Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Maria Wirth
It shocked Hindus: a conference on 'Dismantling Global Hindutva', supported by 38 US universities. Speakers are the usual leftists mainly with Hindu names. And of all dates, it is scheduled from 10-12. September.
The title is brazen or is it just truthful? Do they say now openly what has been the plan since over 1000 years? The plan to rid the world of ancient pagan cultures? Inka, Maya, Egypt, Greece, Babylon… all are gone. Yet Hindus still exist. Hindus still chant Vedas in their mandirs, still celebrate festivals, still revere great personalities from past ages and even now take more pride in being Hindu thanks to the realisation that Hindu Dharma is most profound and the best of all options.
This must be painful for the enemies of Hindus. Christianity, Islam, Communism and their faithful followers may have felt that a clear sign is needed: Hindutva must be dismantled globally.
No difference between Hinduism and Hindutva
To obfuscate the issue, a distinction is being made between Hindutva (= Hinduness) and Hinduism. Hinduism is okay, but Hindutva is bad, as bad as ISIS as it also uses terror to achieve a Hindu Rashtra where minorities have no place, so it is claimed.
It's a lie. But media and the leftist academia rely on the ignorance of people and that a lie becomes truth if it is repeated often enough.
There is no difference between Islam and Islamism, and there is no difference between Hinduism and Hindutva, except that the fundamentals of Hinduism are inclusive and beneficial, whereas the fundamentals of Islam clearly divide humanity between good believers and bad unbelievers.
The media onslaught in recent years against Hindutva was unrelenting. RSS was compared with ISIS and Arundhati Roy hinted on Deutsche Welle in Februar 2020 that the genocide of Muslims by the Hindu-nationalist Modi government has already started. A research scholar from Italy asked me to reply to heavily loaded questions on RSS, for example "Why does RSS draw inspiration from Hitler?"
What can Hindus do against Christianity, Islam and the Left, all of whom drive the false narrative of Hindus being dangerous, and who have a military-style strategy to achieve their goal of dismantling the most benign faith and culture?
Hindus usually rely on 'Satyameva Jayate'…. Truth will triumph. But this doesn't mean that we should sit idle and not help truth coming to light.
Not wanting to be controversial
Unfortunately, Hindus seem to have one trait which their compatriots in the left and the converts to the Abrahamic religions don't share. It is the desire not to be controversial and to be nice to others, even if those others are not nice to them.
This trait developed due to their painful history when Hindus had to lie low in the face of brutal Muslim and Christian oppressors. Yet this trait continued after 1947 and this does not help India.
It's time to be clear and truthful, and we must not be afraid to call out the basic faults of Christianity and Islam in a proactive manner.
What are the basic faults?
The most prominent fault is that they got the nature of ''the one true God' or Creator very, very wrong.
Hindus, Christians and Muslims, all agree that there is one true 'God' or cause for this universe. In fact, Hindus claimed this long before Christianity and Islam. It can be assumed that this Vedic knowledge about the one Brahman was copied/ stolen by Christianity and Islam. This claim of one God is the positive aspect of the Abrahamic religions. They also tell their people, like Hindus do, to have faith and trust in a great God who looks after them if they are "good". This makes sense and would give children an anchor, if the clergy of those two religions had not made a huge error.
Their texts claim that the one true God is jealous, that he loves only their own group and hates Hindus and other Kafirs. And being 'good' means to believe in their book and to be nice to people from their own religion. Others are seen as inferior who will be rejected by God.
For Muslims being good also means to do Jihad and make the whole world for Allah (Q 9.29, 8.39) and for Christians it means to try by hook or crook to convert 'heathens' to save them from eternal hellfire.
Christianity is not any longer as blunt as Islam, but the same mindset drives them, too, like "We alone have the truth. God loves us. Unless 'they' accept our true religion, 'they' won't be saved. So let's help them and finish off their demonic pagan culture…"
This is unacceptable and of course not the Will of 'the one true God' whom Hindus call Brahman.
The Human Rights Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of many countries do not allow to demean anyone on the basis of religion. Yet Christianity and Islam demean all Hindus and others as Kafirs and pagans/ heathens and predict a terrible fate for them in future. Such attitude makes genocide possible.
Driving the narrative instead of being driven
Can Hindus for a change DRIVE the narrative, instead of being driven and of only reacting and defending?
Can we demand that Christianity and Islam drop untrue divisive dogmas and that these dogmas must NOT be allowed to be taught to children? For example, Hindu representatives could submit a petition to the UN or to the International Court of Justice demanding this. Can we, including well-known Gurus, support courageous people like Waseem Rizvi that many ayats in the Quran are indeed hateful? Or do we still have doubts if they are hateful? If so, please get a copy in a language you understand.
Or do we feel "Let Muslims sort it out among themselves"? Such attitude is in all likelihood cowardice and not some virtue.
Can the Hindu panellists call a spade a spade in TV debates and can we also, in talks with friends from different communities, dare to be controversial if truth requires it?
Those who support this conference need to realise that it doesn't pay to attack Hindus. And Hindus need to realise that we are alone in this. But we have a great advantage: we have truth on our side. The 'true God' is not a despot who wants to roast us in hell.
If only there were genuine debates, like in ancient times … Like between Adi Shankara and Mandana Misra. The Christian and Muslim representatives would have no other option but to accept Hindu Dharma, and the dark shadows of the Kali Yug would end.
Some day it will happen …
keywords: Hindus , Global Hindutva, Hindu, Hindutva, Abrahamic religions, Islam, Left, Christianity.
By- Khushi Bisht
The word ‘shirk’ comes from the Arabic word ‘asharaka,’ which means ‘to share’ or ‘to make someone equal.’ Shirk, according to Islam, is when someone or something is attributed to Allah as an equal companion, or when someone or something is linked to Him.
In Islam, the word ‘shirk‘ refers to the worship of someone or something other than Allah. Unlike polytheism (the worship of various divine forms), Islam proclaims stern monotheism (the belief in/ worship of one God) based on ‘Tawhid’ or ‘Tawheed’ (Oneness of God), which is one of the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and states that God is one.
Know about ‘Shirk,’ an indelible sin in Islam
Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world.
The Islamic belief that Allah is one – that none else compares to Him is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an (Verse: 42:11): “There is certainly nothing like Him. He is All-hearing and All-aware,” which affirms the wholeness and individuality of God. As a result, Islam is a monotheistic religion in which only one God is worshipped. Islam forbids the worship of idols, deities, and other beings.
The rejection or disbelief of this core principle is known as shirk, and it is deemed an unforgettable sin. ‘Mušrik’ is a term used to describe anyone who denies this belief or commits Shirk. However, shirk is divide into two types:
Major Shirk (Shirk Al-Akbar):
Major Shirk is a serious sin that expels the perpetrator from Islam’s folds. It has been identified as equating someone or something with Allah. Major shirk is when an individual assumes that other entities are also involved in the creation of the universe. This shirk may take the form of thoughts, expressions, or deeds. An individual commits major shirk when he practices polytheism and refuses that there is only one God. It is an act of open polytheism.
Minor Shirk (Shirk Al-Asghar):
This shirk does not make the person who commits it a nonbeliever or expels them from Islam. However, it is also severe shirk and involves anything that could result in major sin. It encompasses anything performed for the sake of gaining recognition, glory, or some other earthly desire. It’s a kind of covert polytheism.
Here’s how some people commit shirk in their daily lives:
Loving someone/something more than Allah- Most of the time we love our partners, kids, and other family members more than Allah. An individual commits shirk when he/she prioritize wealth, glory, or other material possessions above Allah and his commandments.
Fearing someone or something other than Allah- It is an act of shirk when a person expresses fear of another human being, perhaps because the individual might hurt them. However, we should have complete faith in Allah and have no fear of anyone but Him.
Seeking Assistance from Someone Else Than Allah- When people look for support and help from other individuals, they are implying that somebody is able of accomplishing tasks in the same way as Allah is. Since they are elevating somebody to the level of Allah, it is a kind of shirk.
Missing Salah (Namāz)- Missing and even delaying the prayer is a major sin in Islam. People who deliberately miss their prayer will be punished harshly in this world and other worlds to come.
According to Islamic leaders, shirk is related to our Akhirah (afterlife). We could suffer everlasting torment in the unquenchable fires of hell if we ignore and misinterpret it. This punishment is stated clearly in verse 3:151 of the Quran, “We will strike panic into the disbelievers’ hearts because they attribute partners to God although He has sent no authority for this: their shelter will be the Fire- how miserable is the home of the evildoers!” However, if we devote our lives to Allah, we will be assured of life in heaven.
