June 19, 2015

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: My Fellow Muslims
Subject: IMAAN TU KAR LO TAAZA

My Dear Fellow Muslims,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

“The Universe moves on rhythm, which is part of its reality. Consciousness and Unseen show that God is ineffable Intelligence, al-‘aql,” wrote Dr. Thomas Ballantyne Irving (Al-Hajj ‘Talim ‘Ali) in his first American version of “The Qur’an. With this remark, followed a reminder of the striking Qur’anic verse from Surah: Al-Qiyamah (The Day of Resurrection) – Chapter: 75 – Verses: 16-19, as follows:

“[Prophet], do not move your tongue too fast in your attempt
to learn this revelation: We ourself shall see to its collection and
recital. When We have recited it, follow its words attentively,
and then, it will be for Us to make its meaning clear.”

Recollecting my letter dated August 10, 2011 with subject title, “Surah Qaf – The Letter, which was circulated during one of the holiest days of Ramadhan, I feel profoundly disappointed that it virtually fell on deaf ears – none of my fellow Muslims bothered to answer the question raised in it: “How do we protect our Holy Qur’an and save it from dishonor?” Four years later, I, Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia, am left wondering about whatever happened to “al-‘aql,” of Muslims! Surely, it is abundantly made clear by Almighty Allah that it is incumbent upon Muslims to follow the Qur’anic verses attentively. Well, are we?

T. B. Irving reminded the young American Muslim readers that the Qur’an itself says that any divine message should be presented in a people’s own tongue,” by giving reference to one of the Qur’anic verses as follows:

“We have not sent any Messenger unless he was to explain to
them in his folk’s own tongue.”

Surah: Ibrahim (Abraham) – Chapter: 14 – Verse: 4

Honestly speaking, those of my fellow Muslims who have been reading through my letters over the past decade, will most certainly be aware that many of the Muslim scholars which I have referred to have their roots in the same Indian subcontinent as I have. In other words, they are “My Folks, and I remain mighty proud of them. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Tarjuman-al-Quran), Dr. Khwaja Ghulam-us-Saiyidain (The Faith of an Educationist), Sir Nizamut Jung Bahadur (An Approach to the study of the Quran); Dr. Syed Abdul Latif (The Mind Al-Quran Builds); Hashim Amir Ali (The Student’s Quran); and Bashir Ahmad Dar (Quranic Ethics). (May Almighty Allah rest their souls in peace). What is deeply saddening is that countless millions of Muslims from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh do not even know the names, nor have any knowledge of the beautiful exposition of the Qur’an as left by the above mentioned scholars. Thus they have lost touch with the “Rhythm of Life, which for Muslims consists of expressing sincere appreciation of Holy Qur’an. Chanting and recitation is fine and dandy, but one should also endeavor to capture the spirit of Holy Month of Ramadhan by listening to one soul-stirring “Naat” of Mohammed Rafi (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace).

Ghaflat Me Sone Walo, Rab Ne Tumhe Pukaro
Uth Kar Zara To Dekho, Qudrat Ka Ya Nazara

Rahmat Ka Ujala Chaya
Allah Ne Ya Far Maya
Utho Aye Momino Mahe Ramzan Aaya

We, the Muslims, have been told by the majority of “Ulemas, Imams & Muftis, that listening to any musical instrument is sinful. Though, they tend to forget that trumpet (as-sur) is mentioned in Surah: Al-Kafh (the Cave) – Chapter: 18 – Verse: 99, and bugle (an-naqur) in Surah: Al-Mudaththir (The Man Wearing A Cloak) – Chapter: 74 – Verse: 8. What is truly sad is that the Muslims hailing from the Indian subcontinent have by and large been brainwashed into believing that only the “Ulemas, Imams & Muftis, possess an inherent right to extract and convey the meaning of the Qur’anic verses. Knowing this to be the harsh reality, I have created a blog named: “READ! In the name of thy LORD, wherein the translation of Dr. Thomas Ballantyne Irving (Al-Hajj ‘Talim ‘Ali) (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace) will be posted for all of my fellow Muslims to be able to read and learn the Holy Qur’an.

READ!

An upbeat spirit of sharing, caring, praying and reciting during the fasting month will be overwhelmingly visible all across the Islamic countries. The question of the day will always remain, “What about reading and understanding the true meaning of the Qur’anic verses?” Granted that many Muslims are undoubtedly bereft and have surrendered their Almighty Allah’s given “al-‘aql,” as far as comprehending the very spirit of the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, let us together reflect and ponder over the following paragraphs written by T. B. Irving (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace):

“The Qur’án is a living Book. We must respect yet find a way
to interpret this sacred text, and not deform its meaning. The
refrain running through Chapter 54 on The Moon tells us: “We
have made the Qur’án easy to memorize; yet will anyone
memorize it?” (54:22). As it claims, the Qur’ánic message is
easy to learn. It is divided up so that it can be read in sittings,
or read straight through (17:XII). This is clear from the canon
itself.”

“The Qur’án is not a missionary manual but a record of
experience. It forms both a message or risala, an “ideology”
carried by a rasul or ‘messenger’; and it is also a Book or
scripture (kitab) sent specifically via the Messenger Muhammad
(rasul Allah or ‘God’s messenger’) may God accept his prayers
and grant him peace! However the Qur’án does not offer minute
details about everything such as is found in many other scriptures;
it is an existentialist document telling about the Prophet’s
experience during his mission to the Arabs and the world. It
is the Noble Reading (56:iii); it is a consecrated Text.”

“If this is the first time that you are reading the Qur’án, then
you may look for special passages to begin with. For instance,
the first call to Muhammad comes in the chapter 96 called Al-
‘Alaq The Clot (or Read!) Here we find the beginning of that
respect for reading and learning on which the later Islamic
commonwealth was built up. His second call come at the
beginning of al-Mudaththir, The Man Wearing a Cloak 74,
and is confirmed in al-Inshirah, Consolation 94: “Did We not
relieve your breast for you?” These are the first thrilling words
which God the Merciful spoke directly to His chosen messenger
Muhammad. Then followed the commission heard in al-A’la
Glory to your Lord in the Highest! 87. There is comfort for the
Prophet during his trials in ad-Duha Morning Bright! 93, and
more consolation in al-Kawthar Plenty 108. Two of Muhammad’s
visions appear at the beginning of an-Najm The Star 53. He is
told to reject al-Kafirun Disbelievers (or Atheists) in 109, and
rebuttal of the charge of being a poet is found in 52:29.
Muhammad clearly understood he was not one (36:69),
although prophets are compared with ash-Shuara, Poets 26
in the chapter by that name, because of the inspiration which
both receive.”

The Qur'an1

It is indeed unfortunate that right after the tragic day of September 11, 2001, the Qur’an a “Book of Wisdom” has been grossly misinterpreted by a handful of “Intellectual Bigots, as a “Manual of Terror. All such impression has been mainly caused by the hijackers of Qur’anic message who are both Muslims, and not to mention, ex-Muslims who are living right in our midst. Without a doubt, there are certain groups of “Muslim Intelligentsia, who have been solely responsible to distort the true message of Islam for sheer political purpose and nothing else. Of course, how can one ignore the “Hush Silence” adopted by many respectable Muslims, let alone those who continue to believe in their own absurd theory that ordinary Muslims can have far better understanding of their own faith from the ones who are out to smear the religion of Islam. Perhaps, many of these so-called devout Muslims have no clue of the sentiments expressed by Sir Nizamat Jung Bahadur as follows:

“This is the impression I get from reading the Quran. It gives
the essence of the divine to us in human guise; and the language
used is that of a kind father admonishing and warming his truant
children in order to guide them back to the right path. There are
passages in it here and there, the pathetic benevolence and
divine humanity of which bring tears to our eyes. And the wonder
of it all is that it is the plain and simple language of reason, though
occasionally metaphorical, and the object of it is guidance of
mankind by indicating the essential everlasting distinction between
good and evil, between right and wrong. It does not inspire terror,
but hope with its expectancy of bliss; and it purifies and confirms
faith.”

