Al Fazl, 16 August 1919
A Shiite wrote to Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra that his spirit urged him to write to Huzoorra as he found himself extremely confused. He expressed that he held Shiite beliefs very dear to his heart, but he also firmly believed that the prayers of Huzoorra would be a source of solace for him in order to find the right direction. He stated that he liked Ahmadiyyat and was ready to take Bai‘at if Huzoorra could help him change his beliefs. He assured that along with him, 40 members of his family would also embrace Ahmadiyyat. In the end, he pointed out six beliefs which he had adopted after deep consideration. He stated that he would convert to Ahmadiyyat if Huzoorra would let him abide by these beliefs:
1. After the Holy Prophetsa, the status of Hazrat Alira is higher than any other of his companions and that Hazrat Alira is the greatest believer
2. The status of Ahl-e-Bait – members of Prophet Muhammad’ssa immediate family – is higher than every other companion, be it Abu Bakrra or Umarra
3. Amir Muawiyahra was a bad person and he is beyond the pale of companions as he killed Hassanra and rebelled against the Khalifa of that time
4. Lamentation of Imam Hussainra is a fundamental belief
5. The person who is the enemy of the Prophetsa and his progeny is worthy of being cursed
6. Lastly, the Shiite stated, he was against the practice of using abusive language for the companions
Below is the response of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra towards the aforementioned letter:
My dear, Assalamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullahe wa Barakatuhu.
Your letter emits a fragrance of nobility. Moreover, it shows the courage of your heart that you do not care about the reproach of a critic when you accept or express a matter which you believe to be true.
My friend, it is an intolerable and delusional thought that someone tries to take my Bai‘at with the intention to try and increase the number of my followers or to grant me worldly fame by adding to the number of my followers.
The reason behind the person who enters my Bai‘at or the one whom I call towards myself, is that Allah the Almighty by His grace and benevolence, through the personage of the Promised Messiahas, desires to re-establish the spiritual blessings and national unity which had been lost due to the dissention among Muslims. Thus, O friends! if the truth of the Promised Messiahas has become evident upon you people, then it is compulsory upon the person who has identified the one sent by God Almighty to reform his beliefs and practices by following the beliefs and practices of His chosen one. This is because people, out of their personal disagreements, had developed corrupt beliefs and inappropriate practices in their faith. Thus the divinely commissioned Imam Mahdias serves as a standard and criterion to differentiate between right and wrong beliefs and practices.
Hence, as you are ready to enter the Bai‘at and your hearts have accepted the truth of the Imam Mahdias, then your approach should have been to ask, “What has been declared regarding these particular beliefs of mine by the one appointed by God Almighty? So that I may follow them.” If a person decides in advance that he would stick to certain beliefs, whether those beliefs are contradictory to the beliefs of the one sent by God Almighty and he is also ready to take Bai‘at, then it shows that he has not understood the real meaning of Bai‘at.
Bear in mind, my Bai‘at is in actuality the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas, and his Bai‘at is in fact the Bai‘at of God Almighty and the Holy Prophetsa. Therefore, you should have asked that after taking your Bai‘at, which beliefs should you continue and what should you discard?
Below are the answers regarding your particular beliefs over which you should ponder:
Regarding the belief you have expressed in the first and second point that Hazrat Alira and Ahl-e-Bait-ul-Nabisa – members of Prophet Muhammad’ssa immediate family – are superior than all the companions, be it Abu Bakrra or Umarra, this is not attested by the Holy Quran, nor is it confirmed by Hazrat Alira and the holy persons of the Ahl-e-Bait. It is your own personal opinion and you have not mentioned the reasons behind it.
I could have pondered over them if you would have stated [those reasons]. In our view, these people are worthy of great respect. The Promised Messiahas states:
جان و دلم فدائے جمالِ محمد است
خاکم نثار کوچۂ آل محمد است
[My soul and heart are immersed in the beauty of Muhammadsa and my ashes are ready to be sacrificed for the progeny of Muhammadsa.]
They [who are higher in rank in view of the Shiite] could be considered superior in two ways; firstly, if they are extremely near and beloved of God Almighty; secondly, if they have surpassed all the rest in carrying out the service of Islam. The love of God cannot be estimated unless God Almighty Himself indicates that these [people] are His most beloved and close ones and therefore they are superior.
Moreover, it is impossible to find out whether they carried out a special service for Islam that was not performed by Abu Bakrra, Umarra and rest of the companions. Therefore, considering superiority as a belief is not necessary because the basis of beliefs should rest on clear evidence.
For instance, the Promised Messiahas has declared himself superior than Jesusas and Hazrat Imam Hussainra, which is evident from divine rewards and compelling proofs. Your third and fifth point states that you consider Amir Muawiyahra a bad person and among the enemies of the Prophetsa and Ahl-e-Bait and worthy of being cursed.
There is not a shadow of doubt that those who are the enemies of the Prophetsa and Ahl-e-Bait are worthy of being cursed. Amir Muawiyahra remained a rebel during Hazrat Ali’sra Khilafat but Hazrat Imam Hassanra, who was the successor of Hazrat Alira, made peace with him and rescued him from the pit of rebellion.
Hence, it is not right to accuse him of rebellion now because he left it within his lifetime. Further, it has not been proven that the murderer of Imam Hassanra was Amir Muawiyahra. If it is proven, then indeed it is up to you to possess any kind of view regarding him.
The fourth and sixth statement of yours is that lamentation of Hussainas is part of your faith and [you] do not use foul language for the companions.
Lamentation cannot be considered a part of anyone’s faith. It is a condition of heart which originates out of grief. As the feeling of sorrow begins to recede and time passes on, the grief starts to subside.
Hence, if your feeling is permanent, then you should pray for patience before Allah the Almighty. On the other hand, if grief over takes [you] in the days of Muharram [first month of Islamic calendar in which Hazrat Imam Hussainra was martyred] due to certain rituals, then it is artificial and manufactured. Try to abstain from it. If your heart is full of grief for Hazrat Imam Hussainra, then the rest of Ahl-e-Bait’s imams have passed away as well.
Moreover prophets and saints are no more in this world. So why don’t you not feel sorrow for them? If Hazrat Imam Hussainra had not embraced martyrdom, would he have lived forever in this world? And those who did not embrace martyrdom in Karbala [the place in Iraq where Hazrat Imam Hussainra was martyred], have they been living forever? As a matter of fact, the one who embraces martyrdom, he is alive forever.
Allah the Almighty has stated in the Holy Quran:
وَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ قُتِلُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اَمۡوَاتًا ؕ بَلۡ اَحۡیَآءٌ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ یُرۡزَقُوۡنَ۔ فَرِحِیۡنَ
“Think not of those, who have been slain in the cause of Allah, as dead. But in fact, they are living, and are granted gifts by their Lord, [and they are] jubilant.”
You ought to comfort your heart that Hazrat Imam Hussainra is alive forever and happy, owing to the martyrdom. Then, why is it that your heart grieves? The fact that you do not use foul language for the companions is nothing significant. A noble person does not abuse anyone.
A decent man expresses the quality of another person and overlooks shortcomings. Hence, you ought to praise the companions and pray for them.
On a final note, we do not change those beliefs of anyone which are well established through reason and recount. In fact, we adopt those beliefs for ourselves and we express gratitude towards that person who presents a true and pure belief before us.
Our duty is to accept the truth and convince others to believe in it also. That is the reason behind our Bai‘at.
Hence, this fear must not overtake you that you will have to leave the right beliefs after joining the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. The primary work of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is to adopt the correct beliefs and to spread them.
Wassalam, Humbly yours, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad