Volume 80, Number 3
here for easily printable format
- Truth Unveiled
A response to the book ‘Unveiling Islam’ by Ergun Mehmet Caner
and Emir Fethi Caner
compiled by directors of the AAIIL Inc., USA
- Supportive messages from Americans in aftermath
of September 11 tragedy
- Ahmadiyya view of miracles in the Quran
Reply to an objection
- “Did Jesus die” (on the cross)?
A documentary on BBC television
Review and synopsis by the Editor
- An Ahmadi’s response to some friendly advice offered
after September 7
An article from our Urdu sister organ ‘Paigham Sulh’
Compiled and translated by the Editor
A response to the book ‘Unveiling Islam’ by Ergun Mehmet
Caner and Emir Fethi Caner
compiled by directors of the AAIIL Inc., USA
[A book under the title ‘Truth
Unveiled’ is being compiled by the Board members of the AAIIL Inc. U.S.A. Its
preface was published in our last issue. Here is reproduced the reply to the
Introduction of ‘Unveiling Islam’.]
The hijackers and their supporters
responsible for the events of September 11, 2001 were clearly misguided. The
Holy Quran condemns both suicide and murder:
“And kill not anfusa-kum (i.e., your people or
yourselves). Surely Allah is ever merciful to you” (4: 29).
The Arabic word anfusa-kum means your people or
yourselves. In the first case, the significance is that life must be protected;
in the second case, it is an injunction against suicide, which according to the
law of Islam is a grave sin.
Taking advantage of the prevailing negativism against
Islam, Christian evangelistic groups have rallied to portray Islam as a violent
and evil religion and the Holy Prophet Muhammad as a false prophet. The book
Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner (Kregel
Publications) clearly illustrates this mindset.
Richard Land, President the Ethics and Religious
Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, in his foreword on Unveiling
“In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks of September
11, 2001, Christians have searched for a trustworthy guide to the unfamiliar
and suddenly threatening world of Islam. God, in His gracious providence,
has provided precisely such an invaluable guide.”
He goes on to state:
“Ergun and Emir (the authors) are trophies of God’s grace — once
devout followers of Allah, now of Jesus of Nazareth … Unveiling Islam is exactly what its subtitle describes; it is an
insider’s look at Muslim life and beliefs.”
With this testimonial the authors don the garb of being
authorities on the religion of Islam. They further support this position by
their statement on page 17:
“We did our rakats (daily prayers); we celebrated
Ramadan. We read the Quran and hadith regularly. In every way, we were devout,
The cat is, however, soon let out of the bag. Commenting on
their strained relation with their father, on page 19 they state:
“Acar (the authors’ deceased father) disowned his sons, although
it could have been worse: according to hadith (9.57), all three of us brothers
should have been killed.”
If the authors of Unveiling Islam had carefully
studied the Holy Quran, they would not have made this comment based on one
hadith. We will discuss the whole question of apostasy in detail and will also
discuss this particular hadith report.
Apostasy in the Quran
The Holy Quran, which is the paramount authority of Islamic
law, is quite clear on the question of religious freedom:
“There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256).
“Say: The truth is from your Lord; then whosoever wants to, let
him believe; and whosoever wants to, let him disbelieve” (18:29).
“Wilt thou then force men against their will until they become
If a person outside Islam is not to be compelled to become a
Muslim, why should a person who is a believer be compelled to stay in Islam?
But a rejector of Islam whether from outside or from inside does render himself
liable to Divine displeasure, because he rejects the truth after having seen
it. Then he has to be punished to cure him of his spiritual revolt against
submission to His creator. But the Holy Quran is quite clear that this would be
in the life hereafter only. Before we quote the Holy Quran on that point, we
would like to quote a fair-minded non-Muslim European, Heffeming, who begins
his article on murtadd (apostate) in the Encyclopedia of Islam
with the remark:
“In the Kuran the apostate is threatened with punishment in the
next world only.”
Let us quote
the Quran itself:
“How should Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their
believing and (after) they had borne witness (i.e., after they had seen) that
the Messenger was true, and clear arguments had come to them? And Allah guides
not the unjust people. As for these, their reward is that on them is the curse
of Allah, and of the angels, and of men, all together — Abiding therein. Their
chastisement shall not be lightened, nor shall they be respited — Except those
who repent after that and amend, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Those
who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in disbelief, their
repentance is not accepted, and these are they who go astray” (3:86-90).
(Note: The persons spoken of in 3:90,
the last verse above, are the same as those spoken of in 3:86, the first verse
above. They believed in the previous prophets but rejected the Prophet Muhammad.
Their repentance is not accepted, because they show no signs of real repentance.
They continued to oppose, and tried to annihilate, the Truth.)
These verses speak of an apostate even getting
the latitude to increase in his disbelief, and no immediate punishment is
mentioned except the curse of Allah and the angels, etc., which means his
being thrown away from Divine pleasure and from virtue, but there will be
punishment in the Hereafter to curb the animal within him which revolted and
persisted in revolt against his Creator. This is made clear in the following
“Those who believe, then disbelieve, again believe and again
disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them nor guide
them on the (right) way” (4:137).
“He who disbelieves in Allah after having believed — not he who
is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith, but he who opens
his breast for disbelief — on these is the wrath of Allah, and they shall have
a grievous punishment” (16:106).
“And they (the enemies) will not cease fighting with you until
they turn you back from your religion, if they can. And whoever of you turns
back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever, these it is whose
works go for nothing in this world and the Hereafter, and they are the inmates
of fire: therein they will abide” (2:217).
Here the apostate is clearly spoken of as dying his natural
death. That the killing of the apostate was not in vogue in Madinah while the
Holy Prophet was the ruler of the place is clear from the following verse:
“And a party of the People of the Book say: Express belief in
that which has been revealed to those who believe, in the first part of the
day, and disbelieve at the end of it” (3:72).
How could people living under a Muslim government conceive
of such a plan to discredit the religion of the rulers if apostasy was
punishable with death?
Hadith on apostasy
A careful study of Hadith leads to the conclusion that apostasy
was not punishable unless combined with other circumstances which called for
punishment of offenders. Bukhari,
who is undoubtedly the most careful of all collectors of hadith, is explicit
on the point. He has two “books” dealing with apostates, one of which is
called Kitab al-muharibin min ahl-kufr wa-l-ridda, or “the Book of
those who fight (against the Muslims), from among the unbelievers and the
apostates,” and the other is called Kitab istitabat al-mu‘anidin wa-l-murtaddin
wa qitali-him, or “the Book of calling to repentance of the enemies and
the apostates and fighting with them.” Both these headings speak for themselves.
The heading of the first book clearly shows that only such apostates are dealt
with in it as fight against the Muslims, and the second associates the apostates
with the enemies of Islam. That is really the crux of the whole question,
and it is due to a misunderstanding on this point that a doctrine was formulated
which is quite contrary to the plain teachings of the Quran. At a time when
war was in progress between the Muslims and the unbelievers, it often happened
that a person who apostatized went over to the enemy and joined hands with
him in fighting against the Muslims. He was treated as an enemy, not because
he had changed his religion but because he changed sides. Even then there
were tribes that were not at war with the Muslims and, if an apostate went
over to them, he was not touched. Such people are expressly spoken of in the
“Except those who join a people between whom and you there is an
alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you, or
fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased He would have given them
power over you so that they would have fought you; so if they withdraw from
you, and fight you not, and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way
against them” (4:90).
The only case of the punishment of apostates, mentioned in
trustworthy Hadith reports, is that of a party of the tribe of ‘Ukul, who
accepted Islam and came to Madinah. They found that the climate of the town did
not agree with them, and the Holy Prophet sent them to a place outside Madinah where
the state milk-camels were kept, so that they might live in open air and drink
of milk. They got well and then killed the keepers of the camels and drove away
the animals. This being brought to the knowledge of the Holy Prophet, a party
was sent in pursuit of them and they were put to death (Bukhari, 56:152). The
report is clear on the point that they were put to death, not because of their
apostasy but because they had killed the keepers of the camels.
Much stress is laid on a hadith which says:
“Whoever changes his religion, kill him” (Bukhari, 89: 2).
This is the same hadith referred to by the authors of Unveiling Islam from the translation of Bukhari
by Muhsin Khan:
“Narrated Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to Ali
and he burnt them. The news of this event reached Ibn Abbas who said, If I had
been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it,
saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire)’. I would have
killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle: ‘Whoever changed his
Islamic religion (dina-hu) then kill him’.”
(Muhsin Khan has translated dina-hu as his Islamic
religion but the Arabic text says
only his religion.)
In view of what Bukhari itself has indicated
by describing apostates as fighters or by associating their name with the
name of enemies of Islam, it is clear that this refers only to those apostates
who join hands with the enemies of Islam and fight with Muslims. It is only
by placing this limitation on the meaning of the hadith that it can be reconciled
with other hadith reports or with the principles laid down in the Quran. In
fact, its words are so comprehensive that they include every change of faith,
from one religion to any other whatsoever; thus even a non-Muslim who becomes
a Muslim, or a Jew who becomes a Christian, must be killed. Evidently, such
a statement cannot be ascribed to the Holy Prophet. So the hadith cannot be
accepted, without placing a limitation upon its meaning. This example also
illustrates how translation of one word erroneously, in this case dina-hu,
translated as his Islamic religion, can add on a whole new meaning
to a statement, which can then be used for anti-Islamic propaganda.
An instance of a simple change of religion is also
contained in Bukhari:
“An Arab of the desert came to the Prophet and accepted Islam at
his hand; then fever overtook him while he was still in Madinah; so he came to
the Prophet and said, Give me back my pledge; and the Prophet refused; then he
went away” (Bukhari, 94: 47).
This hadith shows that the man first accepted Islam, and the
next day on getting fever he thought that it was due to his becoming a Muslim,
and so he came and threw back the pledge. This was a clear case of apostasy,
yet it is nowhere related that anyone killed him. On the other hand, the hadith
says that he went away unharmed.
Another example of a simple change of religion
is that of a Christian who became a Muslim and then apostatized and went back
to Christianity, and yet he was not put to death:
“Anas says, there was a Christian who became a Muslim and read
the Baqarah and Al Imran (2nd and 3rd chapters of the Quran), and
he used to write (the Quran) for the Prophet. He then went over to Christianity
again, and he used to say, Muhammad does not know anything except what I wrote
for him. Then Allah caused him to die and they buried him” (Bukhari, 61:25).
The report then goes on to say how his body was thrown out
of the earth. This was evidently at Madinah after the revelation of the 2nd and
3rd chapters of the Quran, when a Muslim state was well-established, and yet
the man who apostatized was not even molested, though he spoke of the Prophet
in extremely derogatory terms and gave him out to be an impostor who knew
nothing except what he (the apostate ) wrote for him.
Linking politics with Islam
In their effort to link the actions of the 9/11 terrorists
with the teachings of Islam, the authors of Unveiling
Islam state in the introduction on page 23:
“Considering the fate of one of the willing martyrs of that
operation Bin Laden quotes the Hadith: ‘I was ordered to fight the people until
they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad.’ ”
After quoting more excerpts from the tape they conclude with
“For those not familiar with the Quran and Hadith, the tape was
a shock. For those of us who know these foundations of Muslim faith, it was sad
Let us look at the original hadith which has only been
partially and incorrectly quoted by the authors of Unveiling Islam:
“Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: I have been commanded
that I should fight these people until they bear witness that none has the
right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and
keep up prayer and pay zakat (obligatory charity). When they do this, their
blood and their property shall be safe with me except as Islam requires, and
their reckoning is with Allah.” (Bukhari, 2:16. Vol. 1, Book 2, No. 24
of Muhsin Khan).
The hadith begins with the words, I have been commanded
(or ordered), and the command to fight is contained in the Holy Quran in the
“And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you
and do not exceed this limit” (2:190).
Muslims, therefore, could not resort to fighting unless
an enemy was the first to assume hostilities. What the hadith means is that
fighting begun under these conditions is to cease when the enemy people accept
Islam. Bukhari himself hints at this when he quotes the hadith under heading:
“But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate,
then leave their way free,” i.e., cease fighting with them.
It is quite apparent that neither Bin Laden nor the authors
have understood the hadith or have the knowledge of the Holy Quran they purport
to have. One is guided by his political ambition, the other by his evangelical
motives. Both are misrepresenting Islam.
In a similar attempt to link the current political
situation in Palestine with the teachings of Islam, the authors quote President
Yasser Arafat as follows:
“ ‘We will defend the Holy Land with our blood and with our
spirit. We do not only wear uniforms; we are all military. We are all martyrs
in paradise.’ At this point, as reported by the World Tribune, the crowd
began to chant that millions of Palestinians were prepared to march as martyrs
to Jerusalem. These chilling words represent a viewpoint that is more prevalent
than most non-Muslims are willing to believe. In the second surah, or chapter, of the Quran (Al-Baqarah), two verses stand in mark
contrast to one another. First, Allah encourages the Muslims to fight them
until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s (2:193). But then
Allah tells Muhammad not to impose Islam by force because there is no
compulsion in religion (2:256).”
In order to convince the reader that Islam confuses its
followers and that such political statements are rooted in the Holy Quran, the
learned missionaries once more demonstrate their knowledge of the Holy Quran by
pointing out, in their view, a marked discrepancy in two verses of the Holy
Quran, which they quote. The first verse, which they conveniently quote only in
part, is as follows:
“And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is
only for Allah. But if they desist, then there should be no hostility
except against the oppressors. (2:193).
I have italicized the last part of the verse to draw
attention of the reader to the author’s intentional omission of this portion in
order to then conveniently misinterpret it.
When persecution ceases, and men are not forced
to accept or renounce a religion, being at liberty to profess any religion
of the truth of which they are convinced, then there should be no more fighting.
The words that follow (the part omitted) make the sense quite clear i.e.,
if they desist from persecution, the Muslims are at once to
stop fighting and hostilities are not to be continued against any except the
A comparison with 22:40 will show that this is
the correct explanation. There the object of the Muslim fighting is plainly
set forth in the following words:
“And if Allah did not repel some people by others, cloisters and
churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered,
would have been pulled down”.
This shows clearly that the Muslims fought not only in
defense of mosques, but also in that of churches and synagogues, and even of
the cloisters of monks. The same object is stated here in the words religion
is only for Allah, so that there is no persecution on the score of
religion, and everyone is at liberty to hold any belief which he or she likes.
The verse in fact lays down the broad principles of religious freedom. This is
then complemented by the second verse the authors quote, “There is no
compulsion in religion.” (2:256).
If we interpret these words as meaning that fighting
is to continue until all people accept Islam, all those verses in which agreements
with the enemy and desisting from fighting are spoken of become meaningless.
Such an interpretation is belied not only by the Holy Quran, but by history
itself, for many a time did the Holy Prophet make peace with the unbelievers.
The authors, to their credit, are quite clear about
their intent to show this apparent dichotomy in the Quranic teachings. They
are hoping that by doing so they will plant the seed of doubt in the mind
of the impressionable Muslim or Christian reader turned off by the horror
of 9/11, and in their words they hope thus that:
May our churches be filled with a bold and gracious witness to
the returning Christ, “which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed
and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15, kjv).
We certainly believe that:
“What they have wrought is only the trick of an enchanter, and
the enchanter succeeds not wheresoever he comes from” (20:69).
We shall now proceed with our firm belief in this Divine promise
and further unravel this deception.
Supportive messages from Americans in aftermath of September 11
On the second anniversary of this
tragedy we recall here the supportive e-mails we received at our website
www.muslim.org from Americans in the days immediately following September 11,
I am not a Muslim, but wish to offer my support to your organization
in this time of stress, and sorrow at the bigotry shown to Arab-Americans
in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in nyc and dc. I appreciate the
sentiments on your home page and recognize that terrorism is not part of Islam.
I tried to use the url for ‘contact us’ and ‘webmaster’
but received the ‘Sorry--cannot be found’ message on both. I just wish to
register my support and sorrow.
Thank you for passing on this message to whomever
it will help.
Mary Beth Lundgren
Cape Coral FL”.
Editor’s Note: Due to some of the angry, anti-Muslim reaction to the
tragedy in its immediate aftermath, we had removed the contact information
from our website for a few days; hence this writer’s experience
of not finding our contact page.
“I have felt the need to email
you in an attempt to fortify your knowledge that not everyone harbours ill
feelings towards Muslims. Personally, of my friends and family in Canada and
the USA, I know of no one who does.
I am well aware that many of you also lost family,
friends and loved ones in the attacks of Sept 11th and I mourn for you and
share your prayers for all the victims and their loved ones and all the survivors.
It is an event that will affect us all for a long time to come.
I spent much time this morning trying to find a
site on the internet and email address I felt comfortable in using. Although
I had some knowledge of Islam and what it meant to be Muslim I learned much
more in my reading today. Admittedly though, some of what I read (not necessarily
on your site) caused me to pause and think again about sending this email.
My final decision was to express my heart, but to also ask a few questions
in the hopes you might allay some of my new found concerns.
I think I have visited in excess of 30 websites
this morning, all supposedly representing Islam and Muslims. Please forgive
me but I cannot remember the organisations or their urls. Some had discussion
forums, some just information pages, and I do not remember what I read where.
I guess the one ‘impression’ I would like clarification
on is the regard in which Osama Bin Laden is held within the Muslim community.
I do not mean if you think he is behind the Sept 11th attacks. In my mind
there has not been the significant proof presented in order to determine if
he is actually involved or not. But after reading many posts in forums and
information pages, I have developed the ‘impression’ that Bin Laden is being
acknowledged as a ‘saint’ and is vying for ‘prophet’ status. Other sites seem
to indicate that even if he is behind the attacks that he was fully justified.
Also if any of the persons who died enacting the attacks are Muslim they too
are elevated to the level of saint or martyr (I read both designations being
I realize I must learn more about Islam and Muslims
to fully comprehend and understand the religion and way of life but I found
much of what I have read this morning, that has been posted on various Muslim
websites since Sept 11th, more than somewhat troubling. I would appreciate
an enlightenment you can provide.
May we each find the healing we need to make our
tomorrows better than our todays.
“I am not sure how to write this, since you do not know me. I believe that
you and I worship the same God, though I am Christian and you are
I just want you to know that most Christians know
very well that the atrocity of 9/11 does not represent Islam. I have heard
that many Americans are writing Muslim sites and saying hateful things. In
case this is true, I have taken it on myself to write as many Muslim sites
as I can find and say Peace be unto you. Most of the Muslims that I know are
good and honorable people and have taught my family about generosity and unflinching
I pray that the God and Father of us all will bless
you and keep you from harm, accident, and evil, and I pledge to you that I
will stand up to any Americans that I see that slander your faith and people.
Please feel free to forward my words (but not my
email address!) to anyone else that you please.
“I write on behalf of my eighteen-year-old
friends and myself, to share a message love with you. Each every one you is as much an American anyone else living here, have just right live here. The terrorists must be found brought justice, but no deserves condemned by fellow citizen these
United States America simply because they are same ethnicity or religion suspected terrorists. If this were case, all Americans would deserve who bombed federal building in
Oklahoma City. Our prayers for your safety equality, we fully
support all. God bless America, people including
everyone religion. “one nation under God, indivisible”.
Much love and prayers from Los Angeles, California.
P.S. I hope you will share this with anyone who
seems to be afraid or losing faith. We are not all terrible monsters waiting
to condemn those different from us.
“I know there’s a lot of anti-Muslim
sentiment floating around America right now, but I just wanted to let you
all know that not every non-Muslim thinks that way. I’m about as much of a
good-ol’ Texan boy as they come, and it just gets my ire any time I hear my
colleagues spoutin’ off and denigrating Muslims. I never let such talk go
Anyway, just wanted to let you all know you’ve
got at least one Texan (and the heart of Texas — Austin — for that matter)
down here watching your back.
You all hang in there!
Dion Alaniz” .
Immediately after September 11,
2001, the requests for the pack of free literature that we offer, by means of a
form that visitors can fill in on our website, more than doubled per day, for
requests coming from within the U.S.A. from non-Muslims. Some of those making
the request also posted encouraging comments with their requests. Some of these
are quoted below.
deepest sympathy to all Muslims who are being treated unfairly. My prayers
are with you!!!
want to know more about your religion so that I can better understand this
diverse world we live in. I also want facts to tell people who want to
prayers are for all people of all Faiths.
am a many generation American and my religion is Judaism. I want to
refresh my education regarding Islam so that I can give the correct
information when I hear false, bigoted statements.
people are one family under God. As an American and a Christian, I want to
learn more about the Muslim religion. I am appalled at the reaction of
some Americans who hold all Muslims responsible for the deeds of a few
am interested in Islam. I feel a calling to learn and know more about the
religion. I would really feel blessed to have the free packet sent to me.
only have an academic interest in this religion. I hope that this
literature gives as unbiased a description of Islam as possible. I would
like to understand how such a religion can be so twisted by religious
interested in the Islamic faith.
Ahmadiyya view of miracles in the Quran
During August 2003 an e-mail was
received at our website, with the subject:
to the Quran
which is as below:
The major problem I found with the Ahmadiyya movement is
that they deny the miracles in the Quran by explaining them off scientifically,
this is quite stupid, I do wonder who they are trying to please!
That the movement has tried in bringing people
to Islam is not in doubt, in fact the first Quran I picked up was the one
translated by the Ahmadis to English which led me to Islam, but I rejected
your effort at demeaning the Quran by explaining off scientifically the miracles
of the almighty Allah therein.
You people should do honour to the Quran, you can
still repent it is clear now that the Quran throws light for science and not
vice-versa as you people are doing.
To this I sent the following reply:
Thank you for writing to us. I am sure you have
misunderstood our position regarding the Holy Quran. We in fact regard the
Quran itself as a miracle, containing knowledge that no human being could have
known, but only Allah could know.
What you might be referring to are the baseless
stories added by many commentators of the Quran; one example is that they
say (in explanation of 34:14) that when Solomon died, Allah kept his body
in the same upright posture, supported by his royal rod, for one year so that
the Jinn (who were working under his charge) would not know that he had died,
but a worm of the earth ate away inside his rod, till the rod became hollow
and Solomon’s body fell on the ground. There are numerous other examples like
this. These are just people’s own additions to the original words in the Quran.
We don’t believe in these because Allah or the Holy Prophet never mention
them, but only commentators of the Quran do.
Here is what we believe. We believe that an angel
called Jibreel, which we believe has a real existence, brought revelation
to the Holy Prophet, which is something no one can explain scientifically,
yet you say that we deny miracles!
We believe that there is a Being called Allah Who
created the world, Who cannot be seen, but is everywhere. We believe that
there is a soul inside human bodies, which after death continues to exist
and then receives reward or punishment, and yet you say we deny miracles.
None of this can be established scientifically, and is not recognised by science
as true, but we believe in it as our basic beliefs and proclaim it openly.
And you say we deny miracles.
I am attaching with this e-mail an article about
how we honour the Quran as a miracle. I hope you will read it and understand
In reply he asked me the following questions:
Thanks for your reply.
I want you to further let me know the following:
1) What is your view about the ant that spoke to Solomon
2) The parting of the red sea by Moses
3) The fire Allah says should be a means of coolness for
Hoping to read from you.
The following was my reply to this:
I am sorry for the length of my
reply but it was also necessary to make some general points while answering
your specific questions.
Upon completing one of his translations of the Holy Quran,
Maulana Muhammad Ali said in a speech:
“… today, after the completion of this task, if on the one hand
I am happy because of Allah’s blessings bestowed upon me in the form of the
service to the Quran, at the same time I am afraid in case any errors I may
have made, due to human fallibility or because of lacking knowledge, may cause
others to stumble. Every single word of the Quran is a guiding light and a
conclusive argument for every Muslim. In my translation and commentary I have
tried, according to the best of my understanding, to subject my views to the
word of God, the hadith of the Holy Prophet, and rules of the Arabic language.
But still it is my interpretation and not binding upon anyone else unless it
conforms with the word of God and the authentic hadith reports of the Messenger
of Allah. My attempt is only to make people study the knowledge contained in
the Quran and to turn their minds to its service.”
We do not consider our interpretations to be the last and
final word. Someone could indeed come up with a better interpretation of a
verse, and we would have to accept it.
Marmaduke Pickthall was an orthodox Muslim. When
he reviewed Maulana Muhammad Ali’s book The Religion of Islam in 1936 (which covers
metaphysical subjects, including miracles), he after writing in his review
“Probably no man living has done longer or more valuable service
for the cause of Islamic revival than Maulana Muhammad Ali of Lahore. … Such a
book is greatly needed at the present day when in many Muslim countries we see
persons eager for the reformation and revival of Islam making mistakes through
lack of just this knowledge”
then writes, approvingly, that certain chapters in this book
should be studied:
“to observe the difference between the rational views of a
devout traditionist and the views of so-called rationalists”.
Our views are the “rational views of devout traditionists”,
not of “rationalists”, as Pickthall has so aptly put it. Rationalists are those
Muslims who place the laws of nature and science above the Quran. You, brother
Abdur Rashid, have considered us to be rationalists. But Ahmadis are, as
Pickthall says, “devout traditionists”, that is, those who respect and honour
the traditional sources of Islam, but they apply rational thinking in
understanding those sources.
Now I answer your three questions.
1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, whose English translation is the most
widely accepted translation among Muslims, writes in his footnote on the verse
about Solomon and the ant:
“This verse and the next, read together, suggest the symbolical
meaning as predominant.” (Note 3258 on 27:18)
He considers the ant as representing “the humblest people in
the world”, and writes that Solomon in his prayer means that “he may not even
unwittingly tread on humble beings in his preoccupations with the great things
of the world” (Note 3259).
So even Yusuf Ali does not accept it as necessarily
a literal miracle.
We Ahmadis give this incident various interpretations.
The miracle is supposed to be that Solomon could understand what the ant said
(to other ants). But this implies that ants have an understanding of human
affairs and communicate among themselves about those matters (as the ant here
says: “O ants, go into your houses, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you”
— 27:18). Solomon being able to understand the ant could be a miracle, but
how did that ant and all the other ants adressed by it have the capacity of
knowing who Solomon was? If those ants had this level of understanding then
ants throughout history, even now, would have the same capacity of knowledge.
There is no authority in the Quran for believing that such creatures have
human-like knowledge of current affairs (that Solomon is the king who is coming
with his army).
So one of our Ahmadi views is that it is the action
of the ants on the approach of Solomon that is referred to here, not anything
that was said. Solomon was the ruler of a great, highly organized state with
its disciplined and trained armed forces. Ants are a highly organized, socially
cohesive community, and those who study their behaviour are absolutely amazed
that an insect without intelligence can exhibit such communal behaviour. This
is what was shown to Solomon, that no matter how advanced and organised a
human state may be, of which its people are proud, yet lowly creatures like
ants have been naturally gifted with that kind of civilization, in fact a
more perfect one, by Allah. Ants show the social organisation taught to them
through instinct by Allah. Human beings devise their own ways of organising
society. But Allah’s work is superior to human efforts, and human beings can
learn from Allah’s work.
So this is what Ahmadis believe: that Allah’s work
is perfect and superior, and human beings can learn a lesson from it. Even
today human beings can go on studying creatures like ants, and learn lessons
from them about community-minded and public-spirited behaviour.
Another Ahmadi interpretation is, of course, what
is given by Maulana Muhammad Ali, that the word naml
here is the name of a tribe or people, and does not refer to an ant, and no
ants are involved in this incident.
2. Regarding both Abraham and Moses, we believe
that Allah saves his prophets and righteous ones from the plans and designs
of their opponents. To the world it appears that the opponents are about to
succeed in destroying the believers, but Allah saves them when there is absolutely
no chance (by human reckoning) that they would be saved. The way in which
Allah saves them may even be by a common, everyday occurrence. Our Holy Prophet
Muhammad while hiding in the cave of Thaur was saved because of a spider weaving
its web across the entrance of the cave, an everyday occurrence but made miraculous
because of when and where it happened.
Regarding Abraham and the fire (21:68-71), Yusuf
Ali again is unsure whether it was a real, burning fire or a symbolic one.
“Through all the fire of persecution and hatred Abraham remained
unhurt. The fire became cool, and a means of safety for Abraham.” (footnote
2724, on the word ‘fire’ in verse: “We said: O fire …”)
“Perhaps some years passed before the incident of his being
thrown into the Fire took place, or the incident may only be allegorical.”
Our interpretation is that the Quran does not say that Abraham
was actually cast into the fire, only that his opponents planned to put him
into fire and Allah saved him by cooling the fire and making it safe for him.
How that happened we don’t know, and various stories about it have been
discredited by some classical commentators themselves. Perhaps he escaped from
being put in it by migration, as may be deduced from the verse 21:71, just as
the Holy Prophet Muhammad escaped being murdered by the Quraish by migration.
Perhaps a storm or rain put out the fire. The miracle is that his opponents,
despite all their resources, could not kill him. As Yusuf Ali writes, the
“fire” might even mean the fire of opposition to which Abraham was subjected,
and may only be symbolic, not literal.
I have quoted Yusuf Ali a few times to show that
there are other Muslim scholars also, who are orthodox, who allow that these
miracles may not be physical occurrences, as commonly thought.
3. Similar is the case of Moses going across the
water. Whether that water was the Red Sea or the Nile or some other stretch
of water no one knows. What we know is that a most powerful monarch with a
huge army could not stop Moses and his followers from crossing this water,
and themselves drowned in it. The idea that Moses parted the water by hitting
the ground with his staff is not borne out by the words of the Holy Quran.
Since Allah informed Moses of when to travel and which way to go, it is possible
that Allah made them reach the water at a time when it would start receding
(maybe due to tides or wind). Only Allah could know the time and place when
there would be a dry path, which would close shortly afterwards.
Even today these miracles happen in the sense that,
not necessarily an individual, but the cause of truth is always rescued by
Allah from destruction by its opponents.
Finally, I will give an example of how not interpreting
an event as a miracle makes it more of a miracle of the Quran. In 19:24-25
it is related that when Mary was suffering the pains of childbirth a voice
told her to shake the trunk of the palm-tree under which she was resting and
“it will drop on you fresh ripe dates”. Many Muslims consider it a miracle
that dates on that tree ripened immediately for Mary, out of season. But the
Quran does not say that the dates ripened out of season. Now if we simply
consider that dates were ripe on the tree because it was the season for ripe
dates, then this discloses that Jesus was born in July or August. This disclosure
is indeed a miracle. In the last 100 or 150 years researchers, both Christian
and others, have been trying to determine the month of the birth of Jesus,
especially after they concluded that it could not have been any time in December
or even winter. The Quran solved this for them. If we take the verse 19:25
as relating a natural occurrence, instead of miraculous ripening, then the
mention of this occurrence becomes a miracle, because it solves the modern
puzzle of which time of the year Jesus was born.
The very mission of our Movement is based on belief
in miraculous help from God. At the time when Maulana Muhammad Ali published
his English translation of the Quran, most people (Muslims or non-Muslims)
considered that to try to propagate Islam to the West by these means was an
utterly futile venture doomed to complete failure. But our Movement took up
this mission because of its firm belief that, no matter how impossible it
may look to human thinking, Allah has ordained that Islam will spread in the
West and be accepted by the very people who today denigrate, abuse and detest
it. The man whom you consider as denying miracles in his translation of the
Quran, and as dishonouring the Quran, taught us that we should continue this
work of propagation of Islam no matter how bleak the chances of success appear
to be, because what appears impossible to man is possible for God. And that
is exactly what a miracle is: that what appears impossible to man is possible
I have done my best to explain our position in
response to your comments. If we Ahmadis have dishonoured the Quran, as you
assert, then I can only quote what Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced in
“If we are not servants of Islam, then all our work is in vain
and rejected, and shall be called to account by Allah.”
“Did Jesus die” (on the cross)?
A documentary on BBC television
Review and synopsis by the Editor
Did Jesus Die? was the
title of a one hour long documentary broadcast on the digital television
channel BBC4 on various days in August 2003. The name of the programme maker
and producer is Richard Denton. The documentary was notable in that, towards
the end, it dealt with the theory that Jesus, after surviving crucifixion,
travelled to Kashmir and preached and died there, and his tomb is still to be
found in Srinagar. This was presented as a plausible explanation, and not an
outlandish and incredible fable.
It was stated at the outset of the documentary
that as regards the traditional Christian belief that Jesus was crucified
and died, and on the third day he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven:
“… throughout history people have responded differently to this
story … There have been heresies that suggest that Jesus was rescued from
crucifixion and escaped to lead a secret life in southern France. And there
have even been people convinced that Jesus survived and travelled to the mountain
kingdoms of Kashmir, where he died at the age of 80. To try and solve this 2000
year old mystery, some of the most devout Christians and most expert scholars
will suggest new ways of reading the Gospels, and ask the question: Did
Jesus die on the cross? ”
The first point put forward in the documentary was as
“… many modern scholars and theologians, and even some who were
training for the priesthood, now seem to doubt the historical accuracy of the
Gospels. And even the literal truth of the idea that Jesus rose from the dead.”
Then a number of Christian professors of religion were shown
expressing this view, one of whom, John Dominic Crossan, Professor of Religious
Studies, DePaul University, Chicago, said:
“I do not believe that gods and goddesses or anyone ever comes
down from heaven and produces divine babies. I don’t believe it actually
happens. Nor do I think that Jesus, in a literal sense, went up to heaven to
take his place at the right hand of God.”
Later, some quotations from the Gospels about the events of
the crucifixion were displayed, which, it was said, raise questions such as:
“Why did Jesus die so quickly? Why did Joseph and Nicodemus take
so many herbs into the tomb?”
The discussion then moved to the so-called resurrection of
Jesus, or his rising from the dead and post-crucifixion appearances. Father
Jerome Murphy O’Connor, from L’Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem, said:
“The resurrection of Jesus, as far as all the Christian churches
are concerned, is absolutely fundamental to the faith. There’s no question in
my mind that it’s ever going to be changed.”
But the commentary of the documentary pointed out that the
Gospel accounts of the resurrection “are full of inconsistencies and curious
contradictions” so much so that:
“When it comes to the resurrection the Gospels literally lose
Discussing this point, Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion,
Princeton University, said:
“The Gospels are written in the form of historical biography, so
many people have assumed that they are exactly that. But that’s not actually
what they are. They are written to demonstrate to people the importance and the
meaning of Jesus and his teaching. That was what they were for and they do that
very well. But they are not primarily interested in what actually happened back
On this, the commentary to the programme said:
“So one is forced into the apparently blasphemous position of
doubting the historical truth of the Gospels. … These complications have led
many modern scholars to suggest that the Gospel stories were not written to
tell of a miraculous event. But that they were written with an entirely
different and political motive. … Some scholars go so far as to suggest that
the story of the resurrection was created not only to give authority to the church,
but also as an extraordinary psychological tool to bring in new converts.”
Later, moving to the topic of “what might have happened to
Jesus 2000 years ago”, James Talsor, Professor of Religious Studies, University
of North Carolina, said:
“If you read the story of the Empty Tomb, and on Friday someone
is killed and on Sunday they are gone from the tomb, and you ask the question,
what might have happened? Either God raised him from the dead, which is the
traditional Christian affirmation, or the body was carried away by someone.
Body stolen. And those two possibilities are even talked about in the New
The commentary then said:
“While the enemies of Christians immediately came up with
conspiracy theories to explain the resurrection, the stories told by the
Gospels are very down to earth. They describe how Jesus was alive again. He
ate, he drank, and Thomas could touch his wounds. It’s therefore perhaps not
surprising that people who have always
looked for natural explanations of miracles, have suggested that Jesus was
alive because he didn’t die on the cross. … So is it possible that Jesus
could somehow have survived? Certainly he was speedily executed. Perhaps too
speedily.” (Italics ours for emphasis.)
Then James Talsor gave his opinion on this:
“When you look at the story of Jesus and how he was executed by
the Romans, he’s on the cross for 6 hours. The assumption is that he’s dead.
The Roman soldiers check the body. There were two others crucified according
to the Gospel accounts. And they broke the legs of those to hasten their death
because the Sabbath day was coming. When they came to Jesus they said he’s
already dead. Presumably his body is motionless, he’s quit breathing. They
then prepare the body and put him in a tomb, and presumably it’s sealed up
and he’s dead for all practical purposes. The question though is: Is he clinically dead?”
The commentary then gave the following explanation:
“The question of clinical death is certainly raised by the fact
that the herbs Joseph of Arimathaea took into the tomb with the body of Jesus
were aloes. These are healing, not embalming herbs. So could it be that Jesus
was resuscitated in the tomb?… Whatever actually happened, the different Gospel
stories do all agree that the disciples saw Jesus as if he were alive. But if
Jesus survived, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the resurrection was a hoax or
a deliberate falsehood. At the end of the 19th Century the English writer,
Samuel Butler, in his book on the resurrection, came up with the theory that if
Jesus had collapsed in a shock induced coma on the cross, and then recovered,
he and the disciples would actually have believed his recovery was a miraculous
The documentary then moved on to discuss Jesus’ life after
crucifixion. James Talsor said:
“If Jesus was placed in the tomb and somehow was revived, he
himself would certainly think that was an act of the grace of God. I came right
to the bars of death and was brought back. But now there’s a practical problem,
it’s a political problem actually. Romans basically do one thing to Messiahs:
they crucify them.”
