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Essence of Islam – Part 10

3The Review of Religions – August 2006 Fire of Devotion to the Beauty of Muhammads(saw) – (Persian Poem) I am ready to offer my heart and soul For the beauty of Muhammad(sa); My body is merely the dust of the lane Treaded by the progeny of Muhammad(sa). I have seen with my heart’s eye And heard with perceptive ears; The trumpet of the beauty of Muhammad(sa) Echoes everywhere. This ever-flowing water which I distribute Freely among God’s creatures; Is but a drop from the ocean Of the excellences of Muhammad(saw) The fire that burns within me Is the fire of the love of Muhammad(saw); The water that I possess Is from the sweet and pure water of Muhammad(sa). (Majmu-ah-Ishtiharat, Vol.1, p.97) Manifestation of the Eternal God – (Persian Poem) Except the Lord of Mercy, Who can ever comprehend the lofty station of Ahmad(saw). He effaced himself to such an extent As if the letter ‘M’ had fallen away 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(saw) 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. ESSENCE OF ISLAM: Poems in Rememberance of the Holy Prophet(saw) – Part 10 4 The Review of Religions – August 2006 from the name ‘Ahmad(saw)’ So lost was he in the Beloved Lord, That because of his extreme love His person became the very similitude Of the Gracious Lord. From his holy countenance Emanates the fragrance of the True Beloved; His divinely inspired person and its attributes Became the very mirror of the Eternal Lord. Even if I am accused of heresy and disbelief, I cannot help saying: There is no loftier Divine Throne Than the heart of the Holy Prophet – Ahmad(saw) God be thanked That despite opposition on the part of the worldly-wise I would court a thousand and one troubles For the sake of that Spring of Grace. By the grace of God And by His bounties I am an enemy of the Pharaoh and his hordes, Because I love this Moses of mine-the Holy Prophet(saw). The unique and exalted station Of the Holy Prophet(saw) as revealed to me (was so passing strange) that I can’t help proclaiming it aloud If only I could find One eager heart along the path. This alone is my wish, my prayer, and my firm resolve. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 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(as). 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 community. 5The Review of Religions – August 2006 That may my heart and soul be sacrificed In the sacred path of love For the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). (Taudih-e-Maram, Ruhani Khaz’ain, Vol.3, pp.62-63) The Status of Ahmad(saw) – (Persian Poem) My heart is aflame praising the Holy Prophet; Who has no peer in excellence. Who loves the Eternal Friend with all his heart, And whose soul is in communion with the Beloved. He who is the recipient of divine favours, And has been brought up like a child in the lap of God. He is an ocean of virtue and piety, And is a unique pearl in all its splendour. In generosity and beneficence, he is like the spring rain; His bounties and favours are like those of the sun. He is ever merciful and is the sign of divine mercy; He is gracious and is the manifestation of divine grace. His countenance is so blessed that one glimpse of it Transforms an ugly face into a beautiful one. Like a star, his enlightened soul has lit up Countless hearts which were full of darkness. He is so blessed that his coming Signifies the mercy of the Lord of all the worlds. He is Ahmad of the latter days, it is for his light That human hearts became brighter than the sun. He is more beautiful than all the progeny of Adam; He is purer than the purest pearl. From his lips issues forth the fountain of wisdom; His heart overflows with the water of Kauthar – the heavenly stream. For the sake of God, he repudiated all else; On land and sea there is none like him. God has granted him the lamp Which is forever immune from any danger or windstorm. Champion warrior of the Lord God; ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 6 The Review of Religions – August 2006 Wearing his dagger with great dignity. His arrow has demonstrated its swiftness in every field; His sword has displayed its skill everywhere. He proved the helplessness of idols to the world; He plainly showed the power of the One, All-Powerful God. Lest the idols, their makers, and worshippers Should remain ignorant of the power of God. He loves truth, straightforwardness and uprightness; He is the enemy of falsehood and evil. He is the master, yet he is a servant to the helpless; He is the king, yet he is like a servitor to the weak. The compassion that the world received from him, None has ever experienced even from a mother. He is intoxicated with the wine of the Beloved’s love; For His sake, he is so prostrate and humble. His light reached out to every people, And lit up every country. For everyone with insight, he is the sign of the Gracious God; He is the proof of God for all who have eyes to see. Out of compassion, he is the help of the helpless; With his loving kindness, he shares the grief of the grief-stricken. His countenance exceeds the sun and the moon in beauty; The dust of his threshold is more fragrant than musk and ambergris. How can the sun and the moon be like him? In his heart shine hundreds of suns of divine light. A single look at the beautiful one Is better than eternal life. I who am so well aware of his beauty, Will give my very life, while others offer their hearts. Remembrance of his countenance Sends me into transports of ecstasy; I am in a state of perpetual intoxication, Having drank from his goblet. I would keep on flying towards his lane forever; Had I but the wings. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 7The Review of Religions – August 2006 Of what use are to me the two lips and the sweet basil, When I have fallen in love with that beautiful face. His beauty pulls at the strings of my heart; The powerful one drags me along with great force. I found him to be the light of the eyes; And in its impact, his love is like the bright sun. Resplendent became the face that did not turn away from him. He found the remedy, who held on to his threshold. Everyone who dares enter the ocean of faith without him, Misses his port at the very outset. He is unlettered, yet peerless in knowledge and wisdom; Can there be brighter testimony than this? God granted him that elixir of knowledge and understanding; Before whose dazzling light, every star paled into insignificance. Through him the all human potentials Were fully actualised. Every excellence is culminated in his holy person; Without doubt the reign of all Prophets ended with his commg. He is the sun for all time and space; He is the guide of all-the black and the brown. The meeting point of the ocean of knowledge and recognition of Allah; Combining in him the attributes of the sun and the shade. My eyes searched all around but did not find A fountain fairer than his faith. For seekers, there is no guide except him; For pilgrims, there is no leader other than him. His is the exalted station whose intensity of light Would scorch the wings of the Holy Spirit. Almighty Allah has granted him the Law and Faith, Which is forever immutable. First he shone upon the land of the Arabs To cleanse it of all evil. Then the light of faith and holy law Covered the world like the sky. He gave to the people the elixir of life ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 8 The Review of Religions – August 2006 And rescued them from the jaws of the dragon. The monarchs of the time were wonder-struck, As were the sages dumbfounded. No one could equal his knowledge or power; He has humbled the pride of the arrogant. What need has he that anyone should glorify him; To praise him is an honour for the one who praises. He resides in the beautiful garden of purity and grandeur; Far above the imagination of those who praise him. O Allah, convey our greetings to him And to his brotherhood of Prophets. We are the humble servants of all the Prophets; We lie like dust on their threshold. May our life be sacrificed for the Prophet, Who showed the way to the True God O my Lord, by the host of the Prophets, Whom You sent with Your abundant grace; Grant me wisdom, as You have granted me a yearning heart; Grant me the wine, as You have granted me the goblet. O my Lord God, for the sake of Your chosen one, Whom You supported at every step; Hold my hand with compassion and generosity; Be my Friend and Helper in all my affairs. My reliance is on Your power even though I am like dust, or even humbler still. (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol.1, pp.17-23) Can I ever succeed in adequately praising the exalted leader; Whom the heaven and earth and both the worlds cannot praise enough? The station of nearness that he has achieved with the Eternal Beloved Is beyond the ken of all those who have ever attained nearness to God. None in this world can even dream of The favours with which the eternal beloved continues to visit him. He is the leader of the elect of God and king of the company of lovers; His soul has traversed every stage of union with the Beloved. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 9The Review of Religions – August 2006 That blessed one who is the manifestation of divine signs, Came as a mercy from the Nourisher of all the worlds. His is the exalted and unique station in the divine court; Which is beyond the reach of the elect and the great. He is Ahmad of the latter days, Who is the source of honour for those who came before; For those of the latter days he is the leader, Haven of refuge, security and strength. His distinguished threshold is the ark of protection For the whole creation; No one on the Day of Judgement will attain salvation, But through his intercession. He surpasses all and every kind of excellence; The heavens are a mere speck of dust compared to his great resolve. He manifests the light which had been hidden since eternity; He is the source and exordium of sunrise, which was hidden since eternity. The chief of the heavenly congregation and a proof of God on earth; A great and powerful sign of the existence of the Creator. Every vein and particle of his being is the abode of the Eternal Beloved; His every breath and particle is imbued with the beauty of the Friend. The beauty of his countenance far exceeds a hundred suns and moons; The dust of his threshold is superior to a hundred pieces of musk for Tataristan. He is beyond human reason, thought, and imagination; How can thought dare reach out to that limitless ocean! His soul is the first to proclaim: ‘Bala’ – ‘Yes, indeed!’ He is the Adam of faith in the Unity of God; Even before the creation of Adam, He had communion with the Beloved. It is embedded in his nature to lay down his life For God’s creatures; He is ever ready to sacrifice himself for the downtrodden; And he is the help of the helpless. At the time when the world was filled With idolatry and polytheism; No heart wept blood ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 10 The Review of Religions – August 2006 But the heart of that sovereign. No one was aware of the evil of polytheism And the filth of idols; Ahmad’s soul alone was cognizant of it: His heart was lost in Divine love. Who knows and who is aware Of the cries of the intercessor Which arose for the sake of mankind In the silence of the cave. I cannot fathom the pain, The agony, and the distress, Which brought him to the cave, So troubled and full of anguish. He was afraid neither of the dark, Nor of loneliness; He did not fear death, Nor was he scared of scorpions or snakes. He deeply loved his people, He was devoted to mankind and the world; He cared little about his bodily comfort, Nor about his personal needs. He raised cries of pain For the good of mankind; Day and night he was preoccupied In supplication to God. His humility and prayers Caused a great commotion In the heavens: The angels too were moved to tears At last, because of his humility, His prayers and supplications, The Lord turned with compassion To the dark and gloomy world. The world was rocked By a great storm of sin; In every land people became blind and deaf Because of sin and polytheism. In the time of Noah, The world was filled with every mischief; No heart was free From darkness and dust. The devils had ruled Over every body and soul; Then the All-Powerful Lord appeared in glory To the soul of Muhammad. His grace encompasses alike The black and the white; He it is who sacrificed his life For the sake of mankind. O Prophet of Allah! You alone are the sun of the path of righteousness; No pious or righteous one, without you Can find his way to the right path. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 11The Review of Religions – August 2006 O Prophet of Allah! Your lips are the life-sustaining fountain; You alone are the guide To the path of the True Lord. There is the one who seeks to hear your sayings From Tom, Dick and Harry; There is another who doesn’t have to wait: He hears directly from your own lips. He indeed is alive, who drinks from your fountain; Wise is he who follows you. The ultimate point of knowledge for those who know, Is the knowledge of your face; For the truthful, steadfastness and loyalty to you Is the height of truth. Without you no one can ever attain The wealth of true knowledge; Even if he dies in the exercise Of unlimited devotion and worship. To bank on one’s own efforts Without the love of your countenance, Is to be naive For he who is unaware of your face, Can never see the face of virtue. Each moment a new light is attained Through the love of your countenance, Which the seeker cannot attain In a whole lifetime. Of the wonders of the universe, Whatever is beautiful and sublime; I clearly behold in you. No time is better than the time Spent in your love; Nor is any pastime more pleasant Than that devoted to your praise. Since I am cognizant of your unlimited virtues, I am eager to sacrifice my life for you; Whereas others are content with their services. Everyone supplicates for himself In his prayers, but; O my garden of eternal spring! I supplicate only for your progeny. O Prophet of Allah! I am lost in love with every particle Of your holy person; Were I to have a hundred thousand lives, I would bequeath them all To be sacrificed in your path. What is the truth about submission to you, And love for your countenance? It is a panacea for every heart, An elixir for every lacerated soul. How worthless is the heart, ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 12 The Review of Religions – August 2006 That does not bleed for you! How useless is the life, That is not sacrifice for you! Because of your love, My heart does not fear death; Look at my steadfastness: I am walking to the scaffold With a smile! O mercy of God! We have come to you seeking your mercy; Like us, there are hundreds of thousands of hopefuls Waiting at your threshold. O Prophet of Allah! I offer my being For your lovely countenance; This head of mine, lying heavy on my shoulder, Is but an offering in your service. Ever since I have been allowed To witness the light of the Holy Prophet(saw); His love, like a spring, Has been gushing forth from my heart! The fire of devotion Emanates from my breath like lightening; O weak hearted companions! Move away from my proximity Ever since I saw his countenance in a vision, My heart is in ecstasy; My very being, my body, and my soul, Are but an offering at the altar Of his body and his countenance. I see hundreds of thousands of Josephs In the dimple of his chin; I see countless Messiahs Being born by his breath. He is the sovereign of the seven continents; He is the sun of the East and the West; He is king of both the worlds; He is a haven for the humble. Successful is the heart, Which treads faithfully in his path; Lucky is the head, That is sacrificed for that warrior. O Prophet of Allah! The world is dark with disbelief and idol worship; It is time you revealed your face Which is bright like the sun. O my beloved! I see the light of God Reflected in your countenance; I see the heart of a wise person Intoxicated with your love. Lovers and the enlightened Recognise your station; But the eyes of the bat Cannot see the bright midday sun. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 Everyone in this world has a beloved, but; O beloved of rosy countenance! I am devoted only to you. Out of the entire world, I have fallen in love with your lovely face; I have forsaken my own self for you. What is life? To be sacrificed it in your path; What is freedom? To be like a prey in your captivity. As long as I live, Your love will always dwell in my heart; As long as blood flows in my heart, It will always be sustained by my love for you. O Messenger of Allah! My ties with you are very strong indeed; I have been devoted to you Ever since I was a suckling infant. At every step I have taken towards Allah, I have seen you as an invisible helper, A supporter and a guide. In both the worlds, So strong is my affiliation to you: You have nourished me Like a baby in your lap. Recall the time when you revealed Your countenance to me in a vision; Recall the time when you visited me With great longing and eagerness. Call to mind the kindness and favours That you showered upon me; Call to mind the glad tidings You conveyed to me from the Lord. Recall the time, when in full wakefulness, You granted me a glimpse Of the loveliness of the charming face And the beauty which is the envy of Spring. (A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol.5, pp.23-28) Muhammad(saw) is the Proof of Himself (Persian Poem) There is a wonderful light in the person of Muhammad(saw); There is a wonderful ruby in the mine of Muhammad(saw). The heart is cleansed of all darkness When it joins the lovers ofMuhammad(saw). Alas for the hearts of those unworthy ones; Whom turn their backs upon the hospitality of Muhammad(saw). I know not of anyone in both the world; 13 ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 The Review of Religions – August 2006 Who has a station equal to Muhammad(saw). God is utterly displeased with the person; Who bears a grudge against Muhammad(saw). God Himself bums that worthless worm; Which is among the enemies of Muhammad(saw). If you wish to be delivered from the stupor of the lower self; Corne and join the ranks of the lovers of Muhammad(saw). If you desire that God should praise you; Become a true admirer of Muhammad(saw). If you desire a proof of his truthfulness, become his lover: Muhammad(saw) himself is the proof of Muhammad(saw). My body craves to be sacrificed for the dust of Muhammad’s(saw) feet; My heart is ever eager to die for Muhammad(saw). By the tresses of the Prophet of God! I would die for the illumined countenance of Muhammad(saw). Cut me to pieces or bum me to death, I will not turn away from the court of Muhammad(saw). For the sake of faith, I fear no one in the world: For I am coloured after the faith of Muhammad(saw). How easy it becomes to renounce the world, When remembering the beauty and Muhammad(saw)! Every particle of my being has been sacrificed in his path; I have witnessed the latent beauty of Muhammad(saw). I know not the name of any other teacher; I have studied at the school of Muhammad(saw). I have nothing to do with any other beloved; I am a prey to the loving ways of Muhammad(saw). I only crave a single glance; I need nothing but the garden of Muhammad(saw). Search not for my anguished heart in my bosom; I have surrendered it to the lap of Muhammad(saw). I am the merriest among the birds of Paradise; That have built their nests in the 14 ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 The Review of Religions – August 2006 garden of Muhammad(saw). You have illumined my heart and soul with love; My life is an offering to you, O Muhammad(saw)! Were I to sacrifice my life for him a hundred times; Alas! it would not be worthy of the high station of Muhammad(saw). So awe-inspiring is the station granted to this champion; No one can even dare to compete with Muhammad(saw). Beware, O foolish and misguided enemy! Beware of the sharp sword of Muhammad(saw)! The path of the Lord God, which mankind has lost; Seek it in the progeny of Muhammad(saw). Beware, O denier of the status of Muhammad(saw) And of the manifest light of Muhammad(saw)! Even though miracles are no more; Come and witness them among the devotees of Muhammad(saw). (Announcement February 20,1893, Majmu’a Ishtihiirat, Vol.1, pp. 371- 372) 15 ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 10 The Review of Religions – August 2006 References to the Holy Qur’an item count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not counted and should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in The Review of Religions will be found at one verse less than the number quoted. In this journal, for the ease of non- Muslim readers, ‘(saw)’ or ‘saw’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra’ or (ra) stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘ru’ or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him. In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations are preferred to their anglicised versions, e.g. Makkah instead of Mecca, etc.