PANDIT MAHENDRA PAL ARYA
Maulvi Mehboob Ali used to be an imam who led believers in their worship of Allah, the God of the Quran. He was much loved by his Hindu as well as Muslim neighbours. Back then, he would chide them gently for sleeping late when birds, who are beings lower in the divine scheme of things than humans, were up and chirping. “Muslims should be in their mosques by now and the Hindus in their temples thanking their Maker. It is not done for humans to waste their time,” he would say.
The residents of neighbourhoods surrounding the Barwala Masjid in Badaut in Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh respected the maulvi. The years rolled on for the maulvi as he tended assiduously to his duties a leader of the faithful armed with a graduate degree in Islamic studies. Till then, he was assured, as most Muslims are wont to, that the Quran contained instructions from God himself. All one had to do to navigate life and the hereafter was to heed its instructions and one could not go wrong.
In the winter of 1983, the good maulvi met Master Shree Krishna Pal Singh, a teacher of science at the Gurukul Indraprasth. Singh smiled when Ali delivered an impromptu lecture on the Quran. “Will you be my guest at Gurukul Indraprasth maulvi?” he asked. Pandit Arya says that he accepted the invitation because being a Bengali, he was, like most Bengalis, free of sectarian biases that mar communal relations in other parts of the country.
It was evening when the maulvi reached the Gurukul. His hosts took him to a simple but clean room where he would live while he was at the Gurukul. It was time for the maghrib namaz. The Maulvi purified himself with ritual wazoo and read his namaz before leaving his room for a stroll of the Gurukul. He watched as the students, teachers and visitors performed a Vedic yagnya. Some were attending to their sandhya. Later, there was a lecture on some Vedic subject and food was served. The Maulvi had dinner with Krishna Pal Singh before repairing to his room for his namaz. “Maulvi sahib, come,” said Krishna Pal Singh, “I would like to introduce to our people here.” Ali was introduced to Dharamveer, the mantri of the Gurukul and Swami Shaktivesh, a sanyasi. “What is your life’s mission?” the swami asked the maulvi. “To warn people of the world against falling prey to evil and to motivate them to do what is right,” answered the maulvi. “That is what we do here as well. That is indeed the aim of all Aryas. Why do you think we don’t work together?” asked the swami. “I don’t know,” the maulvi admitted, “let me give it thought.”
The next day the Maulvi rose early – at 4 am – to read his namaz. He stepped out of his room and saw the children exercising. He met the teachers. They discussed spiritual matters, including Islam with him. So far the maulvi had not been exposed to the spiritual thought of any religion other than Islam and had concluded that no other tradition had anything to add to what the Quran had to say. “I did not know that there was a world outside my little well. Swami Vivekananda probably had people like me in mind when he said that the vastness of the ocean was beyond the mind of a frog whose life is limited to his small well,” laughs Arya.
As the maulvi left Gurukul Indraprasth, Shree Dharmaveer handed a copy of Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s Satyartha Prakash in Urdu to him. As he sat in the bus to Badaut, the maulvi began to sift through the pages
till it opened on the fourteenth chapter that had the Quran as its subject. The maulvi was surprised to see ayats of his holy book written by a saffron-robed sanyasi. “I suffered the shock of my life. The book had a picture of a kafir sanyasi and inside there were verses of the Quran,” Arya reminisces. Swami Dayananda’s book, which continues to be in print in nearly all the major languages of India, processes the Quran and its claims in the light of the tenets of the Sanatan Vedic tradition.
To the Quran’s “Whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God. (2:109)” The Swami asks in Satyarth Prakash, “If this is true, why do the Mohammedans turn their face towards Qibla (the sacred Mosque in Mecca)? If it be argued that they have been commanded to do so, to answer that they have also been permitted to turn their face in whatever direction they choose. Now, which of these two (contradictory statements) should be held to be true. Moreover, if God has a face, it can only be in one direction and not in all directions at one and the same time.” In around 30,000 words, the fourteenth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash demolishes the claims of Quran in the light of the Vedas and points out inconsistencies, exaggerations and scientific inaccuracies in the holy book of the Muslims. The book had a profound affect on Maulvi Mehbbob Ali. “I had no answers to the questions. I could not fault their reasoning. The razor sharp logic had my certainties in tatters. Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s Satyarth Prakash held my hand in the darkness that surrounded me and led me to light,” says Pandit Arya.
The maulvi made a list of questions and doubts that had surfaced in his mind during his reading of the Satyarth Prakash and mailed them to 25 leading muftis (Islamic scholars) of his time. If the Quran was perfect guidance, the answers would surely come. “I requested them to not to question my motivations but to answer what I had asked to my satisfaction,” explains Arya. “Just seven scholars wrote in. They said that I did not deserve the answers because by the very the act of questioning the veracity and holiness of the Quran, I had turned into an apostate in the eyes of Allah and his prophet.” Not one scholar answered the doubts raised in the maulvi’s letter and after much soul searching and study of Vedas and Vedic scriptures, Maulvi Mehboob Ali decided to become an apostate from Islam and embrace the Vedic dharma.
“On November 30, 1983, I underwent shuddhi and reclaimed my rightful heritage as a Vedic Arya. After the ceremony, I addressed thousands of Hindus and Muslims assembled at the venue and told them that I was not changing my dharma because dharmacannot be changed. I was mere ly changing my community. Illiterate, emotional, illogical and unscientific, the Muslim ummah had no use for the truth, I explained. From the darkness of Islam, I was moving to the light of the Vedic tradition where reason is honoured and debates are encouraged. I intended to spend the rest of my life among enlightened people,” says Pandit Arya.
After Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya entered the Vedic tradition, he happened to meet Swami Angivesh who advised him against taking a new name. “Agnivesh told me that I should retain my Muslim name and preach among Muslims. Amar Swami warned me to keep away from Aginvesh because he was a shady character. He had illegally taken possession of a part of the Janata Dal office near Jantar Mantar,” Pandit Arya explains, “Swami Shaktivesh has chosen a good name for you, he said. You are an Indian, why should you have an Arab name?” “Since then Agnivesh has distinguished himself by insulting the saffron robes that camouflage his shady intents. He always aligns with anti-Hindu forces of all shades and persuasions,” says Arya, “He wants the Satyarth Prakash edited, he stands with forces that malign Maharishi Manu and is always seen siding with the mullahs and maulanas on every issue that affects Hindus.”
For the last 29 years, Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya has facilitated the return of several perverts to Islam. “I focus mainly on scholars of Islam and have been successful in welcoming around 15,000 Muslims back into the Vedic faith. I am armed with the teachings of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati and the Vedas that are logical, humane and free from all contradictions and scientific error.” Pandit Arya challenged fundamentalist Wahabi preacher Zakir Naik to debate with him on an Islamic issue of his choice in 2004. “Naik fancies himself a student of comparative religions and always runs down the Vedas and Vedic literature. He maintains a well-equipped and well-staffed office in Dongri, Mumbai that operates with the sole aim of misleading and converting uninformed Hindus to Islam.” Pandit Arya says Hindus are disorganised, mired in superstitions and always caught sleeping while missionaries execute their nefarious designs. “It is time we wake up to the threat and revive shuddhi to
welcome our brothers and sisters back into the Vedic fold.
Narendra Modi is being criticised because he refused to wear an Islamic cap. Would the maulana who felt insulted because Modi refused to the skull cap wear a string of rudraksha beads in public if a Hindu offered it to him?” demands Pandit Arya. Note: This article is a first in a series on contemporary Muslims who have rejected Islam and embraced Sanatan Dharma.
Readers may contact Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya on firstname.lastname@example.org
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