A letter written to Mr Percy Heward – a Christian preacher in London
The Review of Religions (English), Jan & Feb 1920, pp. 56-59
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra
In the name of the One Eternal God, who is not in need of having any father, son, daughter, wife or mother.
Dear Mr Heward,
I thank you for the leaflets you have so kindly sent me with your short note of 25 November 1919. I am not aware how you got my address, but it does not matter, when you are prompted by good-will, as I can see from the note, and I appreciate this attention on your part. As you write you will be thankful to hear from me, I am glad to hear from you in reply to this epistle.
I quite agree with you that God’s holy truth is one, and I hope that you will agree with me that we cannot know that holy truth by guessing, but it comes to us only through His revelation. To illustrate this I quote the story of a deaf man related by a wise oriental saint. I hope it will interest you. It runs thus:
There was a deaf man incapable of hearing. He came to know that a friend of his was in bed on account of ill-health. According to an eastern custom he must go to see him and console him.
“But I do hear nothing” murmured he, “how shall I reply to his words?”
He was rather worried over this, but aft er a short time an idea struck him.
“Well,” said he, “well, aft er all it is not very difficult. I know what the people generally say to their friends in sickness and what the latter generally reply. It is a matter of common sense – an everyday occurrence.
“I can easily arrange a conversation beforehand. Now let me see how to proceed. First of all, I will say to him, ‘How are you, my friend,’ and he will say, ‘Better’, and I shall rejoin with the words ‘Alhamdolillah’ (God be praised or Thanks to God).
“Then I shall ask him, ‘What is your food in these days’, and he will name something, milk or barley or anything like that, which is generally administered to the sick people. Whatever it may be, I can say, ‘That’s a very good food.’
“After that my third and final question shall be, ‘Who is your doctor?’ and whatever name he will give, my answer will be plain and satisfactory that he is a good doctor. This will finish my duty of sympathy.”
The deaf man rejoiced at the skill of his imagination and guesswork, and thus fully equipped with his pre-meditated dialogue he knocked at the door of his friend. He, being well known in the house as an intimate friend of the old sick man, was at once allowed in and furnished a seat very near the bed of the sick man who was unfortunately suffering from some pain at the time and so was in an irritable mood. The deaf man introduced the dialogue:
“How are you, friend?”
“Very bad, I am dying of pain.”
“Alhamdolillah, thanks to God, I am glad to hear this.”
“And what is your food, my friend?”
“Dust and ashes, what else can I eat?”
“Oh, very good food, it is nourishing as well as wholesome.”
“And may I ask who is your doctor, my friend?”
“Who can my doctor be, but the Angel of Death.”
“Oh, a very good doctor, the ablest physician in the town is he. You must stick to him, my friend.”
What is the moral lesson of this story? We cannot please a friend by our guess-work. When such is the case with the human friends who are like us in every way, how can we please our Creator – the best and most desirable friend, without knowing His will from Himself? Our imagination and guesswork cannot help us in the matter. It will rather injure us.
Now I come to your words again – God’s holy truth is one, but we cannot know that truth by our imagination, unless He Himself reveals it to us. Where is that revelation? From the papers you have sent me I gather that you base your information about the truth on the Bible. But my dear friend, you know well and all the Christians agree, that the present Bible is not in its original state.
All its parts have passed through many stages of intentional or unintentional alterations, amendment, subtractions and additions. No original genuine copy is to be found anywhere in the world. The manuscripts from which the present translations, revised and un-revised, are made differ from each other. Each page of the Bible shows the difference in versions.
One doubtful line in a book is enough to throw it down from the grade of authenticity. How can you take a book so full of un-genuine additions as a foundation for a faith on which depends the life or death of your soul? Maybe that the very verse in which you are rejoicing is only an addition by some mischief-monger. In this case the only plan of salvation from doubt and skepticism is to seek guidance from some later and purer revelation. God is one and the same at all times. He neither changes nor dies. Let us give ears to His revelation once more.
About 600 years after Jesus Christ there appeared in the world another Prophet (Muhammad[sa]) whose truth was proved by the same signs with which the truth of the previous Prophets was proved. God spoke to him again as He had spoken to Noah[as], Abraham[as], Moses[as], Isaiah[as] and Jesus[as]. A law was revealed to him just as a law was revealed to the Prophet Moses[as]. But unlike the law of Moses[as] this new law has survived 1300 years without any alterations or changes of any kind. This is the Revealed Law (Al-Quran) before us.
Then another Prophet (Ahmad[as]) has appeared in these very days just like the Prophets of old days. And his Prophethood is proved with as many signs that if he be not taken as a Prophet, there remains no chance for any other prophet throughout the ages to be called as such. And the new revelation that comes to this Prophet from the same ever-living God testifies to the truth, purity and genuineness of the Revealed Law given to the world by the Master-Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace and blessings of God).
Well, in conclusion, my dear Sir, I say once more that, as you have said, God’s holy truth is one which we can know only from Him; and the latest revelation, the only pure and genuine revelation testified by an upto-date revelation is that named Al-Quran, and therefore there is no true salvation but in following this book under the guidance of the Prophet of the day – “Ahmad[as],” the Promised Messiah, and Mahdi. Blessed are they who listen and accept.
Mufti Muhammad Sadiq,
4 Star Street, Edgware Road, London W 2