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May 4th, 2010

Muslims have started to take a rational approach

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement takes pride in presenting Islam and its injunctions based on rationality and reason. We LAM members are very glad to see that now even our opponent Muslims are also taking this path, although they are taking it under the global political situation. Following quote from Al Jazeera English article supports my point:

Quote–Shah says that more Muslims are planning on casting a vote on May 6 than in any previous UK election, with concerns over whether voting is consistent with Islamic faith becoming a thing of the past.

“There have been record numbers of people of all backgrounds registering to vote,” he said.

“We have detected that the Muslim community here is becoming increasingly politicised. The vast majority of Muslims now believe that voting is permissible.”—Unquote.

UK-Muslims ‘backing Lib Dems’
By Andrew Wander
See this link.

2 Responses to “Muslims have started to take a rational approach”

  1. May 4th, 2010 at 7:00 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    On the same kind of lines, I would like to mention a forthcoming conference (or “event”) called Rethinking Islamic Reform at Oxford University on 26th May. A website of this name has been created.

    See this link.

    I quote from the event’s publicity:

    In the post 9/11 world, it has grown to be an axiomatic truth that Islam needs to reform. …

    Considering widespread readiness to support Islamic reform, effective management and guidance must be provided to ensure the success of this pursuit. …

    Drawing on the expertise of the speakers and that of the prospective audience, this instructive conference will therefore seek to clarify and answer: What is reform? What is legitimate reform? What are its spheres and remits? Why have reform movements been met with distrust and trepidation by the Muslim grass-roots? What roles, if any, should governments play in Islamic reform? What are the challenges they face?

    Ultimately, this conference aims to address: What type of reform is needed, and how should this reform come into effect?…”

    The answers to all these questions were provided in detail by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

    I recently came across the book The Future of Islam by John Esposito in a book store. Flicking through it, I saw the hadith about Mujaddids quoted, and the statement made by the author that this hadith is the basis of the concept of reform in Islam.

    One of the questions discussed in this book is: “Can Muslim minority communities be loyal citizens in America and Europe?”

    (Book details at this link.)

    This reminded me that in the wake of the declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslim in 1974, our critics started saying that the hadith about mujaddids was not authentic, or that there is no need to accept a mujaddid. They should ask the Muslim and non-Muslim scholars like the above!

  2. A Muslim’s Views on The British Government
    While the great political leaders of India were making harangues at the Congress inciting people to constant agitation against the Government, a great religious leader among the Muslims was at a quieter meeting in an out of the way place exhorting his followers to be grateful to it for its manifold blessings, not the least of which was religious liberty. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad addressed a meeting of nearly 1500 of his followers who had gathered from far and near on the 27th December [circa 1906] after the afternoon prayers dwelling at some length upon the blessings which Almighty God had vouchsafed to the Indian people through the instrumentality of the British Government.   He remarked:-

          “It is only through His grace and goodness that Almighty God has placed us under a government which has granted religious liberty to all its subjects. It is due to the liberty granted by this Government and to its justice that our opponents cannot give a practical turn to their hostility against us (the Ahmadiyya propaganda). If it had been in their power, they would have annihilated us, but on account of their inability to do so, they only grind their teeth in wrath and despair, for they are unable to execute their designs. When I remember the hardships and persecutions suffered by the early Muslims, and then see what a kind-hearted government God has sent to protect us from such persecution, my heart overflows with thanks to the Almighty for His unbounded grace and kindness towards us.   How merciful and gracious is our Lord, for when He wished to establish a heavenly dispensation in the days of the decline of Islam, He placed it under a peaceful government.   I do not say this to please any body : it is hypocritical to do so, and I hate hypocrisy and have come to deal a death-blow to it. Facts compel us to praise this Government and to be grateful to God for His blessings. Consider only one fact, viz., the peace and freedom with which we are doing our own work under this Government. We have been propagating the doctrines of this movement for more than twenty-five years, and the Government has not in the least degree interfered with our work. We have published thousands of pamphlets in America, England and other European countries among respectable persons inviting them to accept our holy faith. A book was even sent to her late Majesty the Queen-Empress, and though this book contained an invitation to the Queen to accept Islam, yet her Majesty or the Government was not in any way offended at it and another copy of the book was sent for. By placing us under such a Government, Almighty God has shown that it is His will to make this propaganda successful, for nowhere else could we carry on our work with this freedom. Had we been at Mecca, innocent blood would have been shed every day by religious bigots, nor could we do our work at Medina or Constantinople without persecution on the part of the authorities. The cruel murder of two of our friends at Kabul shows the truth of those remarks. They did not rebel against the government of the country or commit homicide or any other crime under the penal code ; they only spoke against the doctrine of Jehad and the advent of a Ghazi Mahdi. They did not say anything against Islam and were murdered by a Muslim ruler, while we publish writings against Christianity day and night and a Christian Government does not even prohibit us from doing so. They were good, righteous and silent men.  Maulvi Abdul Latif especially was very silent, but some selfish person informed the Amir of his doctrines and excited him saying that he, opposed Jehad and some other doctrines held by the orthodox. It was for this fault only that he was stoned to death in such a cruel manner that the hardest heart melts to tears at the mention of the cruelty.” 

          “Look at the British rule now. For thirty years, more or less, we have been writing against the Christian religion.   We tell the Missionaries and other Christians plainly that they are in a serious error in holding the Christian religion to be true.   We tell them that Trinity and Atonement are false doctrines, that Islam is the only true religion and the only means of attainment of salvation, and that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the most excellent of all prophets of  God and Divine union cannot be attained except through him, but we are never arrested for saying these things against a Christian government, nor have the authorities ever asked us why we propagate our religion so openly. If we do not praise the Government for all this freedom and peace which it has granted to us, we are ungrateful to God for His gifts and guilty of a great sin. We have shown the errors of the Christian religion in the strongest words, but the Government has in respect of religious liberty shown wonderful neutrality. It has not withheld from us any right which it has given to the Missionaries of its own religion, and all the religious sects have the same freedom of opinion and freedom of propagation granted to them.  A wonderful example of justice and neutrality was shown by a British District Magistrate, Capt. Douglas, in a case of abetment of murder brought against me by a famous Christian Missionary. The Magistrate did not show any favor to the Missionary prosecutor and treated me honourably in the Court. At last when it became clear to him that the case was really got up, he honourably acquitted me.”

          “Though the government has granted equal freedom to all sects and communities, yet its presence in this country is one of the signs which Almighty God has manifested for us particularly. The tree which it is the will of Almighty God should grow and give fruit is planted by Him in a place where its growth is not hampered in any way, but the tree whose growth He does not like is planted in a place where it soon withers away. Now the seed of this heavenly dispensation which Almighty God has sent me to establish has been sown in a land which is suitable for its growth, and no calamity can sweep it out of existence here.  It is to a very large extent quite safe from its enemies.   And as it is the British Government which has been made an instrument by Almighty God in the granting of these blessings, it behoves us, when we thank God for His gifts, to express our gratitude to the Government also, for Almighty God.says in the Holy Quran, “Is aught but goodness the reward of goodness?” It does not mean that you should do goodness in return for goodness only when the party concerned is a Muslim, and not when he belongs to any other religion.   Such conduct Islam severely condemns. My advice to all my followers is that they should hate the narrow-minded and fanatic Mullas who shed   innocent human blood under the guise of religion, and perpetrate the blackest deeds under the cloak of piety.  They should value this Government and show their gratefulness to it by their loyalty and obedience.  For, the man who is not thankful to men cannot be thankful to God.”

    Ref. Vol VI, January 1907, pg 32-35 [Editor: Maulana Muhammad Ali]

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