Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

French Translation of the Holy Quran (Kenneth Yusaf Khan) We render thanks to God Almighty for having given us this unique opportunity or presenting the French Translation of the Holy Ouran with an exhaustive Introduction, while still retaining the original Arabic Text for better facility. The Holy Ouran, as might have been well known, is the Holy Scripture of the Muslims, and is meant as the source of guidance for their religious, social, cultural and moral behaviour. This Holy Book was revealed by God to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace), during a period of 23 years, in the early 7th century C.E., in the Arabic language and since then has had a profound impact on the lives of the Muslims in particular and humanity in general. Since Arabic is not the language in most countries, it is imperative that in order to be able to grasp any sort of understanding as to the teachings which God Almighty wishes to convey to humanity, it should be translated in other languages so as to shed its light on the widest of horizons. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam has undertaken a massive programme in the field of the translation of the Holy Ouran into various languages. Some of those which have been published are English, Urdu, Danish, Punjabi, Swahili, Indonesian, Dutch, Esperanto, German etc. and now it is our pleasure to launch the French Translation of the Holy Text. There have been some who have already translated the Holy Ouran into French, but they were in the majority not Muslims, who for the greater part, with a few exceptions, based their translations on existing Translations and Commentaries rather than on the original Arabic. By virtue of these situations it becomes imperative that there exists the need for a fresh Translation, which will combine the uniqueness of the Arabic language and a thorough knowledge of the teachings which the Holy Ouran intends to convey. The Holy Ouran as we have it today, is the same as it was in the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (on whom be peace). This fact is attested to by many eminent orientalists. Sir William Muir being one of them, states in his Life of Mahomet: FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY QURAN “There is otherwise every security, internal and external, that we possess the text which Muhammad himself gave forth and used.” (p. 127). 31 A special feature of this presentation is that it incorporates an exhaustive Introduction which is also published separately. This Introduction was written by the Second Successor of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam and is very helpful to the study of the Holy Ouran and to the understanding of its teachings. In the Holy Ouran proper, we have the original Arabic side by side with the translation. This system is maintained in order that there would not be any deviation from the original Arabic Text or any attempt to interpolate it, since it is intended to be preserved in its original purity for all time. (Holy Ouran 15:10). Another unique feature of this presentation is that its Index is well documented for easy reference of desired topics. In the numbering system which is employed, the first verse in every chapter where Bismilla hir Rahman nir Rahim occurs is numbered as the first verse of the chapter. The printing and binding are of very good quality and there is every likelihood that it will withstand very rigorous use for which it is intended. The Holy Quran is a treasure-house of unlimited knowledge and wisdom in every field of endeavour. By following the teachings contained in it and by applying them for the benefit and welfare of humanity, tremendous progress is the virtual outcome. Students of religious history are aware that in the early days of Islam, it spread with such rapidity that kingdom after kingdom annexed themselves to the fast-growing and mighty empire. In the early days of their glory, the Muslims excelled and led the field in every branch of science and learning. The nations of the world turned to them in quest of solving their problems. Institutions of every form were established in the Muslim world and the religion of Islam held sway in almost half the then known world. The flower of their glory was Spain whose reputation reached far and wide. When Europe was in the dark ages and when they considered bathing a heathen custom, Muslim Cordoba, with a then population of 800,000, had running water and 300 public baths. It also had 10 miles of paved and lighted streets which was to be enjoyed seven centuries later by London and Paris. Muslim Spain produced many reputed and renowned scholars and scientists of world-fame. The names which readily come to mind are Ibn Rushd (1128-98), whom the West knows as Averroes, hailed as the greatest philosopher of Islam, Mohyuddin Ibn AI-Arabi (1165-1240), perhaps the 32 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS greatest of all Muslim mystics and Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), the most penetrating of all Muslim historians. The architectural grandeur developed by the Muslims stood second to none. Inspired by the beautiful teachings of the Holy Ouran, the Muslims of Spain built magnificent buildings and the Mosque at Cordoba along with the AI-Hambra – The Red Palace – at Granada which stand as monumental witnesses to this period of history. When the Muslims lost their glory in Spain, the Mosques and Palaces were converted into Cathedrals, Churches, Museums etc. When the world famous Mosque at Cordoba, which was the seat of learning in Europe, was converted into a Cathedral, Charles V, then King of Spain, was invited and shown the finished Cathedral. His famous remark stands as a fitting tribute to the architectural genius of the Muslims. He said: “You have destroyed something which exists nowhere to create something which could be found everywhere.” Cordoba University attracted students from all over the then known world and was acknowledged as the seat of learning. Compendiums which stand as the basis of modern science and learning were developed and given to the world by the Muslims through the study of the Holy Ouran which provided the light from which such study was made possible. The Muslims established vast libraries and at the time of the infamous Spanish Inquisition, in the time when Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Muslim Spain, more than 400,000 volumes of the most valuable literature were burnt and destroyed by the conquerors as a reprisal against the Muslims. These valuable contributions of the Muslims to learning and science were housed in the 70 libraries in Muslim Spain. By virtue of the teachings contained in the Holy Ouran, the Muslims scaled the heights of scientific achievement and progress. A famous prayer taught in the Holy Ouran is: “0 my Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (20:115). The seeking of knowledge was enhanced by the Holy Prophet of Islam (on whom be peace), who enjoined his followers to seek it even if they have to travel to China in search of it. In his reply, on behalf of the Physics Prize Winners, to the Banquet Address of His Majesty the King of Sweden, in the great and glittering Banqueting Hall of Stockholm, Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, the first Muslim Nobel Prize Winner and himself a member of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam said: “The creation of physics is the shared heritage of all mankind. East FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY QURAN and West, North and South have equally participated in it. In the Holy Book of Islam, Allah says: “No incongruity canst thou see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again: Seest thou any flaw? Aye, look again, and yet again, thy sight will only return unto thee confused and fatigued” . (67:4-5). This, in effect, is the faith of all physicists, the faith which fires and sustains it; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze.” 33 The Holy Ouran has placed great emphasis on the acquisition of the mastery of nature through scientific knowledge as much as on the creation of knowledge. It says: “Allah it is Who has subjected the sea to you that ships may sail thereon by His command, and that you seek of His bounty, and that you may be grateful. And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; all this is from Him. In that surely are Signs for a people who reflect” . (45:13–14). In respect to technology, the example of David is set forth in the following: “And We made iron soft for him, Saying, ‘Make thou full-length coats of mail, and make the rings of a proper measure’.” (34:11-12). Precision is here emphasised and it is a fact that the Muslims have developed many sciences with the utmost of precision. Also emphasised in the Holy Ouran are the harnessing of wind-power (34:13), modern means of transportation to the degree of going beyond the confines of the heavens and the earth (55:34), astronomical discoveries of great magnitude (81:12), harnessing of water-power (55:20–21), etc. etc. When scientists shall discover that there are worlds other than our own, then the Holy Ouran’s truth shall become more manifest. It declares that Allah is: “Lord of all the worlds”. (1:2). The manifestation ofthis truth is slowly being unravelled by science and the day seems not far off when the world will be startled with the discovery and then mankind will fully realise the value of the Holy Ouran. One of the cardinal teachings of the Holy Ouran, is that when the world begins to sink in the abyss of sin, immorality, vice, and strays away from the 34 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS ways laid down by God for the good of mankind, God out of His love and concern for humanity, raises prophets from time to time, among all the nations of the world (10:48, 13:8). In this context, we believe in and accept Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, David, Solomon, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Confucius, Muhammad and the vast body of prophets numbering more than 100,000 some of whose names are recorded for posterity in the history of religions, while some have been obscured and obliterated through the passage of time and/or total destruction of some civilisations. These Prophets and Messengers of God gave glad tidings and warned their peoples of the grave consequences of rejection. Some of these Prophets were given Laws, while others followed the Law which preceded them. One of the former such Prophets, was the Prophet Moses, while one of the latter type Prophets was Jesus. In like manner, God sent the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace), with the Holy Ouran as a Law-Giv!ng Book. There are so many aspects in which one can dilate about the Holy Ouran, but we shall look into only one more aspect. The particular truth we would like to point out and which is not even mentioned by historians and scriptures of the time and which remained hidden until unfolded to the world by the Holy Ouran and which was discovered only recently, is the state of the body of the Pharaoh in the time of Moses and the Children of Israel at the crossing of the Red Sea, when the Children of