Following the response of Brother Gulzar, Mr S. Ahmad posted a response to this response which was posted on the Qadiani Website. To this, Brother Gulzar has written a response which is produced below.
17th June 2000
To: Mr. S. Ahmad, Lahore
Ud'a_ ila_ sabili rabbika bil hikmati wal mau'izatil hasanati
wa ja_dilhum bil lati hiya ahsan(u), inna rabbaka huwa a'lamu biman
dalla 'an sabilihi wa huwa a'lamu bil muhtadin(a).
Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation,
and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him
who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright (Picthall).
In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and Beneficent
My dear S. Ahmad Sahib:
I have no intention of delivering a sermon. I quoted a verse only for good omens.
Thank you for your letter of June 14, 2000. Our office was closed for a day and when resuming this morning a friend of mine took a print of your letter from the computer and gave it to me. I am not very computer literate but know it only as much as is enough to do my job. I have to correct u at the outset that I am not a scholar. Let me brief u on my personal profile. I am not a very educated person nor do I hold a position of any prominence. Whatever I know, I have learnt from my working desk. Currently, I am doing a small job, in Islamabad, with a modest income and living modestly in ‘Pindi in a rented house. I commute daily on buses and barely make it to make my living to sustain my family. So much for me. I hope this will dispel any doubts in your mind that I may be a high profile literary person or a member of any exclusive civic club who is out to obfuscate you with his knowledge or some other clever craft.
I have to add just one more point to my last letter about Bhutto.
When his trial was going on, I had the opportunity of working with some
foreigners. They were very uneasy as to the result. They used
to say to us “Bhutto is not good for you”. Even when the verdict
came, their otherwise bold visages carried signs of anxiety and nervousness.
Their fear was “This man (Zia) will never execute him, we think, because
he is afraid of Russia”. When the halter finally went around Bhutto’s
neck, they looked
visibly relieved. I am quoting this as an eye witness. Any cogitation necessary now to know who got him out of the way?.
Thanks for the offer of your webmaster to continue the debate. Debate on what? About the deaths of some people? This does not involve any scholarly discussions. Some historical backup is enough to prove your point. I will now proceed to take up your letter point by point:
Rassi Daraz: “Rassi daraz hona” means getting longer opportunity and not longer life. Why not check with some Urdu Professor in Lahore which is teeming with such luminaries. However, I concede your right to stretch the meaning anyway u like.
Syed Bokhari: He was addressed as “Mr.” Bokhari. This is below your dignity. The right appellation is “Syed”. U should have shown a big heart. Defeat your enemies morally than with your fists. Moral route is permanent, the man beaten once will never recover. Physical route is temporary, the man fallen may find his feet again and come back even stronger. However, this is not one way traffic. Both the debating sides should remain within the confines of decent demeanour and never try to stoop low.
A question of medical science: Micturition 100 times a day is indicative of imbecility of body. A strong body carries a strong mind but if the body is weak the mind is weak. Am I correct? So, how then a weak mind will separate inspiration from hallucination, vision from visitation and spiritual trance from fits of delusion. I hope this is not disparaging as I mean no disrespect, please rely on me. It was necessary to ask this question to satisfy my own curiosity and I could not dare ask it from any one other than a very dear friend like you who cares.
Your first letter. I know your letter was out and out political with no religious overtones but, in my opinion, it smacked of some arrogance (?) in regard to the death of some notable persons, though I am no great admirer of late Zia-ul-Haq or the likes of Daultana, hence the reason for writing to you. Some religious points, I discussed briefly, related to the main article and not to u directly. As for religious beliefs, I have no hang-ups. From time immemorial, to this moment, no problem has been resolved through arguments, discussions and disputations. Unless a change of heart takes place in a man’s innerself by itself or by divine will, however strong reasons you advance to your adversaries, they will all go like water on a duck’s back. I pray for you and myself that may Allah guide us to see the light of reason.
Tirade: Mr. S. Ahmad, Sir, I had no intention of launching a tirade against any one. I request u to accept my apologies if I was, in any way, imperious or too pretentious in my last letter. Sometime, you do get worked up in the heat of discussions and if I did proceed in that direction, my sincere regrets for that. As is usual in a debate, I made some indirect references to some events of the past but please do not misunderstand me. Let us wish love and peace to everybody. After all, we are in the new, and possibly the last(?), millennium and the rights of man in regard to freedom of choice and freedom of speech have to be jealously guarded for each member of the human race unless they are not underscored by mischief. Mutual respect will ensure peace and you will lose nothing. Gaining respect of fellow human beings is a credit and incurring their disgust is a human failing. This is my “gut” feeling and I hope u agree.
You see the sectarian violence currently going on. Shias are minority but no voice has been raised by the human rights watch dogs at the international forum. The moment something happens to you, in a much lesser degree, these very human rights agencies will move the heavens and earth in your favour. So, you see the privileged position u enjoy with them.
About Jesus. The question regarding the return of Jesus to his earthly abode before the end of the world is, no doubt, sensitive. The debate continues whether or not Jesus was raised unto heavens alive and will return. Those who do not agree, generally, say that Jesus died a physical death and will not return and refer to the rule that man is born, he dies and will be alive again only on resurrection. As I told you, I am a strong believer in the second coming of Christ. Even if we concede that Jesus died, in my perception, he will still return to this earth before the end because of the will of Almighty. The logic is that if the maker of the rule has made an exception for the return of Jesus, so be it, because exceptions only prove the rules. Why to kick up a storm? After all, this is a one time exception and the Almighty has only proven his own powers to do anything at any time in the way he deems it fit. No body can question him. There are only a few verses and Hadiths on which the entire structure of debate has been raised. If I quote any one of these, we will latch on to our own separate interpretations. What would be the result then? Let us appeal, instead, to each other’s common sense. So, I proceed: For 1400 years from the time of our Holy Prophet (PBUM) to now, and from then back to the time of Jesus (another 1000 years or so) , God did not bother to reveal the falsity of this dogma or concept and kept his people running like chickens with their heads chopped off. Why the Almighty held this revelation (Christ’s demise) back from his people for so long defies my imagination? Was He enjoying like Greek Gods (sitting on the Olympus in their leisure time) to see His people moving around with their heads wobbling in despair, uncertain of the person of Jesus to arrive and when? Now, after so many centuries He only decided a century ago to reveal the truth about the demise of Jesus to a Holy Man in India through an inspiration. Is it fair? What the people of Nazareth will think that the trials and tribulations of their son of the soil went for nothing. Pray, do throw some light on it. What do we conclude, is belief in the “Promised Messiah” a part of eschatology? If it is then why not bring faith in the advent of original Messiah who will have a unanimous acceptance instead of a person highly disputable. However, if Jesus is coming because of the personal favours of you or me or somebody else, then certainly it is not acceptable. I have no wish to thrust my opinion on any one, though. Suppose, I quote a Hadith re the appearance of Jesus again, u will immediately ascribe it to Mirza Sahib. What can I do then? Any way out? Now the question is how do we convince each other? In a discussion, normally, you will stick to your guns and I will stick to mine and how the hell then are we going to reach a consensus. One can only pray that may Allah Almighty, in his own unbounded mercy, let the wiser counsel prevail on all of us or will we have to resort to a prayer duel on this? According to St. Paul all our good deeds are like filthy rags and he has, very appropriately, according to his own perceptions, nailed the salvation to the Cross. Islam has made amends to such outrageous notions. Yet, the return of Jesus to this earth still remains an open question. All sides hold fast to their notions and, being a very important religious issue debated over centuries, the issue in itself cannot be watered down to make it acceptable to all. Man, by nature, is very greedy, is recalcitrant and has a bloody nature by choice. He cannot bring harmony and peace to the human society which includes all the ethnic and geographical groups of the world. This will require a superhuman to do the job. Let us guess who that superhuman could be? He should be of a strong bearing, with a strong personal charisma, who can bring the world together under his banner to rid it of its sufferings both moral and material. Any person who cannot keep his own people together and make them listen to him, how can u expect him to make the entire human race rally round his standard. There are plenty of people, in the world, who still believe that the concept of “Kingdom of God” full of love and peace, sans any moral and material crisis, is a mere utopia. There have been plenty of scholars and savants who believed in the demise of Jesus. Mirza Sahib was not the first person who propounded this idea. Do u agree that there is a marked difference between the original and fascimille? So, Janab S. Ahmad Sahib, to conclude my point, we cannot sanitise the issue for the parties, sitting on the extremes, to agree. The best course, therefore, would be to pray to Almighty to let the wiser counsel prevail on all of us. The least we can do, on our part, is to extend love and peace to all the human race, and its posterity, without wishing eternal perdition to any one.
