2017 05 The Light May 2017

The International English organ of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam based in Lahore. Presenting the Islam preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). A rational, scientific, liberal, inclusive and peaceful Islam.

The International English organ of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam based in Lahore. Presenting the Islam preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). A rational, scientific, liberal, inclusive and peaceful Islam.


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ِ ی م الرَّحم



سب اہللِ‏ الرَّْحم ٰ

ْ م ِ

The Light





International Organ of the Centre for the Worldwide

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam

The only Islamic organisation upholding the finality of prophethood.

Webcasting on the world’s first real-time Islamic service at



Shahid Aziz & Mustaq Ali – UK;

Zainib Ahmad – USA;

Gowsia Selim - India


The Call of the Messiah 2

Secret of Success 3

By Mustaq Ali

Islam and Zoroastrianism 5

By Ardeshir Spencer

The chapter Hijr of the Holy Quran. 9

By Zainib Ahmad

Broadcasts (UK time)

1. Skype Urdu lecture: Sunday 09:00

2. Live on www.virtualmosque.co.uk

‣ Friday Sermon 13:00

‣ First Sunday of month lecture 15:00.

3. Radio Virtual Mosque


1. International HQ

2. Research and History

3. The Woking Mosque and Mission

4. The Berlin Mosque and Mission

5. Quran search

6. Blog

Our Recent English Broadcasts

‣ Enlightenment and Islam

‣ A refutation of Dawkinism

‣ Position of Woman in the Holy Quran

‣ A Friday khutba by a lady

Interesting external links

‣ Muslims in the US military

‣ Reformation or Enlightenment?

‣ Is Passover a Myth?

‣ Civilising Spain

‣ If Alexander Got There, Why Not Jesus?

‣ Who Hold the Keys to Christianity's Holiest


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or the site's owners (or their products/services).

Some links may have research, which disagrees

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such material and provide a rebuttal. Ignoring

it will not make it go away.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

May 2017 The

Light 2

The Call of the Messiah


Hazrat Mirza Ghulam


The Promised Messiah and


Exhortation to the rich and wealthy

O you the rich, the kings, the millionaires,

there are few among you who fear Allah and remain

truthful and steadfast in all His ways. Most

are such that they attach their hearts to the

riches of this world, and spend all their lives in

this obsession without giving any thought to

death. Every rich man who does not address

himself to Allah in prayer, whose attitude to Allah

is one of carelessness, will bear the sins of

all those connected with him. Every rich man

who drinks will bear the sin of all those under

him who drink with him.

O wise ones! This world will not last forever.

Take hold of yourself and be steady. Give up

every excess. Leave all intoxicants. Wines, beer,

whiskey and the like are not the only harmful

drinks. Opium, marijuana, charas, bhanag, taree

1 and all other intoxicants to which you become

addicted all have a deadly effect on the

brain and ultimately prove fatal. You should

keep away from all such things. In fact, we cannot

understand at all how and why you make

the use of such things a habit. Things which, in

front of your own eyes, every year ruin thousands

of people and even bring about their

death. While the punishment to come in the

Hereafter is something different and in addition

to the harm which goes with these things here.

Become righteous and God-fearing, so that

you should live longer, and be blessed by Allah.

Over indulgence in luxurious, easy, irresponsible

living is a curse because as it is disrespectful

and cruel to be indifferent to the suffering of


Every rich man is as answerable for

To convert forcibly to Islam is a belief

which brings disgrace to our religion . . .

Never oppress His creatures, with hand or

word of mouth

properly carrying out his obligations to his Creator

and his fellowmen as is a poor man. In fact,

a rich man is even more answerable. Indeed,

how unfortunate is he, who for the sake of this

brief life in this world, completely turns away

from Allah. The one who uses forbidden things

with such audacity as if they were quite lawful;

who, when angry, fulminates against people like

a madman, using abusive language, ready to

wound and kill; and who, in the quest of his lust,

becomes brazen to the extreme. Such a one will

never know real success.

My dear people! You. are in this world only

for a short time, of which a large part has already

passed. Do not displease your Master.

Even a temporal government, if displeased with

you, can destroy you. Therefore, how much

more is it incumbent on you not to displease

your Creator. No one can destroy you if you are

held righteous in the eyes of the Lord. He, Himself,

will protect you, and no enemy thirsting for

your blood will be able to harm you. Otherwise,

there is no protection for you, and you will have

to live in constant fear of your enemies, uneasy

and restless and full of forebodings, and the

later days of your lives will pass in great anguish

of mind. Allah, Himself, becomes the protection

of those who stand with Him. Therefore, come

to Him and leave off all kinds of opposition to

Him. Never be negligent in fulfilling the obligations

He has laid on you.

Never oppress His creatures, with hand or

word of mouth, and always remain in fear of the

wrath of heaven, for herein lies the only way to


To the learned people of Islam

O you learned people among the Muslims!

Do not be hasty in rejecting me as false. There

are many profound secrets which man cannot

comprehend in a hurry or all at once. You

should not be ready to reject a thing the moment

you hear it, for this is not the way of the

righteous. Had there been no fault in you, and if

you had not interpreted certain sayings of the

Holy Prophet in a manner contrary to their real

meaning, then the advent of the Messiah, as a

1 Indian intoxicants

I Shall Love All Mankind.


May 2017 The

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judge and arbitrator among you, would not have

been necessary. … …

The mission you assign to this advent,

namely, that he will join forces with the Mahdi

to make war on all to convert them forcibly to

The Qur’an is replete with verses that there

can be no compulsion in religion . . .

Islam, is a belief which brings disgrace to our religion.

Where, in the name of goodness, is it

written in the Qur’an that war is permissible for

the sake of spreading one’s religion by force? On

the contrary, we find Allah saying in the Holy

Book: ۖ ‏َلآ آ إِكْر اهآ ‏ِفِ‏ ٱلد ِ ينِ‏ There is no compulsion

in matters connected with religion (2:256). So,

where will the Messiah, son of Mary, get the

right to use force to convert people to Islam?

The entire Qur’an is replete with verses teaching

us that there can be no compulsion in religion;

and it is clear on the point that when the

Holy Prophet took up the sword, he did not do

so to spread Islam by this means but only for the

following reasons:

1. As a fitting punishment for those who had

killed large numbers of Muslims, and had driven

out many others from their homes without just

cause. We read in the Holy Book:

يُق ت لُون بِأ نَّهُمْ‏ ظُلِمُ‏ وا۟‏ ۚ و إِنَّ‏ ٱَّللَّ‏ ع ل ىٰ‏ ن صْ‏ رِ‏ هِ‏ مْ‏

Permissionل has been given to those who ق دِ‏ ير

fight because they had been oppressed, and Allah

indeed has the power to help them (22:39)

(despite the odds against them).

لِلَّذِ‏ ين أ ‏ُذِ‏ ن

2. Or, those wars were defensive and were

waged against people who were leaving no

stone unturned to destroy Islam and to stop its

propagation, and were using the sword to do so.

3. Or, they were fought to assert legitimate

freedoms. Apart from campaigns undertaken

for these three aims, the Holy Prophet (may the

peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and

his blessed immediate successors fought no

war, whatsoever. In fact, before taking up arms

in self-defence, Islam

bore oppression with silent

fortitude to such an

extent that there is no

example in the history of

other peoples of such

forbearance. Then, what

kind of a Messiah and Mahdi will these be who

will embark on their mission by putting their

opponents to the sword right from the start?

History bears testimony to the fact that

success does not depend on numbers.

(Kishti-i Nuh — Noah’s Ark, continued)

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Secret of Success.

by Mr Mustaq Ali

ۥ و آ ‏َلآ تآَنآ آ عُوا۟‏ فآت آفْشآل ‏ُوا۟‏

و آ أ آطِ‏ يعُوا۟‏ آ ٱّلل آ و آ ر آ سُ‏ ول آهُ‏

‏ُو ٓ ا۟‏ ۚ إِن آَّ‏ آ ٱّلل آ م آ عآ آ ٱلص ‏ِبِ‏ ‏ِينآَّ‏

و آ تآذْ‏ هآب رِ‏ حيُكُ‏ مْ‏ ۖ و آ ٱصْ‏ ‏ِبِ‏

And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do

not dispute (with one another) lest you lose

courage and your strength depart, and be patient.

Surely, Allah is with those who are As-

Sabirin (the patient). (8:46)

My short talk today it taken from of the

Quran entitled: Success does not depend on

Numbers. I thought that it is an interesting subheading

of the chapter Al Anfal- Voluntary Gifts,

which also means Spoils of war.

This chapter deals with the Battle of Badr,

the first battle that the Muslims had to fight. It

was fought on 13 March 624 (CE) so in a few

days will be the anniversary of this battle. Hazrat

Maulana Muhammad Ali used the literal

meaning of the Arabic word, Anfal, and gave the

title Voluntary Gifts to the chapter because the

Muslim state at that time, did not have an arsenal,

treasury, or army. So, the money and manpower

required to defend themselves were voluntary.

Their possessions and their life was offered

for this battle as voluntary gift to defend

this new Ideology (oneness of God) and a

prophet whose character earned him the titles,

Al Amin and As Sadiq- the trustworthy and the


It is important to note a few facts about this

battle. The Muslims were 313 in number and

had no trained personnel with no sophisticated

weaponry. Unlike the Quarish, who were 1200

in number and had horses, and camels. The

Muslim army consisted of untrained youth and

a few elderly members.

The outcome of this Battle was victory for

the Muslims despite a small number of them

fought against a mighty and

well equipped Quraish army

A look at History

and thus set the stage for one

section of this chapter entitled

– Success Does not depend

of Numbers.

History bears testimony to the fact that success

does not depend on numbers. Let us look

at Abraham who, single handed, stood up to his

May 2017 The

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father and his community. The Holy Quran tells

us: “And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain

commands he fulfilled them. He said:

Surely, I will make thee a leader of men. (Abraham)

said: And of my offspring? My covenant

does not include the wrongdoers, said He.”

