One of the eventful incidents of the Third Khilafat was the ‘Deliverance of Jesus from The Cross Conference’(1) that took place in The Royal Commonwealth Institute in Kensington in London from 2 June to 4 June, 1978. The event was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of the United Kingdom.
Scholars from the principal faiths read papers discussing the events surrounding the Crucifixion. The explanation provided by the Promised Messiah(as) regarding the death of Jesus(as) were presented. Sir Zafrulla Khan and Sahibzada M.M. Ahmad also gave presentations.
The Church put out a statement refusing to be drawn into the debate that had been re-opened by the unveiling of the Turin Shroud and now this Conference and trying to dismiss the Ahmadiyya Muslim community as not representing the teachings of Islam. In his address (reproduced below), Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru) refuted the Christian doctrine of resurrection and redemption. He reaffirmed the oneness of Allah and beautifully expounded the status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). The conference was well attended with extensive international media coverage leading up to the Conference.
Address by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful – We praise Him and call down blessings on His noble Messenger; and on His servant, the Promised Messiah.
All worthiness of perfect Praise belongs to Allah alone Who is One and Peerless.
The scope of this conference is very wide and it has many ramifications. You have heard several expositions of the main problem from diverse angles. I shall confine myself to drawing your attention to some fundamental considerations that should enable you to view the whole matter in its proper perspective, and to arrive at the right conclusion.
The Unity of God is the basic reality of the universe. God is One and has no associate. Nothing and no one is like unto Him He is Unique in His being and His attributes. No being is like unto His being, nor are the qualities of anything like unto His attributes. In His being, as well as in His attributes, He is Eternal and Ever-Existing and Unchangeable. His knowledge encompasses all that is manifest and all that is hidden. He knows the overt and the covert of everything. His knowledge is inherent in Him and is not bestowed by, or derived from, any teacher, and is without limit; while the knowledge of man requires a teacher and is limited.
God is One and without associate. He has no son and no consort. He manifests Himself to His righteous servants in visions, but He has neither shape nor form. God possesses all perfect attributes and manifests all praiseworthy qualities. He is the Source of all good and comprehends all Power. He is the Creator of everything and is the Master of all. All grace proceeds from Him and He determines everything. He has a personal relationship with everything. All life is derived from Him and is maintained by Him. He possesses every perfection and is free from every defect, default and weakness. He alone is worthy of worship by all who are on the earth and in heaven.
Man cannot determine the purpose of his life on his own, inasmuch as he did not come into this world of his own will, nor will he depart from it by his own choice. He Who has created man can alone inform him of the purpose for which he has been created. He has revealed in the Holy Qur’an:
And I have not created the Jinn and the men, but that they may worship Me. (Ch.51:V.57)
Man has been called upon to worship God not by compulsion but of his own volition. To enable him to do so, God has bestowed upon him two basic faculties. One, he has been bestowed the faculty whereby he can suppress his low desires and safeguard himself against sin. Secondly, he has been bestowed the faculty whereby he can arrive at a stage in the love of God Almighty, in which he wholly forgets all that is beside God. For the direction of these two faculties God has provided man with heavenly guidance and law.
The Christians subscribe to the doctrine that God so loved the world that, to bestow salvation upon man, He placed the burden of the sins of the whole of mankind upon His son Jesus, and made him accursed by bringing about his death upon the cross. According to some, Jesus(as) passed three days and three nights in hell, as atonement for the sins of mankind, and was then restored to life, and thus provided the means of salvation for those who might believe in him. In this way the supposed conflict between the Divine attribute of Justice, which demanded punishment, and the Divine attribute of Mercy, which demanded forgiveness, was resolved.
Islam considers that this design offends against reason, and is unacceptable from every point of view. Looked at from the point of view of justice, it is clearly unjust that an innocent one should be punished for the sins of the guilty. From the point of view of spiritual philosophy, sin means rebellion against God and His commandments and thus becoming bereft of His love. How can man win through to the obedience and love of God, by depriving God, the son, of the obedience and love of God, the Father?
Islam teaches that in order to find God, it is necessary for a person to discard all vice, and this can be achieved only through such recognition of God Almighty as fills the heart with the realisation of God’s Majesty and Greatness, and instils His fear in the human soul. To win the love of God it is necessary to love Him to a degree that entails losing oneself altogether in Him, and gaining a new and pure life from Him.
