This article is based upon Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV’s closing address to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Annual Convention in Canada in 1996. In which he pointed out the root causes of the ills plaguing the socio-political structure of economies based on interest. After the diagnosis, he proposed the most complete and practical cure: the only way to world peace is a return to universal moral values born of the attributes of God, common among all world religions. The address was broadcast live around the world on the Community’s satellite television channel MTA.
Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad started his address by reciting the Tashah-hud (affirmation that God is One, without partner and that Muhammad(saw) is the messenger of God), the Ta’awwudh (the traditional formula for seeking God’s protection against Satan), and Surah Al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Holy Qur’an). He then continued with Ch.41:Vs.34-35 of the Holy Qur’an – these were elaborately translated by the speaker later on.
Honoured guests, the personal representative of the Prime Minister of Canada – the honourable Sergio Marchi – who is also here in another capacity as my personal friend of long standing; the kindest of all the mayors of Canada [Her Worship Lorna Jackson. Mayor of the City of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada] who is here with us, ladies and gentlemen.
I have chosen to recite some verses of the Holy Qur’an which are often quoted in relation to the art of preaching – how to carry it out and what should be its purpose. But these verses of the Qur’an have another message, not only for Muslims (putting their message across to the rest of the world), but also addressing the whole of mankind, drawing their attention to the importance of returning to God and calling others to the path of God. It is in the context of this second connotation of the verses that I am going to address you this afternoon, or is it pre-noon? Whatever the time, it does not matter – this address is being heard and seen all over the world in different time zones! So, we share all these twenty-four hours today, here – in these moments!
The verses I have recited before you can be simply translated as,
Who is more beautiful in his words than the one who calls to the path of Allah, provided his own act is also righteous and beautiful. (Ch.41:V.34)
Only if he is righteous in his own deeds will his call towards Allah acquire a sense of beauty; otherwise it will not. So, if you call to the path of Allah and you are righteous yourself, then something is bound to follow, and that leads to the central part of this message: Goodness and evil cannot be alike. They do not have the same weight or the same values; they are so different.
With the help of beauty and the beauteous, remove evil. That is the only way that you can convert your enemies into such friends as will shower their lives upon you.
A Universal Message
We live in a world of competition and jealousies. We live in a world of growing uncertainties and concerns for the peace of the world. I believe, and I am deeply convinced, that this message is universal, whatever your religion, race, colour or creed may be. It applies to you particularly and to all those being addressed by it now.
This is so because no specific religion is mentioned. It is not said ‘his word is beautiful who calls to the path of Islam.’ Rather, it declares ‘his word is beautiful who calls to the path of Allah’, the common and central point of all religions, and around which their teachings revolve. Allah, God, Parmatma, Wahe Guru, or by whatever name you call Him – all His names are beautiful.
To call towards the path of Allah is highly essential for the survival of mankind today, but in what manner? This is what I am going to explain to you through this verse, which is so comprehensive and so universal in its application that, without reference to any religion, it conveys the message of peace to all humans alike.
Calling towards the path of Allah can also be understood in the sense that each member of every religion should begin to call to his own religion, believing it to be the path, This is a completely different area of the application of this verse and I am not going to take it up at this time — this moment in the twenty-four hours of the world!
The Key to World Peace
What I want to point out is that today, man is riddled with problems that present a very ominous future for mankind as a whole. The belief that we can fight it out among ourselves for our respective rights, and thus establish peace in the world, is absolutely false – it is a fool’s dream and nothing more. You cannot fight it out to gain peace! To achieve, or hope to achieve, peace you can only struggle and strive in the cause of goodness and peace, there is no other way and this is the most important, central and pivotal point of establishing world peace. Herein lies the very key to the solution of the world’s problems, a key that is, as such, always ignored. It is not respected and no one pays any real attention to this key.
I have been here in Canada many a time before and some cities of Canada have offered me their keys. I respected them, I kissed them, and I love them; but nobody cared for the key I offer, while it is a reality – a hard reality – that, today, this is the only key that can solve the world’s problems.
