuted, people residing in India become restless. If Muslims are emotionally tied up with their co-religionists in other countries, it does not affect their patriotism and love for their own motherland.

India: The Land & Its Excellence
In this article, an effort has been made to highlight the importance of India in the light of the Hadith (Prophet’s sayings) and precepts of the Prophet’s companions. The main source of this write-up is the book entitled ‘Subhatul Marjan Fi Asare Hindustan’, written in Arabic language by the celebrated Islamic scholar Allama Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgrami. In the first chapter of this book which consists of twenty pages, he discusses various Hadith and Tafaseer (exegeses) dealing with the excellence and importance of India. 

Undoubtedly Makkah, Madina and Jerusalem are the holiest cities for entire Muslim community of the world. As per Islamic tenets, no place is more sacred and revered to Muslims than these places. It is, therefore, obligatory on every Muslim to respect and revere these holy places. But the Islamic traditions also teach us that our country, India is a fountainhead of many great virtues.

According to the sayings of the Prophet’s companions such as Caliph Hazrat Ali, Ummul Momineen Hazrat Ayesha, Adam, the first human being and the first Propeht of Islam sent on earth, descended on Sarandeep island (now situated in Ceylon). Hawwa (Eve) descended somewhere in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Both, first ever inhabitants of earth, remained separated for quite some time. Wandering through the island and crossing through India, Adam reached Jeddah. And eventually their long drawn separation came to an end. Adam and Hawwa (Eve) met each other at a place called Muzdalifa (meaning meeting point in Arabic). At this place, it is obligatory on Haj pilgrims to stay put and spend one night to revive the memory of Adam and Eve’s rendezvous.

According to a tradition of Hazrat Ayesha, a red hillock had existed then at the place where now the holy K’aba stands. Adam received commandment from Allah to construct a Mosque at the same site and perform circumambulation of the mosque in the way he had witnessed angels circumambulating the Baite Ma’mur (Throne of Allah) in the heaven. Adam obyed Allah’s commandment, constructed the mosque and prayed.

After offering prayer Adam took Eve along with him, came back to India and permanently settled here. And it is from India that the progeny of Adam and Eve spread throughout the world. The incident of Habil (Abdel) and Qabil (Cain) (first ever assassination of human soul on earth) had also taken place on Indian soil. After this tragic incident, Allah blessed Adam with another son, Shish (meaning gift form Allah)

Ayodhya is a place near Faizabad which is considered the birth place of Rama, a holy place for Hindu community today, where also exists a long grave. This grave is said to be the burial place of Hazrat Shish (Allah knows the best).

It is said that Adam performed nearly forty Hajj from India, travelling on foot. Beside this he had performed seven hundred Hajj and Umrah while residing in Mecca.
India’s prominence can be now summarised as under:

(1) Since India is the place where Allah’s first Caliph (Vicegerent of Allah) descended, it has acquired the status of the first capital of entire humanity.

(2) Being the Vice Regent and the Prophet, Adam used to receive angels and revelations from Allah. Therefore, India acquires the status of being the first land where human soul ever received the enlightenment.

(3) It is India where the angel descended for the first time and thus it is this land that has the honour of receiving the first revelation of Allah.

(4) Adam’s body had been created from the clay of ‘Wajni’ area. Researchers have opined that the place Wajni used here refers to a place in India. Therefore, the distinction of a Prophet’s mortal body created by earthly clay also goes to India. Since Adam is the progenitor of human beings on earth and his mortal being was created from the Indian soil, the mortal bodies of all Prophets and holy men have been created from this earth.

(5) The soul of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had been created before Adam in the Heaven. This pious soul had to appear on earth in physical form by passing through the most pious souls of succeeding generations. This pious soul ultimately appeared on the horizon, in Makkah, Arabian Peninsula. Since Adam and his son Shish had resided in India, the soul of Prophet Muhammad received nourishment from the Indian soil as well. The couplet of Kab bin Zahir, the famous poet and companion of the Prophet, in praise of India is important and noteworthy here.
Undoubtedly the Prophet (pbuh) is the light, a source of enlightenment. 

He is like a naked sword, of Indian make.
(6) Hazrat Abu Huraira narrated this Hadith from Prophet Mohammad that to console Adam, Allah had sent angel Gabriel to Adam. When he met Prophet Adam, he recited: 
Allaho Akbar Allaho Akbar, Ashahado An la Ilaha Illallah, Wa Ashhado Anna Mohammadur Rasoolullah.
The recitation was the same as in Adhan (call for prayer) today. When Adam (pbuh) heard the name ‘Mohammad’, he inquired: O’ Allah! Whose name is this? Promptly came the reply: He is the one from among your progeny, who would be the last Prophet of humanity. (Tabrani, Abu Naeem, Ibn-e-A’skari).
From this tradition, it becomes clear that the descent of Gabriel on earth, the declaration of unity of Allah and His Greatness and the proclamation of Mohammad’s prophethood for the first time was made on the Indian soil, which fortunately today is our motherland.
(7) It was reported by Hazrat Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas and Hazrat Ali that India has the largest varieties of flora because Adam first descended from Heaven on the Indian soil. It is a fact that cardamom, clove, kewra, rose, cinnamon, camphor, jasmine, strawberry, ambergris, saffron and all types of such products are found only in India. Musk and ambergris find their mention in various traditions of Prophet (PBUH). Therefore, it’s quite clear that Allah has bestowed all kinds of food grain, cereal and plants upon the land that was inhabited by Adam, the first human soul on earth.
Prophet Adam had lived in this world almost for one thousand years.

It is not necessary today to stress upon the importance of iron and iron industry in both war as well as peacetime. Today we find the pivotal role and use of iron in every walk of human life. The importance of iron has been described in the following verses of the holy Quran:
Wa anzalna hadid fiha basun shadeed wa manfeh linnas.
‘And we sent down Iron, in which is great might, as well as many benefits for mankind (Sura Al-Hadid or Iron, J. 27 A.25)’

In addition to iron as stated above, gold, silver, diamond and other metals and precious stones etc. were gifted to India in abundance. Arts and crafts, textiles, cloth weaving, building and construction, ship building activities etc. had all started in India right from the time of Adam who lived in this world for almost a thousand years and died in India. Hazrat Nooh (Noah) had spent his initial days in India and built his ark here. India, however, was safe from the great flood during his time. 

In the light of the above Islamic traditions, it becomes quite apparent that importance of India can’t be denied from religious point of view. The question is: what are the duties of people residing on Indian soil? In other words, what is the demand of India from its citizens like us? The answer is the same that Palestinian Muslims have given to the Jews. The country demands that people should work hard to make it prosperous and defend it at the time of aggression from the foreign forces.

After this, it is imperative to conclude this article with the observation of Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri. It might be a repetition but nevertheless it is worth it. I am reproducing here a passage form his presidential address at the session of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind held at Peshawar. He had said: "I want to make it clear that India is homeland of Muslims and Hindus alike. The ancestors of Muslims had come to this land centuries ago and ruled for a long time. They love this country as much as other communities do because it was prophetic tradition to love ones’ own country. 

Thus Muslims love India from the core of their heart. Similarly other fellowmen of Muslims inhabiting this land should naturally love their homeland as much. 

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