Divine Origin of Ahmadiyyat

37 DIVINE ORIGIN OF AHMADIYYAT (Tahir Ahmad Khan) Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi was born in Qadian, India, in 1835 and passed away in 1908. He was appointed by Allah to this exalted rank in order to revive Islam in the 14th century A.H. Since Islam was established by Allah to be mankind’s perfect religion it was but natural that He and only He may raise among Muslims a person to serve as a guide for those whose beliefs are erroneous. Wrong beliefs and misdirected faith can never lead to correct actions. Therefore it is necessary for all Muslims to hearken to the call of such a chosen one from Allah who endeavours to reform the Muslims, enjoins upon them to enter the fold of a divinely established Jama’at, literally guarantees the revival of the Straight Path and re-establishes the superiority of the True Islam over all other beliefs and religions. Heavenly Signs in support of his claim have now been recognised by more than ten million people all over the world. The fact that the numbers of his followers are increasing is in itself a sign in favour of his greatness and truth. Allah blesses that which He has established Himself and causes it to succeed against all odds. No matter how vast their economic, governmental, or religious influence may be, political leaders, military rulers, leaders of revolutions, kings, presidents, nominated scholars or self-appointed custodians of holy shrines, all of them cannot be free from vain talk and idle boasts. Since they have not been appointed by Allah to safeguard religious purity, it follows that they cannot revive that which was instituted by Allah. It is only Allah who has the power to revive religion and establish a group in His name, the timing of which is also ordained by Him. Allah says in the Holy Quran: 0 children of Adam, if Messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing My Signs unto you, then whoso shall fear God and do good deeds, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve. (7:36) Terrestrial rulers, nevertheless, form part of Allah’s grand design, but the influences they leave on religion He alone knows. On the other hand the effects of divinely appointed persons on religion become evident for everyone to experience and observe. 38 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The Jama’at Ahmadiyya which was established on the basis of revelation by divine command in 1889 has been showered with His blessings and great successes. False claimants to divine revelation and all their followers never escape the wrath of Allah. The Promised Messiah’s claim was published in 1891. During the month of Ramazan in 1894, there occured eclipses of both the sun and the moon. This was a powerful and clear sign for all to see with physical eyes according to that which had been foretold in the Hadith. Likewise, the era of the Promised Messiah was foretold during which there would be means of transport working with fire, all means of communications would become vast and the camel would be rendered obsolete. The appearance of the same Promised Messiah came about at the head of the 14th centrury A.H., also in accordance with a prophecy in the Hadith. The Breaking of the Cross has also been rendered in the most powerful and conclusive terms, a singular honour which had been reserved for the Promised Messiah and Mahdi for so many centuries. The scores of books written by him in Urdu, Arabic and Persian form the everlasting foundations for the Islamic Renaissance upto the Day of Judgement. All these signs and historical facts, coupled with the sheer and total absence of any other enduring claimant is enough for the fair-minded believer whether layman or learned to accept the divine call of the time and prevent an increase in the error of their ways. The Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) in Arabic. Hence it was absolutely necessary that the Promised Messiah too, should have complete mastery over this language. Knowle- dge to this effect was also bestowed on him by Allah through revelation. He had thrown a challenge to all men whether Arabs or non-Arabs to match his knowledge of the language. None accepted this challenge because all knew that his knowledge of Arabic language was indeed very vast. During the 19th century, especially in the latter half, efforts of Christian missionaries in India were at their heighest. Their main target being Islam. At the same time the decline of the Muslims was at its lowest. Centuries of terrestrial power had caused them to relegate the practice of religion to a mere ritual. Lack of knowledge had definitely lapsed into a lack of faith. Many had even started worshipping the graves of dead saints. The remnants of such practices can still be found in varying degrees even up to this day. In these conditions the day to day affairs of religion like prayers, marriage, funeral services etc., were totally in the hands of those who could memorise the required verses of the Holy Quran and some other Arabic texts. Because an overwhelming majority of the REVIEW OH RELIGIONS 39 people had already come to accept their religion as a mere ritual, a cursory and superficial knowledge of Arabic was quite enough to make them leaders in moral affairs, and be regarded as mullahs. These mullahs behaved very much like the high priests of Roman times, and who were the persecutors of Jesus, son of Mary, holding complete sway over their followers. This was the situation existing in India. The case of Muslim communities in other parts of the world differed only in the degree of fanaticism of the mullah. On the other hand, Christian missionaries spurred on by the ascendency of their mentors and the obviously complete weakness of their quarry, pursued their preaching very intelligently and relentlessly. They fully exploited the apparent simplicity of the Christian Faith, the miraculous powers of Jesus (sometimes as a man and sometimes as God), the selfless devotion of celibate priests and nuns, the awe-inspiring rhetorics and the general progress of the Christian people. They encouraged public debates on religion with full