M Adam Ahmad & Aqeel Kang, Al Hakam
The world is witnessing an unparalleled surge in catastrophic events across the globe. The 2020 Ecological Threat Register (ETR) shows that there was a tenfold increase in the number of natural disasters since the 1960s. The data collected by the Institute for Economics and Peace between 1900 and 2019 shows an increase from 39 incidents in 1960 to 396 in 2019.
The Guardian reports that “Globally, 7348 major disaster events were recorded, claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people and causing $2.97tn (£2.3tn) in economic losses during the [last] two-decade period. Drought, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and extreme temperature fluctuations were among the events causing major damage.” (‘More than 7,000 extreme weather events recorded since 2000, says UN’, The Guardian, 12 October 2020)
On the other hand, the devastation caused by the recent Covid-19 pandemic had not yet subsided when another global catastrophe of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine emerged. Its worldwide impact is not hidden from anyone. It is not only destroying the peace and economy of the world but also threatening the global economic recovery. (‘How War in Ukraine Threatens the World’s Economic Recovery’, Bloomberg, 22 February 2022)
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِيۡنَ حَتّٰي نَبۡعَثَ رَسُوۡلًا
“We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.” (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.16)
According to His practice – God Almighty fulfilled His promise and sent a messenger in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas for our age. Hazrat Ahmadas repeatedly cautioned the world about God’s wrath and worldwide tribulations if they would deny Allah’s messenger and continue evil and sin.
On 27 February 1905, the Promised Messiahas published the following warning:
“Arise and be ready for a time of great distress has come for this generation. There is no other bark, but that of piety that can take you to the shore. In times of trouble, the faithful one inclines to God, for besides Him there is no other security. Atone now for your sins by making yourselves truly humble and give a sacrifice of your own selves by annihilating yourselves in truth. […]
“Walk fast towards God with all your strength; and if you cannot do it, take yourselves to the gate of His will, though you do it limping and halting like a sick person; and even if this is not in your power, let charitable deeds bear you to that place like a corpse.
“These are days of great distress and the wrath of God has been kindled in the heavens. This is not the time when you can be saved by mere words of mouth and boasting of the tongue. Let such a transformation be wrought within you, and let your footsteps fall in such a path that your gracious and compassionate Master may be pleased with you. Make your corner of solitude a place for the remembrance of God. Remove the rust of impurities from your hearts and shun rancour, niggardliness and abuse. Before the time should come, which would make you mad, make yourselves like madmen with untiring and restless prayers. […]
“Know it for certain that these are days of such great affliction for the world as it has never seen since its creation. All this has been brought about so that the word may be fulfilled which had been uttered by the prophets in the beginning. Almighty God informed me of these violent onslaughts twenty-five years before this time, and this Divine information was recorded and published in the Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya at that very time. […]
“These are days of heavy tribulation for the world, but the world does not care when these afflictions are actually brought upon its head. I have done my duty and delivered the message, for I have informed you of the heavy afflictions which are in store for you. And peace be on those who follow true guidance. […]” (The Review of Religions [English], March 1905)
Except for those who believed in the Latter-Day Messiah, the world did not pay heed to the warnings of the Promised Messiahas, so soon after the aforementioned warnings, the world was hit with plague, famines, wars, epidemics and earthquakes.
On 5 April 1905, the Latter-Day Messiah published another warning and stated:
“A warner came into the world but the world rejected him, but God will accept him and show his truth by powerful attacks.
“Heaven raineth signs, ‘the hour has come,’ says the earth,
“The promises of the Prophets and Messengers of God are fulfilled.
“How long wilt thou fight against God and oppose Him,
“Thou fool! Fear the wrath of the Lord of worlds.
“As it is my duty to invite men to the true path and to deliver to them the message of my Lord, I, therefore, again inform the public, and God bears witness that the fact has been revealed to me by Divine inspiration, that His wrath is now kindled upon the world, for the vast majority are so deeply immersed in sinfulness and worldliness that they have no faith in God. He who has been sent by Him for the regeneration of mankind is laughed at, and scorns and abuses have overstepped all limits.
“Almighty God has, therefore, said that He would now fight against the abusers and the scoffers, and that he would do it by means of His angels and the powers of nature. He has said that His assaults on them would be such as they have never thought of, for they so loved falsehood as to tread the truth under their feet. Almighty God, therefore, says that He has now willed to save his humble people from the attacks of these beasts and to manifest many signs in support of the truth. […]” (The Review of Religions [English], April 1905)
On 8 April 1905, the Promised Messiahas said:
“Almighty God says that His wrath must come down upon the earth, for the earth is full of sin and iniquity. Rise and prepare yourselves, for the hour has drawn nigh of which the prophets had spoken. I swear by Him who has sent me that it is not from myself that I am speaking, but from God. Ah! that my words were not taken with mistrust. Ah! that I had not been declared a liar so that the world should have been saved from destruction. This writing of mine is not an ordinary one, but it is an outcome of the truest and deepest sympathy. If you change your ways and turn away from evil, then will you be saved, for God is merciful as He is wrathful. Even if some of you mend your ways, then will also mercy be had on you. If not, the day is coming which will turn men mad. […]” (Ibid.)
Every single word of the above prophecies of Prophet Ahmadas is being fulfilled to this day and we are still witnessing similar warnings of God Almighty.
There is still time to save oneself from these havocs by believing in the Warner of the Latter Days, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, and repenting before Allah the Almighty and abandoning corrupt practices.
Allah the Exalted appointed him as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi of this age in accordance with the prophecies of his Master and Guide, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the Chosen One.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“If the people of Noah had possessed true awareness, which inspires fear of God, they would not have drowned; and if the people of Lot had truly recognised their Lord, they would not have been showered with stones; and if the people of this country had been granted true awareness that makes hearts tremble, they would not have been ravaged by the plague.” (Lecture Lahore, pp. 6-7)
God Almighty also addressed the Promised Messiahas by the name of Nuh [Noah] in His revelation. (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part 5, p. 140) Hence, when the bubonic plague ravaged India, he wrote a book, entitled Noah’s Ark in order to counsel his community and to save mankind from disaster. The book was published in 1902. (The Review of Religions, April 1976, p. 1) In Noah’s Ark, the Promised Messiahas explained the nature of the prophecy concerning the plague. He declared that whosoever dwelled within the four walls of his home, both in a literal and spiritual sense, would be protected by God from the ravages of the plague. He then proceeded to give the gist of his teachings so that, by adhering to its precepts, people might spiritually enter the ‘four walls’ of his home and save themselves from the disease. (Our Teaching, foreword, p. ix) It was, in a manner of speaking, to serve as Noah’s ark in the midst of the deluge of irreligion, materialism and misguidance: Mankind could save themselves by embarking in this ‘ark’. (The Review of Religions, April 1976, p. 1) One of the remarkable features of the book is that the Promised Messiahas spelt out very beautifully the true teachings of Islam. This Noah’s Ark was to continue to serve as insurance against calamities and troubles ahead. (An Introduction to the Hidden Treasures of Islam, p. 327)
Hence, this timeless guidance is as relevant today as it was 120 years ago. The Promised Messiahas states:
ايک طوفاں ہے خدا كے قہر كا اب جوش پر
نوح كی كشتی ميں جو بيٹهے وہی ہو رستگار
صدق سے ميری طرف آؤ اسی ميں خير ہے
ہیں درندے ہر طرف مَيں عافيت كا ہوں حصار
“A flood of divine wrath is raging;
Only those who board the ark of Nuh [Noah] will be saved
Come to me with sincerity, for in this alone lies your good;
Wild beasts abound in every direction—I am the Citadel of Security.”
(Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part 5, p. 203)
While admitting a person to the fold of the community, the Promised Messiahas would not content himself with a mere declaration on the part of the initiate that he had accepted him. In fact, holding his hand in his own, he used to take from him the pledge that to repent of his sins at his hands, that he would do his best to save himself from falling into sin in future and that he would give precedence to faith over worldly matters. (The Review of Religions, April 1976, p. 5) He used to say, “To take bai‘at means giving your life to Almighty Allah. It means, ‘Today we have sold our life to Allah Almighty.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 29, UK, 1985)
The Promised Messiahas further says, “I have advised my community on numerous occasions that you should not rely on the mere verbal proclamation of your pledge of allegiance. Until one understands the reality [of the bai‘at], they cannot attain salvation.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, pp. 232-233, 1985, UK) The Promised Messiahas used to advise new initiates to internalise the teachings contained in Noah’s Ark so that they may keep the essence of bai‘at always before their eyes.
Hence, when, on 8 November 1902, Muhammad Rafiq Sahib BA and Muhammad Karim Sahib came from Munger, India to visit the Promised Messiahas to pledge their allegiance to him, he advised them to “continue to engage in an extensive study of my books and always act upon the teaching that I have mentioned in Noah’s Ark. Moreover, always write to me.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, 2016, pp. 364-365)
Once, a student of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, India, met with the Promised Messiahas and asked him about how to get rid of sins. Among other things, he advised, “One way of avoiding sin is to read the advice and teachings written in Noah’s Ark every day”. (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, 2016, p. 254) On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas advised his community in the following words: “What has been revealed in a revelation, that is,
إلّا الّذين علوا باستكبار
[‘Except those who think highly of themselves out of arrogance.’], is very frightening. Hence, it is incumbent upon you to repeatedly read Noah’s Ark and recite the Holy Quran and to act accordingly. Who knows what is about to take place? You have received whatever curses and taunts you were to receive from your own people [i.e. non-Ahmadi Muslims]. However, if your account is not clean with God Almighty in spite of their reproach, and you fail to come under His mercy and grace, then what great catastrophe and tragedy that would be!” (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, 2016, p. 263) Hence, this was the practice of the Companionsra that they would regularly delve into this book to analyse and compare their conditions with the teachings outlined in it. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 14, p. 399) During his Friday Sermon of 13 April 2018, delivered from the Basharat Mosque in Spain, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“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 states, ‘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 of.’ He 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. (Surah al-A‘la, 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. 4, pp. 232-233, 1985 UK)
“Urging the members of his community to read this book, the Promised Messiahas said,
‘I have written down My Teaching in Noah’s Ark. Everyone must be acquainted with it. Every Jamaat ought to organise a convention and read this book out to everyone. It can be sent to an individual who is willing and also has the time to read it out to others. Otherwise, if you start distributing it to everyone then even 50,000 copies will be insufficient. This way, it will be published and made public and the unity that I want in the Community will also begin to develop in the Jamaat.’ (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, p. 408, UK, 1985)
“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.”
Noah’s Ark is a torch of guidance through which every Muslim, nay every persan with a craving for truth and spirituality can rekindle their inner lamp and illuminate their heart. (Our Teaching, foreword, p. vii) Every line of this book breathes a new life in the reader.
At once place in this powerful piece of writing, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Our paradise lies in our God. Our highest delight is in our God for we have seen Him and found every beauty in Him. This wealth is worth procuring though one might have to lay down one’s life to procure it. This ruby is worth purchasing though one may have to lose oneself to acquire it. O ye, who are deprived! Hasten to this fountain as it will satiate you. It is this fountain of life that will save you.” (Noah’s Ark, pp. 35-36)
This is an open invitation from the Promised Messiahas to anyone, who is seeking salvation for there is nowhere else that man can find sanctuary except in God.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“O Europe! You are not safe! And O Asia! Neither are you secure! And O the dwellers of Islands! No artificial ‘God’ will come to your aid. I see cities falling and habitations in ruin. That One and Unique God remained silent for a long time. Abominations were committed before His eyes and still He remained silent. But now He shall reveal His countenance in an awe-striking manner. Let him who has ears hear that the Hour is not far. I strived to bring everyone under the protection of God, but the ordained decrees had to be fulfilled. I say it truly that this country’s turn is also drawing near. The age of Nuh [Noah] shall appear before your eyes, and you will witness with your own eyes the incident of the land of Lut [Lot]. But God is slow to wrath. Repent so that you are shown mercy. He who abandons God is a worm, not a man; and he who does not fear Him is dead, not alive.” (The Philosophy of Divine Revelation [translation of Haqiqatul-Wahi], p. 328)
Regarding the present situation of war, the current successor of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, said:
“May Allah have mercy on the Muslims and the Muslim ummah, and this can only happen when they accept the Imam of the Age who was sent by Allah in this age for this very purpose. May Allah grant understanding [to the Muslims], and where they rectify their condition, may they also pray for the world and use their means and resources to stop the world from war.” (Friday Sermon, 11 March 2022)
Thus, the world must accept the Messiahas of Muhammadsa and come under the banner of Islam Ahmadiyyat to save themselves from the rising global catastrophes and attain peace with Allah the Almighty.