Contents January 2002, Vol.97, No - The Review of ? Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest

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Special contributors:Amatul-Hadi AhmadFarina QureshiProof-reader:Shaukia MirDesign and layout:Tanveer KhokharPublisher:Al Shirkatul IslamiyyahDistribution:Muhammad Hanif Mansoor Ahmed ShahBasit Ahmad Bockarie Tommy KallonDaud Mahmood KhanFareed AhmadFazal AhmadFauzia Bajwa.Mansoor Saqi Mahmood Hanif Mansoora Hyder-MuneebNavida ShahidSarah Waseem.Saleem Ahmad MalikTanveer KhokharViews expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.All correspondence shouldbe forwarded directly to:The EditorReview of ReligionsThe London Mosque16 Gressenhall RoadLondon, SW18 5QLUnited Kingdom Islamic Publications, 2002ISSN No: 0034-6721EditorialPassing through the 100 year milestone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3CommentsOn religious extremism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Natural 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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Assessment 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) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42QUESTION & 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. . . . . . . 49My Visit to QadianReview of Religions' staff reporter with an eye witness account of his recent visit Bockarie Tommy Kallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Contents January 2002, Vol.97, No.11Chief Editor and Manager Chairman of the Management Board: Naseer Ahmad QamarJanuary 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 wouldbe 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 Masjid2 Review of Religions Jan 2002EditorialMubarak, 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 LahoriThe 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 24November 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.3EditorialReview of Religions Jan 2002We 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 UnitedKingdom. 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 Shah4EditorialReview of Religions Jan 2002In 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 therights 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 way5Review of Religions Jan 2002Notes & Comments RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM by Salim A. Malik UKrepresent 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 violenceThe Jewish religion is deeplyrooted in the wrath of God, inJudgment 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. The6Notes & CommentsReview of Religions Jan 2002Holy 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 claim7Notes & CommentsReview of Religions Jan 2002commonality 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 dMessiah(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. Malik8Notes & CommentsReview of Religions Jan 2002Answering 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 2002Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestThis 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 were countless options which couldpotentially have changed the course and direction of evolution at every suchcritical moment in time. The question arises as to why life pursued a definiteevolutionary course in a single direction as though none else was available.The only explanation offered by scientists relates to the role of naturalselection. Though they fully recognize the dimension and the gravity of theproblem, they would have us believe that at every crucial point of decisionmaking it was natural selection which took the decision, always making theright choices out of a countless number of available options.Ever since Darwin coined the phrase NaturalSelection, it has served as a magic wand forscientists who probe into the mysteries ofnature. In relation to events which appear topresent evidence of the role of a wilfulConscious Creator as the choice maker, theyseek protection behind the mist of this vagueterm which is mostly incorrectly understood.Every step forward in the path of evolution isinadvertently attributed by them toinnumerable chances having created a host ofoptions for natural selection to choose from. Butthis choice, on the part of natural selection, they agree, is not conscious.When different characters and species struggle for survival in a competitivesituation, it is quite natural for some to survive at the cost of others if theyhappen to possess greater potential for survival.Here we may also mention another hackneyed phrase of Darwinianterminology The Survival of the Fittest which is so extensively used by thenaturalists. This phrase is coined on the presumption that natural selection,however blind it may be, would always go for the right choice and only thefittest would survive in a competitive world. Whatever is inferior in thestruggle for existence is doomed to become extinct. Darwins principle isperhaps misinterpreted to a degree that the very principle becomesquestionable. We have irrefutable evidence spread all over the globe thateven the most inferior character bearing species and the most ill-equippedanimals at the lowest rung of evolution are still found to have survived. The10Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002extinction of some, as against the others, only takes place when the contestfor survival is extremely severe and mutually confrontational. Then too, itdoes not invariably lead to the survival of the fittest in its absolute sense.Survival of the fittest in its absolute sense, though possible, is yet unlikely tooccur in the case of every struggle for existence. The fittest at such outcomeswould only be the fittest in relation to that particular challenge. Theunfortunate who may not survive these moments of trials may otherwisepossess many more highly advanced qualities of life which may adjudge themto be the fittest in some other contexts.Let us elaborate this further by visualizing the scenario of a grave famineresulting from a rare spell of drought covering an entire continent. Such afamine, if it persists for too long, is likely to bring to extinction a largenumber of species. The issue of extinction or survival would hang on therespective compatibility of the species in the given situation.In a famine as severe as the one we are visualizing, almost all shrubs, bushes,trees and grasses with short roots, would be completely annihilated. Theobvious reason for this is that the water level sinks lower and lower as thefamine strikes deeper and deeper, until with the total dryness of the uppersoil, the shorter roots are completely annihilated. The obvious reason for thisis that the water level sinks lower as the famine strikes deeper and deeper,until with the total dryness of the upper soil, the shorter roots are completelydehydrated. But this may not be the fate of some trees with very long, deeplyentrenched roots. Such roots are known to have reached astounding depthsduring long-lasting spells of severe droughts. There are many caves inmountains that have been explored by archaeologists which bear witness tothis fact. Some roots of trees which stood right on the top of a mountainappear to have chased the water as it sank to amazingly low depths. Similarly,despite periodic long spells of droughts in deserts, the secret of the survivalof an oasis lies in this ability of the roots of some trees to chase water.In the scenario under study, one can reasonably expect all the short rootshrubbery, bushes, trees and grasses etc., to have been completely wiped out,whereas some tall trees with tapering, long embedded roots could withstandeven worse droughts.Let us now visualize what would happen to life in general upon such acontinent during this period of extreme trial. Most of the grazing animals withshorter legs and necks would most certainly be starved or dehydrated todeath. So also the carnivores among the animals would not survive much11Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002longer after their food supply had dwindled out of existence.Maybe the only survivors would be those who could survive on very little watersuch as worms, scorpions, and millipedes and those animals which take theirdaily need of water by feeding on them with relish. Among them, meerkatsare known to possess exceptional qualities to survive in such hostileenvironments. Some sorts of rodents could perhaps also share a fightingchance to crawl across an overly extended drought.Among tall vertebrates however, there is one likely candidate who could havean outside chance to survive. For giraffes with exceptionally long necks andtall forequarters, it is not impossible to reach the green foliage on the tops oftall deep-rooted trees while all other species of grazing animals would bestarving to death all around them. There are also other factors which have to be the focus of attention. Thereare animals which can run for long distances in search of whatever waterholes remain available, and there are slow moving animals as well at evidentdisadvantage. There are others better equipped with the sense of detectingwater at long distances, and there are those who must find water right undertheir noses.We have also to include in the picture the role of the beasts of the jungle whomust thrive on the flesh of grazing animals, and follow them wherever theygo. They too, in turn however, need water for their survival. It is painful tovisualize at what tragic moment the curtain of this bizarre drama will fall atlast. They must depart this stage fatigued and starved one after the other.Maybe the only spectators left behind will be some giraffes, some vermin,some meerkats, in the vast empty amphitheatre of this continent where thisghastly drama is playing its last act. Maybe the only applause that will beheard would be the tiny clapping of the meerkats, or the neighing of thegiraffes if they have any neighing strength left in them applauding theirown survival!Is this the survival of the fittest? Is this what the scientists clamour about? Isthis what they mean by natural selection at work? Do the qualities of thegiraffes and the meerkats, not to mention those of a few species of verminwhich survived, really represent the ultimate evolutionary preferences?In a billion years, hundreds of such alternating waves of drastic fluctuationsin the climate can be realistically estimated. There would have been times12Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002when life was threatened with excessive cold or with excessive heat. Therewould have been times when life was threatened with excessive drought orexcessive rains; there would also have been many scores of diseases attendantupon all such climatic changes. Whatever may have survived during theperiods of these varying trials would not always be the giraffes and themeerkats, or the vermin for that matter.In every changed context, the principle of the survival of the fittest wouldfavour the survival of different contestants. Every calamity would have itsown preferences. Looking at the issue of survival in relation to varying threatsand challenges to life as it hazards its journey through a billion years ofevolution, it is hard to visualize any survival at all. Little chance, if any, canbe envisaged for the survival of all the forms of life, because different criseswill have their own favourite targets which most often will not be the same.The poison for one category of life would be the meat for another. So the lawof random selection would choose at random and continue to reject all thatcrosses its path.We hope that by now the reader will have fully comprehended the nature anddimension of the problems involved in the operation of the survival of thefittest and natural selection. It should be remembered here that the termNatural Selection is not being comprehensively examined in all its areas ofapplication. We have only specifically taken up one of its many aspects to suitthis context.In Darwins theory of biological evolution, as observed in comparatively moreadvanced species of life, the role of natural selection can be more easilydiscerned. But there also, it is found to be inadequate in accepting the rightvalues and discarding the wrong ones.Again, it should be emphasized here that the phenomenon of natural selectionunder changing environments does not possess any instrument of effectinginternal cellular changes to suit the external requirements. The chromosomesand the character bearing genes lie far beyond the reach of chaotic externalchanges. The natural laws which govern them are insulated from the whimsof cold and heat, or dryness and humidity. They are two absolutely unrelatedphenomena.Natural selection becomes operative only after a host of variants are createdthrough progressive or random genetic changes. In the competitive world ofthe variants, thus created by chance, only those are able to survive which13Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002are proved fittest in relation to the given challenges. With a change in thenature and character of challenges, the definition of preferred characterswould also change. Hence, this misconception that natural selection wouldalways favour the best characters in all varying situations should be dispelledonce and for all. Occasionally it may do so, but most often it does not. Theterm is largely relative and rarely definitive regarding its choices. Thecompetition for survival can be between members of the same species, orbetween different species. It is only the chance outcome of a given situationwhich decides the quality of the surviving factors. Blind struggle for existencecannot always aim at the right qualities. Whatever emerges, bad or good,must be accepted as the fittest. A particular species could be adjudged aschampion with regards to its potential for survival in a specific situation. Thespecies that becomes extinct could have possessed more advanced qualitiesand characters in other regards.Consider for example the case of a solitary gorilla left stranded in a hostilearctic environment. In comparison to it, the polar bear and foxes stand fargreater chances of survival in the same habitat. In that particular case thegorilla, despite its comparative evolutionary advancement, would becondemned to extinction by the instrument of natural selection as a worthlessthing in comparison to the polar bear and the arctic fox. Replace the gorillawith a human in the same hypothetical situation, the condemnation of him todeath by the principle of survival of the fittest will be speedier than in thecase of the gorilla. Hence it is wrong to believe that natural selection goes forquality as such. In the barest terms, natural selection can at best be describedas 'might is right'; even when might is vicious, distorted, oppressive andmerciless, might will always emerge victorious in the sight of naturalselection.If we undertake the work of tracing the history of evolution in relation to allthe various forms of life and try to determine how the principles of naturalselection and survival of the fittest actually work, it would exhaustvoluminous books running into hundreds of thousands of pages or more. Itwould take many generations of future scientists to pursue this task.However, we must draw the attention of the reader to the fact that if onevisualizes all the possible options at work, progressive selection wouldbecome impossible. At every such occasion where this discrimination isneeded, it may take millions of chances to collude for the selection of a singlesuperior character. The converse should also be seriously considered.14Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002For haphazard mutations to jump in any direction, is not controversial, but forthem to always jump in the right direction, to advance the cause of evolutiontowards a definite goal, is next to impossible. Hence, in a game of chance, asindeed it is a game of chance is highly implausible for it to always take thestride in the right direction as needed by the dictates of evolutionaryrequirements at that point in time. It is unfortunate however, that mostscientists shut their eyes to the inevitability of the Hand of a Conscious WiseSelector Who will always take the right decisions at the right moment and willnot leave them to the throw of a dice.How can it be possible for evolution to continuously march forward in thedirection of man while at each moment the possibilities of its taking thewrong steps backwards are overwhelmingly larger? The only possible solutionto this otherwise insoluble dilemma would be to follow the backward escaperoute envisaged by a boy during a rainy day. Once, it is said, a boy reachedhis school very late. When severely reprimanded by his teacher, he offered theexcuse that the road to school was so muddy and slippery that as he took onestep forward in the direction of the school, he slipped back two steps.How on earth did you reach the school at all? shouted the angry teacher.Excuse me, sir, was the apologetic reply of the boy, It struck me rather late,that I should start walking in the direction of my house instead of that of theschool. The moment I did it, I began to slide backwards towards the school atan even faster speed than I ordinarily maintain. And here I am sir, hitting theback of my head against the school wall, such was my haste to reach here,backwards all the way.The dilemma that life faces, if left entirely to the mercy of chance, is farmore exasperating than the case of that boy. At each step forward, evolutiondriven by chance should have slipped a hundred thousand steps backwards.But for life with no prefixed direction, as some naturalists believe, theconcept of a step forward simply does not arise. Forward in which directionand to what end, are the questions which can never be answered in relationto chance being its creator. Every step it took could be in any direction. Henceeven turning the journey of life backwards could not resolve the problem. Mannot being the ultimate goal of evolution, life would lose its bearing in thewilderness of chaos, squandering each quality it had gained, by chance, to thestormy aimless winds of annihilation.Whatever the mutative changes might have gained, they may lose by otherleaps in wrong directions. Let us apply the same logic to the creation of eyes15Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002and examine how blind mutative changes could have succeeded inmanufacturing even a most rudimentary eye which could see and transmitwhat it saw to the brain behind. It is far more likely for mutation, or gradualcellular development, to disorganize what it has created itself, than for it toorganize the surrounding confusion with the passage of time. The haphazardmutative changes created only by chance could actually play havoc with theorderly shape and design of life. It could change, for instance, the positioningof the eye, the nose, the ear, the mouth, the tongue and their sensory buds.Maybe in a few subsequent generations some species could have eyes shiftedto the back of their heads instead, or upon their stomachs, or one each undertheir armpits! Who can stay or discipline the hand of chance? Again, it is notunlikely that the ears could begin to see, the nose could talk and the tonguecould hear, ankles could grow with buds of taste and smell! Different animals,at least some of them, should have exhibited such freaks of nature without apurpose to serve. But wherever in nature we find a shifting of the ear or theeye from their normally expected position, it is always done purposefully,being of advantage to the animal concerned rather than of disadvantage. Butthese are exceptions. The rule that governs millions of species dictates auniversal design. When we observe chance at work it behaves differently;babies are born with congenital disorders, alas never to their advantage. Whoknows? A game of chance is a game of chance.The task of examining the evolutionary processes which led to the making ofan eye require a thorough, indepth study. Also, the evolution of all animalorgans, which make complex, yet perfect little worlds of their own need tobe examined in depth.It is intended, therefore, to add a separate chapter on the creative processeswhich resulted in the creation of complete organic units, eyes being centralto the discussion.Unfortunately, the physical features of species as they evolve have been farmore emphasized by naturalists than their sensory organs. However, merephysical changes in a certain direction are of no significance compared to theadvancement of awareness and consciousness in the grand scheme of theevolutionary spiral. What is life after all, if it is not awareness, as against theabsolute unawareness of death?The most dramatic miracle does not take place on the plane of mere cellularchanges and complexities of molecules at the level of proteins. The miracleof the origin of life lies in the sudden dawn of consciousness upon the horizon16Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002of the dead universe that preceded it. Ever since that happened it continuesto grow from weakness to strength, from a lone beginning to diversity. Themeaning of evolution can in no way be understood by confining oneself to theDarwinian principle of haphazard physical changes being selected and groupedtogether by the hand of natural selection. It can only be comprehended bygaining a better understanding of the five senses which ultimately evolvedafter the hazardous journey of life during its last billion years.Man can look down from his vantage point at whatever lies behind him andbelow him. Only then will he realize the meaning of life and the meaning ofevolution bit by bit, nanometre by nanometre; the senses once born climbedthrough the spiralling path of endless evolution. The purpose and philosophyof evolution is doubtlessly the creation and promotion of the five senses. Thecreation of five senses, each of which in itself is a masterpiece of creativewonders, stands witness to a well-executed design at the grandest scale,where harmony rules supreme. No wonder then, that the Holy Quranrepeatedly sums up the outcome of evolution in just three simple terms: thecreation and perfection of the faculty of hearing, seeing and understanding.And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers whileyou knew nothing, and gave you ears and eyes and hearts, that youmight be grateful.2(Ch.16: v.79)To return to the main subject of discussion, let us emphasize once again thatmutative changes could go far more often wrong than right, leaving littleroom, if any, for natural selection to choose from, for the betterment of life.But this is not all we observe in the grand panorama of evolution at play onthe stage of life.To pursue the point further, let us focus our gaze here upon the arctic habitat.The naturalists understanding of physical evolution can specifically be put totest there with the characteristic study of polar bears and arctic foxes. Polarbears differ in shape from brown and black bears. Their hindquarters are sethigher than their forequarters so that they can run faster in pursuit of prey,17Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002while their elongated necks give them a more streamlined shape forswimming. Other bears can also swim, but polar bears can swimcomparatively much faster and cover much longer distances, a competencedirely needed for their survival in the arctic environment.Polar bears can weigh as much as 800 kilograms and measure 3.0 metres.Their size is both a protection against the cold and a necessary factor in theirability to hunt and kill. Incidentally, the cubs born to a mother bear areamazingly small, they weigh a mere 500 grams, just a fraction of the weightof a human baby. Their black skin is covered with thick white fur, thus natureprovides them with a perfect camouflage throughout the year. Their coatstake a yellowish tinge only briefly in summer, matching perfectly with themelting ice. The polar bears dense fur and an exceptionally thick layer of fatunder its skin protect it against the freezing temperatures of the habitat.3The fat is particularly important when the bear is swimming, because the furcannot retain the insulating air trapped in it. When dry, the white fur reflectsthe heat it receives from the suns rays back to the body. The hairs are hollow,so that ultraviolet rays from the sun can pass through them and be absorbedby the black skin beneath.Another striking feature of the polar bear is the relatively large size of itspaws. They are very wide and armed with sharp claws for tearing its prey andfor gripping the ice. The soles of its feet are covered with the same thick,creamy white fur as covers its body providing them a better grip on icysurfaces and much needed insulation.Amazingly, polar bears can run as fast on ice as the fastest dog on firm ground.During the exceptionally long spells of night in the polar winter, it is almostimpossible for the polar bear to perceive and reach the open water poolswhere seals are found. Thanks to its extra sharp faculty of smell, darknessoffers no hindrance, so it can smell seals, meat or carrion even from as far as20 kilometres, according to naturalists. In sharpness, its eyesight matches itssense of smell, which is keener than that of most other bears. During daylightthey can locate seals from a considerably long distance. Having spotted theseal, the patience with which they stalk them is amazing, they creep uponthem with bodies flattened to the ice, forefeet doubled under them and onlythe hind feet providing propulsion. They possess the artifice for contrivingexcellent camouflage. Sometimes they push a small heap of ice in front ofthem to camouflage their dark muzzles, or cover their noses with their whitepaws to avoid detection.18Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002Much of a polar bears time is spent in water. It possesses some uniquefeatures to correspond to this situation. The usage of limbs in water isreversed in comparison to the bears behaviour when it stalks seals on packice. Instead of hind legs, which are now used as rudders, it uses only itsforequarters for propulsion. In addition to their exceptionally large size, thefront paws have the added advantage of being partially webbed. Anotherexceptional feature which makes the polar bear perfectly adapted to thepolar habitat, is its ability to swim under water with eyes fully open andnostrils closed3. Although some scientists try to explain away these uniquefeatures of the polar bear by simply referring them to be a product ofevolution, there are other naturalists however who remind them that it wouldtake millions of years of evolution to create the specific features thatseparate polar bears from the bear family in general.In adaptability to the polar climate, the arctic fox does not lag far behind thepolar bear. In winter it grows a dense white fur to keep it warm and to provideit with camouflage. Little of its body heat is lost through its small, furry androunded ears, so different from the ears of the foxes found elsewhere. Againin comparison to other foxes, the arctic fox has a short muzzle and legs, whichalso help it to conserve heat. Like the polar bear, the arctic fox also has thickfur under the soles of its paws, which provides it with excellent insulationagainst extreme cold. Surprisingly, the only other fox which shares the furunder the sole with the arctic fox is the desert fox. Obviously, there it needsthis fur for insulation against heat. White arctic foxes are hard to see in thesnow, their white fur could become a disadvantage in other habitats. Forinstance, in islands and in the coasts of the Arctic Ocean where there is lesssnow, they need a camouflage of a different colour. A bluish-grey colourseems to be ideally suited and it is exactly that which their coats turn into.4This leads us back to the all-important question of the role of naturalselection in the origin of species. If it took some millions of years for the polarbear to be equipped with such exceptional features, as are essential for itssurvival in the arctic climate, the same time-scale would show no partiality tothe fox either. The question arises as to how many thousands of generationsof bears and foxes must have perished in vain before they could have evolvedthe changes in their anatomy, vitally essential for their survival.Again, if they had survived as they must have survived for millions of years,even without the advantage of these exceptional features which make themperfectly adapted to the arctic climate, where was the need for anyadaptation at all? Why all the fuss about genetic changes and chance19Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002mutations colluding for that long to provide the opportunity for naturalselection to approve of a choice which, in fact, was imposed upon it.Moreover, if ordinary bears and foxes as found elsewhere in the world were tobe dumped into the arctic region today, while polar bears and artic foxes areremoved from the arena, the question would arise as to whether they wouldhave any chance of survival in that hostile climate, continuously, generationafter generation, without becoming extinct. If they could do so with a fairguarantee for the survival of the species, the evolutionary exercise of thepolar bears would be rendered superfluous and the characteristic changesbrought about in features could no longer be considered as necessary.Now we look at the same scenario from a slightly different angle. It isimpossible for the extremely inhospitable environment, such as obtains in thearctic region, to work causatively for bringing about appropriate changes tothe biochemistry of cells. Yet, without such profound changes in the characterbearing genes, no gradual or mutative changes can be visualized. White furupon black skin, taller hindquarters and shorter forequarters, tiny roundedears, an exceptionally sharp sense of smell and vision, thick fur under thesoles of their paws, change of coats in accordance with environmentaldictates and layer upon layer of fat under the skin, cannot be made to orderby the climatic conditions prevailing in the arctic habitat of the polar bearsand foxes. Chance must continue to play its role separately and blindly in thecellular chemistry to add variety to characters and to bring about spontaneouschanges in animal features, haphazardly in every direction.Natural selection must wait for these painstakingly slow changes to provide alarge variety of options for it to choose from. For instance, if random changesin the cellular chemistry can suddenly alter the colour of hair from black towhite, with a thick layer of white fur added on top of that, why cannot theychange the colour of the hair from black to blue or red or crimson or violet orgreen or deep yellow or saffron for that matter? How did cellular chemistryknow that what was needed in the arctic climate was only white? Yet it failedto learn that the skin underneath the white fur would remain black. Why didthe same cellular changes leave the skin alone and think only of changing thecolour of the fur a novel idea indeed to grow white fur on black skin! Hence,each of the specific features mentioned in relation to polar bears and foxeswould evidently require a host of other options to have been created by chance.According to the Darwinian theory of the origin of species, one should expecta wide variety of polar bears and foxes with a host of different features, to20Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002have been created by chance before natural selection could come into play.The fossil record of the arctic region should testify to the earlier chancecreation of red bears, blue bears, saffron bears and pink bears. But evolution,in relation to its effect on polar bears, seems to be colour-blind, capable onlyof recognizing black or white. Moreover, the bears should also come in allshapes and sizes. There should be tiny polar bears, giant polar bears,heavyweights, middle weights, lightweights, flyweights, bantamweights andfeatherweights etc. Some should be born with taller forequarters and shorterhindquarters, some with dim vision and diminished sense of smell. Why shouldthe creative factors, whatever they were, provide only single options in thepolar habitat and let natural selection sit idly by? There was nothing for it tochoose from.Some polar bears should again, have been accidentally born with a sense ofutter distaste for the flesh of seals, and abhor it to the degree that they wouldrather die of starvation than to venture upon a mouthful of it. The very sightof it should have made them vomit and retch miserably for hours. It should beof no surprise if some among them were shabby swimmers and tardy runners.If so, the Darwinian naturalist would have some right to make us believe thatit was only random creation which took care of the evolutionary processes inthat specific region. Subsequently however, the inevitable law of the survivalof the fittest and natural selection must have wiped out the unwanted andincompatible specimens of polar bears. All that was left to survive was thepolar bear in its present form.But where did those polar bears, whom survival of the fittest had condemnedto extinction, disappear? We are not talking of a tropical environment. Whatwe are talking about is the extremely cold habitat of the arctic. In a climatesuch as this, some of the corpses of different polar bears which becameextinct must have been perfectly preserved as fossil records. One shouldremember that some animals which existed hundreds of thousands of yearsago have been found buried in the arctic deep freeze, so completelyunchanged that their flesh was edible, as if they had been buried yesterday;such is the case of a mammoth elephant discovered in Siberia not so long ago.The same random cellular changes resulting in the creation of a host ofvariants among animal species should also be found operative in non-polarclimates and habitats. At least some of their fossil records should have beenfound in the archives of nature.Let us travel now from the arctic to the non-arctic regions of the world. By21Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002comparison to the massive polar bears, the study of a tiny spider presents afascinating contrast.Spiders are found virtually everywhere except in the arctic climate. Intropical forests, however, they abound and flourish like nowhere else. Rainforests are not their only habitat. Their ability to survive extreme climates isamazing. They survive on mountain tops as well as in deep canyons and caves.There are at least thirty thousand known species of spiders, but someestimate the number to be twice as much5. All spiders are not weavers ofwebs. About half of them weave webs and the other half, despite the factthat they also produce silky threads, hunt their prey by directly attacking itand leaping upon it with amazing speed and precision. The cobweb weaversinvariably go for insects alone, while other spiders can attack and killcomparatively much bigger animals.Incidentally, in the last century, one naturalist estimated that the number ofinsects devoured by spiders was more than the total weight of the humanpopulation5. Returning to the main discussion, we should like to remind thereader that the greater the difference between the lifestyle of differentspecies, the more challenging it becomes for the evolutionist to trace backthe evolutionary history of each species. What natural factors guided theirsteps and how, over millions of years? Each of them seems to haveaccidentally reached the stage in which they are found today.For the interest of the reader, we just quote a few examples of how vastlyspiders vary from species to species. There are wolf spiders, which hunt withthe ferocity of a wolf and there are huntsman spiders which move atamazingly fast speeds and there are bird-eating spiders, also known astarantulas. They are exceptionally large in size by comparison to otherspiders. Even small vertebrates appear diminutive by their side. Underextreme provocation they will not hesitate to attack humans. Their staplefood consists of small roosting birds, reptiles,amphibians, beetles, moths,grasshoppers and also when needs be, they devour other spiders.Again there are ant-eating spiders which are mere dwarfs as compared to thetarantulas. They are no bigger than the size of the ordinary ants they hunt.The Creator has provided them with such perfect camouflage as the antsnever suspect the presence of these deadly aliens among them. They look likeants, they act like ants, they move like ants and the adage when in Rome doas the Romans do, applies to them most befittingly. Only, they do not thinklike ants. How could this amazing camouflage evolve by a mere collusion of22Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002blind chances and how long did it take for aimless mutative changes to perfectthis wonder? These are some questions for the evolutionist to answer.Of course one would also expect some explanation as to how natural selectionmight have worked in relation to the ant-hunters. How many millions ofgenerations of imperfect hunters must have been created and wiped outbefore the most perfect hunter was finally evolved by the aimlessmeanderings of the so-called evolutionary factors!Another mysterious species of spiders is known as Atypus. Ever since theywere discovered by W.E. Leach in 1816, they have continued to arousewidespread interest amongst zoologists. Long before sealed room mysterieswere invented by detective story writers, Nature had created a living modelof the sealed room mystery by designing and perfecting a female speciesknown as the trapdoor spider. Naturalists had long been puzzled as to howshe could keep herself alive closeted in a long silk tube sealed at both ends.It took F. Enoch to finally provide the solution to this baffling problem duringhis work between 1885 to 1892. The silken tube in which Atypus locks herselfis usually eight to nine inches in length. Of this all but two to three inchespass steeply down into the ground while the remaining portion juts out of theground like an inflated finger of a glove. In the middle, the tube is morespacious to provide the spider room to turn and manoeuvre. The mastermindof blind evolution takes care that during the winter, when the spidershibernate, the aerial portion is collapsed.At other times they are easily mistaken for roots protruding from soil. The silkis intermixed with earth or sand grains by the spiders to make it appearinconspicuous. The way in which an insect is seized can be watched by ticklingthe tube with a grass stem. Suddenly two shining curved fangs are violentlyprotruded through the web and it can be seen from their position that thespider strikes in a shark-like manner with its lower side uppermost. If abuzzing fly is held against the tube the fangs pierce its body and hold it likefish hooks. After a certain amount of tugging and jerking a slit appears in thetube wall through which the insect is pulled in. Before retiring to the innerchamber with the prey to enjoy the fruit of her labour, the spider returns tothe upper portion of the tube to repair and reseal it.623Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002The trapdoorspider waiting inits tube, about toseize its prey.How the Darwinian principle of Survival of the Fittest, aided only bymutative changes, could conceive, design and execute the creative plan oftrapdoor spiders, is a mystery which perhaps only the elite among thenaturalists can understand to their satisfaction.Finally, we conclude this discussion by taking up the case of weaver spiderswhich make up almost half of all the spider species. So tiny, so fragile, sodelicately built, they all possess the same surprising faculty and know-how tobuild intricate contraptions for catching flying insects. It is an intriguing casestudy because as we move from one type of weavers to another, the wholecomplexion of their style, strategy and weaving skills change dramatically. Letus visualize how blind chance might have endowed the spider to turn hissalivary glands into a highly efficient mill for spinning yarn.Of course it could not have happened overnight by an explosion of mutativechanges. If we reconstruct the entire process bit by bit and stage by stage,then perhaps we can visualize to some degree what aimless evolution couldhave done for the spider.Perhaps the story began with the salivary glands of the spider suddenlybecoming over-sensitized due to some accidental factors. Then, maybe duringthe next one or two million years, an interplay of a host of chances taught itssaliva to harden into strands the moment it was ejected into the air. But thesefine fragile looking threads were simultaneously bestowed with a tensilestrength greater than that of steel for the same body weight.These exasperatingly long unmanageable threads must have scattered all overthe place, entwining the spiders legs, entrapping it itself as a sitting duck forits predators. How long this might have gone on perhaps the evolutionists couldvisualize better. But as a layman's guess, we suggest that after a million or twoyears, a mentally more advanced spider was basking in the sun, lamenting itssorry state. At that rare moment rushed to its aid at last, a configuration ofmutative changes which endowed its tiny spot of a brain with the skill to turnits disadvantage to advantage. In that flash of a moment, a new era began inthe lifestyle of spiders which has no parallel in the entire animal kingdom.It set itself immediately to the task of learning the art of weaving cobwebs assnares. How long it might have taken it to bring this exercise to a successfulconclusion is indeed hard to visualize. In keeping with the pace of evolutionit should not be surprising if it took the spider another couple of million yearsto perfect this art.24Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002The most intricate and fascinating patterns of different types of webs that thespider weaves are not only wonderful to look at but are also precision-madeto serve a set purpose. They never obstruct the movement of the spider's feetwhich dances along, light-footed, like the most skilful ballet dancer, and putsto shame the proudest of tightrope walkers. Never taking a false step, neverfaltering, never needing a balancing rod, never hesitating in a state ofindecision as to how and where it should fix the next string as it proceeds tocomplete the task of constructing its meticulously designed cobweb to thefinish. Thus the story of a spider learning to manufacture yam and weave itinto such perfect traps comes to a happy ending. Even the most vicious ofwasps which prey upon it would think twice before venturing to attack it as itsits safely entrenched in its spidery castle.So far so good, but suddenly a disturbing thought passes one's mind as to what,after all, was the purpose of this exercise. Why was blind evolution driventowards this goal without a conscious pre-design and without a purpose? Theonly purpose one can think of is to provide the spider with the much neededfood which was so essential for its survival.The poor spider was only bestowed by nature with some twisted shabby lookinglegs. Before its skill to weave cobweb snares was perfected, it must havecontinued to survive on some food, generation after generation, for millions ofyears. Flies may be stupid, but they are not stupid enough to head straight forthe spider's mouth without a cobweb to trap them. Yet, with or without thisfly-meal, the spiders continued to survive over a long period of their existence.Where was the need for the entire exercise of spinning a yam and weaving aweb and all the evolutionary requirements concomitant upon them?It is indeed difficult for the uninitiated to visualize the challenges of atremendously long period of transition from one manner to another. Howmany generations of spiders must have aimlessly perished during thesechallenges one wonders!When we suggested earlier that perhaps the spider was suddenly taught theart of weaving a web for procuring food, by a configuration of mutativechanges, we only did it to highlight the absurdity of this idea. Mutativechanges do not occur simultaneously in perfectly organized purpose-builtpackages. It would require hundreds of thousands of chances to manipulate ameaningful sequence of mutative changes to be encoded in the characterbearing genes of life, to bring about such dramatic changes as these in thelifestyle of any animal species.25Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002The case of the delicate carnivorous aqueous plants is no less wondrous by anymeans. The simplest of these is complex enough to defy human attempts todemonstrate how a procession of blind chances in the right order could, overmillions of years, create such perfect trapping machines. We begin bypresenting the case of the marsh pitcher which, according to experts, belongsto the simplest category of carnivorous plants. It comprises leaves about afoot in length, which are bonded together at the seam to make a funnel. Eachof these funnels is visible in its entire length as it protrudes above the watersurface. The funnel tops are hooded by conspicuous reddish rims which, aregenerously studded with nectar producing glands. Abundant rains in thetropical regions where they grow, keep the funnels filled with water, yet theyneither burst nor topple down under their weight. This is made possible in twoways:(a) The leaves are bonded all the way, but for an inch or two at the top.They are left unjoined, leaving enough opening for the extra water to bedrained out.