By Asif Merchant, New Age Islam
13 December 2016
We learn that the National Centre for Physics at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University will be renamed after Dr. Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s first ever Nobel Laureate. More likely, the Quaid-e-Azam University will be honouring itself and the National Centre of Physics by renaming the Centre after Dr. Abdus Salam.
Even so, there are some self-proclaimed religious authorities in Pakistan who are objecting to this on the grounds that Ahmadiyyas are not Muslim. Is this correct? Who is following the religion taught by the Holy Prophet? These people, or the Ahmadiyyas?
For Dr. Abdus Salam, his work as a scientist was entirely in obedience to the message of the Quran, and the injunctions of the Holy Prophet. He would say, “The Holy Quran enjoins us to reflect on the verities of Allah’s created laws of nature; however, that our generation has been privileged to glimpse a part of his design is a bounty and a grace for which I am my thanks with a humble heart”. He was referring, of course to the recent advances in the Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Theory, which give us a fresh insight into creation.
During his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, he quoted from the Quran;
“Thou seest not in the creation of the All-Merciful any imperfection. Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure? Then return thy gaze again and again. Thy gaze comes back to you dazzled, aweary.”
Then he said, “This in effect is the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze”.
In a speech at UNESCO House, he declared, “As a scientist, the Quran speaks to me in that it emphasizes reflection on the Laws of Nature with examples drawn from cosmology, physics, biology, medicine as signs for all men. Seven hundred and fifty verses of the Quran, exhort believers to study Nature, to reflect, to make the best use of reason in their search for the ultimate and to make acquiring of knowledge and scientific comprehension, part of the community’s life. The Holy Prophet of Islam emphasized that the quest for knowledge and science is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman. He enjoined his followers to seek knowledge even if they had to travel to China in its search.”
Dr. Salam remained a loyal and proud citizen of Pakistan, refusing offers of citizenship from Jordan, Kuwait, and Britain. Citizenship of Britain was offered along with a knighthood. Salam politely refused both.
How can anyone deny that Dr. Abdus Salam was a true Muslim? In contrast, except that they follow certain rituals, are the people ostracizing Ahmadiyyas following the teachings of The Holy Prophet?
In order to know more about the Ahmadiyyas, I checked them out on the Net. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of this sect is revered as a Masih, come to rectify faults that have crept into Islamic practices. It is true that in many ways, Muslims are being led astray by those who should be guiding them on the right path. New Age Islam also has the same mission in its own way. Surely this cannot disqualify Ahmadiyyas from being accepted as Muslims. Most of the opponents of Ahmadiyyas are those who seem to have gone astray. Even someone like Abubakar Baghdadi is accepted as a Muslim, though what he stands for is the complete opposite of what the Holy Prophet taught. Mainstream Muslims should rethink the whole issue and try to form an independent judgement about Ahmedis.
The head of the Ahmedis is called the Khalif. I listened to his Friday sermon delivered on 25th November 2016. It started with the Azaan. This was exactly the same as the Sunni Azaan. There was no mention of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Just the acknowledgement of Mohammed as the Messenger of Allah.
The sermon started with a verse from the Quran – Surah 4, verse 135. .
"O ye who believe! Be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourself or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore, follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is aware of what you do."
The sermon elaborated on this theme, ending with the exhortation that all Ahmadis should set an example to the world, so that all may know what the Quran teaches. He presented the Quran as the solution to the problems the world faces, if it is followed in the true spirit.
We should be proud that such efforts are being made to raise the public perception of Islam, at a time when our clerics seem to be moving in the opposite direction.