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SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE (part 1)

38 The Review of Religions – February 2007 When I was researching this topic (and it is such a vast topic and there is so much material it is very difficult sometimes to see what material you use) – but when I reflected on it, I thought the purpose of our creation is to attain the love and nearness to God Almighty. When I thought further about it and I reflected on history there were numerous examples of how people were able to win Allah’s affection by communicating with Him in different ways. But one of the most beautiful examples that I came across was that of an old shepherd. One day the old shepherd was sitting and having his conversation with God Almighty and he was saying to God Almighty – O God if you were here with me I would be washing your hair, I would be combing your hair, I would be picking out the lice from your hair – and this was an old shepherd and that was his way of showing his affection because that is what he did for his sheep that he reared. Hadhrat Musa(as), (Hadhrat Moses) overheard this conver- sation and he admonished him and said this was no way to speak to God Almighty. But God immediately intervened and said to Hadhrat Musa(as): why are you intervening in the conversation between Me and My subject, I was really enjoying this conver- sation and by interfering you have ruined this beautiful moment. Many such accounts can be traced throughout history of how people through their action or through supplication to God Almighty have won His love and affection. Succour and Help from Allah the Almighty Is Proof of His Existence – Part 1 By Rafiq Ahmad Hayat – Ameer, UK – delivered at Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention, United Kingdom 2006 39The Review of Religions – February 2007 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 Therefore, it is extremely sad that whilst the society that we live in is so-called the most civilised society – we have seen great innovation in technology. Man has landed on the moon – and yet we appear to be moving away from that very Creator Who gave us everything that we have today. Therefore, it is very important that we keep remind- ing ourselves of that Creator. Without His Majesty, without His Succour we human beings are absolutely nothing. We cannot guarantee the very next moment of our lives until and unless we have His Blessings. The teaching of Islam is about the Unity of God Almighty. The heart of Islam is bound by the reality of God, the One, the Absolute and the Infinite, Who is Compassionate and Merciful. He is greater than anything that a human mind can comprehend and imagine and yet, as the Holy Qur’an tells us, He is closer to us than our jugular vein. All Muslims attest to that One God, Allah the Almighty, and around this attestation revolves the total belief of Islam. Muslims believe that He is the source of all things and all existence and He is the End to Whom everything and all things return. The Oneness of God or Allah the Almighty is a Truth that has been revealed to human beings since antiquity, and this Tawheed or the Oneness of Allah the Almighty is at the heart of all religions of the world. As the Holy Qur’an states, addressing the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw): And We sent no Messenger before thee but We revealed to him, saying, ’There is no God but I; so worship Me alone.’ (Ch.21:Vs.26) The Holy Qur’an, the Word of God for all humanity, tells us not only the Supreme Name of God as Allah but also mentions other attributes of the name of Allah, the Almighty. These names reveal different attributes of Divinity and the Holy Qur’an states: And to Allah alone belong all perfect attributes. So call on 40 The Review of Religions – February 2007 Him by these… (Ch.7:V.181) Again, Allah the Almighty enjoins us: He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Ch.59:Vs.25) The attributes of Allah include those of Al-Rab that is The Lord, Al-Khaliq the Creator, Lord of Majesty, al-Jaleel. He has fashioned everything that is on earth and in the heavens with His attribute of Al-Mussawir. The two most obvious attributes that are experienced by everyone, in everyday life are Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem. Ar-Rahman, the Compassionate and the Gracious Who provides everything that is needed and necessary to His creatures for their existence without their asking for it and without any effort on their part. Ar-Raheem, the Merciful, Who rewards the efforts of His creatures be they moral, spiritual or material. In our daily life, we continue to experience the Compassion and the Mercy of Allah the Almighty The very fact is that everything we do, and indeed the very fact that we are sitting here celebrating this Jalsa Salana is in itself the manifestation of the Majesty of Allah. When we search through the chronicles of human history, we notice time and again, the succour and the help of the Divine saves humanity from impossible situations. Let me take an example from the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The phenomenon of parting of the seas is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and Allah reminds Moses(as): And, remember the time, when We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people while you looked on. (Ch.2:V.51) SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 41The Review of Religions – February 2007 I have chosen this famous incident, because it is accepted across all the religious divides. There are many references to this incident in the Holy Qur’an. And this constitutes one of the great signs of the succour of God Almighty to his people. When Moses(as) struck the sea with his rod as the Holy Qur’an says, or stretched his hand as the Bible says, the sea parted and Moses(as) was commanded to cross quickly. When the armies of Pharaoh arrived, in their enthusiasm to overtake the Israelites they jumped in to try to cross the sea. The waters came rushing back and the armies were drowned. We know that the striking of the water by Moses(as) was only symbolic and the receding of the sea with low tides coincided with that time and Moses(as) and Israelites crossed in safety and the oncoming army of Pharaoh drowned in the returning tide. Since time immemorial we have witnessed that man unfortunately has always asked for the proof of the existence of God Almighty. When you look at the history of the various prophets you find that again and again there are numerous examples of people who disbelieved and have asked for proof, and unfortunately even to this day these sad circum- stances continue. Although we live in a very affluent society now in the West it would appear that the affluence, instead of taking us closer to God Almighty is taking us away from Him. If you look at the Churches and the Synagogues and also some of the Mosques you find that people are abandoning them. It is indeed the Grace and Mercy of Allah that through accepting the Promised Messiah(as) the Ahmadi Muslims by the Grace of Allah are flocking to the Mosques. Every mosque that we have built seems to become insufficient in accor- dance with the ever growing Jama’at and we are having to build to a greater capacity to make room for the ever growing number of people who wish to worship Allah Almighty. Therefore, one thing that the modern society will find is that SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 42 The Review of Religions – February 2007 although affluence brings them better living conditions they also find that they do not have the peace of mind, the inner peace, and there is a failure to understand that the inner peace can only be achieved by supplicating to God Almighty and developing a very deep and close relationship with Him. That is the only true way of finding inner peace. The fact is that when Allah the Almighty sends His Messengers to the world, He takes on Himself the responsibility of their protection and protection of their mission. He provides them succour and help at every opportunity. That is why if we want to see the existence of Allah Almighty from such instances, we should look at the lives of His Messengers. In one of the recent Friday Sermons, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V emphasised this point. He quoted the verse from the Holy Qur’an, Most surely, We help Our Messengers and those who believe, both in the present life and on the day when the witnesses will stand forth. (Ch.40:V.52) This verse holds out a very forceful promise from Allah the Almighty to His Messengers and their followers that Allah’s succour and help will always be with them. The existence of Allah the Almighty is always manifested through His Messengers and is also revealed through those who believe in the Messengers sincerely and without any questions. See how Allah the Almighty came to the assistance of Hadhrat Ibrahim(as), the Patriarch of all Prophets. The Holy Qur’an describes vividly how Allah’s succour came, when his people decided to burn him, We said, ‘Turn cold, O fire, and be a source of peace for Abraham. (Ch.21:V.70) How the fire became cool, we are not told and it does not concern us here. It is enough to know that Allah the Almighty brought about such factors into play that SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 caused the fire to become harmless but Hadhrat Ibrahim(as) was led to safety. It will always remain an enduring mystery and a great heavenly miracle and one of the great signs of the existence of the Divine. When we go though the Surah Al-Anbiya (Chapter 4) we read about the trial and tribulations of Allah’s Messengers from Noah(as) to Jesus(as). All the Prophets like Job(as), Zakaria(as), Issac(as), Jacob(as), Lot(as), Solomon(as), David(as) and many other have been mentioned. We notice how often Allah the Almighty manifested Himself to come to the aid of his beloved Messengers, how He alleviated their sufferings, how He removed all the impediments from their paths and how often He came to their assistance and delivered them from different ordeals. If someone says that these are the stories of the ancient times let me show them the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw), the greatest of all the prophets and the Seal of the prophets. The previous pro- phets were sent with a particular mission for selective people. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad(saw) was sent for all humanity for all times to come. His life and times have been carefully observed and recorded. His mission was the greatest of all the prophets, and likewise, the help and succour that he received from Allah the Almighty was at its pinnacle. At every step, Allah manifested Himself and came to his aid. When the Makkans wanted to kill him, and when he was forced to emigrate from Makkah to Madinah – the Quraish had plotted to kill the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), rather than allow him to emigrate to Madinah but they did not reckon with the protection, the succour and assistance that Allah the Almighty was giving to him. The Holy Qur’an reminds us of this incident in these words: And remember the time when the disbelievers plotted against thee that they might imprison thee or kill thee or expel thee. And they planned and Allah also planned, and 43 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 The Review of Religions – February 2007 Allah is the Best of planners. (Ch.8:V.31) Here begins one of the greatest adventures history has known in the cause of truth and religious conviction. It is one of the noblest and most beautiful. All of you have heard this incident a number of times – when the Quraish threatened to attack the Holy Prophet(saw) he left Hadhrat Ali(as) behind to sleep in his bed and to stay behind so that he could return all things left with the Holy Prophet(saw) to their rightful owners. Hadhrat Abu Bakr(as) and the Holy Prophet(saw) left and took refuge in the cave of Thaur. The young men of Quraish who were chosen to kill the Holy Prophet(saw) came close to the cave fully armed and ready to kill. When they saw the cave entrance, it was covered with cobwebs and a pair of wild pigeons had made their nest on the threshold. Is this not a sign of God Almighty protecting His Messenger? At that moment Hadhrat Abu Bakr(as) expressed concern but the Holy Prophet(saw) said: ‘Do not grieve, God is with us.’ According to some Ahadith, it is reported that when the Quraish party arrived at the cave entrance, Hadhrat Abu Bakr(as) exclaimed: ‘If any one of them looks at his feet, he will find us,’’ and that the Holy Prophet(saw) answered: ‘O Abu Bakr, how can you fear for two men whose constant companion is God Himself?’