LATEST ARTICLES

Sacrifice: The élan vital of love

0

The sentiment of love has arguably been the rock of the vast amount of literature produced in the world since time immemorial, albeit in different forms and shapes – love for a person, for a place, for faith, for a nation and so forth. 

Read through the literature produced in the many centuries of human existence and one will find that sacrifice has been the bloodline for love in all its shades and derivatives. From Homer’s Odyssey to Wordsworth’s romanticism and all the way to modern-day fiction and poetry, love has remained the current that runs through human expression, and sacrifice, the undercurrent. 

What we know as Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder to all Muslims that love on its own is a body without a soul. Ahmadis are lucky not to have to wait for the annual cycle for this reminder; the pledge that every Ahmadi proclaims – from weekly meetings to annual ijtemas – is all about the love for the cause of the Promised Messiahas, resting on the pivot of sacrifice.  

“I shall be ready to sacrifice my time, wealth, honour, children …”: Anything and everything dear to us is sworn in by every Ahmadi – children or adults, women or men.  

So what makes sacrifice so important in Islam is not different from what makes sacrifice so very important in any affair of human society: Love. True love calls for sacrifice, not just words, and it is this distinction that defines true love and a hollow sense of belonging.  

The first reference to sacrifice in the Holy Quran is found in the story of Hazrat Adam’s two sons, who both offered sacrifice but not both were accepted by Allah the Almighty; acceptance of the sacrifice, the story indicates, is down to Allah Who accepts or rejects on the basis of “righteousness”. So, we see that what attracts Allah’s acceptance is not based on the quantity of the offering but the quality, and quality is added to the sacrifice through the love that works behind the act. 

The most detailed account of sacrifice mentioned in the Quran is of that of Abrahamas offering his son Ishmaelas to be slaughtered in the way of Allah the Almighty. Abrahamas passed what was only a test of his love and is honoured by Allah as “Khalilullah” (the friend of Allah) and certified as “loyal”. 

The strongest teaching of sacrifice and its philosophy found in the Holy Quran is, however, in the verse: 

لَقَدۡ‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬لَكُمۡ‭ ‬فِيۡ‭ ‬رَسُوۡلِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬اُسۡوَةٌ‭ ‬حَسَنَةٌ

“Verily, you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model.” (Ch.33: V.22)

If Allah prescribes the practices of the Holy Prophet, Muhammadsa as the best model for the believers, then Allah is undoubtedly asking for a life of sacrifice to live up to it. 

A child born orphan, or, as some accounts suggest, became an orphan at a very early age, the Holy Prophetsa was to live a life of sacrifice from his birth to the time that he passed away. What kept him going, as is evident from his biographical accounts, was the sheer love of Allah the Almighty. 

From his self-imposed solitude in the blossom of his youth to offering every belonging in the way of Allah, the Holy Prophet’s life is the epitome of both love and sacrifice. 

It was quite natural for his wife to ask him why he stood in prayer all night long, even though he knew he was the beloved of Allah. His reply was, “Should I not be thankful for this great honour?” 

Saying this, he continued to sacrifice his sleep – the only one thing that could bring him some comfort. 

We find debates around a statement attributed to the Holy Prophetsa where he said: 

انا‭ ‬ابن‭ ‬الذبيحين

“I am the son of two slaughters”. Some experts in authenticity of hadith reject it on the basis of weak links in the chain of its narration; others accept it as authentic for having appeared in the works of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi. The background, however, is interesting to note before we conclude this piece. 

Legend has it, as recorded by the likes of Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham and Ibn Saad, that Abdul Muttalib had vowed to sacrifice one of his sons in the way of God. He cast a lot to choose the son to be sacrificed from his 10 sons (or eight according to some). The lot fell on Abdullah, the father-to-be of Prophet Muhammadsa.

Relatives and well-wishers advised that he sacrificed camels in lieu of his son and, thus, it is said that Abdul Muttalib sacrificed 100 (some suggest 300) camels; hence was saved the life of Hazrat Abdullah. 

The other “slaughter” this tradition refers to is that of Hazrat Ishmaelas, from whose progeny the Holy Prophetsa belonged. 

Not being in our scope to testify the authenticity of ahadith, we can, however, testify that the whole life of the Holy Prophetsa was laden with sacrifices. 

His life was to be mirrored in the Latter Days in the Promised Messiahas, who, as we know, lived a life of sacrifice. The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, to bring success to the mission of the Holy Prophetsa, sacrificed his wealth, time, honour, rest and peace; all for the love of his holy master, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafasa

Then followed Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya where every Khalifa sacrificed every fibre of their being in the way of Allah. Calling for the same, they have always led by example.  

The Eid sermon we listened to on Wednesday was by a man who is sacrifice personified. From devoting his life to Islam Ahmadiyyat in the prime of his youth, to working under extremely challenging circumstances for the cause of Islam to sacrificing his sleep for the love of Allah the Almighty and for the people he knows are the last “Jamaat” to be divinely established.  

We all express our love for our beloved Imam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa. We all pledge to sacrifice anything and everything for him. But what do we actually sacrifice for the grand cause that he is the commander of?  

Every one of us will have their own answers. 

May Allah enable us to understand the call-of-the-time by the Khalifa-of-the-time and may we all be able to offer everything dear to us to nurture the love that we claim to have for Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, the Promised Messiahas, the Holy Prophetsa – a chain of love leading ultimately to Allah the Almighty.

(By Asif M Basit, London)

The relationship between taqwa and sacrifice: Hazrat Amirul Momineen delivers Eid-ul-Adha sermon

Wednesday, 21 July 2021, Islamabad, UK: Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa arrived at the Mubarak Mosque in Islamabad, UK at 10:33 BST to lead the congregation in the Eid-ul-Adha prayer. 

Following the Eid Salat, Hazrat Amirul Momineen, may Allah strengthen his hand, addressed the congregation and the millions of viewers of MTA International with his Eid-ul-Adha sermon. 

After tashahudta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa recited the following verse of the Holy Quran and proceeded with the Eid-ul-Adha sermon.  

لَنۡ یَّنَالَ اللّٰہَ لُحُوۡمُہَا وَ لَا دِمَآؤُہَا وَ لٰکِنۡ یَّنَالُہُ التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ سَخَّرَہَا لَکُمۡ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا ہَدٰٮکُمۡ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ

“Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to you, that you may glorify Allah for His guiding you. And give glad tidings to those who do good.” (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.38)

Huzooraa then said that on this Eid, various animals were slaughtered in the way of Allah, and during the Hajj, hundreds of thousands of animals were slaughtered. Although for the last couple of years, Hajj had been impacted due to the situation of the world, but in normal circumstances, many animals were sacrificed and widely distributed among the poor and needy. 

In general, Huzooraa said, in the Muslim world, animals were slaughtered in large numbers. Some did this for mere show and to display their wealth and reach. 

In Pakistan, people take great pride in the fact that they prevent Ahmadis from celebrating Eid. They see themselves as the custodians of faith and thus consider that no Ahmadi can sacrifice any animals on this day. The surprising thing is that law enforcement supports such hindrances. Some allow sacrifice by Ahmadis to be done in secret, but otherwise, if news gets out about Ahmadis slaughtering animals, then there is great opposition to it. 

The enforcers seem to be compelled to stay quiet against this injustice. Regardless, this has always been the way of opponents of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, that they try and make any excuse to bring grief and trouble to Ahmadis. 

The reason behind all this is that they do not possess taqwa and believe that they are practicing Islam in its fullest. Only Allah knows who possesses true taqwa, who is right in His sight and who is in the wrong. We, Ahmadi Muslims, prostrate and bow before God alone. If we continue to do this, then certainly, God’s help and succour will be with us. 

In the verse Huzooraa recited at the outset (Ch.22: V.38), Allah says that He is not in need of any sacrificial animal or meat. Thus, if Ahmadis are prohibited from sacrificing animals, then they should not worry; if we continue to tread the path of taqwa and have the intention to sacrifice animals, then we will reap the blessings associated with it irrespective of any attempts to hinder us from its blessings.  

We are fortunate, as Ahmadi Muslims, that we have accepted the Imam of the age, the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, peace be upon him. He taught us the true teachings of the Holy Quran. We should not be upset that we have been prohibited from sacrificing animals; rather, we should ensure that our pure intentions are accepted by God.

We find in narrations and traditions that one person gained the reward for Hajj without doing Hajj and by bearing the expenses of another person’s Hajj. Thus, apparent show of rituals is not always a guarantor of divine reward. 

If we are not making sacrifices solely for the sake of Allah, then it is of no benefit. 

In the Holy Quran, Allah speaks of sacrifice in various places. The Promised Messiahas has also elucidated this subject. 

