26 October 2018
Delivered from Baitul Samee Mosque, Houston, Texas, USA
Attributes of True Ahmadis
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
It is a great favour of God Almighty upon us that through His grace He has enabled us to accept the Promised Messiahas. He enabled us to believe in that ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa, whom the Holy Prophetsa addressed and referred to with the words, “Our Mahdi”. (Sunan Al-Dar-ul-Qutni, Vol. 1, p. 51, Hadith no. 1777, Kitab-ul-Eidain, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
This is a display of great love and the lofty status of nearness, which the Holy Prophetsa conferred upon the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias by using the possessive form, “Our”. In his writings, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned the superiority of the religion of Islam and also refuted those who raise allegations against Islam and thereby proved that if any true religion exists today – and such a religion indeed does exist – which enables one to attain the nearness of God Almighty and to seek salvation from sin, then it is indeed only Islam. Moreover, he has also granted countless guidance for his followers through his various speeches, writings and gatherings for their tarbiyat [moral and spiritual training], which serve as a model for them and a means of guidance. He earnestly advised his followers to fulfil their duty towards their Bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] and to become true believers. We should always keep those words before us for they are the means of our spiritual development.
It is through these means, that one can attain an understanding of the faith and find the ways to attain the nearness of God Almighty. It is through these means that we can reach the intricacies and deep insights of the Holy Quran. It is through these means that we can recognise the true status of the Holy Prophetsa. It is through these means, that we can improve the condition of our faith and also our practical condition. It would be most unfortunate if we did not benefit from this treasure despite having it in our possession. The strength and the Holy Power that exists in the words of the Promised Messiahas cannot be found in anyone else’s words. And why should this not be the case? After all, he is that Imam, whom God Almighty sent in this age in complete subservience to the Holy Prophetsa for the revival of Islam and to enable mankind to attain the nearness of God Almighty. Thus, it is incumbent upon us, who claim to have come into the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas, that we read and listen to his words and try to act upon them and that we improve our condition to the standard that the Promised Messiahas expected from us.
Now, I shall present some of the extracts of the Promised Messiahas that form guiding principles for our lives. It is an objective that he has presented before us specifying what the standard of an Ahmadi should be and how they should conduct themselves. The importance of these sayings has increased significantly in today’s materialistic world, where the preferences of some of us have inclined more towards the worldly endeavours and not enough importance is given to one’s faith. In terms of doctrine, we call ourselves Ahmadi Muslims, however many weaknesses are emerging in our practical conduct.
Everyone is able to assess their condition in light of these statements as to where they stand at the moment and where they ought to be. What is righteousness and what is the standard of righteousness? What is virtue and what is the standard of virtue? What are our responsibilities? In relation to this, the Promised Messiahas states on one occasion:
“With regards to true righteousness, through which a person is able to acquire the pleasure of God Almighty, God Almighty has constantly reminded us:
يٰٓاَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا اتَّقُو اللّٰهَ
That is, ‘O ye who believe! Fear Allah.’
Furthermore, God Almighty states,
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّقَوْا وَّالَّذِيْنَ هُمْ مُّحْسِنُوْنَ
That is, ‘Verily, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good. (Surah al-Nahl: V.129)’”
The Promised Messiahas further states,
“To abstain from vices is called righteousness. Furthermore, Muhsinun [those who do good] are those, who do not merely abstain from vices, but also perform virtues. In addition to this, God Almighty has stated,
لِلَّذِيْنَ اَحْسَنُوا الْحُسْنٰي
That is, ‘they perform these virtues in the best possible manner.’” (Surah Yunus: V.27)
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“I repeatedly received the following revelation:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّقَوْا وَّالَّذِيْنَ هُمْ مُّحْسِنُوْن
‘Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.’” (Surah al-Nahl: V.129.) I received this revelation in such abundance that I cannot recall the number of times it was revealed to me.” The Promised Messiahas further states. “Perhaps it was revealed up to two thousand times – Allah knows best. The purpose of this is so that the Jamaat understands and realises not to rejoice merely at the fact that they have entered the Jamaat or to merely be pleased with a superficial claim of faith. However, you will only receive the nearness and Divine succour when you adopt true righteousness along with performing virtues.”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“A person should not pride himself on the mere fact that he does not commit adultery, that he has not murdered or killed anyone or that he has not committed a theft.” The Promised Messiahas states, “Is there any excellence in the fact that he prides himself in abstaining from vices?” The fact that we have abstained from vices carries no significance. The Promised Messiahas states, “The truth of the matter is (and the reason for why one does not take pride in this) is that he is aware that if he commits a theft, he will be imprisoned in accordance with the law (i.e. he will be caught, punished and imprisoned).” The Promised Messiahas states, “In the sight of God Almighty, Islam does not simply mean to refrain only from vices.” This is not the ultimate objective of Islam. “Rather, until a person abstains from vices and performs virtues, he will not be able to survive in this spiritual world. Virtues serve as nourishment. Just as a person is unable to survive without physical sustenance, in the same manner he is unable to survive without adopting virtues.”
