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Building Bridges of Peace

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Review of Religions
Building Bridges of Peace
With world peace teetering on a knife edge and increasing conflict and global uncertainty, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community sets out a blue print for establishing world peace.

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Building Bridges of Peace

  1. 1. Building Bridges of Peace 10 Glimpse into the Life of Prophet Muhammadsa 26 A Short Sketch of Muslim History 28 The Economic System of Islam? 52 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TENOCTOBER 2016 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG BUILDING BRIDGES of PEACE
  2. 2. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa prophesied that the Promised Messiahas would be raised near a white minaret, east of Damascus. This prophecy was fulfilled with the advent of the Promised Messiahas from Qadian, India, a city directly east of Damascus. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ©makhzan-e-tasaweer founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , the Promised Messiah and Mahdi was born to a noble family in Qadian, India. From an early age he had a keen interest in religion and developed a love for the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa . He was also known for his honesty, friendliness and resolve. Over time his knowledge and understanding of religion and its application to society deepened. Being a Muslim it was his firm belief that all religions were true at their source but with the passage of time had drifted away from their original teachings; he upheld the dignity of religion and demonstrated its relevance to everyone. His earnest defence of religion was ultimately blessed when he started to receive direct revelation from Allah – a blessing that he continued for the rest of his life. His mission was to revitalise the truth that all religions held within them and to revive the teachings of Islam. It was through this that he would bring mankind together and establish everlasting peace. In 1889, under Divine Guidance, Hazrat Ahmadas founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a community that has since grown in its stature and strength and has remained active in conveying the message of Islam to the ends of the earth. Hazrat Ahmadas had established himself as a respected writer and had written over 80 books. His writings have been translated into more than 60 languages and continue to inspire readers to this day. One of his greatest scholarly works was The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, prepared as a paper and read out at the Conference of Great Religions in 1896. He also wrote a fascinating treatise in 1899 entitled Jesus in India, a book that uncovered remarkable evidence of Jesus’sas journey to India. In 1902, the Promised Messiahas initiated The Review of Religions which has covered a vast array of topics on religion, philosophy and contemporary issues of the day. It is the longest running English magazine in defence of Islam and the values it teaches. From 1889 until the time of his demise in 1908 tens of thousands of people accepted him. This blessing has continued and will continue through his Khulafa (successors). Currently under the fifth successor, we are seeing that the tide of acceptance is worldwide and that the message of Prophet Ahmadas has really reached the ends of the earth.
  3. 3. All praise is due to Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And His is all praise in the Hereafter; and He is the Wise, the All-Aware. He knows whatever goes into the earth and whatever comes forth from it, and whatever descends from the heaven and whatever ascends into it; and He is Merciful, Most Forgiving. And those who disbelieve say, ‘The Hour will never come upon us.’ Say, ‘Yea, by my Lord Who knows the unseen, it will surely come upon you! Not an atom’s weight in the heavens or in the earth or anything less than that or greater escapes Him, but all is recorded in a perspicuous Book’. ISLAM, THE HOLY QURAN, 34:2-4 Narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairara : Every servant of Allah will remain standing before Allah on the Day of Judgement until he has answered five questions about five things: His life—how he spent it; his knowledge—how much he acted upon it; his wealth—how he acquired it and how he spent it; and his body (and health)—how he used it. ISLAM, SAHIH MUSLIM The state of man after death is not a new state, only his condition in this life is made manifest more clearly in the next life. Whatever is the true condition of a person with respect to his beliefs and actions, righteous or otherwise, in this life, remains hidden inside him and its poison or its antidote affects his being covertly. In the life after death it will not be so; everything will manifest itself openly. One experiences a specimen of it in a dream…Thus, whatever the body is heading for becomes visible in a dream. So one can understand that the same is the way of God with regard to the afterlife. As a dream transmutes our spiritual condition into a physical form, the same will happen in the next life. Our actions and their consequences will be manifested physically in the next life, and whatever we carry hidden within us from this life will all be displayed openly on our countenances in the next life. ISLAM, THE PROMISED MESSIAHAS , THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. CHRISTIANITY, THE BIBLE, JOHN 5:24 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase. JUDAISM, TORAH, DAN 12:2-4 The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be.The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. HINDUISM, BHAGAVID GITA 2:20. Life & Death WORLD FAITHS
  4. 4. 8 The Essence of Islam The teachings of Islam are encapsulated in two overarching aspects. HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND IMAM MAHDI 12 Building Bridges of Peace With world peace teetering on a knife edge and increasing conflict and global uncertainty, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community sets out a blue print for establishing world peace. HAZRAT MIRZA MASROOR AHMADABA , WORLDWIDE HEAD OF THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY 26 Life of The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa 28 From the Archives: A Short Sketch of Muslim History The Review of Religions is pleased to reprint this overview of Muslim political and intellectual history, penned by the first Muslim to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences. PROFESSOR ABDUS SALAM 44 Impostors are not Blessed with Divine Support HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND IMAM MAHDI 52 The Economic System of Islam We reach the final part in this epic serialisation examining the economic model presented by Islam. HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIR-UD-DIN MAHMUD AHMADRA , THE SECOND CALIPH OF THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY 62 Calendar of Religious Events Front cover picture: © Makhzan-e-Tasaweer CONTENTS OCTOBER 2016 VOL.111 ISSUE TEN
  5. 5. 52 12 28
  6. 6. WORLD CRISIS M I R Z A M A S R O O R A H M A D PEACE andthePathwayto The world is passing through turbulent times.The global economic crisis continues to manifest new and grave dangers at every juncture.The similarities of the current circumstances to the build-up of the Second WorldWar are stark. Events appear to be moving us rapidly towards a ThirdWorldWar.The consequences of a nuclear war are beyond our imagination. In this book, the historic addresses of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Fifth Khalifah of the Promised Messiah and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to prominent dignitaries at Capitol Hill, the House of Commons, the European Parliament and other notable locations around the world have been collated.The book also includes the momentous letters sent by His Holiness to the numerous world leaders. Over and over again, His Holiness has reminded all that the only means of averting a global catastrophe is for nations to establish justice as an absolute requirement of their dealings with others. Even if mutual enmity exists, impartiality must be observed at all times, because history has taught us that this alone is the way to eliminate all traces of hatred and to build everlasting peace. Read online at: www.alislam.org Purchase the book here: http://store.alislam.org/
  7. 7. CHIEF EDITOR & MANAGER Syed Amer Safir ASSOCIATE EDITORS Nakasha Ahmad,Tariq H. Malik RELIGION & SCIENCE Editor: Dr. Syed Muhammad Tahir Nasser Deputy: Dr.Tauseef Khan ISLAM & CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Editor: Shahzad Ahmad LAW & HUMAN RIGHTS Editor: Qudsi Rasheed Deputy: Ayesha Mahmood Malik ANCIENT RELIGIONS & ARCHAEOLOGY Editor: Fazal Ahmad Deputy: Rizwan Safir CHRISTIANITY Editor: Navida Sayed Deputy: Arif Khan WOMEN’S SECTION Editor: Aliya Latif Deputy: Meliha Hayat BOOK REVIEWS Editor: Sarah Waseem WEB TEAM Mubashra Ahmad, Hibba Turrauf SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Head: Razwan Baig EDITORIAL BOARD Mansoor Saqi, Bockarie Tommy Kallon, Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael, Murtaza Ahmad, Fiona O’Keefe, Hassan Wahab, Jonathan Butterworth, Munazza Khan, Waqar Ahmedi, Mahida Javed SUB-EDITORS Munawara Ghauri (Head), Maryam Malik, Nusrat Haq, Mariam Rahman PROOFREADERS Farhana Dar (Head), Hina Rehman, Amina Abbasi, Aisha Patel HOUSE STYLE GUIDE Maleeha Ahmad (Head), Sadia Shah SOCIAL MEDIA Tazeen Ahmad (Head), Mala Khan (Deputy), Nudrat Ahmad, Hajra Ahmad, Mishall Rahman, Shumaila Ahmad PRINT DESIGN AND LAYOUT Ahsan Khan INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION & DISTRIBUTION Muhammad Hanif ACCOUNTS & MARKETING Musa Sattar ART & CREATIVITY Zubair Hayat, Mussawir Din INDEXING,TAGGING & ARCHIVING Mirza Krishan Ahmad (Head). Amtus Shakoor Tayyaba Ahmed (Deputy). Humaira Omer, Humda Sohail, Shahid Malik, Ruhana Hamood, Mubahil Shakir, Adila Bari, Hassan Raza Ahmad MANAGEMENT BOARD Munir-Ud-Din Shams (Chairman), Syed Amer Safir (Secretary), Mubarak Ahmad Zaffar, Abdul Baqi Arshad, Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Naseer Qamar, Abid Waheed Ahmad Khan, Aziz Ahmad Bilal
  8. 8. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas
  9. 9. T he essence of Islam lay in losing oneself in love of God and in holding none worthy of worship except Him. Its purpose is to be lost in God and not in the world. Towards this end, Islam divides its teachings into two parts— our obligation to Allah, and our obligation to His creatures. Our obligation to Allah demands implicit submission and our obligation to His creatures requires sympathising with them and helping them. Tormenting others simply because of reli- gious difference is wrong. Sympathy and kindness are one thing, and opposition because of religion quite another. The group of Muslims which has wrong notions about Jihad and is grossly mistaken about it,has gone to the extent of justifying the unlawful seizure of property belonging to non-Muslims. About me and my followers too they have issued an edict to usurp our goods and even to abduct our women, whereas the teachings of Islam never sanction such foul deeds. Islam is a clean and pure religion. Just as a father expects his children to perform the duties they owe to him and also be mutually help- ful and not be at loggerheads with each other, similarly Islam lays emphasis on the Oneness of God and also underscores the need for concord and unity among mankind.1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , Lecture Ludhiana, 46-47. The Essence of Islam
  10. 10. BUILDING BRIDGES of PEACE
  11. 11. In a world where people seem to be drifting further and further apart, how can we come together and achieve world peace?
