I, a humble servant of God, wish to take this opportunity to narrate some incidents of preaching during my stay in the United Kingdom. My aim and objective, in narrating these incidents, is to inspire my fellow colleagues and friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. During my stay in the United Kingdom, by the immense Grace of Allah, I had the opportunity to preach to many people. These include Arabs, Asians, Europeans and Africans. However, since narrating all of the incidents will be lengthy, I have just chosen a few of them which may be interesting and inspiring. I hope and pray that this article inspires my friends and colleagues of the Community.
On one occasion, as I was walking in Tooting, I saw some Jamia students conversing with some Arab, Pakistani and Somali scholars. This conversation attracted the attention of many people, and upon seeing the crowd I too decided to go and find out what was going on. The Jamia students were from Germany and some other non-English speaking countries. Therefore, there were some clear communication barriers. Another thing that caught my attention was the fact that these humble students were very brave and determined to challenge these scholars who felt proud of having knowledge of Arabic. When I observed that the non- Ahmadis were more fluent in English compared to the students present in the crowd, I decided to help even though my English was not of the required standard.
The conversation was as follows:
Questioner: Do you know that Qadianis are not Muslims? Are you a Qadiani?
Me: No, I am a Gambian.
Questioner: What is your name?
Me: My name is Muhammad Mbaye.
Questioner: Are you a Muslim?
Me: Yes, and that is why my name is Muhammad.
Questioner: Masha’Allah, you are a part of us.
Me: I hope so.
Questioner: Do you have Qadianis in the Gambia?
Me: No, but we have very righteous and sincere people called Ahmadis.
Questioner: Do you like them and do they convert many people?
Me: They have many converts and I am also an Ahmadi.
Questioner: Are these boys your colleagues?
Me: Yes, they are my brothers.
He then started to relay a series of baseless questions against Ahmadiyyat to me. Our conversation continued as follows:
Questioner: Do you believe that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" passed away?
Me: Yes, according to the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has indeed passed away.
Questioner: Have you not read the Hadith that states that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" will come back?
Me: Actually, the Hadith which I have read states that he will descend (نزل ) instead of returning (رجع)
Questioner: Both رجع and نزل are the same.
Me: No, they are not the same. Even a person with a rudimentary knowledge of the Arabic language can differentiate between the two.
Questioner: What evidence do you have to prove that they are not the same?
Me: رجع indicates that the specific thing mentioned was previously there, while نزل shows the importance and the essence of something. This is why the Holy Qur’an has used the word نزل to describe the sending down of cattle, iron, provisions, raiments etc and the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". However, there was no indication that they all physically fell down from heaven. On the other hand, according to the Holy Qur’an, all the necessities of man are present on Earth. (This evidence was not a mere claim but I presented Qur’anic verses to support my view, (chapters 7:27, 65:11-12))
Questioner: Have you not read the verse, which states:
بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًاThe Holy Qur’an (4:159)
“On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is the Mighty, the Wise”
This verse means that the enemies did not succeed in killing him instead he was taken to heaven.
Me: The verse which you quoted does not indicate that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was raised to heaven. Furthermore, God is not physical and so it is against common sense and reason to even think that a physical thing can go to God. God is Omnipresent. The Holy Qur’an also indicates that Hazrat Idris asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was exalted to a lofty station. It has also been stated in the Holy Qur’an that Hazrat Abraham asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" stated that he was going to his Lord. None of this indicates that they were physically going to meet God.
Questioner: You stated that God is everywhere, so is God in the dustbin?
Me: Indeed God is everywhere and all of His attributes are pure. No blemish can be associated with God (I presented four or five references from the Holy Qur’an to them in response to this question).
Questioner: God knows about everything but He is not Omnipresent.
Me: You have no proof for this from the Holy Qur’an or Ahadith. On the contrary, if you have even a mustard seed of faith in your heart you should be content with the verses of the Holy Qur’an that I have already quoted to you which clearly prove that Allah is everywhere. Wherever God is present all His attributes are also present there. God is not like us. Humans can see or hear something whilst not being present there, however, God is not human. (I suddenly paused, an old English man placed his hands on my head and said, “Young boy, I don’t know where you come from but whatever you said makes sense.”).
Questioner: We really want you to come with us to our mosque to meet some other people.
Me: Thank you very much for inviting me but I cannot make it. I am very sorry.
Questioner: We pray that Allah guides you.
After the debate, some people approached me and expressed their happiness and satisfaction with the debate.
In East Ham (London), I had the opportunity to have a discussion with some Pakistani Shias. They claimed that they were originally from Iran. I was the one who asked them first with regards to their views about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". They lovingly invited me into their shop, which was very spacious, and told me many things about the companions of the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Some of the remarks were very bad and therefore I have chosen not to mention them here.
Me: What are your views about the companions of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"?
Shias: We consider only a few of them to be very pious and the rest not (God forbid).
Me: Do you believe in the Holy Qur’an?
Shias: Yes we do.
Me: What does the Holy Qur’an say about the companions of the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"?
Shias: The Holy Qur’an exalts and praises the Ahli-Bait.
Me: In which portion of the Holy Qur’an is that mentioned?
Shias: Unfortunately, we cannot remember the exact reference, but with regards to the Ahadith we have many references.
Me: So does that mean that you people value the Ahadith over the Qur’an?
Shias: No, but many Ahadith support our views.
Me: I would be very pleased to tell you exactly what the Holy Qur’an states about the companions of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him".
Shias: Yes, go ahead brother.
Me: The Holy Qur’an actually clearly mentions that the companions are a paragon of righteousness and they are pleased with Allah and He is also pleased with them. The Holy Qur’an never makes any exception with regards to the companion, and so I do not understand why you should consider some companions to be good and the majority to be bad (God forbid). You could have verified the righteousness and sincerity of these companions without insulting or damaging the images of the other companions. However, I am not here to argue with you people. The Holy Qur’an has cleared the companions from the charges you have brought against them.
(Their expressions changed and it appeared that they were not happy with what I had said. I presented two or three Qur’anic verses and a poem of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" about the companions. (48:19 and 48: 30)
Shias: Are you here to preach to us about our own faith?
Me: I am here to discuss with you and I am very grateful for your warm welcome.
Shias: We think that what we have discussed with you so far is enough if you do not mind?
Me: Ok, thank you very much. Although the discussion was too short; thank you very much.
The Gambians residing in East Ham heard about my preaching, and so one weekend, a Gambian by the name of Dauda invited me to Lamin Samateh’s house for a religious discussion. This ended up in the form of a debate. In this gathering, some Senegalese friends were also present.
Question: Do you believe that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" passed away?
Me: Yes, in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith, Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has indeed passed away.
Question: But the Muslim scholars have unanimously stated that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was raised to heaven.
Me: I do not believe that scholars, past or present, have unanimously agreed that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has gone to the heavens. Furthermore, when talking about something which is undoubtedly true, the majority opinion is insignificant. Hazrat Abbas, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Malik raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" and many more believe that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" passed away. Even the Mu’tadhilah sect holds a similar belief. This should tell you that scholars are not unanimous with regard to Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" being raised to the heavens.
Question: Do you not believe that God is Al-Qadir (All-Powerful) and can do anything?
Me: Yes, God is Al-Qadir and can do anything, but there are things which God will not do. For example, God will not be two or more and He will not destroy Himself.
Question: Do you not believe that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" physically went to Jerusalem and Heaven in a single night?
Me: I do not believe that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" physically went to heaven. Rather it was an extraordinary vision. Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an also states:
مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى
‘The heart (of the Prophet) lied not regarding what it saw’The Holy Qur’an (53:12)
This shows that it was not a physical journey. However, this is not the topic under discussion and I think this answer should be enough to convince a person that the journey was not physical.
Question: No, we have to clear this point first before proceeding.
Me: I have already explained to you, Ustaz (Teacher) Samateh. Since this is not the topic under discussion I am not going to give any further elaboration on it. Let us return to the original topic regarding the death of Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him".
Question: Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" spoke in the ‘mahd’ (cradle) but did not speak in the ‘kahl’ (old age). It is then obvious that he has to come back, otherwise, the Holy Qur’an is wrong.
Me: First of all, you have smartly mentioned “he has to come back” which is translated in Arabic as سيرجع. However, the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" never mentioned this verb with regards to Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him".
