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A Brief Philosophy of Jihad in the Quran

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

A Brief Philosophy of Jihad in Qur’ân1

A great misconception prevails, particularly among the Christians, propagated by their zealous missionaries, with regard to the duty of JIHÂD in Islam. Even the greatest research scholars of the West have not taken pains to consult any dictionary on Arabic, nor referred to the Qur’ân to find out the meaning of the word. According to the Arabic-English Lexicon of E. W. Lane and the great scholar of Islam Râghîb, the word Jihâd means: The use of or exerting of one’s utmost powers, efforts, endeavours or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation; this is of three kinds, namely: a visible enemy, the devil, against one’s own self. All these meanings are used in the Qur’ân when a reference to JIHÂD is made. The duty of JIHÂD is far from being synonymous with that of war, and the meaning of JIHÂD, ‘the Holy war’ as supposed by the western writers is equally unknown to Arabic and the fundamental teachings of the Holy Qur’ân. Even in the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadîth), this word was never synonymous with ‘the Holy war’. The Prophet of Islam called the greater Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) as JIHÂD (Bukhârî 25:4).2 [Emphasis added]

The penultimate achievement for a Muslim is to acquire the attributes of God, in whose image he is created to begin with:

2:138. (Assume) the attributes of Allâh! and who is fairer than Allâh in attributes? We are His worshippers ever.3

It then takes a laborious toiling from a Muslim to achieve that Divine rendezvous:

84:6. O Mankind! verily you are (by nature) toiling on towards your Lord a laborious toiling, then (through arduous service to Him) you shall surely meet Him.4

To understand the nature of toiling on toward your Lord, we first have to understand the human himself. Internally, a man is a composite of physical and non-physical aspects, i.e., body and soul. Externally he thrives in both the material and non-material world. Internally and externally, his physicality is inseparable from his spirituality. In the big scheme of things, ultimately he rules by mind over matter. Similar to this interplay of tangible and non-tangibles, Jihad, i.e., striving has its own components, physical and spiritual. But the interesting point is that since Jihad is the sum total of the physical and non-physical effort, its rewards are both physical and non-physical as well. Simplistically, a student has to physically and mentally strive in his or her studies before the spiritual and material benefits come forth as rewards, e.g., a doctoral degree with its material reward of salary and spiritual rewards of a social status and benefit to humanity. Factually, Jihad in Islam is inseparable from the life of a Muslim, since the ultimate goal of a Muslim is to assume Allah's attributes which essentially enable one’s striving to be a better human.

For a human to assume Allah’s attributes for oneself and spread them in society, Quran takes on the central role with the following parable:

25:48. And it is He Who sends the winds as happy heralds of His mercy, and We send down from above water (also representing Divine revelation) for the purification (of the souls as well).

25:49. That We may thereby bring the dead land to life and give it as a drink to (most of the things) whom We have created, beasts and mankind in large numbers.[-a parable of giving life to the spiritually dead by the Divine revelation, before by Torah, Bible, Vedas, etc., and now Quran]

25:50. And We have explained this (topic) to them in diverse ways so that they may take heed, but most of the people would refuse (to adopt any other attitude) except (that of) disbelief.

25:51. If We had so willed We would surely have raised (in place of universal Prophethood) a Warner in every town.

25:52. So do not follow the disbelievers [of spiritual awakening], and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur'ân), a mighty striving.5

Thus it begets Quran to provide guidance for that mighty striving. And it does. Contrary to general belief, firstly, it unburdens man from prevalent dogmas:

22:78. And strive your hardest to win the pleasure of Allâh, as hard a striving as is possible and as it behoves you. He has chosen you and has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith, (so follow) the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims (both) before this and (again) in this (Qur’ân)…6

Quran, while advocating for its message does not shy away from its own merits and distances itself from being a dogma:

2:256. There is no compulsion of any sort in religion (as) the right way does stand obviously distinguished from the way of error.7

Quran then assures success for those who strive hard in Our cause by being doers of good:

29: 69. And those who strive hard in Our cause We will certainly guide them in the ways that lead to Us. Verily, Allâh is always with the doers of good.8

Our cause, that is, Allah’s cause, is obviously the cause of doers of good.

Doer of good’ is the goal of Jihad. Like any good, Jihad can be pursued by physical and material efforts:

61:11. You should believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if only you knew!9

Additionally, Jihad needs spiritual efforts as well:

9:112. They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah — and give good news to the believers.10

Both the physical and spiritual components of Jihad are interlocked and inseparable. One is the inherent property of the other and has a mutual symbiotic effect.

Above is the gist of Jihad (or Striving in Islam), which is an individual effort for one to be near his God in both attributes and behavior. Under various chapter headings, this book11 has tried to draw attention to the concept of God and to the human spiritual stages, moral pathways and Divine laws that govern human progress both in material and mission as to what makes him godly. Any deviations from these general principles of Jihad are either man made or a smear against Quran. Whether from within or without Islam, one such smear is the synonymic view of Jihad and War.

Islam is not a mystical or racial cult and Muslims are not supposed to live in a vacuum disconnected from the rest of the world and other ideologies. In the real world, wars do happen between people and countries. Many times these wars occur between people of different faiths; this might be the ‘Crusades’ for some, but in Quran there is no concept of a ‘Holy War’. There is no allowance for an aggressive war neither a war for spreading the faith. On the reverse, In Quran there are strict rules for war prevention, defensive war, with peace preferred over war, religious freedom for all religions, and resistance to persecution.

Firstly, for all intents and purposes the word “Islam” means peace, both in letter and in spirit, within the person and within the society:

10: 25. Allâh invites (us all) to the abode of peace and He guides him who wishes to be guided to the exact right path leading to the goal.12

Secondly, in this abode of peace, there is freedom of faiths for all:

2:256. There is no compulsion of any sort in religion…13

Thirdly, this freedom of religion has to be preserved for all:

22:40. …If Allâh had not repelled some peoples by means of others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allâh is mentioned very frequently, would have been razed to the ground in large numbers. And Allâh will surely help one who helps His cause. Allâh is, indeed, All-Powerful, All-Mighty.14

Of note is that one of His cause is, protection of cloisters and churches and synagogues besides mosques. While living among a multi-faith community, Muslims are deemed to follow the norms of fairness:

5:3. … And do not let hatred of a people — because they hindered you from the Sacred Mosque — incite you to transgress [The principle laid down here requires from Muslims equal treatment for all nations, for those whom we hate as well as for those whom we love. Only this principle of Islam can serve as the basis for an international code for the modern world and an international law.]. And help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression, and keep your duty to Allah [Editor’s note: Muslims ought only to cooperate with one another in matters of goodness, and are forbidden to help each other in wrongdoing against others. This injunction prohibits the evils of blind patriotism and unconditional support for one’s own people even when they commit injustices against others.]. Surely Allah is Severe in retribution.15

Fourth, arms may be picked up, but only in self-defense:

22:39. Permission (to fight in self-defense) is (now) given to those (Muslims) against whom war is waged (for no reason), because they have been done injustice to, and Allâh has indeed might and power to help them;

22:40. Those who have been driven out of their homes without any just cause. Their only fault was that they said, `Our Lord is Allâh…16

Fifth, on moral grounds, for the sake of persecuted humanity, Quran challenges the onlookers of any faith if its followers do not join a rightful defensive struggle:

4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.'17

Once again it is noted that another cause of Allâh is the protection of (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children.

Sixth, Quran gives assurance of forgiveness to the aggressors if they desist in the future:

8:38. Say to these who disbelieve that if they desist (now from persecuting the Muslims) they will be protected against the past (misdeeds), but if they revert (to their old ways of mischief), then the example of their predecessors has already gone before (and they will meet the same doom).18

Seventh, war by Muslims can be initiated only if there is an existing persecution against them, since there are no preventive wars in Quran:

8:39. And (O Muslims!) fight them until there is no more persecution (in the name of religion) and adopting a (certain) religion is wholly for the sake of Allâh, but if they desist, then surely Allâh is Watchful of what they do (and they will not be done injustice to).

8:40. But if they turn back (and refuse all these terms and fight you) then know that Allâh is your Protecting Friend, what an excellent Protecting Friend! and what an Excellent Helper!19

Eight, once a defensive war is thrust on Muslims, then Quran enjoins steadfastness and unity among the ranks:

8:45. O you who believe! when you encounter a host, remain steadfast, and remember Allâh much that you may triumph.

8:46. And obey Allâh and His Messenger and dispute not with one another or you will be demoralised and your strength will depart (from you) and do persevere, for Allâh is surely with the patiently persevering ones.

8:57. Therefore if you find these (breakers of trust) in battle array, then (by inflicting an exemplary punishment upon them) disperse those behind them so that they may be admonished.

8:58. And if you fear (and have reasons to fear) treachery from a people, then annul (their pact) on terms of equality. Indeed, Allâh loves not the treacherous.20

Ninth, in Quran, at times peace has to be secured by preventing a war from strength, but without any aggression:

8:60. (Believers! it is your duty also that you) keep prepared to meet them with whatever you can afford of armed force and of mounted pickets at the frontier, to strike terror thereby into the hearts of the enemies of Allâh and your enemies and such others besides them that you do not know, (but) Allâh knows them. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allâh, it shall be repaid to you in full and you will not be dealt with unjustly.21

Tenth, despite an existing state of war, peace is to be preferred even at the risk of deceit by the enemy:

8:61. And if they incline towards peace, you should also incline towards it and put your trust in Allâh. Surely, it is He Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

8:62. But if they intend to desert you, (remember that) Allâh surely suffices you. It is He Who has strengthened you with His help and with the believers;22

Eleventh, no captives of the enemy are to be taken by the Muslims unless there is an actual battle, a war which can only be defensive to begin with. Even in a state of war, it is clearly prohibited to target any civilians or noncombatants:

8:67. It does not behove a Prophet to keep captives unless He has triumphed after a regular bloody fighting in the land. (If you take captives without warfare,) you desire the temporary and frail goods of this world, while Allâh desires (for you the good of) the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.23

Twelfth, prisoners of war are to be dealt with mercifully:

8:70. Prophet! Say to those captives (of war) who are in your custody, `If Allâh finds any good in your heart, He will give you even better than that which has been taken away from you (as ransom) and will protect you (against your sins), for Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful [and so should be the Muslim captors],

8:71. But if they intend to play false with you, (remember that) they were false to Allâh before, but He delivered them into your control. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.24

Thirteenth, Quran encourages treaties with enemies and enjoins the respect of these treaties. Yet, if the enemy violates the treaty of peace and resorts to war then it gives full freedom to Muslims to defend themselves. While doing so, Muslims are mandated to provide protection and safety to enemy defectors and lead them to freedom. The following verses have both historical references as well as guidelines in general:

9:1. (This is) a declaration of complete absolution on the part of Allâh and His Messenger (from all obligations) to those of the polytheists with whom you had entered into a treaty (but they broke it repeatedly).25

9:2. So you may go about (freely O you breakers of the treaties!) in the land for four months (since the date of this declaration), and know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh, and (know) that Allâh will humiliate the disbelievers.

9:3. And this is a proclamation from Allâh and His Messenger to the people on the occasion of the Greater Pilgrimage (on the day of Sacrifice) that Allâh and His Messenger owe no obligation to these polytheists. If you (O polytheists!) turn to Him in repentance it is better for you. But if you turn away then know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh. And proclaim (O Prophet!) the news of a grievous punishment to these disbelievers;

9:4. Excepting those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.

9:5. But when the prohibited (four) months ([according to Arab custom] when no attack on the breakers of the treaties was permissible) have expired, slay such polytheists (who broke their treaties) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place from which it is possible to perceive the enemy and watch their movements. But if they turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, leave their path free. Indeed, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

9:6. And if any of the polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).

9:7. There can be no treaty (on the part) of these Polytheists (after their repeated violations of the same) in the sight of Allâh and His Messenger. This, however, does not apply to those with whom you entered into a treaty near the Holy Mosque (at Makkah). So long as they keep true to (the treaty for) you, you should also keep true (in maintaining the treaty) for them. Allâh, surely, loves those who become secure (against the breach of trusts).

9:8. How (can there be a treaty with deliberate violators of agreements) while, if they get the better of you they would respect no bond, nor words of honour in dealing with you. They would try to please you with (mere words of) their mouths whereas their hearts dissent (from what they say), and most of them are perfidious.

9:9. They have preferred paltry gains (- this world) to the revelations of Allâh and thus have turned (people) away from His path. Surely, evil is what they do!

9:10. They observe no bond nor any word of honour while dealing with one who trusts (them). It is these who are the transgressors.26

9:11. But if (even) such (sworn antagonists) turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, they are your brethren in faith. And We explain the commandments in detail for a people who know.

9:12. If they break their oaths after (they have ratified) their pledge and revile and commit aggression against your Faith, then fight such leaders of disbelief that they may desist. Indeed, solemn (binding) oaths have no value with them.

9:13. Will you not fight a people who have broken their solemn oaths and proposed to turn out the Messenger and were the first to commence (the fight) against you. Are you afraid of them? Nay, Allâh is more worthy that you should stand in awe of Him if you be (true) believers.

9:14. Fight them, Allâh will punish them at your hands and humiliate them and will grant you victory over them, and He will heal (the agonies of) the minds of a believing people.27

Fourteenth, even in actual war, Muslims are enjoined not to be aggressive:

2:190. And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors.

2:191. And slay them (the aggressors against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in [a] disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage. But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there,) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers.

2:192. But if they desist (from aggression,) then, behold, Allâh is indeed [the] Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh [note – in Qur’ân Allah uses his unique name as God for all peoples]. But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution).

2:194. (The violation of) a sacred month [according to Arab tradition] may be retaliated in the sacred month and for (the violation of) all sacred things the law of retaliation is prescribed. Then he who transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent he has transgressed against you, and take Allâh as a shield, and know that Allâh is with those who guard against evil.28

Such are the guidelines above from Quran for peace, tolerance, freedom of religions, protection of the persecuted, avoidance of aggression, conforming to peace treaties, prevention of war, resorting to war only in self-defense, etc. All these universally accepted human values of Quran are primarily based upon the sanctity of life that it mandates:

5:32. …We laid down for the Children of Israel that he who kills a human being – unless it be for (murdering) a person or for (reforming) disorder in the country, it is as if he has killed [the] entire human race. And whoso saves a (human) life, it is as if he has saved the entire mankind. Certainly, Our Messengers had already come to them with clear arguments, yet (even after that) many of them were certainly those who committed excesses in the land.29

It is obvious from the discussion so far that there is no room in Quran for extra-judicial killing or murders or killing of civilians and non-combatants. As to any suicide bomber Quran has this to say:

Do not cast yourselves to destruction by your own hands.” — 2:195

Do not kill yourselves.” — 4:2930

The insinuators of terror who train the suicide bombers and abet carnages and the blind followers who follow such leaders and their misguidance as word of God are forewarned:

2:165. (Inspite of all these evidences in support of the unity of God) there are some people who take to themselves compeers as opposed to Allâh. They love them as they should love Allâh. But those who believe are stauncher in (their) love for Allâh. And if only those who committed this wrong could but see (the time) when they shall see the punishment, (they would realize) that the complete power only belongs to Allâh and that Allâh is Severe at inflicting the punishment.

2:166. (At that time) when those who were followed (- the leaders) shall disown and sever themselves from their followers and they shall see the punishment (with their own eyes) and all their ties and means shall be cut asunder.

2:167. And (at that time) the followers shall say, `If we could only return (to the life of the world) we would disown them and sever ourselves from them as they disowned and severed themselves from us.' Thus Allâh will make them regret their deeds and they shall never (of themselves) get out of the Fire.31

The question that arises is that are these teachings of Quran for a restrained sword a mere rhetoric or were they ever practiced? The answer is summed up by Khwaja Kamaluddin in his book ‘The Ideal Prophet’ in chapter – Right Use of the Sword32:

For the first time the world was taught by the Prophet the right use of the sword. Secular and sacred history alike show that the sword has never been dispensed with. It was unsheathed by the Hindu Prophets and the Hebrew Patriarchs for neither the Hebrew Law nor that of the Hindus is in any way favourable to "pacifism." The Prince of Peace [–Jesus] also declared that he came to send on the earth "not peace but a sword;" he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets; the laws of his religion permitted it, and his prophets waged war. In fact he would have had recourse to the sword had a favourable occasion arisen, but it did not; and if he prevented Peter from drawing the sword, it was because the time was not propitious. Violence would but have entailed further trouble for him and for his followers. Besides, what Jesus himself could not do has been done with considerable thoroughness by his followers. His words have proved dangerously prophetic. A large portion of the wealth and the brain of Christendom is expended in discovering various ways in which they may send sword and fire more efficaciously into the world; and that, not for the furtherance of any humane cause, but to pander to the spirit of aggression and "grab."

I, however, maintain that at times it becomes one of our highest humanitarian duties to unsheathe the sword. We cannot conscientiously stand aside as indifferent spectators when the liberties of an oppressed people are being trampled upon, when religious freedom is at stake. There do arise situations when the use of arms becomes an unavoidable necessity. But the arms have often been abused, and it was the duty of a Prophet from God to tell us the right occasion when the sword can be wielded [The House Divided – by the author Khawaja Kamaluddin].”

Jesus was prepared to send sword and fire into the world, but Muhammad was compelled to do so. He allowed the use of arms on the following three occasions:

i. To save a house for the worship of God from destruction, be it Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim. (Holy Quran, 22:40)

ii. To establish freedom of conscience. Everyone, according to Quranic teaching, has the right to choose his own faith, and no one should force his religious beliefs on others by persecution or otherwise. And if a person does so, it is the duty of a Muslim to fight against such religious persecution, irrespective of whether the aggrieved be a Jew or a Christian and the persecutor a Muslim. (Holy Quran, 2:190-193)

iii. In self defence. (Holy Quran, 22:39)

But in each case a Muslim should suspend hostilities whenever the oppressor shows an inclination towards peace. (Holy Quran, 2:194)

Other Prophets of the world, especially the Hebrew, drew the sword for a cause of doubtful righteousness, as the Old Testament shows; but Muhammad did what righteousness demanded. Nevertheless, the Western mind has become so much poisoned by the prejudiced statements carped at Islam, that it will not care to hear what is true.


1 This chapter is reproduced from the book: Consumer Guide to God – A Muslim Perspective, In Light of Quran by M. Ikram Jahangiri
2 Adapted from “Jihad-Holy War – A Misconception” in the Introduction section of translation of The Holy Quran, p. 47A-48A: Nooruddin
3 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
4 Al-Inshiqaq – The Bursting Asunder: Nooruddin
5 Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
6 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Noorddin
7 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
8 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Nooruddin
9 Al-Saff – The Ranks: Nooruddin
10 Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
11 Consumer Guide to God – A Muslim Perspective, In Light of Quran by M. Ikram Jahangiri
12 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
13 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
14 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
15 Al-Maidah – Food: Muhammad Ali, Ed. Zahid Aziz
16 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
17 Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
18 Al-Anfal – The Voluntary Gifts: Nooruddin
19 ibid
20 ibid
21 ibid
22 ibid
23 ibid
24 ibid
25 Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
26 ibid
27 ibid
28   Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
29 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
30 As quoted on p.52 in the book – Islam, Peace and Tolerance by Dr. Zahid Aziz
31 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
32 The Ideal Prophet by Khwaja Kamaluddin. Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore, Re-Published 1996, p. 145-147. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/kk/idealprophet/idealprophet.shtml

Materialism and Falsehood – Gog, Magog and Dajjal, the Antichrist

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Materialism and Falsehood – Gog, Magog and Dajjal[1], the Antichrist

Gog and Magog are not inventions of Islam. They are prophecies about certain peoples and their conduct that we find in Old Testament.[2]

Ezekiel 38:1-9. Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog [Yajuj of Quran], of the land of Magog [Majuj of Quran], the prince of Rosh [Roos, Russia], Meshech [Moscow], and Tubal [–river North of Moscow], and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen [–the characteristic of Scythian and Magogian who domesticated horses – equestrian nomads of the northern Russian steppes], all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer [genealogy: Noah->Japheth->Gomer->Askenaz->Scythians;  Noah->Japheth->Magog->Gog-hasan;  Noah->Japheth->Magog->Hiongnu->Huns; Scythians<–>Huns[3]] and all its troops; the house of Togarmah [Georgians, the Armenians and some Turkic peoples[4]] from the far north [i.e. Europe] and all its troops—many people are with you.[5]

Despite their vivid description, demystifying Gog and Magog in the Old Testament has been an ever elusive topic. There is a general consensus that they represent prophecies about certain peoples symbolized by territory of their origin i.e. Europe – land of Magog…Rosh, Meshech, and Tubalfrom the far north.  Their military power and splendor are symbolized by – army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Their global reach is reflected in mention of lands and nations far and wide, away from Europe – Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. Their far reaching deep-seated sway on the peoples of the earth is thus stated – many people are with you. Their ideology is anti-God, both in letter and spirit to which – Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you. Since the exegetes of these prophecies are Gog and Magog themselves, the Christians – mostly of Europe, the anti-God to begin with, it was quite natural that the interpretation of this symbolism was never understood by their coreligionists and its realization has been kicked down the road of history by them like an empty can. Besides, a prophecy comes to full light only after it has been fulfilled. A thief will never call himself a criminal until the time when his conscience is awakened to repent and redeem by undoing the exploit.

The mysteries of Gog and Magog are best understood if spelled by the horse’s mouth. That we find in a speech given by Winston Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister of British Empire, which is captured in the book – ‘Churchill: The Power of Words’ by Martin Gilbert, p. 401-402.

'THE MAIN FOUNDATION OF PEACE'

On 25 October 1951 the Conservative Party was returned to power at the General Election, and Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time. On 9 November 1951, three weeks before his seventy-seventh birthday, he gave his first speech as peacetime Prime Minister, at the Lord Mayor's Banquet at London's Guildhall, ball, which had been massively damaged during the wartime Blitz, and whose historic statues of Gog and Magog – the mythical warring giants who are guardians of the City of London – had been destroyed. Churchill told the gathering:

Though I have very often in the last forty years or so been present at your famous Guildhall banquets to salute the new Lord Mayor, this is the first occasion when I have addressed this assembly here as Prime Minister. The explanation is convincing. When I should have come here as Prime Minister the Guildhall was blown up and before it was repaired I was blown out!

I thought at the time they were both disasters. But now we are all here together in a union which I hope will bring good luck. I am sure we all wish the Lord Mayor a successful year of his arduous office. […]

It is only by studying the past that we can foresee, however dimly, the future. I cannot help feeling the impact of these thoughts in this war-scarred Hall. Its battered monuments remind us of other struggles against the Continental tyrants of the past, in generations before the supreme ordeal of 1940 which we all endured and won together.

I am so glad, my lord Mayor, that you have decided to replace the effigies of Gog and Magog. It was to me a painful blow when they were burnt to ashes by Hitler's bombs. They will look fine in the gallery up there. Indeed I think they are not only ancient but up-to- date. It seems to me that they represent none too badly the present state of world politics.

World politics, like the history of Gog and Magog, are very confused and much disputed. Still I think there is room for both of them. On the one side is Gog and on the other Magog. But be careful, my Lord Mayor, when you put them back, to keep them from colliding with each other, for if that happens both Gog and Magog would he smashed to pieces and we should all have to begin all over again, and begin from the bottom of the pit.

Whatever are the differences between Gog and Magog, at any rate they are made out of the same materials. Let me tell you what the materials are: vast masses of warm-hearted, hard-working human beings wanting to do their best for their country and their neighbours, and longing to build their homes and bring up their children in peace, freedom and the hope of better times for the young when they grow up. That is all they ask of their rulers and governors and guides. That is the dear wish in the hearts of all the peoples of mankind.

How easy it ought to be with modern science standing tiptoe ready to open the doors of a Golden Age, to grant them this humble modest desire. But then there come along all these tribes of nationalists, ideologues, revolutionaries, class warfare experts. and imperialists with their nasty regimentation of academic doctrinaires, striving night and day to work them all tip against one another so that the homes instead of being built are bombed and the breadwinner is killed and the broken housewife left to pick the surviving children out of the ashes. There is the structure: that is the composition which Gog and Magog have in common and there is the fate which both will suffer if you, my Lord Mayor, and others concerned in our City affairs or those who deal with world affairs do not act with ordinary common sense and keep Gog and Magog from falling upon one another.

The historical perspective of the statues of Gog and Magog that Churchill referred to is laid out by Nicholas M. Railton in his article – Gog and Magog: the History of a Symbol, p. 24-25[6].

The two giants, carved by William Goos, welcomed Henry V in 1415 on his return to London after Agincourt and during the following centuries have offered protection to official ceremonies, midsummer pageants, Lord Mayor Shows, banquets and proceedings within the Guildhall. To Queen Elizabeth I they were known as Gogmagog and Corineus as they guided her to her coronation on 12 January 1558. The former, a descendant of Albion, was armed with arrows and a globe of spikes attached by a chain to a pole (known in the Middle Ages as a 'morning star'), the latter, in traditional Roman costume, as a Trojan invader with spear and shield. The figures no doubt contributed to the myth that London was founded by Greek invaders from Troy under the leadership of Brutus (Corineus' commander-in-chief) as Troja Nova. Both figures were warriors, bearing the scars of war on their faces and hands, and found a home in the London Guildhall by 1593 at the latest. Gogmagog mutated into two giants – most probably under the influence of Scripture – and Corineus was thrown on to the rubbish heap of history. Gog and Magog continued to 'watch and ward' events in the heart of the English capital and were even used to win votes. A handbill produced during a mayoralty election, dated 4 October 1816 and addressed to the London Tavern Livery and their Spouses, promised the giants would 'dance a minuet by steam' once the candidate had been elected. The honour and liberty of England was closely bound up with the presence and protection afforded by the two warrior heroes. New giants carved by Richard Saunoers in 1708 were destoyed by German bombs which hit the building on 29 December 1940, but in 1953 new statues carved by David Evans were unveiled in the west gallery of the Guildhall, Gog to the north and Magog to the south. A phoenix was added to the shield to underline the resurrection of the ancient mythical Britons.

A struggle between the two, recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth's twelfth century Histories of the Kings of Britain, is said to have ended in a wrestling match near Plymouth, Corineus being Trojan general in Cornwall. Gogmagog loses the match and is thrown into the sea at a place Geoffrey said was still called Goemagot's Leap in the twelfth century. In 1494 figures of the two giants were re-cut into the turf on Plymouth Hoe. Huge rocks known as Gog and Magog can still be seen off Land's End. They also gave their names to the Gog Magog Hills near Cambridge. It is said that semblances of the legendary giants were once cut into the turf of this chalk outcrop which dominates the whole of the plain to the Wash.

Churchill in a nutshell, described Gog and Magog for who they are, the Slavonic and Teutonic races, the Eastern and Western Europeans, their military and economic power, and their wars and their materialistic doctrines of our times that hold sway over every aspect of the globalized culture that only came into existence over past several centuries. He was able to state what he spoke only because he fully identified himself with Gog and Magog. He lived and led their global tribulations both during and outside the World Wars of last century. Besides Churchill, “in the 1st century C.E. the Jewish historian Josephus claimed that Gog and Magog were the Scythians[7].”[8] Eerily, his sketch of Gog and Magog reflects what the Old Testament, Quran and Hadiths describe about them and is the topic of current chapter.

Under the shadow of Gog and Magog also evolved a spiritual disfigurement, the Dajjal that is extensively mentioned in visions and prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as reported in the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, and Hanbal. It could be equally stated on the reverse that it was because of the doctrine of Dajjal that Gog and Magog fulfilled the prophecies attributed to them both in the Old Testament and the Hadiths.

The source of the turmoil that Churchill faced as head of Magog is identified in Quran to be the Christianity, pertinently of Europe:

19:88-91. And they say: The Beneficent has taken to Himself a son. Certainly you make a detestable assertion! The heavens may almost be torn apart at it, and the earth split, and the mountains crumble down in pieces, that they ascribe a son to the Beneficent! [9]

Quran clearly prophesizes the commotion of Gog and Magog that the whole world later endured at their hands in recent centuries, especially during the World Wars – The heavens may almost be torn apart at it, and the earth split, and the mountains crumble down in pieces, and then ties it to that which emanated from their doctrine driven by Christianity in which they – ascribe a son to the Beneficent!

It is to this tearing of heavens, splitting of earth and crumbling of mountains, if taken literally, was what Churchill expressed his concerns about in his speech, after he had seen it all in its full galore as the Prime Minister of British Empire during World War II and also witnessing before that in World War I.

Besides Gog and Magog, the Old Testament identifies their companionship of a ‘Satan’ in a global triad:

Revelation 20:7-8. … Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog…[10]

Because of Gog and Magog and their accompanying Satan, which is essentially the Dajjal of Hadith, the world continues to suffer exploitation at their hands and remains at risk of the omnipresent wars of future as well in which they will continue to have a direct or indirect role.

It is important for the reader to understand that Dajjal is a doctrine whereas Gog and Magog are races that unleashed the Dajjalic doctrine, which in turn is the basis of the term ‘Antichrist.’ What does the very title ‘Antichrist’ mean? Answer is simply, one who is ‘anti’ of what Jesus Christ was – son of Mary i.e. a human who was born and died in a natural way, what he stood for and what his message was about – monotheism, peace, love, equity, charity, self-effacement and struggle against materialism and usury; one who attributes to Jesus what Jesus was not i.e. the godhead, and that which Jesus rebuts himself in a parable in Quran where he distances himself from the ‘Antichrist’ doctrine:

5:116. And when Allâh said, `O Jesus, son of Mary! did you say to the people, "Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allâh?"' He (-Jesus) replied, `Glory to You! it was not possible and proper for me to say thing to which I had no right. If I had said, You would indeed have known it, (for) You know all that is in my mind but I do not know what is in Yours. It is You alone Who truly know all things unseen.

5:117. `I said nothing to them except that what You had commanded me, "Worship Allâh, my Lord as well as your Lord". I was a witness over them (only) so long as I remained among them but ever since You caused me to die [Arabic: ‘tawaffa’], You Yourself have been the Watcher over them and You are the Witness to everything.[11]

A keen observer will notice the words of Jesus – "Worship Allâh, my Lord as well as your Lord", which question the fundamental Christian doctrine that “if Jesus was God then how could he himself have worshipped another God?”[12] Quite logically then according to Quran god-ship was attributed to Jesus after his death. It is this doctrine that is the Antichrist, the Christian doctrine of Trinity and all the cohort forces that have and continue to propagate it by any means, be it from the pulpit, the government, the financial intuitions or the media. Atonement too in itself is Antichrist to begin with. Due to evil of Atonement, the human conscience of Gog and Magog was un-suppressed which in turn then unleashed the beast in them on the world stage. It was because of their doctrine of Atonement which absolves one from all the sins perpetrated and those yet to be committed, irrespective of ruthless barbarism, daily life driven by greed in all its affairs, never ending exploitation of world’s resources both by individuals and nations, subjugation of other humans, colonization and enslavement with impunity of the body and soul of humanity. It was the belief in wicked Atonement which thus gave the European nations a free-hand for their global plunder to an extent and magnitude never before imagined nor witnessed in the world history:

Ezekiel 38:7-13. “… In the latter years … You [–Gog and Magog] will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”’[13]

Please note the global evil plan outlined in Old Testament of the European colonists against the defenseless world in which they – will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations – the colonies[14]. The literal plundering of colonies by Gog and Magog was also prophesized when the subjugated in a cry of helplessness – will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ How true!

Gold and silver – COLUMBUS hungered for gold but found little. However his followers did: Cortes plundered the Aztec temples and Pizarro stole shiploads of Inca wealth. But while Indians worked the Spanish mines of Bolivia and Mexico, most of the wealth eventually wound up in the pockets of Dutch, British and French businessmen. The old European mercantile economy was shaken by the massive injection of American wealth. In 1500, Europe had $200 million worth of gold and silver: a century later the amount was eight times greater. Inflation sent the value of precious metals plummeting worldwide. (The Ottoman Empire saw the value of its silver hoard fall 50 per cent by 1584, knocking the Islamic power from contention as a major trading bloc.) And as the American booty spread around Europe, a new merchant and capitalist class was launched. Soon the British and Dutch expanded into North America, India, China and southeast Asia. By 1750 a truly global trading network had been established with Europe in firm control. The catalyst: American gold and silver.

Profit and slaves – THE unimaginable wealth of the Americas soon rendered redundant the old trade routes through Africa – once the main source of new supplies of gold and silver. Africa now had only one thing the Europeans wanted: slaves to work the mines and plantations of the new world. Slavery had existed in Africa for centuries but the demand for cheap labour in the Americas turned the sale of black flesh into a booming and immensely profitable business. By 1619 a million slaves had been brought to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America. The British and French easily dominated the slave trade as Spanish ships were too busy hauling all the new American wealth back home. Like American Indians, black people throughout the Americas were abused, degraded and murdered in the pursuit of profit. This legacy of racism and intolerance still cripples social relations throughout the Americas – from Argentina to the Arctic.

Banks and business – OPPORTUNITIES for profit in the Americas also produced the ancestors of today's giant multinational corporations. Pirates like Francis Drake got private financing and royal approval for his plunder of Spanish treasure. Later these pirates also branched out into slavery (forming businesses like the Royal African Company) and eventually plantation agriculture. In the Caribbean and along the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas, plantations growing sugar, tobacco, rice and cotton were hacked out of the forest and black slaves imported to work them. Later, British traders launched business ventures like The Hudson Bay Company (which was 'granted' by Charles II a chunk of Canada larger than Western Europe) and The Virginia Company. The imperial goals of Britain were closely tied to these private business interests. As the corporations prospered (backed by the unrivalled strength of the British Navy) a sophisticated banking system sprang up to handle all the new wealth, followed soon by stock markets to attract new investors.[15]

Dajjal in Arabic means that someone who covers the truth with falsehood – a liar, [who] covers with its numbers and covers the earth with unbelief.[16] Paulian Christianity by its very definition is a lie covering the prophethood, mission and mercy of Jesus Christ with doctrines attributing godhood and Atonement to him. The Church has used any and every means to overcome the truth brought forth by human conscience, i.e. Islam, about him, both by the crusades before and in the wars of recent past and even in the present, which Quran rebuts:

4:171. O people of the Scripture! do not go beyond the limits (of propriety) in the matter of your religion, nor say anything regarding Allâh except that which is perfectly true. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary was only a Messenger of Allâh, and (a fulfillment of) His word which He communicated to Mary, and a mercy from Him. Believe, therefore, in Allâh and in all His Messengers, and do not say, `(There are) three (Gods).' Refrain (from following this doctrine) it will be better for you. Verily, Allâh is the One and only God. He is Holy. Far above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allâh suffices as a Disposer of affairs.[17]

5:72-73. Indeed, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh – He is the Messiah, son of Mary,' whereas the Messiah (himself) said, `O Children of Israel, worship Allâh Who is my Lord and your Lord.' Surely whoso associates partners with Allâh, him has Allâh forbidden Paradise, and his resort will be the Fire and these transgressors shall have no helpers. Most certainly, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh is the third of the three.' But infact there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship except One God. And if they refrain not from what they say, there shall certainly befall those who disbelieve from among them, a grievous punishment.[18]

There is a waxing question about the true identify of Dajjal amongst the Muslims because its identity is shrouded in numerous prophecies in Hadiths which give its description in awesome details[19]. Since the term Dajjal is found in Hadith and not in Quran, by using the Hadiths one finds clues to its identity through its manifestations. To understand its turpitudes it becomes obligatory to recognize the national, religious, temporal and political aspects of Dajjal. The Hadiths point to first and last ten verses of Chapter Al-Kahf (– ‘Cave’ or ‘The Place of Refuge’), and by implication the whole chapter itself, as the starting point to identify and understand Dajjal before one is able to protect oneself against its tribulations and influence[20]. Of note is that the relevant Hadiths are prophecies based upon the visions of Prophet Muhammad, hence they were hidden in a futuristic mystery for centuries, deciphered for their metaphorical meanings only a little over a century ago by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India that fit the then prevalent geo-political upheaval in the world. The same tumult that has prevailed in the world for the last three hundred years is still ongoing into a foreseeable future. Of note is that in Hadiths the agitations of Dajjal are in no way related to end of the times as misconstrued generally.

The religious identity of the Dajjal is found in the initial verses of said chapter that clearly identify it as Christianity, the doctrine of son-ship:

18:4. And that it [– the Quran] may warn those who say, `Allâh has begotten a son.'

18:5. (This is absolutely wrong.) They have no real knowledge of Him, nor (had) their fathers. Grievous is the word that comes out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie.[21]

The next verses identify the Dajjal historically, when Christianity in its infancy gave up the material world for religion and adopted monasticism that we see in its early Unitarian Christians[22] and Ebionites[23], the ‘People of the Place of Refuge’:

18:9. Do you think that the People of the Place of Refuge and of the Inscriptions were a wonder among Our signs.

18:10. (Recall the time) when the young men betook themselves to the Place of Refuge and said (in prayer), `Our Lord! grant us mercy from Yourself and provide for us right course in our affair (setting all things right for us).'

18:11. So We sealed up their ears (to cut them off from the outside world) in their Place of Refuge for (only) a number of years.

18:12. Then We raised them up (for making certain efforts) that We might distinguish as to which of the two groups had made better use of the time they had stayed there according to its rightful requirement.[24]

This state of monasticism in Christianity where it rejected worldly pursuits lasted for the initial three hundred years, and some more, till the time when Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and First Council of Nicaea was held in 325 C.E.[25] where Trinity thus established[26] and remains of any monotheism in its faith thus expunged:

18:25. And they (- the early Christians) stayed in this Place of Refuge three hundred years [by a solar calendar] and extended (their stay) another nine (years) [if counting by lunar calendar].[27]

After about a thousand year when Trinity was adopted as the basis of Christianity, started the European Renaissance (French: rebirth), which set into motion the global turmoil of Gog and Magog:

Revelation 20:7-8. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. [28]

The national identity of Dajjal is found in the following verses of the same chapter of Quran which is that of Slavonic and Teutonic races, who subsequently converted to Christianity:

18:92. Then he [`Dhul-Qarnain[29] – i.e. Cyrus II, 600 or 576 – 530 BC[30]] launched out on (yet another) course (to the northern part of his empire, – to the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian Mountains).

18:93. So that when he reached a place (- Derbent) between two barriers (on one side the Caspian Sea and on the other the Caucasian mountains) he found in their vicinity a people who could hardly understand speech (in his Persian language).

18:94. They said, `Dhul-Qarnain! Gog and Magog (-respectively the ancestors of the present Teutonic and Slavonic races) are playing havoc in this country. Shall we pay you tribute on condition that you set up a barrier between us and them?'

18:95. He said, `The power which my Lord has endowed me with about this is better (than this your tribute), you (only) help me with (your resources and human endeavour of physical) strength. I will raise a rampart between you and them.'

18:96. (Then he said,) `Bring me ingots of iron [– a clear reference to iron age which had started several centuries before].' (So that when all was provided for and) he had filled the space between the two barriers, he said, `Now blow (with your bellows).' (They blew) till when he had made it (- the ignots red hot as) fire, he said, `Bring me molten copper that I may pour (it) thereon [– the gates of the walled barrier].'

Note: The time period of fortification by Dhul-Qarnain overlaps with construction of the Great Wall of China which too was erected overtime as a barrier against the same Scythian and Magogian warring hordes.

18:97. So (there was built the rampart which) they (- Gog and Magog) could neither scale nor they had the strength to cause a breach through it.[31]

The above verses also metaphorically place a temporal check on these races until a certain time when they were unleashed in the recent history only after the Dajjalic doctrine had taken hold of them – Now when the thousand years have expired [after the First Council of Nicaea 325 C.E.], Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:7-8). In a different chapter, Quran also makes reference to the unstoppable nature of the Gog and Magog, when they were let loose on the earth to dominate it from every high point of superiority vis-à-vis their science and technology, maritime and military might, economic strength and cultural lures, by which they colonized, exploited and dominated the globe over its air, land and sea, and all aspects of global socio-economic and political affairs that the recent history and current times testify to:

21:96. … when (the great powers like) Gog and Magog [nations which existed but were restricted at the time of advent of Quran] are let loose [globally in the future] and come crashing down from every height and from the crest of every wave, and when they occupy every point of vantage (dominating the whole world and when they excel all other nations).[32]

The characteristic upheaval that the same European Christian races created in the world, firstly by their surging over the globe and secondly, when the same people surged against each other right from within Europe in centuries of warfare[33], the Colonial wars, American war of independence, through the Napoleonic wars and the World Wars I & II in which they faced hell in this earth of their own making. By extension the same military forces continue to surge ever since, years on end that recent events testify to including the decades of wars in Palestine, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan:

18:98. He [`Dhul-Qarnain – i.e. Cyrus II] said (thereupon), `This (rampart signifies) a great mercy of my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord (about the spread of the tentacles of Gog and Magog all over the world) shall come to pass, He will raze it [–the temporary physical and allegorical barrier erected by `Dhul-Qarnain in verses 18:95-98] to the ground (crumbling it to pieces), and the promise of my Lord is certainly true.'

18:99. And We shall leave them (- Gog and Magog) alone at that time surging as waves (in furious attacks) one over another. And the trumpet shall be blown [–i.e. global announcement of their domination, upheaval, wars, their pacts and treaties including United Nations, 4 of the 5 members of Security Council belong to Gog and Magog]. Then shall We gather them all together [–League of Nations, United Nations, Eastern European Communist Block, NATO, European Union. Here also is a prophecy of the world gathering under the banner of Islam].

18:100. And We shall (in a way) present hell on that day [e.g. World War I & II etc.], face to face to the disbelievers.[34]

Similar to Quran, the Old Testament also prophesizes the upheavals of Gog and Magog that the world saw after their slicing up of Middle East – the Land of Israel, dismemberment of Ottoman Empire and then going into World War II against each other:

Ezekiel 38:14-23. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them? “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’[35]

Sadly, the above passage is a summary of World Wars I & II so far, when – says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,”. The global extent of the war was thus prophesized – “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. About 73 million died in WWII[36] alone, whereas 39 million casualties occurred in WWI.[37] The reference to Israel in the prophecies about Gog and Magog essentially alludes to the victimization of Jewish people wherever they maybe, at the hands of European Christians, firstly during Crusades in the Middle East and then in Europe in recent centuries  – Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land.

The intensity of their might and the warfare technologies can be discerned by their creating equivalent of hell on earth, the examples of which are found in Quran:

55:33. O body of jinn (- fiery natured) and (ordinary) the people! If you have the power and capacity to go beyond the confines of the heavens and the earth, then do go. But you will not be able to go unless you have the necessary and unusual power.

55:35. Flames of fire, smoke and molten copper will be let loose upon you and you will not be able to defend yourselves.

55:37. And when the heaven splits up and turns crimson like red hide (how will you fare then)?[38]

The economic and industrial face of Dajjal is identified in the last verses of the Chapter Al-Kahf which pinpoints them by their unique manufacturing base and their daily lives overtaken by materialism at the cost of any spiritual gains for the mere fact that despite following a so called religion, Christianity, they are not following truth but a falsehood, which is just another name for Dajjal, the Antichrist. Essentially, the world under their sway and unbeknownst to themselves, they too are consumed by their own ‘Dajjalic’ doctrine which as noted in Quran has transformed from its initial monasticism of about three hundred years after Jesus Christ to its current state of materialism over last several centuries:

18:101. Those (of them) whose eyes were under a cover (not heeding) My Reminder, and they could not even afford to hear (to the voice of truth).

18:102. Do those disbelievers [of Dajjalic doctrine, the Christians, the only doctrine centered on a ‘son’ of God in prevailing religions of the world] think, even then, that they can take My servants as patrons to My exclusion? (Let them know) surely We have prepared Gehenna for the disbelievers as an entertainment.

18:103. Say, `Shall We inform you of those whose [materialistic] deeds shall spell their utter loss?'

18:104. (They are) those whose [materialistic] efforts are (all) lost in (pursuit of things relating to) the life of this world, yet they think they are doing works of good manufacturing [while they are blind to spiritual aspects of human growth].[39]

Contrary to verses 18:9-12 when the early Christianity had abandoned the worldly life for religion and adopted monasticism, the above verse points to a reversal point in its doctrine, when it will renounce religion for materialism. The next verse then provides the reason for such a doctrinal shift which is now their national remorselessness and a belief in unaccountability of their exploitations, diplomatically called as economic and national interest, and their unbelief in life after death which inherently would act as a check on their selfish behaviors:

18:105. It is these who disbelieve in and deny the Messages of Allâh and the meeting with Him. So their deeds have gone vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall assign them no weight.[40]

The doctrine of Dajjal removed any vestige of regret from the psyche of its followers which consequentially makes them remorseless in their global exploitation that resulted primarily from their core belief in Trinity and its accompanying Atonement, a falsehood, pure and simple. The Quran gives a disclaimer and distances its message from the followers of doctrine of Dajjal:

18:110. Say, `I [-Muhammad] am but a human being like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is only One God [i.e. not Trinity]. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord do deeds of righteousness and let him associate no one in the worship of his Lord.[41]

After giving the prophecies about arrival and global domination by the doctrine of Dajjal, Quran also speaks of its destruction, not in terms of killings, but crumbling of the Cross which is its controlling ideology:

2:97. And when the time (of the fulfillment) of the true promise (about the destruction of the forces of falsehood and materialism as represented by Gog and Magog) draws near, behold! the eyes of those who do not believe (in the triumph of truth), will be transfixed (and they will exclaim), `Ah, woe to us! we were really forgetful of this (day), nay, we were of course unjust.'

2:98. (It will be said to them,) `Surely, you and the things [including the Trinity,, Atonement and materialism] which you worship apart from Allâh are, of course, fuel of Gehenna, where you shall enter.'

2:99. Had these things been true gods [–Trinity, Atonement and materialism] (as you claim to be) they would not have come to it. But (as it is) they shall all enter it and abide in it for long.[42]

The destruction of forces of materialism in above three verses are alluded to in another Hadith, in which it was prophesied that sun will rise from the west, again interpreted by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the rise of Islam from the west. It too was prophesized by Ezekiel once the tribulations of Gog had come to pass:

Ezekiel 38:14-23. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog…Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’[43]

Interpretation of the said hadith is the first step towards that sunrise when Islam will be adopted instead of Christianity by the Gog and Magog and Dajjal will be vanquished. While other religions may be non-Christians, Islam is singularly Antichristian. Islam in its ideology is the only antidote against the Antichrist as Islam is an anti-Dajjal by nature. It is not the only bulwark against the Dajjalic doctrine, but has the inherent intellectual capacity to overcome it. Islam uniquely stands against son-ship and sun-ship. While standing against son-ship attributed to Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), it flushes away the ‘mysteries’ of crucifixion and resurrection. It does not hesitate to expunge the bad math of ‘three equals one’. It also does away with the make-belief moral value of sun-ship originated by Constantine and his Sun’day worship and the symbols of tonsure ‘sun-disks’ of the monks, eastward facing entrances of sun-altars – the Churches, the pagan celestial festivals of winter solstice and vernal equinox – the Christmas and Easter representing the yearly decline and rise of Sun God, the cross’ing of Sun through Pisces – the symbol fish, the virgin births of sun-gods, the resurrections and healing powers of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Babylonian and Persian sun-gods – including Jesus of the New Testament. It even bodily buries Jesus, the prophet, in a heaven on earth, in the vale of Kashmir and the mother, Mary in Murree, not too far from the son:

23:50. And We made the son of Mary [–Jesus] and his mother a sign, (and a model of virtue), and We gave them both refuge [Note the key word “refuge” i.e. the final destination of an escape] upon a worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water [– a historical and geographical reference to Kashmir].[44]

Ali Akbar in his book ‘Prophecies of the Holy Quran’[45] on page 71 summarizes the subject matter as referenced in Quran in its Chapter Al-Kahf – The Cave as follows:

Regarding chapter 18, all but two sections of this particular chapter (sections 9 and 10) are related to the history of Christianity and the European nations from their early past to their coming future,

Verses 94 to 98 identify Gog and Magog as the European nations.

Verses 4, 5 and 102 identify their religion as Christianity.

Verse 104 speaks of them as great industrial nations of the future.

Verse 7 states that they will beautify the earth.

Verse 9 speaks of them as great trading nations.

Verses 99 and 100 state that they will bring great destruction to the world.

Verse 8 says that whatever embellishments they have made will be reduced to dust without harvest.

As stated before, the allegorical verses can be interpreted when a meaning has been made manifest. So it is left to the reader to make his own judgment as to whether they are made manifest or not in our present day. The Holy Qur'an foresaw and foretold that universal calamity would be brought about by the Western Christian nations. And one might well ask why the Holy Qur'án does mention these particular European nations. The reason for this is quite clear: Allah alone is the Knower of the past, the present and the future. And He knows and tells us that the time will come when these nations will become free and prevail over all the heights of the world. With their material power and false attitude towards life they would sway the world so much that, as the Prophet has said: No people of the world will have the power to fight them (Muslim). They would do all this in order to gain their own material ends, but outwardly in the name of His servant Jesus. But in fact, according to the Holy Qur'án and the Bible, the Prophet Jesus had nothing to do with them, for he was only the prophet towards the Children of Israel. Reference to this can be found in the New Testament: These twelve disciples Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew, 10:5-6).

It thus becomes important for Muslims to understand their own condition under the subjugation of Gog and Magog and the sway of Dajjal that will pollute their own spiritual state for which reader is referred to the book – ‘The Antichrist, and Gog and Magog’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali. The remedy for the doctrine of Antichrist, the Dajjal, is first to recognize it, which we find in Chapter 18th Chapter Al-Kahf (The Place of Refuge or The Cave) of the Quran and secondly to intellectually strive against its influence in personal lives and confronting it with arguments in Quran, because it is Quran alone that can make the Dajjal dissolve away like salt in water:

25:52. So do not follow the disbelievers, and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur'ân), a mighty striving.[46]

If and when Gog and Magog are stripped of their Dajjalic doctrine of Trinity, Atonement and materialism which are a stark reality of its existence,[47] and the Cross is broken as an imaginative figment; only then its monocular blindness[48] of the Right spiritual eye[49] could be restored to its full spiritual brightness at par with its contralateral bright eye of materialism, and the consequent result will be spiritually enriched nations that with their unparalleled modernity of science and knowledge will be blessings for the humanity.


