After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that some people write to him and even present various arguments to try and prove that in light of the difficulties being faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan and various other countries, Ahmadis should not just remain patient but should retaliate.
His Holiness (aba) said that some people even cite certain examples of the Second Caliph (ra) and say that he gave permission to retaliate, however His Holiness (aba) made it clear that these things are wrongly ascribed to the Second Caliph (ra). It is possible that under very specific circumstances, the Second Caliph (ra) may have given permission to retaliate, however that too after great and careful consideration. Furthermore, if there were such instances, that response was strictly according to the command of the Caliph and was not left to the determination of other office holders.
Patience is a Teaching of Islam
His Holiness (aba) said that before the partition of Pakistan and India while India was under British rule, there were certain British officers who were against Ahmadiyyat who tried to say that some speeches delivered by the Second Caliph (ra) were inflammatory and they did this to try and incite an attack on him. However, they always failed in this attempt, because the Second Caliph (ra) would always advise the Community to remain patient. In fact, even the opponent officers attested to the fact that when they thought that the speech being delivered by the Second Caliph (ra) would incite a retaliation, he would take a different turn as he would urge patience and forbearance.
His Holiness (aba) said that of course this was the case, because the Second Caliph (ra) would never advise anything contrary to the teachings of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa). The Promised Messiah (as) advised his Community to act with patience and prayer on numerous occasions. In fact he even said that if one does not possess the ability to tread the most difficult of tracts without showing patience, then they were free to leave him.
His Holiness (aba) said that he is asked about this topic by various media outlets and journalists and he usually responds that often, it has been the case that the very people who oppose the Community are the ones who eventually end up joining the Community and accept Ahmadiyyat. We too could show the same aggression being shown against us, however we are those who have accepted the Messiah of the Age who came to establish peace and who advised us to remain patient. Hence, if there are legal routes that can be taken then those can be adopted. In fact, there are times when even without taking the legal route, God manifests his means of help. His Holiness (aba) said that people are astonished upon hearing this response, and commend the fact that this is how peaceful people live.
The True Meaning of Patience
His Holiness (aba) said that in a sermon, the Second Caliph (ra) explained the true meaning of patience. His Holiness (aba) said that he would present certain points in light of this sermon, along with guidance of the Promised Messiah (as) about patience.
His Holiness (aba) said that the Second Caliph (ra) regarded patience as an extremely important matter, saying that patience is among the foremost responsibilities of the Community of a prophet. No community has been able to succeed without patience. The Second Caliph (ra) further explained that there are two kinds of patience; the first is to show patience despite being fully capable of retaliating, and the second is to show patience under circumstances of helplessness.
His Holiness (aba) said that when we analyse the meaning of ‘patience’ in Arabic we find that its meanings are extremely vast. According to the various instances in the Holy Qur’an in which Allah the Almighty has enjoined patience along with the various meanings of ‘patience’ explained by various lexical authorities, it becomes clear that ‘patience’ has three principle meanings:
- To abstain from sin
- To consistently do good deeds
- To abstain from panic and fear
His Holiness (aba) said that in light of the first meaning, one must combat those evils which incite a person and to safeguard against those eveil which could incite a person in the future. Patience is not merely to sit calmly, rather it is to make constant efforts for inner purification. Such people also experience the help of Allah in ways that they could have never imagined. The opponents are waiting for us to abandon patience and start behaving like them so that they can claim victory, however Allah the Almighty enjoins us to employ the use of wisdom.
His Holiness (aba) said that in light of the second meaning, it is made clear that one must consistently undertake acts of virtue, and also adopt those acts of virtue which they have not yet been able to. This in fact is a means of drawing nearer to God which can be attained through prayer, as God says in the Qur’an:
‘And seek help with patience and Prayer; and this indeed is hard except for the humble in spirit.’ (The Holy Qur’an 2:46)
At another instance, God states in the Holy Qur’an:
“And those who persevere in seeking the favour of their Lord, and observe Prayer, and spend out of that with which We have provided them, secretly and openly, and repel evil with good. It is these who shall have the best reward of the final abode’ (The Holy Qur’an 13:23)
His Holiness (aba) said that patience, consistency, humility and prayer are the prime means of seeking God’s pleasure and this can only be achieved when we live our lives in a manner conducive to attaining the pleasure of God Almighty.
His Holiness (aba) said that the third meaning of patience is to avoid panicking in times of difficulty.One should always keep in mind that whatever they have is a bestowal from God Almighty. If He takes something away, then He will grant something else later. This is the mentality of those who are righteous and patient.
Patience Solely for the Sake of God
His Holiness (aba) said that it should be borne in mind that patience should not be the result of any weakness or worldly fear, rather patience should be solely for the sake of God and in accordance with His commandment. We enjoin patience only because it is the commandment of God Almighty. If it was merely about showing retaliation, then there must be many Ahmadis who are ready to retaliate without any fear for their own life. However, doing so would be contrary to the teachings of Islam. We despise such acts because they do not behoove the divine communities of prophets. We have pledged to safeguard humanity from all sorts of harm.
His Holiness (aba) said that on one occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) said that one’s actions should exhibit the distinction between patience and a lack of dignity. For example, if a person asks another to borrow some money, and the other person chastises and humiliates them and so the person asking thinks that since he is in the weaker position of asking the other for money, he should simply endure this and laugh along, then this would be considered a lack of dignity. However, at times for the benefit of the nation, it is necessary to remain silent. This is true patience. For example, if there is an instance where retaliating negatively impacts the society yet a person still retaliates, then this would be considered foolish. However, remaining patient for the greater good is true patience.
