Religious Concepts

The Nine Evils to Avoid to Achieve Moral and Spiritual Excellence

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After reciting the TashahhudTa‘awwuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:

‘By the grace of Allah the Almighty, today is the concluding day of Jalsa Salana Qadian. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, these three days passed whilst reaping the blessings of Allah the Almighty. Similarly, as I mentioned in the Friday Sermon, the Jalsa Salana is currently being held in many African countries as well, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali and Zimbabwe. Through His grace, Allah the Almighty has enabled us to listen to and see one another through MTA. Some have been included [on the screen] and some might have had some technical difficulties due to which they were unable to join. Nevertheless, five or six countries have joined. Through His grace, Allah the Almighty has enabled us to see and listen to one another through MTA. At the exact same time, all these countries are listening to my words and are able to see me, and we are also able to see them. This is also a manifestation of Allah the Almighty fulfilling His promise to the Promised Messiah (as). In any case, when we look at the history of the Jalsa Salana and reflect on the Jalsa that was held 130 years ago, i.e. the official Jalsa, which was announced by the Promised Messiah (as), a Jalsa was held prior to this as well in 1891, but it was only held for a day and most of the emphasis was laid on administrative matters. In addition to this, the newly penned book of the Promised Messiah (as), A Heavenly Decree, was read out by Maulana Abdul Karim Sahib Sialkoti (ra). 

The History of Jalsa

Nevertheless, in the history of the Community, the Jalsa held in 1891 is counted as the first Jalsa. However, in my view, the Jalsa whereby the dates were published through an official advertisement and which the Promised Messiah (as) announced as well, was in 1892. The objective of this Jalsa was declared to be religious, spiritual and moral progression and this was greatly emphasised. This is the same objective for which the Jalsa is held today in every country of the world where, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is officially established.  In the small Jalsa of 1891, 75 individuals participated, and it concluded in a matter of a few hours. In the official Jalsa of 1892, 327 individuals participated. Today, the favours of Allah the Almighty are being showered upon us in such abundance that He is showing us thousands of participants in every country. Is this not evidence of the succour of Allah the Almighty and the fulfilment of the promises He made to the Promised Messiah (as)? It most certainly is! If the eyes of those who raise objections and those who are intellectually blind were not closed, then this fact alone should suffice for demonstrating the help and succour of Allah the Almighty and the truth of the Promised Messiah (as). Nevertheless, whether they see it or not, this is the support and grace of Allah the Almighty. This is a fulfilment of the promises Allah the Almighty made to the Promised Messiah (as), which we are witnessing today. This is not mere lip service. In fact, the entire world can see these scenes through the lens of the camera and the TV screen. However, what are our responsibilities after witnessing these blessings and favours? We have gathered together in order to participate in the Jalsa and are sitting in various countries of the world, listening and observing these scenes. However, in order to benefit from these favours and in order to fulfil this objective, we must also fulfil our responsibilities and uphold the pledge and oath we made with the Promised Messiah (as) when entering this Community. In order to achieve this, we must bring about pure transformations within ourselves. 

During the days of the Jalsa Salana, you would have heard many speeches in this regard, comprising of moral training, educational, academic, and spiritual subjects. May Allah the Almighty enable both the speakers and those who listened to them to act upon these matters so that we can acquire the objective of the Jalsa. 

Understanding Our Responsibilities and the Nine Evils to Avoid

Nevertheless, today I shall draw your attention toward a few responsibilities which we have promised to act upon after having pledged allegiance [bai’at] to the Promised Messiah (as). Whilst entering into this pledge of allegiance, we have made many promises to act in accordance to the commandments of Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (sa) and to adhere to his noble example. However, due to the constraints of time, I shall mention only some aspects pertaining to the second condition of bai’at at this moment. If we were to mould our lives in accordance with this, we shall be able to create a great revolution in our own selves and also in the world. 

The second condition of the pledge of allegiance that we have made to the Promised Messiah (as) is this, that:

“He/she shall keep away from falsehood, fornication/adultery, trespasses of the eye, debauchery, dissipation, cruelty, dishonesty, mischief and rebellion; (In other words the one who pledges allegiance) and that he/she will not permit himself/herself to be carried away by passions, however strong they might be.” 

In this the Promised Messiah (as) has listed nine evils and drawn our attention toward them. And these vices are such that if a person shuns them then they are able to excel spiritually and morally. Let us see what Allah the Almighty, His Messenger (sa) and the Promised Messiah (as) have stated about acting upon this and its importance.

Falsehood is Like Idolatry

With regards to falsehood, Allah the Almighty states: 

فَاجۡتَنِبُوا الرِّجۡسَ مِنَ الۡاَوۡثَانِ وَاجۡتَنِبُوۡا قَوۡلَ الزُّوۡرِ

Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun false speech.” 

 (Surah al-Hajj, 22:31)

Whilst elucidating upon this verse, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“The Holy Qur’an has mentioned many pure commandments for you. One such commandment amongst others is to completely abstain from shirk [associating partners with God] because one who indulges in shirk will remain deprived of the fountainhead of salvation. Do not speak falsehood, because falsehood is an element of shirk.”

Further explaining this on another occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) states, 

“The Holy Qur’an has equated falsehood to idolatry, as Allah the Almighty says:

فَاجۡتَنِبُوا الرِّجۡسَ مِنَ الۡاَوۡثَانِ وَاجۡتَنِبُوۡا قَوۡلَ الزُّوۡرِ

Meaning,

shun the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth’.

(Surah al-Hajj, 22:31)

On another occasion, He says,

یٰٓاَیُّھَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا کُوۡنُوۡا قَوّٰمِیۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ شُھَدَآءَ لِلّٰہِ وَلَوۡ عَلٰی اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَوِ الۡوَالِدَیۡنِ وَالۡاَقۡرَبِیۡنَ

Meaning,

O ye who believe! Be strict in observing justice and truthfulness. And being witnesses for the sake of Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred who suffer loss on account of these testimonies.’”

(Surah an-Nisa’, 4:136)

Thus, this is that standard of truthfulness which an Ahmadi should strive to remain firmly established upon in that he should not desist from giving false testimony even if it be against his own self or against his loved ones. 

Allah Almighty then states:

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَھْدِیۡ مَنۡ ھُوَ کٰذِبٌ کَفَّارٌ

Surely, Allah guides not him who is an ungrateful liar.

(Surah az-Zumar, 39:4)

Thus, this clear warning is sufficient to alert us. We must analyse ourselves very closely in order to know what Allah Almighty desires of us. How abhorrent a deed is lying which is akin to shirk [associating partners with God]! The Holy Prophet (sa) very fervently and strictly forbade against lying. 

Falsehood – The Worst of Sins

In one narration, it is mentioned that Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr (ra) relates from his mother, “The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘Shall I not tell you what is the worst of the grave sins?’ We replied, ‘Yes, O Messenger (sa) of Allah.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then stated, ‘To lie and to cut ties with one’s parents.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) was reclining but then sat up and said, ‘Beware of lying and false testimony. Beware of lying and false testimony.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) continued to say this until I thought in my heart that he would not stop.”[1] i.e. he said this in a very heartfelt manner. 

Hence, one can understand from this just how concerning this was to the Holy Prophet (sa). If we analyse ourselves, it will naturally come to the fore that one gives false testimony on many occasions. It is therefore a matter to ponder over. Are we truly fulfilling our pledge? The standard of the Holy Prophet (sa) was such that he considered it a lie to say something false even as a joke. Hence, this is the standard we must strive to reach.

In one narration it is mentioned that Hazrat Abdullah (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Verily, truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to paradise. A person keeps on telling the truth until he is counted among the truthful. Falsehood leads to sin, and sin leads to the hellfire. A person may continue telling lies until he is counted as a great liar.”[2]

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “A hypocrite has three traits; when he speaks, he lies (the first trait of a hypocrite is that when he speaks, he utters falsehood); and when he makes a promise, he breaks it (here too lying is committed); when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.”[3] Again, there is the aspect of lying here. Hence, these are three different types of falsehood. It is a very alarming and concerning matter, which requires no further explanation as it is very clear. We must bear this in mind and analyse ourselves accordingly. 

Whilst guiding the community, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“Know certainly that there is nothing as abhorrent as falsehood. Worldly people often claim that those who speak the truth experience hardships, but how should I accept this? Seven lawsuits were brought against me, and by the grace of God Almighty, not once have I had to utter falsehood in any of them. Can anyone claim that Allah Almighty made me suffer defeat in any one of them? God Almighty is Himself the Protector and Helper of the truthful. Can it be that He gives a punishment to a pious person? If this ever happened, then no one in the world would ever have the courage to speak the truth and true belief in God would disappear.” In such a case, the righteous would be akin to being dead even whilst alive. He then states, “The reality is that those people, who endure punishments because of speaking the truth, their punishment is in fact not due to speaking the truth. Rather it is due to their subtle and concealed misdeeds.”

It is also due to some other lies. They are punished for other reasons and are seized due to other injustices. Therefore, one ought to always bear this point in mind, and if a person keeps this in mind, they can be safeguarded from many sins and errors. This is the stage at which one is able to fulfil their pledge.

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“Allah Almighty has a record of their evils and misconducts. They have many sins, some of which lead to them incurring punishment.”[4]

Allah the Almighty has full knowledge of the list of our actions. Hence, one must always continue to seek forgiveness from God Almighty. In today’s society, we find falsehood all around us, and upon seeing this we may not consider it a sin or deem it grave if we utter a few falsehoods. However, these are the things which are deemed major falsehoods, and this would cause the importance of truthfulness to diminish. Thus, every single Ahmadi must raise their standard of truthfulness very high. If we attain these standards of truthfulness, many of our disputes and issues will be resolved. The most important thing to bear in mind is that we have pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah (as) in order to establish the kingdom of God Almighty on the earth. However, if we begin to rely on falsehood, then instead of establishing the kingdom of God Almighty, we will become those who establish the dominion of Satan. Therefore, this is a very grave matter that we must ponder over. 

Refraining from Adultery

Then, within this condition, the Promised Messiah (as) also drew attention towards safeguarding against adultery. In today’s society the media has broken all the bounds in spreading this, and so, in such circumstances we must make special efforts to protect ourselves and our progeny from this. To watch lewd films and to stir up filthy thoughts in one’s mind are also types of zina [adultery], and this is what the media is doing nowadays, and these then propel man toward evils and indecency. Allah Almighty states:

وَلَا تَقۡرَبُوا الزِّنٰی اِنَّہٗ کَانَ فَاحِشَۃً ؕ وَسَآءَ سَبِیۡلً

And come not near unto adultery; surely, it is a foul thing and an evil way.”

(Surah Bani Isra’il, 17:33)

Hence, this is something to really ponder over. I have mentioned already what the media is doing nowadays, but now even the minds of children are being poisoned by the filth and lewdness in children’s programmes that are being aired. Therefore, in such conditions one must make exerted efforts with greater care. 

This zina [adultery] is not only that which is manifest, in fact it is every kind of zina, for it incorporates all those matters which submerge one in evils, and which bring them toward indecency and immorality. 

Then, whilst giving a warning, Allah Almighty states:

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یُحِبُّوۡنَ اَنۡ تَشِیۡعَ الۡفَاحِشَۃُ فِی الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَھُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ۙ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَالۡاٰخِرَۃِ ؕ وَاللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ وَاَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ

Those who love that immorality should spread among the believers, will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows, and you know not.

(Surah an-Nur, 24:20)

After analysing, it becomes clear that these people who fall prey to such immoral behaviours are themselves already engulfed in all of sorts illnesses as a form of punishment, and Allah Almighty knows best what their treatment will be in the hereafter, and how severe it will be on the Day of Judgement. If only these people would understand. Where we must protect ourselves and our children from the ills of society which are spreading rapidly, we must also strive to explain to others in order to keep our surroundings pure. In fact, the development and spreading of these evils is taking place in order to spread atheism, and a fundamental aspect of it; rather, it is the agenda of those spreading atheism. It is a feature thereof which is designed to take mankind away from God Almighty and religion. Hence, we must make great efforts in this jihad [struggle].

It is mentioned in a Hadith that Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said,

 “One of the signs of the hour is that knowledge will be taken away, ignorance will prevail, alcohol consumption will be common, and adultery will spread.”[5]

Thus, the matters mentioned in this prophecy at that time are being witnessed in this very era, but even then, people are failing to fear of God. Where Ahmadis must safeguard themselves from these indecencies – as I have already mentioned – they must also strive to save others. May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom to the world and enable the people to listen to and understand our message. May we also be enabled to spread this message and ourselves be protected from this in every regard. 

Trespasses of the Eyes

Whilst instructing us to safeguard from immorality, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“One who openly looks at a non-Mahram [i.e. a person to whom marriage is permitted] from any aspect (which is prevalent nowadays) will continue to openly look at non-Mahram women, until one day he shall look at them with ill intentions, for carnal desires are part of every person’s nature. Experience proclaims aloud; rather, it screams to us that there is never a good outcome for one who openly looks at other women. What is the reason for Europe being replete with infidelity? It is because they developed the habit of casually looking at non-Mahram women.” At first it became commonplace to commit evil through their sight, then embracing became normalised, and then it exceeded greatly having advanced further from there. This is exactly what we are witnessing in today’s society, and whilst residing here, we must pay special attention to this and make greater efforts. In fact, this is now no longer only limited to here, rather, the media and freedom have made this immorality a norm in every country. 

Then, the evil which he especially guided us to refrain from is the trespassing of the eye. Allah Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an:

قُلۡ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ یَغُضُّوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡصَارِھِمۡ وَیَحۡفَظُوۡا فُرُوۡجَھُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ اَزۡکٰی لَھُمۡ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ خَبِیۡرٌ بِمَا یَصۡنَعُوۡنَ وَقُلۡ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنٰتِ یَغۡضُضۡنَ مِنۡ اَبۡصَارِھِنَّ وَیَحۡفَظۡنَ فُرُوۡجَھُنَّ وَلَا یُبۡدِیۡنَ زِیۡنَتَھُنَّ اِلَّا مَا ظَھَرَ مِنۡھَا وَلۡیَضۡرِبۡنَ بِخُمُرِھِنَّ عَلٰی جُیُوۡبِھِنَّ ۪ وَلَا یُبۡدِیۡنَ زِیۡنَتَھُنَّ اِلَّا لِبُعُوۡلَتِھِنَّ اَوۡ اٰبَآئِھِنَّ اَوۡ اٰبَآءِ بُعُوۡلَتِھِنَّ اَوۡ اَبۡنَآئِھِنَّ اَوۡ اَبۡنَآءِ بُعُوۡلَتِھِنَّ اَوۡ اِخۡوَانِھِنَّ اَوۡ بَنِیۡ اِخۡوَانِھِنَّ اَوۡ بَنِیۡ اَخَوٰتِھِنَّ اَوۡ نِسَآئِھِنَّ اَوۡ مَا مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُھُنَّ اَوِ التّٰبِعِیۡنَ غَیۡرِ اُولِی الۡاِرۡبَۃِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ اَوِ الطِّفۡلِ الَّذِیۡنَ لَمۡ یَظۡھَرُوۡا عَلٰی عَوۡرٰتِ النِّسَآءِ ۪ وَلَا یَضۡرِبۡنَ بِاَرۡجُلِھِنَّ لِیُعۡلَمَ مَا یُخۡفِیۡنَ مِنۡ زِیۡنَتِھِنَّ ؕ وَتُوۡبُوۡا اِلَی اللّٰہِ جَمِیۡعًا اَیُّہَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُفۡلِحُوۡنَ

“Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to their husbands, or to their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or such of male attendants as have no sexual appetite, or young children who have no knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And they strike not their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers, that you may succeed.

(Surah an-Nur, 24:31-32)

Whilst elaborating on this verse, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“In the Holy Qur’an, we find the following verse: 

قُلۡ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ یَغُضُّوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡصَارِھِمۡ وَیَحۡفَظُوۡا فُرُوۡجَھُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ اَزۡکٰی لَھُمۡ

That is, to instruct the believers that they should restrict their glance at the sight of a woman whom they may lawfully marry to the extent that they are unable to clearly see her face, or at the chance of seeing something promiscuous; their view of a woman’s countenance should not be prolonged and unrestricted. In other words, they should never gaze with their eyes wide open, whether their glances are lustful or not. Such behaviour would cause one to err. One cannot preserve their purity and chastity with their vision unrestricted. This would lead to many trials. One’s heart cannot become pure, nor is it possible to attain a state of utter purity befitting of a true seeker until he purifies his vision. Furthermore, in this verse, we are also taught to guard all such bodily mediums through which we can commit sin. These bodily mediums referred to in this verse include the genitalia, ears, nose, mouth and all such body parts. Notice how lofty this teaching is, in which no aspect has been overly or inadequately emphasised, rather, it has been imparted with wisdom and balance. An individual who reads this verse will immediately realise that the commandment to refrain from the practice of unrestricted vision is in place so that one does not fall into hardship and so that both men and women are protected from making a mistake. On the contrary, the lack of restraint and freedom found in the teachings of the Gospels, the basis of which is the hidden intentions of man, is a flaw and shortcoming that requires no elaboration.”

Lowering One’s Gaze – The Preservation of Purity

Thus, Islam has commanded both men and women to lower and to restrain their gaze, and in doing so, has established the standards of modesty that leave no chance for evil. Only if we strive to achieve such standards can we hope to establish a pure society. The scope of this commandment is not limited only to what we can see in our immediate environments but encompasses the consumption of immoral and promiscuous content – which I have already spoken about – on social media, computers, and television. We should be cautious of this on such platforms, particularly the youth. In fact, I’ve received complaints of older people in this regard as well. If we wish to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty, then we must meticulously reform ourselves and teach our children, too. There is a narration that shows how cautious the Holy Prophet (sa) was in interactions between men and women who are permitted to marry. 

Hazrat Umm Salamah (ra) narrates: “Once, whilst I was in the presence of the Holy Prophet (sa), who was also accompanied by Hazrat Maimunah (ra), Hazrat Ibn Umm Maktum (ra) came to visit. This incident took place after the commandment of the veil had been revealed. Upon his visit, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Both of you should veil yourselves from him.’ We responded, ‘O Prophet (sa) of Allah, isn’t he blind? He is unable to see us, nor recognise us.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Are you both blind as well? Are you not able to see him?’”[6] Thus, these are the standards that the Holy Prophet (sa) desired to establish. This should address the concerns of some men and women of the Community who raise concerns about this commandment saying that our position on the matter is overly strict. 

