Updated: Aug 6, 2019
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
I started developing a provisional site in February 2017 with the intention to invite Christians and Muslims to use reason to settle issues of difference in belief and interpretation, with the intention of moving to a more permanent site sometime in the future, Allah s.w.t. permitting.
This is the new site, though the articles remain under development and will be altered over time with the addition of new articles and the editing of existing ones, InshaAllaah. Some of the issues discussed here would be of relevance to people of other faiths and those of no faith at all. As our respective scriptures say: [Qur'an 2:242] 'Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses, that you might use your reason.' This is one of several verses of the Qur'an which encourage us to use our reason, the root ʿayn qāf lām (ع ق ل), to use reason/intellect, occurring 49 times in the Qur'an [Qur'an 2:111] 'Produce your proof if you are truthful' This verse of the Qur'an promotes inter-faith dialogue and debate, and inculcates 'freedom of speech' in society rather than suppressing it, for it invites non-Muslims to produce their proofs and arguments in support of their differences in belief. [Isaiah 1:18] 'Come now, let us reason together' This Biblical verse encourages the use of the God-given faculty of reason, which is beneficial when differences arise.
I shall review some of the issues of controversy between Muslims and Christians as found on various internet sites, chat programs, tv channels, polemical books, as well as on youtube, in our times. I will, InshaAllah (God willing), try to offer arguments to resolve some of the main issues. The research being shared on this site was sparked off by reading ex-(ahmadi) muslim Dr. Nabeel Qureshi's book 'Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus' in December 2015. I had learnt about Nabeel Qureshi some months prior to this, seeing Youtube videos, internet articles etc., in which he had claimed that knowledgeable muslims (including ahmadi 'missionaries', though it might be better to refer to one as a 'muballigh' or 'murabbi', in my humble opinion, at least for those who are promoting the truth) were unable to answer the questions or objections he had raised, which led to his loss of faith in Islam, and accepting christianity: "I traveled to Washington D.C., Canada, and England in search of knowledgeable Muslims to answer the arguments against Islam that I had found. I heard various replies running the gamut from terribly unconvincing to fairly innovative, and I encountered people that ranged from sincere to condescendingly caustic. At the end of my research, the arguments for and against Islam still hung in the balance, but one thing was abundantly clear: they were far from approaching the strength of the case for Christianity." The scope of my research was later extended to include some of the objections made in his two other books, as well as those of other critics of Islam that I came across on the internet etc. The purpose of this site being to help progress the search for truth, it is pertinent to point out the challenges faced by those who seek to find and share the truth. People tend to more easily accept rather than question new information if it tallies with their preconceived ideas, or if it comes from a trusted source, whether such trust is misplaced or not. However, the wise develop an ability to discern truth from falsehood, and would seek to verify information before accepting or acting upon it, not blindly accepting whatever myths they may be told: “People prefer information that confirms their preexisting attitudes, view information consistent with their preexisting beliefs as more persuasive than dissonant information (confirmation bias), and are inclined to accept information that pleases them,” David Lazer of Northeastern University and colleagues wrote in an editorial. (https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fake-news-lies-spread-faster-social-media-truth-does-n854896) This is a good guide on 'how to sort fact from fiction': http://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=637508&p=4462356 Such principles can be applied to ahadith and sira literature which, regrettably, contain a large amount of 'fake news'. Books of ahadith were compiled in the 3rd century of Islam, and two of these books were mislabelled as 'sahih' by their authors, which gives the erroneous impression to the 'ill-informed' that all the contents of these books are 'sahih' i.e. authentic or genuine. This is discussed further in articles on the 'Sources of Islamic Knowledge' and 'Bukhari and Muslim'. It will also be advisable to compare the methods applied to sorting truth from falsehood by Muslim scholars with the methods applied to determining the truth by journalists/reporters, the examination of evidence presented in law courts, as well as advice issued to detective and others involved in assessing the degree of truthfulness in statements made by suspected criminals etc. and applying whatever relevant knowledge may be gained from these fields. I would also recommend doing a search on the internet for articles and videos which contain information on research done into the telling of lies in children as well as adults. I would also suggest reading about logical fallacies, as this can be helpful in discarding erroneous spoon-fed dogmas and myths, and would also help to distinguish a good argument from a poor one. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s. advised: "It is not necessary for me to admonish you not to commit murder for no one except a wholly wicked person advances towards murder. But I do admonish you that you should not insist upon injustice and thus slay the truth. Accept the truth even if it should proceed from a child. If you find your opponent uttering the truth then immediately give up your dry logic. Adhere to the truth and bear true witness. God the Glorious, says: i.e. "Shun the abomination of idols and shun all words of falsehood" [Al-Hajj, 22:30] because falsehood is no less than an idol. That which turns you away from the Qiblah of truth is an idol in your path. Bear true witness even if it should be against your fathers or brothers or friends." [Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3, pp. 546-550, Essence of Islam Vol 4, p. 248, 249] The above instructions are also applicable to religious debates. It is common experience that people are inclined to lie and hide the truth in disputes on any matter, whether personal, political or religious. We are advised to stick to the truth and utter the honest and straight-forward word. However, let us not forget that falsehood is a widespread problem. The political arena is well known for it, and those in authority may abuse their power and act unjustly after uttering deliberate lies e.g. the 2003 Iraq war was publicly justified on the basis of patently false allegations about WMD's (weapons of mass destruction). It was yet another case of 'might is right'. It is also necessary to point out that this website reflects the ongoing research of a fallible individual, and amendments will continue to be made to correct and/or improve the content of it. The purpose of research in any field is, or should be, to discover facts which advance us in true and proper knowledge of a subject. It is research which has led to the discovery of scientific truths which has in turn led to an advance in medicine, technology etc. A true and honest researcher in any field does not hesitate to question any preconceived notions which might be adhered to, and courageously seeks and proclaims the truth that is acquired, for this leads to progress in various fields. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws." In addition, in evaluating claims of religious truths, one ought to take a position like that of an unbiased judge who has to discern truth from falsehood in the testimony presented in court, and weigh the merits of arguments presented for or against a case under scrutiny. Ahmad a.s. wrote: "When a doctrine becomes old, and a person has believed it for a long time, it becomes very difficult for him to desert it. He cannot tolerate hearing against it. Rather, on hearing the opposite, he becomes furious, and is even prepared to seek the blood of the opponent, because the old habit becomes part of his temperament" [Malfuzat Vol 3, p. 538, 1 Aug 1904] "The fact of the matter is this, that unless a person ponders over any subject, and does so with an open mind, unprejudiciously paying attention to all aspects, and does not listen/read attentively, he can't desert the old belief. When a person hears something new to him, he should not immediately jump up to oppose it. Instead, it is his obligation to ponder over all it's aspects. and think over it in solitude, judiciously, honestly, and above all, fearing the Almighty." [Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 355, 31 August 1901] An interesting article on lying: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/why-people-lie-lying-research/all Please note that I adhere to the view no one individual, group/sect people or religion has a monopoly on truth. No one individual knows everything, or has said everything that needs to be said on a verse/topic, or has given an interpretation that cannot be added to, or for which there cannot be an alternative interpretation which may also be acceptable, or is infallible and cannot err in interpretation or judgement. The Promised Messiah a.s. himself expressed some inherited sunni views which he later changed as they were not according to the Qur'an, and/or he was informed by means of revelation about them, such as the belief about the physical return of Isa ibn Maryam a.s. and the finality of Prophethood. There are some other such views which he later changed, but many remain unaware of them. Ahmadis still have some inherited 'sunni baggage' which ought to be discarded. My ancestors were sunni, and I don't mean to say that everything sunni is erroneous, but if anyone, sunni or shi'a or ibadi or whoever else, adheres to views and beliefs which are not according to the Qur'an, they ought to discard them, and accept views which are according to the Qur'an. From an Islamic perspective, it would be a form of shirrk i.e. idolatry to hold such a belief about anyone, even about Prophets, including the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. The only Book which is Perfect and free from doubt [Q. 2:2] and contradictions [Q. 4:83], and is entitled to the label of 'sahih', is the Holy Qur'an, other books only having an erroneous man-made label of 'sahih' which misleads many, thinking that they have to accept it by default, as, if they don't, they might run the risk of being accorded the false label of 'kafir/murtad', especially from some ahlul-hadith scholars. Whereas, in actual fact, it is by rejecting a verse of the Qur'an, or distorting/twisting a verse to suit a doubtful hadith, that one actually heads towards disbelief. Of course, one needs to keep pondering over the Holy Qur'an to be able to attain a better understanding of it. Khalifatul-Masih II r.a., whilst discussing the various forms of shirrk or idolatry, stated:
"Fourth, to regard a human being as infallible. For instance, a belief that a particular saint or holy person is wholly free from the natural weaknesses of man and must therefore, be implicitly obeyed in all matters, however objectionable his orders may be, and practically to prefer his commands to those of God, although as a matter of belief that person is not regarded as God." (Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam, page 60) So, much like some ahadith of the Holy Prophet s.a. abrogate other ones, so also some earlier writings of Ahmad a.s. are abrogated by his later ones. Moreover, direct revelations in the Holy Qur'an and secondarily, in Tadhkirah, would be considered supreme over his, or anyone else's writings and discourses, should there arise any apparent conflict. Please do not hesitate to send any comments, questions, critique, or to offer any suggestions for improvement of the contents of this website. The views I state here are on the basis of my current knowledge and understanding, which is subject to change depending on further research, viewing the issue from another angle or previously hidden perspective which was not apparent at the time of writing, and/or acquiring better knowledge of the facts pertinent to any issue. No human is all-knowing, hence human writings and discourses contain errors. Please note that I will refer to the Arabic text of the Qur'an when and where there is a need to make a point on the basis of Arabic grammar. Otherwise, I will use a translation that appears to me to be good and close enough to the original Arabic text of the Qur'an. If anyone has concerns about the accuracy of a translation, please refer to the original Arabic text yourself, and inform me of the error; thanks. I will use the traditional system of numbering verses of the Qur'an on this site, as most muslims as well as non-muslims are more familiar with this than with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at numbering system which includes the basmala in the counting of verses as it is a revealed verse. I am one of the Muslims, with the description 'Ahmadi' simply declaring the 'type of Muslim' I am, thereby giving an indication of my interpretations of Islam, in comparison with those who may belong to other groups/sects, such as the sunnis and shi'ites. However, whilst my views are consistent with core Ahmadiya teachings, they do at times differ from some of what have become 'official' views, in which case, it will be necessary to elaborate my reasons, InshaAllaah. The name Ahmadiyya was not actually used until about 12 years after the inception of the Movement in March 1889. It was for the population census of 1901 in India that the Promised Messiah a.s. had approved the use of the name "Musalman Firqah Ahmadiyya" i.e. Ahmadiyya Muslim Sect, for his Community, upon the suggestion of one of the members. I am not aware of any revelation which was granted to him at the time stipulating the name 'Ahmadiyya', so it is not a 'revealed label'. If a large number of people/s accept the Ahmadiyya interpretations of Islam, and Ahmadi Muslims become the 'mainstream Muslims', the description 'Ahmadiyya' may no longer be all that necessary, InshaAllaah.