(b) A ring of small holes is provided at the right place just below the uppermargin so that the right level of water is always maintained.Insects are attracted by the colour as well as the sweet scent of the nectarexuding from the glands. As they hop around in search of more nectar, theyslip down the funnel which is cropped with downward pointing slippery hairswhich do not permit them to climb back up again. Down they go until theyreach the lowest part of the funnel which has no hairs. In that enclosed pitthey finally die and disintegrate enriching the water with proteins, salts etc.This food is assimilated by the plant for its survival. How many sightlessattempts by nature must have been frustrated before it could finally perfectthis well-coordinated trapping machine, is hard to estimate.Now we present another example of how nature has turned the tables againstthe animal kingdom in favour of the vegetative life. The trumpet pitchers areprovided with such waxy scales on the surface of their traps as would stick tothe exploring animals feet and loosen their hold.Having lost their balance, down they tumble into the water-filled pit. Thevibration thus caused stimulates the digestive glands of the funnel whichimmediately begin to exude a strong digestive juice. By this the fallen midgetscan be completely dissolved in a few hours time, while flies may last for a dayor two. It is not merely these insects which are devoured by these carnivorous26Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002plants. The rajah among the trumpets can even dissolve and devourscorpions and mice.The case of the Venuss fly-trap is even more complicated as it is electricallyoperated. The mystery of how this electric current is produced, and whatgoverns the operation of this mechanism, has so far baffled all attempts byscientists.We can only invite the attention of Darwinian evolutionists to these amazingcontrivances and most humbly require that they should explain how they musthave evolved. How many generations of unsuccessful attempts must haveperished before the final successful experiments by evolution to create acarnivorous plant with all its necessary trapping gadgets and digestiveenzymes? Until ordinary green plants were finally transformed into formidablehunting machines they simply could not have started this completely differentphase of their lives. The difference between the two is immeasurable. To havestarted supplementing their diet with animal enzymes and proteins wasimpossible until this transformation was completed. How many millions ofyears were required for this through an ordinary course of evolution governedby the Darwinian principle of natural selection is inconceivable.It simply could not have happened, because no naturalist can even suggest abit by bit transformation of ordinary green plants into carnivorous plants The transformation has to be completed before they could start functioning.We have yet to come across an attempt by naturalists to trace theevolutionary course of carnivorous plants bit by bit, organ by organ, back totheir origin. Even the smallest insect eating plants pose extremely bigproblems when we examine them in depth and bring to the focus of ourattention the intricacies of their coherent organic identity. Each part has tobe purpose-built and specifically designed into a composite organic entity.Last but not least, there was no impelling reason why they should havesuddenly abandoned the most profitable lifestyle of their ancestors, who werewell taken care of by photosynthesis, providing them with a glorious start intheir struggle for existence. The Darwinian principle 'Survival of the Fittest'could not have played any role in their so-called evolution, adjudging them tobe the fittest to survive. If it were so the entire dry land and all wateryhabitats should have become their prime territory. Evidently they were justmade fit to survive without any history of evolution preceding that fitness.27Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002Moreover, though it is understandable according to the evolutionary principlesfor any plant or animal to shift from a hostile environment to a hospitableone, the converse is never heard of. But, if the naturalists are to be takenseriously, their story runs counter to this phenomenon in the case of theSundew and Venuss fly-trap.Imagine a Sundew plant growing luxuriously by the side of a stagnant puddle,staring with abhorrence at what it observed in its middle. No plant couldsurvive there because of most hostile environments. If the Sundew had aninvisible brain while watching that puddle, with eyes that did not visibly exist,it should have been horrified at what it observed and leapt away from it wereit not firmly rooted in the soil. But the naturalists have a completely differentvision of what happened. According to them, it is the same Sundew naturallyand healthily growing by the side of that puddle which got transformed intoa fly-trap which we find flourishing undeterred in that hostile surrounding. Itis inconceivable for it to survive there without having previously evolved tomeet the new challenges. This could only happen if all the necessary changeshad been brought about while it was still on dry land. Without havingcompleted its transformation outside that environment, it could not havesurvived there for a single moment.This is the dilemma which the scientists confront and must explain in sensibleand logical terms. Two vital points need to be registered here.1) The Sundew, which scientists believe to be the forefather of Venus's fly-trap is in itself an enigma. It has no traceable history of having evolvedfrom ordinary green foliage2) Venuss fly-trap must have evolved to its final minutest detail on dry soiloutside the puddle without any evolutionary compulsion.We rest our case here and expect the naturalists to take over from this point.Their explanation is most eagerly sought for.We have specially highlighted the case of the Venus's fly-trap because itpossesses a highly sophisticated, intricately designed and electricallyoperated mechanism which even advanced scientists fail to understand. Ashas been described above, in its finished form Venus's fly-trap is completelydifferent from the anatomical composition of its so-called ancestors. Hence,it should be possible for the naturalists to try to fill this vast gap by suggestinga countless number of small evolutionary steps, which could appropriately fill28Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002this immense blank. In the absence of this material, it is impossible toconceive natural selection to work on something which does not exist. Tofurther highlight the absurdity of the naturalists' contention, they seem tobelieve in the birth of a child to a non-existent mother. Is this the picture ofevolution which the survival of the fittest presents? What survival, whatfitness? Where is the competition? If scientists have any professional ethicswhich they ordinarily do, let them apply their ethics to the case of allcarnivorous plants which were already fully equipped with their hunting gearsbefore entering the realm of natural selection! If this is Natural Selection,then what else is the mockery of common sense, one wonders!The Case of MosquitoesConsider now for instance, the case of amosquito. There is so much in it to beexplained logically and convincingly, that itwould require generations of scientists tounfold each mystery attendant upon theexquisite and precise mechanism of all itsorgans and their constituents. Such a studywould remain inexhaustive, because as they reach one level of understandingthere would appear yet another level waiting for them to unravel itsmysteries.No wonder therefore, that the Holy Quran singles out this small miracle ofGods creation to make people see the greatness of His creative wonders.Even in the modelling of a mosquito, which the humans look down upon as asmall insignificant thing, there is nothing for the Creator to be ashamed of.Let us build this theme further and share with the reader the intricacies ofthis flying machine, which may put to shame even the best achievements ofthe most advanced masters of technology.Let us begin with the Quranic account of a mosquito which is so differentfrom that of all other animals. It is the only animal which is mentioned withan emphatic denial that its creation could present any cause forembarrassment to its Creator. Thus declares the Quran:Allah does not feel shy (or embarrassed) at mentioning the example of29Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002a mosquito because of what is carried above it ...7(Ch.2: v.27)Here the word fauq literally means above (see Al-Munjad and Al-MufradatLil-Raghib). Yet other translators have not employed its literal meaning. Theevident reason why they did not do so is because they had no knowledge thatmosquitoes do carry things above them.The following are some of the questions which stir the readers mind. At leastthe author has always been intrigued by the implied message of this verse.The very first question which stirs the mind is why should God deny any causeto be ashamed of for creating mosquitoes. Nowhere else in the Quran is sucha denial made in relation to any other creation; everywhere it is mentionedwith pride. Is the exceptional treatment of the mosquitos creation, as foundin this verse, indicative of the fact that the Quran draws the attention of thereader to the apparent worthlessness of the mosquito? The denial of anelement of shame or embarrassment related to the creation of a worthlessthing is in fact a denial of worthlessness itself. The denial invites theattention of man to reconsider his attitude towards mosquitoes. It indicatesthe following implied statements:(a) the mosquitoes are not worthless and insignificant as commonlyunderstood, and(b) they play an important role which is not as yet fully understood andneeds to be further investigated.When investigated, it is admitted, the role of the mosquito will emerge to beextremely harmful and horrendous. Yet despite this admission, the element ofshame related to this harmful creation is emphatically denied. It is deniedbecause to perform this negative role mosquitoes had to be built precisely tobe able to fulfil this purpose. Secondly the mosquito's function, thoughnegative in character, must have played a vital role in the scheme of creation.As such the inevitability of the mosquito's creation and the perfection withwhich it is accomplished has to be understood as a mark of pride rather thana mark of shame for its Creator. The inference we have drawn can only beproved right if mosquitoes display some exceptional constructional beautywhich is even more wonderful than that found in the creation of other formsof life. And again, the role of mosquitoes in the general scheme of life and itsevolution has to be that of a blessing in disguise a discovery yet to be made30Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002by scientists. Presently, we can only suggest that mosquitoes may have playeda vital role in developing and perfecting our immune system a role which itstill continues to play.The possibility of all the above-mentioned implications of this verse to besimultaneously correct led the author to an in-depth study of mosquitoes,their anatomy and the role they perform in the animal kingdom - a task whichis far more complex and difficult than it had appeared in the beginning. Mostof the available literature on mosquitoes fails to explain the evolution of itsorgans - an omission which has especially attracted the authors attention. Inmany other cases, the results of their excellent study are available whichdescribe the evolution of animal parts with minute attention. We have reliedheavily on this material in the following discourse which testifies to the truthof the Quranic claim that mosquitoes are no ordinary things. Further researchinto the evolutionary aspect of the mosquitos creation has already beentaken up by a competent team of Ahmadi scholars from America and Canada.This, however, is a time-consuming process and as the publication of this bookcannot wait till then, we have decided to finish this work with the help ofwhatever material is available.The apparently insignificant minute mosquito is perhaps the most importantinsect in relation to man and other forms of life. Mosquitoes are thought tohave originated in the Cretaceous period (65-140 millions years ago)8, whenmost of the modern taxonomic group of insects co-evolved with the origin offlowering plants. It is also speculated that mosquitoes may have originated inthe Jurassic period (136-190 million years ago)8. As mammals were notcreated till then they must have sucked blood from reptiles, amphibians,primitive forms of mammals, or even perhaps from dinosaurs. This urge forblood, as conceived by the naturalist to have occurred during such a remoteperiod of their creation raises many questions. Why had they developed thisurge at all, when even without it they had survived for a very long periodmerely on vegetable produce? There were no flowering plants in that periodso they may have fed mainly on honeydew.9Mosquitoes are small two-winged insects belonging to the family Culicidae ofthe order of Diptera (two-winged flies). They essentially differ from all otherflies by a long proboscis projecting from the head and some other featureswhich are unique to them like the presence of scales on the wing veins, afringe of scales along the posterior margin of wings, and a characteristicvenation whereby the second, the fourth, and the fifth longitudinal veins arebranched.31Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002Like other Diptera they undergo a complete metamorphosis during theirreproduction, but many features of their metamorphosis are strikinglydifferent from other flies. An active larva hatches from a passive egg bearingno resemblance to its parents, fully adapted to living and feeding in water.It is amazing how all the highly competent authorities on mosquitoes, thoughthoroughly proficient in the knowledge of their anatomy and morphologicalcycles, do not present any sensible, logically acceptable scenario of naturalselection playing any part in the design and manufacture of this tiny wonder ofc r e a t i o n .To modify a non blood-sucking mosquito into a blood-sucking one requiressuch changes as would take an interminably long period of time if left tochance. For them to develop patiently, bit by bit, each part developingseparately yet simultaneously, in perfect coordination with each other, is anamazing proposition, particularly when one considers that this bit by bitorganic development could serve no purpose in the life of a mosquito until ithad culminated into its final completely organized and fully developed form.Take for instance the need of the mosquito to find and locate blood. Whenscientists study this small requirement they discover a complex supportsystem to justify its existence.The anatomical, sensory and physiological changes needed in a mosquito justfor the act of finding a suitable host on which it will feed are tremendous. Themosquito faces the routine task of finding a suitable protein source amidst allthe extraneous stimuli with which the environment bombards it. Scientists saythe strategy that they have evolved is to:...respond to visual cues, heat, and emanations such as carbondioxide, lactic acid, and volatile fatty acids that are typical of thoseorganisms that contain blood.10A further difficulty faced by the mosquito is the fact that chemical odouremanations are dispersed through air currents. Thus the mosquito mustnavigate an indirect route to the host. As the mosquito comes closer to thehost, heat is used by it to home in on the host. During this chain of events inthe mosquitos behaviour, a stimulus-response mechanism has to be perfectedwithin it. The mosquito is not consciously seeking a host, but ratherresponding to stimuli for which it has been pre-programmed. Furthercomplicating the issue is the fact that most mosquitoes are species-specific intheir host seeking behaviour. For example, a certain species of mosquito may32Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002respond only to the stimuli of a cow and yet not respond to those of a human.Scientists speculate this behaviour evolved in the Mesozoic era (over sixty-fivemillions years ago) with...the establishment of regular terrestrial dwellings (nests) by reptiles,birds, and mammals..11It is suggested by some scientists that the emergence of parental care in birds,mammals and dinosaurs further promoted associations with mosquitoes byproviding them well protected and secure habitats. They felt at an advantagein and around nests where the young of the birds were kept. The same appliedto the dens of the beasts of the jungle and the habitats of the dinosaurs wherethey reared their young. This, they suggest, presented opportunities for themosquitoes to suck the blood of the animals whenever they liked, undisturbed.An amazing suggestion indeed if they mean that this caused the developmentof the bloodsucking proboscis among female mosquitoes. It can only be takenseriously if it implies that female mosquitoes had already turned into blood-sucking machines before they began to seek easy targets. Either way thisconjecture does not serve to provide any methodology which may have beenresponsible for the evolution of blood-sucking female mosquitoes. It has beenobserved that if a human host moves within five seconds of the female mosquitolanding on it she will fly off. Considering the complex chain of instinctivebehaviour involved just in the act of locating a host, the chances of anaccidental switch to blood feeding seem highly remote.A female blood-sucking mosquito did not require only some complementarychanges in its system for finding blood on a host. It also required suitableinstruments for piercing skin and locating vessels, and a transport system forthe blood to be carried to its storage reservoir which had to be a sac differentfrom the one to which plant nectars are carried a staple source ofnourishment for all mosquitoes, even for the blood-sucking females who needblood only during specific periods. As mentioned before, the scientific literature on the