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INTRODUCTION
In the series of articles on this subject, we shall seek to find similarities or common ground between two major religions of the world: Hinduism and Islam. The approach adopted in this work is based on the following verse of the Glorious Qur’an:
Surah Ali Imran Chapter 3 Verse 64:
Say “O People Of the Book! 
Come to common terms
As between us and you: 
That we worship none but Allah; 
That we associate no partners with Him;
That we erect not, From among ourselves, 
Lords and patrons other than Allah.”
If then they turn back, 
Say ye: “Bear witness That we (at least) 
Are Muslims (bowing To Allah’s Will).’
(Al Qur’an 3:64)

In this article, we shall focus on how one should try to have a correct understanding of a religion and also provide a brief introduction to Islam and to Hinduism.

CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF A RELIGION
a. Don’t observe followers of a Religion. Refer to Authentic Sources of that Religion Followers of major religions, whether it be Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, have divided themselves and their beliefs into various sects. It is not appropriate for one to try to understand a religion by observing the followers of that religion. Most followers may themselves not be aware of the correct teachings of their religion. Thus, the best and the most appropriate method of understanding any religion is to understand the authentic sources of that religion, i.e. the sacred scriptures of that religion.

b. Authentic Sources of Islam.
Allah (swt), Almighty God, says in the Glorious Qur’an:
And hold fast, All together, by the Rope Which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves.(Al Qur’an 3:103)

The “rope of Allah refers” to the Glorious Qur’an. Allah (swt) says that Muslims should not be divided and that the only unifying factor is the authentic source of the religion of Islam i.e. the Glorious Qur’an. Allah (swt) also says in the Glorious Qur’an in several places including Al Qur’an 4:59:
O ye who believe!Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger.  (Al Qur’an 4:59)

To understand the Qur’an better we have to refer to the explanation of the Qur’an by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on whom the Qur’an was revealed. Thus the best and the most appropriate method of understanding Islam is to understand the authentic sources of Islam which are the Glorious Qur’an, (the words of Almighty Allah) and the authentic Ahadith, (i.e. the sayings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad.

c. Authentic Sources of Hinduism
Similarly, the best and the most appropriate method of understanding Hinduism is to understand the authentic sources i.e. the sacred scriptures of Hinduism. The most sacred and authentic Scriptures of Hinduism are the Vedas, followed by the Upanishads, the Itihaas, Bhagvad Gita, Puranas, etc.

Let us understand these two major religions of the world, i.e. Islam and Hinduism, by studying and analyzing the authentic Scriptures of these two major religions of the world.

d. Emphasis on those Similarities, which are not commonly known.
In this work on ‘Similarities between Islam and Hinduism’, we shall not lay emphasis on those similarities which are known by almost all the followers of both the religions e.g. a person should always speak the truth, he should not lie, he should not steal, he should be kind, he should not be cruel, etc. Instead, we shall consider those similarities, which are not commonly known by all the followers and hence are known only to those who are familiar with the contents of their sacred Scriptures.

INTRODUCTION OF ISLAM
1. Definition of Islam.
Islam is an Arabic word, which comes from the word ‘Salm’ which means peace and from 'Silm', which means submitting your will to Allah – the Almighty God.  In short Islam means peace acquired by submitting your will to Allah (swt).The word Islam is mentioned in several places in the Qur’an and the Hadith including Surah Ali Imran, chapter 3, verse 19 and verse 85.

2. Definition of a Muslim
A Muslim is a person who submits his will to Allah – the Almighty God. The word Muslim is mentioned several times in the Qur’an and Hadith including Surah Ali Imran Chapter 3 Verse 64 and Surah Fussilat Chapter 41 Verse 33.

3. A misconception about Islam
Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion that was formulated 1400 years ago, and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, let me clarify that Islam is not the name of some unique religion presented for the first time by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who should, on that account be called the founder of Islam.
The Qur’an states that Islam – the complete submission of man before his one and only Unique Creator – is the one and only faith and way of life consistently revealed by God to humankind from the very beginning. Noah, Solomon, David, Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jesus (peace be upon them all) – prophets who appeared at different times and places – all propagated the same faith and conveyed the same message of Tawheed (Oneness of God), Risaalat (Prophethood) and Aakhirah (the Hereafter). 
These prophets of God were not founders of different religions to be named after them. They were each reiterating the message and faith of their predecessors.
However, Muhammad (pbuh) was the last Prophet of God. God revived through him the same genuine faith which had been conveyed by all His Prophets. This original message was earlier corrupted and split into various religions by people of different ages, who indulged in interpolations and admixture. These alien elements were eliminated by God, and Islam – in its pure and original form – was transmitted to humankind through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Since there was to be no messenger after Muhammad (pbuh), the Book revealed to him (i.e. the Glorious Qur’an) was preserved word for word so that it should be a source of guidance for all times.
Thus the religion of all the prophets was ‘total submission to God’s will’ and one word for that in the Arabic language is ‘Islam’. Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them) too were Muslims, as Allah testifies in Al-Qur'an 3:67 and 3:52 respectively.

