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.”
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.”
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
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.