The True Revolution – Part II

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English translation of Inqilab-e-Haqiqi

An address by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, Khalifatul Masih II, al-Musleh al-Mau‘ud

Delivered at Jalsa Salana Qadian on 28 December 1937

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In this address, delivered at Jalsa Salana Qadian on 28 December 1937, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra discusses material movements in world history and the secrets of their success, followed by an exploration of the grand epochs of religious movements. He declares that the revolution brought about by the Promised Messiahas was, in essence, a revival of the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. He then speaks about the revolution initiated by the Promised Messiah, outlining the objectives of Tahrik-e-Jadid and associating this revolution with the demands of Tahrik-e-Jadid. Concluding his address, he sheds light on the means to establish an Islamic civilisation and directs the attention of Ahmadis towards their responsibilities.

Five Great Civilisations

A look at the major conquests of the world reveals that only those movements that have brought a new message and given birth to some form of revolution have achieved sustained success and influence. In other words, civilisations which are at variance with the previous order and are founded on a new set of principles. Civilisations of this type are rare. One such civilisation is that of the Aryans, whose reach was not only confined to the Indian subcontinent but also extended to Europe. Secondly, the West saw the emergence of the Roman Empire and a third civilisation that I will refer to as Persian greatly influenced the Middle East and China. As I see it, the fourth civilisation was that of the Babylonians,who ruled over Western Asia and Africa. Fifthly, in our own time, a world order exists which spans the entire globe—that is, modern-day Western civilisation.

History reveals that these five movements or civilisations are, in a material sense, the greatest, [most systematic] and international movements that have ever existed. That is the Aryans, the Romans, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Western civilisation. All of them were driven by new ways of thinking and modes of living. Their rule was remarkable, not because of the unsheathing of swords and the conquest of territory, but because their founders destroyed the previous order and sowed the seeds of a new culture or opened the doors to new forms of enlightenment. Despite the fact that over a period of time, the leaders of these civilisations had their political influence curtailed by other people yet those who precipitated their downfall were unable to free themselves from the fundamental imprint of these movements. The victors may have ceased to be political subjects, but they remained slaves to their intellectual and ideological perspectives. Thus, actual power continued to reside with the architects of the previous order. The terms ‘new ideology’ or ‘revolution’ can only be applied to such complete ascendency. Seemingly, Aryanism and the ancient empires of Persia, Rome and Babylonia ceased to exist in the world after a certain period of time, but in reality, their impact continues to be felt in some way or another. The opponents of these movements never truly freed themselves from the bonds of slavery, and the governments that proceeded them represented little more than just the change of the ruling elite. In fact, the central principles of governance and law continued to be the ones established by these celebrated movements. The insurrections that occurred in the final days of these civilisations were directed against the rulers of the time and not against the civilisation itself. Reform simply meant the passing of the same ideology of the nation from one hand to another. While the colours and perimeters of flags were changed, the underlying principles of government remained the same.

When looked at closely, the changes that have occurred in the West since the fall of the Roman Empire are merely variations of the Roman model. Similarly, the governments that have followed the Persian Empire clearly contain elements of the original civilisation. After the rule of the founders of Aryanism, both Buddhists and Jains ruled over the government, but the system of the Aryans was impressed upon all of them. After the Babylonians, Arabia, Syria and Egypt witnessed a number of rulers and uprisings, yet the influence of the former remained and did not disappear.

Today, Western civilisation dominates the world. Currently, the nations of Asia and Africa are attempting to free themselves from Western rule. The two continents of the Americas were also successful in their struggle for liberty. Japan and Turkey, which are situated on the opposite ends of Asia, have also gained their freedom. However, what has been the true outcome of all this? Only that the rulers of these countries have changed, but the underlying system of government remains the same. Indeed, the Japanese and Turks are more exposed to Western influence now than they were before.

