Tariq Magazine Volume 15 • Issue 4 • August 2010
The official publication of: Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK) Baitul Futuh, 181 London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5HF Tel: 020 8687 7843 Fax: 020 8687 7889 Email: email@example.com Registered Charity Number: 1135657 Editorial Tommy Kallon Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK Aziz Ahmad Hafiz Naib Sadr, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK and Chief Editor Muzaffar Bhatti Mohtamim Ishaat Farooq Aftab Assistant Editor Design & Typesetting Irfan Chaudhry Ali Ahmad
Contents 1 Words of Wisdom The Holy Qur’an Hadith Writings of the Promised Messiah [as]
2 2 2
2 Editorial Message from Sadr Majlis Editorial
3 Islam Ahmadiyyat Care of Orphans as Commanded by Al-Hasib 5 Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] The Promised Son 8 Reminiscences of Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan [ra] 11 Permissibility of Music 15 The Shroud of Turin 16 4 News & Events MKA Midlands Blood Drive Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Research Association Trip: 1001 Inventions Mosque Qiadat Army Trip National Football Tournament 2010
22 23 25 26
5 Articles Remembrance of Allah A “Good Man” Islam’s “Violent” History Interview With a New Ahmadi: Adam Spittles
28 30 32 33
6 Career Focus Thinking of Becoming a Lawyer?
Proofing Waqar Ahmedi Safeer Ahmed Tanweer Dar Mirza Rehan Akram Hannan Bhatti Nasar Bhunnoo All correspondence should be forwarded directly to: The Editor, Tariq Magazine Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Baitul Futuh, 181 London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5PT Tariq Magazine is published by Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK), the youth organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK in Islam. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK), or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
1 Words of Wisdom The Holy Qur’an “And enjoin Prayer on thy people and be constant therein. We ask thee not for provision; it is We that provide for thee. And the good end is for those who guard against evil.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 20, Verse 133
The Holy Prophet [saw] said, “A man’s prayer said along with another is purer than his prayer said alone, and his prayer with two men is purer than his prayer with one, but if there are more it is more pleasing to Allah, the Almighty, the Majestic.” Reported by: Imam al–Bukhari
Writings of the Promised Messiah [as] “…the third excellence of God Almighty, which is His beneficence in the third degree, is Rahimiyyat, by virtue of which God has been named Rahim in Surah Fatihah. In the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, God is called Rahim when accepting the prayers, supplications and righteous actions of people, He safeguards them against calamities, misfortunes and waste of effort. This beneficence is described as special grace and is confined to human beings. Other things have not been bestowed the faculty of prayer and supplication and righteous action, but man has been bestowed this faculty. Man is an articulate animal and can be the recipient of Divine grace through the exercise of his faculty of speech. Other things have not been bestowed this faculty. It is obvious, therefore, that supplication is a quality of humanness, which is inherent in man’s nature.” Essence of Islam, Vol.1, pp.94–5 2
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Message from Sadr Majlis My dear brothers Khuddam and Atfal,
Tommy Kallon Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK
Our world is diverse and complicated. As the troublesome cracks in society seek to divide us we, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK), endeavour to transcend manmade differences and bring harmony where there may be discord, brotherhood where there is enmity and unity where there is division. We shall do so by our words and through our actions conveying the pristine message vouchsafed to and first delivered by the Holy Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammad [saw]. Our mission, rooted in an unflinching faith in Allah, is to serve Him and His people regardless of creed, colour or kin. Our faith is resolute and our optimism infinite. We shall present Allah’s message as expressed by His appointed messengers with honesty and commitment, and in doing so we shall revitalise human spirit aiming to bring us together as equal children of one God. We seek to inspire and touch the hearts of those who we come into contact with advancing that perfect faith of Islam. That faultless religion of Islam repristinated by His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah, Mahdi and the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement [as] and interpreted by the enlightened, divine and blessed institution of Khilafat is the source of our passion. The present Khalifa is His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V [atba]. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK) strives for the welfare of its members, training and educating them in true Islamic ways. We inculcate in them the love of Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw], the spirit of serving Islam, and the spirit of serving their country and mankind with zeal and loyalty. It is through that demeanour, combined with religious and secular education, that we promote an understanding of the moral and spiritual values propounded by Islam. We promote charity, advance the welfare and well-being of people at large and seek to relieve poverty, sickness and the suffering of those affected, amongst others things, by disease, natural disaster, war and other conflicts. Ours is a glorious journey; a journey that has already begun to bear fruit. I am convinced that with Allah’s Grace and our effort, we shall banish the hatred, disbelief and fear of many of the misguided. We shall bring hope, guidance and enlightenment to this country to which we are so loyal and we shall do so with fervour and dedication. May Allah make it so.
Tommy Kallon. Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK
Tommy Kallon President, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (UK)
May the Lord of mankind open unto you the gates of His mercy and may He so ordain that you are always accompanied by the supplication of His angels. By the grace of Allah and by His grace alone, the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Charity Challenge 2010, came to a successful conclusion. The projected amount of fundraising so far is in excess of £150,000. Once collected, this would be the largest sum in Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK Charity Challenge history and would be a most fitting way to mark the 25th anniversary of the Charity Challenge. Whilst fundraising is important, its underlying purpose stands as the most essential component. That is the service of Allah’s creation, not just in words but in our actions. With that in mind, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Charity Challenge, it was my honour and privilege to announce that, by the grace and mercy of Allah, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK has now become a UK registered charity in its own right. As we vie with one another in good works, this new dimension signals an expansion of our service to humanity which will even more apparent to the world than ever before. Our commitment is a binding one. It is recorded in our Khuddam pledge and the Conditions of Bai’at. The spirit contained within both of these has, for the first time in the history of any UK charity, been recorded in its registered legal constitutional document. Submitted in the form of a President’s Statement, this is presented alongside this message for you to ponder over. It is my prayer that these become words that emanate from each one of us to the extent that they enthuse in our hearts a resolute undertaking to serve Allah and His creation to the very best of our abilities. And that we do so not to please people but solely to win the pleasure of Allah. May Allah bless you all.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Dr Aziz Ahmad Hafiz Naib Sadr, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK and Chief Editor Recently I was fortunate to enjoy a weekend in the Lake District with about fifty Khuddam on the National Hike. It afforded an excellent opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Allah’s creation, the lush greenery, the majestic mountains, the fresh water streams and the clean air. It allowed everyone to focus on the remembrance of Allah as they walked through the beautiful landscape offering gratitude to the Almighty for what He has created Ascending the mountain landscape, the verse of the Holy Quran came to mind: “In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding; Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain; nay, Holy art Thou; save us, then, from the punishment of the Fire.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verses 191–192. In our day to day busy lives living in vast urban areas we easily can forget the great natural treasures that Allah Almighty has created for us. Just a few miles outside our towns and cities we can usually come across some areas of natural beauty that compel us to supplicate to Allah Almighty in gratitude for His creation. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV [rh] used nature very effectively to teach children and youngsters about Allah’s creation and the remembrance of Allah. In his Children’s Class on MTA he very eloquently gave a commentary on Surah Fatiha to the young children in which he explained Allah’s attributes of grace and mercy using the discovery of fossil fuels as an example. In explaining to the children how Allah gives without us even asking Huzur [rh] highlighted how Allah , the Almighty, had created dinosaurs billions of years ago and their extinction and has led now billions of years later to the formation of oil and gas which has led onto the progress we have seen in the modern industrial world. As we look at novel ways of educating our youngsters and avenues leading to the remembrance of Allah a look at the world around us may well be a source of great knowledge and understanding for ourselves. May we always remain grateful servants of Allah forever engaged in His remembrance and ponder over His awe inspiring creation.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
“As we look at novel ways
of educating our youngsters and
to the remembrance of
Allah a look at the world around us may well be a source of great knowledge and understanding for ourselves.”
3 Islam Ahmadiyyat Care of Orphans as Commanded by Al-Hasib
Summary of Friday Sermon delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad [atba] on 26th February 2010 Huzur [atba] gave a discourse on the care and upbringing of orphans in his Friday Sermon. Huzur [atba] recited the following Qur’anic verse: “And test the understanding of the orphans until they attain the age of marriage; then, if you find in them sound judgment, deliver to them their property; and devour it not in extravagance and haste against their growing up. And whoso is rich, let him abstain; and whoso is poor, let him eat thereof with equity. And when you deliver to them their property, then call witnesses in their presence. And Allah is sufficient as a Reckoner.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 7 Huzur [atba] said last week he drew attention to a Qur’anic commandment which, when put in practice with the fear of God, is a guarantee for a peaceful society. As the commandment ended on a mention of the Divine attribute of Al-Hasib (the Reckoner) therein is a lesson for every Muslim that if they do not abide by expressing the greeting of security, safety and peace [salam] they will be held accountable. Huzur [atba] said, carrying on with the same subject matter, the second significant commandment is not only important for honouring the rights of mankind but is also central to eradicating hatred from society and in spreading peace. As cited in the aforementioned verse, this commandment also ends on the mention of Al-Hasib, thereby cautioning believers. The verse begins by mentioning “testing” of orphans. Huzur [atba] explained this connotes that you should be mindful of the education and training of the orphans who are entrusted in your care. Do not be negligent of them considering them alone in the world. Just as you keep a check on your own children from time to time, check on the educational and training progress of the orphans. Do not differentiate between the way you arrange for the academic training of your own children and theirs. Keep an eye on their special interests and aptitude and try to enhance their natural capacities, providing them with relevant opportunities. Orphans should never be made to feel that due to their deprivation they could not fully realise their potential or that if their parents were alive they would have been one of the high achievers. Whether the care of orphans is undertaken by individuals or on a communal level, their education and training and supervision is the responsibility of those who are in-charge of their care. This care should continue until such time that the orphans reach a marriageable age. Once reaching adulthood one can look after oneself. If the education and training of childhood has been sound, one will become a useful part of society. Huzur [atba] explained that the verse illustrates that simply reaching a certain age does not necessarily make an orphan capable to look after the property of his parents. It is also important for him to be sound of mind and this should
be ascertained. If the young person appears fine in education and general deportment then the property should be entrusted to him; it is rightfully his. However, if in spite of reaching adulthood, he does not have the mental astuteness to take care of the property, then the property should be supervised and the orphan should be given spending money in accordance to his expenses. While growing up, he should be explained monetary intricacies. Some individuals are simple in certain matters but have a good acumen of money-matters. People may call them simpleton but they have the ability to do good business. Those who are in-charge of the orphans do not have a free reign in spending the funds left by the parents. It should all be fully accounted for and handed over to them upon reaching adulthood. Many a time people keep the property of orphans under their control in spite of their reaching of age. If there is any ill-intent, it will be held accountable. A further safeguard has been put in place to prevent any arrogation of orphan’s inheritance in the term “falyasta’fif ” (let him abstain). This signifies that even the thought of taking something from the property of the orphan should be shaken off for it is a satanic thought. The expenditure of the upbringing of the orphan should be met by the person in-charge of his care no matter how much inheritance there is. However, if the person incharge does not have the means to support the orphan, for his upbringing he may spend out of the property/funds left by the parents. This should be done with utmost diligence and all accounts should be kept. It should not be that money is also taken for the running of the house or money is taken for the utilities expense incurred by the orphan. Huzur [atba] said there are some ill-intentional people like this.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Islam Ahmadiyyat Relating a Hadith, Huzur [atba] said a man asked the Holy Prophet [saw] that he did not have any funds but he was the carer of an orphan. He was enjoined that he should use from the orphan’s inheritance neither being spendthrift nor niggardly, neither should he use the orphan’s inheritance to enhance his own property nor should he use the orphan’s money to save his own. Another Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet [saw] said that if one spends on an orphan while being welloff or spends while not being well-off, when the orphan reaches adulthood and wisdom he should be returned the money with full accounts. But it is better if the orphan’s inheritance is invested in business and is enhanced. Huzur [atba] said if a person of limited means cares for an orphan, he has to give an account of every penny spent out of his inheritance. It is enjoined that when giving an account of their property witnesses should be called so that the orphan does not harbour any grievance. Huzur [atba] said it is possible to harbour suspicion in such matters; also some people sow the seed of suspicion in the guise of sympathy. Therefore, in light of human nature, God has commanded that witnesses should be called. Huzur [atba] said this would save the carer from any trouble and the orphan from entertaining any ill-thoughts. Huzur [atba] said this verse enjoins seven fundamental aspects of taking care of orphans: 1. Test the understanding of the orphans, that is, pay attention to their education and training and keep an eye on their progress. 2. This attention to their education and training should continue till they attain adulthood. 3. When they are capable of looking after their property, it should be promptly returned to them. 4. The inheritance of an orphan should only be spent on him. 5. It is certainly not warrantable for a well-off person to take from the orphan’s inheritance for his upbringing. 6. When made a carer of an orphan, a person of meagre means has permission to take appropriate
Tariq Magazine August 2010
expenses from inheritance.
