The Contribution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya to Muslim Science
Exploring the various ways in which the Khulafa-e-Ahmadiyyat have contributed to science
The resplendent glory of Islam shone forth from the Arabian peninsula in the 6th century to fundamentally alter the course of Human history. Driven by the injunctions of the Holy Prophetsa to “acquire knowledge even if you have to travel to China” the Islamic world rejuvenated the darkness of the middle ages and became within a few short years, the seat of learning and technological advancements, spanning geometry, geology, medicine, chemistry, physics and astronomy. Between much of the 8th and 14th century the Islamic world was the unrivalled global superpower in technological and scientific learning. The loss of this prestige was a travesty for the world of Islam and the Muslims, a situation which sadly persists to this day. Many historical explanations have been sought for this situation. However, one theological explanation is the loss of the initial zeal of faith in the Muslims, driven by a lack of unity and leadership in the Muslim world. The Prophetsa had presciently foretold that Allah removes knowledge from a people by the death of its scholars; the slow, yet almost inexorable decline of the Muslim mastery over worldly sciences perhaps indicated a sign from Allah (the Bestower of munificent graces) upon which Muslims would do well to reflect.
The rejuvenation of Islam at the hands of the Promised Messiahas offered an opportunity to stop this decline. The Promised Messiahas brought about a remarkable reformation in the condition of the Muslim Ummah and attitude towards scientific achievements. Many of the traditional ‘ulema’ (scholars) had turned against all forms of western learning and scientific pursuits, whereas others, notably from the Aligarh school rapidly adopted modernisation with such tenacity that the fundamental principles of Islam, such as belief in prayer or belief in the angels, were waylaid as of no use. The Promised Messiahas took the golden middle way pointing out that the ‘word’ of God and the ‘act’ of God could never be incongruent. Indeed, he pointed to many of the technological advancements of the day such as the modern printing press and the invention of the combustion engine as evidence in support of the prophetic truths contained in the Qur’an and Hadith and to be brought to use in the service of Islam. He had a remarkably scientific attitude in the 18th Century, suggesting the use of a controlled trial to test the acceptance of his prayers, encouraging the population at large to take up the plague vaccine and to ensure obedience to governmental hygiene regulations to stop its spread. Allah the Almighty had vouchsafed to him that members of his community would be distinguished in both spiritual and worldly knowledge. This prophecy that was fulfilled in part with the Nobel prize of Professor Abdus Salam, reported by the scientific commentator Professor Jim Al-Khalili to be the most remarkable scientist emerging from the Muslim world in the last 1000 years.
It is thus far from surprising that the Khulafa of the Messiah (may Allah have mercy on them all) have encouraged the pursuit of scientific knowledge and the development of a love for exploring the world God has created. The First Khalifah, Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddinra was known for his deep love of learning and was a renowned physician, acting for a period of 15 years as the personal physician for the Maharaja of Kashmir. He did not confine himself to a single school of medicine or thought, rather just like the earlier scientists and physicians of Islam he contented himself with knowledge wherever it was gleaned. Hazrat Chaudhury Zafrullah Khanra narrates: “He did not confine himself to what was generally known as the Yunani system of medicine. He procured several books from Egypt on the allopathic system in Arabic and made a careful study of them. He took lessons in the Hindi system from an aged Hindi Physician, Pandit Harnam Das, and studied Amrit Sagar and Sasrat with him… One day the Maharaja enquired from him: Why do you pay so much deference to Pandit Harnam Das? He replied: I revere him as my teacher”. Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddinra was well known for his love of books and would refer to them often. He was anxious to instil a love of learning in the Ahmadiyya Community and the Ummah in general, issuing the following declaration on 27th February 1911 “There is a scheme for the establishment of a Muslim University in India, and some of our friends have enquired whether they should contribute towards it… as the Muslim University project is a beneficent one, I consider it necessary that our friends should contribute in every way towards promoting it.”
In a similar way, the Second Khalifah Hazrat Musleh Maudra was at the forefront of promoting scientific progress and understanding within the community. In a seminal lecture in March 1926 entitled ‘Religion and Science’ delivered in Lahore, he touched on the fundamental precepts of the religious-scientific divide to show there was in essence no conflict between the two. He pointed out that there was incongruity between the Word and Act of God, so long as the religion was a living faith in God and not mere superstitious belief. He elucidated several verses from the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophetsa from the Hadith to show the perspicacity of the original Islamic texts relating to scientific matters. Amongst many examples, he explained the Hadith on killing rodents in sacred places, as foreshadowing rodents as a vector for contagious diseases. He related that sometimes misunderstanding is caused as religious knowledge and scientific knowledge form different domains and are required for different fields of human endeavour. He provided cogent arguments that Darwinian theories did not negate the existence of God, rather at most only pointed to the existence of a method, and provided the criteria to differentiate spiritual revelation from altered mental experiences seen in psychiatric disorders. Readers are encouraged to read the lecture in full since a brief summary cannot render justice to its insights. The work of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIra was not solely theoretical but also practical – an article in Nature (June 1946) praised the establishment of the Fazl-e-Umar research institute at his direction: “A remarkable sign of the recognition of the important part which science must play in the India of the future is shown by the decision of the leader of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masihra, to devote a generous part of its funds to the foundation of a research institute. This community is responsible already for a number of educational institutions, including the Talimul Islam College, but its leader now considers the time to be ripe for a further development. The new research institute, the Fazl-e-Umar Research Institute, Qadian, is being opened at a time when India is undergoing a scientific renaissance, and private benefactions have their part to play in making this a success.” The institute was opened on 19th April 1946 by the prominent Indian scientist Sir Shanti Bhatnagar with Dr Abdul Ahmad named as the director. The main focus of the institute was biochemistry and agricultural technologies.
Due to this guidance from the Khulafa-e-Ahmadiyyat a culture of seeking the highest levels of education was embedded amongst the community. This went hand in hand with the ever present prophecy vouchsafed to the Promised Messiahas, “He (God) has conveyed to me that my followers will excel so much in knowledge and insight that they will confound all others with the light of their truth, their reasoning and their signs.” (Tajalliyate Ilahiya). This prophecy has been fulfilled multiple times through individuals of the community and most apparently with Prof. Abdus Salam, the first Muslim and Pakistani to win the Nobel Prize.
Upon Dr Abdus Salam winning the prize, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIIrh initiated the gold medal scheme, where top achieving students of the community would be awarded a gold medal every year. At the time of introducing this scheme Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIIrh wanted over 100 Ahmadi scientists who would follow in the footsteps of Dr Abdus Salam. Throughout his Khilafat, Huzoorrh drew the attention of the community towards achieving excellence and bringing about a new age of enlightenment. During an address to a gathering on the progress of the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation, Huzoorrh said: “The writings, speeches and observations of the Promised Messiahas abound in vast oceans of knowledge. If we could grasp their beauty and their beneficence and examine them from different angles and project in this manner our research to the world, even the whole of mankind dare not compete with us… Our research should be intellectual and should scintillate with spiritual flashlights. There would otherwise be not much to choose between our contribution and that of a lay thinker and author. It will carry no weight. The secularly-minded philosophers and writers have amassed a big store of knowledge. But they have failed to save the world from moral and spiritual death.”
The focus being that Ahmadi’s need to avail themselves of the knowledge and methodologies developed by secular scholars, but Ahmadis can take benefit of spiritual insight that may elucidate the truth. Within this he expounds the Islamic philosophy of truth in inquiry and the weight it puts on honesty and integrity, a point modern, secular researchers would do well to heed.
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IVrh embodied the idea of an “intellectual discourse, scintillating with moments of spiritual flashlights”. From Friday Sermons to the Q&A meetings held in Fazl Mosque, London, there is not a topic within the sphere of science he did not cover with bewildering rigour and philosophical discourse. His magnum opus, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth is a beautiful illustration of the interplay between both natural and social sciences and the knowledge contained within the Holy Qur’an.
Time and time again he encouraged Ahmadis to study science. Often mid-way through a sermon, a topic for further investigation would arise and once again he would stop to draw the attention of Ahmadi scientists. In a deeply philosophical Friday Sermon on Ayat An-Noor and the nature of Noor [Light] in the universe, he unites seemingly disparate fields of interest back to the Noor of Allah.
These constant reminders took on a very focussed programme within the time of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba. From the outset of his Khilafat, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba engaged directly with the youth, reminding them of the importance of science and achieving excellence in education.
The address he delivered in the final session of the AMRA conference in 2019 is just one example of how the Khilafat of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has bequeathed to the Muslim Ummah a thirst for knowledge that shall most certainly usher in a new golden age of Islam.
MKA National Ijtema 2022
At a time when everyone is feeling the blues after the success of Jalsa Salana UK 2022, the perfect antidote is just around the corner. The National Khuddam and Atfal Ijtema 2022 will be taking place on the 9th, 10th and 11th of September 2022 at Old Park Farm in Kingsley.
This is a perfect opportunity for all Khuddam and Atfal across the country to come together and enjoy the extensive array of academics, activities, discussion and food planned for the entire weekend. Additionally, it’s a great way for Khuddam to rekindle lost friendships after the pandemic.
Our world has taken a turn towards mischief and society is increasingly moving further away from their Lord. The responsibility of bringing the world back to God rests on the shoulders of the youth of today. This duty is arduous and cannot be undertaken unless self-reformation is brought on first. The National Ijtema is a means of directing the Ahmadi Youth of today towards their duties and responsibilities as Ahmadi Muslims.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said on the occasion of the National Ijtema in 2013,
“It is the Ahmadi Muslim youths who will be the means of leading others towards success and true freedom. To do this, you must learn about your faith so that you can display the highest moral standards in all aspects of your lives. Only when you strive for such high standards will you be able to paint the true picture of peaceful Islam for the people of the world.”
And the statement of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) – who founded Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya – that “Nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of their youth” sets forth such a profound philosophy for all Nations to come. And it is at Ijtema that the youth of Ahmadiyyat can foster these qualities within themselves to become the guiding forces for the future generations.
This year we have a lot to offer all attendees including the academic competitions, exhibitions, indoor and outdoor competitive and non-competitive sports, interactive discussions on hot topics and inspiring talks on the issues that are affecting our young people across the whole country. And of course, National Ijtema would not be complete without The Hub. This year, we have lots of fun and engaging activities taking place in The Hub, and we’re not just talking about the café with Waffles, Ice Cream and Milk Shakes… come and test your mettle with the Scalextric F1 racing challenge and the PlayStation racing experience. Ask a Murabbi your burning questions or take a seat and Chit Chat Chai about Islam, metaphysics and other contemporary issues.
We have all of the usual outdoor team sports taking place such as Football, Volleyball, Cricket, and Tug of war, as well as individual sports competitions such as 100m race and Strong man competition. For indoor sports competitions, we have Weight Lifting, Basketball, Table Tennis and Armed Forces Activities just to name a few.
Unlike last year when we couldn’t offer accommodation to all Khuddam and Atfal due to Covid restrictions, this year we are making necessary arrangements with necessary amenities for our Khuddam and Atfal brothers to stay on-site if they wish to do so. Sanitised mattresses will be provided and those wishing to stay overnight must bring their own bedding.
Due to the still prevalent Covid pandemic, we are still keeping in place some measures to keep all of the attendees safe during the weekend. Wear a mask, keep a safe distance and try to refrain from handshaking and hugging. On arrival, you need to provide proof of a negative LFT no less than 24 hours old so please register your negative LFT on NHS Website before you leave for the Ijtema. We will put a sticker on your AIMS card, and this will give you access to the Ijtema site for the next 3 days.
One of the highlights of the National Ijtema is to spend time in the company of our Beloved Imam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) so we can elevate our spirituality and increase our love for Khilafat. We were blessed to have the blessed company of Huzoor (aba) in last year’s Ijtema. This year again we are fortunate that InshaAllah Huzoor (aba) will be gracing us with his presence and we can once again benefit from the blessed company and guidance of Beloved Huzoor (aba).
We look forward to welcoming you to the National Ijtema in less than 24 hours! Please visit mka.uk/ijtema-reg to register today and visit ijtema.org.uk for more details about the Ijtema and to access the interactive academic syllabus. Please reach out to your local/Regional Qaid Sahib if you have any questions or email [email protected].
Follow us on Twitter (@UKMuslimYouth) and Instagram (AMYA.UK) for the latest information and content.
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V Inaugurates Islamabad Convenience Store
On the 1st of April 2022, after Asr Namaz, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) inaugurated the MKA Tuck Shop in Islamabad. Huzoor (aba) opened the Homeopathic Dispensary adjacent to the Tuck Shop before gracing the Khuddam store. Huzoor (aba) unveiled a plaque and led everyone in silent prayer after which Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Abdul Quddus Arif, Mohtamim Sanat-o-Tijarat, Umar Hassan, and Motamid Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Nassar Bhatti, had the opportunity to show Huzoor (aba) the store and its wares.
Huzoor (aba) graced Khuddam with his precious time and distributed sweets to children who had gathered outside.
Immediately after Huzoor (aba) stepped outside the store, Huzoor (aba) was informed by Sadr Sahib about the Khuddam present with Huzoor (aba) speaking to a few as well. All those who had gathered were greatly moved by Huzoor’s presence.
This tuck shop will Insha’Allah serve as a small convenience store for the residents of Islamabad and visitors. The Homeopathy Dispensary has also opened alongside the MKA Tuck Shop.
Wars will Stop when the World Turns to the Promised Messiah Says Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V
In today’s Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) once again reminded Ahmadis around the world to pray for an end to the current crisis.
In today’s Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba once again reminded Ahmadis around the world to pray for an end to the current crisis. Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V stated:
Pray that Allah the Almighty grants both sides of the conflict proper understanding and they stop this murder of humanity.
Huzooraba further commented that Muslims should learn from the unity that the West has displayed in condemning the war:
Muslims should learn from this war. The [West] has become united, yet Muslims, despite belonging to one creed, never unite. They had one country destroyed; Iraq was destroyed, Syria was destroyed, Yemen is being destroyed—they cause this destruction through outsiders and are doing it themselves too, instead of being united. At the very least the Muslims should learn, from the West, how to be united.
Huzoor reiterated his continuous message that there will only be peace in the world when the world accepts the Imam of the Age—the Promised Messiahas:
May Allah have mercy on these nations, the Muslim nations and on the Muslim Ummah. This can only happen however, when these people accept the Imam of the Age who has been sent for this very purpose.
May Allah grant them understanding, and where they [the Muslims] reform themselves may they also pray and use their means to stop the world from wars, rather than themselves become embroiled in them.
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba has been warning of an impending world crisis for a long time and has travelled the world spreading the message of the Promised Messiahas.
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