2017 06 The Light June 2017

aaiiluk

Organ of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam based in Lahore (Pakistan). Propagating the Islam taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) - liberal, tolerant, rational and peaceful

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The Light

International Organ of the Centre for the Worldwide

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam

2017

June

April

2016

The only Islamic organisation upholding the finality of prophethood.

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

www.virtualmosque.co.uk

Editors

Shahid Aziz & Mustaq Ali – UK;

Zainib Ahmad – USA;

Gowsia Selim - India

Contents

The Call of the Messiah 2

Revision of the English Translation

of Holy Quran by Dr Zahid Aziz 2

Identity Theft – I

By Iain Dixon 6

Female Circumcision

By Shahid Aziz 8

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

During Ramadan – Daily English

Lectures at 13:00 (Prof Tariq Ramadan)

and 20:30 (Shahid Aziz).

Websites

1. International HQ

2. Research and History

3. The Woking Mosque and Mission

4. The Berlin Mosque and Mission

5. Quran search

6. Blog

We Wish All our Brothers and

Sisters a Blessed and Fulfilling

Ramadan.

Our Recent English Broadcasts

‣ Cutting off of hands in the Holy Quran. -

Part 1

‣ Cutting off of hands in the Holy Quran. -

Part 2.

‣ Hypocrisy of Free Speech

The Holy Quran, the News, the Bankers and

the Boat People.

Interesting external links

‣ Biblical Translation changed to Take

Account of Scientific Evidence

‣ Christians and the Holy Prophet Muhammad

(s)

‣ Non-Muslims in a Muslim Country.

External Links

The Light is not responsible for the content

of external sites. The inclusion of a link to an external

website should not be understood to be

an endorsement of that website, the views it expresses

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

Some links may have research, which disagrees

with our beliefs. It is for us to consider such material

and provide a rebuttal. Ignoring it will not

make it go away.

I Shall Love All Mankind.


June 2017 The

Light 2

The Call of the Messiah

by

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam

Ahmad,

The Promised Messiah and

Mahdi

Religious leaders of the country

Similarly, the hereditary heads of the socalled

spiritual orders and the pirs (religious

leaders) of this country are so far removed from

Islam and so engrossed day and night in their

pernicious innovations, that they have no idea

of the difficult times through which Islam is

passing. If you attend their assemblies, instead

of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, you will find

them bending and swaying to the tune of musical

instruments and qawwali (songs) with numerous

innovations in evidence. But, in spite of

all this, they claim to be religious leaders and

followers of the Holy Prophet (s).

Indeed, anybody can claim that he loves Allah,

but only he truly loves Allah to whose love

heaven itself should bear witness. Everybody

claims that he is a follower of the true religion,

but true is the religion of that man alone who

obtains light in this very life itself. And everybody

says that he will get salvation, but only he

who is given light in this earthly life itself is justified

in making this claim

This is the time for rendering service

to the cause of religion.

My dear people! This is the time for serving

the cause of the religion you claim to profess.

Realise the value of this rare opportunity, for if

you let it slip, it will not offer itself to you a second

time.

You are the followers of an incomparably

great and exalted Prophet, so why do you lose

heart? Be firm of faith, and set an example that

even the angels in heaven should wonder at

your strength and steadfastness, and should

pray for blessings on you.

With this I conclude, and pray that this

teaching of mine will be fruitful and beneficial

to you and will generate a change in your hearts.

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

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Maulana Muhammad Ali

completes the revision of his

English Translation of the Holy

Quran for the 1951 edition

Compiled by

Dr Zahid Aziz

Compiler’s Note:

In June 1947 Maulana

Muhammad Ali

embarked upon his

last major literary

project, the revision of his English translation

and commentary of the Holy Quran which had

been first published in 1917. The revised edition

was published in 1951, shortly after the

death of Maulana Muhammad Ali on 13 October

1951.

The main part of the revision work was

completed in two years. Maulana Muhammad

Ali announced the completion in a Friday sermon

(khutba) in Karachi on 19th August 1949,

delivered in Urdu. The khutba was published a

few days later in the Lahore Ahmadiyya Urdu

periodical Paigham Sulh, 7 September 1949, p.

5–6, under the heading ‘The second important

occasion of happiness in my life’. The following

English translation of this sermon has been

done by Dr Zahid Aziz. The headings are as in

the original publication.

The second important occasion of

happiness in my life

We acquired knowledge of the Quran

by sitting at the feet of the Promised

Messiah.

You must benefit from this inherited

knowledge and take the Quran to the

world

Friday khutba by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Karachi,

19 August 1949

After reciting the Sura Fatiha, the Maulana

said:

Faith in Allah bestows tranquillity and

solace

It is, in any case, usual for us to praise Allah


June 2017 The

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and thank Him five times a day, or even more

frequently. Even when we are facing difficulties,

and trials and tribulations, or suffering from illness,

we are taught to say: Al-hamdu li-llahi

Rabb-il-‘alamin (“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of

the worlds”). It is greatly consoling to be reminded

by this, that within our problems and

difficulties Allah has placed the means of our

betterment. There is nothing else that can bring

as much solace and comfort to the heart as does

faith in God. He who believes and is convinced

that the suffering which is upon him contains

the means of his welfare and improvement truly

finds peace in his heart, and the pains and afflictions

which make life intolerable are, to him, a

source of contentment.