At one place, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas said, “Man should, with all his faculties and potential, sacrifice himself for the sake of God.” He said that the actual purpose of sacrifice is what has been mentioned in the verse:

لَنۡ یَّنَالَ اللّٰہَ لُحُوۡمُہَا وَ لَا دِمَآؤُہَا وَ لٰکِنۡ یَّنَالُہُ التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ سَخَّرَہَا لَکُمۡ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا ہَدٰٮکُمۡ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ

“Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to you, that you may glorify Allah for His guiding you. And give glad tidings to those who do good.” (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.38)

Thus, the Promised Messiahas said, we should sacrifice our own selves whilst attaining taqwa

Hazrat Ahmadas also said that without true sincerity and pious intentions, Salat and prayers are of no benefit. Many other religions pray with great efforts and by putting themselves in great trouble and difficulty, but these practices alone cannot bring them spiritual enlightenment. 

Bearing in mind this verse (Ch.22: V.38), Allah is not in need of our efforts; rather, He desires the essence in our sacrifices and practices. 

Hazrat Ahmadas then posed a question that if God required taqwa from us, what need was there for physical acts like slaughtering animals and sacrifice. 

Hazrat Ahmadas answered this question by saying that those who did not practice taqwa with their physical bodies, could not succeed spiritually. 

The physical state has a deep connection with the physical body and physical practices affect the soul. Physical displays of humility impact the soul. Thus, when the soul actually possesses humility, then the body will also display true humbleness. 

Reminding his Jamaat about the essence of taqwa, the Promised Messiahas said, “The Jamaat is associated with and in the bai‘at [allegiance] of such a person who claims divine appointment. Thus, those who possess animosity or rancour in their hearts or shirk [associate partners with Allah] should purify themselves of such traits.” 

The Promised Messiahas said that when a physical blemish appears on one’s face, then one becomes concerned that it does not spread over the entire face. Similarly, if one’s spirituality becomes blemished, it is a cause for great concern. 

Allah is the Gracious and Merciful. He has in His sight a community of people who claim to have achieved many things or promise to bring transformations and revolutions. If, however, this is not the case, then the Promised Messiahas said that God’s wrath would be incurred and in doing so, He could punish the group of believers through disbelievers. In history, there are many such instances where this happened, that the group of believers suffered at the hand of disbelievers. 

If God Almighty sees that one verbally claims something but their practices are contradictory to what they claim, then it is a point of great concern as this can incur Allah’s wrath. 

We should always reflect whether we are following the true commandments of God Almighty. 

The Promised Messiahas then said, “We should always reflect on how much we have progressed towards attaining taqwa and for this, we must analyse ourselves by means of the teachings of the Holy Quran.” 

وَ مَنۡ یَّتَّقِ اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّہٗ مَخۡرَجًا

وَّ یَرۡزُقۡہُ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَحۡتَسِبُ

“And he who fears Allah – He will make for him a way out; And will provide for him from whence he expects not.” (Surah al-Talaq, Ch.65: V.3-4)

This is a trait of a believer, that Allah does not leave him to depend on illicit things, for example lying etc. God Almighty becomes the Protector of a true believer and protects him from such unlawful recourses. 

If we understand this, then we will be able to beautify our future. 

The Promised Messiahas then said that true muttaqis [those who possess taqwa] were those who spoke softly and lived modest and humble lives; whoever possessed taqwa would be elevated in status by God Himself. 

The Holy Prophetsa was granted the status given to him due to his taqwa and the same was the case of Prophet Abrahamas

Medina

The Holy Prophetsa endured great challenges, but it was due to his sincerity and purity that God said in the Holy Quran:

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ وَ مَلٰٓئِکَتَہٗ یُصَلُّوۡنَ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ ؕ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا صَلُّوۡا عَلَیۡہِ وَ سَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِیۡمًا

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe, you [too] should invoke blessings on him and salute [him] with the salutation of peace.” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.57)

This verse shows that Prophet Muhammad’ssa practices were such that they were acknowledged by Allah and they were so dear to God, that Allah desired for his actions to be praised till the end of days. 

The Holy Prophetsa not only reformed himself and practiced the perfect teachings, but also reformed thousands of people who were erstwhile ill-mannered and like beasts. Regardless of how bad those people were prior, they were transformed into Godly human beings through Prophet Muhammad’ssa revolution. 

Despite this, Huzooraa said, non-Ahmadi Muslims said that we were an affront to the honour of the Holy Prophetsa; they tried to bar us from practicing his pure teachings. They may try all they want, but they cannot remove the love from our hearts for our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. 

Huzooraa then quoted the Promised Messiahas, who said that the path of taqwa should be followed; through this, one could attain great heights in spiritual terms. Even the smallest opportunity of doing good should not be turned down. 

Thus, Allah states:

اِنَّمَا یَتَقَبَّلُ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ

“Allah accepts only from the righteous.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.28)

This is a promise of God, which He never breaks. 

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخۡلِفُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ

“Surely, Allah breaks not His promise.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.10)

The Promised Messiahas said, “Every member of our Jamaat should adopt the path of taqwa, as much as possible, so that the joy of the acceptance of prayer and increasing faith may be experienced.”

Hazrat Ahmadas said that taqwa was needed, as opposed to the sword. If a person practiced taqwa, then the whole world would be on their side. If the Jamaat was so fortunate that they combatted foul deeds and treaded the path of taqwa, then there could be nothing more honourable. 

When a person becomes a true muttaqi, Hazrat Ahmadas said, Allah creates a stark difference and distinguishes between them and others. 

Who is a muttaqi and what are the criteria for becoming a muttaqi

The Promised Messiahas said that sins such as arrogance, adultery, theft, not fulfilling rights of others etc. become a hindrance, and once one refrains from these and adopts higher morals and searches for opportunities to fulfil the rights of God and the rights of His creation, only then can one attain such a rank and only then can they be a true muttaqi

Allah protects and befriends such people then, as He says in the Holy Quran:

وَ ہُوَ یَتَوَلَّی الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ

“And He protects the righteous.” (Surah al-A‘raf, Ch.7: V.197)

Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas instructed his followers countless times in various places to adopt the ways of taqwa, otherwise a mere bai‘at was not enough. 

On the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, Huzooraa said, we must all vow to lead our lives in the manner described by the Promised Messiahas, where our words and deeds are in perfect harmony for the sake of Allah. Then, with the grace of Allah, we will succeed and no enemy will be able to cause any harm to us, nor will they be able to prevent us from partaking of the blessings associated with Eid. 

Huzooraa then urged everyone to remember the asiran-rah-e-Maula in their prayers and any other people who were suffering due to their faith. In Pakistan, Ahmadis are suffering due to others stopping them from jobs and earning livelihoods. Similarly, Huzooraa said to pray for humanity at large so that they might be saved from Allah’s wrath. 

Huzooraa said that the manner in which the world is heading towards destruction, may Allah give the world the sense to realise the destruction that lies ahead and to save themselves by morally and spiritually bettering themselves. 

Huzooraa then delivered the khutba thania and led everyone in dua (silent prayer), before extending a hearty “Eid mubarak to everyone”. 

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

The Bible and the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah a.s. – Part I

0

M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam

The Holy Quran, sunnah and ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa and the majority of Islamic literature and sources substantiate the truthfulness of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, peace be upon him. We have and continue to publish many well-researched articles in this respect. However, this series of articles will endeavour to shed some light on the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas through the Bible.

Opponents of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, especially Christians, raise many allegations against the messiahship of the Promised Messiahas based on their sacred books, but at the same time, they overlook many Biblical references which clearly prove the truth of his claim. 

One of their very many objections is that the Messiah of the Latter Days, who in their view is Prophet Jesusas, is to descend directly from the Heavens or the skies with his material body, but Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was born here on earth, so he cannot be the Messiah of this age.

Apart from other compelling historical evidence that proves Prophet Jesusas was neither raised to the Heavens with his body of flesh, nor did he die on the cross for the sins of humanity, but rather had a natural death, the Bible also openly supports this fact and further points out that he would not himself come as the Messiah but someone else would appear in his body and spirit in the Latter Days. 

The Bible, referring to the fact that Jesus would not be seen after he passed away, states:

“[…] I am going to the Father [God] and you will no longer see me [Jesus].” (John 16:10)

At another place, indicating that another person would be sent in his name, it is stated:

“For I [Jesus] tell you that you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord [Jesus].’” (Mathew 23:39)

The above sayings clearly substantiate that a chosen one of God, other than Jesusas, would come in his name and be the Messiah of the Latter Days.

