His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) is a beaming beacon of Divine guidance and support. His Holiness (aba) represents the highest level of a connection with God in today’s world and thus he is the spiritual leader for tens of millions across the world, and champions the message of fulfilling the rights owed to God, and fulfilling the duties we each owe to our fellow human beings. Over the course of his Friday Sermons, addresses on various occasions, meetings with different organizations and children’s classes, His Holiness (aba) imparts invaluable knowledge and insight on a remarkably vast array of topics.
The Review of Religions in honored to present some of these ‘Rays of Wisdom’ from His Holiness (aba) taken from various different sources, for the benefit of its readers.
Why Should We Read the Holy Qur’an?
The Holy Qur’an is the Holy Scripture, and the very essence of the religion of Islam. It is believed to be the revealed word of God; every single word revealed to the Holy Prophet (sa) over the course of 23 years. Upon receiving Qur’anic revelations, the Holy Prophet (sa) would have scribes write the revelation down, so that it could be preserved in its original revealed form. It serves as the ultimate guidebook, presenting the blueprint to attain the greatest heights of spirituality and a connection with God.
In today’s day and age, one may wonder why a book which was revealed over 1400 years ago should still be read and studied today. This same curiosity arose in a youngster, who asked His Holiness (aba) why it is important to read and study the Holy Qur’an.
His Holiness (aba) replied:
‘…Why should you study in school? It is so that you continue to advance in your studies, attain a good education and become something in life. In the same manner, Allah Almighty has granted us the Holy Qur’an as a complete religious law [Shari`ah] which was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (sa), so that people may read it, act upon all those good things that Allah Almighty has enjoined upon us and ultimately become a good person. It also helps one to abstain from committing evils and to safeguard oneself from the wrath of Allah he Almighty; hence, this is why we should read the Qur’an. We should read it every day, act upon its teachings, [and thereby] adopt good habits and refrain from evil. Aside from this, since this is a book of Allah Almighty, He rewards those who read it and this is something that is recorded as part of a person’s good or positive points. It will be noted that this child read the Qur’an this many times and that he read it carefully and attentively and then tried to understand its meaning as well. Thus, when a person returns to Allah Almighty, all of these acts will be considered as credits in their record.’ 
Advice For Doctors
Islam teaches that until one serves God’s creation and fulfils their due rights, they cannot establish a true connection with God. Therefore, service to humanity is an integral part of the Islamic faith. In light of this, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is at the forefront of service to humanity all across the globe. One of the many ways in which the Community serves humanity is by sending doctors, who have devoted their lives to the service of their faith and humanity, to various parts of the world. These selfless servants disregard the worldly pursuits associated with their professions, and instead dedicate their lives in order to use their expertise to fulfil a higher purpose. One such doctor, assigned to serve in Africa, asked His Holiness (aba) for guidance before his deployment.
His Holiness (aba) said,
‘My guidance is that you must always work hard and seek prayers…A doctor should always remember that it is Allah Alone Who grants cure to a patient. Therefore, whenever you see a patient, do so after having prayed and when you write a prescription, write “[He (God) is the Healer]” at the top of that prescription. I mentioned these things once in a sermon as well. Then after having seen the patients, when you offer your prayers in the night, pray for the patients you have tended to, that Allah may cure them and that He may bestow His healing [shifa] and blessings through your hands.
Treat each patient with great kindness; if they are treated with kindness and special attention, then half of the patient’s illness can be cured simply through the doctor’s conduct, and the other half can be cured with medicine. Therefore if you treat patients with kindness, half of their ailment will be alleviated and then prescribe medicine and pray for them and their health will improve. In this way Allah the Almighty will bestow His healing through your hands and as a result more and more patients will come to you and Allah Almighty will continue to heal them through your efforts’ 
Contrary to what may be portrayed at times by mainstream media, Islam teaches that men and women are equal. Each have their prescribed responsibilities, which in no way diminishes the rank, standing, or value of either. Such is the case when it comes to attaining heights in spirituality as well, as men and women have the equal opportunity to please God by acting upon His commandments and teachings. With regards to this, a person asked His Holiness (aba) about the greatest heights a woman can achieve in spirituality.
His Holiness (aba) replied,
‘Apart from prophethood, women can attain the spiritual status of ‘Siddiq’ [the truthful], ‘Shaheed’ [the martyrs] and ‘Salihaat’ [the righteous] as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.  Therefore, [aside from prophethood] women can attain all of these spiritual ranks. There is a hadith [saying of the Holy Prophet (sa)] in which a female companion said that the men are able to attain martyrdom by participating in battles and are able to perform various other sacrifices as well, but if women remain at home, then what is their status? The Holy Prophet (sa) replied that they look after the homes, they provide the moral upbringing of their children, they take care of the future generation and safeguard their homes, therefore they attain the same reward as the men. Therefore, other than prophethood, all the other [spiritual] ranks such as ‘Qanitaat’ [the obedient] and ‘Salihaat’ [the righteous] can be attained by women as well. Furthermore, if they uphold their piety, then by safeguarding their homes they can attain great ranks. After all, only a select few become prophets and they are raised by mothers; the Holy Prophet (sa) has said that paradise lies under the feet of the mothers. Thus, the status of women is such that if they provide the right moral upbringing, they become a means for others to enter paradise; what can be greater than this? The Holy Prophet (sa) did not say paradise lies under the feet of the fathers, rather he said it is under the feet of the mothers. Therefore, a mother possesses a lofty rank. This is why a woman’s status is extremely high and it is such that no one can compete with it, providing she properly adheres to her faith, takes care of the future generation and safeguards her home.’ 
With the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to lose sight of the immense blessing we are bestowed. From the most basic needs to the fulfilment of our wants and desires. It seems easier to dwell on what we don’t have or weren’t able to achieve, but upon contemplation, one truly does realize that we have been immensely blessed; as the phrase goes, ‘count your blessing.’ In keeping with this realization, one person asked His Holiness (aba) how we can truly express our gratefulness to God.
His Holiness (aba) replied,
‘The best way to show gratitude to Allah Almighty is that when you recite ‘Alhamdolillah’ [All praise belongs to Allah], you should recall all the favours Allah Almighty has bestowed upon you. And if you face certain difficulties, you should try to endure them with patience, because Allah Almighty has also bestowed many bounties upon you, and you should always keep those bounties in mind. If ever someone goes through a difficult time, they should remember that Allah the Almighty has also bestowed many blessings upon them as well. It is said that there was once a king who was presented with some melon-like fruit. He cut the fruit and gave it to one of his courtiers. The courtier ate it happily and praised it greatly, but in reality, the fruit was very sour. Upon seeing the courtier praise it so much, the king also ate it to see how it tasted. When the king ate one slice, he realised it was sour and asked the courtier why he had praised the fruit so much when it was extremely bitter and unpleasant. The courtier replied, “You have always granted me an abundance of the most excellent things and have bestowed many favours upon me. Therefore, just because I was given something bitter to eat today, I did not wish to be ungrateful for all those other times and spit it out due to its bitterness. You have bestowed many favours upon me in the past, and so, if you have given me something sour to eat without realising, I have no right to refuse it or to raise any objections against it, or to spit it out. Thus, I ate it happily because your beneficence towards me has been so great that even if I have been given a bitter fruit such as this, I should eat it as an expression of gratitude.”
This is the mentality that one should adopt in order to be grateful…One should show gratitude in this way and recall the favours of Allah the Almighty upon them. One should bear small difficulties patiently and pray to Allah the Almighty saying “O Allah! You have bestowed innumerable favours upon me! Bestow your beneficence once again and have mercy on me and remove this difficulty from me.” But one should never harbour any grievances and complain saying: “O Allah! What difficulty have you placed me in! I am not deserving of this, do you always place people in such difficulties?” – these sorts of statements are not correct…Whatever one receives, they should accept it in the best manner possible. It is mentioned in a hadith that when it comes to worldly matters, one should always look at those who are less fortunate than them. For example, if you were not able to fulfil a worldly desire of yours, and upon observing other people, who have a lot of wealth and other women who can easily purchase jewellery and other items of their choice, you begin to harbour jealousy and become bitter and resentful since you do not have the same wealth, then this is something which the Holy Prophet (sa) has said is not good.
In fact, true gratitude is to realise that Allah Almighty has granted you better conditions and circumstances than so many other people who are less fortunate than you and who are poor. There are many people in the world who do not even have food; some people only have enough to eat once in the day and some do not even have that much. In fact, there are many people like this in Europe as well, despite the fact that these [Western] countries are very wealthy, affluent and there is plenty of food; yet there are still people who die from hunger. There are also many people in Bangladesh, who go to sleep hungry at night. Therefore, when you eat, you should express your gratitude to Allah Almighty for granting you food. Similarly, in other worldly matters, look at those who are less fortunate than you, and express praise and gratitude to Allah Almighty for granting you better circumstances. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that as far as spiritual matters are concerned, you should look at those who are better than you. You should look at those who are better than you in terms of their faith, in their relationship with Allah the Almighty and in their virtuous deeds, and then try to be like them or try to be better than them. Thus, in matters of spirituality, look at those who are better than you and in worldly matters, look at those who are less fortunate than you, only then will you truly adopt the habit of being grateful.’ 
Spending in the Way of God – Does God Require a Loan from Us?