  12. 12. After reciting Tashahhud,Ta’awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said: “All distinguished guests, Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu – peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all. With the Grace of Allah,the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany is once again holding its Annual Convention here in Karlsruhe. These three days are of great significance and importance to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and those Ahmadis participating,as they have gathered here together with the inten- tion of increasing their spirituality and religious knowledge. Yet, as we join here today, it is an unde- niable fact that the world’s peace is Building Bridges of Peace ADDRESS BY WORLDWIDE HEAD OF THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY TO GUESTS AT THE 41ST ANNUAL CONVENTION IN GERMANY On Saturday 3rd September 2016, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba addressed an audience of more than 1000 guests on the second day of the 41st Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany. The Review of Religions is pleased to present the full transcript of this important speech. 12 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  13. 13. teetering on a knife-edge.With each day that passes we witness increasing con- flict and uncertainty across the globe. It is a strange and tragic paradox that even though we are more connected than ever before,we are actually growing ever more distant by the day. Notably, the stabil- ity of Europe has markedly deteriorated during the past year, following the vast influx of refugees from Syria and Iraq, and also because of the various terror- ist attacks that have taken place recently. Undoubtedly, the evil acts conducted by so-called Muslim terrorist groups or by certain extremist individuals is causing untold damage to society and increas- ing the fear of Islam in the minds of the wider public. Given all of this, I am sure that there will be some people who are concerned and fearful of the fact that thousands of Ahmadi Muslims have gathered together this weekend for their Annual Convention. Whilst this Convention has been taking place for many years,previously most of the mem- bers of the general public were not aware As we join here today, it is an undeniable fact that the world’s peace is teetering on a knife-edge.With each day that passes we witness increasing conflict and uncertainty across the globe. It is a strange and tragic paradox that even though we are more connected than ever before, we are actually growing ever more distant by the day. His Holiness addresses the audience at the 41st annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Karlsruhe Germany. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 13
  14. 14. of it. Now, because of the prevailing cir- cumstances, awareness of this event will have increased and some people will be suspicious or fearful of the fact that so many Muslims have assembled together in one venue. Indeed, some of you seated before me will also have reservations and misgiv- ings and so your attendance, in spite of such fears, is extremely noteworthy and testament to your good nature.You have exhibited exemplary courage by attend- ing an Islamic religious function at a time when the media’s portrayal of Islam and false propaganda have given rise to the belief that Muslims are all terror- ists and extremists. Your presence also proves that despite the misinformation and propaganda,you hold a positive and sympathetic opinion towards Ahmadi Muslims. For this gesture and demonstration of friendship and goodwill, I am extremely grateful to you all.There may also be peo- ple attending,who in spite of harbouring fears about Islam,have come here out of curiosity. I thank all of them as well and commend them for their willingness to learn about Islam and their interest in this event.Anyway before proceeding any further, let me take this opportunity to reassure all of our guests that the Islam commonly portrayed in the Western media is not in any way an accurate reflection of its true teachings. Islam is not, God forbid, a religion that promotes extremism or violence, rather it is a religion that advocates peace, tol- erance and justice at all levels of society. Unquestionably, there are some Muslim groups or individuals who are perpe- trating the most heinous possible acts in the name of Islam. Yet, rather than serving Islam,all they are achieving is to In complete contrast to the extremists, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is an entirely peaceful religious community that seeks to spread tolerance, reconciliation and freedom of belief throughout the world. However, do not think that we have adopted a new interpretation of Islam or have modified its teachings in any way. BUILDING BRIDGES OF PEACE 14 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  15. 15. defame it by violating its true teachings. In complete contrast to the extremists, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is an entirely peaceful religious community that seeks to spread tolerance, reconcili- ation and freedom of belief throughout the world. However, do not think that we have adopted a new interpretation of Islam or have modified its teachings in any way.The sole reason we are peaceful, the sole reason we care and love man- kind and the sole reason we seek to heal the divisions that have beset the world is because, and only because, we follow the teachings of Islam. It is due only to the fact that we have understood the true meaning of the Holy Qur’an that we Ahmadi Muslims seek to live our lives in this peaceful fashion. Everything we say and do is inspired by what we have learned from the Holy Qur’an and from the practice of the Founder of Islam,the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa . Upon hearing this, many of you will question that, if Islam is so peaceful, then why is it that Muslim extremist groups are wreaking havoc both in the Muslim world and increasingly in the West as well? Why are they mercilessly killing innocent people? Fresh in your mind will be the despicable attacks that have taken place in France and Belgium during the recent past.And above all you will have been enormously distressed and alarmed by the spate of attacks that have taken place here in Germany during the past few months. For example, in May, there was an attack at a German rail- way station, followed by an even bigger attack on a train in July. Similarly, there have been attacks by refugees and failed asylum seekers in different cities during recent weeks. Innocent people have lost their lives or have been badly injured. Naturally, such attacks have frightened members of the public and instilled a fear of Islam within the hearts and minds of An influx of refugees from places such as Syria and Iraq has overtaxed Europe. Germany’s original welcoming attitude has turned to fear and mistrust. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 15
  16. 16. the locals. It is a tragedy of the highest scale that these attacks are being associ- ated with Islam because such atrocities are the polar opposite of what Islam stands for. Islam is that religion which has outlawed in the strongest possible terms the kill- ing or infliction of harm upon innocent people. Yet the terrorists who claim to act in Islam’s name are guilty of targeting innocent and defenceless people.They are slaughtering blameless individuals who have never waged any war or sought harm to anyone.And of course the height of this brutality was the beheading of an elderly priest in a French church recently. Under any circumstances,and in any age, such brutality is entirely without justi- fication and beyond comprehension. If some Western governments have assisted Muslim governments fighting against rebels or groups in their own countries, it does not give the latter the licence to export their hatred and evil activities to the Western world. Such people should look at, and heed, the example of the Founder of Islamsa . History bears witness to the fact that the wars fought in early Islam were forced upon the Muslims and were entirely defensive in nature.Yet,even under such circumstances, the Holy Prophetsa laid down extremely strict rules of engage- ment for Muslim soldiers to follow and abide by. For example, he commanded that no church or place of worship and no priest or religious leader was ever to be targeted.Furthermore,he taught that no woman, child or elderly person was ever to be attacked. He even went as far as to say that, during a state of war, the Muslims should endeavour to protect the environment and so no trees were to be felled. When the teachings of the Prophet of Islamsa are so clear,how could it ever be permissible for Muslims to murder or harm innocent people living thousands of miles away from conflict zones? The truth is that such attacks are not justified and never will be. As I have mentioned already,even in a state of war, there are extremely strict rules of engage- ment laid down by Islam. For example, chapter 8, verse 68 of the Holy Qur’an states that only those directly engaged in warfare may be taken as prisoners. And so even during a war a Muslim is not permitted to imprison anyone with whom he is not in direct combat, never mind to kill them. Yet today, Muslims are engaging in suicide attacks or other terrorist activities, in which they are BUILDING BRIDGES OF PEACE 16 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  17. 17. brutally murdering innocent people liv- ing in towns and cities thousands of miles away who had no quarrel or knowledge of them.Such abhorrent and unspeakable acts serve only to defile the teachings of Islam. Whosoever is engaging in such a way, whether as part of a group or as a lone individual, is not following Islam, rather they seek only to serve their own personal interests or to fulfil the selfish interests and ambitions of their leaders. Nonetheless, whilst it cannot be denied that the greatest cause of today’s disorder and cruelties lie in the Muslim world, it would be wrong in my opinion to absolve all other parties of blame entirely.Certain Western governments and major pow- ers have also made mistakes and have instigated unwise and unjust policies, in Islam is that religion which has outlawed in the strongest possible terms the killing or infliction of harm upon innocent people. Yet the terrorists who claim to act in Islam’s name are guilty of targeting innocent and defenceless people.They are slaughtering blameless individuals who have never waged any war or sought harm to anyone. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 17