I will explain how. How would you call towards Allah – towards God – and in what way can it serve a useful purpose for the whole of mankind?
When we say that politics is secular in the world, it is secular in a good sense as well as in a bad sense. It is secular in a good sense because whenever politics is secular, it does not interfere in the domain of religion. What follows is a total freedom – an uninterrupted freedom – of the right of people to worship God as they please and to convey their message across to the rest of the world. As far as this aspect is concerned, I know and I have experienced that Canada has achieved it. But there is more to it than that, it is not just a freedom of choice that I am talking about.
Politics is secular in the wrong sense as well. Politics seems to be totally unconcerned with religious messages and the morality offered by religion. If politics is not concerned with ideological fights, dogmas and what ensues from the mass struggle of winning converts to one’s faith, it is fine. But, not to be concerned with the moral messages of religion, not to be interested in the moral teachings of all religions which are common and universal, is what is not right about politics.
Unless we introduce this new element into world politics, there can be no hope of peace whatsoever; and it is not merely a dogmatic claim, I can prove it.
Politics Should Be Based On Justice
Politics is secular, but politics is not just; politics is secular, but it is not universal. Universality can be added to politics only through the universal principles of morality, and that is what a politician does not care for. A politician thinks that he should not be concerned with it because, if he is a true politician, he must look inwards towards the interest of his own people. So, every politician, as part of a system and not through his own fault, has two faces – an inward-looking face and an outward-looking face – and there is such a paradox between the two faces.
It is the duty of a politician to be loyal to the cause of his people. That is all right, that is fine and good. Even if the dictates of justice require a politician to favour the cause of another country – rather than his country – the loyalty of the politician is still fixed in only that single direction.
This is another aspect of secularism that is so disturbing, and which stands in the way and obstructs the passage of peace.
You may have, many a time, heard American Presidents declare with the loudest of voices, heard all over the world, ‘Now, we are going to usher in a new era or World Order’– A ‘New Era or World Order?’ Loud words, but what is this world order?
Is it a total domination of the U.S. over the rest of the world? Is it an ‘Order’ of enforced peace whereby weak nations will have no choice but to follow the dictates of a powerful people – follow their dictates down to the very tunes they play?
New definitions of justice are made here and there, and they are always variable because they are not based on absolute religious principles. Justice changes its definition in Kuwait – in its application to the situation of the Gulf Crisis. It changes its definition in application to the situation of Palestine. It changes its definition in relation to the situation in the South American and Central American states. It changes its definition in application to Eastern European politics and particularly in relation to the Bosnian problem.
It goes on changing its definition from time to time and it is amazing how this jugglery goes on in the name of honour, in the name of justice and in the name of world peace; and no one raises a voice against this.
It is a hollow game! We are just like puppets whose strings are being drawn by unseen faces behind political facades. When shall we awaken to the realities of life, and how shall we change the face of politics so that it becomes universal – and there are no two faces to politics, just one? Unless we achieve this purpose – this noble goal – it is impossible to establish any ‘World Order’ in the world.
The Only Workable Solution
The Holy Qur’an offers a solution, and in fact, the only workable solution. It draws our attention, saying, “unless you call mankind to Allah, no problems which humans are facing can ever be resolved.” It does not speak of any religion – this is the most important point. It does not say that unless you become Muslims, unless you become Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Jews or by whatever names you call yourselves – world problems will not be solved. No religion is mentioned in the way of solving world problems – only that you call towards the path of Allah.
How can politicians join this struggle, or this holy war, against evil, in the universal common interest of Man? What are the ways of Allah? Which God will you call upon? This is what has been explained in the verses that follow and is the pivotal point that I am coming to: What do you mean by ‘Calling to Allah’? How do we know what Allah is? By which religion shall we learn?
What is Goodness?