INTRODUCTION OF HINDUISM
1. Definition of a Hindu
a. The word ‘Hindu’ has geographical significance and was used originally to refer to those people who lived beyond the river Sindhu or the region watered by the river Indus.
b. Historians say that it was first used by the Persians who came to India through the North Western passes of the Himalayas. 
The word ‘Hindu’ was also used by the Arabs.
c. This word ‘Hindu’ is nowhere mentioned in Indian Literature or Hindu Scriptures before the advent of Muslims to India, according to the Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics (6:690)
d. Jawaharlal Nehru, in his book ‘Discovery of India’, writes on pg. 74-75, that the earliest reference to the word ‘Hindu’ can be traced to a tantrik of the 8th Century C.E., where it means a people and not a follower of a particular religion. The use of the word ‘Hindu’ in connection with a particular religion is of late occurrence.
e. In short the word ‘Hindu’ is a geographical definition or term which is used to refer to people who live beyond the river Indus or in other words to those who live in India.

2. Definition of Hinduism
a. Hinduism has been derived from the word Hindu. According to the New Encyclopedia Britannica 20:581, Hinduism was a name given in English language in the Nineteenth Century by the English people to the multiplicity of the beliefs and faiths of the people of the Indus land. The British writers in 1830 gave the word Hinduism to be used as the common name for all the beliefs of the people of India excluding the Muslims and converted Christians.
b. According to the Hindu Scholars, Hinduism is a misnomer and the religion ‘Hinduism’ should be either referred to as ‘Sanatana Dharma’, which means eternal religion, or as Vedic Dharma, meaning religion of the Vedas. According to Swami Vivekananda, the followers of this religion are referred to as Vendantists.
In the next month’s article in this series, we shall examine the articles of faith in Islam and compare them with the tenets of Hinduism as mentioned in the Hindu Scriptures. We shall also study and compare the concept of God 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.

ARTICLES OF FAITH (IMAAN) IN ISLAM & COMPARISON WITH TENETS PRESCRIBED BY HINDU SCRIPTURES
Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an
It is not righteousness 
That ye turn your faces
Towards East or West;
But it is righteousness
To believe in Allah
And the Last Day,
And the Angels,
And the Book,
And the Messengers;
(Al Qur’an 2:177)

Sahih Muslim Vol. 1 Book of Imaan Chapter 2 Hadith 6.
It is reported in Sahih Muslim:“... A man came to the Prophet and said ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is Imaan (faith)? He (the prophet) said: ‘That you affirm your faith in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Meeting, His Messengers and that you believe in the Resurrection i.e. Hereafter and that you believe in Qadr i.e. destiny’.
(Sahih Muslim Vol. 1, Book of Imaan, Chapter 2, Hadith 6)

Thus the six articles of faith of Islam are:
i)      Concept of God (The first article of faith in Islam is ‘Tawheed’ i.e. belief in the one Unique Eternal Creator of all creation).
ii)     His angels
iii)    His books
iv)    His messengers
v)     The Hereafter i.e. Life after death and
vi)    Qadr i.e. destiny

Let’s study what Hinduism says about these six articles.

Concept of God in Hinduism and in Islam
Let us examine the concept of God in these two major religions in light of their respective scriptures and study if there are similarities. First we shall discuss the Concept of God in Hinduism.

Concept of God in Hinduism
a.     COMMON CONCEPT OF GOD IN HINDUISM :
If you ask some lay persons who are Hindus that how many gods do they believe in, some may say three, some may say thirty-three, some may say a thousand, while some may say thirty-three crores i.e. 330 million. But if you ask this question to a learned Hindu who is well versed with the Hindu Scriptures, he will reply that the Hindus should actually believe and worship only one God.

b.     DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAM AND HINDUISM IS THAT OF ’S (Everything is ‘God’s’ – Everything is ‘God’)
The major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim is that while the common Hindu believes in the philosophy of Pantheism, i.e. “everything is God, the Tree is God, the Sun is God, the Moon is God, the Snake is God, the Monkey is God, the Human Being is God”, all Muslims believe that “everything is God’s”.
The Muslims believe that everything is God’s. GOD with an apostrophe’s’. Everything belongs to the one and only unique eternal God. The tree belongs to God, the sun belongs to God, the moon belongs to God, the snake belongs to God, monkey belongs to God, the human being belongs to God.
Thus the major difference between the Hindus and the Muslims is the apostrophe ‘s’. The Hindu says, “everything is GOD”. The Muslim says, “everything is God’s”, GOD with an Apostrophe ‘s’. If we can solve the difference of the Apostrophe ‘s’, the Hindus and the Muslims will be united.
The Glorious Qur’an says
“Come to common terms as between us and you”, Which is the first term? “that we worship none but Allah”
So let’s come to common terms by analyzing the scriptures of the Hindus and of the Muslims.

UPANISHAD:
Upanishads are one of the sacred Scriptures of the Hindus.
i.         Chandogya Upanishad Chapter 6 Section 2 verse 1
It is mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad: 
“Ekam Evadvitiyam”
“He is one only without a second.”
(Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1)
(The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan pg. 447 & 448)
(Sacred Books of the East Volume 1, the Upanishads Part I Page 93)

ii.        Shwetashvatara Upanishad Chapter 6 verse 9 
It is mentioned in the Shwetashvatara Upanishad
“Nacasya kascij janita na cadhipah”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor Lord.”
(Shwetashvatara Upanishad 6:9)
(The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan pg. 745)
(and in Sacred books of the East volume 15, the Upanishads Part II Page 263)

iii.       Shwetashvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19
It is mentioned in Shwetashvatara Upanishad 
“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him”.
(Shwetashvatara Upanishad 4:19)
(The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan pg 736 & 737 )
(and in Sacred books of the East Volume 15, the Upanishads part II, Page no. 253)

iv.     Shwetashvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 20 
It is mentioned in Shwetashvatara Upanishad
“na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam”.
“His form cannot be seen, no one sees Him with the eye”.
(Shwetashvatara Upanishad 4:20)
(The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan pg. 737)
(And in Sacred books of the East Volume 15, the Upanishad part II, Page no. 253)

BHAGWAD GEETA 7:20
The most popular amongst all the Hindu Scriptures is the Bhagwad Geeta.
Bhagwad Geeta mentions
“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires worship demigods” that is “Those who are materialistic, they worship demigods” i.e. others as deities besides the True God.
(Bhagwad Geeta 7:20)
It is mentioned in Bhagavad Gita
“He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginning-less, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds...”
(Bhagwad Geeta 10:3)

YAJURVEDA
Vedas are the most sacred amongst all the Hindu Scriptures. There are principally 4 Vedas: 
Rig Ved, Yajur Ved, Sam Ved, and Atharva Ved.

i.  Yajurveda Chapter 32, Verse 3
It is mentioned in Yajurveda
“na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him”
It further says, “as He is unborn, He deserves our worship”.
(Yajurveda 32:3)
(The Yajurveda by Devi Chand M.A. pg. 377)

ii.   Yajurveda Chapter 40 Verse 8
It is mentioned in Yajurveda Chapter 40 verse 8
“He is bodiless and pure”.(Yajurveda 40:8)
(Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph I. H. Griffith pg. 538)

iii.    Yajurved Chapter 40 Verse 9
It is mentioned in Yajurved
“Andhatma pravishanti ye assambhuti mupaste”
“They enter darkness, those who worship natural things.” 
E.g. worship of natural elements air, water, fire, etc.
(Yajurveda 40:9)
It further continues and says
“They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti i.e. created things”
E.g. created things such as table, chair, idols, etc.
(Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Griffith pg. 538)

ATHARVA VEDA
i.   Atharva Veda book 20 hymn (chapter) 58 verse 3 
It is mentioned  in Atharva Veda
“Dev Maha Osi”
“God is Verily Great.”
(Atharva Veda 20:58:3)
(Atharvaveda Samhita Vol. 2, William Duright Whitney pg. 910)

