Although presented in the usual xenophobic and sectarian style of the Urdu Press, the following article tells us how much Mahatma Gandhi and other Indian luminaries respected Maulana Mohammad Ali’s beautiful translation of the Holy Quran, even though any write-up by an Ahmadi scholar is anathema to our illiterate ulema (religious scholars) who are incapable of appreciating anything worthwhile beyond their microscopic vision. Incidentally, Maulana Mohammad Ali is also famous for his excellent exposition of the tenets of our religion in his book “The Religion of Islam”. This book is far more relevant in our times than it was even when it was written. Maulana Mohammad Ali was a contemporary of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and considered him a Mujaddid (renewer) of Islam rather than a non-law-bearing prophet as many Ahmadis do. But our so-called ulema do not have the ability to recognize even that distinction. Any appreciation for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s brilliant exposition of Islamic tenets is considered blasphemy. New Age Islam posts articles of different points of view for free debate and discussion. In principle, no article should be taken as an endorsement of a point of view. -- Editor
By Athar Siddiquee
Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk
New Delhi: Gandhiji was the greatest political leader and revolutionary.
“I was given to understand by an official of the Rajya Sabha just yesterday that during my term of office as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he called for the official in his chamber twice and asked him that he should get for him a translation of Koran in English written by Muhammad Ali Ahmadi. He reminded that an official of the Rajya Sabha when this man brought that from Lahore the translation of Koran, he sent for him in his chamber and thanked him and also saw to it that he paid the amount that particular person had paid for it.”
The Page 9 No. KR/R-2 of the Parliamentary proceedings of 5 September, 1988 in which, speaking on the birth day of Dr Radhakrishnan, Ghulam Rasul Mattu, referred to my arranging an English translation of the Quran done by Muhammad Ali Ahmadi, for Dr Radhakrishnan.
A serenity haloed his personality that pervades places of worship in moonlit nights. He was born with a Midas touch as whatever he touched turned into gold. He subscribed to a universal point of view. He respected every human being on the basis of humanity. It was the essence of his historical character. Keeping people from all the religions close to him, he studied their thought and kept all the religious books close to his heart.
The recitation of the Quran, Geeta and Bible every morning was a part of Gandhiji’s daily routine. Every day, he studied Muhammad Ali Ahmadi’s English translation of the Quran. It is a matter of research as to who advised him to read Muhammad Ali Ahmadi’s Quran because Muhammad Ali Ahmadi was the greatest flag bearer of Qadianism in the subcontinent who promoted Qadianism with his venomous English writings despite the fact that the English translations of Mohammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1930), Abdullah Yusuf (1934) and Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi (1941) had already been published. Notwithstanding, Gandhiji read only the Quran translated by Muhammad Ali Ahmadi. As a result, the English Quran of Md Ali Ahmadi got wide publicity. This went on.
On February 1962, when after Rajan Babu (Dr Rajendra Prasad), Dr Radhakrishnan became the second President of the Indian Republic, I had already joined the services in the Parliament House. In a function, I came across Mr Abdul Hameed, the Press Secretary to the President and gradually became very close to him. (After retirement Mr Abudul Hamid became the member of the UPSC but not a single day passed when we did not meet.).
During the period he was the Press Secretary of the President, one day he called me over the phone and said, “Mr Siddiquee, the car of the Rashtrapati Bhawan is coming to the Parliament House. Please board the car and come to the Rashtrapati Bhawan”. Therefore, I went there and met Mr Abdul Hamid. He escorted me to the chamber of the President, Dr Radhkrishnan. I found him busy with some work. After a while, Mr Abdul Hamid introduced me to him. Dr Radhakrishnan said to me, “Please get me a copy of Muhammad Ali Ahmadi’s translation of the Quran as the copy I have has become very old.” We came out of the chamber with heads bowed in respect.
I did not know what was so special about Muhammad Ali Ahmadi’s Quran that had prompted the President of India to call and ordinary man like me for it. I thought about how to get it and suddenly it occurred to my mind that the son of the former general secretary of Jamiatul Ulema Hind, Maulana Muhammad Mian, Khalid Mian would run a bookstore called Kitabistan on the upper corner of the Nawab Wali Masjid in Gali Qasim Jan. I met Mr Khalid Mian and told him the matter in detail. He told me that the copy of the particular translation of the Quran was not available in India and that it was available only in Lahore. He said that he would write to his brother Hamid Mian based in Lahore.