Disclaimer: I respect all religions.
Great. With that being out of the way, let me get started.I don’t understand Hinduism. Studying in an Indian school for the first 8 years of my educational life meant that I had a lot of hindu friends but later on as I have moved on to a different school, that number has gone down by a huge margin. But I continued to have a few Hindu neighbours/friends and eventually even roommate/s.
Religion is a topic that a lot of people love to talk about and I happen to be in that list of people. Having spoken to my hindu friends, what I have noticed is that the hindu friends that I have had are borderline atheist. I am not saying whether this is a good or a bad thing — I am just saying this from personal experiences and conversations with them.
Also, many of them do not understand Hinduism. A Hindu friend said to me that one reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion [followed by Christianity], is because there are so much awareness being raised by Muslims [I think he means Dawah]; on the other hand nothing as such is being done by Hindus. Again, I have not researched whether this statement is true or not. These are just from personal conversations.
The Hindus I have lived with, have been extremely curious of Islam. My ex roommate whom I will mention just as V; said to me that it shouldn’t be surprising if people of other faiths convert to Islam in a muslim country because they can easily get influenced by the environment. He does have a point. But to change such a big part of your life isn’t just about environmental factors. Also, by that line of thought, it becomes difficult to explain why people in America convert to Islam. V also said that he finds Islam to be extremely logical. He loves how muslims have to pray five times a day at different times on the movement of celestial bodies.
V no longer lives with me as his family is set to arrive and his position has been taken by his friend C who is also a Hindu. C is far more religious than V and has quite a bit of knowledge about Christianity but in his own words, “..I don’t know anything about Islam much so tell me something…”. Where would I begin with?
“What do you want to know?”
“Anything…You shouldn’t even ask Yasin..you talk so much..”. Ouch. Fine. Speech is silver, silence is golden and speaking about my Allah is out of this world.
“We believe in Allah and there are 5 pillars of Islam — Shahadah, Slaah, Zakah, Sawm, Hajj.” Why was I shivering… Dawah isn’t easy.
C: “Who is Allah?”
Me: “..In English, translated as God. Our Creator. We just have one God [I don't know why I said this but maybe it was just that I was talking to a Hindu and the situation got the better of me]“
C: We have 33 crores Gods.
Me: Woah! Do you know all of them? [It was an honest question and not sarcasm or to poke fun].
C: No. But what I don’t get is this. Why do many muslims feel the need to talk about Islam and wish that people convert….why can’t we just stay.. You never see Hindus doing that.
Me: Live and let live concept? Sure, why not? Have I ever forced you to become muslim or spoken about Islam to you before today?
Me: Do I invite you to eat with us during iftaar and do I invite you to go out with us whenever we go out?
Me: Why do I even need to do that? As if you will die out of hunger if I don’t invite you to eat… But we are told in Islam to love for our brothers what we love for the self.. Not just muslim brothers, but brothers in humanity. Maybe that is why muslims invite others to Islam. Because we want the best for our brothers..now that we have the best for ourselves.
C: Hmm. But some muslims are so bad..they make fun of my religion sometimes in my office..
Me: In your previous room that you stayed with, did they ever invite you for iftaar? No. Your office colleagues make fun of your religion. Have we ever made fun of your religion? No. Look at my 5 fingers. They aren’t equal. Humans are all different in their own ways. Some good and some bad. And I am not calling myself good here. But judge the human by his human qualities and judge Islam by forgetting all about these human qualities. Don’t mix between the two.
C: Hmmm. Yes you are right.
Me: Tell me something about Hinduism…
C: I do not know much…
Me: And you still follow it?
C: I think there is a God but now a days I am not sure. I have got success and failures through my own actions.
Me: Perhaps through your own actionsbut that is over simplifying it. You can’t have such a narrow vision of the world. If you tell me that my mobile phone that has a 13 mega pixel camera has a creator but my eyes that have 576 mega pixels doesn’t have a Craetor… I am not buying it.
C: Wow our eyes are of 576 mega pixels?
Me: Yes! Isn’t the Creator amazing!
C: Hinduism is good maybe. I need to learn more about it. Its bad when people make temples and take advantage of other people. [Goes on a rant to badmouth temple authorities who favour the rich and not the poor and how they con people out of hard earned money. Talks a lot about Christianity too and is surprised to find that I know the stories of Noah, Moses etc...]
A discussion about Jesus dying for peoples sins and the miraculous birth of Jesus is discussed but may be that is for the next post.
I don’t even know why I wrote all this in a blog post… I just felt like writing. Also may be some people out there can write about how they give dawah and that could be of use to me inshaAllah.
Till the next time,