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Islam and Russia – Part 7

ISLAM AND RUSSIA (Part 7) (Or. Qazi Muhammad Barkatullah) Communist Russia: 41 Russia is Communist, strictly materialist and avowedly atheist. It was so written 2587 years ago and it has now been done. It was also written that being mighty and powerful, Russia would move towards its fatal end and make way for the ultimate victory of Islam. So it will also be done – Insha Allah. It was, as such, destined that Russia would become a powerful and great nation before the promise of the downfall of Communism approaches nearer. Thus the power and influence of Communist Russia would be a passing phase; and when the Russians come into conflict with Anglo-American nations, communism would end in destruction as a punishment from heaven. There is an unbroken chain of prophecies and warnings against the danger of communism. It thus shows that Communism is not a calamity of an ordinary dimension, rather of such magnitude that God, through His Prophets, has warned mankind against it from earliest times. The expression latter days or latter years indicates the time of the second advent of Jesus. At that time the Israelites would be gathered from the various corners of the world and become settled again in the land of Palestine. According to the earliest prophecy that is the time when Russia would become a great and strong power. No friendly understanding is possible with Communism, because the very basis of Communism is world domination through the destruction of religion, faith and all moral and spiritual values and complete subordination of mankind to the doctrines and ideology preached by Engels and Marx and later practised by Lenin and Stalin. Sometimes there may appear a short shift in the policy and practice of Communist countries. But their objectives remain unaltered and firm. Communism denies God and seeks to destroy religion altogether. Sometimes claims are made by Communist Russia about complete freedom of religion in the country. But the actual evidence is otherwise being based on Communist law and actual practice in the 42 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS country. As such, no religious liberty is possible III Communist Russia. The Holy Quran has warned about the rise of Communism but has also given the glad tidings about its downfall. The Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, alerted his followers to be watchful about Communism which denies the existence of God. The Promised Messiah and his successors have been informing people to be vigilant about the dangerous situation created by Communism. Communism officially denies God. And people who believe in God must pray, seek His help and take every wise precaution, make necessary preparation to combat the evil of Communism being spread. The majority of people in the West proclaim faith in God but true faith in believing One God is generally missing. The Bible records: “Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord” (Deut: 6:4). And Jesus who was a righteous prophet of God, believed in One God, and preached One God: “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but One, that is God.” (Matth. 19: 17). His followers, however, have set him up as an equal to God and as a partner in the Godhead. Generally, instead of calling on One God, the Christians, call on Jesus as if he were perfect God. The Muslims, however, have very strong belief in One God. “Say, He is Allah the One! Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.”(Chapter 112) Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the Promised Son of the Promised Messiah and the second successor of the Promised Messiah, proclaimed that there is Only One God and called people to God. He said: “So, lend ear to the voice of a humble servant of God who calls you back to the pure Unity of God and cleanse yourselves of the error of exalting one to a partnership in the Godhead who was but a righteous servant of God, beloved of Him and loving Him but jealous of His Unity and His Majesty and who would be the first to disclaim any such position to which the Church today is vainly seeking to exalt him. Like Jesus, the person who addressed this appeal to you in the name of the One God, is humble and is to-day looked down upon and is treated with contempt by the greater part of mankind and is repudiated both in his own country and abroad, yet, he is accepted of God ISLAM AND RUSSIA as he is the promised son and successor of God’s messenger in this age who came in the power and spirit ofJesus and was thus the Promised Messiah in whose advent were fulfilled the prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus. It is the voiceof onewho is humble and oflittle account in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of God he is worthy of honour for he invites mankind to God and to the path of truth and righteousness.” (Communism & Democracy, pp 12-13) 43 The Russian Revolution became a reality on October 25, 1917. Imperial Russia ceased to exist and the Soviet Union took its birth. October 25, 1917 has another date November 7, 1917. Imperial Russia used the Julian Calendar that had earlier been superseded in all other European nations by the Gregorian Calendar. It was, however, January 26, 1918 that a Soviet decree fixed February 1, 1918 as February 14,1918. The October 25,1917 Revolution, Julian Calendar has thus date November 7, 1917 which is according to the Gregorian Calendar. It was first prophesied 2587 years ago and later on supported by other prophecies, that Russia, an unknown and insignificant territory, will rise to become a mighty power. These prophecies would be fulfilled in the ‘latter days’ – – the period of the Promised Messiah. Russia now occupies almost half of the world known as the Russian Block. The other half of the world is the Anglo American Block. Both these super powers will come into conflict being catastrophically in contrast with one other. Out of the ruins and destruction would