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100 Years Ago... - The Month of Ramadan

We present a unique article written by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra that was included in the 7 June 1918 issue of Al Hakam for this week's “100 Years Ago...”, although it was originally published in Tash-heez-ul-Azhan in 1909.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II r.a.

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, Ever-Merciful

We praise Him and invoke blessings on His Noble Prophet

Whether you look at it as the month that God has given precedence above other months; whether you bear in mind its significance as a month where prayers are said more; whether it is looked at as a month where Muslims must strive hard; whether you observe its significance in that the weakest of people get the opportunity to partake in its blessing from dawn till dusk; whether you look at it as a month where generosity has to be shown in one way or another or you believe it to be the month in which Allah’s mercy descends on man, there is no doubt that it is a blessed, rather extremely blessed, month. Blessed are they who seek its blessings, and those who, when they see its end, find a distinct transformation in themselves. 

Does God benefit from anyone’s hunger? Does any change come to the exalted Kingdom of God through our daily abstinence from food and drink? Of course not. Neither does His power diminish due to our hunger, nor does it increase. Our God is the God Who is free from all flaws. His power sees no decline as He always was and is eternal, and His power sees no increase as there is nothing else above Him. 

Remember that our fasting does not benefit God in any way. The reason why fasting has been prescribed to us is for our purification. As God is the Merciful, in order to purify His servants … and save them from sin, He provided cures, one of which is fasting. A rich person can understand their poor brothers’ and sisters’ plight only through fasting because fasts … will convey the pain and struggle of hunger and thirst to them. The arrogant can only come to realise their helplessness through fasts because through fasts, they will see that fasts make them realise the need for many things. During the fast, hunger and thirst surges through their bodies, enabling them to realise that there is no difference between them and their underprivileged neighbours. 

Due to fasts, one safeguards themselves from carnal pleasures and abstains from spiteful words. Fasting produces generosity in a person; it produces perseverance and courage. It enables a person to tame themselves. Thus, if a person fasts during Ramadan, fulfilling all its conditions with a pure heart, the month of Ramadan can cleanse all the sins they ever committed. 

Hence, my intention behind this article is to inform my brothers and sisters not to miss the opportunity of this month and to derive its benefits as much as possible. When we wake up for sehri, if we pray with pious intentions, then God shall surely show His mercy and alleviate the pain and suffering. Are we here for eternity? Will we not be held accountable for our actions in the Afterlife? Hence, since we are not immortal and must die one day and our actions will not be forgotten, is this not the perfect opportunity for us to sow seeds in this earth, the fruition of which we will witness in the Hereafter, and thereby making full use of the time given to us? 

O my friends, who are reading these lines, engage yourselves in prayers and urge your friends to use their time piously by reading to them these words. Do you think that you have been saved from God’s wrath by merely accepting the Messiah of the age? Of course not! I tell you openly that an even bigger responsibility falls on you, because first you lived in oblivion and could have thus been saved, but now there is no excuse for you before your God and you will be held even more accountable for what you did before God. So, if you wish to save yourselves from Divine chastisement, then do not neglect your religious duties for worldly affairs; do not trap yourselves in sin, for sin causes the heart to rust away. Whoever’s heart is filled with rust moves themselves away from Divine guidance. Correct your ways in such a manner that you do not cause others to stumble. It should not be that on the Day of Reckoning, people complain, “The actions of the people in Your established Jamaat were so disgusting that we detested the thought of being part of them. We did not see Your reflection in them as they were constantly engaged in vices and sins and Satan had gained dominance over them.” 

So, fear God’s punishment; lest Angels write you down among the people who led others astray. Engage yourselves in prayers for the prayer that is said from the heart is never ignored. It is God’s promise that He listens to the pleas of the distressed and God does not break His promise. So, express your helplessness in your prayers in such a way that they are registered at the Divine threshold and, thus, your hearts are enveloped in the love of God. The treasury of God is, in fact, those hearts that are filled with His love. Who would want to destroy their treasure? Thus, if you wish to save yourselves from future afflictions, purify your souls and fill your hearts with the love of God. Before God decrees for death to overtake you, kill your egos as God does not give death to a person twice. This is a sensitive time, so unite together. The sheep that stands alone is an easy target for a wolf. If there is discord between you and you are left alone spiritually, remember that Satan has a better grip on such people and shall consume you [like a wolf consumes a sheep], thereby leaving you spiritually dead. 

I possess a heartfelt pain for you that is exceptionally overwhelming, the knowledge of which no one has besides God. That is why I am compelled to call you towards your success and show you the ways of righteousness. What increased my well-wishing sentiments for you even more was that I was searching my desk for an article for Tash-heez-ul-Azhan, when I found a paper with a prayer of mine on it that I wrote last year in Ramadan. Whilst reading that prayer, I had a strong intuition to urge my friends towards this. Who knows whose prayer gets accepted and who is aware of the hour when God’s grace and blessings descend in a special manner? 

To express the pain in my heart, I present the prayer below. Maybe a fortunate soul is encouraged by this and consequently prays before his Lord for themselves and for Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, which is my actual intent. The prayer is as follows:

“O my Master, my Powerful God! My beloved, my Lord, my Guide; the Creator of the heavens and the earth; the One controlling the wind and the air; O God, Who sent thousands of guides, from Adamas to Jesusas, as leaders for the guidance of the world; the High and Majestic, Who sent such a noble prophet in the person of the Holy Prophetsa; O Gracious God, Who created a guide in the person of the Messiahas as a servant of the Holy Prophetsa; O Creator of light and O You Who effaces darkness, to You, yes only to You does a being as shameful as me prostrate, humbling himself and praying that You listen to his plea: Accept this plea of mine as it was Your promises that gave me the courage to submit my supplications before You. I was nothing, and You gave me life; I was non-existent, and You gave me existence; for my sustenance You created the four elements of nature and created human beings to care for me. When I was unable to express my needs, you created for me those who took care of my needs themselves. O my Dear One! You made Adam my father and Eve my mother and made a servant whom You saw with respect to intercede for me and ask You to be Merciful to me. I wronged myself, yet You covered my shortcomings. I committed mistakes, yet You forgave. You helped me through every test and pain. When any trouble struck me, You helped me, and whenever I went astray, You held my hand. You ignored my mischiefs and when I moved away from You, You came even closer to me. I was negligent of You, yet You never forgot me. On occasions when parents, relatives, acquaintances, friends and sympathisers are unable to help, You extended Your Hand of omnipotence to help me. When I was sad, You made me happy and when I felt low, You gave me joy. When I wept, You made me laugh. There are many who suffer in living detached, but for me, You showed Your Own Self. You made promises and kept them, and never did You fail to keep any vow. I made pledges with You but failed to honour them, yet You overlooked this. I do not see anyone more sinful than myself, but I also do not see anyone who can be more kind to a sinner than You. Anyone kinder than You cannot be imagined. When I cried and wept before You, You listened to me and accepted my prayers; I cannot recall my cries of perturbation ever being rejected. So O my Lord! I fall before You in prostration with restlessness and with a painful heart and beg You to accept my prayer and respond to my cry. O my Pure God! My nation is at the verge of annihilation; please save it! Those of them who call themselves Ahmadis, I have nothing to do with, unless their hearts and bosoms are cleansed. So O my Lord! Set Your Grace and Mercy in motion, and cleanse them. Grant them the passion and fervour of the Companionsra [of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa]. Let their work be purer and cleaner than their word. Let them sacrifice themselves in the way of Your Beautiful Being and the Holy Prophetsa. May the prayers of the Messiahas be accepted in their favour. O my Lord! Save my nation from trials and tribulations and save them from woes. May great sages and saints be born in this nation who unite to become a nation of Your choice and may they become a community … that You hold dearest. May they be saved from becoming a nation taken over by Satan and may Angels always descend upon them. Make this nation a blessed one, yes, a blessed one and a very blessed one. Amin, O Lord of all the worlds.

Now I shall pray for my brothers and sisters, my mother, my friends and all those whom I shall list below, and I very humbly pray that we are blessed, purified, selected, chosen as those who spread guidance, made servants of Islam, given health and prosperity, given death as Muslims, looked upon with happiness by God at our death and live lives free from His displeasure in this world and the next. I pray especially for the Khalifa of the time [this was written in time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira]: O my Lord, bless his knowledge and wisdom, prosper him in his mission, safeguard him from every discomfort, make his planning blessed and lead him along the path that is Islam.” 

My intention behind noting this prayer here is so that a fortunate soul might benefit from it and they might pray for the victory of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and Islam in this blessed month. 

In the end, I wish to urge everyone not to squander this opportunity. Cry for the sake of your Lord at night and pay alms during the day. This is such a scheme that if a Jamaat from among you is produced, which carries out these duties, then God promises triumph in His Holy Word. Which unfortunate person does not have trust in God’s promises? May God develop unity among us and grant us the potential to perform righteous acts and prayers. May the days of darkness vanish and may the bright days of Islam’s triumph become manifest. Amin, O Lord of all the worlds. 

Humbly yours, 

Mirza Mahmud Ahmad 

(Translated by Qaasid Muin Ahmad)

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