Selections from the Discourses and Exhortations of the Promised Messiah

by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

Advice to the Community

Today my Community, too, has to face the same difficulties that confronted the Muslims in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sas). Thus, the most familiar and the first of all the problems a person has to deal with when he becomes a member of my community is that, generally speaking, his friends, relations and his fraternity distance themselves from him even to the point that his mother and his father and his brothers become inimical to him. They refuse to respond to his greeting of

“Peace be onto you,”

and do not wish to read his funeral prayer (janazah). This kind of difficulty is very common.

I am fully aware that there are many weak-spirited people to whom such a problem causes great perturbation. However, they must bear in mind that this sort of problem is inevitable. You are not superior to the prophets and the messengers of Allah, Most High, and so this kind of trial and difficulty must arise so that your faith in Allah, Most High, may become strengthened and that you may be afforded the opportunity to make a pure transformation in yourselves. You should make constant supplication (dua) when this happens and you should imitate the example of the prophets and the messengers and choose the path of patience and perseverance. In fact, no damage at all has been done to you, for those friends who desert you because you have accepted the truth are not really true friends, otherwise, they should have stayed with you. Therefore, you should not quarrel nor do harm to those who abandon you and separate themselves from you just because you have chosen to become members of God’s anointed community. Instead, you must secretly make supplication to Allah, Most High, to bless them also with the same insight and knowledge which He has bestowed on you out of His abundant grace.

Make firm the purity of your example and the nobility of your conduct so as to prove to them that you have chosen a beautiful way of life. Pay heed to this fact. I am appointed by Allah, Most High, in order to give you continuous guidance so that you should keep away from all places where quarrels and mischief may erupt and remain calm and patient even in the face of abuses. You should return evil with good and if an opponent is hunting for an opportunity to do evil, you should move away from that environment whilst replying with gentle words.

Many a time it may happen that a person may display vehement opposition to you and in doing so he may become so heated as to cause a great commotion which may influence the onlookers to become so inflamed themselves as to become ready to do violence. However, when they receive gentle words in return and curses are not answered by curses, then they themselves will become ashamed and evince sorrow and penitence for their ill-tempered outbursts.

I truly urge you not to abandon the virtue of patience (sabr). I assure you that patience is a weapon that can bring greater results than those won by the gun. It is patience that wins over hearts. You must certainly remember that it hurts me very deeply when I hear that someone from this community has fought with someone else. Thus, I am never happy and Allah, Most High, Himself does not wish that this community which is chosen to stand as an example of righteousness should choose a path other than that of rectitude.

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 7, pp. 203–208]

Members of my Community should move away from such things. On the Day of Judgement, God will not ask them how many dreams they had. Rather, they will be questioned about righteous acts and about how many good deeds they performed. Revelation is an act of God; it is not an act of man. To consider God’s act to be the cause of pride and joy is the work of an ignorant person. Observe the life of the Holy Prophet of [Muhammad] (sas) and see how he used to worship. At times he would stand up all night (in prayer) so that his feet would become swollen. When his wife enquired as to why he strove so hard when he had been purified of sin, he replied,

“Should I not become a grateful servant of God?”

A person should never give up hope. The onslaught of sins is a very severe thing and reform seems difficult, but one should not despair. Some people say that we are sinners and we are overwhelmed by the demands of the self, so how is it possible for us to become righteous. They should consider that a believer is never without hope. He who despairs and thinks that there is no hope is none other than Satan himself. A believer should never be a coward. No matter how much a person is overwhelmed by his sins, God has placed such ability in man that he eventually does overcome sin. God has placed in man a power that burns away sin and this power is there in man’s nature.

You will note that no matter how much water is heated — it can be heated so much that it burns whatever it touches — but even then, if this water is poured over fire, it will quell the fire. This is because God has placed this characteristic in water that if it is poured over fire, the fire is extinguished. Likewise, no matter how much a person is immersed in sins, no matter how much he is burning in bad deeds, even then he has the capacity to put out the fire of sins. However, if this ability had not been given to man, he could not then have been held accountable for himself. What is more, in that case even the appearance of Prophets and Messengers would have been unnecessary. 

The reality is that the nature of man is pure and provision has been made for its requirements. If there is physical hunger and thirst, there is also food and water. A human being needs air to breathe, so there is air. In short, if all that is required for the physical body is provided for, why should there not be provided the requirements of the soul? God, Who is ever Merciful and ever Forgiving, and Who covers up the faults of His servants, has provided all the necessary provisions for the preservation of the soul. If a human being were to search for spiritual water, he will find it; if he searches for spiritual bread, it would be given to him. Just as there is a law operating in the physical world, so there is a law relating to the spiritual world, but the condition is that one must seek. He who seeks shall find. He who strives to find God shall certainly meet the pleasure of God.

