Encounters at the Muslim College

via Hindu Council UK published on October 18, 2007

London

 

Every year we present Hindu teachings to the postgraduate students at the Muslim college in London. These encounters are very interesting because they reflect the mood of Muslim youngsters and the way they view Hinduism. Over the past many years these sessions have produced very warm response from the Muslim students. Today, while we were presenting Hindu teachings at one of these sessions; every now and then, two young Muslim men, continued to raise objections and in the guise of ‘trying to understand Hinduism’ interject some demeaning comments about Hinduism. These encounters took a surprising turn because two young Muslim women students, responded sharply by criticizing these youngsters for their inability to view things from a different perspective.

 

The idea of worshipping God through images was seen as a serious issue. We had to explain that just as you cannot do mathematics without the infinity symbol (which is very finite); as long as we operate in the field of the finite we need finite tools to relate to the infinite God. The Hindus are not apologetic about the use of finite images to relate to the infinite God. Surprisingly the Hindu concept of ‘accepting that there can be many ways for making spiritual progress’ seemed to have gone down well till we came to the end of the session, when one of the youth stood up and made a proclamation that it was his duty to warn us to embrace Islam else we will pay a heavy price on the day of judgement. Our response was, ‘We are thankful for his concern for our welfare, but we will take that risk.’  

 

To our amazement one of the young Muslim ladies who had been defending Hindu presentation throughout the sessions, came forward and said with all sincerity, ‘Do not end your cycle of rebirth by merging with God; continue to reincarnate for everyone’s benefit.’ Our response was, ‘We have no desire to merge with God, we love chocolate cakes and wish to eat them again and again.’  : )   

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