The Light 2018 07 July

aaiiluk

Organ of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam of Lahore. Preaching the Islam taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Islam a religion of peace, harmony, rationality, tolerance and respect

ِ ی م الرَّحم

ن

ِ

سب اہللِ‏ الرَّْحم ٰ

ْ م ِ

The Light

International Organ of the Centre for the Worldwide

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam

2018

April

2016

July

The only Islamic organisation which is upholding the finality of prophethood.

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

www.virtualmosque.co.uk

Germany

Guyana

India

Sweden

Suriname

Editors

- Amir Aziz

- Abd ul Muqtadir Gordon

- Gowsia Saleem & - Prof. Shahab

Shabbir

- Kaleem Ahmed

- Robbert Bipat M.D, PhD

South Africa-Ebrahim Mohamed

UK

The USA

- Shahid Aziz & - Mustaq Ali

- Zainab Ahmad

Contents

The Call of the Messiah 2

An Eid Khutba by Ebrahim Mohamed 3

Islam - A Religion of Peace Arab News 8

Purpose of Existence by Araf Rehman 8

Education of Muslim Women by Phew

Research Centre 11

The Quranic Script Arab News 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

Our 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

Broadcasts from and about us

‣ Audio of the Holy Quran

‣ www.virtualmosque.co.uk

‣ mixlr.com Radio Virtual Mosque

‣ Eid ul Fitr khutba by Mr Nasir Ahmad

‣ Friday khutba by Dr Zahid Aziz

‣ Prejudice by Muslims (Urdu)

‣ Are non-Muslims entitled to Zakat?

Interesting external links

‣ Hafizah Helps prove Einstein was Right.

‣ Still Smiling After an Acid Attack - BBC.

‣ Protecting Women in Pakistan.

‣ In Pakistan, Girl box their Way out of Discrimination.

‣ London More Islamic Than Much of the Islamic

World!

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.

We welcome all scholarly contributions to

The Light.

I Shall Love All Mankind.


July 2018 The

Light 2

The Call of the

Messiah

by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam

Ahmad

The Promised Messiah and Mahdi

(Editor’s note: Any quotations from the Quran

are translated from the author’s explanations

and are not literal translations of the verse

quoted. This extract is from the English translation

of a lecture he delivered in 1904 in Lahore,

now in Pakistan, taken from the Lahore Ahmadiyya

publication ‘Essence of Islam’.)

The Purity of Sexual Relations in Islam

Here I take occasion to express my views on

another point of equal importance. Whatever

the feeling of hatred

which the

Arya Samaj entertains

towards

Muslims and the

principles of Islam,

it should not make

a total departure

from the timehonoured

custom

of purdah, for such

a course would be

productive of immense evil and mischief,

though it may appear to be attractive at the present

moment. Every sensible person can easily

understand that the majority of men and

women in this age are walking only in obedience

to their passions and desires and are so

completely in their control that they do not care

at all for the retribution of their deeds. Most

young men cannot refrain from looking to lust

after young and beautiful women if they get a

chance to look at them at all. And so is also the

case for most women. If in this state, when the

hearts of both sexes are not free from corruption

and evil and are unable to resist the temptations

of flesh, a too free meeting of men and

women is allowed, the result would be that the

evil of adultery would poison the whole system

of society, as is the case in many parts of Europe.

But when these men actually grow pure in

heart. When they are freed from the control of

I Shall Love All Mankind.

bestial passions and sensual desires, when the

spirit of devil is utterly expelled from among

them, when the Divine majesty takes entire possession

of their hearts and the awe of God controls

their looks, in short when a pure transformation

is effected in their lives and they don the

garments of the fear of God, then, but not till

then, they may do what they like, for they would

be then as eunuchs made so by the Hand of God

and their eyes would be shut against lustful

looks and their hearts closed against evil ideas.

But remember, my beloved countrymen, may

God Himself inspire this idea into your hearts,

that this is the most dangerous time for doing

away with the custom of purdah, and if you do it

you would sow the seed of poison in your people

which would vitiate the whole society. This

is a time when the custom of purdah ought to

have been instituted even if it had never prevailed

before, for this is the kaljug (the iron age).

Evil rages in the

world and the

Evil rages in the world and

the transgression of Divine

commandments, corruption

and drunkenness are at

their highest.

transgression of

Divine commandments,

corruption

and drunkenness

are at their highest.

Atheism prevails

in the hearts

and the awe of Divine

majesty and

glory has utterly

vanished away from them. Many things are uttered

with the tongue with which the heart does

not tally. Lectures are delivered which may

claim great intellectual merits, but the hearts

are dead and devoid of spirituality. It is not appropriate

that at such a time the poor sheep

should be let loose in forests where wolves

abound.

My friends, the plague is still threatening us

and I have received information from on High

that many of its onslaughts are in store for us.

These are dangerous days and no one can say

who would become its morsel by the next year

and who remain alive, what house would be

devastated and what saved. Arise then and repent,

and please your Lord with good and virtuous

deeds. Mind that though errors in belief

would be punished in the life to come, and the

fact of being a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian


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Reconcile yourselves with

your Lord, for He is the most

Merciful and if you ripen

truly and forsake the ways

of evil, He will forgive you

all your sins.

would be decided on the day of judgment, yet

the person who, exceeds all limits in his transgressions,

evils and injustice to others, will be

punished even here, and he cannot flee from the

wrath of heaven. Rise then and please your Master

and be at peace with Him before the terrible

day comes, the day of the raging of plague, of

which the prophets of God have prophesied.

Reconcile yourselves with your Lord, for He is

the most Merciful and if you repent truly and

forsake the ways of evil, He will forgive you all

your sins. A single moment's repentance with a

true and fearful heart cancels the evil deeds of

seventy years. Do not say that your repentance

is not accepted by God. No! you cannot be saved

by your own deeds, it is the grace of God that

takes you by the hand and not your own deeds.

O Merciful and Gracious God, show mercy to us

for we are Your servants and bow ourselves at

Your threshold.

Comment by the Editor - Zainab Ahmad:

As part of his mission for the revival of the original

spirit of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

wrote about the need for utmost modesty in

gender relations. At that time the custom of purdah

was prevalent in the Indian subcontinent,

which meant that women were practically secluded

from society. They had a separate section

within the home and they would not mingle

with men, and rarely ventured out in society.

Hazrat Mirza Sahib brought moderation to this

restrictive practice, by encouraging women to

leave their homes for exercise and other needs.

He also urged men to lower their gaze as far as

possible, so as to avoid staring at the opposite

gender. He himself embodied this virtue and

kept his eyes downcast for modesty.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Hazrat Mirza Sahib did not differentiate between

men and women with regard to their

spirituality and his soul-stirring teaching address

both to raise their morality to the point

where they would not be swayed by lower passions.

As we reflect upon these words said over

a hundred years ago, we find them to be sadly

true in our times. Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s words

call each of us to reflect on the role of modesty

in our lives.

(Return to contents)

Only True Morality Can Bring

Happiness and Peace on

Earth

The Sermon Eid ul Fitr 2018

By Ebrahim Mohamed

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for

you, as it was prescribed for those before you,

so that you may guard against evil.” (The Holy

Quran, 2:183)

All praise is due to Almighty Allah we praise

Him, and we thank Him for this blessed day of

Eid; a day of recurring joy that is celebrated at

the end of the month of fasting. The lesson we

derive from the noble acts of devotion for the

sake of Almighty Allah in the month of Ramadan

is that only once humankind has reached the

stage where they are in complete control of

their lower passions of lust, greed and anger

will lasting happiness abide on earth. The wisdom

of our Creator in prescribing an effective

remedy for the diseases of evil that plague our

beings and societies at large is therefore indeed

a great sign of His Mercy for humankind. The

remedy is simple, fasting and the objective la

‛alla-kum tattaqoon “so that you may guard

against evil.” The abstention from food, though,

is an effective, psychological discipline that

makes man realise if in obedience to Almighty

Allah he can stay away from what is otherwise

lawful, how much more important is it for him

to stay away from what is unlawful and evil in

the sight of Allah. Fasting is thus a means to an

end, and that is the conquering of the evil within


July 2018 The

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and without to quicken the growth of moral and

spiritual qualities latent

in all of us. This is

the difficult part not the

staying without food.

Anyone can stay without

food; even young

children do it these

days. The staying without

food part of the

Ramadan ends today

but not the ‘staying

away from evil.’ It is imperative

that we understand

what la‛alla-kum

tattaqoon, guarding

O you who believe, be upright

for Allah, bearers of

witness with justice; and

let not hatred of a people

incite you not to act equitably.

Be just; that is

nearer to the observance

of duty. And keep your

duty to Allah. Surely Allah

is Aware of what you do. -

The Holy Quran 5:8

I Shall Love All Mankind.

against evil, really

entails. It is continuous

hard work. We cannot

change our natures, but

we can mould and guide ourselves into becoming

beings of high morality. ‘Guarding against

evil’ means we constantly have to work on our

weaknesses and to do this effectively we must

first accept the fact that we have all been created

weak and not perfect. We are all made up

of basic raw qualities and traits that need to be

refined. As Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote,

you cannot change the nature of a person, but

you can teach him how to use his intrinsic nature

for the moral good of humanity at large and

not to harm anyone. Teach him how to conquer

his lust and turn it into the moral qualities of

love, compassion and empathy for humankind.

Teach him how to turn his anger into bravery

and rather become a defender of the weak and

righteous and not a murderer of innocent people.

