Evolution of the Islamic Empire

A brief look at the vicissitudes of Islamic civilisation.

As Muslims, we believe in all prophets among whatever people they were raised and in whatever country they appeared. But our love and regard for the Holy Prophet(sa) is the utmost for he gave up the slightest comfort for our sake. He risked his own life to save us from spiritual death. He grieved for our happiness; he pined for our success. He abased himself so that we should stand high. He planned for our lasting good; he prayed for our eternal welfare. He would let his feet get swollen through standing long in prayer. Sinless though he was, he prayed for the forgiveness of our sins. To save us from the fire of Hell, he would pray till his prayer mat became wet with tears. He wept till his breast heaved like a boiling pot. He drew unto us the mercy of God; he toiled for His pleasure, again for us. He caused us to be wrapped up in the mantle of His grace and the garment of His compassion. He strove to find for us ways by which we may also please God; means by which we may also achieve communion and union with Him. What the Holy Prophet(sa) did for us to make light our journey to God, no other prophet had done for his people. It is difficult to find a Muslim who does not claim to love the Holy Prophet( s a ) and many have been true to this claim. From his holy companions, down through the ages there have been many who have been willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of their love and devotion to the Holy Prophet( s a ). Many have composed panegyrics in his 27The Review of Religions – March 2003 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet(sa) By Bockarie Tommy Kallon, London, UK. praise. Yet amongst all these there was a perfect love for, and devotion to, the Holy Prophet(sa) by the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) which sets him head and shoulders above the rest. This article looks at the truth of the Promised Messiah(as) from the angle of this love and obedience to the Holy Prophet(sa). Did it seek visible expression and show itself in sacrifice? Did it influence his daily life, his speech, his conduct, his everyday movements? If the Promised Messiah ( a s ) can be shown to have possessed a love for the Holy Prophet(sa) unparalleled in the entire, glorious history of Islam; if his every atom of his being, every particle of his body, every faculty of his mind and every inclination of his soul, was consecrated to the service of the Holy Prophet(sa), then human reason compels one to conclude that such a man could not be an impostor. After God, I am inebriated with the love of Muhammad. If this is infidelity, then by God I am a great infidel.1 Nothing better encapsulates the P romised Messiah’s love for his Holy Master, the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ), than these word s f rom one of his couplets. In his love for the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ), he was unparalleled through the annals of history. In his devotion, he was unrivalled. Every fibre of his being, every interest of his life and every thought which dominated his heart was immersed in the love of the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ). From his many writings and discourses, we will shed some light on this aspect of the Promised Messiah’s life. In so doing, we shall relate some accounts narrated by those who w e re close to him so that, as we journey back in time to those blessed days in Qadian, we may take in our stride the veritable repositories and eye-witness accounts of his character at very close quarters. At the time of the Pro m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ), there were very many Muslims yet very little 28 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Islam. True Islamic teachings w e re rarely practised while innovations and encru s t a t i o n s had, through many centuries, adulterated the religion of Islam. Muslim divines of the time paid lip service and verbal homage to the teachings of Islam. While Islam was attacked from all corners, especially fro m Christians and Arya Samaj p ropagandists, they were busy imputing K u f r (Infidel) to one a n o t h e r. Foul attacks were being made on the life and character of the Holy Pro p h e t(sa) yet the leading Muslim divines were fiddling and debating silly questions with re g a rd to rituals. It was the Promised Messiah( a s ) and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement alone who was concerned with defending Islam against its enemies. Only he thought of i m p ressing upon Muslims the importance of good works. Only he steered clear of sectarian c o n t ro v e r s y. He made Islam pure by reforming all corru p t e d doctrines and investing it with f resh vigour and glory. He went on to initiate a world wide movement to present to the world the true Islamic concept of God and to establish the truth of the Holy Pro p h e t(sa) and the tru t h of Islam. The quality of his love for the Holy Pro p h e t(sa) s h o u l d , t h e re f o re, unlike that of Muslim divines of the time, not be judged by the loudness of its pro f e s s i o n , but by the acts of his devotion. It is interesting to note that the very name he gave to the Community he founded is in honour of the Holy Prophet(sa). His opponents misconstru e d this as an