Islam and Ahmedism (1935)
During the nineteenth century were born Syed Ahmad Khan in India, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani in Afghanistan and Mufti Alam Jan in Russia… It is not possible here to give a detailed account of the transformation which these reformers brought about in the world of Muslim thought and feeling. One thing, however, is clear. They prepared to a great extent the ground for another set of men, i.e. Zaghlul Pasha, Mustafa Kamal and Raza Shah. The reformers interpreted, argued and explained but the set of men who came after them, although inferior in academic learning, were men who, relying on their healthy instincts, had the courage to rush into sun-lit space and do, even by force, what the new conditions of life demanded. Such men are liable to make mistakes; but the history of nations shows that even their mistakes have sometimes borne good fruit. In them it is not logic but life that struggles restless to solve its own problems. It may be pointed out here that Syed Ahrnad Khan, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani and hundreds of the latter’s disciples in Muslim countries were not Westernized Muslims. They were men who had sat on their knees before the mullas of the old school and had breathed the very intellectual and spiritual atmosphere which they later sought to reconstruct. Pressure of modern ideas may be admitted; hut the history thus briefly indicated above clearly shows that the upheaval which has come to Turkey and which is likely, sooner or later, to come to other Muslim countries, is almost wholly determined by the forces within. It is only the superficial observer of the modern world of Islam who thinks that the present crisis in the world of Islam is wholly due to the working of alien forces.