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The Review of Religions February 2018


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The Review of Religions February 2018

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The Review of Religions February 2018

  1. 1. Untold Stories: From Prison to Prayer 12 Sound Bites: FGM No Tolerance Day 18 God in the Age of Science 22 Why I Believe in Islam 40 VOL. 113 - ISSUE TWOFEBRUARY 2018 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG BEYOND THE WORLD GOD IN THE AGE OF SCIENCE
  2. 2. 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 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. WORLD FAITHS Seeking Knowledge He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom has indeed been granted abundant good; and none would be reminded except those endowed with understanding. ISLAM, THE HOLY QUR’AN, 2:270 There is no one who goes out of his house in order to seek knowledge, but the angels lower their wings in approval of his action. ISLAM, SUNAN IBN MAJAH, HADITH 226 The more an individual advances in knowledge and cognizance of God, the more they begin to feel the need to know more.There are certain things which, in the beginning, seem to be meaningless, but having advanced further, they come to know that those very points were real and true. ISLAM, THE PROMISED MESSIAHAS , MALFUZAT, VOL 3, 193 Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. JUDAISM, TORAH, PROVERBS, 1:5-7 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. CHRISTIANITY, THE BIBLE, JAMES 1:5 A good, all-round education, appreciation of the arts, a highly trained discipline and pleasant speech; this is the highest blessing. BUDDHISM, SUTTA NIPATA 261 Confucius said, ‘Broaden your knowledge of the Classics, restrain it with ritual, and you are unlikely to deviate from the Way.’ CONFUCIANISM, ANALECTS 12.15
  3. 3. 12 Untold Stories 18 Sound Bites: International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM AYESHA MAHMOOD MALIK, UK 22 Beyond the World: God in the Age of Science Demanding empirical evidence to see God is the equivalent of closing your eyes and asking to be shown the smell of roses. So how can we find God? UMAR NASSER, WEST MIDLANDS, UK 40 From The Archives: Why I Believe in Islam With the ever increasing scrutiny on Islam, have you ever thought why people believe in this religion? The 2nd Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community answers in exquisite detail. HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIR-UD-DIN MAHMUD AHMADRA , KHALIFATUL MASIH II 50 A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa 52 Dispatches From... New Scientist Live 2017 Meet Prof Lucie Green, a solar physicist at University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory MUSA SATTAR, UK 58 Righteousness A forgotten word in the age of vice. HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND IMAM MAHDI 68 Calendar of Religious Events Front cover picture: Sergey Nivens | Shutterstock CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2018 VOL.113 - ISSUE TWO 18 5240 58 22
  4. 4. MANAGEMENT BOARD Munir-Ud-Din Shams (Chairman), Syed Amer Safir (Secretary), Mubarak Ahmad Zafar, Abdul Baqi Arshad, Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Naseer Ahmad Qamar, Abid Waheed Ahmad Khan, Aziz Ahmad Bilal WORLD CRISIS M I R Z A M A S R O O R A H M A D PEACE andthePathway toent times.The fest newer and similarities to War continue ts are moving ards a horrific sroor Ahmad, iyya Muslim t approaching and chart a D E WORLDCRISISandthePathwaytoPEACEMIRZAMASROORAHMAD Please Note. Background colour: C=10 M=10 Y=0 K=100 From His Holiness – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba – comes a groundbreaking vision for how to estab- lish long-lasting peace in a world fraught with rapidly increasing disorder and unrest. His Holiness reminds world leaders that the flames of war are already burn- ing through local and regional conflicts and we stand at the precipice of another world war. If these sparks were to truly ignite we could witness the horrific reality of a nuclear war, whose consequences are unimaginable. His Holiness is the Worldwide Head and Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – which has tens of millions of followers in over 200 countries. World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace is a collection of the historic addresses and letters by His Holiness to world leaders and influential figures. In this book, His Holiness offers consummate analysis on all aspects of the global crisis; political, economic, social and spiritual and provides the golden keys to resolving the critical problems the world faces. In a world where existing strategies for peace have failed and peo- ple are desperately looking for a new direction, His Holiness presents fresh and practical solutions, giving hope that we can still prevent a global catastrophe. (continued on back flap) 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. Read online at: Purchase the book here: CHIEF EDITOR & MANAGER Syed Amer Safir ASSOCIATE EDITOR Nakasha Ahmad ASSISTANT MANAGER Tazeen Ahmad NORTH & SOUTH AMERICAN COORDINATOR Tariq Haroon Malik ISLAM & CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Editor: Shahzad Ahmed Deputy: Zafir Malik RELIGION & SCIENCE Editor: Dr. Syed Muhammad Tahir Nasser Deputy: Dr.Tauseef Khan LAW & HUMAN RIGHTS Editor: 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 RACE & EQUALITY Editor: Hassan Wahab BOOK REVIEWS Editor: Dr. Sarah Waseem WEB TEAM Mubashra Ahmad, Hibba Turrauf SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Head: Razwan Baig EDITORIAL BOARD Sayed Mubashir Ahmad Ayaz, Mansoor Saqi, Bockarie Tommy Kallon, Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael, Mansoor Zia, Jonathan Butterworth,Tamim Abodaqa, Murtaza Ahmad, Qudsi Rasheed, Fiona O’Keeffe, Waqar Ahmedi ART & DESIGN Art Editor: Ahsan Khan Deputy Art Editor & YouTube Coordinator: Zubair Hayat Design & YouTube Assistants: Musawer Din, Usman Shahzad Butt INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION & DISTRIBUTION Muhammad Hanif ACCOUNTS & MARKETING Musa Sattar SUB-EDITORS Munawara Ghauri (Head), Maryam Malik, Nusrat Haq, PROOFREADERS Farhana Dar (Head), Hina Ahmedi, Amina Abbasi, Aisha Patel Mzien HOUSE STYLE GUIDE Maleeha Ahmad (Head), Sadia Shah EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Mariam Rahman, Mahida Javed, Munazza Khan SOCIAL MEDIA Mala Khan (Head), Hajra Ahmad (Deputy), Mishall Rehman (Deputy), Nudrat Ahmad, Shumaila Ahmad, Saniya Ahmad, Adeeba Tahir 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 LEGAL ADVISOR Khalil Yousuf
  5. 5. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas P rayer,in essence,means a relationship of mutual attraction between a righteous person and his Lord. This means that God’s grace first draws a person towards Himself, and then,through the magnetism of the person’s sincerity,God draws closer to him. In the state of prayer this relationship reaches a point where it manifests wonderful qualities. When a man in grave difficulty falls down in prayer with perfect cer- tainty, perfect hope, perfect fidelity, and perfect resolve; and when he becomes perfectly alert and advances far into the field of self-annihilation, tearing aside all veils of heedlessness, lo and behold, he finds before him the Divine threshold, and he perceives that God has no associate. His soul then prostrates itself at the Divine threshold and the power of attraction that is invested in him draws the bounties of God Almighty towards him.It is then that the Glorious God attends to the fulfilment of the desired objective,and casts the effect of the prayer on all the preliminary means,which,in turn,produce the means that are essential for the achievement of the objective.For example, if the prayer is for rain and it is accepted,all the natural means which are necessary for causing rain are created as a result of the prayer. If the prayer is for famine, the All-Powerful One creates the opposite means.And this is why the eminent recipi- ents of revelation and men of perfection have proven with their The Reality of Prayer
  6. 6. extraordinary experiences that the prayers of a perfect one are endowed with a power of creation.That is to say,under Divine command,prayer influences the lower and higher strata of the world and sways the elements, heavenly bodies, and hearts of men towards the desired objective.There is no shortage of such examples in Divine scriptures.1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , Blessings of Prayer (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2007), 15-16. 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: Purchase print copy:
  7. 7. tragedy; however,it was also a great bless- ing because it actually took me off a very destructive path that I was travelling on. I found Ahmadiyyat, Alhamdulillah [all praise belongs to God]. A brother, the late Bilal Abdus Salam, was managing a very successful Islamic program at the prison,Graterford State Institution.And when I began attending the classes I was very deeply impressed with the brothers. I felt they had a connection with God. It impressed me so much I converted to Ahmadiyyat through Islam.This spiritual joy and peace and harmony and respect was something I thought could never happen in a place like lockup, in jail. I felt an intense need to take control of my life and decided if I was going to be a Muslim and truly change my life, the time was now. When I returned home from prison I was a changed man, a Muslim, an Ahmadi Muslim. I presented this message to my fiancé who I had asked to marry at a very early age. Her name is Sha’irah Muhaimin. She said to me, ‘If we are to be husband and wife I am willing to study Islam and see for myself what it is all about.’We got married in 1974 and after studying for one year she accepted Islam and Ahmadiyyat and signed the Bai’at [Initation Ceremony], Alhamdulillah. In 1978 we moved from Philadelphia to York, Pennsylvania, and enrolled our children in an Ahmadi school.The name of the school was the Nooruddin Mosque From Prison to Prayer My name is Saleem Abdul Muhaimin. I was born October 5th 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before accepting Islam in 1973 my name was Howard Lewis Alexander. My family lived in the West Philadelphia area,4016 Fairmount housing project.There I lived and grew up for 12 years. At the age of 16 years old, my brother who was 18 years old at that time was home on leave from the military, the army. A rival gang entered our area outside of our housing project and my brother was stabbed to death.This was a major turning point in my life. I began to lose interest in just about everything.I felt that if there was a God,He had truly let me down, allowing my brother to be killed, an innocent soul who entered the military armed forces to better himself and keep away from all the negative street violence that was going on in our area at that time. At this stage of my life I continued to get influenced by bad company. My friends were people who were indulged in heavy drinking and drugs and alcohol and gang violence.Alcohol and drugs had become an addiction with me.I always kept a job and was quite capable of taking care of myself financially.However I wasted a lot of time and money on alcohol and drugs and doing negative things to attempt to drown out the pain of losing my only brother. In 1973, at the age of 19, another shift of events happened. I got involved in a robbery with some of my friends and was sent to prison. This was to me a