confidence and fearlessly challenged the Quran, and thereby succeeded in a large measure, in creating doubts among Muslims that the Quran might not be the Word of God. In the history of Islam if ever there was a challenge from Christianity, this period represented its high point. Translations of the Bible were circulated in large numbers. Since there are many events which have been recorded in the Bible prior to the revelation of the Holy Quran, they accused the Holy Prophet of plagiarising the Bible. In total disregard of history they also tried to put the Holy Prophet’s person into disrepute. Missionary schools, colleges and other societies were established on a large scale in India as well as in other parts of the Muslim world in order to substantiate the claims of the padres. In short, no stone was left unturned in pursuit of this tireless missionary work to break the Muslims’ will. The edifices of Islamic education or whatever was left in them, were thoroughly permeated by Christian thought. The breeze of a Christian victory was felt strongly especially towards the end of the last century when scholars of the World Council of Churches gathered in India and declared that there was no further need to waste time in arguing against Islam because Muslims do not respond with clear and appropriate arguments in return. This was not an expression of despair, but indeed quite the opposite. They had completed their arguments, and without getting a reasoned and logical response they understandably assumed that the Muslims were now willy nilly drifting towards a final and total intellectual capitulation. A virtual insult to injury was the disturbing lack of intellectual crusade or even moral support offered against the Christian onslaught from any other Muslim quarter of the world. Hence the Christian scholars in this gathering were in effect saying with one voice: we close our case. 40 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS In retrospect, however, it is only today that we realise and observe that in reality the case had not been closed and a lot remained to be said. We now examine that reality and point out in clear terms as to who showed us the positive, logical and reasoned approach in order to turn that reality into the concrete manifestations of the resurgence of True Islam. Allah says in the Holy Quran: This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you and chosen for you Islam as religion…. (5:4) Verily it is We Who have sent down this Exhortation and most surely We are its Guardian. (15:10) If the religion was perfect and the Book was guarded by Allah Himself, then where was the problem? Lack of knowledge of their own religion had resulted in a weak faith. It was under these circumstances that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad appeared as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi in Islam to revive the original spirit of righteous deeds and peaceful behaviour. He emphasised in unequivical terms that there was no danger to Islam because Allah is its protector. The only danger being to the unrighteous who arrogate upon themselves the duty to protect religion without first ensuring their own good moral conduct. In contrast to these people some righteous Muslims had already started physically searching for the Messiah or Mahdi as foretold by the Holy Prophet. It is the eternal way of Allah that during times of great religious tumult and conster- nation He always informs the righteous ones of His own choice that divine revelation has been showered upon someone amongst a particular people. This is the reason why people usually start searching for a divine sign or divinely appointed personality, during or immediately prior to his actual appearance. Apart from other prophets, this phenomenon was certainly witnessed in the case of Jesus and the Holy Prophet. It is irrefutably clear that it also happened for the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. Thus did Allah intervene to protect Islam and appointed a Reformer in Islam in order to illustrate the correct path and save the Muslims from degeneration and utter destruction. Those who were searching for the truth found it through him. Those who were waiting patiently believed in him immediately upon hearing the news about the claims of this divinely appointed Reformer. There were also many who accepted him as a Warner and consequently started fearing Allah and adopted righteous conduct thus avoiding arrogant conduct. Out of this transformation arose a manifest improvement in moral fibre. In opposition were the mullahs, REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 41 and, of course, the well entrenched Christian missionaries. The immediate effect of this much awaited reformatory process established by Allah, was that a substantial number from among the righteous seekers of truth accepted this divine call whole-heartedly, whereas among the mullah— led opponents there were many who opposed tooth and nail, exhibiting a hard-heartedness of the worst kind. Messengers of God are never welcomed immediately upon appearance amidst a people. A vast number opposes them mindlessly. In this connection, it is enough to note a basic fact which is indeed a trait of human nature. A person’s hard-heartedn- ess takes root and multiplies only after he observes the clear and decisive success of his perceived opponent. There would be no logic or compulsion to adopt such an attitude towards a false claimant to prophethood, or self-styled religious reformer, because he is always fickle, and treachero- us, bearing the seeds of self-destruction. Of course, if such a claimant becomes physically aggressive, appropriate measures may be taken for self-defence. But as long as he repeats his claims peacefully, the matter rests between him and Allah, it is up to Allah to take him to account. Allah says in the Holy Quran: It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. And if he had forged and attributed any sayings to Us, We would, surely, have seized him by the right hand. And then, We would have cut his life-vein, And not one of you could have held Our