The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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

— latest, 21 July 2014: Standards Adhered to in Interpretation of Quran from within Quran


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


June 28th, 2014

Ramadan Daily Quran Study, June-July 2014

Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2014

This year we will be studying the fundamental teachings of Islam, based on the treatment in the renowned book The Religion of Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali. I will be presenting edited and abridged extracts from this book under various topics, along with additions by myself. The book itself is firmly based on the Holy Quran, from which it quotes extensively.

Ramadan Message by Head of Lahore Ahmadiyya, Hazrat Ameer, Dr A.K. Saeed

  • Fast 1 — Name Islām
  • Fast 2 — About the Quran
  • Fast 3 — The Quran: its arrangement
  • Fast 4 — The Quran: its collection in writing
  • Fast 5 — Sunnah and Hadith
  • Fast 6 — Hadith Collections
  • Fast 7 — Exercise of Judgment or Ijtihād
  • Fast 8 — Schools of Jurisprudence
  • Fast 9 — Faith or Belief (īmān)
  • Fast 10 — Faith or Belief (īmān)
  • Fast 11 — Belief in God: The existence of God
  • Fast 12 — Belief in God: The existence of God - Evidence of human nature
  • Fast 13 — Belief in God: The existence of God — evidence of revelation
  • Fast 14 — Belief in God: The oneness of God (Tauḥid)
  • Fast 15 — Belief in God: The oneness of God (Tauḥid) — Various forms of shirk
  • Fast 16 — Belief in God: The attributes and names of God
  • Fast 17 — Belief in God: The attributes of God
  • Fast 18 — Belief in God: The attributes of God — other names of God
  • Fast 19 — Belief in God: The attributes of God — man’s goal to attain them
  • Fast 20 — Angels
  • Fast 21 — Angels: Their functions
  • Fast 22 — Revealed Books: What is revelation and the need for it?
  • Fast 23 — Revealed Books: Revelation is universal
  • Fast 24 — Revealed Books: Quran as judge over previous scriptures
  • Fast 25 — Prophets
  • Fast 26 — Prophets: appeared in each nation, and Muhammad (s) came for all of them
  • Fast 27 — Prophets: Finality of Prophethood
  • Extra for Fast 27  Lailat-ul-Qadr or the Night of Majesty
  • Fast 28 — Life after Death
  • Fast 29 — Life after Death: begins in this world
  • Fast 30 — Life after Death: paradise and hell

This is the seventh year that I have been enabled to produce these daily Ramadan Quran Studies. I hope these daily extracts have added to our knowledge.
 
My inspiration and motivation comes from our Lahore Ahmadiyya pioneering leaders. They established the practice of the dars of the Holy Quran, both outside and within the month of Ramadan, in the days when Muslims generally considered only the recitation of the Quran to be their sufficient duty. This practice was then taken up gradually by other Muslim groups.

I wish all of you a very happy and blessed Eid-ul-Fitr.

 — Zahid Aziz
June 23rd, 2014

The late Colonel Mahmud Shaukat

It was with great pain and deep sadness that we learnt of the death of Colonel Mahmud Shaukat, which took place in Florida, USA, on 26th April 2014. Inna li-llahi wa inna ilai-hi rajioon. He was about 90 years of age.

There have been many people in the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at who served its cause quietly and unassumingly, while their names, qualities and sacrifices are not widely known or prominent. The late Colonel Shaukat sahib was one such man. I became acquainted with him during his stays at our London centre as Imam during the 1980s and then again in the mid-1990s. This short tribute is based on my contact and experiences with him.

A “man of God” would be the truest description of Shaukat sahib. The dhikr of Allah was ever on his lips, but silently and imperceptibly. I remember that he had a note book in which he had noted down various prayers and supplications. These, however, were not supplications by rote or recited as a custom and ritual, but they came from his heart.

Among his sacrifices for the Jama‘at, and that of his wife, Asma, was that they came to stay at our London Centre where Shaukat sahib served as Imam, giving up their own home and comforts. He did so in response to the request by his father-in-law Hazrat Dr Saeed Ahmad sahib, who was also Head of the Jama‘at at the time. Shaukat sahib worked as Imam in an honorary capacity, taking no recompense for his duties. In fact, he even offered to pay rent for his accommodation at the Centre.

His talks and khutbahs were simple but inspiring. He was most hospitable, warm, friendly, affectionate, social and courteous. When people visited our London Centre, he loved inviting them upstairs to the small flat where he and his wife lived, and entertaining them.

During the 1990s, at our London Centre we organised what were called ‘Young People Classes’ a number of times, run by myself and my wife Fauqia. Young people, whose ages ranged up to their early twenties, stayed at the Centre for two or three days receiving religious instruction and participating in educational and social activities. When Shaukat sahib was present as Imam in London, he gave to the class, and in fact to the teachers as well, the benefit of his Quranic knowledge as well as his paternal affection. I then realised the depth of his knowledge of the Quran and benefitted from it.

He recounted events of the past. If my memory serves me right, Shaukat sahib had met Mahatma Gandhi. I do clearly remember that he mentioned seeing Muhammad Asad, the Austrian Muslim convert who is known for his English translation of the Quran (The Message of the Quran). He said this was when Asad had come to Abbottabad to meet Hazrat Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan sahib. This would be in the 1940s.

Shaukat sahib had a close contact with Allah, and as a result he had great moral qualities as well as moral strength. Due to this spiritual strength, he made many sacrifices to serve the cause that he believed in. Shaukat sahib remained steadfastly loyal to Ahmadiyyat despite great pressure being brought to bear on him from certain close quarters around him to dissociate himself from the Jama‘at. He referred to this in speeches sometimes, saying that remaining within Ahmadiyyat was spiritual life, and abandoning it was spiritual death. When the UK Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at held a convention in 2009, Shaukat sahib, who then lived in the USA, sent a speech to be read out. This speech was published in The Light, UK Edition, October 2009. It begins as follows:

“My speech is inspired by a small personal incident, and this incident, I believe, foretold of events in the future. It happened over 50 years ago when the late Syed Assadullah Shah sahib, a very pious Ahmadi and a recipient of ilham (Divine revelation), used to stay with the late Hazrat Ameer Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan. People went to Shah sahib for praying for them. My father also requested him to pray for his sons. The answer to his prayers was: “Two will also die”. The record of this ilham and of others is kept in the late Hazrat Ameer’s papers, with dates and signatures. This ilham was not about the physical death, an end which everyone will surely meet, but regarding the spiritual death. Later events con­firmed this, when in 1974 Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim by the government of Pakistan. My two brothers (I being the third) gave an advertise­ment in a leading English newspaper that they, the two of them, were Muslims and not Ahmadis etc. Mark the words of the ilham: “the two will die”. This is no slur on their decision because they did what they sincerely believed. But for me, when I believe in the rightness and genuineness of Hazrat Mirza sahib’s mission, a turning away from Ahmadiyyat would have been a total spiritual death. I am very thankful to God that He saved me from this very ignoble death. Shah sahib’s ilham was fulfilled and God’s decree and command was carried out.”

His making this statement openly in a speech, with reference to his close family members, shows the height of courage and the greatest sense of truth and justice that he possessed. Shaukat sahib suffered material and worldly loss, which he cheerfully accepted, in the path of remaining loyal and true to the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at.

Shaukat sahib was widely read and was always reading some latest book. One subject he was greatly interested in was research on Afghans and Pathans being descended from the Israelites. He gave me an Urdu book on this topic, which I have just located in my books. It is an 80 page historical research book entitled Afghanon Ki Nasli Tarikh written by Khan Roshan Khan, published in Karachi, 1981. The book concludes: “Afghans who are in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, are in fact remnants of the exiled tribes of the Israelites”, and the author adds “just as our ancient ancestors were granted by Allah to follow the law of Moses and the guidance of Jesus, He graced us and our forefathers with the blessing of the religion of Islam after the appearance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad”.

I have also just located manuscripts of three articles by Shaukat sahib which he sent me for future publication, when he was Imam here in UK, but which I have been remiss so far in publishing.

Shaukat sahib was a man of high spiritual standing, who received true dreams and communications from Allah. He was a man of the utmost sincerity and humility, who was self-effaced in Allah. And now he has returned to his beloved Allah. May Allah grant him forgiveness and protection, admit him into His mercy, raise his grades in the hereafter, and join him with His righteous servants, ameen.

 Zahid Aziz

June 11th, 2014

Some hadith on women and Maulana Muhammad Ali’s view

1. There is a report in Bukhari as follows:

Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet said, "If your women ask permission to go to the mosque at night, allow them." (Muhsin Khan translation, Book 12, Number 824).

Commenting on this in his Urdu translation and commentary of Bukhari, Maulana Muhammad Ali writes:

"At night the risk of that danger is even greater, for the fear of which Muslims do not allow their women to go to mosques during daytime. How far removed is the present condition of Muslims from this instruction of the Holy Prophet! This cannot mean that permission has to be sought every time they want to go to the mosque. Its real intent is that husbands are forbidden to prevent their wives from going to mosques." (Fazl-ul-Bari, 1st edition, p. 215)

2. It appears from various hadith reports that the next generation of Muslims after the Companions wanted to set aside and infringe this instruction of the Holy Prophet. Just read the report below from Sahih Muslim:

Abdullah b. Umar reported: I heard Allah's Messenger say: Don't prevent your women from going to the mosque when they seek your permission. Bilal b. Abdullah said: By Allah, we shall certainly prevent them. On this Abdullah b. Umar turned towards him and reprimanded him so harshly as I had never heard him do before. He (Abdullah b. Umar) said: I am narrating to you that which comes from the Messenger of Allah and you say: By Allah, we shall certainly prevent them.

Ibn Umar reported: Grant permission to women for going to the mosque in the night. His son, who was called Waqid, said: Then they would make mischief. He (the narrator) said: He thumped his (son's) chest and said: I am narrating to you the hadith of the Messenger of Allah and you say: No! (Abdul Hamid Siddiqui translation, book 3, chapter 28)

This, it seems, was the beginning of the movement among Muslims to roll back the rights which the Holy Prophet gave to women. Then there is the following saying in both Bukhari and Muslim attributed to Aishah:

"If the Messenger of Allah had seen what new things the women have introduced (in their way of life) he would have definitely prevented them from going to the mosque, as the women of Bani Isra'il were prevented."

What "new things" refers to is that, apparently, some women were going to mosques displaying their beauty, wearing jewellery, fragrance, etc. However, this statement amounts to saying that the Holy Prophet gave a mistaken teaching because he did not know that people would abuse this permission in the future. Such a weak statement cannot be attributed to the Hazrat Aishah. It undermines the very prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to assert that he wouldn't have given a certain teaching if he had known the bad effects that it would lead to!

Maulana Muhammad Ali makes the following comment on this statement:

"This is nothing more than speculation by Hazrat Aishah. Neither had the Holy Prophet seen the times of the women of Bani Isra'il, nor had he forbidden them. It is also not proved that the women of Bani Isra'il were forbidden to go to their places of worship for this reason. The Holy Prophet found both men and women in the worst moral condition, and he reformed them. In regard to this opinion of Hazrat Aishah it can be said that if the Holy Prophet had seen the circumstances of the women of earlier times, he would have reformed them too, not forbidden them to enter mosques. The work of a reformer is to reform people, not to stop them from doing a good work due to some shortcoming in them. Ever since women have been removed from participating in Muslim communal life, and kept in ignorance of national affairs, the condition of the Muslims has fallen into decline. It is a matter of regret that women have been rendered incapable of doing worldly work and at the same time they have been deprived of performing religious duties." (ibid., p. 216)

3. The hadith from Bukhari given above, "If your women ask permission to go to the mosque at night, allow them", is given in Abu Dawud as follows:

"Do not prevent your women from visiting the mosque; but their houses are better for them (for praying)."