The Dangers of Disobedience

Another vice which the Promised Messiah (as) has emphasised to his community to safeguard against – which has also been made a part of the conditions of bai’at – is disobedience and rebellion. Allah the Almighty has used very harsh words in the Holy Qur’an in respect to those who are disobedient and rebellious. He states: 

اِنَّا مُنۡزِلُوۡنَ عَلٰی اَھۡلِ ھٰذِہِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ رِجۡزًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ

We are surely going to bring down on the people of this town a punishment from heaven, for they have been rebellious.

(Surah al-Ankabut, 29:35)

This is something we should be wary of. We should continue to pray Istighfar and try to remain in the protection of Allah the Almighty. Today, such disobedience is rampant across the world and found in every city. Then, in another instance, whilst referring to the end of those who are disobedient, Allah the Almighty states: 

وَیَوۡمَ یُعۡرَضُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا عَلَی النَّارِ ؕ اَذۡھَبۡتُمۡ طَیِّبٰتِکُمۡ فِیۡ حَیَاتِکُمُ الدُّنۡیَا وَاسۡتَمۡتَعۡتُمۡ بِھَا ۚ فَالۡیَوۡمَ تُجۡزَوۡنَ عَذَابَ الۡھُوۡنِ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَسۡتَکۡبِرُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ بِغَیۡرِ الۡحَقِّ وَبِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَفۡسُقُوۡنَ

And on the day when those who disbelieve will be brought before the Fire, it will be said to them, ‘You exhausted your good things in the life of the world, and you fully enjoyed them. Now this day you shall be requited with ignominious punishment because you were arrogant in the earth without justification, and because you acted rebelliously.’”

(Surah al-Ahqaf, 46:21)

The people in question would disobey the commandments of Allah the Almighty. Whilst advising us to cleanse ourselves of disobedience and rebellion, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“If one says that they desire a pious, God-fearing and faithful child, their desire is hollow until and unless they reform their own condition. If such a person is himself leading a life of disobedience and sin, then he is a liar in his desire for a pious and righteous child. Before desiring pious and righteous offspring, one must first reform themselves; if one can make their lives righteous, then their desire would become consequential, and the resulting offspring would truly deserve to inherit piety. However, if this desire arises from a longing to become famous, and so that one’s offspring inherits their wealth and estates and becomes renowned or celebrated, then such a desire is equivalent to idolatry.”

The Evils of Cruelty and Injustice

Thus, we must closely evaluate ourselves and our children. Then, another principle upon which we have pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah (as) is never to commit cruelty. God Almighty brings our attention toward this in the Holy Qur’an with the following words: 

فَوَیۡلٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا مِنۡ عَذَابِ یَوۡمٍ اَلِیۡمٍ

So woe to the wrongdoers because of the punishment of a grievous day.

(Surah az-Zukhruf, 43:66)

Those who are not cruel have been given glad tidings by Allah the Almighty in the following words:

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَلَمۡ یَلۡبِسُوۡا اِیۡمَانَھُمۡ بِظُلۡمٍ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَھُمُ الۡاَمۡنُ وَھُمۡ مُّھۡتَدُوۡنَ

Those who believe and mix not up their belief with injustice — it is they who shall have peace, and who are rightly guided.

(Surah al-An’am, 6:83)

How will those who are cruel and ruthless fair? In this regard, there is a narration of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) relates: “The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Do you know who amongst you is considered poor and destitute?’ The people replied that a poor and destitute person is he who does not have a single dirham to his name, nor any provisions. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘Amongst the people of my ummah, a poor and destitute person is he who has offered their prayers, fasted and paid his Zakat, but presents himself on the Day of Judgment as someone who also slandered, falsely accused someone, exploited another for their wealth, killed someone and abused another. His virtues and good deeds would be distributed amongst those [whom he was cruel to] and the burden of their sins would be put on him (those whom he was cruel to will be given his virtues, and their sins will be placed on him). Thereafter, he would be cast into the hellfire.’”[7] In other words, one’s prayers, fasting and Zakat will all be for nothing due to their cruelty. 

This narration is further explained through another narration from Bukhari. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) once said, ‘One who is disrespectful and cruel to another should make amends and seek forgiveness in this very world before the time comes when he does not possess a single dinar or dirham. The virtuous deeds of a cruel person will be given as compensation to their victim relative to the cruelty they faced. In the case that there are no virtuous deeds, the cruel person will be made to carry the sins of the victim.’” 

Moreover, in another narration, Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) relates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat Mu’adh (ra) to Yemen and said, ‘Save yourself from the prayers of those you oppress, for there is nothing between them and Allah.’”[8]

Fostering Love, Tolerance and Mercy

The Promised Messiah (as) states:

“Be merciful to the servants of God and do not be cruel to them with your words, hands, or any other means. Strive for the betterment of creation. Do not show arrogance to others, even though they may be your subordinates. Do not slander anyone, despite them having slandered. Adopt modesty, tolerance, optimism and sympathy for God’s creation so that you find acceptance. There are many who show tolerance, yet they are beasts from within. Similarly, there are many who seem pure on the surface, yet inside they are conniving. You will not find acceptance in the court of God unless your inner and outer selves are aligned. As an elder, show mercy to the young, and as a scholar, impart your knowledge instead of belittling others by boasting. As someone who is wealthy, help and serve the poor instead of showing arrogance to them with conceit. Shed your human weaknesses, let go of your mutual differences and whilst being truthful, show humility like that of a liar so that you are forgiven. Discard the gluttony of the human self, for the path you have been called to cannot be traversed by one who is heavy. How unfortunate is he who does not except the words of God that I have conveyed. If you desire for God to be pleased with you in the heavens, then you must adopt mutual harmony to the extent that you become like two brothers from a single womb. The one saintlier amongst you is he who forgives the sins of his brother. Conversely, ill-fated is he who is stubborn and does not forgive. Such a person has no affiliation to me. Fear the curse of God, for He is Sovereign and Exalted. A sinner can never attain nearness to God. One who is arrogant cannot attain the love of God. One who is cruel cannot attain His nearness, and nor can the unfaithful. Show mercy to your subordinates, your wives and the poor so that you are shown mercy in the heavens.”

This is very vital guidance. It is a matter of grave concern for us all. Thus, we should continuously evaluate ourselves in our everyday matters. 

Dishonesty – A Most Foul Companion

Then, another vice we have promised to abstain from in our pledge to the Promised Messiah (as) is dishonesty. Regarding the outcome of those who are dishonest and untrustworthy, Allah the Almighty states:

وَلَا تُجَادِلۡ عَنِ الَّذِیۡنَ یَخۡتَانُوۡنَ اَنۡفُسَھُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ مَنۡ کَانَ خَوَّانًا اَثِیۡمًا

And plead not on behalf of those who are dishonest to themselves. Surely, Allah loves not one who is perfidious and a great sinner.

(Surah an-Nisa’, 4:108)

We should pay heed to this commandment as well. Are we honest and trustworthy in the pledge of allegiance we have made? Are we being dishonest in this pledge? This is an important matter to think over. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the guidance of the Holy Prophet (sa). He relates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) would often say, ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with You from hunger for it is a bad companion, and I seek refuge with You from dishonesty for it is a bad companion.’”

The Promised Messiah (as) has given a great warning regarding dishonesty. The Promised Messiah (as) states: 

“One who does not repent from every kind of ill deed and vice, for example drinking alcohol, gambling, trespass of the eye, dishonesty, bribery and every type of unlawful pursuit, they are not from my Community. Every husband who is dishonest to his wife and every wife who is dishonest to her husband, they are not from my Community.” 

The Promised Messiah (as) further states: 

“Man is endowed with two kinds of qualities. One of them is good ethics, that is, one should do his utmost in ensuring that no opportunity is missed in relation to fulfilling the trusts and covenants related to God Almighty.” 

The Bai’at (Pledge of Allegiance) – A Trust of Allah the Almighty

Among the trusts and covenants of Allah the Almighty is the pledge of allegiance [bai’at] which we have done with Allah the Almighty through the Promised Messiah (as). The Promised Messiah (as) states, 

“Just as the word ‘ra‘un’ [i.e. to be watchful] alludes to [fulfilling one’s covenants made with Allah the Almighty], it is equally incumbent to fulfil the trusts and covenants established with fellow humans. That is, to fulfil the rights of Allah and His creation with righteousness. This is known as good ethics, or rather one can say this is the spiritual beauty.” 

This is the spiritual beauty which the Promised Messiah (as) wanted to see in his followers. In fact, the Promised Messiah (as) has given a great warning to those who act with dishonesty. The Promised Messiah (as) states:  

“Along with professing belief in One God it is imperative that one does not usurp the rights of His creation. One who usurps the rights of his brother and deals with him dishonestly, he does not truly believe in:

لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہ

[‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah.’]”

The Promised Messiah (as) states: 

“There are very few people who repay their debts and fulfil what they have been entrusted with. People are completely heedless of this, whereas this is a very important principle. The Holy Prophet (sa) would not offer the funeral prayer of a person who had outstanding debts. It is observed that the manner in which people earnestly and sincerely request a loan, the same enthusiasm is not shown when returning it. Upon returning the loan, there is always some kind of friction and disagreement. Hence, the reality of one’s faith is recognised through this.” 

People think that this is no significant matter; they submit their cases in Qada [Judicial system of the Community] and do not act with honesty. Such people should realise that this is not an insignificant matter because they do not have conviction in the declaration of: 

لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہ

[There is none worthy of worship except Allah.]

