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April 13th, 2011

‘Hadith in the Ahmadiyya Theology’ by Dr. Munir D Ahmad.

This was published earlier under the post “Facts are Sacred”. I have copied it to a new post for convenience of reading and reply.

Rashid Jahangiri posted the following on 5th April.

Anomosity of Dr. Munir D Ahmad towards Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, Maulana Noor Ud Din, and Maulana Muhammad Ali sahib is evident by his choice of words and the way he makes his case in article. I’m copy pasting this article with the purpose of preserving it and for ease of readers.

Admin Note: Due to length of the article, I have saved it at this holding page on this blog:

17 Responses to “‘Hadith in the Ahmadiyya Theology’ by Dr. Munir D Ahmad.”

  1. April 13th, 2011 at 5:46 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    My response to this article, also published on 5th April under the post “Facts are Sacred”, was as follows.

    This article is full of distortions, but I will refer in particular to the following ignorance of the author:

    “Maulavi Muhammad Ali, the later Amir of the Lahori-Group, published already during the life-time of Ahmad two lengthy articles about the authenticity of hadith, in which he praised in his familiar apologeticall manner the unprecedented efforts of the Muslim scholars to collect hadith. His defense of the authenticity of hadith , which in fact comes close to the views of Ahl-i Hadith, is anything but a copy of the views of Ahmad…”

    and the bizarre reason for this is given as:

    “The only plausible explanation could be that the writings of Ahmad were meant for the Muslim readers, who were too much under the influence of the Ahl-i Hadith, whereas Ali’s duty it was to defend Islam and its institutions against Christian attacks.”

    He is ignorant of the fact that Maulana Muhammad Ali’s articles were in the Review of Religions, which appeared in both English and Urdu and was therefore read by Indian, Urdu-knowing Muslims. The Maulana could not write the opposite of what Hazrat Mirza sahib was writing about Hadith in Urdu.

    And how did these words slip out from Munir-ud-Din Ahmad’s pen: “Ali’s duty it was to defend Islam and its institutions against Christian attacks.”

    Perhaps it is because his paper was written so many years ago in 1973! Now he needs to re-assess his view that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad charged Maulana Muhammad Ali with the duty to defend Islam against Christian attacks!

    Then we have this gem of knowledge:

    “Notwithstanding the great reverence in which the Ahmadiyya holds hadith very little work has been carried out by the members of this community in the sector of ‘ilm al-hadith. Ali wrote “A manual of Hadith”, which is in line with his above mentioned articles.”

    Could Mr Munir Ahmad explain why so many other publishers than LAM have reprinted ‘A Manual of Hadith’ (without permission)? Why is it openly available in book stores in Pakistan, published by other publishers? The only reason is its enduring popularity among “Munir-ud-Din Ahmad defined” Muslims.

    Now let us look at some more of the “very little work” done by the Lahore Ahmadiyya:

    Here you will find a complete Urdu translation of Sahih Bukhari with extensive commentary in two volumes, by Maulana Muhammad Ali, assisted by scholar of Hadith Maulana Ahmad, amounting to over 1600 pages. Is this a little contribution?

  2. April 13th, 2011 at 5:50 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Dr. Munir D Ahmad reply to Dr. Zahid Aziz post. Copied from anti-HMGA website.

    Hadith in the Ahmadiyya Theology

    Dr. Zahid Aziz, whom I regard to be the last sturdy supporters of the cause of the Lahore Jama’at, and who as such deserves our respect. He has unfortunately passed some sweeping remarks without giving enough thought to the content of my thesis. I have tried to analyse the treatment of Hadith in the Ahmadiyya Theology without bias. Please read the following passage in full before charging me of distortion of the Ahmadiyya position.

    “On the whole, the Ahmadiyya holds hadith in great respect. Maulavi Muhammad Ali, the later Amir of the Lahori-Group, published already during the life-time of Ahmad two lengthy articles about the authenticity of hadith, in which he praised in his familiar apologetical manner the unprecedented efforts of the Muslim scholars to collect hadith. His defense of the authenticity of hadith , which in fact comes close to the views of Ahl-i Hadith, is anything but a copy of the views of Ahmad, who on one side had rejected a good part of hadith on historical and methodological grounds, but on the other hand had made rather indiscriminate use of certain Traditions. Ali is convinced that also textual criticism was carried out by the scholars of hadith . He rejects the views of the Orientalists in this regard, although critical remarks of Ahmad about hadith are almost identical with the views of Goldzieher and others. The only plausible explanation could be that the writings of Ahmad were meant for the Muslim readers, who were too much under the influence of the Ahl-i Hadith, whereas Ali’s duty it was to defend Islam and its institutions against Christian attacks”.

