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Mr Munir-ud-din Shams (Chairman)

Mr Mansoor Shah (Secretary)
Mr Naseer Ahmad Qamar May 2007, Vol.102, No.05
Mr Mubarak Ahmad Zafar
Mr Mirza Fakhar Ahmad
Mr. Abdul Baqi Arshad EDITORIAL – The Heat is On
Going green: Islamic perspective on the
Mansoor Ahmed Shah environmental crisis.
By Fareed Ahmad – UK............................... 2
Basit Ahmad
Bockarie Tommy Kallon ESSENCE OF ISLAM – Part 19 –
Fareed Ahmad.
Fazal Ahmad
Excellence of the Holy Qur’an
Fauzia Bajwa Clear arguments in support of the Qur’an’s
Mansoor Saqi
Mahmood Hanif perfection and its superiority due to the
Mansoora Hyder-Hanif
Navida Shahid
quantum of its contents
Sarah Waseem Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) ................ 8
Saleem Ahmad Malik
Tanveer Khokhar
Amatul Hadi Ahmad
Farina Qureshi Recalling the blessed by Divine help migra-
PROOFREADERS tion from Rabwah to London in April 1984.
Abdul Ghany Jahangeer Khan
Shaukia Mir By Bockarie Tommy Kallon, UK................... 17
Tanveer Khokhar THE STAR OF DAVID
PUBLISHER A brief review of some of the theories
Al Shirakatul Islamiyyah
surrounding the origins of this symbol of
DISTRIBUTION modern Jewish identity.
Muhammad Hanif
All correspondence should be forwarded to the editor at:
By Maidah Ahmad – Canada....................... 37
The Review of Religions
The London Mosque
16 Gressenhall Road
London, SW18 5QL
United Kingdom
An independant Parliamentary Human Rights
© Islamic Publications, 2007
Group report exposing the lack of protection
ISSN No: 0034-6721
from persecution in Rabwah itself.
Views expressed in this publication are not
necessarily the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya
By Jonathan Ensor ...................................... 43
Muslim Community
Fareed Ahmad – Newquay, UK

The Heat is On not just fictional scenarios but

According to a recent report1 the are likely events – especially if
last winter was the warmest since you note that the predictions of
records began. Sounds great if the Intergovernmental Panel on
you dislike the cold and dreary Climate Change include fore-
winters, but for environ- casts for this century of increases
mentalists – and in reality for all up to six degrees.
of us – this is bad news. Be it due
to greenhouse gasses, carbon Experts around the world have
emissions, the El-Nino or been warning about this for
methane emissions from decades and have been urging
livestock, the signs are not good governments to do more to slow
and this does not bode well for down the rate of global warming.
the future of life on earth. But with the economic giants of
the world preoccupied with
There is, we are told, a 75% risk activities seeking to serve their
that global temperatures will rise national interest it seems that the
a further two to three degrees in international crisis has effec-
the next 50 years2. The tively been sidelined in the hope
consequence of this would be that either the experts will be
dramatic. In fact a rise of just one proved wrong or that the problem
degree would melt the Greenland somehow will take care of itself.
ice sheet and drown the Often such warnings were
Maldives, but a three degree dismissed as ever more experts
increase would kill the Amazon were commissioned by govern-
rainforest, wipe out nearly half of ments to see if climate change
all species facing extinction and was for real. Perhaps they should
wreak havoc with crop yields due have taken note of an Igbo
to weather changes. These are tradition that says: ‘You may be

2 The Review of Religions – May 2007


clever but you can never lose agriculture could bring ruin to his
your shadow.’ Now it seems that livelihood. His knowledge was
the shadow is getting bigger and also limited but in the event of a
leaders are starting to look more disaster either through ignorance
concerned with the impending or abuse at least he could resort
gloom. So is it time to panic? to moving elsewhere and start
Perhaps. Is there any hope for again. Now we should have no
survival? Possibly. excuse for ignorance and we
should have learnt from our past
Whilst the global climate does to avoid misuse. But what is
indeed go through hot and cold worrying is that our respon-
cycles, what is worrying about the sibility has also increased
current phase is the pace of considerably, in line with our
change that could send us head ability to use vast amounts of the
first into a final spin. Although we earth’s resources; the crunch
have certainly benefited from factor is that now the impacts of
technological advancements that our behaviour are not just local
have given us plastics, air travel anymore, they are global. If we
and cheap food – what is fail to act in a responsible
important is to maintain a balance manner then we cannot simply
so that excessive consumerism relocate because there will be
does not ride roughshod over nowhere to go. It is therefore
nature’s harmony. There are vital that as producers, manu-
flexibilities in what nature can facturers and consumers, we
handle but eventually the scales ensure that we give due
will tip over. consideration to the impact of
our actions. Such a responsibility
In Islam man is given the role of is not just that of the east or the
trusteeship over the earth, which west but a responsibility for us
is a huge responsibility. In the all.
past, man had to be careful how
he treated his local environment In Islam, rather than addressing
since excessive grazing or each aspect of climate change

The Review of Religions – May 2007 3


individually, the Holy Qur’an Islam also lays great stress on the
provides a moral framework that fact that there is a balance in the
facilitates human progress by universe and that this is a feature
providing a clear set of prin- of God’s creation.
ciples that benefit man. This is
because it is the behaviour of a And the heaven He has raised
person that can influence not just high and set up a measure,
one but many spheres of human That you may not transgress
activity. These include the the measure. So weigh all
environment and sustainability things in justice and fall not
and this is why they are captured short of the measure.
in this same framework. (Ch.55:Vs.8-10)

Fairness, ethical behaviour, and This makes clear that it is God

unity are among the numerous Who is Perfect and has out of His
tenets advocated in Islamic Grace provided ample resources
teachings. They are important for all time. But through man’s
factors when decisions have to misuse, this balance may change.
be made in matters including It is man who will suffer the
those relating to natural resource consequences as a result. The
management. Stakeholders of term ‘measure’ refers to
the Muslim faith are obliged to universal balance and that is
act with justice if they wish to certainly sustainable unless man
earn the pleasure of God, for the exceeds it or seeks to alter it.
Qur’an states:
The need to maintain balance and
Verily, Allah commands you the requirement to only use what
to make over the trusts to is due to you and not to take what
those entitled to them, and rightfully belongs to others
that, when you judge between (whether now or in the future), is
men, you judge with justice... further emphasised in the
(Ch.4: V.59) following verse, in which God

4 The Review of Religions – May 2007


also reminds man that whilst at So why does man act in a manner
an individual level he may not that threatens to deprive him and
live to see the consequences of others of a harmonious future?
his actions he will certainly be The answer is of little surprise.
held to account for them. According to the Qur’an one of
the key underlying motives for
Woe unto those who give such actions is personal greed,
short measure; Those who, for it is greed that takes man
when they take by measure away from God and therefore
from other people, take it full; from the balance of nature. If
But when they give by man cares little for God and His
measure to others or weigh to teachings then what care would
them they give them less. Do he have for his fellow beings?
not such people know that This results in man staying
they will be raised again focused on his personal gain at
Unto a terrible day, The day the expense of all else
when mankind will stand
before the Lord of the worlds? Vying with each other for
(Ch.83:Vs.2-7) amassing wealth had made
you oblivious. (Ch.102:V.2)
This is why acts that promote
harmony in the environment are Personal greed can also encourage
considered to be meritorious acts, those with resources to squander
for the Holy Prophet(saw) said: their wealth – which is a wasteful
approach to life as it deprives
‘If anyone plants a tree or others who may need those
sows a field, and men, beasts resources.
or birds eat from it, it is
considered as a sadaqah [act Verily the extravagant are
of charity] on his part’ brothers of satans and Satan
(Musnad Ahmad) is ungrateful to his Lord.

The Review of Religions – May 2007 5


O Children of Adam!…eat action in line with their collective

and drink but exceed not the responsibility – only then do we
bounds; surely He does not have hope. By doing so we will
love those who exceed the be able to win the pleasure of
bounds. God and honour our trusteeship
(Ch.7:V.32) of the earth for the present and
future generations.
[And the servants of the
Gracious God are…] …those
who, when they spend are
neither extravagant nor 1. Report of the US National
niggardly but moderate Oceanic and Atmospheric
between the two. Administration, 15 March
(Ch.25:V.68) 2007

The overall message is, 2. Review on the Economics of

therefore, that Islam promotes Climate Change, by Sir
harmony by advising Nicholas Stern, October 2006
moderation. It accepts that we
need to use resources for our
progress but this should be done
wisely and in a sustainable
manner, so that a satisfactory
medium is found.

So we as individuals should act

on the Qur’anic injunction that
promotes balance and avoids
excess and Nations need to be
more willing to share knowledge
for the sake of the planet rather
than for profit and take collective

6 The Review of Religions – May 2007


Verse references to the Holy Qur’an item count ‘Bismillah...’ (In the Name of
Allah...) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not
counted and should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in The Review of
Religions will be found at one verse less than the number quoted.

In this journal, for the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘(saw)’ or ‘saw’ after the words,
‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Sallallahu
‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the
letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning
‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a
Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The
abbreviation ‘ra’ or (ra) stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for
Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed
by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘ru’ or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means
the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him.

In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations of names of places are
preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc.

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The Review of Religions – May 2007 7

Part 19 – Excellence of the Holy Qur’an
This series sets out, in the words of the Promised Messiah(as), Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad, a summary of his exposition of four outstanding topics: ISLAM; ALLAH,
compilation, in Urdu, from which these extracts have been translated into English, was
collated with great care and diligence by Syed Daud Ahmad Sahib, Allah have mercy
on him and reward him graciously for his great labour of love. Amin. The English
rendering is by the late Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, may Allah be pleased with
him, and is quoted from The Essence of Islam, Volume 1. All references throughout,
unless otherwise specifically mentioned, are from the Holy Qur’an.

No Verity Left out of the Holy But I also believe that it is not the
Qur’an function of every Maulawi to set
It is my faith that the Holy forth from the Holy Qur’an all
Qur’an is perfect in its teaching religious matters and to expound
and that there is no verity that has all its details according to the
been left out of it, as Allah, the Divine design. This is the
Glorious, has said: function especially of those who
have been helped with Divine
...We have sent down to thee revelation by way of
the Book to explain Prophethood or great saintliness.
everything;... For those people who not being
(Ch.16:V.90) recipients of revelation are not
competent to expound Qur’anic
and again: insights, the only straight way is
that without attempting to
We have left out nothing in interpret the Qur’an, they should
the Book. (Ch.6:V.39) unhesitatingly accept all the

8 The Review of Religions – May 2007


teachings which have been

handed down by tradition. Those
who are illumined with the light
of saintly revelation are included
among the purified. Regarding
them it is the way of Allah that
from time to time He discloses to
them the hidden fine points of the
Holy Qur’an and makes it clear
to them that the Holy Prophet(saw)
has not put forth any extra
teaching on his own and that the
true Ahadith only set forth the The founder of the Ahmadiyya
details of the principles and Muslim community was Hadhrat
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as).
directives contained in the Holy
The founder of the Ahmadiyya
Qur’an. By being vouchsafed
Muslim community was Hadhrat
this insight, the miracle of the Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). In 1891,
Holy Qur’an is manifested to he claimed, on the basis of Divine
them and the truth of those verses revelation, that he was the Promised
Messiah and Mahdi whose advent
becomes clear to them in which
had been foretold by Muhammad,
Allah, the Glorious, says that the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace
nothing has been left out from and blessings of Allah be upon him)
the Holy Qur’an. and by the scriptures of other faiths.
(AI-Haq Mubahatha Ludhiana, His claim constitutes the basis of the
beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 4, pp. 80-