Rather, he mentioned the wordنزل Secondly, how can you prove that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has not spoken in the ‘kahl’. ‘Kahl’ does not mean old age as you put it. In the Munjid dictionary of Arabic, ‘Kahl’ is defined as ‘middle age’. Muntakhibatul Arabiyyah also mentioned that ‘kahl’ is the age between 20 and 30 years old. Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" will be about 2000 years old when he comes back and the Arabic word for “old age” is ‘Shaikh’ (old age) which was the same word used for Hazrat Abraham asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" when God promised to bless him with a child. According to some sources, it is said that he was approximately ninety years old at this time.
Questioner: Let us end this discussion and Insha ‘Allah we will invite you another time. Before ending this discussion, however, we have some other questions to ask you with regard to jurisprudence.
Me: Please proceed (They asked me some other questions and food was served).
On the 25th of October 2014, I left for Manchester and arrived there at approximately three o’clock in the morning. At this time there were no public buses available and the only means of transport were taxis. I was holding two heavy bags in my hands. I approached a taxi man and he told me it would cost £30 to drive me to Bury which is a fifty-minute drive from Manchester. At that specific moment, I only had 13 pounds with me. Almost all of the taxi drivers were Pakistani and one of them said to me:
Questioner: Where are you going?
Me: I am going to Bury.
Questioner: Ok. Just give me 30 pounds and I will take you there.
Me: I only have 13 pounds with me. At this point, another Pakistani man interrupted and said:
“What is he saying? Charge him any amount you want to.”
He uttered this statement in the Punjabi language. Upon hearing his statement I smiled. The taxi driver suspected that I understood what the man had said He then asked me;
Did you understand what he said?
Me: Yes I did. The other man interrupted again and asked;
“Do you speak Urdu or Punjabi? You are our brother if that is the case”.
I replied that:
“you are not my brothers because you talk negatively about people in your own language whilst they are in front of you.”
Questioner: We are sorry.
Me: It is fine, I forgive you.
Questioner: Are you a Muslim?
Me: Yes, I am indeed
Questioner: Can you speak Urdu and Punjabi?
Me: No, I do not speak Urdu and Punjabi fluently but I can understand both languages and, when it comes to Urdu, I can read and understand. But as a sign from God, I do not speak it very well.
Questioner: You are speaking very well though.
Me: I hope so.
Questioner: What sect of Islam do you belong to?
Me: I am an Ahmadi Muslim.
They all became disappointed. They called all the nearby Pakistani shop keepers to join in whilst saying “mirzai, mirzai, qadiani, qadiani”. They all started coming towards me. The man then started throwing questions at me to which I gave the refutations.
Questioner: Do you not know that all scholars have condemned Ahmadis as Kafirs (Disbelievers). How do you become a Qadiani?
Me: A point of correction, I am not a Qadiani. I am a Gambian. Secondly, if all the scholars considered Ahmadis as Kafir, that does not matter because God is not with them in this assertion. The so-called scholars can never claim that Allah has given them the authority to call us kafirs because all of them consider that God does not hear nor does He speak. With regards to the majority, remember that the majority of the prophets of God prayed facing Jerusalem but the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" alone faced the Ka’bah when praying. Did that mean that the majority were right and the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was wrong (God forbid)? And from the light of the Holy Qur’an, it is stated that the majority of people have gone astray. So please, when it comes to truth, age and number do not matter. I am a born Ahmadi Muslim.
Questioner: We feel very sorry for you, your father led you astray. You should try to do your own research. Only then will you know that Ahmadis are not Muslims. We are Pakistanis and we know more about Qadianis or Mirzais than you do so it is better to learn from us.
Me: Thank you very much for your kind advice. When it comes to research I have already done my research and God has given me full conviction that Ahmadiyyat is right. I hope you people would also do more research on Ahmadiyyat or Islam, instead of sticking to the thoughts and ideologies of your parents. Do you think that because you are Pakistanis, whatever you narrate about Ahmadis is true, have you not reflected upon Abu Jahl? I believe that he would also have said a similar thing. He lived in Mecca and knew the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" himself!
At this point they said very bad things about the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" which cannot be written.
Me: In which book of the second Khalifa is such a thing written? Is it in Anwarul- Uloom?
Questioner: No, it is not in Anwarul Uloom.
Me: There is no way that such a foul statement can be uttered by Hazrat Musleh Ma’uood raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them", who was the very son of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". I have read many volumes of his books in Urdu and I have never seen such a statement. Maybe it is in your ‘Mullah Uloom’.
Questioner: A man approached Mirza Sahib and said to him that the Angel Gabriel used to descend on the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". In your case, what is the name of the angel that descends upon you? He replied “Tichi Tichi”. This is not the name of an angel. (They all started laughing)
Me: I will be very happy if you could tell me the name of the book in which this story is mentioned. I can assure all of you that this statement, as asserted by you, is not written in any of the books of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". I have read all of his books and what is written is indeed far from what you assert. He was not questioned by anyone. Instead, it was a dream in which he saw a man who was good looking. It appeared to be an angel and when he asked him his name, he replied that his name was ‘Tichi’. This is a word from the Punjabi language, which means ‘the one who arrives on time’. The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" never said that the name of his angel was ‘Tichi Tichi’ rather; ‘Tichi’ was an attributive name which the man who looked like an angel mentioned to him. So fear Allah and speak the truth. I understand that you people are very good at making up stories.
Questioner: Mirza Sahib claimed that he is the last Prophet whilst the Holy Qur’an clearly mentioned that Muhammad saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" is the Khatimun-Nabiyyin which means the last and the final Prophet.
Me: It is a lie. The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" never claimed to be last of the Prophets. Also remember, that this statement ‘Khatamun–Nabiyyin’ which you stated, is not the Punjabi or Urdu word of Khatam. This is an Arabic term. So ‘Khatamun-Nabiyyin’ does not necessarily mean the last. That is why Hazrat Aisha raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" said:
“Say khatamun-Nabiyyin but do not say there will be no prophet after him”
You also stated ‘Khatim’ instead of ‘Khatam’. If Hazrat Ali raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" was here he would have corrected you, as he corrected the tutor of Hazrat Husain and Hassan raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them", who taught them the ‘Ta’ with kasra instead of ‘Ta’ with fatha. Therefore, in every sense, Khatamun–Nabiyyin does not mean the last. I would also be pleased to advise you that you should avoid quoting statements out of context from the books of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" because this will never bring you any good. Today, I thank God one million times for making me a witness of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him".
Question: It is known from Ahadith that Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" will come back but he will not be a prophet. Have you not read these Ahadith?
Me: No, I have not read them in the sense that you have narrated. Rather, I have read the hadith, which states that he will descend and shall be a prophet of God (Nabiyullah). So I wonder where you have read this strange hadith from? You also stated that he will not be a prophet when he comes back. What is he going to be? A scholar, Mufti or what? Will it be compulsory for everyone to believe in him? If somebody disbelieves in him, would he be a Kafir (a disbeliever)? Would the person who believes in him be called a Muslim? If he comes back what would be his claim? Will he claim that he is a Mufti sent by God or what?
Question: Indeed, everybody has to believe in him and anybody who rejects him will be a Kafir.
Me: God created the Earth and started sending spiritual beings for the spiritual elevation of man. There is only one type of human being, that if man rejects him, then he automatically becomes a kafir and this human being is called a prophet. There is no other individual that has this criteria or status. Therefore, I wonder where you are getting your information from. Read the Holy Qur’an and ponder over it carefully and avoid saying something which you have no knowledge about.
During this conversation, one of them used a foul word against the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", but after a few minutes, two strange ladies arrived and started insulting him. When I told those ladies that it is enough, they said to me:
“This man is rude and has no respect”
It was a scenario that was very shocking. Among all the people present at this moment, none were verbally assaulted apart from him. When the ladies left, I said to him that it was a miracle. After insulting or making vituperated remarks against the Promised Messiah, two ladies came and insulted you harshly. An old man like you!
I remained there until seven o’clock and then took the bus to Bury.
كم من منازعة جرت بيني و اقوام العدا حتى انثنيت مظفّرا وموقّرا و مؤيدا
“In many a contest,The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"
Between me and the opposing hordes,
I emerged victorious, honored,
And a recipient of divine succour.”