Page 1

JULY 2013

WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG

VOL. 108 - ISSUE SEVEN

HISTORIC VISIT of KHALIFAH of the PROMISED MESSIAH to CALIFORNIA Angels Echoing the Kalimah in the City of Angels

38

Keynote Address at the Montage, Beverly Hills

50

LA Times Interview Khalifah of the Promised Messiah

72

Mercy of God

20


The Promised Messiah

© makhzan-e-tasaweer

and imam mahdi and founder of the review of religions

The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa prophesied that the Promised Messiahas would be raised near a white minaret, east of Damascus. This prophecy was fulfilled with the advent of the Promised Messiahas from Qadian, India, a city directly east of Damascus.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi was born to a noble family in Qadian, India. From an early age he had a keen interest in religion and developed a love for the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. He was also known for his honesty, friendliness and resolve. Over time his knowledge and understanding of religion and its application to society deepened. Being a Muslim it was his firm belief that all religions were true at their source but with the passage of time had drifted away from their original teachings; he upheld the dignity of religion and demonstrated its relevance to everyone.

Hazrat Ahmadas had established himself as a respected writer and had written over 80 books. His writings have been translated into more than 60 languages and continue to inspire readers to this day. One of his greatest scholarly works was The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, prepared as a paper and read out at the Conference of Great Religions in 1896.

His earnest defence of religion was ultimately blessed when he started to receive direct revelation from Allah – a blessing that he continued for the rest of his life.

He also wrote a fascinating treatise in 1899 entitled Jesus in India, a book that uncovered remarkable evidence of Jesus’sas journey to India. In 1902 the Promised Messiahas initiated The Review of Religions which has covered a vast array of topics on religion, philosophy and contemporary issues of the day. It is the longest running English magazine in defence of Islam and the values it teaches.

His mission was to revitalise the truth that all religions held within them and to revive the teachings of Islam. It was through this that he would bring mankind together and establish everlasting peace.

From 1889 until the time of his demise in 1908 tens of thousands of people accepted him. This blessing has continued and will continue through his Khulafa (successors).

In 1889, under Divine Guidance, Hazrat Ahmadas founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a community that has since grown in its stature and strength and has remained active in conveying the message of Islam to the ends of the earth.

Currently under the fifth successor, we are seeing that the tide of acceptance is worldwide and that the message of Prophet Ahmadas has really reached the ends of the earth.


WORLD FAITHS

The Last Judgement On that day you will be presented before God; and none of your secrets will remain hidden. Then, as for him who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Come, read my record. Surely I knew that I would meet my reckoning.”

ISLAM, THE HOLY QUR’AN, CH.69:V.19-21.

Narrated Abu Hurairara: The

Prophetsa said, “The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.”

The desire of increase in worldly possessions beguiles you till you reach the graves. Do not set your hearts upon the world. You will soon come to know the vanity of your pursuits; again, you will soon come to know how mistaken you are in pursuing the world. If you had possessed the certainty of knowledge you would surely see hell in this very life, but you will see it with the certainty of sight in your middle state (Barzakh), then you shall be

called to account on the Day of Judgement and the torment will be imposed on you and you will know hell through your experience. ISLAM, THE PROMISED MESSIAH AS, THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM, P. 145.

ISLAM, THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD SA, HADITH OF SAHIH BUKHARI.

the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before its elders he will manifest his glory. JUDAISM AND

CHRISTIANITY, ISAIAH, 24:18-23.

The kingdom of Heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

CHRISTIANITY, MATTHEW,

On that day the Lord will punish the hosts of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded, and

13:47-50.


CONTENTS

26

42

38


JULY 2013

8 A Message of Peace – Part 3 Final Part of the last written work of the Promised Messiahas

HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS, THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND IMAM MAHDI

20 Mercy of God

The philosophy of God’s Mercy. SAYYED HAMEEDULLAH NUSRAT PASHA, RABWAH, PAKISTAN

26 The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets – Chapter IX Chapter 9 continues in our exclusive serialisation of the epic biography – prior to its release as a book. HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIR AHMADRA

38 From the Archives: Fasting in Islam

The Muslim Holy month of Ramadan is about to begin – the essence of fasting according to Islam. HAZRAT MAUALWI SHER ALIRA

VOL.108 ISSUE SEVEN

F E AT U R E S

42 Angels Echoing the Kalimah In the City of Angels The visit of the Khalifah of the Promised Messiah to California.

50 Muhammadsa – A Messenger of Peace

Head of the Ahmadiyya Community explains what Islam really stands for at a special function in Beverly Hills. HAZRAT MIRZA MASROOR AHMADABA, HEAD OF THE WORLDWIDE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY, KHALIFATUL MASIH V

66 Guests Reflect on the Beverly Hills Function 72 Global Voices: Ahmadis’ Mission of Peace in an Age of Terror

A intriguing interview with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Khalifah of the Promised Messiah, during his visit to California. CAROL J. WILLIAMS


NEW AND EXCLUSIVE

The Review of Religions is serialising the brand new translation of Seerat Khatamun Nabiyyin, the Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets, Volume II, prior to its release in book form.

Turn to page 26.


MANAGEMEN T BOARD Chairman: Munir-Ud-Din Shams Secretary: Syed Amer Safir Board Members: Mubarak Ahmad Zaffar, Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Naseer Qamar, Abdul Baqi Arshad, Abid Waheed Ahmad Khan, Aziz Ahmad Bilal CH I EF EDI TOR & MANAGER Syed Amer Safir

Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@reviewofreligions.org Tahir House

22 Deer Park Road London

SW19 3TL UK

Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions

EDITORIAL BOARD Amtul Razzaq Carmichael, Bockarie Tommy Kallon, Fazal Ahmad, Hibba Turrauf, Jonathan Butterworth, Mansoor Saqi, Munazza Khan, Murtaza Ahmad, Nakasha Ahmad, Navida Syed, Sarah Waseem, Tariq H. Malik SVN (INTERNAL SERVER) Hibba Turrauf A S S O C I AT E E D I T O R S Nakasha Ahmad, Tariq H. Malik (Sub-Editor: Mariam Rahman) SUB-EDITORS Head: Hibba Turrauf Sub-Editors: Ayesha Malik, Nusrat Haq, Maryam Malik, Amina Abbasi HOUSE ST YLE GUIDE Head: Maleeha Ahmad Sub-Editors: Sadia Shah, Humaira Omer PROOFREADERS Head: Munawara Ghauri. Deputy: Farhana Dar. Proofreaders: Abdul Ghany Jahangeer Khan, Hina Rahman, Amina Abbasi S TA F F W R I T E R S & R E S E A R C H E R S Arif Khan, Tazeen Ahmad DISTRIBUTION/SUBSCRIPTION Head: Mohammad Hanif Team: Sami Ullah ART EDITOR Taalay Ahmad PRINT EDITION DESIGNER Ahsan Khan WEB DEVELOPER

www.alislam.org

Hibba Turrauf I N D E X I N G / TA G G I N G T E A M Head: S. Taalay Ahmad. Deputy: Amtus Shakoor Tayyaba Ahmed.

The official website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide. You can find a huge collection of free online material, including translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an and you can access literature of the Community including the books written by its founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.

Team: Humaira Omer, Humda Sohail, Mirza Krishan Ahmad, Ruhana Hamood, Mubahil Shakir, Adila Bari, Hassan Raza Ahmad TWITTER Hibba Turrauf, Mala Khan, Nudrat Ahmad


A Message of Peace PART III OF III

hazrat mirza ghulam ahmad as,

the promised messiah and imam mahdi

We present extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiahas and Imam Mahdi, whose advent had been eagerly awaited by the followers of the main religions of the world.


Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. In 1891, he claimed on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by Muhammadsa, the Holy Prophetsa of Islam, and by the scriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis of the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. We present below the final part of Paighame-Sulh (A Message of Peace), the last written work of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, completed a day before his demise on May 25, 1908. Here, I do not wish to censure any particular people nor do I intend to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, with a deep sense of mortification, I observe that Islam, being a religion of peace, never attacked the founder of any religion. The Qur’an is that revered book which laid the foundation of peace between nations and acknowledged the truth of all Prophets belonging to all the different nations. It is the Holy Qur’an which enjoys the unique distinction of teaching us with regards to the Prophets of the entire world that: “We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.”1

The Qur’an is that revered book which laid the foundation of peace between nations and acknowledged the truth of all Prophets belonging to all the different nations.

Therefore, O Muslims, you should declare: We believe in all the Prophets of God belonging to this world and we do not discriminate between them as to reject one and accept the others. Name one book like the Holy Qur’an which is so dedicated for the cause of peace. The universal beneficence of God has not been confined by the Qur’an to any specific House. It acknowledges the Prophets of the House of Israel, one and all, be they Jacobas, Isaacas, Mosesas, Davidas or Jesusas. And it acknowledges the Prophets of other nations regardless of whether they dwelt in India or Persia. None of them have been labeled as deceitful or imposters. On the contrary, it clearly proclaims that Prophets appeared in every nation and in every township and laid the foundation of peace between all the peoples. Alas, this JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

9


a message of peace

Messenger of peace is abused and treated with contempt by all peoples alike. O my dear countrymen, I have not expressed this view to offend you or to hurt your sensibilities in any way. But I do desire to submit, in all sincerity, that those who have made it their second nature to vilify the Prophets of other faiths and consider this unjustified behaviour to be a part of their faith commit an act of unwarranted interference in the affairs of others. They not only sin against God, but they are also guilty of sowing the seed of discord and enmity among mankind. Now answer me with hand on heart: if someone abuses another’s father or accuses another’s mother of unchaste conduct, will this not be tantamount to assailing the honour of his father himself ? If anyone retaliates with similar abuses, will it not be appropriate to say that in reality the blame lies with the person who initiated it? In that case he himself would be the offender of his parents’ honour. God, through the Holy Qur’an, has cultivated refined and respectful etiquettes. He admonishes:

10 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

[“And revile not whom they call upon beside Allah, lest they, out of spite, revile Allah in their ignorance.”2] In other words, do not even abuse the idols of the non-believers lest they abuse your God out of ignorance. Now consider that this is the Qur’anic teaching despite the fact that it treats idols as of no significance. Yet God teaches the Muslims to abstain from insulting even the idols and admonishes them instead to adopt a course of gentle persuasion lest the idolaters should be provoked, in turn, to abuse God. The Muslims would then be responsible for such abuses. What manner of people are they who revile the name of this great Prophetsa of Islam and speak of him with utter disrespect, brutally assailing his honour and tarnishing his spotless character. He is the highly revered Prophetsa whose name is held in such awe as when uttered the great Muslim kings vacate their thrones and bow their heads to his commands. They consider it an honour to be counted among the humblest of his servants. Is this respect not a bounty of God? Those who dare insult the recipient of such honour do, in fact, quarrel with God Himself. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa holds such a high station with God that to prove his truth He has


shown the world great miracles. Is this not the work of His Mighty hand, which has bowed the heads of 200 million people before Muhammad’ssa threshold? Granted that every Prophet had many a heavenly sign in his support, but the peerless signs shown in Muhammad’ssa support outnumber them all. They continue to appear even today as they were manifested in the past. Alas, you cannot understand an argument as plain as this: when the earth is filled with sin and becomes uncouth and when wickedness, debauchery, and impertinence weigh heavier on the scale of God than acts of righteousness, it is then that God’s mercy requires of Him to send one of His servants who would set the disorder right. Sickness and disease call for a healer. You of all people should be able to understand this better than others. You hold the view that the Vedas were not revealed at a time when the ocean of sin was in spate, but that they were revealed instead when the calm of sinlessness prevailed over land and sea. Do you then consider it inconceivable that a Prophet should appear when the flood of sin rages high and rapidly inundates every country of the world? I do hope that you are not so ignorant

Now consider that this is the Qur’anic teaching despite the fact that it treats idols as of no significance. Yet God teaches the Muslims to abstain from insulting even the idols… of the facts of history. When our Holy Prophetsa honoured the office of prophethood with his advent, the age had plunged into utter darkness and no aspect of human conduct was free from the blemish of sin and false beliefs. Pundit Dyanand writes in his book Satyarath Prakash, that even in the land of Aryavart (which takes pride in its monotheistic beliefs) idolatry had replaced the worship of God, and the Vedic faith had become extensively corrupted. Reverend Pfander, a European priest and a staunch defender of the Christian faith, also endorses these views in his book, Mizan-ul-Haq [The Balance of Truth]. He observes that at the time of the inception of Islam, the Christians had become the most corrupt among all the religious denominations. The lewd and wanton conduct of the Christians of the time was a source of shame and JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

11


a message of peace

What magic transformed them and made them bow on the threshold of a humble man who had once treaded the streets of Makkah without any kind of friendship, wealth, or power?

all become moral destitutes. There was not one among them whose relation with God was without blemish. Evil practices contaminated the entire earth. Why then cannot a man of sound mind understand this simple matter of common sense that it was the right time and the right age, with reference to which human reason can accept, that an exceptionally eminent Prophet must be raised?

dishonour for Christianity. The Holy Qur’an, justifying its revelation, speaks of the same in the following verse:

As to the question concerning the reformation which this Prophet brought about with his advent, none can answer like a Muslim with reference to the overwhelming evidence of the great reformation brought about by the Holy Prophet of Islamsa. It is beyond the scope of a Christian, Jew or Aryan to answer this question with such clarity and with the support of such irrefutable evidence.