Zakat is one of the five basic tenets of Islam. Zakat means purity. Thus, this implies that a man purifies his yearly earnings by giving away one part of it in the path of God. This further implies that man should understand that his earnings or his possessions are not a result of his own making but they are a bounty given by Allah. Thus, Zakat is, in essence, a practical acknowledgment of God’s bounties. And this admission is no doubt the greatest form of worship.
Payment of Zakat every year is obligatory, on every earning Muslim, at the minimum fixed rate of 2.5 percent per annum, on all wealth that is subject to growth. This amount is given for worthy religious causes ‘for the sake of God’ and for meeting the needs of the poor and the helpless.
Zakat management in India
Every year a considerable sum of money is donated in the name of Zakat in India. Have you ever wondered how much Zakat is being generated in India every year? Let’s assume that out of 15 million Muslims, only One Million contribute the minimum amount of Zakat for a lakh of rupees, which is Rs 2500. Even at these conservative figures, the amount comes out to Rs 25,000,000,000!!! And in reality, the actual amount is much more than this.
It leads one to wonder where all this money is being spent and by whom? According to sources, conservatively we can say that 80 percent of this amount is gobbled by the religious educational institutions. Fair enough, they have their expenses and need to be taken care of. But does this figure reflect in the quality of education imparted by them or the overall personalities of their students? No, not there, but in the style of living of their administrators!
Further according to sources this year most of the institutions that collect Zakat, are deducting 40 to 45 percent of the Zakat collected as administrative expenses, and these administrative expenses are completely unaccounted for. This leads us to surmise that our Zakat money is not being used properly and productively for the benefit of the Indian Muslims, to ameliorate their lot. Instead, it is being managed in an unsystematic, unprofessional, and individualistic manner.
Secondly, most of us consider giving out Zakat as a burden, not as a duty or as a contribution enjoined by Allah to spread joy and wealth within the community. Thirdly, Zakat collection has become a business and many institutes who collect and survive Zakat are doing it in a professional and unIslamic manner.
How to manage Zakat more productively
In the current scenario, it becomes incumbent on our religious scholars and leaders to ponder over this question. It would be prudent on their part to sit together and constitute a central Zakat Fund for the whole of India, with branches in every state capital and sub-branches in every big city and town.
Every Indian Muslim who has to pay Zakat should be directed to deposit his contributions in specified bank accounts managed by the Zakat Fund, which in turn should be managed by a committee of religious, community, and social leaders and professional accountants, and financial experts.
In addition, those who are not using banking or digital financial tools should deposit their Zakat in a box, which should be placed in every Masjid of the country, along with a box for contribution to the Masjid. These boxes should be opened quarterly and money deposited in the accounts of the Zakat Fund. The Imam and Mueizzins of the Masjids should be made responsible to manage these boxes and their contents. The Zakat Fund should pay the salaries of the Imams and Muezzins of the mosques, instead of them being disbursed by the respective state Waqf.
They should further be tasked to prepare a database of the needy and destitute in their locality and forward it to the state and central offices. This will engage the local Imams in the collection and disbursement of Zakat to the needy in their area based on real inputs. It will also empower them to handhold the families who are being given financial help, on how to better their life and circumstances and get out of poverty by pursuing education or a small business and other means to better their family situation instead of relying on community help for a lifetime. Once this starts happening in real terms, then we’ll find that the number of poor in the community has come down drastically, and instead once who were poor are now helping others.
The central committee of the Zakat Fund should oversee the total collections and their disbursement. First on the list should be the religious institutions, second destitute families and third would be community projects which would help the community in different fields like, education, medical facilities, scholarships, hostels, and educational expenses for the poor students and entrepreneurial seed funds for giving out loans to deserving individuals to start new ventures.
We can only imagine wishfully, if we have a Central Committee of committed elders who manages this money, then within a span of 2 to 5 years, we’ll be able to build a well-equipped hospital in every district of the country, a university in every state capital, a secondary school in every village, a degree college in every town and city and homes for destitute, widows, orphans and physically handicapped in every district of the country, to be used by every citizen of the country.
Personal Zakat management
Lastly, we should also discuss why most of us consider giving out Zakat as a burden. This is due to our own foolish thinking and money management and desire to get maximum benefit even for doing a good deed. A wrong perception prevails amongst most of us that Zakat should be given out in the month of Ramazan, as the reward for giving out alms in this month is 70 times more. Both these concepts are erroneous and unIslamic and have no mention in the Holy Quran.
