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2 The Review of Religions – July 2005 The purpose of man’s creation, according to the Holy Qur’an, was not just to create a consciousness but ultimately to nurture, improve and enhance that consciousness so that, realising the consummate beauty of God as reflected in His creation, man submits to his Creator and shapes his life according to His Will. For this reason man is created in the image of God meaning he has been endowed with all the faculties and potentialities to enable him, through acquiring godly attributes, to become as perfect as he possibly can. It is not a fixed goal for as God is boundless in His attributes, so every journey towards Him remains limitless. The nearer man becomes to God, the stronger becomes the bond between man and God. It is a noble objective even if its fulfilment is not an easy task. It calls for the highest degree of self-discipline and self-restraint in the face of temptations and evil inclinations. It demands steadfastness and fortitude in the face of trials and tribulations. It requires that man, in adversity and prosperity, remains in humble prostration at the threshold of God Almighty supplicating His succour and guidance. Man must remain conscious of his Creator at all times and associate nothing in His worship so that he can achieve communion and union with Him. At a time when much of the world has inverted the proper relationship between man and God or considers it merely an adventitious extra, the theme of this edition is the need to cultivate a true relationship with God and the rewards to be realised therefrom. Ever since Divine Wisdom bestowed upon him the mantle of Khilafat, By Bockarie Tommy Kallon EDITORIAL Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, has been admonishing members of the community towards reformation for the sake of Allah and living their lives in accordance with His Commandments. In his Opening Address on the occasion of the 37th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tanzania, he talks about the Purpose of Attending Annual Conventions. The objective should be to increase religious knowledge, undergo a spiritual transformation and to foster a relationship with Allah Almighty. In ‘Allah – Friend of the Believers’, the author discusses the special situation where, out of sincere obeisance and deference to His Will, Allah confers His friendship upon His true servant. The article also outlines paths by which others can tread and become friends of Allah. Glimpses into the Qur’ a n i c Concept of the Environment continues the discussion on how surrounding conditions affect the physical, moral and spiritual states of man. The author advocates losing oneself in complete obedience to Allah and self-purification so that one’s soul may be transformed to a new spiritual life. Continuing on the subject of self- purification, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(sa), the Promised Messiah and Mahdi identifies this as a necessary condition for one who seeks to find God. He outlines the signs of God’s love for a person in one who has succeeded in achieving this goal which, inter alia, include the humbling of those who oppose him, acceptance of his prayers in matters ordinarily beyond hope and his being honoured with His converse and communion. As a reward, the latter is arguably the best of all and it is at this stage that man can truly claim to have fulfilled the purpose of his creation. 3The Review of Religions – July 2005 EDITORIAL