Deal Patiently and Peacefully with the Government of Kabul’s Campaign of Cruelty

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (aba) Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

(Speech delivered on 19th February 1925)

Translated by Mansoor Dahri for The Review of Religions translation team.

The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in translation.

When the news reached Qadian that two Ahmadis were stoned to death in Kabul, the Ahmadis held a protest meeting. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) graced the occasion with his attendance and after the proceedings had concluded, he recited tashahhud and delivered the following speech:

‘It has been proven from repeated experience that every tyrant is eventually destroyed by the consequences of their cruelty. So far, there is no example in history of a tyrant who ultimately succeeded as a result of cruelty and injustices. Tyrants have always tried to wipe out truth and righteousness off the face of the earth through their oppression but they have never succeeded in their aims.

If there were only one or two examples of a despot who had failed to succeed through cruelty, or maybe a few cases, or even half a dozen or more such instances, then it might still have been possible to be unsure whether or not the tyrant could perhaps succeed through tyranny after a dozen attempts. The suspicion might have arisen that, maybe this time, they will succeed in erasing truth and righteousness.

But thousands of years have given us thousands of cases; no such doubt or suspicion should therefore arise in our hearts as to whether or not a tyrant might perhaps succeed in their aims through cruelty this time round or whether or not their cruelty might wipe out truth and righteousness off the face of the earth.

People say that 124,000 messengers have come to this world and although not all of the world’s historical records have been preserved, there are nevertheless still historical records that have been preserved and from among those we do not find even a single example of a tyrant who did not fall flat on his face after committing cruelty.

Truth always has the upper hand. Even in this age, a tyrant must eventually suffer retribution for his wrongdoing. Truth will always prevail.

There is no reason to doubt the truth just because someone who is conceitedly mesmerised by their own power and strength hurts or kills someone else. There should be no misgivings in our hearts as to what our fate will be in the end. The truth takes root by itself and does not depend on anyone for help. Someone who knows how to stand on their own two feet does not need to be helped by any force, large or small.

My mind never fails to be certain – nor can our hearts – that the work we do and the truth that we have been tasked by Almighty God to establish will succeed, that Ahmadi Muslims who follow the Promised Messiah (as) will triumph, and that truth will keep spreading in the world.

Instead, I am of the opinion that the actions of the Amir are very much like those of a child who refuses to go to school, and so his father has to drag him there. The boy kicks and scratches and rips clothes here and there. This is what the government of Kabul is like. They might kick us and scratch us but they will eventually have to attend the school of morality that has been established by the Promised Messiah (as) in this era.

The boy’s mother and father do not quit taking him to school on account of his kicking and scratching. In the same way, there is no hope for the government of Kabul until they attend this school of morality. Equally, you could compare them to a draft animal that hind-kicks and occasionally wounds people. But, in the end, such animals eventually lower their ears and go around pulling carts.

Likewise, you could compare the Afghan government to a new ox that tries to shake off a yoke placed on its neck and starts kicking with its hindlegs. But in the end, it has to place its neck beneath the yoke. Just as the ones before them were eventually tamed, these people will also be tamed. They too will have to do God’s work.

But the thought that occurs to me is how the consequences of their villainies and savagery and folly will backfire on them. As soon as I found out that the government of Kabul had perpetrated a deed so cruel and far removed from morality, I went straight to Bait-ud-Dua [a room rserved for worship] and began to pray to God so that He would have mercy on them and guide them and open their eyes so that they may recognise truth and righteousness and learn Islamic morals and forsake actions that fall short of humanity. Instead of fury and rage, my heart repeatedly filled with pity at the thought of them doing something so remarkably foolish.

The Amir and his associates must surely be aware of history and will have read historical incidents or, failing that, they should at least have read the Qur’an since they call themselves Muslims and should therefore know what happens to tyrants who try to humiliate truthful and righteous people with their cruelty and who struggle from with every nerve and sinew to wipe out truth and righteousness. In the end, of course, it is the tyrants who are wiped out.

They surely must have read in the Qur’an that tyrants who were in the trance of hubris at their own strength and power would consider the communities of the righteous to be contemptible and weak and that they would try to inflict every sorrow upon them.

But God would always ask them what power they really had anyway. Even more powerful nations had passed on before them, nations that tried to annihilate God’s righteous people and erase the truth that they had brought to the world, nations that were ten times stronger and yet still failed to erase the presence of righteous people. The truth spread throughout the world and took root.

Therefore, no government should be complacent about its power because it is the way of governments to rise and fall, nor can any ruler take comfort in the vicissitudes of time. The Afghan government treats us like this only because we are decent people due to the fact that we are governed by religion and do not twist morality into savagery like they do. Otherwise, do they not think our community can protect itself from their tyranny?

Doubtless they are numerically superior to us and we are weak in comparison to them, but the Order of Assassins were not a particularly large sect when they untethered their morals from the secure harness of religion. Far more powerful governments and rulers were made to tremble because of them. Whenever they decided someone was their enemy, they would kill them by stealth.

The way in which religion governs morality cannot be matched by any ruler or government. A person who leaves religion and morality far behind is not scared of any ruler nor the least bit afraid of any government.

The esteemed Amir should, at the very least, keep these matters in mind when he perpetrates tyrannies against our community. It probably does not occur to him that if people also absolve themselves of the moral restraints of religion, then they can put a stop to his oppression by force. Although he does not take morality into consideration, the morals of the people are governed by religion and they do not do anything that is contrary to humanity.

I do not harbour any rage or fury in my heart on account of this action of theirs in which they stoned to death two more of our brothers. Instead, I am afraid lest such a deed contrary to morality and the word of God is ever perpetrated from among ourselves or our descendants.

I am not so distressed or worried by the fact that the government of Kabul has martyred two of our brothers. No, what worries me is that even when the Amir and his followers and supporters are long gone, the beliefs by which they perpetrated this cruelty will be left on earth since there will still be a small number of non-Ahmadi Muslims in the world in the same way that Jews currently are.

When I think about the future, I feel pity for their descendants, who will inherit the beliefs of the Amir and his associates, because even when these men are long gone, this action of theirs will nevertheless be preserved by history and the consequences that their descendants will have to face will be extremely dangerous.

The Jews who tormented Jesus (as) have long since perished from the face of the earth but the world still remembers what they did. Now everyone can see how Christians treat Jews wherever they are and how they are forced to live in misery.

I do not worry about the fact that the Afghan government stoned our men. But I fear that, when our descendants read historical accounts about these cruelties, their rage and fury may exceed far beyond all the bounds of moral decency as has been the case with the Christians.

Because when our descendants attain power and become the heads of governments, they will, on the one hand, read accounts of this cruel and savage treatment and, on the other hand, realise that the people who imposed such tyranny and oppression upon their ancestors did so solely because they brazenly thought that they were powerful enough to do whatever they liked to the people they considered weak and subject to their authority.

I hope our descendants will never think that, because they are in power, they can do whatever they like with people who no longer have the power to harm them.

Therefore, on the basis of these incidents and experiences, I would like to advise future generations through this speech that they should not loosen their moral standards in times of power and strength because morality is something that only becomes truly evident in times of power and strength. Morality is more astonishing when you are the head of a government than when you are weak and helpless.

For this reason, I advise future generations not to pay attention to the cruelties of past tyrants when Almighty God bestows you with power and authority in exchange for the humble sacrifices that we are making now. Just as we are tolerating it now, you should also act with forbearance. May you not fall beneath our lofty moral standards but soar even higher.

(Al-Fazl, 19th February 1925; Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 9, pp. 39-45.)

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