Why previous prophets were called ‘Muslims’ in the Holy Quran: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s address at a reception in Karachi, 1953

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
Beach Luxury Hotel1
Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, circa 1960

On 30 August 1953, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Karachi organised a reception in honour of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, al-Musleh-e-Maudra, at the Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi. The reception was also attended by various non-Ahmadi dignitaries. 

Huzoorra delivered the keynote address, titled “Haqiqi Islam” – True Islam.

In the beginning, Huzoorra said that though Islam was the name of the religion brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and his followers were called Muslims, the Holy Quran also mentioned the other prophets and their followers as ‘Muslims’:

“The fact that the Holy Quran has called them Muslims indicates there are two meanings of Islam; firstly, every follower of the Holy Prophetsa is a Muslim and secondly, everyone who exhibits submission and obedience is also a Muslim. Therefore, in light of the latter meaning of the word Muslim, anyone who obeyed and submitted to Adamas, Noahas, Abrahamas, Mosesas, and Jesusas was, in fact, a Muslim.” (Daily al-Musleh of Karachi, 1 September 1953, p. 1)

Huzoorra said:

“We are Muslims because the followers of the Holy Prophetsa have been granted the title of Muslims; at the same time, we are Muslims concerning the spirit of obedience and submission as well, which has always been a distinctive feature of the followers of every prophet. […]

“The title of Muslims – which has been granted to us by God Almighty – demands from us that we inculcate within ourselves those attributes that suit this title. This title indicates that God will surely grant great ranks to the followers of Muhammadsa, provided they strive to stay firm on high levels of obedience and submission to leap forward and attain religious and worldly progress.

“Therefore, the true meaning of Islam is that one should instil the spirit of submission and obedience to Allah the Almighty’s commandments in such a manner that it becomes impossible for them to take even a single step against His Will. May we not merely be called Muslims by name, rather our actions and character should testify to the fact that we are deserving of this title, and may each of our steps and actions become befitting of this.” (Ibid)

Hazrat Musleh e Maud
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra

Huzoorra continued:

“God Almighty wanted to establish such an ummah in this world through the Holy Prophetsa, which was to bear a name that also reflected its qualities and whose actions and character aptly suited its title of ‘Muslim’. For this reason, He also provided the means for spiritual progress to this ummah, which was never granted to any ummah in the past. Therefore, in addition to granting the most perfect sharia [the Holy Quran], God Almighty also created means for its protection and to make its teachings everlasting.” (Ibid)

Huzoorra said that Allah the Almighty had fulfilled His promise to protect the Holy Quran in an amazing manner:

“There is no doubt there are some Muslims who wrongly believe in the abrogation of a few verses, however, there is not a single sect of the Muslims who believe that – God forbid – some verses of the Holy Quran had been included later. Moreover, there is a consensus that the Holy Quran has remained the same from beginning to end, as it was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa.” (Ibid, p. 8)

Huzoorra continued:

“The true meaning of Islam is for us to pledge that our pleasure will always be in acting upon the commandments of Allah the Almighty, and we will make the Holy Quran our constitution for life to attain His love and pleasure. […] The true recipient of the title ‘Muslim’ will be the one who proves themselves eligible for this title by moulding their actions according to [the teachings of] Islam. 

“For this very reason, we see that the Holy Quran has called the jamaats of Abrahamas, Noahas, Mosesas, and Jesusas ‘Muslims’, though they neither had the Quran with them nor had the Holy Prophetsa appeared. It means that true Islam means the spirit of obedience and submission.

“Once we inculcate within ourselves this spirit, we will become Muslims in the eyes of Allah the Almighty as well, and this was the distinction that was present amongst the companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa in its true essence. Since they had never bowed down to anyone except God and had devoted themselves to Him alone, every power in the world was worthless in their eyes. Therefore, this very spirit and passion are true Islam. […] Islam is the name of that spirit and passion which enters one into the Kingdom of God and saves them from the slavery of every other being.

A view of Karachi city, circa 1889 | Wiki Commons

“If this is not the case, then how can the followers of Abrahamas be called Muslims, and similarly, how can the sincere followers of Mosesas and Jesusas be called Muslims? Therefore, in reality, the attainment of the title ‘Muslim’ depends on us becoming the true servants of God. 

“Once a community inculcates this passion within themselves, no power of the world can ever defeat them, since anyone who tries to defeat such a community, in fact, attempts to defeat God [God forbid], and this is an act which is equivalent to causing self-destruction.” (Ibid)

After narrating the faith-inspiring incidents of the Holy Prophet’ssa companionsra, which exhibited their devotion to God Almighty, Huzoorra said:

“No doubt, God has granted you the title of Muslims, however, this in itself is not an achievement for you since the true achievement is for you to become a true Muslims concerning your actions and character by instilling within yourselves the true [teachings of] Islam. […]

“Once a person inculcates the true Islam within their heart […] they attain such a high rank of certainty that even if they are cut into pieces, they will never let the impression of God’s love efface from their hearts. Therefore, the real objective is to adopt [the teachings of] Islam.” (Ibid)

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