Freedom of Religions Hadith

Punishment for Apostasy

How the traditions of Islam have been misinterpreted to suggest that Islam prescribes death penalty for apostasy.

3The Review of Religions – July 2006 In our estimation, there is no greater testimony than the testimony of the Holy Prophet(saw). My heart trembles when I hear that any person who is confronted with a decision of the Holy Prophet(saw) does not accept it and turns away from it. (Itmam-ul-Hujjah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p.293) The Muslims are a people who are ready to lay down their lives to uphold the honour of their Holy Prophet(saw). They would prefer to die rather than endure the disgrace that they should make peace and become friends with such people who are occupied day and night with abusing the Holy Prophet(saw) and mention his name with contempt in their books, journals, and announcements and use vile language with reference to him. Such persons are not the well- wishers even of their own people, for they create num- berless difficulties for them. I tell you truly that it is possible for us This series sets out, in the words of the Promised Messiah(as), Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a summary of his exposition of four outstanding topics: ISLAM; ALLAH, THE EXALTED; THE HOLY PROPHET(sa) and THE HOLY QUR’AN. The original compilation, in Urdu, from which these extracts have been translated into English, was collated with great care and diligence by Syed Daud Ahmad Sahib, Allah have mercy on him and reward him graciously for his great labour of love. Amin. The English rendering is by the late Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, may Allah be pleased with him, and is quoted from The Essence of Islam, Volume 1. All references throughout, unless otherwise specifically mentioned, are from the Holy Qur’an. ESSENCE OF ISLAM: Devotion to the Holy Prophet(saw) and Poems in Rememberance of the Holy Prophet(saw) – Part 9 4 The Review of Religions – July 2006 to make peace with the serpents of the jungle and the wild beasts of the forests, but we cannot make peace with those who do not refrain from speaking ill of God’s Prophets and who consider that abuse and vituperation mean victory. True victory is that which comes from heaven. (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol.23, pp. 385-386) The insults that have been offered to Islam and the Holy Prophet(saw), the attacks that have been made against Divine Law and the apostasies and heresies that have become widespread, cannot be matched in any other age. Is it not true that in a short while in India alone a hundred thousand people have become Christians, and more than sixty million books have been published in opposition to Islam, and people belonging to high families have lost their religion, and those who used to describe themselves as the descendants of the Holy Prophet(saw) have put on the garment of Christianity and have become his enemies, and numberless books full of vile abuse of the Holy Prophet(saw) have been published? My heart cries out with tears that if these people had murdered my children before my eyes, and had cut to pieces my sincere friends, ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). In 1891, he claimed, on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by Muhammad, the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and by the scriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis of the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. 5The Review of Religions – July 2006 and had killed me with great humiliation, and had possessed themselves of all my property, I would not have been so pained and my heart would not have been so hurt as it has been pained and hurt by the insults offered to the Holy Prophet(saw). (A’ ina-e-Kamalat -e – Is lam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp.51- 52) Poems in Remembrance of the Holy Prophet(saw) Al-Qasidah – An Ode in Praise of the Holy Prophet(saw) (Arabic Poem) O fountainhead of Divine grace and knowledge! All creation flocks towards you like the thirsty. O ocean of the grace of the Generous Benefactor! Multitudes throng towards you holding empty cups. O sun of the kingdom of beauty and grace! You have illumined the face of deserts and dwellings alike. A nation had the honour to behold you and another heard Of this full moon that has enchanted me. They shed tears in remembrance of your beauty; And the pangs of separation from you make them cry. I find hearts throbbing wildly; And tears streaming from the eyes. O ye who in his light and radiance is like the sun and the moon; And has illumined the day with his light. O full moon of ours, O the sign of our Gracious Lord! O the most guided of all guides, and the bravest of all the brave. I perceive in your bright face A quality far superior to human qualities. He is genial, gracious, bounteous, lover of righteousness; Generous, and one who has excelled all the youth. He surpasses all creation in his ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 6 The Review of Religions – July 2006 perfection and beauty; In his glory, and his pleasant nature. No doubt, Muhammad is the best of creation; He is the elect of the elect and chief of chiefs. All excellence attained perfection in his person; The bounties of every age reached their climax in him. I call Allah to witness that Muhammad is His vicegerent; Through him alone access is possible to the Divine court. He is the pride of every pious and holy person; In him does the spiritual army take pride. He is superior to all those who attained nearness to Allah in earlier times; For the criterion of excellence is virtue, not time. A light drizzle often precedes rain; But there is a world of difference between the two. He is the one and only archer whose arrows never miss the target; He is the master archer whose arrows hit the target and kill the Satan. He is like a heavenly garden: I see his fruits; Whose bunches have been lowered towards my heart. I found him an ocean of verities and guidance: Full of lustre like a pearl. Verily ‘Isa-Jesus-quietly breathed his last, but our Prophet is alive; God is my witness, I have had the honour to meet him. I swear by Allah! I have witnessed his beautiful countenance; With my own eyes while sitting in my house. Our Holy Prophet is alive-of this I am a witness; And I have been blessed with the fruit of ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 7The Review of Religions – July 2006 converse with him. I had the honour of witnessing his blessed countenance in my early youth; He graced me with his presence when I was wide awake. Surely, I have been brought back to life by his life glvmg grace, Praise be to Allah, What a miracle! What a life he has granted me! O my Lord, shower Your blessings upon the Holy Prophet, Ever and always, here and in the hereafter. O my master! I have come to your door as the one wronged and aggrieved; For my people have hurt me by calling me a kafir. Do look upon me with mercy and compassion! O my master, I am the humblest of your slaves. O my beloved! My soul, my senses, my heart; Are all saturated with your love. O garden of my delight, never for a moment, Am I without the remembrance of your countenance. Overwhelmed with longing, my body yearns to fly towards you; If only I had the power to fly!!! (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.5, pp.590- 594) Qualities of the Holy Prophet(saw) (Arabic Poem) O my Heart! remember Ahmad; Source of guidance and annihilator of enemies. He is pious, kind and benevolent; An ocean of bounties and beneficence. He is bright like the full moon; Praiseworthy in all his qualities. His benevolence captures hearts; His beauty quenches the thirst. The oppressors rejected him, ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 8 The Review of Religions – July 2006 So unjustly, and with such arrogance! No one can deny the truth When it becomes manifest. Go and find someone perfect like him; You will be humbled and bewildered. We have not seen anyone like him Who so wakes up the sleeping ones. He is the light of God that has resuscitated All branches of knowledge afresh. He is the elect, the chosen one; The guide, and the source of grace. The rain of guidance is but a part Of the heavy rains of his generosity. The world forgot its light drizzle, When they saw the torrential rain from this leader. Today the mean try to put out And extinguish the light of his guidance. Sooner or later, Allah will manifest his light. O rain that pours day and night, You have been safeguarded from destruction. You have nourished the trees of low lands And high lands with your bounties. We have found you to be the haven of refuge; Hence after finding such a great haven, We are no longer afraid of adverse circumstances, Nor are we scared of the horrors of any sword. We fear not the vicissitudes of time; Nor are we frightened by threats. At the time of every crisis, We turn to our Lord. In many a contest, Between me and the opposing ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 9The Review of Religions – July 2006 hordes, I emerged victorious, honoured, And a recipient of divine succour. Praise be to Allah! Praise be to Him! As we have recognised our guide. My friend! It is Allah indeed, Who has favoured us with this gift. He is the Night of Decree, Whose bounties are perennial. (Karamat-us-Sadiqin, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.7, pp.70-71.) The Faith of Muhammad(saw) – (Urdu Poem): I let my fancy fly in all directions, But I did not find a faith like the faith of Muhammad. There is no religion which shows the signs of truth; This fruit I tasted only in the garden ofMuhammad. I tested Islam myself – It is light upon light; Wake up, I have infonned you in time. No one came for a trial, even though I challenged every opponent to compete. Come, O ye people! Herein you will find the light of God; Lo! I have told you the way of satisfaction. Today those lights are surging in this humble one; I have coloured my heart with every hue of those lights. Ever since I received that light from the light of the Prophet, I have joined myself with the True One. Countless blessings and peace be upon Mustafa(sa); Allah is my witness: from Him I received this light. My soul is forever wedded to the soul of Muhammad(saw); I have filled my heart to the brim with this elixir. I swear by your countenance, O ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 10 The Review of Religions – July 2006 my dear Ahmad(saw); For your sake alone, have I taken up all this burden. O my Beloved! I swear by Your Uniqueness; I have forgotten all about myself in Your love. (A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol. 5, pp.224-225) The Perfect Prophet(saw) – (Urdu Couplets) The ignorant of Europe say: ‘This Prophet is not perfect; What was the difficulty in spreading faith among theuncivilised?’ But to convert the uncivilised into civilised people is a miracle; Which manifests the meaning of the secret of Prophethood. He brought the light from heavens, he himself was light; What is the harm if he was born among an uncivilised people? What difference does it make to the light of the shining moon; Whether it rises from the border of Rome or from Zanzibar? (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, part v, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.21, p.144) Grandeur of Ahmad(saw) – (Urdu Couplet) Beyond all thoughts and imagination Is the status of Ahmad(sa); Whose servant, you can see, Is the Messiah of the age! (Haqiqatul Wahi, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.22, pp.286, footnote) Our Leader(saw) (Urdu Poem) He is our leader, who is the source of all light; His name is Muhammad(saw); he alone is my beloved. All Prophets are holy, one better than the other; But from the Almighty, he is the best ofthe creation. He is far better than those before him, he is a darling in his qualities; Every eye is focused on him, he ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 11The Review of Religions – July 2006 is the full moon which dispels all darkness. Those who came earlier, were fatigued halfway; He it is who brought us to the shore; May I be a sacrifice; he alone is the guide. He removed the screen, and showed the secret path; He joined the hearts to the Beloved, such a friend he is! That Friend, beyond all physical limitations, that Unseen Beloved; We saw through him, so he is the true guide. Today he is the King of faith; the Crown of the apostles; He is pure and holy, this is his eulogy. All commandments ordained by the True God were demonstrated in practice by him; He revealed all secrets, an excellent gift is this. His vision is far-reaching like a telescope, his heart is close to the Friend; In his hands is the light of faith; he is the fountain of light. He revealed the weighty secrets of faith; He is the King who grants wealth. I am a sacrifice at that light; I belong entirely to him; He is all, what worth do I possess? This is the final verdict. That Unique Beloved is the source of all learning; All else is a mere tale, this is the truth unblemished. We found everything through him, O Allah You are a witness; He is that manifestor of Beauty, who showed us the Truth. We were blind of the heart, with hundreds of knots upon the hearts; The one who opened the locks is this very Mujtaba – accepted one. (Qadian Ke Arya aur Hum, Ruhani Khaz’ain, vol.20, p.456). ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 12 The Review of Religions – July 2006 Leader of the Lovers of God – (Persian Poem) That sovereign of all the world; Whose name is Mustafa – the chosen one; Who is the elite of the lovers of the True God; Who is bright like the midday sun. Verily, all light is due to his light; He who is accepted by him is accepted by God. He is the one that, for life, is the flowing water; And a limitless ocean of spiritual insight. He it is in support of whose truthfulness and excellence, Hundreds of incontrovertible proofs and arguments have been made manifest to the world. His countenance radiates the light of God; His path manifests the works of God. All Prophets and truthful ones are his devotees; They are like dust at his doorstep. Love for him elevates one to the heaven; And transforms one like the lambent moon in purity. He demonstrates to the Pharaohs of every age, Hundreds of signs like that of the white hand of Moses. (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.1, p.627, footnote) Muhammad(saw) is our Leader and Guide – (Persian Poem): That Prophet whose name is Muhammad; We are forever holding on to his lap. His love that entered our bodies with the milk of our mothers; Became our very life, and will last till death. He is the best of the Prophets and best of the creation; Prophethood found perfection in him. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 We drink deep the water of his fountain, Whoever has been satiated, has been satiated by it. Whatever revelation or inspiration is granted to us; Is because of him, not because of us. Through him are we blessed with guidance and perfection; Without him, meeting the Eternal Lord is impossible. To follow every one of his commandments is ingrained in me; Whatever is proven to be from him is my faith. (Siraj-e-Munir, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.12, p.85) * Ahmad is composed of four Arabic letters – Alif, Ha, Mim, and Dal. When the Mim is dropped, the three remaining letters – Alif, Ha, and Dal make the word Ahad, which is an attribute of Almighty Allah, meaning Unique. The line purports to say that by freeing himself completely from his own self, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) became a true manifestation of Allah, the Unique. 13 ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 9 The Review of Religions – July 2006