Is Krishna a Prophet of Allah?
In the article ‘The Honorable Lord Krishna, a Prophet of Allah,’ published in Times Of India dated 2 August, 2014, columnist Tanweer Ahmad states that according to Islamic principles Lord Krishna was a true Prophet of Allah. To prove his point he offers nine points. Chief among them are:
- First, the Quran is the only ancient scripture that specifically mentions and praises other faiths. While the Quran mentions Jews and Christians specifically, in numerous places, likewise, it mentions Hindus in a group known as the Sabians. Sabians refer to non-Abrahamic traditions — Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, etc. Thus, recognition of Hinduism exists in the Quran.
- Islam teaches six Articles of Faith. The Fourth Article of Faith is the belief in all of God’s prophets. This simple Article of Faith provides further credence to recognizing Lord Krishna as a prophet sent to the Indian subcontinent.
- Remarkably, Prophet Muhammad declared, “There was a prophet of God in India who is dark in color and his name was Kahan [Krishna]” (History of Hamadan Dailmi Chapter Al-Kaaf). Some critics allege this is not a Sahih (authentic) hadith, and while their assessment could be valid, their conclusion that the hadith should be discarded is invalid. Basic Islamic jurisprudence holds that if a hadith does not contradict the Quran, then it may be accepted as valid. As mentioned earlier, nothing in the Quran, Sunnah or Hadith declare that Lord Krishna was not a prophet of God. Thus, Prophet Muhammad’s testimony provides clear guidance of Lord Krishna’s status in Islam — that of a prophet. In fact, a renowned early 19th century Muslim scholar, Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi also was of the opinion that considering the evidence and this hadith, Lord Krishna was a true Prophet of God (Dharam Parchar Pg 8 & Debate Shah Jahan Pur Pg 31).
- Islam’s Third Article of Faith is the Belief in God’s Books. This is why Muslims revere the Injeel (Gospels) and Torah (Old Testament). Thus, it is only logical that Muslims also revere the Gita and Vedas, Hinduism’s Holy Scriptures from which Lord Krishna taught.
- Earlier I mentioned that both Islam and Hinduism teach the unity of God and service of mankind — a message both Prophet Muhammad and Lord Krishna taught. In fact, the Vedas state, “There is only one God, worship Him” (Rig Veda, 6.45.16) and “Do not worship any one beside Him” (Rig Veda 8.1.1) and also, “God is only one, not a second” (Chandogya Upanishad Ch. 6.2.1). Furthermore, countless verses in the Vedas teach the service of mankind….
- Furthermore, Lord Krishna’s scriptures clearly prophesize Prophet Muhammad’s advent in multiple places. We provide just two. Bhavisyath Purana 3:5-8 states, “A spiritual reformer will come from a foreign land (outside Bharat) with his disciples. His name will be Mahamad. He will dwell in a desert.” Likewise, “His [Mahamad’s] followers will perform circumcision. They will not keep their hair in the form of Choti as the Brahmans do. They will keep beard. They will bring about a revolution. They will call with a loud voice [i.e. Adhaan]. They will eat meat of animals other than that of swine. They will attain purity through Jihad. Their civilization will be called Muslay [Muslim].” For the sake of brevity we will avoid further commentary on these verses as they speak volumes on their own. Suffice it to say, however, that these verses further support the argument that the same God who sent Prophet Muhammad, sent Lord Krishna. Earlier we provided Prophet Muhammad’s hadith validating Lord Krishna, and now we provide Lord Krishna’s holy scripture validating Prophet Muhammad. What further proof do we need that Prophet Muhammad and Lord Krishna are brothers cut from the same mold?