It is for this reason that the Promised Messiahas said:

“Of the wonders which God has bestowed upon me, one is that I have met Jesus the Messiah several times in a state of perfect wakefulness which is called a [divine] vision. I have talked to him and have ascertained from him the nature of his real claim and teachings. A major point, which is worthy of attention, is that Jesus the Messiah is so disgusted with the doctrines of Atonement, Trinity, and Sonship, as if these are the great impostures that have been fashioned against him. This evidence of vision is not without support. 

“I believe firmly that if a sincere seeker after truth would come and stay with me for a period and would wish to meet Hazrat Masih [the Messiah] in a vision, he would be able to do so through the blessings of my supplications and attention. He can also talk to him and receive his affirmation of what I have stated, for I am the person in whom the soul of Jesus, the Messiah, resides by way of reflection.” (A Gift for the Queen, pp. 19-20 [English Translation of Tohfa-e-Qaisariyyah])

The verses of the Bible on the subject of ascension and the second coming of Elijah also support the above view of the Promised Messiahas

Regarding the ascension of Elijah, it is stated:

“As they [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind.” (II Kings 2:11)

The Bible, on the second coming of Elijah, says:

“Behold, I [God] will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord [Jesus]. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:5-6)

The above verses led the Jews to believe in the bodily ascension of Elijah to the Heavens and just as the Christians are expecting the physical return of Jesus to earth from the skies as the Messiah of the Latter Days, the Jews were also waiting for the fulfilment of the divine promise, i.e. descent of Elijah from the Heavens before the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. However, as Elijah had passed away just as Jesus died a natural death never to be seen again, he did not appear.

On the other hand, the prophecy of the second coming of Elijah was fulfilled in the name of John the Baptist who came as a reflection of Elijah. 

The Bible says: 

“The disciples asked him [Jesus], ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ Jesus replied, “Elijah does indeed come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognise him, but have done to him whatever they wished. In the same way, the son of man will suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them about John the Baptist.’” (Mathew, 17:10-13) 

The above verses clearly show that the second coming of Elijah did happen in the person of John the Baptist and the disciples of Jesus come to know about it from him. However, as was predicted by Jesus, the Jews did not believe in John the Baptist, the forerunner of Messiah, and thus persecuted Jesus because in their view Elijah was to bodily descend from the Heavens before the appearance of Jesus, the Messiah.

In this regard, the Promised Messiahas said:

“The ‘descent’ or the ‘coming’ does not mean the coming of the Messiah, son of Mary; it is actually a figure of speech signifying the coming of someone resembling the son of Mary; and that, in accordance with divine intimation and revelation, it is the present writer – my own humble self – to whom it applies. 

“I am only too well aware that as soon as this view of mine, which is based on clear and definite revelation, is made public, many a hostile pen shall come alive and a public outcry full of horror and rejection will ensue […] 

“Let it be clear, that according to the Bible, our own books of ahadith and other records, only two Prophets are supposed to have physically ascended to the Heavens, namely Elijah, also known as Elias, and Messiah son of Mary, also known as Isa or Jesus. 

“Concerning both these prophets, some books of the Old and New Testament say that they were raised to the Heavens and shall return to the earth some time in the Latter Days and that people will actually witness their descent from the skies. The ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa also contain words to the same effect. 

“Concerning Elias, whose Biblical name is Elijah, the Gospels positively declare that the prophecy of his descent from the skies has been fulfilled with the birth of Yahya, or John, son of Zechariah. The Messiah, son of Mary declares in unmistakable terms, ‘He is indeed the Elijah who was expected to come. Acknowledge him if you will.’ [Mathew 11:13-15 & 17:10-13] 

“Through this arbitration by no less a person than a prophet of God, the case of Elijah, his ascension to the skies and subsequent descent has been effectively settled and the manner and meaning of the ‘Second Coming’ clearly determined. This, therefore, is the doctrine, consistent with the Gospels, to which Christians should unanimously subscribe, that Elijah, whose descent was awaited, did, in the time of the Messiah, return from the Heavens in the person of John who was born to Zechariah, with the temperament and qualities of Elijah.” (Elucidation of Objectives, pp. 1-4 [English translation of Taudih-e-Maram])

The Bible also confirms that the Messiah of the last age will be a new creation and thus not the same Jesus of Nazareth. Hence, it says:

“Jesus told them [his disciples], ‘I tell all of you with certainty, when the son of man sits on his glorious throne in the renewed creation [Latter-Day Messiah], you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, governing the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Mathew 19:28)

The above verse plainly signifies that the second coming of the Messiah would not be the old self of Jesus but a new creation. It also compels one to believe that the Messiah of this age was none other than Prophet Ahmadas as he was a renewed creation of Allah the Almighty.

Hence, the Messiah of the Latter Days was not to descend from the Heavens or the skies but was to appear as an embodiment of Jesus of Nazareth and possess his attributes and qualities as a reflection.

The Promised Messiahas has very aptly summed up the above discussion, as he said: 

“All our opponents who live today shall die and none of them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary descending from the Heavens; then their children that are left after them shall also die and none from among them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary descending from Heaven and then their third generation shall also die and they too shall not see the son of Mary descending from the Heaven. Then God shall cause great consternation in their hearts, that a period of Christian domination has passed and the world has witnessed a great change, yet the son of Mary has not descended from the Heavens. Then, in dismay, the wise among them shall forsake this belief and three centuries from now shall not have passed when those who await the second coming of Jesus son of Mary, whether they be Muslims or Christians, shall abandon this concept altogether. Then shall prevail only one religion over the whole world and there shall be only one religious leader. I came only to sow the seed, which has been planted by my hand. It shall now grow and flourish and there is none who can hinder its growth.” (Tadhkiratush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 67)

(To be continued…)

Coming from every distant track: Sir Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala visits Qadian

A series looking at the high standard of morals of the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa when receiving visitors in Qadian

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

According to the history books of Ahmadiyyat, Sir Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Mahendra visited Qadian on 14 April 1941. He arrived in the city by car in the afternoon. Accompanying him was his small personal staff. 

Hazrat Syed Zainul Abidin Valiullah Shahra, Nazir Umur-e-Ama (Director of Public Affairs) welcomed the distinguished guest. 

Sir Yadavinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, stayed in the house of Hazrat Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khanra. On the same day, after Asr prayers, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra invited the Maharaja for tea. 

Sir Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Mahendra

Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra and some other respectable guests were also invited. In the evening, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra held a dinner in honour of the Maharaja. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra also blessed the occasion. 

Though Maharaja Yadavindra Singh’s visit to Qadian was only to have a private and personal meeting with his friend, Hazrat Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khanra, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat welcomed him, in accordance with the teaching of extending the highest standards of courteousness and morals owed to guests. After coming to know of the Maharaja’s visit to Qadian, a delegation of local Sikhs also expressed their desire to meet him which was also arranged. Al Fazl also published the news of his arrival. 

The next day, on 15 April, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was shown various institutions of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He was first shown Talim-ul-Islam High School. Then, he was shown the Noor Hospital where he also met with Hazrat Dr Hashmatullah Sahibra, who served as the manager of the hospital. Hazrat Dr Hashmatullahra welcomed the Maharaja and showed him around the hospital. 

Noor Hospital Qadian

Following this, the Maharaja visited the office of Hazrat Sardar Muhammad Yusufra, Editor of the Nur newspaper. Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was then given a biography of the Holy Prophetsa which was published in the Gurmukhi language.

Maharaja Yadavindra Singh also visited the Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya where he was greeted by the staff members and students of the school. He visited the nazarat (secretariat) bait-ul-mal (treasury), the office of dar-ul-qaza, Bahishti Maqbarah and various other places. Following this, he was then shown Masjid Aqsa, Qasr-e-Khilafat and Sadiq Library, where he was shown some old and rare books. 

After visiting the various sites and institutions, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh left for Lahore from Qadian, along with his staff, at ten o’clock.

The 73rd heavenly sect: Response to allegations – Part I

0

Syed Hashir, Student, Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada

When conversing with non-Ahmadi Muslims and the topic of the 73rd heavenly sect foretold by the Holy Prophetsa comes up, they try their best to prove that it is not the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. 

They base their arguments on the same hadith; however, all their arguments are refuted by their own scholars. 