Success in life

If there is a secret of success in this world, it

is just this, that man must not panic at the time

of difficulty and trials. He who believes and is

certain that God brings us difficulties for our

own good will definitely lead a successful life.

The teachings given by God seek to create such

a belief and conviction within us, which is why

we are required to praise Allah in prayers five

times a day even in the midst of suffering and

affliction.

Praising Allah with real feeling

However, some events take place which lead

a man to say: Al-hamdu li-llahi Rabb-il-‘alamin

with greater emotion and passion. Each person

fixes some aims in life, and he attains pleasure

by achieving them, according to what they are.

The person who has high aims receives pleasure

from attaining high things. The one who has

low aims is pleased at the attainment of inferior

things.

The second occasion of happiness in

my life

The verse I have recited today, Al-hamdu lillahi

Rabb-il-‘alamin, I have recited on a specially

joyous occasion. In my life there have been

many other happy moments but this is the second

occasion of special happiness. The first occasion

was when I completed the English translation

of the Holy Quran, and today it is the second

when I have completed the revision of the

I Shall Love All Mankind.

translation. I have come after finishing it at

about 1.45 pm today. The reason for happiness

is that man’s life is very uncertain. Many a time,

he faces circumstances in which he could lose

his life.

Starting such a monumental task and taking

it to completion depended entirely on the grace

and favour of God. Many friends had been asking

me for several years for this revision, but at

my age I could not muster the strength required

for this stupendous hard work. It was a task

both huge and difficult. My earlier experience

was there, when I had worked day and night for

seven years. But those days were different.

Then I had much more physical strength and

energy than I have now. I used to work twelve

or even fourteen hours daily. When I got tired

sitting down, I would work standing up. Now

due to my age on the one hand, and the magnitude

of the revision work on the other, I did not

feel I had the strength to do it. But Allah’s grace

and mercy knows no bounds, and with His help

and enablement this work has been completed

today.

How the resolve for revision came to

me

By coincidence, when I wrote Living

Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, the gist of

the teachings of the Quran on most subjects appeared

in this book, and many points were included

in it which had not occurred to me when

I was doing the translation and commentary of

the Holy Quran. This new light that thus illuminated

my mind created a renewed strength

within me, and a determination arose in my

heart that, whatever the difficulties, I should

begin the work of revision. As to how much

change I have made in this revision, you can find

out from three friends who are at this time doing

the typing as honorary work only for the

sake of Allah, namely, Chaudhry Khushi Muhammad,

Muhammad Hasan Khan and

Chaudhry Ghulam Rasul, or you will see after

the translation is published.

Difficulties and obstacles faced during

work

I started this work on 25th June 1947 when

I was staying at Dalhousie. Hardly had I worked


June 2017 The

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for a month and a half when calamity befell. 1 For

those who were residing far from large populations,

as the handful of us were, as we were living

three miles away from the centre of Dalhousie,

escaping safely was only by the grace of God.

Merely three or four men, that is, myself, Mian

Ghulam Rasul, Shaikh Mian Muhammad, Khan

Bahadur Mian Afzal Husain, were living cut off

from the world in a place like a wilderness. The

jealous opponents of the Muslims had us

marked as targets, so much so that their first action

after we left was to burn down the residences

of myself, Mian Muhammad and Mian

Maula Bakhsh. They had this in mind since long

before. Some men came to me, about whom I

suspected that they had ulterior motives.

So, such was the disaster that was faced just

a month and a half after starting this work that

it had to be postponed for a long time. Then I

took it up again and continued it in Quetta [during

the summer] last year. There I went through

another ordeal [of illness] but I was granted a

new lease of life by the grace of God. Having

passed through these two difficult phases, completing

the revision of the translation of the

Quran is a source of tremendous joy for me.

Service of the Quran is the best service

of humanity

On this joyous occasion I have read the

words: Al-hamdu li-llahi Rabb-il-‘alamin. The

service of the Holy Quran is the work by which

we can best serve mankind. It must be remembered,

with the fullest faith in the heart, that the

welfare and betterment of the world lies nowhere

but in the Word of God which He revealed

to his last Messenger. Nothing can rescue the

world from its present troubles except the

Quran. It is absolutely true that the reason for

my happiness is not that Allah has granted me

some further knowledge of the Quran, but that

with His help I had the opportunity to place the

Holy Quran before the world in a way which

shows that it contains a solution for its present

problems. Perhaps this may serve as a source of

guidance for the world and illumine the hearts

of people with the light of God.

Treasures of Quranic knowledge lie

within the depth of meaning of its

words

Reading the Quran illuminates your heart,

but this depends on the concentration with

which you read this word of God. The more you

concentrate on it, and the deeper you go into it,

the more it will enter your heart. This can be

made clearer by the following example. Just as

pearls are found in the depths of the oceans,

likewise the boundless treasures of knowledge

contained in the Quran, which will continue to

be unfolded till the Day of Judgment, are to be

found in the depths of the meanings of its

words. It is an ocean that no one is denied access

to, but to obtain those valuable pearls from

it, which give us light to solve our problems, is

dependent on how much effort and exertion we

put in for their acquisition.

Try to solve the problems of the world

from the Quran

Therefore, I advise my friends to try to find

solutions to the problems of the world from the

Holy Quran. Apply thought to these problems

and then ponder over the Quran. Remember

this principle that the solution of the problems

of the world lies in developing faith in God, and

nothing else can create as much faith in God as

can the Holy Quran. But to develop faith requires

a struggle. Faith and striving have a reciprocal

relationship. Faith creates the desire to

strive, as a result of which a person sees the

truth and can shed light upon it for others.

Knowledge of the Quran is an inheritance

of the Lahore Jama‘at from the

Mujaddid

I must tell you that the true knowledge of

the Holy Quran has in this age been disclosed

particularly to your Jama‘at, and this blessing is

in reality due to that man at whose feet we

gained this knowledge. He set us on the right

path. To gain true knowledge, a balanced mind

1

The events mentioned here occurred at the partition

of India. Many Muslims from the Punjab used to

spend the summer in Dalhousie, a salubrious place in

the mountains. It was in an area which at partition

I Shall Love All Mankind.

was awarded to India, and many Muslims had to flee

from it, as from many other such places, to the new

state of Pakistan.


June 2017 The

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is required, and it is the blessing of God that this

Jama‘at has maintained its mental equilibrium.

This is why the Promised Messiah’s intellectual

heritage has passed to this small Jama‘at.

Why didn’t the Qadiani Jama‘at inherit

sufficiently?

The larger, Qadiani Jama‘at has not been

able to benefit from it sufficiently because, on

the one hand, through exaggeration it elevated

a Mujaddid to the rank of prophethood, and on

the other hand due to its system of blind obedience

by the followers to the leader, it lost its

mental balance. Its own leader complains that

his Jama‘at has lost its mental equilibrium. Followers

come under complete control of their

spiritual leader just as animals are under the

control of man. Their potential for development,

placed in human nature by God, is suppressed

and their development comes to a halt.

You will observe that the circumstance which

deprived the Muslims of knowledge, and reduced

them to a stagnant, static state, was just

this blind following of religious leaders which

paralysed the human brain and darkened the

light of their intellect, making them incapable of

further progress.

Differing with the Promised Messiah in

secondary matters

It is perfectly true that we accepted Hazrat

Mirza sahib as Mujaddid, as Mahdi and as the

Messiah. However, we never accepted him as

one to be followed blindly. We used to differ

with him sometimes. The Nawab of Mongrol felt

much attraction and love for this Movement. To

a large extent he believed the Ahmadiyya Movement

to be true. When once we were with him,

a Maulvi tried to incite him against us and said

to him: ‘These people whom you respect and

honour so much, who believe Mirza sahib to be

the Promised Messiah, they have differences

with their own Promised Messiah; he did not

believe that Jesus was born of a father, but these

people believe he had a father.’

Messiah has declared the Holy Quran to be supreme

over everything. So, if we see something

clearly in the Quran, then in a secondary matter

we consider it permissible to hold a different interpretation

from the Promised Messiah, provided

it is supported by strong arguments. We

have learnt the Quran from the Promised Messiah

but he did not shut the doors of knowledge

upon us; rather, he opened them. The words of

Hazrat Umar deserve to be written in letters of

gold which he uttered when a woman drew his

attention to a verse of the Quran according to

which there can be no limit to the amount of

mahr that a wife is given by the husband. Hazrat

Umar said: “The women of Madina have more

understanding of religion than Umar”.

After the founder of the religion, difference

with anyone is allowed

Therefore, it is no sin to differ, even with the

greatest of persons. Of course, one cannot differ

with the founder of the religion, the Holy

Prophet Muhammad. After him, one can differ

with anyone from Hazrat Abu Bakr to Hazrat

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The concept that such

differences are not allowed caused Muslims to

become stagnant. Prior to that, the Muslims

were racing on the path of progress, in terms of

both knowledge and deeds. They led the world

in all aspects of life. But when this nation got

stuck in the mire of taking religious leaders “for

lords besides Allah” (the Quran, 9:31), it went

into decline.

Read the Quran with understanding

You must read the Holy Quran, and read it

with thought and concentration. Only God

knows to whom He will grant knowledge for the

benefit of His creatures. Allah has given a brain

to everyone and placed a light within each person

as well. As you take more and more interest

in the Quran, and make your connection with it

stronger, the things in it which appear remote

and distant will seem to be emerging from your

own heart.

The Nawab sahib put this question to me. I

replied that this just shows that we have not accepted

the Promised Messiah without thinking,

but after thinking and understanding, with

open eyes, which are still open. The Promised

I Shall Love All Mankind.

After revision, the stage of printing

and publication

I have related to you my experience, that Al-


June 2017 The

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lah accepted my effort and enabled me to complete

this work. There remains another stage,

which is the crucial one. There is not only the

question of printing, for which the manuscript

has yet to be prepared, but there is the question

of its dissemination in the world. The Holy

Quran is already in our homes. If, after translation,

it remains confined to our homes, will it

reach the world? The real objective is its propagation.

Idea of translation occurs to a recluse

of Qadian

I look with amazement as to how the idea

occurred to a recluse living in Qadian, occurring

at the same time as he made his claim, that the

Quran should be translated and sent to the peoples

of Europe and America. Perhaps the second

resurgence of Islam would take place by their

hands. It would not be surprising if Islam

spreads among them and makes them the more

capable of serving the Quran.

