The Review of Religions [English], November 1920
Our London Mission
Our missionaries in London report progressive work. Brother Mubarak Ali, BA BT, our missionary intent for Nigeria has reached London, and has been arranging passage for Nigeria. Arrangements are being made for the construction of the new mosque and our missionaries expect to move to their new quarters shortly. The Hyde Park lectures are reported to have proved increasingly popular and successful.
A new brother We are glad to announce the conversion in England of our new Ceylonese brother Mr Sribardhan. He was called to the bar in June last, and is now going up for the LLB examination of the London University. We pray for his success and spiritual advancement.
The Ahmadis of Behar recently held a conference at Bhagalpur. The Ahmadis of Bengal held a conference at Brahmanbaria. Our Brother Maulvi Muhammad Ibrahim Baqapuri was sent from Qadian to attend the conference. Details of the proceedings are not yet to hand.
Waiting for a new message
Two Socialist leaders spoke at a recent Church Conference at Stockholm. The first, PH Sjoblour, spoke on the materialism of the present generation. The older people who had stood on the forefront of the battle had turned their ideals of social reform into a religion, but now that the reforms were practically accomplished, there was nothing which could set the hearts of the working men aflame with ideas beyond the satisfaction of their selfish wants. Therefore, they needed new spiritual values. But no one came. A similar trend of thought was seen in the address of the other Socialist leader, F Mansson. He attributed the strength of the older people largely to the fact that they had fed their minds on the Book of books, whereas the younger people no longer read it. He found among them an emptiness as though they were living on spiritual stores that were being exhausted and not renewed. They seemed to be waiting for someone to bring them new sustenance, but no one came. We understand how timely was the announcement by the Promised Messiah[as].
“O Men! The one who was to come, has already come; the news has been borne to you even by the sun and the moon.”
The Eternal Creator
What is known as a New Star has been discovered by Mr Dinning, the veteran astronomer of Bristol, in the constellation Cygnus. It is a bright star of 3.5 visual magnitude and can therefore be easily seen by the naked eye. It is not yet possible to determine whether the new star is actually a new comer or a faint star which has rapidly increased in brightness. The last new star discovered in June 1918 was in the constellation Aquilla. For a very brief period, it was one of the brightest stars in the skies. It proved to be in origin a faint star which had been detected in photographs as long ago as 1888. God says in the Holy Quran:
“Were we then fatigued with the first creation? Rather they are in doubt regarding new creations.”
Sale of the bible in India
During the first six months of the present year the Bible House at Allahabad sent out 280,000 books, while the Bible House at Bombay sent out 240,000. These figures show increase of 100,000 and 78,000 respectively above the totals for the corresponding period of 1919. The Methodist Episcopal Church Mission aims at the sale of 50,000,000 copies of the Scriptures in India in next five years.
A proposal to gulp the non-Christian world
The close of the war saw the conception of one of the biggest Christian enterprises for the conversion of the non-Christian world. This was the great Inter-church World Movement started in America which planned to collect nearly 4,000,000,000 of rupees to establish the kingdom of God on earth. It will bring great relief to the non- Christian world to learn that the movement has collapsed because the different Christian Churches did not find the movement sufficiently denominational. For the nine months the movement worked the monthly expenses amounted to more than 3,000,000 rupees a month, and in pledges, promises and cash, the movement had already received 520,000,000 rupees or thereabouts.
A crumbling house
Reverend WS Godfrey is an ex-minister of the Church of England. He has found out the hollowness of Christianity and published his views in the book, Theism Found Wanting (Publisher: Watts and Co., London). When such is the condition of its members, there must be “something rotten in the State of Denmark.”
Yet another indictment of Christianity
Mr Edmond Holmes in his recent book, The Comic Commonwealth, says:
“The great war has revealed to us the hollowness of the material civilisation on which we had prided ourselves. The social order which our armies and police maintained is breaking up. The only hope for society is to get rid of the unworthy conception of God called in other words Christianity or Orthodoxy. This fallacious cult of a transcendent God has produced our apotheosis of selfishness.”
Another justification of Islam
Democracy is the cry of the hour. Europe and the West are enamoured of the majority rule, and the same motto is being repeated by their indiscriminate admirers in the East. But even in the West the wisdom of the principle has now begun to be questioned. Japan, the most successful pupil of Western civilisation, does not seem to have been convinced of the effectiveness of majority rule. The special correspondent of the Pioneer, Allahabad, writes about the country:
“Japan is said to be under a Constitutional Government and this is true so far as being in possession of a national constitution is concerned; but in reality, the nation is governed by its elder statesmen known as the Gearo, who dictate all its important movements in politics. Japan has never believed in democracy in the sense of exposing the destinies of the State to the notions and whims of the ignorant populace. Japan believes and has always believed and acted on the belief that the wisdom of the select few is superior and therefore safer than the confusion of ideas simmering in the public brain. Japan’s democracy is of another kind than ours. It consists of a patriarchal form of Government of which the Emperor is father and head and all the people children, ever loyal to the parent-head and to his arrangements for the big household. The Emperor governs for the good of the people. Such is the ideal.”
Islam too never believed in mass rule. Its institutions were directed at placing not the most popular men but the best men of the community at the helm of the State.
More calamities for the earth
This time it is the Highlands of Scotland which has been visited by a serious calamity in the shape of the heaviest flood since the one which happened nearly a century ago. It is impossible, says the report, to gauge the extent of the disaster. Many lives have been lost, houses and cattle have been swept away.
In our last number there was published among the News and Notes a quotation from the Truth Seeker on the subject of the Bible. We regret that the same got to the Press without any accompanying comment and has laid us open to a misunderstanding regarding our attitude towards the Bible. We do, of course, by no means endorse the views of the Truth Seeker, which are according to us indiscriminate, unauthorised and marked by brazen irreverence. We do admit, as Muslims, that the Bible contains much that is of intrinsic worth, that there is to be found in it many an echo of the Divine word, although mixed up with a good deal of human interpolations and disfigurements. It is this element of human interference that we regret as having exposed the whole to the blatant sarcasm of the freethinkers. An atheist can by no means be nearer to us than a Christian. With the latter our difference consists in the matter of the recognition of one or more of Divine Messengers, while the former denies the very Fount of truth and goodness. As we have always openly advocated catholicity, tolerance and justice in matters of religion, we hope our present explanation will clear our position and effectively remove any misunderstanding likely to arise from the previous bare quotation.