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Should Islam Really Be Feared…?

Review of religions June 2016

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Should Islam Really Be Feared…?

  1. 1. Should Islam Really be Feared...? 10 Qur’anic History & the Role of Islamic Calligraphy 26 On Fasting 46 The Economic System of Islam 50 vol. 111 - issue sixjune 2016 www.reviewofreligions.org Should Islam Really Be Feared...?
  2. 2. Surely, success does come to the believers, Who are humble in their Prayers, And who shun all that which is vain, And who are active in paying the Zakat, And who guard their chastity— ISLAM, THE HOLY QUR’AN, CH.23:V.2-6. Harithah ibn Wahab al-Khuzai narrated that the Messenger of Allahsa said: “Should I not inform you about the people of Paradise: They are every humble and weak person, who if he were to make an Oath by Allah, He would fulfil it. Should I not inform you about the people of the Fire: They are every prideful, swaggering ill-speaking person.” ISLAM, THE HOLY PROPHETSA , HADITH OF BUKHARI. Prayer and Unity—for Prayer is the name of the proclamation of Unity in practice—are without blessing and vain when they are empty of humility and nothingness and are not pursued with a single-minded heart! ISLAM, THE PROMISED MESSIAHAS , THE ESSENCE OF ISLAM, VOL. 1, P. 172. Be of an exceedingly humble spirit, for the end of man is the worm. JUDAISM, MISHNAH, ABOT 4:4. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. CHRISTIANITY, THE BIBLE, MATTHEW 5:5. The Lamenter [who is seeking a vision] cries, for he is humbling himself, remembering his nothingness in the presence of the Great Spirit. OGLALA SIOUX TRADITION, BLACK ELK OF THE SIOUX. Within the world the palace pillar is broad, but the human heart should be modest. SHINTOISM, MORITAKE ARAKIDA, ONE HUNDRED POEMS ABOUT THE WORLD. Subdue pride by modesty, overcome hypocrisy by simplicity, and dissolve greed by contentment. JAINISM, SAMANASUTTAM 136. Without merit am I; all merit is Thine.Thine, Lord, are all merits—by what tongue have I power to praise Thee? SIKHISM, ADI GRANTH, WADHANS, M.5. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa prophesied that the Promised Messiahas would be raised near a white minaret, east of Damascus. This prophecy was fulfilled with the advent of the Promised Messiahas from Qadian, India, a city directly east of Damascus. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ©makhzan-e-tasaweer founder of the review of religions Humility world faiths Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , the Promised Messiah and Mahdi was born to a noble family in Qadian, India. From an early age he had a keen interest in religion and developed a love for the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa . He was also known for his honesty, friendliness and resolve. Over time his knowledge and understanding of religion and its application to society deepened. Being a Muslim it was his firm belief that all religions were true at their source but with the passage of time had drifted away from their original teachings; he upheld the dignity of religion and demonstrated its relevance to everyone. His earnest defence of religion was ultimately blessed when he started to receive direct revelation from Allah – a blessing that he continued for the rest of his life. His mission was to revitalise the truth that all religions held within them and to revive the teachings of Islam. It was through this that he would bring mankind together and establish everlasting peace. In 1889, under Divine Guidance, Hazrat Ahmadas founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a community that has since grown in its stature and strength and has remained active in conveying the message of Islam to the ends of the earth. Hazrat Ahmadas had established himself as a respected writer and had written over 80 books. His writings have been translated into more than 60 languages and continue to inspire readers to this day. One of his greatest scholarly works was The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, prepared as a paper and read out at the Conference of Great Religions in 1896. He also wrote a fascinating treatise in 1899 entitled Jesus in India, a book that uncovered remarkable evidence of Jesus’sas journey to India. In 1902, the Promised Messiahas initiated The Review of Religions which has covered a vast array of topics on religion, philosophy and contemporary issues of the day. It is the longest running English magazine in defence of Islam and the values it teaches. From 1889 until the time of his demise in 1908 tens of thousands of people accepted him. This blessing has continued and will continue through his Khulafa (successors). Currently under the fifth successor, we are seeing that the tide of acceptance is worldwide and that the message of Prophet Ahmadas has really reached the ends of the earth.
  3. 3. 8 Sayings of the Holy Prophetsa Hadith on Fasting 10 Should Islam Really Be Feared…? Keynote address at a special reception in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community 26 Qur’anic History and the Role of Islamic Calligraphy Calligraphy holds, perhaps, pride of place as the foremost and most characteristic of the modes of visual expression in Islam. Read the first part in a two-part article on the fascinating art and history behind Islamic calligraphy. RAZWAN BAIG, LONDON, UK 46 Spiritual Benefits of Fasting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi 50 The Economic System of Islam In this eleventh part of the series, Russia’s need for international trade in order to sustain its economy is discussed. HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIR-UD-DIN MAHMUD AHMADRA , THE SECOND CALIPH OF THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY 58 Calendar of Religious Events Front cover pictures: © Prazis | shutterstock.com Erratum: On page 49 of our April 2016 edition a map highlights the countries in which alcohol is prohibited due to the practice of Islamic law. India has been mistakenly highlighted and should not have been. contents june 2016 Vol.111 issue six 50 10 26
  4. 4. CHIEF EDITOR & MANAGER Syed Amer Safir ASSOCIATE EDITORS Nakasha Ahmad,Tariq H. Malik RELIGION & SCIENCE Editor: Dr. Syed Muhammad Tahir Nasser Deputy: Dr.Tauseef Khan ISLAM & CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Editor: Shahzad Ahmad LAW & HUMAN RIGHTS Editor: Qudsi Rasheed Deputy: Ayesha Mahmood Malik ANCIENT RELIGIONS & ARCHAEOLOGY Editor: Fazal Ahmad Deputy: Rizwan Safir CHRISTIANITY Editor: Navida Sayed Deputy: Arif Khan Women’s Section Editor: Aliya Latif Deputy: Meliha Hayat BOOK REVIEWS Editor: Sarah Waseem WEB TEAM Mubashra Ahmad, Hibba Turrauf Special Collections Head: Razwan Baig EDITORIAL BOARD Mansoor Saqi, Bockarie Tommy Kallon, Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael, Murtaza Ahmad, Fiona O’Keefe, Hassan Wahab, Jonathan Butterworth, Munazza Khan, Waqar Ahmedi, Mahida Javed SUB-EDITORS Munawara Ghauri (Head), Maryam Malik, Nusrat Haq, Mariam Rahman PROOFREADERS Farhana Dar (Head), Hina Rehman, Amina Abbasi, Aisha Patel HOUSE STYLE GUIDE Maleeha Ahmad (Head), Sadia Shah SOCIAL MEDIA Tazeen Ahmad (Head), Mala Khan (Deputy), Nudrat Ahmad, Hajra Ahmad, Mishall Rahman, Shumaila Ahmad PRINT DESIGN AND LAYOUT Ahsan Khan INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION & DISTRIBUTION Muhammad Hanif ACCOUNTS & MARKETING Musa Sattar ART & CREATIVITY Zubair Hayat, Mussawir Din INDEXING,TAGGING & ARCHIVING Mirza Krishan Ahmad (Head). Amtus Shakoor Tayyaba Ahmed (Deputy). Humaira Omer, Humda Sohail, Shahid Malik, Ruhana Hamood, Mubahil Shakir, Adila Bari, Hassan Raza Ahmad MANAGEMENT BOARD Munir-Ud-Din Shams (Chairman), Syed Amer Safir (Secretary), Mubarak Ahmad Zaffar, Abdul Baqi Arshad, Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Naseer Qamar, Abid Waheed Ahmad Khan, Aziz Ahmad Bilal The world is passing through turbulent times.The global economic crisis continues to manifest new and grave dangers at every juncture.The similarities of the current circumstances to the build-up of the Second WorldWar are stark. Events appear to be moving us rapidly towards a ThirdWorldWar.The consequences of a nuclear war are beyond our imagination. In this book, the historic addresses of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Fifth Khalifah of the Promised Messiah and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to prominent dignitaries at Capitol Hill, the House of Commons, the European Parliament and other notable locations around the world have been collated.The book also includes the momentous letters sent by His Holiness to the numerous world leaders. Over and over again, His Holiness has reminded all that the only means of averting a global catastrophe is for nations to establish justice as an absolute requirement of their dealings with others. Even if mutual enmity exists, impartiality must be observed at all times, because history has taught us that this alone is the way to eliminate all traces of hatred and to build everlasting peace. Read online at: www.alislam.org Purchase the book here: http://store.alislam.org/
  5. 5. Hadith on Fasting Abu Hurairara related that the Holy Prophetsa said,“Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah,then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith,and hoping for a reward from Allah,then all his previous sins will be forgiven.1 Narrated by Ibn Abbasra :The Prophetsa was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophetsa used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). 2 endnotes 1. Sahih Bukhari, Kitaab-as-Saum, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 126. 2. Sahih Bukhari, Kitaab-as-Saum, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127. Sayings of The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa june 2016 | The Review of Religions 9
  6. 6. Should Islam Really Be Feared...? Throughout Europe, people fear Islam and what it has to offer. But is that fear well-founded?