As the highest excellence of man is the winning of Divine love, as testified to by the witness of millions of the righteous, it follows that the true purpose of human life is the winning of God’s love and nearness to Him. Islam teaches that perfect recognition of God is the root of fear, and love, and appreciation of Him. He who is bestowed perfect recognition, is also bestowed perfect fear and perfect love.
Man’s true love of God attracts the love of God and the true lover of God, who is wholly devoted to God, in turn becomes the beloved of God. Such true and perfect love cannot subsist along with the wrath of God and the fire of hell. One of the signs of such perfect love is that such a lover deems the disobedience of his Beloved, and His displeasure, a poison, and is all the time apprehensive lest, in consequence of any sin or disobedience on his part, his Beloved should cut asunder from him.
Thus he who is bestowed perfect fear and perfect love is safeguarded against all sin, inasmuch as sin proceeds from fearlessness or daring. This is true salvation, and for such salvation we do not stand in need of any blood or any crucifixion, nor do we need any atonement. All that we need is the sacrifice of the ego. This demands that the nurture and development of our natural faculties should be carried out under the guidance of the One True God, Who is also the Creator of our nature.
God is the source of all beauty and all light. His benevolence is so vast that His favours and bounties are without number. Such beauty and benevolence impress upon every heart the truth that all perfect delight is to be found in God, and that to be cast away from Him is ruinous hell. Thus it is an impossibility that true recognition and disobedience should find room in a human heart at the same time.
Salvation does not mean merely deliverance from punishment of sin. Salvation means the achievement of that eternal prosperity after which human nature thirsts, and which can be acquired only through true recognition of God, perfect fear and perfect love, and the establishment of a true and strong relationship with God.
Reflection upon the meaning of justice and mercy reveals that there is no conflict between them. Justice means that the rights of people should be safeguarded and that if one person trespasses against another, the one who is wronged should be restored his right specifically, and if that should not be possible, he should be justly compensated, and that the trespasser should be duly chastised so that order is maintained and wrong-doing is suppressed.
Justice comes into play as a result of reason and regulation.
The concept of Justice also involves the concept of law. It is Divine law that establishes rights between people. He who contravenes Divine law departs from justice and becomes guilty of sin in Divine estimation.
The punishment of an offender by God Almighty in the hereafter is not a right the enforcement of which can be demanded by the wronged person. If God Almighty should forgive one who has committed a wrong against his brother and should compensate the wronged one richly in contrast with earthly values, it cannot be reasonably said that the demands of justice cannot be met unless the offender is cast into hell.
The truth is that God Almighty, out of His limitless mercy, bestowed His law and guidance upon nations without any right on their side, in order to provide for their welfare. Out of such mercy, divine law regulated their relationship with each other on the basis of justice. Thus justice is in effect a consequence of Divine mercy, and this fountain of human welfare flows out of that source. Had there been no mercy, no guidance, no revealed law and no rights had been established between men, there would have been no concept of trespass or of justice.
Thus the doctrine that Divine justice cannot be fulfilled without atonement is meaning-less, and it is a fallacy that justice and mercy cannot be combined in the Divine Being, inasmuch as justice demands punishment and mercy demands forgiveness and forbearance. As we have just indicated, Divine justice is also an aspect of Divine mercy, for it has been instituted for the benefit of man. The Divine law which gives rise to the concept of justice establishes reciprocal rights between people, and all these rights have been instituted by God Almighty so that order may be maintained and one group should not create disorder by trespassing against another group. All the rights and penalties that relate to life, property and honour are a manifestation of mercy for mankind. The Gospels do not affirm that theft, embezzlement, robbery, murder and false witness become permissible in consequence of the atonement of Jesus(as), and that the penalties prescribed therefore are remitted. Every offence carries its own penalty, which is still enforced by the Christian courts.
The belief that God, of His infinite mercy, can bestow unlimited reward upon man in respect of his limited righteous action negates altogether the notion of any one becoming accursed for the purpose of securing man’s salvation.
The Unity of God has been repeatedly proclaimed in the Bible. Prophet after prophet was raised to establish the Unity of the Divine. Not a single prophet in Israel announced that God had any associate.
In the idiom of the Bible, men have often been called gods or sons of God. If Jesus has been called the son of God, he occupies no higher status than those who were also called sons of God.
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. He is Self-Existing, and everything else exists only with His support. If His support were to be withdrawn for a second, the universe would be totally upset. This Mighty Being, Who possesses every good attribute and is free from every defect, weakness and fault, can neither suffer death, nor be killed, nor be crucified.
