600 AD: Prophet Mohammed shook the Arab world as he tried to transform the callous and selfish Amirs. At 23, he was behaving differently, much more mature and nonchalant than expected of his age in those times. At 40 he got revelation, preached virtues of honesty and truthfulness, liberated underprivileged slaves, preached equality and humanity to zahils. He left all riches, shun materialism, and meditated in caves where Gabriel (or a Guru lost in oblivion) guided him.
His life and preaching’s demonstrate striking similarity to the Sankhya concepts of Sanatan Dharma. After his migration to Madinah, contradictions in his principles and actions appeared, that remain a mystery. However, first let us examine the similarities in the two religions:
Symbol of Allah: Allah in Arabic and AUM are written almost the same way, except a 90-degree rotation clockwise. Such semantic errors can be investigated in view of the fact that we are talking of the illiterate world of 600 AD. Even Prophet was not literate though he was an intellectual. Anyway, if Arabs write from right to left and if AUM is written in this direction, we get exactly the same result as seen in symbol of Allah in Islam. from left to right or top to down, the relative movement of the writing will remain the same. The rotation by 90-degree could be an error or logical transformation to Arabic wiritng style, i.e. right to left. Such deviations do not change the concepts.
Not only the symbol of Allah and AUM are similar, but conceptual meaning is same as well. AUM is the symbol of Brahm, i.e universe and its creator ‘Para’. Meaning of Allah equals Brahm and Para. Therefore, not only the symbols, but also their meaning are similar.
Symbol of Crescent moon and star: These are included in Symbol of Allah and AUM both. They both connote to the metaphysical world and ‘Para’. These interpretations make logical sense. In AUM, The three curves emerging from common centre point represent three-dimensional physical world. But as Islam does not value materialism, same as Sankhyayog Hinduism, it only focusses on Crescent moon of AUM is same as in Islamic symbols of “Moon-Star”, which is aloof to material existences and represent metaphysical entities. The dot on top of AUM is same as ‘star’ in Islam, which represents the creator ‘Para’ which is aloof to both physical and metaphysical world.
Both Islam and Sankhya principles of Sanatan Dharma advocate formless God, one God. Both state that everything happens due to Brahm or Allah and thus recommend dedicating all actions to Allah or Brahm. Before we begin a good action, we invoke and pray Brahm or Allah. All this shows conceptual similarity.
Astounding similarities are found in the black stone of Kaaba and Shivaling. They look exactly alike and they both represent Allah and Brahm’s creation of universe (Refer to section on symbolism).
Several symbolic similarities are also visible in rituals and Karma-kand, such as chanting with beads (Tasbih in Islam), Circumambulation around Mecca Masjid (Altawaf) or temples in Sanatan Dharma, Holy water in Mecca same as Ganga or Kaveri waters. ‘Wudu’ or self-purification by ablution, entering Mecca Masjid with bald head, Al Halq and Al-Taqsir (similar to the concept followed in ancient Indian temples, and in some temples even today) wearing white clothes (like Hindu sects that were later known as Jainism and Buddhism and few other sects within Hinduism in south India). These similarities re not just coincidences, but continuance of previous traditions, and thus indicate common sourcing.
Both in Hinduism and Islam prostration to God’s is symbol of respect and submission to god. In Islam, while praying it is important to rotate neck. Although the reason for this could not be found, however it seems that rotating neck further augments the purpose of prostration. In Hindus, devotees perform prayer, bow down (Ruku in Namaz), prostrate in aarti (Sajdah in Namaz) and then rotate by 360-degree, which reminds worshipper that the God is not just in the idol, but all around us. A similar indication seems to exist when A Namazee, rotates his neck (Arabic?) to the right and to the left. Note rotation is the last activity towards the end in both religions. The physical movement of the prayers may be slightly different, but concept is same. Note the word Namaz, which is more common in India, Pakistan and Iran, has its root to Sanskrit word ‘Namas’.
Ignorant (or Zahils in Islam) are in the majority and they are deluded – a common concept in both Islam and Sanatan Dharma. Two types of believers are stated in Sanatan Dharma – driven by logic or illogic. The former is in minority while most are ignorant and have no capacity to understand logic – a message in Sanatan Dharma which advises people to introspect and educate themselves. Prophet Mohammed tried to educate Zahils and slammed them for their ignorant ways asking them to change their ways to a more logical and humane manner. .