The Holy Qur’an has already answered these questions: before his creation, in the very nature of Man, God had imprinted the Universal Concept of God; and he has only to refer to his own inner self — to his own conscience – to know what God is. God is Beauty – God is Goodness. And every man knows what beauty is and what goodness is. All the attributes of God are familiar to you because they are the same attributes that He has imprinted upon your own nature. When you see the truth, it always attracts you. When you see beauty, you are gravitated towards beauty by natural laws. So ‘beauty’ is the symbol of the attributes of God, and these attributes are familiar to all mankind, regardless of their geographical belonging, countries, races, etc.. Now, what is God in this sense – in the sense of universality? He is true, He is compassionate, and He is loving. He cares for those who cannot care for themselves. He is just, absolutely just, yet He is kind and forgiving.
Now, these are elements of goodness that can be introduced into any type of politics without compromising the politician’s position to be secular. In this sense, you are talking of secular values that are not clothed in any religion – not cloaked under any name. They are just values common to Man and are the same universally; and it is these towards which I am inviting you.
Goodness Is In You!
And when the Holy Qur’an says ‘Come back to Allah and call towards Allah’ it means, “all the goodness that you think God to be, and all the attributes that you believe are His, must be His, because you yourself respect these very attributes here in this world.” However, you only respect them when they are on your right side. You know that they are still worthy of respect even when they are on your wrong side, but then you reject them. Your conscience tells you that you are making a wrong decision, because they are the same attributes that you love intrinsically and intuitively – they are born in you, you live with them and you want everybody to behave to you exactly as if God was treating you with His beautiful attributes.
If somebody deals with you in any area of human interest – politics, economics or other social aspects of human life – and is true to you, you love him because of his truthfulness and there is no hesitation whatsoever. If he is honest, you love him because of his honesty. If he is kind to you, is forgiving, and helps you in areas where you need help, it is impossible for you to reject that behaviour in the name of secularism, saying “these are moral attitudes — they are godly attitudes – we do not care for them.” If you do that, that would be madness!
Return to the Universal Attributes of God
So, I am asking you to return from ‘madness’ to wisdom, because this ‘madness’ becomes really infectious in Man when he deals with rival nations, rival interests, and rival groups. In these situations, he prefers to be dealt with by the attributes of God in his case, but at the same time, he prefers to deal with others without those attributes because, in the latter case, you have to pay for them – you have to offer sacrifices.
So, this is my message to you and, through you, to the whole world: Return to the attributes of God, which are universal and are not prejudicial in any form.
And without this awakening – without this universal and everlasting wisdom – you cannot resolve any human problems, however loudly you may claim to be a wizard in resolving human problems. No power on earth can do that. It is impossible, unless all powers return to ‘absolute justice’, and unless all powers return to absolute morality in every form. But where is that ‘absolute justice’? How do we resolve this problem?
Politicians are not ‘mad’ – we know that; they are very wise people, otherwise they would not have risen to the levels they have risen to — albeit sometimes at the cost of morality!
This is a bargaining world, where selfish interests rule and where morality is to be accepted and respected only when it is on your side, but never when it favours your opponent. This is the dilemma – this is the global crisis that we are facing today; and the Holy Qur’an reminds you that this should be corrected, without which nothing can happen.
Immorality in Man
The ultimate purpose mentioned in the verses I have just quoted is ‘to turn your enemies into friends.’ How can you go about it – how can you do it so that there is no enmity left?
If there is enmity left, it is due to humans being crooked in their basic attitude to life, despite the fact that they were created for goodness. However, because of their choices and because of the havoc played by ego upon human goodness, in the ultimate analysis, Man emerges as an immoral animal – and it is that of what Karl Marx took note of.
That is where he laid his first brick of scientific socialism: he believed that human affairs cannot be corrected, or cannot be stabilised, unless the factors responsible for rivalries and classes in society are completely eradicated and Man is levelled down to a single base, without ups and downs. If there are differences of levels, and a Man is immoral, he will always try to pull down those who are above him and try to rise up, even stepping on the heads of others! This is what he saw and, to this extent, he was quite right.
But to treat immorality in Man with an immoral system was a contradiction in terms — it could not have happened. No system in the world can work without morality. This is what Karl Marx conveniently forgot, and due to this oblivion of his, the Communist world had to pay so dearly for the lack of morality.
