48 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS CON DEM NATION OF BLASPHEMOUS BOOK The Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in the United Kingdom express shock and disgust at the publication of Salman Rashdi’s book Satanic Verses in which the character of the Holy Prophet of Xslam, peace and blessings be upon him, has been described in most blasphemous terms. Though claiming to be a work of fiction, the book uses the names of real persons who are deeply respected and revered by all Muslims. The Holy Prophet and his Companions are depicted in scandalous manner which would offend the taste and sensitivity of every decent person, whether Muslim or not. It seems, the author is inspired and motivated by some satanic forces. The Members of the Association demand the withdrawal of this book from circulation. They also request the British Government to take appropriate action against the author and the publishers for denigrading and slandering the Founder of Islam and for deliberately offending Muslims who form a substantial section of the multi-racial society in Britain. It is hoped that people of all Faiths would support this demand for the sake of religious harmony. Members appreciate the action taken by the Government of India in banning the book and by similar action which may have been taken by other governments. 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 to the world gradually and little by little, by sending His prophets at different times and to different peoples. When the world reached that stage of understanding when it was ready for the final lesson, He sent the last and complete Book through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). This Book not only corrects the errors which had found their way into vario!ls 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. · The REVIEW of RELIGIONS The Review of Religion is the oldest magazine of its kind Pllblished 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 ofIslamic 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 Raqeem Press, Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey GU1 0 2AO, U.K. Published by The Review of Religions, The London Mosque, ’16 Gressenhall Road, London SW18 50L