The Light 2018 02 February Issue

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English organ of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam of Lahore. Presenting Islam as a peaceful, inclusive, tolerant and peaceful religion.

ِ ی م الرَّحم

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سب اہللِ‏ الرَّْحم ٰ

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The Light

International Organ of the Centre for the Worldwide

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam

2018

April

2016

February

Germany

Guyana

India

Sweden

Suriname

The only Islamic organisation upholding the finality of prophethood.

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

Editors

- Amir Aziz

- Abd ul Muqtadir Gordon

- Gowsia Saleem & - Prof. Shahab

Shabbir

- Kaleem Ahmed

- Robbert Bipat M.D, Phd

South Africa-Ebrahim Mohamed

UK

USA

- Shahid Aziz & - Mustaq Ali

- Zainib Ahmad

Contents

The Call of the Messiah 2

Are_Religion_and_Science contradictory

by Dr Robbert Bipat M.D., Ph.D. 3

Remarriage_after_divorce_in_Christianity

and Islam by Dr Zahid Aziz Ph.D. 5

Salaat_A_Personal_Experience 8

Prophet_Empowers_Women

By Hameed Naseem 9

How_Alcohol_Damages_Stem_Cells

By Prof Ketan Patel 11

Is_Dry_January_Worth_It

From Newsweek 12

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

www.virtualmosque.co.uk

2. Research and History

3. The Woking Mosque and Mission

4. The Berlin Mosque and Mission

5. Quran search

6. Blog

Our Recent Broadcasts

‣ Why we are not Sunnis!

‣ Mental Health and the Muslim

Community.

Interesting external links

‣ Muslims did not ask Hitler to kill the

Jews.

‣ If you are afraid of Islam be fearful of Christianity

as well!!!

The Walking Fish.

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.

Our Websites

1. International HQ

We welcome all scholarly contributions to

The Light.

I Shall Love All Mankind.


February 2018 The

Light 2

The Call of the

Messiah

by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam

Ahmad

The Promised Messiah and Mahdi

(Translator’s note: Although given in quotation

marks, the Quranic references are explanations

rather than literal translation of the verse

quoted.)

Divine help in spiritual advancement

As the high stages of man’s advancement

described in the verses quoted above 1 , cannot

be attained by a man’s own efforts, the Holy

Quran repeatedly invites us to pray to God and

to extend ourselves to our utmost in His path.

Thus, it says: “Pray to Me and I will accept your

prayer,” and again: “And if my servants question

you about the proof of My existence or about

how they should know that God exists, say to

them that I am very near. I answer him who calls

upon Me, and I hear his voice when he invokes

Me and I speak to him. They should, therefore,

make themselves fit to receive My word and

have perfect faith in Me so that they may find My

way.” (2:186) And on another occasion, the

Word of God says: “Those who try hard and exert

themselves to their utmost to find Us, We

surely guide them into our paths.” (29:69) And

again: “Besides prayers and exertions in the

way of God, you should also live in the company

of the truthful and righteous ones, for this is

also necessary in order that you may see God.”

These are the Commandments by following

which a man realizes the true nature of Islam,

for as I have already said the true significance of

Islam is to lay oneself before God like the sheep

that is to be slaughtered; to lose all one’s desires,

passions and intentions and to be completely

lost in the Will and the Pleasure of God,

to subject oneself to death. To love Him so entirely

as to obey all His commandments out of

love and not any other motive. To develop eyes

which see God, ears which hear God, a heart

which is wholly inclined to Him and a tongue

which does not move to utter a word until

moved by Him.

This is the stage at which all the labours of

the spiritual wayfarer end, and all the passions

and desires of man undergo a death. Then does

the mercy of God with His living word and brilliant

lights grant him a new life.

Then he is honoured with the sweet Word

of God, and that most subtle Light - which reason

cannot discover, nor see, itself comes near

to the heart of man, as He says: “We are nearer

to him than his life vein.” With such nearness

does Almighty God honour a mortal man. Then

comes the time that every blindness and darkness

is removed. And, a man sees his God and

hears His voice, and finds himself completely

enwrapped in His mantle of light. Then is the

nature of religion reached, and seeing his God a

man throws off the dirty clothing of worldly life

and wears the magnificent robes of Divine light.

The promises of paradise and of seeing God are

not then simply prospective promises to him,

but he actually tastes of the delights of paradise

in this very life and sees God and speaks to Him,

and thus realizes even here all those promises.

