Web-casting on the Worldâ€™s first real-time Islamic service at www.virtualmosque.co.uk Editors: Shahid Aziz Mustaq Ali
Announcements and News
My journey to Islam
The Black Stone
The Promised Messiah speaks
Shaikh Nur Ahmad of Abbottabad, one of the founding members of the Ahmadiyya Anj man Ishaat Islam Lahore in 1914. She leaves behind three daughters and one son. Muhammad Tariq, beloved father of a staunch member of Dehli Jama'at Mrs. Khadija Ashraf On 20th February, 2012, dear mother of Aunty Sumaira Ahmad of Woking and grandmother of her three daughters departed from our company.
My journey to Islam
Christopher Ibrahim Bradley
Announcements and News Friday
Here is my story about how I came to accept the truth that is Islam and the peace and happiness which has come into my life with accepting it. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand into a predominantly Roman Catholic family and was baptized at a very young age. As I grew up I had a somewhat religious upbringing and influence. I tried attending church on and
Webcasts: Please note that the Friday khutba and prayers, the dars, as well as all meetings are broadcast over the Virtual Mosque (www.virtualmosque.co.uk) at the time stated above.
Mrs Zakia Iqbal Khan, in Lahore on Friday 24th February, the last remaining one of the progeny of Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig. May Allah grant her His protetion and forgiveness, and admit her to His great mercy to join her righteous elders,ameen. She was over 90 years of age and seriously ailing for the past few months. Besides being the youngest daughter of Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig, the Marhooma was daughter-in-law of
off but never really lasted more than a few weeks at a time. I guess to me this may have been because I never really felt at home within the church and wasent satisfied with what I was being taught and what I got out of it spiri-
2 tually. So over the years I tried looking elsewhere for the truth but didn’t know where I would find it. Looking back to when I was in high school, most probably the 3rd or 4th form I remember in my daily social science classes we looked into different faiths for sometime including Islam. So subsequently out of curiosity I went to my school library and found a copy of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English translation of The Holy Quran there amongst a few other translations
Buddhist worship - The standing posture also. What attracted me to this translation was the way in which in which it was beautifully translated with its explanatory footnotes and parallel Arabic text which altogether was easy for me to understand as a non-Muslim. I also out of curiosity typed the word Muslim on an internet search engine and the first result that popped up was coincidently that of www.muslim.org (The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement USA website) and wrote an email to them requesting more information about Islam. Unfortunately at this time they didn’t get around to replying to my email, maybe God was waiting for a better time for me to receive the truth. For the next few years I lost interest in religion and subsequently had no direction within my life and came to a stage in my mid to late teens where I started involving myself in partying and drinking with my peers. Upon leaving high school I began to ask myself whether I was drinking out of the bottle or was the bottle drinking the life out of me, I never seemed to find happiness at the bottom of the bottle at all. Deep down I wanted to become a better person
and the lifestyle of which I was living wasn’t allowing me to become a better person. I could not stop thinking about what would happen to me if I died tomorrow and to where would I go? Was there life after death? I felt that God was telling me to change my habits and that I needed to become a better person and that it was time to accept reality. So once again I started searching into Christianity as well as non-Christian faiths also including that of Buddhism and the Hare Krishna movement as well as a few others. However one day I once again had an inclination to look into Islam despite all the negative media and societal views within the west regarding the faith. Remembering the Maulana Muhammad Ali translation I had seen a few years earlier in high school I decided to purchase this Holy Quran translation from the internet. I could not stop reading the text and digesting the message contained within its pages and knew of a surety that what I was reading was from God and I felt good and fully satisfied with what I was reading. I rang up a local Muslim trust here in New Zealand and arranged my first visit to a Mosque. And on this day the 25th of May 2011 I recited the Shahadah (Creed of Islam) for the first time and became a Muslim taking upon myself the name Ibrahim. Before converting I kept insisting to myself that it would be too hard to become Muslim, because of the 5 daily prayers, fasting, and having to learn Arabic, but nevertheless I became Muslim despite these hesitations knowing it is the right choice for me. Maulana Muhammad Ali’s last words were to “spread the Quran it will do its own work”, I testify of this myself as before converting to Islam I didn’t know any Muslims and it was through The Holy Quran only that I came into the fold of Islam. After I had converted to Islam I felt a sense of peace come upon me and to be honest I felt like a new person starting a new life with a clean record. Over the following month or so I studied Islam and acquired a somewhat decent knowledge of my new found faith and I am till this date happy and satisfied with the decision I have made. When I took my Maulana Muhammad Ali English translation of The Holy Quran to the
3 predominantly Sunni affiliated Mosque nearby I was told not to read it and was even given another translation instead. Out of curiousity I asked these brothers about what these so-called ‘Qadianis’ believed and was told that they were planted by the British to destroy Islam and that they do Hajj to Qadian as well as accept a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh) contrary to the Holy Quran and Hadith. I began to read some of their webpage’s and literature and as a result I became somewhat brain washed with these anti-Ahmadiyya views not at the time been aware of the two sections of the movement. One day I saw an Ahmadiyya (Qadiani Jamaat) bookstall at the local markets and instantly remembered about what I had been told and read about them and out of curiosity went to them and asked questions for 20 minutes or so and eventually took some of their literature and returned home. During the next few days I finished a few of their books about Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. As I read about him and from reading his own writings I felt that this man was nothing like the misunderstood and negative impressions I got from the mainstream Muslims. I could not believe that this man could be an enemy of Islam at all. He defended the religion of Islam till his death, as during his time very much like today, Islam was the one of the most misunderstood faiths and was seen as dark and barbaric and was being attacked by its critics. As I read his writings about Islam I could not help but been impressed by the way he presented it and could see the uncorrupted Islam as found in The Holy Quran and in the character of Muhammad (pbuh) the last of the prophets. I felt that this pious
Buddhist worship - The kneeling posture
man from rural India was without a doubt a man of God and his peaceful teachings had an impact upon me. I was drawn towards Ahmadiyya by its strong spiritual teachings and its emphasis on building a relationship with God. I hadn’t really felt this with the Mainstream Muslim sects and haven’t felt as much of a relationship with God as I have had with Ahmadiyya. I signed the Bai’at (pledge) into the Qadiani section of the movement still not being aware of the two sections and about the split between the two in 1914. I didn’t realize at the time that Maulana Muhammad Ali was in fact from the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement until about a month after being a member of the Qadiani group. I over time got in contact with the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement again (The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore) in New Zealand and came to discover the reasons behind the split in the Ahmadiyya Movement and also how the Qadian section has drifted away from the Ahmadiyya teachings and has unfortunately brought in teachings which contradict the Holy Quran, Hadith, and what Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself taught. I began to study the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movements publications in depth and the more I read, the more I began to question the Qadian section beliefs. I began to realize that the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement is much more in conformity with most importantly The Holy Quran, secondly the Hadith, and thirdly what Mirza Sahib himself taught throughout his life till his death in 1908. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never claimed to be a prophet in the sense the Qadiani’s believe him to be a literal Nabi after Muhammad (pbuh) the last of the prophets (The Holy Quran, 33:40). Mirza Sahib himself stated in the Delhi Mosque on oath that if anyone claimed to be a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh) is a liar and outside the pale of Islam and also he stated that only a wretched imposter could claim prophethood after Muhammad (pbuh) and that it is his belief that Muhammad (pbuh) is the ‘khataman nabiyeen’ (seal and finality of prophethood) and that no prophet could now appear. I also found it shocking how some Qadiani’s complain about how they are dubbed kafir by mainstream Muslims even though there Khalifah Mirza Mahmood Ahmad called hundreds
Buddhist worship - using Rosary beads of thousands of Muslims kafir in his writings, for example quoting from his own writings: “These so-called Muslims who have not entered the baiat of Mirza Sahib or even heard of his name are kafirs and outside the pale of Islam, these beliefs have my full concurrence I readily admit” (Ainah I Sadaqat/ truth of the split, pgs 55, 56) about how they are dubbed kafir by mainstream Muslims nor to anyone did he ever state that anyone who denies his claims as a ‘kafir’ or ‘outside the pale of Islam’. On the contrary Mirza Sahib himself stated: “It has been my belief from the beginning that no one is dubbed kafir for not accepting my claims”. These are just a few of the contradictions I found between the Qadiani section beliefs with the beliefs of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself. Due to all the contradictions found in the Qadiani teachings I know why there was a split within the Ahmadiyya Movement and that the reality was that Mirza Sahibs son Mahmood at a very young age causing a rift with the other righteous people in the movement by declaring that “my father did not know he was a prophet” in 1908. He also brought in the teachings that non-Ahmadis are to be treated as non-Muslim and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet contrary to The Holy Quran, Hadith, and what Mirza sahib himself taught till his death. I pondered over and over about these issues and came to the decision that I would travel to
the Fiji Islands for a holiday and to learn more about the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. During my stay in Fiji I spent most of my time at the Headquarters of the movement in Suva researching and became convinced that the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement is the group which truly adheres to the teachings of The Holy Quran, Hadith, and what Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Mujaddid of the 15th century taught. One of the teachings found within The Holy Quran itself is that when one finds truth, it is incumbent upon one to accept truth which is what I thought I did when I joined the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam on the 1st of December 2011 at the Masjid Noor (HQ Suva, Fiji Islands). I personally consider it a privilege to be apart of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore, the term Ahmadiyya itself is derived from the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) whose other name was Ahmad. I have now dedicated my life to removing the misconceptions surrounding Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement itself and presenting the faith of Islam as it is found within the Quran itself and in the character of Muhammad (pbuh). I believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the last of the prophets and that no prophet new or old can appear after him. The religion of Islam itself is a religion of peace, the term Islam itself comes from the Arabic word ‘salaam’ meaning peace. So therefore the faith teaches firstly making peace with God Almighty, secondly making peace with mankind, and lastly making peace within ourselves. This can be achieved by submitting ourselves to God and striving to follow his teachings and being good human beings.
The Black Stone and its Importance The Editor NOOR-I-ISLAM (From March 2012 issue) When we do the tawaf around the Ka’bah, during the pilgrimage or the Umrah, or even as a Sunnah, we always start and finish at the east-
5 ern corner of the Ka’bah where the Black Stone to put at this corner”. He brought him this stone is placed. It is recommended to kiss the Black which was different from the rest of stones they Stone or touch it at the beginning and as we used in the building. It is black with a touch of start every round, but if the place is too redness, and looked different in texture. There is crowded, it is enough to just signal with one’s no doubt that it is unlike other stones, because it has been there for several thousands of years, hand, observing what is recommended to do and retaining its shape, form and color despite all say during tawaf. It is important, therefore, to sorts of weather conditions and the billions of know what significance, if any, the Black Stone hands touching it and lips kissing it. It resisted has. fires, floods and other turbulent conditions, as Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with well as several cases of renovation and rebuildhim), the second closest to the Prophet, peace and ing. All those who renovated the building of the blessings of Allah on him, of all his companions, once Kabah retained it in its posistood at the Black Stone tion. Some reports suggest that and kissed it as he was about to do his tawaf. He “I know that you are merely a stone it is a meteor brought to Abrathen addressed it saying: that can cause neither harm nor bene- ham by the Angel Gabriel. Even “I know that you are fit. Had it not been for the fact that I if this is true, it does not merely a stone that can change its religious status I saw the Prophet kissing you, I would cause neither harm nor have mentioned, that it is a not have kissed you.” benefit. Had it not been stone with no special characfor the fact that I saw the teristics or status. When we Prophet kissing you, I would not have kissed venerate it, we do so because it marks a ritual of you.” (Al-Bukhari). worship, but it is not a part of that worship. Thus Umar, Allah be pleased with him, put the What is part of our worship is to follow the whole issue of the Black Stone and its signifiProphet’s guidance. In this connection, he kissed cance in the right perspective. It is a mere stone the Black Stone at times, signaled to it with his that causes neither benefit nor harm to anyone. staff at other times and signaled with his hand As a stone, it is not different from any other when convenient. Whichever of these is easiest stone. Umar obviously knew that the stone could for us when we do the tawaf is perfectly acceptnot harm him, but his words were meant for the able. We are rewarded for following the people present, and indeed for all others. Saying Prophet‟s (peace and blessings of Allah on him) example. them there meant that they would be communiAnyone who thinks the Black Stone can bring cated by other pilgrims to all their people him benefit or prevent harm is in gross error. throughout the Muslim world. Hence, the action of kissing the Black Stone or venerating it seeks The Promised Messiah only to follow the Prophet‟s example, because Speaks the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah on him, has taught us only what is good. Thus, it falls within The Holy Quran establishes in a pragthe general requirement of following the matic manner the truth of the basic princiProphet‟s guidance. The Black Stone has no sigples of Islam which fom1 a basis for one's salvanificance other than its being the mark for the tion. Its teachings are grounded in a convincstart and end of a particular ritual of worship. ingly philosophical reasoning. It proves to the It is useful to know something of the history point of conviction every argument advanced of the Black Stone. It is well known that the Kaby it. For instance, it proves the existence of bah was built, on Allah’s instructions, by the the Creator of the Universe. It establishes the prophets Abraham and Ishmael, peace on them. It is truth of the Unity of God. It also marshals reported that when they completed its building, decisive arguments to vindicate the supreme Abraham said to his son: “Bring me a fine stone
6 need of the Divine Revelation. It is never at a loss to distinguish truth from untruth. This by itself is an incontrovertible proof that Furqan Majeed is the Revealed Word of God. This point also establishes its Divine reality and its supremacy. No revealed book before the Holy Quran nor any thinker or philosopher who exercised his talents in search of truth, had ever been able to highlight false beliefs by luminous reasoning nor had they ever been able to banish doubts and apprehensions from the human mind by radiant arguments. This glorious task has been accomplished in a unique manner by the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never attended any school even for half a day. He never learnt any knowledge, logical or practical, from any philosopher or logician nor did he come into contact with any sage or scholar. Still he based the divine philosophy on rational arguments and expounded such beliefs as guaranteed lasting salvation, in such an illuminating manner as has no precedent anywhere in the whole history of mankind. This is an accomplishment of such a high order as is not possible or even thinkable without cFvine help. Here human reasoning has perforce to bow before the Holy Ouran which was revealed hy Allah Who has no rival. Hence human knowledge can never be equal to divine knowledge. (Barahe,en Ahmadiyya, Vol. I)
Why is the Holy Quran Superior to other Scriptures? Undoubtedly, all scriptures as revelations are equal. But from the point of the comprehensiveness of the narration and the excellences of the beliefs enshrined in them, some are superior to others. From this angle of vision the Holy Quran is superior to all scriptures, because it explains vigorously and convincingly the principles of true religion, expounds the principle of the Unity of God, unfolds the panorama of the forbidden things, and the range of the varieties of idolatry (Shirk), prescribes sovereign remedies for spiritual ailments, divulges the falsity of the
false creeds and establishes the truth of the true faith in a manner which is conspicuous by its absence in other scriptures.
The Holy Quran was revealed at a time when mankind faced all such exigencies as it was destined to face. There was moral degradation all round. There was an anarchy of cre.eds. There was spiritual deterioration which vitiated every sphere of human life. Chaos and confusion of every hue and colour had reached the nadir. At this critical juncture, the teachings of the Holy Quran were revealed. Thus it marked the crown and completion of Divine Law for the guidance of mankind. The previous Laws were incomplete because when they were revealed, the disorder and mischief had not reached its climax. Hence the scriptures were just enough to meet the needs of the times. Thus the marked difference between the past scriptures and the Holy Quran is that the former, .even if they had remained immune,. would have proved sadly inadequate. This emphasised the need that a complete and immutable scripture like the Holy Quran, should come. Thus the Holy Quran leaves no room for any book to supplement its teachings. The possibility of any type of scripture is completely ruled out, because there is no further point after the highest degree of excellence and completion attained in the Holy Quran. Its replacement is thinkable only when one wishfully presumes
7 that the principle of the Unity of God like the Gospels and the Vedas will give way to idolatry and the crores of the True Believers will become idolatrous and animists. But all this is a sheer fictitious presumption as the events falsely envisaged shall never come to pass. (Baraheen Ahmadiyya, Vol. II)
he was still young. He had lost his sight in infancy but his mother’s prayers and invoking blessed him a sharp sight that enabled him to read and write in the moonlight and sharp memory so that if he had read or heard something, it would remain in his memory forever. He memorized the Holy Quran at the age of 9, and then began to learn Hadith from scholars Imam Bukhari of his region. At the age of 18, he traveled to The Founder of Makkah and stayed there for 16 years collecting Hadiths. He visited Egypt and Syria twice, Basra Hadith Science four times, spent many years in Hejaz and went By Abu Tariq al-Hijazi to Kufa and Baghdad many times. It is said that Imam Bukhari is a name that creates a sense of he learned about 600,000 Hadith from than reverence and respect in every Muslim’s heart. He 1,000 scholars. was one of the greatest scholars of Islam and the While returning to founder of the Hadith “O Allah why has this world of yours Bukhara after 16 Science. His prestigious years he began to which is so wide has no place for compilation named compile Jame Al‘Jame al-Sahih’ is re- me.” Imam Bukhari’s prayer to Allah. Sahih. He judged garded as the second 7,275 Hadith from authentic book of Islam his large collection and arranged them in 93 after the Holy Quran. chapters. Though Imam Bukhari wrote many It was in the second century Hijrah when most books, he shot to prominence because of Tarikh of those who had learned Islam from the Holy Al-Kabeer, Adab Al-Mufrad and Sahih AlProphet, peace and blessings of Allah on him, directly were Bukhari. The first one he wrote in full moon diminishing; the last of Prophet’s companions passnights at the Prophet‟s Mosque in Madinah. ing away in 110 A.H., a possibility of misquoting the Imam Bukhari had a very sharp memory. He Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah on him, by some peomemorized 70,000 Hadiths at an early age and ple with vested interest became apparent. So it was later in his life, this figure reached 300,000. essential to collect and authenticate true Hadiths Among those 100,000 Hadiths were Sahih and without sponsorship of any ruling authority, re200,000 were Hasan, Daif, (sound, weak) etc. In gional or national. It was a gigantic work to collect 250 A.H. he settled in Neshapur where he met all the prevailing statements attributed to the Holy Muslim ibn Al-Hajaaj as his disciple who comProphet and to classify them into relevant categopiled Sahih Al-Muslim which is regarded only ries, such as authentic, good, poor and false. second to Bukhari in the Muslim world. This was a great task, which Imam Bukhari, a His book on Hadith is regarded as the top of non-Arab from Khurasan, shouldered. He spent 16 Sahah Sitta which are the most authentic six years in searching, collecting and refining the matebooks of Hadith collected during 200-300 A.H. rial of Hadith. Not only this, he fixed the most rigid These are: rules to evaluate and authenticate any circulating Sahih Bukhari by Imam Bukhari – 256 A.H. Hadith. Thus he is known as the Founder of Hadith Sahih Muslim by Muslim ibn Al-Hajaaj – 261 Science. The rest of his life was spent in teaching A.H. and propagating the Hadith literature. One his stuSunan Al-Sughra by Al-Nasai – 302 A.H. dents, Imam Muslim, rose to the second position in Sunan Abu Dawood by Abu Dawood – 274 A.H. the world in Hadith compilation. Jami Al-Tirmidhi by Al-Tirmidhi – 278 A.H. Imam Bukhari was born in Bukhara in 196 A.H. Sunan Ibn Majah by Ibn Majah – 273 A.H. (810 A.D.) now in Uzbekistan. His father died when
8 Hafiz Ahmad bin Adi has described that when Imam Bukhari reached Baghdad, the leading scholars tried to test him and mixed 100 Hadith between the narrators’ chain and the text and gave to 100 persons to ask the authenticity of such Hadiths. Imam Bukhari said he never heard any Hadith like this. Then he repeated the incorrect Hadith as quoted by each questioner and then recited the corrected Hadith for each person separately. The people were astonished on the depth of his knowledge and paid great respect to him. Imam Bukhari was a rich person but he lived life of a very simple man giving most of his income to the poor. Mohammed Hatim Warraq, one of his disciples said that when Imam was establishing a Sarai (Inn) near the city of Bukhara, he was laying bricks with his own hands. When Warraq said to him, leave this job for me, he replied, “On the Day of Judgment this work will be benefit to me.” Regarding his worship it is said that Imam recited the entire Quran daily in Ramadan and recited one third of it in the night prayers. In 250 A.H., Imam Bukhari moved to Neshapur where he was well received. Imam Muslim Neshapuri said he had never seen such a grand reception given to any scholar or ruler. Imam Bukhari began his lectures, which were attended by thousands. His popularity irritated the local ruler and Imam Bukhari decided to leave Neshapur for Bukhara where again he was received with great enthusiasm. He began his
lectures and also established a school for regular teaching. But after some time due to differences with the local ruler he decided to leave his hometown for Samarqand. But when he was still a few miles away from the city he was prevented from entering it. When he found he had no place to go, he prayed to Almighty Allah saying, “O Allah, this Earth is so wide but it has become narrow for me.” His prayers were answered and he died at Khartang, a place between Samarqand and Bukhara. It was on the night Eid Al-Fitr, the first night of Shawwal 256 A.H. He is buried in Mohammad Al-Bukhari mausoleum at Khartang near Samarqand, in Uzbekistan. Abd Al-Wahid ibn Adam Awaysi states: “I saw the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah on him, in dream standing with a group of Sahaba and asked, ‘For whom are you waiting?’ He replied, “For Bukhari.” After a few days I heard the news of Imam Bukhari’s death. He had died at the very moment that I saw the Prophet, pbuh, in my dream.” Sahih Al-Bukhari is regarded as the most authentic collection of Hadiths, which covers almost all aspects of human life in providing proper guidance from the Holy Prophet. As for piety, Imam AlBukhari never wrote any Hadith in this book without performing two rak’ahs Salat of guidance from Allah and when he was sure of its authenticity, only then he wrote it in the book. Imam Bukhari lived for 62 years only but during his span of life he did a marvelous work, which has been guiding the Ummah for the last 1,200 years. Tens of commentaries have been written on his treatise and hundreds of scholars are teaching Bukhari to thousands of students daily around the world. May Almighty Allah grant him the best reward.
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore (UK) The first Islamic Mission in the U.K. established 1913 as the Woking Muslim Mission Dar- us-Salaam, 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, UK, HA0 4JQ Centre: 020 8903 2689 President: 020 8524 8212 Secretary: 01753 575313 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: www.aaiil.org/uk | www.ahmadiyya.org | www.virtualmosque.co.uk Donations: www.virtualmosque.co.uk/donations