The Voice of Maitreya

Extracted from book: Muhammad in Buddhist Scriptures
A. H. Vidyarthi and U. Ali

"Asanga answered, '.........The exquisite voice of the Bodhisattva (Maitreya) is soft and pure and refined; those who hear can never tire: those who listen are never satiated.'" (Si-Yu-Ki Vol. I. P. 229.)

If Jesus was the Buddha Maitreya he should possess such an exquisite voice. There is no evidence in the gospels to show that Jesus had a voice soft, pure, and refined. Hence Jesus cannot be the Buddha Maitreya. Shankaracharya too did not possess such a voice.

Mohammed had such a voice. His contemporaries bore witness to this effect

1. "Bara relates :-'I heard the apostle of God reciting (the chapter) The Fig and Olive, during the night (prayer), and I never saw a man more sweet-voiced or better reciter than he.'" (B. Vol. I. P. 107.)

2. "Abu Hurera relates :-'The apostle of God said, God listens to nothing with so much love as He listens to the prophet of sweet voice who reads the Koran with a sonorous voice.'" (M. Vol. 11. P. 816)

3. "Aisha relates :- 'The apostle of God would talk in such a manner that a counter if he liked, could count (his) words.'" (B. Vol. II. P. 131.)

4. "Aisha relates :-'The apostle of God would not talk hastily as you do, but would speak such a decisive and clear speech that a man sitting close by could learn it by heart.'" (T. Vol. II. P. 553)

5. "Anas son of Malik relates :-'The apostle of God was not a sayer of evil words, or a talker of indecencies, or a curser.'" (B. Vol. 1.11. P. 129)

6. "Aisha relates:-'..........he (the prophet) said to me, O Aisha, have you ever seen me talking in an unpolite manner? Assuredly, of all men lowest in the rank in the eyes of God, shall be the man whose company people avoid on account of the fear of the evil of his tongue and abuses.'" (Ta. Vol. VI. P. 209. B. and M. quoted.)

7. "Abdallah son of Amr relates :- 'The apostle of God had not the habit of talking in an ungentlemanly manner, and neither he spoke indecent words intentionally, and he used to say, I am the best in manners among you.' " (B. Vol. II. P. 131)

8. "Ibn Abbas relates:-'....... Zemad said, This man (the prophet) has reached the bottom of the ocean of eloquence.'" (M. Vol. II. P. 874)

The prophet was under Divine command in using a polite language throughout his whole career:-

"Invite men unto the way of thy Lord, by wisdom and mild exhortation; and dispute with them in the most condescending manner." (The Koran XVI. P. 270.)

"His ordinary discourse was grave and sententious, abounding with those aphorisms and apologues so popular among the Arabs; at times he was excited and eloquent, and his eloquence was aided by a voice musical and sonorous" (Irving. P. 231). There is evidence in the Koran that the prophet was under Divine command to recite the Koran with a pure and sonorous voice:-

"And repeat the Koran with a distinct sonorous voice." (LXXIII P. 557)

"Voice" is sometimes synonymous with "language." There is no evidence in the gospels to show that Jesus ever wrote his teachings. Of his teachings what is available to us are not the very words of Jesus, but what a sect of Christians considered to be the teachings of the master (Luke 1:1-4). That too is a very small fraction of what Jesus taught and did (John 21:25; Luke. 1: 1-4). And this too is not available in the language that Jesus spoke "St. Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew." (The Four Gospels by W.W.How.D.D.). Scholars know that Hebrew was not the language spoken by Jews in the time of Jesus. However, "the original Hebrew Gospel was lost in early times."(Ibid.) "St. Mark wrote his gospel in Greek,"(Ibid) "St. Luke wrote his gospel in Greek,"(Ibid) and St. John's gospel was written in Greek."(Ibid). There is no evidence in the gospels that Jesus taught in Greek. Therefore it is not possible; to pass judgment on the purity and refineness of the language used by Jesus.

Shankaracharya wrote his works in Sanskrit. What he taught must have been in the language spoken. by the people of India at that time, and is lost for ever. Certainly Sanskrit was not the spoken language of the people of India at that time.

Mohammed on the other hand, spoke Arabic, and taught in Arabic which was the language of the people at that time. He got his teachings recorded in his life-time in Arabic. The Koran claims that it was revealed in perspicuous Arabic:-

1. "This wherein the Koran is written is the perspicuous Arabic tongue." (XVI. P. 267)

2. "Thus have We sent down (this book, being) a Koran in the Arabic tongue." (XX P.313.)

3. "This is a revelation from the most Merciful, a book the verses whereof are distinctly explained, an Arabic Koran." (XLI. P. 463.)

4. "H. M. By the perspicuous book; verily We have ordained the same an Arabic Koran, that ye may understand; it (is) certainly (written) in the original book, (kept) with Us, (being) sublime and full of wis-dom." (XLIII. P. 473.)

5. "Whereas the book of Moses (was revealed) before (the Koran, to be) a guide and a mercy; and this (is) a book confirming (the same, delivered) in the Arabic tongue; to denounce threats unto those who act unjustly, and to bear good tidings unto the righteous doers." (XLVI. P. 485.)

From the above passages it is clear that the koran was delivered in Arabic. The word Arabic means "pure and refined":-

(a)

1. The word Arabic is connected with "Araba. He spoke without incorrectness. A-rabun, signifies, committing no error in speech, (K, T, A:) and expressing the meanings clearly, plainly distinctly or perspicuously, by words." (Arabic English Lexicon by Lane Book I. P. 1902.)

2. "Katadah says that the tribe of Kuresh used to cull or select what was most excellent in the dialects of the Arabs, so that their dialect became the most excellent of all and the Kuran was therefore revealed in that dialect." (Ibid P. 1994.)

The Koran distinctly gives out that it was not delivered in an unnamed or barbarous tongue:-

1. "We (also) know that they say, verily, a (certain) man teacheth him (to compose the Koran.) The tongue of (the person) unto whom they incline, is a foreign (tongue) but this, (wherein the Koran is written) is the perspicuous Arabic tongue." (XVI. P. 267.)

2 "If we had revealed (the Koran) in a foreign language, they had surely said, Unless the signs thereof be distinctly explained, (we will not receive the same:) (is the book written in) a foreign tongue, and (the person unto whom it is directed) an Arabian?" (XLI. P. 467.)

The word "foreign" is the translation of the word "Ajami". "The word Ajami which is here used signifies any foreign or barbarous language in general" (Sale's Translation of the Koran P. 268 Foot Note). The word Ajami is connected with "Ajamatun" which signifies "he had an impotence or impediment, or a difficulty in his speech, or utterance........a want of clearness, perspicuousness, distinctness, chasteness..........therein (Msb)." (Arabic English Lexicon by Lane. Book I. P. 1966.)

The word in the original for Arabic is "Urbean" (XLIII.3.) which is nothing but "Urbane" which means "courteous; civil; polite." The word Arabic is from "Al-arab" which signifies "the inhabitants of the cities, or large towns, (S.A.O.K.)." (The Arabic English Lexicon by Lane. Book I. P. 1993)

The language of the Koran is easy, without any crookedness, and is perspicuous. The Koran itself gives this out:-

(a) "Verily We have rendered the Koran easy for thy tongue." (XIX P. 304.)

(b) "These are the signs of the perspicuous book." (XII. P. 324.)

(c) 1. "Praise be unto God who hath sent down' unto His servant the book (of the Koran), and hath not inserted therein any crookedness." (XVIII. P. 244.)

2. "An Arabic Koran; wherein there is no crookedness." (XXXIX. P. 451)

The Koran very clearly gives out what is required by the words of Asanga is all fulfilled in the book:-

"Verily (the Koran) is an admonition and he who is willing retaineth the same (written) on. volumes, honourable exalted and pure." (LXXX. P. 570.)

It is worth pointing out that the word Koran signifies "no more than a reading or a recitation." (Sale's Translation of the Koran P. 224. Foot Note 12)

Now we turn to the other point mentioned in the words of Asanga. There is evidence in the Koran that those who heard the prophet reciting the Koran were charmed to an extraordinary degree. This led the unbelievers to declare it a piece of sorcery.

"The unbelievers say, This is manifest sorcery." (X. P. 199.) It is a fact that those who heard 'the prophet reciting the Koran were never satiated. The Muslim world still feels delighted and unsatiated whenever the Koran is properly recited. It is a significant fact that of the scriptures of the world it is the Koran alone, the very original Koran, that is recited by the largest number of human beings. No scripture in the original as recited by such a large number of human beings as the Koran. The Muslims and, the unbelievers both were aware that the reading of the Koran by the prophet delighted people very much. The unbelievers had a reason of their own to explain this, for according to them the Koran was a poetical composition and the prophet was a poet. The Koran denies this

"We have not taught (Mohammed) the art of poetry, nor is it expedient for him (to be a poet). This book is no other than an admonition (from God) and a perspicuous Koran, that he may warn him who is living. (XXVI, P. 35.)

We now quote a few opinions of some of the eminent scholars about the beauty and refinement of the language used in the Koran, and the style of the delivery of the prophet:-

1. "The Koran is universally allowed to be written with the utmost elegance and purity of language, in the dialect of the tribe of Koreish, the most noble and polite of Arabians, but with some mixture, though very rarely, of other dialects. It is confessedly the standard of the Arabic tongue, and as the more orthodox believe, and are taught by the book itself, inimitable by any human pen........and therefore insisted on as a permanent miracle, greater than the raising of the dead, and alone sufficient to convince the world of its Divine original.

"And to this miracle did Mohammed appeal for the confirmation of his mission, publicly challenging the most eloquent men in Arabia, which was at that time stocked with thousands whose sole study and ambition it was to excel in the elegance of style and composition, to produce a single chapter that might be compared with it. I will mention but one instance, out of several to show that this book was really admired for the beauty of its composition by those who must be allowed to have been competent judges. A poem of Labid Ebn Rabia, one of the greatest Wits in Arabia in Mohammed's time, being fixed upon the gates of the temple of Mecca, an honour allowed to none but the most esteemed performances, none of other poets durst offer any thing of their own in competition with it. But the second chapter of the Koran being fixed up by it soon after, Labid himself (then an idolator) on reading the first verses only, was struck with admiration and immediately professed the religion taught thereby, declaring that such words could proceed from an inspired person only. This Labid was afterwards of great service to Mohammed, in writing answers to satires and invectives that were made on him and on his religion by infidels............

"The style of the Koran is generally beautiful and fluent, especially when it imitates the prophetic manner and scripture phrases. It is concise and often obscure, adorned with bold figures after the eastern taste, and enlivened with sententious expressions, and in many places, especially when the majesty and atributes of God are described, sublime and magnificent, of which the reader cannot but observe several instances, though he must not imagine the translation comes up the original, notwithstanding my endeavours to do it justice.

"Though it be written in prose yet the sentences generally conclude in a long continued rhyme, for the sake of which the sense is often interrupted, and unnecessary repetitions too frequently made, which appear more ridiculous in a translation, where the ornament, such as it is, for whose sake they were made, cannot be perceived. However, the Arabians are so mightily delighted with this jingling, that they employ it in their most elaborate compositions, which they also embellish with frequent passages of, and allusions to the Koran, so that it is next to impossible to understand them without being well versed in the book.

"It is probable the harmony of expression which the Arabians find in the Koran, which might contribute not a little to make them relish the doctrine therein taught, and give an efficacy to their arguments which, had they been nakedly proposed without this rhetorical dress, might not have so easily prevailed. Very extraordinary effects are related of the power of words. well chosen and artfully placed, which are no less powerful either to ravish or amaze than music itself; therefore as much has been ascribed by the best orators to this part of rhetoric as to any others. He must have a very bad ear who is not uncommonly moved with the very cadence of a well-turned sentence; and Mohammed seems not to have been ignorant of the enthusiastic operation of rhetoric on the minds of men; for which reason he has not only employed his utmost skill in these his pretended revelations, to preserve that dignity of style, which might seem not unworthy of the majesty of that Being, whom he gave out the Author of them; and to imitate the prophetic manner of the Old Testament; but he has not neglected even the other arts of oratory; wherein he succeeded so well, and so strangely captivated the minds of his audience that several of his most opponents thought it the effect of "witch-craft and enchantment." (The Preliminary Discourse to the Koran by Sale. PP. 65-67)

"It must be acknowledged too, that the Koran deserves the highest praise for its conception of the Dtvine nature, in reference to the attributes of Power, Knowledge, and Universal Providence and Unity-that its belief and trust in One God of Heaven and Earth is deep and fervent..........it embodies much of noble and deep moral earnestness and sententious wisdom, and has proved that there are elements in it on which mighty nations and conquering..........empires be built." (Radwell's Preface to the Koran P. 15.)

"In the Suras as far as the 24th.........we cannot but notice the entire pre-dominance of the poetical element, a deep appreciation.........of the beauty of natural objects, brief fragmentary and impassioned utterances, denunciation of woe and punishment, expressed for the most part in lines of extreme brevity..........the poetical ornament of rhyme is preserved throughout." (Rodwell's Preface to the Koran, P. 15.)