Today the Abrahamic faiths represent almost

half of the population of the world in numbers.

So, Allah fulfilled his promise to Abraham

when he said: “Surely, I will make thee a leader

of men”. Abraham started alone but he was successful

in the end. His success did not depend

on numbers.

Jesus was rejected by his people and had to

undergo public humiliation and attempted

murder. He also came to tell the children of Israel:

The Lord thy God is one.” (Deuteronomy

6 v 4). While they were happy to accept God as

one but when he told them he was the Messiah

sent to lead them to victory they humiliated

him. He was successful in the end but his congregation

was small in numbers.

Noah like the other prophets

mentioned above experienced the

same rejection, his message and

mission was rejected by his people

(Ch. 26 v 105) But they called him

a liar so we delivered him and those with him in

the ark. (Ch. 11 v 40) And they believed not with

him but a few.

Even his son publicly rejected him and the

message he brought to the people of Moses.

Thus, we read in the Quran: “And Noah called

out to his son, and he was aloof: O my son, embark

with us and be not with the disbelievers”.

We all know the outcome of the son, i.e. he


Of interest in the story of Noah is his calling

upon Allah to save his son as any of us will do

even when our children are in the wrong but in

the response of Allah is a lesson for us-

Allah said: “O Noah, he is not of thy family;

he is (an embodiment of) unrighteous conduct.

So, ask not of Me that of which thou hast no

knowledge. I admonish thee lest thou be of the

ignorant.” (Ch. 11 v 46)

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Muhammad (s), like Jesus and Abraham before

him, was rejected by his own people, attempts

were made on his life, he was boycotted

with respect to trade and politically isolated. He

commenced his mission with the support of his

wife and cousin and a handful of followers but

lived to retake his ancestral home without resistance.

His famous words of steadfastness were “If

you put the sun in my right hand and the moon

in my left hand I will never give up the preaching

of Islam”.

Continuing with the trend of Rejection. In

Matthew 21:42 the Holy Prophet Muhammad

(s) is spoken of as the Stone the builders rejected.

“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read

in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone. This is from the

Lord, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? Therefore

I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken

away from you and given to a people who will

produce its fruit. . .”


So, have we figured

it out yet? The

formula for success

is that small numbers

are rejected by

the masses and family but steadfastness in the

cause of the truth achieves success.





Admonition from the Reformer of the


This Reformer of the age Hazrat Mirza Ghulam

Ahmad has written: -

“My followers will be prevented from fulfilling

many of their aspirations but be not heavy


“O my friends who have entered a covenant

with me, may God enable me and you to such

things as would please Him.

“Today you are small in numbers and are being

treated with contempt. You are passing

through a great period of trial. You will be harassed

in every way and you will have to bear with

all manners of talk. Each one of those who inflict

misery upon you with his tongue or with his

hands will do it in the belief that he is doing it in

the service of Islam. You will also be tried from

May 2017 The

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heaven so that you are tried in every possible


“For you the road to victory does not lie in dry

logic or in returning abuse with abuse . . . God Almighty

looks down and loathes upon this behaviour

. . .” (Izala Auham, p546-547)

This Jamaat (the AAIIL UK) is one of the

smallest in numbers, we are rejected every day

because of our stance — to hold religion above

the world, but we remain a thorn in the side of

those who pretend that religion is first in their

life. Those who reject us are the ones who cast

doubts into the minds of men but they could not

do this to the elders of our Jamaat as they possessed

a different kind of steadfastness and conviction.

They were not easily swayed by the

promise of worldly gains and they worked with

zealousness for the emancipation of the truth

and the elimination of falsehood.

Why don’t we have the same success, we are

small in numbers but great in means, where is

our success? None of us is hard up for a “few

bob”. The stories I have read about the friends

of the Promised Messiah was that sometimes

they did not have food in their house.

Our numbers are small, our doctrine is the

same, our rejection is greater, so what is lacking

is our steadfastness. We are too easily swayed

by those in authority and even family and thus

our power to love and stand by each other depreciates

and weakens us.

This is what the verse of the Quran means

when it states: “do not dispute with each other

least you lose courage and your strength departs”

When this happens then communities

fall apart, jamaats split and battles are lost.

Central to the avoidance of this sort of

breakdown is love for each other and love for

the Quran. This is the unique characteristic of

the Promised Messiah, i.e. his love for the

Quran. This led him to write a couplet which we

all know امجل و ‏ِنسُح رقآن ونر اجنِ‏ رہ املسمن ےہ which means:

the elegance and beauty of the Quran is the life

of every Muslim. And,

ےتہک ںیہ ‏ِنسُحویفس دشکل تہب اھت نکیل

which means: “it is said that Joseph's beauty

had exceptional charm but the Quran has surpassed

everyone else in elegance and attractiveness.”

We need to hold fast to the rope of Allah and

be not disunited, as a Jamaat we need to have

the same goals and focus. We are admonished

elsewhere in the Quran about another aspect of

our being and that causes the loss of love

amongst us and that is fault finding-

“O, you who believe, let not people laugh at

people, perchance they may be better than they;

nor let women laugh at women per chance they

may be better than they. Neither find fault with

your own people nor call one another by nick

names. Evil is a bad name after faith and whoso

turns not these it is that are the iniquitous.” (Ch

49 v 11)

Finding fault with each other is the cornerstone

of a weak hearted person who does not

have the courage to correct themselves but sees

it fit to spot the weakness or fault in someone


The Bible beautifully elucidates this in:

“Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of

thine own eye and then shall thou see clearly to

cast out the mote of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew

7 v 5)

In the Hadith of Adu Dawood and Tirmidhi

our Prophet says: -"Each of you is the mirror of

his brother, so if he sees any fault in him he should

wipe it away." (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1286)

Narrated Abu Barzah al-Aslami: The

Prophet (s) said: O community of people, who believed

by their tongue, and belief did not enter

their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not

search for their faults, for if anyone searches for

those who inflict misery upon you with his

tongue or with his hands will do it in the belief

that he is doing it in the service of Islam.

their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if

وخیب و دِ‏ ربلی ںیم بس ےس وسا ء یہیےہ

I Shall Love All Mankind.

May 2017 The

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Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces

him in his house.” (Sunan of Abu Dawood,

Number 2283)

What harm can come because of fault finding?

The Prophet said, "Beware of suspicion, for

suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not

look for the others' faults and do not spy, and do

not be jealous of one another, and do not desert

(cut your relationship with) one another, and do

not hate one another; and O Allah's worshipers!

Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you)!" (Sahih

Al Bukhari, Vol. 8 Number 90)

If Allah mentions this trait of human frailty

in us, if our Prophet warns us against it, then

surely it must affect us in some way.

Psychologist Dr Joseph M Carver, PhD wrote

about the psychology of fault finding: “No person

on earth is “perfect” and everyone has flaws

and faults. This means that eventually you will

find fault with everyone around you and by your

own admission, you will then not only dislike

them, but dislike being around them. They will

irritate you. You will eventually reach a point

where you are uncomfortable in any social environment,

because someone there will have a

flaw. Keep in mind that being imperfect and

having a flaw is only by your interpretation of

what you see.

Those you identify as being imperfect and

having flaws cause you emotional distress. You

not only dislike (a negative emotional state) being

around them but find them irritating. Your

mood will be constantly changing — always to

the negative — based on those around you. As

this happens, your current friends will slowly

detach from you, you will interpret that detachment

as a flaw, you’ll then dislike them, and

you’ll be lonely. This current personality theme

has no positive impact on your life.

In an ironic twist,

your need to find fault

with people for failing

your personal standards

of perfection, then


allowing yourself to be

emotionally upset by

them, is a significant flaw in your personality.

your need to find fault with people

. . . is a significant flaw in your

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Perhaps the biggest irony is that your friends,

who probably experience your moods, negativity,

and frequent criticism of those around you,

accept your flaws and imperfection and remain

your friends.

This negativity puts you at higher risk for

depression, stress, anxiety, and even job/career


In the future, this is not a good characteristic

to have for many reasons. Under stress, our

natural personality is amplified. Dependent

people become more dependent and aggressive

people become more aggressive — that kind of

thing. Your hypercritical view of others, when

you find yourself under stress, will be amplified,

isolating you from those around you and eventually

turning on you, becoming self-critical.

This negativity puts you at higher risk for depression,

stress, anxiety, and even job/career


To prevent ourselves from falling into the

cycle of suspicion, fault finding and dissent, remember

the 6 C's. Always Compliment, Congratulate

and Commend; never should we complain,

criticise and have contempt.

The price we must pay now for success tomorrow

is - that we remain steadfast and unrelenting

in our duty to Allah and not find fault

with each other.

Islam and Zoroastrianism

By Ardeshir Spencer

(Editor’s note: This article by a Zoroastrian

compares Islamic and Zoroastrian religious

practice. The author’s object is to try to show

that Islam copied its practices from Zoroastrianism.

However, the Holy Quran says: “And

surely the same is in the Scriptures of the ancients.”

The Holy Quran (26:196) Islam is not a

new religion but perfects all earlier


It would be appropriate if we

can discuss the startling similarities

between some practices of Islam

and Zoroastrianism. These

parallels go beyond coincident. I will endeavour

May 2017 The

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to enumerate a few here:

Requirements of prayers: Islam enjoins its

followers to pray 5 times a day and is called by

the Muezzin to his prayers. These prayers are at

i) Dawn ii) Noon iii) Afternoon iv) Sunset v)


01. Zoroastrianism also enjoins prayers 5

times a day called "Geh". The devotee is summoned

by the ringing of a bell in the

AtashBehram / Agiary. These prayers are also at

the same time as in Islam and their respective

names are:

fast in the day and only break their fast after

sunset. In Zoroastrianism, the month of Bahman

has similar connotations wherein all are

requested to particularly abstain from flesh.

Perhaps in the age of the Sassanian dynasty the

month of Bahman was observed as Ramzan is


06. Ascent into Heaven: The hagiography of

Islam assures us that Prophet Mohammad ascended

to heaven from Jerusalem on the mythical

beast Burrrak. He crossed the 7 spheres, exchanged

greetings with the patriarchs and beheld

the glory of God.

Islamic Time Zoroastrianism

Fajar Dawn Havaan

Zohar Noon Rapithwan

Asr Afternoon Uziren

Maghrib Evening Mazreem

Isha Night time Ushaen

02. Pre-requisites of Prayer: On entering the

mosque and prior to commencing prayers a

Muslim must cover his head and wash his face

and limbs. Similarly, a Zoroastrian on entering

the Agiary will cover his head, wash his face and

limbs and perform the Padyaab Kusti before

commencing his prayers.

03. The Prayers: Prayers in Islam are in Arabic

only, though translations/transliterations

are available. The liturgy must be conducted in

Arabic only. In Zoroastrianism too, prayers

must be recited in Avesta or in Pazend only. In

fact, in Aveatan prayers Pazend portions must

be recited in an undertone so as not to break the

seamless flow of Avestan Manthravani.

04. Sanctum Sanctorum and its veneration:

The holiest spot in a Mosque is the wall facing

Mecca and is called the Qiblah. In the

Atashbehram/Agiary the room where the Atash

Padshah is enthroned is also called the Keblaah.

A Muslim will perform the Sajdah in front of the

Qiblah and so also will the Zoroastrian perform

the Sezdah before his Keblaah. Both involve

kneeling and touching the forehead to the


05. A Holy Month: In Islam Ramzan is the

holy month in which all Muslims are required to

I Shall Love All Mankind.

The Dinkard tells us that at the entreaties of

Asho Zarthustra Bahman Ameshaspand transcendentally

elevated his consciousness to the

realm of heaven wherein Asho Zarthustra

looked at the refulgent majesty of God. A similar

journey was attributed to the virtuous Ardaviraf

who visited hell, purgatory and heaven during

his spiritual journey.

The above similarities are obvious. A more

careful research would reveal more parallels.

However even these points are too close to be

dismissed as mere coincidences. This means

Zoroastrianism has had an enormous impact on

Islam which is not acknowledged. Everyone

agrees Islam owes a lot to Judaism and Christianity

but I feel that the scholars of Islam borrowed

very heavily from Iran and this can be

perhaps attributed to that shadowy figure of

Dastur Dinyar (Salman Farsi). This debt is so

impressive that it had to be consistently downgraded

and later denied. After all, if Islam is supposedly

directly inspired by God it cannot be

seen to be acknowledging any debt to an older

faith, specially the faith of a nation which Islam

has defeated. This may perhaps explain the devotion

of your Persian Imams to my Faith.

07. Chinvat Bridge (The Siraat Bridge): According

to ancient Persian myth, when a person

dies, the soul remains by the body for three

days. On the fourth, it travels to Chinvat Bridge

(the Bridge of the Separator, also call Al-Sirat),

accompanied by gods of protection. The bridge

is "finer than a hair and sharper than a sword"

and spans a deep chasm teeming with mon-

May 2017 The

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sters. On the other side of the bridge is the gateway

to paradise.

08. Hell: Demons guard the foot of the

bridge and argue with the gods over the soul's

fate. The actions of the dead person, both good

and bad, are weighed, and the soul is either allowed

to cross or denied access to the bridge.

Spirits whose evil outweighs their good fall into

the demon-infested pit to face eternal torment.

In this abyss of the damned, each soul is tortured

by a GHOUL that represents its sins in life.

Once fallen into the gulf, no soul can escape the

horrors of hell through its own power.

Zoroaster, a sixth century BC religious

leader, had warned his followers of this obstacle

to heaven but he promised to lead his flock

safely across. The ancient manuscript Gathas

(Songs of Zoroaster) explains that the Bridge of

the Separator "becomes narrow for the wicked,"

whereas the holy can easily pass unharmed. (In

Gathas, the fair god Rashnu is named as the

judge who helps determine who is worthy of

salvation and who must be damned.) All infidels

(non-believers) fall into hell, which the prophet

says has been created especially for the "followers

of the lie."

The legends are sketchy but assert that

Chinvat Bridge is located somewhere in the far

north. It is a place of filth where the damned endure

physical tortures and spiritual agony.

Souls who are unsuccessful in crossing the

Chinvat Bridge suffer these torments until Ahraman,

the evil god of Zoroastrianism, is destroyed

by the good god Orzmahd during the

Last Judgement. At this time, lost spirits are restored

to the truth since "the lie" has been eradicated,

or they face final annihilation.

at first, speak of the process of consecrating

these three grades of the sacred fire. For example,

he falls on his knees in his prayers; he lowers

his head and bows; he raises his hands towards

Heaven. All these ways or rites, which

symbolize service or obedience or homage to

God, are done occasionally.

The candidate is to say his prayers five

times during the day. He is expected to pass his

time in a religious or pious mood. The candidate

has, during these six days, to pass his time in

prayers during the five Gahs and to observe all

the observances of saying the grace at meals,

etc. He is not to come into contact with any non-


The five periods for the performance of the


The Bui ceremony is performed five times

every day. It is performed at the commencement

of each of the five Gahs or periods of the

day which correspond to a certain extent, with

the canonical hours of the Christians.

These periods are the following:

(1) Hawan. It begins from early morning

when the stars begin to cease to appear, and

lasts up to 12 O’clock when the sun comes overhead.

Literally, it means the time when the ceremony

of pounding the Haoma is performed.

(2) Rapithwin. It runs from 12 o'clock noon

to 3 p. m. Literally, it means the pith (pithwa) or

the middle part of the day (ayare ).

(3) Uzerin. It runs from 3 p.m. to the time

when the stars begin to appear. Literally, it

means the time of the advancement of the sun.

The Five Ritual Zoroastrian Prayers

The five prayers were developed after the

Prophet Zoroaster.

1. There are three grades of the Sacred Fire-

(A) The Sacred Fire of the Atash Behram, (B)

that of the Atash, Adaran and (C) that of the

Atash Dadgah. These three have their different

rituals of consecration and different rituals for

the daily prayers at the five times (gahs) of the

day, when they are fed with fresh fuel. We will,

I Shall Love All Mankind.

(4) Aiwisruthrem. It runs from nightfall to


(5) Ushahin. It runs from midnight to dawn

when the stars begin to cease to appear.

The priest performs the Kusti-padyab (i.e.,

performs ablutions and unties and puts on the

Kusti again with the recital of a prayer).

The Bui ceremony in an Atash Behram: A

priest who has performed the Khub ceremony,

May 2017 The

Light 9

performs the Kusti-padyab at the commencement

of each new Gah, i.e., the period of the day,

as described above, and then recites his Farziyat,

i.e., the necessary prayers, which are the

Srosh-baj, the Gah according to the time of the

day, and the Khwarshed and Mihr Niyayeshes

during the day periods, i.e., the above named

first three gahs.

During the night-periods which form the

last two gahs, the Khwarshed and Mihr Niyayeshes

are replaced by Srosh Yasht (Yasna

57) and Srosh Hadokht. He then goes into the

sacred chamber, puts on white gloves, places

some frankincense over the Sacred Fire, and

then the Ma chi, i.e., the six pieces of sandalwood

as said above. If sandalwood is not obtainable,

six pieces of any other kind of clean good wood

will do. (The Religious Ceremonies and Customs

of the Parsees by J. J. Modi, Bombay, 1922.

Part 3)

Surah Hijr - The Rock

Reflections on Section 1

By Zainib Ahmad

The name given to the 15th Surah of the

Quran may be understood in various ways. It

could refer to the dwellers of the Rock, mentioned

in verse 80 of the surah. The ruins of

Petra, as they are now called, were the dwellings

of the nation of Thamud, or the Nabataeans,

presently found in Jordan. The Prophet Salih

was sent to this nation, who were eventually

destroyed for persistent wickedness. These ruins

were on the route of trade caravans to Syria

in the time of the blessed Prophet Muhammad.

It must have served as a powerful message to

the people of those times, as shown by this hadith:

The concept of hijr, or rock, invites reflection

upon the rock cycle, a scientific process

through which various types of rock are formed

and broken down. There are three main types of

rocks: igneous, or rocks formed when magma

flows out as lava, and cools; sedimentary,

formed when rocks are broken down by weathering

and erosion and then compacted together;

and metamorphic, which are formed

when rocks are exposed to heat and pressure,

and they melt and change form.

Reference is made to the changing forms of

rocks in 2:74. “Then your hearts hardened after

that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse

in hardness. And surely there are some rocks

from which streams burst forth; and there are

some of them which split asunder so water

flows from them and there are some of them

which fall down for the fear of Allah. And Allah

is not heedless of what you do.”

If we consider rocks to be like the hearts of

people, or simply as types of people, we can say

that while we are all subject to challenges in life,

they change us in different ways, depending on

how we react. We can turn into precious stones

as a result of the tribulations we persevered

against. We can also crumble under the stress.

Overall, we can conclude that everything is

changing. Even something apparently immovable

and unyielding as a rock, is undergoing constant

change. The sand particles that we see

once used to be mighty rocks. Similarly, are giant

obstacles removed and the mighty reduced

to humility.

To summarize, rocks can be a metaphor for

the human heart, for faith, for the changes we

undergo in life, and for the obstacles that we

face in the path of our goals.

The Messenger of Allah passed through Al-

Hijr on his way to Tabuk. He covered his head and

urged his camel to go faster, saying to his Companions:

Do not enter the dwellings of those who were

punished unless you are weeping, and if you do not

weep then make yourself weep out of fear that perhaps

what struck them may also strike you.” (Bukhari)

I Shall Love All Mankind.

This surah continues the themes of Surah

Ibrahim: strengthening the faith of the believers

by reinforcing important faith concepts, giving

them examples of people who followed those

concepts and lead a godly life, while warning

those who rebel to the point of harming the progress

of goodness.

1: I Allah am the Seer. These are the verses of

the book and a Quran that makes manifest. We

May 2017 The

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often need a reminder that holding the Quran is

like holding a miracle in our hands. It is easy to

forget the awe and the majesty of the Quran,

since we have been blessed with easy access to

it. We have one on our bedside table, and our

bookshelf, nestled among other books. It is easy

to be unmindful of the fact that these are Allah’s

words on paper. Why is the

Quran important? It makes

things clear, open, visible. Allah’s

attribute of seeing is

stated in the beginning to emphasize

this point. Allah sees

the souls, the innermost of our thoughts, the reality

of everything, the past, and where we are


2: Often will those who disbelieve wish that

they were Muslims. This verse beautifully connects

to the first, telling us about matters Allah

knows and sees, but we may not see: those who

don’t acknowledge the truth about the reality of

the world, also called religion, often wish that

they knew it. They will wish that they were

among those who submitted and turned themselves

entirely towards Allah to get guidance

and strength, and then turned to people in their

lives to treat them well and act in the best manner

in all life situations. Another place in the

Quran this is described as “. . . whoever rejects

evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most

trustworthy hand hold”.

And, “Whoever assigns partners to Allah, it

is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds

had snatched him, or the wind had thrown

him to a far-off place. (22:31) In other words,

they are at the mercy of temporary things.

In our lives, the concept that being a believer

is a huge blessing, helps our faith stay

strong, when it is hard to hold on to faith, as our

blessed Prophet said, “The people will see a

time of patience in which someone adhering

to his religion will be as if he were grasping

a hot coal.” (Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2260)

When I talk to other parents of teenagers

and they hear that Islam does not endorse

drinking, dating, partying, they are surprised

and impressed and I can sense that they are

wishing that they had a faith that gave them

The Holy Quran is important

because it makes things

clear, open and visible for


I Shall Love All Mankind.

such values. The research about addictions to

drugs, drinking and gambling shows that there

is a genetic component to addiction. The Islamic

teaching of staying away completely from harmful

things makes much more sense than “responsible

drinking”, or a culture which accepts

experimenting with drugs and wild partying, in

which a person may suffer irreparable

harm, and spend the rest of

their life fighting that addiction.

Since it is more beneficial to

apply the Quran to ourselves than

to some hypothetical “other”, this verse can refer

to the times in our lives when we don’t exert

ourselves to draw closer to Allah. When we neglect

our spiritual side, our soul, we will surely

regret it later and wish we had used all the precious

few days of our lives to strengthen our

connection to the Divine.

Verse 3: Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves,

and let (false) hopes beguile them, for they

will soon know. This verse answers the question

that, if people wish they were Muslim, why do

they not fully submit to Allah? What stops them.

The answer is clearly given: it is the allurements

and distractions of life. Enjoyment beyond what

is necessary to recharge ourselves, and excessive

consumption, rampant in modern society is

what keeps people away from an abiding commitment

to good. A carefree, casual, fun loving

attitude towards life without seriously considering

the reality of our existence is the path to

loss. We are reminded in surah Asr: if we are not

actively moving towards doing good, we are in

loss and time is our witness.

Verse 4: And never did We destroy a town but

it had a decree made known. This verse speaks

of the destruction that comes upon groups or

towns, when warnings and reminders go unheeded.

Allah is Just, Merciful, so He always

gives multiple warnings. If we take the analogy

of a teacher in a classroom, the test is not given

as a surprise, rather is announced ahead of

time, and quizzes are given, preparation techniques

are taught as much as possible. Allah

shares the pains our blessed Teacher Muhammad

took by saying in Surah Kahf: will you kill

yourself with grief if they do not believe? The

May 2017 The

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decree of doom is not some arbitrary judgement,

but the result seen by someone who insisted

on advancing towards the fire despite all

warnings. May Allah protect us.

Verse 5: No people can hasten on their doom,

nor can they postpone (it). Verse further explains

the previous point, that the syllabus of

life is laid out and we are given the chance to

pass through various stages of development, in

the hope that we take charge of our lives and set

forth on the path of self-awareness and self-improvement.

A student who does not do well initially

is not expelled from the course or class,

but given other chances. Allah, the most Merciful

of all those who show mercy, gives us all the

chances and warnings, even if we throw them

away. Once our time is up, the doom comes as a

natural consequence because we were on a

crash course and refused to change direction. A

critical mass has been reached and the time for

results has come. There is tremendous wisdom

in the fact that there is a time for everything,

even when we cannot see it

Verse 6: And they say: O thou to whom the

reminder is revealed, thou art indeed mad. A dialogue

is often used to show attitudes in the

Quran. The first part is an accusation that the

prophet is mad, possessed. Those who speak

the plain truth will surely be scoffed at, made

fun of, their motives and their sanity questioned.

People laugh at and belittle those who

hold fast to religion in these times. We have all

heard things like:

You really believe that stuff? Aren’t you boiling

in all those clothes? Everyone is doing it, so

it’s weird if you don’t. What! You can’t eat all day

when you fast? Not even water? That’s crazy?