7. When his property is returned to an orphan, witnesses should be called, so that neither the intention of the carer slips nor the orphan harbours any suspicion. The verse concludes on the reminder that God is watching over all the time and everyone will be called to account. Huzur [atba] said the Holy Qur’an carries many other commandments regarding good treatment of orphans and safeguarding of their property. As in Surah Bani Israel: “And come not near the property of the orphan, except in the best way, until he attains his maturity, and fulfil the covenant; for the covenant shall be questioned about.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 17, Verse 35 Huzur [atba] said this verse also cites the commandment of the earlier verse, however, here a ‘covenant’ is also mentioned. Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] elucidated that this covenant is in fact the responsibility of the upbringing, nurturing of the orphan and safeguarding his property. It is an obligation on people and society as a whole that as long as an orphan is not capable of looking after his property they should do it on his behalf. If the orphan is an Ahmadi then it is the responsibility of the Jama’at. Huzur [atba] said this is not a favour on the orphans; rather it is the obligation of an Islamic society and it is the right of an orphan. As God has placed this obligation on Muslims and in their capacity as believers He takes a covenant from them that if they do not fulfil their obligation, He will hold them accountable. This is the same subject as cited in the first verse. The Holy Qur’an states: “And give to the orphans their property and exchange not the bad for the good, and devour not their property with your own. Surely, it is a great sin.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 3. Huzur [atba] said here too the same subject is repeated. If one was to mix an orphan’s property with one’s own property for gain then one’s pure earning
will become haram (forbidden) due to the ill-intention and earning property that is haram is a grievous sin. God states in the Holy Qur’an: “Surely, they who devour the property of orphans unjustly, only swallow fire into their bellies, and they shall burn in a blazing fire.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 11. Huzur [atba] said this is the teaching of Islam. It safeguards the disadvantaged in life with great intensity. The main aim is pleasure of God for which a believer endeavours, indeed should endeavour. Huzur [atba] said these commandments are not only for the orphans with property. The general instruction is that their upbringing and training is the responsibility of society. If they have inheritance even then their education and training is your responsibility and along with this their property should be looked after. The incentive to care for orphans should not be their inheritance but their orphanhood. Huzur [atba] said this verse is a further warning to establish the rights of orphans: “And let those fear God who, if they should leave behind them their own weak offspring, would be anxious for them. Let them, therefore, fear Allah and let them say the right word”. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 10. No one knows when death can overtake one. The thought of leaving one’s own children as orphans should move us into thinking about the welfare of orphans. Huzur [atba] said at times the matter is reversed when grandparents consider over-indulgence as suitable upbringing and training of orphans. The objective is to bring them up in a manner that they become the best part of society. Orphans can lose their potential due to an inferiority complex. They should be brought up in a manner that they become the best in society. Their upbringing should neither be too strict nor too lenient; it should be like one brings up one’s own children. The
Islam Ahmadiyyat right of an orphan is the same as that of a child with parental support. The Qur’anic verse: “Upon this world and the next. And they ask thee concerning the orphans. Say: ‘Promotion of their welfare is an act of great goodness. And if you intermix with them, they are your brethren. And Allah knows the mischief-maker from the reformer. And if Allah had so willed, He would have put you to hardship. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise’” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 221 does not merely signify commandment about an orphan with inheritance, rather it denotes orphans of all social standing. A Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet [saw] said, “a person who puts a compassionate hand on the head of an orphan boy or girl merely for the sake of God will be rewarded with virtues in exchange of every single hair on the head on which his sympathetic hand was placed. A person who treats an orphan boy or girl with kindness and favour will be with me in Paradise like these two”, and the Prophet [saw] indicated to his two joined fingers. Thus is the status of one looking after an orphan. God has given him the glad-tiding of Paradise. The Companions of the Holy Prophet [saw] used to strive with each other to look after orphans for they were avaricious to have a place in the feet of the Prophet [saw] in Paradise as well. By citing “And if you intermix with them, they are your brethren…” the verse signifies the carer as an older brother of the kind who honours his dues. Hence the instruction is to help them very well and in a most selfless manner. God reminds us that He is present everywhere, thus letting us know that He knows full well who creates disorder and who brings about peace. One’s deportment with the orphans should be to make them the best among society. It is God’s grace that those with limited means have been given permission to spend out of the inheritance of an orphan for his/her upbringing. However, if neither the carer nor the orphan has any means then the administration and management of the community should be contacted. The objective is not to put anyone in difficulty.
The Holy Qur’an states about the respect of orphans: “Nay, but you honour not the orphan” (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 89, Verse 18) and for this a warning of Divine chastisement is given. The Qur’an also states: “That is the one who drives away the orphan,” (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 107, Verse 3). Huzur [atba] said this evil is indicative of the decline of a society. It is very important to try extremely hard to eradicate this wickedness in order to create a good society because by not honouring the dues of orphans, a community loses its sense of sacrifice and it deprives the orphans from progressing. The gap between the rich and the poor increases and rather than a peaceful society, there is chaos. God states about those who seek His pleasure: “And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner,” (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 76, Verse 9). Huzur [atba] said this is an illustration of the beautiful society about which God reminds us and the Holy Prophet [saw] also laid stress on. A Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet [saw] said a person who cares for three orphans is like one who offers Tahajjud at night, keeps fasts and does Jihad in the cause of God. They will both be like brothers in Paradise and the Prophet indicated to his forefinger and his middle finger joined. The Holy Prophet [saw] also said that Paradise is certain for one who regularly includes an orphan of Muslim parents in his meals, unless he is embroiled in a sin that cannot be forgiven. Huzur [atba] explained that shirk (associating partners with God) is the biggest sin, other than that God gives immense reward to those who care for orphans. Huzur [atba] said with the grace of God, our Community looks after orphans. In Africa we look after orphans of other faiths as well. However, today Huzur [atba] made a Tehrik (programme) with reference to Pakistan and the scheme of Yak Sad Yatama (One Hundred Orphans) which is working under the Yak Sad Yatama Committee. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV [rh] initiated this in 1989 in the Ahmadiyya Centenary year as a mark of thankfulness. The scheme was to initially look after a hundred orphans. However, this scheme has extended tremendously. The initial plan was to keep the hundred orphans in a hostel but their relatives opted to
look after them in their homes with the Community helping with the expenses. In any case, Huzur [atba] said the number of orphans under the care of this scheme have grown immensely. We heard the Divine commandments as Ahadith regarding care of the orphans and realise the significance of the matter. Currently, two thousand and seven hundred orphans belonging to five hundred families are being looked after in Pakistan under this scheme. The monthly expenditure of this reaches between 2, 500,000 to 3,000,000 Rupees. The funds are spent most carefully on food, education, medical treatment, marriage of young women and maintenance of any property the orphans may have. The expenses are vast and it is felt that there is an extreme need in this fund. The Sadr Sahib of the Yatama Committee mentions this in indirect and never direct words to Huzur [atba] in his letters requesting prayers. Therefore today Huzur [atba] made a Tehrik to all the Pakistani Ahmadis who live in USA, Canada, Europe and the UK to participate in this scheme. What greater glad-tiding can there be for a believer than that he/she will be given a place in the feet of the Holy Prophet [saw]. Huzur [atba] said he has estimated that if each person of Ahmadi households of the UK, Europe, Canada and USA paid £7 to £10 per head annually towards this scheme a huge burden of the Yatama scheme can be met. £10 per year is a meagre amount for people living here, however, it can play a huge role in making the future of many orphans bright. Those who are well-off can give more. Generally the help and support given to the orphans is of 1,000 to 3,000 Rupees per month. Huzur [atba] also drew the attention of the Ahmadis in Pakistan to generously donate to this fund and do this in view of the Qur’anic verse, “… for love of Him…”. Huzur [atba] clarified that he certainly was not stopping non-Pakistani Ahmadis from participating in this scheme, they may do so as well, but he was specifically asking Pakistani Ahmadis to participate for the Pakistani orphans. May God enable us to fulfil the rights of the disadvantaged in the society to the best of our ability and may we always be those who seek God’s pleasure. Tariq Magazine August 2010
Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] The Promised Son By Abid Khan
“Even if all the people leave you and I am left alone I would stand by you and would face all opposition and onslaughts against your Mission.” These were the words spoken by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-udDin Mahmud Ahmad [ra] upon the death of his beloved father, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad [as] of Qadian, the Promised Messiah [as] and Imam Mahdi. At the time of the Promised Messiah’s [as] passing, his son was only nineteen years old, yet his words were filled with conviction and loyalty of the very highest order. He lived for a further fifty-seven years and during that time his every act or deed was conducted with those words in mind. He therefore fulfilled the promise he made to his father and by doing so Allah’s Promise to the Promised Messiah [as], that He would grant him a son who would be the ‘Musleh Maud’ – the Promised Reformer, was also magnificently fulfilled. To understand the true significance of the birth of Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [ra] we must look back to the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw]. In Verse 3, Chapter 62 of the Holy Qur’an, the advent and mission of the Holy Prophet [saw] is considered. The verse states how at the time of his advent the Arab people were entirely illiterate, not just in terms of education but also in terms of their moral and cultural values. However, through the Might and Wisdom of God Almighty, the Holy Prophet [saw] was sent to those people and within a matter of years, those illiterate, uncivilised and uncultured persons were transformed into the leaders and educators of mankind. They became an example for all generations to come. The matter did not cease there. In the very next verse it was stated: “And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 62, Verse 4 This verse clearly indicated that in the future other noble persons would be sent by God Almighty to bring mankind back towards His Creator. When this verse was revealed, one companion, Abu Hurreira, repeatedly enquired from the Holy Prophet [saw] as to whom the words “who have not yet joined them” referred? Another companion, Salman, who was from Persia, was also sat in the gathering. When answering Abu Hurreira’s question, the Holy Prophet [saw] placed his hand on Salman’s shoulder and said: ‘If Faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man, or men, from among these would surely bring it back’ . The Holy Prophet [saw] had thus explained that a time
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad [ra], Khalifatul Masih II
would come when the beautiful religion of Islam would become corrupted and defaced. At that time God Almighty would not stand by, but due to His Infinite Love, he would instead send people from amongst the Persian race who would reform Islam and once again spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet [saw]. The ultimate fulfilment of this verse came in the person of the Promised Messiah [as] who was sent as a Prophet by God Almighty to rescue Islam from evil forces both within and out of Islam. However the Promised Messiah’s [as] advent did not herald the completion of the prophecy. On the contrary, because God Almighty had clearly used the words “among others of them” in the verse, Allah had clearly signalled that He would send more than one person. There is no doubt that Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [ra] was also sent in fulfilment of that grand Qur’anic prophecy. Among other things, this is evidenced by both the events surrounding his birth and his vast achievements in the cause of Islam. During the course of the 19th century Christian missionaries had succeeded in influencing many Muslims in India.
Islam Ahmadiyyat of the earth. Thereafter he would be raised to his spiritual station in heaven.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II [ra] in Epping Forest.
Furthermore, Hindus generally were severely opposed to Islam and tried their utmost to curtail its spread and influence. This state of affairs grieved the Promised Messiah [as] a great deal. He could not bear to see the religion of Islam tarnished and attacked from all quarters and yet no one else amongst the Muslims seemed capable or willing to stand up and defend the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw]. Thus the Promised Messiah [as] himself, guided by God Almighty, wrote the masterpiece ‘Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya’ in which he presented the Holy Qur’an as the perfect Book and the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw] as the final law bearing prophet who had come with a universal teaching. The publication of this book brought about huge repercussions; those opposed to Islam became extremely angry that such a book had been written and their reactions became increasingly volatile. Their attacks on Islam and the character of the Holy Prophet [saw] increased and so as a means to reflect and to seek God Almighty’s Help the Promised Messiah [as] decided to isolate himself for a period of forty days during which he would seek the nearness of God Almighty through constant worship. He travelled to Hoshiarpur, a relatively small city in north-eastern Punjab. There he spent the next forty days in a room praying to and worshipping his beloved God Almighty. During the period of forty days the Promised Messiah [as] received a great deal of direct communion with God Almighty. And thus on 20th February 1886 he published a leaflet in which he stated that God Almighty had informed him during his period of solitude that a child would be born to him who would assist greatly in the service of Islam. The prophecy was lengthy and filled with 52 separate qualities that would be possessed by the child, who would be known as ‘Musleh Maud’ - the Promised Reformer. The child would be a direct sign of Allah’s Mercy; he would be handsome and pure; he would be intelligent; he would be blessed with a holy spirit and would be free from all impurity; the son would be the light of Allah; he would heal the many ills of this world through his Messianic qualities; he would be meek of heart; he would convert three into four; he would be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage and his fame would spread to the ends
This prophecy was so detailed and so clear that if it were to be fulfilled then there could be no argument that indeed the Promised Messiah [as] had been the recipient of blessed revelation whilst in Hoshiarpur. No ordinary person could predict that he would bear a son who would become famous the world over and who would be an international leader and bear all the qualities narrated. Yet the Promised Messiah [as], who lived in the remote town of Qadian, made this prophecy and predicted that the child would be born within a period of nine years. Thereafter the Promised Messiah [as] was soon blessed with the birth of a baby girl called Ismat; however she passed away in infancy. A son, called Bashir was then born, but he too passed away. The opponents of the Promised Messiah [as] did not fail to try and capitalise on these tragedies. They celebrated and deemed the Promised Messiah [as] to be a liar and a fraud. If he had, God forbid, been a liar or a fraudster then perhaps the Promised Messiah [as] having witnessed the death of two children so young, might have retreated on his earlier claims. Yet he had full certainty that what was decreed by God Almighty would occur and he repeatedly reminded those who mocked him that the prophecy gave a period of nine years for the child to be born. Thereafter on 12th January 1889, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad [as] was blessed with a son, named Mirza Bashirud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [ra]. It was this child who would go on to further fulfil the Qur’anic prophecy ‘And He will raise him among others of them’ and who would fulfil the prophecy of Musleh Maud. In his person every single one of the qualities vouchsafed by God Almighty to the Promised Messiah [as] was fulfilled with great magnificence. Certain aspects of his blessed character and a few of his many achievements shall now be discussed. As a child Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] was unlike most other children. He was very dedicated to prayer and to the importance of the mission entrusted to his blessed father from a very young age. Despite being somewhat delicate of health, his thirst for worship and religious knowledge was apparent from his childhood. A companion of the Promised Messiah [as], Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib had the fortune of seeing Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] during his childhood. He said three things characterised him firstly his goodness, secondly his total honesty in all matters and thirdly his interest in religious matters. He said that he regularly saw him offering prayers at the side of the Promised Messiah [as]. He further narrates that on one occasion, when Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] was around ten years old, he saw him praying next to the Promised Messiah [as] in the Aqsa Mosque. He narrates that even though he was but a child he was bowed down and weeping constantly in holy supplication beseeching God Almighty. Another companion of the Promised Messiah [as], Hadhrat Sheikh Ghulam Ahmad Sahib narrates that one night he decided he would spend the entire night in worship of God Almighty at the Mubarak Mosque in Qadian. He said when he arrived he saw a young person bowed down in prayer. The emotion of the scene was such that the narrator said that he himself started to pray to God that whatever this person is Tariq Magazine August 2010
Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad [ra], Khalifatul Masih II with Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan [ra].
