The key to success: Give precedence to faith over the world, seek help from Allah and show obedience to the Imam

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Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
Quran
Photo courtesy of Suhaib Ahmad

Today, a materialistic mindset has caused people and nations to be overly confident and proud of their materialistic achievements; they rely on earthly means alone in search of “success”. On achieving their worldly objectives, which they label as “success”, they assume to have achieved the purpose of their creation. 

However, the Holy Quran states:

قُلۡ‭ ‬هَلۡ‭ ‬نُنَبِّئُكُمۡ‭ ‬بِالۡاَخۡسَرِيۡنَ‭ ‬اَعۡمَالًا‭ ‬

اَلَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬ضَلَّ‭ ‬سَعۡيُهُمۡ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡحَيٰوةِ‭ ‬الدُّنۡيَا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬هُمۡ‭ ‬يَحۡسَبُوۡنَ‭ ‬اَنَّهُمۡ‭ ‬يُحۡسِنُوۡنَ‭ ‬صُنۡعًا

“Say, ‘Shall We tell you of those who are the greatest losers in respect of their works? – ‘Those whose labour is [all] lost in [search after things pertaining to] the life of this world, and they think that they are doing good works.’ (Surah al-Kahf, Ch.18: V.104-105)

On the other hand, believers seek help from the One God alone and strive to strengthen their faith and render services in His way. Ultimately, they achieve success in its true essence, as the Holy Quran states:

قَدۡ‭ ‬اَفۡلَحَ‭ ‬الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ‭ ‬

“Surely, success does come to the believers.” (Surah al-Mu’minun, Ch.23: V.2)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa used to recite the following prayer:

اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬لَكَ‭ ‬أَسْلَمْتُ‭ ‬وَبِكَ‭ ‬آمَنْتُ‭ ‬وَعَلَيْكَ‭ ‬تَوَكَّلْتُ‭ ‬وَإِلَيْكَ‭ ‬أَنَبْتُ‭ ‬وَبِكَ‭ ‬خَاصَمْتُ‭ ‬اَللّٰهُمَّ‭ ‬إِنِّيْ‭ ‬أَعُوذُ‭ ‬بِعِزَّتِكَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬إِلٰهَ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬أَنْتَ‭ ‬أَنْ‭ ‬تُضِلَّنِيْ‭ ‬أَنْتَ‭ ‬الْحَىُّ‭ ‬الَّذِيْ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يَمُوْتُ‭ ‬وَالْجِنُّ‭ ‬وَالْإِنْسُ‭ ‬يَمُوْتُوْنَ

“O Allah, I have entrusted everything unto You, I believe in You, I trust in You and am inclined towards You. With Your name I face the enemy. O Allah, I seek refuge in Your Honour. There is none worthy of worship except You. Do not lead me astray. You are the Ever Living Being Who is Immortal, while human beings and jinns will perish ultimately.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Zikr wa al-Du‘a wa al-Taubah wa al-Istighfar, Hadith no. 2717)

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While mentioning those who strive in the way of Allah, it is stated in the Holy Quran:

وَالَّذِيْنَ‭ ‬جٰهَدُوْا‭ ‬فِيْنَا‭ ‬لَنَهۡدِيَنَّهُمۡ‭ ‬سُبُلَنَا

“And [as] for those who strive in Our path – We will surely guide them in Our ways.” (Surah al-Ankabut, Ch.29: V.70)

In the commentary of this verse, the Promised Messiahas said:

“Those people who strive in Allah’s path, are eventually guided towards the right way. Without effort and irrigation, just as a seed fails to thrive, and in fact is destroyed, in the same way, unless a person vows each day and supplicates to God for His help, divine grace will not descend, and without divine help, it is impossible to bring about a transformation.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 7, p. 225)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra – during his Friday Sermon on 3 April 1931 – stated that one needed to always give precedence to their faith over worldly matters, and emphasised the fact that it is the strength of faith which enables one to succeed, not material means.   

Huzoorra said:

“Our Jamaat is a religious community, and for this reason, all of its objectives are based on spiritual foundations, not worldly ones. Materialistic people assess their success and failure on the basis of the problems they face, however, we do not assess our success or failure by this standard, rather we assess it on the basis of the strength of our faith.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 13, p. 129)

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Huzoorra further said divine communities did not rely on earthly means, rather they found strength from their faith:

“Therefore, when the members of a divine community inculcate a firm faith in their hearts, they certainly succeed in their objectives despite having a lesser amount of worldly means. […] During the times when divine communities have very little earthly means, God sends down His angels [to help them] and grants them victory.” (Ibid, pp. 130 and 132) 

Huzoorra continued by saying that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had to confront a great spiritual war against the whole world, however, victory in this spiritual contest would not come through worldly means, rather it would happen with the power of our faith. 