And they do not have conviction in the oneness of Allah the Almighty. 

Preventing the Spread of Disorder

Another aspect which the Promised Messiah (as) has taken a pledge from us is to not create disorder and refrain from everything that leads to disorder. Allah the Almighty has given guidance on numerous occasions to refrain from disorder. In one place He states:

وَابۡتَغِ فِیۡمَا اٰتٰکَ اللّٰہُ الدَّارَ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ وَلَا تَنۡسَ نَصِیۡبَکَ مِنَ الدُّنۡیَا وَاَحۡسِنۡ کَمَا اَحۡسَنَ اللّٰہُ اِلَیۡکَ وَلَا تَبۡغِ الۡفَسَادَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ

And seek, in that which Allah has given thee, the Home of the Hereafter; and neglect not thy lot in this world; and do good to others as Allah has done good to thee; and seek not to make mischief in the earth, verily Allah loves not those who make mischief.

(Surah al-Qasas, 28:78)

Hazrat Jarir (ra) relates that on the occasion of Hajjatul Wada’ [farewell pilgrimage], the Holy Prophet (sa) told him to quieten the people down in order that they may listen to him. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated: 

“Do not become disbelievers after I depart by shedding each other’s blood.”[9]

This is the current state of the Muslims today. Does it behove the believers to kill one another? The Holy Prophet (sa) declared such people to be disbelievers, i.e. those who claim to be Muslims and yet kill one another. May Allah the Almighty have mercy on the Muslim Ummah and enable us to fulfil our due rights and enable us to convey to them the message of the Promised Messiah (as). May Allah the Almighty also enable them to accept the Promised Messiah (as). 

In order to safeguard oneself from every kind of mischief and disorder, the Promised Messiah (as) states:

“Those who abandon you and distance themselves from you because you have entered the Community which has been established by God Almighty, you should not engage in any dispute or be in discord with them, rather you ought to pray for them secretly so that Allah the Almighty grants them the insight and wisdom which He has bestowed upon you out of His grace. Through your virtuous example and excellent morals, demonstrate to them that you have chosen a better path. I have been appointed to advise you again and again to refrain from going to all such places where there is mischief and disorder. Show patience even in the face of verbal abuse. Respond with piety to an ill deed. It is better for you to leave such a place where one incites you to disorder and always respond in a polite manner. When I hear that someone from within our Community has fought with someone, I am certainly not pleased with such behaviour and nor is God Almighty, Who has established this Community so that it can serve as a pious example for others. Such behaviour is far-removed from righteousness. In fact, I would also like to inform you that Allah the Almighty does not count one among this Community who does not show patience and tolerance.” 

Abstaining from Rebellion and Treachery and the Importance of Obedience

Then, the Promised Messiah (as) has taken a pledge from us to abstain from every kind of treacherous or rebellious act. Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an: 

یٰٓاَیُّھَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا اَطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَاَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَاُولِی الۡاَمۡرِ مِنۡکُمۡ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَنَازَعۡتُمۡ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ فَرُدُّوۡہُ اِلَی اللّٰہِ وَالرَّسُوۡلِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَالۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّاَحۡسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلً

O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end.

(Surah an-Nisa’, 4:60)

In the case that people differ amongst themselves, they should refer the matter to Allah and His Messenger (sa). This means that one should make a decision based on the guidance given by God and His Messenger (sa). The guidance is that one should notify the government of their error, however, if it fails to address the issue, then one should leave the matter with Allah the Almighty and He will deal with the matter as He wills. Indeed, one should continue to pray that may Allah the Almighty enables them [i.e. the government] to act with justice. 

What advice did the Holy Prophet (sa) give in relation to abstaining from every kind of rebellion and to show obedience to the government? It is narrated by Hazrat Abdullah (ra) that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated: 

“Indeed, after I depart, you shall see people receiving preferential treatment. (this is a prophecy in that they will witness people receiving preferential treatment). You shall witness such things which you will deem strange (i.e. contrary to the teachings of Islam).” Upon this, the people submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! What is your instruction for us in such a time?” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “You should give them what is due to them and seek from Allah what is yours.”[10] In other words, they should fulfil their rights and not be rebellious, and prostate before Allah the Almighty and pray that Allah the Almighty frees them from such oppressive people, or guides them to act with justice.

The Promised Messiah (as) stated: 

والفتنة اکبر من القتل

In other words, disturbing the peace of society is worse than killing.” 

The Promised Messiah (as) stated:  

“If the ruler is oppressive, do not speak ill of him, rather try to reform your own selves. God will remove him or bring a pious change in him. The afflictions one experiences is owing to their own ill deeds. Otherwise, a believer is one who is accompanied with a star from God and He Himself provides the means for him. My advice is that you should demonstrate an example of piety in every respect. Do not usurp the rights of God and nor of His creation. Be a good example and leave the matter with Allah the Almighty.” 

Thus, one ought to ponder whether we demonstrate such examples, or whether we, out of stubbornness, claim that we are the ones who are always right? Another guidance mentioned by the Promised Messiah (as) is: 

“One should always abstain from inner passions for such a thing causes one to fall prey to the attack of Satan. Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an: 

الَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ فِی السَّرَّآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ وَالۡکٰظِمِیۡنَ الۡغَیۡظَ وَالۡعَافِیۡنَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ؕ وَاللّٰہُ یُحِبُّ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ

Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good.’”

(Surah Aal-e-‘Imran, 3:135)

On one occasion, whilst advising how one can overcome their ego and anger, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, which has been narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra), that a strong person is not one who wrestles the other to the ground, rather the strong one is he who controls himself when he is angry.[11]

In another narration Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) relates that someone asked the Holy Prophet (sa) to grant him a piece of advice. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that he should not become consumed by anger. He continued asking for advice and the Holy Prophet (sa) gave him the same response in that he should not become angry.[12] Hence, this is a major ill. 

Raising the Standards of our Morals

In relation to not becoming consumed by one’s inner passions, the Promised Messiah (as) states: 

“Accept that which is testified by intellect and human conscience and is testified by the books of God. Do not believe in God in a manner that creates discord between the books of God. Do not commit adultery. Do not tell lies. Avoid the trespass of the eye. Safeguard yourselves from wickedness, immorality, cruelty, dishonesty, and ways of rebellion. Do not be overpowered by carnal desires. Establish the five daily prayers because human nature also undergoes five kinds of trials. Be grateful to your noble Messenger (sa) and invoke blessings upon him, for he is the one who once again showed you the way of recognising God in the age of darkness.” 

Thus, this is our code of conduct. As I mentioned, if we are able to act in accordance with this, then we will be able to bring about a great revolution. Each condition of the bai’at contains endless wisdom. Every Ahmadi should always ponder over them in order to strengthen their faith. It is only then that we can truly fulfil the due rights of our bai’at.  As I mentioned that due to the constraints of time, I have only mentioned one condition of the bai’at. May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to act in accordance to this. Thus, the attendees of the Jalsa Salana, whether they are listening in Qadian or in the African countries, or those listening in other countries of the world and are watching through MTA, this a code of conduct for everyone. 

A Historic Year for Lajna Imaillah (Women’s Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) 

Today, a hundred years have passed since the establishment of Lajna Imaillah as an auxiliary organisation of the Community. Lajna [members] should remember to undertake an analysis to see to what extent they have brought about a pious transformation within themselves, done justice to the pledge of bai’at, made efforts in this regard, and to what extent they helped their children and progeny to understand and accept the claims of the Promised Messiah (as). If we have brought up our children in this manner, then certainly, the members of Lajna Imaillah are grateful servants of Allah the Exalted. Thus, it is necessary to make these assessments today. Then, wherever there are shortcomings, you should make a firm resolve that, “We shall enter the next century of Lajna Imaillah with this resolution that we shall mould our offspring to do justice to their pledge of bai’at.” May Allah the Almighty enable you all to do so.

Similarly, all the attendees of the Jalsa should make a pledge that they are to bring about a pious transformation within themselves and to fulfil their pledge of allegiance to the best of their abilities. May Allah the Almighty grant everyone the ability to do this. 

A Brief Report of the Jalsa

The attendance figures for Jalsa Qadian were given to me earlier, according to which approximately 14,500 are present with representation from 37 countries. As I said, may Allah the Almighty enable them to partake of the blessings of Jalsa and may Allah the Almighty enable all those, wherever they may be, and also the countries which I mentioned, to partake from the blessings of the Jalsa. Join me in silent prayer; may Allah the Almighty keep everyone in His protection and security.’

ENDNOTES


[1] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Shahadat Hadith 2654

[2] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Adab Hadith 6094

[3] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Wasaya Hadith 2749

[4] Al Hakam Vol 10 No. 17, 17 May 1906, pp. 4-5

[5] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-‘Ilm Hadith 80

[6] Sunan Abi Dawud Kitab al-Libas Hadith 4112

[7] Sahih Muslim Kitab al-Birr wal-Sillah Hadith Hadith 2581

[8] Jami’ al-Tirmidhi Kitab al-Birr wal-Sillah Hadith 2014

[9] Sunan al-Nasa’I Kitab Tahrim al-Dam Hadith 4131

[10] Jami’ al-Tirmidhi Kitab al-Fitan Hadith 2190

[11] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Adab Hadith 6114

[12] Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Adab Hadith 6116

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