People say it is Communism that failed. I say, “No!” Communism had other inherent weaknesses of course, I know, but it was the lack of morality that was responsible for the downfall of the Communist Empire, because the custodians of Communism were immoral. They were selfish and they utilised the power in their custody selfishly and immorally. If they had not done so, what we saw happening to the Berlin Wall would not have happened. It would have been a different world of Communism that would certainly have collapsed later on, but not as soon as it did.
The Ever-Powerful Economy
Returning to the issue, what is the crux of the problem I was discussing, and how can we resolve it? The Holy Qur’an reminds us to return to the concept of God. In this context, I am not treating this verse from the ‘preaching’ point of view, but from the point of view of ‘calling Man back to God’.
How can a politician be called back to God? There is a problem he faces: even if he is convinced of the truth of what I am saying and the sincerity with which I am saying it, it is impossible for any politician of the world to return to Absolute Morality and to God, because the economy rules politics all over the world.
The economy dictates its terms to politics, and as long as man is selfish – and man is selfish – it is impossible to ignore the economic interest of his own country in the name of any morality. And that is where the problem arises – that is where the problem is now deepening – and yet people do not see the writing on the wall. A new world has already emerged out of the ruins of the old one. Things are changing, new alliances are in the offing, and new groupings are being made – all for the fear of economic factors; as are choices on whether to be on this side of certain nations or on the other side. The dictation term is only economic!
All through the history of human conflict – all through the history of colonisation, by European powers, of the rest of the world – it was economy and economy alone that played the most pivotal role. As such, if the economy is dishonest, without morality and knows no unselfishness, or if it is ego which commands human economies, then a mere sermon on goodness, however powerful, will certainly fail to bring about a change in the political system of the world.
So talk of justice you may, but how will you make justice become a valid coin in human affairs? I am turning to that part now.
Capitalism and Interest-based Economies
It is time for us to realise that in this world of competition, economies are now tottering because of the Capitalist system. So, do not exult much in the so-called victory of Capitalism over Communism. You are in for surprises, because Capitalism also has inherent defects. Any financial system built on usury or interest is bound to lead to a global economic crisis.
I do not want to build this aspect further in detail. All of you, the guests as well as the hosts, are quite educated and intelligent and so I hope you will get the message that ‘the worst enemy of the world is an economy based on the system of usury and interest’.
It is this system of Capitalism that leads the world, again and again, to universal financial crises – which are bound to end up in global wars; and you cannot gainsay this – it is impossible to reject it. Look back at the history of the First World War; go beyond the history of the First World War to the causes of the first global war and the second global war. You will always notice a preceding global economic crisis – a direct result of the system of Capitalism based on usury and interest. It plays havoc with your peace and your security; your industry and your commerce. You do not see it because you are shortsighted- made shortsighted by your ego factor and your immediate interests. This is the most ugly part that ego plays in human life. Ego is shortsighted. It desires to have something HERE and NOW, and does not care to look ahead in time as to what results would follow from this egoistic attitude of Man.
Again, I would like to be brief but the subject is very vast and you have to be convinced of what I am telling you; otherwise, just my telling you “Come, return to God” will be meaningless.
Money Cannot Grow by Itself
You are sitting on a bough that you are severing on the wrong side – it is bound to fall, with you! You have seen it happen many a time before. Tomorrow, you will see it happen again if you do not realise the folly of repeating the mistakes that have always led the world into horrendous global wars. How the economy of the world can be rectified is something that is, at present, beyond the power of economists, and politicians, even to attempt.
This is so because the entire global system is based on the Capitalist philosophy of interest that, in turn, is based on the false notion that accumulated money, if left idle, must grow. They forget that money cannot grow without being wedded to human faculties. It can grow as well as lose value and this second part – this second reality – is not yet borne upon the minds of the world’s economists. They continue to treat money as if it MUST grow by itself.
This is why whatever you deposit in the banks grows in your favour and wherever you borrow from the banks must grow in favour of the banks. But, it is done without justice because the lending hand is more powerful than the receiving hand. So, in the Capitalist system, it is the banks that dictate the terms and, as such, society is always on the receiving end. Again, this is something that has to be elaborated upon at quite some length, and we do not have time for that.