  18. 18. terms of their relationships with Muslim countries,that have led to a negative and extreme reaction amongst some segments of the Muslim world.Such foreign poli- cies have created instability and sowed division, paving the way for extremism and terrorism to flourish. A direct con- sequence of this state of affairs has been the sudden influx of huge numbers of refugees into Europe. This influx has already inspired fear and panic amongst the local people. Whilst the willingness of certain coun- tries, especially Germany, to provide refuge to them has been a show of kind- ness,solidarity and compassion,the truth is that it is not easy to absorb so many people and there are inherent risks and dangers involved. Indeed, as a result of the refugee crisis, Europe has instantly become a more dangerous and unstable place, as it has created an opportunity for terrorist groups to send their mem- bers to this continent posing as refugees. Apart from any attacks they themselves are involved in,such extremists also seek to spread their networks of terror by radi- calising Muslims already living in this part of the world. They take advantage of their personal frustrations and incite them to launch Whilst the willingness of certain countries, especially Germany, to provide refuge to them has been a show of kindness, solidarity and compassion, the truth is that it is not easy to absorb so many people and there are inherent risks and dangers involved. continent posing as refugees. BUILDING BRIDGES OF PEACE Protestors at a demonstration against the German government’s closing of the “Oplatz” refugee camp. Tensions between refugees and citizens are growing throughout Germany and indeed, throughout Europe. Montecruz Foto | Released under CC BY-SA 2.0 18 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  19. 19. suicide attacks or other atrocities here. Tragically,we have already seen examples of this in recent months. Furthermore, another negative consequence of the refugee crisis has been the hardening in attitude towards immigrants across Europe. In many countries we are see- ing far-right nationalist parties gaining influence and popularity. The same is true here in Germany where it is obvi- ous that the compassion and warmth that the majority of this nation displayed a year ago towards the refugees has rapidly declined and been replaced by a combi- nation of fear and hostility towards the immigrants. Various media reports and surveys substantiate the fact that much of the population now considers the willingness of the German government to open its borders last year to be a serious mistake. This shift in attitude is worrying, and in particular,the subsequent rise of nation- alist parties is a cause of deep concern and a threat to the nation’s peace and security.A prime example of this was the attack at a shopping centre in Munich in July when a number of young people were killed. The attacker in that tragic event was later identified as a far-right sympathiser.This is an extreme example, but even at a general level, there is no doubt that people are increasingly fearful and concerned about the effects of mass immigration.Local people feel a sense of injustice and anger that immigrants are taking benefits from the German state, funded by the German taxpayer. Further,there is a belief that such immi- grants deriving benefit from the state are not loyal or sincere to Germany and actually seek it harm. There is no doubt that we are passing through extremely precarious and volatile times and so it is imperative that the authorities do not take these matters lightly.Rather,the gov- ernment must take urgent action to try to calm this situation before it spirals out of all control. It should implement poli- cies through which the rights of German citizens are protected and not affected in any way.The authorities should also seek to help genuine immigrants settle here and to stand upon their own two feet.On many occasions I have said,most recently in Sweden earlier this year, that immi- grants should not simply take benefits from the country they migrate to; rather, they should be encouraged to enter the labour force and actively contribute to society as soon as possible. In my view, this would have an instantly positive effect and would lessen the perilous gulf that is opening up between existing OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 19
  20. 20. citizens and immigrants. Furthermore, you cannot disregard the threat of ter- rorists or extremists entering this country and so the authorities must ensure they do everything possible to protect the people of this nation and to identify those who seek to harm it. Wherever and whenever someone uses his religion to justify cruelty and injustice,or to usurp the rights of others or to act against the state, it is certainly the responsibility of the government and authorities to firmly put a stop to such activities. In terms of establishing peace in the world, I have highlighted time and time again – the importance of justice and equity. Indeed, Islam states that the key to peace is justice and fairness at all lev- els of society. Moreover, Islam does not only call for justice, but also outlines the standards of justice required.Thus,chap- ter 5, verse 9, of the Holy Qur’an states that a person should treat even his worst enemies and opponents with fairness and that the enmity of any nation or person should never incite a person to disregard the principles of fairness and justice. It is our belief that the perfect manifesta- tion of this teaching was the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and so let us look at his example. Once, some Muslims killed two opponents of Islam who they considered to be a threat. However before they were killed, the opponents had entered the confines of the Sacred Mosque in Makkah in order to seek refuge. Upon being informed of this incident by the opponents of Islam,the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa admonished the Muslims involved in the strongest terms and deemed their act to be a great injustice and cruelty. According to the prevailing Arab custom, he immediately ordered for blood money to be paid to the rela- tives of the deceased.This is the practical example of the Qur’anic teaching that a person should treat even his enemies with justice and fairness. Hence, when a matter came to the Holy Prophetsa for judgement he did not consider who was his follower and who was his opponent; rather,the Prophet of Islamsa looked only at what was right,what was fair and what was just. This is the outstanding standard of justice that Islam requires from all Muslims and so let it be clear that attacks on inno- cent people who have done no wrong - whether in stations, trains, clubs or anywhere else - are completely unjus- tifiable and must be condemned in the very strongest possible terms. I have just BUILDING BRIDGES OF PEACE 20 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  21. 21. quoted one example from the history of early Islam, but there are countless oth- ers that testify to the magnificence of Islam’s teachings.Based on these Islamic teachings, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always remained firm in its belief that no one has the right to take the law of the land into his or her own hands.Certainly,it is our conviction that Islam’s respect for life and liberty is absolute and unmatched in the history of mankind.Thus, chapter 5, verse 33, of The Holy Prophet’ssa standard of justice was so high that he considered it an act of cruelty to murder opponents of Islam if they had seeken refuge within a mosque—and he ordered immediately that the relatives of the deceased be given restitution. Al Jazeera English | Flickr | Released under CC BY-SA 2.0 In terms of establishing peace in the world, I have highlighted time and time again – the importance of justice and equity. Indeed, Islam states that the key to peace is justice and fairness at all levels of society. Moreover, Islam does not only call for justice, but also outlines the standards of justice required. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 21
  22. 22. the Holy Qur’an declares that to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of humanity and to save the life of one person is akin to saving all of mankind. Accordingly, if a person analyses Islam’s teachings with fairness they will soon realise that the terrorism and extremism prevalent in the world today has nothing to do with Islam, regardless of what the terrorists claim or how the media por- trays the religion.The truth is that those who promote violence or extremism are violating Islam’s noble teachings only to serve their own personal ambitions and lust for power. In fact, the literal mean- ing of “Islam” is peace, reconciliation and security for all and whosoever acts against this contravenes the teachings of the religion. In light of all this, today it is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that has picked up the mantle of spread- ing Islam’s true teachings to all parts of the world. It is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that seeks to establish true and long-lasting peace in the world. It is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that is striving for people of all races, ethnicities, religions and beliefs to come together and to live side-by-side with mutual respect and tolerance. And it is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that endeavours to unite humanity under the umbrella of love and mercy. In order to achieve these objec- tives, we make every possible effort, and so at a time when the world is embroiled in increasing conflict and division,we are building bridges of peace that are bring- ing people together.Furthermore,we are serving humanity to the very best of our abilities.We are striving to help those in need and to provide them with a better future for themselves and their chil- dren. Thus, we have established various humanitarian projects in deprived parts of the world. For example,we have built and are running hundreds of schools and dozens of hospi- tals in some of Africa’s most remote areas that are providing education and health- care to local people irrespective of their creed, caste or colour.Through our Water for Life project we are providing easy access to clean and safe drinking water to people living in remote villages and towns. Similarly, we are providing various other essential facilities and services in order to alleviate the pain and difficulties of people so that they can live in relative comfort and ease. We do not desire any praise or rec- ognition,as we are merely following what our religion has taught us. BUILDING BRIDGES OF PEACE 22 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  23. 23. This is true Islam and I am sure you will agree that it is far-removed from what is commonly portrayed by the media. Therefore, you do not need to fear Islam or to consider it to be a threat. However, there is certainly a need to fear those terrorists and extremists who are act- ing against Islam’s teachings. They are a source of grave danger, not only for the non-Muslim world, but to Muslims as well. In fact, if we analyse the statistics or reports, it is clear that those perpe- trating violence in the name of Islam The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is committed to serving humanity to the best of its abilities. Over the last few decades, the Community has built schools and hospitals and initiated the Water for Life project, which provides clean and safe drinking water to people. Through our Water for Life project we are providing easy access to clean and safe drinking water to people living in remote villages and towns. Similarly, we are providing various other essential facilities and services in order to alleviate the pain and difficulties of people so that they can live in relative comfort and ease. We do not desire any praise or recognition, as we are merely following what our religion has taught us. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 23
  24. 24. are inflicting their greatest cruelties in Muslim nations against Muslims themselves. Thus, it is not Islam that is attacking you or seeking to usurp your rights,rather it is people and groups who have their own vested interests and agen- das and who have no link with Islam or religion. As Ahmadi Muslims we have always strived for peace in the world through our words, deeds and prayers and we will continue to do so forevermore, God Willing.To promote and work for peace is the urgent need of the time, other- wise the direction the world is heading in seems certain to lead to a catastrophic world war,whose potentially devastating consequences are unimaginable.Thus,let us all unite against the forces of evil that seek to divide mankind and let us unify in the name of peace and harmony. Instead of inciting hatred and enmity against one another, we should work Instead of inciting hatred and enmity against one another, we should work towards peace and mutual understanding. All people, and all organisations, must collectively endeavour to uphold human values, and strive to make the world in which we live, a better and far more harmonious place. 24 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  25. 25. towards peace and mutual understanding. All people, and all organisations, must collectively endeavour to uphold human values, and strive to make the world in which we live, a better and far more harmonious place. May Allah enable all people to act with justice and tolerance and may true peace emerge in the world. May Allah grant wisdom to the people of the world so that the world we leave behind for our children and future gener- ations is a world of peace and prosperity, Ameen. At the end I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests once again for accepting our invitation. May Allah bless you all.Thank you.” Your feedback is important to us Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@ReviewofReligions.org OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 25