The Holy Qur’an calls itself a Book of wisdom that takes humanity out of darkness into light. Its definitive verses that form the crux of its message (Surah: Al-‘Imran) are pearls of wisdom and its themes flow like a spring of enlightenment, though interspersed with all kind of illustrations and admonitions. The Arabs to whom the Qur’an was introduced first hand were as scared of it as frightened donkeys fleeing a lion as it was highlighted in Surah: Al-Mudaththir. T. B. Irving translated the verses from both the Qur’anic surahs as follows: 

“What is wrong with them that they avoid remembering [God]
as if they were startled donkeys who have just fled from a lioness?
Yet every last man among them wants to be handed scriptures all
spread out!

Of course, it is rather because they do not fear the Hereafter.
Indeed, it is a Reminder; so let anyone who wishes to, remember
it. Yet they will not remember except however God may wish. He
is Entitled to be heeded, as well as entitled to grant forgiveness.”

Surah: Al-Mudathathir (The Man Wearing A Cloak)
Chapter: 74 – Verses: 49-56

“He is the one who sent you down the Book which contains
decisive verses. They [form] the basis of the Book; while
others are allegorical.

Those whose hearts are prone to falter follow whatever is
allegorical in it, seeking to create dissension by giving their
[own] interpretation of it. Yet only God knows its interpretation,
those who are versed in knowledge say: We believe in it; it
all comes from our Lord.” However only prudent persons bear
it in mind.”

Surah: Al-‘Imran (The House of Imran)
Chapter: 3 – Verse: 7

Just imagine that the Qur’anic revelation took place in the 7th century, whereas, in the 21st century, we have “Literate Idiots” along with “Uneducated Brutes, who are senselessly debating and wrongly translating the Qur’anic verses by taking everything out of the context. Are they scared of the Qur’an like its 7th century audience or they want to simply distort the true meaning? Worst of all, it is all too obvious that they are being blatantly ignorant and absolutely incapable in differentiating between the “Divine, laws as ordained in the Holy Qur’an, which are more humane versus the “Man-made” Islamic theological literature which consists of confused and jumbled up writings that starkly contradicts the Qur’anic verses. The truth of the matter is, the birth of modern day “Muslim Terrorists, who are busy spilling the blood of humanity in the name of Almighty Allah has its roots deep inside the warped translation of Holy Qur’an drawn on the secondary Islamic sources. Let it be clear that the Holy Qur’an never has, nor will it ever inspire terror in the human hearts. Hence, with the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, we, the “Moderate Muslims, must strive hard to rekindle the illuminated teachings of the Qur’an by assuming the full responsibility to read the correct meaning of the Qur’anic verses translated by T. B. Irving with pure and sincere intention displayed as follows:

“No translation should confuse, but teach and make things holy,
we do not need criticism so much as constructive explanation.
I myself must remember to act as a Westerner before this
document in order to keep its meaning from being blurred. It
must be translated respectfully for our own worship, and so 
that we and others can understand its message.”

Last but not least, Sir Nizamat Jung Bahadur once remarked that, “the voice of the Quran, I repeat, with all its music and its thunder is a clear call to moral action: an inspiring, invigorating, reassuring call. There is no tremor of doubt or hesitancy in it anywhere, no trace of speculative uncertainty.” Then why not try to use our “Emotional Intelligence, which has been suppressed for so long. The fact is that many of my fellow Muslims do not even know how to ignite the “Spark of Divinity, within themselves. If Universe moves on rhythm, then why can’t our consciousness be moved by the heavenly voice of world famous Qari ‘Abdul-Basit ‘Abdus-Samad along with the celestial voice of Mohammed Rafi, which can bring tears to our eyes. Simply put, IMAAN TU KAR LO TAAZA, Rahmat Ka Khula Dar Waaza. Utho Aye Momino Mahe Ramzan Aaya.

“The Lodhia Family” wishes you and your beloved family members and all the loved ones, a blessed Holy Month of Ramadhan.

