ZAFIR MAHMOOD MALIK, UK
The advent of the Promised Messiahascame at a unique time in history. With the dawn of the ‘age of enlightenment’ many people challenged the accounts mentioned in the Bible through the lens of Science. With religion and Islam in particular being portrayed as medieval and outdated, many people fell into the vacuum left by religion, namely Atheism. Yet many religions at the same time prophesied the advent of a reformer for their respective religion. It was at this juncture in time that God Almighty commissioned the Promised Messiahas– as the Reformer of the Latter Days, to unite mankind under one banner and to prove that God still exists today and speaks to those who strive to find him. He wrote countless books dispelling the myths surrounding religion, reformed doctrines of the Abrahamic faiths and narrated personal accounts for seekers of the truth to understand that God still spoke to those who wished to find Him. Below is just a glimpse into the wealth of knowledge he imparted.
The Purpose of the Advent of the Promised Messiah
The main purpose of the advent of a prophet in this world and the grand objective of their teaching and preaching is that mankind should recognise God Almighty and should be delivered from the life which leads to hell and ruin and which is known as the life of sin. In fact, this is the most important objective before them. Now that God Almighty has established a dispensation and has raised me, the same purpose which is common to all prophets is also the purpose of my coming, namely, that I wish not only to tell the world what God is, but I actually want them to see Him, and to show them the way of desisting from sin.[i]
The Truth about Jihad
The philosophy of Jihad and its true significance is so recondite and profound a matter that the people of this age and those of the middle ages have committed grave mistakes on account of their failure to understand it; which has rendered the teachings of Islam open to the criticism of its opponents, whereas Islam is a holy religion which is a mirror of the law of nature and manifests the glory of God[…] The Promised Messiahashas come into the world so that he should repel the notion of taking up the sword in the name of religion, and that through his reasoning and arguments he should establish that Islam is a faith which does not at all need the help of the sword for the purpose of its propagation, but that the inherent qualities of its teaching and its verities, insights, reasons, proofs and the living support and signs of God Almighty and its inherent attractions are the factors that have throughout contributed to its progress and its propagation.
Let all those who proclaim that Islam had been spread by the sword take note that their claim is false. Islam is not in need of any coercion for its propagation. Should anyone doubt this, let him come to me and stay with me for a while and observe for himself that Islam proves through reasoning and divine signs that it is a living faith. God Almighty now desires and has so determined that all such objections as have been raised against Islam by evil minded people should be effectively repelled. Those who allege that Islam was spread by the sword will now be put to shame.[ii]
The Rights of Women
No other religion has safeguarded the rights of women as Islam has done. It lays down the injunction so succinctly:
‘Just as men have rights upon women, so do women have rights upon men.’
It is said of some people that they treat their wives like shoes and require them to perform the lowliest of services. They abuse them and despise them and enforce the injunction regarding the veil with such harshness, as to virtually bury them alive. The relationship between a husband and wife should be like two true and sincere friends. After all, it is the wife who is the primary witness of a man’s high moral qualities and his relationship with God Almighty. If his relationship with his wife is not good, how can he be at peace with God? The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said:
‘The best among you is he who is best towards his wife.’[iii]
Today the veil is under attack, but the critics do not know that the Islamic veil does not mean imprisonment; rather it is a barrier which seeks to restrict the free mixing of men and women. The veil will protect them from stumbling.
Many people urge the adoption of permissiveness like that prevalent in Europe, but this would be most unwise. Such unbridled freedom of the sexes is the root of all immorality. Look at the moral situation in countries that have adopted this freedom. If freedom of the sexes has helped increase their chastity and virtue, we will readily confess that we were mistaken. But it is crystal clear that when men and women are young, and have the licence to mix freely, their relationship will be most dangerous. It is but human to exchange glances and be overwhelmed by lustful desires. As there is intemperance and vice, despite the observance of the veil, it may be imagined what the situation will be like in case of unrestricted freedom.
