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April 21st, 2009

Apostasy of Arab tribes at Holy Prophet’s death

Omar Raja has submitted the following extracts from The Early Caliphate by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Pages 20 to 27:

The apostasy movement
Here arises a question of great importance. How was it that as soon as the Prophet closed his eyes tribe after tribe renounced the faith and rose in revolt? Was it because their conversion was the result of pressure and, when the Prophet’s demise afforded an opportunity to throw· off the yoke, they eagerly seized it? How to account for this wild conflagration that spread over the entire length and breadth of the country and threatened to consume all? That some of the tribes did apostatize is no doubt true, but that apostasy affected the whole of Arabia is not borne out historically. The fact is that such Muslims as had embraced Islam some good time before the Prophet’s death, and were thus well-grounded in the teachings and spirit of the faith, never wavered in their allegiance. Their devotion was put to the most crucial tests but was never found wanting. Through thick and thin they stood by Islam, staunch and steadfast, and knew not a moment’s hesitation to bear the brunt of any hardship in vindication of the faith. Even those who were of no more than a couple of years’ standing were devoted, heart and soul. Hence it was that, whereas the countryside all around was in flames, Makkah was perfectly calm and quiet. There was not a single case of apostasy and not a little finger was raised against the authority of Islam.

But the vast bulk of the people had only just joined the fold when the Prophet passed away. That they had done so of their own free choice is a clear historical fact. But it is one thing to profess a faith and quite another to become imbued with its inner spirit. This latter they had had neither time nor opportunity to do. They were like children just put to school when the Master passed away, and without his teaching and control they drifted rudderless. Unlettered and of uncouth manners as these Beduins were, it was no easy task to work any appreciable transformation in them in the course of the few months that they had been in the new faith. That the whole of the peninsula, barring a sprinkling of Jews and Christians here and there, abandoned their idolatrous and polytheistic creeds and voluntarily embraced Islam is undoubtedly a most mighty revolution – a revolution without parallel in the pages of history, both sacred and secular – and redounds to the unrivalled glory of the great man who wrought it. Nevertheless, it was a physical impossibility to arrange in the few months that the Prophet lived thereafter, for the proper education or training of the masses scattered over a vast territory with very scanty means of intercourse and communication. Those who came in deputation to the Prophet from distant desert tribes took back with them a deep impress of Islam, but they were only a drop in the ocean. The Prophet did all that could possibly be done to see that the vast masses might receive education in the teachings of Islam. From amongst those who had imbibed the spirit of the faith by sojourn in the Prophet’s company, he sent out missionaries to distant parts. But the supply of such qualified men was by no means adequate to meet the demand. Towards the close of the Prophet’s life, tribe after tribe sent deputations to declare their allegiance and Madinah had not enough men to meet the demand. Nor was it desirable to deplete the seat and centre of the movement of all eminent men. The Qur’an too had forbidden such a course and advised that, rather than disintegrate the force, it must be concentrated, that Madinah must serve as the centre of learning to which selected men from different tribes should come and receive their education and imbibe the spirit of the faith and thus, duly qualified, go back to their own respective tribes and there kindle the light of Islam. (1) But obviously a scheme on these lines could not but take some time to mature, and the Prophet had hardly had any time to do it. The result was that large numbers of these children of the desert, who had only latterly joined the ranks of Islam and were ignorant of its true worth and spirit, lapsed again into their tribal creeds and once more challenged the authority of Islam.

1. “And it does not beseem the believers that they should go forth all together ; why should not a company from every party from among them come forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they go back to them so that they may be cautious” (9:122).

Refusal to pay Zakat
It is not historically true, however, that the whole of Arabia renounced Islam. There were still many people who were true to the faith but whose connection with Madinah through the temporary ascendancy of the pretenders, was cut off. They were neither apostates nor the confederates of the rebels though, owing to the pressure of the latter,’ they could not openly side with the central government. There were many others whose only contention was that no zakat (2) should be levied on them.

2. Zakat is a tax levied on the rich from among the Muslims for the help of the poor. It is generally one-fortieth of the annual savings when they are above R s. 52.50

Born in freedom and bred to freedom, these dwellers of the desert were utter strangers to notions of a state on a national scale with power and authority centralized in one place, to which all must owe allegiance. Their own individual tribal independence they prized above all else. Long centuries of unfettered freedom had rendered them intolerant by temperament of any authority other than their own. Islam, however, stood for the welding of these numerous disjointed and discordant fragments into one harmonious whole. Out of the scattered sands of the desert, so to speak, Islam wanted to build the edifice of a nation, strong and solid. This the tribes could not understand. They could not appreciate the value of a central public treasury for purposes of nation-building: hence their objection to the payment of zakat. Taking advantage of the general confusion, they refused to pay this tax. But Abu Bakr was particularly strict on this point. National unity, national solidarity, was his foremost concern, and refusal to pay taxes, if unchecked, was bound to dismantle the whole of the fabric. The safety of Islam as a faith was bound up with that of the Muslims as a nation. Hence the Caliph’s resolve “at all costs to suppress this no – tax movement. He issued an ultimatum to all such tribes as had with-held zakat that war would be declared against them unless they duly paid. Refusal was tantamount to revolt. There were thus three different causes that contributed to the general confusion at the Prophet’s death. Firstly, there were those who were the dupes of false prophets. Secondly, those’ who objected only to payment of taxes into the central treasury, and as such were confused with the rebels. Thirdly, there were those who were true to Islam but cut off from Muslims : not possessing the strength to fight the insurgents, they remained practically neutral.

The defence of Madinah
Such was the state of Arabia when Abu Bakr took the reins of government in his hand. Hemmed in by difficulties and dangers, he yet stood undaunted and sent out the best of his men on the Syrian expedition in obedience to the orders of the Prophet. To deplete Madinah of all troops and thus leave it defenceless at such a critical time may look unstatesmanlike. Nevertheless, the bold action brought the Caliph’s extraordinary force of conviction into the most prominent relief. Their leader’s example could not but inspire Muslims with daring, and the handful left behind undertook the defence of the capital. All man-power available in Madinah and its suburbs was mobilized, and all the approaches to the capital were carefully guarded day and night. Tulaihah, one of the false prophets, sent his brother to rouse the Beduin tribes to the north of Madinah. A large army was raised, but these people were neither hostile to Islam nor did they mean to fight for Tulaihah. They had their own axe to grind. Sending a deputation to the Caliph, they requested that they might be exempted from payment of zakat. The Madinites considered this as a godsend, and many were of opinion that under the circumstances it would be wise to grant their demand.. Abu Bakr was, however, more far-sighted. He could see the far-reaching and disastrous effect of yielding on this point. Exception in one case would open the door for similar demands from other quarters, and Islam would ultimately lose its hold on the whole of the peninsula. Moreover, payment of zakat was a most imperative injunction of the Qur’an, and it was not for a Caliph to waive an obligation imposed by God. Hence, unmoved by all considerations of policy, Abu Bakr stuck to his resolution in the face of war clouds on all sides. “If even so much as a string to tie a camel is withheld from zakat,” he replied, “they shall have war.” This resolute refusal rendered the plight of Madinah all the more critical. The Caliph had all Muslims summoned and told them to be on their guard every minute. At any moment the town might be stormed. ‘Ali, Zubair and Talhah were put in command of the garrison.

Rebel attack on Madinah repulsed
The insurgents gathered and encamped at a place called Dhu-l-Qassah. After three days, they advanced on Madinah. The Madinah advance guards at once sent word to the town, and immediately the Muslims were on the march to meet the invaders. The Beduins were hardly prepared for such a reception. They were under the impression that Madinah was absolutely defenceless, the troops having been despatched to Syria. Thus confronted with a bold front, they turned their backs. The Muslims kept up the pursuit some distance and then returned. During the night, however, Abu Bakr got his men together, and early in the morning, while it was yet dark, fell upon the Beduins again. Not able to resist the onslaught, they took to flight. The Caliph, after stationing a detachment at Dhu-l-Qassah, returned to the capital. This encounter had a great moral effect. The Muslims took heart and the Beduins had a most salutary lesson. The central government at Madinah, they now perceived, was strong enough to curb any insurrection, notwithstanding the absence of regular troops on the Syrian expedition. This went a long way to restore the prestige of Madinah, with the result that zakat money came pouring in from several quarters. Rebels and the pretenders lost their spirit. This was all due to the unshakable rock of faith on which Abu Bakr took his stand. To him is due the credit of piloting the bark of Islam to a haven of safety in such foul and stormy weather. In the meanwhile, Usamah returned from his Syrian expedition. The Caliph put him in charge of the defence of Madinah and himself marched at the head of a small army to Rabdhah (1) which was now the rendezvous of the rebels. Being defeated, the latter fled and joined the forces of Tulaihah.

