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14 Apr, 2005
[Author's Note: This essay is a satire exploring the dark side of major religions.]
A bachelor approaching mid-thirty and desperately keen to find a life-partner, I was introduced to a Muslim girl by a good friend of mine sometime in March, 2003. This girl is of Pakistani-Indian parentage, was born and brought up in a Western country. She had a Bachelors Degree (B.Sc.) from University of Brunswick (Canada) and a Masters Degree (M. Sc.) from Cambridge (UK). Subsequently she spent about 7 years in teaching at a University. At that time she was also working on a thesis to get her PhD in an area in Science.
I was born and brought up in a rural and conservative Islamic society of a Muslim country in South Asia. But intrigued by the terrorist activities of the Muslims, which was overwhelming the world especially after the brutal attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York on September 11 (2001), my faith in Islam had become rather shaken at that time. Indeed, I had already, grown a bit of skepticism about Islam when I met this girl. When I met her for the second time in the company of my friend and his Western wife (a new Muslimah), I was asked about the strength of my belief in Islam since religion was very important for her.
Remaining confused about my faith in Islam at the moment, I could not give a satisfactory answer. Because, I wanted to be honest with the person I was to share my whole life with. However, I had emphasized to her that I would have loved to be considered just as a human being - not a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or whatsoever. But that was nowhere close to her satisfaction. Finally, the question came down to: Which religion I would choose, in case I must choose one? Again, because of my insufficient knowledge in any religion and the Scriptures, including Islam, I could not provide a satisfactory or a clear-cut answer.
Following this episode, I had forwarded the question "Which Religion Should I Choose?" to various internet discussion groups for help, since it was impossible for me to read at least a few Scriptures well enough to return an honest reply to my prospective life-partner. I had received a few abstract comments from a few sympathetic friends but with no clear-cut answer as to why and which religion to choose. Although I had talked to that girl a couple of times more, she finally concluded our tango saying, "Religion (Islam) is the main thing in my life and I am looking for someone with similar ideals." As I was looking for an answer myself, I somehow had culled a few points from incidental happenings around my life and I could probably make my mind of some sort, in case, I had to choose a religion. Also a couple of years have passed by since then and I have by now studied a good deal of the Scriptures of Abrahamic religions and a little bit of Hinduism and I can now make a definite decision about which religion to choose, if I must choose one.
Why religion and which religion?
Why one needs a religion? It does not require explaining that one needs a religion for having his eternal afterlife secure by clearing the way to heaven. For a religious person, the very transitory life on earth is of little importance. And about which religion to choose, it is important to realize that there is only one God and possibly one or a few true religions. One must be prudent enough to determine which one is the truest religion and go for that one. If you make a wrong choice you are doomed and destined for burning in the fire of hell for eternity. I have personally given a deep and thorough thought about which particular religion to choose and I think I have recognized the true and the purest religion which I will discuss in the following sections.
In this discussion, however, I have given consideration to four major religions of present time, namely: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. I have not given consideration to those hundreds or thousands of religions and Gods, such as powerful Greek gods Zeus, Apollo et al. of the Hellenic-age which have suffered tragic death. Because, I considered that God, the all-powerful and the absolute controller of our universe cannot suffer such miserable death - especially after showing Himself to mankind in a mighty way. I also did not consider the smaller religions and Gods of the present time, because I believe that if God is really interested in revealing Himself to mankind He must have had done that already because millions of years have passed since he had created this Universe. It doesn't make any sense to me that God will still keep Himself behind the veil anymore, if he was to present Himself to mankind one day. Our Universe and the mankind have matured enough. This means that God must have presented himself in one of the living religions of present time. And why I did not consider the smaller religions? It is because, an almighty God, who is the sole creator and controller of everything in our Universe and is really keen to reveal Himself to mankind, He cannot hide meekly in the middle of weak or timid religion at this moment of excellence of human civilization. I believe that majority of human beings today have become mature and intelligent enough to be able to recognize the truer religions. Hence, one of those religions, that claim a significant number of followers today, must be the true or the truest religion.
I also did not consider the other major so-called religion, the Buddhism, because there is no almighty God and afterlife (hellfire or heaven) in this religion. At best it appears as a splinter of Hinduism, which has been considered in my discussion. Indeed, Buddha never really preached a religion. He was just a great sage with a group of followers and he used to teach them what should be the way of living one's life. Aristotle and Lucretius et al. of the same pre-Christ age used to have similar followers whom these great sages used to teach their idea and understanding about life and the world. If Buddhism is to be considered a religion, then Aristotlism, Lucretiusism etc. must also be considered as religions as well.
Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the same pedigree?
Muslims claim that the same Almighty
Muslim God, called Allah, had sent Noah, Moses, Jesus and finally
Mohammad (the last and the best) as prophets to promulgate His
principles and teachings to mankind. However, the Jews and
Christians never believe that Muhammad was sent by their
respective Gods. In the same vein, the Christians believe that
Moses was sent by the same God but Jews never believe in Jesus.
In the midst of these believing and not-believing, I have been
left wondering for long, as to how the same God sent prophets to
preach His principles and teachings which are so different in
methods and forms, at least in the way people of these faiths
practice them today. I have culled a good deal of knowledge from
the various scriptures and from incidences I came across over the
last couple of years, which have helped me understand that there
appears a commonness in the original/true teachings of these
three religions. The apparent differences, that we witness, may
have arisen possibly from continued changes or aberrations
introduced by human beings in the practice of these religions
over the centuries. Certain examples, that I will put here, may
lack proper references since I have culled them from mutual
discussions. But I believe that they will reflect the truth.
Stoning to Death for Adultery: Common to Islam, Judaism and Christianity?
Most moderate Muslims, indoctrinated with modern secular education, would argue that stoning-to-death for adultery is alien to Islam. They claim, "There nothing is said about stoning in Qur´an". Although not mentioned explicitly about stoning-to-death in relation to adultery, Koran, however, cites stoning, cutting hands and legs, Crucifixion etc. as various forms of punishment (5:33,38, 4:157, 20:71 etc.).
Yet, stoning-to-death for adultery is quite common in many Muslim countries, especially in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, and former Afghanistan under the Taleban rule. Currently a 13-year-old Iranian girl, named Jhila, was ordered to be stoned to death when she became pregnant by her 15-year-old brother. Another Iranian woman, named Fatemeh (33), is facing stoning-to-death for killing her husband in an attempt to save their daughter being raped by the father. Around the world, everyone has known the famous Amina Lawal Stoning-to-death case of Nigeria. She was finally acquitted from stoning to death after mounting international pressure on the Nigeria Government, in which an astounding 30 million people signed petitions initiated by various human rights groups asking to spare Amina Lawal's life. There was the other case of Jafran Bibi of Pakistan, who was also finally spared from stoning to death upon intervention by President Musharraf, again after intense international campaign. In fact, more closed and puritanical countries such as Saudi Arabia, from where hardly any news comes out to the world media, the incidences of stoning-to-death for committing adultery or illegitimate sex have occurred on a regular basis over the decades.
Naturally, the question arises: How is it possible that stoning-to-death for committing adultery is alien to Islam when such widespread incidences are occurring in many parts of the Islamic world? Wait a minute, stoning-to-death is not an unknown entity to Islam but instead, it is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions right from the beginning of Islam. Indeed, there are multiple Ahadiths (deeds and sayings of Prophet Muhammad, who, in Islam, is considered the most ideal human being of all time) which cite vivid accounts of how Prophet Muhammad himself had ordered stoning-to-death for committing adultery on multiple occasions. Let us read these Ahadith:
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 829; Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah's Apostle said to them, "What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?" They replied, "(But) we announce their crime and lash them." Abdullah bin Salam said, "You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm." They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, "Lift your hand." When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, "Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. ('Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones.")