[“Corruption has appeared on land and sea…”3] That is: corruption has appeared on the land and the sea. This verse implies that every nation, whether in a state of ignorance or whether it presumed itself to be wise, was not free from corruption. Thus it is established on the authority of all testimonies that the entire mankind, during the age of Prophet Muhammadsa, be they oriental or occidental, those belonging to the land of Aryas or those who were dwellers of the Arabian desert, so also those who inhabited islands, had 12 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

The first phase of the Holy Prophet’ssa reformation began with that of the Arabs. The Arabian Peninsula was in such a hapless state that it was hard to refer to its dwellers as humans. Name an evil which they did not exhibit; name a form of idolatry which they did not practise. To steal and rob was the order of the day, and committing pointless murder was like trampling an insignificant ant under their feet. They murdered innocent


children and usurped all that belonged to them. It was not rare for them to bury their daughters alive. They took pride in fornication and boasted of it in their songs. Drinking was so common among them that there was no house without cellars of wine. They led the whole world in gambling. Beasts would feel ashamed at being likened to them and snakes and wolves would be disgraced if called Arabs. When our Prophetsa stood up with a resolve to reform them and decided to cleanse their hearts with all his spiritual intent, within a matter of a short time they displayed such rapid changes as transformed them from beasts into humans and then from ordinary humans into a cultured people and from a cultured people they became Godly and became totally immersed in the love of God. For the sake of that love they suffered every torture as though their sense of pain had been paralysed. They were subjected to extreme suffering by different modes of torture and were ruthlessly flogged. They were made to lie on burning sand and imprisoned. They were deprived of food and water until they reached the verge of death; but at every trial they continued to march forward. There were so many among them whose

children were slain before their very eyes and there were many among them who were themselves crucified in front of their children. The singular devotion with which they laid down their lives is such that even to think of it agitates one to tears. If it is not the command of God and the power of spiritual attention of His Prophetsa, which worked magic on their hearts, what else could it have been which gravitated them so irresistibly towards Islam? What magic transformed them and made them bow on the threshold of a humble man who had once treaded the streets of Makkah without any kind of friendship, wealth, or power? There had to be a spiritual hand which lifted them from such lowly depths to such dazzling heights. Even more amazing is the fact that many among them were those who, in their earlier stages of rejection, were sworn enemies of the Holy Prophetsa and thirsty after his blood. I see no greater miracle than this, that one so helpless, poor and penniless as he, could wash their hearts of all the stains of enmity and hatred and draw them so powerfully towards himself. So much so that they cast away their royal garments willingly for the sake of God and accepted the humility of being clothed in sackcloth. JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

13


a message of peace

Some, in their ignorance, blame Islam for Jihad to spread its message and of gaining converts at the point of sword. They claim that these converts were forced to change their religion under the threat of the sword. Woe to them a thousand times! They have exceeded all limits in their injustice and in their efforts to conceal the truth. O pity! What is wrong with them, that they wilfully turn away from realities? Our Holy Prophetsa did not appear in the land of Arabia in the capacity of a monarch. It, therefore, cannot be suspected that he had royal majesty and power with him, such that the people gathered under his banner for fear of their lives. Now the question one faces is simply this: When he waged his lone spiritual battle for the pronouncement of God’s Unity and for the establishment of the truth of his ministry in a state of utter helplessness and poverty, then where was that sword which struck terror in their hearts, and coerced the meek into submission? And had they refused to believe or had they persisted in their rejection of him, from which king did he beg for a contingent army to be sent to his aid so that they may be forced to yield?

14 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

O seekers of truth! Rest assured that all these allegations are fabrications by those who are sworn enemies of Islam. Cast a glance at history. Muhammadsa was that same orphan whose father died shortly after his birth and whose mother passed away, leaving him behind as a child of only a few months. That child on whom God had extended His hand of support was nurtured in His care without any other patronage. During those hard times of orphanhood, he tended goats belonging to others. None was his mentor except God. And even up to the age of twenty-five, none of his uncles were willing to offer their daughter’s hand in marriage to him as it appeared that he would be unable to meet even the basic household expenses. Moreover, he was unlettered and was not trained in any skill or profession. As he approached the age of forty, lo, there he was with his heart powerfully drawn towards his Lord, Allah, the Gracious. There was a cave, a few miles from Makkah by the name of Hira. It was here that he would retire by himself and, concealed from the eyes of men, become lost in the remembrance of God. One day, in that very cave, while he was praying in seclusion, God revealed Himself to him, and he was told: The people have turned their backs on the path of Allah and the earth is befouled


with sin. So I (God Almighty) appoint you as My Messenger and send you to the world, so that you may warn the people that they should turn back to their Lord before His punishment befalls them. Being unlettered, he was frightened by this command and beseeched God: I know not how to read and write. Then God filled his bosom with all faculties of spiritual knowledge and enlightened his heart. With the blessing of his quwwate-qudsiyyah (power of purification), the humble and meek started entering the circle of obedience to him. But the powerful leaders mustered all their forces to oppose him tooth and nail. They went even to the length of plotting to kill him and many men and many women were put to agonising death. As a last measure they surrounded the house of the Holy Prophetsa with the intent to murder him. But who can touch him whom God protects. God revealed to him: leave this town forthwith and I will remain with you at every step. Accordingly he left Makkah and took Abu Bakrra along and remained in hiding for three nights in the cave of Thaur. The enemy gave chase, and with the aid of a tracker were led to the cave. That tracker traced their footsteps right up to

Now the question one faces is simply this: When he waged his lone spiritual battle for the pronouncement of God’s Unity and for the establishment of the truth of his ministry in a state of utter helplessness and poverty, then where was that sword which struck terror in their hearts, and coerced the meek into submission? the entrance of the cave, telling them: here the track ends, so search for him in this cave. If he is not to be found here then the sky must have swallowed him. Who can limit the boundless wonders of God’s creation? In a single night, God so manifested His will that a spider spun its web across the mouth of the cave from end to end and a pigeon built its nest at the entrance of the cave and even laid its eggs therein. When the tracker urged the Makkans to enter the cave, an old man thus retorted: this tracker must be mad. I have been seeing this web across the mouth of the cave since the time when Muhammadsa was not even born. At this, JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

15


a message of peace

people began to disperse and gave up the idea of searching the cave. After this, the Holy Prophetsa travelled to Madinah secretly. The majority of the inhabitants of Madinah accepted him, causing the people of Makkah to seethe in rage, lamenting: our prey has slipped out of our hands. They then became occupied in plots to murder the Holy Prophetsa. A small party from among the Makkans who had accepted Muhammad sa also left Makkah and migrated to different countries. Some took shelter under the Emperor of Abyssinia. Some, however, were left behind in Makkah as they lacked adequate provisions for such journeys; they were tormented to the extreme. The Holy Qur’an mentions how they wailed and moaned day and night to God. The cruelties of the infidels from among the Quraish exceeded all bounds. They started to murder the helpless, poor women and orphaned children. They went to the extent of killing some women with such ruthlessness as to have bound their legs each to different camels tightly and driving them in opposite directions. Thus they died as they split in two. W hen the transgression of these 16 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

merciless infidels reached this stage, God, who turns to His servants with mercy revealed to His Messenger: The supplications of the afflicted have reached Me. Thus this day, I permit them to stand up to their persecutors and remember that a people who raise their sword against the innocent will themselves perish by the sword. Yet, transgress not, because God does not befriend those who transgress. This is the spirit and essence of Islamic Jihad which has been maliciously portrayed in the wrong light. God is forbearing, indeed, but when the mischief of a people crosses all limits, then He does not let the transgressors go unpunished. Then He Himself creates conditions which result in their destruction. I know not how and from where our opponents heard that Islam was spread by the might of the sword. God in the Holy Qur’an pronounced that there is no compulsion in Islam:

[“There should be no compulsion in religion.”4] That is: The religion of Islam does not permit any compulsion in matters of faith. Who commanded the application


of force and what were the means of coercion available to them? And again, such people as are coerced into changing their faith do not display such dedication and such quality of belief that without any financial returns and despite being a mere few hundred they dare to confront the army of thousands. When the same reached the number of one thousand, they somehow acquired the strength to defeat enemies running into hundreds of thousands. They readily offered their lives in defence of their faith, to be slaughtered like sheep and goats. They stamped the testimony to the truth of Islam with their own blood. Moreover, they became so enamoured with the task of spreading the Unity of God that, willingly accepting all kinds of hardships like ascetics, they crossed the deserts of Africa to disseminate the message of Islam so that their blessed teachings should bear the fruit of truth. Thus they succeeded in converting tens of millions of Chinese people to Islam. Then they entered India in the style of dervishes wearing sackcloth and succeeded in converting many from the Arya faith to Islam. They even reached the frontiers of Europe and raised loud and clear the message:

[“There is none worthy of worship except Allah.�] [Muslim creed] Can you claim in honesty that such as these are really the fruits of the sword of Islam, whose hearts remain infidel while the tongues alone profess the faith. Nay! It is the work of those whose hearts were filled with the light of faith. Nothing but God dwelled in their hearts. Now we turn our attention to the study of Islamic teachings and its true nature. It should be clearly borne in mind that the predominant purpose of Islamic teachings is to establish the Unity and Majesty of God on earth, to completely eradicate idolatry and to gather all scattered religious denominations around a single article of faith and turn them into one people. The religions which appeared before Islam and the Prophets and Messengers who came were confined to the reformation of their own respective nation and country; whatever they did for their moral uplift was all aimed for the benefit of their own people. This is why Jesusas unambiguously admitted that his teachings were for the House of Israel alone. It is reported that when a woman who did not belong to the Israelites beseeched JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

17


a message of peace

him with humility for him to show her “the way,” he rejected her plea. The poor woman even went to the extent of likening herself to a dog to evoke pity, and implored guidance. He again rejected her plea on the ground that he was sent only for the sheep of the House of Israel. Finally, she was silenced. But our Prophetsa nowhere pronounced that he had been sent only for the Arabs. On the contrary, the Holy Qur’an commands him to say: [“Say ‘O Mankind! Truly I am a messenger to you all from Allah…”5] That is, tell the people that I am a Messenger to you all from Allah. It should be remembered that it was no fault of Jesusas that he gave such a curt answer to the woman. The time had not yet come for a universal teaching. This was the teaching vouchsafed to Jesusas by God: You are specifically sent for the House of Israel. You have no concern with others. As I mentioned above, the moral teachings of Jesusas were confined to the Jewish people. The Torah taught “a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye, and an ear for the ear.”6 The purport of the teaching was to 18 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

provide a commandment to the Jews to establish justice and prevent them from committing transgressions and excesses. This was necessary because having spent four hundred years in slavery, cruelty and meanness had become their second nature. Hence the profound Wisdom of God so planned that to counter the overemphasis of cruelty and revenge in their natures, the teachings of forgiveness and love was highly stressed to the same degree. Hence the moral teaching found in the Gospels is specifically for the Jewish people and not for the whole world as Jesusas had no concern with other people. The teaching which Jesusas brought did not only have the drawback of not being addressed to all mankind, but it also had another shortcoming. As the Torah overemphasises revenge to one extreme, the Gospels turn to the other extreme as regards the teaching of forgiveness. Both these scriptures fail to bring into focus all the possible branches of human nature. As for the Torah, it remains concerned with only one branch, while the Gospels hold fast to the other exclusively. Both teachings lack balance. As it is evident that to punish on every occasion is not appropriate nor is it in accordance with the dictates of justice, likewise to forgive


and to overlook faults indiscriminately is contrary to the spirit of human reform. In view of this the Holy Qur’an does not entirely agree with either, but instead proposes the following:

6. See (Exodus, 21:24), (Leviticus, 24:20), and (Deuteronomy, 19:21). [Publisher]

7. Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Shura, Verse 41.

[“The recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof, but whoso forgives and his act brings about reformation, his reward is with Allah.”7] So an injury can only be avenged to the extent of the injury received, as is taught by the Torah. But whoever prefers to forgive, as is taught by the Gospels, then such forgiveness is only permitted when the person forgiven is likely to respond with reform and the final outcome is positive and healthy and the whole episode ends up well. Otherwise, the routine teaching remains the same as that of the Torah. endnotes

1. Holy Qur’an, Sura Aal-e-‘Imran, Verse 85.

Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@reviewofreligions.org

Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions

2. Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-An’am, Verse 109. 3. Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Rum, Verse 42.

4. Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Baqarah, Verse 257. 5. Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-A’raf, Verse 157.

