Topic started by P.N. Oak (Historian) (@ 220.127.116.11) on Mon Nov 25 20:15:18 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
Was the Kaaba Originally a Hindu Temple?
By P.N. Oak (Historian)
[Note: A recent archeological find in Kuwait unearthed a gold-plated statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh. A Muslim resident of Kuwait requested historical research material that can help explain the connection between Hindu civilisation and Arabia.]
Glancing through some research material recently, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a reference to a king Vikramaditya inscription found in the Kaaba in Mecca proving beyond
doubt that the Arabian Peninsula formed a part of his Indian Empire.
The text of the crucial Vikramaditya inscription,
found inscribed on a gold dish hung inside the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, is found recorded
on page 315 of a volume known as `Sayar-ul-Okul'
treasured in the Makhtab-e-Sultania library in Istanbul, Turkey.
Rendered in free English the inscription says:
"Fortunate are those who were born (and lived) during king Vikram's reign. He was a noble, generous dutiful ruler, devoted to the welfare
of his subjects. But at that time we Arabs, oblivious of God, were
lost in sensual pleasures. Plotting and torture were rampant. The darkness of ignorance had enveloped our country. Like the lamb
struggling for her life in the cruel paws of a wolf we Arabs were caught up in ignorance. The entire country was enveloped in a darkness so intense as on a new moon night. But the
present dawn and pleasant sunshine of education is the result of the favour of the
noble king Vikramaditya whose benevolent supervision did not lose sight of us- foreigners as we were. He spread his sacred religion
amongst us and sent scholars whose brilliance shone like that of the sun from his country to ours. These scholars and preceptors through whose benevolence we were once again made cognisant of
the presence of God, introduced to His sacred existence and put on the road of Truth, had come to our country to preach their religion and impart education at king Vikramaditya's behest."
For those who would like to read the Arabic wording I reproduce it hereunder in Roman script:
"Itrashaphai Santu Ibikramatul Phahalameen Karimun
Yartapheeha Wayosassaru Bihillahaya Samaini Ela Motakabberen Sihillaha Yuhee Quid min howa Yapakhara phajjal asari nahone osirom
bayjayhalem. Yundan blabin Kajan blnaya khtoryaha sadunya kanateph netephi bejehalin Atadari bilamasa- rateen phakef tasabuhu kaunnieja
majekaralhada walador. As hmiman burukankad toluho watastaru hihila Yakajibaymana balay kulk amarena phaneya jaunabilamary Bikramatum".
(Page 315 Sayar-ul-okul).
[Note: The title `Saya-ul-okul' signifies memorablewords.]
A careful analysis of the above inscription enables us to draw the following conclusions:
That the ancient Indian empires may have extended up to the eastern boundaries of Arabia until Vikramaditya and that it was he who for the first time conquered Arabia. Because the inscription says that king Vikram who dispelled the darkness of ignorance from Arabia.
That, whatever their earlier faith, King Vikrama's
preachers had succeeded in spreading the Vedic (based on the Vedas, the Hindu
sacred scriptures)) way of life in Arabia.
That the knowledge of Indian arts and sciences was
imparted by Indians to the Arabs directly by founding schools, academies and cultural centres. The belief, therefore, that visiting Arabs conveyed that knowledge to their own lands through their own indefatigable efforts and scholarship is unfounded.
An ancillary conclusion could be that the so-called Kutub Minar (in Delhi, India) could well be king Vikramadiya's tower commemorating
his conquest of Arabia. This conclusion is
strengthened by two pointers. Firstly, the inscription on the iron pillar near the so-
called Kutub Minar refers to the marriage of the
victorious king Vikramaditya to the princess of Balhika. This Balhika is none other
than the Balkh region in West Asia. It could be that Arabia was wrestled by king Vikramaditya from the ruler of Balkh who concluded a
treaty by giving his daughter in marriage to the
victor. Secondly, the township adjoining the so called Kutub Minar is named Mehrauli after Mihira who was the renowned astronomer-mathematician of king Vikram's court. Mehrauli is the corrupt form of Sanskrit `Mihira-Awali' signifying a row of houses raised for Mihira and his helpers
and assistants working on astronomical observations made from the tower.
Having seen the far reaching and history shaking
implications of the Arabic inscription concerning king Vikrama, we shall now piece together the story of its find. How it came to be recorded and hung in the Kaaba in Mecca. What are the other proofs reinforcing the belief that Arabs were once followers of the Indian Vedic way of life
and that tranquillity and education were ushered into Arabia by king Vikramaditya's scholars, educationists from an uneasy period of "ignorance and turmoil" mentioned in the inscription.
In Istanbul, Turkey, there is a famous library called Makhatab-e-Sultania, which is reputed to have the largest collection of ancient West Asian literature. In the Arabic section of that library is an anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. That anthology was compiled from an earlier work in A.D. 1742 under the orders of the Turkish ruler
The pages of that volume are of Hareer - a kind of
silk used for writing on. Each page has a decorative gilded border.
That anthology is known as Sayar-ul-Okul. It is divided into three parts. The first part contains biographic details and the poetic compositions of pre-Islamic Arabian poets. The second part embodies accounts and verses of poets of the period beginning just after prophet
Mohammad's times, up to the end of the Banee-Um-Mayya dynasty. The third part deals with later poets up to the end of Khalif Harun-al-Rashid's times.
Abu Amir Asamai, an Arabian bard who was the poet
Laureate of Harun-al-Rashid's court, has compiled and edited the anthology.
The first modern edition of `Sayar-ul-Okul' was
printed and published in Berlin in 1864. A subsequent edition is the one published in
Beirut in 1932.
The collection is regarded as the most important and authoritative anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. It throws considerable light on the social life, customs, manners and entertainment
modes of ancient Arabia. The book also contains an elaborate description of the ancient shrine of Mecca, the town and the annual fair known as OKAJ
which used to be held every year around the Kaaba
temple in Mecca.
This should convince readers that the annual haj of the Muslims to the Kaaba is of earlier pre-Islamic congregation.
But the OKAJ fair was far from a carnival. It provided a forum for the elite and the learned to discuss the social, religious, political, literary and other aspects of the Vedic
culture then pervading Arabia. `Sayar-ul-Okul' asserts that the conclusion reached at those discussions were widely respected throughout
Arabia. Mecca, therefore, followed the Varanasi tradition (of India) of providing a
venue for important discussions among the learned
while the masses congregated there for spiritual bliss. The principal shrines at both
Varanasi in India and at Mecca in Arvasthan (Arabia) were Siva temples. Even to this day ancient Mahadev (Siva) emblems can be seen.
It is the Shankara (Siva) stone that Muslim pilgrims reverently touch and kiss in the Kaaba.
Arabic tradition has lost trace of the founding of the Kaaba temple.
The discovery of the Vikramaditya inscription affords a clue. King Vikramaditya is known for his great devotion to Lord Mahadev (Siva).
At Ujjain (India), the capital of Vikramaditya, exists the famous shrine of Mahankal, i.e., of Lord Shankara (Siva) associated with
Vikramaditya. Since according to the Vikramaditya
inscription he spread the Vedic religion, who else but he could have founded the Kaaba temple in Mecca?
A few miles away from Mecca is a big signboard which bars the entry of any non-Muslim into the area. This is a reminder of the days when the Kaaba was stormed and captured solely for the
newly established faith of Islam. The object in barring entry of non-Muslims was obviously to prevent its recapture.
As the pilgrim proceeds towards Mecca he is asked to shave his head and beard and to don special sacred attire that consists of two seamless sheets of white cloth. One is to be worn
round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Both these rites are remnants of the
old Vedic practice of entering Hindu temples clean-and with holy seamless white sheets.