Teach him how to turn his greed into insatiable

quests for doing good to all of humanity

instead of robbing and depriving them of their

rightful property and rights. (Hazrat Mirza Sahib

has written a masterpiece on this topic in

his paper submitted at an interfaith conference

in Lahore about a century ago, called The Philosophy

of the Teachings of Islam, or just The Teachings

of Islam. I recommend it highly if you are

interested in this branch of knowledge.) So, the

transformation of the self, which is the aim and

object of the fast, is hard work, but essential for

in the end it is the only hope we have of establishing

lasting peace and ever-recurring happiness

on earth. If you feel

this might be farfetched,

wishful thinking

then let us ponder

and reflect on the condition

the world is in at

present for a while. Imagine

a world where

dominant forces of

good over evil are triumphant;

a world of

controlled greed, controlled

anger, controlled

lusts, everywhere.

Imagine a world

where freedom to worship

Almighty God is a

respected human right

free of persecution.

Then imagine a world of tolerance; a world devoid

of backbiting; devoid of superstitions and

suspicions; devoid of envy and hatred. Imagine

a world free of anger and killings where human

life is respected and where the striving for its

preservation is zealously supported and applauded

by every living soul on this earth and

where even the slightest harm that might lead

to its destruction are condemned in the loudest

of voices with the contempt it deserves and duly

punished with fitting punishments so as never

to be repeated. Imagine a world free of lies, slander,

corruption, defamations, and deliberate

distortions of truth to malign others. Imagine a

world free of ignorance in all its ugly shapes and

forms that we come across daily, such as the bigotry,

biases, prejudices, dogmatism, extremism,

and fanaticism that creep up upon us all the

time.

Imagine a world where ‘free thinking’ and

‘free expressions of thought’ that uplift society,

not such that defame and abuse the dignity and

rights of others, prevail. Imagine a world where

the principles of justice throughout the world,

especially in morally depraved countries under

majority Muslim governance, are based on the

noble dictum of the Holy Quran:

“O you who believe, be upright for Allah,


July 2018 The

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bearers of witness with justice; and let not hatred

of a people incite you not to act equitably.

Be just; that is nearer to the observance of duty.

And keep your duty to Allah. Surely Allah is

Aware of what you do.” -The Quran, 5:8

Then imagine a world free of greedy, ruthless

profiteering by a handful of ‘fat-cat’ corporates

and spoilt oligarchies bloated with illgained

wealth and opulence to the misery of the

masses; perhaps then we might just be able to

imagine a world free of all sorts of human

abuses: human trafficking, homelessness, poverty,

hunger and uncontrolled diseases and

drug addiction. Like John Lennon, we can keep

on imagining, and like Martin Luther King we

can keep on dreaming of a world united in

brotherly love, peace, justice and ultimately ample

sustenance and happiness for all. But one

thing is for certain such a ‘heaven on earth’ will

not simply fall from the sky onto our laps as the

disciples of Jesus pleaded for. Nay, it has to be

earned. Therefore, the Greatest of Physicians of

the Universe, the Rabb-ul-‛Alameen our Lord,

the Nourisher and Sustainer of all the worlds,

has prescribed fasting as one of the means to

achieving that end la‛alla-kum tattaqoon — “so

that you may guard against evil.”

Muslims these days, like the Jews did after

Moses, tend to approach their faith more in a

ritualistic manner. Often more emphasis is put

on the external

aspects such as

the abstaining

from food and

drink and not

enough focus

is placed on

the intended

. . . the apparent disconnect between

the teachings of the Holy

Qur’an and the practice of Islam in

the Muslim World, which is what the

Holy Prophet prophetically refers to

. . .

moral development that feeds the spiritual

seeds of our souls.

With the advent of Islam and the revelation

of the Holy Quran, the means to obtain control

over our base desires and passions that ignite

evil have been made accessible to all of us. The

prayer five times a day, the fast, the giving in

charity, the pilgrimage are all devotions focused

on generating humane, moral qualities within

us. If it fails to do this, then there is a serious

I Shall Love All Mankind.

problem with the manner these acts of devotions

are performed. In fact, it would be a waste

of time and effort. This, unfortunately, is the

condition existent in most parts of the Muslim

world today. Anyone can be taught to perform

the prayer, to fast, to give zakaat and perform

pilgrimage but when it comes to sacrificing

over-blown egos to put into practice basic ordinances

of the Holy Quran on issues of justice

and exercising even basic human rights, Muslims,

in general, fail miserably.

During the time of the Prophet (s), the hypocrites

used to pray, they used to fast etc., but

they turned their backs on him (s) at the most

crucial time in his career. Today it would seem

that Muslims nations have turned their backs

on the Holy Quran. They recite it beautifully but

are not prepared to implement its teachings in

their daily lives. The ulema are devoid and incapable

of providing guidance. Instead they engage

in petty politics, fighting among themselves

for status and positions of power over the

vulnerable minds of weak followers unable to

think for themselves and happy to be led like

sheep to the house of mental, moral and spiritual

slaughter. It is such behaviour that made

the Nabi (saw) complain to Almighty Allah: “My

Lord, surely my people treat this Quran as a forsaken

thing” (25:30).

The truth of this plea of the Holy Prophet

(saw) has been proven

true by recent studies

done by a PhD Economist,

Professor Hossein

Askari. Askari made a

study on how close to

Quranic principles the

economic, political and

justice systems of 152 countries in the world

are. According to Professor Askari, what motivated

his study was the apparent disconnect between

the teachings of the Holy Quran and the

practice of Islam in the Muslim World, which is

what the Holy Prophet prophetically refers to in

verse quoted above. He says, and I quote: “(the)

Indices provide a simple approach for Muslims

to focus on the indisputable source of their religion—the

Holy Quran—as opposed to pronouncements

made by clerics, rulers, the media


July 2018 The

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and extremists, who all have their selfish agendas.”

He looked at four specific categories

within which the overall successful governance

of a country depends. These are the Economy,

Legal and Governance, Human and Political

Rights, and International Affairs.

So, I gather, he would have, for example,

looked at whether a country provides freedom

of religion within the framework of the Quranic

injunction “There is no compulsion in religion”

and whether the justice system is based on a

free and independent judiciary that upholds the

principle of the Holy Quran that says:

when they make a promise, and the patient in

distress and affliction and in the time of conflict.

These are they who are truthful, and these are

they who keep their duty.” (2:177)

This verse is self-explanatory. Together

with the other verses I have quoted on justice

and freedom of religion, these form but a few

that highlight the very high standard set by the

Holy Quran with regard to all forms of human

rights, justice, social welfare, etc. especially the

spirit of selflessness i.e. ‘doing it for the sake of

the muḥabba (love) of Allah’, free from insincere,

empty ritualism.

“Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness

with justice; and let not hatred of a people incite

you not to act equitably” - 5:8

“O you who believe, be maintainers of justice,

bearers of witness for Allah, even though it

be against your own selves or (your) parents or

near relatives — whether he be rich or poor, Allah

has a better right over them both. So follow

not (your) low desires, lest you deviate. And if

you distort or turn away from (truth), surely Allah

is ever aware of what you do.” - 4:135

And a political system that is all-inclusive

and consultative. And to address the social

needs to alleviate the burdens of the poor and

disadvantaged, there are numerous verses in

the Holy Quran to this effect. The following one

stands out as capturing the true spirit that is expected

to accompany these noble acts of benevolence.

“It is not righteousness that you turn your

faces towards the East and the West, but

righteous is the one who

believes in Allah, and the Last

Day, and the angels and the

Book and the prophets, and

gives away wealth out of love

for Him to the near of kin and

the orphans and the needy

and the wayfarer and to those

who ask and to set slaves free

and keeps up prayer and pays

the poor-rate; and the

performers of their promise

‘Be upright for Allah,

bearers of witness

with justice;

and let not hatred

of a people incite

you not to act equitably’

-5:8

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Now, one would naturally expect that with

such noble Quranic guidelines, Muslim governed

countries would be amongst the topranking

in the ‘Askari’ index scoresheet in the

categories ‘Economy, Legal and Governance,

Human and Political Rights, and International

Affairs.’ However, it is with dismay that the opposite

is true. Ranked at the top, based on an average

score of all four categories, is New Zealand

followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland,

followed by 39 other non-Muslim countries

with Malaysia the first Muslim country in

the rankings at 43 rd . The country with the highest

Muslim population in the world, Indonesia

is 74 th , and Saudi Arabia, the custodians of the

Holy cities at 88 with Iran at 134 and Pakistan a

low 137. I was particularly interested in the human

rights stats as for me the Holy Quran lays

much emphasis on human rights. First was Norway,

second Sweden, third New Zealand, followed

by several other non-Muslim countries.

Indonesia was 92, Saudi Arabia 110 and Pakistan

at an almost rock-bottom low of 142 out of

152 countries. What is shocking is the fact that

these are countries that claim

religious allegiance to the

Holy Quran, which is sheer

hypocrisy.

These results come as no

surprise, though, for it is a

known fact that in most of

these Muslim countries you

do not have the freedom to

even speak out against any injustices

whether committed


July 2018 The

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by the ruling authorities or the sacrosanct

ulema without the fear of being jailed. In Pakistan,

minority groups such as Ahmadis, for example,

are declared non-Muslim by human

agencies at the beck and call of bigots parading

as clerics and, can you believe it, jailed for

practising Islam. And let me remind you these

are no longer the much dreaded, dark, medieval

days of human history, this is the supposed enlightened

21 st century.

Islam is the natural religion of humanity, it

does not belong to Muslims alone. Thus, the

Holy Quran says:

“So set thy face for religion, being upright,

the nature made by Allah in which He has created

men.” – 30:30

It thus comes as no surprise that fairminded,

rational people, although not of the

Muslim community, would, perhaps unknowingly,

adopt such sound, practical principles to

be found only in the Holy Quran. It is time that

we stop looking for ‘Islam

in Practice’ in the East for

that is where the sun of Islam

has set and rather

turn our attention to the

West for that is where it

will rise according to an

interpretation of a prophecy

of our noble Prophet

Muhammad (s). All indications

are that Islam is

indeed on the rise in the

West and it is very encouraging

to see a host of

enlightened folk emerging from among academics,

religious scholars and ordinary folk,

male and female, prepared to challenge the old

order created by ulema still stuck in their narrow-minded,

backward ideologies and practices.

There is also an encouraging movement

towards the adoption of the Holy Quran as the

undisputed primary source and a slow but

steady, overdue departure from the prominence

given to the long-held practice of blind subservience

to flawed, outdated interpretations of

the clerical fraternity. The clarion call ‘Back to

the Quran’ of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to

O God, it is Your promise that

You shall make Islam triumph

in the world. It is Your promise

that after falling into the

greatest deviation and wrongdoing

people will again turn

to You. Fulfill this promise of

Yours today and let the truth

overcome falsehood and let

Islam triumph over unbelief.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

the Muslims 100 years ago is slowly coming to

fruition. In 1917 when his first English translation

came out, Maulana Muhammad Ali urged

that the Holy Quran must be taken to the West

by the wishes of the Mujaddid Hazrat Mirza Sahib.

It was the first properly bound and printed

single volume English translation by a Muslim

that reached the shores of Britain, Europe, Africa,

the USA, and Egypt. It was this English

translation that inspired the Nation of Islam in

America and caused the likes of his namesake

Muhammad Ali, the boxer, and many others

turning to Islam. Give a man a copy of the Holy

Quran and the Quran will do the work by itself,

were the words of Maulana Muhammad Ali.

How often do we not hear heart-warming tales

of people who found faith simply by reading the

Holy Quran? I would encourage everyone here

to engage in this work. Start by buying one

Quran and donating it to a friend, a stranger, an

institution, or whatever, you decide. And who

knows who might be touched by its inspirational

teachings. I would like to conclude with

the following prayer by Maulana Muhammad

Ali for the triumph of Islam

“O God, unbelief is dominant

over the world. Love of

worldly things and wealth

has taken hold of human

hearts. Human beings are being

led astray by possession

of physical power, material

resources and outward

adornments. But, O God, it is

Your promise that You shall

make Islam triumph in the

world. It is Your promise that

after falling into the greatest deviation and

wrongdoing people will again turn to You. Fulfill

this promise of Yours today and let the truth

overcome falsehood and let Islam triumph over

unbelief.

— “O God, the armies of unbelief and misguidance

are attacking with full force. Your

strength in the past too has been manifested

through weak human beings. Let it be manifest

today through this small Jama‘at. We are weak,

humble and sinners but we have a strong zeal to

see Islam prevail over unbelief. Forgive us our


July 2018 The

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faults, grant us protection, save us from stumbling,

and be our helper and make this weak

Jama‘at of Islam overcome the vast strength of

unbelief. O God! make the Quran and Muhammad

Rasul-ullah and Islam triumphant in the

world, and wipe off the forces of unbelief and

misguidance.” (Return to contents)

Islam

A Religion of Peace

From Arab News

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1283136/saudi-arabia

Makkah: Spreading moderation in the Muslim

world will be an enormous task that will

present Islamic scholars with numerous challenges,

Sheikh Dr. Saleh bin Mohammed A-Talib,

Imam and Preacher of the Grand Holy Mosque

in Makkah, has said.

He was addressing the 12th batch of guests

of the Program of the Custodian of the Two Holy

Mosques for Umrah and Hajj.

Al-Talib stressed that the program seeks to

build bridges of communication among Islamic

scholars around the world to discuss thorny issues

and challenges facing Islamic nations and

to overcome obstacles to deploying the true Islamic

religion.

“A big task rests on our shoulders that is to

identify and defend the true status of Islam,

which is a religion of peace and teaches us love,

peace, brotherhood, equality, humanity, a way

of life, justice and tolerance,” he added.

and sense the fraternal tie. We should never allow

anyone to penetrate our rank to stoke division,

suspicion or disintegration.”

“Islam has been under fire for 1,439 years

ago. However, its power increases with new

people reverting to Islam every day,” Al-Talib

said. He noted that the largest Muslim country

today regarding population is Indonesia, which

did not witness for 1,400 years any battle on its

soil because people there reverted to Islam

through trade and commercial dealings or by

addressing the intellect.