act of self- aggrandisement but in tru t h everything the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) did was coloured in his love for, and devotion to, the Holy Prophet(sa). This is how he explained the rationale and wisdom behind the name of the Community: ‘The name which is a p p ropriate for this Movement and which we p refer for ourselves is Muslims of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at. We have chosen this name because the Holy P ro p h e t(sa) had two names Muhammad and Ahmad. Muhammad was his name of glory and Ahmad his name 29 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 of beauty. In the name of Muhammad was implicit a p rophecy that the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ) would punish with the sword such enemies as would attack Islam with the sword and slaughter h u n d reds of Muslims. His name Ahmad indicated that he would spread peace and security in the world. God so arranged the life of the Holy P ro p h e t(sa) that his Meccan life was a manifestation of his name Ahmad and the Muslims were taught patience and endurance. In his life in Medina, his name Muhammad was manifested, and God in His wisdom decided to chastise his enemies. But there was a p rophecy that the name Ahmad would be manifested again in the latter days and that a person would appear through whom the qualities of beauty, which charac- terised Ahmad, would be manifested, and all fighting would come to an end. For this reason, it has been considered appropriate that the name of this sect should be Ahmadiyya Jama’at, so that everyone hearing this name should realise that this Jama’at has come into being for the spread of peace and security and that it would have nothing to do with war and fighting.’2 The mere mention of the name of the Holy Prophet (sa), it is related, would cause tears to well up in the eyes of the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as). This was attested to, on oath, by none other than one of his sons, Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad ( r a ), when he wrote: ‘I, the writer of these lines, was born in the home of the Promised Messiah(as) and am one of his sons, and this is a blessing of Allah for which I fail to find adequate words of thank. In fact it is true that even in my imagination, I can never conceive that I shall ever be able to re n d e r sufficient thanks to God for this great and priceless boon. But I know very well that one of these days I shall have to yield my soul into the Hands of God, and knowing this, and calling upon this 30 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Heavenly Master as a witness, I state that within my knowledge it has never happened that any slight reference was made to the Holy Prophet(sa), or only his name mentioned without a film of tear welling up in the eyes of Promised Messiah(as). His whole heart and mind, in fact every fibre of his being, was inebriated with the love of the Holy Prophet(sa)’3. The Promised Messiah’s love for the Holy Prophet (sa) was so great that any touching expression of love for the Holy Prophet, by whomsoever, brought a strong desire in his heart that it should have come from him. Hadhrat Maulvi Abdul Karim(ra) related that once he went to Masjid Mubarak which adjoined the P romised Messiah’s house in Qadian. He found the Promised M e s s i a h(as) in solitude, with a silent stream of tears flowing f rom his eyes, reciting the couplet of a poem composed, on the demise of the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ), by the well-known Islamic poet, Hassan bin Thabit(ra): (Thou O Prophet of God), Thou wert indeed the pupil of my eye Now that thou hast died My eye hath become blind. I care not who dies now. For I feared only thy death.4 The narrator of this incident records that he was taken aback by the state of the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) and in great anxiety enquired what the matter was which had caused him such p rofound grief. The Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) replied that he had been reciting this couplet to himself and thought how great would it have been if this fine verse had come from him. Even a cursory glance at this incident leaves one bre a t h l e s s . The Promised Messiah ( a s ), t h roughout his life, had to encounter a succession of bitter experiences. He saw every kind of hardship; his life was exposed to every hazard. He bore all kinds of troubles and went through a storm of difficulties. He was condemned as an infidel and an apostate from Islam and experienced unrelenting oppo- sition at the hands of leading 31 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Muslim Divines. He also witnessed the death of many near and dear friends and re l a t i o n s , including some of his own c h i l d ren. But his eyes never betrayed the depth of his emotions, as they did on this occasion, when he was alone, s e c retly grieving over a death which took place more than thirteen hundred years before – grieving so deeply that while reciting this loving couplet his eyes bore the look of a flooded s t ream and his sensitive heart was wishing this beautiful poem was his. Hadhrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum(ra), the eldest daughter of the Promised Messiah(as), related that once a discussion centred a round the possibility of the P romised Messiah(as) going to perform Hajj. At the very thought of visiting the sacre d shrines of Mecca and Medina his eyes began to run with tears and while wiping them he observed: ‘This is indeed the wish of my heart. But I often wonder whether at all I would be able to bear the sight of the last resting place of the Holy Prophet(sa).’ 