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The Review of Religions January 2018

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The Review of Religions January 2018

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The Review of Religions January 2018

  1. 1. Untold Stories 12 Sound Bites: Holocaust Memorial Day 16 Unveiling the Mysteries of the Past 22 Essence of Islam:The Need for Prophets 52 VOL. 113 - ISSUE ONEJANUARY 2018 WWW.REVIEWOFRELIGIONS.ORG UNVEILING THE MYSTERIES O F T H E PA S T
  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 Suppressing Anger And vie with one another in asking for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise whose price is in the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God-fearing— Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good. ISLAM, THE HOLY QUR’AN, 3:134-135 Hazrat Abu Hurairahra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said: 'A strong person is not one who is good in combat, but a strong person is one who controls themselves at times of anger.' ISLAM, SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 1, HADITH 45 Remember wisdom and anger are the antithesis of one another. When one becomes enraged it is not possible for one to see reason. Whoever is patient and displays steadfastness, are granted a light, which illuminates their senses.This light in turn creates more light. Since anger and rage darken the heart and the mind, darkness begets further darkness! ISLAM, THE PROMISED MESSIAHAS My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. CHRISTIANITY, THE BIBLE, JAMES, 1:19-20 Anger deprives a sage of his wisdom, a prophet of his vision. JUDAISM, TALMUD, PESAHIM 66B Conquer anger by love. BUDDHISM, DHAMMAPADA 223 Anger dissolves affection... Therefore a man should subvert anger by forgiveness. SIKHISM, GURU GRANTH SAHIB, ANG 96
  3. 3. 12 Untold Stories 16 Sound Bites: Holocaust Memorial Day Celebrated in the UK since 2001, this day is held to remember those who lost their lives in one of the worst genocide crimes committed in human history. AYESHA MAHMOOD MALIK, UK 22 Unveiling the Mysteries of the Past A three-part special feature exploring a unique exhibition in the midst of a tented village in Hampshire, UK. 24 Islamic Calligraphy:The Art of Devotion Pictorial 30 The Shroud of Turin 42 The Holy Qur'an 38 A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa 52 The Need for Prophets Hundreds of thousands of men have walked on the earth who claimed to have been sent by God for a divine mission. Whether one accepts this as true or mere fables of the past, the fact of the matter is that millions of people ascribe their own identity with these holy personages, often dedicating their lives for furthering their cause. HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND IMAM MAHDI 62 Calendar of Religious Events Front cover picture: Lamp - From the Collection of Razwan Baig Shroud of Turin - WikiMedia Commons CONTENTS JANUARY 2018 VOL.113 - ISSUE ONE 30 2430 16 52
  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 andthePathwaytoThe world is passing through very turbulent times.The global economic crisis continues to manifest newer and graver dangers almost every week. The similarities to the period just before the Second World War continue to be cited and it seems clear that events are moving the world at an unprecedented pace towards a horrific Third World War. In this book, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community warns the world of the fast approaching dangers and how it can avert disaster and chart a course to peace. WORLD CRISIS PEACE andthePathwayto 9 781848 808584 ISBN 184880858-5 9 781848 808577 ISBN 184880857-7 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) s, d y, n e - t e r c - e m f - f n s s o ., e s d a f e y d r- ll s d r- The world is passing through turbulent times.The global economic crisis continues to manifest new and grave dangers at every juncture.The similarities of the current circumstances to the build-up of the Second WorldWar are stark. Events appear to be moving us rapidly towards a ThirdWorldWar.The consequences of a nuclear war are beyond our imagination. In this book, the historic addresses of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Fifth Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to prominent dignitaries at Capitol Hill, the House of Commons, the European Parliament and other notable locations around the world have been collated.The book also includes the momentous letters sent by His Holiness to the numerous world leaders. Over and over again, His Holiness has reminded all that the only means of averting a global catastrophe is for nations to establish justice as an absolute requirement of their dealings with others. Even if mutual enmity exists, impartiality must be observed at all times, because history has taught us that this alone is the way to eliminate all traces of hatred and to build everlasting peace. Read online at: www.alislam.org Purchase the book here: http://store.alislam.org/ 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 A t this time, I specifically instruct my Jama‘at [Community], which accepts me as the Promised Messiah, that they should always stay away from these foul habits. God has sent me as the Promised Messiah and has clothed me with the garment of the Messiah, son of Mary. I therefore admonish you: Refrain from evil and be truly compassionate towards mankind. Cleanse your hearts of malice and spite, for you will become like angels through this habit. It is a filthy and unholy religion that is devoid of sympathy for humanity, and polluted is the path riddled with the thorns of a rancour based on selfish desires. O those who are with me, do not become like such people. Think about what it is we seek to attain through religion. Is it to constantly oppress others? No, religion exists so that we may obtain the life that lies in God. Such a life has not been, and will never be, attained unless Divine attributes come to abide in you. Be compassionate towards all for the sake of God so that you may be shown mercy in the heavens. Come, and I will teach you a way that will cause your light to prevail over all other lights. Abandon all lowly spite and jealousy,be compassionate for mankind,and lose yourselves in God.Being with God,achieve the highest levels of purification. The Washing of the Soul
  6. 6. This is the path on which miracles are bestowed, prayers are accepted,and angels descend to one’s aid.But it is not a single day’s work. Advance and continue advancing. Learn from the example of the washerman, who washes clothes in boiling hot water until the heat causes all dirt and filth to separate from them.Then,rising in the morning,he soaks the clothes in water, and beats the clothes on stone sills. The dirt that had settled in the clothes is thus slowly removed. This process of heating clothes and beating them continues until they are as clean as they were when new.This is the only strategy for cleansing the human soul. Your entire salvation depends on this cleanliness alone.1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , The British Government and Jihad, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2006), 16-17. In recent times vested interests have launched a ‘crusade’ against Islam. Islam is labelled as a religion of terror, backwardness and suppression. Based on Quranic teachings, the author of this book goes about disproving these notions and professes that Islam provides practical solutions to current issues; and argues that: (1) Swords can win territories but not hearts, forces can bend heads but not minds; (2) The role of women is not of concubines in harems nor a society imprisoned in the four wall of their houses; (3) Richer nations provide aid with strings attached and yet the flow of wealth continues to be in the direction of the rich while the poorer sink deeper in the red; (4) Religion does not need to be the predominant legislative authority in the political affairs of the state; (5) Irrespective of the thawing of the cold war, the issue of war and peace does not only hang by the thread of superpower relationship. (6) Without God there can be no peace. It also contains comprehensive discussion on interest; financial aid; international relations; and the role of Israel, America and the United Kingdom in a new world order. The message of this book is timeless and chalks a blue print for the future prospects for peace. Read online: http://www.alislam.org/books/ Purchase print copy: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html
