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  • Special contributors:Amatul-Hadi AhmadFarina Qureshi

    Proof-reader:Shaukia Mir

    Design and layout:Tanveer Khokhar

    Publisher:Al Shirkatul Islamiyyah

    Distribution:Muhammad Hanif

    Mansoor Ahmed Shah

    Basit Ahmad

    Bockarie Tommy Kallon

    Daud Mahmood Khan

    Fareed Ahmad

    Fazal Ahmad

    Fauzia Bajwa.

    Mansoor Saqi

    Mahmood Hanif

    Mansoora Hyder-Muneeb

    Navida Shahid

    Sarah Waseem.

    Saleem Ahmad Malik

    Tanveer Khokhar

    Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

    All correspondence shouldbe forwarded directly to:

    The EditorReview of Religions

    The London Mosque16 Gressenhall RoadLondon, SW18 5QL

    United Kingdom

    Islamic Publications, 2002ISSN No: 0034-6721

    EditorialPassing through the 100 year milestone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    CommentsOn religious extremism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestLife did not create itself nor did death create life. A refreshing rational approach to the concept of evolution is our lead article this month Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    Assessment of Belief Part IIConvincing evidence corroborating the claim of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he is the Promised Messiah and his resemblance to the Messiah of yore Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

    QUESTION & ANSWER: Distortion of ReligionDistortions of the original message led to the occult. Also the role of the Messiah is to rectify attitudes - Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. . . . . . . 49

    My Visit to QadianReview of Religions' staff reporter with an eye witness account of his recent visit Bockarie Tommy Kallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

    Contents January 2002, Vol.97, No.1

    1

    Chief Editor and Manager Chairman of the Management Board: Naseer Ahmad Qamar

  • January 2002 marks the firstcentenary of the Review ofReligions. This English magazinewas started by the Founder ofthe Ahmadiyya Movement inIslam, Hadhrat Mirza GhulamA h m a d( a s ) of Qadian, India(1835-1908). Hadhrat MirzaGhulam Ahmad(as), who claimedunder divine guidance that hewas the Promised Messiah(as) andWorld Reformer awaited by allrevealed religions of the world.

    The twentieth century com-menced with a proposal for theestablishment of the Review ofReligions. Right from the verybeginning, the Pr o m i s e dMessiah(as) had a deep interest inthe propagation of Islam inWestern countries. It is relatedthat once a follower broughtglad tidings of his victory in adebate and the Pr o m i s e dM e s s i a h( a s ) stated, I thoughtthat you have brought the newsthat Europe has becomeMuslim. He had already been arecipient of prophecies pre-dicting that his writings would

    be published in large quantitiesin Europe. He was informedthat impressed by such writings,hundreds of thousands ofEnglishmen would embraceIslam even though at that timeonly a few advertisements andsome books had been translatedinto the English language andhad found their way into Europeand America. Nevertheless, thiswas a significant project. Eversince the commencement of hisclaim to be the Pr o m i s e dMessiah(as), he had desired thatan English language magazineshould be launched to spreadthe voice of Islam in the West inwhich translations of articles hehad penned in support of Islamshould be published.

    After consulting some of hisvolunteers conversant with theEnglish language, on 15 January1901, the Promised Messiah(as)announced the establishment ofan English magazine under thejoint editorship of MaulawiMuhammad Ali sahib MA andKhawaja Kamaluddin sahib, BA,Pleader Peshawar. To set thismagazine on a sound footing,the communitys members meton 31 March 1901 and 1 April1901 in Masjid Aqsa and Masjid

    2 Review of Religions Jan 2002

    Editorial

  • Mubarak, Qadian, India. It wasmutually agreed that apermanent board calledAnjuman Ishaat Islam beestablished for the Englishmagazine and the translation ofthe books of the Pr o m i s e dM e s s i a h( a s ). The Pr o m i s e dM e s s i a h( a s ) himself was theChairman and the remainingboard was made up of thefollowing:

    PresidentHadhrat Maulawi Nuruddin sahibVice PresidentMaulawi Abdul Karim SialkotisahibSecretaryMr Khawaja Kamaluddin Assistant SecretaryMaulawi Muhammad Ali sahibFinancial SecretaryMr Sheikh Rahmatullah Malik ofBombay HouseAccountantMr Mian Tajdin Lahori

    The board of directors chose theReview of Religions as the nameof the English magazine andselected Lahore as its headoffice. A committee was formedto draft the constitution. TheAnjuman also decided on 24

    November 1901 that if threehundred subscribers wereobtained, an Urdu edition of theReview of Religions would alsobe launched.

