7The Review of Religions – November 2005 If it is asked that if the Messiahand I have attained to this rank then what rank is left for our lord and master, the best of the Messengers, K h a t a m – u l – A n b i y a, Muhammad(sa), the chosen one, the answer is that it is a high and exalted rank which is special to him, the appreciation of which is not possible for anyone else, let alone that any one else should be able to achieve it…. The degrees of nearness to God and love of God from the point of view of spiritual rank are of three types. The lowest degree, and even that is very high, is that the fire of Divine love should warm the heart possibly to such a degree that the warmed heart might acquire the qualities of fire, but that it should lack the brightness of the fire. When the flame of G o d ’s love falls upon this degree of love the warmth generated by that flame in the soul is described as contentment and satisfaction and is sometimes named an angel. The second degree of love is where the fire of Divine love, This series sets out, in the words of the Promised Messiah(as), Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a summary of his exposition of four outstanding topics: ISLAM; ALLAH, THE EXALTED; THE HOLY PROPHET(sa) and THE HOLY QUR’AN. The original compilation, in Urdu, from which these extracts have been translated into English, was collated with great care and diligence by Syed Daud Ahmad Sahib, Allah have mercy on him and reward him graciously for his great labour of love. Amin. The English rendering is by the late Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, may Allah be pleased with him, and is quoted from The Essence of Islam, Volume 1. All references throughout, unless otherwise specifically mentioned, are from the Holy Qur’an. Advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) is Like the Coming of God Almighty – Part 2 8 The Review of Religions – November 2005 which is generated by the union of two loves, warms the heart to such a degree that it produces a brightness which is not inflammatory. It is described as Ruh-ul-Qudus – the Holy Spirit. The third degree of love is where a burning flame of Divine love falls on the eager ribbon of human love and sets it afire and, assuming control of all its particles, makes it a complete and perfect manifestation of itself. In this condition the fire of Divine love not only bestows a brightness upon the human heart, but simultaneously the whole being is set on fire and its flames illumine the surroundings like the bright day, and no darkness is left and the whole of the being is converted into fire with all its full qualities. This condition which is created by the union of the two loves like a flaming fire is known as R u h – u l – A m i n, the Spirit of Security, for it bestows security against every darkness and is free from every opaqueness. It is also called the strong faculty, for it is the most powerful revelation, stronger than which cannot be imagined. It is also called the high horizon, inasmuch as it is the manifestation of the highest form of revelation. It is also described as: He saw what he saw; for an appreciation of this condition is beyond the imag- ination or thinking of the whole of creation. This condition has been bestowed upon only one human being who is the perfect man with whom the whole human system has come to an end and the circle of human capacities has been perfected. In truth, he is the highest point of the extended line of God’s creation which is the ultimate of all grades of exaltation. Divine Wisdom having started the creation from the lowest point carried it to this highest point, the name of which is Muhammad(sa) and the meaning of which is greatly praised, that is to say, the manifestation of perfect excellences. As by his nature the station of this Prophet(sa) was at the highest, so externally also he was bestowed revelation and love at the highest level. This is the high station ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 9The Review of Religions – November 2005 which neither Jesus nor I can reach; its name is the station of getting together and the station of perfect Unity. The previous prophets who have prophesied the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) have mentioned this station. As the station of Jesus and myself is such that metaphorically it can be described as sonship, in the same w a y, the station of the Holy Prophet(sa) is so grand that past Prophets have metaphorically described the appearance of the Holy Prophet( s a ) as the appearance of God Almighty and his coming has been described as the coming of God Almighty. ( Taudih-e-Maram, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, pp. 62-64) It is not only Jesus who has described the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) as the appearance of God Almighty, but other prophets in their own prophecies have used similar terms and have metaphorically described his advent as the appearance of God A l m i g h t y, and because of his being the perfect manifestation of God, have called him God. In Psalms of David it is said: ‘Thou art fairer than the children of men; Grace is poured into thy lips; Therefore God hath blessed thee forever’ (i.e., You have ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad( a s ). In 1891, he claimed, on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by Muhammad, the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and by the scriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis of the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim c o m m u n i t y. 10 The Review of Religions – November 2005 been granted the station of Khatam-ul-Anbiya) ‘Gird thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty; with thy glory and with thy majesty.’ ‘And in thy majesty ride p r o s p e r o u s l y, because of truth and meekness and right- eousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible t h i n g s . ’ ‘Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.’ ‘Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness: therefore, God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.’ (Psalms 45) The words: ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the sceptre of Thy Kingdom is a right sceptre,’ are metaphorical; the purpose being to display the spiritual glory of the Holy Prophet( s a ). A similar statement appears in Isaiah, where it is written: ‘Behold My servant whom I uphold; Mine elect in whom My soul delighteth: I have put My Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth Judgement in the G e n t i l e s . ’ ‘He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.’ ‘A bruised reed shall he not break and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth Judgement unto t r u t h . ’ ‘He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set Judgement in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law….’ ‘The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war.’ (Isaiah 42:1-4, 13) ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 11The Review of Religions – November 2005 The words: ‘The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man,’ are a metaphorical description of the awe-striking advent of the Holy Prophet(sa). (See Isaiah, Chapter 42). Many other prophets have used this metaphor in their prophecies concerning the Holy Prophet(sa). ( Taudih-e-Maram, Ril~An-i K h a z Yin, Vol. 3, pp. 65-67 footnote) Holy Pro p h e t ’s( s a ) Station of Intercession The question of salvation and intercession is a grand religious subject and the whole purpose of following a religion culminates in it. For testing the truth of a religion, it is a clear and open criterion through which it can be known with full satisfaction that such and such religion is true and from God. It is absolutely correct that a religion which has not set forth this question properly or which is unable to show among its followers with clear dis- tinction present samples of those who have attained salvation, needs no other argument to establish its falsehood; but the religion which has correctly displayed the true reality of salvation and has put forth such men in its present stage, into whom the spirit of salvation has been fully breathed, has set a seal on its being true and from God. It is obvious that every human being naturally feels in his heart that because of hundreds of neglects and veils, and eruptions of the ego, and stumblings and weaknesses, and ignorances and darknessees at every step, and continous fears and doubts, and on account of diverse types of calamities and trials, he needs a strong hand which should safeguard him against all these ills, inasmuch as man’s nature is weak and he cannot for one moment trust his ego that he can, of himself, emerge from the darkness of the ego. This is the evidence of human conscience. Besides, reflections shows that sane reason also feels that it needs an intercessor for sal- vation, for God almighty is in the highest station of Holiness and Purity, and man is in the extreme pit of darkness and sinfulness, ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 12 The Review of Religions – November 2005 and on account of lack of relationship and resem-blance, the average human person is not fit that he should attain salvation by receiving Divine grace direct. Therefore, Divine Wisdom and Mercy demanded that some perfect individuals, who possess a special purity in their nature, should serve as a means of approach between mankind and God Almighty. They should be people whose natures should have taken on a portion of heavenly qualities and a portion of earthly qualities, so that on account of the appropriateness of their heavenly qualities they should receive Divine grace, and on account of their earthly qualities, they should convey this grace which they have received from above to mankind. It is quite correct to say that men of this type, on account of the perfection of their heavenly and earthly qualities, possess a special distinction among men. They are in a way a different kind of creation. The eagerness which they possess for the mani- festation of God’s glory and greatness, and the faithfulness with which their hearts are filled, and the upsurge of sympathy for human beings that they are bestowed, is such an extra- ordinary matter that it is difficult for others to imagine. It needs to be remembered, however, that all these persons are not equal in rank and that some are at a high level of the natural superiorities, and others are at a lower level and still others at a level which is even lower. The pure conscience of a person who possesses sane reason believes that the question of intercession is not an artificial one, but that there are illustrations of it in Divine dispensation The root word for intercession in Arabic (shuf’a) means a pair. So intercession (s h a f a ’ a t) indicates that a necessary quality of an intercessor is that he should be related to both sides. On one side, his soul should have a strong relationship with God Almighty as if through perfect union he formed a pair and a connecting link with the Divine, ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 13The Review of Religions – November 2005 and on the other, he should also be closely attached to mankind as if he were part of their limbs. In short, for intercession to take place, both these elements are necessary. That is why Divine Wi s d o m created Adam in such manner that from the very beginning he established these two relation- ships in his nature. One relationship was established with God as is said in the Holy Qur’an: When I have perfected him (Adam) and have bre a t h e d into him My spirit, do ye all angels fall down in prostration at once. (Ch.15:V.30) This shows that with the creation of Adam, God established a relationship with him by breathing into him of His spirit. This was done so that man should have a natural rela- tionship with God. In the same way, it was necessary that Adam should have a natural rela- tionship with mankind; as they would be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, they would partake of the spirit which was breathed into Adam and thus Adam would naturally be their intercessor. It is necessary that a person who has descended from him should partake in the righteousness which has been bestowed upon Adam by the breathing into him of the spirit, as is obvious that the young of an animal partake of the qualities and actions of their father. This is also the essence of intercession that a natural heir should partake of the qualities of his ancestor. As we have explained, the root word for intercessor in Arabic derives from pair, which also means consort. Thus, a person who is by nature the consort of another will partake of the qualities of the latter. This is the basis of the inheritance of qualities. A man’s child partakes of human qualities and the foal of a horse partakes of the qualities of a horse. In other words, this inheritance is deriving benefit from inter- cession. As the essence of ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 14 The Review of Religions – November 2005 intercession is the relationship of consorts, a person who desires to benefit from the intercession of another must have a natural relationship with that person so that he should be given whatever has been bestowed upon the nature of the other. This rela- tionship subsists in human nature as a gift that one person is part of a n o t h e r, and it can also be promoted by acquisition. When a person desires that there should be an increase in the natural love and sympathy that he has for mankind such increase can be achieved in proportion to the circle of his nature. In the same w a y, love surges up in the heart of one person for another and increases to such a degree that the lover can find no comfort without the company of the beloved, and in the end the intensity of his love a ffects the heart of the other person also. He who loves another to the extreme is the one who wishes him well sincerely and in a perfect manner. Thus, love is at the root of inter- cession when it is accompanied by a natural relationship, for without a natural relationship the perfection of love, which is a condition of intercession, is not possible. In order to invest human nature with this rela- tionship, God Almighty did not create Eve separately from Adam, but created her from Adam’s rib as is said in the Holy Qur’an: and created there f rom its mate… (Ch.4:V.2) Which means that from Adam We created His mate Eve. God created Eve as Adam’s mate from Adam so that Adam’s relationship to her and her progeny should be natural and not artificial. This was done so that the relationship and sym- pathy between the children of Adam should be lasting, inasmuch as natural relationship is lasting and non-natural relationship is not lasting for it lacks the attraction which characterises natural relationship. Thus, God created naturally both kinds of relationship which ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 15The Review of Religions – November 2005 Adam should have had, with God and with mankind. It is thus obvious that the perfect man, who is capable of being an i n t e r c e s s o r, must be one who partakes perfectly of both these relationships, and without this man cannot be perfect. After Adam also, the way of God was that both these relationships were considered necessary for a person who was to be an intercessor, that is to say, one relationship was that the heavenly spirit was breathed into him and God established such a relationship with him as if He descended upon him, and the second relationship was that of the consortship of mankind which was strengthened between Adam and Eve and mutual love and sympathy which shone forth between them more brightly than between others. It was because of this that these people were attracted to their wives. And this is the most apparent sign that they possess the spirit of sympathy for mankind. This is indicated by the H a d i t h: That is to say, the best of you are those who behave best towards their wives; that is to say, that one of you is most sympathetic and beneficient towards mankind who behaves well towards his wife. he who treats his wife harshly cannot possibly behave beneficiently towards others, inasmuch as God having created Adam, made his wife the first object of his love. Therefore, he who does not love his wife or has no wife to love, cannot attain to the status of a perfect man and lacks one of the conditions of intercession. Even if he is sinless, he is not capable of intercession. He who marries a woman lays the foundation for himself of sympathy with mankind, for a wife becomes the means of establishing