  26. 26. FORGIVENESS OF ENEMIES All rites and duties over, the Prophetsa addressed the Makkans and said:“You have seen how true the promises of God have proved.Now tell me what punishment you should have for the cruelties and enormities you committed against those whose only fault was that they invited you to the wor- ship of the One and Only God.”To this the Makkans replied, “We expect you to treat us as Josephas treated his erring brothers.” By significant coincidence, the Makkans used in their plea for forgiveness the very words which God had used in Surah Yusuf, revealed ten years before the conquest of Makkah.In this the Prophetsa was told that he would treat his Makkan persecutors as Josephas had treated his brothers. By ask- ing for the treatment which Josephas had meted out to his brothers, the Makkans admitted that the Prophetsa of Islam was the like of Josephas and as Josephas was granted victory over his brothers, the Prophetsa had been granted victory over the Makkans. Hearing the Makkans’ plea, the Prophetsa declared at once: “By God, you will have no punishment today and no reproof ” (Hisham). While the Prophetsa was engaged in expressing his gratitude to God and in carrying out other devotions at the Ka‘bah,and while he was addressing the Makkans announcing his decision to forgive and forget, misgivings arose in the minds of the Ansar,the Madinite Muslims. Some of them were upset over the scenes of homecoming and of reconciliation which they witnessed on the return of Makkan Muslims to Makkah. Was the Prophetsa parting company with them, his friends in adversity who provided the first home to Islam? Was the Prophetsa going to settle down at Makkah,the town from which he had to flee for his life? Such fears did not seem too remote now that Makkah had been conquered and his own tribe had joined Islam. The Prophetsa might want to settle down in it. God informed the Prophetsa of these misgivings of the Ansar. He raised his head,looked at the Ansar and said “You seem to think Muhammadsa is perturbed by the love of his town, and by the ties which bind him to his tribe.” “It is true,” said the Ansar, “we did think of this.” “Do you know,” said the Prophetsa , “who I am? I am a Servant of God and His Messenger. How can I give you up? You stood by me,and sacrificed your lives when the Faith of God had no earthly help.How can I give you up and settle elsewhere? No, Ansar,this is impossible.I left Makkah for the sake of God and I cannot return to it.I will live and die with you.”The Ansar were moved by this singular expression of love and loyalty.They regretted their distrust of God and His Prophetsa ,wept and asked to A Glimpse Into the Life of The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa 26 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  27. 27. be forgiven.They explained that they would not have any peace if the Prophetsa left their town and went elsewhere. The Prophetsa replied that their fear was understandable and that, after their explanation, God and His Prophetsa were satisfied about their innocence and acknowledge their sincer- ity and loyalty. How must the Makkans have felt at this time? True they did not shed the tears of devotion but their hearts must have been full of regret and remorse. For,had they not cast away with their own hands the gem which had been found in their own town? They had all the more reason to regret this because the Prophetsa , having come back to Makkah,had decided to leave it again for Madinah.1 ENDNOTES 1. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra , Life of Muhammadsa (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Limited, 2013), 165-167. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 27
  28. 28. In this paper I shall try to sketch an outline of Islam’s political history, and show the glorious faith preached by the Holy Prophetsa spread out of the con- fines of Arabia to the farthest corners of the world. I shall also try to give an outline of the history of all the present day independent Muslim countries. It shall necessarily be a very short sketch but I hope it shall give some idea of what power Islam once was and God willing, shall once again be through Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam. Five Periods Islamic history may conveniently be divided into five periods. 1. The first period may be called the Arab period. This comprises the times of (a) the first four Caliphs of Islam; (b) The Umayyads at Damascus; (c) and the Abbasids at Baghdad. The first period runs from 632 A.D. to 950 A.D., approximately. During this period the centralism of Islam was intact and the Caliph was both the spiritual and A Short Sketch of Muslim History Professor Abdus Salam FROM THE ARCHIVES This short article was written by Dr. Abdus Salam at the age of 26, when he was a professor of mathematics at Government College, Lahore, in 1951. Professor Salam took the position of Chair of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London, in 1957 and was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, a first for a Muslim and Pakistani. This article was originally serialised in The Muslim Sunrise, an American maga- zine started by Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra , a companion of the Promised Messiahas .; it is being republished in The Review of Religions. As over 60 years have passed since its initial publication, some facts in the article reflect the time when it was written. 28 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  29. 29. the temporal head of the Islamic world.It was immediately followed by a hundred years of divided principalities when the Caliph’s temporal power was reduced to naught. It appeared as if Islam’s political power would entirely disintegrate. 2. But about 1050 A.D. a new people appeared on the scene — the Saljuqs. They accepted Islam and under them,for approximately two hundred years more, the centralism of Islam was restored.Thus our second period—that of the Saljuqs— comes to a close round about 1250 A.D. The first period may be called the Arab period.This comprises the times of (a) the first four Caliphs of Islam... This map, published in 1926 in The Historical Atlas by William Shepherd, depicts the expansion of the Muslim world from the time of the Holy Prophetsa , through the Umayyad caliphate in 750 A.D. Courtesy The General Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 29
  30. 30. 3. The third period begins with the Mongol onslaught in 1258 when Baghdad was sacked, the Caliph killed, and the lands of Islam entirely ruined. But in 20 years the Mongols themselves had accepted Islam.Their period,includ- ing that of Tamerlane, extends till about 1500 A.D. 4.From 1500 we enter the fourth period, that of the Safavids in Persia, Ottoman Turks in Turkey,and the Great Mughals in India—the period of national and regional dynasties. 5.Finally,the period starting from about 1700 A.D. brings us to the present day. In this period European powers began playing their role in the world of Islam. With this introduction we shall now go on to a detailed consideration of the peri- ods I have mentioned. Period of the Caliphate At the death of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam in 632 A.D.,practically the whole of Arabia proper had accepted Islam. Under his first duly elected successor,the Caliph Abu Bakrra , the power of Islam was consolidated still further in Arabia. But it was during the time of the second successor, Hazrat Umarra , that Islam spread outside Arabia and won its most glorious victories.The Byzantines and the Persians both thought Arabia belonged to them and,construing the rise of Islam as a rebellion against them, hastened to march to chastise the Arabs. A hand- ful of Muslims faced numbers, in some cases in the ratio of one man to ten, but the fiery zeal of the faith swept all before it. Damascus fell to the arms of Islam in 635,Yarmuk in 636 and with it Syria.The fate of Persia was decided at Qadisiya in 637 and Egypt was conquered in 640. But the reign of Caliph Umarra was not memorable only on account of its mil- itary glory. It was in his reign that for the first time in world history the prin- ciple was recognized that the state was responsible for the material welfare of all its citizens. It was recognized that the state had more obligations than rights. The saying with which he began his reign will never be antiquated: “By Allah, he that is the weakest among you shall be in my sight the strongest for I shall vindicate for him his rights, but him that is the strongest will I treat as the weakest until he complies with the law.” After Umarra succeeded Usmanra and Alira . After Alira the principle of election A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 30 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  31. 31. of the caliph died out. Mu’awiyah, who succeeded him in 661 as the Caliph, made the Caliphate hereditary and the Umayyad dynasty began. The question of succession of the Prophetsa raised the greatest political problem that Islam has had to face. The Shias contended that after the Prophetsa , Hazrat Alira should have succeeded the Prophetsa though he never himself laid any claims to caliphate on the score of his blood relationship.Actually,it was the Persians,to whom divine right was more or less a sacred article of faith, who were the greatest champions of Alira ’s family. All through Muslim history this dif- ference between Shias and Sunnis has persisted. Returning to the Umayyads: during the period of Mu’awiyah’s successor, Yazid, the battle of Karbala happened in 680 A.D.Hazrat Alira ’s son Hazrat Hussainra declined to pay homage to a Caliph who had not been elected in a shura [advisory or electoral council].He was martyred on the plains of Karbala. Among the Umayyad Caliphs Walid I was the most glorious.In his reign in 711 A.D., a handful of Muslims under Tariq A view of the Imam Hussain Mosque in the city of Karbala in 1932. In 680 A.D., Hazrat Hussainra , grandson of the Holy Prophetsa , was martyred in the city. Courtesy of the Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 31
  32. 32. ibn Ziyad crossed over into Spain. In a few years they had overrun it with irre- sistible force and for the next 700 years Spain was a Muslim country.During this period Muhammad bin Qasim invaded India and conquered Sindh and Multan. The Abbasids The Umayyads fell in 750 A.D.and were succeeded by the Abbasids,who,though Sunnis in faith, came to power with the help of Khurasani Shias. The Abbasids transferred their seat of government from Damascus to Baghdad.The most glorious reign among the Abbasids was doubtless that of Haroon al-Rashid, the hero of the celebrated Arabian Nights, and his son Mamoon. Islamic learning and the prosperity of the Muslim countries was at a pitch that it had never reached before. About a hundred years after Haroon’s death, the power of the Abbasid caliphs began to wane. In Khurasan, the Samanids took over power; in Fars, the Buyids; in Mesopotamia the Hamadanis; in Africa the Fatimids and in Arabia the Carmathians.All these rulers (except the Fatimids) acknowledged the sovereignty of the Caliph in name but the disintegra- tion was so complete that it appeared as if Islam was politically doomed.The only event of note we may mention in this period occurred when Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni for the first time laid foundation of a permanent Muslim rule in India. The Saljuqs During this period when the empire of the Caliphate had vanished, and what had once been a realm united under a sole Muslim ruler was reduced to a col- lection of scattered dynasties,a new race arose, a new people accepted Islam, and with their fresh zeal poured new blood into the dying veins.The Turkish Saljuqs accepted Islam; they bred a generation of Muslim warriors to whom more than During this period when the empire of the Caliphate had vanished, and what had once been a realm united under a sole Muslim ruler was reduced to a collection of scattered dynasties, a new race arose, a new people accepted Islam, and with their fresh zeal poured new blood into the dying veins. A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  33. 33. anything else the Crusaders owed their repeated failures. The first Saljuq sultan was Tughral Tughan Khan,who died in 1063.He was followed by his brilliant son Alp Arslan. This period was of unequalled prosperity and security.It also produced the greatest Muslim statesman of all times, Nizam al-Mulk. The Abbasid Caliph still held sway over Baghdad but he delegated all temporal power to the Saljuq Sultans. The Saljuq kingdom extended from the borders of Afghanistan to the ends of the Arabian peninsula.Except Egypt and Spain alI the Muslim world was united and never after that period has it been united again in the same manner. Alp Arslan was succeeded by his son Malik Shah. His period was the heyday of learning and original research in the mathematics and sciences. In 1074 the observatory was founded where the cele- brated Omar Khayyam worked.The Jalali calendar was instituted which, in the judgment of a modern scholar, is more accurate than our present Gregorian one. The Nizamia University in Baghdad was founded.This university had the honour of having one of its chairs being occupied by the celebrated Muslim dialectician Al-Ghazali. The Saljuq power began declining towards the end of the twelfth century. But even in its decline it had enough vitality to repulse the Crusaders. The great Saladin of Scott’s novels flourished A manuscript page from Al-Ghazali’s book, Revival of the Sciences of Religion. The Saljuq period saw great progress in learning, especially during the time of Malik Shah, which saw the founding of observatories, the creation of the Jalali calendar, and the founding of Jamia Nizamia, or university. Courtesy of the Tunisian National Library OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 33
