Communism Prophecies

Islam and Russia

Islam and Russia (Dr. Qazi Muhammad Barkatullah) Islam Islam is the name of the religion preached by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) who appeared in Arabia fourteen hundred years ago. Islam comes from the Arabic word “Salam” which means “peace”. Islam also means “complete submission” i.e. complete submission to the will of God. The follower of Islam is known as a “Muslim” which means peaceful and submissive. A Muslim, therefore, in submission to the will of God, has to devote his or her life in establishing peace on earth. One who follows Islam believes in making peace. Islam, as a religion for mankind has been chosen by God Almighty (Holy Quran 5:4). Almighty God is the “Source of Peace” (59:24). The Holy Quran leads into the “the path of peace” (5:17). The Holy Prophet Muhammad says “Begin your conversation with peace”. The greeting of Muslims to one another is “peace be on you.” When the ignorant address them, they say “Peace” (25:64). Peace shall be the greeting of those in paradise (10:11). Peace, peace will be the words heard in paradise (56:27). Also, the goal to which Islam leads is the “Abode of Peace” (10:26). It is, therefore, quite clear that the follower of the religion Islam believes in peace and peace only. Islam, as such, is the religion where one finds peace. With the passage of time Muslims lost their hold and grandeur which once they enjoyed spiritually and otherwise. They fell into a state of spiritual humiliation. In the thirteenth century of the Muslim calendar, such deplorable degradation reached its climax. A Messiah Cum Mahdi was restlessly awaited to bring back the spiritual uplift of the Muslims. The earthly and heavenly signs were being fulfilled for the appearance of the expected one. Under these circumstances, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, born at the appropriate time in the small town of Qadian, India, was raised for the rev!val of Islam. Hazrat Ahmad proclaimed that in him all the prophecies concerning the Advent of Promised Messiah Cum Mahdi (Rightly Guided) had been fulfilled. ISLAM AND RUSSIA 35 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Abmad came to know in 1880 A.D. that he was the Promised Reformer but he did not form any organisation immediately. It was, however, 22 March, 1889, under the directions of Almighty Allah that Hazrat Abmad formally’established an organisation to bring 6ack the glory of Islam. The Ahmadiyya Movement was then established for the propagation of Islam. The Advent of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Abmad marks the beginning of a new era in bringing back the glorious days of Islam. Almighty Allah graciously revealed to Hazrat Ahmad: “Rejoice! your time for your wish to be fulfilled has approached near and the feet of the followers of Muhammad (Peace be on Him) will (once again) be firmly established on the path of Light.” (Translated from the original revelation in Persian). The rise of Islam is now clearly associated with the efforts and activities of the Abmadiyya Movement because the Ahmadi Muslims are the true followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and urged to follow righteousness as prescribed in Islam. Hazrat Ahmad declared without reservation: “We are Muslims by the Grace of God.” Muhammad (peace be on him) is our spiritual Leader and Guide. Abmadi Muslims proclaim and sincerely believe in the Kalima: “There is none worthy of Worship besides Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger. ” It is evident that the Ahmadiyya Movement has been established to propagate Islam. Islam will be triumphant over all religions in all parts of the world through the evangelistic activities of the Ahmadiyya Movement. By the Grace of Allah, the kingdom of God will be established on earth through the sacrifices and efforts of the Abmadiyya Movement in Islam. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Abmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi passed away peacefully on the morning of May 26, 1908. He was succeeded by Hazrat Maulana Noor-ud-Din with the title Khalifatul Masih. The Ahmadiyya Movement continued the propagation of Islam during that time. After his demise Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Abmad was elected Khalifatul Masih 11. He was the Promised son of the Promised Messiah. During his lifetime the Ahmadiyya Movement gained universal momentum and the branches of the Movement were established in many parts of the world. However, at the time of his election, some of the followers of the Promised Messiah did not pledge allegiance to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih 11, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Abmad, and left Qadian. They established their Headquarters in Lahore under the name Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishat-e- Islam. The name has now been changed to Ahmadiyya Anjuman, Lahore. 36 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The partition of India into India and Pakistan occurred in 1947 during the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih 11. The Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Movement had to be moved to Pakistan, temporarily in Lahore and then to Rabwah. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih 11, passed away peacefully and on November 8, 1965, his son Hazrat Hafiz Mirza Nasir Ahmad was elected Khalifatul Masih Ill. The propagation of Islam continued through his lifetime. He passed away peacefully and then on June 19, 1982, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, another son of Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad Khalifatul Masih 11, was elected Khalifatul Masih IV. The election of the Khalifa is apparently conducted by people but actually the members of the electorial college have the guidance of Almighty Allah in making their decision. Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifatul Masih IV is now Head and Imam of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. This is an auspicious period, for a long awaited prophecy has once again been fulfilled. The prophecy is as follows: “It is also said that he (the Promised Mesaih) shall die and his kingdom (spiritual) will descend to his son and grandson”. (Talmud, New York, Collier and Sons, 1901, p. 34). Russia Rus was the original name of the state where Russia took its start. Earlier written records about Rus and its people come from 6 A.D. However, eastern salvs who established the state had made their appearance much earlier. There have been academic discussions for the name Rus. Some say that Rus is of Slavic or Scandinavian origin. Nevertheless, some contend that the territory was named Rus after the river known as Ros. During the 8th and 9th centuries (C.E.) the settlement in. the East European Plain began to unite and the land of Russia was being born. Thus in olden days Russia appeared in the warmer, brighter, wider deciduous regions near Kiev which was one principal city of Rus. About 988 (C.E.) Christianity was established in its orthodox form as the state religion of Rus. Then writing began to spread and churches as well as monasteries sprang up in Russia. The Russia of 10th to 12th centuries (C.E.) was a strong and progressive Christian state. In the thirteenth century, the hordes of Changiz Khan over-ran Russia from the East. Later, his grandson Batu Khan conquered the country and thus Russia was dominated by Tatars f()r about a century and defeated by Taimur in 1395 A.D. Taimur conquered Armenia, Georgia, Asia Minor, India and established a vast empire with Samarkand as its capital. After Taimur’s death in 1405, the vast empire began to disintegrate into separate principalities. The rulers began to war among themselves. A campaign to unify them began in ISLAM AND RUSSIA 37 Moscow, a city first mentioned in Chronicles in 1147. But it took another century before the principal Russian lands were united by 1521. A title of Tsar, for the first time, was assumed by Ivan IV the Terrible, in 1547. A limited form of monarchy known as Government by Estates’ was then established. The passage of law in 1597 went in hand with the rise of absolute monarchy in” Russia. The country was undergoing a transition from Government of estates to autocratic rule. The economic and political portions of the gentry were strengthened under the 1649 Code. Peasants with all their kith and kin were made the property of the Landlord. A peasant could be separated from his wife and children, sold like cattle or flogged to death. Fugitives were then pursued regardless of any time limit and when captured faced a death penalty. The increased oppression led toa peasant revolution. During the 18th century, absolute monarchy was firmly established in Russia continuing through the reign of Peter I (the Great) who was given the title of Emperor, in 1721. He founded a new city St. Petrograd in 1703 and transferred the capital there. It seemed that the absolute monarchy of Catherine 11 (1762-1796) was unassailable. But during her reign the Fourth Peasant revolution occurred which lasted for two years. During the reign of Alexander I, Russia was invaded by Napoleon in 1812. At the first stage ofthe war Russia had to retreat; but then the tide turned and Napoleon was defeated. Russia’s first railway which linked St. Petersburg and Moscow came into operation in 1851. Peasant disturbances continued in Russia and cases of army unrest became visible. December 1825 saw the first revolutionary action against Tsarism. It was led by progressive officers, members of nobility and gentry. They came to be known as Decemberists. The death of the reigning Tsar Alexander I hastened the uprising. According to the secret plan the insurgent regiments were to seize the Tsar’s residence, The Winter Palace, but nothing materialised. The new Tsar Nicholas I had the square surrounded by loyal troops and the insurgents were mowed down by gun fire. A revolutionary situation was shaping up in Russia culminating in the Manifesto of February 1861 which abolished serfdom in Russia. That date opened a new chapter in the history of Russia. Then Russia entered into the epoch of capitalism which lasted from 1861 to 1917. During the first forty years of capitalism in Russia, large scale industry was developed. The indigenous Russians became victims to the capitalist and feudal methods of exploitation of labour. Then principal groups of the working people found the emergence of a unified anti-colonial movement led by Russian workers. That made it easier for the national liberation movement to be included in the nationwide struggle against Tsarism and imperialism. A group of revolutionaries emerged known as Narodniks or the Populists. They regarded the peasant as the chief figure in the emancipation struggle. 38 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The Populists wanted to abolish the autocracy and the class of landlords, and to put an end to capitalism. Unsuccessful attempts were made eight times on the life of Alexander who was eventually, killed in a bomb explosion in March, 1881. Alexander III became Tsar and his reign lasted from 1881 to 1894. In the early nineties workers staged group strikes. Another kind of revolutionary then emerged. They turned from the Peasant Socialism preached by the Populists to the Proletarian Socialism founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Marxism then became social thought in Russia. However, the task of applying Marxism to Russia fell to Lenin whose real name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. Lenin’s father was an educator. Lenin passed his examination in Law and wrote some books. Lenin founded The League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the working class. It marked the beginning of a new period in the emancipation movement in Russia. The workers then came to replace the intellectuals as the leading revolutionary force. The party later split into two branches. The Bolsheviks who were the followers of Lenin and the Mensheviks who supported Plekhanov and Martov. Nicholas 11 had come to power as Tsar in 1894 and was mercilessly executed in 1917. Japan started war with Russia on June 26, 1904, ending with a peace treaty on August 23, 1905. Russia lost Port Arthur and South Sakhalin and recognised Japan’s dominant interest in Korea. According to the Bolsheviks, the war demonstrated the rottenness of Tsarism, exposing its anti-popular nature. The discontentment with the regime became widespread among the Russian population. The Tsarist government was particularly harsh in dealing with the members of the Bolshevik party. The revolutionaries had demanded the confiscation of the estates of the landlords. The Tsar had failed to resolve any of the conflicts that had led to the revolutionary storm. There were series of serious strikes and the