20 March 2020
Claims and Teachings: Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Mahdias
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In three days, it will be 23 March and it was on this day that the Promised Messiahas inaugurated the system of Bai‘at [oath of initiation] and thus, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was formally established.
This day is commemorated in the Jamaat as the “Promised Messiah Day” and Jalsas [gatherings]are also held with regards to this day. As part of its commemoration, we learn about the claims and the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiahas as well. Thus, although three days still remain until 23 March, but the next Friday will be many days later.
Therefore, in view of this day, I will present some quotes of the Promised Messiahas in his own words. It may well be that due to the recent outbreak of the virus, it may not be possible to hold Jalsas in most countries. Therefore, in addition to my sermon, programmes will be broadcast on MTA with regard to this. Every Ahmadishould endeavour to listen to them at home along with their children.
The Promised Messiahas was sent in subservience to the Holy Prophetsa, to continue his mission and to propagate his faith across the world. Hence, the Promised Messiahas once stated:
“I invoke durood [salutations]upon the Holy Prophetsa for it is for his sake that Allah the Almighty established this Community and it is due to his grace and blessings that we are witnessing these signs of support.”
The Promised Messiahas further states,
“I openly proclaim and this indeed is my very belief and creed that no person can attain any spiritual benefit and blessing without following the footsteps of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Lecture Ludhiana, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 267)
It is owing to the spiritual blessings that he received from the Holy Prophetsa that Allah the Exalted sent the Promised Messiahas for the reformation of the world. He sent him to re-establish the glory and grandeur of Islam. Hence, the Promised Messiahas states on one occasion:
وَاَرْسَلَنِيْ رَبِّيْ لِاِصْلَاحِ خَلْقِہٖ
‘And God sent me so that I may reform mankind.’” (Aijaz-e-Ahmadi, appendix Nuzul-ul-Messiah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 19, p. 178)
Then, further elaborating regarding the purpose of his advent, the Promised Messiahas states,
“I must say – and I cannot be stopped from repeating – that I am the promised one who has been sent to restore the faith, to re-establish it in the hearts of men. I have been sent exactly as was sent the one to follow the man of God they call Kalimullah. I have come like him whose spirit underwent hardships in the reign of Herod and was at last raised to heaven.”(Fath-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, pp. 7-8)
Then, announcing that the Messiah, promised by the Holy Prophetsa had appeared at his appointed time, he states:
“So, O my brethren! I implore you in the name of God, do not commit excesses against me, for it was imperative that I present to you those things which you initially would fail to comprehend. If you were already on the right path, then there was no need for my advent. I have mentioned previously that I have come in the spirit of Jesus, son of Mary, for the reformation of this Ummah in the same manner Jesusas was sent to reform the Jews. For this very reason I have appeared in the likeness of Jesus, son of Maryas and I have been commissioned with the same task that was assigned to him. After his advent, the Messiahas removed the harmful innovations and erroneous beliefs held by the Jews. One of those beliefs was that the Jews believed that Elijah would appear in this world again. In the same way, the Muslims of today believe that Jesus, son of Maryas would descend from the heavens. Thus, the Messiahas stated that Elijah would not descend from the skies and instead, John [the Baptist], son of Zechariah was Elijah [in spiritual form], those who wish to accept him should do so. The Messiahas removed the misconception of the Jews and as a result of this was declared to be a heretic and an infidel, yet, he explained all that what was true. The same is the case for his spiritual manifestation, in that this humble one has also been declared a heretic like the Messiahas. Is this not a similarity of the highest order?” (Izala-e-Auham, Part II, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 394)
The Promised Messiahas did not only state that his advent was for the Muslims, but his advent was significant for every religion and every nation. At one instance, the Promised Messiahas said:
“Finally, let it be clear that my advent in the present age is not for the reformation of the Muslims alone, but I have come to reform the people of all the three religions: Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Just as God has appointed me the Promised Messiah for the Muslims and Christians, so too am I the Avatar for the Hindus. For the past 20 years or so, I have been proclaiming that just as I have appeared in the spirit of the Messiah son of Maryas for the purpose of removing sins which have filled the earth, so too have I come as Raja Krishna – one of the greatest Avatars of the Hindu faith. In other words, I am the same person by virtue of spiritual reality. This is no fancy or speculation on my part. The God of heaven and earth has revealed to me, not once, but a number of times, that for the Hindus I am Krishna and for the Muslims and Christians I am the Promised Messiah.
