Bahaiism

Commentary on the Bahai faith

Deeds and Results (N. A. Qamar) It is universally admitted that every human being is born with different capacities and faculties and as he becomes mature he uses those inborn instincts according to training, intentions and aims of life. He performs different deeds according to his disposition. Those who are humble and submissive and have understood the purpose of life act with nobility and advance along the path of righteousness. Their intentions are pure and pious. Their thinking is bright, positive and constructive. They scatter pearls of wisdom and truthfulness around them. Their conversation and conduct is coloured with beauty, charm, grace and dignity. They shine like stars and the holy rays which emanate from them influence those close around them. They are a source of inspiration and guidance for others. They are a source of blissful benevolence for their bretheren. On the other hand there are others who live wretched and wicked lives. They perform vicious deeds due to worldly motives and hunger for power. Their impaired temperaments lead them to acts of tyranny, violence and sedition. Truth is simply unknown to them. They speak hastily. Their conversation is absolutely devoid of good manners and courtesy. They live and grow in ignorance and darkness and their ignominious deeds plunge the world into difficulties, distress and destruction. This great truth has been mentioned in the Holy Quran which states: “Say ‘Everyone acts according to his own way, and your Lord knows full well who is best guided’.” (17:85). In this verse God has advised the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) to inform his opponents who accused him of being misguided and mad, that everyone speaks and acts according to his disposition and own way of life. God has commanded the Holy Prophet to say: “Say, ‘O ye disbelievers! I worship not that which you worship; Nor worship you what I worship. DEEDS AND RESULTS 13 And I am not going to worship that which you worship; Nor will you worship what I worship. For you your religion, and for me my religion’.” (109:2-7). The Holy Prophet announced to the disbelievers that as there was no similarity between his ways and their ways of worship then let them carry on their way and he would carry on his way. Again the Holy Prophet is commanded to say: “Say, ‘O my people, act as best you can. I, too, am acting. Soon will you know whose will be the ultimate reward of the abode.’ Surely the wrong doers shall not prosper.” (6:136). That is to say the disbelievers are free to act according to their dispositions and the Holy Prophet was free to act according to his choice. Soon the divine decree of All-Knowing God would decide whose actions were correct. In this respect the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam operates in accordance with a code of conduct which let us examine. The aims and objects of the Movement have been enumerated by its Founder — Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad — The Promised Messiah (1835-1908). He has declared that the gist and essence of the Movement is :— (1) Belief in La Ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulallah which means “There is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” . (2) The object of the Ahmadiyya Movement is to promote and establish harmony and peace. In accordance with the teachings of Islam it is totally opposed to wars of aggression. (3) The purpose of bia’t (initiation) into the Movement is to collect a community of God-fearing people who can exert their influence upon others and unify them under the banner of Kalimah i. e., “There is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” They should be so devoted to the welfare of the nation that their sympathy should serve as a-shelter for the poor. They should become like fathers for the orphans and they should always be ready to sacrifice themselves for Islam like ardent lovers. All their efforts should be geared up in showing benevolence to the whole of mankind and the sacred spring of God’s love and service for mankind should sprout from their hearts and flow like a river to quench the spiritual thirst of all mankind. (Izala Auhaam). It is by the Grace of God that the Ahmadiyya Movement has been faithfully 14 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS acting on these prescribed principles since the day of its inception on 23rd March 1889. By treading on the path of peace and harmony, and by following the commands of the Holy Founder of the Movement based on the Holy Quran and Sunnah, Ahmadis are busy in earnest preaching and propagation of Islam in all corners of the globe; and in accordance with the teachings of Islam they are rendering sincere, selfless and sympathetic services to humanity at large. A well planned programme to conquer shirk (setting up equals with God) and atheism, establishment of the unpolluted and illuminated Unity of God and the pre-destined and prophesied universal victory of Islam is being vigorously pursued. Ahmadiyya missions have been established in all the continents of the world. The celestial voice of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from the small insignificant town of Qadian, Punjab, India is resounding