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INTRODUCTION Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur in the town of Madia on the evening of the 18th of February, 1486.

In those days in India, Madia was a famous center of learning rival to Benares. Mahaprabhu was a beautiful child with a golden complexion, and the ladies of the town came to celebrate his birth by offering presents. His grandfather, Pandit Milambara Chakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that this child would be a great personage in time to come. Indeed by his tenth year, Chaitanya was an outstanding scholar in logic, grammar, rhetoric and the scriptures. All the great scholars of Madia recognized his scholarship, which became greatly renowned when he defeated the greatest scholar of his time, Keshava Mishra of Kashmir, in public debate. Chaitanya had one very distinguishing characteristic, which some people failed to understand and appreciate, he was always happily engaged in chanting God's holy names. Most of the people of Madia recognized Chaitanya Mahaprabhu not only as a great genius, but certainly as a missionary from God Almighty. This was later confirmed.From the time of defeating Keshava Mishra to his twenty-third year, Mahaprabhu preached the principles of love of God, not only in Madia but in all other important towns and villages surrounding his city. His followers from Madia began to sing the holy name of God, Hari, in the streets and bazaars. This created a sensation and aroused different feelings among people living in different areas. The devotees were highly pleased but the cast brahmanas (priests) became very jealous of Chaitanya's success and complained to the magistrate, Chand Kazi. They spoke against the character of Chaitanya as non-Hindu. The Kazi arrived at Shrivas Pandit's house and in a rage of anger broke the mridanga (khola drum) and declared that unless Chaitanya stopped this chanting of the names of God, he would be obliged to enforce Islam on him and his followers. This was then brought to Chaitanya's notice but lie replied, "Just continue chanting God's holy name. Then after some time, feeling the anxiety within people's minds he ordered his followers to meet in the evening, each one to carry a torch in their hand. This they did, and Chaitanya marched out with his sankirtana party divided into 14 groups, and on arriving at the Kazi's house, he held a long religious discussion with Chand Kazi who was the Muslim magistrate of Navadvipa. By the end of their conversation the influence of Chaitanya as a pure devotee of God elevated the magistrate to a higher state of spiritual realization. Chand Kazi experiencing ecstasy with tears in his eyes admitted that he had felt a deep spiritual influence which had cleared his previous doubts and misunderstandings. He now experienced spiritual feelings, which gave him the highest ecstasy. Chand Kazi then accepted Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his movement. The people were astonished at the spiritual power of Mahaprabhu, for he had changed a man who was strongly opposed to Chaitanya's practice of public chanting of God's holy names. After this affair hundreds and hundreds of nonbelievers took up his teachings and joined Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's movement, which marched on under the flag of chanting God's holy names. At that time, the king Nawab Hussein Shah Badasaha, whose full name was Al Uddin Saiyad Hussein Shah, was the independent King of Bengal from 1498 to 1511 AD. Formerly he was rendering service to Mujaffar Khan, the cruel Nawab of the Habsi dynasty but somehow or other he assassinated his master and became the king. After gaining the throne of Bengal (technically called Masnada), he declared his name to be Saiyad Hussein Al Uddin Serif Mukka. There is a book called Riyaja Us-salatina, whose author, Golam Husen, says that Nawab Hussein Shah belonged to the family of Serif Mukka. To establish his family's line, he added the name Serif Mukka. Generally, however, he is known as Nawab Hussein Shah. After his death, his eldest son, Nasarat Shah, became King of Bengal from 1521 to 1533 AD.

This King was also very cruel. He committed many atrocities against the Vaishnavas (devotees of God). As a result of his sinful activities, one of his servants from the Khoja group killed him while he was praying in the mosque.When the Muslim King of Bengal, Nawab Hussein Shah, heard of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's influence in attracting innumerable people, he became very astonished and said, "Such a person, who is followed by so many people without giving them charity, must be a holy preceptor. 1 can surely understand this fact." The Muslim King ordered the magistrate: "Do not disturb this holy preceptor out of jealousy. Let him do as he likes under his own will." In private, the King inquired from his minister, Dabir Khas, who began to speak about the glories of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Dabir Khas said: "Why are you questioning me? Better you question your own mind. Because you are the King of the people and as a king you are the representative of Allah. Therefore you can understand this better than I." Nawab Hussein Shah could see how the power of Allah acted through Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and, thus, he was convinced of his divine nature. At the age of 24 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left his hometown and went on a six-year walking tour of India. In south India, at Kurmakshetra, he performed a miracle by curing a leper named Vasudeva. Everywhere he went he convinced people of all backgrounds to dedicate their lives to the chanting of the holy names of God. It was impossible even for learned scholars to oppose him for long, because there was some potency in him which touched the hearts of everyone, causing them to cry for spiritual advancement.In his twenty-eighth year he went to Bengal as far as Qauda in Malda. There he picked up two great personalities named Rupa and Sanatana. Mahaprabhu ordered them to go to Vrindavana and meet him there.Chaitanya returned to Puri via Shantipur. On his way to Puri passing through jungles in the state of Orissa, with his comrade Balabhadra, Mahaprabhu performed an unbelievable miracle: he made tigers, elephants and other jungle animals dance in joy upon hearing the chanting of the holy names of God.After a short stay at Puri he left for Vrindavan. He visited Vrindavan and came down to Prayag (Allahabad). While traveling along the Vrindavan-Prayag route, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met 10 cavalry soldiers belonging to the Muslim Pathana military order. Among the Muslims was a grave person wearing a black robe. The public knew him as a saintly person. His heart was softened upon seeing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's ecstatic symptoms. He became enthused to discuss God on the basis of the Holy Qur'an. The scholar put points forward to establish the impersonal concept of the Absolute Truth (God) on the basis of the Holy Qur'an and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu respectfully presented quotes from the same Holy Qur'an to establish the personal concept of God. Whatever points the Muslim scholar put forward establishing God's impersonal feature, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu agreed and presented more information from the Holy Qur'an establishing God's personal feature. The saintly Muslim, on the basis of the Holy Qur'an, kept on trying to establish that Allah does not have personal attributes, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by quoting the same Qur'an, presented quotes showing that Allah does indeed have personal features. When the Muslim scholar presented points to establish the impersonal nature of God, Chaitanya agreed with him by quoting from the Qur'an. However, he expanded further to also explain the personal nature of God, supporting all these explanations by quotes from the Qur'an.Finally the Muslim scholar overwhelmed by the in-depth knowledge, vision, and clarity exhibited by Mahaprabhu happily offered all respects to such a great scholar and saint. He accepted Chaitanya as a great authority on the Holy Qur'an and scriptural knowledge.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended the discussion by saying, "The Qur'an certainly establishes impersonalism, but it also simultaneously establishes the personal aspect of Allah. The Holy Qur'an accepts the fact that ultimately there is only one God. He is full of opulence

and He has a beautiful transcendental non-material color. According to the Holy Qur'an, the Lord has a supreme, blissful, spiritual form. Chaitanya has quoted verses from the Qur'an which highlight the existence of God's spiritual form. He further revealed the hidden meaning of these verses and explained the unlimited features of God, which are beyond any limitations. The Muslim scholar was impressed and overjoyed to hear the increasing glories of Allah.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Allah is the Absolute Truth, the all-pervading, omniscient and eternal being. He is the origin of everything; creation, maintenance and dissolution come from Him. He is the original shelter of all gross and subtle cosmic manifestations. Allah is the Supreme Truth worshipped by everyone. Allah is the cause of all causes. By engaging in His devotional service, the living entity is relieved from material existence. No conditioned soul can get out of this material bondage without serving the Supreme Lord. Love of the Supreme Lord is the ultimate goal of life. The happiness of liberation, whereby one merges into the Lord's existence, cannot even be compared to a fragment of the transcendental bliss obtained by loving service unto the Lord. In the Qur'an there are descriptions of fruitive activity, speculative knowledge, mystic power and union with the Supreme, but ultimately the Lord's personal feature and devotional service unto Him is established. Some scholars of the Qur'an are not very advanced in knowledge. Although there are many methods prescribed, they do not know that the ultimate conclusion should be considered the most important. Studying your own Quran and deliberating over what is written there, what is your conclusion?"The saintly Muslim replied, "All that you have revealed is true. This has certainly been written in the Holy Qur'an, but some of our scholars can neither understand nor accept this aspect. Usually they describe Allah's impersonal aspect, but they hardly know that Allah's personal feature is worshipable. They are undoubtedly lacking in this knowledge. I have studied the Muslim scriptures very extensively, but I still cannot conclusively decide what is the ultimate goal of life and how 1 can obtain it. Now that 1 have seen and heard you, my false prestige that grew on me from being a learned scholar has been washed away." Saying this, the saintly Muslim took shelter of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, accepted him as a spiritual preceptor and requested him to speak on life's ultimate goal and the process by which it can be obtained. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu answered, "The ultimate goal of human life is love of God and the process by which it can be obtained is chanting the holy names of God. You have chanted the holy name of God, therefore the sinful reactions you have accumulated over millions of years are now gone. You are now pure." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then told all the Muslims there, "Chant the holy name of God! Chant the holy name of God!" As they all began to chant, they were all overwhelmed by ecstatic love. In this way Chaitanya Mahaprabhu indirectly initiated the saintly Muslim by advising him to chant the holy name of God. By hearing from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a pure surrendered devotee of God, the saintly Muslim with great joy and ecstasy received the deeper realizations of the Holy Qur'an. Previously he had been amazed and attracted to the beauty of the external opulence of the treasure chest but now by the association of a pure surrendered devotee and by chanting the holy name the real treasure, the personality of God, was revealed. He felt so much love and devotion for Allah that he began to realize how Allah is his real friend, his merciful guide, his only provider and maintainer and his loving well-wisher. He realized that Allah has a never-ending personal relationship with everyone, He personally instructs each and everyone from inside and outside, He loves every single living entity but He takes special care of the living beings that are sincerely trying to devote everything to Him. He

began to consciously see that Allah is just waiting for us to place our dependence on Him and take shelter of His supreme guidance and protection. Allah proclaims that who ever takes shelter of Him with love and devotion will without a doubt attain the supreme destination. By the mercy of Allah, the Muslim scholar finally realized the ultimate goal of the Holy Qur'an is to bring us to the point of complete surrender and dependence on Him, the beginning of love of God. It is recommended in all the bona fide scriptures of the world that in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only way to attain love of God is by chanting His holy names. The hidden meaning of the Qur'anic verses were revealed to the saintly Muslim and his heart became overwhelmed with love and devotion. He realized that aside from the impersonal feature, the personal nature of Allah is worshipable. This personal nature of Allah can be realized by the association and mercy of pure devotees. There was another Muslim present whose name was Vijuli Khan. He was a young man and the son of the king. All the other Muslims, headed by the saintly scholar were his servants.Vijuli Khan overwhelmed with the power of pure spiritual knowledge also took shelter of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Before Chaitanya Mahaprabhu moved on, he bestowed His blessings upon them. All the Pathana Muslims then became mendicants. Later on these very Pathanas became celebrated as Pathana Vaishnavas. They toured all over the country and chanted the glorious activities of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Vijuli Khan became a greatly advanced devotee of God and his importance is celebrated at every place of pilgrimage. (Anyone interested can read The Hidden Treasure of Al-Qur'an by Dr. Akif Manaf J.)Mahaprabhu always slept very little. Every day and night his inner spiritual feelings carried him far and wide in the realm of spirituality. He constantly chanted the holy names of God, took no care of himself, and often lost himself in spiritual ecstasy. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always introduced himself as a humble servant of God, but his intimate associates, by seeing his many spiritual symptoms and observing him fulfil many scriptural predictions, realized that he was someone very special. He was the most gentle in his nature. Humility was personified in him. His sweet appearance gave cheer to all who came in contact with him.In this work, we will scrutinize the details of discussion between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Chand Kazi. Mo doubt that Mahaprabhu knew Arabic and quoted the Holy Qur'an while being fully familiar with Muslim traditions. But unfortunately no book has preserved these details. Therefore we will support each statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by quoting from the Holy Qur'an, the Hadith and the Sunna of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

1.THE SANKIRTANA MOVEMENT Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the late fifteenth century, 1486. He took birth in Bengal, India, which at the time was being governed by the Pathana Muslims.At the age of seventeen Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started his sankirtana (chanting God's names) movement. He preached to all the citizens of Mavadvipa to chant the Hare Krishna mantra (hymn), and in each and every home they began performing sankirtana regularly. When thesan/cirtana movement thus started, no one in Mavadvipa could hear any other sound except the words "Hari! Hari!" and the beating of the mridangas (drums) and clashing of hand cymbals. Hearing the continuous chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, the local Muslims became very disturbed so submitted a formal complaint to Chand Kazi.