great and more entrenched in his mind and heart.Then,shortly before coming to our mosque in the historic district of Mérida, he came across us (the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) on the internet and decided to come and attend the meeting. He told me that he had been reading our material. He showed immense interest in the concept of God we presented and the universal message of Islam,especially our belief that God Who provides light, heat and so many more physical resources for all of mankind, could not have left the rest of humanity without spiritual guidance. He could not have chosen a single people to be the beneficiaries of His revelation and guidance. Because of this gentleman’s detailed and profound interest and because he was so desirous to have a copy of the Holy Qur’an, we gave him one as well as a copy of The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam in Spanish. He first came to one of our meetings on 27th November 2014, and thereafter became a regular participant in many of our activities.After many in- depth discussions,this man,now a friend, signed the Bai’at (Oath of Allegiance) on the 24th of December. Since that day, he has been both a devoted and inspiring member of the Ahmadiyya Community. Alhamdolillah (All praise belongs to Allah). Waseem A. Sayed, Ph Representative and Spok the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mérida, Mexico. Head o USA Imam Noman Rana and Sayed have been statione the message of Islam, Ah A Literal Shower of D A faith-inspiring story, ciously answers the hum of His servants,comes f California. I used to be an Atheist In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful This is a brief account of how the world was completely transformed for a friend of mine here in Mérida, Mexico, when he embraced the message of Islam- Ahmadiyyat. From November 2014, at the outset of our Community activities in Mérida,we have focussed almost eve- rything on our ‘Coffee, Cake and Islam’ classes. This was a weekly class where Imam Rana and I invited people to attend as well as share coffee and cake while having the opportunity to ask any questions regarding Islam. One gentle- man simply walked into one of our early classes and,after listening to a presenta- tion,began talking about his experiences in depth. He began telling me that he had never really believed in God and would often get involved in arguments with his teachers and others on the topic. He explained that as he began to argue his case and reflect on it,slowly but surely, something strange started to happen. He became convinced of the existence of God. At first this was a gradual pro- cess, but the conviction became more [UNTOLD] STORIES He showed immen in the concept of G presented and the message of Islam, our belief that Go provides light, hea many more physic for all of mankind have left the rest o without spiritual The note on the photo says the first Jalsa Salana attended by Saleem Muhaimin, the first Jalsa Salana USA was much earlier. (From left to right, the late Abdul Raqheb from Philadelphia, the late Zakariyya Hussain from Philadelphia, a friend of Zakariyya from Denmark, Saleem Muhaimin). 12 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 13
  8. 8. of Philadelphia, the late Bilal Abdus Salam of Philadelphia,Munir Hamid of Philadelphia, the late Zakaria Hussain of Philadelphia and Mujeeb Chaudhary, also of Philadelphia who is currently the Sadr [President] of Philadelphia at this time and also the late Sahil Abdul Azeez of Willingboro [New Jersey]. I felt very privileged to become a Muslim and Ahmadi and in 2016,Alhamdulillah, I was sent a letter from Tabshir [Foreign Missions Office of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] that I was selected to represent my country [USA] in the international Bai'at [Initation Ceremony] and I felt so unworthy of this yet I was chosen. The International Bai'at is an initiation of faith, like a rededication of yourself internationally. As you see on MTA [Muslim Television Ahmadiyya, the official television channel of the Ahmadiyya Community] where every- one has his hand on the shoulder of the next person so that energy and vibration of faith can generate itself throughout the convention, throughout that time and throughout the world.That was a special time because the International Bai'at on MTA is so overwhelming and I was right there; so torn up with tears hoping I can hold myself together.After this was done and I had my mulaqaat [audience] with His Holiness [Head of the Ahmadiyya Community],I came into the office and His Holiness greeted me so warmly; he grabs you and just holds you. I mentioned to His Holiness that I was at the International Bai'at and he said I know and I said I felt so unworthy of being there as I had my struggles and challenges. His Holiness replied that if you were not worthy God would not put you there.That was very special to me and it fortified my faith. This was something I thought would never ever happen in my life, something that I never even thought could possi- bly happen. A person coming from such a violent background, of addiction and drug violence to actually be sitting next to and taking the oath of faith and dedi- cation to Allah and developing such a deep love for our beloved Imam [Head of the Ahmadiyya Community], sitting at his desk and representing the entire United States,giving allegiance to Allah and our beloved Imam. School of York. This school was later visited by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh prior to him being elected as Khalifah [Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] and Alhamdulillah I had the opportunity of meeting with him and walking the landscape of the Nooruddin School, discussing tabligh [preaching and propagation]. This was one of the best experiences I have had as an Ahmadi Muslim. Since that time I have served the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in a number of ways – as Naib Sadr [Vice President] of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya [Ahmadi Muslim Youth Association] for about two years in the early 80’s, York Harrisburg [chapter] president for a number of years in the early 90’s and also Tabligh secretary, and Nazim Ansar [head of the local chapter of the men’s auxiliary organisation] of the headquar- ters region. Some of my early mentors who have played a significant role in my life are brother Hussain Abdul Azeez Saleem Muhaimin, (top left wearing a white cap and glasses) had the unique opportunity to represent USA at the International Ba'iat Ceremony in 2016 touching the blessed hands of His Holinessaba . untold stories 14 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 15
  9. 9. TheHONOURofPROPHETS another. The s of religion. hless, yet the alvation. So e Promised ure is weak, o, owing to or humanity, ra, God has ts, but none of Islam in present age, ercessor that ree mankind hilosophy of ilty and his HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD The Promised Messiah and Mahdi Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community HAZRATMIRZAGHULAMAHMAD The HONOUR of PROPHETS E very human being seeks salvation in some form or another. The concept of salvation holds pivotal importance in matters of religion. A faith unable to deliver its followers from sin is worthless, yet the progress and benefit of society depends on this very salvation. So where should one turn to attain it? In this work, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, explains that since human nature is weak, salvation can only be attained through a mediator who, owing to their perfect relationship with God and deep sympathy for humanity, can serve as a link between God and man. In every era, God has conferred salvation upon humanity through His prophets, but none can match the unparalleled status held by the Prophet of Islam in this respect, who was the paragon of perfection. In the present age, it is this pure and blessed prophet who is the only intercessor that can grant humanity a living relationship with God and free mankind from the shackles of sin. The author presents an exquisite exposition on the philosophy of divine intercession, sinlessness, forgiveness, human frailty and his advent as the Promised Messiah. NEW BOOK The HONOUR of PROPHETS
  10. 10. SOUND BITES February 6th International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation Lindsay McLean | Shutterstock By Ayesha Mahmood Malik LLM (Harvard)
  11. 11. sound bites: international day of zero tolerance for genital mutilation The sixth of February each year is celebrated as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as part of the United Nations campaign to end geni- tal mutilation of women and girls.According to the World Health Organisation, FGM comprises procedures, ‘that involve partial or total removal of the external female geni- talia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’There are no known health benefits of the practice, only harm,including,amongst other things,severe bleeding, infections, problems urinating and increased risk of newborn deaths. Notwithstanding these ill effects,proponents of FGM have long argued how the practice is essential in order to ensure a woman’s vir- ginity before marriage and is symbolic of a woman’s virtue and dignity. Interestingly, while the origins of FGM are not very well known, it is thought that the practice is more than 2000 years old—dating back to the ancient Egyptians where it was practiced as a sign of distinction amongst the aristoc- racy.With such prehistoric roots,the practice can hardly be conceived of as being intro- duced by Islam,as is often alleged.In fact,the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammadsa make no mention of FGM. Moreover, it is hard to imagine that the Prophetsa , who laid down detailed information regarding all aspects of a Muslim’s life, including internal female processes such as menstruation,would overlook female circumcision if Islam had ordained it.No mention of female circumci- sion is found amongst the Prophet’ssa wives either. FGM has existed as cultural practice most commonly occurring in African countries. Some like Somalia have a startlingly high prevalence rate where 98% of females are cir- cumcised and Guinea,where 96% of women undergo circumcision.Protagonists of FGM often cite cultural relativism as an argument supporting their defence of the practice, arguing for it to be a protected right, like any other basic human right. However, such arguments are unpopular within the rights discourse on this subject and it is maintained that practices that are entirely incompatible with any plausible notion of human rights cannot merit protection under the same. There are certain behaviours that breach the very essence of being human and are a trav- esty of human dignity.These include heinous crimes such as genocide and torture and form part of a special category referred to as ‘per- emptory’norms—from which no exception is ever allowed.There have been calls for FGM to be recognised as a peremptory norm with no exceptions being granted on the basis of culture or any other ground. Although it is not known exactly when FGM began, it was a custom very prevalent in ancient Egypt, where it was practiced as a sign of distinction amongst the aristocracy. Jonas Andreae | Shutterstock 20 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018
