The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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

latest, 6th July 2017: The Triad of Death, Heaven and Hell – All in a Day’s Work


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


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

July 23rd, 2017

Inaugural Commemoration Service at the Muslim Burial Ground, Horsell Common, Woking, 16 July 2017

I have compiled some information about the above inaugural service, with brief descriptions of the proceedings, photographs and video recordings of three of the speakers. The background is as follows.

During 1914-1915 several hundred thousand Muslim soldiers from areas now in Pakistan were among the more than one million Indian soldiers deployed by Britain in France and Belgium in the First World War against Germany (known also as the Great War). Indians who were wounded were in some cases brought to England for treatment in military hospitals. For Muslim soldiers who died here, their funeral and burial arrangements were discussed by the government with the Imam of the Mosque at Woking, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din. As a result, the site at Horsell Common, near the Mosque, was selected as the burial ground.

In 1969, due to vandalism, all the bodies were moved to Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, where some Muslim soldiers had been buried both before and after the Horsell site was established. The Horsell site, with its domed entrance, fell into disrepair for decades. Recently it has been restored by local municipal organzations and bodies as the “Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden”, opened by Prince Edward in November 2015.

On 16 July 2017 the Inaugural Commemoration Service was held to mark the anniversary of the first burial, at Horsell Muslim burial ground, of a Muslim soldier of the British Indian army on 16 July 1915. It was organized by Woking Borough Council (the local government authority) and the British armed forces.

My report is at this link.

(Just one point. The Ahl-i Sunnah Imam, at the end of his prayers, as you can see in the recording, said a prayer for the prosperity of Britain and the British people. I and our group said Ameen. The anti-Ahmadiyya will presumably treat our saying Ameen to this prayer as confirmation of their allegation that we are "British agents and stooges". Of course, the allegation does not apply to the person who said this prayer or the other Muslims present who also said Ameen!)

July 21st, 2017

Truth about the life of Jesus

Someone has submitted a couple of comments under an old thread about the death of Jesus which last received a comment in 2009. So instead of posting them there I am posting them here combined as one comment.

July 7th, 2017

The REAL contribution of early Islam to science, by Prof. Jim Al-Khalili

A TV documentary by Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, entitled Science and Islam, first shown in 2009, is being repeated on the BBC Four channel. At the end of the first of three episodes, he concludes as follows:

"… but I think the real story of what happened to science in the Islamic world in the 8th and 9th centuries tells us more than any single discovery. What it really tells us is about the universal truth of science itself.

I believe that the first great achievement of the medieval Islamic scientists was to prove that science isn't Islamic, or Hindu, or Helenistic or Jewish, Buddhist or Christian. It cannot be claimed by any one culture.

Before Islam science was spread across the world but the scholars of medieval Islam pieced together this giant scientific jigsaw by absorbing knowledge that had originated from far beyond their own empire's borders. 

This great synthesis produced not just new science but showed for the first time that science, as an enterprise, transcends political borders and religious affiliations. It's a body of knowledge that benefits all humans. Now that's an idea that is as relevant and inspiring as ever."

Please watch at this link, from 56:15 to 57:24.

(At the above link the video is available till the beginning of August. The three episodes are available as one video at this link, apparently without time restriction.)

What Jim Al-Khalili has noted is very perceptive and profound. It is a far cry from those many populist articles by Muslims saying that certain discoveries of modern science were already mentioned in the Quran. I don't doubt the underlying truth of those articles, but they achieve nothing except make Muslims feel good and sneer condescendingly at others that their religion is supreme. Those writers don't realize that it is no credit to Muslims that the Quran contained knowledge which man discovered later. Muslims of recent centuries made no effort or sacrifices to discover it.

It is quite obvious that the Muslim scientists of the early period did not take the attitude that all discoveries are written down in the Quran, and we don't need to do anything ourselves. Wherever they found knowledge developed by previous civilizations, they adopted it and translated it into Arabic.

— Zahid Aziz

July 3rd, 2017

Is this the modern interpretation of “those who believe and do good”?

The above expression occurs commonly in the Quran to describe a true Muslim.