Book 017, Number 4207: Imran b. Husain reported that a woman from Juhaina came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and she had become pregnant because of adultery. She said: Allah's Apostle, I have done something for which (prescribed punishment) must be imposed upon me, so impose that. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) called her master and said: Treat her well, and when she delivers bring her to me. He did accordingly. Then Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) pronounced judgment about her and her clothes were tied around her and then he commanded and she was stoned to death.
Volume 7, Book 63, Number 196: Narrated Abu Huraira: A man from Bani Aslam came to Allah's Apostle while he was in the mosque and called (the Prophet) saying, "O Allah's Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse." On that the Prophet turned his face from him to the other side, whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse." The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and repeated his statement. The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side again. The man moved again (and repeated his statement) for the fourth time. So when the man had given witness four times against himself, the Prophet called him and said, "Are you insane?" He replied, "No." The Prophet then said (to his companions), "Go and stone him to death." The man was a married one. Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari said: I was one of those who stoned him. We stoned him at the Musalla ('Id praying place) in Medina. When the stones hit him with their sharp edges, he fled, but we caught him at Al-Harra and stoned him till he died.
Book 017, Number 4209: Abu Huraira and Zaid b Khalid al-Juhani reported: Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Say. He said: My son was a servant in the house of this person and he committed adultery with his wife. I was informed that my son deserved stoning to death (as punishment for this offence). I gave one hundred goats and a slave girl as ransom for this. I asked the scholars (if this could serve as expiation for this offence). They informed me that my son deserved one hundred lashes and exile for one year and this woman deserved stoning (as she was married). Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace he upon him) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life. I will decide between you according to the Book of Allah. The slave-girl and the goats should be given back, and your son is to be punished with one hundred lashes and exile for one year. And, O Unais (b. Zuhaq al-Aslami), go to this woman in the morning, and if she makes a confession, then stone her. He (the narrator) said: He went to her in the morning and she made a confession. And Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) made pronouncement about her and she was stoned to death.
Book 017, Number 4201: Ibn Abbas reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said to Ma'iz b. Malik: Is it true what has reached me about you? He said: What has reached you about me? He said: It has reached me that you have committed (adultery) with the slave-girl of so and so? He said: Yes. He (the narrator) said: He testified four times. He (the Holy Prophet) then made pronouncement about him and he was stoned (to death).
There are more Ahadiths which vividly describe other incidences, where the Prophet of Islam had ordered stoning-to-death for people who committed adultery. If we consider the first Ahadith about stoning of the adulterous Jewish couple it becomes evident that the Jews, at that time, had started abandoning this cruel, barbaric and inhuman justice (in humanistic sense, not necessarily in religious sense) but the Prophet of Allah reintroduced it in order to re-establish Allah's true justice. Thus stoning-to-death is evidently a part and parcel of Islamic tradition (Sha´ria) initiated by the first and the greatest Muslim, Prophet Muhammad himself.
However, this is what the Jewish Holy book Torah or the Old Testament says about stoning-to-death as a punishment for adultery:
"If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her" (Deuteronomy 22:22)
ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye
shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because
she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath
humbled his neighbor's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from
among you." (Deuteronomy 22:24)
Thus, the Jewish religion clearly prescribes stoning-to-death as a punishment for committing adultery in the Holy Torah. Now let's see what Christian religion says about punishment for adultery. It should be understood that Christians agree that the Jewish religion was prescribed by the same GOD they follow. This means stoning-to-death, which had been prescribed as punishment for adultery in the Jewish Scripture automatically becomes applicable to the Christian religion. However, while chatting with a deeply religious Western Catholic friend and colleague, she told me a similar story about adultery in Christianity. The Jewish people caught a woman in the act of adultery and brought her to Jesus for justice (interestingly, the man was not brought for justice). The accusers claimed that Moses had ordered stoning-to-death and when insisted, Jesus also obliged to stoning-to-death verdict as the punishment, but he allowed only sinless persons to throw the stones. Apparently there was no sinless person present amongst the crowd and adulterous woman survived.