2.CHAND KAZI The Navadvipa city magistrate holds the title of Kazi. The city magistrate at that time was known as Chand i W Kazi. The landholders levied taxes on the land, but keeping law and order and punishing criminals was the duty entrusted to the Kazi. Both the Kazi and the landholders were under the control of the governor of Bengal, who at that time was known as Suba-bangala. The districts of Madia, Islampura and Bagoyana were all under the landholder named Hari Hoda or his descendant known as Krishnadas Hoda. It is said that Chand Kazi was the spiritual master of Nawab Hussein Shah. According to one opinion Chand Kazi's name was Maulana Sirajuddin, and according to another, his name was Habibar Rahman. Descendants of Chand Kazi are still living in the vicinity of Mayapur. People still go to see the tomb of Chand Kazi, which is underneath a champaka and neem tree and is known as Chand Kazi's samadhi.Chand Kazi angrily came to Shrivas Pandit's house one evening, and witnessed a joyful kirtana (singing) going on, he broke the mridanga (drum) and spoke as follows: "For so long you all did not follow the regulative principles of the Hindu religion, but now you are following them with great enthusiasm. May I know by whose strength you are doing so?" It appears that from the time of Baktiyar Khiliji in Bengal until the time of Chand Kazi, Hindus, or the followers of the Vedic principles, were greatly suppressed. Practically no one could execute their Hindu religious principles freely. Chand Kazi was referring to this state of Hindu society. Formerly the Hindus were not publicly executing their Hindu principles, but now they were freely chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Therefore it must have been by the strength of someone else that they were so daring.Actually, that was the fact. Although the members of the so-called Hindu society had followed the social customs and rituals, they had practically forgotten to execute their religious principles strictly. But with the presence of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they actually began following the regulative principles according to his order.Chand Kazi continued: "No one should perform sankirtana on the streets of the city. Today I am excusing the offense and returning home. The next time I see someone peiforming such sankirtana, certainly I shall chastise him by not only confiscating all his property but also converting him into a Muslim." After saying this, the Kazi returned home. To convert a Hindu into a Muslim was an easy affair in those days. If a Muslim simply sprinkled water on the body of a Hindu, it was supposed that the Hindu had become a Muslim. Hindu society was so strict at the time of Chaitanya that if a Hindu was converted into a Muslim, there was no chance of him being readmitted into the Hindu religion. In this way the Muslim population in India increased. None of the Muslims came from outside; social customs somehow or other forced Hindus to become Muslims, with no chance of returning to Hindu society. Emperor Auranzeb also inaugurated a tax, which only Hindus had to pay. Thus all the poor Hindus of the lower class voluntarily became Muslims to avoid the fax. In this way the Muslim population in India increased. Chand Kazi threatened to convert the people into Muslims by the simple process of sprinkling water on their bodies. 3.THE NONVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT The devotees being greatly shocked by the order to stop chanting Hare Krishna mahamandira, submitted their grief to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who at once ordered, "Do not worry. Continue chanting the holy names of God!"Gandhi is known for having started the first nonviolent civil disobedience movement in India, but actually almost five hundred years before him, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started the first nonviolent civil disobedience movement against the order of Chand Kazi. He organized a procession of one hundred thousand men

equipped with thousands of mridangas and karatalas (hand cymbals), and this procession passed over the roads of Navadvipa in defiance of the Kazi who had issued the order. It is not necessary to commit violence to stop the opposition from hindering a movement, for one can win over an opponent with reason and argument.Returning home, all the citizens began performing sankirtana, but because of the order of the Kazi, they were not carefree but always full of anxiety. Some time later, understanding the anxiety within the people's minds Chaitanya called them together and spoke to them as follows, "In the evening I shall perform sankirtana in each and every town. Therefore you should all decorate the city in the evening. In the evening, burn torchlights in every home. I shall give protection to everyone. Let us see what kind of Kazi comes to stop our kirtana."At that time, Navadvipa consisted of nine small cities. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to perform kirtana in each of these neighboring towns. He ordered the city decorated for the function. In the evening Chaitanya went out and formed three parties to perform kirtana. During Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's time, one party was composed of twenty one men: four people playing mridangas, one leading the chanting, and sixteen others striking karatalas, responding to the leading chanter. Chaitanya chanted and all the devotees responded by chanting in the same way. In this way Mahaprabhu proceeded, leading the entire party on the strand roads by the bank of the Ganges. When Chaitanya came to his own ghat, or bathing place, he danced more and more. Then he proceeded to Madhai's ghat. In this way Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced all over the banks of the Ganges. Then he proceeded to Barakona-ghat, Nagariya-ghat, and, traveling through Ganganagar, reached Simuliya, an area at one end of the town. All these places surround Mayapur. After reaching Simuliya, Chaitanya proceeded towards the Kazi's house.Haridas Thakur danced in the front party, and Advaita Acharya with great jubilation danced in the middle party. Chaitanya Himself danced in the rear party, and Nityananda Prabhu accompanied Chaitanya's dancing. Performing kirtana in this way, passing by every nook and corner of the city, they finally reached the door of the Kazi. Under the protection of Chaitanya, the people, murmuring in anger and creating a roaring sound, became overly excited through such indulgence. Chaitanya and all his followers, naturally enthusiastic although agitated, made a great noise with their loud cries. The loud sound of the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra certainly made the Kazi very much afraid, and he hid himself within his room. Hearing the people protesting and murmuring in great anger, the Kazi refused to come out of his home. The Kazi's order not to perform sankirtana could only stand as long as there was no civil disobedience. However, under the leadership of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the chanters, increasing in number, disobeyed the order of the Kazi. Thousands assembled together and formed parties, chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and making a tumultuous sound of protest. Thus the Kazi was very much afraid, as naturally one would be under such circumstances.Naturally some of the people who were very much agitated began to retaliate against the Kazi's actions by wrecking his house and flower garden. Soon, when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself reached the Kazi's doorway, he sat down and sent some respectable person to call for the Kazi. When the Kazi came with his head bowed down, Mahaprabhu offered him proper respect and a seat. 4.THE MEETING Some men in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's civil disobedience movement were agitated because they could not control their minds. But Mahaprabhu was thoroughly peaceful, sober and

nagitated. Therefore when the Kazi came down to see him, Mahaprabhu offered him proper respect and a seat because he was a respectable government officer.In a friendly way, Mahaprabhu said, "Sir, I have come to your house as your guest, but upon seeing me you hid yourself in your room. What kind of etiquette is this?"The Kazi replied: "You have come to my house in a very angry mood. To pacify you, I did not come out before you immediately but kept myself hidden. Now that you seem more peaceful, I am able to come out and meet you. It is my good fortune to receive such a guest like your honor. In our village relationships, Nilambara Chakravarti Thakur was my uncle. Such a relationship is stronger than a bodily relationship. Piilambara Chakravarti is your maternal grandfather, and by my relationship with him you are thus my nephew. When a nephew is very angry, his maternal uncle is tolerant, and when the maternal uncle commits an offense, the nephew does not take it very seriously." In this way the Kazi and Chaitanya talked with one another with different indications, but no outsider could understand the inner meaning of their conversation.In India, even in the interior villages, all the Hindu and Muslim communities used to live very peacefully by establishing a relationship with each other. The young men called the elderly members of the village by the name chacha, 'uncle,' and men of the same age called each other dada, 'brother.' The relationships were very friendly. There were even invitations from Muslim homes to Hindu homes and from Hindu homes to Muslim homes. Both the Hindus and Muslims accepted the invitations to go to each other's houses to attend ceremonial functions that went on. Even fifty or sixty years ago, the relationships between Hindus and Muslims were still very friendly, and there were no disturbances. We do not find any Hindu-Muslim riots in the history of India, even during the days of the Muslim rule over the country. Conflicts between Hindus and Muslims were created by polluted politicians, especially foreign rulers, and thus the situation gradually became so degraded that India was divided into Hindustan and Pakistan.Indeed, Nilambara Chakravarti lived at Navadvipa in the neighborhood of Belapukuriya. This fact is mentioned in the book Prema-vilasa. Because he lived near the house of the Kazi, the Kazi was also considered one of the maternal uncles of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Kazi used to address Nilambara Chakravarti as chacha, or "uncle". One cannot separate the residence of the Kazi from Vamanapukura because the tomb of the Kazi is still existing there today. Formerly the place was known as Belapukuriya, and now it is called Vamanapukura. This has been confirmed by archeological evidence.Chand Kazi pointed out that Nilambara Chakravarti referred to him as an uncle, and consequently, Shrimati Sachidevi, the mother of Chaitanya, was his sister. He asked Mahaprabhu whether his sister's son could be angry at his maternal uncle. Chaitanya replied that since the Kazi was his maternal uncle he should receive his nephew well at his home. In this way the issue was mitigated, and the two learned scholars began a long discussion on the Qur'an and the Vedic scriptures. 5.THE CONVERSATION Chand Kazi informed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "I call your grandfather, your mother's father, my , uncle. So in that way your mother is my sister according to our village relationship, and you are my nephew. So how is that my nephew is so much angry upon his uncle? Is that good?"Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could understand that Chand Kazi had calmed down, as he now took the role of uncle.Chaitanya said, "Yes, my dear uncle, I know that. It is not my duty to be angry with you, but how is that, I am your nephew, I have come to your home, and you went upstairs, you did not receive me? Anyway, what is done is done. Forget it. My dear uncle, I have come to your home just to ask you some questions.""Yes," the Kazi replied, "You are welcome. Just tell me what is on your mind."Mahaprabhu said: "You drink cow's milk;

therefore the cow is your "mother". And the bull produces grains for your maintenance; therefore he is your "father". Since the bull and cow are your "father" and "mother", how can you slaughter and eat them? What kind of religious principle is this? On what strength are you so daring that you commit such sinful activities?" Everyone can understand we drink the milk of cows and take the help of bulls in producing agricultural products. Therefore, since our real father provides us with food and our mother gives us her breast milk by which we grow and develop, the cow and bull are considered like our father and mother. According to Vedic scriptures, there are seven mothers of humanity, of which the cow is one. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the Muslim Kazi, "What kind of religious principle do you follow by killing your father and mother to eat them?" In any civilized human society, no one would dare kill his father and mother for the purpose of eating them. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the Kazi's way of life as patricide and matricide. The Kazi replied: "As you have your scriptures called the Vedas and Puranas, we have our scripture, known as the Holy Qur'an."Chand Kazi agreed to talk with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the strength of the scriptures. According to the Vedic scripture, if one can support his statement by quoting from the Vedas, his argument is perfect. Similarly, when the Muslims support their statements with quotations from the Qur'an, their arguments are also authorized. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu raised the question of the Kazi cow killing and bull killing, Chand Kazi began to refer to nis understanding of Islamic scriptures."According to the Qur'an, there are two ways of advancement by increasing the propensity to enjoy or decreasing the propensity to enjoy. On the path of decreasing attachment, the killing of animals is prohibited." In the Holy Qur'an we find the following ayats: "Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that corne) from women and offspring, and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.Say: Shall I inform you of something better than that? For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord with rivers flowing beneath. Therein is their eternal home with pure companions and the good pleasure of Allah. Allah is the Seer of His servants." (3.14-15) "Some of you desired the world, and some of you desired the Hereafter." (3.152)Thus the Holy Qur'an describes two classes of people: 1) Those who are attached to sense enjoyment and desire heavenly happiness; 2) Those who renounce everything and strive for love of God. For the general mass of people who are still unable to control their senses (tongue) provision for eating meat has been granted but it is not recommended. So rules and regulations exist to slowly help one give up such a bad habit (taste). But for those who desire the highest perfection of life, love of God, meat eating is forbidden.For example, the following ayat in the Holy Qur'an (5.3) states:"Forbidden to you (for food) are meat of dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah; and the dead through beating; that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal;

unless you are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety." Thus we can understand from this verse of the Holy Qur'an that not every meat is permitted for consumption. Only meat of an animal which has been expressly sacrificed for food with the Takbir, which means the solemn mode of slaughter (zabh) with the name of Allah duly pronounced over it. This means that sacrificing animals for food is a personal affair. It does not imply opening slaughterhouses and daily killing hundreds of thousands of animals in an organized way. Those who want to eat meat should do this the proper way individually, because everyone must understand that they will bear the reactions of killing animals. We will be held responsible for our actions. On the Day of Judgment, all dead creatures will come to life and will take vengeance on those who had either teased them or killed them. This concession is given by Allah to those who cannot restrain from meat eating. By eating halal, lawful meat they will gradually subdue their passion and give up meat eating. This will help to develop fine spiritual sentiments, namely love for Allah. Besides this, it is mentioned in sura "Al-Ma'ida" that within the limits of Mecca, most holy place, slaughtering of animals is prohibited:"Animals of the chase are forbidden while you are in the Sacred Precincts or in the state of pilgrimage." (Qur'an 5.1) This means that hunting and game are forbidden "while you are hurumun," i.e., while you are 1) in the Sacred Precincts, Mecca or 2) in the special pilgrimage garb {ihram). It is also explained in the sura "Al-Ma'ida" that: "O you who believe! Kill not game while in the Sacred Precincts or in the state of pilgrimage. If any of you does so intentionally, the compensation is an offering, brought to the Ka'ba, of a domestic animal equivalent to the one he killed. As adjudged by two just men among you; or by way of atonement, the feeding of the poor; or its equivalent in fasts: that he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgives what has past; but for repetition Allah will punish him for Allah is Exalted, and Lord of Retribution." (Qur'an 5.95)This means that if someone kills an animal intentionally within the limits of Mecca, one should then present one domestic animal of equal value to the Ka'ba. In case one has no domestic animals, one shouid give in charity food equivalent in value to the price of the killed animal. Otherwise the offender must fast as many days as the number of the poor that would have been fed by the value of the animal killed. Thus killing animals is a great sin and therefore, it is prohibited in a holy place like Mecca. In sura "As-Saffat" of the Holy Qur'an (37.99-109) there is the following narration:"He (Ibrahim) said: lI will go to my Lord! He will surely guide me! O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!' So We gave him the good news of a forbearing son.Then, when (his son) was old enough to work with him, (Ibrahim) said: "O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that 1 must sacrifice you. Now see what is your view!' (The son) said: X) my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah so wills one of the steadfast.'So when they both submitted (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),We called out to him, O Ibrahim!You have already fulfilled the dream!' Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.For this was a clear test.Then we ransomed him with a tremendous victim.And We left for him among generations (to come) in later times:

'Peace and salutation to Ibrahim!'" Thus Ibrahim (Abraham) was born in Ur of the Chaldees, a place on the lower reaches of the Euphrates, not a hundred miles from the Persian Qulf. Where the worship of the sun, moon and stars was the prevailing form of religion. Ibrahim revolted against this quite early in his life. They also had deities in their temples, which probably represented heavenly bodies and celestial winged creatures. He was still a youth when he smashed the false deities. After this he was marked as a rebel and persecuted. He was thrown into a fire. But the fire became cool by the will of God and Ibrahim was saved. Then he left his ancestral lands and avoiding the Syrian Desert, came to the fertile lands of Aram or Syria. This was the Hijrat (Flight) of Ibrahim. He left his people and his land, because the Truth was dearer to him than the ancestral falsehoods of his people. He entrusted himself to Allah, and under Allah's guidance he laid the foundations for great people. The first-born son of Ibrahim, namely Ismail was born in the fertile land of Syria and Palestine. The name itself is from the rootSami'a, to hear, because Allah had heard Ibrahim's prayer (The Qur'an 37.100). Ibrahim's age when Ismail was born from his Arab maidservant Hajar was 86 (Genesis 16.16). The boy's main quality was to be halim, "forbearing". This title is also applied to Ibrahim (The Qur'an 9.114; 11.75). It refers to the patient way in which both father and son cheerfully offered to suffer any self-sacrifice in order to obey the command of Allah. Once, after Ismail had grown up to the age of discretion, Ibrahim had a dream that he now had to offer his only son in sacrifice. The command was conveyed to him via a dream. It was a test of devotion for both father and son. Ibrahim consulted his son. The son readily consented, and offered to stand true to his promise if his self-sacrifice was reaUy required. Actually, the trial and sacrifice was demanded of both Ibrahim and Ismail. Ibrahim had to sacrifice his only dearmost son and Ismail had to sacrifice his dear life. Finally this sacrifice was about to take place in the valley of Mina, six miles north of Mecca. Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his son but his hands were refusing to act. Then with great endeavor he forced his hands to cover his son's eyes with a cloth and took a knife in his hand. As he tried to sacrifice Ismail, by the will of God the knife became very dull. At that moment Allah being satisfied, replaced Ismail with a fine ram. So there was a ram instead of his son. Thus the son was saved and the ram was sacrificed (some scholars say that the ram was also saved). Since that day, the Id Day or Day of Sacrifice came into practice. On this day in the valley of Mina, six miles north of Mecca, a commemoration sacrifice is annually celebrated as a rite of the Hajj on the tenth of Zul-Hijjah in Memory of this Sacrifice of Ibrahim and Ismail. This festival is also celebrated by all Muslims around the world. Millions of animals are annually slaughtered on this day. But let us carefully consider what was the main lesson of Allah's teaching on that occasion. Did Allah ask for Ibrahim's dearmost object or did He ask for a ram? If Allah-Taala had liked a ram, He would have asked for a ram. But it was solely to test the devotion of Ibrahim and Ismail, He had ordered this sacrifice to examine them both, and to save the son of Ibrahim, He replaced Ismail with a ram. now, just think carefully, to try to please Al-lah-Taala, instead of dedicating one's dearmost object, how justifiable is it to just kill a ram?Clearly Allah's lesson here is: we should be ready or at least try to cultivate the attitude that for Allah's pleasure, we should be ready to give up our dearmost object, be it son or wealth as Ibrahim and Ismail did.Unfortunately it seems the general mass of people have held

on to the external event as a reason or excuseto justify the sacrifice of animals on a daily basis, not at all for the pleasure of Allah but simply for the pleasure of the tongue. This whole event is symbolic. As it is proclaimed in the Holy Qur'an (22.37):"It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him."Thus Allah does not require the flesh and blood of animals, much less of human beings. Mo one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable to God. It was a Pagan notion that Allah could be pleased by blood acrifice. But Allah accepts the offering of our hearts. Allah does not delight in flesh and blood. But He does desire the giving of our whole being to Him, of which the practical symbol is that we should give up something very dear to us, if duty requires that sacrifice. It was indeed a great occasion, when two men, the father and the son, showed the example of self-sacrifice in the service of Allah which is needed to qualify one for the supreme goal of life. This example made it clear that the only sacrifice, which God requires from man, is the Surrender of his will and purpose i.e. Al-Islam.Actually qurban, the animal slaughtering process ordained for Muslims, has an esoteric and exoteric meaning. While qurban externally refers only to Muslim dietary laws, inwardly qurban requires that we sacrifice our life to the devotion and service of God, and that we sacrifice our beastly qualities rather than the life of an animal. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen explains: "Qurban does not mean slaughtering chickens, cows or goats. There are four hundred trillion, ten thousand beasts here in the heart, which must be slaughtered. They must be slaughtered in the qalb [the inner heart]. After these things have been slaughtered, what is eaten can then be distinguished as either halal [permissible] or haram [forbidden]." Ultimately, the great ustad [preceptor] concludes, "everything that is seen in the world is haram. What is seen in Allah [God] alone is halal. Please eat that."'In the traditional qurban, the prayer known as the Kalimah is recited to remove the inferior qualities of the animal. The recitation of the powerful Third Kalimah will not only purify the animal slaughtered for consumption, but also all those who are present at the sacrifice, so that they will no longer want to slaughter animals. This will only work, however, if the prayer is said with pure devotion.In Islam, sacrificial animal slaughter is a detailed process. Factually the whole procedure is meant to minimize the killing of animals. Thus, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen explains:"While you recite the Kalimah, you must complete the severing in three strokes of the knife, one for each recitation. The knife has to be swept around three times, and it must not touch the bone. It must be extremely sharp, and the length is prescribed according to each animal so much for a fowl, so much for a goat, so much for a camel. ... Also, the animal must not regurgitate any food, and it must not make any noise; otherwise, it becomes haram. The person who holds the animal and the person who cuts it must always observe the five times prayer. Therefore, it must be the Imam and the mu'azzin who perform the qurban, because very often they are the only ones who regularly observe the five times prayer. This also means that the qurban must take place near a mosque where two such people can always be found. Before beginning the slaughter, they must first perform their ablutions, and then they must recite the kalimah three times and feed water to the animal which is to be sacrificed. The neck of the animal must be turned in the direction of the Qiblah [Mecca], so that the eyes of the sacrificial animal look into the eyes of the person who is doing the sacrifice. The person must look into the eyes of the animal and then, saying the kalimah, he must cut the neck. And he must continue to look into the eyes of the animal until its soul departs, repeating the Zikr all the while. Then after the soul has departed, he must say the kalimah once again and wash the knife. Only then can he move on to the next animal. He has

to look into the animal's eyes, he has to watch the tears of the animal, and he has to watch the animal's eyes until it dies hopefully, his heart will change."2 Once, Allah told the Holy Prophet Muhammad, "With this qurban the killing will be greatly reduced, for where they used to kill 1,000 or 2,000 in one day, they will now be able to slaughter only ten or fifteen animals. If they started after morning prayers, it would be ten o'clock by the time they are ready to begin, and they could slaughter only until eleven o'clock when they must prepare for the next prayer. In addition, it takes about fifteen or twenty minutes for each animal, because he has to wait until the soul has departed." This is how Allah instructed the Holy Prophet. Then the people complained, "How can we do this? We can kill only so few! Our enjoyments and our festivals are being curtailed."But Allah said, "Each one of you does not need to sacrifice one animal; you do not need to sacrifice one animal for each family. In place of forty fowls, kill one goat. In place of forty goats, kill ten cows. And in place of forty cows, kill ten camels. Sacrifice ten camels and then share the meat among the different families." So in place of four hundred animals only forty might be killed. The killing was reduced by that much. Thus, Allah passed down the commands to the Holy Prophet to reduce the taking of lives.So, the conclusion is that if one understands the qurban from within with wisdom, its purpose is to reduce the killing of the poor animals. However if one simply looks at its surface meaning, one will only think its meaning is to supply one with food and satisfy his inferior craving.Thus, the esoteric imperative behind Islamic dietary laws is that Muslims aspire to develop compassion and mercy, first by minimizing the amount of animals one is able to kill (by following all the regulations), and then, its aim is to help one give up animal slaughter altogether. It is mentioned in sura "Al-An'am," or "Cattle" that:"There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are people like unto you." (Qur'an 6.38)Thus "animals living on the earth" include those living in the water fish, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, as well as four-footed beasts. Flying creatures are separately mentioned, "lair," which is normally translated as "bird," is anything that flies, including mammals iike bats. In our pride we may exclude animals from our purview, but they all live a life, social and individual, like ourselves, and all life is subject to the plan and will of Allah. We have no right to destroy or kHl these creatures, even flies and insects what to speak of birds and beasts. We never created them so we have no right to destroy them. The Holy Qur'an states that they are people like you. They are also citizens of this planet. They are also under the protection of God and the Governments. It is the duty of the government to protect its subjects, which includes the innocent helpless animals, and punish those who torture and kill them. It is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an what kind of food Allah creates for the human beings:"Therewith He causes corn to grow for you, and the olive and date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Verily in this is a sign for people who reflect." (16.11)"A sign for them is the dead earth. We revive it and We bring forth from it grain so that they eat thereof.And We produce therein gardens of the date-palm and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein.That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks?" (36.33-^35)"It is God Who sends down rain from the sky, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death. Surely, in that is a sign for people who have ears to hear. In cattle, too, there is a lesson for you: We give you to drink of what is in their bellies, between filth and blood pure milk, sweet to those who drink. And we give you the fruits of the date-palms and the vines from which you derive sweet-tasting liquid and fair

provision. Indeed, this is a sign for men of understanding. And your Lord inspires the bees, saying, 'Build your homes in the mountains, in the trees and in the thatch of roofs; then feed on every kind of fruit and follow the ways of your Lord, so easy to go upon.' Then there comes forth out of their bellies a liquid of various colors wherein is healing for men. Truly, in this a sign for people who reflect." (16.65-69) From these ayats it is obvious that Allah creates milk, honey, corn, grains, olives, dates, grapes and all kinds of fruit as food for mankind. Indeed it is a sign for people who have an understanding. We should be thankful to Allah for His mercy and not ungratefully shed blood of innocent helpless animals simply to please an uncontrolled tongue.The Holy Qur'an (5.1) offers concessions as intermediary stages towards a pure and spiritual diet:"Oyou who believe! Eat of the good things with which we have supplied you, and give God thanks if you are His worshippers. Only that which dies of itself, blood, and swine's flesh, and that over which any other name than that of God's has been invoked, God has forbidden you."Here the Qur'an clearly states that pork is impure and that animal blood is not fit for human consumption. The Muslims, then, run into a dietary contradiction: blood is forbidden it is impossible to completely separate blood from animal flesh so if one eats meat, blood is being consumed as well. In the words of the Holy Qur'an, this, indeed, is a "portent for people who think."Ultimately, the Holy Qur'an encourages Muslims to eat wholesome, healthy foods. In describing lawful and unlawful foods, the Holy Qur'an (7.157) emphasizes: "He [the Holy Prophet makes lawful to them the good things of life and he forbids them the bad things."Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad ordered Hazrat Ali: "Don't make your stomach a grave yard of innocent birds and animals." From that day Hazrat Ali faithfully followed this instruction giving up eating meat. Another time the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:"Whoever is kind to the lesser creatures is kind to himself."It is explained in the Hadith (traditions):Once the Prophet passed by certain people who were shooting arrows at a ram and becoming disgusted he said, "Maim not the brute beasts."Another time, the Prophet, seen wiping the face of his horse with his cloth, and being questioned in regard to it, said, "At night I received a reprimand from God in regard to my horse."A man once robbed some eggs from the nest of a bird, whereupon the Prophet had them restored to the nest. "Fear God in these dumb animals," said the Prophet, "and ride them when they are fit to be ridden and get off them when they are tired."Followers asked: "Verily, are there rewards for our doing good to quadrupeds and giving them water to drink?" And the Prophet answered, "There are rewards for benefiting every animal having a moist liver."3The Holy Prophet Muhammad always stressed the importance to show mercy to the lesser creatures. We should deal with them as if they are our younger brothers. If a younger brother is less intelligent, it does not mean we have the right to kill him but actually being in a superior position means we have a duty to protect his wellbeing. A father will never be pleased if his elder, more intelligent sons were to kill his younger sons simply because they were in a weaker, less intelligent position. Similarly Allah is not pleased when He observes humans killing and giving pain, and suffering to His lesser creatures. According to the Hadith, the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:"One who kills unnecessarily, even a sparrow will be questioned by Allah on the Day of Judgment.""One who takes pity on cutting the head even of a sparrow, and feels compassion towards the sparrow, Allah will similarly show mercy towards him on the Day of Judgment.""Killing any living beings besides those who are inflicting pain is forbidden."4"If the beasts will know about their inevitable death, as humans do, they will not eat flesh."5Biographies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad

include narrations that clearly display his love for animals. For instance, Margoliouth, one of the Holy Prophet Muhammad's chief biographers, writes, "His humanity extended itself to the lower creation. He forbade the employment of towing birds as targets for marksmen and remonstrated with those who ill-treated their camels. When some of his followers had set fire to an ant-hill he compelled them to extinguish it. ... Acts of cruelty were swept away by him."6 Other biographers, such as Dr. M. Hafiz Syed, point out that the Holy Prophet Muhammad instructed those who eat meat to wash out their mouth before going to pray. While it is certainly a Muslim custom to clean one's mouth before going to prayer, many biographers say that only meat is emphasized in this connection and not any other food.7 The Holy Prophet Muhammad always showed the greatest compassion "universal compassion" and he strongly advised his followers to do the same. A touching example from his life shows how far his empathy extended. Awaking from a nap one afternoon, he found a small, sick cat fast asleep on the edge of his cloak. The Holy Prophet cut away the piece of his garment so that the cat could continue to sleep undisturbed. Is this a man who would advocate the unnecessary slaughter of harmless beasts? "Show sympathy to others," the Holy Prophet Muhammad taught, "especially to those who are weaker than you."8 In one popular Hadith (tradition), the Holy Prophet Muhammad is depicted as having rebuked his followers for not showing universal compassion. "But we do show compassion," they insisted, "to our wives, children and relatives." The Holy Prophet Muhammad responded, "It is not this to which I refer. I am speaking of universal mercy."The Holy Prophet Muhammad's earliest biographers indicate that he preferred vegetarian foods, saying that he liked milk diluted with water, yogurt with butter or nuts, and cucumbers with dates. His favorite fruits, which he was known to subsist on for weeks at a time, were pomegranates, grapes and figs, and he liked a morning drink of soaked, crushed dates. He was particularly fond of honey, often eating it mixed with vinegar, and he is quoted as saying that in a house where there is vinegar and honey, there will certainly be the blessings of the Lord. He also liked a preparation called hees, made from butter, dates and yogurt. Furthermore, according to extensive biographical accounts, the Holy Prophet Muhammad has been quoted as saying, "Where there is an abundance of vegetables, a host of angels will descend on that place."It is narrated in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (3.51) that once As-Sa'b bin Jaththama Al-Laithi presented a piece of meat to the Holy Prophet Muhammad but he refused to accept it. The Holy Prophet Muhammad's death emphasizes the harmfulness of eating meat. The story goes that a non-Muslim woman invited the Holy Prophet and some of his companions to a meal and served them poisoned meat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad knew by spiritual insight that the meat was poisoned, so he immediately spat it out, but one of his companions who chewed and swallowed the meat died on the spot. Although it was not his custom to eat any food prepared by a non-Muslim, mysteriously on this occasion he accepted. The poisoned meat put him in a sickbed for about two years, and finally, in 632 AD, he died. According to some scholars, the Holy Prophet Muhammad ate the poisoned meatjust to show the stubborn masses the danger of eating meat. Those Muslims who go for Haj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, wear a simple garment of unstitched cloth in two pieces which is called ihram. The wearing of such a pilgrimage garment (ihram)

is symbolic of a person renouncing the vanities of the world. From the time he wears these religious garments, absolutely no killing is allowed: not even mosquitoes, bugs, grasshoppers, or any other living creatures. If a pilgrim sees an insect on the ground, he will gesture to stop his comrades from inadvertently stepping on it. After this and until the end of the pilgrimage he must not wear any other clothing, or ornaments, anoint his hair, use perfumes, hunt, or do other prohibited acts. Even if a louse lands on this ihram it is not to be thrown of onto the ground but allowed to remain on the ihram. If the casting away of an insignificant living being like a louse is forbidden in Islam, just think how much more inauspicious is the killing of animals. It is said mAine-Akbari that on several occasions such as from Friday to Sunday and eclipse days, the great king Akbar abstained from eating meat.Islamic saints have laid great stress on leading a noble life, a life of renunciation and compassion, eating simple foods and abstaining from meat. They themselves avoided any meat eating. Sheikh Ismail, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, Hazrat Nizammuddin Aulia, Bu Ali Qalandas, Shah Inayat, Mir Dad, Shah Abdul Karim etc., were Muslim saints whose path was pious living, centered on self-restraint, love and affection for all and vegetarian eating. They said: "Ta bayabin dar bahishte adenja, shafkate banumaye ba khalke Khuda If you want to live in heaven for all time to come, then behave in a spirit of compassion and sympathy for the entire creation of God."The famous Muslim saint, Mir Dad, said that anyone who eats the flesh of any living being shall have to repay it with his own flesh. He who breaks another living being's bones shall have his own bones broken. Every drop of blood-shed will have to be accounted for by one's own. Since that is the eternal law.The great Muslim saint Sarmad condemned meat-eating by saying that the light of life is asleep in metals, is dreaming in plants, is awake in animals and is completely alert in human beings. Kabir, addressing Muslims, makes it clear that even fasting (Roza) is in vain if its practitioner lets his tongue dictate the killing of living beings for the sake of taste. Allah will not be pleased in this way.Also during Silloh no meat is taken, because it is said, that meat is a bad food which disturbs prayers. Everyone knows that meat eating increases passion. It is very difficult to pray and concentrate the mind on Allah in a passionate condition. Therefore it is recommended by the great saints of all ages that vegetarian food is much more suitable for spiritual practices. If one wants to increase peace of mind and concentration on Allah, he should decrease or, better, stop eating meat altogether. It is practical advice from which everyone will get immense benefit.Summarizing the above-mentioned statements, we can easily and naturally conclude that meat eating is a great impediment on the path of spiritual advancement. Those who are sincerely trying for spiritual progress should restrain from eating meat. On the path of decreasing material attachments and increasing spiritual attachment to God, restraining from eating meat is compulsory. 6.COW KILLING Chand Kazi continued: "On the path of material activities, there is regulation for killing cows. If such killing is done under the guidance of scripture, there is no sin." In the Holy Qur'an not one single verse allows killing cows or bulls. But very clear instruction is given about what is intended for humanity as food:"And We (Allah ) said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden, and eat freely of the fruits thereof where you will." (2.35)

"And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good works, that theirs are Gardens beneath which rivers flow; every time they are fed with fruits therefrom." (2.25) "Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causes water to descend from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you." (14.32) "Who has appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causes water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you." (2.22) From these four ayats of the Qur'an it is obvious that when Allah created Adam and Eve, He gave them for food, the fruits. And when the pious will go to paradise they will have their food in the form of fruits. Then when Allah created earth He "produced fruits as food for" mankind. Also from the very life of the Hazrat Muhammad, we can see his daily food was bread, milk and palm-dates. Sometimes in his life he sacrificed a sheep or a camel, but never cows or bulls.There is only one story in the Holy Qur'an (2.67-71) which describes the sacrifice of a cow: "When Moses said to his people: Allah commands you that you sacrifice a cow.'They said: 'Do you make game of us?'He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish!'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that the cow should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age; now do what you are commanded!'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us of what color she is.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that she is a yellow cow. Bright is her color; gladdening beholders.'They said: 'Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. To us are all cows alike; if Allah wills, we may led aright.'(Moses) answered: 'He says, that she is a cow not trained to till the soil or water the fields; whole and without a mark.' They said: 'Now have you brought the truth.' Then they sacrificed her; though they scarcely did it."This story is accepted in Jewish traditions, which are themselves based on certain sacrificial directions from the Old Testament. The cow story of Jewish tradition is based on the Numbers (19.1-10), in which Moses and Aaron ordered the Israelites to sacrifice a red cow with-out a spot. Thus Moses announced the sacrifice to the Israelites, and they treated it as a joke. When Moses continued solemnly to ask for the sacrifice, they put him off on one pretext followed by another, asking a number of questions which they could have answered themselves if they had listened to his directions. Their questions were sarcastic criticisms rather than the result of a desire for information. It was a mere thin pretence that they were genuinely seeking for guidance. When at last they were driven into a corner, they made the sacrifice, but if they did this willingly then the sacrifice would have been more effective for their purification from sins. The cow's body was to be burnt and the ashes were to be kept for the purification of the congregation from sins. We can see and learn from this narration that the killing of a cow is very dangerous and not part of the teachings. So much so that the people were very hesitant to commit such an act even when the order came from high authority, Prophet Moses. So this particular sacrifice was not carried out whimsically but with due consideration. We should also understand, that the cow was not simply killed for the sake of eating but the body of the cow was burnt and the ashes were to be used for the higher purpose of purifying the people from their sins. It is very important to mention that in the present age cow sacrifice is also forbidden, because no

qualified people are available to conduct such a sacrifice successfully.Thus we can conclude that cow killing is not sanctioned in the Holy Qur'an and the only cow sacrifice which has been described was not meant for meat eating but for purification of sins.The Iranian scholar Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111 AD) was one of the most brilliant philosophers of Islam. He has stated that besides pieces of bread whatever we eat is simply to satisfy our urges. At the age of 28, he headed the Institute of Islam in Baghdad. His main book, Ihya Ulum ul-Din The Revival of Religious Sciences is highly respected. In this book (part 2, page 23, lines 17-19) the detrimental effects of beef and the virtues of clarified butter and milk from a cow are stated as follows: "The meat of cow is marz (disease), its milk is safa (health) and its clarified butter is dava (medicine)."Is it not more intelligent to protect cows and use their milk and clarified butter for our benefit? The cow is considered a mother of mankind because she gives us her valuable product, milk. As a mother feeds her child with her breast milk, similarly the cow feeds mankind with her milk. It has been scientifically proven that if one regularly drinks cow milk his fine brain tissues develop. As a result of this, one's memory capacity increases, favoring remembrance of Allah. Therefore the cow and its milk play a very important role in the development of human society. We practically see this being applied in schools where a bottle of milk is part of a child's daily diet and doctors stress the importance of milk for our development. So even without considering that cow killing is a great moral sin, practically it is one of the greatest misuses of our human intelligence to kill such a vital creature. Those who are eager to eat meat, they can eat less important animals like sheep and goats but cows should be protected.A Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque in London, England, Al Hafiz B. A. Masri says that the Qur'an itself is very specific about prevention of cruelty to animals. Muslims, who form one-third of the world's total population, need to start a movement for the prevention of cruelty to animals based on Islamic tenets. It is time to ensure that all precepts laid down in the Qur'an against cruelty to animals are followed strictly everywhere in the world. Therefore he wants to start a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the Islamic world. Animal welfare worker Al Hafiz Masri would love to see the world embrace vegetarianism. In his booklslamic concern for Animals, Al Hafiz Marsi has expressed sorrow about the excessive killing of animals in the name of religion. Quoting from the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, he described all acts of torturing animals, and even keeping birds in cages as sinful. According to him even the cutting of trees is prohibited in Islam. On page 18 the Imam Marsi has repeated the saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad:"There is no one who kills even a sparrow or anything smaller, without its deserving it, but God will question him about it." "He who takes pity even on a sparrow and spares its life. Allah will be merciful on him on the Day of Judgment."The Imam Marsi is himself a vegetarian and advises everyone to adopt vegetarianism.Chand Kazi has the titleMaulana. When a Muslim is learned and religious he gets the title Maulana. So this magistrate, Chand Kazi, was a very learned scholar, not only in Muslim scriptures, but he was a great scholar of Hindu scriptures also.As a learned scholar, the Kazi challenged Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "In your Vedic scriptures there is an injunction for killing a cow. On the strength of this injunction, great sages performed sacrifices involving cow killing." Nahaprabhu immediately replied, "The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should not be killed. Therefore any Hindu, whoever he may be, does not indulge in cow killing."In the Vedic

scriptures there are concessions for meat-eaters. It is said that if one wants to eat meat, he should kill a goat before the goddess Kali and then eat its meat. Meat-eaters are not allowed to purchase meat or flesh from a market or slaughterhouse. There are no sanctions for maintaining slaughterhouses to satisfy the tongues of meat-eaters. As far as cow killing is concerned, it is completely forbidden. Since the cow is considered a mother, how could the Vedas allow cow killing? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu pointed out that the Kazi's statement was faulty. In the Bhagavad-gita (18.44) there is a clear injunction that cows should be protected: "The duty of farmers is to produce agricultural products then trade and give protection to cows."Therefore the main injunction in the Vedic scriptures is to protect cows."In the Vedas and Puranas there are injunctions declaring that in order to check the purity and power of a priest an animal is killed in a sacrificial arena. If the priest is pure enough his chanting of the Vedic hymns will give new life to the animal. Therefore the great sages sometimes killed old animals and by chanting Vedic hymns gave them new life for perfection. The killing and rejuvenation of such old and invalid, animals was not killing but an act of great benefit. Formerly there were powerful brahmanas (priests) who could perform such tests using Vedic hymns, but now, because of this degraded age, Kali-yuga, brahmanas are not so powerful. Therefore the killing of cows and bulls for such tests are forbidden. In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyasa (renunciation), the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man begetting children in his brother's wife. Since you people cannot bring killed animals back to life, you are responsible for killing them. Therefore you are going to hell; there is no way for your deliverance. Cow-killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of the cow." 7.SPIRIT SOUL Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu changed the subject and began to discuss philosophy:"Ruh (soul) which is described in the Holy Qur'an-remains in two stages. Ruh-Mujarradi and RuhTarkavi. Tarkavi-ruh is in bondage, possesses desires and a mind whereas Mujarradi-Ruh is pure and distinct from the ephemeral.Mujarradi also means eternal, but Jisam means temporary. Mujarradi transcends time and space whereas Jisam is within the limits of time and space." It is stated in the sura "Al-Anbiya," or "The Prophets" of the HoIyQur'an (21.35): "Every soul shall have a taste of death. And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must you return."The eminent Muslim scholar and ustad (master) Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "The soul does not die, but when it separates from the body at the death of the body, the soul gets a taste of death."9 Thus the death of the body will give a taste of death to the soul when the soul is separated from the body.Therefore the body is temporary but the soul is eternal. When the spirit soul came to this material world he received a material body and mind; thus further developing desires for material enjoyment. In this way he becomes entangled by the laws of material nature. But if the soul develops pure love of God, he can return to the eternal spiritual world which is beyond the limits of time and space.It is stated in the sura "An-Nisa," or "The Women" of the Holy Qur'an (4.157-158):

"That they said, 'We killed Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.'But they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof. They have no knowledge thereof but only conjecture to follow. They kill him not for sure.But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah is Mighty, Wise."The end of Jesus Christ's life on earth is as much involved in mystery as his birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life, except the three main years of his preaching. There were many doubts and presumptions among the early Christian sects and among Muslim theologians. The Orthodox Christian Churches make it a cardinal point of their doctrine that his life was taken on the Cross, he died and was buried. Then on the third day he rose in his body with his wounds intact. He walked about, conversed, ate with his disciples, and afterwards was taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement for sins, which is rejected by Islam. But some of the early Christian sects did not believe that Christ was killed on the Cross. The Gospel of St. Peter states that Barabas was crucified instead of Jesus. The Basilidans believed that some one else was substituted for Christ. The Docetae held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his Crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about 138 AD) denied that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution on the Cross. The Qur'anic teaching is: 1. Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, although certain apparent circumstances produced this illusion in the minds of some of his enemies; 2. Disputations, doubts, and conjectures on such matters are in vain; 3. Jesus was taken up to Allah. So the Jews did not kill Jesus, but Allah rafa'u (took or raised) him up to Himself.Thus the above description gives us a clear understanding that the soul is eternal and different from the body. A soul within the material world possesses the material body, mind and desires. Such a soul is in bondage. He is encaged in the material body. He is distinct from the material body but he falsely thinks, "I am this body." But by practicing pure devotional service to God such a soul can achieve liberation from the bondage of the material body. A liberated soul is pure and free from the influence of the material world. The material world is temporary and within the limits of time and space while the spiritual world is eternal and beyond the limi tations of time and space. When Jesus Christ accomplished his mission on earth "Allah took him up unto Himself" into the spiritual realm, where life is eternal because birth, death, old age and disease do not exist there. 8.THE SPIRITUAL WORLD Chaitanya Nahaprabhu continued, "Alam-misala is the spiritual world where Mujarradi-ruh may remain forever."It states in the sura "Al-Mujadila" (The Woman who Pleads) of the Holy Quran (58.22):"You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. As for such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will bring them to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they will be well pleased with Him. They are the party of Allah. Truly it is the party of Allah that will achieve success."

Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "Again we have the doctrine of Allah's Good Pleasure as the highest goal of man, the spiritual heaven which he achieves by a life of purity and faith. He not only attains Allah's Good Pleasure as the crown of his felicity, but his own nature is so far transformed to the pattern of Allah's original creation that his own good pleasure is in nothing but in Allah's Good Pleasure. The mutual good pleasure shows the heights to which man can attain."10 Thus it is clearly explained in the above verse and commentary that those who strive for Allah's pleasure and succeed in it will achieve the highest destination, spiritual heaven where they will remain forever. So there are distinctions between the material heaven and the spiritual heaven. Those who are pious but attached to material comforts and pleasures will attain material heaven but those who act only for the pleasure of Allah without selfish motives will be accepted into Allah's party and attain the spiritual world.There are other interesting ayats in the sura "Al-Fajr", or "Dawn" of the Holy Qur'an (89.27-30):"(To the righteous soul will be said): O (you) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!Come back you to your Lord, well pleased (yourself), and well pleasing unto Him!Enter you, then, among my devotees!Yes, enter you My Heaven!'"Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:"The righteous enter into their inheritance and receive their welcome with a title that suggests freedom from all pain, sorrow, doubt, struggle, disappointment, ' passion, and even further desire: at rest, in peace; in a state of complete satisfaction.In Muslim theology, this stage of the soul is the final stage of bliss. The unregenerate human soul, that seeks its satisfaction in the lower earthly desires, is the Ammara. The self-reproaching soul that feels conscious of sin and resists it is the Lawwama. Note that it is the soul which enters heaven, and not the gross body which perishes.The climax of the whole is: "Enter My Heaven!" Men may have imagined all kinds of heaven before, and many types are used in the sacred Word itself. But nothing can express the reality itself better than "My Heaven" Allah's own Heaven! May we reach it through Allah's grace!"11 Thus Muslim theologians assume three states or stages of elevation of the soul: 1. Ammara (12.53; Nafsa la-'ammaratum), which is prone to evil, and, if not checked and controlled will lead to eternal damnation; 2. Lawwama, (75.2; Tiafsil-lawwamah), which feels conscious of evil, and resists it, asks for Allah's grace and pardon after repentance and tries to amend; it hopes to obtain salvation; 3. Mutmainna (89.27;Nafsul-mutma-innah), the highest stage of all, when it achieves full rest and satisfaction. When a soul achieves the highest perfection of human life, which means pure devotion to Allah without any motives, then he can enter among the devotees of Allah in His Heaven. Allah's Heaven means the spiritual world where the pure soul regains his spiritual form and lives forever.Some more wonderful evidence is revealed in the sura "Yunus", or "Jonah" of the Holy Qur'an (10.25-26):"Allah does call to the Daris-Salam (Abode of Peace), and He does guide whom He pleases to a Siratim-Mustaqim (Straight Way).For those who do right is a best (reward) and more (than in measure)! neither darkness nor abasement shall cover their faces! They are "Asabul-Jannah (Companions of the Garden); they will abide therein (forever)."

Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "In contrast with the ephemeral and uncertain pleasures of this material life, there is a higher life to which Allah is always calling. It is called the Abode of Peace. For there is no fear, nor disappointment nor sorrow there.And all are called, and those will be chosen who have sought, not material advantages, but the Good Pleasure of Allah.The reward of the righteous will be far more than in proportion to their merits. For they will have the supreme bliss of being near to Allah, and seeing His face."12 There is a similar verse in the sura "Al-An'am", or "Cattle":"For them will be an Abode of Peace in the presence of their Lord. He will be their Friend, because they practiced (righteousness)." (Qur'an 6.127)Thus Allah calls everyone to His Abode of Peace, but only those who fully surrender to Allah will become His companions, attain His Abode and live there eternally. "Asabul-Jannah also means the companions of Allah in the Abode of Peace, or spiritual world. Those who are able to surrender to Allah with pure love and devotion will become eternal companions of Allah in the spiritual world where they will remain forever. There Allah will reciprocate with them as a friend because they are very dear to Him. It is stated in the sura "At-Tauba", or "Repentance" of the Holy Qur'an (9.21-22): "Their Lord gives them glad tidings of mercy from Himself and acceptance. And Gardens where enduring pleasure will be theirs.There they will dwell forever. Verily with Allah is the greatest reward." Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "Those who strive and suffer in Allah's cause are promised: (1) mercy specially from Himself, (2) His own good pleasure, (3) gardens of perpetual delight, (4) the supreme reward, Allah's own nearness. These are in gradation: (1) is special mercy, higher than flows out to all creatures; (2) is a consciousness of Allah's good pleasure, which raises the soul above itself; (3) is that state of permanent assurance, and (4) is the final bliss, which is the sight of Allah Himself."13 Thus in these ayats the wordJannat is used in plural which means there are different kinds of Heavens, or Gardens. There are heavens in the material world for those who are pious but still attached to sense enjoyment and there are Gardens in the spiritual world for those whose only attachment is Allah. In these Gardens they will dwell forever in eternal bliss and association with Allah. 9.LOVE OF GOD Mahaprabhu continued, "By culturing Eshk llfl (love) for Allah the Ruh (soul) becomes pure and transcends worldliness."There is an interesting verse in this regard in the sura "AZMa'ida," or "The Table Spread" of the Holy Qur'an (5.54):"O you who believe! If any from among you turn back from his religion, soon Allah will bring people whom He will love and they will love Him.humble towards Believers, mighty towards the Rejecters, striving in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the blame of any blamer. That is the Grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleases. Allah is Ail-Embracing, All-Knowing."Thus here is a

warning to the Muslim community that they should not become so self-satisfied or arrogant as to depart from the spirit of God's teachings. If they do, the ioss will be their own. God's bounty is not confined to one group or section of humanity. He can always raise up people who will follow the true spirit of Eternal Religion. That spirit is defined in two ways: 1. They will love God and God will love them; 2. Amongst the brethren, their attitude will be that of humility. They will offer no compromises to unbelievers, they will always strive and fight for truth and right, they will know no fear. Actually in this verse there is a great prediction that soon God will bring people whom He will love and who will love Him. These people will follow the principles of Eternal Religion which means Love of God. By cultivating this love, a soul becomes purified from all material desires and attachments. Therefore he qualifies to transcend the limits of material existence and enter into the spiritual existence. This is the highest perfection of life.We find another relevant story in The liadith. It is narrated that a Bedouin came to the Prophet and said, "When will the Day of Judgment come?" In reply the Prophet said: "What preparations have you made for that day?" Feeling ashamed, the Bedouin said broken-heartedly: "O Prophet, I have not piled up prayers, fasts, charity and alms; the little I have in my possession is the love of God and His Prophet only." The Prophet said: "A man will be with the people he loves."14 (Bukhari and Muslim)Real love is love of God and it is the ultimate goal of life. In the Holy Qur'an the Holy Prophet Muhammad explained that instead of so-called love for the world, people should cultivate real love for Allah. It is the goal of human life. All loving relationships in the material world are just perverted reflections of the real love of God. Because we have forgotten our loving relationships with God, we try to develop the so-called love for different objects of this material world. Thus, we try to become happy, but there is anxiety at every step, for real eternal unconditional love and happiness exists only in the spiritual world. Just like water does not exist in the desert, similarly love and happiness do not exist in the material world. This material love we are struggling to enjoy here is compared to trying to enjoy and satisfy ourselves with a mirrored reflection of a delicious meal but we are frustrated at every attempt. Real love for God is lying dormant within our hearts. If we want to awaken this love, we need to reestablish our forgotten relationship with the Supreme. Attached to the love of wife, child, home, money, country and friend we attain only superficial love but when we engage ourselves in devotional service to the Supreme Lord, we can attain the ocean of pleasure, the reservoir of love, the origin of love. That is why we should engage ourselves in devotional service to the Supreme Lord. This is the only way to awaken our dormant love for God and go back to the spiritual world. It is the ultimate goal of human life and it can be easily tried and tested. Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad said: "O Lord, grant to me the love of You; grant me that I love those that love You; grant me that I may do the deeds that win Your love; make Your love dearer to me than my soul, family and wealth." 10.THE MESSENGER Chaitanya continued, "In the spiritual world Allah has provided seats for the Payagambars (Prophets) who are completely free from the influence of Jisam (Material Nature)."In the sura "Al-Ma'ida", or "The Table Spread" of the Holy Qur'an, a solemn scene before the Court of Judgment is put before us in graphic words, showing the responsibility and the limitations of the Prophets of Allah, sent to preach His Message to mankind. The Messengers are sent to

preach the Truth. The perverted form the Message may take after man's reaction to it is beyond the Messengers' responsibility:"On the day when Allah will gather the Messengers together, and ask: 'What was the response you received (from men to your teachings)?'They will say: 'We have no knowledge. It is You Who knows in full all that is hidden." (5.109)"Then will Allah ask: X) Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men, take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?' He will say: "Glory to You! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). If I said it, then You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Your heart. For You know in full all that is hidden. I said to them only that which You commanded me, (saying): 'Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness over them while I lived among them, and when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them. You are a witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them (they are Your servants). You are the Mighty, the Wise.'" (5.116-118) Thus Jesus Christ was taken up by Allah to the spiritual realm as it is also mentioned in Qur'an (4.158). In this way the pure souls, especially the messengers of the Supreme Lord attain the spiritual world where Allah provides them with life, which is completely free from the influence of material nature.At the end of his speech Jesus Christ mentions that if God punished sinners or forgave them, in any case they are His eternal servants. A spirit soul is an eternal servant of God. It is the subject matter of the next statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 11.THE SOUL IS AN ETERNAL SERVANT But even in the spiritual world, the Ruh remains as Banda (Servitor)," Mahaprabhu added.It is stated in the sura "Alraf", or "The Heights" of the Holy Qur'an (7.206):"Those who are with your Lord are not too proud to do Him service, but they praise Him and adore Him,"Thus especially those who are with Allah in the spiritual world, serve him incessantly. It is the eternal nature of the soul to serve the Supreme Lord. As heat and light cannot be separated from the nature of fire similarly service cannot be separated from the eternal nature of the soul. To direct this service propensity towards serving God is the natural happy position of the soul. To be a servant of God is the intrinsic characteristic of the soul. As soon as the soul is misdirected and deprived from this devotional exchange with his Supreme Lord he becomes unhappy and suffers. The point is, no one can live even for a second without serving something, be it his boss or his senses. So one can either invest his service energy into a temporary relationship, e.g. with his car or his wife and reap almost zero benefit at the time of death or one can invest the same amount of energy into his eternal relationship with the Lord and gain what every soul is looking for, a relationship based on pure unadulterated love. Therefore one should engage in unmotivated and uninterrupted devotional service to God. That is the perfection of human life. 12.GOD IS THE ETERNAL MASTER Therefore Allah is the eternal master and the Ruh remains as eternal servitor to Him," Chaitanya continued.We find the following verses in the Holy Qur'an:"He (Allah) is the Omnipotent over His servants. He is the Wise, the Knower." (6.18)"O My servants who believe! Truly, spacious is My Earth. Therefore serve Me alone!" (29.56)Thus Allah is the eternal master of everyone and the soul is His eternal servant. It does not matter where the soul is residing, be he in the material world or spiritual world. Even if someone rejects Allah's

service, he remains a servant,, but for now he has chosen to take the position of a rebellious, disobedient servant. For example, if the son rejects his father and leaves him, he nevertheless remains his son. And after a long time wondering around and suffering when he eventually returns to his father he is still his son. Similarly when a soul returns to the spiritual world, he is still a servant of God. The soul has always been and will continue eternally to have this relationship with his perfect loving Master. 13.FORM OF GOD Further, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained: "Defi-1 iiB-^nitely the Qur'an refutes a material form of W Allah but it has not refuted the pure spiritual form."Now Mahaprabhu began to discuss Allah's form. Mahaprabhu clearly states that Allah has a spiritual form which is the same as saying that Allah has no form, meaning no material form like ours because Allah has nothing to do with the forms of this temporary illusory world. Our present bodily forms are material and therefore are subjected to the material laws of birth, disease, old age and death. Since Allah is God, He is the Creator and Governor of these laws, so He is above them. His form is eternally the same, unlimited, having no beginning or end, again different from our present material bodies which do go through a process of being born, getting diseased, growing old and finally dying. Therefore Allah eternally has a pure spiritual form which is perfect and inconceivable. It can never be touched or influenced by the material energy. The understanding that Allah has a spiritual form is understanding on the most advanced level. To consider Allah completely formless is, to say the least, an inferior thought. Since the statement that Allah has no form deprives Him of something which even the lower creatures have, such a statement is offensive. Therefore the most perfect understanding is that Allah has a form which is absolutely spiritual and has little to do with any material form whatsoever.Let us see if there are any verses in the Holy Qur'an which support this statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. God has Eyes The form of Allah is very different from these material forms which we have here. These bodies are limited and full of shortcomings, destined to deteriorate, malfunction, suffer and eventually disintegrate. However Allah's form is spiritual, supreme, unlimited, eternal and blissful. Each one of Allah's spiritual senses can perform all the functions of His other senses. Allah definitely has senses by which He perceives all things as we will realize from the following statements of the Holy Qur'an.We find numerous verses in the Holy Qur'an describing the various bodily features of Allah. For example, Allah's ability to see and the nature of His eyes are described in the following way:"Allah sees well whatever you do." (Qur'an 2.265)"Build the ship under Our (Allah's) eyes and by Our inspiration." (Qur'an 11.37)This particular verse from sura "Hud," or "The Prophet Hud" is connected with the story about Allah's prophet, Noah (Qur'an 11.25-48).Allah sent Noah to his nation. When Noah proclaimed his prophethood, he said to the people, "I am here to warn you that you serve none but Allah, for I fear the severe retribution to be distributed out to you on the Day of Judgment." Nevertheless, the chieftains of his nation, with an air of total disbelief said, "You are a mortal like us; no one will follow you and we deem you a liar.""O my people," Noah replied, "Allah knows best what is in everyone's heart and He will reward them accordingly.""O Noah! Let befall us that with which you threaten us; and so prove the genuineness of your statement," they challenged.

To which Noah replied, with a grave air, "Only Allah will bring it upon you if He wants; and you will find no means of escape.""What you have been telling us is no more than your fanciful invention," they persisted.Allah then told Noah reassuringly, "None except those that already have faith in you will believe your words. Do not be distressed at the non-believers' activities. Build an ark under My very eyes, and by My inspiration. Do not pray to me on behalf of the wrong-doers, for they are destined to be drowned in the devastating flood that is yet to come."Eager to execute Allah's order, Noah began building an ark. He intended the ark to be a huge heavy vessel, strong and suitable for remaining afloat in order to brave the great Flood, so that the righteous could be saved by it. From dawn till dusk, he was ardently and assiduously engaged in the arduous task of constructing the ark. Construction of the ark was now in rapid progress. Whenever the chieftains of his nation walked by, they discredited him and jeered at his attempt. Such an outrageous ridicule of Noah by the unscrupulous sinners, from their own viewpoint, was but natural. Since here was the once proclaimed Prophet, doing the humble work of an ordinary carpenter! Here in the huge flat plain of the Mesopotamian basin, drained by the majestic Tigris River,over 800 to 900 miles away from the sea of the Arabian Gulf! Yet Noah talks of an extensive destructive oceanic flood! So, there was little reason why they should stop mocking Noah. They continued their mockery until water sprang up from the ground and started gushing and rushing forth with unprecedented violence, while there was an awe-inspiring torrential downpour from among the dark, menacing clouds. This clearly gave warning of the disastrous flood about to inundate the area. Allah said to Noah, "Let both genders of every species board the ark, including your household."Noah now started helping the people and animals of both genders onto the ark and, spotting his son at some distance, he anxiously cried out to him, "Oh my son! Come and join us. Sever your connections with the non-believers."In spite of that, his son smugly said, "I shall seek out shelter in some mountain that will save me from the water."To which Noah sagely replied, "This day there is none except the believers who would be saved from the ravages of the great flood, since it is Allah's wish and command that none but those upon whom He bestows mercy shall be saved." A thick wall of furious waves suddenly separated father and son; for a brief while, they lost sight of each other. Now the sudden rush of the turbulent waves subsiding into a mere pool of subdued waters, Noah could see his son being relentlessly and speedily taken away at a considerable distance along with the nonbe-lievers, a picture of irrevocable doom. Leaving the non-believers to their inevitable fate, the believers began their journey. Finally, the ship, which now carried tired but elated people and animals, came to rest on Mt. Al-Judi. Thus Allah's order was carried out. Allah then said to Noah, "Now go down from the mountain with blessings from Me upon you and the nations that are yet to spring from those with you."So those who truly seek Allah's light and guidance, sincerely bending their will to His Will are easily allowed to become the recipients of Allah's grace. Despite their human shortcomings, they are promoted to higher levels on account of their faith, trust and striving for the right course of actions. They are given Allah's Peace, which gives the soul real deep calmness and strength accompanied by a river of blessings, which incessantly flows from spiritual life. Since Noah had served Allah with great devotion, Allah directly guided him, instructed him; and even bestowed upon him confidential knowledge of His spiritual eyes.Thus, there is clear evidence from the Holy Qur'an that Allah hasAynun, 'Eyes'. Of course, the Eyes of Allah are different from our eyes. Unlike our eyes which are very limited and imperfect, His Eyes are spiritual, unrestricted and have unlimited power to see. We cannot even see our hands in the dark. Allah, however, can

see the seeable and unseeable. He observes every corner of His vast creation.There is another testimony about God's eyes in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (4.649): "Narrated by lbn 'Umar: The Prophet mentioned Masih Ad-Dajjal (pseudo messiah) to the assembled people, proclaiming, Allah is not one-eyed while Masih Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape. While sleeping near the Ka'ba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color. The best, one can see amongst brown colored people. His hair was so long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he had his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Ka'ba. I asked them, 'Who is this?' They replied, This is lesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary).' Behind him I saw another man who had short and curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan in appearance. He had placed his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing circumambulation around the Ka'ba. I asked, 'Who is this?' He replied, 'Masih Ad-Dajjal.'" Here the Holy Prophet Muhammad compared the eyes of Allah with the eyes of a human being. He mentioned that "Allah is not one-eyed," which means that Allah has two eyes like humans. The false messiah, Masih Ad-Dajjal, was blind in the right eye but the Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "Allah is not one-eyed." So Allah has two spiritual Eyes. It is also mentioned in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (5.17):"narrated by Abdullah bin 'Umar that Allah's Messenger said, 'On the Day of Judgement Allah will not look at him who drags his robe (behind him) out of conceit (with pride)."Here is evidence from the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself that Allah will not look at proud people on the Day of Judgement. If Allah looks at some people and does not look at others, this means Allah has eyes to look. God has the sense of hearing There are a number of verses in the Holy Qur'an which explain that Allah hears everything. The fact that Allah can hear automatically implies that He possesses the sense of hearing; but His hearing and the sense by which he hears are both transcendental. His ability to hear is neither limited nor conditioned unlike ours. Allah can simultaneously hear every murmur and sigh in every part of the entire universe.For instance, in the 50th ay at of the 34th sura ("Saba," or "The City of Saba"), it is written that Allah "hears all things":"It is He Who hears all things, and is (ever) near." "Allah is Hearer, Knower." (Qur'an 2.224) Thus, Allah possesses the spiritual organ of hearing. Allah's spiritual Ears are eternal, perfect and have unlimited potency. He can hear everything that is audible and inaudible. God has the sense of speech In the Holy Qur'an there are many verses which describe how Allah spoke with angels. Prophets and mankind. If one can and does speak, then he must also have the sense by which one speaks. Since Allah can speak, He does have the sense of speech; but it is spiritual and beyond the limits of time and space. He can and does speak to all living entities simultaneously in a variety of sounds and languages throughout this whole universe.For example, in the sura "Al-lrnran," or "The Family of 'Imran" of the Holy Qur'an (3.77), it is stated:"As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own solemn plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the future. Allah will neither speak to them nor iook at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleanse them. They shall have a grievous chastisement."

Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "Even on sinners ordinary sinners Allah will look with compassion and mercy. He will speak words of kindness and cleanse them of their sins. But those who are in active rebellion against Allah and sin against their own light, what mercy can they expect?"15This means that on the Day of Judgment Allah will look upon some people and speak to them. Thus Allah has the sense of speech.A very interesting incident has been described in the sura "AlBaqarah," or "The Cow":"When your Lord said to the angels, 1 will create a viceroy on the earth,' they inquired: 'Will You place there one who will make mischief and shed blood, while we praise You and glorify Your holy (name)?' To which He said, 'Surely I know what you know not.'" (Qur'an 2.30)This verse relates to an incident, which occurred when Allah decided to create a human being, namely, Adam. (Qur'an 2.30-39)Allah informed the angels about His decision by saying: "1 will create a viceroy on the earth." But the angels objected. They predicted that the humans will do harm and shed blood.Allah assured the angels: "Surely I know that which you do not." Then Allah created the human form from clay and enlivened it by placing a soul in it. This first human being was named Adam. Allah then taught Adam all the names of God as well as the names of all the animals and plants. Allah brought Adam to the angels and said, "Now let me see if you are able to say the names that 1 have taught Adam." But the angels could only reply: "We have no knowledge besides that which You have taught us."Allah then told Adam, "O Adam! Inform them of these names of creation."After Adam had informed the angels of these names as well as their own, Allah said, "Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? I know all that you disclose and hide. Now prostrate yourselves before Adam." All the angels fell prostrate before Adam. Only Iblis (Satan) disobeyed the order of Allah out of pride.Allah asked him: "O Iblis! What hinders you from falling prostrate before he whom 1 have created with My hands? Are you too proud to do so, or are you one of the high and exalted?"Iblis replied: "I am better than Adam. You created me from fire, whereas him from clay."Allah said: "Go down from here. Now you are an outcast. My curse is on you till the Day of Judgment."Iblis replied: "Then, by Your might, I surely will bewilder everyone of them, except the single-minded slaves of Yours."Thus it is understood from this statement by Iblis (Satan) that he, Iblis, has power over only those who are not "single-minded slaves" of Allah or souls surrendered to Him. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord cannot be affected by the demoniac influence of Satan. In contrast, those who are non-devotees are easily bewildered by Iblis and fall victim to his plots. This illustrates the glory of pure devotion to Allah. Allah said: "I shall fill hell with you and those that will follow you."Then Allah said to Adam, "O Adam! You and your wife live in the Garden, and eat the fruits freely. But do not come near this tree, otherwise you will become a wrongdoer. Iblis is your and your wife's enemy. If you listen to him, he will lead you away from the Garden of Paradise to a life of hardship."Later Iblis whispered to them that he might manifest to them that which has been hidden from them. Iblis said: "O Adam! Shall I show you the tree of immortality and power that does not waste away? Your Lord forbade you from approaching this tree to prevent you from becoming angels or becoming immortal." Iblis swore to them, saying, "I am a sincere adviser to you." Thus he led them on with deception and cunningness. When they tasted the fruits of the forbidden tree, they became bashful and they began to hide themselves by covering their bodies with leaves from

the Garden. Thus Iblis bewildered them, causing them to deviate from the righteous path, whereupon they became deprived of the happy state of life they were in. Then Allah summoned them and said, "Did I not forbid you from going near that tree? I informed you that Iblis is your arch-enemy. Since you have disobeyed My order, you shall fall down from here to the earth; once there, you will be inimical to each other. There you shall be provided a habitation and food for a while."From this incident we can understand how freely Allah spoke to angels, Iblis and Adam. This means that Allah has the sense of speech, or a spiritual Mouth. Allah can and does speak unlimitedly using His spiritual Mouth. God has a Face There are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which describe Allah's face. A scrutinizing study of these verses leaves no doubt as to whether Allah has a face or not.The prominent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds:"We confess that Allah has a face, without asking how."For instance, the Holy Qur'an says:"Send not away those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face." (6.52)"Those who patiently persevere, seeking the Face of their Lord." (13.22) "Keep yourself along with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face." (18.28)"That is best for those who seek Allah's face." (30.38)"But that which you give in charity, seeking Allah's face, will increase manifold." (30.39)One meaning of the word *wajh' is Tace' or lself. Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary to (30.39) writes:"Seeking the Face of Allah, i. e. out of our pure love for the true vision of Allah's own Self."16The word 'self indicates individuality. This means Allah has individuality; He is not an abstract object. If we apply the above mentioned interpretation to the words wajhallahi, Allah's face,' Allah is then referred to as an individual. In other words, He is a Person. Thus the expression Allah's face' indicates that Allah is a Person and He has a Face.Furthermore, it is stated in the Holy Qur'an: "To Allah belong the East and the West, and wherever you turn, there is Allah's Face." (2.115)"Everything will perish except His (Allah's) face." (28.88)"All that is on earth will perish.But the Face of your Lord full of Bounty and Honor will continue to exist (forever)." (55.26-27)From all these quotations the existence of Allah's Wa/'/i, or vFace', is undeniably apparent. We can understand from the above mentioned verses (Qur'an 55.26-27) that everything in this material world is temporary but only Allah's Face is eternal. Wajh or 'Face,' is an indispensable part of a Person and expresses personality. Also the word //cram (Honor) in these verses is very important. Two meanings are prominent in this word Ikram. The first meaning is generosity coming from a generous person; and the second meaning is honor given to a venerable person. One who has a face and is called Ikram must be a person. The use of the two words Wajh and Ikram in the above verse is no accident or overstatement; rather, the Holy Qur'an's mention of these particular attributes of Allah is calculated to highlight the undeniable fact that Allah is a Person with transcendental attributes. Allah's Face is highly impressive, radiating youthfulness and freshness of life. His enchanting smile captures and melts the hearts of His devotees. It is said that anyone who observes the beautiful smile of the Supreme Lord will never forget the elevating experience and so obtains perfection. God has Hands In the Holy Qur'an we can find a number of verses which clearly indicate Allah's possession of hands. Not only that but in one of the verses the right hand of Allah has particularly been

referred to; so, logically, Allah must have a left hand too. Since Allah has two hands according to the Holy Qur'an, it is only too clear that Allah has a form.The prominent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds:"We confess that Allah has two hands, without asking why."Also the Holy Prophet Muhammad states in the Holy Qur'an:"Say: Generosity is in Allah's hands." (3.73)"He (Allah) said: vO Iblis! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom 1 have created with My hands?'" (38.75)"They have made no just estimate of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand." (39.67)We can understand from this last verse that on the Day of Judgment Allah will be able to enclose the whole earth in the palm of His hand and he will roll the heavens up with His right hand.Furthermore the Holy Qur'an says:"The hand of Allah is above their hands." (48.10)"Blessed be He in Whose hands is the sovereignty, and He is able to do all things." (67.1)"The Jews say: Allah's hand is tied up.' Their hands are tied up and they are cursed for saying so. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched." (5.64)So the Holy Qur'an gives a clear description of the hands of Allah and His palms. Of course, some people try to give secondary or metaphorical interpretations of the hands of Allah, but first of all,we can see how Allah explains that He has a right hand, implying that He also has a left hand. The existence of Allah's left hand is confirmed by one close associate of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, namely Muslim bin Yes'ar:"The Prophet said, Eerily God created Adam, and touched his b^ckwith His right hand, and brought forth from it a family, and God said to Adam I have created this family for paradise, and their actions will be like unto those of the people of paradise. Then God touched the back of Adam with His left hand, and brought forth another family, and said I have created this family for hell, and their actions will be like unto those of the people of hell."17 Thus the description of Allah's two hands, a left and a right, leaves no doubts that Allah has hands.Even the metaphorical expressions that we use correspond to tangible objects. For example, we often say, "The power is in the hands of the King." This is because the King has hands. The lion is also the king of the animal kingdom but we never say, "The power is in the hands of the lion," because it is ridiculous to imagine a lion with hands instead of its forelegs. Thus, we cannot make light of the fact that Allah has hands. Allah Himself lays great stress on the existence of His hands; how then can one dare deny their existence? Thus, irrefutably, Allah has two hands, both right and left.born or created but ever-existing. The Form of the Supreme Lord does not deteriorate; nor is it subjected to old age. Allah is everyouthful.It is also recorded in tradition from Bukhari and Muslim, that once the Prophet of Islam said, "Allah-Taala (God Most High) created Adam in His own sura (form, image)."From this clear evidence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself we can understand that Allah, God, has a Spiritual Form. God has an Image A thorough, scrutinizing study of the Holy Qur'an provides one with compelling evidence of the existence of Allah's form. It is explained that Allah has a Sublime Image. So how can one who has an image be formless? The very mention of the word Image' signifies the existence of a form. So, it is illogical to say that while Allah has an image, He is formless. Although Allah is beyond mundane logic, by using spiritual logic (which is based on the revealed scriptures) we can easily understand that if Allah has a Sublime Image this means He has a Sublime Form, which is transcendental to material time and space.Thus Allah says in the Holy Qur'an: "Allah's is the Sublime Similitude." (16.60) "It is He (Allah) Who produces creation, then

reproduces it and for Him it is most easy. To Him belongs the Sublime Similitude in the heavens and the earth." (30.27) Here the word masal means similitude, resemblance, likeness, or image. And Allah said that His similitude, resemblance, likeness, or image is sublime in the heavens and on the earth. This means that among all images of all creation His Image is far superior and paramount. Of course, Allah's Image or Form is not material but spiritual. His Form is primeval and eternal. It is not born or created but ever exiting The form of the supreme lord does not deteriorate nor is it subjected to old age Allah is ever youthful.It is also recorded in tradition from bukhari and muslim that once the prophet of islam said Allah taala (God most highland)created adam in his owm sura(from image)From this clear evidence of the holy prophet muhammad himself we can understand that allah,god has a spiritual form. God can be seen It is explained in the Holy Qur'an that on the day of Judgment believers will be able to see Allah. Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad said that he observed Allah in a most lovely form.18 These two statements alone provide enough evidence for us to conclude that Allah can be seen. Since we cannot see anything that is formless, so Allah must have a form, which we will be able to see. Allah's form is completely spiritual and overflowing with unlimited sublime qualities. It is also true that Allah is unseen, which means He is not seen with ordinary material eyes. Only by the causeless mercy of Allah can one see Him. If Allah grants someone spiritual vision then he will be able to see Him. The Holy Prophet Muhammad and some other Prophets of ancient times were granted such vision. In the hereafter, however, all believers will see Allah. Some scholars say that only His eyes will be visible and others say His whole face; while still others say that every part of His form will be seen.I9 So in the sura "Al-Qiyamat," or "The Resurrection" it is said:"Some faces, that Day, will beam,Looking towards their Lord." (Qur'an 75.22-23) The meaning of these ayats is that when righteous souls go to Allah, they will be able to see their Lord and their faces will shine with immense joy. It is explained that they will "look towards their Lord." This means that Allah will be the object of their gaze. So it is very clear that Allah (Who is seen) occupies some space. Anyone who occupies some space must have a form. This means that Allah, Who does occupy some space, has a form; but His form is spiritual and never limited or conditioned by material space. The transcendental form of Allah is brighter than billions of suns. This brightness prevents one from seeing the form of Allah. Even so, Allah, out of His causeless mercy, can remove His blinding effulgence in order to reveal His form to His pure devotees. It is also confirmed by Abu Huraira in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (1.770):"The people said, 'O Allah's Messenger! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?' He replied, 'Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear night when there are no clouds?' They replied, 'No, O Allah's Messenger!' He said, Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?' They replied: "rlo, O Allah's Messenger!' He said, 'You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, 'We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him.' Then Allah will come to them again and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, Tour are our Lord.' Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a slippery bridge on which there

will be clamps and hooks like the thorn of Sa'dan) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Messengers to cross it with my followers." Thus the Holy Prophet Muhammad explained that on the Day of Resurrection, or on the Day of Judgment living beings will see their Lord as they see the full moon on a clear night, or the sun when there are no clouds and they will recognize Him.Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:"His (Allah's) glory is His veil. If He (Allah) were to lift the veil, the effulgence of His Being will consume everything as far as the sight of His creatures can reach."20Nevertheless, Allah, out of mercy, allows the pure devotees to see His form unharmed. Thus Allah is not an abstract power or energy but a living Being Who has a supreme, spiritual form, for righteous people will be able to see Him on the Day of Judgment.There is another piece of evidence in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (1.529):"Narrated by Jarir: We were with the Prophet and he looked at the moon on a full-moon night and said, 'Certainly you will see your Lord as you see this moon and you will have no trouble in seeing Him. So if you can avoid missing (through sleep or business, etc.) a prayer before the sunrise and a prayer before sunset, you must do so.' He then recited Allah's Statement: 'And glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.' (Qur'an 50.39)."Thus the Holy Prophet Muhammad explains that if one really wants to see God lie should continuously praise the Lord, specially before sunrise and before sunset, then he will certainly see the Lord. God has an Abode One morning in Mecca, the Holy Prophet Muhammad proclaimed to his followers that at night he was taken to the heavens and after penetrating the 7th layer of the heavens, he reached Allah's Abode where he received divine knowledge from Allah and returned.Mow, where does Allah reside? Where will the pure devotees meet Him? The Holy Qur'an (70.3-4) informs us of Allah's residence in the sura "Al-Ma'arij," or "The Ways of Ascent":"Allah, the Lord of the ascending stairways.(Whereby) the angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a Day which has the duration of fifty thousand years."Here the word "ma'arij" is very significant. Ma'arij means stairways, or the way of ascent. This word is infused with profound spiritual meaning. Can we reach Allah, The Most High? He very graciously grants this privilege to the angels. But the way is not easy; nor can it be traversed in a day. Thus the Abode of Allah can be attained by the angels only through the special way of ascent, which takes 50,000 earth years.Another explanation is given in the sura "Al-'Imran," or "The Family of tmran":"Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode." (Qur'an 3.14) "And Allah summons to the.Daris Salam, or the Abode of Peace and leads whom He will to a Straight path." (Qur'an 10.25)From these ayats we can easily understand that Allah has a supreme abode, the Daris Salam, where He personally resides. If someone has a residence where there are devotees to associate with, then he must have a form. An abstract thing has neither residence nor associates. Allah is not an abstract thing but a Living Being Who has His own abode where He resides. Pure devotees of the Supreme Lord by His causeless mercy will attain Allah's eternally blissful abode and will associate with Him personally. This clearly means Allah has an eternal spiritual form.God sits on the Throne The Holy Qur'an also mentions a particular item of Allah's paraphernalia, namely a throne. There are many verses, which explain that Allah has a Throne on which He sits, surrounded by angels etc. Unless one has a form and is located in a particular place, he can neither sit on a throne nor be surrounded by anyone. Since Allah does

sit on a throne and is surrounded by angels, no sane man will deny that Allah has a form, Needless to say, this form is spiritual and invisible to the common eye.Thus the Holy Qur'an states: "Your Guardian Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He settled Himself on the Throne." (7.54)"Truly, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six Days. He then established Himself upon the Throne, directing all things." (10.3)In verses (7.54) and (10.3), the word 'istawa' with the suffix 'a/a, means to sit firm and unshaken,' to be firmly established,' or to mount.' So Allah is firmly seated on His Throne from where He directs all things.Furthermore it is stated in the Holy Qur'an:"It is He (Allah) Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was upon the water." (11.7)"The Beneficent One is firmly established on the Throne." (20.5)"Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne." (21.22)"And you (O Muhammad) will see the angels surrounding the Throne on all sides, singing the praises of their Lord." (39.75)"It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days; then Me mounted the Throne." (57.4)"And the angels will be on its sides, and eight will bear the Throne of their Lord above them, that Day." (69.17) Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "The angels will be on all sides, arrayed in ranks upon ranks, and the Throne of the Lord on high will be borne by eight angels. ... The number eight has perhaps no special significance, unless it be with reference to the shape of the Throne or the number of the angels. The Oriental Throne is often octagonal, and its bearers would be one at each corner."21This verse and commentary indicates that Allah's Throne has a particular shape and on the Day of Judgment the angels will be able to carry Allah on His Throne.Thus from these ayats we can understand that Allah has Arsh, or a Throne. He sits on His Throne surrounded by angels and on the Last Day they will carry Him on His Throne. Therefore Allah is not merely an abstract energy or power. He is the supreme living One with a form, Who is the Proprietor of energy and power. If this is not so, how can Allah be in a particular place and sit on the Throne? So Allah does have a form; however, one should bear in mind that His form, throne, and paraphernalia are all spiritual and transcendental. God moves in and around His creation In the Holy Qur'an, it is mentioned that Allah travels through His creation.Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad also said, "Allah, the Almighty descends to the firmament of the world in the last third portion of every night" (Bukhari, Muslim).22It is also stated in the Sahih AlBukhari (2.246):"Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger said, "Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night to the nearest heaven to us during the last third of the night and He says: (Is there anyone) who invokes Me, (demands anything from Me) so that I may respond to his invocation? (Is there anyone) who asks Me for something so that I may grant him his request? (Is there anyone) who seeks My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?'"Thus Allah freely moves in space according to His sweet will. If Allah can change His location and move in space, then obviously He is not a mere abstract light. A light, which is dependent on its source, can only spread in space according to the movements of its source. So light cannot move in space; it can only spread. Just as a lamp is the source of its light, so Allah is also the Source of the spiritual light emanating from His supreme form, which moves in space unrestricted, spreading His glorious light. This means that Allah has a transcendental form, which is not subjected to the limits of material space.

So it is stated in the Holy Qur'an:"Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His wake) and settle the question? But to Allah do all questions go back (for decision)." (2.210) "And your Lord shall come with angels in ranks." (89.22)"See they not how He (Allah) visits the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? (When) Allah dooms there is none that can postpone His doom, and He is swift at reckoning." (13.41)Once again Allah said in thesura nAl-Anbiya," or "The Prophets":"See they not how We visit the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? Can they then be the victor?" (Qur'an 21.44)These ayats enable us to realize that Allah is not an abstract thing but a spiritual Being Who can be in a particular place and change His location at will. This is yet another proof that Allah has a form. He can freely move in and around His entire creation unlimitedly and unrestrictedly, occasionally visiting our planet.Furthermore, the Holy Qur'an (22.6) says that Allah "is able to do all things." If Allah can do all things, then logically we can conclude that He does have a form!Thus, nobody can deny the fact that Allah has spiritual Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Face and Hands because these bodily limbs of Allah are explicitly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Moreover, the Holy Qur'an mentions the Sublime Image of Allah, His Abode and His Throne, on which He sits. If Allah has spiritual Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Face and Hands, how can we deny that He has a spiritual Form? First of all, how can His limbs exist separately and, secondly, if Allah is the source of everything and if all things belong to Him, how it is possible that He does not have a form but we do? It is offensive to say that Allah cannot have a form because that is equal to saying that Allah is less than His creations, which all have forms. It is also offensive to consider that Allah's form is limited as our forms are in this world. If He has all things, He has a form too. If this is not so, He would be incomplete. Certainly, He does not have a form which consists of material elements and deteriorates. He has a spiritual form which consists of pure spirit. His Form is not ordinary, but Supreme, Eternal, Blissful, Transcendental and beyond the power of our imagination or description.Let us also see what is the opinion of prominent Muslim scholars.The eminent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds, "We confess that Allah has a face, without asking how. ... We confess that Allah has two hands, without asking why."Many Muslims on the basis of Quranic verses: (48.10); (25.60); (7.52); (10.3); (32.3); (11.9); (57.4); (75.22-23); (22.60 and 74); (31.27); (42.9); (58.1) believe that Allah possesses a head, mouth, eyes, ears, hands and feet just like those of a human being. In the opinion of Abu Mo'ammar ol-Hodhali, a preacher in Baghdad, anyone who denies this understanding is an infidel. Adherents of the school of the famous traditionistand lawyer Ahmad b. Hanbal have the same opinion. The school's chief later exponent, Ahmad b. Taymiya, called the Mo'tazelites infidels and Ghazzali a heretic. On one celebrated occasion, after quoting the Qur'an in a sermon, he said to the congregation as he stepped down from the pulpit of the great mosque at Damascus, "Allah will step down from His Throne in the same way as I am stepping down from this pulpit."23 Abu' Amer ol-Qorashi, a Moor from Majorca declared that it was heretical to understand the sentence, "There is nothing similar to Him (Allah)" in the Qur'an (42.9) as meaning what it says; it meant, in his opinion, that nothing resembles Allah in respect of His divinity, because "Allah possesses limbs and organs like yours and mine."As proof of God's possession of such limbs and organs, Abu' Amer ol-Qorashi cited the description of the Last Judgment in the Qur'an (68.42), and then slapped his thigh and said, "Allah has legs just like mine."24Since everything in God's creation has form, how can God have no form? Then creation would have something that God does not have. That would mean that God is less than His creation, or in