Thus, after abandoning vices, one has to then perform virtues and only then can one attain the spiritual life.
Some vices are such that a person does not even realise that he is committing them. However, a time comes when he is seized by God Almighty on account of those very vices. In relation to this, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Some sins are clearly distinguishable such as telling lies, fornication, to betray someone, giving false testimony, usurping the rights of others and Shirk [associating partners with God], etc. However, some vices are so subtle that a person does not even realise when he becomes immersed in them.” His entire life passes by, and yet, he is oblivious to the fact that he is continuously committing those subtle sins. The Promised Messiahas has given examples of such sins, for example the habit of constantly complaining and being resentful, and expressing grief over trivial matters, and engaging in idle gossip, and so on. The Promised Messiahas states, “Such people consider this to be a completely small and insignificant matter, whereas the Holy Quran has declared this to be a grave issue.”
These small and insignificant aspects such as making complaints, being resentful, harbouring grievances eventually take on the form of backbiting. For this reason, the Holy Quran has declared this to be of great significance.
“Hence, God Almighty has stated,
اَيُحِبُّ اَحَدُكُمْ اَنْ يَّاْكُلَ لَحْمَ اَخِيْهِ مَيْتًا
‘Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his brother who is dead?’ (Surah al-Hujarat: V.13)”
God Almighty becomes displeased at the fact that a person utters such words, which would degrade his fellow brother. God Almighty has stated, “Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his brother who is dead?” The Promised Messiahas states, “God Almighty becomes displeased at the fact that a person utters such words as would degrade his fellow brother and acts in a manner that would cause him harm.” In other words, one should not even utter such words, because then such utterances develop into complaints, and people begin to hold grudges, think ill of others and backbite and ultimately a person reaches a stage where he then physically tries to also cause harm to the other person. The Promised Messiahas states, “To make a statement regarding one’s brother, which would portray him to be ignorant and foolish, or which subconsciously would develop an enmity and hatred towards his habits are all forms of evil.”
The Promised Messiahas states that similar is the case of miserliness and anger, as they all constitute as vices. “Hence, in accordance with this commandment of God Almighty, the first step for a person is to refrain from these evils and to continue to abstain from every form of sin, whether it is related to the eyes, ears, hands or feet.” One should continue to refrain from sins, which could be committed through any of one’s limbs, such as the eyes, hands and feet because God Almighty has stated:
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهٖ عِلْمٌ اِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ اُولٰٓئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُوْلًا
That is, ‘Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge, as the ear, eye, heart and every limb will be called to account.’ (Surah Bani Israil: V.37)
When a person stands before God Almighty after death, these limbs will be called to account. The Promised Messiahas further states, “Many vices are formed merely as a result of thinking ill of others; to hear a certain thing about someone and immediately believing it to be true without looking into the matter.” The Promised Messiahas states, “This is an extremely evil habit. Do not allow a matter which you are not absolutely sure and certain of to take root in your heart. This principle serves to prevent thinking ill of others as a person should neither allow a matter, which he has not witnessed or correctly decided, to effect his heart, and nor should he utter such words.”
