Death and the Afterlife Health The Origins of the Universe

QUESTION & ANSWER – Response to Questions

Spiritualism is a material world; life after death; is animal slaughter cruel; and idealising pop-stars.

[ Tr a n s l a t o r’s Note: All references to the verses of the Holy Qur’an are given in Arabic as they occur in the text. The English translation, presented in Italics, is taken from the translation of the Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat Maulvi Sher Ali S a h i b( r a ). Where the Promised Messiah(as) has himself stated a certain interpretation of an Arabic verse, this is incorporated in the main body of the text]. There are many matters that an ignorant person considers objectionable but in the sight of God these are considered to be worship of God. However, if there is no sincerity of intention then even Salat [an act of worship] becomes a curse. The believers have been commanded 17The Review of Religions – August 2003 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). In 1891, he claimed, on the basis of Divine revelation, that he was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by Muhammad, the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) and by the scriptures of other faiths. His claim constitutes the basis of the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Presented below, in translation, is the second and final part of the address of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as) that was delivered in Qadian on 21 February 1904. The Urdu text of the speech is taken from Malfoozat, Volume 6, PP 352-359. Malfoozat is the title of the ten volumes that contain the collection of discourses, speeches and addresses of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. Translated by Amatul Hadi Ahmad [in the Holy Qur’an] to eat and drink, ….eat and drink (Ch.7:V.32) and those who do not offer their Salat for the sake of God have been referred to as [the cursed ones]: So woe to those who pray …but are unmindful of their prayer (Ch.107: V.5) To eat, Kuloo, is a command and when a believer performs this act having understood the point of this command it will be rewarded. Similarly, there is a reward upon the fulfilment of the command [to be kind to wives]: And consort with them in kindness (Ch.4: V.20) H o w e v e r, if ostentation forms part even of Salat which is an act of worship, then that, too, becomes accursed. In this age that which is called Islam has become different [from its true form]. All the negative capacities have come to the fore and the capacity of sincerity which has been mentioned in [the following verse of the Holy Q u r’an] has ascended to the heaven. Being sincere to Him in obedience (Ch.98: V.6) True loyalty to God and sincerity and love and trust in God are attributes that have become almost extinct. God Almighty has now decided to revive these capacities anew. God has always revived the dead earth back to life, [as is stated in the Holy Qur’an]: 18 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 [He] is now quickening the earth after its death (Ch.57: V.18) God has decided [to bring back to life the good capacities] and for that He has chosen and adopted various means. On the one hand He has sent an appointed one who is to invite people with gentle words and guide them. On the other hand there is the progress of know- ledge and science and gradually there is a trend towards greater understanding. There is not now the rough condition that existed at the time of the Sikh rule and people are generally beginning to gain a greater understanding. Yet another means [adopted by God Almighty] is the manifestation of signs which is by way of Itmam- e-Hujjat, that is, providing a full and complete argument. Hence, when the book ‘Nuzul-ul-Masih’, [meaning ‘The Sending Down of the Messiah’] is published, people will know [more about the signs] as it contains nearly one hundred and fifty signs for which there exist hundreds of thousands of witnesses. Among the system of signs, there is also the system of signs that create fear and awe in people among which the plague is one and it is spreading with such force that in previous generations the like of it had never been known. There are many people, however, who are taking note of these signs and benefiting from them. Not a day goes by without there being received, by letter or in person, initiation of people who wish to join this C o m m u n i t y. Even though the world has advanced much in sinfulness and impiety, in mischief and in self-seeking immorality, those who come to join our Community also come from the same society and this shows that there are many good people mixed with others. God will bring out these people and will grant them understanding but some others will become the victims of the plague. This is how [matters in] the world will be finalised and a complete and 19 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 conclusive proof would have been provided. (Here Janab Muhammad Ibrahim Khan Sahib mentioned Karachi and the region of Sindh and stated that people there were totally oblivious and did not have knowledge of such matters. At this the Promised Messiah ( a s ) s t a t e d ) : A person becomes perplexed in the face of a completely ignorant person. However, there must be some educated people there. The system of English education is in place. There