in all directions throughout the world with the aid of more than 600 missionaries and preachers, along with hundreds of thousands of Ahmadis who are busy in delivering the divine message in more than a hundred countries. Under a grand scheme for enlightening the whole world with the teachings of the Holy Quran, large quantities of the Holy Quran have been printed in Arabic along with instructional booklets. Moreover hundreds of thousands of translations have been published in numerous languages along with Islamic books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers in gigantic quantities. This peaceful method of propagating Islam has caused trepidation among the foes of Islam. As long ago as 1927 the newspaper “Bande Marram” published in its issue dated 18th September: “Among all the Muslims only the AJimadis pursue the propagation of Islam incessantly and uninterruptedly. Their preaching efforts are causing the greatest harm to us. I truly confess that Ahmadies are the most awful opponents of the Hindu religion. We should not ignore them. I wish to repeat emphatically that the Ahmadiyya Community is extremely disciplined and solidly organised in its preaching campaign.” The American magazine Life published in its issue dated 8th August 1985 (the gist of which is something like this) that Symptoms of motion and might are appearing in some other sects of Islam and among them all, in the forefront is the newly rising Ahmadiyya sect by name. The sect has its missions in Europe, Africa, America and the Far East. Currently the Christian priests and Muslim missionaries are engaged in propagating their respective religions. The prevalent position is that ten Africans embrace Islam as compared with one Christian in Africa. Concerning the preaching efforts of the Ahmadi Community a reputed Swedish journal Tidens Tecken stated: DEEDS AND RESULTS 15 “The appearance of the Promised Messiah in Islam and the missionary activities of his sect, have thrown a challenge to us. We should not forego and forget the fact that this sect has assumed an aggressive attitude towards Christianity in Asia, America and Europe. Their arguments are solid, strong and convincing. We tremble to think of the consequences that may appear as a result of their missionary efforts.” Distinguished personalities have also recognised the services of the Ahmadiyya Community. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, editor of the Zamindar, Lahore, wrote in its publication dated 24th July, 1923: “Ahmadiyya Muslim Missions are rendering priceless services to Islam. The extent of their spirit of sacrifice, agility, fore-sightedness, sincerity of purpose and reliance upon God displayed by them, if not unparalleled in modern times, certainly deserves limitless respect and appreciation. This resolute Community has offered grand services while our leaders and scholars are quite dormant and languid.” Alhaji Abdul Wahhab Askari, a correspondent of Mutamari-e-Islami expressed his opinion on the preaching efforts of the Ahmadiyya Community in the following words: “The members of the Ahmadiyya Community have won supremacy over the whole world in the field of Islamic preaching. These people exploit all the available resources for the upliftment of their faith. Among their remarkable deeds are the numerous mosques that they have built in different cities of America, Africa and Europe, and it is with this irresistable practice that they march forward for the progress of their faith. It has become now clear that the brilliant future of Islam is linked with these people.” In short the Ahmadiyya Community is occupied in preaching and persuading people to prostrate to Providence in the establishment of a pure and peaceful society and by the publication of the sacred teachings of Islam through irrefutable, convincing and wise arguments. By the Grace of God the humble efforts of its members are being crowned with success and, as a result, numerous disbelievers in God have recognised the existence of a Living God with Whom they have had communion which is established by answer to their prayers and the sanctification of their lives and their experience of divine signs and assistance. Many of them have seen true dreams and experienced higher forms of revelation. Many such persons who used to abuse the Holy Prophet have been so transformed spiritually that on the mention of his name their eyes begin to shed tears of love and devotion. Out of their love for him they send their choicest greetings and blessings on him many times a day. That is not the end of their spiritual transformation. In the field of action they try their utmost to follow in his footsteps and are ever prepared to sacrifice everything to see Islam prevail throughout the world. 