Letter to the Editor: Appreciation of Article about Muslim League’s Attitude to British Rule of India

The Light & Islamic Review (US), March/April 1993 Issue (Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 10–11)

An article was published in our issue for November–December 1992 quoting statements made at the first conferences of the All-India Muslim League, in the early years of this century, pledging loyalty to the British rule of India. This put into proper perspective similar expressions made by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and showed that other Muslim leaders took the same position as he did. But he is reviled as a supporter of British rule while they are honoured as freedom fighters. Following the publication of this article, a kind letter was received by The Light from Mr. Imtiaz lsakh, of Toronto, Canada, most of which is reproduced below:

“December 17, 1992.

“It is with great appreciation and delight that I am writing you this letter. I cannot help it; I have to! Words cannot describe how relieved I am to see, once more, how easily the so-called Ulama [clerics] can be unbiasedly dispelled by a simple iota of truth. I am responding to the article in the November 1992 issue of ‘The Light’ entitled: Founders of Pakistan pledged loyalty to British rule of India — Muslim League declared loyalty to British government its first objective.

“This was so explicably clarified. Over the years, I have been bombarded with voluminous writings, mostly hate-literature, against one Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, that he claimed to be a prophet, and that he was [to put it bluntly] a British stooge, etc., etc.

“Now what I have been reading all along about this figure in regard to what he was, is quite contrary to what your article depicts. Of course, I do not share the views of the critics. Thank Allah! I cannot see how any sensible person, or any religious organisation for that matter, can say or write so many derogatory things against a single, already-deceased individual. Any fair-minded person who looks at both sides of the coin, bearing your article in mind, would either desist from the vehement anathema postulated against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, or feed the same unpalatable medicine to their own comrades that they dish out to the Mirza.

“In conclusion, I think it was most appropriate for you to expose to the world, for the first time to my knowledge, that opponents of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad cherished the British beyond anyone’s imagination. The article could not have come at a better time, especially when the Muslim empire witnessed the unparalleled degree of ‘stooging’ the Muslim countries in the Middle East applied to non-Muslim world upon their (the non-Muslim) invasion of Iraq. Now tell me who are thestooges?

Mr. Isakh gives us too much credit when he says that it is the first time it has been elaborated that other Muslim leaders supported British rule of India; such references have been published before in other Ahmadiyya books and booklets. However, it probably was the first time that such detailed excerpts have been given from speeches and resolutions presented at Muslim League meetings, showing that in its very first stated objective this party declared its loyalty to British rule of India.

When I [Dr. Zahid Aziz], as Editor, replied to Mr. lsakh, asking his permission to print his letter, with his name if possible, he wrote back saying:

“… I wish to thank you ever so much for your response. Honestly speaking, I was sceptical that I would receive a response. Now, as far as publishing my letter in The Light and Islamic Review is concerned, I hereby authorise you to please go ahead and do so. As far as attaching my name also to it is concerned, I would be more than glad if you do. To speak the truth and to endorse it should be done with much zeal. After all, I think it will only make the letter more authentic ….”