Very affectionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia      

    A Pen1  

http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.comhttp://www.readingisliving.com

THE CREED OF ISLAM

The creed of Islam is so simple and so natural that it has no need to be propped up by any quasi-metaphysical doctrine of Neo-Platonic mysticism. There is only one God, Almighty, Just and Merciful, the Creator of all that is in the universe, and Muhammad is His Apostle, because he was His creature and instrument for conveying the message of the oneness and might and majesty, of the justice and mercy and benevolence of God. He delivered it to a world in which human beings were worshipping stocks and stones fashioned by their own hands into a semblance of divine idols. The message was delivered, it was willingly or unwillingly accepted, and within a few short years it transformed Arabia and laid the foundation of a new world of thought and action, and shaped the mould of a new Civilization. A great and glaring untruth was being accepted by the human mind under the name of religion in the guise of those uncouth, ill-fashioned images. One man saw the untruth of it all in its naked deformity and had the courage to proclaim it as such, and to fight against it till he destroyed it and replaced it with a simple and majestic truth: namely, that the unseen God is One and Eternal and Almighty. That man also had the courage to say to his countrymen: ‘This is the truth and you shall believe it. I have been ordained by the Lord of Creation to convey it to the world, and I am therefore His chosen Messenger.’ Is there any imposture in this, any false doctrine, any claim that was not justified by the whole life of the man?

The Quran is nothing if it does not convey this great moral and spiritual lesson to man: ‘Thou must earn thy salvation by thy faith and thy good deeds alone; if thou dost good it is for thy own soul, if thou dost evil it is also for thy own soul, and thou shalt answer for it.’

The Prophet of Islam was not trying to discover truths. Simple truths of a universal nature were being poured into his heart by the Great Power that rules the Universe. His part was to have them believed and put into practice. No Prophet had ever done more than this.

The Prophet of Islam never professed to be introducing a new religion; neither did Jesus. They professed only to have been missioned to resort the old religion to its purity. The Quran is merely a confirmation of the divine message sent through Moses and Jesus; and Islam does not claim to be a new religion; it is a reassertion of the old faith in a less ambiguous form.

MANKIND ONE BROTHERHOOD

The attitude of the reader towards the Quran is not to be that of a critic sitting down with the avowed object of writing an article for a literary magazine, or a paragraph for the book-note column of a journal. Nor should it be that a Doctor of Theology with a mind heavily laden with cumbersome learning and prepossessed in favor of some one system and prejudiced against all others. All scared books have a natural appeal in them, and the appeal is to unsophisticated minds. Go to them with an open mind and a clean heart, and you will not fail to find something good in them – the spirit of good, at any rate. But, for the Quran, I claim something more than this, namely, an extraordinary breadth of vision, truth to nature, insistence on practical righteousness while teaching man to live according to nature. It insists on the separation of good from evil, of right from wrong. It brings religion down from the clouds and fixes it upon solid earth as a world-compelling power, even as Socrates is said to have done in regard to philosophy. It does not confine Nature within artificial bounds, it does not prescribe any ritual as being essential to salvation. The daily prayer it enjoins is not a ‘ritual’ but a remembrance and an acknowledgement of subordination and gratitude to the Creator, and of the very essence of it is the earnest desire to be guided aright.

It makes all mankind one brotherhood. It pronounces them to belong to one religion – the religion of Nature, the religion of voluntary and cheerful submission to the laws of Nature as promulgated by its God. Does not the law of Nature comprehend all creation? It is the universality of its teaching, the truth of its prophetic visions, and the lucidity and fervour of its simple language that give to the Quran that wonderful power which moves the heart and bring tears to the eyes. Its voice is, in truth, a ringing ‘Prophet’s cry’! Get rid of the notion that it is a text-book of sermons written for the pulpit, and you get rid of much false thinking about the Quran. Get rid also of the nebulous belief that it is the mystical language of heaven, above and beyond human comprehension, and you will find it a human book sent for human guidance in this life – through which lies the way to heaven or hell.

The voice of the Quran, I repeat, with all its music and its thunder is a clear call to moral action: an inspiring, invigorating, reassuring call. There is no tremor of doubt or hesitancy in it anywhere, no trace of speculative uncertainty.

It exhorts man to rise to the full stature of completed manhood, so as to realise the divine element in his spirit. It proclaims his perfectability through righteous endeavor. It lays the foundation of his heaven in this very world of toil and strife. It encourages him to face the world as it is, to work in the midst of it, and to accept the facts of Nature as part of the great Scheme. He is neither to run away from them, nor to yield timidly to such as may be evil, but to combat them and overcome them and so save himself from their injurious effects. This is the Right Path.