Verses 7 and 8: Why do you not bring the angels

to us, if you are of the truthful? We send not

angels but with truth, and then they would not be


We see in these verses the impatient attitude

of treating religion like an on-demand

movie channel or magic show. Making positive

change in our life is more like a lifelong science

experiment. We must stick with it and be meticulous

to see good results.

Verse 9: Surely, We have revealed the Reminder,

and surely We are its Guardian. This is a

very notable verse in the Quran. Among all the

I Shall Love All Mankind.

carping of what people say in ignorance, we are

reminded of the gravitas of the message, and

given a promise and prediction of success, that

ties into the preservation of the book.

I understood the preservation of the Quran

on 3 levels: The first level is preservation of the

actual words and book itself. We know that the

verses were written down as they were revealed,

and in the lifetime of the Prophet, they

were collected in the divinely inspired correct

order. In the Caliphs’ time, one standard copy

was made and distributed. The details can be

found in the introduction to Maulana Muhammad

Ali’s English translation of the Quran. The

physical words have also been preserved by

millions who memorize the entire Quran, and

this is phenomenon unique to this book. It is living

testimony to the sublime message of the

Quran, which unlike other books, has not been

deemed too sacred to read or understand.

The preservation of the spiritual meanings

is harder than the physical preservation. At

times throughout history the spiritual meanings

have seemed lost, as was evident from the

behaviour of Muslims. Allah took care of this by

regularly sending saints and mujaddids to revive

the spiritual meanings. In the 14th century

Hijrah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the one

who helped us put this holy text on our bedside

table, and to seek depth in its meanings.

The third preservation is the hardest of all.

It is the applicability of the Quran, even after a

long passage of time. There is not much use of a

book that we have physically with us, and can

understand the meaning, but we find we cannot

apply it to our modern lives. Allah has provided

for our every need, and so the Quran urges us to

reflect on nature, reflect in general on life and

its meaning, and to use our rational thought

process in the application of this book. This ijtihad,

or deciding about new matters in the light

of the Quran and hadith, is a way to find the applicability

of the Quran in all times. E.g. most of

us have memorized Ayat al Kursi, or the verse of

the Throne. We may also know what it means.

However, when we recite it after our obligatory

prayers, as advised by the blessed Prophet, do

we really understand how it applies to our

lives? What concepts are contained in it, that

when internalized, will lead us to heaven?

May 2017 The

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Hence, out of the three types of preservation,

the first two have been done for us, and

handed to us on a silver platter. The actual

Quran and meanings are available. It is for us to

must engage in a lifelong struggle for the personal

understanding and application.

Verses: 10-13 And certainly we sent (messengers)

before thee among the sects of yore. And

there never came a messenger to them but they

mocked him. Thus, do we make it enter the hearts

of the guilty. They believe not in it; and the example

of the ancients has gone before.

These words remind us of the human struggles

in life, that one who tries to teach and reform

is ridiculed, and not taken seriously. Advice

from parents and grandparents is laughed

off by kids, as if it came from the Jurassic age.

The elders are not immune to the same attitude.

Often, they refuse to listen to new solutions and

points of view, as if everything new is corrupted

and not as good as the good old times.

Because of our own attitude, our hearts may

become hardened and they become like

parched, packed earth in which there is no room

for anything to grow. This condition of closed

and hard heartedness remains, no matter how

many signs are shown. We need to guard ourselves

against this dangerous attitude, and examine

ourselves. What is our first response

when we receive advice?

Verses 14 and 15: And even if We open to

them a gate of heaven, and they keep on ascending

into it, they would say: Only our eyes have

been covered over, rather we are an enchanted


scenes we can scarcely believe. Science has

given us a microscopic view of life as well, no

less fascinating than that of space. Yet instead of

inspiring belief, for many it has done the opposite.

The Creator is obscured in the creation. In

the last verse, it is said their eyes have been covered.

We know from daily life that the heart sees

as much as the eyes. If the heart is closed, the

eyes are closed as well. If we want to see Allah’s

signature in everything, we don’t really need

any extraordinary apparatus.

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.”

― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Yet those who mock and trivialize things do

not have the right mindset to learn anything. It

is a refusal to take responsibility for their own

decisions, a denial any control over their lives.

When life is all about taking the easy way out, it

is hard to find depth in it. And it refers to the

second verse. That those who disbelieve wish

they were Muslims. A time comes when there is

nothing but regret for the time wasted in life.

Points to ponder: What is our spiritual plan

for our lives. Are we going to regret our present

attitudes and how we spent our time? Rumi

says: Work as hard in your spiritual world as in

your physical world.

Allah has preserved the Quran for us. What

are we doing to preserve the Quran for ourselves,

to fully avail ourselves of its beauty and


The gates of heaven have indeed been

opened for us. The cover of heaven has been removed,

as stated in Surah Takwir. We can see

detailed photographs of far off galaxies. The

Hubble telescope shows us amazing images of

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK)

Founders of the first Islamic Mission in the UK, established 1913 as the Woking Muslim Mission.

Dar-us-Salaam, 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, UK, HA0 4JQ

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I Shall Love All Mankind.

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