Rasheed Sarpong Reverts to Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

as-salaamu `alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh. We’re delighted to share with you another story of reversion to Islam from the Ahmadiyya cult and it gives me great pleasure to announce that it is my friend Rasheed Sarpong who has come back to Islam. This inspiring young man is a real role model, who it has been my privilege to know. Even when he was Qadiani for many years after my reversion, I always held him and his family in respect. because of his character. I had a feeling that one day, insha’Allah, he would be guided to the right path by Allah (SWT) and alhamdulillah, it happened.

Enjoy!

Qadiani Jesus

On Christmas Day, I attended the “Arise and Warn” event at the Memon Centre in South London, hosted by iERA. There I met Shaykh Suliman Gani, who invited me to give a talk at the Tooting Islamic Centre on Boxing Day. I accepted. Here is a large extract of that talk, but for the full version, properly recorded and edited, I recommend that you wait for the version filmed by MessageTV, in which you will find the proper beginning and full ending. For now, this should serve as a taster.

My apologies for the rustiness, I had not much time to prepare and this was my first public talk in quite a while.

Please note that the video source is 720p, so going full-screen should give you reasonable quality insha’Allah.

[Update: January 2, 2012, 2:39 PM – the server is getting hammered through demand, so we are uploading the video elsewhere to make the streaming experience a bit better, insha’Allah]

[Update: January 2, 2012, 4:42 PM] – we are still getting reports of slow streaming speed, so we have removed the video and we will fix the error and repost within the next 6 hours insha’Allah, thanks for your patience in the meantime]

[Update: January 2, 2012, 10:15 PM] – good news – the video has been shrunk a little and uploaded to a faster server, it should be OK now, insha’Allah]

[Update: February 25, 2012, 4:24PM] – the video is now from The Message TV, jazkallah khayran to all of the brothers there]


Myth of Ijma’ on the alleged death of ‘Eisa (AS)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani claimed that the first ever Ijma’ of the Ummah was on the death of ‘Eisa –may Allah bless him. (See Tuhfa Ghaznawiya page 55-61 included in Rohani Khazain volume 15)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s contention:

His contention remains that as Abu Bakr –may Allah be pleased with him- recited the verse 3:144 to make the companions believe that Holy Prophet –may Allah bless him- had died, it is an evidence for the death of all the earlier Prophets.

He then quoted (Tuhfa Ghaznawiya p.48, Rohani Khazain vol.15 p.581) a passage from al-Shahristani’s work al-Milal wa al-Nahl to convey that ‘Eisa ibn Maryam –may Allah bless him- has also died.

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Ibn Abbas (RA) & alleged death of Eisa (AS)

Ahmadiyya often allege that Ibn Abbas (RA) was at par with their heretic belief about the death of Eisa (AS). This article aims at a detailed refutation of the claim.

Ahmadiyya refer to the following saying of Ibn Abbas (RA);

قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ { مُتَوَفِّيكَ } مُمِيتُكَ

Ibn Abbas said: Mutawaffeeka [means] ‘I’ll cause you to die’ (Mumeetuka)” (Sahih Bukhari 14/149, Kitabul Tafsir)

This much is true but this saying alone does not give the complete view of Ibn Abbas (RA).

Correct position of Ibn Abbas (RA) on this issue:

The correct position of Ibn Abbas (RA) is that he believed in the physical ascension and return of Eisa (AS) even though he understood ‘mutawaffeeka’ to mean death. Following narration clarifies this;

عن ابن عباس في قوله { إني متوفيك ورافعك } يعني رافعك ثم متوفيك في آخر الزمان

It is narrated from Ibn Abbas about the Ayah “I’ll take you and raise you”; “It means I’ll raise you then will cause you to die near the End of Times.” (Durr Manthur 2/347 under 3:55)

It is thus obvious that Ibn Abbas (RA) believed in Taqdim & Takhir (advancing and retarding) in this verse.

Taqdim & Takhir is valid, not heretic:

In wake of the reality that sole person whose reference they cite in forwarding their argument about the meaning ‘mutawaffeeka’ made Taqdim in this verse (3:55) Ahmadiyya take exception to the whole idea of Taqdim and Takhir. While this only shows their frustration two references in this regard will suffice;

Imam Al-Razi in his commentary after explaining this verse from various angles says;

والمعنى : أني رافعك إليّ ومطهرك من الذين كفروا ومتوفيك بعد إنزالي إياك في الدنيا ، ومثله من التقديم والتأخير كثير في القرآن

“The meaning is; I will raise you unto me and will purify you from infidels and will cause you to die after I descend you in the word. And examples of advancing and retarding (taqdim and takhir) are numerous in the Qur’an.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/227 under Qur’an 3:55)

An example is the following verse;

وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“Allah has brought you forth from your mothers‘wombs when you knew nothing, and He made for you ears, eyes and hearts, so that you may be grateful.” (Qur’an 16:78)

Clearly the idea of Taqdim and Takhir is implied in this verse as Allah surely makes for one his ears, eyes and heart before he comes forth from his mother’s womb though this is not mentioned in sequence.

And Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti in his monumental work on Qur’anic sciences and knowledge, Al-Ittiqan fi Uloom Al-Qur’an, has a complete chapter about it. He starts the chapter with the following words;

هوقسمان. الأول: ما أشكل معناه بحسب الظاهر، فلما عرف أنه باب التقديم والتأخير اتضح وهوجدير أن يفرد بالتصنيف، وقد تعرض السلف لذلك في آيات

“This, the first of two sections, deals with verses that remain ambiguous on face value. But knowing that they belong to the category known as Advancing and Retarding (taqdim and takhir) brings clarity to them. Though some of the pious ancestors have made passing references to them, such verses in fact, ought to have been dealt with exclusively in a separate work. “

And in the same section he writes;

وأخرج عن قتادة في قوله تعالى إني متوفيك ورافعك قال: هذا من المقدم والمؤخر: أي رافعك إلي ومتوفيك

“And he [Ibn Abi Hatim] quotes Qatada as saying that the verse ‘inn mutawafeeka wa rafiyuka’ (3:55) also belongs to the said category and must be understood thus: ‘rafiyuka ilayya wa mutawafeeka’.” (Al-Ittiqan section 44 p.1399-1400. Classified as Sahih by the research team of Markaz Al-Dirasat Al-Qur’ania, pub. Saudi Ministry of Islamic publications)

Please note, Qatada was one of the most prominent students of Ibn Abbas’ (RA) pupils. Also note that both Al-Razi and Suyuti have been recognized as Mujaddids by Ahmadis.

Isn’t it not amazing that one of their Mujaddid says that taqdim and takhir is very often found in the Qur’an, another says that the subject should have been dealt in a separate work and yet Ahmadis reject the idea altogether? Perhaps they have found no other way out of the quagmire of arguments they land into; thanks to their inconsistent methodology!

Hypocrisy of Ahmadiyya’ pseudo-prophet:

When it suits them they bestow epithets of honor on a person and when the same person rebukes their claims they abuse him.

In Azala-tul-Auham MGA referring to the narration of Ibn Abbas (RA) from Bukhari writes about him;

“It must be clear to the readers that Ibn Abbas is among the most prominent people in the understanding of Qur’an and in this regard there is a prayer of Holy Prophet (saaw) in his favour.” (Azala-tul-Auham p.247 , RK – vol.2 p.225)

But knowing the fact that idea of taqdim and takhir in this verse which is proved from Ibn Abbas (RA) and his students kills his argument he yelled all kinds of abuses against those who prescribe to this idea. (See Zamima Barahin Ahmadiyya p.178, RK – vol.21 p. 347)

What is it, if not hypocrisy and sham, to bisect a learned person’s opinion and accept a part of it and decline the rest?

The conjunction ‘wa’ does not imply sequence:

Imam Al-Razi, recognized as Mujaddid by Ahmadis, says;

الواو في قوله { مُتَوَفّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ }لا تفيد الترتيب فالآية تدل على أنه تعالى يفعل به هذه الأفعال ، فأما كيف يفعل ، ومتى يفعل ، فالأمر فيه موقوف على الدليل ، وقد ثبت الدليل أنه حي وورد الخبر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : « أنه سينزل ويقتل الدجال » ثم إنه تعالى يتوفاه بعد ذلك .

“The [conjunction] ‘wa’ [i.e. and] in the word of Allah ‘mutawaffeeka wa rafiuka’ does not imply sequence. So the verse says the Almighty does all these things but as to how he and when, this depends on the evidence. And it is proved with evidence that he [Eisa A.S.] is alive. There is a saying of the Prophet, on whom be peace, ‘He [Eisa] will return and kill Dajjal’ then afterwards the Almighty will cause him to die.” (Tafsir Al-Kabir 4/226 under Qur’an 3:55)

Infact MGA himself accepted that the Arabic conjunction ‘wa’ does not imply sequence. See Taryaq Al-Qulub p.143, RK – vol.15 p.454 (marginal note) but then without giving any valid reason opposed the same idea’s application to Qur’an 3:55.

Explicit narrations from Ibn Abbas (RA) about ascension, life & return of Eisa (AS):

The points of debate between Muslims and the Ahmadiyya are whether Eisa (AS) was physically raised upto the Heavens or not and if he will personally return before the End of the Times. Following narrations clarify his belief.

عن ابن عباس قال: لما أراد الله أن يرفع عيسى إلى السماء خرج على أصحابه …ورفع عيسى من رَوْزَنَة في البيت إلى السماء

Ibn Abbas said, “When Allah intended to raise Eisa (AS) to the heavens, he went to his companions…and Eisa (AS) ascended to the Heavens through an opening in the top of the house.”
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/449, Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim 4/431 Hadith 6266. Ibn Kathir classified it as Sahih)

What explicit evidence is required after this?

عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس:”وإن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته”، قال: قبل موت عيسى ابن مريم

It is narrated from Sa’id bin Jubair from Ibn Abbas [about]; “No one will remain from among the People of the Book but will certainly believe in him before he dies.” He said; “Before the death of Eisa ibn Maryam.” (Tafsir Al-Tabari 9/380 Narration 10794-5 under Qur’an 4:159. Classified as Sahih by Hafiz Ibn Hajr in Fath Al-Bari 10/250, Kitab Ahadith Al-Anbiya, Chapter on the Descent of Eisa ibn Maryam)

Simple implication of this narration is that Ibn Abbas (RA) believed in the return of Eisa ibn Maryam (AS). Hafiz Ibn Hajr who authenticated this narration has been recognized as Mujaddid by Ahmadis.

We find a narration in Musnad Ahmad which says that Abu Yahya, the freed slave of Ibn Aqil Ansari, asked Ibn Abbas about the verse;

{ وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِلسَّاعَةِ }

“And he is the sign of the Hour (the Day of Judgment)” (43:61)

قَالَ هُوَ خُرُوجُ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

Ibn Abbas said: “That is the descent of Eisa ibn Maryam, on whom be peace, before the Doomsday.” (Musnad Ahmad 3/284 Hadith 2921. Classified as Sahih by Ahmad Shakir)

Many more narrations to this effect are found in Tafsir Al-Tabari under this Ayah. All these narrations belie the notion of Ibn Abbas (RA) prescribing to the view held by Ahmadiyya.

Following is another explicit and categorical narration leaving no room for the usual Ahmadi twisting.

عن ابن عباس قال … وإن الله رفعه بجسده، وانه حي الآن، وسيرجع إلى الدنيا فيكون فيها ملكاً، ثم يموت كما يموت الناس

Narrated from Ibn Abbas, he said: “… and verily Allah raised him [Eisa ibn Maryam] with his body while he was alive and he will soon return to this world and will be a ruler therein. Then he will die as other people die.”  (Ibn S’ad’ Tabaqat Al-Kubra 1/53)

Alhamdulillah all the above details show it beyond all doubt that Ibn Abbas (RA) and his pupils adhered to the unanimous Islamic belief about the life and return of Eisa ibn Maryam (AS). And he is free from the charge that Ahmadis make against him by wrongly attributing to him a false belief.

May Allah guide Ahmadis and bring them out of the mental slavery of the cult!

Indeed Allah knows the best!

Quran & the Meaning of Raf’a -1

Ahmadis claim that the word Raf’a used in Qur’an with respect to Sayyidina Eisa (A.S.) means ‘rise in ranks’. This is what was said by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani himself and it is so translated by their leading ‘scholars’.

Following is the translation of the two verses in this regard i.e. Qur’an 3:55 and 4:158 by an Ahmadi, Sher Ali;

“When Allah said O’ Jesus I will cause thee to die (a natural death) and will exalt thee to myself …” (3:55)

“.. on the contrary Allah exalted him to Himself.” (4:158)

But this is most certainly erroneous as we shall see shortly.

In the following lines we understand the meaning of Raf’a in the light of the monumental works on lexicology and the context of the verses in question.

Meaning according to leading scholars:

1- Raghib Isfahani writes;

الرفع يقال تارة في الاجسام الموضوعة إذا أعليتها عن مقرها

Raf’a is sometimes used for corporeal things to mean raising or elevating it from its resting place.” (Mufradat Al-Qur’an 1/200)

2- Al-Feyumi writes;

فَالرَّفْعُ فِي الْأَجْسَامِ حَقِيقَةٌ فِي الْحَرَكَةِ وَالِانْتِقَالِ وَفِي الْمَعَانِي مَحْمُولٌ عَلَى مَا يَقْتَضِيهِ الْمَقَامُ

“So Raf’a in relation to corporeal things is used properly to denote motion and removal and in relation to ideal things it is accorded in meaning to what the case requires.” (Al-Misbah Al-Munir 3/443)

3- Edward William Lane says the same; infact he quotes the above two statements in his Arabic-English Lexicon part.3 p.287

Raf’a in relation to Eisa (A.S.) refers to both his body and soul and not just soul:

1- A careful but honest look into the wording of the Qur’an shows that Raf’a is used for the body of Eisa (A.S.) as well and not just his soul;

We see that in Qur’an 3:55;

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

“When Allah said: .O Eisa , I am to take you in full and to raise you towards Myself, and to cleanse you of those who  disbelieve, and to place those who follow you above those who disbelieve up to the Day of Doom. Then to Me is your return, whereupon I shall judge between you in that over which you have differed.”

Just as مُطَهِّرُكَ (cleanse you) and اتَّبَعُوكَ (follow you) refer to the whole person, body as well as soul, رَافِعُكَ (raise you) also refers to both body and soul. There is no basis to maintain the difference between reference of pronouns of مُطَهِّرُكَ ,اتَّبَعُوكَ  and رَافِعُكَ. And as body is a corporeal thing so in the light of actual meaning of the word it most certainly denotes its displacement. This also leads us to the True Islamic belief that even مُتَوَفِّيكَ (take you) refers to the whole person, body as well as soul and not merely the soul.

Meaning of ‘Cleanse you’:

2-‘Cleanse you’ refers to Eisa’ (A.S.) departure from the evil company of the Jews. The very fact the verse reads ‘cleanse you of those who disbelieve’ shows it was physical separation and not spiritual for disbelievers could have never been close to the Mighty Prophet (A.S.) in spiritual sense. This cannot be a reference to his being relieved from the false accusations of Jews and Christians because context has nothing to do with it. It refers to the evil plot of the Jews (verse 54) and Allah’s plan to save him from their dirty trick. Same is evident in light of the scholarly opinions see e.g. Tafsir Kabir of Al-Raazi and Tafsir Kashshaf of Zamakhshari. Al-Raazi has been recognized as Mujaddids by Ahmadis and Al-Zamakhshari accepted as an authority by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself.

3- Similarly in Qur’an 4:157-158;

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا () بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمً

“And for their saying, .We have certainly killed the Masih Eisa the son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah., while in fact they did neither kill him, nor crucify him, but they were deluded by resemblance. Those who disputed in this matter are certainly in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it, but they follow whims. It is absolutely certain that they did not kill him. But Allah lifted him towards Himself. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”

Here again just as وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ (and they killed him not), وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ (nor crucify him) and وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا (and for a surety they killed him not) refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.); رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him) also refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.) and not just his soul. Again there is no reason to drop body from رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him).

A possible objection killed:

4- Ahmadis may refer to Qur’an 80:21

أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ

“He made him die, and put him into grave,”

And say that in أَمَاتَهُ (He made him to die) the personal pronoun refers to both body and soul while in فَأَقْبَرَهُ (put him into grave) it refers to either of them; hence it is not necessary that personal pronouns in a single sentence always refer to one and the same being.

Without going into long discussion if أَمَاتَهُ (He made him to die) refers to merely body or both body and soul, we can prove this assertion to be wrong in light of the simple fact that that with أَمَاتَهُ (He made him to die) there comes a separation between body and soul so naturally the personal pronoun in the word to follow can refer to either of them and not both. This is because of the separation between the two. While in Qur’an 4:157-158 such a separation between body and soul is out of question for Allah in most explicit terms declares;

وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا (And for a surety the killed him not). Thus there is no separation between the body and soul and hence it baseless to drop body from the personal pronoun in رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him).

The context of the verse refutes the Ahmadi belief:

5- In Qur’an 4:157-158 first the Jewish belief of their having killed Eisa (A.S.) is repudiated by saying وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ (and they killed him not) and then the Christian belief is denounced by saying وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ (nor crucify him) and then the belief of his ascension has been testified by saying بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ (But Allah lifted him towards Himself). Had the belief of his physical ascension been baseless Allah would have denounced it as well.

Scholars on Raf’a of Eisa (A.S.):

6- All the classical scholars have taken Raf’a about Eisa (A.S.) in the meaning of physical ascent. See Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Al-Kabir of Al-Raazi,  Aalusi, Shaukani’s Fath Al-Qadir, Jalalain, Durr Manthur, Baidhawi, Khazin etc.

Al-Raazi, Shaukani and Jalaluddin Suyuti have all been recognized as Mujaddids by Ahmadis.

Even Al-Zamakhshari takes the word Raf’a to mean physical ascension of Eisa (A.S.). See his Tafsir Kashshaf 1/280 under 3:55)

And Al-Zamakhshari is the one whom Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani himself praised and said;

“Matchless scholar of the Arabic language who cannot be disputed with.” (Baraheen Ahmadiyyah Part V p.381included in RK- vol.21)

So had there been any possibility of taking Raf’a to mean other than physical ascension this ‘Matchless Scholar’ would have done for sure. Will some Ahmadi now dispute with an authority reckoned as undisputable by their own pseudo-prophet?

Was raf’a in response to the idea of ‘cursed crucifixion’?

7- Ahmadis also try to suggest that as Jews in light of Book of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 held that the one crucified is the one accursed so to refute their belief Allah exalted Eisa (A.S.) in rank.

This again is a twisted argument;

a- Firstly seeking evidence with Biblical reference is allowed only when it goes in line with Qur’an and Sunnah but there is no support for such an idea in the entire Islamic rubric.

b- Even according to Deut. 21:22-23 only one crucified for a sin punishable by death is accursed and surely this was never the case with Eisa (A.S.).

c- In Qur’an 4:157-158 Allah strongly rejects the notion of his death and then says that ‘But he was raised’ this bringing in contrast to his idea of being killed. Is ‘rise in ranks’ opposite to being killed? Were the prophets killed unjustly cursed or something? Is giving ones life in the way of Allah as good as being cursed?

d-  Just two verses prior to it Qur’an mentions the killing of the Prophets by the Jews;

“And for their slaying of the prophets unjustly …” (Qur’an 4:155)

If raf’a refers to ‘being exalted’ and ‘rise in ranks’ then why was the same not mentioned about other Prophets killed unjustly? Why the personal pronoun attached with raf’a is singular? Were they not even martyrs holding the high office of prophethood?

e- The sole reason raf’a was not mentioned along with earlier Prophets is that it refers to physical ascension which happened in the case of Eisa (A.S.) only!

Where is the mention of sky?

8- Ahmadis say these verses are about Eisa’ (A.S.) being exalted to Allah and ask as to where is the mention of the sky in these verses?

The fact is that as per the Qur’anic usage the verses mean ‘being raised to sky’. The following references help in this regard;

“Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the Earth.” (Qur’an 67:16)

“Or, have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He looses a violent wind with stones against you?” (Qur’an 67:17)

And whenever the Holy Prophet (SAAW) waited for the revelation from Allah he looked up towards the sky;

“We have been seeing you turning your face to the heavens.” (Qur’an 2:144)

9- Having proved that being raised to Allah means ascension to the Heavens, will some Ahmadi explain if Raf’a means a rise in rank what is the purpose of Allah saying ‘raise you towards Myselfand the words ‘Allah lifted him towards Himself’?

Conclusion:

All the above details, testimonies of celebrated scholars and study into Qur’an, plainly establish the fact that the word Raf’a with reference to Eisa (A.S.) means physical ascension.

May Allah guide us all to the Truth!

Next we shall look into the other instances in Qur’an where the word Raf’a is used.

INDEED ALLAH KNOWS BEST!