Serve the Quran along with your other

work or business

So, the other task is to spread the Holy

Quran. In this, every one of you can participate,

whether you are great or small. You can do

whatever work you wish to, but make this task

the aim of your life. There are some people who

devoted their lives entirely to the service of Islam

and the Quran. There are others who carry

on their own business or employment, and

along with that they serve the faith. Dr Basharat

Ahmad, although he was in employment, devoted

his life to the service of the Quran, and the

light of the Quran had brightly illuminated his

heart. Anyone who reads his commentary on

two parts of the Quran can feel that. It brings

such enjoyment and contentment that one’s

faith in God is revived.

Try to acquire and pass on knowledge

of the Quran

Those people who are employed in jobs can

follow whatever profession they wish. But each

one, according to his aptitude, can also perform

service of the Quran at the same time. Try to acquire

knowledge of the Quran and pass it on. Allah

never wastes anyone’s effort and struggle.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

The brains of all human beings have more or

less the same capability. The difference is in

man’s effort. The person of average intelligence

can achieve through effort what a highly intelligent

man cannot achieve without effort.

(From the Paigham Sulh, 7 September 1949, 5–

6)

Identity Theft!

(Part 1)

By Iain Dixon

Asaalamu alaikum!

May the peace of Allah be

upon you!

I have been told that the expression Allahu

Akbar means ‘God is great’, or more accurately

‘God is greater than anything, His greatness is

beyond and above anything and everything’.

Wow! What praise for God! Surely these are

beautiful words that should only be reserved for

the beautiful Creator of heaven and earth! The

words Allahu Akbar provide an eternity of contemplation

for the believer, majestic praise that

is higher than the highest mountain, a source of

joy that is deeper than the deepest mountain,

praise that is more radiant than the brightness

of all the stars of the universe put together! And

yet, something has gone horribly wrong in the

world today. Rather that, Allahu Akbar being a

refrain of praise, or a symphony of love and adoration

for the greatness of God, something sinister

has occurred. The hearing of these words

has sent, and is continuing to send, a chill of fear

in the hearts and minds of its hearers around

the world. For many, Allahu Akbar has become a

death cry, and are words that are uttered just

before a bomb is set off, or innocent people are

shot down, slaughtered in an instant. As a candle’s

gentle flame is snuffed out in a moment, so

those uttering Allahu Akbar are extinguishing

light and love in the lives of those who are loved

and treasured by Allah. Somewhere, somehow,

people have traded in love for God and mankind,

with pure hatred. Allahu Akbar has become

a death sentence, and a label that has ‘rebranded’

the Creator of the universe as a God of

hate, who delights in destruction. I call this –

Identity Theft.

In this, and further articles, I want to share


June 2017 The

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with you what I have learnt from my own personal

reflections on the character of Allah that I

have discovered in reading the pages of the

Honoured Quran. I am a follower of Jesus, and

do not ‘belong to the Islamic faith’ as text books

would define a ‘Muslim’. But I am someone who

thinks, reflects, and has an incredible love and

respect for my Muslim brothers and sisters. I

know the great promises and prophecies in the

Bible scriptures which foretold the growth and

spread of Islam, and how God promised to protect

and bless them, and use them mightily in

the unfolding of his purposes. I am also aware

of the bad press Islam has received in the hands

of the media, and also in the hands of those who

have been guilty of the Identity Theft. May the

words that I write restore honour to Allah, the

Lord of the worlds, and ‘take back’ the beauty

that belongs only to Him, a beauty that has been

stolen by those supposedly acting in His name

— a beauty that has been tarnished and vandalised

like a beautiful painting that has been ruined

by graffiti and spray paint.

Those that are guilty of Identity Theft have

not noticed how often the pages of the Honoured

Quran refer to Allah as most Gracious,

most Merciful! Each chapter of the Quran (except

one) begins with the words In the name of

Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. Does

this sound like the character of the God represented

by suicide bombers around the world, or

those brandishing machine guns, gunning down

other Muslims in mosques because they believe

in a slightly different doctrine? Surely the qualities

of mercy and grace should abound in the

hearts and lives of those who openly declare to

be worshippers of the one true God. We are told

in the pages of the Quran: kind words and covering

of faults are better than charity followed by

injury. 2 Those who have committed Identity

Theft have forgotten to follow Allah’s advice in

abounding in kindness and in the covering of

faults of others. Instead, they have traded these

noble qualities for intolerance and abusive

words, condemning hearts and fault finding in

others. Anyone who disagrees with them is to

be exterminated! Should we not rather treat all

people kindly, especially towards those who do

not see things the way we do?

The Quran instructs us to clothe ourselves

with kindness, forgiveness and mercy towards

others, even if they do not see things the way we

do. The chapter with the title “Those who disagree”

3 is a direct challenge to those who have

committed Identity Theft. Rather than exterminating

those who disagree with us in religious

belief, we are told "Say: O ye that reject

faith, I worship not that which ye worship, nor

will ye worship that which I worship, and I will

not worship that which ye have been wont to

worship, nor will ye worship that which I will

worship. To you your way, and to me mine." 4

People have different beliefs. We are also all

at different stages in grasping spiritual truth.

How tragic it would be to destroy a beautiful

flower before it has come into full bloom! Imagine

crushing what appears to be a lifeless seed,

or cutting down an unimpressive green stem

because we don’t see yet a beautiful flower!

Those who commit Identity Theft do not allow

people to change or give them time to come into

full bloom of all that Allah intended them to become.

Instead they are impatient and intolerant

of others. How different this is to the way of Allah!

In the Bible, we are told “But the path of the

just is as the shining light, that shineth more

and more unto the perfect day.” 5 . Just as the sun

rises gradually each day, and moment by moment

more light is unfolded, so too does our

spiritual light and understanding take time to

grow and mature. We don’t believe it all, get it

all, or know it all — all at once. How sad, that

those who commit Identity Theft have taken

upon themselves to judge others and to take

away the precious gift of life from others — all

in the name of Allahu Akbar. Those who misrepresent

the character of God have never truly recognised

the greatness of God, and His merciful

purposes.

(To be continued in the next issue)

2 Surah Al-Baqarah 2:263.

3 Surah Al-Kafirun 109:1-6

4 The Arabic word deen, translated here as worship, has

a wider significance. It means the way you live and includes

all aspects of life. Thus, this chapter may be

translated as: “O you who disagree with me, I will not

I Shall Love All Mankind.

live the way you do and you do not want to live the way

I teach. So, let each one of us live the way we want to

and we will see the result.” — Editor

5 Proverbs 4:18


June 2017 The

Light 8

Female

Circumcision

Is it prescribed by

Islam?

By Shahid Aziz

Introduction

Female circumcision is known in the West

as FGM, which stands for Female Genital Mutilation.

It is an ancient practice where parts of a

girl’s genitalia are removed to eliminate sexual

desire and pleasure in a woman. Although, people

usually just talk about FGM, there are four

categories.

Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris

and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy).

Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris

and the labia minora, with or without excision

of the labia majora (excision).

Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice

with creation of a covering seal by cutting and

positioning the labia minora and/or the labia

majora, with or without excision of the clitoris

(infibulation).

Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the

female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for

example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping

and cauterization.

It originated in pre-Islamic Africa and was

referenced by the Greek geographer Strabo during

a visit to Egypt around 25 BCE.

UNICEF estimates that 200 million

women are violated by FGM and that

every ten seconds a woman or girl is

subjected to it. It is a common practice

in some countries in Africa and the

Middle East. Inhabitants of those

countries practice FGM regardless of

their faith. For example, Ethiopia is a

predominantly Christian country and

yet FGM is a common practice. Somalia

is a predominantly Muslim country

and FGM is practiced there. In Nigeria,

Muslims and Christians are almost equal in

numbers and both practice FGM. Those who

practice it and those who oppose it both say that

it is prescribed by Islam. This paper is based on

two Friday sermons delivered at the UK headquarters

of the Lahore-Ahmadiyya Movement,

which showed that female circumcision or FGM

is against Islamic teaching.

We find that not only is female circumcision

not practiced in most of Muslim majority countries

such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc. In

fact, it is not even known in those countries and

when mentioned, people express astonishment.

In these countries, it is only the small community

of Bohras who practices FGM. In Saudi Arabia

itself, it is only on the Southern tip around

Yemen where FGM is practised by Saudis. Others

who practice FGM in Saudi Arabia are immigrants

from countries such as Egypt.

The Hanafi and Malaki schools of jurisprudence

regard female circumcision as permitted

and the Shaafi and Hanbali schools regard it as

obligatory. Saudis follow the Hanbali school of

jurisprudence, yet we find that it is only a small

minority that indulges in this practice. 6 However,

the fatwahs of these schools are human interpretations

of what they believe to be the

Commands of the Holy Quran and the Prophet

Muhammad (s). Therefore, these opinions are

not binding upon Muslims. Here, we are not

concerned with their interpretation. We are going

to look at the Holy Quran, the Sunnah and

Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s), to

determine whether, just like male circumcision,

female circumcision is also a part of Islam.

6 http://www.arabnews.com/node/263988

I Shall Love All Mankind.


ر

ٌۭ

June 2017 The

Light 9

The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran states: “Then We revealed

to thee: Follow the faith of Abraham, the upright

one; and he was not of the polytheists.” 7 This

shows that the Divine Command to the Holy

Prophet Muhammad (s) was to follow the faith

of Abraham. Therefore, we must look at the

practice of the Jews in this regard. We know that

the Prophet Abraham was circumcised and that

it is Jewish tradition to circumcise males. We

have no evidence to show that any female related

to the Prophet Abraham himself or among

the Jewish people is circumcised. Thus, if Muslims

are to follow the faith of Abraham, then

males are to be circumcised and females are not

to be circumcised.

This is supported by the Holy Quran where

it is said: “And certainly I will lead them astray

and excite in them vain desires and bid them so

that they will slit the ears of the cattle, and bid

them so that they will alter Allah’s creation. And

whoever takes the devil for a friend, forsaking

Allah, he indeed suffers a manifest loss.” 8

Here Satan is saying that he will lead astray

Allah’s creation. One of the ways in which he

will do so is to “bid them so that they will alter

Allah’s creation”. This shows that mutilation of

living things, whether human or animal is forbidden

by Islam – it is the devil’s work. This is

one reason, among others, that Muslims oppose

post-mortems. It may be asked: why are operations

allowed? The answer is the same as in ordinary

law in the West. Grievous body harm is a

criminal offence. Yet, what a surgeon, during an

operation, subjects a patient to is grievous body

harm. But, even if the surgeon kills the patient,

the surgeon will not be charged with any criminal

offence unless a lack of care in carrying out

the operation can be shown. Thus, if there is a

medical reason then the surgeon is safe because

the surgeon is subjecting his patient to the

trauma of being cut open to save the patient’s

life or relieve him of some illness. Recently, a

surgeon who carried out operations without

any medical reason was charged with criminal

wounding and sent to prison.

The same reasoning applies to the Islamic

injunctions. This principle is derived from the

Quran, which states emphatically that injuring a

human without justification is punishable by a

similar act to deter others. It says, “. . .and we

have ordained therein for them that a life for a

life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear

for an ear, a tooth for a tooth and a wound is

punishable equal for equal.” 9

It may be said the male circumcision does

not fall into this category because the children

are perfectly healthy and they are being subjected

to the trauma of an operation. It may be

added that medical benefits of male circumcision

may apply to only a few children and the

rest go through un-necessary pain. This logic

can be applied to any vaccination programme.

Not all the children are going to get smallpox or

TB or whatever other disease they are being

vaccinated against. But, all the children are vaccinated

to remove the danger of any of them

contracting the illness. The same applies to

male circumcision — all the Muslim male children

are circumcised to eliminate the danger to

some. So, male circumcision does not violate

this injunction of the Holy Quran. But there is no

medical reason for female circumcision. On the

contrary, female circumcision leads to physical

and psychological problems. This has been conclusively

established, making female circumcision

not just un-Islamic but also a criminal offence.

The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s)

This refers to the actions of the Holy

Prophet Muhammad (s). The Holy Quran says:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a

good example to follow. . .” 10

7

ثُمََّ‏ أ وْ‏ ح يْن اَ‏ إِل يْك َ أ نَِ‏ ٱتَّبِعَْ‏ مِ‏ لَّةَ‏ إِبْر هِيم َ ح نِيفًۭ‏ ا ۖ َ و م ا ك ان َ مِن َ ) النحل)‏

chapter 16, verse 123 ‏;ٱلْمُشْرِ‏ كِ‏ ين َ

و ‏ْل ‏ُضِ‏ لَّنَّهُمْ‏ َ و ‏ْل ‏ُم ن ‏ِي نَّهُمَْ‏ و ل ء امُر نَّهُمَْ‏ ف ل يُب تِكُنََّ‏ ء اذ ان َ ٱْلْ‏ نْع مَِ‏ ‏(النساء )8

ٱّللََِّ‏ َ

و ل ء امُر نَّهُمَْ‏ ف ل يُغ ي ‏ِرُنََّ‏ خ لْق َ ٱّللَّ‏ َِ ۖ َ

و م ن ي تَّخِ‏ ذَِ‏ ٱلشَّيْط ن َ و لِيًۭا مِن

دُونَِ‏

ف ق دْ‏ خ سِ‏ ر َ

Chapter 4, verse 119 خُسْر انًۭا مُّبِينًۭا

و ك ت بْن ا ع ل يْهِمَْ‏ فِيه اَ‏ أ نََّ‏ ٱلنَّفْس َ بِٱلنَّفْسِ‏ َ و ٱلْع يْن َ بِٱلْع يْنَِ‏ و ٱْلْ‏ نف َ ) المائدہ ( 9

I Shall Love All Mankind.

بِٱْلْ‏ نفَِ‏ و ٱْلْ‏ ‏ُذُن َ بِٱْلْ‏ ‏ُذُنَِ‏ و ٱلسِنََّ‏ بِٱلسِن َِ و ٱلْجُرُوح َ قِص اصًۭ‏ َ ۖ َ ف م ن ت ص دَّق َ بِهِۦ ف هُو َ

ك فَّار ةًَۭ‏ ۥ لَّهُۖ‏ َ و م ن لَّمْ‏ ي حْكُم بِم اَ‏ أ نز ل َ ف أُو۟‏ ل ئِك َ هُمُ‏

َ ٱّللََُّ‏ َ ٱلظَّلِمُون َ

Chapter 5, verse

45

َ ) االحزاب ( 10

‏َّوْ‏ مَّ‏ ٱلْ‏ ء ى ‏َّاخ رَّ‏ وَّ‏ ذ ‏َّكَّرَّ‏ ٱّللََّ‏ َّ

ي ‏َّرْ‏ جُ‏ وا۟‏ ٱّللََّ‏ َّ وَّٱل ‏ْي

‏َّن ك ‏َّانَّ‏

ل ‏ََّق ‏َّدْ‏ ك ‏َّانَّ‏ ل ‏َّكُ‏ مْ‏ ‏ِفى رَّ‏ سُ‏ ولى ٱ ‏ّللََّ‏ ى أُسْ‏ وَّةٌ‏ حَّ‏ سَّ‏ ن ٌۭ ‏َّةٌ‏ ‏َّلى

Chapter 33, verse 21 كَّثىي ا


June 2017 The

Light 10

If female circumcision is an obligatory Islamic

practice then there must be evidence that

the Holy Prophet Muhammad engaged in it. We

know that there were girls in the Holy Prophet’s

(s) family. Hazrat Fatima (r) was his daughter.

There is no evidence that any woman in the

family of the Holy Prophet (s) was circumcised.

