The Nature of God

Light of Islam

Light of Islam (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) Since time immemorial God has raised prophets in different parts of the world to guide the people for whom they were sent on the path of God. Today the majority of Europeans who subscribe to religion are affiliated to one of the numerous denominations of Christianity. They give little attention to other religions perhaps on account of having no contact with them or else they are disillusioned by the misconstrued presentation of them by ignorant and adverse critics or even by the failure of their adherents to exemplify the pure teachings of their faiths. Islam is often described as the most misunderstood of all religions. Islam means “peace” or “the resignation to the Will of God”. A Muslim, therefore, should be one who strives to obey the laws of God as expounded in the Holy Quran and to establish peace and good-will with all. He should endeavour to manifest the attributes of God within himself always turning to the noble and inimitable example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) who was an embodiment of the Holy Quran. The contents of the Holy Quran were revealed intermittently to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) during the course of his twenty three years’ ministry in Arabia from 610-632 A.D. It contains the complete and final divine law of guidance for mankind and also provides important knowledge about the past, present and future. Within it is a great prophecy which foretells that the Holy Quran would be protected and preserved in all ages in its original entirety. The fulfillment of this prophecy makes it unique in this respect in as much that the revealed scriptures of earlier religions have all been subjected to interpolations of one kind and another. Professor Noldeke, a renowned German Orientalist, has written: “Efforts of European scholars to prove the existence of later interpolations in the Quran have failed” (Encyclopaedia Britannica). As the Holy Quran is the final revealed guidance for all ages God has in His Infinite Wisdom willed that its text shall for ever be preserved and safeguarded against any kind of alteration. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) lived and preached in Arabia. During the comparatively short period of his ministry he wrought a miraculous transformation in the hearts of the idolatrous and debauched Arabs of that era. They forsook their idols and with melting hearts turned to LIGHT OF ISLAM 45 and worshipped the One True God-Allah. Lovers of wine they shunned it like poison and with the same resolution they abandoned gambling and so many other vices. They underwent a spiritual metamorphis under the holy influence of the Prophet who so inspired them with the sublime teachings of Islam. No wonder George Bernard Shaw wrote in admiration that Muhammad (may peace be on him) was the most successful of all the prophets. It has always been that messengers of God are reviled and their teachings distorted and misconstrued by their opponents. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was no exception. He has been and still is maligned by religious bigots and ignoramuses whereas in truth his holy and unblemished character shines supreme among the elect of God. Verily he was a Messenger of peace who strictly adhered to the teachings of the Holy Quran which forbids transgression: “Allah loves not the transgressors” (2:191). However in the same quoted verse fighting is permitted against an aggressor. It was only on such occasions during his life that he and his followers became engaged in combat against those who were first to take up the sword against them in their abortive efforts to exterminate Islam. Otherwise Islam breathes the love of peace, and the establishment of brotherhood among mankind was the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was, indeed, the light of the world for unlike preceding prophets who were sent only to particular tribes and nations, the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be on him) was sent for all mankind (34:29). On the other hand Jesus, for example, categorically declared: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Among all the prophets the role of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was distinctive in this respect. Islam seeks to unite the whole human race into one bond of brotherhood. All are the children of God whatever be their race or colour. Degree of righteousness is the hall-mark of distinction which is judged and rewarded by God: “Verily the most honourable in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous among you”. (49:14). A Muslim is expected and encouraged to develop virtue: “Vie, then, with one another in good works” (2:149). When Muslims congregate in the mosque for prayer the high and low, rich and poor, worship side by side. No place may be reserved. The highest official of the land must occupy whatever empty spot he may find at the time of his arrival. One of the cardinal teachings of Islam is belief in the Unity of God Who has no partner: “Say, He is Allah, the One. Allah the Independent and Besought of all. He be gets not nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him” (112:2-5). This indeed has been the teaching of all revealed religions in the past only to be innovated later. The Holy Quran says about those who uphold the doctrine of Trinity: “They surely disbelieve who say Allah is the third of three, there is no God but the One God” (5:74) All praise and worship is due 46 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS to God Alone. He is Merciful, Compassionate and the Effacer of sins. He is Omnipresent and the Hidden but manifests His existence through heavenly signs as the moon reflects the light of the invisible sun. Articles Published During 1987 Jan/ Feb Guide Posts Deeds and Results Commentary on the Bahai Faith True Islam Egypt and Freedom of Religion Current Affairs Astronomy in the Quran Alcohol Kitab of Lithuanian-Polish Tartars Mar/ April Guide Posts The Counsellor The Caste System Efficacy of Prayer Among the Believers Persecution of Religious Minorities Post Crucifixion Travels of Jesus Current Affairs May/June Guide Posts The Founder of Sikhism Focus on the Shroud Some Misconceptions About Islam in the West Human Rights Son of God Holy Scriptures Examined Book Review 48 July Guide Posts Seeking God REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Curb on the Freedom of Religion in Pakistan The Mahdi Islam And Russia – 1 August Guide Posts The Concept of Islamic Society Surrogate Mothers Islam and Russia – 2 Mission of the Holy Prophet A Real Life Drama Islam and Revelation September Guide Posts The Prophecy Plot – 1 Women in Islam Islam and Russia – 3 Reason and Revelation Audience with Allah The Evidence Personal Statement October Guide Posts Principles of Islam The Prophecy Plot – 2 Advent of Imam Mahdi Islam and Russia – 4 November Editorial Guide Posts An Analytical Study Islam and Russia – 5 The Prophecy Plot – 3 A Brief Life Sketch of Prophet Moses Faith in Prayer Jesus Died in Kashmir Press Release December Editorial Guide Posts ARTICLES PUBLISHED DURING 1987 Islam and World Peace Cultivation of Islamic Values The Spiritual Aspect of Life French Translation of the Holy Quran Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan Scientific Outlook of the Holy Quran Light of Islam Articles Published During 1987 49 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 publish,ed 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-five years the message of Islam has been cOl”!veyed 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, 16 Gressenhall Road, London, SW1850L