Roman & The Vedas
It’s been a while since I’ve updated some of you on my Da’wah escapades. The truth is, most of the conversations I have are quite similar to one and other since those who frequently visit the are stalls are usually Atheist, Agnostic or Christians. Well, that was up until a month ago.
On one Saturday as the afternoon was coming to close, myself and Ali managed to get ourselves into a deep conversation with a member of the public named Roman. You see, the conversation was an unexpected one. Why? Because he takes his faith from a very rare ancient religious order. His beliefs and practises originate from two ancient scriptures dating back four thousand years. FOUR THOUSAND YEARS! These scriptures are in Sanskrit, an ancient language that dominated large areas of the Indian subcontinent, like Latin which dominated most of Europe many years ago and Aramaic in the Middle East. These languages have become extinct. These two scriptures are part of the Vedas series, the religious texts in Hinduism, although Roman wasn’t a Hindu.
Myself and Ali were astounded by the complete level of Tawheed (monotheism) Roman was upon. You see, his scriptures teaches him that God is One, Mighty, outside of creation, Unique and unlike His creation. It teaches him the prohibition of idolatry. It encourages him to have high levels of love for humans and animals. It teaches him how to eradicate diseases of the heart and most importantly, it teaches him how to build a relationship with his Creator.
We were really impressed with his beliefs as they mirrored that of ours, Islaam.
So what do we do in this situation? What can you say to such a person with sound belief in his Creator? How do you invite him to Islaam?
By the Qadr of Allaah, it just so happened to be that I’ve had a similar experience with a close friend of mine who reverted to Islaam from Hinduism. He taught me about the many passages found in the Vedas discussing monotheism as well as the clear Prophecy of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him)
I went on to explain why Muslims follow the Qur’aan explaining the miraculous nature of it’s language and it’s inimitability, the challenge Allaah has set forth to recreate a single verse like it if you claim to be able to, the science in the Qur’aan, it’s historical accuracy, the numerous predictions that have gone on to become true exactly as predicted, the numerical accounts found in the Qur’aan and finally both the oral and written preservation of the Qur’aan.
I went on to enlighten Roman on the position of Islaam in respect to everything he told us about his faith, taking the time to explain what the Qur’aan teaches Muslims regarding the ancient Prophets and their Scriptures. I explained that Allaah informs us in the Qur’aan that every nation from the beginning was sent a Messenger as a glad tiding to recognise their Creator and to fulfill their purpose in life – to build a relationship with Him. That over one hundred and twenty thousand Prophets have been sent, but we have only been informed of a handful by name. These Prophets were sometimes given an accompanying scripture alongside their mission, and it could be that the Scriptures he is currently following were genuine Divine scriptures from God. I explained that if the scriptures are genuine like the Qur’aan, then it would have to contain the Prophecy of Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). Surprise surprise (or should we say lack of surprise), Roman testified that there was mentioning of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him).
Roman went on to ask some very specific questions regarding ethics and spirituality. He was concerned regarding the killing of humans and animals. He is obviously affected by what he sees in the media. So I went on to explain that Islaam teaches us the sanctity of life. The sanctity of life is protected by the Principles in the religion. The gravity of taking a life is literally as if you haven taken the life of the whole of humanity. Not humanity at the time of the crime, but humanity from the beginning of time till the end.
Roman is extremely principled against the killing of animals. These principles stem from his religious teachings. He argued that he is following a commandment from God found in his scriptures and it fits very well with his conscience. By the will of only Allaah, I only had this conversation about religious vegetarianism a few weeks earlier. I was determined to shed a different perspective. I explained that although it may be his religious teachings and his personal preference, Allaah allows us to slaughter certain animals to consume as long as they fulfill certain conditions. That there is a whole ethical system in Islaam which gives rights to humans and animals. The standard of rights is something which you can never find in any other religious teachings. These teachings were exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). The way we are instructed to slaughter animals ensures that the animal does not feel the pain.I went on to explain how the nerves which are severed reduces stimuli to the brain. Roman liked what he heard and acknowledged that the laws of vegetarianism may have been for those specific people, in a specific region for those specific times. I went on to highlight that as Muslims, although it is allowed to consume certain animals, the Prophetic example demonstrates to that indulging in any type of meat should in fact be a rarity. As Muslims, we ought to take heed from this example.
Roman started to enquire about the diseases of the heart. As humans, although we treat each other kindly, we often harbour ill feelings towards each other, for example – hate and envy. Roman wanted to know what Islaam teaches us. So I explained in a very summarised, yet comprehensive way, that as humans, our Creator has created us all differently with a range of tendencies. As Muslims, we view these as opportunities to struggle against for the sake of loving our Creator, which is hugely rewarding in itself. And for those who wish to come even closer to Allaah, He has provided to us Prophetic practices on how to overcome such feelings so that they are eventually eradicated from our hearts. Roman was impressed.
Roman’s final question was regarding intention for good. He didn’t like the idea that people are good to one and other for the reward of Paradise, He felt it was better to do this out of love for their Creator. I explained to Roman that Allaah has created us all differently. Some people are created to be more spiritually inclined than the other. Out of Allaah’s infinite Mercy He created an Eternal Home for us – Paradise. And because we are all different, some people need different incentives. For some people, the love they have for Allaah, their grateful nature and their yearn to see Him in the next life is enough to drive them to want to do good. For these people, their general actions will most likely lead them to the highest ranking with their Creator where they become ‘friends of Allaah’ and for them will be the highest level of reward, seeing their Creator unveiled.For others, they need the threat of punishment or the incentive of reward to drive their actions Roman liked what he heard as it made sense to him when it was broken down to him in this way.
In the end, I left Roman with some homework. As human beings, we have duty to ourselves to know the truth and submit to it when we find it. So if Roman believes that the Qur’aan is from God, is Preserved, that the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) is a Prophet (which be believed), and it says in there that Islaam is to supercede any previous scriptures and religions, and his research into his own scriptures reveals the Prophecy of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) and does not have any clear instruction informing him that his religion is meant to be for all time, then he has to accept Islaam as the way to get closer to God and attain true complete spirituality.
Roman agreed and took the Qur’aan and other literature.
Please remember Roman in your du’a. I believe he is on the path to find his Creator.
By Ghulam Haydar