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Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
Rashid Jahangiri has informed me that Akber Choudhry has responded on Message TV to my questions about his previous programme about Allama Iqbal. I will comment on it in a few days after listening to his response.
Before that, I make comment on his interview on Iqra TV on 19th December about the issue of the blasphemy law in Pakistan. In brief, Akber Choudhry failed even to mention the crucial religious issue at the root of this law and treated it merely as a legal question.
Moreover, it was the two Christian contributors who highlighted the true example of our Holy Prophet in this respect, which Akber Choudhry failed to do. It was a moment of shame for Muslims, that Christians could present Islam more accurately and favourably than the Muslim spokesman did.
Akber Choudhry began by stressing that a blasphemy law had already existed since 1927, brought in by the British, and this law was very effective in preventing abuse against the Holy Prophet. (Note: But Iqbal wrote in his famous statements against Ahmadis that the British are favouring Ahmadis against the interests of the rest of the Muslims!)
He then said that all that President Zia-ul-Haq did was to amend that existing law: by increasing the punishment, and by specifically mentioning abuse of Islam in it. Akber Choudhry made no mention at all of the fact that this new punishment was the death penalty, and that this was introduced because of the Ulama’s insistence that Islam prescribes the death penalty for blasphemy. This is obviously an act of concealment and distortion.
He was justifying this law on the basis that the British introduced it and that it continues in India, but made no mention of any Islamic basis.
The issue that everyone was interested in (as the later calls from viewers showed), whether this punishment has an Islamic basis, was ducked by Akber Choudhry.
He made a ridiculous claim (at 12 minutes) that this law in fact protects religious minorities in Pakistan such as Christians and even Ahmadis from abuse of their religious personalities and hate literature against them! Does Akber Choudhry think people are so ignorant that they don’t know that abusive literature against the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement is widespread in Pakistan? It is utterly blatant falsehood to suggest Ahmadis are protected by the law of blasphemy.
Then Rev. Napoleon John, a clergyman in the UK originally from Pakistan, was interviewed by phone. He ended by saying that he cannot find any support for the behaviour of the supporters of the blasphemy law in the Quran, or any Islamic source. He urged Muslims to pause and think, before applying this law to any person, whether the Prophet Muhammad would have acted in this way. How shameful for Akber Choudhry that a Christian reverend mentions the teachings of Islam, indeed shows them in a good light, while Akber Choudhry is trying to get away from Islam all the time!
Calls were received in the programme from three viewers, all asking whether there was any example in the Holy Prophet’s life of applying such a law. Akber Choudhry replied (at 54 minutes):
“I am not a religious scholar … I will pass on that question.”
The other Christian representative, who was in the studio, Mr Wilson of the British Pakistani Christian Association, then actually gave examples of clemency by the Holy Prophet towards his abusers! Another moment of disgrace for Akber Choudhry.
If Akber Choudhry is not a religious scholar, why is a group of anti-Ahmadiyya people relying on him for religious points? One of them put to me the objection that no person in Islamic history had ever himself claimed to be mujaddid in his own words. When I refuted this, he told me that they had been given that knowledge by Akber Choudhry. It seems he can be a religious scholar or not a religious scholar, depending on expediency.
Akber Choudhry also declared that there is no state-backed persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan. In the summer of 1985, when there was a Khatam-i Nubuwwat conference in London, President Zia-ul-Haq sent a message to be read out, saying that Ahmadiyyat is a cancer in Pakistan which I am determined to eliminate. Isn’t that state-backed spread of hate? There are scores of other examples. In any case, Akber Choudhry has no standing to defend the state of Pakistan; only a representative of the government of Pakistan can do that!
He also said repeatedly that international conventions allow a state to restrict the expression of religion by a community, and therefore the Pakistan government is entitled to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim “for the purposes of the law” (he stressed). So I presume that Akber Choudhry does not consider Ahmadis as non-Muslim according to the teachings of Islam, but only for the purposes of the law of Pakistan.
On this point there was a further moment of shame and disgrace for Akber Choudhry when Mr Wilson said that Christians like him don’t consider certain groups (e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses) to be Christians, but they don’t ask governments to stop these groups from calling themselves Christians, rather they look to the power of God to bring them to the right path. How shameful for a Muslim, to be taught an Islamic concept by a Christian!
— Zahid Aziz
Post submitted by Rizwan Jamil.
I want to discuss with you on how Qadianis are not kafirs. Can you create a new post with naming “Ain’t Qadianis Kafirs” or anything of the like, in which i may discuss it with you?
Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is accused by his Muslim opponents of using “foul” language for Jesus. This they accuse him of doing, without paying attention to the fact that he only quoted Christians Holy book i.e. Bible; while pointing out to the Christian missionaries that the person (i.e. Jesus) they are promoting would not have qualified to be a decent person, assuming those portrayals in their Holy Bible are taken as true.
Christmas is approaching and US comedian has highlighted portrait of Jesus in Christian’s Holy Bible.
The Colbert Report
December 16, 2010
Please pay attention to video at 2minutes and 50 seconds.
Blasphemy per Christians
The Colbert Report
December 15, 2010
Please pay attention to video at 0:40 seconds
Here is my response to a declaration published on an anti-Ahmadiyya website by a former member of the Qadiani Jama`at of becoming a “true Muslim”.
It shows the height of ignorance by him of the anti-Ahmadiyya stance itself! If this is what the anti-Ahmadiyya believe, then it is to our great advantage.
There are two additional questions on this subject which Mr Akbar Chaudhry may, if he wishes, opt to answer, although they don’t relate to anything he said in his talk. I apologise for posting these separately.
In his booklet against the Ahmadiyya Movement entitled Islam and Ahmadism, published 1936, Iqbal writes as a complaint:
“Russia offered tolerance to Babism and allowed the Babis to open their first missionary in Ishqabad. England showed Ahmadis the same tolerance in allowing them to open their first missionary centre in Woking.”
Question: If the Woking Mission was allowed to be set up because Ahmadis were pro-British agents, why did Iqbal support the work of the Woking mission, and even came to the annual conference of the Lahore Ahmadis in 1927, when Lord Headley was visiting, and made a speech praising the work at Woking?
In the same booklet Iqbal defends Ata-Turk against the charge that he had abandoned Islam. He writes:
“As long as a person is loyal to the two basic principles of Islam, i.e., the Unity of God and Finality of the Holy Prophet, not even the strictest mulla can turn him outside the pale of Islam even though his interpretations of the law or of the text of the Quran are believed to be erroneous.”
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and ourselves (the Lahori Ahmadis) have vigorously declared belief in these two principles.
Question: Do you accept that we are Muslims according to this definition?
No doubt you can question whether our interpretation of finality of prophethood is correct or erroneous, just as we can question your interpretation, but this definition says that a person believing these principles is a Muslim even if his interpretations of the Quran are erroneous.
As I said in a comment yesterday, I can, on this blog, raise certain questions on Mr Akbar Chaudhry’s talk about Iqbal. He can then appear on this TV channel, and read out my points and respond.
I have indicated the time in the programme at which his statements occur. There are 10 points I have made, whose numbering is in bold below.
Programme 1 (length 8.24)
1. You begin by saying that Iqbal slowly turned away from Ahmadiyyat as did other Muslim leaders like Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi.
M.H. Batalvi declared Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as kafir in 1891 when Iqbal was 14 years old. Iqbal grew up in the atmosphere in which Ulama had declared Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as kafir. So how did he come to have “husn-i zann” (good opinion) of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in such a period (from about 1897 to at least 1910, as you admit)?
2. (1 minute): You say rightly that Iqbal wrote in 1935 that a quarter of a century ago he had good expectations from the Ahmadiyya movement.
(a) As Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died in 1908, does it mean that Iqbal’s good expectations continued all the time that Hazrat Mirza sahib was alive, and did not change till two years after Hazrat Mirza sahib’s death.
(b) Is it true that during this period of good expectations Iqbal wrote in English that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian is “probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muslims”,
and that he said in a published speech in Urdu that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is: “Islami seerat ka thaith namoona” (a true example of Islamic life)?
3. (1.40 – 1.57 minutes). In speaking of the split between Lahoris and Qadianis, you state that Qadianis changed their beliefs at the split, and that both the parties changed their beliefs and went to opposite extremes. At 7.44 minutes you repeat that Qadianis changed their beliefs in 1914.
(a) Please tell us what were the beliefs of the Qadianis before 1914 which changed in 1914.
(b) Your supporters have argued with me (Zahid Aziz) from time to time that the Qadiani beliefs correctly represent the original teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. If their beliefs changed in 1914, how can they be correctly representing his original teachings?
4. (2.18 minutes) You say that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad praised Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at his death.
(a) In your opinion, was this praise very high, medium, or merely a formality of praising a dead person? Was the praise lengthy or just brief?
You say that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said that “ghuluw” (exaggeration) has been committed in regard to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
(b) Did he say who committed the “ghuluw”? Was it Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad during his life, or some of his followers afterwards?
(c) Is it true that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in his famous book “Tazkira”, has likened the Qadiani exaggerations about their founder to the exaggerations of the followers of a much earlier Muslim saint, and written that we must not call that saint “kafir” because of the exaggerations of the followers?
5. (2.40 minutes) You say Muslims had become disappointed with Qadianis during the decade 1930-1940.
(a) Why did it take them so long, considering that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had been denounced as kafir by a large number of Ulama in 1891?
(b) Lahoris had been openly and publicly arguing with Qadianis since 1914 about their wrong beliefs, e.g. their declaring of other Muslims as kafir. Why did it take till 1930 for Muslims to be disappointed with Qadianis, when Lahoris had become disappointed with them in 1914?
6. (3.10 minutes) In going over the “greatness” of Iqbal, you say that he was awarded the title “sir” in England? (Perhaps you meant “awarded by England”, not “in England”.)
(a) Could one reason for this award be his poetry in praise of the British rulers of India?
(For example, his 1901 poem “Tears of Blood” about Queen Victoria’s death in which he called her death a “muharram” for Muslim of India, or his poem in May 1918 in front of the governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, in which Iqbal urged people to support Britain in the First World War and die for it.)
(b) Does the receipt of this title make Iqbal subject to the charge of being a lackey of the British rulers of India?
7. (3.40 minutes) You state that it was Iqbal’s greatness of mind and heart that he collaborated with the Qadianis despite regarding them as non-Muslims.
Would you collaborate with the Qadianis, or recommend other Muslims to do so, in some common cause, to show your greatness of mind and heart?
8. (4.04 minutes) You say that Iqbal is falsely accused of denying hadith.
Do you agree with Iqbal’s statement in a published letter in Makatib-i Iqbal as follows:
“I consider all the Hadith reports relating to the Mahdi and the concepts of Messiahship and Mujaddids to be the result of Persian and other non-Arab philosophies. They have nothing to do with Arab thought or the true spirit of the Quran”
Programme 2 (length 15.01)
9. (2.18 minutes) You state that Iqbal had no connection or dealings with Ahmadis after 1910 until his opposition of the 1930s.
Question: Is your statement contradicted or not by the following events:
(i) In 1913 when Iqbal was unsure if he had divorced his wife (mother of Javed Iqbal) in Islamic law, and if a re-marriage was necessary or not, he sent a friend to Qadian to ask the religious opinion of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, then Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement.
(ii) In November 1913 Iqbal attended a meeting at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, held to celebrate the acceptance of Islam by Lord Headley in England. He made a speech in which he praised Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din for his sacrifice in the propagation of Islam and urged Muslims to help him and not let differences with Ahmadiyyat stand in the way.
(iii) In December 1927, Iqbal attended the annual conference of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, at which Lord Headely visiting India was also present. Iqbal made a speech again praising Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din for his work of the propagation of Islam.
Even after 1930 Iqbal was favourable towards Ahmadis as being Muslims and missionaries of Islam:
(i) In April 1932, when someone asked Iqbal’s opinion about whether one should join the Ahmadiyya Movement, Iqbal wrote in a letter (which is in Makatib-i Iqbal):
“As to the Ahmadiyya Movement, there are many members of the Lahore Jama’at whom I consider to be Muslims who have a sense of honour, and I sympathise with their efforts to propagate Islam.”
When Iqbal called Lahori Ahmadis ghairat mand musalman (“Muslims who have a sense of honour”) in 1932, did he mean that they are Muslims, or do you hold that ghairat mand musalman does not define a Muslim because Muslims do not have any ghairat?
(ii) In March 1933 Iqbal attended a function at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore (centre of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement), at which a Hindu barrister declared his acceptance of Islam before Maulana Muhammad Ali.
All the five events above relate to Islamic activities.
10. (3.50 minutes) You state that Iqbal’s writings show no influence of Ahmadiyyat.
Please explain the following:
(i) His verse: “The hosts of Gog and Magog have been let loose; let the Muslims’ eyes see the interpretation of the Quranic word ‘yansilun’.”
(ii) His statement in a letter (to be found in his Makatib):
“I believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is alive, and the people of these times can derive spiritual benefit from him just as did his Sahaba (Companions). But in this age even the expression of a belief of this kind would be unacceptable to most minds, so I keep quiet.”
(iii) His verse about the perfect believer:
“He is kalim [Moses], and Masih [Messiah], and khalil [Abraham],
he is Muhammad, he is the Book, he is Gabriel.”
Iqbal’s interpreter, Prof. Yusuf Salim Chishti writes in explanation of this verse in Sharh Jawaid Nama:
“He is the heir to the spiritual qualities of Moses, Jesus, Abraham and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. In him is manifested the image of the attributes of the prophets. He is potentially a prophet, but not actually a prophet because prophethood has come to an end.”
Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.
Khatme Nubuwwat Academy (KNA), UK spokesman Akbar Ahmad Chaudhry appeared on ‘Message TV’ UK and commented on Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (LAM).
Akbar Chaudhry is a former Qadiani. He used to host programs on Qadianis TV channel MTA and also was Webmaster of their defunct discussion forum based in Canada (Ahmadiyya.Com).
In his interview he has talked about Qadiani jamaat organizational setup and the way it is run. He has also made some comments about LAM and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib (HMGA). Briefly they are:
1- He has frequently used the word ‘Qadianis’ for Qadiani-Jamaat and ‘Lahoris’ for LAM. Thus he has tried to identify and made distinction between the two. For this I want to appreciate him and thank him.
2- Unfortunately, he has repeatedly tried to give FALSE impression that Lahoris in reality also hold the same beliefs like Qadianis, but they “superficially”, and “dishonestly” cover HMGA’s claims/ beliefs on subject of prophethood that are contrary to beliefs held by other Muslim.
3- He has given an impression that someone who says that it is NOT MUST for a Muslim to accept claims of HMGA is somehow going against the HMGA.
4- He has lied that HMGA’s books are nothing but repetition of discussion of three personalities Lekh Ram, Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Bitalvi, Abdullah Atham.
5- He has created a FALSE impression, by NOT explicitly mentioning that it is Qadianis, between both groups of Ahmadis, who have not translated HMGA books. He has NOT made it mentioned, which I believe he did intentionally, that LAM has translated many of HMGA books into English language, and they are available on their websites like http://www.aaiil.org and http://www.ahmadiyya.org
6- He tried to give impression that HMGA books are so “convoluted”, and “disorganized” that ‘Ahmadis’, which includes LAM are God forbid “ashamed” of them and they intentionally do not translate them into English language and make them available for general readership.
Akbar Chaudhry, enjoys his delusion of “scholarship” when he preaches to the choir (in his case, preaches to Mullahs). He feels elated when he hears and reads appreciation from his Lackey-Mullah.
I WISH AKBAR CHAUDHRY SHOWS AN IOTA OF COURAGE AND INVITES SOME LAM REPRESENTATIVE IN UK ON ONE OF HIS FELLOW MULLAHS TV. PEOPLE CONSIDERED MUCH BIGGER SCHOLARS THAN HIM RAN AWAY, NOWHERE TO BE SEEN, WHEN THEY HAD TO FACE LAM REPRESENTATIVES IN AN IMPARTIAL COURT IN SOUTH AFRICA. But I guess it is to much to expect from a DISHONEST person like Akbar Ahmad Chaudhry.
Akbar Chaudhry 4 parts interview on Youtube: