THE DEFENDER OF ISLAM
IT HAS already been shown in the previous chapter that,
along with a clear prophecy about the Christian attempt to
'blow out, with their mouths, the light of Allah (Islam),'
the Holy Qur'an had also prophesied the second advent of the
Messiah to save Islam, to bring out its perfection, and to
make it prevail over other religions. The commentators of
the Holy Qur'an were also agreed that this great task of the
defence and prevalence of Islam would be performed by the
Promised Messiah, long before he appeared in the person of
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib.
The Holy Prophet too had prophesied, as shown in the
previous chapter, the advent of the man 'nearest to me (the
Holy Prophet),' who would identify the grave danger in the
form of the Dajjal, and will overpower him. That this was no
other than Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib has also been
shown in the last chapter. The Holy Prophet had further
prophesied that the Promised Messiah would 'break the Cross
and kill the swine' (Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Anbiya. 60:49).
Taking a leaf out of the books of the Christian orientalists
and missionaries, the Hindu sect of Arya Samaj had made
their attacks on the person of the Holy Prophet of Islam in
particular, and on Islam and the Holy Qur'an in general,
still more scurrilous and vituperative. They were answered
by Hazrat Mirza Sahib, who exposed their teachings, in
particular of Nayog, by which a husband who had no male
child should allow his wife to sleep with other men so as to
get at least eleven male children. As such a lack of sense
of honour is to be found in the swine only, the Arya Samaj
was given that name by the Hadith. As a result of Hazrat
Mirza Sahib's campaign against the Arya Samaj, it lost its
rising popularity among the Hindus, and is now a dead
As for the 'breaking of the Cross,' the Muslims, as
usual, were under the misconception of taking it literally.
The Promised Messiah very pertinently pointed out that it
was hardly befitting any man of religion, least of all of
the high rank of the Promised Messiah, to go about breaking
the wooden crosses of the Christians in their homes and
their churches (a sacrilegious thing in itself) or killing
the swine in forests. To break a wooden Cross you need a
carpenter, not a spiritual leader! He explained that the
Cross was the sign and symbol of the Christian religion, and
its breaking meant the exposure of the falsity of the
doctrines of Christianity about the Divine Sonship of Jesus,
Trinity, Atonement, etc.
The Holy Prophet had also indicated how the false creed
of the Dajjal should be combatted -by arguments, as when he
'When he (the Dajjal) makes his appearance, and I am in
your midst, then I will overpower him by arguments, on
behalf of every Muslim; but if he appears after me, everyone
should argue with him on his own behalf' (Kanz al-Ummal,
Vol. 7, Nos. 2025 and 2079).
The 'killing of the Dajjal' referred to elsewhere in the
Hadith is also not in the literal sense -the common mistake-
but in the sense of annihilating by arguments.
The vast literature produced by the Promised Messiah and
his able lieutenants exposing the falsity of the doctrines
of Christianity is such a hard fact of documentary evidence
and history that the critics of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Sahib have not been able to deny that great achievement.
Christian missions themselves admitted defeat by instructing
their missionaries not to take on the Ahmadis in debate. To
deny the Promised Messiah's crushing defeat of Christianity,
however, his Muslim critics have produced a spurious
argument. To answer that, and to show the crowning glory of
the Promised Messiah in the breaking of the Cross, we have
decided to devote a separate chapter to that discussion
(Chapter 12). It will show that Christianity as a religion
which could be acceptable to an enlightened and intelligent
man is no more. So that the great danger it posed to the
Muslim intelligentsia, in fact to all Muslims, has ceased to
exist. While previously they went over by thousands to
Christianity, one does not hear of even one Muslim now going
over. Furthermore, Christianity is fast losing its hold on
its own white followers. That clears the way for the spread
of Islam among them. In this chapter we will confine
ourselves to the Holy Qur'an's prophecies, that Allah will,
through the second advent of the Messiah, not only save 'the
light of Allah' from being blown out, but will bring out its
perfection and make it prevail over other religions.
As desired by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Promised
Messiah carried out his campaign by arguments. He made a
list of the Christian objections to Islam, the Holy Prophet
and the Holy Qur'an. They came to the staggering figure of
3000! He listed them, classified them, and answered them.
They were, briefly, under the following headings.