1. A place about three days’ journey from Madinah.

Despatch of expeditions to different quarters

Abu Bakr now embarked on the extermination of the insurrection, root and branch. Dividing the army into eleven battalions and putting each under the command of a tried veteran he directed the campaign simultaneously on various fronts. Khalid ibn Walid was deputed to march first against Tulaihah and then against Malik ibn Nuwairah: ‘Ikrimah, son of Abu Jahl, was sent against Musailimah; Shurahbil was to reinforce ‘Ikrimah; and Mahajir ibn Abi Umayyah was to invade Yaman and Hadramaut. One battalion was despatched to keep guard on the Syrian frontier; two were sent out to suppress the rising in ‘Uman and Mahrah: one was required to curb the tribe of Quza’ah, and yet another to fight the Bani Salim and Hawazin. Upon himself Abu Bakr undertook the duties of generalissimo with Madinah for his base, from where he watched and directed the campaigns. He also sent a proclamation to his officers as well as to the tribes, directing the former that they must be moderate and kindly in their dealings with the latter, that before engaging in action they must first invite the belligerent tribe to Islam, that they must desist from fighting should the tribe concerned accept their invitation, and that in case of refusal alone they were to resort to fighting. The usual call to prayer, the instructions continued, was to be considered sufficient evidence that a particular tribe was Muslim.

Object of expeditions
It must be clearly understood that the object of these campaigns was no more than the suppression of rebellion. It is legitimately open to every government to punish rebels, to execute their ring-leaders and, if necessary, to declare war on them. But over and above this, there were several other reasons that called for action. In the first place, these rebels had wantonly shed the blood of peaceful Muslim citizens here and there, causing disorder and disturbance. Again, they were out to extirpate the rule of Islam. The slightest leniency would have added enormously to the fury of the conflagration. And yet again, in the midst of these rebel tribes there were clans that were loyal to the Government but were cut off from intercourse with Madinah. Even in such far-off parts as Hadramaut and Bahrain, the loyalists were there side by side with the rebels. In several places, if one clan of a tribe had risen in revolt, there was another that refused to join hands with the rebels. Under the circumstances the Caliph’s proclamation that before starting the operation, it must be ascertained whether or not the particular tribe was Muslim was perfectly justified, and must on no account be considered as anything in the form of conversion by force. As a matter of fact, it was indispensable that such a notice should have been broadcast among both the officers and the tribes in order to discriminate between rebels and loyalists. It was just a precaution lest seeing a tribe in revolt, all its component clans should be mistaken as rebels and dealt with as such. And to extinguish the fire of revolt was the paramount call of the moment. Had the task not been undertaken, it would have been a matter of days for the rebels to reduce the power of Islam in Arabia to ashes.

From pp. 67-72:

Islam, Jizyah or the sword

In this connection we must remove another most gross mis-understanding. The envoys, it is alleged, that were sent during these wars to negotiate with the enemy, were sent with no better terms than the offer of three courses: “Islam, jizyah or the sword. This message is apparently worded so as to imply that the Muslims offered their religion at the point of the sword. Now this was never the idea during these Persian and Syrian wars, when this message is said to have been first delivered. One thing that is certain beyond the faintest shadow of doubt is that never was Islam presented in accompaniment to the sword nor thrust upon anyone at the point of the sword. Sir William Muir, as already quoted, admits that at least till the year 16 A.H., when Syria and ‘Iraq had already been conquered, no such idea of forcing religion on others had taken birth in the hearts of Muslims. How could they then have given a message the very idea of which had not yet entered their minds? And then, there is another equally well-established fact that shoulder to shoulder with the Muslims and under the standard of Islam there were also Christian soldiers fighting against their common foe and in defence of their common motherland, Arabia. If conversion by force formed any part of the purpose of these wars, it is inconceivable either that Muslims would have invited their Christian fellow-countrymen to make common cause with them or that the latter would have come forward to do so. What is more significant still, there were non-Muslim tribes with whom Muslims concluded peace without either converting them or demanding jizyah. The only condition of peace was that they would fight side by side with Muslims in case of a war. The people of Jarjoma, for instance, during the Syrian conquests, when Antioch was captured and payment of jizyah was commonly accepted by the populace, refused to pay on the plea that they were prepared to fight the Muslims’ battles against their enemy. The condition was accepted and peace concluded accordingly. They did not embrace Islam, nor did they pay jizyah. During the Persian conquests as well, twice was peace made on this very condition, once with the Chief of Jurjan and again with that of Bab. At these two places also military service was accepted in lieu of jizyah. These are all clear facts recorded by every historian. Possibly there were others of the kind that were never recorded. Now, on the one hand, the presence of Christian soldiers side by side with Muslims shows beyond all doubt that the wars could not have been religious but were merely in defence of the country ; and, on the other hand, the same conclusion is borne out by the fact that peace was concluded with several of the Christian and Magian tribes without either their accepting Islam or paying jizyah. These are all events of authentic history, admitted on all hands, and give the lie direct to the so-called story of “Islam, jizyah or the sword.”

Significance of the alleged message
Two things are now’ clear. In the first place, war with Persia and the Roman Empire was forced upon Muslims, and the two great powers sought to crush the rising power of Islam. And secondly, that the alleged message “Islam, jizyah or the sword” could never have been conveyed in the form which later writers have given to it because Muslims throughout these wars accepted the alliance of Christian and other non-Muslim tribes, and these tribes fought side by side with them against a non-Muslim foe. What actually happened was, clearly, that the Muslims, finding the Roman Empire and Persia bent upon the subjugation of Arabia and the extirpation of Islam, refused to accept terms of peace which contained no safeguards against a repetition of the aggression. This safeguard was demanded in the form of jizyah or a tribute which would be an admission of defeat on their part. How could a war be terminated without bringing it to a successful issue? If the enemy had been victorious, it would have overrun the peninsula of Arabia. The Muslims were willing to avoid further bloodshed after inflicting defeat on the enemy only if the enemy admitted defeat and agreed to pay a tribute which was at any rate not as excessive as the crushing war indemnities of modern days. The offer of terminating hostilities simply on payment of jizyah was thus an act of merciful dealing with a vanquished foe, and for this it would be senseless to blame the Muslims. If the payment of tribute was unacceptable to the vanquished power, the Muslims could do nothing but push the victory further until the enemy was completely vanquished. This very natural situation that the Caliph ‘Umar had to face is generally described as the offering of two alternatives by the Muslim forces, jizyah or the sword.