Indeed, this story has been described in John 8:3-11. The present-day Christians take credit by saying, "Jesus tactically saved the life of that woman." In other words, Christianity does not allow stoning-to-death for committing adultery. However, a couple of points should be considered here. Firstly, Jesus, whom a majority of Christians considers the almighty God Himself, standing tall out there, in effect, obliged and approved that "stoning-to-death is a valid punishment for adultery". It's unfortunate that there was no sinless people there to hand the justice and the lucky woman escaped a barbaric way of dying. This does not mean that in another case, there won't be the enough sinless people around to cause a brutal and barbaric death to people for committing the same crime. Where is the fairness of justice then? Here one couple got away with it, while another may end up dying the most painful, inhuman and barbaric death for exactly the same crime. The second point is: "only a sinless holy people could do the stoning", said Jesus. Only when you are a sinless virtuous person, you can attempt to kill a person by stoning - a truly virtuous act.
Interestingly, the story of stoning in the Bible doesn't just end here. In the story of adultery as discussed above, once all the people had left the place with the guilty woman left there alone, Jesus told the woman that she was innocent and advised her not to sin anymore (John 8:11: ...... And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.) Yet, in another place, God has promised adulterers, fornicators, revelers, heretics and idolaters to dump into hell [Gal 5:19-21]. What a contradiction! When this woman is already sinless (Neither do I condemn thee), why should she be excluded from the kingdom of God (heaven)? Yet again, Jesus promises imprisonment with great tribulations to adulterers and fornicators unless they repent [Rev 2:20-22]. Most interestingly, Jesus promises to kill those children conceived through adultery and fornication [Rev 2:23]. Now, take it! What kind of sickness is this? The real culprits and sinners (the adulterers and fornicators) who will be let go if they simply repent but there is no escape from death for the absolutely innocent children being born from the mistakes of their parents sinful acts. However, one fact turns out to be true: that thousands of children that are born everyday out of wedlock at present, mainly in the Western world, must be killed as per the promise of Jesus.
The point I seek to drive home is that in the consideration of stoning-to-death for committing adultery, these three religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) fall on the same line.
Religion: a trade of killing and destruction
I was watching a TV program on the ´Discovery Travel Adventure (DTA)´ channel, which was narrating the history of Christian proliferation since its early days. It is well-known that Jesus himself had never exercised any major violence in order to preach Christianity. However, that did not stop his followers from resorting to violence against the-then infidels (non-Christians), mainly the Jews. According to the TV documentary, the Christians started violence and cruelty to oppress, kill and destroy the existing Jews' lives and establishments as soon as they formed a strong force, especially since the 4th century onwards after Roman emperor Constantine the Great embraced Christianity. In this regard, Michael Hart in his book 'The 100' writes: "... Constantine's reign may be said to mark the beginning of the official persecution of the Jews that was to persist in Christian Europe for so many centuries." The truth is: even Saint Paul, who indeed became the lead-figure in putting Christianity in strong footing (the real father of present-day Christianity, who was a Jew at that time), was ironically involved in persecution of newly converted Christians before he had a change of heart to become a Christian. The persecution, killing and destruction of the Jews and other non-Christians by the Christians which started in the 4th century, culminated in the Holocaust of World War II, which was inspired by the Protestant Reformation of Christianity by Martin Luther which had a strongly anti-Jew undertone. Hitler had exploited Christianity as the major weapon for mobilizing support for the most devastating war of 20th century, to which the Vatican had rendered a mute if not vocal support. The German soldiers used to go to the battle singing "God is on our side". Hitler and his top associates in their own speeches present a direct role of Christianity in mobilizing support for WWII and the Holocaust:
"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: 'by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." [Adolph Hitler]. For more, see No Beliefs].
