Islam and Slavery

THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS OCTOBER 1984 ! GUIDE POSTSNO. 4 \r Ahmad Orchard) HIGH MORALS Thou dost most surely possess high moral excellences. (The Holy Quran, 68:5) Laws of moral conduct have been provided by all revealed religions for their respective adherents. Some of them vary while others are common to all. It should be the goal of every devotee to practice and manifest the beauties of his faith to the highest degree and not rest content in maintaining merely an ordinary or average standard of morals. The urge to excel should surge within an in- dividual like a restless ocean: “Vie with one another in good -works.” (Quran 2:149) “Verily the most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous among you.” (Quran 14:40) Most people seek honour among men while the wise person is only concerned in winning the honour of God and therefore earnestly strives to cultivate righteousness for that is the means of manifesting the attributes of God and earning His pleasure. He seeks to envelope himself with the mantle of-righteousness which is the finest of all garments: “The best and most elegant dress is the raiment of righteousness.” (Quran 7:27) A Muslim believes in the sinlessness of all the prophets of God who have appeared from time to time throughout the ages. He also believes that the greatest of them in spiritual rank was the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him) to whom was revealed the final divine law of guidance for mankind. A Muslim also believes that in the latter days there would be raised up among them the Imam Mahdi or Promised Messiah. The purpose of his ad- vent would be to expound and revive the true teachings of Islam and to remove all the innovations, interpolations and misinterpretations OCTOBER 1984 GUIDE POSTS which have been ascribed to it during the passage of time. He would call all mankind to Islam which was the mission of the Holy Prophet fourteen hundred years ago. The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement—Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India—claimed in the year 1889 that in his peson had been fulfilled the prophecies pointing to the advent of the Promised Messiah. His love for God was so deep that he paid microscopic attention to the minutest details of moral conduct. He has stated: “The believer has been commanded to make his manners and character so excellent that they become contagious.” (Malfoozat Vol. 1, p.248) “A true Muslim … would never go even one step away from obedience to God. He would consider it total self- destruction.” (Malfoozat Vol. 3, p. 182) “You should guard against all sins, whether they are major ones or minor ones, for sin is a poison which if taken it is impossible to survive.” (Malfoozat Vol. 5, p.125) “You should do away with your short-comings and make your words and actions completely conform with the will of God.” (Malfoozat Vol. l.p.44). The home life of the Promised Messiah was a model of paradise in which he was an exemplar of the Holy Prophet’s proclamation that the best husband is the one who treats his wife the best. On one occasion he said: “As for me, I once spoke to my wife in a rather loud voice and I felt that my voice had a tone of displeasure, although I had uttered no offensive or harsh words. Thereafter I con- tinued to ask the forgiveness of God for a long time and offered many prayers in an attitude of humility and gave some alms also, thinking that the loud voice of mine was due to some hidden sin of mine.” (Character Sketch of the Promised Messiah) Most of us think we have done well just to avoid the obvious and common sins while overlooking minute and subtle points of behavior. We read in the Holy Quran: “You thought it to be a light matter, while in the sight of Allah it was a grievous thing.” (24:16) THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS OCTOBER 1984 The Bible also states: “He that despiseth little things, shall perish little by little.” (Proverbs) A renowned writer of the nineteenth century has truly stated: “Strict adherence to even the smallest details of morality is the foundation of a manly and noble character.” (Character by Samuel Smiles) While on his travels, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad once stayed in the home of one of his followers. It was the hottest season of the year and for this reason a bed was prepared for him on the open roof of the building. He observed that there was no parapet and drew the attention of those present to a direction of the Holy Prophet wherein he has forbidden anyone from sleeping on a roof without a parapet. As there was no open space elsewhere, he directed that his bed should be moved indoors where he passed an uncomfortable night in the heat of the room. There was no real danger in sleeping on the roof but he preferred to pass the night indoors rather than con- travene a direction of the Holy Prophet which any other person may have ignored especially due to the hot weather. Development of high morals requires meticulous attention to finer points of issue. The Holy Prophet has said: “Sin is that which troubles your mind.” “Give up that which raises a doubt in your mind.” May God help us to walk firmly on the path of virtue, watching over every thought, word and action with the utmost care. LIVING FOR GOD God’s Will and His Pleasure should be the supreme thought in your mind so that satan may have no chance to let you stumble. Till this stage is reached, man is liable to falter. When worldly gain or loss has no effect and instead God’s pleasure and His displeasure serve as motive power for all our actions, then is the stage reached when man becomes immune from all kinds of fear and grief.” (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad)