The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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

latest, 18th December 2017: Angels or Angelic — Winged or Winged with Power?


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


February 17th, 2018

Jan Kasapa — The Orphan Prophet

In the issue of The Light, Lahore, English organ of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (1st April 1944), there is an article about a book Tarikh-i Rashidi written by the Mughal conqueror of Kashmir, Mirza Haider Beg (d. 1550), stating that in this book Mirza Haider Beg mentions that certain followers of Buddha in Tibet believe in the coming of a future prophet, and he told them that the signs they mention were fulfilled in the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

I have placed the article on a separate page of this blog at this link.

After reading this article, I traced an English translation of the book online. To see the passage referred to in The Light article, please see from the third paragraph of this link.

If you are interested in the entire book, you can download it in pdf form (13 MB) from this link. For this reference see pages 415-416 of the printed book, corresponding to pages 576-577 of the pdf file.

Note that Shaká Muni mentioned in this book is a title of the Buddha. This shows that Muslims realized in the 1500s that prophets had appeared in India and that the Buddha had prophesied the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

For information on Mirza Haider Beg, see this link.

(Note on author of article in The Light: The author is one of my elders Dr Nazir-ul-Islam (Ph.D., Germany, d. 1983). I knew him in the late 1970s when he was Imam of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Centre in London. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War he served, while a student, as temporary Imam of the Berlin Mosque.)

January 6th, 2018

Re-marriage after divorce in Christianity and Islam

An article by Zahid Aziz

The question of re-marriage of a divorcee in church has come under public discussion after the announcement that Prince Harry of England is to marry a divorced woman, Meghan Markle. For example, the UK newspaper Metro carried an article on 28 November 2017 entitled ‘Will Prince Harry and divorcee Meghan Markle be allowed to get married in a church?’ The Daily Express carried an article on 27 November, ‘Prince Harry CAN marry divorcee Meghan Markle at Westminster Abbey’, which began as follows:

“Question marks have been raised over whether Meghan and Prince Harry would legally be allowed to have their wedding within the Church of England as tradition dictates.”

It goes on to quote a church spokesman for Westminster Abbey who said that since 2002 “it has been possible for divorced people to be married in the Church of England”.

Read in full… 

December 17th, 2017

Death of Mrs Samina Ahmed of UK

I have to report with regret, grief and sadness, the death of Mrs Samina Ahmed of UK, which took place on 14 December 2017. Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi rajioon.

She was 55 years of age and had suffered from multiple sclerosis since her youth. She was my sister, and sister of Mr Shahid Aziz.

She was married to Mr Paul Selim Ahmed, an English convert to Islam and a regular and valuable contributor to the literary work of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (including the revision of the volume of Muhammad in World Scriptures dealing with prophecies from the Bible; see this link.)

In her prime Samina used to write articles in Lahore Ahmadiyya magazines and give talks at the UK Lahore Ahmadiyya Centre. Here are two examples of her articles: (1) The Light (Lahore), 24 April 1981, and (2) The Islamic Guardian, July-December 1983.

The photo below is from the summer of 1970 and shows Samina, with her mother Mrs Akhtar Aziz on the left, and on the right Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi (the father of Mrs Aziz):

The photo below is from September 2012, at Samina's 50th birthday:

 

— Zahid Aziz

December 12th, 2017

Allegation against Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of so-called “misquoting” of the Quran

This post is in further reference to the first part of my post of 2015 at this link, where I replied to the allegation that what Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad quoted as a verse of the Quran "does not exist".

There is a hadith in Sahih Bukhari, reported by Anas, whose translation by Muhsin Khan begins as follows:

Zaid bin Haritha came to the Prophet (ﷺ) complaining about his wife. The Prophet (ﷺ) kept on saying (to him), "Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife." Aisha said, "If Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) were to conceal anything (of the Qur'an) he would have concealed this Verse."

(See this link for the translation as well as the original Arabic.)

Does the statement given in this hadith, "Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife" (اتَّقِ اللَّهَ، وَأَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ‏), occur anywhere in the Quran? According to the criterion applied to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's writings by his opponents, no such verse exists in the Quran which contains this statement.

Of course, what this hadith is referring to is the verse 33:37 which contains the statement: "Keep your wife and be afraid of Allah" (اَمۡسِکۡ عَلَیۡکَ زَوۡجَکَ وَ اتَّقِ اللّٰہَ).

No one with any sense of fairness or having the least commonsense would say that there is any material difference between the statement as quoted in this hadith and the same statement as it occurs in the Quran.

Will our opponents allege that someone in this hadith has quoted a verse "which does not exist"? Will our opponents say, absurdly, that the Holy Prophet had actually uttered the words to Zaid "Be afraid of Allah and keep your wife", but Allah when revealing the Quran misquoted the Holy Prophet and wrongly stated that the Prophet had said: "Keep your wife and be afraid of Allah"?

It is our opponents who now need to answer these questions.


However, to introduce a little commonsense into the matter, please read below.

The Life of Muhammad is the English translation of a voluminous Arabic biography of the Holy Prophet by the late Muhammad Husein Haykal of Egypt, one of the greatest writers of modern Arabic literature, and a renowned novelist, politician and journalist. The translation was done by Ismail Ragi Al -Faruqui, a reputable scholar of Islam.

The following passage occurs in this translation:

'The eternal truth is that man does not fulfil his iman until he has desired for his fellow man that which he has loved for himself, and has acted and lived in accordance with the principle, "The worthier among you in the sight of God is the more pious, the more virtuous … Work and realize the good, for God will reckon your achievement" and you will be given exactly what you have earned.'

(Bolding is mine. Chapter Conclusion in two Essays, Essay II, p. 569. Edition published by Shorouk International of London and Cairo, 1983)

Referring to the quotation in this extract (which I gave in bold text above), the translator has added a note at this point which is as follows:

"Qur'an, 49:13; 4:106. The author does not quote these words in the manner proper to Quranic words, but uses them as his own — a perfectly permissive literary feature in Arabic. The last part of the sentence not included within quotation marks sounds Quranic in construction and phrasing, but it is not of the Qur'an. — Translator."

(Notes and References, note 15 of Essay II, p. 611).

Shown below is a screenshot of this passage from the version of this book at www.archive.org (see link):

(In my printed edition, the translator's footnotes occur as endnotes at the end of the book, and not inserted within the text in red colour as in the pdf edition above.)

Haykal has given a quotation consisting of three segments beginning respectively as follows: (1) The worthier among you… (2) Work and realize the good… (3) and you will be given …

The translator says in his note that (1) and (2) are from the Quran, taken from 49:13 and 4:106, and that (3) is not from Quran although it sounds Quranic. He says that the author is using the words of the Quran "as his own", which is "a perfectly permissive literary feature in Arabic". This is a sufficient answer to those opponents who pick out a few places from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to allege, without any justification, that he has misquoted the Quran.

I may add here the following observation, as an aside, and not related to my main point.

Firstly, the translator has made an error in giving reference to 4:106. The verse of the Quran corresponding to the words "Work and realize the good, for God will reckon your achievement" is, in fact, 9:105.

Secondly, as regards segment (3) of Haykal's quotation ("and you will be given…"), I have looked up Haykal's original Arabic book and display from it below the image of the relevant text (this book is also available at www.archive.org and the text below is on p. 558-559):

Haykal's words in Arabic are: Wa lā tujzauna illā mā kuntum taksibūn.

I think this is a mixing of 36:54: Wa lā tujzauna illā mā kuntum ta‛lamūn ("you are only recompensed for what you did").

with 10:52: Hal tujzauna illā bi-mā kuntum taksibūn ("you are only recompensed for what you earned").

It is perfectly legitimate to say that, in this final case too, Haykal is quoting from the Quran, even though he has substituted a word from 10:52 into 36:54.

November 29th, 2017

Sculpture of Mr M.A. Jinnah unveiled at the British Museum, London, 29 November 2017

A bust of Mr M.A. Jinnah has been unveiled today at the British Museum, London, by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. It has been conceived and funded by the government of Pakistan, as stated by the Pakistan ambassador in the clip. The sculptor is Philip Jackson, a famous British sculptor.

I recorded this news item from the BBC News Channel just before 4 pm today, 29 November 2017, and have made it available at this link.

(If the clip starts playing without sound, please click on the clip and the sound should then play.)

November 1st, 2017

Einstein, two other German Nobel laureates, and other famous German leaders of thought attended events at the Berlin Mosque

The German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegal published a large-spread feature entitled Berlin in den 20er jahren or ‘Berlin in the 1920s’ in its issue for 1st October 2017. It contained an item about the Berlin Mosque reproduced from 23 March 1929 entitled Halbmond über Wilmersdorf or ‘Crescent over Wilmersdorf’.

At the close of this brief article it is stated (translated from German):

“Many Berliners have already availed themselves of the community’s invitation and have attended events in the Muslim place of worship — among them such well- known figures as Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, Martin Niemöller, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse.” (Bolding is ours)

A similar statement occurs in the German book Islam in Deutschland published in 2002, according to which interfaith dialogue was organized at the Berlin Mosque "in the form of events, in which, up until 1933, even famous personalities such as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse and Albert Einstein participated."

Read further at this link of our Berlin Mosque and Mission website.

Regards,

Zahid Aziz

September 21st, 2017

Why Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib for a long time held belief that Eisa AS (Jesus) was physically alive?

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri


Critics of HMGA object that he held belief that Eisa AS was physically alive till the time he got impressed by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (the educationalist and founder of Aligar Muslim University), and for his own personal gain and to establish himself as substitute of Eisa AS.

In my recent overseas trip, a thought came to my mind that I hope will satisfy HMGA critics. It was regarding Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Per Wikipedia: Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Arabic: المسجد القبلتین‎‎), or the Mosque of the Two Qiblas, is a mosque in Medina that is historically important for Muslims as the place where, after the Islamic Prophet Muhammad received the command to change the direction of prayer (qibla) from Jerusalem to Mecca, the entire congregation led by a companion changed direction in prayer. Thus it uniquely contained two prayer niches (mihrabs). Recently  the mosque was renovated; the old prayer niche facing Jerusalem was removed, and the one facing Mecca was left. The Qiblatayn Mosque is among the earliest mosques in Islam's history, along with Quba Mosque and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, barring the Great Mosques of Mecca and Jerusalem, which are associated with earlier Prophets, in Islamic thought.).

Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS use to pray facing Masjid al-Aqsa i.e. Jerusalem. Although his wish was he should be facing Kabbah i.e. Makkah but he kept facing Jesusalam even after migration to Madina. He was doing this in tradition of previous prophets, or the accepted norms of time, until he was directly commanded by Allah SWT during the prayer.  To immediately implement Allah SWT command, while in state of prayer he walked towards the back of congregation and continued his prayer facing Makkah. It was 180 degree change in direction of Qibla.

Same was the case with HMGA. He held belief that Eisa AS was physically alive, as that was the accepted norm among Muslims, until he was directly corrected by Allah SWT. HMGA in this support provided reasons from Holy Quran.

HMGA was never directed by Allah SWT on the birth of Eisa AS. So he held the prevailing belief of fatherless birth of Eisa AS. He never discouraged others from accepting that Eisa AS was fathered by a man. Moreover mission of propagation of Islam and HMGA spreads with establishment of Death of Jesus and not Birth of Jesus.

