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Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine

The records of the first Greek historian, Herodotus (484 BC – 408 BC) are beautiful annals of the civilisation and an excellent penned narrative. Its first Greek to English translation was published in 1858 by George Ranson (1812 – 1902), an ancient history professor at Oxford. In the first chapter, he describes the Persian customs and rituals in an interesting way by stating that the King of Iran used to train his sons between the age of five and twenty in only three things: horse riding, archery and truthfulness. A yearning to propagate the truth on an international scale The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) Qadiani, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, was the descendant of the famous Persian royal family ‘Barlaas’. Being of Persian blood, not only were the attributes of honesty and truth an integral part of his nature, but he had the a heartfelt desire of spreading the truth throughout the world. Hence, immediately after acquiring the status of Messiah from God Almighty (in December 1890), he announced in January 1891 in his book Victory of Islam (p.18) that the All-Wise and All- Knowing God had sent this humble person into the world to attract it to truth and righteousness. He prophesied: ‘The truth will triumph and a fresh and bright day would dawn on Islam just it had dawned in the past and the sun would rise in its full perfection.’ (Victory of Islam, p.15, 1st edition). 7Review of Religions – November 2002 Review of Religions: A 100 year History of the Magazine By Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid – Historian of Ahmadiyyat Written specifically for this edition: translated from original in Urdu by Ateya Rana and Fauzia Bajwa The same year, pursuant to the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s(sa) prophecy that the ‘sun shall rise from the West’ (Tirmidhi Abwaabul Fitan), the Promised Messiah saw a vision disclosing its reality. In the spiritually loaded and revolutionary words of the Promised Messiah(as): ‘What was disclosed to this humble one through a vision is that the sun rising from West means that the Western countries which had been engulfed by the darkness of infidelity and ignorance, will be illuminated by the sun of truth, and they will have a share of Islam. I saw myself standing on a rostrum in London revealing the truth of Islam through well reasoned arguments in the English language. Afterwards I caught many birds sitting on small trees. Their colour was white and their bodies were like those of partridges. Therefore, I interpreted this to mean that even though not me, yet my writings would spread amongst those people and many righteous Englishmen would become the prey of truth. In fact, the connection of the Western countries with religious honesty had hitherto been very rare. It is as if Allah gave knowledge of religion to the whole of Asia and secular knowledge to Europe and America. The chain of prophethood also remained with Asia, as did the benefits of consummate sainthood. Now God Almighty wants to encompass these people with His divine mercy.’ Azala-e-Auhaam pp 515-516 Second Edition published Dhul Hijjah 1308AH corresponding to July 1891. Revelation Concerning a Great Revolution in Western Countries The Promised Messiah( a s ) further clarified: When the people of the West shall enter into Islam in troops, a great revolution will occur in religion. And when this sun will rise to its zenith in the Western countries, then only those on whom the door of repentance is closed will remain bereft of Islam, that is to say, their nature is not at all in accordance with Islam. (Azala-Auhaam, p.517 ibid). In the same year, on 27th December 1891, the Ahmadiyya community held its first annual convention at Qadian, Dar-ul- 8 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Amaan [The Centre of Peace]. Its main objective was highlighted through an advertisement on 7 December 1891, as follows: ‘One of the exigencies of the Convention is to put forward sound policies for the religious benefit of Europe and America. It is a proven fact that the fortunate people of Europe and America are getting ready to accept Islam but are alarmed by the religious divisions in Islam. Thus, recently I received from an Englishman a letter which stated: “You show mercy towards all living beings but we are also humans and deserve mercy because we have accepted Islam. But we are still ignorant of its true and correct teachings.” Therefore brothers! Understand it well that this group is getting ready for us. God never abandons any sincere one outside a community. With Allah’s command and wish, the blessings of truth will attract them all to this side. Allah has decreed this in the heavens and no one can change it.’ A Magazine for Europe and America The next step towards the fulfilment of this universal task was taken during the following year’s convention on 23 December 1892. In the proceedings of this convention, it is written: ‘On 28 December 1892, respected guests gave their suggestions for the religious benefit of Europe and America and it was decided that a magazine setting out the complete teachings of Islam and reflecting the beautiful features of Islamic beliefs should be compiled and printed. Many copies should be sent to Europe and America…. In future as well, the purpose of these yearly conventions should remain the same, i.e. that proposals should be put forth for the propagation of Islam and as an act of kindness for the new Muslims from America and Europe… To achieve these objectives and for various other administrative purposes, a committee was established. Hadhrat Maulwi Nooruddin Sahib Bhairwi was appointed as the president and Mirza Khuda Bakhsh Sahib as General Secretary. Respected tutor Janab Khan Sahib, Mr Muhammad Ali Khan, Chief Maleer Kotla, and Sheikh Rahmatullah Sahib, Municipal Commissioner Gujarat, Munshi Ghulam Qadir Sahib, Vice President and Municipal Commissioner Sialkot, and Maulwi Abdul Kareem Sialkoti Sahib were elected as members.’ (A’yeena Kamalaat Islam, p.14, appendix) 9 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 10 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The first ever issue of the Review of Religions The following year, in 1893, the Promised Messiah( a s ) wrote about the glorious future of the propagation of Islam in the West and the victory of Islam over the latest findings of the West: ‘Just observing the attacks of science over religion in this age when there is a state of war between the two, one should not become disheartened and wonder what to do. There can be no doubt that in this war, Islam does not need to appease itself as the beaten and humiliated. Rather, it is the time of Islam’s spiritual sword just as it had shown its physical might once. Remember this prophecy that soon the enemy in this war will lose with disgrace and Islam will be victorious. No matter how furious the attack by science and whichever new instruments of war it resorts to, the end result is its defeat. I say with gratitude that I have been bestowed the knowledge of Islam’s superior powers. Through this knowledge I can say that Islam will not only defend itself from the attacks from modern philosophy but will prove the confronting knowledge to be no more than mere ignorance and backwardness. The kingdom of Islam has no fear for these attacks from science and philosophy. The days of Islam’s good fortune are nigh and I perceive the signs of its victory visible in the heavens. This prosperity is spiritual and the victory is also spiritual so that the powers of false knowledge are so weakened by the Supreme that they eventually vanish.’ (A’yeena Kamalaat Islam, footnotes, pp.254-255) The Decision to Publish the Review of Religions In view of the foregoing, the Promised Messiah( a s ) decided to publish a magazine entitled, The Review of Religions for the Western world and placed the following advertisement on 15th January, 1901: 11 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 An Important Proposal In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful This fact had always been a cause of grave concern for me that all the truths, pure knowledge and satisfying strong arguments in favour of the religion of Islam and the ways to bring peace to the human soul revealed to me and that are still being revealed to me, have not yet 12 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 benefited the educated people of this country and the seekers of truth in Europe. This anguish was so great that it became unbearable. But Allah wants to complete my mission before I depart this transitory world. My final journey will not be one of disappointment. To d a y, some friends have turned my attention towards starting a magazine in the English language by publishing articles I had written in the support of Islam to serve the aforementioned purpose. It would also be possible to publish religious and secular articles written by others subject to our acceptance for publication. There are two matters worth considering in the publication of this magazine. First, who will be responsible for its management? And s e c o n d l y, what should be the source of its permanent funding. As for the first matter, we have chosen Maulwi Muhammad Ali, MA Pleader, and Khawaja Kamaal-ud-din, BA Pleader1, as the editors. The two gentlemen have accepted the position. The second matter is the capital. For that, there has been no concrete proposal so far. And this indeed is a serious matter that merits some thought. It seems advisable that a committee of members is established, this matter is debated and the best method is adopted. But let it be clear that I will not intervene in the administration of the finances. Perhaps it should be run on a commercial basis with participating shareholders as its members. The moneys would be deposited in a bank in the manner proposed and determined by the members. But since such matters cannot be settled through advertisements, I have thought it preferable that the day of Eid-ul-Azhia be chosen for this meeting. On that day, as far as possible, our friends should try to reach Qadian and the issue of how the capital is to be raised and employed can be deliberated by a majority decision of those attending this meeting. Everyone should be ready to give suggestions. Remember that this contribution would solely be on a commercial basis and that everyone who contributes would have his due rights in this business based on the capital invested. All aspects would be discussed during the meeting. This is not a charitable contribution but a sort of trade in which participation is limited to no more than religious support. Peace be with you. Any correspondence on this matter should be done with Khawaja Kamaluddin Pleader, Pe s h a w a r. (Advertised by: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian 15 January, 1901 published by Ziausalam Press Qadian Majmua Ishtiharaat Vol 2 pp 393-395 Shirkatul Islamiya Rabwah). 13 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The second issue of the Review of Religions Circulation of the Magazine In accordance with this blessed idea, The Review of Religions started in English, from January 1902, under the editorship of Maulana Muhammad Ali (MA)2 and then in Urdu, from March 1902. The English magazine was published since its beginning from Lahore, capital of the Punjab province. The first Urdu edition was published from the Faiz Aam Office in Lahore, but under the supervision of Hadhrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali [Turab Thum Arfaani], later editions were published from Anwaar Ahmadiyya Press Qadian. Initially, Maulwi Muhammad Ali was responsible for translating all the books of the Ahmadiyya community into English. (Al-Ansar, 4th October 1899). The Promised Messiah(as) stated in the Advertisement of 19th August 1899, ‘Amongst the foremost sincere members of our community is Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib MA who apart from his other abilities has passed his law examination…. and has translated many of my writings into English…’ Detailed Prospectus in the First Historical Volume: The first historical volume of the Review of Religions was published in January 1902. In this first issue, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib penned the prospectus of this new rising star as the first religious magazine in the history of Islam setting out the objectives of this magazine4. A Unique Sign of the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Guidance of the Messiah of the Age Since the articles published in this English magazine were based on the teachings of the Promised Messiah( a s ), within just a few months, the magazine established itself in an unassailable position of eminence and authority. Moreover, it also manifested itself as the sign of the Holy Spirit accompanying the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h(as) and his spiritual reformation. The eloquence of the articles published surprised many an Englishman. Some even 14 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 believed the editor to be an English research scholar kept secretly by the Founder of Ahmadiyyat. The English editor of C a l c u t t a R e v i e w, wrote an interesting review in the April, 1902 issue: ‘One word more and that to my friend Mirza. He will see from the above how he may be a true reformer among his own body and also have the sympathy and good will of Christians: by standing in, and occupying, the same position of Muhammad, as in his Quran. From the evidence of English idioms – peculiarly English and, never used by strangers, it is clear as daylight to anyone that his deliverance in this newly started Review of Religions are written or concocted by a European—an Englishman (herein again, curiously enough, reproducing exactly Muhammad and his Syrian Christian ‘Archangel Gabrael!’). To the European ‘behind the scenes’ we say, remember the old ‘Archangel Gabriel’s’ fate! His motive may be good but he is in a false way, and he can only come to hurt (though it may not be the sudden and compulsory death of his predecessor): let him take heed in time.’ (cited in Review of Religions, October 1902, p.390) Promised Messiah’s(as) Moving Message to the Faithful Members of the Community The following message of the Promised Messiah(as) was published in the Urdu Review of Religions, September 1903, as an appendix: ‘As my community knows, God’s real purpose in sending me is to remove all the misconceptions and misleading teachings of Christianity and to bring people from all over the world to the true religion. To achieve the above-mentioned purpose, also called ‘the breaking of the Cross’ in the traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa), an English magazine, the Review of Religions, has been started. It has been published in many areas of America and Europe and it has begun to influence many hearts. Its popularity exceeds expectations and people eagerly await each issue. But permanent funding for the publication has 15 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 been insufficient. If, God forbid, this magazine ceases to exist as a result of a lack of interest of this community then this would be a cause for mourning for the community. Therefore, I urge the sincere members of my community to provide as much support and financial assistance as may be possible for them. This world is a transitory place and when one fails to do one’s level best in performing a good deed, then the time gone by, never comes back. I observe myself that I have spent a large portion of my life and from divine revelations and my personal judgement it seems that little time is left. Therefore, anyone who will help me with my willingness in my presence and during my life, I am hopeful that he will be with me on the Day of Resurrection. I do not believe that whosoever will spend on these important projects will lessen his wealth; rather, it will be blessed. So one should rely on God and work with sincerity and enthusiasm, since this is the time to serve. Later on a time would come when even if a mountain of gold were to be spent for this purpose, it would not be worth as much. This is such a blessed time that the Messenger of God is amongst you and for whom people had been waiting for centuries. Everyday there are fresh revelations with glad tidings and God has repeatedly demonstrated that only that person would truly be considered a member of this community who spends from his wealth in the way of Allah. It is clear that you cannot love two things. It is not possible for you to love Allah and love your wealth. You can only love one. So fortunate is he who loves Allah. If someone from amongst you should spend in the way of Allah because of his love for Allah, then I believe that his wealth would be blessed as compared to others. Wealth does not come by itself but is provided through the will of Allah. Therefore he who leaves something from his wealth for Allah would surely find it. But he who out of his love of wealth, does not serve Allah the way he should, will surely lose his wealth. Do not think that wealth comes as a result of your efforts; rather, it comes from Allah. 16 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Do not think that by giving away a portion of your wealth or by serving [His cause] in any other way, you place Allah or His messenger under any obligation. It is He who confers His favour upon you by urging you to serve. I say with firm assurance that if you all leave me and avoid any help or service, then He would bring another nation who would serve Him. Do understand that this work is from heaven and that your services are for your own good.’ At the end, God’s messenger addressed the sincere friends of the community in the following anxious words: ‘I shall not stay among you for too long. A time will come that you will not see me. Many will desire that they had done something worthy in front of me. So at this time, avoid those regrets. Just as the prophets and messengers of the past did not stay with their followers, so shall I not remain with you. So appreciate this time. Were you to even sell your non- transferable property, it would still be disrespectful to think that you had rendered any service. You do not know that at this time divine mercy is passionate for the support of this religion and the angels are descending upon the hearts. The wisdom and intellect that is within you is not from you but from God. A strange series of enlightenment is sent down from heaven. So I say repeatedly that try your level best in this service. But do not think for a moment that you have done anything, for were you to do so, you would perish. All such thoughts are disrespectful. None perishes as quickly as the one who is disrespectful. I also say that do not slow down in other services while being engaged in this service. Foolish is he who does one good deed by rendering vain another good deed. He is worth nothing in front of God. Instead you should perform those good deeds and services just as well. Show an exemplary full effort in such new service. If 10,000 people of this community subscribe to the English or Urdu editions, then it would run according to one’s wishes. 17 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 And in my view, if those taking the oath of allegiance on initiation strive in this cause to do justice to their oath, then this number is not a lot. Instead, compared to the number of the members of the community, this is but a small number.5 Therefore, you the sincere members of the community! God be with you. Be courageous for this work. God Himself inspire your hearts for this is the time indeed for showing courage.’ (Review of Religions, (Urdu), September 1903) After reading the manuscript of this appeal some respected members of the community eagerly obeyed his instructions. Messrs Hakeem Muhammad Hussain Qureshi( r a ), Khawaja Kamaaluddin and Hakeem Fazal Din(ra) purchased ten copies each of the magazine. Many others followed suit and some sent eight to ten magazines to their friends in an effort to persuade them to buy. Dr. Muhammad Hussain Sahib(ra) showed an example of sincerity by donating the cost of fifteen English issues. In an appendix of the Urdu version of the Review of Religions, these people were mentioned after Promised Messiah’s(as) address. Names of other friends who responded to his call were also mentioned on the second page of the same volume. It is written: ‘On hearing of Huzur’s appeal some friends sent up to ten copies of the magazine abroad at their own expense, e.g. Hakeem Khawaja Kamaaluddin, Hakeem Fazaluddin and Hakeem Muhammad Hussain Qureshi. This is also worthy to note that foremost was the community from Pe s h a w a r. Then Dr. Muhammad Shareef(ra) from Qalaat who sent abroad one copy each at his personal expense without having been asked to do so. He was followed by the community from Amritsar and Simla, Sheikh Niaz Ahmad(ra), Jaan Muhammad, Shaikh Noor Ahmad Pleader(ra), Syed Abdul Rahman(ra) and many others followed…. and Nawab Mahdi Hussain(ra) agreed to pay the cost of 20 rupees for the religious magazine…. and later our friend Munshee Nawab Khan Sahib(ra), just after seeing the letter from the manager and 18 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 prior to any knowledge of Huzur’s message gave money to send 12 English copies abroad. Similarly, Mir Mardan Ali(ra) sent 4 English, and the Sialkot community sent 11 English and 1 Urdu copies at their own expense.’ The First Golden Phase of Review of Religions January: 1902 – May 1908 Influence on Southeast Asia and Europe As mentioned in the advertisement of the Promised Messiah(as), both the English and Urdu editions of this magazine achieved acceptance from their inceptive years. The Promised Messiah’s(as) persuasive thoughts and views translated into English by Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib started vigorous movements in many religious circles. Views of the Russian Philosopher Tolstoy Russia’s famous philosopher and writer Count Leo Tolstoy (9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910) is considered as one of the greatest men of the nineteenth century. In 1978, Tolstoy’s 150th birthday was celebrated with great dignity and enthusiasm in Russia. The famous Russian scholar Gorky wrote relating to his meeting with Tolstoy an article on his death in which he wrote in the last sentence: ‘I do not believe in God. For some reason, on seeing him [Tolstoy] under close scrutiny and with a sense of shame, I found myself thinking that this man is like God’. Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq(ra), the first Ahmadi missionary in the USA wrote: ‘This humble writer preached the Russian reformer Count To l s t o y during the Promised Messiah’s life. After the Promised Messiah’s demise and before leaving for abroad, I had the opportunity to 19 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 again preach to the famous Russian leader Count To l s t o y. The letter I wrote him is as follows: Your Highness! I read your religious views in the recently published British Encyclopaedia vol.33. I am glad that real gems can be found bowing to the manifestation of the true deity even in the darkness created by the concept of Trinity in Europe and America. Your thoughts about true ‘well being’ and prayer are exactly the same as of a true Muslim believer. I completely agree with you that Jesus Christ was a spiritual teacher but to consider him god or to worship him like a god, is the greatest disbelief. Furthermore, I wish to inform you with great pleasure that the discovery of the tomb of Jesus proves substantially that he died a natural death. The tomb has been discovered in Kashmir. This research has been publicised by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad( a s ), the greatest protector of the unity of God, and to whom the Lord Almighty has given the title of the Promised Messiah because he is replete in his love for the one true God. Allah appointed him, as a person from God, an inspirer and a reformer of the age and G o d ’s true messenger. God will bless all those who will believe in this prophet. Whosoever will deny him, will face God’s wrath. I am sending you in a separate packet, a picture of this holy person from God along with the picture of the tomb of Jesus. On receiving your reply, I would be glad to send you more books. I remain your well wisher. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of Qadian 28 April 1903. ’ The detailed response from Count Tolstoy was: ‘To Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, Dear friend! Your letter along with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s picture and a sample of the magazine Review of Religions has been received. To engage in the proof of the death of Christ or in the investigation of his tomb, is a futile effort because an intelligent man can never believe that Jesus is still alive…. We need reasoned religious teaching and if Mr Mirza presents a new reasonable proposition then I am ready to benefit from it. In the 20 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 specimen number, I approved very much two articles, ‘How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin’ and ‘The Life to Come’, especially the second. The idea is very profound and very true. I am most thankful to you for sending me this and am also grateful for your l e t t e r. Yours Sincerely, Tolstoy, from Russia. 5th June 1903.’ (Zikre Habib pp 399-401 published Qadian, First Edition, December 1936) Opinions of notable personalities of Europe and America We can only give a few of the opinions we had been receiving from time to time. Some of the opinions expressed by various readers from Europe and America are set out below as encapsulated in the Review of Religions in 1915: Mr. Muhammad Alex R. Webb, New Jersey USA [Mr. Webb is well-know to the Indian Muslims, and he himself started a Muslim religious newspaper in America some time ago which he had to stop for want of funds. His correspondence with us has been unbroken since this paper was started and he has often supplied us with valuable information regarding the free circulation of the Review in the U.S.A.]. His first letter runs thus: ‘I have received today three copies of the June number of the Review and like it very much…. It seems to me that it should be in the hands of every man who thinks at all. Its articles are well- written, thoughtful and clear expositions of spiritual truth. No honest, fair-minded man can read it without learning something of value to his spiritual and material welfare. I believe that it will be a powerful factor in shaping religious thought in the world and that it may be the means, ultimately, of breaking down the barriers which ignorance has raised before the truth and allowing it to shine forth in all its glorious effulgence before mankind.’ 21 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 In his letter dated the 26th November 1905 the same gentleman writes: ‘I beg to assure you that it always gives me pleasure to do anything, however small, for the propagation of Islam. I recognise in your magazine a most effective instrument for the advancement of truth and therefore I am pleased to be able to be of some service to you. The copies which you have sent to me I have loaned to those who promised to be interested, and when extra copies were sent to me, I gave them away so that they might circulate and produce some good. I know of some instances where they have awakened a spirit of inquiry but, of course, I do not know whether any paid subscriptions have resulted or not. The people of this country are peculiar. They spend money freely for those things which give them physical comfort and pleasure and which will advance their social position. The craze, the desire for social position is stronger here than in any European country because it is more easily obtained. Money will buy it readily. This is one of the greatest obstacles I have had to contend. There are thousands of Americans who, today would openly declare their devotion to, or belief in, the doctrines of Islam if they did not fear that it would result in social ostracism. Of course you will say that this is an indication that they do not comprehend Islam and are not sincere in their expression of belief. But it is not wholly so. It is due to the fact that their selfishness and moral cowardice are stronger than the prompting of conscience. I once asked a friend to subscribe to your magazine, but he replied: ‘I would do so gladly but you know my wife is an ardent and uncompromising member of the Methodist Church, and if I shall have the magazine in my house, it would make trouble.’ Again the people are suspicious. They will pour money into the hands of grasping, dishonest, ignorant, Christian priests and preachers and seem to be confident that the money will accomplish some goal. And yet when they are asked to contribute to anything anti-Christian, they fear that an attempt 22 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 is being made to cheat them. When I was publishing the beautiful and expensive ‘Moslem World’ eleven years ago at a very low price, I had few subscribers among the Americans. They looked upon the venture as a missionary effort and thought that the journal should be distributed gratis. And that was what I was compelled to do’. In a still more recent letter, Mr. Webb writes: ‘I would like to have the Review of Religions in the hands of thousands of Christians in this country for it is doing a glorious work and is carrying the light of truth to the world. I read it with the deepest interest as it represents the true Islam and not the erroneous conceptions of our holy faith that many so-called Moslems are following. I feel that it will ultimately bring forth magnificent results in this country and, therefore I am doing all I can to place it in the hands of those who have open minds and are sincerely seeking the truth’. Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam, Liverpool I always enjoy reading the Review of Religions. I consider it to be one of the most useful publications published in the interests of our Holy Faith. Professor M.H. Houts, MA (Professor of the University of Utrecht in Holland and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Islam) ‘Further I beg to express my most sincere thanks for the fourth volume of the Review of Religions which you had the kindness to forward to me. The contents appear to me to be extremely interesting.’ A.G. Tongue, Camberwell, London ‘I beg to acknowledge receipt of Review of Religions for which I thank you. I find they are very valuable for a student of Islam as throwing much light on what is for us here in the West unknown ground. It seems to me that in the West we have nothing like a real idea of what Islam and its teachings are. Your efforts and those of your journal fill a needed want and I wish you success in your mission and the blessing of 23 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 the Supreme on you and your work. Again, I beg to supplement my appreciation of the Review and to re-endorse my opinion of its value.’ Mrs. Addison, Warrenford, Northumberland ‘Allow me to thank you very much for sending me the Review of Religions. It is a very able magazine and I enjoy reading it – the articles are so fresh and from a totally unusual standpoint. I was a journalist myself for many years and I can appreciate ‘the best’ I hope in any religion. I have a great admiration for the writings and precepts of your inspired Prophet. Your article on Usury has my entire sympathy, and the remark that Christianity too much fosters ‘bending low to the world’ is only too true. I wish your very able magazine could expose the sporting cruelties to poor birds and beasts practised in England.’ Dr. M.W. Van Denburg M.D., Mount Vernon, New York ‘Through your kindness we have had a number of copies of the Review of Religions for which I desire to express my thanks. I have for a long time desired to get some first hand information regarding Islam at the present day, and was much interested in the contents of the various numbers of the Review.’ Benjamin Judkins Esq., San Diego, California ‘Your letter dated December 10 1904 was delivered on Saturday 13 and packet of Review of Religions on Sunday 5p.m, January 14 1906. I shall be glad to receive such literature in the Muslim faith as you may see fit to send from time to time…. I see no reason why peace, comfort and plenty should not cover the earth by the spread of knowledge of Islam.’ Djaffar Mortimore Esq., Birkenhead ‘I must thank you very much indeed for your kindness in sending the copies of the Review of Religions which are most instructive and interesting, and I shall be glad to receive as suggested the copies as mentioned in your welcome letter. I showed your letter to Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam and he suggested to me that I might catalogue them in the Islamic Library. I very much admire the simplicity of the arguments.’ 24 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Yehya-en-Nasir Parkinson Esq., Kilwinning ‘I beg to acknowledge and thank you for the copies of the Review of Religions so kindly sent me…. I have been for the past year taking copies of the paper from Luzac & Co., and I am exceptionally well pleased with it; you are doing good work and I wish you every success.’ N. Stephen Esq., Liverpool ‘I have to thank you for the numbers of Review you kindly sent me. I have read them with much pleasure and interest, and reserve them for a more careful reading as time permits.’ A.H. Macbean Esq, Kangra, India ‘I have read your magazine entitled the Review of Religions which is very ably written. I have been studying Islam for more than thirteen years and I have done my best to procure every book written on Islam in the English language whether by a Muslim or a non-Muslim author, so that I have now a library of Islamic literature. But I have not come across a single book in which Islam has been defended by a powerful hand as in your valuable journal.’ Newspapers The Crescent ‘The following exceedingly able article on the ‘Paraclete’ we cull from the columns of a monthly magazine entitled the Review of Religions.T h e August number of the Review of Religions published at Qadian, India, is full of interesting matter. The article refuting charges made by ignorant Christians with reference to our Holy Prophet, is one of the ablest we have ever read on the subject, and we cordially commend it to our r e a d e r’s attention.’ Al-Bayan, Lucknow: ‘The Review of Religions is the only paper which may be rightly called a truly Islamic paper. We have seen many numbers of it and we have not the least hesitation in saying that better papers than Almanar in Arabic and the Review of Religions in Urdu are not published in any language. The Muslims should be glad that in India is published a magazine of whose masterly articles learning is proud. So far as we understand it, the majority of Muslims have no knowledge of this paper, which may be due to the fact that it is issued from Qadian under the patronage of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.’ 25 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The Watan: ‘Though we disagree with the Ahmadis in their particular beliefs, yet we consider it our duty to write that this magazine is a paper of great worth. Its researches regarding Islam are as philosophic and deep as are needed in this age .’ Some More Views During the first year, many fortunate ones in India were influenced by the Review of Religions and accepted the truth. Having read the translation of the magazine in his own language, a Hindu friend from Madras arrived at Qadian wishing to visit the Promised Messiah( a s ). [A l B a d r, 21st November, 1902, p.29] Furthermore, the country’s Islamic newspapers published reviews on it. In the magazine Al-Bayaan from Lucknow, writes: ‘This is the best Islamic magazine of India.’ [Vol. 5 p. 260 Al-Bayaan] Other than newspapers, people also welcomed this magazine. Mr. McBlean (Palampur) wrote: ‘I have been reading about Islam for more than thirteen years… but so far I have never read a single book like your magazine in which Islam is supported with such power.’ [Review of Religions, Urdu, December 1905, Titlepage] Newspaper Millat from Lahore, wrote: ‘So far, all the excellent and incomparable essays of the magazine Review of Religions—which captured the attention of the European people because of Mirza Sahib’s style of reasoning—have created a commotion in European religious world and the priests seem to be in a state of mourning. These essays have saturated the hearts of a large number of Europeans with the spiritual spring of Islam. And its abundance is still continuing.’ [As cited in AlHakm 6 January 1911 p.14] 26 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Two Eye Witnessed Spiritual Incidents The Promised Messiah’s(as) friend, and Maulwi Muhammad Ali’s father-in-law, Dr. Basharat Ahmad Sahib(ra) (October 1876 – 21 April 1943) writes: ‘A landowner of Sargodha, Punjab, Chaudhry Hakim Ali Sahib(ra), who was an Ahmadi, started a free subscription to Review of R e l i g i o n s in English for Mr. Malcolm Healey. He was the superintendent of Sargodha (later called Sir Malcolm Healey who became the Governor of Punjab and then the Governor of U.P.). After a while, Chaudhry Hakim Ali met Mr. Healey who told him, ‘Your magazine has caused me great unease’. Chaudhry Sahib asked how and Mr. Healey replied, ‘When I read it, I am convinced that Islam is the only true religion and in this anxiety I do not sleep for several nights.’ Faqeer Iftikharuddin( a s ), Assistant Superintendent Rawalpindi, related a similar incident to me. This magazine was issued free to a respected English officer. One day he asked Faqeer Sahib to stop the magazine being sent to him. Faqeer Sahib asked for a reason and he replied, ‘When this magazine arrives I cannot avoid reading it. And when I read it, I cannot sleep at night as I am afraid that by not accepting God’s true religion I become a law-breaker of God.’ Mujaddad-e-Azam, p. 835, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam, Lahore, Vol.1,part 2, December 1940 The Living and Everlasting Blessings of the Magazine’s First Historical Phase Even though the first phase of the magazine Review of Religions spanned only a few years of the Promised Messiah’s(as) life (January 1902 – May 1908), it is very important to comment on it. The truth of the matter is that this magazine today has become a lofty spiritual tree, with God’s Grace and Blessings, and blossoms with countless flowers and is laden with the fruit of secular and spiritual knowledge, spiritual training and moral values. Filling the entire world with its fragrance, it is in fact a miracle of endless blessings and grace of that sacred age of the 27 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Promised Messiah(as). The blessed hands of the Messiah of the latter age sowed the seeds of this international garden, as he prophesied in 1903, i.e. in the second year of the magazine: ‘I have come to sow a seed. So my hand has sown this seed and now it will grow and blossom. And there is no one who can stop it.’ [ Tadhkarat-ush-Shahadatain, First Edition Vol.1, p.63, published November 1903] Second Phase: May 1908 – March 1914 The demise of the Promised Messiah(as) was, in a way, nothing short of a disastrous earthquake leaving not only the entire community shattered but also the Non-Ahmadis began malicious propaganda that the ‘Qadiani’ movement was finished. (Asr Jadeed, cited in Al-Hakam, 22 July 1908, pp. 1-2). The famous opponent Maulwi Sanaullah Amritsari wrote: ‘If the Muslims can, they should toss all books of Mirza not into the ocean but into a burning clay oven. … No Muslim or non-Muslim historian should ever mention these books in the history of India or the history of Islam.’ (Wakeel Newspaper 13 June 1908, cited in Al-Hakam, 18 June 1908, p.8 col.1). So much so that Delhi’s intellectual, serious minded and highly placed writer and religious leaders made the following recommendation to Ahmadis. ‘[They should] openly reject Mirza Sahib’s claims to Messiah-hood and Mahdi-hood or else there is every danger that without the discipline and intelligence of Mirza Sahib, the Ahmadiyya community would not be able to tolerate the tumult created by its opponents and its organisation would disunite.’ (Paisa Akhbar, Lahore 5 June 1908, cited in Badr, 18 June 1908, p.13 col. 2-3). In this regard the first manifestation of the Second Power 28 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 (Qudrat-e-Thania), Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I Maulana Noor-ud- Din Bherwi Sahib(ra) (1841 – 13 March 1914) had the following to say at the Annual Conference held in December 1908 (his first as Khalifa): Curzon Gazette is a newspaper published in Delhi. Commenting on the demise of Hadhrat Sahib (i.e. the Promised Messiah(as)) the Curzon Gazette has stated, ‘What is left of Ahmadis? They have lost their head. The person who is now their Imam can do nothing else but recite the Qur’an to them in some mosque.’ So be it, God Almighty; may I recite only the Qur’an to you. Report Annual Conference, Sadr Anjuman-e-Ahmadiyya Qadian, 1907- 1908, p.44) Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I had an exemplary love for the Holy Qur’an. During his Khilafat the Review of Religions—whose mission was to publish Qur’anic truths the world over—tore apart the storms created by its opponents and strode steadfastly on the path of progress. Whereas during this phase the Promised Messiah’s( a s ) miracles and translations of the Promised Messiah’s( a s ) writings on Jihad and in particular Paigham Sulh (Message of Peace) were published in the Review of Religions, many scholars wrote papers based on their research. Their writings further enhanced the stature and efficacy of this journal. Some of the other subjects covered included: • Existence of God • History of the propagation of Islam • A Complete Religion • Islam and the Status of Women • Islam and the Modern Society • Pilgrimage to the House of Allah • England in Britain • Islam and Slavery • Sikhism and Islam • The Lost Tribes of Israel • Contradictions and Christianity • The Messiah and the Cross • Christianity and Slavery • Ahmad, A Prophet of God • Press Review on the Demise • Nature of God of the Promised Messiah(as) 29 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 These important articles enhanced significantly the knowledge of the readers of that age. Amongst some of the prominent scholars who contributed articles were: • Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) • Qazi Abdul Haq, BA • Mr Mufti Mohammed Sadiq (ra) Editor Badr • Professor Ata-ur-Rahman, MA(ra) • Master Maulwi Mohammed Din Sahib BA • Dr. A. George Baker • Professor Raj Shahi from Bengal • Khalid Sheldrick Afridi • Maulwi Basharat Ahmad Sahib (ra) • Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din, BA, LLB6 • Mr Yehya EnNasir Parkinson • Maulwi Sadruddin(ra) BABT Headmaster Talimul Islam Qadian. In addition to these renowned scholars, there was one person whose Jihad of the Pen made the Review of Religions an outstanding specimen of religious and intellectual writings. This pious proof of righteousness was none other than Hadhrat Maulana Sher Ali BA(ra) (24 November 1875 – 13 November 1947. He became an Ahmadi in 1897). He worked tirelessly for the success of the magazine. He was the Headmaster at the Talimul Islam School in Qadian and as a special contributor to the Review of Religions he rendered a priceless service in the field of intellectual research, including rendering the Holy Qur’an into English: one of the best translations in the English language. A five part masterly thesis on the Mahdi was compiled during this time. In his advertisement of 10th October 1899, the Promised Messiah(as) mentioned some English writers in these words: ‘Many sincere members are knowledgeable in English such as Mirza Ayub Baig Sahib(ra), Brother Mr Mirza Yaqub Baig(ra), Mr Khawaja Kamaluddin 30 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 BA, Mr Khawaja Jamaluddin BA and Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) BA. In my estimation, they are all good. Allah maintain them as good-natured and may these people be ready for service at their times. In my opinion, Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) is good-natured, well mannered and peace loving and is like Maulwi Mohammed Ali Sahib and lives here in Qadian.’ (Advertisement 10 October 1899, Majmooa Ishtiharaat Vol.2 p.153) In the second year of the First Khilafat, Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) was appointed the Editor of the journal on 1 June 1909. Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib(ra) had the following to say in his report at the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian Annual Conference held on 25, 26 and 27 December 1910: ‘Upon joining Maulwi Sadruddin Sahib’s school, Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) BA, has joined the magazine. By contributing articles to this magazine even during his days as Headmaster, he helped from time to time. Now that all his time is free for this work, since 1 June 1909, Maulwi Sher Ali is fully responsible for editing the Review of Religions and the task of translation of the Holy Quran has been transferred to the Editor (i.e. Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib:Ed).’ (Report of the 4th Annual Conference, Sadr Anjuman-Ahmadiyya Qadian from 1 October 1908 to 30 September 1909 p.38 published under supervision of Munshi Faqirullah Sahib Magazine Qadian) As a blessing of the Holy Spirit accompanying the Promised Messiah(as) and his spiritual blessings, Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) became an exemplary English writer as is evident from each issue published under his editorship. English speakers were most impressed. Dr Muhammad Abdullah from Qila Subasingh testifies: ‘During the time of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I, Hadhrat Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) worked as the editor of the Review of Religions. Once two English persons came to Qadian and passed along the northern part of Hadhrat Nawab Muhammad Ali’s residence where at that time Hadhrat Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib(ra) was feeding his water buffalo. His collar was open and he was attired in simple clothes. One of the English officers requested Maulwi Sahib that they wanted to meet the Editor of the Review of Religions and asked where they could meet him. Maulwi 31 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Sahib volunteered to accompany them to his house and brought them to his own house and seating them in his sitting room said that he would call the Editor. Maulwi Sahib wanted to prepare tea and get better acquainted with his visitors but they insisted that he should take them there so that they could meet him in person perhaps en route. Upon this, Hadhrat Maulwi Sher Ali Sahib said, “I am the Editor of the Review’”. The two English officers were utterly dumbfounded and in their reflex admitted, ‘We thought that the Editor of this magazine was some Englishman.’ (Sirat Hadhrat Maulana Sher Ali Sahib(ra) pp 189-190 by Malik Nazir Ahmad Riaz, missionary) The Promised Messiah(as) states in a Persian couplet (translated): [O God] When you show your benevolence towards someone, you raise him in status from the earth to the heavens and like the sun endow him with thousands of rays so that seekers of faith do not remain in darkness. Third Phase: March 1914 – 1947 The third phase of the Review of Religions began on 14th March 1914, the day when Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) assumed the mantle of Khilafat. He was only 25 years of age and his formal education did not go beyond matriculation. As soon as he became Khalifa, the supporters of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya who held the reigns of the finances and administration of the Review of Religions and included the topmost English translators and writers left Qadian. They abandoned forever the permanent headquarters of the community and moved to Lahore where they created a breakaway Executive for their Anjuman. A vacuum ensued which not only threatened the existence of the magazine but the entire administrative system of the community. Only a few rupees were left in the coffers. Huzur gave voice to his concerns in the following couplet: ‘Create for me, through Your grace, my fellow travellers 32 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 For in this abode I am, my Dear, but a pauper.’ Kalam-Mahmud Resources were scarce and it was a time of great hardship. Huzur announced: ‘I swear by the Almighty God that I never wished to receive Khilafat from humans. Not only that: I never wished for God to make me a Khalifa…. though I am bewildered as to how He came to choose an unworthy such as myself. Be that as it may, He nonetheless has chosen me [for this position] and no human can remove this mantle from me, the mantle that he Himself has put on me. …. The Almighty God will be my Helper. I may be feeble, but my Master holds great power. I may be weak but my Master is strong. I am frail but my Lord is most powerful. I may lack the means but my King is the Creator of all means. I may have no helpers but my Lord will cause angels to descend from the heavens to help me.’ Al-Fazl 25 March 1914 (Qadian), footnote. Then on 12 April 1914, addressing Ahmadis gathered from all over India, he declared: ‘To be successful in the eyes of Allah we should convey the message of Truth [to the world]. Make appropriate plans to send preachers to every town, village and hamlet. Let the heavens and the earth bear witness that you discharged your responsibilities of conveying the message to the full. Secondly, we should send Callers to the Faith to every country outside India. I have no fear in saying that our objective is the propagation of Islam in the form and shape of the Ahmadiyya Movement. This is my faith. I have lived with the Promised Messiah(as) and have heard him saying, both within and beyond, that the propagation of Islam was what he preached. So propagate the Islam of the Promised Messiah(as). He mentioned himself in all his writings. Without mentioning him in our preaching we cannot present the living Islam. It is an error and a weakness to forsake the Promised Messiah’s way of preaching. A writing of the Promised Messiah(as) has been found. It is addressed specifically to Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib and it is: Badr, Vol.6 no.8 of 21 February 1907 p.4: On 13 February 1907, Maulwi 33 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Muhammad Ali Sahib was called and addressed by Huzur [the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s )]. He said that we desire that in order to discharge our responsibilities of conveying the message of Islam to the people of Europe and America a book should be written in the English language. This task is yours. The reason that Islam is not spreading in these countries and that even if a person becomes a Muslim, he remains a weak believer is that these people are unaware of the true reality of Islam nor has it been presented to them. These people have the right that the true Islam that God has made clear to us be shown to them. The superior teachings God has granted to this movement should be revealed to them. The signs and revelations of God should be presented to them. We should gather together all those matters that are integral to maintaining the dignity of Islam in this age. All the arguments that God has taught us in favour of the truth of Islam should be compiled. If in this way a comprehensive book is compiled then it can be hoped that these people would benefit greatly from it.’ Now, when the Promised Messiah(as)himself has instructed us on the method of preaching Islam in Europe, then what is the need for adopting a new method? Alas! The one, whom the Promised Messiah(as) considered most competent to undertake this task, has chosen another path. It is wrong to say that the Western people are not prepared to listen to us. I have received a letter that the West is ready to hear our message as there are many communities awaiting the advent of the Messiah in these very days. Likewise, some read the Review of Religions and write to us. We have received letters from Sweden and England. One person read an article about the arrival of Jesus in Kashmir and requested that it be published separately and that 2,000 copies should be sent to him. He would distribute it. This request came from either a German or an English person. There are such rightly minded people willing to hear, what is needed are the ones to address them! Up until today I have remained silent on the question of preaching in Europe. This was not because of indecision but because I wanted to tread cautiously. The people who have gone there know its conditions best. As I have not been there, I should remain silent. But some of those who have gone there inform us that the local people listen to discourses on the Promised Messiah(as) and that he should be mentioned during our preaching. Also, the Promised Messiah (as) himself said that our movement should be presented to the people of Europe. The interpretation of one of his visions is that his writing should reach those 34 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 35 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Review of Religions 1928-2002 September 1928 September 1928 – inside page March 1930 February 1953 36 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 May 1956 October 1957 November 1953 August 1955 37 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 September 1960 March 1961 March 1958 November 1959 38 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 January 1994 October 2002 December 1983 October 1991 lands. Having carefully considered all these factors I have reached the conclusion that our Movement should be propagated and that our preachers should go to foreign lands and Europe and tell the people of those lands that their religion is dead. It does not have the spirit of life in it. The only living religion is Islam and that the proof of its life can be found to this day in the fact that the Promised Messiah(as) was sent to this world. Hence, the message of this Movement should be conveyed there and where we cannot send people we should distribute small pamphlets and journals. ‘ (Mansab Khilafat, pp.20-22 first edition published Allahbux Steam Press, Qadian) With this mission, the Review of Religions continued its stride along the path of progress. Within a short period the network of Ahmadiyya missions spread in other countries of the world. People began to gather under the banner of the true Islam. The Review of Religions played an indispensable role in bringing about this great revolution. Intellectuals from Europe and America openly acknowledge the services rendered by this journal. For example: • Ahmad died in 1908; but the progress of the movement continued, and it has been recently estimated that its adherents now number perhaps 50,000. It also, has established its missionary outposts in the West, and publishes in English the Review of Religions in India, and the “Islamic Review” in England. An edition of the Koran in sumptuous form, with an English translation, and a commentary embodying the sectarian interpretation, has been begun. (History of Religion, Professor George Footmoor DD, LLD, LITT.D, p.520, New York Charles Scribner’s Son 1919). • ‘Its articles are well written, thoughtful and clear expositions of spiritual truth. It is doing a glorious work.’ (Alex R. Webb, New Jersey, U S A ) . • ‘Extremely interesting’. (Professor Houston, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Islam) . 39 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 • ‘ Western readers interested in the subject of the vitality of Muhammadanism should subscribe to the Review of Religions’ . (Review of Reviews, London). • ‘Every number is highly interesting and reveals the false conceptions regarding the Islamic faith that are proclaimed from the pulpit and the Press of these so-called civilised nations of the world.’ (Miss Mary A Hunt, Illinois, USA). The renowned Christian Missionary Zwemer came himself from America to visit Qadian in 1931. Having obtained a first hand look at the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Movement he expressed his views in the Church Missionary Review, London, as follows: We received a very warm welcome. We were invited to stay in Qadian for days rather than hours. We were well looked after. We saw all the important sites of Qadian, for example the printing press, the post office, the dispatch centre and schools. There is a zealous group concerned with publications and preaching. Not only is the Review of Religions published here, so too are three other magazines. London, Paris, Berlin, Chicago, Singapore and countries of the Near East are in regular correspondence with them. Small offices are filled with all kinds of encyclopaedias, dictionaries and anti-Christian literature. This is like a weapons store that can turn everything impossible into a possibility. It is a force that can move mountains. (Impressions of Qadian, by Mr Malik Fazl Hussain, pp. 197-198 First Edition 1938). The extent of the awareness of the Ahmadiyya community world- wide in this third era of the Review of Religions can be gauged from the following entry in the 1947 Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is published under the heading of ‘Islam’ and sub-heading ‘Recent Developments’. ‘In modern times the most important sectarian developments have been those of the Wahhabis (q.v.), the Babis (see BABIISM), and the Ahmadiyya. The last of these movements was started by Mirzã Ghulãm Ahmad, who, in 1879 began to preach in the village of Qadian in the 40 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 province of the Punjab, Indian. He claimed to be not only the promised Mahdi but also the promised Messiah— personages generally held to be distinct in ordinary Muslim theology. Another modification he introduced into Islamic doctrine had reference to the death of Jesus; the commonly accepted belief maintains that Jesus was taken by God alive into heaven, while a phantom was crucified in his place; in opposition to this he declared that Jesus was actually crucified, but taken down from the cross while still alive by his disciples, was healed of his wounds and afterward made his way into Kashmir, where he finally died, his tomb being still in existence in the city of Srinagar. Having thus removed the ground for any expectation of the second coming of Jesus from heaven to earth, he explained that he himself was the Messiah, not as being an incarnation of Jesus (for he rejected the doctrine of transmigration), but as having come in the likeness of Jesus—being Jesus for this generation just as John the Baptist was Elijah because he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. In proof that he had come in the spirit and power of Jesus, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad adduced the likeness of his own character and personality to that of Jesus, his gentleness of spirit, the peaceful character of his teaching, his miracles and the appropriateness of his teaching to the need of the age. In harmony with this pacific claim, he expounded the doctrine of Jihad (usually interpreted as meaning war against unbelievers) as a striving after righteousness. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died in 1908, and a few years after his death his followers split into two parties, one having its headquarters in Qadian and the other in Lahore. Both these sections of the community succeeded in enlisting the services of devoted, self-sacrificing men, who are unceasingly active as propagandists, controversialists and pamphleteers. They control an extensive missionary activity, not only in India, West Africa, Mauritius and Java (where their efforts are mainly directed towards persuading their co-religionists to join the Ahmadiyya sect), but also Berlin, Chicago and London. Their missionaries have devoted special efforts to winning European converts and have achieved a considerable measure of success. In their literature they give such a presentation of Islam as they consider calculated to attract persons who have received an education on modern lines, and thus not only attract non-Muslims, and rebut the attacks made on Islam by Christian controversialists, but win back to the faith Muslims who have come under agnostic or rationalist influences. 41 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 In this (1914-1947) thirty-three years period, some of the great and famous editors of the journal were: • Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib MA(ra). • Hadhrat Maulana Sher Ali Sahib(ra). • Hadhrat Maulwi Muhammad Din BA Sahib(ra). • Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Rahim Sahib Dard MA(ra). • Hadhrat Khan Sahib Maulwi Farzand Ali Sahib. • Hadhrat Malik Ghulam Farid Sahib MA. • Sufi Abdul Qadeer Sahib Niaz. • Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Ali BA, BT. This was a time of strife and struggle and bloody wars for not only the Indian sub-continent. The first and second world wars created an upheaval in many other countries leading to new problems and challenges in their wake. The world over, Islam became a target of criticism, so much so, that in some places the Muslims feared for their lives because of their faith. The mature and incisive writers of the Review of Religions faced these new challenges with valour and courage. In the intellectual war between the religions, these writers presented Islam in the light of the Promised Messiah’s insight and writings so that the true face of Islam emerged as clear as the sun. Some of the eminent scholars and writers in the period 1914- 1947 were: • Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad MA • Hadhrat Maulana Sher Ali • Hadhrat Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sial (founder of the Ahmadiyya Mission in England) • Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan 42 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 • Professor Ata-ur-Rahman MA of Bengal • Qazi Abdul Haq BA • Maulwi Muhammad-ud-Din of USA • Chaudhry Abul Hashim Khan Bengal • Hafiz Sufi Ghulam Muhammad (Mauritius) • Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq • Hadhrat Sufi Ghulam Muhammad • Maulana Abdul Rahim Sahib Dard (formerly Maulwi Rahim Baksh) • Syed Mir Muhammad Ishaq • Hafiz Roshan Ali • Malik Ghulam Farid • Qazi Muhammad Aslam • Chaudhry Muhammad Ali BA BT • Khalid Sheldrick • Dr.Maj.Chaudhry Muhammad Shahnawaz Khan • Abdur Rahman Mehr Singh BA • Mubarak Ahmad • Khansahib Farzand Ali of UK • Sufi Mati-ur-Rahman MA USA • Mr Abdullah R Scot • Sufi Abdul Qadeer Niaz • Chaudhry Muzaffar-ud-Din Bengal • Chaudhry Naimatullah Gohar BA • Chaudhry Nazeer Ahmad Bajwa • Syed Zain-ul-Abideen, Waliullah Shah • Dr. Badr-ud-Din, Borneo • Hakim Maulwi Fazl-ur-Rahman, Nigeria • Nawab Akbaryar Jang Bahadur, Hyderabad 43 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 • Seth Abdullah Aladin • Maulana Jalaluddin Sahib Shams, Khalid Ahmadiyyat • Seth Ali Ahmad Allahdin, Sikanderabad • Giani Abadullah (Scholar of Sikh literature) • Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad Bajwa BA LLB, Switzerland • Zahuruddin Butt Lawyer • Chaudhry Muhammad Sharif Bajwa • Maulana Nazeer Ahmad, Ghana • Chaudhry Abdul Salam Akhtar MA Naib Nazim Talim • Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Mazhar Advocate Kapurthala • Maulwi Noor Muhammad Naseem Saifi, Nigeria and former Raisul Tabligh West Africa. During this time, translations of the works of the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ) and Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) w e r e published. There were also statements and impressions of missionaries returning from abroad, such as Germany, Holland and America and narratives of persons who had recently accepted Islam. Subjects covered in the Review of Religions i n c l u d e d problems facing Muslims (e.g. in Kashmir and Palestine), reports from foreign missions, annual reports of the Qadian Annual Conference. Important historical events were also covered. The magazine was also interspersed with photographs of important personalities and events and with its general contents provided it with a meaningful acclaim of being an excellent magazine. The writings of the Promised Messiah and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II had a great influence on the ideas and thinking of the world and the Ahmadiyya community’s research scholars turned this world class publication into an encyclopaedia for the world of religion. To illustrate this point we present some of the articles published: 44 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 45 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The Concept of God in Islam Islamic Worship The Need for Religion Interpretation of Dreams The Early History of Islam The System of Marriage in Islam Mysticism Life After Death Salvation Angels The Islamic System of Khilafat The Sacrifice of Ishmael (as) Islam and Other Religions The Life of the Seal of Prophets Islam and the Weaker Sex Hadhrat Bilal(ra) Hadhrat Usamah(ra) Hadhrat Zaid(ra) Was Islam Spread by the Sword? Islam and International Relations Science and Religion Islamic Purdah Islam and the League of Nations Science and Religion Islam and Insurance The Library of Alexandria Islam:The Messenger(sa) of Peace and Reconciliation The Beauties of the Arabic Language The Islamic Law of Inheritance Islam and Drinking Christianity’s Misinterpretation of Islam The Philosophy of the Birth of Jesus without a Father Jesus’ Escape from the Cross Paul and Jesus(as) The Grave of the Disciple Thomas The Grave of Jesus (as) The Second Coming of Christ The Cross and Modern Science Introduction to the Bible Religion in Soviet Russia Introduction to the Ahmadiyya community Remembrance of the Beloved The Achievements of the Promised Messiah(as) The Ahmadiyya Community and Other Muslim Sects The Sign of the Eclipse of the Sun and the Moon The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the British Empire Sri Krishan(as) and the Veds Buddhism The Compilation of Guru Garanth Sahib The Fourth Phase: December 1951 – November 1965 With the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, this part of southern Asia went through a time of great danger and turbulence. Apart from the 313 dervishes left behind in Qadian the rest of the Jama’at avoided the murder and mayhem and tore through the conflagration that raged the sub-continent and migrated to the newly created Pakistan. Under the guidance and leadership of their beloved Imam Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II, the community had indeed been the vanguard for the struggle for Pakistan. The migration from the Ahmadiyya headquarters at Qadian gave the Movement the semblance of an uprooted tree. But by becoming a living sign of God’s powers, the community’s incomparable heavenly leader established within the next year (on 20 September 1948) the worldwide headquarters in Rabwah. Three years later, in December 1951, the Review of Religions was revived under the editorship of Mr Sufi Mati-ur-Rahman. After his death, Mr Chaudhry Muzaffaruddin was appointed editor and after him, from 10 February 1960 – 6 December 1967 Mr Syed Mir Daud Ahmad BSc., Principal Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah (the community’s theosophical seminary) had the opportunity to serve as the managing editor. Mr Syed Mir Daud Ahmad died on 23/24 April 1973. Maulana Sheikh Naseeruddin Ahmad, who also served in Africa and is a teacher at the Jamia, states: ‘I first became aware of the late Syed Daud Ahmad’s eloquence when he wrote an article in the Review of Religions on the death of Hadhrat Nusrat Jehan Begum (wife of the Promised Messiah(as)). My brother-in-law, Mr Sufi Mati-ur-Rahman was then the editor of the magazine. Commenting on the above mentioned article he praised Mr Mir’s excellent command of the English language and said, ‘Mir Sahib wrote about a topic worthy of discussion using such appropriate words that it was as if he had strung pearls together. His piece seems like a specimen of the highest standard of journalism.’ He also said that the words comprehensive, meaningful, logical and heartfelt are most apt in describing Mr Mir’s article.’ 46 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 (Al-Fazl, 29 May 1973, ‘The Life of Daud’ p 66 published by AlJamiatul ’Almiya bil Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah First Edition March 1974) From July 1962 onwards, Sahibzadah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad MA worked alongside the Late Mir Sahib and also served as the editor and this arrangement continued with great zeal until the third Khilafat. Some of the articles published in this period were: 47 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Islam and Freedom by Qazi Muhammad Aslam MA President of Department of Philosophy Karachi University. Beni Israel in Kashmir by Khawaja Ghulam Anwar, Azad Kashmir. Hadhrat Salman( r a ) and the Promised Messiah(as) by Chaudhry Abdur Rahman USA. The Growing Interest in Islam by Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan Liberator of those in Bondage by Mr Bashir Ahmad Orchard, first English missionary. Holy Prophet according to the debased by Khawaja Zahuruddin Butt. Interpretation of Dreams b y Chaudhry Muzaffaruddin Bangali. The True Status of the Arabic L a n g u a g e by Mian Muhammad Ibrahim BA. Arabic, the Mother of all Tongues by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Mazhar. Healing through Prayer and the Christian Society by Dr. Maj. Muhammad Shahnawaz, first medical missionary in Africa. The Exemplary Human Being by Pir Salahuddin BA, LLB. New Light on the Prophecy of C h r i s t by Sheikh Abdul Qadir, researcher on Christianity. Buddha and his True Teachings by M. Masud Ahmad. Non-Muslim Minorities in an Islamic State by Malik Saif-ur-Rahman Mufti Ahmadiyya community. Opening Gate of the Holy Qur’an (Surah Fatiha) by Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad. Jesus did not Die on the Cross by Maulana Abul Ata Jalandhari, Khalid-i-Ahmadiyyat. The Time and Significance of Prophethood by Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Tahir Ahmad. Servants of Islam by Maulwi Naseem Saifi. The Fifth Phase: November 1965 – June 1982 During the Khilafat of Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad (b.16 November 1909, d. 8 June 1982), the Review of Religions continued its progress at a lightning speed. As in the past, it maintained its tradition of publishing the sermons, messages and instructions of the Khalifa and other important articles. For instance: Sixth Phase: June 1982 – 2002 The journal started at the blessed hand of the Promised Messiah(as) entered its 80th year during the blessed and historic time of our beloved Imam, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV (b. 18 December 1928). The Promised Messiah(as) had been given the following promise by God Almighty: ‘To manifest again the light of your blessings, I shall cause to raise a 48 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The Holy Prophet’s Farewell S e r m o n by Professor Habibullah Khan MSc. Interest by Malik Saif-ur-Rahman. Hadhrat Abu Bakr by Sufi Abdul Ghafoor Nafees-ur-Rahman. The Problems Facing Muslims and their Solutions by Major Abdul Hameed of Japan and USA. Mary in the Bible and the Qur’an by Muhammad Akram Ghauri of London. The Companions of Ahmad b y Chaudhry Ali Muhammad BA, BT. The True Name of Christ by Maulwi Basharat Ahmad Bashir from Africa. Islam by Maulwi Noor-ud-din Munir. The Attributes of God by Maulana Abdul Maalik Khan, Nazir Islaho Irshad. The Lost Tribes of Israel b y Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad. Life After the Crucifixion by Sheikh Abdul Qadir. Jesus – Prophet or God? by Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan. Impressions of the London Conference, ‘Deliverance from the Cross’ by Bashir A. Rafiq. Progress of Science in Arab and Islamic Countries by Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, Nobel Laureate. person from you and from your progeny in whom I will breathe the blessings of the Holy Spirit. He will have a pure body and he will maintain a very pure relationship with God…. as if God has descended from the heavens.’ (Tohfah Golrviyah, 1st edition, pp. 56-57, 1902) This has been such a revolutionary period that at the very start of his Khilafat the magazine began to have an extraordinary effect. In this connection, a few letters from readers of the magazine are set out below: ‘It was a long time ago, when I was a subscriber of Review of Religions and lost its contact due to my continuous assignments out of the country. I keenly awaited this magazine which was a great source of knowledge about the great religion of Islam and its erudite comments on other faiths. The interpretation of Qur’anic verses and the explanation of certain intricate question and problems were of so great interest to me that I never wanted to miss even a single issue. I appreciate the research of Ahmadiyya about the natural death of Jesus and his travel towards the east, but the way it was explained in your magazine is really commendable.’ (MILWAUKEE, Review of Religions, December 1983, p.56) ‘I write to wish you every success with your publication hereof The Review of Religions. It is surely needed for indeed the spiritual in England has long been eclipsed by the profane, the Church attendance is minimal and irregular, and the people tend to worship themselves, the television set, and the acquisition of money and material goods. The divorce rate climbs, unemployment and suicides increases, the threat of a third world war comes ever closer and the people, lacking spiritual guidance, feel unsure of themselves and of their future in the world. They are unsure also how to find peace of mind or happiness in their agnosticism or their surroundings. The people need a shepherd and need guidance; they need a purposeful religious message to bring them to an appreciation of spiritual values, for it is only thereby that they can find themselves, and find true contentment and purpose in their lives. Why then has Christianity failed and by how much? Statistics in today’s Ti m e s show that confirmations in the Church of England have fallen from 200,000 in 1960 to less than 100,000 in 1981, that is new members being enrolled, and figures show that Christmas and Easter Communicants in 1981 were only 43 adults per 1,000 population, i.e. 4.3% of the people go to their Church on C h r i s t i a n i t y ’s two holiest days. What happens to the other 95.7% of the people? 49 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 And what would happen in Islam if 95% of the people never visited a Mosque on Fridays during Ramadan? It is a disastrous statistic for the Church of England and no one will take any pleasure from this picture of a failed spiritual experience. Sunday attendance (The Ti m e s, September 14th 1983 p.32) dropped to 1 million weekly, from a total population of 56 million. That is 2% of the indigenous people of the U.K., on average, go to Church on Sunday, the lowest figure ever recorded. It is important to realise not that the Church has failed because people do not attend it (though that, too, applies) but that the Church has failed and therefore, and not because of this fact, the people feel Christianity has no relevance for them. That is why 98% of the people do not go to Church on the regular holy day. Has not such a Church showed that its message is bankrupt and that it is a voice crying in the desert? So, where have these absent Christian worshippers gone? I suggest that they are wandering around in an ungodly haze, looking for salvation from within their inadequate and forsaken selves. For these people missing from C h r i s t i a n i t y ’s roll call are not to be seen in Mosques, nor are they in any other kind of religious or spiritual system. Rather taking pride in their agnostic “freedom”, they find themselves worshipping their idols, money, violence and sexual promiscuity on television, alcohol, drug abuse and other degradations of lust just as the Quraish of Mecca 1400 years ago—identical almost in all respects. The people are not happy and they feel uneasy. They know that there is more to life than the gratification of their senses and deep down they feel a strange disquiet. They do not know what to do about themselves. Faced with increasing social unrest, violence in the streets, ruthless exploitation of the weak and poor by an uncontrolled and godless capitalist system, the people do not know where to turn. The results of the last general election with the resounding defeat of the Labour Party show that the people do not want extreme socialism or communism. Another sign that the Holy Trinity Church proclaims (from the Bible) “Christ died for the Ungodly” (Romans 5:6). If so, this message has certainly been misunderstood by our contemporary neighbours. That is why the “Review of Religions” is so important and why your message of spirituality and guidance of the right way through Islam is so very welcome and essential. Spiritual comfort is sorely needed by all people of goodwill. It is said that Islam is compassionate because to the Arabs of old the heart was the seat of intelligence (Qur’an, Sura Al-Nahl 16:78-80) and another message from the Qur’an (The Ay a t – A l – Kursi—Baqara 2:256) explains the Nature of God: “Allah—there is no God but He, the Living, the Self Subsisting, and All-Sustaining. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that will intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is 50 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 before them and what is behind them; and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He pleases. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; and the care of them burdens Him not; and He is the High, the G r e a t . ” So although I am not an Ahmadi, may I respectfully congratulate you on publishing the Review of Religions in London. Its message, from you of a Tr u e Islam—rejuvenated and confident, is compelling and very necessary. It is also uplifting and informative—and (dare I say it to those lapsed multitudes of Christians) it is comforting—a ray of light in the dark, a refuge for those who seek shelter, and a guide for those uncertain of their way. Yours Respectfully, John E. Pitcairn, Chichester, U.K.’ (Review of Religions, January 1984, pp. 46-47 ‘Review of Religions is a scholarly magazine of the Ahmadiyya Movement and its articles always provide adequate knowledge about Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement in comparison with other religions of the world. I think it will add considerably to its prestige, if a comparative study of certain particular problems could appear in your esteemed magazine such as interest, marriage, divorce, status of woman, purdah, polygamy, eschatology, exorcism etc. If Islamic teachings are explained along with the views and beliefs held by other faiths, it could add tremendously to the knowledge of the readers and the beauties of Islam projected before the world. In my opinion it will surely enhance the prestige of the magazine too. Yours Sincerely, H.M. Khan, MISSISSAUGA (CANADA) (Review of Religions, January 1984, p.48 ‘A friend of mine, an Ahmadi Muslim, has, over a considerable time now, kept me under ‘Tabligh’. He is very enthusiastic about his ‘preaching duty’, and he performs it very sincerely and very efficiently. I sometime wonder how he can spare so much time for his purely ‘un-rewarding’ activities. But I do listen to him, eagerly and enthusiastically. I can’t help it; he is so nice a person, and so very helpful. I also harbour a secret ambition that I might turn him to my ways, i.e., Catholicism. He would make such a wonderful and valuable addition to Christianity! 51 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Last week he showed me an ancient looking magazine, the Review of Religions. I am sure its outward appearance can be improved. It contained very timely and relevant topics. But more importantly, I learned that the ‘Review’ is going to be published from London, replacing the Muslim Herald, and that it is going to be edited by you, Sir, BA Rafiq. I hope it will have an international flavour…. I understand that your Government of Pakistan declared you, by means of a constitutional amendment, ‘Not Muslim’. It is a great puzzle to me. Even during the worst trials in the Christian world in the middle ages, no one Christian denomination usurped the right to declare its opponents as ‘Not Christian’. There is another puzzling factor: the ordinary Muslims seem to have more in common with Christians than the Ahmadi Muslims. They wouldn’t like to enter into any dialogue with Ahmadis. In fact, I have more affinity with them also. We both believe, for instance, that Jesus is alive in heaven; that Jesus, the same Jesus of 2000 years ago, will come down from heaven very shortly. Now my point is that if we are going to accept Jesus Christ any way, then what is the point in accepting Islam or any other religion meanwhile? Why not to continue working for Christ all the way! My Muslim friends can give me no answer. And Ahmadi Muslims, because they do not believe in the above doctrine, are difficult to confront. If Jesus died a natural death, then he is not coming a second time. And logically, the Promised Messiah has to be someone else, but like Jesus. But then, you do not appear to represent the true Islam! I wish you also get together with other Muslim sects and try to sort out your doctrinal differences as Christians are doing. At least it will cut down the number of differences and lessen the confusion in the realm of religion. As the matters stand now, it is so complicated. Perhaps, and I very much hope, you will address yourself to these matters also. May I wish you all the best Yours faithfully, Adam H Goodwin, London’ (Review of Religions, February 1984) Management and Board of Editors At the beginning of 1983, Mr Bashir Ahmad Rafiq (former Imam of The London Mosque) and Mr Bashir Ahmad Orchard (first European Ahmadiyya Muslim missionary) were the editors of the Review of Religions. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV took an active and keen personal interest and as a result there was a marked 52 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 improvement in the range of topics. He appointed an Editorial Board to raise the standard of the articles even higher and to increase its efficacy and influence. In January 1989, the members of the Editorial Board were Mr Bashir Ahmad Rafiq (Chairman), Mr Bashir Ahmad Orchard (Editor) (now deceased), Mr Mubarak Ahmad Saqi (now deceased), Mr Ataul Mujeeb Rashed (Imam of The London Mosque), and Mrs Amtul Majeeda Chaudhry (Assistant Editor). After some time, the Board was re-organised in January 1994. Mr Rafiq Ahmad Hayat (who has served as Chairman of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International and currently Amir UK, i.e. National President) became Chairman, and Mr Naseer Ahmad Qamar (now Additional Wakilul Isha’at and Editor of AlFazl International) was made the President of the Management Board. The Editorial Board since 1994 to date are Basit Ahmad, Bockarie Tommy Kallon, Fareed Ahmad, Fazal Ahmad, Mansoor Saqi, Mahmood Hanif, Mansoora Hyder-Muneeb, Navida Shahid, Sarah Waseem, Saleem Ahmad Malik and Tanveer Khokhar. Daud Mahmood Khan became a member in January 2002. Many of the editors have also served in various initiatives of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV. Special contributors to the magazine since 1994 are Amatul-Hadi Ahmad who has provided practically all of the English translations from Malfoozat and transcriptions of Question and Answer Sessions by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV. Shaukia Mir is the main proof-reader of the magazine. Muhammad Hanif has played a major role in the administration of the increased distribution. Since January 2002, Syed Mansoor Ahmed Shah (formerly the Editor of the Muslim Herald) is the Chief Editor and Manager with Mr Naseer Qamar as the Chairman of the Board. May Allah help them with His Holy Spirit. Amin. Finally, it is important to mention four distinct features that characterised the period 1982-2002. 