Rebuttal to Dayanand Saraswati Bismillah a questionable begining

by Mushafiq Sultan

Satyarth Prakash:

1.“(I begin this book) In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Surah Al-Fatiha 1:1.)

C. ~ The Mohammedans claim that this Qur’an is the Word of God, but it appears from the above passage that the author of this book was some person other than God, since had it been God himself, He would not have said: “(I begin this book) in the name of God etc.” He would have, instead, said: “I write this book for the instruction of mankind.” If it be said that by beginning His book in this fashion He means to teach men as to what they should say when about to do a thing, it cannot be true, since some men will do even sinful deeds in the name of God and thereby bring disgrace on Him.

If (the Mohammedan) God be merciful, why has He sanctioned that men should inflict great suffering on other creatures by killing them for their food? Are not these animals innocent? Are they not His creatures? He should have also advised men to begin only good deeds in His name and not evil ones. Thus the passage (under discussion) is quite ambiguous. Should even such sinful acts, as theft, adultery, untruthfulness in speech, begun in God’s name? Very likely it is on account of this ambiguity that the (Mohammedan) butchers etc., mutter “In the name of God, the compassionate, the most Merciful as the moment of cutting the throats of cows and other animals.”

It is clear then that the Mohammedans do begin even evil deeds in the name of God. The Mohammedan God can never be called Merciful, because He shows no mercy towards those animals (whose slaughter He sanctions). If the Mohammedans do not know the true meaning of this passage, its revelation is of no use to mankind. But if the Mohammedans interpret it differently, we should like to know what its plain meaning is.

Our Response:

If only Swamiji had carefully read the first mantra of Rigveda, he would not have raised such a false allegation.

“I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice, The hotar, lavishest of wealth. Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers. He shall bring hitherward the Gods. Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yea, plenty waxing day by day, most rich in heroes, glorious.”

( Rig Veda – Book 1;Hymn 1;Mantra 1) [Translation of Ralph T.H. Griffth]

Although the hindi translation of Arya Samaj and the English translation differ a little, yet they both have the point that I want to stress. The verse is in the third person. The hindi says “We people glorify God”.

Now, if Veda is the word of God, then who is speaking these words? Anyway, this was only a quick counter example from your own scriptures.The overwhelming majority of the Vedas is in third person. The descriptive reply is as follows:

The mode of speech of Revealed Books is of various types. Sometimes, God Almighty speaks in the first person and at times in the third person. Sometimes, God Almighty desires to teach us some prayer or supplication and hence He speaks the words as we would speak them. Surah Al- Fatiha belongs to this very category, about which Swamiji has raised this objection due to his ignorance of Revealed Books.

However, he is right in saying that some men will do even sinful deeds in the name of God and thereby bring disgrace on Him. I don’t understand why swamiji was in such a haste to refute the Quran and other Revealed Books. He should have tried to learn the Qur’an in some Arabic school, but how could he? He was so impatient to “sift truth from falsehood”, as he says in the introduction of the 14th chapter.

Swamiji himself says in Chapter 14, page 679 of Satyarth Prakash,

“Can there be any religion more false than one that daubs all religions (other than itself), whose followers can be counted by millions, false and calls itself the only true one”

To Swamiji and his followers, it is sufficient to bring to their attention that the followers of the Noble Qur’an can be counted by millions. So, if you daub its teachings as false, who is a bigger liar than you?

Let the people of Arya Samaj not run away now. There is still a way out.

Listen! You should say clearly that Swamiji was not infallible, and as such all of his thoughts are not bound to be accepted. Rather he was a mere member of the “Samaj” who was likely to make mistakes also. The above quotation of Swamiji is also a serious mistake as he made majority opinion to be a standard for verifying the truth.

The meaning of the first verse of Sarah Al-Fatiha is very clear, that we are to begin the reading of the Qur’an in His (God’s) Name. Any good deed initiated in God’s Name earns one more blessings. Eating any forbidden thing or initiating any forbidden act in God’s Name makes a person a disbeliever. Now he has also hinted at the issue of animal slaughter here.

Actually, it is a very compassionate act to slaughter the animals, as it has two benefits. Firstly, it liberates those human souls, which (according to you) are imprisoned within animal bodies, due to sins in their past lives (see Updesh Manjari, Page 60). Secondly, if these animals were to die as we humans die, i.e. affected by diseases, their death would be far more painful. In comparison to this slow death, the Islamic way of slaughter inflicts minimum pain. If only Swamiji has realized the amount of suffering a human being undergoes when diseased or at the point of death, he would not have used this argument. Rather, he would have made it obligatory on his followers to take a gun as soon as they wake up in the morning, and kill five or ten flies at least, if not five or ten birds.

Someone may rationally ask here, “If we accept your above argument does that mean we can even slaughter humans?” To this we reply, that No we cannot slaughter humans for human beings are the best of creation. This is the reason why killing a human, throughout history has been considered a criminal offense deserving a punishment. Besides this, a human being has many relatives and friends who would never allow it. Thus, to kill a human would cause mischief on earth. Since slaughter of animals for food results in no mischief, hence almost all major religious texts permit their consumption for food, inculding Hindu Law Book, Manu Smriti.

Manu Smriti Chapter 5: Verse 30-32 says

“30. The eater who daily even devours those destined to be his food, commits no sin; for the creator himself created both the eaters and those who are to be eaten. 31. ‘The consumption of meat (is befitting) for sacrifices,’ that is declared to be a rule made by the gods; but to persist (in using it) on other (occasions) is said to be a proceeding worthy of Rakshasas. 32. He who eats meat, when he honours the gods and manes, commits no sin, whether he has bought it, or himself has killed (the animal), or has received it as a present from others.”

The best argument is from the natural world itself and Maharishi Manu has used this very reasoning in the above quotation. A keen observation of Nature teaches us that God’s creation can be classified into two types
the used ones and
the ones using.

Do Arya Samajis want to say that God is deliberately allowing the killing of animals by the carnivorous animals, who eat them as their food? Has not God created this food chain where one species is dependent on the other and simultaneously is a predator as well as a prey? There is no doubt that human beings are the ones using all things, and all others are things being used. So, is this not a great favour of Almighty God that he created horses, camels, elephants, etc as our means of transport and still others like oxen, buffaloes, etc to plough the land? So, according to your understanding, does it make you merciful to exploit these animals for your own benefit?

O followers of The Samaj! You should take your lessons from nature, which is the guru of all gurus. Artificial gurus can be fallible but you will not find any defect in natural processes.

Besides, what else should we do to animals if we do not slaughter them? Keeping them has no benefits for us. Some animals give milk, while others don’t even give milk and even milking animals stop giving milk after reaching a certain age, even though we feed them and protect them, e.g. rooster, hen, etc. Now, Swamiji must either give permission to eat the animals that don’t benefit us or show us some of their benefits. But remember, by going against nature you cannot extract any benefit from them, and if you give permission to eat them, it will point your question back at you. If you are not prepared to concede even this and you want animals to have the same rights as humans, then please talk about equality in other aspects first.

We also have various references from the Vedas that permit the consumption of the flesh of animals like cow, horse, etc. However, since the translation of those verses is not of Swamiji but of European scholars, there is every possibility of their rejection by the supporters of Swamiji. Therefore, it is better that we provide references from Swamiji’s own writings. He himself says in Chapter 14, page 679 of Satyarth Prakash,

“Can there be any religion more false than one that daubs all religions (other than itself), whose followers can be counted by millions, false and calls itself the only true one”

However, according to this standard, Swamiji is condemning himself, since meat-eaters can be counted by millions around the world.

This ends our first response. However, this post can be altered if there is a need to do so, by adding new arguments and research.