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 10, pp. 93–95]

Having taken the Oath of Allegiance, a person should not be content with the belief that this movement is based on the truth and that such a belief would bring blessings. The present time is one of tribulation and sinfulness is spreading all around. God is not pleased with mere belief unless it is accompanied by good deeds. Now that you have entered the fold of this Community, you should try to be good and righteous. You should avoid all ills and should spend your time in prayer — supplicate at the feet of God, day and night. The time of tribulation is also the time of God’s anger and at such a time prayer, supplication, giving of alms and repentance should be the norm, and your speech should be kind and gentle. Prayers should also be offered during salah [prayer] as the saying goes,

“He who pleads, does not die.”

Mere belief does not serve man — the belief of a person who puts his belief to one side cannot benefit him. Subsequently, it is meaningless to complain that taking the pledge of Initiation [taking the pledge/baiat] has been of no benefit! God is not pleased with mere words.

Righteous Actions and Belief:

In the Holy Quran, God has set righteous actions side by side with belief. Righteous deeds are deeds that do not contain the slightest ill within them. However, remember that the good deeds of a human being are attacked by “thieves”. What are these “thieves”? These include actions that are carried out for show as well as the feeling of pride at one’s good actions. There are also numerous other ill deeds and sins that a person often commits. All such behaviour falsify the good deeds. The righteous deed is that which contains no element of cruelty, ostentation, pride or the usurping of the rights of others. Just as good deeds safeguard one in the next world, so is he saved in this world through good deeds. In a household, if there is even one person who performs righteous deeds, the whole household is safeguarded. It should, therefore, be well understood that mere belief is of no avail until one steadfastly performs righteous deeds. When a physician writes a prescription, his intention is that the patient should follow that prescription and take the prescribed medicine. Should the patient not make use of the medicine and put the prescription aside, what benefit can possibly accrue to him!

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 4, pp. 274–275]

Remember this well that unless deeds are done with a true and sincere intention and are accompanied by true spirituality, they can be of no benefit and will be of no avail. Deeds can only be referred to as righteous when there is no corruption in them of any kind. The opposite of rectitude is disorder. The pious person is he who is completely free from all forms of disorder and dissension. Salah (Prayer) that is in a state of disorder and is tainted with ulterior motives is certainly not for God — it does not “reach” up above the ground by as much as even a hand because such people are devoid of sincerity and spirituality.

Need for Formation of a Community:

There are many people who raise the objection, questioning the need for the formation of this Community when according to them they, too, offer salah (prayer) and keep fasts. In this way they deceive others and there is no doubt that some people who are unfamiliar with our teachings and with our Community may well be deceived and join others in saying that we, too, offer our salah and keep fasts and recite the various prayers, why then has this division been created? Remember that such talk is the result of ignorance and lack of recognition of God…

The reason for this is that man’s spiritual state has become so weakened that it has reached the point where the force of faith has completely disappeared. However, God wishes to give new life to true faith and this He has done through this new Community. Given these circumstances the objections of the people who question the formation of this Community are absurd and without any basis. In short, remember this well that such doubts and suspicions should not enter one’s heart and if one were to consider this matter fully, such thoughts should not even arise. It is when careful consideration is not given to these matters that doubts and suspicions arise and some people who look only at the surface, raise the objection that there are other people who are also Muslims. Such doubts and suspicions can very quickly lead a person to his destruction.

I have seen letters that have been written by people who apparently belong to our Community but say that they are asked by others as to what the need is for a new Community when they too offer salah, declare the same Kalimah [pronouncement of faith], and keep fasts? Such people further write in their letters that those who question them appear to be good people, doing good works. Despite the fact that the writers of such letters belong to our Community, upon hearing objections and doubts, they write that they do not know the answer to such objections. I feel regret and pity for such people that they have failed to understand our true purpose and intention. They only see that other people customarily adhere to the practice of Islam and in this trait they seem to fulfil their duty to God but their practice lacks the spirit of truth.

Hence, such objections work like the suspicions created by acts of magic and [those influenced] do not care to think that our intention is to create a true faith that saves a person from the death of a sinful life. Such motives are not to be found in those who follow only customs and traditions. Their sight is set only upon the apparent — it is not upon the reality. What they have is only the outer skin, not the inner kernel.

Remember and understand this point that at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sas) had the Jews abandoned the Torah? Had they abandoned practising the Torah? Certainly not! The Jews even now believe in the Torah and their practice is according to this Book. Their sacrifices and other customs are still carried on today as they were at that time. They continue to face towards the Bait-ul-Muqaddas while performing their prayers. At the time of the Holy Prophet (sas) there were also present great Jewish scholars and Jewish priests, so what need was there for the Holy Prophet (sas) and for the new Book of God (namely, the Holy Quran)?

There also existed at that time the Christian people. Among them, too, was a sect that believed in the Unity of God. What then was the reason for the appointment by God of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sas) and for the Book of God? This is a question that should be carefully considered by our opponents and by those who raise such objections against the formation of our Community. This is a very subtle issue but those who ponder and consider matters carefully will be able to see that it is not such a difficult matter.

Loyalty and Sincerity:

Remember that God looks only upon the soul and upon spirituality. God does not look at outward actions — He looks only at the reality and the inner state as to whether the actions are tainted by an element of selfishness and personal desires or whether there is sincerity and true obedience to God. The outer form of deeds, however, may deceive a person. He may be led to think highly of a person who is seen with a rosary in hand, or if he observes a person offering voluntary prayers at night or mid-morning. Similarly, when he sees someone performing noble acts of virtue, he may believe him to be a saintly person but God does not like the show of “outer layer” of deeds. God is never pleased with [acts that are only] an outer shell, an outer covering — God is not pleased until there is loyalty and true sincerity.

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 6, pp. 237–240]

The initiation [taking the pledge/baiat] itself is like sowing the seed of goodness. If a gardener does not take care of his newly planted treesand seedlings, neither watering them nor protecting them, his plants would go to waste. Similarly, Satan is always there with human beings so that if a person does not take care to protect the good deeds he has performed, they will go to waste.

All people, including Muslims, perform the duties of their religion but many do not make any progress. The reason for this is that they do not think of developing further their sphere of good acts and hence their deeds enter the fold of custom and tradition. Consequently, if a person is born in a Muslim home, he begins to recite the Kalimah and if he is born into a Hindu home he starts to chant the name of Ram.

Repentance and Commitment to Faith:

You should remember that at the time of initiation [taking the pledge/baiat] there is great blessing in making a statement of repentance. If there is also added to this the promise that one will give greater precedence in matters of faith over worldly concerns then there will be progress. However, the fulfilment of the promise of giving precedence to faith is not one that is entirely in your own control. God’s help is greatly needed in its achievement. As Allah states in the Holy Quran:

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ جَاہَدُوۡا فِیۡنَا لَنَہۡدِیَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا ؕ

“Those who strive hard for Us, We shall certainly guide them in Our ways” (The Holy Quran, 29:69).

That is, those who strive in our path, ultimately attain guidance. Just as a grain of seed that is kept without water and care is devoid of blessing and thus perishes, so will it be the case with you if you do not remind yourselves daily of your promise to give precedence to your faith, and if you do not call upon God with prayers to help you in this task with His blessing.

Fear of Allah:

The definitive sign that the fear of God resides in the heart of a person is when others can see how far this individual’s words and deeds are in consonance. If one can observe that this person’s lip profession and actions do not correspond then it should be known that such a person will earn the punishment of Allah, Most High. If an individual’s behaviour is impure, no matter how chaste his words, in the eyes of the Almighty he has no worth whatsoever. On the contrary, the Creator’s anger may very well be inflamed.

Thus, members of my Community should understand that they have come to me to sow a seed from which a magnificent fruit-bearing tree will flourish. As a result, every member should peer deeply into his heart to discover its true condition and to discern the reality of his inner self. If my community (may Allah forbid) is such that the tongue utters something which is not in the heart, then such a group can never come to a good end. If Allah, Most High, sees that the heart of a community is empty whilst the tongue is full of false claims, then He, being the Self-Sufficient One, will have not the slightest concern for such people. Remember, the prophecy of success at the Battle of Badr was made long before the encounter took place. In every quarter the Muslims expected victory, yet the Holy Prophet (sas) still wept as he made supplication to Allah, Most High. When Abu Bakr (ra) asked him what need was there for such intense entreaty when promise of an outright victory was already given by the Almighty, the Holy Prophet (sas) replied:

“Allah, Most High, is a self-sufficient Being.”

In other words, it was possible that there might be some hidden conditions attached to the divine promise.

[Source: Malfuzat, vol. 1, p. 11]