So Says The Promised Messiah

So Said the Promised Messiah! Extracts from the Books of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him) Punishment In This World The Holy Quran and other Divine scriptures disclose that the ruin and destruction imposed in this life on people as punishment are not afflicted because those people follow a wrong doctrine, for instance, because they worship idols, or planets, or fire, or some other created things or person; inasmuch as accounting for religious errors is postponed till the Judgment Day and no one is punished in this life merely on account of doctrinal errors or disbelief. The punishment for such defaults is postponed till the hereafter. Indeed this world is a paradise for the disbelievers and it is mostly the believers who suffer pain and torment in this world, as the saying goes: This world is the paradise of the disbeliever and the prison of the believer. Therefore, it is naturally asked that if this world is the paradise of the disbelievers, and indeed observation testifies that the disbelievers are richly endowed with wealth and the bounties of this world, and the Holy Quran repeatedly announces that the disbelievers are endowed with every worldly bounty, then how is it that some disbelieving people were afflicted with torment in this world and God Almighty destroyed them with stones and storms and plagues? Why some disbelievers are punished in this world The answer is that these torments were not inflicted merely on account of disbelief, but because those people who were so afflicted and ruined had transgressed grievously in their denial of Divine Messengers and their mockery and jesting and persecution, and in the estimation of God Almighty their mischief and wickedness and cruelty and persecution had reached extreme limits and thus they themselves created the causes of their ruin. Thereupon God’s wrath was roused and they were destroyed through diverse types of chastisement. This shows that disbelief is not the cause of punishment in this world; its cause is extreme wickedness and arrogance. Such a one, even if he is a believer, when he transgresses the limits in wrong doing, persecution and arrogance, and 5 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS forgets altogether the Majesty of God, would draw upon himself Divine chastisement. On the other hand when a disbeliever is meek and is fearful, he would not be chastised in this world though he would be condemned to hell on account of his misguidance. This is the ancient and confirmed philosophy behind chastisement in this world and this is the way of Allah to which all Divine books bear testimony. As the Holy Quran has said: When We decide to destroy the people of a township We warn those of its dwellers who indulge in luxurious living and they transgress the limits in wickedness, and the Divine law in respect of them is fulfilled in that their wrongdoing arrives at its climax. Then We destroy them utterly (17:17). In another verse it is said: We never destroy a township except when its people reach the limit in wrongdoing (28:60). It should be kept in mind that though association of anything with God is also not only a wrong but an enormity, yet in this context by wrongdoing is meant such disobedience and misconduct as transgress the limit. For mere association of others with God which is not accompanied by persecution and arrogance and disorder, and attacks upon the preachers of other religions, and plans for their killing, and such extreme sinfulness whereby the fear of God is totally excluded from the hearts, the punishment is promised in the hereafter. Chastisement in this life is inflicted only at the time of extreme transgression, as it is said in another verse: Messengers before thee were also mocked at, but We granted them respite and when they transgressed the limits in their mockery, We seized them and it was seen how Our chastisement was inflicted upon them (13:33). Again it is said: The disbelievers devised a plan for wiping out Islam, and We also devised a plan in opposition to their plan, which they did not perceive, that is to say We let them go forward with their plans till they reached a stage of wrongdoing which, according to the way of Allah, attracts His chastisement (27:51). All these verses show that Divine chastisement is inflicted in this world only when a person transgresses the extreme limits in mischief, wrongdoing, arrogance, haughtiness and exaggeration. It does not happen that a disbeliever is inflicted with the lightning of Divine chastisement who is fearful in the extreme, or that a polytheist may be stoned who is terrified to death on account of his fear. God Almighty is Merciful and Compassionate to the highest degree. He seizes with punishment in this world only those who provide with their own hands the cause for such punishment (Anwarul Islam).