beseeching Allah may grant it to him. He continued by saying he did not know for how long prior to his arrival the person had been bowed down in prayer but that whilst he was there this continued for a long time. Finally when he arose the narrator saw that it was Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [ra]. He said that he immediately went to meet him. Hadhrat Sheikh Ghulam Ahmad Sahib inquired: ‘Tonight what have you taken from Allah?’ Upon this Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] replied, ‘I have only asked that may Allah grant me the ability to see Islam as a living religion.’ This reply illustrates clearly how even from childhood Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] shared the grief of the Promised Messiah [as] over the state of Islam and the need for reformation of Muslims and the importance of reinstating the true teachings of Islam. He had been bowed in prayer and had not requested any personal favour from His Lord, only that the pure Islam be revived in front of his own eyes. On 26th May 1908 the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat faced the greatest trial it would ever face upon the passing of its Founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad [as], the Promised Messiah
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and Imam Mahdi. It was narrated at the outset how Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] reacted to this devastating event. He stood by the body of his father and said that if the entire world was to leave him then no matter he would continue to stand alone and face all the persecution and hatred on behalf of the mission of the Promised Messiah [as]. Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] had no personal ambition or desire to lead the Jamaat. His only interest was for the future success of the Promised Messiah’s mission. And thus on 27th May 1908, Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-udDin Mahmud Ahmad [ra] became the first person to take the ‘Bait’ that is the pledge of allegiance to the first Khalifa of the Promised Messiah [as], Hadhrat Hakim Maulvi Nurudeen [ra]. Throughout the six year Khilafat of Hadhrat Khalifa-tul Masih I [ra], Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] showed total obedience, respect and loyalty to both the Khalifa and the Jamaat. In worldly organisations upon the death of the Founder it is oft the case that their heirs expect recognition or reward; to be treated as royalty. But never was there even the slightest such overture by Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra], or
indeed any of the immediate family of the Promised Messiah [as]. This in itself was a worthy testament to the way that the Promised Messiah [as] and his noble wife, Hadhrat Amma Jaan, had brought up their children. Nonetheless Hadhrat Khalifa-tul Masih I [ra] had a great love and indeed expectation of Hadhrat Mirza Bashirud-Din Mahmud Ahmad [ra]. He himself continued to verse Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] in the intricacies and arguments within the Holy Qur’an. During this period the Jamaat faced serious difficulties when certain members began agitating as to whether there really was a need for Khilafat. This particular issue would raise its head once again upon the demise of Hadhrat Khalifa-tul Masih I [ra]. Nonetheless at this time Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra] continued to give his total support to Hadhrat Khalifa-tul Masih I [ra] and made it abundantly clear that he and members of his family would always stand by the institution of Khilafat and would not tolerate any form of deviance in this regard. To be continued…
Reminiscences of Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan [ra]
Interviews conducted by professors Wayne Wilcox and Aislie T. Embree for Columbia university with an introduction by prof. Dr. Pervez Perwazi, 2004, pages 239–247
Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan [ra] seen here delivering an address.
Question: I’d like to just turn this question back into the body of the Oral History transcript to 1953, when there were very severe riots which later were investigated by a special tribunal of the Pakistan Government, which concerned the Ahmadiyya Sect of which you were certainly the most prominent public figure at the time, and these no doubt complicated your political life very considerably. They certainly complicated Pakistan’s public life very considerably. I wonder if you would like to talk about them briefly. This is obviously a subject which the Munir Report has two volumes about, and you probably just want to give your own impressions, but I think they’d be very interesting for the record. Zafrulla: There is really nothing that I can add to the excellent report of the Munir Inquiring Committee. Perhaps I might
emphasize that the responsibility, though later shared by certain other groups also, was initially that of the group known as the Ahrar. They had from time to time made themselves thoroughly unpopular with the main Muslim body, before Partition as well as after Partition. It was well known that they had been opposed to the idea of Pakistan, so that when Pakistan came their stock was very, very low. They had previously made various efforts to bring themselves into active political leadership and it had become almost a pattern with them, that whenever they wanted to choose a target to rouse Muslim sympathy in their own favour or to win Muslim support, they picked upon something concerning the Ahmadiyya Movement, distorted it and proclaimed, “Here is a great danger for Islam and we are in the vanguard of the defence of Islam.” On this occasion, they were doing two things: one, they were Tariq Magazine August 2010
Islam Ahmadiyyat gradually infiltrating into the Muslim League ranks. They had some very effective mob orators, and they began to take part in League elections at the district level. When there was any Muslim League election they would be invited or hired to come and deliver speeches, and this began to attract popular support. They were also looking for something on which they could start a general campaign to bring themselves into prominence. Later, certain other factions also joined them. The incident of which they took advantage was that there was an annual meeting of the Karachi branch of our movement, of which my younger brother was President. He was also holding a public office: I believe he was Deputy Custodian of Evacuee Property. He asked me whether I would come to the meeting and speak, and I said I would not mind. My speech was made, although a good deal of opposition had already been whipped up to my speaking at all. The subject and substance of my speech were largely noncontroversial. I was not to speak on any doctrinal differences. It was on “Islam: the Living Faith.” But the occasion was considered ripe, I suppose, by the leadership of the opposing groups. It was not only the Ahrar by that time; certain other groups had also joined them. As a matter of fact, it had been part of the strategy of the Ahrar that in the beginning they would not take a prominent part in anything but would incite other people behind the scenes. So, a good deal of agitation started almost on the eve of the meeting, to stop me from speaking. Well, I spoke. Later they made the excuse: that in spite of their opposition, I, as Foreign Minister, had spoken in a meeting of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and, therefore, the Prime Minister should get rid of me.
principle; yet he would not do anything at all, would not take any action which would stop the agitation. He was, as it were, caught between two winds: one, he was conscious enough of the principle, that if he yielded to the demand, he might as well surrender the government to them, but he had such great respect for the ‘ulema that he would not take any step which they might resent.
absolutely off the mark. Something had been twisted in being represented to him. That became an element of weakness in the situation. Also, when the crucial time came, when the people became greatly excited and were getting out of hand, he got cold feet.
Question: And also Daultana was probably involved by this time in the Punjab...
Zafrulla: The army had to be called in, and they came in but not by the decision of the Prime Minister. I had better mention this. After the meeting to which I have referred, which was made the starting point of the agitation, for several weeks I was out of the country. I believe I was here in New York. I had an invitation both from the Egyptian government and from the Iraqi government, to stay a couple of days at each capital on my way back. I had arrived from Cairo at Baghdad when our Ambassador there, Agha Mustafa, who met me at the airport, handed me a telegram from the Prime Minister saying, “You should not arrive in Karachi before the 2nd of February.” I was flabbergasted. If a Minister is away, out of the country, I can well understand the Prime Minister saying, “Now, hurry up, we need you here!” but I doubt whether it has ever happened that he has told you must not arrive before a certain date. He might be relieved of his portfolio for some prank that he might have played or for some fault, or because of some revolution that has taken place in his absence, but a Minister, who is still minister and apparently, is to continue, to be told do not arrive home before such-and-such a time, I could not make head or tail of. It also put me in a very embarrassing position. Fadhal Jamali of Iraq, the Foreign Minister, was a very good friend of mine. He had insisted that I should stay at least four days in Baghdad, and I had said, I had no time. I could not stay more than two days. Now this added two more days to my stay in Baghdad. What could I say to my host government? I said to our Ambassador, “This is very awkward. We had better arrange that I should go down to Najaf and Kerbala.” He said, “I have already told them you cannot stay in Baghdad for more than two days because you have to go down to Najaf and Kerbala. When you come back you can stay the last night at the Embassy, which, incidentally, is a
Zafrulla: Yes. Daultana professed during the earlier stages that he would stand firm, but the inquiry showed that behind the scenes he was in league with them. Then the time came when he threw up the sponge altogether.
Question: And the army finally had to come in...
The question was: “Now, what do you consider me? Do you consider me a Muslim or not?” My reply was: “I consider you whatever you consider me.”
When the agitation grew in volume, I said to the Prime Minister, “If this will ease matters for you, I am prepared to resign.” He said, “Today you are prepared to resign. Tomorrow they will say some other of my colleagues should go. I might as well surrender the government tothem.” Question: This Nazimuddin?
Zafrulla: Yes. Now that was excellent on
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S o , t h e agitation grew in intensity, and, so far as Lahore was concerned, it took on an extreme aspect, mainly on account of Daultana’s twofaced policy. Also, I.I. Chundrigarh, who was the Governor, was not a strong man, vis-a-vis Daultana. He was a very nice man, but for one thing he was not well versed in Urdu. He could speak it fairly well -- he was from Bombay originally but he could not read it with any facility and, therefore, when Daultana or anybody else took to him what they represented was an inflammatory matter put forth by the Ahmadiyya Movement, he could easily be misled. On one or two occasions when he gave expression to that kind of feeling to our people: “Well, after all, you are not making it easy. You are doing this and that and people are provoked,” it was found that he was
Islam Ahmadiyyat much more comfortable place than their guest house.” In those days, except for a few modern houses that had been built, Baghdad was still medieval. When I arrived in Karachi, I found the reason for the Prime Minister’s telegram was that direct action had been proclaimed to take place over this matter on the Friday. Immediately after the Friday service people would issue from the mosques in processions and create a crisis for the government. The telegram meant that I should not arrive in Karachi before this happened, because the Prime Minister was already finding himself in difficulties with his Cabinet. The Cabinet wanted him to take action to stop the direct action, and he was not willing to make a move. Question: Yes, they would have really focussed on you. Zafrulla: That was the difficulty, and the Cabinet divided in that way could not prove very effective. I learnt that on the Thursday evening a Cabinet meeting had been called to decide what to do about this threat of direct action for the following afternoon. The Cabinet sat until 10 or 10:30p.m. and they could not come to a decision as the Prime Minister would not accept the view of the majority of his colleagues - that he should take action, and the only action that was left to be taken was to arrest the leaders under the Preventive Detention sections. The meeting was adjourned to 10a.m. next day. Then, Gurmani, who was then Minister of the Interior, and Amin ‘ud-din, who was then Governor of Sind, went together to the Governor’s residence where Gurmani was dining that night, and while they were at dinner news was brought to them that the ‘ulema having learnt that the Cabinet meeting had been adjourned until 10 o’clock the next morning without having arrived at any decision, had decided to start direct action after the dawn prayers and not to wait till the mid-day service. So, the Governor of the Province and the Minister of the Interior went to the Prime Minister’s residence to insist that the Cabinet should be summoned immediately in view of this development. They arrived there and found the leader of the ‘ulema, Maulana Ihtishamul Haq, closeted with the Prime Minister. He
had come to warn him of what they were going to do! So, the Cabinet was summoned, but to that Cabinet meeting Ch. Mohammad Ali, who was then Finance Minister was not invited as he had suffered a heart attack some months before and it was thought best not to disturb him. The discussion went on for a couple of hours until the Prime Minister said, “If you insist upon action being taken against the ‘ulema, I shall resign.” In the end he banged on the table and said, “All right. Do what you like!” and got up and walked away. His colleagues did not know whether he had meant: do what you like; whatever you decide will be done; or, if you decide something I do not approve of, I will resign. However, they decided that action should be taken and that the leaders of the agitation should be arrested early the next morning before the dawn prayers. That was before I came back. The Governor-General, Malik Ghulam Mohammed, was due to leave on a visit to Saudi Arabia for 10 days, and he asked me to tea in the afternoon of the day I arrived back. I went and he said to me: “There is not enough time for me to give you all the ins and outs of the thing. You will find out what has been happening. I am leaving as you know for 10 days and I hope nothing untoward will happen during this period, but I can tell you in two words that I will stand on principle and I would rather receive bullets into my chest than take a stand against principle.” That was all very well, but the GovernorGeneral would be away and the Prime Minister was the centre of power in the parliamentary system, and though his assurance was comforting as far as the Governor-General was concerned, there was not much comfort to be found in the attitude of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General came back after eight days, and it was then that he began to consider in his own mind - he must have come to a decision either before going or while he was away - that Khwaja Nazimuddin had to go as he would not perform his function! The point was not what decision he should have taken, but he should have taken some decision in the matter and shouldered the responsibility.
Then the change of government took place. I had to appear as a witness before the Munir Inquiry Committee. Munir had taken the precaution to ask counsel who represented various groups to put in a list of the questions they intended to ask any particular witness, and those questions that he considered irrelevant he disallowed. Khwaja Nazimuddin, who was also examined, did say in his statement that I had offered to resign but that he had not agreed to it. The representative of the Jamat-i-Islam after he had put to me the questions that had been permitted, put a very silly question to me but while I was muttering my reply - Munir ruled it out. The question was: “Now, what do you consider me? Do you consider me a Muslim or not?” My reply was: “I consider you whatever you consider me.” If Munir had not been so sharp in overruling him and that had not been the last question, I would have insisted that his question and my answer should be recorded. I have described the question as silly, because the stand of the Jamat-i-Islam was that I was not a Muslim. Counsel asked me, “What do you consider me?” My answer was, “Whatever you consider me.” Now, if Munir had said to him, “All right, answer that question” what do you consider him?” If he had replied, “I consider him a Muslim,” he would be going against the stand of the party he was representing; and if he had said, “I do not consider him a Muslim,” Munir could have retorted: “Then why do you put such a question to him: ‘he is not a Muslim in your eyes; what does it matter whether he thinks you are a Muslim or not.’” These were some of the lighter moments, but all through that period was one of great strain for me and the Movement. On the one hand the Prime Minister said if I resigned I would be weakening his position, and on the other hand, terrible things were happening. I do not want the more extreme aspects to go on the record even here. True, the agitation was directed against the Movement in essence but I was the ostensible target if I had been allowed to go, the thing might have subsided.
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Islam Ahmadiyyat Question: That brings up one of the most interesting points about all of this, and I think it is one which is hard to sort out and separate from your own principles, and Westerners are not used to thinking in terms of principles in politics. Primarily, one thinks that if Harold Macmillan found himself in a difficult position, he would say, “You are sacked. I personally appreciate your position, but the stability of the government counts on this. Goodbye and good luck.” But here you were in an extremely difficult position in which you were given latitude and where the government appreciated your position and yet you had to make every hard decision, because you knew so long as you stayed on that you would continue to be sort of a central symbol which they could manipulate. You knew this must inevitably bring pain to your community. On the other hand, you knew that if you resigned, really the whole credentials of the Movement would have been sullied, I think. These must have been very difficult times. Zafrulla: There was no question of the credentials of the Movement being sullied in any way at all. Question: Well, it would really have been backing down in the face of ... Zafrulla: So far as my resigning or not resigning was concerned, the Movement was not involved. It was just a question of principle. Another demand was that the Movement should be declared a non–Muslim minority. Question: That’s is the important point, yes. Zafrulla: But even if they had so declared, it would have created some kind of difficulty for us, but that would not make us what we were not, if it came to that. The main thing was: they wanted to get rid of me. I do not think the Movement would have minded one way or the other what I did. Question: No, but you were the symbol. If they could get rid of you... Zafrulla: On the other hand the Movement might — I mean those concerned in the Movement — have felt, “Why does he not resign and make things easier for us?”