Look at men, how unbridled their behaviour is! They have neither fear of God nor faith in the hereafter. They only worship mundane pleasures. It is necessary therefore, that before granting such freedom as is being advocated, the moral condition of men should be improved and rectified. After men have developed enough self-temperance to restrain and control their passions, you may consider whether the veil is necessary or not. To insist upon unrestricted freedom in the present circumstances would be like putting sheep at the mercy of lions.[iv]
The Promised Messiah’sas Compassion for Mankind
I proclaim to all the Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Aryas, that I have no enemy in the world. I love human beings with the love that a compassionate mother has for her children and even more so. I am the enemy only of the false doctrines which slay the truth. Human sympathy is my duty, and discarding falsehood, idolatry, every type of misconduct and wrongdoing, injustice, and immorality, is my principle.
What has roused my sympathy is that I have discovered a gold mine and have been informed of a deposit of precious stones. In this mine I have been fortunate enough to find a shining and priceless diamond. Its value is so great, that if I were to divide its price among the whole of mankind, each of them would become wealthier than the person who owns the largest amount of gold and silver in the world. What is that diamond? It is the True God, and to acquire Him means to recognise Him, to believe in Him truly, to establish the relationship of true love with Him, and to receive true blessings from Him. Having found such great wealth, it would be a great wrong that I should deprive mankind of it and that they should die of hunger while I live in luxury. This I will not do. My heart burns at the contemplation of their poverty and hunger. My soul is in travail at the perception of their darkness and privation. I desire that their houses should be filled with heavenly wealth and that they should acquire so many jewels of truth and certainty that they should be filled to their capacity.[v]
The Promised Messiah’sas Relationship with his Wife
As for me, I once addressed my wife in a loud voice and I felt that my tone was indicative of displeasure though I had uttered no harsh words. Yet thereafter, I sought forgiveness
from God for a long time and offered supererogatory prayers with great humility and also gave alms because I felt that my harshness towards my wife might have been occasioned by some unconscious weakness in my obedience to God Almighty.[vi]
Divine Revelation & Man
As God has invested man with the faculty of reason for the understanding, to some degree, of elementary matters, in the same way God has vested in him a hidden faculty of receiving revelation. When human reason arrives at the limit of its reach, then at that stage God Almighty, for the purpose of leading His true and faithful servants to the perfection of understanding and certainty, guides them through revelation and visions. Thus the stages which reason could not reach are traversed by means of revelation and visions, and seekers after truth thereby arrive at full certainty. This is the way of Allah, to guide to which Prophets have appeared in the world. Without treading this path, no one has ever arrived at true and perfect understanding. But a poor dry philosopher is in such a hurry that he desires everything to be disclosed at the stage of reason. He does not know that reason cannot carry a burden beyond its strength, nor can it step further than its capacity. He does not reflect that to carry a person to his desired excellence, God Almighty has bestowed upon him not only the faculty of reason but also the faculty of experiencing visions and revelations. It is the height of misfortune to make use of only the elementary means out of those that God has, out of His Perfect Wisdom, bestowed upon man for the purpose of recognising God, and to remain ignorant of the rest. It is extremely unwise to let those faculties atrophy through lack of use and to derive no benefit from them. A person who does not use the faculty of receiving revelation and denies its existence cannot be a true philosopher, whereas the existence of this faculty has been established by the testimony of thousands of the righteous and all men of true understanding have arrived at perfect understanding through this means.[vii]
Critics often object that polygamy involves intemperance and monogamy is the ideal system. I am surprised at their needless interference in other people’s affairs. It is well known that Islam permits a man to marry up to four wives at a time; and this is a permission, not a compulsion. Every man and woman is well aware of this doctrine. Women have the right to lay down the condition that the husband will, in no circumstance whatsoever, marry another woman. If this condition is laid down before marriage, the husband will be guilty of breach of contract if he goes on to marry another. But if a woman does not prescribe any such condition, and is content with the law as it is, an outsider has no right to interfere.[viii]
True Meaning of Salvation
It is a pity that most people are unaware of the true meaning of salvation. According to the Christians, salvation means deliverance from the punishment of sin. This is not the true meaning of salvation. It is possible that a person may not commit adultery or theft, or bear
