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Archive for April, 2016

Use of word ‘rasul’ for non-prophets in Hadith

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The following are four examples of such use of the word rasul ('messenger') in Sahih Bukhari:

1. In a long narration in Bukhari, a Companion of the Holy Prophet, Ka‘b ibn Mālik, relates:

“When forty out of the fifty nights elapsed, then the rasul of the rasul of Allah came to me…”

— Book: Expeditions (Maghā), hadith number 4418.

Here a messenger sent by the Holy Prophet is described as his rasul.

2. During his last illness the Holy Prophet sent a message to Hazrat Abu Bakr to lead the prayer, as he was too weak to come out. It is related:

“The messenger (rasul) went to Abu Bakr and said: The Messenger of Allah (rasul-ullah) orders you to lead the people in the prayer.”

— Book: Call to Prayer (Adhān), hadith number 687.

Again a messenger sent by the Holy Prophet is called a rasul.

3. A man describes his meeting with Hazrat Uthman when the latter was Khalifa. He says:

“Then the messenger (rasul) of Uthman came and I went to him (i.e., to Uthman)…”

— Book: Excellences of the Companions (Faḍā’il Aṣḥāb), hadith number 3696.

Here a messenger sent by a Muslim ruler is called a rasul.

4. There is a famous incident that the Holy Prophet, shortly after taking up his mission, climbed the Safa mountain and called upon all the clans of the Quraish to assemble around him. He asked them if they would believe him if he were to tell them that he could see an enemy on its way to attack them, and they replied that they would believe him as they knew him to be truthful. It is stated in hadith relating to this event:

“Any clan which could not come sent its messenger (rasul) to see what it was.”

— Book: Commentary on the Quran, in explanation of 26:214, hadith number 4770.

Evidently, these observers sent by the clans, each observer being called a rasul, were unbelievers.

The following is an example from the Hadith collection Abu Dawud. The event mentioned in this hadith is very well known.

“When the Messenger of Allah decided to send Mu‘adh [ibn Jabal] to Yaman [as Governor], he asked him how he would decide cases. Mu‘adh replied: ‘By the Book of Allah’. He asked: ‘But if you do not find [any direction] in it’. He replied: ‘Then by the practice (Sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah’. ‘But if you do not find [any direction] in the Sunnah’, he asked. ‘Then I will exercise my judgment and spare no effort’, Mu‘adh replied.

The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Praise be to Allah Who has granted the messenger (rasul) of His Messenger (rasul) what pleases the Messenger of Allah (rasul-ullah) ’.”

— Abu Dawud, book: Office of the Judge (al-aqḍiyah), ch. 11, hadith number 3592.

Here the Holy Prophet himself has described a Companion, whom he is sending, as rasul of the rasul of Allah.

— Zahid Aziz

Muhammad Anwar Shaheed Day commemorated

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Here is the link to the text of my talk last Sunday 3rd April 2016 at Muhammad Anwar Shaheed Day, who was Imam at the UK Lahore Ahmadiyya Centre, 1982-1986. Muhammad Anwar was shot dead on 9th April 1986 while visiting Guyana by a fanatic who believed that by killing an Ahmadi he was conducting jihad and serving Islam.

Also at the same function last Sunday, an article on this incident was read out which was written in 1986 as an editorial by Choudhry Masud Akhtar in The Islamic Review. The text of this editorial is given below.

Zahid Aziz.


Imam Anwar Shaheed — The Martyr of Guyana

by Ch. Masud Akhtar

From The Islamic Review, California, USA, June-July 1986

(Slightly abridged version of the original)

Our hearts bleed at the assassination of our United Kingdom missionary, the late Imam Muhammad Anwar Shaheed at Georgetown, Guyana, in April. We hope all sane persons will join us in condemnation of this brutal, pre-planned and conspiratorial murder.

It is tragic that some wolves in the garb of clerics go about in the world of religion even in this era of civilisation and enlightenment. We know of no scripture which teaches murder, arson, looting and rape simply on account of a difference of opinion in religious matters. It is borne out by history that in spite of no scripture permitting compulsion in matters of belief, the establishment clerics in various eras have been sowing seeds of hatred and prejudice in the minds of their followers against their fellow human beings in the very name of God and Religion. Even presently, we Ahmadis and many other religious groups are being persecuted in many lands at the behest and call of the so-called fundamentalists whose ranks are swelled with the pseudo-religionists, the so-called establishment ‘ulama.

Day in and day out, they exhort their ignorant followers to commit criminal acts against those who do not agree with their viewpoint in religious beliefs. Little do they realise that if all religious groups acted on the rules followed by these criminals, then millions of heads, including theirs, would roll in the dust overnight. By their black deeds, they in fact bring their religion into disrepute and do not render any service to God or the religion itself.

Religion, no doubt, is and can prove to be a fortifying force for humanity, but only if the establishment clerics let free the harmonising teachings of the religion, based on love, compassion and understanding. It is high time that the professional priests and establishment clerics, who have hitherto ruled in the arena of religion as more powerful than God Himself, make way for God and the word of God. For the survival of the human race, it is essential that this usurping of power by the establishment clerics in the name of God and the religion should end, or else the religion that they stand for will drown along with them. Today's mankind can ill-afford any forces of hatred, prejudice and divisiveness, even if these be in the name of religion. The hard choice we have to make is between establishment clerical-ism or religion as a force of unity.

For us, the matter is crystal clear. The late Imam Anwar Shaheed laid down his life in the path of preserving freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience is a gift of God to mankind. Honourable and righteous persons at different junctures of history have preserved this freedom, even by paying the price of laying down their lives. If it was not so, then truth, justice, righteousness and true religion would have been completely wiped out from the earth. If the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, and his companions had not made supreme sacrifices by suffering at the hands of their torturers for the sake of upholding the truth, the world would not have been enlightened by the light of the beautiful teachings of Islam.

Again, Iman Hussain and seventy-two family members of the Prophet’s family laid down their lives for the preservation of the freedom of conscience rather than submitting to the tyrannical forces of injustice. Thus they have lit up the path of human freedom, which serves as a lighthouse for the forces of freedom for all ages. The state and the establishment clerics had joined hands in murdering Imam Hussain and his family members, as they have joined hands against us today. Imam Hussain is a symbol of freedom and righteousness for all freedom fighters, whereas Yazid and his partisan ulama are a symbol of evil and injustice. This war between Hussainiyat and Yazidiyat is an ever-continuing process. We are following in the footsteps of Imam Hussain by being ready to suffer even our lives for the sake of preserving our freedom of conscience and not submitting to the forces of evil. The ultimate victory of the forces of truth and righteousness lies in our willing­ness to smilingly suffer all adversities and afflictions in the cause of the religion of Allah. The martyrdom of Imam Anwar is just evidence of our convictions and dedication in the cause we espouse. He is just one more victim of Yazidiyat, just another star on the path of Hussainiyat. By embracing death in the cause of Allah, he attained life eternal.

May Allah bless his soul.