The Ark of Noah
English translation of ‘Kishti-e-Nuh’
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
Teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement)
Translator’s Note: The following is an attempt to present to the English-speaking world the power, sublimity and spiritual magnetism of the Founder’s teachings, even though some of the grandeur of the original Urdu may have been lost in the translation.
Let it be absolutely clear that a mere verbal pledge has no value if it is not supported by a genuine and firm resolve to live up to it in every way. Therefore, he who fully lives according to my teaching alone enters that house of mine with reference to which Allah, Most High, has promised: I, Myself, shall protect all those who are in this house. It should not, however, be understood here that this Divine protection is extended only to those living within the compass of my house of mud and bricks; the pledge also encompasses those who follow my teaching to the fullest extent, and who, therefore, can truly be said to be the inmates of my spiritual home.
In order to observe my teachings in the proper manner, it is essential that one should firmly believe that there is an All-Powerful, All-Sustaining Supreme Being, that Creator of everything, Changeless, Everlasting and Eternal. He does not beget, nor was He begotten. He is Holy, so that there is no need or occasion for Him to go on the Cross, nor suffer in any way, nor be subject to death. He is such that although He is far removed, He is still very near; and being very near, He is still very far. Although He is One, and absolutely unique, His manifestations are diverse and multifarious. Whenever there occurs in man a transformation, for the changed man He becomes a new God, Who deals with him on the basis of a fresh manifestation. In fact, the man witnesses a change in Allah in proportion to the change in himself – not that there occurs any change in Allah, He being Eternal, Changeless and most perfect in Himself – but with every change in man for the better, Allah also reveals Himself to him in a fresh and clearer manifestation. With every progressive effort on the part of man, Allah also shows Himself with a higher and more powerful manifestation. He displays an extraordinary manifestation of His power and glory only when man shows an extraordinary change in himself. This is the root and the essence of the marvels and miracles witnessed at the hands of all servants of Allah. Belief in this God with these powers is the most essential condition of our Movement. Inculcate this belief in your hearts and give to its implications and requirements the first and topmost priority over all considerations of self, over all comforts and relationships. By means of actions in the field of your daily life and with unflinching courage, show steadfast loyalty in His way.
Others in this world do not give Him preference over material means and the support they hope to get from their friends and relations. But you must give Him the first place so that in heaven you should come to be reckoned as His people.
To show signs of grace is the eternal way of Allah. But you can partake of this blessing only when there remains no difference and no distance between Him and you: only when all your wishes, hopes and desires merge into His will; only when, at all times, in success or failure, in hope or disappointment, you remain in humble prostration at His door, so that He should do with you what He may choose.
If you act like this, in you will appear that God Who for a long time has kept His face concealed from the world. Who is there among you, then, who will act upon this teaching, seeking only His pleasure, without the slightest sense of dissatisfaction against the way His will works?
Even in distress you should put your best foot forward, for this is the secret of your success; and you should strive to the utmost limit of your power to spread the idea of His uniqueness and unity all over the earth.
Be kind and merciful to humanity, for all are His creatures. Do not oppress them with your tongue, or hands, or in any other way. Always work for the good of mankind. Never unduly assert yourselves with pride over others, even those who are placed under you. Never use abusive language to anyone even though he abuses you. Be humble in spirit, kind and gently, and forgiving, sympathetic towards all and wish them well so that you should be accepted.
There are many who pretend to be kind, gently and forgiving, but inside they are wolves. There are many on the outside who look pure, but in their hearts they are serpents; you cannot be accepted in the presence of the Lord unless you are pure, both on the outside and inside.
If you are big, have mercy and not contempt on those who are small; if you are wise and well versed in learning, serve the ignorant with words of wisdom. Never desire to bring disgrace on their ignorance by trying to show off your own learning. If you are rich, instead of treating them with egoistic and scornful pride, you should serve the poor.
Beware of the paths of destruction. Fear the Lord, be righteous and do not worship the creation of Allah. Turn wholly and solely to Him so that you lose interest in this world. Become entirely His, living wholly for His pleasure, for His sweet sake, hating everything impure and sinful for, indeed, He is the Holy One. Every morning should be a witness for you that you spent the night in righteousness, and every evening should be a witness for you that you went through the day with the fear of Allah in your heart.
Do not fear the curses the world may heap on you for they dissolve in the air like smoke and they cannot turn day into night. What you should be afraid of is the curse that comes from Allah, which totally uproots from both the worlds those on whom it falls.
You cannot save yourselves with hypocrisy and pretence because the sight of the God Who is your Lord can penetrate the innermost depths of your being. How, then, can you hope to deceive Him? Therefore, reform yourself and purify and cleanse yourself and be firm and steadfast without a particle of dross anywhere in your being, for if there be any such, it will take away your light. And if in any corner of your heart there be pride, empty pretence, hypocrisy, vanity, love of self, or laziness of disposition, you do not amount to anything acceptable in the sight of the Lord.
Take care that on the basis of a thing or two, which you think you have accomplished, you do not fall into the delusion that you have done all that is needed to be done, for Allah desires that your entire life, your whole being, should undergo a deep and thorough revolution. Indeed, He demands from you that you accept a death, after which He will give you another life. Immediately set right all your differences and make peace among yourselves. Forgive the transgressions of your brothers for, indeed, evil is he who is not willing to make peace with his brother. He will be cut off for he tries to create disruption. Leave off vanity and emphasis on self, and all mutual resentments as well as all unpleasantness.
Though truthful and justified in your stand, be humble in your demeanour as if you were in the wrong, so that you yourself should be treated with forgiveness. Leave off everything which feeds your vanity, for the door you have been invited to enter is not one that will admit a fat person.
How unfortunate is the man who fails to believe in things which proceed from the mouth of Allah and which I have stated to you. If at all you desire that Allah in heaven be pleased with you, hasten to become one among yourselves, as though you were brothers born of the same mother. Only he is most honoured among you who most forgives the transgressions of his brother; and unfortunate is he who remains stubborn and does not forgive. He is not part of me and he has no share with me. Remain in great fear of the curse of Allah, for He is holy, intensely jealous and singular in His holiness. An evil-doer cannot win nearness to Him. No one who is proud can win His nearness, nor can the oppressor and the unjust; nor one who is dishonest, nor anyone who is not jealous for His name.
Those who chase after worldly benefits like dogs, or ants, or vultures swooping blindly on carrion, those who have sought only the luxuries and comforts of life, cannot win nearness to Him. Every impure eye remains far removed from Him; every impure heart remains unaware of Him. For His sake, whoever lives in fire will be saved from the flames. He who weeps for His sake will be made happy, full of laughter and jubilation and he who runs away from this world for His sake will find Him. With the deepest sincerity of heart, with steadfast strength and ardour, become the friends of Allah so that He, too, should become your friend. Show mercy to your subordinates, be kind to your spouses and to your brethren who are poor, so that in heaven you, too, may be received with mercy. Be true and sincere to Him so that He, too, should be yours.
This world is a place of thousands of evils, tribulations and trials. In all sincerity and steadfastness of heart hold fast to Allah so that He may keep these evils, tribulations and trials away from you.
No evil and no distress takes its birth on this earth without a decree from Heaven to that effect, and no distress is lifted until mercy descends from Heaven. Therefore, wisdom on your part lies in this — that you take firm hold of the root and not the branches.
It is not forbidden to you to have recourse to remedies or to make plans. What is forbidden is that you place your entire reliance on them. In all circumstances it is Allah’s will that will ultimately be done, and for one who has the power to take his stand on this point, the position of faith in and reliance on Allah is the best of all positions.
Those who do Honour to the Holy Quran shall be Honoured in Heaven:
For you, another very essential teaching is this, that you do not treat the Holy Quran like a book that has been forsaken, since it is in this Book, and nowhere else, that your life lies. Those who do honour to this Holy Book will be honoured in heaven. Those who hold the Holy Quran superior to every tradition (hadith) and every other word will be given preference in heaven. Throughout the world, there is now no Book for mankind except the Holy Quran; for humanity there is no Messenger and no Mediator except Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. So, strive in order to cherish the purest love for this Prophet of power and glory and give no one else any kind of preference over him, so that you may be recorded in heaven as those who have been saved. And very clearly bear in mind that salvation is not something that you will experience in the life after death. The real and true salvation is only that which shows its light in this very life. Who is the saved one? Only he who maintains a firm faith that the living God is a reality, and that Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the Mediator between Allah and mankind; that under the skies there is no equal to him in rank and elevation, nor any Book to rival the Holy Quran; that for no one else did Allah wish that he should live forever, but only for this blessed Prophet He did so wish; that to keep him alive forever He laid the foundation for continuing the benefit of his Shariah (Law) and his spiritual blessings to the Day of Resurrection. And at long last, from the flow of his spiritual benefits for mankind, he sent the Promised Messiah to this world whose advent was indispensable for the completion of the structure of Islam for it was necessary that this world should not come to an end before the Movement of Muhammad was given the colour of a spiritual Messiah, the same as was given to the Movement of Prophet Moses. This is what the following verse of the Holy Quran points to:
اِہۡدِ نَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ
“Guide us on the straight path, the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy favours” (The Holy Quran, 1:5–6).
