The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and MattersSee Title Page and List of Contents

latest, 30th March 2015: Jesus – Rock-a-Bye-Baby & Peek-a-Boo – Where are you?


See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

Read: Background to the Project

List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


April 11th, 2015

Mrs Nasira Tufail passes away

It is with very great regret and sadness that I announce the death, early this morning 11th April 2015 in UK, of Mrs Nasira Tufail of Woking, inna li-llahi wa inna ilai-hi raji`un.

She was wife of the late Shaikh Muhammad Tufail sahib (d. 1984), former Imam of the Woking Mosque and Mission from 1960 to 1965. Since Mr Tufail went abroad from Pakistan in the early 1950s as Lahore Ahmadiyya missionary, Mrs Nasira Tufail accompanied him all the while, first in Holland in the 1950s, then at Woking from 1960 to 1965, then in Trinidad, and back again in UK from 1970. She sacrificed much for her husband's missionary work and suffered many privations purely for the sake of the service of Islam. She successfully brought up a large family under these circumstances. She was a regular visitor to our present UK centre in Wembley, until falling ill. Mrs Tufail was also a very good friend of my mother, the late Mrs Akhtar Aziz, with whom she stayed many times.

May Allah grant her forgiveness and protection, admit her to His great mercy, grant her to join His righteous servants in His gardens of bliss, and enable those left behind to emulate her noble example! Amin.

Zahid Aziz.

April 5th, 2015

Inaccuracies in ‘The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan’ by Ali Usmani Qasmi

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Inaccuracies in ‘The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan’ by Ali Usmani Qasmi

Note to readers: As I read through this book, I will point out inaccuracies in it, from Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement perspective. I will myself provide correct information. Others are also welcome to provide correct information from LAM stand point. This thread is NOT to discuss whether LAM interpretation is correct or not. It is only to provide LAM perspective. Upon completion, I will make efforts to contact author Ali Usmani Qasmi, and invite him to justify his statements that LAM considers inaccurate. As I wrote elsewhere I feel author lacked knowledge about Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, and it is not fair for him to base his knowledge on writing of someone else who himself lacks knowledge about HMGA. Here I mean Yohanan Friedman’s ‘The Prophecy Continues: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and its Medieval Background’ (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003). In my opinion approach by Ali Usmani Qasmi is NOT justified.

In Notes, Chapter II, page 231, author writes:

Quote:

2. For an overview of the theological and other religious views of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, I have relied heavily on Yohanan Friedman’s ‘The Prophecy Continues: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and its Medieval Background’ (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003).

End quote.

Inaccuracies:

Page 37: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad held the belief that the second coming of the Christ nullified the notion of Muhammad’s finality of prophethood as understood by the ulema opposed to him. Such a belief was also in contradiction to Ghulam Ahmad’s theory of prophethood, where by Prophet Muhammad was to be considered the last of the law-bearing prophets and owner of the seal of prophethood.

Page 37: The reason Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s writings led to widespread resentment against him was his additional claim of prophethood, not just that of messianic authority.

Page 37: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s “heterodoxy” lay in arguing not only for continuation of prophecies but prophethood as well. This meant reinterpreting the term khatam-i-nabuwwat – largely understood as “finality of prophethood” – as “seal of prophethood”.

Page 37: In addition, according to him, the phrase “seal of prophethood” indicates that no prophet can be true without being confirmed by the seal of Prophet Muhammad.

Page 37: But it was almost a decade before Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gave definite shape to his ideas about prophethood and his own prophetic status. Even after he had made various statements in this regard, his views remained ambiguous and purposefully nuanced to afford any possible interpretation, as evidenced by divergence of his followers after his death.

Page 37: It was only in light of the growing strength of his followers and the spiritual experience he claimed to have undergone that he made claims to prophethood. He claimed to be a reflective (zilli) and manifestational (buruzi) prophet who was approved by the seal of Muhammad on account of his spiritual excellence and services for Islam.

Page 38: A succinct summation of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s view on Muhammad’s prophethood,  the term khatam-i-nabuwwat and his own prophethood is expressed in the following text, translated by Yohanan Friedman:

No law-bearing prophet can [ever] come [again]. A non-legislative prophet can come only if he is a member of the [Muslim] community. Accordingly, I am both a member of the [Muslim] community and a prophet. And my prophethood – this is to say the divine discourse [with me] – is a shadow of the prophethood of Muhammad. […] My prophethood is nothing except that. It is the muhammadi prophethood which became manifested in me.

This statement was made towards the end of his life. For those statements dating back to an earlier period of his life when he had denied being a prophet, he and his followers argued that he was only denying prophethood in the sense of being a law-bearing prophet or conveyer of new shari’at.

