Answers to Everyday Issues – Part 65: Tawhid, Prophethood, Messiahship, Ishraq, dhuha, awwabin or chasht prayer


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Guidance regarding basic Islamic issues that Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, has given on various occasions in his written correspondence and during MTA programmes is being published officially below for everyone’s benefit.

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Kilic-Emre Akdag | Unsplash

Prophethood and Messiahship

A lady from the UK wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, enquiring, “When Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, was informed that he was the awaited Messiah, why did he then state that it was possible for another Messiah, the son of Mary [Masih ibn Maryam], to come after him and, according to some traditions, could also be the Promised One? What wisdom could there be in such a statement? Furthermore, why did the Promised Messiahas state that the theme of Monotheism [Tawhid] is not as clearly expounded in the scriptures preceding the Holy Quran as it is detailed in the Quran, despite the fact that the teaching of monotheism has been a part of all religions and the nature of God has always been eternal and unchanging?”

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 25 August 2022, provided the following response:

“The sending of a prophet or reformer by Allah the Exalted for the guidance and reformation of the world is a blessing beyond compare, one without any parallel in the world. Whenever Allah the Exalted perceived the need for a prophet or reformer for the world’s guidance, He, in His mercy towards humanity, certainly appointed one for this purpose. The power of Allah the Exalted in this regard has always been, and will always be, perpetual, never ceasing. The misguided interpretation of the term Khatam an-Nabiyyin by certain clerics, which has deprived the Muslim ummah of the blessing of prophethood, is also a result of their ignorance of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. No human being has the right to deem this divine tradition as discontinued, as there is no scriptural evidence in either the Quran or the sunnah to suggest the cessation of the possibility of prophethood.

“Hence, despite the repeated glad tiding given by Allah the Exalted to the Promised Messiahas, affirming that he is the very Muhammadan Messiah meant to guide the world and rejuvenate the faith of Islam in these Latter Days and that he is indeed the Promised Messiah, the Imam [Mahdi], and the Seal of the Caliphs [Khatam al-Khulafa] for this last millennium of the world’s seven thousand-year cycle, with no room for another Messiah to come within this period, the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, fully clarified the matter for his followers, to keep them truly aligned with the genuine teachings of Islam, that the power of Allah the Exalted is boundless and unstoppable. Therefore, he stated that Allah the Exalted could, whenever He deems it necessary, raise someone in the likeness of the Messiah [Mathil-i Masih]. This was to ensure that his followers did not fall into the same trap as the so-called clerics who deny the possibility of prophethood.

“Drawing upon various verses of the Holy Quran, sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, and historical references from other religions, the Promised Messiahas argued for the lifespan of the human race being seven thousand years. Following this, he mentioned that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was commissioned in the fifth millennium of this timeline and said:

“‘We are now at the head of the seventh millennium and there is no room for any other Messiah to come after this, because there are only seven millennia that have all been divided into good and evil.’ (Lecture Lahore, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 186)

He further states:

“‘Since it is the last millennium, it was inevitable that the Imam of the Latter Days should be born at the turn of this millennium. After him, there is no Imam and no Messiah except the one who comes in his image, for in this millennium the world comes to an end, as all the Prophetsas have testified. This Imam, whom God has designated as the Promised Messiah, is the Mujaddid [reformer] of this century as well as of the last millennium.’ (Lecture Sialkot, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 208)

“The Promised Messiahas is also the Reformer [Mujaddid] of the last millennium. This implies that the successors who follow in the caliphate initiated by him, based on the model of prophethood [Khilafat ‘ala Minhaj al-Nubuwwah], in accordance with the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, will themselves be Mujaddids of their respective times. This is a result of the blessings derived from their adherence and complete obedience to the Promised Messiahas. Therefore, it is now inconceivable for any mujaddid to arise outside the purview of his obedience and following. While addressing the possibility of the advent of a Mathil-i Masih after himself, the Promised Messiahas states:

“‘We wish to clarify that we do not reject the possibility of another individual emerging as a likeness [mathil] of the Messiah after us. Indeed, throughout history, figures resembling the prophets [i.e., mathil] have continuously appeared. Moreover, God Almighty has manifested to me through a definitive and unequivocal prophecy that a person from my own progeny shall be born. This individual shall bear a resemblance to the Messiah in numerous aspects. He shall descend from heaven and shall make the path of the people of the earth straight and shall grant release to those held in bondage and shall free those who are shackled by the chains of various doubts and misgivings.’ (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, pp. 179-180)

“He further states in this regard:

“‘This humble one also does not claim that messiahship has ended with me and that no messiah shall come in the future. Nay, I believe and I say repeatedly that, let alone one, more than ten thousand messiahs can come.’ (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 251)

“In another place, while elucidating this subject, the Promised Messiahsa states:

“‘Jesusas son of Mary reached the age of 120 years when he died and joined his Creator. There in heaven, he stays in the company of John [the Baptist] because both had similar experiences. There is not the least doubt that he was an extremely righteous man and a prophet of God. However, to call him ‘god’ is tantamount to disbelief. Hundreds of thousands of people like him have passed away and will come in the future and God is never tired of exalting righteous people in the past or in the future.’ (Tazkirat-ush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 29)

“Thus, this is the last millennium of that dispensation during which God sent the spiritual son and the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa, in exact accordance with his prophecies as the Promised Messiah and the Khatam al-Khulafa’. It can be deduced from the prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa and the sayings of the Promised Messiahas that, by the grace of Allah the Exalted, since this is the era of the Islamic Ahmadiyya Caliphate, established through the Promised Messiahas in the last millennium, therefore, if ever there is a need for a reformer for the reformation of the world, Allah the Exalted will raise someone from among the followers of the Promised Messiahas for that reformation, who will be the Khalifa of the time and will also be granted the status of his like [mathil] and a reformer [musleh] in addition to being a caliph, as Allah the Exalted conferred this status on Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in exact accordance with the glad tidings given to the Promised Messiahas. Hence, while elucidating the status of that promised caliphate, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“‘Moreover, it is not just a question of any caliphate, but a question of a promised caliphate. It is a question of a caliphate established by divine inspiration and revelation. One kind of caliphate is when God Almighty causes people to elect a caliph and then He endorses him, but this one is not only such a caliphate. That is, I am not only a caliph because, on the day after the demise of Hazrat Khalifa Ira, the members of the Ahmadiyya Community gathered together and agreed on my caliphate, rather, I am also a caliph, because, even before the caliphate of Khalifa Ira, the Promised Messiahas had also said, on the authority of divine inspiration [ilham], that I would become a caliph. Thus, I am not just a caliph but a promised caliph. I am not an appointee [ma’mur] but my voice is the voice of God Almighty because God Almighty gave this news through the Promised Messiahas. In other words, the position of my caliphate is between Ma’muriyyat and Khilafat. This is not an opportunity for the Ahmadiyya Community to let go and still be exonerated by God. Just as it is true that prophets do not appear every day, so it is also true that promised caliphs do not appear every day.’ (“Report Majlis-e-Mushawarat 1936” in Khitabat-e-Shura, Vol. 2, p. 18)

“Our faith holds that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, peace be upon him, is indeed the Promised Messiah, whose advent was foretold in the earlier scriptures. Alongside this, we also believe that Allah the Exalted possesses the power to appoint a reformer for the guidance of the world whenever He wills. However, as this 7,000-year era is known as the era of our master and lord, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, and since the sharia was completed through him, Allah the Exalted chose one of his followers, who excelled in love and devotion to him, for the service of the faith of Muhammadsa and for the rejuvenation of his sharia. Should there be a need in the future, we believe that Allah the Exalted will choose someone from the true devotees and followers of this most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, i.e., Muhammadan Messiahas as the Promised Caliph [maw‘ud khalifa] for the service of this faith, who will be endowed with the status of being the like [mathil] of the Messiah in addition to being his Khalifah. This prophecy has already been fulfilled once through the person of Hazrat Fazl-e-Umar Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II, the Musleh-e-Maud (Promised Reformer), may Allah be pleased with him.”