Prophet Moses received the treasure which had been lost by the earlier ages, and Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) received the treasure which the Movement of Prophet Moses had been unfortunate enough to lose. Now the Movement of Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stands in the place of the Movement of Prophet Moses, but such that in grandeur the like of Moses exceeds him a thousand times, while the like of the Messiah in the Movement of Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) excels Prophet Jesus’ by a thousand measures. And not only did the Promised Messiah of the Muhammadi Movement come, in terms of time, exactly in the fourteenth century after the Holy Prophet, as Jesus had appeared fourteen centuries after Moses, but he also came at a time when the condition of the Muslims of the day was identical with that of the Jews in the time of Prophet Jesus. Therefore, I alone am the Promised Messiah, and no one else. Whoever enters into sincere baiat [pledge] with me and becomes my follower from the bottom of his heart and is so engrossed in his obedience to me as to forsake all his own personal desires for him alone in these days of great distress, my soul will desire to intercede.
So, all you people who are reckoned as members of my community, in heaven you will be counted as members of my following only when in all truth you actually begin to advance on the paths of righteousness. Offer your five daily obligatory prayers with such concentration and awe of mind as though you were seeing Allah in front of you with your physical eyes. Observe the days of fasting in full sincerity for the sake of Allah. All those among you who are eligible to pay zakah [obligatory charity] never fail to fulfil this important obligation; and those on whom the pilgrimage to Makkah has become obligatory, without any obstacles standing in the way, should duly undertake that blessed journey. Do all good deeds with the proper care they deserve whilst forsaking evil from a real repulsion of the heart. Be very, very much aware that no action whatsoever can take you to Allah if it is devoid of righteousness of the heart. The root of everything good is taqwa (fear of God). If taqwa is the mainspring of any deed, that action will never be void or futile. It is necessary, too, that you be tried by being thrown into diverse griefs and distresses, even as those before you were tried. Be, therefore, forewarned lest you stumble when the time comes. The earth, with everything in it, can inflict no injury on you provided your contact with heaven is firm.
Whenever any injury comes to you, it will come only from your own hands. If all your honour on this earth is lost to you, Allah will give you an honour in heaven that will never diminish. Therefore, do not forsake Him, whatever the circumstances you may have to go through in life. You are bound to be persecuted in diverse ways and many of your hopes will be denied to you, but in such cases you should not grieve, for the Lord your God will put you through trials in order to test whether or not you remain firm. If you desire that the angels in heaven should sing your praises, then take the beating many people will give you and rejoice; hear abuse and give thanks to the Lord; experience disappointments but do not break away from Him. You are the last people of Allah. Practise goodness to such an extent that it reaches its highest perfection. Everyone among you who relaxes and becomes lazy will be expelled from the community as a dirty object is discarded and thrown out. He will die with regret in his heart and he will not be able to injure Allah in any way.
Lo and behold! With great joy do I convey to you the glad tidings that your God does indeed really exist. Although all are His creatures, yet He selects only those who select Him. He, Himself, comes to whomsoever goes to Him. He bestows honour upon those who honour Him. After you have reformed your hearts and purified your tongues and eyes and ears, then come to Him and He will accept you.
As regards belief, all that Allah desires from you is just this: that you hold Him as One, and that you take Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as His Prophet, Khatam-al-Anbiya (the Last of the Prophets), and the greatest of them all. After him there is to be no other prophet except one who should be given the mantle of Muhammadiyyat as a burooz (spiritual image or reflection), since the servant is not separate from his master, nor is a branch different from its root.
Be perfectly sure that Jesus, son of Mary, is dead and his grave is in Srinagar, Kashmir, in the Khanyar district. Allah has spoken of Jesus’ death in the Holy Quran. It should also be borne in mind that I in no way seek to deny the eminence of Jesus, peace by upon him. Though Allah has conveyed to me that the Muhammadi Messiah stands higher in rank than the Mosaic Messiah, I hold the Messiah, son of Mary, in great respect, since from the spiritual point of view I am the Khatam Al-Khulafa (the most perfect among the successors of the Holy Prophet) in Islam as the Messiah, the son of Mary, was Khatam Al-Khulafa in the Israelite chain. In the Mosaic dispensation, the son of Mary was the Promised Messiah, while I am the Promised Messiah of the dispensation of Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I therefore hold him, whose name I bear, in great esteem. Whoever says that I do not respect him is a great liar and a mischief-maker.
Who Belongs to my Community and who does not:
Having explained all these things, I repeat once more that you must not rest satisfied merely because in an outward form you have taken bai’at [pledge] at my hand. The outward form means nothing. Allah sees what lies in your hearts, and He will deal with you on the basis of what He sees there.
I herein discharge my duty to you by making it plain that sin is a poison. Do not take it. Disobedience to Allah is a dirty death which you should avoid. Turn to prayer so that you should get the strength to repel sin. At the time of prayer, if a man does not firmly believe that Allah has power over everything except what may be contained in a previous promise, then such a one is not of my community. He who is caught in a web of worldly greed and never even raises his eyes to things which pertain to the next life, is not of my community. Whosoever does not wholly and completely keep away from every sin and every evil action, like wine, gambling, looking lustfully at women, dishonesty, bribes, and from every kind of illegal gratification, is not of my community. Whosoever is not constantly turning to prayer, and does not remember Allah in absolute humility of spirit, is not of my community. Whosoever does not respect his parents, whosoever does not render obedience to them in things which do not run counter to the Holy Quran, and whosoever is neglectful in rendering to them the service to which they are undoubtedly entitled is not of my community. Whosoever does not live with his wife and her relations with gentleness, goodness and generosity is not of my community. Whosoever deprives his neighbour of the very least good in his power is not of my community. Whosoever has no wish to forgive the faults of those who may have transgressed against him and desires to nurse malice is not of my community. Every man or woman who is dishonest towards his or her spouse is not of my community. Whosoever in any way violates the pledge he took at my hand at the time of the baiat is not of my community. Whosoever does not really hold me to be the Promised Messiah is not of my community. Whosoever is not prepared to obey me in all things known to be right and virtuous is not of my community. And whosoever, as a habit, sits among those who are hostile towards me falling into tacit and silent agreement with them is not of my community.
Every adulterer, debauchee, drunkard, murderer, thief, gambler, dishonest person, bribe-taker, usurper, oppressor, tyrant, liar, forger, and the associate of these, and whosoever brings false accusations and scandal against his brothers and sisters, is not of my community unless he fully repents of his misdeeds and totally abandons his bad associates and turns a new leaf.
Indeed, all these things are poisons. You cannot partake of them and live, for light and darkness cannot exist together.
Whosoever has a crooked nature and is not open and above board with Allah, cannot partake of the blessing which comes to those who are pure of heart. Indeed, very fortunate are they who cleanse their hearts and wash away all impurities and who make a pledge of loyalty with their God, for they will never suffer loss. It is not possible that Allah should disgrace them for they are of Him and He is of them. They will be saved from all tribulations. Extremely foolish, indeed, is he who should try to harm them for indeed they are in the lap of Allah, Who is ever ready to support them. Who are the true believers in Allah? Certainly, only those who are such as described above. Similarly, foolish is he who is solicitous over a shameless sinner who is evil and full of mischief inside his heart, for he will himself be destroyed.
From the day Allah created this heaven and earth, it has never happened that He destroyed those who were righteous. On the contrary, for the sake of such as these He has always shown great marvels and will do so even now.
Our God Possesses Great and Wonderful Powers:
Our God is a very loyal God, and for those who remain faithful to Him He shows wonderful works. The world wishes to tear them to pieces and to devour them and every enemy grinds his teeth on them, but He, Who is their Friend, saves them from every danger and brings them out triumphant on every field. How fortunate, then, is he who does not let go his hold of such a God. To Him we render our faith and Him we have recognised. In the whole world He alone is the God Who has sent down His revelation to me and Who, for me, has shown powerful signs and Who has sent me down as the Promised Messiah for this age.
