Since nomadic age environment influenced the life of people, their customs and traditions. It is relevant today also. Environment is the cumulative effect of geographical, social, economic, and political conditions that prevail in any area. Whenever significant changes take place in the environment the beliefs and practices also undergo change, become out dated and need to be replaced.
Something that may be good for the Indian environment may not be congenial on other side of the globe. Similarly whatever could be suitable to people of other countries need not be acceptable in India. The Americans drive on the right side of road while in India we keep left. Both are right within their respective environment but if they cross their area, accidents and clashes will occur.
Need for food motivated men to hunt, cultivate, to augment the resources for living. Many often over-grown groups entered the territories of other groups, resulting in wars. Docile groups adapted the environments of the new area, while hostile groups forced the local environment to change.
By and large Hindus had continued to live more or less in the same environment. Himalayas had cut them off from rest of the globe in the North and sea from the other directions. Over the period they became oblivious to the changes that were taking place in the neighboring areas. Hindus had turned idealists, collectively introverts, and indulged more in spirituality or pleasures. They had shut their eyes to the political upheavals that were taking place in the neighboring areas. They did not realize that death and destruction were knocking at their door.
Segmentation of Hinduism
Certain environmental changes had given rise to Buddhism and Jainism. Both religions laid stress on non-violence (Ahimsa) and simple living. Because of over commitment to Ahimsa, powerful kingdoms neglected preparations for war, that was otherwise necessary for defending the country and Dharma. They over looked the fundamental military doctrine, that much often-offensive action was the best form of defense. The governance became decentralized, weak, and vulnerable to attacks from ferocious tribes that were being marshaled in the neighborhood.
India had been a land of plenty. Hindus were contented people who believed in live and let live. They never conquered any other country and allowed the outsiders to merge and co-exist with them. Due to over spiritualism, people did not undertake journey across the sea and started neglecting business interests. That resulted in transfer of business to the Arabs. India was not having even good horses for domestic use and for cavalry in battlefield.
Rise of Islam
A little distance away, but in a different environment a storm was building up when Prophet Muhammad ‘inspired’ his wild, bloodthirsty and mutually warring followers to capture all the world and spread the ‘Word of Allah’ from North Pole to South Pole. The newly formed enthusiastic followers thrust their way forward in all directions where people were busy with their own lives in more civilized manner. They had no idea of the ruthlessness and savagery that had gone into the brainwashing and indoctrination that made a Mohammedan, till the barbarians had actually pounced upon their lands and families.
Muhammad proclaimed himself the only representative of God and sought absolute adherence from his followers to the dictates of his faith. They were not to question the rationale behind any of his verdicts. In return they were assured of ‘equal’ treatment within Muslim brotherhood and self-proclaimed right to wipe out those who did not subscribe to their faith in the name of Allah, the Supreme Power. The concept of live and let others also live was to their thinking. They believed in living and not allowing others to live.
Commandments for Terror
In the name of God (Allah) Muhammad strengthened his personal hold over the Arab supporters such through following dictates:-
- You who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) and the Book (the Qur’an) that He has sent down to His Messenger (Muhammad) and the Scripture (the Message) that He sent down to those before (him). Any (person) who denies Allah, His angels, His Books, His messengers, and the day of the Judgment, then he has gone far astray. (4.136)
- In order that you (O people!) may believe in Allah and His Messenger and that you may help and honor Him, and celebrate His Praises morning and evening. (48.9)
- It is He who has sent His Messenger with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it (Islam) over all religions: and all Sufficient is Allah as Witness. (48.28)
Muhammad commanded his supporters to take on the non believers in the name of god:
- “(Remember when) your Lord revealed (the Message) to the angels;” Verily, I am with you: give strength to the believers: I will bring about terror in the heart of the disbeliever: so you strike above their necks and hit hard over all their finger tips and toes.” (8.12)
- This is because the stood against Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad): and if any stand against Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), Allah is strict in punishment. (8.13)
- Prepare against them all of your strength, as much as you can, including the (strong) horses of war, to strike fear into His enemies and yours, and others besides them, whom you may not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in Allah’s cause shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly. (8.60)
- Thereafter when you meet the unbelievers (in battle), strike hard at their necks until you have completely defeated them. Bind the captives firmly. When the war lays down its burdens (and ends), (then is the time for) either kindness or negotiation. Like this (you are commanded); if it had been Allah’s Will, He could have ordered their execution; however in order to test you, He lets some of you fight with others. But He will never let the deeds (of) those who are killed in Allah’s way be lost. (47.4)
- Be not tired (and timid), and faint-hearted crying for peace, when you should be at the very top; Allah is with you, and (He) will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds. (47.35)
Muhammad promised them with morale raising allurements in Heaven:-
- But (now) enjoy what you have as booty in the war (as far as it is) lawful and good; but fear Allah: Certainly Allah is often Forgiving, Most merciful. (8.69)
- And (He will) admit them to the Paradise that He has declared (especially) for them. (47.6)
- But those who disbelieve and (reject Allah) – for the awaits misery and destruction and (Allah) will make their deeds useless. (47.8)
- Surely, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Paradise beneath which rivers flow: while the disbeliever will enjoy (this world) and eat as cattle eat: And Fire will be their home. (47.12)
- Prophet! Prepare the believers to battle (against aggression). If twenty of you are steadfast, they will defeat two hundred. If one hundred of you are steadfast, they will defeat a thousand disbelievers, because these are the people without understanding. (8.65)
- There was total prohibition on having any relationship with non believers:
- And do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe; and indeed, a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she (may) allure you. And do not marry (your girls) to non believers until they believe; A slave man who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he (may) allure you. Non believers (only) call you to the Fire. But Allah calls (you) by his Grace to the Garden (of Joy) and Forgiveness, and makes His Sign clear to the mankind that they may celebrate His Praise. (2.221)
Muhammad left his last sermon a few months before he passed away, like this:
- No prophet or messenger will come after me, and no new religion will be born…O people and understand the words that I convey to you. I am leaving with you the Book of God (the Quran) and my Sunnah (life style and behavior)…you follow them.
Legitimized killing of non-Muslims
Thus with that kind of spiritual dictate and mindset Islam conquered the world with sword. Jihad was enshrined as the highest duty for a Muslim that religiously legitimized killing of non-Muslims. As per Islamic theologies, if a Muslim went to Kaaba for pilgrimage, he was titled Haji, but much higher titles were available to him if he slit throats of non-Muslims. He could be a Ghazi and was ‘assured entry to the Muslim Heaven where seventy-two beautiful women would be attending on each Muslim Ghazi to satisfy their wildest fantasies’.
Destruction of Civilizations
One by one civilizations, nations and countries fell before the sword of Islam held by fanatics who initially happened to be simple illiterate shepherds and camel breeders. Initially no country could escape death and destruction hurled by such predators on an unprecedented scale. In all the Muslim occupied lands bloodshed ended only when the last inhabitant converted to Islam or agreed to live like a humble pie.
All over the globe, wherever Muslim conquerors went they massacred the non-Muslims, and destroyed their language, literature, culture, places of worship and above all, the signs of their identity. The left-over of vanquished population either fled to inaccessible areas, or were enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam.
Only Hindu India Stood Up
While in other parts of Asia and Europe, the vanquished nations quickly opted for conversion to Islam rather than death; scenario was different in India than elsewhere. India had been a great civilization centuries before Muhammad was born. In India, because of the staunch resistance from the Hindu faith, it turned out to be a determined struggle between life and death. Though entire cities were burnt down and their populations were massacred, yet Hinduism resisted and survived the Islamic onslaught.
Chand K Sharma
(Next: Splashes 59/72 – Advent of Islam in India)