emerge the peaceful and spiritual rule of the Promised Messiah which would last till the end of life on earth. When Karl Marx was staggering conceptually to lay the foundation of Communist Russia, the foundation of an old prophecy to be fulfilled was being laid down. Karl Marx died in misery and poverty in 1883 without his dream becoming reality. His close friend and co-worker Friedrich Engels lived for another 12 years and still there was no Communist take over. The 20th century arrived and the revolution had yet to come. Karl Marx left his home country Germany to find peace somewhere else. He came to Paris but later on was expelled from France. Then he came to London where he settled. He was a young man of 29 when the Communist League commissioned him to draw up a manifesto in November 1847 and no one could have realized its profound impact later on. He sought the help of his 27 years old associate Friedrich Engels to draft and edit what came to be known as the Communist Manifesto. 44 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Both these friends were living through the evil effects of the Industrial Revolution. They saw the existing social economic and political system as cruel and grossly unjust. They sincerely believed they could uproot the current system and replace it with something better. Karl Marx sighed over the deplorable working conditions, poor housing and painfully low wages of the growing masses of the industrial workers. He coined two words of latin derivation which have since become very popular, the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie. Originally the word Proletariat referred to the poor citizens of Roman society, the lowest class. But Karl Marx applied Proletariat on the poor wage earners and the workers. Whereas, Marx called the capitalists Bourgeoisie, a minority dominated by wealthy people, businessmen, enterprenuers etc. Marx was grieved at the exploitation of the workers, the Proletariat, by the capitalists, the Bourgeoisie. The solution, Marx conceived, was that the workers, the Proletariat needed to take over from the Bourgeoisie factories, the tools, the lands and the capital for themselves. As such Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto: “The distinguishing feature of Communism is the abolition of the bourgeois property.” That was the theory of the Communists summed up in a single sentence. And the means suggested to take over the Rourgeoies by the Proletariat was use of force and violent attacks to bring out the Communist revolution. This would usher the era of “dictatorship of the proletaria” as Marx used the phrase. On October 25, 1917 (Julian synonymous with November 7, 1917 Gregorian) the revolution became a reality. Lenin eventually succeeded in taking the reins of Communist Russia into his hands in 1917. Guided by the Communist Manifesto, Lenin sought to create a new type of society – a classless society where everybody would be equal. But the envisioned classless society soon came into conflict with the reality of running the affairs of a government by untrained people. Lenin then encountered difficulty to put into operation the guide lines of the Communist Manifesto. Puting into practice the Communist Manifesto, Lenin wanted to run Communist Russia without a secret police, no cumbersome state machinery and no large standing army. I-!owever in reality, when Lenin died on January 21, 1924, secret police, a professional army and an oppressive bureaucracy were all in operation. In simple words the theory of the Communist Manifesto could not be translated into practice and reality by the first Director of Soviet Russia. Then against the wishes of the deceased Lenin, Soviet Russia had a tyrant dictator Joseph Stalin until 1953. Instead of creating a classless ISLAM AND RUSSIA 45 society, the dictator Stalin and those around him terrorized the Communist nation. After Stalin, other dictators kept the same anti-religious attitude, filled the Communist society with many ills and kept strict secrecy behind the iron curtain of Russia. Nevertheless, since March 1985, a new leader Mikhail Gorbachev has taken control of Communist Russia. Mr. Gorbachev has coined a new word ‘Glasnost’ which means openness. Mr. Gorbachev has sternly denounced Joseph Stalin declaring that the director committed “enormous and unforgivable” crimes and that a campaign to rehabilitate his victims will resume (Newspaper Report). Mr. Gorbachev has promised to alter the Soviet State apparatus and wishes to bring about dramatic changes in the way the Soviet Government would function in relationship to its own people. Gorbachev is talking about peace with America. Gorbachev has recently published a book and says: ‘There is no place for us to escape the Americans and the Americans have no place to escape from us. Therefore we need to seek improvement of relations.” It appears as if Gorbachev is visualizing the catastrophic danger lurking on the horizon and wishes to avert it. But there is mockery in the actions of Mr. Gorbachev. In his book he writes about his efforts to streamline aHd modernize the Soviet economy based on a more humane approach to Government. And the reforms require the country to work for a congenial world atmosphere in which the changes can take place. But recently his protege Boris Yeltsin, whom Gorbachev had brought to power two years ago was stripped of his party post. Yeltsin simply said that the Soviet Union is far from the freedom and reform that Gorbachev is talking about. (Newspaper Report) Y AJOOJ-MAJOOJ The terminology of Yajooj or Gog and Majooj or Magog has variously been used for two super powers in the latter days of the time of the Promised Messiah. The two super blocks will come into catastrophic conflict with each other. The destruction will result in turning people to God and the seeking of peace will pave the way for the ultimate victory of Islam. Through the efforts of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, the Kingdom of God will be established on