ALTERATION OF KALIMAH
Abdul Hafeez also accuses the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of altering Islamic fundamentals and the first allegation he makes is in relation to the Islamic credo, the Kalimah:
Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah', i.e., There is none worthy of worship but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger.
He asserts that Ahmadi Muslims have changed the Kalimah1 by substituting the name of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammadsa with that of Hadhrat Ahmadas, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.2 Hence he alleges that, God forbid:
'The kalimah of Qadianis is There is no God but Allah and Ahmad is His messenger. Note: Ahmad has been substituted for Muhammad. The illustrated booklet AFRIKA SPEAKS issued on the occasion of the tour of Africa by Mirza Nasir Ahmad Qadiani contains a photograph of Ahmadiyya central mosque, Nigeria, which has this Kalima written on it.'3
The author of Two in One also includes an alleged photo of the mosque at Ijebuode in Nigeria on which this altered Kalimah is stated by him to have been written.
Now, any intelligent man who studies this photograph with honesty would agree that the disputed word in the context of this Kalimah is Muhammadsa and not Ahmadas. It is an established fact that Arabic calligraphy has adopted numerous forms throughout the length and breadth of the Islamic world and the Islamic credo at the entrance of the Ahmadiyya Central Mosque at Ijebuode, Nigeria has been written in a traditional style of calligraphy adopted by the people of the local area which requires the first alphabet mim, the equivalent of the alphabet m to be lengthened. This system of lengthening alphabets is a perfectly normal practice in the system of Arabic calligraphy adopted by Muslims of this region, as for instance, one also observes the taller than normal lines to teeth of the alphabet sn in the letter Rasul.
In this particular instance, the first alphabet mim or m has thus been first lengthened upwards and then brought down to join the second alphabet ha or h to make and when these two are joined to the third and fourth alphabets mim and dal, it reads , i.e., Muhammadsa.
A honest person with even a meager knowledge of Arabic writing would never express an opinion that the disputed word in the above credo does not represent Muhammadsa on account of the fact that in Ahmad, the first two alphabets Alif or A and ha or h are not joined together but stand separately and hence, the name Ahmad is written thus . This is evident from Abdul Hafeez's own book where he states that the Kalimah of the Ahmadi Muslims is, God forbid:
PHOTOCOPY OF ALLEGED KALIMAH OF AHMADI MUSLIMS WRITTEN IN ARABIC BY ABDUL HAFEEZ. VIDE. TWO IN ONE, P.22
One would observe that in this Arabic version of the alleged Kalimah of Ahmadi Muslims, the first alphabet of the name Ahmad, i.e., Alif is separated from the second alphabet, ha. Now, if the first two alphabets, i.e., mim and ha in the picture of the Kalimah written on the Ahmadiyya Central Mosque at Ijebuode, Nigeria were to be separated and, for the sake of an argument, it was accepted that the first alphabet in the picture is not mim for Muhammad but Alif for Ahmad, then the word would read i.e., Al Hamd and not Ahmad. This credo would then, God forbid, read:
SLIGHTLY ENLARGED COPY OF THE PICTURE IN ABDUL HAFEEZ'S PUBLICATION TWO IN ONE, P.23 WITH THE FIRST TWO ALPHABETS OF THE DISPUTED WORDS SEPARATED
In English Transliteration, this would read as, God forbid: Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah al Hamd-Rasuu-lullaah. A Kalimah of this nature would not make any sense at all since the Arabic word at Hamd means all praise and Hamd, praise of God.
Other evidence contained within this photograph establishes that the name here is Muhammad and not Ahmad, as for instance, the placing of the diacritical marks and also the existence of above min of Muhammad. If the name in the above photograph was Ahmad, then this particular diacritical mark would have been absent because it is not used in writing Ahmad. It is, therefore, thoroughly dishonest of Abdul Hafeez to attempt to manipulate this perfectly Islamic credo written on the entrance of the Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in question to allege that it reads.
