Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
Indian as well as Western scholars have now accepted the period between 3200 and 3100 BC as the period in which Lord Krishna lived on earth. The birthday or Janmashtami of Lord Krishna fell on Friday, August 10, 2012 or yesterday. The day was celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm in India especially Mumbai.
Krishna is often described and portrayed as an infant or young boy playing a flute as in the Bhagavata Purana, or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita. The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being. The principal scriptures discussing Krishna’s story are the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana.
As the Muslim Times is a blog to foster Universal Brotherhood, I thought it is befitting to say something on this occasion, which is of great importance to a billion Hindus and which will bring the Muslims and the Hindus together in Universal Brotherhood.
So, today I want to especially share three writings with you. Firstly an article from the Huffington Post, by Qasim Rashid, author of The Wrong Kind of Muslim. The article is titled: The Honorable Lord Krishna: A Prophet Of Allah. It states:
Hindus worldwide will soon observe Krishna Janmashtami, a celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth. While many recognize the differences between Islam and Hinduism, few may appreciate that according to Islamic principles and Prophet Muhammad, Lord Krishna was a true Prophet of God.
The obvious question that emerges is that if the same God sent Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad, why do Islam and Hinduism have notable theological differences? Simply put, Islam only argues that the original core teachings of Hinduism and Islam are the same — the unity of God and the obligation to serve mankind. Furthermore, nothing in the Quran, Sunnah or Hadith declares that Lord Krishna was not a prophet. Thus, this short article offers nine points to consider — together — that Lord Krishna is a true prophet of God, a prophet whom Muslims also revere along with their fellow Hindu neighbors.
1. First, the Quran is the only ancient scripture that specifically mentions and praises other faiths. While the Quran mentions Jews and Christians specifically, in numerous places, likewise, it mentions Hindus in a group known as the Sabians. Sabians refer to non-Abrahamic traditions — Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, etc. Thus, recognition of Hinduism exists in the Quran.
2. Islam teaches six Articles of Faith. The Fourth Article of Faith is the belief in all of God’s prophets. This simple Article of Faith provides further credence to recognizing Lord Krishna as a prophet sent to the Indian subcontinent. Read further.
Allah created mankind and took it upon Himself to guide them, as He says in the Holy Qur’an, “Surely, it is for Us to provide guidance.” (92:13) Guidance and Law were given to every nation of the world through His Messengers, “And for every people there was a Messenger.” (10:48) “And there is a Guide for every people.” (13:8) “And We did raise among every people a Messenger.” (16:37) Thus the Qur’an affirms the truth of all the previous Revelations.
The Messiah of this age, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is also referred to as Promised Messiah. Paigham-e-Sulh (A Message of Peace) was his last written work. He wrote about Universal Brotherhood:
A religion which does not inculcate universal compassion is no religion at all. Similarly, a human being without the faculty of compassion is no human at all. Our God has never discriminated between one people and another. This is illustrated by the fact that all the potentials and capabilities which have been granted to the Aryans have also been granted to the races inhabiting Arabia, Persia, Syria, China, Japan, Europe and America. The earth created by God provides a common floor for all people alike, and His sun and moon and many stars are a source of radiance and provide many other benefits to all alike. Likewise, all peoples benefit from the elements created by Him, such as air, water, fire and earth, and similarly from other products created by Him like grain, fruit, and healing agents, etc. These attributes of God teach us the lesson that we, too, should behave magnanimously and kindly towards our fellow human beings and should not be petty of heart and illiberal.
For the complete text of the book click here.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani also claimed to be the second coming of Krishna. He writes in Lecture Sialkot:
Let it be clear that my advent in the present age is not for the reformation of the Muslims alone, but I have come to reform the people of all the three religions: Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Just as God has appointed me the Promised Messiah for the Muslims and Christians, so am I the Avatar for the Hindus. For the past twenty years or so, I have been proclaiming that just as I have appeared in the spirit of the Messiah son of Mary as for the purpose of removing sins which have filled the earth, so have I come as Raja Krishna—one of the greatest Avatars of the Hindu faith. In other words, I am the same person by virtue of spiritual reality. This is no fancy or speculation on my part. The God of heaven and earth has revealed to me, not once but a number of times, that for the Hindus I am Krishna and for the Muslims and Christians I am the Promised Messiah. I know that the ignorant Muslims, on hearing this, will immediately say that by assuming the name of a kafir, I have openly accepted disbelief. But this revelation is from God and I have no choice but to proclaim it. Today it is for the first time that I am announcing it before such a large gathering, for those who are from God are never afraid of the reproaches of faultfinders.
Let it be clear that Raja Krishna, according to what has been revealed to me, was such a truly great man that it is hard to find his like among the Rishis and Avatars of the Hindus. He was an Avatar—i.e., Prophet—of his time upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend from God. He was from God, victorious and prosperous. He cleansed the land of the Aryas from sin and was in fact the Prophet of his age whose teaching was later corrupted in numerous ways. He was full of love for God, a friend of virtue and an enemy of evil. It was God’s promise that, in the latter days, He would send someone, i.e., an Avatar, in his image. Hence this promise has been fulfilled with my coming. Among other revelations regarding myself, I also received this revelation:
‘O’ Krishna, slayer of swine and protector of cows, thy praise is recorded in the Gita!’
Hence, I love Krishna because I have come in his image. Another resemblance between the two of us is that the same qualities that have been attributed to Krishna (for instance, his being the destroyer of sin, the consoler, and the nourisher of the poor) are also the qualities of the Promised Messiah. From the spiritual point of view, therefore, Krishna and Promised Messiah are one and the same; it is only the regional terminology that is different. Read further.
If the Messiah of this age loves Krishna, all the Ahmadi Muslims love Krishna too and everyone else should as well. Long live the name of Krishna, an honored Prophet of God!