The words of our beloved master the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa are as follows:

إِنَّ‭ ‬بَنِي‭ ‬إِسْرَائِيلَ‭ ‬افْتَرَقَتْ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬إِحْدَى‭ ‬وَسَبْعِينَ‭ ‬فِرْقَةً‭ ‬وَإِنَّ‭ ‬أُمَّتِي‭ ‬سَتَفْتَرِقُ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬ثِنْتَيْنِ‭ ‬وَسَبْعِينَ‭ ‬فِرْقَةً‭ ‬كُلُّهَا‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬النَّارِ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬وَاحِدَةً‭ ‬وَهِيَ‭ ‬الْجَمَاعَةُ

“The children of Israel split into 71 sects, and my nation will split into 72, all of which will be in Hell except for one, which is the ‘al-Jama‘at’.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book of Tribulations)

In a similar hadith, the Holy Prophetsa said:

وَإِنَّ‭ ‬بَنِي‭ ‬إِسْرَائِيلَ‭ ‬تَفَرَّقَتْ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬ثِنْتَيْنِ‭ ‬وَسَبْعِينَ‭ ‬مِلَّةً‭ ‬وَتَفْتَرِقُ‭ ‬أُمَّتِي‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬ثَلاَثٍ‭ ‬وَسَبْعِينَ‭ ‬مِلَّةً‭ ‬كُلُّهُمْ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬النَّارِ‭ ‬إِلاَّ‭ ‬مِلَّةً‭ ‬وَاحِدَةً‭ ‬قَالُوا‭ ‬وَمَنْ‭ ‬هِيَ‭ ‬يَا‭ ‬رَسُولَ‭ ‬اللَّهِ‭ ‬قَالَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬أَنَا‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬وَأَصْحَابِي‭ ‬

“Indeed the children of Israel split into 72 sects, and my ummah will split into 73 sects. All of them are in the fire except one sect.” [The companions] said: ‘And which sect is it, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: “[Those who are like] What I and my Companions are upon.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Book of Faith)

Four allegations and viewpoints

There are a number of misrepresentations Muslims employ using these two narrations, in an attempt to refute the arguments of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. The first is that there are not even 70 sects in Islam, so Ahmadiyyat cannot be the 73rd sect. Therefore, Ahmadiyyat is not the prophesied heavenly community. 

Completely contrary to the first point, the second allegation is that there are more than 73 sects and because only 73 sects are from the ummah according to the hadith, the 74th and beyond are outside the pale of Islam and thus the Ahmadiyya Community does not belong in Islam, because it was formed after the 73rd sect according to a quote of the Promised Messiahas

The third point presented is that the heavenly sect is the one that was founded by, and existed from the time of, our beloved Prophet Muhammadsa, hence every sect thereafter is misguided and Hell-bound. 

The fourth argument given by many is that “al-Jama‘at”in the aforementioned hadith is referring to the main body of the Muslims (the majority of Muslims). 

These views are in discordance with one another, but are all under the same job description: they attempt to disprove this community of God. Thus, the subsequent dismantling of these arguments is required to prove the superiority of the words of the Holy Prophetsa in favour of the Promised Messiahas.

Allegation 1: There aren’t 73 sects within Islam

The first allegation many raise is, “There have not yet been 73 sects in Islam so Ahmadiyyat cannot be the 73rd sect, therefore Ahmadiyyat cannot be the heavenly sect.” 

This claim itself proves them wrong. If there are not 73 sects in Islam and the 73rd is the delivered one, then that heavenly delivered sect has not yet appeared according to their own logic. This produces two options, and these people must choose from this dichotomy:

1. All the current sects in Islam are heavenly (including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community).

2. All of them are damned because the true recognition of the “al-Jamaat” can only be after there are 73 sects in Islam, according to their own point of view.

The Holy Prophetsa of Islam did not mention 65 or 48 or any other random number to be in the fire. And since the number 73 has not appeared yet in the number of Muslim sects, this would mean great chaos because the current sects would all be right and one would have to admit that despite their completely contradicting views and them declaring each other as heretics and blasphemers, they are all heavenly. According to them, the true identity of the “al-Jama‘at” cannot be revealed until and unless there are exactly 73 sects.

Furthermore, their own Muslim scholars have explained that 73 does not mean the exact number “73”. Arabic linguists have mentioned that if the number seven appears as a unit or in tens, then it refers to “many” or “multitudes”. A prominent translator and commentator, Muhammad Yaseen Qasuri Naqshbandi, in his commentary of Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, under the explanation of the above narration writes (in Urdu):

بہتر‭ ‬اور‭ ‬تہتر‭ ‬كے‭ ‬اعداد‭ ‬تكثير‭ ‬كے‭ ‬لئے‭ ‬استعمال‭ ‬كئے‭ ‬جاتے‭ ‬ہيں۔ عربی ‬زبان‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬سات‭ ‬كا‭ ‬عدد‭ ‬تهوڑی ‬تكثير‭ ‬كے‭ ‬لئے، ستر‭ ‬كا‭ ‬عدد‭ ‬درميانی ‬تكثير‭ ‬كے‭ ‬لئے‭ ‬اور‭ ‬تہتر‭ ‬كا‭ ‬عدد‭ ‬زياده‭ ‬تكثير‭ ‬كے‭ ‬لئے‭ ‬استعمال‭ ‬كيا‭ ‬جاتا‭ ‬هے‬‬۔

“The numbers 72 and 73 indicate excess. In Arabic, the number 7 is used for slight excess and the number 70 is used for moderate excess whereas the number 73 is used to indicate extreme excess.”(Anwar-e-Nabwi, Book of Faith)

Allama Abdullah-bin-Ahmad An-Nasfi, a famous exegete of the Holy Quran, writes:

وَقَدْ‭ ‬وَرَدَتِ‭ ‬الْأَخْبَارُ‭ ‬بِذِكْرِ‭ ‬السَّبْعِيْنَ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬كُلُّهَا‭ ‬تَدُلُّ‭ ‬عَلَي‭ ‬الْكَثْرَةِ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬عَليٰ‭ ‬التَّحْدِيْدِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬الْغَايَةِ

“And surely narrations have been reported referring to ‘70’ and all of them indicate excess, not restriction and limitation. (Madarik-ut-Tanzil)

Another popular contemporary scholar, Yasir Qadhi has said in one of his addresses:

“Many scholars have pointed out that in the Arabic language seven, 70 and 700 is an expression. Allah says in the Quran:

إِن‭ ‬تَسْتَغْفِرْ‭ ‬لَهُمْ‭ ‬سَبْعِينَ‭ ‬مَرَّةً‭ ‬فَلَنْ‭ ‬يَغْفِرَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬لَهُمْ

“‘If you will ask forgiveness for the hypocrites 70 times, Allah will not forgive them.’ Does this mean if the Prophetsa asked 71 times, Allah would forgive? It is a generic number, 70. So we don’t have to be literal.”(Yasir Qadhi’s address on 1 September 2013)

Now, it is very clear that whether there are exactly 73 sects in Islam or more or less, this claim of some Muslims that the number has not reached 73 becomes null by their own scholars. Yasir Qadhi further said:

“Every time a scholar from the past attempted a list, ‘This is number one, number two, number three’; by the time he finished writing his book, another group had come to make it similar to 74, 75 […] We have in our history a dozen books written, each one of them saying, ‘These are the 73’, but guess what? By the time the book is finished, other groups come along, they don’t fit on this list.” (Ibid)

Their own scholars invalidate their first argument and prove the number has indeed reached 73, so we must take the number to be an expression.

Allegation 2: More than 73 before Ahmadiyyat

The second group consists of those who say that only 73 are from the ummah, the rest being non-Muslims, and Ahmadiyyat came after the 73rd sect, and so it is misguided. They present a quote of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias. The Promised Messiahas states in his book Tohfa-e-Golarhwiya:

باره‭ ‬سو‭ ‬برس‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬تو‭ ‬صرف‭ ‬تہتر‭ ‬فرقے‭ ‬اسلام‭ ‬كے‭ ‬ہو‭ ‬گئے‭ ‬تهے‭ ‬ليكن‭ ‬تيرهويں‭ ‬صدی ‬نے‭ ‬اسلام‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬وه‭ ‬بدعات‭ ‬اور‭ ‬نئے‭ ‬فرقے‭ ‬پيدا‭ ‬كئے‭ ‬جو‭ ‬باره‭ ‬سو‭ ‬برس‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬پيدا‭ ‬نہيں‭ ‬ہوئے‭ ‬تهے

“In 1,200 years [after Hijrah], there were only 73 sects of Islam. However, the thirteenth century brought about such innovations and created so many sects in Islam as had not been seen before in 1,200 years.” (Tohfa-e-Golarhwiya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 17, p. 265)

Some Muslims use this quote to prove that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas himself admits that 73 sects had already appeared before his advent, therefore Ahmadis cannot even be inside the pale of Islam. 

Their own scholars, however, have counted more than 73 sects and considered them in the pale of Islam, as Yasir Qadhi has been quoted above, “We have in our history a dozen books written, each one of them saying, ‘These are the 73’, but guess what? By the time the book is finished, other groups come along, they don’t fit on this list.” (Yasir Qadhi address on 1 September 2013). The exegesis of Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi also corroborates our views as it says, “The number 73 is used to indicate extreme excess”. 

After 73 sects, members of the excess sects cannot be considered removed from the ummah according to their own scholars and, more than anything, according to the Holy Prophetsa. When taking a census in Medina during the Battle of the Ditch, he instructed:

اكْتُبُوا‭ ‬لِي‭ ‬مَنْ‭ ‬تَلَفَّظَ‭ ‬بِالإِسْلاَمِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬النَّاسِ

“List the names for me of those people who have announced that they are Muslims.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Jihad)

He also declared:

مَنْ صَلَّى صَلاَتَنَا، وَاسْتَقْبَلَ قِبْلَتَنَا، وَأَكَلَ ذَبِيحَتَنَا، فَذَلِكَ الْمُسْلِمُ الَّذِي لَهُ ذِمَّةُ اللّٰهِ وَذِمَّةُ رَسُولِهِ، فَلاَ تُخْفِرُوا اللّٰهَ فِي ذِمَّتِهِ

“Whoever prays like us and faces our Qiblah and eats our slaughtered animals, is a Muslim and is under Allah’s and His Messenger’s protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Prayers, Chapter superiority of (praying) facing the Qiblah)

In the sight of our beloved master, the Prophet Muhammadsa, anyone who calls themselves a Muslim, prays like a Muslim, faces the Qiblah and eats the Halal food, is a Muslim. Thus, even if more than 73 sects are formed, all of them would be within the pale of Islam. If it has to be the exact number and going beyond it goes contrary to the original purport, then according to their logic, if the Holy Prophetsa sought forgiveness for the hypocrites more than 70 times, Allah should have forgiven them. If they take the hadith literally and use the quote of the Promised Messiahas to bring us under the allegation, then they must remember that Barelvis, Deobandis and many other sects around the world were formed after the 1,200 years referred to in the quotation of the Promised Messiahas. This would place them outside the pale of Islam. 

The founders of the Barelvi and Deobandi sects were in the same era as the Promised Messiahas. It is the members of these sects who mainly raise such allegations. Other sects like Jamaat-e-Islami and the Ahrar were formed even after that. This allegation backfires on them. It is they who believe that any sect after the first 73 is not in Islam, not the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. 

So using the quote of the Promised Messiahas for their own propaganda and against his own meanings has put their Islam under jeopardy. 

The Promised Messiahas clearly writes, “The thirteenth century brought about such innovations and created so many sects in Islam […]”. Thus, all these sects referred to were within Islam according to the Promised Messiahas! It is they who are calling themselves non-Muslims because their sects were made after the 73rd sect. Thus, while their scholars casually show them the exit of the ummah, the Promised Messiah’s interpretation is the only one they can grasp to retain their Islam. They should at least be thankful to the Promised Messiahas.

Allegation 3: Every sect is misguided

The third viewpoint purports that the heavenly sect is the one that was founded by, and existed from the time of, our beloved Prophet Muhammadsa, hence every sect thereafter is misguided and Hell-bound. 

If one is to say that the heavenly sect is the one founded and created by the Holy Prophetsa of Islam, then we are in complete agreement with this belief. However, Muslims cannot agree upon which group is continuing from the time of our beloved prophet. ‘Sunnis’ claim that it is them and ‘Shias’ claim it is them. Then the further denominations of these sects argue with each other that theirs is the saved denomination. Everyone in their presumption is claiming to be the delivered sect, the one. So who do we listen to?

I remember asking one of my classmates in high school who belonged to the Bohra denomination of Shiites, “Who founded your sect?” He replied “Prophet Muhammadsa”. Everyone replies in a similar manner. 

Another popular non-denominational scholar called Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza quoted a famous Hanafi lawyer, who said, “Only Deobandis will enter heaven”(Question and Answer Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza, 21 July 2019). This would mean that Deobandis claim to have existed from the time of the Prophetsa, which is absurd because they were founded just decades before the Ahmadiyya Jamaat was founded. Moreover, this explanation is against the hadith itself because the Prophetsa did not say any sect made or created would be Hell-bound; rather, he said that 73 would be formed and one would be heavenly.

(To be continued…)

Opinion: Racism at my workplace and the power of Islamic teachings

2

Subur Tahir, Wolverhampton, UK 

A year ago, following the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a white male police officer in America – which sparked protests across the world about police brutality and racism – a similar protest was held in London. 

Protesters clashed with a far-right organisation and the police were forced to intervene. It was all over the news and on social media.

Being a black man, I was disturbed by the incidents in America and the UK.

On 5 June 2020, a Friday, I went to work and found a printed photo on the cabinet door of a black man pinned to the wall by three white police officers from the protest that took place in London the previous day. I then realised my name was on the photo with the caption: “Subur Tahir wanted. Reward for capture”.

At this point I felt numb and my brain froze as I could not come to terms with what I had just read on this photo. After a minute or two of staring at the photo and the caption, I asked one of my colleagues whose idea it was, to which he said it was our manager who did it. I was deeply disgusted, upset, angry and annoyed. I have faced racism before at university, but to have it at my workplace and from my manager, was deeply disturbing. 

At this point, my colleague read my body language and sensed that I was not happy at all. I waited for my manager to come back from her cigarette break. 

When she returned, I asked her whose idea it was and she admitted it was hers and that it was just for “jokes” and “banter”. I made it clear to her that this was blatant discrimination and racial abuse at the workplace and she could lose her job if I reported it to HR. 

She pleaded and said, “I didn’t really mean to upset you; it was only a joke because he looks like you. I don’t have a racist bone in me and you know that. I don’t see colour.” I told her that this was probably how she had seen me for all those years I worked there.

I stormed out of the office and went and sat in my car thinking what to do; to report her to HR or not. I rang my dad, an Ahmadi missionary of the Darul Barkat Mosque, Birmingham, and told him what had happened and sought his advice on how to deal with the situation. 

My dad asked me to calm down and not to let anger take over me. He said this was an opportunity for me to demonstrate the true teachings of Islam to her by forgiving her and asking her to write a letter of apology to bring the case to a close. He gave the example of Hazrat Bilalra – a black companion of the Holy Prophetsa and the first muazzin – who forgave his torturers because of the beautiful teachings of Islam. My dad advised me not to report her as she would lose her job – her means of living – and I wouldn’t get any joy or satisfaction out of it. My dad asked if I was okay and said to continue with my work. I responded positively to this advice and thanked him. 

I went back into the office and approached my manager. I informed her I wouldn’t be taking it further as I had spoken to my dad who advised me to forgive and to ask you to write a letter of apology addressed to me and then the case would be closed. I then told her that Islam taught forgiveness and that even though I was deeply hurt by her actions, I must forgive her, in accordance with my beliefs and faith. 

She was astonished by my answer and could not stop crying and thanking me and apologising.

I was fortunate enough to show her the true teachings of Islam in this way and ever since she has been very polite and respectful towards me. 

I thank my family for their support and guidance through this ordeal and encourage all to fight bigotry and racism with the tools Islam has provided us with. 

100 Years Ago… – A misunderstanding removed: Letter to The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore

The Review of Religions (English), July 1921

Hazrat Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khanra, (1893-1985)

Sir,

The address presented by the representatives of the Ahmadiyya community to His Excellency, the Governor-General, forms the subject of the leading article in your issue of 26 June [1921], and as the portion of that article which refers to the Hedjaz appears to be the result of a total misapprehension of the position taken up in the address with reference to that country, I venture to hope that you will be kind enough to give publicity to the following remarks in the columns of your valuable journal, so that any misunderstanding which might have resulted from your article may be removed. 

By confining my remarks to the question of the independence of the Hedjaz, I do not wish it to be inferred that I am in complete agreement with the rest of your article, but as the other points on which I differ from you are likely to lead to futile controversy in which neither side can hope to convince the other, I shall leave them to be dealt with in columns other than those of your valuable journal. 

As regards that portion of the Ahmadiyya address which deals with the question of the independence of the Hedjaz, you have been pleased to remark as follows:

“In addition to the well-worn problem of Smyrna and Thrace, they gave more attention than is usually assigned to it to the demand for the severing of British relations with the Hedjaz Government and the restoration of Turkish control over that country. This latter suggestion is, of course, neither practicable nor defensible. To deprive the Arabs of the Hedjaz of the new rights of nationhood they won for themselves by fair fight in the war would be an almost unthinkable act on the part of any British government. Lord Reading in his reply did not refer to this impracticable suggestion, but in his general review of the whole problem gave an illuminating exposition of the Government of India’s position in the matter.” 