16 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The basic principle of the Ahmadiyya Community is love and sincere sympathy towards mankind. The Holy Founder of the Community said: “I want to declare to all Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Aryas that I have no enemy in this world. I love human beings just as a mother loves her offspring — even more than that. I am a strong enemy only of those creeds which falsify and injure truth. My duty is to deal sympathetically with mankind. My principle is to resent falsehood, infidelity, injustice, tyranny and every kind of bad conduct.” (Arba’een). Explaining the actual incentive for developing deep love and sympathy for human beings, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad — the Promised Messiah and Mahdi wrote: “The origin of incentive and enthusiasm for love and sympathy for mankind is the discovery of a mine of gold and diamonds. Fortunately I have obtained a beautiful shining and priceless diamond from this mine. It is so valuable that if I distribute its worth among all the bretheren they will all become richer than the biggest hoarder of gold in the world today. What is that diamond? It is the True God. In order to possess Him it is necessary to recognise Him, believe in Him and to create a connection with Him through true love and devotion. It would be cruelty of the worst kindif Ideprivedhumanityofthislimitlesswealth. lam unable to endure this situation. My heart burns on seeing their perversity and I feel anguish on seeing their sinfulness. I wish their homes to be full of divine wealth and prosperity and that their courtyards be saturated with truth and piety. Hence the person who calls others to God should love the most. Therefore I love human beings more than anyone else. Nevertheless, I am opposed vehemently to obscenity, rebellion and hypocrisy. Therefore, having no personal opposition against anybody I offer the master-key to the divine treasure which I possess for all human beings out of my intense love for them all.” (Arba’een). The efforts of the Ahmadiyya Community, therefore, are motivated by true love and kindness towards humanity and are geared towards calling people to believe in the One, Everlasting and Living God and to establish close ties with Him thereby attracting His choicest blessings and bounties. In the same manner they are busy in obliterating all the social evils from the world and they are also rendering indiscriminate social and spiritual services according to their status and position to the whole of mankind on the basis of universal equality and brotherhood. The Community has a separate department which caters for the needs of the distressed, poor, helpless, orphans and promising and deserving students. DEEDS AND RESULTS 17 There are twenty-four Ahmadiyya hospitals and clinics, thirty-one Ahmadiyya secondary schools and more than one hundred Ahmadiyya primary schools in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Uganda. In these institutions Ahmadi doctors and teachers, saturated with the spirit of selfless sacrifice, are rendering very useful services. Thousands of poor patients are given free treatment and hundreds of students have acquired enviable positions and are rendering distinguished services for their countries after completion of their education in Ahmadiyya Schools. The leading personalities of these countries have openly admitted the services of the Ahmadiyya Community and proclaim their opinions without reluctance. Dr. Ajeman representing the Vice-Chancellor of Cape Coast University, Ghana, said: “We are very grateful to the Muslims of the Ahmadiyya Mission. This is the only dynamic organisation that is assisting the Government and rendering unforgettable educational services to the country by establishing primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary schools and, above all, by opening a teachers’ training college.” Mr. Chunry, the Director of Medical Services, Ghana, said in a public address during his officiating period as Minister of Health: “The Ahmadiyya sect is the only Muslim organisation that has resolved to serve mankind by establishing hospitals, schools and colleges.” It should be kept in view, however, that the Ahmadiyya Community does not receive financial help from any quarter. All its efforts and programmes are the result of individual and collective co-operation and sacrifices. On the other hand there are some Muslim scholars who, while opposed to the Ahmadiyya Community, also claim to love and to be serving Islam. Their Islamic theology, however, is quite at variance with that of the Ahmadiyya Community. Let us examine their dispositions, intentions and designs. Maulana Maududi the head of the Islami Jamaat writes: “The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) continued to invite Arabs to accept Islam for 13 long years. He adopted every possible method of advice and preaching to impress them. Strong and sound arugments were given, clear and convincing eloquence was exploited, minds were melted through reasoning and rhapsody, supernatural signs were shown, the most pious personal example was set but his people refused to accept his message which shone like the sun. . . . But when, after the failure of peaceful preaching, the Messenger of Islam took up the sword in his hands the vicious and mischievous trends started to change gradually. Corrupt elements and the spiritual filth vanished. Not only the light of truth became evident to them, their rigidity, pride and vanity also came to an end which always keeps a man away from yielding to it. 18 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Like Arabia, other countries also embraced Islam with such rapidity that within a century one fourth of the whole