March 2013


Webcasting on the world’s first real-time Islamic service at
Shahid Aziz Mustaq Ali of our wishes and desires; (2) that faith may further be strengthened with the acceptance of prayer and the granting of the object prayed for; (3) that knowledge and wisdom may increase, in case Divine help and triumph be vouchsafed in a different way; (4) that if a promise for the acceptance of prayer be held out through a vision or revelation, and if it should come to pass exactly as foretold, then our knowledge of God and matters Divine may increase in this way, and we may, from this knowledge, acquire realization and belief, which may further give rise to love and loyalty; and that this perfect love and admiration of the Divine Being may, in its turn, inspire us to have complete disjunction and disassociation from every sin and everything other-than-Allah, which is the fruit of real and true salvation. But if one should, of himself, obtain the fulfilment of his desires, being also remote and a d r i f t from the Most High God, all those desires will at last become the cause of intense grief, and all the objects in which a pride is taken, will Faith ultimately assume the shape of sorrow and unhappiness. All the pleasures of the world will at last be

Call of the Messiah Sharia Law Is Not Based On the Quran But the Bible by Dr Mir Faizal Misconceptions About the Curative Power of Alcohol by Dr Muhammad Al Bar As Islam Grows, US Imams in Short Supply by John Burnett

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‫بِسْم ہللاِ الرَّحْ مٰ ن الرَّحیْم‬ ِ ِ ِ
Call of the Messiah
(Continued from the previous issue)

Four reasons
It should also be remembered that for the obligation of prayer which the word of God has enjoined upon the Muslims, there are four reasons: (1) that firm and implicit faith in the Unity of God be acquired by turning towards Him in every condition and every time; for, to ask and beg from God is to acknowledge and admit that He and He alone is the Great Granter

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changed into pain, and all the comforts and ease into suffering and distress. But the mental perception and Divine knowledge which a man gets through prayer, and the blessings and benefaction which are granted at the time of prayer from the heavenly treasure will never diminish or decrease, nor will decay ever come u p o n them; on the other hand, unceasing progres s b e i n g made from day to day in Divine knowledge and love, man will continue to ascend paradiseward by means of this prayer -ladder. and has nothing to do with other things. The attribute of Rahimiyyat requires, for the bestowal of its benefit, the admission of nonentity and nothingness from the lips of existing rational beings, and is related only to humankind. The attribute of Malkiyyatyaum-il-din (‘Mastership of the Day of Requital’) requires, for the display of its perfo r m an c e , the most humble and submissive solicitation and earnest and eager supplication; and it pertains only to those human beings who, beggar-like, lay their humble heads on the Most High God’s threshold and spread out their skirt of poverty for receiving alms and, finding themselves empty-handed in reality, repose faith in the mastership and sovereignty of the Most High God. These are the four Divine attributes functioning in the world; and of these, Rahimiyyat is the attribute which stirs up and stimulates prayer, whereas the attribute of Malkiyyat, toning down and softening with the flame of fear and disquietude, creates true humility and invocation; for, it is established and proved from this attribute that the Most High God is the Master of requital and recompense, that no one can claim anything from Him as a matter of right or title, and that deliverance and salvation rest exclusively on His mercy and grace.

Four supreme attributes
There are four supreme and most exalted attributes of the Most High God which are, in fact, the mothers of all attributes; and each of these attributes calls for and requires a contribution from our human nature. The four attributes are: 1. Rububiyyat – Providence; nourishing unto perfection; 2. Rahmaniyyat – Beneficence; 3. Rahimiyyat – Mercy; 4. Malkiyyat-yaum-il-din – Requital. The attribute of Rububiyyat, for the execution of its function, requires absolute nothingness, or a state very similar to it, and all kinds of creation, animate as well as inanimate, the garments of their existence being made by its agency. The attribute of Rahmaniyyat, for the doing of its good, requires mere inexistence, during which time there should be no effect nor any manifestation of existence; and this attribute has its relation only with animated objects

To sum up and recapitulate briefly: these are the four attributes of the Most High God which stand proved and established by the teaching of the Holy Quran and the inquiry and investiga-

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tion of wisdom and intellect. Of these, Rahimiyyat is the attribute which demands that one offer up a prayer and supplicate that Divine blessings and benefits be showered on that prayer. We have also written in our books Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya and Karamat-al-Sadiqin how exquisitely all these four attributes have been mentioned in the Opening Chapter of the Holy Quran, and how obviously it is proved, by casting a look upon the Book of Nature, that the very same order and arrangement has been followed in the Sura Fatihah (‘Opening Chapter’). All these four attributes are found in God’s Book of Action, the Law of Nature. Therefore, to give denial to and belie prayer, or look upon it as a useless thing, and regard it not as an incentive or stimulus for the attraction and absorption of Divine grace, is, as it were, to gainsay and deny the third great attribute of the Most High God, which is Rahimiyyat. But this denial is a move, in secret, in the direction of agnosticism; for, Rahimiyyat is the one such attribute by means of which belief is induced in all the other attributes and reaches the stage of perfection. The reason is that when we find, by means of God’s Rahimiyyat, that our prayers and supplications have been blessed with Divine mercy and grace and that every kind of difficulty and trouble has been removed, then our faith in the existence of God, His power and compassion, as well as in respect of other attributes, gets to and reaches the degree of haqq-al-yaqin, i.e., certainty by realization, and we come to know for certain – as of an event perceived and seen by our own eyes – that in reality the Most High God is worthy of all praise and honour, and that His Rububiyyat, Rahmaniyyat and other attributes are all correct and true; but without the establishment of the truth of Rahimiy‍ at, the other attributes, too, y remain doubtful and uncertain.

A matter of paramount importance
It is but obvious that the matter of paramount importance which we should get through and accomplish is the realization of God, and that if this realization of ours be doubtful, dim and defective, our faith can never be shining and bright; and until this realization of God, by means of His attribute of Rahimiyyat, become an event of our own seeing or perception, we cannot, up till then, drink the pure and sweet water from the fountain of real knowledge of our Supreme Lord. If we deceive not ourselves, we shall have to admit that, for the completion of our knowledge of God, we stand in need of and require that by means of the Divine attribute of Rahimiyyat all our doubts and suspicions be removed, and such a strong impression be created on our minds – His attributes of mercy, grace and all-powerfulness having been felt and experienced by us – that we may be rendered free and delivered from the sensual passions which, merely on account of the weakness of our faith and realization, overmaster us and cause our minds to turn in another direction. Is it not a fact that man, coming into this transient and ephemeral world, slips into a dreadful darkness for the obvious reason that the powerful and piercing rays of God-realization fall not upon his mind; that for the real pleasure and peace of the next world he has not as much yearning and quest in his mind as he cherishes love for this world, its wealth and riches, kingdoms and rule; and that if a recipe could be discovered for remaining in this world for all time to come, he would certainly be prepared to declare with the lips of his own mouth that he has given up and renounced his wish of getting the world? What, then, is the reason? The reason is that there is no real, living faith in the existence of God, His mercy, power and word of promise. (Ayyam-us-Sulah)

March 2013


Sharia Law Is Not Based On the Quran but the Bible
by Dr Mir Faizal
This article is not meant as an attack on Christians and Jews, and we do apologise if we hurt the feelings of any Christian or Jew. We also understand that most Christians and Jews do not take the Bible literally. The Bible also contains some beautiful spiritual metaphors and some beautiful moral teaching. This article is, rather, an attempt to expose those extremists who want to oppress people and falsely claim that these oppressive laws come from the Quran. Every now and then we see the image of some woman getting stoned in Afghanistan, a gay getting hanged in Iran and Muslims demanding the killing of those people who insult Islam. We also see terrorist attacks taking place in different parts of the world. To most people it seems that Islam is not a very tolerant religion. Some people also think that maybe all this violence of the Sharia law comes from the Quran. However, in reality this is not the case. Almost all of Sharia law comes from Hadith, many of which are most probably directly copied from the Bible. In fact, in the Quran it is forbidden to give capital punishment to any criminal except a murderer or a tyrant who persecutes people: “If‍ anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if‍he‍slew‍the‍entire‍humanity”‍(Quran, 5:32). However, in Sharia law there is death for all kinds of crimes. In Sharia law the punishment for blasphemy is death. This will not come as a surprise to many people, who have seen Muslims protesting and demanding the execution of those who have insulted Islam or Prophet Muhammad. However, what will come as a surprise is what the Quran has to say about blasphemy. The Quran commands us to be patient with those who commit any blasphemy: “Bear,‍then,‍ with patience, all that they [blasphemers] say”‍(Quran, 50:39); “We [God] know best what they [blasphemers] say; and you are not one to overawe‍them‍by‍force”‍(Quran, 50:45). On the other hand, in Bible the punishment for blas-