I confess that this summing up of the position has caused me considerable surprise, and I find it difficult to believe that before making this remark you had taken the trouble to read that portion of the address which refers to the independence of the Hedjaz. Even a cursory glance at the summary of the address published in your own columns in the issue of 25 June [1921] would have been sufficient to convince you that the “restoration of Turkish control” over the Hedjaz was not the demand put forward by the Ahmadiyya community. The demand actually put forward in the address has been thus summarised in The Civil and Military Gazette of 25 June [1921]: 

“But more important still, in our opinion is the question of the independence of the Hedjaz, which must remain free from outside interference. When this question arose, every Muslim entertained a misgiving that the freeing of the Hedjaz from Turkish control might mean the bringing of it under the control of a European power. The Hedjaz being a sterile country would, it was feared, be unable to produce sufficient income to defray the expenses of its administration and the Hedjaz government would be compelled to borrow money from a foreign country, thus placing itself under the control of a European Power. Recent cables tend to strengthen these misgivings. Reuter, the other day mentioned a scheme outlined by Mr Churchill, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, wherein an annual subsidy is promised to the Hedjaz government provided the latter should undertake to maintain internal peace and put its sovereign policy under the control of Great Britain. This gives rise to certain misgivings and we request Your Excellency to draw the attention of the Home Government to their removal. 

“(1) The scheme coming, as it does, from the Colonial Secretary has nothing to do with independent status

“(2) To put foreign relations under the control of another government is clearly incompatible with independence.

“(3) The stipulation as to responsibility for the maintenance of internal peace runs counter to the very conception of independence

“The stipulation can only mean that if there is ever any disturbance in the country, Great Britain will have the right to change its government or interfere with its internal administration or put the country under military control. Surely, this is no independence. It amounts to complete subjection, with this difference, that Great Britain will rule the Hedjaz not directly, but through a Muslim Chief. 

If the Hedjaz government is not able to take care of itself, it may, better be put under Turkish control, subject to the same conditions under which Mr. Churchill proposes to place it under British control. We confidently hope that Your Excellency will be pleased to warn the Home Government of the dangerous consequences of such a fatal step and give publicity to the result of your representations.” 

The italics are mine. Now it is perfectly clear from this extract that the demand put forward is that the Hedjaz must remain free from outside interference and that it must be accorded complete independence. An apprehension is next expressed that the scheme outlined by Mr Churchill would, if adopted, amount to the putting of the Hedjaz under the complete control of Great Britain, which is incompatible with independence and that the mere fact that such a scheme is being considered is an indication of the fact that Great Britain desires to bring the Hedjaz under its complete control. This is deprecated. 

In anticipation, however, of the objection that the Hedjaz by itself is not able to take care of itself, and that the form of control suggested by Mr Churchill would not in any way derogate from the independent position of the Hedjaz, it is suggested that if outside control is absolutely necessary then that control should be Turkish rather than British, the conditions being the same in either case. You have been pleased to designate this suggestion as at once impracticable and indefensible. 

May I ask which part of the suggestion deserves to be so condemned? Is the complete independence of the Hedjaz or its freedom from outside control both impracticable and indefensible? Presumably, it is the latter portion of the suggestion which has appeared to you to verge on the absurd. What is it? As already indicated, the suggestion is that if you are going to put the Hedjaz under any control, let it be Turkish rather than British. Where does the impracticability or the indefensibility come in? Would the form of control suggested by Mr Churchill destroy the independence of the Hedjaz, or would it not? If it would, such control would in itself be indefensible, and, therefore, the primary demand put forward in the address was that there should be no outside control, British or Turkish. If it would not, then why should Turkish control over territory within which are situated Mecca and Medina be condemned as impracticable and indefensible and British control over the same territory held out by inference, as both practicable and desirable? 

It was clearly stated in the address that the apprehension is gaining ground that Great Britain desires to reduce the King of Hedjaz to the position of a dependent chieftain, and it was prayed that this apprehension may be removed. The only way in which this could be done was by stating clearly that no such measure was contemplated, directly or indirectly. 

The Ahmadiyya community has from the very beginning advocated the complete independence of the Hedjaz and as early as October 1919, the present Head of the community laid a stress on it in his pamphlet entitled The Future of Turkey

On pages 12 and 13 of that pamphlet he says:

“The second point which must be attended to for the achievement of success is that the Mussalmans must leave alone the question of the Kingdom of the Hedjaz. It is a matter of common knowledge how great are the losses suffered by the Arabs under a foreign yoke in their political status and their language. The facts are well known to those who know the history of the country. It is also no secret that the Arabs have made large sacrifices in order to regain their present independence. The national pride of the Arabs has been aroused, and the pulse of freedom is beating strong. Under no circumstances can they now be replaced under the Turkish rule. 

“After 1300 years the Arabs have once more become masters of their own house and have already justified their rule by justice and good government. Any new suggestion with regard to them has, therefore, little chance of success. No such suggestions can be entertained by any reasonable man and the Arabs themselves will be the last to accept them. The independence of the Hedjaz is now advantageous to the interest of Islam and is preferable to its being under the dominion of Turkey. The holy places will be safer under a small State, which will not tempt the cupidity of inimical powers. The question of the Hedjaz should, therefore, be considered as an accomplished fact.”

So that is clear that what the Ahmadiyya community desires is an independent Hedjaz, but failing that, Turkish rather than British control. 

One can, of course, appreciate the desire of all statesmen and journalists to avoid facing awkward questions but it does not follow that because a question is awkward and had much better not have been touched, therefore, all suggestions concerning its solution must be ridiculed as impracticable and indefensible. 

I hope that the above will make it clear that the Ahmadiyya community does not desire the restoration of Turkish control over the Hedjaz, only, to put it bluntly, it prefers a certain amount of Turkish control, if absolutely unavoidable, to a similar amount of British, or for the matter of that any non-Muslim control, as the lesser evil. Indeed to anybody not actuated by the desire wilfully to misrepresent or to misunderstand the views of the community, as an escape from an uncomfortable position, the matter would have been perfectly clear without the above exposition. 

Zafrulla Khan (Bar-at-Law), Amir of the Ahmadiyya Community of Lahore. Majitha House, 23 Nisbet Road, Lahore. 28 June [1921].

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original article in The Review of Religions [English], July 1921)

100 Years Ago… – Eid in West Africa, my will and 10,000 new converts

Al Fazl, 25 July 1921

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra, (1883-1948)

I have regained health

Dear friends! I am weak so forgive me for writing a short article. Ramadan started here on 9 May [1921]. In spite of weakness, I fasted to set an example and to make peace with Allah the Almighty. Moreover, I continued to carry out tabligh to thousands of people in outdoor gatherings three times a week. 

Through divine providence, I was given the chance to rest and pray in the last 10 days of Ramadan because of African fever. I was bound to a room and a kind of mu‘takif [a person in the state of e‘tikaf]. I became very sick and came face to face with death. The youth of the Jamaat began to cry their eyes out and started to call the doctor again and again. 

Allah the Almighty healed me after I was bedridden for 12 days, owing to their supplication, my humility and helplessness, and due to the honour and dignity of the mission of the Promised Messiahas. Now, I am busy again in work with diligence, alhamdulillah.

My will

During my illness, where I felt in my heart that I was ready to be in the presence of God and to gladly accept the honour of going to the divine court after performing my duties, the following Punjabi couplets were expressed through my mouth owing to human nature. These couplets voice my desires. My friends and the Jamaat should take note of the wishes of this humble man and my chief, my dear master, the rightful Khalifa is already aware of them. Below are those couplets:

اللہ‭ ‬بیلڑى‭ ‬ساڑے‭ ‬كوچ‭ ‬ڈیرے‭ ‬تخن‭ ‬لا‭ ‬دنا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

میرى‭ ‬جگہ‭ ‬اوتے‭ ‬كسى‭ ‬پیارڑى‭ ‬داچرخہ‭ ‬ڈا‭ ‬ہونا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

That is, “Khuda Hafiz [God be your protector]! Be happy. Friends, I now begin my journey. Certainly, my friends should remain busy in carrying out tabligh and another missionary should be appointed in my place in West Africa”.

Then, human nature compelled me to say:

عائشہ‭ ‬پیارى‭ ‬نوں‭ ‬بین‭ ‬نہ‭ ‬كرن‭ ‬دینا‭ ‬جیوڑا‭ ‬لاونا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

Meaning, “Do not let my wife be sad. Please, try to divert her attention from [my passing].”

Allah the Almighty is the Knower of the unseen. However, in countries like this where there is a struggle against climate, food, mosquitoes, insects and evil enemies, it is quite possible that the moment of death suddenly comes from Allah the Almighty and its news reaches India many months later. Thus, I considered it appropriate to convey my heart’s feelings through the pen.

10,000 Ahmadis

Allah, the God of the Promised Messiahas is surely Holy and Omnipotent as He really showed me Eid after Ramadan. 10 days after my illness, 10 thousand people, including men, women and children of a group called Ahl-e-Quran, took bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, Mahmud[ra], in the name of Prophet Ahmadas at the hand of Nayyar. 