The spiritual war, which has been indicated here by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, has been mentioned by the Promised Messiahas in his couplets:

جنگِ‭ ‬روحانی ‬ہے‭ ‬اب‭ ‬اس‭ ‬خادم‭ ‬و‭ ‬شيطان‭ ‬كا

دل‭ ‬گهٹا جاتا‭ ‬ہے‭ ‬ياربّ‭ ‬سخت‭ ‬ہے‭ ‬يہ ‬كارزار

ہر‭ ‬نبئ‭ ‬وقت‭ ‬نے‭ ‬اس‭ ‬جنگ‭ ‬كی ‬دی‭ ‬تھی‭ ‬خبر

كر‭ ‬گئے‭ ‬وه‭ ‬سب‭ ‬دعائيں‭ ‬با‭ ‬دو‭ ‬چشمِ‭ ‬اشكبار

اے‭ ‬خدا‭ ‬شيطاں‭ ‬پہ ‬مجھ‭ ‬كو‭ ‬فتح‭ ‬دے‭ ‬رحمت‭ ‬كے‭ ‬ساتھ

وه‭ ‬اكهٹی ‬كر‭ ‬رہا‭ ‬ہے‭ ‬اپنی ‬فوجيں‭ ‬بے‭ ‬شمار

جنگ‭ ‬يہ ‬بڑھ‭ ‬كر‭ ‬ہے‭ ‬جنگِ‭ ‬روس‭ ‬اور‭ ‬جاپان‭ ‬سے

ميں‭ ‬غريب‭ ‬اور‭ ‬ہے‭ ‬مقابل‭ ‬پر‭ ‬حريفِ‭ ‬نا‭ ‬مدار

نسلِ‭ ‬انساں‭ ‬سے‭ ‬مدد‭ ‬اب‭ ‬مانگنا‭ ‬بے‭ ‬كار‭ ‬ہے

اب‭ ‬ہماری ‬ہے‭ ‬تِری‭ ‬درگاه‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬يارب‭ ‬پكار

“Now there’s a spiritual war between this servant [the Promised Messiahas] and Satan; the heart is sinking, O Lord, this battle is very hard. 

“Every prophet of the time had informed of this War; they had all prayed with their two tearful eyes. 

“O God, please grant me victory over Satan with Thy grace; he is gathering together his countless forces. 

“This battle is greater than the battle of Russia and Japan [Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905]; I am weak [in terms of worldly means] and the opponent is a noted enemy.

“It is now useless to ask for help from mankind; now we send up a petition in Thy Court, O Lord.” (Durr-e Sameen [English], p. 108) 

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While shedding light on the nature of this spiritual war and the method to achieve victory, the Promised Messiahas stated in another place:

“Know for certain that in this age it is not the sword that is needed but the pen. Our opponents have spread doubts about Islam and have sought to attack the true religion sent by Allah Almighty through various sciences and strategies. I have thus been moved by God to enter this battlefield of science and academic advancement armed with a literary arsenal, and also to exhibit the spiritual valour of Islam and demonstrate the marvel of its inner strength.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, p. 58)

While expressing his firm faith in Allah and his passion for the propagation of Islam, the Promised Messiahas stated:

“I am grateful to my Kind Master for the fact that He has instilled such a great passion in my faith for the propagation of Islam, that even if I have to sacrifice my life for this cause, it will not weigh me down, by the Grace of Almighty Allah. I do not expect any help from the worldly people, rather I have firm faith in God Almighty. So, I am aware that though I am alone, I am still not alone; since that noble Lord is with me. No one could be closer to me than Him. It is only by His Grace that I have been granted a loving soul; ever willing to serve His religion in the face of suffering, and to render services for the cause of great [spiritual] expeditions of Islam, with zeal and sincerity. He has commissioned me to accomplish this task, and none can make me desist from pursuing this cause.” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 5, p. 35)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continued his Friday Sermon by saying:

“Once you inculcate within you [firm] faith and trust in God, then even worldly governments will become insignificant in front of you. […] The greatest weapon of a believer is their faith and certainty, and they believe that once they depart [from this world], the doors to the blessings of Allah the Almighty will be opened for them. Thus, a believer never fears death, and the one who does not fear death can never be overpowered. […] 

“So, never let the fear of death overcome your hearts, rather you should overcome that very fear, and always remember that those who offer sacrifice for the sake of God, attain an everlasting [spiritual] life. Therefore, I advise members of the Jamaat to strengthen their faith and certainty.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 13, p. 133)