phemy is death: “He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him”‍(Leviticus, 24:13–16). So, it is clear where the Sharia law derived its ruling from. Another aspect of Sharia law that is against human rights is the capital punishment for leaving Islam. This is, again, against a clear Quranic commandment about freedom of religion: “Let‍ there‍ be‍ no‍ compulsion‍ in‍ religion:‍ Truth‍ stands‍ out‍ clear‍ from‍ Error” (Quran, 2:256). This law is again derived from the Bible: “If‍thy‍brother,‍the‍son‍of‍thy‍mother,‍or‍thy‍son,‍ or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers …‍ thou‍ shalt‍ stone‍ him‍ with‍ stones,‍ that‍ he‍ die”‍(Deuteronomy, 13:5–10). What really makes Islam come on the news most of the times is terrorism. Terrorism has no place in the Quran. The rules of war in the Quran are clear. War can only be fought against oppression or in self-defense and no civilian can be killed in a war: “Fight‍in‍the‍cause‍of‍God‍those‍ who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God‍ loves‍ not‍ the‍ transgressors‍ …‍ But‍ if‍ they‍ cease [fighting you], then let there be no hostility except‍to‍those‍who‍practice‍oppression”‍(Quran, 2:190–193). The question then remains: “Where does Al-Qaida gets its inspiration to kill so many civilians? Where did the 9/11 bombers get their inspiration?” The answer is fatwa’s based on the Bible: “Now‍ go‍ and‍ smite‍ Amalek,‍ and‍ utterly‍ destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep,‍ camel‍ and‍ ass”‍ (Samuel, 15:3). The images of women getting stoned for adultery and gays getting killed seems somehow to be always associated with Islam. However, in the Quran there is nothing about the stoning of women to death or killing gays. This again comes from the Bible: “If‍a‍damsel‍that‍is‍a‍virgin‍ be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die;

March 2013

the damsel, because she cried not, being in the follow the Quran and stop following the Bible. city” (Deuteronomy, 22:23–24);‍“If‍a‍man‍also‍lie‍ with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of Misconceptions About the them have committed an abomination: they shall Curative Power of Alcohol surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”‍(Leviticus, 20:13). by Dr Muhammad Al Bar Another thing that usually comes up in the DM, MRCP, Consultant, King Fahd media is honour killing. To be fair on Sharia law, Center for Medical Research even Sharia law forbids honour killing. However, (From Nur-i-Islam magazine, published by the it is practised mainly because of cultural reasons Ahmadiyya‍Anjuman‍Isha‘at-i-Islam, in the some parts of the Muslim world. There is, Lahore (Canada)) of course, no mention of honour killing in the Quran but, interestingly, there is mention of Since antiquity, alcohol has been used not only honour killing in the Bible: “Jesus‍replied,‍And‍ as a social lubricant but also as a remedy for why do you break the command of God for the many different ailments and diseases ranging sake of your tradition? For God said, from insomnia and indigestion to Honour your father and mother heart attacks and as an anesthetic. and Anyone who curses his father or The list of diseases for which alcomother must be put to hol was used as a remedy was indeath” (Matthew, 15:3–4). deed very long. Another thing Islam is blamed The Arabs of Jahiliyya [pre-Islamic] for is paedophilia. There is nothing period used alcohol to boost courin the Quran relating to paedophilia. age and benevolence. The poet HasThe story of Muhammad marrying a san ibn Thabit Al Ansari before he 9-year-old girl is not in the Quran. It embraced Islam said: “When we comes from a wrong Hadith which drink liquor we become like kings was written more than 200 years [in our benevolence] and during after Muhammad’s death. All hisfight we become lions who never torical research into this matter has waver or falter from confrontation.” shown that this Hadith is wrong. They also used it as a remedy for This Hadith does seem to be again their ailments and diseases. The aubased on the Bible: “And‍Moses‍said‍ thentic narrators quote many Fatima Khatun, Cairo unto them, Have ye saved all the Hadiths to show how the new conwomen‍ alive?‍ …‍ Now‍ therefore‍ kill‍ verts tried to convince the Prophet every male among the little ones, and kill every (s) that they used alcohol only as a remedy, and woman that hath known man by lying with him. asked for his permission to continue doing so. But all the women children, that have not known The Prophet (s) emphatically denied the benea man by lying with him, keep alive for yourfits of liquor as a remedy and clearly mentioned selves”‍(Numbers, 31:15–18). it as a case of ailment and disease and not a remIn Saudi Arabia, every year, people are killed edy for any disease. by the government for witchcraft. There is, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Tirmithi narrate again, nothing in the Quran to justify it. Howthe following Hadith: “A man called Tariq Al Joofi ever, according to the Bible, witches are to be came to the Prophet (s) and asked permission to killed: “A‍man‍also‍or‍woman‍that‍hath‍a‍familiar‍ consume liquor. The Prophet (s) refused. The spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to man said: ‘I use it and prescribe it as a medicine.’ death: they shall stone them with stones: their The Prophet (s) answered: ‘It is no medicine. It blood‍shall‍be‍upon‍them” (Leviticus, 20:27). is a disease and ailment.’” Our advice to extremists is that they should Another Hadith says that a man called Tariq