The purport of this verse is that: them His Signs, and purifies
them, and teaches them the
He it is Who has raised Book and wisdom, although
among the Unlettered people they had been before, in
a Messenger from among manifest misguidance;
themselves who recites unto (Ch.62:V.3)

The Review of Religions – May 2007 9


The Holy Qur’an has two great Allah has promised to those
purposes for achieving which the among you who believe and
Holy Prophet(saw) came. One is do good works that He will
the wisdom of the Holy Qur’an, surely make them Successors
that is to say, its insights and fine in the earth, as He made
points; and the second is the Successors from among those
effect of the Holy Qur’an which who were before them; and
purifies the souls. that He will surely establish
for them their religion which
The safeguarding of the Qur’an He has chosen for them; and
does not mean only that its text that He will surely give them
should be preserved, for this in exchange security and
function was performed in early peace after their fear. They
ages by the Jews and Christians will worship Me and they will
also in respect of their scriptures, not associate anything with
so much so, that even the vowel Me. Then whoso is ungrateful
points of the Torah had been after that, they will be the
calculated. By the safeguarding rebellious.
of the Holy Qur’an is meant both (Ch.24:V.56)
the safeguarding of the text and
the safeguarding of the benefits This verse is explanatory of the
and effects of the Qur’an, and other verse:
that can only be done in accord
with Divine practice, if from Verily We Ourself have sent
time to time deputies of the Holy down this Exhortation, and
Prophet(saw) should appear who most surely We will be its
should enjoy all the bounties of Guardian.
Messengership by way of (Ch.15:V.10)
reflection, and who should be
bestowed all the blessings which and furnishes the reply to the
are bestowed upon the Prophets. question how will the Qur’an be
This is indicated in the verse: safeguarded? God Almighty says
that He will from time to time

10 The Review of Religions – May 2007


send successors of the Holy might have possessed those

Prophet(saw). qualities in an earlier age, but
(Shahadat-ul-Qu’an, Ruhani they do not possess them now,
Khaza’in, Vol. 6, pp. 338-339) and though, for the reason that
we have set out, we regard them
Holy Qur’an Possesses all True as revealed, yet even if they are
Signs of Divine Books revealed, in their present
The certain and perfect and easy condition they are not of any use.
means whereby without any They are like a citadel which is
trouble, labour, obstruction, empty and in ruins, and bereft of
doubt, suspicion, error, or all wealth and military strength.
omission, true principles together (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani
with the arguments in support Khaza’in, Vol. 23, p. 402)
thereof, might be discovered
with complete certainty, is the If an opponent of Islam should
Holy Qur’an. There is no other object that to hold the Holy
book or other means through Qur’an as being better and
which this great object might be superior to all revealed Books
achieved. would mean that other revealed
(Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Books are of an inferior quality,
Khaza’in, Vol.1, p.77) while they are the word of the
same One God, and there cannot
Now, O friends! I will describe to be superiority and inferiority
you the distinctive sign which between them, the answer would
sane reason has appointed for the be that from the point of view of
recognition of a revealed Book is revelation all Books are
to be found only in the Holy doubtlessly equal, but some are
Book of God Almighty, which is superior to others on account of
the Holy Qur’an. In this age all the quantum of their contents and
those qualities which should be the perfection of matters relating
found as a distinctive sign of to the faith contained therein.
God’s Book are absent in other From this point of view, the Holy
books. It is possible that they Qur’an is superior to all Books

The Review of Religions – May 2007 11


inasmuch as other Books do not Word of God would fall into this
contain as much of these matters error.
as are necessary for perfecting
the religion, as, for instance, There is a great part of matters
questions relating to the Unity of Divine that finds no mention in
God, and the negation of all types the Torah; for instance, it does
of shirk, and remedies for not mention the finer stages of
spiritual ills, and arguments for the Unity of God. The Qur’an
the rejection of false religions, discloses that the Unity of God
and the proof of true doctrines, does not mean merely that we
that are set out forcefully in the should not worship idols, or
Holy Qur’an. human beings, or animals, or the
(Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani elements, or heavenly bodies or
Khaza’in, Vol. 1, p. 74, footnote satans, but that the Unity of God
2) has three stages.

Unity of God in the Holy The first stage of the Unity of

Qur’an vs. the Torah God is for the common people
The claim of the Christian who desire to be delivered from
missionaries that the Qur’an does the wrath of God Almighty.
not set forth anything new on the
Unity of God and on Divine The second stage is for those
commandments which is not who desire to be closer to God
contained in the Torah, is than the common people.
altogether false. An ignorant
person reading the Torah might The third stage is for those
fall into the error that it sets forth special ones who desire to
the Unity of God, and directions achieve closeness to perfection.
with regard to worship, and the
rights of mankind, and that there The first stage is that no one
is nothing new which has been should be worshipped except
set out in the Qur’an, but only a God, and that one should refrain
person who has not pondered the from the worship of everything

12 The Review of Religions – May 2007


that is limited and created, perfect attributes of God

whether it is on the earth or in Almighty. Had the Torah
heaven. contained any Surah like the one
in the Holy Qur’an:
The second stage of the Unity of
God is that in one’s own affairs Say, ‘He is Allah, the One;
and in the affairs of others, God Allah the Independent and
Almighty should be regarded as Besought of all. He begets
the true force and that means not, nor is He begotten; And
should not be so emphasised as there is none like unto him.’
to become associates of God. For (Ch.112:Vs.2-5)
instance, to say that had it not
been for X one would have then perhaps the Christians might
suffered a certain loss, or that if it have refrained from the worship
had not been for Y, one would of a creature. Also the Torah has
have been ruined, would amount not set forth the degrees of rights
to shirk, if by such pronounce- but the Qur’an has set forth this
ments it is meant that X and Y teaching also in perfection. For
truly possess some power. instance, it says:

The third stage of the Unity of Verily, Allah requires you to

God is to exclude the desires of abide by justice, and to treat
one’s ego from one’s love of God with grace, and give like the
Almighty and to devote oneself giving of kin to kin; and
entirely to His Greatness. forbids indecency, and
manifest evil, and
Such Unity of God is not to be transgression.
found in the Torah. Also there is (Ch.16:V.91)
no mention of salvation or hell in
the Torah, except some slight Allah enjoins equity, benevo-
indications here and there. In the lence and graciousness between
same way, there is no detailed kindred.
mention in the Torah of the

The Review of Religions – May 2007 13


This means that our sympathy state in clear words that the
with mankind should be prompted directions contained in them are
by natural eagerness and not by not for the general benefit, and are
any motive of seeking limited to the children of Israel.
acknowledgement, as for But the Holy Qur’an aims at the
instance, a mother has sympathy reform of the whole world and is
for her child. The Torah also fails not addressed to any particular
to establish the existence of God people but states plainly that it has
and His Unity and His perfect been revealed for the benefit of
attributes on the basis of reason, the whole of mankind and that the
but the Holy Qur’an has reform of everyone is its purpose.
established all these doctrines and (Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani
the need of revelation and Khaza’in, Vol. 13, pp. 83-85)
Prophethood with arguments
based on reason, and, by stating
everything in a philosophic way, The Holy Qur’an Vs. the
has made it easy for seekers after Gospels (Urdu Poem)
truth to appreciate it. These O Christians! Come this way;
arguments are put forth in such an See the light of the True God,
excellent manner in the Holy and find the true path.
Qur’an that it is not within
anyone’s power, for instance, to Can you show us in the
put forth any argument on the Gospels
existence of God which is not The numberless qualities
contained in the Qur’an. present in the Qur’an?

A strong argument in support of Remember! There is the

the need of the Holy Qur’an is Creator above you,
that all the previous Books Do not just go about
beginning with the Torah and misleading His creation.
ending with the Gospel are
addressed to a particular people, How long will you continue to
namely, the children of Israel and love falsehood,

14 The Review of Religions – May 2007


Do try truthfulness for a Hear from me the charm of its

change. beautiful countenance.

People! Have some fear of If you do not have eyes, at

God, least you have ears;
Have some modesty before If not, it might as well serve as
Him. a trial for you.
The pleasures and delights of Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol.1,
this life are not forever; pp.298-300)
This is not a place to live in The Qur’an is filled with deep
forever. wisdom. In all its teachings and
in its instructions with regard to
No one has ever stayed here true virtue it goes beyond the
forever. Bible. The lamp for beholding
Nor is this an eternal world .... the true and unchangeable God is
My dear people, listen! in the hand of the Qur’an. Had
Without the Qur’an, the Qur’an not come, God knows
Man can never find the True how many creatures might have
God. been worshipped in the world. So
all praise is due to God that the
Those who have no knowledge Unity of God which had
of this Light, disappeared from the world, has
Cannot behold the Beloved. been re-established by the
The influence of the Furqan is (Tohfah Qaisariyyah, Ruhani
indeed marvellous: Khaza’in, Vol. 12, p.282)
It turns one into a lover of the
Beloved God .... The Holy Qur’an brings out
the full accord between Science
Hear from me of the beauty of and Religion
the charming beloved; The Holy Qur’an is a Book so

The Review of Religions – May 2007 15


full of wisdom that it has brought medicine, I discovered that the

out the accord between the Holy Qur’an sets out in an
principles of spiritual medicine, excellent manner the principles
that is to say, the principles of of physical medicine.
religion which are truly spiritual (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani
medicine, and physical medicine, Khaza’in, Vol. 23, pp. 102-103)
and this accord is so fine that it
opens the doors of hundreds of
insights and verities. It is only
that person who can interpret the
Holy Qur’an truly and perfectly,
who ponders the principles laid
down by the Holy Qur’an in the
light of the system of physical

On one occasion I was shown in

a vision some books of expert
physicians which contained a
discussion of the principles of
physical medicine, among which
was included the book of the
expert Physician, Qarshi, and it
was indicated to me that these
Books contained a commentary
on the Holy Qur’an. This shows
that there is a deep relationship
between the science of bodies
and the science of religion and
that they confirm each other.
When I looked at the Holy
Qur’an, keeping in mind the
books that dealt with physical

16 The Review of Religions – May 2007

The Migration of Hadhrat
Khalifatul Masih IV(ru)
By Bockarie Tommy Kallon – London, UK

The story of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Since 1974 when Prime Minister
Ahmad’s(ru) migration from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto colluded
Pakistan to the United Kingdom with the orthodox religious
is one of the most dramatic clergy of Pakistan to declare
chapters of his life. It reveals members of the Ahmadiyya
alike a deep-seated trust in Allah Community as non-Muslim and
on the part of Huzur(ru) and heretical to Islam, Ahmadi
manifest support for His chosen Muslims in Pakistan have
servant by Allah Almighty. In a endured senseless persecution
sense, many parallels can be and discrimination. It was a time
drawn between his migration and which saw a heightened wave of
that of the migration of the Holy anti-Ahmadiyya disturbances
Prophet of Islam(saw) from across the country. Orthodox
Makkah to Madinah. Both religious clergy availed them-
migrations had been preceded by selves of the opportunity to put
persecution that was cruel, bitter Prime Minister Bhutto under
and sustained; both had escaped pressure to declare Ahmadis as
when the opponent had finally non-Muslim. The upshot of all
resolved to put an end to them; this was a constitutional
the dangers attendant upon their amendment which defined the
escape were immense; Divine term ‘Muslim’ specifically such
intervention had delivered them that Ahmadis fell outside its
from certain apprehension; and, scope and were listed, consti-
perhaps most important of all, tutionally, as ‘non-Muslim’.
the success subsequently enjoyed Ahmadi Muslims would face
post-migration could hardly have severe attacks on their lives,
been envisaged beforehand. properties and businesses.
The Review of Religions – May 2007 17

Discrimination was practised he sought to strengthen his hold

against Ahmadis in every on power.
government service. As more denunciation was
poured on his regime, he sought
Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, both legitimacy and a diversion.
Khalifatul Masih III(ru), who was The opportunistic government of
then Head of the Worldwide Zia made immense political
Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, mileage by aligning itself with
urged forbearance and fortitude the desire and designs of
on the part of Ahmadis. They extremist Muslim clergy. His
were to defend themselves claim to legitimacy was the
against attack but not to attack imposition of extreme laws in the
their persecutors. They were name of Islam which gained the
urged not to respond to assent of leading orthodox
provocation, nor even return Muslim clergy and instilled both
abuse for abuse but to continue to fear and subjugation in the rest of
smile. the population. The diversion he
found was by making the
When General Zia-ul-Haq, Ahmadiyya Community, a
Commander-in-Chief of the religious minority within
Pakistan Army, seized power in Pakistan, a scapegoat for his
1977 with a military coup, he did illegitimate government. With
so at the expense of international this lamentable stratagem of
condemnation and public outcry. exploiting religious sensi-bilities
Pakistan, despite a poor human for narrow political advantage,
rights record, was seen as a he would fan the embers of
democracy which now threat- religious intolerance in a
ened to degenerate into purported bid to exterminate
dictatorship. General Zia Ahmadiyyat from Pakistan. The
promised elections and a return persecution of Ahmadi Muslims
to democracy within 90 days, a became wholly legal and even
time which elapsed with no encouraged. Already indoc-
delivery on that promise. Instead, trinated by self-serving religious

18 The Review of Religions – May 2007


clergy, oppression of Ahmadi Promised Messiah(as) had

Muslims by their fellow citizens forewarned that the Community
intensified manifold. Ahmadi would face perse-cution in
Muslims were murdered in cold diverse ways. He had foretold of
blood and their murderers were various trials to which they
never apprehended. Ahmadiyya would be subjected. But he had
mosques were demolished, set on also prophesied ultimate victory
fire, or in most cases, desecrated. for the Community, if they
Ahmadi graves were defiled and remained steadfast in the face of
their very existence criminalised. trials and tribulations.
Strange as it may seem, the very
Community whose members As a leader, Huzur(ru) displayed a
were prepared to sacrifice their charismatic air of authority
life, wealth, time and honour on a which exuded moral deter-
global scale for the promotion mination and confidence alike.
and glory of Islam, was To inspire hope into the
denounced and excommunicated Community, Huzur(ru) called in
by the Muslim clergy and aid all his great talents; he had
government of the Islamic continuous recourse to advice
Republic of Pakistan. and exhortation, he set a high
personal example of steadfast-
It was during such time that ness and resignation to the
Allah Almighty took into His Divine Will and spent a good part
loving care, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir of his nights in earnest
Ahmad(ru) and his younger supplication. But it was one of
brother, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir his poems that struck a chord
Ahmad(ru), as Allah willed, was with the Community. The poem
appointed to take on the mantle put heart into millions of Ahmadi
of Khilafat. Muslims; it recognised their
despair, it gave expression to the
Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), pain and anguish they felt, but
like his predecessor, admonished also gave hope, promised final
patience and pra-yers. The victory and the downfall of the

The Review of Religions – May 2007 19


Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru)

Khalifatul Masih IV

20 The Review of Religions – May 2007


brutal regime. The tempest of surveillance of his secret services

persecution would collide with reporting all that was said by
the prayers they were offering Huzur(ru) in his many addresses.
and fade away as if they had Zia would also have noticed that
never arisen. The darkness of all his phenomenal persecution
persecution would pass away and and discrimination, including a
the tranquillity would illumine series of laws that created a
the dawning day. That he was separate electorate system for
Head of the Community at this Ahmadis, had failed to arrest the
time of travail was indeed a progress of the Community. His
manifestation of Divine outrage was transformed into
providence. more draconian laws that made
the most basic acts of worship by
While, however, Huzur(ru) admon- Ahmadi Muslims extra-legal.
ished patience and restraint, he This way he thought he could
himself was not prepared to let silence Huzur(ru) and curtail his
General Zia’s tyranny go actions and, as he hoped, check
unmentioned. He denounced Zia, the progress of the Community.
now President, in his Friday
Sermons and warned of Divine Before and after his election as
wrath and punishment if the Khalifatul Masih, Huzur(ru) was
President failed to mend his ways. well networked among the
Some members of the diplomatic corps. Around March
Community, fearful of Zia’s 1984, through these means, he
retribution, respectfully request- began to receive intimation that
ed Huzur(ru) not to be so forthright something was about to happen
but to no avail. Huzur(ru) continued though none of his contacts knew
with his condemnation. what exactly. He was, however,
strongly advised to leave
Zia, like all dictators, ruled with Islamabad where he had gone to
terror and took great exception to ascertain any details of the
any opposition. His response was imminent events.
to place the Community under

The Review of Religions – May 2007 21


The outcome of all this was made addresses, any person other
clear on 26th April 1984. The than a member of the family
President of Pakistan, General of the Holy Prophet
Zia-ul-Haq, was introducing Muhammad(saw), as Ahle-bait;
Sections 298B and 298C, or refers to, or names, or
collectively referred to as calls, his place of worship as
Ordinance XX, made under Masjid; shall be punished
martial law to the Pakistan Penal with imprisonment of either
Code. This ordinance explicitly description for a term which
undercut the activities of may extend to three years,
religious minorities generally, and shall also be liable to a
but struck Ahmadis in particular. fine.
According to Section 298B:
Any person of the Quadiani
Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group
group or the Lahori group (who call themselves
(who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or any other
‘Ahmadis’ or any other name) who by words, either
name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by
spoken or written, or by visible representation, refers
visible representation, refers to the mode or form of call to
to, or addresses, any person prayers followed by his faith
other than a Caliph or as ‘Azan’ or recites ‘Azan’ as
companion of the Holy used by Muslims, shall be
Prophet Muhammad(saw), as punished with imprisonment
‘Ameer-ul-Momineen’, of either description for a
‘Khalifatul Momineen’, term which may extend to
‘Sahaabi’ or ‘Razi Allah three years, and shall also be
Anho’; refers to, or addresses, liable to a fine.
any person other than a wife
of the Holy Prophet According to Section 298C:
Muhammad(saw) as ‘Ummul
Momineen’; refers to, or ‘Any person of the Quadiani

22 The Review of Religions – May 2007


group or the Lahori group gravestones, building mosques,

(who call themselves making the call to prayer and in
‘Ahmadis’ or any other effect, any public act of worship
name) who, directly or or devotion by an Ahmadi had all
indirectly, poses himself as a become criminal offences. The
Muslim, or calls, or refers to infamous ordinance completely
his faith as Islam, or undermined the crucial and basic
preaches or propagates his human right to manifest one’s
faith, or invites others to belief. It was a complete and
accept his faith, by words, utter blight on Islam – a religion
either spoken or written, or that otherwise had a good record
by visible representations, or on the question of tolerance even
in any manner whatsoever to other faiths. Ordinance XX
outrages the religious and its proscriptions was at best
feelings of Muslims, shall be an embarrassment to other good
punished with imprisonment Muslims in Pakistan with an
of either description for a understanding of the basic tenets
term which may extend to of the religion of Islam and at
three years, and shall also be worst, it was cruel, demonic and
liable to a fine.’ inhumane.

This ordinance was to come into Iain Adamson writes in A Man of

force effective immediately and God:
would override any orders or
decisions of courts. The ‘World reaction to the
ordinance in effect meant ordinance was one of
Ahmadis could no longer profess incredulity. Among Pakistan
their faith for fear of being lawyers, diplomats and
charged with ‘indirectly or businessmen there was a
directly posing as Muslim.’ sadness – sadness that their
Ahmadi publications, the use of country was sinking into total
any Islamic terminology on religious intolerance, sadness
wedding invitations or even that their country’s name was

The Review of Religions – May 2007 23


becoming synonymous with how could any judge or jury

infamous regimes that decide that someone was
oppressed its citizens because posing as a believer in any
of their colour or religion… religion if all that he did was
pray and observe the tenets of
‘The sheer illogicality of the that religion?’1
law depressed the lawyers
and judges of Pakistan. They In Rabwah, Huzur(ru) immedi-
had tried in the main to hold ately held counsel with the most
on to notions of justice and senior members of the
liberty. How, they asked, Community to deliberate and
could the state abrogate (sic) advise on the response to the
to itself the ability to define opprobrious ordinance. Huzur(ru)
what was, and what was not, was to later recount of this
Islam? meeting in A Man of God:

‘How could a particular ‘I was never in any way

number of Islamic divines, scared of General Zia. I had
even though they were in the criticised very openly in my
majority, consider that they, sermons. I had told him,
and they alone, could ‘Mend your ways and your
interpret the word of God as attitude. Cease this perse-
revealed in the Quran? cution or you will face the
Wrath of God.
‘How could a state justify its
suppression of the rights of a ‘But with this ordinance it
group of people to proclaim was a different kind of
its name and its beliefs, situation. It was not my safety
provided no anti-social or that was at stake, but my
criminal offence had been ability to speak out. With this
committed? law Zia could silence me as
the effective head of the
‘And, most important of all, Community. I could remain in

24 The Review of Religions – May 2007


Pakistan and speak out and appear before the authorities. His
then be put into prison. When personal safety would not be
I came out I could speak out secured at the cost of granting an
again and be put away for opportunity to the enemies of the
another three years. Community to calumniate the
office of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
‘In Ahmadiyyat you cannot Even if at the airport and when
choose another head while about to board, an order came
the first is living, even if he is requiring him to report to any
imprisoned and completely authority, he would not depart.
out of touch. So that would He was prepared to pay the
mean a headless community. ultimate price and lay down his
life for the cause of Ahmadiyyat.
‘The Khalifa is guided by He also instructed that there
God in his decisions; so he should be no mendacity or
cannot delegate his decisions duplicity about his departure. He
to a committee. Some would not change from his
decisions have to be taken by normal dress up to and including
the Khalifa and that decision the turban. In fact, he was in no
is final. If he were not able to way to be disguised and using a
take any decisions that could false passport was out of the
be a very dangerous question. These two points were
situation.’2 made repeatedly and
emphatically by Huzur(ru).
The advice to Huzur(ru) was
unanimous. He was to leave Having decided to leave
Pakistan and leave immediately. Pakistan, the most pertinent
Huzur(ru) agreed to this only with question was how to accomplish
the emphatic proviso that at the this. It was known that the
time of his departure no warrant headquarters were under surveil-
should have been issued for his lance and Zia was looking for
arrest or any charge brought any excuse to have him
against him requiring him to apprehended. Zia would not

The Review of Religions – May 2007 25


permit him to leave the country reasons for his advice but, as he
now that he, in his estimation, had given assurances that at least
almost had him where he wanted six seats would be made
– on the verge of arrest. available on the earlier flight, his
advice was duly accepted. It was
Looking ahead at that time, the not until later that he gave his
journey out of Pakistan seemed a explanation. The earlier flight
very perilous one. All roads was a direct flight to Europe
leading in and out of Rawbah while the latter touched down in
were under the surveillance of a Gulf state. Had knowledge of
Zia’s secret agencies, the phone his escape reached the Pakistani
lines were tapped and all authorities before or during his
conversations recorded. But it is brief interlude in the Gulf state, it
here that the evidence of Divine was almost certain General Zia
succour becomes manifest. At would have brought false charges
each stage, Allah Almighty against him and pressed for his
created such conditions as would arrest and extradition back to
ensure Huzur’s(ru) safe deliver- Pakistan.
ance. For instance, Huzur(ru) had
decided to take the latter of two Many people had seen various
weekly KLM flights, with which dreams leading up to the
airline he usually travelled. A infamous ordinance which por-
messenger was sent to Karachi to tended to the imminent
book the seats. On his return, he emigration of Huzur(ru) out of
reported that the KLM manager Pakistan. Further evidence of
had insisted that Huzur(ru) Divine support and assurance was
travelled on the earlier flight to come in the form of one such
which was scheduled for dream which has been related in
Monday, April 30th. This was this regard. Huzur’s(ru) decision to
despite the fact that this flight leave Pakistan was kept on an
was fully booked while the other absolute need-to-know basis so
had readily available seats. At much so that even some close
the time he did not advance any family members like his own

26 The Review of Religions – May 2007


sister had no idea he was about to noticed that the car instead of
emigrate. A secret escape plan going directly to Islamabad went
was agreed and knowledge of to Jehlum and stayed there for a
these details were even more night.
restricted so that some of those
with whom counsel had been held This was the dream recounted by
and again some family members Mr Usman Chou who had no
did not know these details. This knowledge of Huzur’s(ru) plans.
way the likelihood of an Amazingly, it contained the
erroneous slip was minimised. secret plan which had been
agreed upon earlier. Huzur’s(ru)
It was shortly after this that a interpretation of this dream was
letter addressed to Huzur(ru) from that Allah Almighty had
a senior member of the approved the plan and with that
Community of Chinese proven- he had absolute faith that it
ance, Mr Usman Chou, was would succeed. He, therefore,
received. In the letter Mr Usman suffered no worry or anxiety over
Chou recounted a dream he had its success.
had which, though he could not
unravel its meaning, believed it So it was that after the dawn
contained some sort of message prayers on Sunday 29th April,
for Huzur(ru). Huzur’s(ru) car, accompanied by
the usual entourage of security
In the dream he had seen that staff in cars to the front and rear
Huzur(ru) was about to embark on of Huzur’s(ru), was seen heading
a journey to Islamabad but when out of Rabwah. However, seated
he approached the car to pay his in the back seat of the car was not
respects he discovered that the car Huzur(ru) himself but his older
was empty. Shocked and brother, Mirza Munawar Ahmad,
distressed, he heard a voice wearing the long achkan coat and
telling him that Huzur(ru) had left turban which, though not exclu-
via another route and gone sive to him, was traditionally
abroad. Following the car, he worn by Huzur(ru). As it was still

The Review of Religions – May 2007 27


prior to daybreak and the sun had aircraft to Europe. Here again
not yet arisen fully, most another dream has been related
Ahmadis did not notice this and which foretold of events to
presumed Huzur(ru) was embark- happen, though at the time, no
ing on a brief journey to one knew to what it pertained.
Islamabad. Most importantly, Huzur’s(ru) second daughter,
four of the five surveillance team Sahibzadi Faiza Luqman Sahiba,
installed by General Zia also had seen in a dream that Huzur(ru)
presumed it was Huzur(ru) on his was leaving on a journey and was
way to Islamabad. They reported on an isolated road in one of two
this to their superiors and cars though they were not his
proceeded to shadow the usual cars. On the way, they were
entourage on its way. Later when forced to slow down when
the entourage headed for Jehlum, approaching a place where it
they reported that Huzur(ru) was appeared road works were being
not heading directly to Islamabad carried out. However, no
but planned a brief sojourn in workmen could be seen but as
Jehlum. This was nothing they slowed down suddenly she
unusual as Huzur(ru) had a cousin saw some beggars approaching.
there and had stayed overnight Their appearance perturbed her.
there many a time on his way to Suddenly a hand appeared from
Islamabad. The surveillance the car in front and scattered
teams and their superiors were some one rupee notes. As most
aware of this. of the beggars ran to gather the
money the cars moved past them
It was thus that the plan and gathered speed again.
conceived and given Divine
assurance in a dream to Mr This dream was related by
Usman Chou was executed and Huzur’s(ru) daughter at a time
executed successfully. Yet this when no one in the family knew
was hardly the end of the road. about his imminent departure.
Huzur(ru) still had to head out of What happened was that much
Rabwah to Karachi and onto an before Huzur’s(ru) entourage was

28 The Review of Religions – May 2007


seen leaving Rabwah on 29th car with his wife and two
April, at around 2 a.m. Huzur had youngest daughters with some
left Rabwah in two other cars security staff in the car in front.
which were not his usual ones Between Lalian and Jhang, the
taking a minor road leading to road was badly damaged and was
the small town of Lalian and then being repaired. The military
on to Jhang and then to the main intelligence had taken advantage
road to Karachi. In those days, no of this and set up one of the five
visa had to be obtained before surveillance teams there dressed
travelling from Pakistan like it is as beggars, though they all
these days: again, another sign of looked healthy and wore army
Divine succour. Any Pakistani boots under their gowns.
could travel to the UK and on
arrival apply for entry clearance As the cars slowed down, the
which then was at the discretion putative beggars headed towards
of the immigration officer to the second car which would have
grant or refuse. Had a visa been a meant certain discovery of
prerequisite, Huzur(ru) would Huzur(ru) when one of the security
have had to go to the British staff in the first car opened his
High Commission to seek entry window and threw out some one
clearance prior to travelling. No rupee notes. The beggars ran for
doubt this would have brought them and Huzur’s(ru) car moved
his plans to the attention of the forward, gathered speed and was
Pakistani authorities. It was only on its way again. Amazingly,
six months after Huzur(ru) these events happened exactly as
migration that the immigration Huzur’s(ru) daughter had related
rules were changed such that in her dream, even down to the
entry clearance had to be denomination of the rupee notes
obtained prior to travelling to the handed out by the security staff.
United Kingdom from Pakistan.
Some of the beggars who did run
Returning to the events of that for the money thrown stared into
night, Huzur(ru) was in the second both cars. They were to report

The Review of Religions – May 2007 29


later that they thought Huzur(ru) authorities. They had not granted
was on his way to Jhang and so permission for the aircraft to take
could be heading for Karachi. off.
But this report conflicted with
that of the other four surveillance Huzur’s(ru) security staff were
teams who had reported that trying in vain to conceal their
Huzur(ru) was on his way to worry and anxiety. His two
Islamabad via Jehlum. It was youngest daughters at the time
thus ignored. Yet again, it could too young to appreciate the
be seen that Huzur(ru) was under magnitude of the matter fell
the canopy of Allah’s protection. asleep. Huzur’s(ru) wife, naturally,
became full of trepidation. In
The 750-mile journey to Karachi Cave Thaur when the enemy
Airport was accomplished almost apprehended the Holy
without any difficulty. At the Prophet(saw) and Hadhrat Abu
airport, Huzur(ru) and his Bakr(ra) during their migration to
entourage were shown to a Madinah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr(ra)
private room and one hour before became extremely anxious. The
the scheduled departure time of 2 Holy Prophet(saw) sought to
a.m., he went through immi- assuage him by giving him
gration and passport control. He assurance of Divine protection.
then returned to his private room Here it was Huzur(ru) who sought
and waited for the call to board to allay his wife’s fears. As he
the plane. The time came for the sat waiting, he had an
gates to be opened but there was impeccable trust in Allah.
no call. Instead, it was
announced that departure would The minutes dragged by slowly.
be delayed. The KLM manager It was patently obvious that the
had assured Huzur(ru) the flight delay was due to Huzur’s(ru)
would take off on time. Now the presence but the details of what
manager came in to apologise for was going on in the background
the delay saying it was the only came to light months later.
responsibility of the airport The passport officers at the

30 The Review of Religions – May 2007


airport had in front of them a day, two o’clock in the morning,

banning order issued directly no one could be reached who
from General Zia. It had gone to could make a definitive
all airports, seaports and border pronouncement on the matter.
check posts. But here again the They concluded it must have been
grand Divine design became an outdated order. Finally,
manifest. The banning order therefore, an hour after the
stated that “Mirza Nasir Ahmad scheduled departure time,
who calls himself the Khalifa of Huzur(ru), his wife and two
the Ahmadiyya Movement” was daughters, Chaudhry Hameed
not to be allowed to leave Nasrullah Khan, then Amir of
Pakistan. Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Lahore and Huzur’s(ru) Head of
Ahmad(ru) was Khalifatul Masih Security went aboard the aircraft
III and had passed away almost for the eight-hour direct flight to
two years before. But General Amsterdam.
Zia had dealt mostly with
Khalifatul Masih III(ru) so that Now that Huzur(ru), by the grace of
when he came to issue the Allah, was safely aboard the plane
banning order, it was his name on his way to London, via
that he inadvertently wrote. Amsterdam, plans needed to be
made to receive him appro-
The cause of the delay is now priately. Officials of the Jama’at
manifest. Huzur’s passport both in Amsterdam and London
clearly stated his name, ‘Mirza needed to be informed but it was
Tahir Ahmad’, and profession, felt that, as the phone lines were
‘Head of the Ahmadiyya tapped, they had to wait until the
Movement’. This was the mix-up plane had gone past Turkey, the
that Passport Control officers at last of the Muslim states it flew
Karachi airport had in front of over, before telephoning London.
them. During the delay they tried
to contact Islamabad to see if At around 2:30a.m. London time,
someone could clear up the Mr Masud Ahmad, then Wakil-ul-
confusion but at that time of the Tabshir (Head of Foreign

The Review of Religions – May 2007 31


The passport on which the Khalifa

openly left Pakistan.

Missions), made the call from time, also Amir, Jama’at

Pakistan to the residence of Ahmadiyya UK. After exchang-
Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, ing greetings, he asked Imam
Missionary In-charge UK, Imam Sahib to get ready. Imam Sahib
of the London Mosque and, at that responded that he was ready but

32 The Review of Religions – May 2007


inquired for what purpose. While his wife started cleaning

Huzur(ru) will be arriving in the apartment, throwing all
London, he was told. Thinking possessions indiscriminately into
that Huzur(ru) would be arriving in bed sheets to be knotted and made
a week or two, and hence still not into bundles, Imam Sahib
un-nerved, Imam Sahib casually telephoned Mr.Abdul Hakim
enquired as to when he would be Akmal, then Missionary In-
arriving. The response brought charge, Holland, and gave him
with it all anxiety. Huzur(ru) would detailed instructions as to how
be arriving 8 a.m. London time Huzur(ru) was to be received and
that same day. They needed to that the information of his arrival
wait until the flight was was to be communicated
approaching Europe before immediately to London. He then
telephoning London. set about clearing out his office in
readiness for Huzur’s(ru) arrival
Imam Sahib recalls he and his and use. An emergency meeting
wife first performed their of the National Executive was
ablutions and offered prayers convened at the London Mosque
beseeching Allah’s help in the immediately after the morning
discharge of the enormous task of prayers held at 4:30 a.m. Various
organising for Huzur’s(ru) recep- roles and responsibilities were
tion. The London Mission was delineated.
still very much small scale at the
time and, apart from a small The flight having been delayed on
guesthouse, the only other take-off was late in arriving so
premises belonging to the that it caused moments of great
Community was the apartment of anxiety among the members in
Imam Sahib where it was decided London. Finally came the news of
Huzur(ru) would best be Huzur’s(ru) arrival in Holland from
accommodated while Imam Sahib where Huzur(ru) himself tele-
and his family moved to the small phoned to say he would be taking
guesthouse. a later connecting flight to
London so that his arrival in