punishment off from him. (69:44-A8) The hard-hearted never trust Allah to do what He has promised. Hence, it was but natural that a wild and abusive cacophony should surround the promised Messiah’s call. Contemptuous names were coined. False murder charges were brought against him. Extracts from his books and speeches were deliberately taken out of context and made the object of the lowest ridicule. Outright misquotations were spread and published shamelessly. Books were written especially for the purpose of ridiculing the Promised Messiah personally and also as the Ahmadiyya movement. Christians and even the Hindu Arya Samajists sprinkled their books liberally with attacks on the person of the Holy Prophet. Since Ahmadiyyat is nothing but pure Islam and the Promised Messiah had expressed his eternal love for the Holy Prophet throughout his life and works, it was impossible to write against him without denigrating the Holy Prophet and Islam. But the mullahs and other scholars of questionable repute turned a blind eye towards this basic fact and willingly tolerated the non-Muslims’ attacks regardless of the extent of false and abusive accusations towards Islam. Their mindless animosity towards the Promised Messiah thus stood confirmed. They were not 42 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS defending Islam, but their own selves; after all, it was their very existence as the unchallenged interpreters and masters in religion which was at stake. If he, they thought, was right, then they surely, would lose all the privileges which their laity innocently bestowed on them. Once drawn into this pattern of self-defence, there was no choice but to make intellectual compromises with their newly acquired friends, the Christian priests and reverends who abounded in India with awe-inspiring force, These compromises can be found in their books, speeches and interpretat- ions written after the advent of the Promised Messiah. The concept that Islam was spread by the sword, Jesus is sitting next to Allah in his physical body, all religions say the same thing and other attempts to reconcile dogmatic differences in religion were promoted. This was the outcome based on a marriage of convenience. It must be mentioned here, that during the time when many Muslims had joined hands with the Christians against the Promised Messiah, it was the latter who had counter-attacked the “very foundations of Christian beliefs and showed clearly to the world the falsity of their doctrines. The arguments used by him against the Christians were so cogent and conclusive that any further rise of Christianity was effectively checked and the tables were turned. This was their reason for the alliance with the opponents of Ahmadiyyat. It is impossible and vain to imagine that they did so to help True Islam against false so called Islam. Missionaries are not unintelligent people. Planning sensibly is the essence of missionary work. Thus, they were trying to kill two birds with one stone. Through the alliance they were giving strong currency to Christian concepts among the Muslims and simultaneously pitting the main body of Muslims against Ahmadiyyat, the True Islam, because the Breaking of the Cross was one of the divinely appointed and openly declared aims of the Promised Messiah. This unholy alliance presents itself as a clear proof in support of the True Islam. Furthermore hitherto declared opponents suddenly joined hands to crush a peace advocating person who claimed to have been appointed by Allah. Obnoxious as it may seem today, it is a historical fact. Much is not talked about it today, because it was based on ulterior motives and such aberrations never last. Truth, however was evident to genuine seekers, and there occured a change in the genereal Muslim psyche. Divine revelation is indeed a bounty and mere}’ from Almighty Allah. The tumult, consternation and despair changed into a strong hope. The alliance fizzled. The tide of the missionaries and their friends subsided. Islam had triumphed, in the intellectual and spiritual sense. This religious controversy won by the Promised Messiah was not REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 43 widely published. As a matter of fact it was suppressed. How could the almost insignificant minority be admitted to have prevailed over the majority, the learned and the scholars? It was certainly the greatest cover-up act of the 19th century, at least as far as matters of religious debates were concerned. Religious apathy cannot be cured on a mass level over a few decades. The mission of Jesus was also essentially reformist in nature, in that he did not bring any new Law, but confirmed and fulfilled the Mosaic Law, stressing and reviving the original concepts forgotten by the Jews. It took time and Divine Signs for the message to sink in. Indeed the early Christians were persecuted for about three centuries after Jesus’ time. Quite naturally, therefore, the Promised Messiah was generally scorned and his successes played down by the majority. The ability to tolerate human injustice and yet continue its reformatory mission without material reward, is the strength which Allah has given to the Jama’at Ahmadiyya in order to conduct its activities in a peaceful manner and re-establish the religion of peace in this world. That is Divine Justice. Although the arguments had been won, the Divine Community established, yet there still existed some flimsy grounds in order to mask the truth. The Turkish Empire still represented many misguided hopes and aspirations of the intellectually tired people. We can say today, after a century, that the Empire was decaying in all spheres of human activity, but this fact was not generally accepted by those who considered political power essential for the defence of all that was represented by the Sultan, including the office of the Caliphate. (The Sultan was also the Khalifa of the Empire, a successor among the believers). In order to keep the record straight, and remind those who oppose the Promised Messiah and his Community that much pain, anguish and despair was expressed by all those people who took Allah’s