    Why is there a remarkable discrepancy in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s treatment of the Hadith and Maulavi Muhammad Ali’s “Defense” of  the Hadith? Was he outdoing his master, whose characterization of the Hadith is summerised by me as follows:

    “Ahmad regarded hadith to be a collection of by and large transmissions by a single chain of reporters (ahad), whereby only a negligible small number can be taken as inter-connected without a gap among its transmitters (mutawatir). Therefore hadith can at the best be taken as presumptive (zanni) having no comparison with the Qur’an, which in contrast to hadith constitutes “replete revelation” (wahy-i matlu)”.

    Please read further:
    “Ahmad bases his claim mainly on the Qur’an, but he would also make use of hadith whenever it suites his purpose, sometimes even indiscriminately. It is very seldom that he pays attention to critical remarks of the scholars of the Science of hadith (muhaddithun ) regarding the authenticity of a particular hadith quoted by him in favour of his argumentation. He claims to have come as an arbitrator ( hakam ) with the authorization “to take this heap of hadith and to discard the other one”. As an arbitrator he was not bound to the opinion of the muhaddithun. He quoted Sayyid Ahmad Sirhindy, who had foretold that when the promised Messiah (masih-i mau’ud) shall come, the scholars would accuse him of being self-opinionated (ahl ar-ra’y), whose subjective opinion is based on his individual judgment. He would reject hadith and follow only the Qur’an. Ahmad sees this prophecy fulfilled in his person as he had claimed to be the promised Messiah and also rejected hadith although only partially”.

    If you compare the writings of the two, one is bound to notice a degree of discrepancy in their approach to the Hadith. Maulavi Muhammad Ali is most enthusiastic about the “Science of the Hadith” but his mentor MGA cares much less even about so-called “authentic” Hadith, if they run contrary to his claims.

    I am sorry for the omission of  the translation of “Sahih Bukhari” by Maulavi Muhammad Ali, which should have been included along with the mention of another translation of “Sahih Bukhari” by Zain al-Abidin Wali Allah Shah. Again in this case both branches of the Ahmadiyya were competing with one another, as was also the case regarding the translation of the “Holy Qur’an”. 

    I am ready to discuss any “distortions” on my part if Dr. Zahid Aziz will very kindly point them out in my thesis.

    That “Review of Religions” was published both in English and Urdu is well-known. But the main purpose of publishing this magazine was to propagate the teachings of Islam among non-Muslims both in India and in alien countries. It was stated in a write-up in “al-Hakam” that 500 copies of this journal were sent abroad free. That the thrust of the writings of its Editor Maulavi Muhammad Ali was apologetic is generally accepted among Orientalists. And I am not the first, who has pointed it out.

    This is quite well-known that some of the companions of MGA had divergent opinions in many cases. Maulavi Hakim Nuruddin was of the opinion that Hazrat Isa had a human father. This is also to be found in the Tafsir of Maulavi Muhammad Ali. Even at a time, when MGA firmly believed about the bodily ascension of Hazrat Isa to the heavens, his closest disciple Maulavi Nurruddin was openly stating his death on earth. This shows clearly that MGA tolerated divergent opinion from his disciples in many cases.

  3. April 13th, 2011 at 5:52 am
    From Zahid aziz:

    Munir-ud-Din Ahmad’s article presents a very incomplete (hence distorted) portrayal of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s views about Hadith. His fundamental beliefs are given in several places, of which I refer to three here.

    1. Shahadat-ul-Quran, in Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 6, pp. 299-304. This book was translated into English by me some 22 years ago. Please see this chapter at the opening of this book:

    To quote some extracts:

    “To believe, therefore, that no conclusive and authentic information can be found through Hadith, is to destroy much of Islam with one’s own hands. The true and correct position is that whatever has come through Hadith, unless contradicted by the Holy Quran in plain and clear words, must be accepted.”

    “If the opponents (of Islam) were to object that the Holy Quran does not teach the mode of prayer, and that the form which the Muslims have adopted must be rejected because Hadith reports cannot be relied upon, how would we answer this objection if we ourselves held the position that Hadith is worthless? We would have to concede the objection.”

    “Although it is true that that part of Hadith which is not to be found expressed in prevailing beliefs and practices, nor supported by the Holy Quran, cannot be accepted with the fullest certainty, yet the other part, which is manifested in practice and which millions of people from the beginning have guarded by their practical conduct, and upon which they have been established, cannot be called dubious or uncertain.”

    2. Kishti-i Nuh in Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 19, pp. 61-64:

    One extract from this section, where he instructs his Jamaat, is as follows:

    “You must adhere to hadith of the Holy Prophet so much that for each and every act of yours, every deed, and every abstention from a deed, you must have a hadith in support of it. But if a hadith is clearly opposed to something in the Quran, then try to reconcile the two. Perhaps the [perceived] disagreement is in fact your error. If the disagreement cannot be resolved in any way, then discard that hadith because it cannot be from the Holy Prophet. If a hadith is weak, but conforms to the Quran, then accept it because the Quran verifies it.” (p. 63)

    3. Review of debate between Muhammad Husain Batalvi (Ahl-i hadith, upholder of absolute supremacy of Hadith) and Abdullah Chakralvi (Ahl-i Quran, denier of authority of Hadith at all) in Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 19. Here are some extracts from p. 212:

    “It should be the duty of our Jamaat to act on any hadith, of however low a ranking, provided it is not contrary to the Quran and the Sunna, and to give it preference over man-made Fiqh.”

    “Remember that our Jamaat is closer to the Ahl-i Hadith than to Abdullah Chakralvi. We have no connection with his meaningless views. Every member of our Jamaat must detest and forsake the beliefs of Abdullah Chakralvi about hadith.”

    Reading Mr Munir-ud-Dun Ahmad’s paper, a person could not possibly imagine that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad held the beliefs stated above.

    There were two opposite opinions on Hadith to be refuted by the Ahmadiyya Movement: (1) That Hadith is the supreme standard by which to judge the Quran, (2) the Hadith has no authority whatever as source of Islamic teachings (or that the whole system is forged and unreliable, as held by many orientalists).

    Obviously, if you give quotations in which (1) is refuted, it could be construed as support for (2), and vice versa. This is just as the Holy Quran rejects both the extremes that (1) Jesus was the son of God and not a mortal, and (2) Jesus was a false prophet. When you argue against (1), someone could say you believe in (2). When you argue against (2), it could be wrongly construed that you believe in (1).


    The two articles in defence of the authenticity of Hadith by Maulana Muhammad Ali appeared also in the Urdu edition of The Review of Religions, in the issues for September and October 1906 (there is also another one in August 1906, referring to the discovery of the Holy Prophet’s letter to kings). If his articles expressed a contrary position to that of Hazrat Mirza sahib, then it is incredible that neither the Founder, nor any of his scholarly followers, nor yet any of his opponents (who used to be sent this magazine), who were all Urdu-reading people in India, raised any objection. The Urdu edition was specifically for readers in India.


    Munir-ud-Din Ahmad writes: “That the thrust of the writings of its Editor Maulavi Muhammad Ali was apologetic is generally accepted among Orientalists. And I am not the first, who has pointed it out.”

    What does being “apologetic” mean? To readers of blogs, it means to express remorse for being in the wrong, to admit fault and put forward some reasons to explain why the wrong was committed. Can he show any example from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s writings where he has expressed regret over some teaching of Islam or some action of the Holy Prophet, and wished that it had not been so, and given mitigating reasons why it is so?

    His readers are not likely to know, but I am sure he knows, that in religious disputations “apologetic” means to defend your beliefs by argument in speech or writing. That defence itself may be aggressive. The orientalists you mention have also written that Maulana Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din carried out aggressive and vigorous propaganda against Christianity (sometimes within the same sentence in which they used the word “apologetic”).

    John Warwick Montgomery published a highly critical article about Maulana Muhammad Ali entitled “How Muslims Do Apologetics: The Apologetic Approach of Muhammad Ali and Its Implications for Christian Apologetics” in The Muslim World, April 1961. In the original article, he made the blunder of considering the Maulana to be the same person as Muhammad Ali Jauhar and attributed the latter’s writings to the former! He later revised this article, which you can read here:

    He is described in Wikipedia as “chiefly noted for his major contributions as a writer, lecturer and public debater in the field of Christian apologetics”. He is therefore bound to attack Maulana Muhammad Ali. But the question is, what does he mean by the “Apologetic Approach” of Maulana Muhammad Ali? It means trying to prove the truth of Islam.

    Anyhow it would be appreciated if Munir-ud-Din Ahmad can clarify for his audience the sense in which the word “apologetic” is used.

    I admit, of course, that those Muslims who call for the critics of Islam to be murdered, for instance in Europe, are not apologists. They feel no need to defend Islam against the allegations. If my impression is correct that Munir-ud-Din Ahmad is presenting it as a criticism that Maulana Muhammad Ali was apologetic, then he should be happier at the approach of these violence-promoting activists of Islam.

