Hinduism in Ancient Arabia

18 May 15
Written by
Published in Sanatan Dharm

Hinduism is the most ancient code of ethics that's been followed in the world, the most ancient Dharma. Hinduism was not only limited to the Indian subcontinent. As a matter of fact, Hinduism has its firm footprints as far away as Europe and Africa.

From time to time various Hindu artefacts are discovered in various parts of the world. Hinduism was there prior to spread of Islam or Christianity and was the way of life in majority of the world. The pre-Islamic Hindu history of the non-Muslim West Asia appears to have begun at least 9,000 years ago and it continued for millennia, at last seeing extermination of its followers after Mohammad started spreading Islam, and with the destruction of the Hindu shrine of Kaaba.

Hinduism and vedic culture in Arabia

Sanskrit name of Arabia:

Prior to the advent of Muhammad, Arabia was centre of the vedic civilization. The word “Arabistan” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Arvasthan”, which means the land of horses. These people followed Hindu smritis and were called smritics. The people who lived in this land were thus called Semitic. Arabs (before Islam) followed the ancient Vedic Smritis such as Manu-Smriti as their revered religious guides and thus they were identified as Smritic which has been corrupted to the pronunciation - Semitic.

Language and literature of the area:

The language of the land was Sanskrit and it later gave way to Arabic. Many Arabic words have Sanskrit origin. All the four Vedas find mention in Arabic literature. Thousands of words that were derived from Sanskrit still survive in Arabic. Some poems have been written which mention Hindu rule in the area and also mention famous kings like Vikramaditya. In Sair-Ul-Okul there is a poem written by Jirrham Bintoi who praises India's great King Vikramaditya. A noted scholar of history, W.H. Siddiqui notes:

"The Arab civilization grew up intensively as well as extensively on the riches of Indian trade and commerce. Nomadic Arab tribes became partially settled communities and some of them lived within walled towns practised agriculture and commerce, wrote on wood and stone, feared the gods and honored the kings."

Idols of Hindu gods:

There were idols of many Hindu gods found in the area. Many of these idols were found in Kaaba which were demolished by Muhammad and his followers.

The Kaaba was a Hindu shrine that was captured by Muslims. The black stone which is a symbol of Lord Shiva is still found in Kaaba. According to encyclopedia Islamia Muhammad’s grand father and uncles were priests at Kaaba temple which had 360 idols. All other Vedic Idols could be found buried in the precincts or trampled underfoot in labyrinthine subterranean corridors if archaeological excavations are undertaken. In fact the names of the holiest of Muslim cities Mecca and Medina come from the Sanskrit words Makha-Medini which means the land of Fire-Worship. A poem written by Labi-Bin-E- Akhtab-Bin-E-Turfa, who lived in Arabia around 1850 B.C., mentions all four Vedas. This verse can be found in Sair- Ul-Okul which is an anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. It was compiled in 1742 AD under order of the Turkish Sultan Salim.

Condition of women

Women in vedic Arabia enjoyed a lot of freedom. Goddess Durga was worshipped by the people. Women were allowed to get education. They were financially independent and were free to choose their husbands. They were entrepreneurs, artisans, poets and even warriors.

Destruction of vedic deities by Muhammad:

The Kaaba had 360 vedic deities’ idols and was dedicated to worship sun god. At the centre of Kaaba there is octagonal pedestal of Bramha. Now it is called Maqam –e Ibrahim. Muhammad destroyed all 360 idols and looted the temple. Vedic ritual was to face the east while praying but Muhammad ordered to face west while praying. He considered idol worship against his religion so he made it a sin. Pagan Hindu prayers were done in lyrical way with music but Muhammad was so keen on curbing non-Islamic beleifs that he declared music haraam or a sin. Traditional accounts mention that one of the deities among the 360 destroyed, when the shrine was stormed, was that of Saturn, another was of the moon and yet another was one called Allah. In India the practice of Navagraha puja that is worship of the nine planets is still in vogue. Two of these nine are the Saturn and the moon. Right at the centre of the Kaaba is the octagonal pedestal of Bramha the creator.

Maqam-E-Ibrahim or more appropriately the pedestal of Brahma.

Lord Vishnu's footprints:

The ancient Vedic scripture Harihareswar Mahatmya mentions that Lord Vishnu's footprints are consecrated in Mecca. Worshipping such carved, holy foot impressions is a holy Vedic custom.

Reference to King Vikramaditya:

There is a reference to a king Vikramaditya in an inscription found in Kaaba in Mecca proving beyond doubt that the Arabian Peninsula formed a part of his Indian Empire. King Vikrama’s preachers had succeeded in spreading the Vedic way of life in Arabia. It could be that Vikramaditya himself had this peninsula named Arvasthan if he was the first Indian monarch to capture it and bring it under his sway.

Seven circumambulations:

The practice of taking seven steps- known as Saptapadi in Sanskrit- is associated with Hindu marriage ceremony and fire worship. The culminating rite in a Hindu marriage enjoins upon the bride and groom to go round the sacred fire four times. Since "Makha" means fire, the seven circumambulations also prove that Mecca was the seat of Indian fire-worship in the West Asia.

Even now Muslims do the seven circumambulations. Muslim pilgrims visiting the Kaaba shrine go around it seven times. In no other mosque does this perambulation prevail. Hindus invariably perambulate around their shrines. This is yet another proof that the Kaaba shrine is a pre-Islamic Shiva temple where the Hindu practice of perambulation is still meticulously observed. The only difference is that Muslims move anti-clockwise.