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Huzoorra further said:

“God has shown such signs in favour of the prophet of this era [Promised Messiahas] in obedience of the Holy Prophetsa, which are a thousand times more in comparison to the other prophets. Therefore, it is our duty to instil within us thousands of times stronger faith than the people of the past, so that we can be the recipients of God’s grace thousands of times more than those who have passed. Therefore, it is our duty to shun materialism and inculcate spirituality within ourselves, and to remember the pledge we have made through the Promised Messiahas that we will give precedence to faith over worldly matters.” (Ibid, p. 134) 

During his Friday Sermon on 16 March 2018, while mentioning the firmness of faith held by the companions of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“The love of the Oneness of God and for their Prophetsa had made them delve into a passion that nothing in this world was stronger than it at the time. […] It was their living faith that had infused them with extraordinary strength.” (Al Hakam, 13 April 2018, Issue 4, p. 10)

During his Friday Sermon on 20 April 2018, while mentioning the attributes of believers, Huzooraa said:

“A true believer should proclaim, ‘I am of those who submit fully’, meaning, ‘I fully believe in the commandments of Allah the Exalted and His Prophetsa. Not only do I believe in them, but I also inculcate them into my life and I give precedence to my faith over the world and shall continue to do so.’ This obedience also includes the obedience to the Nizam-e-Jamaat as well as to the Khalifa of the time.” (Al Hakam, 18 May 2018, Issue 9, p. 8)

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During his Friday Sermon on 24 May 2019, Huzooraa said:

“No matter how often one claims to be a believer, until and unless one follows the commandments of God Almighty and His Messengersa with complete conviction and full certainty and becomes steadfast in the face of every test and trial, one cannot be granted success. Thus, in order to attain true success and triumph, it is incumbent upon us to show complete obedience to God Almighty and His Messengersa. In order to attain the pleasure of God Almighty, it is incumbent to follow His commandments with the fear that lest one may incur the displeasure of God due to some action of his. Likewise, it is incumbent to uphold righteousness. Every good deed and excellent moral needs to be adopted as this is a commandment of God Almighty. When one fulfils these conditions, only then can one attain success and be granted the protection of God Almighty.” (Al Hakam, 21 June 2019, Issue 66, p. 13)

On 4 September 2022, during a virtual meeting with the national amila of Lajna Imaillah Italy, Huzooraa said:

“Those who are religious do not drown in worldly greed. […] I have given a general plan of action many times: Develop contentment, connect with your faith, and as a result, worldly desires reduce. Otherwise, worldly desires never end, they continue to increase. 

“It is an ailment like itching – a person continues to itch, enjoys it and in the end, wounds himself. And so, ultimately, worldliness will only result in injuring oneself. 

“Therefore, contentment and Allah’s remembrance – attention to salat – will resolve everything else. Develop a connection with Allah and all other ailments will be resolved as a result.” (Al Hakam, 9 September 2022, Issue 234, p. 3)

During his concluding address at the annual ijtema of MKA UK, Huzooraa said that the khuddam and atfal proclaim in their pledge that they would give precedence to their faith over all worldly things, however, words alone were useless until they were accompanied by action. Huzooraa continued:

“You may wonder what it means to give precedence to your faith over all worldly matters. In simple terms, it means that when it is time for prayer, one sets aside whatever else he is doing for the sake of the worship of Allah. Therefore, apart from those exceptional situations where Allah has permitted us to combine prayers or to offer them later, every khadim should offer their prayers on time and whenever possible in congregation.”

Huzooraa further said:

“In this era – having firm faith in the truth of the claim of the Holy Prophetsa – it is now up to all of you to ensure that a firm adherence to the truth defines every aspect of your life, whether in your personal dealings, your promises, your proclamations or any other sense. You must keep your tongue free from immoral or ignorant speech. Instead, Allah’s praise and remembrance should always be at the tip of your tongue. From this day forth, you should seek to think and act maturely and understand your status and the true magnitude of your responsibilities.” (Al Hakam, 16 September 2022, Issue 235, pp. 2-3)

On 18 September 2022, during his concluding address at the UK Lajna Imaillah ijtema, Huzooraa said:

“So, giving precedence to one’s faith over everything else is paramount and fundamental to attaining the status of ‘a believer’. Remember, giving precedence to one’s faith is a pledge that every Ahmadi makes when they take the bai‘at and it is also a core tenant of the respective pledges of each of the auxiliary organisations.” (Al Hakam, 23 September 2022, Issue 236, p. 2)

May Allah the Almighty enable us to act on these golden principles and may we become the true servants of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. 

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