  7. 7. A fter reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Khalifatul Masih Vaba , Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said: “All distinguished guests, Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu - peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our guests who have kindly accepted our invitation to today’s reception. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a sect within Islam whose purpose and objectives are extremely clear; we seek to bring mankind towards its Creator - God Almighty.We seek to draw the attention of all people towards their responsibili- ties to their fellow man and the need to treat one another with love, compassion and respect. And we desire and seek to establish true and long-lasting peace in the world.We,Ahmadi Muslims,believe the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to be the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi as foretold by the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet of Islamsa . Both the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophetsa prophesied certain signs that would testify to the truth of the Promised Messiahas and we believe that they have Should Islam Really Be Feared...? We seek to draw the attention of all people towards their responsibilities to their fellow man and the need to treat one another with love, compassion and respect. And we desire and seek to establish true and long- lasting peace in the world. Keynote Address at a Special Recep tion in Copenhagen, Denmark. *Some of the photos used in this article have been added to this address by The Review of Religions to help illustrate the subject matter. The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in depiction.* His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba spoke to the audience at a special reception in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Khalifatul Masih Vaba , Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community The Review of Religions is pleased to present an address given by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, on 9th May 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Attended by politicians, academics, and community leaders, His Holiness spoke of the impending dangers of a Third World War, the refugee crisis, and the obligations of Muslims to those around them. june 2016 | The Review of Religions 13
  8. 8. peace and inculcated within his followers human sympathy and compassion. Indeed, the Promised Messiahas once said: “To love mankind and to show compas- sion to others is an immense form of worship of God Almighty and an out- standing means of attaining His pleasure and rewards.” Therefore,according to our beliefs,Islam teaches that until a Muslim fulfills the rights of mankind he or she cannot fulfil the rights owed to God Almighty.Indeed on certain occasions the rights owed to one’s fellow human beings supersede and take priority even above and beyond the rights owed to Allah the Almighty. In short,Islam stipulates that only when a person fulfills the rights of other people, irrespective of who they are or what they believe,can he or she be classed as a true Muslim. Following his demise in 1908, the Promised Messiahas was succeeded by the institution of Khilafat (Caliphate), whose purpose was,and continues to be, to advance the Promised Messiah’sas mis- sion of propagating Islam’s true teachings to all parts of the world.I shall now pre- sent some of Islam’s true teachings and seek to clarify some common misconcep- tions about the religion. Islam counsels mankind to discard all forms of hatred, enmity and malice and instead to unite under a banner of love and mutual respect. It advocates the establishment of peace and justice at all levels of society and between all people. Thus, in chapter 5, verse 9 of the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty has said: “O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice.Be always just,that is nearer all been fulfilled in support of the claim of the Founder of our Community.Some of the signs related to the development of the world at the time of the Messiah and Mahdi. For example, it was foretold that he would be sent when modern technology and the means of communi- cation had developed to such an extent that people in different parts of the world would be brought together and at a time when the press and media had been established. Furthermore,the Holy Prophetsa proph- esied of a great heavenly sign that would accompany the advent of the Promised Messiahas and that was the eclipse of the sun and moon during certain prescribed days in the month of Ramadan.And fol- lowing the claim of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community this heavenly sign was gloriously fulfilled to the letter in the Eastern hemisphere in 1894 and in the Western hemisphere in 1895. Thus,having observed how the signs and prophecies of the Qur’an and the Holy Prophetsa were unequivocally fulfilled in his favour, we Ahmadi Muslims believe our Founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, to be the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi. We believe that he came as a beacon of truth to con- vey the true and resplendent teachings of Islam to the entire world. He implored the people of the world to live together in His Holinessaba addresses the audience at the special reception, which was attended by academics, dignitaries, and other members of the community. Furthermore, the Holy Prophetsa prophesied of a great heavenly sign that would accompany the advent of the Promised Messiahas and that was the eclipse of the sun and moon during certain prescribed days in the month of Ramadan. should islam really be feared...? Only recently has modern technology allowed the world to communicate with ease. This was a sign of the Messiahas of the latter days prophesied by Prophet Muhammadsa . Sergey Nivens | Shutterstock.com 14 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 15
  9. 9. Another charge that is often levelled at Islam is that it was spread violently by the sword. This allegation is com- pletely unfounded and indeed nothing could be further from the truth. All of the wars fought during the life of the Holy Prophetsa and the four rightly guided Caliphs who succeeded him, were entirely defensive in nature, where war had been forced upon them. And even where war had been forced upon the Muslims, they still sought to protect and respect the revered places of other religions and their respected figures. Yet sadly in today’s world,we see that the blessed character of the Holy Prophetsa has been grievously assassinated. Even here in Denmark, some years ago, there were cartoons printed that sought to ridicule the Foundersa of Islam and to portray him, God forbid, as an imperi- alistic leader and belligerent warmonger. This unjust portrayal of the Holy Prophetsa defies history and defies the truth. The reality was that the Holy Prophetsa was forever enslaved by his determina- tion to establish peace and the rights of humanity. Indeed, when Allah the Almighty first gave the Holy Prophetsa permission to wage a defensive war against the Makkans,it was given in order to defend the institution of religion, rather than merely to defend Islam. That is why in chapter 22, verses 40-41, of the Holy Qur’an, Allah proclaimed that if the aggressors were not stopped then they would not limit themselves to attacking the innocent Muslims but their ultimate aim was to destroy all forms of religion. Allah very clearly states that if the Makkans were not forcefully repelled then no church, synagogue, temple, to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is aware of what you do.” In this verse, Allah has commanded Muslims to treat all people, including even their enemies and opponents, with fairness and justice.Thus,Islam does not permit cruelty or wrongdoing under any circumstances.Without doubt,the Holy Prophetsa of Islam established the very highest standards of religious freedom and tolerance in the world. A prime example of this was the way in which the Holy Prophetsa treated and respected the Jewish community and other non-Muslims after his migration to Madinah following years of persecu- tion in his hometown of Makkah. Most of the local people of Madinah accepted Islam and so they welcomed the Holy Prophetsa and accepted him, not only as their religious leader,but they also elected him as the leader of the State. Nonetheless, there remained a signifi- cant Jewish community in Madinah and also of other non-Muslims. Thus, upon being chosen as the leader of the State, the Holy Prophetsa established a covenant of peace with the Jews and the other groups, based upon the principles of universal religious freedom and tol- erance. According to the covenant, the religious freedoms of the Jews and the other non-Muslim communities were protected and guaranteed by the Holy Prophet of Islamsa . History proves that the Holy Prophetsa never violated the terms of this treaty and that under his rule the religious rights and freedoms of the non-Muslims were always upheld. This is a clear refutation to those who allege that Islam permits anti-Semitism or any form of religious discrimination. Another example of the magnificent moral character of the Holy Prophetsa was displayed when he was vis- ited by a delegation of Christians from the city of Najran. Upon learning that they wished to pray, he offered them his own mosque to worship, according to their Christian customs and beliefs. Thus, upon being chosen as the leader of the State, the Holy Prophetsa established a covenant of peace with the Jews and the other groups, based upon the principles of universal religious freedom and tolerance. Various dignitaries attended the reception. Top row, from left to right: Mr. Jan Erik Messman, MP; Ms. Ulla Sandbaek, MP; Mr. Holger Schou Rasmussen, Mayor of Lolland. Bottom row: Mr. Bertel Haarder, Minister for Cultural Affairs and Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs; Ms. Josephine Fock, MP; National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Denmark, Mr. Zakaria Khan. should islam really be feared...? 16 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 17
  10. 10. Holy Prophetsa further taught that no person could be compelled to convert to Islam. Despite these noble teachings, it is a source of huge regret that in the wars being fought today, we regularly see incidents of indiscriminate firing or bombardment in which innocent and defenceless civilians – women, children and the elderly – are being mercilessly killed.The Muslims involved in such bar- baric behaviour serve only to defame the name of their religion and are to be con- demned in the strongest possible terms. Nonetheless, such ignorance and evil amongst the Muslims was bound to occur because the Holy Prophetsa fore- told of this very state of affairs wherein the Muslims would completely forget the teachings of their religion. It was to be at such a time that Allah would send the Promised Messiahas to revive Islam and to establish a righteous community who acted upon its true teachings. Further, it cannot be said that the non- Muslim world remains entirely innocent or blameless. Certainly, there are also some non-Muslim powers, who in spite of claiming to be fighting for the sake of peace, have also been guilty of killing or maiming innocent civilians in different parts of the world through indiscrimi- nate warfare. Anyway, the truth is that the Muslim governments of today are not governing according to the true Islamic principles,which are of honesty,integrity and justice for all. Wherever and whenever Islam’s true teachings have actually been practiced their beauty and beneficence have been appreciated by all. For instance, during the era of Hazrat Umarra ,the second suc- cessor to the Holy Prophetsa ,Islam spread to Syria and a Muslim government was formed.As part of its governance,a civic tax was collected from the Christian citi- zens of the nation, but later the Muslim government returned the tax because the Roman Empire had seized control and the Muslim rulers were no longer able to protect the members of the public or fulfil their rights. The Muslim leaders had no option but to leave and this caused a great deal of dis- tress to the non-Muslims who had lived under their rule.They became extremely emotional and pleaded for the Muslims to return and prayed fervently for this. Without any hesitation they proclaimed their desire for the Muslims to rule them again and to protect them from the mosque or the place of worship of any religion would remain safe. These verses make it categorically clear that when the Muslims were permit- ted to engage in a defensive war, it was granted in order to defend all religions and all beliefs, rather than for the sake of conquering lands or to spread cruelty. Given this,it is a means of extreme grief for a true Muslim to hear the opponents of Islam claim that the Holy Prophetsa was motivated by a thirst for power and a lust for empire building. The Holy Prophetsa neither sought power and nor did he engage in any war in order to forcefully spread Islam or to compel others to become Muslim. His only motivation was to establish peace and universal religious freedom.Therefore,it is the duty of a true Muslim to forever protect and value all religions,whether it be Christianity,Judaism or any other.The Holy Prophetsa taught that during war- fare only those people who were directly engaged in the war could be fought. He gave strict instructions that no inno- cent person was ever to be attacked. No woman, child or elderly person was ever to be targeted. He taught that no reli- gious leader or priest could be attacked and nor could any place of worship.The The Holy Prophetsa neither sought power and nor did he engage in any war in order to forcefully spread Islam or to compel others to become Muslim. His only motivation was to establish peace and universal religious freedom. Therefore, it is the duty of a true Muslim to forever protect and value all religions, whether it be Christianity, Judaism or any other. should islam really be feared...? Through the example of Prophet Muhammadsa and the teachings in the Holy Qur’an, all Muslims are taught to guard the values of all religions and religious places of worship—not just mosques. Atthapol Saita | Shutterstock.com 18 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 19
  11. 11. Even though what Hazrat Abu Bakrra had said was in accordance with Islamic belief,the Holy Prophetsa instructed that a Muslim should not make such a claim in front of a Jewish person as it could cause them pain or offence. This teach- ing of the Holy Prophetsa was extremely profound and the basis for establishing peace between the people of different faiths and beliefs. However today, we see that in the name of freedom of expression, prophets and saintly figures are routinely mocked and ridiculed,even though there are millions of people who follow their teachings and who cannot bear to see them derided in this manner. If we truly desire peace in the world,we need to think of the conse- quences of our words and deeds.We need to be respectful of the beliefs and values of others.This is the way to break down barriers and to knock down the walls of enmity and resentment that have been erected in so many parts of the world. Certainly establishing peace is the most critical and urgent need of the time.This should be our foremost ambition and objective.No one can deny that the hate- ful and wicked acts of certain Muslims have significantly contributed to many of the conflicts that are witnessed today. However, it should be absolutely clear that the reason they are involved in such cruelties is because they have moved far away from the true teachings of Islam. Furthermore,there are certain non-Mus- lim worldly powers that are also fanning the flames of conflict through their unjust acts and policies.Anyway,if one reads the Holy Qur’an and assesses the life of the Holy Prophetsa through a lens of justice, rather than through a lens of prejudice, they will soon realise that Islam is a reli- gion of peace. They will realise that the Holy Prophetsa desired peace with every fibre of his being. They will realise that the Qur’an’s teachings are of love for all of humanity. injustices of the Roman Empire. Later, when the Muslims were able to return, the first to celebrate were the non-Muslims,who knew that their rights would be upheld once again. Certainly, the early Muslims were entirely just and fair in all matters. For example, once a case was submitted before Hazrat Umarra , the second Caliph of Islam,in which one party was a Muslim and the other was a Jew. After listening to their respective cases, Hazrat Umarra found in favour of the Jewish person and against the Muslim. Islam also teaches that it is extremely important to care for the feelings and sentiments of others.Once during a con- versation with a Jewish person, Hazrat Abu Bakrra , who was the closest con- fidant of the Holy Prophetsa , said that the status of the Prophet of Islamsa was greater than the status of the Prophet Mosesas . Upon hearing this,the Jewish man com- plained to the Holy Prophetsa . Hearing this,the Holy Prophetsa rebuked Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said he ought to have respected the feelings of the Jewish man. However today, we see that in the name of freedom of expression, prophets and saintly figures are routinely mocked and ridiculed, even though there are millions of people who follow their teachings and who cannot bear to see them derided in this manner. If we truly desire peace in the world, we need to think of the consequences of our words and deeds. The recent Arab Spring has highlighted the injustice and inequality in the Muslim world, where Qur’anic values have not been upheld. ValeStock | Shutterstock.com Some people take freedom of speech to the extreme, trying to hurt religious sensibilities. At the same time, Islam is actively against any violence being done to those who do offend religious sensibilities. MyImages-Micha | Shutterstock.com should islam really be feared...? 20 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 21
  12. 12. that the horrific acts of such so-called Muslims do not represent the teachings of the religion itself but rather they have their own vested interests. In light of what I have said, I would also urge and request the Western leaders and politi- cians to understand their responsibilities and instead of keeping good relations with the Muslim leaders for their own political or financial gains, they must utilise whatever influence they have to impartially guide and help the Muslim governments towards creating peace. Otherwise they would be equally held responsible for ruining world peace. These days there is increasing fear and trepidation amongst the people of Europe due to the fact that so many refugees have entered this Continent over the past year. It should be kept in mind that the vast majority of the refugees have sought shelter in the West because of the des- perate cruelties and devastation they have faced in their own countries. However, the truth is that no single country, and in fact no continent, has the capability to absorb the millions of people who are fleeing their war-torn countries.Thus the only solution is to formulate a genuine framework for peace in their countries of origin and to try and bring an end to the cruelty in their homelands. Consequently, I once again ask all of the guests, and in particular the poli- ticians and influential figures present, that they should not waste any oppor- tunity in working for world peace because the alternative does not bear contemplating. As I have already said, a Third World War is swiftly approach- ing and if it is not stopped in its tracks its catastrophic effects will surely last for generations, because a world war today is more than likely to include the use of nuclear weapons. The effects of such a war are unimaginable and impossible to comprehend. May Allah grant sense and wisdom to the people of the world. May He, through His infinite grace and mercy, protect all of us and enable mankind to live together in peace and harmony and to fulfil each other’s rights at all times. May we soon emerge from the bitter conflicts of today to a better and brighter future in which all nations and all groups are able to live side by side and in which a spirit of love, compassion and humanity prevails. With these words I would like to once again thank you all for joining us today. Thank you very much.” Today, we are living at a time of increas- ing instability and uncertainty and so every person, in every part of the world, needs to take individual responsibility towards establishing peace. Conflicts continue to ignite and burn throughout the world and so let us not be in any doubt that the shadow of a fateful war looms before us. Alliances and blocs are rapidly forming before our eyes and so it is my grave fear that we are charging madly towards a calamitous Third World War without pause for thought. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to say that the roots of such a war have already taken hold. If we wish to save ourselves, and more importantly, if we wish to protect our children and future genera- tions from the torment of war and its destructive consequences, then we must fulfil the rights of our Creator and the rights of one another. We must care for and respect each other, regardless of any differences of caste, creed or colour. And we must value and respect the religious and national sentiments of one another. There is no doubt that the Muslim Governments of today have failed their people and have unjustly seized their rights and consequently extremist and terrorist groups have taken advantage and gained in strength. Those groups are now wreaking havoc and destruction, not only in the Muslim world, but have also spread their net- works of terror to the West. Thus, a fear of Islam and Muslims, has taken root and continues to increase. Once again, I wish to make it clear The problem of terrorism has now moved to Europe, with attacks in Paris and Brussels showing it to be a global problem. User CRM | Shutterstock.com Conflicts continue to ignite and burn throughout the world and so let us not be in any doubt that the shadow of a fateful war looms before us. should islam really be feared...? 22 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 23