If Ahmadi Muslims had changed their Kalimah and substituted Ahmad for Muhammad, then they would not have the Kalimah with Muhammad written on their mosques throughout the world. Nor would the Pakistan Government have to employ its police to erase the Kalimah ,with Muhammad an integral part of it, from the fascia of numerous Ahmadiyya Muslim mosques in Pakistan in the wake of Ordinance XX of 1984 after Ahmadi Muslims had refused to erase it with their own hands. An evidence of one such desecration of the Islamic Kalimah by the Pakistan Police under instructions of Zia ul Haq's junta is presented below.
A PAKISTANI POLICE CONSTABLE ERASING THE NAME OF HADHRAT MUHAMMADsa FROM THE KALIMAH ON THE FASCIA OF THE AHMADIYYA MOSQUE AT SIR SHAMSHEER ROAD, FAISALABAD IN PAKISTAN
The fact that Ahmadi Muslims have never ever recited any other Kalimah except 'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuulullaah' is also evident from the number of cases registered against them in Pakistan, the charge sheet of every one of which specifies the alleged offense as recitation of or wearing the badge of the Kalimah 'Laa 'ilaahaa 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuulullaah.' If the Kalimah of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had, God forbid, substituted Muhammad with Ahmad then there would be absolutely no reason for these Ahmadi Muslims to be charged under Ordinance XX of 1984 enacted by the military regime of the Zia ul Haq. Nor any reason for them to be punished under Amendment of the Pakistan Penal Code [Act XLV of 1860], Additions of New Section 298C. One states that because the Ordinance requires that any member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
'who, directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to his faith as Islam' and who 'by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished.'
There would, however, be absolutely no reason for these Muslims to feel outraged if Ahmadi Muslims so charged in Pakistan did not recite the Kalimah of which 'Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah' is an integral part since in reciting any other Kalimah except that of 'Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah,' they cannot be deemed to pose as Muslims.
In view of these facts which are a part of Pakistani history, one would ask Abdul Hafeez as to why should Ahmadi Muslims substitute their Kalimah and demonstrate it outside their mosque in Nigeria where the government does not penalize it for its beliefs and yet, in a country like Pakistan where they are threatened with severe penalization, they insist on proclaiming the Islamic Kalimah to which the government takes exception? The Kalimah written at the Ahmadiyya Central Mosque, Ijebuode in Nigeria is positively 'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah.' and irrespective of how Abdul Hafeez proposes to beguile his readers into believing otherwise, the fact will remain that Ahmadi Muslims know and recite the only Kalimah taught to them by Hadhrat Muhammadsa which is: 'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah.' Any reasonable man who considers this false charge against them to the effect that they have substituted the name of Hadhrat Muhammadsa with that of Hadhrat Ahmadas, would - in the light of the persecution being suffered by them in Pakistan for reciting and wearing the Islamic Kalimah badges - seriously think about the wisdom of them publicizing such a substituted Kalimah in a country where they command extraordinary respect as Muslims of the first order. In fact, people like Abdul Hafeez have often demanded that 'Ahmadis stop calling themselves Muslims and others would begin to be tolerant towards them.'5 In view of such offers of tolerance in Pakistan, if Ahmadi Muslims can, as falsely alleged, publicize any other Kalimah other than 'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuulullaah' in a country where they are not persecuted for reciting their credo of faith, then what possible reluctance could they have in not declaring the same in Pakistan and rid themselves of the severe hardship to which they are being subjected?
The irony of this entire controversy is that while Ahmadi Muslims have, do and will continue to recite the Kalimat: 'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah,' there exists ample evidence within Islamic literature to suggest that many a Muslim saints have substituted the name of Hadhrat Muhammadsa with that of other saints of Islam in the Kalimah. For instance, it is reported that such a Kalimah was pronounced with the name of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Shiblirh which read:
'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Shibli-Rasuu-lullaah,' i.e., 'There is no god but Allah, and Shibli is His Messenger.'6
A Kalimah with the name of Hadhrat Muhammadsa substituted with that of Hadhrat Mu’in ud Din Chishtirh has also been pronounced to read as:
'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Chishti-Rasuu-lullaah,' i.e., 'There is no god but Allah, and Chishti is His Messenger.'7
This Kalimah has been recorded in a different manner in another instance where it has been substituted to read:
'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Mu'in ud Din-Rasuu-lullaah' i.e., 'There is no god but Allah, and Mu'in ud Din is His Messenger. '8
It is also recorded that once a man came to enter into the discipleship of Hadhrat Khawaja Mu'in ud Din Chishtira and Hadhrat Khawaja Ajmerira asked him to recite the Kalimah but when the man recited the Islamic Kalimat:
'The Khawaja said to him: Say it like this, There is no god but Allah and Chishti is the Messenger of Allah. The man did so, and the Khawaja accepted the pledge from him and invested him with the robe of honor.'9
Such substitution has also been made in relation to Hadhrat Khawaja Habib Ullah Attarra who instructed a disciple:
'Lengthen your saying of Ia ilaha, and efface the thought of all others, other than God from the heart. After that, ill-Allah should be stressed, and you should consider me the messenger of Allah.'10
Abdul Hafeez's own spiritual predecessor Maulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi of the Deoband fame had a Kalimah concocted in his name by one of his disciples which read:
'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Ashraf Al-Rasuu-lullaah,' i.e., There is no go but Allah, and Ashraf Ali is His Messenger.'11
Similarly, an Indian saint Sheikh Sadiq Gangohi told a disciple to pronounce his name in the Kalimah as a messenger of Allah.
He commanded his disciple to say:
'There is no go but Allah and Sadiq is the messenger of Allah.'12
One would now leave it to Abdul Hafeez to either deny that any such Kalimah with the names of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Shiblirh; Hadhrat Mu'in ud Din Chishtirh and Hadhrat Khawaja Habib Ullah Attarra as well as the Indian saint Sheikh Sadiq Gangohi and the Deoband leader Maulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi exist in literature published by the non Ahmadiyya Muslim publication houses or else pass his judgement on the people who substituted the name of Hadhrat Muhammadsa in these versions of their Kalimah.
Finally, the author of Two in One begs a question of the Ahmadi Muslims as to whether they recite Ahmad instead of Muhammad in the Kalimah.13 If, as it behove a Muslim, he is prepared to accept the sworn statement of every Ahmadi Muslim, then one can assure him that the official Kalimah of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is:
'Laa 'ilaaha 'il-lal-laah Muhammadur-Rasuu-lullaah.'
Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for Ahmadi Muslims to recite Ahmad instead of Muhammad in their Kalimah. They have never, in their entire history, recited Ahmad instead of Muhammad in the Kalimah nor do they now recite Ahmad instead of Muhammad and Inshallah, they shall never recite Ahmad instead of Muhammad in the Kalimah. It is now up to Abdul Hafeez to believe what he chooses to believe. But if he rather not accept this assurance as a statement of truth, then one suggest that he stop taking exception to the appellation of the title of a disbeliever and an enemy being applied to him.
- Shah, Syed Abdul Hafeez. Two in One, p.5
- Ibid., p.22
- Ibid., 23
- Shah, Syed Abdul Hafeez. Two in One, p.89
- Hasan, Maulana Shah Gul, Tadhkira Ghausiyya, p.315
- Attar, [Hadhrat] Farid ud Din, Fawa’id e Faridiyya, p.83
- Haft Aktalab, p.167. vide. Kitab e Mahfooz, p.22
- vide. Fawa'id as Salikeen, p.18
- Attar, [Hadhrat] Khawaja Habib Ullah. vide. Masnavi Bahr al Irfan, vol.1, p.179
- Al Imdad, Safar, 1336 AH, circa. 1918, p.35
- Gangohi, Shaikh Sadiq. vide. Al Takashaf an Mahmat al Tasawwuf, p.594
- Shah, Syed Abdul Hafeez. Two in One, p.36