"It is more excellent for a woman to pray in her house than in her courtyard, and more excellent for her to pray in her private chamber than in her house."

Maulana Muhammad Ali has commented on this version of this report in his note in Fazl-ul-Bari at the point where the above hadith occurs. He writes:

"The five hadith reports in this chapter [in Bukhari] contain testimony that in the time of the Holy Prophet women said prayers with the congregation in the mosque. In Abu Dawud and Ibn Khazimah it is reported from Ibn Umar "Do not prevent your women from visiting the mosque; but their houses are better for them". If this were true then the Holy Prophet himself would have directed women to pray in their houses as it is better. However, all hadith that are in Bukhari mention that women used to join prayers in the mosques with the congregation. None of them mention that the Holy Prophet told women that it is better for you to pray at home." (Fazl-ul-Bari, 1st edition, p. 215)

It can be seen in the cases I have noted above that Maulana Muhammad Ali has given preference to the hadith which accords rights to women, of participation in Muslim society with men, and rejected reports which restrict and deny those rights. Most Muslim opinion is the other way round, and regards the restricting reports as holding a higher place than the one which only mentions the rights.

Zahid Aziz

June 4th, 2014

Polygamy and world population sex ratio

Recently there was a discussion on a Pakistani TV channel about the Ulama's opposition to Ayub Khan's Family Law Ordinance of the 1960s, one point under discussion being that this law attempted to restrict polygamy. Those supporting the Ulama were arguing that in Islam it is a man's right and his choice to marry more than one woman.

It struck me recently that the number of males and females in the population of any country must be about equal. Any variation, with country or with age group, (I remembered reading a long time ago) would be about 5%. Therefore, for every 100 males there would exist at the most 105 females. On a simplistic basis, this would suggest that, after each of those 100 males has married one female, there are only 5 females left available to those 100 males to contract a polygamous marriage with!

I have looked up statistics of sex ratio by country and by age within countries. Please see this link.

If you look at the map in the top right corner, and glance at Muslim countries, you will see that they are among the countries where the number of males is greater than the number of females!

Looking at the table of countries, in all countries slightly more males are born than females. We can also look at column 4, which is for the age group 15 to 64 and may be more relevant in our discussion. In this age group, per 100 females Pakistan has 105 males, Iran has 102, Turkey 102, Egypt 103, Indonesia 101, Malaysia 101.

(Note that for this age group only, figures for the Gulf states are distorted due to foreign workers being largely male, so Qatar has 246 males per 100 females in this range!)

It is only in the over 65 group that we find a larger number of females than males. This is due to women having a greater life expectancy than men (Pakistan has 88 males per 100 females in this group).

On the basis of this data, the scope for polygamy is extremely limited. The only way to have significant polygamy would be for some men to deprive other men of having even one wife! For instance, out of 100 men, 50 men could marry two women each, thus leaving 50 men without a wife!

Zahid Aziz.

May 1st, 2014

Reply to allegation that Maulana Muhammad Ali brought Jamaat funds from Qadian to Lahore in 1914

It is a common allegation by members of the Qadiani Jamaat that when Maulana Muhammad Ali migrated from Qadian to Lahore at the time of the Split, he took with him to Lahore all the funds of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, of which he was Secretary.

It so happened that looking in the issues of the Urdu edition of the Review of Religions, I found that every issue contains at the end accounts of the income and expenditure of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya for the previous month. Looking at some issues prior to the Split, I noticed that the accounts are signed off by the muhasib (accountant or auditor) whose name is given as Khalifa Rashid-udDin. This gentleman was father-in-law of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, and after the Split he was in the Qadiani Jamaat. So here we find a prominent Qadiani keeping an eye on the accounts of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya even long before the Split!