discontentment against the Tsar was quickly spreading among the working class. However, many members of the Bolshevik party, including Lenin, had been driven into emigration or put behind bars. Thus the leadership of the Soviet was seized by the Bourgeois party. It was then resolved that “It was only a Bourgeois government that could replace Tsarism.” A Bourgeois Provisional government was formed on March 2, 1917. Late that day Nicholas 11 abdicated as The Tsar, Emperor of Russia. The popular revolution had won but the revolutionary struggle launched by Lenin continued. On March 27, 1917, Lenin left Switzerland where he had been hiding since 1914. Having returned to Petrograd, Lenin raised the slogan “All Power to the Soviets”. The Provisional government ordered the arrest of Lenin and he was compelled to hide again. In early October 1917, Lenin illegally returned to Petrograd (the name of the capital had earlier been changed from St. Petersburg to Petrograd) and personally directed an army uprising. It was ISLAM AND RUSSIA 39 victory for the Socialist Revolution (October 24-25, 1917) in the Soviet Russia. The State Bank, industry and railways were nationalised. Foreign and domestic loans contracted by Tsaris and Provisional governments were anulled. Production and distribution of products came under Control. Basic principle to make living was introduced: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat” . Moscow was made the capital ofthe Russian Federation on March 12, 1918. The U.S.S.R. was established on December 30,1922. The Soviet Union is the successor to the Russian Empire of the Tsars following the 1917 revolution. It is still generally called Russia. It’s population is third in size after China and India. Geographically it is a vast land. Time difference between eastern and western boundaries is 10 to 11 hours. Then dusk falls in the West it is dawn in the East. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill: “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery”. However, the Russian people want to be quoted correctly. The type of image which other people have about Russia is given in a story told by a Russian journalist: “It seems a woman from Britain came here on a tour of Moscow Zoo. But when she passed the exhibit with a camel, the British woman stopped and exclaimed: Ah, you poor horse! What have those Communists done to your back”. Ahmadiyya Concern: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, may God bestow on him long and healthy life, recited the Holy Quran, AI-Imran verses 111-112 in his Friday sermon on November 21,1986. He devoted a portion of his address explaining that the followers of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) are endowed with three distinctive features – which make them better than other people. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV elaborated on the first characteristic which makes Muslims better than others which is that they do not ask others to serve them but rather feel obliged to serve mankind at large irrespective of race, colour or creed. The second distinctive feature is that Muslims always persuade others to do good and abstain from evil. By good and evil here simply mean the universally regarded good and evil characteristics of any nation, religion, anywhere and in any part of the world. The third feature which makes Muslims better than others is their firm belief that Allah is One, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. The third feature distinguishes them from people living in Russia where the concept of “no God” is vogue these days. Thus Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV pronounced that according to the Holy Quran the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) are certainly the best people for they are raised for the good of mankind in as much as they seek pleasure in serving 40 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS mankind, they ask others to do good and stay away from evil. Also, they believe in God. Ahmadies, being the true followers of the Holy Prophet of Islam, have a challenge to meet in the criteria of being the best people raised for the good of mankind. They should be at the service of mankind, ask others to do good and abstain from evil, and also proclaim the Oneness of Allah throughout the world. It is therefore the genuine interest and concern of the Ahmadiyya Movement that people living in Russia should also come to the fold of one God. The Ahmadiyya Movement is the torch bearer of Islam. It is a matter of time, God willing, that the people of the Soviet Union will accept Islam through the preaching activities of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Long ago an Ahmadiyya missionary was sent to ~ussia but he was put in prison and ill-treated for a long time. He was k~pt in captivity for two years and two months then pushed across the border out of Russia. There has been secrecy surrounding the Russian Society, but tecently Mr. Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, has 9penly condemned the party mistakes of the past. It appears that he is determined to introduce key changes in the Soviet system. And this is a very healthy sign. There are certain prophecies that the people of the Soviet UI!ion will be blessed with belief in One God through the missionary activities of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Promised Messiah, prophesied that a day will come when the Czar of Russia would meet a tragic end. In those days the Czar of Russia, Nicholas 11, was enjoying full power. But, later on, the prophecy was fulfilled when the Czar was first forced to abdicate. And then . the Czar, the Empress, Tsarevich, (crown prince) and Tsar’s four daughters were mercilessly murdered by Bolsheviks. There are other prophecies of the Promised Messiah about Russia awaiting to be fulfilled: “I see the spiritual sceptre of Czar in my hand.” This is, Islam will overcome all other religions in Russia. (Tazkira, Urdu, p. 458). “I see innumerable members of my organisation in Russia like granules of sand.” (Tazkira, Urdu, p. 813). The prophecies will certainly be.fulfillC?d, but in the words of the Promised Messiah: ISLAM ANiJ RUSSIA “This matter is of revelation from God And will come to pass without reservation. But you have to wait for sometime by Being patient, righteous and enduring.” 41 (Tazkira, Urdu, p. 540).

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