He reassured the Islamic scholars that Islam

cannot be weakened and shall prevail.

Dr Abdul Hamid Al-Ameen, Head of the

Mercy Relief Society in Norway, emphasised the

significant role played by Saudi Arabia under

the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy

Mosques King Salman in caring for Muslims and

serving Islam. (Return to contents)

Purpose of Existence

By Mr Araf Rehman, LL. B

Secretary

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam (T&T)

“Say: If your fathers and your sons and your

brethren and your wives and your kinsfolk and

the wealth you have acquired, and trade whose

dullness you fear, and dwellings you love, are

dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and

striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings His

command to pass. And Allah guides not the

transgressing people.” The Quran, 9:24

Al-Talib emphasised the importance of unifying

Muslim ranks to counter the impending

dangers to avoid disintegration and fragmentation,

and instead to embody the concept of Islamic

fraternity, which is based on love and

honour.

“Our Islamic fraternity which gathers Muslims

from the far west to the far east and makes

us one secure nation, impels us to cooperate

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Let me firstly express my appreciation for

another opportunity to address your jamaat in

your lecture series for Ramadan 2018. Permit

me also to pay special recognition to Brother

Faizool Hosein who is celebrating his 70th

birthday today. May Allah continue to guide and

protect you so that you can see many more

happy birthdays in the years to come.

I noticed that your theme for this year is titled

The Holy Quran - Our Source of Guidance’.


July 2018 The

Light 9

We know that the month of Ramadan is the

month in which the Holy Quran was revealed. If

we study the Holy Quran, we come to the inescapable

conclusion that God has laid down for

us a broad and sound philosophical position.

Everything is placed in a proper perspective so

that man might not be at a loss as to his origin,

his place in the Universe and his ultimate journey.

The verse that I recited at the beginning,

9:24, presents itself to us as a wake-up call. The

ominous admonition is that if we are getting

caught up in the pursuit of worldly gains and

neglecting our Creator and his Messenger, then

we will not be counted among the rightly

guided. It is therefore imperative that we are

always kept conscious of the purpose of our existence.

The Quran states in 31:20 that all things are

made subservient to man as he is the best of creation.

In today’s materialistic world great emphasis

or focus is placed on acquiring material

resources for happiness. Wealth is pursued not

for itself but for the things that wealth brings;

things such as gourmet food, first-class

privileges, cars, houses, entertainment and the

like.

When human beings spend the majority of

their time in acquiring and or enjoying wealth,

they become diverted from other responsibilities

such as their health or the welfare of their

family, their friends, their community and even

their spiritual development. Acquiring material

resources for happiness is not bad. But it is our

attitude towards wealth which determines

whether we are selfless and care for others or

selfish and care only about ourselves. God exhorts

us not to let abundance bring us loss, especially

loss of character and values; see

18:103-105; chapters 102, 103 and 104. Progress

and gain are usually associated with material

advancement.

The gospel of the New Testament preaches

blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the

earth, but its followers claim that the poor are

lazy. The economic doctrine that rules the world

I Shall Love All Mankind.

is if you don't work you don't get. It has happened

that persons who could no longer afford

their mortgage, even though they may have already

paid back the amount they borrowed,

were kicked out of their homes. The message of

the Quran is quite different, as it says in 51:19:

“And in their prosperity, there is a due share for

the pauper and the indigent”.

The human being by nature is a seeker of

betterment and benefit. Everyone desires to improve

himself or herself and to better one's lot.

We seek to be better educated, richer, healthier

etc. The Quran does not stifle human nature and

its development. It does not condemn human

enjoyment of life. But it does state that in acquiring

all these we should be careful that we

do not belittle, look down upon or scorn others.

What then is the path to achieving prosperity

and all that goes with it? Is it through the

acquisition of wealth alone? Or is it through

faith and good deeds as well? Our Islam teaches

us: Don’t step over others, step down to help

others. Think of your progress and not how to

bring about the downfall of others.

The Quran educates us that six things destroy

our moral and spiritual progress. When

we amass a fortune in knowledge, health,

wealth or other material or worldly possessions

we must have faith, behave appropriately and

exhort each other to truth and tolerance; see

103:1-3. Our faith must not include these six

types of behaviour: sakhar which means laughing

at others, joking, ridiculing and mocking;

lamaz which means finding fault with your own

people; nabaz which is calling one another by

nicknames, or by inappropriate names; zann

which is suspicion; jas-sas which means spying

and ightaab which is backbiting 49:11, 12. All of

these not only hurt others but more importantly

they destroy us by becoming a burning obsession

enveloping us. When we laugh at other

people or backbite others, we demonstrate the

kind of ideas and thoughts we have in our

minds. We laugh at others because we feel we

are better than they; see 18:34.

We cannot spend out everything that we acquire.

If we do, then later on when we need resources

for our ill health, retirement, home care


July 2018 The

Light 10

etc. we will either have nothing, we may have

too little, or we may become dependent on others

for hand-outs or fundraising. But when we

don’t spend our wealth, we may lose it to others

legally or illegally; and furthermore we lose the

opportunity to be kind to build our character as

well as that of others. We eventually lose the

trust and confidence of others, and they lose

trust and confidence in us. Society today encourages

entrepreneurs more than philanthropists.

Philanthropy is left to the individual. It is

an individual choice. Entrepreneurship is a social

need as everyone aspires to have greater

economic sufficiency

and independence.

But acquisitions

of prosperity

can become

a costume for the

emptiness of human

personality. Strangely enough, millions of

people are motivated to donate more time and

money to support those who seek political

power than to give charity.

Then when such persons and parties gain

political power, they impose greater economic

and financial hardship on the entire population.

The question can be asked: What effect the acquisition

of material possessions has on our

personality and character? Are they the idols

that have replaced Allah in the Kaaba of the human

heart? We can measure the largeness of

wealth but not the largeness of the heart. We

can assess and quantify personal economic

growth but not personal spiritual growth. What

the world needs, therefore, is a system of accounting

for spiritual development. And so the

Quran tells us: If you do good, you do good for

your souls, and if you do evil, it is for them; see

17:7. The stuff we buy and own offers only temporary

happiness. Does acquiring these make

us better persons? Or are we the same but just

feel happier? By what standard do we measure

or estimate happiness. Happiness in Islam is a

natural flow of my good fortune to others. It

makes me a new person created after the likeness

of Allah. Happiness changes our true identity,

for when Allah gives us more we raise not

only our standard of living but our standard of

giving.

I Shall Love All Mankind.

Our new and true identity is now shaped by

our faith in Allah and living a life in which our

behaviour is developed by His attributes.

Money and wealth doesn't buy love or happiness.

Acquiring wealth may free us from the

anxieties of earning a livelihood. Yet we are not

free from the cares which life brings. The enmity

of others, their jealousy and malice, family

calamities, health problems and the complications

of social life are among the burdens we are

required to bear. We find them, at times, growing

painful and burdensome. Only those who

possess the necessary largeness of heart can escape

the resulting

Our Islam enjoins upon us the use of our wealth

and our possessions, our health, our knowledge

and our strength for the benefit of a group of persons

extending from our close relatives, to our near

neighbours and even unto our far neighbours 4:36

miseries. It is acquiring

largeness of

heart through our

generosity which

helps us to bear the

difficulties and challenges

with a cheerful spirit.

Our Islam enjoins upon us the use of our

wealth and our possessions, our health, our

knowledge and our strength for the benefit of a

group of persons extending from our close relatives,

to our near neighbours and even unto our

far neighbours; see 4:36. Our Islam teaches us

to treasure our Relationships, not our Possessions.

This is the wealth which enables us to act

in such a manner as would remove any amount

of difficulties from our way, and at the same

time win the heart of the deadliest foes to turn

them into our friends. Says the Quran: “Repel

evil with what is best, when Lo! He (or she) between

whom and you is enmity would be as if

he (or she) were a warm friend!” (41:34).

Let us all use this month as a turning point

in our lives, and strive, through the self-disciplinary

act of fasting, to equip ourselves with

proper moral and spiritual values and thus develop

our character. In this month of Ramadan,

let us not reduce this universal religious institution

of fasting into a mere ritual. Let us all

pledge to live in harmony with the wonderful

teachings of Islam. May Allah guide all of us

along the path of character development in this

blessed month, and may He help each one of us

to continue with our spiritual striving. Without

Allah’s Mercy, nothing is possible.


July 2018 The

Light 11

Education of Muslim Women

Limited by economic conditions, not

religion

By Conrad Hackett

Conrad Hackett is a senior demographer and associate

director of research at Pew Research Centre.

and Dalia Fahmy

Vegard Skirbekk. Hackett is a senior demographer

and associate director of research at Pew

Research Centre. McClendon is a former research

associate at the Centre.)

The analysis shows that a country’s wealth

– not its laws or culture – is the most important

factor in determining a woman’s educational

fate, with women in oil-rich Gulf countries, especially,

making some of the biggest educational

leaps in recent decades.

(From:

www.pewresearch.org/facttank/2018/06/12/education-of-muslimwomen-is-limited-by-economic-conditionsnot-religion/)

Muslim societies have sometimes faced criticism

for failing to adequately educate women.

Boko Haram’s kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria

and the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani education

activist Malala Yousafzai have contributed

to this perception, raising the question of

whether Islam itself hampers women’s education.

But a new analysis of Pew Research Centre

data on educational attainment and religion

suggests that economics, not religion, is the key

factor limiting the education of Muslim women.

It’s true that, historically, Muslim women

have received less schooling than females of

other major religions (except Hindus); they also

have lagged behind Muslim men in educational

attainment, according to previous analysis by

Pew Research Centre. More recently, however,

Muslim women have been catching up — not

only with Muslim men but also with other

women around the world.

As Muslim women move up the educational

ladder, the role of religion as a predictor of academic

attainment is diminishing, according to

the new study, which analyzes the Centre’s education

data and appears in the journal Population

and Development Review. The findings

challenge claims that there’s a culture clash between

Muslim and Western societies over gender

equality in education. (The study was authored

by David McClendon, Conrad Hackett,

Michaela Potanc okova , Marcin Stonawski and

I Shall Love All Mankind.

For example, young Muslim women (born

between 1976 and 1985) in Saudi Arabia, which

calls itself an Islamic state and enforces conservative

gender laws, have an average of 11.5

years of schooling, compared with 11.8 years

for the country’s young men and just two years

of education for older Muslim women (those

born between 1935 and 1955). These numbers

indicate that Saudi Arabia has increased access

to schooling for women and has come closer to

closing the education gender gap. (The study

measured only the education of Saudi citizens

and not trends among the large population of

noncitizen migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and

other Gulf countries.) By comparison, the average

duration of schooling for young U.S. men

and women – across religious groups – is

around 13 years.

By contrast, in Mali – also a predominantly

Muslim country, but one that is economically

poor – young Muslim women have an average of

only 1.4 years of schooling, compared with 2.7

years for the country’s young men. And older

Muslim women in Mali (those born between

1935 and 1955) average half a year of schooling.

These figures show that Mali has seen only

modest gains in the education of Muslim

women. The same pattern has unfolded in sub-

Saharan Africa overall, where young Muslim

women average 2.5 years of school, up from 0.8

years of school among the older generation.

To test the extent to which Islam itself influences

a woman’s educational attainment, the

researchers examined factors in Muslim communities

that might play a role, such as the degree

of gender discrimination in a country’s

family laws, the percentage of its population


July 2018 The

Light 12

that is Muslim and the share of Muslims who reported

religion is very important to them. The

study finds that none of these elements had a

significant impact on the results. (Return_to

content)

Arabia’s Madani Script: From

handwritten origins to the

digital age

From: www.arabnews.com

JEDDAH: Ancient Arabic scripts are distinguished

by their beauty and diversity, and the

Makki and Madani scripts were the most prominent

versions throughout history. The Madani

script, in which the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the

Prophet Muhammad’s correspondence with

kings and presidents were written, is particularly

notable.

There are many opinions concerning the origins

of Arabic calligraphy. Some scholars suggest

it goes back to Ismail, son of the Prophet

Ibrahim. Others say it came from the Nabataeans

in the 4th century BC.

Prophet Muhammad urged people in Madinah

to learn to write, and so Arabic calligraphy

spread there only after his migration. The number

of literate people in the Prophet’s era is said

to have amounted to about 42 men.

The Madinah area is rich in precious Islamic

inscriptions engraved on the rocks of its mountains

and valleys, and ancient caravan routes.

The history of these inscriptions dates back to

the Hijri first century, and they include Qur’anic

verses, supplications, letters, poetry and news.

King Abdul Aziz took an interest in preserving

Arabic calligraphy, and his interest has been

reinforced by the King Salman Centre for Restoration

and Conservation of Historical Materials,

part of King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre, which

preserves and cares for ancient documents and

manuscripts.

Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah

region, launched an initiative to preserve

the Madani script during the inauguration of an

exhibition of Madinah manuscripts organized

by King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre in 2016.

Many international libraries have copies of

the Holy Qur’an written in the Madani script, including

the Paris National Library, the Leiden

University Library in the Netherlands, the University

Library of Birmingham in England, and

the Berlin Library.

Idham Mohammed Hanash, the dean of the

Faculty of Arts and Islamic Architecture at the

World Islamic Science and Education University

in Jordan, said the Madani script has become

the standard for the origin and originality of Arabic

calligraphy.

He pointed out that it is characterized by

aesthetic qualities and technical characteristics

and said its great historical importance and

technical excellence mean there is a need to restore

knowledge of the art of the script.

Prince Faisal praised the King Fahd Complex

for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah

for issuing 10 million copies of the book,

achieving the highest production level for the

first time in five months.

The target production is 18 million copies

during the first operational year, which ends after

seven months.

This came during a meeting with Tawfiq Al-

Sudairy, the deputy minister of Islamic Affairs,

Da’wah and Guidance, who briefed Prince Faisal

on the achievements of the King Fahd Complex

in the presence of Mohammed Salem Al-Awfi,

secretary-general of the complex.

Prince Faisal said that these achievements

came in record time with national capacities to

serve Islam and Muslims. (Return_to content)

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK)

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