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Kitaab al Maknoom

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Kitaab al Maknoom
From AIA group, on Jan 4, 2012, by Sunil Nair (Y Malaiya)

It is indeed strange to notice that a Muslim got attracted to Hindu Upanishad, studied them and translated them for heir own people.

The prodigal son: Scholarly pursuits of Aurangzeb's heretic brother Daaraa Shikoh was the eldest son of Shaah Jahaan and Mumtaaz Mahal.

Karachi :
Although Daraa was the son of the best known Mugal couple known for their love story, Shaah Jahaan and Mumtaaz Mahal, and the brother of one of the most renowned emperors, Aurangzeb, very little is known about his scholarly pursuits. However, recent research revealed that Shikoh studied theology and Hindu scriptures in great detail. This emerged in a lecture by Dr Munis Faruqui, the assistant professor at the department of South and South-east Asian studies at the University of California Berkley, hosted by the Habib University Foundation.

The lecture was titled “New Perspectives on the Mugals: The Case of Dara Shikoh.” Faruqi shed light on the political and theological implications of Daaraa Shikoh’s scholarly work on the Upanishad – a sacred Hindu scripture which expounds the Ved in predominantly mystical and monistic terms. He supervised the translation of Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian, for which he was later executed. He was assassinated in front of his son by four henchmen of the emperor on the night of August 30 in 1659.

Dr Faruqui said that the lives of Daaraa Shikoh and Aurangzeb, the eldest and the third sons of Shaah Jahaan have been shrouded in mystery. Shikoh was supposed to be the heir of the Mugal Empire but the crown was usurped by Aurangzeb. Faruqui explored the journey of Daaraa Shikoh to proclaim the importance of the Upanishad to the Muslims and the rest of the world. He asserted that he believed that the work referred to in the Quran as “Kitab al-Maknun” (The hidden book) is none other than the Upanishad – humanity’s first monotheistic text.
[Published in "The Express Tribune", January 5th, 2012.]



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 11/04/12