world accepted Islam. It was all due to the sword that rented the curtains that had enwrapped the hearts.” (Al-Jihad Fil Islam, pp. 137, 138). Thus according to Maulana Maududi, the only effective and final weapon to spread Islam was initially, as well as currently, is the sword. He continues to say further: “If a person is serious in his determination to reform humanity, efface aggression and vice from the face of the earth it is absurd for him to act just as an advisor. What he should do is to rise and do away with the government based on wrong ideology, snatch political power from such people and should establish a government founded on right principles.” (Haqiqat Jihad). Describing the object of his sect he says: “It is not a group of religious preachers or warners but it is a sect-of divine commandments to bear witness against people, and its main purpose and duty is to efface tyranny, aggression, rebellion and illegal profiteering from the face of the earth by force.” (Haqiqat Jihad, p. 58). Thus the Ulema (religious leaders) who want to achieve political dominance try to do so under the pretext of propagating the faith and transforming the world by misguiding the innocent and illiterate public by advocating compulsion and force which leads to lawlessness and breakdown of peace. Whenever they like they declare whoever they like to be infidels and apostates fit to be murdered under the excuse of removing vices and tyranny from the world. They use this policy of bloodshed in the name of religion and for the sake of God as if it is an Islamic tool which they can exploit against their opponents whenever they choose. Unfortunately in Pakistan such a group of nominal Muslim Ulema is actively engaged in urging people to shed blood in the name of religion. They proclaim that the greatest danger to Islam in modern times is the Ahamdiyya Community which, in truth, stands solely for the propogation of Islam based on the teachings of the Holy Quran which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and whose sympathy and concern extends to the seven hundred million Muslims throughout the world. The preaching activities of the Ahmadiyya Community have caused consternation in the rank and file of Christians whose number is receding while those of Muslims are increasing. They are annoyed to know that the small community of Ahmadis have built mosques in the heart of Europe, have echoed the greatness of God in the wilderness of Africa and are rapidly transforming and illuminating this continent with the bright rays of Islam. There is no comparison with the DEEDS AND RESULTS 19 former era when Church leaders declared that the winning of Africa to Christianity was near at hand and the present era when ten Africans are accepting Islam to every one who accepts Christianity. It is on account of this remarkable and unprecedented service in the cause of Islam that the Ulema pronounce Ahmadis to be the greatest danger to Islam. In the opinion of the Ulema the line of action is not to convince people by arguments but to draw their swords and annihilate Ahmady men, women and children indiscriminately. An example of their ‘Islamic service’ is the use of abusive language towards the pious ancestors of Ahmadis and raise false and fabricated allegations against them. They instigate the public to kill Ahmadis and as a result many of them have fallen prey to their brutality and have been martyred. Another example of their ‘service to Islam’ is their persuasion on the people to rob Ahmadi homes in day-time and as a result of these provocations many of their homes have been looted and set on fire. Their vanity is so great that they object to Ahmadis calling Azan (call to prayer) and facing Mecca to offer prayers. In 1984 the Government of Pakistan passed an ordinance banning Ahmadis from calling Azan, the disobedience of which is punishable by three years imprisonment. Other demands of the Ulema are that Ahmadi Muslims should not be allowed to pray in Muslim fashion and should not pray towards the Kaaba in Mecca. In other words their golden deed and greatest service to Islam is to prevent Ahmadis from propagating and practising their faith. They have also demanded a ban on all Islamic books and literature written by Ahmadis and also a confiscation on translations in different languages of the Holy Quran produced by them. In compliance with these demands of the Ulema the Pakistan Government has issued orders banning them and for their confiscation. Their so-called reverence for Islam may be noted in another case when an Ahmady was fettered and imprisoned for saying to another man the Muslim greeting “assalamu alaikum” —peace be on you. There was a further instance in which a case was filed against an Ahmadi tailor in Peshawar for hanging in his shop some framed passages of the Holy Quran, sayings of the Holy Prophet of Islam and an urdu verse exhorting frequent prayers to be offered for blessings upon his soul. A Government order has already banned Ahmady Muslims from calling their places of worship mosques. Now the Ulema are demanding that the arches and pulpits of their mosques should be demolished and the direction of their Qibla (direction of worship) should be changed. As a result Ahmadiyya mosques have been