The Spirit of Conquest
The Young Islam, 1st October 1934 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 9, pp. 3–4)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ قَالُوۡا رَبُّنَا اللّٰہُ ثُمَّ اسۡتَقَامُوۡا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ اَلَّا تَخَافُوۡا وَ لَا تَحۡزَنُوۡا وَ اَبۡشِرُوۡا بِالۡجَنَّۃِ الَّتِیۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾
نَحۡنُ اَوۡلِیٰٓؤُکُمۡ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ
“As for those who say, Our Lord is Allah, then persist in the right way, the angels descend upon them saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the Garden which you were promised. We are your guardians in this world’s life and in the hereafter” (The Holy Quran, 41:30–31).
The laws of nature are inexorable. In the words of the Quran,
فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللّٰہِ تَبۡدِیۡلًا ۬
“You shall not find any change in the course of Allah” [The Holy Quran, 35:43].
A race, a nation, or a community dominates as long as it adheres to its ideal. The ideal placed before the Muslims is the sublimest ideal of moral and spiritual conquest. While Muslims stuck to their ideal they were dominant. With the degeneration in their moral calibre the Muslim nation disintegrated and then it led to a downfall of their empires. How can they regain their past glory? There is no shortcut to it. They must start anew. Today however new conditions have arisen. Islam is presented with a new ideal, it has to fight different battles. A new environment surrounds us. New value is put on everything. New standards have been set for evaluating principles of belief and action. Tradition and authority is no longer the guide. Reason, inquiry and research are the searchlights. Everything temporal or spiritual is weighed in the scales of utility. With these changes Islam has to react. Muhammad (may peace and blessings of God be upon him) is the perfect exemplar for all mankind and is the last in the chain of Prophets. The Quran is a final and perfect Code of guidance for all times to come. Islam requires no modification but we have to view its teachings in the light of our new requirements.
A man has appeared at this stage of the history of Islam. He interprets its teachings according to the needs of times. He demonstrates that true religion and its principles are realities—a matter of feeling and experience and not of conjecture and argumentation. He proves Islamic teachings to be in accord with reason and science. He throws light and convinces the heart that the teachings of religion are not mere myths but principles of practical value and of inestimable worth to man in this life; nay, he warns that humanity is doomed to destruction unless it adopts the teachings of the Quran. He directs the attention of the world to the moral and spiritual beauties latent in the pages of the Holy Book. He is an embodiment of the blessings a true religion can shower on a faithful follower. He infuses a living spirit of the conquest of Islam in this age in those that go to him.
“Do not despair nor be grieved for Islam. The victory is near at hand. Islam is about to win once more. The only task before you is to disseminate its true teachings. I have been given to know from on High that the world will accept it.”
Such is the message he breathes.
While he lives, a most determined and fierce opposition is raised from all quarters to exterminate his mission. What is the result? Hardly two decades pass after his death that we see unmistakable signs of the world nearing his teachings. The noblest task of disseminating the Quranic teachings entirely forgotten and abandoned by Muslims in this age and revived through his spirit is admittedly the only course destined to save Islam.
His main contention was Islam is not a religion of brute force. Its foundations rest on moral and spiritual forces. It won by these forces and it is again to win by these very powers. A storm of ridicule was raised not so much by non-Muslims but by the followers of Islam. Islam cannot conquer without the help of a bloody Mahdi and a warring Messiah. But now the principle of Islamic jihad is viewed in the light Mirza Ghulam Ahmad interpreted it. Take any principle of Islam and the interpretation he put and you will invariably find the world approaching the same idea. His greatest prophecy and work both at one and the same time of Western nations bowing before the spiritual force of Muhammed—an idea deemed thirty years back to be the ravings of a lunatic—is being fulfilled before our eyes. Surely, he is the Commander of Islam appointed through Divine Commission and his forces are invincible.
The Ahmadiyya Movement has been conceived in no narrow and sectarian a spirit. It is not a school of thought meant for religious quibbling and petty controversies about details of Islamic jurisprudence. Nor is it yet a schism in the vast fraternity of Islamic brotherhood. The Movement has been founded solely for the generation of an organized and sustained endeavour to lead Islam to the onward march of victory in this age. It is an army of soldiers infused with the spirit of conquest and equipped with the implements of success. A force raised during the time of contingency in a nation is not division or split in its ranks but on the other hand is the very life of the nation whom it defends. And if the soldiers have some distinguishing mark as regards their uniform or other characteristic from civilian conditions of life, he is a fool or traitor who regards these signs to be proof of schism. If a member of this force strictly adheres to rules and regulations of his Commander it is not because of narrow-mindedness but because he regards Commanders’ implicit obedience as the first step to victory. If he invites his brother Muslim to join the force it is not because he is of any sectarian bias but because he feels that there is no other course except augmenting the strength of the army which is leading the Islamic conquest.
During times of excitement calm considerations are not possible. The past decade or so has been marked for political upheaval, especially so in India. The attention of all and sundry has been distracted from purely religious ethical pursuits to those of politics. It was due to this that the Ahmadiyya Movement did not attract many. Now that the wave of excitement has passed away it is bound to get an impetus. This Movement is afraid of no amount of foreign opposition. Its forces of strength are within it. It is for the considerations of those that are responsible to see that the spirit of conquest within the fold does not weaken. What is that which constitutes the spirit of conquest? It is not the static force that is required. The Ahmadiyya Movement is a dynamic force and the spirit consists in its members being imbued with the spirit of merging their personalities entirely in the interest of the cause. It is complete identification of one’s interest, it is the total self-annihilation of one’s longings and desire into the cause that are an index of the genuine spirit of conquest. The more responsible a position one holds in the army the more onerous his duty. While such a spirit of conquest permeates its members—a spirit of love, intense love for the cause of Islam—then will be created that unity of purpose and action which is the steppingstone to conquest.
Has success glorious and signal attended your sacrifices? Why then be afraid of it now? Are you not blessed and fortunate to have been one of those who saved Islam at its greatest trial? Why are you then slack in inviting others to share the blessings and enhance the pace of victory?