The true meaning of a nation’s ‘success’: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s article for the Kamyabi magazine of Delhi

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra

In 1929, a prominent Muslim leader of British India, Khawaja Hassan Nizami launched a magazine titled Kamyabi (lit. ‘success’) – its aim was to promote business amongst the Muslims of India. 

Khawaja Sahib requested Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra to write an article for the first issue of that magazine.

Huzoorra agreed and wrote an article titled “Kamyabi”, which was published in the very first issue of the magazine.

In this article, Huzoorra stated:

“Our countrymen are normally unaware of the [true] meanings of the word ‘success’, and this is the reason behind the [country’s] failures. In our country, it is thought that success means wealth, good clothes, lavish food, conquering people, and ruling others. However, this is the worst interpretation of the word ‘success’ that could be given.

“The fact is that one’s progress is hampered when one focuses on these above-mentioned things as one’s primary objectives and goals, equating them with ‘success’. However, these things do not denote ‘success’ per se, rather they are sometimes gained as a result of a person’s success. 

“It is due to this misunderstanding that some people also raise the question as to ‘Why Hazrat Imam Hussainra failed and Yazid succeeded’. However, if they ponder over it, Yazid failed despite having wealth, power and might. Hazrat Imam Hussainra succeeded despite his martyrdom since his objective was not to gain control, but rather the protection of people’s rights. 1300 years have passed but the principle in defence of which Hazrat Imam Hussainra stood up i.e. that a person cannot occupy the position of a Khalifa by way of inheritance after his father’s demise, rather the [believers] hold the right to choose a Khalifa, remains sacred to this day. In fact, his martyrdom made this fact more prominent. Therefore, it was Hazrat Imam Hussainra who succeeded, not Yazid.

“The Holy Quran has stated the principle for success in very simple terms, and this is the point towards which I wish to call the attention of the readers of Kamyabi. Allah the Almighty states:

وَالسّٰبِقُوۡنَ الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُهٰجِرِيۡنَ وَالۡاَنۡصَارِ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡهُمۡ بِاِحۡسَانٍ ۙ رَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُوۡا عَنۡهُ وَاَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِيۡ تَحۡتَهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ ذٰلِكَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِيۡمُ

“‘And (as for) the foremost (among the believers), the first of the Migrants and the Helpers, and those who followed them in the best possible manner, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; and He has prepared for them Gardens beneath which flow rivers. They will abide therein forever. That is the supreme triumph.’ (Surah at-Taubah, Ch.9: V.100)

“In this verse, it has been stated that true success is the attainment of Allah the Almighty’s pleasure, which results in the means for tranquillity and ease. However, those means are not the ultimate objectives themselves. 

“Moreover, it has been taught that the principle for success is for a certain nation to outshine other nations in achieving such great objectives which require sacrifices and the accomplishment of which is seemingly not beneficial to individuals themselves but to mankind [as a whole] and then to remain at the forefront of such efforts. This is the principle which has been neglected by our nation, and without this, success is impossible. 

“There are wealthy people and land-owners amongst our nation, however, there is no success. The reason is that the efforts of our nation and the people of our country are dedicated to their personal honour and comfort. However, the formula for success is that the whole nation should either become [like the] Muhajirun and by leaving aside selfishness, they should make such efforts which ultimately help in the collective progress of the nation – or they should become [like the] Ansar, the helpers and supporters of the aforementioned people, until every country of the world is provided with such means without which their survival had been difficult, and it had been impossible for them to survive without the great sacrifices of that [helping] nation. 

“Such a nation can be considered successful, and no one can ever erase its impressions from the [history of the] world. 

“I hope that my countrymen will pay attention to this truth and will try to understand it. They can never succeed by merely imitating other [nations]. They can never succeed until they themselves try to become السّٰبِقُوۡنَ‭ ‬الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ [the foremost pioneers] in certain disciplines and fields, and succeed in turning other nations into their followers. Otherwise, they will continue to fail. However, are there not enough failures of the past to awaken us? Is there any deeper pit of humiliation that we are yet to fall into? Will we not mature [as a nation] once we come out of our ‘childhood’ phase or will we jump straight to ‘old age’ and remain feeble? 

“May God not show us that day, rather may He enable our nation to awaken, to exhibit the spirit of Muhajirun and Ansar, and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with السّٰبِقُوۡنَ‭ ‬الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ [the foremost among the believers] in the field of progress, and may every sacrifice become easy for it forever, not temporarily, and may it leave behind such a strong legacy that its impressions cannot be effaced by the passage of time. 

“Amin, Allah-humma amin. Wa aakhiru da’wana ani l-hamdu li-llahi Rabbil ‘Alamin [Our last cry is; All praise is due to God, the Lord of all the Universes].” (Al Fazl, 12 July 1929, p. 7) 

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