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

19


Mercy of God sayed hameedullah nusrat pasha

The Divine authorship of the Qur’an is a matter rationally beyond doubt, and quite verifiably so. The simple fact that there is an unignorably substantial amount of knowledge of the unseen in the text of the Qur’an proves that the words of this Book poured forth, not from the mind of the unlettered mortal who claimed to be the recipient of this revealed text, but from an Omniscient God - the “Knower of the Unseen,” to whom this text is rightfully attributed. The Author of the Qur’an could not even plausibly have been human, for the simple reason that knowing the unseen and perceiving the unperceivable is by no means a human attribute. This happens to be, both by definition and as a comprehensibly rational concept, something entirely “Divine.” Matters of the unseen belonging to diverse timeframes, along with those relating to different places, can be found throughout the Qur’an. Hence, it would be safe, not to mention rational, to infer that the Author of the Qur’an is a Being whose perception and knowledge both transcend the bounds of time and 20 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

– rabwah, pakistan

space. The sheer quantum of knowledge of the unseen present in the Qur’an is sufficient to verify the absolute existence as well as the absolute awareness of its Author. It securely stands as an irrefutable testimony to the Qur’an’s claim of veracity. The Holy Qur’an proclaims that the name of its Author is “Allah.” Allah, according to the Qur’an, is most intriguingly, both the Ghayb or the “Unseen” and the Aalim ul Ghayb or the Knower of the unseen.”  He is the Ghayb because His Being is not perceivable to man’s physical senses. He is Aalimul Ghayb because He alone truly knows Himself. In other words, He is the Hidden Treasure and He alone knows how He can be found. Thus, according the Qur’an, since only Allah knows Himself, therefore in order to know Him, one must turn to what His Revealed Word, the Qur’an, informs us about Him.  Allah begins the text of His Revealed Word - the Qur’an - with an introduction of Himself - the Author. The very first verse of the Holy Qur’an reads, “In


the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.”1 This is the first, foremost and fundamental introduction of who and what, the One True God is. He informs us of who He is by His Personal Name – Allah. He then proceeds to inform us succinctly of what He is, by introducing us to two attributive names of His— Rahman  and  Raheem. Rahman and Raheem are therefore the primary two attributive names of God mentioned in the Qur’an. Interestingly, both these names, Rahman and Raheem, are derived from the Arabic expression  Rahma, which means “Mercy.” The first of these two attributive names of God, Rahman, can be translated as “Gracious.” Raheem can be translated as “Merciful.” Both these attributive names are simply two aspects of the Mercy of God. One aspect of God’s Mercy, which reveals itself as an innate urge on the part of God, regardless of whether Divine Mercy has been earned or not, is the aspect of Rahman. The other aspect of God’s Mercy, expressed by the name Raheem, manifests itself in response to all human conduct that attracts and invites God’s Mercy. Of course, God’s response, as Raheem, is as a rule, disproportionately greater in measure than man’s conduct. Hence, according to the Qur’an, whether man receives Divine Mercy as sheer Grace or

The sheer quantum of knowledge of the unseen present in the Qur’an is sufficient to verify the absolute existence as well as the absolute awareness of its Author. earns it as an Award, he remains in all circumstances, a recipient of the Mercy of God. It is more than evident that no one - none whosoever - can conceivably place God under any obligation or binding of any kind - none but He Himself. The Qur’an reveals to us this enchanting and ultimately hope-inspiring secret, that God has Himself, by His own choice and will, made it binding upon Himself, to eternally show Mercy to all. Hence, we read in the Qur’an, “He has Himself, made Mercy, obligatory upon Himself.”2 Mercy is, therefore, not only an innate attribute of God, it is also an eternal commitment that God has taken upon Himself. According to the Qur’an, God’s Mercy envelops His entire creation. Nothing, according to the Qur’an, lies outside the JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

21


mercy of god

bounds of His Mercy. A conscious and wilful effort would be required to even momentarily escape the gravitational pull of the all-encompassing Mercy of God, and that too, would eventually be frustrated by His Absolute Mercy. Let us consider, for instance, the case of the rebelliously disobedient sinner. Even if his persistent sins deprive him of God’s pleasure and earn him punishment, the torment itself will serve only to cleanse the sinner’s soul and prepare him for a final and eternal bliss. The cleansing process would serve as a vehicle to Paradise. Hence, even God’s punishment, as it appears from our point of view, is in reality, an expression of His eternal Mercy. Whether God forgives man’s faults out of compassion, or punishes him in order to reform and purify him, His Mercy is in command. We read, “He forgives whomsoever He pleases and punishes whomsoever He pleases, and Allah is Most-Forgiving, Merciful.”3 Jahannam, the Qur’anic term for “Hell,” is therefore a place where a polluted soul is cleansed of all the impurities and maladies that afflict it. Jahannam, too, is therefore a materialisation of the Mercy of God. In other words, Jahannam or Hell, is the state in which the human soul is burnished to the point that all its rust is removed. This is true, not only regarding 22 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

the Hereafter, but also in relation to this life. The tribulations of this life too, are as a matter of fact, known to arouse the dormant human spirit from its slumber. At the level of nations and communities, adversities are, on the same note, known to draw people out of their collective state of inertia. Suffering, pain, and calamity, although veritably undesirable from man’s point of view, are merely curative measures from God’s point of view, and thus expressions of Mercy. Sometimes, suffering manifests itself as a trial whose reward is infinitely greater than the measure of its pain. God’s Mercy encompasses not only His creation, but also His own attributes. This means that His mercy encompasses His wrath too. His wrath is subservient to His Mercy and a manifestation of His Mercy. God says in the Qur’an, “My Mercy encompasses all things.”4 Whereas the true believer, according to the Qur’an, beholds the Mercy of God perpetually at play, the disbeliever tends to miss it even when it presents itself right before his eyes. The believer never loses hope in God’s Mercy and his receiving it, while the disbeliever becomes despaired of it. We read in the Qur’an, “Those who disbelieve in the Signs of Allah, and in meeting with Him, it is they who are


despondent of My Mercy.”5 This Divinely revealed principle will tend to work both ways: those who are despondent of God’s Mercy will find themselves deprived of faith, and those who lack faith will eventually become despondent of God’s Mercy. God’s Mercy, according to the Qur’an, is unconditional. He seeks nothing in return. God is reliant on none. He expects and seeks nothing in return from His creation. We humans have indeed been created to worship Him, but not because He needs our worship, but merely because true worship is the path that leads us to our purification. In terms of being absolutely Independent, God is aloof. In terms of being the Merciful, God is concerned. Hence, His “aloofness” is not in the sense of being indifferent and cold, but in the sense of not being reliant on anyone but Himself, and being the Transcendent God. On the other hand, His indulging in the welfare of His creatures is not because He needs them, but because they need Him. We read in the Qur’an, “And thy Lord is Self-sufficient - the Possessor of Mercy.”6 All Messengers of God were, in their own times, and to the extent of their assigned missions, embodiments of

the Mercy of God. Mosesas was God’s Mercy embodied, for the people of Israel. Zoroasteras was God’s Mercy embodied for the people of Iran. Krishnaas was God’s Mercy embodied for the people of India. Finally, when in God’s absolute Wisdom, humanity was ready to receive the final and universal revealed message, God, according to the Qur’an, chose Muhammadsa as an embodiment of His Mercy - His Mercy unto the entire human race. Addressing the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, God says in the Qur’an, “And We have not sent thee but as Mercy Embodied for all the worlds.”7 The expression “world,” the Arabic for which is Aalam, refers to each unit of human collective existence. Its plural, Aalameen, meaning “worlds,” would thus refer to all units of human collectivity, be they nations or communities or races. According to the Qur’an, the Holy Prophet Muhammad sa is designated as  Rahmatul lil Aalameen,  meaning “Mercy for all mankind.” But then God further expounds this by informing us that the mercy displayed by God’s chosen ones, is in reality a manifestation of God’s own Mercy. Addressing His beloved Messenger, Muhammadsa, God says in the Qur’an, “And it is by the JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

23


The Qur’an mentions that Prophets were sent to all peoples and nations as a Mercy from God.

Mercy of Allah, that thou art compassionate towards them.”8 Thus, the most merciful of all humans and the most compassionate of all men – Muhammadsa - was what he was because he was able to mirror the Mercy of God. By the same rule, the love and compassion shown by parents, too, is in reality, a reflection of Divine Mercy. All revealed scriptures and books of God, are signs of the Mercy of God 24 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

towards mankind. His Mercy demands that He guide us, whether we deserve His Guidance or not. Referring to the Holy Qur’an, God says, “And verily, it is a Guidance and a Mercy for the believers.”9 We also read, “And surely, We have brought them a Book, which We have expounded with Knowledge, Guidance and Mercy.”10 This principle does not apply exclusively to the Qur’an, but in fact, to all revealed books of God. Hence, regarding the Torah, the Word of God revealed to Mosesas, God says, “[...] preceded by the Book of Moses - a Guide and a Mercy.”11


The Holy Countenance of Allah - the Gracious, the Merciful - is in simple words, the bewitching countenance of Mercy. To attain His nearness, therefore, one must diligently tread the path of mercy. To become worthy of God’s special love and mercy, one must learn to show and share love and mercy with the creatures of God. To become true disciples of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, whom God crowned as the “mercy for mankind,” one must committedly follow the ways of mercy. To benefit from the light of the Qur’an, which God has declared the Book of Mercy, one must imbibe and emit the quality of mercy. It was unto the unending path of mercy that the Holy Prophet Muhammad sa invited us, when he said, “Show mercy to those in the Earth and He who is in Heaven will show mercy unto you.”12

134.

7. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Anbiya’, Verse 108.

8. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Aal-e-‘Imran, Verse 160.

9. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Naml, Verse 78.

10. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-A’raf, Verse 53. 11. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Hud, Verse 12. Hadith of Tirmizi.

endnotes 1. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-Fatiha, Verse 1.

2. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-An’am, Verse 13. 3. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Aal-e-‘Imran, Verse 130.

4. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-A’raf, Verse 157. 5. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-‘Ankabut, Verse 24.

6. The Holy Qur’an, Sura Al-An’am, Verse JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

25


NEW AND EXCLUSIVE

volume 11 Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra chapter ix part ii

Masjid Quba, the first Mosque built in Islam


First ever serialisation of the newly translated Volume II of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad’sra outstanding biography, Seerat Khatamun Nabiyyin, on the life and character of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.

Translated from the Urdu

by Ayyaz Mahmood Khan

Hazrat Ummul-Mu’minin Zainab bint At times, the Holy Khuzaimahra sa The Holy Prophetsa had a paternal cousin Prophet would refer to whose name was ‘Abdullah bin Jahashra, them as his two flowers. and he was martyred in the battle of Uhud, leaving behind his wife Zainab bint Khuzaimahra without support. The Birth of Husainra - Sha‘ban 4 A.H. Holy Prophetsa who was an unparalleled The very same year, in the month of model of kind treatment towards near Sha‘ban, Hazrat Fatimahra was blessed relatives sent a proposal of marriage with a second child, who was named to Zainab bint Khuzaimah ra himself, Husain by the Holy Prophetsa. Husainra and upon her consent, took her into a was just as dear to the Holy Prophetsa as bond of matrimony. At the time, Hazrat was his brother Hasanra. At times, the Zainabra was thirty years of age, more or Holy Prophetsa would refer to them as less. However, only a few months after his two flowers.2 This is the same Imam her marriage, she passed away in Rabi‘ul- Husain (may Allah be pleased with Awwal 4 A.H., and the Holy Prophetsa him) who met his Beloved Creator after buried her in Jannatul-Baqi‘. Zainab bin being cruelly martyred on the 10th of Khuzaimahra was a very righteous and Muharram in 61 A.H., in the era of Yazid pious lady, and due to her charity, alms, bin Mu‘awiyyah bin Abi Sufyan.3 To this and attention towards the less fortunate, day, in remembrance of his martyrdom, she was generally known by the name of Shi‘ah people mourn and practice the “Ummul-Masakin.”1 custom of Ta‘ziyyah.4 JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

27


the life & character

of the seal of prophets

The Quraish returned to Makkah and began to prepare for an attack upon Madinah. This Ghazwah is known as the Ghazwah of Badrul-Mau‘id.

gather a larger force. As such, he was still in Makkah, when he dispatched a man by the name of Na‘im, who belonged to a neutral tribe, towards Madinah and emphatically instructed him that in any way possible, he should intimidate and threaten the Muslims, and craft fabricated stories to hold them back from setting out for war. Hence, this individual came to Madinah and crafting false stories of the preparation, strength, zeal and fury of the Quraish, created a state of unrest in Madinah. This was carried out to such an extent that various people of weaker dispositions began to harbour fear in taking part in the Ghazwah. However, the Holy Prophetsa encouraged the Muslims to go forth and in his address he stated:

Ghazwah of Badrul-Mau‘id - Dhu Qa‘dah In the events of the battle of Uhud, it has already been mentioned that whilst returning from the battlefield, Abu Sufyan challenged the Muslims to both parties meeting again the following year at Badr, and the Holy Prophetsa announced his acceptance of this challenge. Hence, the following year, in 4 A.H. at the end of the month of Shawwal, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Madinah “We have already accepted the challenge with a force of 1,500 Companions and of the Quraish and we have promised appointed ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdullah bin to set out on this occasion, therefore, we Ubaiyy as the Amir in his absence.5 cannot turn back. Even if I am required to go alone, I shall go and stand firm in On the other hand, Abu Sufyan bin Harb the face of the enemy.” also set out from Makkah with an army of the Quraish, consisting of 2,000 men. As a result, the fear of the people was disHowever, despite the victory at Uhud, pelled and they became prepared to set and a force this large, his heart was fear- out in the company of the Holy Prophetsa ful and even though he was bent upon with great zeal and sincerity.6 the destruction of Islam, he wished not to confront the Muslims until he could 28 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


