Selections from the Discourses and Exhortations of the Promised Messiah

by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

A Parable of the Pleasures of this World

The delight of the life of this world is like that of the itch. At first, when you scratch it, it is pleasing, but when you continue to do so it creates a wound from which blood flows and this may deteriorate to such an extent that it gives off a purulent discharge and becomes a running sore, which causes constant pain and discomfort to the sufferer.

The truth is that this worldly existence is unstable and without real substance. Oftentimes it comes to my mind that if Allah, Most High, should offer a deceased person the opportunity to return to this world, he will certainly ask pardon of his Lord as he declined the suggestion in his worldly life. Provided a person has deep faith in Allah, Most High, he can avoid the difficulties of this world, for his Lord listens to the fervent pleas of His servants.

However, there is one pre-requisite if man wishes to be successful — he must never get tired of supplicating his Master. If he slackens, not only will he fail but he will entertain evil thoughts about Allah Himself and this will lead to a greater danger — loss of faith in his Creator. For example, if a person is promised that if he digs under a certain place in the ground he will discover a treasure and he digs to a depth of a few feet and then gives up for he discovers no treasure, he will not only resign himself to failure and disappointment but will go so far as to abuse the one who made the promise although it will be his fault and weakness and lack of perseverance for not having dug deep enough.

Similarly, when man makes dua (supplication) for a while and then gets tired he does not attribute his failure to his own laziness and negligence, but he begins to harbour unworthy thoughts of Allah, Most High, and this causes him to lose faith and he eventually ends up dying as an atheist.

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

“A servant is granted an answer provided he does not ask for anything sinful or for breaking ties of relationship, and provided he does not demand an answer quickly.”

On being asked what demanding an answer quickly meant, Allah’s Messenger replied:

“It is when he says he has prayed and prayed and does not think he will be answered, so he grows weary in such circumstances and gives up supplication” (Muslim). [Mishkat, Tr. Robson, vol.1, pp. 471–472]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was at one time sitting under a mango tree that was laden with green fruits. On noticing this, he said,

“If you observe, this tree is full of mangoes, but they are still unripe. If someone should eat his fill of it and think he has done the right thing, then all he will get for his trouble are pimples or small boils and no benefit will accrue from his eating of the unripe fruits.”

In the same way, the similitude of half-educated mullahs (religious leaders) who, with little understanding are in danger of losing faith, is true. A wrong act is just like eating unripe fruits. They will misguide all those to whom they address and if you, too, should listen to them, you yourselves will end up following a crooked path.

Until man has not faced and triumphed over innumerable difficulties and trials in the path of the Almighty, he will never be able to obtain the desired success. This is why the Holy Quran asks:

اَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ اَنۡ یُّتۡرَکُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُفۡتَنُوۡنَ ﴿۲﴾

“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and would not be tried?” (The Holy Quran, 29:2).

Those who think that mere belief alone without trials is sufficient should remember that in another place of the Holy Quran they are designated as non-believers:

وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰہِ وَ بِالۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ مَا ہُمۡ بِمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ۘ﴿۸﴾

“And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they are not believers” (The Holy Quran, 2:8).

The same point is emphasised in another verse of the Holy Quran which runs as follows:

قَالَتِ الۡاَعۡرَابُ اٰمَنَّا ؕ قُلۡ لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا وَ لٰکِنۡ قُوۡلُوۡۤا اَسۡلَمۡنَا وَ لَمَّا یَدۡخُلِ الۡاِیۡمَانُ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تُطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ لَا یَلِتۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَعۡمَالِکُمۡ شَیۡئًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴﴾

“The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You believe not, but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish aught of your deeds. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (The Holy Quran, 49:14).

Many people are like these, but to become a true, firm and sincere believer it is necessary to undertake strenuous religious discipline as well as to pass through severe hardships and calamities and emerge with one’s faith intact and even stronger.

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 7, pp. 23–24]