So said Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Have you any notion what was the strange event that occurred in the desert country of Arabia when hundreds of thousands of the dead were revived within a brief period and those who had been misguided through generations put on Divine color, and those who were blind obtained sight, and those who had been dumb began to speak of the understanding of the Divine, and the world underwent a revolution which had never been seen or heard of before? It was the supplications during dark nights of one who had lost himself in God which raised a clamor in the world, and manifested such wonders as appeared impossible in the case of that unlearned helpless one. Send down Thy blessings and peace, O Allah, on him and his people according to the amount of pain and anguish he felt for his Ummah, and pour down upon him the lights of Thy mercy forever.
[Barakat-ud-Du'a, Ruhani Khaza'in, Vol. 6, pp. 10-11]
I always wonder how high was the status of this Arabian Prophet, whose name was Muhammad, (thousands of blessings and peace be upon him). One cannot reach the limit of his high status and it is not given to man to estimate correctly his spiritual effectiveness. It is a pity that his rank has not been recognized, as it should have been. He was the champion who restored to the world the Unity of God which had disappeared from the world; he loved God in the extreme and his soul melted out of sympathy for mankind. Therefore, God, Who knew the secret of his heart, exalted him above all the Prophets and all the first ones and the last ones and bestowed upon him in his lifetime all that he desired.
He is the fountainhead of every grace and a person who claims any superiority without acknowledging his grace is not a man but is the spawn of Satan, because the Holy Prophet has been bestowed the key to every exaltation and he has been given the treasury of every understanding. He who does not receive through him is deprived forever. I am nothing and possess nothing. I would be most ungrateful if I were not to confess that I have learnt of the true Unity of God through this Prophet. The recognition of the Living God we have achieved through this perfect Prophet and through his light. The honor of converse with God, through which we behold His countenance, has been bestowed upon me through this great Prophet. The ray of this sun of guidance falls like sunshine upon me and I continue illumined only so long as I am adjusted towards it.
[Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza'in, Vol. 22, pp. 118-119]
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Incomparable & supremely great ethics and courteousness of the Holy Prophet
By Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, delivered on February 25, 2005
Indeed you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much. (Al Surah Al-Ahzab 33:22)
The personality and the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, has such vast dimensions that it is not possible to cover all the aspects and different incidents and examples in a short series of sermons.
In this verse that I have recited, Allah says that for every person who realizes his responsibility to God and believes in accountability, there is an excellent model to follow in the person and character of the Holy Prophet. If anyone wishes to be a genuine believer and a true servant and worshipper of Allah he or she has no choice but to follow the Prophet’s model for no other model reveals such perfect characteristics and examples. As elsewhere in the Holy Quran, Allah says:
And thou dost surely possess high moral excellences.” (Al Surah Al-Qalam 68:5)
Promised Messiah, may peace be on him has explained this verse of the Holy Quran, “Oh Prophet, you are stationed on the most excellent character, which means that in your person you have such a charisma and such complete morals and qualities that any improvement in them cannot be imagined. The word ‘Azeem,’ in this verse, in Arabic diction is used for something that in its quality, in its category, reaches such height that anything higher cannot be conceived. Some scholars have suggested that ‘Azeem’ is something whose grandeur cannot be fully appreciated and is beyond the human imagination.”
So, such is the grandeur of the personality and temperament of our Prophet. Such is the vastness of his achievements and abilities; nevertheless, we have to try to emulate his example within the limits of our abilities.
So, this year I will give a series of sermons to highlight different aspects of his character and also refute some of the absurd criticism raised against him by the opponents of Islam.
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Muslim Times featuring Saladin: Who taught Europe the Ethics of War
This is an hour and a half movie or documentary about Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. If the movie inspires you in some ways, remember that the Latter Days, which is our times, are an era of Jihad with pen and the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him had prophesied this. Come join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and volunteer your services for the Muslim Times.
According to wikipedia: “Saladin’s chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the Siege of Kerak, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders, he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lionheart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry.”