With the spread of social media, this can be seen in a new light. "Those who believe" means those who believe in the contents of any e-mail they receive from a contact, who has forwarded it from one of his contacts, and so on, from a long chain. The doing of good is to forward the same e-mail to all your contacts. These are the present-day fundamental qualities of a true Muslim. This is not a joke or exaggeration because they actually do think that they are performing an important service to Islam by believing in and forwarding such e-mails.

Just as the text of the Quran remains unchanged after passing through so many hands, also by a miracle the text of these e-mails remains unchanged after several years.

This is the Islam of today as followed by hundreds of millions!

— Zahid Aziz

June 30th, 2017

From the Preface to the Saudi officially revised translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s work — Why the hurry?

There is an English translation of the Quran endorsed by the Saudi Arab government authorities, published in the mid-1980s, based on Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation. The following is stated in its preface. I have placed some text below in bold:

"A number of individuals have in the past ventured to translate the Quran, but their works have generally been private attempts, greatly influenced by their own prejudices. In order to produce a reliable translation free from personal bias, a Royal decree (No. 19888, dated 16/8/1400 AH) was issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd ibn Abdul Aziz, at that time the deputy prime minister, authorising the General Presidency of the Departments of Islalmic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance to undertake the responsibility of revising and correcting a particular translation which would be selected for this purpose and made publicly available later.

To accomplish this enormous task, a number of committees were formed, comprising scholars well-qualified both in Islamic Shari'a and the English language. Some of these scholars were associated with the General Presidency of the Departments of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance.

The first committee was given the task of examining the existing translations and choosing the most suitable one from among them. The committee discovered that there was no translation free from defects and so there were two options open for consideration: the first was to select the best translation available and then adopt it as a base for further work as well as a source of reference, with the objective of revising its contents and correcting any faults in view of the objections raised against it; the second was to prepare a fresh and independent translation, starting from scratch.

It became obvious from studying these translations that the second option demanded much time and effort, neither of which were available at the time. The first option was therefore considered to be more practical, since it met the existing urgent requirements and helped to achieve the desired goal in a comparatively short period of time. The translation by the late Ustadh ABDULLAH YUSUF ALI was consequently chosen for its distinguishing characteristics, such as a highly elegnnt style, a choice of words close to the meaning of the original text, accompanied by scholarly notes and commentaries.

The committee began revising and correcting this translation with the aid of other translations available, by comparing and then adopting best expressions as well as by introducing fresh expressions where necessary. … In the second stage, the entire work of this committee was referred to a number of individuals and organisations who then augmented any deficiencies in the work of the committee.

A third committee was set up to collate all their suggestions. It then compared all such views regarding specific issues, selected the appropriate one(s) and arrived at a text as authentic and defect-free as was humanly possible.

Finally, a fourth committee was formed to look into the findings of the second and third committees and to implement the recommendations made by them…"

It is not clear what the "existing urgent requirements" were, due to which a fresh translation, starting from scratch, could not be done. The Saudi authorities would have been able to command vast resources of manpower, scholars and funds. Why was the required "time and effort" not available at the time? In the past, individual translators working on their own had managed to devote sufficient time and effort. In case of Maulana Muhammad Ali, he was at the same time engaged in much other work when he did his translation single-handed, with only a few helpers to assist in the project, while the organization that he belonged to was facing severe opposition within the Muslim world.

I wonder if the urgency was due to the fact that Muhammad Asad's translation, The Message of the Quran, had been published in 1980. This no doubt was a source of embarrassment for the Saudi authorities, as they had sponsored his work until the first volume, consisting of the first nine surahs, appeared in 1964, and they then realized that his interpretations were not what they liked. So they withdrew their sponsorship and destroyed the copies they had purchased. Perhaps they were worried that his translation might still be regarded by some as supported by them.

But considering that they withdrew their sponsorship of Asad's translation in 1964, one would think they could have produced their own version by the early 1970s, even starting afresh.

See here the cover and acknowledgements page from that volume of Asad's translation, published in 1964. The 'Muslim World League' mentioned there is known in Arabic as Rabita al-`Alam al-Islami.

— Zahid Aziz