You Are Borrowing From Your Future
Briefly speaking, I assure you that as long as the global economy is run on the basis of interest, there is no hope for mankind whatsoever. It is not pessimism – it is realism!
Imagine what you, yourself, do to your own people, to your own economy and to your own future by giving opportunity to your citizens to spend what they have not yet earned – borrowing from their future, and at high cost! This is exactly what the current economic system of the world is. Through banks, a person has the opportunity to borrow – not from the banks – but from his own future! He has to pay back to the banks what he would earn in the future and much more than what he was lent. His loan multiplies and the responsibility to pay back multiplies.
When you look at a cross-section of such a society (the entire Western economy in particular and other subservient economies), you immediately realise that they are becoming enriched and flourishing, at least superficially, in the following way:
Banks lend money to those who spend money, increasing their buying power. With that increase of buying power, industry flourishes, the economy flourishes and you see a sudden boom in economic activity. Everybody is so happy, “I want a refrigerator – I want a deep freezer – I want a microwave oven! It is impossible to buy them with my present earnings so, through banks, I will borrow from my own future, and at what cost? I will borrow one hundred dollars and will have to pay back from the future three, four, five hundred dollars, or even more.”
Collapse of Such Economies
So, a time comes when the whole system is saturated. There is nothing more for the banks to lend unless they receive money back
In addition, earning power is also adversely affected in such periods of inflation. Often, while borrowing from the future and adding to your present earnings, you are ‘capable’ of earning more; but when you have to pay back through your nose, your earning power is reduced. What you have to pay back is far more than what you received.
It is such times that economies collapse – it is impossible to sustain them. Industries shut down, big shopping centres come to a close, and there is dullness everywhere. It can only be remedied by expanding your markets in the rest of the world because, through this system, it is impossible to maintain the growth rate in the internal market of the country. This is known scientifically as dialectical materialism. Marx did not look at it as such, but he rejected capitalism on the basis of usury and, perhaps, that was the reason, as he understood, for the rejection of capitalism in every form. But he is not the subject today, so I do not want to discuss him further.
The Frantic Search for New Markets
What I want to draw your attention to is that every time economies reach the final stage of collapse and crisis, governments frantically make efforts to enlarge their foreign markets. And a race ensues, which creates bitter jealousies. Erstwhile friends, erstwhile people belonging to the same political group, are no longer trustworthy friends because politics is immoral – it is secular – and the interest of the nation is supreme. Every other interest has to be sacrificed at the altar of personal interest.
So, when you search for foreign markets, almost all other economies are also suffering from the same problem – and at the same time – because a financial crisis develops in the world, on a larger area than the areas of individual countries. So, what would then follow would be a mad race for the capture of foreign markets, and if the foreign markets have been impoverished so much that they cannot help sustain your economies, then the crisis will be doubly serious and the situation may go out of hand sooner than you fear.
Inevitable Global War
As such, the Third World War cannot be averted by any political jugglery. If anybody believes it can be, I pity him! The hard facts that I have laid bare before you reject the concept of any political jugglery being able to establish world peace or justice and fair play in human affairs.
It is the economy that will rule – that will dictate – and a politician, if honest, will not be able to hold his position in his country because of the ‘crime’ of his honesty. He will have to go and dishonest people will be elected in place of the honest politicians who cannot compromise with their conscience.
Rectify Yourself First
It is to this that the Holy Qur’an invites your attention. It says “Call the world to the ways of Allah – to Allah’s Attributes”. But when you do so, rectify yourself first. Do not issue a call, in the name of God, for bringing mankind back to God, while you yourself are away from God.
Look at the grand pronouncements issued by the presidents of big world powers, now and before. They always speak in good terms – they always speak in terms of ‘world peace’, in terms of ‘justice’ –but are they just within their own countries?
