2013 Webcasting on the world’s first real-time Islamic service at www.virtualmosque.co.uk Editors: Shahid Aziz Mustaq Ali Contents: The Call of the Messiah Islam is Way More English than the EDL by Tim Stanley The Origin and Growth of Hadith Literature by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Revival of the Faith by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi Mujaddids and Armed Jihad translated by Shahid Aziz
stand in a complementary relationship with them as superbly The ُ ْ َ َ َ expressed elaborations. ُ ْ َ َْ statement لایاک نعبدrelates to ِل ِالحمد ل ٰ ل, indicating Page 1 3
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ن ْحالرَّ ْ ی م حم ْ ْس م ْ ٰ ِباہللْالرَّ م Call of the Messiah by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi The four fountains It should byُ ْ now َ ْ َ be evident that in Surah Fatihah after ِل ِالحمد ل ٰ ل, God Most High, having cited these four attributes as the four founts of good and grace, has directed in the verses that follow that one should seek benefit from each of these ُ ْ َ َْ sources. From the phrase ِل ِ ٰ الحمد ٰ ل ل ْ َْ down to الدین ک یو لم ل م لل لthese obviously constitute five different things – ُ ْ َ َْ ِالحمد ل ٰ ل ِل ْ َْ ّ َ رب الع لال لمین ٰ ْ ّ َ ِ الرحم ل ن ْ َ الرحیم ْ َْ ٰ ل الدین ک یو لم ل م لل ل - and the five phrases that follow
that only that Being with perfect attributes Whose name is Allah is worthy َ ْ َ of َ ّ worship and ّ َ adoration; the statement لا لیاک نست لعینrelates toرب ْ َْ الع لال لمین, pointing to the fact that we seek help from the mighty fount of God’s Rububiyyat, which is the most extensive and comprehensive source of good, since without the benefit of God’s Rububiyyat it is absolutely impossible to make any progress or grow externally as well as internally, or have any unimpaired change of condition, or ٰ ْ ّ َ َ ْ have َ ْ ُ ْ aَ share َ ّ َ ْ in spiritual renewal; the words لاھ لدنا الصراط المست لقی ِمcorrespond toِالرحم لن inَ ْ that who recites and repeats َ ْ ُ ْ theَ َ person ّ الصراط المست لقی ِمseeks benefit from the ٰ ْ ّ َ fountainhead of ن ِ الرحم ل, for no one has any right or entitlement to guidance, but rather this treasure is to be hadْ only Rahَ ْ َ َ َ through ْ َ ْ َ َ ْ ّ َ God’s maniyyat; the term لصراط ال لذین انعمت علی لھ ِمstands ْ َ in relationship with الر لحیمin that the man who ْ ْ َ َ َ ْ َ َْ َ ْ ّ َ َ recites and repeats لصراط ال لذین انعمت علی لھ ِمseeks ْ َ benefit from the fountainhead of الر لحیم, for it
2 means “O Thou Who answerest prayers out of thy mercy and grace! Show us the path of the apostles and the truthful and the faithful who, having thrown themselves deeply in supplication and striving, received from Thee the favour of various forms of knowledge, truths, visions and revelations, and attained to and reached the stage of perfect knowledge and wisdom by means of their perpetual prayer, humility and ْ ُ noble ْ َْ َ deeds”; the phrase یر المغضو لب غ ْ ّ ََ ْ ََْ َْ ٰ ل علی لھم وَلالض لالینanswers to ک یو لم ل مل ل ْ الدین in that one who recites ل ْ ََْ ْ ُ ْ َْ َ and repeats یر المغضو لب علی لھم غ ل ْ ّ ََ وَلالض لالینseeks benefit from the ٰ ْ َْ fountainhead of الدین ک یو لم ل م لل لand
put to the sword or taken to other lands as prisoners. The final result was that after the death of Jesus (peace be on him), they perpetuْ َ َ ْ remained ُ ْ َْ ally ‘( المغضو لب علی لھمthose upon whom wrath is brought down’). Since it was known to God Most High that they were a perverse people, they had accordingly been threatened in the Torah for the most part with the punishments of this world. Many a time Divine wrath descended upon them in a horrible form, since they used to oppress the righteous servants of God with their hands and tongues, and this is why heaven’s wrath waxed hot against them in this Yellowstone National Park it means “O! Thou Master of the very world so that they might day of Requital! Save us from serve as a warning to those people who, in time the calamity that, on account of thy displeasure, to come, would oppose the apostles of God and we be smitten in this world like the Jews with His righteous servants in the same way and torafflictions such as plague, etc., or that, having ment them, or hatch dark plots to have them put gone astray like the Christians from the path of them to death or held in disrepute. salvation, be held deserving of punishment in A warning the next world.” Inْ this verse, the Christians ّ have been called الض لالینfor the reason that no In the teaching of this prayer, therefore, there is an implicit suggestion that you should eschew visitation of Divine displeasure has come upon and avoid the temperament and attitude of the them in this world, and this community has only fallen away from the path to the next world’s Jews and that, if an apostle of God should appear among you, you should not, like the Jews, salvation and are, therefore, liable to be punplay a rash and reckless game, and subject him ished in the Hereafter.