Death and the Afterlife The Holy Qur'an

Essence of Islam – Part 14, Guidance for the Righteous

7The Review of Religions – December 2006 Guidance for the Righteous Some Brahmu Samajists object that if perfect understanding depends upon the Qur’an, then why did God not publish it in all countries and in all places of population, ancient and modern, and why did He deprive millions of His creatures of His perfect understanding and of true doctrine? The reply is that this objection derives from shortsighte- dness…….If the light of the sun does not reach certain dark places or if some people shut their eyes like an owl on beholding the sun, would this mean that the sun has not been created by God? If the rain does not fall on some dry land or a saline area does not get the benefit of it, then would it follow that rain is the work of man? To meet such doubts God Almighty has made it clear in the Holy Qur’an that the guidance of Divine revelation is not meant for every temperament, but is meant for those pure temperaments that possess the quality of righteousness. It is only such people who take advantage of the perfect guidance of revelation and 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. ESSENCE OF ISLAM: Guidance for the Righteous – Part 14 8 The Review of Religions – December 2006 are benefited by it. Divine revelation reaches them in any case. In this context, we draw attention to the following verses of the Holy Qur’an: I am Allah, the All-Knowing, This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous, Who believe in the unseen and observe Prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them; And who believe in that which has been revealed to thee, and that which was revealed before thee, and they have firm faith in what is yet to come, It is they who follow the guidance of their Lord and it is they who shall prosper. Those who have disbelieved – it being equal to them whether thou warn them or warn them not-they will not believe, Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a covering; and for them is a great punishment (Ch.2:Vs.2-8) and again: He it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 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. 9The Review of Religions – December 2006 Book and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest misguidance. And among others from among them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise. That is Allah’s Grace; He bestows it on whom He pleases; and Allah is the Master of immense grace. (Ch.62:Vs.3-5) One should ponder over the first verse, namely: I am Allah, the All-Knowing, This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous, (Ch.2:Vs.2-3) It will be observed how well, beautifully and succinctly God Almighty has furnished the answer to the objection raised. First reference is made to the Author of the Holy Qur’an and His Grandeur and Majesty are indicated. It is said: I am Allah, the All-Knowing. (Ch.2:V.2) I am Allah, Who knows best. That is to say, I, Who am All-Knowing and All-Wise, Whose knowledge is not matched by the knowledge of anyone else, am revealing this Book. Then the greatness of the Holy Qur’an is referred to and it is said: This is a perfect Book (Ch.2:V.3) This is that Book: that is to say, a grand and sublime Book which derives from Divine knowledge. It is established with regard to it that its source and spring is the Eternal Being of the All-Wise. By using the word ‘that’, which denotes distance, God Almighty has indicated that this Book derives from the knowledge of that Being with high attributes, Who is Matchless and Peerless and Whose perfect knowledge and profound mysteries are very far from the limits of human sight. Then the praiseworthiness of its form and structure are described by saying: ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 10 The Review of Religions – December 2006 There is no doubt in it. (Ch.2:V.3) The body of the Qur’an is so well reasoned that there is no room left in it for any kind of doubt; meaning that, unlike other books, it is not a mere tale or story, but is comprehensive of conclusive arguments and reasoning, and sets forth clear proofs of its objects and purposes, and is in itself a miracle which operates like a sharp sword for the removal of doubts and suspicions, and does not leave the matter of the recognition of God at the conjectural stage of He should be, but carries the matter to the certainty of, He is. Despite the grandeur of these purposes which are greatly concerned with effect and reform, it proceeds to define the fourth purpose which is its ultimate object, which is the provision of guidance for the righteous. It announces that it is: It is a guidance for the righteous. (Ch.2:V.3) This Book has been revealed for the guidance of those who, on account of their pure interiors, sane reason, firm intelligence, eagerness for search of truth, right motives, would, in the end, arrive at a high degree of faith and recognition of God and perfect righteousness. In other words, those about whom God knows that their nature is suited to this guidance and they can make progress in true insights, will in the end be guided by this Book; and this Book would reach them and God would enable them to follow the right path before their death. Thus, God Almighty has clearly stated that those who in the knowledge of God are worthy of being guided and possess the quality of righteousness by their nature will surely be guided through the Holy Qur’an. The succeeding verses set forth the details and pronounce that: Those who in the knowledge of God are likely to believe will all gradually believe, and only those will be left outside concerning whom God knows that they will not embrace Islam and, whether they are warned or not, they will not ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 11The Review of Religions – December 2006 believe, or will not arrive at the perfect stage of righteousness and understanding (Ch.2:Vs.4-8). Thus in these verses God Almighty has made it clear that only those can derive benefit from the guidance of the Qur’an who are righteous and whose true nature is not overcome by any darkness of their ego. . .. If it is asked what about the salvation of those who have had no access to a revealed Book, the answer is that if they are wholly wild and are deprived of human intelligence, they will not be called to account in any way. They are in the category of the insane. But those who possess some degree of intelligence, will be called to account according to the degree of their intelligence. (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1 pp. 198-203, footnote 11) The seed of the Unity of God which the Holy Qur’an has sown in Arabia, Persia, Egypt, Syria, India, China, Afghanistan, Kashmir and other regions, and the manner in which it has rooted out idol worship and the worship of creatures from most places, is a matter which is not matched in any age. As a contrast, when we look at the Vedas, we find that they were not able to reform even Aryavart itself. (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani Khazain,Vol. 23, p.77) Be alert all the time and do not take a single step contrary to Divine teaching and the guidance of the Qur’an. I tell you truly that anyone who evades the least one of the 700 commandments of the Qur’an, shuts upon himself the door of salvation. The ways of true and perfect salvation have been opened by the Qur’an and all the rest is its reflection. Therefore, study the Qur’an with care and hold it very dear with a love that you have not for anything else. As God has said to me: ‘All good is contained in the Qur’an’ This is wholly true. Those people are to be pitied who prefer anything else to it. The fountainhead of all your prosperity and salvation is the Holy Qur’an. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 12 The Review of Religions – December 2006 There is no religious need of yours which is not filled by the Qur’an. On the Day of Judgement, the Qur’an will confirm or deny your faith. There is no other book under heaven beside the Qur’an which can furnish you with salvation. God has been very Beneficent towards you that He has bestowed a Book like the Qur’an upon you. I tell you truly that if the Book that is recited to you had been recited to the Christians, they would not have perished. If this bounty of guidance which has been bestowed upon you had been bestowed upon the Jews in place of the Torah, some of their sects would not have denied the Day of Judgement. Then value this favour that has been bestowed upon you. It is a very dear favour; it is great wealth. If the Qur’an had not been revealed, the whole world would have been left like a dirty lump of flesh. The Qur’an is the Book in contrast with which all other guidance amounts to nothing. (Kashti Nuh, Ruhani Khazain, Vol.19, pp. 26-27) In addition to all the excellences and beauties of style and idiom, the Holy Qur’an is the compendium of wisdom and knowledge, and possesses such a spiritual effect that following it truly a person achieves prosperity, inner light and expansion of mind, and becomes accepted of God and worthy of being addressed by Him. The Holy Qur’an creates in its follower those lights and hidden graces and provides him with such certain supports that are not found in others. He receives from God that delicious and comforting word in consequence of which he realises more and more every moment that by the true following of the Holy Qur’an and true obedience to the Holy Prophet(saw) he has arrived at a stage which is special for those whom God loves, and that he has been bestowed such Divine pleasure and kindness, which had been bestowed upon all those of perfect faith who have passed on before him. He perceives not only in words, but as actual fact, a pure spring of all these loves flowing through his heart and observes such a condition of relationship with God in his open breast which he cannot describe in words or by means of any illustration. He observes Divine lights descending like rain upon his soul. ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 13The Review of Religions – December 2006 Those lights cast their reflection upon him sometimes in the form of the disclosure of hidden matters, sometimes in the form of knowledge and insights, and at other times in the form of high moral qualities. These effects of the Holy Qur’an have been continuous. Ever since the sun of truth appeared in the world in the blessed person of the Holy Prophet(saw), thousands of people who possessed the capacity and the ability have arrived and continue to arrive at those high stages by following the Divine Word and obeying the Holy Prophet(saw) that we have mentioned above. God Almighty bestows continuously such favours and exaltations on them and manifests such support and bounties for them, that those with clear eyesight recognise that they are accepted of God and that they are under a grand shadow of Divine kindness and enjoy a majestic Divine grace. Observers can see clearly that they are honoured with extraordinary bounties, distinguished with wonderful miracles, scented with the perfume of the love of God, and are invested with the pride of being accepted of God. The light of the All-Powerful so fills their company, their attention, their resolve, their prayer, their eyesight, their moral qualities, their way of living, their pleasure and their anger, their liking and their dislike, their movement and their rest, their speech and their silence, and their exterior and their interior as a precious perfume fills a phial of transparent glass. Those things are acquired through the grace of their companionship, attention and love, which cannot be acquired through the severest discipline. By entertaining good- will and good faith for them, faith takes on another aspect, a new strength is gained for the display of good moral qualities, self-will and the inclination towards disobedience begin to decline, and a satisfaction and a sweetness is gained. According to one’s capacity and the degree of one’s relationship, faith surges up, and affection and fondness manifest themselves, and delight in the remembrance of God increases. By keeping company with them over a long period, one is brought to confess that in their strength of faith, and their moral conditions, ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS 14 The Review of Religions – December 2006 their renunciation of the world, inclination towards God, love for God and kindness towards His creatures, and in their fidelity and steadfastness, they occupy such a high place as has no equal in the world. Sane reason immediately perceives that the shackles and chains which bind other people have been removed from their feet and their minds have been cleansed of the narrowness and constraint through which the minds of other people are constrained and fatigued. They are honoured by the frequency of converse with God and are considered worthy of being continuously addressed. They are considered a means of direction and guidance between God, the Glorious and High, and His eager servants. Their own brightness illumines other hearts. As by the advent of spring there is an upsurge in vegetation, in the same way, by their advent, natural light upsurges in obedient tempera- ments and every fortunate heart desires to make every effort to bring into manifestation its capacities for good fortune, and to be rid of heedlessness, and to be rescued from the darkness of sinfulness, disobedience, vice, ignorance and unawareness. During their blessed time, there is such spread of light that every believer and seeker after truth, according to the degree of his faith, discovers an expansion and fondness for religiosity without any apparent reason and perceives an increase and strengthening of resolve. In short, from their delicate perfume, which they acquire through the blessing of perfect obedience, every sincere person benefits according to the degree of his sincerity. It is true, however, that those who are eternally unfortunate, do not partake of it, but advance in rancour and envy and ill fortune and thus fall into hell. This refers to what God says: Allah has set a seal on their hearts. (Ch.2:V.8) (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1 pp. 528-532, sub- footnote 3) ESSENCE OF ISLAM – PART 14 – GUIDANCE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS

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