gave the savior to German people. We have faith, deep and
unshakeable faith, that he (Hitler) was sent to us by GOD to save
Germany. [Hitler's Elite]. [For more, see NoBeliefs]
In the Holocaust, the unfortunate Jews were facing total extermination from the face of the earth, with 6 out of 12 million world Jew population murdered. The annihilation of millions of human lives from the South American Content in the campaign of establishing Christianity late in the last millennium is another brutal example. And it is also reflected in Pope John Paul II's recent tours around the world, where he has been busy offering apology for Christian atrocities around the World. It is a shame that Pope John Paul II, the holder and defender of such a heinous, inhuman and murderous legacy, still hold so much of respect and reverence even in this 21st century modern world of excellence in justice and human rights in many parts of the globe.
So Christianity is not at all different from Islam as far as the inhuman and barbaric destructive nature and perpetration of such acts are concerned. The Old Testament (The truer Christian Holy Book which Jesus accepted in Principle and preached. The New Testament is mostly a work of St Paul. Jesus never really preached a new religion. But instead he was a devout Jew.), the early section in the Bible itself contains numerous verses justifying and glorifying inhuman cruelty of the worst-imaginable kind. Hence, indulgence of the Christians in cruel and destructive activities is religiously justified in the truest sense of Christian God's teachings. The only difference is that Christianity had been defeated by the secular and humane state policies, and in the process has sought to humanize itself, which in fact came at a very heavy price on part of the freethinkers, reformers and critiques of this faith.
On the other hand, unlike Jesus, Prophet Mohammad did not backtrack from engaging in violent activities for establishing the alleged teachings of the Muslim God (Allah). Indeed, Prophet Muhammad in his lifetime engaged in at least 78 wars and only two of them were known to be waged by his opponents. In these Holy wars thousands of Jews (mostly), Christians and pagans were killed. To give an example of the nature of Islamic atrocity, let us consider Prophet Muhammad's war with the Banu Qurai'za, a Jewish clan. The reason of this war has been described in the following Ahadith:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 443: Narrated 'Aisha: When the Prophet returned from Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench) and laid down his arms and took a bath, Gabriel came and said (to the Prophet), You have laid down your arms? By Allah, we angels have not laid them down yet. So set out for them." The Prophet said, "Where to go?" Gabriel said, "Towards this side," pointing towards Banu Quraiza. So the Prophet went out towards them.
From this Ahadith, it becomes clear that Banu Qurai'za tribe did not have any major fault of their own if at all. Yet, Prophet Muhammad waged this war by accusing the Banu Qurai'za clan for not helping the Muslims in their war against the Qur'aish pagan of Mecca. The most striking aspect of this war is the cruel punishment that was handed to the surrendered Qurai'za tribe people. All of their grown-up men, numbering 600-900 were most cruelly slaughtered in which Prophet Muhammad himself had taken a leading role. This was followed by immediate capture of their homes and properties whilst taking their women and children as slaves. The legacy of violent warfare, initiated by Prophet Muhammad himself, continued with a greater zeal after his death resulting in the creation of one of the largest kingdoms (Islamic) that mankind have witnessed. The Islamic conquests have resulted in millions of death around the world. In India alone, Muslim rulers might have killed as many as 50 millions Hindus and indigenous people whilst hundreds to thousands of Hindu temples might have been destroyed.
However, when it comes to atrocities with regard to Jesus, it must be considered that he was crucified early when his disciples formed a very feeble force. Some account gives a figure of 17 disciples when Jesus was crucified by the Romans. Yet, he had shown enough intent to go violent. For example, Jesus and his small gang of disciples had attacked financiers engaged in lawful currency transactions and disrupted business activities terming them illegal. He also had stirred class warfare amongst the poor and was thought to have waged campaign against paying taxes to the Roman Government. In fact, he himself had spelled many violent passages, a few of which are listed here:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. [Matthew 10:34 (KJV)]
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. [Luke 22:36 (KJV)]
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. [Matthew. 24:6-7. (KJV)]
"Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world nor in the world to come." [Mat 12:32]
There is a lack of detailed historical accounts of the violence perpetrated by the Jews. However, violence was a major trait in Judaism which is stated in the Bertrand Russell's following statement"...from the age of Constantine to the end of the seventeenth century, Christians were far more fiercely persecuted by other Christians than they ever were by the roman emperors. Before the rise of Christianity, this persecuting attitude was unknown to the ancient world except amongst the Jews." [In, Why I am not a Christian, p36] Violent atrocities are clearly approved in Judaism, since Torah/Old Testament contains numerous inhuman and cruel verses. A handful of the many cruel verses from Old Testament are listed here:
1. "And he (David) brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes..." (I Chronicles 20:3)
Comment: According to this verse [Chapters 17-19 (17-18-19)] the great Jew King David (prophet Dawood in Islam) killed 22,000 Syrians and that Abishai killed 18,000 Edomites, which has been glorified in the Old Testament.
2. "And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, 'Take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel." (Numbers 25:3-4)
Comment: In this verse, the Jewish God asked the Jewish Prophet Moses to chop off the head of those who worshipped other gods and to display those heads publicly.
3. "Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31:16-18)
Comment: In this verse, Jewish God commands to murder of approximately 100,000 young males and, roughly, 68,000 helpless women.
4. "And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain." (Deuteronomy 2:34)
5. "And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Hesbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities we took for a prey to ourselves." (Deuteronomy 3:6-7)
Comment: In this verse, the Jewish God commands for utter slaughter of every living object in the city - even a day-old suckling baby was not to be spared.
6. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Whoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. He that sacrificeth unto any god, save to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed." (Exodus 22:18-20)
This verse commands for killing so-called witches (women), on the
basis of which an estimated 9 million women were judged to be
witches by the Christian clergy and burned them alive in Europe
during 14th-15th century.
There are many more such unspeakably cruel
verses in the Jewish Torah. Moses himself was involved in or
ordered merciless slaughter of tens of thousands of people. Thus,
it becomes evident that cruelty and violent activities are part
and parcel of all these three Abrahamic religions - namely Islam,
Christianity and Judaism - which have been the "foundation-stone"
for the present-day form of these religions. And this commonness
also puts these three religions in the same pedigree.
Religions and dress-code
The next point I like consider here is the religiously approved dress-codes. I have long wondered if the Muslim claim of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad are the prophets of the same God, how come the prescribed dress-codes are so different. A young nubile Christian girl will go to Church for prayers with her luscious belly-button conspicuously exposed whilst those poor Muslim women and girls in hot Arabian Desert have to die boiling inside the prison-cell of those long black robes, called bur'qa. But according to my latest analysis, the truly prescribed dress-codes, amongst these religions actually seem to be very similar. Firstly, why those Priests and Sisters (nuns) follow similar dress-codes as do the Muslims? I believe those are the kind of dresses which are true prescription in Christianity. The Discovery Travel Adventure TV documentary on the evolution of Christianity, already mentioned, was showing the monasteries in a Greek Island - where Saint John is said to have had received the Revelation - which became the last Chapter (Revelation) in New Testament. I noticed that the orthodox priests (true believers) actually follow even tougher dress-codes than the Muslim Mullahs do. Those priests would never even cut the moustache unlike the Islamic Mullahs. The Jewish Rabbis also follow a very strict dress-code like the Muslim Mullahs, including keeping the beard and moustache. The Pope and cardinals in the Vatican plus the Jewish Rabbis and religious Jews also wear hats (Topi), like the Muslims men do. Like in Islam, the Bible also advocates women, but not men, to wear the veil:
Corinthians 11:4-7] Every man praying or prophesying,
having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman
that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered
dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were
shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn:
but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her
be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head,
forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is
the glory of the man.