The Almighty God says: “Those who say that our

Lord is the God Who possesses all the perfect

attributes and who has no partner in, His person

and attributes and remain faithful to their

word, their faith not being shaken by any trial

or adversity, however hard it may be - the angels

of God descend upon them and Almighty God

Himself speaks to them and says to them ‘Do not

fear the enemies that stand against you and the

trials that befall you, nor be grieved for the bitter

adversities which befall you in the past, for I

true significance of Islam is

to lay oneself before God

like the sheep that is to be

slaughtered; to lose all

one’s desires, passions and

intentions and to be completely

lost in the Will and

the Pleasure of God, to subject

oneself to death

1 Please see last month’s issue

I Shall Love All Mankind.


February 2018 The

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am with you, and be joyful that I grant you in

this very world the paradise which was promised

to you.’ ” (41:30)

It should be borne in mind that these

are facts supported by the strongest testimony.

Within the sphere of Islam there

have been thousands of the righteous

people who have actually tasted the

fruits of the spiritual paradise in this life.

In fact, Islam is the blessed religion whose true

followers have been made by Almighty God the

inheritors of all the righteous servants of God

who have passed before them and the heavenly

blessings that were granted to the Muslims had

all been granted to them variously. He has accepted

the prayer which He Himself taught in

the Holy Quran in the following words: “O Lord!

show us the right path, the path of the righteous

whom You have favoured and honoured in

every way and who have received from You all

sorts of blessings, (who have received the honour

of being spoken to by You, of having their

prayers accepted by You and of having been

granted victory, assistance and guidance by

You); and keep us away from the path of those

upon whom Your wrath has descended and of

those who have forsaken Your path and taken to

the wrong path.”

This is the prayer which is addressed to Almighty

God by every Muslim five times daily in

his prayers. It shows clearly that a person who

passes his days in blindness from God; lives and

dies in hell, and that he only really obeys God

and attains true salvation who recognises God

and has a perfect faith in His existence, for only

such a one is granted power to forsake sin and

to love God with his whole heart. The religion,

therefore, in which there is no yearning for a

certain Divine revelation, which is one of the

highest Divine blessings, is not from God, nor is

that prophet true who has not taught people to

seek the path of certain Divine revelation and

perfect Divine knowledge. For, the highest aim

of man’s life, and the only way in which he can

be released, from the bondage of sin, is that he

should attain a certain knowledge regarding the

existence of God and His reprisal. But certainty

regarding the Divine Being who is the most hidden

of all things, is impossible unless from Him

I Shall Love All Mankind.

is heard the voice ‘I AM,’ and unless a man witnesses

the clear and manifest signs of His existence.

Such certainty can never be obtained from

the source of

the existence of a thing

and its actual existence

are . . . quite different

reason, for

the deductions

of reason

lead us no

further than

that there

should be a God, for this is the only conclusion

with regard to the existence of a Creator that a

man can arrive at by deep reflection over the

consummate order and perfect skill displayed

in the universe. But it can be easily seen that

such a conclusion is only an inference suggested

by certain facts, while the statement that God

actually exists requires a sound and conclusive

proof about which there should not be the

slightest doubt. The necessity of the existence of

a thing and its actual existence are two quite different

things. In short, in the midst of the great

religious excitement of the present day, the

seeker after truth should not forget the great

truth that only that religion is from God which

can show God with perfect certainty.

(Return to contents)

Are Religion and Science on

contradictory positions?

by Dr Robbert Bipat, M.D, Ph.D

In the previous edition of The Light an article

by Peter Harrison ‘Why religion is not going

away and science will not destroy it’ originally

published at https://aeon.co and republished

under Creative Commons makes some remarkable

suggestions. First there seems to be a contradiction

between religion and science. Secondly,

secularism is mostly associated with science.

It is particularly the scientific school that

advances this interpretation. But most importantly,

it is suggested that religion and science

are two extremes of a spectrum. Never has

there been any hint towards science and religion

supporting each other, or more specifically,

science supporting religion.

The aim of this article is to show that religion

is not only in accordance with the narrative


February 2018 The

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of evolution as stated by modern schools of evolution,

but also goes beyond the point of time of

the of living creatures on earth. This will be

done with the support of verses in the Holy

Quran that emphasize both the development of

plants and animals as well as the terrestrial development

in order to allow the existence of

these biological entities.

Let us first start with the Divine term of

Rabb in the opening Chapter of the Holy Quran,

which has been simply translated to “Lord”.

Rabb has a deeper meaning than just Lord. Maulana

Muhammad Ali perfectly states the following

as footnote in his English translation of the

Holy Quran: ‘The Arabic word Rabb conveys not

only the idea of fostering, bringing-up, or nourishing

but also that of regulating, completing and

accomplishing, i.e., of the evolution of things from

the crudest state to that of the highest perfection.

Rabb signifies the fostering of a thing in such a

manner as to make it attain one condition after

another until it reaches its goal of completion.

Hence Rabb is the Author of all existence, Who

has not only given to the whole creation its

means of nourishment but has also beforehand

ordained for each a sphere of capacity and within

that sphere provided the means by which it continues

to attain gradually to its goal of perfection.