The third alternative, i.e., the offering of Islam, was not really connected with war. Islam was a missionary religion from its very inception, and it had a world-wide message. ‘The Holy Prophet himself invited, besides the idolaters of Arabia, Jews, Christians, Magians and the followers of other religions to accept the religion of Islam, and many of these people who lived in the peninsula and whom the message had reached had become Muslims. He had even written letters to all the great potentates living on the borders of Arabia, including Heraclius and the Ruler of Persia, urging acceptance of Islam. This was long before the actual commencement of hostilities with these two powers. And the envoys of Islam, wherever they went, looked upon it as their first duty to offer the message of Islam to every people because they felt that Islam imparted new life and vigour to mankind and lifted humanity from the depths of degradation to the height of civilization. The Arabs themselves experienced the great transformation and, out of sympathy for others, invited them to avail themselves of the wonderful change which Islam worked in man. In writing down the history of the Muslim wars, Muslim chroniclers did not care much for the missionary activities of Muslims and hence it is generally without giving any details that they simply refer to the fact that Islam was offered by such and such an envoy. Occasionally, however, when details are referred to, they show that the Arab envoys always related their own experience, stating how Islam had brought about a wonderful transformation in the Arab nation and that it would work the same transformation in any other nation that accepted it. It is a gross distortion of facts to say that Islam was offered at the point of the sword when there is not a single instance in which Islam was forced upon even one prisoner of war, whether he came from Persia or Syria. Islam was offered no doubt, but never at the point of the sword either to an individual or to a nation. Just as there is not a single instance on record in which an individual was told that he should accept Islam or be killed, there is no instance on record in which a tribe or a nation was told that the Muslims would carry sword and fire into its territory if it did not accept Islam. Muslims had to fight their wars as the most civilized nations of today have to fight theirs, but these wars arose out of other causes, and the one thing beyond the faintest shadow of doubt is that Muslims in their struggle with Persia and the Roman Empire ‘were not the aggressors.

There is one more consideration. Never was Islam offered at the commencement of hostilities, so not even a doubt should arise that it was offered as an alternative to the opening of hostilities. It was in the later stages of a war which had been carried on for a sufficiently long time that we find that the envoys of peace offered Islam. The war was already there, and every war has to be carried on to the bitter end until one party is completely crushed. Muslims had to carryon their war until either the enemy admitted defeat and agreed to pay tribute or his power was finally crushed. In the middle of the war, Islam was offered only as a message of mercy, for the one peculiarity of Islam was its unrivalled brotherhood. The different tribes of Arabia which had for centuries been the implacable foes of, and carried on war with, each other, had been converted into one solid nation by their acceptance of Islam. The new religion had therefore the miraculous effect of turning inveterate foes into loving brethren who forgot all their rancours. If, therefore, the enemy nation that had sought to crush Islam came to the conclusion that as a religion Islam was acceptable, Persian and Arab would become brethren and fighting would ipso facto cease. No other nation would show such magnanimity to a deadly foe in a deadly fight. As a rule, if one nation makes a wanton attack on another with a view to crushing it, the latter will not rest content until it has inflicted a crushing defeat upon the aggressor. But Islam came as a message of mercy, and that mercy was imported even into the bitter sphere of warfare. As human beings Arabs might be burning with a spirit of vengeance for the wrong done to them by Persians, but the brotherhood of Islam insisted that all ideas of revenge must be given up. Nay, more, erstwhile enemies become as the Qur’an puts it, brethren in faith. It was in this sense, in this spirit, as a message of goodwill and mercy, that Islam was offered to the enemy as one and the best safeguard against the recrudescence of national rancour and bitterness.

43 Responses to “Apostasy of Arab tribes at Holy Prophet’s death”

  1. I will provide one reference for ZA to verify and explain in terms of the above.

    Jihad-that is the harshness of religious wars-has gradually been lightened by God. During -the time of Moses there was such harshness that even, acceptance of belief could not save a man from being killed, and even suckling babies were put to death. Then during the time of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the killing of the children, the old and women-folk was prohibited. Then, for certain nations, instead of accepting the faith, payment of jizyah was accepted as the means of saving them from punishment. Then, in the time of the Promised Messiah, the injunction of jihad has been absolutely repealed. Arba’in, Vol. 4, p. 15n. TAKEN FROM QADIANISM, A CRITICAL STUDY

  2. I know that I said that I had one reference, but I have found another.  M. ali didnt comment on this particular hadith. 

    WHY NOT??????

    Bukhari:V4B53N386 “Umar sent Muslims to great countries to fight pagans. He said, ‘I intend to invade Persia and Rome.’ So, he ordered us to go to [the Persian King] Khosrau. When we reached the enemy, Khosrau’s representative came out with 40,000 warriors, saying, ‘Talk to me! Who are you.’ Mughira replied, ‘We are Arabs; we led a hard, miserable, disastrous life. We used to worship trees and stones. While we were in this state, our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: ‘Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master.'”

  3. April 22nd, 2009 at 8:57 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    In quoting Bukhari:V4, B53, N386, you have missed out something just after the first sentence: “Umar sent Muslims to great countries to fight pagans”. In that missing part, the words “the example of these countries and their inhabitants who are the enemies of the Muslims” are relevant.

    You write: “M. ali didnt comment on this particular hadith.” Because you haven’t seen him comment on it, therefore he did not comment on it! What you haven’t seen cannot possibly exist!

    Maulana Muhammad Ali has made a most detailed comment on it in his Urdu translation of Sahih Bukhari (v. 1, pages 722-724). He writes that this report is highly summarised (and Bashir has further summarised even the summarised version in Bukhari).

    At one point the Maulana writes:

    “It is obvious that the purpose of these reports is not to set out the Islamic teachings relating to war, nor can such teachings be based on the statement of one reporter when these teachings have been fully told in the Quran. It can only be said that this is the view of the reporter. What cannot be denied is that the Quran gives the command that ‘if the enemy turns to peace, you should turn to peace as well’. The Holy Prophet made peace with disbelievers in circumstances where they neither became worshippers of One God nor did they pay jizya. For example, he made agreements with many idol-worshipping tribes. … Accompanying the armies of Umar were  armies of Christians who neither worshipped One God alone nor paid jizya. Peace was made with many tribes on this same basis.”

    The Maulana also writes here: “Umar did not want Muslims to go beyond Iraq to invade Persia”. 

    I myself once read that Umar wrote to his commanders saying: “Do not enter Africa because tafarqa (disunity) will develop among you”. This is a play on the word Afriqa (Arabic for Africa), which has the same letter as farq or disunity.

    Take a look at the next hadith in Bukhari:

    Volume 4, Book 53, Number 387:

    Narrated Abu Humaid As-Saidi:

    We accompanied the Prophet in the Ghazwa of Tabuk and the king of ‘Aila presented a white mule and a cloak as a gift to the Prophet. And the Prophet wrote to him a peace treaty allowing him to keep authority over his country.

  4. April 22nd, 2009 at 9:08 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Regarding the reference from Arba’in, Vol. 4, p. 15n, undoubtedly you can keep on finding references for me to answer, and if I were employed as your reserach assistant no doubt I could keep on answering!

    The answer can be found by studying the four or five pages where that footnote occurs.  Perhaps our opponents could translate them in the interests of fairness, where he explains that the qualities embodied in the name ‘Muhammad’ were manifested through the companions and the qualities embodied in the name ‘Ahmad’ were to be manifested through the Promised Messiah.

  5. April 23rd, 2009 at 10:26 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    In the Encyclopedia of Islam, second edition, there is a long article about what is Jizya (spelt in it as Djizya). Near the beginning it says:

    “The history of the origins of the jizya is extremely complex…”

    “the examples given in the works on the biography of the Prophet are very variable; tribute was adapted to the individual conditions of each group concerned”

    The article ends by saying:

    “The jizya has naturally disappeared from modern Muslim States as a result of the growing equality of religions, the introduction of military service and the organization of new fiscal systems.”

    Thus, modern conditions made jizya disappear.

  6. I was not aware that this was a summarized version.  The meanings are still the same.  Here is the full hadith:

    Volume 4, Book 53, Number 386:

    Narrated Jubair bin Haiya:
    ‘Umar sent the Muslims to the great countries to fight the pagans. When Al-Hurmuzan embraced Islam, ‘Umar said to him. “I would like to consult you regarding these countries which I intend to invade.” Al-Hurmuzan said, “Yes, the example of these countries and their inhabitants who are the enemies. of the Muslims, is like a bird with a head, two wings and two legs; If one of its wings got broken, it would get up over its two legs, with one wing and the head; and if the other wing got broken, it would get up with two legs and a head, but if its head got destroyed, then the two legs, two wings and the head would become useless. The head stands for Khosrau, and one wing stands for Caesar and the other wing stands for Faris. So, order the Muslims to go towards Khosrau.” So, ‘Umar sent us (to Khosrau) appointing An-Numan bin Muqrin as our commander. When we reached the land of the enemy, the representative of Khosrau came out with forty-thousand warriors, and an interpreter got up saying, “Let one of you talk to me!” Al-Mughira replied, “Ask whatever you wish.” The other asked, “Who are you?” Al-Mughira replied, “We are some people from the Arabs; we led a hard, miserable, disastrous life: we used to suck the hides and the date stones from hunger; we used to wear clothes made up of fur of camels and hair of goats, and to worship trees and stones. While we were in this state, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earths, Elevated is His Remembrance and Majestic is His Highness, sent to us from among ourselves a Prophet whose father and mother are known to us. Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:– “Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master.” (Al-Mughira, then blamed An-Numan for delaying the attack and) An-Nu’ man said to Al-Mughira, “If you had participated in a similar battle, in the company of Allah’s Apostle he would not have blamed you for waiting, nor would he have disgraced you. But I accompanied Allah’s Apostle in many battles and it was his custom that if he did not fight early by daytime, he would wait till the wind had started blowing and the time for the prayer was due (i.e. after midday).”

    I was not aware that M. ali had commented on this.  Thanks for the info.  I do remember that Noorudin told M. ali that Buhkari remains.  Thanks for the translation. 
    After reading M. ali’s explanation I am not satisfied.  So the muslims didnt enforce the jizyah, this could also mean that there were other circumstances involved.  The command of jizyah came in the last 2 months of the life of Muhammad.  Muhammad made deals with the idol worshippers as well. 

    It seems that islam had other options in terms of conquest. 

    1.  Death, Jizyah, join forces or islam. 

    2.  Joining forces didnt give those people citizenship rights, but they did get rights to booty.  Which any savage was ready to accept.

    The HP accepted a woman(mary the mother of Ibrahim) from  some king in egypt.  This woman was given to muhammad as a token of friendship, it was a political move.  Susequently Muhammad did not send an army to Egypt. 

  7. The arbaiin reference

    I dont understand your answer. 

    HMGA wrote:

    Then, for certain nations, instead of accepting the faith, payment of jizyah was accepted as the means of saving them from punishment.

    These certain nations were forced to pay the jizyah.

    Please comment on this aspect of the question. 

    At one point the Maulana writes:
    “It is obvious that the purpose of these reports is not to set out the Islamic teachings relating to war, nor can such teachings be based on the statement of one reporter when these teachings have been fully told in the Quran. It can only be said that this is the view of the reporter. What cannot be denied is that the Quran gives the command that ‘if the enemy turns to peace, you should turn to peace as well’. The Holy Prophet made peace with disbelievers in circumstances where they neither became worshippers of One God nor did they pay jizya. For example, he made agreements with many idol-worshipping tribes. … Accompanying the armies of Umar were  armies of Christians who neither worshipped One God alone nor paid jizya. Peace was made with many tribes on this same basis.”

    1.  The HP made agreements with the idol-worshippers.  But he never allowed them to fight with the muslims, side by side. 

    2.  It appears that Christians and Jews were allowed to join the muslim ranks.  But the pagans were not.  So for christians and jews there was another option. 

    3.  The pagans were in trouble, it was Islam, jizyah or the sword. 

    Does M. ali sahib ever comment on Tabari, Ibn Hisham or Wackidi???

  9. April 26th, 2009 at 8:11 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    In his footnote to 53:21 Maulana Muhammad Ali, while commenting on the false story which was later made the basis of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, writes as follows:

    “Verses 19–21 are made the basis of the false story of what is called the “Lapse of Muhammad” or “Compromise with idolatry” by Christian writers. Certain reports narrated by Waqidi and Tabari are the sole authority for this charge against that incessant preacher against idolatry, every incident of whose life condemns it as a bare falsehood…. As regards Waqidi, all competent authorities entertain a very low opinion of his trustworthiness. The Mizan al-I‘tidal, a critical work on the lives and characters of the reporters of Hadith, speaks of Waqidi as unreliable and even as a fabricator of reports. As regards Tabari, Muir himself represents him as guilty of “indiscriminate reception”.

    The famous Indian Muslim historian Maulana Shibli Naumani (d. 1914) writes in his well-known book Sirat-un-Nabi:

    “Of the classical biographies, Waqidi is to be dismissed completely. The scholars of Hadith unanimously say that he fabricated reports. In fact, Waqidi’s book itself provides proof of this because the manner in which he gives the most minute and interesting details of every minor event, even today the greatest writer could not record events seen by himself in this manner” (p. 48).

    Of Tabari, Shibli writes:

    “These people were not witnesses of the events, and so whatever they relate is through narrators. However, many of their narrators are weak in reporting and unreliable” (p. 49)

    Muhammad Husein Haykal writes in his Life of Muhammad:

    “Al Waqidi, ibn Hisham and al Mada’ni wrote in the days of al-Ma’mun. They could not afford to contradict the caliphate and hence could not apply with the precision due the Prophet’s criterion that his traditions ought to be checked against the Quran … Had this criterion been applied … the ancient masters would have altered much of their writing.” (p. lxxiv)

    Waqidi is in fact a well known liar and fabricator, and Tabari quotes unreliable sources.

  10. ZA: Thanks for the look-up.  I would be lost without your expertise.  The aaiil should build research teams around you.  There should be young men from the aaiil that serve as your assistants/interns.  I always wondered if M. ali ever had an assistant, if would have saved him so much time.   I know that you are busy, dont reply to this, maybe someone else can. 

    Until the 1800’s no muslim ever wrote that the satanic verse never happened.  I dont believe that I have ever came across any muslim scholar who disproved the theory of the satanic verses pre-1800’s,  In terms of the mujadids. 

    Tabari should have been executed for writing that this event happened, but that was not the case.  Tabari also wrote that the HP lusted for Zainab, these are terrible things to write.  But why were these writings preserved???  Why were these people not executed??

    Muslims have turned a deaf ear to the Historians.  Why?? Because it discredits their religion??  Thats not logical. 

    My question is simple, why is it that no muslim before the 1800’s ever discredited Hisham, Ishaq, Tabari and Waqidi?  And why were these books preserved?  Why did muslims invent lies to slander their own prophet?? 

    Something doesnt add up here……

  11. Tabari wrote in his introduction:

    “Let him who examines this book of mine know that I have relied, as regards everything I mention therein which I stipulate to be described by me, solely upon what has been transmitted to me by way of reports which I cite therein and traditions which I ascribe to their narrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended by rational argument or deduced by the human mind, except in very few cases. This is because knowledge of the reports of men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men of the present do not reach the one who has not witnessed them nor lived in their times except through the accounts of reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to the exclusion of rational deduction and mental inference. Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us. 24

    24= translated in G. R. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, pp. 13

  12. Bashir wrote:
    “My question is simple, why is it that no muslim before the 1800’s ever discredited Hisham, Ishaq, Tabari and Waqidi”

    Please reread Zahid Aziz’s post of April 26th above. (Link)

  13. 1.  Muhammad Husein Haykal was born in the time of HMGA.
    2.  Shibli was born in the time of HMGA.

    3.  I’m not sure when The Mizan al-I‘tidal was written.  But did this book comment on the satanic verses? 

  14. April 29th, 2009 at 8:03 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    As to the question “why is it that no muslim before the 1800’s ever discredited Hisham, Ishaq, Tabari and Waqidi”, information about their unreliability was already known but their works had become popular among the general public.

    It was after the 1800s that the criticism of Islam and the Holy Prophet appeared from the West, based on material selected from Tabari and Waqidi (an example of such a work being Sir William Muir’s Life of Mahomet). That is why it was then that the enlightened Muslim scholars started pointing out the unreliablity of those sources.

    If you want to see the worst example of using inauthentic reports, it must be Martin Lings’ book “Muhammad”, published around 1983, and awarded a prize by the government of Pakistan at the time.

  15. April 29th, 2009 at 8:21 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    As to whether Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a failure or not, you can read what some Muslim leaders wrote about him when he died, at this link.