“I know that the ignorant Muslims, on hearing this, will immediately say that by assuming the name of a kafir [disbeliever], I have openly accepted disbelief. But this revelation is from God and I have no choice but to proclaim it. Today it is for the first time that I am announcing it before such a large gathering, for those who are from God are never afraid of the reproaches of faultfinders.” (Lecture Sialkot, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 228)
This was stated by the Promised Messiahas in Lecture Sialkot, which was a lecture delivered by him in front of a large gathering of Muslims and Hindus.
With regard to the significance of his advent, the Promised Messiahas writes:
“When man acts contrary to the commands of God Almighty, it becomes a means of him committing sin. Even if a low-ranking soldier is sent by the government with a written order, the one who disobeys that directive would be deemed guilty and punished as a result. If this is the case with mere mortal rulers, what then would be the state of the one who disrespects and shows no regard for a directive issued by the Best of judges [i.e. Allah the Almighty]. God Almighty holds His honour dear to Him. In an age of sin and vice, God Almighty commissioned His servant and sent him according to the need of the time so that he can guide people towards the right path. Thus, for one to trample all over this wise judgement is a grave sin.”
The Promised Messiahas further states,
“…Man can never fathom the wisdom behind God’s design. After all, what is man that he can lay claim to understanding Divine wisdom. The wisdom of God’s design is evident and manifest for this age to see.”
The Promised Messiahas then says:
“Previously,” the Promised Messiahas is referring to his time, “if a Muslim would abandon his faith, there would be a great hue and cry. But now Islam is in such a weakened state that approximately 100,000 people have turned their back on Islam.”
The Promised Messiahas further says:
“Islam is a pure and flawless religion. However, it has been attacked in such a manner that there are hundreds of thousands of books written which are filled with vile abuse against the Holy Prophetsa. Some magazines are printed in the millions. If everything that has been written against Islam is gathered together at one place, it would form an enormous mountain.
“The case of the Muslims is that it seems as if they are lifeless and have become like corpses. In times like these, if God Almighty also remains silent, then one can only imagine what would be the outcome. One strike from God Almighty is far greater than even a thousand assaults of man and this one strike alone would be enough for His religion to triumph over others.
“The Christians have spent the past 1,900 years crying out that Jesusas was god. Subsequently, their religion grew and moreover the Muslims are helping them in this cause. The Christians have been equipped with an excellent weapon in that they say Jesus is alive and our Holy Prophet[sa] has passed away.”
The Promised Messiahas further says:
“In Lahore, Lord Bishop presented this argument in front of a large congregation and no Muslim was able to reply to it. However, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, a member of our community who was present at the time, stood up and quoting references from the Holy Quran, Ahadith, books of history and also from the Bible, proved that Jesusas has passed away and the Holy Prophetsa is alive, because there have always been individuals who, having attained blessings through him, demonstrated miracles and excellences. The Lord Bishop was unable to reply to this.”
The Promised Messiahas then says,
“…I once sent an advertisement to a group of Christians in Ludhiana saying that there was little difference in our mutual beliefs. What harm is there if they were to accept that Jesusas had passed away and did not ascend to the heavens? At this, they became infuriated and said that if they accept that Jesusas had passed away and did not ascend to the heavens, then there would not be a single Christian left in the world.”
The Promised Messiahas says:
“Always remember that God Almighty is All-Knowing and Wise. He has implemented this design so that the enemy may perish. Why do the Muslims remain adamant upon this point? Was Jesusas superior to the Holy Prophetsa? If you hold animosity towards me then do not exceed all limits and act in a manner that would destroy Islam. God Almighty does not implement anything that is ineffective and without this belief, [i.e. regarding the death of Jesus] one cannot break the cross.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp.174-175)
On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas said:
“The actual mission for which God has appointed me is to remove the estrangement that has come between man and his Creator and re-establish a relationship of love and sincerity between him and his Lord. He has also appointed me to put a stop to religious wars by proclaiming the truth, to create religious harmony, to reveal the religious truths that have long remained hidden from mortal eyes, and to display the true spirituality that lies submerged under the darkness of selfish passions. I have also been sent to demonstrate practically, and not just in words, how Divine powers enter man and how they are manifested through prayer and concentration.
“But, first and foremost, I have been sent to re-establish forever the lost belief in the Unity of God – tawhid – which is pure and luminous and unadulterated by any form of idolatry – Shirk. All this will not come about by my power, but by the Mighty hand of the Lord of heaven and earth. While God has taken upon Himself the task of my spiritual training and has inspired me, through His revelation, with a zeal to bring about this reformation, He has also prepared hearts that are ready to accept my words. I observe that ever since God sent me, a great revolution has begun to take shape in the world.” (Lecture Lahore, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, pp. 180-181)
The Promised Messiahas stated this in Lecture Lahore.
