By Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Khalifatul Masih V (aba)
Source: THE REVIEW OF RELIGION, October, 2014
Translated by Amer Safir
After reciting Tashhahud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah-Al Fatihah, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said:
“Critics of religion do not limit themselves to objecting to religion alone, in fact they also oppose the concept of the existence of God. In our current era, this censure of God has reached far greater proportions than that of previous times, with vast quantities of books which have and continue to be written. Further, in the modern era electronic means have made it far easier to widely publicise these criticisms. In times gone by it would have taken a considerable length of time to convey one’s ideas and message to others and it would only be conveyed to a minority of educated people; whilst today through the electronic media and other modes of communication such critiques can be disseminated to virtually everyone and as a result a significant proportion has started to distance themselves from religion. Many other people have become averse to religion because they believe it is based on only legends and fables in its current form. Thus they deem that religion has no place in the material and developed world of today and reject the concept of a God Who forms a relationship with people and they contend that religion contradicts modern knowledge and comprehension.
Based upon this premise they question why they would need to follow any religion. When those who deny the existence of God and consider religion as decayed and outdated, observe the attitude of the so-called religious leaders who entice followers in the name of religion for their vested interests, it gives them added ammunition to provoke anti-religious sentiment and they further question the benefit of religion. Such critics do not refrain from objecting to even the Prophets and allege that the Prophets attracted illiterate and uneducated followers for purely personal gains, God forbid. Thus they argue that religions in today’s enlightened era serve no purpose. These proponents go on to say that educated religious followers today only follow religion because of their cultural ties with it; that they will only practise their respective faiths to the extent of their traditional attachment they have with their religion.
During my tour of Australia last year I met a politician, who during the course of our discussions explained that although he was a Christian and a Church-goer, and understood the need for religion, he felt there was no concordance in the modern era between religion and scientific progress. He said that the Bible was devoid of any scientific explanations and he believed that religion could now only be saved be viewing religion and science separately. I replied to him that my religion, and the Book for the Muslims, guides us regarding both science and modern progress. This is the case of those religions that fail to provide explanations on all subjects, which is why their followers harbour this mentality. But what is truly astounding is the manner of thinking of Muslims upon whom the perfect Law was revealed – which encompasses and expounds on all topics. They have even started to view religion and science unconnectedly. It is Ahmadis alone who promote the notion that God’s attributes are never suspended.
While the Qur’an relates accounts from the past, it also details modern scientific advancement. The Qur’an tells us that the God of Islam is a Living God. He speaks to people today as He did in the past and He responds today as He always has. He has not left Islam in despair today, rather He sent the Promised Messiahas [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] in this era who openly proved and manifested to the world the existence of God, and expounded clearly on religion and the Final Law.
As Ahmadis we are fortunate to have accepted the Imam of the Age [i.e. the Promised Messiahas] and to have learnt about the reality of religion. We are unconcerned that critics raise the objection that religion deprives one from education and progress and leads to selfishness; that it advocates murder, or that blood is shed in its name. Indeed the Promised Messiahas illustrated to us that religion and science are not at conflict, quite the contrary, religion is in complete concordance and conformity with science. Regardless of how far science advances, it is an absolute certainty that it can never falsify Qur’anic teachings and philosophy. In short, our religion and law-bearing book give vast and encompassing teachings, which include science.