We continue with the serialisation of the epic lecture delivered by the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra later published as a book titled, The Economic System of Islam. In this fourteenth part of the series, the responsibilities of rich towards poor are discussed.
To read the first thirteen parts, visit our website, www.reviewofreligions.org.
Responsibilities of Rich Towards Poor
The wealthy people in our country should realise their responsibilities before it is too late and should hasten to discharge the obligations they owe to poorer people. As I look at it, the emergence of Communism is a punishment against the tyrannies perpetrated by the rich upon the poor.
There is still time for improvement and to atone for excesses of the past. If wealthier people are unwilling to discharge their duties towards their less fortunate brethren, the hand of God Almighty will snatch away their wealth through this instrument [of Communism]. Repentance and appropriate action now can save you from this terrible danger and the awful storm gathering over your heads will move away to leave you in safety just as a tornado suddenly changes its course. You can either voluntarily part with a portion of your wealth for the uplift of the poor, as called upon by God; or you can face God’s displeasure and continue to hold on to your wealth, which a little while later will be taken away by rebels and troublemakers.
And finally, while discussing the rise of Communism and the problems of the Russian economy, I wish to draw attention to a striking prophecy in regard to Russia made at the time when the world knew little about that area.
Prophecies About Russia: A Prophecy of More than Two Thousand Years Ago
Russia, as we know, has only come into prominence during the last three or four hundred years. Before that it was a very sparsely populated territory, whose people were split into various tribes, holding small strips of land. Even in areas that bordered on the regions now known as Russia, this endless expanse of territory had no economic or political significance. A thousand years ago, it was scarcely known, sparsely populated, and attracted little interest. Farther back in history, 2500 years ago, hardly anyone knew of it. An isolated geographer here and there might have had some vague notion of its existence, but no more. At that time Prophet Ezekiel made a striking prophecy, which is preserved in the books of the Old Testament.
Ezekiel Chapter 38
1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2. Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and prophesy against him,
3. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4. And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5. Persia, Ethiopia and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet;
6. Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands; and many people with thee.
7. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people against the mountains of Israel: which have been always waste; but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
10. Thus saith the Lord God; it shall also come to pass that at the same time shall things come, into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12. To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14. Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15. And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army.
16. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17. Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18. And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
22. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel Chapter 39
1. Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
2. And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.
3. And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand,
4. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
6. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
7. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
8. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
9. And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10. So that they shall take no wood cut out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.
11. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
12. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
13. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified saith the Lord God.
14. And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it; after the end of seven months shall they search.
15. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-Gog.
16. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
17. And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
18. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God.
21. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
Made at a time when Russia was entirely unknown to the outside world, and when nobody could imagine that it would attain such progress and domination, this prophecy is remarkably clear. It tells us that:
“Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Russia) will attain great power and glory until, aware of their strength, they would try to subjugate other countries and snatch away their wealth.” We should note that according to the words of this prophesy, Persia would one day be reduced to submission by Moscow. (The foundations for which are being laid in the current Russian demand for oil concessions from Iran.)
“Carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil.” (This portion of the prophecy indicates that Russian imperialism would be even more dangerous for the other countries than the earlier forms of imperialism.) We are told that Russia would leap forward in wave after wave of unchecked conquests until it would begin to dream of holding sway over Jerusalem, lying defenceless in the path of its victorious hordes. Then God’s wrath would be kindled and a rain of fire and sulphur would descend upon it, and its jaws would be broken by heavy piercing blows which would bring such utter destruction that its dead would lie in heaps in the valleys and it would take months to cover them up with earth.
To people who do not believe in prophesies, I would like to say that if there was no God who gave His Apostles fore-knowledge of mighty events, then who was it that told Ezekiel two thousand and five hundred years ago that Russia would embark upon a program of world conquest, aggression and aggrandisement, so that God’s wrath would be kindled against it and the punishment from heaven would leave its power in ruins. When we give due thought to this prophecy and the extraordinary manner in which it has come true in our own days, we are forced to conclude that God who conveys such tidings to His chosen servants really does exist. And if God does exist, and He gave to Ezekiel fore-knowledge of these events, we must also bear in mind that God Almighty does not wish that the Communist system, which forms the basis of Russia’s political economy and social structure, should be permanently established in the world; and that its downfall is not very far away.