The imam of this group and 40 dignitaries came on behalf of the whole group and said, “Listening to your speech and finding you relevant with the prediction of our late imam that a white man would bring the news of the Promised Messiah from the sea and express the truthfulness of the Holy Quran, [we consider that] you are that very white man. Thus, we enter the Ahmadiyya Jamaat by taking bai‘at at your hand.”

Hence, this humble one took bai‘at on his hand from all these elders on behalf of their group. All praise belongs to Allah! Again, praise be to Allah! Nayyar [the sun] rose from the west. The Promised Messiahas conquered the crescent land and the following scene was witnessed:

يَدۡخُلُوۡنَ‭ ‬فِىۡ‭ ‬دِيْنِ‭ ‬اللهِ‭ ‬اَفۡوَاجًا

[“(And thou seest men) entering the religion of Allah in troops.”]

Friends are requested to pray for the perseverance of this Jamaat.

Eid-ul-Fitr prayer

Eid-ul-Fitr prayer was offered by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Lagos in an open field away from the populated area. All the new and former Ahmadis prostrated before Allah the Almighty with new achievements and happiness to express the praise of God. 

On the door of the Ahmadiyya Eid gah was written in English, “Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam”. For the first time in the history of Lagos, women came out to pray. Photographers, Europeans and men and women came to watch the Eid prayer and listen to the sermon in English. Two dozen high raised flags, half a dozen motors, horses and rickshaws, and glittering clothing highlighted this peculiar Eid with their glory. 

Along with this procession, a person carrying the blessed staff of the emirate walked in front of this humble servant of Messiah. The procession came from the Eid gah to the residence of this humble one under the delightful slogans of صَلِّ‭ ‬عَلٰى‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٍ [(O Allah), bless Muhammad]. Seeing this scene, this honour and this success, I only said that and would say it again: 

اللّٰھُمَّ‭ ‬صَلِّ‭ ‬عَلٰى‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٍ‭ ‬وَعَلٰى‭ ‬عَبْدِكَ‭ ‬الْمَسِیْحِ‭ ‬الْمَوْعُوْدِ

[O Allah, bless Muhammad and Your servant, the Promised Messiah.]

I am in need of your prayers.

The holy Mahmud’s humble, menial servant, but a leader of thousands, Abdur Rahim Nayyar. 10 June 1921.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 25 July 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

100 Years Ago… – Launch of The Moslem Sunrise in America, Jamaat in Baghdad and foundation of Ahmadiyya Mosque in Kohat

Al Fazl, 21 July 1921

A Moslem Sunrise

A Quarterly Magazine published in America. The only periodical of Islam in the English Language on the Western Hemisphere. Contains reports of the progress of Islam. Defends Islam and Moslems. Articles to prove the truth of Moslem Religion. Annual Subscription Rs. 5 which should be sent to Nazir Bait-ul-Mal, Qadian, Punjab.

Dr. MM Sadiq, 74 Victor Avenue, Highland Park, Mich. (The Review of Religions [English], July 1921)]

Shams-ul-Islam [Sun of Islam]

Despite the shortage of expenses, I have gathered the courage to publish a magazine here [in America] and according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, the pride of the sons of Adam, Muhammad Mustafa, that the sun will rise from the west in the last days, this magazine is named The Moslem Sunrise. Currently, this magazine has been launched on a quarterly basis but gradually, it will be published monthly. The annual subscription is 5 rupees.

Members of the Jamaat are requested to write to the nazir talif-o-ishaat [director of compilation and publication], Qadian, for subscription. The nazir will inform me weekly about those who will pay the subscription. There is a great need for friends to pay the subscription on behalf of this country’s inhabitants so that they are persuaded towards Islam. The total cost of printing the first issues will be about 300 dollars and the second will cost less.

Muhammad Sadiq, 74 Victor Avenue, Highland Park, Mich, USA.

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Baghdad

The office-bearers of the Anjuman have been re-elected after the previous officials returned to India. Sufi Abdul Rahim Sahib Clerk, Director of Civil Transport, has been appointed as the amir, Munshi Barkat Ali Sahib Overseer as the secretary and Munshi Jafar Ali Sahib has been appointed as the muhasib [accountant]. The Anjuman has decided that in future, one anna [a unit of currency formerly used in the subcontinent, equal to 1/16 of a rupee] per rupee will be presented as chanda. 200 rupees have been sent to nazir bait-ul-mal [director of finance] for the American mission. In the joy of having 4,000 Ahmadis in Africa, a donation drive was organised which resulted in the collection of 123 rupees. Tabligh letters and Jamaat’s literature have been sent to several officers.

Humbly yours, Barkat Ali, Secretary

Ahmadis of East Africa should pay attention

Brothers! As the people of the African continent have a right on us that where this country is our source of physical nourishment, there we must arrange to irrigate and nourish it with spiritual water and food. Although it may be difficult for the natives to understand what we are talking about, but our Indian brothers, who live in high numbers in the area of Mombasa, Nairobi, should try to raise awareness in them. 

Thus, through Al Fazl, I urge all brothers in East Africa to turn their attention to this matter. I think you should set up your own special committee and collect some money and then send a request through a missionary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih or at least arrange for weekly or daily publication of Ahmadiyya English newspapers of London and America. At the moment, I promise 10 rupees for this work.

Muhammad Ayub, Station Master, Tanganyika Territory, Africa

Foundation of Ahmadiyya Mosque in Kohat

There is no Ahmadiyya Mosque in Kohat. Moreover, there is no influential person who can give or rent a house on permanent basis so that it can be used permanently by the Anjuman. This need was being felt from a long time. Eventually, the following happened:

مردے‭ ‬از‭ ‬غیب‭ ‬بروں‭ ‬آید‭ ‬كارے‭ ‬بكند

[“A man appeared from nowhere to do this good work.”]

Our esteemed friend, Khan Bahadur Khan Muhammad Ali Sahib of Ahmad Kot, adjoining Kohat, Political Extra Assistant Commissioner Ladha Camp, Waziristan, has promised that he will fulfill this need. The land [for the mosque] has been suggested by Khan Bahudur Sahib. Moreover, he has also promised to help construct a beautiful building as well. May Allah reward him the best of rewards. 

Opponents want to put up hurdles in the land suggested by Khan Bahadur Sahib. Friends are requested to pray for its success. Having this mosque in the North West Frontier Province is just as important as the need for Ahmadis to become good role models. 

Humbly yours, Sadruddin, Secretary Anjuman Ahmadiyya Kohat […]

New converts

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, Master Chiragh Din Sahib, mudarris of Chak No. 132 South and Hakim Saleh Muhammad Sahib, imam of Thatta Umra mosque in Salanwali, have joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and their requests of bai‘at have been sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra]. Friends are requested to pray for their perseverance.

Wassalam, Manzoor Ahmad Manzoor Bhairavi from Salanwali

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 21 July 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

Why we shouldn’t combine Salat: Answers to three excuses

0

Rizwan Khan, Missionary, Texas, USA

When we combine Salat and we know it’s wrong, it is not so bad because at least we know we shouldn’t be combining the prayers. But when we believe it is permissible to regularly combine Salat, and we justify it to ourselves with excuses, it’s a different problem. Weakness in practice takes time to work on, but weakness in doctrine must be corrected immediately because it becomes a means of misguidance. 

Photo courtesy of Suhaib Ahmad

There are three main justifications I have heard for regularly combining prayers.

1. The “prayers will be combined for him” hadith

Some quote the Holy Prophetsa when he prophesied about the Promised Messiahas, “Tujma‘u lahus-Salah” – “Prayers will be combined for him”; therefore they deem it permissible, as members of the community of the Promised Messiahas, to always combine prayers in fulfilment of this prophecy.

This reasoning contradicts the way in which the Promised Messiahas explained and acted on this prophecy himself. The fulfilment of this prophecy happened in late 1900 and early 1901, when, for a period of several months, prayers were regularly combined in the mosque under the instructions of the Promised Messiahas

Explaining the combining of prayers, the Promised Messiahas said:

“This has been happening because of my illness and extremely busy schedule in writing the commentary of Surah al-Fatihah. In the combining of these prayers, the hadith of, ‘Tujma‘u lahus-Salah’, meaning, ‘Prayers will be combined for him’, is being fulfilled […] On the days that I am unable to come to the masjid because of severe illness, prayers are not combined. From the words of this hadith we find that, out of love, the Holy Prophetsa said that this would be done for his sake.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 1, p. 446)

Even during the time of the fulfilment of this hadith, the Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas were not permitted to combine prayers in his absence. What position are we in to try and use this hadith as a justification for combining our prayers?

