This article deals with the first person and the first prophet, our master Adam
(peace be upon him) comparing what was stated in Islam and what was narrated in the Hindu texts.
Who were Prophets of Hinduism?
Rasool (messenger) Nabi (prophet) and (wali) (friend of Allah) are Islamic terms that have a specific connotation. It is not logical to search for the same word or similar words in Indian and Hindu culture; rather, we have to look into the similar characteristics and qualities under any title or term. According to Islamic theology, the prophets and messengers are a medium between God and the general public in receiving the message from divinity and conveying them to the common people. They are essentially human beings connected to the higher world selected by divine will to receive guidance and information through their spiritual purity and their detachment from worldly and physical distractions. However, if we look in the Hindu culture, we find some words that are similar to Rasool, Nabi and wali in meaning in general.
A- (अवतार) Avtar a descent (especially of a deity from heaven), appearance of any deity upon earth (but more particularly the incarnations of Vishnu in ten principal forms or any new and unexpected appearance, (any distinguished person in the language of respect is called an Avatara or incarnation of a deity) (1)
B- Rishi (ऋषि) “glorious”, “glorified” or “glorifier”, somebody who sings or composes the Vedic prayers.
C- Muni (मुनि) = philosopher, thinker.
D- Sadhu साधू a person who is good according to scriptures, straight, right, leading straight to a goal, straightened, kind, willing, obedient, successful, peaceful, secure, Powerful, excellent, good, virtuous, honorable, righteous, a good or virtuous or honest man, a holy man, saint, sage, seer, a Jina or deified saint.(2)
The existence of such terms in the Hindu religion brings the distance between Hinduism and Islam nearer and connects the earth with heaven and man with God.
Adam and Hawwa in Islam
According to Islamic authentic sources, Adam (peace be upon him) is the first human being and the first Prophet on the face of earth. The Prophet Adam has been made from the clay like a statue then life was blown into it. After that his partner and wife; Hawwa was created from his rib. One of his ribs was taken from his body and the rib was turned into a woman who is called Hawwaa. According to another opinion, Hawwa was not created from the rib of Adam; rather, she was created separately and independently.
Adam from Paradise to the Earth
Adam and Hawwa lived in Paradise peacefully and enjoyed every blessing and favor of it. Every fruit was allowed for them to eat except for one. As one of the fruits were forbidden for them for their test. However, they were lured by the devil to taste the forbidden tree but Allah the Almighty forgave them after their repentance, however, He commanded them to come down on the earth and leave Paradise.
The Prophet Adam in India
Some Islamic sources mention that the Prophet Adam first set his foot on the land of India in Serendip, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that was a part of India.
A narration says:
(Adam was sent down in India and Eve at Jaddah. Then he came in her search and reached Jam’a (in Saudi Arab); then Eve came near to him, so the place became known as al-Muzdalifah, and they had come together at Jam’a so it was known as Jam’a.)(3)
In addition, there are some references in Hindu scriptures that narrate stories regarding the first human being with different names.
The existence of Adam’s foot on a rock on a mountain in Sri Lanka is famous for more than a thousand years. There is also a bridge between India and Sri Lanka, which is said to have been built by Adam, (peace be upon him). This also attests the landing of the Prophet Adam in India
The Prophet Adam in Hindu Scripture
One of the Hindu scriptures says:
“Adam and Eve took birth from Vishnu’s (God’s) mud. In the Eastern part of the Paradise, Parmeshwar (God) had constructed a big and beautiful forest spreading over an expanse of 4 Kos (eight miles). Adam’s impatience to see his wife led him to see Eve under the forbidden tree. At once Satan appeared there in the guise of a snake. This cunning enemy cheated Adam and Eve, made them violates the commandment of Vishnu (One of attribute of God), and the husband took the forbidden fruit that led both of them to this terrestrial universe. Both of them sustained by means of the leaves of the wild fig. Subsequently a number of children were born to them, and all of them were called Malechh. Adam lived for 930 years”. (4)
Matasya Puran describes in allegorical term that Brahma made two parts of his body and formed two person – one part formed was male known as Svayambhuva Manu and other part formed was female by name Shatarupa. (5)
Who is the First Human being in Vedas?
Rigveda says in this regard:
“All are progeny (children) of Manu.” [Rigveda 1:45:1]
And the Glorious Qur’an says:
“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs.”[An-Nisaa:1]
Qur’an states that messenger or prophet was sent to every nation and every community. Qur’an mentions 25 prophets by name. The Holy Qur’an clearly states that there are prophets and messengers who were not mentioned in the Qur’an. The Qur’an says:
(And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you.) (Ghafir:78)
It is not possible that Qur’an will mention name and details of each of hundreds of thousands of prophets, Qur’an is mainly book of guidance and by mentioning 25 prophets Qur’an guides us for this world. Surely, every community and nation was bestowed with prophet. The prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was sent to India.
Is Islam a New Religion?
Many people have the notion that Islam is a religion “founded” by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 1400 years back. Nowhere Qur’an claims that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the founder of any religion nor God says that through Qur’an any new religion came into existence. God clears that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of prophets (Last prophet). And that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not given any new religion rather the same old age religion of God that was previously given to all prophets.
Pure Divine Message is the Faith of All Prophets
The religion of all prophets and messengers over time is represented in the message of Islam. The Qur’an says:
“He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].” [Shura 42:13]
As per Islamic belief, there has been Prophet and messenger of God in various places in different era and all of them taught and propagated the same religion of God. This religion is called “Islam” in Arabic language and which is based on pure monotheism and lofty moral principles.
Were Hindus in India without Prophet?
All theist communities – those who believe in religion and existence of God – associate themselves with their Prophet. Even though the belief regarding their prophet is distorted, yet they know him-at least.
If you ask a common Hindu; what is the God’s word in Hinduism? Most of them will say Bhagwad Geeta or Ramayana or Mahabharata. But you have to remind them that these all are human written books; only Vedas are claimed to be God’s word in Hinduism. Vedas are considered ishwani (God’s word) or aupaurishya i.e. divine. Though every Hindu loves Ram, Krishna most but he does not attribute Vedas being revealed to any of them. If Vedas are God’s word then there must be someone on whom it was revealed. Our country has lost its prophet in mythological stories. The first recipient of Vedas was the messenger on whom the book was revealed.
Allah has mentioned that for every community a prophet was sent.
a. “For every Qaum (nation or community) there has been a warner.” [Surah Fatir 35:24]
b. “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community) a Messenger.” [Surah Namal 16:36]
It will be highly surprising that no prophet was sent to India which happens to be one of the important cradles of human civilization. Definitely, some Prophet would have come to this country India among Hindu masses. May be that Prophet is lost into mythological stories.
After we admit that the land of India was the first place where the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) set his foot and he was a messenger from God and received the revelation and the message, it is possible that the remnants of his teachings were present in the Hindu scriptures such as the four Vedas. It is not surprising that the messages of ancient Prophets and messengers, however, they have been distorted and changed such as the Torah and the Bible.
(1) A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C-4 p.99
(3) See: Subhatul Murjan Fi Aasar e hundustan, by Sayyid Ghulam Ali Azad Al-Belgirami, p.5.
(4) पवित्र वेद और इस्लाम धर्म, लेखक: क्यू. एस. खान. पृष्ठ ७.
(5) See Hanuman Prasad Potdar, Ram Charit Manas.(Gita press Gorakhpur, Ed. 15,) P. 154 and Kh. Hassan Nizami Dehlwi, Hindu MazhabKi Ma’lumat (Halqa Mashaikh, Delhi edition, 20 December, 1927) P. 6.