New Publication: The True Message of the Quran, the Torah and the Gospel by Ismail Peck

Reviewed by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light & Islamic Review (US), November/December 1997 Issue (Vol. 74, No. 6, p. 10)

The True Message of the Quran, the Torah and the Gospel, by Ismail Peck, Cape Town, pp. 64. Obtainable from the author at: P.O. Box 18740, Wynberg 7824, Cape Town, South Africa.

This is an interesting booklet which examines various basic religious teachings and concepts of Islam with reference to not only the Holy Quran but the Jewish and Christian scriptures as well. It is divided into two parts, the first part dealing with the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam (matters such as oneness of God, prayer, fasting, prophets, the hereafter, etc.), and the second part looking at other issues of interest in these three religions, such as the creation of the world, the birth, death and ascension of Jesus, and the position of women.

Under each head, the author first cites the Quran and then quotes from the Bible to show that the same concepts and teachings are borne out by the Jewish and Christian scriptures as well, even though the official beliefs of these two religions may not accord with the Quran. The book is written in a concise, clear and simple style and furnished with plenty of quotations. It is intended not only to increase the knowledge of the Muslim reader but, more importantly, also to show our Jewish and Christian friends the real teachings of the Quran and their support to be found in the Bible. The language of the booklet will not be offensive to anyone. The discussion about the life of Jesus and about the miraj [spiritual ascension] of the Holy Prophet Muhammad will also benefit large sections of Muslims who labour under misconceptions as to the Quranic teaching on these questions.

Being written in South Africa, I noticed one example of local pronunciation of Arabic sounds which may puzzle those who are not familiar with it. The Arabic letter h is rendered as g, so that ahad (‘one’) is written as agad (p. 4) and hamalat (‘she bears’) as gamalat (p. 41). These are probably the only two instances.

This book is a very commendable effort and we recommend it highly, especially to those Muslim and Ahmadiyya communities who live in proximity to Christians.

I cannot help mentioning that Mr. Ismail Peck was the plaintiff in the Cape Town Ahmadiyya Case, which ended in November 1985 with his claim being accepted by the court that as a member of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement he was a Muslim. It was an act of great personal courage on his part to allow his name to be put forward as the plaintiff, risking the wrath and vengeance of many local Muslim religious leaders and their blind supporters. We wish his writing efforts well and look forward to further literary contributions from him.