5 A thoughtful look at this incident reveals the deep emotions of love which rolled in the heart of the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as). It is true that every Muslim would long to go on a pilgrimage to the holy places in Mecca and Medina. But imagine the boundless love for the Holy P ro p h e t(sa) of a man lost in spiritual ecstasy, a man whose soul, at the very thought of a pilgrimage, flies to the blessed tomb and from a rush of emotion his eyes begin to swim in tears. S i n c e re love manifests itself naturally through sacrifice and a jealous regard for the beloved. The Promised Messiah ( a s ) possessed both of these in great abundance for the Holy Prophet(sa). While referring to the outrageous and false accusations levelled by Christians against the Holy Prophet(sa), he wrote: ‘Christian missionaries have fabricated innumerable false c h a rges against our Prophet(sa) and by means of this subtle fraud and deception they have misled a l a rge number of people. Nothing has lacerated my heart so grievously as the 32 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 mockery and ridicule they heap on his fair name. Their cutting remarks against the holiest of men have deeply wounded my heart. I call God to witness that even if all my children, childre n ’ s children, friends, colleagues and helpers were slaugh- t e red before my eyes, my limbs were torn apart, the pupils of my eyes were plucked out, all my designs were frustrated, and I was deprived of every pleasure and comfort, the agony is m o re unbearable for me when such low and vile attacks are made upon the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). There f o re , Thou, O Heavenly Master, I implore Thee, cast a look of m e rcy and compassion on me and deliver me from this great trial and tribulation.’6 This is a truly pro f o u n d statement of love for the honour of the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). Even more profound is the fact that this was not an empty claim. On the contrary, the entire life of the P romised Messiah(as) b e a r s testimony to the truth of this claim. During his lifetime, he received accolades from leading Muslim divines and on his demise, leading Muslim and non-Muslim newspapers and journals paid tribute, in glowing and superlative terms, to his victorious championship of Islam. To cite but one example, on the publication of his epoch- making, Braheen Ahmadiyya, Hadhrat Sufi Ahmad Jan(ra) of Ludhiana, himself a great saintly Sufi, wrote: ‘That great personage, benefactor of mankind, s o u rce of benevolence and beneficence, personal pro o f of Islam, honoured above commonalty and the nobility, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, may his blessings endure, Chief of Qadian, in the district of G u rd a s p u r, Punjab, has written a book titled Braheen Ahmadiyya’. This book establishes the tru t h of Islam and the Pro p h e t h o o d of Muhammad( s a ), and of the Holy Qur’an, through three h u n d red strong proofs of various types and refutes the Christian, Arya, Hindu, 33 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Brahmo Samaj and all other religions opposed to Islam, by means of convincing reasoning…’7 His eldest son, Hadhrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad(ra), also attested to this jealous sensitivity of the Promised Messiah(as) where the name and honour of the Holy P ro p h e t(sa) w e re in question. What makes this testimony exceptional is the fact that it was made at a time when this son had not yet entered the fold of the Community. Throughout the lifetime of the Pro m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ), Hadhrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad(ra) did not take the Bai’at (Oath of Allegiance) at his hands and remained aloof for many years after his demise. It was during the Khilafat of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (Second Successor to the P romised Messiah( a s )) that he embraced Ahmadiyyat. He was a p p roached once, prior to his initiation into the Movement, by someone intending to apprise himself of some aspects of the early life of the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as). This is what Hadhrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad(ra) had to say: ‘One thing I noted very specially and very clearly in my father. He could not bear even the slightest reference to the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ) i n d e rogatory words. On the slightest hint or expression to this effect, his face became red, and the look in his eyes would harden with anger; and he would immediately leave the place and the company where any such thing was said. The feeling which my father had for the Holy Prophet(sa) was indeed one of love – a love of which I have not seen an instance in anyone else.’8 Such was the testimony of someone who had not yet accepted the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) as the Reformer of the Latter Days. His love for the Holy Prophet(sa) extended also to the blessed companions of the Holy P ro p h e t(sa) and to his pro g e n y. On one occasion, he was relating to his children the story of Muhurram and the incidents connected with the martyrdom of Imam Hussain(ra), a grandson of the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). 34 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 A c c o rding to his daughter, Hadhrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum(ra), his tone was full of great sorrow and suffering and all the time he was wiping the tears flowing from his eyes. At the end, he said in great anguish and tender emotions: This was the heartless and bloody injustice which the obnoxious Yazeed perpetrated upon the grandson of the Holy Prophet(sa). But God soon after overtook these tyrants with His punishment.9 He was also quick to admonish his followers to imbibe in themselves the love for the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ). This, he explained, was the key to salvation: ‘For the sons of man there is no messenger and no medi- ator except Muhammad( s a ). So strive that you cherish the purest love for this Prophet(sa) of power and glory, giving no one else any kind of preference over him, so that you be put down in heaven as those who have been saved. And very clearly bear in mind that salvation is not something you will expe- rience in the life after death. The real and true salvation is only that which shows its light in this very life. Who is the saved? Only he who maintains a firm faith that the living God is a real-ity, and that Muhammad(sa) is the Mediator between Him and mankind; that under the skies there is no equal to him in rank and elevation, nor any book to rival the Holy Qur’an. That for no one else God wish that he should live forever, but for this blessed P ro p h e t( s a ) He did so wish: that to keep him alive forever He laid the foundation for continuing the benefit of his Shariah (Islamic Law) and his blessings to the day of Resurrection.11 At another place, the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) announced to the whole world that the fruits of loving the Holy Prophet(sa) are heavenly bounties: O all ye who dwell upon the earth, and O all human souls that are in the East or in the West, I announce to you 35 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 emphatically that the tru e reality in the earth is Islam alone, and the true God is the God Who is described in the Qur’an, and the Prophet who has everlasting spiritual life and who is seated on the throne of glory and holiness, is Muhammad(sa), the chosen one. The proof of his spiritual life and holy majesty is that by following him and loving him we become recipients of the holy spirit and are favoured with the bounty of converse with God and witness heavenly signs’.12 The Promised Messiah(as) found Islam and Muslims in a weak condition. He was moved by this state of the religion of the Holy Prophet(sa) and for this purpose, waged a great Jihad to uphold the honour of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa). If there was an enemy of Islam anywhere the Promised Messiah(as) was ready to fight. If ever anybody thought of attacking Islam, the Promised Messiah(as) was ready to meet the attack. He pursued all the opponents of Islam till they withdrew from the field or met their end. He explained the excellencies of the Holy Qur’an and effectively answered all the objections of opponents of every c reed and thought, and challenged them with the superior qualities of Islam. He demonstrated the truth of the Holy Pro p h e t(sa) with stro n g arguments, heavenly signs and luminous prophecies. His devotion to Islam and the Holy Prophet(sa) was total. Service to Islam was like service to himself or his dear ones. Night after night, he would go without the usual minimum of sleep and remain at work. If he had any help in his work, he felt very grateful and thanked the person as he would for a personal f a v o u r. In spite of continual sickness and physical weakness, he wrote more than eighty books and several hundred leaflets and made hundreds of speeches on Islam, on its beauties and the subjects connected with it. Writing would not satisfy him. He would write, have his writing translated into English, print several hundred thousand copies, and circulate them in Europe and America. If ever he h e a rd of someone who was i n t e rested in Islam, he would 36 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 write and personally invite him to accept the truth. In short, his whole life was devoted towards the establishing the supremacy of Islam over other religions in every aspect of teaching, doctrines and beliefs. From all this, one can measure the quality of his passion and the depth of his devotion to God and the Holy Prophet(sa). He had but one d e s i re and this was to make manifest to all and sundry the living might of God and the truth of His Holy Prophet(sa). Amazingly, in spite of all these peerless services, at every occasion, the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) would make a total negation of himself and would s t ress that whatever was bestowed upon him and all the services he re n d e red to Islam was on account of his devotion to the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). This supplies