  4. Munir-ud-Din Ahmad writes: “That the thrust of the writings of its Editor Maulavi Muhammad Ali was apologetic is generally accepted among Orientalists. And I am not the first, who has pointed it out.”
    Merriam Webster
    Definition of APOLOGETIC
    1 a : offered in defense or vindication <the apologetic writings of the early Christians>
    b : offered by way of excuse or apology <an apologetic smile>
    2 regretfully acknowledging fault or failure : contrite <replied in an apologetic tone>
    Origin of APOLOGETIC
    Greek apologētikos, from apologeisthai to defend, from apo- + logos speech
    The sections of the link pointed to by Dr. Zahid Aziz to explain the term “apologetic” is excerpted as follows:
    How Muslims Do Apologetics: The Apologetic Approach of Muhammad Ali and Its Implications for Christian Apologetics
    by John Warwick Montgomery
    Example of Muhammad Ali’s Apologetic
    – The Content of Muhammad Ali’s Apologetic
    – Christianity: a false religion
    – Islam: philosophically and scientifically sound
    – The Koran: divinely inspired
    – Islam: experientially verifiable
    Ask yourselves if the above sub-headings are in anyway indicative of a remorseful apology as understood by Munir? Interestingly, later in the article the author, John Warwick Montgomery himself tries to rebut Muhammad Ali in following words:
    Muhammad Ali’s attempt at refuting Christianity does not fit into the table of apologetic arguments at any point. The reason for this is simply that such refutations are not ‘apologies” or defenses at all, but are ad hominem arguments of an offensive nature.”
    Ironically, the above conclusion by John Warwick Montgomery is what Munir-ud-din actually agrees with (and in doing so, contradicts himself) when he writes:
    Ali’s duty it was to defend Islam and its institutions against Christian attacks.”
    “Apologetic” in religious sense is not the run of the mill apology of guilt.
    Munir also is obviously oblivious of the fact that in Quran and Hadith, the future is always described in metaphors e.g. Hell and Heaven. What does he expect of us to believe in but the literal nonsense of prophecies. Such kind of decay of religious (not spiritual) thought has parallels in history as noted by Duncan Lee in his book Gospels of Islam (pub 1948, Bombay) about Christianity at advent of Islam :
    “Art hardly existed, philosophy was banned as pagan, the beginnings of science ruthlessly smothered under weight of superstition and impossible dogma created out of the unintelligent reading of metaphor as literal history, and literature prostituted to cause of polemic had almost ceased to be.”
    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (ra) thankfully interpreted the metaphors of prophecies in Hadiths to some good purpose, and he left behind a school of thought and methodology which can and has spread Quran and Islam to the East and West. I ask Munir as to how will he interpret the following dream in Quran that was interpreted by Joseph (PBUH) hundred of years before Quran came into the world:
    12:36. And with him there entered the prison two young men (- the butler and the baker of the king). One of them said to him, `I see myself (in a dream) pressing grapes.’ And the other said, `I see myself carrying upon my head bread of which the birds are eating. Inform us of the interpretation of these (dreams) for we surely find you of the doers of good to others.’
    12:37. He said, `(Do not worry,) I shall inform you of the interpretation of these (dreams) before the meal you two are given comes to you. This (my ability to interpret, you should bear in mind) is a part of that knowledge which my Lord has imparted to me…
    12:41. `My two fellow-prisoners! as for one of you, he will pour out wine for his lord to drink and as for the other, he shall be crucified so that the birds will eat (flesh) from off his head. The matter about which you inquired stands decreed.’
    If we use standards of Munir to interpret metaphor of prophecies, then (god forbid) the above verses point to nothing by concoction of interpretation by Joseph (PBUH). But secular history tells us that Joseph (PBUH) was truthful and his interpretation no matter much apparently self serving was accurate. Same is the case with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (ra). His interpretations might seem self serving concoctions to Munir and like, but secular history proves them wrong and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (ra) was right on the money, spirituality and intelligence. Words of Allah come true and Mirza Ghulam Ahmed posthumously can tell Munir: The matter about which you inquired stands decreed and the Mujaddid came and left his indelible mark on the world which to a small extent can be sampled here, here, here
    This site is a testament to the spirit of the Mujaddid of fourteenth century Hijra, which is the only website in the Islamic world that is open to self-criticism and unapologetic of Islam, Quran and absolute finality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), contrary to what Munir interprets the meaning of Apologetic.

    If it is left to the dead hand scholarship like Munir’s then Islam’s survival is left to the mercy of inheritance only. See for yourselves that words of Duncan Lee resonate perfectly well for the traditional Islam that is spreading without merit and by number of pregnancies only.
    Thank you Mirza Sahib for separating Islam from such Muslims and their pseudo scholarship.

  5. Dr. Munir Ud Din has posted Dr. Zahid Aziz and Ikram’s comments, that i emailed him in personal email, on anti-HMGA discussion forum. He has NOT rebutted what Dr. Zahid Aziz and Ikram wrote. I take it as acceptance by him. Unless he rebuts them on that forum.