The main shrine in Mecca, which houses the Siva
emblem, is known as the Kaaba. It is clothed in a black shroud. That custom also originates from the days when it was thought necessary to discourage its recapture by camouflaging it.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Kaaba has 360 images.
Traditional accounts mention that one of the deities among the 360 destroyed when the place was stormed, was that of Saturn; another was
of the Moon and yet another was one called Allah. That shows that in the Kaaba the Arabs worshipped the nine planets in pre-Islamic days.
In India the practice of `Navagraha' puja, that is
worship of the nine planets, is still in vogue. Two of these nine are Saturn and Moon.
In India the crescent moon is always painted across the forehead of the Siva symbol. Since that symbol was associated with the Siva
emblem in Kaaba it came to be grafted on the flag of Islam.
Another Hindu tradition associated with the Kaaba is that of the sacred stream Ganga (sacred waters of the Ganges river). According to the Hindu tradition Ganga is also inseparable from the
Shiva emblem as the crescent moon. Wherever there is a Siva emblem, Ganga must co-exist. True to that association a sacred fount exists near the Kaaba.
Its water is held sacred because it has been
traditionally regarded as Ganga since pre-Islamic times (Zam-Zam water).
[Note: Even today, Muslim pilgrims who go to the Kaaba for Haj regard this Zam-Zam water with reverence and take some bottled water with
them as sacred water.]
Muslim pilgrims visiting the Kaaba temple go around it seven times.
In no other mosque does the circumambulation prevail. Hindus invariably circumambulate around their deities. This is yet another proof that the Kaaba shrine is a pre-Islamic Indian Shiva temple
where the Hindu practice of circumambulation is still meticulously observed.
The practice of taking seven steps- known as Saptapadi in Sanskrit- is associated with Hindu marriage ceremony and fire worship. The
culminating rite in a Hindu marriage enjoins upon the bride and groom to go round the sacred fire four times (but misunderstood by many as
seven times). Since "Makha" means fire, the seven
circumambulations also prove that Mecca was the seat of Indian fire-worship in the West Asia.
It might come as a stunning revelation to many that the word `ALLAH' itself is Sanskrit. In Sanskrit language Allah, Akka and Amba are
synonyms. They signify a goddess or mother. The term `ALLAH' forms part of Sanskrit chants invoking goddess Durga, also known as
Bhavani, Chandi and Mahishasurmardini. The Islamic
word for God is., therefore, not an innovation but the ancient Sanskrit appellation retained and continued by Islam. Allah means mother or goddess and mother goddess.
One Koranic verse is an exact translation of a stanza in the Yajurveda. This was pointed out by the great research scholar Pandit Satavlekar of Pardi in one of his articles.
[Note: Another scholar points out that the following teaching from the Koran is exactly similar to the teaching of the Kena Upanishad (1.7).
"Sight perceives Him not. But He perceives men's
sights; for He is the knower of secrets , the Aware."
"That which cannot be seen by the eye but through
which the eye itself sees, know That to be Brahman (God) and not what people worship here (in the manifested world)."
A simplified meaning of both the above verses reads:
God is one and that He is beyond man's sensory
The identity of Unani and Ayurvedic systems shows that Unani is just the Arabic term for the Ayurvedic system of healing taught to them
and administered in Arabia when Arabia formed part of the Indian empire.
It will now be easy to comprehend the various Hindu customs still prevailing in West Asian countries even after the existence of Islam
during the last 1300 years. Let us review some Hindu traditions which exist as the core of Islamic practice.
The Hindus have a pantheon of 33 gods. People in Asia Minor too worshipped 33 gods before the spread of Islam. The lunar calendar was
introduced in West Asia during the Indian rule. The Muslim month `Safar' signifying the `extra' month (Adhik Maas) in the Hindu calendar. The Muslim month Rabi is the corrupt form of Ravi meaning the sun because Sanskrit `V' changes into Prakrit `B' (Prakrit being the popular version of Sanskrit language). The Muslim sanctity for
Gyrahwi Sharif is nothing but the Hindu Ekadashi
(Gyrah = elevan or Gyaarah). Both are identical in meaning.
The Islamic practice of Bakari Eed derives from the Go-Medh and Ashva-Medh Yagnas or sacrifices of Vedic times. Eed in Sanskrit means
worship. The Islamic word Eed for festive days,
signifying days of worship, is therefore a pure Sanskrit word. The word MESH in the
Hindu zodiac signifies a lamb. Since in ancient times the year used to begin with the entry of the sun in Aries, the occasion was celebrated with mutton feasting. That is the origin of
the Bakari Eed festival.
[Note: The word Bakari is an Indian language word for a goat.]
Since Eed means worship and Griha means `house', the Islamic word Idgah signifies a `House of worship' which is the exact Sanskrit connotation of the term. Similarly the word `Namaz'
derives from two Sanskrit roots `Nama' and `Yajna' (NAMa yAJna) meaning bowing and
Vedic descriptions about the moon, the different
stellar constellations and the creation of the universe have been incorporated from the Vedas in Koran part 1 chapter 2, stanza 113, 114, 115, and 158, 189, chapter 9, stanza 37 and chapter 10, stanzas 4 to 7.
Recital of the Namaz five times a day owes its origin to the Vedic injunction of Panchmahayagna (five daily worship-Panch-Maha-Yagna) which is part of the daily Vedic ritual prescribed for all individuals.
Muslims are enjoined cleanliness of five parts of the body before commencing prayers. This derives from the Vedic injuction `Shareer Shydhyartham Panchanga Nyasah'.
Four months of the year are regarded as very sacred in Islamic custom. The devout are enjoined to abstain from plunder and other evil deeds during that period. This originates in the
Chaturmasa i.e., the four-month period of special vows and austerities in Hindu tradition. Shabibarat is the corrupt form of Shiva
Vrat and Shiva Ratra. Since the Kaaba has been an important centre of Shiva (Siva) worship from times immemorial, the Shivaratri festival
used to be celebrated there with great gusto. It is that festival which is signified by the Islamic word Shabibarat.
Encyclopaedias tell us that there are inscriptions on the side of the Kaaba walls. What they are, no body has been allowed to study,
according to the correspondence I had with an American scholar of Arabic. But according to hearsay at least some of those inscriptions
are in Sanskrit, and some of them are stanzas from the Bhagavad Gita.
According to extant Islamic records, Indian merchants had settled in Arabia, particularly in Yemen, and their life and manners deeply
influenced those who came in touch with them. At Ubla there was a large number of Indian settlements. This shows that Indians were in
Arabia and Yemen in sufficient strength and commanding position to be able to influence the local people. This could not be possible unless
they belonged to the ruling class.
It is mentioned in the Abadis i.e., the authentic
traditions of Prophet Mohammad compiled by Imam Bukhari that the Indian tribe of Jats had settled in Arabia before Prophet Mohammad's times. Once when Hazrat Ayesha, wife of the Prophet, was taken ill, her nephew sent for a Jat physician for her treatment. This proves that Indians
enjoyed a high and esteemed status in Arabia. Such a status could not be theirs unless they were the rulers. Bukhari also tells us that an
Indian Raja (king) sent a jar of ginger pickles to the Prophet. This shows that the Indian Jat Raja ruled an adjacent area so as to be in
a position to send such an insignificant present as ginger pickles.
The Prophet is said to have so highly relished it as to have told his colleagues also to partake of it. These references show that even during Prophet Mohammad's times Indians retained their
influential role in Arabia, which was a dwindling legacy from Vikramaditya's times.
The Islamic term `Eed-ul-Fitr' derives from the `Eed of Piters' that is worship of forefathers in Sanskrit tradition. In India, Hindus
commemorate their ancestors during the Pitr-Paksha
that is the fortnight reserved for their remembrance. The very same is the
significance of `Eed-ul-Fitr' (worship of
The Islamic practice of observing the moon rise before
celebrating the occasion derives from the Hindu custom
fast on Sankranti and Vinayaki Chaturthi only after
sighting the moon.
Barah Vafat, the Muslim festival for commemorating
those dead in
battle or by weapons, derives from a similar Sanskrit
because in Sanskrit `Phiphaut' is `death'. Hindus
Chaturdashi in memory of those who have died in
The word Arabia is itself the abbreviation of a
Sanskrit word. The
original word is `Arabasthan'. Since Prakrit `B' is
Sanskrit `V' the
original Sanskrit name of the land is `Arvasthan'.
`Arva' in Sanskrit
means a horse. Arvasthan signifies a land of horses.,
and as well all
know, Arabia is famous for its horses.
This discovery changes the entire complexion of the
ancient India. Firstly we may have to revise our
concepts about the
king who had the largest empire in history. It could
be that the
expanse of king Vikramaditya's empire was greater than
that of all
others. Secondly, the idea that the Indian empire
spread only to the
east and not in the west beyond say, Afghanisthan may
have to be
abandoned. Thirdly the effeminate and pathetic belief
unlike any other country in the world could by some
age spread her
benign and beatific cultural influence, language,
and education over distant lands without militarily
is baseless. India did conquer all those countries
wherever traces of its culture and language are still
extant and the
region extended from Bali island in the south Pacific
to the Baltic
in Northern Europe and from Korea to Kaaba. The only
that while Indian rulers identified themselves with
population and established welfare states, Moghuls and
ruled conquered lands perpetuated untold atrocities
`Sayar-ul-Okul' tells us that a pan-Arabic poetic
symposium used to
be held in Mecca at the annual Okaj fair in
pre-Islamic times. All
leading poets used to participate in it.
Poems considered best were awarded prizes. The
best-engraved on gold
plate were hung inside the temple. Others etched on
camel or goatskin
were hung outside. Thus for thousands of years the
Kaaba was the
treasure house of the best Arabian poetic thought
inspired by the
Indian Vedic tradition.
That tradition being of immemorial antiquity many
were engraved and hung inside and outside on the walls
of the Kaaba.
But most of the poems got lost and destroyed during
the storming of
the Kaaba by Prophet Mohammad's troops. The Prophet's
Hassan-bin-Sawik, who was among the invaders, captured
some of the
treasured poems and dumped the gold plate on which
inscribed in his own home. Sawik's grandson, hoping to
earn a reward
carried those gold plates to Khalif's court where he
met the well-
known Arab scholar Abu Amir Asamai. The latter
received from the
bearer five gold plates and 16 leather sheets with the
poems engraved on them. The bearer was sent away happy
a good reward.
On the five gold plates were inscribed verses by
ancient Arab poets
like Labi Baynay, Akhatab-bin-Turfa and Jarrham
discovery made Harun-al-Rashid order Abu Amir to
compile a collection
of all earlier compositions. One of the compositions
collection is a tribute in verse paid by Jarrham
Bintoi, a renowned
Arab poet, to king Vikramaditya. Bintoi who lived 165
Prophet Mohammad had received the highest award for
the best poetic
compositions for three years in succession in the
symposiums held in Mecca every year. All those three
poems of Bintoi
adjudged best were hung inside the Kaaba temple,
inscribed on gold
plates. One of these constituted an unreserved tribute
Vikramaditya for his paternal and filial rule over
Arabia. That has
already been quoted above.
Pre-Islamic Arabian poet Bintoi's tribute to king
Vikramaditya is a
decisive evidence that it was king Vikramaditya who
the Arabian Peninsula and made it a part of the Indian
explains why starting from India towards the west we
Sanskrit names like Afghanisthan (now Afghanistan),
Kurdisthan, Tajikiathan, Uzbekisthan, Iran, Sivisthan,
Arvasthan, Turkesthan (Turkmenisthan) etc.