  13. 13. Bitcoin: On Behalf of The Future 14 Educating Our Children 24 The Difference Between True Islam & Extremist Groups 30 FGM’ – Not in The Name of Religion 50 VOL. 110 - ISSUE 1JANUARY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG ERADICATING EXTREMISM Why The Honeybee is Dying and What It Means for Life on Earth 16 Wonders Experienced Through Fasting 26 The Islamic Dilemma Should We Fear the Religion of Peace? 30 Atheism or Belief - Which is evidence Based? 42 VOL. 110 - ISSUE SEVENJULY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The ISLAMIC DILEMMA ShouldWeFearthe ReligionofPeace? God - His Transcedence and Manifestation 12 Untold Stories 26 From the Archives: My Visit to Qadian 38 Preaching Activities of Jesusas in the East 46 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TWOFEBRUARY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG EYES CANNOT REACH HIM... The Sign of the Heavens 20 The Plague 58 A Murder in British Lahore: Closing the Case of Lekh Ram 80 World War One: Centenary of Fulfliment of a Grand Prophecy 102 VOL. 110 - ISSUE EIGHTAUGUST 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG EVIDENCE FORTHE TRUTHYoubetheJudge... S P E C I A L 1 6 4 P A G E E D I T I O N A Message of Peace 10 Legal Right Verses Moral Duty 38 Is it Permissable for Prisoners of War to be Executed? 56 The Life of the Prophet Muhammadsa 68 VOL. 110 - ISSUE THREEMARCH 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG REACTIONto CHARLIE HEBDO...? SERMON onthe MOUNT The Economic System of Islam 10 The Institution of Hajj 20 Mahmud’s Letter From the Land of the Dearest One [Muhammadsa ] 24 The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophetssa 52 VOL. 110 - ISSUE NINESEPTEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG Fromthe LETTERSof MAHMUDRA A HISTORIC JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF GOD Firm Stance Against Terror At Peace Symposium 8 The Golden Principles for World Peace 16 Three Minutes and Counting 38 Has Science Rendered Religion Obsolete? 66 VOL. 110 - ISSUE FOURAPRIL 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG RAY OF HOPE? SERMON onthe MOUNT Halloween – Fear or Fun? 10 Shariah: A Semantic Oxymoron? 28 Connecting to Khilafat: A Guidance for Today’s Muslim Youth 36 Islam’s Response to the Destruction of Cultural Heritage 56 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TENOCTOBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG A Guidance forToday’s MuslimYouth Connecting to Khilafat: Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? 22 The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin 40 A Brief Review of Recent CNN Documentary on the Shroud 56 The Oviedo Cloth by Mark Guscin: Book Review 66 VOL. 110 - ISSUE FIVEMAY 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG TheRESURRECTION ShroudingTheTruth? Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra – An Early Ray of Western Sunrise 18 World Peace & Security - The Critical Issues of Our Time 38 Responsibilities of an Ahmadi Muslim 50 The Economic System of Islam 56 VOL. 110 - ISSUE ELEVENNOVEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG WORLDPEACE &SECURITY: THE CRITICAL ISSUES OF OURTIME The Race to Conquer the Secret of Life 14 The Spiritual Benefits of Fasting 24 Navigating Life in the 21st Century 32 Visits to Sacred Places 54 VOL. 110 - ISSUE SIXJUNE 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG NAVIGATING LIFEinthe 21ST CENTURY Spirituality, Morality &Material Progress Three Gradations of Doing Good 14 Is Religion Truly the Cause of Disorder in the World Today? 20 Apartheid of Ahmadis in Pakistan 52 Women’s Responsibilities: Fulfilling the Conditions of Bai’at 78 VOL. 110 - ISSUE TWELVEDECEMBER 2015 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The BLAME GAMEIs religion truly the cause of disorder in the world today? Is Religion Truly the Cause of Disorder in the World Today? To order back issues email info@reviewofreligions.org The front covers of our 12 Editions in 2015 Subscribe 12 editions for just £15gbp or $30 Usd or $36 cad Students! 12 editions for just £5gbp or $10 Usd or $12 cad
  14. 14. C alligraphy is a fundamental ele- ment and one of the most highly regarded forms of Islamic Art. The word calligraphy comes from the Greek words kallos, meaning beauty, and graphein, meaning writing. In the modern sense, calligraphy relates to “the art of giving form to signs in an expres- sive, harmonious and skilful manner.”1 Islamic calligraphy is one of the most sophisticated in the world and is a visual expression of the deepest reverence to the spiritual world. The Holy Qur’an mentions, with regard to the revelation of the Holy Qur’an “And we have arranged it in the best form.”2 In this verse, the phrase “in the best form,” indicates the putting together of parts to form a strong,integral,consistent whole.Therefore, the Arabic word tartil is translated as a reflective,measured and rhythmic recitation.3 The Islamic scholar Hafiz Fazle-Rabbi has elaborated that this word, when used in the context of writing, can refer to calligraphy, as a means of beautifying the writing.4 It is narrated by Hazrat Amir Muawiyara that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said, regarding the correct style of Qur’anic writing: “O Muawiya, keep the correct consistency of your ink under the ink- pot, make a slanting cut to your pen, write the ‘Ba’ of Bismillah prominently, also sharply write the corners of the letter ‘Seen’, do not make an incorrect eye of the letter ‘Meem’, write the word Allah with great elegance,elongate the shape of the letter ‘Noon’ of the word Rahmaan, and write Raheem beautifully, and keep the pen at the back of your right ear so you will remember that.”5 Qur’anic History and the Role of Islamic Calligraphy Razwan Baig, London, UK (Calligrapher and one of the largest private collectors of Islamic manuscripts in the U.K.) © User mrfiza | Shutterstock.com It is mentioned in Kanzul- Ummaal, (Treasure of the Doers of Good Deeds) as narrated by Saeed ibn-e- Sakina, that Hazrat Alira saw a person writing Bismillah and then said,“you have to write it in a beautiful manner, because if you do this, then Allah will bless and forgive you.” The Review of Religions is pleased to present the first part in a two-part article on the fascinating art and history behind Islamic calligraphy. ً‫يل‬ِ‫ت‬ْ‫ر‬َ‫ت‬ ُ‫ه‬‫ا‬َ‫ن‬ْ‫ل‬َّ‫ت‬َ‫ر‬َ‫و‬ june 2016 | The Review of Religions 27
  15. 15. artistic mastery,but I found that Islamic calligraphy was there ages before I was.”9 Steve Jobs,the founder of Apple,started his creative career inspired by geometry and the art of calligraphy. In his biog- raphy it was mentioned that calligraphy workshops influenced Apple’s graceful, minimalist aesthetic. These experiences, Jobs said later,shaped his creative vision.10 Indeed, in his Stanford commencement address in June 2005, Jobs said: “If I had never dropped in on that single callig- raphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or pro- portionally spaced fonts.”11 Martin Lings, also known as Abu Bakr Siraj ud-Din, was an English writer and scholar who also penned a biography of the Holy Prophetsa . His teaching has guided and inspired the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation in all its work with the sacred arts of the Holy Qur’an.Lings believed that the pinnacle of Islamic art was Arabic calligraphy, which transmits the verses of the Holy Qur’an into visual form.12 Indeed,the history of Arabic calligraphy is inextricably linked with the history of Islam. There is also a close relationship historically between each Arabic script and its common usage. According to the history of written language, Arabic is only second to the Roman alphabet in terms of widespread usage today.13 Pre-Islamic Arabs relied heavily upon oral traditions for the retention of infor- mation and for communication. Later, calligraphy became an invaluable tool for communication. The Alphabet Family Tree It is very hard to trace the origins of Arabic script, but there is evidence that The act of calligraphy is intriguing in that it leaves a tangible trace of a physical act. But that written trace does not merely record an action. In some Muslim areas, calligraphy was actually considered to leave clues as to the calligrapher’s moral fibre. Indeed, the quality of the calligra- phy was believed to hold clues as to the character of the calligrapher. The tools used in calligraphy: the paper on which it was written, the writing implements, the gold leaf used in illumination—all required a diverse set of skills.6 Calligraphy holds,perhaps,pride of place as the foremost and most characteris- tic of the modes of visual expression in Islam.After years of practice,calligraphy becomes second nature to a master cal- ligrapher.However,the dots always allow for a quick assessment as to whether or not the proportions are correct. It is mentioned in Kanzul-Ummaal, (Treasure of the Doers of Good Deeds) as narrated by Saeed ibn-e-Sakina, that Hazrat Alira saw a person writing Bismillah and then said, “you have to write it in a beautiful manner, because if you do this, then Allah will bless and forgive you.”7 The great Egyptian writer,Taha Hussein, once said: “Others read in order to study, while we have to study in order to read.”8 His complaint was more than justified. The intricacies of calligraphy can take years to master. In Praise of Calligraphy Islamic calligraphy was not only acclaimed by the Muslim world, it was also considered a great artistic mode of visual expression. Pablo Picasso was so inspired by Islamic calligraphy that he said: “If I had known there was such a thing as Islamic calligra- phy,I would never have started to paint.I have strived to reach the highest levels of The great artist Pablo Picasso famously said, “If I had known there was such a thing as Islamic calligraphy, I would never have started to paint. I have strived to reach the highest levels of artistic mastery, but I found that Islamic calligraphy was there ages before I was.” Paolo Monti | Wikpedia Commons | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy Pablo Picasso was so inspired by Islamic calligraphy that he said:“If I had known there was such a thing as Islamic calligraphy, I would never have started to paint. I have strived to reach the highest levels of artistic mastery, but I found that Islamic calligraphy was there ages before I was.” 28 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 29
