Book Review

43 BOOK REVIEW JESUS LIVED IN INDIA Author: Holger Kersten Publisher: Element Books: Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset Limp Cover, Pages 242 : Price: not stated The life of Jesus after his supposed resurrection from death has been a subject of controversy for many centuries but the theory of his emigration to India which first came to light with the claims of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, generated a new interest in the question. For nearly a century, the entire question was suppressed by the threat of inquisition but in recent times, scholars of Christology have begun to show more courage in their dealing of this question. One such scholar, Holger Kersten retraces the steps of Jesus’s life in his excellent research, Jesus lived in India. The first chapter of the book discusses ‘the unknown life of Jesus’ and the discovery made by the famous Russian explorer, Nicolai Notovitch who found references to the Israelite prophet in the Gnopes preserved in the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. The author then details his own expedition to India and the evidences he discovered substantiating the theory of Jesus’s emigration, life and death in the northern hemisphere of the sub-continent. The book traces the existance of Israelite posterity in India, particularly in the state of Kashmir, the tomb of Mary in Muree (Mari), Pakistan and also the tomb of Jesus Christ at Khanyar Street in Sirinagar, India. This excellent work is based upon extensive literary research. The authors own expeditions to northern India verify many of his opinions and leave a conclusive impression that Jesus must have travelled to and lived in India. 44 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS One basic deviation from established facts however, is the authors theory that ‘at the age of thirteen, Jesus must have followed the Silk road towards India and studied Buddhism before embarking upon his own ministry, This hypothesis is based upon the author’s findings of a unique similarity between the teachings of the Buddhist Gnopas andthe Gospels. Whereas the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement believed that the influence of Christ’s teachings was made to prevail over the Gnopa’s , Kersten expresses an opinion that Christ was influenced by the teachings of Buddhism. On the whole, the book is an excellent piece of research and although it involves some very heavy reading on occasions, it is positively a valuable addition to the large volume of books already available on the topic, PROGRESS OF AHMADIYYAT — THE TRUE ISLAM The study of history shows that those who are vilifying and persecuting are subsequently put in the- position of those who have been vilified and persecuted. No amount of misrepresentat- ion or vilification or persecution has ever succeeded in destroying a community more particularly a religious community. Remember this that whatever circumstances a man passes through, those are meant for his preparation and his training. I firmly believe that our community is at present passing through a course of tribulation by way of preparation for the obligations that are bound to be laid upon our shoulders as time passes, and for the functions that we must discharge if we are to be torchbearers of truth and the spiritual leaders of mankind. In order that we should carry this message to the uttermost ends of the earth we must be tried, persecuted and vilified and put to all sorts of inconveniences and annoyances and troubles and if we are able to bear that vilification and persecution, we shall have discharged the obligation laid upon us. We cannot fit ourselves for out great task until we pass through that fire. It is necessary that we should qualify ourselves by service. Persecution will purify us and outward good work help us to serve the best interest of mankind as torch-bearers of enlightenment for the human race. (Sir Zafrullah Khan) 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 and it 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 man and 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 Religion is the oldest magazine of its kind published in 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 then eighty-six years the message of Islam has been conveyed through this magazine to millions of readers and many fortunate persons have recognized the truth of Islam and accepted it through its study. 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 refutation 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 Raqeem Press, Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey GU10 2AQ, U.K. Published by The Review of Religions, The London Mosque, 16 Grcsscnhall Road, London, SW 18 SQL

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