Is their own country at peace? If it is in turmoil, if crime is rampant, if peace is broken on every street and dashed to the ground in every home, then making the tall claim of inviting people to peace and to God would be just a hollow and meaningless claim – if not fraud! It is both! It is a meaningless claim and also a big fraud played upon the world. The first condition laid by the Holy Qur’an, before you are entitled to call the world to God – towards the attributes of God – is: show those attributes in your own conduct and in your own behaviour.
Can it happen? This is the point – can it happen today? Keeping the factors that I have just presented to you in the focus of your attention, find an answer from your own selves. This is not pessimism. For God’s sake, please do not misunderstand me – this is realism carried to the utmost. It is something unavoidable – it is impossible to change the face of the earth without realising the forces and factors that I have just presented before you.
The ‘Mafias’ of Capitalism
The first question that must be dealt with is how can your economy be reformed in the sense that your crisis is not transferred to the rest of the world? The problem lies not only in the system of capitalism, but also in the ‘children of capitalism’ – the ‘Mafias’ of money that are created in the process of capitalistic governments or capitalist economies. When money becomes everything, when materialism becomes your goal of life, when you cannot see beyond it, then your selfishness commands you more firmly than ever before and you do not care for values at all.
Then the ‘Mafias’ grow in the name of modern music, in the name of modern pursuits of pleasure, in this name, in that name, and make you addicted to such false standards of life that, in reality, the economy cannot sustain. This is another aspect of the problem and, coupled with what I have told you, this attitude plays havoc with human peace and with any future chances of human peace ever starting.
These ‘Mafias’ are very powerful. They pervert taste intentionally so that their absolute command over that sector of the economy becomes permanent. And the perversion of society’s taste to a level which society cannot reach as a whole, invites crime, invites disorder, invites the shattering of peace within your homes, streets and cities.
This is what is happening to you, why do you not see it? You are sitting on a moving platform that is moving towards the edge of a precipice – a waterfall. Once you reach it, there will be no return from there! So, for God’s sake, open your eyes to these realities. Without returning to God, there is no hope for mankind whatsoever.
Lower Your Standard of Living
The first criterion for a politician to be able to cope with these problems would be the ability to call ‘a spade a spade’. A very simple criterion but very hard to meet.
When a politician knows that the raising of standards at a certain turn of the economy is impossible, except at the cost of moral values, then he should lead the people back to a lower standard of life. It is not only possible; it is essential for your survival – for the survival of any economy. But a politician who declares “I will lower your standard of living substantially – to a level that can be supported by the economy” will be ousted from politics. Again, unfortunately, it is a dilemma – how tragic, but it is so – that politicians will be rejected because the tastes of people have become perverted, and have been permitted to become perverted. It is getting late for the politician to realise this. When he permits the formation of these ‘Mafias’, of radio, television and the advertising industry, etc., he is fighting a cause against himself. He can never make the people see the light of the day. So, he is riding a wave crest that is moving rapidly towards a catastrophe from which, as I said, it is impossible to return.
Politicians Should Unite for This Cause
According to the Qur’an, the first advice I would render is ‘return to the simplicity of life – to the realities of life. Fight out evil with the help of Hasanah, which means ‘goodness’. So, fight the evil of society with a concept that is basically good. You should tell them that “we must learn to live within our capacities; we must learn to share the miseries of others; we must learn to share our happiness with others, within the country. Unless we are ready to do that, it is impossible to change the international relationship between one people and another.”
Try it at your own homes first! If you wage a war against evil, being united – if all the political parties are united on this: ‘that to gain selfish advantage out of this dilemma will be tabooed — will be forbidden – and we will all speak the same language, and we will fight our respective interests on other grounds, but not on the grounds of morality;’ – if they are united, and if they have the courage and wisdom to be united on this issue, then there is hope – there is a possibility that things will begin to change.
Canada as a Model for the World
And when I said [previously] that “I want Canada to be the world and the world to be Canada”, it was in this sense that I said it – not in generalised terms, of course. It is a compliment, but a compliment of a religious person who loves truth. It is not a hollow compliment just to please you with a phrase.
What I meant, and still mean, is that in Canada, I find a glimmer of hope because I know even the politicians – even the politicians, I say! – are innocent, deep inside. They want goodness. They are not mechanised – they are not totally formalised. There is still a sense of humanity underlying their attitudes, which is rare to see in politics — it is unique, in fact, in Canada.