  16. 16. demise, proves that the Arabic language and alphabet predated them. However, while there is solid evidence that the Arabic language and script are quite ancient,the accuracy of tracing the history of this rich language is very dif- ficult; especially due to the biased studies and research of many orientalists and scholars who vehemently tried to deny the existence of the Arabs as a nation due to their distinct enmity towards Islam. it was very well-known to the Arabs in Arabia although they did not widely use the script and actually depended instead on verbal and oral traditions.It is believed that the recent Arabic Script was most likely developed from the Nabataean script, which was itself derived from the Aramaic script.It should be noted that all of these Semitic languages (Phoenician, Canaanic,Aramaic,Nabataean,etc.) were not more than slang versions of Arabic which had become separate languages with the passage of time due to limited communication with central Arabia.But Arabia preserved pure Arabic, especially in remote areas.The most interesting and mysterious phenomenon was that Arabic was an incredibly rich language, in stark contrast to the primitive Arabs who used it,indicating that they themselves did not create the Arabic language. This phe- nomenon supported the theory that the language was not man-made but actu- ally a result of divine revelation. Arabia provided the perfect environment to pre- serve it because it was less influenced by external factors,unlike other parts of the world.While the Arabic language is very ancient, it was not known to be a writ- ten language until perhaps the third or fourth century C.E. Some studies claim that the written scripts of Arabic were known much earlier, around 2500 B.C., but on a smaller scale,as the Arabic lan- guage at that time was exactly the same Arabic at the advent of Islam. Bearing in mind that all of the Semitic civilisations in Levant and ancient Iraq were Arab civilisations, and had been inhibited by Arabs since time immemo- rial,it is hard to identify exactly when and where the Arabic alphabet originated. History, then, suggests that it was not Muslims who created the alphabet at the time of the advent of Islam due to the needs of the time.The very fact that the Holy Qur’an was recorded and suc- cessfully disseminated in Levant and Iraq without any language barriers pos- ing problems, at the time of the Holy Prophetsa and then the Caliphs after his The most interesting and mysterious phenomenon was that Arabic was an incredibly rich language, in stark contrast to the primitive Arabs who used it, indicating that they themselves did not create the Arabic language. History, then, suggests that it was not Muslims who created the alphabet at the time of the advent of Islam due to the needs of the time. The very fact that the Holy Qur’an was recorded and successfully disseminated in Levant and Iraq without any language barriers posing problems, at the time of the Holy Prophetsa and then the Caliphs after his demise, proves that the Arabic language and alphabet predated them. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy Comparison of letter forms in Nabatean, Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew. en.wikipedia.org | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 30 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 31
  17. 17. from the Nabatean script, and yet the early Arabic scripts also seem to have been affected by other scripts in the area, such as the Syriac script. The Al-Jazm script continued to develop until the early Islamic era in Makkah and Madinah in the west of the Arabian Peninsula. In the first Islamic century,the art of cal- ligraphy was born.The first formal scripts that emerged were from the Hijaz region of the Arabian Peninsula, most possibly from the city of Madinah. Those are early “Kufic”Qur’anic scripts and with a stately verticality and regularity in them called ma’il. Other scripts, such as the Mukawwar, Mubsoott, and Mashq scripts, did not survive the progression of Islam, even though they had been used both before and during the early days of Islam.15 The Early Development of Arabic Scripts If we look into the history of the Arabian Peninsula and the origin of the Arabic language, archaeologists have found inscriptions that show a close relation- ship between Arabic scripts and some earlier scripts such as the Canaanite, Aramaic and Nabataean alphabet, that were found in the north of the Arabian Peninsula.These inscriptions were dated as far back as the 14th century B.C.E. Arabic Musnad The first Arabic script, Arabic Musnad, which probably developed from the above-mentioned languages, does not possess the cursive aesthetic that most people associate with modern Arabic scripts. Discovered in the south of the Arabian peninsula in Yemen, this script reached its final form around 500 B.C.E. and was used until the 6th century. It did not look like modern Arabic, as its shapes were very basic and resembled the Nabataean and Canaanite alphabets more than the Arabic shapes.14 During the sixth and seventh centu- ries, the revelation of Islam had a major impact on the development of Arabic cal- ligraphy. The Arabic alphabet is written from right to left like Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and other scripts from the same linguistic family. Early Calligraphic Script: Al-Jazm The first form of an Arabic-like alpha- bet is known as the Al-Jazm script, which was used by northern tribes in the Arabian Peninsula. Many research- ers think the roots of this script originate A panel showing ancient Arabic Musnad script dating back from around 700 B.C.E. around Yemen. User Jastrow | en.wikipedia.org | Public domain work Funerary inscription about the pre- Islamic poet Imrul-Qays, ca. 328 C.E. Wikimedia Commons | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 An example of Al-Jazm script. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy If we look into the history of the Arabian Peninsula and the origin of the Arabic language, archaeologists have found inscriptions that show a close relationship between Arabic scripts and some earlier scripts such as the Canaanite, Aramaic and Nabataean alphabet, that were found in the north of the Arabian Peninsula.These inscriptions were dated as far back as the 14th century B.C.E. 32 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 33
  18. 18. was created only seven decades after the Hijra, was inspirational. The Kufic script continued its devel- opment through different dynasties, including the Umayyad (661 – 750 C.E.) and Abbasid (750 – 1258 C.E.) dynas- ties. On this page, are some examples of Kufic scripts and their different develop- mental stages: During the third century, the whole structure of calligraphy in the Islamic domains changed dramatically. Qur’ans were copied in huge numbers with vari- ous degrees of artistic skill. The thick, straight,flat Qur’anic scripts were intro- duced. Once paper was introduced, the use of parchment and vellum died out, along with their characteristic scripts. Other Known Early Islamic Scripts Over the course of their development, different Arabic scripts were created in different periods and locations. For example, before the invention of the Kufi script the Arabs had several other scripts, the names of which were derived from their places of origin, such as Makki from Makkah, Hiri from Hira and Madani in Madinah. It has been narrated by Abu Hakima Abdi, that he used to write various books in Kufi.Once,Hazrat Alira should say after, fourth successor to the Holy Prophetsa saw him while he was writing, and said: “Try to write boldly and in a prominent manner,also try to make your pen beautiful,” so Abu Hakima cut his pen and started writing again. Hazrat Alira continued to stand beside him and then said “use the best ink with the writ- ing pen and make the writing beautiful just as Allah has revealed his beautiful message.”16 Tumari was another script, which was formulated by the direct order of Muawiya, and became the royal script of the Ummayad dynasty. Kufi Script Kufi was invented in the city of Kufa (currently in Iraq) in the second dec- ade of the Islamic reign, taking its name from its city of origin and, as mentioned earlier,was derived from an earlier script call Ma’il. As a calligraphic historian, the prob- lem remains of identifying calligraphy without dated, signed specimens.While we have the names of scripts such as Mukawwar, Mubsoott, Mashq, Jalil, Ma’il,etc.,there is no way to definitively link them to known examples. In the early stages of its development,the Kufic script did not include the dots that we know from modern Arabic scripts. If we examine Kufic script inscriptions,we notice particular characteristics such as angular shapes and long vertical lines. In addition, the script letters were wider originally,which made writing long con- tent more difficult. Still, the script was used for the architectural decoration of buildings, such as mosques, palaces and schools.17 The grand impression in the Dome of the Rock is one example of early Arabic script—this monument,with the earliest examples of Qur’anic script and which Kufic script from the 9th-10th centuries. User 50 Watts | Flickr.com | Released under CC BY 2.0 Kufic script from the Holy Qur’an, 11th century. Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art. Islamic Dirham from the Abbasid period with Kufic scripts on both sides. Hussein Alazaat | Flickr.com | Released under Creative Commons BY 2.0 qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 34 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 35
  19. 19. Ibn Muqlah Abu ‘ali Muhammad Ibn ‘ali Ibn Muqlah Shirazi hailed from Iran and was a states- man, poet, and calligrapher living in the late 9th century. In addition, he served as the vizier,or prime minister,several times under the reign of the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad. One of his most important contribu- tions to calligraphy was recognising that a system of proportion was needed that would allow people to easily copy and replicate scripts,while also making them easier to read and more elegant.His first script, therefore, obeyed strict propor- tional rules. In his system, the dot that we know today was used for measuring the proportions of the lines, and a circle with a diameter equal to the alif ’s height as a measuring unit for letter proportions. Ibn Muqlah’s system was incredibly important in the standardising of the cursive scripts. Moreover, his system made prominent cursive styles of writ- ing, making them acceptable—and even worthy—for use in the writing of the Holy Qur’an. Three elements together form the basis for proportion in Arabic calligraphy.The first is the height of the alif, which is a vertical,straight stroke that can comprise of between three to twelve dots.The sec- ond element pertains to the width of the alif, which is formed when the calligra- pher presses the tip of their pen to the paper.The square impression left on the paper determines the width of the alif. The final element consists of the hypo- thetical circle that could be drawn around the alif, with the alif as its diameter. All Arabic letters should fit within this circle. When the Dome of the Rock was restored by the order of the Caliph Al-Ma’mun (reigned 813-833 C.E.), a barely visible narrow belt of inscription was added in Thuluth script. This was eventually to become the most impor- tant script in calligraphy. The Baghdad Period For the historian, facts were better doc- umented at the beginning of the 10th century C.E.Baghdad became the great- est city in terms of art, knowledge and sciences related to Islamic calligraphy.In the over 500-year-history of the Abbasid Caliphate, this city saw the emergence of the art of calligraphy as a fine art and the rise of the great founding teachers, admirers and their followers. Ma’mun’s vizier Umar ibn Musida stated, in praise of Arabic calligraphy: “The scripts are like a garden of the sciences. They are a picture whose spirit is eluci- dation. The body is swiftness. The feet are regularity. Its limbs are skill in the details of knowledge. Its composition is like the composition of musical notes and melodies.”18 Pioneers of Islamic Calligraphy and Writing Writing was very important during the early years of the evolution of Islam. Some of the captives of the Battle of Badr could not afford to pay ransom to be freed but they could read and write. The Prophetsa told them that they would be freed if they each taught ten Muslim children to read and write. This was beneficial for both the captives and the Muslims.As a result,the captives taught the Companions to read and write in a very short time. By virtue of this ini- tiative, the number of those who were literate in Madinah increased tremen- dously.19 Among them was Zayd bin Thabitra ,who became one of the primary scribes to write down revelations to the Holy Prophetsa and worked on compil- ing the pages of the Qur’an. Although only a child at the time, the Messengersa of Allah appointed him to write down revealed verses, which allowed him to later fulfil the duty of the compilation of the Qur’an, enabling the Qur’an to be formatted in the book we see today.20 Now in a very brief introduction, I will consider three major calligraphers’ work and their contribution to Islamic calligraphy. Letter proportions in Arabic calligraphy Jessica Bordeau | Smashing Magazine | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. Proportions in Arabic calligraphy. Jessica Bordeau | Smashing Magazine | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 36 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 37
  20. 20. the house of the last Abbasid caliph, al- Mustasim Billah. The caliph was so inspired by his work that he gave his surname to him so that when, in the future, people praised his work, they would also remember him. It is said that he wrote 364 written copies of the Qur’an. He transformed cal- ligraphy yet again, bringing even more elegance to Ibn al-Bawwab’s method. Moreover, his “seven students”—the most famous seven of the many that he taught—are said to have disseminated his style (and their own versions of his style) far and wide, thereby making it the new standard. Unlike with Ibn al-Bawwab, he has left a multitude of authenticated works to study. Committed to his work during the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258, he took refuge in the minaret of a mosque so he could finish his calligraphy practice. Several copies of his work still exist and are highly prized by collectors. Other New Scripts Around 1500 C.E, nearly two hundred years after Mustasimi, Turkish callig- raphers invented a style called Diwani which was rather difficult to read. In order to set governmental or ministerial documents apart from ordinary docu- ments, they made this script the official script of the Ottoman sultans.The other invention of Turkish calligraphers was a beautiful and decorative shape of twisted letters called Tughra, which was used to form the name of the Ottoman emperor, and was employed to authenticate the Sultan’s orders. It was used essentially as a seal or signature. After the invention of Kufi script in Kufa and the spread of it throughout the Muslim world, the western part of the Islamic world did not experience any equivalent developments on par with the eastern area. The western region in the Islamic world, including the whole of North Africa, Ibn Al-Bawwab Ibn al-Bawwab was an Arabic calligra- pher and illuminator of the 11th century, and lived in Baghdad. He came from a common lineage and was a craftsman in his youth. In time, he also became an important religious figure. It is possible that that he was the first really signifi- cant artist in Islam. A skilled painter, he also pursued his artistic talents by both writing the scripts and illuminating his own works, which was rarely done by calligraphers of the era. Not only did he refine the methods of Ibn Muqlah, he also taught many students and is believed to have produced at least 64 written and calligraphied copies of the Qur’an. In addition, Ibn al-Bawwab also was credited with the invention of both the Muhaqqaq and Rayhani scripts.Because of the consistency and beauty of the scripts, those penned by Ibn al-Bawwab were considered quite valuable and were sold for high prices even while he was alive.Working in all six styles,he is con- sidered to have improved all of them, especially the Naskh and Muhaqqaq scripts. Ibn al-Bawwab brought an elegance to Ibn Muqlah’s system and,while retaining the mathematical accuracy and precision of Ibn Muqlah, added artistic flourish and flair to the system. In this way, he was in part responsible for promulgat- ing the contemporary method, in which the script maintains internal proportion by using the dot—made by the proper pen for the script—as the unit of meas- urement. Although Ibn al-Bawwab is said to have penned a large number of secular works in addition to the copies of the Qur’an he produced, only frag- ments of his secular work remain. As far as his Qur’ans, only one—written in the Reyhan script—has survived,which is in the Chester Beatty Collection in Dublin, Ireland. Yaqut al-Mustasimi The third great calligrapher was Yaqut al- Mustasimi, from the thirteenth century, also from Baghdad, who was a slave in The Ibn al-Bawwab script at Chester Beatty Library is the earliest example of a Qur’an in a cursive script. An example of Thuluth script thought to be by Al-Mustasimi. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 38 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 39
  21. 21. Kufic is one of the earliest styles to be used to record the word of God in the Qur’an. One of the early Kufic inscrip- tions can be seen inside the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. During the first three centuries of the Islamic period (7th-9th century C.E.), the Holy Qur’an was written and recorded in Kufic script. Thuluth Script The name “Thuluth”(meaning “a third”in Arabic) refers to this style because one- third of each letter slopes and because it refers to the width of the pen used to write the script. This script is called the king of callig- raphy; it was first formulated in the 7th century C.E. and fully developed in the 9th century.Thuluth is a more imposing and impressive style. Not often used for long texts or the body of a work, it most suited titles or epigrams. As it evolved over the centuries, examples of its many forms can be found on architectural monuments of all sorts. Naskh Script Naskh means “copy” in Arabic. It is one of the earliest scripts, redesigned by Ibn Muqlah in the 10th century C.E., using the comprehensive system of proportion mentioned above.It is noted for its clar- ity in reading and writing, and was used to copy the Qur’an. In contrast to the Thuluth script, Naskh script would be used to be called the Maghreb,consisting of modern Libya,Sudan,Tunisia,Algeria, Morocco and even Spain. It appears that a cultural separation occurred between Maghreb (west) and Mashregh (east) in the Islamic world. This separation is quite visible in terms of calligraphic development. So we have a beautiful Kufi script called Maghrebi Kufi and others,called Kairouani,Sudani and Fasi. Six Major Scripts 1. Kufi (Place of development) 2. Thuluth (Width of the pen) 3. Naskh (Usage for Qur’an) 4. Deewani (Writing of the Court) 5. Riqa (Daily simple use) 6. Ta’liq (Hanging style script) Kufic Script The Kufic script is derived from the Hijazi Script,whose origin may be traced to Hirian, Nabatean and Ma’il, and as mentioned above, derives its name from the city of Kufa in Iraq. Kufic is noted for its proportional meas- urements, angularity, and squareness. Ceramic bowl decorated with calligraphy. User Mocost | Flickr.com | Released under Creative Commons BY 2.0 Plaited Kufi script. Library of Congress, African and Middle Eastern Division. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 40 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 41
  22. 22. The letters are rounded and have a lot of curves. While this makes it less legible, the script is often written with a large distance between lines to give more space for the eye to identify letters and words. Nasta’liq Script The Nasta’liq is a refined version of the Ta’liq script.Nasta’liq is the most popu- lar contemporary style among classical Persian calligraphy scripts. Indeed, it is known as “bride of the calligraphy scripts.” Shekasteh script In the 17th century a more cursive form of Nasta’liq was produced called Shekasteh. Riqa Script The word Riqa means “a small sheet,” which could be an indication of the medium on which it was originally cre- ated.The Riqa style of handwriting is the most common type of handwriting. It is known for its clipped letters composed of short,straight lines and simple curves. Riqa is a style that has evolved from Naskh and Thuluth. Other Calligraphic Styles Tughra was used by the Ottoman sultans as their signature. It was supposed to be impossible to imitate. For this rea- son, then, the tughra was often used as a stamp of authority and the royal emblem of the sultan.The genius of the tughra was that it was difficult to forge, and that meant that it could be used to authorise and legitimise anything from royal decrees to official coins of the realm. The official emblem would often include the name of both the sultan himself,and that of his father, along with the phrase “eternally victorious.” These calligraphic symbols were so dif- ficult to make that they required a special artist, employed by the court, to design and execute the tughra. An illuminator would then add colour, scroll designs and gold leaf, essentially “decorating” the tughra. From the use of the first tughra in 1324, used in longer body text. Diwani Script The name of this script derives from “Diwan,”the name of the Ottoman royal chancery. Created by Housam Roumi, this script was used in the courts to write official documents (as mentioned above) and reached the height of its popularity under Suleyman I the Magnificent in the sixteenth century. Developed during the 16th century, it reached its final shape in the 19th century Ta’liq Script Ta’liq means “hanging”and refers to the shape of the letters. It is a cursive script developed by the Persians in the early part of the 9th century. It is also known as Farsi (Persian). An example of Diwani script. Jessica Bordeau | Smashing Magazine | Released under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 Diwani script. User cactusbones | Flickr.com | Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0. Another example of Diwani script. Mehmet Izzet al-Karkuki | Public Domain qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 42 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 43
  23. 23. endnotes 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligraphy 2. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Furqan, Verse 33. 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarteel 4. A Beginner’s Guide To Andalusi Calligraphy: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc_fn-7M0S4. 5. Allama Ala wud Din Ali Bin Husam ud Deen, Kanzul-Ummaal, (Treasure of the Doers of Good Deeds), p486 and ref. no. 29566. 6. http://asiasociety.org/new-york/exhibitions/ traces-calligrapher-islamic-calligraphy-practice- and-writing-word-god-calligrap. Accessed June 2016. 7. Allam Ala wud Din Ali Bin Husam ud Deen, Kanzul-Ummaal, p486 and ref no. 69558. 8. http://www.interlinkbooks.com/interlink_ schami.pdf 9. Jurgen Wasim Fremgen, The Aura of Aliph: The Art of Writing in Islam, (New York: Prestel, 2010). 10. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011). 11. http://www.theguardian. com/technology/2011/oct/09/ steve-jobs-stanford-commencement-address 12. http://www.spiritilluminated.org/SacredArt. htm 13. Yasin Hamid Safadi, Islamic Calligraphy, Thames and Hudson, London, 1979 14. http://darwinpapasin.blogspot. co.uk/2015/02/taking-closer-look-at-arabic- calligraphy.html 15. http://people.umass.edu/mja/history.html. Accessed June 2016. 16. Allama Ala wud Din Ali Bin Husam ud Deen, Kanzul-Ummaal, p.486 and ref no. 29559. 17. http://darwinpapasin.blogspot. co.uk/2015/02/taking-closer-look-at-arabic- calligraphy.html 18. http://mohamedzakariya.com/essays/ criticism-in-islamic-art/ 19. http://darwinpapasin.blogspot. co.uk/2015/02/taking-closer-look-at-arabic- calligraphy.html 20. http://www.resulullah.org/en/teacher these forms became increasingly ornate and elaborate. The tughra shown above belonged to the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-566). It contains three vertical shafts and a number of concentric loops in complex, graceful, flowing lines. Be sure to read the second part of this series next month in our July edition. About the Author: Razwan Baig is a scholar, collector, philanthropist and Islamic art critic and researcher. His Islamic art collection includes items as diverse as textiles and ceramics to Qur’anic manuscripts,and has been shown in several major art museums and international exhibitions. His interest in Islamic calligraphy began at age 12 and has run workshops and presented on the art of calligraphy since 1994. He completed his BA (Hons) History of Art & Archaeology of Islamic world, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He also has obtained extensive training in Arabic calligraphy in different styles from Birkbeck College, University of Sunderland as well as from some of the foremost calligraphers from Turkey, Baghdad and Pakistan. He will be exhibiting a portion of his collection this summer at The Review of Religions exhibition at the 50th annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on August 12-14, 2016. As one of the largest private collectors of Islamic manuscripts in the U.K., he is also currently showing portions of his collection at the Art of Islam festival at Buckinghamshire County Museum through the end of September 2016. Signature of an Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. metmuseum.org. qur’anic history and the role of islamic calligraphy 44 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 45