The Holy Qur’an has affirmed the truth by pronouncing that Jesus(as) was delivered from death on the cross, and was safeguarded against an accursed death. The Gospels also bear witness to this truth, inasmuch as Jesus(as) had described his resemblance to Jonah, and every Christian knows that Jonah had not died in the belly of the whale. If Jesus(as) lay dead in the sepulchre, what resemblance was there between him and Jonah?
It is also well known that after his deliverance from the cross, Jesus (as) exhibited his wounds to the disciples. If he had been bestowed a new life of glory, how is it that the wounds of his earthly life were visible on his glorious body?
These are myths on which the doctrine of the godhead of Jesus had been constructed. But the time is coming; indeed it has arrived, when God Almighty will blow away all these myths like minute particles.
Jesus(as) was a Divine Messenger and was a favoured and holy man. It is the height of injustice to conceive, even for a moment, that such a chosen one was hanged upon the cross and, dying on it, became accursed. The favoured servants of God Almighty and His beloved Messengers, who lose themselves in their love for God and, out of that love, discard this mortal life, and are invested with a new and holy life, are bestowed the blessing that they are able to purify others from the stain of accursedness, and cannot become accursed themselves. They may be nailed to the cross, but if death by crucifixion is truly an accursed death, it becomes necessary that such chosen servants of God should be delivered from such a death, and should be safeguarded against its stain.
In Arabic and Hebrew, the concept of curse is related to the heart and a person can be called accursed only if in truth his heart turns away from God, and becomes black, and is bereft of God’s mercy, and is deprived altogether of the love of God and is emptied of all recognition of God and, becoming blind and bereft like Satan, is filled with the poison of misguidance, and retains not a ray of the light of the love and recognition of God, and cuts asunder from all relationship with God, and is filled with rancour and hatred and disgust and enmity towards God, so that God becomes his enemy and is disgusted with him, and he is disgusted with God. It is thus clear that the concept of curse is so vicious and unholy, that it cannot apply to any righteous one who entertains the love of God in his heart. The Christians could not have reflected on the meaning of becoming accursed, at the time of inventing this doctrine, for if they had done so, it is not possible that they should have used this expression for a righteous one like Jesus(as). Can it be said that at any time the heart of Jesus(as) had, in truth, turned away from God, and had denied God, and was disgusted with God, and had become the enemy of God? Can we imagine that the heart of Jesus(as) ever felt that it had turned away from God, and had become the enemy of God, and was plunged into the darkness of disbelief and denial? Such a concept is not only inconsistent with the station of prophethood and messengership of Jesus(as), but is also inconsistent with his claim of excellence and holiness, and love, and recognition of the Divine, mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels.
A study of the Gospels reveals that Jesus(as) affirmed that he was the light of the world, was a guide, and had an exalted relationship of love with God, and had been bestowed a holy birth by God, and was His beloved son. Then how can the unholy concept of curse be applied to the heart of Jesus(as), in view of his permanent and holy relationship with God? It is thus proved without a doubt that Jesus(as) did not die on the cross, inasmuch as he was safeguarded from the consequences of death upon the cross. As he did not die on the cross, his heart was fully secured against the unholy condition of becoming accursed. That being so, there was no resurrection, and no bodily ascent to heaven, as these are links of the same vicious chain.
The Gospels reveal several other factors which refute the notion that Jesus(as) ascended bodily to heaven. It is not necessary to set them out in detail on this occasion. It is well-known that Pontius Pilate held Jesus(as) guiltless, his wife was warned in her dream that Jesus(as) should not be put to trouble, he so arranged that Jesus(as) was not put upon the cross till the afternoon of Friday, a few hours before sunset; the onset of a storm and the spread of darkness necessitated the removal of Jesus(as) from the cross even ahead of sunset, his bones were not broken. In these circumstances, a healthy young man of 33 years, of strong physique and good habits, could not have succumbed within so short a time. He did become unconscious, and was taken down from the cross in that condition. His wounds were treated with an ointment that the disciples had already prepared in view of Divine prophecies, and which has since been known as the Ointment of Jesus. His body was wrapped in a linen cloth fourteen feet and three inches long, and four feet and seven inches wide and was laid in a spacious rock-hewn chamber. He was so ministered unto that, despite having undergone severe physical suffering, and his still fresh wounds, he was soon able to go about his normal life.
