Zakir Naik Refutation
Note: Clarification of Purpose already mentioned in Part 1. Please refer that article.
Mohammed in the Atharva Veda ?
According to the learned researchers of IRF Atharva Veda predicts the Prophet. Let’s rationally read the Sanskrit and analyze whether it is correct or not.
The actual Sanskrit translations of the mantras will be quoted as “Actual:”
1. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Prophesied in Atharvaveda
In the 20th book of Atharvaveda Hymn 127 Some Suktas (chapters) are known as Kuntap Sukta. Kuntap means the consumer of misery and troubles. Thus meaning the message of peace and safety and if translated in Arabic means Islam.
1. By this logic, all books having the message of peace and safety and their content would mean Islam.
2. Considering that Vedas came way before Muhammad founded Islam, this only means that whatever peaceful or good was brought by Muhammad in Islam was actually already a part of Vedic traditions. And that the word Islam was already existing way before Muhammad adapted it to name his cult.
Kuntap also means hidden glands in the abdomen. These mantras are called so probably because their true meaning was hidden and was to be revealed in future. Its hidden meaning is also connected with the navel or the middle point of this earth. Makkah is called the Ummul Qur’a the mother of the towns or the naval of the earth. In many revealed books it was the first house of Divine worship where God Almighty gave spiritual nourishment to the world. The Qur’an says in Surah Ali-Imran chapter 3, verse 96:
“The first house (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah (Makkah) full of blessings and of guidance and for all kinds of beings”. Thus Kuntap stands for Makkah or Bakkah.
1. Which dictionary states that Kuntaap means hidden glands in the abdomen?
2. Further, even if it means so, as researched by Dr Naik, how does it link with navel? In abdomen, all other organs are hidden inside – liver, stomach, intestine etc. It is only the navel which is not hidden!
3. The third line of IRF quote obviously refers to Islamic belief of earth being flat, and Muhammad being born in centre of the earth! But as per Vedas and modern science, earth is almost spherical and hence all points on it can be considered middle point.
4. Had Mecca (Makkah) been on Equator, perhaps some credibility could have been attached to IRF claims. But as per modern science, in a non-flat world,
Mecca lies at 21-29 N. It is not even on Tropic of Cancer!
Kuntaapa = abdominal glands = navel = center = center of the earth = Mecca
hence, Kuntaapa = Mecca
For Kuntaap to mean Mecca, great leaps of imagination are required.
Several people have translated these Kuntap Suktas like M. Bloomfield, Prof. Ralph Griffith, Pandit Rajaram, Pandit Khem Karan, etc.
1. Of the translators mentioned by IRF, two are western indologists who had their own Christian agenda. They can no way be considered relevant for understanding of Vedas. The way of learning Vedas is Shabda Pramana through chain of disciplic succession , also known as Parampara.
2. But interestingly, even they talk of nothing even remotely related to Muhammad or
Mecca in the alleged verses. The only common point perhaps is the word camel. It seems that IRF team frantically searched for various mantras referring to camel in Vedas, and chose to interpret them, as per their own agenda, as would soon be evident.
The main points mentioned in the Kuntap Suktas i.e. in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 127 verses 1-13 are:
He is Narashansah or the praised one (Muhammad). He is Kaurama: the prince of peace or the emigrant, who is safe, even amongst a host of 60,090 enemies.
He is a camel-riding Rishi, whose chariot touches the heaven.
He is Mamah Rishi who is given a hundred gold coins, ten chaplets (necklaces), three hundred good steeds and ten thousand cows.
Vachyesv rebh. ‘Oh! ye who glorifies’.
Actual Meaning): Narashanshah or the praised one shall be praised. O Kaurama – one who dwells happily on earth, we shall receive 60090 kinds of gifts from those brave ones who have destroyed violent ones.
Mantra 2, 3
Actual Meaning): His chariot has twenty fast-moving camels and she-camels. He donated 100 gold coins, 10 garlands, 300 horses and 10000 cows to deserving people.
Actual Meaning ): Keep preaching in the manner a bird chirps on a tree laden with fruits till death comes.
So far, nothing seems odd about the meanings given by IRF or other scholars. The only differences are that certain terms have subtly been introduced to set the context for proving Muhammad in these mantras. In modern parlance, this technique is called covert persuasion. Note that so far nothing hints at Muhammad except that there is a mention of camel!
