Understanding Islam through Hadis

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Understanding Islam through Hadis
Understanding Islam through Hadis.jpg
Author Ram Swarup
Country United States
Language English (banned), Hindi (banned)
Publisher Arvind Ghosh[1]
Publication date
ISBN 0-682-49948-X ISBN 1591020174
OCLC 11630468
LC Class BP135 .S94 1983

Understanding Islam through Hadis is a book by Ram Swarup, first published in the United States in 1982. It was eventually banned in India.

The book is a study, based on the English translation by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi,[2] of the Sahih Muslim, the second most important collection of Hadiths. Ram Swarup claims in the foreword that "we have quoted extensively and faithfully from it."

The ban[edit]

In 1983, a reprint of the book by Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup's long-time friend and collaborator, sold out quickly. In 1987, Goel printed another edition of the book and tried to publish a Hindi translation which he had commissioned. The details are not known with certainty but, apparently on the basis of a complaint lodged with the police, all copies of the Hindi translation were seized from the printer's shop and Goel was arrested. He recounted the situation:

Soon after we reached the Police Station, he shouted at me, "tû kaun hai? yeh kyâ kiyâ? bahut baDi riot hote hote ruki hai (who are you? what have you done? A big riot almost broke out)." I told him that I was nobody, and did not understand the accusation. He barked, "musalmân ubal rahen haiN. unke gharoN kî chhatoN par behisâb îNt patthar rakkhâ hai, gharoN ke bhîtar golâ bârûd: wê jab châheN shahar meN âg lagâ sakte haiN (Muslims are excited. They have heaps of bricks and stones piled up on the roofs of their houses, and firearms within. They can set the city on fire whenever they want)." I asked him why the police had allowed them to collect and keep the arsenal. He snarled, "yeh bât to apne netâoN se pûcho, meN to ek garîb policeman huN, bacchon kâ pet pal rahâ huN (put this question to your leaders, I am only a poor policeman trying to feed my family)." I kept quiet.[3]

Goel was bailed out after 18 hours in police custody, but the impounded copies of the Hindi translation were never returned to him. Later, public furore ensued after a claim in the Jamaat-e-Islami weekly Radiance that the book was offensive to Muslims. Finally, in 1990 the Hindi translation of the book was officially banned. In March 1991 the English original was also banned. The criminal case against Goel for printing the book was dismissed after some years on 5 May 1997, but the book still remained banned.[3]


  1. ^ Arvind Ghosh#Activism
  2. ^ Online version of Siddiqi's translation at the USC-MSA site
  3. ^ a b Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7

Further reading[edit]

  • Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7

External links[edit]