Friday, 31 July 2020

Allah is God of gods

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
As I explained in my article entitled Islam is Monolatrous not Monotheistic, the term monotheism doesn’t do justice in describing the central tenet of our Religion. The common definitions “there is only one God” is insufficient because the words god and deity are not properly defined. Christians and Jews consider themselves monotheists, though from our perspective they are actually polytheists. Christians say there is only one God but worship Jesus the man as God incarnate, and hold the doctrine of the trinity – three in one – to be true. Many elements within Judaism say there is only one God, but worship Angels, Prophets and sages, ascribing divine attributes to them. One of the newest religions, Sikhism, likewise claim to be monotheistic, but as I have recently exposed, Sikhism teaches that their ten human gurus were incarnations of the Divine. Why do these religions consider themselves monotheistic when they are so obviously not? It is because their notion of monotheism is that there is only a single Supreme Being, the Creator. In their perspective, polytheism is to believe in a multiplicity of supreme beings. Yes that is true that a belief in the multiplicity of supreme beings that are independent of each other is obviously polytheistic, but it does not sufficiently define polytheism. According to this limited understanding of monotheism and polytheism, since there is only a single Supreme Being, Creator of all things, the “gods” of the polytheists are all imaginary and have no real existence. Therefore, in their logic, worship of a real, existing object like the sun, moon, stars, humans, animals, etc., is not polytheism, because those objects of worship are real, and they are not regarded as supreme, creator deities by their worshipers (generally speaking).
Islam, however, has an altogether different conception. In our view, whether an object of worship is real or imaginary, regarded as an independent supreme being or otherwise, is irrelevant. Any object that is worshiped beside the One God, Supreme Being, Creator of all things (Allah Most High), whether real or imaginary, is manifest polytheism. Therefore, Christians who worship Jesus, Catholics who worship saint Mary and other humans they consider saints, Jews who worship Angels, Prophets and sages, Sikhs who worship their gurus, and even so-called “Muslims” who worship Prophets and Saints, by prostrating to their tombs, making offerings to them, sacrificing animals in their name, and praying to them, are all polytheists. If this our Islamic understanding of monotheism does not accurately represent its univerally understood definition according to the English language, and the word monolatry is more accurate to describe our Islamic conception, then so be it. The terminology is not as important as the substance.
So because we understand the Arabic term Elah, usually translated to mean “god” or “deity”, but more accurately means “object of worship” real or imagined, the correct meaning of our testimony of faith La elaha illa Allah is not “there is no god that exists except Allah” but rather “there is none worthy of worship except Allah”. For the sun, moon, stars, etc., are all real, existing things, and they are gods or objects of worship for their worshipers.
Now having built this foundation to properly understand the meaning of the term Elah and its plural Aalihat, I now put forward my creed that one of the names and titles of Allah the One God is:

إِلٰه الآلِهَة
God of gods

Hence, Ibn Kathir in his work al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah has mentioned that the great Israelite king, Hezekiah, prayed to Allah Most High and called upon Him with this Name (Qasas al-Anbiya p.603)

And likewise, the ancient Scriptures such as the Torah also teach that “God of gods” is an attributive name of God:

אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם ה֚וּא אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים

Eloheichem Hu Elohei Ha Elohim
Your God is God of gods
(Deuteronomy 10:17)

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Did Ghulam Ahmad Claim Prophesy (Part 13)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على خاتم النبيين
On 4th May, 1908, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian said:
بقی رہی یہ بات کہ ہم نے نبوت کا دعوی کیا ہے۔ یہ نزاع لفظی ہے۔ مکالمہ مخاطبہ کے تو یہ لوگ خود بھی قائل ہیں۔ اسی مکالمہ مخاطبہ کا نام اللہ تعالی نے دوسرے الفاظ میں نبوت رکھا ہے ورنہ اس تشریعی نبوت کا تو ہم نے بارہا بیان کیا ہے کہ ہم نےہرگز ہرگز دعوی نہیں کیا۔ قرآن سے برگشتہ اور رسول کریم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم سے برگشتہ ہوگر نبوت کا دعوی کرنے والے کو تو ہم واجب القتل اور لعنتی کہتے ہیں۔ اس طرح کی نبوت کا، کہ گویا آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کی نبوت کو منسوخ کر دے، دعوی کرنے والے کو ہم ملعون اور واجب القتل جانتے ہیں۔
As for me claiming prophesy, this is an issue of semantics. These people themselves accept the reality of divine communication. It is this divine communication which Allah Most High has in other words named prophesy. Otherwise, I have explained repeatedly that I certainly do not claim for myself legislative prophesy. I say of those who claim prophesy independent of the Quran and the honorable Apostle – sall Allahu alaihi wasallam – that it is mandatory to kill them and that they are cursed. I consider those who claim this type of prophesy which abrogates the prophesy of the Holy Prophet – sall Allahu alaihi wasallam – to be necessary to kill and cursed.”
(Malfuzat, 1988 edition; v.5 p.610)

This statement is significant because it once again demonstrates that up until his final days in this world, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian denied he had made any claim to terminological prophesy. As he has explained here, he merely considers prophesy another name, based on the linguistic meaning of prophesy, for the kind of divine communication or inspiration that is bestowed upon followers of the Prophet Muhammad – sall Allahu alaihi wasallam – which the general body of Muslims accepts as a reality and even attribute to their saints and sages. In other words, the essential difference or dispute between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the so-called orthodox Ulama of the Muslims is over semantics, whereas the substance and purport of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim of being a recipient of divine address and communication hardly opposes the orthodox Islamic acceptance of its possibility and actual occurrence.
Now this quote has been cited by certain Mullas who are bitter opponents of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his Ahmadiyyah movement, especially these days in the aftermath of Tahir Nasim's extrajudicial killing, as a polemical response to Ahmadis that the founder of their movement and sect considered one who claims prophesy after Prophet Muhammad – sall Allahu alaihi wasallam – to be wajib al-qatl (necessary to kill). Therefore, Ahmadis have no leg to stand on in condemning the murders of Tahir Nasim, Asad Shah, and other prophesy-claimants. As I have explained in my previous post, I certainly condemn the murder of Tahir Nasim on both religious and humanitarian grounds. Since I obviously do not believe Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet in the terminological sense, it follows that not everything he said and wrote is inerrant. Ghulam Ahmad's principle was that he adhered to the orthodox and mainstream, established position of Sunni Islam, particularly the Hanafi school of law, in these matters unless he received divine inspiration that enlightened him with a different view. It doesn't appear that Ghulam Ahmad's position that false prophesy-claimants are wajib al-qatl was based on divine inspiration, but it certainly is the majority or mainstream position of Islamic scholarship.

No Legislated Punishment For False Claim of Prophesy

   بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على خاتم النبيين
In yesterday's post, I explained that a claim to prophesy after the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم does not constitute blasphemy. While today's Ulama, especially the bigoted sections thereof, issue legal opinions to the effect that any claimant of prophesy is wajib al-qatl, such a view is contrary to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. During his lifetime, a young Jewish soothsayer, Ibn Sayyad, announced that he was an apostle of God. Yet, the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم did not allow him to be harmed in any way, let alone executed:
أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ انْطَلَقَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي رَهْطٍ قِبَلَ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ حَتَّى وَجَدَهُ يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الصِّبْيَانِ عِنْدَ أُطُمِ بَنِي مَغَالَةَ وَقَدْ قَارَبَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحُلُمَ فَلَمْ يَشْعُرْ حَتَّى ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ظَهْرَهُ بِيَدِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لاِبْنِ صَيَّادٍ ‏"‏ أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ فَقَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ الأُمِّيِّينَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ فَرَفَضَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏"‏ آمَنْتُ بِاللَّهِ وَبِرُسُلِهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ مَاذَا تَرَى ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَأْتِينِي صَادِقٌ وَكَاذِبٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ خُلِّطَ عَلَيْكَ الأَمْرُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنِّي قَدْ خَبَأْتُ لَكَ خَبِيئًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ ‏"‏ هُوَ الدُّخُّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ اخْسَأْ فَلَنْ تَعْدُوَ قَدْرَكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ذَرْنِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَضْرِبْ عُنُقَهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنْ يَكُنْهُ فَلَنْ تُسَلَّطَ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْهُ فَلاَ خَيْرَ لَكَ فِي قَتْلِهِ ‏"
Umar b. Khattab went along with Allah's Messenger in the company of some persons to Ibn Sayyad that he found him playing with children near the battlement of Bani Maghala and Ibn Sayyad was at that time just at the threshold of adolescence and he did not perceive (the presence of Holy Prophet) until Allah's Messenger (struck his back with his hands. Allah's Messenger () said: Ibn Sayyad, don't you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah? Ibn Sayyad looked toward him and he said: I bear witness to the fact that you the messenger of the unlettered. Ibn Sayyad said to the Allah's Messenger : Do you bear witness to the fact that I am the messenger of Allah? Allah's Messenger () rejected this and said: I affirm my faith in Allah and in His messengers. Then Allah's Messenger () said to him: What do you see? Ibn Sayyad said: It is a Dukh. Thereupon Allah's Messenger () said: May you be disgraced and dishonoured, you would not not be able to go beyond your rank. 'Umar b. Khattab said: Allah's Messenger, permit me that I should strike his neck. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: If he is the same (Dajjal) who would appear near the Last Hour, you would not be able to overpower him, and if he is not that there is no good for you to kill him.” (Sahih Muslim)
The saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to sayyidina Umar رضى الله عنه:
لا خير لك في قتله
There is no good in it for you to kill him”

