Super Books Pakistan

The Lessons From History by Israr Ahmed

 700

Description

The substance of this book is based on the ideas published by Dr. Israr Ahmad in 1993 in the columns of the Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt. The series of write-ups continued for a few months and were widely read with interest. The entire material, after slight editing, was published in a book form in October 1993 under the title Sabiqa aur Maujuda Musalman Ummatun ka Mazi, Haal, aur Mustaqbil, and has since gone through many re-prints. Dr. Ahmed Afzaal rendered these ideas into English and part of it was serialized in 1995-96. For putting it into a compact book, he further revised the entire material, added his own sub-titles, and made it more authentic by giving quotations from the Old and New Testaments. Indeed, he took great pains to make the citations of quite a few historical events and landmarks, particularly of early Jewish history, more authentic by giving dates and references from reliable sources. Moreover, he suggested a much more telling title for the book — Lessons from History — and the sub-title — Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Two Muslim Communities — puts in a capsule form the whole spectrum of ideas covered in the book.

Dr. Israr Ahmad, as a true believer, is absolutely convinced of the indivisibility and essential identity of the Messages of all prophets. All Scriptures stem from and are parts of a single Source, the Mother of Books and the Hidden Book. According to the Qur’an, Prophethood is indeed an indivisible one cannot believe in some and not in others without giving the lie to the very source of Revelation. From the very beginning of the prophetic career, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was himself absolutely convinced of the Divine character of the earlier revealed documents and the Divine Messenger ship of the bearers of those documents. This is why he recognized without a moment of hesitation that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other Old and New Testament religious personalities had been genuine prophets like himself. Thus, the true followers of Moses were, according to the Qur’an, also Muslims as were the true followers of Prophet Jesus, until they deviated from the Right Path and adopted certain beliefs central to their creeds. The most important of these are the Jewish claim to election and equally exclusivist claims to truth adopted by Christians.

For the committed and convinced Muslim, neither the flow of history itself nor the study and interpretation of it can be considered apart from the realm of the sacred and the workings of the Divine. God as Creator is also the Maker of history; His Hand controls every moment in time, every historical event. History is the arena in which His Will is made manifest, His Dominion is expressed, and His Commitment to the fulfillment of its Divinely ordained rules is evidenced. And yet, in the Islamic understanding, it is not God alone who is responsible for the historical process.

Histories of the Jews and the Muslims, being typically woven around Divine Revelation, should provide a Muslim scholar ground for a thoughtful and perceptive comparative study of them. Though in the present-day political climate, Jews and Muslims form two totally divergent peoples, yet striking similarities in their temporal histories are found and pointed out in this book. In particular, there is a strong parallelism regarding the two phases of rise and decline experienced by the two religious fraternities during the long course of their histories thus proving literally a tradition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on this subject reproduced in this book.

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