issue of mosquitoevolution is largely silent. Scientists discussing the origin of various insects,point out that...some of the better known groups are highly evolved - parasitic formssuch as the Culicidae [mosquitoes] - whose evolutionary origins areobscure.1233Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002The cause of this obscurity, they say, is the insufficient fossil record, but thatis no justification. They could and should have followed Darwin who studiedthe living finches of the Galapagos islands and not their fossil record indeveloping his theory of evolution. Likewise, it should have been possible toanalyze the process of mosquito evolution even in the absence of a complete,detailed fossil history. The characteristics of modem mosquitoes as comparedto other insects, or of the female mosquito in comparison to the male of thesame species, can be studied to determine what steps in evolution must haveoccurred for the mosquito to have assumed its present form.Before analyzing the unique characteristics of the mosquito let us very brieflyexamine the probable scenario for mosquito evolution presently put forth byscientists. They suggest that the mosquito progenitors prior to their feedingon vertebrate blood must have fed on soft-bodied insects. Later on, at somepoint in their evolutionary history, the adults switched to feeding onvertebrate blood13. According to this view, the progenitors' mouthparts hadalready developed similarities to the finally evolved form of mosquitomouthparts. However, it is known that at the larval stage (analogous to thecaterpillar stage of a butterflys life cycle) these insects do not havedependence or association with vertebrate hosts that would have facilitatedan evolution toward a blood requirement. Additionally, if dinosaurs wereindeed among the very first mosquito hosts, a serendipitous switch fromfeeding on soft-bodied insects to a feeding behaviour that involvedpenetration of dinosaur skin would seem all the more improbable. Scientiststhemselves admit that this process of evolution would have requiredadaptations leading to a radical switch14 from feeding on insects to feedingon blood. The explanation presented by them in support of this theory, is amere conjecture that these progenitors accidentally started feeding on hoststhat frequented their damp, recessed habitats. As will be demonstratedbelow, the process of blood-sucking requires multiple specializations withinthe mosquito. In light of all of these interdependent adaptations, it is difficultto conceive of an 'accidental' switch in the feeding behaviour of mosquitoes.It should be remembered that three major aspects of the female mosquitohad to be adapted to the specialized task of feeding on vertebrate blood.Feeding on blood requires adaptations of anatomy and form,...such as a development of mouthparts able to penetrate skin;physiological adaptations, such as the proteolytic enzymes for blooddigestion; and behavioural adaptations, such as the abilities to findobjects that have blood and distinguish them from those that do not.1534Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002All this requires immense scientific knowledge and technical know-how.The blood-sucking ability of a female mosquito, apart from its inbred systemof locating the host and homing in on it, requires a host of other highlyspecialized precision instruments such as the proboscis. In itself the proboscisof a female mosquito is far more wonderful than the seven wonders of theworld. It is a masterpiece of an artifact. The entire digestive system of amosquito in fact, is to be keenly studied to realize that it is no product of theblind forces that model and shape the evolution of life. Returning to theproboscis, even a cursory examination of its construction should be sufficientto dispel the notion that it could have been constructed by natural selection,working patiently at it for over a million or so years. In adult females aproboscis, which is the apparatus for piercing and sucking blood, consists ofsix elongated parts enclosed in a flexible sheath.The six include mandibles for cutting through the host's skin. They are blade-like tips which are enclosed within the proboscis and are protruded to its tiponly when the mosquito requires a blood meal. Only then are they protrudedthrough the outer tube to make a sharp surgical incision.Then there is the labrum-epipharynx which during the act of biting, becomesa complete tube called the food canal through which blood is drawn.Whenever the mosquito bites, its saliva is transferred to the wound throughthe hypopharynx. There is also a pump to suck and transport the blood into asort of stomach and to channel the plant nectars separately to the gut.Expert naturalists maintain that by the selective action of the Cardia, athickened portion at the anterior end of the mid-gut, blood is admitteddirectly into the mid-gut. The remaining food such as vegetative juices are ledinto the diverticula and held there for a while.35Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002MandleLabrum-epipharynxMandiblesMaxillaehypopharynxLabiumMaxillaThe mouthparts of afemale mosquitoThe unique salivary glands embedded in the proboscis present a wonder notto be witnessed elsewhere in the entire animal kingdom. But for these glandsthe entire bloodsucking exercise of a mosquito would have come to naught.In the saliva produced by them is a rare chemical of anticoagulant qualities.Typically, when a blood vessel is ruptured, platelets in the blood rush withina few seconds to start the process of clotting to close the leak. In order tomake possible the process of feeding on blood, the female mosquito haswithin its saliva an enzyme known as apyrase. Apyrase is rare in animaltissues, but the mosquito salivary glands are rich in this enzyme. Thischemical counteracts the fast acting chemical response in blood that leads toplatelet coagulation.Even more amazing is the fact that the digestive system of the mosquito andits blood stream is completely protected from this singularly dangerousenzyme. It is utilized exactly where it is needed just at the point of incision.Yet it is present in the saliva which is extensively used by a mosquito when itdissolves dried-up plant juice or nectar to render it suckable. It is said thatalmost a continuous stream of saliva flows from the mouth of a mosquito tofacilitate this task, yet apyrase in the saliva is not utilized at all because thereis no blood in the juices. All this unutilized apyrase is digested by themosquito without doing any harm to its own blood circulation. Anyone can seefrom this that it is not just a game of chance creation on which naturalselection is dependent, it is a case of wilful design. The entire negative rolethat the mosquito plays in the animal kingdom depends just on this factor. Ifthe spitting of saliva containing apyrase into the host bloodstream was notmade intuitively essential for female mosquitoes, the immense negative roleof spreading disease worldwide among a variety of animals could not be madepossible. The entire anatomy of the mosquito seems purpose-built to achievethat objective.Of the five hundred or so viruses so far known to scientists, almost half thatnumber are found in mosquitoes and about one hundred of them areresponsible for spreading disease among humans alone. Some mosquitoes arehost-specific for other animal species, yet they too carry viruses which maycause diseases which can also be shared by humans. There are some virusesfor instance, which transfer from monkeys to man or vice versa by mosquitoeswhich feed on both. Mosquitoes may not necessarily be carriers of only onevirus, they can carry many simultaneously. Again, they can be strong activevectors in one area while in other areas they may remain idle.36Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002Among the major mosquito-conducted diseases which may be universal orregional, malaria leads them all. Then there are other widely known diseaseslike filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis. The damage done tohumans alone, over and above the vast damage caused to other animals, ishorrendous. Malaria does not always kill directly but prepares the soil for somany dangerous diseases by disturbing the physiological economy of malarialpatients.The largest killer in the world, malaria is not always identified for the deathsit causes. Many malarial deaths are either not registered at all in Third Worldcountries or not identified as malarial deaths. Many malarial patients die ofdiseases which result from malarial effects like tuberculosis and pneumoniacommonly prevalent in malarial districts. Likewise there are many otherdiseases which actually relate to malaria because it damages the vital organsof the host resulting in a number of different diseases.Two species of filariasis are widely transmitted by mosquitoes. Prolongedinfection by them may cause elephantiasis both among humans and domesticanimals.Yellow fever, another mosquito transmitted disease, comprises both urban andjungle forms of yellow fever. The latter is transferable from animals tohumans or humans to animals by the mosquito vector. The horrors whichyellow fever has spelled in human history are but common knowledge. WestAfrica was called the white mans grave, solely for the presence of yellowfever there.The colossal worldwide damage done by mosquitoes is not limited to theimmense loss of human or animal life alone. The adverse influence ofmosquitoes on human economy varies widely from a great loss of workinghours in offices, factories or fields to a depression in prices of lands becauseof their nearness to mosquito habitats. Limitations are also imposed onresidential areas in many ways. The history of World War II proves that manyimportant battles were lost or won or the progress of war was seriouslyhampered because of this tiny, apparently insignificant, animal.Returning to the subject of natural selection having played any role in thisgrand, yet bizarre scheme of things, we beg the naturalists to readjust theirposition regarding the factors which evolved and modelled life. It could be aneye-opener for them to concentrate on just one enzyme called apyrase. Whatmechanism or creative potential of natural selection could manage to produce37Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002this enzyme in the saliva of only female mosquitoes to the exclusion of themales? Again, they are respectfully requested to quote one good reason whyand how natural selection could compel female mosquitoes to add a bloodmeal to their customary vegetable diet. Why, again, is it only the femalemosquitoes which feed on the blood of hosts while both male and female feedon nectar and other plant sugars as a common source of their survival? Is itnot because the female mosquito requires the protein found in the blood ofits hosts only in order to synthesize yolk and develop its eggs a task certainlynot needed by the male mosquito? How could natural selection teach only thefemale members of the species that protein is good for their reproductiveorgans so they must evolve a most complex system of blood-sucking? Why didthe mosquitoes survive long before this female urge to seek more readilyavailable protein from blood? How long did it take the female to bring aboutall the essential fundamental changes in its anatomy and synthesize thewonder drug apyrase to transfer to a new mode of survival without which ithad already survived for hundreds of thousands of years?The only sensible answer to this question is that it was purposefully designedand could not accidentally be created by natural selection. Evidently, thenegative yet essential role which the mosquitoes were designed to play in thescheme of life must have necessitated the mosquitos propensity towardsanimal blood. The blood-sucking capability of female mosquitoes remarkablyillustrates design in the process of evolution.Evolutionists consider natural selection to somehow invariably take the rightdecisions and preserve only that which is good for life. Is the mosquito thegreatest threat to life really the choice and product of natural selection?38Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002NOW WE KNOW BETTER WHY THE PREVIOUS GENERATION OF SCHOLARSFAILED TO GRASP ITS EVIDENT MEANING. THEY HAD NO IDEA THATMOSQUITOES DO CARRY VIRUSES INVISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE. WHY GODIS NOT EMBARRASSED OF CREATING A DISEASE CARRIER OF SUCH HIGHMAGNITUDE IS BECAUSE IT WAS INTENDED AND PURPOSEFULLY DONE TOCREATE BALANCES IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF LIFE. ......WE ALSOPROPOSE THAT MOSQUITOES MUST HAVE PLAYED A MOST VITAL ROLE INPROMOTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IN LIFE. ONE EXAMPLE OF THISFUNCTION WE ALREADY KNOW RELATES TO SICKLE-CELL ANAEMIA..According to the Quran, on the other hand, the threat to life created throughthe mosquito was intended and planned to serve a wide purpose.The masterly perfection and exquisite implementation of this design hasalready been discussed above. Now we should like to point out that theQuranic verse on this subject is itself a miracle of literary excellence. Ofparticular note is the expression and what is carried above it (Ch.v.227). Itcan be translated to indicate the creation of similar living things beyondmosquitoes, but the evident literal meaning of Fauq which has eludedtranslators in the past, is: and what it the mosquito carries. When theQuran speaks of the Earth and all that it bears, it uses the same word FauqWa Mafauq-alArd means whatever is upon the earth.Now when one re-translates the verse in question literally, it will read asfollows: God does not feel shy of quoting the example of a mosquito andwhatever is on it or whatever it carries.Now we know better why the previous generation of scholars failed to grasp itsevident meaning. They had no idea that mosquitoes do carry viruses invisible tothe naked eye. Why God is not embarrassed of creating a disease carrier of suchhigh magnitude is because it was intended and purposefully done to createbalances in the grand scheme of life. Also it may be so because the veryconstruction of this fantastic flying machine is in itself a grand tribute to itsC r e a t o r. We also propose that mosquitoes must have played a most vital role inpromoting the immune system in life. One example of this function we alreadyknow relates to sickle-cell anaemia, which largely prevails among theGambians. The presence of this anaemia creates resistance against even themost deadly forms of malaria. It is not at all unlikely therefore, that apart fromsome as yet unknown purposes which mosquito related diseases serve in thescheme of life, they may also have served the purpose of promoting andevolving the immune system. That may or may not be so, but the generaldeclaration of the Quran is undeniable that the factors which lead to life andthose which lead to death are both integral to the plan of creation.Another rather strange fact which has to be noted is that mosquitoes carryhundreds of disease sources without ever being inflicted by them. Nonaturalist can ever recall a mosquito trembling with pre-malarial chills. Norcan he ever locate a mosquito suffering itself from any disease which it carriesfor others, within its own system, and not upon its feet or wings. Themicroscopic elephantiasis causing worms that it carries have never strickenits own proboscis, enlarging it to the size of a baby elephants trunk.39Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002So much scientific knowledge goes into the making of the mosquito and suchcomplex technology is required, that even today man cannot manufacture themere proboscis of a mosquito. The mosquito can buzz the challenge into theears of the most sophisticated and adroit modern genetic engineer to comeand get him if he may and make him if he can. But, alas, all the mosquitoesin the world cannot bite an atheist enough to stir him out of his atheisticslumber! Let them fly away singing their mosquito songs! The deaf will neverhear, the blind shall not see!To recapitulate we again emphasize the characters and features of all animalspecies which present a systematic unfolding of precisely encoded messagesin their cellular genetic symbols. The proteins of the cellular content are theguardian angels of their destiny. The character bearing strands, which makethe DNA, RNA, somatic and reproductive cells of all living organisms, aretotally independent of the outer environments and their influences uponthem. The mindless environment has no mechanism to dictate terms to thegenetic custodians of life, and the genetic custodians of life could not havedesigned themselves nor could they have set the precise sequence of aminoacids within them which, if disturbed at any of their links and positioning,would rob the fundamental bricks of life of all their purpose and creativepotential. That is why many a scientist has calculated that chance couldcertainly not have moulded them into shape even if it had worked upon themfor trillions of years. Yet they are created somehow, having a world of theirown, completely independent of climatic and environmental influences.If God is removed from this intricate scheme of things, another creator mustbe found to replace Him. Let alone the mysteries of the inanimate universe,the living wonders which occupy the planet Earth will cry out for the Handwhich shaped them and filled their existence with fathomless intricacies. RuleGod out and their cries will forever remain unheard and unanswered. Man canonly be sure of one thing: that Life did not create itself, and Death did notcreate Life. Natural selection is neither conscious nor alive. It is no more thana dead phenomenon like gravity. It can pull a rock deep into a ravine withoutever realizing whether it fell upon a deer or a porcupine.40Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 2002References1 . Translation of Ch.67:Vs.2-5 by the author.2. Translation of Ch.16:V.79 by Maulawl Sher Ali.3. Theodorou, R., Telford, C. (1996), Polar Bear & Grizzly Bear. HeinemannPublishers, Oxford.4. Harper, D. (1995) Polar Animals. Ladybird Books Ltd., Leicestershire.5. O'Toole, C. (1986), The Encyclopaedia of Insects. George Allen & Unwin, London,p.134.6. Bristowe, W.S. (1958), The World of Spiders. Collins, London, pp.70-75.7. Translation of Ch.2:v.27 by the author.8. Lane, R.P., Crosskey, RM. (1993), Medical Insects and Arachnids. Chapman & Hall,London, p.120.9. Dowenes, W.L., Danlem, G.A. (1987), Key to the Evolution of Diptera: Role ofHomoptera. Environmental Entomology: 16:852-853.10. Klowden, M.J. (1995), Blood, Sex and the Mosquito. Bioscience: 45:327.11. Waage, J.K. (November 1979), The Evolution of Insect/Vertebrate Associations.Biological Journal of the Linnean Society: 12:216.12. Waage, J.K. (November 1979), The Evolution of Insect/Vertebrate Associations.Biological Journal of the Linnean Society: 12:18813. Klowden, MJ. (1995), Blood, Sex and the Mosquito. Bioscience: 45:326.14. Waage J.K. (November 1979), The Evolution of Insect/Vertebrate Associations.Biological Journal of the Linnean Society: 12:195.15. Klowden, M.J (1995), Blood, Sex and the Mosquito. Bioscience: 45:327.41Natural Selection and Survival of the FittestReview of Religions Jan 200242 Review of Religions Jan 2002There are some people who arguethat there is no need forsafeguarding [religion]. Suchpeople commit a grave error. Is itnot the duty or the wish of aperson who creates a garden orerects a building that he shoulddo all he can to protect thatwhich he has created against thehand of destruction. There areerected walls and fences aroundgardens to safeguard them and inorder to protect buildings againstsuch risks as fire, ever newmaterials are manufactured andsafety measures are takenAssessment of Belief Part IIPresented below is a translation of the address delivered by Hadhrat MirzaGhulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, on 31 August1901 on the occasion of a visit to Qadian by the Municipal Commissioner ofWa z i rabad, Janab Babu Ghulam Mustafa Sahib. For the purpose oftranslation, the original Urdu script of this address has been taken fromMalfoozat, Vol. 4 pp.712. The founder of the AhmadiyyaMuslim Community wasHadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In 1891, he claimed, on the basisof Divine revelation, that he wasthe Promised Messiah and Mahdiwhose advent had been foretoldby the Holy Prophet of Islam(peace be upon him) and by thescriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis ofthe beliefs of the AhmadiyyaMuslim Community.[Translators note: All references tothe verses of the Holy Quran aregiven in Arabic as they occur in thetext. The English translation,presented in Italics is taken fromthe translation of the Holy Quranby Hadhrat Maulvi Sher AliS a h i b( r a ).Where the PromisedM e s s i a h( a s ) has himself stated acertain interpretation of the Arabicverse, this is incorporated in themain body of the text].Translated by Amatul Hadi Ahmad43Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIagainst dangers from electricityby using wire and such like. Suchactions manifest the inherentelement of protection that isnaturally found in human beings.Is it not then legitimate for Godthat He should protect andsafeguard His religion? Withoutdoubt He protects and safeguardsHis religion and has done so atthe time of every trial andtribulation. Now, at this time,when there is a great need forthe [protection of His religion]God has appointed me for thispurpose. The matter of safe-guarding would have been indoubt or it would have beenpossible to reject it if thesituation and the needs of thetime were not, in fact,supporting [the argument thatIslam is at this time in great needof protection]. Many hundreds ofthousands of books have beenwritten against Islam and there isno account of the number ofleaflets and pamphlets that areissued daily, weekly and monthlyby the Christian priests. Shouldall the abuses that have beenhurled by Christian converts ofthis country against the mostinnocent of beings, the HolyProphet Muhammad( s a ) a n dagainst his pure and virtuouswives were to be collated togeth-er, they would fill many floors.Were they to be put side by side,they would spread out into manymiles. The writings of suchpeople as Safdar Ali and Shaiq arenot hidden from any one. Theextreme offensiveness of thewritings of Imad-ud-din, forexample, is such that itsdangerous nature isacknowledged even by some fairminded Christians themselves.Hence a newspaper namedShams-ul-Akhbar that used tobe printed from Lukhnow,published an opinion that if inIndia there were to be anotheruprising, it would be due towritings like these. Such is thestate of Islam and there arestill people who ask what harmhas been done to Islam [andhence what need is there for itsprotection]? Such talk may beindulged in by those who eitherhave no relationship or feeling forIslam or those who have beenbrought up in the darkness oftheir enclosures and thus haveno knowledge of the outsideworld. Should there be suchpeople then we take no notice ofthem but those who have a lightin their hearts, those who have alove for Islam and who relate tothis religion and are aware of thecondition of the times, such44 Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIpeople have to acknowledge thatthis has to be the time for theadvent of a truly great Reformer.In short, at the present timethere is much evidence bearingwitness in support of myCommission [as the Pr o m i s e dMessiah]. There is, first, theinternal evidence [of the state ofthe Muslims]. Secondly, there arethe external factors [namely,attacks on Islam from outside].Thirdly, the tradition [Hadith] ofthe Holy Prophet(sa) regarding theappointment of a Reformer at thehead of every century. Fourthly,the promise that has beenvouchsafed by God in theQuranic verse [as follows]: Verily, We Ourself have sentdown this Exhortation, andmost surely We will be itsGuardian. (Ch.15:v.10)I, now, present a fifth and a verypowerful evidence bearingwitness [in support of my claim]and that is the promise given inthe Holy Quran, in the chapterentitled Al-Noor [chapter number24]. The promise given here is ofIstikhlaf, that is, the promise ofthe Caliphate or a system ofSuccessors [after the HolyProphet Muhammad( s a )]. In thischapter God Almighty makes thefollowing promise: Allah has promised to thoseamong you who believe anddo good works that He willsurely make them Successorsin the earth, as He madeSuccessors from among thosewho were before them;(Ch.24:v.56)In this verse, the Successors whowould follow [the Holy Prophet]would be like the previoussuccessors [who followed afterthe Prophet Moses(as)]. Similarly,in the Holy Quran, the HolyProphet(sa) has been likened unto45Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIProphet Moses(as), as stated inthe verse [following]:Verily, We have sent to you aMessenger, who is a witnessover you, even as We sent aMessenger to Pharaoh.(Ch.73: v.16)Moreover, the Holy Prophet(sa) isalso said to be like Pr o p h e tMoses(as) in the prophecy stated inthe Bible, in the Book ofDeuteronomy, [cf. Deutr. 18:15].The resemblance and similaritybetween the Mosaic and theMuhammadiyya lines is total andcomplete and this is evident fromthe use of the word k a m a[meaning like or same as] in theverses [quoted above] fromChapters 24 and 73 respectively].The line of Mosaic Caliphs orsuccessors ended with Jesus( a s )who appeared in the fourteenthcentury after Moses(as). Accordingto the similarity between the twolines, at least this much would beexpected that during thefourteenth century [after theHoly Prophet Muhammad( s a )]there should appear a Messiah ofat least the same calibre andstrength of the earlier Messiah,having a mission similar to that ofJesus. The nature of thissimilarity is so powerful that evenif God the Almighty had notprovided any further evidence,it would have been expected thatin the fourteenth centurysomeone should appear in theUmmah of the Holy Prophet(sa)who would be like unto theprevious Messiah otherwise therecould, God forbid, be perceivedto be some fault or weakness inthe line of the Holy Prophet(sa)given such a resemblance.However, God the Almighty hasnot only verified thisresemblance and has supportedit, He has also proven that theone who resembles Moses was infact much better than theProphet Moses(as) he was, infact, the best among all theProphets. Jesus(as) the Messiah did not bringany Divine Law of his own butcame to fulfil the To r a h .S i m i l a r l y, the Messiah of theMuhammadiyya line has not46 Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIbrought any new Divine Law of hisown but has come to re-establishthe rule of the Holy Quran andhas been appointed for itsfulfilment - the fulfilment that isknown as spreading wide themoral teaching and Guidance [ofthe Holy Quran as vouchsafed tothe Holy Prophet(sa)]. Regarding the fulfilment of thework of spreading the word ofGuidance, it should beremembered that the HolyProphet(sa) was endowed by Godwith the blessing and grace thatwas complete [in terms of hisattaining nearness to God]. Hewas also endowed with a religionthat reached its ultimate point ofcompletion. These matters havetwo aspects: One is that of thefulfilment of Guidance and theother is one of fulfilment of thespread of Guidance. Thecompletion of Guidance [receivedby the Holy Prophet(sa) from God]took place in the lifetime of theHoly Prophet (sa), through his ownholy person. However, the finaland complete fulfilment of thework of the spread of hisGuidance was to take place in hissecond advent and this is sobecause the chapter of the HolyQ u ran entitled Al Jummaa[Chapter number 24] points tothe preparation of anotherpeople through the teaching andblessings of the Holy Prophet (sa)...from among ohers from them (Ch.62:V.4) From this it is evident that thereis intended another manifes-tation of the Holy Pr o p h e t( s a )which is in the form of a symbolicmanifestation [that is,appearance of another person inthe spiritual image of the HolyPr o p h e t( s a )] and such amanifestation is now takingplace. Hence, this is the time forthe complete fulfilment of thetask of spreading the Guidanceand its teachings and this is thereason why all the means ofpublication and publicising arebeing developed. There is awidespread availability ofprinting presses and daily therecome to be developed newsystems such as the postal systemand post offices, electricity,railways, ships and the estab-lishment of newspapers allthese matters have made theworld like one town [making thetask of spreading the word of Godso much easier]. Such progress is47Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIin reality the success of the HolyProphet(sa) because through themhis complete guidance isattaining the fulfilment of thesecond aspect that is the spreadof his teaching and guidance. This task of fulfilment ofspreading the teaching andguidance is like the task of theprevious Messiah who stated thathe had come to fulfil the Torah,and I say that one of my tasks isalso to complete the work of thespread of the teaching ofguidance [of the Holy Quran].Hence, there is this resemblancealso with Jesus(as). Furthermore,the tribulations that were facedby the people at the time ofJesus(as) are also to be found atthe present time. Internally, thecondition of the Jews at the timeof Jesus(as) had worsened greatlyand history bears witness to thisfact that they had abandonedadherence to the Commandmentsof the Torah and instead gavegreater importance to Ta l m u dand other traditions. Thecondition of the Muslims in thisage has also reached a similarstate when the Book of God hasbeen put aside and insteadimportance is given to folktraditions and stories. Apart fromthis there is another resemblanceand that is in the form of thegovernment. At the time of Jesusthere was Roman rule and at thistime there is a Britishgovernment which is famous forits fairness and justice. I havealready stated the fact that Jesuscame in the fourteenth centuryafter the Prophet Moses(as) andthis century is also the fourteenthcentury following the HolyProphet Muhammad(sa).In addition to all the abovepoints, there is one other matterwhich completes the argumentfor resemblance and that is thatthe previous Messiah used tostress moral teaching andguidance and he had come toreform the form that MosaicJihad i.e. struggles took in thathe never raised the sword. Thesame was to be the case with thePromised Messiah of the HolyProphets(sa) line. It was intendedfor the Promised Messiah that heshould establish the beauty ofIslam through the true practice ofits teaching and guidance andremove the accusation that islevelled against Islam that it wasspread through the sword. Thisaccusation will be removedcompletely during the period ofthe Promised Messiah because hewould reveal the truth of Islam to48 Review of Religions Jan 2002Assessment of Belief Part IIthe world through its livingblessings and grace. This willprove the point that Islam is ofbenefit and has efficacy today, inthe age of progress, just as it hasalways been the case in everyage. This is because Islam is aliving faith. This is the reasonwhy the Holy Prophet(sa) prophe-sied yaza-ul-harb, that he, thePromised Messiah, would end war.You should now put all thisevidence together and saywhether there is not the need inthis age for the advent of aheavenly person [with a Missionfrom God]? Should this much beaccepted that at the head ofevery century there must come aRe f o r m e r, and when it isacknowledged that there is aresemblance between [theProphethood of] the HolyProphet(sa) and Prophet Moses(as),then in accordance with thissimilarity, it is necessary that theReformer at the head of thiscentury should be a Messiahbecause at the head of thefourteenth century after Moses(as)came the first Messiah, thepresent century also being thefourteenth century [after theHoly Prophet(sa)]. The number fourteen has a greatrelevance. [Moon of thefourteenth is the full moon] andthe moon of the fourteenthcentury is a complete one also. Itis to this that the [following]verse of the Holy Quran points: And Allah had already helpedyou at Badr when you wereweak. (Ch.3: v.124) That is, there was one B a d r[which in Arabic means the fullmoon] when the Holy Prophet(sa)gained victory over his opponentsin the Battle of Badr, having avery small party of men with himand there is another Badr now, atthe present time. Here the termBadr is pointing towards thefourteenth century [after theHoly Pr o p h e t( s a )] when thecondition of Islam is becomingsuch that the term a z i l l a hmeaning weak applies. Hence, itis in accordance with all thesepromises that the Almighty Godhas Appointed me [as the Messiahand Mahdi of this age].