|Let us now study what the Hindu and Islamic scriptures
state regarding God’s revelations or books revealed by God
for the guidance of humans.
Concept of Revelation in Islam
(swt) has sent a revelation in every age.
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“For each period
Is a Book (revealed)"
(Al Qur’an 13:38)
Four Revelations mentioned by name in the Qur’an:
There are several revelations sent by Allah (swt)
in different ages for the guidance of human beings
of the respective ages. Only four revelations are
mentioned by name in the Qur’an: these are
the. Torah, Zabur, Injeel and the Qur’an.
Torah is the Wahi, the revelation
which was revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh).
Zabur is the Wahi, the revelation
which was revealed to Prophet David (pbuh)
Injeel is the Wahi, the revelation
which was revealed to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and
The Qur’an is the last and
final Wahi, the final revelation, which was revealed
to the Last and Final Messenger Prophet Muhammad
||All previous revelations
were only meant for a particular group of people and
for a particular time period.
Each of the revelations, prior to the revelation of
the Glorious Qur’an, was meant only for a particular
period and for a particular group of people.
was revealed for whole of Humankind
Since the Qur’an was the last and final revelation
of Almighty Allah, it was revealed not only for the
Muslims or the Arabs but it was revealed for whole
of Humankind. Further, the Qur’an was not revealed
only for the era of the Prophet but it was revealed
for the all of Humankind until the Last Day.
a. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
Alif Ram Ra. A Book Which We have revealed Unto thee,
in order that Thou mightest lead mankind Out of the
depths of darkness Into light - by the leave Of their
Lord – to the way Of (Him) the Exalted in Power,
Worthy of all Praise!
(Al Qur’an 14:1)
b. Here is a Message for mankind; Let them take warning
therefrom, And let them know that He Is (no other
than) One God: Let men of understanding Take heed
(Al Qur’an 14:52)
c. Ramadan is the (month) In which was sent down
The Qur’an, as a guide To mankind, also clear
(Signs) For Guidance and Judgement (Between right
(Al Qur’an 2:185)
d. Verily We have revealed The Book to thee In truth,
for (instructing) mankind
(Al Qur’an 39:41)
Al Qur’an is God’s Word. It is the most
sacred scripture of Islam. It is the Last and Final
Revelation of Almighty God which was revealed in the
sixth century of the English Calendar to the last
and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The Qur’an is mentioned in the previous scriptures
and in scriptures of other religions
It is mentioned in the Qur’an:
Without doubt it is (announced)
In the revealed Books
Of former peoples.
(Al Qur’an 26:196)
The mention of the Glorious Qur’an, this last
and final Revelation of Almighty God, is made in all
the previous scriptures and in the scriptures of various
The other sacred scripture of Islam besides the Qur’an
are the hadith i.e. the sayings and traditions of
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). These hadith are supplementary
to the Glorious Qur’an. They do not and cannot
overrule the teachings of the Qur’an nor will
they contradict the Qur’an.
Books of Hinduism
There are two kinds of sacred writings in Hinduism: Sruti
Sruti means that which has been heard, perceived, understood
or revealed. It is the oldest and the most sacred of the
Hindu’s Scriptures. The Sruti is divided into two
main parts: the Vedas and the Upanishads and these two are
considered to be of divine origin.
Smrti is not as sacred as the sruti. Yet it is considered
to be important and is popular with the Hindus today. Smrti
means memory or remembered. This Hindu literature is easier
to understand because it speaks about the truths of the
Universe through Symbolism and Mythology. The smrti are
not considered to be of divine origin but are accepted as
human composition. The Smrti lists rules governing the actions
of the individual, the community and the society, which
regulate and guide individuals in their daily conduct. They
are also known as Dharma Shastra. Smrtis consist of many
writings including the Puranas and Itihaas.
There are several Holy Scriptures of the Hindus; among
them are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas.
i) The word ‘Veda’ is derived from
the Sanskrit word ‘vid’, which means
to know. The word ‘Veda’ therefore,
means knowledge par excellence or sacred wisdom.
There are four principal divisions of the Vedas.
(Although according to their number, they amount
to 1131 out of which about a dozen are available.
According to MahaBhasya of Patanjali, there are
21 branches of Rig Veda, 9 types of Atharva Veda,
101 branches of Yajur Veda and 1000 of Sam Veda)
ii) The Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Sam Veda
are considered to be more ancient books and are
known as ‘Trai Viddya’ or the ‘Triple
Sciences’. The Rig Veda is the oldest and
has been compiled in three long and different periods
of time. The 4th Veda is the Atharva Veda, which
is of a later date.
Rigveda is mainly composed of songs of praise.
Yajurveda deals sacrificial formula.
Samveda refers to melody.
Atharva Veda has a large number of magic formulas.
iii) There is no unanimous opinion regarding the
date of compilation or revelation of the four Vedas.
According to Swami Dayanand, who was the founder
of the Arya Samaj, the Vedas were revealed 1310
millions of years ago and according to other scholars
they are not more than 4000 years old.
iv) Similarly there is a difference of opinion regarding
the places where these books were revealed and the
Rishis to whom these Scriptures were given. In spite
of these differences, the Vedas are considered the
most authentic of the Hindu Scriptures and the real
foundations of the Hindu Dharma.
i) The word ‘Upanishad’ is derived
from ‘Upa’ meaning ‘near’,
‘ni’ which means ‘down’
and ‘shad’ means ‘to sit’.
Therefore Upanishads means sitting down near. Groups
of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him
the sacred doctrines.
According to Samkara, Upanishad is derived from
the root word ‘sad’ which means ‘to
loosen’, ‘to reach’ or ‘to
destroy’, with ‘upa’ and ‘ni’
as prefix. Therefore Upanishad means ‘Brahma
knowledge’ by which ignorance is loosened
The number of Upanishads exceeds 200 though the
Indian tradition puts it at 108. There are 10 principal
Upanishads however some consider them to be more
than 10, while others state that there are 18.
ii) The Vedanta meant originally the Upanishads,
though the word is now used for the system of philosophy
based on the Upanishad. Literally, Vedanta means
the end of the Veda, Vedasya-antah, the conclusion
as well as the goal of Vedas. The Upanishads are
the concluding portions of the Vedas and chronologically
they come at the end of the Vedic period.
iii) Some Pundits consider the Upanishad to be superior
to the Vedas.
ITIHAS – EPIC
There are two Itihas or epics namely the Ramayana
and the Mahabharata.
Ramayana is an epic, which deals with the life story
of Rama. Most Hindus are aware of the story of the
Mahabharata is another great epic, which speaks about
the feud between the cousins: the Pandavas and the
Kauravas. It also contains the life story of Krishna.
The story of this epic, the Mahabharata, is also commonly
known to most Hindus.
Bhagvad Gita is the most popular and well known
amongst all the Hindu scriptures. It is a part of
the epic Mahabharata and contains 18 Chapters in Bhishma
Parva Chapters 25 to 42. It contains the advice given
by Krishna, in the battlefield, to Arjun.
Next in order of authenticity are the Puranas, which
are the most widely read scripture. The word ‘Puranas’
means ‘ancient’ The Puranas contain the
History of the Creation of the Universe, history of
the early Aryan Tribes and life stories of the divines
and deities of the Hindus. The Puranas are revealed
books like the Vedas, which were revealed simultaneously
with the Vedas or at sometime close to the revelation
of the Vedas
Maharishi Vyasa has divided the Puranas into 18 voluminous
parts. Chief among the Puranas is a book known as
Bhavishya Purana. It is called so because it gives
prophecies of future events. The Hindus consider the
Bhavishya Purana to be the word of God. Maharishi
Vyasa is considered a mere compiler of the book the
real author being God.
There are several other Hindu Scriptures like Manu
MOST AUTHENTIC HINDU SCRIPTURES ARE THE
Amongst all the Hindu Scriptures, the Vedas are
considered the most authentic. No other Hindu Scriptures
overrule the Vedas. If there is a contradiction
between the Vedas and any other Hindu scripture,
the opinion of the Veda will prevail, according
to Hindu Scholars.
Thus we have examined and highlighted similarities
between the concept of angels and revelation in
Islam and in Hinduism as mentioned in their respective
scriptures. In subsequent articles in the present
series, we shall study the similarities between
the concept of prophethood, life after death, fate
& destiny and worship in Islam and in Hinduism.
And all praises are for the One and Only God and
Creator Allah, who alone is worthy of devotion, complete
submission and worship.