  13. 13. the key to humanity’s salvation. Their position perhaps has some justification. The tremendous material progress that the scientific revolution has brought in recent centuries is plain for all to see. Our developments in medicine and technology are the result of this scientific inquiry, where we collect empirical data and test our hypotheses with experimentation. Its fruits have radically changed the way we live. But today science is being used not just as a tool to improve our quality of life, but as a weapon aimed directly at the heart of religion. The leading atheists of our time, such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, tend to be established scientists. They and their legion of devotees believe that mankind must yield to the power of modern science to liberate us from the shackles of ancient superstitions.Indeed, their missionary zeal has been noted to parallel religious fervour,with Science as their new god. As the prescient philoso- pher and mathematician David Berlinski has commented: ‘If nothing else, the attack on traditional religious thought marks the consolidation in our time of science as the single sys- tem of belief in which rational men and 'Eyes cannot reach Him, but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Most Subtle, the All-Aware.’ Aphelleon | Shutterstock Beyond the World: God in the Age of Science UMAR NASSER, WEST MIDLANDS, UK Do you know what the most beautiful conversation in human history was? It was between the Prophet Muhammadsa and the man who would later become the first caliph of the Muslims: Abu Bakr the Truthfulra . He was a wealthy and respected merchant who had been trav- elling outside his hometown of Makkah, deep in the Arabian desert. On his return,the chiefs of his city came to him laughing. They said his friend, Muhammadsa , had claimed to have received messages from God brought by angels. Abu Bakrra left the Arab chief- tains. He rushed to the Prophetsa and asked him, ‘Have you made this claim?’ The Prophetsa would not give him a direct answer. He wanted to explain his claim and the circumstances surrounding it.But Abu Bakrra would have none of it: ‘Have you made this claim?’Again the Prophetsa would not give him a straight answer. Once more Abu Bakrra asked,‘Have you made this claim?’ Finally the Prophetsa relented,and said ‘Yes,I have made such a claim’.At this Abu Bakrra declared, ‘I bear witness that you are a messenger of God’. He said that had he heard any argument, it would have detracted from the quality of his faith. Scientism Faith. Today it is a dirty word. Its true meaning has become obscure, its conno- tations ridiculed by an intellectual elite that believes that the scientific method is 24 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 25
  14. 14. evidence—direct physical proof of God’s existence—then in their blind zeal to uphold the name of science, they have forgotten its essence: that the method of investigation must suit the object in question.If we use the wrong method of investigation we will inevitably get the wrong kind of evidence, and our efforts will be in vain. To observe the inner workings of cells,a telescope won’t do.To assess earthquake activity,a Geiger coun- ter will fall short. Our approach must be tailored to the object in question. God is no thing. He is not a physi- cal object, nor is he a compendium of physical things. Rather, he is taken to be the Creator and Sustainer of all physi- cal things. It is obvious that the Creator of the universe cannot physically be the universe, for the transcendent cannot be held within the immanent—that which is by its nature beyond matter,energy,space and time cannot be confined within them. For such a being, searching for physical, empirical evidence is entirely inappro- priate, and bound to lead to frustration and despair. The Limits of Empirical Evidence In this respect, God is not alone. Mainstream scientific consensus itself unwittingly confirms that a lack of direct empirical evidence for something does not invalidate its existence. For instance, physicists now believe that about 95% of the universe is completely hidden to us. It cannot be physically detected by any of our most sensitive instruments. Everything that we can see, feel and women might place their faith,and if not their faith,then certainly their devotion… And like any militant church, this one places a familiar demand before all others: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’1 The followers of this philosophy, often known as ‘New Atheists,’ believe that it is fundamentally irrational to believe in a God whose existence is not proved by empirical evidence. They place the sci- entific method as the premier means by which we should discover the secrets of reality. For them, any truth not ratified by scientific consensus is no truth at all. Rather it is wishful thinking at best, and rank ignorance at worst. The most common argument of the fol- lowers of this worldview, often dubbed ‘scientism,’ is that there is simply no evi- dence for God.By evidence,its proponents mean empirical evidence—data that acts as an objective representation of the physical reality around us.The existence of God is treated like any other hypoth- esis, and thus an equivalent standard of evidence is required of it. After all, New Atheists argue, if we are to spend our lives worshipping, loving, and fearing some being, His actual existence should be at least as well-established as our sci- entific theories of physics and chemistry. Subjective personal experiences will not do. What is needed is hard proof. The Folly of New Atheism At this, the modern theist is typically left on the back foot.No theist can point somewhere and declare ‘Look, there’s God,’ nor can they write an algebraic equation that solves for ‘God.’ However, while the request for evidence is well- founded, the demand for the type of evidence they want is completely unrea- sonable. If New Atheists want empirical God is not a physical entity, nor can He be limited by time, space or matter. Therefore, the scientific method is an inadequate tool to prove the existence or nonexistence of God. Triff | Shutterstock God is no thing. He is not a physical object, nor is He a compendium of physical things. beyond the world: god in the age of science The Holy Qur’an clearly states that God is the light of the heavens and the earth, and also that God is closer to man than his jugular vein, which implies that He is not a physical entity. Myvisuals | Shutterstock 26 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 27
  15. 15. detect is just 5% of the universe. The rest is dark matter and dark energy. Its existence has only been deduced from its effect on what we can see and feel. The data gathered from the stars is one thing, but the insight gathered from introspection is another. We are con- scious beings—consciousness is the essence of our identities.And yet,has any scientist ever isolated a thought, a feel- ing or a memory? The barest reflection will reveal that our conscious experience is of an altogether different nature to the electricity charted by brain scans,one not yet understood by the crude instruments of modern science. Thus, be it dark matter and dark energy out there, or conscious reality in here, scientific thought accepts a whole host of significant things for which there is not a shred of direct empirical evidence. It seems that the more subtle something is,the more refined its substance,the less we can rely on our physical senses and empirical evidence to directly access it, and the more we must rely on measuring its effects.This furnishes us with valuable guidance in our search for God. God, if He exists, must be the most subtle of all things. He is the underlying reality of everything else, the rarefied essence of existence.If our best science cannot even detect 95% of the physical universe, does anyone really expect us to detect God? The Holy Qur’an beautifully sums this up in one simple statement: ‘Eyes cannot reach Him, but He reaches the eyes.And He is the Most Subtle,the All-Aware.’2 Our physical senses cannot reach Him because He is the Most Subtle.However, unlike physical rarities like dark matter or dark energy,God is not dependent on our efforts to discover Him.We need not rely on merely speculative and inferen- tial evidence to determine His existence. Rather, the Qur’an declares that God is well-aware of our need to know Him directly.Thus, ‘He reaches the eyes,’ that is, he reveals Himself through His own initiative,in the most appropriate way for mankind. Thunderbolt, Now What is the appropriate way? Even if New Atheists concede that God’s nature is such that His ‘essence’ should be beyond physical empirical verification, they could argue that God can still mani- fest himself much more obviously in the universe, i.e., by manipulating physical means.If He really is All-Powerful,then why doesn’t He reach us in such a way that would make it blindingly obvious He exists? For instance,every time an atheist affirms his disbelief,God could cause the heavens to reverberate with, ‘Dost Thou Doubt?!’ Whenever an atheist mockingly asked for a thunderbolt to strike him down dead,God could duly acquiesce.If God can do it, atheists ask, then what’s stopping Him? To answer this, atheists must contem- plate the rationale behind the system of God that religion presents.For while it is true that religion teaches that God is All- Powerful, it also states He is All-Wise. He would only choose that method of delivery for His message which would suit His purpose in creation.   Were God to reveal Himself in the man- ner which atheists demand, it would be contrary to His purpose. His purpose in creating us is not simply that we know He exists, but that we choose to know Him and thereby become deserving of a relationship. Were God’s existence as manifestly obvious as that of the sun or the moon, there would be no merit whatsoever in believing. Belief would become necessary for everyone, and we would have no chance to demonstrate our good trust in others, insight, and perseverance.The demonstration of these qualities earns God’s reward,and are only possible if the seeker of truth must work through a veil to reach the True Beloved. ‘Are they waiting for anything but that Allah should come to them in the Atheists such as Richard Dawkins insist that the concept of an All-Powerful Creator is absurd and when being asked what would persuade him to believe in God he replied: ‘Well, I’m starting to think nothing would.’ Albert H. Teich | Shutterstock We need not rely on merely speculative and inferential evidence to determine His Existence. beyond the world: god in the age of science 28 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 29
  16. 16. coverings of the clouds with angels, and the matter be decided? And to Allah do all things return.’3   Any Hypothesis But God Unfortunately, pointing out the wisdom of God is something that many athe- ists will close their ears to. The reality is that too many have set their heart on not believing, and would brush away any further evidence for God as easily as they have brushed away the current evidence.Take the example given above: God announcing His existence through a voice reverberating around the heavens. One would imagine that atheists would surely not be able to doubt that? Sadly, they would.The following is from leading atheist Richard Dawkins: ‘Interviewer: What would it take for you to believe in God? Dawkins: I used to say it would be very simple. It would be the Second Coming of Jesus or a great, big, deep, booming, bass voice saying “I am God.”But I was persuaded…that even if there was this booming voice in the Second Coming with clouds of glory, the probable explanation is that it is a hallucination or a conjuring trick by David Copperfield… Interviewer: So what would persuade you? Dawkins: Well, I’m starting to think nothing would, which, in a way, goes against the grain, because I’ve always paid lip service to the view that a sci- entist should change his mind when evidence is forthcoming.’4 Dawkins, in this stunning moment of intellectual shamelessness, has typi- fied the New Atheist mindset—they will not believe in God, because to them God cannot exist. Their emotional rejection of God blinds them to any con- sideration of the evidence. We see this already with the absurd denials of evident divine design in the fine-tuning of the universe, and the origin of life.The athe- ist scientific establishment have run away from the idea of conscious design towards absurd and unfalsifiable multiverse theo- ries because,in the words of Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh , they are ‘atheists first, and sci- entists after.’5  They have an undying faith in ungrounded materialistic explanations while ignoring the obvious interpretation of the facts in front of them.The Qur’an refers to this mindset when it says: ‘And even if We opened to them a door from heaven, and they began ascend- ing through it, They would surely say, “Only our eyes are dazed; rather we are a bewitched people.”’6 The Essence of the Scientific Method Thus far we have explored how the nature of God precludes the existence of physi- cal evidence for Him.We have also seen that it would be contrary to God’s pur- pose and wisdom to expect crude material manifestations of Him. This leaves us with one question—what kind of evi- dence should we look for? One answer is to look for evidence of divine design in the universe around us. This has been the mainstay of the- istic apologists in the modern age. They ably point out that the findings of mod- ern science necessitate the existence of an immaterial, timeless and conscious designer of the universe.These arguments are valid,and compelling.And yet,relying on such arguments alone falls short of the desired effect. If God has created us,then surely He has provided a better way to be certain of His existence than through intellectual arguments about the wonders of nature? Is there nothing more convinc- ing, nothing more personal? Inferences from nature act only to make likely God’s existence, but they do not deliver us to Him. As Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas fre- quently wrote, they establish that God ‘should exist’,but they do not give us full Pondering creation, one can only draw the conclusion that there should be a creator, but only through revelation can one know there is a creator. Filip Fuxa | Shutterstock The reality is that too many have set their heart on not believing, and would brush away any further evidence for God as easily as they have brushed away the current evidence. beyond the world: god in the age of science 30 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 31
  17. 17. certainty that God ‘does exist.’ They do not give us the satisfaction of heart we crave when it comes knowing God. How can such certainty be attained? To discover this,we must turn to those who have claimed to have achieved it in the past.This is,after all,in keeping with the scientific method.In the world of science, when we seek evidence for a particular phenomenon, we seek the writings of those who have witnessed such evidence in the past, then replicate their methods ourselves so as to verify their results.The first step then must be to find the experts we seek. Meet the Experts History records a certain class of man that is exceptional in almost every way. They claimed to have contact with the Divine Spirit.They were renowned for their wis- dom and sagacity by their societies.They championed the cause of the poor and the needy,and inspired the rich to shed their wealth for their downtrodden brethren. They taught worldly abstinence and moral restraint,and yet they and their followers became the architects and rejuvena- tors of the world’s greatest civilisations. Their names became sacrosanct among their people, and be they Muhammadsa in Arabia,Mosesas and Jesusas among the Jewish people, Confuciusas and his pre- ceptors in China,Krishnaas or Buddhaas in Indian spirituality,Socrates in the Greek Western tradition, or countless others around the world—peace be upon them all—they remain the most celebrated individuals in human history to this day.  The messages of these men are strikingly similar in their earliest texts, though sometimes diverging with interpreta- tion and interpolation centuries later. Even so, a core is invariably kept pre- served—belief in a Universal Spirit with whom man could have contact through prayer,and whose love is irrigated by the water of good deeds.As such,the concept of God has been found with surprising regularity in cultures and continents sep- arated from each other in time,space and language. Be it the Great Spirit among the Native Americans, High God among the Aboriginal Australians, Heaven in Confucian philosophy, Yahweh or Allah in Judaeo-Islamic theology,  Is’ana  in Buddhism, or many other names too numerous to recount,God is everywhere in the history of human thought. The Holy Qur’an declares that all these spiritual sages were prophets, sent by God to reform their own people. In this sense, it is the most universal of all major religions,unifying previously sepa- rate streams into one mighty current of history. ‘And we did raise among every people a Messenger with the teaching, “Worship God and Shun the Evil One.”’7 So what method is generally taught by the world’s major religions with regards to coming into contact with the Creator? Is it to test God by petulantly demand- ing thunderbolts? Is it to look for God’s name spelt out among the stars? Is it to wait for God to send down volumes of contemporary scientific thought? No. It is to pray with humility and perseverance, and to do good unto others. Expecting to develop cognisance of God without undergoing these efforts is to betray insincerity in the search for the Creator, for it stands in opposition to those who have trod this path before us. From Faith to Certainty The first step in this well-trodden path is to have faith. Having faith does not mean to have blind faith in illogical teachings. After all, the same God Who gave us our minds cannot have given us religious teachings that these same minds find repellent. Rather, faith in the Islamic conception is to have trust in the messengers and sages who claim divine revelation from One God, on account of their righteous character. It is no coin- cidence that prophets were known as paragons of virtue in their time,so much so that their names have become bywords Nearly all religious scriptures agree that there exists a Creator who is All-Powerful and that He has spoken to people by sending special prophets and messengers. noBorders - Brayden Howie | Shutterstock After all, the same God Who gave us our minds cannot have given us religious teachings that these same minds find repellent. beyond the world: god in the age of science 32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 33
  18. 18. for honesty and integrity among their people. According to Islam, God chose these honest men to bear his message so that discerning seekers of truth would not discard their claims out of hand. As The Holy Qur’an recounts the prophets saying, ‘I have indeed lived among you a whole lifetime before this. Will you not then understand?’8 The strength of this argument was con- firmed by Heraclius, the Roman Caesar in the time of the Prophet Muhammadsa . The Prophetsa had sent a letter to Heraclius inviting him to the faith of Islam. To find out more, Heraclius summoned an Arab chieftain passing nearby.The chief- tain was a staunch enemy of Islam, but when asked directly if Muhammadsa had ever been known to tell a lie before this claim,the chieftain affirmed that he had not. When the conversation concluded, Heraclius affirmed the likely truth of the Prophet, insightfully remarking, ‘He who does not lie about men will not lie about God.’9 The invitation to believe in a particular spiritual path from one who is known to be truthful and virtuous acts as a cru- cible for the mettle of our character. To believe in these prophets and trust in their righteous character requires true humility and open-mindedness.Nowhere was this demonstrated better than by Abu Bakrra , who declared faith in the Prophet Muhammadsa without hear- ing any argument. The reality was that he did not require an argument because he already had an argument—the truth- fulness of this man whose integrity was renowned among his people.He took this as his cornerstone,and accepted with the utmost humility that his limited knowl- edge was not all-encompassing; that there may well be something that currently lies beyond the breadth of his own experi- ence. From this foundation, Abu Bakrra scaled the heights of spiritual certainty, and became the most Godly of the early followers of the Prophet Muhammadsa . His case clearly demonstrates how God does not leave the sincere followers of a prophet in the dark. Though God veils Himself from the physical senses, He reveals Himself to the spiritual senses of believers. Whereas our physical senses can be deceived by illusionists and char- latans, our spiritual senses lie dormant within us for our entire lives. When the divine flame kindles the wick of our spir- itual senses, there is no mistaking the authenticity of the experiences they pro- duce,for they are entirely novel.Spiritual contact therefore is the appropriate and wise way for God to contact us, rather than through trivial physical phenomena which can be passed off as tricks and illu- sion.When,for instance,believers begin to have true dreams, visions and revela- tions, their unique character is such they cannot be dismissed as the mere whispers of a hopeful psyche. Then, their prayers begin to be answered with such regularity and strength that it becomes a depend- able feature of their lives, far exceeding the threshold of coincidence. This process of spiritual nearness to God is a gradual one, and evolves as our devo- tion enhances. But by treading the path of the prophets,each and every one of us can progress from the initial foundation of faith to the sure platform of certainty. Indeed, such a certainty far exceeds the certainty we have regarding our scientific theories,for they bring us direct personal experience of the object of our search.In this sense,spiritual investigation not only matches, but far exceeds scientific inves- tigation in the calibre of evidence it can provide. And unlike scientific investiga- tion, its fruits give us lasting spiritual contentment, both in this life, and the next. In the words of His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas ,the Promised Messiah and founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: ‘The Word of God directs us: Have faith and you will be delivered. It does not tell us: Demand philosophical rea- sons and conclusive proofs in support Having faith does not mean to follow something blindly. In fact The Holy Qur'an urges readers to ponder over the signs of God visible throughout creation. Khakimullin Aleksandr | Shutterstock This process of spiritual nearness to God is a gradual one, and evolves as our devotion enhances. beyond the world: god in the age of science 34 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 35
