The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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

— latest, 15 September 2014: Issue 1: Muslims should not take Jews and Christians as friends


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 7th, 2014

Sept 7, 1974 –Sept 7, 2014 Forty Years of Injustice to Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri


Sept 7, 1974 –Sept 7, 2014 Forty Years of Injustice to Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.  Signs for those who have fear of Allah in their hearts.

Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement elders NEVER called any reciter of Kalima-Shahada a Kafir, neither by their tongues nor by their pen. LAM supported Pakistan freedom movement, after that never interfered or took sides in national politics. LAM had NO role in Rabwah railway station incident in summer of 1974. This is supported by LAM’s representatives’ testimony in proceedings published by Government of Pakistan in October 2012 under title: Proceedings Of The Special Committee Of The Whole House Held In Camera To Consider The Qadiani Issue. (The National Assembly of Pakistan 1974 Proceedings). This is evident by the fact that state prosecutor Attorney General of Pakistan NEVER raised accusation that questions beliefs and role of LAM. Still travesty of justice was done and LAM became innocent bystander victim of tussle between Qadiani-Khalifa Family, their followers and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto & religious politicians. Below are some facts that shed light on Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) personal life and condition of Pakistan, before and after 1974 Pakistan National Assembly 2nd Constitutional Amendment.

In 1971 ZAB took reign of power. Pakistan was dismembered, humiliated by India. Pakistani nation was demoralized. Pakistan armed forces were demoralized. One hundred thousand, perhaps largest number in military history of world, officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen were prisoners of war. Economy was in shambles. Within few weeks and months ZAB started turning around the country. He boosted the morale of civilians and military. Pacts were made with friendly countries to turn economy around, backbone industries were started, and military hardware was procured. In matter of months prisoners of war started coming home. Foundation of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program was laid. Stature of Pakistan rose in third word and Muslim countries in particular. Islamic Summit was hosted in Lahore, in February 1974. Only time when head of states of all Muslims countries gathered under one roof. ZAB's middle class comrades at helm of different departments and ministries were making steady strides in an effort to make Pakistan a leading country in the world.

After 1974 second amendment in Pakistan’s Constitution there was diametrically opposite change.  ZAB close comrades started leaving him one after the other.  Those who stayed in his party like Abdul Hafeez Pirzada (he was parliamentary affairs minister in 1974 and responsible for NA Proceedings,  contracted another marriage the day ZAB was hanged), Mumtaz Bhutto (was interested in marrying widow of ZAB to get control of his Pakistan People’s Party), Kausar Niazi who said, “Peoples Party is not property of Bhutto family”. None of them came to rescue ZAB from gallows. No wonder when ZAB daughter Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from exile she said, “I don’t need uncles (referring to ZAB friends who did not quit PPP)”.

After 1974, in Pakistan religious extremism flourished, religious opposition to ZAB constantly increased, economy overall remained in decline, PPP popularity continue to decline, law and order situation overall remained in decline, image of Pakistan in international forums continue to remain in decline, unemployment and poverty increased. Street drugs addiction and terrorism increased.

Now let’s look at personal life of ZAB. ZAB as Prime Minister of Pakistan was a very powerful person domestically, he was charismatic, popular and intellectual leader loved by his fans. Internationally he was highly respected statesman, in particular Muslim countries. He was declared non-Muslim (Kafir) by Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. When he was put to death, he was constitutionally Prime Minister of Pakistan. The person who hanged him belonged to lowest socio-economic rank in Pakistan. He was Christian and was Choora (janitor who hand pick human waste and clean toilets and sweep streets). He was awarded Rupees 5 bonus for ‘job well done’ by Government of Pakistan. After ZAB's death photographs of his private parts were taken to find out if he was an uncircumcised Hindu.

People who have fear of Allah SWT in their hearts can find many signs in last 40 years in life of Pakistan and people who committed injustice with LAM.

Allah-O-Akbar.

September 5th, 2014

Sport and Salvation

Submitted by a friend of this Blog.


In Dawn's online edition there is a news item about an exchange between a Pakistani and Sri Lankan cricketer during Pakistan's current tour to Sri Lanka (see link). The relevant portion is as follows:

ISLAMABAD: Religious comments by Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad to Sri Lanka player Tillakaratne Dilshan after their one-day international last Saturday are being investigated by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

While the players were walking back to the dressing room in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, Shehzad was caught on camera telling Dilshan “if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven. “

Dilshan's reply was not audible, and Shehzad went on to say, “Then be ready for the fire.“

Pakistan badly lost the test series 2-0 and the one-day series 2-1. This is the same Sri Lanka for which Pakistan fought hard so that it could be granted Test status in the 1980s. Sri Lanka is economically not better off than Pakistan. It is a much smaller country. It was plagued by a long civil war and terrorism. Even recently members of the team were complaining about not being paid for long periods of time. This shows that financially its cricket board is worse off than even that of Pakistan. I have pointed this out just to highlight the fact that this country has not had an easy existence. Yet its team is now able to even out-think Pakistan and put Pakistan under psychological pressure and consistently beat Pakistan in a manner similar to western countries. So even though both countries have gone through some of the same problems, look where Pakistan has gone while Sri Lanka under similar conditions has shown great resilience.

I have been wondering how Pakistani cricketers could have fared so badly in recent times against Sri Lanka given their past dominance over them. I have no doubt that an all time best Pakistani eleven would outmatch any other all time best team in the sub-continent.

But just as the misguided Muslims want an easy path to heaven, no matter what they do, according to one cricketer; it is now becoming apparent that Pakistan's cricketers must have the same approach to the game of cricket as well: an easy path, without any hard work. This is proved by their results. So mystery solved. With this kind of mindset we should not be surprised about the decline of all sports in Pakistan.

August 7th, 2014

‘Muslims in Britain and the start of the First World War’

With national commemorations taking place in Britain of the centenary of the start of the First World War, which Britain entered on 4th August 1914, I compiled a 24-page booklet under the title which I have given to this post. I have opened a new section on the www.wokingmuslim.org website, to which I have added this booklet as the first item:

www.wokingmuslim.org/work/ww1/

I had sent the booklet to various organizations and people, including a Woking weekly local newspaper, 'Woking News and Mail'. They have published an article based on this booklet in their issue of today 7th August.

Although the newspaper contacted me before they prepared this article, they have somehow wrongly assumed that I live in the town of Woking; hence the opening of the article "A Woking man …". This is not correct.

Here is an image of the article in the newspaper.

August 1st, 2014

Qadiani Jamaat member’s great praise for Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Quran

Post submitted by Omar Raja


So, I was reading some reviews online on amazon.com regarding Maulana Muhammad Ali's english commentary to Holy Quran.

Of interest is the following one, and though adhering and defending the Qadiani jamaat, still manages to acknowledge the greatness of Maulana Muhammad Ali's work.

[Quote]

The Legacy of Islam-Ahmadiyya, June 11, 2014

By

mozaki "mozaki" (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

This review is from: The Holy Qur'an with English Translation and Commentary (English and Arabic Edition) (Hardcover)

Firstly, it is important to disclose that I'm a member of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (the mainstream movement, not the Lahore group who are the publishers of this English translation and commentary of The Holy Quran). I am writing this review to offer some perspective on the history of this great translation and on also some context on The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam for those who may be unfamiliar with it.

The Islam-Ahmadiyya is a 19th century Messianic movement that believes that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him) was the latter-days heavenly personage according to end-times prophecies of the major world religions. Mohammad Ali, who no doubt was considered a great scholar of Islam and highly educated, was a disciple of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh). This translation was reportedly commissioned to Mohammad Ali by Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) himself. After Ghulam Ahmad’s demise in 1908 he was succeeded by Hakim Nooruddin, the first Khalifatul Masih (Successor of The Messiah) and a highly revered scholar of Islam in India. However, when Hakim Nooruddin passed away in 1914, Mohammad Ali refused to accept the Caliphate of the newly elected Mirza Bashiruddin Mehmud Ahmad who was just 25 years old at the time. In the main body of the Ahmadiyya movement a pledge of obedience to the Caliph is very profound. Mohammad Ali and his supporters proposed that the movement change its structural hierarchy so have a committee manage over the affairs of the movement rather than a Caliph. This was rejected and thus he and his followers separated and formed The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. Lahore, which back then was a part of India, was a thriving center of civilization (sadly today it is being ripped up by terrorists like much of Pakistan).

The other major distinction is that although the Lahore movement attributes the office of The Mahdi and Messiah to Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) and regard him as someone who enjoyed a great communion with God, their thinking does not constitute him to be a prophet in the true sense. The main Ahmadiyya movement constitute him to a be a follower-prophet of Muhammad (pbu) but still very much a prophet in the real sense.

In the “Preface to The Revised Edition” of this book Mohammad Ali writes, “the greatest religious leader of this time, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, has inspired me with all that is best in this work. I have drunk deep at the fountain of knowledge this great Reformer and founder of The Ahmadiyya Movement has made to flow”. Mohammad Ali also rightly acknowledges Hakim Norruddin, a great scholar of The Holy Quran who had committed it entirely to memory, for his contributions to this work.

Some may find it interesting that it was this translation that led the renowned contemporary Islamic scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf to highly praise Mohammad Ali and his contributions throwing himself headlong into controversy to the ire of bigots. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf had said that it is obvious that two of the most widely distributed Quran-translations of the day, that of Marmudke Pickthall and Yusuf Ali, had “heavily borrowed” from Mohammad Ali’s work. He emphasized that the so-called Muslims should be fair and acknowledge this contribution according to the teachings of religion. But that kind of thinking is alien to bigotry. God know what kinds of threats he may have come over to have to recant his statement.

It is heart-warming to see this work which is the founding work that has brought the religion of Islam to millions in the English-speaking world keeping its rightful place a hundred years on.They can shut up Hamza Yusuf, but they can't re-do history. [bold emphasis mine]

[Unquote]

Link to the reviews on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/English-Translation-Commentary-Arabic-Edition/product-reviews/091332101X/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Mozaki must be unaware of the despicable things said about this commentary (God forbid) by his own second Khalifa, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad!

July 31st, 2014

Is Allama Iqbal suggesting that the West cannot be reformed by Islam?

I refer blog readers to the following two links for Allama Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal's verses of poetry entitled Ishaat Islam Farangistan Mein (Propagation of Islam in the West) in his book Zarb-i Kaleem:

www.allamaiqbal.com website

Iqbalurdu.blogspot.co.uk

At the second link, an English translation is given, but I simplify it below for clarity:

The conscience of their culture is devoid of religion,
Among Western people [or Europeans] brotherhood is based on ties of race.

In the eyes of the English, the status does not increase,
of the Brahmin who joins the Christian religion.

Even if the English embrace the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad,
the unfortunate Muslim will still remain a slave.

Muslims, and especially Ahmadis engaged in the propagation of Islam, have always made the point expressed in the second verse above, that it is an inadequacy of the Christian religion that the non-white subject peoples who accepted Christianity were not treated as equals by white Christians of European descent. Christianity could not make them brethren. On the other hand, they pointed out the unique achievement of Islam that it welded various races into one brotherhood, whether high or low, master or slave, and that it has the spiritual power to do so again.

However, Iqbal is here saying that even the religion of the Mustafa cannot remove the feelings of racial superiority among its followers of European descent. There is an evil among some races which cannot be eradicted even if they should accept Islam! So much for the perfect religion which came for all mankind!

I came across these verses in the book Iqbal Kay Huzoor… in a footnote by the compiler of that book. The compiler noted these verses in a footnote while he was quoting one of Iqbal's conversations, of 1938, in which the Allama said that the efforts to propagate Islam in Europe by the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat will be fruitless for Islam even if leading British people accepted Islam through its efforts.

This book is available online. The relevant pages in one online edition are 22 (read from last two lines on page) and 23. Here is the link to the contents page.

I have a copy of an older edition, which belonged to the late Hafiz Sher Mohammad sahib.

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.