The first two editions of this book were published in quick succession - July 1986 and July 1987 - because it was received with great interest and appreciation by the Hindu intelligentsia at large, in this country and abroad. But the present (third) edition has been delayed inordinately in spite of persistent demand after the second edition went out of print in 1988. A reprint of the second edition was not brought out because I wanted to include in a new edition the copious materials which I had collected in the meanwhile from orthodox collections of Hadis and which I thought worth presenting to the readers. But that was not to be.
I had finished reading the six authentic Hadis collections Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Daud, Nasaii - which an orthodox Muslim organization had published in several volumes each, with Arabic text and Urdu translation. I had marked in the margins of several thousand pages the relevant references pertaining to the five pillars of Islam, the character of the Muslim Ummah, and the doctrine of jihAd. I had noted many stories which provide the context in which particular sUrahs and Ayats of the Quran were “revealed”; they made it more than clear as to how Allah of the Quran had functioned as a mouthpiece of the Prophet and even some of his companions. But as I started sorting out the references and putting them together under particular themes, I suffered a prolonged spell of illness which persists even as I write these lines. So I wait and hope that I will be able to resume the work at some future date.
Some of the material included in the present edition had gone into the computer in the winter of 1990-91. But a lot of new material has been added during 1999. As this edition stands now, I think the reader will find it better arranged and more informative.
The book is still divided into two sections. The second section stands as it did in the earlier editions except that it has been renamed as ‘The Petition and the Judgment’ instead of ‘Court Documents’. The first section, however, has not only been renamed as ‘Introduction’ instead of ‘Preface’, but also carries new insertions, reflections and formulations which have added as many as 50 more pages to it. Many new footnotes have been added, and several new publications cited as the Bibliography at the end goes to show.
The Second Preface to the second edition has been retained intact except that now it stands renamed as, ‘Preface to Second Edition’. But sections of the First Preface to the second edition have been rearranged as chapters, most of which have been revised, enlarged and renamed. Chapter 4, ‘The Prophet sets the Pattern’, is entirely new. It is a summary of the first orthodox biography of the Prophet, and provides a background to the chapters that follow. Chapter 5, ‘The Orthodox Exposition of JihAd’, has been enlarged with extensive passages from Tuhfat-ul-Mujahideen, a sixteen century (CE) treatise on jihAd composed at Bijapur and carrying many citations from orthodox collections of Hadis. In a way, this part of the chapter fulfils to a certain extent my plan to present Hadis materials vis-à-vis jihAd. Chapter 6, ‘JihAd in India’s History’, now includes jihAds waged by Sher Shah Sur, Akbar the Great Mughal, and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Many myths have been floated about the ‘secularism’ of Sher Shah and Akbar by Muslim and Stalinist “historians” in recent times. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of India’s I secularism’, has gone to the extent of hailing Akbar as “the father of Indian nationalism” who “deliberately placed the ideal of a common Indian nationhood above the claims of separatist religion”.1 I hope the readers will draw their own conclusions.
This book is going to the press while the jihAd in Kargil is raging, and the end is not yet in sight. The Hindu intelligentsia in India in general and the present-day Hindu leadership in particular, has yet to show any sign that they have learnt any lesson from what is essentially a renewed contest between Islamic imperialism and Indian nationalism. On the other hand, a realization seems to be dawning in the West, particularly the USA, that Pakistan has become the foremost citadel of what they (the West) prefer to describe as Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. I wish to point out that Pakistan has not invented the Islam it is practising; it has always been there in India (which is now known as Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asia, but which is the same as the BhAratavarsa of hoary history) since the eighth century CE. Let it be realized by everybody concerned that India has always been and remains, the citadel of the most bigoted and bloodthirsty zealotry of Islam. The historical reasons for why it is so, are many. I do not have the time to detail them here. The main reason may be told. Islam in India has been what it has been because India has continued to stare at Islam as its greatest failure. Islam in India has never been able to relax, as it could do in countries which it converted completely. And it will not relax till Hindus learn to knock out its ideological fangs which are rooted in the Quran.
Sita Ram Goel10 July 1999
1Glimpses of World History, Fourth Impression, OUP, 1982, p. 306. I have examined the ‘myth of Akbar’ in The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India, Second Revised Edition, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994, pp. 99-103.