other words, that the complete (God) is incomplete, which is simply illogical. The complete whole must contain everything within and beyond our experience, otherwise He cannot be complete.Furthermore, all the great scriptures of the world instruct us to love God. How can we love something formless or void? That's impossible. We are all individual living beings, and we want to love other individual living beings not some dark oblivion in outer space. We want persona] relationships, and the ultimate, sublime relationships exist between the Supreme Lord and His devotees. It is an obvious truth that Allah's form is completely spiritual and transcendental, unlike ours which is subjected to birth, old age, disease and death. Though Allah's form is beyond the limits of our material sense perception, it undoubtedly exists. 14.THE FORM OF GOD WAS VISUALIZED BY PROPHET MUHAMMAD The transcendental form of Allah was visualized by Payagantbar (Prophet) Muhammad,"Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued.It is narrated in the Hadith:"Muadh-bin-Jabal said: The Prophet on one occasion, hindered our saying the morning prayers until we were near seeing the sun. Then he hastened out of his house, and the Tacbir was called aloud, then the Prophet said prayers in haste, and when he had repeated the Salam, he said, 'Sit in your places, and I will inform you the cause of my being so late this morning. I got up early, and performed the Wadu, and said prayers, agreeably to the wishes of Allah, and I felt drowsy in my prayers, after which I awoke, and all of a sudden I beheld my Creator in a most lovely form, and he said: 'O Muhammad!' I said, 'What do you command?' He said, 'What do the angels argue about?' I said, 'I do not know.' Then I saw my Lord put the palm of His hand between my two shoulders till I felt my chest turn cold; then everything in the world appeared clear before me, and I knew the whole. Again He asked about the disputations of the angels. I replied, They dispute about deeds which cover sin.'"25 The Holy Prophet Muhammad once had miraj, or 'ascending' to heaven and after penetrating the 7th layer of heaven, he attended the Throne of Allah. Allah was sitting on the Throne. When the Holy Prophet Muhammad stood in front of Allah he felt reassured, but He found it hard to stand his ground when Allah stretched out His hands and placed one on his shoulder and the other on his chest. An icy chill froze his bones and his blood. Then the coldness faded and was succeeded by an ecstatic bliss which seemed to carry the Holy Prophet Muhammad out of his body into a state of being so marvelous that it was impossible to describe.26 When people asked the Holy Prophet Muhammad, "Have you seen Allah?" The Apostle answered: "I saw only light, a light so intense that Allah sat behind 20,000 curtains. If these curtains were to be removed and someone was to see the face of Allah he would immediately be burned to ashes."27Thus the Holy Prophet Muhammad has seen the spiritual form of Allah. He saw Allah in a most beautiful form. Allah reciprocated with Muhammad. He put His hands on Muhammad's chest and shoulder, and transferred to him transcendental bliss. But when the Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked to describe his experience he never expressed his vision. Because the mission of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was to stop worshipping the imaginary forms of God. Therefore he never described the spiritual form of Allah, which was shown to him by the causeless mercy of the Lord, since this would undoubtedly cause confusion among his followers. 15.THE FUNDAMENTAL LESSON OF THE QUR'AN Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said: "The fundamental lesson of the Qur'an is that the soul is eternal and obtaining the vision of Allah, the soul remains there fully absorbed in bliss."In the

Holy Qur'an (75.22-23) there are these statements:"Some faces, that Day, will beam,Looking towards their Lord."This means that when the righteous finally meet Allah they will see Him and their faces will beam with joy.Once the Prophet of Islam said: "Those believers who are in the highest honor with Allah will see His Divine Face morning and evening and compared to this all other pleasures of Paradise will be lightly esteemed and forgotten."28Let us also see what is the opinion of some prominent Muslim scholars.The author of Jowhara (p. 107-112) says: "It is possible to see Allah in this world as well as in the next. In this world it has been granted to Muhammad only. In the future world however, all believers will see Him; some say only His eyes, others say His whole face, others say every part of His body."29Thus the soul is eternal and when the pure soul attains the abode of Allah, he will see Allah directly. In such a pure exchange of feelings he will remain there fully absorbed in bliss. 16.SALVATION FInally Mahaprabhu concluded, "To acquire this spiritual knowledge will lead one to salvation. ( M In the Qur'an all these things are revealed but some people are not competent to understand the significance of this."The Holy Qur'an (5.119) states in the sura "Al-Ma'ida", or "The Table Spread":"Allah will say: 'This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth, for there are Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath their Eternal Home. Allah wellpleased with them, and they with Allah. That is the great Salvation."There is a similar verse in the sura "At-Tauba", or "Repentance":"Allah has promised to the believers, men and women, Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting stay. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is' the supreme Salvation." (Qur'an 9.72)Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:"What a beautiful definition of salvation or the end of life! that we should win Allah's good pleasure and that we should reach the stage at which His good pleasure is all-in-all to us. ...The Good Pleasure of Allah is the final Bliss of Salvation. The good pleasure is mutual; the truly saved is he whose will has become completely identified with Allah's universal will. ...They will be in Allah's Presence. That is salvation in the highest. ...This is true Salvation. It is not only safety and felicity, but the attainment of the final Goal, the supreme Achievement the Fulfillment of the highest in human nature, the satisfaction of the true and pure desires of the heart, seeing the Face of Allah."30 Thus by acquiring true spiritual knowledge revealed in the scriptures one can achieve supreme salvation which means residing in the spiritual world with Allah and deriving bliss from serving and pleasing Him and seeing His beautiful face. 17.CHAND KAZI'S FEAR AND ECSTASY After hearing these statements by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Razi being satisfied did not put forward any more words. Thus, after due consideration, the Razi accepted Chaitanya's reasoning and spoke as follows:"My dear Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, what you have said is very true. Our scriptures have developed only recently, and the commentaries of some scholars are not very logical or philosophical."The scriptures like the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an have been written recently, and sometimes they contradict one another. Their compilation has a history. Although some commentators have their arguments and reasoning, they are not very sound and transcendental. As such, modern people advanced in science and philosophy deem these commentaries unsatisfactory and questionable.When some scholars of the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an cannot properly answer their inquisitive followers, naturally these seekers of truth lose faith in such scriptures. The Kazi admitted this while talking with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Kazi was a very intelligent person and he had full knowledge of his position.

"I know that some commentaries are full of imagination and mistaken ideas, yet because I am a Muslim, I accept them for the sake of my community, despite their insufficient support. The reasoning and arguments of such commentaries are not very sound," the Kazi concluded.Upon hearing this statement, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and inquired from him as follows: "My dear maternal uncle, I wish to ask you another question. Please tell me the truth. Do not try to cheat me with tricks. In your city there is always congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names. A tumultuous uproar of music, singing and dancing is always going on. As a Muslim magistrate, you have the right to oppose the performance of Vaishnava practices. Previously you forbade us but now you have changed your mind. I cannot understand the reason why."The Kazi replied, "Everyone calls you Gaurahari. Please let me address you by this name. Kindly listen, O Gaurahari! If you come to a private place, I shall then explain the reason why."Mahaprabhu said: "All these men are my confidential associates. You may speak frankly. There is no reason to be afraid of them."The Kazi replied: "When I went to the Vaishnava's house, broke the drum and forbade the performance of congregational chanting of God's holy names, in my dreams that very night I saw an extremely fearful lion. He was roaring very loudly. His body was like a human being's and his face like a lion's. While I was sleeping, the lion jumped on my chest, laughing fiercely and gnashing his teeth. Placing his nails on my chest, the lion said in a grave voice: 'I shall immediately tear your chest as you broke the mridanga drum! You have forbidden the performance of the congregational chanting of God's holy names. Therefore I must destroy you!' Being very much afraid of Him, I closed my eyes and trembled. Seeing me so afraid, the lion said, T have defeated you just to teach you a lesson, but I must be merciful to you because on that day, you did not create a big disturbance. Therefore I have excused you and not taken your life. But if you perform such an activity again, I shall not be so tolerant. I shall kill you, your entire family and all the meat-eaters/ After saying this, the lion disappeared, but I was very much afraid of Him. Just see the marks of His nails on my chest!"After this description, the Kazi showed his chest to everyone. Having heard his dream and seen the marks on his chest, all the people accepted this wonderful incident.The Kazi continued: "I did not speak to anyone about this incident, but on that very day one of my orderlies came to see me. After coming to me, the orderly said, 'When I went to stop the congregational chanting, suddenly flames struck my face. My beard was burned, and there were blisters on my cheeks.' Every orderly who tried to stop the congregational chanting suffered the same experience. After seeing this, I became very much afraid. I ordered them not to stop the congregational chanting but to go and sit at home. Later on some Muslims came to submit a petition, complaining, 'After this order, there will always be unrestricted congregational chanting in the city. In this way the religion of the Vaishnavas will increase unlimitedly. They are always chanting the name of God, 'Hari! Hari!' We do not hear anything but this.'One Muslim said. The Vaishnavas chant, Krishna, Krishna,' and they smile, cry, dance, sing and fall on the ground, smearing their bodies with dust. Chanting 'Hari, Hari,' the Vaishnavas make a tumultuous sound. If the king Nawab Hussain Shah hears it, certainly he will punish you.' I then inquired from these Muslims, 'I know that these Vaishnavas naturally chant 'Hari, Hari/ The Vaishnavas chant the name Hari because that is the name of God given in their scriptures. But you are Muslims. Why do you chant this name of God Hari?'One Muslim replied, 'Sometimes I joke with the Vaishnavas. Some of them are called Krishnadas, and some are called Ramadas. Some of them are called Haridas. They always chant 'Hari, Hari,' and thus I thought they would steal the riches from someone's house. (Another meaning of 'Hari, Hari' is 'I am taking away. I am taking away.') Since that time, my tongue also can't stop chanting

God's name 'Hari, Hari.' I have no desire to say it, but still my tongue says it. I do not know what to do.'Another Muslim said, 'Sir, please hear me. Since the day I joked with some Vaishnavas in this way, my tongue also chants the Hare Krishna hymn:Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and I cannot give it up. I do not know what divine power these names of God possess.'After hearing all this, I sent all the Muslims back to their homes. Then five or seven atheistic Hindus approached me. Because Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached that, "Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra you will be liberated," so the cast brahmanas (priests) thought, "This is very dangerous because our money making scams will be finished."Coming to me, the Hindus complained: 'Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has broken the Hindu religious principles. He has introduced the sankirtana system, which we have never heard of in any scripture. When we stay up all nightlong to observe religious performances for the worship of goddesses Mangalachandi and Vishahari, playing on musical instruments, dancing and chanting are certainly acceptable customs. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu previously was a very good boy, but since he has returned from Gaya he conducts himself differently. Now he loudly sings all kinds of songs, clapping, playing drums and hand bells, and making tumultuous sounds that deafens our ears. We do not know what he chants that makes him become ecstatic, dancing, singing, sometimes laughing, crying, falling down, jumping up and rolling on the ground. He has practically made all the people ecstatic by always performing congregational chanting of God's holy names. At night we cannot get any sleep; we are always kept awake. Now he has given up his childhood name Nimai and introduces himself as Gaurahari. He has spoiled the Hindu religious principles and introduced this congregational chanting of God's holy names, which we consider to be irreligion for non-believers. Now the lower classes are chanting this Hare Krishna maha-mantra again and again. For this sinful activity,the entire city of Navadvipa will be destroyed. According to Hindu scripture, God's name is supposed to be the most powerful hymn. If everyone hears the chanting of this name, the power of this hymn will be lost. This Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has discovered a new type of religion, chanting loudly Hare Krishna. Now is the sleeping period of Narayana, and Chaitanya's loud chanting will disturb Narayana. As a result there will be so many catastrophes. So kindly stop him chanting this Hare Krishna loudly. Sir, you are the ruler of this town. Whether Hindu or Muslim, everyone is under your protection. Therefore please call Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and make him leave this town.' After hearing their complaints, in sweet words I told them, 'Please go back home. I shall certainly prohibit Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from continuing his Hare Krishna movement.' Actually, I know that Narayana is another name of God in the Hindu scriptures, and I feel within my mind that you, dear Chaitanya, are a pure representative of God."After hearing the Kazi speak so nicely, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu touched him and smilingly spoke as follows: "The chanting of the holy name of Krishna from your mouth has performed a wonder it has nullified the reactions of all your sinful activities. Now you have become supremely pure. Because you have chanted three holy names of the Lord Hari, Krishna and Narayana you are undoubtedly the most fortunate and pious person."After Chand Kazi heard this, tears flowed down from his eyes. He immediately touched the feet of Mahaprabhu and spoke the following sweet words: "Only by your mercy have my bad intentions vanished. Kindly favor me so that my devotion may always be fixed upon my Lord."Mahaprabhu said, "I wish to beg you for one favor in charity. You must pledge that this sankirtana movement will not be stopped, at least in the district of Madia."The Kazi said: "To as many descendants as take birth in my dynasty in the future, I give this grave order: no one should stop this sankirtana

movement."Hearing this, Mahaprabhu got up, chanting "Hari! Hari!"31 Following him, all the other Vaisnavas also got up, chanting the holy names of God. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu led the sankirtana party away and Chand Kazi, his mind jubilant, went with him satisfied to be united under the holy names of God.