raided and some of them have been completely demolished while others have been set on fire and desecrated. Their malice against the righteous activities of Ahmadis has reached such a stage that they become provoked beyond toleration if the Kalimah (Declaration of Faith) or any portion of the Holy Quran is inscribed or written on their mosques or even 20 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS in their homes. They petitioned the Government to proscribe Ahmadis from publicising the Kalimah and that it should be erased from their mosques and homes. The Government which is always at the back of the Ulema decided to enforce this heinous task and took the repugnant step of erasing the Kalimah from Ahmadiyya buildings and mosques by dint of force; and there is no end to these manoeuvres till to-day. During the last two years this ugly situation has produced the following statistics. (1) The Kalimah was forcibly erased from 130 mosques and homes; and from some places it was repeatedly erased after being re-written. (2) 341 Ahmadis were imprisoned for displaying badges on which was written the Kalimah and inhuman atrocities were inflicted upon them. (3″) 13 Ahmadis suffered martyrdom and murderous attacks were made on 20 more. (4) The bodies of 6 deceased Ahmadis were exhumed from their graves. (5) 4 mosques were sealed and two totally demolished. (6) The number of different newspapers, periodicals, magazines and books confiscated or banned during this period amounts to 135 including the translation and commentary of the Holy Quran. It has been in this fanatical atmosphere that faithful Ahmadis continuedto display the Kalimah on badges pinned to their chests. Hundreds have been prosecuted and jailed and sometimes tortured, beaten, abused and handcuffed. There have been instances when they have been hanged on trees and beaten with chairs. Their faces have been painted black and they have been dragged through the streets. They have been stripped naked and beaten. In one case two or three soldiers joined hands and lashed one Ahmady young man and after becoming exhausted would start beating him afresh. The Ahmadis endured all this despicable treatment with steadfastness and cheerfulness out of their love for God and the Holy Prophet of Islam. It should be borne in mind that the opponents of Ahmadis committed all these assaults, inhuman atrocities and the obliteration of the Kalimah in the name of Islam! An Ahmadi youth was arrested and taken to the police station. His offence was the wearing of the Kalimah badge. The police officer asked him why he was wearing the Kalimah badge to which the youth replied that he was wearing it out of love and reverence for it. He was told that he would be given a lesson whereupon he was slapped and punched but on every stroke he repeated the Kalimah and smiled. The police officer then asked him why he was smiling to which question he replied that he was thankful to God to be suffering for the sake of the Kalimah. This reply infuriated the “protector of peace” who tore off the badge and, after his clothes were removed, he was beaten on his bare body in public. The police officer told the onlookers that this was how they treated those Kalimah believers who wear the badge. Despite this the dauntless youth continued to recite the Kalimah La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammad ur Rasul DEEDS AND RESULTS 21 Allah — There is none worthy of worship than Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. The police officer exclaimed how was it that despite the severe beating he continued to recite the Kalimah. He replied, “You carry on with your malicious manoeuvres. I have no other alternative but to believe and recite the Kalimah. How true and resplendent is the reply of that awe-inspiring Ahmadi youth! This was more or less the same response which God commanded the Holy Prophet to declare and this is the lesson he bequeathed to his servants and faithful followers. They should recite to their opponents the following verse from the Holy Quran: “Say, ‘O my people, act according to your power. I, too, am acting. Soon will you know whose will be the ultimate reward of the abode.’ Surely, the wrong doers shall not prosper.” (6:136). It is in perspective of this verse from the Holy Quran that we tell our opponents: “If you are pleased and proud of your disgusting and destructive designs and devices then carry on. We will pursue the propagation of Islam according to our progressive plans and we pledge to up-keep and raise the banner of the greatness of God and His Messenger and will sprinkle our sojourn with solemn sacrifices. We have placed our affair in the hands of God and now it is He Who will display His decision as to whose conduct is conducive of truth and Who is inviting Divine wrath.” Again the Quran says: “Say, ‘O my people, act as best you can; I, too, am acting; soon shall you come to know who it is unto whom comes a punishment that will disgrace him, and on whom there descends an abiding punishment’.” (39:40, 41). “Say, ‘O my people carry on, on your side. I shall carry on, on my side; soon shall you know which side is afflicted with a degrading and abiding punishment’.” (39, 40:41).

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