September 4th, 2017

Reverence of Hindu sages by Muslim thinkers

Submitted by Abdul Momin


In 2001, there was an article in the Hindustan Times in which the Indian Prime Minister had highlighted Iqbal's praise for a Hindu reilgious figure. Apparently Iqbal is not alone amongst Muslims in revering prominent Hindu sages. At the following link in the newspaper Dawn is an article in which Hafeez Jalandhari pays homage to Lord Krishna:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1354704/when-the-man-who-wrote-pakistans-national-anthem-saw-the-divine-in-hindu-god-krishna

The full article can be viewed at the above link.

September 1st, 2017

Eid-ul-Adha 2017 Mubarak to all blog readers

assalamu alaikum,

Eid Mubarak to all blog readers. May Allah bless and help you in every way. May Allah develop in us the spirit of sacrifice to advance His cause in a loving and peaceful way for the whole world, Ameen.

May the promise of Allah to Abraham be fulfilled through the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his followers, and that promise is as follows in the Bible:

“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you … and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” (Genesis, 12:2–3)

The Quran says:

“And who is better in religion than he who submits himself entirely to Allah while doing good (to others) and follows the faith of Abraham, the upright one? And Allah took Abraham for a friend.” — 4:125

— Zahid Aziz

August 23rd, 2017

Centenary of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English Translation of the Quran

After much research, I have completed a comprehensive book of the above title, with the sub-title: Background, History, and Influence on Later Translations. See link.

I am pleased, as well as relieved, and thankful to Allah, to have done this duty to repay in some small amount the debt of gratitude we owe to the founders of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore.

Given below is my Preface to the book:

This booklet has been compiled to mark the centenary of the publication of the English translation of the Quran, with extensive commentary, by Maulana Muhammad Ali in 1917. It was, in any practical sense, and in terms of theological scholarship, the first English translation of the Quran by a Muslim. It was certainly the first to be published and to be available in Western countries. Some thirty years after it first appeared, it was thoroughly revised by Maulana Muhammad Ali. It is now a century that it has continued to be reprinted and re-published in different formats, most recently also in digital editions. His translation and commentary has also been used as the basis for producing translations into several other languages.

Later English translations by Muslims were influenced by this work, as we show in the present booklet. In fact, this translation paved the way for them since it broke through the barrier imposed by the orthodox scholars of Islam who held that the Quran must not be translated and who opposed the appearance of any such work.

The most remarkable fact is that a movement which is insignificant in number and meagre in resources, and faces hostility from within the Muslim world and from outside it, has been able to maintain this translation in existence and spread it widely all over the world for a century.

In chapter 1 of this book, we begin by tracing the source of inspiration which led to the producing of this translation and explain the need for such a work. Then its history at Qadian is described till the events of March 1914 which led to the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‛at Islam at Lahore. Continuing the historical account, chapter 2 covers the completion of the translation after the move to Lahore and its printing and publication from Woking, Surrey, England. It goes on to quote many of the reviews which appeared both at that time and in later years. Brief mention is also made in this chapter of the Maulana’s Urdu translation and massive commentary, and the English editions without Arabic text, all these appearing in the 1920s.

In chapter 3 there is a somewhat detailed examination of the relationship of the Maulana’s translation with certain well-known translations by other Muslims which appeared afterwards. It shows really the great debt which these translators owed to Maulana Muhammad Ali.

Chapter 4 relates the work of thorough revision of his translation and commentary which the Maulana carried out in the years 1947–1951 to produce the 1951, fourth revised edition. It brings the subject up to date with some details of the subsequent reprints and editions after the 1951 revised translation.

Chapter 5 gives excerpts from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on the importance of the Quran to the world, Muslim and non-Muslim. It was his emphasis on the status, qualities and role of the Quran which inspired and motivated the pioneers of the Lahore Ahmadiyya to undertake the task of presenting the Islamic scripture to the world.

In an Appendix are displayed images of title pages of various editions of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translations of the Quran and some typical pages from inside them.

The information brought together and compiled in this booklet, much of it not generally known, will be found indispensable for an accurate assessment of the history of the translation of the Quran into English.

— Zahid Aziz