  7. 7. Germany, Russia and Syria and over the past decade, China. One of the largest mosques in Latin America is also located in Buenos Aires, which is known as ‘Grande Mezquita’ (meaning ‘big mosque’). Many of the 40 million Argentines are not only unaware of the advent of the Promised Messiahas (as foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islamsa and fulfilled in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, 1835-1908), but have also a very limited and superficial knowledge of Islam. Argentina is fertile ground for Ahmadiyyat to propagate the message of the Holy Prophetsa and I have the blessed opportunity to be a key part of this historic journey. I am blessed and very fortunate to be the only and direct servant of Promised Messiahas in this country, where I am witnessing the Divine help Pioneering the message in Buenos Aires By the Grace of God Almighty, I recently graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya UK [the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s training seminary for missionaries] in June 2016 and my first permanent appointment as an Imam is in Argentina. It is definitely a huge privilege to be the direct representative of the Fifth Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , in the eighth largest country of the world. However, it is also a very huge responsibility and many challenges come with this privilege. Argentina is a Spanish-speaking country, so the first challenge is to learn the language. Another challenge is to make new contacts and form friendships from scratch because there is only one Argentinian new Ahmadi and he lives 6 hours away from the capital, Buenos Aires, in Santa Fe. I am fortunate that I have met another Pakistani Ahmadi here in Buenos Aires, so at least we can sometimes offer the Friday prayer in congregation. Argentina is a predominantly Catholic country; it also has the largest Jewish community in the whole of Latin America. Argentina is famous for its multicultural society and migrant communities from different countries, especially Spain, Italy, I knew—in a city with a population of just under 3 million people—it could not just be a coincidence that I had met a journalist randomly on the street, who was interested in writing about Islam and our mission in Ahmadiyyat. Marwan Gill presenting ABC Mundial journalist, Pablo Pla, with a 'Muslims for Peace' t-shirt. 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 12 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 13
  8. 8. had sent him to help with the propagation of Islam. I knew—in a city with a population of just under 3 million people—it could not just be a coincidence that I had met a journalist randomly on the street, who was interested in writing about Islam and our mission in Ahmadiyyat. Especially given the fact that since I had arrived in Buenos Aires I had tried constantly to contact different journalists without success. Yet now a journalist was approaching me! The journalist has now become a close friend. Not only do we regularly meet once a week so that he can learn more about Islam, but he has also made me the official ‘Islamic correspondent’ of his magazine. Consequently by the Grace of Allah, I have now had the opportunity to regularly write articles about Islam in his magazine and the first article has just been published. ........................................... Do you have an untold story to tell us? Email us at info@reviewofreligions.org manifested to spread the message of Ahmadiyyat on a daily basis. I am sure this is because of being the recipient of Divine blessings and favours. It is not due to any of my personal qualities but only because I am the servant of Khalifatul Masih [Supreme Head of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community].Thus, I shall relate one such incident from the countless Divine blessings and the fulfilment of the Divine promise revealed to the founder of the Community stating, ‘I shall cause thy message to reach the corners of the earth.’ With the permission of Huzur- e-Anwar [His Holiness], I have joined a local football club. Usually after training I walk home alone. However one day after training one of my colleagues unexpectedly asked me if we could walk home together because he had a few questions about my role as an Imam. During the whole journey back home, I introduced Islam and the Ahmadiyya Community to him. By the time we had reached my house, he still continued to show great interest and kept asking further questions. Whilst we were discussing the topic of religion, suddenly a man from behind approached us and said, ‘Disculpa (Excuse me) for interrupting, but I was also listening to your interesting conversation. I am a journalist and I would like to interview you and maybe work together with you because I have never met an Islamic theologian.’ The very moment he introduced himself I knew this was not a coincidence; rather, God Almighty Marwan Gill presenting a copy of the Holy Qur'an to Gustavo Bobrik, Deputy Head of the Argentinian Embassy in the UK. untold stories YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT TO US Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@Reviewof Religions.org 14 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 15
  9. 9. SOUND BITES Vladyslav Starozhylov | Shutterstock Holocaust Memorial Day 27.01.2018 Dear Readers, With this edition of The Review of Religions,we are delighted to announce the launch of our new sub-section that will form part of the Law and Human Rights Section, Sound Bites, featuring short thought pieces on topical issues pertaining to global human rights.These will include short pieces on important developments in the field of international human rights and humanitarian law,breaking news and noteworthy international human rights days or related subjects pertinent to the discourses on such issues in the national conversation. This new sub-section will contextualise important human rights developments from a socio-legal and religious perspective, with the aim of providing accessible and comprehensible content for the wider demographics that represent our readership. If you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions regarding this new sub-section, these will be gratefully received–please send your comments directly to info@reviewofreligions.org. We hope to bring you interesting and thought-provoking material from the world of human rights throughout the year! Yours faithfully, Ayesha Mahmood Malik Section Editor Law & Human Rights Section
  10. 10. Each year, the international community cel- ebrates Holocaust Memorial Day in memory of the six million Jews ruthlessly massacred under the Nazi regime during World War II. The UK has celebrated Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 each year since 2001. While the horrors of the Holocaust remain unparalleled, the day also honours victims and sufferers of genocides subsequent to the Holocaust, including those in Rwanda, Darfur and Srebrenica. While the signifi- cance of memorialising the victims of these genocides is without question, it is equally vital to ask how,if at all,these heinous crimes against humanity could have been prevented. An important question that scholars have asked within the discourses surrounding the prevention of genocide is that of the role lan- guage has played as a catalyst to genocide. The historical evidence appears to support the case that language may act as a precursor for the commission of genocide.Prior to the holocaust, for example, Adolph Hitler rou- tinely used the phrase 'filthy Jews' to refer to the Jewish people. Similarly, condemnatory terms like 'inyenzi' (a slang epithet meaning cockroaches) used to describe the Tutsis in Rwanda before the 1994 genocide appears to be causally linked the genocide itself.The import of language in shaping the sensibili- ties around this abhorrent crime is without question and is also evinced by the fact that denying the Holocaust has been made ille- gal in 16 European countries, including Germany. Friedrich Nietzsche, recognising the power of language, once wrote: 'Governments that seek absolute power over the groups they control use language as a principal sup- port…' In democratic societies, those in power maintain a duty of care towards the public,which amongst other things,includes using language fairly and prodigiously,choos- ing words that unite and bridge communities rather than incite hatred and division.In the same vein, the use of vile language by far- right nationalist movements across Europe is deeply concerning. Political rhetoric like that of Martin Strid,member of the Swedish far-right party forced to resign last month after referring to Muslims as not being 'fully human', is the antithesis of the principles of human dignity and civic virtue where- upon secular ideals have been constructed. We must be cautioned against the growing tide of hateful rhetoric lest semantics spur genocide of vulnerable groups within society. Within this context, the Qur'an provides a fitting reminder, stating in Chapter 4, verse 149,'Allah likes not the uttering of unseemly speech in public,except on the part of one who is being wronged.' sound bites: holocaust memorial day Millionstock | Shutterstock Aztec Images | Shutterstock Concentration camps serve as a somber reminder of one of the greatest crimes against humanity, the Holocaust, in which six million Jews lost their lives. 18 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. UNVEILING the MYSTERIES of the PAST
  13. 13. EXHIBIT From the collection of Razwan Baig Seljuk Ceramics, 12-13th Century AD Among the most important innovations of the Seljuk Turks (1040-1194) were ceramic fritwares. Stronger than clay, but remarkably malleable, fritware, or stone- paste, produced a variety of shapes. It also offered a strongly contrasting background for calligraphic inscriptions, such as the rare Kufic script which can be seen on this piece.
