100 Years Ago… – Daily diary of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II: Mocking religion, innovative method of preaching and spiritual advancement


Al Fazl, 10 & 17 July 1922

Qadian 1

1 June 1922

One should not mock religious teachings

On 1 June [1922], owing to the cloudy weather, the muazzin gave the Maghrib call to prayer about fifteen minutes before the actual time, due to which many friends who were fasting during the six days of Shawwal broke their fast. Following this, Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib announced through the muazzin in the Mubarak Mosque that those who broke their fast on the earlier call to prayer would get the reward, but they should fast another day apart from that day. While making the announcement, the muazzin said of his own accord that since he had given those people the reward of one more fast, they should also remember him in their prayers. As the [muazzin] uttered those words, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] was coming to [the mosque] to lead the prayer. After the prayer, Huzoor[ra] asked everyone to sit down and said:

“I have advised many times before that one should not mock and laugh at the matters of religion. [If somebody does so], its outcome is the loss of one’s faith. There are a lot of other opportunities and many other occasions for a person to laugh and joke. Time and again, a person can laugh himself and make others laugh as well and it is not at all unlawful. The Holy Prophetsa also enjoyed humour as did the Promised Messiahas. However, there are certain occasions and specific times for all these things and it is not permissible to make fun of religion.

“When I came outside a short while ago, the person who gave the azan a bit early today said that he had given the people who were fasting the reward of observing another fast. This is ridicule and mockery of religion. Surely, this is not a sin because it happened by mistake and God Almighty will not punish him. However, every mistake happens as a result of another sin. Therefore, a person should not be happy over any mistake, but should seek forgiveness. For instance, if a man shoots while hunting and it accidentally hits a person and he dies, will that man stand over his dead body and laugh because he did not kill him intentionally and instead, shot him accidentally. If it is proven that he had taken all the precautions on his part and he accidentally shot that person, then he will not be guilty, but that does not mean that he should laugh and be happy about his act.

“It is not a sin to give the azan a bit early by mistake, but it is a sin not to regret it and make fun of it. It is true that those who broke their fast will get the reward of that fast, and according to the apparent instructions of the shariah [divine law], they will also get the reward of the additional fast that they will have to observe. However, the natural shock of not being able to complete a task and being left with a little deficiency must have been experienced by those who broke their fast [early]. It is bad to gibe on such an occasion.

“Thus, it is the duty of a believer to respect and honour even the smallest commandments of religion and show regard for every single religious doctrine. No one should even think of laughing and mocking them.

“Apart from the muezzin, about those who said [to those observing fast] that, ‘Let’s see if you will fast [again or not],’ I say that it was not appropriate for them to say such a thing because it shows that in their view, fasting is a burden and the people were observing fasts by compulsion. This does not demonstrate their love and admiration for fasting. Hence, fasting is not a penalty. It is not for putting people in trouble; rather, it is a means of attaining closeness to God Almighty and a source of achieving spiritual progress. Therefore, it should not be considered a burden. One should not utter any word with respect to any religious matter which shows that it was done under compulsion.

“On the other hand, I wonder why the observers of fast were so hasty. Though it was cloudy, there was enough light to know that the Sun had not set. When they had already spent the whole day, then why did they rush [to break their fast early] and why not investigate. This shows their carelessness.”

4 June 1922

Lughat-e-Arabi [Arabic dictionary]

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“The Arabic dictionaries are still incomplete because some idioms we read in [the Arabic] books do not appear in them. Consequently, they [the missing words and idioms of Arabic] cannot be considered authentic unless they are mentioned in the dictionaries. The lexicographers did not do their research with an open mind. Where they were open minded, a lot of [words and their] meanings were given. Otherwise, they had accepted the meanings given by the commentators of any word of the Holy Quran [without researching] if they were [right or] wrong.”

Lexicography and history of Egyptians

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra] said:

“Shaykh Muhammad Abduh’s tafsir [commentary of the Holy Quran] is very valuable with respect to lexicography and history. Egyptians are very advanced in history. Especially Khizri is a very high-level historian. The views that we hold regarding the history of the prophets are the same as that of Khizri’s standpoint. In an issue of history, I used to think that based on my research, I was unique in my approach, but it turned out that Khizri’s mind had also reached there.”

Hazrat Ibn Arabi

Regarding Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn Arabirh, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“He was very good at the commentary [of the Holy Quran]. He has generally presented such simple and accurate interpretation [of the Holy Quran] that one’s heart becomes satisfied. He had a wonderful mind.”

Hazrat Musleh e Maud 1

Al Fazl, 17 July 1922

3 June 1922

A divine vision and glad tidings

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“Today, in a divine vision, these words were uttered through my mouth: ‘Today, many glad tidings have been received regarding the progress of Islam.’ These are not the actual words but a brief description of what came out of my mouth.”

People of every place should hold religious discussions

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“A discussion took place between Munshi Farzand Ali Sahib and Maulvi Sanaullah in Ferozepur.” (Huzoor[ra] smiled and said), “This is good. The local people of every place should participate in the discussions and stop relying on maulvis so that this work [of tabligh] grows and becomes more productive.”

A new method of preaching

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“My heart desires to try [this method of tabligh] that a specific area should be selected and all the effort should be concentrated on it and it should not be left until it is completely cleared. During this war [WWI], a general invented the method of gathering all the artillery on one front and bombarding back and forth in such a manner that the ground becomes hollow. The opponents were unable to defend themselves against him. This general rose towards the end [of the war], so his war method could not be fully researched whether it was useful or not. The newspapers abroad used to publish very long articles on him. It might be useful if we preach in the same way. There should be people from here and others from outside should also be called who can preach, and we all should spread in one district. Then perhaps by the grace of Allah the Almighty, more fruitful results will be obtained as compared to the current achievements.”

Food from the hands of a clean person

A friend asked if it was permissible to eat the food presented by a chuhra [dalit caste in India and Pakistan] if he was clean and there was no impurity or filthy thing on his body and clothes.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“It is permissible to eat something presented by a clean person. However, it is forbidden to eat any cooked thing by the hands of Ghair Ahl-e-Kitab [who are not the People of the Book].”

Another person asked if it was permissible to eat foods cooked by Hindus and Sikhs.

Huzoor[ra] said that Hindus were the People of the Book, and Sikhs were also the People of the Book because they were in fact an altered sect of Muslims.

A friend said that Sikhs did jhatka [killing an animal for food by cutting off its head with one strike as opposed to the Muslims’ way of slaughtering].

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“That is unlawful. Eating with the People of the Book does not mean that what is forbidden in the shariah of Islam becomes permissible while eating with them.”

6 June 1922

Views about some famous books

Huzoor[ra] said, “In my view, Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya is a very good book.” Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib said that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira used to say that he could not understand one of its parts.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra]  said:

“It is true that some of its parts are not easy to understand, but [Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn Arabirh] himself interpreted those parts in other places of his book.

“Ibn Jinni’s book Al-Khasa’is is a very fine book. [Tarikh] Adab al-Lughah al-Arabiyah [by Jirji Zaydan] is also a very excellent book. Its author has rendered great services to the Arabic language and religion. Khizri is a very great person with respect to history. As the Promised Messiahas said that he and Jesus were two parts of the same matter. Likewise, it seems that the views of Khizri were the same as mine. However, there was an imperfection in him that he could not work very long.”

Muslim and Christian historians

[Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra said:]

“If different parts of his [Khizri’s] book are read separately, it creates a good impression. However, if the entire book is read, then the overall impression is that the achievements of our ancestors were not of any high standard. Moreover, it does not influence the readers that there are some traditions of our ancestors that we must uphold. 

“However, the European historians have taken care of the fact that when they write their history, they show their ancestors to be of such high character that the readers are in awe of their personality and wish that they too should be like them. On the other hand, the Muslim historians, apart from the time of the Holy Prophetsa and Khulafa, show in their history that our ancestors were very insignificant. The method adopted by the Christians is right because historically, unless the coming generations are influenced that their ancestors had such great achievements and so-and-so traditions, and they have to preserve them, until that time, the true benefit of history cannot be availed.”

The field of spiritual advancement

[Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra said]:

“It is absolutely true that everyone can progress and attain greater spiritual status. Theoretically, someone could have surpassed Prophet Muhammadsa, but we have to understand that the Holy Prophetsa went ahead in this field to the fullest possible extent and God Almighty also testified about the future that he is already ahead of the generations to come. The Paighamis [Lahori Ahmadis] always incite people against us by saying that this is why no prophet can come in the ummah of Muhammadsa after the Holy Prophetsa and that the Promised Messiahas is even lower in status than Abu Hurairahra. This argument may incite people against us for now, but in the future, it will devour the Paighamis, because if all the paths to spiritual advancement are closed for man, then there is no need of Islam. Moreover, there is no excellence in elevating one to a high status and not allowing others to advance. Surely, the excellence [of Islam] is that everyone is given an equal opportunity, then it is up to them to whichever degree they advance.”

The method of studying Al-Tabari

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Sahib Misri asked as to what method one should adopt to find out the correct traditions from Al-Tabari.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said:

“Just as there are four authors of the Gospels, Tabari has also implied four styles of writing, of which there are two major ones. One of them is that when he wanted to prove something, he would collect all the traditions for and against it. However, the narrations of the group of his adversaries, i.e. Al-Waqidi, etc., he leaves them unsupported and even hints about that after 40 to 50 pages. For example, let’s say regarding Amr bin Al-Aas, he had to prove that he was not a mischief-maker and was not an ill-wisher of Hazrat Uthmanra. For this, where he would mention one tradition that Hazrat Uthmanra was envious of Amr bin Al-Aas, on the other hand he would bring those narrations which show that Hazrat Uthmanra had a good opinion of him till the end and Hazrat Amrra bin Al-Aas also remained his well-wisher till the very end.” […]

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu published in the 10 and 17 July 1922 issue of Al Fazl)

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