(To be continued)49Review of Religions Jan 2002H a d h rat Mirza Tahir Ahmad:From an Ahmadiyya point of viewand that is, as I have explainedbefore, from an Islamic point ofview as we understand Islam,religion in its essence is seen asone entity - as one entire,undivided domain. With such aview of the religious domain, ageneral condemnation of a partof religion or a form of religionwould create other problems asthis would point to the notionthat God has been revealinghimself differently to differentpeople at different times on thisplanet. [This could also lead tothe view that there existdifferent gods] and that, in turn,would imply that there have to beat least two gods or as many asthe number of differences. Onthe other hand, it may be that,(heaven forbid), there is a godwho has lost control of hisfaculties completely and, as aresult, one day he is thinking oneDistortion ofReligionHadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Headof the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam,from time to time offers to people of allnationalities, faiths and beliefs theopportunity of raising questions andissues that are of interest to them.Presented below are answers to somequestions raised in a session held in1988 for students at CambridgeUniversity.Prepared by Amatul Hadi AhmadIn most of Africa andpossibly in most of theworld there exist tra d -itional beliefs that arecondemned as heathenand pagan. What wouldbe your view or the vi e wof the AhmadiyyaCommunity regardingsuch traditional religionsthat still exist in variousparts of the world,particularly in Africa. QUESTIONER50Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002thing and another day somethingelse which is completelydifferent. In other words he isinconsistent about the world hehas created. This is the reasonwhy, as I stated earlier, accordingto the Ahmadiyya philosophythere has to be a single entity ofreligion not a divided one. Itshould be the case that religionsshould basically approve of eacho t h e rs fundamental views butthis is what we do not see. This isthe dilemma that needs to beresolved instead of condemningother religions. Once thisdilemma has been resolved, theneed for condemnation disap-pears automatically as one beginsto see the real nature of thisissue. According to the philosophypresented by the Holy Quran,every religion on earth wasoriginally revealed by God. Godcame into contact with Hischosen servants and a light wasgiven to them and there wasfundamentally no differencebetween that light - all theProphets came with the samefundamental message that hadtwo aspects. One was to bow tothe authority of Allah theAlmighty God, and not to bow tothe authority of anyone elseother than God and secondly, todischarge ones duty to othersand to treat others kindly, justlyand mercifully. According to theHoly Quran these are the twofundamentals that are to befound in every message given toall the Prophets. Hence, it wasonly Prophets who came [with amessage for mankind] and nevergods or manifestations of gods.What we see, however, isdifferent. What we observeeverywhere on earth, in everyregion we investigate, is thateither sons of god, brothers ofgods or partners of god andsometimes thousands of godsappearing as manifestations ofgod. The Holy Quran furtherexplains how it is that this comesto be. The explanation it offers isas follows: Initially, when aMessenger of God proclaimshimself to be from God and givesthe message he has received fromGod to his people, he isvehemently opposed by themajority of those people and theywish to destroy him andannihilate him. That is the firsttrait of hatred found in themajority of people, that isexpressed and manifested in thefirst stage of a Pr o p h e t sdeclaration of his appointment byGod. After going through a long51Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002period of sacrifices, theMessengers of God eventuallygain wider and wider acceptanceand, it is usually some time aftertheir demise that they ultimatelyachieve widespread acceptance.Once accepted, a differentprocess of distortion begins totakes place and that is one ofraising the status of a Messengerof God from humanity to somesort of super humanity. This,according to the Holy Quran,occurs everywhere and the samephenomenon continues to repeatitself. In short, what happens in the firststage is hatred, distorting theperson and the reality of theMessenger, declaring him to besomething less than human andyet, later on, human beings withthe same human psychology tryto raise his station beyond hisreality and elevate him to thelevel of super human. This, in brief, is how all thedistortions creep into religion andinstead of Prophets you begin tosee gods and sons of god,brothers of god and relatives ofgod and other manifestations ofGod. This is what we believe tobe the philosophy of religiousdevelopment and hence if we seea distorted face of any religion,we do not condemn that religionat all. What we condemn is thetrait in human beings ofultimately distorting whatevermessage they are given through aMessenger of God and all peopleare guilty of this and, therefore,condemnation of one group byanother does not resolveanything. We all share thiscommon trait and such has beenthe history of man. A deeperanalysis would reveal that theforces working within humanpsychology are exactly the same -both the forces of hatred and theforces of elevating the Prophetsof God to a super human level. At one level the nature of the twoforces are the same we do notwish to be harnessed by anotherpower. We do not want anyone tomeddle with our affairs and totell us what to do and what not todo. However, once thephenomenon of Pr o p h e t h o o dtakes shape, initially they areopposed and people try toachieve their objective by hate.They try to find fault in theMessenger by pointing, forinstance, to his birth that it islowly or not legitimate, and soon. Their argument being howwas it that such a lowly and52Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002unfit person became so close toGod. Hence, he has absolutely nojurisdiction over them and he hasno right to tell them what to doand what not to do. However,after his demise, he gains widerand wider acceptance as a personof God and once he has gonepeople now wish to createbarriers in the way of the nextMessenger of God. This occurs forthe same reason people do notwant to listen to a voice otherthan their own. This time thebarrier is created through love not because the person from Godwas a man but because, in theireyes, he stood much higher thana man did and they bow to himnot as a man but as a superhuman being. Consequently,next time a Messenger of Godappears, the majority of thepeople are prepared to accepthim only if he is like the imagethey have created for themselvesof the previous one havingendowed him with divine powers.They are not going to bow to aman even though he may claimto be a Messenger of God. Thebasic phenomenon, therefore, isthe same mans non-acceptanceof authority from God. Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad:This is a very pertinent questionand you have understood mecorrectly that the fundamentalrole of the Messiah is to rectifyattitudes and the rest is simply amatter of time. Attitudes have tobe fundamentally rectified. It is,in fact, the case that theProphets have repeatedlyrectified attitudes and then theyare repeatedly distorted. This isthe high and low of religiousdevelopment as observed inh i s t o r y. However, we aretravelling from a regionalconcept of religion to oneencompassing larger and largerYou were speaking justnow of a basic defect inmans personality whichproduces these tenden-cies. I now want to ask ifyou think whether atsome stage in the futurethere will be a timewhen, as a result of theactivity of one religion,this defect will besolved. I ask thisbecause, as I see it, thisis one of the mostimportant roles of thecoming Messiah to fulfil. QUESTIONER53Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002areas as man travels from triballife to state life and now he isconceiving a life of globalgovernment. Similarly, religionhas gone through the same courseof evolution and we see that themeaning of concept of theMessiah for the man of today isthis that ultimately he would bethe person who would usher inthe new era of one humanityunder one religion. The rationaleand logic of such a developmentwill gradually penetrate theminds of the people who hithertohad a distorted vision andultimately they will begin tothink differently.The process of change inattitudes has been further aidedby the spread of knowledge in theworld today and the progress ofgeneral enlightenment. The manof today is much moreenlightened than the man of thepast. Although the task ofbringing the whole world underthe sway of new attitudes is verydifficult, there are natural forcescreated by God which areassisting in this process and wesee that people generally aredisplaying signs of discontentwith the orthodox views ofreligion that have been handeddown to them for generations.Hence, we see signs of revolt allaround us. The present age is astage in the history of man whereinstead of being ready to accepta new positive value, they arebeing weaned away from theolder inadequate values.Consequently, we see an increasein interest in new movementssuch as the Hippies, the Sufis,Hari Krishna, etc. Even theAmericans are turning to sectssuch as the Moonies andS c i e n t o l o g y, etc. These aresymptoms of an unrest within.They sense that there issomething wrong with their views they feel what they have beengiven is wrong and they mustescape. This desire to escape iscreating that psychologicalatmosphere which will ultimatelypave the path for the newphilosophy based on truth. Untilthat path is paved we cannothope for the world to be savedfrom an ultimate catastrophe.One further thing that I must addhere is this that the radicalchange in attitudes based on truevalues is not going to occurwithout a global catastrophe.Man today is in a paradoxicalstate of mind but at the sametime he is not strong enough towean himself away from the54Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002pleasures to which he hasbecome accustomed andaddicted. Hence, there has to bea great jolt before he can reallyhave the power or strengthenough to change, to totallywean himself away from the pastthoughts and practices andaccept a new era and such a joltcan only come from a world widecalamity.I would like to recount here aninteresting conversation I oncehad with an English businessmanwhile travelling from Dacca toCalcutta which is a very shortjourney, about half an hour or so.We were exchanging views aboutmatters of religion and althoughthe travel time was very short,we began to agree so quickly thatI was surprised. However, whenthe journey nearly came to itsend, he said, there is one lastthing he must say and that is thatalthough he agreed with myphilosophy he thought that itwas right but if I thought that hewas going to become a Muslimand change his way of life or thathis people were going to do that,then I was living in a foolsparadise or some words to thateffect - that is not going tohappen. I said that I totally agreewith him on that point but addedthat he would also agree with methat there was a phase in thehistory of Japan similar to ourpresent phase, before the SecondWorld War, when all the efforts ofthe Christian missionaries failedto interest Japan in Christianitybut once the Second World Warbroke out the pride of theJapanese was broken. The waralso broke their attachments withthe past and from then on it wasjust plain sailing. It is reported bysome Christian scholars thatwithin ten years, 25% of theJapanese population had con-verted to Christianity. Later onmany of them drifted away but aradical change in their attitudeshad occurred. I pointed out to myfellow traveller that this is whatwill happen again to which heresponded, light-heartedly, thathe would wait until the ThirdWorld War! I wonder if you aresuggesting that thiscalamity becomes aninevitability or do yousee it as a secondarycourse because peoplerefuse to listen to theMessage? QUESTIONER55Distortion of ReligionReview of Religions Jan 2002Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad: The fact is that whichever wayyou look at it you cannot avoidthe calamity because such hasbeen the case in the past thepattern of mankinds behaviournever seems to change. Peoplegenerally do not accept the truthwithout paying the cost. Firstthey extort the cost from thosepeople who are following thetruth and then they have to paythe cost themselves andwithout cost you cannot gain acommodity. This is exactly whatis going to happen again. It hashappened before so many timesthat I cannot force myself tochoose a different course forhumanity today.The inevitability of such a courseof events is further supported bythe fact that the controllingforces of power are immoral afact that is not hidden from anyone. You can say they areatheists, Russians, Americans orgive them any other name,fundamentally the politics at thetop has become totally immoral what they pursue is their ownselfish ends and this is themorality that controls theirdecisions. What is morality, afterall? Apart from other things, it isreligious application. Moralitygives you the power to steer andthe faster the machine, thegreater must be your moralcommand. Should this not be thecase, you are bound to beinvolved in some accidentsomewhere. Should the moralforce not keep pace with themachine it steers, that is thechanging form of political, socialand economic structures, thenthe ultimate course towards agreat calamity is unavoidable.The morality at the top ofpolitics that is almostmachiavellian in its character,controlling such great forces asthe H bomb, the neutron bomband the nuclear bomb, is steeringmankind unavoidably towards acatastrophe. This seems a very grim outlookthat I have described but in myview it is inevitable. 