Today India cries out for independence. Its youth are ready to sacrifice their lives to free their country from the clutches of a foreign [colonial] power, and yet their efforts are confined to supplanting the English ‘Westerner’ and replacing him with one who is Indian. This is the sum total of their efforts. By adopting traditional cotton clothing, Mr Gandhi has sought to show that he would not be influenced by Western culture, yet those who are privy to the truth understand that the skeleton remains the same, only now it is adorned in traditional Indian cotton and not Scottish worsted [tweed]. Or, in the words of Jesusas, new wine has been poured into old wineskins. This is the extent of the transformation.

I will attempt to shed some light on all five of these movements and civilisations, so that one may arrive at an understanding of the new systems and beliefs they imparted to the world. What did they give to humanity that even after hundreds and thousands of years of struggle, the world is no freer from their influence than it was before?

The Ideological Roots of the Aryans: Distinction at Birth

The foundation of Aryan civilisation was based on eugenics. In other words, the cornerstone of Aryan belief is that all people are not the same, but divided by [certain] differences. Aryans believe that some people are superior to others; some are rich, others are poor, some are strong and others are weak, some are highly intelligent while others possess no genius whatsoever, and so on. Hence, under specific circumstances, this system [of social inequality] can be permanently established. Societies can only flourish by promoting the more gifted of their members. In this way, mankind is able to attain greatness.

Aryans claim that the child of a strong father will, [in accordance with hereditary laws], perforce be invested with strength. The same is true of the weak. They also aver that if a child is able to inherit a strong body from their father, there is no reason why this should not apply to the intellect as well. Therefore, they postulate that a child born to parents of a strong intellectual constitution will naturally possess the same intellectual strengths. Thus, a society that places the burden of reproduction on its more accomplished members will thus always excel over other nations.

Wherever the Aryan movement has spread, it has governed according to this key principle. That is, the belief in the hereditary distinction drawn upon intellectual, mental and religious lines.

Aryans claim that the child of a Brahman will perforce have greater intellectual capabilities than other children. Similarly, a child born into the Kshatriyas will have more soldierly qualities than others. Therefore, a nation that excels over others through its hereditary superiority and continues to marry within its own members, can never be eradicated from the world. Hence, the religion of the Aryas also functions according to this principle. For example, under the law, if a Shudra listens to a recitation of the Vedas, then he or she must be punished by having molten lead poured into their ears, as this honour belongs only to the Brahmans and to the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas. The Shudras do not enjoy any such rights. Hence, one can see the powerful influence this principle exerts on the religion of the Aryans. As far as the Aryan belief that people are reincarnated into the world in different forms and bodies, my own personal study on the matter has led me to conclude that this idea was also born from the doctrine of hereditary distinction. Aryans believe that the continuity of superior progeny rests upon superior souls. For this purpose, they have devised the idea that after death, the superior souls of the world converge in the house of Brahman. The souls that possess valour are reborn into the Kshatriyas, whereas those that have financial acumen are revived as the Vaishyas. Similarly, souls deemed to be of no value come again from among the Shudras. Their particular caste system acts as a safeguard against the danger of an uprising by the lower classes, for if the social order decreed that shudras were to remain so forever, it was possible that they would rise in rebellion. Or if the Kshatriyas were always expected to sacrifice their lives for the sake of society, they would revolt against the rule of the Brahmans. Thus, the lower classes were pacified through this belief so that they would willingly submit to the superiority of the Brahmans. They were made to believe that these categorisations are not based on lineage. Rather, they are like rankings that are awarded to each soul according to its particular state. In the army, for example, a junior soldier is unlikely to oppose the decision of a cavalry officer. Likewise, a cavalry officer accepts [the command of] his lieutenant on the basis that they have achieved their rank through merit. Both [the soldier and the cavalry officer] know that if they exhibit the required skill and talent, they too are eligible for promotion. Similarly, a Shudra ought not to have any grievances against the status of a Vaishya, nor a Vaishya against a Kshatriya and neither a Kshatriya would have grievances against a Brahman because the life they have been given is a result of their previous deeds. If a Shudra acts righteously in the present life, they may be reincarnated as a Brahman. Likewise, an unrighteous Brahman will be reborn amongst the Shudras.