The Review of Religions – May 2007 33


London was around 11 a.m. local voice was, therefore, hoarse. But
time. it was also full of emotion and the
prostrations before Allah
At Heathrow Airport, London, Almighty, no doubt in gratitude
Huzur(ru) was cheerful and jovial for his deliverance, were long and
despite being compelled to leave absorbed.
his beloved Pakistan. He
exhibited physical signs of fatigue After the prayers, Huzur(ru) gave
but he seemed to have a resolve intimation of his intention to
and determination about him. On address the members of the UK
the way to the London Mosque Community after the Asr prayers
one of the first things he enquired which then were at 5p.m. and
about was the timing of the noon requested that the necessary
prayers, Zuhr. He wanted to know arrangements be made. He then
if they would make it back in retired to his apartment for some
time. Being told the time and rest.
being familiar with London, he
confirmed himself that they A coded telex had been sent as
would be there on time. soon as news was received of
Huzur’s arrival in Amsterdam by
At the London Mosque, some 300 Anwar Kahlon Sahib, then
members had gathered to National President of the UK
welcome Huzur(ru). On his arrival, Community to his brother-in-law
despite a long and tiring journey, in Rabwah which caused some
Huzur(ru) met and shook hands perplexity. It simply said,
with all the men, went over to ‘Valuable package sent to
greet the ladies briefly before Amsterdam has arrived safely.
going upstairs to prepare for Zuhr Will arrive in London shortly.’
prayers which he promptly came Not being among those who were
out to lead. In Pakistan, he had in on the secret he could not
been required to speak very decipher the message. Enquiries
loudly as the use of public address around his office having failed to
systems were forbidden. His discover the sender, he phoned

34 The Review of Religions – May 2007


his wife to find out if she had It is related that the news that
sent any package. She replied Huzur(ru) had left Pakistan, his
that she had not, then banning order notwithstanding,
momentarily recalled that there sent General Zia wild with rage.
were certain rumours about There must have been collusion,
Huzur’s(ru) departure from he concluded. Immigration
Pakistan. She therefore sug- officials at Karachi airport were
gested he took the telex to the suspended and commissions of
Amir. inquiry launched in all directions.
Senior police officers were to
This was the news those who receive direct calls from the office
were in on the secret had been of General Zia demanding that
waiting for. In a matter of they produced the Head of the
moments, the news had spread Ahmadiyya Community. But it
throughout Rabwah and to all was all in vain. God works in
Ahmadi Communities across mysterious ways.
Pakistan. Naturally, they were
saddened to see Huzur(ru) leave in It is believed Huzur(ru) escaped
such circumstances yet there was arrest by a matter of hours.
relief everywhere and gratitude Before news of his escape had
to Allah Almighty for Huzur’s(ru) become public, the Governor of
deliverance. General Zia had the Punjab had telephoned
intended to silence Huzur(ru) as leaving a message that Huzur(ru)
the effective head of the was to report immediately to his
Community. He had very evil office in Lahore. Had that been
designs. But right under his nose received before his departure,
and with the worldly might and Huzur(ru) would not have departed
power at his disposal, Huzur(ru) as he had already stipulated that
had left Pakistan without he would not leave the country
disguise, without any charge and under such circumstances. Had
without the slightest stain on his he gone to Lahore, it is believed
character. he would have been arrested on
some fabricated criminal charge.

The Review of Religions – May 2007 35


Back in London, Huzur(ru) seek private audiences with him

addressed the huge crowd that in those days. If he needed help
had assembled at the London or consultation he would himself
Mosque in the evening. He gave invite that person to an audience.
a detailed insight into the At the end of the address, Huzur
situation in Pakistan including led a very solemn and heart-
the evil designs of the govern- rending silent prayer.
ment and explained the reasons
behind his decision to emigrate. Thus was concluded one of the
He reiterated that he had been most remarkable and historic
prepared to lay down his life but milestones in the annals of the
it was for the benefit of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Community he had sought It will always be remembered for
Divine guidance through the manifest Divine succour
supplication and then arrived at Huzur(ru) received at every stage
his decision. He touched upon of his journey out of Pakistan and
the dreams that certain members for the remarkable success the
had had in relation to his Community enjoyed under
migration and also some of his Huzur’s(ru) dynamic leadership in
own dreams through which Allah the post-migration period.
had given him glad-tidings of his
deliverance. Huzur(ru) admonis-
hed the Community never to give References
in to opposition. He requested A Man of God, pp.186-188 – by Iain
the entire Community to prepare Adamson.
for the great many achievements
that now lay ahead. Everyone Bibliography
A Man of God – by Iain Adamson
would be called upon to render
Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru),
services to the Community. He
Tariq Commemorative Edition – by
himself would be pre-occupied Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK
with highly significant future
planning, so he requested the
Community in the UK not to

36 The Review of Religions – May 2007

The Star of David
Fact or Fiction?
By Maidah Ahmad – Canada

Introduction questions: does the symbol have a

The six-pointed star, consisting of common origin? Can the symbol
two interlocking triangles, has really be associated with the great
become the most common and King David, the Israelite Prophet?
universally recognised sign of Or has the symbol been used by
Judaism and Jewish identity. The different religions and organi-
star, most commonly referred to as sations merely because of its
the ‘Star of David’, in Hebrew is simple and attractive geometric
called ‘The Magen David’, which design? Without providing any
literally translates as the ‘Shield of definitive answers, the article
David’. Interestingly, on closer serves as an introduction to the
examination we find that the star history of this universal symbol.
has only achieved the status of
being the ‘official emblem’ of Jewish use of the symbol
Judaism in the last two hundred In modern times the Star of David
years. Before this it rarely has become the prime Jewish
appeared in Jewish works. In fact, symbol. It appears on the flag of
the symbol is not exclusive to the Jewish state of Israel and the
Judaism. Rather its usage pre- Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross
dates Judaism and can be found in and is known as the Magen David
architectural and literary works of Adom (ie the Red Star of David).
other religions and organisations However, the important question
throughout history. to be asked is what is the earliest
known record of the usage of the
This article will discuss some of Star of David?
the theories relating to the origins
of the symbol. In doing so, the The earliest known Jewish use of
article will explore several key the Star, or hexagram, was as a

The Review of Religions – May 2007 37


seal in ancient Israel in the 6th the Jewish view of God, which
Century BCE and then eight permits no images of God, is
centuries later in a synagogue in opposed to the use of any symbols
Capernaum. But these early and neither the Bible nor the
hexagrams may have only been Talmud recognises their
architectural features rather than existence. Furthermore, although

having any religious significance. King David(as) is recognised as a

This is reinforced by the fact that mighty warrior King, no mention
the hexagram appears more is made of him possessing a
frequently on churches and other specific type of shield.
religious and even non-religious
buildings than on synagogues and Rather, as mentioned previously,
Jewish ritual objects. In fact it was we find that it was only in the 17th
the menorah (the seven branched Century, following Jewish
candelabrum) which served as the emancipation after the French
primary Jewish symbol until the revolution, that Jewish com-
post-Renaissance period around munities chose the Star of David
the 1600s, not the six-sided star. to represent themselves, compa-
rable to the cross used by most
Interestingly, the use of the Christians. It was also in this time-
menorah as a Jewish symbol can period that it became common
be traced back to the Bible. The practice to put the hexagram on
design itself is taken from the outside of synagogues. In both
instructions for construction of the cases, the primary purpose was as
menorah found in Exodus 25:31- a means of identity.
40. Can the same be said for the
six-sided star? Does the Bible The Magen David gained
mention the symbol or its popularity as a symbol of Judaism
association with King David(as)? when it was adopted as the
emblem of the Zionist movement
On close examination, we find that in 1897. Moreover, when Theodor
there is no Biblical evidence Herzl, founder of modern day
whatsoever that such a symbol Zionism, chose the Star it was
existed in ancient Judaism. In fact because it was so well-known and

38 The Review of Religions – May 2007


also because it had no religious cultures as a symbol of magic to

associations. Today, although it adorn and decorate artefacts and
appears in the centre of the Israeli buildings. In fact, so entrenched
flag, there was much debate over has the symbol become in Muslim
whether this symbol should be societies that the seal of Solomon
used at all. appears on the national flag and
coat of arms of Morocco.
Having looked at its Jewish usage,
before we look at its occurrence in Another theory about the origin of
other religions, we need to answer the shape is that it is simply 2 of
the question of why it is called the the 3 letters in the name David. In
Star of David. In other words is the its Hebrew spelling, David
symbol associated with Prophet contains only 3 characters, 2 of
David(as), and if so, how? which are ‘D’. In ancient times,
this letter was written in a form
Association with Prophet much like a triangle, similar to the
David ?(as) Greek letter ‘Delta’. The symbol
There is no shortage of scholars may have formed by flipping and
who attempt to trace the Star back juxtaposing the two most
to Prophet David(as) as the name prominent letters in the name.
itself suggests. Jewish legendsii Some researchers have theorised
speak of a magical shield that the Star of David represents
possessed by King David(as) which the astrological chart at the time of
protected him from his enemies. David’s birth or anointment as
Other legends taken from Jewish, king. However, there is no
Christian and Islamic traditions,iii evidence to support these claims.
speak of a magical five-sided or
some times six-sided star ring of Prophet David(as) in the Holy
Prophet Solomon(as), son of King Qur’an
David, which protected him from Islam is also another religion
evil spirits. This ring is often which speaks highly of King
referred to as the Seal of Solomon David(as), and although the Holy
and has been used by Muslims Qur’an speaks of the great feats
from different countries and which King David(as) made, no

The Review of Religions – May 2007 39


mention is made of a supposedly making of coats of mail…’ This

magical shield possessed by him. again is reference to the military
might of David(as) and to his great
In chapter 27 verse 16 the Holy skill in making implements of war
Qur’an states: and coats of mail. Prophet David(as)
invented and developed various
And we gave knowledge to kinds of armour by means of
David and Solomon, and they which he made great conquests.
said, ‘All praise belongs to
Allah, Who has exalted us Developing this description,
above many of His believing chapter 34 verse 11 states, ‘And
servants. certainly, We bestowed grace upon
David from Ourselves… And we
Thus, David(as) was certainly a true made iron soft for him’. This
messenger of God. In fact the reinforces the idea that David was
Holy Qur’an tells us he was a particularly gifted in the art of war
great warrior and statesmen. He and making of weaponry. So,
was the founder of the Judean perhaps he developed a shield
dynasty and it was in his reign that which had some form of triangular
the Israelites reached the zenith of structure?
their power and prosperity. In
another chapter of the Holy However, if these theories were
Qur’an,iv Allah states that the true and King David(as) had
mountains and birds were invented a revolutionary shield
subjected to David(as). Rather than design, there would be further
taking literally the meaning of the evidence in the form of pictures,
verse and thus alluding magical drawings and instructions for con-
powers to King David(as), one struction. After all, three of the
explanation given for this verse is world’s major religions claim
that David(as) subjugated wild and association with King David(as).
savage mountain tribes.v Indeed in
his reign all the tribes of Israel Meanings attributed to the
became united. The next verse symbol
states ‘…And We taught him the Explanations also exist on the

40 The Review of Religions – May 2007


meaning of the symbol, which are grams in Hinduism, Buddhism and

not necessarily specific to Jainism. In Hinduism, for example,
Judaism. the hexagram is called the
Shatkona, a combination of the
One idea is that a six-pointed star elements of fire, representing
receives form and substance from female energy and water,
its solid center. This inner core representing masculine energy.vii
represents the spiritual dimension, The hexagram is also known as the
surrounded by the six universal ‘King’s Star’ in astrological circles
directions. Another idea is that the and was an important astrological
six points of the Star symbolise symbol in Zoroastrianism.
God’s rule over the universe in all
six directions: north, south, east, In a non-religious context, the
west, up and hexagram is considered the most
powerful of all the signs of the
Anthropologists claim that the occult. It is a symbol associated
triangle pointing downward with magic and the Satan. It is
represents female sexuality, and the used mainly in witchcraft to
triangle pointing upward, male summon demons from the world.
sexuality; thus, their combination In fact, the word ‘hex’ which
symbolises unity and harmony. means to place a curse on
someone, originated from this
Use of symbol around the world word.
The different meanings attributed
to the symbol reinforce the idea Conclusion
that the symbol has been used by Given the lack of evidence for the
different people around the world. symbol’s existence in religious
One thing is quite certain, that the scriptures, it is difficult to
six-sided star pre-dates Judaism associate the symbol with Divine
and is not exclusive to Judaism but origins or its being in any way
rather is common around the world related to King David. In fact, as
and throughout history. It can be mentioned previously, Judaism
found on ancient Indian temples specifically forbids the use of
and appears in cosmological dia- symbols. Although, it can be said

The Review of Religions – May 2007 41


that the Hexagram has been References

mentioned in early Jewish i. Jewish Encyclopaedia, p.251.
legends, as well as Christian and ii. The oldest Jewish text
Islamic traditions, in all three mentioning a shield of David is
cases the symbol is associated contained in an explanation of
with magic, mysticism and a magical ‘alphabet of the
folklore, rather than having any angel Metatron’ ... among the
philosophical religious meaning. Hasidei Ashkenaz of the 12th
Century, Jewish Encyc-
Similarly, the hexagram appears in lopaedia.
other religions and non-religious iii. It is for instance mentioned in
organisations, but again mainly as Arabian Nights, the Medieval
a symbol of magic or merely Middle Eastern literary epic.
because of its attractive geometric iv. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter
design. 21: Verse 80. Edited by Malik
Ghulam Farid, Published
The near-universal recognition of 2002.
the symbol today as being a v. English Commentary of the
Jewish symbol, by Jews and non- Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat
Jews alike, does not necessarily Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Chapter
mean that it is intrinsic to Judaism. 21, Edited by Malik Ghulam
It is, perhaps, more so a reflection Farid, Published 2002.
of the importance and power of vi. Mark O’Connell, The
identity politics in this age. Illustrated Encyclopaedia of
Signs & Symbols, (2005:
vii. Mahendra Jani, What you will
see inside a Hindu Temple,
(2005: Vermont).

42 The Review of Religions – May 2007

An independant report (reproduced with prior permission) that destroys the
myth that being a majority in their headquarter, Ahmadis may be able to obtain
police protection. A chilling reminder of the ostracisation of Ahmadi Muslims in
Pakistan, their continuing persecution and the absence of any protection by the
authorities in Pakistan.

Part three
Report of the UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group mission to Pakistan
into internal flight for Ahmadis. Foreword by Lord Avebury. Mission
members: Frances Allen, Michael Ellman, Jonathan Ensor.
By Dr Jonathan Ensor – UK

Protection in Rabwah important when considering the

This section considers the potential risks to and protection
protection available for Ahmadis for Ahmadis in Rabwah. The
in Rabwah. Three types of pro- following material should
tection are identified: community therefore be read taking account
protection, meaning the security of the perspective offered in the
offered to Ahmadis as a result of section 2, ‘The Position of
living in an Ahmadi-majority Ahmadis in Pakistan’.
town; state protection, including
the effectiveness of the police Community protection
and judiciary protecting the The mission asked all the sources
interests of Ahmadis in Rabwah; their views on the protection
and the social and economic available to Ahmadis in Rabwah
conditions that define everyday that flowed from the town’s
life for residents of Rabwah. As status as the headquarters of the
with section 3, an understanding Ahmadi community in Pakistan.
of the national context is Faiz ur Rehman, President,

The Review of Religions – May 2007 43


Amnesty International Pakistan offer a refuge for those targeted

noted that it is only in Rabwah elsewhere in Pakistan, the HRCP
where the Ahmadis are in the explained that if an Ahmadi was
majority and as a result an pursued across Pakistan, they
Ahmadi may be a little safer in would be caught by their
Rabwah compared to a town or persecutor in Rabwah. Clarifying
village where they are in a small this point, the HRCP [Human
minority. Those from outside Rights Commission of Pakistan]
Rabwah mays therefore, flee stated that safety in Rabwah
there if they are in fear in their depends on the nature of the
home area. However, Mr persecution and/or on the
Rehman pointed out that Khatme influence of the persecutor. For
Nabuwwat have an office in example, if a neighbour wishes
Rabwah. Thus, whilst those who to take over an Ahmadi’s
flee to Rabwah might gain safety business by capital-ising on anti-
for a period of time, fear of Ahmadi sentiment, then the job
Khatme Nabuwwat is ever of the persecutor is complete
present. As noted previously, the once the Ahmadi has left the
Islamabad Chapter of Khatme local community. However,
Nabuwwat stated that they want should the persecutor be a person
it to be known that Rabwah is a of influence or means, they may
part of Pakistan and that there is use this to follow their target to
no exclusive city in Pakistan for Rabwah as well. Alternatively, in
Ahmadis. a case such as an inheritance
conflict between two brothers,
Broadly agreeing with Mr where one is Ahmadi and the
Rehman, the HRCP explained other wishes to take the whole of
that whilst Rabwah is safer than the inheritance, then the Ahmadi
most other places in Pakistan for will be pursued wherever he goes
Ahmadis, there are instances of to prevent him from claiming his
violence here as well. When share. Similarly, if an Ahmadi is
asked about whether Rabwah can accused of causing harm then the

44 The Review of Religions – May 2007


high level of enmity involved necessary. The community stated

will mean that it will be very that day to day security was a
difficult for the Ahmadi to find heavy burden on the community
protection anywhere, including whose resources are essentially
in Rabwah. In short, if the charitable. However, it is seen as
persecutor is sufficiently willing essential given the lack of
and/ or able then the object of security for Ahmadi persons or
their persecution will remain property in Rabwah provided by
unsafe in Rabwah. The HRCP the authorities.
explained that the best way for an
Ahmadi to protect her or himself State protection
is to hide his/her religion: living The mission were informed by
in Rabwah has the opposite the Ahmadi Community
effect as it is the focus of Khatme Representatives that they cannot
Nabuwwat and living in the town look to the police or the Courts
marks a person out as an for protection in Rabwah. The
Ahmadi. community could not give an
example of the police having
When asked whether the Ahmadi provided protection to an
community provides any security Ahmadi in Rabwah and,
for its own members, the Ahmadi moreover, highlighted the
Community Representatives numerous incidences in which
explained they maintain a system the police or government have
similar to neighbourhood watch been the instigators of FIRs
that is particularly vigilant during against Ahmadis (outlined in
the night. Younger members of detail in section 3.1). The
the community also provide mission were informed that the
protection to the elders. These state provides no protection to
security personnel are unarmed, senior Ahmadi figures or
but some sensitive sites may be mosques at Rabwah, except for a
protected by armed members of symbolic presence at the central
the community if it is judged mosque at Friday prayers. The

The Review of Religions – May 2007 45


Representatives described how Similar views were expressed by

during the Khatme Nabuwwat other sources that the mission
conference in Rabwah the police consulted. Faiz ur Rehman,
line the streets and look on as President, Amnesty International
Khatme Nabuwwat members Pakistan stated that nowhere,
march through the town, including Rabwah, is safe for
chanting ‘filthy, dirty slogans’ Ahmadis as the police would
and vandalising Ahmadi refuse to give protection to an
property. In explaining the Ahmadi. When asked if the
problems with relying on the police might react differently in
state for protection in Rabwah, Rabwah to elsewhere in
the mission’s attention was Pakistan, Mr Rehman explained
directed to a recent incident in that whilst it is not impossible, it
which Hafiz Tahir Mahmud has not happened. He explained
Ashrafi, Advisor to the Chief that, as the example of violence
Minister of the Punjab for the in Jhando Sahi demonstrates (see
Promotion of Religious Appendix B8), even relatively
Harmony, appeared as special senior and educated local police
guest at a Khatme Nabuwwat officers find that their hands are
conference held at Sargodha on 5 tied by their superiors when
September 2006 (Rabwah is dealing with Ahmadi cases. The
within Punjab state and therefore testimony of ‘ZB’, recorded in
within Mr Ashrafi’s purview). Appendix A, illustrates the
The Ahmadi Community reluctance of the police to
Representatives concluded that if become involved in Ahmadi
someone fled to Rabwah fearing cases. ‘ZB’ told the mission that
attack in their home area there her husband was attacked by a
would be no police protection mob in Sialkot following an edict
available to them. Indeed, the against him proclaimed by
police are seen by the community Mullah Manzoor, the local head
as actively protecting the of Khatme Nabuwwat. The
Mullahs and their followers. Sialkot police refused to enter an

46 The Review of Religions – May 2007


FIR against his attackers, The mission received several

advising instead that ‘if you want explanations for the apparent
to save your life, get away from limitations on state protection for
here.’ ‘ZB’ also describes the Ahmadis. The Senior
failure of the police to provide Government Advisor explained
protection in Rabwah, as he that the social pressure around the
subsequently fled to Rabwah Ahmadi issue, detailed in section
where he was shot at following 2.1, has a real effect on all levels
the distribution of his photograph of the police and judiciary. When
at a Khatme Nabuwwat blasphemy cases are being heard
conference in Rabwah. Abdul people protest outside the court
Shakoor (recorded in Appendix and this has a tangible impact on
A) describes how the police do decisions: this can be seen in
not prevent local mullahs from cases that have been quashed in
congregating and shouting abuse the higher courts due to
outside his shop in Rabwah on a unsustainable findings of fact
regular basis. Mr Shakoor told rather than on a legal basis (see
the mission that the mullahs also the testimony of Abdul
congregate about four times each Shakoor, recorded Appendix A,
year, most recently three months for an example of the higher
prior to the mission’s visit. The court quashing blasphemy
HRCP agreed generally that cases). The Senior Government
speaking to the police does not Advisor emphasised that, gener-
help Ahmadis. The HRCP ally speaking, the police are not
pointed out that whilst the Punjab well educated: they believe the
government has never stated that preaching of the mullahs and act
it will protect Ahmadis in accordingly to protect their
Rabwah, it has spoken out to religion. The HRCP concurred
defend police actions against with the Senior Government
Ahmadi people or property in Advisor, describing how the
Rabwah. judiciary takes its cue from the
political orientation of the district

The Review of Religions – May 2007 47


and noting that the numerical extremists: nothing equivalent to

strength of the police is small. that provided for government
The HRCP described the District ministers is available for
Courts as ‘completely subser- members of the police or
vient to the police’, who in turn judiciary who suffer intimidation
are in no position to resist a mob or threats. Through his work, Mr
raised by a local mullah. Thus Rehman was aware of specific
District Courts will give sen- cases where judges had been
tences such as amputation, and threatened in this way and were
rely on the higher courts to quash forced into hiding. The HRCP
the case. The higher courts do not also noted that they have
tend to make comments on the documented instances where the
conduct of the lower courts in government has replaced judges
blasphemy cases. In explaining whose decisions challenge the
the intimidation and pressure on government’s viewpoint and
the police and judiciary, the gave an example from 2005 in
HRCP referred to the impact of which the government removed
‘professional persecutors’ the armed guard from an Anti-
among the anti-Ahmadi mullahs. Terrorist Judge – an act that
The mullahs demonstrate outside ‘effectively blackmails Judges’
all the courts, up to and including into following the government
the High Court. However, only line. In the same vein, the British
judges in the High Court receive High Commission (BHC) noted
any protection and this is that they had been approached by
minimal compared with that a lawyer seeking protection
provided for politicians, ren- following his involvement in
dering the whole judiciary blasphemy cases against
particularly susceptible to threats Christians.
from extremists. Mr Rehman
explained that there is no real The HRCP also pointed out that
system in place to protect judges justice in Pakistan is ‘class
who try to challenge the conscious’. High profile people