March 2013

ibn Swaid Al Hadrami came to the Prophet (s) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, in our land we have vineyards and we make wine and drink.” The Prophet (s) said: “Stop drinking.” The man proclaimed: “We use it as a remedy for the ill and diseased.” The Prophet (s) said: “It is no remedy. It is an illness itself.” The people of Yemen, who came to the Prophet (s), asked him to allow them to drink because they lived in a mountainous cold area, and they drank liquor to fight the cold weather and to help them in their hard jobs. The Prophet (s) asked if that liquor [made from wheat] was intoxicating. The man who spoke for the Yemeni delegation agreed. The Prophet (s) said: “Then you have to stop drinking.” Abu Dawood narrated this Hadith: “Allah has made for every illness a cure, but never seek your cure by things prohibited.”
 Al Bukhari narrated a similar Hadith in which the Prophet (s) said: “Allah did not make your remedy in any of the things prohibited.” This shows that Arabs at the time of the Prophet (s) were strong believers in the medicinal powers of liquor. However, the Prophet (s) emphatically denied that power. Instead he repeatedly stated drinking liquor even in small quantities was a cause of illness and disease. It is, therefore, quite strange to find that the great medieval Muslim physicians and philosophers like Abu Baker Al Razi and Ibn Sina commended the use of liquor in moderation to keep good health. What is even more astonishing is that highly esteemed men of religion like Ibn Katheer believed in the medicinal and health procuring powers of the intoxicating liquor. This misconception still persists though science and medicine have proved beyond doubt the fallacy of the medicinal powers of liquor. The modern scientific findings have also proved how baseless are the claims that alcohol heats the body and therefore is good remedy for cold weather, that it helps the digestion, and that it is a stimulant of the brain. Imam Jaffer Al Sadiq, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (s), was asked by a man suffering from severe, bleeding piles to allow him to drink liquor, as his physician prescribed it. The Imam refused and said: “Allah has never made your remedies in things that were prohibited.” He also rejected emphatically the suggestion to dissolve the ingredients of medicines in alcohol. Ibn Al Qaim, one of the renowned jurists of the seventh century of Hijrah, wrote many a chapter in his books to refute the arguments in favor of the medicinal uses of alcohol claimed by the physicians of his time. There is a saying to the effect that “We are what we eat.” This is true to a great extent, as the food and drink we consume is transformed in our bodies by the processes of anabolism into the cells of our bodies, and the processes of catabolism into the energy that we need to perform the functions of our life. Therefore, it is no wonder that alcohol, when it enters the body, affects both the psyche and the soma badly. That was what Ibn Al Qaim was explaining to his contemporaries, including the physicians of his age. He was denying emphatically the benefits of alcohol claimed by Al Razi and Ibn Sina and the whole medical profession in his days. At his time there was little proof of what he said except that it was clearly stated in the Prophet’s sayings. Now we have ample evidence for what he was trying to prove. The ill effects of alcohol on both psyche and soma are well documented. They are taught in the schools of medicine all over the world. The learned men of religion [Jurists] agreed that liquor should never be used as a drug for medicine, or to quench the thirst. However, the jurists allowed the use of alcohol as a solvent of drugs provided that: (a) there is no other available drug which does not contain alcohol; (b) the amount of alcohol as a solvent is minute and does not cause drunkenness; and (c) it is prescribed by a competent Muslim physician.

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Ibn Qudama Al Maqdisi states this quite clearly in his book Mughni Al Muhtaj; “The use of liquor as a remedy is prohibited in our religion. However, the use of drugs, which have been mixed with liquor as a solvent, is another matter. It is permissible to use that drug provided the liquor used is very small in quantity and provided that a competent, good Muslim physician has prescribed it.” The medical and pharmacological professions in the Muslim world are strongly called to replace the drugs containing alcohol with others which are alcohol-free. Most of the drugs containing alcohol found on the counter, e.g., tonics, etc., could easily be replaced by alcohol-free drugs. A ban could be imposed in the Muslim countries, if the governments do agree. barefoot, elbow-to-elbow on a green carpet, in quietude. The 200 mostly Pakistani-American members of this small Texas mosque are lucky to have a full-time, American-born imam. There’s an acute imam shortage in America, the result of supply, and demand, says Nouman Ali Khan. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel to maybe 150 mosques across the country. And the vast majority of them, actually, did not have a fulltime imam,” says Ali Khan, who heads Bayyinah, an Arabic-language institute in Dallas that educates future imams. “The ones that did are very happy to have them and the ones that didn’t are constantly asking me when I go for a seminar, ‘Hey, so you know anybody?’” Separated geographically from the rest of Islam, he says American Muslims must find their own way, must invent their own traditions. In Islamic countries, mosques and imams are supported by the state. Here in the U.S., they are private just like any church. Moreover, they are likely to serve as religious and community centers for their ethnically distinct congregation. Indeed, American mosques are filled with Muslims from many different countries. And increasingly they’re the spiritual home of native -born Muslims whose identities are completely American. Some young Muslims feel alienated from the mosque and from religious culture altogether. So U.S. mosques not only need imams trained in classical Islam, but who possess good English skills and a thorough understanding of American culture. “You may have a scholarly religious figure that can speak to the older congregation, but he’s not able to connect as well with the youth,” Ali Khan says. “And in a lot of the interviews, it’s even sort of a primary con-

As Islam Grows, US Imams in Short Supply
by John Burnett
Islam in America is growing exponentially. From 2000 to 2010, the number of mosques in the United States jumped 74 percent. Today, there are more than 2,100 American mosques but they have a challenge: There aren’t enough imams, or spiritual leaders, to go around. The Mid-Cities Mosque in Colleyville, Texas, has two modest minarets that distinguish it as a sacred building here in this sedate suburb between Fort Worth and Dallas. It’s trimmed in green lights – the color of Islam. A Dallas Muslim Yellow Pages sits in a rack outside the doors. Inside, maghrib prayers, after sunset, are commencing. A husky young imam dressed in a sand-colored tunic closes his eyes and leans into a microphone. A dozen men stand

March 2013

cern how well can you connect with the young faith in, like, such a modern environment,” Patel in our community.” says. The Islamic Association of Mid-Cities went Some of those things include dating, sex, drugs, without an imam for 15 months before it finally alcohol and profanity. chose Yahya Jaekoma. He’s a cherubic, 23-year“We’ve been strictly taught in Islam that vulgar old of Thai and Afghan descent, who was born in language is not allowed,” Patel says. “I try my best San Diego. to, like, not engage in Mosque on Water, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia “I was a that type of thing, and sponsored I’ve told my friends, skater at the age too.” of 10 ... and after A recent survey by the breaking my Islamic Society of arm, my grandNorth America reports mother told me I that only 44 percent of [had] to put it American imams are off,” Jaekoma salaried and full-time. explains. “So she The rest are volunteer sent me to a mareligious leaders. Four drassa, which is out of five imams here an institute to were born and edustudy the Quran, cated outside the at the age of 14.” United States, mostly in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and By the time he was 18, Jaekoma had memoIndia. rized the entire Quran and dedicated his life to “I can count the number of institutions that religious study. But his time as a hip-hop skateprepare imams in the U.S. on three fingers,” says boarder gives him a unique voice for the youth Jihad Turk, president the Bayan Claremont Islamic in his mosque. graduate school in Southern California. “I tell them my life story,” he says. “I tell Turk estimates that his institution, Hartford them where I came from. I tell them what I’ve Seminary in Connecticut, and Zaytuna College in done.” the San Francisco Bay Area will, collectively, graduThe youth group at the Mid-Cities mosque ate fewer than 30 Koranic scholars this year. includes Sijil Patel, a 16-year-old PakistaniThis handful of newly minted American imams American who is thoroughly modern with Faceshould have no trouble at all finding work. book, Twitter, Instagram, crazy-colored sneak[Copyright NPR, February 10th, 2013, submitted by ers, and a headscarf. Hameed Jahangiri. Source: “By having someone that was born here, it’s to relate to them, and it’s easier for them islam-grows-u-s-imams-in-short-supply? to understand our view on what we’re dealing sc=ipad&f=1001] with and, like, the difficulties we have with our

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