Islam' The Religion of the Sword'
This much-rubbed-in objection was drawn from the wrong
conception among the Muslims of Jihad, Imam Mahdi, etc. We
have already disposed of these in Chapter 6. The Promised
Messiah removed the blot from the face of Islam that it
envisaged the use of force in religion. As for the Holy
Prophet, whose picture was drawn by the Christian
propagandists as holding the Holy Qur'an in one hand and the
sword in the other, offering the two alternatives, the
Promised Messiah and his able followers like Maulana
Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din showed how the Holy
Prophet and his Companions suffered the utmost persecution,
torture, individual killing, and ouster from their homes,
families and properties, without raising their arms to
strike back, and that it was only when the enemy took to the
sword to destroy the Holy Prophet and his Companions by
military offensive, that they took up arms in self-defence.
This has already been shown in our earlier discussion on
Jihad. And for the sake of peace, the Holy Prophet accepted
even the one-sided and highly adverse conditions of the
Peace of Hudaibiyya, under the Holy Qur'an's admonition:
'And if they (the enemies) incline to peace, incline thou
also to it, and trust in Allah. Surely, He is the Hearer,
the Knower' (8:61).
And when the enemy broke the truce and the Holy Prophet
had to march on Makka, which fell, he forgave all his
enemies, including the worst killers, with the magnanimous
quotation from the Holy Qur'an:
'No reproof be against you this day' (12:92).
The worst critics of the Holy Prophet cannot quote even
one case of the conquered enemies being compelled to accept
Islam. They did so in course of time voluntarily, touched by
the Holy Prophet's magnanimity and by the beauty of Islam,
which they could now see from close quarters and without the
blinding hatred and enmity which prevailed before.
The misconception that the punishment in Islam for
apostasy is death, which is unfortunately common among
Muslim Ulema too, was exploited by the enemies of Islam to
show that it was a religion of the sword: 'Convert by the
sword and keep within Islam by the sword.' We have already
dealt with it partially under Jihad. But it is necessary to
discuss it a little more as the misconception persists among
Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
The Holy Qur'an, which is the paramount authority of
Islamic law, is quite clear on the question of religious
'There is no compulsion in religion' (2:256).
'Say, the Truth is from your Lord; then whosoever wants
to, let him believe; and whosoever wants to, let him
'Wilt thou then force men against their will until they
become believers?' (10:99).
If a person outside Islam is not to be compelled to
become a Muslim, why should a person who is a believer be
compelled to stay in Islam? But a rejector of Islam, whether
from outside or from inside, does render himself liable to
Divine displeasure, because he rejects the truth after
having seen it. Then he has to be punished to cure him of
his spiritual revolt against submission to his Creator. But
the Holy Qur'an is quite clear that that would be in the
next world only. Before we quote the Holy Qur'an on that
point, we would like to quote a fair-minded non-Muslim
European, Heffening, who opens his article on murtadd
(apostate) in the Encyclopaedia of Islam with the remarks:
'In the Koran the apostate is threatened with punishment in
the next world only.' Let us quote the Holy Qur'an itself:
'How should Allah guide a people who disbelieved after
their believing and after they had become a witness (i.e.
after they had seen) that the Messenger was true, and clear
arguments had come to them. And Allah guides not the unjust
people. As for these, their reward is that on them is the
curse of Allah, and of the angels, and of men, all together
-abiding therein. Their chastisement shall not be lightened,
nor shall they be respited, except those who repent after
that and amend, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in
disbelief, their repentance is not accepted, and these are
they who go astray' (3:85-89).
These verses speak of an apostate even getting the
latitude to increase in his disbelief, and no immediate
punishment is mentioned except the curse of Allah and the
angels, etc., which means his being thrown away from Divine
pleasure and from virtue, but there will be punishment in
the Hereafter to curb the evil animal within him which
revolted and persisted in revolt against his Creator. This
is made clear in the following verses:
'Those who believe, then disbelieve, again believe and
again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will
never forgive them nor guide them on the (right) way'
'He who disbelieves in Allah after having believed, not
he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of
faith, but he who opens his breast for disbelief -on these
is the wrath of Allah, and they shall have a grievous
punishment' (16: 106).
'And they (the enemies) will not cease fighting with you
until they turn you back from your religion, if they could,
and whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he
dies while an unbeliever, these it is whose works go for
nothing in this world and the Hereafter, and they are the
inmates of fire; therein they abide' (2:217)
Here, the apostate is clearly spoken of as dying his
natural death. That the killing of the apostate was not in
vogue in Madina while the Holy Prophet was the ruler of the
place is clear from the following verse:
'And a party of the People of the Book say, Express
belief in that which has been revealed, in the first part of
the day, and disbelieve at the end of it' (3:71).
How could people living under a Muslim government
conceive of such a plan to throw discredit on the religion
of the rulers if apostasy was punishable with death?
Those who believe in the death punishment for an apostate
rely on certain reports in the Hadith, but we refrain from
entering that lengthy debate for the sake of brevity. The
reader, if he wishes to, may read pages 594 to 599 of the
masterly book The Religion of Islam, by Maulana Muhammad
Ali, which will show that only those apostates were put to
death who, after their apostasy, killed innocent Muslims or
joined the enemy to wage war against the Muslims. Their
killing was, then, for reasons other than religion.
To conclude, the charge repeated till this day against
Islam that it was the religion of the sword, and not of
conscience, was totally rebutted by Hazrat Mirza Sahib and
his Jamaat. If people continue to believe otherwise, it is
Divorce and Polygamy
These were the other grounds for attacking Islam and the
Holy Prophet of Islam by the Christian missionaries, who
pointed out that, on the other hand, Jesus Christ did not
indulge in sex at all as he did not marry. To refrain from
marrying is not a good example as the world would come to an
end in one generation if that example were universally
followed. Abstinence from lawful marriage is going against
nature, if there is any natural urge in a man. In any case,
the present-day research by some of the Christians
themselves shows that Jesus Christ had married Marry
Magdalene either before his crucifixion or afterwards when
he migrated to Kashmir. A German magazine published, a few
years ago, the photograph of a present-day family in Kashmir
which claims descent from Jesus Christ, and has proof of it.
As for polygamy, practiced by almost all other prophets
of the Bible who sometimes had hundreds of wives, it is
permitted in Islam only when there is an excess of women
over men, due usually to wars which create widows and
orphans who need a husband and a father and not merely a
pension. Even otherwise, situations can arise when girls of
marriageable age cannot find husbands within the community
of their faith. In such a situation, polygamy is the only
honourable solution. Even then Islam puts a maximum of four
wives (on unlimited polygamy hitherto) provided the husband
can treat them all alike, failing which he should have only
one wife (4:3). Societies which did not allow it suffered
complete breakdown of the moral fibre of the nation. As far
back as the 1920's, Judge Lindsay in his book A Case for
Polygamy estimated that there were, in the small society of
England, as many as four million women compelled to become
prostitutes because they could not find husbands. A woman is
always wanting to marry, and to have the protection and
security of a husband and a home, to have and to bring up
her children, which is her biggest natural urge. It is the
man who shuns the restrictions and obligations of marriage.
If to him indulgence in sex is possible outside the
obligations of marriage, he is all for it. So where there is
a preponderance of women over men, and no polygamy is
allowed, free sex springs up to destroy the moral and
spiritual health of the society. It is a terrible thing to
happen. And who would care to marry widows and take over
their children to look after, unless it is out of compassion
which is recommended in the verse of the Holy Qur'an
allowing polygamy (4:3).
If the West is to avoid the complete breakdown of the
institution of marriage, and moral and spiritual
deterioration leading to human beings becoming animals or
worse, it must consider allowing polygamy. In any case it is
better than free extra-marital sex, unwed mothers, bastard
children, broken homes, juvenile delinquency, drunkenness to
drown sorrows, and daily increasing crime, which are all
As for divorce, in the times of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, the
Christian missionaries used to scoff at it as leading to
moral laxity, while Jesus Christ pronounced that the
marriage knot tied in Heaven could not be untied on the
earth. But in the same breath he untied it on this very
earth in the case of adultery. Now, legalized divorce on
general grounds is rampant in the West, much, much more
numerous than in the Muslim society. Separation of the
husband and wife, which is much worse than divorce, is more
common. What a sad state of affairs for those who used to
find fault with the divorce, hedged in by conditions, which
Islam allowed! There is no need for us now to defend Islam,
although Hazrat Mirza Sahib and his Jamaat had to fight that
defense nearly a hundred years ago when the Christian
missionaries were riding the high horse trampling Islam, or
at least trying to do it. The West has learnt by bitter
lesson that Islam was right.
On these grounds too, Islam was attacked viciously in the
time of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. As wrong notions about them
persist, both among Muslims and non-Muslims, even today, it
is necessary to touch upon them very briefly. For detailed
discussion, the reader is referred to the masterly book The
Religion of Islam, by Maulana Muhammad Ali. This book can
only touch on these subjects in passing.
Any reader of the Holy Qur'an would know that the Holy
Qur'an puts the highest premium on the freeing of slaves,
which were then held in custody in almost every home. For
the future, slavery was totally prohibited and it was made
clear that human liberty could be taken away only in the
case of prisoners taken in battle:
'It is not befitting a prophet that he should take
prisoners unless he has fought and triumphed in the land.
You desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah
desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty (having
power over you), Wise. Were it not for an ordinance from
Allah that had gone before, there would have befallen you a
great chastisement for what you were going to do' (8:67-68).
This refers to the desire of a section of the Muslims to
attack the trade caravan of the Makkans returning from Syria
with arms for the Makkans, but also with rich merchandise,
and which was not strongly guarded (8:7). The prospect was a
lot of loot and enslavement of the captives thus taken,
which was customary in Arabia before Islam.
Slavery was prohibited by the verse quoted above, except
for prisoners of war, which could be taken only after a
battle. Even these were not to be sold into slavery, as was
the pre-Islamic custom, nor were they to be kept permanently
-as made clear in another verse, when, speaking of fighting
disbelievers who attack Muslims, the latter are told:
'Then when you have overcome them, take prisoners (i.e.
do not kill the enemy unnecessarily) and afterwards free
them as a favour or for ransom' (47:4).
May the choicest blessings of Allah descend upon the Holy
Prophet that he adopted, in most cases, the former course of
freeing the captives as a favour, except in the case of the
seventy prisoners of the battle of Badr when light ransom
was taken. The Holy Prophet, being the perfect exemplar,
thus set the Muslims an example of both the alternatives.
As for slaves already existing in Muslim homes from the
days of Jahiliyya (ignorance), their freeing was put at a
high premium. Thus details of 'high virtue' (Birr) in 2:177
include 'to set slaves free.' Similarly, in deploring man
for not taking 'the uphill road, of moral progress' the
explanation given by the Holy Qur'an itself of the uphill
road puts in the premier position 'to free a slave' (90:13).
And there are other occasions when the freeing of a slave is
accepted as a restitution for the violation of a Divine law
(e.g. 58:3). What more could be done? Even the State is
directed to spend a part of the funds raised by Zakat
(poor-rate) on purchasing the freedom of slaves (9:60).
It is absurd to say that while Islam sets so much store
on the freeing of slaves, it also allowed the taking of
slaves. Slavery is forbidden, as shown above, and the only
thing allowed is the capturing of prisoners, and that, too,
only after a battle; and even they are to be freed without
ransom or with light ransom, which in one case was
prescribed by the Holy Prophet to be the teaching of a few
children to read and write by a captive who was literate.
If there is to be no slavery, then there can be no
concubinage either, for concubines are nothing but female
slaves turned into mistresses. There is no question of
buying female slaves in the market. As for the female
prisoners of war, they are to be set free without ransom, or
with light ransom, as in the case of male captives. But the
trouble about the female prisoners of war is that if they
are sent back, even free, their menfolk are not prepared to
take them back as they assume that the women must have been
ravished by the captors as was the common practice among
Arabs before Islam, and as is the common lot of female
prisoners today in all non-Islamic countries even of the
West. After being ravished by the officers, they are sent to
the brothel for the soldiery to ravish.
Such disgraceful treatment of the female prisoners of war
was not possible in the Holy Prophet's time, or even under
the Early Caliphate, when the moral standards were of the
highest possible order. Not a single case is to be found in
the history of those periods. All doubtful reports must be
rejected out of hand because of the clear Divine command:
'And those who cannot afford to marry should remain
The question of affording to marry arose out of the
Islamic requirement that the bridegroom must pay the mehr
(dowry) to the bride in accordance with his and her rank. To
pay a nominal mehr on the plea that in the Holy Prophet's
days such small sums were fixed, turns a conveniently blind
eye on the part of men to the fact that in those days
Muslims, especially the Holy Prophet and his family, were
among the poorest, who sometimes went without a cooked meal
for months. The Holy Qur'an envisages even 'a heap of gold'
being paid by those who can afford it (4:20) as mehr
The question remains, if the female prisoners of war are
not taken back by their people, even if they are set free
without ransom, what is to become of them? Are they to be
let loose on society? Obviously they would take to
prostitution if they are not looked after. So the Holy
Qur'an allows destitute Muslims, who cannot afford to pay
the mehr (dowry) of free women, to marry such freed female
slaves. The Holy Qur'an is quite clear on the point:
'And whoever among you cannot afford to marry free
believing women, (let him marry) such of your believing
maidens as your right hands possess. And Allah knows best
your faith (i.e. do not set high standards for the faith of
such women). Some of you are like others. So marry them with
the permission of their masters, and give them their dowries
justlyÉ then if they are guilty of adultery when they are
taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for
free married womenÉ' (4:25).
This important verse requires the following elucidations:
(1) If a Muslim cannot afford to marry a free believing
woman, he may marry one of those 'whom your right hands
(2) The much-misunderstood term 'whom your right hands
possess' has been much exploited. It is taken to mean
concubines. To describe a concubine bought from the market
or from her master as one 'whom your right hands possess' is
a complete misnomer. The very use of the words 'whom your
right hands have taken possession of' (which is the correct
rendering of the Arabic phrase mimma malakat aimanukum)
clearly points to women captured in battle. That is where
the right hand is used to take possession of a prisoner. To
apply that phrase to a woman bought from a slave market or
from a master is totally unwarrantable.
(3) The Holy Qur'an still speaks of such a woman being
taken in marriage with the permission of her master. Who is
this master? It was the practice of the Holy Prophet and the
latter-day Muslim commanders to distribute all prisoners,
male or female, to the soldiers as part of the spoils of
war. They were kept in homes, sometimes in a better way than
the master or the mistress of the Muslim home, but always at
least on the same scale of living. It is this 'master'
spoken of in the verse under consideration. If they are now
kept in a war prison, the Government holding them is the
(4) Why are 'those whom your right hands possess'
mentioned in this and other places separately from free
women? That is also explained in this very verse. If the
former are guilty of adultery after marriage, their
punishment is to be half that of free married women. It is
because of the separate treatment under the Qur'anic law of
these women who have come recently from a non-Muslim
society, and because, therefore, the same high moral
standards cannot be expected from them, that their separate
mention was required.
Incidentally, the punishment of stoning to death for
married men or women found guilty of adultery cannot
possibly be permissible in Islam as:
(a) The Holy Qur'an, which is the paramount authority on
Muslim law, does not prescribe stoning to death for any
(b) It prescribes instead one hundred strokes for
adultery, by man or woman, married or unmarried.
(c) One hundred strokes can be halved as required in
verse 4:25 of the Holy Qur'an but not the stoning to death.
Anyway, because of the clear ban on sexual indulgence
outside marriage (24:33) and the requirement that even the
women 'whom your right hands possess' must be married
properly (4:25), concubinage is simply not permissible in
The Holy Prophet, being the perfect exemplar, properly
married those female prisoners of war whom he took as wives.
Much has been made by the Christian critics of the case of
Mary the Copt, who was presented to the Holy Prophet by the
king of Egypt. That he had married her too will be shown in
the chapter devoted to his marriages.
The Holy Prophet's Marriages
This is the last of the important criticisms of the
Christian missionaries against Islam and the Holy Prophet.
As this is a question which still rankles in the hearts of
people, a special chapter is devoted to it which should
remove all doubts and misgivings .
We will end this chapter on the criticisms of the
Christian missionaries by saying that the Promised Messiah
and his followers (Ahmadis) were, and still are, dedicated
defenders of Islam, the Holy Prophet and the Holy Qur'an.
The defense of Islam was the first task entrusted by the
Holy Qur'an to the Promised Messiah and 'those who are his
helpers in the way of Allah' as mentioned in 61:9, 10, and
14 and discussed in the opening part of this chapter. The
Promised Messiah discharged his task to perfection. And it
is his inspiration which motivates his followers to rise to
the defense of Islam, the Holy Prophet and the Holy Qur'an
against all attacks and criticism. And yet we have been
castigated as kafirs (non-Muslims)!