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Question: But it wouldn’t have. By getting rid of the symbol then they could have gone on to the second point.
Party, not the Jamat-i-Islam, but
Zafrulla: Yet, the following year I decided to resign, not on this issue - this issue had by that time subsided - but on another one.
Question: Has he continued in this new program for Pakistan, to say that he will work against the Ahmadiyya?
Question: What has been the position since that time? Is the agitation still remaining, still alive? Zafrulla: Very spasmodically. In late September and early October of 1958 it was beginning to flare up in view of the impending elections under the then new Constitution. That again shows it was a political weapon. Even a person as sober as Chaudhri Mohammad Ali, having proclaimed that he would stand for election - his party had come to some understanding with the Jamat-iIslami - one of the planks in his election platform was: It will be my effort to have the Ahmadis declared a nonMuslim minority. Within a week or so of his declaration, martial law came in, a military regime was set up and the Martial Law Administrator, President Ayub, put his foot down and said he was not going to have any nonsense of that kind. Question: As far as the new law about property goes, the Waqf of property, is Ahmadiyya property under the new law? Zafrulla: No, it is not. It is liable to be placed under the law and there has been a certain amount of criticism of the administration in the press that by not taking over Ahmadiyya Waqf properly the administration has been favouring the Movement. But as has been explained this is no favour. This Ordinance has been promulgated for the purpose that where the Waqf is being abused and the income is not being devoted to the purposes for which the Waqf was set up, the situation should be corrected. If all the Waqfs were administered as well as the Ahmadis are administering theirs, there would be no need for the Ordinance. Question: And the whole position of the Aukaf administrator is to take over as little as possible but to jar people to take better care of their trusts. Is Chaudhri Mohammad Ali now in the Nizam-iIslami Party? Zafrulla: He’s in the Nizam-i-Islami
they are as elder sister to younger sister.
Zafrulla: Oh, no. After Martial Law there’s been nothing like that. It might flare up again, but so far there has been nothing. They are now so much at loggerheads with each other that they have forgotten us for the moment. If the time should come when it is in somebody’s interest to make a show of advocacy of Islam and of defence of Islam, they might start shooting arrows at us again. Question: What about somebody like Maulana Bashani? Is he... Zafrulla: No, no. That’s East Pakistan. In East Pakistan there has never been any agitation against us, though we have quite substantial communities in East Pakistan. Question: Do you? Is this one of the bigger areas? Zafrulla: East Pakistan? Next to West Pakistan, yes. Question: About how many Ahmadis? Zafrulla: I can’t give you the exact number, but certainly several thousands and possibly more than 100,000 in East Pakistan. We are altogether a very small community. Our world figure doesn’t go much beyond a million or a million and a half. The largest number is in Pakistan, East and West taken together. The next largest is I think either in India or in Indonesia, and the next largest in West Africa. Question: Is this a result of missionary work? Zafrulla: Yes.
Permissibility of Music
Question & Answer Session in the USA with Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad [rh], Khalifatul Masih IV.
Question: Somebody I know has a bad habit of listening to music, what is the status of music? Answer: It all depends on the degree of the habit and the nature of the music. Music in itself, as a whole, cannot be dubbed as bad. The Islamic principle is that a thing which has more than 50% of bad in it should be rejected and a thing which has less than 50% of bad in it should have its better things utilised and bad things avoided. Music falls in no mans land, it was neither forbidden entirely nor permitted without any conditions. We know that at the time of Hadhrat Muhammad [saw] when he walked into Medina the ladies of Medina sang a song of welcome whilst beating a drum which is called the ‘duff ’. That was a sort of music which was available to the Arabs and nobody can say that it was not music. However, it was not the practice of the Holy Prophet(saw) to permit the companions to enjoy music and be given up to music and neither was that their habit. They enjoyed the recitation of the Holy Qur’an or the meaningful verses of good poets but gradually their taste developed and shifted from poetry to the Qur’an. It therefore requires some time and patience for you to improve the quality of your taste, and without first doing that to abandon certain things would be cruel. In these things it is a matter of taste, in some other things the matter of prohibition is subject to fast and hard rules and you cannot change it. For example you
can’t say I have to improve my taste in water before I can stop drinking wine. That would not be permissible because wine is forbidden and what is forbidden is forbidden, but music does not fall into that category. As regards to music you can acquire a wise approach of a systematic and gradual deliverance from that habit. As far as pop music is concerned I don’t know how people can tolerate that, it is just sheer nonsense. With pop music when people hear the music they leave with some kind of madness and craving which they cannot quench. The taste left behind by this modern ‘so–called music’ is ugly and evil and the society under its influence is becoming uglier and more permissive and more careless of traditional values, so this music is obviously evil and sinful. You can’t treat every form of music alike which is why I said you have to be wise and selective in your choice. An occasional brush with music cannot be considered a practice whereby you will be sent to hell, I assure you not. However, if you have an occasional brush with music which draws you into itself at the cost of higher values, the memory of Allah, and prayers, where you are taken over by it so much so that it becomes your sole ambition and obsession then you become an obvious loser. Tariq Magazine August 2010
The Shroud of Turin By Arif Khan
Arif Khan has had an active interest in the Shroud of Turin for over ten years, during which time he has been in touch with researchers and experts. During this time he has also written articles on the subject for Tariq magazine and the Student Pages. He is currently the editor of the Tomb of Jesus website. The Shroud of Turin is the alleged burial cloth of Jesus Christ [as]. The cloth measures approximately 40 feet and exhibits a feint image of what looks like a crucified man. In April 2010, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad [atba] was given a private viewing of the Shroud of Turin. Following his return Huzur [atba] spoke in detail about the trip and the Shroud itself during a Friday Sermon1. Huzur [atba] explained how after a planned trip to West Africa was cancelled, due to political and social instability, a plan to Europe was undertaken instead. This trip’s itinerary was put together at the last minute, and part of this last minute planning was a trip to Turin to visit a public exhibition on the Shroud of Turin. Huzur [atba] was given a special viewing of the cloth, and during his viewing the pubic viewing was halted. MTA were given permission to photograph the cloth as well, as long as flash photography was not used. After the viewing Huzur [atba] had a chance to talk to the director of the exhibition, Monsignor Ghiberti, and also another scholar in Islamic knowledge, Professor Don Tino Negri. Huzur [atba] expounded the Ahmadi viewpoint on the Crucifixion to the two men and interestingly Mr Niegrri asked Huzur [atba] directly if he believed that Jesus [as] had died in Kashmir. Huzur [atba] confirmed this was the belief of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Ahmadis also regard the Shroud of Turin as the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ [as]. Following the dialogue Huzur offered a 5 volume commentary of the Holy Quran to be placed in the library in Turin and the offer was accepted. In this Friday sermon Huzur [atba] reiterated that Ahmadis do believe in the authenticity of this cloth. Huzur [atba] also spoke of the cloth having some sort of history dating back to the 5th century. What is the cloth, and what relevance does it have for the world today and, in particular, for Ahmadi Muslims?
What is the Shroud? The Christian world is one rich with relics. The most sacred of the relics claim to relate to items from the lifetime of Jesus Christ [as]. It is always difficult to verify the authenticity of these items and if they are genuine. The most famous relic available to us today is the Shroud of Turin, the alleged burial cloth of Jesus Christ [as]. The Gospels in the New Testament state that after the Crucifixion Jesus Christ [as] was wrapped in a linen cloth: “Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been
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hewn out of the rock.” 2 “Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths” 3 The Shroud of Turin claims to be this same burial cloth. There have been other cloths making the same claim, but the Shroud of Turin is accepted as the the most impressive and most realistic. This status of the Shroud of Turin was confirmed when in 1898 the first photograph was taken of the Shroud by Seconda Pia. The negative produced from this photograph revealed amazing levels of detail in the Shroud. Instead of a faint image that had been seen so far the negative revealed a detailed image. Seconda Pia reportedly almost dropped the plate due to the shock he felt when he first viewed the photograph plate.
How Old is the Turin Shroud? The recorded history of the Shroud only dates back to the 13th / 14th century, yet recorded history of the cloth bearing the image of Jesus Christ [as] date back thousands of years earlier. There is evidence to suggest that other famous cloths, such as the Cloth of Edessa, are in fact the same cloth as the Shroud of Turin. Scholar, and famous Shroud researcher, Ian Wilson, details a possible timeline for the Shroud dating back to the 1st Century4. Wilson draws on research and recorded traditions that talk about a famous cloth bearing the face or imprint of Jesus’ face. This cloth is known as the cloth of Edessa5. 3rd and 4th Century sources recount the tradition that a cloth “imprinted with Jesus’ likeness” 6 is taken from Jerusalem to Edessa, which is instrumental in converting Edessa’s King Abgar V to Christianity. Wilson shows how the cloth appeared to have survived through the centuries. There is speculation in the timeline put together by Wilson, but there does appear to be a possibility that the cloth mentioned in the various accounts is indeed the same Shroud that is still the subject of much mystery today.
The Image The most fascinating aspect of the cloth is the image formed upon the cloth. To this day the exact process by which the image was formed is not fully understood. Another remarkable aspect of the image, as mentioned earlier, is that it is actually itself a negative.
What links the Shroud to Jesus [as] and the Crucifixion? There are a number of significant detail on the cloth that seem to correlate fully with what we believe happened to Jesus [as] on the cross almost 2,000 years ago.
1. Flagram & Whipping It was a common Roman practice to beat and flog the prisoner before Crucifixion. The Shroud clearly shows such marks, particularly on the back of the body. The Roman instrument used at the time was a whip with three prongs; the tips of these prongs contained bone shaped to inflict maximum damage and to tear at the flesh. Based upon the Shroud we see scores of these marks consistent with the Roman torture instrument, the Flagram7.
2. Crown of Thorns One distinctive feature of Jesus’ [as] Crucifixion is that he was mocked for claiming to be the King of the Jews. In the Gospel account we find mention of a ‘crown of thorns’ by Matthew, Mark and John. “and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” 8 “And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.” 9 “And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.” 10 The Shroud of Turin shows unusual blood flows around the top of the head and traces of blood in the hair and especially the back of the head. All these are consistent with what we would expected if a crown of thorns was worn11.
3. Nail Wounds Jesus [as] would have most likely been nailed to the cross with nails driven
© 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Tariq Magazine August 2010
Islam Ahmadiyyat through the hands and feet. Again, the Shroud depicts just this, with large noticeable blood flows present in both these areas of the cloth12. The nails in the hands are even more interesting, as traditional depictions suggest the nails went through the palms. Modern research has shown this would not be possible, and to support the weight of the body the nails would have to have been through the wrists13. This is consistent with what the Shroud shows.
4. Blood Flows As mentioned already there is blood to be found on the cloth. In 1978 scientists were quickly able to prove this was real blood from a human, and not paint, pigment or animal blood. Also, the blood flows are anatomically correct. Each of the flows traces the correct lines based upon human anatomy and the arrangement of vessels and arteries14.
What scientific tests have been conducted on the Shroud? In 1978 the STURP team conducted a series of non-destructive tests on the Shroud. The tests included15: • Conventional black and white and colour photography • Various scientific photographic methods • X-rays • UV photography • High magnification photography using a portable photomicroscope • Sampling the actual cloth using special sticky tape • Analysis of threads with blood and extraction of DNA The main focus of their experiments was to ascertain how the image was formed. Despite an intensive period of testing this question remains unanswered even today. There are certain features of the image on the Shroud that make it difficult to suggest a mechanism that would account for all the features. Any theory about how the image formed must account for all the following characteristics: 1. The image is extremely faint, appearing only on the very upper fibres of the cloth. 2. There is no pigment or dyes contained in the image areas. 3. The further the body from the cloth the more faint the image – this leads to what is known as the ‘3D’ quality of the Shroud. 4. The image is a negative.
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Did Carbon 14 dating of the cloth not prove it a fake in 1988? The Shroud made international headlines in 1988 when carbon dating tests carried out by four independent laboratories dated the Shroud to 1260–1360. This seemed to settle the issue about if the cloth was a fake or not. It also fitted the known history of the Shroud, as no confirmed record existed of this Shroud before this period. The scientists were particularly dismissive of the Shroud and heralded this as some sort of triumph of science over religion. The following account is taken from the obitury of Professor Edward Hall and summarises the views he expressed on the Shroud when the carbon dating results were announced: “There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century,” he bluntly told a British Museum press conference. “Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.” And again, “Some people may continue to fight for the authenticity of the shroud, like the Flat Earth Society, but this settles it all as far as we are concerned.” 16
The Carbon Dating Result: More Questions than Answers For scholars and experts, however, the Carbon dating result lead to more questions than it did answers. If this had been ‘faked’ how was the image produced? How was a ‘negative’ image created deliberately before the science of photography was understood? How were the anatomically correct blood flows marked on when there was incomplete knowledge of anatomy at the time the cloth was supposed to have been created? Scholars looked for things that could point to an inaccuracy in the carbon dating results. Reputable scholars put out theories about the error in carbon dating, talk of a ‘bioplastic’ coating, and also speculation about how fire damage could have affected the result. There were also conspiracy theories, talking of scientists and Vatican officials conspiring to skew the dating results.
Ray Rogers — Turning the Carbon Dating Result on it’s Head In 2005 this mystery appeared to have been solved by Raymond Rogers, an expert in thermodynamics and one of the original members of the STURP team. The research by Rogers centred around a theory proposed by a husband and wife team, Sue Benford and Joseph Marino. It should be understood that Benford and Marino are not scientists, and their theory was based upon analysis of existing images of the Shroud from 1978. What the couple observed
Islam Ahmadiyyat was that the section of the cloth from which the radio carbon sample was taken looked to have been rewoven. Barrie Schwortz talked about this in a recent documentary on the Shroud: “they had taken photographs that were available of the samples used for the carbon dating and they had submitted these to several textiles experts who did not know they were looking at photos of the Shroud. Each of these textiles experts, independent of each other said, ‘ You know, this looks rewoven’” 17 Benford and Marino believed that the section was repaired using 16th century cotton. The original cloth and the 16th century cotton cloth would be mixed and interwoven. Benford and Marino argued that this mixture of the original 1st century cloth, along with 16th century cotton would lead to a carbon dating result in between the two dates. They published this in a paper entitled “Evidence for the Skewing of the C-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin Due to Repairs”. It was this paper that got the attention of Ray Rogers, and Rogers actually first set out looking at the theory in order to disprove it. Rogers stated in a interview his motivations for work: “I had given up on the Shroud and this is about the same time that the lunatic fringe were coming up with an infinite number of ways in which the date could be wrong, and this [paper by Benford and Marino] was just the last straw.” 18 Barrie Schwortz explains how he got a call from Ray Rogers about the paper: “I got a call from Ray and he’s like ‘What the hell is this? This is nonsense, I can prove these people wrong in 5 minutes’. I said ‘Well Ray, go for it’.” 19 Ray was in a unique position to investigate this theory as he had in his possession samples from both the radio carbon section of the Shroud as well as a sample from an adjacent section to the radio carbon sample area. Barrie Schwortz explains how hours after setting out to prove this theory wrong Rogers called him again: “He calls me a couple of hours later and he says ‘Boy, you know, they were right. There is cotton here! There is no cotton in the rest of the Shroud. There is cotton interwoven here, they must be right”. 20 He concluded that the theory was right in stating that the section of the cloth used for the Carbon dating was actually a rewoven section.
