Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra addressed a reception held in his honour at the York House in Quetta, Pakistan, on 21 August 1949. In addition to the local Ahmadis, around 600 non-Ahmadi dignitaries were also in attendance.
The topic of Huzoor’sra address was “Islam aur Maujooda Maghribi Nazriay” i.e. Islam and Contemporary Western Ideologies, where he shed light on the wisdom behind Islamic teachings, such as salat, fasting, divorce, polygamy and the prohibition of alcohol and gambling.
At the beginning of his address, Huzoorra quoted verses 49 to 51 of Surah al-Maidah, which state:
“And We have revealed unto thee the Book comprising the truth [and] fulfilling that which was [revealed] before it in the Book, and as a guardian over it. Judge, therefore, between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their evil inclinations, [turning] away from the truth which has come to thee. For each of you, We prescribed a clear spiritual Law and a manifest way [in secular matters]. And if Allah had enforced [His] will, He would have made you [all] one people, but [He wishes] to try you by that which He has given you. Vie, then, with one another in good works. To Allah shall you all return; then will He inform you of that wherein you differed. And [We have revealed the Book to thee bidding thee] to judge between them by that which Allah has revealed and not to follow their evil inclinations, and to be on thy guard against them, lest they cause thee to fall into affliction on account of part of what Allah has revealed to thee. But if they turn away, then know that Allah intends to smite them for some of their sins. And indeed a large number of men are disobedient. Do they then seek the judgement of [the days of] Ignorance? And who is better than Allah as a Judge for a people who have firm faith?”
After reciting these verses, Huzoorra said he wished to shed light on the superiority of Islamic teachings over the Western Ideologies:
“In addition to the above mentioned verses, which testify to the superiority of [the teachings of] Islam, there is another important and comprehensive verse of the Holy Quran:
اَلۡيَوۡمَ اَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِيۡنَكُمۡ وَاَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِيۡ وَرَضِيۡتُ لَكُمُ الۡاِسۡلَامَ دِيۡنًا
“[This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V. 4)] […]
“This verse indicates:
“1) The Islamic sharia [law] has been completed by Allah the Almighty. Now, no other teaching could nullify these commandments. It implies a fundamental need for a Muslim to believe that Allah the Almighty has perfected His teachings in the form of the laws presented by Islam. […] Moreover, it covers all the laws that were needed for this world. […]
“2) In the words وَاَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِيۡ, He states that ‘I have completed My favour upon you’ by perfecting the religion. It indicates there are certain distinctive features and wisdom behind every Islamic commandment. These commandments are not merely a command, but rather, human betterment and progress have been taken care of as well. […]
“This feature distinguishes Islamic sharia from all other sharias. […] Islam does not command or prohibit mankind for a certain matter, unless or until it is beneficial for them to practice or shun it.” (Al Fazl, 31 August 1949, p. 3)
Huzoorra spoke on the wisdom behind the Islamic prayer (salat), and said that the one who offered salat in its true essence, would be saved from all kinds of vices in light of the Quranic verse:
اِنَّ الصَّلٰوةَ تَنۡهٰي عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَالۡمُنۡكَرِ
[Surely, Prayer restrains [one] from indecency and manifest evil. (Surah al-Ankabut, Ch. 29: V.46)]
While mentioning the Islamic commandment of fasting, Huzoorra said:
“Allah the Almighty has not merely commanded the Muslims to fast, but also stated that:
“[So that you may become righteous. (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V. 184)]
“Meaning, one has been commanded to fast in order to inculcate within themselves righteousness.
“In short, in the words اَلۡيَوۡمَ اَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِيۡنَكُمۡ وَاَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِيۡ, the Muslims have been told there is no need for which they require to look outside the Holy Quran, since all kinds of commandments have been mentioned in it. All of those commandments are beneficial for mankind. […] It is impossible for the Muslims to face a loss as long as they act upon the Quranic commandments. As a result of their actions [according to the Quranic teachings] they would continue to receive abundant blessings [of God].” (Al Fazl, 31 August 1949, p. 3)
Commenting on verses 49 to 51 of Surah al-Maidah which he recited at the beginning, Huzoorra said Allah clearly stated that Muslim success was in following the teachings of Islam and the Holy Quran, instead of blindly following worldly experts in law, philosophy, economy, science and trade:
“In this era, various Ideologies of the Western nations contradict Islam, some of which are religious, while others are political and economic. However, the West has faced a huge defeat in each of those Ideologies.” (Ibid)
In regards to the Islamic teachings of tawhid [Unity of God], divorce, polygamy, and the prohibition of alcohol and gambling, Huzoorra said that, though Westerners strongly opposed these teachings in the past, now there were many in the West who acknowledged the beauty of these Islamic teachings and were inclining towards Islam.
