Book Review

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 61 have cut his life-vein, and not one of you could have held Our punsih- ment off from him (69 : 45 – 48). Commentators agree that if a claimant of receiving divine revelation survives for a period of 23 years he must be true. This is because God will not permit a false claimant to survive a period equeal to that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace. Tadhkira, which is a compilation of dreams, visions and verbal revela- tion of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, provides a sure proof of the truthfull- ness of his claim as he (Hazrat Ahmad) continued receiving revelation from God for a period of over thirty years. The collection of these revelations is replete with prophecies many of which have been fulfilled, some of them repeatedly and some await fulfilment. It was the study of this book that brought Mr. Faiz Rusul, a former Shavian Socialist or a disciple of Bernard Shaw—a near Communist, to the fold of Ahmadiyyat. In the Birmingham Central Library he accidentally found “Tadhkira” on one of the shelfs. Having gone through its pages he decided “If this is true, and we do not believe in this, or if this is not true, and we believe in it, we will be sitting on a volcano”. He further remarked that the trouble of the Muslim world was deeper than they knew, which independence from foreign dominance alone could not cure but return to Islam could. It is through a divinely inspired and divinely revealed guid- ance that the problems of the Muslim world could be solved. The book under review provides ample proof that God speaks to His chosen ones today as He spoke to them in the past. The acceptance of prayer and the Quranic declaration “And when My servants ask thee about Me say, I am near, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me” is fully illustrated in the pages of Tadhkira. There are countless instances of the acceptance of prayer and God’s communication with the author. The grant of revelation is a pure bounty of God. It is not the choice of the recipient however righteous and exalted he might be. There is a wide- spread notion in the West that revelation is an upsurge of the mind of a righteous human being. The Quran rejects that notion. It states that Allah causes His Word to descend on whomsover of His servants He pleases. In a wider sense the revelation may comprise dreams, visions or verbal revelation. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was vouchsafed with all forms of communication from the Almighty, and the book “Tadhkira” is not a mere compilation of revelations and visions it is indeed a narration of the special bounty of God that had been granted to him. The fulfilment of the prophe- cies and the acceptance of prayer about friends and enemies alike are 62 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS positive proof that God of Islam is a living God. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says: “One grand miracle of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, is that the revelation vouchsafed to all other prophets has been cut off, and their miracles have been left behind, and their followers are empty- handed and are left only with old storeis, but the revelation vouch- safed to the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, has not been cut off, nor have his miracles been cut off, but are always displayed through his perfect followers who are honoured with obeying him. On this account the religion of Islam is a living religion and its God is a living God. In this age also this servant of the Lord of Honour is present. Thousands of signs in support of the Messenger of Allah and the Book of Allah have been shown by me, and I am almost daily honoured with the converse of God Almighty.” • (Chashma Masihi p. 18) “Tadhkira” fully supports the above statement. M.A. Saqi ISLAM and HUMAN RIGHTS by SIR MUHAMMAD ZAFRULLA KHAN This scholarly study by the learned author is an attempt at a comparative study of Islam and The Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. It presents vividly the Islamic point of view on this world famous declaration of human freedom and liberty. THE LONDON MOSQUE, 16 GRESSEIMHALL ROAD, LONDON, S.W.I 8 THE MUSLIM PRAYER BOOK by B. A. RAFIQ A 64 page book which deals with Islamic prayer in all its details. It covers the philosophy of prayer, the times of prayer, prayers in the Quran, prayers of the Holy Prophet, as well as Islamic mode of worship with i l lustrat ions. The prayers are beaut i ful ly printed in the original Arabic, together with their trans- literation and translation. Price 50p (excluding postage) LONDON MOSQUE 16 GRESSENHALL ROAD, LONDON, S.W. 18 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 63 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Dear Sir, A friend of mine, an Ahmadi Muslim, has, over a considerable time now, kept me under Tabligh’. He is very enthusiastic about his ‘preach- ing duty’, and he performs it very sincerely and very efficiently. I sometime wonder how can he spare so much time for his purely ‘un-rewarding’ acti- vities. But I do listen to him, eagerly and as enthusiastically. I can’t help it; he is so nice a person, and so very helpful. I also harbour a secret ambi- tion that I might turn him to my ways, i.e., Catholicism. He would make such a wonderful and valuable addition to Christianity! Last week he showed me an ancient-looking magazine, the ‘Review of Religions’. I am sure its outward appearance can be improved. It con- tained very timely and relevant topics. But more importantly, I learned that the ‘Review’ is going to be published from London, replacing the ‘Muslim Hearald’, and that it is going to be edited by you, Sir, B.A. Rafiq. I hope it will have an international flavour. There is a great religious awakening all over the world. Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist missions are springing every where. Such intense activities are almost unheard of in the past. It has also resulted in con- troversies. For the first time it is possible for a layman like me to see and compare all aspects of any religion. I believe that any religion or any reli- gious denomination which cannot support itself with cogent arguments from its holy scriptures, is unlikely to survive this present age of enlight- enment . But it is not the arguments alone which will win the hearts and minds of the people. It is the example set by any given religious community which will finally be the determining factor. It is futile for me to pretend that Christian world is perfect; it is under threat every where. We have also the age-old rift between Catholics and non-Catholic world. But the most hopeful thing is that the differences are being recognised, and for the first time in many hundreds of years, Christians of all denominations are united under an umbrella organisation to try to limit and even wipe out these differences with a view to eventual unity. This is their eventual aim. What interests me most is the fact that this new unity movement is born out of an intense desire to retard the march of Islam as represented by your Ahmadiyya Movement. This apparently and relatively little known Movement appears to be posing a mortal threat and the Church is determined to overcome this situation. 64 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS On the other hand, I understand, that your Government of Pakistan declared you, by means of a constituitional amendment, ‘Not Muslim’. It is a great puzzle to me. Even during the worst trials in the Christian world in the middle ages, no one Christian denomination usurped the right to declare its opponents as ‘Not Christian’. There is another puzzling factor: the ordinary Muslims seem to have more in common with Christians than the Ahmadi Muslims. They would’nt like to enter into any dialogue with Ahmadis. In fact, I have more affinity with them also. We both believe, for instance, that Jesus is alive in heaven; that Jesus, the same Jesus of 2000 years ago, will come down from heaven very shortly. Now my point is that if we are going to accept Jesus Christ any way, then what is the point in accepting Islam or any other religion meanwhile? Why not to continue working for Christ all the way! My Muslim friends can give me no answer. And Ahmadi Muslims, because they do not believe in the above doctrine, are difficult to confront. If Jesus died a natural death, then he is not coming a second time. And logically, the Promised Messiah has to be someone else, but like Jesus. But then, you do not appear to represent true Islam! I wish you also get together with other Muslim sects and try to sort out your doctrinal differences, as Christians are doing. At least it will cut down the number of differences and lessen the confusion in the realm of religion. As the matters stand now, it is so complicated. Perhaps, and I very much hope, you will address yourself to these matters also. May I wish you all the best. Yours faithfully, London (Adam H. Goodwin) Dear Sir, When ‘The Review of Religions’ was first produced in 1902, it was the Promised Mesih’s wish, that this magazine should be a vehicle for con- eying the message of Islam to English speaking people. Furthermore he desired that its circulation should reach at least 10,000. Although ‘The Review of Religions’ has been in production for many years now with great benefit to readers all over the World., it gives me tremendous pleasure to learn that the 10,000 target has now been reached. Thus is due to the programme for expansion initiated by Hazrat Khalifatul Mesih IV and is only one of the many schemes which have been generated under his