Taqwa and our relationship with Allah


Friday Sermon

13 April 2018

Taqwa and our relationship with Allah


Basharat Mosque, Pedro Abad, Córdoba, Spain

After reciting the Tashahud, Ta’awuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

In this age, disorder and turmoil is rampant in the world. At some places, it is spread in the name of religion and at others for asserting worldly power and superiority. Again in some instances, it is spread due to a contest between the poor and rich, and at others due to political parties taking control of the ruling powers. In some places, there are quarrels and turmoil due to minor issues at the domestic level and in other places, fights, disturbances, disorder and turmoil are arising due to people not fulfilling each other’s rights. In some cases, efforts are being made to spread disorder by asserting racial supremacy and in other instances this turmoil has spread by people wishing to attain their rights through wrongful means. 

In short, from whatever angle one observes, one sees the world engulfed in disorder and turmoil. Neither the poor nor the rich are safe from this. Neither the developed nations, the less-developed nor developing ones are safe from this. It seems that mankind, which considers itself to have become very advanced in this age, and thinks that this is the age of science, rationality and enlightenment, is in actuality immersed in darkness. Having forgotten about God Almighty, mankind is heading toward the pit of destruction while chasing after the world, and deeming it to be its lord. In fact, it has come very close to this pit. 

Under such circumstances, one can understand, to an extent, the reason for the non-Muslim world immersing themselves in worldly attractions and glare as corruption has crept into their religion. Their religion does not present a comprehensive and complete solution in terms of guiding them towards Allah the Exalted. However, one is amazed at the actions of the Muslims, who have a comprehensive and complete scripture in its original form. 

Furthermore, God Almighty has, according to His promises, sent the Imam of the Age, who was to rectify the incorrect commentaries of the Holy Quran and the false notions of religion that had occurred due to the disputes of the clerics. However, instead of listening to and hearkening to this Appointed One and Prophet of God Almighty, which would have brought an end to all these disputes, the majority of Muslims have followed those clerics, who are creating disorder in the name of religion, and they are unprepared to listen to the one sent by God Almighty. 

God Almighty has made provisions for this disorder to cease in the world, and to inculcate mutual love and brotherhood, and to also recognise Him, yet Muslims are unprepared to pay heed to it. This is the reason why the Muslim world is at the forefront of being inflicted by all kinds of disorder. Their religious, as well as worldly leaders, are pushing them into darkness. Inhabitants of the same country are thirsty for each other’s blood. Taking advantage of this situation, the rest of the world, in particular the non-Muslim powers, are supplying military aid and assistance in order to cause groups of Muslims to fight one another. These foreign countries are the ones that derive benefit from this all. Thus, this is a source of great agony.

Moreover, where such conditions should turn our attention, i.e. those that have accepted the Promised Messiahas – as well as the general body of Muslims who have not accepted him – towards prayers, at the same time we are also in need of paying heed towards transforming our practical and spiritual states in accordance with what the Promised Messiahas desired to see within us. The reason for this is that if our practical state is not in accordance with what the Promised Messiahas desired to see within us, it is very possible that we may also fall into the category of those who are engulfed in disorder and turmoil. The Promised Messiahas has continuously and repeatedly guided his Jamaat as to what their state ought to be following the Bai’at [oath of initiation], and what methods ought to be adopted for this purpose. 

At this moment, I will present various extracts of the Promised Messiahas, which draw our attention towards these matters. Therefore, we ought to listen to them attentively. Do not overlook these words, considering that you have previously heard or read them numerous times, as we tend to forget even after having read or heard them. Also, the regularity and various manner in which the Promised Messiahas has mentioned these matters show his concern for his Jamaat. His continuous emphasis in his many gatherings – spread over several years – to the Jamaat not to forget its objective. He advised us to improve our practical state so that we may not go astray after Bai’at and so that we may not tread towards darkness.

At one place, the Promised Messiahas states, “It is necessary for our Jamaat to adopt righteousness in this time of disorder, wherein a gust of misguidance, ignorance and depravity is blowing from every direction. The state of the world is such that the grandeur of the commandments of God Almighty is no longer visible. Rights and guidance are being neglected.” 