Comment:

Instead of individually correcting each inaccuracy, I would ask author to please read through different links provided in following link:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/cont-hmga.htm

Inaccuracy:

Page 38: After Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s death, Hakim Nur-ud-Din (d. 1914) – his close aide and friend for many decades – was appointed as successor. He titled himself as a Caliph.

Comment:

Hakim Nur-ud-Din is on record of saying, “I never wrote with my hand word Caliph for myself”.

Inaccuracy:

Page 38: The nascent community of followers was split into two different groups even during Nur-ud-Din’s lifetime. One group was led by Maulana Muhammad Ali (1974—1951), […]. He was of the opinion that the Ahmadi missionary groups within India or abroad, must only emphasize the unanimous tenets of Islam. The writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or the Ahmadi-specific aspects of religious doctrine should not be the main concern in such endeavors. Ghulam Ahmad son Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mehmud (1889—1965), who lead the other group, insisted that excluding Ghulam Ahmad from missionary efforts would be disastrous to the nascent Ahmadi community, as it would efface all the distinctive features of Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis. He said that Ahmadi preachers were hesitant to even mention the name of Ghulam Ahmad lest it would incite hatred. Nur-ud-Din’s death brought these differences into the open. Muhammad Ali insisted that the election of a new caliph should be postponed until certain modalities could be sorted out. This was opposed by Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mehmud, who had ample support among the members of the community to get himself elected as the caliph.

Comment:

Had Ali Usmani Qasmi read ‘Split in Ahmadiyya Movment’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali, his understanding of reasons would be different that what he wrote. All he needed to following link:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/bookspdf/split/conts.htm

Inaccuracy:

Page 39: According to Friedmann, there must have been reasons of personal ambition for the split as well, and not just disagreement on organizational issues. Muhammad Ali had MA in English and had been associated with the Ahmadiyya since 1892. He could not possibly recognize the leadership of a person who was 15 years his junior and did not even have a proper secondary education.

Comment:

Although Ali Usmani Qasmi quotes Friedmann, had he read articles in following link under Discussion of the Qadiani Jama’at Beliefs, he would not be writing such demeaning comment:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/cont-ahm.htm

Late Abdul Mannan Omar sahib (son of Hakim Nur-ud-Din) testified on behalf of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, in 1974 Trial of Ahmadis in Pakistan National Assembly. According him, this he told me personally, Pakistan’s Attorney General Yahya Bakhtiar in his effort to prove that both Qadiani-group and Lahori-group have same belief and split between them was not based on doctrinal differences and was merely a political. He wanted to prove that there were two contenders for post of head of Ahmadiyya Movement one was Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud and other was Maulana Muhammad Ali. So, AG Yahya Bakhtiar posed a question: How many candidates were there for position of head of Ahmadiyya Jama’at? To this late Abdul Mannan Omar sahib replied: There was only one candidate and it was Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mehmud.

March 28th, 2015

Has respect for me been “destroyed” by my responses in this discussion?

I reproduce below verbatim a series of e-mail exchanges between an enquirer, who contacted our website e-mail address, and myself which took place from 19th March to 27th March. In place of his name I am only showing his initials.

DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz

Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system.

Kind Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Thank you for writing to us. Please see the following link for the answer to your question:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/cont-hmga.htm

Regards.


DA:

The link does not specify the STATUS. I already know that your Jamaat do not believe that he was a Prophet. What do you call him? "Promised Messiah"?

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Kindly go to the links within that link. For example:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/hmga.htm

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/claims/intro.htm

His status, as believed by us, is clearly stated on these two very short pages.

Regards


Zahid Aziz:

I should also have added that these two short pages contain further links where the topic about his claims and status is dealt with in detail.

Regards


DA:

Thank you very much Dr. Zahid Aziz. From the links it is also clear that the title " Promised Messiah" is shared by both branches of Ahmadiyyat. If possible please tell me who is the Promiser ?

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

"Promised Messiah" means the Messiah whose coming was promised to the Muslims. The promise was made implicitly in the Quran (24:55) and explicitly by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. They are the promisers.

Regards.


DA:

Many thanks. Regards.


DA:

Please direct me to the link or place where I can find the relevant Hadees.


Zahid Aziz:

I am attaching here the scanned image of a chapter from the book 'The Ahmadiyya Movement', which quotes and explains those hadith reports.

Regards.

[See attachment at this link]


DA:

There is no "Promised Messiah" in the Holy Quran.


Zahid Aziz:

But you asked: "Please direct me to the link or place where I can find the relevant Hadees." So I answered the question which you asked. I could not answer a question which you did not ask. Maybe you possess that magical power, to answer questions that you haven't been asked!

The question of Promised Messiah in the Quran has been discussed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in a book which is available at the following link:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/books/testi-hq/ch2b.htm

But where does the Quran mention the coming back of Jesus (Isa), which is believed in by most Muslims?

Regards.


DA:

My original question was very simple and straight forward. I wanted to know the status of  ……  The links do not answer the question.  In my belief system, the writer of these links has no credibility.

The question was not asked by most Muslims. There no coming back of any prophet in the Holy Quran as far as I know.


Zahid Aziz:

Your original question was: "Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system."

I answered it five days ago as follows:

[quote]
Kindly go to the links within that link. For example:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/hmga.htm
http://www.ahmadiyya.org/claims/intro.htm

His status, as believed by us, is clearly stated on these two very short pages.
[unquote]

So the issue of discussion now is: Do the above links mention what we believe or do they not?

You say: "In my belief system, the writer of these links has no credibility."

I could say the same about you! Exactly what credibility does your belief system have? Presumably your belief system was taught to you directly by Allah, and therefore it is the standard of truth by which everyone else's beliefs should be judged!

At least my belief system has not made me arrogant.

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
The reason I asked the question was that I was not very clear about the difference between the two branches of Ahmadiyyat.
There was no issue involved.

I have not used any offensive word in my message. If you feel that I have offended you, I apologise most sincerely.
If calling me arrogant makes you happy, be my guest.
I have no reason to get involved in any discussion about yours or mine beliefs. There is no Prophet/ Promised Messiah after Prophet Muhammad SAW , in Islam that I know.

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

That's fine. Thank you, and sorry for any offence caused by me.

It seems that you also agree with us in one important respect where we disagree with most Muslims. They believe that Jesus will return to this world, something we don't accept at all. So at least in this one respect you consider us as right and most Muslims as wrong.

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
There are more than one issues on which I do not agree with Muslims but I do not call them WRONG. I do not have the credentials or evidence to pronounce judgement on any issue. I can easily discussed the Return of Jesus issue with you. Go ahead .
Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

You said: "There is no Prophet/ Promised Messiah after Prophet Muhammad SAW , in Islam that I know."

I conclude from this that you believe that Jesus cannot return.

On the general issue of whether we can call other Muslims (note: I have said "other Muslims" here, not "Muslims") as wrong, if they are bringing Islam into disrepute by their interpretation of, for example, jihad, then unless we call them wrong on those issues the general world will continue to think that their interpretation has some foundation.

Muslims who believe that Islam teaches that a Muslim who leaves Islam must be executed are wrong and are defaming Islam.

Muslims who believe that Islam teaches them to kill anyone who mocks the Prophet Muhammad are again wrong.

Muslims who believe that girls should not be given education are wrong and acting against Islam.

Anyone can be *wrong* on some issue. I can be wrong, you can be wrong, and likewise most Muslims can be wrong.

Please don't hesitate to call me wrong when you consider me to be wrong. It will do me good!

Regards.


DA:

[1] There is no second coming of any prophet  named in the Holy Quran. That is my belief.

[2] Only a small minority of Muslims harbour the beliefs you have stated above. The majority of Muslims does not advocate killing any one.
Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

[1] That is also our belief. But a very large number of Muslims believe that Jesus will return to this world, so much so that they claim that it is almost unanimous. This means that anyone who doesn't hold this belief needs to show arguments and evidence from Islamic teachings that this belief is not correct. As Muslims, we can't just differ from a widely prevailing belief of Muslims without giving reasons.

[2] Really? The law of Pakistan, passed by its elected government, prescribes the death penalty, and only the death penalty, for "insulting the Holy Prophet". And in actual cases where people have been charged with this crime, "insulting the Holy Prophet" is given such a wide definition that almost any statement can be alleged to be an insult.

People in Pakistan, including Muslims, have been actually killed by lynch mobs for this alleged crime. The police and government could not protect them because of the very strong feeling in the public that such people should be killed.

Have you heard of the Mumtaz Qadri case, and how he is hailed as a hero in Pakistan for killing governor Salman Taseer?

It is a very widely held belief among Muslims that any Muslim who leaves the religion of Islam (apostasy) must be executed. The laws of some Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, prescribe the death penalty for this.

Regards.


DA:

It will be helpful if we deal with one issue at a time. Also  this dialogue is between two individuals. Please do not drag "muslims" into it. There are not present here and cannot be included.

Shall we start with the return of Jesus as the first issue? I can assure you that I have the ability and knowledge to deal with all the issues that you have raised after we have finished with Jesus.

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Your original questions to me were:

"Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system."
"I already know that your Jamaat do not believe that he was a Prophet. What do you call him?"

So you can "drag" our Jamaat into it, but I can't drag your fellow Muslims into it!

Let us then discuss the return of Jesus. You have already said:

"There is no second coming of any prophet named in the Holy Quran. That is my belief."

So what is your opinion about the reports in Hadith that Jesus will return?