Then expounding further on the fact that owing to God Almighty’s mercy and in order to save mankind, God Almighty sends His chosen servants and reformers, the Promised Messiahas states:
“It is God’s eternal law that when suffering and hardship reach their extreme, His mercy is aroused and He creates the means for the alleviation of the world’s woes. For example, when drought causes a severe famine and people are about to perish, God the Noble causes rain to fall; when there is an epidemic and thousands begin to die, He causes some means for purifying the air or some remedy to be found; when a nation is in the grip of a tyrant, he is ultimately replaced by a just and benevolent ruler.
“In the same way, when people forsake the path of God and renounce tawhid and worship of God, He raises someone whom He grants perfect vision and honours him with His word and revelation, in order to guide mankind and bring about a reformation of the evil that has occurred.
“The truth is that God is the Sustainer on whom depends the existence and continuity of the universe. He does not deprive His creatures of His benevolent attributes, nor does He suspend them. Rather, they instantly come into play when they are required.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part II, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, pp. 113-114, footnote no. 10)
On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Extremely blessed and fortunate is the one whose heart is pure and desires for the manifestation of Allah the Almighty’s greatness and glory because such a person is chosen by Allah over others. As for those who oppose me, our decision between us lies before Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty knows the reality of our hearts, He knows whose hearts are inclined towards the attraction of this world and whose hearts are filled with fervency and fervour for Allah the Almighty.”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“Remember well that one can only excel in spirituality when one purifies their heart. When one’s heart becomes pure and cleansed, it develops a particular strength and faculty to progress in spiritualty. One is then endowed with all kinds of means to progress further. Ponder over the example of the Holy Prophetsa; he was alone and while in this very state, he proclaimed:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيْعًا
“‘O mankind! truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah’ (Surah al-A‘raf, Ch.7: V.159)
“Who could have imagined at the time that the claim of such an individual, who was all alone, would come to fulfilment? Moreover, he faced such hardship which we have not even endured a fraction of what he did.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 157-158)
Granting advice to the world in general, the Promised Messiahas states:
“My ultimate advice to you is that you show concern for your faith. Let it not be the case that owing to your arrogance and negligence, you become counted amongst the rebellious ones in the eyes of the Almighty Allah.
“Ponder that God Almighty has looked upon you at a time that had been destined from before, thus strive so that you can become the recipient of these blessings. God Almighty witnessed from the heavens that one who had been granted honour is being tarnished under the feet and verbal abuse is being hurled at the Prophet, who is the best amongst all of mankind. He is counted amongst the evil ones and liars, and similarly, his book, which is the Holy Quran, is being described with ill words and deemed as a book authored through human effort.
“Thus, God Almighty manifested His promise, which has been recorded in the following verse [of the Holy Quran]:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهٗ لَحَافِظُوْنَ
“‘Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’ (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.10)
“Today is the day for the fulfilment of this promise. Through mighty onslaughts and all kinds of signs, Allah the Almighty has proven that this community has been established by Him. Have you ever witnessed such clear and manifest signs of God Almighty as you have witnessed now? God Almighty fought against the non-Muslims like a wrestler and defeated them. There was a battle in the case of Atham and now search for yourself and see where Atham is? Today, he lies buried in the ground. In accordance to the condition stipulated in the divine revelation, he was granted respite for a while and then in accordance to the condition mentioned in the divine revelation, he was taken in the grasp of the Almighty.
“The second contest was with Lekh Ram. Ponder how God Almighty triumphed in that contest. You witnessed with your very eyes that the signs regarding his death which had been divinely prophesied from before were all fulfilled. The sign of God Almighty’s wrath brought sorrow upon an entire people. Have you ever witnessed such glorious signs manifest right before your eyes? Thus, O progeny of Muslims! Do not dishonour the works of God.
“The third contest was on the occasion of the Maho Taso Jalsa. Again, reflect upon how God Almighty caused Islam to triumph and made you witness His sign. God Almighty had revealed from before to His servant that his essay will be declared supreme, and indeed this promise was fulfilled. Furthermore, the blessed impact of this essay had left everyone in awe of it. Was this the work of God or then someone else?”
