Pandit Lekh Ram – The Malicious Arya

38 Pandit Lekh Ram — The Malicious Arya By Syed Hasnat Ahmad, Canada In the decade beginning with 1880, there was a great resurgence of religious activity among Hindus of the sub-continent, particularly in the Punjab. It looked as if the leading protagonists of Hindu religion found this point in time ripe and opportune for launching a massive conversion campaign. With the defeat of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah, around whom the rebel Indian army had rallied in 1857, the Muslims were generally in a state of complete demoralization and dejection. There appeared to be no future before them. Queen Victoria took over the administration of the subcontinent from the British East India Company. Ayra and Christian missionaries had been vigorously engaged in weaning away a faltering lot of Muslims. A great Muslim poet, Moulana Hali, in a long descriptive poem had lamented the decline and fall of the Muslim Empire, which had degenerated into a hopeless mess. No wonder AyraSamaj, a fiery, chauvinistic Hindu Movement, came to the forefront with a great bang. Since the Muslims were drifting aimlessly, they offered themselves as easy prey for such chauvinistic movements. Pandit Lekh Ram, who was a leader of Arya Samaj in Peshawar in 1881, took up the editorship of the Arya Gazette in 1884 after resigning from Police Service. The Gazette was the chief mouthpiece of the Arya Samajees. Pandit Lekh Ram used Arya Gazette as the chief vehicle for attacking Islam and its Prophet-Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The strategy, it appeared, was to launch bitter attacks on the Holy Prophet. A systematic campaign of vilification and abuses began against him. The Muslims, at that time, were lying low and for a while it appeared that the Arya Samaj would have a walk over, as insults upon insults were heaped upon the person of the Holy Prophet in the vilest possible language and it did not evoke even the smallest ripple of protest from that body of Mullahs who thought that “Islam was their property”. Pandit Lekh Ram, finding the field clear, was spreading foul views about the 39 THE MALICIOUS ARYA Holy Prophet and the Holy Quran. The best of mankind, he thought to be the worst of mankind and the best of the holy books, the worst. Lekh Ram broke all limits of decency and maligned the Holy Prophet persistently. In 1886, Pandit Lekh Ram paid a visit to Qadian with the prime object of finding fault with Hazrat Ahmad’s concept of Islam. The visit was a hurried one. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asked him to stay for a longer period in Qadian so that he could be a witness to some heavenly sign. He even offered to pay him twice the amount he was earning, if monetary consideration prevented him from a longer stay. But Lekh Ram did not accept the offer. His sole aim was to pry and find fault in islamic literature. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was, at that time, engaged in a mighty mission of producing a monumental book on Islam — Brahain-i-Ahmadiyya. To counter the immediate onslaught of the Aryas, Ahmad also produced a separate booklet “Surma Chashme Arya (eye-opener for Arya ). Lekh Ram took upon himself the task of demolishing the image of this growing personality of Islam. He retaliated with malice and guile and wrote a booklet in reply to each of Ahmad’s books. First “Takzeeb Brahin-i- Ahmadiyya (Falsification of the Arguments of Ahmad). Ahmad did not mind this semi-literary effort. What however pained him was the filthy language that the Pandit used against the Holy Prophet, peace be on him. Ahmad described the attacks on the life of Muhammad as unvaunton, uncalled for and the language was such that even an ordinary, simple writer would hate to adopt. However, Lekh Ram in his frenzy was mounting his attacks with greater malice on Muhammad and Ahmad, peace of Allah be on them. Ahmad was not worried about attacks on his personality but what he could not bear were attacks on the life of Muhammad, peace be on him. Ahmad was deeply grieved by such unwarranted attacks. Attacks on Ahmad were understandable, for the Arya and the Christian missionaries were engaged in a gigantic struggle to win over as converts those Muslims who were faltering and were completely demoralized by the sudden loss of their empire in the sub-continent. Ahmad’s arrival on the scene was therefore not only unwelcome but also a source of extreme annoyance to the non-Muslims. Ahmad opened his “Battle of Islam” not with the sword, but by the pen and prayer. As if the campaign of vilification and vituperation was not sufficient, a handbill was issued by Arya on July 27, 1886, in highly inflammatory REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 40 language threatening Ahmad with death. He was told that his end would come within three years. An anonymous letter dated December 3, 1886, was sent to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he would be murdered. To avoid the hand of the law, the letter was written in a childish script but bore close resemblance to the contents of the handbill published earlier. In the meantime, Pandit Lekh Ram continued unabated his movement that Vedas were