[1] “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali – A must read on the topic. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/gog/gog.shtml
[2] Gog is mentioned by name in 1 Chronicles 5:4; Ezekiel 38:1-3,14,16,18,2; Ezekiel 39:1,11,15; Revelation 20:8. Similarly, Magog is mentioned in Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:6; Revelation 20:8.
[3] GOG AND MAGOG – THEIR NAMES IN HISTORY, THEIR PLACES IN PROPHECY. Link: http://www.soundchristian.com/magog/

[4] Wikipedia. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Togarmah; see also footnote 3.
[5] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A1-9&version=NKJV

[6] PDF Link: http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/2003-1_023.pdf

[7] Scythian, also called Scyth, Saka, and Sacae, member of a nomadic people, originally of Iranian stock, known from as early as the 9th century bce who migrated westward from Central Asia to southern Russia and Ukraine in the 8th and 7th centuries bce. The Scythians founded a rich, powerful empire centered on what is now Crimea. The empire survived for several centuries before succumbing to the Sarmatians during the period from the 4th century bce to the 2nd century C.E. Encyclopedia Britannica. Link: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Scythian

[8] Encyclopedia Britannica. Link: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Gog

[9] Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[10] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A7-8&version=NKJV

[11] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[12] A quote from documentary “National Geographic: Inside Mecca”.
[13] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A8-13&version=NKJV

[14] History of Colonialism. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_colonialism

[15] ‘Simply… The Stolen Continent.’ Link: http://newint.org/features/1991/12/05/simply/

[16] Paraphrased from “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali
[17] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[18] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[19] “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali.
[20]  Whoever commits to memory the first ten verses of the chapter entitled the Cave will be immune from (the trials of) Dajjal (Al-Muslim 6:42; Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi; Musnad Ahmad.). Whoever recites the last ten verses of the chapter entitled the Cave will be safe from the trials of Dajjal (Al-Muslim; Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud 36:12.).
[21] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[22] Wikipedia: Unitarians. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Unitarianism#Early_origins

[23] Wikipedia: Ebionites. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

[24] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[25] Wikipedia: First Council of Nicaea. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

[26] Wikipedia: Link: Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed#Comparison_between_Creed_of_325_and_Creed_of_381

[27] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[28] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A7-8&version=NKJV

[29] Daniel 8:1-4. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai. Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
Daniel 8:15-20. Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.
[30] Wikipedia: Cyrus the Great. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great

[31] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[32] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[33] Wikipedia: List of conflicts in Europe. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

[34] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[35] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A14-23&version=NKJV

[36] Wikipedia: World War II Casualties. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

[37] Wikipedia: World War I Casualties. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

[38] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[39] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[40] ibid – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[41] ibid – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[42] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[43] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A14-23&version=NKJV

[44] Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin [45] Published by The Woking Muslim Mission & Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, Surrery, U.K. 1968. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/others/misc/propheciesholyquran/propheciesholyquran.shtml
[46] Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
[47] Hadiths refer to Dajjal having Kufr, i.e. unbelief; prominently written on its forehead that even the unlettered believer will be able to read it, implying the unbelief and actions of Dajjal will be obvious to all and sundry of the believers.
[48] In Hadiths, Dajjal is described to have blindness in Right eye, implying its spiritual void whereas its Left eye is bright as a shining star, indicating its highly developed worldly and materialistic vision.
[49] In amblyopia (blindness in one eye), the brain prefers the healthier eye over the other which could be impaired due to various reasons. The impaired eye is thus ignored to the point that due to inadequate stimulation the visual cortex does not mature normally. The blindness may go unnoticed by the patient and may persist into older age and missed because of the overriding of perception of normal vision by the other eye. The treatment in children usually involves patching the normal eye for a few hours every day for a few months so that the affected eye and its brain circuits may get a chance to mature.

‘Aal’, the Family of the Prophet — It is Creed not Breed

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Aal’, the Family of the Prophet – It is Creed not Breed!

Sometime after the death of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and ever since there have arisen institutions in Islam with sectarian leanings that primarily rely on holy lineages for their leadership along blood lines as if spirituality and blessings of the forefathers can be transmitted in subsequent generations of the descendants. There is no denying that descendants of holies can be independently saintly by their own faith and effort, but such claims or attributions must stand on individual merits and not on lineage. There is no cronyism in Islam to permit continuation of a spiritual office based upon pedigree in the manner of monarchy and heirs to a throne.

Man through history has been driven by a natural inclination to degrade himself and bow before God to satisfy his soul. Unable to comprehend God in some palpable manner, humans inevitably resort to bygone personalities that were apparently able to do so. To satisfy this inner urge to experience spirituality through proxy one finds rampant fellowships in most religions and also in different sects among Muslims. Some fellowships are based upon lineage of Prophet via his daughter; others find such figures for emotional attachment either in history or even in the present as tangible faces of an otherwise ever elusive mysticism.

Fellowships provide a sense of belonging and identity where the choir sings the same hymn under common emotions. Such congregational clustering also gives a sense of protection in a social network thus established that provides opportunities of growth in various sectors of daily living. Sooner or later, the fellowships turn into a cultish behavior when the leadership devolves into a self-serving power center surrounded by yes-men and the parish is dragged along in a blind allegiance.

We shall put rationale of fellowships that exist in Muslims to test through the lens of Qur’ân, under the following headings:

Fellowship: Merits and Principles

The highest office in Islam is that of prophethood which ended with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The sole purpose of a prophet is to bring Message and a way of life to the masses, commonly called religion. Belief in a religion has to stand on its own merits; Islam has no room for indoctrination or its enforcement as heritage:

2:256. There is no compulsion of any sort in religion (as) the right way does stand obviously distinguished from the way of error. [1]

The Message of a prophet is to guide mankind to God. Every Messenger since eternity has emphasized nearness to Allah through individual righteous deeds and not by blood relationships to the Prophets, and by implication, to his appointed ones after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Mujaddids as well:

 16:128. Allâh is, of course, with those who guard against evil, and those who are doers of good to others.[2]

For the follower of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), irrespective of his/her genealogy that may link such a person to the Prophet in any combination of lineage, his/her practicing Islam is a favor only to themselves and no one else:

49:17. They presume to lay thee under an obligation by becoming Muslims. Say: Lay me not under an obligation by your Islam; rather Allah lays you under an obligation by guiding you to the faith, if you are truthful.[3]

Islam is not a patrimonial religion that sustains itself on a region, race, language or relationships. There is little merit in inheriting Islam in a bloodline. The arguments that Qur’ân puts against followers of other religions also essentially applies to its own adherents:

5:104. …They say, `Sufficient for us is that (tradition) whereon we have found our forefathers.' What! (would they follow them blindly) even though their forefathers had no knowledge whatsoever and had no guidance?[4]

43:22. Nay, but they say, “Behold, We found our forefathers agreed on what to believe – and, verily, it is in their footsteps that we find our guidance!”

43:23. And thus it is: whenever We sent, before thy time, a warner to any community, those of its people who had lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures would always say, “Behold, we found our forefathers agreed on what to believe – and, verily, it is but in their footsteps that we follow!”[5]

In the matters of faith the only human model that is to be followed is the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

33:21. Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar…[6]

Even while following the Prophet, a Muslim has to keep in mind the human status of Muhammad, which the Prophet himself declares and Qur’ân emphasizes:

110. Say, I [Muhammad] am but a human being like you’…[7]

In other religions, their followers, out of love for their respective messengers, coupled with their ancestral and inherent idolatrous traditions, over a period of time started attributing godliness to their messengers. Similarly, in Muslims too, traditions have taken root of beliefs that association with certain personages in history or in the present brings them closer to Allah, a notion that Qur’ân strictly admonishes against:

39:3. Beware! Sincere and true obedience is due to Allâh alone. Those who choose others as a patron beside Him (say), `We serve them only that they may bring us near to Allâh in station.' (It is absolutely wrong.)…[8]

Not only does Qur’ân nip any doubts about humanness of any prophet in the bud, it also bars any prophet from self-exaltation. There is no intermediary in the man-God connection in Islam. This injunction must be followed posthumously because the message of Qur’ân is for all times to come:

2:79. It is not given to a human being that Allâh should give him the Book, the sovereignty and the prophethood and then he should say to the people, `Be servants to me beside Allâh’. He would rather say, `Be you the sole devotees of (Allâh) the Lord, for you teach the Book and because you study (it)’.

2:80. Nor would (it be possible for him that) he bid you take the angels and Prophets as your lords. Would he bid you disbelieve after you have submitted yourselves (to the will of God)?[9]

In the man-God relationship of Islam, there are no intermediaries. By excluding any intercessional capacity of any admired personage by its followers, Qur’ân removes such polytheistic tendencies in Islam:

39:44. Say, `All intercession belongs to Allâh entirely. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, then towards Him you shall (all) be brought back.'[10]

The followers of exalted personages are cautioned about the extent of their love for that person, which at times can be unlimited to the extent it might teeter on polytheism. The object of worship of a Muslim is Allah, not any human:

39:45. When (the name of) Allâh alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion but when (the names of) those who are below His high station are mentioned, behold they are at once filled with joy.[11]

Fellowship: Meritocracy vs. Aristocracy

Based upon the principle of individual righteousness and actions Abraham was conferred the status of Imam. His natural wish for across the board Imams in his progeny, both in bloodline and fellowship, is denied in Qur’ân with the exception of those of his posterity who are righteous. This example of Abraham makes bloodline immaterial in subsequent Imamate to the any appointed one:

2:124. (Recall) when his Lord put Abraham to test with certain commandments, so he carried them out. (God) said, `Verily, I will make you an Imâm (– a religious leader) for the good of the people.' (Abraham) said (inquiringly), `And from among my progeny (too, do You promise to raise leaders)?' (God) said, `(Yes, but) My (this) covenant does not embrace the wrongdoers.'[12]

This tenet of no virtue in inheritance without the merit of righteousness is also contained in the prayer of Solomon that excluded his inept successors – Jeroboam and his son Rehoboam:

38:35. He [Solomon] said (praying), `My Lord! grant me protection and bestow on me a kingdom that belongs to none (by inheritance) after me. You indeed are the Great Bestower.'[13]

The foundation stone of spirituality in Islam is individual righteousness, not association with the righteous alone that we see in exclusion of some of the wives even those of the prophets from any blessings, the wives of Noah and Lot as a case in point:

66:10. Allâh compares those who disbelieve to the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were both under (the wedlock of) two of Our righteous servants but acted treacherously towards them both. So they (– Noah and Lot) could do nothing to save them from (the punishment of) Allâh. And it was said to them, `Enter you both into the (Hell) Fire along with those (of your category) who enter therein.[14]

The opposite is equally true, when a righteous person is associated with a wrong-doer, for example the Pharaoh of Exodus:

66:11. And Allâh compares those who believe to the wife of Pharaoh. Behold! she said, `My Lord! make for me an abode in the Garden (of Paradise) close to You and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work and deliver me from the wrongdoing people.[15]

Of course, a person can be standalone righteous, for example Mary, mother of Jesus:

66:12. And Allâh (next compares the believers to) Mary, the daughter of Amrân, she who took care to guard her chastity, so we breathed into him (the believer who is exemplified here) Our inspiration, while she declared her faith in the revelations of her Lord and His Scriptures and she became of the devoted ones to prayers and obedient to Him.[16]

Even Prophet Muhammad’s own blood relations were not exempt from the application of this universal principle of merit of individual righteousness and his uncle and aunt were prophesized to be doomed in Prophet’s lifetime:

111:1. Let the two hands of Abû Lahab (the Prophet's uncle, one of his most inveterate opponents and other fiery tempered enemies of Islam) perish, and let he himself (also) perish!

111:2. His wealth and what he has accomplished shall avail him naught.

111:3. He shall soon enter a Fire full of leaping flames (to burn others of his kind as well),

111:4. And his wife too, the carrier of fire wood and bearer of slanders and calumnies (will also be enveloped in the flames);

111:5. Having round her neck a halter of twisted strands.[17]

Fellowship: Fraternity vs. Family

Note: The since advocates of a selective meaning of ‘family of prophet’ are important to discussion below, we will be referring to translation of Qur’ân published under the author name of MH Shakir who belonged to same school of thought. It is also important to bear in mind that Shakir has extensively plagiarized his work.[18]

Further, blood relationship has no bearing on attaining righteousness. Even a prophet’s own children can fall into disfavor because of their misdeeds and be removed from the spiritual succession, the ‘family’ of the prophet:

11:45. And Noah called to his Lord and said , `My Lord! my son belongs to my family [Arabic: ahlī] and surely Your promise is (also) true; yet You are the Most Just of the judges’.

11:46. (The Lord) said, `He decidedly does not belong to your family [Arabic: ahlika] as he is given to unrighteous conduct, so do not ask of Me that of which you have no knowledge. I advise you not to be of those wanting in knowledge.'[19] [Emphasis added]

Of note is that in the said verses Qur’ân expunges the general understanding of bloodline from ‘family’ of the prophet and replaces it with followers of a righteous conduct. This is so for a simple reason that in his personal space a prophet can have wife/wives and children to whom he can be a husband and father, however, as per the office of prophethood, instead, he is head of a larger spiritual flock that follow his Message, termed his family. There is no patronization in Islam. On a closer read of verse 11:26 one finds that Noah pleads for his son, whereas, in reply Noah is rebuked in his understanding of the term ‘family.’  Nowhere is he told that his son is not related by blood to him, as blood relationship cannot be changed because of biological realities. Instead, Noah is told that his son does not belong to his spiritual family. This fully comes to light in the same verse where Noah’s narrow perception of family is removed from my family of a father and replaced with a broader perspective of your family of a prophet that includes all his followers, irrespective of any blood relationship.

Despite belonging to his bloodline we see that Noah’s son is excluded from the spiritual family because he is a non-believer. At least in the case of Noah’s son, Qur’ân gives us a concrete example in which the judgment is by Allah. One has to wonder as to who will be the judge for merits of any blood relations after passing away of the last of prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? The answer to that is none but Qur’ân, Al-Furqân (25:1) – the Book which distinguishes between right and wrong [20], no matter how much falsehood is alleged from it:

21:18. Nay, We hurl the truth at falsehood so that it knocks out its brains (and defeats it); and behold, it (- the falsehood) vanishes…[21]

The next verses tell us of survival of Noah’s followers. It should be noted that some translations (not quoted here) use the word ‘family’ instead of ‘followers’, still, both the blood relations and the believers are lumped together in the ‘followers’:

37:76. And We delivered him [– Noah] and his followers [Arabic: wa-ahlahu] from the mighty distress.

37:77. And We made his offspring the survivors.[22][Shakir]

Similarly, in the case of Lot we read the following:

26:169. [Lot prayed] My Lord! deliver me and my followers [Arabic: wa-ahlī] from what they do.

26:170. So We delivered him and his followers [Arabic: wa-ahlahu] all,

26:171. Except an old woman [–wife of Lot, see v. 66:10 above], among those who remained behind.

26:172. Then We utterly destroyed the others.[23] [Emphasis added] [Shakir]

Again, some translations (not quoted here) use the word ‘family’ instead of ‘followers’ in the above stated verses. Still, wife of Lot is excluded from the followers for the mere fact that she acted treacherously towards (v. 66:10) the Prophet who happened to be her husband, Lot. Because of his office of prophethood Lot is bound to pray for all his followers (v. 26:169) that includes his immediate family. The same context is found in another verse:

15:65. [Lot–] Therefore go forth with your followers [Arabic: bi-ahlika] in a part of the night and yourself follow their rear, and let not any one of you turn round, and go forth whither you are commanded.[24][Shakir]

In another verse, Qur’ân merges the bloodline of a prophet, Job (–Ayub), and his followers into one family when it equates the followers with the blood relations, the like of them. The end result is that a prophet’s family is none but all his followers irrespective of their blood relationship with him or not. In summary, a one big close knit family of the followers all associated with the prophet as his ‘progeny’, in both metaphorical and practical sense, the torch bearers of legacy of the prophet:

38:43. And We gave him [–Job] his family [Arabic: ahlahu] and the like of them with them [–the followers], as a mercy from Us, and as a reminder to those possessed of understanding.[25] [Shakir]

Additionally, a righteous person may not be related to a prophet by blood, but if such person is a follower of that prophet, then he belongs to the ‘family’ of that prophet. Thus a Prophet is tethered to his followers only and only if the latter follows the former’s creed. This principle is brought to light in Abraham’s prayer. Abraham prayed and declared his followers as his spiritual family, at par with his own children as long as the followers or even his own progeny followed his creed. Essentially, there is no value of physical progeny for a prophet. A prophet and his prophethood survive by his spiritual household, which in Arabic is called Aāl of that prophet:

14:35. (Recall the time) when Abraham said, `My Lord, make this (would be) city (of Makkah) secure and a haven of peace, and keep me and my children away from worshipping idols.

14:36. `My Lord! a large number of people has gone astray because of these (idols) to be sure. Then whoso follows me he is certainly of me. As for the person who disobeys me, (I can say only,) You are indeed Great Protector (against faults), Ever Merciful.[26]

The declaration of Abraham, the prophet, ‘whoso follows me he is certainly of me’ sets in stone the definition of the family of a prophet that consists of all his followers, commonly called the Ummah of the Prophet.

Fellowship: Expectation of Reward – a Trait of Pharaoh

In contravention of above principles of Aal of a Prophet, which is only and only the spiritual fellowship that Qur’ân repeatedly emphasizes, the following verse at times is erroneously quoted in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is allegedly asking for a special treatment of his blood relatives and by implication a special status to be awarded by his followers to his bloodline:

42:23. That is of which Allah gives the good news to His servants, (to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say: I [Muhammad] do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.[27] [Shakir] see footnote[28].

If the said verse is read with bloodline in mind, then for sure the Prophet is asking for a reward, and that too beggingly, in return for him delivering his Message, albeit a non-material reward of love for my near relatives which is a stark contradiction within the verse. Whereas, if relatives is read as spiritual progeny or tribal relations of the Prophet, then assuredly Prophet is not asking for a reward but cajoling all peoples to love each other for the mere fact the Prophet was in one way or another related to all the tribes in Makkah. What the readers might not be aware of that this verse was revealed in Makkah before the migration of Prophet to Medina. At that time Prophet’s daughter had not yet married Ali[29]. The said couple married in the second year of Hijrah calendar in Medina. Any imagined reference in the said verse for any later male progeny of the Prophet, no matter through his daughter, irrespective of how erroneously construed, does not even arise.

While quoting the verse 42:23, the advocates fail to read the next subsequent verse which in continuation of the subject matter addresses the opponents of Islam in Makkah:
 

42:24. Or do they say: He has forged a lie against Allah? But if Allah pleased, He would seal your heart; and Allah will blot out the falsehood and confirm the truth with His words; surely He is Cognizant of what is in the breasts."> [29a] [Shakir]


Similarly, the verses 42:21-22 [29b] preceding the verse under discussion (42:23) are also addressing the opponents of the Prophet. If the argument of the same advocates is accepted, then for sure the Prophet in verse 42:23 is asking a favor from the opponents of Islam for a special status of his grandchildren through his daughter, which is preposterous.

 

Readers of Qur’ân must be aware that reminding of favors bestowed on others and then expecting a reward in return is not the in the nature of prophets, but that of a person like Pharaoh, as stated in the following verses:

 

26:18. (So when Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh) he said (to Moses), `Did we not bring you up among us when you were a mere babe? And you stayed with us many years of your life.

26:19. `And you have surely committed an act (of homicide), and you are of the ungrateful.'

26:20. (Moses) said, `Indeed I did it (then inadvertently and) as I was lost (for the love of my people and was in a perplexed state of mind).

26:21. `So I fled from you when I apprehended (injustice from) you; then (it came to pass that) my Lord granted me knowledge and (right) judgment and made me (one) of the Messengers.

26:22. `And this insignificant favour (of your bringing me up) that you (so tauntingly) remind me of (can be no reasonable excuse) for you have enslaved (the whole community of) the Children of Israel (for no fault of theirs).'[30]

On the contrary, Messengers never ever ask for reward for their divinely ascribed duties:

26:109. `And I [–Noah] ask no reward from you for it (- the delivery of the Message of God). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.

26:127. `I [–Hud] ask no reward from you for this (service I render). My reward lies only with the Lord of the worlds.

26:145. `I [–Salih] ask no reward from you for this (service I render). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.

26:164. `And I [–Lot] ask no reward from you for this (service I render). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.

26:180. `And I [–Shu’aib] ask no reward from you for it (- the services I render). Surely, my reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.[31]

In verses above the prophets, one and all, ask no reward from their followers. The case of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is affirmed even more vehemently in that he is asked to declare loud and clear, without any ambiguity that I ask no reward from you:

38:86. Say (O Prophet! [–Muhammad]), `I ask no reward from you for it (for preaching the Message of truth, and for warning the people,) nor am I of those who are given to affectation (and are impostors).[32]

To further emphasize, Qur’ân distinguishes prophets and for that matter any holy amongst us for their fundamental quality that they never ask for a reward in return, material or non-material, in any form, hue, color or protocol for their divine duties performed, from their followers. On the reverse, the follower is instructed to follow only those who ask no reward from you:

36:21. `Follow those who ask no reward from you and who are following the right path.[33] [Emphasis added]

The above verse 36:21 sets in stone one of the implied characteristics of holy men, i.e. due to the very nature of their mission, they will have little time to spare to look after their own assets which will then only dwindle in due course of time from either their neglect of it due to demands of their divine assignment, or their spending of it in charity. If it is opposite, i.e. the wealth and perks of that person only grow while in office, then for sure such a person is not a ‘Man of God.

On the other hand even Qur’ân challenges Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) hypothetically if he can possibly ask for a reward for himself. Fact is that Qur’ân mocks those who even imagine the Prophet asking for any reward for himself from his followers:

52:40. Do you ask a reward from them (for your conveying the Message) so that they are weighed down with a load of undue debts (and so are finding it hard to pay).[34]

In light of verses 26:109, 126, 145, 164, 180, 38:86, 36:21 and 52:40 if there is even a hint of expectation of the Prophet for a reward, then for sure the verse 42:23 is either mistranslated or misinterpreted for the mere fact that in Qur’ân there is no contradiction across all its verses.

The following translation of the verse in question removes any contradiction around it:

42:23. That is (the same bounteous favour) of which Allâh gives the glad tidings to His servants who believe and (accordingly) do deeds of righteousness. Say, `I ask no reward from you for it (- my preaching). All that I [–Muhammad] ask you is to cherish the strongest love to be near (to Him).' He that does a good deed, We make this (good deed) look all the more beautiful to him. Verily, Allâh is All-Protecting, Most Appreciating (of our service to Him).[35]

Besides, Qur’ân is replete with rewards for the Prophet and his righteous followers. The Prophet was assured a never ending reward early on in Surah Kausar while he was still in Makkah and Muslims were under severest of persecution at the hands of the powerful opponents:

108:1. Verily, We have bestowed upon you (O Muhammad!) abundance of good (both of this life and of the Hereafter).[36]

Against the magnitude of blessings that Allah has assured to the Prophet as a reward in Surah Kausar, it is laughable even to imagine Prophet expected a reward from his followers. It totters on blasphemy to envisage such an alleged inclination of the Prophet.

Fellowship: One big family

Additionally, those who create exception for blood relatives at the exclusion of the followers of the Prophet as his family, also quote the next verse to validate their claim:

3:61. But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.[37] [Shakir] [Emphasis added] – see footnote[38]

If the verse is read in concrete terms, then since the word sons, in plural, is mentioned, then we know that Prophet did not have sons nor a surviving son. His only son, Ibrahim, was born in the last two years of his life and died during Prophet’s lifetime. Since sons are exclusively mentioned without mention of daughters, then it excludes Prophet’s daughters who too are not included in category of women mentioned, and instead women imply wives of the prophet in a concrete sense. The term our near people naturally excludes the blood relatives of the Prophet due to mention of sons and women (wives) who are by definition near to the Prophet because of blood relationships. Therefore, our near people are close associates of the Prophet, the Companions, some of whom were his relatives as well. In sum total, the Prophet after exhausting an endless debate is giving the terms of a prayer duel in which he is willing to invoke Divine wrath on himself, his whole family and by extension his followers, the spiritual progeny, if they are false in a doctrinal matter, else the wrath of God to descend on the opposing party.

It is obvious that in the above verse the Prophet never meant blood relationships of his. Else, a question could be raised against his integrity because he is asking to invoke curse on the sons of his opponents while he never had an adult son himself who would consent for such a prayer duel.

In the same verse the keyword is the repeated use of our, which clearly implies its inclusivity of Prophet’s followers. Elsewhere in Qur’ân, when immediate family of the Prophet is addressed it does so very clearly at the exclusion of non-family followers:

33:28-34. O Prophet! say to your wives: If you desire this world's life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing. And if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the latter abode, then surely Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a mighty reward. O wives of the prophet! whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this is easy to Allah. And whoever of you is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We will give to her her reward doubly, and We have prepared for her an honorable sustenance. O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House [Arabic: ahla l-bayti]! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. And keep to mind what is recited in your houses of the communications of Allah and the wisdom; surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware.[39] [Emphasis added] [Shakir]

In the above verses, people of the House [Arabic: ahla l-bayti] is inclusive of all the wives of the Prophet living in their respective houses – your houses with their children if any. From its usage, the term people of the House cannot be applied exclusively to any particular wife or exclusively to her children or grandchildren.

The passages from Qur’ân discussed so far in general challenge every Muslim to “truthfully” belong to the faith. Islam is not hereditary and cannot be passed from generation to generation through bloodline. Being born in a Muslim household could be a head start but it is not a valid reason to be a Muslim, nor does it confer any special status, irrespective of lineage to a holy one. A non-educated fellowship is thus admonished in Qur’ân:

17:36. And do not follow and utter that of which you have no knowledge. Surely, the ear and eye and the heart, all of these, shall be called upon to account (for it).[40]

Significance of the word Aal in Qur’ân and Hadith

The extract below is a footnote in a book where in the main text Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad refers to a hadith in which it is prophesied that, in the latter days in a controversy between Christians and Muslims, the devil will sound the call that “truth is on the side of the Aal of Jesus” and a call will come from heaven saying, “truth is on the side of the Aal of Muhammad”[41]. In this footnote he writes as follows about the significance of the word Aal which means literally progeny or descendants.

In this hadith the terms Aal of Jesus and Aal of Muhammad have been used only allegorically, for it is obvious that Jesus (peace be upon him) had no Aal in respect of worldly relationships. Therefore, in this place by Aal of Jesus are, no doubt, meant those people who claim Jesus to be God, and that they are like his sons and rest in his lap after death. And by the same token, no worldly relationship is meant by Aal of Muhammad; rather, by Aal are meant those people who, like sons, are heirs to the spiritual wealth of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). In fact, in every place by the word Aal the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) means the same, and not worldly relationship which is a lower and temporary connection, and which after death is terminated by the words la ansaaba baina-hum (“there will be no ties of relationship among them” after death; the Qur’ân, 23:101). A prophet can never accept that the term Aal used by him would only mean that he wants to make people the followers of a lower and temporary relationship, as the ordinary worldly-minded ones do. It is obvious that a prophet looks towards heaven, and the magnitude of his dignity and the extent of his enterprise means that he is above presenting such relationships as important which do not require faith, truthfulness, and righteousness as necessary conditions. How can it be that, on the one hand God the Most High says that all worldly relationships end in this very world and would not exist on the day of reckoning, and on the other hand His prophet keeps stressing an inferior relationship which starts from the progeny of the daughter?