Does the Shroud prove Jesus [as] survived the Crucifixion? For Ahmadi Muslims, who believe strongly in Jesus Christ [as] having survived the Crucifixion, the Shroud of Turin is potentially a powerful piece of evidence in support of this view. There have been those that have argued that the Shroud does point to Jesus Christ [as] having survived the Crucifixion. The main items these researchers point towards are the lack of any sign of decomposition of the body, the even nature of the image, the large amounts of blood on the cloth and the fact an image formed at all22. There have been other researchers who have argued that the cloth proves the opposite, that the man covered by the Turin Shroud was most certainly dead, and they have cited suggestions of rigor mortis and the separation of blood and plasma as evidence for this23. It is a highly controversial area and it is not helped by sensationalised approaches to discussions on the theory that the Shroud shows Jesus [as] survived. Conspiracy theories, such as that outlined by Holger Kersten in his book, The Jesus Conspiracy, have made it easier for researchers to dismiss the thesis that the Shroud proves Jesus [as] survived the Crucifixion. On the other side the biggest proponent of the view that it proves Jesus [as] died, is Dr Frederick Zugibe who is a committed Christian. More research is required and more questions need answering. Currently it seems the evidence available is inconclusive. People have argued for both outcomes using the same empirical evidence. Below are some exerts from proponents of the view that the Shroud covered a living body that was in a state of near-death:
1. Rodney Hoare – The Turin Shroud is Genuine - 1994 Hoare talks about taking images from the Shroud to a group of forensic scientists belonging to the FBI. He talks about the discussions they had based upon the cloth and their arriving at the following conclusion: “The forensic scientists argued that the body in the Shroud was absolutely dead by pre-seventeenth century standards but in a deep coma by present-day ones” 24 He explains the reasoning for this by explaining
Sadly Raymond Rogers lost his battle with cancer shortly after completing this work. His entire testimony on this research was documented by Shroud expert and colleague, Barrie Schwortz, and then published as a DVD. Just weeks before Ray passed away a detailed article containing his findings was published in the peer reviewed Chemistry journal ”Thermochimica Acta” 21.
“Any chemical staining reaction…would almost certainly depended on temperate: the higher the temperature the darker the stain. … so the temperature of the cloth must also have been approximately uniform. This could only happen in the blood were still circulating, the heart just beating....The body must have been in a coma, therefore, and not clinically dead by twentieth-century standards.”
This was revolutionary for the research. Now the Carbon dating result was declared invalid and the biggest objection to the Shroud’s possible authenticity removed.
In the same book Hoare also makes the comment:
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Islam Ahmadiyyat “...they (STURP team) did report that they managed to obtain stains most nearly like the bodymarks on the cloth by baking some linen which had a coating of perspiration, myrrh and aloes!” 26 Hoare presents his evidence from the Shroud along with details about the Crucifixion from the New Testament to argue that Jesus survived the Crucifixion.
2. Kurt Berna – Jesus Nicht am Kreuz Gestorben ( Jesus Did Not Perish on the Cross) – 1975, Zurich Kurt Berna was of the opinion that the evidence of the Shroud and the New Testament pointed to Jesus [as] having survived the Crucifixion. Kurt Berna also wrote an address that was read out at the 1978 International Conference on The Deliverance of Jesus Christ [as] from the Cross organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. In the text cited here Berna draws mainly from the observations and research of Dr. Theodor Hirt, a professor of a German University. “Once death has ensued, blood circulation in the human body follows the same law. At one moment a person s skin may still be a reddish flesh-color because the blood penetrates to the capillaries, the hair-thin vessels just below the surface of the skin. But when the heart stops pumping, by the same law of nature that applies to the test with the glass tube, the veins draw the blood back. As a result, the capillaries are the first vessels to be emptied of blood because they are at the extreme end of the circulatory system. As the blood retracts, the skin of the deceased turns white.” “This is what happens to a corpse some eight to ten hours after the heart has ceased to beat not only does no blood flow from open wounds because there is no ressure, but the blood retracts a little in the veins.” “But what happens [at the removal of the crown of thorns] if here is blood pressure--that is, if the heart is still beating? The little wounds fill with blood; the blood flows from the head into the hair; and because it keeps flowing, it trickles through the hair onto the Shroud as we can see on the Shroud of Jesus. That is why it cannot have been a corpse that was in the Shroud the body was not dead. We can all see the evidence on the Shroud, as revealed by a camera nineteen hundred years later and the camera does not lie It is so obvious and easy to understand that I am certain you have followed my reasoning”27
3. Holger Kersten & Elmar Gruber – The Jesus Conspiracy – 1992 The central premise of ‘The Jesus Conspiracy’, by Kersten and Gruber, is that Jesus [as] survived the Crucifixion. One of the later sections of their text is entitled “The Image of a Living Person” and starts as follows: “After all that we have described there can be no doubt: the Turin cloth is the cloth in which Jesus was placed for healing after being taken down from the Cross. If this is so and Jesus really was still alive when he was placed in the tomb, we should be able to find
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evidence of the fact on the Turin cloth.” 28 The authors of the The Jesus Conspiracy draw our attention to the blood marks in particular when arguing their case. “We can be greatful that Jospeh of Arimathea and his helpers did not wash the body of Jesus for medical reasons, because this allowed the traces of coagulated blood to be imprinted on the cloth. Two different types of bleeding can be clearly distinguished. Firstly there is the dried blood which came from the whipping, the crowning with thorns, the side wound and from the bails fixing the body on the Cross. Secondly there is fresh blood which flowed when Jesus was already lying horizontally in the cloth. The fabric quickly became saturated with the resinous aloe, and was thoroughly impregnated with it. This meant that most of the blood was not absorbed in to the cloth, but just spread out over the surface. This would explain the surprising fact, observed by modern researchers, that most of the blood marks cannot be seen on the reverse side even though the material is quite thin. The careful treatment with the herbal solution also had the effect of re-softening the coagulated areas of the blood, so that they too were transferred on to the cloth.” 29 The blood marks around the back area also highlighted by Kersten and Gruber: “Blood has collected in the cavity between the back and the buttocks. This shows clearly that the blood must have flowed only after the body was laid horizontally” 30
4. The Second Messiah – Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas – London, 1997 Although this text supports a very different thesis about the nature of the Shroud of Turin the actual observations of the Shroud and some of the conclusions support the view that the man wrapped in the Shroud was alive. Their observations of the Shroud suggested that the man in the Shroud was not lying out on a hard rock surface, but on a cushioned soft surface: “Dead bodies are not laid out on soft absorbent beds, so it seems extremely likely that the image is not that of a corpse but of a living subject who had been horribly tortured.” 31 The conclusion of these authors also is that the Shroud wrapped a living body.
Conclusion It is very difficult to have objective research done on the Shroud of Turin. Almost all those interested in the cloth and involved in the research are Christians with pre-existing biases and beliefs. The range of opinions on the Shroud of Turin also makes it difficult to get to the truth about the cloth. The best expert we have today on the Shroud, however, is not a Christian, but a Jew; Barrie Schwortz. Barrie runs the biggest and best website on the Shroud at www.shroud. com. He has records of all academic papers and writings on the Shroud, and the list of publications is in the thousands. Barrie is a highly experienced scientist with over 30 years of experience researching the Shroud. Barrie was one of the
Islam Ahmadiyyat official photographers of the STURP team that examined the Shroud in 1978. Barrie’s own view of the Shroud is that the exact image formation mechanism remains a mystery.
What is next for the cloth? The Shroud researchers and enthusiasts want another C-14 dating test to be performed on the Shroud of Turin. Access to the cloth is closely controlled and obtaining access for more tests has historically proved difficult. In the last decade it has been noticed that the feint image had started to fade and disappear. The Shroud was moved to a specificly designed container to help preserve it and avoid the image being lost. As part of this process it was treated with Thymol and experts have said this could badly affect any future attempts to date the cloth using C-14. In the current scholarly world opinions are still divided on the Shroud. Many lost interest after the initial carbon dating result appeared to show it was a fake; many are still unaware of Ray Roger’s work and findings. Even as recently as October 2009 there have been researchers claiming to have reproduced the image exposing it as a fake32.
Footnotes 1. Friday Sermon – 30th April 2010 - http://www.alislam.org/archives/friday/ FSS20100430-EN.html 2. Mark 15:46 – New Revised Standard Version 3. John 19:39-40 – New Revised Standard Version 4. The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence, Ian Wilson & Barrie Schwortz, 2000, pp 151–155 5. Ibid – pp 151-152 6. Ibid – pp 152 7. Ibid - pp 57 8. Matthew 27:29 9. Mark 15:17 10. John 19:2 11. The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence, Ian Wilson & Barrie Schwortz, 2000 - pp 57-58 12. Ibid - pp 58-59 13. Ibid - pp 60 14. Ibid - pp 58 15. Ibid - pp 67-81 16. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/professor-edward-hall-729330. html
During the Friday Sermon of April 30th 2010 Huzur [atba] mentioned some experiments carried out under the supervision of Mir Mahmood sahib in Rabwah. Holger Kersten also performed similar tests using aloes, myrrh and a radiator to help achieve the perspiration. Kersten’s image shared some of the characteristics with the Shroud, but not all.
17. Turin Shroud: The New Evidence – Discovery HD, April 2009
For the scientists and academics the Shroud poses a wonderful puzzle to which a solution is still elusive. For believers in Jesus [as] it provides a visual representation of the ordeal of the Crucifixion and the suffering he would have gone through. For those who support the idea that Jesus [as] survived the Crucifixion it could yet prove to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence available to prove this thesis.
22. The Turin Shroud is Genuine, Rodney Hoare, 1994, pp 69–73
For now, however, there is much debate about all areas of the Shroud. Time will tell if a consensus can ever be reached on the cloth. One final thought; the STURP team were able to extract DNA from the blood on the Shroud prompting the 1999 book by Leoncio Garza-Valdes The DNA of God? The question next would be, what could we cross-reference that DNA with for a possible match?
18. Ibid 19. Ibid 20. Ibid 21. Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the Shroud of Turin, Thermochimica Acta, Volume 425, Issues 1-2, Pages 189–194
23. The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence, Ian Wilson & Barrie Schwortz, 2000, pp 67–81 24. The Turin Shroud is Genuine, Rodney Hoare, 1994, pp 68–69 25. Ibid 26. Ibid pp 73 27. Jesus did not Perish on the Cross ( Jesus Nicht am Kreuz gestorben), Kurt Berna. Zurich, Switzerland, 1975 – Extracts from account of Dr. Theodor Hirt, pp 46–69 28. The Jesus Conspiracy, Holger Kersten & Elmar Gruber, 1992, pp 281 29. Ibid, pp 286 30. Ibid, pp 290 31. The Second Messiah, Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, pp 200 32. Italian researcher Professsor Luigi Garlaschelli claimed to have reproduced the Shroud image using medievel techniques on October 6th 2009. Experts quickly pointed out the theory put forward by the Professor had already been examined previously and ruled out on several accounts. See ‘Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz’: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/schwortzedit01.pdf
Tariq Magazine August 2010
4 News & Events
MKA Midlands Blood Drive By Dr. Nadeem Ahmed
The Midlands Region organised a blood donation session with the National Blood Service (NBS) at the Darul Barakaat Mosque, Tilton Road, Birmingham, B9 4PP. This took place on Sunday 28th March 2010.
Background Leading up to the event, the Khuddam from within the region handed out flyers and knocked on local residents’ doors informing them of the event. Although this was a Khuddam event, the whole Jama’at was invited to attend. A significant attendance campaign commenced 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the session. We also sent out a number of press releases to the local media to generate some further publicity.
Session 1 The session itself started at 10:00 am, yet the dedicated blood donation team arrived at 8:00 am to set up the main sports hall in the mosque for the session. The male members of the Jama’at were invited to attend in the morning and there was a steady flow of donors throughout the session and from all over the various qiadats within the region. The session was due to stop at 12:00 pm but ran a little later as there were some Khuddam who turned up late. However a number of members arrived after this time, and subsequently had to be turned away, as the afternoon session was devoted exclusively to the Lajna. A total of 20 male members donated in the morning session.
Lunch There was a break for lunch between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm during which the 7 NBS staff members were treated to a sumptuous meal provided by our resident Nazim Ziafat – Malik Nisar Sahib. There was plenty spare so a number of them also took food home for their families. The NBS team were very pleased with the morning session and continued to mention how grateful they were for the hospitality they had
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received. During this time, the NBS were also given a brief tour of the mosque and various questions were also asked of the organisers in relation to the Jama’at and our activities. They were amazed at the amount of work the Jama’at did over and above the general work commitments that each of us has. They also heard the call to prayer and were very inquisitive about this also.
Session 2 The afternoon session started at 2:00 pm with a flourish and continued until the end. The Lajna turned out in good numbers and managed to get 31 donors by the end of their session at 4:00 pm. The NBS were very happy with the response from the Lajna members and were pleased that we had reached the target of 50 donors set by the NBS.
Feedback This was a new initiative with the NBS to try to increase the number of donors from the South Asian Community. To encourage more female donors, the session was segregated into male and female donation sessions. It was hoped that this would become a regular blood donation venue for the NBS in the future. Theo Clarke, NBS representative admired the fact that we have excelled in this event and was very happy with the progress MKA have made. He said, “I’ve spoken to the team manager and the team had a great time and were very appreciative of all the efforts made on the day by everyone connected with the Mosque.” He further added, “I am hopeful of great things in the future for the NBS and MKA UK.”
Summary Total of 51 members donated on the day out of which 18 of them were Khuddam, 2 were guests and 31 were Lajna.
News & Events
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Research Association Trip: 1001 Inventions By Muddassar Rashid
Sir Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari in the film “1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets” introducing the Golden Age
Left to right (back row) Faheem Mirza, Muddassar Rashid, Qasid Safir, Dr Tauseef Khan, Tahir Nassar, Umer Nassar, Saud Ahmad, Usama Riaz (front Row) Fooad Tahir, Usama Raz, Abdullah Raz and Ibraheem Khan.
Since 21st January 2010, the London Science Museum has been playing host to a new Exhibition titled, ‘1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World’ done in association with Jameel Foundation. The 1001 Inventions Exhibition was created by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), a British based non-profit, nonreligious and academic organisation. It has toured the nation throughout since 2006. However, the current exhibition in the Science Museum is the most extensive of them all, and is part of a much larger, global initiative to increase awareness of the thousand years of scientific contribution made by the Muslim Civilisation since the 7th Century onwards.
After spending roughly half an hour in the space exploration section, the group went off to the main event of the day: The 1001 Inventions Exhibition. Outside the entrance were some small exhibitions displaying various artefacts and books of which one was of Al-Khwarizmi’s Al-Kitāb al-mukhtasar fī hīsāb al-ğabr wa’l-muqābala (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing): the renowned book that introduced us to a completely new field of mathematics, now known as Algebra (derived from Al-Jabr).
It was then only natural that members of the MKA Research Association visit the exhibition and take inspiration from the great works done by past Muslim scientists. Therefore, on Saturday 27th March 2010, a group of young enthusiasts set their eyes on the 1001 Exhibition. The group included ten Khuddam and two Atfal, who all initially congregated in front of Imperial College, London. Once all the members had arrived at the designated meeting point at the entrance of Imperial College, they went to the science museum as a group. Before heading off to the exhibition, however, the group took a detour into the space exploration section, briefly looking at the various space shuttles and the history of human space exploration. It was an awesome site to see the various space shuttles and satellites man has launched into space. [insh] one day, Ahmadi astronauts will also go into space. The two Atfal present thoroughly enjoyed this section. They had the opportunity to play the “Guidance on the Huygens Lander” game. The game required the participants to estimate the correct weight for the Lander by considering the heat shields, parachute and its load. Ibrahim Sahib, who is an undergraduate student at Imperial College, gave the youngsters advice and explained the basic physical concepts involved.
Once entering the exhibition, one immediately gravitates towards the mesmerizingly huge display of an elephant clock! As you can see below by the child like wonder induced into the members of the Research Association, it is a site to behold, though equally bemusing are its workings, it does take some time to figure out how it exactly works. The clock invented by the Muslim inventor Al-Jazari, is not only a masterpiece in timing, but is also an example of multiculturalism. The dragon represents the Chinese culture; the elephant represents the Indian and African cultures; the phoenix represents the Egyptian culture; the water works represents the Greek culture and the turban represents the Islamic culture. It is a wonderful way to introduce the exhibition; Muslim science was truly a multicultural endeavour bringing together scientists from across the vast empire in pursuit of knowledge, irrespective of culture or creed. The next display was of the School in the Muslim civilisation, looking into the centres of learning, how knowledge was investigated and subjects were taught across the Islamic Civilization. The display also introduced us to Fatima al-Fihri who founded the world’s first degree-awarding university, still in existence: University of Qarawiyyin in Morocco. After this there was a section on the market place in the Muslim Civilisation, looking at the usage of currency and other novel innovations such as the windmill with vertical blades, or the ingenious invention of Al-Jazari that converts circular motion Tariq Magazine August 2010
News & Events
Left to right: Usama Raz, Abdullah Raz and Ibraheem Khan playing the game “Guidance on the Huygens Lander”
A replica of Al-Jazari’s ingenious Elephant Clock.
into linear motion. Visitors got the chance to read about the advances introduced by the Muslims in farming, transport, energy and production of other household goods.
and spires. We find out about legendary explorers, who in their pursuits would make excellent maps. Ibn Battuta who travelled the world, only returning to his home after 30 years! The spirit of exploration was great among Muslims and the exhibition also showed the Chinese Muslim admiral Zheng, who is in a class of his own in global exploration. He commanded numerous expeditions, with large fleets. His treasure ships are reported to have been humongous in size; some have put it as being 10 times larger in capacity than the ship Christopher Columbus used in his historic voyage, if true this would make them bigger than many ships of today! In aviation, we also have spirited Muslims like Abbas ibn Firnas (9th century) who attempted to fly using a wooden glider.
Next the visitors were treated to a short video starring Sir Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari. With the use of clever graphics and animations, the viewer was truly enlightened by the wonderful and majestic works of the Muslim scientists, inventors and innovators. The video starts with a group of children told to go and investigate the Dark Ages. They fittingly come to a man dressed as a librarian (Sir Kingsley) who introduces them to the true picture of the Dark Ages, and rightly renames that age as the Golden Age after magically transforming into Al-Jazari! The kids in the video seem dumbstruck, so much so that the only word they can use to describe all these inventions is ‘cool’. However, a bit of variation in their vocabulary might have made the video a tad bit cooler! The video titled ‘1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets’ is available online to view on the main Exhibition website . Another exhibit was of the Hospital, and how ancient approaches to health have influenced today’s medicine. It highlighted the contribution of great Muslim doctors to the field of Medicine. Ibn Sina was a polymath who developed a compendium of medical knowledge in his Al-Qanun, the book of medicine that was used for 800 years. Also on display was AlZahrawi, a 10th-century surgeon, who revolutionised surgery by becoming the first person to use catgut systematically to stitch internal incisions. We also learnt about the 13th-century doctor Ibn al-Nafis, who was the first to explicitly state that the blood moves from the heart, transits through the lungs to mix with air and returns to the heart - many centuries before the discovery of circulation made by William Harvey. After the video there is another set of display units for the towns, exploration of the Earth, and exploration of the universe, in the Muslim Civilisation. One is introduced to the various architectures created by the Muslims such as the dome
Tariq Magazine August 2010
The visitors are finally treated to a display on “The Universe and the Muslim Civilisation”. We are introduced to Merriam’ al-Ijliyah: a woman who constructed astrolabes for the ruler of northern Syria in the 10th century. This became a guide for explorers and is analogous to the modern day GPS system. The Muslims, it seemed, invested great interest in the stars and built observatories to measure constellations as precisely as possible. We are also made aware of Lagari Hasan Celebi who was the first recorded man to brave a rocket powered flight in 17th century Turkey. After going through the exhibition one is truly humbled by the spirit of exploration, determination and hunger that was shown by the Muslim Civilisation for the improvement of society and in pursuit of knowledge. Glancing over history, there is no time in human history other than the modern age that we find such activity in a plethora of fields of study. We can only pray that we are able to emulate and improve on the example set by the Muslim scholars. May Allah make it so! [ameen]. The group concluded its visit with a group photo and lunch at Nando’s.
News & Events
Mosque Qiadat Army Trip By Rabeel Saboor
On Monday 7th April, Mosque Qiadat organised an exhilarating trip to an Army base in Pirbright. In total 44 Khuddam and Atfal attended this trip: 37 Khuddam and Atfal from Mosque Qiadat; 5 from Wimbledon Park; and 2 from Putney. The Army had arranged for a coach to take the Khuddam and Atfal from the Fazl Mosque to Pirbright. The coach arrived sharp at 8:30 am and everyone started to step into the coach in a very orderly manner which gave a very good impression about our Jama’at. The coach was all loaded and ready to go by 8:40 am. We started our trip with Du’a which was lead by Qaid sahib Mosque. At 8:45am the coach departed for Pirbright (location of camp). The location was approximately 40 miles away from the Fazl Mosque. By the grace of Allah we arrived at the camp at 10:00 am. It wasn’t cold even though it rained a bit. We were dropped off at the paintballing area and then escorted to the main headquarters of the training course. We were given a big room to put our valuables and clothing in. We were given a quick introduction from the head of the Army training department. Everyone was asked to call him “Colour”. We were also told to call the rest of the Army members “Staff ”. Following a very humorous and strict introduction we were given our uniforms. Everyone wore their uniform as fast as they could because they couldn’t wait to get started. After this we were given instructions to line up outside. Whilst lining up most people were given punishments for fiddling or standing in an unacceptable manner. The punishments were to do 10 push ups which almost every one of us got at some stage of the training which sometimes was funny but sometimes really hard. For the first part of the day we were split into two different groups. The first group went off mountain biking whilst the other group were doing command tasks. mountain biking was easy to some but to others it was like going through a nightmare. It lasted for around 30 to 40 minutes for each group. This challenge had a variety of different courses which included going up a hill, coming back down a really steep hill and riding your bike over rough surfaces. It was one of the most enjoyed challenges of the day. On the other hand command tasking was also very challenging. In this task the groups were split into smaller groups. Each group was trying out different tasks for which you had to think a lot. Each group tried around 3 different mental tasks and each group showed what they could do and solved each of the tasks (with a little help from staff ). This was also a very motivating challenge. As soon as we came to the end of the first part of the course which included mountain biking and command tasks, we were given food. Most people were waiting for rice and curry but it turned out that all of us were going to get Army food (rations), which for some people was nice but for others not that great. All the food was Halal which we really appreciated. We were
also given time after lunch to offer Zuhr and Asr prayers in a clean room were we left our belongings at the start of the day. The prayers were lead by Qaid sahib Mosque. After finishing our prayers we were asked to line up outside again. We then marched towards the obstacle course location which also included shooting at targets with paintball guns. During the march all of us had to do push ups as the soldiers wanted pin drop silence whilst we marched there. We once again were split into two groups. One of the groups did paintballing whilst the other was going through some of the obstacle course. The obstacle course included monkey bars, jumping over water, two feet landing and crawling under barbed wires. This course was very tough and you need to have good physical strength. Most people passed the obstacles but some of the unlucky ones didn’t and the consequence was them falling in the water whilst doing their task. After this, the groups swapped so now some were going through the obstacles while others were shooting at targets. The paintballing task was one of the favourites. Everyone got wet when they didn’t expect to get wet. Most people were afraid of doing the task but a bigger fear was getting shouted at by the soldiers. So as long as this fear was there everyone did all the tasks except the unlucky camera man from MTA. Everyone was pushed into the water while doing the paintballing course as it was something that was included in doing the task. Each person first got pushed in the dirty green water and then they had to use the paintball gun to shoot at a target. This amazing excursion was also captured by MTA which included some fascinating footage of the trip. MTA also interviewed Qaid sahib Mosque and the Captain of the base. The Captain mentioned one of his attendances at the Peace conference and expressed positive feelings about the Jama’at. At 3:30 pm we said goodbye and left for Fazl Mosque. We took a group photo so we could all remember the trip. We also hope to go back again and try those challenges again Insha’Allah. We arrived at Fazl mosque at 4:15 pm and everyone left for their homes happily and joyfully. Tariq Magazine August 2010
National Football Tournament 2010
News & Events
Tariq Magazine August 2010
3rd July 2010
MKA National Football Tournament
News & Events
Tariq Magazine August 2010
5 Articles Remembrance of Allah By Mujeebur Rahman, Keighley Jama’at
The sole purpose of creation is the worship of God Almighty. There are various types of worship including: (i) Worship consisting of movement and postures that incorporates the remembrance of God e.g. Salaat. (ii) Voluntary worship - consisting of repeated invocations termed the ‘Remembrance of God’ (Zikr). (iii) To ponder over intellectual and philosophical concepts like the attributes of Allah. The Holy Qur’an discusses all these types of worship. In Islam the five obligatory prayers are prescribed for every believer. However, these prayers cannot be offered all day long as a believer has many other duties and obligations like any other human being. He must eat, sleep, wash, attend school, or if he is old enough he must earn a living. If he is married he must be a conscientious husband and parent, he must be a good neighbour and a good citizen. Hence, one cannot spend all one’s time offering the obligatory prayers. However, there is also voluntary worship, which can be performed at any time. This type of voluntary worship is not found in any other faith. In this way, through Islam, God Almighty has opened many avenues for His remembrance (Zikr) and worship some of which are set out below. 1) One profound Zikr is . The Holy Prophet [saw] instructed that ought to be recited before starting any activity. Without this the activity will not be blessed. Before dressing or putting on one’s shoes one ought to recite . One must recite before drinking water or washing the dishes, before sacrificing an animal or cooking meat. Hence,
Tariq Magazine August 2010
one ought to recite
before starting any activity.
points to the fact that everything that is found in this vast earth completely lies within the domain of Allah Almighty and a believer is putting them to good use with His permission. Hence, when a person recites before sacrificing an animal, it means that he has not stolen the animal from anyone. It belongs to God Almighty and He has given permission to consume it. Then there are chillis, coal and dishes –they are also granted by God Almighty. A person is taking benefit by consuming or loaning them from God’s dominion. Therefore, everything a Muslim does should be with the consent of Allah Almighty. 2) Another Zikr is , which is recited after completing any task. The Holy Qur’an also states (Ch.10: V.11). The end of the prayer of the believer is always, “All praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” 3) is another Zikr, which is recited for an extraordinary and great event, proclaiming the Glory of Allah. If one were to reflect upon this Zikr one would find that it contains many insights and great wisdom. 4) On occasions of sorrow and adversity Islam has prescribed the Zikr: . To Allah we belong and to him shall we return. If one has a near and dear one, it is important to remember that he was granted this dear one by God Almighty and when God calls him back it is not a matter of excessive sorrow and anguish. If a glass breaks, then one should recite: . i.e. This glass was given to us by God
Almighty. We too will return to Him where other glasses will be granted. Hence, upon every loss this prayer cleanses human nature from corrosion. 5) Islam has not even overlooked Zikr when observing unbecoming, disgusting and outrageous events and has taught us to recite La haula wa la quwwata illa billah which means there is no power to repel evil nor any strength to do good save by Allah’s leave. 6) Whenever the idea of committing any sin enters the mind of a person, Islam instructs the Zikr, , meaning I seek refuge with Allah Almighty from satanic assaults. 7) Then the Zikr A’oozo billahi minash-shaitaanirajeem which means I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan is recited before beginning any task that may be hindered by Satanic impediments and barriers. For instance, the recitation of the Holy Qur’an is an important activity and because Satan creates obstructions, Allah Almighty states, (Ch.16: V.99) which means: and when thou recitest the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah. 8) There is also occasion for Zikr when a person is about to sleep. Therefore, Ayat al-Kursi (2:256), as well as the last three chapters of the Holy Qur’an can be recited before gently blowing upon the hands and moving them over the chest and all over the body. 9) Upon waking, one is instructed to recite the Zikr, Alhamdu li-llahil-lazee ahyaanaa ba’da maa amaata-naa wa ilai-hinnushoor which means praise be to Allah Almighty for reviving us after sleep, which is a partial death.
10) In the same way, Zikr is prescribed when one falls ill and also when one recovers from illness. 11) Going to the toilet to relieve oneself is a dirty action, however, even this act is not without Zikr. Allah Humma innee a’oozo-bika minal-khubsi wal khabaa-isi, meaning O Allah! I seek refuge from all sorts of (physically and spiritually) harmful and vicious things. If our digestive system slows down, leading to constipation, this causes toxic materials to re-enter the blood stream leading to many illnesses. On the other hand diarrhoea can cause loss of body fluids that can lead to death in some cases. This prayer protects against all such potential troubles. 12) There is also Zikr prescribed when bathing. 13) Zikr before sexual relations between man and wife has also not been overlooked in Islam. They are instructed to recite Allahumma jannib-nash-shaitaana maa razaqtanaa which basically means O Allah, protect us both from the mischief of Satan and keep Satan away from the children You grant us. This list is by no means exhaustive but it serves to illustrate the deeper philosophy that there should be no human activity devoid of Irk-e-Idaho, the remembrance of Allah – true gratitude of His Bounties. Where some other faiths have reduced their worship down to a few hours during one day of the week, Islam not only prescribes the five obligatory prayers but also encourages the remembrance of God throughout all hours of the day during whichever wholesome activity the believer is engaged in to raise himself higher and higher through the infinite spiritual realms.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
A “Good Man”
English translation of an excerpt from Way of the Seekers by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II [ra]
A ‘Good Man’ Defined
Can Morality Be Taught?
Let me now turn to this important question: What is the definition of a good man? The Christian view is that a man has to possess all virtues and to be free from all vices, all defects, to be called a good man. Other religions have more or less followed the same line. But the Holy Qur’an says explicitly:
The question arises; can morality be learnt and taught? The answer is, why not? But this is a general answer. When the question is faced directly and a person is asked: Have you done all you can to improve your moral life? Have you met with the desired change? The reply generally is: No, I have tried but it is very difficult. Ask anyone in a group if morals can be improved; the answer will be: Yes. But when you ask if the person concerned has succeeded in actually improving his morals, he will say: I have done my best but I have not succeeded. The position is paradoxical. We have, in most matters, a poor opinion about others but a good opinion about ourselves. But in the matter of moral change and improvement by effort and exercise, human behaviour is the other way around. Somehow, others seem to be able to do something to improve their morals, but not we. We have some special difficulties or circumstances which hinder us. However, the Holy Qur’an is quite explicit on this point. According to the Holy Qur’an, moral life can be improved. Says the Holy Qur’an:
“Then, as for him whose scales are heavy, he will have a pleasant life. But as for him whose scales are light, hell will be his resort.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 101, Verse 7-10 For instance, if an examinee answers nine questions correctly but his answer to the tenth is not correct he will not be penalised for it. Similarly, doctors also commit occasional mistakes but if by and large their patients get well, they are considered good doctors. This means that a moral person is one the quantum of whose virtues is overwhelmingly greater than that of his vices, or alternatively an immoral person would be one whose vices outweigh his virtues. This is unlike what other religions say. From their point of view, a person may live a clean, full and virtuous life; but let him commit one mistake and this would be enough to condemn him as immoral. The Islamic approach is different. In Islam a moral person is one who honestly and sincerely exerts himself to do what is right, so much so that his virtues cover and score out his faults. The truth is that other religious teachings regard the Shariah as arbitrary. To them it is nothing more than commands which must be obeyed to please the Law-giver’s fancy. The slightest breach brings down a penalty. There is no forgiveness, no exception, no leniency. The Shariah, according to them, is nothing more than a manual of penalties. The Islamic view of Shariah is quite different. The Shariah rituals are not ends in themselves. They are exercises to help promote the really good life; the life of the heart. Therefore, if you fail to perform a prescribed ritual, you do not at once attract punishment, unless the omission or the error violates the purpose of the exercise itself. This does not mean, however, that occasional wrongdoing is permitted in Islam. No. That is not so. Deliberate wrongdoing is a kind of holiday from moral life. It is rebellion; and certainly rebellion is not permitted. If in a school examination a student refuses to answer one question and says he will not answer, because he has so willed, his act will be treated as a kind of indiscipline. He is just asking for punishment. It amounts to insulting the institution. But if he is unable to answer one or two questions, that is quite another matter. That would not entail any punishment. But deliberate refusal would be quite a different story.
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Continue to admonish, for admonition always helps. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 87, Verse 10 A Prophet is never to tire of giving good advice to his people. Good counsel never goes unrewarded. The Holy Qur’an is definitely optimistic in this respect and it is a thing worth noting. No wonder the Promised Messiah [as], who drew on the Holy Qur’an for everything he taught, held fast to this teaching of the Holy Book. What he said to his followers again and again and in different ways inspired hope. Once he said: “Think not: ‘We are sinners, so will our prayers be heard?’ Do not think like this. Man makes mistakes, but a time comes when he is able to overpower his sinning self. This power to overcome the sinning self is also built into the nature of man. Water puts out fire. This is part of its nature. However much you may heat it, when water drops onto fire it must put it out. That is natural. So is man a purifier by nature. Every man has this purifying property. Do not feel defeated because you have been involved in sin. Sin is like a stain on the surface of a piece of cloth. It can be washed away. Your habits, your dispositions may be dominated ever so much by your passions. Pray to God weeping, crying – He will not let your prayers go waste. He is full of compassion.” Al-Badr, 1907 The Promised Messiah [as]’s message is full of hope. It is the message of the Holy Qur’an, amplified in his style by the Promised Messiah [as]. The optimism which permeates the Holy Qur’an is unequalled in any other Holy Book. The way it is amplified by the Promised Messiah[as] is indeed unequalled by any similar writer on the subject.
Articles It becomes crystal-clear from the Promised Messiah[as]’s words quoted above that human nature has something built-in, which, when put to use, washes away all sin, and the sought-for resulting improvement is there for all to see.
Is Man in his Natural State Good or Bad? The question may be asked: If man is so capable of counteracting evil, why is there so much evil in the world? Or, why is there more evil than good in the world? I answered this question on another occasion before. But during the last few days, about half a dozen different people from different places have put this question to me again. It is quite strange that the same question should be raised by so many people at once and the same time. But let me proceed to answer the question. The question is: Can we say that man is good by nature? We must remember that God has endowed man with all sorts of capabilities and has also endowed him with the freedom and the discretion to use them in a good or bad way. The parting of the ways is shown to him and then he is left free to act. Says the Holy Qur’an: We have shown him the Way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 75, Verse 4
More Good or Evil The fact is that it is often forgotten owing mainly to errors of observation that the world is more good than evil. Take a thief; true, he commits theft, but against each theft, he does so many things which are good. Perhaps he meets people in a pleasant manner. He is generous and charitable. He serves his parents, and takes good care of them. If you count up in this way, you will find the good in each person preponderating over evil. So also men taken individually do more good things than evil. The quantum of good or evil in the world would certainly give good an edge over evil, possibly more than an edge. Why do people generally think the number of evil actions to be greater? This wrong impression is the product of two circumstances. One is the too patent fact that in terms of formal, professed belief and unbelief, certainly unbelievers would be found in a much larger number. The other circumstance is that most men suffer from one moral defect or another. Because of this, the quantum of evil seems larger. But it is an illusion. These circumstances are not adequate proof that there is more evil than good in the world. Certainly, there may be more unbelievers. But the number of enlightened and convinced unbelievers is much less than appears on the surface. The so-called unbelievers are often such as have not really analysed or tested their beliefs. Many so-called Kafirs (disbelievers) are not Kafirs in the eyes of God. They will yet have the chance to decide. Or, if this does not happen, their
actions, which they have performed freely and responsibly, will be taken into account in determining their moral merit. Thus weighed, can we say how many will turn out to be good men and how many evil? Altogether it seems there is more belief in the world than disbelief. Proportionately, therefore, it would be safe to say that there is more good in the world than evil. The other circumstance too, that all or most people suffer from some moral defect or other, is open to question. In fact, this is not the way to judge the matter. The question is: Are most men good or bad? If most men are good, the quantum of good in the world is greater. If most men possess most of the good moral qualities, the good predominates. Keeping in view the total good of men in the world as a whole, the evidence on the side of good will be found to be more incontrovertible. Some people at this point interject and say that if most people are in for punishment of one kind or another, then what does it prove except that Satan has won and God has lost. But I would say: No, still God is the winner and Satan the loser. For, does not Islam say that ultimately, that is, after all accounts have been settled, all human beings will enter the Divine Garden: “And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me.” The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 51, Verse 57 This eventuality fulfilled, as it must be, who will think that any human beings who have, by trial and error, become images of their Creator, should still remain in Hell and not go to the Garden, which is the destiny of all good men and women? From other evidence also we know that a time will come when hell would be emptied of all its inmates, also that they will all have been admitted to the Garden. All will have become good servants of Allah. When this happens, where will Satan be? Do you think he will be sitting by himself alone, unlike the rest of the creatures? He also will join the others in the Garden after he has been cleansed of all evil. So he will after all be defeated in his personal aim to mislead human beings and will himself stand de-satanised. Those who consider Satan as the winning party shall stand corrected when they find Satan in the Garden: Satan who has ceased to be Satan. Now turning to the question of the definition of the perfect man. The perfect man is free from sin to the extent that in after-death he finds himself equal to the requirements of the good life. “Requirements of good life” means to deserve the pleasure of God and to be safe from His displeasure. The good soul has enough good deeds to its credit to enable it to enter the Garden of Divine pleasure at once. The emphasis is on ‘at once’. The perfect man is ready to enter the Garden at once, to which sooner or later, every soul will be admitted. The perfect man’s only distinction is that he will be among the first to enter. To be continued…
Tariq Magazine August 2010
Islam’s “Violent” History
Published on 6th December 2009 by Abdul Ghany Jahangeer Khan, Tilford, Surrey To Karim, It would seem extremely bizarre that someone boasting to have a PhD in History could have such paltry knowledge of what has been happening in the world. You say that Egypt was a Coptic Christian country before the Islamic invasion “by the sword”, and you repeat the same for Lebanon, Syria, Spain and Iran. What was Egypt before it was Coptic Christian, may I ask? What religion did the people of Syria, Lebanon, Spain and Iran have before Christianity or Zoroastrianism? What was Europe before it became p re d om i n a n t l y Christian? They all had other religions which were displaced by Christianity or Zoroastrianism. The religious affiliations of people change over time, and this is a natural process.
thousands and destroying whole cities, what happened to them within a generation? THEY THEMSELVES BECAME MUSLIM! They were the ones holding the swords, yet they accepted Islam. Which sword forced the conquerors to change their faith to Islam?? It w a s the beauty
Will you blame Islam for the wrongdoings of some of its so-called followers? What is Islamic in the evil they do, if at all they are doing it? I doubt that Turks would actively want to drive out their Christian population. I leave it to the Turkish readership to reply to this allegation. To show your fairness, will you now speak of the “Christian invasions” of our recent History? What happened to the Native Americans when European Protestant and Catholic Christians reached their soil? What happened to the Aboriginal people of Australia when they were conquered by Anglican Christians? What happened to the millions of Africans who were taken as slaves by European Protestant and Catholic Christians to work on their plantations around the world in the cruellest of conditions? What happened to the Natives of Central and South America when European Catholics settled in their lands? These were some of the worst tragedies of History, yet no sane person would ever blame Christianity for what those conquerors and settlers perpetrated against innocent Natives. If the destruction brought by Christian invaders to the world is anything to go by, it should be Christianity that you should fear, rather than Islam! Maybe that is why several elders of my family who used to be Christians are now devout Muslims.
Even a cursory glance at the teachings of Islam would show that Muslims were totally forbidden to convert anyone by force. If people were to be converted by force by Muslims, how do we explain the fact that there are have been large communities of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others living in lands ruled by Muslims for centuries?
I am surprised that there are still people out there who believe in this ridiculous untruth that “Islam was spread by the sword”. Even a cursory glance at the teachings of Islam would show that Muslims were totally forbidden to convert anyone by force. If people were to be converted by force by Muslims, how do we explain the fact that there are have been large communities of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others living in lands ruled by Muslims for centuries? Their very presence up to this day offers a good answer to this “conversion by the sword” propaganda. When the Mongols invaded the lands of Islam in the Middle Ages, killing hundreds of
Tariq Magazine August 2010
of the teachings of Islam that won their hearts over. You say that India was also overtaken by the Islamic invasion by the sword and that Muslims killed millions of Hindus. This is a total lie. What history have you been reading? You mention Turkey, stating that Turks are turning churches into mosques or museums. This has been expressly forbidden by the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw]. If they are doing that, then they are disobeying the Prophet.
Interview With a New Ahmadi: Adam Spittles Interview conducted by Usman Ahmad, Mohtamim Tarbiyyat — New Ahmadis Introduction My name is Adam Spittles, 30 years old with an honours degree in Computer Science. I am currently working as a Network Engineer for an international investment bank in London. I grew up in a small village called West Row near Mildenhall in Suffolk, I’m currently living in Croydon and I am an active member of the South Region Amila.
1. Tell us about your journey to Islam. The religious side of my life started when I was baptised as a child. My brother and I used to go to church with our mother and regularly attended Sunday school, so I have had religion in my life for as long as I can remember. The first time I realised I was not completely happy with my childhood religion, Christianity, was when I was 12 years old. We were in church and the reverend was giving a speech about Jesus. At the end of the sermon, we were all asked to pray to Jesus at which point I thought, why are we praying to Jesus? Why are we not praying to God? That was my first moment I realised the faith I was following wasn’t exactly how I thought it should be. Looking back, Christianity never completely satisfied me, as there was always something in the back of my mind saying, this is good, but there’s something missing. I didn’t think any more of it as I felt if the religion I followed for a number of years didn’t feel right, I doubted any of them would, so I left it at that. The reason I started to look into Islam and Ahmadiyyat four years ago, was because my closest friend of twenty years had done Bai’at at that time, and joined the Community. I have to say at this point, if anyone else I knew or had met had converted to anything else, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. It is only because I had known him for so long, and knew him so well that it shattered all
my previous preconceptions of what the type of person who converts to another religion was. And it was because of that reason, I decided to research into the Ahmadiyya faith. I have a confession however; I only started to look into Islam and the Ahmadiyya Community for two reasons: 1. To find out more about the religion my best friend of twenty years, had recently converted to; and 2. To prove to myself that it wasn’t for me! After all, given what’s on the news and in all the papers about Islam, I didn’t think disproving Islam to myself would be a difficult thing to do! I started by trying to find out why Muslims don’t eat port or drink alcohol. I wanted to see if the reasons simply boiled down to something someone hundreds of years ago had said which may not be relevant in today’s’ society. That way I could instantly say the faith was blindly following something that was said in a different time in a different world and I could simply discard it as something not for me. After searching for a short time on the internet (on alislam.org I seem to recall) I found an explanation as to why you should not eat pork, detailing the mental and spiritual benefits of refraining from Haraam meat. This explanation surprised me, but then I thought, the only way I can determine if this is true is to stop eating pork myself and see if I feel better or any different for it. I did this for just over a month and found that I felt genuinely better for it, which I was not expecting. This discovery was convincing to me, but I felt I needed more to make me a “true believer” of this tenet. So, I left it to God, and said, if this is my path, then I leave it to You to show me the way. Within
Adam Spittles accepted Ahmadiyyat in July 2009
24 hours of this decision, I picked up a paper to read on the train to work of which the front page headline read, “Pork has been linked to cancer”, and without even needing to read the article, I realised I had received my sign. I just looked up with a big grin and thought, ‘OK… I get it… having the main article on the front of a national paper stating pork was not good for you was maybe enough of an indication that I should stop eating pork and continue with my investigation into Islam’. I haven’t eaten pork since. I have had many other experiences of signs showing me that I am on the right path, such as the individual I was first put in contact with to help me with my investigations into Islam and the Ahmadiyya Community (Muhammad Badr Sahib), to within four months of doing Bai’at, being heavily involved in what I consider to be an amazing community structure, that is the local and regional Amila in the South Region under Nomaan Raja Sahib. I would love to go through all my examples of signs that helped me start and continue my journey to Islam, but they would take up the rest of the magazine, so I will stop at this point and just say one more thing… We all know that the Lord moves in mysterious ways, but I believe them to be Tariq Magazine August 2010
Articles in such a way that allow you to recognise He exists and He only wants what’s right for you, even if you don’t understand it at the time. This may be in the form of a dream or a circumstance or a sign, but the Almighty is always looking out for you.
It was a combination of these realisations and a (large) number of signs along my journey that my perceptions began to change to a point where, I genuinely believe Islam is the way forward for the individual, the wider society and the world as a whole.
After investigating the religion and the Community for over eighteen months, I decided mid-2009 that I no longer wanted to say I was simply looking into the faith, I wanted to say proudly I am part of it, and, as such, I performed Bai’at at the hand of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V [atba] at Jalsa Salana in July 2009
3. How has accepting Islam changed your life and what benefits have you gained?
2. What were your perceptions of Islam before you accepted Islam and how have those changed since? My personal perceptions of Islam, was that it is basically Britain a hundred years ago, where faith was taken a lot more seriously, women had less importance than men, were kept back in various ways and the obvious, use religion as a means to go to war with other nations for reasons other than faith. That may be a bit harsh, but they were my honest thoughts towards Islam before I started to look into the faith itself. The first thing that shocked me and instantly changed my opinion of the faith was the simple translation of the name of the religion itself, Islam, and the fact that it translates to the word, Peace. Can there be a more perfect name for a religion? The second thing that shocked me was when I was first told that Islam is described as a religion for all mankind. The Prophet Muhammad [saw] wasn’t the king of the Muslims, like Jesus was the king of the Jews etc, he was the leader for the entire world, despite race, colour or creed, and to me, a religion should be nothing else. The third thing that drew me towards Islam was the five pillars. Although I didn’t understand and appreciate them all at once, the clarity and preciseness of them amazed me, and I found that after thinking about each pillar for a while, they did make sense to me, and then I realised they were what I believed in my heart all along!
Tariq Magazine August 2010
To be honest, not a great deal. As I mentioned before, I was always religious, and I would consider myself a good person. However, accepting Islam has allowed me to put a name to what I already believed and has given me a sense of belonging. It has also given me a different type of structure to my life and guides me towards the person I should be, whether it involves Salaat five times a day or encouraging charity towards my fellow man. Furthermore, Ahmadiyyat has given me a clear understanding of the life and status of Jesus [as], which was always my single, most troubling issue with Christianity. My biggest inspiration I have to say however, who still amazes me to this day, is the second Khalifa, Hadhrat Musleh Maud [ra]. The fact that he was elected to lead a global faith at the age of 25 is astonishing enough, but what he achieved in his Khilafat is what really inspires me.
4. What challenges have you faced as a convert to Islam and how did you overcome them? The main challenge I had, I have to say, was trying to feel welcome and accepted by the Community. Whenever I went to the mosque, I always felt like I shouldn’t be there and that I didn’t belong. I don’t think it was meant intentionally, but whenever I tried to go and either observe or join in Salaat, I just felt out of place. However, I persevered, and I found the more I was seen and the more I joined in, the more I became a part of the furniture in the Jama’at, which at that time was what I wanted to achieve! I guess my only real challenge is to try and stay me, whilst incorporating Islam into my life. I get the feeling from some of the older generation I should stop my life and what I’m involved in outside the Jama’at to purely focus on Islamic
study and contribute to the Jama’at . I personally feel however, that isn’t what Islam is all about. I don’t think you should stop your life because of it, otherwise you miss out on everything else God has granted us. I believe Islam should be a guide to your life, a foundation for you to live by, so I contribute as much as I can to my Jama’at , but I also try my best to keep my outside life just as active and not to appear to have changed in the eyes of my friends and family.
5. What has been the reaction of your friends and family to your conversion? Interesting to say the least. Most of my friends were interested as to the reasons of my conversion, and I have a different reason depending on how I think that person will react. Some of my close work friends I have been completely honest with, about all the things that just made sense and are basically a confirmation of what I already believed. With some people I try and make light of the situation and just say, because I love curries and love wearing a hat. That way no one feels awkward and they know it’s still me despite the changes in my faith. My father was surprisingly accepting, his view is: “most religions are basically the same, they believe in the Old Testament, they believe someone a long time ago spoke to God and they all teach you to be a good person and to lead a good life. So if you say you belong to religion x rather than religion y, what’s the big deal?.” He also wasn’t fazed by the media and knows that the people giving Islam a bad name are just extremists and if it wasn’t in the name of Islam, they’d be doing the same thing under a different name, so the view of a religion can’t be based on an insignificant minority, only on the group and the activities of the majority. My mother had the most extreme reaction when finding out about my conversion, and this affected me the most. She knew I was looking into Islam and that my old school friend who she knew, had converted before me. When I told her however, her body language completely changed towards me and she gave me a look I had never seen from her before.
Articles Granted I didn’t tell her in the most traditional way. My mother asked me how my weekend was, I said I saw my Nan, went to the Jalsa (which she knew I was doing), converted to Islam and then watched a bit of TV. So it may have been how I told her rather than the actual conversion itself that spooked her. We talked, she asked me what that meant and I said the only thing that’s changed is I can now get Eid off from work. She didn’t laugh at that or playfully hit me as she usually would. It was then I realised this meant more to her than I thought. I explained that I haven’t changed, and that our relationship hasn’t changed, all it means is I’m following a slightly different path to the one I was following before. It took a couple of days for our relationship to get back to what it was before and it’s fine now, but I realised shortly after, it wasn’t that she was worried about what I was now being taught and that I might turn into a terrorist etc, rather I believe she was genuinely concerned for my immortal soul. Imagine if your son, daughter or sibling said they no longer believed in your religion and that they now believe in Hinduism or Buddhism, or something else completely different, which is against everything you believe will take that person to heaven… it’s not an easy thing to accept.
6. How has being a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community helped? Being part of the Ahmadiyya Community has given me a sense of brotherhood and belonging, that seems true and sincere. The Community itself has astounded me. The organisation of the Khuddam, the deliberate structure of the Amila at national, regional and local levels, all the charity work done by the Jama’at, the creation of Humanity First and all that it stands for, everything I have seen has been nothing but the advancement of the Community and of society and the world. I am most certainly better off for being part of this Community and believe it will go from strength to strength and look forward to contributing as much as I can to it in the very near future and the long term.
7. How have you found integration into the Community?
amazing for the idea to be rolled out nationally.
Integrating myself into the Community was a real struggle to start off with, as my only interaction with the Community was going to the Mosque and feeling like I didn’t fit in. I’m not very good at meeting people and initiating small talk, especially when you want to feel part of something, you look for similarities and commonalities and all I saw were differences.
It should be easy to organise, use local / regional mosques where possible for location, and do a ten week course in whatever skills the Community can supply internally, e.g. ten week basic course in plumbing, ten week martial arts self-defence courses etc etc.
This, of course, was only until I found out about the MKA and all the different, beneficial things they do and I started to meet Khuddam in a similar place in life to myself with similar goals, objectives, drives and community spirit. I am now part of a core group of Khuddam Amila in the South Region organising national hikes, helping to organise Regional Ijtemas and giving speeches at local Ta’leem sessions, so as hard as it was to start off with, getting involved in my local and regional Amila has integrated me more in the Community that I could ever have imagined!
8. What events or activities would you like to see taking place? I think what the Ahmadiyya sect is doing both internally and externally, for themselves and for the world is inspirational. The events and activities taking place already are amazing, the Khidmat-e-Khalq, i.e. Care in the Community, on it’s own is astonishing, and Humanity First, just the name drives people to do good let alone what they actually achieve with the contributions made available to them. The biggest thing I think the Community could do is a massive drive to build a foundational database for Amoor-e-Tuluba (Student Affairs) and Sanat-o-Tijarat (Trade and Industry) departments at a local and regional level via Tajneed (Census). That is, collate Khuddam and Ansar skills and qualifications and organise free training sessions and classes for their fellow members at a local and regional level.
The only limitation is getting fellow Khuddam / Ansar to instruct the course. This of course should be an easy obstacle to overcome due to the numbers as everyone has a skill or knowledge that others in the Community want. Even if it’s as basic as someone is a keen runner and puts up an ad in the Mosque saying, “I will go for a two mile jog after Fajr every day, so if anyone is interested in joining me, feel free.”
9. What advice would you have for your fellow new converts into Islam? The books are there, the information is up on the website and the lectures are made available to everyone, but my main piece of advice is to get in contact with your local Qaideen or even Regional Qaid and ask to help contribute. And ask about the Alm-e-Inami, as whatever you want to gain or whatever you want to contribute to, it’s all there, and I know your help will be greatly appreciated and warmly received. I personally believe giving back to the Community and becoming a brother in your local community will help drive you to become a better person in yourself, a better individual in society and most importantly, a better Muslim. Surround yourself with the people who have good characteristics and experiences and Inshallah they will in turn rub off on you.
10. Finally, as someone who has found Truth, what advice would you have for any seeker after Truth? Put your faith in God and ask him to show you the way.
This is something I’m trying to initiate in my own region but think it would be Tariq Magazine August 2010
6 Career Focus
Thinking of Becoming a Lawyer?
How the Ahmadi Muslim Lawyers Association can help you. By Saleem Ahmed, Chairman Ahmadi Muslim Lawyers Association UK By the Grace of Allah a very large number of students from the Jama’at are these days studying law or are planning to do so. However there is often perceived to be a lack of information as to what being a lawyer entails, what the options are, which branch of the profession (solicitor or barrister) is the most appropriate and how one goes about getting a training contract or pupillage. One of the aims of the Ahmadi Muslim Lawyers Association UK (“AMLA”) is to help students on their career path. This article is designed to introduce AMLA in case you are not aware of its exist- ence and how it may be of assistance to you. AMLA was conceived of and established several years ago by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V [atba] himself and one of its aims is to assist the Jama’at on legal issues as well as providing help to law students with their careers. The organisation has an Executive Committee and membership consisting of both barristers and solicitors as well as students who are either at University or studying for their professional examinations – the LPC or BVC. It meets annually at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), and regularly between AGMs as required, and provides guidance and practical assistance wherever possible. AMLA student members are sometimes allocated a mentor whom they can contact for help. Or they can shadow a lawyer for a day and see whether a career in the law is really for them. They can
Tariq Magazine August 2010
visit a Tribunal in action and have the chance to discuss the case with the Judge afterwards.
Thirdly, we are available at any time to discuss matters with you rather than being restricted to the confines of a normal working day. Fourthly, because our members come from different legal backgrounds and have different experiences we can usually put you in t o u c h with someone relevant to the nature of your enquiry or problem.
What AMLA cannot do of course is to offer or place individuals into training contracts or pupillages but it can give advice on how to maximise your chances with a reputable firm or good chambers. We can help with CV preparation, interview technique, recommendation and reference for work experience as well as friendly and invaluable advice on career progression. How is this different from the sort of advice that is offered by an outside advisor you might ask? Firstly we are conscious of the fact that we are advising Jama’at members and so the care and attention is akin to that of a member of family seeking help. Younger members are regarded as our brothers and sisters and so there is a genuine commitment and desire to help, consistent with the spirit of the Jama’at. Secondly, we can often utilise existing contacts within the profession to enable you to spend time with lawyers on a personal level which cold-calling may not always achieve.
How can you contact us? You can phone us or email. The contact details are given below. We will refer you to someone in the organisation who is the most appropriate person to deal with your query. You can apply to join us by completing a membership form which can be downloaded from our website. Applications are welcome from both men and women. The minimum requirement for membership is that you must be at least on a law degree course but there is no minimum requirement for enquiries and assistance. If you are a parent reading this and would like more information because your son or daughter is considering a legal career we will be happy to discuss matters with you. The law is an honourable and exciting profession. We will be pleased to help you in your journey in any way that we can. Saleem Ahmed Chairman Ahmadi Muslim Lawyers Association UK 07875 498141 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ahmadilawyers.co.uk