We present extracts from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias, on religious freedom, consciousness and interfaith dialogue
My country men, a religion which does not inculcate universal compassion is no religion at all. Similarly, a human being without the faculty of compassion is no human at all. Our God has never discriminated between one people and another. This is illustrated by the fact that all the potentials and capabilities which have been granted to the Aryans have also been granted to the races inhabiting Arabia, Persia, Syria, China, Japan, Europe and America. The Earth created by God provides a common floor for all people alike, and His sun and moon and many stars are a source of radiance and provide many other benefits to all alike. Likewise, all people benefit from the elements created by Him such as air, water, fire and earth, and similarly from other products created by Him such as grain, fruit, and healing agents, etcetera. These attributes of God teach us the lesson that we, too, should behave magnanimously and kindly towards our fellow human beings and should not be petty of heart and illiberal.
Of all the principles to which I have been made to adhere firmly, there is one that has specifically been revealed to me by God Himself. That principle is to desist from declaring false in essence such religions as have been revealed by God through His prophet and which have the following characteristics; they have met with wide acceptance in certain regions of the world, having survived all challenges they have become well established and deeply rooted. Having stood the test of time for long, they have acquired a measure of age and an air of permanence. According to this principle, such religions are essentially true and their founders were most certainly prophets of God.
This is a most attractive and peace giving principle which provides the basis of reconciliation amongst nations and promotes better moral conduct. This principle teaches us to believe in the truth of all prophets wherever they might have appeared; in India, Persia or China or any other country and for whom God has filled the hearts of millions of people with awe and deep respect and has caused their religion to be firmly rooted.
I also dare to make another submission. It is evident from the historical records that when the third of the Roman Caesars ascended the throne, and had firmly established his authority, he thought of organising a debate amongst the two well-known sects among the Christians. one who believed in the Oneness of God and the other that considered Jesusas as god. The debate took place in the presence of the Caesar of Rome in good decorum and arrangement. Hundreds of chairs were laid to seat honoured observers and members of the government according to their status to listen to the debate. The debate of the priests from both sides lasted for forty days in the court of the king. The Roman Caesar listened to the arguments from both sides and pondered over them. In the end, the sect considering Jesus, the Messiah, to be only a messenger of God and a prophet prevailed. The other sect faced such defeat that the Caesar disclosed in the gathering that he was drawn towards the sect believing in the Oneness of God due to their argument and not of his own consideration. Before leaving the gathering, he adopted the belief of Oneness of God and became one of those mentioned also in the Holy Qur’an and stopped using the phrase ‘son’ with reference to God.
Thereafter, the next three Caesars who ascended the throne also believed in the Oneness of God. This shows that such conferences were a tradition of the Christian kings of the past and led to great changes. Pondering over such events, it is the earnest desire of my heart that our Empress of India may also hold such a conference presided from the throne. It would be a memorable spiritual event. This conference should be of a broader scope than that held by the Caesar of Rome as our Honoured Empress has a higher status than the Roman Emperor. An additional reason for this request is that since the people of this country have come to know of the Conference of Religions in America, naturally hearts are excited that Your Majesty should also arrange such a conference in London so that, due to this event, groups of loyal subjects in this country and their leaders and scholars may meet Your Majesty at the capital; and so that Your Majesty’s eyes may also fall on the thousands of loyal subjects of British India, and respected citizens of India be seen in the streets and boulevards of London for a few weeks. It will be necessary that every participant present his faith’s excellences and not malign others. If such a conference takes place, it will be a legendary spiritual event from our Honoured Queen and England, which has been fed with Islamic matters incorrectly, will be introduced to the true face of Islam. In this way, the people of England will be apprised to the true philosophy of every religion. It is not a satisfactory state of affairs that the information about the religions of India reaches England through priests, because the books of the priests which mention other religions are like a polluted drain of water containing much refuse and waste. The priests do not want to elicit the truth, rather, they want to hide it. There is such an adulteration of prejudice in their writings that it is difficult, indeed impossible, that the real truth about religions should reach England. If they had good intentions, they would not have raised such objections on the Qur’an as can also be raised against the Torah of Moses. If they had fear of God, they would not have relied upon such books, which, in the view of Muslims, are unauthentic and devoid of definitive truths […] Therefore, it is highly desirable that for the good of humanity a conference of religions be held by the Empress of India to disseminate the reality of religions.
1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, A Message of Peace (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2007), 6.
2. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, “Tohfa Qaisariyah,” in Roohani Khaza’in 2009, Vol. 12 (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd. 2009), 256.
3. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, “Tohfa Qaisariyah,” in Roohani Khaza’in 2009, Vol. 12 (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd. 2009), 259.
4. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, A Gift for the Queen (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2012), 25 – 27.