  14. 14. A superb antique Islamic Cairoware box engraved with Arabic inscriptions from the early 20th century. 150-year-old brass bowl from Turkey. It is known as a ‘Healing Bowl’. These bowls were used in the Islamic world for the treatment of all kinds of illness. The water placed in such bowls was believed to take on curative aspects after having come into contact with the various talismanic and Quranic symbols and verses etched onto such bowls. Discovering how Islamic calligraphy has formed an integral aspect of Islamic culture for the past 1400 years. In Islam, various forms of expression have been used to inspire believers towards devotion to God.The exhibition held at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s 51st annual convention provided a glimpse into the world of Islamic calligraphy, showcasing a stunning variety of calligraphic forms over the last 1400 years and from a broad geographic expanse. The items on display were from the incredible collection of Razwan Baig, one of the foremost collectors of Islamic art in the UK. Razwan Baig has been generously loaning his unique and rare artefacts since the start of the The Review of Religions’ exhibition in 2015. The Review of Religions extends its gratitude to Razwan Baig for his generosity in bringing his personal collection to display and also his tireless efforts, from the initial planning phase when he carefully selects the items, to helping curate the whole exhibition. 17th century silver metal pot from Afghanistan. It has the 99 attributes of God Almighty inscribed on the pot. Seljuk Ceramics, 12-13th Century AD Among the most important innovations of the Seljuk Turks (1040-1194) were ceramic fritwares. Stronger than clay, but remarkably malleable, fritware, or stone- paste, produced a variety of shapes. It also offered a strongly contrasting background for calligraphic inscriptions, such as the rare Kufic script which can be seen on this piece.
  15. 15. Calligraphy on tiles represents one of the most vivid forms of Islamic decorative art. Geometric patterns and brightly coloured tiles were used throughout the Islamic world. These tiles on display show the variation and distinctive patterns and colours used by Islamic calligraphers. Traveller Qur’an A traveller Qur’an which would have typically accompanied pilgrims on Hajj (pilgrimage). Individuals would have used a magnifying glass to read its content. Calligraphy is not unique to Islam or the Arabic language, but Islamic calligraphy has been expanded and developed to unrivalled sophistication and usage. It has developed far beyond pen and ink, incorporated into architectural elements and objects made of wood, ceramic, metal, textiles, glass, precious stone and more. As Islam spread, cultures adapted and furthered this unique art form. A small glimpse of this was reflected through a variety of artefacts on display. 15th century pot from the Safavid Empire with Arabic inscription etched in Kufic script. 13th century Syrian ink pot from the Mamluk period. The Rt Hon Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and Minister of State for Defence, was given an exclusive tour of the Holy Qur'an exhibit by Razwan Baig.
  16. 16. On a rainy weekend in July,thousands of Muslims gathered in Hampshire, dodg- ing mud slicks and donning wellies across a 200-acre farmland temporarily trans- formed into a tent village, all headed to a three-day annual convention organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. But in the midst of this tented village,in a small round dome straddling the sepa- rate areas for men and women,a subset of the Muslims attending the larger event are captivated by Barrie Schwortz’s pres- entation on the Shroud of Turin, as he describes the image like a negative. So why is Schwortz, who is Jewish, dis- cussing a Christian relic at a Muslim conference? Welcome to the Shroud of Turin Conference—an annual conference put on by The Review of Religions to bring together scholars from around the world to talk about the Shroud of Turin: an extensively researched relic in the his- tory of Christianity.The Shroud is a most debated strip of cloth which appears to bear an image of Jesusas ,one of the most well-known religious figures in history. Over the centuries, this piece of linen, bearing the faint imprint of a man, has been the subject of intense speculation. The Review of Religions' International Shroud of Turin Conference attracts leading experts from around the world to present their research. AMA UK Gallery Unveiling The Mysteries of the Past The Review of Religions So why is Schwortz, who is Jewish, discussing a Christian relic at a Muslim conference? THE TURIN SHROUD NAKASHA AHMAD, NEW JERSEY, USA JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 31
  17. 17. fire marks, from a fire that broke out in France in 1532; water stains,surmised to be from the water used to put out that fire; blood stains; and the imprint of a human figure that was wrapped in the cloth. For centuries, there was little progress on the scientific side of Shroud research. But the advent of photography made the Shroud famous worldwide, and opened new avenues of research. In 1898, the first public exhibition of the Shroud also led to the first photographs of the Shroud,with the photographer,Secondo Pia, mentioning how much the Shroud image resembled a negative of a photo- graph. While a negative image reverses the features of the person, a negative of the Shroud image results in, as it were, a positive image, showing us the man as he stood before us. Indeed, Pia said that when he saw the picture it was as though he ‘was looking into the face of the Lord.’ This development was only the begin- ning: the next century would see progress on many fronts in Shroud research, cul- minating in a five-day research mission in 1978, inspired by the fact that a tool called the VP–8 image analyser was able to process a unique 3-dimensional image on it.Why was this significant? As photographer Barrie Schwortz explained during his talk, the VP–8 image ana- lyser is used to examine the light and dark areas in an image, and, using this information, can create a proportionate three-dimensional image. But photo- graphs of humans, when processed by the VP–8 analyser, don’t carry enough information for the machine to create a natural relief of the human form. But images of the Shroud,when put through the VP–8 analyser, did create a natural relief of the human form, indicating that the Shroud was not a photographic image (as some theories have suggested). Held concurrently with the larger con- vention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the 2017 Shroud of Turin conference organised by The Review of Religions was a more intimate affair, bringing together scholars,long-standing members of the Shroud community,and interested members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to discuss all aspects of the Shroud. With a lineup including historian Mark Guscin, photographer Barrie Schwortz,filmmaker David Rolfe, and scholar Bruno Barberis, the Shroud conference covered various aspects of the Shroud of Turin, a cloth that is now revered by millions of people because it is believed to have been the burial cloth that Jesus of Nazarethas was wrapped in after his crucifixion. By that token, the Shroud of Turin is believed to be a sacred and blessed relic not only by mil- lions of Christians, but also by Muslims who hold Jesusas in deep regard as a noble Prophet of God. But what evidence is there for the the- ory that the Shroud is in fact the cloth that Jesusas was wrapped in after his crucifixion? The experts presented vari- ous theories and findings. As former President of the Scientific Committee of the International Centre of Sindonology of Turin and former Director of The Shroud of Turin Museum, the attend- ance of Bruno Barberis was an important landmark for the short history of the Shroud of Turin conference.Barberis,as one of the officials responsible for pre- serving the Shroud,has direct access to it and so provided an insight into the his- tory of the Shroud. In his talk, Barberis explained that the Gospels mention that Jesusas was wrapped in a cloth of some kind before being arranged in the tomb. The Shroud, measuring 4.4 metres long and about 1.1 metres wide, is linen and has four different kinds of marks on it: Barrie Schwortz was the Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, the team that conducted the first in-depth scientific examination of The Shroud in 1978. The Review of Religions In his presentation, Bruno Barberis, former President of the Scientific Committee of the International Centre of Sindonology of Turin and former Director of the Shroud of Turin Museum, recounted the history of The Shroud. The Review of Religions unveiling the mysteries of the past 32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 33
  18. 18. Given this intriguing development, a research team was put together to go to Turin and examine the Shroud thor- oughly. In 1978, photographer Barrie Schwortz had just wrapped up a contract working as a photography consultant at Los Alamos labs.Several weeks later,the same contractor contacted him,asking if he’d be interested in the Shroud project. There began a lifelong fascination and passion for Schwortz.As one of the doc- umenting photographers, Schwortz was responsible for photographing the entire process of the research mission—a five- day research marathon that is the most thorough analysis of the Shroud to date. But how do you begin to analyse a cloth that could be 2000 years old? Very care- fully. Over 17 months of planning went into the trip, and they scheduled their five-day trip down to the minute. The detail involved: inside one of the over 80 equipment crates that the team brought with them was a special table to lay the Shroud on, so that it could be held in place with non-invasive magnets; a spe- cially designed camera rail so that they could photograph the Shroud in sections, keeping the distance exactly the same so unveiling the mysteries of the past that they could perfectly match up the photographs later to get a complete pic- ture; and two rolls of gold foil mylar, the material used on satellites, which came in handy after they found out that the steel on the special table had corroded and that they would need to lay some- thing else on the table before putting the Shroud on it. Yet another example of the planning involved: the magnets used to hold the Shroud in place on the table were coated in Teflon, so that no magnetic particle would touch the Shroud.The head of the chemistry team went to the company 3M (makers of the Post-its and sticky notes you might use on your billboard at home) to make a special tape that would not leave residue on the Shroud. So what were the conclusions of the trip? While the researchers weren’t able to discover what had caused the image, they were able to rule out what hadn’t: the image was not a photograph, not a painting,not a conventionally-produced image. What exactly has caused the image, though, is still a mystery. While many have heard of the Shroud of Turin, not as many have heard of the Sudarium of Oviedo. Yet, this smaller head cloth has a deep link with the Turin Shroud. The Shroud of Turin Conference in 2017 marked the first year the Sudarium of Oviedo was fea- tured.Historian Mark Guscin,an expert linguist and world-renowned researcher on the Sudarium,attended in person and addressed the conference on the second day.Guscin related in his session that the Sudarium, or head-cloth, was housed in the Cathedral of Oviedo,in Spain,which has a special room that houses various relics, many of them not authentic, but which also held the Sudarium—a seem- ingly nondescript cloth that ostensibly has no connection to the Shroud of Turin. Indeed, the cloth was considered so insignificant that there was no serious research on it until the 1980s. But once it was analysed, the Sudarium—a low- quality piece of fabric typically carried in Roman times to wipe one’s face of sweat and grime—was found to have been folded and creased many times,but more significantly, to have blood stains and blood mixed with pleural edema fluid—that is, the fluid that collects in the lung during asphyxiation, suggest- ing that the person whose blood was on the cloth died of asphyxiation. The top stains on the Sudarium correspond with The renowned scholars of the Shroud of Turin were blessed with a private audience with His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba , Supreme Head of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, during the annual convention in 2017. Makhzan-e-Tasaweer 34 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 35
  19. 19. the lips. Indeed, Guscin says that, ‘the hair was so matted with blood that it was actually almost solid, and this cloth was pinned onto that.’ Indeed, when researchers tried to recreate the stains with a model head and the same fluid, they found that the only way that the initial stains could have been made was if the head were in an upright position with the arms stretched out, head lean- ing to the right, for about 45 minutes to an hour.While this isn’t incontrovertible proof that the body linked to this cloth was crucified, it is certainly compatible with crucifixion. So the person whose blood is on the Sudarium may have been crucified. But there is more evidence that the Sudarium is connected to the Shroud. For one thing, the blood group of the blood on the Shroud and the blood on the Sudarium are the same. Moreover, the life-blood (blood shed while the victim was alive) and the blood shed post-mortem are both the same on each cloth. In addition, some blood stains on the left side of the cloth, which corre- spond to the nape of the neck,match up on both the Shroud and the Sudarium, leading to the intriguing conclusion that the two cloths, having journeyed to dif- ferent places,come from the same origin. After four highly informative sessions in which speakers presented on differ- ent aspects of the Shroud,interacted with knowledgeable guests from the Shroud community,and answered questions from the guests,the conference culminated in a lively question-and-answer session, largely with an audience of the women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The question-and-answer panel con- sisted of Barrie Schwortz, Pam Moon (who brought a life-size replica of the Shroud), David Rolfe, Bruno Barberis and Hugh Farey (former editor of the newsletter for the British Society of the Turin Shroud). A honourable and learned scholar of Christianity from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who had travelled from Rabwah, Pakistan, Mir Mahmood Nasir Ahmed, also attended the Q&A.Mir Mahmood Nasir Ahmed has led the team of researchers working on experiments to try and re- create the image of the Shroud upon a cloth through coating a living body with a special ointment, known as the ‘mar- ham-i-Isa’ or ‘Ointment of Jesus’, and bringing this body in contact with the cloth.This ointment was highlighted by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas ,founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in his treatise, Jesus in India in 1899, and described as the ointment applied to the wounds of Jesusas , following the Crucifixion. Mir Mahmood presented a copy of his research and samples of the ointment to all the esteemed speak- ers and the Q&A kicked off with the first question from Mir Mahmood, ask- ing why the Shroud community had not pursued a similar line of enquiry to his, given some documented success of re- creating an image using mixtures of aloe and myrrh on linen. One feature that brought the Q&A unveiling the mysteries of the past The Review of Religions Moreover, the life-blood (blood shed while the victim was alive) and the blood shed post-mortem are both the same on each cloth. 36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 37
  20. 20. session alive, was that it took place directly in front of Pam Moon’s won- derful exhibition boards, covering the Shroud and aspects of it. The cen- trepiece of Pam’s exhibition is a full life-size replica of the Shroud. Pam has tirelessly brought this exhibition down from her home in the Midlands each year, and once more brought along her team of Shroud experts to help explain the details of the cloth to the visitors of the exhibition. One of the most interesting aspects of the conference was the surprise felt by many of the speakers that attendees of a Muslim convention would be so interested in a Christian relic. In par- ticular it was noted by the speakers how the women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were very interested and asked many questions; they expressed that even on their visits in Turin they have never faced such a bold audience willing to openly ask questions and per- sist until they recieved the answers. Yet the Shroud of Turin, with its fascinat- ing history, religious significance, and unsolved mystery,has united people from all walks of life during the international conference. ................................................................ About the Author: Nakasha Ahmad was previously an Adjunct Lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and a Graduate Assistant at Bowling Green State University. She cur- rently serves as the Associate Editor of The Review of Religions. ...................................................................... unveiling the mysteries of the past Above; Mir Mahmood Ahmed Nasir is presenting his research to David Rolfe, who won a BAFTA for his Turin Shroud film and is also the Editor of the British Society of the Turin Shroud newsletter. The Review of Religions Deep in the heart of the Arab Peninsula, amidst the desert and the valleys of Pharan, stands a modest bricked structure. This monument is undisputedly the single most sacred, revered and Holy Shrine of Islam; the compass point for which the Muslim world aligns itself on a daily basis in prostration to God. Its name is the Ka’bah, literally translating from Arabic as ‘the cube’, but is synonymously referred to as Baytul Haram or ‘the Sacred House’. It was established for the benefit of the whole of mankind, to act as a centre for the unification of humanity. Does its inception lie with the earliest human populations – viz-a- viz Adamas and his Community – or were Abrahamas and his son Ishmaelas the individuals responsible for its initial erection? And what purpose does the Ka’bah actually serve? Purchase print copy: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html 38 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018
  21. 21. A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa Treatment of Slaves He constantly exhorted those who owned slaves to treat them kindly and well. He had laid down that if the owner of a slave beat his slave or abused him, the only reparation that he could make was to set the slave free (Muslim, Kitabul Iman).He devised means for, and encouraged, the freeing of slaves on every pretext.He said: ‘If a person owning a slave sets him free, God will in recompense save every part of his body corresponding to every part of the slave's body from the torment of Hell.’ Again, he laid down that a slave should be asked to perform only such tasks as he could easily accomplish and that when he was set to do a task, his master should help him in performing it so that the slave should experience no feeling of humiliation or degradation (Muslim). If a master went on a journey accompanied by a slave, it was his duty to share his mount with the slave either by both riding together or each riding in turn. Abu Hurairara , who used to spend the whole of his time after becoming a Muslim in the company of the Prophetsa and who had repeatedly heard the Prophet'ssa injunctions regarding the treatment of slaves, has said: ‘I call God to witness in Whose hands is my life that were it not for the opportunities that I get of joining in holy war and of performing the Pilgrimage and were it not that I have opportunities of serving my old mother, I would have desired to die a slave, for the Holy Prophetsa constantly insisted upon slaves being well and kindly treated.’ (Muslim). Ma‘rur bin Suwaidra relates: ‘I saw Abu Dharr Ghaffarira (a companion of the Holy Prophetsa ) wearing clothes exactly similar to those worn by his slave. I inquired of him the reason of this and he said,“During the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa I once taunted a man with his mother having been a slave. Upon this the Holy Prophetsa rebuked me and said, ‘You still seem to entertain pre-Islamic notions. What are slaves? They are your brethren and the source of your power. God in His wisdom confers temporary authority upon you over them. He who has such authority over his brother should feed him with the kind of food he himself eats,clothe him with the kind of clothes he himself wears and should not set him a task beyond his strength and should himself help him in whatever he is asked to do.’”On another occasion the Prophetsa said: "When your servant cooks food for you and sets it out before you, you should ask him to sit down with you to eat or at least to partake of a portion of it in your company,for he has established a right in it by working on it.”’(Muslim). endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmadra , Life of Muḥammad (Tilford, Surrey, U.K.: Islam International Publications Limited, 2013), 226-227.