RIGVEDA
The oldest and most sacred amongst all the Vedas is the Rigveda.
i.  Rigveda Book no. 1, Hymn No. 164, verse 46
It is mentioned in Rigveda Book no. 1, hymn No. 164 verse 46
“Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti”
“Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names”.
(Rigveda 1:164:46)
Truth is one, God is one, sages call it by various names.
A similar message is given in Rigveda, Book 10, hymn 114, verse 5.

ii.  Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1
Rigveda gives no less than 33 different attributes to Almighty God. Several of these attributes are mentioned in Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1

a. Brahma  - Creator  - Khaliq – Rigveda Book 2 Hymn 1 Verse 3
Amongst the various attributes given in Rigveda , one of the beautiful attributes for Almighty God is ‘Brahma’. ‘Brahma’ means ‘the Creator’. If you translate into Arabic it means ‘Khaliq’. Islam does not object to anyone calling Almighty God as ‘Khaliq’ or ‘Creator’ or ‘Brahma’, but if someone says that ‘Brahma’ i.e. Almighty God has got  four heads and on each head is a crown and this Brahma has got four hands, Islam takes strong exception to it because such descriptions give an image to Almighty God. Such descriptions are also against what is propounded in Yajurveda Chapter 32, verse 3 which says:
“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him”.
(Yajurveda 32:3)

b.      Vishnu – Sustainer - Rabb : Rigveda Book 2, Hymn 1, verse 3
Another beautiful attribute mentioned in the Rigveda Book 2, Hymn 1, Verse 3 is Vishnu. 
‘Vishnu’ means ‘the Sustainer’.  If you translate this word into Arabic it means ‘Rabb’. 
Islam has no objection if anyone calls Almighty God as ‘Rabb’ or ‘Sustainer’ or ‘Vishnu’, but if someone says that Vishnu is Almighty God and this Vishnu has four arms, one of the right arms holds the ‘chakra’ i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holds a ‘conch shell’ and Vishnu rides on a bird or reclines on a snake couch, then Islam takes strong exception to this, because such descriptions of Vishnu give an image to Almighty God. Such descriptions are also against what is taught in Yajurveda Chapter 40 verse 8.

iii. Rigveda Book 8 hymn 1 verse 1
It is mentioned in Rigveda
“Ma Chidanyadvi Shansata”
“Do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One, Praise Him alone”
(Rigveda 8:1:1)
(Rigveda Samhiti Vol. IX, pg. 1 & 2 by Swami Satyaprakash Sarasvati & Satyakam Vidhya Lankar)

iv.   Rigveda Book 5 Hymn 81 verse 1
It is mentioned in Rigveda
“Verily great is the glory of the Divine Creator”(Rigveda 5:81:1)
(Rigveda Samhiti Vol. 6, pg 1802 & 1803 by Swami Satyaprakash Sarasvati & Satyakam Vidhya Lanka)

v.  Rigveda Book no. VI, Hymn 45, verse 16
It is mentioned in Rigveda 
“Ya Eka Ittamushtuhi”“Praise Him who is the matchless & alone”.
(Rigveda 6:45:16)
(Hymns of Rigveda by Ralph T. H. Griffith pg. 648)

BRAHMA SUTRA OF HINDU VEDANTA
The Brahma Sutra of Hindu Vedanta is:
‘Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan”
“Bhagwan ek hi hai dusara nahi hai, nahi hai, nahi hai, zara bhi nahi hai”.
“There is only one God, not the second, not at all, not at all, not in the least bit”.
All the above quoted verses and passages from Hindu Scriptures clearly amplify the Oneness and Uniqueness of Almighty God, the Creator of all. Furthermore, they negate the existence of any other deity besides the One True God. These verses essentially propound monotheism.Therefore only if one carefully studies the Hindu Scriptures, will one understand and realize the correct concept of God in Hinduism.

CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM
The Qur’an too propounds monotheism. So you will find similarities between Hinduism and Islam even in the concept of God.

a. SURAH IKHLAS WITH EXPLANATION 
(i) Translation
As per Islam, the best and the most concise definition of God is given in Surah Ikhlas of the Glorious Qur’an: 
Say He is Allah, 
The One and Only; 
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; 
He begets not, 
Nor is He begotten; 
And there is none 
Like unto Him.
(Al Qur’an 112:1-4)