    I quote from some of them below (these were all published in non-Ahmadi newspapers):

    “The services of the deceased, which he rendered to Islam in confrontation with the Christians and the Arya Samajists, deserve the highest praise. He completely changed the flow of the debate, and laid the foundations of a new literature in India.  We admit, not because of our being Muslims but being seekers after truth, that the top most Arya Samaj leader or Christian missionary could not dare open his mouth to confront the late Mirza sahib. The incomparable books which he wrote in refutation of the Arya Samaj and Christian creeds, and the shattering replies he gave to the opponents of Islam, we have not seen any rational refutation of these except that the Aryas have been hurling abuse at the Founder and the teachings of Islam in an uncouth manner, without being able to give a sensible reply.”

    “As Mirza sahib, with his forceful speeches and magnificent writings, shattered the foul criticism of the opponents of Islam, silencing them forever and proving that truth is after all the truth,”

    “His special characteristic, that he acted against the enemies of Islam as a victorious general, compels us to express openly our feeling that the grand movement which for so long defeated and trod over our opponents should be continued in the future also. … This is because that time cannot be forgotten nor effaced from the mind when Islam was besieged by attacks on all sides, and the Muslims, who had been entrusted with the defence of Islam by the Real Defender, as the means of defence in this world of causes and means, were lying flat sobbing in the aftermath of their shortcomings, doing nothing for Islam or not being able to do anything for it. …  Then began that counter-attack from the side of the Muslims in which Mirza sahib had a part.”

    Before Hazrat Mirza began his work, it was generally considered that Islam was in mortal danger from both scientific materialism and Christianity, and would be soon finished off by these two forces.

    When Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din went to England in 1912, most Muslim leaders called it absolute madness to believe that anyone in the West would accept Islam.

    You are living in an altogether changed situation today through their work. That’s why you don’t realise what great change in the fortunes of Islam and Muslims was brought by his work. Something similar was said by Dr Israr Ahmad recently on TV, the clip of which has been published. He was commenting on the great surprise expressed by the presenter that renowned Muslims of the past had close connections with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He said that those times were different from today. Then Muslims were under attack from other religions, and therefore Hazrat Mirza sahib’s work was highly regarded.

  16. I suggest a little bit of time spent on google and you will find your answer.

  17. The point that i was trying to make was that the muslims of the Indian sub-continent havent evolved at the rate of sikhs and hindus. 

    It appears that the Sikhs and hindus have progressed at leaps and bounds, while the pakistanis are digressing.  Pakistan is a major problem at the global level.  Terrorists are abundant, Muslims are mostly charged onthe basis of Jihad.  

    I tend to think that HMGA asked muslims to quit the military jihad because it had no place in the society of the 21st century.  Religous extremism had faded away.  HMGA tried to save Islam by cancelling a major tenet of it.  

    Let’s face it, all religions were violent, Islam is not an acute diagnosis.  But all other religions have moved away from wars based on religion.  HMGA asserted that Islam should do the same.   Thus becoming a law bearing prophet(see zaheerudin 1911). 

    Back to pakistan, although I dont have the literacy rate at my fingertips of each country, I am speaking in terms of religous tolerance and general progressive nature. 

    HMGA should have been able to change the very fabric of the indian muslim.  HMGA should have infused the indian muslim with a successful nature and he should have planted in their heart a peaceful seed that should have caused pakistan to excel the entire planet in everything that is good(education and sports). 

    If HMGA was to be successful, then in my opinion, pakistan should have been the seed of the true ahmadiyyat.  That my friends will never happen!

  18. As far as muslims and the historians of Islam.  It is my opinion that all religions were violent, including Islam.  Christians admit to this, as do the Jews(see the conquest of Joshua). 

    In the 19th century admist the onslaught of the christian clergymen.  Muslims decided to re-interpret Islam.  This was only done to give Islam a positive nature. 

    Muslims shouldnt be upset, the fact is that muslims wrote our history books, its not like MUIR had a dream and then wrote muslim history. 

    I think that we must rely on these historians.  I dont think that they lied.  All they did was write down what was current.  I cant be mad at them for doing that. 

    NO mujaddid ever said that they were liars.  Actually im not sure of that. 

  19. Lets agree on one thing. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was no Muhammad PBUH. He never was a head of state like Muhammad PBUH, or Law bearing reformer either. He did not run a government, manage treasury or command an army. Hence he could not teach or preach more than what is already in the Quran.  He is no more of a “pure” Muslim than any one who professes Kalima Shahada from one’s heart. Hence it would be inappropriate to expect him to make a “more of a” Muslim from an existing Muslim.

    By this at least we unburden him from expectations that are alluded to in the posts above.  He is long gone physically. But one thing is for sure that he stopped the downward slide of dogmatically corrupt Islamic ideology which had started to transform into an ancient religion similar to the ones at the advent of Muhammad PBUH as described by Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad in “The Great Religions of the World”:

    “…reduced to bundles of soul-destroying ceremonies and rituals…degenerated into lifeless rituals, idolatry, relic-worship and idle monkery…gross polytheism, elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices, caste system and obstructionist priesthood…given rise to a very powerful hierarchy of priests and invented a complicated eschatology and many lifeless rituals…the spirit had departed from the religion…[which had become] too formalistic and legalistic…”

    General observation is that apart from early Muslim Renaissance, recent Muslim societies have lagged behind the western nations in worldly gains. And the nations, which in our lifetime embraced western thought, have excelled towards modernity and better standards of living. That includes mostly non-Muslim nations and to some extent the Muslim nations as well.  Advancement in contemporary Muslim societies is significantly noticeable where they have broken away from the traditional Muslim thought and practices.  Other major religions are older than Islam, and clearly the former societies have learnt from and shed their religious dogmas early on, separated state from dogmatic church, and came to be known as the developed west.  This invokes a natural question – is there an inherent decay in understanding the concept of “Muslim God”, Muslim Message or Muslim interpretation of the first two?  Thus Mirza Ghulam Ahmed dealt with the first in light of second and also defined the third.

    Historically, whenever a Christian society is less of a Christian, it is a better society. And the same goes for others including Hinduism, Communism, Sikhism and current Muslims. This I argue for the reason that dogma in any shape and form is a shackle that prevents uplift of a man:

    36:8. Surely, We have put shackles (of customs and prejudices) round their necks and they are (reaching right) up to their chins, so that they have become stiff-necked (due to their pride and false notions of superiority).
    36:9. And We have placed barriers (of their stubbornness rendering them unable to look forward to the bright future of Islam and rise to eminence by accepting it) in front of them, and barriers (of their prejudices) behind them (thus rendering them unable to look back at the doom of those who rejected the truth in the past). Thus We have kept them behind the veil so that they cannot see (so have become totally devoid of spiritual light).
    36:10. And it is all the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe (for they have deliberately shut their eyes and ears to the truth).

    The downward slide of Islam ideology had been happening over past several centuries and many Mujaddids arrived before Mirza Ghulam Ahmed and left various accumulating contributions (e.g. Shah Wali Ullah’s translation of Quran into a non-Arabic language,) that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed added to. Significantly, he re-booted the Islamic ideology for it to regain its future in the manners of its pristine path.

    Clearly there is restlessness on part of contributors to this site that they want an overnight progress and improvement of Muslims but the fact is that by its very nature it is a multi-generational process. And that their hearts are wounded by the negative headlines nowadays associated with Muslims. Please make a distinction between an act by a Muslim and that of the Message of Islam, which thankfully has been de-mystified by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed.

    Another distinction needs to be made. Where does one see Islamic principles more? Isn’t it in the system of the governments in the West? So in theory, who is potentially a “better” Muslim, East or the West?

    If the answer is East then be patient for many more generations. If the answer is West, then it might happen in our lifetimes. Please lead, I will follow.

  20. “HMGA should have infused the indian muslim with a successful nature and he should have planted in their heart a peaceful seed that should have caused pakistan to excel the entire planet in everything that is good (education and sports).  ”

    So I guess the recent one day series loss of Pakistan to Australia is yet another example of HMGA’a “failure”!!!!

    The Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) mission was not confined to Arabia, in fact he was a global prophet..yet majority of the world today is non-Muslim.  So did the HP (pbuh) “fail” in his mission as the “Rehmat-ul-Alamin”????

    My point is that Allah appointes prophets and reformers to deliver the message that is required at the time; and Allah promises victory to his apponitees.  However, the manner and timing of that “victory” is not like the waving of a magic stick….esp as the choice of accepting and rejecting the message lies with each individual..and no one is forced or magically transformed into a Muslim or a good Muslim.  It happens over time and in differant ways depending upon how the people respond. 

  21. May 4th, 2009 at 1:34 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I am not sure if a criterion of Hazrat Mirza sahib’s success should be that Pakistan should succeed because if you read his last work, Paigham Sulah, you find he is anxious for Muslims and Hindus to live in peace and is worried and fearful about a day when each community might be throwing the other out of the country.

  22. Bashir needs to pose this question to the many contemporary Sunni  scholars (especially in North America) who are now quite freely disregarding juridical precedent when they reject the death penalty for apostasy and argue that the Prophet never intended this punishment for apostasy per se but rather for treason.

    Take a look at There’s a whole lot of ijtihad on jihad and related matters going on these days.  MGA just started pursuing this line of inquiry a century earlier!

  23. Akram:  Thats exactly my point.   NOWADAYS—and not before the 19th century.  The Muslims are struggling to adjust their religion in the face of 21st century modernistic trends.  The jews adjusted their religion, so did the christians, Islam is left to make a decision.  Sometimes I feel that HMGA presented the only type of Islam that would survive in the future. 

    ZA:  The christians believe that when Jesus returns to this world it will be a monumental return.  In other words a man descending from the sky will have major appeal as well as “shock value”. 

    I think the muslims dating back to the time of the HP, they appear to have borrowed this concept of return.  The Koran does not refer to the return of Jesus, at least i havent seen anything that is clear and concise.  I think words are taken out their context when ahmadis argue from the Koran. 

    Hadith are not chronologically preserved, we dont even know when Abu Huraira heard the HP utter the signs of the messiah.  Was it in Mecca or Medina???  Exactly when did Abu Huraira hear this depiction by the HP. 

    The HP must have seen a dream about the return of Jesus.  The HP’s ijtihad could be wrong.  It was wahy nubuwwat that led him to his depiction of the return, it was the good dreams and visions. 

    Again, HMGA should have changed the internal behavior of the indian man and woman.  HMGA should have been able to achieve this.  These are my expectations after much reading and discussion.

  24. I was wrong about muslims not discrediting the satanic verses.

    Objections to the incident were raised as early as the fourth Islamic century, such as in the work of an-Nahhās and continued to be raised throughout later generations by scholars such as Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1157), Fakhr ad-Din Razi (1220) as well as al-Qurtubi (1285). The most comprehensive argument presented against the factuality of the incident came in Qadi Iyad’s ash-Shifa‘. The incident was discounted on two main bases. The first was that the incident contradicted the doctrine of isma‘, divine protection of Muhammad from mistakes. The second was that the descriptions of the chain of transmission extant since that period are not complete and sound. Ibn Kathir points out in his commentary that the various available to him by which the story was transmitted were almost all mursal, or without a companion of Muhammad in their chain. Uri Rubin asserts that there exists a complete version of the isnad continuing to ibn ‘Abbās, but this only survives in a few sources. He claims that the name of ibn ‘Abbās was part of the original isnad, and was removed so that the incident could be deprived of its sahih isnad and discredited.


    By the time of Qurtubī (d. 1272), a series of ever more elaborate exculpations had accrued to the basic narrative. These variously claimed that:

    The entire incident is nothing more than a rumor started by Meccans. [citation needed]
    Muhammad uttered the Satanic Verses unaware.[citation needed]
    Satan deceived Muhammad into reciting the verses by delivering them in the guise of the angel Gabriel; this would cast all other revelations from Gabriel in doubt.[citation needed]
    Satan, while invisible, projected his voice so that the verses seemed to emanate from Muhammad.[citation needed]
    Some enemy of Muhammad (either satanic or human) recited the verses in Muhammad’s voice to discredit him.[citation needed]

  25. “Again, HMGA should have changed the internal behavior of the indian man and woman.  HMGA should have been able to achieve this”

    You can lead a horse to water…..

    Or to borrow from HMGA’a words, a person who shuts the window shutters will be sitting in a dark can’t fault the sun for his state. 

  26. May 8th, 2009 at 3:19 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Hazrat Mirza sahib made many mortals into angels. Many of them were called angels by people outside the Ahmadiyya Movement. We saw a few of them ourselves. The generation before us saw many more, and were so deeply impressed and struck that they conveyed their observations to us very convincingly. These people devoted themselves only and purely to Allah, to the propagation of Islam, and to the service of all mankind.

    To take some worldly examples, his teaching produced for Pakistan public servants of the highest grade of honesty and probity, such as Naseer Ahmad Faruqui (Cabinet secretary), Dr Allah Bakhsh (Chief Chemical Examiner), Mian Ghulam Abbas Tamim (Auditor-General of Pakistan), Muhammad Ahmad (Vice-Chairman, Railways). These men were famed for their incorruptability while at the highest levels of government in a corrupt country.

    Here is an incident of Mr Faruqui. A relative says to him: “My son is in the army in East Pakistan. The situation is dangerous. Can you use your influence to get his posting changed?” Mr Faruqui: “Aren’t other people’s sons also serving there?”

    In a country where nepotism is common place, a close relative of his applied for a post in the Civil Service and kept on pestering Mr Faruqui to put in a good word for him (Mr Faruqui was Head of the Civil Service.) Eventually, Mr Faruqi picked up the phone and called the chairman of the interview panel and said: “My [close relative] has applied for a post. These are his qualifications. If none of the other cadidates is more suitable than him, then you might like to consider him.” Chairman: “In fact, we do have someone more qualified.” Mr Faruqui: “Then obviously you can’t consider my relative”.

    In the key post that Dr Allah Bakhsh held, he had to determine if and how murdered people were poisoned. Chemical Examiners before him had become fabulously rich by taking bribes from the wealthy and feudal landlords to change the post-mortem reports (when these people had had someone murdered). Dr Allah Bakhsh turned down offers of huge bribes and stuck to honesty. His juniors became exasperated, that if the head doesn’t accept bribes nor can we!

  27. Question: In a gist, the dismay expressed by some of the posts above towards Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed is that if he were true to his claim of a reformer then why did he not transform the majority of the Muslims (of South Asia) within his own generation? 

    Answer: We see exact parallels in Quran. A Jewish reformer (Moses) despite being a very prominent Prophet, could not transform the majority of his fellow Jews (of Exodus) of his own generation:

    2: 243. Have you not considered the case of those (Israelites) who (in their exodus) fled from their homes (in Egypt with Moses) and they were (a congregation of) thousands, for fear of death? Then Allâh said to them, `Die’, (with the result that this generation perished while wandering in the wilderness for forty years). Then (from the next generation) He revived them, (and made them inherit the Promised land). Allâh is Munificent to people; but most of the people give (Him) no thanks. [Nooruddin]

    Why so then? Answer is simple. The Israelites were multi-generational slaves in all aspects of their lives and psyche – physical, moral, spiritual, social, political, academic, economic etc. And it is very difficult for a slave to wake up and rise overnight despite his freedom, because he does not have the intellectual wherewithal to be progressive. Behold! their first act in freedom was to make and worship a cow and ask for freebees – Mana. Were Muslims of Mirza Sahib’s generations any different?

    In some ways, task for Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was even convoluted. To begin with he was just a Mujaddid and not a big name Prophet. He could not create Exodus of the likes of Moses for the indigenous population of India. Remember what happened to migration of Khilafat Movement? Instead, he sensibly, appreciated the freedom of expression provided by the British and then using the laws of the land to his advantage he unleashed a movement of ideas, people and publications that spread into the global intellectual fabric. For non-Muslims, it stopped their intellectual advances towards Islam. For Muslims he created a school of thought that is destined to “rise the sun (of Islam) from the West” – a case in point, see for yourself the quality of discussion on this blog vs. any other religious discussion in the whole Blogosphere for being non-dogmatic, non-hateful, welcoming, tolerant, logical, sourcing the Book for the laws rather than polemic discussion, non-apologetic about Allah, Quran, Muhammad PBUH…to name a few. Thanks you Mirza Sahib.

  28. May 11th, 2009 at 3:07 am
    From Omar Raja:

    Following on Ikram’s post, also in the Bible we  find the Prophet Moses speaking about his own people:

    Deuteronomy 31:25-29 “He gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD:  ‘Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.  For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!  Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them. For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made.'”

    And curiously enough, the Holy Prophet Muhammad spoke of the latter day Muslims in these terms. One such report states:

    Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)? [Sahih Muslim]

    As far as the Promised Messiah bringing man into the fold of Islam, Dr. Zahid Aziz has written:

    He had a deep conviction that if Islam was propagated by argument and peaceful means it would win over the hearts of the non-Muslim nations ruling the Muslims. Therefore he wished to dissociate Islam altogether from force, violence and fanaticism. He also believed that, being in the likeness of the Messiah, he too should adopt peaceful means of preaching, and reject recourse to force.

    Another consequence of his teaching in this respect is that Muslims can do their duty, as citizens, of obeying the secular authorities and at the same time follow their religious obligations of moral and spiritual progress, rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and rendering unto God that which is God’s — a distinction which it is generally thought impossible for a Muslim to make. There are today Muslim minorities in every Western country, and also in other non-Muslim countries, who have to do exactly that. However, Hazrat Mirza did not believe that Muslims should do this out of opportunism, pragmatism or hypocrisy, but sincerely out of conviction. His approach was entirely opposed to the notion of rebelling against the authorities to establish a so-called Islamic government. In this age of argument and reasoning, he wanted Muslims to prove the truth of their religion and thereby bring their rulers within its fold. [The Ahmadiyya Movement of Lahore, A Survey of the Origins, History, Beliefs, Aims, and Work of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore ]

    Quoting Rashid Jahingari from the archived forum on

    “More than 100 years ago, before there were any fighters aircraft/bombers/ nuclear weapons/cruise missiles/aircraft carriers/modern telecommunication satellites etc., the Mujaddid of 14th Islamic Century, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (HMGA) sahib, warned the Muslims of the world not to fight and go into war with the Dajjal (the Christian Caucasian Nations of Europe) and asked them to resolve their problems with peaceful negotiations, otherwise he warned them that they will be defeated and humiliated repeatedly. He asked the Muslims to take the peaceful, logical, rational, and loving message of Islam to them and change their hearts.

    Unfortunately, Muslims did not listen to him and history is witness that from the Ottoman Empire in WWI against England to current fiasco in Afghanistan, Muslims were always defeated and humiliated. Muslims of the world wasted so much money on gathering weapons to fight their so called ‘Jehad’ against the European countries. Instead of this if they had used the same money on the technical and scientific education of their fellow Muslims, they would have been much better of. If Instead of teaching hate towards the Europe in Madrasas in Muslim countries, if only these children were taught how to solder the electronic circuits, economic condition of these countries would have been much better, like many rich countries of Asia e.g. Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. At the same time HMGA also gave us the news of good days of Muslims to come when the peaceful, rational, inspiring, tolerant Islam will spread in the world and people’s hearts will change. We have already started seeing some signs of it.”

    And lastly, regarding the future of Ahmadiyyat, the Promised Messiah in his book Tazkarah-tush-shahadatain in the year 1903 A.D wrote:

    O mankind! harken, this is the prophecy of God who made the heavens and the earth. He will spread this Movement in all countries and will give it supremacy over all through reason and argument. Remember, no one will descend from heaven. All our opponents  who are living at present will die and not one of them will see Jesus, Son of Mary, descend from the sky and then their children who survive them will also pass away and none of them will see Jesus, Son of Mary, coming down from the heaven. Generations of their posterity will also perish and they, too, will not see the Son of Mary descending from Heaven. Then God will create restlessness in their hearts; that the days of the glory of the Cross had passed away and the world had taken another shape, but Jesus, son of Mary, had still not come down from the sky. Then all the wise people will discard this belief and the third century from today will not have completed when all those who had been waiting for Jesus, both Muslims and Christians, will despair of his coming and entertain misgivings and shall give up their belief and there will be only one faith in the world and one preceptor. I came only to sow the seed. That seed had been sown by my hand. It will now grow and blossom forth and none dare retard its growth. (Tadhira-tus-Shahadatain, pp. 64-65)

    And, Sahibzadah Siraj-al-Haq, a close follower of the Promised Messiah, writes in his book – Tazkirah tul-Mahdi (as quoted on p. 799 of Tazkirah) that the Promised Messiah once said: “God has informed that a day would come when there would be a serious ‘split’ among the members of our Movement; and the mischief makers and the slaves of their evil wishes and intentions would be made known and form a distinct group. Then God would eliminate those who deserve to be cut down, and the split amongst my followers would be mended and put right. Then there will be  great upheaval in the world. All rulers and kingdoms would rise against one another and blood will flow like water all over the world which will face a great destruction. The venue of these events will be the region of Syria and Palestine.

    It would be a time when my ‘son’ (Muslih Mau’ood) would make an appearance, as it is linked with these world upheavals. After it (when the people, having suffered, would be more prone to listen to reason and truth) the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam would make progress and spread all over. Many rulers of states would join our Movement.”

  29. And, Sahibzadah Siraj-al-Haq, a close follower of the Promised Messiah, writes in his book – Tazkirah tul-Mahdi (as quoted on p. 799 of Tazkirah) that the Promised Messiah once said: “God has informed that a day would come when there would be a serious ‘split’ among the members of our Movement; and the mischief makers and the slaves of their evil wishes and intentions would be made known and form a distinct group. Then God would eliminate those who deserve to be cut down, and the split amongst my followers would be mended and put right. Then there will be  great upheaval in the world. All rulers and kingdoms would rise against one another and blood will flow like water all over the world which will face a great destruction. The venue of these events will be the region of Syria and Palestine.
    It would be a time when my ‘son’ (Muslih Mau’ood) would make an appearance, as it is linked with these world upheavals. After it (when the people, having suffered, would be more prone to listen to reason and truth) the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam would make progress and spread all over. Many rulers of states would join our Movement.”

    I read this reference about two years ago and I was immediatley alarmed.  I have a list of questions for anyone who is up for it:

    1.  When was this book (Tazkirah tul-Mahdi) published?
    2.  Why is Siraj-al-Haq the only person to attest to this event?
    3.  Why is it that M. ali never commented on this?
    4.  Why is it that HMBMA never commented on this?
    5.  In what year did HMGA say this? 
    6.  Who else was present when HMGA said these words?

  30. May 12th, 2009 at 6:43 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    This report occurs in the Zameema (Appendix) of Tazkira. The appendix is entitled as follows in the old edition of Tazkira that I have:

    “Revelations, dreams and visions of the Promised Messiah which were not published in his lifetime”.

    In that old edition of Tazkira, the title given above is marked with a footnote which reads:

    “Those revelations, visions and dreams of the Promised Messiah which are of the type of ahad reports, and have not been published in any book or writing of the Promised Messiah, or in a Jamaat newspaper during his life, have been recorded in this appendix on the basis of the memory of the reporters. These are not of the level of reliability [yaqeen kai murtabai] as those which the Promised Messiah himself wrote down. However, if at some time in the future the substance of such a report comes to be fulfilled, then its authenticity will be established as God will have set the seal of confirmation on it by His act.”

    The term ahad report used above means a report by one individual only, without corroboration by anyone else.

    In the edition of Tazkira now online at this footnote is not there, at least not on the page where it occurred before. See this link to the page in the online edition. 

    This footnote expresses exactly the position that I would have taken.

  31. I seriuosly doubt the validity of this report.  I am really interested in the character of Siraj-al-Haq.  We really need to know as to when he wrote this book.

    Was he silent in 1914??  What made him reveal this to the world?  I wonder what his motives were? 

    Where is this book?  Does anybody have it?  What other things had he written in this book? 

  32. In regards to any prophecies on the 1914 Split, some of our scholars point to March 13, 1907 as significant.  Some of the revelations had to do with Lahore and  family of Promised Messiah being saved. It is curious that March 13 is the day Hazrat Khalifa I (ra) died,  seven years later, and birth of Split. Allah knows best

  33. I believe that all religious/political organizations take prophecies out of context to fit their own personal desires.  This has happened in the past and it will continue to happen in the future.

    Prophecies are usually vague which allows the reader to give it any definition that they so desire.  Nastradamus was a great predictor.  Predicting death and famine is usually an easy prediction. 

    Anyhow, here is the reference that my brother Tahir eluded towards:

    Revelation (Arabic): (1) God desires to remove from you all uncleanness, members of the household, and to purify you completely.  I understand this to mean that God intends to try the members of my family, so as to make it manifest whether they have full faith in whatever He might determine and so that He might purify them completely.
    Then with reference to my wife, I received the revelation (Urdu): (2) It is a heavy trial but accept it for the sake of God; and this was 
    followed by the revelation (Arabic): (3) O ye of the household, worship your Lord, Who created you; meaning do not rely upon anyone else. God Who created you would provide for you. This was followed by the revelation (Arabic): (4) Members of the household, be mindful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you; meaning be mindful of Allah and do and say nothing contrary to His will and pleasure. 

    Revelation (Urdu): (5) As if I am addressing the members of my household: May God safeguards you against all ill. Revelation (Arabic): (6) You are from Me and I am from you, you are the one whose soul has flown up to me (Al-Hakam, Vol. XI, No. 8, March 10, 1907, p. 1).

  34. May 15th, 2009 at 5:54 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I think T. Ijaz is referring to page 844 of the source by Bashir, as the date he said was 13th March 1907. The first revelation on that page is:

    “A shameless one in Lahore”

    Members of the Qadiani Jamaat apply that to Maulana Muhammad Ali. The Maulana said in a khutba that when I go out for my early morning walk [in Muslim Town, Lahore], a Qadiani cycles past me every day saying “Lahore mein ayk bay sharam hai” as he passes me.

    A revelation on the next page shows that this applied to a bitter opponent of the Promised Messiah in Lahore, Munshi Ilahi Bakhsh, Accountant, who died on 7th April 1907. Its English is on page 846: “There is a Moses whom I shall make manifest…”.  It is stated in Badr of 11th April 1907 that this “Moses” prophecy applies to the death of Ilahi Bakhsh (as he had claimed to be a Moses whose rod would destroy the Promised Messiah). He was the shamless one in Lahore.

  35. Zahid Aziz just proved my point.  All religious groups define visions, prophecies and all other type of religious texts as it benefits them. 

    More clearly, in terms of the musleh maud, the AMI only show the portion of the picture as it benefits their views.  The aaiil on the other hand show the picture on a broader scope, thus conveying the total comments made by HMGA on the subject.  In this case the AAIIL show the entire story, but this is only done because it benefits their cause. 

    Let me change the topic briefly.   I have always wanted to mimic M. ali’s appendix to “Prophethood in Islam”.  M. ali showed almost every reference in terms of prophethood in the writings of HMGA.  I wish that someone would do the same for Jihad.  I would love to read a booklet which showed all of HMGA’s thoughts on jihad, from 1878 to 1908.  Maybe then I could understand what the man’s position was. 

    Once again, the AMI has been proved to take things out of context.  Then they dont answer to objections.  I just which they would answer every question. 

    The AAIIL have been waiting almost 100 years for an explanation as to why HMGA wrote in 1907, that he was only a prophet metaphorically.  As far as I know this question has been avoided for almost 100 years.

  36. Bashir, the question of majazi Nabi has been addressed by our scholars head-on, you just may not agree with it.

  37. I am not asking for a general answer to the question of majazi nabi. The AAIIL was also not asking for that.  Let me re-phrase the question almost 100 years later.

    1.  Why did HMGA refer to his prophethood as only metaphoric in his book of 1907.  

    The AMI has never responded to this question.  I think that HMBMA gave a vague answer in HN, but that’s it.  It is in the best interest of the AMI to forget about the AAIIL.  And that it exactly what HMBMA and all others did.  

    I am a seasoned veteran on the split between the ahmadis.  I know of just about every scenario.  The AMI has a history of not responding and avoiding the lahoris.

    M. ali commented on HMBMA’s answer to the majazi nabi equation.  But, once again HMBMA gave a vague answer.  He cleverly avoided the reference of 1907.  Here it is:

    Link to “Prophethood in Islam”, pages 410-416

    The original words of Mirza Mahmud are:

    “According to the conception of the reality of prophethood, as explained by the common people lacking knowledge, the word prophet is used in the metaphorical sense for the Promised Messiah.  But this would only mean that he was not a prophet according to the terminology of the common people, that is to say, he did not bring a new law(Shariah),  but this  would not mean that he was also not a prophet in the metaphorical sense according to the terminology of the Shariah.”  624

  38. Bashir,  as you can see, ‘HMBMA’  is responding to that phrase from 1907.  Words like majazi, zilli, ‘real’ prophet are open to interpretation. you just may not agree with our interpretation.

  39. HMBMA gave a general answer as to how HMGA was a metaphoric prophet.  He would not have had to do this if the reference from 1907 did not exist.   But, he didn’t directly explain the quote of 1907. 

    The more vague a writer/speaker can be, the more room that gives him to change the definitions of his words.   That appears to be the case here. 

    He said that it was for the common people!  Before 1901 HMGA claimed to be a metaphoric prophet, that was for the Islamic scholars to get off his back.  It wasnt for the laymen who knew little of Islam.  It was for the intelligent religous man to think deeper.  Metaphors are not for the ignorant to understand.  Metaphors are forms of speech that the common person doesnt comprehend.  HMBMA has got it backwards. 

    Interpretation is the enemy of religion.  Interpretation has split every religion on the face of the planet.  The shiites interpret Hazrat Ali as the true successor after the HP, this is mostly based on the HP leaving Ali in charge of the nation during the expedition of Tabuk.

  40. I dont think that you knew of the reference from “Prophethood in Islam” that I quoted.  If I would not have mentioned it then perhaps you would have never known of HMBMA’s  response. 

    I read “Prophethood in Islam” like 4 years ago, I remembered reading this response by HMBMA and I was just awstruck by it.  It really caught my attention, I was able to memorize the reference.  Obviously Haqiqut tun NUbuwwat is not in english, it will possibly never be in english.  The AMI would like to totally forget this era altogether.  I think this era is crucial in understanding the AMI and the AAIIL.  These two groups are almost like the shiites and the sunnis.  This time the shiites won………..

    Once again, HMBMA defined what a metpahoric prophet could be, even though his answer is short of a lot of things.  He steered clear of directly explaining the quote of 1907.  That’s when I knew that something was wrong, something didnt add up, there had to be more to the story. 

    Another area that hasnt been thoroughly researched are the statements of Syed Muhammad Ahsan in Tashizazul Adhan (TA).  In fact the whole body of the TA should be investigated.  M. ali did show many quotes from TA, of which HMBMA said that he was not responsible…..something about he wasnt the editor at the time, even though the newspaper printed his name as the editor on the cover. 

  41. Bashir, on a somewhat related note, you may be interested in this new book published by our jama’at: 

    Denials of Prophethood – 257 references from the writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib

    It is in both English and in Urdu.

  42. Tariq:  I started reviewing it when it was added a couple of days ago.  Isnt this identical to M. ali’s appendix?  I think HMBMA should have countered with a book that showed all arguments pro-prophethood after 1901, I would have loved to have two booklets to compare and contrast. 

    I am anxiously waiting the new issue of the LIGHT, I want to read more of KK’s book.  That book has intrigued me for years.  I dont think that ZA should rest until all the books of HMGA are into english as well as all the books of M. ali and KK.  Sorry, my expectations are very high.

  43. I would love to see the pro-prophethood references compiled by the Qadianis, period.