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Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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Archive for June, 2017

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

Friday, June 30th, 2017

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

Message of peace to Islam’s detractors on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Please see this Press Release issued by The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore (United Kingdom), headed:

Forgiveness and restraint: a message at Eid and an insight into Islam's true teachings.

 

Eid-ul-Fitr message by Dr A.K. Saeed, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Here is the Eid-ul-Fitr Message, June 2017, of Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.

Ramadan 2017

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Here is the Ramadan Message by Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.

Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2017

(Note: Any new posts during Ramadan will be filed below this post.)

Prayers urged on LAM members for Ramadan by Maulana Muhammad Ali: English translation |  Urdu original

  • Preliminary: What is Dars of the Quran? Its function and importance, by Maulana Muhammad Ali
  • Fast 1 — Fasting
  • Fast 2 — Fasting in Religions before Islam
  • Fast 3 — Fasting in Islam: Its Purposes
  • Fast 4 — Fasting in Islam: Developing good qualities
  • Fast 5 — Fasting in Islam: The month of Ramadan
  • Fast 6 — Fasting in Islam: Conclusion
  • Fast 7 — Humanity-wide approach of Surah Fatiha
  • Fast 8 — Humanity-wide approach of Surah Fatiha — “Beneficent” and “Merciful”
  • Fast 9 — Humanity-wide approach of Surah Fatiha — “Master of the Day of Judgment”
  • Fast 10 — Justice towards all (1)
  • Fast 11 — Justice towards all (2)
  • Fast 12 — Justice towards all (3)
  • Fast 13 — God’s extensive favours to all human beings (1)
  • Fast 14 — God’s extensive favours to all human beings (2)
  • Fast 15 — God’s extensive favours to all human beings (3)
  • Fast 16 — God as the only and ultimate Judge of who is on the right path and who is not (1)
  • Fast 17 — God as the only and ultimate Judge of who is on the right path and who is not (2)
  • Fast 18 — Duty of the Prophet is only to convey the message revealed to him
  • Fast 19 — Everyone responsible for their own actions
  • Fast 20 — Forgiveness of sins by Allah (1)
  • Fast 21 — Forgiveness of sins by Allah (2)
  • Fast 22 — Can non-Muslims preach their religions to Muslims? (1)
  • Fast 23 — Can non-Muslims preach their religions to Muslims? (2)
  • Fast 24 — Self-preservation is a duty
  • Fast 25 — Jihad (1)
  • Fast 26 — Jihad (2)
  • Fast 27 — Lailat-ul-Qadr
  • Fast 28 — Does the Quran mention the concept of the “evil eye” (nazar-i bad)?
  • Fast 29 — Argument between materialistic and spiritual outlooks of life
  • Fast 30 — Proper knowledge can save man from wrongdoing and exalts him

Many of us will have a Ramadan of 29 days this year. Nonetheless I always produce 30 Studies.

Thanks to Allah for passing us through another month of Ramadan. May He keep us safe and well over the next year, ameen. Eid Mubarak to all readers!

If the public can seen the new moon, what will the Ruyat-i Hilal committee do?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Scientific data relating to the movement of the moon shows that on Saturday 24 June (2017), at local sunset time around the world, the new moon will be easily visible in a few countries near the equator on the western side of South America. It is also likely to be visible to the human eye in other parts of the American continent south of latitude 30 deg N., and possibly also in a south-western strip of Africa, but not elsewhere in the world.

As a result of countries just missing out on having the moon visible on Saturday, it means that on Sunday, at local sunset, it will be very easily visible everywhere in the world.

Sunday in Pakistan is the 29th Ramadan. According to the official system there, the moon sighting committee will meet to receive and consider reports of sighting and whether to accept them. But if, as it appears very likely, the general population would be able to see the new moon, what should they do while the Ruyat-i Hilal committee is still deliberating? Should they believe their eyes or not?

Once there was a well-known Muslim religious leader whose followers obeyed him so implicitly that some of them said: If we see our leader committing an un-Islamic act with our own eyes, we will say that our eyes are deceiving us. On that principle, the general public in Pakistan could say: We won't believe our eyes until the Ruyat-i Hilal tells us to believe them!

Zahid Aziz

“Identity Theft” — by Iain Dixon, UK

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Assalamu alaikum! May the peace of Allah be upon you!

I have been told that the expression Allahu Akbar means ‘God is great’, or more accurately ‘God is greater than anything, His greatness is beyond and above anything and everything’. Wow! What praise for God! Surely these are beautiful words that should only be reserved for the beautiful Creator of heaven and earth! The words Allahu Akbar provide an eternity of contemplation for the believer, majestic praise that is higher than the highest mountain, a source of joy that is deeper than the deepest mountain, praise that is more radiant than the brightness of all the stars of the universe put together!

And yet, something has gone horribly wrong in the world today. Rather that, Allahu Akbar being a refrain of praise, or a symphony of love and adoration for the greatness of God, something sinister has occurred. The hearing of these words has sent, and is continuing to send, a chill of fear in the hearts and minds of its hearers around the world. For many, Allahu Akbar has become a death cry, and are words that are uttered just before a bomb is set off, or innocent people are shot down, slaughtered in an instant.

As a candle’s gentle flame is snuffed out in a moment, so those uttering Allahu Akbar are extinguishing light and love in the lives of those who are loved and treasured by Allah. Somewhere, somehow, people have traded in love for God and mankind, with pure hatred. Allahu Akbar has become a death sentence, and a label that has ‘re-branded’ the Creator of the universe as a God of hate, who delights in destruction. I call this — Identity Theft.

In this, and further articles, I want to share with you what I have learnt from my own personal reflections on the character of Allah that I have discovered in reading the pages of the Honoured Quran. I am a follower of Jesus, and do not ‘belong to the Islamic faith’ as text books would define a ‘Muslim’. But I am someone who thinks, reflects, and has an incredible love and respect for my Muslim brothers and sisters.

I know the great promises and prophecies in the Bible scriptures which foretold the growth and spread of Islam, and how God promised to protect and bless them, and use them mightily in the unfolding of his purposes. I am also aware of the bad press Islam has received in the hands of the media, and also in the hands of those who have been guilty of the Identity Theft. May the words that I write restore honour to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and ‘take back’ the beauty that belongs only to him, a beauty that has been stolen by those supposedly acting in his name — a beauty that has been tarnished and vandalised like a beautiful painting that has been ruined by graffiti and spray paint.

Those that are guilty of Identity Theft have not noticed how often the pages of the Honoured Quran refer to Allah as most Gracious, most Merciful! Each chapter of the Quran (except one) begins with the words In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. Does this sound like the character of the God represented by suicide bombers around the world, or those brandishing machine guns, gunning down other Muslims in mosques because they believe slightly different doctrine? Surely the qualities of mercy and grace should abound in the hearts and lives of those who openly declare to be worshippers of the one true God. We are told in the pages of the Quran: kind words and covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury (2:263). 

Those who have committed Identity Theft have forgotten to follow Allah’s advice in abounding in kindness and in the covering of faults of others. Instead, they have traded these noble qualities for intolerance and abusive words, condemning hearts and fault finding in others. Anyone who disagrees with them is to be exterminated! Should we not rather treat all people kindly, especially towards those who do not see things the way we do?

The Quran admonishes us to clothe ourselves with kindness, forgiveness and mercy towards others, even if they do not see things the way we do. The chapter with the title “Those who disagree” (Al-Kafirun) is a direct challenge to those who have committed Identity Theft. Rather than exterminating those who disagree with us in religious belief, we are told:

"Say: O ye that reject faith, I worship not that which ye worship, nor will ye worship that which I worship, and I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, nor will ye worship that which I will worship. To you your way, and to me mine." (109:1-6)

People have different beliefs. We are also all at different stages in grasping spiritual truth. How tragic it would be to destroy a beautiful flower before it has come into full bloom! Imagine crushing what appears to be a lifeless seed, or cutting down an unimpressive green stem because we don’t see yet a beautiful flower! Those who commit Identity Theft do not allow people to change or give them time to come into full bloom of all that Allah intended them to become. Instead they are impatient and intolerant of others. How different this is to the way of Allah! In the Bible, we are told:

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

Just as the sun rises gradually each day, and moment by moment more light is unfolded, so too does our spiritual light and understanding take time to grow and mature. We don’t believe it all, get it all, or know it all — all at once. How sad, that those who commit Identity Theft have taken upon themselves to judge others and to take away the precious gift of life from others — all in the name of Allahu Akbar. Those who misrepresent the character of God have never truly recognised the greatness of God, and his merciful purposes.

(To be continued)