You say: "I can assure you that I have the ability and knowledge to deal with all the issues that you have raised after we have finished with Jesus."

Well, I am not that confident of my own ability and knowledge vis-a-vis yours, since I don't know who you are, whether you are a novice or the greatest Islamic scholar on earth.

Can you provide some evidence of your ability and knowledge? The evidence of my limited ability and knowledge (on those other issues) is here: www.ahmadiyya.org/islam/islam-pt.htm 

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr.Zahid Aziz,
I know what was my original question and your response and I can say with 100% honesty that  my objective was to know the views of your Jamaat.  I addressed you by name. I did not address your Jamaat at all. Other Muslims are not involved in this dialogue . Why mention them?

Read my previous message again. I stated clearly that I will deal with these issues one at a time, lumping them leads to confusion and sadly you have already created it. I will ignore your comments about my knowledge etc. because they have no value and only expose petty mindedness.  I have no time to waste on any links.

Here is my response to "so what is your opinion [about the reports in Hadith]…………":

Which Hadith?  


Zahid Aziz:

The beliefs of other Muslims are certainly relevant because the very reason for your enquiry is that we differ from other Muslims in accepting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The underlying theme from you towards me is: Why are your beliefs different from other Muslims?

I asked about "the reports in Hadith that Jesus will return". But you respond: Which Hadith?

Are you unaware of the existence of such reports in Hadith books (e.g. Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)? If you have never heard of, or read about, or know of such hadith, then what does that say about your level of knowledge?

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
Had great respect for you but the last three messages have completely destroyed it. In that kind of environment we cannot achieve anything. I will not bother you again.
No hard feelings. May Allah bless you with peace.
Regards

D.


To readers of this blog:

People have the right to judge if my replies above should lead to respect for me being "completely destroyed".

Zahid Aziz 

March 7th, 2015

Holy Prophet Muhammad as a “mercy to the worlds”

I presented a talk at our Lahore Ahmadiyya London Centre last Sunday, 1st March 2015, under the above title, with the sub-title: "and the stories of the cat, dog, camel, bird, hen and ant".

Over the years, when I consulted books of Hadith (physical, printed ones) for some reference, I kept on coming across other reports of great interest, often not generally known, which shed light on the wonderful character of the Holy Prophet. I noted these down on the fly leaf of the book. For my recent talk, I compiled some of them together. Please see the article at this link.

February 17th, 2015

Islamic council of Gambia declares Ahmadies as Non-Muslim

Submitted by Abid Aziz.


The Islamic council of Gambia declares Ahmadies as Non-Muslim. The beliefs which they mention as Ahmadiyya beliefs are not our beliefs. Some of those beliefs are of qadiani jammat and the rest of them are baseless. You can read the news at this link.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201501262078.html

February 8th, 2015

What is a reasonable basis of interpreting the Quran?

Submitted by Yahya.


I thank Zahid Aziz for reminding us of the Quranic verses which are critical of people requiring explicit and unconditional proofs or verses. I am reminded of an alim arguing that if Christ had died the Quran should have mentioned it explicitly and provided details of his grave.

The heart of the question is what is a reasonable basis of interpreting the Quran? I do hope and trust that Zahid Aziz will expand on this topic for the benefit of all of us.

February 5th, 2015

Reply to allegations against Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of giving “false” references

By Zahid Aziz

A friend has drawn my attention to the following article on an anti-Ahmadiyya blog, which addresses some challenges to followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding some references he has given in his writings: http://ahmadiyyacult.blogspot.ca/p/videos.html

The article concludes: "Muslims believe that Mirza has written many record-breaking lies, whilst Mirza’s followers are brainwashed to believe that his writings are completely true."

This suggests that all Muslims, just as they believe in Allah, His angels, messengers, books, and Day of Judgment, they are also required to believe that "Mirza has written many record-breaking lies". A person not believing that "Mirza has written many record-breaking lies" is not a Muslim!

The first allegation is that "Mirza Ghulam Qadiani has written a so called 'ayah' of the Quran in his book. We guarantee you that this ayah as written in the video, does not exist!"

The reference given is to Barahin-i Ahmadiyya in Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 1, p. 601, and the following image of the page is provided by our opponents with highlighting by them:

challenge1

Before dealing with this allegation, here is a quick counter-challenge: We challenge you to declare that there is no verse in the Quran which can be translated by the lines of text which occur between the two blocks that you have highlighted.

What the objectors are concealing, deliberately and purposely, is that in that entire, long section, Hazrat Mirza sahib is quoting his own revelations (ilham), many of which are in Arabic. Many of these use and contain words and verses that occur in the Holy Quran. He writes this on p. 577: "I receive most revelations (ilham) in Arabic, particularly verses of the Quran … these are given below with translation." This continues much beyond p. 601.

The quotation from Barahin-i Ahmadiyya, which we are challenged to show from the Quran, is as follows:

‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama ‘alai-kum wa in ‘ud-tum ‘ud-nā wa ja‘al-nā jahannama lil-kāfirīna ḥaṣīra.

Obviously Hazrat Mirza sahib quotes this as his ilham, not word-for-word a verse of the Quran. Our opponents' objection is that Hazrat Mirza sahib later calls it: "This ayat…", while it is not a verse of the Quran.

What we find in the Quran is the following:

‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama-kum wa in ‘ud-tum ‘ud-nā wa ja‘al-nā jahannama lil-kāfirīna ḥaṣīra (17:8)

What is the difference between the two? Just that the quotation in Barahin-i Ahmadiyya reads yarḥama ‘alai-kum while the verse in the Quran reads yarḥama-kum. The extra ‘alai in Barahin-i Ahmadiyya means 'on', while in the verse of the Quran the same 'on' is understood. Every English translation of the Quran renders the first part of this verse using "on", as in : "It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you" (Pickthall).

Our opponents, on the page displayed by them, have highlighted the Arabic quotation, and then highlighted his Urdu words "This Ayat". Between these two highlighted texts is Hazrat Mirza sahib's Urdu translation of the Arabic quotation. Anyone reading that will see that it is nothing more than the meaning of the verse. Note that after the words "It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you", the next sentence of the verse is:

"And if you return, We will return."

Now every translator of the Quran has added words after "return" (or "revert"):

Pickthall: "but if ye repeat (the crime) we shall repeat (the punishment)"

Yusuf Ali: "but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments)"

Asad: "but if you revert [to sinning], We shall revert [to chastising you]"

Maudoodi (English version): "but if you again repeat your former behaviour We will again visit you with Our punishment". Maudoodi hasn't even placed the extra words in parentheses.

Hazrat Mirza sahib's Urdu rendering of this verse (which occurs in between the two texts highlighted by our opponents) is no more than being like one of the translations given above. Can our opponents claim and challenge that there is no verse in the Quran which can be translated according to the translation given by Hazrat Mirza sahib?

It is quite obvious to any person possessing the least sense of fairness that when, after giving his Urdu translation, Hazrat Mirza sahib says "this ayat" he means the verse of the Quran whose translation he has just given and which is almost the same in text, and identical in meaning, with his ilham.

The objectors are seeking to create the impression, falsely and deliberately, that he has claimed to quote a verse which doesn't at all exist in the Quran.

It may be added that the same ilham has been written by Hazrat Mirza sahib in two later books. In both of these its wording is exactly that of the verse of the Quran (‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama-kum …). See the book Arba‘in number 2, published 1900 (Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 17, p. 352, lines 7-8) and the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, published 1907 (Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 22, p. 85, lines 11-16).


Another challenge against us relates to the following statement by Hazrat Mirza sahib: "It is included in the Muslim belief that in the last era (aakhri zamana), thousands of Muslims will become of Jewish-like character, and this prophecy exists in many places in the Holy Qur'an."

We are challenged to provide a verse of the Quran saying that Muslims in the last days will become like Biblical Israelites.

In response, we quote the following from an article by Dr Israr Ahmad, the famous Pakistani religious scholar.

"The Holy Prophet Muhammad foretold that the same evils would arise among his followers as had arisen among the Israelites. He said: ‘If they, the Israelites, had crawled into the hole of a lizard, you will crawl into it too'. His words go so far that although one is hesitant to quote them, but they are the words of the Holy Prophet which I put before you. He said: ‘If there was a wretched man among the Israelites who committed incest with his own mother, then among you also shall arise such a wretched man'. The meaning is that all the evils, in terms of religion, doctrine, thought, knowledge and deeds, which came to prevail among the Israelites, shall also come to prevail among the Muslims. The text of the hadith is as follows: ‘All the things which happened to the Israelites shall also happen to my followers, just as one shoe matches the other shoe'. This is a most eloquent comparison. Look at a pair of shoes, and because the front parts of the two point in opposite directions, you see one shoe being apparently different from the other. But put the souls of the two shoes together, and they are identical. Similarly, the circumstances of the Israelites and the Muslims appear to be different, because after all, there is the distance of fourteen hundred years, and so there is some difference on the face of it. But if you look between the lines, you find that there is not a hair's breadth of difference. And as to the condition of the Jews described in the Holy Quran, each one of us must look at himself to see whether he is not a victim of that condition."

(London edition of Urdu daily newspaper Jang for 19 October 1987, page 3; bolding is mine. Note that this was now a news item but an article in a series penned by Dr Israr Ahmad)

At least Mirza Qadiani mentioned only "thousands of Muslims" acquiring bad attributes of the Biblical Israelites. According to Dr Israr Ahmad it is quite possible that each and every Muslim has become so, without a hair's breadth of difference!

In this challenge the objectors have demanded that we provide a verse of the Quran. The above quotation provides some hadith reports (which are from the soundest sources like Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi). So the question is: From where did the Holy Prophet get this knowledge of the future that Muslims would become like Jews? Obviously this knowledge was from Allah and it is the Holy Prophet's interpretation of some verses of the Quran!

So I suggest that these anti-Ahmadiyya critics challenge the Holy Prophet Muhammad, asking him (through his followers) to provide a verse of the Quran from which he concluded that Muslims of the last days would become like Jews!

The most laughable, and equally sad, aspect of the matter is that these objectors are proving the fulfilment of this prophecy themselves! They are demanding to see verses of the Quran which announce this prophecy literally and word-for-word. They are not prepared to accept verses from which it can be concluded, no matter how clearly, that Muslims would acquire the bad traits of Biblical Israelites. In this attitude and these demands they are actually following in the footsteps of the followers of Moses who demanded:

"Moses, we will not believe in you till we see Allah manifestly" (2:55).

Then there were those who claimed that they couldn't understand the order "Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow" (2:67), without being told specifically which cow it was referring to. Even as it was made more specific, they kept on demanding more clarity.

The striking resemblance in religious outlook between Muslims and their religious leaders of modern times, on the one hand, and the Jewish religious leaders and followers of the time of Jesus, on the other hand, is an actual, observable fact. As Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote in his book Shahadat-ul-Quran: "Leaving aside the prophecies for a moment, look at the situation rationally as a truth seeker, as to whether the case of the Muslims of this age and the Jews of the time of Jesus fulfils the words 'one shoe matching the other shoe'." When something is an established fact, then it adds to the glory of the Quran if it can be found prophesied in it.


Another challenge against us relates to a statement by Hazrat Mirza sahib that the Quran and Hadith contain prophecies that when the Promised Messiah appears he will be bitterly opposed by the Muslim Ulama. Our objectors have listed several points of this opposition as mentioned by Hazrat Mirza sahib: that he will be persecuted by the Muslim Ulama, they will declare him a kafir, issue fatwas to kill him, he will be abused, declared out of the fold of Islam, and considered a destroyer of the religion of Islam.

They want us to show where this is prophesied. Again, they themselves have fulfilled these prophecies by persecuting him, calling him kafir, abusing him etc. Their own article is proof of it! After all, they could have declared him as stupid, not worthy of any attention because his teachings are so obviously nonsense. They could have said that there is not even any need to declare him kafir or waste time on him, so obvious a fraud he is. But no, his opponents, including authors of this article, proved the truth of the prophecy that they would treat him in this way.

This is prophesied in the Quran as follows:

"And We indeed gave Moses the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Is it then that whenever a messenger came to you with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And some you rejected and others you would kill." (2:87)

In the likeness of Moses was the Holy Prophet Muhammad, according to the Quran. In the likeness of "messengers like him" were the men of God and mujaddids who arose after the Holy Prophet. In the likeness of Jesus was the Promised Messiah. Islamic history shows that the mujaddids and other great spiritual leaders were bitterly persecuted and declared kafir by the Ulama of the time. This opposition is indicated and summed up in the verse above in the words we have placed in bold.


On the topic of Muslims, in particular their religious leaders, following in the footsteps of the Israelites, the book Tazkira by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, published in 1919, contains several references to it.

1. "Today the determination of Islam and faith [i.e., whether a certain Muslim is good or bad] depends entirely on certain issues of minor doctrinal difference. … All efforts are directed only towards finding out what a certain person believes as to certain irrelevant secondary matters. No one looks to what are the deeds of that person. … [As regards good behaviour] no matter what someone is like in discarding everything from Islam, if he agrees with us in certain secondary issues of difference we consider him to be the best person on earth! This was exactly how the Jews went astray, that they were intoxicated with the pride of being Israelites. "And they say: Fire will not touch us except for a few days" [the Quran, 3:24]. This arrogance in [believing yourself to be right in] doctrinal matters is a very great evil and today it is corroding the backbone of the Muslims." (p. 72)

2. "It was this hiding of truth which was the curse that afflicted the Ulama of the Jews: "There are many of them who hide the truth while they know" [the Quran, 2:146]. Regrettably, the same fate, 'inch by inch, step by step', befell the evil Ulama of this Ummah. They are the Jews of this Ummah." (p. 77)

The words 'inch by inch, step by step' here have been taken by Maulana Azad from the hadith in Sahih Muslim.

3. "The Holy Prophet had repeatedly and clearly prohibited this Ummah from committing the wrong-doing of the Jews. … He said clearly: "Do not do what the Jews did, that by using pretexts and excuses they declared as lawful what God had forbidden". But sadly, exactly that happened which this truthful one was anxious about, and in this Ummah too Sadducees and Pharisees came into existence who, under the description 'one shoe matching the other shoe', created exactly the same pretexts and ways of deviousness in Islam." (p. 88)

4. On page 270 of this book the hadith is quoted which in the Muhsin Khan translation of Bukhari occurs as follows:

The Prophet said, "You will follow the wrong ways of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a mastigure [i.e. lizard], you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" (Meaning, of course, the Jews and the Christians.) 

Abul Kalam Azad then goes on to mention versions of the same hadith reported by Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud.

5. On pages 278-283, Abul Kalam Azad discusses how all the Hadith prophecies about the decline of Muslims and their becoming like mushrikeen have been fulfilled, and "we are seeing it with our own eyes", but he adds:

"How lacking in the faculty of reason and how deprived of insight are those neglectful people who, reading these reports, think that all this will happen only a few years before the Day of Judgment, and we must wait centuries to see it happen."

Commenting on this attitude he writes:

"The Holy Prophet said: 'My Ummah will do everything which the Jews did.' This is exactly the Jewishness, that prophecy after prophecy was being fulfilled but the Jews still kept on waiting, saying, the time has not yet come" (p. 282)

In the above quotations Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has clearly and repeatedly expressed the view that the Quran and Hadith contain prophecies that Muslim Ulama would copy the evil attributes shown before them by the Jewish Ulama, and that those prophecies have been fulfilled.


More on hadith report in Sahih Muslim. The hadith in Sahih Muslim is as follows (translation taken from well-known online translation of Sahih Muslim):

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words) "those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)? (Book: 'Knowledge', ch. 3, hadith no. 6448)

There is a famous commentary of Sahih Muslim by An-Nawawi (d. 1277 C.E.). Under this hadith, he writes:

"What is meant is resemblance in terms of disobedience and opposition, not in terms of kufr."

He means that the resemblance will not be that Muslims will become non-Muslims like Jews and Christians, but that they will resemble them in disobedience of God and the Prophet and opposition to the truth. Then he adds this:

"And in this there is a miracle (mu`jiza) of the Messenger of Allah because what he foretold has happened."

Our opponents have challenged us to show this prophecy from a verse of the Quran. They allege that Hazrat Mirza sahib has falsely attributed it to the Quran. But here a great Imam and Hadith scholar of the Muslims declares this prophecy to be a miracle of the Holy Prophet because even by his time it was being fulfilled.

January 23rd, 2015

Forwarding e-mails about “Islam in danger”

Frequently we receive an e-mail forwarded by some friend, who was forwarded it by some friend, who in turn was forwarded it by someone else, and so on and on, warning about some latest danger or plan against Islam and Muslims, and we are asked to forward it further to all our contacts and take this or that action. But the Quran says:

"But if any news of security or fear comes to them, they spread it about. And if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those of them who can search out knowledge of it would have known it. And if it were not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would certainly have followed the devil except a few." (4:83)

So the Quran gave us teachings about such situations 1400 years ago: Don't forward it because your friend or the e-mail says so. If you want to do anything, investigate its authenticity.

The Quran says Muslims should "believe and do good". One may say, as a joke, that "belief" to today's Muslims means believing in any e-mail forwarded by a friend. And what is a good deed (amal salih)? It is of course to forward the e-mail to all your contacts!

January 12th, 2015

Should I (-Muslim) apologize?

Submitted by Ikram.


Should I (–Muslim) Apologize?

The recent massacre in Paris has brought to front dichotomy of faith and democracy. It raises more question than it answers. If faith is served by killing others in the name of faith, then it is not faith but barbarism. If democracy is to protect freedom of speech then let every expression be allowed in the market place of ideas no matter how painful it maybe to some. Let N-word, K-word and H-Denial and the Hate-Speech be brought out of their protection in the open and be at par with caricature fad that hurts a billion, and there be no suppression of any hate or angry speech. Let anti-Semitism laws be equally applied to protect Muhammad (PBUH) who was a Semite. Let the ideas fight it out. Let freedom of speech define itself and standup to its very definition rather than its selective usage. Will democracies allow it so? Will the political expediency permit it? Haven’t we lost freedom in the name of freedom?

Should a Muslim apologize for lunatic act of another Muslim? Answer is plain no. Let the lunatic suffer the consequence of his or her depravity, the ignominy, both here and in the hereafter. Yes, such an act does create a sense of shame because those of us who have read Muhammad (PBUH) can rightfully believe that neither he, nor Quran permits it. To the victims we offer condolences and heartfelt prayers.

Should I grieve as a human? Yes, because every life is irreplaceable. Victim or a Villain of one side might be hero of another, but it is more of history that judges right from the wrong, than the moment when it occurred. Colonization and Colonial wars, Slavery wars, World Wars, Korean war, Vietnam war, Iraq wars, Afghan wars etc. all started by claiming self-righteousness but history tells us otherwise only after millions perished. Have we learnt our lesson? Irrespective of winner or loser, has any side apologized to the other? Has Catholic Church, Church of England or Dutch Reformed Church apologized to those whom they colonized?

Do the believers of freedoms endorse the fundamental human rights, both in their domestic and foreign policies, starting with: And (all) people are but a single nation (10:19); whoever kills a person, unless it is for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind (5:32); O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers (49:11)?

Muslims who feel hurt by disrespectful speech in the name of freedom of press, or otherwise, for them Quran gives guidance:

4:148. Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech, except by one who has been wronged.* And Allah is ever Hearing, Knowing.

* The use of defamatory speech of every kind regarding others is strictly forbidden, but justification for it may exist in case a person has in some way been wronged.

4:149. If you do good openly or keep it secret or pardon an evil, Allah surely is ever Pardoning, Powerful.*

*If you pardon the evil which anyone has done to you, Allah will pardon your evils, and grant you even good reward; He is not only Pardoning, but also Powerful to grant good reward.

The Muslim experience in days of the Prophet may not be different than the modern world, though the modalities have changed. Quran tells us how to endure it:

3:186. You will certainly be tried in your property and your persons. And you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.*

*This verse speaks of the future, in fact the distant future. The abuses which have been heaped on Islam in the past two centuries are without a parallel in the whole history of religion. The scurrilous language of Western publications, political as well as Christian, and the vituperations of their imitators elsewhere have exceeded all moral bounds. But Muslims are taught in this verse to bear all such abuse only with patience. (Editor’s Note: Hence it is not at allrequired or even allowed in Islam that Muslims should respond by killing or physically attacking those who vilify Islam and its Holy Prophet. See also 20:130, 33:48, 73:10, 4:140 and 6:68 which lead to the same conclusion.)

20:130. So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and parts of the day, that you may be well pleased.*

*The Holy Prophet, while told to bear persecutions patiently for a time, is also told to seek comfort in prayer. And he did find comfort in prayer under the severest persecutions. “The coolness of my eyes is in prayer,” he is reported to have said (Mishkat, 25)…

33:48. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard their annoying talk,* and rely on Allah. And Allah is sufficient as having charge of affairs.

* In the mention of annoying talk there is a clear reference to the carpings of his petty-minded critics, who try to misrepresent the greatest source of righteousness which the world has ever witnessed, as an evil. The Prophet is told to disregard this annoying talk, as the time would come when the question would be asked: how is it that the Prophet illumined the world and opened the floodgates of light to a benighted world, if it was darkness that reigned supreme in his own mind? (Editor’s Note: “Disregard their annoying talk” also shows that a Muslim must not become inflamed by verbal abuse of his religion, and if his reply has no effect on the abuser then he should simply ignore the hurtful comments.)

73:10. And bear patiently what they say and turn away from them with a dignified withdrawal.

4:140. And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s messages disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse, for then indeed you would be like them.*

*See 6:68 which was revealed at Makkah. Muslims are told to leave the assembly where truth is derided. Criticism is quite a different thing and a Muslim should always be ready to meet any criticism of his religion. (Editor’s Note: Thus the response when faced with mere ridicule of Islam is to withdraw, temporarily, from that company of people and rejoin them later when they stop their mocking. It is therefore entirely wrong to believe that Muslims are required to attack physically, still less kill, those who deride their religion.)

6:68. And when you see those who talk nonsense about Our messages, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse. And if the devil cause you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people.

I must also admit that I am writing this all because of democracy, but democracy has still a long way to go.

Reference: The Holy Quran, Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.

January 9th, 2015

Reform in Islam to come from within

Submitted by Yahya.


The economist has an interesting article on reform in Islam:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/01/reforming-islam

I commented as below (buried in 4 pages of comments to this economist article):

"Look, for example, at the personally courageous stance of Hamza Yusuf, an American-born scholar with a wide following in the Islamic heart-land"

Ah where was the courage of Hamza Yusuf when he backtracked and apostasized the Lahori Ahmadis and removed his youtube of half hearted praise.

Courage is exhibited when a scholar upholds principles that can be deeply unpopular at the time.   Hamza Yusuf did not pass this test.

https://www.sandala.org/blog/sticks-and-drones

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/movement/hamza_yusuf_reply.pdf

Could I ask Zahid Aziz and other readers to maybe comment as to what is courage in the Islamic context and how muslims today can exhibit courage in the face of terrorism and extremism we are now being confronted with.