The April 1914 issue does not present the accounts for March 1914, but the May 1914 issue (under control of the Qadiani Jamaat) presents accounts for both March 1914 and April 1914. I have extracted pages 193-194 and 195-196 of that issue showing these accounts for March and April. See this link.

The monthly accounts carry several headings such as education, the poor, school, propagation of Islam, etc. Under these headings there is a figure for the total of funds carried forward from the previous month (sabiqa baqaya), and then, after income and expenditure, the remaining total for the current month (baqaya).

In the end of March accounts I have marked in red all the baqaya entries, which are eight in all. In the end of April accounts I have marked in red all the eight sabiqa baqaya entries, i.e. the totals carried forward from end of March accounts to end of April accounts.

As far as I can see, each of these totals as it was at the end of March 1914, when Maulana Muhammad Ali was in Qadian, is exactly the same as the corresponding "carried forward" total at the end of April, by which time Maulana Muhammad Ali had left Qadian and these funds were in the hands of the Qadiani Jamaat!

This, if I am right, is absolute and positive proof, coming from a Qadiani Jamaat publication, that all the funds of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya remained with the Qadiani Jamaat after Maulana Muhammad Ali left Qadian, and he took nothing. Praise be to Allah, that He enabled us to find such clear proof!

Zahid Aziz

April 27th, 2014

Some website developments

1. I have made the English Translation of the Holy Quran (2010 Revised Edition) available in two more formats on www.ahmadiyya.org as below:

  1. HTML format. This is a single webpage consisting of only the translation with chapter introductions, but without footnotes.
  2. E-book formats: mobi (for Kindle) and epub. This corresponds to the entire printed book, except that from the introduction only the first two sections (the life of the Holy Prophet and about the Quran itself) have been included. In these versions the page entitled 'Features of the e-book edition' explains how the book is organized. My experimentation shows that the precise appearance of the e-book varies according to the device and the reader software you use. I have tested it on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 inch Tablet and a Samsung Galaxy 4 inch screen smartphone, using the Kindle app for mobi and Universal Book Reader for epub.

2. You may recall that at the event we held in May 2013 to commemorate the centenary of the Woking Muslim Mission, five newsreel film clips of functions at the Woking Mosque, made by the British Pathe newsreel company of old, were played. We had to pay a licence fee of several hundred Pounds for just that one public performance of the clips. On our website www.wokingmuslim.org we could only refer our readers to the British Pathe website if they wanted to watch any clip, and that too was in the low resolution used on their website. To place those clips on our website, we would have been charged a licence fee of several thousands of Pounds per year.

A few days ago British Pathe made their entire collection of newsreels available on YouTube in high resolution. So on the www.wokingmuslim.org website I have now added links to the clips on YouTube, after identifying the ones of interest to us. Please go to the Home Page and look at the top banner. From there you can play the two clips of most interest that are highlighted, and also go to the page from where all the clips can be accessed.

April 20th, 2014

Qadiani Jamaat forsakes its beliefs and adopts Lahori beliefs

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri


 

In newspaper advertisements last week the Qadiani Jamaat placed full page advertisements giving their beliefs. In those advertisements they clearly said the Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Reformer.

They did not mention their real beliefs that they believe him to be a Prophet and every person who recites the kalima but refuses to take an oath of allegiance on the hand of their khalifa is out of the fold of Islam.

In this video we will explain the real belief of the Qadiani Jamaat and provide evidence of what they are trying to hide from the mainstream.

Please watch video on following link:

http://www.virtualmosque.co.uk/qadianis-forsake-theirs-and-adopt-lahori-beliefs/

April 8th, 2014

“If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One?”

At this link, under the title given above, please learn about the new book: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee,​ at the website of the US news organization NPR.

April 1st, 2014

Is religious extremism a mental illness?

A friend of this blog has referred us to this news in the Digital Journal.

"Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness."