Friday, February 26, 2010

Verses From Various Religions

Suras-like-it" from other scriptures!
Though the challenge we see in verses 10:38, 11:13 and 2:23 to produce a `SURA-LIKE-IT' appears to have been directed towards unbelievers of prophet Muhammed's time, Muslim scholars have invariably interpreted this challenge to be relevant for all times[1,2,3]. Their observation is perhaps correct, for otherwise many of the commandments in the Qur'an, though appear to have been addressed to solve the problems of the people of that time, would then have to be also considered irrelevant to the present.

Though Islamic scholars boast that the challenge to produce a `SURA-LIKE-IT' has not been met so far, none of them tell us how they came to this conclusion. Nor they tell us the list of `suras' that were compared with those in the Qur'an.

Here I have produced 5 `suras' from other religious scriptures as a challenge to Suratul-Ikhlas, one of the most impressive ones in the Qur'an. In fact prophet Muhammed valued the recitation of this sura as equivalent to one third of the whole Qur'an[4]. The verses I have chosen here as a challenge to sura 112 also talk about the unity of God, His eternal nature and other attributes. Can Muslims compare these translations (at least) and tell me how they are inferior to Suratul-Ikhlas? I have also produced the respective transliterations, so that at least an attempt can be made to compare their eloquence. But mind you, the poetic elegance of any work cannot be appreciated unless we are very familiar with the concerned language! Even then, eloquence is more a subject of personal liking than an indication for truth! Prophet Muhammed (or Allah), I believe, wouldn't have based his (or His) challenge on the Qur'an's poetical merit alone to prove his (or His) case! Moreover, as repeatedly emphasized by other writers in these pages, eloquence alone can never be taken as a criterion for Truth!


True words aren't eloquent;
Eloquent words aren't true.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
Men who need to prove their point aren't wise.
Tao Te Ching 81


Make a honest comparison and furnish your comments TRANSLITERATION TRANSLATION
Language: Arabic Period: 7th Century A.D. [5]
Qul Huwallaahu ahad;
Allahus-swamad;
Lam yalid wa lam yoolad;
Wa lam yakun lahu, kufuwan ahad. Say: He is God, the one and only;
God, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.
Language: Gurmukhi (Punjabi) Period: 15th Century A.D. [6]
Ik onkar, satnaam,
Kartaa purakh
Nirbhau, nirvair
Akaal murat
Ajuni saibhau
Guru prasad God is one; God's name is Truth;
God is the immanent Creator;
Without fear, without enmity;
Immortal in form;
Unborn and self existent
(Known by) the grace of the Guru.
Language: Tamil Period: 8th entury A.D. [7]
Aanallan, Pennallan,
allaa aliumallan!
Kaanalum aagaan,
ulanallan illai allan!
Penungal penum,
uruvaagum allanum aam!
Konai peridhudaithu
embemmanai koorudhale! Neither male, nor female,
Nor neuter is He (by gender)!
Neither discernible, nor the existent,
Nor the non-existent is He!
He appears in whatever form conceived,
And remains other than such!
Indentifying the Lord as Narayana (by name),
Is the best of such.
Language: Sanskrit Period: 4th Century B.C. [8]
divyo hy amrutah purusah
sa bahyabhyantaro hy ajah
aprano hy amanah
subhro aksarat
pratah parah He, the divine, the formless spirit;
He is the outward and the inward;
And He the unborn;
He is beyond life, beyond mind, luminous;
Supreme beyond the immutable!
Language: Sanskrit Period: 5th Century B.C. [9]
na tasya kascit asti loke,
na cesita naiva
ca tasya lingam,
na karanam
karanadhipadhipo
na cesya kasciji janita
na cadhipah. He hath no master in all this world.
There is none that shall rule over Him.
Nor feature nor distinction hath He;
For He is begetting cause
And Sovran over the lords
of these natural organs;
But himself hath no begetter,
Neither any sovran.

Or, how about the following `Sura' composed in English?


Language: English Period: 19th Century A.D. [10]
I have neither death nor fear of death, nor caste;
Nor was I ever born, nor had I parents, friends, and relations;
I have neither Guru, nor disciple;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute-
I am He, I am He.

What I have reproduced here is only a sample of such verses. One may find more `Suras-like-this' from many other scriptures also. They could be also added to this list of five.

References
[1]. Dr. Abu Ameenah Qur'an. (The challenge), 1997. www.islaam.com.
[2]. Preface. In: The Holy Qur-an. English Translation of the meaning & commentary. Pres. of Islamic Res., IFTA. pages iv-v
[3]. A. Abdul Hadi. Quran is word of God. Various proofs. Mahin Printers, Chennai, India. Chapter 12. pages 81-82
[4]. Sahih Muslim, Book 4. Chapter 135. No. 1769.
[5]. Al-Qur'an. Suratul-Ikhlas. No. 112. (Sage: Prophet Muhammed) (Translator: Yousuf Ali)
[6]. Guru Grant Saheb. Mul Mantra. Page 1. (Sage: Guru Nanak) (Translator: Kushwant Singh)
[7]. Thiruvaimozhi. Chapter: Second ten, Number: 10 (Sage: Nammazhvar) (Translator: N. Ramaninaidu)
[8]. Mundaka Upanishad Chapter:2.1 Number: 2 (Sage: Not known) (Translator: Sri Aurobindo)
[9]. Shwetashwatara Upanishad. 6.9. (Sage: Svetasvatara) (Translator: Sri Aurobindo).
[10]. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. 4:392. Mayavati Memorial Edition. 1989. Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta.

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