Confession of Faith is called Shahada. Note its phonetic similarity to Shraddha, which has the same meaning. Shahada (or Shraddha principle in Islam) states “La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah.”There is no God, but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah”. Considering Allah as synonyms of Brahm, the concept totally matches. Allah is the Arabic version of Brahm, logically. “Om tat sad”- Brahm only is truth is the closest mantra to Shahada principle of Islam.
Idolism is seen as the main difference in Islam and Sanatan Dharma. But not really. Difference is that Sanatan Dharma does not believe in forcing people to follow one theory but allows ignorant or Zahils the flexibility to pray God in ways they feel comfortable, and able to feel His presence, even if it is through idols. Such believers are truly in Bhaktiyog, with unconditional faith, mechanically engaged in rituals, even if, under god fear or for ostentations. People think differently and give different importance to different virtues. If idols helps Zahils or ignorant to stay on path of Dharma, aligned within humane boundaries, then why not? At least such practices prevent them from becoming selfish animals. In Sanatan Dharma Virtues and science were symbolized as Gods. Even today, we use symbolism to indicate organization’s themes in logos, and in many scientific philosophies. Prophet himself installed idol of Hubal in Kaaba with the help of Amirs. Black stone of Mecca, which was set intact into Kaaba’s Holy Mosque by Prophet himself, is revered by Muslims. And for Salat or praying every one turns to Qiblah. All these are indication of idolism. Islam was never totally free from idols and symbols. All Islamic countries emphasize on public display of photos of their rulers. Unfortunately, during pre-Islamic pagan worshipping, idolism became ineffective. Arabs prayed idols yet indulged in illicit affairs, liquor, and gambling, wasting time and energy unproductively. Truth was not found and society was callous and inconsiderate. This is when Prophet might have asked Zahils to stop looking for God in the Idols, if it fails to moderate character and actions.
Meditation is an insignia of Sanatan Dharma, the entire world is aware of it. Mostly saints meditated in isolated ashrams in jungles or caves. Prophet also meditated in Hera Caves, from where he got connected to Gabriel. This part of prophet’s life does not find any similarity with Christian or Jewish tradition, and therefore it is highly possible that Prophet, must have got the idea to mediate by some eastern saint, who also happened to be his Guru or Guruvar (meaning teacher), which he or others called Gabriel, because Guruvar was a new term for people in Arab, but they could relate the term to better known Christian name Gabriel.
In one of the incidents in Quran and other Islamic scriptures it is said that while meditating in Hera caves Prophet was squeezed by the angel (Gabriel) suffocating him. And while he was about to breath his last, he got the revelation. Now, everyone knows about Pranayama, which involves process of inhaling holding, and then releasing slowly under guidance of a Guru. This is not an easy process due to self-induced suffocation which ultimately helps connect to supreme consciousness, where transcendental vision may be realized. This is a clear indication of Prophet’s connection to eastern Religions, Yoga and Pranayama in particular, which was explained and worded differently to Arab world, as they could not understand Yoga, in those times. Gabriel instead of Guruvar, and Squeezing instead of holding breath became the morphed versions. Kindly note Pranayama steps:
PURAKA is inhalation
RECHAKA is exhalation
KUMBHAKA is retention, which is further divided into
ANTAR KUMBHAKA, i.e. retention after inhalation, and
BAHYA KUMBHAKA, i.e. retention after exhalation.
Mecca had 365 idols. Now it is only the Hindu religion or Sanatan Dharma, where every day is assigned to a particular God that relates to specific virtue, quality, act or celebration needed for humanity. Every village or locality has its own deity as was the case in Meccan tribes. Yet, the same Pagan tradition had another parallel of Sankhyayoga which Prophet tried to emphasize, same as Lord Buddha did in 650BC, almost a thousand year before Prophet.
There are several other similarities, such as donations, fasting, egalitarianism, dresses, praying, and such concepts similar to what is mentioned in Srimad Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures of Sanatan Dharma. Although some of the practices and cultural in Islam can be credited to Jewish and Christian affiliation of Arabs in those times, however, fundamental concepts in Islam are very close to what Sanatan Dharma preaches.
While Islam and Sanatan Dharma, are similar in fundamental concepts, differences in practices are often attributed to the way Prophet Mohamed did and what is written in existing Uthmanic Quran. His original Quran was burnt and re-compiled by caliphates. Note that all stories narrating his benevolent behaviour, sanyasi character and ideologies belonged to his first 52 years, while most controversies transpired during his post 53 years of life. He spent 27 years with first wife Khadija, but post 53 he is linked to so many marriages, spoils of war, cocubines and slaves including his own daughter in law. These 180-degree turn in his life indicate to certain mysteries, which needs to be researched.