The truth is that whatever words the holy and glorious prophets of God bring forth from their mouths contain so much wisdom and truth in them that it is as if they are starting from the earth and reaching up to heaven. Or you could say that, like a ray of the sun, they fall on the earth from heaven, and they are like a tree whose roots are very strong, reaching into the bowels of the earth, and whose branches are reaching up to heaven. But when the same words enter the ordinary people’s language, the masses, because of their limited understanding and deficient powers of reason, take them in a very low sense, which would be regarded as embarrassing by spiritual persons. This is because their worldly intelligence has no connection with heaven and they know not what heavenly light is. So, according to their crude understanding, they hastily limit the high objectives and exalted allusions of the prophet to merely worldly, temporary relationships.

They cannot comprehend that beyond these temporary and fleeting relationships there are other kinds of relationships also. There is another kind of Aal which is not cut off after death, not falling under the interdiction contained in the words la ansaaba baina-hum (“there will be no ties of relationship among them” after death; the Qur’ân, 23:101). Aal is not only the kind that would fight for the garden called Fidk and its few trees, and get so infuriated as to speak ill of Abu Bakr and Umar. No, for the persons beloved and accepted by God the title of spiritual Aal is very appropriate; this spiritual Aal inherits that spiritual legacy from their spiritual maternal grandfather which no hand of any usurper can usurp, and they are heirs to such (spiritual) gardens which nobody can occupy illegally. These low ideas entered into some Muslim sects when they become devoid of spirituality. They received no share in the legacy in the capacity of spiritual Aal. Thus, having been deprived of their spiritual legacy, their understanding became superficial, their hearts became muddied and they lost insight.

No person of faith can deny the fact that Hazrat Imam Husain and Imam Hasan (God be pleased with them both) were the chosen ones of God, possessors of spiritual perfection, purity and incorruptibility, and were beacons of guidance. No doubt, they were the Aal of the Holy Prophet in both senses of the word. The objection is: why has the higher meaning of the word Aal been neglected while great pride is expressed in the lower meaning? It is strange that these people make no mention whatsoever of Imam Hasan or Husain or anyone else as being that higher type of Aal by virtue of which they become heirs to the spiritual estate of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and are called the “leaders of Paradise”; and instead, a temporary relationship is repeatedly projected which is not connected with spiritual legacy as a necessary condition. If this temporary relationship, which is the product of physical union, had been by itself worthy near God, then this right should have been given to Cain first of all, who was the first-born of Adam (peace be upon him) and was a prophet’s son. Then after that, it should have gone to that son of Noah, the second Adam, who has been called by God as inna-hu ‘amal-un ghairu salih (“embodiment of unrighteous deeds”, the Qur’ân, 11:46).

Therefore, it is the belief of the persons of spiritual knowledge and experience that even if Hazrat Imam Husain and Imam Hasan (God be pleased with them) not been the Holy Prophet’s Aal according to the physical relationship, nonetheless because they had been considered Aal in heaven due to spiritual relationship, they would undoubtedly have been heirs to the spiritual legacy of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Given that the temporary, physical body has connections (with others), does the soul not have any connections? In fact, according to reliable Hadith reports, and from the Holy Qur’ân itself, it stands proved that souls also have connections, and friendship or antipathy can exist between them from eternity.

Now a sensible person can judge for himself whether it is a matter of pride to be Aal of the Holy Prophet in the unalterable and eternal sense or in the physical sense which has nothing of righteousness, purity, and faith. Let no one think by all this that I am detracting from the dignity of the household of the Holy Prophet. My aim in writing this is that it is not only in the physical sense that Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (God be pleased with them) possess the dignity of being Aal of the Holy Prophet because it is nothing without spiritual relationship; the real meaningful relationship with the Holy Prophet is only of those dear ones who are among his Aal spiritually.

The spiritual knowledge and light of the prophets are like their offspring who are born from their holy beings. Those people who attain a new life and find a rebirth through this knowledge and light are the ones who are spiritually called the Aal of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In the prophecy discussed above (in the main text), the calling out of Satan that “truth is on the side of the Aal of Jesus” is a lie also because he is making those who ascribe partners to God as the spiritual Aal of Jesus, but those who call Jesus as God cannot share anything with him in heaven nor can they be his heirs, so how can they be his spiritual Aal?

 (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, p. 99–101, footnote; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 15, p. 363–366)


[1] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[2] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[3] Al-Hujurat – The Apartments: Muhammad Ali
– Zahid Aziz
[4] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[5] Zukhruf – Gold: Muhammad Asad
[6] Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[7] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[8] Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[9] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[10] Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[11] ibid
[12] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[13] Sad – The Truthful God: Nooruddin
[14] Al-Tahrim – The Prohibition: Nooruddin
[15] ibid
[16] ibid
[17] Al-Masad – The Twisted Strands: Nooruddin
[18] Shakir’s Qur’ân translation — a blatant plagiarism of the first edition of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation – Deception perpetrated on readers of the Holy Qur’ân. Link: http://ahmadiyya.org/movement/shakir.htm
[19] Hud – Hud: Nooruddin
[20] Adapted from “Names of the Holy Book,” p. 2-A, The Holy Qur’ân, Eighth Edition (2008) As Explained by Allamah Nooruddin, Rendered into English by Amatul Rahman Omar, Abdul Mannan Omar, Copyright © Noor Foundation International Inc.
[21] Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
[22] Al-Saffat – Those Ranging in Ranks: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[23] Al-Shuara – The Poets: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[24] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[25] Sad – Sad: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[26] Ibrahim – Abraham: Nooruddin
[27] Al-Shura – The Counsel: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[28] Footnote: The statement that the Prophet did not ask for any reward at all is made very often in the Qur’ân. The Arabs, closely related as they were to each other,were in a state of constant warfare. They are told to give up mutual warfare and tolove one another. A similar statement is made elsewhere: “I ask of you no reward for it except that whoever wishes may take a way to his Lord” (25:57). In bothcases what the Prophet wanted was not a reward for himself, but it was a good forthe people themselves, being, in the second case, that they walk in the ways ofGod or lead godly lives and, in the first, that they love one another.Al-Shura – The Counsel: Muhammad Ali
– Zahid Aziz
[29] Haqaiq ul-Furqan (Truths of The Criterion – Qur’ân), a collection of lectures on Qur’ân in Urdu by Hakeem Nooruddin, vol 3, p. 545-546. Link: http://www.alislam.org/Qur’ân/tafseer/?page=545&region=H3
[29a] Al-Shura – The Counsel: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[29b] 42:21-22. Or have they associates who have prescribed for them any religion that Allah does not sanction? And were it not for the word of judgment, decision would have certainly been given between them; and surely the unjust shall have a painful punishment. You will see the unjust fearing on account of what they have earned, and it must befall them; and those who believe and do good shall be in the meadows of the gardens; they shall have what they please with their Lord: that is the great grace. Al-Shura – The Counsel: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[30] Al-Shuara – The Poets: Nooruddin
[31] ibid
[32] Sad – The Truthful God: Nooruddin
[33] Ya Sin – O Perfect Man!: Nooruddin
[34] Al-Tur – The Mount: Nooruddin
[35] Al-Shura – The Counsel: Nooruddin
[36] Al-Kauthar – The Abundance of Good: Nooruddin
[37] Al Imran – The Family of Amran: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[38] Footnote: The persons addressed in particular in this verse are the members ofthe Christian deputation from Najran that came in 10 A.H. to see the ProphetMuhammad. The deputation was lodged by the Holy Prophet in his mosque. Thusdid he set an unparalleled example of freedom of religious belief and practice.After the Holy Prophet gave them arguments showing that Jesus was not God, andfinding them still insisting on their false belief, they were invited as a last resort topray earnestly that the curse of Allah might overtake the party that insisted onfalsehood. After some deliberation they decided against it and told the Prophetthat they had decided not to pray against him as suggested. Thereupon they weregiven a pledge by which they were free to practise their religion.Al Imran – The Family of Amran: Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz
[39] Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Plagiarized by Shakir from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation
[40] Isrâ' – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[41] Ali bin Abi Taleb said: " After the Khusf (land collapse), a caller from Heaven calls: 'The truth is in the family of Mohammad ' in the beginning of the morning. Then, another caller at the end of the morning calls: 'The truth is in the progeny of Jesus.' This (second call) is from Satan." (Nuaim bin Hammad's Kitab Al-Fitan)  A variation of this narration is attributed to Abi Ja'far mentions that the second caller says that the truth is in the family of Jesus or Al-Abass and this second call from Satan from the bottom of the Earth. Link: http://www.discoveringislam.org/signs_before_mahdi.htm

Seal of the Prophets? – No Gabriel, No Prophethood!

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Seal of the Prophets? – No Gabriel, No Prophethood!

 Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

‘Absolute Sealant’; not a ‘Rubber Stamp’ of Validation, without any ifs ands or buts:

This chapter became a necessity to expunge any argument, distraction or polemic tampering with the absolute finality of prophethood, the divine office that ended with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The arguments typically put forth are based upon either misread of Qur’ân, misread of dictionary or plain distortions into Qur’ân and even the Hadiths. This topic is to address those who have ascribed prophethood to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (HMGA) of Qadian, India and subsequently either believe in it or oppose it.

As far as those who believe in literal return of Jesus are concerned, there are other chapters in the book that refute from Qur’ân the in person return of Jesus and that too as a prophet. Since return of Jesus also has bearing on finality of prophethood, HMGA has written quite extensively on it (more on this later). This chapter is focused on those who either assert or allege prophethood to anyone after the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Any claim to a Divine office starts with being recipient of Divine communication. Qur’ân tells us that Allah communicates with humans in various modalities:

 42:51. It is not given to a human being that Allâh should speak to him except by direct revelation or from behind a veil or by sending a messenger (– an angel) who should reveal (to him) by His command what He pleases. Indeed, He is the Most Sublime, the All-Wise.[1] [Note: veil also implies veil of sleep, i.e., dreams as well as visions and divine inspiration, which can be hidden to everyone else, but the recipient]

In Islam, Divine communication is open to non-prophets as well:

 3:42. (Recall the time) when the angels said, `O Mary! surely Allâh has chosen you and has rid you of all impurities and has preferred you to the women of all (contemporary) people.[2]

 5:111. `And how I revealed to the disciples to believe in Me and in My Messenger, and they said, "We believe, and (O God!) bear witness that we are the submitting ones".[3]

 28:7. And We revealed to the mother of Moses (saying), `Give him (– Moses) suck. But when you have fear about him (– his life) cast him (placing him in a chest) into the river and entertain no fear, nor grief (about his welfare). Verily, We shall restore him to you and shall make him (one) of the Messengers.[4]

Unless the medium of communication is Angel Gabriel (see below) the recipient cannot be a prophet. Mary, Disciples of Jesus and mother of Moses as case in point were communicated by God without being conferred prophethood.

Qur’ân outlines the standards that determine the status of prophethood:

26:192. And verily this (Qur'ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
26:193. The Spirit, Faithful to the Trust (– Gabriel) has descended with it.
26:194. (Revealing it) to your heart with the result that you [– Muhammad] became of the Warners (– a Prophet of God);[5]

The above verses set in stone the pre-requisites for a Prophet, firstly the Revelation itself and secondly, Gabriel bearing that Revelation as wahy-i nubuwwat, i.e. prophethood-type revelation. It is only after these requirements are met that the recipient becomes a Prophet i.e. with the result that you became of the Warners. History bears witness that no prophethood-type revelation from The High came via Gabriel after it terminated with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for about 1426 years by today’s counting. This fact is not even denied by those who question the finality of prophethood after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Elsewhere, Qur’ân reiterates the same principle outlined in verses 26:192-194:

16:102. Say, `The Spirit of Holiness [– Angel Gabriel] has brought this (Qur'ân) down from your Lord to suit the requirement of truth and wisdom, (Allâh has revealed it) so that He may strengthen those who believe in their faith and so that (this may serve as) a guidance and good tidings for Muslims.[6]

In the discussion so far it becomes clear that prophethood is conferred only after receiving prophethood-type revelation through the agency of Angel Gabriel. In Hadiths we find many instances of Gabriel appearing to the Prophet for example when he was pelted and wounded out of the city of Taif and during his Ascension (Miraj), but none of those dialogues find their way into Qur’ân because they were not prophethood-type revelations. It is only the recipient of the revelation who is made known if that revelation is prophethood-type or not.

Non-prophethood type communication, even via Gabriel, can overlap between non-prophets and prophets:

58:22. You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day [i.e. Muslims] loving those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk.[7] These are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself [8], and He will make them enter Gardens in which rivers flow, abiding in them. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. These are Allah’s party. Now surely it is Allah’s party who are the successful![9]

Interestingly, HMGA too while refuting any claim of prophethood attributed to him – "Our Holy Prophet's being the Khatam an-nabiyyin rules out the coming of any other prophet,"[10] and in congruence to above verses, states:

 "And, for the teaching and information of the messengers, the practice of God has been from the beginning that they are taught through the mediation of Gabriel and by means of the descent of divine verses and the words of the Merciful.''[11]

 "It is included in the true significance of the office of a messenger that he should obtain the knowledge of spiritual sciences through Gabriel and it has been proved just now that the apostolic revelation (wahy-i risalah) has been cut off (forever) till the day of Judgment"[12]

"And evidently the coming of Gabriel with apostolic revelation after Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn [–Seal of the Prophets] is impossible."[13]

"According to the explanation of the Holy Qur’ân, rasul [i.e. messenger] is he who receives the commands and tenets of the religion through Gabriel. But a seal has been put upon wahy nubuwwat [i.e. prophethood-type revelation] since thirteen hundred years ago. Will this seal then break?"[14]

"If God is true to His promise, and the promise which has been given in the Khatam an-nabiyyin verse [i.e. verse 33:40], and explained clearly in Hadith, namely, that after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad the angel Jibra'il [– Gabriel] has been prevented forever from bringing prophethood-type revelation – if all these things are true and correct then there certainly cannot come any person as a messenger after our Holy Prophet."[15]

"Do you not know that the Merciful God has declared our Holy Prophet to be Khatam an-nabiyyin unconditionally? And in commenting on this verse [i.e. verse 33:40] our Holy Prophet has said: There is no prophet after me (La nabiyya ba'di), which is a clear statement for the seekers of truth…How can a prophet come after our Holy Prophet, when revelation has been stopped after his death and God has ended the prophets with him?"[16]

"But the Most High God would never permit such a disgrace and ignominy to come to the share of this ummah or such an insult and affront to fall to the lot of His chosen Prophet, the Khatam al-Anbiya that by sending a messenger with whom the coming of Gabriel is essential, He should let the House of Islam go to rack and ruin when He has already promised that no messenger would be sent after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him)"[17]

"And how was it possible that any prophet could come after the Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn in the complete and perfect, sense, which is one of the conditions of perfect prophethood (nabuwwat-i tammah)? Is it not necessary that the perfect prophethood of such a prophet should contain the essential requisites of revelation and the descent of Gabriel? Because, according to the express teachings of the Qur’ân, a prophet is one who has received the commands and creeds of faith through Gabriel. But a seal has been set on the prophetic revelation for the last thirteen hundred years. Would this seal be broken then? "[18]

"The Holy Qur’ân does not permit the coming of another messenger, whether new or old, after the Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, because a messenger receives the knowledge of religion (din) through the mediation of Gabriel and the door of the descent of Gabriel with apostolic revelation has been closed. And this is also an impossibility that a messenger should come to the world without apostolic revelation (wahy risalat)."[19]

HMGA after tying the requisite of revelation through Gabriel for prophethood, distances himself from any revelation by Gabriel to him and expunges any possibility of prophethood for himself altogether when he states:

"As it is not possible that there should be no light with the rising of the sun, similarly, it is quite impossible that a messenger should come for the reformation of mankind and there should be no divine communication and Gabriel with him."[20]

To those who await return of Jesus, a prophet, and that too after the final prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), HMGA refutes that in light of the established principle outlined in Qur’ân of requisites of Gabriel with his prophethood-type revelation for a prophet. He states:

"If, in fact, the Messiah came down to earth and for forty-five years Gabriel continued to descend on him with prophetic revelation, then according to this belief, what would be left of the religion of Islam? And would it not constitute a stigma on the finality of prophethood and the finality of the Qur’ânic revelation?"[21]

The above quotes of HMGA in light of Qur’ân are by themselves sufficient to refute any possibility of claim of the former to prophethood after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This flies in the face of further allegations of the same that HMGA changed his claim after the year 1901 and declared himself as a prophet. He neither never ever claimed prophethood for himself nor ever claimed any prophethood-like revelations of his own. Thus the bottom line to relationship of prophethood and prophethood-like revelations in Islam is quite simple – No Gabriel, No Prophethood!

There are scores of refutations and disclaims by HMGA of the alleged prophethood ascribed to him, for which the reader is referred to a book – ‘Prophethood in Islam’[22], a pamphlet – ‘Finality of Prophethood’ [23] and Lahore Ahmadiyya websites[24]. These publications and personal communication to this writer by Dr. Zahid Aziz, are sources of quotes of HMGA and various references to Hadiths in the body and footnotes of this chapter.

———-x———-x———x———-x———

Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

 Case Study in Polemics: ‘Seal of Prophets’ is not ‘Seat for Prophets’ to be seated in by any future claimant

There is a section of followers of HMGA belonging to organization – Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, commonly called Qadianis for their earlier organizational headquarters in Qadian, India, who allege that HMGA made claims of being a prophet in literal sense just as the prophets of the yore.

Rest of the discussion from here onwards will essentially center on a working example from literature of the same people. The sample of polemics that assert that prophethood did not end with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) can be found in the five volume multi-author “The Holy Qur’ân with English Translation and Commentary[25]” published by the same organization. The authors make their case on the following verse as translated by them:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets [Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn]; and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (33:41[26])

Before we accept anyone else’s translation or commentary it becomes foremost to seek opinion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself as to how he explained the term Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn that is mentioned in above verse:

"It is reported from Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: My likeness and the likeness of the prophets before me is the likeness of a person who built a house and he made it beautiful and made it complete except the place of a brick of the corner. So people began to go round about it and to wonder at him and say: Why have you not placed this brick? He (i.e., the Holy Prophet) said: So I am that brick and I am Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (the Seal of the prophets)." [Al-Sahih al-Bukhari, Kital al-Mandqib, ch. Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn; Al-Muslim; Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib etc.]

In this Hadith, the Prophet declared himself as the only remaining brick in the prophetic structure that came to this world. Quite logically, after the last brick is put in place, there is no more space or need left for any future brick. The Prophet gives a clear expression that there will be no prophets after him.

If per chance, in violation of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, HMGA or for that matter anyone claimed prophethood for himself, then such claimant will be a falsifier for the mere fact that last brick has already been laid down in person of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The following Hadith states the obvious that any future claim to prophethood will be a lie:

"The Day of Judgement will not he set up unless some tribes of my ummah join the polytheists and they start worshipping the idols. And surely there shall be among my followers thirty liars, every one of them asserting that he is a prophet, but I am Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (the Seal of the prophets), there is no prophet after met." [Al-Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tawhid; Al-Muslim; Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Fitan]

It seems obvious that the said authors are even oblivious of HMGA’s own assertions for the same term Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn and the same verse, some of which are reproduced as follows:

"Because this is against the sayings of God Almighty, 'Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and Khatam al-Nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets).' Don't you know that God, the Bountiful, the Beneficent has declared our Holy Prophet to be Khatam al-Nabiyyin without strings and our Holy Prophet has interpreted this verse with la nabbiya ba‘di (there is no prophet after me).”[27]

"For the seekers of truth it is evident that if, after our Holy Prophet, we accept the lawfulness (jawaz) of the coming of another prophet it means that we have opened the door of prophetic revelation (wahy nubuwwah) which was closed and this is against the established principles as is not unknown to the Muslims. And can there be a prophet after our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when revelation has been cut off with his death and God has brought an end to prophets with him"[28]

"Can an ill-fated fabricator who claims to be a messenger and a prophet have any faith in the Qur’ân? And can such a person, who believes in the Qur’ân and considers the verse “but he is messenger of Allah and Khatam al-Nabiyyin” as revelation of God, say that he is a messenger and a prophet after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?"[29]

With the authorities of the Qur’ân (in previous section) and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the explanations of HMGA about the term Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn out of the way, all of which mean absolute finality of prophethood and closure of office of prophethood forever, we address the said authors.

While referring to Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn verse (33:41 by their enumeration) from their own translation, the said authors take a detoured justification with a synthesized logic via Surah Kausar[30] under its footnote 3106:

(Note: Arabic script from original has been replaced with English spelled words in italics. Reader is encouraged to refer to the original text for any unintentional error on part of this writer)

Important Words:Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (Seal of the Prophets). Khatam is derived from Khatam.They say Khatam al-shayee au khatam alay, i.e. he sealed, stamped, impressed or imprinted the thing or he put the seal on it. This is the primary signification of this word. Or the primary signification of khatmun is the act of covering over the thing. It also signifies the protecting of what is in a writing by marking or stamping a piece of clay upon it, or by means of a seal of any kind. Khatam al-shayee also means, he reached the end of the thing. Khatam al-Qur’ân means, he recited the whole of the Qur’ân. This is the secondary meaning of the word. Thus khatam means, a signet-ring; a seal or stamp and a mark; the end or last part or portion and result or issue of a thing; the hollow of the back of the neck. The words khatmun and khatam (khatim and khatam) are almost synonymous and mean a signet. khatam also signifies, embellishment or ornament, the best and most perfect (Lane, Aqrab, Mufradat. Fatb & Zurqani). So the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn would mean, the Seal of the Prophets; the best and most perfect of the Prophets; the embellishment and ornament of the Prophets. Secondarily, the expression may also mean, the last of the Prophets.

Commentary: Much confusion and misunderstanding seems to prevail as to what is the real spiritual status and position of the Holy Prophet as indicated by the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn i.e. the Seal of the Prophets. A careful study of the context however, removes the prevalent misconception. At Mecca when all the Holy Prophet's male children died in their childhood, his enemies taunted him with being abtar (one who has no male issue), meaning that in the absence of male heirs to succeed him his Movement would sooner or later come to an end (Muhit). In answer to this taunt of disbelievers it was emphatically declared in Sura Kausar (Al-Kauthar) that not the Holy Prophet but his enemies would remain issueless. After the revelation of Sura Kausar the idea naturally found favour with the early Muslims that the Holy Prophet would be blessed with sons who would live to an adult age. The verse under comment removed that misconception inasmuch as it declared that the Prophet is not, never was, nor will ever be the father of any grownup young men. Rajal meaning grown-up young men. The verse under comment while appearing to be in conflict with Sura Kausar in which not the Holy Prophet but his enemies have been threatened with being issueless, in reality seeks to set at rest doubts and misgivings to which this seeming contradiction gives rise. It says that the Holy Prophet is rasul ullah i.e. the spiritual father of a whole Ummat and he is also Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn signifying that he is the spiritual father of all the past and future Prophets. So when he is the spiritual father of all the believers and all Prophets, how can he be said to be abtar i.e. issueless. But if the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn be taken to mean that the Holy Prophet is the last of the Prophets and that no Prophet will come after him, then the verse appears to be out of tune with the context and instead of refuting the objection of disbelievers that the Holy Prophet was issueless, supports and reinforces it.

Briefly, according to the meaning of the word khatam, the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn can have four possible meanings:

(1) That the Holy Prophet was the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., no Prophet, past or future, can be regarded as true unless his prophethood bears the seal of the Holy Prophet. The prophethood of every past Prophet must be confirmed and testified to by the Holy Prophet and nobody can attain to prophethood after him except by being his ummati (follower). All claims to prophethood must be judged and tested by reference to the revelation received by the Holy Prophet and to his teachings.

(2) That the Holy Prophet was the best, the noblest and the most perfect of all the Prophets and that he was also a source of embellishment for them (Zurqani, Sharah, Mawahib al-Ladunniyya).

(3) That the Holy Prophet was the last of the Law-bearing Prophets. This interpretation has been accepted by many eminent Muslim theologians, saints and savants such as Ibn 'Arabi, Shah Wali-Ullah, Imam 'Ali Qari, Mujaddid Alf Thani, etc. According to these great scholars and saints no Prophet can come after the Holy Prophet who should abrogate his Millat or should not be in his Ummat (Futuhat, Tafhimat, Mukatabat & Yawaqit wa'l Jawahir). 'A'ishah, the talented spouse of the Holy Prophet, has removed all ambiguity about the meaning of the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn . She is reported to have said: i.e. Say that he (the Holy Prophet) is Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn but do not say that there will be no Prophet after him (Manthur). This saying of 'A'ishah makes it quite clear that the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn and la nabiyya ba‘di were considered by her to be contradictory to each other in meaning and significance.

(4) That the Holy Prophet was the last of the Prophets, but only in this sense that all the qualities and attributes of prophethood found their most perfect and complete consummation and expression in him; khatam in the sense of being the last word in excellence and perfection is of common use. Moreover, the Qur’ân clearly speaks of the advent of Prophets after the Holy Prophet. The following two verses leave no ambiguity on this point:-

And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these (4:70).

O children of Adam! if Messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing My Signs come unto you, then whoso shall fear God and do good deeds, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve (7:36).

The Holy Prophet himself was clear in his mind as to the continuity of prophethood after him. He is reported to have said: "If Abraham (his son) had lived long, he would have been a Prophet" (Maja, kitab al-Janai'z), and, "Abu Bakr is best of men after me, except that a Prophet should appear" (Kanz al-'Ummal).

The above is the crux of arguments of the proponents of non-finality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that they have inserted in their commentary of the Holy Qur’ân. Their case if summarized contains the following premises in their claim:

We will address each of these premises below.

Meaning of the term Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

Before we take on the challenges to finality of prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is important to be clear about the meaning of the core issue of ‘Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn’ in the Holy Qur’ân:

Khatama – To seal; put a signet upon; stamp; imprint; end; complete a thing. Khâtama ‘alâ qalbihî: To seal the heart; harden it; finish. Khâtim: Seal; Signet-ring; Stamp; Last. Khâtam: Seal; The best; The most perfect; Last; The embellishment and ornament. The Holy Qur’ân has adopted the word Khâtam and not Khâtim because a deeper significance carried in the phrase Khâtam (seal) than mere Khâtim (last). The difference between Khâtim and Khâtam is that the meaning of Khâtim is last part or portion, but the word Khatam means that last part or portion of a thing that is the best, thus this indicates finality combined with perfection and continuation of its blessings. Thus Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn means the closer of the long line of Prophets. He is not only a prophet but the final, the best and the most perfect Prophet, with continuation of his blessings. Khitâm: Sealing; Musk; Wax; Clay or any other substances used in sealing. Makhtûm: Sealed one; Stamped one.[31] [Emphasis added]

Khatama (prf. 3rd p.m. sing.): He sealed. Yakhtimu (imp. 3rd p. m. sing.): He seals. Nakhtimu (imp. 1st p. plu.): We sealed. Khâtam (n.): Seal; Last and best. Khitâm (n.): Sealing. Makhtûm (pact. pic. m. sing.): Sealed one. (L; T; R; Zurqânî; Asâs; LL)[32]

On a closer look the phrase Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn has a two layered ‘finality’. Firstly, the literal finality of the word Khâtam, and secondly the perfection implied in it has in itself the finality built into it, else the imperfection would make a case for perfection yet to be achieved by a subsequent prophet after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Compare the case made by the said authors in their commentary with that of Maulana Muhammad Ali for the same verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (33:41 by their enumeration):

The word khatam means a seal or the last part or portion of a thing, the latter being the primary significance of the word khatim. The words khatam al-qaum always means the last of the people — akhiru-hum. Though the Holy Prophet was admittedly the last of the prophets, and even history shows that no prophet appeared after him in the world, yet the Qur’ân has adopted the word khatam and not khatim, because a deeper significance is carried in the phrase Seal of the prophets than mere finality. It indicates finality combined with perfection of prophethood, along with a continuance among his followers of certain blessings of prophethood. He is the Seal of the prophets because with him the object of prophethood, the manifestation of Divine will in Laws which should guide humanity, was finally accomplished in the revelation of a perfect law in the Holy Qur’ân, and he is also the Seal of the prophets because certain favours bestowed on prophets were forever to continue among his followers. The office of the prophet was only necessary to guide people, either by giving them a law or by removing the imperfections of a previously existing law, or by giving certain new directions to meet the requirements of the time or place. Hence prophets were constantly raised. But through the Holy Prophet a perfect law was given, suiting the requirements of all ages and all countries, and this law was guarded against all corruption, and the office of the prophet was therefore no more required. But this did not mean that the Divine favours bestowed on His chosen servants were to be denied to the chosen ones among the Muslims. The highest of these favours is Divine inspiration, and it is recognized by Islam that the Divine Being speaks to His chosen ones now as He spoke in the past, but such people are not prophets in the real sense of the word. According to a most reliable hadith, the Prophet said “there will be in my community”, i.e., among the Muslims, “men who will be spoken to (by God), though they will not be prophets” (Bukhari, 62:6). According to another version of the same hadith, such people are given the name muhaddath.

There is also a saying of the Holy Prophet: Nothing has remained of prophethood except mubashsharat, i.e., good news. And being asked what was meant by mubashsharat, or good news, he said: “True visions” (Bukhari, 91:5). According to another hadith: “The vision of the believer is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood” (Bukhari, 91:4). Prophethood itself has gone, but one of its blessings remains, and will exist forever among the followers of the Holy Prophet.[33]

Connection between Surah Kausar and verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

The authors try to create a logical connection between Surah Kausar and verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn as if the latter was revealed in the requirement of the former. They base their argument upon an imagined history in an effort to create basis of the latter verse for a derived meaning and interpretation suiting their doctrine. The authors obviously have their timeline wrong.

It is generally accepted that the event of Miraj (Ascension) happened in 12th year of Makkan period, i.e. a year before Migration to Medina. Various Hadiths about Miraj mention the stream of Kausar (also written as Kauthar), which makes revelation of Surah Kausar before Miraj. It is also accepted that Surah Kausar was revealed in Makkah, if nothing else but for its subject matter. At the time Prophet Muhammad was mocked for weak numbers of his followers and doubts were created by his enemies about survival of his mission and his legacy because he had no male heir. Surah Kausar addresses such enemies of then specifically and those in future generally.

What these commentators do not know is that the said verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (33:41 by their enumeration) under discussion was revealed in late Medina period when the Prophet had already married Mary (the Copt) of Egypt and their son Ibrahim had died at an age of one and one-half year, whose death coincided with a solar eclipse that is mentioned in Hadiths[34] when Prophet along with his Companions offered supererogatory prayers[35]. As per NASA, that solar eclipse occurred on Jan 27, 632 CE[36] which falls on last day of month of Shawwal in year 10 Hijrah. It was the time when Zainab, Prophet’s cousin, was already divorced by her husband, Zaid bin Harith, Prophet’s adopted son, and Prophet had subsequently married her[37] (more on this later).

Additionally, if we take the statement of the authors as its face value – “The verse under comment removed that misconception inasmuch as it declared that the Prophet is not, never was, nor will ever be the father of any grownup young men,” and tie it with various Hadiths that show that the Prophet grieved and even wept on death of his son[38], Ibrahim, then the time of revelation of verse under discussion is naturally after death of Ibrahim for the mere fact that had this verse been there before Ibrahim’s death, the Prophet would had known of this as Allah’s Will which expectedly would had removed any cause for his sorrow. Secondly, the said verse specifically precludes any son of the Prophet to grow up into adulthood. This in itself removes the possibility of its revelation before death of Ibrahim because no one expected his death ahead of time as there is no collateral information in Hadiths or history where anyone expected him to die in his childhood.

Thus Surah Kausar and the verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn (33:41 by their enumeration) are separated by at least eleven years if not more in their time of revelation. This time gap removes any linkage between the two. It would be preposterous to imagine that there were any lingering anxieties in the minds of Muslims at the time of revelation of verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, or they needed consolation about survival of Islam through progeny of the Prophet as by then Makkah had already been conquered two years earlier and whole of Arabia had converted to Islam. The premise for erecting preambles for invented roots of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn in Surah Kausar by Qadianis in their above commentary does not carry water in light of facts of history alone.

The full context of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn verse is brought to light by Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book “Prophethood in Islam”:

The Holy Prophet's son, Ibrahim, had died. Zaid, son of Harithah, was known among people as the Holy Prophet's adopted son, who divorced his wife Zainab. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her under divine command.[39] Whatever relationship of fatherhood he had with Zaid vanished from the minds of the people after her remarriage. This was the right time that such a verse should be revealed to the Holy Prophet that God had not sent him so that his physical lineage should continue through his male descendants, but that He had made him the last prophet so that the order of his spiritual descendants should never be cut off in the world. Since he had been given a great order of spiritual offsprings, therefore, to show that physical descendants and physical relations are of no value in the sight of God, it had been mentioned, "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men (33:40)."[40] God has given him countless spiritual descendants and had extended this order till the Day of Resurrection; therefore, if having a son was of any value in His sight, He could not have deprived him of this favour.[41]

The context that is identified by Maulana Muhammad Ali above is validated by Qur’ân itself in which location of verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn is logically subsequent to the same events:

33:37-40. And when you said to him (Zaid) to whom Allah had shown favour and to whom you had shown a favour: Keep your wife [–Zainab] to yourself and keep your duty to Allah; and you concealed in your heart what Allah would bring to light, and you feared people, while Allah has a greater right that you should fear Him. So when Zaid dissolved her marriage-tie, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers about the wives of their adopted sons, when they have dissolved their (wives’) marriage-tie. And Allah’s command is ever performed. There is no harm for the Prophet in what Allah has ordained for him. Such has been the way of Allah with those who have gone before. And the command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute — those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And Allah is sufficient to take account. Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the prophets [Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn] And Allah is ever Knower of all things.[42][Emphasis added]

Additionally, continuation of the subject matter of Prophet’s marriages in above verses reaches verse 33:52 which prohibits the Prophet from taking more wives:

33:52. It is not allowed to you to take wives after this, nor to change them for other wives, though their beauty be pleasing to you, except those whom your right hand (already) possesses. And Allah is ever Watchful over all things. [43]

Thus, we see the timeline of the verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn bracketed between divorce of Zaid and prohibition of further marriages for the Prophet.

It is also obvious that verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn in Qur’ân is sandwiched in the verses 33:37-52. All the juxtaposed verses are related to Prophet’s marriages and the relevance of the said verse is in context of continuation of spiritual progeny rather than bloodline of the Prophet till the end of times. This subject matter has no relation to Surah Kausar in the manner that the authors tried to create.

To re-use the words of the authors, it rather seems that it is their commentary that ‘appears to be out of tune with the context’. It creates contradiction where there is none. If biological facts are to be taken into account then the authors have only proven Surah Kausar wrong by their alleging an implied anxiety of the Companions of the Prophet because fact is that the Prophet never had a male survivor. Survival of movement through sons is essentially a doctrine of Qadianis where it is a family lineage that is running its seat of succession over four generations[44]. In context of Surah Kausar, it is the opponents of the Prophet who were actually anxious from emerging success of the Prophet and were expressing taunts to an apparent heirless prophet, which to them was a sign of failure. Whereas, the Companions knew very well that the successors of the Prophet were they themselves, his spiritual followers. The Companions were given the prophecy of their success concurrent to Byzantines as early as sixth year of the call to which Abu Bakr (RA) reportedly affixed prize money to be paid if Qur’ân turns out to be wrong, in light of following verses:

30:2. The Byzantines have been defeated,
30:3. In the land nearby (- Syria and Palestine); and they after their defeat shall overpower (their enemies, the Persians)
30:4. Within three to nine years. The power belongs to Allâh after (their defeat) as (it belonged to Him) before it. And on that day the believers (too) will rejoice
30:5. Over the victory (given to them) by Allâh. He gives victory to whom He will, and He is the All-Mighty, the Ever Merciful.
30:6. (This is) Allâh's promise. It is far from Allâh to break His promise. Yet most of the people do not know (this).[45]

The prophecy of Qur’ân full filled in the same year when Heraclius defeated Persians and Makkans were defeated in Badr by handful of Muslims. These are only a few verses which in themselves refute any possibility of anxiety of Companions; rather they must have eagerly awaited their victory. We have even not taken into account the presence of the Prophet amongst his Companions and the individual faith of each Companion which would not let any anxiety creep in their minds or fringe on their resolve.

The said authors for logic best known to them link the apparently heirless prophet (in Surah Kausar) to Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn verse under discussion (33:41 by their enumeration) with an apologetic consolation that since “the Holy Prophet is rasul ullah i.e. the spiritual father of a whole Ummah and he is also Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn” and then suddenly they throw in the interpretation that “Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn signifying that he is the spiritual father of all the past and future Prophets.” This deduction of theirs is totally out of thin air. One is left aghast as to where the “future Prophets” popped out from. This is an obvious fabrication by the said authors. To their invented meaning of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn they quote no direct source or authority, neither from Qur’ân, nor Hadith. How could they? Whatever authorities they have scrambled for will be fully addressed.

To the reader the narrative of the authors gives the logical conclusion that the authors have clearly accepted a preconceived notion of prophets after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and then they make the assumption that the said verse (33:41 by their enumeration) implies the same, a classic case of placing cart before the horse in which they are obviously laboring hard in creating, to quote them: “much confusion and misunderstanding…as to what the real spiritual status and position of the Holy Prophet as indicated by the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn i.e. the Seal of the Prophets” is.

In full context of Qur’ân, Hadiths and the history that followed, and what HMGA explained, and if Surah Kausar is to be bridged at all to the verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, as asserted by the authors, then it makes more logic in the following parenthetical view:

[Contrary to those who believe in lineage as a means of survival of a legacy] Muhammad is not [supposed to be] the father of any of your men [as his mission is global and lasting which in due course is supposed to bring out the best of mankind and their leadership from all corners of the world, while it cannot be limited by an apparent male progeny], but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets [Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, because of his everlasting blessed and perfect example]; and Allah has full knowledge of all things [– of past, present and future and how the blessings and teaching of the Last Prophet will succeed and last forever – e.g. see verses 5:3, 2:2, 2.143, 34.28 below].

Holy Prophet was the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., no Prophet, past or future, can be regarded as true unless his prophethood bears the seal of the Holy Prophet

The proponents of prophethood after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) base the crux of their entire case while citing the said verse of Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn under discussion (33:41 by their enumeration) in which they imply the meaning of ‘Seal’ in the likes of an ‘official seal’ or ‘stamp of approval’ while skirting away from its actual meaning and usage for termination of chain of Prophets. Their implication is that now Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the validator of subsequent prophets, whereas before that authority was only with Allah. This is ridiculous. Since when has a prophet made another prophet(s) or approved subsequent one(s)? Vesting of prophethood remains the prerogative of Allah alone:

22:75. Allâh chooses His messengers from among angels and from among men. Verily, Allâh is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.[46]

HMGA also totally negates the presumption that fellowship of a prophet can confer prophethood on that follower or that a prophet can certify prophethood of another prophet:

Although many prophets appeared among the Israelites, their prophethood was not the result of following Moses. In fact, it was directly the gift (mauhibah) of God. The discipleship of Moses did not have the slightest part in it.[47]

The claims of the said proponents about perfection of prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ring hollow when they also admit the imperfection of prophet(s) after him, which in turn retorts only to prove imperfection of the teachings of the teacher. Little are they cognizant of that in their propping up newer prophet(s) they factually debase the Insan-e-Kamil himself.

Essentially, by slicing and dicing the above quoted verse (33:41 by their enumeration), the said authors have tried to remove the meaning of ‘Khatam’ from what it stands for and which should be – ‘finality combined with perfection and continuation of its blessings’[48] with a core meaning of closure and finality, and at the same time they tried to replace it with a meaning of – ‘validation’ alone in the manner of a notary putting a seal of certification on a document. In sum total, the authors steer away from the finality of the prophethood in the said verse. If for the sake of argument the said authors are correct in deriving the meaning of ‘Khatam’ which does not include the finality and closure, then how will they reconcile the same word ‘Khatam’ used elsewhere in Qur’ân where it means nothing but finality and closure. For example, the following are the translations and commentaries on verses of Qur’ân from their own pen:

2:8 Allah has set seal [–khatama] on their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a covering; and for them is a great punishment.[49]

Footnote by translators: 'Khatam' (set a seal) means, he set a seal on; or he stamped a thing so that there should remain no likelihood of its being regarded as forged…(lit. God has set a seal on his heart) means, God made his heart such that it could neither understand anything nor could anything come out of it, i.e. it could not make itself understood by others.

Thus if we read the word 'Khatam' in above verse – The verse means that their hearts are sealed so that faith does not enter into their hearts and their ears are sealed so they cannot listen to anything that could lead them to faith; thus, the overall sense of word 'Khatam' in this verse is closure. Just as a seal on heart and ears means their closure, similarly a seal on prophethood means its closure.[50]

In another verse from the same translation:

36:66. This day We shall put a seal [–na-khtimu] on their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will bear witness to what they had earned.[51]

Footnote by the translators: The verse means to say that when the guilt of disbelievers will be established and proved to the hilt they will become dumb-founded, their mouths will not be able to say anything in their defence and extenuation of their guilt, and their hands and feet will also bear witness against them – these being the principal instruments of man’s actions, good or bad…

The above verse narrates the account of the day of resurrection. It says that on that day people will not be able to speak because of the seal on their mouths and each part of body will tell whatever it did during mortal life. Here too, the sealing of the mouth means its closure. Similarly sealing of the prophethood means nothing else but its closure.[52]

In another place, and in the same translation:

83:26. They will be given to drink of a pure beverage, sealed [–ma-khtūmin][53].

The verse says that pious people will be given sealed drink in the next life. We use sealed products (like sealed juices and foods) in our daily life. The significance of a proper seal on a product means that the product is in the same form and condition as when it was sealed by the producer, and a broken seal means the opposite. This is why many products contain the warning "return if the seal is broken". It is common knowledge that nothing could be pulled out or added to the sealed product unless the seal is broken. Similarly, the appearance of a prophet (both new and old) is not possible without breaking the seal which Almighty Allah has put on prophethood by calling the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as 'the Seal of Prophets' (Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn).[54]

Similarly, the word 'khatam' has been used in Qur’ân in these verses: 6:46[55], 45:23[56], and 42:24[57]. In all these places, it has been used in the sense of closure. In a nutshell, the expression ' Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn ' can be rendered as 'last of prophets' and 'seal of prophets' but the sense remains the same in both cases, i.e., prophethood has been brought to an end with Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).[58]

It is interesting to read HMGA’s own opinion about ‘Khatam’. He has described Jesus as Khatam-ul-anbiya of the Israelites three times in Barahin Ahmadiyya Part 5. In one of these places he writes:

"… Isa (Jesus) is the name of the Khatam-ul-anbiya of the Israelites who came at the end, and Ahmad and Muhammad are the names of the Khatam-ul-anbiya of Islam…"[59]

Can the said authors name a single Israelite prophet after Jesus, or even expect an Israelite successor to him? Answer is plain no. HMGA in the same sentence reaffirms conclusively the similar end of prophethood after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

We end this section with a re-quote from HMGA in support of seal meaning closure and not a stamp of validation:

"According to the explanation of the Holy Qur’ân, rasul [i.e. messenger] is he who receives the commands and tenets of the religion through Gabriel. But a seal has been put upon wahy nubuwwat [i.e. prophethood-type revelation] since thirteen hundred years ago. Will this seal then break?"[60]

Holy Prophet was the last of the Law-bearing Prophets whereas those after him will not be so

To add to confusion, the authors also state in their commentary “nobody can attain to prophethood after him [–Prophet Muhammad] except by being his ummati (follower)”. This kind of thinking even creates doubts about previous prophets who were not ummati of a prophet before them. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a case in point, who at least till the age of forty had no teaching from a previous prophet for him to follow.

Whereas, according to Qur’ân, each prophet is a leader, not a follower of another prophet:

4:64. And We have sent no Messenger but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allâh [in the commandments given to the Messenger via the medium of Gabriel v. 26.192-4][61]

If every prophet should be obeyed by the leave of Allâh then it leaves no room for a non-law bearing prophet, because each prophet has to have something uniquely his that overrides either the distortion of pervious law or a new law suiting the requirements of his time. This verse clearly tells us that each prophet is law bearing and not a follower of a previous prophet because teacher of each prophet is Allah Himself, whereas, the previous prophet was a mere mortal. It raises simple questions for Qadianis. Let’s assume that HMGA was a prophet then according to Qadianis there is a possibility of a future prophet after him. Are Qadianis willing to accept for that future prophet to bypass HMGA as if what HMGA wrote and spoke had no value? Will they shift their allegiances to that prophet?

For the sake of discussion based upon Qadiani doctrine, let’s assume that ‘A’ was the last law bearing prophet and after him came a series of non-law bearing prophets ‘B,C,D,…..X,Y,Z.’ Since every successive one has to follow the previous one, then it implies that prophet Z will have to follow Y before him. Y in turn follows X and so on till the chain get to C, B before it reaches the last law bearing prophet A. By implication Z will essentially follow each prophet in the chain before him. It makes no sense as there is risk of failure on each step of the way and each successive prophet is ever far removed from the law bearing one. One lifetime is too little to understand, retain and follow the Sunnah of all the previous chain of prophets. Instead of unifying, such a non-sense of non-law bearing prophets is a sure recipe for fragmentation of what is left of the ummah (followers) within a few generations. The end result will be neither a surviving ummah nor any remaining ummati for Qadiani doctrine to have a future prophet.

The said authors complicate the matters further when they expect for the non-law bearing prophets after last law bearing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the latter. Even if early on, prophet B (non-law bearing) in above example has his task easier by merely following the revelation of A (the last law-bearing prophet), then B will be in clear violation of injunctions of Qur’ân which mandate a prophet to follow his own revelation only:

6:50. …I indeed follow only what is revealed to me…[62]

7:203. …Say, `I only follow what is revealed to me by my Lord…[63]

10:109. And follow that which is revealed to you…[64]

If per chance B does not follow his own revelations but that of a previous prophet then do so can have severe consequences for him:

29:13. Say, `If I disobey my Lord I have to fear the torment of a dreadful day.'[65]

In the mist of their polemics of law bearer and no-bearer prophets, the authors forgot that every ‘messenger’ and ‘prophet’ was sent a Book of his own:

2:213. Mankind are a single community (but they differed), so Allâh raised (His) Prophets [Arabic: l-nabiyīna] as Bearers of good tidings and as Warners, and with them He revealed the Scriptures containing the truth, that He might judge between various people concerning all their mutual differences.[66][Emphasis added]

57:25. Certainly, We sent Our Messengers [Arabic: rusulanā] with clear proofs and We (also) sent down with them the Code (of Sharî`at – law and justice) and the Balance (- the practice of the Prophet and right use of the Book of God) so that people might conduct themselves with equity and justice…[67] [Emphasis added]

As a corollary, Qur’ân specifically identifies Zabur (Psalms) for David and Evangel (Gospel) for Jesus besides Torah for Moses.

It is generally alleged that while Moses was law bearing, Jesus was not. The alleged classification by the authors of law bearing and non-law bearing prophets is debunked by a simple example from Gospels, in which the apparent non-law bearing prophet Jesus overturns the Law of Moses:

Matthew: 5:38-40. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.[68]

This ‘updating’ of shariah of Moses by Jesus as mentioned in Gospels is also alluded to in Qur’ân as well:

3:49. `And (He will appoint him) a Messenger to the Children of Israel (with the Message), "I … inform you as to what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Behold! these facts will surely serve you as a definite sign if you are believers.

3:50. "And (I come) confirming that which is before me, namely the Torah, and that I declare lawful for you some of the things that had been forbidden to you. I come to you with a sign from your Lord, so take Allâh as a shield and obey me.[69]

Qadianis in their literature hide their muddle by creating smoke screen of alleged non-law bearing Israelite prophets after Moses. Maulana Muhammad Ali clears that also:

At another place it has been mentioned: "And follow what is revealed to thee.'[70] And at the place, where the Holy Prophet is commanded to submit and serve alone what is revealed to him, it has also been stated: "Say: if I disobey my Lord (in my revelation). I fear the chastisement of a grievous day."[71] That is, if a prophet does not follow his revelation, he is, in fact, disobedient to the divine command. Therefore, he does not pay attention to anything else except his revelation, which is such that it alone should be followed, leaving aside all other thoughts and ideas. His faith in previous books and revelations is in a rather abstract and general way. Although he believes that they, too, were from God, yet if on some point his revelation differs from that of some previous prophet, he would only follow his own revelation. This would also hold true when one messenger is the successor of another messenger. For example, after Moses, there was a chain of prophets who followed the Shariah of Moses but when any one of them appeared it was incumbent on him to follow his own revelation in his own age. He acted according to the Torah only inasmuch as his revelation commanded him to do so. Those messengers who came among the Israelites judged according to the Torah, not because that it was Moses' book and they were Moses' followers – in their becoming messengers the following of Moses had not a grain of influence – but because they were themselves directly commanded by their revelations to judge according to the Torah. And, if in some matters, although God had commanded in the Torah differently as compared to their revelation, it was, however; incumbent upon them to follow their own revelations and leave aside the earlier command of the Torah. Or, if a prophet had received a revelation which was against the revelation of some previous prophet or that of the Torah, he was not supposed to follow either of these, but only the revelation which descended on him, no matter whether that revelation was contrary to any of the previous revelations. It was so because in the previous laws (shariah) some of the commands were limited to time and place. Moreover, alterations had also taken place among them, that is to say, they did not remain fully protected. Nevertheless, whenever a prophet appeared in some part of the world or to a particular nation, he followed whatever was commanded to in his revelation. But as revelation has reached its perfection with the Qur’ân, religion has also been made perfect, so has been the guidance (hidayah) for all ages and times and no deficiency at all has been left in the Shariah; therefore, no messenger or prophet can appear after the revelation of the Qur’ân. This means that no such person can come who abandons the Qur’ân and follows his own revelation or accepts the Qur’ân only because his own revelation has commanded him to do so.[72]

The core principles in Qur’ân of independence of revelation, leadership and mission for each prophet are retained even in case of Aaron who was a co-prophet with Moses:

20:90. Aaron had, indeed, said to them before (the return of Moses from the Mount), `My people! you have only been tried by this (calf). Surely, the Most Gracious (God) is your Lord, so follow me and carry out my biddings.'[73]

37:114-120. We did bestow (Our) favours on Moses and Aaron. We delivered them both and their people from the great distress. And We came to their help (against the people of Pharaoh). So it was they who gained clear supremacy. And We gave them both the Manifesting Book. And We guided them both to the right and straight path. And We left behind both of them (a blessed salutation) among the generations to come. `Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!' [74][Emphasis added]

While shedding light on Qur’ân HMGA explains the independent leadership and revelation of each prophet as follows:

"No messenger comes to the world as a follower (ummati) and a subordinate (mahkum). On the other hand, he is a master (muta) and only follows such of his revelation which descend on him through the mediation of Gabriel."[75]

Building upon his argument and the inevitability of a prophet to override some aspects of the previous prophet or scripture, HMGA disassociates himself from any allegation of prophethood attributed to him:

"And this does not beseem Him that He (i.e., God) starts the order of prophethood again after it has been cut off and that He should abrogate some of the Qur’ânic commands or add thereupon and go contrary to His promise or forget the perfection of the Qur’ân."[76]

Maulana Muhammad Ali sums up the arguments of Qur’ân and HMGA as follows:

"…in the divine scheme of things the object of sending prophets was to bring guidance to man, and it has also been mentioned in the Qur’ân that each and every prophet was bearer of guidance (hidayah) and that it was a prerequisite of his mission that he should make the previous guidance perfect. This might have become indispensable for various reasons, perhaps that guidance was unable to help a nation any more to attain perfection, or some defect might have crept into it or it might have been lost or forgotten, or the needs and circumstances of the nation might have changed, so that it had to be abrogated, altered or modified but the raising of a new prophet, however, meant that something was out of order in the previous Shariah.

About other prophets it is an acknowledged fact. But it is sometimes said that the Israelite prophets who came after Moses did not bring a new guidance. The Qur’ân, however, rejects this view. Let us consider the case of the Torah and the Evangel. If it is proved that the Evangel brought new teaching, new guidance and new light, the position of all the prophets coming after Moses becomes clear. At one place in the Qur’ân it has been mentioned: "And He will teach him (i.e., Jesus) the Book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel,"[77], and at another place in the chapter al-Maidah, where it has first been stated about the Torah, "Surely We revealed the Torah, having guidance and light," and then a mention has been made about the Gospel: "And We gave him (Jesus) the Gospel, containing guidance and light and verifying that which was before it and a guidance and an admonition for the dutiful "(5:46).

Thus, when notwithstanding the presence of the Torah a mention has been made of another prophet who brought guidance and Light, the case of other Israelite prophets must be judged in view of this fact. And it must be admitted that all the prophets who came after Moses brought guidance and light and were instrumental in perfecting the guidance."[78]

Verse of Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous

In another place the same authors use a verse of Qur’ân to extend their argument about non-finality of the prophethood with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). While expanding on the blessings mentioned in Surah Kausar, they state:

And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets [nabiyina], the Truthful [sidiqina], the Martyrs [shuhadai] and the Righteous [salihina]. And excellent companions are these. (4:70[79])

Tagging on to the above verse, another author, Dr. Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, of the same organization in the book “The Promised Messiah and Mahdi” [80] in its chapter ‘The Question of Finality of Prophethood’, makes the following case:

From this verse it is absolute clear that those Muslims who obey Allah and His Prophet – the spiritual sons of the Prophet, will be blessed with spiritual favours by Allah and they will be raised to the following four spiritual status in descending order.

1. The Prophets
2. The Faithful
3. The Martyrs
4. The Righteous

It is not possible that God Himself should teach this prayer for seeking His blessings and favours and then deny them. The Muslim community, (the umma) has offered this sacred payer frequently for the last 1400 years and continues to do so. These verses of the Holy Qur’ân teach us the doctrine that among Muslims it is possible that a spiritual son of the Prophet – a follower of Allah and the Holy Prophet may be blessed with divine favours and given the spiritual status of the prophet, but he has to be a follower. (Ummati)

The said authors failed to read the context of the verse. Besides others, the verse speaks of the blessed company of Martyrs. We all know that Martyrs are only to be found in the hereafter and not in this world. The four strata identified in the verse are the blessed company in the next world for the righteous of this world. Even if the premise of the said authors is to be accepted, then the status of prophethood attained is for the next world, not in this world, which already has seen its last prophet, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

In light of zealotry of the said author, one is constrained to ask the author as to what a pity that it took continuous lifelong prayers of billions of Muslims over 1400 continuous years and only then an alleged prophet arose in the ummah by their assertion, while the alleged prophet denied any claim to his prophethood. Despite their tall claims of perfection of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is it a success or a failure of his teachings when compared with Israeli prophets? Take for example Mary. Not only God spoke to her, but her son (Jesus), cousin (John) and uncle (Zachariah) were all prophets in the same household. Compare that to the claim to fame of only one alleged prophet in 1400 years after our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These numbers by themselves prove the finality of Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and confirm the empty lip service of perfection that they attribute to him.

Maulana Muhammad Ali in the footnote of his translation of the above verse writes:

Those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours are spoken of as belonging to four classes: (1) the prophets; (2) the truthful — those who are true in their sayings and their belief, and confirm their truth by their deeds or acting; (3) the faithful — those who bear witness to the truth both by words and deeds, and one slain in defence of his religion is included because he too gives evidence of the truth of religion by laying down his life; (4) the righteous or those who stick to the right course in all their deeds, come what may. Those who obey Allah and the Messenger are here told that they are with the perfect ones who belong to these four classes. Thus this verse promises to those who have not attained to perfection the company, in the life to come, of those who have attained to perfection when the former have done their best to obey God and His Messenger. It may be added that no one can become a prophet by obeying the Holy Prophet. If this were true, not only would all the truthful and the faithful and the righteous be prophets, because they perfectly obeyed Allah and His Messenger, but even all those who tried to follow them would also be prophets which is absurd.[81]

To repeat, is it not absurd even to imagine the possibility of prophets in the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in that the alleged prophet, HMGA, by the said authors is the ‘only and lonely’ one despite presence of Qur’ân and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in ummah almost 1400 years? If his line of arguments is to be accepted then by the standards of said authors, the teachings of Islam are so imperfect that not a single Muslim has been able to attain prophethood in almost 1400 years under verse 4:70 (as enumerated in their translation), that includes hundreds of Companions of the Prophet who were personally groomed by him. This is all so because of the absolute finality of Prophet Muhammad:

25:51. If We had so willed We would surely have raised (in place of universal Prophethood) a Warner in every town.[82]

Rather this lack of prophets only proves the true meanings of Khatam an-nabiyyin after the Last of the Prophets – Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The said authors while skewing the verse (4:70 as numerated by them) forgot the fundamental rule in Qur’ân i.e. office of prophethood can never be acquired no matter how much one strives for it; rather it was conferred by Allah at His discretion:

 3:73. `Yet avow this belief only for the sake of those who follow your creed.' Say, `Surely, the true guidance is Allâh's guidance', (and they also said, `Do not believe,) that anyone will ever be given the like of that (gift of prophethood) which you have been given, or that they will ever be able to prevail upon you in argument before your Lord.' Say, `Eminence (of prophethood and sovereignty) is entirely in the hands of Allâh. He confers it to whomsoever He will.' And Allâh is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.

3:74. Allâh has singled out for His grace (of the bestowal of Divine revelation) one whom He has pleased, for Allâh is the Lord of great eminence. [83]

6:124. …Allâh knows best whom to entrust His Messengership…[84]

Finally, Allah declares in Qur’ân quite clearly that Islam is a perfected religion via a perfected Messenger and Qur’ân, a perfect book. One wonders what else is there left to be perfected for which a future prophet will be needed:

5:3. …This day have I perfected for you your faith and completed My blessings upon you and have chosen Islam for your religion…[85]

2:2. This is the only perfect Book, wanting in naught, containing nothing doubtful, harmful or destructive, there is no false charge in it. It is a guidance for those who guard against evil;[86]

2:143. And thus have We made you a nation exalted and justly balanced so that you may be a guiding example for all mankind (by carrying to them what you have learnt about Islam), and this perfect Messenger (of God) may be a guiding example for you… [87]

34:28. (Prophet!) We have sent you not but towards entire mankind (till the end of time) as a Bearer of glad-tidings and as a Warner but most people do not know (that the Message of Islam is universal and the Qur'ân the last revealed Book)[88] [Emphasis added]

One of the fundamental role for a prophet is to rectify the deficiency in law or reset the decay of law of the previous prophets, or update the law for the requirements of time or place, which in case of Islam is none because of the everlasting Qur’ân and example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). To expect any prophet after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is essentially a declaration of imperfection of Islam and the above declarations of Allah (v 5:3, 2:2, 2.143, 34.28) as void. Can it be so? Never is the only answer.

The comments of HMGA, as related to above verses are:

"And there is no need to follow separately all the prophets and scriptures that have passed before, since the prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) embraces them all. And besides that, all other paths are closed. All the truths that carry one to God are found therein. Neither shall any new truth come after it nor was there any truth before which is not found in it. Therefore, all prophethoods end with this prophethood and thus it ought to have been, for everything which has a beginning has an end also."[89]

Verse of O children of Adam! if Messengers come to you

In another place the said authors while making a deductive remark based upon their interpretation of verse Khatam an-nabiyyin 33:41 (as enumerated by them), they equate ‘Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn’ with non-finality of prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and state:

Moreover, the Qur’ân clearly speaks of the advent of Prophets after the Holy Prophet. The following (one of the two verses) leave no ambiguity on this point:

O children of Adam! if Messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing My Signs [commandments] come unto you, then whoso shall fear God and do good deeds, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve (7:36[90]). [Emphasis added]

The said authors self-contradict in the above verse, which is translated by themselves, by what they stated in their commentary earlier i.e. – “the Holy Prophet was the last of the Law-bearing Prophets”, whereas My Signs in the said verse are nothing but the Law given to a prophet (i.e. Sharia). Hence, if their premise is taken to be correct in that there will be prophets after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) then by the above verse they will be law bearing, which is negation of the premise of the said authors.

Maulana Muhammad Ali clears the fog spread around the above verse by the authors:

It is argued, on the basis of this verse, that the appearance of messengers after Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not only permissible but also essential. But in this verse, all the children of Adam are addressed and the verse, in fact, refers to the incident after Adam's story. To think that the address here is to the people coming after Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is preposterous. The meaning of the verse is clear enough. In the divine scheme of things, Adam received words from his Lord, but for the children of Adam, He would send messengers relating His messages to them. Those who would accept them and act righteously would be saved. It was under this divine law that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent to the world, who related God's messages (ayat) i.e., the Qur’ân, to the people. The main object of the advent of the messengers, however, was the communication of divine messages, but when this object was fulfilled in the form of the Qur’ân, a complete and perfect message to all nations extending to all ages to the Last Day then there was no need to raise another messenger.

It is indeed a daring step to argue from this verse about the continuity of prophethood as opposed to the plain verses of the Qur’ân, which mention his being Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn[91] and which clearly point out: "This day have I perfected for, you your religion."[92] Those Muslims who draw conclusions from this verse should also ponder over the point that, if continuity of prophethood is established from this verse, it is an argument in the hands of the followers of Bahaism who, unlike Muslims, regard the law of the Qur’ân as abrogated. It is not mentioned here that these messengers would be the followers of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). "Children of Adam" is a general expression which may apply to any nation, Muslims or non-Muslims alike. And then this verse necessitates the revelation of messages on such persons. Anyone who believes in the coming of a messenger must also necessarily believe in the coming of the Shariah. If a new Shariah cannot come, neither can a new messenger come. At another place in the Qur’ân the same subject has been dealt with which makes the whole point more clear:

"Surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve."[93]

Thus, if at one place the advent of messengers has been described in the Qur’ân as a general law, at another place in the same words, at the same occasion, the sending of guidance has also been described as a divine practice, if it is correct to argue from one verse about the advent of the messengers after Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then it would be equally correct to argue from the other the coming of a new guidance.[94]

Additionally, the said authors completely missed the conditional statement in the verse (7:36 by their enumeration) and the use of the word ‘if’. Such conditional statements are variably used in Qur’ân to prove a point and not to mean fulfillment of the hypothetical question. The following examples are only a sampler:

The Holy Qur’ân says about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “Say, surely I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the chastisement of a grevious day” (66:15, 39:13). We humbly ask the said author whether it was possible for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to disobey his Lord? The answer, surely, is a big NO. But in spite of that Holy Qur’ân has mentioned it conditionally.[95]

Elsewhere, the Holy Qur’ân says about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "If thou associate (with Allah), thy work would certainly come to a naught" (39:65). Will the said authors explain if it was possible for the Holy Prophet to indulge in polytheism (shirk)? If not, and certainly not, then on what authority has he invented this rule.[96]

Again the Holy Qur’ân says: "Say then; had the Compassionate a son, I shall be the first of his worshippers" (43:81). Is it possible for God to have a son? Certainly not; it is impossible for God to have a son; but in spite of that it is mentioned here as a condition.[97]

And again the Holy Qur’ân says: "If there were in them (earth and heaven) gods besides Allah, they would both have been in disorder" (21:22). Is it possible that there be two gods? The answer could be nothing but NO; even the Holy Qur’ân mentions it conditionally.[98]

Yet in another place Qur’ân states: “Be sure, those who cry lies to Our Messages and turn away from them disdainfully, the gates of the (spiritual) firmament shall not be opened for them, nor shall they enter Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle…” (7:40)[99]. Should then one assume an actual camel threading a needle? It would be absurd even to imagine so.

All the Qur’ânic verses in above section describe one or another impossible phenomenon in a conditional manner. The testimony of these verses is enough to show that the so-called rule under discussion is very much like clutching at straws.[100]

Similar to Qur’ân, the expression of an impossible phenomenon using ‘if’ or ‘had’ is also found in Hadith as is obvious in the following passage from – ‘Prophethood in Islam’:

It has been reported by 'Aqbah, son of 'Amir, that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah he upon him) said “Had there been a prophet after me it would have been 'Umar.”

This hadith is found in Tirmidhi and, although it has been stated there as gharib (rare or unfamiliar) in another edition of Tirmidhi the word hasan (approved) has also been added to it. Besides this, Imam Ibn Jauzi has recorded it; Ahmad in his Musnad, Hakim in his al-Sahih and Tibrani in his commentary have all reported this saying. And as its subject matter is in conformity with the Qur'ãn and the Hadith, therefore, there can be no objection to accepting it as true. This hadith is also a clear testimony that there can be no prophet in this ummah. If there was any such possibility, then 'Umar would have become one. But as 'Umar was not a prophet, therefore, none other can he a prophet in this ummah.[101]

An interesting observation about Verse of Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous – and — Verse of O children of Adam! if Messengers come to you.

The verses which hold the apparent jewel in the crown status in Qadiani literature are 4:70 and 7:36 (by their enumeration) because in them they find keywords Prophets and Messengers on which they build their figment for prophethood after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that they then attribute to HMGA. What they forgot is that HMGA never, anywhere presented any such verse to claim that he was a prophet on the basis of that verse. In his book Shahadat-ul-Qur’ân (available in English as Testimony of the Holy Qur’ân) he has quoted verses of the Qur’ân that his claim is based on, the main one being the khilafat verse 24:55. He writes:

If it is said that in the Mosaic order those who were raised for the advocacy of the faith were prophets, and Jesus was also a prophet, the reply is that the prophet [nabi] and the saint [muhaddath] are on a par in terms of being sent [mursal]. Just as God has called prophets as mursal, so has He termed saints as mursal. It is in reference to this that in the Holy Qur’ân occur the words: "We sent after him (Moses) messengers" (2:87), and not "We sent after him prophets". This points to the fact that by "messengers" are meant those who are sent, whether such a one is an apostle [rasul], prophet [nabi] or saint [muhaddath]. As our Master and Apostle, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the last of the prophets [khatam al-anbiya'], and after him there cannot come any prophet, for this reason saints have been substituted for prophets in this religious system. And it is to this that the following verse refers: "A multitude from among the earlier ones, and a multitude from among the later ones" (56:39-40). As the word thulla [multitude] is used equally in both places, it is proved conclusively that the saints of the Muslims, in terms of their number and the length of their order, are equal to the apostles of the Israelites.

Another verse to the same effect is as follows:

"God has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will surely make them successors in the earth as He made those before them to be successors. And He will surely establish for them their religion, which He has chosen for them, and that He will surely give them security in exchange after their fear. They will serve Me, not associating anything with Me." (24:55)

Now look carefully. This verse also contains a clear reference to the same analogy. And if by this analogy is not meant perfect likeness, then these words become meaningless. For, the chain of successorship in the Mosaic dispensation lasted for fourteen hundred years, not just thirty years; and hundreds of successors [khalifa], spiritual and temporal, appeared, not just four and then the end forever.[102]

Hadiths about ‘possibility’ of prophethood of prophet’s son Abraham, and Companion Abu Bakr

In the same vein that Umar was not a prophet another Hadith quoted by the authors falls in the same category of hypothetical ‘if’:

If Abraham (his son) had lived long, he would have been a Prophet" (Maja, kitab al-Janai'z)

The above hadith raises a fundamental question. Who narrated it? The answer to that we find in Sahih al-Bukhari which is a comment by a Companion and not a saying of the Prophet:

Narrated Isma'il: I asked Abi Aufa, "Did you see Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet?" He said, "Yes, but he died in his early childhood. Had there been a Prophet after Muhammad then his son would have lived, but there is no Prophet after him." (Volume 8, Book 73, Number 214)[103]

The opinion of the Companion is that neither a prophet is expected after Prophet Muhammad, nor his son was expected to survive. Clearly this opinion of the Companion is posthumously as by then the said Companion is expressing his views in light of verse that was revealed after death of Ibrahim, the timeline of which we have established before. That verse is none other than the core issue of this whole paper and we quote it from the translation of the authors:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets [Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn]; and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (33:41)

The above is a perfect example of Hadith supplementing Qur’ân and in our case the finality of Prophethood! Both the Hadith and Verse are in a complementary logic.

The said authors towards the end of their commentary state:

The Holy Prophet himself was clear in his mind as to the continuity of prophethood after him. He is reported to have said: … "Abu Bakr is best of men after me, except that a Prophet should appear" (Kanz al-'Ummal).

To statements like these, Maulana Muhammad Ali in ‘Prophethood in Islam’ writes the following:

If it is assumed for the sake of argument, that the order of prophethood has not been suspended but instead of God's raising the prophets this has been entrusted to the 'Seal of the Prophets', then a charge of falsehood is laid against the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself (God forbid us all from such a blasphemy!) that he told one of his companions that if there was any possibility of the advent of a prophet, then he would have become a prophet, and to another he said: "O 'Ali, you stand to me in the same relation as Aaron stood to Moses except that there is no prophet after me," and yet to another he said, "O Abu Bakr, you are the first to enter paradise from among my ummah," but he also did not become a prophet. In short, if a teacher is incompetent because he cannot make a pupil like him and if Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the 'Seal of the Prophets' in the sense that he was prophet-making, and now there was no need of prophethood which was directly received from God, and this honour, in a way a divine prerogative, had come in his hands, then how was it possible that he could not make a single prophet like himself?[104]

'A'ishah and the expression Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

The same proponents make a flimsy case of selective reading while quoting Lady Aishah, wife of the Prophet – Say that he (the Holy Prophet) is Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn but do not say that there will be no Prophet after him (Manthur) – to which Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book “Prophethood in Islam” writes the following[105]:

All these reports [– Hadiths about finality of prophethood] cannot be rejected by saying attributed to Hazrat Aishah, which runs thus:

"Say Khatam al-Anbiya (Seal of the prophets), but do not say, there is no prophet after him." [Majma al-Bihar]

Now it has been established from authentic reports that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has explained the term Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn by the words: "I am the Seal of prophets, there is no prophet after me" (ana Khâtam an-Nabiyyîn la nabiyya ba‘di)? Thus, how could the saying of 'A'ishah be accepted, which is entirely opposed to it, except that it should be interpreted in a way so as not to contradict the saying of the Holy Prophet himself? The words apparently mean only this, that the divine sentence 'seal of the prophets' [verse 33:40] is a more comprehensive term than the explanatory statement [of Hadith], 'there is no prophet after me,' the latter being a reference only to one aspect of the finality of prophethood. The explanation of the second aspect is met with in the other reports of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), such as:

"There is nothing left of prophethood except good news (mubashshirat)."

But if another meaning is sought in the saying attributed to 'A'ishah that the statement, 'there is no prophet after him,' is wrong and opposed to the term 'the Seal of the Prophets,' then in such a case the words of 'A'ishah should be rejected according to the elementary rules of interpretation of Hadith that the saying of a Companion should be rejected, if it goes against the saying of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). In this particular instance the report of the Holy Prophet is authentic and unanimously accepted and recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim whereas 'A'ishah's saying has been quoted without giving the necessary chain of narrators. Thus, such words should either be interpreted according to the authentic hadith or should be rejected.

As a footnote to above Maulana Muhammad Ali continues further:

As compared with this there are other authentic sayings of 'A'ishah which confirm the finality of prophethood. For instance:

It has been reported from 'A'ishah that the Prophet said: No part of prophethood would be left after me except mubashshirat. They (the companions) said: O Messenger of Allah, what are mubashshirat? He replied: true visions (Musnad Ahmad).

It is reported from 'A'ishah that the Prophet said: I am the last of the prophets and my Mosque is the last of the prophets' mosque (Kanz al-Ummal). Tr.

Still if the rubber stampers differ with regards to the interpretation of ‘Seal of Prophets’ then Qur’ân gives the following guideline:

4:59. O you who believe! obey Allâh and obey (His) Messenger and those who are in authority among you (to decide your affairs). And should you differ among yourselves in anything, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (and judge according to their teachings), if indeed you believe in Allâh and the Last Day. That is (in your) best (interests) and most commendable in the long run.[106]

This verse then naturally leads us to the decisive opinion of the Prophet in his farewell address:

"O people, surely there is no prophet after me, and no Ummah after you" (Musnad Ahmad, vol. ii, p. 391).

———-x———-x———x———-x———

 Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn

 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says those who believe in a prophet after Holy Prophet Muhammad are making that prophet into the Khatam al-anbiya[107]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote again and again that the meaning of the Holy Prophet Muhammad being Khatam an-nabiyyin (or the synonymous term Khatam al-anbiya) is that he was the Last Prophet after whom no prophet whatsoever can come.

Another evidence showing that Hazrat Mirza took the term Khatam al-anbiya to mean Last Prophet is that he wrote several times that if any other prophet whatsoever were to come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad then that prophet would become the Khatam al-anbiya.

We quote below four of his statements:

1. “If another prophet were to come, whether new or old, how could our Holy Prophet remain the Khatam al-anbiya?
 Book Ayyam Sulh, see Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 14, p. 309.
 
2. “Now turning back to my original topic, I say that our Holy Prophet being the Khatam al-anbiya also requires the death of Jesus because if another prophet comes after him, then he cannot remain the Khatam al-anbiya.”
 Book Ayyam Sulh, see Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 14, p. 392.
 
3. “The Holy Qur’ân clearly states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam al-anbiya. But our opponents make Jesus the Khatam al-anbiya, and say that the mention of the Messiah being a prophet of God in Sahih Muslim and elsewhere refers to real prophethood. Now it is clear that if he comes into the world, bearing his prophethood, how could our Holy Prophet remain the Khatam al-anbiya?
 Book Kitab-ul-Bariyya, see Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 13, p. 224.
 
4. “The Holy Qur’ân, in the verses, ‘This day I have perfected for you your religion’, and ‘He is the Messenger of Allah and the Khatam an-nabiyyin’, has clearly ended prophethood with the Holy Prophet Muhammad. And it has said in plain words that the Holy Prophet is Khatam al-anbiya, as it says: ‘He is the Messenger of Allah and the Khatam an-nabiyyin’. But those people who bring Jesus back to the world believe that he will come to the world still bearing his prophethood, and that the angel Jibreel will continue to descend upon him with wahy nubuwwat for forty-five years. Now tell us, according to their belief, how can the finality of prophethood and the finality of revelation given to prophets (wahy nubuwwat) be maintained? Instead, one would have to accept that Jesus is the Khatam al-anbiya.”
 Book Tuhfa Golarwiya, see Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 17, p. 174.

According to these statements, if any prophet came after the Holy Prophet Muhammad then that prophet would become the Khatam al-anbiya and the Holy Prophet Muhammad would no longer remain Khatam al-anbiya. Merely by coming after the Holy Prophet, a prophet would become Khatam al-anbiya, whether he was a new prophet or old, whether he was a great prophet or a lesser prophet.

This establishes that Khatam al-anbiya, according to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, means the Last Prophet.

If, as the Qadianis claim, Khatam al-anbiya means best or greatest prophet, then even if a prophet came after the Holy Prophet, the Holy Prophet could still remain Khatam al-anbiya. But Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad writes that the Holy Prophet Muhammad cannot remain Khatam al-anbiya if a prophet came after him.

———-x———-x———x———-x———

In conclusion, the above is a case study of a phenomenon more mythical than mystical, nothing short of a best seller, in the garb of a garbled religion, a story ‘most’[108] sold, not told, of a “Man Who Mistook a Seat for a Seal”[109] and kept on calling it Seal, while he fully knew that it was a Seat for himself and a family enterprise, minus his father but inclusive of his father-in-law, fully secure under the vice grip of vice itself, and a fellowship which is more emotional than rational.


[1] Al-Shura – The Counsel: Nooruddin
[2] Al-Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[3] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[4] Al-Qasas – The Narrative: Nooruddin
[5] Al-Shuara – The Poets: Nooruddin
[6] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[7] Al-Mujadilah – The Pleading Woman: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz. Footnote: In a state of war between the two parties, friendly relations with the hostile tribes were prohibited, and these would have resulted in great harm to the weaker community of the Muslims. As to those who were not actually engaged in hostilities against the Muslims, see the express directions contained in 60:8. [60:8-9. Allah does not forbid you, with regard to those who do not fight you for religion, nor drive you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly. Surely Allah loves the doers of justice. Allah forbids you only with regard to those who fight you for religion, and drive you forth from your homes and help (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends of them; and whoever makes friends of them, these are the wrongdoers. Al-Mumtahanah – The Woman Tested: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz.]
[8] About the believers it is said in the Qur’ân that God strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself (58:22). 'Spirit' here stands for Gabriel. In the hadith it has been plainly stated that the Holy Prophet had told Hassan ibnThabit: "Reply to the satire of the unbelievers and Gabriel is with you" (Al-Bukhari, 59:6; Mishkat al-Masabih, 4:12). –Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Prophethood and the Founder of The Ahmadiyya Movement, Section – Gabriel did not bring revelation to the founder, August 1992, Footnote 565, p. 388
[9] Al-Mujadilah – The Pleading Woman: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[10] Izalah Auham, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (3rd Septermber 1891), p. 575.
[11] ibid, p. 584.
[12] 
ibid, p. 614.
[13] 
ibid, p. 583
[14] 
ibid, p. 534; Ruhani Khaza’in 3: 387
[15] 
ibid, p. 577.
[16] Hamamat al-Bushra, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, p. 20.
[17] Izalah Auham, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (3rd Septermber 1891), p. 586
[18] 
ibid, p. 575
[19] 
ibid, p. 761
[20] 
ibid, p. 578
[21] Tuhfah Golarwiyah, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, 1st September 1902, p. 84).
[22] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, August 1992. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/prophethoodislam/prophethoodislam.shtml
[23] Finality of Prophethood, by Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam Lahore, UK. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/others/aaiiluk/finalityofprophethood/finalityofprophethood.shtml
[24] http://www.aaiil.org/; http://ahmadiyya.org/; http://www.ahmadiyya.org/noclaim/khatam.htm; http://www.ahmadiyya.org/noclaim/affirms.htm; http://www.muslim.org/; http://www.virtualmosque.co.uk/

[25] Published by Islam International Publications Limited, 1988: Link: http://www.alislam.org/Qur’ân/tafseer/guide.htm?region=E1
[26] Of note is that in the translations of Qur’ân, the Qadianis include the opening phrase Bismilla… at beginning of each surah while enumerating the verse number, hence their verse numbers for any chapter (surah) are one more than others, except for Chapter 9 which does not have Bismillah… before it.
[27] Hamamat al-Bushra, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, p.20, footnote 293
[28] ibid, p.49
[29] Anjam Athim, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (2nd January, 1897), footnote p.27,28
[30] 108:1-3. Verily, We have bestowed upon you (O Muhammad!) abundance of good (both of this life and of the Hereafter). Therefore observe Prayer for the sake of your Lord and offer sacrifice (to Him). Surely, it is your enemy who is cut off entirely [Arabic: Abtar] (from all good and prosperity and is deprived of Spiritual issues). Al-Kauthar – The Abundance of Good: Nooruddin
[31] Dictionary of The Holy Qur’ân, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 148
[32] 
ibid, p. 148
[33] Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz, footnote to verse 33:40
[34] Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 1995. “Ziyad b. 'Ilaqa reported: I heard Mughira b. Shu'ba saying that the sun eclipsed during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) on the day when Ibrahim died. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Verily the sun and the moon are the two signs among the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse on account of the death of anyone or on account of the birth of anyone. So when you see them, supplicate Allah, and observe prayer till it is over.” Link:http://www.iium.edu.my/deed/hadith/muslim/004c_smt.html
[35] Manual of Hadith, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, B.16:3, B.16:19; p. 186-187
[36] National Aeronautical And Space Administration (NASA) – Solar Eclipses of Historical Interest. Link: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhistory/SEhistory.html
[37] Ibn Khatir dates Prophet’s marriage to Zainab in 5 A.H. Link: http://www.islamawareness.net/Muhammed/ibn_kathir_wives.html
[38] Sahih al-Bukhari – Volume 2, Book 23, Number 390: Narrated Anas bin Malik: We went with Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) to the blacksmith Abu Saif, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah's Apostle took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Saif's house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) started shedding tears. 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf said, "O Allah's Apostle, even you are weeping!" He said, "O Ibn 'Auf, this is mercy." Then he wept more and said, "The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim ! Indeed we are grieved by your separation." – Translator Muhsin Khan
[39] 33:37-38. Al-Ahzaab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[40] Al-Ahzaab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali
[41] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Finality of Prophethood, Section – The Holy Prophet became Khâtam al-Nabiyyîn, August 1992, p. 188-189
[42] Al-Ahzaab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[43]
ibid,
[44] The Ahmadiyya Khilafat. Link: http://www.alislam.org/topics/khilafat/

Note: Nooruddin is falsely shown on this website. Nooruddin like HMGA never ascribed to the non-finality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This doctrine of non-finality was established after the death of Nooruddin by Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad who is identified as the second caliph on the website.
[45] Al-Rum – The Byzantines: Nooruddin
[46] Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
[47] Haqiqat al-Wahy, 15th May 1907, p. 97 footnote
[48] See references 31,32
[49] Surah Baqarah – The Holy Qur’ân with English Translation and Commentary, published by Islam International Publications Limited. Pub. 1988.
[50] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz, pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji, 
p. 32,. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/others/abidaziz/truesignificancekhatamannabiyyin/truesignificancekhatamannabiyyin.shtml
[51] Surah Ya Sin – The Holy Qur’ân with English Translation and Commentary, published by Islam International Publications Limited. Pub. 1988.
[52] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz, pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji, 
p. 33.
[53] Surah Al-Tatfif – The Holy Qur’ân with English Translation and Commentary, published by Islam International Publications Limited. Pub. 1988.
[54] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz, pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji,
p. 33.
[55] 6:46. Say, `Have you ever considered if Allâh were to take away your hearing and your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, what god other than Allâh can restore these (boons) to you?' See how We expound (multiple) arguments in diverse ways. Yet they turn away thereafter. Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[56] 45:23. Have you considered the case of him who has taken his own low desires for his god and whom Allâh has forsaken and adjudged as lost on the basis of (His infinite) knowledge, and whose ears and heart He has sealed and whose eyes He has covered with a veil? Who then will guide him after Allâh (has condemned him for his being given to evil ways)? Will you then pay no heed? Al-Jathiyah – The Fallen on the Knees: Nooruddin
[57] 42:24. Rather they say, `He has forged a lie against Allâh (by presenting this Qur'ân).' If Allâh so willed He would set a seal (against them) upon your heart. But Allâh eradicates falsehood (through you) and establishes the truth by (dint of) His words (-prophecies and revelation). He is indeed, One knowing full well (even) the innermost thoughts of the hearts. Al-Shura – The Counsel: Nooruddin
[58] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz, p. 33, pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji.
[59] Ruhani Khaza’in, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India v. 21, p. 412.
[60] Izalah Auham, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (3rd Septermber 1891), p. 534; Ruhani Khaza’in 3: 387
[61] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[62] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[63] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[64] Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
[65] Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[66] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[67] Al-Hadid – The Iron: Nooruddin
[68] New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:38-40
[69] Al-Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[70] Jonah – Yunus: Muhammad Ali
[71] Al-Zumar – The Companies: Muhammad Ali
[72] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Prophetic Revelation, Section – A prophet follows his own revelation, August 1992, p. 106-108
[73] Ta Ha – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
[74] Al-Saffat – Those Ranging in Ranks: Nooruddin
[75] Izalah Auham, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (3rd Septermber 1891), p. 576
[76] Ainah Kamalat Islam, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (26 February 1893), p. 339
[77] Al-Imran – The Family of Amran: Muhammad Ali, verse 3:48 (corrected from 3:47)
[78] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Prophetic Revelation, Section – Revelation of a prophet completes guidance, August 1992, p. 139-140
[79] Of note is that in the translations of Qur’ân, the Qadianis count the phrase Bismilla… at beginning of each surah while enumerating the verse number, hence their verse numbers for any chapter (surah) are one more than others, except for Chapter 9 which does not have Bismillah… before it.
[80] The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, by Dr. Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, Chapter: The Question of Finality of Prophethood, p. 37-45. Islam International Publications Limited. Pub. 1996. Link: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/promisedmessiah/index.htm?page=37#top
[81] Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz, footnote
[82] Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
[83] Al-Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[84] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[85] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[86] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[87] 
ibid,
[88] Saba – Sheba: Nooruddin
[89] Al-Wasiyyah, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, (2nd January), 1905
[90] Of note is that in the translations of Qur’ân, the Qadianis count the phrase Bismilla… at beginning of each surah while enumerating the verse number, hence their verse numbers for any chapter (surah) are one more than others, except for Chapter 9 which does not have Bismillah… before it.
[91] Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Maulana Muhammad Ali, verse 33:40
[92] Al-Maidah – Food: Maulana Muhammad Ali, verse 5:3
[93] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Maulana Muhammad Ali, verse 2:38
[94] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Finality of Prophethood, Section – Qur’ânic verses analysed, August 1992, p. 204-206
[95] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz, pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji – edited.,
p. 19.
[96] ibid,
[97] ibid,
[98] ibid, p.20 .
[99] Al-A`râf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[100] “The True Significance of ‘Khatam al-Nabiyyin” by Abid Aziz,  pub. 2004, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam (Lahore) Fiji ,
p. 20.
[101] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Finality of Prophethood, Section – No other prophet in this ummah, August 1992, p. 194
[102] Testimony of the Holy Qur’ân by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Qadian, India, 1893, English Translation by Dr. Zahid Aziz, 1989, p.30-31.
[103] Sahih al-Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Translated by Muhsin Khan.
[104] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Finality of Prophethood, Section – No other prophet in this ummah, August 1992, p. 200
[105] Prophethood in Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, Chapter – Finality of Prophethood, Section – Sayings of 'A'ishah explained, August 1992, p. 192-193
[106] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[107] Reproduced from Link: http://www.ahmadiyya.org/noclaim/khatam.htm
[108] The Greatest Story Ever Told. Wikipedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Story_Ever_Told
[109] ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ and Other Clinical Tales is a 1985 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients. The title of the book comes from the case study of a man with visual agnosia…The book comprises twenty-four essays split into four sections which each deal with a particular aspect of brain function such as deficits and excesses in the first two sections (with particular emphasis on the right hemisphere of the brain) while the third and fourth describe phenomenological manifestations with reference to spontaneous reminiscences, altered perceptions, and extraordinary qualities of mind found in mentally handicapped people. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Mistook_His_Wife_for_a_Hat

Usury and Interest? – Rather, Fury and Disinterest of Quran in an Illusory Wealth

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Usury and Interest? – Rather, Fury and Disinterest of Quran in an Illusory Wealth

Can a religion help in the untangling of the economic mess that the civilized world finds itself in today? No, would say almost every Muslim today. Suggest it to a Westerner and he would scoff at you, as if you wanted him to believe in a miracle. And yet only little study of the economics of Islam would convince you that this religion has all the best economic principles incorporated in its injunctions, or rather, it goes beyond the stage which modern economic theories have yet reached…the economic problems of today have eluded the grasp of all and whenever you take stock, you rarely fail to get a surprise of one sort or another. Either, some industry misbehaved, the consumption fell off more than was expected, a defense program was launched and sometimes even an unexpected tension upsets the prices, and the net result is always that the economic calculations are frightfully disturbed. There is depression, then inflation, and then again fear of deflation. Inflation brings in its wake as many problems as does deflation. It is as difficult to adjust the economic fabric of a nation to the needs of war as it is again to bring it down to a peace footing…The highly developed countries think that the under-developed countries are a menace to the world and everything would be all right if only they were developed. The underdeveloped countries, though coveting "development ", reply with simple logic. Have the developed countries been able to solve all their problems by material development? If material development is the only panacea for all the economic troubles, why should the West have any troubles at all, when it is so developed? The result of all this is that the world today finds itself in the whirlpools of a conflicting mass of economic theories and values. What the American economist thinks and believes in is out and out commercialism, but this is not palatable to his British contemporary, who prefers a Welfare State…[1]

In the economic system dominated by money markets and speculative conjectures, banks and insurances, whose business model is solely based upon raking in interest; where the transactions are only of capital, there are always associated inexorable greed and unbridled exploitation. Every new loan creates money out of thin air, which is essentially an entry with a pen on someone's account as there is no corresponding inflow of actual money or assets into the account. Value of currency too is based upon speculations rather than any material standards, such as gold. Currency bill, instead of being an official receipt for an equivalent asset, is now more of a derivative that derives its value from non-tangibles which include war machine of nations, ironically nations whom no one threatens. The have-not segments and nations first become the killing fields, financially if not militarily, and then are protected as grazing grounds for the ever usury hungry cud chewing ‘holy cows’, the banks. The financial institutions that are ‘too big to fail’[2] are worshipped and protected under the garb of national security interests that factually are no more than selfish commercial policies that find their way into national policies sanctified by parliaments that act as board rooms of these financial megaliths. The laws passed to protect the commercial interests are essentially forethought and the interests of the masses are merely an afterthought. These financial centers act as global vacuum cleaners sucking in the usury by direct or indirect taxes paid by all the peoples of world. These banks take the first bite from each morsel swallowed the world over.

Banks lend money against fractional reserves[3], naively assuming that there is no such thing as greed in human species. On the contrary, greed is a reality and banks and their usury are mere instruments to cater to that greed. The purported intention of modern banking system is to transform money into wealth via investments in various projects in the community that in their wake expand the economy. If expansion of the economy is the goal, then banks should be at the forefront of owning the assets on the ground, but they do not, instead it is only the liquid assets[4] which are of interest to them. Why?

The definition of wealth for banks is unique to them only which is to create fictitious money and to expand it with a multiplicative effect. Such an effect only balloons with time into unavoidable pyramidal schemes that are beyond the regulatory controls. Overtime such a facade cannot avoid the run on the bank that culminates in tax payer bail out. If the loans issued are (hypothetically) ten times the actual reserves then an apparent 8% interest (in crude estimation) earned by the first bank is factually more than 80% windfall for all the banks in the chain, besides the ten times of actual money recovered by the series of banks from fictitious money loaned. Paradoxically, banks recover real money with interest from the consumers for fictitious money they loaned. Banks loan money, something they do not have to begin with, against real assets of the debtor as collateral. Why?

The exit from such economic system creates an even more of a paradox that is in direct opposites for the consumer and the bank in which the deck is clearly stacked against the former. For an insolvent bank it is the tax payer, not the bank that pays through bailouts, whereas for a bankrupt debtor his assets are unflinchingly taken over by the bank, a working model of 'mine is mine and thine is mine.' Banks and  laws of the land call it an honest business for their creating fictitious money for a fictitious purchasing power, by permissive rules that are no less than sleight of hand, in the garb of ‘commercial credit’, while the banks themselves remain immune from all risks. Societies under the sway of fictitious wealth complemented with unbridled greed inevitably fall into the trap where they spend without saving, import without exporting and consume without producing[5].

The exuberant interest by the bank on its loan sets into motion a vicious cycle of a downward spiral where the loanee tags on the interest paid to the bank into the price of its product, which depending upon the market dynamics might not sell enough due to its higher price because of higher ‘production costs’, which in turn creates a backward pressure to cut cost by cutting wages and laying off employees, which then decreases purchasing power in the market, which on the reverse creates shrinking of the economy of a nation. Artificial supports of consumer credit are then erected with incentives for the cash strapped consumers to “buy now, pay later,” but with interest, which is factually an insult to injury. Still, the individual in a ‘free society’ can absorb only so much debt. This is where the military muscle comes in handy to find newer markets, mostly in poorer countries for the surplus goods. Thus, the problem initially localized to one region becomes the world problem. No wonder the cyclical expansion and shrinking of ‘bubble’ economies and their consequent wars and global turpitudes have been the bane of the societies under the sway of interest and usury. The interest on the loans that governments take creates the very basis for income taxes that only go up with time for ordinary people. Banks are not only eager but drool on funding wars, many a times on both sides of the conflict, where loans in trillions are issued on drop of a hat, as such loans are secured to be paid back by the governments. Ironically, the same banks and governments are averse to fund basic societal needs at a fraction of the cost of war such as healthcare and education. Everyone suffers, but the bank. Why?

In such financial models, gains of one are inevitably due to losses of another. Speculative bubbles rise and burst, financial markets ebb and flow as gambler's instincts which in turn are dignified by labels of bear and bull-run in the ‘financial markets’. It is insult to the very name ‘market’ because by their very definition these so called markets have no goods and services but are only a venerated name for gambling tables. The magnitude of gambling in derivatives is mind boggling. According to US Federal reserve – “the derivatives market expanded from $87 trillion in June 1998 to $454 trillion in June 2006.”[6],[7],[8] To add insult to injury, the derivatives are not even regulated; essentially it is free for all. Some might even say that the boom and bust of the stock and bond markets too is staged because following every bust there is a winner, who earlier sold it high and later bought it low. Everyone else perished but certain families in the guise of faceless corporations, the sole survivors of crash after crash. Why?

In this speculative chaos, pundits show up with Op Ed pieces and experts prophesize with the 'insider' instincts to the markets. Even 'propriety' mathematical models are developed which try to 'predict' the future based upon hundreds of variable from around the globe. Leveraged returns are exploited against 'cheap money'[9] which is unreal to begin with. The only game in town is to salivate at non-labored gains and how to dodge the loss, a loss which could be anybody's guess, and it better be of someone else's. Risk is passed around as a hot potato under various names till it hits the saturation point, before it unravels the common man's life earnings and retirement. Such speculated profits are what every deck holder wishes and yearns for and a loss that he prays against in an otherwise godless Ponzi world of capital markets. Why?

The Quran too outlines a financial system sans greed in which it fully addresses the trade of goods and services, lending and borrowing minus interest, contractual obligations of the parties, preempts the misuse of administrative powers, displaces usury with charity, and replaces income tax with asset tax. Property, bequest and inheritance rights and laws are extensive in which equity of women, children and the survivors are assured, but will not be delved into in this chapter. In summary, Quran advocates equitable distribution of wealth by inheritance, charity, bequeathal and annulling of usury. Once the wealth is equitably distributed, only then the wealth achieves its purpose, the equality of opportunities for mankind, else it is the same wealth that creates ever increasing multitudes of poor in bondage of a few rich that was only highlighted by Oxfam in its recent report:

Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population. The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world. Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012. In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.[10] [Emphasis added]

In summary, Quran lays down the foundations of its economic order based on a fundamental moral principle in which the humans have to strive for wealth and not the wealth to create itself:

53:39. And that a human being will have (to his account) what he strives for.[11]

Quran assures the individual the rights not only of the life and liberty, but the equal and assured pursuit of wealth besides happiness:

59:7. … (It has been) so (ordained) that the (wealth) should not circulate (only) among your rich people…[12]

The exploitation of a common man is run amok in an interest bearing banking system. The depositor is taken for a ride by the banks. Little do the depositors know that it is they, who are the actual capitalists, the capital source for the bank and it is the bank that is the borrower of the money from the depositor. When an average consumer deposits an amount he gets a paltry interest but when the same depositor asks for a loan, he will be slapped with an interest that is many magnitudes higher than what he received from a deposit. Essentially, this gap is what the bank skims off many folds from the depositors. Bank that was factually supposed to be no more than an agent for the depositor actually becomes the controller and the capitalist. For all intents and purposes, bank usurps the rightful power and the rights of the depositor. Why it is so and why is it allowed? This relationship of the bank and the depositor is paradoxically like that of a master who hires a servant on the condition that the servant will use his own money and tools to earn money for the master. Why? Such institutional double standards are put on notice in Quran. Interest bearing banking system fails this simple moral test that Quran outlines:

83:1. Woe be to those who make a default in any of their duties and give short measure.

83:2. When they receive measure from other people they receive in full (not allowing the least shortage and loss),

83:3. But when they give by measure to others or weigh to them they give them less (than what is due).

83:4-15. Do not such people realize that they will be raised (to life again), to face (and hear the Judgment of) that Great Day? The Day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds? Nay, (not at all as they believe) the record of (the deeds) of the wicked is in Sijjîn (- the register of a prison). What should make you know what that Sijjîn is? (It is) a book written (distinctly and comprehensively). On that Day woe shall befall those who belie (the truth); Those that belie the Day of Requital. No one can treat it as a lie except every sinful transgressor, (Who) when Our Messages are recited to him says, `(These are) mere fables of the ancients.' Nay (not at all so), the truth is that their (evil) deeds have rusted their hearts. Nay (We repeat, not at all so). Verily, they shall be debarred from (the sight and mercy of) their Lord that day. Then they shall surely enter into the flaming Fire, Then it shall be said (to them), `This is that (very punishment) which you used to cry lies to.' [13]

Quran also admonishes against speculations on money:

2:219. They ask you concerning intoxicants and games of chance. Say, `In both of them is a great sin and both are harmful too, and they have some uses for people, but the sin inherent in them is even more serious than their usefulness.' They ask you how much they should spend [–in charity, in the cause of Allah]. Say, `The surplus (- what you can spare after spending on your basic requirement).' Thus does Allâh make clear His commandments so that you may reflect –[14]

For business transactions and loans, Quran gives the following contractual guidelines:

2:282. O you who believe, if you borrow debt for a future period, then you shall record it. And let a scribe of justice record it for you; and let not the scribe refuse to record as God has taught him. Let him record and let the person who is borrowing dictate to him, and let him be aware of God, and let him not reduce from it anything. If the one who is borrowing is immature or weak or he cannot dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate with justice; and bring two witnesses from amongst your men; if they are not two men, then a man and two women from whom you will accept their testimony, so that if one of them becomes occupied [with issues unique to her gender], then the one can recall the other. And let the witnesses not refuse to come if they are called. And do not fail to record it no matter how small or large until its maturity. That is more just with God and better for the testimony, and better that you do not have doubts; except if it is a trade to be done on the spot between you, then there is no sin upon you if you do not record it. And have evidence if you trade. No scribe shall be harmed nor any witness; for if you do so then it is vileness on your part, and be aware of God and [that] God teaches you and God is aware of all things.[15]

2:283. And if you be on a journey and do not find a scribe, then (let there be) a pledge with possession (of some article to secure your debt). If one of you entrusts something to another let him who is entrusted deliver his trust, and let him take Allâh, his Lord, as a shield. Do not conceal the evidence, for whoso conceals it, his heart is certainly sinful. Allâh is Well-Aware of all that you do.[16]

Quran outlines the recompense for labor. If taken literally, the following verse gives a concrete example of the magnitude and manifold reward inherent in nature for a good effort. For example, a seed when sowed and taken care of is rewarded in one crop cycle by many ears of corn:

2:261. The attribute of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allâh is like the attribute of a grain (of corn) which sprouts seven ears, each ear bearing a hundred grains. And Allâh multiplies further for whomsoever He pleases, for Allâh is Bountiful, All-Knowing.[17]

It is because of such incentives in nature that a farmer tills the land under the scorching sun, tirelessly takes care of the field and finally harvests the yield. The reward is not limited to the farmer alone. The humanity at large benefits from the toils of the farmer when he sells the produce in the market place, where a baker turns that corn into a loaf that a consumer buys. Such a chain of transactions is gainful each step of the way for both, the seller and the buyer. The former gets a profit for his goods, while latter lives off the nourishment. No wonder Quran encourages trade in which needs of humanity are in congruence with the value of goods and services:

2:275. … Allah has made trade lawful…[18]

The above example can also be applied to any lawful profession for the services it provides. Both the provider and the client mutually benefit from the transaction as the skills of the former are beneficial for the latter.

However, if we contrast these examples with the money lender, we see that the debtor is at a clear disadvantage, in which the loss of the latter is manifold gain of the former. Unlike a trade where there is one time transaction which covers the cost of goods and services along with the profit, the interest is a repeatedly occurring transaction, month after month, year after year and decade after decade. There is no theoretical end to profit making, while the money given to the debtor was one time only. The very basis of money lending as a profession is tied to usury, in which money generates the money without any toil of the lender or exchange of goods or services. It is to prevent the exploitation of the debtor that Quran states:

3:130. O you who believe! do not practise usury and interest involving multiple additions, and keep your duty to Allâh and take Him as a shield so that you may prosper.[19]

The above verse can be easily understood by the apparently innocuous example of borrowing a loan of only one dollar at 10% annual interest. The calculations are as follows:

Base amount: $1.00
Interest Rate: 10%
Effective Annual Rate: 10%
Calculation period: 500 years
(interest compounded yearly – added at the end of each year)

Year Yearly Interest Total Interest Balance
1 $ 0.10 $ 0.10 $ 1.10
2 $ 0.11 $ 0.21 $ 1.21
3 $ 0.12 $ 0.33 $ 1.33
4 $ 0.13 $ 0.46 $ 1.46
5 $ 0.15 $ 0.61 $ 1.61
6 $ 0.16 $ 0.77 $ 1.77
7 $ 0.18 $ 0.95 $ 1.95
8 $ 0.19 $ 1.14 $ 2.14
9 $ 0.21 $ 1.36 $ 2.36
10 $ 0.24 $ 1.59 $ 2.59
100 $ 1,252.78 $ 13,779.61 $ 13,780.61
200 $ 17,264,116.04 $ 189,905,275.46 $ 189,905,276.46
300 $ 237,910,090,562.59 $ 2,617,010,996,187.46 $ 2,617,010,996,188.46
400 $ 3,278,546,729,775,056.00 $ 36,064,014,027,525,600.00 $ 36,064,014,027,525,601.00
500 $ 45,180,381,521,022,484,480.00 $ 496,984,196,731,246,739,456.00 $ 496,984,196,731,246,739,457.00

In another example, a penny borrowed by Jesus Christ 2012 years ago at an annual interest rate of 5% would have accrued a debt of $4,290,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00[20] which exceeds the wildest imagination, but still might not be enough to satisfy the greed of the lender.