48 The Review of Religions – May 2007


with social standing may be able presented by discriminatory

to have their case transferred to legislation are compounded by
the High Court – the HRCP the practical behaviour of the
know of five or six cases where authorities: the police are
such applications have been reluctant to register FIRs or take
successful for high profile measures against those accused
individuals. However, the High of attacking Ahmadis; they will
Court would routinely reject an refuse to give protection to
application from an ordinary Ahmadis who fear attack; and
individual, even if they had the judges will not take positive
financial means to make this measures to conclude or dismiss
course available to them. blasphemy cases for fear of
Overall, the HRCP’s conclusion reprisals by extremists.
regarding state protection holds
as true in Rabwah as outside it: The mission sought further details
the social and political sensitivity of state protection from DSP
of the term ‘Ahmadi’, taken Tatla, in Rabwah, and his senior
together with the weakness of officer DPO Salimi in Jhang. DSP
state protection in the face of the Tatla explained that he had only
Mullahs, mean that as far as the been in post for four months and
Ahmadis are concerned, the that he had little knowledge of
judiciary do not exist as an events in Rabwah before his
option for protection. No one arrival. DSP Tatla stated that there
dares to prosecute the Mullahs are four Police Stations in the
for incitement: there would be district of Rabwah. Two relate to
too strong a backlash. The best the town, one with an Inspector, 3
defence for an Ahmadi is to hide Sub-Inspectors, 3 Assistant Sub-
his belief – but this is harder Inspectors, one Duty Officer, 5
within Rabwah where it is Head Constables and 20
presumed that residents are Constables; and one inside the
Ahmadi. Mr Rehman concluded city with one Sub-Inspector and
that the problems for Ahmadis one Head Constable with 8

The Review of Religions – May 2007 49


constables. Rabwah had they arrest the person with the

previously formed part of an 8- cooperation with the Police
station area. DSP Tatla could not station where the FIR was issued.
say if there were any Ahmadis in In DSP Tatla’s experience, most
his force, but the Ahmadi of the FIRs issued in Rabwah are
Community Representatives and requested by the general public
the HRCP both stated that the in Rabwah; he knew of none
police in Rabwah are all non- instigated by people from outside
Ahmadi. DSP Tatla explained that Rabwah. He could give two
it is the police’s job is to ensure examples from his service in
law and order in the area and to Rabwah, both from September
protect the people and property. 2006. One was in relation to
The main problems are domestic ‘objectionable material’ in the
and neighbourhood disputes, and newspaper ‘Alfazal’ (noted
some theft. He confirmed that no above) and the other was against
special protection is provided for a Khatme Nabuwwat clergyman
senior members of Ahmadi for shouting slogans against
Community, but also assured the Shias and Ahmadis. The mission
mission that there had been no were informed by the Ahmadi
serious problems between Community Representatives that
Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis there have been incidents where
during his tenure in Rabwah. the police, having attended the
home of a person named in an
DSP Tatla explained that if an FIR and not finding him there,
FIR is entered against someone had taken family members to the
in Rabwah, the police arrest the police station and detained them.
person with co-operation These arrests were not recorded
between the two police stations at the police station and the
covering Rabwah town. Where family members were not
an FIR is issued by someone charged. When asked, DSP Tatla
outside Rabwah in respect of insisted that the police do not
person residing in Rabwah then interrogate family members of

50 The Review of Religions – May 2007


accused people, unless they are discuss it with his District Co-
personally concerned in the ordinating Officer, with whom
charge. the decision would lie.

DSP Tatla stated that in his time DPO Salimi stated that generally
in Rabwah Khatme Nabuwwat there were no problems in
had organised conferences in Rabwah. However, he told the
Rabwah. Khatme Nabuwwat had mission that he is aware of the
held a conference in September: particular issues and problems in
100 policemen were there to Rabwah and for Ahmadis. The
provide security for 5-6,000 DPO was clear in acknowledging
people. There was no march then that the law was not in favour of
or during his tenure. Permission the Ahmadis. He knew there was
is required for such conferences generally one main conference
from the District Police Officer each year held by the mullahs but
and the local Mayor. DPO Salimi assured the mission that if there
was aware of applications by was shouting and slogans, the
both Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis police would register an FIR.
for permission to hold Similarly, anyone can complain
conferences and events: some- and the police would issue an
times they refused permission, FIR, including against the
but he was not aware of mullahs. He did not know how
individual cases. They do many Ahmadis there were in his
sometimes grant permission, but police force: he knew of one or
he did not know whether they two, and he named a Deputy
had ever granted permission to Inspector and an Assistant
the Ahmadis. The police would Superintendent of Police, whom
be asked as they provide security he had known in other regions.
and this would be seen as having DPO Salimi stated that there was
serious law and order no bar against Ahmadis joining
implications. If an application the police force.
came to his office, he would

The Review of Religions – May 2007 51


Appendix A: Testimony from beaten him up, leaving him for

Ahmadi community members dead. Later they ransacked the
The mission met with a number shop; the local union of
of Ahmadi community members shopkeepers was involved with
who had volunteered to recount the mob. He had reported the
their experiences. The number of matter to the Police, but they had
people interviewed was restricted refused to enter a FIR and said ‘if
by the time available (2.30- you want to save your life, get
5.00pm, 10 October 2006). Some away from here.’ He had been in
requested that their names be hospital for 2-3 days after which
withheld from publication due to the Ahmadi community had
ongoing problems in Pakistan. arranged for him to travel to
All provided proof of their Rabwah.
identity and many produced
copies of legal documents such In 1997 MH’s father had
as FIRs. persuaded ZB and the children to
stay in Sialkot, hoping they
ZB, wife of MH, from Sialkot, would give up the Ahmadi faith.
and their son NA (23 years old) However, the children were
ZB’s husband travelled to the UK targeted at school, and the
on 8 August 2004 and claimed neighbours tipped rubbish in
asylum. She told the mission that front of their house. In 1998 they
he was in fear of his life followed MH to Rabwah, and
following an edict against him by lived in the guest house there
Mullah Manzoor, the local head until 2004.
of Khatme Nabuwwat for Sialkot
area, following his conversion to The rest of MH’s (non-Ahmadi)
the Ahmadi faith in 1997. family had taken over the shop.
His father lived in their house in
He had owned his own shop in Sialkot. However ZB’s brother
Sialkot, but after the edict was found out where the family were,
issued a mob had come and and she started receiving letters

52 The Review of Religions – May 2007


in 2001, threatening to kill her. ZM (born 6 June 1972)

Her uncle’s cousin wrote to her ZM was born in Rabwah and,
demanding that she transfer her following problems with gaining
property to him - if not, he wrote employment due to his Ahmadi
that he knew where she was and faith, had travelled to the UK in
would abduct her children: it was March 2004 and claimed asylum
up to her. Her elder son had been at the airport. His application for
working in Lahore, but people asylum was refused, and
(including his own cousins) had subsequently he was escorted by
threatened him, so he too came to two people to the plane for
Rabwah in July 2003. Pakistan. He had applied for a
travel document from the
After MH’s aging father had Pakistan High Commission in
signed over his property to his London because he had used a
family, the family disowned him. false passport to come to UK, but
He joined MH in Rabwah in eventually he returned on the
2003, and died there the false passport. On arrival in
following year. MH (whose Pakistan, he had been handed to
photograph had been circulated the Federal Investigation
by Khatme Nabuwwat at their Agency, who had detained him,
conference in Rabwah) was shot forcing him to remain seated on a
at during his father’s funeral in chair for 5 days. Finally they
Rabwah. It was at this point that charged him for using a false
he decided that he had to leave passport and released him. He
Pakistan. now has to report to court every
Since then ZB had suffered many
problems; she had no house and Mr. Rashid Ahmed (68 years
no income. She did not know old)
whether an FIR had been issued Mr. Ahmed had printed a
against her husband. His pamphlet written by the late
application for asylum in the UK Khurshid Ahmad, the President
was still pending. of the Ahmadi Community in

The Review of Religions – May 2007 53


Rabwah, and an Ahmadi official, Mr. Ahmed later (on 5 August)

Qazi Muneer, advising Ahmadis went with the legal advisor to the
on how to use their prayers for community, Tahir Mubarik, to
their improvement. Mr Ahmed the UK for a conference, and
had been charged with stayed abroad for about two
blasphemy under section 298c of months. After he returned in
the Penal Code, under an FIR October 1989, he met by chance
registered on 22 May 1989 on the with the local magistrate who
order of the Home Secretary of told him that a supplementary
the Provincial Government, amendment had been made to his
Punjab. The Ahmadi Community FIR under article 298c and a case
had arranged for bail before he had been registered against him.
was arrested, and he took the bail He then went to court with his
certificate and deposited it with legal adviser and, on 2 January
the police. 1990 he received bail again.
Since that time he has had to
[The mission were shown a attend court in Chiniot every 15
document together with a days, sometimes waiting all day
translation, headed ‘Punjab for the case to be called. Each
Home Department Lahore, May, time the police fail to produce
1989.’ Under the subject heading witnesses and the case is
‘Rabwah Affairs’ the document adjourned, without any criticism
refers to a pamphlet entitled of the police. He has applied for
‘Tarbiyyati Umoor’, published the case to be dismissed, but he
by ‘Committee Islah-o-Irshad believes the magistrate is too
Local Anjuman-e-Ahmadiyya, frightened of the mullahs to order
Rabwah’. The document this: he has been told the police
concludes ‘The contents of the will arrange for all the witnesses
enclosed Pomphlet (sic) contain to come together on one
objectionable material actionable occasion.
u/s 298 C … SHO, PS, Rabwah
to register the case’.] He has not yet gone to a higher
court, as there are some 60 cases

54 The Review of Religions – May 2007


like his, and his lawyer wants to Mr. Abdul Shakoor (born 19
take them all to the higher court May 1935)
together. In 1974 Mr. Shakoor had an
optician’s shop in Sargoda,
Mr. MN (born 15 April 1928) Punjab, which, together with his
An FIR was issued against MN house, was ransacked and looted
under article 298c on 10 June at the time of agitation against
1988 because he had published a the Ahmadi Community.
Ramadan calendar to distribute However, in 1985 he was
to patients of his herbal medicine charged with blasphemy under
clinic near Rabwah and had article 298c because of a
mentioned the name of Mirza statement he had made in support
Ghulam Ahmad (with the words of his Ahmadi belief. After a year
‘Peace be upon him’). An FIR in prison he finally obtained bail,
was registered against him by but was subsequently convicted
Mullah Khuda Bakhsh from and sentenced to 3 years in
Khatme Nabuwwat at Rabwah prison and a 5000 Rupee fine.
Police Station. He was arrested at This was quashed on appeal to
his clinic the same day, held the Sessions court. He then
overnight at the Police Station moved to Rabwah, where he set
and transferred to a police post up a new shop with Qu’ranic
for one day and then taken to verses painted on the outside. He
Chiniot prison for 5 days until was again arrested under the
bail was arranged. Since then the blasphemy laws (298c) and
case had been called and obtained bail after 14 days.
adjourned every 15 or 30 days at However, he was convicted and
Chiniot: twice his bail had been sentenced to 2 years imprison-
cancelled and he had had to re- ment (and a 3000 rupee fine) –
arrange it. There was no reason but this was quashed on appeal.
for the adjournments, but he had In December 1990 four further
to attend court every time. His FIRs were issued in Rabwah by
lawyer has asked for his case to Mullah Khuda Bakhsh from
be dismissed on many occasions. Khatme Nabuwwat after Mr