Israel were taken out of captivity from the bondage of the Pharaoh in Egypt. It has been believed that the body of the Pharaoh perished with his hosts when they were in pursuit of Moses and his people, but the Holy Ouran has told us, more than 14 centuries ago, that his body has been preserved (10:93). This proves that the Holy Ouran is not the work of any man, since this knowledge was never in vogue. In conclusion, we would like to say a few words about the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. As pointed out before and known quite well by students of religion, that the Muslims reached the zenith of glory and this was due to their attachment to the Holy Ouran, but after having attained this peak, their glory started to erode due to petty jealousies, intrigues, quest for personal power and the acquisition of wealth and fame. Tyranny and oppression were the consequences. Dictatorship and fanaticism took the place of justice and freedom. In effect, the Muslims took the deep downward plunge from their lofty ideals. So rapid and so disastrous was their fall, that history fails to record such an eventuality. This was, as a result of their turning their backs upon the teachings of the Holy Ouran. The Holy Ouran attests to this when it says: FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY QURAN 35 “And the Messenger will say, ‘0 my Lord, my people indeed treated this Ouran as a discarded thing”. (25:31). From this state of abysmal darkness and desolation to which they have descended, the Muslims were meant to rise once again from the ashes. All religions of the world and their followers have been predicting that in the last century a Promised Redeemer known by various names, was expected. Prophecies upon prophecies were quoted to justify the time of the advent of the Promised One. Coincidentally, all the calculations of the different religions point to the last century. Judaism, Christianity and Islam were not to be outdone. This Promised One did appear as was expected. He was born in a small and remote village to which access for communication to the outside world was miles away. This little hamlet is in the Province of Punjab in India. Its name is Oadian. This Promised One was a humble recluse. His name was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and he was bestowed the title of Promised Messiah. He was born in 1835 and died in 1908. Witnessing the pitiable and tragic circumstances in which the Muslims of his time were passing through and the scurrilous attacks which were made upon the fair name of Islam from all quarters, most especially the vilification of the person and character of his master and guide, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, the desecration of the Book of God, the Holy Ouran and the scum which was being heaped upon the Muslim world, he undertook an exhaustive vindication of Islam in all its ramifications. With the publication of the first volumes of his magnum opus, which he aptly named Brahin-i- Ahmadiyya, he was hailed from all sides of the Muslims as their Redeemer. He enjoyed this only for a short while and like all the prophets before him, he too was destined to face the same fate of rejection, opposition and persecution. In 1889, he announced that God had commanded him to organise his followers who had pledged allegiance to him into a community and in 1891, he announced to the world that he was that Promised One who was being awaited by all the nations and religions of the world and that God had commissioned him as the Promised Messiah. He continued, day in and day out, in the defence and presentation of all the beautiful ideals of Islam. His pen flowed with great rapidity. His writings are the most valuable exposition of the teachings of Islam. He unearthed such pearls and gems from the Holy Ouran that sent shock waves in the realm of religions. In short, his writings are the most treasured and potent commentary of the Holy Ouran, thus he caused to flow a new dimension of the understanding of the Holy Ouran and gave to the world a unique interpretation of its message. 36 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Since he was the commissioned one of God in this age, he was bestowed by God, the knowledge of the intricacies of the most complex and subtle points which he explained with the greatest of ease. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam founded by him is now to be found in most part of the world working towards the achievement of lasting peace through Islam and serving humanity in general. After his death he is being succeeded by Khalifas and today we are under his Fourth Successor through whose auspices the present Translation was accomplished. We are happy to pcesent the launching of the French Translation of the Holy Quran with Introduction, praying all the while that it be the source of deliverance of many and that it continue to shed its light so that darkness of every kind may be obliterated. Amen. And our last prayer is: All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Jubilee Issue Readers will be pleased to know that a special Jubilee issue of the Review of Religions will be issued in March 1989 in commemoration of the centenary of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam founded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad -the Promised Messiah. Suggestions for making this issue a great success are most welcome. Literary contributions are also invited which should be submitted for consideration by 31st December 1988. Cover Design Readers with an artistic touch are invited to submit a cover design for the Review of Religions.