26 Sep 2011

Non-Hindu References on Cows & Bulls

Cows and bulls are not only glorified by Hindus but are also respected in various believes/religions making them an emblem of inter-religion harmony. Its worth having a look.

In Islam:

Islam is the most MIS-understood religion especially when it comes to cows. Many quotes in Islamic scriptures favor cow and glorify her. In Islam, Hadiths are regarded as important tools for understanding the Qur'an and in matters of jurisprudence.

Zad al-Ma'ad (زاد المعاد) is a book written by Islamic scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (1292-1350 CE) and is one of the best books written on the subject of seerat of prophet Mohammed. One of the hadith in that book says:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "You should use cows' milk, because it is good for health, and cows' ghee is good for health, but beef is bad for health."

Actually, the literal meaning of the words the Prophet used is much stronger than that. He said that milk is "healing," ghee is "medicine," and beef is "disease."

In the Book of Medicine of the Mustadrak al-Hakîm (a classical hadith commentary by al-Hakîm al-Nîsaburî), the first hadith is:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, said: "Allah did not create any disease without creating its cure; and in cows' milk is a cure for every disease."

It would be noteworthy the Hikmat which dictates every Muslim that milk of the cow is greatly useful for health and beef is harmful for health as it causes various diseases.

In Christianity/Judaism: (New International Version)

Deuteronomy 33:17 - In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox….

Numbers 23:22 - God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox.

Proverbs 14:4 - Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

Psalm 22:12 - Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

Revelation 4:7 – The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, …

In Zoroastrianism (Mazdaism):

The term "geush urva" means the spirit of the cow and is interpreted as the soul of the earth. In the Ahunavaiti Gatha, Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) accuses some of his co-religionists of abusing the cow. Ahura Mazda tells Zarathustra to protect the cow.

According to the Zoroastrian story of creation, Ahura Mazda created the floating, egg-shaped universe in two parts: first the spiritual and 3,000 years later, the physical. Ahura Mazda then created the archetypical perfect man, and the first bull. Later when Angra Mainyu (the evil) invaded universe and killed them, bull's seed grew in all beneficial plants and animals of the world.

The 9th chapter of the Vendidad of the Avesta expounds the purificatory power of cow urine. It is declared to be a panacea for all bodily and moral evils.

In Jainism:

The name of the first Tirthankara in Jainism is Rishabh (ऋषभ which means the "Bull"). King Nabhiraja (the father) invited his friends and relatives on the next day to a feast and announced that the child be named as ‘Rishabh Kumar’ since there is a sign of a bull on the thigh of the new born, and Marudeva (the mother) first of all saw a bull in her great dreams. 

There are numerous other references which can be quoted here but the list is kept concise to help reader get a quick overview. Please feel free to share!

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