  19. 19. of the doctrines that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has presented to you, and do not accept them until they are established like mathematical formulae. It is obvi- ous that if the teaching of a prophet is to be accepted only after being tested by the canons of current knowledge,that would not be faith in the prophet; inasmuch as every verity when it is established clearly, becomes binding, whether it is set forth by a prophet or by anyone else. Even if expounded by a vicious person it has to be accepted.That which we would accept by putting our trust in a prophet, and by affirming his righteousness, must be of a nature which possesses a probability of truth in the estimation of reason and yet leaves room for a foolish person to incline towards its rejection as false; so that by taking the side of truth and affirming the righteousness of a prophet we may be rewarded for our well-thinking, pen- etrating intelligence, respectfulness and faith.This is the purport of the teaching of the Holy Qur’an that we have set forth.  But thinkers and philosophers have never followed this way and have always been heedless of faith.They have always been in search of the kind of knowledge which is demonstrated to them as being imme- diate, incontrovertible and certain.  It should be remembered that God Almighty, by demanding faith in the unseen, does not wish to deprive the believers of certainty of understanding the Divine. Indeed, faith is a ladder for arriving at this certainty of understand- ing, without which it is in vain to seek true understanding. Those who climb this ladder surely experience for them- selves the pure and undefiled spiritual verities. When a sincere believer accepts Divine commands and directions for the only reason that God Almighty has bestowed them upon him through Although God Almighty is veiled from physical sight, He never abandons His followers so long as they search for Him. In The Holy Qur’an God has stated: ‘And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: “I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me.”’ NASA images | Shutterstock beyond the world: god in the age of science a righteous bearer, he becomes deserv- ing of the bounty of understanding.That is why God Almighty has established a law for His servants that they should first acknowledge Him by believing in the unseen, so that all the problems they face may be resolved through the bounty of true understanding. But it is a pity that a hasty one does not adopt these ways. The Holy Qur’an contains the promise of God Almighty that if a person, who accepts the call of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on the basis of faith, seeks to comprehend its reality and strives after such comprehension, the reality will be disclosed to him by means of visions and revelations and his faith will be elevated to the stage of the understanding.’10 .................................................................. AbouttheAuthor:Umar Nasser is a junior doctor working in the West Midlands. He is currently serving in the National Outreach Department of the UK Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, coordinating in particular efforts to respond to atheist criticisms of reli- gion. He is co-founder of the website www. and its associated YouTube channel, on which he co-hosts a regular talk show discussing the existence of God. ................................................................... endnotes 1. David Berlinksi, The Devil’s Delusion (2010). 2.The Holy Qur’an, 6:104. 3. The Holy Qur’an, 2:211. 4. “Richard Dawkins in conversation with Peter Boghossian”, October 11, YouTube video, 53:12, Posted Oct 2013, https://www. 5. Mirza Tahir Ahmadra , Revelation, Ratio- nality Knowledge and Truth (Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1998).  6.The Holy Qur’an, 15:16. 7.The Holy Qur’an, 16:37. 8.The Holy Qur’an, 10:17. 9 .Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Had- ith 6. 10. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , The Essence of Islam, Vol. 2 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications), 48-50. 36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 37
  20. 20. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas K now well that God Almighty becomes one with those who become His. God cannot be deceived by anyone. It is utterly foolish and absurd for one to surmise that they can fool God through pretence and deception. Such peo- ple only deceive themselves.The allure and love of the world is the root of all vice.Blinded by it,a person loses their humanity and does not realise what they are doing and what they ought to have done. When even a wise person cannot be deceived by another, how can Allah Almighty fall prey to deception? Indeed,it is the love of this world which lies at the root of such evil deeds. In this vein, the cardinal sin, which in this age has led the Muslims to their ruinous state and to which they are a victim, is none other than this same love of the world. Whether sleeping or awake, standing, sitting or walking, in every state, people are gripped by this very worry and distress. They have no concern or regard for the time when they shall be lowered into their graves.If such people feared Allah Almighty and possessed even little concern and grief for religion, they could have benefitted immensely.1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , The Advent of The Promised Messiah (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2016), 36-27. The Root of All Vice in This Era
  21. 21. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra , Khalifatul Masih II, was the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and the son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi. Elected to the spiritual station of Khilafat in 1914 at the young age of 25, he shouldered the responsibility of guarding this institution fearlessly for almost 52 years. A great orator, he delivered countless speeches the world over on a vast array of topics. He was a true visionary and epic administrator, establishing the administrative structure of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, now established in 210 countries. He was a revered scholar with immense knowledge and wrote over 200 books, including his grand exegesis of the Holy Qur’an titled Tafseer-e-Kabir.This was Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad’sra personal account of why he believed in Islam in response to a question posed to him by a Bombay radio station. From The Archives Why I Believe in Islam
  22. 22. to relate the grounds which, in addition to my personal experience,have been the cause of my believing in Islam. First of all, I believe in Islam for the reason that it does not compel me to accept all those matters the sum total of which is called religion merely on authority, but furnishes convincing arguments in support of its doctrines. The existence of God and the nature of His attributes, angels, prayer and its effects, Divine decrees and their sphere, worship and its need, Divine law and its benefits, revelation and its importance, resurrection and the life after death, heaven and hell—with regard to every one of these, Islam has given detailed explanations and has established their truth with strong arguments, to the Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Rahim (In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful) I have been asked to state why I believe in Islam. When I put the question to myself, the reply I received was, for the same reason for which I believe in anything else, that is to say, because it is the truth. A more detailed reply would be that in my view the central doctrine of all religions is the existence of God and man’s relationship with Him,so that the religion that can succeed in establishing a true relationship between God and man must be true, and the truth of a faith is surely a sufficient reason for believing in it. Islam claims that the Creator of this universe is a living God and that He reveals Himself to His creatures in this age, in the same manner in which He used to reveal Himself in the ages past. This claim can be tested in two ways.God may either manifest His signs directly for a seeker after Him, or the seeker may come to believe in God by studying the life of a person to whom God has revealed Himself. As by the Grace of God,I happen to be one of those people to whom God has on many occasions and in a supernatural way revealed Himself, I stand in need of no further reason for believing in the truth of Islam,than that I have experienced that truth in my own person. However, for the benefit of people who have had no similar experience,I proceed I happen to be one of those people to whom God has on many occasions and in a supernatural way revealed Himself, I stand in need of no further reason for believing in the truth of Islam. Islam claims that the Creator of this universe is a living God and that He reveals Himself to His creatures in this age, in the same manner as He has revealed Himself in past eras. zhennet | Shutterstock HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIR-UD-DIN MAHMUD AHMADRA Why I Believe in Islam 42 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 43
  23. 23. It does not by altogether crushing my desires, reduce me to a stone; nor does it, by leaving them uncontrolled and unrestrained, reduce me to an animal, but, like an expert irrigation engineer who harnesses uncontrolled waters and makes them run into irrigation channels, thereby bringing prosperity to waste areas, it converts my natural desires by proper control and guidance, into high moral qualities. It does not say to me: God has given you a loving heart but forbids you to select a life companion, or that He has endowed you with the sense of taste and the capacity to appreciate good food,but has forbidden you to eat such food. On the contrary, it teaches me to love in a pure and proper way that would ensure through my progeny the perpetuation of all my good resolves.It permits me to use good food, but within proper limits, lest I should eat my fill and my neighbour should go hungry.By thus converting my natural desires into high moral qualities, it satisfies my humanity. Fifthly, I believe in Islam for the reason that it has dealt fairly and lovingly not only with me, but also with the whole world.It teaches me not to discharge my duties only towards myself, but insists upon my dealing fairly with every other person and thing, and has furnished me with proper guidance for this purpose. For instance, it draws attention to the rights of parents and the duties which children owe to their parents. It admonishes children to behave obediently and tenderly toward their parents, and has made the latter heirs to that which the former may leave.On the other hand, it enjoins love and affection by the parents for their children and imposes upon them the duty of bringing up their children well, training them in good qualities and looking after their health. It has also made them heirs to their parents. Similarly,it enjoins the best relationship between husband and wife, and requires each to have due consideration for the need and desires of the other, and that they should behave affectionately towards each other.This was put beautifully by the Holy Founder of Islamsa when he said: ‘A person who mistreats his wife during the day and loves her at night, acts in complete contradiction to the beauty of human nature.’ He also said: satisfaction of the human mind. Islam therefore, furnishes me not only with faith, but also with the certainty of knowledge, which satisfies my intellect and compels it to admit the need for religion. Secondly, I believe in Islam as it does not base itself upon the experience of people who have passed away,but invites everybody to a personal experience of that which it teaches and guarantees. It claims that every truth can, in some manner or the other,be put to the test in this world,and it thus satisfies my reason. Thirdly, I believe in Islam as it teaches that there can be no conflict between the word of God and the work of God, and thus resolves the supposed conflict between religion and science.It does not ask me to ignore the laws of nature and to believe in things which contradict them. On the contrary, it exhorts me to study the laws of nature and derive benefit from them.It teaches me that,as revelation comes from God and He also is the Creator of the universe, there can be no conflict between that which He does and that which He says. It invites me, therefore, in order to understand His revelation, to study His work, and in order to realise the significance of His work, to study His word, and thus satisfies my intellectual yearning. Fourthly, I believe in Islam as it does not seek to crush my natural desires, but guides them along the right channels. The supposed conflict between religion and science is a false one, since science is the work of God and religion is the word of God and there can be no conflict between the two. EtiAmmos | Shutterstock why i believe in islam Fifthly, I believe in Islam for the reason that it has dealt fairly and lovingly not only with me, but also with the whole world. 44 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 45
  24. 24. it, and after vesting this authority in them, you should give them your fullest cooperation and should not rebel against them, for if you do so, you are merely seeking to demolish that which your own hands have built. It has also regulated the rights and duties of the employer and employed. It says to the employer: You must render to the workman his full due even before his perspiration is dry on his body, and should not look down upon those who work for you, for they are your brothers whose care has been entrusted to you by God, and who are the true supporters of your prosperity.You should,therefore, not be so foolish as to seek to destroy that which constitutes your own support and the basis of your power. It says to the workman: when you are engaged to execute a piece of work for somebody, you should discharge your obligation honestly and with due care and diligence. It says to those who have been endowed with abundance of physical health and strength, that they should not behave oppressively towards the weak nor treat contemptuously those who suffer from some physical defect or blemish,for these ought to excite one’s pity rather than one’s contempt. It says to the wealthy: You have been charged with the duty of looking after the poor and you must set aside one fortieth of your substance every year so that it may be employed in the relief of poverty and distress, and for the advancement of those who lack the means of advancement. It teaches them not to increase the disabilities of the poor by lending money to them on interest, but to help them with free gifts and free loans, pointing out that wealth is not given to a man that he may spend his life in luxury and riotous living, but that he should use it for the advancement of the whole of humanity, and should thus deserve the best reward here and hereafter. On the other hand, it also teaches the poor not to look with envy and longing upon that which has been given to other people, as these feelings gradually darken the mind and disable a person from developing such good qualities as he himself has been endowed with. It therefore exhorts the poor to devote their attention towards developing such talents as God has bestowed upon them,so that they should progress along beneficent paths. It directs governments to afford facilities for the poorer sections of the ‘The best of you are those who treat their wives best.’ Again he said: ‘A woman is fragile, like glass, and men should therefore treat a woman with delicacy and tenderness, as they would handle an article made of glass.’ Islam has laid special stress upon the education and training of girls.The Holy Prophetsa has said: ‘A person who brings his daughter up well and gives her good training and education, thereby earns paradise.’ Islam has made daughters the heirs of their parents along with sons. Again, it has laid down fair rules for the guidance of the rulers and the ruled. It says to the rulers that the authority vested in them is not their private property but is a trust, and that they should discharge the obligations of that trust to the utmost, like upright and honest people,and should carry on government in consultation with the people. It says to the ruled, the power to choose your rulers has been bestowed upon you as a gift from God and you should,therefore, be careful to invest only such persons with governing authority as fully deserve Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra , the Second Successor to the Promised Messiahas . Makhzan-e-Tasaweer Again, it has laid down fair rules for the guidance of the rulers and the ruled. why i believe in islam 46 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 47
  25. 25. individuals.On the other hand,it teaches that nations,states and individuals should covenant with each other to restrain each other from aggression, and to cooperate with each other in advancing those that are less advanced. In short, I find that Islam provides conditions of peace and comfort for me, and for all those who may wish to tread the path prescribed by it, whoever they may be, whatever they may be, and wherever they may be. In whatever position I place myself, I find that Islam is equally useful and beneficial for: me and mine, for my neighbours, for people whom I do not know and have not even heard of,for men and for women,for the aged and for the young,for the employer and the employed, for the rich and for the poor, for great nations and for small, for internationalists and for nationalists, and that it establishes a sure and certain relationship between me and my Maker. I believe in it, and indeed how could I give it up and accept something else in its place? ---------------------------------------- This article was translated from the Urdu and originally published in the March 1940 edition of The Review of Religions. community for such advancement, and not to permit all wealth and power to be concentrated in a few hands. It reminds those whose ancestors had attained dignity and honour as the result of noble efforts, that it is their duty to maintain that dignity and that honour with their own noble efforts, and it warns them against looking down upon others who have not been blessed in the same way, as God has made all mankind equal. It reminds them that God, who has bestowed these honours upon them, can bestow greater honours upon others, and that if they misuse the position to which they have been called, and transgress against those who have not been similarly endowed, they will be laying the foundations of future transgressions against themselves by those who are now transgressed against. They should, therefore, take no pride in proclaiming their own greatness, but should take pride in helping others to become great, for true greatness belongs only to him who tries to raise his fallen brother to greatness. Islam teaches that no nation should transgress against another nation, nor should one state transgress against another, but that nations and states should cooperate with each other for the purpose of advancing the interests of the whole of humanity. It forbids some nations, states and individuals to unite with each other in order to conspire against other nations, states or It forbids some nations, states and individuals to unite with each other in order to conspire against other nations, states or individuals. why i believe in islam YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT TO US Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@Reviewof 48 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 49 Islam says to the wealthy: You have been charged with the duty of looking after the poor and you must set aside one-fortieth of your substance every year so that it may be employed in the relief of poverty and distress. perfectlab | Shutterstock
  26. 26. A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa Attitudes towards His Wives He was extremely kind and fair towards his wives.If on occasion any one of them failed to comport herself with due deference towards him he merely smiled and passed the matter over.He said to A’ishara one day: ‘A’ishara , whenever you are upset with me I always get to know it.’ A’ishara enquired: ‘How is that?’He said: ‘I have noticed that when you are pleased with me and in the course of conversation you have to refer to God, you refer to Him as the Lord of Muhammadsa . But if you are not pleased with me, you refer to Him as the Lord of Ibrahimas .’At this A’ishara laughed and said he was right (Bukhari, Kitabun Nikdh). Khadijara was his first wife and had made great sacrifices in his cause. She was much older than the Prophetsa. After her death he married younger women but never permitted the memory of Khadijara to become dim. Whenever any of Khadija’sra friends visited him he would stand up to receive her (Muslim). If he chanced to see any article that had belonged to or had been connected with Khadijara , he was always overcome by emotion.Among the prisoners taken by the Muslims in the Battle of Badr was a son-in- law of the Prophetsa .He possessed nothing which he could offer as ransom. His wife Zainabra (the Prophet'ssa daughter) sent to Madinah a necklace which had belonged to her mother (Khadijara ) and offered it as ransom for her husband. When the Prophetsa saw the necklace he recognized it and was much affected. He said to his Companions: ‘I have no authority to give any direction in this matter,but I know that this necklace is cherished by Zainabra as a last memento of her deceased mother and, provided it commends itself to you,I would suggest that she should not be deprived of it and it may be returned to her.’They intimated that nothing would give them greater pleasure and readily adopted his suggestion (Halbiyya, Vol. 2). He often praised Khadijara to his other wives and stressed her virtues and the sacrifices that she had made in the cause of Islam.On one such occasion A’ishara was piqued and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, why go on talking of the old lady? God has bestowed better, younger and more attractive wives upon you.’The Holy Prophetsa was overcome by emotion at hearing this and protested: ‘O no, A’ishara ! You have no idea how good Khadijara was to me’(Bukhari).1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmadra , Life of Muḥammad (Tilford, Surrey, U.K.: Islam International Publications Limited, 2013), 214-215. Mainlake | Shutterstock