promise of Khilafat as an unfailing birthright of the believers, irrespective of their moral condition. Although the Rightly Guided Khilafat had been taken away long ago, even the last mere symbolic representation was totally finished now. This was the most dreaded final disaster, because in their eyes the Promised Reformer had not yet appeared despite the advent of the prophesied time (14th century A.H.). Religious scholars set out to resolve this gross contradiction between their belief and the actual events. History gives us clear evidence of the utter failure of the Khilafat Movement initiated by despairing scholars to re-institute this office. The failure is surely a Divine Sign that without revelation from Allah, man alone cannot revive an institution which must be based on Divine Guidance if it is to be worth its name. As we know from history, let alone the Khilafat of Right Guidance, they could 44 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS not even re-establish a mere symbolic representation. Was Allah unmindful? Did He not promise Khilafat till the Day of Judgement? Neither is Allah forgetful nor did He go back on His promise, because He promised Khilafat not to all believers, but only to the righteous among them. Hidden inside Allah’s promises for the future are also His prophecies. If those believers who were given Khilafat forget righteous- ness, then Khilafat is bound to be snatched away from them and vouchsafed to those among them who would be righteous. Looking back today we marvel at Allah’s Wisdom and Planning. The Khilafat of Islam had already been vouchsafed in the Jama’at Ahmadiyya. The Promised Messiah’s divinely appointed mission had been completed. The tree had been planted by Allah. As the Jama’at Ahmadiyya is of divine origin, then all the features of its establishment must, therefore, be full of great promise. Not surprisingly, no deep research is necessary for us to recognise that it is a mirror image of the original tree planted by Allah, the greatest Law-Giver, through His Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace be on him), more than fourteen centuries ago. The Khilafat has been firmly established since 1908. This is a Divine blessing which no true believer of Islam can deny. The Quran says: Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will, surely, make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors (from among) those who were before them (24:56) The subsequent continuation of the Khilafat of the Promised Messiah is a great Sign in support the truth of his claim. Those who deny now, invite the burden of proof upon themselves, failing which, they should fear Allah and seek His guidance in this respect. He guides those who seek the truth from Him. It is no secret that this Community is organised on the basis of the early Khilafat of Islam, and devoted for nothing but the propagation of Islam. For this purpose funds are not sought from those who deny the Promised Messiah’s claim. It is not at all a charity organisation as such. A declaration of religious allegiance is necessary to render support to the propagation of Islam. Allah does not require charity for Himself from man, but it is for man to spend for his own spiritual benefit. Such is the Divine Grace upon this Community, that it has never and will never beg for money. The Khalifa makes a call to the followers of The Promised Messiah, who have the ability to respond with the true sense of self-purification, by way of sacrifice of wealth, time and property. REVIEW OP RELIGIONS 45 What greater measure of purification and Jehad can be inculcated in a world so much in love with material gain, comfort and leisure. A world full of insecurity and money-mindedness to the extreme! Allah says in the Holy Quran: Those who, if We establish them in the earth, will observe Prayer and pay the Zakat and enjoin good and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the final issue of all affairs. (22:42) It follows, that it will only be that Community observing these injunctions which can rightly claim to enjoin good and forbid evil. Any organisation, not established by Allah’s Command, cannot rightly claim to do what the above verse implies. Only the Jama’at Ahmadiyya has been practising these injunctions for more than a century. Many others entered this field but have long since left the scene. Their fates were sealed the day they arrogated upon themselves the task of creating a jama’at, society, organisation, brotherhood or Khilafat for the purpose of reviving religion according to their own fancies. They certainly overstepped their rights in this world. After all, Allah is the protector of the purity of Islam, He is responsible to guide Muslims and let them be sure as to where the righteous group is among believers whom He has entrusted with the heavy, yet blessed burden of representing true Islam.: Guide us in the straight path. The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy favours, those who have not incurred Thy displeasure and those who have not gone astray. (1:6,7) The notion that ever since the revelation of the Quran, all the numerous sects of Muslims are on the straight path, and hence no further explicit guidance is necessary to show them that path is an erroneous theory. It shows a misunderstanding of the meaning of the Surah Fateha, a portion of which is quoted above, and which all Muslims recite repeatedly in their daily prayers. All sects of Muslims agree that it is a most comprehensive prayer taught to man by Allah. Ritualisation of this bountiful prayer signifies a total lack of trust in Allah as the True Guide. Only those can tread the straight path, who possess divine guidance through Khilafat, as promised in the Holy Quran (24:56). The maximum which the others can do is to form societies, associations, leagues, brotherhoods, fronts, alliances and similar organisations, holding man- made charters and constitutions above their professed religious beliefs. Suffice it to say, that neither man-made establishments guarantee the illumination of the Straight Path, nor can they avoid treading the (continued on page 1 3)