The reality of the relationship between man’s servitude and divine providence

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The bond between man and woman is a superficial and temporary one. I say that the everlasting epitome of pleasure in its truest sense exists in the bond between man and God Almighty. I feel an immense agony, which at times consumes my soul, that if even one day a person is unable to enjoy the taste of their food, they will visit the doctor and beg and beseech them, even flatter them, and spend money and bear pains so that the pleasure they once felt may return. The impotent man who is unable to feel pleasure with his wife will at times feel so disturbed that he begins to contemplate suicide, and there are many cases of such deaths. But alas! Why does the ineffectual person with an ailing heart not make an effort to experience pleasure in worship? Why does such a one not feel miserable with grief? They will go to great lengths in pursuit of the world and its pleasures, but feel no thirst or agony for true and everlasting pleasure. How unfortunate is such a person? How deprived are they? They will search for a cure in order to experience temporary and transient pleasures and they are successful. Is it possible then that there be no cures which enable one to experience that pleasure which is enduring and everlasting? There are indeed. But perseverance and persistence are needed in the search for truth.

In the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted has described the believers in similitude to women. There is a deep and hidden secret in this point. Those who believe have been likened to Mary and Asiyah; that is to say, God Almighty brings forth believers from among the idolaters. In any case, by likening believers to women there is in actuality a subtle mystery that has been revealed. To elaborate, just as a mutual relation exists between man and woman, so too is the relationship of man’s servitude and divine providence. If a man and woman have a mutual understanding with one another and both are attracted to one another, then such couples are blessed and fruitful; otherwise domestic life is ruined and the actual purpose of this relationship goes unrealised. Men ruin themselves through other relations and are struck by hundreds of illnesses. Some contract infectious diseases like syphilis and are left deprived in this very world. And if such people do happen to have children, many future generations are left affected by this illness. On the other hand, the woman will begin to lead a life of immodesty and even after her honour and dignity has drowned completely, she is unable to attain true comfort. Therefore, when the pure relationship of husband and wife is abandoned, this gives rise to countless forms of evil and disorder. In the same way, when a person abandons their spiritual relationship, they are left plagued and forsaken. Such a one falls prey to even greater grief and afflictions than in the case of their worldly relationship. Just as the bond of man and woman is in one way preserved by the pleasure that is derived from it, there is pleasure in the bond of man’s servitude and divine providence, in order to forever maintain this relationship. The sufis say that a person who is able to experience this pleasure finds it to be more satisfying than all the pleasures of the world. In a person’s entire life, if even once they are able to experience it, they would lose themselves in it. However, the difficulty is that there are a large number of people in the world today who do not understand this secret and their Prayer is but meaningless movements, and nothing more than a process of sitting and rising in a laborious and burdensome state with an unmoved heart. It hurts me even more to observe that some people only offer their Prayers so that they may be deemed worthy and honourable in the world. As a result of their Prayers, they succeed in garnering for themselves a reputation for being holy and pious. Why are such people not consumed by grief that if such false, superficial and insincere Prayers can grant them such a status, why would they not be conferred with dignity if they become true servants of God? In fact, much greater honour would be bestowed upon them in such a case.

(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 158-159)

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