The word ‘assamad’ is difficult to translate. It means that absolute existence can be attributed only to Allah, all other existence being temporal or conditional. It also means Allah is not dependant on any person or thing but all persons and things are dependent on Him. 
It is the touch stone of Theology
Surah Ikhlas i.e. Chapter 112 of the Glorious Qur’an is the touchstone of Theology. ‘Theo’ in Greek means God and ‘logy’ means study. Thus ‘Theology’ means study of God and Surah Ikhlas is the touchstone of the study of God.If you want to purchase or sell your gold jewellery, you would first evaluate it. Such an evaluation of gold jewellery is done by a goldsmith with the help of a touchstone. He rubs the gold jewellery on the touch stone and compares its colour with rubbing samples of gold. If it matches with 24 Karat gold he will tell that your jewellery is 24 Karat pure Gold. If it is not high quality pure Gold, he will tell you its value whether 22 Karats, 18 Karats or it may not be gold at all. It may be fake because all that glitters is not gold.
Similarly Surah Ikhlas (Chapter 112 of the Qur’an) is the touchstone of theology, which can verify whether the deity that you worship is a true God or a false God. Thus, Surah Ikhlaas is a four-line definition of Almighty God according to the Qur’an. If any one claims to be, or is believed to be Almighty God satisfies this four-line definition, we Muslims will readily accept that deity as God. This Chapter of the Glorious Qur’an, Surah Ikhlas, is the acid test. It is the ‘Furqan’ or the criterion to judge between the one True God and false claimants to divinity. Hence, whichever deity any human on earth worships, if such a deity fulfills the criteria specified in this Chapter of the Qur’an, then this deity is worthy of worship and is the One True God.

b. IS BHAGWAN RAJNEESH GOD?
Some people say that Bhagwan Rajneesh or Osho Rajneesh is Almighty God. Please note my words, I have stated that some people say that Bhagwan Rajneesh is Almighty God. Once during a question-answer session there was a Hindu gentleman who misunderstood my statement. He said that Hindus do not worship Rajneesh as God. I am aware that Hinduism does not consider Rajneesh to be God. Rajneesh has followers, who are converts to his philosophy / ideology, but who were originally followers of various different religions.

Let us put this candidate Bhagwan Rajneesh to the test of Divinity as prescribed by Surah Ikhlaas, the touchstone of Divinity.
(i) The First Criterion is ‘Qul hu Allah hu ahad’ –‘say, He is Allah one and only’. 
Is Rajneesh one and only? We know several such fake god-men and claimants of divinity amongst humans. Several are found in our country, India. Rajneesh is surely not one and only. Not as a human and not even as a human claimant to godhood. However, some disciples of Rajneesh may still state that Rajneesh is unique and that he is one and only.
(ii) Let us analyse the second criterion ‘Allah hus samad’– ‘Allah the Absolute & ‘Eternal’. 
Is Rajneesh absolute and eternal? We know from his biography that he was suffering from diabetes, asthama, and chronic backache. He alleged that the U.S.A. government gave him slow poisoning while he was in their jail. Imagine! Almighty God being poisoned! Moreover, all are aware that Rajneesh died and was cremated / buried. So Rajneesh was neither eternal, nor absolute
(iii) The third Criteria is ‘Lam ya lid wa lam yu lad’ – ‘He begets not, nor is begotten’. 
However, Rajneesh was begotten. He was born in Jabalpur in India. Like all humans, he too had a mother and a father. They later on become his disciples.Rajneesh was a very intelligent person. In May 1981 he went to U.S.A. He established a town in Oregon and named it ‘Rajneeshpuram’. It seems that he took America for a ride for the U.S. government arrested him and later deported him out of America in 1985. So Rajneesh returned to India and started a ‘Rajneesh Neosanyas commune in Pune in India which was later renamed the ‘Osho commune’. If you visit this ‘Osho commune’ in Pune you will find it written on his tombstone, “Osho - 
never born, never died, only visited the planet earth between 11th Dec. 1931 to 19th Jan 1990”. They conveniently forget to mention on this tombstone that Rajneesh was not given a visa for 21 different countries of the world. Imagine Almighty God visiting the earth and requiring a visa! The Arch Bishop of Greece had said that if Rajneesh was not deported they would burn his house and those of his disciples.
(iv) The fourth test is so stringent that none besides the One True God, Allah (swt), can  pass it. 
‘Wa lam ya kullahu kufuwan ahad’ which means, ‘there is none like Him’. The moment you can imagine or compare the candidate or claimant to godhood to anything, this candidate is not god. Neither can you have a mental picture of God. We know that Rajneesh was a human being. He had one head, two hands, two feet, and a white flowing beard. The moment you can think or imagine what the claimant to godhood is, he or she is not god.
Suppose someone says, “God is a thousand times as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger”. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the strongest men on earth. He was given the title ‘Mr. Universe’ in (the year). The moment you can compare Almighty God to anything, whether it is a 1000 times stronger or a million times stronger, whether it be Darasingh or Kingkong, the moment you can compare the claimant to godhood to anything, he is not God. ‘Wa lam ya kul lahu kufwan ahad’ ‘there is none like Him.’

c. ATTRIBUTES OF GOD 
To Allah belong the most beautiful names:
(i) The Qur’an mentions in Surah Isra Chapter 17 Verse 110:
Say: “Call upon Allah, or 
Call upon Rahman; 
By whatever name ye call 
Upon Him, (it is well): 
For to Him belong 
The Most Beautiful Names 
(Al Qur’an 17:110)
You can call Allah by any name but that name should be beautiful and should not conjure up a mental picture. The Qur’an gives no less than 99 different attributes to Almighty God. Some of these are Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, Al-Hakeem; Most Gracious, Most Merciful and All Wise. 99 different names / attributes and the crowning one, the hundredth one is Allah. The Qur’an repeats this message that to Allah belong the most beautiful names in:
(i) Surah Al Aaraf Chapter 7 Verse 180 
(ii) In Surah Taha Chapter 20 Verse 8 
(iii) In Surah Al Hashr Chapter 59 Verse 23 & 24

d. NAME ALLAH PREFERED TO THE WORD ‘GOD’
The Muslims prefer calling Allah (swt) with His Name Allah, instead of the English word ‘God’. The Arabic word Allah is pure and unique, unlike the English word God which can be played around with.
If you add ‘s’ to God, it becomes ‘gods’ that is plural of God. Allah is one and singular, there is no plural of Allah. If you add ‘dess’ to God, it becomes ‘goddess’ that is a female God. There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add father to God, it becomes ‘godfather’. “He is my Godfather” means that “he is my guardian”. There is nothing like Allah Abba or Allah father in Islam. If you add mother to God it becomes ‘godmother, there is nothing like Allah Ammi or Allah Mother in Islam. If you put tin before God, it becomes tin god i.e. a fake God, there is nothing like-tin Allah or fake Allah in Islam. Allah is a unique word, which does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with. Hence, the Muslims prefer the name Allah when referring to the Almighty Creator. But sometimes while speaking to non-Muslims we may have to use the inappropriate word God for Allah.
Allah is mentioned by Name in Hindu Scriptures
The Word “Allah”, which refers to Almighty God in Arabic, is also mentioned in
Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1 verse 11 
Rigveda Book 3 hymn 30 verse 10 
Rigveda Book 9 hymn 67 verse 30 
There is an Upanishad by the name ALO Upanishad.

IIA. THE CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM
We had earlier stated that as per Islam the best and the most concise definition of God is as given in Surah Ikhlas of the Glorious Qur’an: 
Say He is Allah,
The One and Only; 
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; 
He begets not, 
Nor is He begotten; 
And there is none 
Like unto Him.
(Al Qur’an 112:1-4)

i. Similar Verses in Hindu Scriptues
There are several passages in the Hindu Scriptures, which have the same or similar meaning as Surah Ikhlas.
1. Say: He is Allah, The One and Only. (Al Qur’an 112:1)
It has a meaning which is very similar to: 
“Ekam Evadvitiyam”
“He is only one without a second.” 
(Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1)
2. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. 
He begetteth not, 
Nor is He begotten; 
(Al Qur’an 112:2-3)
It has similar meaning as:
“He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginning-less, as the Supreme Lord of all the Worlds.”
(Bhagvad Gita 10:3) 
 and 
“Of (check – or For Him?) Him there is neither parents nor Lord.” (Shwetashvatara Upanishad 6:9)

3. And there is none 
Like unto Him. 
(Al Qur’an 112:4)
A similar message is given in Shwetashvatara Upanishad & Yajurveda: 
“Na Tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him.”
(Shwetashvatara Upanishad 4:19 & Yajurveda 32:3)
Remember, the Brahma Sutra of Hindu Vedanta is:
‘Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan”
“Bhagwan ek hi hai dusara nahi hai, nahi hai, nahi hai, zara bhi nahi hai”. 
“There is only one God, not the second, not at all, not at all, not in the least bit”.

About Liaqat Qazi

Student of BA in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. Can be reached at @LiaqatQazi
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