New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters — See Title Page and List of Contents
— latest, 19 January 2015: Seal of the Prophets? – No Gabriel, No Prophethood!
Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
Submitted by Ikram.
Should I (–Muslim) Apologize?
The recent massacre in Paris has brought to front dichotomy of faith and democracy. It raises more question than it answers. If faith is served by killing others in the name of faith, then it is not faith but barbarism. If democracy is to protect freedom of speech then let every expression be allowed in the market place of ideas no matter how painful it maybe to some. Let N-word, K-word and H-Denial and the Hate-Speech be brought out of their protection in the open and be at par with caricature fad that hurts a billion, and there be no suppression of any hate or angry speech. Let anti-Semitism laws be equally applied to protect Muhammad (PBUH) who was a Semite. Let the ideas fight it out. Let freedom of speech define itself and standup to its very definition rather than its selective usage. Will democracies allow it so? Will the political expediency permit it? Haven’t we lost freedom in the name of freedom?
Should a Muslim apologize for lunatic act of another Muslim? Answer is plain no. Let the lunatic suffer the consequence of his or her depravity, the ignominy, both here and in the hereafter. Yes, such an act does create a sense of shame because those of us who have read Muhammad (PBUH) can rightfully believe that neither he, nor Quran permits it. To the victims we offer condolences and heartfelt prayers.
Should I grieve as a human? Yes, because every life is irreplaceable. Victim or a Villain of one side might be hero of another, but it is more of history that judges right from the wrong, than the moment when it occurred. Colonization and Colonial wars, Slavery wars, World Wars, Korean war, Vietnam war, Iraq wars, Afghan wars etc. all started by claiming self-righteousness but history tells us otherwise only after millions perished. Have we learnt our lesson? Irrespective of winner or loser, has any side apologized to the other? Has Catholic Church, Church of England or Dutch Reformed Church apologized to those whom they colonized?
Do the believers of freedoms endorse the fundamental human rights, both in their domestic and foreign policies, starting with: And (all) people are but a single nation (10:19); whoever kills a person, unless it is for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind (5:32); O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers (49:11)?
Muslims who feel hurt by disrespectful speech in the name of freedom of press, or otherwise, for them Quran gives guidance:
4:148. Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech, except by one who has been wronged.* And Allah is ever Hearing, Knowing.
* The use of defamatory speech of every kind regarding others is strictly forbidden, but justification for it may exist in case a person has in some way been wronged.
4:149. If you do good openly or keep it secret or pardon an evil, Allah surely is ever Pardoning, Powerful.*
*If you pardon the evil which anyone has done to you, Allah will pardon your evils, and grant you even good reward; He is not only Pardoning, but also Powerful to grant good reward.
The Muslim experience in days of the Prophet may not be different than the modern world, though the modalities have changed. Quran tells us how to endure it:
3:186. You will certainly be tried in your property and your persons. And you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.*
*This verse speaks of the future, in fact the distant future. The abuses which have been heaped on Islam in the past two centuries are without a parallel in the whole history of religion. The scurrilous language of Western publications, political as well as Christian, and the vituperations of their imitators elsewhere have exceeded all moral bounds. But Muslims are taught in this verse to bear all such abuse only with patience. (Editor’s Note: Hence it is not at allrequired or even allowed in Islam that Muslims should respond by killing or physically attacking those who vilify Islam and its Holy Prophet. See also 20:130, 33:48, 73:10, 4:140 and 6:68 which lead to the same conclusion.)
20:130. So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and parts of the day, that you may be well pleased.*
*The Holy Prophet, while told to bear persecutions patiently for a time, is also told to seek comfort in prayer. And he did find comfort in prayer under the severest persecutions. “The coolness of my eyes is in prayer,” he is reported to have said (Mishkat, 25)…
33:48. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard their annoying talk,* and rely on Allah. And Allah is sufficient as having charge of affairs.
* In the mention of annoying talk there is a clear reference to the carpings of his petty-minded critics, who try to misrepresent the greatest source of righteousness which the world has ever witnessed, as an evil. The Prophet is told to disregard this annoying talk, as the time would come when the question would be asked: how is it that the Prophet illumined the world and opened the floodgates of light to a benighted world, if it was darkness that reigned supreme in his own mind? (Editor’s Note: “Disregard their annoying talk” also shows that a Muslim must not become inflamed by verbal abuse of his religion, and if his reply has no effect on the abuser then he should simply ignore the hurtful comments.)
73:10. And bear patiently what they say and turn away from them with a dignified withdrawal.
4:140. And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s messages disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse, for then indeed you would be like them.*
*See 6:68 which was revealed at Makkah. Muslims are told to leave the assembly where truth is derided. Criticism is quite a different thing and a Muslim should always be ready to meet any criticism of his religion. (Editor’s Note: Thus the response when faced with mere ridicule of Islam is to withdraw, temporarily, from that company of people and rejoin them later when they stop their mocking. It is therefore entirely wrong to believe that Muslims are required to attack physically, still less kill, those who deride their religion.)
6:68. And when you see those who talk nonsense about Our messages, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse. And if the devil cause you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people.
I must also admit that I am writing this all because of democracy, but democracy has still a long way to go.
Reference: The Holy Quran, Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.
Submitted by Yahya.
The economist has an interesting article on reform in Islam:
I commented as below (buried in 4 pages of comments to this economist article):
"Look, for example, at the personally courageous stance of Hamza Yusuf, an American-born scholar with a wide following in the Islamic heart-land"
Ah where was the courage of Hamza Yusuf when he backtracked and apostasized the Lahori Ahmadis and removed his youtube of half hearted praise.
Courage is exhibited when a scholar upholds principles that can be deeply unpopular at the time. Hamza Yusuf did not pass this test.
Could I ask Zahid Aziz and other readers to maybe comment as to what is courage in the Islamic context and how muslims today can exhibit courage in the face of terrorism and extremism we are now being confronted with.
I am repeating, with some revisions, an item I posted here in April 2008, on the centenary of the function that it refers to.
It is reported in Badr, 30th April 1908 (p. 6), that an Eid Milad-un-Nabi function was held at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, on 14th April. (This was close to the end of the life of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and a few days before he arrived in Lahore from Qadian.)
The function is not called Eid Milad-un-Nabi in this report but Bara Wafat. This was the term used by Muslims in India in those days, meaning "death on the 12th", referring to the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad on this day, 12th Rabi-ul-awwal.
Below I translate the report, which is entitled Life of the Holy Prophet:
"A respected friend reports from Lahore that, on the previous day, a Tuesday, on the occasion of Bara Wafat, and for the benefit of the residents of Lahore, a grandly organised lecture was held at Ahmadiyya Buildings, where houses of our Khwaja [Kamal-ud-Din] sahib are located. The ground was very large and was decked with a marque and other necessities. It had been widely advertised in the city.
The poem in praise of the Holy Prophet written by Huzoor [presumably meaning the Promised Messiah] was read out by brothers Abdul Aziz, son of Mian Chiragh Din, and Ghulam Muhammad. Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din gave an explanation of the Surah Fatiha with great zeal and pure sincerity, and went over the events of the life of the Messenger of God, may peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him. Then brother Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig spoke on the life of the Holy Prophet in a fine speech. The audience included Hindus, Muslims and members of the Brahmo Samaj. All the leading men of Lahore who could come were in attendance. The whole gathering listened patiently and attentively to the highly effective speeches of these young men, who were preaching using this new technique and method, and they went away expressing much praise.
This meeting was also reported in other newspapers and was generally much liked. Hence the newspaper Watan wrote:
"Just as there was great regret that there were no arrangements in Lahore for holding this great occasion of remembrance, there was equal pleasure that on 14th April, corresponding to 12th Rabi-ul-awwal 1326 A.H., on behalf of the Anjuman-i Ahmadiyya Lahore a magnificent meeting was organised by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, lawyer, High Court. Capable speakers delighted the audience by telling them about the life of the Holy Prophet and his excellent and praise-worthy qualities. It is hoped that in future many people in Lahore will organise events for such a sacred remembrance."
The newspaper Sada-i-Hind expressed a similar opinion.
Comment by Editor Badr: It is indeed essential that the general public should be fully informed about the life of the Holy Prophet. We cannot complain about non-Muslims when most Muslims themselves are utterly unaware of the life of their beloved master. When such ignorant people realise how much we owe to the Holy Prophet, they will themselves want to recite the Darood spontaneously. This is in fact the philosophy of Darood. But I do not consider it right to fix one particular day forever, like Bara Wafat, for this purpose."
This idea was then taken up by other Muslims and led to the development of the Eid Milad-un-Nabi function. Note the report in the Muslim newspaper Watan quoted above which says:
"Just as there was great regret that there were no arrangements in Lahore for holding this great occasion of remembrance, there was equal pleasure that on 14th April, corresponding to 12th Rabi-ul-awwal 1326 A.H., on behalf of the Anjuman-i Ahmadiyya Lahore a magnificent meeting was organised by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, lawyer, High Court."
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.