Nowadays, some Hindu brothers have learned some criticism about the multiple marriages of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from some orientalists and biased western writers to alienate people from the charms and attraction of the Islamic message, especially when people are noticeably attracted to Islam and to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) all over the world. I think those Hindu brothers have forgotten that their Lord Krishna was a polygamous who had numerous wives. A Hindu writer says about the marriages of Krishna: “Krishna had mainly eight wives, he was called Ashtabharya (ashta=eight, bharya=wife) because of that. Different scriptures list their names differently.”(1) While some Hindu scriptures say that Krishna married 16008 wives when he killed an evil king, Narakasur and liberated the captive women he married them all. As a Hindu writer said in this regard: “When Krishna asked them what they wanted to do, they all wanted Krishna to marry them. Krishna married them all at the same auspicious time. So, they could gain status of married women and live in the society with honor again.”(2) If this is true, then why all these defaming campaigns against Islam and the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him)? Though he was the purest person in the world according to the testimony of his supporters and opponents as we have proved in our article entitled “Wisdom behind the Prophet’s Multiple Marriages”.
Krishna and His Gopis
It is strange to find a myth about Krishna that mentions girls who went to take bath in the river Yamuna; Krishna took their clothes until they came out of the river totally naked. A Hindu writer says in this regard: “For example, there is an instance, when the mischievous Krishna steals the clothes of the milkmaids, who were bathing in river Yamuna. He forced them to come out unclothed to beg for their clothes.”(3)
The Pre-Islamic Poet, Imra-ul-Qais
It is worth mentioning that we read in the history of Arabic poetry a similar story about the pre-Islamic poet, Imra-ul-Qais (526- 565 A.D.) who was a famous poet of Arabia during the pre-Islamic period and flourished about 40 years before Islam. He led a wild life, and came to be known as the ‘Vagabond Prince’. He loved his cousin and asked for her hand in marriage but he was refused. Once, he saw with her cousin a number of girls going to a pool for bath, taking off their clothes they dived into the water. Imra’ul-Qais took advantage of the situation and sat on their clothes from morning till evening, refusing to give them their clothes, unless they came out of the pool totally naked and going to him one by one to take their clothes, until he saw his cousin’s body from head to toe.(4) The story of the immoral, playboy poet of the pre-Islamic era is not as strange as the story of Krishna who is regarded as a god of Hindus.
Is the Story of Gopis a Metaphor?
Some Hindu brothers believe that the story of Krishna with Gopis is a story of metaphorical nature that symbolizes a sublime spiritual meaning; that is the aloofness from the sensory and worldly desires. A Hindu writer says in this regard: “This instance may seem gross to some but the reason behind stealing the clothes of the ‘Gopis’ has beautiful spiritual undertone. The Lord wanted to rob his lovers off the last shreds of their egos (symbolized by clothes) and to come before him in their true form. The ‘Gopis’ underwent great spiritual experience.”(5) But I think that this interpretation may be too far from realism. Is it permissible to interpret the story of the above-mentioned Arabic poet that his story is not a real; rather, it symbolizes a sublime theological and spiritual meaning and not a true story that ever have actually occurred? I think no one will accept such imaginary interpretations.
I conclude that when people found the story of Krishna with Gopis contradictory to the public taste and common sense, especially after the advent of Islam in India, the Hindu priests were tempted to invent such imaginary interpretation in order to convince his devotees, but such interpretations are illogical according to all philosophical and linguistic standards. The question is: Are there regulating rules or governing principles when should a story be taken in a metaphorical sense and not in a real sense? If we open the door of metaphorical meaning without rules, all scriptures would be misleading instead of being a source of guidance. For example, if someone said: “I saw a person totally naked on the street; without any dress on his body,” will you understand the sentence as a real incident or a metaphorical and spiritual riddle? Or will you say that he means, “He saw a deity on the street on its true nature.” I think no one will accept such imaginative interpretations. As a result of confusion between reality and metaphor in understanding the scriptures, the Hindu interpreters committed some grave philosophical and intellectual errors that led to the spread of paganism and many misunderstandings in Hindu society.
Hindu scriptures and Hindu writers depict their gods in a way that is not worthy of even a common person, not to mention the prophets and apostles. Do you not agree with me that the story of Krishna with Gopis is a shameful story; even a common person who has the lowest degree of modesty and purity will look down upon such acts? Therefore, I call on Hindu brothers to look into their beliefs and scriptures for a second time independently. We should be courageous and leave behind the habit of blind following; because it requires some bravery and courage. Now the selection has become easier than before by the Grace of Allah the Almighty; the sources of religious information are available in front of you that was not available to your predecessor, still, many of them looked into their beliefs and religious norms and when they found them useless and distorted, they accepted Islam after serious thinking and rational criticism, leaving behind all kinds of contradictory and tattered beliefs. Indeed, they were brave and fearless heroes. Do not listen to anyone, listen to your mind and intellect, it will lead you to the right path.
May Allah guide us all to the right path.
(1) http://aumamen.com/topic/16000-wives-of-krishna-spiritual-significance. (Last accessed on 8-1-2014).
(3)http://zeenews.india.com/Janmashtmi08/story.aspx?aid=463586 (Last accessed on 9-1-2014).
(4)www.aawsat.com/leader.asp?section=3&article=448476&issueno=10599#.Us-CwsjFiIV (Last accessed on 10-1-2014) (5)http://zeenews.india.com/Janmashtmi08/story.aspx?aid=463586 (Last accessed on 8-1-2014).