However, in a Hadith Aisha (r), one of the wives

of Prophet Muhammad (s), said, “The Prophet

circumcised Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein on the

seventh day after their birth.” 11 Further, there is

evidence that adult males were circumcised

when they embraced Islam. In a Hadith, Abu

Hureira (r) related: “the Prophet (s) said,

“whenever a man becomes a Muslim he must be

circumcised.” 12 But there is no evidence that an

adult female was circumcised upon embracing

Islam.

Hadith

Words of the Holy Prophet (s) through inspiration

from Allah and with religious implications,

known as wahy khiffi, form part of the

Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s). And, many religious

practices were established through his

sayings. This is based on verses of the Holy

Quran, such as: “. . . Nor does he speak out of (his

own) desire.” 13 Those who claim that female

circumcision is obligatory in Islam use such

verses and rely on some reports of sayings of

the Holy Prophet (s).

But the difficulty is that the hadith or what

the Holy Prophet (s) said was not written down

for a long time after the Holy Prophet’s demise.

The first collection of his sayings was produced

about a century after the demise of the Holy

Prophet. The most well-known collections of

his sayings appeared after, approximately, another

century. The report of what the Holy

Prophet (s) is supposed to have said are in two

parts; one sanad or a chain of narrators and the

second, matan or the text. When considering

the authenticity of a hadith both parts are considered.

For example, the reliability of the reporters

is considered. If a reporter’s evidence

would not be acceptable to a court of law then

what he reported is weak or unreliable. Similarly,

if the text of a report contradicts the Holy

Quran or natural law then the hadith is not considered

reliable. We now evaluate the sayings of

the Holy Prophet (s) used to support FGM, in

this light.

Five ahadith are used to support this practice.

Each of these five ahadith is analysed to see

if female circumcision can be justified on the authority

of any of these reports.

The First Hadith

In this hadith, reported on the authority of

Abdullah bin Umar, it is said that the women of

the Ansar 14 were enjoined to practice FGM by

the Holy Prophet (s). This is very strange, even

if the hadith is correct. Why is it that only the

women of Madinah are being asked to practice

female circumcision? This alone is enough to

cast doubt on its authenticity.

The main objection to this hadith is that it is

regarded as being weak because of the weakness

of the chain of narrators. “Ash-Shawkany

has said that it is related by Abu Naim with a

chain of transmitters that contains Mindal ibn

Ali who is deemed weak in narration. Ash-

Shawkany also adds that such a hadith is related

by Ibn `Addiy with a chain of transmission having

Khalid ibn Amr Al-Qurashi, who is deemed

weaker than Mindal.” 15 From this it can be

safely concluded that we can reject this hadith.

Second Hadith

Reported in Siha Sitta 16 , on the authority of

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (r), it is said: “"Acts of natural

disposition are five: circumcision, removing

the pubic hair, shaving the moustache, cutting

the fingernails, and plucking the armpit

hair.”

11 Al-Baihaqqy in his book Sunan-al-kubra (The Major

Traditions) vol. 9 pg 299 and pg 303.

12 Al-Hafidh, At-talkhis – The Summary

Chapter 53, verse 3 وَ‏ مَآٰيَنطِقُٰٓعَنِٰٓٱلْهَوَ‏ ى ٰٓ ) النجم ( 13

14 Ansar literally means Helpers. The word became synonymous

with people of Madinah who helped the Holy

Prophet Muhammad (s) and his companions (r) when

they arrived there.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

15 Female Circumcision from an Islamic perspective,

page 6.

16 Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nasai, Ahmad

and Tirmidhi


June 2017 The

Light 11

Although this is an authentic hadith it does

not mean that all acts mentioned here apply to

both men and women. Women do not have a

moustache, so they cannot be required to trim

it.

Further, the word used here for circumcision

is khitaan, which means male circumcision.

In Arabic, khitaan is not used for female circumcision.

Thus, we can safely say that circumcision

mentioned here does not apply to both men and

women but only to males.

Third Hadith

The Prophet (s) was reported to have said:

“Circumcision is an act of Sunnah for men and

an honourable act for women.” In his commentary

on the book The Revival of the Religious Sciences,

AL Hafiz Al-Iraqi has judged the concerned

Hadith as weak, which is the same judgment

of Al-Bayhaqy, Ibn Abu Hatim, and Ibn Abdul-Barr.

Further, all the narrations of this Hadith

are traced back to Al-Hajjaj Ibn Arta’ah

whose narrations are not to be taken as a proof

of a legal ruling for being dishonest in his narration.

In his book Talkhis Al-Habir fi Takhrij

Ahadith Ar-Rafi`y Al-Kabir, AlHafiz Ibn Hajar has

spoken of the weakness of such a Hadith citing

the saying of Al-Bayhaqy that it is weak and disconnected.

Ibn `Abdul Barr has also stated in his

work At-Tamhid Lima fi Al-Muwatta' min Al-

Ma`ani wa Al-Asanid that the narrations of the

Hadith in question are taken from an unreliable

narrator. Ibn `Abdul-Barr has maintained in the

same book, “Such a Hadith is taken as a proof of

the permissibility of circumcision by those

deeming such an act as one of Sunnah despite

that this Hadith is originally received from Al-

Hajja j Ibn Arta’ah whose reports are not to be

taken as a proof in case he is the only narrator

of such reports; that is to say such reports . . .” 17

A further problem with this hadith is that

the word khitaanu is used, which, as has been

pointed out means male circumcision. In addition,

the construction of the sentence is such

that even by stretching the imagination one

cannot say that it includes female circumcision.

Why not just say that circumcision is obligatory

on both the male and female, rather than adopting

the convoluted instruction.

The Fourth Hadith

The most common saying of the Holy

Prophet Muhammad (s) used as justification is

what he said to a woman called Umm ‛Attiyyah

who used to circumcise females in EL Medina El

Menora: “O Umm ‛Attiyyah, take a little part and

do not exaggerate; doing so will preserve the

fairness of the woman’s face and satisfy the husband”

“This Hadith has been narrated by Al-Hakim,

Al-Bayhaqy and Abu Dawood with similar

wording but through weak chains of transmitters.

Al-Hafiz Zayn Ed-Din Al-Iraqi in his Commentary

on Al-Ghazali's book The Revival of the

Religious Sciences agrees with this. Abu

Dawood, whose narration of this Hadith is different

in wording, comments on the Hadith saying,

“It is reported with the same meaning and

the same chain of transmitters by Ubaydullah

ibn Amr on the authority of Abdul Malak; moreover,

it is not of a strong chain of transmitters as

one of its narrations is Mursal (i.e., has no companion

in its chain of transmitters). Above all,

Muhammad Ibn Hassan, the narrator of this

Hadith, is anonymous and the Hadith itself has

been categorized as a da`if (weak) Hadith.”

Imam Shams Ed-Din Al-Haqq Al-Azim Abady

comments on the saying of Abu Dawood, “This

Hadith is not strong because of the weakness of

the narrator ‘Muhammad Ibn Hassan Al-Kufi . .

.’”. Ibn Aidyy and Al-Bayhaqy have attested to

the anonymity of Muhammad ibn Hassan, the

narrator, while Al-Hafiz Abdul-Ghany Ibn Said

disagrees with them about the narrator saying,

“He is Muhammad ibn Said who was crucified

for being an atheist. He is a weak and an unreliable

narrator.” Whether being Muhammad Ibn

Hassan or Muhammad ibn Said, the narrator is

a liar as scholars maintain that he fabricated

four thousand Hadiths and attributed them to

the Prophet (s). About him, Imam Ahmad says,

“Al Mansur killed and then crucified him as a

punishment for atheism.” In addition, some of

the contemporaries have compiled all narrations

of this Hadith and concluded that all the

17 Female Circumcision from an Islamic perspective,

page 4.

I Shall Love All Mankind.


June 2017 The

Light 12

ways through which this Hadith is transmitted

are weak and cannot be considered a proof of a

legal ruling. In his thesis on female circumcision,

Muhammad Lutfy As-Sabbagh, Professor

in Islamic Studies in Riyadh University, says,

“See, may Allah guide you, how the two great

Imams, Abu Dawood and Al-Iraqi, have judged

this Hadith to be da‛if. The da‛if hadith is the one

lacking authenticity criteria.” 18

Fifth Hadith

It is reported on the authority of Hazrat

Ayesah (r) that the Prophet (s) said: “if the two

organs to be removed by circumcision are met,

then performing Ghusl (ritual bath) is obligatory.”

19

Although this is regarded as an authentic

hadith, the objections to it are the same as discussed

above. It uses the khitaanani as the dualplural.

It has been pointed out already that this

means male circumcision. So, it is not saying

when these “circumcised” organs of both the

male and female meet then they should take a

bath. Also, the hadith is found in the chapters

related to purification.

The idea that this hadith shows female circumcision

is allowed is based on a misunderstanding.

Such dual-plurals are applied in Arabic

to two things which, though different, share

some attribute. Here are some examples.

i. Al-umareyn - (the two Umars) referring to

two close companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad

(s) (Abu bakar and Umar (r)). The

Prophet (s) called these two companions

“Umareyn,” yet they were two different individuals.

ii. Al-Bahreyn - (two seas) referring to the

sea (bahr) and river (nahr)

iii. Al-qamareyn - (the two moons), referring

to the sun (al-Shams) and the moon (al- qamar).

iv. Al-ishaeyn - (the two ishas) referring to

Isha and Maghrib prayers.

v. Al-aswadeyn - (the two black things) referring

to water and dates. 20

Recent Scholars

In several Muslim countries, the government

has legislated to try and outlaw FGM. In

the 1950s, the Egyptian government tried to

stop midwives from performing the custom,

while allowing doctors to do so — fearing that

otherwise the daughters of the families who insisted

on circumcising would have the operation

carried out in unsafe conditions. But in

1996, the health minister imposed a total ban

on the practice.

Religious authorities have also given decrees

against this practice. Egypt's two top Islamic

clerics, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the

Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, the foremost theological

institute in the Sunni Muslim world, and

Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, attended a conference

to discuss this issue, which drew scholars from

as far afield as Russia. 21 They both spoke

against FGM.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded

that female circumcision, or FGM, is not

sanctioned by the Holy Quran or the actions of

the Holy Prophet. The ahadith on which supporters

of FGM rely are unreliable or they have

been mistranslated. Indeed, one can go further

and argue that the Holy Quran forbids FGM.

(end)

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK)

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

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ٰٓ

18 Female Circumcision from an Islamic perspective,

from Islam by USAID, page 11

page 3.

21 http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/muslim-

19 Malik, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and others

20 Delinking Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting

scholars-rule-female-circumcision-unis-

lamic/2006/11/24/1163871589618.html

I Shall Love All Mankind.

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