Saladin did not destroy the True Cross, even though he had it after the Battle of Hattin. In the same spirit we want to preserve everything that is wonderful in the Christian tradition and useful for humanity, as we engage in our ‘Jihad with Pen, Keyboards and Internet!’
When Saladin finally captured Jerusalem, he did not kill the Christian population of Jerusalem, the descendents of the crusaders of the First Crusade, who had killed each and every Muslim inhabitant of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. He was following in the footsteps of his master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, and trying to mimic his mercy and forgiveness that he had shown to the polytheist population of Mecca a few centuries before.
To read the account of the First Crusade click here
Richard the Lionheart killed three thousand prisoners of war in cold blood. To read an account of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and prisoners of war:
Video: Story of Salahuddin Ayyubi, Who taught Europe the Ethics of War
The picture is of a Statue of Saladin in Damascus.
Blasphemy and the Holy Prophet Muhammad
By Laiq Ahmed Atif, Malta
The issue of blasphemy is a hot issue that remains in news particularly in Pakistan. In 2010, a Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was charged with blasphemy in Pakistan, made the international headlines. But charging Asia Bibi under the blasphemy law did not apparently quench the radical thirst of the clerics of Pakistan. A Muslim cleric offered $6,000 to a person who would kill Asia Bibi. Tragically, the late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who visited Asia Bibi in prison, was later gunned down by his own security guard, Mumtaz Qadri. Salman Taseer’s crime was to speak up for the victims of blasphemy law. The insanity continued unabated when after few weeks of the murder of Salman Taseer, a Catholic and Minister for minorities, , Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated allegedly over his stance on blasphemy laws. The issue of blasphemy has once again reared its ugly head: the death penalty imposed by anti-terrorism court against Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Salman Taseer, has been reversed.
The issue of blasphemy is not a new phenomenon. The instances of blasphemy are found throughout recorded human history. The Holy Quran, for example, points out very clearly that all the prophets and messengers of God were persecuted, harmed, abused and mocked, not only during their life time but also after their demise. “Alas for My servants! There comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him.” (36:31) “Then We sent Our Messengers one after another. Every time there came to a people their Messenger, they treated him as a liar.” (23:45) Noah, Abraham, Lot, Saleh, Shuaib, Moses and Jesus, peace be on them all, just to name a few, were all mocked and blasphemed by their enemies and opponents.
Questions naturally arise: How did Prophets react to blasphemy? Did they ever punish the blasphemers? What was the end of those mockers and blasphemers?
The Holy Quran clearly speaks about the treatment of those mockers and enemies of God’s prophets; “And surely, Messengers have been mocked at before thee; but I granted respite to those who disbelieved. Then I seized them, and how was then My punishment!” (13:23) “And Messengers indeed have been rejected before thee; but notwithstanding their rejection and persecution they remained patient until Our help came to them. There is none that can change the words of Allah.” (6:35)
These verses make it abundantly clear and manifest that all the messengers observed extreme patience whenever they were blasphemed and they never tried to punish or respond to those blasphemers violently. All those mockers, blasphemers and enemies faced deadly consequences. Another common element in their stories is that all the enemies were punished by God, and this is one supreme reality that can never change; “There is none that can change the words of Allah” (6:35).
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The Constitution of Medina: the First written Constitution of the World
By Zia H Shah MD
In this Google Knol I will collect the description of the constitution from various biographers and introduce my understanding based on all these different sources.
Mark Graham writes:
Muhammad’s brilliance lay in politics as well as spirituality. One of the most extraordinary events to take place during this time was the drafting of the Covenant of Medina (Sahifat al-Madinah), what some consider to be the world’s first constitution. It was a treaty and city charter between the Arabs and Jews of the city. All groups (Muslims, Jews, and non-Muslim Arabs) pledged to live in civic harmony, governed by mutual advice and consultation. The Covenant bound these varied groups into a common defense pact and stipulated that the Jews of the city were one community with the Muslims, that they were free to profess and practice their religion and that they were entitled to all the rights pertaining to the Muslims. This amazingly foresighted document was a revolutionary step forward in civil government. Despite the ultimately tragic end of Muslim and Jewish cooperation in Medina, this blueprint of interreligious tolerance would serve Islam and its subject peoples well in the future.