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Rabe! | Wiki Commons


“The answer to your second question is that the concept of Tawhid (monotheism) was perfected through the Holy Quran. Previous scriptures indeed contained teachings of monotheism, but they were according to the understanding and consciousness of people at that time. However, when religion was perfected, the teaching of Tawhid was also given in its most complete form. Moreover, the frequency and repetition with which the Holy Quran has proclaimed Tawhid are not found in previous scriptures. The Quran mentions the teachings of Tawhid in various ways, unlike earlier scriptures. Furthermore, no other religion has articulated the concept of Tawhid with the same degree of emphasis and definitiveness as the Holy Quran has. For instance, Surah al-Ikhlas, which the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa referred to as one-third of the Quran (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab fada’ili l-qur’an, Bab fadli qul huw allahu ’ahad), is an extremely comprehensive chapter based on the teaching of Tawhid.

“Discussing the perfection of the teaching of Tawhid in Islam, and referring to Surah al-Ikhlas, the Promised Messiahas states:

“‘In the Torah, the attributes of Allah the Exalted are not fully mentioned. If there were a Surah in the Torah like the following one in the Holy Quran, perhaps Christians would have been spared from the misfortune of worshipping a creature:

قُلْ هُوَ اللّٰهُ أَحَدٌاللّٰهُ الصَّمَدُلَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْوَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

“‘[Say, ‘He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.’ (Surah al-Ikhlas, Ch. 111, V. 2-5)]’ (Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 13, p. 84)

“The personal name of God Almighty, ‘Allah’, is the root of Tawhid, encompassing within itself all the divine attributes. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas, states regarding this matter:

“‘In the terminology of the Quran, ‘Allah’ is the name of the Being in Whom all the attributes of beauty [husn] and benevolence [ihsan] have reached their pinnacle of perfection, and there is no flaw in His entity. The Holy Quran attributes all divine qualities exclusively to the name of Allah, indicating that the name ‘Allah’ is truly realised when all perfect attributes are found within it.’ (Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 14, p. 247)

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“‘‘Allah’ is translated as that God, or that Being Who is beyond perception, transcending all intellect, beyond the beyond, and intricately unfathomable and subtle, towards Whom, everything turns in a state of worshipful hue, that is, in a state of existential annihilation—either a metaphorical annihilation in Divine love, which is a spiritual state, or an actual annihilation, which is death.’ (Tuhfa-e-Golarwiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 17, p. 268)

“He also stated:

“‘The God whom the Holy Quran seeks to establish belief in is free from all imperfections and possesses all perfect attributes, for the word ‘Allah’ is used only for that Being who is devoid of any flaws. Perfection is of two types: either in terms of beauty or in terms of beneficence. Thus, both kinds of perfection are found in this word. The terms coined by other nations for God Almighty are not as comprehensive. And it is this very term ‘Allah’ that completely refutes the existence and attributes of the deities of other false religions.’ (Al Hakam, Issue 17, Vol. 7, 10 May 1903, p. 2)

“Surah al-Fatiha, which the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa referred to as ‘Umm al-Kitab’ (Mother of the Book) and ‘Umm al-Quran’ (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab as-salat, Bab fatihati l-kitab), contains such a comprehensive teaching of Tawhid that seeking its parallel in any other religion would be futile. Hence, the Promised Messiahas says:

“‘Reflect deeply on Surah al-Fatiha, which is a precise outline of the Holy Quran and also known as Umm al-Kitab. It briefly encompasses all the insights of the Holy Quran. It begins with ‘Alhamdulillah’, which means all praises are due to Allah alone. This verse teaches that all benefits and all progress in human civilization are from Allah, as He alone is worthy of all praise. Thus, the True Bestower can only be He. Otherwise, it would imply that He may not be deserving of any praise and glorification, which is a blasphemous thought. Thus, ‘Alhamdulillah’ contains such a comprehensive teaching of Tawhid, leading one away from the servitude and [the wrong notion of any] inherent beneficence of worldly things, clearly imprinting in the mind that every true and inherent benefit and profit comes from Allah alone, since He alone deserves all praises. Therefore, in every benefit and profit, prioritise Allah above all. Nothing else will avail if it contradicts the pleasure of Allah. Even offspring can become enemies, and they do become so if it is against the will of Allah.’ (Al Hakam, Issue 32, Vol. 5, 31 August 1901, p. 1)

“Therefore, the teaching of Tawhid that Islam has elevated to its zenith, and the details of which it has laid out for its followers, are also articulated in various styles in the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa also expounded upon it in different manners, and these aspects have been extensively elaborated upon in the writings and speeches of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, who was the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa. Such comprehensive and detailed discussions of these aspects are not found in the earlier religious laws.”

Ishraqdhuhaawwabin or chasht prayer

A lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, asking about the method of performing the chasht prayer. She mentioned that she has been taught that the prescribed way is to pray two units [rak‘at] of prayer after the morning prayer when the sun has risen to the height of a spear, and then another two rak‘at when the sun has risen well above the horizon. She expressed her difficulty in discerning the correct time for the first two rak‘at, and hence she only performs the latter two rak‘at. She enquired whether this practice was correct.

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 31 August 2022, gave the following reply to her question:

“After the Fajr prayer, and subsequently after the sunrise, but before the Zuhr prayer, there is mention in the ahadith of performing various supererogatory prayers known as salat al-ishraqsalat ad-dhuha, or salat al-awwabin. These are not obligatory prayers but voluntary ones. Hence, anyone who wishes to perform these prayers may do so, and there is no sin upon someone who does not perform them.

“As for the timings of these supererogatory prayers, there is a narration from Hazrat Anasra bin Malik regarding the two rak‘at of voluntary [nafl] prayer after the sunrise following the Fajr prayer. He narrates, ‘The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Whoever performs the Fajr prayer in congregation and then sits engaged in the remembrance of Allah until the sun rises, and thereafter performs two rak‘at of prayer, he shall receive the full reward of performing a Hajj and ‘umrah.’’ (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-jumu‘ah, Bab dhikri ma yustahabbu mina l-julusi fi l-masjidi ba‘da salati s-subhi hatta tatlu‘a sh-shams)

“Scholars and jurists refer to this prayer as salat al-ishraq or the first salat ad-dhuha. Regarding its timing, they state that this prayer should be performed when the sun has risen to the height of a spear.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi Bi Sharh Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-jumu‘ah)

“The phrase ‘when the sun rises to the height of a spear’ means that when the sun’s yellowishness fades away and the prohibited time for offering prayer ends. In terms of time measured by the clock, this period begins approximately half an hour after sunrise.”

“Regarding the chasht prayer [salat ad-dhuha], there is a narration by Hazrat Abu Hurairara where the Holy Prophetsa stated:

مَنْ حَافَظَ عَلَى شُفْعَةِ الضُّحَى غُفِرَ لَهُ ذُنُوبُهُ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ مِثْلَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ

“‘Whoever consistently performs the two rak‘at of dhuha, his sins will be forgiven, even if they be as [vast as] the foam of the sea.’ (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab as-salah, Bab ma ja’a fi salati d-dhuha)

“According to scholars and jurists, the time for this prayer begins when the sun’s heat becomes so intense that it heats the sand to a degree that causes the feet of camel calves to burn. As narrated by Hazrat Zaidra bin Arqam, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘The time for salat al-awwabin is when [due to the sun’s heat, the sand becomes so hot that] it burns the feet of the camel calves.’ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab salati l-musafirin wa qasriha, Bab salati l-awwabina hina tarmadu l-fisal)

“Based on this hadith, the chasht prayer or salat ad-dhuha is also referred to as salat al-awwabin (the prayer of those who turn towards Allah the Exalted). In any case, the time for this prayer begins between sunrise and midday. According to the clock, this time in Islamabad, UK, would be approximately 9:45 am today (as sunrise was at 6:15 and midday at 13:04). Thus, today the time for chashtdhuha, or salat al-awwabin starts around 9:45 and lasts until just before the sun reaches its zenith. And when the sun is directly overhead, the Holy Prophetsa forbade praying at that time, except on Fridays. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab as-salah, Bab as-salati yawma l-jumu‘ati qabla z-zawal)

“Therefore, you can perform the ishraq prayer half an hour after sunrise, and the chasht prayer can be performed during the time between sunrise and [beginning of] its descent [i.e., the meridian].”

(Compiled by Zaheer Ahmad Khan, Head of Records Department, Private Secretariat, London. Translated by Al Hakam.)

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