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Shiva worship in ancient Arabia
By Muzaffar Hussain

CULTURAL affinity is stronger than even national unity. Because any chunk of land comes alive only when culture infuses life into it. Two hostile nations can be brought back to amity only when the cultural bonds between them are activated. This was the thread Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee picked up to revive the pre-partition cultural bonds between the two scions of the Akhand Bharat. He, therefore, chose artistes and poets to accompany him on his occidental odyssey in quest of amity with Pakistan, because only the cultural appeal could touch the right chord. Thus the sympathetic resonance alone can be expected to replace the chronic mutual distrust with mutual trust and friendship. The style of prayer or the method of worship can always be shorter in life than a nation. Therefore, the particular way of living that has evolved on a particular stretch of land is recorded in the history of that land. This history concretizes that country's heritage, and that country preserves this heritage and bases its plans for future development on this legacy.

Pakistan may have declared itself an Islamic State. But it cannot shed its ancient heritage dating back to the Mohenjo Daro and Harappa civilization. And its most famous national hero can only be the great grammarian Panini. The fanatic religious madness called Taliban may attempt to destroy every vestige of pre-Islamic Civilization, but it cannot deny the historical reality of Afghanistan's ancient religions of Vedic or Parsi fire-worship. In spite of Iran's embracing Islam, Cyrus, Sohrab and Rostam are even today hailed as Iranian icons. Gandhar (modern Kandhar) cannot disown Gandhari and the Mahabharat. Iran may observe the most militant form of Islam, but when the question of their ethnic origin arises, the Iranians proudly claim their Aryan descent.

Kafvinak Zikramin Ulumin tab aseru
Kaluvan Amatatul hava a lazakkuru
Na tazasveroha udan elelavada-a lilavra
Valuka ene zatallahe aum tab aseru
Va aha lolaha Azah aramian Mahadev
Manozel ilamuddine Minahum va savatt aru

That means :

"Can the person, who indulged in bad deeds and lustful and angry activities, be granted salvation if he repents, atones for and proposes to embrace dharma and follow righteous path?

If he worships Lord Mahadev with true devotion he can attain the highest position in spiritual attainments."

The name of Mahadev is mentioned in the Arabic original exactly as it is pronounced in Sanskrit or other Indian languages.
Umer bin Hashsham further says, "Oh Lord! Grant me a day's stay in India in exchange for my entire life, because by reaching there a man attains salvation."

Va sahabe ke vam fim kamil Hinde you man
Yakulun na lajaha jan fainnak tavajjaru
Another poet is cited in this same book on p. 257 who says,
Aya mubarekal araz vashaive nohaminar Hinde
Va adarakkallah majye vashaiye nazzale zikaratun

The means :-
"Oh holy land India, you are great
Because God has made you to spread His Wisdom."

The above lines are enough to show what sentiments the Arabs entertained regarding Lord Shiva and India. Lord Shiva was held as God of knowledge, and India the land of knowledge and both were respected for their benign influence.

"Hind" is the name Arabs gave to India. They considered India almost like paradise and so they endearingly called their beloved daughters "Hindus" (intention was the daughters were heavenly fairies). They borrowed the figures "0 to 9" from Indian mathematicians. They called the numerals "Hindsa". Arab traders were impressed with the mouth-watering taste of Indian "tamarind". The English word itself has been a corruption of Arabic—"tamar-i-Hind" which means the "fruit of India" in Arabic. The Arabs' trade with India has been going on from ancient ages. Those guides who guided Vasco-da-Gama, the Portuguese explorer who found a new route to India in early sixteenth century, were the same Arab traders. The noted archaeologist, Shri Wakankar, has described this extensively in his book.

 

 

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