During a question and answer session, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh gave the following reply to someone who suggested that prayers should be combined because of the prophecy “prayers will be combined for him”. Huzoorrh said:

“No, you don’t have to find excuses there. That was the Promised Messiah’s time and he mentioned it very categorically that this is applying particularly to the Promised Messiahas.”(Question and answer session, 14 June 1986, www.askislam.org/practices/praying/question_915.html)

During the days when prayers were being combined, the Promised Messiahas said:

“A newcomer might suspect that we combine prayers out of laziness, the way some dissidents combine prayers as soon as it rains a little bit or if they have to go to court. They consider combining prayers without rain or any excuse to be permissible. 

“I say truly that we have no need to get involved in these arguments or justifications, nor do we want to, because I naturally prefer to observe prayer at its time, and the observance of prayer at its fixed hours is very dear to me. In fact, even in heavy rain, I desire that prayers be observed at their time […] I am combining prayers during these days with the guidance, inspiration and revelation of Allah Almighty.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 45)

Observing prayers separately was such a regular practice throughout the life of the Promised Messiahas that when the prayers were combined for a few months, a companion became concerned that people may raise objections. On this, the Promised Messiahas expressed displeasure and explained that the prayers were being combined for a particular reason. (Fiqh-ul-Masih, p. 128)

Combining prayers was only done for several months during the time of the Promised Messiahas and this was done only for him in fulfilment of the hadith, “Prayers will be combined for him”. Otherwise, the regular practice of the Promised Messiahas was observing prayers separately. 

To use this hadith or the name of the Promised Messiahas as an excuse for combining prayers is incorrect.

2. Northern areas 

Some say that in northern areas, since the days in winter are short and the days in summer are long, Zuhr and Asr should be combined when there is not much time between them, and Maghrib and Isha should be combined when Isha time is too late. 

This reason is based on a guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa that is sometimes misunderstood and misapplied. In Islamabad, Huzooraa combines Zuhr and Asr for about two months in the winter and Maghrib and Isha for about two months in the summer, and he has permitted countries that are also in northern areas to follow this practice.

The question is, what are the northern areas to which this permission applies? When we think of London, England and its climate, we may imagine it being further south than it actually is. Toronto and Montreal, Canada have a more frigid winter than London but they are much closer to the equator. London’s distance from the equator is on the latitudinal point of 51.5° N. For perspective, Calgary, Canada lies at 51.1° N, being slightly south of London and having a few more minutes of daylight.

When we look at different cities in the United States, we can get a better estimate of whether they are in northern areas in relation to the rest of the world. Washington DC lies at 38.9° N, which is just south of Madrid, Spain and Ankara, Turkey. Houston, Texas lies at 29.8° N. This latitudinal line runs through North Africa, northern Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Houston lies just south of Qadian, India. The amount of daily daylight in Houston is slightly more than what the Promised Messiahas had in Qadian.

If we feel that Isha is too late in the summer or that Zuhr and Asr are too close in the winter, remember that these are the times of prayers as they are meant to be in most of the world.

“Verily Prayer is enjoined on the believers [to be performed] at fixed hours.” (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.104)

Out of convenience, if we choose to define “northern areas” by a definition that ends up including the majority of the world, it is incorrect. 

Huzooraa said, “[…] prayers should be observed at their appointed times as Allah Almighty has commanded that they be observed, unless one is a traveller or there is another legitimate need. For example, these days, in some cities, the sun sets at 9:15, or 9:30, or in some places at 9:45, so the prayers of Maghrib and Isha are led while being combined. However, when the times change, then they should be observed at their times.” (Friday Sermon, 24 June 2005)

3. Everybody is together 

Some say that since they are unable to make it back to the mosque for the next prayer, they should combine them so that more people can join in the blessings of congregational prayers.

This reason assumes that a particular mosque is the only place where congregational prayers can be observed. 

Contrary to this, the Holy Prophetsa said:

“The entire earth has been made for me a mosque and a means of purity”(Sahih al-Bukhari)

In commentary of this hadith, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra wrote: 

“As a result of this, a Muslim can offer prayers anywhere as and when the time for his prayer comes, and he does not require a special place for worship like the followers of other faiths. This was necessary in order to facilitate the extensive campaign of the Muslims to carry the message of Islam all over the world.” (Forty Gems of Beauty, p. 30)

It was inevitable that we as Muslims would spread out throughout the world, and a mosque would not be available in every neighbourhood as there is in Muslim countries. When we are close enough to the mosque, then it is obligatory on us to pray there. If we live at a distance from the mosque where we are unable to return for the next prayer, then our home becomes our mosque. The prayer that we observe at home carries the same reward as prayer at the mosque because we had the intention of observing congregational prayer at the mosque but we were genuinely unable to.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said the following, while in Germany:

“Some people have the misconception that until eight to 10 people gather, congregational prayer cannot happen […] The Holy Prophetsa said that if a mosque is available, then it is obligatory for you to reach the mosque. However, if a mosque is not available, he gave his people the glad tiding that the entire world has been made a mosque for him […] Therefore, Allah the Almighty granted this ease to the Holy Prophetsa and his followers; they do not need a special place of worship. 

“Wherever they are, when the time of prayer arrives, they can observe their prayer there and that place will become a mosque for them. Thus, the problem of it being necessary to reach a mosque is solved, and no one can make the excuse that they do not have time and are unable to make it to the mosque because of circumstances.

“As for finding people to pray with, the Holy Prophetsa also resolved this once and for all. 

“When a companion saw that the Holy Prophetsa placed great emphasis on congregational prayers, he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am a shepherd and spend most of my time grazing animals in the wilderness and it often happens that no one is there and I am deprived of congregational prayers. What should I do?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Whenever the time of prayer arrives, call the Azan. If a traveller passing by at a distance hears your voice, then Allah the Almighty will put it in his heart to come and join you in prayer. If there is no traveller and no one hears you, then Allah Almighty will cause angels to descend from the Heavens who will line up behind you for prayer, and in this way you will have observed congregational prayer […]

“Thus, if Jamaat members see themselves as helpless in these countries, then they can observe congregational prayers by themselves. They should say takbir and observe prayer in the way that congregational prayer is observed.” (Friday Sermon, 20 August 1982, Khutbat-e-Tahir, Vol. 1, pp. 120-121)

When people say that we should combine prayers because there is a large number of people in the mosque, it assumes that no one is praying in their homes; it assumes that blessings are tied to the number of people in a congregation. 

There is no basis for believing that there are special blessings in the quantity of a congregation, for it is the quality that matters. Our reward for prayer does not depend on how many people happen to walk through the door that day. Blessings are in observing prayers in obedience to the commandments of Allah the Almighty and according to the example of the Holy Prophetsa, the Promised Messiahas and the Khulafa. If we cannot go to the mosque, then prayer should be observed in congregation at home, or if an Ahmadi lives in our neighbourhood, we can observe prayer together with them.

In Washington DC, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa advised Ahmadis, saying:

“Wherever it is not possible to go to the mosque, a few Ahmadis living close by should organise to get together in one home to offer prayers in congregation. And those Ahmadis living in isolated areas should make arrangements within the household to offer prayers in congregation with family members.” (Friday Sermon, 22 June 2012)

If we observe Zuhr at the mosque and everyone lives within a distance where they will be back at home during the time of Asr, then there is no reason to combine prayers. To say that prayers should be combined at Zuhr because fewer people come at the time at Asr is no valid excuse. 

In many mosques in the world, the attendance at Zuhr is more than it is at Asr. Asr is a prayer that is often neglected, which is why many commentators have opined that when the Holy Quran reminds us not to miss “Salat-ul-Wusta”, it refers to Asr prayer. If we combine prayers because not as many people come for Asr, then every masjid in the world should be combining prayers at Zuhr so that more people are able to take part in congregational Asr prayer at the mosque. 

The correct approach Islam has taught is that if a person cannot make it back for the next prayer, they should observe it in congregation at home at its fixed time and they will be rewarded for their intentions. 

Islam has given us flexibility in deciding exceptional cases on when to combine prayers, but it has not given us flexibility to change principles. The principle Islam has taught is that the five prayers are to be observed at their appointed times, and as an exception we can combine prayers if there is a need. 

Those needs are described in the guidance of the Holy Prophetsa, the Promised Messiahas and Khulafa. If we start making up our own reasons to combine prayers, it disregards the basis of jurisprudence and the doctrines of Islam. 

In this day and age, if Salat is to be combined, it is either the jurisdiction of the Khalifatul Masih to decide or for his general guideline in particular circumstances to be followed. 

If we are weak in practice, then we should gradually work to improve ourselves. If we are weak in doctrine, it should immediately be corrected before it becomes a means of misguidance for others.