  6. April 18th, 2011 at 10:22 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Further on the views of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on the position of Hadith, I quote below from a notice he issued to the detractors of Islam about their vituperations against Islam and the Holy Prophet. This notice, which also sought to draw the attention of the government, was signed by a large number of Muslims outside the Ahmadiyya Movement. In it he writes that the critics of Islam should not attack Islam on the basis of unauthentic and baseless stories not found in the recognised sources of Islam.

    As to what are the authentic sources of Islam, upon which our beliefs are based, he tells the opponents of Islam:

    “We remind you that our acknowledged and accepted books, in which we believe and which we consider reliable, are as detailed below.

    First, the Holy Quran. But it must be remembered that the reliable and true meaning of a verse of the Quran is, in our view, that which is supported by other places in the Quran because the verses of the Quran explain each other. If a definite and sure meaning cannot be found to the required degree of certainty in other places in the Quran, then it is a condition that there must be some authentic, highly reliable, continuously narrated, hadith which gives the interpretation [of the verse]. In short, our religion does not at all allow interpretation according to one’s fancy. It will be obligatory for every critic not to infringe this rule when raising an objection.

    Second, among the other books which are our recognised books, Sahih Bukhari holds the first place. All such of its reports are conclusive for us which are not in conflict with the Holy Quran. In the second place is Sahih Muslim, and we accept it on condition that it is not in conflict with the Quran and Sahih Bukhari.

    In the third place are the books of Hadith: Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Muta, Nisa’i, Abu Dawud, Dar Qutni, whose reports we accept on condition that they do not conflict with the Quran and the two sahihs [Bukhari and Muslim].

    These are the books of our religion, and these are the conditions which we follow.

    We now turn to the law of the land to prevent you people from raising such objections [against Islam] as can also be directed against your own scriptures and your own religion, because justice, which is the basis of all laws, does not include such actions as good intentioned. We also forbid you people from raising objections which are not based on the books and conditions mentioned in this notice, for such activity is contrary to the investigation of truth.”

    (Arya Dharm, Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 10, p. 86-87)

  7. Dr. Muniruddin Ahmad has posted his reply on anti-HMGA website. I’m copy pasting it here:

    “Apologetics” of Dr. Zahid Aziz

    It is interesting to note that Dr. Zahid Aziz started his allegations against me in his first write-up by stating that my “article is full of distortions” and ends up in the second installment by accepting  that the “article presents a very incomplete (hence distorted) portrayal of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s views about Hadith”. 

    He could not present any distortions in my thesis, hence takes refuge behind a thinly veiled confession that he had jumped to a conclusion without a valid basis. 

    Than he concentrates on the word “apologetic” which I had used in connection with Maulavi Muhammad Ali’s so-called “defense” of Islam.  He is followed by ikram, who has enlightened us with the help of Dictionary to comprehend the meaning of “apologetic”. 

    And also this second line of “defence” is nothing but a confession that both of them could not find any fault in my thesis. I have used this phrase in the sense to defend by speach or writing or to speak in defense of Islam. 

    The truth of the matter is that I had presented a complete picture of the faith map of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding the Hadith. That he was nearer to the Ahl-i Hadith was also emphasised as well as that he had his personal preferences regarding the authenticity of Hadith. In cases he did not even bother to take into consideration the categorizations by the “Muhaddithum”. And regarded himself to be a “Judge”  appointed by God “to take this heap of Traditions and to discard the other heap”. This was the main point of criticism which both of them have avoided to address.

  8. April 18th, 2011 at 9:17 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    There is a world of difference between the views of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about Hadith that I quoted, which are his fundamental beliefs, and the portrayal of his views by Dr Munir-ud-Din Ahmad. Those quotes show that Dr. Ahmad sahib has absolutely not “presented a complete picture of the faith map of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding the Hadith”, as he has now claimed again. This is an obvious case of distortion.

    As regards “apologetic”, I quote his statement from his first reply to me:

    “That the thrust of the writings of its Editor Maulavi Muhammad Ali was apologetic is generally accepted among Orientalists. And I am not the first, who has pointed it out.”

    Now he says that by apologetic he meant “to defend by speech or writing or to speak in defense of Islam”. But in the above statement he presents it as some kind of defect or weakness in his writings, that they were “apologetic”.

    As I wrote in my response, the term “apologetic” to the blog readers of Dr Ahmad sahib would convey that Maulana Muhammad Ali was apologising for the teachings of Islam, like the attorney of a guilty man in court, who accepts his client’s guilt, apologises for his behaviour, and puts forward mitigating grounds why the guilty client should be forgiven.

    This impression created about the Maulana’s writings is utter distortion.