a wide circle of relationships and, when children are born, this circle is widened even more. The children in turn find wives and thus their children too come to have grand-mothers and uncles of their own. In this w a y, such a person becomes habituated towards love and sympathy and the circle of this habit being extended, his ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY 16 The Review of Religions – November 2005 sympathy is extended towards everyone. But those who are reared in celibacy, find no opportunity of extending this habit and their hearts are left dry and hard. Sinlessness has nothing to do with intercession, because ‘ I s m a t – sinlessness – only means negation or avoidance of sin. The definition of sin is that a person should earn punishment by deliberately breaking the commandments of God. It is thus clear that sinlessness and intercession are not interrelated for minor children and congenital idiots are also sinless for they are not capable of wilful dis- obedience. Nor do they earn punishment in the estimation of God on account of any action of theirs. They are entitled to be considered sinless, but are they entitled to be intercessors for mankind and to be called s a v i o u r s ? . . . As I have just explained, it is necessary for an intercessor that he should have a deep relationship with God, as if God has descended into his heart and his humanness having died he has become the subject of heavenly manifestations, and his soul has melted and flowed like water towards God and has arrived at the extreme point of nearness to Him. It is also necessary for an intercessor that his heart should be overpowered with sympathy for the one for whom he desires to intercede, and the intensity of his agony should make him feel as if his limbs are separating themselves from his body and his senses are all scattered. His ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY …it is necessary for an intercessor that he should have a deep relationship with God, as if God has descended into his heart and his human- ness having died he has become the subject of heavenly manifestations, and his soul has melted and flowed like water towards God and has arrived at the extreme point of nearness to H i m . ‘ ’ 17The Review of Religions – November 2005 sympathy should carry him to a stage which exceeds that of father and mother and every sharer in s o r r o w. When these two con- ditions are created in a person, he is united on the one side with the heavenly station and on the other with the earthly station. Then both sides of the scale are in balance, that is to say, there is a perfect manifestation of the heavenly and also a perfect manifestation of the earthly and he is thus suspended midway between the two. Referring to the Holy Prophet’s(sa) station of intercession, the Holy Qur’an affirms his status as the perfect man by saying: Then he drew nearer to God; then he came down to mankind. So that he became, as it were, one chord to two bows or closer still. (Ch.53:Vs.9-10) This means that the Holy Prophet(sa) ascended towards God and approached as near to Him as was possible and acquired all the perfections of nearness and partook fully of the heavenly station, and then leaned perfectly towards the earthly station and arrived at the extreme point of service and worship and partook fully of the pure essentials of humanness, namely love and sympathy for mankind, denoting earthly perfection. Thus, he arrived at the point of perfection on the one side in the love of God and, on the other, in the love of mankind. As he approached God fully and then approached mankind fully it became the case of one chord between two bows and thus fulfilled the condition for intercession. In His word, God bore witness for him that he occupied a place between God and mankind like a common chord between two bows. ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY Point of Intercession Heavenly Station Earthly Station 18 The Review of Religions – November 2005 At another place, describing his nearness to God, the Holy Qur’an says: Say ‘My Prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’ (Ch.6:V.163) That is to say the Holy Prophet(sa) was commanded to inform people that he had become completely freed from himself and that all his worship was wholly for God…. This verse indicates that the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) had become so devoted to and lost in God that every breath of his life and even his death had become wholly God’s, and that his ego and the creation and means had no part in his being, and that his soul was prostrated so sincerely at the threshold of God that nothing else had the slightest share in it… As the love of God, and arriving at a high station in nearness to Him, is a matter of which other people cannot be aware, God Almighty made manifest such of the actions of the Holy Prophet(sa) as show that he had adopted God in preference to everything else, and that every particle of his was so saturated with the love and greatness of God that his being was like a mirror for the full observation of Divine mani- festations. The effects of the perfect love of God, which can possibly be imagined, were all displayed in the Holy Prophet(sa). (Review of Religions – Urd u , Vol.1, pp. 175-1841) ADVENT OF THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) IS LIKE THE COMING OF GOD ALMIGHTY
The history of religion is one of destruction and bloodshed but does true religion teach violence or has religion always been exploited by corrupt religious leaders with ulterior motives?