The Quran makes the acceptance of the universal law the foremost duty of man. It teaches him to live in accord with it and seek and gain his balance as a sentient, rational, responsible being – passion driven but spiritually guided. Such submission to the divine order of things is Islam. It is the religion of Nature.

Title of the Book: AN APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF THE QURAN
Author: Sir Nizamat Jung

Publisher: SH. MUHAMMAD ASHRAF
Year: 1947

Jung

_______________________________________________________________________________________

THE HIJACKERS OF QUR’ANIC MESSAGE

“The greatest nonsense I heard in my life from someone supposedly Muslims is the statement: “The very Kalimah LA ILAH ILLA ALLAH is 100 % politics.”

“The Qur’an has clear guidelines for humanity, none of which command him to assume a political role.

The Qur’an enjoins the doing of good and righteous deeds and control of one’s base instincts / moral awareness (taqwa) as its twin foundations of faith on which God will judge all humanity; its bidding include justice and equity; charity and generosity, mercy, compassion and forgiveness, patience and tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution, vying with each other in goodness and lawful pursuits, use of reason and discernment, invoking peace upon the ignorant, returning evil with good, returning greetings warmly and repelling all negative thoughts ; fair wages to the employee, sharing of wealth with the needy, even in bad times by personal sacrifices and writing off debt to a bankrupt debtor; excellence in lawful pursuits, unremitting personal jihad for self-improvement and community development; friendliness with neighbours even erstwhile enemies; suppressing anger and forgiving others even in state of anger; speaking good of others to help avoid conflicts in the society/ family, conducting oneself graciously at places of worship; walking humbly and invoking peace on the ignorant; not being wasteful, nor miserly but to take a position in between; to speak what was just and relevant (sadida), fair and reasonable (ma‘ruf) in a goodly manner (hasana) and a soft tone. To say with mouth what is in the heart (3:167).

The forbiddances include financial embezzlement, arrogance, speaking ill of others; include slandering, backbiting, rumour mongering, greed, bribery, trifle talk, polemical arguments, all that is vain, gross and ignoble walking, speaking or behaving arrogantly; speaking in a deceitful or ostentatious manner; miserliness; hiding one’s possession to avoid sharing it with the needy; mocking other people, finding fault in each other or insulting others with (insulting) nicknames; to be miserly when affluent; harbour excessive suspicious of others, amassing wealth, holding back from spending for the needy in the community, bribing the authorities to usurp other’s properties; cheating others even by mutual consent; appropriating the shares of a minor business partner, money lending at exorbitant rates to quickly multiply one’ wealth; to burden anyone beyond his capacity; compelling others in religion.

On Pluralism, the Qur’an recognizes the diversity of human race, language and color and declares that if God willed, He would have made humanity into one community guiding them all. The Qur’an forbids any compulsion in religion and asks the Prophet not to compel people because if God so wished, everyone on earth would have believed. The Qur’an also commands Muslims not to discriminate against non-Muslims, nor to insult those whom they invoke besides God. Towards the concluding phase of the revelation, when Islam was established as an historical reality and the pagans and the native Jews and Christians did not pose any threat, the Qur’an expounds its message on the plurality of faith (49:13, 5:48).”

“…… For each of you We have made a (different) code (shir‘ah), and an open way (of action) (minhaj). If God so pleased, He would have made you (all) into one community. Therefore vie (with each other) in goodness (so that) He may test you by what He has given you. (Remember, you) all will (eventually) return to God, and He will tell you in what you differed” (5:48).

“O People! We have created you as male and female, and made you into races and communities* for you to get to know each other. The noblest among you near God are those of you who are the most morally upright (active in taqwa). Indeed God is All-Knowing and Informed” (49:13)

Can anyone question the Qur’an’s claim to be a noble discourse. Only the hijacker of Qur’anic message will say it is 100% Politics. God alone will judge these liars.

Muhammad Yunus – Co-author of “Essential Message of Islam”

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