In this blog post, I want to try to debunk the irrational debate that Muslims do the opposite of Hindus. Let’s decode the myth of opposite belief systems.
With the 42nd amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation. However, neither India’s constitution nor its laws define the relationship between religion and state. To add to this confusion, people have distorted the meaning of the word religion itself. If the real essence is understood, religion can be a useful and good tool for humanity.
Over the years, there have been misleading discussions among us — thanks to all the people with their half-baked knowledge — about different belief systems in India; and their ways of living. One such discussion that usually occurs is about the rituals of Hindus and Muslims.
Although I’m full of half-knowledge, I’ve read many ancient scriptures over the years and collected information about the differences and similarities of different belief systems; or what we usually refer to as religion.
If you carefully examine each person individually, you’ll be surprised to learn that there’re lots of differences between the two in as much as there are also many similarities.
Hindus and Muslims both put a large emphasis on charity, kindness, compassion, gratitude, simplicity, and forgiveness. I believe these are the most important virtues that a human should have. Although few — from both belief systems — follow it rigorously, I’m assured that these virtues are the true essence of religion.
In the country where there’s ALI in Diwali and RAM in Ramadan, we keep foolishly discussing the different rituals in both belief systems.
Before I start, please note that Google suggests 4,200 different belief systems on this planet and believe me, most of them are DIFFERENT, not OPPOSITE of each other.
OPPOSITE isn’t the right word in the first place. We all are unique and different. We all have similarities and difference but no belief system was designed to be the opposite of any belief system.
Debunking the myths
It’s just us who want to look at things that way. Although I don’t know everything, in this blog post, let me try and debunk some of the popular myths.
Myth 1: Muslims write the opposite of Hindus
Later, when paper or papyrus and ink were widely adopted since most people are right-handed, it made much more sense of writing from left to right, but some people found the old style of writing comfortably.
Hebrew, Persian, and some more languages are still written from right to left. Chinese and Japanese and some more languages are written vertically. So, it’s just about finding the best and comfortable style to write and stick to it.
Myth 2: Muslims pray to the moon unlike Hindu who pray to the sun
Hindus, on the other hand, follow a lunisolar calendar. Our months are the basis of the calendar and are determined around the phases of the moon. Hindus wholeheartedly follow the — no moon and full moon — days.
Myth 3: Muslims pray to face the east direction and Hindus pray to face the west direction
Having said that, we can still map an imaginary direction on the base of our axis and name it east, from where the sun is seen — mind it not, from where the sun rises.
Coming back to the point, Hindus worships the sun because of its importance in the ancient scriptures whereas Muslims face in the direction of the shortest distance to their holiest shrine while praying. It’s different directions for different countries. For the Indians and other southeast countries, they face the west, whereas in Europe and Africa it’s towards the east and northeast respectively.
Myth 4: Muslims open and raise their hands whereas Hindus fold their hands
Muslims raise open and raise their hands in the glory of their lord whereas Hindus fold their hands in the glory of their gods and goddesses. Both are praying, asking, being grateful at that particular moment.
In fact, in some postures of meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism require us to open our hands and sit. It’s believed that you can collect the blessings and powers of the universe if you open your hand.
Myth 5: In the place of worship, Muslim move anticlockwise while Hinduism move clockwise
This is regarding the circumambulation that Muslims do in their holiest shrine as discussed earlier.
Again, if one has studied even little science, she or he should know that there is nothing as a universal direction in the universe. The direction depends upon the location of the observer. Modern science has observed many things that confirm the importance of the anticlockwise movement.
- The moon revolves around the earth’s anti-clockwise.
- The earth rotates around its axis in an anti-clockwise direction.
- All the galaxies orbit in the space in an anti-clockwise direction.
- Although not fully right, the planets of the Solar system revolve around the sun in an anti-clockwise direction.
- Although not fully right, the electrons of an atom revolve around its nucleus in an anti-clockwise direction.
If we’ve got an open mind and use little of our brain, we can see that no one is doing the opposite of anyone. Different belief systems have their rituals as per their requirement, comfort, time zone, history, geography, and many other factors.
So the next time you’re in such an illogical and foolish discussion, you know what to do and what not to do. Although I’m no domain expert, this is what I’ve understood in life.
PS: No one can get detailed knowledge about belief systems until she or he reads the ancient scriptures and understand them. I suggest staying away from people who don’t have any idea about what’s written in these ancient scriptures.