the only divine books and the God of Arya — the only deity and to add strength to his argumeents, attacks on Hazrat Muhammad, peace be on him, and his teachings were increased with corresponding venom and rancour. “Hujjat-ul-Islam” and “Khabteh-Ahmadiyya” were his latest provocative books. They were a series of writings designed to defame and disgrace Islam, the Holy Prophet and his great Spiritual son Ahmad of Qadian. Pandit Lekh Ram became more cocky and on page 324 of his book “Khabteh-e-Ahmadiyya”, he accepted the challenge of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for a prayer-dual. Accepting the challenge, the Pandit wrote: “All the four Vedas are holy books. It is my firm belief that the soul is eternal and everlasting, it was not created nor could be destroyed. I also believe that God does not pardon sins, and I don’t hope for, depend upon, or trust on any one’s intercession in this behalf. That all divine grace flowed from Aryan religion and the Arya are the prime teachers of the world. And I believe that all the one hundred and twenty four thousand Prophets coming outside the pale of Aryan religion are false. And all the books — the Torah, Bible and the Quran are all man-made, false and the basis of these books is either greed, stupidity or sword and nothing else. My adversary, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says that the Quran is the word of God and all its teachings true and everlasting. Oh Permayeshwar (God), of the two of us, give your divine judgement who is true and who is a liar? For the liar does not find place of honour with you”. Ahmad, then issued a leaflet on February 20, 1883, announcing that God had informed him through revelation that Pandit Lekh Ram would be severely punished for the vile abuses that he had poured upon the Holy Prophet, within six years from the date of the publication of this leaflet. This leaflet appeared along with another of Ahmad’s monumental books, “Ayena-i-Kamalat-i-Islam” (Islamic splendor”). This revelation further 41 THE MALICIOUS ARYA indicated that like “molten calf” of the days of Moses, Pandit Lekh Ram would be cut to pieces. When Ahmad’s prophecy was published, a clamour ran through the country that the Prophecy was too vague and did not mean much. The “Anees-hind”, in its issue of March 29, 1893 described it as a con- jecture, and several other papers did the same. In answer to this, Ahmad said that if the Prophecy was a mere conjecture, let Lekh Ram make a similar prediction about him. It was easier for the Pandit to make such a prediction specially when Lekh Ram was a young man of 30years, while Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was already over f if ty years old. He could have fixed a period of ten years for Ahmad’s punishment which was the period nearer to his life’s end than for a man of thirty years dying within six years. To silence the wagging tongues and the clamour that the Prophecy was too vague, Ahmad, who was at that time engaged on another book, in which he was tackling the allegations that he had no knowledge of Arabic language, made ready use of it. The book (in Arabic) called “Karamat us Sadiqueen” (the miracles of the Righteous) carried on page 54 one of his fresh revelations. It said: “The punishment of Lekh Ram would not be an ordinary one; it would be so unusual that the people would recognise its supernatural character.” Ahmad also declared, “God has revealed to me that a mighty prophecy would be fulfilled on a day next to Eid Festival”. It was so clear that a Hindu paper, “Punjab Samachar”, in its issue of March 10, 1897 acknowledged the fact, that these Arabic verses, which had been penned in the form of a poem, referred to Lekh Ram. However, Pandit Lekh Ram was not at all frightened by the publication of the Prophecy. There was no pause, however minor, in his vilification, vituperation and the campaign of slanders that he had started against the person of the Holy Prophet and his Disciple Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In fact it grew with terrifying boldness and audacity. As a counter-prophecy, Pandit Lekh Ram declared that he had also received a revelation, and on the strength of it, he could say that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would die of Cholera within three years. Not content with this prediction, which he made in his book “Takzeeb Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya” on page 307 and 311, Lekh Ram made another prediction in his book entitled “Kulliyat Arya REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 42 Musafir” (page 501) where he declared; “Ahmad’s progeny would also be cut.” Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad made another prophecy on April 23,1893. Ahmad published it, when it was revealed to him in Arabic “Ijjalun Jasadun Lahoo Khawar Lahoo Nasbun Wa Azab”. Details of this revelation were published by him on the title page of another of his books “Barakatudooa,”. The particulars were carried under the caption:- “Another news about Lekh Ram Peshawari” The Text of the version ran as under: “Today, on April 2, 1893 (14th ramazan 1310 A.H.) early in the morning, I had a nap. I found myself in a spacious house and a few of my friends were around me. Suddenly I saw a person of terrifying stature, strong, tall, as if blood trickled from his face, standing before me. When I looked at him, I felt that he was a being of different creation and character, as if he was not a human being but an angel or some other supernatural creation, leaving a horrifying effect on the beholder. When I saw him, he enquired from me “Where is Lekh Ram and mentioned the name of another person. I realised then that he had been divinely deputed to punish Lekh Ram. Who the other man was I forget but this much was clear to me — in the vision, the other man was one of the persons about whom I have issued the handbill.” In the same book (Barakatudooa ) which Ahmad undertook to write to correct the mistaken view circulated by Sir Syed Ahmad that prayers are seldom heard, he wrote a poem in Persian in which he made a special reference to the efficacy of prayer in respect of Lekh Ram. Even before the fulfilment of the prophecy, Ahmad sent a copy of this book to Sir Syed Ahmad so that he could see for himself how prayers are heard and with what mighty impact. All the prophecies of Ahmad and the visions in which he had clearly foretold the fate of Lekh Ram were fulfilled in due course. Five months after the clear vision that was published in Barakatudooa, Ahmad published on August 24, 1893, his latest revelation. This was published in another of his books — the one in Arabic Language “Karamatus Sadiqueen” (the miracles of the righteous”). It appeared on the last page of the title of the book, and said: “God has given me another piece of good news and revealed to me that I will identify it on a day nearer to Eid (that is the day that will be the day of happiness when this sign will manifest itself and the day will stand identified). The Eid will be near to this day. God has vouchsafed to me that He had heard my prayer about the enemy of Godand His prophet i.e. Lekh Ram Peshawari. He told me that he would meet his death — the same person who heaps vilest abuses on the august person of the Holy Prophet. I have cursed 43 THE MALICIOUS ARYA him and God told me that he would die within six years and it would be a living sign”. The prophecies of Ahmad, if put together, foretold the following very clearly: 1. Lekh Ram will be afflicted with a calamity which will prove fatal to him 2. that the calamity will take place within six years of the first prophecy (the date was February 20, 1893) 3. that it will be on a day close to Bid 4. that Lekh Ram will meet the fate of the CALF OF S AMRI of the days of Moses , that is, dismemberment and death and dispersion of ashes into a river (exact wording used in the leaflet of February 20, 1893 were: a miserable half-dead calf (Lekh Ram) nothing awaits him but disgrace and destruction ) 5. that this fatal deal will be carried out by a supernatural being. Time had now come for divine judgement. Ahmad had worked long enough to bring back to mankind the true ways of Islam. A heavenly sign was eagerly awaited by his followers as well as by his enemies. Followers wanted to see a fresh divine glory and a fresh manifestation of divine backing for their spiritual leader. Now it was the turn of God to strike. He struck so convincingly that there was nothing left to doubt; it caused utter confusion and the forces of evil and darkness were miserably routed. Details of this divine sign were unfolded thus: On March 6,1897, Lahore was celebrating Bid Festival. It was the custom of Arya Samajist to exercise extraordinary caution on the occasion of Bid ever since the prophecy of Ahmad was circulated and got wide publicity. For these misguided Arya Samajists thought that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would send a hired hoodlum to assasinate his adversary in fulfilment of his prophecy. Pandit Lakh Ram was in Lahore, living in a well-fortified and secure house. The sun on March 6, 1897 (Saturday) was about to set. The clock had struck six. Pandit Lekh Ram (living in a hundred percent Hindu locality of Wachowali Mohalla in Lahore) felt secure and happy. REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 44 Half naked, Lekh Ram was performing Sandhiya — thanking his self-made God — on the upper storey of the house. After having performed a prolonged sandhiya, he felt a compelling desire to stretch his hands upwards to while away his fatigue and in the process, projected his bulging belly outward. And Lo! the same Muslim volunteer — the first convert to Hindu Dharam — overreached Lekh Ram and slipped his sharp knife into his projected belly with such dexterity and accuracy that his victim was mortally wounded. The assasin then vanished into thin air. Lekh Ram bellowed like a bull uttering a horrible sound and then fell to the floor. Lekh Ram’s wife and mother who heard the frigtening yell, came rushing towards him to find the Pandit lying in a pool of blood. In great panic, they rushed towards the gate, but found nobody there. Had the earth swallowed up the assasin, or the sky wrapped him up in its fold, no one knows to this day. There was no doubt that all exits leading out of the house were practically sealed. In fact these were closely guarded. No one had seen any one moving out or running