Although the intent of the writer as he claims is to bring Hindus and Muslims closer to each other as communities, the primary points in his article are riddled with errors giving a distorted picture. The errors in these points are countered by the following:
- The writer states that Quran mentions Hindus in a group known as the Sabians. Sabians refer to non-Abrahamic traditions — Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, etc. Thus, recognition of Hinduism exists in the Quran. This view of Sabians being ‘Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists’ is not held by any of the authentic schools of Islamic thought (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafiʿi, Hanbali, Ẓāhirī). In truth, there is no one definite identity that the Sabians can be boxed into. Given below are the verses in the Quran where the Sabians are mentioned:
Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians [wal-sabi’een], whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.(Al-Baqarah 2:62)
Surely, those who believe, and those who are the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians, whosoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.(Al-Ma’idah 5:69)
Those who believe, those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians, Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: For Allah is witness of all things. (Al-Hajj 22:17)
In these verses, the Quran mentions the Sabians together with Jews and Christians. However, nothing specific is said about their religion, possibly because the Arabs during Prophet Mohammed’s time already knew them as a religious group.Early Muslim scholars speak of the Sabians as a religious group who lived in southern regions of ancient Mesopotamia.
During the Abbasid period, speculations arose on the Sabians around the claim that they followed the planet cult of ancient Mesopotamia.From this period onwards, most scholars made a special connection between the term Sabians and the pagans of Harran, which was an ancient city of strategic importance and is now a village in south eastern Turkey.
The characteristic features of the Harranians, like polytheism and idol worship, have therefore been ascribed to the Sabians as well. This differs with the views of the early scholars who never mentioned polytheism or idol worship while describing the Sabians. However, the later Muslim writers as well as the Jewish scholar Maimonides called the Harranians ‘the Sabians from Harran.’
Many modern day scholars are of the view that the Mandaeans of southern Iraq are the Sabians of the Quran. Historical evidence tells us that the Mandaeans had been living in that area since the second century of the Common Era. Their beliefs share many similarities with Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism, and carry various elements from these religious traditions as stated in this USA Today report ,which identifies them as a centuries-old sect based in Iraq that follows the teachings of John the Baptist but is neither Muslim nor Christian. So the first point to claim Krishna as prophet of Allah is a flawed one.
And as far as the comment ‘Quran is the only ancient scripture that specifically mentions and praises other faiths’ this following verse will suffice:
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers.(Aal `Imran 3:85)
2. Regarding “The Fourth Article of Faith” (that is belief in all of God’s prophets) most Islamic scholars hold the view that the Muslims must believe in all the prophets who are named in the Quran and authentic Hadith. If knowledge about Krishna was important, his name would have been mentioned in the Quran or at least in the authentic Hadith.
3. That “Prophet Muhammad declared, “There was a prophet of God in India who is dark in color and his name was Kahan” and the coincidence that Kahan contains the same consonants K,N,H as does the name Kanhaya is baseless. That is equal to claiming the Holy Quran as a Hindu scripture since it contains the letters u, r, a, n which are also found in the word Puranas.
4. Vedas state, “There is only one God, worship Him” (Rig Veda, 6.45.16) and “Do not worship any one beside Him” (Rig Veda 8.1.1) and also, “God is only one, not a second” (Chandogya Upanishad Ch. 6.2.1) …
These verses are no way in contradiction to the Hindu thought as enunciated by Swami Vivekananda:
When you are still concerned about which form of the Lord to be worshiped upon, it may be helpful to meditate upon that form, that personification of the Ultimate, which brings you peace at times of distress.
A reading of the Upanishads will show the writer that its core doctrine speaks of ‘Spiritual oneness of the worldly and divine.Similarly in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna does not call himself a prophet of God. Rather he claims to be a manifestation of the ultimate reality.
5. As per as references to the Bhavishya Purana , these two points will suffice*:
- Bhavishya Purana has never been considered an authoritative religious scripture. Many reputed historians believe the book to be a collection of fables written till late 19th century. Hence it contains tales of Jesus Christ, Akbar, Tulsidas, Surdas, Guru Nanak, Shahjahan, Aurangzeb, Shivaji and even Queen Victoria. Thus, Bhavishya Puran is at best an inconsequential text.
- If Bhavishya Purana is taken sincerely, it implies that Prophet Muhammad was a reincarnation of a demon called Tripurasur. This is a great insult to founder of Islam and Shariah law recommends death sentence for any Muslim holding such views.
Now that these errors are sorted out I would like to conclude that it is a laudable intent to bring Hindus and Muslims together but such intent should not be based on distorted viewpoints. Such distortions can only enhance misunderstandings not harmony.
* Further details on the Bhavishya Purana can be found in this site.