By the use of the word Rabb the Holy Quran

thus hints at the law of evolution which is working

in the universe. There is no single word in

English carrying the significance of the word

Rabb — Nourisher unto perfection would be

nearest; but the word Lord has generally been

adopted for the sake of brevity. Rabb or Nourisher

to perfection, however, includes both the

physical and spiritual sides so far as man is concerned,

His Word being the spiritual nourishment

through which man is brought to perfection.’

Long before the existence/creation of animals,

the earth had to be formed. Scientific theories

only support the Quranic view of creation

of the heavens and the earth. Chapter 21:30

states ‘Do not those who disbelieve see that the

heavens and the earth were closed up, so We rent

them.’ Moreover, the subsequent formation of

the earth in time was in layers (sedimentation)

which is clearly described in Verse 35:27 …. And

in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of

I Shall Love All Mankind.

various hues and (others) intensely black. These

colours give the markings of the different layers

and the black colour may refer to the presence

of crude oil in one of these layers.

For the planet to be habitable there must be

an atmosphere of gasses and vapours. This can

only exist when the planet has a magnetic field

that keeps these gasses from escaping the immediate

surface of earth. We now know that the

magnetic field of the earth is created and sustained

by the movement of mass amounts of liquid

iron in the innermost layers of the earth. Recently

scientists concluded that this iron was

not formed on earth, but rather came from colliding

distant stars. Again this supports the

Verse 57:25— ‘And We sent down iron, wherein

is great violence and advantages to men …’ Liquid

iron is immensely hot and consequently violent

to us. The mentioning of advantage is logical.

Subsequently, the existence of life on earth

is close to impossible without water. The importance

of water for life is stated in many

verses like:

2:164 … and the water that Allah sends down

from the sky, then gives life therewith to the earth

after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals….

6:99 And He it is Who sends down water from

the clouds, then We bring forth with it buds of all

(plants), then We bring forth from it green (foliage),

from which We produce clustered grain;

and of the date-palm, of the sheaths of it, come

forth clusters (of dates) within reach; and gardens

of grapes and the olive and the pomegranate,

alike and unlike. Look at the fruit of it when

it bears fruit and the ripening of it. Surely there

are signs in this for a people who believe!

21:30 And We made from water everything

‘Rabb’ signifies the fostering of a

thing in such a manner as to

make it attain one condition after

another until it reaches its

goal of completion.


February 2018 The

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living.

After the earth was abundantly supplied

with water, scientific evidence suggests that life

started in the oceans. Subsequently fish came

Yes, blessed be Allah, the best of Creators.

As Muslims we must defend this position that

science and religion are not the opposite of each

other. Can one name one single book that includes

all the above scientific statements? No,

divorce is a breach of God’s will for marriage – Church of England website

on land and these evolved to animals walking

the lands. Verse 24:45 states: And Allah has created

every animal of water. So of them is that

which crawls upon its belly, and of them is that

which walks upon two feet, and of them is that

which walks upon four. Allah creates what He

pleases. Surely Allah is Possessor of power over

all things. The order in which these animals are

mentioned is exact that in which the evolution

according to recent scientific findings took

place. First there were amphibians which

crawled on their bellies. The animals moving on

two legs are undoubtedly the dinosaurs, whose

existence cannot be denied. We can safely state

this because the Arabic word used to describe

this part of the verse stands for huge impressive

animals. Eventually the animals moving on four

legs are the mammals which thrived after the

extinction of dinosaurs. Humans are not mentioned

in this context.

Regarding human beings, verses 30:30 ‘So

set thy face for religion, being upright, the nature

made by Allah in which He has created men’ and

32:7 ‘Who made beautiful everything that He

created, and He began the creation of man from

dust’ clearly state that the creation of men was

a separate one. But notwithstanding that, verse

39:6 ‘He created you from a single being, then

made its mate of the same (kind). And He sent

down for you eight of the cattle in pairs. He creates

you in the wombs of your mothers — creation

after creation — in triple darkness’ shows

that evolution also continues in the human race.

This is accentuated by the detailed description

of embryological development in the womb in

verse 23:14 ‘Then We make the life-germ a clot,

then We make the clot a lump of flesh, then We

make (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothe

the bones with flesh, then We cause it to grow

into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the

Best of creators!’

I Shall Love All Mankind.

let us state it more explicitly. It is not the Religion

of Islam that supports the scientific findings,

but rather the other way around. All these

verses were revealed long before the scientific

knowledge on these subjects started developing.

Where did we Muslims lose track of these

divine revelations? It is no use to cry over

spilled milk. Let us concentrate on how we can

get back on track to use science to support the

miraculously preserved divine texts in the Holy

Quran. Do we honour Muslims for their scientific

achievements? On the contrary, most of the

time they are considered heretics!