  34. 34. about 1170. It is curious that the atti- tude towards the Crusades was entirely different in Christian countries and in the Muslim lands. While in the West they were given the form of a holy war and the whole military might of Europe was behind them, in Muslim countries they were considered as local affairs, local depredations which the gover- nors of the provinces concerned could effectively deal with. In 1171 after the decisive battle of Hattin when Saladin sent several Frank prisoners to the Caliph Al-Nasir at Baghdad,the booty included a bronze iron cross inlaid with the wood of the true cross. It was duly buried near Baghdad. In the later part of the Saljuq period an ulcer grew in Islamic society.The Nizari Ismailis, also known as the Assassins, gained strength. They held absolute sway over a few forts like Alamut, but the terror they inspired with their secret activities made them a great power in the land. The Mongols In the beginning of the 13th century the Saljuq power had declined. Some other dynasty may have taken their place but about 1220 occurred one of the great- est eruptions in the history of the world. The nomadic tribes of Central Asia, the Mongols, swarmed over the whole civi- lized world (both Europe and Asia) and under Genghis Khan and Hulagu Khan swept like an avalanche all before them. About 1260 it appeared that Islam’s political power had disappeared for good; Baghdad had been razed to the ground; the Caliphate obliterated; the lands of Islam,Persia,Transoxiana [the area cov- ering parts of modern-day Uzbekistan, Kyryzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan] and Iraq laid completely waste. But then again the miracle happened.The religion of the conquered itself conquered the conquerors. I shall briefly recount the story of the Mongols here: Why the Mongols rose like that, nobody has ulti- mately ascertained: “In its suddenness, its devastating destruction, its appalling ferocity, its passionless and purposeless cruelty, its irresistible though shortlived violence, the Mongol onslaught resem- bles some brute cataclysm of the blind forces of nature rather than a phenom- enon of human history.”1 About 1220 they fell on the lands of Islam and Europe.In Europe they sacked Moscow,Rostov,Kiev,and Krakow.Their second wave in 1258, under Hulagu, obliterated Baghdad and the Islamic A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 34 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  35. 35. caliphate.It seemed they came merely to kill and ruin.One by one all the Muslim countries fell before their onslaught.They did not excel in courage—if they spared the inhabitants of a town which sur- rendered, it was either to profit by their skill or to employ them against their countrymen. “Dozens of wretched cap- tives accompanied the advancing hordes, erected the engines of the besiegers,then were driven to the breaches effected in the walls to fill with their bodies moat and trench, and were finally, if they still escaped death, put to the sword to give place to a new batch of victims drawn from fresh conquests. Their cruelty was calculated, and deliberately designed to strike with a paralysis of terror those whom they proposed next to attack while they left behind them reeking ruins and charnel houses”2 That nothing might be left to complete the ruin of their victims they retired from a town which they had sacked, sent a detachment to revisit its ruins and kill such wretches as had emerged from their hiding places. The extent of terror they aroused can be judged from the follow- ing quotation from Ibn-ul-Athir (written in 1230): “I have heard that one of them took a The Mongols proved to be a formidable fighting force, conquering much of Europe and Asia. Yet they too eventually accepted Islam. © Peter Hermes Furian | Shutterstock In the beginning of the 13th century the Saljuq power had declined. Some other dynasty may have taken their place but about 1220 occurred one of the greatest eruptions in the history of the world.The nomadic tribes of Central Asia, the Mongols, swarmed over the whole civilized world (both Europe and Asia) and under Genghis Khan and Hulagu Khan swept like an avalanche all before them. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 35
  36. 36. man captive but had not with him any weapon wherewith to kill him and he said to his prisoner, ‘Lay your head on the ground and do not move and he did so and the Tatar went and fetched his sword and slew him therewith.” They professed no religion but their destruction of the centers of Islamic civilization advanced them so much in favor of the Pope that His Holiness was pleased to write to Ogotai Khan and others letters with his own signa- ture.The Pope only realized their perfidy when their hordes began devastating the Christian lands with equal impartiality. In the annals of Islam there has been no event with the like import.The destruc- tion of Baghdad as metropolis of Islam, its reduction to the status of a provin- cial town, and the murder of the Caliph, struck a fatal blow at the semblance of unity which had subsisted among the nations of Islam. The sack of Baghdad lasted a week while 80,000 people were put to death.The loss suffered by Muslim learning which never again regained its pristine level defies description and almost surpasses imagination. Not only were thousands of priceless books anni- hilated, but also the very tradition of accurate scholarship and original research was almost destroyed. But in spite of all this they could not kill the religion of Islam. They themselves fell victims to it. About 1275 the Mongol rulers had accepted Islam. Thenceforward, those very Mongols were Islam’s greatest champions. Tamerlane The political history of the next 200 years consists of the rule of Muslim Mongol princes in Persia till about 1350 while Ottoman Turks established themselves in Asia Minor. Egypt was ruled by the descendants of Saladin. After 1350 another Central Asian conqueror arose, Tamerlane. He professed Islam but he had no other motive except world con- quest and domination. He swept over Persia,India,Afghanistan,parts of Russia and some parts of China like Genghis Khan before him. His most notable vic- tory was over Bayezid I, the Sultan of Turkey in 1402. It checked for a while the progress of Ottoman Turks to be the most dominant force in Islam but the net effect of his conquests was ephem- eral. His successors ruled over Central Asia and Persia for almost a hundred years when they were supplanted by the Safavids. Thus the Mongol period, in which has been included Tamerlane, started roundabout 1250 and came to A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  37. 37. end about 1500 A.D., except in India where the Mughal rule effectively lasted till about 1750 A.D. It would not be out of place to stop here and take some stock of Muslim learning in this dark period.We come across some of the greatest religious names.The first to mention is that of Shah Shams Tabriz. His disciple Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi wrote his Masnavi near about 1260.The author describes his work in the Masnavi as “The roots of the roots of religion and discovery of the mysteries of reunion and sure knowledge.” The Sufi movement had its heyday in the thirteenth cen- tury. Sheikh Mohyuddin Ibn Arabi, the greatest name in medieval Islam,a native of Andalusia, went to live in Damascus and died there in 1240. In the literary sphere Hafiz-e-Shirazi and Sa’adi Shirazi belong to this period, while in mathematics and astronomy, This image depicts the emperor Tamerlane defeating the Mamluk sultan of Egypt. While his conquests were far-ranging, they lasted no longer than a century. In the annals of Islam there has been no event with the like import.The destruction of Baghdad as metropolis of Islam, its reduction to the status of a provincial town, and the murder of the Caliph, struck a fatal blow at the semblance of unity which had subsisted among the nations of Islam.The sack of Baghdad lasted a week while 80,000 people were put to death. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 37
  38. 38. Naseeruddin al-Tusi was writing and compiling his table in the 13th century. In the historical field some of the greatest books were written in this period.Ibnul- Athir, Ibn Arabshah, Ata-ul-Malik Juvayni being a few of the great histori- ans. A short time later in Aleppo Shah Nimatullah (born 1330) was writing his famous prediction of the coming of the Promised Messiah and his promised son. The Period of National Dynasties Now we start with the fourth period of our history, starting about 1500 A.D. In 1500 the Safavids—a Shia dynasty— seized power in Persia. Persia had been Shiite throughout its previous history but it was the first time that a Shia dynasty came to power. This had a profound effect on the course of future history. The Islamic world was divided into two antagonistic camps as it were—the Shiite Persia,parts of Afghanistan and Iraq and the Ottoman Turk Empire comprising Turkey,parts of Iraq,Arabia,Syria,Egypt and Algiers. Spain by now had passed out of Muslim hands. In India ruled the descendants of Tamerlane—the Great Mughals. From 1500 to 1700 we witness the great kingdoms; that of Great Mughals Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb in India; of the Safavids, Shah Ismail, Tahmasp, and Shah Abbas in Persia; of the Ottoman Turks, Mohammed I, Selim I, and Sulaiman the Magnificent in Turkey.India was the greatest power in the world in the Mughal days.For Persia this was the golden period of her pros- perity and well-being. The Turks ruled the biggest empire they had ever had. Among the Turkish Sultans Selim I conquered Egypt, Syria and Hejaz [parts of modern-day Saudi Arabia] and assumed the title of Caliph.Sulaiman the Magnificent,who ruled from 1510-1566, conquered Belgrade and parts of Poland. Vienna was besieged by Turkish armies while Turkey possessed the strongest fleet in the world. The Turkish empire extended from the frontiers of Germany to the Persian border. Although dur- ing this period the centralism of Islam had disappeared, politically the Muslim world was at its zenith. Eastern Europe lay prostrate under Turkish feet and as a contemporary European historian wrote “Except for his war with Persia, there is nothing that can keep the Turk from annihilating us in Europe.” A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 38 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  39. 39. After 1700 A.D. Turkish power in Europe held intact till about 1800. But the Mughal Empire in India had begun disintegrating and during the course of next two centu- ries was gradually supplanted by British supremacy. The Safavids in Persia lost their hold on the country and in 1727 Persia was conquered by the Afghans. The Afghans were Sunnis and bitterly hated the Shiite Persians. This was the first time after Sultan Mahmud (about 1000 A.D.) that the Afghans asserted themselves as an independent entity. They were soon however driven out of Persia by Nadir Shah who, rising from humble beginnings,ultimately seized all power and came to rule over Persia. His career of conquests was as amazing as The Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife, illustrates the power and wealth wielded by the Mughal rulers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. © User Asitjain | Wikimedia Commons | Released under CC BY-SA 3.0 From 1500 to 1700 we witness the great kingdoms; that of Great Mughals Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb in India; of the Safavids, Shah Ismail,Tahmasp, and Shah Abbas in Persia; of the Ottoman Turks, Mohammed I, Selim I, and Sulaiman the Magnificent in Turkey. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 39
