Apostasy, Blasphemy and Heresy The Holy Qur'an

The Qur’an and Muslims Today – part 2

How much influence does the Qur’an have over Muslims today and how far do they adhere to its teachings?

23The Review of Religions – November 2006 So now that the age of information and technology and knowledge have dawned, what next? What is the application of the potential of this knowledge? According to the Holy Qur’an, the sky is the limit. The next verse states: And when the heaven is laid bare. (Ch.81:V.12) Enter now the age of space technology, advanced physics, astronomy and cosmology. And with the proliferation of knowledge, man will learn the secrets of space. Having already learned to fly, man sets higher ambitions of space travel to unlock the mysteries of extra- terrestrial life, planets, galaxies and other solar systems. Man has set up space stations to observe the heavens. Space stations in themselves are a marvel of scientific achievement which allow man to peel back the universe, layer by layer. Another verse of the Holy Qur’an states: And by the heaven full of tracks. (Ch.51:V.8) This verse describes the skies full of tracks. This too has literally occurred. At every airport, the air traffic controller is looking into a monitor which has charted out the course and track of every flight so as to conduct traffic. With the countless number of daily flights, the skies have indeed been charted as the Holy Qur’an states. In fact, in the next layer of skies above the altitude of commercial flights, are tracks charted by agencies, like NASA, to monitor pathways of planets, Scientific Advancement and Signs of the Latter Days – (part 2) By Dr. Kaleem Malik – Chicago, USA 24 The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 galaxies and the universe, making it possible for man to probe into the vast expanse of space. Even the very hazards of space travel have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, describing the clear picture of cosmic rays. 1400 years ago, only the Qur’an exclusively stated that the universe was expanding. No other scripture even hinted at it. Allah says: And We have built the heaven with might and We continue to expand it indeed. (Ch.51:V.48) In 1929, Edwin Hubble found proof that the universe is expanding. Through a sophis- ticated scale and tools, he was able to measure distances of 23 galaxies and their movement away from the earth. The further away these galaxies were, the further they were moving. In other words, the universe must be expanding. Some view this discovery (in our age) as the most important in astronomy – which the Holy Qur’an declared 1400 years ago! Allah says in the Holy Qur’an; Remember the day when We shall roll up the heavens like the rolling up of written scrolls by a scribe. As we began the first creation, so shall We repeat it – a promise binding upon Us; We shall certainly fulfil it. (Ch.21:V.105) Such profound statements made 1400 years ago, are only today finding their elaborate meanings with the help of scientific advancement. These few words describe with clarity the concept of Black Holes, Supernova, the Event Horizon and ultimately The White Hole. Very briefly, the massive inward gravitational pull of colossal size stars causes them to collapse and shrink. The gravitational pull causes a complete collapse of the stars into a mass called a Supernova which now even crushes its very atoms and molecules into a mass of energy called the Event 25The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 Horizon. The inward pull of gravitation continues so that even light cannot escape, thus, the Black Hole. This Black Hole now grows as other stars are rolled up into it. In 1997, it was estimated that in our galaxy, anywhere between 2 million and 3 trillion solar masses existed in a single Black Hole. And there could be many Black Holes. These terms may appear confusing initially but these discoveries today unravel many mysteries which the Holy Qur’an declared 1400 years ago. We have discovered that the universe is expanding and within it are Black Holes which suck up the stars and press them into sheets like the rolling up of scrolls. What happens then? Allah says: As we began the first creation, so shall We repeat it… (Ch.21:V.105) Such a Black Hole, of all the solar masses compressed in it, can suddenly erupt and release the trapped masses leading to the creation of another universe. Eruption of the Black Hole releases the packets of mass energy called the Event Horizon and gives way to a new light – now called the White Hole. So this is how the universe began, this is how it will be rolled up and this is how it will be repeated. All we can do is but stand in awe at the brilliance of the Holy Qur’an and this very age which has revealed such powerful secrets with the help of scientific and technological discoveries. Such is the age that has produced the Promised Messiah(as). Even the question of life on other planets has already been addressed by the Holy Qur’an: And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures He has spread forth in both… (Ch.42:V.30) The verse does not speak of a possibility of extraterrestrial life, rather it declares a reality of 26 The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 extraterrestrial life. Most research only talks of a possibility. The verse concludes with a powerful charge: …And He has the power to gather them together when He pleases. (Ch.42:V.30) Wonder upon wonder is all we can say. The Holy Qur’an declares that not only is there life beyond the earth but Allah will bring together the meeting of life on earth with life elsewhere. The when, where and how is not revealed but today, for the first time, scientists are accepting a feasible reality of such a concept. In 1996, a NASA news release and a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, announced the discovery of a meteorite from Mars which strongly points to the possibility of life on other planets. Again, the signs of the Latter Days as we have been describing in the Qur’an and Ahadith are supported by such discoveries that highlight the truth of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet(saw). In the area of physics, it is worth mentioning the 1947 discovery of radio Carbon dating and improving x-ray techniques. As we already know, one of the tasks of the Promised Messiah(as) was to re-establish the lost glory of God and smash the ideologies, which brought insult to God and ‘humanised’ the Almighty. It was his task alone to dismantle the myth of the Cross that transformed a mortal into God. The 2000 year old firmly established premise stated that Christ(as) died on the cross, resurrected from the dead and was then ascended to the heavens, giving us the basic Christian premises of Atonement, Trinity, Resurrection, Ascension and bodily return in the Latter Days. With one stroke, Almighty Allah demolished such a dogma by revealing to Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) that the very corpse, the dead body of Jesus(as) is actually buried in Kashmir, 27The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 after having lived a long and prosperous life. He followed this with powerful rational arguments to support this revelation. Today physicists, forensic specialists, surgeons, trauma experts and historians have overwhelming proof supporting the claim of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). The Shroud of Jesus(as), which has been held sacred and protected and honoured has been recently rejected by the Vatican as not the actual Shroud of Turin. The reason it has now been denied is that scientists claim that whosoever was wrapped in the Shroud was very much alive. Sophisticated radiographic x-ray techniques produced for us a striking image of a person who was crucified. The images were allowed to be transferred on to the Shroud because, as the Bible tells us, after having come down from the cross, Jesus(as) was applied brought healing ointments of herbs and myrrh which covered the wounds of his entire body. These ointments produced fumes which pene-trated this holy Shroud and today’s technology is able to reproduce these images. These images show a man with the appropriately described wounds to the wrists, feet, scars from probable thorns to his forehead, a stab wound to his right side and the many scars from flaglation. These images are so powerful and clearly demonstrate blood trickling from these wound sites, establishing the fact that up to this point the heart was still pumping and he was still alive. Trauma surgeons, physicists, historians, forensic specialists and all who are fair- minded agree that whoever was wrapped in the Shroud was no doubt alive. Numerous Carbon dating studies on the Shroud have produced conflicting results with initial findings placing the age of this Shroud to be exactly at the time of Jesus(as), while others are now saying it does not belong to that era at all. But one thing is agreed, the scientific community, which has weighed this evidence, has cast its verdict: the man of the Shroud was alive. No wonder the Vatican has denounced this holy Shroud. 28 The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 It was without any such investigation that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), made this powerful claim that Jesus(as) is actually buried in Kashmir. So, with one stroke the ideology of the Cross has been smashed. With the actual grave of Jesus(as) in Kashmir, he could not have died on the Cross for the sins of man. So there is no atonement; he never resurrected, he was never ascended bodily and he is a mere mortal, a noble Messenger of Allah and not a part of this man- made trinity. Although the ‘Jesus’ debate has become hot lately, no one has been able to produce a more plausible and intellectually satisfying alternative to the events of the crucifixion, with reason, logic and scientific as well as historical backing, as has been done by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), more then one hundred years ago. This much we can say: science is yet to contradict his claim. Returning to Surah Al-Takwir which has been clearly describing the events of the world in the Latter Days, it is stated: And when Fire is set