Here let me share with you a bad deed of Goodword Books in their republication of a book by an Italian Orientalist, Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri in 2004. The book an interpretation of Islam, was originally published in 1957 and had a Foreword by Sir Zafrulla Khan. The new publisher has retained the ‘Foreword’ and changed its title to ‘Introduction’ and taken out the name of Sir Zafrulla Khan from the end. I will make the original publication in PDF form available soon, but mere reading of the ‘Introduction’ as it exists today in 2004 publication proves that it is a ‘Foreword’ by some other writer and not an ‘Introduction’ by the writer of the book.
What is the publisher afraid of? Why does he or she want to hide the name of Sir Zafrulla Khan, who was a great benefactor of different Muslim causes? Such trickery is all too common among the so-called scholars in the non-Ahmadi society, to keep the peaceful and rational version of Islam as presented by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community hidden from common Muslims. But, the guilt does not completely lie with the leaders, in some ways every non-Ahmadi Muslim is guilty to a degree, in condoning a climate, where in the Mullahs and the politicians in the Muslim countries find it convenient to discriminate against the Ahmadi Muslims. Even Sir Zafrulla with his stature and services could not escape this discrimination. As atonement, I suggest that each non-Ahmadi Muslim should read at least three books by the great, Sir Zafrulla Khan, whom the publisher wants to hide from public eyes. Here is a link to one of my posts: Sir Zafrulla Khan, a Polymath: Introducing Islam to the West.
Here is the website of Goodword Books: http://www.goodwordbooks.com
Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri contributed several articles to the Encyclopedia of Islam. She was a pioneer of Arabic and Islamic studies in Italy, Veccia Vaglieri served as professor at the Naples Eastern University and was the author of books on the historical and institutional analysis of the Arab and Muslim world. She is certainly deserving of joining the august list of Orientalists, in one of my other articles! Additional details about the book, the author and our guilty as charged publisher are provided below.
The back cover of her book, an interpretation of Islam states:
The Prophet Muhammad at God’s behest, called men to the worship of one God and proclaimed that, by responding to this call, mankind would achieve true dignity, honour, prosperity and happiness. Within an astonishingly brief period, and over vast areas which were in the grip of ignorance, darkness and confusion were finally dispelled, order was established and all manner of beneficent institutions sprang into life, a high moral order was set up and the blessings of knowledge, learning and science began to be widely diffused. The strength of this message was its crystal clear simplicity and marvelous easiness, for Islam reached out to the soul of the people without having recourse to long explanations and involved sermons. Thanks to this message, bringing the ideals of tauhid, resalat, peace and harmony, paganism in its various forms was defeated, and human dignity finally became a reality.
Islam taught right thinking, proper action and honest speaking, and for these reasons it found its way, without any difficulty, into both the minds and hearts of men.
Foreword to her book was written by Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Judge of the International Court of Justice and former Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri also wrote about human equality in Islam in this book. She states:
Islam, which has never made any distinction of race or colour among men, which considered the white and the black, the nomad and the settled farmer, the ruler and the subject as all alike, not only in theory but also in practice (and as a matter of fact in the tent, in the palace, in the mosque, in the market, they all mingled together without reserve and with no sign of contempt or arrogance towards each other), never countenanced any humiliating treatment for slaves. Is it not fitting to remember here, while talking of the social equality imposed by Islam, the beautiful episode of King Jabale, who, having become a Muslim, went in great state to Makkah. While he was making the ritual tour around the Ka’bah, he struck a Bedouin who had accidentally trodden on his rich mantle. The Caliph Umar ruled that he was to receive a similar blow from the Bedouin because in Islam all men are alike. Jabale refused to submit to this and that very night he left with his five hundred knights and went straight to Byzantium where he became a Christian. Many years later, in the midst of honours and riches, the memories of Islam still filled his eyes with tears.
History furnishes many examples of slaves to whom high and honourable positions were given (among others, Bilal, who, because of his beautiful voice was accorded the high honour of being the first muezzin in Islam) and of freedmen who occupied high government positions, even rising to the Caliphate.
Laura Veccia Vaglieri (1893 – 1989) was an Italian orientalist.
A pioneer of Arabic and Islamic studies in Italy, Veccia Vaglieri served as professor at the Naples Eastern University and was the author of books on the historical and institutional analysis of the Arab and Muslim world. Her works include:
A textbook on the grammar of the Arabic language (Grammatica teorico-pratica della lingua araba (Istituto per l’Oriente, Rome, 1937, 2 voll.))
Apologia dell’ Islamismo (Rome, A. F. Formiggini, 1925). An Interpretation of Islam. Zurich: Islamic Foundation. Translated from Italian by Dr. Aldo Caselli, Haverford College, Pennsylvania. 1980.
A synthesis on the classical Islam (L’Islam da Maometto al secolo XVI, in: Storia Universale (dir. Ernesto Pontieri), Milan, F. Vallardi, 1963))
An interpretation of Islam
Author: Laura Veccia Vaglieri
Year of republication: 2004
You can order the book on Amazon or click here to go to a book store.
Categories: Ahmadiyyat: True Islam