The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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latest, 9th July 2018: Can Muslims (-women) marry Non-Believers


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

Read: Background to the Project

List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


Archive for the ‘Holy Quran study’ Category

Translation of verse 3:186

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

From Abdul Momin

Pickthall translates the verse numbered as 3:186 of the Holy Quran as:

“Assuredly ye will be tried in your property and in your persons, and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters. But if ye persevere and ward of (evil), then that is of the steadfast heart of things.”

The same verse translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali reads:

“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.”

The translations “But if ye persevere and ward of (evil)” (Pickthall) and “And if you are patient and keep your duty,” (Maulana Muhammad Ali), can convey different meanings.

Which translation is more prevalent, the one by Maulana Muhammad Ali or the one by Pickthall? Thank you.

Ramadan 2020

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2020

For these studies, added daily during Ramadan:

Please visit www.aaiil.uk/ramadan-2020

or see embedded page below (and use its scroll bars).

Ramadan 2019

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2019

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

As an introduction, here is a short article (English translation / Urdu original) by Maulana Muhammad Ali containing some humble prayers, which he published for the Ramadan of the year 1948.

  • Fast 1 — Fasting
  • Fast 2 — Fasting: Its purposes
  • Fast 3 — Fasting: Developing good qualities
  • Fast 4 — Fasting: The month of Ramadan
  • Fast 5 — Fasting: Further information
  • Fast 6 — Prophets Isaiah and Buddha
  • Fast 7 — The Quran: called an honoured book and a guide right at the beginning
  • Fast 8 — The Quran: “No doubt” in the Quran
  • Fast 9 — The Quran: “No doubt” in the Quran — the challenge of the Quran
  • Fast 10 — The Quran is for all times
  • Fast 11 — The Quran as a guide
  • Fast 12 — Guidance for those who make efforts
  • Fast 13 — Having belief requires knowledge
  • Fast 14 — Another verse sheds more light
  • Fast 15 — Belief in the Unseen
  • Fast 16 — The Unseen
  • Fast 17 — Prayer
  • Fast 18 — Prayer (continued)
  • Fast 19 — Prayer (continued)
  • Fast 20 — Night prayers and simple life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad
  • Fast 21 — Heart-felt nature of prayers in Islam
  • Fast 22 — Other fundamentals of Islam, and charity
  • Fast 23 — Charity (continued)
  • Fast 24 — Charity (continued)
  • Fast 25 — Submission to God and service of humanity as the fundamentals of Islam
  • Fast 26 — Only the principles of religion bear fruit — not desires or labels
  • Fast 27 — Belief in all earlier revelation
  • Fast 28 — Belief in all earlier revelation and prophets of all nations
  • Fast 29 — Some miscellaneous points for consideration
  • Fast 30 — Conclusion to Chapter 2 of the Quran

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!

Ramadan 2018

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2018

(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

Some further prayers in Urdu advised by Maulana Muhammad Ali (added here 29 May)

Section on Lailat-ul-Qadr in Sahih Bukhari, translated into English by Dr Zahid Aziz and Mr Nasir Ahmad (added here 6 June)

  • Fast 1 — Fasting
  • Fast 2 — Fasting: Its purposes
  • Fast 3 — Fasting: Developing good qualities
  • Fast 4 — Fasting: The month of Ramadan
  • Fast 5 — Fasting: Conclusion
  • Fast 6 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — raised in all nations
  • Fast 7 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — raised in all nations for guidance
  • Fast 8 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Muslims to believe in them all
  • Fast 9 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — as mentioned in the Quran
  • Fast 10 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — as mentioned in the Quran
  • Fast 11 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — as mentioned in the Quran
  • Fast 12 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Dhul Kifl
  • Fast 13 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Dhul Kifl
  • Fast 14 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Mercy of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Fast 15 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Mercy of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Fast 16 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Buddha's fasting
  • Fast 17 Moderation in fasting (1)
  • Fast 18 Moderation in fasting (2)
  • Fast 19 Muslims extended belief in prophets to include prophets not mentioned in the Quran
  • Fast 20 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Prophets taught only One God
  • Fast 21 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — None told people to take him for a god
  • Fast 22 Prophets and Messengers of Allah — Meaning of terms
  • Fast 23 — Broad use of word 'messenger'. All prophets were "a single community"
  • Fast 24 Prophets and Messengers — Their submission to God (1)
  • Fast 25 Prophets and Messengers — Their submission to God (2)
  • Fast 26 Prophets and Messengers — Their submission to God (3)
  • Fast 27 Prophets and Messengers — Their submission to God and their mortality
  • Fast 28 Prophets and Messengers — were mortals, and so are their followers
  • Fast 29 Prophets and Messengers — Prophet Muhammad as a mortal
  • Fast 30 Prophets and Messengers — Prophet Muhammad as culmination

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!

Centenary of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English Translation of the Quran

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

After much research, I have completed a comprehensive book of the above title, with the sub-title: Background, History, and Influence on Later Translations. See link.

I am pleased, as well as relieved, and thankful to Allah, to have done this duty to repay in some small amount the debt of gratitude we owe to the founders of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore.

Given below is my Preface to the book:

This booklet has been compiled to mark the centenary of the publication of the English translation of the Quran, with extensive commentary, by Maulana Muhammad Ali in 1917. It was, in any practical sense, and in terms of theological scholarship, the first English translation of the Quran by a Muslim. It was certainly the first to be published and to be available in Western countries. Some thirty years after it first appeared, it was thoroughly revised by Maulana Muhammad Ali. It is now a century that it has continued to be reprinted and re-published in different formats, most recently also in digital editions. His translation and commentary has also been used as the basis for producing translations into several other languages.

Later English translations by Muslims were influenced by this work, as we show in the present booklet. In fact, this translation paved the way for them since it broke through the barrier imposed by the orthodox scholars of Islam who held that the Quran must not be translated and who opposed the appearance of any such work.

The most remarkable fact is that a movement which is insignificant in number and meagre in resources, and faces hostility from within the Muslim world and from outside it, has been able to maintain this translation in existence and spread it widely all over the world for a century.

In chapter 1 of this book, we begin by tracing the source of inspiration which led to the producing of this translation and explain the need for such a work. Then its history at Qadian is described till the events of March 1914 which led to the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‛at Islam at Lahore. Continuing the historical account, chapter 2 covers the completion of the translation after the move to Lahore and its printing and publication from Woking, Surrey, England. It goes on to quote many of the reviews which appeared both at that time and in later years. Brief mention is also made in this chapter of the Maulana’s Urdu translation and massive commentary, and the English editions without Arabic text, all these appearing in the 1920s.

In chapter 3 there is a somewhat detailed examination of the relationship of the Maulana’s translation with certain well-known translations by other Muslims which appeared afterwards. It shows really the great debt which these translators owed to Maulana Muhammad Ali.

Chapter 4 relates the work of thorough revision of his translation and commentary which the Maulana carried out in the years 1947–1951 to produce the 1951, fourth revised edition. It brings the subject up to date with some details of the subsequent reprints and editions after the 1951 revised translation.

Chapter 5 gives excerpts from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on the importance of the Quran to the world, Muslim and non-Muslim. It was his emphasis on the status, qualities and role of the Quran which inspired and motivated the pioneers of the Lahore Ahmadiyya to undertake the task of presenting the Islamic scripture to the world.

In an Appendix are displayed images of title pages of various editions of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translations of the Quran and some typical pages from inside them.

The information brought together and compiled in this booklet, much of it not generally known, will be found indispensable for an accurate assessment of the history of the translation of the Quran into English.

— Zahid Aziz

Truth about the life of Jesus

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Someone has submitted a couple of comments under an old thread about the death of Jesus which last received a comment in 2009. So instead of posting them there I am posting them here combined as one comment.

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

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!

Maulana Muhammad Ali on completing the revision of his English translation of the Quran for the 1951 edition

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

After completing this revision, Maulana Muhammad Ali delivered a khutba which I have translated at this link.

Some interesting excerpts are given below:

"Reading the Quran illuminates your heart, but this depends on the concentration with which you read this word of God. The more you concentrate on it, and the deeper you go into it, the more it will enter your heart. This can be made clearer by the following example. Just as pearls are found in the depths of the oceans, likewise the boundless treasures of knowledge contained in the Quran, which will continue to be unfolded till the Day of Judgment, are to be found in the depths of the meanings of its words. It is an ocean that no one is denied access to, but to obtain those valuable pearls from it, which give us light to solve our problems, is dependent on how much effort and exertion we put in for their acquisition….

I must tell you that the true knowledge of the Holy Quran has in this age been disclosed particularly to your Jama‘at, and this blessing is in reality due to that man at whose feet we gained this knowledge. He set us on the right path. To gain true knowledge, a balanced mind is required, and it is the blessing of God that this Jama‘at has maintained its mental equilibrium. This is why the Promised Messiah’s intellectual heritage has passed to this small Jama‘at.

It is perfectly true that we accepted Hazrat Mirza sahib as Mujaddid, as Mahdi and as the Messiah. However, we never accepted him as one to be followed blindly. We used to differ with him sometimes. The Nawab of Mongrol felt much attraction and love for this Movement. To a large extent he believed the Ahmadiyya Movement to be true. When once we were with him, a Maulvi tried to incite him against us and said to him: ‘These people whom you respect and honour so much, who believe Mirza sahib to be the Promised Messiah, they have differences with their own Promised Messiah; he did not believe that Jesus was born of a father, but these people believe he had a father.’

The Nawab sahib put this question to me. I replied that this just shows that we have not accepted the Promised Messiah without thinking, but after thinking and understanding, with open eyes, which are still open. The Promised Messiah has declared the Holy Quran to be supreme over everything. So if we see something clearly in the Quran, then in a secondary matter we consider it permissible to hold a different interpretation from the Promised Messiah, provided it is supported by strong arguments. We have learnt the Quran from the Promised Messiah but he did not shut the doors of knowledge upon us; rather, he opened them.

Therefore, it is no sin to differ, even with the greatest of persons. Of course, one cannot differ with the founder of the religion, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. After him, one can differ with anyone from Hazrat Abu Bakr to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The concept that such differences are not allowed caused Muslims to become stagnant. Prior to that, the Muslims were racing on the path of progress, in terms of both knowledge and deeds. They led the world in all aspects of life. But when this nation got stuck in the mire of taking religious leaders “for lords besides Allah” (the Quran, 9:31), it went into decline."