may be many harmful effects of the English education, but it has the benefit that it expands intellect and increases the capacity to understand. It is such people that we need and they will gradually a p p e a r. What kind of conver- sation could one hold with savage people who have no concern other than to eat and drink? Even though there is a ‘veil’ of materialism over the educated group of people, good people do understand and as a result are coming towards us. A section of our Community is now made up of such people. It is not the case that we are calling them to us from here, they are coming themselves after having understood. In short, there is great expectation from a person who is intelligent and has understanding. What can one say to an ignorant person who lacks understanding? People have been led astray partly by Mullahs, the religious clerics, and partly by the ignorant F a k i r s and some follow the scantily clad hermits. Whatever the situation may be, God’s work does not stop. When a person wishes to make a garden, he first ensures that the chosen ground is capable of producing a garden. If he finds the ground to be a wasteland, he first prepares it by clearing it and by breaking up clusters of earth and such like. It is only after much preparation that he would make his garden there. In short, He who is the King of Kings is about to prepare this ‘garden’ and He would have seen that some people of a good nature exist. It is due to the blessing of education that many 20 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 people have gained guidance from our books whereas at the beginning they were very much opposed. An intelligent person doubtless becomes perplexed at the chal- lenge posed by the Cross and its activities that have progressed to a very high degree. Their books are spread far and wide and, collectively, their extreme efforts seem so powerful that one could easily be led to despair as to how that power could ever be broken and how the Unity of God would spread on the surface of the earth! All the means of weakening Islam are present and the Cross is in force. However, it is always the case that God Almighty does what He wills and whatever He decides comes into being. Dost thou not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills? (Ch.2: V.107) [The message contained in this verse] is the only thing that reassures even in the face of immense difficulties such that one’s intelligence may give the verdict that Islam cannot be re- established. I do not, however, accept such a verdict. Opinions of this type are heard from time to time but they are proving to be wrong. When God intends to do something, it happens. At the time of the Holy Prophet(sa) did people have a positive opinion about his mission? Who was there who believed that a poor person who had neither power nor any grandeur, who had no army and possessed no wealth and who faced opposition from all sides would eventually be successful and that the promises of victory, support and glory made by God Almighty would all be fulfilled? Despite apparent hopelessness, there was hope and all the promises came to be fulfilled and the testimony [contained in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an] was gained. 21 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 This day have I perfected your religion. (Ch.5:V.4) Furthermore, there was revealed the Chapter [containing the following verse]: When the help of Allah comes, and the victory. (Ch.110: V.2) S i m i l a r l y, it is possible that someone in our Community may consider it an impossibility that the power of the Cross will ever be broken but I say this that God can do everything. God must have various means with which this trial will come to an end but we have no knowledge of these. Nevertheless, we need to have faith that God’s promises are true and even if all material means point to the negation of His promises, even then His promise is true. If it was the case that there was not a single person with me, even then His promise would be true. The promise is weak of a person whose power and control is weak but there is no weakness in our God. He is Omnipotent and that which He has set in motion, continues. Our Community should hold fast to this belief. At times the Community is faced with trial and tribulation and there occur some splits. The Companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) migrated from Mecca to Medina and to Ethiopia but God brought them together again in one place. It is the practice of God that He tries and such trials can take on such a severe form that it seems as if a powerful earthquake has erupted when one is forced to call out: When will come the help of Allah? (Ch.2: V.215) At such times some people’s thoughts turn to the idea that perhaps God’s promise is wrong but eventually God’s word proves truthful. 