53 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 First Feature The twenty first century is the century for worldwide victories, growth and development for Ahmadiyyat. It is a wonder of God that this magazine of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community goes hand in hand with the significant challenges posed by present day scientific, religious and moral progress. In this time of research and discoveries, the Review of Religions is testifying successfully to the truths of Islam and throughout the world it is acknowledged as a standard bearer of its specialised style of research. A brief look at some of the articles published in the Review of Religions in this period will illustrate this point. 54 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 The Promised Messiah in Praise of the Holy Prophet by Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Former President of the UN Assembly and of the International Court of Justice, the Hague. Professor Per Beskow Answered by Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Researcher on Christianity. Universality of Islam by Maulwi Noor- ud-Din Munir, Naib Wakilu Tabshir (also published as a booklet). The Origin of Language by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Mazhar, Advocate. Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad b y Chaudhry Muhammad Ali. Scientific Creativity in Arab and Islamic Countries by Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, First Muslim Nobel Laureate. Islam and the Challenge of Extremism by Dr. Khalil Ahmad Nasir, USA. A Page from the History of A h m a d i y y a t by Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan. Australian Aborigines and their L a n g u a g e s by Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad. The Golden Deeds of Khilafate Salisa by Bashir Ahmad Rafiq UK. Guide Posts by Bashir Ahmad Orchard UK (also published as a booklet). Ahmadiyyat in Ghana by Maulwi Abdul Wahab Adam, Amir and Missionary in Charge Ghana. Regulations Governing the Life of a Muslim by Dr. Hameed Ahmad Khan, UK. The Holy Prophet of Islam as a Father by Dr. Qazi M. Barkatullah. Way of Spiritual Progress by Ahmad Oliyiwola Jegade. Jesus Exonerated by Abdullah Nasir Boateng. 55 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 100 years of Ahmadiyyat in the Service of Mankind by Sheikh Nasir Ahmad, Switzerland. Reason in Religion by Bashir Ahmad Rafiq UK. Prophet for all Mankind by Muzaffar Clark UK. Sri Krishna – Prophet of God by Maulana Muhammad Umar, Madras Jihad of the Pen by Tahir Ahmad Khan. The Day the Stoning was Cast Aside by Shakeel Ahmad Munir. Origin of Modern Christianity by Dr. Qazi Muhammad Barkatullah. Muhammad in the Ve d a s b y Muhammad Umar Faazal. Miraculous Knowledge of Arabic by Mian Ataullah Advocate Need of Religion in the Nuclear Age by Nusratullah Mir. The Meaning of Life by Khalid Saifullah. Eclipses and the Promised Messiah by Professor Saleh Allahdin, Hyderabad The Mormons by Mushtaq Ahmad Bajwa Role and Status of Women in Islam by Professor Mrs Shamim A. Azam The Hygiene of Sleep by Dr. Shahnawaz Khan Words of God and Religions by Dr. Ijaz-ul-Haq The Promised Messiah has Come by Major Daud H. Baig (Retired) Concept of God in Islam and Science by Sheikh Muhammad Shahab Confucius and Confucianism b y Muhammad Yusuf Khan The Discovery of Homeopathy b y Suhail Zakiuddin Hussain A Muslim’s Thoughts on Fanaticism and Te r r o r i s m by Imran Ahmad Chaudhry Life of the Promised Messiah by Al- Haj Maulana Ataullah Kaleem Introduction to the Concept of God in Islam by Sheraz Ahmad Plots Against Hadhrat Othman by Maulana Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad Reflections on the Holy Qur’an by Shahnawaz Rasheed Targums – The Aramaic Translations of the Bible by Mir Abdul Latif Introducing the Books of the Promised Messiah by Naseem Saifi A Marriage Which Became History by Rasheed Ahmad Chaudhry Islamic Contribution to European Awakening by Zakaria Virk The Bab, Baha’ullah and the Bahai Faith by Dr. Munawar Ahmad and Muhammad Yusuf Hadhrat Imam Shaf’i by Malik Saif- ur-Rahman, Mufti Silsilah Similarities between the Muslims and Jewish Messiahs by Wa q a r Ahmad Ahmedi Background of Easter and its Traditions by Hussain M. Sajid Establishment of Khilafat b y Chaudhry Hadi Ali Muslims in Spain by Dr. Farid Ahmad The Revolutionary Articles by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Without a doubt, all above articles are of a high standard, shedding light on new findings. However it is necessary to acknowledge in no unclear terms that, by the grace of Allah, the Light of Guidance, in fact the brightest light of this age is our beloved Imam, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV. The Review of Religions is indebted to him for his unparalleled, revolutionary, eye-opening, truthful and scientific articles. The words that flow from his pen have changed the scientific and intellectual thinking of today [e.g. the Q&A and extracts from Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth featured in the Review of Religions.] Second Feature The second feature is that the invaluable articles featured in the Review of Religions are now available on micro-film from an American company: University Microfilms International, an Xerox Company, 300 N Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 USA. Future generations would benefit from the rich legacy preserved for posterity. Third Feature The Review of Religions came into existence exactly twelve years after the Promised Messiah(as) was informed by revelation that he was the Messiah of the age. Similarly, in 1994, exactly twelve years after Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad was appointed the fourth Khalifa, 10,000 copies of the journal began to be printed each month, as was the wish of the Promised Messiah(as)5. Likewise, the weekly Al-Fazl International became a part of our lives and MTA International began broadcasting its programming regularly (initially 3.5 hours per day in Europe; 12 hours per day in Asia, Africa and Australia). As a result, Ahmadis from one corner of the world to another rejoiced in this great unifying force. 56 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 On the inauguration of MTA International, in his Friday Sermon delivered in London on 7 January 1994, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV addressed the members of the community and in particular those who were well versed, commanded a respect in their particular field and who could reach out to others. He urged them that they should collect and send addresses of good- natured persons so that the Review of Religions could be sent to them. He added, ‘I hope that within one to two years by the Grace of Allah thousands of such knowledgeable persons would accept Islam through the Review of Religions alone.’ (Al Fazl International, London 14 January 1994) Fourth Feature The fourth Khilafat began in 1982 almost a century after the Promised Messiah(as) was commissioned by God as His prophet. Since this centenary of the advent of the Promised Messiah(as), we have celebrated the separate thanks giving centenaries of the establishment of the community, the signs of the solar and lunar eclipse and the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. Now, by the grace of Allah, we are preparing to celebrate 100 years of the Review of Religions. The world is changing at a dramatic pace and signs of the new age about to dawn on us have begun to erupt in each country. As encapsulated in a couplet: The hundred-year cycle was no more than the next round of the goblet When we came to our senses, the world had changed This blessed centenary becomes even more significant when we remember that in the entire Islamic world, the Review of Religions holds the distinction of being the only journal that has been illuminating the world with the truth of Islam (save for a break of only a few years) for a whole century. 57 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 Bright Future When considering the journal’s successes over the last 100 years, one becomes convinced that the time has now arrived for the fulfilment of the grand prophecy of the one destined to break the cross, the Promised Messiah( a s ) and Reformer of the latter age: ‘There will be a new earth and a new heaven. The day is nigh when the sun of truth will rise from the West and Europe will come to know of the true God. And after this the door of repentance will be closed. [This will happen] because people will enter [through this door] in large numbers and those left outside will be the ones who have closed the doors to their own hearts. They love darkness instead of light. The time is near when all societies will be destroyed save Islam. All weapons will break, but Islam’s heavenly weapon will neither break nor become blunt until it smashes to pieces Dajaliyat. The time is near when the true Unity of God will spread throughout the lands. No notion of salvation will survive nor any false gods. God’s one Hand will render null and void all the schemes and machinations of the infidels. [This will be done] without sword or gun but by granting light to deserving souls and by sending down a light unto pure hearts. Then these words that I utter will be understood.’ (Advertisement, 14 January 1897 Majmooa Ishtiharaat Vol 2 pp 304- 305, Shirkatul Islamiyya Rabwah) I close this history with the blessed words of the Promised Messiah(as) explaining what was meant by the ‘new earth and new heaven’ mentioned in the above prophecy. Huzur said in one of his writings in 1905: ‘I have prayed that I should not be instrumental for the rise of associating partners with God as Christ was and I am confident that God will do so. Nevertheless, God Almighty has repeatedly told me that He would grant me a great status; my love would be poured into the hearts of people; He will cause my movement to spread all over the world; and, my sect would triumph over all other sects. The people of my sect would scale such heights in knowledge and understanding that they would shut the mouths of everyone by the light of their truth, arguments and signs. Every people shall drink from this fountain. This 58 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002 movement will grow dynamically and will blossom till it has covered the earth. Many hurdles will arise and trials will be encountered but God will remove them from the way and will fulfil His promise. And God addressed me and said: I will give you blessings after blessings so much so that kings shall seek blessings from your clothes. So all ye listeners! Remember these words. Secure these prophecies in your boxes because they are the words of God that will be fulfilled one day.’ (Tajaliyati Ilahiya pp 17-18) REFERENCES 1. Born 1870, baiat 1893, died 28 December 1932, Founder Woking Mission. 2. Born 1874, baiat 1897 and died 13 October 1951. 3. Anjuman = lit. a union, assembly, congregation, society or a body corporate normally set up as a friendly society. 4. We have published this PROPSPECTUS earlier: please see the Review of Religions July 2002 Vol. 97 Issue 07 pp 3-16. Also featured in this edition was the article: HOW TO GET RID OF THE BONDAGE OF SIN, featured in the Review of Religions June 2002 Vol. 97 Issue 06 pp 39-48. One other article was the BUBONIC PLAGUE: we intend to feature this extract along with another article shortly, [Editor]. 5. Currently, 5000 printed in London for UK, USA, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world; 1000 in Ghana, 1000 in Nigeria, both reprints; 1500 in India as independant edition; 1500 in French from Sierra Leonne. A substantial portion of the cisulation is earmarked for new Ahmadi Muslims. 6. Khawaja Sahib, resident Woking, read a paper on ‘Islamic Review’ at the Sixth Religious Congress in Paris on 19 July 1913, which was published in the Review of Religions in October 1913. 59 Review of Religions: A 100 Year History of the Magazine Review of Religions – November 2002