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YahyaM: Brahma/Abraham

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.sufi,alt.islam.sufism,alt.religion.gnostic,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: YahyaM: Brahma/Abraham
Date: 12 Sep 1997 13:02:47 -0700


<< I once believed the word 'Brahman' was the Indian 
 pronounciation of 'Abraham' >>
Allow me to quote Seyyed Hossein Nasr's discussion on this point.

"...many Sufis in India called Hinduism the religion of Adam, and such an
orthodox Naqshbandi saint as Mirza Mazhar Jan Janan considered the Vedas as
divinely inspired.  There was, in fact, in Islam a presentiment of the
primordial character of Hinduism which moved many Muslim authors to identify
Brahman with Abraham.  This connection may seem strange linguistically but it
contains a deep metaphysical significance.  Abraham is, for Islam, the
original patriarch identified with the primordial religion (al-din al-hanif)
which Islam came to reassert and reaffirm.  The connection of the name of the
'barahimah' (namely Hindus) with Abraham was precisely an assertion of the
primordial nature of the Hindu tradition in the Muslim mind.
The Sufi master `Abd al-Karim al-Jili writes in his al-Insan al-kamil:
'The people of the book are divided into many groups.  As for the barahimah
[Hindus], they claim that they belong to the religion of Abraham and that
they are of his progeny and possess special acts of worship. . . . The
barahimah worship God absolutely without [recourse to] prophet or messenger.
 In fact, they say there is nothing in the world of existence except that it
be the created of God.  They testify to His Oneness in Being, but deny the
prophets and messengers completely.  Their worship of the Truth is like that
of the prophets before their prophetic mission.  They claim to be the
children of Abraham--upon whom be peace--and say that they possess a book
written for them by Abraham--upon whom be peace--himself, except that they
say it came from his Lord.  In it the truth of things is mentioned and it has
five parts.  As for the four parts they permit their reading to everyone.
 But as for the fifth part they do not allow its reading except to a few
among them, because of its depth and unfathomableness.  It is well known
among them that whoever reads the fifth part of their book will of necessity
come into the fold of Islam and enter into the religion of Muhammad--upon
whom be peace.' *

Al-Jili distinguishes between Hindu metaphysics and the daily practice of the
Hindus and identifies especially their metaphysical doctrines with the
doctrine of Divine Unity in Islam.  His reference to the 'Fifth Veda'
signifies precisely the inner identity of the esoteric and metaphysical
doctrines of the two traditions.  He, like the other Sufis, sought to
approach Hinduism through a metaphysical penetration into its mythological
structure to reveal the presence of the One behind the veil of the many."
[Note] *"Of course many authors of works on religious sects denied this
connection, like al-Shahristani, who writes: 'There are those among the
people who believe they [the Hindus] are called Barahimah because of their
affiliation to Abraham--upon whom be peace.  But this is wrong, for they are
a people especially known to have denied prophecy completely and totally.'
(al-Milal wa-al-nihal).  Needless to say this theological criticism does not
in any way detract from the metaphysical significance of the assertion of

--Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Sufi Essays. 2nd ed. (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991), p.
(emailed replies may be posted);join the AMT syncretism!!;call: 408/2-666-SLUG!
see; "Clement of Rome taught that God rules the world
with a right and a left hand, the right being Christ, the left Satan." - CGJung

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