  22. 22. The Review of Religions' exhibitions have centred on calligraphy and the Qur’an, showcasing rare and world-class pieces of Islamic art from around the world,span- ning over one thousand years of history. Complementing the exhibition, a semi- nar series invited scholars and experts on Islamic art and history to delve into the latest research in academia. While many Ahmadi Muslims lined up to attend the Shroud Conference (see page 31 for more),others attended a trio of intriguing talks by renowned collec- tor Razwan Baig and scholars Okasha el Daly, a leading expert in Egyptology and Medieval Arabic and an honorary lecturer at UCL Institute of Archaeology and Hany Rashwan, Ph.D. in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies. The I slam means peace and submission to the will of God. In Islam, various forms of expression have been used to inspire believers towards devotion to God. Individuals with harmonious and strong voices are selected to recite the call to prayer, drawing worshipers towards the mosque five times a day. Similarly, architectural elements and geometric patterns have been used throughout the Islamic world to beautify mosques and monuments related to holy sites. Islamic calligraphy flourished in the same light.Its importance was amplified in the early centuries of Islam by one funda- mental cause,the written transmission of the Holy Qur'an. During the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa ,the Qur’an was transmitted orally. It was not until after the Holy Prophetsa that the impor- tance of calligraphy grew, in order to match the exponential growth of Islam in distant lands. The Review of Religions' exhibition at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s 51st annual convention provided a glimpse into the world of Islamic calligraphy, showcasing a stunning variety of calli- graphic forms over the last 1400 years, from the private collection of Razwan Baig (see page 24 for more information). Numerous civilisations, cultures and individuals have added to and expanded upon Islamic calligraphy,making it argu- ably the most diverse and extensive form of calligraphy in the world. Even today, Islamic calligraphy continues to inspire and serve as a form of devotion. Numerous civilisations, cultures and individuals have added to and expanded upon Islamic calligraphy, making it arguably the most diverse and extensive form of calligraphy in the world. Dr Hany Rashwan, who has a Ph.D. in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial studies spoke at The Review of Religions seminar about the relationship between Arabic and ancient Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic) in his presentation. The Review of Religions Unveiling The Mysteries of the Past THE HOLY QUR'AN NAKASHA AHMAD, NEW JERSEY, USA SHAHZAD AHMAD, ZAFIR MALIK, NOORUDDEEN JAHANGHEER 42 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 43
  23. 23. the Qur’an, through western concepts of rhetoric. As a result, the Qur’an has been heavily criticised for employing techniques which, in the Greco-Roman conventions of rhetoric, would be considered poor use of expression or lan- guage. However, Dr Rashwan criticised this approach for its reliance on western techniques at critiquing a non-western text. Arabic, Dr Rashwan pointed out, derives from a separate linguistic branch and must be understood in its con- text. Rashwan’s talk explored the idea that Western scholars, having elevated Greco-Roman notions of rhetoric as more sophisticated than other language systems,have done Arabic—and its other cousins in the Semitic and Afro-Asiatic language family—a grave disservice by judging it by those Greco-Roman stand- ards, instead of trying to understand it through its own grammatical structures. Take, for example, the concept of bala- gha, which is derived directly from the Qur’an where repetition of words is used to convey greater emphasis and a deeper meaning. In western languages, repetition of words is not considered to be eloquent speech. Instead, English writers are encouraged not to repeat themselves and to use synonyms and vary their word patterns in order to not have unnecessary repetition. Yet in the balagha system of repetition is actually used as a tool to provide emphasis and clarity and to enhance expression, and is also considered to have a musical quality, one that cannot be reproduced in western talks explored intriguing developments in Islamic scholarship. Collector Razwan Baig is well-known for his Islamic art collection, encom- passing hundreds of significant ancient artefacts and copies of the Qur’an from various eras, showcasing the evolution and development of Islamic calligraphy. His talks focused on Islam’s artistic herit- age: 'I believe that art can build bridges between our cultural islands…Being an avid collector of Islamic art, I felt it was my humble duty to showcase the artis- tic side of Islam through my humble knowledge and collections.' He explained the varying styles or scripts of calligraphy developed within Islamic calligraphic culture, each unique and highly sophis- ticated. Baig also mentioned that in the modern digital age, Islamic calligraphy has taken on new dimensions.Typefaces and fonts have drawn from calligraphic styles,inspiring individuals such as Steve Jobs—the founder of Apple—to create many of the font-types used today.Baig, indeed,has taken his extensive collection to many museums, such as the British Museum, and has partnered with The Review of Religions as well to make sure that a wider audience becomes aware of Islam’s rich artistic heritage. Indeed, his founding of the Al-Qalam Project (see our December 2017 issue) was another way to promote the art of Islamic calligraphy. While Baig focused on the use of cal- ligraphy to beautify the text of a Qur’an, Hany Rashwan discussed the rhetoric of that text.Rhetoric,in this context,refers to effective or persuasive writing,and the manner in which text or speech is com- posed. Dr Rashwan’s insights provided an important context to the current study of the Qur’an and its understanding in a western context. Western scholarship has attempted to understand Arabic,and Dr Okasha El Daly is a leading expert in Egyptology and Medieval Arabic and an honorary lecturer at UCL Institute of Archaeology. The Review of Religions While Islam may have a rich artistic and linguistic legacy, what is its attitude towards the intellectual and cultural treasures of other cultures? unveiling the mysteries of the past Razwan Baig, one of the foremost collectors of Islamic art in the UK, gave an in-depth presentation on the impact of Islamic calligraphy around the world. The Review of Religions 44 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 45
  24. 24. Egyptian language, you open the doors to a vast knowledge. This is because for Muslims, ancient Egypt was the land of science and magic.' Indeed, while there is a misconception that Egyptology and the study of hieroglyphics is a relatively recent development in scholarship, the evidence suggests otherwise. El Daly cited the example of Champollion, widely considered to be the father of Egyptology.Yet Champollion studied the manuscripts of medieval Muslim scholars and even learned Arabic in order to learn from them. Regrettably, in today’s world, Islam is known more for destroying the cul- tural richness of non-Muslim societies, rather than for preserving and enhancing culture due to the ill actions of a small minority of so-called Muslims. Yet, if one looks deeply into the language of the Qur’an and the scholarly heritage of ancient scholars,one will find that in fact, Islam has a rich history of both enhanc- ing and appreciating the cultural legacy of non-Muslim societies. languages.So western scholars would do well to really understand the nuances and structures of non-western languages to analyse them in the light of their own systems. Dr Rashwan explained the dif- ferent types of Arabic balagha and how it is not possible to fully understand the language using the rhetoric of other lan- guages. He further elaborates that even changes in the vowels have a profound effect in the meaning. Similarly changes in the order may alter the meaning com- pletely too. He concluded by saying 'Studying liter- ary devices of the Qur'an or of Arabic in general has been affected negatively by imposing the Western methodology to understand its techniques and we should not be trapped in automatic application in the background of the scholar but we should incorporate different methodol- ogy to understand the inimitability of the Qur'an and how it is created in compari- son to other texts.' While Islam may have a rich artistic and linguistic legacy, what is its attitude towards the intellectual and cultural treasures of other cultures? Okasha el Daly explored this in depth in his discussion of how medieval Muslims were actually avid scholars of ancient (pre-Islamic) Egypt. He says: 'Why did Muslim scholars in medieval times study ancient Egypt? They thought that if they unlocked the secrets to the ancient Razwan Baig with renowned Muslim photographer Peter Sanders, whose photos were also on display. The Review of Religions Regrettably, in today’s world, Islam is known more for destroying the cultural richness of non-Muslim societies, rather than for preserving and enhancing culture due to the evil actions of a small minority of so-called Muslims. unveiling the mysteries of the past YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT TO US Write to us with comments, feedback and suggestions at info@Reviewof Religions.org NOVEMBER 2017 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 4746 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018
  25. 25. The Promised Messiahas & imam mahdi ( g u i d e d o n e ) founder of the review of religions Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas O ye people who consider yourselves members of my community! You will be counted as such in heaven when you truly tread upon the ways of righteousness. So, offer the five daily prayers in such fear and with such com- plete attention as though you were actually beholding God Almighty. Sincerely observe your fasts for the sake of God. Let everyone who is liable to pay the Zakat do so and anyone upon whom the Hajj has become obligatory and who face no hindrance ought to perform the pilgrimage. Do good in a handsome manner and discard vice with disgust. Bear well in mind that no action of yours, which is empty of righteousness, can reach God. Righteousness is the root of all goodness. No action that is rooted in righteousness will go in vain.It is inevitable that you should also be tried with various forms of anguish and misfor- tune,just as the faithful before you were tried.Be on your guard, lest you should falter. So long as you have a firm relationship with heaven, the earth can do you no harm. Whenever harm befalls you, it will be from your own hands and not from the hands of your enemy. Even if you lose all honour on earth, God will bestow eternal honour upon you in heaven. So do not forsake Him.1 endnotes 1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas , Noah's Ark (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2016), 26-27. Inculcating Righteousness
  26. 26. Read online: https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Noahs-Ark-Kashti-Nuh.pdf Purchase print copy: http://store.alislam.org/englishbooks.html 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
  27. 27. The Need For Prophets A Prophet is a mirror for the observance of the Divine. God can only be seen through this mirror. BokehStore | Shutterstock EXTRACTS FROM THE ESSENCE OF ISLAMVOLUME III Prophethood & the existence of God
  28. 28. —Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, p. 131 Prophets are a Manifestation of Divine Unity The misconception that belief in the Unity of God is enough for the salva- tion of man, and that it is not necessary to believe in a Prophet, is utterly absurd. People who entertain such a belief seek to separate the soul from the body.Belief in the Unity of God can only be estab- lished through a Prophet, and is not possible without believing in him. If a Prophet, who is the source of belief in God’s Unity, is excluded, Divine Unity cannot be upheld.A Prophet alone is the cause and source and father and fountain and perfect manifestation of the belief in the Unity of God.Through him alone can one behold the hidden countenance of God and realise His existence.On the one hand, the Divine is eminently Self- Sufficient and cares not whether anyone is guided or goes astray; on the other, He desires that He should be known and The Need for Prophets God Almighty has bound up belief in His own existence with belief in His Messengers. The reason for this is that man is invested with the capacity of believing in the Unity of God as stone is invested with the capacity of flaring up; and a Messenger is like the flint which elicits the spark from the stone by strik- ing it. It is,therefore,not possible that without the flint, that is to say without a Divine Messenger,the spark of the Unity of God may be ignited in a human heart. It is only a Divine Messenger who brings down Tauhid [belief in the Unity of God] upon the earth and it is achieved only through him. God is hidden and displays His countenance only though a Messenger. The misconception that belief in the Unity of God is enough for the salvation of man, and that it is not necessary to believe in a Prophet, is utterly absurd. People who entertain such a belief seek to separate the soul from the body. The Need for Prophets The Promised Messiahas wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his collected 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 fea- ture. Here, The Promised Messiahas elaborates on the subject of the need for Prophets. Extracts from the Essence of Islam, Vol.III, pp. 111-123. HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMADAS , THE PROMISED MESSIAH & IMAM MAHDI A divine messenger is needed to ignite the spark of the Unity of God in a human heart. Polygraphus | Shutterstock 54 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 55
  29. 29. be revived, strives to the utmost degree and is always ready to suffer many deaths, as is indicated in the verse: God is Self-Sufficient,and doesn’t stand in need of creatures, but in view of the grief, sorrow, torment, humility, extreme devotion, truthfulness and integrity of such a person, God manifests Himself through His signs to the eager hearts of men. As a result of the earnest supplica- tions of such a person, which create a tumultuous uproar in heaven, Divine signs descend upon the earth like rain and extraordinary happenings are wit- nessed, which reveal the countenance of God and the world bears witness that God exists. Had the Holy Prophetsa not turned to God with so much supplica- tion, entreaty and earnestness, and had he not offered the sacrifice of his self and accepted a hundred deaths at every step, Divine countenance would never have been revealed to the world,because God Almighty,due to His Self-Sufficiency,is completely independent. He says: That is: ‘Allah is independent of all the worlds;’ and ‘It is Our eternal law that those who strive after Us and seek Us with the utmost effort, We show them Our way.’ The first and foremost in offering sacrifices in the cause of Allah, are the Prophets. Everyone strives for himself but Prophets strive for oth- ers. People sleep, but the Prophets stay awake on their behalf. People laugh and the Prophets weep for them. They will- ingly bear hardship for the deliverance of mankind. They do this so that God may so manifest Himself that people should be convinced that He exists, and His existence and Unity may be clearly perceived by them and through such per- ception mankind might attain salvation. Thus the Prophets suffer death out of their sympathy for their enemies. And when their agony reaches its climax and heaven is filled with their tormented supplications, God Almighty exhibits the brightness of His countenance and manifests His existence and His Unity to mankind through powerful signs. Thus there is no doubt that the knowledge of God and of His Unity is gained by man only through a Prophet and can- not be achieved otherwise. The highest that His creatures should derive benefit from His eternal mercy. He, therefore, manifests Himself to him whose heart is charged to the highest degree with the natural desire of attaining nearness to the Holy One, and is also filled with utmost sympathy for mankind. God displays to him the light of His being and eternal attributes. In this manner, the person who possesses such superior nature—who, in other words, is called a Prophet—is drawn towards God. On account of the extreme eagerness with which his heart is charged with sympathy for mankind, he desires by his spiritual inclination, supplication and humility, that others too should recognise the God Who has been revealed to him so that they too may attain salvation. He sin- cerely offers the sacrifice of his own self and, out of the desire that mankind may Prophets offer sacrifices and offer earnest supplications so that divine signs fall on the earth like rain. Wolkenengel565 | Shutterstock As a result of the earnest supplications of such a person, which create a tumultuous uproar in heaven, Divine signs descend upon the earth like rain and extraordinary happenings are witnessed, which reveal the countenance of God and the world bears witness that God exists. Arabic Verse 1 [26:4]  Arabic Verse 2: [3:98]  Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32]   Arabic Verse 5: [2:63]     Arabic Verse 7: [3:65]    Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152]     *   Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32]   Arabic Verse 5: [2:63]     Arabic Verse 6: [2:113]   Arabic Verse 1 [26:4]  Arabic Verse 2: [3:98]  Arabic Verse 3: [29:70] Arabic Verse 7: [3:65]    Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152] 56 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 57