The Promised Messiahas states, “How clear and unequivocal is this principle! There are many people who will be seized on account of the utterances of their tongues.” Hence, if we refrain from thinking ill of others, half of the disorder, disputes and grief in our society will be eliminated and subsequently it will establish unity and harmony. The Promised Messiahas states, “Even in this world it can be observed that many people are seized on account of their tongues, as a result of which they face great humiliation and harm.” They say something and are caught owing to that statement proving false, consequently facing humiliation. Therefore, it is better not to think ill of others and to think positively about others. If one hears something then they ought to investigate the matter. Humans are weak and occasionally certain thoughts arise in the heart, but if they are ignored then God Almighty forgives those thoughts. God Almighty does not hold a person accountable merely on a thought that crosses one’s mind, rather, He holds a person accountable as a result of acting upon them. In relation to how God Almighty seizes and holds a person accountable, the Promised Messiahas states:
“There is no punishment for the momentary and fleeting thought that pass through a person’s mind. For example, if someone has a desire for acquiring certain wealth, although it is a form of greed, but the mere thought which naturally arises in one’s heart is not enough to warrant punishment. However, if one entertains such thoughts and starts scheming to acquire that wealth through improper means then it becomes a sin for which one is held accountable.” For example, saving through tax evasion. However, God Almighty does not hold one accountable for just having the thought, but if one then acts on such thoughts, that is if one harms the government by evading tax or one does not declare their true income for the Chanda [financial contribution], then God Almighty will hold you accountable. There are many examples of such people, whose incomes then gradually begin to decrease in accordance to the income they falsely declared towards paying the government’s dues or in their financial sacrifices towards God Almighty. The Promised Messiahas says, “When one decides to go through with their plan, they use unfair means and deception for it.”
In pursuit of their worldly greed, materialistic people, businessmen or others, who wish to acquire something through improper means, and then act on those thoughts and begin planning and scheming to achieve their desires, the Promised Messiahas says, “It is at this point that it is deemed a sin for which one will be held accountable. So, these types of sins are usually considered insignificant, yet they lead to one’s downfall. Usually, people manage to abstain from the more grave and obvious form of sins.” The Promised Messiahas has mentioned that there are many people who will have never killed anyone, never committed murder, never robbed anyone or committed theft, and avoided major sins such as these. But the question is, how many are there who have never displayed resentment for another, who do not engage in backbiting or thought ill of others? Or, how many are there who have never insulted their fellow brother and caused injury to their sentiments? How many are there who do not utter any falsehoods? There are many types of falsehoods. God Almighty has enjoined upon the believers to avoid even the smallest degree of falsehood and to be completely truthful in all their dealings. The Promised Messiahas further states that the believers are such that do not succumb to their inner desires – they do no not act on every thought that arises in their hearts; how many people can lay claim to this? The Promised Messiahas states that he can say with certainty that there are very few people who are mindful of this, in that they have never caused pain to anyone, who do not engage in thinking ill of others or falsehoods and nor entertain any kind of evil thoughts. The Promised Messiahas says that there are very few who are mindful of these matters and fear God Almighty.
If people abstain from these evil deeds, it is owing to the fear of God, otherwise there are many who utter falsehood and whilst sitting amongst their friends will complain about others and through various means hurt the feelings of their weak and helpless brothers. If everyone reflects on their own gatherings, they will see that there is a lot of backbiting, insults and exasperate small and trivial issues, people are then mocked which then creates resentment between people. Thus, this is the standard of good deeds in that one should avoid all such vices which do not behove a believer.
The Promised Messiahas then says, “God Almighty states the first stage is to develop Taqwa.” The Promised Messiahas further says, “At present I cannot go into the details of these evil deeds. However, the entire Quran is full of Divine conjunctions of what one should do and what to abstain from.” What one should do or not do is described in detail in the Holy Quran and a believer should recite the Holy Quran and understand its meanings. The Promised Messiahas further states, “There are further several hundred branches of these injunctions that have been described. In summary, I tell you it is completely unacceptable to God Almighty that you cause disorder on the earth. God Almighty wants to spread unity in this world. A person who hurts his brother, commits injustice or dishonesty is averse to unity.” Such behaviour cannot bring about unity, love and brotherhood. The Promised Messiahas says, “Such an individual is truly an enemy to establishing cohesion. True unity cannot be established amongst people unless such evil notions are done away with. That is why Taqwa has been placed as the very first step”. This is the blessing of being one Jamaat for it creates unity and togetherness. This was the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiahas and Mahdi – to unite Muslims on one hand, and to create one Ummah.
The Promised Messiahas further states, “It has also been observed that when people are sitting in such gatherings where they listen to virtues, it has an impact on their hearts and they consider it to be good.” This is referring to virtuous discourse, for example now, the hearts of many people will be inspired having heard this sermon and many people to write me later as well mentioning this very fact. However, the Promised Messiahas says, “When they leave these gatherings and go back to their friends, they return to their old habits and forsake those noble virtues which they just heard.”