. So there are ample signs where God through His succour has helped the Messenger in some very difficult positions. The Holy Qur’an mentions this in chapter 9, verse 40: If you help him not, then know that Allah helped him even when the disbelievers drove him forth while he was one of the two when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion, ‘Grieve not, for Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His peace on him, and succoured him with hosts which you did not see, and humbled the word of 44 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 The Review of Religions – February 2007 those who disbelieved, and it is the Word of Allah alone which is supreme. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. Allah the Almighty has vividly and unconditionally given His Word that through His succour and protection, He will always manifest Himself to the believers. It must be remembered that the messengers of Allah come not to create conflict but to bring peace and tranquillity to the human race. They are men of God and the purpose of their coming is to win the hearts and minds of the people and show them the path to righteousness so that they can attain the nearness of Allah. It was the same mission with which the Holy Prophet(saw) was sent. But he did not come for only one section of humanity, he was sent as a blessing to all of mankind. Fighting battles was not his mission. He only wanted to show people the path of righteousness and to help them attain knowledge about their Creator. Unfortunately, the nonbelievers would not leave him alone. First they wanted to kill him in Makkah and then when he emigrated to Madinah with the help and protection of Allah, they would not leave him alone and pursued him with the intention of destroying his mission. He had to defend himself and his followers. A well-equipped army of Makkans marched to Madinah with the intention of wiping out the Muslims and Islam. The Muslims, ill-equipped and ill- armed amounted to no more than 313 while the fully armed and well-equipped Makkan force was over 1000. The two armies met at Badr. The Holy Qur’an refers to the battle of Badr in the following manner: Certainly, there was for you a Sign in the two armies that encountered each other, one army fighting in the cause of Allah and the other disbelieving, whom they saw to be twice as many as themselves, actually with their eyes. Thus Allah strengthens with His aid whomsoever He pleases. In 45 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 The Review of Religions – February 2007 that surely is a lesson for those who have eyes. (Ch.3:V.14) The victory at Badr was not due to any skill or superiority of Muslims but it was a glorious sign of Allah the Almighty for the whole world to see. Just as Moses(as) pointed his rod to sea and the sea parted, similarly, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) threw a few pebbles towards the enemy and the wind converted them into a storm that routed the Makkan army. The Holy Qur’an describes that instance: So you killed them not but it was Allah Who killed them. And thou threwest not when thou didst throw, but it was Allah Who threw that He might overthrow the dis- believers and that He might confer on the believers a trial from Himself – a goodly trial – Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Ch.8:V.18) The life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) and the succour and help that he received from Allah requires a book and then even that would not be sufficient to describe all the Divine help and succour that Allah gave to the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) When we look at the lives of the companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), we see their total belief in Allah and His Messenger and we notice that their lives were guided and protected at all times with succour of Allah the Almighty. They had the ‘eyes’ that the Holy Qur’an mentions and they could see that Allah the Almighty strengthened their faith. The pious, the saints and the believers who have developed a true relationship with Allah the Almighty and who achieved the nearness of Allah have all received Divine succour and protection and they have testified to the existence of Allah on the basis of their personal experience. The Chief of all the saints, the Promised Messiah(as), a true servant of the Holy Prophet(saw) of Islam, a person whose life was totally dedicated to the Holy 46 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 The Review of Religions – February 2007 Qur’an and the Sunna of the Holy Prophet(saw), who walked in the shadow of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) until he truly became his shadow – it was because of his love, his dedication and his devotion to the Holy Prophet(saw) that Allah the Almighty trusted him with the task of revival of Islam. When we look at the life of the Promised Messiah(as), we see how time and again, Allah the Almighty came to his assistance and how at difficult times, Allah provided succour for him. That truly proves the existence of Allah the Almighty even to the disbelievers. At the saddest time of his life when the Promised Messiah(as) knew that his father was going to die, a concern crept into his mind about his own future. He was left wondering as to who would provide him comfort after his father, when suddenly, in all His Majesty, Allah Almighty sent this revelation to him: Is Allah not sufficient for His servant? It was an admonishment from a friend and a promise as well. Allah provides for His servants. Those who achieve closeness and nearness of Allah, Allah becomes responsible for them. The help and succour that the Promised Messiah(as) received time again in his life, stands as a clear proof of the existence of Allah the Almighty. Indeed, the life of the Promised Messiah(as) is a vast catalogue of Allah’s assistance and help to him at every step. (to be continued) 47 SUCCOUR AND HELP FROM ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS PROOF OF HIS EXISTENCE – PART 1 The Review of Religions – February 2007

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