Jāhiliyyah is the Arabic word for ignorance. In Muslim study circles, the term is used technically to refer to the period before Islam in Arabia; an era of ignominy, immorality and inhumane social behaviour: commonly translated as ‘The Era of Ignorance’.
The Noble Qur’ān speaks about a vile practice at that time, causing a shiver down the spine:
‘And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.’
Such treatment of human beings due to characteristics they are born with is found in most polytheistic religions. Today, we see such practices as well, particularly amongst the Hindu community.
A news report presented below reflects this, shining the spotlight on Hindu beliefs and the roots of such conduct.
“We are victims of violence because we are poor, lower caste and women, so looked down upon by all,” a Dalit woman told researcher Jayshree Mangubhai some years ago. “There is no one to help or speak for us. We face more sexual violence because we don’t have any power.”
“Last week, it was reported that a 19-year-old Dalit woman (the Dalits were once called ‘Untouchables’) was allegedly gang raped and assaulted by a group of upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh state again. The news shone the spotlight again on the rampant sexual violence faced by India’s 80 million Dalit women, who like their male counterparts languish at the bottom of India’s unbending and harsh caste hierarchy.
“These women, who comprise about 16% of India’s female population, face a ‘triple burden’ of gender bias, caste discrimination and economic deprivation. ‘The Dalit female belongs to the most oppressed group in the world,’ says Dr Suraj Yengde, author of Caste Matters. ‘She is a victim of the cultures, structures and institutions of oppression, both externally and internally. This manifests in perpetual violence against Dalit women.'”
Dalits are at the bottom of the caste system, which is a very problematic philosophy of Hinduism. A human being is born into a caste. With no fault or blame of the newborn, the Hindu society inhumanely discriminates and fearlessly abuses certain classes, notably the Dalit caste.
The caste system comprises of five parts. At the top are the Brahmins; second comes the Kshatriyas, then the Vaishyas, followed by the Shudras. After these four is the position of the Dalits.
According to some Dalit activists, the psychology behind the caste system is rooted in the Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda and the writings of Manu. These are derogatory against Dalits, teaching that the Brahmin came from God’s head, the Kshatriya from his arms, the Vaisya his thighs and the Sudra his feet.
In the Mahabharata (13.143.6), it is stated:
The status of a Brahmana, O goddess, is exceedingly difficult to attain. O auspicious lady, one becomes a Brahmana through original creation or birth. After the same manner the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra, all become so through original creation.
But, unlike these four castes, the Dalits do not figure and are, therefore, sub-human and polluted.
The violence and discrimination as reported above stems from the Hindu scriptures and texts. Hindu texts describe gods involved in rape and other forms of lustful debauchery.
Brihaspati the Guru of all Gods raped his own pregnant sister-in-law named Mamata:
Srimad Bhagavatam 9.20.36: ‘When the demigod named Brihaspati was attracted by his brother’s wife, Mamata, who at that time was pregnant, he desired to have sexual relations with her. The son within her womb forbade this, but Brihaspati cursed him and forcibly discharged semen into the womb of Mamata.”
Modernist Hindus have washed their hands of their religious texts, but many extremist Hindus still read and revere these texts, worshipping the same gods who engage in rape and caste discrimination.
Islam, in contrast, has no place for such Jāhiliyyah. The Noble Qur’ān teaches,
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
- Sūrah An-Nahl: 58-59 ↑
- https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-54418513 ↑
- https://elliottelford.com/the-6-major-problems-with-hinduism/ ↑
- https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/dec/08/comment.india ↑
- https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m13/m13b108.htm ↑
- Srimad Bhagavatam contains 18.000 verses in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books, each of which are referred to as Cantos. These 12 books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture, as well as stories of the Lord and His incarnations. Srimad Bhagavatam covers the collection of stories known as the Puranas. ↑
- According to Vedic culture, a wife is considered the property of her husband, and a son born by illicit sex is called dvaja. The common word still current in Hindu society for such a son is dogla, which refers to a son not begotten by the husband of his mother. In such a situation, it is difficult to give the child a name according to proper regulative principles. Mamata, therefore, was perplexed, but the demigods gave the child the appropriate name Bharadvaja, which indicated that the child born illegitimately should be maintained by both Mamata and Brhaspati. [https://www.srimadbhagavatamclass.com/srimad-bhagavatam-canto-09-chapter-20-text-37/] ↑
- Sūrah Al-Hujurāt: 13 ↑