Muslim’s Perspective of Lord Rama


Dr. Hafeez Ur Rahman


Hai Ram ke Wujood pe Hindustan ko Naaz,

Ahle Nazar Samajhtey hain Usko Imam-e-Hind


With a thrill in the air amidst the thick scent of flowers and glimmering lights brightening up the holy city of Ayodhya, the Ram Mandir is being consecrated on January 22, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Ayodhya before the consecration ceremony to attend the Pran Pratishtha massive ceremony where the new idol of Ram Lalla depicted as a five-year-old standing on a lotus sculpted by Arun Yogiraj is placed inside the temple.

The Ramayana epic originating from ancient India is one of Hinduism’s two significant epics, the other being the Mahabharata. Traditionally attributed to the sage Maharishi Valmiki, this epic recounts the life of Lord Rama, a prince hailing from Ayodhya in the Kingdom of Kosala.

Many Muslim scholars and writers have also read the Ramayana and praise Lord Rama’s beauty, character and virtues, signifying the triumph of good over evil and exemplifying how individuals should uphold moral commitments to strengthen social order.

Many Muslim groups and individuals have contributed towards building the temple.  The Kashmiri Muslims gifted two kilograms of organically produced pure saffron to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.  In another instance, Ram Bhawan president Shakti Singh was delighted to receive a donation made by the Muslim community members through the ‘Nidhi Samarpana Abhiyan’ – a fundraising drive being conducted for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.  There are several other gestures of goodwill striving towards unanimity and peace.

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, an Indian Muslim philosopher, author, and poet whose poetry is considered to be among the greatest of the 20th century, eulogized Lord Ram in one poem whom he called, Imam-e-Hind (Spiritual leader of India)he cup of Hind.”

Who “overflows with the wine of truth.

Philosophers of the Western world

are its devotees.

The mysticism of her philosophers

makes Hind’s star soar above all constellations.

Thousands of angels have descended

to proclaim Hind’s name before the world.

And proud of his existence

the discerning eye sees in Ram, a prophet.

The glow from this lamp of wisdom

makes Hind’s evening more radiant

than the world’s daybreak.

Valorous, brave, a master swordsman!

In purity, in love, Ram was unmatched.”


Shah Jahan’s elder son Dara Shikoh,( 20 March 1615 – 30 August 1659)  whose mother was the famous Mumtaz Mahal, had the celebrated Taj Mahal named after her.  Dara Shikoh was secular-minded respecting all religions and if he had not been executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders, there would be a positive impact on India with no division between Hindus and Muslims, unlike Aurangzeb.

Dara Shikoh had a vision about Lord Rama where he saw the Hindu sage Vasishtha alongside the legendary Lord Rama, believed to be the Hindu deity Vishnu incarnated on earth. This dream was inspired by a slim manuscript comprising only a few handwritten pages that the prince had recently perused. Authored by Dara’s contemporary, Shaikh Sufi, a mystic and former Mughal official well-known to the Sufi writer Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti, the book claimed to be a Persian translation of the Sanskrit Yogavasishtha. This work takes the form of a dialogue between the renowned Rama of Ramayana fame and his teacher, Vasishtha, a conversation said to have occurred during Rama’s youth. In the Persian text, adhering to the customary North Indian vernacular pronunciation, Rama is referred to as “Ramchandra” or simply “Ram,” while Vasishtha is rendered as “Basisht.”

Dara Shikoh also translated not only the Ramayana but more than 50 Upanishads which were in Sanskrit, into Persian because he was very drawn to Hindu classical and mythological literature, Sanskrit and literary assets of Indian languages.

Amir Khusro, Amīr Khusrau Dehlavī, a Sufi mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi rote about Lord Rama, “Each moment I long for him; Day and night he remains with me, And does what my heart asks him to do. Is it the beloved? No my dear, it’s Ram”.

Jaisi Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1477– 1542), the Indian Sufi poet in an essay wrote, “Three Hundred Ramayana: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation” which was written by A K Ramanujan.  In his work, Malik Muhammad Jayasi delves into the narrative of Ram Katha, drawing upon various primary sources. He advocates for the incorporation of Sanskrit, Jain, oral traditions, and other diverse sources to present a nuanced story. He highlights the distinct interpretations of Rama’s tale prevalent in different societies. Valmiki’s Ramayana portrays Rama as a virtuous human, whereas Kampan’s version elevates Rama to the status of a deity. Jaina’s sources also intertwine Rama’s story with religious significance.

The Padmavat Kavya extensively features Rama’s narrative, mentioning it over a hundred times and emphasizing its significance, drawing comparisons with Raja Ratnsen. In the sixteenth century, Sufi writings in India touched upon Rama and Krishna, although this aspect remains largely overlooked in literary history. Jayasi’s unique contribution lies in seamlessly integrating the stories of Rama and Krishna into an Islamic framework in Padmavat and Kanhavat, without encountering religious contradictions. Notably, Jayasi’s purpose in writing Padmavat is to explore Islamic ideas while adopting a well-known regional story, such as the Padmavati narrative from North India.

Nazeer Akbarabadi from the 18th and early 19th centuries wrote poems highlighting the Indian culture where Hindus and Muslims lived together as one. He wrote several poems in praise of ‘Hindu’ festivals. The answer to any national problem, as per Nazeer, was unity among different religions.

In an excerpt from one of his poems, he hailed the Hindu gods mentioning Lord Ram too in this poem.

Disciples walking in masters’ shadows,

The scent of flowers filling the air;

Families, friends, and loners who

Include townsfolk and villagers too;

All kinds of money, lots and none;

In the 18th and early 19th centuries,

Performers, acrobats, amusement and fun.

A surge of humanity, almost an endless one!

All this colour, beauty, fun and pleasure

Baldevji’s fair has ’em all in good measure.

There’s Ram and there’s Laxman

Kachh-machch and Ravan

Varah and Madan Mohan

Baldev as well as Lord Kishan

In each form His incarnation.

Numerous Muslim Sufis and poets have composed devotional songs, expressing reverence for Lord Krishna, and Lord Rama, and celebrating Indian festivals such as Holi and Diwali. Eminent figures in this tradition include Amir Khusro, Dara Shikoh, Ghaus Gawaliari, Raskhan, Jaisi, Raheeman, Faizi, Sarmad, Jaan-e-Jana, Barkatullah Pemi, Baba Farid, Baba Bulle Shah, Shah Zaheen Taji, Shah Niaz, Bedam Shah Warsi, and others.

The Ramayana has been translated into many languages.  The narrative of Ram, as chronicled in the Ramayana, has been disseminated to a global audience in Persian and Urdu prose, primarily facilitated by Muslim scholars.

Even Islamist poets, such as Allama Iqbal, contributed to this discourse, crafting a poem titled “Ram” where he pays profound homage to Lord Shri Ram. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, renowned for his poetic works on Islamic themes, is believed to have composed a segment of Dastan Ram.

Muslims have played a significant role in popularizing the Ramayana and making it accessible to the masses. Initially available only in Sanskrit, limiting its readership to the elite, the translation of Ramayana into Persian and Awadhi broadened its reach.

The Mughal ruler Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar took the initiative to translate and illustrate the Ramayana, making it the first rendition in a language accessible to the general populace. Tulsidas initially translated it into Odhi, and under Akbar’s directive, Maulana Abdul Qadir Badayuni, a renowned historian and scholar of that era, translated it into Persian.

Following these translations, the epic found its way into various other languages, eventually becoming available in most languages worldwide. Today, there are 23 Persian versions of the Ramayana. Abul Fazl, a courtier of Akbar, documented that this extensive translation project was carried out at the Emperor’s behest.

A notable translated version from the Akbar era is the “Ramayana-i-Masihi,” a verse translation that was preserved in the custody of Akbar’s mother, Hamida Bano Begum, also known as Maryam Makhani, a bibliophile in her own right.

Muslims want to work on harmonizing relations with Hindus.  Earlier, following the Ayodhya verdict, Muslim leaders appeal to their community for peace and harmony. They openly said the judiciary is supreme and everyone should respect the decision.

It is the time to present a united face before the world because the entire world is looking at India today, respecting and honouring the laws of the land is the basic Islamic teachings, We now need to concentrate on the development of self and the nation.

The stance of fostering peace and upholding Hindu traditions goes back to the ancient seventh century when the first Arab traders entered the coasts of India.  The Sufi saints and other great Islamic teachers and scholars uphold the same values and today is a day of celebration for the Hindus, Muslims and all Indians as the Ram Temple is consecrated.

So it is a day of great achievement when Muslims along with Hindus applaud the magnificent structure of the New Ram Temple! I would say this is the true spirit of India.


(Dr. Hafeez Ur Rahman, Author, Islamic Scholar, and Convenor of the Khusro Foundation, New Delhi)







One Reply to “Muslim’s Perspective of Lord Rama”

  1. Wow….awesome to learn about it.
    Thank you Dr Hafeez Ur Rehman for sharing such a amazing information. Truly said…we need to develop self and nation.

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