  40. 40. that of Tamerlane or Napoleon. To finish with Persian history, Nadir Shah’s family was soon deposed and the Qajars took its place. They tilled over Persia effectively till the revolution of 1906, when the Persians won for them- selves the Constitution.The Qajars were followed by Raza Shah Pahlavi in 1925. During the last war Reza Shah abdicated in favor of his son who is the present Shah. Concerning Turkish history, after 1700 a big element enters it with the coming of Russia.War with Russia started about 1700.Turkish arms were at first victori- ous. In 1710 Peter the Great’s army was menaced with total destruction. But about 1770 Turkish fortunes began to wane.Crimea got her independence from Turkey in 1788. France, the traditional ally of Turkey, broke her traditional role when Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798. After that Egypt under Muhammad Ali went out of the Turkish orbit and became quasi-independent for some time.About the same time Algiers was captured by the French. The Greeks won their independence from the Turks about 1820 with the help of European powers. The Turkish cali- phate went on losing ground till power was seized from the Caliph’s hands by the Young Turk Party in 1910. Turkey entered the wrong side in World War I and lost all her European and Asiatic possessions. The Arab countries as they exist today evolved after the first World War.Turkey itself had a political rejuve- nation under Kemal Ataturk and is now materially one of the most advanced Muslim countries. Before I conclude I shall range over all the independent Muslim countries one by one and summarise their histories— each from their national point of view, starting from the extreme East. Independent Muslim Countries Indonesia: Islam began making itself felt in Java and Sumatra through the active missionary work of Arab trad- ers from a very early date. But only in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries did its political power become impor- tant. The Arabic script displaced the Kavi (ancient Javanese) script. Among the various principalities ruled over by Muslim princes may be mentioned the Sultanate of Aceh in Sumatra, not only for its glory in the sixteenth century but also for the resistance which it offered to A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY 40 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  41. 41. the Dutch as recently as the nineteenth century.Indonesia has won its independ- ence from the Dutch and is now the most populous Muslim country in the world. Pakistan: Muslims came to India in the eighth century.But Muslim domination began about the twelfth century.For 300 years India was ruled by various Afghan The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Muslim world but eventually dissolved in the 1920s. © Peter Hermes Furian | Shutterstock Turkey entered the wrong side in World War I and lost all her European and Asiatic possessions.The Arab countries as they exist today evolved after the first World War.Turkey itself had a political rejuvenation under Kemal Ataturk and is now materially one of the most advanced Muslim countries. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 41
  42. 42. dynasties. They were succeeded by the Mughals in 1526. The Mughal power passed after 200 years when the English took over. Pakistan—the expression of Indian Islam for freedom—was brought into existence in August, 1947. Afghanistan: Afghanistan was a part of the Umayyad and Abbasid empires. It first had its separate existence about 1000 A. D. when the Ghaznavi dynasty ruled over it.After that Afghanistan shared the fate of Persia, all through its chequered history. It was no more than a province, sometimes of the Muslim Indian Empire, sometimes that of the Persian. In 1725,however,the Afghans again rose and gained an independent status.In the 19th century they clashed with Britain. Since then however, Afghanistan has existed as an independent power. Persia: Persia was a part of the Umayyad and Abbasid empires. It was under the Saljuqs in the eleventh and twelfth cen- turies. For the next one hundred years Mongol princes ruled over it. From about 1350 till 1500 Tamerlane and his descendants held sway, while from 1500 to 1700 the Safavids ruled over it. After that the Qajar dynasty was founded.The constitution, the expression of Persian democracy,was instituted in 1907,under which the present Shah rules over the country. Central Asia: Comprising Transoxiana and Russian Turkistan, this area formed part of Persia till the eighteenth century. Russia gradually conquered Bukhara, Tashqand, and Samarqand in the next hundred years. Now one hesitates to call them Muslim countries under the Soviets because they have little contact with rest of Islamic world. The Arab Countries: Iraq,Syria (includ- ing Palestine which throughout Muslim history formed part of Syria) and Saudi Arabia shared the fate of Persia till 1500 A.D. After that they formed part of the A SHORT SKETCH OF MUSLIM HISTORY I have stated earlier that at the lowest ebb of Islamic political power, Islam’s religious vitality has displayed itself again and again. Islam’s political might reached its nadir towards the end of 19th century and about that time rose Ahmadiyyat. 42 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  43. 43. Ottoman Turkish empire.They won their independence during World War I with British help. But the British, after the war, defected from their promises and parcelled out Syria to the French,keeping Iraq and Transjordan under themselves, It is only after this war3 that Syria, Iraq and Transjordan have gained their independence. Turkey: Turkey was first conquered for Islam by the Abbasids. Ottoman Turks migrated to it about 1288. Constantinople was taken in 1453 by Mohammad I. Turkey rose to great power but its decline started in the 19th century. In the first World War, alliance with Germany cost Turkey all its posses- sions in Europe, Asia and Africa. Egypt: Egypt was ruled by the Umayyads till 750, then by the Fatimids till 1170, then by the Mamluks till around 1500, A.D. when Selim I conquered it and incorporated it in the Turkish empire. It won independence in 19th century but lost it again to the British.The sub- sequent rise of Egypt in Middle East affairs,and its struggle with Great Britain is all recent history. Now Egypt stands out as the paramount Middle Eastern power. This concludes our survey of the map of the Muslim World. There is one glorious event in the history of Islam which I have reserved for treat- ment at the end. I have stated earlier that at the lowest ebb of Islamic political power, Islam’s religious vitality has displayed itself again and again.Islam’s political might reached its nadir towards the end of 19th century and about that time rose Ahmadiyyat. Hazrat Ahmadas , the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi was raised at Qadian in 1889 and through him Islam will be regenerated spiritually and politically. ENDNOTES 1. E.G. Brown, A Literary History of Persia (1906), 427.Translated and quoted from D’Ohsson’s Histoire des Mongols, vol. I, p.387. 2. Brown, 434. 3. World War II [Editor] OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 43
  44. 44. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas
  45. 45. I swear by Allah, the Glorious, that I am from Him; He knows that I am not a liar nor an impostor. If, in spite of this solemn oath, and despite witnessing the signs God has shown in my favour, you still call me a liar and an impos- tor, then I implore you to cite just one instance of an impostor who continues to be blessed with divine support and succour in spite of his constant lying in the name of God. Such a person should be killed by God, but just the reverse is happening in my case. I again swear by God that I speak the truth and that I have been sent by Him.Though I am in turn called a liar and an impostor,God comes to my help in every case in which my opponents implicate me.What is more, He helps me by infus- ing my love in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. I stake my credibility on this. Show me an impostor and a liar and someone who dared attribute to God what was not from Him, and was still the recipient of His help and support and continued to enjoy life as long as mine and whose aspirations were similarly fulfilled.1 ENDNOTES 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , Lecture Ludhiana, 37-38. Impostors are not Blessed with Divine Support
  46. 46. Bitcoin: On Behalf of The Future 14 Educating Our Children 24 The Difference Between True Islam & Extremist Groups 30 FGM’ – Not in The Name of Religion 50 VOL. 110 - ISSUE 1JANUARY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG ERADICATING EXTREMISM Why The Honeybee is Dying and What It Means for Life on Earth 16 Wonders Experienced Through Fasting 26 The Islamic Dilemma Should We Fear the Religion of Peace? 30 Atheism or Belief - Which is evidence Based? 42 VOL. 110 - ISSUE SEVENJULY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The ISLAMIC DILEMMA ShouldWeFearthe ReligionofPeace? God - His Transcedence and Manifestation 12 Untold Stories 26 From the Archives: My Visit to Qadian 38 Preaching Activities of Jesusas in the East 46 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TWOFEBRUARY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG EYES CANNOT REACH HIM... The Sign of the Heavens 20 The Plague 58 A Murder in British Lahore: Closing the Case of Lekh Ram 80 World War One: Centenary of Fulfliment of a Grand Prophecy 102 VOL. 110 - ISSUE EIGHTAUGUST 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG EVIDENCE FORTHE TRUTHYoubetheJudge... S P E C I A L 1 6 4 P A G E E D I T I O N A Message of Peace 10 Legal Right Verses Moral Duty 38 Is it Permissable for Prisoners of War to be Executed? 56 The Life of the Prophet Muhammadsa 68 VOL. 110 - ISSUE THREEMARCH 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG REACTIONto CHARLIE HEBDO...? The Economic System of Islam 10 The Institution of Hajj 20 Mahmud’s Letter From the Land of the Dearest One [Muhammadsa ] 24 The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophetssa 52 VOL. 110 - ISSUE NINESEPTEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG Fromthe LETTERSof MAHMUDRA A HISTORIC JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF GOD To order back issues email info@reviewofreligions.org THE FRONT COVERS OF OUR 12 EDITIONS IN 2015