false witness, or kill anyone, or commit any other sin so far as he knows, and yet be unacquainted with salvation, for salvation means the achievement of that eternal prosperity for which human nature hungers and thirsts. It is achieved only through the personal love of God after His full understanding and the establishment of a perfect relationship with Him and its condition is that love should surge up on both sides […] For a seeker after truth the only question is how to achieve true prosperity which should be the means of eternal joy and happiness. The sign of a true religion is that it should carry one to that prosperity. Through the guidance of the Holy Qur’an we learn that that eternal prosperity is found in the true understanding of God Almighty and His holy and perfect and personal love, and in perfect faith which should create a lover’s restlessness in the heart. These are a few words and yet even a volume cannot set forth a complete exposition of them.[ix]
Signs and Miracles
God has shown so many signs in my support that if I were to count them one by one up to this day, 16thJuly, 1906, I can swear by God that they are in excess of three hundred thousand. And if someone does not believe in my oath, I can provide him with proof. Some of these signs are to do with occasions when God Almighty, in keeping with His promise, protected me from being harmed by the enemy. Some of the signs are such that, in keeping with His promise, God always fulfilled my needs and my wishes. And some are of the kind whereby, in keeping with His promise, God brought humiliation and disgrace upon those who tried to harm me. Some signs are of the kind in which, according to His Prophecies, He made me victorious over those who filed lawsuits against me. Some are of the kind that pertain to the length of my ministry, for ever since the world was created no impostor has ever been allowed such a long period of respite. Some signs are of the kind that are manifested through observing the condition of the age—that this age is in need of an Imam. Some signs are of the kind which represent the fulfilment of my prayers in favour of my friends. Some signs are of the kind which represent the fulfilment of my prayer against malicious enemies. Some signs are of the kind in which terminally ill patients were cured and I was informed of their recovery in advance. Some signs are of the nature whereby, for my sake, God caused a number of heavenly and earthly calamities as a testimony to my claim. Some are of the sort whereby many eminent and renowned saints saw dreams in which the Holy Prophetsaappeared to them and testified to my claim, among these is the Sajjadah Nashin Sahib-ul-‘Alam of Sindh who has nearly one hundred thousand followers, and Khawaja Ghulam Farid of Chachrań. Some signs are such that thousands of people pledged Bai‘at at my hand only because they were informed in a dream of my truthfulness and of my being from God; while some others did so because they saw the Holy Prophetsain a dream, and he told them that the end of the world is near and that this man is the last Vicegerent of God and the Promised Messiah. Some signs relate to certain eminent saints who mentioned me by name even before my birth, or before I came of age, and spoke about my being the Promised Messiah. Among these are Ne‘matullah Wali and Mian Gulab Shah of Jamalpur, District Ludhiana.[x]
Life After Death
Islam expounds the most excellent doctrine that in the interim period after death, every soul is vested with a sort of body which is essential for perception of pleasure and torment. We cannot accurately describe as to what substance that body is made of. As far as this mortal body is concerned, however, it ceases to exist. Moreover, it is never observed by anyone that the same corporal body is revived in the grave. On the contrary, this body is often cremated, and many a time corpses are also preserved in museums, or kept otherwise out of the grave for long periods. If it were the same body which were to be revived, it was very likely that people would have observed this happening. Nonetheless, the revival of the dead is very much evident from the study of the Holy Qur’an. Hence one is compelled to believe that the dead are revived in such forms as we cannot see. Most likely that spiritual body is composed of some highly refined constituents of this material body. The soul having been thus provided with a body, human perceptions are reinstated. Because this new body is far more profound and complex in nature, a much wider avenue of visions and revelation is laid open to it.[xi]
[i]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 4 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), 319, 327
[ii]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 2 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), 319, 327
[iii]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 3 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), 323
[iv]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 3 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), 327-329
[v]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 4 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), pp. 165-166
[vi]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 3 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), p. 313
[vii]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 2 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), pp. 37-38.
[viii]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 3 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), p. 318
[ix]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 2 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), pp. 249-250
[x]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Essence of Islam, vol. 5 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1993), pp. 2-4
[xi]Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas,Kitabul Bariyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol 13, pp. 70-71