Follow me on Twitter

Monday, May 12, 2014

No reform please. We are Muslims.

Luton's 'Preservation of the Finality of Prophethood Forum' has finally published a rebuttal to the Ahmadiyya Muslim advert which had reportedly offended the Muslims of Luton. This is a paid advert published in this week's Luton on Sunday.

And the point is?
I was pleased to see that the writers of the advertisement have used civil language which is a remarkable achievement by itself. I am sure that the hate speech laws would have caused many edits before the piece was sent to the printers.

I say this because in my experience, all 'Khatme Nabuwwat' (Finality of Prophethood) organizations are known for their venomous language against the Ahmadiyya Muslims. This language often breeds violence against the community, the most recent example of which was in Hyderabad, India, where a drunken mob attacked the Ahmadiyya Mosque during the Friday prayers.

It is refreshing to see that Luton's anti-Ahmadiyya Mullahs are willing to share their beliefs with the community without inciting violence and hatred.

How does their definition of a Muslim help any of the readers is another matter.

When did the finality of prophethood become one of the central tenets if Islamic beliefs?

The committee of 22 Mosques in Luton would struggle to find a verse in Quran to justify this belief. They do present a verse in the advert

' Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.' (33:40)

The term used here is 'Khataman Nabiyyeen', translated by the classical translators like Pickthal, Yusuf Ali and Arberry as the Seal of Prophets. This term has been understood by the commentators to mean the best of the prophets. But since the founder of the Ahamdiyya Muslim Community claimed to be a subservient prophet to Muhammad (peace be upon him), his opponents have rejected the more sublime understanding of the verse in favour of a pedestrian one.

Before the inception of Ahmadiyya Islam, classical Islamic scholars had no doubt about the coming of a prophet within Muslims who would reform them and teach them the true wisdom of the Quran. He has been referred to in the Hadith as 'Eesa Ibn Maryam', Jesus, Son of Mary. Muslims have been, and most are still waiting for the Promised Messiah.

Herein lies the great dilema for our friends at the Finality Forum. How can they declare an end to the institution of Prophethood when their own advert claims that 'Lord Almighty in His Grace, never left mankind without any religious guidance'?

What they don't share with their readers is the unanimous belief of all the 22 Luton mosques, and the Muslims around the world that Jesus will descend from the heavens and he will be a prophet for the Muslims. A hadith in Tabarani, quotes the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)

'And remember, there is no prophet between me and him (the Promised Messiah)'

There are many other prophetic sayings (Ahadith) which refer to the Promised Messiah as a prophet.

There is no difference of opinion between the Ahmadi Muslims and the rest about the absolute supremacy of the Quranic message until the end of days. i.e., Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Seal of Prophets. His era continues until the day of judgement. The hadith quoted in the advert 'there will be no prophet after me' only refers to a new prophet bringing a new book or a new law.

But what becomes of the Muslims when they lose their way? When some of them start using their distorted understanding of the Quran to usrup the rights of mankind? When the quest of scientific knowledge is deemed sinful and difference of opinion is met with fatwas of heresy? Don't they need reform? And a prophet is, as the advert points out ' a reformer and an orthodox humanitarian'.

Whether or not you accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim to be a prophet is not relevant here. The fact that you need to contradict yourselves to counter his claims reveals the stubbornness so symptomatic of a people in dire need of reform.

Luton's 22 mosques belong primarily to the Barelvi (sufi) sect. Ibne Arabi, the great Sufi mystic, known as the Seal (Khatam) of Mystics by many, saw the coming of a prophet in Islam as an absolute necessity. He awaited the second coming of Jesus in a 'new body' who will follow the law of Quran.

But Ibne Arabi is considered a bit of a heretic himself by the more puritanical Wahabi Muslims. A great Indian scholar, Shah Waliullah of Delhi, highly regarded by the non-barelvi sects as an authority in Quran and Hadith states that only prophethood with a new law has come to an end. He also wrote that the Promised Messiah will be a true image of Muhammad himself.

For any Deobandi Mosques in Luton, I present the definitive statement of Qasim Nanotawi, the founder of Deoband sect in India, who said that the coming of a new prophet after the Holy Prophet does not break the 'Seal'. This has been a hotly debated issue between the Barelvi and Deobandi sects, each blaming the other for agreeing with the 'Qadianis'.

How unorthodox of the orthodoxy. A newfangled definition of a Muslim? That is the last thing one expects from them.

Despite the contradictions I have pointed out above, the advert is a step in the right direction.

By promoting their own cause and desisting from hate speech, the forum has taken a leaf out of the Ahmadiyya book. I urge them not to stop here. Please copy the whole book. Lets start by being more inclusive and less dogmatic. Lets remove any notions of a separatist, ghettoised interpretation of Islam from our minds and show more loyalty and commitment to the country we call our home. And above all, let us share the humanitarian, tolerant message of the Quran in our towns and cities.

No comments:

Post a Comment


ahmadiyya (44) islam (35) pakistan (29) qadiani (27) muhammad (8) Quran (7) muslim (7) taliban (7) Imam Mahdi (5) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (5) jesus (5) Messiah (4) in the shadow of the sword (4) india (4) jihad (4) EDL (3) ahrar (3) atheism (3) Mecca (2) Moses (2) bbc (2) bnp (2) lahore (2) maulvi (2) ahmadi (1) apostacy (1) bible (1)