a very graphic picture of the unquestionable devotion which the Promised Messiah(as) had for the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). Today, we can but stand in awe as we marvel at his tire l e s s e n e rg y, his exposition of the limitless ocean of verities comprehended within the Holy Qur’an, his devotion to duty, his strong sense of purpose and his eagerness in the service of Islam. Yet, in spite of all these unrivalled services, like a dutiful and obedient student, whatever accomplishment he made, he immediately credited to his obedience to, and the tutelage of, his re v e red Master, the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ). His writings are replete with such statements. The following are but a few examples: ‘God Almighty has, through the blessings of my obe- dience to and love for the Holy Prophet(sa) and through my following His Holy Word, honoured this humble one with His revelation and with inner knowledge. He has enlightened me with the d i s c l o s u re of many mys- teries, and has filled my bosom with many verities and realities. He has informed me many times that all these gifts, bounties, exaltations, favours, kind- nesses, attention, award s , supports and re v e l a t i o n s have been bestowed upon me by virtue of the blessings 37 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 of obedience to and love for the Seal of the Prophets (sa)’ 12 He further states: ‘By the pure grace of Allah and not by any merit of my own, I have been bestowed a perfect portion of the bounty which was bestowed before me on the Prophets and Messengers and the elect of God. It would not have been possible for me to be bestowed this bounty had I followed my lord and master, the pride of the prophets, the best of mankind, Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa( s a ). Whatever has been bestowed upon me has been on account of this obedience.’13 Again he says: ‘I cannot acquire any degree of honour or excellence, nor any station of exaltation or nearness to God except through sincere and perfect obedience to the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ). Whatever is bestowed upon me is by way of reflection of, and through, the Holy Prophet(sa).’14 Yet again, he writes: ‘On oath, in the name of the same God, I claim that just as God spoke to Abraham, and then to Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses and Jesus the son of Mary, and finally to our own Holy Prophet Muhammad, in a manner much more clear and bright than ever before, sending down a pure r Revelation, in the same way He has blessed me with the favour of this communion with Him. But in my case this is a blessing which I have derived only through the Holy Prophet(sa), and through my obedience and devotion to him. If I had not followed him most implicitly in everything, this blessing would not have been extended to me even if my virtuous endeavour had piled up as high as a mountain.’15 It is disheartening to note that his opponents who accuse him of usurping the honour of the Holy Prophet(sa) do so in the face of such lucid pronouncements. However, there can be not even a 38 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 scintilla of doubt, or hint of equivocation in the Pro m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ), about the exceptional depth of love he had for the Holy Prophet and as he loved him so he desired Allah’s blessings on him. The Holy Qur’an enjoins: Allah sends down His blessings on the Prophet and His angels pray for him. O ye who believe, you too should invoke His blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace. (Ch. 33: v.57) The Promised Messiah(as) w a s true to this command. He writes in Braheen Ahmadiyya: “One night I sent Durood (i.e., invoked special blessings) on the Holy Pro p h e t(sa) in such great abundance that I felt as if my heart and soul had become fragrant with its perfume. The same night I saw in a dream that angels of the Lord were bringing to my abode large bags full of light in the form of pure limpid water; and one among those angels said that these were the fruits of the blessings I had sent to the Holy Prophet (sa) in the form of Durood.”16 A natural consequence of this g reat love of the Pro m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ), was such that it always found expression in his poetry. He composed numerous poems in love of the Holy Prophet(sa). They gave beautiful expression to the thoughts and feelings of the innermost sanctuary of his heart, which in turn pierces the hearts of others. We re p roduce here only one such poem to illuminate the case in point: There is light miraculous in the soul of Muhammad, There is a ruby rare in the mine of Muhammad. The heart is cleared of all darkness, If it becomes one of the lovers of Muhammad I wonder at the wisdom of those fools Who turn away from the feast abundant of Muhammad. No man in the two worlds do I know Who shares the greatness and glory of Muhammad. 