"In a literary point of view, the Koran is the moat poetical work of the East. The greater portion of it is a rhymed prose, confirmably to the taste which has, from remotest time, prevailed in the above portion of the globe.........It is confessedly, the standard of the Arabic tongue, and abounds with splendid imagery and the boldest metaphors; and, notwithstanding that it is sometimes obscure and verging upon timidity, is generally vigorous and sublime, so as to justify the observation of the celebrated Goethe, that the Koran is a work with whose dulness the reader is at first disgusted, and afterwards attracted by its charms and finally, irresistably ravished by its many beauties." In order to estimate the meritsof the Koran, it should be considered that when the prophet arose eloquence of expression and purity of diction were much cultivated, and that poetry and oratory were held in the highest estimation." "It was to the Koran so considered as a permanent miracle that Mohammed appealed as the chief confirmation of his mission, publicly challenging the most eloquent men in Arabia, then abounding with persons whose sold study it was to excel in the eloquence of style and composition to produce one' single chapter that might compete therewith." "The admiration with which the reading of the Koran inspires the Arabs is due to the magic of its style, and to the care with which Mohammed embellished his prose by the introduction of poetical ornaments; by his giving it a cadenced march and by making the verses rhyme; its variety is also striking, for sometimes, quitting ordinary language, he points, in majestic verses the Eternal, seated on His throne, dispensing laws to the universe; his verses become melodious and thrilling when he describes the everlasting delights of paradise; they are vigorous and harrowing when he depicts the flames of hell." (An Apology for Mohammed and the Koran by John Davenport. PP 64-67.)

"Before he spoke, the orator engaged on his side the affections whether of a public or of a private audience. They applauded his commanding prese~ice, his majestic aspect his piercing eye, his flowing beard, hia countenance which pointed every sensation of his soul, and the gestures that enforced each expression of his tongue. In the familiar offices of life, he scrupulously adhered to the grave and ceremonious politeness of his country; his respectful attention to the rich and the powerful was dignified by his condescension and affability to the poorest citizens of Mecca; the frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views, and the habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship or universal benevolence; his memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid and decisive. He possessed the courage both of thought and action; although his designs might gradually expand with success, the first idea which he entertained of his Divine mission bears the stamp of an original and superior genius. The son of Abadallah was brought up in the bosom of the noblest race, in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia, and the fluency of his speech was corrected and enhanced by the practice of discreet seasonable silence." (Gibbon quoted by Davenport, PP. 11-12.)

"At this time Mohammed was in the prime of manhood: his figure was commanding, his aspect majestic, his features regular and most expressive, his black and piercing eye, his nose slightly acquiline, his mouth wellformed, furnished with pearly teeth, while his cheeks were ruddy with robust health. Art had imparted his naturally black hair and beard a lighter chestnut hue. His captivating smile, his rich and sonorous voice, the graceful dignity of his manners, gained him the favourable attention of all whom he addressed. He possessed talents of a superior order-his perception was quick and active, his memory capacious and retentive, his imagination lively and daring, his judgment clear and perspicuous, his courage dauntless, and whatever may be the opinion of some as to the sincerity of his convictions, his tenacity of purpose in the purauit of the great object of his life, and his patience and endurance, cannot but extort the admiration of all. His natural eloquence was enhanced by the use of the purest dialect of Arabia and adorned by the charm of a graceful elocution." (Davenport P. 11.)

"On the graces and intellectual gifts of nature to the son of Abdoollah, the Arabian writers dwell, with the proudest and the fondest satisfaction. His politeness to the great, his affability to the humble, and his dignined bearing to the presumptuous, procured him respect, admiration, and applause. His talents were equally fitted for persuasion or command. Deeply read in the volume of nature, though entirely ignorant of letters, his mind could expand into controversy, with the acutest of his enemies, or contract itself to the apprehensions of the meanest of his disciples. His simple eloquence, rendered impressive by the expression of a countenance wherein awfulness of majesty was tempered by an amiable sweetness, excited emotions of veneration and love; and was gifted with the authoritative air of genius which alike influences the learned and conunands the il1iterate.'(Davenport P. 52) "He expressed himself in pregnant sentences, using neither too few nor too many words." (ibid. P. 14. Foot Note.)

Hence it is clear that Mohammed is the Buddha Maitreya, and not Jesus or Shankaracharya.



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