The Promised Messiahas here is referring to the Jalsa in which his book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam was read out and God Almighty had revealed its success and supremacy from before. The Promised Messiahas therefore had issued an announcement from before and in the end, the non-Muslims all openly acknowledged that indeed out of all the essays presented, this was the most successful. The Promised Messiahas further states:
“The fourth contest was the case against Dr Henry Martyn Clarke in which the Christians, Arya and Muslims in opposition to me, were all united in their efforts to falsely prove me guilty of attempted murder. God Almighty had revealed to me from before that they will fail in their efforts. This revelation was shared with almost 200 people from before and in the end, victory was indeed granted to us.
“The fifth contest was the case against Mirza Ahmad Baig of Hoshiarpur. His family members and close associates would ridicule Islam, whilst some of their staunchest apostates would strongly oppose the Holy Quran and would hurl abuse and demand a sign of Islam from me and even publish announcements for this. Thus, God Almighty revealed a sign that Ahmad Baig shall be made to witness the death of some of his relatives and also some afflictions and ultimately shall pass away within the period of three years. This is precisely what happened and he died within the time period outlined so that it could be made evident that one who exceeds the bounds shall ultimately be punished.” (Ayam-us-Suluh, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 14, pp. 325-327)
Thus, the Promised Messiahas warned the world that they ought not to oppose one who had been commissioned by God Almighty. When God Almighty sends someone, He then supports him with His help and succour and shows His signs. The Promised Messiahas has stated, “God Almighty has revealed to me in manifest word, ‘A Warner came unto the world, but the world accepted him not; yet God shall accept him and demonstrate his truthfulness with powerful signs.’” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part IV. Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, p. 665, sub-footnote, no. 4)
Thus, the spread of the Ahmadiyya Community in over 200 countries of the world is a testimony to the fact that God Almighty is continuously establishing the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas in the world.
May Allah the Almighty enable us to contribute towards fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiahas; may He increase us in our faith and conviction and enable us to fulfil our responsibilities.
Now I would like to mention something in reference to current pandemic and present the views and analysis of the secular world.
Phillip Johnston writes in the Daily Telegraph on 18 March 2020:
“Netflix and other platforms report that one of the most popular movies currently being streamed is Contagion, a film from 2011 … The plot concerns the spread of a virus, desperate attempts by medical researchers and public health officials to identify and contain the disease, the loss of social order and finally, the introduction of a vaccine to halt its spread.”
He further writes:
“I wonder whether our predilection for apocalyptic films is a response to a long period of stability and prosperity which, in the West at least, most of us complacently assumed would just carry on for ever. It is extraordinary to think that in the space of a fortnight, our world has been turned completely upside down, all our plans put on hold, our hopes for the future now uncertain.”
He further writes:
“Neither the threat of nuclear winter war, nor the impact of various economic crashes, including the most recent, was anything like [what] this [pandemic is causing now].”
He further writes:
“Even during the last war, people went out to the theatre and the cinema, to restaurants and cafes, to clubs and pubs. Indeed, that is one way they got through. Yet that is denied to us.”
[Phillip Johnston] then writes:
“Most of us who have grown up since the Second World War have come to expect a steady state of prosperity, stability and contentedness that most previous generations never imagined possible – and nor would they have been complacent enough to believe it.”
He then writes:
“The hope is that science will come to the rescue with a vaccine or cure and perhaps it will.” He writes, “Trials began in Seattle today on human volunteers. The bad news, it will take months to know if it will work.”
He further writes, “Throughout history, people … have reached for their faith to get them through events such as this.”
Throughout history, if such dangerous events transpired, people took refuge in their faith, [he continues] “and turned towards God to give meaning to what has happened to them and their loved ones.” He further writes, “Atheists tend to take a secular, humanist view of man’s propensity always to better himself … This is essentially an Enlightenment concept that natural processes can always be improved by human effort and not ascribed to fate or the wrath of God.”
He says, “How many times have we heard people say, ‘Everything will be okay because scientists will work something out’, whether it be global warming or the pandemic? We are about to find out whether such optimism is justified. If it isn’t”, he is a worldly person himself and therefore says, “then I might be heading back to church.”
In other words, he is saying that right now, he is far from religion and God, and in view of the current circumstances and condition of the world, and also if what scientists are saying doesn’t transpire, then one should also think about turning back to the Church and religion.
Therefore, this virus has compelled the world to reflect about returning to God. However, the True God and the Living God is only the God of Islam, Who has announced to show the path towards Himself for those who desire to do so. He has announced to those who take only a step towards Him that He shall hold their hands and take them many steps forward and to take them in His protection.
