In what way is an average Muslim’s perception of Allah different from an average Hindu’s idea of God?

NOTE: The following is essentially from a Hindu point of view, based on basic concepts, faiths and practices existing in both religions.

  • Allah being without name and form, He is virtually beyond the grasp or imagination of a Hindu, while a typical Muslim has no qualms about it. Yet an average Muslim’s faith on his God definitely seems to be far stronger than an average Hindu’s faith on God. There is reason for it. (See point 2).
    • For a Hindu, his God is a personal God, with a name and form. His God may look quite different from the personal God of the neighbor, but it does not really matter to him. His God is much closer and dear to him for easy communication. For an average Hindu too, God as Brahman — beyond name and form as stated in Upanishads is virtually beyond reach. He is therefore content to have a personal God.
  • For an average Muslim, Allah is to be feared, respected, revered. He cannot take Allah for granted. Allah is all merciful alright but if you wrong with Him, He is sure to roast you in hell fire. Better be safe than sorry! Better to be extremely careful with Allah and be reverential to Him rather than taking any liberties with Him.
    • A Hindu can feel free with his personal God. he can talk to Him with love, can criticize Him when he feels wronged, can cry to Him when weak and can ignore Him when the going is smooth! In other words, a Hindu devotee can take God for granted, as if dealing with a parent. He is not all that afraid of God.Of course he knows God is bound to punish him for his wrong doings, but he believes His God is not vengeful, tough, strict and merciless. A Hindu can proudly claim he is an atheist and yet survive happily as a Hindu in the community. This is unimaginable in Islam.
  • A Muslim is always worried about safeguarding himself in his afterlife. After all, after death he has got only two avenues: either living in heaven or living in hell (after the day of judgement). If you get Allah’s mercy, your seat is assured in Heaven. Else, you end up perennially in Hell. There is no respite. No second chance. No mid term review. Hence a Muslim has to ensure that whatever Koran forbids, he should not do. whatever Koran recommends, he should do. No question of using any free will. No arguments and counter arguments. No intellectual hair-splitting. No need at all. Everything is clear in black and white in Koran. You are forbidden from questioning it.
    • A Hindu however is free to interpret his scriptures differently. He has scope for making different definitions of God and his relationship with God. He can even claim “I am God” (Aham Brahmasmi). He too believes in heaven and hell, but he understands very clearly that he will not end up in them permanently. They are at the best like staying in a resort or a mad house for a period. He always has the scope of redemption, to get another chance to live his life right; he can refine himself or he can deteriorate himself too. He always has another chance. That is samsara cycle for him.

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