So, to make our Zakat contribution easier on our pocket and also make it more fruitful, what we can do is to calculate our yearly Zakat and divide it by 12. This sum we should take out from our salary or business profits every month and keep aside and hand over to a needy as someone approaches us, instead of waiting for Ramazan. Remember, your Zakat for the next year becomes due as soon as the current year’s Ramazan ends, which means that you are continuously under obligation to the Almighty Allah to pay your Zakat.
These musings are just that of a common Muslim and are based on common sense and practical solutions. Let’s hope and pray that our community’s religious elders take heed of these ideas and suggestions. This will definitely make our community financially stronger and self-sustainable in a short time and also contribute to the welfare of our brethren in the country through institutions and programs managed by our Zakat Fund. Ameen. (IANS/SP)
(Asad Mirza is a political commentator based in New Delhi.)
Muslims in the United States say they feel blessed that the mosques are open for Islam’s holiest month, Ramadan, which ends on May 12.
Last year at this time, their doors were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with the rate of infections mostly decreasing across the country and millions of Americans receiving the vaccine, mosques are reopening.
For Muslims, who make up about 1% of the U.S. population, Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, fasting during daylight hours, and helping those in need.
Follow NewsGram on Quora Space to get answers to all your questions.
“Ramadan is still a little different,” said Amir Mohammed, originally from Ethiopia, who goes to a mosque in Alexandria, Virginia. Even with wearing masks, checking temperatures, and limiting the number of people in the mosques to about half capacity, “it is still a blessing,” he said.
Imam Naeem Baig, outreach director at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia agreed.
“People are so happy the mosque is open,” he said. “It gives them an opportunity to see each other and pray together — the feeling of community you can’t get by being at home.”
“I’m thrilled to be back in the mosque with the brothers and sisters,” said Imam Khalid Griggs, with the Community Mosque of Winston Salem, in North Carolina. “If Allah (God) wanted to take my soul right now, I would feel complete.”
During the past year, some mosques used technology to continue that sense of community. “We are still live streaming Friday’s nightly prayers on our mosque’s Facebook page,” Baig said.
Besides live streaming prayers, the Worcester Islamic Center in Massachusetts also holds popular virtual education programs for young people on topics such as what Islam says about the family.
When the mosque reopened, Imam Asif Hirani was surprised to see so many young people coming during Ramadan. They are “becoming more spiritual and attending prayers,” he said, “and asking me questions about prayer and charity.”
Some of the older generations are worried about getting infected with the coronavirus at the mosque, Hirani said, so they may not come.
Some people are concerned about getting injected with the vaccine, especially during Ramadan, the imams said. They say they encourage their communities to get the shot.
“We believe that medication is encouraged by the Prophet (Muhammad),” Baig said. Hirani elaborated: “There is a principle in Islam that human life needs to be preserved no matter what.” For Muslims who are concerned the vaccine could break their fast, it won’t, Griggs added, “because the vaccine is not going into the digestive system.”
Some things still have not returned to normal. Community meals like iftar, the meal after sunset to break the day’s fast, is largely not happening.
“I miss the fellowship of inviting friends and family for iftar,” said Imam Rafiq Mahdi, the co-founder of the Muslim Community of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the outreach director for the Islamic Circle of North America, a social services organization. “I miss the camaraderie and hearing the laughter of the children.”
But mosques and Muslim service groups have been able to engage in works of charity with social distancing, including packing boxes with food staples for the needy. Islamic Relief USA, a humanitarian organization in Alexandria, returned to its annual Ramadan food-packing event this year. In Los Angeles, Dallas, and Springfield, Virginia, volunteers packed boxes with items such as pasta, flour, and oil.
Susan Ahmed, a regional program coordinator for Islamic Relief USA, said the enthusiastic volunteers included people who were not Muslim. “The volunteers’ faith background makes no difference to us,” she said. The boxes were delivered to mosques, churches, and food pantries for distribution.
In Baltimore, Maryland, Fatima Ali said she is happy she can pray at the mosque again, but both the pandemic and the people who have died remain in the back of her mind.
Mahdi said the coronavirus has shown that sometimes things that people have no control over are going to happen. He called on Muslims to express their “gratitude to our creator for the many blessings” as they look to Ramadan as “a point of hope” that the pandemic will end soon. (VOA/KB)