About other injunctions like prohibition of alcohol, I have no knowledge of if the Christian Priests and nuns are allowed to drink alcohol. Indeed, the alcohol addicts (drunkards) have been promised to be burned in hell for eternity [Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.]
I think the present-day practices in Islam have been fairer by prescribing the same codes for dressing and eating/drinking etc. to everybody irrespective of high priests (Mullahs/Maolanas) or the common man, thereby placing all human beings on the same level.
Which religion I choose?
I have mentioned in the beginning that the purpose of choosing a religion is to have one's eternal afterlife secure and there must be only one true God, who has created and runs the Universe. Hence it is imperative to choose the religion of the true God so as to secure a place in heaven. The analysis above only indicates that these three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - belong to the same class and hence possibly came from the same God as claimed by the Muslims. The other major religion is Hinduism which also comes in the same league of the other three in terms of cruelty and destructive activities such as killing the non-Hindus (killing of Muslims in recent years in India), Sati-daho (burning the widows alive in dead husband's pyre), sacrificing human being to appease the God, terrible discrimination of women and the institution of the caste system etc. In a true sense, Hindu religion also approves death for adultery, since Sita, the wife of Hindu God Ram had to jump into pyre to prove her non-involvement in adultery during her captivity after being abducted by Ravan. Had Sita been involved in sex willingly or unwillingly during her captivity in Ravan's enclave, she would have had burned to death. However, the dress-code for the Hindu priest tends to be flimsier and differs from that of the Abrahamic religions, although dress-code for Hindu women is also very conservative. To my knowledge, Hindu priests are also not allowed to touch alcohol. Thus whether it is Hinduism or the other three major religions, the respective God's teachings do not seem to be much different.
Hence, it should be agreeable to us that all the four major religions discussed here, namely Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, might have actually come from the same God. It is time now to consider which one should we choose and the answer is the true and purest one. Since I have already agreed that all four are possibly true, it is time to determine which one is the purest one.
The true and purest religion
One question quickly comes to my mind that since all four religions under discussion are likely to be from the same GOD and are so similar in originality, why then they appear so different in practice. I found the answer of this question in a comment of a Hindu friend. This friend, while critiquing Islam, boasted about how Hinduism became reformed and so did Christianity but to his dismay, Islam didn't. He was utterly proud of the reformation of his religion. To my understanding, only the nonsensical pseudo-religious people, but not the true ones, can take pride in the reformation of their religion. It is important to consider the following questions in this regard.
"Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and are living, enter the house with ghee (applied) as corrylium ( to their eyes). Let these wives first step into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned." -- [Rig Veda X.18.7] [Kane 199-200]
"A sati who dies on the funeral pyre of her husband enjoys an eternal bliss in heaven" [Daksa Smrti IV.18-19] [Sm.Samu p.30 ] [ 1200, p.65]
"A woman must, on the death of her husband, allow herself to be burnt alive on the same funeral pyre" [Vasishta's Padma-Purana, DuB.345 ].
"If a woman's husband dies, let her lead a life of chastity, or else mount his pyre" [Vis.Sm. xxv.14] [Clay.13]
"It is the highest duty of the woman to immolate herself after her husband", [Br.P. 80.75] [Sheth, p.103]
The abolition of Sati-daha was literally imposed on Hinduism by Lord Bentink, a non-Hindu British ruler, who banned it in 1829. A campaign to abolish this barbaric custom was originally launched by a King, named Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), who rebelled against Hinduism and founded the monotheistic Bramha religion. Following disbandment of Sati-daha, another major Hindu reformation - the movement for allowing widows to remarry - was initiated by Ishwar Chandra Bidyasagar (1820-1891), who was also a rebel to Hinduism and a devout atheist. Thus, those who played major roles in reforming Hindu religion were neither instructed by the Hindu God to do so nor were they religious Hindu. Instead, they were not Hindu at all. About the father of Christian (Protestant) Reformation Martin Luther (1483-1546) - there is no shred of evidence that Christian God ever authorized him to change God's own original teachings.
