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

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September 28th, 2014

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi on Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad defeating Christian missionaries

A quotation from the preface to the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, published in 1934, occurs in our literature. When translating the book 'The Death of Jesus' by the learned Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad, I translated this quotation as follows:

"In that period, Bishop Lefroy gathered an army of missionaries and left England, promising that he would soon convert the whole of India to Christianity. Having collected a great amount of money from the people of England, and assurances from them of continuing assistance in the future, he entered India and raised a big storm. His attack on the teachings of Islam was a failure … But the attack based on the argument that Jesus was alive in heaven in his physical body, while all other prophets were buried in the earth, was in his view proving to be effective upon the general public. At that juncture, Maulvi Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani stood up and addressed Lefroy and his group, saying: ‘The Jesus you talk about is dead and buried like other mortals, and the Jesus whose coming is prophesied is myself, so you must accept me.’ By this means he made things so difficult for Lefroy that he could not shake him off. In this way, he defeated all the Christian missionaries from India to England." (page 30)

Recently I came across a copy of that Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi at the home of a friend in Suriname. I immediately had the relevant page scanned, and also some pages around it. You can read this passage in the original book at this link.

For greater context you can read pages 29-31 at this link.

Dealing with the history of Islam in India, the point he is raising is that, in his opinion, in modern times four men present "a bad example" of distorting Islamic teachings and causing sectarian rifts. These are the following:

  1. Maulana Nazir Husain of Delhi, the founder of the Ahl-i Hadith sect. He is condemned by Thanvi for rejecting the four schools of Fiqh.
  2. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. He is condemned for his rationalist interpretations of the Quran.
  3. Maulvi Abdullah Chakralvi, founder of the Ahl-i Quran tendency, who rejected all Hadith reports.
  4. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

After the extract quoted above, Ashraf Ali Thanvi writes that it was merely a ploy by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad against Christian missionaries to say that ‘The Jesus you talk about is dead and buried like other mortals, and the Jesus whose coming is prophesied is myself'. Having used this ploy, writes Thanvi, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was now stuck with adopting this as his actual belief, because he could not retract it: "Therefore till his death he adhered to this belief and kept on giving inappropriate interpretations of the Quran and Hadith".

He adds: "These four men have now died and have gone to the next world. The intention with which they did this work is known to Allah, and their accounting is with Him. But due to them it happened that ignorant Muslims were needlessly divided into factions. We wish these men had not done this, because it is possible to reply to your opponents while still maintaining the true beliefs…"

It is clear that Ashraf Ali Thanvi places Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the same category as the other three men, as regards the rights and wrongs of what they were trying to do. He does not consider them as unbelievers and kafir, but as persons who tried to defend Islam although in the wrong way. Thanvi certainly does not say that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a prophet and thereby went out of Islam.

5 Responses to “Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi on Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad defeating Christian missionaries”

  1. September 29th, 2014 at 4:43 am
    From Adnan Javaid Meer:

    السلام علیکم ورحمة اللہ وبرکاتہ ذرا سوچئے کہ کیا پادری اور اسکی جماعت اسقدر بے وقوف تھے کہ جب حضرت مرزاغلام احمد قادیانی ؒ  نے،اشرف علی تھانوی صاحب کے نزدیک، اپنا پہلو بدلتے ہوئے حضرت عیسیؑ  کو خلاف قرآن وفات شدہ اور خود کو مسیح موعودؑ بتانا شروع کر دیا  ، توکیا  انھوں نے حضرت مرزا غلام احمد ؒ سے وفات میسح علیہ السلام اور خود انکے دعوی مسیح موعود پر کوئی ثبوت  نہ مانگا ہوگا اور بنا ثبوت ہی ہار گئے ہوں گے اور انکو حضرت مرزا صاحب ؒ سے اپنی جان چھڑانا دشوار ہو گئی ہو گی ؟؟؟ پھر سب سے اہم نکتہ یہ ہے کہ اگر اشرف تھانوی صاحب کے نزدیک ، حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ نے یہ  محض خلاف قرآن ایک حربہ اپنایا تھا اور یہ کہ  اصل صداقت کو قبضے میں رکھتے ہوئے بھی مخالفین کو سمجھایا جاسکتا تھا تو کیا وجہ تھی کہ ایک شخص تو خلاف قرآن حربہ اختیار کر کے محض اسلام کے دفاع کی خاطر ، پادری اور اسکی فوج کوہندوستان سے ولایت تک  بری طرح شکست دینے میں کامیاب ہو گیا اور اسکے مقابل قرآنی صداقتوں پر قابض ہونے کے دعوئے دار ہاتھوں پر ہاتھ رکھ کر خاموش تماشائی بنے رہے اور بہت سے مسلمان کہلانے والے عسیائی حربہ سے متاثر ہو کر اسلام ہی سے بدظن ہونے لگے؟؟؟؟؟؟ کیا وجہ تھی کہ خلاف اسلام حربہ اختیار کرنے سے بے شمار مسلمان عیسائی ہونے سے بچ گئے اور مسلمان کے مسلمان ہی رہے ؟؟؟؟ کیا انکا ایسے حربہ سے مسلمان رہنا بہتر تھا یا انکا عیسائی ہوجانا بہتر تھا۔ ؟؟؟ پھر جو حربہ ایک مسلمان کے ایمان کو ضائع ہونے سے بچا لے وہ برمبنی قرآن ہوا یا وہ حربہ، جسے قرآن کی طرف بطور صداقت منسوب کرنے والے خاموش تماشائی بنے رہے اورالٹا انکی بیان کردہ صداقت انکے قبضہ سے نکل کر  پادریوں  کے پھیلائے ہوئے  جھوٹ کے قبضہ میں جانے لگی  ؟؟؟ پھر اشرف تھانوی صاحب کے نزدیک  قرآن و حدیث کی غلط تاویلات کر کے حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ نے نہ صرف ہندوستان سے لیکر ولایت تک پادریوں کو ہی شکست دی بلکہ مزید اللہ تعالی نے ان پریہ کرم کیا کہ جید علمائے کرام کی ایک ایسی جماعت انھیں  عطا فرما دی جو انکی ایسی زبردست عزت کر تے تھے جیسا کہ عزت کرنی چاہیے تھی۔ چلیں وہ تو پادری تھے ، اور چلیں آپ پادریوں کےسامنے تو بے بس ہوکر خاموش رہے مگر یہ کیا ماجرہ ہوا کہ پھر تب سے لیکر آج تک آپ لوگ حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ  کے آگے اس معاملہ میں اب تک بے بس ہیں؟؟؟؟ ۔ کیوں ان صداقتوں کو اپنے قبضہ میں رکھتے ہوئے  ہم پرہی فتح نہیں پا لیتے ؟؟؟؟ یہ کہنا کہ کاش حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ ایسا نہ کرتے ، کہنا تو یہ بنتا ہے کہ اگر آپ اتنے ہی سچے تھے تو کاش آپ اس وقت ان صداقتوں کو ہاتھ میں لیکر نہ صرف یورپ سے لیکر ولایت تک ان پادریوں کو شکت دیتے بلکہ حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ کو بھی شکت فاش سے دوچار کرتے۔ جہاں تک تھانوی صاحب نے حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ  کے اس عقیدہ پر جم جانے کی دو وجوہات بیان کی ہیں تو عجیب بات ہے کہ ایک طرف تو خود اس معاملہ میں حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ  کی نیت کا معاملہ حوالہ بخدا کرتے ہیں اور  دوسری طرف خود سے ہی وجوہات گھڑ کر اور اسے بلاثبوت نا حق طور پر  حضرت مرزا صاحب ؒ  کی طرف منسوب کر کے ، حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ کی نیت پر بدترین حملہ بھی کرتے ہیں گویا حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ کے دل میں جھانک رہے ہوں  ۔ باقی یہ بات بالکل درست ہے کہ تھانوی صاحب کے اس بیان سے یہ ثابت ہو گیا کہ وہ حضرت مرزا صاحبؒ کو اسلام کا دفاع کرنے والا ہی یقین کر تے ہوئے ملت اسلامیہ ہی کا فرد یقین کر تے ثابت ہو رہے ہیں ۔ والسلام  عدنان جاوید میر

  2. For those who cannot read Urdu, I summarise below the excellent points made by Adnan Javaid Meer.

    Were the Christian missionaries so ignorant that they could not argue in return that Hazrat Mirza sahib was merely using a ploy and expressing beliefs which were contrary to Islam?

    Then it is strange that on the one hand a man who distorted the Quran and Hadith was able to defeat Chrtistian missionaries from India to England, but on the other hand those Muslims who "correctly" understood the Quran could do nothing and in fact failed to combat the missionaries.

    How could a "ploy" which was contrary to Islam save huge numbers of Muslims from going over to Christianity and succeed in letting them remain as Muslims?

    Thanvi says "it is possible to reply to your opponents while still maintaining the true beliefs". Since you (i.e. Muslim opponents of Hazrat Mirza sahib) claim to hold true beliefs in this matter of the death of Jesus, why are you so helpless on this issue against Hazrat Mirza sahib and Ahmadis till today that you cannot face them?

    Thanvi says Hazrat Mirza sahib should not have done this (i.e. should not have adopted the "ploy" that Jesus has died). Then why didn't you use your "true" beliefs to defeat "all the Christian missionaries from India to England", as well as to defeat Hazrat Mirza sahib?

  3. September 29th, 2014 at 3:45 pm
    From Adnan Javaid Meer:

    Assalamu Alykum

    Thank you very much for translating and summarizing the points. 



  4. October 3rd, 2014 at 7:14 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Regarding the quotation given in the main post above ("In that period, Bishop Lefroy…"), it is introduced in our literature as follows:

    "In the Preface to the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and Hazrat Shah Rafi-ud-Din, published in 1934 in Delhi by Nur Muhammad, proprietor of Ashul-Mutābi‘, it is stated:"

    Our literature doesn't say that the preface was written by Maulana Ashraf Thanvi. This book contains two Urdu translations of the Quran, which are arranged one above the other under the Arabic text, one being the translation by Hazrat Shah Rafi-ud-Din (son of Shah Waliullah and the first to translate the Quran into Urdu) and the other being the translation by Maulana Ashraf Thanvi. Please see cover page here

    Perhaps the preface was written by the compiler or publisher. When I had access to this book briefly in Suriname, I only scanned the pages around our reference and the cover page. So I don't have the last page of the preface to check if it bears a name.

    On the Internet I found a bookstore selling a newer edition of this work:

  5. i have scanned some old books of Jamat , Please do mail me So i can share with you ,..

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