It was the night of 26th Ramadan 1415 H corresponding to March 27, 1995 when one of my friends called me and told me about a Hindu priest, Ravi Shankar. He wanted to learn more about Islam, but was afraid of getting involved with unsuitable.
We visited him the next day to find out this gentleman’s concern. Shankar asked us to explain the different Muslim groups/sects in Islam as largely seen in India. He wanted to know the truth before accepting Islam. He told us that they worshipped idols which were senseless because if they broke or got old people simply threw them in the dustbin.
However, according to his perception, Muslims also do something similar – they circumambulate the Ka’ba, bow in front of it and worship the dead. He also wanted to know how people from all walks of life come together to pray in the Mosque and stand close to each other. A scene like this in a temple is next to impossible as Hindu temples do not allow low caste Hindus to even enter it, let alone stand close to one another. Shankar wanted to know the difference between Hinduism and Islam.
He also told us that people from different groups approached him and told him about their ideologies, but none in particular satisfied him. He asked us which group we belonged to. After patiently listening to his questions we tried to clarify his doubts to the best of our abilities. I told him that we were inviting him to the group of Abu Bakr and Omar, (May Allah be pleased with them) the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that we only follow his teachings. I also clarified his doubt about worshiping the dead i.e. visiting graves and worshiping the dead even if it is Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) is not acceptable in Islam. We cannot benefit from the dead in any way. For more go here.