56 Review of Religions Jan 2002The Promised Messiah (on whom bepeace) has described Qadian asThe Capital of His Messenger. Thegreatness of this remote hamletcannot be under-estimated. DivineWisdom had ordained this land tobe the birthplace of that PromisedMessiah (on whom be peace) whoAllah Himself has described asThe Champion of Allah in theMantle of all Prophets. It is fromthis tiny outpost that emanatedthat spiritual light destined todispel darkness from the world. Itis for this reason that I had alonging to visit Qadian, a desirebecame so strong, that I resolvedto attend the Jalsa Salana, Qadian,in November.I began with prayer. In humbleprostration at His threshold, Isupplicated that Allah Almightymay remove all obstacles from theway and enable me to undertakethe blessed journey. I also soughtto persuade other Khuddam tocome along knowing the trip wouldbe even more pleasant if I went incompany. When I spoke to FarooqMirza, son of Mirza Manan Sahib, hewas full of enthusiasm. I wasdelighted to have found a travelcompanion.When the visa and travelarrangements had been finalised, Iwent to see Maulana Ataul MujeebRashed Sahib, Imam of the LondonMosque, to get whatever advice hemay render by way of what to dowhile there. I was only halfexpecting a brief chat; however, Irecall vividly the excitement andpassion Imam Sahib showed oncehe realised why I called on him.With childlike exuberance, whichdemonstrated both his love for andattachment to Qadian, Imam Sahibspent nearly an hour telling me ofall the sacred sites, places ofinterest and what to do. Before theconversation had ended, ImamSahib had me wishing that I couldfurther extend my planned one-week visit without even havingstepped foot there. Imam Sahibwas also gracious enough to send afax to Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib,My Visit to QadianBy Bockarie Tommy KallonMinarat-ul-MasihQadian, India57Review of Religions Jan 2002brother of Hadhrat Ameer-ul-Momineen and Ameer JamaatAhmadiyya India, introducing bothFarooq and I and requesting that asthis was our first visit to Qadian,someone should be appointed tousher us around.We set off on Royal JordanianAirways on the afternoon of Sunday4th November. Our flight viaAmman arrived in Delhi 9:30am thenext day and later that afternoon,we set off on the six-hour journeyto Amritsar via the Shatabdiexpress. As we pulled into Amritsarat 10:30pm we were apprehensiveas to whether anyone would bethere to receive us. As we alighted,we spotted a Khadim wearing thetypical duty badge. Alhamdulillah!We were in safe hands. Thereception team organised our taxito Qadian and as it was pretty lateand dangerous, one of themvolunteered to come along with uson the final one and a half journeyto Qadian.As we drove, both Farooq and Iwere anxiously looking in alldirections hoping to catch the firstglimpse of the Minarat-ul-Masih.We had seen the minaret oninnumerable photos, banners andletterheads but here was a chanceto behold the original in all itssplendour and glory. The waitseemed like eternity but as wefinally approached Qadian at11:40pm, lustrous and radiant asthe pen and personality of its holyarchitect, there stood the gloriousMinarat-ul-Masih. No doubt thiswas a moment of prayer andinstinctively did I raise my hands inprayer thanking Allah Almighty,celebrating His praise, invoking Hisblessings on His noble Prophet.We were ushered into the Europeanguest houses in Qadian. As we hadnot yet said our Maghrib and Ishaaprayers, we asked to be shown tothe Mosque. On our way to MasjidAnwar closest to the guest houses,I casually enquired about Bait-ud-Dua and whether it was possible tosay our prayers there at that time.To our delight the reply was in theaffirmative. After a brief tour ofMasjid Mubarak, the moment I hadlonged for all along the journeyfinally came - a chance to offerprayers in the simple yetincandescent Bait-ud-Dua.I still recall my feelings as I tookthose first steps into Bait-ud-Dua.Fully conscious that a Prophet ofAllah had built and used this roomrepeatedly and extensively forworship, I was so much in awe ofthe Divine presence, that in amanner similar to stage fright, allmy senses deserted me. My mindwent blank as I struggled to recallhow to begin my Salaat. I had tocompose myself: Inni wajjahtuMy Visit to Qadian58 Review of Religions Jan 2002wajhiya lilladhi... And then thetears! We had travelled thousandsof miles, over 24 hours with thesingle most overriding aim ofpraying in this room and there Iwas finally worshipping in the Bait-ud-Dua. I took my time, prayedlong and hard, and just as wellbecause as delegates poured intoQadian, the lengthy queue neverafforded me the chance to praythere again.The following day we met MirzaWaseem Sahib. By the Grace ofAllah, he had received ImamSahibs fax. He received us mostaffectionately and enquired aboutour journey and families. But itwas when he asked one of hisattendants to show us around Dar-ul-Masih that we both felt reallyhonoured and privileged. We got tosee some of the most intimateplaces of the Promised Messiah (onwhom be peace) and his familywhich we never would have dreamtof seeing, including the roomwhere the Promised Messiah (onwhom be peace) was born, theroom where he fasted for sixmonths and met with many pastsaints and prophets including theHoly Prophet while fully awake,the room where Promised Messiah(on whom be peace) wroteHaqiqatul Wahi and other books,the Hujrah room where he wasMY M AT E R N A L G R E AT G R A N D FAT H E R, MA S T E RNOOR ILLAHI JANJUA, WAS A COMPANION OF THEPROMISED MESSIAH (ON WHOM BE PEACE), ANDL I V E D I N QA D I A N. HI S S O N, M Y M AT E R N A LGRANDFATHER, MAULVI EHSAN ILLAHI JANJUA,WAS A MISSIONARY TO SIERRA LEONE IN THE1940S. HE WAS TO MARRY THERE AND HAVECHILDREN, OF WHOM MY MOTHER IS THE ELDEST.I ALSO HAPPEN TO BE THE YOUNGER BROTHER OFWA L E E YA, T H AT M O S T F O RT U N AT E SI E R R ALEONEAN GIRL ADOPTED BY HADHRAT KHALIFAT-U L- MA S I H III A N D TA K E N TO RA B WA H. I THEREFORE HAVE A VERY DIRECT RELATIONSHIPWITH QADIAN AND THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENTIN GENERAL. THUS, FOR ME THIS VISIT WAS A MOST FULFILLING EXPERIENCEBOTH IN TERMS OF VISITING THE SACRED SITES SO OFTEN READ AND HEARDABOUT AND ALSO IN TERMS OF RETURNING TO MY FAMILY ROOTS.59Review of Religions Jan 2002resting when the miracle of the reddrops took place, Bait-ul-Fikr fromwhere much of Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya was written and thePromised Messiahs guest house.We also got to see some othersacred rooms around Dar-ul-Masihincluding the room where HadhratKhalifat-ul-Masih II was born,where Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IVwas born and the room he stayed inafter he married. It was a mostsplendid experience.Much of Wednesday was spenttouring the other sites in Qadianincluding Talimul Islam College, theLangar Khana, the Bazaar, JalsaSalana and Khidmat-e-Khalq officesand the Jalsa Gah. In his fax, ImamSahib had requested that I bepermitted to address the JalsaSalana assembly. I was informedthat I would be addressing theopening session of the Jalsa. As Isat to write a short address to bepresented beforehand for Urdutranslation, I reflected on what agreat honour it is to address JalsaSalana Qadian. By Thursday morning we had beenin Qadian for over two full days andhad yet not mustered enoughcourage to enter Bahisti Maqbaraand behold the final resting abodeof the Promised Messiah (on whombe peace). It was just too awe-inspiring. After Tahajjud and Fajrprayers everyone traditionallyproceeds to Bahisti Maqbara andsays a silent prayer. Today weresolved to tread along. As weentered the main enclosure, I wasmomentarily distracted from whatlay ahead by the beautiful scenerythat Bahisti Maqbara presents. Thetrees, plants and flowers along theway to the main burial area werebeautiful. But it was the view ofthe Minarat-ul-Masih from thewalkway that simply captivatedme. It is a truly remarkablespectacle. We reached the enclo-sure that housed the Pr o m i s e dMessiah (on whom be peace),Khalifat-ul-Masih I (may Allah bepleased with him) and past familymembers of the Promised Messiah(on whom be peace). It wasgenerally kept closed so thateveryone could only watch from adistant. I stood there for a longwhile just staring at the tomb aseveryone around me was engagedin prayer. Finally I raised my hands,beginning and ending with theDurood prayer, I prayed for thePromised Messiah (on whom bepeace) and all who lay buried inthis Heavenly Graveyard.We were to return every morningfrom that day again only watchingfrom a distance. However, on thefinal day we had the good fortuneof being allowed to enter into theburial area of Promised Messiah (onMy Visit to Qadian60 Review of Religions Jan 2002whom be peace) and family. Ourmain chaperone had arranged forthe gates to be opened just to us.As we walked towards the burialarea I could already feel my eyeswelling up with tears as I engagedin Durood prayer, silentlywondering how I would feel when Istood next to the grave of thePromised Messiah (on whom bepeace). We reached and the gateswere opened. Almost dazed wewalked timidly towards the tomb. Inervously conveyed my salaams tothe Promised Messiah (on whom bepeace) and conveyed the salaamsof all that had requested me to. AsI raised my hands in prayer visiblyshaking with awe and overcomewith emotion, I had an over-whelming sense of sin andworthlessness. There lay thegreatest ever follower of the HolyProphet (may peace and blessingsof Allah be upon him), a man whohad truly lived his life for the sakeof Allah and dedicated everymoment of his time, every ounce ofhis energy, every fibre of his beingand every interest of his life for thesake of Islam; a man for whosetruth Allah Almighty caused the sunMy Visit to QadianAs I raised my hands inprayer visibly shaking withawe and overcome withemotion, I had an over-whelming sense of sin andworthlessness. There laythe greatest ever followerof the Holy Prophet (maypeace and blessings ofAllah be upon him), a manwho had truly lived his lifefor the sake of Allah anddedicated every momentof his time, every ounce ofhis energy, every fibre ofhis being and everyinterest of his life for thesake of Islam; a man forwhose truth Allah Almightycaused the sun and themoon to eclipse in thesame month and year; aman who was accepted as the Promised Messiah of the Latter Days by 81 millionpeople last year alone - there lay a man whose greatness, glory and grandeur wasnever ever to be interred with his bones.61Review of Religions Jan 2002and the moon to eclipse in thesame month and year; a man whowas accepted as the Pr o m i s e dMessiah of the Latter Days by 81million people this year alone -there lay a man whose greatness,glory and grandeur was never everto be interred with his bones.After that experience, we had aproper tour of Bahisti Maqbara andgot to see the place where thebody of the Promised Messiah (onwhom be peace) was laid one finaltime for his companions to beholdbefore burial, the place where theelection of the first Khalifa tookplace and the Janazah Gah wherethe funeral prayers of the PromisedMessiah (on whom be peace) wereled by Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih I(may Allah be pleased with him).By this time the one outstandingthing on our to-do list was toascend the Minarat-ul-Masih. Againour chaperone arranged for thedoors to be opened and we walkedup the 92 flights of stairs stoppingat each of the three stories. Wereached the top and quite honestlymy initial feelings were one ofacrophobia. I never thought I wouldbe scared of heights but, 105 feetup was quite a bit of an altitude!Nevertheless, it was not enough tostop me from having a good look atalmost the whole of Qadian fromthis vantage point. It was only thenthat I was struck by the single mostamazing thing that summed upQadian for me. I had expectedQadian to be a simple place yet inthe year 2001 not as simple as Ifound it. The streets and housesare pretty much the same as theywere when the Promised Messiah(on whom be peace) trod theearth. The town had expanded butlittle and its habitants werehumility personified. Qadian trulywas and still is a corner of theworld. I was astounded by the factthat the Promised Messiah (onwhom be peace) acquired so muchknowledge, insight and erudition,both religious and secular, fromthis simple and remote corner ofthe earth. How from this tinyhamlet the victory of Islam was tobe manifested eternally by theSultan-e-Qalam, the King of thePen, which the Promised MessiahMy Visit to QadianIT WAS GREAT TO HEAR SOMANY CONVERSION STORIESF R O M T H E M A N Y N E WA H M A D I S W H O AT T E N D E DE S P E C I A L LY F R O M T H EF O R M E R N O N-A H M A D IMULLAHS WHO CONVERTEDAND ARE NOW UNDERGOINGTHE MISSIOHNARY TRAININGIN QADIAN. 62 Review of Religions Jan 2002(on whom be peace) undoubtedlywas. At the same time, I felt veryfortunate and blessed indeed to beable to see Qadian in this state foreven as the Holy Kaaba in Makkahand the Holy Prophets (may peaceand blessings of Allah be upon him)Mosque in Madinah today stand inresplendent glory and lustrecompared to 100 years after thedemise of the Holy Prophet (maypeace and blessings of Allah beupon him), I know with absolutecertitude and conviction, thatdespite being inconspicuous to thecontemporary eye, the day woulddawn when the Minarat-ul-Masihand its surrounding precincts wouldbe enlarged to wider and loftierdimensions. So would be the aimsand ideals which inspired itsconstruction. The greatest of man-made structures built for worldlypurposes would stand dwarfed incomparison to this humble Minarat-ul-Masih. All light will pale beforeits light. It would be a place ofpilgrimage for future generations.They would look back and wonderwhat Qadian must have looked likein the days of the Promised Messiah(on whom be peace).Jalsa Salana itself was a splendidexperience. There was assembled aconcourse of thousands of modest,unpretentious Ahmadis all pro-claiming the glory of Allah,affirming His Unity, supplicating Hisforgiveness and compassion, eagerMy Visit to QadianTommy addressing the Qadian Jalsa63Review of Religions Jan 2002to follow in the footsteps ofQ a d i a n s illustrious past holypersonages, keen to enhance theirreligious knowledge. It was greatto hear so many conversion storiesfrom the many new Ahmadis whoattended especially from theformer non-Ahmadi Mullahs whoconverted and are now undergoingthe missionary training in Qadian.But it was the exceptionalhospitality that stood out for me,even from the most seniormembers of the Jamaat. In conso-nance with the gracious spirit,noble aims and lofty aspirations ofthe Promised Messiah (on whom bepeace), our hosts worked tirelessly,day and night, to provide us everypossible comfort, at the same timealways maintaining a pleasantdemeanour. The people of Qadiangenuinely practised the motto:Love for All, Hatred for None. Asan African, I felt no barriers, nodiscrimination, no prejudice justlove, affection and brotherhood. Ihave been amongst the ethnicminority in many places before yetI have never been so warmlyreceived as by the people ofQadian. I quickly learnt themeaning of the Urdu phrase Ekt a s w e e r as almost everyonewanted a photo with me, perhapsbecause I stood out from the rest.The subcontinent had beenplunged into turmoil since theevents of September 11th yet it isin Qadian, Darul-Aman, (a place ofpeace and security) that I trulyfound peace and brotherhood.When the time came to depart itwas only with a heavy heart that Iwas able to do so. I had suspectedfrom the onset my stay would notbe long enough and so it proved tobe as I left Qadian for Delhi tocatch my return flight. I washeartbroken to leave a trulyspiritual colony. Yet I was gratefulfor the many pleasant memories Iwas taking with me. I feltprivileged to have seen the birth-place of the Promised Messiah (onwhom be peace); that humbleplace from where the renaissanceof Islam was initiated. And Idefinitely felt blessed indeed tohave walked the same streets asdid a Prophet of Allah and to haveprayed in the same places wherehe had prayed. May Allah Almighty bless all sincereAhmadis with a visit to Qadian,Dar-ul-Aman, an abode of peace, aplace of security, a town oftranquillity. Ameen.My Visit to QadianWe hope you have enjoyed reading thisedition of the magazine. The Review ofReligions will continue to prov i d ediscussion on a wide range of subjectsand welcomes any comments orsuggestions from its readers. To ensure that you regularly receive thismonthly publication, please fill in yourdetails below and we will put you on ourmailing list.The cost of one years subscription is 15Sterling or US $30 for overseas readers(Please do not send cash). Pa y m e n t sshould be made payable to the LondonMosque and sent to the address below:The Review of ReligionsThe London Mosque16 Gressenhall RoadLondon SW18 5QLUnited KingdomPlease put me on the mailing list for the Review of Religions for 1 year. I enclosesubscription payment of 15.00 or US $30.00.Name: ___________________________________________Address: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________SubscriptionReview of ReligionsThe Holy KaabaMECCA, ARABIAThe First House of Worship, and The Spiritual Heart of Islam


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