Declaration of Faith

Declaration of Faith (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) The Pakistan Government took upon itself to make the unjustifiable decision that Ahmadi Muslims are kafirs (non Muslims). Allah alone is fully aware of the truth and is able to know what is in the heart of a person. If a person in all sincerity proclaims himself to be a Muslim no man on his own accord can say he is not a Muslim. A person may be a good Muslim, a bad Muslim or a misguided Muslim; but no body has the right to tell him that he is not a Muslim. The meaning of “Muslim” is one who resigns himself to the will God. How many Muslims are there who do, in fact, totally resign themselves to the laws of Islam? When a person is not a true Muslim himself then who is he to tell another Muslim that he is outside of the pale of Islam? Mohd Ali Jinnah the Founder of Pakistan said: “Whoever recites the kalima is a Muslim.” Ahmadi Muslims recite the same kalima (declaration of belief) as other Muslims. It is exactly the same. It appears that the present Government of Pakistan no longer agrees with Mohd Ali Jinnah. The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement declared on oath: “I swear by the Glory of God and His Majesty that I am a faithful Muslim, and believe in Allah the High, in His angels, in His Books and His Messengers and the life after death. I believe that our Prophet the elect of Allah, on whom be peace and blessings of Allah, is the most eminent of the Prophets and is Khatam un Nabiyyen, the Seal of the Prophets.” (Hamamatul Bushra). It should be well understood that Ahmadi Muslims are and will for ever remain Muslims—servants of Allah-—until the end of the world. Ahmadis believe that in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was fulfilled those prophecies in the Hadith concerning the coming of Imam Mahdi. If other Muslims do not accept his claim to be the Promised Messiah 39 or Imam Mahdi that is their concern. We are Muslims. Ahmadis believe that Muhammad (peace be on him) was the last prophet with a shariat (revealed law) as taught in the Quran “khatam un Nabiyyen”. That prophets can appear as followers of Muhammad (peace be on him) bringing no new teaching is not contrary to Islamic teachings. In fact this belief has been proclaimed by eminent Muslim scholars throughout the centuries. The Mother of the faithful Hazrat Ayesha said: “Do not say that there will be no prophet after him (Muhammad) but say that he is Khatam un nabiyyeen (Seal of Prophets) (Muslim Vol 2). Commenting on this saying of Hazrat Ayesha Hazrat Imam Mohammad Tahir (A.H. 914-986) explained that it does not conflict with the Prophet’s status as a Prophet in as much as there would be no such prophet as would change the shariat. (Takmilah Majmaul Bihar p. 85). Hazrat Shaikh-i-Akbar Mohayyuddin Ibne Arabi who was a great divine in the middle ages of Islam said: “In so far as the law-bearing prophethood is concerned it has verily ceased and terminated in Muhammad (Allah bless him) and therefore there is no law giving prophet after him; but Allah has in His graciousness to His servants continued general prophethood without the law bearing elements.” (Fursal Hikam). According to these great divines the door to non-bearing prophethood after the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) has not been closed. There are others also who have testified to this truth. If Ahmadis are to be condemned as kafirs because they believe a non-law bearing prophet can appear after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) then those who condemn them will also have to declare these former saints and divines of Islam as kafirs. Hazrat Ayesha would also have to be included. Ahmadis have been declared as non Muslims because they believe that a prophet without a shariat can appear for the purpose of guiding people back to the pristine pure teachings of Islam. Their opponents assert that no prophet of any kind can come after Muhammad (peace be on him). Ahmadis do not care for their pronouncements of kafir because nowhere in the Quran does Allah Himself permit them to be called kafirs. According to our detractors Jesus has been alive in heaven for the last two thousand years and is to return again on this earth. Was not Jesus a Prophet? In one breath they say no prophet can appear after Muhammad (peace be on him) and in the next breath say the Prophet Jesus will come again! If they proclaim Ahmadis to be kafirs because they do not believe in the complete finality of prophethood in the appearance of Muhammad (peace be on him) 40 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS then they must also admit that they are kafirs—non Muslims—for believing Prophet Jesus is yet to come. They claim no prophet of any kind—former or new-—can come after Muhammad (peace be on him) but at the same time they believe in the coming again of a prophet—the prophet Jesus. We call upon all Muslims of good sense, tolerance and fair mindedness to ponder calmly over this matter. Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood. Bigotry is foreign to Islamic conduct. Let it be known without a shadow of doubt that Ahmadis are indeed Muslims and most devoted Muslims. The Holy Quran states that in the sight of Allah what distinguishes one person from another is his or her degree of righteousness. Keep this always in mind. Allah is our Judge. He knows who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim. Instead of taking satanic delight in calling other Muslims kafirs it would be better if those people take a look at themselves and see to what extent they are manifesting the high teachings of Islam in their own lives. SIGNS OF THE CREATOR “Do they not look up to the heaven above them, how We have made It and adorned it and it has ho gaps. And the earth We have spread it forth and cast upon mountains and We have made to grow therein of all beautiful kinds. To give sight and as a reminder to every servant who turns (to God) again and again! And from the cloud We send down water abounding in good, then we cause to grow thereby gardens and grain that is reaped, and the tall palm trees having spadices closely set one above another. It is a sustenance for the servants, and We give life thereby to a dead land; thus is the resurrection.” (1:6-11). “Who created death and life that He may try you—which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving; Who created the Seven heavens alike; thou seest not incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent God; then look again, canst thou see any disorder? Then turn back the eye again, thy look shall come back to thee confused while it is fatigued.” (LXVII, 2-4). “In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the clouds, then gives life with it to the earth after its death, and spreads in it all kinds of animals, and the changing ‘of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, these are signs for a people who understand.” (11,164). What is Islam? Islam literally means Peace, surrender of one’s Will; and to be in amity and concord. The significance of the name Islam is the attainment of a life’ of perfect peace and eternal happiness through complete surrender to the Will of God. The Quran — the Holy Book of the Muslims — interprets it to be the religion whose teachings are in consonance with human nature. Islam, as the Quran has stated (5:4), is the completion of the religion inaugurated by God in the beginning of the world, on His sending the Quran through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). As a child is taught his alphabet, so God taught the religion to the world gradually and little by little, by sending His prophets at different times and to different peoples. When the world reached that stage of understanding when it was ready for the final lesson, He sent the last and complete Book through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). This Book not only corrects the errors which had found their way into various religions, but preaches the truths which have not been preached before, on account of special circumstances of the society or the early stage of its development. At the same time it gathers together in itself the truths which were contained in any Divine revelation granted to any people for the guidance of men (The Quran 98:4). Lastly, it meets all the spiritual and moral requirements of an ever advancing humanity. This is Islam which is wrongly called Muhammadanism. According to Islam, the object of man’s life is its complete unfoldment. Islam does not support the idea that man is born in sin. It teaches that everyone has within him the seed of perfect development an’d.its rests solely- with a person himself to make or mar his fortune. We created’man in the best make says the Holy Quran (95:5). The cardinal doctrine of Islam is the Unity of Godhead. There is none worthy of worship but the one and only God, and Muhammad is His Prophet. He is free from all defects, Holy and Transcendent. He is All Good, All Mercy and All Power. He has no partner. He neither begets nor is He begotten, because these are the traits of frail and weak humanity. Furthermore, Islam helps us to establish a permanent relationship with God and to realise Him during our earthly life as our Helper in all our affairs and undertakings. This Unity of God is the first and foremost pillar of Islam and every other belief hangs upon it. Islam requires belief in all the prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucious and Zoroaster. We regard them all (and many more not mentioned here) as heavenly teachers born to reform and regenerate maiyand lead him to God. Adherents of some other religions may consider it an act of piety to use disrespectful words and heap abuse on the prophets of other religions, but if a Muslim were to show the slightest disrespect towards the founder of any other faith, he does so at the cost of his own faith. He has to utter the respectful benediction Alaihis-Salam (peace be on him) after mentioning the name of every prophet. Thus Islam establishes peace between all religions. The REVIEW of RELIGIONS The Review of Religions is the oldest magazine of its kind published in the English language in the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent. Its first issue was published in 1902 and it has been continuously published since. It bears the distinction that it was initiated under the direction of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah himself. 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 doctrines 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 appreciation of the doctrines of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the teachings of its holy Founder. Printed by The Eastern Press Ltd, London and Reading Published by The Review of Religions, The London Mosque, ISGressenhall Road, London, SW18BQL