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karma in Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Persian literature

karma in Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Persian literature

Karma is one of the laws of the universe. This law happens every day in our lives. Perhaps with every sentence and behavior we do. In this article, we describe karma law and its effect in life. We will mention the points about this law in the Persian literature and examine the Islamic opinion about karma law.


What is karma?

Karma is a Sanskrit word. The meaning of karma is about human performance in life. Karma says that our functions in life automatically have results in our life. In fact, Karma says that everyone’s behavior in life creates the power that determines how he lives. In other words, Karma law says that whatever we do, it returns to ourselves.

Buddha says about Karma:

To whatever object a man’s own mind is attached, to that he goes strenuously together with his deed; and having obtained the end (the last results) of whatever deed he does here on earth, he returns again from that world (which is the temporary reward of his deed) to this world of action. So much for the man who desires.


Some people also know this law with other names. Including law of the echo, law of reflection of acts, law of the boomerang, and law of the action and reaction. But you have to know that there are two types of karma.

Know the types of karma

Know the types of karma

The first type of Karma which was mentioned above is known as Agricultural Karma. That is, how much you plant, you reap the same. Or, as we said above, whatever we do, the result is returned to ourselves.

But the second type of karma is inner karma. That is, the work you do not only returned to yourself, but also has some effects within you. To illustrate the difference between these two types of karma we give examples. Suppose a person deceive someone about getting married. Karma type1 (Agricultural Karma) says that this may happen to the deceiver person. It means that someone else deceives him. Or something else, which is the result of this deception, happen to that person.

The inner karma in this example says that the effect of his deception appears inside him. This means that he cannot trust anyone. For example, even if he is really interested in someone, he may be sick because of the bad karma he has produced and can no longer trust someone to marry. Of course there are some points about Karma law that you should know.

Some points about karma

For understanding karma better, we refer to 4 points.

The first point – this law is more related to the intention of the people

Maybe the appearance of two peoples’ function is similar, but their intentions are different. So karma behaves differently with them. We have heard, for example, that many wealthy people, with the intention of not paying for the tax, establish charity foundation. Of course, karma’s response to them is different from the ones whose intention are helping the people.

The second point – Karma’s response may be slow but sure

The second point – Karma’s response may be slow but sure

Do not wait for karma’s response in specific time. Sometimes karma law may quickly return the results of your action to yourself. Sometimes it may take a long time. Many people believe that the level of cleanliness and purity of the human being has a significant impact on the time it takes for karma’s response. In any case, you should not expect karma law to answer you or others immediately and at the same time.

The third point – Karma law definitely answer

The third point – Karma law definitely answer

The opportunity to live in this world is very limited. In most cases there may be not enough opportunity to get the answer from Karma law. On the other hand, perhaps many things do not have the possibility to be answered by Karma law in this world. Suppose someone takes care of many orphans. In this world, can karma law really answer his good work?

Those who believe in the world hereafter say that karma’s response is in another world. Those who believe in transmogrification (living in other forms after death) say that good and bad karma is transmitted to the next lives of people. However, Karma is one of the laws of the universe, and all those who are familiar with this concept agree that if this law does not answer us in this world, it will respond elsewhere.

The fourth point – never shift all the responsibility to karma law

Karma law is not the only law of the universe. Therefore, all the events are not related to karma law. Maybe you see someone doing good things and getting a bad result or vice versa. In this case, you should not blame this law. Because there are other rules in the universe that all affect our lives, and we do not have the power to analyze that someone’s condition is the result of which of the laws of the universe.

We should be aware of this law and try to pay attention to the effect of our work in our lives according to this law. You may be surprised if you know, both the Persian literature and Islam have talked about the concept of karma law.

Karma law in Persian literature

Karma law in Persian literature

Several poets show Karma concept, which we will mention one of them. Perhaps the most famous is Rumi’s poem about returning our action to ourselves:

This world is the mountain, and our action the shout: the echo of the shouts comes (back) to us.”

This poem clearly refers to the returning of our verb to ourselves. Like the echoes of a voice that returns to ourselves in the mountains.

Mohammad Hussein Saghir Isfahani, poet of the twelfth century, has also referred to this concept in this poem:

One day an old man (great) tells his student go to the hell and bring a little fire for my hookah.

The student brings the hookah and goes and returns after a while, and after thinking a lot, he finds out the valuable training that the master wants to teach.

When he returns he says to the old man: I went to hell and I didn’t see any fire and firewood and charcoal there.

I did not see anyone make a fire for the sinner’s torment.

Everyone who was in hell was burning on the fire of his sins.

This poem actually refers to this: the torment that exists in the world hereafter is our returning actions.

Islamic opinion about karma’s concept

Islamic opinion about karma’s concept

Islam considers actions with two instant and distant effects. For example, if you touch a flame, your hand will burn. This is an instant effect of your work. But if you do not treat well with your parents, your daily bread will decrease. This is your distant effect.

In fact, Karma is equivalent to distant effects of the acts. Also in verses 7 and 8 of the Al-ZALZALA Sura:

‘’Whosoever has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it,

And whosoever has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it’’

In addition, many have said that the Prophet did not blame others. He also stopped the others from blaming. There is even a hadith from Imam Sadiq that he says:

‘’One who blames the other for a sin will never die until he commit that sin himself.’’

It means that if a person had committed a sin, we shouldn’t blame him for that sin. If we blame them, we will omit that sin someday. As you see this is one of the rules in the world. All the people will see some effects of karma when they think about their whole life. However, there may be countless cases that we cannot understand them.

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