(Return_to content)

Remarriage after divorce in

Christianity and Islam

by Dr Zahid Aziz

The question of remarriage of a divorcee in

church has come under public discussion after

the announcement that Prince Harry of England

is to marry a divorced woman, Meghan Markle.

For example, the UK newspaper Metro carried

an article on 28 November 2017 entitled ‘Will

Prince Harry and divorcee Meghan Markle be allowed

to get married in a church?’ The Daily Express

carried an article on 27 November, ‘Prince

Harry CAN marry divorcee Meghan Markle at

Westminster Abbey’, which began as follows:

“Question marks have been raised over whether

Meghan and Prince Harry would legally be allowed

to have their wedding within the Church

of England as tradition dictates.” It goes on to

quote a church spokesman for Westminster Abbey

who said that since 2002 “it has been possible

for divorced people to be married in the

Church of England”.

As the article in Metro noted, as recently as

2005, Prince Charles and Camilla were refused


February 2018 The

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permission by the then Archbishop of Canterbury

to have a Christian wedding. They married

in a civil ceremony, followed by a blessing in

church. The article also noted the historic event

in 1936, when the King of England, Edward the

eighth, was forced by the British government

and the Church of England to give up his throne

as he insisted on marrying the divorced Mrs

Wallis Simpson.

So, what is the reason for the Christian

objection to the marriage of a divorced person

taking place in a church? According to the Religions

section of the BBC website, on the page

headed ‘Divorce in Christianity’, the Church of

England says that: “divorce is a breach of God’s

will for marriage” (see www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/ritesrituals/divorce_1.shtml)

The same page tells us that since 2002 the

Church of England has accepted that “in exceptional

circumstances, a divorced person may

marry again in a church”. When a member of the

clergy is approached by a couple to conduct

their marriage, he has the power and discretion

from the Church authorities to agree or to refuse

to perform the marriage if one of the couple

is a divorced person.

From the same page we also learn that the

Catholic Church, which is more strict, considers

that:

been brought about by the will of God, and

therefore for the couple to divorce is to violate

the will of God. (This concept allows as exceptions

such cases where the marriage was invalid

in the first place; for example, where deceit was

practised by one party to marry the other.)

With this topic of remarriage of a divorced

person being in the news, it would be an ideal

opportunity for Muslims to put forward the

teachings of Islam on this issue and show that

these are much more rational, progressive and

compassionate.

In Islam there is no stigma whatsoever attached

to a divorced person, man or woman. Remarriage

of a divorced Muslim, man or woman,

with a new spouse, is no different from a first

marriage. The Quran addresses husbands as follows

about their wives:

“…retain them with kindness or let them go

with kindness…” (2:231)

“…retain them with kindness or part from

them with kindness…” (65:2)

In other words, if the husband cannot tolerate

to live with his wife showing her kindness,

he should end the marriage with kindness.

There is no guilt attached to either side.

Regarding wives, the Quran says:

“Marriage is both a legal bond on earth and

spiritual bond which

God has witnessed.

The latter cannot be

broken using temporal

laws.”

On the page headed ‘Christian Weddings’ of

the same BBC website, the Catholic view is

given as follows:

“Because a marriage is a divine institution it

can never be broken, even if the partners are legally

divorced: as long as they are both alive, the

Church considers them bound together by God.”

(see

www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/ritesrituals/weddings_1.shtml)

The concept behind these Christian church

teachings is that the marriage of a couple has

The Holy Quran gives the wife

a right to claim divorce

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Then if you fear that they (the married couple)

cannot keep

within the limits

of Allah, there is

no blame on them

for what she gives

up to become free thereby.” (2:229)

Maulana Muhammad Ali here writes that

not being able to keep within the limits of Allah

means “their inability to perform towards each

other their marital obligations and to maintain

good fellowship”. The reference in “what she

gives up to become free thereby” is to her right

to obtain divorce by returning the nuptial gift,

known as mahr, back to the husband. Maulana

Muhammad Ali comments as follows:

These words give the wife a right to claim


February 2018 The

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Islam neither condemns a woman

for a divorce nor lowers her status.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (s)

married a divorcee!

a divorce. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics

of Islam that it gives the wife the right

to claim a divorce, if she is willing to forgo the

whole or part of her dowry.”

The Maulana here cites a case which was

brought to the Holy Prophet Muhammad by a

wife “who was dissatisfied with the marriage”.

The Holy Prophet allowed her to divorce her

husband if she returned to him an orchard he

had given her on marriage. He adds:

“If, then, a woman could claim a divorce for

no reason other than the unsuitableness of the

match, she had certainly the right to claim one

if there was ill-treatment on the part of the husband

or any other satisfactory reason, and

among the early Muslims it was an established

right.”

Besides these general teachings of Islam,

there is the incident of the marriage of the Holy

Prophet himself to his divorced cousin Zainab.

We may note here that his wives are known as

“mothers of the believers”, and thus one of the

“mothers of the believers” was a divorced

woman. How then could a stigma be attached to

a woman for the reason that she was divorced?

This incident is mentioned in the Quran itself

(33:37), leaving no doubt whatsoever for a Muslim

that the story is true and that Allah teaches

us some lessons from it.

Maulana Muhammad Ali has explained in

his notes the facts about this incident, which are

accepted by general Muslim opinion. Zainab

was the daughter of an aunt of the Holy Prophet

(on his father’s side) and Zaid was formerly a

slave whom the Holy Prophet liberated, and

who was like a son to him. The marriage between

Zaid and Zainab took place at the great

insistence of the Holy Prophet who wanted to

remove distinctions of social class among Muslims.

However, it turned out not to be a happy

union, differences arose and Zaid expressed his

desire to the Holy Prophet of divorcing her. The

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Holy Prophet advised Zaid not to divorce

Zainab, as clearly stated at the start of 33:37, addressing

the Holy Prophet:

“And when you said to him (Zaid) to whom

Allah had shown favour and to whom you had

shown a favour: Keep your wife to yourself and

keep your duty to Allah…”

However, Zaid did not heed this advice. The

verse later says:

“So when Zaid dissolved her marriage-tie,

We gave her to you as a wife…”

To quote from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s

footnote:

“After Zainab was divorced the Holy

Prophet took her in marriage, that being the

wish of the lady and her relatives before her

marriage to Zaid, and the Prophet was, now that

the marriage arranged by him proved unsuccessful,

morally bound to accept their wishes.”

If ever a marriage could be described as

what Christians call “God’s will for marriage”

(see the first statement from the BBC website

quoted earlier), it was the marriage between

Zaid and Zainab. It was brought about by the

firm insistence of the man sent by God, to whom

God was revealing His will all the time. Yet neither

the Quran nor the Holy Prophet himself attached

any blame or stigma to the couple for

contravening the will of God. The Holy

Prophet’s advice, “Keep your wife to yourself”,

was not acted upon by Zaid, yet there is no condemnation

of his action, nor does Zainab occupy

a lower position among the wives of the

Holy Prophet for being divorced.

As I wrote above, the recent discussion in

the news about remarriage of divorced persons

should have provided Muslims with an excellent

opportunity to show the progressive and the

human nature of the teachings of Islam. Unfortunately,

Muslims have deprived themselves of

that opportunity by coining the notion that, in

Islam also, the marriage of every couple is decided

and pre-ordained by Allah, and is not the

fallible decision of any human being. It is said

that when parents and relatives of the man and


February 2018 The

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the woman pray to Allah in regard to their proposed

marriage, Allah guides their hearts to the

right answer, as to whether to go ahead with the

marriage or not. Under this notion it is impossible

to understand why Allah, in the case of His

holiest and greatest of prophets, never directed

him by revelation to abstain from insisting that

Zainab marry Zaid, which led to their marriage.

In Muslim societies, stigma has been attached

to divorce so much so that those who

have been divorced have difficulty in remarrying.

It is considered to be a subject which cannot

be discussed. On the other hand, the divorce of

Zaid and Zainab has been proclaimed publicly

in the Quran, and since the beginning of Islam

commentators of the Quran have been putting

forward their various views on why this divorce

took place. It is reported in Bukhari:

“Zaid ibn Harithah came to the Prophet

complaining about his wife. The Prophet used

to say: ‘Keep your duty to Allah and keep your

wife to yourself’. Aishah said: ‘If the Messenger

of Allah were to conceal anything, he would

have concealed this’.” (hadith 7420)

The Holy Prophet would have wished to

keep this matter private, but Allah made it public

by revealing it in the Quran. Yet we think that

any such incident must be kept concealed. Unless

such matters are discussed, and lessons are

learnt from them, we will never find ways of

avoiding the same mistakes in future and preventing

similar occurrences happening again.

The incident of Zaid and Zainab conveys and

reinforces the Islamic teaching

that marriage is a human

decision. There is always a

possibility that such a decision

can be wrong, even if the decision

is made with the best of

intentions, with complete sincerity,

and all available investigation

and knowledge, and is

accompanied by prayers seeking

guidance from Allah.

Muslim societies, by ignoring and contravening

the teachings of Islam, while convincing

themselves that they are right, are unable to

I Shall Love All Mankind.

bring about reform of their own social ills. So

they are far, very far, from showing the rest of

the world that the religion of Islam, in matters

of marriage and divorce, is eminently sensible,

practical, just, kind and caring.

(Return_to content)

Salaat - A Personal

Experience

Anonymous

It has been several years now since I started

performing the daily prayers. As with many of

us, my prayers started mainly as a physical exercise.

At that time, I could not even imagine

what benefits and satisfaction my prayers

would give me.

As the years went by, I discovered that when

performing salaat in a peaceful and relaxed

manner, I could sometimes hear (or better said,

feel) God’s voice within me. In many cases, if I

had a problem, or needed some direction in life,

it was this voice in the form of inspiration or intuition,

which I would experience during salaat

or meditation, and which many times, showed

me the path to follow. I assume this is what Allah

means in 42:51 of the Holy Quran: “It is not

vouchsafed to a mortal that Allah should speak

to him, except by revelation or from behind a

veil…” And in 50:16, we read: “We are (God is)

nearer to man than his life-vein.”

As the years went by, I discovered

that when performing

salaat in a peaceful and

relaxed manner, I could

sometimes hear (or better

said, feel) God’s voice

within me.

Regarding this kind of guidance, many of us

hold the opinion that we have a free will and we

can choose whatever

we like in life.

Indeed, we have a

free will, as Allah

tells us in 2:256,

18:29, and many

other verses of the

Holy Quran. However,

having a free

will does not mean

that Allah has not destined a certain path for

each of us! After all, we read in the Quran, 5:48:

“For every one of you We appointed a law and a

way.” So, every one of us has been sent to Earth

with a certain mission, and it is up to us if we


February 2018 The

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choose to discover and follow that mission. If

we choose to perform our prayers regularly, in

a tranquil way, and spend some time in meditation

every day, we will definitely experience

that voice inside us which will show us which

path to follow. Remember, that our Prophet Muhammad

did not receive his first revelation

while busy trading or travelling, but when he

was in a cave, in prayer and meditation! These

are the examples we should follow if we want to

find the Almighty: prayer and meditation.

Furthermore, experience has showed me

that almost anything which happens to us is of

some relevance to our lives. Even many events

which we may experience as setbacks have the

object of guiding us on a certain path. Sometimes

setbacks may prevent us from doing certain

things, or they may lead, or even force us,

along a particular way, and only afterwards

would we realise the reason for those events,

which we first experienced and viewed as trials.

However, if we choose to live in Allah’s way, we

can be sure that everything which happens to us

is only for our good and wellbeing, and is meant

to guide us towards the goal for which Allah has

put us on earth. Therefore, when performing

du‘a (supplication) to Allah and asking for His

favours, we should avoid making demands and

telling Him what to do. In addition to expressing

our wishes to Allah, we should also ask Him to

teach us the right lessons from, and how to deal

in the right way with, everything which He puts

in our path, whether we experience those

events as positive or negative.

Allah’s communication to us through our inner

voice, in the form of inspiration, visions,

dreams, etc. is meant for “those who believe and

keep their duty” (Quran, 10:63). Therefore, by

by performing prayers regularly

and making time for meditation

every day, all of us have

the opportunity to experience

that guiding voice within us,

enabling us to discover our

real goals in life

I Shall Love All Mankind.

performing prayers regularly and making time

for meditation every day, all of us have the opportunity

to experience that guiding voice

within us, enabling us to discover our real goals

in life. And along the way, many Quranic verses,

which may be only words for us now, may become

a reality in our lives! (Return_to content)

Prophet Empowers Women

Quran shows Islam treats women

equally

By HAMEED NASEEM

Special to NWA Democrat-Gazette

It is widely believed in the West that Islam

stands in opposition to women's rights. However,

even a cursory study of the Holy Quran

leaves a strong impression that Islam treats

women just the same as men, with love and respect,

grants them equal rights and places a

very high expectation on both in terms of moral

and spiritual growth. The Quran promises equal

reward for both.

About the creation of humans, we read in

the Quran: “He it is who has created you [humans]

from a single soul and made therefrom

its mate [as well]” Chapter 7, verse 189. Also, Allah

says: “Of his signs [miracles] it is that he has

created mates for you of your own kind that you

may find peace of mind through them, and he

has put love and tenderness between you. In

that there are signs [of great wisdom] for a people

who reflect”, Chapter 30, verse 21. Thus,

male and female are equal in their creation, and

in their desires and ambitions.

The story of the fall of man from divine

grace is mentioned in chapter 20, verses 120-

121, of the Holy Quran: “But Satan whispered

evil suggestions to him [Adam]; he [Satan] said,

‘O Adam, shall I lead thee to the tree of eternity

and to a kingdom that never decays?’ Then they

both [Adam and his mate] ate thereof, so that

their shame became manifest to them, and they

began to stick the leaves of the garden together

over themselves. And Adam observed not the

commandment of his Lord, so his life became

miserable. Then his Lord chose him for his

grace, and turned to him with mercy and guided


February 2018 The

Light 10

him.” It is apparent that Adam is placed

squarely in the cross hairs for the “original sin”

and not his mate, Eve. Allah absolves her completely.

Of course, Adam was pardoned through

grace and mercy.

Men and women are equally treated in Islam

in terms of their obligations and responsibilities

and their earning equal rewards for

equal work. The Quran declares: “Surely, Muslim

men and Muslim women, and believing men

and believing women, and obedient men and

obedient women, and truthful

men and truthful women, and

steadfast men and steadfast

women, and humble men and

humble women, and men who

give alms and women who

give alms, and men who fast

and women who fast, and men

who guard their chastity and

women who guard their chastity,

and men who remember Allah much and

women who remember him much — Allah has

prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great

reward” — Chapter 33, verse 36. It is exactly the

same reward for both, men and women,

whether they are Muslims or not, for the same

act of humility, charity or chastity.

Islam protects the honour and dignity of

both men and women equally. The Holy Quran

declares: “And those who malign believing men

and believing women for that which they have

not done, shall bear the guilt of a calumny and a

manifest sin” — Chapter 33, verse 59. Furthermore,

in chapter 85, verse 11, the Quran warns

of a dreadful punishment for those who persecute

either the believing men or the believing

women. It might be noted that the Arabic word

Mo'min — used in the Quran to identify a believer

— literally means the one who offers

peace and security to others. So, in a wider application

of these verses, God protects the

honor and comfort of those men and women

who are the peacemakers.

I will now mention some of the rights that

Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) declared

unequivocally to belong to women 1,400

I Shall Love All Mankind.

years ago that were not available to them in the

West until recently. In a marriage, man was

made responsible for all due expenses of the

wife and the children, including food, clothing

and shelter. The wife was given the right to own

property and invest her wealth in her own business.

She is not bound to spend her money on

the family at all. Khadija, the first wife of the

Prophet, was a very successful businesswoman.

The prophet worked for her for years before

and after their marriage.

A Muslim

woman inherits the

property of her deceased

husband or

parents according

to a prescribed formula

given in the

Quran. Early Muslims

were so keen to

follow this injunction

that they invented algebra to make it work

for all.

In Islam, marriage itself is presented as a

contract between a man and a woman, and both

are granted the right to divorce. Imagine the

time when the Prophet gave these teachings 14

centuries ago. In Arabia and in the rest of the

world, women had no rights and were treated

with contempt. A young bride once came to the

Prophet and said she wanted to divorce her husband.

He asked her if he abused her or was not

a good man. She said that he was very generous

and righteous, but she did not feel attracted to

him. The Prophet assented readily. Of course, divorce

is not considered a preferred option, but

a last resort. A divorced woman or a widow may

remarry without any stigma as this is her Godgiven

right.

We often hear, "Knowledge is power." The

Prophet empowered women by making education

mandatory for every Muslim man and

woman. The first revelation given to the

Prophet emphasized the importance of reading

and writing as a means of gaining knowledge

and honour for humanity. Prophet Muhammad

advised his followers they could learn half of the


February 2018 The

Light 11

knowledge about Islam from his able and scholarly

wife, Ayesha. And, in fact, a large portion of

the Islamic knowledge has come down to us

through her interpretations and discourses.

(Return_to content)

How Alcohol Damages Stem

Cells and Increases Cancer

Risk – New Research

Professor Ketan Patel

University of Cambridge

(Disclosure Statement: KJ Patel receives funding

from the MRC , CRUK, Wellcome Trust.

From: https://theconversation.com)

After cigarettes, alcohol is perhaps the most

common carcinogen that humans voluntarily

expose themselves to. How this simple substance

promotes cancer, though, has not been

clear. But our latest study, using genetically

modified mice, sheds some light on the possible

mechanism.

Our previous research revealed the principle

mechanism that protects us from alcohol-induced

DNA damage. The first level of this protection

consists of an enzyme that converts acetaldehyde

– a toxic by-product created in the

body when alcohol is metabolised – into a

harmless substance.

The second level of protection consists of a

repair system that fixes the damage that acetaldehyde

causes to DNA. Now we have extended

this work to show how alcohol, and subsequently

its toxic by-product, damages the DNA

of the cells that supply blood – the blood stem

cell.

Inherited gene defects that impair this protection

mechanism are common in humans.

About 500m people in Southeast Asia don’t

have the biological system for dealing with acetaldehyde

(the first level of protection). People

from this region often get a flushed complexion

after drinking alcohol, and they often feel unwell.

They are also at increased risk of oesophageal

cancer.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Fourfold increase in damage

We show that mice that have been genetically

modified to emulate this loss of protection

accumulate four times more DNA damage in

their blood cells after exposure to a single dose

of alcohol, so they are highly reliant on the DNA

repair system to ensure that these cells don’t accumulate

irreversible DNA damage.

Although it is quite rare, some people lack

the DNA repair system (level two protection)

that undoes the damage. They suffer from a devastating

illness called Fanconi’s anaemia that

leads to premature death due to loss of blood

production, blood cancer and other types of

cancer.

Using mice that lack both protection mechanisms,

we show conclusively that alcohol exposure

causes damage to the chromosomes in

the blood cells resulting in rearrangements of

their chromosomes – the structures in the nucleus

of the cells where DNA is packaged. Using

state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology, we

deciphered the genomes of the rare stem cells

that supply the blood in these mice and show

how they are altered by this damage.

Damage to the genome of stem cells may

cause them to dysfunction. However, because

these vital cells give rise to a large number of

specialised blood cells, the altered genome of

single stem cells can be transmitted to many

daughter cells. Altered genomes ultimately lead

to altered genes, which, in some instances,

cause cells to become cancerous.

Our body’s protection mechanism against

alcohol can be overwhelmed.

No certainty, but valuable new insights

We have primarily studied the blood cells in

our mice, but we can’t say for certain that alcohol

causes blood cancers. However, it is wellknown

that alcohol does affect the production

of blood. Our results explain, to some extent,

why this happens.

The main advantage of studying blood is

that it is easy experimentally to examine. This is

particularly the case for the blood stem cells,

which can be quantified and functionally assessed

by a technique known as bone marrow


February 2018 The

Light 12

transplantation. This involves transplanting

stem cells that one may wish to assess into a

mouse that no longer has such cells. Over time

the transplanted stem cells start producing new

blood and the efficacy of doing so relates to the

fitness of the transplanted stem cell. So the analysis

of blood stem cells provides a window into

how alcohol may damage other stem cells in the

body, such as those that make the gut and the

liver.

Our new research explains how alcohol

damages DNA in our vital stem cells. Although

we show that this damage is limited by a robust

protection mechanism, inherited dysfunction of

this mechanism is common in humans. Nevertheless,

it is also important to stress that, like all

protective mechanisms they are not perfect and

can be overwhelmed. Most life on Earth, from

bacteria to mammals, also possess this protective

mechanism, but, unlike humans, they have

not yet developed the capacity to manufacture

alcohol on an industrial scale for consumption.

(Return_to content)

IS DRY JANUARY WORTH IT?

DON'T DRINK ALCOHOL TO SLEEP BETTER

AND DECREASE CANCER RISK

BY MELISSA MATTHEWS

After a very gluttonous end of the year,

many attempt to begin the next on a healthier

note by giving up all of their favorite indulgences,

like alcohol. Dry January, as it’s known,

began in the United Kingdom and has become

popular in the U.S., too, as millions attempt to

skip that wine with dinner or after-work drinks.

But is a 30-day break long enough to see

true health benefits? Yes, reports suggest, although

some of the benefits, like weight loss,

may be short-lived. Many abstainers do drop a

few pounds after giving up alcohol, Health reports,

citing a study from last year that revealed

binge drinkers were 41 percent likelier to be

overweight. Data collected over five years

showed just one binge drinking session a month

made a difference in weight. Skipping the

drinks means avoiding that extra weight.

You may not identify as a binge drinker, but

chances are you have been at some point. The

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates

that one in six American adults binge

drink roughly four times per month. For

women, at least four drinks consumed in one instance

is considered a binge and for men it’s up

to five alcoholic beverages. The CDC reports

that most people have eight alcoholic beverages

during a binge.

Given that alcoholic drinks are empty calories—there’s

no health value—it’s no surprise

that binge drinking can lead to weight problems.

The Office of Disease Prevention and

Health Promotion estimates that a 12-ounce

beer has roughly 150 calories while five ounces

of wine contains about 120 calories.

Swearing off alcohol for a month means not

only will your clothes fit better, but also you’ll

sleep more soundly. According to ScienceDaily,

a review of studies from 2013 revealed that

high quantities of alcohol could impact the

quantity of rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep.

This deeper phase of sleep is linked to concentration,

learning and mood, so the more we receive

the better.

In 2013, the staff at New Scientist decided

to conduct their own experiment about what

happened to their bodies after giving up the

bottle for 30 days. Although the sample size was

very small—only 14 participants—people who

gave up drinking reported better sleep quality

and concentration, according to the story.

Additionally, the New Scientist staff reported

other health benefits: the amount of fat

on those who abstained from drinking declined

by 15 percent and blood sugar decreased 16

percent.(Return_to content)

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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I Shall Love All Mankind.

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