The effect of apparent grace


In short, human nature has been instilled with the characteristic that it desires to pursue every form of perfection. You may observe how in the case of modern British craftsmanship, for example, even things like the needle and knife, etc., are held in high regard. These items are preferred immensely over domestic products, even though not few; rather, most of these foreign products, are artificially glossed. But even so, their apparent splendour and sheen is so alluring that they dazzle the eyes, and their glow is so captivating that they draw in one’s attention.

Do you not observe how quickly the sale of gilded artificial jewellery continues to increase? If this merchandise is placed next to genuine goods, the genuine appears to be artificial, while the artificial appears to be genuine. The lustre and glow of these items shines so brightly that our native craftsman are unable to produce a similar likeness. Therefore, even though people are perfectly aware that these goods are coated artificially, this fabrication does not bother them in the least.

Observe any of the things they produce, whether domestic clothing or shoes, the educated gentleman expresses an aversion to these things. Why? Only because British goods possess a distinct, outward grace and elegance. These folk process a piece of leather to such an extent that they are able to achieve a softness and glow. Leaving this aside, even something as insignificant as a thread manufactured by these people is immensely attractive.

In short, these items have reduced all domestically produced goods to nothing. In fact, I have even heard that certain local chiefs are so averse to domestic products that even their clothes are sent to Paris to be cleaned and they even have their drinking water sent to them from abroad. What is the hidden cause that underpins such consumer decisions? The fact is that the British produce goods that possess an apparent beauty, lustre and charm. This is why people have turned to them. Although there are other honest people as well, yet people are inclined towards the disbelievers, due to their apparent elegance and splendour. This is the case with morals and deeds as well. Until their splendour and radiance is elevated to such a degree, humankind cannot be influenced. Those who are weak themselves cannot attract others who are weak.

(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 221-222)

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