Sanskrit synonyms

In Sanskrit language Allah, Akka and Amba are synonyms. They signify the supreme goddess or mother. The term ‘ALLAH’ forms part of Sanskrit chants invoking goddess Durga.

Unani medicine:

The identity of Unani and Ayurvedic systems shows that Unani is just the Arabic term for the Ayurvedic system of healing taught to them and administered in Arabia when Arabia formed part of the Indian empire. Unani medicine is more or less derived from the Ayurveda.

Recital of the Namaz five times:

Islam jumbled up the Sanskrit words Nama and Yaja which meant "bowing and worshipping" respectively into a combination word Namaz. He used that word to describe his prescribed method of prayer. Recital of the Namaz five times a day owes its origin to the Vedic injunction of Panchmahayagna (five daily worship- Panch-Maha-Yagna) which is part of the daily Vedic ritual prescribed for all Hindus. Because the Vedic custom was to pray facing the East, in its aversion for all things Pagan/Hindu, islam directed its followers to pray facing only the west when in Mecca.

Sanskrit inscriptions:

Encyclopedias tell us that there are inscriptions on the side of the Kaaba walls. At least some of these inscriptions are in Sanskrit, and some of them are stanzas from the Bhagavad Gita. Many of these inscriptions were destroyed by followers of Muhammad. But relics of some exist even to this day.

Meaning of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr’:

In India, Hindus commemorate their ancestors during the Pitr-Paksha that is the fortnight reserved for their remembrance. The very same is the significance of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr’ (worship of forefathers). There is strong evidence that this festival was encouraged from the Hindu practice of Pitr pooja.

Mosque over buried Hindus:

Islam showed utter contempt for the souls of dead people. Muhammad had a mosque constructed on a place having dead bodies of Hindus. Through the ages, Muhammad's followers would preserve this tradition of desecration of non-muslim graves and emulate his example devoutly by consistently building mosques on graveyards on top of destroyed places of worship. This act of desecration was followed by innumerable raiding expeditions and the successive history of loot, plunder, rape and destruction that Islam and its founders went on to create in Medinah.

Prophet of Islam attacked Kaaba

Prophet Muhammad turned to the idols housed in and around the temple. Each one of the sacred idol was dragged down and stripped of the rich jewels and gems that ornamented them. Then he set all broken idols on fire. There was the idol of Lord Hanuman at the top of the temple. This image of Bahubali was dragged down from the roof, and the saffron flag that it held was trampled into the dirt by the Holy Prophet. The icon itself was buried in the sand and used as a doorstep. The only idol that Muhammad spared was the black stone known today as "Sangey Aswad", which was a Shivlinga. The only reason this was spared is that, it was the family deity of Muhammad's clan. Muhammad's own uncle, Umar-Bin-E-Hassham was a staunch Hindu and fervent devotee of Lord Shiva. He was a renowned poet and wrote many verses in praise of Lord Shiva. His verses are included in Sair-Ul-Okul. The Encyclopedia Islamia admits : "Muhammed's grandfather and uncles were hereditary priests of the Kaaba temple which housed 360 idols!"

The Shiv Ling at the Kaaba. It was broken in seven 
places and now is held together by a silver band.

The Temple of Dhu-l-Khalasa:

This temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva, Dhu-L-Khalasa stood for "The One of Kailash". It was situated in Yemen. The Prophet's helper Jarir set out with a force of 150 cavalrymen from the Ahmas Tribe. In Jarir's words: "We dismantled it and burnt it to the ground and killed whoever was present there." Plenty of valuables were robbed. The beautiful statue of Dhu-L-Khalasa (Shiva), a white piece of marble in which a crown was carved, was used as the stepping stone under the mosque at Tabala.

The Temples of Fils & Ruda in Tai:

Ali Bint Abi Talib went to the Temple of Fils to destroy it by order of Muhammad. He took 200 horsemen with him. Ali tortured and murdered many people present there. This Temple contained images of the Mother Goddess. Ali obtained two swords from the temple, one named Rasub and another called Makhzam, both swords were extremely valuable. The Temple of Ruda was looted and destroyed. It was dedicated to Lord Rudra (Shiva) and contained a beautiful jet black Shivling. The Shivling was smashed into its base and the temple razed.

According to historian Sitaram Goel:

"The conquest of Mecca by Muhammad was the most significant event in the history of Islam. The success of the enterprise settled the character of Islam for all time to come. The principal lessons are two: The first is that Muslims should continue resorting to violence on any and every pretext till they triumph; setbacks are temporary. The second lesson is that Islam should refuse to coexist or compromise with every other religion and culture, and use the first favourable opportunity to wipe out the others completely so that it alone may prevail."

Practice of shaving the head:

As the pilgrims now proceed towards Mecca for Hajj they are told to shave head and beard and to don a special sacred attire. This consists of two seamless sheets of white cloth.

One is to be worn round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Both these rites are remnants of the old Vedic practice of entering Hindu shrines, clean shaven and with holy seamless spotless white sheets.

With Islam came the flood of destruction, murder, plunder and crime that destroyed the great Vedic heritage of Arabs. Archaeological research has resulted in discovery of historic sites in other Islamic countries like Afghanistan that prove its close religious-cultural affinity with Hindu India. References to Afghanistan, its rivers and towns are found in Rig Veda. Even Syria is said to have a Hindu past, so much so that it derived its name from Surya or Sun. So, we can conclude that the whole west Asia and Arabia had strong links to the Hindu culture which were snubbed by the later Muslim rulers. The destruction of Hindu/Pagan and other non-islamic relics of the past continues to this day.


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