In any case, the Holy Prophetsa set out the Holy Prophetsa departed from Badr from Madinah with 1,500 Companions and returned to Madinah. The Quraish and on the opposing end Abu Sufyan set returned to Makkah and began to preout from Makkah with his 2,000 war- pare for an attack upon Madinah.8 This riors. However, the power of God was Ghazwah is known as the Ghazwah of such that the Muslims reached Badr Badrul-Mau‘id. according to their promise, but the army of the Quraish came out to some dis- Marriage to Ummi Salamahra - Shawwal tance and then retreated to Makkah. The 4 A.H. account is that when Abu Sufyan learnt The very same year, in the month of of the failure of Na‘im, he became fear- Shawwal, the Holy Prophetsa married ful in his heart and after having travelled Ummi Salamah ra9. Ummi Salamah ra some distance, he retreated with his army belonged to a noble family of the admonishing them: Quraish and prior to this was married to Abu Salamah bin ‘Abdul-Asadra, who was “This year the famine is very severe, and a very faithful and pioneer Companion people are facing financial difficulty. and had passed away the same year. Therefore it is not wise to fight at this When the ‘Iddat (i.e., a fixed time period, time. We shall attack Madinah with appointed by the Islamic Shari‘at, which greater preparation when a time of afflu- must elapse before a widow or divorced ence is at hand.”7 woman can marry again) had passed, since Ummi Salamahra was a very wise, The Muslim army stayed at Badr for well-mannered and able lady, Hazrat eight days, and since a carnival would Abu Bakrra desired to marry her,10 but take place there every year in the begin- she did not accept. Finally, the Holy ning of Dhu Qa‘dah, during the carnival Prophetsa thought to marry her, because many Companions engaged in trade and in addition to her personal qualities, due were able to generate significant prof- to which she was worthy of becoming its. As a matter of fact, in this eight the wife of a law-giving Prophet, she was day business venture, they were able to the widow of a very eminent and pioneer multiply their initial capital two-fold. companion. Then she also had children, When the carnival came to an end, and due to which it was necessary to make the army of the Quraish did not arrive, special arrangements for her. In addition JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

29


the life & character

of the seal of prophets

The scope of the correspondence of the Holy Prophetsa was now expanding and it was felt that a faithful Companion of the Holy Prophetsa should gain knowledge of Hebrew as well.

migrating to Madinah, she was the very first among the ladies.13 Hazrat Ummi Salamahra knew how to read as well,14 and played a significant role in educating and training the Muslim women. Many narrations and Ahadith are related by her in the books of Hadith, and in this respect she stands second among the wives of the Holy Prophetsa, and twelfth among all the Companions in total (including both men and women). Hazrat Ummi Salamahra was blessed with a very long life and passed away in the era of Yazid bin Mu‘awiyyah at the age of eighty-four.15 She was the last among the UmmahatulMu’minin16 to pass away.17 At the time of her marriage, since Hazrat Ummi Salamahra was eldest among the wives of the Holy Prophetsa, to the extent that she could not even bear children, when performing his daily round after ‘Asr to inquire of the well-being of his wives, the Holy Prophetsa would visit Hazrat Ummi Salamahra first; and Hazrat ‘A’ishahra last, who was the youngest of all. Then, he would proceed to the home of the wife whose turn it would be for that respective day.18

to all this, Abu Salamah bin ‘Abdullahra was also the foster-brother of the Holy Prophetsa,11 and for this reason, the Holy Prophetsa was especially concerned for his bereaved family. In any case, the Holy Prophetsa sent a proposal of marriage to Ummi Salamahra. At first, she was somewhat reluctant on account of various difficulties and excused herself, saying, “I have grown old and am no longer able to bear children.”12 However, since the purpose of the Holy Prophetsa was different, she ultimately accepted. Her son acted as the guardian of his mother and married her to the Holy Prophetsa. As it has already been mentioned, Ummi Salamahra was a lady of distinct stature and in addition to being extremely intelligent and sharp, she possessed a lofty rank in sincerity and faith. She was Personal Scribe of the Holy Prophetsa among those people who had migrated and Learning Hebrew to Abyssinia on the instruction of the The scope of the correspondence of the Holy Prophetsa in the early days. Even in Holy Prophetsa was now expanding and it 30 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


was felt that a faithful Companion of the only arrange it under divine inspiraHoly Prophetsa should gain knowledge tion and memorise it himself, but would of Hebrew as well. In this manner, cor- instruct many other Companions to respondence and the drafting of treaties, commit it to memory as well. Moreover, etc., with the Jews could be facilitated the Holy Prophet sa had assigned the and the risk of deceit could also be duty to such Companions as were more removed. For this purpose, the Holy skilled in this respect, to teach others as Prophetsa instructed a young Companion well.22 As a further act of precaution, he by the name of Zaid bin Thabit Ansarira, would also have it committed to writing who had learned to read and write Arabic along the way. As such, it is ascertained from the captives of the battle of Badr, from the Ahadith that the very same and who was the personal scribe or pri- Zaid bin Thabitra, who later compiled vate secretary of the Holy Prophetsa, to the Holy Qur’an in the form of a single learn how to read and write Hebrew as volume, and who was a man of extraorwell. Hence, Zaidra, who was remarkably dinary intelligence, was commissioned intelligent, managed to learn Hebrew in to record Qur’anic revelation in the an effort of merely fifteen days.19 It is also era of the Holy Prophetsa.23 In addition worthy to note that this is the very same to him, other Companions would also Zaid bin Thabitra, who collected and cop- render this service. For example, there ied the Holy Qur’an in the form of a was Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat ‘Umarra, manuscript or book, in the era of Hazrat Hazrat ‘Uthmanra, Hazrat ‘Alira, Zubair Abu Bakrra, upon his instruction.20 bin Al-Awwamra, Sharjil bin Hasanahra, ‘Abdullah bin Sa‘d bin Abi Sarah, Ubaiyy Compilation of the Qur’an bin Ka‘b ra, ‘Abdullah bin Rawahahra, We have already written above that Zaid and others.24 Therefore, the actual task bin Thabit Ansarira collected and cop- of compilation and arrangement had ied the Holy Qur’an in the Khilafat of already taken place in the very life of the Hazrat Abu Bakrra in the form of a man- Holy Prophetsa under his own guidance. uscript. This does not mean that prior This is not merely conjecture; rather, it to this the Holy Qur’an had not already is explicitly mentioned in the Ahadith. been collected. Rather, the truth is that as A narration is related by ‘Abdullah bin the Holy Qur’an was gradually revealed ‘Abbasra, that Hazrat ‘Uthman bin ‘Affanra, to the Holy Prophetsa,21 he would not the third Khalifah, would state: JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

31


the life & character

of the seal of prophets

committed to writing, and compiled and collected as it was revealed. Further evidence of this is that the Holy Prophetsa and his Companions would regularly recite portions of the Holy Qur’an in their Salat, and at times they would recite very lengthy portions. It is ascertained from a narration that on one occasion, in a single Tahajjud Salat, i.e., the voluntary pre-dawn prayer, the Holy Prophetsa recited the first five Surahs of the Holy Qur’an, which collectively equal a fifth “It was a practice of the Holy Prophetsa portion of the Holy Qur’an, together that when a revelation would be received and in proper sequence.27 It was these by the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Prophetsa very lengthy periods of time for which would summon one of his scribes and the Holy Prophet sa would stand and instruct him to record it and would also his feet would often become swollen.28 instruct that it should be placed in the Then, certain narrations state that the following Surah at the following place. Holy Prophetsa would complete a round In this manner, the Holy Prophetsa would of the Holy Qur’an every year in the arrange the various Surahs himself.”25 month of Ramadan with Gabrielra, and in his last year two full rounds.29 All of This was a practice of the Holy Prophetsa these facts categorically establish that the from the very start of his claim to actual task of the arrangement and comprophethood. As such, we have written pilation of the Holy Qur’an had already in Volume I of this book that in the early taken place in the very life of the Holy days of Makkah, when Hazrat ‘Umarra Prophetsa. Therefore, all that is inferred by became a Muslim he was brought towards the collection of Zaid bin Thabitra is that Islam by a recitation of the Holy Qur’an, under the instruction and supervision of which was being read aloud by Khabbab Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the first Caliph, he bin Al-Arat to the sister and brother- compiled and wrote the Holy Qur’an in in-law of Hazrat ‘Umarra from a written the form of a manuscript, as a single volscript.26 Therefore, the Holy Qur’an was ume or book, so that an authentic copy of

Even in the current age, when the inclination towards religion has greatly declined, in the Islamic world, the number of Huffaz definitely runs into the hundreds of thousands.

32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


the Holy Qur’an compiled by the Holy endnotes Prophetsa could be safeguarded in one place. It is ascertained from narrations that afterwards, Hazrat ‘Uthmanra, the 1. *Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alalthird Caliph, used this very same manu- Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah script to produce authenticated copies Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, pp. 416and sent them to the various regions of 417, Zainab Ummul-Masakina Wal-Mu’minin, the Islamic world at the time. Then, fur- Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First ther publication continued on the basis Edition (1996) of these authentic copies.30 Moreover, in *Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, By Ahmad every era, thousands, rather, hundreds bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 8, p. 157, and thousands of Huffaz have always Zainab bint Khuzaimah, Darul-Kutubilpreserved the Holy Qur’an in their ‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon (2005) hearts and provided an additional appar- 2. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ili Ashabinent means for its preservation. In order Nabisa, Babu Manaqibil-Hasan Wal-Husain, to determine how eagerly Muslims have Hadith No. 3753 always memorised the Holy Qur’an, the 3. Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, by Ahmad sole narration is sufficient, that on one bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 2, p. 72, occasion, for some reason, when Hazrat Husain bin ‘Ali, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, ‘Umarra felt a need to survey the number Beirut, Lebanon (2005) of Huffaz, it was ascertained that at the 4. The non-Islamic custom of wailing and beattime, there were more than 300 Huffaz ing oneself as an extreme expresson of grief. present in only a single contingent of the (Publishers) Muslim army.31 Even in the current age, 5. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad when the inclination towards religion has ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 618, Ghazwatu greatly declined, in the Islamic world, the Badril-Akhirah, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, number of Huffaz definitely runs into Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001) the hundreds of thousands. 6. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 279, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa BadrilMau‘id, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut,

Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

7. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu Muhammad

‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 618, Ghazwatu JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

33


the life & character

of the seal of prophets

Badril-Akhirah, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d,

Volume 2, p. 279, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa BadrilMau‘id, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut,

Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

*At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 8, p. 290, Dhikru Azwaji Rasulillahsa/ Ummu Salamah bint Abi Umaiyyah, Daru

Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First

Edition (1996)

8. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad bin Sa‘d,

13. *Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-

Mau‘id, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut,

Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, pp. 396-

Volume 2, p. 279, Ghazwatu Rasulillahisa BadrilLebanon, First Edition (1996)

9. *Tarikhur-Rusuli Wal-Muluk (Tarikhut-

Tabari), by Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin

Jarir At-Tabari, Volume 3, p. 94, Thumma

Dakhalatis-Sanatur-Rabi‘atu Minal-Hijrah/

Dhikrul-Khabari ‘An Ghazwatis-Sawiq, Darul-

Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition (2002)

*Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-MawahibilLadunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin

Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, p. 402, Ummu Salamah Ummul-Mu’minin, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah,

Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah

397/400, Ummu Salamah Ummul Mu’minin,

Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First

Edition (1996)

*Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, by Ahmad

bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 8, p. 404,

Ummu Salamah bint Abi Umaiyyah, Darul-

Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon (2005)

14. Kitabu Futuhul-Buldan, by Ahmad bin

Yahya bin Jabir Al-Baghdadi As-Shahiru Bil-

Baladhuri, p. 280, Amrul-Khatti, Al-Mausu‘atu Bi-Shari‘i Babil-Khalq, Egypt, First Edition

(1901)

10. Sunan An-Nasa’i, Kitabun-Nikah, Babu

15. *At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, by Muhammad

11. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu-Nikah, Babu Wa

Rasulillahsa/Ummu Salamah bint Abi Umaiyyah,

Inkahil-Ibni Ummahu, Hadith No. 3254

An Tajma‘u Bainal-Ukhtayain, Hadith No. 5107 12. *Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, by Ahmad

bin Sa‘d, Volume 8, p. 292, Dhikru Azwaji

Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon,

First Edition (1996)

bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 8, p. 405,

*Tahzibut-Tahzib, by Al-Imam Shihabuddin

Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon (2005)

Volume 6, p. 618, Harful-Ha’i / Min Ismiha

Ladunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin

‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition (1993)

Ummul Mu’minin, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah,

17. *Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani

Ummu Salamah bint Abi Umaiyyah, Darul-

*Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-MawahibilAl-Qastalani, Volume 4, p. 399, Ummu Salamah

34 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

Abul-Fadl Ahmad bin Hajar Al-‘Asqalani,

Hind Wa Hunaidah, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-

16. Mother of the Believers (Publishers)


‘Alal-Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah

are divided by the total number of days which

Ummu Salamah Ummul Mu’minin, Darul-

which according to the lunar system, equate

Edition (1996)

i.e., less than one verse per day. This is the very

bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 8, p. 407,

Al-Furqan, Verse 33), meaning, “We did not

Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon (2005)

it slowly and gradually in parts.

Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, p. 402,

Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First

*Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, by Ahmad

Ummu Salamah bint Abi Umaiyyah, Darul-

18. *Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘AlalMawahibil-Ladunniyyah, by Allamah

Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, p. 402,

span the prophetic era of the Holy Prophetsa,

to approximately 7,970 days, this equals 0.78, explanation of [rattalnaahu tarteela] (Surah

send down the Qur’an at once,” rather, revealed

22. *Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an,

Babu Kana Jibrilu Ya‘ridul-Qur’ana ‘Alan-Nabisa, Hadith No. 4997, 4998

Ummu Salamah Ummul Mu’minin, Darul-

*Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an,

Edition (1996)

4999, 5003, 5004

bin ‘Ali bin Hajar ‘Asqalani, Volume 2, p. 491,

Babu Katibin-Nabisa, Hadith No. 4989-4990

Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First

19. *Al-Isabah Fi Tamizis-Sahabah, by Ahmad Zaid bin Thabit, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon (2005)

*Tarikhul-Khamis Fi Ahwali Anfasi Nafis, by Husain bin Muhammad bin Hasan, Volume

1, p. 465, Ta‘allumu Zaid bin Thabit Kitabal-

Babul-Qurra’i Min Ashabin-Nabisa, Hadith No.

23. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an,

24. *Fathul-Bari Sharhu Sahihil-Bukhari, by

Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hajar Al-‘Asqalani,

Volume 9, p. 27, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu

Katibin-Nabisa, Hadith No. 4990, Qadimi Kutb

Khanah, Aram Bagh, Karachi

Yahud, Mu’assasatu Sha‘ban, Beirut

*Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-Mawahibil-

Babu Jam‘il-Qur’an, Hadith No. 4986

Al-Qastalani, Volume 4, p. 559, Fi Imra’ihi

Qur’an was gradually revealed over a span of

‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

years to be precise. Although there would be

417, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu Ikhtilafil-

portion would be revealed at once; however,

Hadith No. 2222, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah,

20. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, 21. It should be remembered that the Holy

twenty-three years, or twenty-two and a half pauses in between and on certain days a larger

in mathematical terms, if the total number of

verses of the Holy Qur’an, which equal 6,234

Ladunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin

Wa Rasulihi Wa Kuttabihi, Darul-Kutubil-

25. *Mishkatul-Masabih, Volume 2, Part 2, p.

Qira’ati Wa Jam‘il-Qur’an, Al-Fasluth-Thalith,

Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2003)

*Fathul-Bari Sharhu Sahihil-Bukhari, by JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

35


the life & character

of the seal of prophets

Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hajar Al-‘Asqalani,

Wal-Af‘al, by Imam ‘Ala’uddin ‘Ali Al-Muttaqi

Katibin-Nabisa, Hadith No. 4990, Qadimi Kutb

Kitabul-Adhkar, Babun Fil-Qur’ani Faslun Fi

Volume 9, p. 27, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu

bin Husamid-Din Al-Hindi, Volume 2, p. 124,

Khanah, Aram Bagh, Karachi

Fada’ilil-Qur’ani Mutlaqan, Hadith No. 4016,

Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hajar Al-‘Asqalani,

(2004)

*Fathul-Bari Sharhu Sahihil-Bukhari, by

Volume 9, p. 50, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu Ta’lifil-Qur’an, Qadimi Kutb Khanah, Aram Bagh, Karachi

26. *As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, by Abu

Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 252,

Islamu ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, Darul-Kutubil-

‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

*Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-MawahibilLadunniyyah, by Allamah Shihabuddin

Al-Qastalan, Volume 2, p. 6, Islamul-Faruq,

Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First

Edition (1996)

27. Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitabus-Salat, Babu

Ma Yaqulur-Rajulu Fi Ruku‘ihi Wa Sujudihi, Hadith No. 874

28. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabut-Tahajjud, Babu

Qiyamin-Nabiyyisa Bil-Lail, Hadith No. 1130

29. Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an,

Babu Kana Jibrilu Ya‘ridul-Qur’ana ‘Alan-Nabisa

30. *Sahihul-Bukhari, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu Jam‘il-Qur’an, Hadith No. 4986, 4987

*Fathul-Bari Sharhu Sahihil-Bukhari, by

Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hajar Al-‘Asqalani,

Volume 9, pp. 14/16/24, Kitabu Fada’ilil-Qur’an, Babu Jam‘il-Qur’an, Qadimi Kutb Khanah,

Aram Bagh, Karachi

31. *Kanzul-‘Ummal Fi Sunanil-Aqwali

36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon


JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

37


Fasting in Islam by hazrat maulawi sher ali ra

FROM THE

Archives The Review of Religions, JAN 1930 EDITION

The crescent moon, symbolising the start of Ramadan


Hazrat Maulawi Sher Ali ra was a Companion of the Promised Messiahas. He was an extremely pious, selfless and down to earth person. He translated the Holy Qur’an into English during his stay in England in 1936. He was the first President of Majlis Ansarullah, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and was Editor of The Review of Religions for several years.

How does fasting lead to piety? In order to understand this, we must see what a keeper of fasts is required to do. He is required to restrain himself from the indulgence of his appetites from the break of dawn till sunset, for one whole month. He may have plenty of good things to eat and drink, but in obedience to the command of God, he will not touch them during these fasting times.

Adapted from The Review of Religions, Jan.1930, Vol. XXVIX

Now, when he has practised the avoidance of what is otherwise lawful for him, merely to seek the pleasure of God, it becomes easier for him to avoid those things that his divine Master has declared to be unlawful. When, for instance, during his fasts, he did not taste the food which he had earned by lawful means and he practised this abstinence for one full month, how could he be expected to taste a food which had not been so earned? Thus it is that fasting leads to piety.

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Holy Qur’an Ch.2:V.184) In the above verse, Muslims are told in the first place that fasting is not a new institution. It is not a new burden laid upon them; it is a very old institution and all those nations that have passed before them and among whom prophets appeared were commanded to observe fasts. Secondly, they are told that they should not look upon fasting as a useless burden; it is meant for their good and the chief advantage they will derive from it will be that they will learn to be pious.

Again, it is not only from the indulgence of his appetites that a Muslim is required to abstain during his fast; he is also required to abstain from all kinds of false words and false actions. “If you don’t abstain from evil words and evil deeds,” said the Holy Prophetsa, “God has no need of your abstaining from food and drink.” For the acceptance of fasts, it is JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

39


fasting in islam

Mark how fasting is meant to teach a Muslim not only to lead an innocent and spotless life, but also to live as a peace-loving citizen.

essential that the person who fasts should also abstain from all sorts of evil words and evil deeds. Similarly, said the Holy Prophet sa, “When you are fasting, abuse not anybody nor quarrel with any; and if any person quarrels with you, turn away from him, saying, “I cannot quarrel with you, for I am observing a fast.”’ Mark how fasting is meant to teach a Muslim not only to lead an innocent and spotless life, but also to live as a peace-loving citizen. Again, not only is a keeper of fasts required to eschew all forms of evil, but he is also exhorted to practise charity. The Holy Prophetsa, says a tradition, “was the most liberal of men, but in the month of Ramadan he was more liberal than a gale.” Thus, fasting is a sort of drill a Muslim is made to undergo that it may become 40 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

easy for him not only to abstain from all kinds of evil and to live peacefully as a law-abiding citizen, but also to do good to his fellow-beings. Fasting serves another purpose also. The rich and the well-to-do are enjoined by Islam to help their less fortunate brethren; and fasting is designed to prepare them for this purpose. By fasting they are enabled to realise the trouble and the pain which the poor and the indigent have to suffer on account of their poverty. It often happens that the poor have nothing to eat, and have to remain without food for days. But the rich who have had no occasion to experience starvation cannot fully realise the distress of the starving poor. Fasting, however, provides that occasion. While keeping fast, they have to go with­out food and drink from the break of dawn till sunset; and feeling thereby the pinch of hunger and thirst they come to know what the sufferings of the poor and the indigent really mean. Thus feelings of sympathy for the poor are engendered in their minds and they are made to love the poor all the more. Fasting has a lesson for the poor also. “Every act of virtue has a reward,” said the Holy Prophet sa, “which varies in


degree; but fasting is an act of which God Himself is the reward. Man fasts for God and God Himself will be his reward.” Thus fasting is held out to be a deed of the highest virtue which brings the highest reward, and the lesson which the poor can learn from this is that if they bear the sufferings of poverty with complete resignation to the Will of God, like a fasting man who bears the pain of hunger and thirst in obedience to His will, they will be entitled to the same reward which is promised to a keeper of fasts. Many and varied are the uses of fasting, but the few I have tried to indicate above suffice to bear out the truth of the words of the Holy Qur’an which say:

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful.” (Holy Qur’an: Ch.2:Vs.184-186)

O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous. “The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation — the feeding of a poor man. And whoso performs a good work with willing obedience, it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.” JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

41


Angels Echoing the Kalimah In the City of Angels 1

Historic Visit of Khalifah of the Promised Messiah to California Original Urdu Reports by Abdul Majid Tahir Translated by Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmicahel 42 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

T

he Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah as, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad aba , undertook a historic trip to the West Coast of the United States for the first time. This was his third visit to the US. As part of his ten-day visit, His Holiness met with various federal, state and city officials, members of law enforcement,


heads of consulates, thought leaders, professors and other dignitaries. On 11th May, His Holiness delivered a keynote address at the Montage in Beverly Hills on Islam, terrorism and human rights. The purpose of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba’s visit may be summed in the words of the National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA as follows, “His Holiness is gracing America with his presence at a time when many young American Muslims struggle with their identity, and by his example of compassion and tolerance, His Holiness demonstrates that no conflict exists between being Muslim and being American.” The following is part I of a two-part series on the tour. 4th May 2013 Upon his arrival Los Angeles at 1.25 pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was received by various dignitaries of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at USA along with the Chief Immigration Supervisor of United Airlines, the Customer Services Manager and the Dignitary Protection Unit. The Honourable Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff, welcomed His Holiness and remarked that, “Our city is the best place in America for Muslims to live.”

The Sheriff has travelled widely in South Asia and His Holiness invited him to visit Rabwah, Pakistan on his next trip to the region. Rabwah is the Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan. In welcoming His Holiness with a special City proclamation the Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, remarked, “Your Holiness, welcome to the city of angels—a fitting name on this historic day. Los Angeles is a melting pot for all religious and ethnic groups. We are honoured to host you.” The arrival of His Holiness at the Baitul Hameed Mosque on Saturday afternoon was broadcast live nationwide, and to over 200 countries worldwide via the Internet. The Baitul Hameed Mosque was inaugurated in 1989 by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, Fourth worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. It is a massive complex with praying facilities for more than a 1000 people, classrooms, offices, a library, a conference room, accommodation facilities including a guest house, along with a commercial sized kitchen and dining hall. The sprawling Mosque complex is also used by state and city officials as a temporary shelter during emergencies. It was after almost 19 years that a Khalifatul Masih had visited Los Angeles, and overwhelming JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

43


historic visit of khalifah of the promised messiah to california

feelings of happiness and joy beseiged the crowd of thousands of Ahmadis who had gathered at the Mosque to welcome their beloved Khalifah. Many families travelled more than 2000 miles to partake in this historic event. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reciprocated this warm welcome by waving affectionately at the gathered devotees before proceeding to his residence. Later, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba led the congregational afternoon prayers, which were followed by an inspection of the Mosque complex and a meeting with the president of the Los Angeles Jama’at (who is also one of the National Vice Presidents of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community). At the conclusion of these meetings, His Holinessaba led the evening prayers in the Baitul Hameed Mosque before retiring to his residence. The Ahmadi Muslims first arrived in Los Angeles in 1974, and have gradually grown into a robust community of 1500 devotees. A poignant reminder of God’s countless blessings on Ahmadiyya Jama’at in the USA is the history of the Jama’at’s humble beginnings in the 1920s, with the arrival of a revered companion of the Promised Messiahas, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahibra, as the first missionary to the United States. Details 44 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

of Mufti Sadiq’s awe-inspiring journey has been recorded in the The Review of Religions as follows: “When his ship docked in Philadelphia, the U.S. Government refused his entry into America. After two months’ delay he was permitted to enter. His case was widely publicised and this exposure through media provided opportunities for preaching ... In the beginning numerous hurdles were overcome with Allah’s help and his cheerfulness…. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq was an exemplary Da’ee Ilallah (preacher). He walked on the roads and streets of America, and men and women, attracted by his personality and dress, would stop and say: ‘Look, Jesus Christ has come.’ This comment would usually serve as the starting point of preaching. Mufti Sahib would explain to the audience that he was not Jesusas but an ordinary servant of the Promised Messiahas. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq successfully established centres of preaching in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago and conveyed the message of true Islam individually as well as collectively. He published articles in newspapers and reached people through advertisements and personal letters. He delivered lectures on Islam far and wide. He started the Journal The


Muslim Sunrise in America and the first Ahmadiyya Mosque was constructed in Chicago during his blessed stay.”2 Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, Second worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, referring to the Ahmadiyya Mission in America, once stated that it would ultimately triumph in the United States, and that one day the sound of the Kalimah (there is no God but Allah and Mohammadsa is Messenger) would echo throughout the country. 5th May 2013 Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the morning prayers at 5.15am and thereafter spent the early half of the morning attending to his official duties. Thereafter, His Holiness spent the part of the morning attending to his official commitments; these commitments include responding to the official post about the activities of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community all over the world, inspecting reports, and issuing directives as well as responding to the private letters requesting of prayers from the members of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at (or Community). From 10:30 am Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience (Mulaqaat) to Ahmadi families. During Mulaqaat, families seek

His Holiness’s advice and request him for prayers. His Holiness gave chocolates to visiting children and pens to young adults. Such blessed moments play a pivotal role in a family’s spiritual development. With a short break for offering the afternoon prayers, the session of family Mulaqaat continued until 8:15pm when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence. 6th May 2013 After leading the morning prayers in Baitul Hameed Mosque at 5.15am, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended to his official duties. At 10:30am, His Holinessaba granted a private audience to 59 families from the United States of America, which was an opportunity for them to request His Holiness for guidance and prayers. After attending lunch at the residence of a local dignitary, His Holiness retired to his residence for a short break, thereafter leading the afternoon prayers at 5:30pm at the Baitul Hameed Mosque. This evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted an audience to Ahmadi students studying in schools, colleges and universities across the USA. His Holiness advised that Ahmadi students must strive for attaining excellence and set their standards JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