Now let us analyse the IRF research
The Sanskrit word Narashansah means ‘the praised one’, which is the literal translation of the Arabic word Muhammad (pbuh).
1. The Arabic term b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm which is uttered before every verse of Quran is literal translation of “All glories to the merciful Lord.” In the Vedic literature, Lord Vishnu is repeatedly referred to as “the merciful Lord.” So using IRF’s own logic, the standard Islamic invocation can be shown to refer to Lord Vishnu.
The Sanskrit word Kaurama means ‘one who spreads and promotes peace’. The holy Prophet was the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he preached equality of human kind and universal brotherhood. Kaurama also means an emigrant. The Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah and was thus also an Emigrant.
1. Kaurama means ‘one who dwells peacefully on earth’. Now history is evident of how peaceful has Prophet’s life been.
2. The way Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah, has been replicated by millions throughout the history. One can hardly name a historically famous person who becomes famous without moving around! So how is this verse applicable only for the Prophet ?
He will be protected from 60,090 enemies, which was the population of Makkah.
From which census did IRF find out this population figure?
The Prophet would ride a camel. This clearly indicates that it cannot be an Indian Rishi, since it is forbidden for a Brahman to ride a camel according to the Sacred Books of the East, volume 25, Laws of Manu pg. 472. According to Manu Smirti chapter 11 verse 202, “A Brahman is prohibited from riding a camel or an ass and to bathe naked. He should purify himself by suppressing his breath”.
1. The mantra says allegorically that the chariot of the king will have twenty male and female camels. Even if we take it literally, did Muhammad ever travel on such a camel-chariot? Is Prophet the only camel-rider on earth ever in history?
2. The mantra talks about a king who is a Kshatriya and not a Brahman. So the relevant excerpt from Manu is not applicable in first place. Also , the original translation simply states that if a Brahman has to ride on a camel, he can purify himself by doing Pranayam. It does not say that Brahman is banned from riding camel.
This mantra gave the Rishi’s name as Mamah. No rishi in
or another Prophet had this name Mamah which is derived from Mah which means to esteem highly, or to revere, to exalt, etc. Some Sanskrit books give the Prophet’s name as ‘Mohammad’, but this word according to Sanskrit grammar can also be used in the bad sense. It is incorrect to apply grammar to an Arabic word. Actually it has the same meaning and somewhat similar pronunciation as the word Muhammad (pbuh).
1. The word “Mamahe” is used in the 3rd mantra of 127th sukta of Atharvaveda and not “Mamah”. There is a world of difference as we will see in next point. The derivation as given by IRF is a deviation & is not based on any text on grammar.
2. The word ‘Mamahe’ has been used as a verb here, meaning “We give” and NOT a noun.
3. Further the word has been used in plural and not singular. So it can not denote a singular person by wildest stretch of imagination.
4. If the word ‘Mamahe’ has to mean a noun ‘Muhammad’ in this mantra, the mantra becomes meaningless because ‘Mamahe’ is the ONLY verb in the entire mantra. And no sentence can have any meaning without presence of even a single verb!
He is given 100 gold coins, which refers to the believers and the earlier companions of the Prophet during his turbulent Makkan life. Later on due to persecution they migrated from Makkah to Abysinia. Later when Prophet migrated to Madinah all of them joined him in Madinah.
1. Suddenly, gold coins have turned into believers .
2. No text of Islam states that his followers were 100 in number initially. Some biographers do hint at 40 followers, but 100 seems to be another new revelation.
IRF’s claim: The 10 chaplets or necklaces were the 10 best companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) known as Ashra-Mubbashshira (10 bestowed with good news). These were foretold in this world of their salvation in the hereafter i.e. they were given the good news of entering paradise by the Prophet’s own lips and after naming each one he said “in Paradise”. They were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Saad bin Zaid and Abu Ubaidah (May Allah be well-pleased with all of them).
1. What made IRF think that necklace can mean companions? Merely the fact that 10 companions of Prophet are very famous in Islamic folklores? Almost all Prophets of Islam roamed in desert and hence were camel riders.
2. So why can’t this mean Ten Commandments of Moses, by same logic!
The Sanskrit word ‘Go’ is derived from ‘Gaw’ which means ‘to go to war’. A cow is also called ‘Go’ and is a symbol of war as well as peace. The 10,000 cows refer to the 10,000 companions who accompanied the Prophet (pbuh) when he entered Makkah during Fateh Makkah which was a unique victory in the history of mankind in which there was no blood shed. The 10,000 companions were pious and compassionate like cows and were at the same time strong and fierce and are described in the Holy Quran in Surah Fatah:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.”
