from edition of 'Islam Our Choice'
Names of this Movement's authors, missionaries and missions deleted from the accounts of converts
Facts compiled by Zahid Aziz, Editor, The Light
(The Light & Islamic Review : Vol.74; No. 2; Mar-Apr 1997; p. 7-10)
1. Lord Headley 'Al-Farooq' (England)
2. Dr. Hamid Marcus (Germany)
3. William Burchell Bashyr Pickard
4. Thomas Irving (Canada)
5. Mavis B. Jolly (England)
6. Dr. Umar Rolf Baron Ehrenfels (Austria)
7. Mrs. Amina Moseler (Germany)|
8. Ismail Wieslaw Jezierski (Poland)
9. Hussain Rofe (England)
10. H.F. Fellowes (England)
11. S.A. Board (U.S.A.)
12. T.H. McBarklie (Ireland)
Information sent to Internet and a response
Islam -- Our Choice is a widely distributed book, containing accounts given by a number of converts to Islam describing how and why they became Muslims. Its various editions in general circulation are all re-printed from the book published in 1961 by the Bawany Trust of Karachi, Pakistan. A selection of the accounts of the converts taken from the Bawany edition are also available on some Internet sites, for example:
The reprint of the Bawany edition which I have used for this article is distributed free by the Muslim World League of Makka, and their name appears on the cover as the distributor.
A careful study of the Bawany edition shows that in this edition (and consequently in its various reproductions, both in book-form and on the Internet) the accounts of these converts have had certain words removed from them, in a systematic and deliberate manner.
The original accounts written by the converts contained, in many cases, mention of the fact that they acquired knowledge of Islam through books written by Maulana Muhammad Ali, or the books of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, or by contacting the Woking Muslim Mission (England) or the Berlin Muslim Mission and meeting the Imams of these two mosques. Almost all such references have been deleted, this being the only change made to the original statements.
For example, where some convert wrote that he or she had read books on Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali, the name of Maulana Muhammad Ali has been removed; where someone mentioned meeting or knowing Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, this has been removed; where someone wrote that he or she contacted the Woking Mission or went to the Woking Mosque, the word 'Woking' has been removed.
The reason why the names have been removed is simply because of their connection with the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. This deliberate deletion is nothing but an act of dishonesty and deception. It is shameful that publishers calling themselves Muslims should commit such an act, particularly when publishing a book on Islam. It is in entire violation of the high standards of fairness, truth and justice taught by the Holy Quran and practised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
The original words of the converts' statements would have cast Maulana Muhammad Ali and the Lahore Ahmadis in a very good and favourable light in the eyes of the Muslim readers of this book. Therefore the statements were promptly censored, either to prevent Muslims from learning the truth, or perhaps the publishers were afraid that they would be accused of being accomplices of Ahmadis if the mention of these names remained.
The original statements of the converts are to be found in the edition of Islam Our Choice also published in 1961 by the Woking Muslim Mission. In fact, these accounts were collected in book-form by the Woking Muslim Mission, and most were taken from the past issues of the Woking Mission's monthly The Islamic Review, in which they had first appeared over the previous forty years or so.
The Woking edition of Islam Our Choice also gives references to the issues of the Islamic Review in those cases where an account has been taken from this magazine. This information has also been omitted in the Bawany edition.
Now we look at the specific instances of the deletions mentioned above.
His statement in the Bawany edition begins as follows:
"It is possible some of my friends may imagine that I have been influenced by Muslims; but this is not the case, for my present convictions are solely the outcome of many years of thought. My actual conversations with educated Muslims on the subject of religion only commenced a few weeks ago, and need I say that I am overjoyed to find that all my theories and conclusions are entirely in accord with Islam."
In the original statement Lord Headley then continues:
"Even my friend Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has never tried to influence me in the slightest degree. He has been a veritable living concordance, and has patiently explained and translated portions of the Koran which did not appear quite clear to me, and in this respect he showed the true spirit of the Muslim Missionary, which is never to force or even persuade."
The above text has been omitted in the Bawany edition, and it continues with the remaining account which comes after these words.
In the Bawany edition, we read within his statement:
"Later, in Berlin, I had the opportunity of working together with Muslims and listening to the enthusiastic and inspiring commentaries which the founder of the first German Muslim Mission at Berlin and builder of the Berlin Mosque, gave on the Holy Quran. After years of active co-operation with this outstanding personality and his spiritual exertions, I embraced Islam."
It seems curious that this "outstanding personality" is not named. This is because his name has been removed in the Bawany edition! The above words:
... which the founder of the first German Muslim Mission ...
are as follows in the original statement:
... which the Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, the founder of the first German Muslim Mission ...
In the Bawany edition, we read within his statement:
"This remark surprised and greatly interested my teacher in Arabic, who after a little talk invited me to accompany him to the London Prayer House at Notting Hill Gate."
The Bawany edition then leaves out the following words which occur immediately after the above sentence:
"I did so and there I met the Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, of happy memory."
A little further on we read in Bawany:
"... until, on New Year's day, 1922, I openly joined the Muslim community."
The original words are:
"... until, on New Year's day, 1922, I journeyed to Woking and there I openly joined the Muslim community."
This is T.B. Irving whose Muslim name is Talim Ali and who has done an English translation of the Quran. On the Internet site mentioned above, it says within his statement:
"An Indian philanthropist from Bombay, the late Mr. Q. A. Jairazbhoy, had sent me 'What is Islam!' by H. W. Lovegrove (this is perhaps the most practical exposition that I have read, and merits wide distribution). Later he sent me [. . . an. . .] annotated edition of the Holy Quran, and various other books and tracts."
The second sentence above is originally as follows:
"Later he sent me Maulvi Muhammad Ali's excellent annotated edition of the Holy Quran, and various other books and tracts."
The words "Maulvi Muhammad Ali's excellent" have been replaced by "[. . . an. . .]" on the Internet site. In my printed Bawany edition mentioned above, these words are present as in the original. This suggests that in some printings of the Bawany edition one or two instances of Ahmadiyya names still remained, having escaped the notice of the compilers, and these have then been removed in later reproductions.
In the Bawany edition it says within her statement:
"I read a number of books, including The Religion of Islam, Muhammad and Christ, and The Sources of Christianity, the latter showing the amazing similarities . . ."
Originally this text was as follows:
"I read a number of books, including The Religion of Islam, and Muhammad and Christ by Muhammad Ali and several by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din whose The Sources of Christianity, showing amazing similarities . . ."
In the Bawany edition the names of the authors of these books (Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din) have been removed.
His statement is preceded by a brief sketch of his life.
(a) In the Bawany edition it is stated in the sketch:
"His interest in Islam increased by and by and Ehrenfels accepted Islam in 1927."
In the original, instead of the above sentence, we have the following:
"On one occasion a Yugoslav Imam, by the name of Abdullah, suggested to contact his namesake, the Imam of the then newly-constructed mosque at Berlin, Dr. S.M. Abdullah. This done . . . in its consequence Ehrenfels accepted Islam in 1927."
(b) Further on, the Bawany edition says:
"He visited Indo-Pakistan sub-continent in 1932."
The original words were:
"He travelled in 1932 with Dr. S.M. Abdullah in the regions of the present Pakistan and India"
In the above two cases, the name of Dr. S.M. Abdullah has been removed. He was a distinguished missionary of Islam of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement who worked both in the Berlin and the Woking Missions.
(c) Further on in the sketch, the Bawany edition says:
"When Austria was overrun by the Nazis in 1938 Baron Umar again went to India, worked in Hyderabad at the invitation of the late Sir Akbar Hydari"
However, in the original sketch it had stated:
"When Austria was overrun by the Nazis in 1938 Baron Umar again went to India as the guest of the late Maulana Muhammad Ali of Lahore and later worked in Hyderabad at the invitation of the late Sir Akbar Hydari"
(d) The original also contained the sentence:
"During the war he translated works by Maulana Muhammad Ali into the German language."
This is omitted in the Bawany edition.
Her statement in the Bawany edition reads:
"Years passed before I came in contact with the Imam of the Berlin Mosque, who introduced me to Islam."
Her original statement said:
"Years passed before I came in contact with Dr. S.M. Abdullah, the Imam of the Berlin Mosque, ..."
So far we have dealt with the cases of those converts whose accounts have also been given on the Internet site mentioned above. In the printed edition of the Bawany version of Islam Our Choice, five more examples are to be found, as given below.
In the Bawany edition it says within his statement:
"Later, I received a small pamphlet entitled Islamo chies religio from Dar al Tabligh. P.O. Box 112, Cairo, and some works of Maulana Muhammad Ali."
Here the name of Maulana Muhammad Ali has not been deleted. However, the words which immediately followed the above have been removed. These were:
"(The Holy Quran, The Religion of Islam, The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, and The New World Order) from the Joint Secretary, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam, Lahore, Pakistan."
The Bawany edition reads:
"An invitation to watch the prayers and participate in the lunch after the Id prayers one day in 1945 gave me the opportunity to study an international group of Muslims at close quarters at the mosque."
In the original he had said: "the Woking mosque", and not just "the mosque".
According to the Bawany edition, he said:
"I wrote to the Muslim Mission and I was supplied with books by Muslim authors."
In the original, in place of Muslim Mission, it reads: Woking Muslim Mission at Woking.
The Bawany version reads:
"It was sometime during 1920, while in a doctor's office, I saw an issue of the African Times and Orient Review, London. It contained an article on Islam."
The omitted words are:
"It was an article on Islam by, I think, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din."
It says in the Bawany edition:
"One day I chanced on a copy of Islam and Civilization."
In the original, this is followed by the words:
"by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din",
which have been omitted.
I submitted an article containing the above information to the Internet discussion newsgroup called soc.religion.islam. There was very little response to it. One contributor, (E-mail: tufail <firstname.lastname@example.org>) who has previously expressed appreciation of the publications of our Movement and the work of Maulana Muhammad Ali, did respond and he wrote:
"I had no chance to verify personally what Mr. Aziz says. If it is true, and I assume it is true, it is blatant violation of the Quran and mode of conduct and distortion of truth. The Quran states:
"O you who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witness to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor; for Allah . . ."
He went on to quote several verses of the Holy Quran, such as: "Conceal not the truth while you know it" (2:42), and concluded from them that Islam teaches Muslims the following principles:
"1. Stand firm on truth at any cost.
2. Hatred must not interfere in the administration of truth.
3. Distortion of truth is condemned and will be punished severely by Allah.
4. Hatred must not interfere with justice.
5. Muslim has to be fair in dealings.
6. Justice is nearest to piety.
7. Muslim must not conceal truth.
8. People who conceal truth have hearts tainted with sin.
9. Truth must not be confounded with falsehood."
After this, our friend went on to write that these deletions from Islam Our Choice constitute:
"concealment of truth; hatred interfering with truth; hatred interfering with justice; avoidance of fair dealings; distortion of truth; avoidance of Islamic piety."
"Therefore, those Muslims who conceal the evidences that Mr. Aziz posted, they must admit it and correct their sin and repent. Publish the original book as it is."
I thank our friend for urging Muslims to follow the teachings of the Quran which require us to do justice and to show fairness to all.
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