The truth of the matter is that God can never be wrong, his justice and edicts are timeless and what he taught in the original Scriptures are His truest and finest teachings. Any attempt to reform God's own teachings by his own mortal and mistake-prone creation is thoroughly an act of grave apostasy - a slap on the face of God. Whosoever seeks to reform God's original teachings should be killed on the spot according to many verses in the Torah, Bible and Koran. Yet, today's modern and secular education-groomed so-called Hindus and Christians find great pride in this unpardonable apostasy and feel okay with the adulterated version of their religions. The truth of the matter is: when we humans become happy with reformation of God's original teachings by the unauthorized mortal human beings we tell our God the following in clear terms:
"God, you talk nonsense and what we think is better - you may well go to hell. In other words, when a Hindu man doesn't want a widow get burned alive in the dead husband's pyre, you are simply telling your God, "you are bloody cruel, you may well go to hell, I don't care. I can't see this poor woman get such a barbaric and inhuman punishment for no fault of her own."
So in the light of this analysis, we see Islam is the only religion which has not reformed and remains to be the truest teaching of God. We have seen how Prophet Mohammad reintroduced the true justice of God in the form of ´Stoning-to-Death as punishment for Adultery´ at a time when the same God´s early followers (the Jews) started disrespecting Him by not exercising the same. Unfortunately, Islam itself over the years deviated from God's true teachings in many parts of the world and as a result many adulterated versions of Islam, such as Sufi Islam, Mu'tazila Islam, Modern/Moderate Islam etc., have originated.
However, the recent renaissance of Islam, which seems to be beginning to see the light of its shining glorious days of the 7th century original Islam, is a hope for true believers of Allah. Islam is going to flourish again with reestablishment of the true teachings of Allah. Luckily, Saudi Arabia has endured great pain and determination to keep the unadulterated version of Islam alive and with the grace of Allah, true Islam is going to be dispersed to every corner of the world from the Holy Islamic land. True Islam has already been reestablished in Iran - a land with great Islamic tradition - where Islam was facing death with the import of evil and un-Islamic western cultures and lifestyle. The true Islam was reinstated in the most glorious fashion in Afghanistan by the Taleban rulers. But alas, it was all undone by the infidel Americans! However, this is just a temporary setback. True Islam is almost perfect in Sudan and Muslim majority regions of Nigeria. True Islam is being instituted in the states of Kelantan and Terrungannu in Malaysia and in Java and Acheh in Indonesia. We can see, it is returning in Iraq after the ouster of so-called secularist Saddam Hussein by the American coalition forces and the Mullahs like Muktada al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani are taking the centre-stage. Islam has almost been perfect in Pakistan for decades although recently it is facing a temporary setback with president Musharraf, an American puppet in power. Better days would follow soon. True Islam in sanitizing Bangladesh by the day and it will soon establish itself with great authority. We can also see the glorious Islam is already taking roots even in Western Kaffir (infidel) lands starting with Ontario in Canada, where Shari'a Court started functioning recently. Many other Kaffir lands of the West are currently considering the institution of Shari'a court!
Your passport to Heaven
Now everyone, truly seeking to have his/her afterlife secure for sure, you have a clear path. It is very evident to me. I see the shining light. I say: come to the true and purest (never reformed) religion of Islam and you are definitely on your way to heaven. And with the vigor Allah is instituting his glorious authority in every corner of the world, Islam is just not a passport to heaven, it is going to be the only way of life in this world too. This Islamic domination on earth is indeed promised by the glorious Allah in the Koran:
those who believe not the Allah nor the last day, nor hold that
forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his apostle, nor
acknowledge the religion of truth even if they are the people of
the book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and
feel themselves subdued."
So, wanna have the best of the both worlds? The choice could not be any clearer.