Thus, in these circumstances, where we need to reform ourselves, we also need to effectively carry out tabligh [propagating the message of Islam]. We must, more than before, acquaint the world with Islam. Moreover, every Ahmadi should try and inform the world that if you desire salvation, then you must recognise your God Who has created you. If you desire a noble end, then recognise your God Who has created you; because the best end is the life in the hereafter. Do not hold associates with Him and fulfil the right of His creation. So we must always make this effort, may Allah enable everyone to do so.
Even the secular world is saying that these pandemics will continue to increase. For this reason, like I have said, for a noble end, it is essential that we also turn towards God Almighty and then tell the world that true end is the life in the hereafter for which you must return to God.
Regarding this, a warning of an expert (that was published in The Times on 6 March) is that the chances of dangerous virus’ genetic mutations becoming normal are very high and along with this, within a matter of years, a new coronavirus can potentially spread in the world. It is written that maybe every three years, a new disease may surface.
Then Bloomberg [6 February 2020] also published an article stating that “Scientists can conquer coronavirus, but humanity’s war against epidemics is endless … In the evolutionary arms race between humanity and the microbes, the bugs are making a comeback … since 1970, more than 1,500 new pathogens have been discovered, according to the World Health Organisation, and epidemics in the 21st century are spreading faster and farther than ever.” It then states that “outbreaks that were previously localised can now become global very rapidly.”
In any case, these details go much further and they cannot all be presented now. But, like I have said, for our noble end, we need to develop a connection with God Almighty, more than before. May Allah the Almighty enable us to do so.
I have previously already given guidelines about the coronavirus pandemic and will give a reminder [now] because this is spreading across the world very quickly and the effect is greatly being felt here as well. The government has therefore been forced to take further steps and stricter measures.
When diseases and pandemics surface, they can take everyone in their grasp. For this reason, everyone should take great caution. Act upon the advice of the government. Those who are elderly, ill, or have such illnesses that weaken immunity, should take great caution. The elderly should rarely leave the house, and this is what the government has also announced, unless someone has very good health, but generally they should remain at home.
Take precaution when attending mosques as well. Offer Jumuah [Friday] prayers at your local mosque. By the looks of the attendance here today [at the Mubarak Mosque] it seems people are offering Jumuah prayers at their local mosques. But even then, this is only until the government says not to gather for Jumuah either.
Women should generally avoid coming to the mosque [during these days], especially since they come with children, therefore they should avoid it. Generally, doctors are advising to pay attention to rest in order to increase our immune system and therefore attention should be paid towards getting enough sleep.
Make sure you have enough sleep, yourselves and your children. An adult should get 6-7 hours of sleep and children require 8-9 or 10 hours of sleep. Attention should be paid towards this and it should not be the case that one stays awake watching television till late at night and then in the morning, misses the Fajr [morning] prayer and gets up in a rush for work that one has to get to in a few hours, and remains lethargic and lazy throughout the day, on top of the tiredness from work. This is how diseases and illnesses attack.
In the same manner, instil the habit of sleeping early and waking up early within children with 8-9 hours of sleep.
Also, avoid eating foods from outside [i.e. unhealthy food], especially crisps that people give to children to eat or such foods that have preservatives in them; these are harmful to health and should be avoided; such foods also slowly weaken the human body.
Doctors are advising to continuously drink water in these days. It is essential to drink some water every hour or every half an hour or so. This is also a way to stay protected from illness.
Hands should be kept clean. Even if sanitisers are not available, wash your hands frequently. And like I mentioned before, those who perform the ablution at least five times a day have the opportunity to remain clean, thus pay attention to this as well.
Regarding sneezing, as I have said before, cover the nose with a handkerchief when at the mosque, at home and in general. Or, as some doctors have now advised, sneeze into your arm so the droplets do not spread.
In any case, hygiene is very important and great attention should be paid to this.
However, the ultimate solution is prayer. And we should pray that Allah protects us all from this illness and from its ill effects. We should also pray for all those Ahmadis who have contracted this illness in whatever manner, and for those whom doctors suspect have the virus.
In fact, pray for all those who are suffering with any form of illness. In the same manner, like I have said, the virus affects those with underlying health conditions, so pray for such people as well that Allah the Almighty keeps them protected.
In general, pray for everyone. May Allah keep the world protected from the ill effects of this pandemic. May He grant full health to all those who are ill. Whilst granting health to every Ahmadi, may He also increase them in their belief and conviction in faith.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 10 April 2020, pp. 5-8. Translated by The Review of Religions)