Historians have blundered in not giving due weight to
provided by Sanskrit names pervading over the entire
region. Let us take a contemporary instance. Why did a
part of India
get named Nagaland even after the end of British rule
After all historical traces are wiped out of human
memory, will a
future age historian be wrong if he concludes from the
that the British or some English speaking power must
have ruled over
India? Why is Portuguese spoken in Goa (part of
India), and French in
Pondichery (part of India), and both French and
English in Canada? Is
it not because those people ruled over the territories
languages are spoken? Can we not then justly conclude
traces of Sanskrit names and traditions exist Indians
once held sway?
It is unfortunate that this important piece of
decisive evidence has
been ignored all these centuries.
Another question which should have presented itself to
consideration is how could it be that Indian empires
could extend in
the east as far as Korea and Japan, while not being
able to make
headway beyond Afghanisthan? In fact land campaigns
are much easier
to conduct than by sea. It was the Indians who ruled
the entire West
Asian region from Karachi to Hedjaz and who gave
Sanskrit names to
those lands and the towns therein, introduce their
pantheon of the
fire-worship, imparted education and established law
It may be that Arabia itself was not part of the
Indian empire until
king Vikrama , since Bintoi says that it was king
Vikrama who for the
first time brought about a radical change in the
social, cultural and
political life of Arabia. It may be that the whole of
except Arabia was under Indian rule before Vikrama.
The latter added
Arabia too to the Indian Empire. Or as a remote
possibility it could
be that king Vikramaditya himself conducted a series
campaigns annexing to his empire the vast region
Incidentally this also explains why king Vikramaditya
is so famous in
history. Apart from the nobility and truthfulness of
heart and his
impartial filial affection for all his subjects,
whether Indian or
Arab, as testified by Bintoi, king Vikramaditya has
enshrined in the pages of history because he was the
ruler having the largest empire. It should be
remembered that only a
monarch with a vast empire gets famous in world
Samvat (calendar still widely in use in India today)
initiated over 2000 years ago may well mark his
victory over Arabia,
and the so called Kutub Minar (Kutub Tower in Delhi),
commemorating that victory and the consequential
marriage with the
Vaihika (Balkh) princess as testified by the nearby
A great many puzzles of ancient world history get
solved by a proper understanding of these great
conquests of king
Vikramaditya. As recorded by the Arab poet Bintoi,
preachers and social workers spread the fire-worship
preached the Vedic way of life, manned schools, set up
(healing) centres, trained the local people in
agriculture and established in those regions a
peaceful, enlightened and religious way of life. That
was of course,
a Vedic Hindu way of life.
It is from such ancient times that Indian Kshtriya
like the Pahalvis and Barmaks, have held sway over
Iran and Iraq. It
is those conquests, which made the Parsees Agnihotris
worshippers. It is therefore that we find the Kurds of
speaking a Sanskritised dialect, fire temples existing
miles away from India, and scores of sites of ancient
centres like Navbahar in West Asia and the numerous
viharas in Soviet
Russia spread throughout the world. Ever since so many
often dug up in Soviet Russia, ancient Indian
sculptures are also
found in excavations in Central Asia. The same goes
for West Asia.
[Note: Ancient Indian sculptures include metal statues
of the Hindu
deity Ganesh (the elephant headed god); the most
recent find being in
Unfortunately these chapters of world history have
obliterated from public memory. They need to be
and rewritten. When these chapters are rewritten they
the entire concept and orientation of ancient history.
In view of the overwhelming evidence led above,
students of history and lay men alike should take note
that they had
better revise their text books of ancient world
existence of Hindu customs, shrines, Sanskrit names of
countries and towns and the Vikramaditya inscriptions
the beginning are a thumping proof that Indian
Kshatriyas once ruled
over the vast region from Bali to Baltic and Korea to
Kaaba in Mecca,
Arabia at the very least.