The Ark of Noah
English translation of ‘Kishti-e-Nuh’
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
Preface: Summary of Kishti-e Nuh (The Ark of Noah)
In the year 1902, the British Government in Hindustan [India] made arrangements on a very vast scale to get the residents of the province of Punjab vaccinated against a prevailing plague epidemic. It was under these circumstances that Hazrat Mirza Sahib wrote a book titled Kishti-e Nuh, which was published on 5 October 1902. Paralleling the government’s scheme of providing earthly vaccination, in this book Hazrat Mirza Sahib has presented a heavenly vaccination, as it were, to the public. The following two pairs of poetic verses were printed very prominently on the title page:
جہان را دل ازیں طاعون دو نیم است
نہ ایں طاعون کہ طوفانِ عظیم است
This plague has lacerated the world’s core into fragments,
This is not merely a plague, but actually a great upheaval.
بیا بشتاب سوئے کِشتی ما
کہ ایں کِشتی ازاں ربّ علیم است
Come hither soon to seek shelter in our ship,
Because this ship has the support of the Knowing God.
At the very outset, Hazrat Mirza Sahib has gratefully acknowledged the measures taken by the British government to have the masses vaccinated against the plague. However, he has stated:
“With great respect to the compassionate government, I would like to say that had there not been a heavenly prevention for myself, I would have been the first person to get myself vaccinated. … It is the will of Allah that has led me to abstain personally from getting myself vaccinated, and it is the will of Allah that leads me now to declare that all those taking shelter within the four walls of my house do not need the vaccination either.”
Following these statements, Hazrat Mirza Sahib has presented his teachings
“in order to answer the inquiry of those who will like to know about the teachings strict obedience to which will save a person from the affliction of the plague”.
He begins by saying:
“Let it be clear that taking the pledge and merely professing with the lips is meaningless unless it incorporates the conviction of the heart and implementation through good deeds … Let it also be understood that when Allah spoke about granting safety only to those who take shelter within my house, Allah referred to those people who obey me completely and those who have entered my spiritual house; Allah did not refer to those people taking shelter in my temporal house, which consists of sticks and stones.”
Hazrat Mirza Sahib has then presented the pure teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, so as to provide the reader with their quintessence. He has discussed the Unity of God and man’s knowledge and concept of God, and the knowledge of and complete obedience to Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This discourse is truly a distillation that has been poured, as it were, into the form of a book. It is quite impossible to summarise it here or to do justice to the force and beauty of the exposition. The reader is referred to the original book. Hazrat Mirza Sahib has also strongly urged the members of his Jamaat [Movement] to seek piety and to inculcate high morals. The passages in which he describes the Greatness of Allah and exhorts his devotees to seek His nearness are unparalleled in their sublimity.