It is worthy of note that the Ointment of Jesus(as) is not mentioned in any of the books of medicine that were compiled before the event of the crucifixion, but it is mentioned in more than a thousand authoritative medical books, compiled after the event of the crucifixion with the explanation that it had been prepared for Jesus(as). The authors of these books belong to all religious denominations. Millions of people have had access to these books and the world of Christianity has known of this ointment over the centuries and has made use of it, and is thus a silent witness that this ointment was prepared for use on the body of Jesus(as).
The disciples of Jesus(as) bear witness that a few days after the event of the crucifixion they beheld, on the physical body of Jesus, the marks of the wounds and injuries that had been inflicted upon him in the course of the process of crucifixion. They beheld only the physical body of Jesus(as), and did not observe any glorified manifestation.
There is the evidence of the disciples that Jesus(as) travelled in their company for a few miles on his way to Galilee, and that, at their request, he passed a night with them at Emmaus.
The disciples bear witness that Jesus(as) was at that time hungry, and asked them for food, and was given broiled fish and a honeycomb to eat. This also confirms that he was then in his physical body, and had not discarded it for a spiritual, or a glorified manifestation.
All this shows that Jesus(as) comported himself, after the event of the crucifixion, all the time, according to the requirements of a physical, material body, eating, drinking, sleeping and travelling, which activities are utterly inconsistent with his having discarded his physical body, and having assumed a glorified spiritual manifestation. It is worthy of reflection how, having been invested with a glorious and immortal body, free from the needs of a mortal body, with which he was to sit on the right hand of God Almighty, and which was free from every stain, pain or defect, and was illumined with eternal Divine glory, he still bore the marks of his injuries and suffered pain and was subject to all the needs and requirements to which a physical body is subject.
It is thus obvious that Jesus(as) did not die upon the cross, nor was he invested with a new glorious body but had become unconscious on the cross and had the appearance of one who had died.
The reported affirmation of Jesus(as): ‘But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee’ (Matt. 26:32), does not cast any doubt on his deliverance from the cross. It is no wonder that a person who was nailed to the cross and had become unconscious so that he appeared to be dead, should, after regaining consciousness, feel that he had risen again. In this context, the expression ‘risen again’ cannot mean coming back to life after suffering death. There is no doubt, however, that the deliverance of Jesus, in all the circumstances of his crucifixion, was a great miracle and was not a normal event.
The Holy Qur’an affirms that neither the Jews, nor the Christians, had a firm belief that Jesus(as) had died on the cross. God Almighty had created circumstances at the time of the crucifixion, wherefrom the Jews and the Christians assumed that Jesus(as) had died on the cross, but they had no clear proof available to satisfy them that Jesus(as) had died on the cross for certain. The evidence that has now become available establishes that God Almighty had delivered Jesus(as) from death on the cross. God Almighty has caused the proofs and the reasons which had remained hidden, to be manifested in the days of the Promised Messiah(as), whereby it has been established, as clearly as the bright day, that Jesus(as) did not die on the cross and that loved one of God was spiritually exalted. In this context the following Pronouncement of the Promised Messiah(as) has great significance:
‘It was God’s design that the shining weapon, and the truth disclosing reasoning, that should put an end to the doctrine of the cross, should be made manifest to the world by the Promised Messiah(as), inasmuch as the Holy Prophet(saw) had prophesied that the religion of the cross would not enter upon its decline, nor would its progress be restrained, till the Promised Messiah(as) appears in the world. It is he who would achieve the breaking of the cross. This prophecy indicated that under God’s design, in the time of the Promised Messiah(as), means would become available whereby the reality of the event of the crucifixion would become manifest. That will be the end of this doctrine. It will not be brought about through war or fighting, but through heavenly means, which will be made manifest in the shape of knowledge and reason. It was, therefore, necessary that heaven should hold back this evidence and these decisive proofs, till the Promised Messiah (as) should appear in the world. So it has come about. Now that the Promised one has appeared, all eyes will open and people will reflect that God’s Messiah having come, minds will now be illumined and hearts will pay attention, and pens will gain strength, and loins will be girded up. Now every fortunate one will be bestowed intelligence, and every right-thinking one will be bestowed wisdom, inasmuch as that which shines in heaven also illumines the earth. Blessed are those who partake of this light and fortunate is the one who is bestowed a portion of it.’ (Jesus in India, pp.64-65).