One of the ways and means of attaining the pleasure and nearness of God is to spend in His way and present financial sacrifices and contributions. This is often referred to as ‘spending in the way of God.’ Some raise objections to this and ask what need does God have of our wealth? Is it that God needs our wealth? At one instance in the Holy Qur’an, God even refers to wealth spent in His way as a ‘loan.’ Elucidating the matter and explaining the true essence of financial sacrifice, His Holiness (aba) said,
مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِیۡ یُقۡرِضُ اللّٰہَ قَرۡضًا حَسَنًا فَیُضٰعِفَہٗ لَہٗ اَضۡعَافًا کَثِیۡرَۃً ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَقۡبِضُ وَ یَبۡصُطُ وَ اِلَیۡہِ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ
‘“Who is it that will lend Allah a goodly loan that He may multiply it for him manifold? And Allah receives and enlarges, and to Him shall you be made to return.” 
This verse mentions giving Allah Almighty a loan. This does not mean that, God-forbid, Allah the Almighty is in need of material wealth and therefore, in order to fulfil His needs, He is asking for a loan. One meaning of a “loan” is in the common use of the word, which we use for borrowing or lending money, or taking a loan. However, in terms of its lexical meaning, it also means a good or bad recompense.
Therefore, in this context, it will mean, “Who is it that will spend in the way of Allah, so that He shall grant an excellent reward?” Thus, when this word is used in reference to spending or giving in the way of Allah the Almighty, it means He will grant a most excellent reward to the one who spends in His way. This means that if one is spending in the way of Allah the Almighty, then Allah the Almighty will grant them an excellent reward in return for it.
Allah Almighty has mentioned sacrifice and financial sacrifices at numerous instances in the Holy Qur’an. And to spend in the way of Allah the Almighty’s religion or for the service of mankind has been deemed by Allah the Almighty as if one is spending for His sake. And whatever one spends for the sake of Allah Almighty never goes to waste; rather, it is a loan which Allah the Almighty returns manifold.
Therefore, no one should think that Allah Almighty is in need of a loan. In fact, Allah the Almighty is the Lord of all the worlds and grants everything its provisions; He is in need of no one.
When Allah the Almighty uses the word “loan” in relation to Himself, it means that one should spend in His way and in return, God will grant His countless bounties. Thus, [He asks], “Who is it that will give Him a goodly loan?” By asking this question, Allah the Almighty has encouraged [the believers] as to who will spend in His way and become the recipient of His countless rewards and continue to go on receiving them.
Moreover, later in the verse, Allah Almighty Himself has explained this by stating that He does not ask of this loan in order to keep it for Himself or for His own use; rather, it is so that He may grant manifold in return. In other words, He proclaims that He is taking this wealth as a loan, so by spending in the way of His religion and for the service of mankind, He will grant manifold in return.
Furthermore, by referring to this as qarza-e-hasana, i.e. a goodly loan, means that this will only be considered as spending in the way of Allah when one does so willingly and with complete contentment of the heart. Only then will it be considered as a goodly loan for which Allah the Almighty will return in manifold.
In one of his gatherings, the Promised Messiah (as) has spoken on this subject. He states:
“When Allah the Almighty asks for a loan, this does not mean that, God-forbid, He is in need of it. To entertain such a doubt is kufr [i.e. to disbelieve]. In fact, what it actually means is that He will return it manifold. This is a method that Allah adopts through which He bestows His blessings.” 
Then, on another occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) stated:
“In the same manner, a foolish person has alleged that
مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِیۡ یُقۡرِضُ اللّٰہَ قَرۡضًا حَسَنًا
i.e. ‘Who is it that will lend Allah a loan’, demonstrates that, God-forbid, Allah is pressed by need. The ignorant person fails to understand, how does this prove a need on the part of God?”
The Promised Messiah (as) states that people who utter such words are extremely foolish.
The Promised Messiah (as) continues:
“However, this ignorant person has falsely asserted that this implies a need or poverty on the part of God.” When Allah the Almighty speaks about a goodly loan, how can one infer that He is in need? “Here, the word ‘loan’ means: who will give Allah the Exalted their good deeds, so that He may grant them a manifold reward?” The whole purpose of a loan is that one pledges for the loan to be paid back. “The connotation that God is in need is added from himself.”
In other words, those who level this allegation add this word from themselves that God is in need or poor. Nowhere has God Almighty mentioned that they should give Him [their wealth] so that He may spend it on Himself because He is hungry and in need. Indeed, what Allah the Almighty has stated is that when His servants are hungry and in need and one spends for their sake, then it is as if one has spent it in the way of Allah.
“Here the word ‘loan’ means: who will give Allah the Exalted their good deeds, so that He may grant them a manifold reward?”
If one performs even a single deed for the sake of Allah the Almighty, He will return its reward manifold. This is not just concerning wealth and money. The Promised Messiah (as) states:
“Man’s servitude to God possesses a relationship with divine providence in a manner that behoves the greatness of God. When a person reflects over this relationship, the concept becomes clear. For God Almighty nurtures everyone without their performing any good deed, or prayer and supplication, and without distinction between disbeliever and believer.”
Allah the Almighty is providing for everyone, irrespective of them being a disbeliever or a believer. The Promised Messiah (as) states:
“By the grace of His providence (rububiyyat) and graciousness (rahmaniyyat) He bestows his favour on all. How, then, can He allow anyone’s good deeds to go to waste?”
When Allah the Almighty is providing and nurturing everyone without any effort on their part, then how is it possible that if one performs a righteous deed, Allah the Almighty will let it go to waste and not reward it?
“The greatness of God Almighty is such that He states:
مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّۃٍ خَیۡرًا یَّرَہٗ
Meaning, ‘Whoso does an atom’s weight of good shall be rewarded and whoso does an atom’s weight of evil will also be punished.’  This is the actual purport of the word ‘loan’, which is derived from the verse just quoted. This verse expounds the actual meaning of the word ‘loan’. Since the actual purport of the word ‘loan’ is derived in context, God Almighty first states:
مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِیۡ یُقۡرِضُ اللّٰہَ قَرۡضًا حَسَنًا
[Who is it that will lend Allah a goodly loan]. Then, in commentary of this verse, Allah the Almighty states the following:
مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّۃٍ خَیۡرًا یَّرَہٗ
[Then whoso does an atom’s weight of good will see it].” 
Thus, to offer financial sacrifices for the propagation of Allah the Almighty’s religion and for the service of mankind is indeed a great deed, which Allah the Almighty never allows to go unrewarded. Allah the Almighty has mentioned this in another instance in the Holy Qur’an as well.’ 
Hazrat Ali’s (ra) View on the Finality of Prophethood In the Holy Qur’an
One of the primary points of contention which mainstream Muslims raise with Ahmadi Muslims in the belief in the finality of prophethood. It is the belief of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, based on the Holy Qur’an, that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) is the ‘Seal of Prophets’ making him the last law-bearing prophet. One aspect of being the Seal of Prophets is that there can be prophethood after him, but it can only be in complete subservience to him and under his banner and shadow. Mainstream Muslims say that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was the absolute last prophet, and no prophet can come after him, thus closing the door to any sort of divine communion. During his series of sermons on the life of Hazrat Ali (ra), (the Fourth Caliph of Islam), His Holiness (aba) presented a narration in which we learn Hazrat Ali’s (ra) take on the matter. His Holiness (aba) quoted,
‘Hazrat Musleh Mau`ud (ra) [the Second Caliph] states that there was an individual who used to teach Hazrat Ali’s (ra) sons, Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra). Once, Hazrat Ali (ra) passed by his sons and heard their tutor teaching them to pronounce [Khatiman Nabiyyeen]. Hazrat Ali (ra) said, “Do not teach my sons to say [Khatiman Nabiyyeen]; rather, teach them to say [Khataman Nabiyyeen]” in other words, with a fathah [a diacritical mark] above the letter ta as opposed to a kasrah [a diacritical mark] under it. “Despite the fact that both pronunciations are possible; however, I prefer for it to be pronounced as [Khataman Nabiyyeen] because it means the ‘Seal of the Prophets’ whereas [Khatiman Nabiyyeen]would mean ‘the one who ends prophethood.’ Thus, teach my sons [to pronounce it] with a fathah above the letter [ta].”’ 
A Lesson in Absolute Justice
With rising unrest throughout the world, whether it be societal, economical, medical and indeed on a global scale, His Holiness (aba) has constantly reminded the world of a basic principle; we must establish absolute justice. By doing so, much of the unrest in the world could be resolved. Another incident from the life of Hazrat Ali (ra) which His Holiness (aba) presented beautifully illustrates this concept.
His Holiness (aba) quotes the Second Caliph (ra) who said,
‘Hazrat Musleh Mau`ud (ra) [the Second Caliph] states:
“Once, a legal matter involving Hazrat Ali (ra) was presented before a Muslim magistrate, who showed some leniency towards Hazrat Ali (ra). Upon this, Hazrat Ali (ra) stated, ‘This is the first act of injustice on your part by showing leniency to me. At this moment, me and the other party are equal.’”’ 
 Meeting with Waqf-e-Nau Boys Bangladesh – December 30, 2020
 The Holy Qur’an 4:70
 Meeting with Waqf-e-Nau Girls and Ladies Bangladesh – December 31, 2020
 The Holy Qur’an 2:246
 Malfuzat, Vol. 3, p. 268
 The Holy Qur’an 99:8-9
 Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 222-223 [English Edition]
 Friday Sermon January 8, 2021
 Farizah-e-Tabligh aur Ahmadi Khawatin, Anwar al-Uloom, Vol. 18, p. 404
 Friday Sermon January 15, 2021
 Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 16 p. 516
 Friday Sermon January 15, 2021