ablaze. (Ch.81:V.13) When the entire context of the Surah is revealing world events, this verse is also delivering a warning that fire refers to such terrifying wars as would create the impression that all hell has broken loose. This is the logical conclusion of the sequence of prophecies which take man through great heights and advancements and enable him to great material power and worldly gain. The result of this success is selfishness, pride, arrogance and the cost of God’s pleasure which now have created such global tensions that inevitably have resulted in hellish wars one after another. The hellfire is the creation of man’s own hands. The materialistic powers have been responsible for these wars and have demonstrated the might of the Anti-Christ – the Christian powers. Even the Bible reveals: ‘Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against king- dom, and there will be famines 29The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 and earthquakes in various places.’ (Matthew 24:7) Within the last one hundred years, in more then two hundred and fifty wars around the globe, over seventy million people have perished. In this age, on any given day, there is an average of ten wars going on somewhere in the world. Such destruction has not occurred in the last six thousand years compared to that which we have seen in the last century alone. The nuclear weapons are enough to destroy everyone on the face of the earth a hundred times over. For the Promised Messiah(as) to appear in such a hostile environment and do battle with this Anti-Christ to bring about the ultimate victory of Islam, he must come armed with the proper weapon. The Holy Qur’an has declared that the coming of the Promised Messiah(as) would be likened to the coming of the Holy Prophet(saw) himself – a complete reflection of the Holy Prophet(saw) – and his weapon would be the sword of knowledge where the pen would be mightier then the sword. This Sultan-e-Qalam (Master of the Pen) would produce such powerful arguments with reason, rationale and wisdom which would demonstrate the superiority of Islamic teaching over all other teachings and religions as stated in the Qur’an: He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over every other religion… (Ch.9:V.33) The promise of the spiritual re- advent of the Holy Prophet(saw) is made in Surah Al-Jumu’ah: And [He will raise him] among others from among them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise. That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it on whom He pleases; and Allah is the Master of immense grace. (Ch.62:Vs.4-5) That is Allah’s Grace; to appoint a messenger like he appointed the Holy Prophet(saw) and, in the 30 The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 Latter Days, He manifested this Grace again and has chosen to bestow it on Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) of Qadian because He bestows it on whom He pleases. We conclude with two categories of signs of the Latter Days with respect to scientific advance- ments which are presented last because they contain some frightening imagery as well as glad tidings of the Latter Days. The Holy Qur’an has not been silent on nuclear technology and the technology of medicine. With regard to nuclear technology, the dangers and warnings of a nuclear holocaust are predicted. Today we know of the immensely dangerous energy in the tiny particles of atoms. Obviously an atomic explosion was inconceivable when the Holy Qur’an was revealed. Yet the Holy Qur’an states: Nay, he shall surely be cast into the crushing torment. And what should make you know what the crushing torment is? It is Allah’s kindled fire, which rises over the hearts. It will be closed in on them in outstretched columns. (Ch.104:Vs.5-10) So sinful people are to be cast into the Hutamah (crushing torment) which means the smallest possible particle which cannot be broken down any further. This Hutamah, which sounds like an atom, is actually describing the very atom which in 1913 Rutherford and Bohr described. The smallest particle has a blazing fire built within it that is confined in extending columns and when man is cast into it, this fire will go straight to his heart without scorching his body. The verse describes the horror of the atomic explosion. An elementary glance at the mechanism of the atomic explosion creates such wonder as to how the Holy Qur’an authored these descriptions 1400 years ago. What kind of a fire is this that burns the heart before scorching the body? Our 31The Review of Religions – November 2006 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 knowledge of splitting this atom has described this very phenomenon. During the explo- sion, there is a release of immense gamma rays, X-rays and neutrons. The X-rays produce great heat which rises in all directions at the speed of sound and creates the mushroom cloud appearance with which we are all familiar. This intense heat of the X-rays burns everything in its path. But it is the gamma rays which are actually moving faster than the X-rays at the speed of light and surpass the heat waves of the X-rays. These gamma rays produce such sheer force in vibration that kills the heart before the heat from the X-rays can scorch the body. Describing the events, Allah says: But watch thou for the day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke that will envelop the people. This will be a painful torment. (Ch.44:Vs.11-12) Within 37 seconds of detonation, this deadly smoke and mushroom cloud reaches three miles high and three miles wide destroying everything in its path and, within ten minutes, it is twelve miles high and twelve miles wide affording no shade or shelter. In 1945, the B29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped a Uranium bomb on Hiroshima and three days later dropped a Plutonium bomb on Nagasaki. The poor victims did not know what hit them. Earlier in the war, it took thousands of conventional bombs to take a hundred thou- sand lives but only two of these bombs took 150,000 lives. The survivors of this tragedy testify to the description from the Holy Qur’an. Man has created this which was locked up to be used against him. Today even a child can recognise these descriptions of the Hutamah which science has now brought to light 1400 years later. Lastly, although the technology of medicine has progressed in leaps and bounds, the general state of health has manifested great catastrophes as well as advancements which no doubt signal the Latter Days. Genetic engineering is a hot subject today but could not even be conceived during the time of the Qur’anic revelation. Yet the Holy Qur’an states: …And he [Satan] said, ‘I will assuredly take a fixed portion from Thy servants; and assuredly I will excite in them vain desires, and assuredly I will command so that they will incise the ears of camels and other cattle and assuredly I will bid them and they will alter Allah’s creation… (Ch.4:Vs.119-120) It is our time alone that can lay claim to attempting to alter Allah’s creation. This field of genetic engineering is only a few decades old and the scientists are already sounding alarm bells of worry and concern of potential disaster. There are predictions of some diseases that have global and deadly impact which also serve as signs for the Latter Days. The Holy Qur’an states: And when the sentence is passed against them, We shall bring forth for them a creature (daba) out of the earth, which shall injure them because people did not believe in Our Signs. (Ch.27:V.83) The prophecy describes a very damaging ‘insect’ inflicted on those who do not believe in the Signs. Such grand scale diseases caused by insects were not familiar to the people of the Holy Prophet’s(saw) time. The Ahadith also point towards pestilence and daba. Tirmidhi records a plague at the time of the Anti-Christ. In fact, as a sign for the Latter Days and the coming of the Messiah, even the Bible records: ‘There will be earthquakes, famines and pestilences in diverse places.’ (Luke 21:11) 32 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 The Review of Religions – November 2006 These prophecies have all been fulfilled as we have witnessed millions of people suffering many epidemics as foretold. The Promised Messiah(as) prophesied the plague that hit the Punjab, India, which not only substantiated his own claim but proved the truth of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet(saw). Allah revealed to the Promised Messiah(as): ‘A Warner came into the world but the world accepted him not, yet God shall manifest His favour and demonstrate his truth with powerful assault.’ The plague that struck India was one such powerful assault which took millions of lives. The plague phenomena also occurred in San Francisco from 1900 to 1909, although much less severe, it let its presence be felt. It is amazing to see that Signs to support the Latter Days and the coming of the Promised Messiah(as) have been so global. In 1894, the predicted eclipses occurred in India exactly as foretold and, in 1895, the phenomena repeated in the West for the Americas to see. Here again, the plague of India hit in 1898 to 1906 and also in San Francisco from 1900 to 1909. The Holy Prophet(saw) also predicted a rampant disease of the nose. In 1918, shortly after World War I, the Influenza epidemic claimed 20 million lives, while World War I claimed only 6 million. Influenza destroyed about 1.5% of the then population of the world. Then there was Smallpox which claimed millions after World War II. Some estimates suggest that Cholera claims about a million lives a year. Science has revealed today horrifying diseases that are caused by daba which we know now to include all micro organisms, bacteria, viruses, the fungus and parasites all of which have manifested their destruction and continue to do so in our age. But to discover these organisms and classify them and study them and create cures and treatments 33 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 The Review of Religions – November 2006 for them require the scientific knowledge for man to be familiar and acquainted with this daba. Our era responded with the microscope which continues to become increasingly sophis- ticated and has led to the subsequent development of vaccines and antibiotics. Penicillin became a common drug by 1948. In 1952, Salk produced the Polio vaccine and, in 1980, the World Health Organisation declared that Smallpox had been eradicated. No doubt, the health profession has made monumental strides with scientific advancements proving the truth of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith. The Holy Prophet(saw) has said: ‘For every problem, there is a remedy or for every disease, there is a cure.’ As pestilence and disease were predicted for the Latter Days, their cures and treatments have only now begun to take shape. However, medicine was humbled in 1981 when the nightmare of AIDS was finally identified. This is yet another form of daba, a virus which has proven to prevail over a particular population. It is recorded in Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul- Fitan, that the Holy Prophet(saw) said: ‘It never happens that permissiveness overwhelms a people to the extent that they display their acts of sex shamelessly and they are not uniquely punished by God. Among them, invariably, pestilence is made to spread and such other diseases, the like of which have never been witnessed by their fore- fathers.’ It is amazing how the Holy Prophet(saw) has delineated the people of the Latter Days, specifically a particular type of people – those who are permissive and shameless of their overt sexual nature. Not only are the people identified and their flaw, the very method to punish them is a unique way. The Holy Prophet(saw) says God will uniquely punish them so mankind can identify them and it 34 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 The Review of Religions – November 2006 will be through the agency of pestilence never witnessed before. The list produced in the last few decades of the number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is so overwhelming that a branch of microbiology and immunology is devoted to its study. Suddenly we are seeing in large numbers Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichamonas, Gardnerella, Herpes, the human Papilloma virus which actually leads to Cancer, Syphilis leading from primary syphilis to secondary syphilis affecting the heart to tertiary syphilis affecting the brain and so many others. As an emergency medicine physi- cian, rarely does a shift go by without treating at least one patient with an STD. That is how staggering these figures . Then, of course, there is AIDS. It is estimated that every fifth person in South Africa is infected with HIV and about 40 million will contract it around the world in the near future. These numbers are on the rise largely in Africa, America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. It is a fact that the developed nations which are the world’s material powers have demonstrated such vile permissiveness as has never been witnessed in previous ages. The plague was not sex related but AIDS is definitely designed to punish sexual transgression. If people are permissive and shameless they will be immune from this destruction. People are under the false impression that AIDS is on its way out. On the contrary, we probably have not even seen the main thrust of this devastation. Scientific advancements have, therefore, only served to highlight the Signs of the Latter Days. A far greater realisation is the appreciation of the Qur’anic prophecies, Ahadith and their implications for our age, with science substantiating their veracity. In conclusion, we have only demonstrated a brief summary of Signs of the Latter Days and scientific advancement. The 35 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 The Review of Religions – November 2006 surface is yet to be scratched. This much we can say with certainty that prophecies from the Holy Qur’an run ahead of human progress which will always lag behind and never catch up with the hidden secrets of the Holy Qur’an – hidden secrets which Allah alone knows and reveals what He wills at the appointed hour. Never has a scientific discovery of any age proven the Holy Qur’an wrong. The ages have produced thousands of scholars, philosophers, religious divines and intellectuals who have generated scores of theories, speculations, myths and fantasies but Allah has allowed scientific advancement to make obvious to the world the truth systematically and at the appropriate time. The expected Messiah, Imam, Reformer and Mahdi has come and with him are the Signs of the Latter Days with manifest truth. As Ahmadi Muslims, we are right in the middle of such a wonderful age where in every direction we see these obvious Signs. The Promised Messiah(as) writes: ‘Listen to the voice of the heavens, the Messiah has come, the Messiah has come. Listen to the earth, the successful Imam has appeared.’ Today the Signs of the heavens and the Signs of the earth are staring down hard at man to see if any fair-minded person can recognise them. 36 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT AND SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS – PART 2 The Review of Religions – November 2006