Thursday, 5 March 2015


One of my friend commented in the following manner. He wrote:

“(1) This Hadith clearly says Christians, Jews and Idol worshippers will be sent to Hellfire.
(2) I read a collection of Hadith, i.e Prophet's sayings on this website ( ) . I found so many similarity between Prophet's teachings and the teachings of my own religion. I liked most of the Prophet's sayings on that page and agreed as well. Bcz in those sayings he did not talked bad about people of other religions. But frankly, when I read Quran I find so many violent verses against idolaters, other religious people like they will be sent to Hell, will be punished eternally etc. That is what confuses me. When I read Quran I feel like it's written by someone who is very busy sending people of other religions and idol-worshippers to hell.
(3) Below Hadith also confirms Non-Muslims will be sent to Hell: Imaam Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi report from Abu Salih from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said: "On the Day of Resurrection a neck will stretch forth from Hell; it will have two eyes to see, two ears to hear, and a tongue to speak. It will say, "I have been appointed to take care of three types of people: every arrogant tyrant, every person who called on some deity other than Allah (swt) and those who made pictures"
(4) Al-Baqarah 2:221 also prohibits Muslim women to marry polytheist men.
Following verse also confirms Non Muslims will be sent to Hell: [The answer will be]: "This is because, when Allah was invoked as the Only [object of worship] you did reject Faith, but when partners were joined to Him, you believed! The Command is only with Allah, All-High, All-Great!" (Al-Ghafir40:10-12)
(5) You can check this site:
(6) Reason I ask you is that your writings make sense to me. I don't ask such questions to Hindus bcz most of them don't know reality. They just mix Truth with Untruth.
(7) I read many of your articles but I'm still unable to understand who are the exact people destinated to Hellfire in Quran? Are they who spread superstitions? When I read Quran on many websites, I find it says idol worshippers like Hindus, anyone who do not believe in One God, will be sent to Hellfire. EVERY website I visited says the same thing. Only you're the first person I met who says me Hindus will not be sent to hell.
(8) I've so far read articles on 40-50 sites but ALL of them say all Non-Muslims will be sent to Hellfire that too eternally. But you're the first guy I met who says it is not so.
(9) I don't want to hurt you. This diffference of opinion confuses me.”

MOHAMMAD ALVI writes from here! There are several questions that need explanation. There is no doubt that Quran tells idol-worshippers (those who associate anyone else with Allah) will be sent to hell-fire. This has been said time and again in Quran. But I must say, this statement needs explanation as there are certain other things that need to be understood.

The first thing that needs to be understood is regarding the identity of Allah itself. I have seen people who claim Allah is a Muslim God. Some say Allah is a false god created by Muslims whereas the god of the Hindus (the god of Jews and Christians, as per some other people) is the true god. Let us know who is Allah?

The concept of one Absolute God is present very much in Gita, Upanishads and Vedas. The earliest of all divine scriptures is truly the Vedas. Vedas too are talking about one Absolute God and are identifying Devatas as agents of that God. This Absolute God has been described by the Upanishads as all-pervading, without attributes or form, all-knowing God. He has been referred to as Ishwar or Mahesh. Gita has referred to this Absolute God in third person with ‘He’ whereas Paramatma (Manifest Self) is talking in First Person with ‘I’, ‘We’ or ‘Me’.

The Vedas talk about this Absolute God but also defines Devatas as Divine Lords or agents entrusted by God with a particular task. Their task, we find, is to be torchbearers for mankind and lead it towards the point of salvation. They have been described as rope to connect Atma (Self) with Paramatma (Manifest Self of God). Zulmat (Tamas or Darkness), whose agent is Satan, on the other hand, wants mankind to remain digressed so that mankind never identify those who are path-leaders; in this way, Satan wants mankind to continue remaining on earth, birth after birth.

Whenever and wherever the Devatas were introduced, Zulmat tried to divert and digress the teachings. Every time people moved away from intended path, new avatars or prophets were sent to remove the deviations and lead us back to the original teachings of the straight path. This continued to happen in all ages and in all regions of earth.

Manifest Self introduced Devatas through Vedas as well. But people of yore who claimed Vedas to be their sacred book, started worshipping the Devatas, so much so that different Devatas were worshipped on different occasions; at times, one family worshipped one Devata and the other worshipped the other. Images and statues of Devatas were created, rumours and canard were circulated regarding their identity and as a consequence several myths got into circulation.

Eventually what happened was that the Devatas, who were supposed to be like rope, whose purpose was to lead from one point (on earth) to another point (in heaven) and were to be the link from one destination to other became destination in itself. People started worshipping them and forgot that the God, who was the creator of the Devatas themselves, was to be worshipped.

This was the situation which necessitated coming of another avatar – Krishna. Krishna told the people about the real status of Devatas and held Paramatma and Absolute God above the Devatas. He even said that Vedic knowledge was like a pool of water which is swallowed by the waves of sea. He endorsed the role of Devatas in providing food or rain or as leaders of heaven but ridiculed their worship and instead, wanted people to worship the Manifest Self or Absolute God. This has been said clearly in the Gita.

This irritated the people of the time who were supposedly learned people of their time. The likes of Bhishma Pitamaha and Dronacharya instigated Kauravas to fight the ‘dharam yudh’ (religious war). Krishna made it clear that those on the other side i.e. those with pseudo-beliefs regarding teachings of Vedas were worthy of being killed. He said they were already as if dead and if Arjuna would kill them, he would merely perform a formality.

It is unfortunate that Hindus today blame Muslims and Quran for being against idol worship. Where is the sanction to idol worship in Hindu scriptures? Nowhere! None of the scriptures considered divine by Hindus give sanction to idol worship. On the contrary, what we find is that when people of Krishna’s time had started worshipping Devatas as gods, Krishna not only fought with them but also made it clear that all such people were worthy of being killed. It is unfortunate that Hindus of today see everything, be it the temples of Khajuraho, be it the worship of an idol of Saibaba and be it the spiritual teachings of Gita as one and the same.  The truth, however, is that Gita wants its adherents only to worship the God and nothing else.

Islam and Quran too called shirk (associating anyone else with God) as the biggest sins and called idol-worship as a sin. During the course of my study till now, I have seen no mention whatsoever in the Hindu scriptures that sanction idol worship. If Hindus continue to defend idol-worship so vigorously, it is not because it has any sanction in their scriptures but in rejection of Muslim and Quranic teachings which do not allow idol-worship in any manner. Therefore, one may say that it may be ego or false-belief that make them continue to worship idols as there is no real sanction in the scriptures.

As we have seen in Gita, Krishna too is against their false-beliefs related to idol-worship. Krishna considered that person worthy of being killed who considered Devatas as gods and kept the Devatas at par with God. Even after Krishna departed, Hindus have failed to understand the difference between Devatas and God so much so that Siva is a Deva and also called god; Brahma is a Deva and also called god.  Their idols are worshipped whereas scriptures talk of Absolute God being bereft of all attributes, form or shape. I am showing time and again that we today call our scriptures as divine but we have least understood the content of our scriptures; we do not know the relationship between Devatas and Manus, between Devatas and Paramatma and between Paramatma and God. Everybody has become god; everybody is being worshipped on one occasion or other and all lines defining their inter-relationship have got blurred.

It is unfortunate that despite Krishna leading the war against those who worshipped Devatas as gods, Devatas are still worshipped by many. Siva is worshipped. Even Devi is worshipped. Despite the fact that scriptures make it clear that there is only One Devi who was known in different parts of the country by different names, different types of idols are formed for different Devis, who all are worshipped on one occasion or another. At a later time Krishna himself, who had ridiculed worship of Devatas so vigorously, began to be worshipped. So does Rama and also Hanuman. And later, worship of Saibaba and this or that baba too commenced.

I am of the opinion that it was this obsession of man to fall for idol worship time and again which resulted in the Ahlulbayt (who were actually the Devatas whose Light descended in human bodies) forcefully rejecting idol-worship and focussing only on the worship of one Absolute God – Allah.

Quran is very explicit in this regard. It allows reverence and respect for shayrallah but condemns shirk. Shayrallah means things which lead us to Allah or towards remembrance of Allah. Thus Kaaba is shayrallah because it is supposed to be House of Allah on earth and symbolic of His Manifest House where People of the House (Ahlulbayt) would take birth. Even a stone becomes shayrallah if it leads to God. It was perhaps for this reason that idol worship was initiated by people in the earlier times. Idols were meant to lead devotees towards God. Idols were, for the common people, shayrallah, i.e. images that would lead them towards God.