Huzoorra said Western nations objected to the Islamic teaching of alcohol prohibition, however, they had begun to realise its harmful impacts.
Huzoorra mentioned the alcohol ban in America, which began in 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson put a temporary wartime prohibition in place in order to save grain for producing food. Later on, through the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors were banned with the passage of the Volstead Act.
“However, after 15 years, America once again permitted alcohol consumption, which in fact again proved the truthfulness of Islam. It became evident to the world that there was a Divine Power behind whatever the Quran has stated, however, there was no divine power behind the policies of the West. For this reason, when Islam prohibited alcohol, it was to stay forever, on the other hand, when it was prohibited in America, they were compelled to repeal the law just after 15 years.” (Ibid, p. 4)
During the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar, alcohol was banned for fans at the grounds, and it was announced by FIFA that it would not be sold inside or around the perimeter of stadiums, however, it would be available at matches only in hospitality boxes. This decision caused a huge uproar in the West.
Although it did not go far enough, it turned out to be a good decision. Reuters reported:
“Many supporters were up in arms at the idea of the World Cup taking place in a conservative country like Qatar where the sale of alcohol is highly restricted, but for some female fans, it has led to a safer experience at the tournament.
“‘I was expecting a very dangerous place for women. I didn’t think I was going to be safe here … from coming here that’s not been the case, as a travelling female fan I can say that I have felt very safe’, England fan Ellie Molloson told Reuters. […]
“The 19-year-old said that the lack of alcohol had contributed to a less bawdy atmosphere around the games at the World Cup, but in her opinion, it was mostly cultural.
“‘I think it actually is due to a more socially conservative society. I think alcohol contributes a bit more to hostility, rather than things like catcalling, wolf-whistling and sexual harassment’, she explained. […]
“Argentina fan Ariana Gold, 21, told Reuters she was nervous before travelling to the Middle East as she did not know what to expect.
“‘It’s really nice for women, I am very fond of football and when I was in my country, I thought maybe this (Qatar) is an area for only men, and maybe it is uncomfortable for women, but no, I am very comfortable and it is very nice here’, she said.” (Female fans feel safe at Qatar World Cup thanks to reduced alcohol consumption, Reuters, 6 December 2022)
This attests to the wisdom behind the Islamic teaching of alcohol prohibition.
In regards to gambling, Huzoorra said:
“Islam had prohibited it, however, Europe ridiculed [this teaching] by calling it meaningless. But now one would hardly find a country that is not making [regulatory] laws in regards to gambling since they cannot [afford to] completely allow it. They feel shame in prohibiting it all at once, and for this reason, they are making laws as to what kind of gambling is disallowed.
“In other words, they are coming to the pathway that was taught by Islam, however, they consider it to be their humiliation if they openly declare gambling unlawful.” (Ibid)
A month ago, The Times reported:
The UK Prime Minister, “Rishi Sunak is poised to resurrect plans to curb online gambling amid concerns about the number of people who are becoming addicted.
“The government is planning to announce the findings of a review of the 17-year-old gambling laws.
“Liz Truss, the former prime minister, shelved the review – which has been repeatedly delayed – during her brief tenure in office amid concerns about the impact on businesses.
“However, Sunak wants to push ahead with it after warnings that online gambling is having a ‘catastrophic’ impact on some people’s lives. The review is a Conservative manifesto pledge.” (Maximum stakes to fix ‘catastrophe’ of online gambling, The Times, 26 November 2022)
It is another example of how the West is now acknowledging Islamic teachings.
Towards the end, Huzoorra said:
“In short, there are dozens of matters in which the West opposed Islam, however [after realising its beauties], they had to acknowledge the pathway taught by Islam. This testifies to the fact that the Word which was revealed to Muhammad, the Holy Messengersa of Allah, 1300 years ago, was from the God Who had created mankind and was aware as to what matters were beneficial for mankind and what was harmful.” (Ibid, p. 4)
The fact of the matter is:
آرہا ہے اس طرف احرارِ يورپ كا مزاج
نبض پهر چلنے لگی مُردوں كی ناگہ زنده وار
“The liberal hearts of the West are now flocking to us; the dead, silent pulse is beating to live again.”