    These then are the details ofthe humble beginning of thislongest running Muslim monthlymagazine in the Englishlanguage. It was the firstpublication body establishedunder the supervision of theFounder of the AhmadiyyaMovement in Islam. When theSadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya wasestablished in early 1906, thisvehicle along with otherdepartments was absorbed inthe new entity.

    Both English and Urdu editions ofthe Review of Religions p r o p o s e dby the Promised Messiah ( a s )commenced in January 1902.Whereas the English editioncontinued to be published forsome time from Lahore, the firstedition of the Urdu edition of theReview of Religions w a spublished from the Faiz A a mLahore Press and after thatbegan to be published from MrShaikh Yaqoob Alis AnwaarAhmadiyya Press of Qadian.

    3

    Editorial

    Review of Religions Jan 2002

  • We will dwell on the impact ofthe Review of Religions on itsreaders and their favourablecomments in some futureedition.

    Coming back to today, asreaders would have no doubtobserved we have introduced afew changes. Firstly, the sizehas shrunk to the commercialstandard A5. We prefer thetraditional A4 but soem readersrequested a handy size. Thecover has a more compre-hensive coverage of thecontents amid a splash ofc o l o u r. As for the contentsthemselves, we had certainoutstanding commitments andpromised scheduling but pastthis stage it is our intention togo back to basics and revive theprime objective of thismagazine. We also intend to doour utmost to produce 12editions each year so that nosubscriber feelss short-changed.

    F i n a l l y, I wish to thank myp r e d e c e s s o r, Mr Rafiq AhmedHayat, who earlier last yeartook over the additionalresponsibilities of the nationalpresident of the entirecommunity in the United

    Kingdom. His contribution tothe Review of Religions i nbuilding up an excellent team ofeditors and in both the coverand the contents of short andvaried articles has left anunforgettable mark.

    I step into his shoes consciousthat I carry a heavy respon-sibility to propel this magazineinto the new centenary. I canbut request the prayers of thereaders that God Almightyenables me to contribute a littleto the purpose for which thismagazine was established acentury ago.

    We wish a very happy New Yearto all our readers.

    Mansoor Ahmed Shah

    4

    Editorial

    Review of Religions Jan 2002

  • In this modern world, peopleare discovering the richness ofother faiths and religioustraditions without abandoningtheir own faith. Many Christiansand people of other faiths learnmeditation from Buddhists.Jews feel no qualms aboutreading the modernist the-ologians like Paul Tillich andChristians readily read Jewishphilosophers. But one religionseems to have been excludedfrom the circle of goodwill forthe last one thousand years.The Western world has createda false image of Islam which hasno relationship with reality. Theintensity and continuity of thisdistortion is such that it showsno signs of abating even in thisliberal and tolerant climate oft o d a y s world. The We s tconveniently ignores the factthat Islam had for centuries abetter record of tolerance thanChristianity or Judaism. TheHoly Quran, fourteen hundredyears ago, gave women the

    rights that European women didnot receive until the 19thc e n t u r y. But some of theextremist clerics of Islam todayhave also made theircontribution in perpetuatingthis vision of extremism andintolerance. These Don Quixoteshave had their tilt at theirperceived windmills for longenough to distort the truth and,in so doing, they changed theHoly Word into Holy War. It saysin the Holy Quran,

    They pervert the words fromtheir proper places and haveforgotten a good part ofthat which they wereexhorted. (Ch.5:v.14)

    The zealots and fanatics have,consciously, placed mankind atlarge at the mercy of thosegroups who had no generalconcern for life other than theirown. They are only few and inm i n o r i t y, and, in no way

    5Review of Religions Jan 2002

    Notes & Comments RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM by Salim A. Malik UK

  • represent the true Muslimm a j o r i t y. As Edmund Burkewrote: Because half a dozengrasshoppers under a fern makethe field ring with theirimportune clink, while thou-sands of great cattle repos-ingbeneath the shake of an oakchew the cud and are silent,pray do not imagine that thosewho make the noise are the onlyinhabitants of the field.

    This phenomenon of fanaticismand extremism is relatively newin Islam. It is not the religionbut the purveyors of religionwho have traditionally broughtreligions in disrepute. If we readthe dismal history of religioushatred, we see that voices ofreason have traditionally beendrowned by the ignorantprejudice. Torrents of bloodhave been shed in the name ofevery religion, deity, ideology,faith, order and politicalsystem. It is sufficient tocompel one to form a conclusionthat mankind will distort andpervert any and every conceptto justify and sanctionpremeditated violence

    The Jewish religion is deeplyrooted in the wrath of God, in

    Judgment and punishment according to a partly nego-tiated but exclusive andjudicial contract. The Christianreligion brought a less exactingbut attainable image of theAlmighty, caring tenderly for allpeople. The teachings were, atonce, more humane andamenable to human nature.Christianity, in fact, expandedJudaism into a doctrine accept-able to vast numbers of peoplebut incapable of practicableapplication.

    One of the greatest floweringsof human achievement, both insciences, literature, poetry andeven human hygiene, came withthe spread of Islam and theteachings of the Holy Quran.Beginning as a powerful mono-theistic faith in Arabia, Islamsoon extended westwardthrough Africa to Gibraltar andSpain and eastward as far asIndonesia. It formed a looselyformed community held byreligious order under a highlycultivated, magnanimous andtolerant semi-theocratic rule. Itsuited all nations and all faithsthat lived under this benevolentsystem. Islam is a remarkablysimple religion to follow. The

    6

    Notes & Comments

    Review of Religions Jan 2002

  • Holy Quran gives the definitionof the believer as:

    Who believe in the unseenand observe prayer andspend out of what we haveprovided for them: whobelieve in what has beenrevealed to you (O Prophet)and that which was revealedbefore you and they havefirm faith in the Hereafter. Itis they who follow theguidance from their Lord andit is they who shall prosper. (Chapter 2: verses 4-6)

    The Holy Quran explainsfurther:

    This Messenger of Oursbelieves in that which hasbeen revealed to him fromhis Lord and so do thebelievers; all of thembelieve in Allah and Hisangels and in His Books andin His Messengers, saying, We make no distinctionbetween any of Hismessengers, and they say,We have heard and we areobedient. Our Lord! Weimplore thy forgiveness andto thee is our return. (Ch.2: v.286)

    The Holy Quran also declared:

    There should be nocompulsion in religion. (Ch.2:v.257)

    The unique feature of Islam isthat a Muslim has to believe inall the Messengers of the pastbe they from Judaicdispensation or from outside theAbrahamic traditions. Islamalso, firmly, repudiates anyintolerance of other faiths. Thatis why throughout Islamich i s t o r y, Islamic judges havegone out of their way to protectthe rights of the people of otherreligions and Muslim scholarshave insisted on the sacred rightto freedom of expression andfaith as strenuously as anyWestern liberal.

    The Promised Messiah andMahdi(as) of this age declaredmore than hundred years ago, inhis book A Message of Peace:

    Irrespective of whether weare Hindus or Muslim, andthough we have manydifferences, we believe inGod who has created thisworld and all that iscontained in it. We also claim

    7

    Notes & Comments

    Review of Religions Jan 2002

  • commonality as human beingsand we live in one country asneighbours. It is our duty thatwe should become friendswith a clear conscience andhonest intentions. We shouldsympathise with each otheron all matters temporal orreligious. My Friends! Thatfaith is no faith that does notteach sympathy for mankind.A human being is not humanunless he displays someelement of sympathy. OurGod has made no distinctionin any nation. Whateverfaculties were given to theancient nations have beengiven to the Arabian, Persian,Chinese, Japanese, Europeanand American nations. Theearth serves as a commonground for all and the sun,the moon and the starsperform common service forall mankind. These DivineManifestation teach us thatwe should, also treat eachother equally, with amity andwith tolerance. Narrow-mindedness or hard-heartedness have no place inhuman relations.

    The revival of Islam started withthe advent of the Pr o m i s e d

    Messiah(as) and the Mahdi and hisAhmadiyya Community isengaged in the renewal andreform of Islam based on thetrue Quranic teachings. In thespace of a century, theMovement has grown in 179countries claiming 200 millionfollowers. The impetus theyhave given to Islam andmomentum is unstoppable. Onequestion remains. Are theWestern democracies liberalenough to accept the trueteachings of Islam and freethemselves from the prejudiceof the past?

    Salim A. Malik

    8

    Notes & Comments

    Review of Religions Jan 2002

  • Answering the question as to who has been responsible, throughout the ages,for taking important decisions, which had to be taken at every step ofevolutionary advancement, the Quran pronounces the following:

    Blessed is He in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over allthings;It is He Who has created death and life that He might try you which ofyou is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Most Forgiving,The Same Who has created seven heavens in stages.(No) incongruity canyou see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again: Do you seeany flaw?Aye, look again, and yet again, your sight will only return to you tired andfatigued.1(Ch.67:vs2-5)

    9Review of Religions Jan 2002

    Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest

    This is an extract taken from the bookRevelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth,written by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad.

  • In the absence of God, life could not have travelled on a purpose-built pathfollowing a single direction throughout. At every step there was a wide aimlessexpanse of possibilities stretched before it, riddled with difficulties throughwhich it had to carve its path. There wer...