So, it is with the Canadian character that I hope to work, because here my community stands much better chances of making Canadians see the realities of life the way I am showing them – the way the Holy Qur’an has shown me – and convince them that it is not a question of the message of the Qur’an, it is not a question of the message of Islam, it is a question of a message of the heart – which is universal – about which you can testify within yourself that it is true.
Truth and Economic Sacrifices
So, first of all, as I said, be realistic and that is truth. Truth is not just to bear witness that I saw someone doing this and I saw someone not doing that – truth is far deeper and far wider. It penetrates every sphere of human life, down to the roots of intentions. So, the truth is, as I said in the simplest definition, ‘to call a spade a spade’.
You should tell your people that it is impossible for us to rectify economic wrongs without returning to lower standards where we can share our miseries in common with other citizens of our country, and where we will try to extend our pleasures to others who cannot have them by themselves. And then, the entire economic planning will have to be changed.
This lowering of standards is not a punishment, it is a pleasure! What I am saying might be amazing, yet it is true. If you lower your standards for a good and just cause, you gain a sense of nobility – you feel a sense of nobility born within you which is a reward in itself! And no better reward than that can be imagined.
The Sacrifice of Prophets
Why are prophets sacrificial throughout their lives? Why do they waste the only life span that is offered them here on earth by pursuing goodness at the cost of their own comfort and pleasure? Are they mad? Certainly not! Their future proves that they were the wisest people of their age.
What happened to Jesus Christ(as)? All his life, he sacrificed every second – every moment – of his pleasure for the sake of mankind, and suffered at the hand of those whom he wanted to reform. He was not mad – nor was he without ego – but his ego was of a higher nature, of a far more refined quality than the ego of a common man. When he suffered for the sake of goodness, he really could enjoy it, because the sense of nobility born with it was ample reward for his acts of goodness and sacrifice.
This is not only true in the case of Jesus Christ(as) ;it is true in the case of every prophet of God. Their ‘madness’ can be analysed only in these terms that they see higher values than those who are ‘low-based (who see pleasures in material gains, but do not know how to enjoy pleasures in sacrificing material gains for the sake of others). Every time such a heart-warming bargain is made, the person who gives, receives more pleasure than the person who receives. This is the basic lesson of human psychology that is so often forgotten, unfortunately. Try to be good to others and then you will know the pleasure of sacrifice!
Sharing the Suffering of Others
Why are mothers so ‘mad’? They wake up all night for their suffering children and cry for them. If you invite that mother to sleep, and admonish her, “why are you wasting your time and your comfort for the sake of a child who will suffer anyway, whether you are awake or not,” she will turn to you as if you were her most bitter enemy. She would respond, “what do you mean, what are you advising me? How can I sleep while my child is awake? It is impossible!” But where is the reward? The reward is the realisation that she is suffering with her child.
So, to share suffering becomes pleasure of a very high order, which cannot be imagined by people who are only engrossed in materialism. So, a return to these values would sustain you in hours of trial, and in hours of trouble. This is the only hope for mankind. Return to the basic human values that are the values of God. This is the meaning of ‘God has shaped you after Himself’.
The Power of Truth
The treasure is in your hearts, accessible to you, but you do not delve deep enough to reach that treasure. So you have to become admonishers before you can become good politicians. You have to become realistic, a lover of truth, before you can ever hope to lead your people to emancipation from the problems possessing them, and which have enslaved them.
So, this is the message: Remove evil with the help of Hasanah, which is goodness. That is the only way you can turn your enemies into your friends. A simple truth, but so sound – so profound, and so powerful that when ignored, you will be punished for that folly of yours! You cannot ignore truth and yet, NOT suffer — it is impossible — this is the beauty of truth.
If you know it to be true that fire burns, and you discard this piece of knowledge and disrespect it, and violate the principles of nature, and poke your finger into fire, it will burn – there is no way for you to escape — except by acquiring some insulation, of course! But what is the sense of poking your finger into fire by insulating it all around? Why not abstain from such folly? The reality of truth is the most dominant reality, which can never be ignored without paying the cost of ignoring it.