  47. 47. Firm Stance Against Terror At Peace Symposium 8 The Golden Principles for World Peace 16 Three Minutes and Counting 38 Has Science Rendered Religion Obsolete? 66 VOL. 110 - ISSUE FOURAPRIL 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG RAY OF HOPE? Halloween – Fear or Fun? 10 Shariah: A Semantic Oxymoron? 28 Connecting to Khilafat: A Guidance for Today’s Muslim Youth 36 Islam’s Response to the Destruction of Cultural Heritage 56 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TENOCTOBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG A Guidance forToday’s MuslimYouth Connecting to Khilafat: Is the Shroud ofTurin a Medieval Photograph? 22 The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud ofTurin 40 A Brief Review of Recent CNN Documentary on the Shroud 56 The Oviedo Cloth by Mark Guscin: Book Review 66 VOL. 110 - ISSUE FIVEMAY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG TheRESURRECTION ShroudingTheTruth? Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra – An Early Ray of Western Sunrise 18 World Peace & Security - The Critical Issues of Our Time 38 Responsibilities of an Ahmadi Muslim 50 The Economic System of Islam 56 VOL. 110 - ISSUE ELEVENNOVEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG WORLDPEACE &SECURITY: THE CRITICAL ISSUES OF OURTIME The Race to Conquer the Secret of Life 14 The Spiritual Benefits of Fasting 24 Navigating Life in the 21st Century 32 Visits to Sacred Places 54 VOL. 110 - ISSUE SIXJUNE 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG NAVIGATING LIFEinthe 21ST CENTURY Spirituality, Morality &Material Progress Three Gradations of Doing Good 14 Is Religion Truly the Cause of Disorder in the World Today? 20 Apartheid of Ahmadis in Pakistan 52 Women’s Responsibilities: Fulfilling the Conditions of Bai’at 78 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TWELVEDECEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The BLAME GAMEIs religion truly the cause of disorder in the world today? SUBSCRIBE 12 EDITIONS for just £15GBP or $30 USD or $36 CAD STUDENTS! 12 EDITIONS for just £5GBP or $10 USD or $12 CAD
  48. 48. THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD THE PROMISED MESSIAH & MAHDIAS The Review of Religions serialised the famous treatise The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Initially written for the Conference of Great Religions on December 26- 29,1896, each speaker at the conference was asked to present to the audience the beauties of their own religion based upon its scripture, proving that it was the true religion, based on the following topics: • The Physical, Moral, and Spiritual States of Man; • What is the State of Man after Death? • The Object of Man’s Life and the Means of its Attainment; • The Operation of the Practical Ordinances of the Law in This Life and the Next; • Sources of Divine Knowledge SERIALISED IN The Review of Religions Read online: www.alislam.org/books/ Or purchase here: store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html
  49. 49. SUBSCRIBE NOW! 12 Issues for only £15 For more information Visit: ReviewofReligions.org/Subscription Call (UK Head office) : +44 (020) 8544 7614 Email: Accounts@ReviewofReligions.org Youtube.com/theReviewofReligions @ReviewReligions facebook.com/theReviewofReligions @ReviewReligions Suffer Pain to Bring Comfort to Humanity 10 The Significance of Ramadan 14 Religious Trends in Germany 24 Khalifah of the Promised Messiah in Germany 40 VOL. 109 - ISSUE SEVENJULY 2014 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG ISLAM A THREAT OR A SOURCE OF PEACE? CASE STUDY: GERMANY Khalifah of Promised Messiah Sends Letter to Russian President 30 Syria - A Religious Heritage 34 Medical Consequences of Nuclear War 46 The World in Need of a Reformer 74 VOL. 108 - ISSUE ELEVENNOVEMBER 2013 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG SYRIA IN CRISIS Chimes of Messiah 8 The Beginning of Creation in Scriptures of Different Religions 34 Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas at the Houses of Parliament 46 Guests Reflect on the Houses of Parliament Event 62 VOL. 108 - ISSUE NINESEPTEMBER 2013 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG ISLAM-ARELIGIONof PEACE&COMPASSION The magazine devoted to promoting intellectual and lively debate that is based on respect for all religions. or $30 USD or $36 CAD STUDENTS! 12 EDITIONS for just £5GBP or $10 USD or $12 CAD
  50. 50. Visit www.makhzan.org
  51. 51. Makhzan-e-Tasaweer is the official image library of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is managed and maintained by the centre itself. Reinstated in April 2006 by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V, it is currently based in London. The primary purpose of Makhzan-e-Tasaweer is to collate, archive and preserve photographs related to the Community. For this purpose, an ongoing project is being pursued in which photographs related to various categories are being collected and collated.This includes photographs of the Promised Messiah, the Khulafa, Companions, other prominent personalities of historic importance and all events of historic nature.This project therefore preserves a pictorial history of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaba , officially inaugurated the Makhzan-e-Tasaweer website on 7th February 2016.The website allows members to view as well as purchase from the wide range of historic and latest images of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is available in six different languages. Also, any photograph(s) which may be required to be included in publications (i.e. books, periodicals etc.), calendars and souvenirs by any chapter, auxiliary organisation or other departments of the Community can be ordered through the website. Makhzan-e-Tasaweer Tahir House 22 Deer Park Road London SW19 3TL email: info@makhzan.org website: www.makhzan.org Anyone who is in possession of any photograph(s) of historical significance that may benefit this cause, is encouraged to send these photographs along with the relevant details (senders name, the date and place the picture was taken, etc.) to:
  52. 52. The Economic System of Islam by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud AhmadU ra
  53. 53. Prophecy of the Promised Messiahas Regarding Russia Now let me turn to a prophecy about Russia that God revealed to the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, inform- ing him that Russia’s Czar was about to face a very serious calamity1 : The day is coming when the Czar of Russia would be reduced to a very miserable plight. As we all know, the reigning Czar and his family were captured and killed after the Red Revolution after suffering untold privations and humiliations. It is one of the most painful and tragic episodes of human history. Another prophecy made by the Promised Messiahas in regard to Russia was recorded by him as follows:2 On January 22, 1903, I saw in a vision that the sceptre of the Czar of Russia had come into my hand.It was very long and beautiful.But examining it carefully I found that it was a gun, though it had not the appearance of one. It had secret barrels and outwardly appeared to be no more than a sceptre, while it was also really a gun. (al-Hakam, no. 4, vol. 7, January 31, 1903, p. 153) We continue with the serialisation of the epic lecture delivered by the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra , later published as a book titled The Economic System of Islam. In this last and final part of the series, he dis- cusses the prophecies of the Promised Messiahas regarding Russia. To read the rest of the lecture, visit our website: www.reviewofreligions.org *The photos used in this article were not used in the original publication, but have been added to our serialisation by The Review of Religions to help illustrate the subject matter. The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in depiction.* The Russian royal family, shown here in an image from 1914, were captured and killed after the revolution, in accordance with the prophecy shown to the Promised Messiahas himself. © Everett Historical | Shutterstock.com OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 53
  54. 54. Being given the sceptre of a country,in a revelatory vision,signifies that the recipi- ent will be granted power and influence over that country.Thus Prophet Ezekiel’s prophecy informs us that God is not in favour of the establishment of the Communist rule,and if the new rulers do not seek God’s forgiveness,but continue to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, they will face God’s wrath and severe punishment. But the Promised Messiahas has given us the glad tiding that the direction and control of Russia’s affairs would one day pass into the hands of Ahmadis who would be assigned the responsibility of reforming the system. These prophecies from God Almighty were made at a time when there were few indications of their being fulfilled, and this is so even today. I place these prophecies before the thousands of peo- ple gathered here today to listen to my address. The words of the Prophet Ezekiel were given to the world six hundred years before Christ; in other words,more than two thousand and five hundred years ago. At that time, very little was known of Russia, and it was unimaginable that it would assume such power and influence over other countries.The more we think, the more we are struck by the grandeur of the prophecy. Then there is the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas regarding the extinc- tion of the Czar’s reign,whose fulfilment has been witnessed by the whole world. The Promised Messiah’s second prophecy foresees the collapse of Soviet rule and the handover of its guiding control into the hands of the Promised Messiahas . The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was shown in a vision that the keys of the treasuries of the Roman and Persian Empires had been put into his hands, but they actually came into the hands of his followers, during the days of Hadrat Umarra . In a similar way, the sceptre of Russia would one day pass, accord- ing to this prophecy, into the hands of the Promised Messiah’sas followers. Prophecies made by God’s Prophets are not necessarily fulfilled in their own time, but later as the history of religions shows, at the hands of their followers. It is not a fanciful dream but our con- viction that God has put us in charge of removing Russia’s evils and reforming the Soviet system and that one day the Russian people will embrace Ahmadiyyat and establish the system we have THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF ISLAM 54 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  55. 55. described. Sooner or later, the danger that Communism poses will disappear and the world will come to realise that the only remedy for the world’s ills and afflictions lies in adopting the Islamic teachings. A Dream Bearing upon the Destruction of Communism Twenty-four years ago I saw in a dream that I was standing in the middle of a vast plain and a monster in the form of a huge serpent was approaching in the distance.Its proportions might have been as much as twenty yards in length and a thickness of the trunk of a giant tree. As the monster approached, it seemed that it had started from one end of the earth, devouring everything along the way. When it reached the point where I was standing, it turned towards an Ahmadi, who started to run to escape the reptile. At that moment,I grabbed a big staff and started to chase the monster in order to rescue the Ahmadi.But I found that the monster was running so fast that I had no chance of overtaking it.All the same, I continued to run, and then I saw that the Ahmadi had reached a tree, which he started to climb in haste. But before he could climb high enough, the reptile reached him and swallowed the Ahmadi in a single mouthful. Then the monster Although the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was shown in a vision that he was given to the keys of the treasuries of the Roman and Persian empires, they actually were given to his followers. In the same way, political power in Russia will eventually be handed to the Promised Messiah’sas followers. © Marian Weyo | Shutterstock.com The words of the Prophet Ezekiel were given to the world six hundred years before Christ; in other words, more than two thousand and five hundred years ago. At that time, very little was known of Russia, and it was unimaginable that it would assume such power and influence over other countries. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 55
  56. 56. turned in anger at me for having tried to rescue its prey. But as it ran to attack me I saw the frame of a charpai (Indian bedstead) lying close to where I stood.As soon as the serpent came close,I jumped on to this frame and managed to stand astride on its two opposite bars. As the reptile came closer, I heard some people asking me how I could hope to fight it when the Holy Prophetsa had said that there was no one who could subdue it. I realised then that this monster was none other than the Gog and Magog to whom this hadith referred and that the monster was in fact the dajjal. At that point, I raised both hands towards heaven in prayer for God’s help and protection. Responding to the Ahmadis by my side who had pointed out to me the futility of trying to fight the mon- ster, I said that I did not seek to fight it through my own powers, but through the power of prayer; and that victory by this means was not precluded by what the Holy Prophetsa had said.As I prayed, I noticed a change was coming over the serpent, just like little mountain insects that start to melt when salt is poured over them. I noticed that it had started to lose its fire and speed, until it became completely dormant. It then assumed a jelly-like form,which melted into watery liquid that began to flow away. I turned to my companions and said, “Did you observe the power of prayer? Of course, I did not have the strength to overcome the danger I faced,but my God certainly had the power to remove it.” Concluding Observations It must be kept in mind that we, the Ahmadis, bear enmity to no one; we desire the good and well-being of all. Even for our worst enemies we do not bear the slightest feeling of ill will. All we wish to see is that good character prevails in the world, man’s spiritual life progresses,and the Kingdom of God and His Apostle gets established. We desire that whatever social, economic, cultural or political system is adopted in the world, it should leave to God and His Apostle the sphere of human life that rightfully and properly belongs to them; that people who wish to live by God’s laws should not be made to deny them. We bear no enmity against Russia, or Communism. I personally harbour deep sympathy for this great country, and sincerely wish that the Russian people, who have been victims of extreme cru- elty for centuries, should march forward and witness prosperous times. But I or any other freedom-loving person cannot THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF ISLAM 56 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  57. 57. bear to watch that a misconceived social order and political philosophy become an instrument of subjugating other peo- ple. As such, we would look upon any system that incorporated in itself the Islamic principles in regard to these matters as our own and shall endeavour to support it to the best of our ability. Otherwise,we are duty bound to oppose systems that seek to push religion out of its proper sphere in the life of human beings. Hunger, no doubt, involves ter- rible suffering for those who have to bear its pangs; but we are not prepared to sac- rifice our religion even for the sake of keeping off hunger and want from our hearths and homes. In my presentation this afternoon,I have greatly compressed the subject and have left out many things. But even so, I have taken a good deal of your time.Now that I have brought out the contrast between essential economic principles as visualised by Islam, on one side, and Communism, on the other, I trust that you will con- sider these issues more thoroughly and will not get carried away by mere hearsay or slogans. Intellectual progress requires that before adopting any course of action, careful and critical consideration be given to all aspects of an issue.Thus, in adopt- ing any path or system, we must use our While Ahmadis cannot support communism, they will always sincerely wish the Russian nation and its people well. © Bardocz Peter | Shutterstock.com It must be kept in mind that we, the Ahmadis, bear enmity to no one; we desire the good and well-being of all. Even for our worst enemies we do not bear the slightest feeling of ill will. All we wish to see is that good character prevails in the world, man’s spiritual life progresses, and the Kingdom of God and His Apostle gets established. OCTOBER 2016 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 57
  58. 58. minds and have our eyes open. And it is essential that whatever views we adopt we should adopt after the most careful scrutiny; whatever course we follow, we should follow it with our eyes open.This is the only way that one can find truth and bring an end to unrest and disorder. May Allah have mercy on me and enable me to follow the path of His guidance and pleasure. May He give to you as well the wisdom and strength to follow the path full of blessings for you and for your generations to come both in your spiritual and religious life as well as your secular life. I conclude with: All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. ENDNOTES 1.Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah,part 5,Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, p. 152 2. In Tadhkirah second English edition a refer- ence to this vision/dream appears on p. 591 with some variation of words, under the date January 30, 1903. (Publishers) THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF ISLAM The official website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide. You can find a huge collection of free online material, including translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an and you can access literature of the Community including the books written by its founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas . www.alislam.org 58 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | OCTOBER 2016
  59. 59. The English Rendering of the 5 Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an One of the most comprehensive commentaries of the Holy Qur’an ever written. Commentary by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra) Read it online at: http://www.alislam.org/quran/ Or Purchase the print version at: http://store.alislam.org/ ©AMAGALLERYUK
  60. 60. In recent times vested interests have launched a ‘crusade’ against Islam. Islam is labelled as a religion of terror, backwardness and suppression. Based on Quranic teachings, the author of this book goes about disproving these notions and professes that Islam provides practical solutions to current issues; and argues that: (1) Swords can win territories but not hearts, forces can bend heads but not minds; (2) The role of women is not of concubines in harems nor a society imprisoned in the four wall of their houses; (3) Richer nations provide aid with strings attached and yet the flow of wealth continues to be in the direction of the rich while the poorer sink deeper in the red; (4) Religion does not need to be the predominant legislative authority in the political affairs of the state; (5) Irrespective of the thawing of the cold war, the issue of war and peace does not only hang by the thread of superpower relationship. (6) Without God there can be no peace. It also contains comprehensive discussion on interest; financial aid; international relations; and the role of Israel, America and the United Kingdom in a new world order. The message of this book is timeless and chalks a blue print for the future prospects for peace. Read online: http://www.alislam.org/books/ Purchase print copy: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html
  61. 61. A solitary voice, raised in Makkah, was, under Divine Command, calling people to the worship of One God and proclaiming that through responding to this call would humankind achieve true dignity, honour, prosperity and happiness both here and Hereafter. That voice was the voice of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa , the Seal of the Prophets. In this popular biography, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud- Din Mahmud Ahmadra outlines the life of the most influential man in history in an easy-to-digest manner. Read online here: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Life-of-Muhammad.pdf Purchase book here: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html
  62. 62. 1st October – 9th October Faith: Hinduism Event: Navaratri Navaratri is a nine-day festival of music and dance when Hindus worship the female expression of the divine. 12th October Faith: Islam Event: Ashura At Ashura Muslims around the world remember the martyrdom of Hussain bin Alira , (the grandson of the Holy Prophet of Islam) at Karbala, Iraq in 680 CE. Ashura falls on the 10th day of the Muslim month of Muharram. Although the remembrance is more visible in the Shia tradition, Ashura is a solemn period and is marked by keeping voluntary fasts and prayers. 12th October 2016 Faith: Judaism Event: Yom Kippur Yom Kippur translates as the Day of Atonement and is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. 20th October 2016 Faith: Sikhism Event: Guru Granth Sahib Declared Guru for All Times Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and last living Guru of the Sikh faith. On his death in 1708, he said Sikhs were to treat the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy scripture) as their Guru for all times.The Guru Granth Sahib contains the words and writings of the founders of the Sikh faith (the Ten Gurus) as well as the words of various Hindu and Muslim saints. 30th October 2016 Faith: Hinduism | Sikhism | Jainism Event: Diwali Diwali, the festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. It is an occasion for celebrations by Hindus as well as Jains and Sikhs. For Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important as it celebrates the 1619 release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind. CALENDAR of RELIGIOUS EVENTS & FESTIVALS OCTOBER 2016
  63. 63. NOTE ABOUT REFERENCES Verse references to the Holy Qur’an count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not counted. Should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in The Review of Religions will be found a verse earlier, i.e. at one verse less than the number quoted in this journal. For the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘sa ’ or ‘(saw) ’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used normally in small letters. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘as ’ or ‘(as) ’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra ’ or ‘(ra) ’ stands for ‘Raziallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘rh ’ or ‘(rh) ’ for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him. In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations of names of places are preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc. SUBSCRIPTION Subscription Contacts: India - Khursheed Ahmad Email: india@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +91 1872 500970 Tel: +91 981 544 6792 Fax: +91 1872 500971 USA - Adnan Ahmed Bhalli Email: usa@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +1 412 639 9108 Canada - Muhammad Dawood Khalid Email: canada@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +1 647-779-1810 Nigeria - Qasim Oyekola Email: nigeria@reviewofreligions.org Tel: + 23 481 2221 1949 Ghana - Naeem A. Cheema Email: ghana@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +23 320 0517 181 +23 324 2105 652 UK - Athar Ahmad Bajwa Email: uk@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +44 745 339 1205 For all other subscription issues or for general enquiries email info@reviewofreligions.org or contact Head Office: Tahir House 22 Deer Park Road, London SW19 3TL
  64. 64. © ISLAMIC PUBLICATIONS, 2016 ISSN NO. 0034-6721 The Review of Religions, in print since 1902, is one of the longest-running comparative religious magazines. The objective of the magazine is to present the teachings of Islam, reflecting its rational, harmonious and inspiring nature. It also brings together articles and viewpoints on different religions and seeks to make discussions on religion and religious philosophy accessible to a wider readership. The magazine is devoted to promoting intellectual and lively debate that is based on respect for all prophets and religions. Islam repeatedly stresses the need to seek knowledge and The Review of Religions provides a unique platform for people to acquire, and share knowledge. Yearly subscription is only £15 sterling or $30 for overseas customers. To subscribe, or for more info, visit www.reviewofreligions.org/subscription Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions
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