Featured

How to get Rid of the Bondage of Sin

Concluding part of an extract from an extremely popular article that appeared in the January 1902 Review of Religions.

If it might be objected that swords were resorted to by early Islam and hence the legality of Jihad, we say the objection is based upon ignorance of early Islamic circumstances. Islam never allowed the use of the sword for spreading the faith. On the other hand, it strictly prohibits compulsion in matters of faith. It has the plain injunction ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion.’ Why was the sword taken in hand then? The circumstances under which this measure had been resorted to have nothing to do with the spread of religion; they are connected with the preservation of life. Briefly, they are as follows: The savage inhabitants of the deserts of Arabia, who could hardly distinguish right from wrong, conceived a hatred towards Islam in its earliest day and became its bitter enemies. The reason of this hatred may be easily conceived. When the unity of God and the Islamic truths were preached openly to idolatrous Arabs and convincing arguments against idol worship were impressed upon their minds and they were told, how degrading it was for the noblest of God’s creatures to bow in submission to stones, they found themselves unable to meet the adherents of the new faith upon argumentative ground. This exposure led to a motion in favour of Islam among the more reasonable of them. The ties of relationship were cut asunder, the son parted from his parents and brother from brother. This exasperated them the more and they saw plainly that, if their fathers’ false religion was to be saved, excessive measures must be taken to stop the ingress into 45Review of Religions – August 2002 How to Get Rid of the Bondage of Sin – II We feel greatly privileged in reproducing this article, a translation of an excerpt from the writings of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, who started the Review of Religions. This article drew worldwide acclaim from several writers who praised its contents. It was first published in the Review of Religions, 1902, Vol.1, No.1. The first part of article this was re-published in the June 2002 editiom the new religion. The new converts to Islam were therefore violently persecuted and no efforts were spared to block the way to the new faith. Those acquainted with early Muslim history know full well what barbarous and cruel treatment was meted out to the early converts, and how many were murdered in cold blood. But these harsh measures did not prevent people from the acceptance of truth, for even a superficial glance is enough to convince a man of the reasonableness and purity of Islam as against idolatry. At length when the implacable foes of Islam saw that severe persecution availed but little and that their ancient, religion was threatened to be swept away in the current of Muslim reason, they planned the death of the Prophet himself. But their designs were frustrated. Almighty God saved His messenger and took him to Medina. The unbelievers, however, could not rest in their homes so long as they heard that the religion they had persecuted was gaining ground in another place. They pursued the Muslims to their new abode, and nothing but, their extirpation could satisfy them. What could Islam do under these circumstances but defend itself? For what fault, were Muslims to be mercilessly butchered and not allowed to protect their lives? Why should not the inveterate persecutors have been brought to retribution and just punishment? The Muslim battles were therefore not undertaken for gaining converts but to protect innocent Muslim lives. Can an unbiased judgment accept the conclusion that Islam was unable to prove its reasonableness as against savage Arabs? Can an unprejudiced mind believe that men who had sunk down so low as to worship images and lifeless things and who indulged in every manner of vice, could vanquish the noble religion of Islam on intellectual grounds, and that failure in proof led it to resort to the sword for increasing the number of its followers? Those who have advanced such objections against Islam have been guilty of grave injustice, inasmuch as they have concealed the true state of facts. It is, however, true that the Muslim Maulvis and the Christian missionaries are equally to blame for this unjust charge against Islam. The ignorant Maulvis while pretending to support Islam have by their repeated inculcations, 46 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 grafted the false doctrine of Jihad upon the minds of the unenlightened public who were misled by the f a t w a s of the maulvis on the one side and the objections of the Christian Missionaries, whom they took for learned men, on the other. The doctrine of Jihad being thus supported by the evidence of two opposing witnesses, its validity could not be questioned by the masses. Had the Missionaries taken a different course and with true honesty declared that the fatwas of the Maulvis were based on ignorance of the early Islamic h i s t o r y, and that the circumstances which then rendered an appeal to arms necessary for Muslims, did not exist any more, the idea of Jihad would long since have been eradicated from the face of the earth. But they never looked to the consequences and a misdirected zeal for their own religion cast a veil over their judgments in grasping the truth. It must also be stated here that permission for self-defence and murdering the enemies of Islam was not given to the Muslims until the Arabs had, on account of their excessive oppressions and outrages and innocent bloodshed, rendered themselves culpable and liable to be punished with death. But a clemency was even then shown to such of them as embraced Islam. The unity of religion established a relation of brotherhood and all past wrongs were forgotten. It is here that some opponents of Islam have stumbled and from this they draw the conclusion that the new religion was forced upon the unbelievers. In fact, the case is just the reverse of what the objectors have thought. There is no compulsion here; it was a favour to those who had rendered themselves liable to death. It is apparently absurd to take this conditional mitigation of just punishment for compulsion. They deserved to be murdered, not because they did not believe in the mission of the Prophet, but because they had murdered many an innocent soul. The extreme penalty of the law was upon them, but the mercy of the Gracious God gave them another chance of averting this merited capital punishment. He knew that during the long years of opposition the Islamic truths had been brought home to them and they well understood the futility of idol-worship. His mercy offered them an opportunity, even after 47 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 the sentence was justly pronounced against them, for imploring His pardon and the forgiveness of their sins. This clearly shows that it was not the object of Islam to put any unbeliever merely as such to death, but that it was willing to forgive even when the criminal was found deserving of death. Islam had to grapple with other difficulties. Religious prejudice was so strong at the time that if a member of any tribe adopted the faith of Islam, he was either put to death or threatened with it, and persecution was so severe that life seemed a burden to him. Islam had therefore to face the difficulty of establishing freedom of religious exercise and for this noble object it had to undertake w a r s . The early wars of Islam fall under either of the above headings and it never took the sword for its own propagation or for any other purpose. Attempts were made to blot out its very existence and therefore it had to struggle for its life. It did not take up arms of its own accord but was compelled to do so. It had to defend itself and repel the dangerous foe. Later on, when its true principles were forgotten, the doctrine was read in a different light and ignorance looked with pride upon a hateful course of life. But the fault can in no way be attributed to Islam. The source from which it flows is pure and undefiled. That this doctrine has been identified with Islamic teachings by shallow- brained zealots who do not care for the life of man even so much as man should care for the life of a sparrow, cannot be questioned. But the innocent blood that has been spilt in the past does not satisfy them. They have yet a bloody Mahdi in store for the world and would like to exhibit the ugliest picture of Islam before all nations, that all people may know that Islam has always had to resort for its propagation to compulsion and the sword, and that it has not a particle of truth in it to gain its conquest over hearts. It seems as if the holders of these views are not satisfied with the humiliation and decadence which Islam has already suffered, but must bring it still lower and subject it to yet more disgrace. These men are, a reproach to Islam. But God now wills that Islam should not be branded with reproaches and remain under a cloud any more. It is already so distressing to find 48 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 that its opponents who have not taken the trouble to investigate matters for themselves, have it impressed upon their minds that Islam has from its very beginning been employing the sword to add it to its numbers. It is high time that all these base charges should be cleared from the face of Islam. If the Maulvis unite to root up the evil from the midst of the Muslims they shall have done a lasting good to, and conferred a blessing upon, their co-religionists. Such an exposition of the doctrines of Islam will further reveal the excellence and the beauties of that religion to the general public, and the aversion which its opponents have conceived on account of misconceptions shall be turned into admiration. The clouds of dust having been cleared, shall then be able to get their light from that source of light. It is evident that no one can approach a bloody murderer. Everyone fears him, women and children tremble at his sight, and he looks like a mad man. An opponent of an alien religion cannot even pass a night with him lest he should choose to be a Ghazi [a victorious warrior]at the cost of his life. Such events occur daily among the ignorant frontier people, and a single bloody deed is deemed sufficient to entitle the murderer to paradise and its manifold blessings. It is a shame for the Muslims that alien races cannot safely live as their neighbours. They cannot trust them for a single moment and hardly expect any good in times of need. They do not deem themselves safe among them and shrink at the hidden belief of G h a z i s m. [roughly translated as the code of stalwart frontline soldiers]. An instance of this occurred lately here at Qadian. On the 20th November last, a European came here. Just at that time a number of my followers had assembled together and the conversation was upon a religious subject. The traveler stood apart from the assembly and was addressed in polite words. It appeared that he had been to Arabia and other Muslim countries, and that he came here with the object of taking my and my followers’ photographs. As a guest, he was asked to stay for a few days, but he appeared apprehensive. He stated that he had seen many Muslims who had committed atrocious deeds of murder against Christians. He mentioned several 49 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 specific instances in which such cruelty had been shown. It was then explain to him that this, the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, abhorred such doctrines and hated their adherents. It had set before itself the noble object of uprooting this evil. Upon this he felt satisfied and stayed here for one night. There was a lesson in this story for the pro-Jihad Maulvis. The growth of such horrible doctrines among the Muslims has done lasting injury to the cause of Islam and created an abhorrence for it in the hearts of other nations. They have no confidence in their sympathy so long as the dangerous doctrine of Jihad finds favour with them. They cannot form a favourable opinion except of such of them as do not lead strictly religious lives and are not very scrupulous about their religious beliefs. For all these misunderstandings none but the Muslims themselves are responsible. The blame of depriv- ing a whole world of the recognition of Islamic truths lies at the doors of the Maulvis who taught doctrines repulsive to the nature of man. How could the religion be from God, whose teachings needed the flash of this sword to get an entrance into the human heart? Such considerations were enough to keep back people from the acceptance of truth. The true religion is that which on account of its inherent property and power and its convincing arguments is more powerful than their keenest sword, not that which depends upon steel for its existence. Such are the evils that call for a reformer. Casting a glance at the internal state of Islam, we meet with sad disappointment. It is a ghastly picture. The sun has undergone an eclipse, the greater part being already darkened. The social relations of the Muslims are deplorable. Traditions have been fabricated that act like poison upon their moral conditions and break the Divine laws. The most sacred rights which Divine law has given to man are those relating to life, property and honour. We are commanded not to kill man, not to commit an outrage upon his h o n o u r, and not to seize his property dishonestly. But some Muslims have broken all of these commandments. They take away the life of an innocent person and never shudder at the inhumane deed. Empty headed Maulvis have circulated fatwas to the effect 50 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 that it is lawful to seduce or seize the women of unbelievers or heretics and to steal or misappropriate their properties. How dangerous is the condition of the religion that is full of so many evils, and whose pretended religious leaders, instead of acting in obedience to the dictates of conscience, follow their sensual desires and palm off their own erroneous views as holy doctrines taught by God and His prophets. These are wolves in lambs’ clothing and deceive the people. They act like poison and say they are an antidote. They are an enemy to society and an enemy to Islam. Their hearts are void of grace and sympathy but they conceal themselves. They put on the mask of preachers but have in view the indulgence of their own carnal desires. They come into mosques behave like saints, but their character is black with diabolical beads. These infamous characters are not limited to any particular country or town or sect, but may be found in every Muslim country. They pretend to be the religious leaders of the people and expositors of the doctrines of their religion. They call themselves Maulvis and assume saintly airs so that they may pass for godly men. Their deeds, h o w e v e r, reveal their true character. They do not like that true righteousness and true sympathy be spread in the world, for they consider that a loss to themselves. In short, the way Islam is blocked with numerous difficulties. The souls are dead and do not respond to the call of virtue. The golden mean which Islam taught as the guiding rule of life has been given up, and Muslims have gone to extremes. There are those among them that prostrate themselves before tombs and make circuits around them. They regard the departed souls of their spiritual guides as having full control from God over the affairs of humanity. Every religious order has a tomb in connection with it, which is worshipped by the disciples at the instance of the head. If one asks for a supernatural sign, a thou- sand miracles of the dead saint are related, but as to proof there is none. With them tomb worship is of the essence of Islam, and all others who claim to follow that religion are in error. In contrast with this is the sect that has gone to the opposite 51 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 extreme. A wholesale denial of spiritual facts has fallen to their lot. Saints and prophets are rejected in the same breath. Miracles are denied, and turned into ridicule. The revelation of God is attributed to an excess of imagination, and the presence of a peculiar creative power in the inspired one. Predictions are described as the result of human foresight, and any prophecy which is not the result of mere insight of human judgment into the surrounding circumstances, and which could be termed a direct communication from a higher source, is an impossibility with them. In short, they declare the Revelation of God to be all talk, miracles all moonshine and prophecies all stuff and nonsense. The graves of the dead are heaps of dust with which the souls have no connection. The resurrection or rising of the dead on the Day of Judgment is a fable of the days of ignorance and to think of a life hereafter is madness. Wo r l d wisdom is that true wisdom. Man must be bent wholly upon the things of this world, and his only concern should be the requirement of the best means of being foremost in the race of life. He must emulate men who are day and night involved in the affairs of the world and its base machinations. Such are the excess and laxity of Muslims with respect to the doctrines of Revelation and Resurrection. But their social and moral relations are all subject to the same rule. There is immoderation in their words and deeds, in marriage and divorce, in charity and parsimony, in wrath and mercy, in revenge and forgiveness; in short, in every one of their affairs. Ignorance and error have everywhere the upper hand among them. This is the deplorable condition of the people that appeared in the world with the distinction and pre- eminence of being the teachers of the unity of God and the golden mean. From this may be judged the state of other people. We shall now take the case of Christianity which grew up in a land endowed by nature with superior intellect and rare brain powers and accordingly the expectations were greater in its case. But we are sorry to say that in the matter of religion and the unity of God their state is the worst. Their faith is a reproach to their philosophy and science. When we consider their prudence 52 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 and skill in the management of worldly affairs and their genius for inventions on the one hand, and their weak side in grasping religious truths and delusion in taking a weak man as the Lord of the worlds, on the other, we are at a loss to account for this irreconcilable inconsistency. We have an unequalled intelligence in the one case and a similar want in the other. Between the erroneous paths chosen by the Christians and Muslims, a line of distinction can easily be drawn. Among the latter, the infringement is largely on the side of the rights of man, while among the former it is on that of the duties we owe to our Creator. The doctrine of J i h a d h a s hardened the hearts of the Muslims to such an extent that they can hardly feel true love and sympathy for their kind. The unenlightened among them are ever ready to cut the throat of an innocent person, or commit an outrage upon him on the slightest excitement or for personal motives, and with their beastly conduct degrade humanity. The Christians have committed the most horrible outrage upon the rights of the Divine Being. They have set-up with Him a weak man as God. The pity is that they have not even attained the object for which they had deified a creature. We cannot see the good that has resulted to them from it. If a faith in the blood of Jesus has the power of cleansing man from sin, why has it not benefited Europe? Why has atonement proved to be no remedy for the besetting sins of Europe which one feels even ashamed to mention? There it has not only felt to uproot the great vices but has worked their worst development. Does Europe exhibit a higher level of morality or less evil than the Eastern countries? If not, why has it never occurred to the supporters of this doctrine to revise the recipe and seek another remedy? Every physician has to resort to this measure and when he sees that the health of his patient does not improve by one r e m e d y, he has to apply another. If then we care so much for a few days comfort, why is not attention paid to this important question upon which depends the eternal welfare of man? Nineteen hundred years have elapsed since the blood of Jesus was first introduced into the world as a patent sin-healing remedy, but instead of doing any good it has proved harmful to 53 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 society and intensified the evil which it affected to mitigate. Are we still to believe that faith in the blood of Jesus delivers man from the bondage of sin, or should we expect that it shall do in the future what it has been unable to do in such a long past and that the time is coming when Christian nations shall pre-eminently stand above others in shunning lust and iniquity? An unprejudiced European or a traveller who has been to the great European cities the great centres of its civilisation such as Paris, shall not hesitate to testify to the truth of our statements. Nay, some parts of Europe have reached the lowest stage of degeneracy and do not look with any horror upon vice, nor pay any heed to its injurious consequences. Taking more than one wife is illegal there, but looking with lust upon a woman is no delinquency. Is there any verse in the Gospels that legalises the disgraceful conduct of the millions of women in France and elsewhere who do not marry all their lives long, or is it only too true that the blood of Jesus has proved a bane to society? The truth is that there is no natural relation between the death of one man and the redemption of another. As to the dead one’s deity we can conceive of blessings from a Living God and not from a dead one. The whole world is enlightened by the rising of the sun, not by its setting. Nineteen hundred years’ expe- rience of the failure of the remedy, in effecting the desired object undermines the foundation of a Son of God upon which the whole superstructure is built. The death of God is no doubt an ill- devised idea, but supposing that the Almighty Being could not see His way out of the difficulty of human redemption but by the strange course He adopted, it would have been some satisfaction if the desired object had thus been attained. But the object has never been accomplished and the world has been plunged into deeper depths of sin. This unmeaning and unreasonable act of the Deity therefore turns out to be an absolute failure. That God should have been born from the womb of a woman to suffer punishment, disgrace and death is, in the first place, opposed to the established Divine laws, for it has neither any precedent which should satisfy the hearts of men that God has been in the habit of being thus 54 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 born into the world, and that such a thing occurred several times before, nor is the claim supported by any such extraordinary signs which can convince reasonable minds that they display a greater power than was manifested in the miracles wrought by the other prophets. Nor is the defect of this absolute lack of evidence made up by the attendance of the pretended consequences for which the dangerous dogma was introduced into the world. The two great vices in which grow all carnal passions are drinking and prostitution, and it is in Christian nations that we find their worst development. The majority of the inhabitants of Europe are involved in these two vices, and there is no exaggeration in the assertion that in drunkenness Europe beats all the vastly populated countries of Asia, and a single large city of Europe has a larger number of public-houses than the total number of shops of all sorts in an Asiatic town [Readers are reminded that the author is describing a situation in 1902. Ed] Experience has, moreover, established it beyond doubt that drunkenness is the root of all evils and that the intoxicated man is likely to commit the most horrible crimes on the slightest provocation. Other evils are inseparable from it. Piety and drunkenness like light and darkness respectively, can never exist together in the same place. The man who is not aware of its evil consequences is not far- sighted. Another difficulty about it is that the giving up of the habit of drunkenness is attended with serious difficulties. The question naturally arises now, whether there is any true remedy for freedom from the bondage of sin if atonement is not. I do not only assert it forcibly but offer it as my own experience and as a well-tried remedy that there exists, and has existed from the creation of man down to this day, one and only one sure method of being released from the slavery of sin and the disobedience of God. Nothing can be proof against sin except a perfect knowledge of God attained through sure and conclusive arguments and brilliant signs of His existence. It is not to believe simply that there is a God but to know God and see God. It is through such a knowledge of God that man sees clearly that, the wrath of God is a devouring fire, and that a 55 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 manifestation of the beauties of God sets the soul at rest and makes it evident that true bliss and eternal felicity consist in a constant and reverent adoration of God. Every screen that hides the face of God from man is then raised and the Divine glory and beauty are revealed to him in their full lustre. This is the only way in which sensual passions can be restrained, and it is only such a knowledge of God that works a true transformation in man. Some men would think that they also believe in God, love God and fear God, yet they are not granted the purity of soul. Others perhaps, might object that all the world, with the exception of a very few, is not a disbeliever in God and yet sin and evil rage in the world. But the fact is, that there is wide difference between a belief in God and a knowledge of God. I do not mean to say that one who merely believes in God is granted the power to overcome sin, but that such power is granted to the man who has a perfect knowledge of God, and who has tasted both the fear and love of God. The believer in God simply admits that a God exists but one who has a perfect knowledge of Him actually sees what the other simply does not reject on grounds of probability. If it be said that Satan has a clear knowledge of God and still he is disobedient to the Divine being, the reply is that such a view is not correct. Satan has not the perfect knowledge which is granted to the righteous ones of God. It is in the nature of man that when perfect knowledge renders him certain of something, he is necessarily impressed with it. He avoids every dreadful path of destruction when he has once seen it. It is therefore impossible that a true knowledge of God and dis- obedience to His Commandments should dwell in the same heart, for if the one is darkness the other is light and must dispel it. We ordinarily see that anything which experience has shown to be beneficial and conducive to any good is anxiously desired by e v e r y b o d y, while that which it has proved to be harmful is hated and even viewed with horror. For instance, the man who has strychnia in his hand but is not aware of its fatal property, may take it in any quantity under the impression of its being some innocuous drug, but the person who knows it to be a poison, cannot take it in any such quantity 56 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 as is sure to kill him. Similarly, it is a solid and evident truth that when man knows for certain that there is a God who punishes every transgression, and that punish- ment is sure to follow every act of disobedience , he keeps at a respectful distance from all sorts of wrong doing such as bloodshed, theft, prostitution, oppression, injustice, breach of trust, setting up others with God, telling a lie, giving false evidence, vanity, h y p o c r i s y, speculation, cheating, abusing, fraud, faithlessness, remissness, lasciviousness, un- gratefulness towards God, not fearing God, selfishness, having no sympathy for man, not praying to God with a fearful heart, indulging in luxury and worldly delights, forgetfulness of God, keeping aloof from prayer and humbleness of heart, adulterating articles of sale or defrauding customers, giving short measure or weight, selling at a higher than the market price, not serving the parents, harshness to wives, disobedience of husbands, looking to lust after strange men and women, not caring for the orphans, thinking little of the old and the weak and the sick, disregarding the rights of neighbours and injuring them, insulting a fellow man to show o n e ’s vanity, cheering at others in offensive language, describing some bodily defect to affront another person, calling one bad names, charging one falsely, pretending to receive revelation from God, falsely claiming an apostleship, message or prophecy from Him, denying the existence of God, and, revolting against a good ruler or mischievously creating a dissention in the c o u n t r y. The assertion that we know that there is a God and that sin will be punished and yet commit sins, and hence the insufficiency of the method pointed out, is nothing but a delusion. It is impossible that man should venture to commit sin after he is fully convinced that no sooner he shall transgress the commandments of the Almighty than the fire of punishment shall consume him like lightning in the twinkling of an eye. The principle upon which stress has been laid here is one that defies refutation. It is incontestable that whenever an act is sure to be followed by certain punishment, there is no tendency in man to attempt that act. No one ever thrusts his hand into burning fire, or throws himself down the top of a mountain, or jumps into a well, or 57 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 stands against a train in motion, or thrusts his hand into the mouth of a lion, or holds out his leg before a mad dog or stands beneath falling lightning or remains in a house when the roof is coming down over his head, or stands upon the ground that is sinking. Is there a stout-hearted man who upon seeing a poisonous snake upon his bed does not at once make a jump to the floor? Or does the rashest man, when his house is on fire, not leave everything to be devoured by flames to escape with his own life? If all this is true and man naturally flees from danger, why does he not keep clear of sin and fly from the coming wrath? There is no satisfactory answer to this question, except that in the two cases there is difference as to the certainty of the consequences. Most people have really no sure knowledge as to the effect of their transgressions. They are no doubt conscious that sin is harmful, but they never dread it like the lion or the snake. Beneath this outward belief is the lurking idea that there is no positive proof as to the retribution. Even the existence of God is not beyond all question. There is also an uncertainty regarding the immortality of the soul, or, if it be supposed immortal, who call tell of its fate hereafter, or that transgression of G o d ’s commandments shall be really punished? That such ideas are latent in the minds is beyond a shadow of doubt, though they may be there undetected or even unsuspected. But as to occasions of palpable danger instances of which have been given above, there is dead certainty that destruction shall be the immediate consequence, and therefore none can approach the danger, or if any one is brought face to face with it by accident, he shall fly from it. To sum up, most men have not that certainty in religious matters which they have in the material world. In the one case it is a certitude, in the other a mere idea, a conjecture so to say in this they feel and see, in that it is an idle tale. Fog cannot dispel the darkness of sin, there must be clear light. I say it plainly and truly that the true salvation of mankind has no relation to the crucifixion of Jesus, and even if a thousand Messiahs be crucified that object can never be attained. Only a perfect know- ledge or a perfect love of God can 58 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 deliver man from the bondage of sin. As to the death of Jesus upon the cross, it is not a true statement in the first place and has, moreover, no connection with the assuaging of sin. It is an obscure assertion with no foundation and no results. Evidence does not support it, nor does experience bear it out. The suicide of a Messiah has no conceivable relation to the remission of another man’s sins. The true nature of redemption is that man should be freed from the hell of sin in this very world. The promise of a salvation hereafter, while this one is to be passed in the fire of sin, is nothing but a fallacy. Idle tales cannot relieve a man of the heavy burden he is so desirous to shake off, nor have these childish stories which are devoid of all pure truth and quite strangers to the purpose, done any good to or saved their upholders, Search the whole country, from North to South and from East to West, and you shall not find a single man who has, through these tales, attained to that righteousness of heart which reveals the shining face of God. It is this righteousness which not only makes a man abhor sin but gives him a true prospect of a paradise hereafter by granting him in the enjoyment of truths a heavenly bliss in this life. The soul of man melts and humbles