  30. 30. of paganism and vice abound. The eye possesses the faculty of sight,yet it needs the light of the sun to be able to see. In the same way, human reason, which resembles the eye, needs the light of the sun of Prophethood.And when that sun disappears,reason becomes confused and dark; just as you cannot see with the eye alone, you cannot see without the light of Prophethood. As the recognition of God always depends upon the recognition of a Prophet,it is not possible to recognise the Unity of God without him.A Prophet is a mirror for the observance of the Divine. God can only be seen through this mir- ror. When God Almighty designs to reveal Himself to the world, He raises a Prophet,who is a manifestation of Divine powers, and sends down His revelation to him and manifests His Divine powers through him. It is then that the world comes to know that God exists. —Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 114-116 Blessings of Obedience to the Holy Prophetsa Know well that Prophets do not appear for mere ostentation or show.If people do example in this regard was set by our Holy Prophetsa , who lifted a whole peo- ple out of the filth in which they were steeped,and conveyed them to a garden. He provided excellent spiritual food and drink for those who were on the point of death because of spiritual starvation. He raised them from their animal condi- tion to the condition of man, and then civilised them, and made them perfect, and exhibited so many signs that they were enabled to see God, and brought about such a change in them that they began to shake hands with angels. No other Prophet was able to bring about such a complete change in his people,for their followers did not achieve perfection. —Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 116-118 Prophets Demonstrate God’s Existence It should be remembered that it is the Prophets (peace be on them) who dem- onstrate the existence of God and teach people His Unity.If those holy ones had not appeared,it would have been impos- sible to discover the straight path with certainty. Though a person of sincere nature, possessing sane reason can, by reflecting on the universe and observing its perfect and well-established order, conclude that there ought to be a Creator of this well-ordered universe, however, there is a world of difference between ‘ought to be’and ‘is’. The Prophets alone (peace be on them) established through thousands of signs and miracles that the Transcendent Being Who comprises all power does in fact exist. Indeed, the degree of com- prehension that the need of a Creator may be perceived by the observation of the universe is also a reflection of the rays of Prophethood.Had there been no Prophets, no one would have achieved this degree of reason. This may be understood through the con- templation that, though there is water below the surface of the earth,the main- tenance of that water depends upon the water that descends from the sky.When there is a long drought,the underground water dries up and when rain descends the underground water also begins to well up.In the same way,with the advent of a Prophet, reason—which is sub-sur- face water—is sharpened and improved; and when over a long period no Prophet is raised the sub-surface water of reason begins to decline and becomes muddied and the worship of idols and all manner The prophets of God spend their entire lives supplicating, sacrificing and praying for mankind. Kamelia Ilieva | Shutterstock The Prophets alone (peace be on them) established through thousands of signs and miracles that theTranscendent Being Who comprises all power does in fact exist. the essence of islam 58 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 59
  31. 31. mere verbal profession of Tauhid [Divine Unity] cannot ensure salvation and that none can attain salvation by departing from obedience to the Holy Prophetsa ,yet to dispel any possible doubt, we would like to know the true meanings of the verses cited by Abdul Hakim Khan1 , for instance: Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32]   Arabic Verse 5: [2:63]     Arabic Verse 6: [2:113]   Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152]     *  Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32]   Arabic Verse 5: [2:63]     Arabic Verse 6: [2:113]       *  Arabic Verse 1 [26:4]  Arabic Verse 2: [3:98]  Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32] Arabic Verse 7: [3:65]    Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152]   ANSWER: These verses of the Holy Qur’an do not mean that salvation can be achieved without believing in the Holy Prophetsa . They lay down that salvation cannot be achieved without believing in God—Who has no associate—and in the Last Day; and that belief in God can- not be perfect without belief in Prophets, inasmuch as Prophets illustrate the attributes of God and the true compre- hension of God Almighty,without which belief remains imperfect. For instance, the Divine attributes that He speaks, hears, knows the unseen, has power to show mercy and to inflict pun- ishment, cannot be understood except through a Messenger of God. If these attributes are not demonstrated through testimony, the existence of God is not positively established and belief in God has no meaning. A person who believes in God must believe in His attributes also, and for such belief he must believe in the Prophets. For instance, God’s attribute of speech can only be appreciated by proof of His word and it is only Prophets who furnish proof of His word. The Holy Qur’an comprises two types of verses. One type is Muhkamat [fun- damental and explicit], for instance the verse: not derive any spiritual benefit from them and they do not prove to be a source of grace,it would have to be confessed that their advent is only for show, and that it is without any meaning; but that is not so. Prophets are a source of many blessings and abundant grace.With his coming, a fountain of virtue springs forth. Just as mankind derives benefit from the light of the sun and its benefit does not stop at any point, in this way, the sun of the grace and blessing of the Holy Prophetsa continues to shine and to bestow benefits upon the fortunate ones.That is why God Almighty has said: Arabic Verse 1 [26:4]  Arabic Verse 2: [3:98]  Arabic Verse 3: [29:70]  Arabic Verse 4: [3:32]   Arabic Verse 5: [2:63]     Arabic Verse 6: [2:113] Arabic Verse 7: [3:65]    Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152]     * This means: ‘Tell them, If you want to become the loved ones of Allah,then fol- low me, Allah will then love you.’True obedience to the Holy Prophetsa makes a person beloved of God, and becomes a means for the forgiveness of sins. —Malfuzat, vol. 3, p. 55 Belief in God cannot be Perfect without Belief in Prophets QUESTION: Although we believe that Just as eyes cannot see without the light of the sun, human reason needs the light of prophethood to see the existence of God. CS Stock | Shutterstock With his coming, a fountain of virtue springs forth. Just as mankind derives benefit from the light of the sun and its benefit does not stop at any point, in this way, the sun of the grace and blessing of the Holy Prophetsa continues to shine and to bestow benefits upon the fortunate ones. the essence of islam *** *** 60 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 61
  32. 32. hearing is also not proved. Thus these people become like atheists by repudiat- ing Divine attributes. Divine attributes are eternal and ever- lasting. They are demonstrated only by Prophets. The denial of the attributes of God invariably leads to the denial of God’s existence. This shows that belief in God necessarily implies belief in the Prophets (peace be on them), without which belief in God is imperfect and incomplete.The fundamental verses not only abound in number,but are also sup- ported by the continuous testimony of the Prophets. Anyone who studies the Holy Qur’an and the books of other Prophets will find that they insist upon belief in the Messengers of God as much as belief in God Himself. If the allegorical verses are interpreted in a sense which is contrary to the mean- ing of the fundamental verses,great harm would ensue therefrom and many other verses would have to be rejected. No contradiction is possible in the Word of God; therefore the implicit must be rec- onciled with the explicit…In the Holy Qur’an, the word ‘Allah’ has throughout been used as connoting the Being Who sends Prophets and Messengers and Books, Who is the Creator of heaven and earth and possesses such and such attributes and is One without associ- ate. It is true that those who have had no access to God’s word and are utterly unaware of it, will be judged according to their degree of knowledge, reason and intelligence, but it is not possible that they should achieve the grades and ranks which will be bestowed upon those who follow the Holy Prophetsa .The blind obviously cannot arrive at the high sta- tions of those who are guided by the light of Prophethood. This is Divine grace, which He bestows on whom He wills.   Arabic Verse 8: [4:151-152]     *  That is: ‘There are those who do not want to believe in both Allah and His Messengers and seek to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers and say: We believe in God, but not in His Messengers; and seek to separate Allah from His Messengers. There are others who believe in Allah but not the Prophets,or they believe in some Prophets but not in others and desire to adopt a position between the two; these indeed are the confirmed disbelievers.We have prepared a humiliating punishment for such disbelievers.’… The second type of verses are Mutashabihat [allegorical] which have very subtle meanings. Their true mean- ing is revealed only to those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. Those whose hearts are afflicted with hypocrisy do not care to follow what is Muhkamat [fundamental] and seek to follow only that which is allegorical. The Word of God is full of Muhkamat [fundamental] verses, whose meaning is clear, and the neglect of which occasions great harm. For instance, one who believes in God but does not believe in His Messengers has to repudiate Divine attributes. This is illustrated by the new sect of Brahmus who proclaim that they believe in God but do not believe in the Prophets.They repudiate the Word of God, while it is obvious that if God hears He also speaks. If His speaking is not established, His With the coming of a prophet, a fountain of blessings and virtue springs forth. Smit | Shutterstock Divine attributes are eternal and ever-lasting.They are demonstrated only by Prophets.The denial of the attributes of God invariably leads to the denial of God’s existence.This shows that belief in God necessarily implies belief in the Prophets (peace be on them), without which belief in God is imperfect and incomplete. the essence of islam 62 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 63
  33. 33. advanced towards apostasy.In truth there is no contradiction in the word of Allah. It is only a case of deficient understand- ing and murky disposition. We should interpret the Word of God Almighty, as He Himself has interpreted it and should not,like the Jews,place another construc- tion upon it. It has always been the way of the Divine Word and of His Messengers, that they seek to guide a hardened disbeliever by instructing him that if he believes in God, and loves Him, and accepts Him as One without associate, he will surely attain salvation. The purpose of this is that if such a person would believe truly in God, he would be enabled by God to accept Islam. The Holy Qur’an, which these people ignore, clearly affirms that true faith in God leads to faith in the Holy Prophetsa , and such a person becomes ready to accept Islam. My own method also is that when an Arya, a Brahmu, a Christian, a Jew, or a Sikh, or any other non-Muslim per- sists in wrong reasoning, I tell him that such discussion will not help him in any way but that if he sincerely believes in God, He will Himself open the way of salvation to him. But by this I do not at all mean that salvation can be achieved without following the Holy Prophetsa ; what I mean is that if a person believes sincerely in God,God will open his heart to belief in the Holy Prophetsa . It should be remembered that, in the first place, the true Unity of God can- not be appreciated without following the Holy Prophetsa .As I have just mentioned, Divine attributes, which cannot be iso- lated from the Being of God, cannot be observed except through the mirror of the revelation vouchsafed to a Prophet. They are illustrated in practice only by a Prophet. But even if someone should acquire an imperfect appreciation of them, it would not be altogether free from traces of polytheism till such a one is led by God into Islam by accepting His Now, observe the outrage that is com- mitted by Mian [Mr] Abdul Hakim who disregards hundreds of verses of the Holy Qur’an which proclaim emphatically that the profession of belief in the Unity of God alone is not enough for the achieve- ment of salvation and that faith in the Holy Prophetsa is also essential; and,like the Jews, he twists the meanings of two or three concise verses and insists upon his own interpretation. Every sensible person can realise that if those verses mean what Abdul Hakim opines, then it is goodbye to Islam and the command- ments like prayer and fasting,etc.,which have been taught by the Holy Prophetsa are rendered vain and meaningless. If it were true that everyone can attain salvation through his fancied version of the Unity of God, then the rejection of Prophets and the repudiation of faith would be no sin and would do no harm. However,there is not a single verse in the Holy Qur’an which relieves a Muslim from obedience to the Holy Prophetsa . Even if these two or three verses which Mian Abdul Hakim relies upon had appeared to him contradictory to hun- dreds of verses of the contrary import, he should have subordinated them to the large number of other verses,and should not have disregarded the latter and thus The Holy Qur’an comprises of two types of verses; Muhkamat (explicit) and Mutashabihat (allegorical). Kamomeen | Shutterstock If it were true that everyone can attain salvation through his fancied version of the Unity of God, then the rejection of Prophets and the repudiation of faith would be no sin and would do no harm. It has always been the way of the Divine Word and of His Messengers, that they seek to guide a hardened disbeliever by instructing him that if he believes in God, and loves Him, and accepts Him as One without associate, he will surely attain salvation. the essence of islam 64 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 65
  34. 34. man to be grateful to God, who sends Messengers to teach him the Unity of God. —Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 172-179 Why Do Prophets Have Needs Like Other People? I wish to explain why Prophets feel the need of things like the help of other people. God Almighty has power to safeguard them against all needs. These needs arise so that they might manifest examples of dedication to God,like that of Abu Bakrra , and faith in the existence of God Almighty may be generated, and such dedicated people may serve as a sign of God and the world may wit- ness examples of that hidden delight and love for the sake of which a loved and desired thing like wealth can be easily and cheerfully sacrificed. After the sac- rifice of wealth and riches, these people are granted the power and courage to complete their dedication to God by sacrificing their very lives for Him. Thus the true purpose of the Prophets, peace be on them, feeling the need of things is that they may inculcate the discarding of desire and love for mortal things and be invested with a delicious faith in the existence of God Almighty and develop the spirit of self sacrifice in the cause of the promotion of the welfare of their fellow beings. This holy group subsists under the care of the Master of the treasuries of the heaven and earth and can encounter no real need. Their needs are encountered for the perfection of their teaching and promotion of man- kind’s faith and high qualities. —Malfuzat, vol. 2, pp. 96-97 endnotes 1. Abdul Hakim Khan was a Muslim, who turned apostate. [Publisher] Photos added in this article were not in the original publication but have been added at the discretion ofThe Review of Religions for visual effect.The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in depiction. total obedience. Whatever a believer receives from God Almighty through God’s Messenger is a heavenly gift, which is not tainted by his own pride and self-esteem,but what- ever a person achieves through his own effort is always affected by some taint of polytheism.That is why Messengers have been sent to teach the true Unity of God, and mankind has not been left depend- ent upon reason alone so that the Unity of God should remain pure and should not be tainted with human conceit.This is why erring philosophers have never been able to grasp the pure Unity of God, inasmuch as they are afflicted with pride, arrogance and conceit, and pure Unity demands the negation of the self. Such negation cannot be effected unless a per- son sincerely believes that it is a Divine gift in which his effort has no part. For instance, one farmer keeps awake throughout the night and irrigates his field with great hardship, while another one sleeps all night and a cloud arises and rain fills his field with water.Would these two be equal in their gratitude to God? Indeed not.He whose field is irri- gated without his labour would be more grateful than the other. That is why the Word of God has repeatedly admonished God may bestow wealth upon his servants in order for them to serve as examples to others when they sacrifice such wealth easily and cheerfully for God. Fer Gregory | Shutterstock After the sacrifice of wealth and riches, these people are granted the power and courage to complete their dedication to God by sacrificing their very lives for Him. the essence of islam 66 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS | JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 | THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 67

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