As long as idols remain Shayrallah, i.e. they served the purpose of leading us towards the worship of One God, there was no harm in paying obeisance to them. However, the truth is that idol worship today, in most cases, is not leading the worshipper towards God. Thoughts of the worshippers of Devi seldom go to the God who created the Devi herself. Likewise, thoughts of worshippers of Saibaba seldom lead them towards remembrance of Absolute God. More recently, we have even created statues of local gurus and people who were a little higher on the pedestral of spirituality and seek from them as if they were bestowers. We must remember that Devatas are bestowers of food and rain but they do this because of the powers bestowed on them by the God. Hence, as long as God is there in thought as the unique – one and only – Lord of all lords, Light of the lights – there is no harm in seeking from the Devatas too but Krishna himself says in Gita that sattvik men seek only from the God or His Manifest Self. Today, we have reached such nadir that we even go on to build temples of Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan or even Narendra Modi. It is commendable that Mr. Narendra Modi ordered for the demolition of temple built in his name; temples of Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar continue to exist even today. Are we not making a mockery of the divinity itself?

If we repeat what we have said till now, one Lord of the world is to be worshipped and this is the teaching of Hindu scriptures including Vedas and Upanishads. Krishna too has talked about this and has ridiculed worship of inferior beings (who were shown in the image that Krishna showed to Arjuna, being eaten up by the Manifest Self). Krishna considered men worshipping lesser beings worthy of being killed.

Quran too is of the view that anybody who engages in shirk (i.e. one who associates someone with Allah) is a sinner and Ahlulbayt or Devatas (who will be the judges on the Day of Judgment) would send mushrik (those commiting shirk i.e. joining others with God) to hell. They will have to do this because this act is against the very basis of the creation of Devatas (Ahlulbayt); let’s remember that the Noor of Devatas were created when, as per Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad, the Manifest Self desired there should be more worshippers of God.

Question that now remains is why should anybody worship the Muslim God i.e. Allah. Let us first see what does Allah mean? Whether Allah is a Muslim God? Whether Allah is the God created by Mohammad, which is different from the God described in the Vedas?

When Mohammad started his teachings, he asked all to say that ‘there is no god but Allah’. Those were the times when people worshipped several gods. Kaaba was full of idols, many of whom (I have shown in one of my earlier posts) were idols of various Devatas. In such a scenario, Mohammad proclaimed ‘there is no god but Allah’. I wish to tell you that Allah is not a name. ‘Al’ in Arabic means ‘the’ and ‘ilah’ means God. Thus ‘Allah’ means ‘the God’ or specific One God of the Universe. This means that when Mohammad said ‘la ilaha illallah’, he meant ‘there is no god but the God’. You may call this Absolute God with whatever names or attributes, as long as the One Absolute God of universe is meant, it is ‘the God’ i.e. Allah. Therefore, if Upanishads have described the attributes of One God by the name Ishwar or Mahesh, we can safely say that Upanishads are describing the attributes of Allah, i.e. ‘the God’. I am sure with this definition, neither the Hindus should have any qualms whatsoever in saying that Allah is the One God nor Muslims should have any reservations calling Ishwar as the same as Allah. Quran wants its believers to worship ‘the (one) God’; the same God who has been described in the Vedas and Upanishads and shun worship of all others who are subservient to God.

But why is Quran harsh whereas previous scriptures were not? Let us understand the reason from our day to day life.

Do you tell good habits to your small child or warn him not to do bad things when he has done nothing wrong? You do not want to expose him to evil. You just tell him the dos. You still do not punish him if he commits a mistake, say, steal butter and eat it. If the habit persists, you may admonish him. But you will not punish him. Imagine a situation where this child grows up into a full grown human being and still steals. Will you still refrain from punishing him? Every one of you would agree that such a man should be punished.

The same is the case with the scriptures. The self of men living in satyayuga were so obedient that whenever a path was shown to them, many of the people treaded on the path and attained salvation. A lot many of them who didn’t attain salvation continue to remain on earth. They erred and new avatars were sent to correct their deviations. Many rectified and corrected themselves and came to the path of avatars. Many were still not able to adhere to their path and erred again. They continued to commit sin and avatars continued to come to show mankind the path to salvation. Selfs which were still capable attained salvation. Many couldn’t! These were the selfs who were disobedient; they were more prone to evil. For them, the teachings too became harsher.

Mohammad was an avatar of the same chain which was earlier sending teachings in less harsh tone; telling more of dos and less of donts. Mohammad came as an avatar when Kalyug had already begun. The life on earth was nearing completion. But most of the atmas that remained on earth till that time had proven to be incapable of gaining salvation. Now a strict regime of dos and donts was told to them. If you still wished to attain salvation now, you would first have to tame your atma’s vagaries due to which it was unable to attain salvation in previous births. You would have to attune yourself through a strict regime. That is why you find a full-fledged code of law given by Quran whereas the earlier scriptures were merely focussing on the desired path; talking of salvation more, a bit of heaven and nearly nothing about hell. Whereas the later day Quran, even though it still held salvation as the chief goal, talked more of heaven and even of hell. This is so because the life in this world is about to end. There is little chance that the atmas which have failed to attain salvation till now will do so during the remaining period of life on this earth. Atmas that have not been able to attain union with Paramatma through attaining mokhsa (salvation) will have to face the Day of Judgment after life on earth perishes; they will be rewarded with heaven or hell depending on whether the good deeds are more or the bad deeds are more. (See Chapter Al-Waqiya, Quran). There is no Day of Judgment for atmas which have already moved ahead and attained salvation.

Do you now understand why Quran has to take harsher tone against idol worshippers? I wish to make it clear that Quran is not against the Hindus. It is recorded in traditions that Prophet Mohammad used to say he likes the breeze coming from the side of India. Quran is strictly against those who associate anyone else with God as His equivalent. Fact is that the Upanishads and Gita too are against whose who associate anyone else with God. Krishna even went on to fight a war with such people.

Upanishads tell clearly that when the Manifest Self, which had started worshipping the Absolute immediately after it was created, desired that there by more worshippers, Noor (Devatas) and subsequently mankind was created. If this had been the express purpose of our creation, why would Manifest Self allow worship of anybody else at par with God, even if they are the Devatas themselves? This is the reason why the Manifest Self takes a harsh stand in Quran regarding idol-worship.

But Quran also makes it clear that no deed would go unrecognized or unrewarded, be it the acts of Hindus or Muslims or Christians or anybody else. Gita tells explicitly how good deeds result in births through better wombs and in households where there is greater chance of attaining salvation whereas bad deeds lead to birth in lower conditions.

Another question you asked is who are the exact people who will be in hell? Answer is that those who will be sent to hell will not go there because of the religion they practiced. It is very possible that a single atma, which will be tried for its deeds on the Day of Judgment, may have passed through bodies of both Hindus and Muslims. Thus it is clear that we will not be sent to heaven or hell depending on the religion we practised. We will be sent to heaven or hell depending on the state or level of purity (impurity) of our atma when the life on earth will perish.

Krishna has said clearly that every act may be committed in either of the three modes viz. sattvik, rajasik or tamasik. Acts committed in sattvik mode lead the atma to climb towards purity. Atma slips down when acts are committed in tamasik act. It is a very slippery path indeed with atma climbing up and down regularly depending on acts committed in tamasik, rajasik or sattvik mode. The best and most obedient of atmas attain moksha or salvation when the atma that left body was at the desired level of purity. The worst and most disobedient of atmas go to such nadir levels that there is no chance of their ever rising from there. They too are removed. The atmas that remain are those which are at different levels of purity. When the life on earth will perish, the atmas that are uable to attain salvation till that time will be tried. If the good deeds are more, they will be sent to heaven and if the bad deeds are more, they will be sent to hell. They will get the reward or punishment of their acts and once the the fruits of their actions are tasted (be it in form of reward or punishment), they will be sent for yet another test in yet another creation. Those who attained salvation continue to remain in the highest levels of heaven forever whereas those atmas which descended to the lowest level from where there was no hope of their coming back will remain in the lowest levels of hell forever. There is no question at all of the religion of the adherents coming in picture. Anybody can attain salvation if he fulfils two conditions: one, atma is at a certain desired level of purity when it leaves the body; and secondly, the atma recognizes the rope (Devatas/Ahlulbayt) through which it has to climb towards the path of salvation. Unless these two conditions are fulfilled, salvation cannot be achieved. Gita too confirms that merely performing of good deeds alone does not necessitate salvation. It says that those who commit very good deeds but are still unable to attain salvation are given birth either in the family of kings or in the progeny of Devatas themselves, so that it is easier for these atmas to attain salvation.

Hope all questions are answered. Any new questions are welcomed!

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