They are neither aware of their rights and how to discharge them, nor are they aware of the teaching given to them or which they themselves preach to others or which was preached to them. They are engrossed in worldly affairs beyond measure. Observing the slightest loss in worldly terms, they abandon religious practice and the rights of God Almighty. Just as one observes at a time of litigation and the distribution of inheritance. They conduct themselves towards one another with greed. They are extremely weak when confronted by their personal desires.” They are overtaken by their personal sentiments at the slightest incidents. 

“They do not dare to commit sin as long as God has caused them to remain weak.” They do not commit sin as they are weak and are afraid of being caught and punished. “However, as soon as they gain some strength and see an opportunity to commit sin, they swiftly do so.” 

The Promised Messiahas further states, “Today, in this age, you may look everywhere you will find that neither true righteousness exists nor does true faith. However, God Almighty does not desire to waste the seed of their true righteousness and faith. When He observes that a harvest is at the brink of complete ruin, He causes a new crop to grow.” 

When one crop i.e. a generation is ruined, He grows another crop. What is intended here is that if a generation, a number of people or a nation is ruined, He will create other nations in their stead, and indeed He does this. 

The Promised Messiahas states, “That everlasting Holy Quran is among us in relation to which God the Exalted has said:

اِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا الذِّكۡرَ وَ اِنَّا لَهٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡنَ

‘Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’” (Ch.15: V.10)

The Promised Messiahas stated, “There is a large collection of the Ahadith [traditions of the Holy Prophetsa] among us as well as the attached blessings with them. However, the hearts are void of faith, and no practical demonstration of religion is displayed. This is the very reason God Almighty has raised me so that I may once again inculcate these teachings. When God observed that the [religious] field was empty, His Divinity demanded that it no longer remain in this condition.” 

If vices are spreading, the jealousy of God Almighty and His Divinity demanded that this void be filled with such people who will give precedence to faith over the world, who implement and spread the religion and also act in accordance with its teachings.

The Promised Messiahas states, “God did not at all desire for this field to remain barren and for people to remain distant [from Him]. Therefore, God Almighty in contrast to those people now wishes to create another nation of people that are alive, and for this very reason I admonish you to acquire a life of righteousness.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, pp. 395-396, 1985 UK)

Thus, if an Ahmadi has taken Bai’at, they will have to join the living, the spiritually living people. Otherwise, there is no benefit [of Bai’at]. Will it be sufficient for this new nation to merely verbally proclaim that they will become that new nation? Nay! As a matter of fact, for this they will have to transform their practical state and develop true righteousness. Only then will we be able to become that new nation, those who comprehend the truth of Islam. Only then will we be able to become those people, who attain the pleasure of God Almighty. Only then will be able to fulfil our pledge of Bai’at

What is the truth of Islam and how can we obtain it? In relation to this, the Promised Messiahas states, “Islam means to completely devote oneself to God Almighty and its essence is true and absolute obedience to God Almighty. A Muslim is one, who devotes their entire being to God Almighty and wishes to attain His pleasure without the desire of any reward.” Meaning, without desire or reward, they wish to seek the pleasure of Allah the Exalted. 

”مَنۡ اَسۡلَمَ وَجۡهَهٗ لِلّٰهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ

[Whoever submits himself completely to Allah, while he is excellent in conduct… (Ch.2: V.113)]

In other words, a Muslim is one who devotes their entire being in order to attain the pleasure of God Almighty. One whose spiritual and practical objective and purpose is the pleasure of God Almighty. Furthermore, all virtues and good deeds performed by them, ought not to be performed with a great struggle and difficulty. Rather, they should be performed with a sense of pleasure and delight…” 

If one is to perform virtues, if we are acting in accordance with the commandments of God Almighty, we ought not to do so by considering it to be a great burden upon our shoulders. Rather, a person ought to feel pleasure and delight in every virtuous act. They ought to perform it whole heartedly. 

The Promised Messiahas states, “And transform every difficulty into ease.” He states, “A true Muslim loves God Almighty by saying and believing that God is his Beloved, his Master, his Creator and his Benefactor. For this reason, he places his head at His threshold. Even if a true Muslim is told that he will not receive any reward for these deeds, and that there is no hell or heaven, nor is there comfort or delight [in the hereafter], he will certainly never refrain from performing righteous deeds and loving God.” 

This is the selfless love towards God Almighty that the Promised Messiahas desires to establish within us. This [communion] is not for any reward, nor is it for the fear of hell or to attain heaven, rather, one ought to have pure love for God Almighty. One ought to love God Almighty, even if nothing is received in return. 

“The reason for this is that worshipping God, forming a relationship with Him and being completely devoted and obedient to Him is not based on any reward or desire. Rather, in reality such a person considers himself to have merely been created in order to comprehend God Almighty, to love Him and be obedient to Him, and that he does not have any [personal] objective or purpose. Therefore, when he utilises his God-given abilities to achieve these objectives and purposes, he witnesses the countenance of His true Beloved.” When you selflessly establish a relationship with God Almighty, you will witness the face of God Almighty. That is when a true relationship is formed. “He does not glance towards heaven or hell.” Rather, he seeks the pleasure of God Almighty. 

Describing his state of being lost in the love of God Almighty, the Promised Messiahas states, “I say that if I am assured that I will be given the severest of punishments for loving God Almighty and obeying Him, then I swear that my nature is such that I am ready to endure these afflictions and trials with pleasure due to my passion of love for Him. Despite knowing this, whatever punishment and affliction is meted out it will never be worse than stepping a toe outside of the obedience of God Almighty. This is worse than a thousand deaths, rather endless deaths and all kinds of misfortunes… A true believer considers abandoning a command of God as the cause of his destruction, no matter how much luxury and comfort he is promised for disobeying God Almighty… Thus, in order to become a true believer it is necessary to develop such a nature where love and obedience to God is not based on hope and fear of some reward or punishment. Rather, it should be an innate part of his character. Then this love will itself form a paradise, and this in reality is the true paradise, otherwise none can enter heaven until he adopts this way. This is why I say to you, i.e. those who associate yourselves with me, to tread this path as it is the true path to paradise.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 181-183, 1985 UK)

Therefore, this is the bond and love for God Almighty that the Promised Messiahas wishes and hopes to see in us. The Promised Messiahas clearly stated that we must demonstrate full obedience to the commands of Allah. Just to attain the pleasure of God Almighty is no easy feat, rather it is something for which we must make exerted efforts and only then will the purpose of being an Ahmadi be fulfilled. 

Hence, the Promised Messiahas himself raised the question as to whether obedience is an easy matter. He states, “One who does not show complete obedience defames this Community. There is not just one commandment, there are numerous such commandments. Just as there are several doors to heaven where one can enter through, similarly there are also several doors to hell. It ought not to be the case that you close one door of hell but leave another open.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, p. 74, 1985 UK)

The Promised Messiahas then states, “Bear in mind that by merely enrolling one’s name does not enter someone into this Community…” Just by simply having your name recorded does not make you part of this Community, “until and unless the truth is not imbued in you.” 

The Promised Messiahas further says, “Love one another, do not usurp the rights of one another…” Do not assume the rights of each other, “and become completely absorbed in the way of Allah so that He may shower blessings upon you. There is nothing besides this.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, p. 75, 1985 UK) 

The Promised Messiahas clearly stated that in order to attain the blessings of God it is imperative to have complete faith in Him and perform good deeds. The Promised Messiahas states that the practical example of this is akin to when one merely says words that are sweet in meaning, yet they do not leave a sweet taste in one’s mouth until something sweet is actually consumed. Similarly, to merely utter one’s love for God and declare His Oneness is of no benefit until and unless there is a practical aspect to it. This will only be proven when one ends their inclination to the world and gives preference to their faith. 

The Promised Messiahas stated that our Community desires to please God, therefore give preference to faith. If you too wish to please God then give favour to your faith. Your first priority should be your faith. The Promised Messiahas warned us that if you possess no devotion and sincerity then you are false, and in such circumstances one will perish even before the enemy if they be unfaithful. God Almighty cannot be misled or deceived, nor can anyone deceive Him. Therefore, it is necessary that you develop true devotion and sincerity. (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 188-190, 1985 UK)

Further elaborating in regards to giving preference to faith over the world, and how one can attain this, how the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa attained this and how you should make effort towards this, the Promised Messiahas states, “Observe, there are two kinds of people. The first are those who accept Islam and remain busy in worldly pursuits. Satan prevails over them… I do not mean to say that it is forbidden to do business (or to do any worldly tasks). Of course not. The Companions also partook in their work of trade, but they gave preference to faith over the world. They accepted Islam and gained true knowledge regarding Islam which indeed filled their hearts to the brink. This is the reason why they did not falter from any of Satan’s attacks.” Satan was unable to influence them and prevail over them. They did have worldly dealings but they would always keep God Almighty in mind. “Nothing could prevent them from expressing the truth.” 

The Promised Messiahas further states, “What I mean by this is that those who are completely absorbed in the world and become enslaved to it as if they adore it, these are the ones upon whom Satan prevails and takes control of. The second kind of people are those who are constantly thinking about the progress of their faith. These are the ones who are called ‘The Party of Allah’. They overcome Satan and his legions. As wealth is a by-product of trading, God Almighty has declared the desire to call to faith and the progress of religion a form of trade. Hence God Almighty states,

هَلۡ اَدُلُّكُمۡ عَلٰي تِجَارَةٍ  تُنۡجِيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابٍ اَلِيۡمٍ

‘Shall I point out to you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment?’”

The Promised Messiahas states, “The best trade is that of faith which will save you from the painful punishment. Hence, I too say in the words of God Almighty:

هَلۡ اَدُلُّكُمۡ عَلٰي تِجَارَةٍ  تُنۡجِيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابٍ اَلِيۡمٍ

[Shall I point out to you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment?]”

The Promised Messiahas further elaborates, “I have more hope in those who do not diminish in their passion for the progress of faith. As for those who decrease in this passion, I fear that Satan may prevail over them.” In other words, those who are not resolute and do not give preference to faith over the world, then they start to become lazy. Slowly but surely such people fall into the grip of Satan. The Promised Messiahas states, “Therefore, one ought to never become negligent. Whatever one does not understand they ought to ask so that they can increase in their understanding. It is not forbidden to ask questions and one ought to still ask even if they hold a contrary view…” If someone does not accept a certain thing, then it is their due right to enquire and ask questions. Those that are unaware of such things ought to be preached and informed. “…and also for progressing in practical state.” 

As for a believer who wishes to progress in their deeds then it is necessary for them to gain knowledge and inquire. “Those who desire to progress in their knowledge ought to read and ponder over the Holy Quran. Wherever they are unable to understand something they ought to ask. If they cannot comprehend any subtleties, they ought to ask others and benefit from them… The Holy Quran is a sea of knowledge and in the depths of this ocean are rare and precious pearls, and priceless gems.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 193-194, 1985 UK)

On one occasion, while drawing the attention of the Jamaat towards righteousness, the Promised Messiahas stated, “The field of righteousness is empty, hence I have been commissioned in order to establish righteousness.” This is the reason for the Promised Messiahas being sent by God. “Righteousness should be practiced instead of raising the sword.” 

Swords should not be raised to kill other people which is being practiced by certain organizations and terrorist groups today in the name of Islam. Rather, if you desire to spread the faith and propagate it, then the first step is to develop righteousness within yourself. Everything happens gradually once righteousness is established. The Promised Messiahas instructed not to raise the sword “as it is forbidden to do so”. 

“The entire world will support you if you adopt righteousness. Therefore, obtain righteousness. Those who drink alcohol, or the people who practice a faith that requires drinking as a fundamental tenet, they have no relation with piety. They are at war with virtue. Hence, if Allah the Almighty grants our Jamaat the good fortune and the ability to combat evil, and if they advance in the field of righteousness and purity then this would be a great accomplishment. Nothing can be more effective than this.” 

We are not to fight with the sword, rather we are to combat our souls in order to procure righteousness; following this, one can convey the message to others. People will not be offended if this method is adopted. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “At this time if you look at all the religions of the world, their true purpose lacks righteousness and they have deemed the attractions of this world as their god. The One true God is hidden and dishonoured by the world. However, God now desires that He be accepted and the world comes to recognise Him. Those who consider this world to be their god cannot demonstrate complete trust in Him.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, pp. 357-358, 1985 UK)

Therefore, there is a need for everyone to analyse themselves whether or not they are paying more focus towards fulfilling their worldly objectives and neglecting their due rights towards God Almighty. In order to fulfil the due rights of God Almighty we must give priority to faith and give less importance to worldly objectives. Therefore, we have to remain cognizant of the reality that are we giving precedence to faith or have worldly endeavours prevailed over it. Are we advancing in righteousness or is our condition deteriorating? 

On one occasion whilst directing our attention towards increasing spirituality, developing a relation with God Almighty and increasing religious knowledge, the Promised Messiahas stated, “The relationship between a mentor and their disciple can be understood when compared to a relation of a teacher and its students. Just as a student benefits from their teacher, a disciple does from their mentor. However, a student cannot advance in learning only by having a relationship with the teacher. This is similar to the case of a disciple.” A student cannot attain any benefit if he only has a connection with his teacher and is well acquainted with him but he does not increase in his knowledge and does not practice what he learns. Likewise, the Promised Messiahas stated that similar is the relation between a mentor and a disciple. A disciple cannot attain any benefit by merely saying, “I have a connection with my mentor”. Until he acts upon that which he is taught. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “By coming into the fold of this Community, one ought to increase in their understanding of God. The seeker of truth ought not to remain stagnant after reaching one stage lest the accursed Satan lead them astray, just as stagnant water becomes rancid,” if water remains stagnant for a while a leaves a foul stench. “Likewise, if a believer does not endeavour to make progress then they will stumble.” The steps of a true believer ought to always advance forward. If one remains stationary then one will eventually stumble and fall backwards. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “It is the duty of a fortunate one to continuously seek faith. There is no perfect man besides our Holy Prophetsa who lived on this earth but even he was taught the prayer, 

رَبِّ زِدۡنِيۡ عِلۡمًا

[O my Lord, increase me in knowledge.]

So which other person can remain stagnant and put their entire trust in their knowledge and understanding of God Almighty, and consider it unnecessary to progress further? As one continues to advance in their knowledge and insight of God, they will continue to learn that there are plenty of things that remain unsolved. In the beginning, one considers certain affairs completely absurd just like a child who is first introduced to geometrical shapes, but eventually they witness those things as the truth and reality. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to progress in stages by improving one’s condition along with increasing knowledge. You have abandoned vain things in order to accept this Community… Unless you acquire perfect knowledge and insight regarding this then what benefit will you have gained?”  

To say, “We have taken the oath of allegiance and have become Ahmadis” or “We are born Ahmadis” will not amount to any benefit until you obtain the knowledge yourself. There will be no benefit of being a born Ahmadi or accepting Ahmadiyyat on your own accord unless you increase in your religious knowledge. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “How can there be any strength in your conviction and divine insight,” if you do not increase your knowledge? “You will counter feelings of doubtfulness and suspicion over petty matters which may lead you to stumble.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, p. 193, 1985 UK) 

There are many people who drift away from the Community, or those that criticise or those who remain Ahmadis only because their relatives are Ahmadis; such people do not attain any benefit. If they obtain knowledge then all their doubts and suspicions can be addressed and as a result they will not stumble, and Satan will not tempt them. 

Hence, as the Promised Messiahas has advised us to contemplate and ponder over the Holy Quran, similarly we should also focus our attention toward reading his books and increase our religious knowledge. In the same manner, we should also endeavour to establish a relation with Khilafat. In this regard, we ought to form a connection with the Khalifa of the time through the blessing of MTA and derive benefit from all his programmes. There are many who have formed this bond by giving special attention towards this matter. They listen to MTA and stay connected to it. I receive letters from such people. They write to me saying that they have experienced progress in their faith and conviction due to MTA. Hence, this is a great resource and every Ahmadi ought to seek benefit from it. 

Whilst directing our attention to express mutual love and affection towards one another and understanding each other’s suffering, and fulfilling due rights, the Promised Messiahas states, “The truth of the matter is that everyone in the Jamaat is not at the same level in respect to their inner state.” It cannot be that everyone is at the same level. “After planting seeds in a field, do all of the crops grow the same?” For example, when we plant wheat seeds, not all of them sprout. “There are many seeds that go to waste. Some are eaten by birds and some do not grow due to other factors.” They do not bear fruit. “Thus, the seeds that are healthy,” these seeds have the potential to sprout; “nothing can waste them. The Community that is prepared by God Almighty is akin to Ka Zar’in (like a field of crops). Therefore it is important to progress in this manner.”

Some people are well-versed in religious knowledge than others. Some people excel others in certain pious traits, and everyone works in accordance with their capabilities. It is the responsibility of the people that are at a higher state to carry the weaker ones along with them. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “Hence, it should be our practice that we assist our weaker brethren and become a support for them. What a great calamity it would be if there were two brothers, one from among them knew how to swim but the other did not; would it not be the responsibility of the former to save his brother from drowning, or would he let him drown? It would be incumbent upon him to save him from death. That is why the following has been mentioned in the Holy Quran:

تَعَاوَنُوۡا عَلَي الۡبِرِّ وَ التَّقۡوٰي

And help one another in righteousness and piety.” 

The Promised Messiahas further says, “Lighten the burden of your weaker brethren and assist them in matters of faith, deeds and through financial sacrifice.”

If they have shortcomings in their practical deeds, should one assist them by adopting them too? Certainly not. In fact, one should look to remove them. If they are weak in matters of faith, and your faith is strong, then you should look for ways to safeguard their faith. If they are weak financially, then if you are able to assist them then you should do so, otherwise you should inform the administration of the Jamaat and they will look to help as much as they can. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “Support them through medical assistance”. You ought to look to help them with their physical health and treat any ailments. 

The Promised Messiahas then says, “No community can be deemed one community until the strong support the weak. This can only take place when one covers the faults of others.” Instead of disclosing the faults of others, one ought to look to conceal their shortcomings. “The Companions of the Holy Prophetsa were given this very teaching that upon seeing the faults of new Muslim converts, they ought not to become frustrated, as they too were weak at one time. Similarly, it is vital for elders to treat their youngsters with respect and show them kindness. Remember, a community cannot be deemed united if they devour one another [i.e.] if four friends sit down together, one of them complains about a brother who is poor.”

It is not possible for one to devour another. Here the word “devour” is used in the context mentioned by God Almighty where He has stated that speaking and thinking ill of your fellow brethren in their absence is akin to eating the flesh of your dead brother. Thus, do not look at the weaknesses of others and instead focus on their positive traits. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “A community cannot be deemed united if they devour one another [i.e.] if four friends sit down together, one of them complains about a brother who is poor,” thus highlighting his weaknesses, “they purposely find fault in him, then also look down upon poorer and weaker members of the Community with disdain and dislike. This most surely should not be the case. Rather, strength lies in unity and becoming one, which increases mutual love and blessings. I often see that there are disputes over the most trivial of matters. The result of this is that our opponents pick up on these insignificant matters and then publish the incident in their newspapers completely out of proportion.” 

The Promised Messiahas states that in this manner, “they wish to misguide people.” They inform the people that others have such and such shortcomings, and since the general public does not inquire themselves, they are misled. 

The Promised Messiahas then says, “However, if there are no internal weaknesses, then no one will have the courage to publish such reports nor to print such articles that can mislead the public. Why do we not increase our moral conducts? This can only occur when we widely propagate love, compassion, forgiveness and beneficence, and we allow mercy, compassion and concealing the faults of others to prevail in all matters.” In other words, when we see the fault of an individual we ought to look to conceal that fault rather than highlighting their shortcomings and revealing their weaknesses. In relation to this a very strange custom has developed that even a husband and wife highlight each other’s weaknesses, to an extent that they even record them. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “One ought not to severely hold another accountable over trivial matters that become a source of causing grief and pain.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 347-348, 1985 UK)

Further elaborating on brotherhood and compassion, the Promised Messiahas advises us by saying, “Our community cannot flourish until we truly have compassion for each other.” If we wish to progress and thrive then we must treat each other with true compassion. “We ought to use all our faculties to love those who are weak.” Whosoever possesses strength ought to harbour love for those who are weak. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “I often hear that when an individual sees another stumble, rather than extending him courtesy, that individual looks at him with abhorrence and disgust. However, he ought to have prayed for that individual, then through love and compassion he ought to explain to him the issue politely. However, instead of this the individual increases in malice for the other. If one does not show forgiveness and compassion, the matter will only worsen and the consequences will be grave. God Almighty does not approve of these actions. A community can only be formed when people show compassion to others and conceal their faults. When such a condition is reached, then people become the limbs of the same entity, and consider one another to be more than their actual brother. If an individual has a son who commits a mistake, the mistake is overlooked and the son would be taken to one side, and be explained his mistake… One would never wish for the son’s mistake to be disclosed.” If one sees his son committing an error, one does not wish for it to be unveiled to the world. Those that are close relatives, their faults are concealed and not revealed to others. 

The Promised Messiahas says, “When God Almighty declares [the Community] as brothers, then are these the rights owed to one’s brother?” Here “brother” means any close relation. “A true brother does not abandon other brothers.” 

The Promised Messiahas then presents the example of his relatives by saying, “I often see Mirza Nizamuddin and others…” Mirza Nizamuddin and others were related to the Promised Messiah. They were his opponents and had also moved away from religion. “They live a life of unrestricted liberty, yet when it comes to any matter, all three of them collude leaving their differences to one side.” 

The Promised Messiahas then says, “Occasionally one can take heed from the example of animals such as chimpanzees and dogs. Internal discord is entirely void of blessings. God Almighty reminded the Companions about these blessings and about brotherhood. Even if they spent gold equivalent to a mountain, they would never have achieved this level of brotherhood without the help of the Holy Prophetsa. God Almighty has created this Community, and it is this brotherhood He will establish.” 

The Promised Messiahas says, “I have high hopes from God Almighty as He has promised: 

جَاعِلُ الَّذِيۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡكَ فَوۡقَ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡۤا اِلٰي يَوۡمِ الۡقِيٰمَة

That is, ‘I will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection.’”

The Promised Messiahas further states, “I surely know that God Almighty shall establish a Community which shall remain triumphant over those who disbelieve. However, presently these are days of trials and weakness.” 

Those were days of weakness, and in this day and age the Ahmadis, especially in Pakistan, are passing through precarious times where the government, laws of the land and administration are scheming against them even more than before. Therefore, in these current times they need to make an extra effort in improving their [spiritual] conditions. 

The Promised Messiahas further states, “These are days of weakness, and they grant the opportunity to each and every one to bring about a reformation in themselves and improve their condition. To lament one another, hurt one’s feelings, to injure one’s sentiments by use of harsh language and to consider the weak and humble as lowly people is a sin. Now, a new community with a new brotherhood has been established from among you. The earlier communities have ceased, and God Almighty has raised a new community in which the rich, poor, young and old are all a part of it. Thus, it is the duty of the poor to respect and value their honourable brothers, and it is the duty of the rich to help the poor and not consider them lowly and despicable. That is because they are brothers with one another, even though their fathers are not the same but ultimately the spiritual father is the same for all and they are the branches of the same tree.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 348-349, 1985 UK)

For our reformation, the Promised Messiahas has exhorted us to repeatedly read his book Noah’s Ark. The Promised Messiahas states:

“I have told my Community on numerous occasions not to merely rely on their Bai’at [oath of initiation] with me. Until you do not reach the depth of this oath’s essence one cannot attain salvation. One who simply relies on the exterior is bereft of its essence.” It is not sufficient to only focus on the exterior shell until one does not seek to attain its kernel. 

The Promised Messiahas further states, “If the disciple does not carry out [virtuous] deeds himself, then the saintly personage of his mentor can be of no benefit. If a physician prescribes a remedy for a patient, and then places it in a vault, the patient will gain no benefit from this.” It is as if one acquires a prescription from the doctor yet does not utilise it, and then claims that they remained uncured. This is precisely the case of those suffering from spiritual ailments, if they fail to adhere to what is said then they will avail no benefit. 

The Promised Messiahas further continues, “They will certainly not derive any benefit from it as benefit can only be derived if the prescribed practise is adhered to which they have deprived themselves from.” 

The Promised Messiahas further states, “You ought to constantly study [the book] ‘Noah’s Ark’ and act according to it. 

قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ مَنۡ زَكّٰىهَا

‘Verily, he truly prospers who purifies himself.’” (Ch.87: V.15)

“There are thousands who are guilty of committing theft, adultery, immorality and drinking alcohol. Thousands lead evil lives and yet they claim to be from among the Ummah of the Holy Prophetsa, but can they truly be considered his followers? Certainly not. A true follower is one who completely adheres to the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, pp. 232-233, 1985 UK)

Regarding the reciting of the book Noah’s Ark to the members of the Community, and urging them to read this book, the Promised Messiahas states, “In Noah’s Ark I have presented my teachings, and for everyone it is vital to be aware of them. Every Jamaat ought to organise a convention and read this book out to them. It can be sent to an individual who is willing and also has the time to read it out as if you distribute it to everyone then even 50,000 copies will be insufficient. However, in this way it will not only propagate the message but also establish unity amongst the Jamaat that we seek to instil.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, p. 408, 1985 UK)

Therefore, while arrangements ought to be made to read this aloud in Jamaats, there ought to also be arrangements for it to be read out on MTA. Everyone ought to make this a part of their lives. One ought to read this themselves as well and make an effort to adhere to it. 

In regards to saving oneself from sins and outlining the qualities of a true Ahmadi, the Promised Messiahas states, “Your duty now is to occupy yourself in prayer, istighfar [seeking forgiveness], worshipping God and purifying and cleansing your inner-self, thereby making yourself worthy of the rewards of God Almighty and His special attention which He has promised. Even though God Almighty has made great promises and vouchsafed prophecies to me that most surely will come true, but you ought not to unnecessarily take pride over them. Save yourself from every kind of malice, grudge, backbiting, arrogance, and vanity. Protect yourself from apparent and hidden forms of impiety, indolence and negligence. Remember, ultimately it is the righteous who are granted success just as Allah the Almighty states,

وَالۡعَاقِبَةُ  لِلۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ

(The end is for the righteous.) “Therefore, one ought to endeavour to become righteous.” (Malfuzat, Vol. III, p. 283, 1985 UK) 

May God Almighty enable us to become true Ahmadis and follow the teachings of the Promised Messiahas. May we fulfil the due rights of God Almighty and attain His pleasure. May we become those who bring about a reform in our practical condition, and pay attention towards increasing our religious knowledge. May we also fulfil the rights of the servants of Allah the Almighty. 

As I have alluded to before that during these days in particular pray for the condition in Pakistan, and Pakistanis ought to pray a lot for themselves. May God Almighty protect them from every evil. May God Almighty also protect the country from the evils of the civil unrest that has developed in the country due to the clerics. 

You should also pray for the world in general as well as they are rapidly heading towards war. Both Russia and USA are busy in preparations, and in reality they both wish to establish their superiority but the excuse given is that they wish to protect the rights of those being oppressed. In fact, in the guise of seeking to restore the rights of the oppressed which also consists of Muslim countries they want to destroy Muslim countries. Therefore, may God Almighty grant wisdom to the Muslims, and instead of seeking help from others they ought to make decisions for themselves. They ought to grant the rights of their people, and the people ought to fulfil the rights of their governments. May God Almighty also destroy those terrorist groups who are committing atrocities in the name of Islam, and may He guide both parties. Above all, may He enable them to recognise the Imam of the Age as without this there is no other way for them to be saved. May God Almighty guide them and instead of Muslims being a part of this oppression, may they propagate love, affection and brotherhood according to the true teachings of Islam and fulfil the due rights of God Almighty. 

(Translated by The Review of Religions)

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