ْ َ But َ ْ the ُ ْ َ ْ Jews have been given the name of المغضو لب علی لھمfor the reason to torment or anguish, accusing him of falsehood, that it may not be that by calling a truthful that, even in this world, great calamities and man a liar and subjecting him to a variety of chastisements befell them and afflicted them on account of their wrongdoing, plague being one agonies and speaking ill of and slandering him, you might also, like the Jews, become the target of those instruments of punishment. Since the of Divine wrath. But it is regrettable indeed that Jews not only accused the prophets of God and righteous persons of falsehood and rejected the people of this ummah, too, have always stumbled and fallen and have learnt no lesson them, but also put many of them to death, confrom the history of the Jews. What a warning it spired against their lives and tormented and troubled them with foul and filthy speech, God’s was, of which heed should have been taken, that the Jews had been given the promise of the reindignation, being provoked from time to time turn of the prophet Elias, and it was written in by their wicked behaviour, afflicted them with various chastisements. Many a time hundreds of the scripture that until Elias returned to this earth a second time, Jesus would not make his thousands of Jews were annihilated by plague, appearance. The Jews, then, putting their own and many a time thousands of them were either
3 followers to cherish their families, to venerate literal interpretation on the sacred text, unaniwomen, to treat strangers kindly, to obey the law mously adopted the doctrine that the return of the of any country they are in (yes, yes, it really does), prophet Elias to this earth was absolutely necesand to give generously. One recent poll found that sary and essential; and it was in accordance with British Muslims donate more money to charity this belief that they could not accept Jesus (peace than any other religious group. Much is written be on him), and queried how Jesus could come about the need for Muslims to integrate better into when Elias had not as yet returned to this earth a English society, although second time as promI’m sure 99 per cent of ised. This literalism them already do. But I landed them in great hope they retain as trouble. It was, in reality, much of their religious the root-cause of all identity as possible – it their misfortune and is vastly superior to the adversity that they immaterialist, secular posed a literal interpremess that they’re being tation on a metaphorical compelled to become a statement of the Sacred part of. Scripture, and that all I’m not one of those their divines subscribed New Labour metropoliwith one voice to the tan types who wants to view that before the adHamilton Pool, Texas, USA create a rainbow nation vent of the Messiah the of hippies – I’m a cultural conservative, a Catholic coming of Elias to this world for a second visit was chauvinist and a defender of everything worth absolutely necessary, and laughed at and ridiculed venerating. But it’s precisely because I’m a tradithe interpretation that by Elias was meant John the tionalist that I look at Islam and see much to adBaptist (whom the Muslims call Yahya), who had mire – ordered, sensitive to the sacred, civilised…. come in the spirit and power of Elias, and queried why, if it was meant that not Elias himself but his (Editor’s Note: The above is a short extract from likeness would return to this world, God Most High Tim Stanley’s original online article on the blogs did not say so in the prophecy that the likeness of pages of The Telegraph. For the full article see Elias would appear prior to the advent of the Meshttp://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ siah. In this way, their hearts became hardened timstanley/100230090/islam-is-way-more-englishand obdurate, and they branded a righteous man a than-the-edf/.) heretic and a liar.
Islam is Way More English Than the EDL
The Origin and Growth of Hadith Literature
by Tim Stanley
by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali
…. Today our meetings with foreign cultures are awkward precisely because we lack a solid sense of who we are. A lot of the fear shown towards Islam comes from the death of the Christian soul – we see a people who actually believe in something and we are intimidated. By contrast, most Muslims cling on to values that were once definitively English and that we could do with rediscovering. Islam instructs its
Sunnah or Hadith is admittedly the second source – and undoubtedly a secondary one – from which the teachings of Islam are drawn. Sunnah literally means a way or rule or manner of acting or mode of life, and Hadith literally means a saying conveyed to man either through hearing or through revelation.1 In its original sense, therefore, Sunnah indicates the practice, and Hadith the sayings, of the Holy Prophet; but practically both cover the same
4 ground and are applicable to his actions, practices, and sayings, Hadith being the narration and record of the Sunnah, but containing in addition some prophetical and historical elements. Sunnah is divided into three kinds. It may be a qaul, i.e., an utterance or a saying of the Holy Prophet which has a bearing on a religious question; a fi‘l, i.e., his action or practice; or a taqrir, i.e., his silent approval of the action or practice of another. Anyone who studies the Qur’an will see that the Holy Book generally deals with the broad principles or essentials of religion, going into details in very A view of the earth from the moon – the beauty rare cases. The details were generthat man is destroying in his arrogance ally supplied by the Holy Prophet, by either showing in his practice and regulations for its payment and collection. how an injunction was to be carried out or by These are only two examples. As Islam covers giving an explanation in words. The Sunnah or the whole sphere of human activities, hundreds Hadith of the Holy Prophet was not a thing of of points had to be explained by the Holy which the need may have been felt after his Prophet by his example, action and word. On the death, as is generally supposed; it was as much moral side, he was the exemplar whom every needed in his lifetime. The two most important Muslim was required to follow (33:21). The man religious institutions of Islam, for instance, are who embraced Islam, therefore, stood in need of salat (prayer) and zakat (compulsory charity). both the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, Yet when the injunctions relating to them were (From: Maulana Muhammad Ali, Introduction to given, and they are repeatedly met with both in the Study of Hadith, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Mecca and Medina revelations, no details were Islam, Lahore, Pakistan, n.d., pp. 1–2.) given. Aqimu al-salata (or keep up prayers) is the Qur’anic injunction, and it was the Prophet who by his action gave the details of the service. Atuz al-zakah (or pay the zakat) is again an injunction frequently repeated in the Holy Qur’an, yet it was the Holy Prophet who gave the rules 1. Hence the Holy Qur’an is also spoken of as Hadith (18:6; 39:23). The word sunnah is used in the Holy Qur’an in a general sense meaning a way or rule. Thus sunnat-ul-awwalin (8:38; 15:13; 18:55; 35:43) means the way or example of the former people and is frequently used in the Holy Qur’an as signifying God’s way of dealing with people, which is also spoken of as sunnat -ullah or God’s way. Once, however, the plural sunan is used as indicating the ways in which men ought to walk: “God desires to explain to you, and to guide you into the ways (Ar. Sunan) of those before you” (4:26).
Revival of the Faith by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi (This article – reproduced here with minor amendments – has been translated by Dr Zahid Aziz from the Urdu original, written in 1968 on the 60th anniversary of the demise of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and published in Paigham-i Sulh, the Urdu journal of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. It may be read online at: http://www.abdulhaq.info/english/revival.pdf.) The Sūra Yā Sīn (ch. 36 of the Holy Quran) is customarily read before a Muslim on his deathbed, in order to turn his mind away from this world and to the next. The idea is good, but not
5 “Says he (man): Who will give life to the bones, when they are rotten? Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is Knower of all creation, Who made for you fire from the green tree, so that from it you kindle.” (36:78–80) Many scientific truths are conveyed in this verse. The basis of life on earth is the green matter contained in plants. Discoveries in biological science tell us that life on earth began with plants. At that time there was only water and salt available, which could support plant life of a primitive kind, like algae on the sea-bed. Gradually, plants evolved and became more advanced. This is what is meant by the words: “And We made from water everything living.” (21:30)
as beneficial as it is thought to be. If a man neglected the Quran all his life, what can he gain by listening to it when dying? We are reminded of a story that a Nawab (aristocratic ruler) in the Muslim state of Hyderabad Deccan, India, heard that there was an old woman who recited the Quran melodiously. So he engaged her to live in his mansion and recite the Quran day and night. One day, as the Nawab passed by her, hearing her recitation he asked her what she was reading. “Sūra Yā Sīn,” she replied. The Nawab was struck with terror: “You are reading Yā Sīn!” he exclaimed; “You accursed woman! You are going to cause someone to die.” With these words, he expelled her from his house! The Sūra Yā Sīn does not deliver the message of death to the living; on the contrary, it gives life to the dead and revives decayed bones. At the close of this chapter, there occur the words:
Life did not reach the animal stage from algae in a single step, but passed through numerous stages in evolution. No one knows how many stages had to be passed through from the algae to flowering plants and magnificent trees. Just as from the dim light of the glowworm to the brightly shining sun, there are innumerable grades of light and heat, similarly there are countless stages in the evolution of plant life. “He is Knower of all creation” means that He knows not only all kinds of creation, but is the creator and knower of all these stages as well.