This is the reason I say that we should continually remind ourselves of these matters and always be mindful of them, lest we forget them. The Promised Messiahas says, “One should refrain from adopting their old habits. You should stay away from the company or gatherings that influence such behaviour. You should be aware of all the various aspects of these bad deeds; as it is imperative to have knowledge of what you are seeking.”
Meaning if one desires something, they need to be aware of what exactly it is that they are seeking, whether it is something good or bad. One should have knowledge of all of its aspects, positive and negative alike, so that one can either forsake it if it is evil, or conversely, accept it if it is something positive.
The Promised Messiahas says, “How can you acquire something if you do not have full knowledge of it. The Holy Quran has mentioned this repeatedly in detail, thus one should constantly recite the Holy Quran. Also, make note of all those deeds which have been described as evils and then try to avoid them by the help and grace of Allah. Avoiding evil deeds is the first stage of Taqwa. If one makes a concerted effort to abstain from vices, God Almighty will enable you to avoid them. You will be blessed with the drink of camphor drink that will cause the desire of sin to cool down.” Physicians say that camphor helps calm the emotions and people use it in medicines as well. The Promised Messiahas has given this example in the context of spiritual disease wherein avoiding evil deeds will act as a drink of camphor for you, which will cool your passion for sin, eventually eradicating them completely. “Thereafter, one will only perform virtuous deeds. Until one does not develop Taqwa, one is not granted this drink, nor are their prayers or worship granted acceptance.” If one wishes to have his worship and prayers accepted, then ultimately one must refrain from evil and perform good deeds. This is known as Taqwa. For one’s prayers to be accepted this is a necessary condition. “This is because God Almighty states:
اِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ
That is, ‘Allah surely accepts the worship of the righteous.’ (Surah al-Maidah: V.28) It is absolutely true that the prayers and fasting of the righteous are accepted. How is one’s worship accepted?”
Whilst expounding upon this, the Promised Messiahas states:
“The acceptance of prayers signifies that the effects and blessings of prayer have been inculcated in the supplicant, however until these blessings and effects are not produced, then these acts of worship are rituals. What benefit can one derive from the prayer or the fast if one offers their prayer in the mosque and yet in the very same mosque one criticises and complains about others? People often ask how can we know if God Almighty has accepted our prayers or not? One of the signs for this is that after one’s prayers and supplications one must reflect as to whether one is distancing themselves from the subtle and also the more obvious forms of sin? Moreover, is one developing a feeling of hate for them and also whether one is inclining towards carrying out virtues and moving towards truthfulness?”
The Promised Messiahas says that if this is not the case, then it means that these acts are merely performed as ritual. The Promised Messiahas further states that they pray in the mosque and in the same place they begin criticising and complaining about others, they begin thinking ill of others and speaking behind their backs and are dishonest in their conduct. There is also an element of trust in meetings and therefore office-bearers should pay special attention to this that they should not spread what is mentioned in their official meetings of the Jamaat to their household members, nor unnecessarily to any other person. There should be a restriction on this. The majority of issues and troubles occur as the official matters are leaked to others. Also, people harbour jealousy regarding the station of another and attack their character.
The Promised Messiahas then states that if one is engulfed in such evils then prayer has been of no avail to them. There are many young people whom I learn about personally, they write to me regularly that they witness such things in some office-bearers and elders which make them slowly drift away from the Jamaat, then they drift away from the mosque, then they drift away from worship and ultimately drift away from God. Therefore, such prayers are not only of no benefit to themselves, but they also harm others through them. Hence, if we wish to protect the next generation, then first of all, the office-bearers and the elders must adopt Taqwa. Thus, the Promised Messiahas has stated that the first hurdle a man faces, who wishes to become a true believer, is to abstain from committing evil and this in itself is Taqwa.
On another occasion the Promised Messiahas states that one should bear in mind that Taqwa does not mean to just refrain from major sins, rather one must stay away from the subtlest of evils as well. For example, to sit in such gatherings where others are being mocked and ridiculed in a wrongful manner, or in such gatherings where God and His Messenger are being defamed, or where a brother’s dignity is being attacked, even if one doesn’t actively partake in such gatherings, but in the sight of God Almighty it is still a sin. To sit in such gatherings and listen to such words of these people is also a sin in the sight of God Almighty; even if one is not participating in such talk, why even listen to it? This is the trait of those people who have an illness in their heart, because if they were completely aware of the reality of sins, then why would they act in this manner and why would they sit in such gatherings to listen to what is said in them?
The Promised Messiahas then says that one should also remember that the one who listens to such talk is the same as one who utters it. Those who utter from their tongues such things are clearly liable to retribution. They clearly deserve punishment because they have committed a sin. However, those who sit listening quietly will also be liable to punishment for that sin. They too will be guilty and they will also go astray as a result. The Promised Messiahas states that one should listen to this very carefully and greatly ponder over the Holy Quran because it is the commandment of God Almighty. Therefore, you should firmly keep this in mind.
Hence, those who sit silently in such gatherings and for the purpose of enjoyment will also be held accountable. The Promised Messiahas further explains this, that a believer isn’t happy over the fact that he has not committed a sin – this has also been mentioned previously. This is a trait found in many of the noble followers of other religions, in fact there is a majority of people who abstain from committing sins. Hence, the Promised Messiahas states that there are some among the Hindus, the Christians and other nations who do not commit certain sins. For example, they do not lie, they do not usurp the wealth of others and they do not take loans without repaying, rather they return it and are active in their social affairs. God Almighty states that He is not pleased with one who merely refrains from committing a sin. Of course, one should refrain from sin, but in parallel with that one must carry out good deeds and without this, one cannot attain salvation. He who is prideful over the fact that he has not committed a sin is unwise. Islam does not merely take man to this stage and leave him there, instead it desires to fulfil both parts i.e. to forsake each and every evil and to do good deeds in all earnestness. Until one does not possess these two qualities, man cannot attain true salvation. (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 371-378)
The Promised Messiahas then states, “I once again urge my community to excel in righteousness and purification, for it is then that God Almighty will be with you.”
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّقَوْا وَّالَّذِيْنَ هُمْ مُّحْسِنُوْنَ
That is, “Verily, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.” (Surah al-Nahl: V.129)”
The Promised Messiahas then states, “Bear in mind that if you fail to adopt righteousness and partake fully of that virtue which God Almighty desires from you then you will be the first to be destroyed by Him as you have accepted a truth but denied it in practice.” That is to say that you have accepted the Imam of the age and claimed to be better than all other Muslims and tread the path of doing good deeds, however, in reality, if you are void of Taqwa, then you are in denial of it. “Never rely on this, nor be proud over the fact that you have taken the Bai‘at. Until you do not fully adopt righteousness you shall never be saved. God Almighty has no affiliation to anybody nor does He accept the favours of others. Those who oppose us are also His creation as are you too.” The adversaries are the creation of God Almighty, we too are the creation of God Almighty, and so, “Mere affirmation of religious belief will be of no avail if your words and deeds are not in harmony with one another.” It is the belief of other Muslims also that God is One, that the Holy Prophetsa is Khatamun-Nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets) and that the Quran is the final book of law. This is our belief as it is theirs. However, if there is an inconsistency in your words and deeds then your beliefs will be of no benefit.
This in reality is what we should be striving to achieve. Therefore, it is insufficient to just accept Islam and to merely claim to be an Ahmadi, rather one must mould himself in accordance with the commands of God Almighty and become a true believer the like of which God Almighty expects us to be.
The Promised Messiahas states, “God Almighty wishes for you to demonstrate the truth in your practise”, that is, for one to show truthfulness through their actions, “so that God Almighty may support you. If you become negligent in showing mercy to God’s creation, kindness, virtuous deeds, compassion, humility and meekness, then as I have previously mentioned that I am certain that such a community will be the first to perish.”
The Promised Messiahas then says, “In the time of Prophet Mosesas, despite the fact that Mosesas was present among his people, they did not show any regard for the commandments of God Almighty and as a result of this, they were punished with roaring thunder and lightning.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 144-145)
The Promised Messiahas further says, “Do you then believe that you will be saved by simply pledging allegiance to me?”
Then advising the community about giving precedence to faith over worldly endeavours, the Promised Messiahas quotes the examples of the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa and says, “It is not an easy condition to adopt whereby one is always ready to sacrifice worldly endeavours for one’s faith and to adopt righteousness for the sake of God Almighty.”