  24. 24. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas T o be moderate in eating and drinking and to bear hunger and thirst are necessary for the purification of the spirit and promote the capacity for visions. Man does not live by bread alone.To discard all thought of eternal life is to invite Divine wrath. It should be remembered that the fast does not mean merely that a person should abstain from food and drink over a cer- tain period. During the fast one should be occupied greatly with the remembrance of God. The Holy Prophetsa occupied himself greatly with worship during the month of Ramadan. During that month one should discard one’s preoccupation with eating and drinking; and cutting asunder from these needs should address oneself wholly towards God.1 endnotes 1. 1906 Jalsa Salana Speech, Al-Badr, 10th January 1907, p. 15. On Fasting
  25. 25. In recent times vested interests have launched a ‘crusade’ against Islam. Islam is labelled as a religion of terror, backwardness and suppression. Based on Quranic teachings, the author of this book goes about disproving these notions and professes that Islam provides practical solutions to current issues; and argues that: (1) Swords can win territories but not hearts, forces can bend heads but not minds; (2) The role of women is not of concubines in harems nor a society imprisoned in the four wall of their houses; (3) Richer nations provide aid with strings attached and yet the flow of wealth continues to be in the direction of the rich while the poorer sink deeper in the red; (4) Religion does not need to be the predominant legislative authority in the political affairs of the state; (5) Irrespective of the thawing of the cold war, the issue of war and peace does not only hang by the thread of superpower relationship. (6) Without God there can be no peace. It also contains comprehensive discussion on interest; financial aid; international relations; and the role of Israel, America and the United Kingdom in a new world order. The message of this book is timeless and chalks a blue print for the future prospects for peace. Read online: http://www.alislam.org/books/ Purchase print copy: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html A solitary voice, raised in Makkah, was, under Divine Command, calling people to the worship of One God and proclaiming that through responding to this call would humankind achieve true dignity, honour, prosperity and happiness both here and Hereafter. That voice was the voice of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa , the Seal of the Prophets. In this popular biography, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud- Din Mahmud Ahmadra outlines the life of the most influential man in history in an easy-to-digest manner. Read online here: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Life-of-Muhammad.pdf Purchase book here: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html
  26. 26. Prospect of Russia Emerging as Global Economic Shock It is now universally acknowledged that no country can survive on its own. Experience underscores the imperative for a country to establish relations with other nations. Thus, if the Soviet Union cannot maintain economic progress under autarchy, it would be impelled to search for foreign markets to dispose of its industrial surplus.This became abun- dantly evident during the war when the Soviet Union had to rely heavily on imports of essential goods from America and Great Britain. If it maintains its pace of industrialisation, the Soviet Union would have to find new markets for its products. When that day arrives, would the Russian policy not assume the same characteristics and adopt the same methods as we have seen in the his- tory of other imperial powers? To put it plainly, Russia would be compelled to make other countries, by some means or other, to buy Russian products in order to keep its labour employed and sustain its economic and industrial growth. Experience of Other Imperialist Powers We have seen that when it concerns granting India independence, rousing The Economic System of Islam If it maintains its pace of industrialisation, the Soviet Union would have to find new markets for its products. When that day arrives, would the Russian policy not assume the same characteristics and adopt the same methods as we have seen in the history of other imperial powers? by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra We continue with the serialisation of the epic lecture delivered by the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra , later published as a book titled The Economic System of Islam. In this eleventh part of the series, Russia’s need for international trade in order to sustain its economy is discussed. To read the first ten parts, visit our website: www.reviewofreligions.org *The photos used in this article were not used in the original publication, but have been added to our serialisation by The Review of Religions to help illustrate the subject matter. The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in depiction.* ra Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad THEECONOMICSYSTEMofISLAMMirzaBashir-ud-DinMahmudAhmad U ra june 2016 | The Review of Religions 51
  27. 27. economies to Soviet goods, as they did for the Western capitalists.But this time it would be a bigger economic shock for the world. Sometimes an argument is made that vulnerable countries could escape the onslaught of Russian compe- tition by becoming allies of the Soviet Union and gain all the advantages of the communist system. But a little reflec- tion would establish that this idea is not sound. In the first place, we should not forget that not many countries would put aside all other considerations and rush to join the Soviet Union simply to capture some economic gains.The Communists in various countries would, of course, be glad to see the Soviet system intro- duced everywhere,but it seems doubtful that many would submit their econo- mies to Russian dictates. This would apply to Communists in Great Britain and America and to those of practically every other country.They have a prefer- ence,no doubt,for the Soviet system,but they are not eager at all to let Moscow run their country’s affairs. I cannot say anything about the thinking of Indian communists. We know from experi- ence that they are not given to thinking through important issues and, generally, are not well-educated. They are fond of sloganeering, but few understand the implications of their slogans. Many put thought and reflection aside and get carried away by their emotions.It is pos- sible that a large majority of the Indian Communists would not object to India being absorbed into the Soviet Union, but Communists in the rest of the world are not so inclined,and believe that such a situation would bring about ruin and destruction for their countries. Absence of Equality in Russian Occupied Territories We should also observe that the qual- ity of life enjoyed by European Russians differs significantly from that of people living in the Soviet territories outside Europe. I would meet all expenses if the Communist Party were to let one mem- ber of my Community visit the Soviet speeches are made in the Houses of Parliament, but when it concerns economic progress, the experts start pronouncing on the need for protecting British interests.No doubt,Russia’s case would be quite similar, though with one important difference: in the case of Great Britain and America it is the private firms that compete, but in the case of Russia it will be the entire socialist system that would compete with the individual for- eign trader. It will not willingly close its factories and allow unemployment to rise in the face of foreign competition, but it will adopt all means to make other coun- tries buy its products. And it will direct the entire might of its state—which owns factories and wields total political power—towards achieving that end.The economically weak neighbouring coun- tries would be particularly vulnerable to Soviet pressure. At that point, Russia would use all the tactics that the big investors employ under capitalism.Since industry in Russia is under State con- trol,the clout of political power will also be wielded. At that stage, Russia would not just be concerned with protecting its commercial interests, it would also seek to raise the standard of its industry, pro- tect its labour and factories, and attract foreign capital. Thus, the neighbouring economies would end up opening their the economic system of islam All countries rely on import and export for their economies to thrive. User Stockphoto Mania | Shutterstock.com Smaller, economically weak, neighbouring countries would feel the most pressure from Russia to import their products. User Whitelook | Shutterstock.com But in the case of Russia it will be the entire socialist system that would compete with the individual foreign trader. It will not willingly close its factories and allow unemployment to rise in the face of foreign competition, but it will adopt all means to make other countries buy its products. 52 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 53
  28. 28. its will.In fact,the change can already be observed. So long as Russia was preoc- cupied with domestic politics, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were free and independent. Russia boasted that it did not get involved in the internal affairs of other countries and that in pursuit of liberation, it had granted independence to all countries that so desired—namely Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Finland, Poland,and Georgia.It had also handed over Turkey a portion of Armenia that was originally a part of Turkey. But as soon as domestic unrest abated,Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet Union. On gaining further strength, it started to dispute Finland’s border.This process continued until the Soviet Union came to occupy Latvia,Lithuania and Estonia. Portions of Romania too were nibbled off, and Finland was overpowered and some parts of it were incorporated into the Soviet Union, leaving the rest of the country independent. Poland is being quietly appropriated now.Russia has pro- claimed publicly that a government that does not support its policies would not be tolerated at its borders. Only govern- ments that are prepared to remain loyal and subservient to Moscow can remain in power in these countries. Under the cloak of security, there has been Russian interference in the affairs of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Schemes have been set afoot to grab the oil fields in Persia.Turkey is being called upon to hand back portions of Armenia ceded to it earlier and Moscow has openly sought control of the Dardanelles. Did the old imperial governments do anything different in their days of glory? Did they not, in fact, proceed more gently and tactfully? Were they not less blunt and less brutal? To be sure, Great Britain too has had an interest in the Dardanelles for a long time, but it never applied the degree of pressure on Turkey as Russia has done in just a few years. With this evidence, it is not wise to believe that Russia would not force its neighbouring countries into eco- nomic subjugation in the same way as Union and show him that the poor in Bukhara have everything that the poor in Moscow have, in terms of housing, clothing, food, education and medical care. I am sure an inspection of life in the two towns would show that there is an appalling difference in the degree of well-being enjoyed by their inhabit- ants.The same observation applies to the other Russian territories in Asia. Only recently, an official announcement was made regarding schemes to ameliorate conditions in these territories, and that a special programme would be devised for future progress there.This statement should help to dispel the delusion that Soviet Russia treats its Asian citizens as well as its European citizens. Had this been so, the European and Asian terri- tories of the Soviet Union would have reached a similar economic status.Some people believe that because Communism is based on the principle of equality, the system would not betray itself by usurp- ing the rights of the weak.This idea is no more than a delusion. The Russian reti- cence till now in economic competition and in the scramble for foreign territories has not been due to any ethical sense of right or wrong,but simply from its inabil- ity to assert its power.These policies will undergo a radical transformation as soon as it becomes strong enough to impose the economic system of islam Most countries, even those with Communist supporters, would not want to join the Soviet Union and let Moscow run their countries’ affairs. User Triff | Shutterstock.com This statement should help to dispel the delusion that Soviet Russia treats its Asian citizens as well as its European citizens. Had this been so, the European and Asian territories of the Soviet Union would have reached a similar economic status. Soviet territories outside of Europe faced a much lower quality of life than those in Soviet Russia. Ema Woo | Shutterstock.com 54 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 55
  29. 29. say,‘might is right.’ Given this record of Russian approach in international poli- tics,how can we hope that Russia would take a more egalitarian and just approach in the economic sphere? For those who think that political decisions are different [from economic decisions] the question can be posed differently: if Russia really loves equity why does it seek to occupy Iran’s oil fields? Is this fair to Iran, con- sidering that the country itself needs oil to support its poor and hungry people? If the interests and welfare of the weak have any value in Russia’s eyes, as the Communists claim, then Russia should have,for example,lent money to Iran free of interest so that Iran could develop its oil resources. It should be obvious, then, that the objective of Russia is to deprive Iran of the benefit of its oil fields to pro- mote its own interests.Some people argue that the British too have taken posses- sion of Iran’s oil fields.This is not a good argument, because the wrong done by one does not justify the same for some- one else. If Britain is to be condemned for its actions, one should also condemn Russia.Russian actions demonstrate that its policies are in reality no different from the policies followed by other imperial powers. If Russia subscribes to the prin- ciple of equality, it should hand over the oilfields of Baku to Iran on the ground that Iran must have the same rights as Russia. But Russia has no interest in such ‘equality’. Russia is still at an early stage of industrialisation. When it has advanced, we can expect to see that it would promote its industrial interests in other countries in a manner that has not been witnessed before.The reason is that Communism has only crushed individual capitalism, but it has nurtured and pro- moted collective capitalism, which is a very dangerous development. America passed antitrust laws precisely to curb this kind of development. the European traders did with the help of their governments.Events have proved that as soon as Russia gained power, its claims of political equality and freedom went by the board. There is now no basis for accepting Russia’s claim that it has no interest in other countries. Upon enter- ing the world of politics, Communism changed its ideology and disregarded its own principles in favour of advanc- ing its own interests. Georgia, Bokhara, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have all been occupied and brought under its political authority. Schemes are being prepared to gain influence in Iran and Turkey,and for the break-up of China.Can the occupation and subjuga- tion of these countries be called equality and freedom of conscience? Why would Finland permit that a part of its territory be absorbed into Russia? Why was the freedom of Latvia,Lithuania and Estonia trampled underfoot? Why was it neces- sary that these countries should sacrifice their own independence to safeguard White Russia? Was it incumbent upon Georgia and Bokhara to get incorporated into the Russian empire? If this was for the cause of liberty and freedom, why did the opposite not take place? Why was not a part of Russia handed over to Finland,and other parts given to Poland, Romania,Turkey and Iran to strengthen their defences? Surely, from the view- point of security, these smaller countries merited additional territory more than Russia did. The fact is that Russia remained non-aggressive only as long as it lacked the power. Once it gained the power, Russia did not hesitate to devour the smaller states on grounds that it needed to strengthen its borders. If this were a valid reason, it could also be used by America to justify retaining control over the Japanese Islands. The reality is that those with power can always present excuses to justify their actions; as they the economic system of islam Past events have proved that whenever Russia gained power, its claims of equality and freedom weakened. User daseugen | Shutterstock.com Russia’s desire to occupy Iran’s oil fields went against the principles of Communism, by which, they should have helped Iran develop its oil for itself. Anton Watman | Shutterstock.com 56 The Review of Religions | june 2016 june 2016 | The Review of Religions 57
  30. 30. Note about references Verse references to the Holy Qur’an count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not counted. Should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in The Review of Religions will be found a verse earlier, i.e. at one verse less than the number quoted in this journal. For the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘sa ’ or ‘(saw) ’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used normally in small letters. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘as ’ or ‘(as) ’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra ’ or ‘(ra) ’ stands for ‘Raziallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘rh ’ or ‘(rh) ’ for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him. In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations of names of places are preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc. Monday, 7th June - Wednesday, 6th July Exact dates may vary by area Faith: Islam Event: Ramadan Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and one of the holiest for Muslims. During this month, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa received the first revelations of the Holy Qur’an. During this month Muslims who are in good health are required to fast from morning dawn to sunset, abstaining from both food and water.They also focus particularly on reciting and contemplating on the Holy Qur’an during this month. Monday, 11th June – Wednesday, 13th June Faith: Judaism Event: Shavuot Shavuot, also known as the Festival of Weeks, marks the end of a seven- week celebration which starts from Passover and ends with Shavuot. Shavuot is known for its historical and agricultural significance in Judaism, as it celebrates both the time when Mosesas received the Torah on Mount Sinai and also the time when, traditionally, barley and wheat were harvested in the land of Israel. Tuesday, 21st June Faith: Paganism Event: Summer Solstice or Midsummer The word “solstice,” meaning “sun stand still,”is a celebration for the longest day of the year when the distance between the sun and the equator is the farthest. Pagans celebrate the cycle of the waxing and waning of the seasons. Calendar of Religious Events & Festivals june 2016 SUBSCRIPTION Subscription Contacts: India - Khursheed Ahmad Email: india@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +91 1872 500970 Tel: +91 981 544 6792 Fax: +91 1872 500971 USA - Adnan Ahmed Bhalli Email: usa@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +1 412 639 9108 Canada - Muhammad Dawood Khalid Email: canada@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +1 647-779-1810 Nigeria - Qasim Oyekola Email: nigeria@reviewofreligions.org Tel: + 23 481 2221 1949 Ghana - Naeem A. Cheema Email: ghana@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +23 320 0517 181 +23 324 2105 652 UK - Athar Ahmad Bajwa Email: uk@reviewofreligions.org Tel: +44 745 339 1205 For all other subscription issues or for general enquiries email info@reviewofreligions.org or contact Head Office: Tahir House 22 Deer Park Road, London SW19 3TL
  31. 31. spine vol.111-issuesixjune2016www.reviewofreligions.orgShouldIslamreallybefeared...? © Islamic Publications, 2016 ISSN No. 0034-6721 Terrorism was never Mohammad The Review of Religions, in print since 1902, is one of the longest-running comparative religious magazines. The objective of the magazine is to present the teachings of Islam, reflecting its rational, harmonious and inspiring nature. It also brings together articles and viewpoints on different religions and seeks to make discussions on religion and religious philosophy accessible to a wider readership. The magazine is devoted to promoting intellectual and lively debate that is based on respect for all prophets and religions. Islam repeatedly stresses the need to seek knowledge and The Review of Religions provides a unique platform for people to acquire, and share knowledge. Yearly subscription is only £15 sterling or $30 for overseas customers. To subscribe, or for more info, visit www.reviewofreligions.org/subscription Follow us on Twitter @ReviewReligions

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