His Holiness (aba) said that sometimes people think that when a person is wrongfully arrested there should be some sort of demonstration or riot, however this is wrong. This is exactly what the opponents desire so that they may inflict even more cruelties. At this time, even government officials support our opponents, and if we were to show some form of retaliation, then it would serve only to further exacerbate the situation. In fact there are certain examples in our history where some retaliation was shown and it only worsened the situation. However when patience was shown and the legal route was taken, then there were instances where this approach proved successful. Hence we do not retaliate because doing so would contradict the teachings of Islam. In fact, our patience has at times greatly influenced officials. Otherwise, if we were to retaliate just like the opponents, then this would have a negative impact on those to whom we are preaching the true message of Islam.
His Holiness (aba) said that we must always bear in mind that we must patiently endure temporary difficulties for the greater and long term good of the Community.
A Response to Those Who Say that the Promised Messiah (as) Used Harsh Language
His Holiness (aba) said that the Second Caliph (ra) responded to those who say that on certain occasions in his books, the Promised Messiah (as) has used harsh language for opponents, and so we should be able to as well. The Second Caliph (ra) explained that the rank of God and His Prophets is unique. If a worldly example was to be given, then a judge can sentence a thief according to their crimes, however they cannot go around calling everyone a thief because that would create discord. Hence, by highlighting the weaknesses of others, the Promised Messiah (as) has attempted to reform them. However, when it came to himself and his own person, the Promised Messiah (as) himself said that he endures any and all personal attacks that are leveled against him. The Second Caliph (ra) recounted that whilst traveling on a horse carriage, people would pelt his carriage with stones, some even made their way into the carriage through the window. However, the Promised Messiah (as) only showed patience. It was this very patience that impacted those same opponents and drew them to accept the Promised Messiah (as). This still happens to this day.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that a person who remains patient no longer speaks of their own accord, rather their speech becomes inspired by God. Hence, the Community should remain patient and should not respond to cruelty with cruelty or respond to cursing with cursing. Nothing can compare to patience, although patience is not easy. But Allah the Almighty helps those who are patient.
Patience Wins Hearts
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that this Community would face difficulties similar to those faced by the community of Muslims at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). However, it should be remembered that such difficulties are necessary. No one is greater than the prophets, and they endured the greatest of difficulties. The more difficulties there are, the more opportunities there are to draw nearer to God Almighty. Not only should one remain patient, but one should pray for the opponents and to harbour nothing but compassion, so that by seeing this example, they too may be impacted and drawn towards the truth. Patience can win hearts.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that one who does not show patience cannot be included in his community. The Promised Messiah (as) said that he endured great difficulties. People would send him letters filled with the most vile and filthy language. In fact, sometimes he would have to pay to receive the letters and open them only to find filthy language hurled at him. However through it all, he remained patient especially when it came to personal attacks against him. If ever he used strong language as some assert, it was solely for the sake of reformation. The Promised Messiah (as) said that had he not been sent by God Almighty, then perhaps the vile language used against him would bother him. But seeing as he was sent by God, then how could such things bother him?
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that it is a shame to see other Muslims using such foul language. But in any case, it is clear and certain that their attempts are futile and they can do nothing to stem the truth. The Promised Messiah (as) said that he was sent by God in accordance with the prophecies of the Holy Prophet (sa), and so there is no justification for the opponents to raise any objections. The Holy Prophet (sa) had to endure difficulties and hardships at the hands of his own people, yet his success was unparalleled. The people of Moses (as) accepted him, but they failed to accept the Prophet (sa) greater than him and continued to inflict cruelties. Through it all, the Holy Prophet (sa) exhibited the highest level of patience, all without drawing back his preaching efforts.
Success is Rooted in Patience
His Holiness (aba) said that once, an Ahmadi went to the Promised Messiah (as) and said that there was a person in his village who inflicted great difficulties upon him. He asked the Promised Messiah (as) to pray that this person would move away from the village. The Promised Messiah (as) smiled and said that having become part of this Community, one must act according to its teachings. If one does not endure difficulties, then how can they reap the blessings of God Almighty? One cannot imagine the difficulties faced by the Holy Prophet (sa) and his Companions (ra), yet they endured them and eventually all the opponents faltered. The same will happen with this Community, and after a period of patience, this Community will witness the fall of its opponents. Patience is also a form of worship, and God says that the patient will be rewarded without measure. Hence, our Community is being helped by God, and enduring difficulties strengthens faith. There is nothing like patience.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that our success is not rooted in retaliation, rather it is rooted in seeking forgiveness, repenting, attaining religious knowledge, recognising God’s Majesty, and offering the five daily prayers.
His Holiness (aba) said that these are the ways towards our success. If we adopt these things as the Promised Messiah (as) has advised, then we will prove victorious. As the opponents increase in their opposition, we should simultaneously increase our worship, rather than showing some form of retaliation. Our victory is promised, God-willing. At the same time, we must employ the use of wisdom. Many problems can be solved through our conduct and prayers.
His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant us patience, the ability to pray and enable us to implement these things in order to attain His pleasure.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions