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“Hindus by no means are Idolaters, as Ignorant Suppose.”Abul Fazl (Akbar’s Courtier, Historian)

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As has been propagated till date from the days of Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam,  the fundamental tenet of Islam is idolatry is bad, must stop; it is ‘kufr’. And those who indulge in idolatry are ‘kefirs’ (infidels). Jihad is prescribed to make the whole world free from kufer and kafirs. Kafirs, in this context, have two main options: convert or get killed (Beheaded).

What if a Muslim scholar says, no they (Hindus) are not idolaters.

And profundity of his statement can be gazed from the fact that that Scholar wrote, “they (Hindus) by no means are idolaters, as ignorant suppose.

I am quoting Abul Fazl the author of Ayeen Akbery (1786).

The Royal Collection Trust of UK notes:

“The Ain-i Akbari is a Persian text on the workings of the Mughal empire under Akbar written by his historian by Abul Fazl (1551-1602). This English translation was made by Francis Gladwin, one of the first professors of Persian at Fort William College, the East India Company college established in Calcutta in 1800, and a founding member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The work was first published in 1786, and reissued in 1800. (https://www.rct.uk/collection/1051507/ayeen-akbery-or-the-institutes-of-the-emperor-akber-v-1-translated-from-the)

While reprinting Volume 2 of the Ayeen Akbery in 2014, The Cambridge University Press, wrote:

“This document on the workings of his (Akbar’s) empire was produced by Akbar’s vizier, Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak (1551–1602). Between 1783 and 1786, the scholar Francis Gladwin (1744/5–1812) produced an English translation from the original Persian. Reissued here is the two-volume edition that appeared  in1800. “ (https://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/south-asian-history/ayeen-akbery-or-institutes-emperor-akber-volume-2?format=PB&isbn=9781108067102)

Ayeen Akbery is also readily available on https://www.indianculture.gov.in/ayeen-akbery-or-institutes-emperor-akbar.

Here I quote from page 294 of Ayeen Akbery,

“Summarily, the Hindoos are religious, affable, courteous to strangers, cheerful, enamoured of knowledge, fond of inflicting austerities ( like fasting) upon themselves, lovers of justice, given to retirement (peace), able in business, grateful admirers of truth, and of unbounded fidelity in all their dealings. Their character shines brightest in adversity. Their soldiers know not what it is to fly from the field of battle; but when the success of the combat becomes doubtful, they dismount from their horses, and throw away their lives in payment of the debt of valour. Frequently, they hamstring their horses to deprive themselves of the means of flight; and thus rendered desperate, soon bring the battle to a successful issue. They have great respect for their tutors; and make no account of their lives,  when they can devote them to the service of God.

They one and all believe in the unity of the Godhead; and although they hold images in high veneration, yet they are by no means idolaters, as the ignorant suppose. I have myself frequently discoursed upon the subject with many learned and upright men of this religion, and comprehend their doctrine, which is , that the images are only representations of celestial beings, to whom they turn themselves whilst at prayer, to prevent their thought from wandering, and they think it is an indispensable duty to address the Deity after that manner.”

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