22 The Review of Religions – February 2005 By the Grace ofAllah the 11 2t h Jalsa Salana in Qadian is approaching its con- clusion today and will conclude with my address. According to the report, many non- Ahmadi guests are also attending this gathering. They estimate that the attendance is thirty two to thirty three thousands and that it is still increasing. I have selected the subject of the lofty examples from the teachings of Islam and the expectations of the Promised Messiah( a s ) of the Jama’at as to what type of Jama’at he wanted to create. The beautiful teaching that Muhammad( s a ) presented to the world 1400 years ago includes detailed guidance on even minor matters for Muslims as to how brothers and friends should establish mutual relations and what are the essential require- ments for establishing a peaceful Concluding Address at the JALSA SALANA QADIAN Delivered on 28th December 2003 and telecast live from the Mahmud Hall, London English rendering by Khalil-ur-Rehman Mullick – Published by The Review of Religions on its own responsibility 23The Review of Religions – February 2005 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN society and what social sur- roundings can be created which lead to the formation of a peaceful s o c i e t y. In addition to the teachings of mutual relations among the Muslims, he also taught the ways of dealing with the non-Muslims in a lofty manner; he taught the methods and manners of discharging our duty towards fellow Muslims as well as towards the followers of other religions; and, he taught us the methods of worshipping God. In short, there is not a single aspect which the Holy Prophet( s a ) left unattended. The Holy Qur’an is a complete and perfect teaching revealed to him thus completing the Faith and perfecting the Shariah (law). The Holy Prophet ( s a ) did not just convey the Message but presented it to the world backed by his own personal examples, acting upon which the companions of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) brought about such phenomenal change in their lives that could not be imagined by man. They also did their best to convey this teaching to the world. Then gradually the Muslims f o rgot this teaching and worldliness prevailed amongst them. Then, as Allah had promised, He raised Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi who was the true devotee and spiritual ‘son’ of the Holy Prophet(sa). Once again, he presented to the world the beautiful teachings of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) and answered the objections raised by the oppo- nents of Islam, with cogent reasoning and established that Islam now was the only religion that would live until the end of the world. He said: I do not say this casually but prove it with logical arguments. He told the believers that if you listen to me attentively and reflect over what I say, I will teach you the deep knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and then, with this knowledge and by the Grace of Allah, you will be able to set out and proclaim this Shariah to the world, strengthen your faith and bring mankind to the threshold of God, establish His Pure and Pristine Unity and remember that Islam is the only religion in the world under whose protective standard rests the 24 The Review of Religions – February 2005 survival of humanity. He said: Disseminate this teaching to save the world from destruction, for: ‘Surely the true religion with Allah is Islam’ (Ch.3:V.20). Allah also says And whoso seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him and in the life to come he shall be among the losers. (Ch.3:V.86) Discussing the supremacy of Islam over other religions and why it is the final law and what superiority it has, the Promised Messiah(as) says: ‘The reality of Islam which the Holy Qur’an teaches is not a new thing; all the Prophets(as) were sent to give this teaching; and the object of all Divine Books has been the same i.e. to establish mankind on the right path. However, the total supremacy of the teaching of the Holy Qur’an over all other teachings is based on two reasons: ‘Firstly, all the previous prophets were not raised for all mankind. For example, you see that in the time of the previous prophets, there were other prophets in adjacent territories who at the same time called their people to the One and only God. The previous prophets were not appointed for the whole of mankind but were sent only for their own specific people who had limited capabilities and needed to be reformed in their specific habits, beliefs, sincerity and way of life. For this very reason, their Books were limited to those people and brought guidance which was appropriate for those specific people and according to their limited capabilities i.e. they befitted their capacities. ‘The second reason is that those earlier prophets were given such laws which were for a limited time and God had not intended that those teachings should continue to the end of the world. Thus, being limited to a specific time, those teachings brought guidance just for that time and were limited for the time which Divine wisdom had determined CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 25The Review of Religions – February 2005 for them.’ (Ayena Kamalate Islam p 126). Explaining this complete and perfect Shariah (Law) of Islam, the Promised Messiah( a s ) reminds his followers specifically that the essence of this excellent teaching is that you worship Allah and show true sympathy for mankind and service to them. ‘Dedication of life in the cause of Allah has two segments: firstly, to hold God as your Lord, your Object and your Beloved and there should be no associate in His worship, love, fear and hope. The second part of dedication of life in the cause of Allah is to serve His creatures with true sympathy, seeking a cure for their affliction, lightening their burdens and sharing their grief, u n d e rgoing suffering to give comfort to others and bearing distress for the happiness of others. This shows that the essence of Islam is very lofty and no man can truly deserve the title of being called a Muslim so long as he does not dedicate his life to God with all his capabilities, desires and motives and as long as he does not renounce his ego with all its ingredients and engages himself in the path of God. Therefore, one will truly be called a Muslim when his ignorant way of life undergoes a radical change and his self that incites him to evil is, all at once, destroyed with all its desires and so that after this death he may develop a new life to become a benefactor for the sake of Allah. That life should be so pure that it should contain nothing but devotion to God and sympathy for His creatures. ‘The service of mankind in this way – that in all kind of needs of God’s creatures which arise as a result of their varying capacities which God as Eternal Apportioner has bestowed on them and has thus made some depend on others – in all these matters, one should give everything purely for the sake of Allah with sincere and selfless sympathy, provide assis- tance with his God given capacities to everyone who needs it and should do his utmost for the betterment of their life both here and in the hereafter.’ Let me clarify this point. The Promised Messiah(as) says that the CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 26 The Review of Religions – February 2005 first requirement to call yourself a Muslim is that you should work according to the will and pleasure of Allah, with all your capacities whether intellectual or physical. You should make yourself come up to the mark of the teachings of God. Destroy your selfish desires also. When Allah commands you to worship Him and says that it is the time for prayers, then instead of attending the mosque you do not engage yourself in worldly pursuits. The Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says you must destroy your ego. In no way should you think of your greatness, your merit, or your piety. At all times you should realise that ‘I am a humble servant of God and all greatness and grandeur belongs to God.’ You must not think that ‘I have given sacrifices for the Jama’at and now the Jama’at should look after me’. Whatever sacrifices you have given, what- ever sacrifices you have rendered, you have done it for the sake of God to set right your life here and in the hereafter. If it deserves a reward it is God alone Who can Himself give you your r e w a r d . The second important duty and obligation which the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says is that Islam has commanded us that we should serve God’s creatures. He says that whatever kinds of needs God’s creatures have, you should attempt to fulfil them, irrespective of which people or to which religion they belong because Allah has made some people depend on others. This is the on-going social system in this world that one is employed by another in his business or is his personal servant. At times some needy people knock at your door, you should help them. To whatever extent you have the strength and capacity, you should try to assist them in worldly matters as well as in religious matters. Besides fulfilling their worldly needs, tell them about the beautiful teachings of Islam. Acquaint them with it. If they are already Muslims, then exhort them to act upon the true teachings of Islam which the Holy Prophet( s a ) had presented. Only then can it be said that you have achieved the object for which you have been created and for which you have accepted Islam. CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 27The Review of Religions – February 2005 So a religion whose essence is to worship Allah and to serve humanity – how can you imagine that its followers will fight in the name of religion as is being alleged these days? If calling himself a Muslim one does that, then he is acting against the teachings of Islam. It is certainly not the teaching of Islam. Islam is a religion of tenderness, of love and affection and of human d i g n i t y. Islam honours and respects not only all the prophets but also those who believe in them. It respects leaders of all religions, of all nations and issues commandments to respect them. Rather, as I said, the teaching of Islam has taken respect and honour to such lofty levels that it is reported by Ibn Umar that the Holy Prophet(sa) said ‘When a dignitary of a people visits you, you must respect him.’ (Ibn Maja) Another report clarifies this further that it is not just dignitaries. Once, there was a dispute between a Muslim and a Jew in Madinah – the Muslim said: I swear by God Who has given Muhammad ( s a ) e x c e l l e n c e over all the world. The Jew said: I swear by God Who has given Moses(as) superiority over all the world. At this the Muslim slapped the Jew. The Jew complained to the Holy Prophet( s a ). The Holy Prophet(sa) said: Do not express my superiority over Moses ( a s ) (Bukhari). These are the examples of the lofty morals of the Holy Prophet(sa). Despite the fact that he knew and had firm faith in it, for Allah had told him that he was a law-bearing prophet and the Seal of all the Prophets, and that Allah had given him excellence over all CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN ‘Islam is a religion of tenderness, of love and affection and of human dignity. Islam honours and respects not only all the prophets but also those who believe in them. It respects leaders of all religions, of all nations and issues commandments to respect them.’ 28 The Review of Religions – February 2005 the Prophets, he could not tolerate that any of his followers should injure the religious feelings of others, so he stopped them. Whereas these opponents today allege that Islam is a belligerent religion and incites wars. It is reported that the Holy Prophet(sa) said: It is not permitted that one should declare that I am better than Hadhrat Yunus bin Matta [Jonah(as)]. The Promised Messiah(as) says: ‘This principle that we should declare all Prophets to be true whose religion took root and flourished and millions of people joined their religion is absolutely correct and exceedingly blessed. Despite differences, it lays the foundation of peace and recon- ciliation. This is an exceedingly good principle. Were the world to adopt this principle it would put an end to much discord and religious contempt which is disturbing peace in the society.’ (To h f a h Qaisariyya Ruhani Khazain vol 12, p.6). The Promised Messiah(as) says that this is what Islam teaches and it is a principle that lays the foun- dation of peace and recon- ciliation. It is such an excellent principle that should the people adopt it, the whole world would become a cradle of peace. Everyone will begin to respect and honour other men. One should speak of the beauties of one’s religion and must not speak of the evil of other religions. Accusing other religions means that one lacks arguments to defend one’s own religion. A religion that lacks arg u m e n t s means that falsehood has found its way into that religion. Only those people are ready to fight and kill who lack proof and are not certain of their truth. Followers of some religions allege that Islam is a warring religion, and it has become so ingrained in their hearts and it has been planted there so firmly that they are not ready to accept that Islam is a peace-loving religion. The Promised Messiah ( a s ) s a y s : ‘We can prove conclusively that Islamic wars were fought entirely in defence and did not contain such severity and strictness which CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 29The Review of Religions – February 2005 are found in the battles of Moses(as) and Joshua(as). If they were to claim that the wars of Moses(as) and Joshua(as) were in the form of Divine punishment, then why do they not they regard Islamic wars as Divine punishment? What preference do the other wars have? Whereas compared to Jewish wars, many privileges were granted in the Islamic wars. The fact is that since the opponents of Islam were unaware of previous teachings, Allah showed much more compassion to them compared to the compassion shown to the oppo- nents of Hadhrat Moses(as) for God is ‘Most Forgiving and Ever M e rc i f u l’. Compared to the Jewish wars, Islamic wars have the great distinction that the Holy Prophet(sa) and his followers were persecuted most dreadfully for 13 long years. They were oppressed and made to suffer all kinds of misery by those tyrants. For example, many of the Muslims were killed and some died through terrible tortures. It is not hidden from those who have studied the history that women were murdered in a most shameful manner. For instance, a woman was tied to two camels that were made to run in opposite directions thus splitting the body into two halves. The Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) and his devoted followers bore these atrocities and suffering with patience and great courage for 13 long years. Even then, they did not stop their oppression, and finally they hatched a plot to kill the Holy Prophet(sa). Learning of their evil plan from Allah, the Holy Prophet(sa) left Makkah to migrate to Madinah but they pursued him and eventually attacked Madinah. It was then that Allah commanded the Holy Prophet( s a ) to defend themselves against the attack, as it was now the time that as a penalty of their wantonness and evil conspiracies the Makkans should taste Divine punishment. ‘So the promise of God that if they did not stop their wickedness they would be destroyed through Divine punishment was fulfilled. The Holy Qur’an itself has recorded the reasons for these wars. It says: CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 30 The Review of Religions – February 2005 Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged – and Allah indeed has power to help them – Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said: ‘Our Lord is Allah’… (Ch.22:Vs.40,41) After this verse was revealed, the series of Islamic defensive wars began. ‘Then whatever privileges you will see granted during Islamic wars you will not find an example thereof in the wars of Moses(as) and Joshua( a s ). In Jewish wars, thousands of children were killed, the old and the women were also killed, the trees of orchards were set on fire and burned to ashes, and all this can be proven from the Torah. Despite having witnessed extreme oppression and the atrocities of the wicked which had not been witnessed before, our Holy Prophet(sa) gave orders not to kill children, not to kill the old and the women, not to interfere with the monks, not to burn crops or fruit trees and not to demolish the places of worship.’ (Al Hakam vol 6 no. 2 Jan 17 1902) Now compare them and see which one carries more weight. When the Holy Prophet(sa) sent soldiers to war, he used to give them specific instructions. The Promised Messiah (as) says that we find detailed accounts in the Ahadith that when the Holy Prophet(sa) went to war or sent an army, he used to give them strict orders that no women should be killed, children must not be killed, do not contend with the old, the refugees, the monks and the hermits must not be interfered with, no one should be burnt to death, no animal should be killed, no tree should be cut down and no corpse of the enemy should be defiled in revenge. After victory he used to make this announce- ment: You must not kill an injured person, do not pursue those who run away. About the prisoners he used to say, treat them kindly. For instance, the prisoners of the Battle of Badr state, by God, that while letting us ride their mounts Muslims used to walk; they went hungry, but gave us food to eat; CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 31The Review of Religions – February 2005 they went thirsty, but gave us water to drink (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood). Those who label Islam as a warring religion and terrorist religion should pause and reflect. Do warring religions give these kind of instructions? Do not call it the teaching of Islam, when it serves the interests of a few individuals or the interests of a few organisations. Man considers himself most civilised and cultured in the world today, but can we see these high morals being displayed in his wars? When bombs are being rained by aeroplanes or cannons are fired on the inhabitants of a c i t y, you can see how much innocent blood of the children and innocent citizens is being shed. So if there is terrorism, it is being perpetrated by one but its price is being paid by another. Wherever there is turmoil, the media records it in the form of funeral pro- cessions of the elderly, the children and women. Which teaching would you then call excellent? In the Holy Qur’an, Allah says: Whosoever killed a person for an offence unless it be for m u rder or for cre a t i n g disorder in the land shall be considered to have killed the entire human race… (Ch.5:V.33) In explanation, the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says: ‘If someone killed a person who was not rebelling or disturbing the peace of the society, nor creating disorder in the land, it would be regarded as though he had killed all the people. So according to this verse of the Holy Qur’an, to kill someone unjustly is, in the sight of Allah, as though one has killed the entire human race.’ (L e c t u re Chashma-e-Ma’rifat p23-24) The Promised Messiah( a s ) s a i d : ‘Anyone who ignores sympathy, ignores his faith, for the Holy Q u r’an says: whoever kills someone unjustly, it is as though he kills the whole world. I say that if someone has not shown sympathy to his brother, then he has not shown sympathy to the CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 32 The Review of Religions – February 2005 whole world.’ (Al Hakam vol 9 no. 15, 30 April 1905 p2). There is a Tradition in which Abu Aziz Bin Umair b r other of Musab Bin Umair reports, ‘I was also taken a prisoner by the Muslims at Badr who were commanded by the Holy Prophet( s a ) to treat the prisoners kindly.’ (Ta b r a n i). Hazan bin Aswad also reports that during one campaign, there were some corpses of children among the dead. When the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) learnt this, he asked, ‘Who has killed innocent children together with the fighting men?’ Someone submitted: ‘O Messenger of Allah! the children were only the sons of the idolators.’ The Holy Prophet ( s a ) said: ‘Those best among you today were also the children of the idolators until yesterday. Now you have accepted Islam but until yesterday you too were the children of the idolators. Remember that when a child is born he is born with a pure nature and he continues in this innocent state until he learns speech. Then his parents make him a Jew or a Christian.’ The purpose of this admonition was that to kill children for the reason that they are sons of idolators is a major sin. So you see this is the beautiful teaching that Islam presents. Muslims have been acting upon this teaching and now Jama’at Ahmadiyya also claims to act upon it and is acting upon it. Since the advent of the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) , this is the stand of Jama’at Ahmadiyya that the concept of a belligerent Jihad has become unlawful. What I have mentioned about the killing of children etc., you can see that such evil acts are being perpetrated in today’s world in the wars of those who claim to be civilised. Also the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion which Islam allows, are not to be found to the same standard in any other religion. To illustrate this I will cite an e x a m p l e . Despite having become the subjects of the rule of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ), some groups of opponents wanted to continue to CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN 33 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 adhere to their old religion. So they wondered what would happen to them for they knew that this was what the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) used to demand that every man should have the right to follow whatever religion he chose. Since the opponents had not accepted his demand, despite knowing that this was what Islam taught, they were fearful as this was not what they themselves practised and they used to compel the Muslims to abandon their faith. When these opponents s u ffered defeat and the Muslims gained the upper hand, they began to fear. To dispel their fears, the Holy Prophet( s a ) o n c e addressed them and said: ‘The principle for which I have fought you, shall not be compromised because of your enmity. In view of your oppressive mentality, you had adopted a wrong stand yet the truth will prevail in all circumstances; you are free, there is no hold on you. Each one of you is free to choose his religion. You are our citizens and Allah and His messenger will provide you all kind of protection and this is the freedom of religion.’ (Nasbur Rayah fee Ta k h re e f Ahadithul Hadiyyah, vol.4, p . 1 8 3 ) It is alleged that Islam was spread with force. The Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says: ‘I do not know from where and from whom our adversaries heard that Islam was spread by the use of the sword whereas God declares in the Holy Qur’an: T h e re should be no compulsion in matters of religion… (Ch.2:V.257) Then who sanctioned the use of force? And what means of use of force had existed? Is this the sincerity and strength of faith of those compelled to accept Islam that without receiving a salary and despite being few in number, only two to three hundred people fought thousands? When they were thousands, they fought against hundreds of thousands of opponents. To defend the faith against the onslaught of the enemy, they let their heads be cut o ff like sacrificial lambs and sheep and with their blood they put their stamp on the truth of 34 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 Islam. They had such intense love to preach the unity of God that they bore hardship like dervishes and reached the desert of Africa and spread Islam in those countries and then suffering all kinds of hardship they reached as far as China, not like the fighting soldiers but as dervishes and as preachers of Islam. Tell me honestly, is this the work of those who are forced to accept Islam – whose heart is a disbeliever but whose tongue is a believer? Nay, this is the work of those whose hearts are filled with the light of faith and in whose heart there is nothing but God.’ The Promised Messiah ( a s ) s a y s : ‘All true Muslims who lived in the world never believed that Islam should be spread by the sword. Islam has always spread in the world because of its innate beauties. Therefore, those who call themselves Muslims and think that Islam should be spread by the sword, do not know the innate beauty of Islam and their activity is like that of the beasts of the jungle. There is a clear injunction in the Holy Qur’an that do not raise the sword to spread religion and present only the innate beauties of religion and attract people towards you by your good example. Do not think that in the early period the command to take up arms was given to spread religion. The sword was raised in defence against enemy attacks or to establish peace and its object was never to use force for religion.’ What were the lofty standards of Islamic tolerance and broad- mindedness? Let me quote some examples. A Christian delegation from Najran visited the Holy Prophet( s a ) after Asr (late afternoon) prayer in the mosque and held discussions with him. When the time of their worship approached (probably it was Sunday), they lined up in the P r o p h e t ’s(sa) Mosque in Madinah to perform their worship. The companions of the Holy Prophet( s a ) asked him if they could stop them. The Holy Prophet( s a ) said, ‘do not stop them.’ So in their normal way they faced towards the East and performed Christian worship in their own way. (Abu Dawood) 35 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 There was an incident at the fall of Makkah. A delegation of Banu Thiqqeef from Taif came to see the Holy Prophet( s a ). The Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) erected tents in the mosque for their stay. The companions submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah! They are unclean idolatrous people. It is not right for them to stay in the mosque.’ The Holy Prophet( s a ) said that the revelation of Allah: . . . S u rely the idolators are unclean… (Ch.9:V.28) refers to their heart and not physical uncleanliness. One is not unclean in this sense. All human beings are clean and they can enter every sacred place without let or hindrance. (Ahkam ul Qur’an vol 3 p901) How many examples can one recount of the Holy Prophet( s a )? Let me relate one more incident after which there will be no need to wonder whether Islam was spread by the sword or whether it prescribed the use of force. Safwan-bin-Umayya was one of those leaders of idolators of Makkah who continued to fight the Muslims throughout their lives. On the occasion of the fall of Makkah, despite the decla- ration of truce, Safwan joined Ikrama and attacked the detach- ment of Khalid-bin-Wa l e e d . Despite this crime, the Holy Prophet(sa) did not announce any specific punishment for them. After the fall of Makkah, Safwan and Ikrama were afraid and felt shame and so ran towards the Yemen. Since Safwan was well aware of his crimes, he thought there could be no amnesty for him. His uncle Hadhrat Umair- bin-Wahab approached the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) and submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah! You have o ffered protection to all and sundry. You should think of your cousin and pardon him too.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) said: ‘I pardon him.’ Immediately, Hadhrat Umair set out towards Yemen and caught up with his nephew and gave him the news that he had been pardoned. Safwan found it hard to believe that he could be pardoned. His crimes appeared unforgivable. He repeatedly told Hadhrat Umair: ‘You are lying, 36 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 leave me alone. How can I be forgiven, I fear for my life at the hands of the Muslims.’ Hadhrat Umair explained to him that the Holy Prophet( s a ) was more compassionate than he could ever imagine and was extremely forbearing and benevolent. ‘His home is your home and his rule is your rule.’ After these assurances Safwan went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and the first question he asked was, ‘have you granted me protection?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) replied: ‘Yes, I have given you protection.’ Safwan then submitted: ‘Give me two months’ leave to continue to follow my religion for I will not accept Islam yet.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘You are asking for two months’ leave, I will give you four months’ leave.’ This was kindness of the highest level and the greatest moral quality. Its glorious example was set by the Holy Prophet(sa). Although Safwan was given leave for four months, yet as he had witnessed the Holy Prophet’s(sa) kindness and his generosity, he accepted Islam only a few days later. This is how it happened. After the siege of Taif, when the Holy Prophet(sa) passed by a valley Safwan was also accompanying him. The Holy Prophet’s(sa) flock of goats and camels were grazing in that valley and Safwan gazed at them with wonder and covetously. The Holy Prophet( s a ) s u d d e n l y noticed his envious gaze and said, ‘O Safwan! do you find the flocks attractive?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) said: ‘I bestow them upon you.’ At this Safwan uttered involuntarily: ‘By God! such great bestowal cannot be made so happily except by a Prophet of God.’ There and then, Safwan recited the Kalima (the affirmation of the Unity of God and of Muhammad being the Messenger of God) and accepted Islam. These are the lofty standards of the teachings of Islam and its manifestations which once again were taught to us by the Promised Messiah(as) who urged us to put them in practice so that an atmosphere of love, tolerance, and friendliness is created and established throughout the world and InshaAllah (God willing) with great resolve Jama’at 37 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 Ahmadiyya will continue to convey the message to the whole world. Briefly these are some aspects of the teachings of Islam. There are many more examples which can be quoted but in view of the limited time, I will end here. These are the aspects which the Holy Prophet(sa) urged us to follow and demonstrated them to us through his noble example. As I said, the life of the Holy Prophet(sa) is filled with these lofty moral values but because of the constraint of time I cannot narrate them here. The example of these high moral values are observed not only in the life of the Holy Prophet(sa) but his spiritual powers and training developed this high standard of character in his companions also. In this connection, I want to remind you that an Ahmadi’s conduct should also reflect this in the footsteps of our great leader the Holy Prophet(sa) so that even the strangers looking at an Ahmadi should say that if you want to see the true and chaste example of Islam you should see it in the Ahmadis. Now I will put before you, in the words of the Promised Messiah(as), his expectations from us as to what he wants to see in us. Every Ahmadi should try to act upon it. He says: ‘O my friends, hold fast to this principle. Treat every person gently; gentle behaviour enhances wisdom and tolerance and develops deep thought. Whoever does not follow this method, he is not one of us. If someone from our Jama’at cannot exercise self-restraint at the abuse and harsh words of our opponents, he has the option to seek legal remedy in the courts, but it is not proper that he should abuse or use harsh words in retaliation and thus create mischief.’ This is the advice which we have for our Jama’at and he who does not follow this advice, we expel such a person from our Jama’at. The Promised Messiah( a s ) a l s o says: ‘I see that there are many who have no sympathy for their brothers. If a brother is starving, the others pay no attention and are 38 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 not prepared to look after him or if he is facing some other difficulties they do not spend a part of their wealth on him. In the Hadith there is an injunction to look after one’s neighbour and show sympathy for him. It even says that if you are cooking meat, increase the broth so that you can share it with your neighbour. What do they do nowadays? They are selfish and show no concern for their neighbour. Do not think that neighbour means only the one who lives next-door. Your broth- ers are also your neighbours even if they live 100 miles away.’ The Promised Messiah( a s ) s a y s further: ‘Show compassion to the people and do not harm them with your speech, or hand, or with any trickery. Continue to endeavour for the welfare of all creatures, display no pride over anyone even if he be your subordinate. Do not swear at anyone, even if he swears at you; become humble, forbearing, well-meaning and kind to people so that you are acceptable to God. Being supe- r i o r, show compassion to your juniors, not contempt; being knowledgeable, admonish the ignorant, and do not humiliate them with self-conceit; being rich, serve the poor and do not show pride with vanity; be fearful of the paths leading to ruin.’ Warning his Jama’at the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says: ‘You should never think of harming anyone belonging to any religion, any nation or any group. Become a genuine well-wisher for everyone. No troublesome, wicked or ‘Remember that, in my opinion, the sphere of sympathy is extremely vast. One should never leave out any people or any individual. Like the ignorant men today, I do not want to say that you restrict your sympathy to the Muslims alone. No, I say that you should show sympathy to all creation of God, be he a Hindu, a Muslim or anyone else. I never like the talk of those who want to limit their sympathy to their own people alone. The Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as) 39 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 immoral man should ever have access to your gatherings nor should they stay in your home for some time they are likely to be a cause for you to stumble.’ The Promised Messiah ( a s ) s a y s , ‘These are the things and conditions which I have been stating from the very beginning. It will be obligatory for every member of my Jama’at that they should act upon all of this admon- ition. In your gatherings there should never be a vocation of i m p i e t y, ridicule, jest and derision. Walk the land with pious heart, pure nature and pure motives. Remember that every mischief is not worth confronting. Therefore, it is vital that you cultivate a habit of pardon and forgiveness; exercise patience and forbearance and do not attack anyone unjustly; keep your passions and emotions under check. If you hold a debate or religious discussion, you should speak gentle words and conduct yourself in good manners. If one displays ignorance, bid salam (farewell) and immediately leave such a gathering.’ (M a j m o o ’ a h Ishtiharat, vol. 3, p.47) He says: ‘You will be recognised by your five daily prayers and your moral state. Whoever possesses a seed of evil, cannot adhere to this admonition.’ Regarding kindness to Muslims, to relations, and to strangers and to the followers of other religions, he says: ‘Sympathy for mankind is such a quality that if a man were to leave it and continuously distance himself from it, then gradually he would turn into a savage. Man’s humanity demands it and he remains a human being only as long as he treats his brother with politeness, civility and kindness and makes no discrimination.’ ‘Remember that, in my opinion, the sphere of sympathy is extremely vast. One should never leave out any people or any individual. Unlike the ignorant men today, I do not want to say that you restrict your sympathy to the Muslims alone. No, I say that you should show sympathy to all the creation of God, be he a Hindu, a Muslim or anyone else. I never like the talk of those who want to limit their sympathy to 40 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 their own people alone. Remember that Allah likes goodness the most and He desires that we should be kind to His creation. If He liked evil, He would have enjoined evil but Allah is Holy and above such an i m p u t a t i o n . ‘ You who have developed a link with me should remember that you should be kind to everyone, no matter to which religion he or she belongs and do good unto everyone without diff e r e n t i a t i o n because this is the teaching of the Holy Qur’ a n . They feed for the love of God the poor, the orphan and the prisoner. (Ch.76:V.9) The Promised Messiah( a s ) s a y s ‘the prisoners were mostly disbelievers.’ So this is the beautiful teaching which the Promised Messiah(as) is giving us. May Allah enable all of us to act upon the admonition of the Promised Messiah(as). May he enable us in the true sense to become the worshippers of R a h m a n (Gracious) God. Each one of us at all times should be ready to serve mankind. May Allah so destine, and may He make the whole world to realise the importance of human life so that an atmosphere of peace, tran- quility and brotherliness may prevail in the world. Amin. Those who have come to attend the Jalsa, may Allah enable them to avail of the blessings of Jalsa. As from their arrival at the land of the Messiah, may Allah always continue whatever spiritual blessing they have gained in their progeny also and may Allah accept whatever supplication they have been enabled to make . May Allah make all the participants inherit all the prayers which the Promised Messiah(as) had said for these who attend this Jalsa. May Allah enable all of you to spread the peaceful teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat throughout the world, which was conveyed to us by the Holy Prophet( s a ) a b o u t which the Holy Prophet( s a ) admonished about and expected all the Muslims to act upon. May Allah take all those attending the Jalsa in Qadian back to their 41 CONCLUDING ADDRESS AT THE JALSA SALANA 2003, QADIAN The Review of Religions – February 2005 homes safely and in good health with Allah’s grace and may Allah always protect them. Amin. Before silent prayer, I want to make a brief announcement – in the past few days there was a dreadful earthquake which left widespread destruction in Iran. Sympathy demands that we pray for them and give financial support. Arrangement must have been made in various countries to take the aid to them. In any case the Amirs of the various countries should assess their circumstances and propose a plan and try to help the affected people*. May Allah enable them to do so. Amin. In the first report received from Qadian, they were expecting the attendance would reach 50,000. We have not received further reports. In any case this is a large gathering for Qadian. Press and electronic media, with the grace of Allah, is giving good coverage to the Jalsa. Alhamdulillah. Many ministers and other dignitaries have either attended the Jalsa or have sent goodwill messages. May Allah reward generously those who with open-heartedness are expressing feelings of fraternity without distinction of religion. Amin. Let us now join in silent prayer. * Pursuant to the above directive, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community contributed genorously throughout the world; the collections were handed over to the Iranian embassies directly or through an associated charity, Humanity First, to help the earthquake victims of Bam. A year later, when the Tsunami caused havoc in south East Asia, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community sent several containers of aid, operated soup kitchens and provided primary medical care in Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. Humanitarian assistance continues – Ed.
The connotation of this title has been proved by many scholars to be not meaning the literal son of God but of Jesus’s closesness to God.
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