New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters — See Title Page and List of Contents
— latest, 10 November 2014: In Islam the testimonial rights of women are half those of men
Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
It is the second news item in this bulletin, and it was filmed by them on Saturday 25th October.
You can see Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed in a scene (there is a brief glimpse of me as well). As a result of the announcement, a large number of people came to the mosque Open Day today, Sunday (from where I am posting this).
Update on 8 November: The above link, being to a news bulletin, worked only for a few days after the broadcast, and no longer works.
Further to below, I have now uploaded my khutba. Please see this link.
At the end of the khutba you will find photographs of the Pakistan Moon Sighting Committee trying to observe the new moon at various occasions in the past two years.
I extend Eid greetings to all our Blog readers and wish them Eid Mubarak.
At this link is the Eid-ul-Adha message by Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed, Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.
Our UK Jamaat is holding Eid tomorrow, Sunday, 5th October, prayers starting 11.00 a.m. UK time. This time it is my turn to deliver the khutba. I will upload it later the same day or on the following day.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
I have a copy of an older edition, which belonged to the late Hafiz Sher Mohammad sahib.
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.
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!
1. I have made the English Translation of the Holy Quran (2010 Revised Edition) available in two more formats on www.ahmadiyya.org as below:
2. You may recall that at the event we held in May 2013 to commemorate the centenary of the Woking Muslim Mission, five newsreel film clips of functions at the Woking Mosque, made by the British Pathe newsreel company of old, were played. We had to pay a licence fee of several hundred Pounds for just that one public performance of the clips. On our website www.wokingmuslim.org we could only refer our readers to the British Pathe website if they wanted to watch any clip, and that too was in the low resolution used on their website. To place those clips on our website, we would have been charged a licence fee of several thousands of Pounds per year.
A few days ago British Pathe made their entire collection of newsreels available on YouTube in high resolution. So on the www.wokingmuslim.org website I have now added links to the clips on YouTube, after identifying the ones of interest to us. Please go to the Home Page and look at the top banner. From there you can play the two clips of most interest that are highlighted, and also go to the page from where all the clips can be accessed.
At this link, under the title given above, please learn about the new book: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, at the website of the US news organization NPR.