22 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 This system has been established in the heaven at its appropriate time and if all other proofs are overlooked then the timing itself is a great proof. It is now twenty years since the beginning of the [Islamic] century and God’s promise is contained in the Holy Qur’an and in the Ahadith that the Promised Messiah would be born at the time of the trial posed by the Cross. The extreme nature of the force of this trial can easily be observed. Numerous reports reveal that nearly thirty hundred thousand Muslims have aban- doned their faith. Previously, even if one person became apostate from among the people of Islam, it was considered a grave act and caused much concern. Should God not take care even at a time such as this? Consider also the poor state of the practice [of the Muslims]. They are Muslims in name – some are even addicted to and remain under the influence of such drugs as marijuana and cannabis. Is there not need even now [for a Reformer]? Christians too are expectant [of a Messiah] and they indicate the present time [for the Second Coming of the Messiah]. Holy people who experience visions have also pointed to the same period. Circumstantial evidence and other indications also point to this time. If God had not taken care now, the world would have either gone completely astray or there would be Christianity. He who believes in God and the Holy Qur’an has to accept [the message of the time] but those who like the Jews are oblivious to the significance of the time, suffer deprivation. People also present the argument of Sawad-e-Azam, that [the claim to be the Promised Messiah] goes against the principle of collective agreement. These are foolish people who do not even know that a Reformer only comes when people have gone astray. What kind of significance can there be in the unity of such people and their witness? The Holy Prophet(sa) of God states that he has seen the Messiah(as) among those who have passed away in the Mi’raj and then the death of the Messiah(as) is proven from the 23 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 Holy Qur’an. Thus the Holy Prophet’s word and deed have both proved the death of the Messiah(as). John(as) died and it was with him that the Holy Prophet(sa) saw Jesus(as). How can someone be alive who is with the dead for so long? Apart from this, God states that we should not accept anything that is without a precedent. For the Prophethood of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) of Islam, God pro- vided precedence. Hence, there ought to be a precedent for the fact that Jesus(as) is still alive. This age is the time of spring for Islam. Even if we had remained silent, God would not desist. In reality, we are doing nothing, it is God who is doing everything. We write and speak only for the sake of earning God’s reward. The door of His blessing has now been opened and whatever God has intended, He will most certainly bring it into being. You can see that we have neither speakers nor lecturers, nor do we have any societies working on our behalf but our Community is progressing. There are thousands who have taken the oath of allegiance merely on the basis of dreams. There was no one to explain matters to them or to make them understand. It was God who guided them. Did we have it in our power to do all this? It is His hand that is working. Truth is such a thing that once it enters the heart, it is difficult for it to be removed. Those who accept our teaching after investigation, consider it to be dearer than their lives. One example of this is Maulvi Abdul L a t i f( r a ) who himself had thousands of disciples. He owned a large estate and possessed much wealth. He was a religious scholar at the royal court yet he left everything and accepted death. Can falsehood possess such power and blessing? Except for truth, does anything else possess such power? Here in the Punjab there are many that are put to great hardship merely because of their belief. Their nation, their brotherhood and the villagers all create hardship and painful circumstances for them merely because they have accepted the truth. In short, if 24 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003 God had not placed this in their hearts why would they undergo such tribulations of such a harsh nature that their own fathers and brothers separate from them. There are some that earn just two anna daily after much hard work and from that they pay their subscription to us. They offer the Tahajjud prayers and they are steadfast upon Salat. They bow before God with extreme humility and deep feeling. The point to ponder is that except for the fact that God should grant them the light of faith and pour truth into their hearts, how else could all this be achieved? For seeing and understanding, the book Braheen is a sufficient sign in itself. As is stated [in a Persian verse]: One word is enough to discover if there is someone inside the house For an intelligent person just one thing is sufficient. God promised long life – is anyone able to say that he would live for so many years? Most of the promises made in the book Braheen have already been fulfilled and some are still outstanding. If this was the work of a human being how could there have been so much support and if the promises were not from God how could they have been fulfilled? In short, consider the time, the age, the deviation, the inner and outer state [of the Muslims] and you will realise yourself [that it is time for the appearance of a Reformer]. We are not angry with our opponents because truth is always challenged to the bitter end. If one looks at the life of the Holy Prophet( s a ) of Islam, one will note how many challenges he had to face but did Musailma [the false claimant] face any challenge at all? 25 Efficacy of Repentance – Part II The Review of Religions – August 2003