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Notes And Comments

11 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS NOTES AND COMMENTS By B. A. Rafiq In its July/September 1983 issue, the Muslim Digest of South Africa has produced an article written by Al-Haj Hassan Raw at, M.A; accusing therein the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian of corrupting and interpolating some of the verses of the Holy Quran. The article under comment says, “Even the enemies of Islam have had to accept this fact that the Quranic text is pure, free from corruption and interpolation since the days of Prophet Muhammad, may peace of Allah be on him”. The article also quotes. some verses of the Holy Quran in support of the claim that no corruption or interpolation was possible in the text of the Holy Quran. To say in one breath that Allah has taken it upon Himself to preserve and safeguard the text of the Holy Quran and also to accuse Hazrat Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, of successfully corrupting the text of the Holy Quran, in the next, is a contradi- ction that can best be explained by the author himself. Before we proceed further we would like to produce some extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah regarding the Holy Quran: “The Holy Quran is a rare pearl. Its outside is light and its inside is light and its above is light and its below is light and there is light in every word of it. It is a spiritual garden whose clustered fruits are within easy reach and through which streams flow. Every fruit of good fortune is found in it and every torch is lit from it. Its light has penetrated my heart and I could not have acquired it by any other means. If there had been no Quran I would have found no delight in life. Its beauty exceeds that of countless Josephs. I incline towards it with great inclination and drink it into my heart. It has nurtured me as an embryo is nurtured and it has a wonderful effect on my heart. Its beauty draws me away from my soul. It has been disclosed to me in a vision that the Garden of holiness is irri- gated by the waters of the Quran, which is a surging ocean of the water of life. He who drinks from it, comes to life and brings others to life.” (Ayena Kamalat-e-Islam Page 545). “I was young and am now aging. But people can bear witness that I never burdened myself with worldly affairs and was always interested in matters of the Faith. I have found the words which comprise the Quran, of the utmost holiness and full of spiritual wisdom. THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 12 It does not deify any man and it does not bring God into contempt by excluding souls and bodies from His creation.” (Sanatan Dharm pp 6-7) “I also enjoin upon you not to forsake the Quran for in it rests the essence of your life. Those who honour the Quran, shall be honoured in heavens, and those who accord preference to the Quran over everything else shall also be given preference in the heavens. There is no other book on the face of the earth for the guidance of mankind but the Quran. And there is none who can intercede on behalf of the progeny of Adam but the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him)”. (Kishti-Nuh p 20) Could a man with such devotional attachment to the Holy Quran be accused of even thinking of corrupting the text of the Holy Quran? This is not a new criticism raised by the author. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) has emphatically denied this charge in the following words. “It should be borne in mind that we are not permitted to make changes in the text or sequence of verses in the Word of God, except only when the Holy Prophet himself should have done so. It is on record that he did not do anything of this nature in his life time. In view of this we cannot disturb the sequence of the Quran, nor can we add anything to it. If we do so, we would be guilty of an offence and would be accountable for it”. (Itmamul Hujja, p. 19) At the time of the advent of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him), a large number of Muslim ulama and divines believed that as many as six hundred verses of the Holy Quran had been abrogated by other verses of the Quran. The Promised Messiah emphatically rejected this notion and challenged the advocates of the abrogation theory to produce a single verse of the Holy Quran which they thought had been abrogated by another verse. On the other hand he would prove conclusively from the Holy Quran itself that the verse under reference had not been abrogated at all but had a deep philosophy and hidden meanings which the ulama had failed to comprehend. He firmly established the fact that every vowel point of the Holy Quran was from God and was not subject to change or alteration by anyone. No commandment of Allah stood in need of correction or abrogation. The Promised Messiah never changed, altered or abrogated even a vowel point of the Holy Quran. We challenge anyone to pro- duce a single instance of such alterations in the Holy Quran from the books of the Promised Messiah. The Arabic quotations produced by the Muslim Digest from various books of the Promised Messiah 13 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS are not at all verses of the Holy Quran but are his own revelations. The author of the article has deliberately distorted the writings of the Promised Messiah and has mischievously attributed the reve- lations of the Promised Messiah to be the verses of the Holy Quran. This was done to deceive and misguide his readers. This, then is the truth about the charge that the Promised Messiah had been guilty of interpolation in the verses of the Holy Quran. ramraramrarara Bahaulla proclaimed himself to be the manifestation of God on earth and wrote a book called ‘Al-Aqdas’ i.e. “The Most Holy Book”. In his will he said about this book. “Reflect upon that which is revealed in my book the Al-Aqdas.” His son Abdul Baha said in his Will, “unto the Aqdas everyone must turn.” Yet, strangely enough, this so called holy book has never seen the light of the day since it was written by Bahaulla. Only a few of its fragments were transla- ted into English some time ago. The reasons for its non-publication are best known to Bahais themselves. Recently the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britian published an English translation of iAl-Aqdas by Earl E. Elder, Ph. D., D.D., and published by Luzac & Co., London. On a study of the book a few of the characteristics of the Bahai Law emerge into public view. On Adultery: “God has commanded that every adulterer and adulteress pay a fine to the House of Justice. The sum is nine mith- qals of gold. For the second offence double the punishment.” It should be noted here that a mithqal is approximately five grammes or one seventh of an ounce. It would mean that the total fine for the first offence in England would be about £2. In case of second offence, double of the amount i.e. £4 is to be paid to the House of Justice. There is no mention of subsequent offences. It might mean that one is obliged to pay the fine until his second offence. Thereafter there is no penalty to be paid. Again as the House of Justice has not yet been established anywhere, so for the time being there is no penalty to be paid according to Bahai Law. On Dowries: “The amount estimated for towns is nineteen mithqals of pure gold, and for villages the same amount in silver”. The Bhai Law does not mention any concession to a person who does not possess the nineteen mithqals of pure gold. Shall he not marry at all? On Unlawful Marriages: “The wives of your fathers are unlaw- ful to you.” THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 14 There is no mention as to the marriage between brother and sister or between uncle and niece. The incomprehensive nature of the Bahai doctrines is so evident. On changing furnishings of the house: “It was ordained for you to renew your house-furnishings after the expiration of nineteen years. Thus was the matter decided by an Omniscient Knower.” A faith built on such ludicrous items of trivial nature as the guidance for the changing of furnishings and the omission of very important doctrinal points which are essential for living a peaceful life, could not last long. If it does not, indeed, fulfil the real object of life it will not easily be acceptable as doctrine by any think- ing person. In due course it is proposed to deal with several such queer points which are presented by this holy book of the Bahai faith. * * * * * # * * * + # * The Times (London) while commenting on the pertinent question of immigration in the Western Countries captioned its Editorial “Indigestible Islam” in its issue of 5th September 1983. The title, if not disingenuous, is emotive. It purports, ostensibly, that Islam in respect of its religious practices and customary tenets is indigestible in a western or so called civilised society. The paper wrote “In both countries (France and Germany) it is the presence of a massive community of Islamic culture which is proving parti- cularly indigestible. Frankly racist attitudes are becoming almost the norm towards Turks east of the Rhine, and towards Arabs (essentially North Africans) west of it.” However it is now acknowledged in all quarters including Euro- pean Orientalists, that Islam was the main force for the upsurge of its believers in its early days and the Muslims in their heyday pre- sented an unrivalled higher quality of culture and others, including Europeans, were only keen to emulate their way of life, and no scruples about indigestible Islam were raised. Secondly! The Times acknowledged that the immigrants were invited at the outset of the economic recovery in Europe after the Second World War. In some cases they were tempted and lured by high wages and good prospects. The paper wrote: “Western European countries owe their postwar prosperity in part to immigrant labour, and none of them is actually prepared to do without foreigners in many jobs even in these times of recession”. 15 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS In other words the immigrants substantially contributed to the booming economy of the west. They were welcome in time of abundance but in times of present recession they are reckoned as alien and socially unagreeable. Some unscrupulous political leaders are creating the ill feelings for vested interests. It may be appropriate to point out that the western countries are signatories of the U.N. Charter of Human Rights which explicitly enshrined the freedom of religious beliefs and practices. The U.N. recen- tly made an important Declaration on this subject particularly its Resolution No. 36/55 dated 25 November 1981. The Article 1 proclaims “The right to freedom of thought, conscience and reli- gion” and further that “This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice and freedom, either indi- vidually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching”. Article 7 requires, “The rights and freedom set forth in the Present Declaration shall be accorded in national legislations in such a manner that every one shall be able to avail himself of such rights and freedom in practice.” In view of the commitment of the western countries to this Declaration it is all the more regretful that The Times referred in the said editorial Ramadan as “nightly revel”. The Colonial Powers should know from their occupation of the Muslim lands that whereas Islam proved a dominant force in its early days, in the days of its adversity and subjugation of its believers, it proved equally sustaining as an assertive force and the colonial powers showed tolerance of its “indigestible” aspects. It must be pointed out here that there is no sanction or injunction whatsoever in Islam for female circumcision which unfortunately is practised in some African countries; a relic of their savage past. 00000000000000 THE PROMISED MESSIAH, PEACE BE ON HIM, SAYS God Almighty has, through the blessings of my obedience to and love for the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, and through my following His Holy Word, honoured this humble one with His reve- lation and with inner knowledge. He has enlightened me with the disclosure of many mysteries, and has filled my bosom with many verities and realities. He has informed me many times that all these gifts, bounties, exaltations, favours, kindnesses, attention, awards, supports and revelations have been bestowed upon me by virtue of the blessings of obedience to and love for the Seal of the Prophets, peace be on him. (Braheen Ahmadiyya, p. 623, footnote 1).