regarding Ibn Sayyad who had just claimed to be an apostle of God plainly indicates there is no legislated Earthly punishment in Islam for someone who falsely claims to be a prophet. On the contrary, we know that Ibn Sayyad eventually repented from his falsehood and converted to Islam, and likewise the two false prophets Tulayhah al-Asadi and Sajah bint al-Harith repented from their false claims of prophesy. If their claims to prophesy constitute blasphemy, according to the bigoted Ulama they should not have been given an opportunity to repent but executed.
The Abbasid ruler al-Mahdi (744-785 CE), who is highly regarded, generally speaking, among orthodox Muslims, likewise did not execute an individual who claimed to be a prophet and was brought to him:
A man was brought to al-Mahdi who claimed to be a prophet and when he saw him he said, “Are you a prophet?” and the man replied, “Yes,” so he asked to whom he had been sent, and he replied, “Have you left me to go to those to whom I was sent? I was dispatched in the morning, and you arrested me in the evening and put me in prison.” Al-Mahdi laughed at him and let him go. (The History of al-Tabari (English translation) v. xxix p. 252; Tarikh at-Tabari v.8 pp.176-177):

وأتى المهدي برجل قد تنبأ، فلما رآه، قال: أنت نبي؟ قال: نعم، قال: وإلى من بعثت؟ قال: وتركتموني أذهب إلى من بعثت إليه! وجهت بالغداة فأخذتموني بالعشي، ووضعتموني في الحبس! قال: فضحك المهدي منه، وخلى سبيله