Return to the Realities of Life
This is my first message to you: Return to the realities of life; understand what is happening to the country. You know that the wealth God has provided you is quite sufficient for the decent living of every Canadian – and more – but you have to scale down to reality. This is the point – it is as simple as that!
So, start a movement of reducing artificial standards and returning to a normal base which is economically viable and supportable. Then, the economy will again flourish from then on. It is a natural law that cannot be avoided – cannot be ignored, because… it again requires a longish explanation, but I am not going to enter into it. Believe me, when you return to truth and justice, it sends you upward, back from where you had descended. It begins to support you, to higher levels.
An economy can only be made healthy when you diagnose the disease, and this is the disease that I have diagnosed before you. Once diagnosed – once you accept the message of that diagnosis – that is the cure for the trouble. Every diagnosis that is correct is in itself a recipe for the cure.
So, understand the message and accept it with good grace. Make a hard effort towards gaining this goal and I assure you that you will rise as a unique country in the whole world. Only then will you become a model, not otherwise. Then will you become a paragon of virtue for the rest of the world to emulate and only then can mankind be retrieved from this utter mess it has let itself into.
The Solution for Unemployment
Once, in Germany, I suggested that when economies are under pressure, when people are being laid off – it is crime on the part of society to lay off people – the only possible solution for such crises is to reduce wages to a level where all people who can work are provided work at lesser remuneration. You pay for labour at a lower rate and all available labour will be put into work, and you do not realise what a boon it would create for the economy. To begin with, everybody will share the suffering of a weak economy by reducing his standard of living, and in a country like Canada, even if the standards are lowered by many degrees, you can still live decently.
And if you live decently, but get problems in the bargain, for the sake of a good cause, for the sake of nobility, then this experience will become so enjoyable that it will not remain a punishment. And then your cheap labour will create a revolution in your economy, and then this cycle will re-build the economy itself.
But it is not for this end that I invite you! I invite you for a totally unselfish reason: return to God because that is the only way – there is no other option. And return to God with total submission.
God is One
Return to that characteristic of God of which you are informed by every religion, maybe in different terms but the essence remains the same. God in Hinduism is as good as God elsewhere in the world. The God of Christianity, the god of Judaism, the God of Islam – God is One – This is the meaning of the Unity of God. His beauty is One, and this is universal and unchangeable.
The Beauty of God – in You
So, without returning to beauty, how can you escape ugliness? Human crime, injustice and unequal treatment of man at the hands of man are examples of ugliness. And the only solution which is viable, which is understandable and which is logical, is the solution to return to beauty. And to what beauty?
If you conceive beauty with reference to your personal interests, then beauty will change its definition everywhere in the world and it will no longer be beauty. The only reference point for correctly defining beauty is the reference point of God – and you know that. He is in you, He lives within you and you do not realise it. You do not have the awareness and consciousness of living all your life with God, and are yet ignoring Him. Stop committing this crime – this is suicide!
Return to these values, however difficult the task may appear to you – that is the only hope. So I leave the comments on the remaining part of the verses because it would consume much more time.
I Have Delivered the Message
But here, let me consider it sufficient to say that I have delivered the message. I think you know what I mean, and I hope you are convinced of the deep truth of what I am telling you. How to get across? – I have suggested a means, but that is not the only way. You can apply your minds, but first you must decide that you will be wedded to truth and that you will never be divorced from the wedding.
Remain adherent, remain loyal, to truth.
In whatever form you may be loyal to truth, and wherever you may be loyal to truth, it will repay you. Truth always repays!
So, I hope you will awaken to these realities and I hope, because I know that if there is any glimmer of hope for any political system to be reformed, it is here in Canada! If you do not rise up to the task, if you shun your responsibility here, then I am afraid there can be no hope for the rest of the world.
Allah bless you! Allah give you strength! May Allah help you return to Him! And may the world return to peace through you! Allah bless you! Amin!