Jang-e-Muqaddas: Yes, I have your book “Jang-e-Muqaddas” in my house which is the 2nd edition printed by Sh. Noor Ahmad, Owner and Administrator, of Riaz Hind Press, Amritsar. The problem is that when two warring factions agree to have a debate on some topic, they do not accept the validity of the reference books (holy books) of each other so the end result of such a debate is well known which is generally confusion, worsening the discord.
Peter Jennings: Yes, I am aware of the documentary set to be shown on CNN by Peter Jennings. I assure you that I will not miss it. I will get the copies somehow. Remember, he took a solo flight to discover this. Another one may come up later with a different story. As is usual, in such a case, some will agree and some will not. So whichever side he throws his weight on, the debate will still continue. I understand that the date of broadcast has been advanced to 26th now. I am waiting. I shall try to pick it up from CNNnews website or may seek the help of my friends to get it for me. But u can rest assured, I shall read it. By the way, there is no dearth of Christians in USA and Europe, who I had the opportunity of talking to in the past, who ridicule the very concept of God and treat all the religious stories as fairy tales. The upside is that if the findings of Mr. Jennings are anywhere close to your official opinion, it will give plenty of boost to your missionary efforts. You already have your show on the road. The downside is that if it goes against you, will u accept it? I bet, not! You will have well founded reasons to reject it. Am I correct? So, why to stake everything on the outcome of Peter Jennings’ findings? By the way, for years, there have been reports that efforts are afoot to bring in a false messiah into the world to exploit the gullible people religiously, morally and economically. It is easy to rule the minds of people in this way. Some say, there may even be a fake Armageddon. Be on your guard, they are very clever people. They do not dominate the world for nothing.
Divine Tradition: As for the divine tradition, survey the world and see how, down the line in the human history, the evil has always prospered and impostors have had a field day. Pray, don’t take it a dig on u, as it is not in my family system to tell a lie, deceive, hurt people or flatter for minor gains. I have many Qadiani friends and classmates who can bear me out on this. Christianity still outnumbers us, so by our standards the evil still prospers. As for Mirza Sahib, I shall not talk about his person to avoid any hard feelings. Why should I be disrespectful to someone who is held in high esteem elsewhere which includes many a friend of mine. Decent people do not revile. Holding friends in high esteem is no great achievement but treating foes with love and care is out of the ordinary. I have struck the right chord with you but, being in the opposite camp, may I avail of my right to say that, barring the special circumstances and secular backdrop of the society at that time, Mirza Sahib would have passed on into the pages of history, may be, as just another literary genius of a high calibre. No offence, please!
Spread of Ahmdiat: I admire your enthusiasm, devotion and dedication
to your missionary work. Instead of disputing it, I will quote Dr.
Ismail Balogun, a born Ahmadi and your one time high level missionary in
Nigeria and who renounced and dissociated himself from the movement:
“……….. that the more I scrutinized the claims and purported reference for
them, the more I discovered that the Ahmadiyyah Mission is deceiving the
world and playing on the ignorance of …….. He again says, “………. The
Ahmadi leadership has relied upon the well-proven methods of the Christian missionaries to alienate the uninformed individuals from knowledgeable and sincere Muslims and selfishly increase their membership”. Yet again, he says: “…….. but they hide it from their followers deliberately in order to entrench their own false idea on Prophethood ……..”. Admittedly, I am singularly short on knowledge and shall leave it at that.
Mirza Sahib: Yes, I have read some of the kind words used by Moulvi Mohammad Hussain Batalvi in praise of Mirza Sahib but when did he say and in what context. Have you ever tried to sit down with majority Muslims to make an investigative search to know that, with such a literary genius, what went wrong, where, when, how and why?
Ch. Sahib: Libya, Algeria and Tunisia were all part of the balkanisation of the Muslim ranks. No body did nothing for no one. It had to come and it came. They wrote the script and we delivered our part of the dialogues. To understand all this, u will have to study the post world war II politics and especially the cold war syndrome. By creating divisions in the Muslim empire, and ensuring them of protection, the intention of the imperialists was to create pockets of influence around the globe in order to engage their giant opposite number i.e. Russia. This they did not do out of love for Muslims. Listen, for example, to the words of Mr. Hooker A. Doolittle: “Muslims might be retrograde, uninformed, venal and given to arrogance but an accident of geography has placed them in parts of the world critical to US interests”. Muslims were sitting over oil reserves in the Middle East and other strategic points, around the globe, were also populated by them. It was this that prompted the Euro-American block to “baby sit” the Muslim leaders and help them grow strong so that they could be utilised in the “Clash of Titans” to come which has already taken place and they have emerged victorious with the help of Muslims who were duly bankrolled for that. Those who rose to free their people from this captivity perished, largely, because of traitors at home. They achieved all this with remarkable ease. Their market economy is booming now and Russia left Afghanistan with its prestige, and big bully status, buried in the rugged and difficult terrain of Afghanistan.
A question: Has a holy man ever called his people “Sons of Bitches” and “Children of Whores”? If some did, the other could have improved on it to grow in the estimation of the people he was directly in contact with under a mission from God.
For a change, I was seeing the film “Cleopetra” the other day. After restoring Cleopetra to the Egyptian throne, Julius Ceasre says to her: “Understand, I did not do this out of courtesy, certainly not out of infatuation. I expect you to bring order to this country and pay your debts to Rome. I am simply ensuring the future of my investment and sooner I get out of this viper’s nest the better”. Pray tell me,is the position any different now after centuries? What was true before Christ is equally true in so distant a future. All the underdeveloped countries of the world, including those of Muslims, are already caught in the web of debts. All the help and assistance we used to receive was a bribe, euphemistically called monetary assistance or financial aid, to rope us in to be a part of different security pacts and we quietly agreed. We were in a particular satellite, they had us under their thumb and we had to minister to their desires as there was no way out or else we were in danger of being thrown to dogs. Please do give a thought to this. Check on this and see if the person of the calibre of Ch. Muhammad Zafarullah Sahib did anything to emancipate us from the thraldom of these pacts which only served one sided interest and provided protection only against possible communist inroads. I don’t know but if he did, just point out one instance and I shall immediately register my note of admiration for him.
Footloose: Yes, I am a footloose because I harbour no bias against any one. I am very receptive, open to advice and a quick learner. You can rely on me to say anything, I will assimilate it in no time, once it goes to my heart (this is not self-appraisal but recorded comments of some high class executives I have worked with over the years). However, the condition of someone’s heart is something u cannot see. How hard and how best you work on an individual, you cannot convince him. It requires a change of hear to do so. The “change of heart”, nonetheless, takes place by itself or by divine will as you have already seen in the case of Dr. Balogun. Nothing comes out of discussions. It all proves a futile attempt in the end, as u cannot achieve anything unless the “change of heart” takes place. As I have said above, I am an ordinary person with no pretensions to knowledge. I shall definitely read the book(s) you have recommended. I shall locate the proper place to buy them in the first opportunity. You see, I have taken the advice of a friend to my heart. You need an in-depth study before you pass remarks on someone and when you do, these should be very appropriate and should never hurt.
Now, let me roll back on my time as if I continue writing, it may go for hours and, being a working individual, I have not enough time on my disposal. We may leave something for future. Today is Saturday. This letter is ready and if I come on Monday back to work, in all probability, I shall email it to u the same day or at the most by Tuesday next because I am not feeling well these days (nothing serious, the usual flu, fever, etc.). Please don’t think I have broken down for rubbing shoulders with you. Any flutters? Forget it, I was just kidding! I never lose my sense of humour even under serious conditions. It makes u more acceptable. Why to keep a stiff upper lip and blow your top for nothing but only to burn your own energy. Let me thank you for being responsive and bearing with me all this time.
Janab S. Ahmad Sahib, it is upto your webmaster now to place this letter in the space specially created by them for this purpose. I sincerely believe that it is an “open heart, open mind” discussion with no intention to scandalise, as they generally do these days. As decent people, we should appreciate each other’s viewpoint as otherwise it will reflect on us as people who are too small to be kindly disposed to those who do not reconcile to their way of thinking. While discussing something, one is apt to overreach himself. This is not unexpected because the man is impetuous by nature. The letter has been completed and emotions, if any, have cooled off. Everything is off the list.
Though I keep my cool, yet if I have said anything which is contrary to the norms of decent discourse, please do forgive me. In the end, I pray to the Almighty Allah to give us the strength and courage to accept the truth. Those who turn their back on truth for personal reasons and vanity are hypocritically self-righteous. May Allah guide them to the straight path which leads to salvation. I seek his mercy for all of us.
Thank u, once again, S. Ahmad Sahib, for entertaining my letter and taking the trouble to answer it. I hope u r a family man and, if so, do give my regards to each one in the family. It was very nice of u indeed to find time and that is how we learn from each other. Despite my efforts to keep the letter within limits, it has gone to an inordinate length. Sorry for that. I hope I have not supererogated.
June 17, 2000