45


historic visit of khalifah of the promised messiah to california

high by aiming for the Nobel Prize. During this meeting, students completing their Ph.Ds had the opportunity to present their research work to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba. One student was undertaking research on the technology that can be used to make outer surface implants used within the human body last longer without the risk of infection and dislocation. On hearing that the cost of such treatments range from $11,000 to $130,000, His Holiness commented that it was a very expensive cure. Another student presented his research project on honeybees. He is investigating the impact of different viruses on the survival of the honeybee. He explained that the use of agricultural chemicals has adversely affected the population of honeybees. His Holiness asked if it was true that if one honeybee dies then all the other bees help to take the body of the bee out of the hive. The researcher explained that this was true, and that the organisational scheme inside a honey bee hive is extremely structured. The researcher mentioned that if too much honey is taken out of the hive, the bee colonies tend to decline during the winter months. It was also mentioned to His Holiness that signals from mobile phones and satellite television are adversely 46 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

affecting the navigation skills of honey bees. The third Ph.D. student presented his research on the factors that make an organisation successful and aspects that make organisations fail. Afer these presentations, His Holiness granted the students with an opportunity to ask questions and was pleased with the intellectual level of the questions asked. One student inquired how they should protect themselves from the negative influences of society, to which His Holiness advised that they should say Istighfar (a prayer to seek repentance) and Lahawl (a prayer to seek the ability to do good). Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba advised that they should adopt the good from society and discard vanity and evil. His Holiness stated that he had advised students in European countries to go into the field of research and seek opportunities for success within their respective fields. A student apprised His Holiness of the many challenges he was facing, at which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba encouraged him to never become despondent and stay completely focused on his studies. His Holiness prayed for his success. Following the conclusion of this meeting with students, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to 112 members from 32 Ahmadi families. Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba


led the evening prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence. 7th May 2013 After leading the early morning prayers at Baitul Hameed Mosque, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended to his official duties. Later, he granted a private audience to 192 members from 55 Ahmadi families and met with some of his officials to issue directives. Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the afternoon prayers in congregation, following which His Holiness presided over a class with Waqf-e-Nau girls (youth who want to dedicate their lives wholly to the service of the Community). The class started at 5.40pm with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and its English translation. The young ladies gave various well-researched presentations and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was pleased with the standard of speeches and Urdu language. When due to technical issues, the girls were unable to present some information about places of interest in the West Coast of the US, His Holiness remarked in a light-hearted manner that perhaps he ought to go and see these places in person! Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba emphasised that those training to become doctors and teachers may be sent to developing countries in order to

serve the Community. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that these girls should be pious and should have true fear of God. They should offer the five obligatory daily prayers and regularly recite the Holy Qur’an. They must strive to attain a clear understanding of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and endeavour to make them a part of their lives. His Holiness stressed the importance of purdah (covering) and modest Islamic dress for women. and espoused that purdah entailed that hair and the lower part of the chin are covered. If a woman is wearing make-up, she should cover her face. His Holiness recommended medicine as the profession of choice for women. Other professions suitable for women His Holiness advised are teaching and languages so that girls can undertake translation projects for the Ahmadiyya Jama’at. At the conclusion of the class, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba distributed bags and chocolates among the girls and returned to his office to meet with Ahmadi families from the US. He granted 106 members from 32 families a private audience. Some of these families had travelled thousands of miles to partake in this blessed meeting. Following this session of Mulaqaat, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence. JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

47


Tamara Audi from the Wall Street Journal interviewing His Holiness

8th May 2013 This morning, His Holiness kindly agreed to an interview with a journalist from the Wall Street Journal, Tamara Audi. 3 During this interview, His Holiness explained that the purpose of his journey to the United States was to meet the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and enhance their moral and spiritual education. By meeting with Ahmadi families from the US, and in particular their children, His Holiness is able to gauge specific areas that require special attention for the spiritual development of his Community. His Holiness candidly expressed his views on the integration of immigrants into society, the persecution of Ahmadis abroad, drone attacks and world peace. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba made it clear that he did not wish to request anything from the US Government for himself or his Community, stating that he was merely conveyor of peace. His Holiness expressed an interest in visiting local farms in keeping with his interest and training in agriculture. Following the interview, 48 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to many Ahmadi families from Phoenix, Boston, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, as well as Guatemala. After leading the midday prayers and a brief break Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a class with Waqfe Nau boys. His Holiness was pleased with the standard of speeches. His Holiness explained in response to a question that the Divine Revelation of the Promised Messiahas, “after 11” had been fulfilled in favour of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in many ways. By way of example, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba espoused that the prophecy was fulfilled when the message of Ahmadiyyat was taken to US Capitol Hill with the Help and Blessings of Allah. The message of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been reported in many popular newspapers. His Holiness underscored that all this was unthinkable two years ago. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the phrase “Kun Fayakun”4 meant that once God Almighty has decided that


an event shall take place, then a process is set in motion to enable it to occur. His Holiness illustrated this phenomenon by alluding to the process of birth – i.e. that once God decides that a baby shall be born, then systems and processes are put into play for that baby to develop inside the womb for 9 months prior to delivery. His Holiness underscored the need for prayers seeking guidance for the people of Pakistan and protection for our Ahmadi brethren in the country. His Holiness reiterated that the Ahmadiyya Jama’at needs the youth to train as missionaries, doctors, teachers and linguists. His Holiness advised that these youth must be regular in offering the five daily prayers and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. He encouraged the boys to strive to acquire a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an by reading its commentary regularly. His Holiness concluded by advising the youth to be exemplary in any capacity, striving to emulate the guidance furnished in the Holy Qur’an such that they may become a role model for others.

including the rendering of humanitarian services in Ghana and other African countries were discussed. His Holiness offered help, cooperation and technical assistance to Mormons for any of their altruistic projects in African countries. At the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness thanked the delegates for their time who had travelled 1500 miles from the state of Utah for the meeting. More families were blessed with a private audience later that evening, some of which had travelled 3000 miles to seek a few moments of blessings, peace and prayers with their spiritual leader. At 8 pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers in congregation at Baitul Hameed Mosque before retiring to his residence.

This class was followed by a meeting with a delegation from the Mormon Church, which was headed by the General Authority, Elder Craig Gordon. During this meeting, matters of mutual interest

3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412

Edited by Hibba Turrauf and Ayesha Malik endnotes

1. There is no God but Allah and Mohammadsa is His Messenger (The Muslim Creed)

2. http://www.reviewofreligions.org/download/ RR200702.pdf#page=18.

7887324059704578474981045877660.html

4. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is. [3:48]

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

49


Muhammad A Messenger of Peace sa

Keynote Address delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Khalifatul Masih V, Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on 11th May 2013 at a special reception held at the Montage Hotel in Beverley Hills, California, USA.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah


Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community delivering the keynote address entitled ‘Muhammad A Messenger of Peace’

Introduction The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at and Fifth Khalifah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba delivered the keynote address at a special reception held in his honour at the Montage in Beverly Hills, California on 11th May 2013 during an historic tour of USA. More than 300 politicians, academics and community leaders attended, including the California Lieutenant Governor, mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, and several members of the United States Congress.

In his keynote address Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said the American people had no reason to fear Islam because it was a religion that advocated peace, universal human rights and a respect for human dignity. A number of dignitaries also took to the stage to welcome Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba

During the event the Los Angeles City Council presented Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba with the golden key to the city, declaring: “This Key is reserved for only the most honoured people on Earth.”

Los Angeles City Council presenting key to city to His Holiness

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

51


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

U.S. Congresswoman Julia Brownley

Gavin Newsom, California Lieutenant Governor

to Los Angeles and to congratulate the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at on its continued commitment to developing peace and tolerance globally. Gavin Newsom, California Lieutenant Governor said the presence of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad aba meant it was a “special day” and he thanked His Holiness for, “sowing the seeds of possibility to the entire world.” He also said the people of LA “do not tolerate diversity, we celebrate it”. 52 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

U.S. Congresswoman Julia Brownley praised His Holiness as, “One of the greatest ecumenical leaders of our time.” U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu

U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu added, “I am here because His Holiness stands against terrorists and war.”


U.S.

Los Angeles

Congresswoman

County Sheriff

Karen Bass

Lee Baca

U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff said, “His Holiness is a transformative fig- said, “ Your Holiness, you are a worldwide ure who has promoted peace and tolerance spiritual leader. You have made a huge across the world.” impact in all parts of the world and so we are all drawn to you today for the sake of wisdom.”

Press Conference preceding the main event

The reception was preceded by both a Press Conference and a private meeting between Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba and various dignitaries. JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

53


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

Keynote Address delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Khalifatul Masih V, Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

What I wish to discuss is something that has created ‘Islamophobia’ in the Western and Non-Muslim world.

thank all those honourable guests who have spoken and praised the Community. All distinguished guests – A s s a l a m o I also thank all those who have shown A l a i k u m Wa R a h m a t u l l a h e Wa a kind gesture and gave me gifts, espeB a ra k a toh u - peace and blessings of Allah cially the Key of this area. Thank you be upon you all. very much for this. Your kind approach towards an Islamic religious organisation First of all, I would like to thank all of is clearly demonstrated by your attendour guests who have accepted our invi- ance and shows that you have a very tation to this event and who by coming tolerant attitude, and a keen desire to here have enlightened the occasion. I also learn about Islam. 54 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


With these few words, I would like to turn towards an issue of great importance and for which there is an urgent need to deliberate and talk about in today’s world. What I wish to discuss is something that has created ‘Islamophobia’ in the Western and Non-Muslim world. There can be no doubt that this state of fear and anxiety has been fuelled by the acts of certain so-called Muslims or so-called Muslim groups. However, there is also no doubt that the acts of terrorism or extremism that they perpetrate have nothing whatsoever to do with the true teachings of Islam.

God Almighty, but just as importantly they must also fulfil the rights owed to God’s creation.

The Qur’an has shined a bright light on the beauty of the teachings of all Prophets by making it clear that they all drew mankind’s attention to fulfilling the rights owed both to God and to His creation. How then could it be possible that on the one hand, God has praised the qualities of all religions for urging mankind to fulfil the rights of God and of man, yet on the other hand, God could enjoin the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, upon whom the Great Book was revealed, The very meaning of “Islam” is peace, to not establish peace and security in the security and giving a guarantee of pro- world? How could it be possible that they tection against all forms of harm and were instructed to cause destruction and evil. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an declares to destroy the peace and security of the that this is the teaching that every single world? Certainly no wise person could Prophet of God taught. Islam requires ever accept this. Muslims to abide by its teachings, and fundamental amongst them is that they True justice and fairness requires that must not only fulfil the rights owed to rather than judging Islam in a prejudiced JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

55


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

According to the prophecy, when such a desperate state of affairs came to pass, God Almighty would send a person as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi to rejuvenate Islam.

56 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

manner or by making false assumptions based on hearsay, a person should study the religion and try to develop an understanding of its teachings before criticising it and its Founder. An informed decision about any issue can only be made once a person has studied its teachings in depth and strived to learn the truth. The truth or reality of any faith can only be learned from those who are practising or striving to follow its true and authentic teachings. Today, it is the Ahmadiyya Muslim


Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing to do with terrorism or extremism. Secondly, in a grand prophecy made by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, he said that as had happened with all previous religions, a time would come when the state of Muslims would become ruined and corrupted. The Muslim scholars would spread false doctrines and ideologies and there would be great division and conflict within the Muslim world. Whilst the Holy Qur’an would remain preserved in its original state, false commentaries and interpretations would be made, which would lead Muslims away from its true teachings. According to the prophecy, when such a desperate state of affairs came to pass, God Almighty would send a person as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi Community which claims to follow the to rejuvenate Islam. He would clarify original and true teachings of Islam and the correct meanings of the Qur’an and is spreading it. would inform the world of the true Islam practiced by the Holy Prophetsa and his Upon hearing this, you may question rightly guided successors 1400 years how Ahmadis can claim that they alone before. The Promised Messiah would understand the true teachings of Islam, guide the world towards living together given that a large proportion of Muslims in love, peace and harmony and would and the Islamic clergy do not even con- foster a spirit of mutual understandsider Ahmadis to be Muslims. To answer ing and reconciliation. The Promised this question, firstly and as I have already Messiah would do all of this in light of said, the Qur’an has clearly stated that the shining example of the Holy Prophet JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

57


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

Whenever I reflect upon this particular point, I realise that I believe in that One God Who is the Lord of all nations, all races and all religions, and so it becomes impossible that I could ever develop any hatred in my heart for any nation, any race or any religion. Muhammadsa and the true teachings of the Qur’an. Furthermore, the Promised Messiah would bring an end to all forms of religious warfare. We, Ahmadi Muslims, believe that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, was that promised person foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. We believe he came as a beacon of light to convey the true and luminous teachings of Islam to the entire world.

Prophet Muhammadsa. That is why one of his wives once said that his morals and his acts were a perfect mirror image and reflection of the teachings of the Qur’an. Consequently, if a person studies the Qur’an, then the life and character of the Holy Prophetsa will naturally become clear and apparent. In the limited time available it is not possible for me to cover all aspects of the Qur’an, in fact it is not possible for me to cover even one aspect of its teachings. Nonetheless, I shall try to briefly explain one part of Islamic teaching, which has sadly become very misunderstood in the modern world, and has thus caused a great deal of fear to develop in the nonMuslim world. I refer to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Holy Prophetsa in relation to establishing peace in the world. From its very first verse and chapter, the Qur’an gives a message of peace. The first verse of the Qur’an reads:

With these words of introduction, I shall now briefly present some examples of the ‘All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all beautiful and peaceful characteristics of the worlds.’ Islam. Before I give specific examples, I should mention that the person who This verse means that the God Who followed the teachings of the Qur’an to Muslims worship is the One God, Who the greatest extent possible was the Holy sustains and nourishes everything and 58 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


everyone without any distinction. He creation. When the beauty and merit of fulfils all of the needs of His Creation. something is accepted, then it is imposIn other words, He is the God of the sible to bear hatred or malice towards it, Christians, the God of the Jews, the rather love and compassion shine forth. God of the Hindus and indeed He If this point is understood, then the queseven gives nourishment and provides to tion can not even arise in the heart of a those who do not believe in His existence. true Muslim that he should bear enmity, Whenever I reflect upon this particular ill-will or hatred towards any of God’s point, I realise that I believe in that One creation. God Who is the Lord of all nations, all races and all religions, and so it becomes This is why the Holy Prophetsa, who had impossible that I could ever develop the greatest insight and understanding any hatred in my heart for any nation, of God’s Word, used to recite the words any race or any religion. In this context ‘All Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all I would like to say that my sympathies the Worlds’ not just in his obligatory and prayers are with the victims of the prayers, but also in the countless volunrecent Boston attacks. We fully condemn tary prayers he used to offer. More than that as well. anyone else, his heart was consumed by a love for all and was entirely free from A Muslim has been commanded by God any form of hatred or spite. The Holy Almighty to pray five times a day and to Prophetsa had love for all of God’s crearecite the opening chapter of the Qur’an tion, but most particularly for mankind, in each unit of prayer. And so, at the very because humans have been deemed to be least, a Muslim must repeat the prayer the best of God’s creation. Human beings that His Lord is the ‘Lord of all of the have been given wisdom to differentiate Worlds’ at least thirty-two times each between right and wrong and so there is and every day. The entire world is God’s reward for goodness and punishment for creation and He loves His creation dearly. wrongdoing. Thus the reason we praise the ‘Lord of all the Worlds’ and repeat this prayer so Due to the infinite love God instilled in many times each day is so that we realise the heart of the Holy Prophetsa for all and accept the beauty of all people and all people, he used to feel great anguish and nations, because they are all part of God’s despair for the state of mankind. He was JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

59


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

This was his example, whereby irrespective of religion, if a person was in any kind of need or came from a deprived segment of society, he deemed it essential to come forward to help and assist him.

Today, when we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, raise the slogan of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ as a means to establish global peace, we do so directly in fulfilment of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Prophetsa.

The Holy Prophetsa was so consumed by his desire to serve humanity and to fulfil the rights of mankind that throughout his life he stood ever ready for this constantly overwhelmed by a concern cause. Even after becoming a Prophet that due to wrongdoing, a large number of God, which was a huge responsibilof people were at grave risk of incurring ity and the greatest task imaginable, he the Wrath of God and His chastisement. said that if any person, whether Muslim The Holy Prophetsa used to spend night or non-Muslim, called him at any time upon night beseeching his Lord and for the mission of serving humanity, praying that those who had forgotten then he would most certainly join them God were guided to the right path. He in their effort to serve mankind. This used to feel this burden with such inten- was his example, whereby irrespective of sity that Allah the Almighty has said in religion, if a person was in any kind of the Qur’an that the Holy Prophet would need or came from a deprived segment grieve himself to death due to his anguish of society, he deemed it essential to come for mankind. The Holy Prophetsa was forward to help and assist him. Despite held captive and enslaved in his heart- his great status as Islam’s Founder and a felt distress and desire to save the people Prophet of God, he deemed it of utmost of the world from destruction. And so importance to work towards this pious it is a cause of great injustice that many objective with non-Muslims. people today try to stain his blessed character by saying that, God forbid, he The question may well arise in some peobrought teachings of cruelty, oppression ple’s minds that if the Holy Prophetsa was and injustice. filled with so much love for humanity, 60 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


then why is his name associated with warfare? Why did he take part in some wars and why did he send some armies into battle? To answer this question, we must assess whether an entirely pacifistic attitude, whereby war in all circumstances is wrong, is a correct doctrine, or alternatively whether in extreme circumstances fighting may be permitted? And, if in certain circumstances it is permissible, then what are the required conditions and to what extent is war allowed. What does Islam teach us about this? As I explained earlier, when a Muslim praises the ‘Lord of all the Worlds,’ the beauty of God’s creation comes before him and he is compelled to praise and be attracted to it. When this beauty is acknowledged, one cannot harbour any ill-will or malice towards God’s creation. However there will always be some people who do not act upon this teaching and who are determined to spread disorder in society and the wider world. Islam has given very clear and detailed guidance about how to reform such people so that global peace and harmony can be maintained. Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an that ‘Had not Allah repelled some men by others, the earth would indeed be full of

mischief, but Allah is Lord of Grace to all people.’ (Ch.2:V.252) If we ponder over the meaning of this, we see that peace is undoubtedly the best state of affairs and so Allah has naturally instilled its attraction inside the human mind. However sometimes man goes against his natural tendencies and inclinations. His greed, envy, selfish interests and hatred overpower him and incite him to such an extent that he no longer has any concern for the rights of others. As a result, disorder develops in society, in a country and in the wider world. Such people move far away from peace. It becomes their objective to supress and violate the freedoms that society holds dear. They attack basic human rights such as freedom of conscience and freedom of thought by using force and severity. Indeed, such people also target religious freedom and seek to supress it. It was when such subjugating circumstances arose that Allah granted permission to the early Muslims to respond to force with force. This permission was granted only as a means to stop disorder, to stop cruelty and establish peace and harmony. Allah has said in the Qur’an that He bestows His Grace and Blessings on all of the Worlds. He does not favour JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

61


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

The Holy Prophetsa further taught that no person could be forced or compelled to convert to Islam.

had not been granted to the Muslims at that point, then all religions would have been placed in grave danger. Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:

‘Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged and Allah, indeed, any nation or region. He does not desire has power to help them. Those who peace for just a limited few; rather He have been driven out from their homes wants to see the entire world filled with unjustly only because they said, ‘Our peace, harmony and compassion. In the Lord is Allah.’ - And if Allah did not sight of Allah, all of His creation is equal repel some people by means of others, and the same. If God has enabled some- there would surely have been pulled one to become wealthy then he does not down cloisters and churches and synahave the right to deprive a poor person gogues and mosques, wherein the name of his rights. Similarly, if any nation or of Allah is oft commemorated. And country becomes powerful and wealthy Allah will surely help one who helps it does not have the right to usurp the Him. Allah is, indeed, Powerful, Mighty.’ rights of weaker and poorer countries. (Ch.22:Vs.40-41) God Almighty has clearly said that such cruelties only create divisions and conflict. Thus, it is quite clear that Islam has In the eyes of God, peace is a great and made every effort to establish peace and paramount objective, and so to establish every effort to protect all other religions. it, if you occasionally have to sacrifice a Even where defensive war was permitsmaller ideal then there is no harm, as it ted for the Muslims, the Holy Prophetsa is for the greater good of mankind. gave extremely strict rules of engagement to the Muslim armies which they When permission for defensive war was were compelled to abide by. The Holy first given in Islam, it was given with the Prophetsa taught that during wars only reason that whilst Muslims truly desired those people who were directly engaged peace, the disbelievers wished to destroy in the war could be fought. He gave strict the peace. If permission to fight back instructions that no innocent person was 62 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


ever to be attacked. No woman, child or elderly person was ever to be attacked. He taught that no religious leader or priest could be attacked in their place of worship. The Holy Prophetsa further taught that no person could be forced or compelled to convert to Islam. He taught that when Muslims were forced to fight for the cause of peace they must not create fear or terror amongst the members of the public nor should they be treated in a harsh or severe manner. He taught that prisoners of war should be treated with even greater care and attention than a person would pay to himself. He taught that buildings should not be targeted or destroyed and that trees should not be felled. Thus, even where conditions existed where war was justified, the Holy Prophetsa gave countless guidelines and instructions to his followers which were essential to follow. I have only mentioned very few. The Holy Prophetsa said very clearly that whosoever acted against these rules of engagement would not be fighting in accordance with the commands of Allah to establish peace, but rather would be fighting for their own personal interests or gain. Those who criticise the Holy Prophet of Islamsa in today’s world should reflect upon whether these instructions are

being followed in any of the wars taking place today. Is it not the case that today horrific weapons are being used, which are causing innocent people to be killed indiscriminately? Yet the Holy Prophetsa prohibited any form of collateral damage, to the extent that once during a war, a companion accidently killed a child. This caused great displeasure to the Holy Prophetsa who severely rebuked him for this act. Another incident shows how much respect the Holy Prophetsa had for all of mankind. Once a funeral procession passed by and as a mark of respect he immediately stood up. Upon seeing this, a companion commented in surprise, “This is the funeral procession of a Jewish person.” Hearing this, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said, “Was he not a human? Respect for all humans is obligatory”. These are the characteristics and qualities which develop mutual respect in society and help develop peace. Today’s world is ever-increasing in its criticism of Islam and its Founder, despite the fact that Islam’s teachings and the Holy Prophet’s every act were filled with love for humanity and a desire to establish peace in the world. Sadly, today’s world does not see or understand JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

63


muhammad sa a messenger of peace

what is really happening today. As I have already said, the evil acts conducted by extremists claiming to be Muslims have nothing to do with the real teachings of Islam. If there is oppression in Muslim countries or the rights of the public are being usurped then that too is completely contrary to the teachings of Islam. The Holy Prophetsa said that such cruelties were based only on vested interests and certainly were not for the sake of God. Bearing all of this in mind, the urgent need of the time is that instead of thinking ill or holding misconceptions about Islam, all those who desire peace should join together and discuss how cruel and unjust elements can be stopped. His Holiness led silent prayers after his address.

64 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

Defaming or unjustly attacking Islam is not the right way. Leaving aside certain Muslim countries and groups, there are also non-Muslims who are conducting acts through which innocent people, women and children are losing their lives on the basis of ‘establishing peace.’ The direction the world is moving in suggests that the dark shadow of war is being cast over a very large part of the globe. If war breaks out then countless innocent women, children and elderly people will all die. The destruction will be greater than was witnessed in the previous two World Wars, and I say this knowing full well that during the Second World War,


tens of millions of people lost their lives. The world’s population is now far greater and there has also been a vast increase in both the number of weapons of mass destruction and the countries that have developed a thirst for war. Under these circumstances, destruction will also be manifold. In light of all of this, it is imperative that the world and particularly the major powers reflect upon the efforts that are required to save the world from a horrific destruction. Fear of Islam or attempts to defame it will not achieve anything nor lead to peace and reconciliation. Instead, the key to peace is to stop cruelty and oppression, wherever it occurs, with justice and equality. Only when this principle is followed will global peace develop. This will only happen when the people of the world come to recognise their Creator. It is my ardent hope and prayer that the entire world urgently comes to understand the needs of the time before it is too late – Ameen. At the end I would like to once again thank all of our guests who have taken the time and effort to come and attend this event. May Allah bless you all. Thank you very much.”

Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@reviewofreligions.org

Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

65


Guests Reflect on a Message of Peace

“His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad[aba] stepped forward during his California visit to deliver a message of peace and tolerance when conflict and violence threaten in so many parts of the world. Many in the audience were inspired that his words of wisdom were delivered with a soft yet firm tone, underscoring the seriousness of his fundamental message. Those of us aware of the struggle of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, but who [have] never personally seen His Holiness, were certainly grateful for the opportunity and not disappointed. The points 66 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

His Holiness made were universal in nature and thus a benefit to people from a wide spectrum of the spiritual believers. His Holiness should enjoy a sense of accomplishment that his visit to Southern California planted some seeds that will reap goodness of heart for years to come.” Dana Rohrbacher (US Congressman, Republican) “I wish the major US media networks provided more coverage of a Muslim community and a leader, His Holiness


Mirza Masroor Ahmad,[aba] who solely supports peace and tolerance and denounces hatred and violence.” Julia Brownley (US Congresswoman, Democrat) “I appreciate the opportunity to have met His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad[aba]. His commitment in promoting peace and tolerance among the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, are values we can all share regardless of cultural background or creed.” Gloria McLeod (US Congresswoman, Democrat) “I was really awestruck when His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad,[aba] talked about Surah Fatihah being recited 32 times a day and how he explained its strong emphasis on upholding human dignity. His Holiness made me proud to be a Muslim. His Holiness defended Islam and all Muslims today.” Aziza Hasan (Former director of Government Relations for the Southern California branch of the Muslim Public Affairs Council)

“His Holiness touched me with his remarks in support of all of humanity regardless of faith or background. This type of inclusive vision demonstrates why he is considered a true man of peace.  It is only through this type of compassionate empathy that we will be able to achieve our goals as an integrated society that embraces its differences and celebrates shared progress.” Charlie Beck (Los Angeles Police Chief ) “I had a wonderful experience meeting His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad[aba].  The work that he has done to inspire a peaceful path in this world is an inspiration to us all.  I was honored to receive a blessing from His Holiness for the days ahead and to have been able to join Councilmember Dennis Zine to present the Key to the City to him (a very rare honor conferred only on a very few special guests to Los Angeles). His Holiness’ speech described a clear path of brotherly cooperation and respect as the foundation for peace and prosperity in the world. It was a wonderful opportunity to honor and welcome such a powerful JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