39 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 A hundred times disgusted is God with him Who harbours hostility to Muhammad. God Himself consumes in fire the contemptible worm Who chooses to be one of the enemies of Muhammad. If you want to shake off the intoxication of the baser self, Then come and sit among the devotees of Muhammad. If you wish that God Himself should sing your praises, Then sing sincerely the praises of Muhammad. Lookest thou for proof for his truth? Then his lover be, For Muhammad himself is the proof of Muhammad. A head have I to offer at the altar of Ahmad, And a heart ready to be sacrificed for Muhammad. By the tresses of the Messenger of God, It is true, I am infatuated by the resplendent face of Muhammad. Whether I am killed or burnt in this path, Never will I turn away from the court of Muhammad. In matters of faith I fear not even the whole world, For I am dyed in the faith of Muhammad. Easy it is to be carried away from the world, In the memory of the charms and graces of Muhammad. Every atom of mine is sacrificed in his path, For I have peeped into the hidden beauty of Muhammad. I know not the name of another teacher, For I have been to the school of Muhammad. I am not interested in another beloved, For I have been captivated by the comeliness of Muhammad. Only a favour I need from the eye of Muhammad, All I seek is access to the garden of Muhammad. 40 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Do not look for my stricken heart in my side, For I have tied it to the robe of Muhammad. I am a sweet bird out of the sacred flock, Which has its nest in the grove of Muhammad. Thou hast illumined my soul with thy love, May I be a sacrifice to thee, soul of Muhammad. Even if I were to offer a hundred lives in this path, It would still fail to match the worth of Muhammad. What terror does this young one [Muhammad] strike That no one can meet him in his arena! Beware, O foolish and misguided enemy, Fear the sharp sword of Muhammad. The path of God from which men have strayed far, You can still find with the followers and friends of Muhammad. Listen, O thou who denieth the greatness of Muhammad, And the luminous light of Muhammad! Though miracles seem a thing of the past, Come thou yet and see them with the servants of Muhammad.17 At the head of the piece, a statement was made which, perhaps, may be contended. This is that in his love for, and devotion to, the Holy Prophet(sa), the Promised Messiah(as) w a s unparalleled through the annals of history. This might be questioned on the pretext that, not only the Companions of the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ), but many eminent divines through the ages cherished the purest love for the Holy Prophet(sa). Then, why do we single out the love and devotion of the Promised Messiah(as)? It is true that the Companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) completely lost themselves in their love for him and were unquestionably devoted to him. They were ever prepared to sacrifice their lives, wealth and honour for the sake 41 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 of the Holy Prophet(sa). But while we seek to make no comparison, unnecessarily, with anyone else, it must be pointed out that none of them through their devotion to the Holy Prophet rose to the station of prophethood. Neither did any other Muslim divine after them. On the contrary, t h rough centuries of Islamic history, we find that it was only in the case of the Holy F o u n d e r( a s ) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, that a follower of the Holy Prophet(sa) attained to the status of prophethood through obedience and devotion to him, in a c c o rdance with the pro m i s e given in the glorious Qur’an: And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these. (Ch. 4: v. 70) Furthermore, when we take due cognisance of the fact that the Promised Messiah(as) did not live at the time of the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ), that, in fact, he appeared thirteen centuries later at a time when Islam had been completely distorted; at a time when fanaticism and bigotry had become the hallmark of Muslim thinking, this gre a t accomplishment of the Promised M e s s i a h(as) is even more laudable. While other Muslim divines were content to celebrate their love for the Holy Prophet(sa) only in solitude, it was the Holy F o u n d e r(as) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who was to initiate a world wide movement for the manifestation of the glory of the Holy Prophet(sa). It would, t h e re f o re, be no hyperbole to claim that the Pro m i s e d Messiah(as) was unrivalled in his love for, and devotion to, the Holy Prophet(sa). Nor would it be a fanciful assumption or a tale steeped in wishful thinking. History furnishes no better re c o rd of loyalty, love and devotion. In speech and in writing, in poetry and in prose, in eulogy and in defence, he displayed before our wondering eyes a vast and seemingly limitless ocean of this great love for the religion of M u h a m m a d( s a ), the person of 42 The Promised Messiah’s(as) Love for the Holy Prophet (sa) The Review of Religions – March 2003 Muhammad(sa) and the God of Muhammad(sa). One great reality that emerges from all this and that is not only did the Promised Messiah( a s ) possess an extraordinary and astonishing personality but that whatever view might be taken of his claim, he certainly was no impostor. His faith was neither m e rely an academic verbal a ffirmation nor was it an adventitious extra. His devotion to the Holy Prophet(sa) and his love for him gives effulgence to his sincerity and truth. 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