  27. 27. arts,so when I left school,I wanted to be an art therapist. But then I realised that wasn’t a career for me. So then I went back to my first love, which was physics and so it was through doing an under- graduate in physics that I realised space science is what I wanted to do. And it was sort of a gradual process of learning about the stars, then learning about our sun and then realising that in Britain we had a space programme and that I can get involved with that. Q) Your main expertise is solar science and the title of your first book is 15 Million Degrees. What is it about this field that interests you in particular? The sun I found absolutely fascinating, perhaps for three different reasons.Firstly, that is the only star that we can get up close to and see lots of detail—see what’s happening at the surface.Secondly,in the atmosphere we can make detailed meas- urements of its magnetic field and that turns out to be a very important activity of the sun, and so the physics of the sun. There is another aspect,which is that the sun is the most important object in the universe.For us it’s a star and a source of energy,sure,but more recently we found out that ‘space weather’is also an impor- tant aspect of the sun. On the earth we are living inside the sun’s very extended atmosphere and variations in the sun’s atmosphere impact us here on the earth and that’s what we call ‘space weather’. And then the third thing is that the sun is a very beautiful object and I think it sort of satisfies the artist in me to be looking at these beautiful images of the sun. So it’s the aesthetics as well as the science. We all see it every day, as it looms over- head, shining down on us. But what do we really know about the sun? In 15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Centre of the Sun,Professor Lucie Green takes us to the heart of Earth’s closest star, delving deep into what we know about the sun as well as how we came to know it. Green, a solar physicist at University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory,is well-placed to explain this rich history to the public, with regular appearances on the BBC’s Stargazing Live with Brian Cox,the Today programme, BBC Breakfast and Sky at Night. She has worked with the world’s major space agencies such as NASA and the European Space Agency,particularly on the Solar Orbiter mission, which is a planned sun-observing satellite that will perform close-up, high resolution stud- ies of our sun and the inner heliosphere. She won the Royal Society’s Kohn Award for her work promoting public engagement with science.She sits on the Advisory Board for the Science Museum and is Chief Stargazer at the Society for Popular Astronomy. The Review of Religions caught up with Dr Green at New Scientist Live 2017 to talk about her career, her interest in the sun and her interest in public engage- ment with science. --------------------------------------- Q) How did you first get involved in space science? Space science to me was actually quite accidental. I was first of all interested in DISPATCHES FROM... New Scientist Live 2017 MUSA SATTAR, LONDON, UK INTERVIEW Photo taken by The Review of Religions 52 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 53
  28. 28. member of the European Space Agency and that’s the organisation that is devel- oping the space weather monitor. Q)Whatisyourmotivationforpromot- ing science engagement consistently throughout your career? I think partly it is because it is really good fun.I love to talk to people who also feel enthusiastic about astrophysics so there’s a personal and immediate reward from just sharing this enthusiasm.Then there is a bigger issue around ensuring that I,as a publicly funded person,make available to the public our findings,and encourage the next generations to do this work,girls in particular. I’m interested to show to young women that women can be scien- tists, engineers and mathematicians too. Q) What have been the best moments of your career? Oh, some of the best moments of my career? Well there are sort of two camps—one is when you see something in the data that you know nobody else has seen,so you come into work one day and you see the sun producing perhaps an amazing eruption and you know that nobody else has seen that dataset yet,and the other thing that I really enjoyed is doing operations on satellites. Because my department builds instruments that then get launched with ESA,NASA and other space agencies like the Japanese Space Agency, we have a duty and responsibility to operate these telescopes. So I have had a lot of fun working with NASA and the Japanese Space Agency doing satellite operations. Q) Lastly, do you believe that religion can play a role in finding information about galaxies or the solar system? So for me there are different approaches to the world and how we investigate the world around us.For me,my approach is that I want the data. I want observation and information that I can use to answer questions. But I know that for many of my colleagues the two aspects are very important and that they sit together and they do use religion for inspiration. For my perspective though, I am totally focussed on the observation and the sci- entific data that I can get. ....................................................................... About the Author: Musa Sattar has an MSc in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Kingston University and is also serving as Deputy Editor of the Science & Religion section. ........................................................................ Q) I believe you are involved in the future Solar Orbiter programme.Tell usmoreaboutitandwhatotherprojects you are involved in. Solar Orbiter is the European mission to go to the sun and is being built right at this moment. There is a lot of British involvement and in my department we are involved with two of the instruments. One is called the solar wind analyser, which measures this extended atmos- phere of the sun that sweeps out into the solar system. Secondly, we are also involved in an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imaging telescope that will take pictures of the atmosphere of the sun. We will launch it in early 2019 and get close to the sun a few years later. So it’s really a mission that allows us to study the sun up close and personal to see what the atmos- phere is like close in,how the atmosphere is controlled, and how it changes over time. But then other aspects of mis- sions that I am interested in are related to space weather and we are working at the moment on a space weather mission. So the analogy is that we have weather satellites that allow us to forecast the conditions of the weather on the earth and the terrestrial atmosphere and what we want is a space weather monitor for Europe so that we can monitor the sun’s atmospheric changes and forecast space weather better. At the moment, we are working with the European space agency to develop the concept of that space weather mission.We call it the ‘Lagrange mission’ in reference to spe- cial points in the solar system where we want to put this spacecraft. If success- ful, depending upon continued funding and if Europe pulls together to work on it, then we should hopefully launch our space weather monitor in the 2020s. Q) Brexit is affecting lots of com- panies on a different level, does it have any impact on the Solar Orbiter programme? So for us Brexit is important but it doesn’t affect our work with the European Space Agency so we will still be a paid-up Professor Lucie Green 54 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 55
  29. 29. Read online: Purchase print copy: F rom 1896 to 1914 the plague ravaged British India, and more particularly, the province of Punjab. During these perilous times, as towns and cities were devoured, the British government undertook efforts to save the people from this pandemic through inoculation. It was in this backdrop that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian penned Noah’s Ark in 1902. In it the author elaborates the essence of his teachings and states that those who sincerely follow its tenets would be saved miraculously from the onslaughts of this epidemic, even without inoculation. This was a prophecy vouchsafed to him by God. History testifies to the magnificent fulfilment of this prophecy. The book Noah’s Ark shines as a beacon of hope not only for the people of the past, but also now and shall continue to grant salvation to the world in all ages. It is a book that stands as one of the most influential works of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi,and continues to transform lives even today. NEW BOOK NOAH’S ARK AN INVITATION TO FAITH
  30. 30. Righteousness Madrugada Verde | Shutterstock EXTRACTS FROM THE ESSENCE OF ISLAMVOLUME II A Citadel for Safeguarding Against all Harm
  31. 31. Elements of Righteousness There are many elements in righteous- ness. It is righteousness to avoid pride and self-esteem and to refrain from unlawful acquisition and ill manners. A person who displays courtesy and good manners converts his enemies into friends. —Malfuzat, vol. I, p. 81 Blessed is the one who adopts righteous- ness in a time of success and prosperity and most unfortunate is one who does not turn to righteousness after stumbling. —Malfuzat, vol. I, p. 157 The spiritual beauty of man is to walk along all the finer ways of righteousness. They are the attractive features of spiritual beauty. It is obvious that to be mindful of the trusts of God Almighty, and to fulfil all the covenants of faith, and to employ all faculties and limbs,both overt, like eyes and ears and hands and feet and others like them,and those that are cov- ert,like the mind and other faculties and qualities, on their proper occasions and to restrain them from coming into action Righteousness In the Holy Qur’an more emphasis has been laid on virtue and righteous- ness than on any other commandment. The reason for this is that righteousness bestows the strength to resist all vice and urges progress towards all good. Righteousness is in all circumstances a charm that guarantees security and is a citadel for safeguarding against all harm. A righteous person can avoid many vain and harmful contentions that often lead other people to ruin. They sow the seed of dissension among the people through their hasty actions and suspicions and lay themselves open to objection. —Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 14, p. 342 Righteousness is in all circumstances a charm that guarantees security and is a citadel for safeguarding against all harm. Righteousness The Promised Messiahas wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his col- lected works have been translated into English and organised by topic. The Review of Religions is pleased to present these excerpts as part of a monthly feature. Here, The Promised Messiahas elaborates on the subject of righteousness. Extracts from the Essence of Islam, Vol.II, pp. 347-352. HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH & IMAM MAHDI Righteousness protects us from harm in the same way that a citadel or fortress does. Madrugada Verde | Shutterstock 60 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 61