67


guests reflect on

a message of peace

religious and world leader to our City of Angels. We look forward to welcoming him back in the future and wish him all the best in his mission to spread a message of love, empowerment, and tolerance throughout the world.” Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles City Council member, now Mayor-elect of Los Angeles) “What an amazing man he is. I was fully captured by his words and appreciated most especially his candor and his beliefs. I knew very little about the Muslim community prior to this event. Walking into the room and seeing the mantra “Love for All, Hatred for None” was inspiring. I truly wish that our world community would adopt that vision. Secondly, and most important on a religious note was his statement that regardless of our religion - Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, we all pray to the same one God. I do not believe it could have been said more clear than that. Again, if only our world would wake up to that fact and understand that when we bow or kneel and pray to our God, regardless of the temple we are in or the book we are reading from, it is the same One that 68 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

we are thanking for the many blessings that we have from this world and life.” A.J. Rotella (Director, Sherrif ’s Youth Foundation of Los Angeles County) “His Holiness was a remarkable figure. As I looked toward him as he sat quietly on the dais, I immediately felt a calm, peacefulness radiate from him. It was an unusual, but very calming feeling. I knew right then that his Holiness carried a unique and special presence. When His Holiness took the podium to speak, every eye was upon him. It was clear we were hearing an important message of peace, and his love for mankind. The world needs this message from all religious leaders now, more than ever. His Holiness is clearly more than just a preacher of his faith. His message was clearly about what God wants man to be--people of peace, without hate. I will never forget this wonderful day, and the remarkable spiritual man I had the privilege to see, hear, and meet.” Bill McSweeney (Los Angeles County Sherriff ’s Department)


“I can’t believe how much His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad[aba] covered in his speech on May 11. I read the transcript and by page 12 I realised it was impossible to categorise this speech into a single category because he has covered so many topics.” Tamara Audi (Reporter who interviewed His Holiness for The Wall Street Journal)

“For me, his message of tolerance and love for all was apparent, and his thoughts about respect for others and other religious beliefs was paramount. I believe he truly understands and shares what most people want for our world and he was able to convey that through a message of hope and peace.” Steve Harrington (President, CHP 11-99 Foundation)

“Prior to the event I had little experience with the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith, so I was very appreciative to hear the message from His Holiness about the separation of church and state. It gives me much needed perspective to learn that true Muslim teachings can help spread the message of tolerance and peace. I agree with His Holiness that peace cannot be achieved without an end to oppressive viewpoints and cruelty to others. Please convey my appreciation of the message to His Holiness. I hope to live my life with similar principles in furthering our communities and creating a better world.” Peter Aguilar (Mayor of Redlands, California)

“His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s[aba] visit to Los Angeles resulted in the message of peace, love and justice to five hundred people of all faiths. The audience consisted of public safety leaders, members of congress, city councils and educators. His Holiness emphasised “Love for All, Hatred for None” as the true teaching of the Prophet (peace be with him). World peace is a responsibility that all faiths can embrace was a common feeling by those in attendance.” Lee Baca (Sheriff, Los Angeles County) “I was honored and privileged to have attended such an inspirational event, and have had the opportunity to be enlightened by His Holiness and his JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

69


guests reflect on

a message of peace

words of peace, love, humility, and tolerance. His commitment to world peace and love for all, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, is admirable and gives you hope and faith in the goodness of man and all mankind.” Jon Goldberg (Drug Enforcement Administration) “It was a memorable event and very uplifting. The speech touched on a message that is needed in the world today; respect for all; discipline; commitment; unity; friendship; respect for laws, and hope.” Anthony Williams (Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge)

“His Holiness is an amazing man. I can see why you are devoted to him and the Ahmadiyya Community. His Holiness’ words gave me hope that one day that true world peace would be the rule and not the exception.” Yolanda Parker (KMS Software)

70 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

“We had the opportunity to learn more about the Muslim community and what it stands for. The guest speakers were wonderful from the California congressional to Sherriff Lee Baca. When His Holiness spoke and gave his blessings there was a lesson that was learned and a great take away. The lesson that we took away was that that the Muslim community is here to help the communities they live in and serve. Also to help families and children across the world with the water wells as His Holiness spoke about in his message. To bring peace across the country and to let the world know that the Muslim community is here to add value and togetherness, peace and equality for all. Thank you again for such a wonderful opportunity.” Pam Compton (Chase Bank) “I found his speech incredibly powerful and wish that his message could be heard by many more people. Also, I am glad to now know about Ahmadiyya, about which I knew nothing until this weekend.” Ida Beal Harding (Wells Bring Hope)


“Love for All, Hatred for None”; acceptance of others; there is one God and his God is my God...every word emanating from his lips was truth. His goal of world peace and his timely warnings of nuclear war are words that our leaders need to hear and heed.” Dr. Fred Leivo (Coast Pharmacy) “The message was on point and we all agree that working together towards peace is the direction we need to travel.” John McMahon (San Bernardino County Sheriff ’s Department)

Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@reviewofreligions.org

Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

71


Global Voices: Ahmadis’ mission of peace in an age of terror

Copyright © 2013. Los Angeles Times. Reprinted with Permission. By Carol J. Williams May 9, 2013

72 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

Just weeks after the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon, the global leader of the world’s 10-million-plus Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has brought his religion’s message of peace, public service and uplift to the faithful of Southern California.


While those principles are embraced by most of the Muslim world, the Ahmadis’ outlook is distinctive. The visiting khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is critical of mixing religion and governance and points to the restive Middle East countries in the “Arab Spring” aftermath as examples of discord born of religious rule. He speaks laudingly of Western democracy and praises Israeli President Shimon Peres for his ideas on restoring stability to the conflict-plagued region. The first West Coast visit of the Khalifa was scheduled long before the April 15 attacks in Boston that have newly shaken the American public’s sense of security and serenity. But in the nervous aftermath of that latest terror strike, which may or may not have had any connection to radical Islam, the need to tackle misconceptions and prejudices about Muslims is all the more obvious and challenging, in the view of the religious leader. Ahmadis, like other adherents to moderate Islam, denounce violence and abhor the scorn that the acts of a few inflict on the many. Yet the community has internal and doctrinal conflicts of its own. Founded in 1889 in the Indian village of Qadian, the movement split in 1914 into

the Khalifa’s community and a smaller rival movement. With the 1947 partition of India, the community dispersed, when many of its followers fled to the new state of Pakistan. There, Ahmadis have been shunned and prohibited by law from calling themselves Muslims. The 62-year-old Khalifa’s followers have been the target of anti-Ahmadiyya terrorists, including a May 2010 attack on Friday prayers in Lahore in which 86 Ahmadis died. Ahmad will be speaking to politicians, academics and community leaders in Beverly Hills this weekend, including both Los Angeles mayoral candidates. Now based in London and active in worldwide outreach, the Khalifa spoke with The Times on Wednesday about his mission and the troubled state of the world. Q: How do you spread the message of Islam as a religion of peace in the circumstances you find in the United States where, because of terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists, some people harbor misconceptions about the nature of Islam? A:  Muslims have been persecuted and attacked by their opponents throughout history, and have found themselves at war, JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

73


global voices :

ahmadis ’ mission of peace in an age of terror

compelled to retaliate for the mistreatment. But there is now no such religious war. Whenever any jihadist organization stands up in the name of Islam and misconstrues its true teachings, we have to stand up to this and speak out. Not only in the United States but everywhere in the world you see the name of Islam being defamed by opponents, those who don’t have a true understanding of Islam. These are militant groups, not followers of the true religion, and we always stand against them. Here in the United States, we have a program of good works. For the past two years we have been conducting the “Muslims for Life” campaign. We organize the donation of blood. The first time this drive was conducted we collected 10,000 blood donations and distributed them to hospitals. Q: Your community is committed to separation of church and state, which is a distinction from some Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East where political leaders are trying to establish Islamic governments in the place of the authoritarian regimes ousted in the Arab Spring revolutions. Would the region be more stable, in your opinion, if new secular governments were created instead? 74 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013

A:  In Egypt, what we have seen after having removed Hosni Mubarak is that nothing has changed. We have a government that still doesn’t discharge its duties to the public and isn’t respecting the rights of the people.  In Libya, every tribe has its own government. The defense minister warned recently that some are attempting to overthrow the elected government and that unless some steps are taken there will be another disaster. In Tunisia, everyone says they are changing the country for the best and in the name of religion, but there is no peace. If there is going to be true democracy in the region it has to be practiced as in the West [without religious domination]. Q:  How does the international community go about restoring peace in the region now racked by war and violent opposition? A:  A few months back, President Shimon Peres of Israel said the United Nations should send forces into these disrupted countries, but only forces comprised of Arab soldiers, not Western troops. It is the proper role of neighbors to get together and try to stop the conflicts in their region. It’s the duty of neighboring countries to stop the atrocities in Syria.


Q: How do you imagine the fighting in Syria could be brought to an end? A:  The government of Syria is predominantly Alawite, while the majority of Syrians are Sunnis. The government mistreated Sunnis and created inequality. Now there are others with vested interests coming into the country, including extremists, to help the rebels. So there is now conflict among the rebels as well as with the government. The atrocities and persecution were started by the government, but now both parties are guilty. They won’t resolve it themselves, so there should be some initiative to find a way out and bring an end to the fighting. Q:  You say it is the responsibility of neighboring countries to help find a path to peace. Do you see the efforts recently announced by Russia and the United States to bring the Syrian parties together in negotiations as a desirable response by neighbors, or are these powers too far removed from the region? A:  The world is now a global village, so the idea of neighborhood is broader. But there are still two blocs in the world, with Russia supporting the Syrian government and Western governments supporting the rebels. It will be a test of

the goodwill of the United States and Russia to stop the violence there. It must be stopped, because if it continues it will draw in the whole world. Q: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community leadership has been driven from Pakistan into exile. What is at the root of your differences with other Muslims, and how does the rift affect the cohesion and unity of Islam’s message? A:  We believe that the Messiah has come as a subordinate, non-law-bearing prophet in the person of the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community [in 1889].  Other Muslims disagree and believe after the holy prophet of Islam comes, there can be no other prophet, either one bearing a new law or not. In Pakistan, the regime has passed a law against Ahmadis, saying we are not Muslims for the purposes of law and the constitution. The Ahmadis number in the millions, not only in Pakistan. But there you can see it was the fear of Pakistani mullahs that if they did not stop the Ahmadis from freely practicing their religion, the Ahmadis might attract every Pakistani Muslim into their fold.

JULY 2013

|

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

75


global voices :

ahmadis ’ mission of peace in an age of terror

Q: Where is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community strongest in the world, and where is it growing fastest? A:  We have millions of followers in Asia, but the following is increasing fastest in West Africa. Pakistan used to be the biggest Ahmadi community, but now certain African countries have greater numbers. We are increasing day by day, every year by 100,000s. Some people are afraid of Islam. Some people have become indifferent to all religions. They don’t believe in any god. But after a certain period they will come back and find religion. When they reach this state, we believe and we hope that we will help people fill this spiritual gap with the true teachings of our religion.

76 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JULY 2013


© AMA GALLERY UK

The English Rendering of the 5 Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an One of the most comprehensive commentaries of the Holy Qur’an ever written.

Commentary by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra) Read it online at: http://www.alislam.org/quran/ Or Purchase the print version at: http://store.alislam.org/


SUBSCRIPTION

NOTE ABOUT REFERENCES

Verse references to the Holy Qur’an count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not counted. Should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in Subscription Contacts: USA – Faiza Bajwa Email: usa@reviewofreligions.org

The Review of Religions will be found a verse earlier, i.e. at one verse less than the number quoted in this journal. For the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘sa’ or ‘(saw)’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’,

Canada– Sheikh Abdul Wadood Email: canada@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +1 416 464 3010

Nigeria – Qasim Oyekola Email: nigeria@reviewofreligions.org Tel: + 23 481 2221 1949

Ghana – Ragheb Zia ul Haq Email: ghana@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +23 324 333 4337

UK Email: akhbar@ahmadiyyauk.org Tel: +44 (0) 20 8544 7614 +44 (0) 7888 730 533

or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used normally in small letters. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘as’ or ‘(as)’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra’ or ‘(ra)’ stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant

For all other subscription issues or for general enquiries email info@reviewofreligions.org or contact Head Office

Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘rh’ or ‘(rh)’ for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him. In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations of names of places are preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc.


CALENDAR OF

RELIGIOUS

EVENTS & FESTIVALS

JULY 2013 Tuesday 9th July Faith: Islam Event: Start of Ramadan

Tuesday 16th July Faith: Judaism Event: Tisha B’Av

It is the Muslim month of fasting - a time devoted to worship, spiritual reflection, and self improvement. The start date varies depending on location.

A solemn annual fast day in Judaism, commemorating Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day over the years. This includes the destruction of the First and Second Temple, and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

Monday 15th July Faith: Christianity Event: St Swithin’s Day Swithin (or Swithun) was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester. It is believed that the weather on this feast day determines the weather for the following 40 days.

Monday 22nd July Faith: Buddhism Event: Asala – Dharma Day One of the most important Buddhist festivals, it celebrates Buddha’s first sermon, “The Wheel of Truth,” after his enlightenment.


The Review of Religions, in print since 1902, is one of the longest-running comparative religious magazines. The objective of the magazine is to present the teachings of Islam, reflecting its rational, harmonious and inspiring nature. It also brings together articles and viewpoints on different religions and seeks to make discussions on religion and religious philosophy accessible to a wider readership. The magazine is devoted to promoting intellectual and lively debate that is based on respect for all prophets and religions. Islam repeatedly stresses the need to seek knowledge and The Review of Religions provides a unique platform for people to acquire, and share knowledge. Yearly subscription is only ÂŁ15 sterling or $30 for overseas customers. To subscribe, or for more info, visit

www.reviewofreligions.org/subscription Follow us on Twitter Š ISLAMIC PUBLICATIONS, 2013 ISSN NO. 0034-6721

@ReviewReligions

The Review of Religions (July 2013)  

Historic Visit of Khalifah of the Promised Messiah to California.