The commentary then referred to the traditional Christian
belief of the ascension of Jesus:
“It is clear that either through resurrection or resuscitation
Jesus did survive the crucifixion. But he faces a problem. He’s a condemned
man. The Bible is said to solve this problem with a miracle called the
Ascension. Jesus is taken bodily into heaven. But the original texts are even
more confused when it comes to the Ascension than they were about the
resurrection. The Ascension does not actually appear in the original form of
any of the Gospels. The Ascension references in Mark are among the verses
which, as we have seen, were added 200 years after the events. There is one
line in Luke which reads, ‘and was carried up into heaven’, but again this
doesn’t appear in all Bibles. It was in fact inserted simply because the
Ascension is referred to in a later book of the Bible, the Acts of the
One theory discussed was that as there is a tradition
that some years after the crucifixion Mary Magdalene came to the Camargue
region of the South of France, where she lived and died, it is possible that
Jesus may have travelled with her, and may even have married her. The commentary
“The local legends [in the South of France] describe how Mary
Magdalene came here with her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha, and a few
companions. Perhaps then if the relationship between Jesus and Mary was as
close as some sources suggest, one of those companions travelling incognito for
fear of arrest by the Romans, was Jesus himself.”
However, this theory was discounted a little later in the
documentary, as the commentary said:
“But if Jesus did leave Palestine, France still doesn’t seem a
likely destination. It was after all a Roman colony. Some claim that if Jesus
did survive the crucifixion his first priority would be to escape from the
jurisdiction of the Roman Empire.”
Peter Stanford, a religious historian, gave his opinion on
“If you just look at a map, Palestine is on the far eastern
border of the Roman Empire. If you go west you’re going right into the heart of
Roman territory, where we have about 15 legions stationed around the world. If
you go east you’re crossing over into Parthia, and you are going towards Persia
eventually and India and Afghanistan,
It was from this point on that the documentary took up the
proposition that Jesus travelled to India after surviving death on the cross.
It was not only to escape Roman jurisdiction that Jesus would travel eastwards
but as James Talsor explained:
“The people we know today as the Jews are only one tribe, the
tribe of Judah. And we have in the Hebrew Bible the story of ten of the tribes
being taken away to the east, to the northeast by the Assyrians in the 8th
century B.C. They become known in history as the Lost Tribes, because nobody
knows exactly what happened to them. We do though, we can speculate, that if
Jesus thought of himself as the Messiah, he might have had in mind, I’ve got to
go and present myself to these dispersed brothers and sisters, off wherever
they might be.”
It was also explained in the commentary that:
“The journey east from Israel in the 1st century was
surprisingly easy, by land or by sea on the silk route, or the spice route.
It’s an accepted fact, for instance, that the disciple Thomas travelled to
India, and founded a church there.”
Yet a further reason was then put forward as to
why Jesus would be tempted to travel towards India: he had already been there
earlier in his life, and lived there from the age of about 14 to 29, being
trained as a priest by Buddhists. The documentary referred to the well-known
story of the three wise men from the east who came to pay homage to Jesus
at his birth:
“When a great Buddhist holy man, or Lama dies, wise men consult
the stars and other omens and set off, often on extraordinarily long journeys,
to find the infant who is the reincarnation of the Lama. When the child is old
enough he is taken away from his parents and educated in the Buddhist faith.
Could this be the origin of the story of the Three Wise Men? Could Jesus have
been taken to India as a child and taught to be a priest?
The Russian writer, Nikolai
Notovitch, travelling in India in the 19th century, discovered an ancient
manuscript in a Buddhist monastery in Tibet. In his book The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, Notovitch translated this
manuscript, and it tells of a divine child called Issa, born in the 1st century
to a poor family in Israel. Issa came to India at the age of 14, where he
learned the laws of Buddhism before returning to Israel at the age of 29.
This idea would certainly explain
the otherwise odd fact that from the age of 14 to 29 there is absolutely no
record of Jesus’ existence in Palestine. Certainly the later teachings and
miracles of Jesus have uncanny parallels with the teachings and miracles of the
Buddha. Loving your enemies and the idea that the meek will inherit the earth
have absolutely no tradition or precedent in Judaism. But they are entirely
consistent with Buddhism.”
At this point the programme introduced the theory
of Jesus travelling to Kashmir after the crucifixion. Scenes were shown from
the streets of Srinagar, and the commentary stated:
“… the people here in Kashmir call their tribe, Bene Israel, and
claim to be descendants of the lost tribes. And here there are stories that in
the first century Issa, known locally as Yuz Asaf, meaning leader of the
healed, returned to Kashmir in his 30s. Yuz Asaf’s ministry here can easily be seen
as a continuation of the Jesus ministry.”
There then appeared in the documentary the veteran of our
Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Kashmir, Abdul Aziz Kashmiri, to explain this more
fully. He spoke in Urdu, with the following subtitles appearing in English on
“Kashmiri history books tell us that Yuz Asaf came from abroad.
He was a prophet and a messenger. He came from Israel. He came to spread his
teachings. He lived and died here. Yuz Asaf was Issa, he was Jesus. The meaning
of Yuz Asaf is The Healer. Another
meaning is The Shepherd, the one who
teaches others. Our history books confirm that Issa was known as Yuz Asaf, here
The tomb of Yuz Asaf was then shown and the commentary said:
“Yuz Asaf continued to teach and to preach in Kashmir until he
died around the year 80 A.D. He was buried in Srinagar. And this rather modest
building is, they say, his tomb. The first shrine erected around the site was
built in 112 A.D. In fact it is now a shared grave site. In the 15th century
the Islamic holy man, Syed Nazir-ud-Din was also buried here. Although both the
gravestones under the cloth point to north/south in the Islamic tradition, the
body of Yuz Asaf is buried beneath in a grave dug east/west in the Jewish
tradition. But this is a sacred site, and short of exhumation there is no way
of discovering whether the body buried here is that of a man who once survived
crucifixion. However, next to the sarcophagus are the carved footprints of Yuz
Asaf, and they do have marks or scars on them.”