  9. AlRaqeeb (not sure if it is real name; and very probably a former Qadiani), moderator of anti-HMGA website does not like Maulana Muhammad Ali and other elders of LAM’s defense of Islam and efforts to propagate Islam with reasons. This is evident from his post on his forum, in the thread containing Dr. MUD Ahmad and Dr. Z Aziz posts. He has made an out of way attack on Dr. Zahid Aziz and other LAM members by using words such as “god”, “Lat”, and “Manat” for Maulana Muhammad Ali. I guess he has not given up on Qadiani Khalifa 2 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and his followers’ habits of ‘Attack the messenger, if you don’t like his message’.
    Al Raqeeb post:
    In my lifelong dealing with Ahmadiyya, I have found that they have more idols and bhagwans then the kuffar of Makkah had before Islam. They have many minor idols and some major idols in the category of Lat and Manat. Quadiani Ahmadies have their Mosleh Mauood and Lahori Ahmadies not to be left behind have Mohammad Ali as their chief of idols. The reason Dr. Zahid Aziz, an otherwise very reasonable and sensible person, became so furious at your criticism of Mohammad Ali is not that your criticism was wrong: it is because you criticized their god, their Lat and Manat and criticizing gods is not allowed.

    PS:  Interesting article on Apologetics

    Dr. Aziz is probably confusing the term Apologetics with apology or apologizing. 


  10. April 19th, 2011 at 7:59 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    When a person is so ignorant that he considers us as regarding Maulana Muhammad Ali as our “chief idol”, it is then quite understandable that he is incapable of correctly following this discussion.

    If he had read our posts he would not have written: “Dr. Aziz is probably confusing the term Apologetics with apology or apologizing.”

    I was the first in this discussion to point out the meaning of “apologetics” by writing on 13th April:

    “What does being “apologetic” mean? To readers of blogs, it means to express remorse for being in the wrong, to admit fault … His [MUD Ahmad’s] readers are not likely to know, but I am sure he knows, that in religious disputations “apologetic” means to defend your beliefs by argument in speech or writing.”

    Dr MUD Ahmad presented it as a flaw in Maulana Muhammad Ali’s writings that they were apologetic. If he is using “apologetic” correctly, as he later claimed, then in the eyes of Muslim blog readers this is not a flaw but a matter of praise!

    It only becomes a flaw in Muslim eyes if they confuse “apologetic” with “apologising”, and my point was that perhaps this is what Dr MUD Ahmad is relying on. Otherwise, there is no point in telling anti-Ahmadiyya Muslims that Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote apologetically about Islam, since that is a pro-Islamic activity!

    As to the Lahore Ahmadiyya view of Maulana Muhammad Ali, a study of his life (see will show how free his critics were to openly criticise him, even to the extent of interrupting him during khutbas, and he refused to prevent them from doing this.

    Al Raqeeb writes:

    “it is because you criticized their god, their Lat and Manat and criticizing gods is not allowed.”

    Interestingly, the critics of Islam accuse Muslims (including Al Raqeeb) of worshipping the male form of the idol Al-Lat, i.e. Allah. They allege Al-Lat is the feminine of the word Allah. Perhaps Al Raqeeb should answer them. I have certainly answered them in this article: near the end.

    The other problem with mentioning the name of Lat and Manat is the story, contained in certain Muslim histories and biographies of the Holy Prophet, that when the Holy Prophet, reading out his revelation to the Quraish, reached the words “Lat and Uzza and Manat” (53:19-20), the devil revealed to him: “these are exalted deities whose intercession is to be sought”.

    Maulana Muhammad Ali has certainly answered this, and cleared a serious allegation against Islam. Perhaps Al Raqeeb could turn his attention to answering it.

    If I am “furious” at Dr MUD Ahmad criticising Maulana Muhammad Ali as “apologetic”, why did I refer him to an article by a Christian evangelist which deals with this very topic of Maulana Muhammad Ali being “apologetic” and bitterly attacks the Maulana’s method of proving the truth of Islam? In case Al raqeeb missed it, it is here:

    As to his comment “criticizing gods is not allowed”, Al Raqeeb should ponder over the widespread Muslim belief that any critic of the Holy Prophet Muhammad should be put to death. Even Mr Rehman Malik, Interior minister of Pakistan, said in a TV interview: “I support the blasphemy law like any other Muslim. If someone uttered blasphemy in front of me, I would shoot him dead.” So Al Raqeeb’s Muslim friends are legally allowed to commit murder over criticism, but we are not even allowed to express fury! 

  11. On anti-HMGA discussion forum moderator AlRaqeeb realized his mistake. Unfortunately, he did not display gentleman manners to acknowledge his misunderstanding without being sarcastic. One needs honesty and courage to accept mistakes. Unfortunately, opponents of HMGA absolutely lack this.
    Al Raqeeb writes:
    “Oh God! I did not realize that my brief, casual remarks would cause this much commotion in the world. I apologize for having intervened in this very interesting exchange between Mr. Munir D Ahmad and Lahore Ahmadiyya.”