The Review of Religions – May 2007 55


Shakoor offered Ahmadi books Shahid (Gen Secretary Amnesty

for sale at his shop. He was International Lahore), Mr. Irshad
charged again under article 298c, Ameen (Media Advisor AI
but since then the case had been Lahore – Senior Pakistani
adjourned every month because journalist)
the Mullah who brought the
charge failed appear at court. His Summary/ Background
lawyer has made applications for On Saturday, 24 June, Waqar and
his case to be dismissed on many Nawaz were burning the old
occasions, without success. The pages of organizational as well as
Mullah is not arrested to appear, religious literature in the
the case is simply adjourned. Mr. compound of Bait-ul-Zikr
Shakoor reported that the local (Ahmadi worship place). After
Mullahs will come and stand in seeing this, a neighbour spread
front of his shop and shout abuse the word of burning the Qur’an
at him. This happens about four among participants of a Muslim
times per year (last occasion festival arranged nearby.
about 3 months ago) and forces Immediately a crowd of people
him to close his shop until they rushed to the Ahmadi area of the
leave. village and severely tortured the
two men. As if this were not
Appendix B8 Amnesty enough, they turned to the village
International Pakistan, Fact and harshly attacked the
Finding Mission to Jhando property, belongings and people
Sahi, 13 August 2006 of Ahmadiyya community in the
village. They set two shops and 3
Fact Finding Report, Amnesty homes on fire with torture and
International Lahore Pakistan humiliation of the peaceful
Date of visit: August 13, 2006 Ahmadiyya citizens of the town.
Experiencing this, around 70
Team: Mr. Faiz ur Rehman Ahmadi villagers (12 out of 13
(President Amnesty International Ahmadi families in the village)
Pakistan), Mr. Munawwar Ali left their homes in fear for their

56 The Review of Religions – May 2007


lives and later, hundreds of station and all the affected sites
people from the surroundings and interviewed police investi-
demonstrated, chanting anti- gation in-charge, the victims and
Ahmadi slogans. the representatives of the
provoker group.
Arriving at the scene of the
violence, the police did not The Amnesty team started its
control devastating mob fact-finding process from the
humiliating and abusing the police station Bombanwali
Ahmadis in the town and where the members interviewed
violently destroying their Mohammad Aslam, the sub-
properties. Instead the police inspector and in-charge of
arrested seven Ahmadis and investigation who told that on
registered the incident under the 24th June 2006 Ms. Kausar Bibi
notorious Section 295-b of the noticed from her rooftop that two
Criminal Code (the blasphemy persons were burning the pages
law). On the other hand ‘NO’ of the holy Qur’an at Ahmadiyya
person had been arrested from Bait-ul-Zikr. She raised an alarm
the attackers side. After living and gathered the people from
outside the town for more then a around the site. The police
month the 12 Ahmadi families reached to the occasion and
returned back to the town on registered the case under the
Friday 11th August. section 295-b of the Criminal
Code and investigated the case as
Amnesty’s Fact Finding Mission the investigation in-charge. After
The Amnesty fact-finding team investigation the four persons
planned a fact-finding visit to the were arrested, among those two
town on August 13 to reveal the accused Zaheer Ahmed and
facts behind the issue and to Waqar were sent to jail on 26th.
observe the current situation of
the victims in the town. The team When the inspector was asked
spent 4 hours in fact-finding about the reaction of the police
during which it visited the police on the incidences of violence,

The Review of Religions – May 2007 57


destruction and torture by the While replying to a question, Mr.

members of the mob against Aslam, the sub inspector said, the
Ahmadis the inspector said, offenders, who burnt the
‘since no Ahmadi reported the properties of Ahmadiyya com-
case to the police therefore the munity in the town, looted the
police took no action’. On a belongings and tortured the
question about the application to Ahmadis, would be arrested and
the police by the Ahmadi victims would be brought [Ed] to justice
the sub inspector said that he but after more then two months
received the application on 16th of the incident no offender has
July and registered the case been arrested.
against the offensives and made
the application a part of the case. While visiting the sites and
However, he affirmed no arrest interviewing the affected people
from the offenders’ side. the committee noticed the heavy
destruction of the properties of
On a question regarding the steps Ahmadis including devastation
taken by the police to provide and setting fire to 3 homes, a
security to the small Ahmadiyya tractor, 2 motorbikes, 2 shops
community in the town he told and the Bait-ul-Zikr.
that for their rehabilitation in the
town, a 20 members’ committee The team visited the Ahmadi
had been formed which included families for interviews who had
4 Ahmadis including recently been returned back to
Mohammad Nawaz, Sagheer their homes after refuge of more
Ahmed Numberdar, Mohammad than a month. The committee
Abdullah and Rana Mohammad found the people in devastating
Nasrullah Advocate. However condition since they found no
while his interview with the fact- single house of Ahmadis in the
finding committee Mr. Nawaz town with the facilities of fan,
renounced the formation of such television and proper bedding.
committee and inclusion of The effects of the psychological
Ahmadis in the committee. trauma were evident from their

58 The Review of Religions – May 2007


faces and expressions. While crowd coming towards our

interviews majority of the people home while continuously
including women told that many beating one of the Ahmadiis,
people used to abuse loudly and Nawaz, said Tariq Mahmood.
threatened them when they were “We gathered the family
out of homes. Many of the members and rushed to our
shopkeepers refused to sell the neighbours who, instead of
goods to the Ahmadis. giving us refuge, started
beating our children and
The mother of Tariq Mahmood abusing the women. The mob
said, ‘We are facing humiliating entered our house and
response from the neighbours destroyed the household and
and inhabitants of the town who looted the belongings includ-
not only use abusive language for ing dresses and jewelry
us but also for our sacred amounting to Rs. 175,000’.
religious personalities, however,
we are patiently bearing this all.’ Mohammad Nawaz told that he
She said, they were feeling arrived at the town from
themselves completely unsafe Gujranwala to get medicine. ‘I
since their kids couldn’t sleep in was preparing to go back that I
the night due to continuous fear. heard noise and people knocked
She said they had lost all of their the door. As I opened the door
belongings and even no crockery many people pulled me outside
was present in the home and in and fixed a big cloth around my
that devastating condition they neck and started pushing me
were unable to do any business. ahead of [Ed] the mob. Many
They estimated a loss of more people kept on beating me and
than 200,00 rupees during the pushing me around the town.
attack. When I was almost unconscious
some people asked them to leave
‘We were in the home with me and they left me there.’
some of our guests when the
children informed us of a big Tariq Mahmood, the owner of the

The Review of Religions – May 2007 59


Al-Fazal General Store told that same account as the cause of the
the mob firstly looted the stuff conflict which was earlier
from the shop and then set the described by the police officer.
shop to fire. Everything in the However both of them insisted
shop burned into ashes. Sajjad that the people of the town were
Ahmed the owner of the CD and not involved in setting the houses
audio shop told that the mob to fire, torture on the Ahmadis
looted the whole stuff in the shop and looting their belongings.
costing to Rs. 200,000 and then ‘Those were the people from
set the shop to fire. other towns [who – Ed] arrived
to participate in the local
Naseer Ahmad told that he was festival’, they said. When they
coming back from Kamonke were asked, how did they come
town when he saw a big crowd to recognise the Ahmadi people
looting their homes and setting and their homes in the town, they
those into fire. ‘It was had no answer. Moreover, both of
unbelievable for me. I couldn’t them affirmed that NO Ahmadi
event think that such incidence was part of the ‘peace
can happen. The mob was ready committee’.
to destroy anything even the
people who were not even Faiz Ahmed who has returned
accused of doing anything. Why from Korea to spend his annual
did they set our homes to fire?’ leave told that it was not good to
The estimated cost of the loss of target the whole community if
his house was Rs. 150,000. some members of a community
were accused. He said he and his
In the last (Finally – Ed] the fellows witnessed the whole
members of the fact-finding trauma and didn’t try to stop
committee inter-viewed Faiz people for doing so. ‘We are
Ahmed and Rana Bashir Ahmed political people and we will have
the two non-Ahmadi persons in to go to the people for their votes
the ‘peace committee’ as formed and that could have damaged our
by the police. They repeated the political position in the town.’

60 The Review of Religions – May 2007


Both of them told that there was were killed and at least 18
huge number of police present in injured in the attack. The
the town including 45 police perpetrators have not [been – Ed]
vehicles when the mob was brought to justice until now.
attacking and targeting the
Ahmadis in the town. ‘Police Police investigations of previous
might have taken no action to targeted killings of Ahmadis in
avoid any further damage.’ he Pakistan have been slow or have
said. not taken place at all. In many
cases the perpetrators have not
Comments/ Recommendations been brought to justice. We at
We at Amnesty International Amnesty International believe
(Lahore-Pakistan) fear that the that the government’s consistent
perpetrators of attack on the failure to investigate attacks and
Ahmadiyya community in killings of members of religious
Jhando Sahi may go unpunished minorities fails to discourage
and that such attacks will further human rights abuses
continue unless the Pakistan against such groups. The right to
authorities respond quickly to freedom of religion, as laid down
bring the perpetrators to justice in the Pakistani constitution and
and take steps to protect in international human rights
Ahmadis against future attacks. law, must be made a reality for
all religious minorities in
The continued violence generally Pakistan.
against the religious minorities
and especially against the Over the years we are getting
Ahmadiyya community in information of numerous tar-
Pakistan is evident by the pre- geted killings of Ahmadis,
vious attack on worshippers in a usually carried out with impun-
Baitul Zikr (Ahmadi mosque) in ity. In some cases, the targeted
the village of Monga, near the Ahmadis themselves were
town of Mandi Behauddin on 7 subjected to criminal charges. In
October 2005. Eight Ahmadis one incident in October 2000,

The Review of Religions – May 2007 61


eight Ahmadis were murdered in discriminatory law but no

the village of Ghatialian, Sialkot practical step has been taken in
district, in an incident similar to the positive direction.
that of 7 October 2005. In
October 2000 gunmen opened Signatures:
fire on Ahmadis while they were
gathered at a Bait ul Zikr for Faiz ur Rehman
worship. Five Ahmadis who President
witnessed the attack and reported Amnesty International Pakistan
the incident to the police, along
with 21 other Ahmadis, were Munawwar Ali Shahid
arrested and many of them are General Secretary
still serving life sentences for Amnesty International Lahore
what Amnesty International
believes to be false charges. None Irshad Ameen
of the gunmen were ever arrested Senior Journalist
or brought to justice. The Daily Mashriq,
Radio FM –
We request you to consider this 103, Lahore, Pakistan
report and gather more infor-
mation on the issue through your
other resources and help creating
international pressure on
Pakistani government to abolish
the laws relating to religious
offences, which effectively
criminalise any exercise of the
right to freedom of religion by
Ahmadis and the blasphemy law
under section 295C PPC. This is
important since Pervez Musharraf
government has already promised
to consider abolishing this

62 The Review of Religions – May 2007

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