This caste system made it possible for the founders of the Aryan faith to, not only protect the interests of the ruling elite, but to stifle the spirit of rebellion. They were able to so deeply embed this fanciful hope within society that, like children, these communities became engrossed with this hypothetical plaything, whilst ignoring the reality of their day-to-day misery and sorrow. Despite generations of suffering, the class deemed inferior for thousands of years—the Shudras—have remained satisfied with their position. The doctrine of reincarnation has ensured that the Shudras view the period of their degradation as limited to the present life. The Shudras, who are seized by the desire to revolt against the status quo, eventually yield to the thought that their plights stems from their previous sins. Perhaps they too had once been a Brahman and may yet be in the next life by earning the pleasure of the Brahman in their current existence. The thought of attaining this status offers them comfort and they conclude that it would be imprudent to harm the very institutions they aspire to enter.

In reality, the doctrine of reincarnation as a safeguard of hereditary superiority is a product of an exceptional mind. Had it not been the cause of subjugating millions of people for thousands of years, it would merit great acclaim.

The Foundations of the Roman Empire: the Rule of Law and the Rights of Citizens

The Roman Empire was based on the rule of law and the rights of citizens. After first accepting and establishing full rights of citizenship, the rulers of the empire created a judicial system that ensured that people would be tried and judged in accordance with the law. Politics was also brought under the umbrella of the law to ensure that governments ruled in accordance with established procedures. It is for these reasons that the laws of the Roman Empire are still taught in the West and that the lawmakers of today continue to refer back to their legal system.

The Ideology of the Persian Empire: Ethics and Politics

The civilisation of the Persians was based on good moral conduct and politics. That is why they believe that God Almighty was incapable of creating sin or impurity. Therefore, they formulated the concept of two gods; one who had authority over good and one who controlled evil. Good ethics held such an exalted place in their society that it was inconceivable for them that Allah the Exalted could be responsible for the creation of anything corrupt. However, due to the presence of sin in the world, they developed the philosophy of a second god who was responsible for the creation of evil. Instead of being worthy of worship, this god was deserving of hate.

The second cornerstone of Persian civilization was the concept of mutual interest. Hence, it was the Persians who set the foundations for the system of rule known as empire or commonwealth.

Thus, it was in the Persian civilisation that the principle of political alliances between independent states first emerged and was established. The principle [of co-operation] was, in reality, born out of their dualist beliefs. The Persians believed in two independent gods of whom one was superior to the other. In much the same way, they established a system in the world which consisted of a central ruler, and a number of smaller kings who were at once independent monarchs and also subjects of the primary leadership. And it was from this that the concept of imperial rule was developed. A structure by which a powerful king submits to a weaker ruler because he is his imperial master is incomprehensible to the Indian mind and indeed to many others. This system of rule was innovated by the Persians and was in truth a new method of establishing peace.

During certain periods of Persian history, the subordinate kings were more powerful than the actual emperor, however, at the slightest command, they hastened to his assistance. The British Empire and Abbasid Khilafat in its final years are replicas of the Persian model. If one looks closely at the final years of the Abbasid Khilafat, one can see that the basis of its existence lies in the fact that its subordinate governments were either Persians or allies of the Persians. Despite their greater strength, the rulers of these states had for generations been instilled with the belief that they had a duty to serve the caliphate; therefore, they continued to submit to its rule.

The Cornerstones of the Babylonian Civilisation: Academia, Geometry and Astronomy

The fourth civilisation, [I made reference to] was Babylonia. This civilisation was built on the principles of [academic learning], geometry and astronomy. The architects of Babylonian civilisation considered the success of their society to rest on the emulation of the system by which God Almighty had created the sun, moon and stars and created an ordered structure in the world. Therefore, they considered the study of the solar system, and the application of the principles on which it functioned as the primary means of worldly progress.

The Ideology of the West: Materialism and Nationalism

The fifth civilisation, that is the Western civilisation, is based on the principles of materialism and nationalism.

Footnotes:

1.      Mathew, New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition, 9:17 [Publishers]

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