QUESTION & ANSWER: Harmony and Peace

Religious differences should not prevent a civil life.

24 Review of Religions – February 2002 (Continuation of address given on 31 August 1901 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) It has also been stated in the Ahadith that at the time of the Promised One the world would be full of falsehood and oppression. However, by ‘oppression’ it is not here meant that the government of the time will be cruel. Those who understand it to mean this are committing a great error. It Presented below is a translation of the address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, on 31 August 1901 on the occasion of a visit to Qadian of the Municipal Commissioner of Wa z i rabad, Janab Babu Ghulam Mustafa Sahib. For the purpose of translation, the original Urdu script of this address has been taken from Malfoozat, Vol. 4, pp.12–15. The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In 1891, he claimed, on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) and by the scriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis of the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. [Translator’s note: All references to the verses of the Holy Qur’an are given in Arabic as they occur in the text. The English translation, presented in Italics is taken from the translation of the Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat Maulvi Sher Ali S a h i b( r a ).Where the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) has himself stated a certain interpretation of the Arabic verse, this is incorporated in the main body of the text]. Translated by Amatul Hadi Ahmad Assessment of Belief – Part III 25Review of Religions – February 2002 Assessment of Belief – Part II is essential that at the time of the Promised Reformer the government should be just and that it should be generally a peaceful time. Hence, we are grateful to God that He has granted us a just and peace- loving government the like of which is not to be found anywhere in the world today. At the time of the previous Messiah, i.e. Jesus(as), there was a Roman Government that was also famous for its system of fairness and justice but our Government, the British Government is, in comparison, many times better than the Roman government and is more advanced in its system of justice. For instance when the Missionary, Henry Martin Clarke brought out a lawsuit against me, Captain Douglas who was in those days the Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur, realised the truth of the matter and gave a judgement in my favour. This was despite the fact that some short-sighted people considered that as this lawsuit was brought by a respected Missionary [who had come from Britain], the judgement was very likely to go in his favour. This, however, was not the case and the fair-minded Deputy Commissioner was able to discern the true facts of the matter and understood that the lawsuit had resulted from the cunning scheming of some low minded persons. Captain Douglas, who is currently a Deputy Commissioner in Delhi, will always be remembered for this unparalleled just judge- ment – and this is an example of only one official of this Government. There are thou- sands of similar examples. The statement of the Ahadith that the world [at the time of the second advent of the Messiah] would be filled with oppression and falsehood, therefore, points to the fact that there would be a prevalence of hypocrisy and the worship of things other than the one true God. Hence, as you can observe, there is widespread worship of idols, worship of the cross, worship of the dead and many other types of worship and the true God has been completely abandoned. A discerning person should now carefully consider all the facts that have been presented above and should ponder over what I have stated. Is it something that 26 Review of Religions – February 2002 Assessment of Belief – Part II may be rejected after a cursory glance or is it something that requires deeper thought and careful consideration? Whatever my claim may be, is the time of the claim not at the head of the century? Had I not been appointed [as the Messiah and Mahdi] even then it was necessary for every God-fearing and intelligent person to seek the divinely appointed person because the new century is upon us and now when twenty years have passed since the beginning of the new [Islamic] century, there should have been a need to search even harder. The current state of the times is calling out for a Re f o r m e r. Christianity has spread such unrestrained free thinking that there seems to be no end to it. Its influence on Muslim children is such that it seems as if they are not Muslim children at all. If we leave all else and consider the eventuality that should a Reformer appear to face only the challenge posed by the spread of worship of the Cross alone, what name would be given to him? The tribulation posed by the widespread worship of the cross by itself offers the title of Kasirus-salib to the person who successfully deals with this challenge and this is the second title of the Promised Messiah. The Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith have dealt with this subject in different ways and both have offered the glad tidings of a Promised Reformer. This point should be well understood because a weak understanding is as if there is no understanding at all. It is difficult for someone to lead astray a person who gains a full understanding. Hence, I strongly advise you to take good care to resolve this issue – do not consider it to be some ordinary small matter of no great consequence. It is, instead, a matter of one’s faith and a matter of hell or paradise. Rejection of what I am stating is not merely a rejection of me, it is a rejection of Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This is because whosoever falsifies me implicitly falsifies God. The reason being when such a person sees the state of Islam that internally and externally the tribulations it faces are excessive and despite the promise vouchsafed by God in 27Review of Religions – February 2002 Assessment of Belief – Part II the Holy Qur’an: Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian (Ch.15: v.10) Should he believe that no Reformer has appeared then he implicitly believes that God did not make any arrangement for the reform of the Muslims. Such a person believes all this despite the fact that he apparently has faith in the Holy Qur’an when it states that God has vouchsafed the promise of establishing a system of vicegerent in the Muhammadiyya line as was established in the Mosaic line. H o w e v e r, [those who do not accept me as the one appointed by God] implicitly believe that God has not fulfilled His promise and that there is no Caliph now in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) [as his vicegerent]. This line of argument does not, however, end here. It leads to the further implied refutation of the fact that in the Holy Qur’an the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) has been referred to as being ‘similar to M o s e s( a s )’. This would be an incorrect belief, in such an argument, because for the full completion of the similarity between the Mosaic and Muhammadiyya lines, it was necessary that at the head of the fourteenth century after the Holy Prophet Muhammad( s a ) there should be born in his Ummah a Messiah just as the previous Messiah came at the head of the fourteen century after Moses(as). Moreover, this line of argument would also lead one to falsify the verse of the Holy Qur’an that makes the prophecy of a promised one who has yet to come and who will be a symbolic manifestation of the Holy Prophet(sa) in his second attribute of ‘Ahmad’, [the first being his first attribute of ‘Muhammad’]: …among others from among 28 Review of Religions – February 2002 Assessment of Belief – Part II them who have not yet joined. (Ch.62: v.4) Following a mistaken line of argument [rejection of my claim] leads one to implicitly falsify many verses of the Holy Q u r’an. In fact, it is my claim that from Al-Hamd to Al-Naas, that is, the whole of the Holy Q u r’an, would have to be abandoned. You should think again! Falsification of my claim is not an easy matter. I do not state this from myself. I swear by Almighty God that this is the Truth and whosoever rejects me and falsifies me, through this act of his, he falsifies the whole of the Qur’an and abandons God, even though he may not say in so many words. Such a link has been hinted at [by God] in one of the revelations received by me where God has stated: Anta minni wa ana minka [that is, You are from me and I am from you] [This Revelation was received at various times including April 1902 – recorded in the volume entitled Tadhkira] Without doubt, falsification of God becomes a necessary consequence of rejection of me and acceptance of my claim indicates acceptance of God’s Truth and leads to a firm and consolidated belief in the existence of Almighty God. Moreover, rejection of my claim is not merely a falsification of me, it is a falsification of the Holy Prophet Muhammad( s a ). Hence, before someone now dares to falsify me, he should think deeply and ask for a fatwa from his own heart as to whom exactly is he falsifying. (To be continued)