Animal life from ‘green matter’ Commentators of the Quran have taken the “fire from the green tree” to refer to certain trees whose branches produce sparks by friction when they rub against one another. But these words do not refer to any accidental production of fire or any particular type of tree. Scientists tell us that in almost every type of tree there is a green substance called chlorophyll which not only provides the basis of supporting the life of the tree but all animal life is dependent on its action as well. This green substance, within
6 which exists the fuel of life of all animals, produces the ‘fire’ of life (oxygen), upon which depends all plant and animal life. However, chlorophyll by itself is not sufficient. In fact, it is in a sense a burden on the tree. So when the tree can no longer make use of it, it sheds it. In the autumn when heat and light from the sun start to diminish, and the leaves cannot perform their function, nature causes trees to shed the burden of leaves.
The sun That great sea of fire and heat, by those help chlorophyll does its wonderful work, is the sun. It is rightly said: “Without the sun there would be no life at all upon this earth, no light and no life”. The chapter Yā Sīn is a grand exposition of the power and the blessings of the sun, which brings life to earth after its death. In Arabic, Hebrew, and in fact all Semitic languages, the words sīn (where s is the letter sīn) and ṣīn (where ṣ is the letter ṣād) are used with the meaning of ‘the rising sun in the east’. The Arabs call China aṣ-ṣīn (ṣ being ṣād here) because for them it lies in the direction from where the sun rises. In Semitic languages, the word for a year is sana (s being the letter sīn) because the sun is the basis for measuring the year. The purpose of the Holy Quran is not to teach astronomy but to convey, in the words “Yā Sīn! By the Quran full of wisdom. You are certainly one of the messengers” (36:1–3) that the spiritual sun of the world is the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who is elsewhere called “a lightgiving sun” (33:46). Jesus is called “the morning star” (Revelation, 22:16) because he came to deliver the good news of the coming of this sun, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The mention of the Quran shows that it is due to the Quran that the Holy Prophet became a light-giving sun.
from the sun, becomes the source of life for both plant life and other life. Just as chlorophyll, with the help of the sun’s light and heat, breaks up carbon dioxide into its life-giving constituents, so does the spiritual tree, by receiving light from the Holy Quran, separate good and evil, and give life to the Ummah. The words which follow, “so that from it you kindle”, do not refer to burning wood but to man kindling the fire of spiritual life within himself. Chlorophyll is a wonder of nature because it is extremely difficult to break down the carbon dioxide in the air into carbon and oxygen. To do this in a scientific laboratory requires creating high temperatures of thousands of degrees with expensive equipment and noisy machinery. Yet the leaf of a green tree, with the aid of sunlight, and without any expense or noise, can separate carbon and oxygen from ordinary air and support the life of countless animals. Is this not a strong proof of the existence of God, that only a Knowing and Wise Power can bring this about?
Rising of the sun of Islam throughout the whole world The sun whose blessings are mentioned in the chapter Yā Sīn bears a perfect analogy to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This sun is to rise twice, once upon the eastern world and once upon the western The power of nature: a lightning strike
The working of chlorophyll Although the source of life is the sun, it is the green matter in plant life which, taking the light
world. This is the meaning of the Quranic verse “Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests” (55:17),
7 i.e. this spiritual sun will be the nourisher of both the east and the west, and his religion will illuminate the whole world. But when shall this come to pass? It will happen when centres of the propagation of Islam are established in the western world, and the Holy Quran is translated into European languages, so that the “lightgiving sun” rises upon those lands. It is no secret who in this present age laid the foundations of this grand work. In his first book, Barāhīn Aḥmadiyya, the proofs of the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has presented from the Holy Quran constitute a brilliant introduction to the Quran. However, his aim that 300 such arguments will be presented could not be fulfilled for some Divinely ordained reason. After reading the four parts of this excellent book, you wish that you could enjoy some more of this fruit of knowledge. But if Hazrat Mirza sahib had exhausted all the Quranic knowledge and the proofs of the truth of the Holy Prophet, he would have deprived us of the pleasure of work and research, and barred the way for us to show our love for the Holy Prophet. But these “green trees” do not come to make man’s reason and intellect redundant; on the contrary, they make it sharper and clearer. In our age, according to Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal, it was only Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who showed love for the Holy Quran, this being his way of showing love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad since the Holy Prophet’s own beloved was the Quran.
The Milky Way: a view from earth phere and environment, performed life-giving work like a green tree? If Islam is a living religion, and the branches of this faith are green, full of chlorophyll, then spirit-reviving flowers will grow on this tree. The green tree and the sun (the Holy Quran) have the miraculous power, by acting together, to raise the dead to life.
Hazrat Mirza raises tone of discussion There was a time when the Ulama debated and discussed issues such as the following: whether in prayer one should raise hands when rising from the ruku position to the standing posture; how āmīn should be uttered, loudly or silently; whether the flesh of the crow was allowed or not; was the ‘arsh of Allah made of wood, creaking under the burden it was supporting?; could Allah tell a lie?; did a person become a believer or disbeliever through his own faith and actions, or had Allah since eternity fixed the number of believers and disbelievers? These questions were considered to be the fundamentals in determining faith. Who was it who, in this atmos-
Mujaddids and Armed Jihad: a Translation from an Urdu Source (Editor’s Note: Qutb-ud-Dīn Ahmad ibn ‘Abdul Rahīm, better known as Shāh Walīullāh, was an Islamic scholar, reformer and founder of modern Islamic thought who attempted to reassess Islamic theology in the light of modern changes. He was the mujaddid of the 12th century AH. The most important of Shah Waliullah’s works is Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha, in which he made an
8 attempt to present the teachings of Islam in a spirit of scientific objectivity. What follows is an extractfromtheIntroductiontoitsUrdutranslation which has been rendered into English by ShahidAzizandistakenfrompages29–31 of the Urdu book.) Some short-sighted people raise this objection regarding Shah sahib (r): “Why did he not conduct a jihad?” The answer to it is this, that: 1. First, this point is not credible that, for a Divinely raised scholar and mujaddid, it is essential to take the sword in hand and engage disbelief and shirk [Footnote: ‘Associating others with God’] or those who are heretics. A Divinely raised scholar or mujaddid is obedient to the Prophet. The question is: From among the prophets and great personalities how many, not content with the propagation of the true religion, took up the sword for jihad? Is the life of the Holy Prophet himself at Makkah not an example for us? Is it not jihad to raise the pen to eliminate disbelief and shirk and heresy? And is this glorious deed not included in the meaning of jihad that a Divinely raised scholar, by the power of his pen, cuts through all those veils on account of which the shining face of the true religion is hidden from the eyes of the people and shows its true beauty to the public, unveils its truths and high moral teaching and makes known to every section of the nation of Islam their errors and mistakes that they had been making for centuries. If the answer to this question is not in the negative, and certainly it is not, then I have no hesitation in saying that Hazrat Shah sahib (r) was a great Divinely-raised scholar, a great mujaddid and a great warrior….
…. If, after this, there is still anxiety in someone’s heart as to why Hazrat Shah sahib (r) did not conduct armed jihad then we have no answer for them except silence. Now as promised, I briefly sketch the achievements of Hazrat Shah sahib’s (r) jihad with the pen…. [Comment: Hazrat Shah Walliullah was not unique in conducting his mission in this manner. Only when Muslims faced persecution, for example at the hands of the Sikh rulers of the Panjab,
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, USA did the mujaddid of the age, Syed Ahmad Shaheed, conduct armed jihad. Sadly, the Sunnis betrayed his hideout for a bribe and he was martyred. Interestingly, he crossed the territory ruled by the British but did not conduct armed jihad against them because there was no religious persecution. Almost all other mujaddids conducted their jihad with the pen. — Translator]
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