The above numbers which are even beyond the capacity of the planet earth to produce speak for themselves and explain the basis of how certain banking families flourished in a few generations in recent centuries by lending to the governments in the West. No loanee or the lender could live beyond a few decades to payoff and collect the loan but governments and lending institution do survive longer periods. Not too surprisingly there is no end to the loan that a government can acquire for a war, but when it comes to provide for its moral obligation to its masses it has to scrap the bottom of the barrel to fund social programs. Government essentially is a function of the people in the country, who are the ultimate debtors, whereas the money lenders are only a few individuals or corporations with the sole purpose to make profit, not loss. If a loan shark needs a bouncer to break legs to recover the debt, the banking institutions control governments and their institutions which include armies, intelligence agencies and media to collect from the nations unable to pay back the bone crushing interest which inevitably swells manifolds than the principal. The scruple-less money lenders shy not of demanding the 'pound of flesh' [21]of the debtor:

“All that we had borrowed up to 1985 was around $5 billion, and we have paid about $16 billion; yet we are still being told that we owe about $28 billion. That $28 billion came about because of the injustice in the foreign creditors’ interest rates. If you ask me, what is the worst thing in the world? I will say it is compound interest.” – Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo speaking after the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan in the year 2000. [22]

It is necessary to remove the veneer of difference between usury and interest. The apologists argue that usury in prohibited because it is excessive interest, whereas interest is permissible. This is a bogus argument which tries to draw justification of moderate drinking over heavy alcohol drinking. For the apologist, simply put, social drinking even by the clergy is okay, but alcoholism is not acceptable. Just like gradations of alcoholism, this distinction between excessive and moderate interest probably has its origins in Christendom. In Quran, there is no distinction between usury and interest and its consequent evils that the society suffers from. Islam does not hinder the rich from their riches, but does not allow richness at the expense of ordinary citizens. Usury robs masses of their dignity, freedom, rights and opportunities, preservation of which is the purpose of Islam. On the other hand, there is no Robin-hood-ness either in Quran as well. Islam does not abolish Capitalism but remedies its evils[23], for example:

It may he questioned why the prohibition [of interest] assumed a religious form; this law of the country should have been left free-handed to operate on the merit of individual cases instead of entire prohibition. In this connection it may be noted that the universal prohibition, is based on the universal harm of the usury. For instance a business man who borrows money cannot guarantee that the business will fetch profit; yet the money lender will take interest in all circumstances. The other side of commercial interest is the bargain when ready payment is not made by the buyer of goods. It is also equally rather more harmful for the interests of Society. The buyer [seller] of goods who is more properly the borrower of money, must sell the goods at an increasingly high rate [i.e. higher price] to meet the swelling sum of interest as allowed in the transaction. The burden of increased rates would, therefore, fall upon the public.[24]

The verse 3:130 above unambiguously banned usury and its subsequent verse not only points to turmoil from interest for the debtor that is hidden in the usury practices but also draws attention to the equal in magnitude, the Fire of greed that likewise engulfs the usurer:

3:131. Be on your guard against the Fire which has been prepared for the disbelievers.[25]

Divine prohibition of usury and interest is not unique to Quran:

Leviticus 25:36-37. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. [New Kings James Version]

The money lenders of the yore and their modern day equivalents, the banks, project themselves as honorable profession, but by the standards of Quran, they are touched by the devil. They might call themselves a business, but requirements for business are exchange of goods and services which they have nothing to do with:

2:275. Those who practice usury and interest, (their condition is such as) they will not be able to stand [i.e. fall into immorality] except like the standing of one who has lost his reason under the influence of satan. That is so because they say, `Trade is just like usury and interest.' Whereas Allah has made trade lawful and made interest unlawful. Then whosoever has received (this) admonition from his Lord and keeps away (from usury and interest) he may keep whatever (interest) he has taken in the past. His matter rests with Allâh. As for those who revert (to the practice of usury and interest) it is these who are the fellows of the Fire, therein shall they live for long.[26]

Whereas Allah has made trade lawful and made interest unlawful for the mere fact that – Trade is doubtlessly as prosperous to the country and nation as usury is shocking for the society and the masses.[27]

Not only that the usury and interest are unlawful, Quran actually annuls them altogether and replaces them with charity:

2:276. Allâh annuls usury and interest and promotes charity. Allâh does not love any persistent and confirmed disbeliever and an arch-sinner.

2:277. Verily, those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and regularly observe the Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât [–charity] shall have their reward from their Lord; they shall have no cause of fear, nor shall they ever grieve.

2:278. O you who believe! take Allâh as a shield and forgo all outstanding gains from usury and interest if you are indeed believers.

2:279. But if you do (it) not, then beware of war from Allâh and His Messenger [because the burden and exploitation of interest is equivalent of an already declared exploitative war on the society]. But if you turn away (from such an unlawful transaction) then you shall have your principal (without interest) back. (Thus) you shall neither deal unjustly nor be dealt with unjustly.[28]

Usury, moreover, promotes habits of idleness, since the usurer, instead of doing any hard work or manual labour, becomes like the parasite, living on the labour of others. In the great struggle that is going on between capital and labour, Islam sides with labour, and, by its prohibition of usury, tries to restore the balance between the two, not allowing capital to enthral labour. It is in reference to the honourable place that Islam gives to labour that the Holy Qur'an says that "Allah has allowed trade and forbidden usury", for while trading requires the use of labour and skill and elevates the morals, usury promotes habits of indolence, cunning and oppression. To help the distressed one who is in straits is the object of the social structure of Islam, and to reduce him to further straits is the end of usury; hence usury is called "war with Allah and His Messenger" (2:279).[29]

Jesus Christ in his capacity did no different than verse 2:279 when he stood up against the currency dealers of his time and ‘overturned the tables of the money changers’:

Mark 11:15-18. On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

The selective allowance to charge usury by Israelites from non-Israelites, the foreigners, is allowed in the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 23:20. You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a fellow Israelite…[New International Version]

Quran takes away the vestige of above argument altogether when it makes the mankind a single nation and removes the discrimination of a foreigner altogether:

10:19. And mankind were but a single nation, then they fell into variance…[30]

The debtor is under the contractual obligation to return the debt, but if for some reason it becomes impossible to repay the loan, then unlike a usurious banking system that takes over the assets of the bankrupt, Quran gives the following relief:

2:280. If any (debtor) be in straitened circumstances there shall be respite (for him) till (his circumstances) ease. But that if you remit (the debt) by way of charity (for the sake of God), it is better for you, if you only knew.[31]

It is for this reason too that the social order of Islam does not allow usury. The prohibition of usury is clearly associated in the Holy Qur'an with charity, for inasmuch as charity is the broad basis of human sympathy, usury annihilates all sympathetic affection. The usurer is likened to one whom the devil has prostrated by his touch so that he is unable to arise [verse 2:275]. Such is, in fact, the usurer who would not hesitate to reduce the debtor to the last straits if thereby he might add a penny to his millions. He grows in selfishness until he is divested of all sympathetic feelings, and greed rules his heart. Islam is basically opposed to this.[32]

All the injunctions above would not be worth their value than the piece of paper they are written on, unless the administrative authority carrying out these commandments is just as well:

2:188. Do not appropriate one another's property with inequity (and by false means) nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may appropriate a portion of (other) people's property by sinful means (and bribery) and that (too) knowingly (that you have no right to do so).[33]

In terms of finance, if nothing else, the above verse squarely draws attention to 'insider trading' on any forum whose sole intention is to appropriate a portion of (other) people's property by sinful means (and bribery) and that (too) knowingly (that you have no right to do so). Even the recent history bears witness to devastation in the world from usurious borrowing and funding of the wars over past several centuries including the world wars which resulted from usury practices by certain classes from the people of the Book:

4:160. Then (by way of punishing them) on account of the transgression of those who judaised, We made unlawful to them certain of the good and pure things which had been allowed to them before, and that too on account of their causing hindrances to many (people, and their own staying away) from Allâh's way;

4:161. And (also on account of) their taking interest and usury though they were forbidden it, and because of their misappropriating people's belongings. And We have prepared a woeful punishment for those among them who disbelieve.[34]

5:62. And you will find many of them vying one with another in committing sin and transgression and being too much given to eat things forbidden [– including the usury and interest]. How evil is that which they practise!

5:63. Why do not the teachers of divine knowledge and those learned in the Law prohibit them from their blasphemic talk and deeds and their being too much given to eating things forbidden? Evil indeed is their machination.[35]

Of note is that one of the foremost things forbidden is the usury and interest. The next corresponding verses separate the righteous people of the Book from usurers of above verses:

4:162. But those among them who are firmly grounded in knowledge and the faithful who believe in that (Divine Message) which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you, and (especially) the observers of Prayers, and those who go on presenting the Zakât, and believe in Allâh and the Last Day, it is they We will certainly bestow on them a great reward.[36]

5:65. And if the people of the Scripture had only believed and guarded against evil, We would surely have absolved them of their sins and We would surely make them enter Gardens of bliss.

5:66. If they had only observed the Torah and the Evangel and that which has been revealed to them (now) from their Lord, they would surely have eaten (of good things) from above them [i.e., spiritual gains] and from under their feet [i.e., material gains], (thus would have enjoyed the boons of the heaven and the earth). Though there is amongst them a community who is moderate (and of balanced mind), yet a large number of them are such that evil are their deeds.[37]

It is the usurers that are admonished repeatedly in Quran:

2:168. O people! eat what is lawful and pure (of the produces) of the earth and follow not the footsteps of satan for he is your enemy severing you (from Allâh).

2:169. He (- satan) only bids you to indulge in evil and to (do) things foul and obscene and that you say against Allâh things you do not know.[38]

The ancestral money-lenders, in the garb of financial institution of our times are addressed in Quran:

2:170. And when it is said to them (- the disbelievers), `Follow what Allâh has revealed.' They say, `We would rather follow such things as we found our forefathers (doing and believing).' (Would they do so) even though their forefathers could not refrain (from evil), nor they could achieve their goal.

2:171. The case of (one that calls) those who refuse (to obey the commandments of God) is like the case of one who shouts to that (animal) who hears nothing, but a mere call and a cry (of a shepherd). (They are) deaf, dumb and blind, moreover they do not use their reason.[39]

However, those 'believers', living in a financial system beyond their control, might have to partake the interest obligations, the flesh of swine, to survive. They can draw some solace from the next verses and may seek mercy from their Lord:

2:172. O you who believe! eat of the good and pure things We have provided you with, and render thanks to Allâh, if it is He alone whom you really worship.

2:173. He has forbidden you only (to eat carrion) that which dies of itself, the blood, the flesh of swine and that over (the sacrifice of) which the name of someone other than Allâh has been invoked. Yet he who is constrained (to use them) without desiring (them) nor going beyond the limits (of bare necessity), incurs no sin. Surely, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.[40] [Emphasis added]

To those governments, where they have the power to annul usury in their land, but instead hide which Allâh has revealed in this perfect Book about admonitions against interest and usury and take a paltry price (- worldly gains) from usury and interest bearing institutions, Quran forewarns with the following:

2:174. Surely, those who hide (any part of the teaching) which Allâh has revealed in this perfect Book and take a paltry price (- worldly gains) for it, it is these who feed their bellies with nothing but fire [of usurious debt and all its ill consequences for the society], and Allâh will not speak to them (with affection and mercy) on the Day of Resurrection, nor He will treat them as pure, and there awaits them a grievous punishment. [Emphasis added].

2:175. It is these who have preferred error to guidance and punishment to protection. (The onlookers of these sufferers will say,) `How very enduring they are at (the punishment of) the Fire!' [This is a glaring example of the burden of interest borne by citizens of the developing world at the hands of the global banking system, a never ending servitude]

2:176. That (punishment) is because, whereas Allâh caused the perfect Book to be revealed to suit all the requirements of truth and wisdom (they have rejected it outright). Surely, those who dissented from the perfect Book have indeed gone far astray in enmity (of the truth) and in obstinacy.[41]

The dilemma of a Muslims who live in a usury infested system is summed up as follows in an article written in 1925:

[42]We are living in an age in which usury is common, and, do and declare what we will, we are nearly all of us tainted with it. It is a sin, but Muslims must trade, and Muslims must not fall back. They are already far too backward. If Turkey has natural resources which she cannot develop out of her revenues, and if she cannot obtain money without paying interest to develop those resources, then her only course is to borrow at interest. This does not mean that the transaction thereby becomes lawful. It only means, as the Holy Qur-an says :—

2:173. …But whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him.

Unless Muslims want to become extinct and leave the earth to others, they must trade; and trade nowadays usually means both the taking and paying of interest. Let each man be his own judge. Let no one be a fanatic or a fool. God is Reasonable, and Islam conforms to the dictates of true reason. It is easy for the doctrinaire to condemn all trade and all civilization; and it is equally easy for the greedy person, under the cloak of business, to live on usury. The right course is to desist from the paying or taking of interest, wherever possible; and in other cases to go only so far as necessity compels us to go. "Whoever is driven to necessity," says God, "not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him."What is "necessity"? What is the "excess"? What is the "limit"? These are questions to be decided by each man or institution in each particular case. No general rule or rules can be laid down. But God has given us eyes, ears and hearts. And He has also provided us with the all-important mind. The heart of man acting on the mind of man is responsible for the deeds of each individual, and God alone is the Great Judge. The first tradition quoted by Imam Bukhari from the Prophet is Al-Aamal-o-bin-niyyat-e— "All deeds are judged by their intentions." The man who thinks he can save himself by a show of keeping the letter of the law, but really infringing the whole object of the ordinances of God, cannot really save himself, for God knows all. On the other hand, what shall it profit me if I never take a penny in interest, but when it comes to helping a needy person I thrust my hands into my pockets, and leave the poor man in his need? My piety in not taking interest shall not avail me aught in the sight of God. Socrates used to say that the opposites could only be understood by putting them together—pain with pleasure, and virtue with evil. Charity and usury are the opposite extremes of human conduct. The first is a divine ordinance, and the second is an institution of the devil. In showing the beauties of charity God shows us the ugliness of usury. But everything is relative. The absolute is with God alone. We are human beings and necessarily weak.

53:32. Those who avoid grave sins and open shameful deeds but (who are sometimes guilty) only (of) minor offences (will find) your Lord is Lord of immense protection (and resorts to His mercy in such cases). He knows you full well (since) when He created you from the earth and when you were embryos in the wombs of your mothers. So make no pretensions to the purity of your souls. It is He Who knows best who (truly and fully) guards against evil.[43][Nooruddin]

Some may scoff at an earlier quoted verse i.e. 2:279. But if you do (it) [i.e. usurious practices] not, then beware of war from Allâh and His. While reading this verse, let’s not forget that Europe since its dark ages and the West as a whole continues to fight wars, which have been funded by usurious loans. Some may even say that West goes to war because of it bowing to usury. It is anybody’s guess about future wars.

In summary, temptation of usury for its abundance and its profits flowing to the usurer are contrasted with apparent misperception of loss from charity and it is against this overwhelming enticement of bad and impure that one has to seek protection from:

5:100. Say, `The bad and impure e.g. usury and interest], and the good and pure [e.g. charity] are not alike even though the abundance of the bad and impure [e.g. usury and interest] may charm you.' Take Allâh, therefore, as a shield (seeking refuge in Him), O you people of pure and clear understanding! so that you may attain the goal.[44]

It is to this never ending cycle of abundance of the bad and impure interest that might have been in the prophecy about Adam and Children of Adam:

2:35. And We said, `O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden and eat freely and plentifully from it as you will [that you can afford]. But you shall not go near this tree (- evil [113:2. `From the evil of that which He has created which includes usury and interest]) lest you should be of the unjust.'

2:36. After sometime the satan caused them both [individually and nations collectively] to slip from this (order of not going near evil) and thus brought them out of (the happy state) which they were in. And We said (to them), `Go forth, some of you are enemies of others and for you there is a sojourn in this land and a provision for a time.'

2:37. After that Adam received from his Lord certain (useful) commandments and He turned to him with mercy. He, indeed is Oft-returning with compassion, the Ever Merciful.

2:38. We said, `Go forth from this state, all of you, and when there comes to you a guidance from Me, then, those who follow My guidance shall have nothing to fear and nothing to grieve at.'[45]

Quran is fully cognizant of the human tendency to acquire and hoard wealth to which it draws attention:

3:14. It has been made fairseeming to the people the love of the desired things comprising women, sons, stored up heaps of gold and silver, well-bred horses, cattle and tilth. That is the provision of the present life. Whereas with Allâh is the fairest goal (of life).

3:15. Say, `Shall I inform you of something better than these? There are with their Lord Gardens served with running streams for those who become secure against evil. There they shall abide forever, and (there will be the righteous) companions perfectly purified and (above all they will enjoy) the good pleasure of Allâh.' And Allâh is Mindful of (His) servants,

3:16. Who say, `Our Lord! we have certainly believed, therefore protect us against (the consequences of) our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire.'[46]

Quran does not abhor the wealth of the individual, but it brings to fore the consequences of hoarding it:

104:1. Disaster is (decreed) for every slanderer, defamer,

104:2. Who amasses wealth (instead of spending it for the good of humanity), counts it over and over and depends upon it as a safeguard (against his future possible hardships).

104:3. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.

104:4. No, never! he shall surely be cast into the crushing torment (of Hell).

104:5. And what should make you know what the crushing torment is?

104:6. (It is) the Fire set ablaze by Allâh,

104:7. And which rises over (the feelings of) the hearts (- the origin of a man's hell).

104:8. It (- Fire) will be closed in on them (so as not to let them escape from it and also increase for them the torture of heat).

104:9. (The flames of the Fire will rise) in (the form of) huge outstretched columns.[47]

3:180. And do not let those, who behave niggardly in (spending) what Allâh has granted them of His bounty, think that it is good for them, nay it is bad for them. They shall certainly have the things they were niggardly about, hung about their necks like halters on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allâh belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Indeed, Allâh is Well-Aware of all that you do.[48]

The walk away argument of wealth in Islam is the similitude of blood in a body. The more it circulates, the healthier the body is. However, the illness and death sets in when the circulation of blood slows down and it clots. For a clot the treatment is naturally a clot buster. Similarly, when the wealth is taken out of circulation and hoarded in assets, the clot buster in Islam is the Zakat, the asset tax which historically is about 2.5 percent, a rate which is neither too taxing for the asset holder nor is mandated on those without assets. Whereas, the income tax of capitalism does not differentiate between the haves and have-nots, it does not take into account the liabilities of the one taxed. Since the tax laws are heavily influenced by the haves, the loopholes thus created in the laws disproportionately benefit them at the detriment of the have-nots. History is witness to the pervasive bloody struggle between the two, the drooling greed on one side and the shuddering cries of deprivation of the majority.

A great advantage of the elimination of interest will be that dormant capital will not be able to create wealth, which will mean that either it will have to invest itself for protection or surrender itself for State use for the benefit of the society. In either case it will have a beneficent effect on the production and consumption of the country. The attraction of hoarding will be completely gone, as even hoarded money will be subjected to zakat, and there will be no alternative left for capital but to invest, produce and consume. This eternal cycle alone can ensure full employment and not wars and armament drives, on which the Western world has come to depend so pathetically nowadays.[49]

Charity replaces Usury and Interest in Quran

The temptation of direct money lending with interest or lending it by proxy via financial institutions is based upon a 'guaranteed' return on investment. In contrast, Quran declares the opposite and assures return on charity. Individual experience from time to time tells us of monetary losses from bank failures, but has anyone yet to claim him ending in poverty by being charitable? The answer is no, and to that Quran states:

30:39. And that which you lay out as interest and usuary with a view to increase the wealth of the people does not help increase it in the sight of Allâh. But that which you present as Zakât (purifying dues) with a view to seek (thereby) the pleasure of Allâh, it is they (- the regular payers of Zakât) then who will increase (their wealth) many times over. [50]

Usury is both a source and manifestation of greed. There is enough in the world for all to live, but there is not enough for one man's greed[51]. Those schools of thought that abet interest, almost as a matter of faith are thus identified in Quran, some more than the others:

2:96. And you shall of course find them the greediest of all people for (this base) life and even more (greedy) than those who set up equals (to God). Each one of them would love to be granted a life of a thousand years [because of their intoxication from power that comes with a usurious wealth], yet his being spared for a long life shall, by no means keep him away from the punishment. And Allâh is Watchful of all their doings.[52]

It is because of this greed out of interest that Quran further states:

4:160. Then (by way of punishing them) on account of the transgression of those who judaised, We made unlawful to them certain of the good and pure things which had been allowed to them before [i.e. the blessings and favors. Note: no prophet after Moses was law bearing to forbid material things to Israelites[53]], and that too on account of their causing hindrances to many (people, and their own staying away) from Allâh's way;

4:161. And (also on account of) their taking interest and usury though they were forbidden it, and because of their misappropriating people's belongings. And We have prepared a woeful punishment for those among them who disbelieve.[54]

Usury by its very nature creates miserliness. Quran makes a historical reference to Israelites who after Solomon had been deprived of a kingdom because of usury driving their miserly behaviors:

4:53. They have no share in the kingdom. If they had they would not give the people (even so much as) the little groove in a date-stone.

4:54. Or do they feel jealous of the people for which Allâh has granted them out of His bounty and grace? (Let them remember) We surely gave the Children of Abraham the Scripture and the Wisdom, and We also gave them a grand kingdom.[55]

As to the morality and rewards shadowing charity, Quran thus speaks quite eloquently which needs no comment but to quote it directly:

2:261. The attribute of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allâh is like the attribute of a grain (of corn) which sprouts seven ears, each ear bearing a hundred grains. And Allâh multiplies further for whomsoever He pleases, for Allâh is Bountiful, All-Knowing.

2:262. Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allâh, then follow not up what they have spent with a show of obligation, nor (with) injury, they shall have their reward with their Lord. They shall have no cause of fear, nor shall they ever grieve.

2:263. A fair word and forbearance are better than charity followed by injury. Indeed, Allâh is Self-Sufficient (having no want), Ever Forbearing.

2:264. O you who believe! Do not render void your charities by (a show of) obligation and injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen by people and does not believe in Allâh and the Last Day. So his case is like the case of a smooth rock with some soil thereon, when heavy rain hits it leaves it bare and hard. They shall not be able to gain anything of what they accomplished. And Allâh does not guide such disbelieving people to the way of success.

2:265. But the case of (charity on the part of) those who spend their wealth seeking the good pleasure of Allâh and for their own consolidation and with firm faith, is like the case of a garden situated on a highly fertile land. It is hit by heavy rain so it yields its fruit manifold; but even if heavy rain does not hit it then a mere drizzle (is sufficient) for it. And Allâh sees well what you do.

2:266. Would anyone of you wish that while he has a garden of date-palm trees and vines served with running streams, he has therein each and every kind of fruit, while he is stricken by old age and has children who are (yet) feeble, a whirlwind carrying fire should smite it (– the garden) so that it is all burnt up? (No, not at all.) Thus does Allâh explain to you His Messages so that you may give thought.

2:267. O you who believe! spend (for the cause of Allâh) a portion of good and pure things, that you have yourselves earned and out of that which We have produced for you from the earth. Do not intend (upon spending) the bad and inferior. You would spend that (bad and inferior for the cause of Allâh) which you would not accept at all (for yourselves) unless you connive at it. And know that Allâh is Self-Sufficient, Ever Praiseworthy.

2:268. Satan threatens you with poverty and incites you to niggardliness. But Allâh promises you forgiveness from Himself and affluence. And Allâh is Bountiful, All-Knowing.

2:269. He grants wisdom to whomsoever He will. Indeed, he who is granted wisdom has been granted an ample good. And none would take heed except those endowed with to you and you shall not be treated unjustly.

2:270. Whatever things worthy to be spent you spend and whatever vow for the performance of a non-obligatory act of goodness you take, Allah knows it well. As for the wrongdoer they shall have no helpers.

2:271. If you give (your) alms openly it is well and good (in itself). But if you keep them secret and give them to the needy it is better for your own selves and He will (thereby) acquit you of some of your evil deeds. Allah is fully aware of what you do.

2:272. You are not responsible for their guidance to the right path but Allah guides (him) who wishes (to be guided). (Believers!) whatever wealth you spend (in doing good) will be fully credited to you and you shall not be treated unjustly.

2:273. (These charities are meant) for those needy who are (so) confined in the way of Allâh that they are unable to move about in the land (for providing their sustenance). The person ignorant (of their condition) thinks them free from want, because of (their) abstaining (from begging). But you shall know them by their appearance (that they are in need). They do not beg of people with importunity. And whatever good thing you spend (for their help) Allâh knows it surely well.

2:274. Those who spend their wealth by night and by day (for the cause of Allâh) privately and publicly have their reward with their Lord, they shall have no cause of fear, nor shall they ever grieve.[56]

End Note: To get an insight into philosophy of financial system of Islam as contrasted against the Capitalism and Communism, reader is encouraged to read: “The New World Order” by Maulana Muhammad Ali (link).


[1] The Islamic Economic System and the Process of Change Over By "Ariel", Islamic Review, p. 10, November 1952.
[2] Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail
[3] Video: “Fractional reserve banking”. Link: https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/macroeconomics/monetary-system-topic/fractional-reserve-banking-tut/v/overview-of-fractional-reserve-banking
[4] An asset that can be converted into cash in a short time, with little or no loss in value. Link: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/liquid-asset.html#ixzz3HEmk6QSW
[5] Der Spiegel. Note: the actual article could not be located. The closest reference is “Playing With Fire: America and the Dollar Illusion”. Link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/playing-with-fire-america-and-the-dollar-illusion-a-440054.html
[6] Link: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2007/articles/crossbordersecurities/default.htm
[7] Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities Fourth Quarter 2013 (pdf) – see Table 12 (on the last page). Link: http://www.occ.treas.gov/topics/capital-markets/financial-markets/trading/derivatives/dq413.pdf
[8] Link: http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/derivatives/bank_exposure.html
[9] The Real—and Simple—Equation That Killed Wall Street, by Chris Arnade, Scientific American Blogs, January 30, 2013. Link: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/01/30/leveraged-yield/
[10] “WORKING FOR THE FEW, Political capture and economic inequality”, 178 OXFAM BRIEFING PAPER, 20 JANUARY 2014.
[11] Al-Najm – Parts of the Qur'ân: Nooruddin
[12] Al-Hashr – The Banishment: Nooruddin
[13] Al-Mutaffifîn – The Defaulters In Duty : Nooruddin
[14] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[15]Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Free Minds
[16] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[17] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[18] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[19] Al-Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[20] Example of Compound Interest – Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_interest#Example_of_compound_interest
[21]The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; 'tis mine and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?
Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice. Shylock – Act IV, Scene 1, Venice. A court of justice.
[22] Link: http://www.businessdayonline.com/NG/index.php/law/legal-insight/26439-a-nigerian-approach-to-islamic-banking
[23] The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Chapter 9: Wealth
[24] “Usury or Interest”, The Light, Vol II, No. 16, August 16, 1923, p. 2, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam, Lahore.
[25] Al-Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[26] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[27] “Usury or Interest”, The Light, Vol II, No. 18, September 16, 1923, p. 3, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam, Lahore.
[28] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[29]“The New World Order” by Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 51-52, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore,1944.
[30] Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
[31] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[32]“The New World Order” by Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 51, Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore, 1944.
[33] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[34] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[35] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[36] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[37] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[38] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[39] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[40] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[42]“Islam, Usury and Interest” by Al-Haj Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar, M.A., p. 27-29, The Islamic Review, January 1925.
[43] Al-Najm – Parts of the Qur'ân: Nooruddin
[44] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[45] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[46] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[47] Al-Humazah – The Slanderer: Nooruddin
[48] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[49] The Islamic Economic System and the Process of Change Over By "Ariel", Islamic Review, p. 10, November 1952.
[50] Al-Rum – The Byzantines: Nooruddin
[51] The Islamic Economic System and the Process of Change Over By "Ariel", Islamic Review, p. 10, November 1952.
[52] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin
[53] Excerpt from Quran’ Five Volume Commentary – footnote 624, p. 686, by Ahmadiyya Movement.
[54] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[55] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[56] Al-Baqarah –The Cow: Nooruddin