  12. April 20th, 2011 at 6:00 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    According to him it is “casual” to make this kind of serious accusation.

    It is one thing to disagree and argue on merit and evidence whereas it is totally different when likes of AlRaqeeb stoop low to slander and that too without any basis. AlRaqeeb itself means “The Enemy”, what a sorrowful name or pseudonym.
    Muhammad Ali is singularly distinguished first Muslim translator of Quran into English. His service to Islam is testified by fellow Muslim translators including
    Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi and Marmaduke Pickthall. Lately many of his books besides others “Religion of Islam” and “Muhammad The Prophet” have been published by Al-Azhar.
    AlRaqeeb is also ignorant about LAM. For LAM their elders including Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Noourddin, Muhammad Ali, Kamal-ud-din, Sadr-ud-din, Abdulhaq Vidyarti, Basharat Ahmed and many others (may Allah’s blessing be on them) are just the beginning of a thought process, not the end.
    Let Quran answer the slander of AlRaqeeb about Muhammad Ali and LAM:
    Quran defends and bears witness to the personal character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and by extension those who strive in service of his message:
    68:1. The ink – stand and the pen and all that they (the owners of the pen – the scholars) write, bear witness (to the fact that),
    68:2. By the grace of your Lord you are not a mad man at all.
    68:3. (And) most surely, there awaits you a reward never to be cut off.
    68:4. And you possess outstandingly high standard of moral (excellence).
    68:5. And you shall soon know and so will these (- the disbelievers),
    68:6. As to which of you is afflicted with madness.
    68:7. Surely, your Lord knows best those who go astray from His path and He (also) knows best those who follow the right guidance.
    AlRaqeeb do you find yourself mentioned below?
    68:8. So do not listen to those who cry lies to (the Truth).
    68:9. They wish you to be (dishonestly) pliant (and not condemn their evil deeds in strong language) so they (too) would (in return) adopt a conciliatory attitude.
    68:10. Do not listen to any wretched swearer,
    68:11. Who is backbiter, one who goes about with slander and evil talk,
    68:12. Any hinderer of people from doing good, transgressor, a sinful (person).
    68:13. (Nor listen to any) hard-hearted ruffian who is, above all this, utterly useless and known for mischief making,
    68:14. Only because he owns wealth and (numerous) sons (and influence).
    Muhammad Ali’s only fault in the eyes of his slanderers is that he tried to spread Quran to the world. AlRaqeeb pay close attention:
    68:15. When Our Messages are recited to him he says, `(These are mere) stories of the ancients (so outdated rubbish).’
    68:16. We will soon brand him on the snout (and stigmatize him with indelible disgrace).
    We pray for Allah’s guidance to all slanderers of truth and forbearance for the victims of the slanderer.

  14. April 20th, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    As to Maulana Muhammad Ali being “worshipped as chief idol” by LAM members, I quote below the impressions of those who knew him and worked with him:

    “Let me also mention something else. In the meetings of the Anjuman, of which I too was a member, every member had freedom of speech. It was not like the subservient court of the Khalifa of Qadian. Objections used to be raised and some members would argue with Hazrat Amir and occasionally say something inappropriate. After the meetings, he used to return home to Muslim Town, where I and some other friends met him for prayers in the Muslim Town mosque. He would never mention what happened in the meeting, while it is quite natural for a person who is hurt to talk to others about it. If we ever broached the subject, saying that so and so did not do good, he would only smile and evade the subject, putting an end to the matter.” (Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi)

    “Hazrat Amir Maulana Muhammad Ali, despite being a man of such greatness, was an epitome of humility and modesty. There was not the least trace of haughtiness, arrogance, conceit or vanity in him. He treated all people equally, whether great or small, rich or poor. He loved every person who was a devotee of Islam and a servant of the faith. As secretary of the Anjuman, I had the opportunity to see him close at hand. He was not at all in the habit of backbiting or complaining. Many times people would mention to him that such and such a man says this against you. He would just tell them to pray for that man, that Allah may turn him away from the wrong path and set him upon the right one.” (Maulana Ahmad Yar)

    “It was 1924 or 1925 that I and some friends, because of the fact that some vociferous young men used to speak out even during the Friday khutbas of the Hazrat Maulana, decided to ask him to disallow such a great degree of freedom of expression and to adopt a milder form of the discipline imposed by the Qadiani khalifa. But as we lacked the courage to say this to him we agreed to ask Mian Ghulam Rasul Tamim to support our views, as he was a close friend of the Hazrat Maulana and open with him. … In the company of the Mian sahib we put our point before the Hazrat Maulana. After listening to us, he replied categorically that, as we had left Qadian to save ourselves from just this error, it would be an even more terrible mistake to introduce the same error into the Jama‘at here. He said moreover: ‘Freedom of expression undoubtedly appears to be harmful temporarily, but if it is used with sincerity it brings about progress. If you think that I should become a spiritual despot like the khalifa of Qadian, then this is impossible as I don’t have duality in my nature.’ In the end, we were unable to reply to him and assumed silence.” (Ch. Abdullah Khan)


  15. Dr. Muniruddin Ahmad sahib, posted following comments on anti-HMGA website

    Meaning of “Apotogetic”
    The question of apologetic is rather complicated. I had written in my previous response that “I have used this phrase in the sense to defend by speech or writing or to speak in defense of Islam”. But it is a different matter, how you put your defense into practice. I will give you just one from many possible examples, where this “defense” becomes problematic. 

    Take the case of slaves and the very fact that Islam did not expressly forbid Muslims from taking or keeping slaves. This is why Sir William Muir blamed Prophet Muhammad for not forbidding this practice which was very common among Arabs. They used to make prisoners of wars into personal slaves – not to speak of the women, who were kept as sex slaves. This practice was kept alive by Muslims through out their history. It is said that in some African-Arab societies slaves are still to be found. 

    There is a detailed expose by Maulavi Muhammad Ali about slaves and the Muslim society, where he starts by blaming Jesus Christ of having never said a word against atrocities which were committed on slaves in the society he lived in. This is as if his guilt, or let us say negligence on his part, could absolve Islam from its rather unkind behaviour of the slaves. His main argument is in fact that Islam has asked Muslims to be kind to the slaves in all their dealings. The same line of defence can be seen when it comes to the rights of women in Muslim society.

  16. In reply to Dr. Muniruddin Ahmad above post (that I copied from, I have following comments to make:
    People who are students of Psychiatry, and Human Behavior can appreciate how difficult it is to change human behavior, without creating chaos.
    Freedom from slavery is a great idea. But just like 100% oxygen can cause death in a COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) patient, if given at once, so freedom from slavery can cause deaths in a society. Immediate change from slavery to freedom can have negative consequences. In 19th century US President Abraham Lincoln administration took a great step in their opinion of freeing the slaves, with one order. But its negative effects were witnessed not only in the immediate period in form of Civil War and thousands died, but ill effects of that immediate freedom has been so lasting that to this day and perhaps for next couple of hundred years they will be felt in American society.
    Among American black slaves whose families were uprooted and destroyed, and their family values were finished. Got their freedom by orders of US President. There was no transition. No efforts were made to educate them, inculcate civil, humanistic, morals and family values. As a result not only they did not know how to behave in a civil way and live and let live peacefully in a society, they were unable to teach their progeny. To this day American society is suffering in form of crimes, teen pregnancies, drugs, abandoned children, and individuals among African-Americans to a very high rate compared to Caucasian population.
    Compared to American experiment, Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS took different approach, although objective was the same. He slowly initiated the transition, and gradually slaves were freed. As a result the same slaves not only became prominent companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS, but also among future generations Muslim slaves became important counsels of Muslim kings and even became kings themselves.
    Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS, not only brought changes for slaves, but he also brought changes in their masters by their education and improving their human values. Compared to his approach even to this day many Caucasian “masters” in USA have not accepted their “slave” becoming president of their country. This is because slaves were made equal to their masters over night in 19th century America.

  17. April 21st, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The issue under discussion with Dr Munir-ud-Din Ahmad sahib is not, as such, slavery or the rights of women in Islam but whether the arguments used by Maulana Muhammad Ali to defend Islam are valid or not.

    Maulana Muhammad Ali was responding to criticism of Holy Prophet Muhammad on slavery by Christians who were contrasting him with Jesus Christ, whom they regarded as much morally superior. It is therefore quite valid for the Maulana to respond that Jesus had given no teachings whatsoever about slavery. Moreover, these Christians were proselytisers who were urging Muslims to accept Christianity on grounds such as its teachings on slavery. So it is not only valid but necessary for the Maulana to argue in response that Jesus offered a less good example than the Holy Prophet, his point beling: Why are you asking Muslims to accept your religion when your religion has the same flaw? By itself, this reply doesn’t absolve Islam, but it renders invalid the aim of the Christians such as Muir to convert Muslims.

    As Dr M. Ahmad sahib considers Maulana Muhammad Ali’s arguments to be weak, one assumes he has found some stronger arguments in defence of Islam on these issues somewhere else, and he will enlighten us on those (unless, of course, he believes that Islam’s case itself is weak and hard to defend).