earth. Russia is identified as Yajooj or Gog; and America with allies is identified as Majooj or Magog. (Roohani Khazain, Vo!. 3, pp. 369-373) Yajooj and Majooj are reckoned to be the offspring of Japheth son of Noah. (Kanzulammal, Vo!. 6; 129) The root of Yajooj, Majooj, is the word Ajeej or Aji, which means fire. That is these two nations would employ and play with fire, firearms, and other powerful fiery weapons, which on coming 46 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS into conflict, will bring awful destruction in the world. These destructive powerful nations causing havoc will perish themselves encountering each other. This will bring the quest for peace and the victory of Islam over all other religions of the world. Both Yajooj, Majooj or Gog, Magog, the two super powers symbolize the enemies of establishing the Kingdom of God. It was prophesied 2587 years ago that then Rus, an insignificant territory on the world map, would one day in the distant future, emerge as a powerful anti-religious nation. It was also predicted at the same time that a nation, U.S.A., which had’ yet to be born, would also rise to become another powerful nation. This was to happen during the latter days of the age of the second advent of Jesus Christ. It was predicted that the catastrophic conflict of the two super powers would result in the saved people glorifying God and accepting Islam as the religion chosen by God. The Muslim tradition says that both Yajooj and Majooj, the super powers, will shoot their arrows against heaven. Then God will send worms into their nostrils, necks or ears, which will kill them to the last man in one night so that the smell of their corpses would fill the earth. (Muslim; Ibn-i-Majah) It is also related that in the latter days of the time of the Promised Messiah, the nations that are Yajooj and Majooj (Gog, Magog) will come over the mountains, sail over the seas and spread into the plains to dominate the whole world. It is also said that Gog and Magog (Yajooj, Majooj) will make great strides in material progress. They will acquire great wealth and gain prosperity. Then they will become involved in an armed conflict with each other. They will pour down fire over each other from the sky. In this way they will become the means and instrument of one another’s destruction. The Encyclopaedia Britanica, however, records another legend. An independent legend of Gog and Magog surrounds two colossal wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London. They are thought to represent survivors of a race of giants destroyed by Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of London, and brought there to act as porters at the gate of the royal palace. Effigies of Gog and Magog have existed in London from the time of Henry V. The first figures were destroyed in the Great Fire 1666 and replaced in 1708. The second pair was destroyed in an air raid in 1940 and again replaced in 1953. (Encyclopaedia Britanica, Vol. 5; p. 330) ISLAM AND RUSSIA 47 FULFILMENT OF PROPHECIES Divine prophecies are fulfilled at an appropriate time but need the patience as well as the understanding of the believers and faithful. The Holy Quran says: ” Say ‘I have warned you all alike and I know not whether that which you are promised is near or far; (21: 110) Foot Note: “God is not bound by days and hours for the fulfilment of His promises. He knows best if and when a certain prophecy is to be fulfilled. (F.N. 1927; English Commentary) As the history of religion shows, some prophecies are fulfilled not during the time of the Prophets butat the hands of their followers. For example, the Holy Prophet ofIslam was shown in a vision that the keys ofthe treasures ofthe Roman and Persian Empires had been put into his hands. But actually they came into the hands of his followers during the period ofHazrat Umar. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad writes in his book ‘Communism and Islam’: “The prophecies concerning Communism clearly contain a warning that Communism will spread over a large part of this earth. But there are also prophecies which foretell that in the end Communism would be defeated and destroyed and that mankind would be rescued and saved from this grave calamity. It also appears that certain sections of the Muslim people would be involved and would suffer great hardship and misery in their struggle against Communism. But with divine help they will overcome it. Thus, while the spread of Communism is one part of the divine decree, the other part of the same decree is that it will ultimately suffer defeat and destruction. Divine decrees are of two kinds:- (a) Those that operate and fulfil themselves entirely through heavenly means. Nothing can divert the course of such decrees. (b) Those the operation of which is governed by the operation of the ordinary divine laws. These are subjectto the action and reaction ofthe whole body of divine laws. People fall ill or become involved in distress and trouble of various kinds. This happens in consequence of the operation of certain divine laws or divine decrees. But we are enjoined to fight sickness and combat 48 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS misfortunes and distress; and health and prosperity are regained also through the operation of divine laws or through divine decrees. On one occasion when the Caliph Omar was in Syria, plague broke out in that part of the country in epidemic form. He discontinued his tour and decided to return to Medina. Abu Ubaida, the Muslim general in command in Syria, told the Caliph that in leaving Syria, he was fleeing from a decree of God. Hazrat Omar replied that he was fleeing from one decree of God to another decree of God, meaning that if an epidemic breaks out at one place, divine decree requires that the place should be evacuated. In this. way Omar brought home to Abu Ubaida the supreme truth that divine decrees act and react upon one another. So, while we have been warned that Communism will gather great strength during a period, it is incumbent upon us as Muslims to whole-heartedly support other anti-Communist powers and people in their struggle against this danger that threatens the whole of mankind. Sometimes it is a mistake to assume that a divine prophecy must always be fulfilled in accordance with its apparent tenor. Sometimes the fulfilment of a prophecy is conditional. If those who believe in them are not fully prepared for the fulfilment, half hearted, lack the necessary spirit, and not ready for the required sacrifice then the fulfilment of the prophecy may be postponed or take a different form. Every prophecy is certainly fulfilled but the manner of its fulfilment depends upon the degree of sincerity and sacrifice of those who are to benefit from the fulfilment. For example, God had promised Moses that He would bestow the land of Canaan upon him and his people. But the Israelites became disobedient and refused to make necessary sacrifices after they had been brought out by Moses from the land of captivity. So the promise of the fulfilment of the prophecy was deferred by God. Moses and his followers continued to wander in the wilderness and were denied even the sight of Canaan during the lifetime of Moses. At the time of his demise, Moses asked that at least his face be turned towards the direction of Canaan so that he might look towards the promised land. The followers of Moses then wandered and dwelt in the desert for forty years that God’s promise made to Moses was duly fulfilled.” What is Islam? Islam literally means Peace, surrender of one’s Will; and to be in amity and concord. The significance of the name Islam is the attainment of a life of perfect peace and eternal happiness through complete surrender to the Will of God. The Ouran – the Holy Book of the Muslims – interprets it to be the religion whose teachings are in consonance with human nature. Islam, as the Ouran has stated (5:4), is the completion of the religion inaugurated by God in the beginning of the world, on His sending the Ouran through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). As a child is taught his alphabet, so God taught the religion tu the world gradually and little by little, by sending His prophets at different times and to different peoples. When the world reached that stage of understanding when it was ready for the final lesson, He sent the last and complete Book through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). This Book not only corrects the errors which had found their way into various religions, but preaches the truths which have not been preached before, on account of special circumstances of the society or the early stage of its development. At the same time it gathers together in its.elf the truths which were contained in any Divine revelation granted to any people for the guidance of men (The Ouran 98:4). Lastly, it meets all the spiritual and moral requirements of an ever advancing humanity. This is Islam which is wrongly called Muhammadanism. According to Islam, the object of man’s life is its complete unfoldment. Islam does not support the idea that man is born in sin. It teaches that everyone has within him the seed of perfect development and it rests solely with a person himself to make or mar his fortune. We created man in the best make says the Holy Ouran (95:5). The cardinal doctrine of Islam is the Unity of Godhead. There is none worthy of worship but the one and only God, and Muhammad is His Prophet. He is free from all defects, Holy and Transcendent. He is All Good, All Mercy and All Power. He has no partner. He neither begets nor is He begotten, because these are the traits of frail and weak humanity. Furthermore, Islam helps us to establish a permanent relationship with God and to realise Him during our earthly life as our Helper in all our affairs and undertakings. This Unity of God is the first and foremost pillar of Islam and every other belief hangs upon it. Islam requires belief in all the prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucious and Zoroaster. We regard them all (and many more not mentioned here) as heavenly teachers born to reform and regenerate man and lead him to God. Adherents of some other religions may consider it an act of piety to use disrespectful words and heap abuse on the prophets of other religions, but if a Muslim were to show the slightest disrespect towards the founder of any other faith, he does so at the cost of his own faith. He has to utter the respectful benediction Alaihis-Salam (peace be on him) after mentioning the name of every prophet. Thus Islam establishes peace between all religions. I 1/ The REVIEW of RELIGIQNS The Review of Religion is the oldest magazine of its kind published in English language in the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent. Its first issue was published in 1902 and it has been continuously published since. It bears the distinction that it was initiated under the direction of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah himself. During more then eighty-six years the message of Islam has been conveyed through this magazine to millions of readers and many fortunate persons have re~ognized the truth of Islam and accepted it through its study. The articles published in it deal not only with the doctrines and teachings of Islam but also set forth a comparative appreciation of the teachings of other faiths. One of its outstanding features is the refutation of the criticism oflslamic teachings by orientalists and non-muslim scholars. It also presents solutions in the light oflslamic teachings of the problems with which the Islamic world is from time to time confronted. A study of this magazine is indispensable for the appreciation of the doctrines of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the teachings of its holy Founder. Printed by The Raqeem Press, Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey GUIO 2AQ. U.K. PubUshed by The Revie .. of ReUgioM, 1W u…. M””‘Ill<, 16 Grossenball Road, London, SW \8!!QL