The Promised Messiahas then says, “What was the example shown by the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa? They were prepared to sacrifice their lives in the way of God Almighty. Thus, this is the inner condition that one must develop and it is not a simple task to offer one’s life in the way of God. However, the condition of the Companionsra was such that they easily fulfilled this obligation. When it was commanded for them to lay down their lives in the way of God, they never inclined towards the world. Thus, it is imperative for you to give precedence to your faith over all worldly pursuits.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, p. 297, UK, 1985)
In recent weeks, I have been narrating incidents from the lives of the Companionsra. Extraordinary incidents have come to light in how they offered immense sacrifices and how they would inculcate virtuousness within themselves; how they would excel in righteousness and what their levels of worship were. It is for these reasons that they serve as models for us about whom the Holy Prophetsa said, “My companions are like the stars; whoever from among them you decide to follow, they will guide you to the right path.” (Mirqat-ul-Mafatih Sharah Mishkat-ul-Masbih, Vol. 11, p. 162, Hadith no. 6018, Kitab-ul-Manaaqib, Dar-ul-Kutb Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Therefore, the Companionsra serve as an excellent model for us.
The Promised Messiahas states, “In the sight of God Almighty, such an individual will not be counted amongst my community whose main objective is to gain material possessions. In the eyes of God Almighty only that individual who forsakes this material world will be considered to be of this community.” The Promised Messiahas has elaborated on this point by saying, “No one should harbour this thought that through abandoning the material world they will perish. Such a thought leads one away from the path of God Almighty.”
The Promised Messiahas then says, “God Almighty never permits the one who becomes attached to Him to go to ruin, rather God Almighty becomes their guardian. God Almighty is the most honourable, whoever forsakes something to follow the path of God, he will discover that very object in His path. I tell you truly that God Almighty loves only those people who act according to His commands and the progeny of these people become blessed. It has never occurred – and never can it occur – that an individual who is truly obedient to God suffers ruin, nor does their progeny suffer this fate. Only the lives of those are ruined, who abandon God Almighty and incline to this material world. Is it not true that every matter is in the hands of God Almighty? Without God, nobody can win any legal case or achieve any success, nor can they feel any sort of ease or happiness.”
The Promised Messiahas further says, “It is quite possible that one accumulates a vast amount of wealth, but who can say with full certainty that after that individual’s death, his wife and children will be able to make use of that wealth.” There are many examples before us in which that wealth goes to waste or is usurped. The Promised Messiahas then says, “Reflect over my words and then bring about a transformation within yourselves.” The Promised Messiahas then further says, “Until now, whatever praise has been lauded”, on the Ahmadiyya Jamaat or Ahmadis, “that is only as a result of God’s attribute of Sattar – The One Who Conceals faults. However, whenever a trial or hardship befalls an individual, then that trial exposes a person’s faults and at that time, the disease in their heart spreads, causing one to perish.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 297-298, UK, 1985)
The standard of piety and virtue in the era of the Promised Messiahas – to which he is referring to – was far greater than of today, yet even then the Promised Messiahas had a yearning in his heart. Today we know our own conditions and can analyse where we stand, what our claim is and what our standards of piety are.
Further elaborating on who is a true believer, the Promised Messiahas says, “Always remember that in the eyes of God Almighty a believer and the one who truly enters into this community is one who gives precedence to faith over worldly pursuits, just as they affirm in the words of the Bai‘at. If they then give precedence to worldly pursuits, they break this covenant and in the eyes of God Almighty, they are sinful.”
The Promised Messiahas then further says, “You should surely remember that until one’s practical state is not reformed, one’s verbal statements account for nothing and are mere statements alone. True faith is something that penetrates the heart and then bears testimony through one’s physical deeds. Hazrat Abu Bakrra and other Companions – peace be upon them all – had true faith, because they sacrificed all their wealth and also even their lives in the way of God Almighty and thought nothing thereof.”
The Promised Messiahas then says, “I always wonder, and through this contemplation, the grandeur of the Holy Prophetsa becomes etched on my heart as to how blessed those Companions were and also how effective was the spiritual power of the Holy Prophetsa that it thrust a nation to such a lofty station. Contemplate over their original condition and to where the Holy Prophetsa raised them to. At one time their state was such that they would indulge in every forbidden act as if it were the mother’s milk for a child. They would readily commit every act of evil; theft, consumption of alcohol, adultery and instigate rebellion and strife. In short, which sin was present that that they did not carry out? However, the influence of the Holy Prophet’ssa company and his moral training was so great and had such a profound effect that the Holy Prophetsa himself bore testimony by saying:
اَللّٰهُ اَللّٰهُ فِيْ اَصْحَابِيْ
meaning that they removed the garb of mortal men and became a manifestation of God Almighty’s attributes. Their condition became like that of the angels:
يَفْعَلُوْنَ مَا يُؤْمَرُوْنَ
That is, that they would act exactly in the manner they have been commanded to. The condition of the Companions was such that all their desires and passions were completely abolished.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 296-297, UK, 1985)
The Promised Messiahas then mentioned that having performed the Bai‘at every Ahmadi must become like a strong branch for the community. Then, even in the time of the Promised Messiahas, he advised us to remain attached to the institution of Khilafat that would begin after him as this would be eternal.
The Promised Messiahas then continued by saying:
“That branch which does not remain attached to the tree eventually withers and falls off. That individual who has sincere faith never worries for material possessions, in spite of this, they are in turn granted every kind of material wealth. Blessed is the one gives precedence to their faith over all worldly matters, however the one who gives precedence to their worldly endeavours over their faith, they are nothing but lifeless bodies who will never see the face of true Divine succour. One can only derive benefit from this pledge of allegiance when one gives precedence to their faith and then strives to progress in this regard. The pledge of allegiance is a seed which has been sown on this day. Now if a farmer remains content with merely planting a seed and assumes that all the precautions have been taken but fails to undertake those set measure by which fruit is obtained – i.e. he does not plough the field, water the field, use appropriate fertiliser, nor does he use any other means which help to protect the crop – then can such a farmer expect to yield any fruit.”
These surrounding areas are also farmland. Many new people that have migrated here on a refugee status or have sought asylum, have come from villages. They also know that if a seed is sown but then the appropriate precautions are not taken, then one cannot yield any crop.
Thus, to all those who have migrated here I would also say that now your situation has improved. You are free to practice your religion and can fulfil the rights of your worship. There is nothing preventing you from openly professing your religion. Therefore, it is vital for every Ahmadi, especially those who have migrated from Pakistan, every one of you should strive to give precedence to your faith over all worldly pursuits and you must employ all your strengths in order to act on the commandments of God Almighty.
The Promised Messiahas states regarding one who does not safeguard their orchard or field of crops, “It will most certainly go to ruin. The individual who becomes an efficient farmer can protect their crops. Therefore, every one of us has planted a seed.”
The Promised Messiahas was explaining this by addressing those people in front of him, and today we are the ones who are being addressed and thus we have planted a seed by accepting Ahmadiyyat. The Promised Messiahas continues further, “Only God Almighty knows what is destined for who, but fortunate is he who protects this seed and prays for its progress. For instance, one should see an improvement in their prayers.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 37-38, UK, 1985)
One should be paying attention towards their prayers. It is not sufficient to simply construct a mosque, rather one should then make an effort to fulfil the due rights of the mosque.
Another very important advice the Promised Messiahas has given to Jamaat which I would like to present before you, the Promised Messiahas states:
“The present age is deteriorating and many forms of Shirk [idolatry], harmful innovations and other forms of corruption have emerged. The proclamation made at the time of the Bai‘at wherein one pledges to give precedence to one’s faith over all worldly things is a pledge made before God Almighty. Thus, one ought to remain established upon this pledge till their death, otherwise consider yourself to have not taken the Bai‘at. However, if you remain true to this pledge then God Almighty shall bless your faith and your worldly endeavours too. Adopt righteousness in accordance to the will of God Almighty. We are passing through extremely perilous times and Divine wrath is being manifested. One who fashions himself according to the will of God Almighty shall be showing mercy on his own soul and his future progeny.”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“A person eats bread and until he does not eat his stomach’s full, he will continue until his hunger is satiated.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 75, UK, 1985)