away. Lekh Ram was immediately rushed to Mayo hospital by the Police. Dr Perry, one of the best British surgeons, was immediately informed. Lekh Ram, who had not completely lost consciousness, was lying on the operating table anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Surgeon. Dr Perry was there within minutes. He operated successfully and stitched the wounds as best as he could. In those days, Dr Mirza Yaqoob Beg was the House Surgeon in Mayo Hospital. Before and during the operation Dr Perry was assisted by Dr Beg and several times Dr Perry called to him, “Mirza do this or do that”, Dr Perry’s calling Mirza greatly upset Lekh Ram and he uttered, “Oh Damme, this Mirza Qadiyani has also arrived here”. Every time Mirza Yaqoob was called, it tormented him. On account of the delicacy of the operation, the Police were not allowed to record the statement of Lekh Ram. Next day, Lekh Ram expired, despite the best medical attention that was available. Allah is to praised. For the Sunday fixed for the Muslim’s conversion into Hindu Dharam, turned out to be the day of reckoning for Lekh Ram. The news of the death of Lekh Ram spread like wild-fire and struck terror in the hearts of all. 45 THE MALICIOUS ARYA Protest meetings were held, resolutions condemning the event were passed. An immediate enquiry was demanded and it was openly suggested that Ahmad had conspired Lekh Ram’s death to fulfill his prophecy. The entire Hindu community and some Muslims were labouring under the widely circulated belief that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had hired an assasin who killed Lekh Ram. An award of Rs.20,000 was offered to anyone who would help in arresting the assasin. The reward was later increased and the offer was coupled with a pardon if the assasin offered himself. For the basic object was not the arrest of the assasin but to put Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to disgrace by making out that the death of Lekh Ram was not a divine act but an act carefully planned and conceived by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. A post-mortem of Lekh Ram’s body was held by the authorities concerned and in view of the great excitement and commotion prevailing among Hindus, the Government decided to carry out a thorough search of the house of Ahmad to satisfy the public curiosity and to meet the demands of justice. An ordinary person would have been scared. But Ahmad took it as a part of a divine sign, as he was Divinely forwarned about the search. God revealed to him that there was nothing to fear. Ahmad lived in a different world. His trust in the Divine Being was complete and total. The District Superintendent of Police — a European — carried a surprise and sudden raid on his house in Qadian with a heavy police posse. On April 8, almost a month after, the house of Ahmad was cordoned off. Police informed Ahmad that they had orders to carry out a thorough search of his house in connection with the murder of Lekh Ram. Ahmad promptly took the S.P., along with his staff, into his house and welcomed them to carry out the search in any manner they wanted. Bundles of all kinds of papers mostly correspondence, and the manuscripts of his various books were opened and scanned. By sheer coincidence, the first papers that came to the hands of the Police, related to the agreement that took place between Lekh Ram and Ahmad that was concluded by Lekh Ram on his last visit to Qadian. In this document Lekh Ram had demanded a prophecy from Ahmad which should decide the issue between the two faiths, and also absolving him of the consequences. Ahmad also showed to the Police and the press, his guest house and other buildings attached to his house. REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 46 The lengthy and gruelling search came to an end. The police could not lay hand on any incriminating evidence. The police were satisfied that Ahmad had nothing to do with Lekh Ram’s murder. After the police investigations proved futile, Ahmad wrote two pamphlets in May 1897, two months after the event, explaining the sign of Allah. In one of the pamphlets, “Istifta” mainly devoted to the divine punishment of Lekh Ram, Ahmad wrote: ‘ ‘The motive which led me to write this pamphlet is, that Aryas still entertain the false idea that Lekh Ram was murdered at my instigation. I am inclined to excuse them for this, as they are entirely ignorant of the Divine origin of the prophecy and according to their belief, inspiration and revelation was false and antiquated and have become extinct. In other words Divine manifestation was not eternal but only a thing of the past. However, a study of this pamphlet will not only clear this outmoded thought but also clear me of any participation direct or indirect in Lekh Ram’s murder. It will also be useful to those who deny the existence of prophecy and revelation in this age and who consider the power of foretelling future events inconsistent with the laws of Nature”. Nonetheless, the Hindu reaction at the death of Lekh Ram at the appointed day in the indicated manner was boundless. A secret society was formed to murder Ahmad. Its members were all over Lahore, Amritsar, Batala and Gujranwala. The plan was simple — hire an assasin to kill Ahmad in consideration of Rs.20,000 which was to be raised through subscription. The “Aftab-i-Hind” (March 18, 1897) issue which appeared barely 12 days after the death of Lekh Ram published an article on page 5 of the issue under the name of M.R. Basheshar Das. Its heading was: “Mirza Qadiyani Khabardar” (Mirza Qadiyani be warned). The writer threatened that Ahmad had only a few days to live. Another paper “Rahber Hind” in its issue of March 15, 1897 (page 14 column 1) published a separate warning. It ran: “It is said that Hindus will go to Qadian and murder Ahmad.” The excitement and uproar among Hindus was such that according to “Rahber Hind”, Hindus started threatening even Christians. Notwithstanding all these threats and warnings, Ahmad lived for more than eleven eventful and epoch-making years. Ahmad was informed of these threats to his life as early as 17 years ago, that plans and designs would be drawn to murder him or crucify him, but God almighty also informed him that He would save him and protect him from all such threats. 47 THE MALICIOUS ARYA References: i. “Istafta”, “Barakatudooa”, “Karmatus Sadiqueen” and various leaflets of Ahmad, ii. Invitation to Ahmadiyyat (Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad) iii. Life of Ahmad (A.R. Dard) iv. Mujadid-i-Azam (Dr Basharat Ahmad). ********************** Qualities of the righteous To become truly righteous it is necessary that a person abandoning utterly such outstanding vices as adultery, theft, trespass, hypocrisy, self-esteem, scorn of fellow beings, miserliness, should eschew all low morals and should make progress in high moral values. He should behave towards his fellow beings with courtesy and sympathy and should cultivate true fidelity and sincerity towards God Almighty. He should constantly seek occasions of beneficient service. He who combines all these qualities in himself is alone righteous. The possession of any one of these qualities would not entitle a person to be accounted righteous unless he possesses collectively all of them. It is only these concerning whom it is said: No fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve (7:36). What more would they need? God Almighty becomes their guardian as it is said: He safeguards the righteous (7:197). The Holy Prophet has said: God Almighty becomes their hands with which they grasp, and becomes their eyes with which they see, and becomes their ears with which they hear and becomes their feet with which they walk. In another hadees it is stated that God has proclaimed: He who bears enmity towards a friend of Mine should become ready to contend with Me. Still another hadees declares: When anyone attacks a friend of God, He pounces upon him with the fierceness with which a tigress pounces upon one who seeks to deprive it of its young. (The Promised Messiah). ********************** Revelation is a means of salvation We have been created for a great purpose which is the true understanding of God, andon that understanding depends our salvation. It delivers us from every impure and doubtful way and leads us to the edge of a pure and clear river. It can be acquired only through Divine revelation. When being lost wholly to our ego, we dive deep with an eager heart into an unattainable Being, our humanness having appeared in the court of Godhead returns with some signs and lights from that world. Thus that which the worldly ones look upon with contempt is the only thing which brings a long-separated one in an instant to his Beloved and bestows comfort upon the lovers of the divine. It ••elieves a person suddenly of all types of egoistic limitations; till that true light “>nds upon the heart it is not possible that it should be illumined. The •’ion of human reason and the limitations of current knowledge bear the need of revelation. (The Promised Messiah). AHMADIYYA MUSLIM MISSIONS AFRICA: BENNIN P.O. Box 69, Portonova. GAMBIA P.O. Box 383, Banjul. Tel: 608 GHANA P.O. Box 2 3 2 7 , Acc ra (OSU New Es ta tes ) . Tel: 76845 IVORY COAST Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, 03 BP 416, Ad jamc- A bid Jan 03. KENYA P.O. Box 40554, Nairobi (Fort Hall Road). Tel: 264226. 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During more than eighty-one years the message of Islam has been conveyed through this magazine to hundreds of readers and many fortunate persons have recognised the truth of Islam and accepted it through studying it. The articles published in it deal not only with the doct- rines and teachings of Islam but also set forth a comparative appreciation of the teachings of other faiths. One of its outstanding features is the refutations of the criticism of Islamic teachings by orientalists and non-muslim scholars. It also presents solutions in the light of Islamic teachings of the problems with which the Islamic world is from time to time confronted. A study of this magazine is indispensable for the appre- ciation of the doctrines of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the teachings of its holy Founder. Printed by Unwin Brothers Limited, The Gresham Press, Old Woking, Surrey Published by The Review of Religions, The London Mosque, 1 6 Gressenhall Road, London, SW18 5QL