  32. 32. is accompanied by a light, as God the Glorious, has said: That is, O ye who believe, if you remain steadfast in righteousness and hold fast to it for the sake of Allah, with firmness and perseverance,He will single you out from among your detractors with marked distinction. That is, you shall be blessed with a light which will accompany you wherever you go.That is to say, that that light would illumine all their actions and words and faculties and senses. Their intellect would be illumined and there would be light in all that they utter.There would be light in their eyes and in their ears and in their tongues and in their speech and in all their movements. The ways along which they walk would be lit up. All their ways, the ways of their faculties and their senses will be filled with light, and they will walk altogether in light. —A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 5, pp. 177-178 RighteousnessisEssentialforHeavenly Knowledge There is a great distinction between the acquisition of worldly knowledge and knowledge of the Holy Qur’an. Righteousness is not needed for the study of grammar, physics, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, etc. It is not nec- essary that a student of these subjects should observe salat [the five daily prayers which are obligatory upon a Muslim] and the fast and should be mindful of Divine commandments and prohibi- tions and should subordinate his every action and word to Divine directions. Indeed it often happens that the seek- ers of such knowledge become atheistic and are involved in every kind of vice. Today the world presents a remarkable spectacle. Though the people of Europe and America acquire high proficiency in worldly arts and sciences and daily make new inventions,their moral and spiritual condition is deplorable.We cannot even mention some of the scenes that are wit- nessed in the parks of London and the hotels of Paris and are published in the daily press. On the other hand righteousness is an essential condition for heavenly learn- ing and for acquiring knowledge of the on improper occasions,and to be warned against the subtle attacks of vice and to be mindful of the rights of one’s fellow beings, is the way of perfecting one’s spiritual beauty.God Almighty has in the Holy Qur’an designated righteousness as a raiment. Libas-ut-taqwa [the gar- ment of righteousness] is an expression of the Holy Qur’an.1 This is an indication that spiritual beauty and spiritual orna- ment are achieved through righteousness. Righteousness means that one must be mindful even of the smallest details of the Divine trusts and covenants and also of all the trusts and covenants of one’s fellow beings,as far as it may be possible. That is, one must try to fulfil, to the best of one’s ability, all the requirements in their minutest details. —Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part V, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, pp. 209-210 True righteousness and ignorance can- not subsist together. True righteousness The spiritual beauty of man is attained and visible when he walks along the finer paths of righteousness. Tventin | Shutterstock Though the people of Europe and America acquire high proficiency in worldly arts and sciences and daily make new inventions, their moral and spiritual condition is deplorable. Arabic Verse 1   Arabic Verse 2  Arabic Verse 3  Arabic Verse 4  Arabic Verse 1   Arabic Verse 2  Arabic Verse 3  Arabic Verse 4  * * * 62 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 63
  33. 33. unless he possesses collectively all of them. It is only these concerning whom it is said: What more would they need? God Almighty becomes their guardian as it is said: In another Hadith it is stated that God Almighty becomes their hands with which they grasp,and becomes their eyes with which they see, and becomes their ears with which they hear and becomes their feet with which they walk. In another Hadith it is stated that God has proclaimed that he who bears enmity towards a friend of Mine should become ready to contend with Me. Still another Hadith declares that when anyone attacks a friend of God, He pounces upon him with the fierceness with which a tigress pounces upon one who seeks to deprive it of its young. —Malfuzat, vol. IV, pp. 400-401 Endnotes 1. Al-A‘raf, 7:27 [Publisher] mysteries of the Holy Qur’an. For this purpose sincere repentance is needed. For the door of Qur’anic knowledge is not opened until a seeker of it carries the burden of Divine commands with per- fect humility and meekness and turns to Him humbly,trembling before His glory and His might.Without these he cannot obtain from the Holy Qur’an the means of fostering those qualities and faculties which generate delight and comfort for the soul.The Holy Qur’an is the Book of God and its knowledge is in the hand of God; thus righteousness is the ladder for the acquisition of such knowledge.Then how can it be possible that the faithless wicked who are evil-minded and are held prisoner by their earthly passions should achieve such knowledge? A Muslim who does not purify his soul is not bestowed knowledge of the Holy Qur’an,however high may be his proficiency in grammar and literary subjects, and however much he might enjoy the esteem of the worldly. At this time the attention of the world is centred upon worldly knowledge and the light of Western learning continues to astonish mankind with new inven- tions and manufactures. Unfortunately, the Muslims also have chosen to follow the West for the purpose of fostering their own welfare and they take pride in copying Europe and America.That is the attitude of the Muslims who follow the new light.Those who are known as old- fashioned Muslims and deem themselves the guardians of the faith are caught in the niceties of points of grammar and in determining the correct manner of the pronunciation of Dallin. They pay no attention to the true meaning of the Holy Qur’an, nor are they capable of doing so as they do not address themselves to the purification of their souls. —Malfuzat, vol. I, pp. 425-427 Qualities of the Righteous To become truly righteous it is neces- sary that a person abandoning utterly such outstanding vices as adultery, theft, trespass, hypocrisy, self-esteem, scorn of fellow beings,miserliness,should eschew all low morals and should make progress in high moral values. He should behave towards his fellow beings with politeness, courtesy and sympathy and should cul- tivate true fidelity and sincerity towards God Almighty. He should constantly seek occasions of beneficent service. He who combines all these qualities in him- self is alone righteous.The possession of any one of these qualities would not enti- tle a person to be accounted righteous True righteousness and ignorance cannot coexist together. When a person is truly righteous, all of their words and actions are illuminated by a light. Oranzy Photography | Shutterstock the essence of islam Arabic Verse 2  Arabic Verse 3  Arabic Verse 4  Arabic Verse 2  Arabic Verse 3  Arabic Verse 4  64 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 65
  34. 34. Mosques – Building Blocks for Peace 12 Essence of Islam: The Veil 26 A Mosque of Security and Peace 32 The Search for “Enlightened Moderation” in Pakistan 46 VOL. 112 - ISSUE ONEJANUARY 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG MOSQUES – BUILDING BLOCKS for PEACE Muslim Television Ahmadiyya: Celebrating 25 years 14 Meet the Men and Women Working at MTA 30 Solidarity Amidst Terror 72 The Pillars of Islam 86 VOL. 112 - ISSUE SEVENJULY 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG “Ishallcausethymessageto reachthecornersoftheEarth” Jihad with the Sword 8 Ways to Establish World Peace 22 A Tale of Three Cities 42 Adhan – The Call to Prayer 56 VOL. 112 - ISSUE TWOFEBRUARY 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG A historic address at the Calgary Peace Symposium WAYS TO ESTABLISH WORLD PEACE Man’s Ability to Receive Revelation 8 Gravitational Waves 14 The Pillars of Islam 30 Jalsa Salana: What True Islam is Really All About 40 VOL. 112 - ISSUE EIGHTAUGUST 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG GRAVITATIONALWAVES Aneweraof astronomybegins Losing Your Head, Keeping Your Cool 12 A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa 22 The Berlin Mosque Plan of 1923 24 Jihad with the Sword 44 VOL. 112 - ISSUE THREEMARCH 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG of Head-Transplant Surgery T H E RESURRECTION The Three Functions of the Angel Gabriel 8 Honey: Nature’s Golden Nectar 12 Pilgrimage: A Journey to the Holy Land 28 Pillars of Islam 58 VOL. 112 - ISSUE NINESEPTEMBER 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG HAJJ TheUltimatePilgrimage The Role of Women in Society 12 The Persecution of the Messiahs and Their Early Followers 28 The ECJ Headscarf Ruling 48 Why Religion Shouldn’t Be Pushed Aside at Work 56 VOL. 112 - ISSUE FOURAPRIL 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The ROLE of WOMEN IN SOCIETY The Promised Messiah of the Latter Days 8 The Hunt to Capture the Real Islam 12 Preparing for Tomorrow – Raising Pious Children 42 A Turning Point in History - Karbala 60 VOL. 112 - ISSUE TENOCTOBER 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The hunt TO CAPTURE the real ISLAM Global Conflicts & the Need for Justice 12 Love for All, Hatred for None: Westminster Vigil 32 Women March for Westminster Victims 38 Fasting in School: A Religious Obligation? 62 VOL. 112 - ISSUE FIVEMAY 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG GLOBAL CONFLICTS AND THE NEED FOR JUSTICE Women’s Rights and Equality 12 The Meaning of the Muslim Pledge 34 The Purpose of the Promised Messiah’s Advent 56 Imagining the Divine: Ashmolean Museum’s Blockbuster Exhibit 62 VOL. 112 - ISSUE ELEVENNOVEMBER 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG ?WHERE ARE THE MUSLIM YOUTH HEADING? Churches, Synagogues and Mosques 10 The Caliph’s Tour of Germany 22 Zika Virus: Past and Future 38 Resurrection: Three States of Existence 90 VOL. 112 - ISSUE SIXJUNE 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG The50TH MOSQUE andthe FUTURE of GERMANY Christmas and Jesusas : What's The Connection? 12 Exclusive Interview:The Man Behind Al-Qalam 48 What True Islam Is Really All About 68 Effort vs Natural Aptittude 82 VOL. 112 - ISSUE TWELVEDECEMBER 2017 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG Imagining The Divine - Art & The Rise Of World Religions BEHIND the SCENES at OXFORD UNIVERSITY'S ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM To order back issues email THE FRONT COVERS OF OUR 12 EDITIONS IN 2017 SUBSCRIBE 12 EDITIONS for just £15GBP or $30 USD or $36 CAD STUDENTS! 12 EDITIONS for just £5GBP or $10 USD or $12 CAD
  35. 35. 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. SUBSCRIPTION Subscription Contacts: UK - Athar Ahmad Bajwa Email: Tel: +44 745 339 1205 USA - Tariq Haroon Malik Email: Tel: +1 202 509 6769 Canada - Muhammad Dawood Khalid Email: Tel: +1 647-779-1810 Nigeria - Qasim Oyekola Email: Tel: + 23 481 2221 1949 Ghana - Omar Faruq Yahaya Email: Tel: +23 3320 5876 315 India - Khursheed Ahmad Email: Tel: +91 1872 500970 Tel: +91 981 544 6792 Tel: +91 1872 500971 CALENDAR of RELIGIOUS EVENTS & FESTIVALS FEBRUARY 2018 Tuesday 13th February 2018 Faith: Hinduism Event: Maha Shivaratri Maha Shivaratri—‘the great night of Shiva’—is celebrated by Hindus worldwide in dedication to Shiva for having saved them from destruction. It is the only Hindu festival to be celebrated at night on the new moon of the month of Maagha when Hindus spend the night fasting and singing hymns. Wednesday 14th February 2018 Faith: Christianity Event: Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent in remembrance of the 40 days Jesusas spent in the wilderness where he was faced with temptations. Ash Wednesday is always celebrated on a Wednesday, 7 weeks prior to Easter and the day after Shrove Tuesday—also known as Pancake Day. Worshippers' foreheads are marked with a cross of ash in Catholic and some Anglican Churches— which is where the name Ash Wednesday comes from. Thursday 15th February 2018 Faith: Buddhism Event: Parinirvana The Buddhist holiday of Parinirvana—also known as Nirvana Day-commemorates the death of Buddhaas . Buddhists celebrate this day as it is believed Buddhaas had reached Enlightenment and the stage of Nirvana. Some spend this day in intense meditation and reciting from the Patrinibanna Sutta and it is a time to reflect over the inevitability of death. Others spend this time visiting temples and shrines to honour the death of their master.