If we reflect upon the wrath of God which the Promised Messiahas has said is being manifested, we can now see from the official facts and figures that the world has never witnessed so many earthquakes and storms as it has in the last 100 years. Even here [in the USA] countless storms and torrential rain is witnessed and each time it is said that such and such incident had not occurred in the last 500 years, or 100 years or this many decades, etc. Thus, one ought to ponder over this. The worldly people will not be able to understand this, but we know that this is the manifestation of God Almighty’s displeasure. The Promised Messiahas has given an open warning in relation to these matters, therefore we need to pay attention towards our reformation. We also need to inform the world that these calamities are not ordinary occurrences, rather they were prophesied over 100 years ago. Now, there is only one way to be saved from these and that is for man to come closer to God Almighty. If one does not take heed now, then it will be impossible to be saved from them. Similarly, man has created many other difficulties for himself, for instance, there are the wars and the cruelty that is being perpetrated on one another. The ultimate conclusion will be that when cruelties reach their extreme levels according to God Almighty, although we find them to be at its most extreme level already, but God Almighty grants reprieve, however when those cruelties reach their extreme in the sight of God Almighty, then those nations who perpetrate these cruelties will be destroyed. Only those people shall be saved regarding whom the Promised Messiahas has stated in one of his couplets:
“There is fire, but all those shall be saved from it who have love for the Omnipotent God.” (Durre Sameen, p. 154)
Therefore, one needs to pay particular focus towards this in order to save oneself and also the world in general. We need to make a concerted effort with all our faculties and abilities as to how we can attain God Almighty.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“A person eats bread and until he does not eat to his stomach’s full, he will continue until his hunger is satiated. If he eats a small morsel, will he be able to save himself from hunger? Certainly not. If one only takes a single drop into their throat, that will not be enough to save themselves and they will eventually die.”
The Promised Messiahas states:
“In order to safeguard one’s life, one has to eat and drink the minimum amount required to keep one alive, otherwise one cannot survive.” There is a minimum amount of food that needs to be eaten and in the same way a minimum amount to drink otherwise one cannot stay alive. “This is the same case for one’s affairs relating to faith. If one does not possess the minimum amount of spirituality required, one cannot stay alive. Faith, righteousness and fulfilling the commandments of God Almighty should be performed to the same extent as is the case with one’s intake of food and drink, that is, one should continue to eat and drink until one is satiated.”
The Promised Messiahas further states,
“Remember that there are certain commandments of God Almighty, which if they are not fulfilled, it is akin to neglecting all His commandments. If one devotes a certain portion to Satan and another for God Almighty, then know that God Almighty does not like to share that what is supposed to be exclusively His. This community has been established so that one is drawn towards God Almighty. Even though it is an arduous task to come close to God Almighty and requires one to undergo and a kind of death, but in the end, one also attains a new life from this very act. One who discards the satanic aspects from within becomes a blessed individual and one’s house, soul and one’s entire city receives those blessings. However, if one only partakes very little from this then he will not acquire these blessings. Until one does not practically demonstrate his Bai‘at, the Bai‘at is of no significance. If one verbally proclaims many things before someone but practically does nothing, then these mere utterances will not please that person. The same is in the case with God Almighty. His sense of honour is far greater than anyone else’s. Thus, can it be possible that on the one hand you obey Him and yet on the other hand you also obey His enemies. This is called hypocrisy. In such instances, one should not be concerned about anyone else and remain true to this pledge.” That is, giving precedence to faith over all worldly matters till one’s last breath.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Evil is of two types. One is to associate partners with God Almighty, to be ignorant of His greatness, to show indolence in His worship and obedience. The second type is failing to show compassion towards His creation and also failing to fulfil their due rights. Thus, one ought to refrain from both forms of evil, remain occupied in the obedience of God Almighty and remain firmly established on the pledge you have made in the Bai‘at. One should not cause any harm to the God’s creation and greatly ponder over the Holy Quran and adhere to it. Refrain from all kinds of gatherings where people ridicule and mock others and also associate partners with God. Observe the five daily prayers; in short, one should not abandon a single commandment of God Almighty. Keep your exterior clean as well as purifying your hearts from all kinds of malice, hatred and jealousy. This is what God Almighty desires from you.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, pp. 75-76, UK, 1985)
May God Almighty enable us to bring about pure changes within ourselves whilst fulfilling the due rights of our Bai‘at. And may we, whilst living in this very world, fulfil our pledge of giving precedence to our faith over all worldly things. May we act according to the instructions of the Promised Messiahas and in view of the tenth condition of Bai‘at, which states to obey all Ma‘ruf decisions, may we understand the true essence of the obedience of God and attain those standards as a result of which we become the recipients of God Almighty’s blessings which He has promised to the Promised Messiahas.
(Translated by The Review of Religions)