Claims and Criticisms

"The claim of any religion to validity is the fact that
only through it have its followers become what they are"

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
(In: Eastern religion and Western Thought, 1939)

    Many religions exhibit an inner tendency to claim to be the true religion, to offer the true revelation as the true way of salvation or release [1]. In spite of such claims and counter claims, most of the religions of the past have continued to survive till date. As Abraham Heschel and Swamy Vivekananda said, it seems to be the will of God that there should be more than one religion.
    Criticisms have been leveled against every religion. Some of these allegations are indeed true and are sometimes justifiable when it is done in retaliation to others' criticisms. Those who criticize other systems of faith blatantly ignore that similar allegations of erroneousness can also be leveled against their own faith. For instance, let us take the issue of women in Islam and Christianity, a classical example of the showdown between Muslims and Christian apologetics. In his article "
Women in Islam versus Judaeo-Christian Tradition", Sherif Mohammed freely cites verses from the Bible to show us how many of the Biblical verses are damnatory to women. Mr. Sherif is of course not interested in citing verses from the Quran and Hadith which also contain verses of similar nature, as produced by Rafiqul-Haqq and Newton in their article "The Place of Women in Pure Islam"! Understandably, none of these groups are interested in presenting the faults of their own systems. Nor do they use the same standards while interpreting a verse of disputable nature in the Bible and the Quran. This is what I call double standards!
    Therefore, my limited experience of hearing such allegations against other religions has taught me that those who criticize other religions are invariably biased, their weird concept of reasoning often adapting to the faith they possess. 
    Valluvar says....

Great is impartiality, not swayed by hate,

apathy or love.                           (Kural 111)

தகுதி எனஒன்று நன்றே பகுதியான்
பால்பட்டு ஒழுகப் பெறின்.


  But partiality appears to be the order of the day as far as religious fanatics are concerned. Love for one's country, culture, language and religion is quite acceptable. Unfortunately, when it comes to a scrutiny of one's own language or religion, such sentiments often conceal or blur the visibility of the investigator. The judgments of most of the religionists, being unable to curtail their emotions, are often smothered by their preconceived notions.
    Double-V has been launched primarily to answer these claims of religions and the criticisms leveled against other religions. Most of the claims and counterclaims often take place between Christian and Muslim groups. There are many reasons for this. Both are missionary in nature and also have the maximum number of followers than any other religion. Perhaps the most important reason is the fact that both are exclusive minded, claiming salvation only to their followers.
    Claims and criticisms are of various types. Here I have classified them according to the subject and tried to answer these claims either myself or provided a link where an appropriate investigation has been done. 

  • Mathematical miracles: Many Muslim and Christian groups claim that the presence of mathematical miracles in their scriptures are proofs of their divine authorships. Both groups are of the view that such mathematical patterns do not exist in human authored books, and often challenge others to produce a work that contains similar mathematical patterns. They also do not agree with each others’ claims! [*]
  • Science in scriptures: Of late, it has become a fashion of sort to claim that the divine authorship of Scriptures is demonstrated by astonishing scientific facts found in them. On line, there are scores of attractive web pages devoted primarily for promulgating these claims of amazing scientific statements far ahead of their times. [More later].
  • Prophecies of founders: There are many Christian and Muslim groups who claim that many of the earlier Scriptures of other religions, particularly those of Hindus, contain prophecies about their founders, Jesus and Muhammad respectively.
  • Jesus in Rig Veda? In his book "Divine Harmony", Aravindaksha Menon (Divine Printers and Publishers, Kerala, India) claims that the Rig Veda contains prophecies of Jesus. He argues that Prajapathi, mentioned in the Rig Veda is a `prophecy' of Jesus Christ. Read section 2 in this article.
  • Muhammad in the Vedas? Following Abdul Haque Vidyarthi's work "Mohammad In World Scriptures" (Adam Publishers & Distributors, Delhi, India), many articles by Z. Haq (1990, 97) entitled "Prophet Muhammad In Hindu Scriptures" have appeared on the net (**, ** , **). (My reply will be here soon).

§         Corruption of Scriptures: Many religions, particularly those of the Semitic group, regard scriptures of others as devil-inspired ones, or as corrupted ones or sometimes dismiss them as fairy tales! For Muslims, all scriptures were God given but they got corrupted in course of time by frequent introduction of human ideas into them, thus necessitating the revelation of the Qur'an, the final Testament. I will investigate this claim at a later date and let me for the time being concentrate on some of the criticisms leveled against Hindu Scriptures.

·         Hell in Hinduism: Mr. Anderson, while attempting to answer the claims of prophecy about prophet prophet Muhammad in Hindu scriptures [also at this site] alleges that the Hindu scriptures have been continuously modified to incorporate Christian and Islamic ideas. For instance, he says that the concept of hell in Hinduism is a later addition to Hindu scriptures. The truth is that the concept of hell is not new to Hinduism, but it means different. Read this article.

·         Machine & Electricity in Baghavad Gita: In the same article, Mr. Anderson alleges that the Gita contains slokas containing words like Oxygen, Electricity and Machines. He wonders how such modern terminologies could have got into an old text composed during the 1st century AD. This criticism has been refuter. Read section 4 in this article.

§         Beauty of the Qur'an: One of the most common Muslim claims is that the Qur'an is a marvelous scripture of unparallel literary merit. They cite many verses from the Qur'an (eg. 17:88, 11:13) to show that God himself challenges people to produce at least a chapter of similar nature to the Qur'an

  • Literary claim: One group claims that it is the literary style of the Qur'an that is unique. According to Muslims, all attempts to forge chapters in the Qur'an have proved unsuccessful. Here I have presented a series of SURAS-LIKE-IT FROM OTHER SCRIPTURES and asked Muslims to say how these are inferior to those found in the Qur'an
  • Mathematical composition: The other group called Submitters hold the view that God never claimed in His challenge that the criterion of judgment is the eloquence of the language or the style of the Qur'an. According to them, the miracle lies in the hidden mathematical composition of the Qur'an. In fact Submitters have not only challenged others to produce a sura-like-it but also a verse-like-it. The criteria they laid down to produce a Sura-like-it proved to be a hypothetical one and not based on any sura from Quran! Click here to read the double standards employed by the so called Submitters! Later I presented them a Counter Challenge, asking them produce a couplet of the nature found in Thirukkural

§         Historical claims: One of the most serious claims, which run concurrently with claims of prophecies of religious founders described above, is the historical view of Hinduism and Islam.

·         Islamic past of Vedic religion: With their belief of Islam as the original religion with God [2], it is no surprise that Muslims have come up with this notion that all the present religions are nothing but a corrupted form of God given religion, Islam. To prove this, they cite many passages from other scriptures, particularly those of the Hindus, which they regard as original references to their faith. We investigate here the truth in their claims. (Results of the investigation will appear here soon).

·         Vedic past of pre-Islamic Arabia: There are also claims other way round. There are articles on the net holding the view that Islam originated from India and takes its root from Aryan Dharma [*,*]! According to this report, pre-Islamic Arabian deities were nothing but Vedic, and the Black Stone in the Ka'ba of Mecca itself is the Lingam of Lord Shiva! Before captured by Muslims, the Ka'ba was apparently an international shrine of Vedic trinity. (The investigation is on).

  • More to come ....


[1] Coward, H.G. 1983. Religious pluralism and the world religions. University of Madras. (General Editor: R. Balasubramanian). Philosophical series No. 36. pages 137

[2] Hadeeth: Al Bukhari Volume 2. 440 :"Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal"

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