My Quest: Regarding my interest in seeking and advancing in religious knowledge and sublime truths, suffice it to say that I first began to properly study the Holy Qur'an when I was about 14, reading Sura Yusuf (Chapter 12, Joseph) along with it's (5 volume english) commentary, which affected me deeply. This was immediately followed by reading about the 'Life of Muhammad' s.a., which also affected me deeply, with a firm belief in his prophethood becoming fixed in my heart. I had also started reading the Bible after an encounter with some unitarian christians (jehovah's witnesses) when I was about 12 years of age. I started learning to read the Urdu language at the age of 17 after a set of the books of the Promised Messiah a.s. (i.e. named 'Ruhani Khazain', though there are no amount of books which can surpass the Holy Qur'an in being 'Ruhani Khazain') became available, and began to study the 'Malfoozaat'. The next milestone in my acquisition of religious knowledge and understanding was my reading of 'the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam' when I was 17, which soon developed into a firm faith in the Promised Messiah a.s. as a Prophet of Allah, for the book opened my heart and mind to the profound wisdom and spirituality of the Holy Qur'an. I subsequently studied the Holy Qur'an in detail from Suratul Faatihah to Suratul Kahf, using the 5 volume English Commentary, along with a few sections from other Suras, such as Suratul Muminoon before I commenced a course at university. During the few years at university, I read much Jama'at literature, some of these during the holidays. I had realised not long after starting university that one's moral and spiritual diet affects the development of the soul, so it is unwise to waste time consuming useless material which doesn't nourish and nurture, but may serve to corrupt the heart, mind and soul. I realised I needed much improvement of the quality of my recitation whilst at university, and did make some effort afterwards. There was no teaching of tajweed rules in the jama'at in the 20th century, the spirit of the teachings being regarded as of greater significance to faith and practice. However, with more significance attached to the outer form after the 1990's, tajweed clases were eventually started in the UK after 2010, which I was eager to attend, as one should not neglect paying attention to the correct recitation, as much as this is possible, but without sacrificing the spirit of recitation, which is to understand and incorporate what is being recited in one's heart and mind, and manifested in one's actions.
I started studying Classical Arabic grammar from around 2003 onwards, though it wasn't until 2010-2011 that I started studying an online tutor led Arabic grammar course, and I am still studying Arabic grammar using the Madinah Arabic Books (lqtoronto.com). I have also studied the first two volumes of Al-Arabiyya Bayna Yadayk using Youtube Videos by an Ustadh Abdul Karim, who came across as a moderate salafist with a heart:
Though I desire to speak modern standard Arabic, I have to remain content for now with being able to determine the grammar and meaning of verses of the Qur'an to a degree. There are several persons whose advice I have sought, and included in the contents of this site, and others whom I have consulted on Arabic grammar and usual/common interpretations and understanding; I would like to acknowledge their input in passing for now. Most of these have been speakers or learners of the Arabic language.
My pondering, study and research has to be done in my spare time, as I work full time these days, and have worked on and off over the decades. I sometimes engage in dialogue and debate on Twitter and Paltalk, using the 'names' of AhmadiMuslim7 (Twitter) and Dialogues (Paltalk). There is no limit to acquiring beneficial knowledge, and so I continue to pray 'Rabbi Zidni Ilman' [20:114], i.e. My Lord, increase me in knowledge.
The field of acquiring even better knowledge than my humble effort remains open to us all, InshaAllaah.
May Allah Almighty be my helper in this endeavor, and increase us all in right guidance, Ameen.
[19:76] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance. [20:47] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.