1. This is yet another research of Dr Naik that ‘Go’ means ‘to go to war’. ‘Go’ indeed means a lot of things in various mantras depending on the context – Cow, Earth, Moving Body etc. But in the current context, where the subject is of donation, the obvious meaning is ‘Cow’.
Donation of Cow has been a longstanding Vedic tradition still practiced and respected. All Vedic legends were preservers and protectors of cow. All noble Vedic kings were known to donate cows. Cow forms the backbone of Vedic civilization .
2. It is difficult to see the comparison of 10000 companions of Muhammad with cow. If they mean cow, then cow cannot mean ‘to go at war’ in this mantra as the same word cannot mean two completely different things in same context.
3. If indeed Muslims consider cows to be compassionate and pious, as described in IRF article, what makes them kill these cows in name of Allah?
4. In fact in this mantra, to make sense in lines of IRF propaganda, ‘Go’ has to mean three things – to go at war (a verb), symbol of peace and symbol of war, all at the same time! It has to be a verb and a noun at the same time! As ‘Mamahe’ is the only verb in the mantra, it has been deliberately interpreted as a noun in this mantra by IRF. Thus this would have to be the only sentence of its kind in history of language where a word is a verb and two nouns at same time, and another word which is supposed to be a verb is now a noun.
Battle of the Allies described in the Vedas.
It is mentioned in Atharvaveda Book XX Hymn 21 verse 6, “Lord of the truthful! These liberators drink these feats of bravery and the inspiring songs gladdened thee in the field of battle. When thou renders vanquished without fight the ten thousand opponents of the praying one, the adoring one.”
This Prophecy of the Veda describes the well-known battle of Ahzab or the battle of the Allies during the time of Prophet Muhammed. The Prophet was victorious without an actual conflict which is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Ahzab:
“When the believers saw the confederate forces they said, “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.” And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.”
The Sanskrit word karo in the Mantra means the ‘praying one’ which when translated into Arabic means ‘Ahmed’, the second name of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
The 10,000 opponents mentioned in the Mantra were the enemies of the Prophet and the Muslims were only 3000 in number.
The last words of the Mantra aprati ni bashayah means the defeat was given to the enemies without an actual fight.
Actual Meaning): “O Protector of Truthful! You have been pleased by those brave ones who produce bliss, by acts of bravery and noble passion in wars against the enemies. Through smart action oriented zeal, ten thousand enemies have been defeated without resistance.”
1. If indeed it means Battle of Ahzab, why is the number of soldiers in Prophet’s army not given?
2. The phrase Dash Sahsra or its variants are used in several places in Vedas to signify a large number or limitlessness.
3. There is no word as ‘Karo’ in the mantra. The closest sounding word in the mantra is “Karave’ which DOES NOT mean praying one’. It means ‘for the action-oriented’. NO name of Muhammad means ‘action-oriented’. So any connection with Muhammad is ruled out.
The enemies’ defeat in the conquest of Makkah is mentioned in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 21 verse no 9:
“You have O Indra, overthrown 20 kings and 60,099 men with an outstripping Chariot wheel who came to fight the praised one or far famed (Muhammad) orphan.”
The population of Makkah at the time of Prophet’s advent was nearly 60,000. There were several clans in Makkah each having its own chief. Totally there were about 20 chiefs to rule the population of Makkah. An Abandhu meaning a helpless man who was far-famed and ‘praised one’. Muhammad (pbuh) overcame his enemies with the help of God.
1. There is no census data to validate that
had a population of 60,000 in Muhammad’s era except IRF research based on their own revealed sources.
2. Literal translation of this mantra means that 60000 plus enemies and their 20 kings were crushed under the chariots. By this logic, there should be 60,000 soldiers in the battlefield , also
had a population of 60,000 .If that be so, it means that entire population of
including women & children fought against Muhammad and were killed by him.
3. In reality, this Battle of Mecca was as small tribal battle where 900-1000 soldiers and 300 soldiers of Islam have supposed to have fought for a few hours, as per Islamic experts. And not more than 10 leaders are known to have participated from Meccan side. Thus neither the number 20, nor 60000 in mantra.