It was during anti-CAA protests that even Hindus joined the Islamists in chanting:

tera mera rishta kya?

La ilaha illallah!

There were instances where people even stated Kalima to be secular. They are the same people who had once found “Bharat Mata ki Jai” as communal.

Now question arises, is “Allah” actually a generic term for God & hence Hindu should chant it showing secular solidarity? If you think so then no one is more naive than you. In contrast to Arfa who sees “Bharat Mata ki Jai” as communal, hindus like Saket Gokhale publicize “lā ilāha illā -llāh, muḥammadur rasūlu -llāh” as secular.

Now, here I break this myth for people by quoting Muhammad himself that how Allah is not generic term for “God”.

Let me take you to the “Battle of Badr” fought on 13 March 624 AD between the army of Muhammad and Quraysh.

I will first cite from the most popular biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq.

When Abu Sufyan wanted to leave he went to the top of the mountain and shouted loudly saying, “you have done a fine work; victory in war goes by turns. Today in exchange for the day (T. of Badr). Show your superiority, Hubal,” i.e. vindicate your religion. The apostle told “Umar to get and answer him and say, Allah is most high and glorious.”

The life of Muhammad, translated version of Sīrat Rasūl Allāh by Ibn Ishaq, pg 386

Now I cite from Sahih al-Bukhari about the same Battle of Badr.

Abu Sufyan said, “Superior may be Hubal!” On that the Prophet said (to his companions), “Reply to him.” They asked, “What may we say?” He said, “Say: Allah is More Elevated and More Majestic!” Abu Sufyan said, “We have (the idol) al-‘Uzza, whereas you have no ‘Uzza!” The Prophet said (to his companions), “Reply to him.” They said, “What may we say?” The Prophet said, “Say: Allah is our Helper and you have no helper.”

Sahih al-Bukhari, 4043-4

Here one can clearly observe, that Muhammad compared “Allah” with Meccan god “Hubal” claiming latter to be inferior. If “God” would have been generic term for “God” then there won’t have been any point of comparison as made by Muhammad. The comparison made by Muhammad made it very clear that “Allah” too was one of the gods like “Hubal” which he portrayed as superior.

If one goes back into history, he would find that the Qurayshite Pantheon was composed of primarily the idols that existed in the Haram of Makkah, that is, Hubal (the most important and oldest deity), Manaf, Isāf and Nā’ila. The pantheon of the hums and the other associations was superimposed on the Qurayshite one; their principal deities were Allah (the god who brought victory to the Quraysh against the Abraha at the Battle of the Elephant) and three goddesses, Al-Lāt, Al-ʻUzzā & Manāt. Allah’s shrine was at Kabba in Makkah. ( Source: The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity, edited by Scott Fitzgerald Johnson, Scott Johnson, pg 304)

Hence it is indeed foolish of a Hindu who thinks of seeing Krishna or Ram as “Allah” and hence finds no objection in reading Kalima. The moment one reads “‘lā ilāha illā -llāh, muḥammadur rasūlu -llāh,” he acknowledges the non existence of Vishnu, Shiva and everyone else.

I’ll write and elaborate more about the subject in upcoming essays.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.