Abdul Aziz Kashmiri explained:
“The footprints were carved as a sign, the scars are clearly
visible, sustained as he was nailed to the cross. They show that this is the
same person who came here from Israel. And that he lived and died here. You
won’t find any footprints like these anywhere else in Kashmir.”
The commentary further added:
“The position of the scars, just behind the toes, do not match
each other. But they would align if a single nail was driven through both feet
with the left foot placed on top of the right.”
The implications of this being the tomb of Jesus were then
stated in the commentary near the close of the documentary as follows:
“There are many who believe this to be the tomb of Jesus. If
this is the tomb of Jesus, then he spent most of his life in the mountain
kingdom of Kashmir. He did not die on the cross, there was no resurrection.
He did not ascend into heaven, and he does not sit at the right hand of God.
For many Christians this would be the end of Christianity as we know it.
For some the original story would still have the power to comfort us as we
An Ahmadi’s response to some friendly advice offered after
An article from our Urdu sister organ ‘Paigham Sulh’
Compiled and translated by the Editor
In the history of the Ahmadiyya
Movement the date that is infamous and notorious is ‘9/7’, the fateful day in
1974 when the Pakistan legislature amended the Constitution of the country to
categorise all the Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority, the day that changed
subsequent Ahmadiyya history. Following that decision, many Muslims in Pakistan
who knew that this was entirely wrong and unjust advised the Lahore Ahmadiyya
Movement to cut its association with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in order to be
included among Muslims. An article has been reprinted in a recent issue of our
sister Urdu organ Paigham Sulh (May
2003, pages 12–13), written by Chaudry Shukarullah Khan Mansur, in which he has
given his response to such advice. Some extracts from this are translated below.
The editor of the weekly Asia has advised the leaders of the Lahore
Ahmadis as follows in its issue dated 15 September 1974:
“We suggest to the intellectuals and writers of the Lahore group
that they should refrain from the fruitless efforts and useless activity of the
advocacy of Mirza sahib. If they wish to remain among Muslims and to be counted
in the Umma of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad on the Day of Judgment, they should be content with just Islam as
brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and not ruin themselves by following
There is no doubt that this advice is based on
sympathy and kindness towards us. However, the editor has left his submission
incomplete. He must tell us what he has in mind when he writes: “Islam as
brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad”. Our opponents themselves admit that:
“The Muslims of this time are of many kinds. I need not go into
details. One can count the number of types of snakes, but the number of types
of Muslims cannot even be counted.” (Da‘wat
Islam, by Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi)
“The Islam that prevails in the Punjab is nine-tenths derived
from kufr.” (Khuddam-ud-Din, Lahore, 16 August 1974)
Under these circumstances it was the duty of the editor of Asia to tell us what he is referring to
by saying: “Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad”. Which Islam does he
consider as the Islam of the Holy Prophet Muhammad?
Islam of Maulana Maudoodi or Islam of Ghulam Ahmad
Islam of the Sunnis or of the Shiahs?
Islam of the Ahl-i Quran or of the Ahl-i Hadith?
Islam of the Debandis or of the Barelvis?
Islam of the Sufis or of the literalist Ulama?
Islam of the spiritual leaders or of the rationalists
According to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as he writes
in a poem:
“We are Muslim by the grace of God.
The Mustafa is our Imam and leader.
That Book of God whose name is the Quran, the drink of our
knowledge is from that cup.
To deviate even one step from this luminous Book, is in our
view heresy, loss and destruction.”
We believe this to be “Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet
Muhammad”, and we rest upon that. We know not what the religious leaders of
Pakistan call as Islam. We may not be Muslims according to their supposed
Islam, but according to the Islam of the Holy Prophet Muhammad we shall inshallah “be counted in the Umma of the Holy Prophet Muhammad on the
Day of Judgment”, as the editor has put it. In that venue, decisions will be
made by God and His Messenger. No sign or trace will be found there of the
authority of any human legislature or National Assembly or any religious leader
of the masses and their propaganda.
The friend of mine who asked me to comment on this editor’s
advice to us also gave me some further advice from himself, which is as
“What have you gained so far by associating yourselves with
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, believing him to be sent by God, supporting him and calling
on people to accept him? You faced constant failure, and you lost opportunities
for worldly prosperity, progress and success. You needlessly earned the
hostility and detestation of Muslims, became victims of killings and looting,
and were targets of boycotts and hatred. It is not an act of wisdom to make
yourself undergo this hardship and adversity.”
We have no hesitation in admitting that according
to the attitude prevailing in the world of Islam today the advice of our friend
is entirely right, beneficial and appropriate. By following his advice we
would certainly be free of all the hardship and adversity that he has mentioned.
However, he must also admit that we can only act upon his advice if the claim
of Hazrat Mirza sahib to be from Allah is untrue. If he is true in his claim,
as is our belief and conviction, then what we have to see is what is the teaching
of Islam about facing the hardship and adversity that our friend mentions.
The “Islam brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad” teaches that we bear all
manner of trials and tribulation that come upon us when we accept and support
If our life was limited to the span of human life
on earth, and the hereafter was merely a myth, then there would have been
some weight in our friend’s advice. Unfortunately, this is not so. The life
in this world is temporary and the one after death is eternal. Why should
we ignore this teaching of “Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad”?
If the argument is that as a minority we must follow
the majority, then this does not conform to the “Islam as brought by the Holy
Prophet Muhammad”. According to the Holy Quran, the majority of people have
always followed falsehood and opposed the truth, and it is only a small minority
that accepts truth and faith.
If it had been a Muslim’s duty that, in order to attain worldly
success and to escape hardship and adversity, he must follow the
majority without giving any consideration to right and wrong, or
to truth and falsehood, then Imam Husain would not have made Kerbala
into a lasting memorial by sacrificing his blood, along with that
of the youngsters and the old people who were with him, by the swords,
spears and arrows of Yazid.
Note by Editor of The Light. Sectarian violence in Pakistan
during the past ten years has escalated to the stage where even
the majority Sunni Muslim population is facing violent attacks
against its own leaders, members and mosques by its more extreme
opponents. No longer can the Ahmadis be advised that they should
join the majority in order to save their lives and property!