Shocking Murder of Tahir Nasim

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين
Mere hours ago, Tahir Nasim was murdered in open court in Peshawar by a young man, Muhammad Khalid, who is being hailed as a hero of Islam by many Muslims in Pakistan.
ان لله وان اليه راجعون
Tahir Nasim, who like myself hails from an Ahmadiyyah background, but left the organization, claimed to be the Mujaddid (divinely appointed Reformer) of the 15th century after Hijrah, the Mathil (resemblance) of the Messiah, and a prophet in the same sense that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad used the term to describe himself, that is, a Zilli and Buruzi prophet. He propagated his claim to prophesy on social media. This attracted the attention of hard line elements among the Muslims of Pakistan, and subsequently he was arrested in 2018 and charged with a whole range of blasphemy offenses, the most serious of them being 295-B (defiling the holy Quran) and 295-C (blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). The controversial murder of Tahir Nasim deserves dispassionate examination. Prior to his murder, a Pakistani gentleman and another prophesy-claimant, Asad Shah, who also hailed from an Ahmadiyyah background, was murdered in his shop in Glasgow, Scotland, by a Muslim of Pakistani descent, Tanwir Ahmad in 2016. He too is considered a ghazi and a hero, especially among Pakistani Sunni Muslims. In 2010, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, Muhammad Asghar, an elderly man diagnosed with schizophrenia, who allegedly was claiming to be a prophet in certain letters, was arrested in Pakistan under its notorious blasphemy laws. While in Adiala Jail (where I recently spent five months, also charged with blasphemy but now released on bail) one of the prison guards attempted to murder Muhammad Asghar. The latter not only survived, he was released from custody and returned to the UK. All three of these incidents were essentially inspired by the murder of Salman Tasir, the former governor of Punjab, in 2010 at the hands of his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Husain Qadiri. The murder of Salman Tasir was motivated by his speaking out before the media and press in favor of a Christian lady accused of blasphemy (295-C) against the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). Incidentally, that lady, named Asiya, was found not guilty and ordered released by the Supreme Court last year. She subsequently departed for Canada, and presently is considering asylum that has been offered to her by France. Before his extrajudicial murder, Salman Tasir had termed 295-C a “black law”, which caused considerable backlash from hard line religious elements in the country, and was a huge factor in why his own bodyguard decided to kill him.
I recently began a series of articles on religious freedom, and explained my position on the controversial subjects of apostasy and heresy, but thus far have not explained my position on blasphemy. I shall use this opportunity to discuss my views, in general, on this sensitive issue.
So I strongly condemn the murder of Tahir Nasim, and of Syed Asad Shah before him. I consider both of them to be martyrs, if Allah wills, and pray for their forgiveness. May Allah have mercy on their souls (Amin).
Note, I do not necessarily agree with their respective claims of being prophets (in whatever sense they intended). However, from my perspective, their claims, in their essence, were not claims that expel someone from the fold of Islam. The question for me is whether or not they were truthful in claiming to possess prophesy (in whatever sense they intended). I leave the matter in Allah's holy and blessed Hands, He is the ultimate Judge. It appears that both of these gentlemen claimed prophesy in the same sense they understood Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian to be a prophet.
I would also like to make it clear that I do not actually hold the young man, Muhammad Khalid, responsible for the murder of Tahir Nasim. He is a brainwashed youth and appears to have been misled and indoctrinated by the medieval minded Mullas of Pakistani society. Therefore, those Mullas who are saluting and congratulating Muhammad Khalid, are the ones who are truly guilty of Tahir Nasim's murder. As far as I'm concerned, it is their hands that are covered in the blood of Tahir Nasim.
The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are not only misused and misapplied, they are in fact hopelessly flawed due to ambiguous wording. Thus, even some “orthodox” traditionalist Sunni Muslim scholars, notably Professor Tahir ul-Qadiri, have criticized the procedural aspect of the blasphemy laws. Blasphemy is intentional disrespect and desecration directed against that which is holy, such as Allah Most High, His Prophets, His Angels, and His Scriptures. Thus if someone, with the intention of disrespect, curses the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) or desecrates a copy of the Quran, they have committed blasphemy. Anyone who is apparently a Muslim and commits blasphemy by cursing a Prophet or desecrating the holy Quran, is undoubtedly no longer a Muslim, but an apostate. Whether there is an Earthly punishment for the one guilty of blasphemy is subject to discussion, and is a contested issue that is debated among Muslims. My own position is quite nuanced. I shall (in sha Allah) write a detailed article on the subject, but for now shall give my general position, which is that there does not appear in the Shari'ah to be an earthly punishment for blasphemy, especially if it is not a severe kind of blasphemy. Thus I make a distinction between levels of blasphemy in severity. It is known, for example, that the chief of the hypocrites, Ibn Ubayy, committed blasphemy against the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) by saying he is (God forbid), the “meanest of men”, yet he was not subject to any Earthly punishment on account of this obvious blasphemy and disrespect. Therefore, the issue is not so black and white, though the bigoted section of Mullas assert that even the slightest blasphemy against the Prophet's holy personage (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) must be dealt with by the sword, and even if the blasphemer begs for forgiveness and repents from his blasphemy. So we see in Pakistan that the vast majority of those who are charged with blasphemy against the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) under 295-C of the PPC are not actually guilty of deliberately cursing or swearing at the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). Mens rea is therefore a necessary part of the definition of blasphemy.
It is noteworthy that that which many of the bigoted Mullas consider blasphemy is not actually blasphemy because it lacks the element of intention to disrespect. Rather, they are examples of differences in creed and doctrine. Many Mullas consider the doctrine that Prophets are capable of sinning or erring blasphemous. Whether this doctrine is correct or incorrect is another matter, but the fact is that the Muslim who believes in it is not guilty of blasphemy because their intention is not to disrespect or insult the Prophets in personally believing or even propagating this idea. Likewise, it is obvious that the Christians, Jews, and members of other religions, who do not believe in the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam), and may even consider him a false prophet (God forbid), are not guilty of blasphemy. That is simply their belief, which they are entitled to hold as per the teachings of Islam itself.
Keeping this principle in mind, let us now consider the issue of someone claiming to be a prophet after the Last Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). According to the extremist Mulla of Pakistan, such a claimant is by default a blasphemer and it is necessary to execute him. Yet logic dictates that by simply claiming to be a prophet it does not follow that the claimant is intending to disrespect the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). And practically speaking, the majority of prophet-claimants that have arisen within the Ummah simultaneously asserted their allegiance and respect for the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam). If they were disbelievers and apostates, it was because they were lying upon Allah, not because they intended to commit blasphemy. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, someone merely claiming to be a prophet is not ipso facto a blasphemer.
*Here I would like to explain that in my understanding, someone who claims to be a prophet in the sense that he is abrogating the Shari'ah of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam), and claims that a new Scripture or Law has been revealed to him, such a claim is kufr akbar or major disbelief. Most individuals who make such a claim do not self identity as Muslims. The Baha'is, for example, who believe Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri was a prophet in this sense, do not identify as a Muslim sect, but consider themselves a separate community and adherents of an independent religion. Nevertheless, in a scenario in which someone professes to be a Muslim while making this claim, they may indeed be a disbeliever in the sight of Allah, but as I have explained, we are not in a position to brand them non-Muslim disbeliever. On the other hand, someone who claims to be a prophet but subordinate to the Shari'ah of Prophet Muhammad, remaining within his Ummah, and does not bring a new law or scripture, in my view such a claim is not in it of itself kufr akbar. It is certainly possible the claimant is a liar, but his or her claim is not disbelief or apostasy from Islam in itself.
In conclusion, I strongly condemn the senseless murder of Tahir Nasim. For me, he was a Muslim entitled to all the rights of a Muslim. Hypothetically, if he wasn't a Muslim, it was still wrong to murder him, for Allah says the murder of a single soul is akin to the murder of all humanity (Surah 5:32).

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Keeping Pet Dogs

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
وصلى الله تعالى على سيد المرسلين
وعلى آله وصحبه اجمعين

Keeping pet dogs is deeply ingrained in European and American culture. It is one of the major cultural distinctions between Muslims and non-Muslims in the Western world. Regrettably, some westernized Muslims, the Hellenists of our time, have embraced this phenomenon of keeping pet dogs, which, as I shall explain, is contrary to our Islamic Shari’ah. As with other battlegrounds in this culture war, such as the institution of the veil and gender segregation, dietary restrictions on pork and hard drink, and our opposition to participating and celebrating non-Islamic holidays like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc., we must be conscious of and maintain our difference with the rest of the world in the issue of keeping pet dogs.
According to the Shari’ah, the dog, like the pig, is an unclean animal, that is, najis. And according to some scholarly views, the dog is najis al-’ayn, that is unclean in its essence. Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم instructed that if a dog happens to lick or drink from a vessel, the method of purifying that vessel is to wash it seven times. According to various versions of the Hadith, either the first or last of those seven cleansings should be done with dust, or the eighth cleansing is to be done with dust.
*In our times, the cleansing with dust may be substituted with any cleaning agent, chemical or substance, like soap.
Likewise, if the saliva or any moisture from a dog contaminates a person’s clothing or body, it too is to be washed in the manner described by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. He mentioned vessel because that is the most common object which is usually polluted by a dog, but the idea is that the saliva or moisture from a dog will pollute anything it comes into contact with. Now the very fact that in our Shari’ah the dog is an unclean animal, in fact more unclean than other unclean animals with the possible exception of the pig, that should be sufficient to understand that it is forbidden to keep dogs as house pets. Nonetheless, seemingly in anticipating of the tendency of Muslims keeping dogs as pets out of sheer ignorance, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم declared that whoever keeps a dog, except for the purpose of hunting or guarding a herd, shall have one (and according to another version two) qīrāţ of deeds deducted from their daily account. When asked what a qīrāţ is, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم explained it is the equivalent, in quantity, to a massive mountain. This Hadith is a strict warning and rebuke against those careless Muslims who follow their vain desires, in opposition to the divinely legislated Shari’ah, and keep pet dogs in their homes.
Quite often, a Muslim is, and rightly so, uncomfortable entering the house of a dog owner. Europeans and Americans in particular are known to treat their pet dogs as if they were people, allowing them to sit on the furniture, sleep in the bed, and even wash them in the bath tub! Apart from this, they engage in such indecent behavior such as kissing their dogs, or allowing their pet dogs to lick them on the mouth and face. Of course, this is something that is quite evident to anyone who resides in Europe or America, though even we Muslims in the West are unaware of the true extent to which these people practice intimacy with their pet dogs behind the closed doors of their private dwellings.

Did Ghulam Ahmad Claim Prophesy? (Part 12)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على محمد الامين خاتم النبيين
وعلى آله واهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين
It has been disclosed to my heart and mind that the frequent and detailed mention of the holy prophet Moses son of Amram – peace be upon him – in the holy Quran is for the purpose of making clear the uncanny resemblance between him and the one to whom the Quran was directly revealed – Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family. So those who have been granted spiritual light are able to perceive the reality of this matter quite easily, and realize that the Mosaic narrative is the model and pattern upon which the Mohammedan prophesy and ministry is to be understood and appreciated. Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the second manifestation of Moses, and the holy Quran has hinted at this:

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا
Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you as We sent to Pharaoh a Messenger
(Surah 73:15)
And among the necessities of this resemblance is that the gifts and blessings that were bestowed upon the Mosaic dispensation should have their like bestowed upon the Mohammedan dispensation.
Keeping this in mind, let us now proceed to revisit the controversial discussion on whether or not Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyyah movement, viewed himself as an actual prophet of God, or maintained until his departure from this world the orthodox position that it is Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is the last and final prophet.
This being my twelfth article in a series on this topic, I shall quote what Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian wrote in his book Tadkirat ush-Shahadatain which was published in 1903. This is significant, because it is a citation that is subsequent to the alleged change in his belief concerning the finality of prophesy that is said to have taken place in 1901 with the writing of Eik Ghalati Ka Izalah. According to the narrative which I have been refuting in this series of articles, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed being a prophet in 1901 with the publication of the aforementioned text, and therefore all of his prior denials of being a prophet are moot, and it serves no purpose in citing them to establish that Ghulam Ahmad didn’t claim the office of prophesy for himself. This is the narrative that is apparently put forward by the main branch of the Ahmadiyyah movement that recognizes Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as his second caliph and the promised Reformer. It is also accepted as fact by the bitter opponents of the Ahmadiyyah movement among the bigoted and violent Mullas of Pakistan, who have appropriated to themselves the job of “defending” the doctrine of the finality of prophesy.
I have maintained that Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian did not at all modify his position on the subject of the finality of prophesy after 1901. If he had in fact done so, it would have been under divine inspiration, and he would have published a specific announcement to that effect in 1901, yet there is no historical evidence of any such announcement. Now let us examine what Ghulam Ahmad wrote in Tadkirat ush-Shahadatain:

جس حالت میں آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم مثیل موسی ہیں۔ اور آپ کے خلفاء مثیل انبیاء بنی اسرائیل ہیں۔ تو پھر کیا وجہ کہ مسیح موعود کا نام احادیث میں نبی کر کے پکارا گیا ہے۔ مگر دوسرے تمام خلفاء کو یہ نام نہیں دیا گیا۔

Translation: “as the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, was the ‘Like-of-Moses’ and his Successors are ‘the-Likes-of-the-Israelite-Prophets’, why is it then that the Promised Messiah alone is given the title of ‘Prophet’ in the traditions while the other Successors are not named as ‘Prophets’?”

