I was listening to Dr. Zakir Naik who was discussing the similarities between Islam and Hinduism in a lecture done somewhere in India, and he was discussing the historical etymology of the words ‘hindu’ and ‘hinduism’.
The word ‘hindu’ is actually a Persian/Muslim word used to define the people of the Indian Sub-continent. The word ‘Hinduism’ was used to define the religion of the people in India by the British. So what was it before the Persians, Muslims and British called these people Hindus? After doing some research and consulting Shaykh Google and Imam Wikipedia I came upon this Hindu site discussing the origin of the name ‘hindu’:
When the Muslims came to the sub continent they called the people living in the region as Hindustanis to distinguish them from the foreign Muslims. Subsequently when the British established their rule, they started calling the local religions collectively under the name of Hinduism.
It amazes me that these people call themselvse Hindus and call their religion Hinduism, yet it isn’t even defined by their own people, their own language or even their own gods.
Learning this makes me thank Allah that I am Muslim. Allah has defined this religion as Islam and it’s followers Muslims. Till to this day everyone uses these terms. Alhamdulillah!