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Editorial

Religion has everything to offer our world today, as it did to those societies to which earlier prophets were sent. Those who accepted them benefited manifold, but why is it that those who proclaim to follow the same prophets today appear to be in such a state of disharmony? Whilst there is no denying the nobility of prophets or their teachings or even of the early followers of such prophets, what is often overlooked is that the achievements of those religions was nothing but the achievements of the early followers – for they were the shining examples of what their religions taught. What we see in the main today are hollow personas, soulless shadows of those followers that are so far removed that the exemplary characteristics the early followers possessed can hardly be made out. It is as if religions have become a brand, with people proudly showing off their labels without any care of whom the labels are attached to. The objective of religious people today should not be that of becoming proud of one’s religion, but to make his religion proud of him – it is a struggle of spirituality and h u m a n i t y. The religious standard has been set by the prophets who founded them, now it is the duty of everyone who chooses to follow to attain that standard so that he can be considered worthy of being referred to as a Jew, Muslim etc. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), did just that and became an exemplary follower of the Holy Prophet(sa) to such a degree that he himself was blessed with prophethood. The blessings, however, did not end there – for through him the flame of spiritual guidance was re- ignited so that those who cared to follow him would also share in the blessings of his nearness to God. Very few ever 2 Review of Religions – October 2002 Editorial attain such nearness, but just as the moon offers itself as a guide for even the most wayward traveller, the blessings of prophethood is a blessing for all. The life of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) was a timely reminder that religion and religious advancement was not just the preserve of people of a bygone era, rather it was a permanent challenge to mankind – to strive to succeed in it and then reap the benefits in this life and the h e r e a f t e r. If mankind truly understood religion and what it stood for then it would realise that the path to making sacrifices for the sake of God lies wide open – a path along which the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous had all journeyed in search of God. The path is one of unity and as we enter the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims should seek to revive the spirit of unity within themselves and with people of all faiths. Ramadan is an opportunity to make progress so that we can witness the real peace that religion has to offer the world today as it has done so in the past. Even if it brings us closer for a while then it is a worthwhile effort, and if we can be closer for a while, then who knows, perhaps it can spur us to be closer for longer. Fareed Ahmad 3 Editorial Review of Religions – October 2002 In this edition, for the convenience of non-Muslim English readers, (sa) or sa after the word the Holy Prophet or the name Muhammad, are used. They stand for salallahualaihiwasallam, and abbreviated as ‘sa’, meaning peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or as after the name of all other Prophets is an abbreviation (meaning, peace be upon him derived from alaih salato-wassalam) for the respect a Muslim readers utters.