It is necessary to point out that the Holy Shroud of Turin possesses no particular significance in the estimation of the members of the Ahmadiyya Movement. It is true that this linen cloth has been preserved in the Christian world, with great care and reverence, through centuries. It is either genuine, that is to say, it is the very linen cloth in which the body of Jesus(as) was wrapped-up, after it had been treated with the Ointment of Jesus, or it is a fabrication. It is for the Christian world to determine, after careful investigation and research, whether it is genuine or not. If it is not genuine, why has it been given so much importance and why has it been held in such great honour? If it is genuine, the evidence that it furnishes, in support of the removal of the body of Jesus(as) from the cross while he was still alive, is not in itself fundamental and indispensable. It is merely corroborative. Even if this genuine piece of linen cloth had been lost, its loss would not have detracted in the very least from the very important and plentiful evidence which establishes that, after his deliverance from the cross and his restoration to health, Jesus(as) continued his ministry for a long time among the lost tribes of Israel. The tribes believed in him and it was the result of his teaching that when they came to know of the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw), they were able to recognise his truth and became Muslims.
Thus the Holy Shroud has not the character of the missing link in the chain of evidence in support of the deliverance of Jesus(as) from the cross. If the shroud is a fabrication, the Christians are responsible for according undeserved reverence to it. If it is genuine, it is additional evidence in support of our thesis, and adds to our knowledge on the subject. But if it is not genuine, it does not in any way detract from the knowledge that we possess. The Divine purpose of the raising of a prophet is that the people among whom the prophet is raised may be delivered from their vicious life, and by acting upon the guidance furnished through the prophet, should advance towards the One True God and win His love. Jesus(as) was raised among the children of Israel. It is a historical fact that only a portion of two tribes of Israel dwelt in Palestine at the time of the advent of Jesus(as).
Ten of the twelve tribes had, through various causes, been dispersed through Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Kashmir. Large Jewish settlements had been established in Kashmir, and they were ‘lost’ not only because they had been cut-off from their original home, but they were also ‘lost’ in the sense that they had been weaned away from the law of Moses, and many of them had become Buddhists, or idol-worshipping Hindus.
One of the two principal purposes of the advent of Jesus(as) was, that he should re-establish these lost sheep of the house of Israel on the true teachings of the law of Moses(as), and should win back those who had become Buddhists into the fold of Moses(as) and into the obedience of the Mosaic law, and to re-establish those who had become Hindus on the Unity of God, and obedience to Mosaic law. Jesus(as) achieved great success in this mission and all these ten tribes achieved the good fortune of believing in the Prophethood of Jesus(as), and became firmly established on the Unity of God.
Jesus(as) was the last prophet in the Mosaic dispensation, and there was to be no other prophet in Israel after him. Prophethood was to be cut off from Israel, and was to be transferred to the House of Ishmael(as). There was, therefore, the hazard that through their ill-fortune the children of Israel might refuse to accept the prophet who had been mentioned in the Torah (Deut.18:18: under the title ‘That Prophet’. Jesus(as) was, therefore, charged preparing the minds of the children of Israel for the acceptance of ‘That Prophet’ who was to bring the last, perfect, enduring universal law; the prophet whose coming was to be the coming of God.
History shows that just as the lost tribes believed in Jesus(as) and accepted him, in the same way, almost all of them, who were settled in those lands, believed in the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw), and in the idiom of the Torah, they received at his hands the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Thus Jesus(as) succeeded in the achievement of this purpose of his advent also.
God Almighty has so ordained, that those prophets who are commissioned for a particular purpose, do not suffer death till they have achieved that purpose, or have made provision for its achievement in due course. For instance, John the Baptist was the fore-runner of Jesus(as). When Jesus(as) was baptised by John with water, the purpose of John’s advent was fulfilled, and he did not thereafter survive for long. In the case of Jesus(as), no great or significant event was manifested before the event of the crucifixion. He had not yet even established contact with the lost sheep towards whom he had been sent, nor had he yet entered upon impressing upon the minds of the children of Israel, the importance of the advent and the stature of ‘That Prophet’, whose advent had been prophesied by Moses(as) and the other prophets of Israel. The event of the crucifixion occurred in the third year of the ministry of Jesus, and Jesus(as) had passed this brief period in comparative obscurity, and in silent teaching and propagation. The Jews of Palestine paid little attention to him and to what he said. If he was a true Messenger of God, which he undoubtedly was, he was not to die upon the cross. He had had no opportunity of carrying his message to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, nor had he yet made any provision for safeguarding the future generations of those tribes against the misfortune of rejecting ‘That Prophet’ on his advent, nor had he yet impressed upon the minds of the children of Israel the high status of ‘That Prophet’, which had been set forth by Moses(as) and other Prophet’ under Divine direction.
In the Holy Qur’an the advent of our Holy Prophet(saw), has been described as the coming of God Himself (Ch.17:V.82), whereby Satan, with all his hosts was put to flight and his teachings were brought into contempt, and he suffered a great defeat. On account of the universal and comprehensive guidance that was to be committed to the Holy Prophet(saw), God took a firm covenant from the previous Prophets, that they must instruct their people to believe in him and to help him (Ch.3: V.82). That is why all the prophets from Adam(as) to Jesus(as) affirmed the greatness and glory of the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw).
Moses(as) said in Deut. 33:2: ‘The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran.’ Thus he indicated clearly, that the manifestation of God’s glory would arrive at its perfection at Mount Paran, and that the full refulgence of the sun of truth would be achieved at Mount Paran. The Torah itself indicates that Paran is the mountain near Makkah, where Ishmael(as), the ancestor of the Holy Prophet(saw), was settled. This is confirmed by geographical maps. It is well-known that no prophet has been raised in Makkah except the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw). Observe, therefore, how clearly has Moses(as) testified that the rays of the sun of righteousness, which shall appear on Mount Paran, shall be the brightest of all and that the climax of the light of truth will be reached in the blessed person of the Holy Prophet(saw).
Time does not permit of the citation of even a few of the numerous prophecies made by a number of prophets including David(as), Solomon(as), Isaiah(as), John(as) and Jesus(as), which refer clearly to the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw).
We recognise the tremendous achievements of science and technology, but it cannot be denied that these achievements also constitute a threat of ruin and destruction. The only way of deliverance from the ruin threatened by our own handiwork is that we should place our hands in the hand of God and, discarding totally the worship of idols and of men, and of our own ego, and every type of association of partners with God, we should all gather together under the shade of the mercy of the One True God.
I take this opportunity of conveying to you with great humility and love the following message: – Be happy and sing the praises of God that the Messiah, whose advent had been prophesied in the ancient scriptures, and in the Holy Qur’an, and had been foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw), that spiritual son of Muhammad(saw), has already appeared. I, who am standing before you, and have the honour to address you, am the deputy and Third Successor of that Messiah(as). True and deep sympathy and love for you surge through my heart like an ocean. I am made restless by your sufferings, and am rendered sorrowful by your privations. Your real privation is the lack of recognition of your Gracious and Merciful Lord. I call you to that True One, Who provided for all our needs before our coming into existence, and made available to us the means of achieving true prosperity. He bestowed upon us all that was demanded by our faculties and capacities, so that we should not lack anything that may be needed for establishing a living relationship with Him. But we behaved ungratefully. That which had been bestowed upon us, for the purpose of the establishment of peace and security, was employed by us in promoting disorder and corruption. The misuse of that which had been bestowed upon us for the promotion of our health, and the development of our intellect, and the upholding of our morals, and the exaltation of our souls has plunged us into the depths, and has alienated us from God. There is yet time that we should call a halt, recognise our Lord, and turn towards Him in repentance. He will forgive all our sins and defaults; He will raise us up with love and will lead us into the gardens of His pleasure. Our own tears, and the agonised yearning of our hearts for meeting with God, are our atonement. I urge you to turn to the One God without associate, and to bend your necks to His obedience, for in that lies your total good.
I call you to follow Muhammad, on whom be peace. The paths, treading on which he found his Lord and was bestowed the bounties of both worlds, still bear the marks of his footsteps. Follow those footsteps, for if you do that, you shall win the love of God, and you shall hear His dear voice assuring you: “If you will be Mine, the universe will be yours.”
The false joys and artificial delights of this mortal world cannot be compared to the love of God. I invite you to make a trial of winning the love of God. That door has been opened, through the ages, for the millions who have knocked on it. Why should you despair that it may not be opened for you? Come forward and, responding to the call of the Successor of the Muslim Messiah, accept Islam, for therein lies your own total good and the good of your future generations, failing which, a terrible catastrophe awaits you, of which I warned you in detail eleven years ago in this city.1
1. This was reproduced in ‘A Message of Peace, A Word of Warning,’ delivered in Wandsworth Town Hall, London SW18 in 1967.