This was a question posed to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by his follower from Afghanistan, Abdul Latif of Khost, one of the two martyrs which the book Tadkirat ush-Shahadatain is regarding (Abdul Latif was stoned to death in Afghanistan in 1903 for the crime of apostasy by order of the king of that country, Habib Ullah Khan).
The tradition or Hadith that is referred to in this question is the well-known narration in Sahih Muslim where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to the second coming of Jesus as “Prophet of Allah” four times. In the fifth article of this series, I produced a quote from Ghulam Ahmad in which he himself explained the title ‘Prophet of Allah’ given to the second coming of Jesus as per the Hadith in Sahih Muslim as being figurative, so as not to clash with the doctrine of khatm an-Nubuwwah. But here, the question that was asked by Abdul Latif is that why has the coming Messiah alone been singled out with the title ‘Prophet of Allah’, and not any of the other caliphs and saints of this Ummah, who are meant to be the resemblance of the successors of Moses, the Israelite Prophets. Implicit in the question is the understanding of Abdul Latif that all of the caliphs and saints of the Ummah including the promised Messiah essentially have the same rank, i.e., they are all the resemblance of the Israelite Prophets who succeeded Moses, though the promised Messiah of the Mohammedan dispensation is set apart in that he alone has been named ‘Prophet of Allah’ in the Hadith. Now Ghulam Ahmad answers:

سو میں نےان کو یہ جواب دیا کہ جب کہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ خاتم الانبیاء تھے اور آپ کے بعد کوئی نبی نہیں تھا۔ اس لئے اگر تمام خلفاء کو نبی کے نام سے پکارا جاتا تو امر ختم نبوت مشتبہ ہوجاتا اور اگر کسی ایک فرد کو بھی نبی کے نام سے نہ پکارا جاتا تو عدم مشابہت کا اعتراض باقی رہ جاتا۔ کیونکہ موسی ص کے خلفاء نبی ہیں۔ اس لئے حکمت الہی نے یہ تقاضا کیا کہ پہلے بہت سے خلفاء کو برعایت ختم نبوت بھیجا جائے اور ان کا نام نبی نہ رکھا جائے۔ اور یہ مرتبہ ان کو نہ دیا جائے تا ختم نبوت پر یہ نشان ہو۔ پھر آخری خلیفہ یعنی مسیح موعود کو نبی کے نام سے پکارا جائے تا خلافت کے امر میں دونوں سلسلوں کی مشابہت ثابت ہو جائے۔

Translation: “The answer, I told him, was that the Holy Prophet was the Seal of the Prophets and that no prophet was to come after him. If all his Successors had been named as Prophets, his ‘Finality’ would have become dubious. On the other hand, if none of his ‘Successors’ was named prophet his similarity to Moses would have been jeopardised, as all the Successors of Moses were Prophets. For this reason, the divine wisdom found it prudent that many Successors be sent in accordance to the Finality of Prophesy and that they not be named prophets, and that they not be given this rank so that the Finality of Prophesy be evident. Then the last Successor, the Promised Messiah, be named prophet so that resemblance be affirmed between the two dispensations.”

In other words, according to Ghulam Ahmad, if the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) numerous Successors had been named prophets, even in the figurative sense, there would still have been the possibility of confusion over the clear doctrine of the Finality of Prophesy. Therefore, to avoid any dangerous confusion or controversy over the matter, the Prophet’s successors were not actually named prophets, even though they are meant to be the resemblance of the successors of Moses, who were Prophets. But on the other hand, in order to maintain the resemblance between the two dispensations, it is necessary that at least one of the Prophet Muhammad’s successors be named ‘Prophet’, and that is why the second coming of Jesus has been called ‘Prophet of Allah’ in the Hadith of Sahih Muslim. Keep in mind that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has very carefully and repeatedly written here the expression “named prophet”, because bearing the name ‘Prophet’ does not necessarily mean someone actually is a prophet. And by stating unequivocally that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Seal of Prophets after whom no prophet can come, it is yet another example of him affirming the orthodox Islamic doctrine after 1901. Finally, he ends his explanation of this matter by stating:

اور ہم کئی دفعہ بیان کر چکے ہیں کہ مسیح موعود کی نبوت ظلّی طور پر ہے کیونکہ وہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کا بروز کامل ہونے کی وجہ سے نفس نبی سے مستفیض ہوکر نبی کہلانے کا مستحق ہوگیا ہے۔

Translation: “And we have so many times explained that the prophesy of the promised Messiah is by way of Zill (reflection) because, by being the perfect projection of the holy Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam), attained spiritual emanation from the soul of the Prophet, became worthy of being called a prophet.” (Ruhani Khaza’in; v.20 p.45):

This concluding statement in answer to Abdul Latif’s question reinforces Ghulam Ahmad’s earlier, oft-repeated claim, made prior to 1901, that he is not literally a Prophet of God, but only a projection of the Prophet Muhammad’s persona through perfect and complete obedience to him, and this is known as the prophesy by way of reflection, Zilli Nubuwwat, which is distinct and not identical to actual Nubuwwah.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Creatio Ex Nihilo

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله تعالى على خاتم النبيين

What distinguishes Islam from the false religions of the world is the doctrine of the creation of the world. The Baha’i cult, for example, teaches: “Bahá’u’lláh says, The universe hath neither beginning nor ending.” (The Promulgation of Universal Peace)
Thus, not only does the Baha’i cult deny the creation and origin of the universe, it likewise denies its end and destruction. The belief in the eternality of the universe is associated with the falsehood of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. It is repudiated in the Scriptures and the teachings of the Prophets of God. The first verse of the Torah says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The holy Quran states repeatedly that Allah is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, indeed, that He is the “Creator of everything” (Surah 6:102; 13:16; 39:62; 40:62). Creatio ex nihilo, meaning creation from nothing, is clearly taught in Islam as evident in its most sacred and holy text, the Quran. For example, Allah Most High says:
بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is
(Surah 2:117)
The expression كن فيكون used throughout the Quran expresses the idea of Allah having the power to bring into existence anything He wishes from a state of non-existence. This is also the meaning of one of His Names الواجد ‘the One Who brings into existence.’ Likewise, Islam teaches that God not only has the power to create something from nothingness, but that He has the power to destroy anything, so that it returns to nothingness:
يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ
Allah eliminates what He wills, and confirms (what He wills)
(Surah 13:39)
The word مَحَا used in this verse, meaning “to erase, to blot out” is derived from the trilateral root م ح و which connotes: “to wipe out, to eradicate, to disappear completely, to be effaced, to be featureless” (Arabic-English Dictionary of Quranic Usage p.871). It is only recently, in the 20th century, that modern science, physics and cosmology, has more or less confirmed the idea of the universe having a beginning, and coming into existence from a state of non-existence. This is the widely held theory of the Big Bang. But despite this amazing modern, scientific discovery, the Baha’is and other false religions like the Mormons and the Arya Samaj, continue to believe the universe is without beginning, or did not come into existence from a state of non-existence. According to the Arya Samaj: “The word Creator is used in the sense of Maker as according to the Vedic philosophy there is no such thing as creation or the evolution of something out of nothing” (Light of Truth: An English Translation of the Satyarth Prakash; ch.1, p.5, footnote).
Mormonism, the cult founded by the false prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844), teaches: “The elements are eternal” (Doctrine and Covenants; section 93). Another Mormon false prophet, Brigham Young (Joseph Smith’s successor), said: “God never made something out of nothing; it is not in the economy or law by which the worlds were, are, or will exist. There is an eternity before us, and it is full of matter” (Journal of Discourses v.14, p.116). According to Mormon belief: “matter or element is self-existent and eternal in nature, creation being merely the organization and reorganization of that substance” (McConkie, Bruce R.; Mormon Doctrine).
And due to the corrosive influence of Aristotelian philosophy, some so-called Muslim theologians, notably Ibn Rushd, al-Farabi and Ibn Sina, likewise believed in the eternality of the cosmos, denying the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. They were effectively and decisively refuted by al-Ghazali in his famous work the Incoherence of the Philosophers.

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