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Video Course Review: ‘Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad’ by Prof. Mark Muesse of Harvard University
Reviewed by Rabia Mir, Canada
The Dacheng Hall, the main hall of the Temple of Confucius in Qufu.
The Teaching Company vide course titled Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad starts with the description of this book, The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History.
One of the salient features of the Ministry of Buddhism and Confucius is that there is no mention of Trinity, Original Sin or other dogma of Christianity, but the Monotheism of Judaism and Islam can be traced into these teachings that have gone through changes over time. Additionally the insightful Prof. Mark Muesse describes Paul to be the founder of Christianity rather than Jesus himself. The shear act of putting the four sages in one bracket serves to raise the reader above many contemporary Western prejudices.
As religion comes to occupy the forefront of the socio-political stage, the academic arena, which has always been enamored with religious discourse, has now begun to dissect the purpose of religion: What each faith has to offer and what religion offers, on the whole, to humanity. Professor Mark W. Muesse in his set of lectures entitled “Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad” does precisely this. He considers the teachings of each of these men in light of their historical context and personal circumstances, and tries to redefine each man’s character based on his intent and action, rather than the persona imposed upon him by his followers. He acknowledges that western media’s portrayal of Prophet Muhammad has been unfair particularly his teachings regarding women’s rights and warfare.
Professor Mark W. Muesse proves himself to be a fine scholar who aims to understand what these four men had to offer to their followers, and thus how they acquired the great following that they did, and what their teachings can offer to humanity as a whole. He strives to understand their socio/political endeavors in light of their historical contexts and personal circumstance. His work is a rare glimpse into the actual struggle of these men to rise up out of their personal obstacles and redress the social issues of their times. Muesse’s perspective is secular, refreshingly unbiased, honest and foremost, as stated, contextual. His work is a phenomenal breakthrough in the study of religion, as he lays out the teachings of these men, not as their followers understood them, but as these four men intended them to be understood. Muesse has done what few scholars have managed to do: set aside his contextual time period and re-enter the time period of the great personalities he studies. As the world sees the re-emergence of religion, and witnesses a rising fundamentalism within every faith, and academics and scholars struggle to understand this re-emergence that has occurred despite the prevailing scientific order, Muesse offers his readers a profound window into humanity’s need and struggle to follow a path of nobility, as embodied particularly in the historical characters of these four sages.
To read Rabia Mir’s complete review click here
The description of the course on the Teaching Company website is:
Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad—four extraordinary sages who influenced world civilization more deeply than any other human beings in history.
As just one measure of their importance, current rankings of the most influential people in history consistently put Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad at or near the top of the list. Four centuries after the rise of the scientific worldview, their influence in human affairs continues to be fundamental, underscoring issues ranging from questions of ethics and justice to religious and political conflicts to other issues that dominate today’s headlines.
In the 21st century, much of humanity still looks to the lives, teachings, and actions of these four sages for guidance on how to live, for their conceptions of morality, and for understanding the most crucial human values.
Never merely historical figures, as models of human living they remain dynamically alive for countless millions of people around the world, exemplifying the moral and spiritual precepts our civilizations are built on. Taken together, their influence extends over most of the human population, from Asia to the Middle East and from Europe to the New World.
No understanding of human life, individual or collective, could be complete without factoring in the role and contribution of these history-shaping teachers.
Now, in Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, award-winning Professor Mark W. Muesse of Rhodes College takes you deep into the life stories and legacies of these four iconic figures, revealing the core, original teachings, and thoughts of each, and shedding light on the historical processes that underlie their phenomenal, enduring impact.”
To order the DVD course: click here