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Muslims should take a broad view

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 17:19 IST

A controversy has arisen over the singing of the national song “Vande Mataram”.

I understand that Muslims do not want to sing it because it is un-Islamic to do so. Their main objection is that Muslims do not bow before anybody except Allah (God) and the song compares the motherland to Durga, a goddess and Islam being a monotheistic religion, Muslims as followers of Islam cannot believe in such comparison.

I understand that Muslims bow towards Kaaba. If they can bow towards Kaaba, is not it logical that they could bow before their motherland also? Also many Muslims pay obeisance at the dargahs of saints like Khwaja Salim Chishti, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Hazrat Nizammuddin Aulia, Baba Farid, etc. and bow their heads before their mazaars.

However, some Muslims consider this as un-Islamic. If I remember correctly, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan also visited the dargah of Khwaja Moinnudin Chisti but nobody called his act un-Islamic.

If we take a rigid view, then many of the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims running into millions would be guilty of being un-Islamic because I have seen truckloads of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims along with Hindus and Sikhs visiting the dargah of the Khwaja during his urs.

Regarding reference to Durga, the goddess has more or less the same status as Khizar, Jebreel, etc. If we compare our motherland with Khizar who is the angel of eternity, I do not think that it hurt the sentiments of Muslims. If that would not hurt the sentiments of Muslims, then a reference to Durga should also not hurt their sentiments.

Durga actually is not God. She is just a shakti (power) of God and represents universal motherhood.

I do not think that if one compares one's motherland with power or motherhood, it is denying the existence of God or believing in more than one God.

In my opinion, Muslim should take a broad view in the matter.

Here I may also mention that although Sikhism is a monotheistic religion like Islam, Sikhs of course, do not seem to have any objection to singing this song because the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singhji wrote "Chandi di war" and Chandi is Durga's another name.