itself down before the majesty of God without any restraint. A light descends from heaven and dispels the gloom of carnal desires. As darkness pervades a room in broad day light if its doors are shut, light enters it if a man takes the trouble to open the doors; similar is the case with the spirit of man. He must exert himself to his utmost before he reaps any real advantage. To admit light into a room, a man must get up from his place and open the windows. Unless he does that he cannot partake of the bounties of the laws of nature. A thirsty man cannot quench his thirst with a mere idea of water, but stumbling and falling he must reach the fountain of sweet water and stoop down to drink of it. Then shall his scorching thirst be satisfied. The water of life, which can cool and refresh your souls from the inflammation of sin is p e r f e c t assurance. Upon this earth and under the heavens there is no other remedy for getting cleansed from sin. No cross can deliver you 59 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 from this evil, no blood can set you free from the trammels of passion. Do not trust in these, for they have nothing to do with deliverance. Reflect upon realities and ponder over truths. Try as you do in the material world, and then you will see that there is no light but that which proceeds from true assurance that can take you out of sensual darkness, and no pure and sweet water but that which flows from perfect knowledge and an actual revelation of the face of God that can cleanse the impurities of the soul and cool and refresh the burning of the heart. If one propounds a different theory, or another acts upon a different principle, the one is ignorant and the other deceived. It is not light they can give you but further darkness of doubt, and not the cool and sweet water they promise you but more of burning and inflammation. No blood can purify you but the pure blood which the nourishment of assurance generates, and no cross can deliver you but the cross that you have to suffer in walking upon the right road. Is it not true that unless there is light you cannot see and unless you tread on the right road you cannot reach the goal. Think of that which is far, from that which is near, and judge the spiritual from the material world. The laws which prevail in the one hold good in the other for both come from the same source. Is there a man who can see without the help of his eyes, or hear without the aid of his ears, or speak but by means of his tongue. Why not seek for similar laws in matters spiritual? Can one stand with one’s eyes open on the side of a bottomless pit? Or is not one alarmed when a voice comes into his ears warning him of the approach of thieves? Or again, is there a person who can, notwithstanding healthiness of the muscles of taste, palatably devour bitter and poisonous drugs which produce stomach disorder, and vomiting, swelling of the body or other fatal diseases which ultimately destroy the whole system? If man has to depend on so many things for his guidance in the physical world, is it not true that in the spiritual world he stands in need of a light that should show him the evil of the paths of wickedness, a voice that should warn him of the places frequented by thieves and dacoits, and a taste that should distinguish bitter from sweet and 60 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 poison from antidote. These are the things which man needs to be saved. Salvation cannot be got except through light and a blind man who trusts in the blood of someone for being saved from sin trusts but to a broken reed. Any one who only hankers after a salvation in the next world is certainly on the wrong scent. True salvation is that which begins in this life. It is a light which descends upon the heart and shows the abyss of destruction. Walk therefore in the path of truth and wisdom and then you will find God. Animate and warm your hearts that you may be able to make a motion towards truth. Unfortunate is the heart which is cold, miserable the spirit which is depressed, and dead the conscience which has no light in it. Be not worse than the bucket which goes empty into the well but comes up full. Be not like the sieve which discharges its fluid contents as soon as it receives them. Let all your exertions be to one end only, that your health be restored and that the fever should leave you, whose poisoning has impaired your senses and taken away light from the eyes, hearing from the ears, taste from the tongue, and strength from all the limbs. Cut off the low connections of this world that you may be able to unite with the higher one. Control your heart from moving in one path, that thus constrained it may take the other. Throw off the filthy worm of this earth that the shining jewel of heaven be granted to you. Look at the beginning when God breathed His spirit into Adam. Let your deeds be such as to make you deserving’ of the same boon, that you may be made lord over all things as your father was made before you. The greater part of the day has passed, the eve is approaching and the sun is going to set. Let your eyes see now or else they will never see. Before you commence that eternal journey send before you delicious and sweet things to eat, not stones and bricks, for those will never satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst. Send forth a l s o clothes for your dress and not thorns and rubbish. The God, who before the birth of the child provides milk for it in the breast of its mother, has sent one for you in your time and in your country that he may give you suck like a loving mother. From him you shall suck the milk of assurance and faith, a milk whiter than the sun 61 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 and of all drinks the most cheering and, inspiriting. If you are born alive and not dead, run to the breast that can give you fresh milk. Throw off the stinking and noxious milk from your cups, for it affords no nourishment and you cannot see its putridity. It has become a poison and its entrance into your blood is sure to corrupt the internal system. All that glitters is not gold, and therefore take not every whiteness for an excellence. There are things in the world which are black in appearance but are of more solid worth than many a thing polished white. Black hair signify the vigour of the prime of man-hood, while grey ones indicate the weakness and decrepitude of declining years. The whiteness of hypocrisy and sham virtue ought therefore to be condemned. Far better is the plain and frank sinner who does not conceal -his faults under a mask. He is nearer the Mercy of God than the other. Do not put your confidence in doubtful and dubious things which, are not accompanied by true light and not supported on true philosophy, for these are the paths of danger and destruction. Weigh well the desires of your own heart what they are, and pry into your own minds how they can be satisfied, as to the manner in which man can free himself from evil. What are the dictates of your conscience as to the best remedy for this all-absorbing evil. Can any reasonable mind be satisfied that the blood of Jesus makes sin horrific to our view. Experience supplies evidence to the contrary and it appears it has emboldened men in the commission of sin, for the man who trusts in the blood of Jesus, knows that the penalty of his sin has been paid. He only to whom a knowledge of the poisonous nature of sin is given, can keep clear of the evil, for he knows the danger he exposes himself to in doing evil. One has been sent from God who alone can give you the knowledge, on acquiring which your hearts shall see God and the poison of evil. Then, will you fly from sin as a man flees from a lion. It should therefore be the first object of every well-wisher of humanity to spread h i s doctrines and signs in the world so that those who in vain seek deliverance in the crucifixion of Jesus, may see the real source of true salvation. The muddy waters which contain twenty times as 62 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 much filth as pure water do not contain the purifying element. The water that descends from heaven in its time can alone cleanse the heart of all dirt. The stream which overflows with pure rain water can alone supply clear and undefiled water, but the stream which does not flow but has stagnant water in it, is far from being crystalline and pure. It is all muddy and dirty and is a receptacle of impure extraneous m a t t e r. The heart to which a perfect knowledge of God and assurance had been given is like the overflowing stream which fertilises surrounding lands and whose clear cold water gives satisfaction to and refrigerates the burning heart. It is not only pure itself but purifies everything that is washed in it. It gives true wisdom and sagacity which remove rust from the heart and excite dislike for sins. But the muddy stagnant water of a dry stream, being itself dirty, cannot purify others or do any good to the world. It is high time now for everyone to be ready and search the water of assurance, for it shall be given to all earnest seekers. Filled with assurance you must flow like a mighty stream that carries off the rubbish of doubt in its current and the heart pure and free from every sin. This is the water which shall blot out all imprints of sin and thus prepare the heart, by restoring its natural purity, for receiving Divine impressions. Remember that the letters of sensuality can never be erased from the tablet of your heart unless you wash them off with the water of assurance. Strive and the means shall be given to you, seek and it shall be provided, humble your hearts and you shall be able to understand these things, for hardness of heart at bars the road to realities. Do you think that there is any other way for the impression upon your hearts of the greatness of the Living God, or for the revelation of His Glory, or the manifestation of His Power? Do you consider it possible that your hearts shall be filled with the light of assurance and conceive true hatred towards sin by walking in a different path? That cannot and shall not be; there is but one God, one path and one law. 63 How to get rid of the Bondage of Sin – part II Review of Religions – August 2002 We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of the magazine. The Review of Religions will continue to provi d e discussion on a wide range of subjects and welcomes any comments or suggestions from its readers. To ensure that you regularly receive this monthly publication, please fill in your details below and we will put you on our mailing list. The cost of one year’s subscription is £15 Sterling or US $30 for overseas readers (Please do not send cash). Pa y m e n t s should be made payable to the London Mosque and sent to the address below: The Review of Religions The London Mosque 16 Gressenhall Road London SW18 5QL United Kingdom Please put me on the mailing list for the Review of Religions for 1 year. I enclose subscription payment of £15.00 or US $30.00. Name: ___________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Subscription Review of Religions The Holy Ka’aba MECCA, ARABIA The First House of Worship, and The Spiritual Heart of Islam

Tags