There is no other God in heaven or on earth except Him. Whosoever does not have true faith in Him remains deprived goodness, deprived of blessings, and deprived of succour. From our God we have received revelation that shines like the sun. We have seen that He alone is the God of the whole world and there is no other God besides Him.
How powerful indeed is the God we have found, and how sustaining. And how great, how wonderful are the qualities of the God we have seen. The truth is that for Him there is nothing impossible except what runs counter to His Own Book and His Own promise.
Therefore, when you pray to Him, you should not be like those ignorant naturalists who have devised a natural law of their own which does not bear the stamp of God, for they are the rejected ones whose prayers will never be accepted. They are blind, not gifted with vision; they are dead, not alive. They put before God a law forged by themselves, and they put limitations of their own on His powers and consider Him weak and helpless and bound by those limitations. Of course, they will be dealt with in the light of their own condition.
But when you stand up for prayer, it is incumbent on you to believe in the depths of your heart that your God has power over all things. Only then will your prayer be accepted and you will witness those marvels of the power of your God which we have witnessed. And remember, our evidence is not on the basis of hearsay; it is on the basis of a reality we have seen for ourselves. How can the prayers of a person be accepted if he does not firmly believe that Allah has power over all things? And how can such a person have the courage in his heart to pray to Allah about a matter in which the desired remedy or change will involve an infringement of the lays of nature as he understands them? But O, righteous one, your God is He, Who, without any supporting pillars, has decorated the vast expanse of space with countless stars and has created the earth and the heavens from absolutely nothing. Do you believe that in regard to your need He will prove to be helpless? The fact is that it is your own misconception that will keep you deprived of blessing. There are innumerable wonderful things in our God, but these are witnessed only by those who become His in all sincerity and faithfulness. He does not reveal those wonders to those who do not have faith in His powers, and who are not faithful and true to Him.
How unfortunate, indeed, is the man who does not even know that he has a God with power over all things. Our paradise, indeed, is our God; our highest enjoyment is in Him, for we have seen Him and found all beauty in Him. This treasure is worth having, even at the cost of one’s life, and this is a jewel which should be purchased even if it calls for the sacrificing of one’s entire being. O destitute ones, run to this spring, for it will quench your thirst. It is the spring of life that will save you. What am I to do, and how am I to impress this glad tiding upon your minds? With what fanfare should I go crying through the streets that this is your God, so that all should hear? And what ointment should I administer to the people so that their ears should open and so hear?
Allah is the Central Beam of all our Plans:
If you really become Allah’s, then rest assured that Allah is your very own. Whilst you sleep, He will keep watch over you; while you neglect your vigil against the enemy, He will keep an eye on him and disrupt his plans. Even now you have no idea what wondrous powers your God has. If you had known, then no day could have dawned on you for you to grieve over for lack of the things of this world. Does a man who has a treasure in his possession weep and cry over the loss of a penny, as though he were about to perish? Had you been aware of this treasure that Allah would suffice for all your needs, would you have had reason to be so wholly absorbed in the things of this world? Allah is a most precious treasure, so realise its proper value. Without Him you are nothing, neither you nor your material means and plans. Do not follow in the footsteps of other nations which have come to depend wholly on material means. As a snake eats earth, they subsist by relying on the base and inferior material means of this world. Like vultures and dogs eating carrion, they, too, have sunk their teeth in a carcase. Indeed, they have drifted very far from Allah, and have given themselves to the worship of human beings, the eating of swine’s flesh, and the free use of wine as if it were harmless like water. Since they depend too much on material means, and seek no help from Allah, they are dead and the heavenly spirit has flown out of them as a dove flies away from its nest. The leprosy of the worship of Mammon has taken root deep in their hearts and has cut to pieces the organs of their inner spiritual life. Be careful of this leprosy. I do not forbid you to think of material means within proper limits; what I forbid is that like other nations, you become wholly the slaves of material means, altogether forgetting Allah, Who controls material means as well. If only you had the eyes to see, you would find that there is only Allah and Allah alone, everything else being worthless. You can neither stretch out your arm nor fold it, except with His permission. A spiritually dead person may laugh at this, but it would be better for him to die rather than indulge in this laughter.
Beware! Do not Follow other Nations Blindly:
Be careful! Having seen how other nations have attained a considerable measure of success in their worldly endeavours, do not be tempted to follow in their footsteps. Listen carefully and take heed for these people are alien to and unmindful of that God Who calls you all to Himself. What is their god but a frail human being? This is the reason why they have been left in such an error of complacency. I do not wish to stop you from striving for worldly goods, but you should not follow the ways of those who think this present world is everything. In everything you do, whether it pertains to the things of this world or of the next, you should seek help and succour from Allah alone, and this should remain the guiding principle of your life for ever and ever. But this seeking of help should not be from your lips alone. It should be your conviction deep down in the bottom of your being that every blessing comes only from heaven. You will be truly righteous only when, at the time of every difficulty, before sitting down to make your plans, you close your door upon yourself, and fall down before the throne of Allah, Most High, crying for His grace and help and succour. Then the Holy Spirit will come to your help and through unseen means a way will be opened for you. Have mercy on your own souls and be not like those who have cut themselves wholly away from Allah and have fallen on material means to such an extent that to seek Divine help they do not even formally utter with their lips the words
“If Allah wills”.
May Allah open your eyes so that you should begin to perceive that your God is the beam on which all plans rest. When the central beam of the roof falls down, can the minor supports maintain their position? Most certainly not. They will all come down in an instant and in all likelihood, with much loss of life. In the same way, your plans cannot remain in position without help from Allah. If you will not cry for His help, if you will not make entreating Him the most fundamental principle of your life, you will have no success and will ultimately die with great regret.
Do not start wondering why other peoples are meeting with success although they have not the slightest idea of your Most-perfect and All-powerful God. The answer is this, and this alone, that having forsaken Allah, they have been put to trial by means of material means. Oftentimes, a trial from Allah comes in such a way that whoever forsakes Him, and gives himself up to carnal pleasures and setting his mind wholly on material wealth, finds that the doors of worldly advancement are opened to him even though from a religious and spiritual point of view he is altogether destitute and naked. He finally dies while engrossed in this world only to be thrown into an eternal hell. Sometimes this trial takes another form in that such a person remains unsuccessful even in the task of amassing wealth. But the latter trial is not so dangerous as the former, since the former breeds an inordinate measure of pride and engenders a superiority complex. In any case, both these groups are of those on whom falls the wrath of Allah. The true fountainhead for all kinds of prosperity is Allah. Therefore, when these people are unaware of this Living and Sustaining Being and in fact become heedless of Him and turn their backs upon Him, how can real prosperity be their lot? Blessed are they who understand this secret and in dire straits is he who fails to grasp it.
Similarly, it is incumbent on you that you do not begin to follow the philosophers of this world, nor should you allow yourself to be mentally overawed by them. All those constitute varying manifestations of a gross ignorance. The real and true philosophy is only the one which Allah has given to you in His Holy Book. In imminent danger of destruction are those people who have become enamoured of these material philosophies; and successful are they, who, for real knowledge and philosophy, go to the Holy Book. Why do you choose the paths of ignorance? Do you run after those who are blind in the hope that they will show you the way? O you ignorant people! How can a person who is himself blind show you the way? The fact is that the true philosophy can be obtained only through the Holy Spirit. Through this spirit you will reach those sciences which are not accessible to others. If you ask for it with sincerity, you will ultimately get it and then you will find that this is the only knowledge that imparts freshness and life to the heart, and places it on a firm foundation of perfect certainty. How can a man who is himself subsisting on carrion provide you with clean and wholesome food? How can one who is himself blind show you the way? All pure and healthy wisdom comes from the heavens alone. What is it you seek from those who are creatures of this earth? The true inheritors are they whose souls soar to the heavens. How can they who are not satisfied in their own minds give you satisfaction? The foremost thing is purity of heart; sincerity and purity must come first; after that you will get everything.
The Door of Revelation is Open Even Now:
Do not think that revelation from Allah is not possible in the future and that it was possible only in the past. Do not think that the Holy Spirit cannot come down now. I tell you truly that every door can be closed except the door for the coming down of the Holy Spirit. Open all the doors of your heart to receive it. With your own hands, you remove yourself far from that sun when you, yourself, close the window through which light can enter. Therefore, rise up at once and throw this window open so that the light of the sun should, of its own accord, enter your heart with the easiness and inevitability of a natural process. When Allah has not closed the doors of His blessings upon the world, when, in fact, He has multiplied them even more than before, do you venture to presume that He has closed upon you the doors of His spiritual blessings, even at a time when they are needed most? No, not at all. In fact, that door has been opened beyond any shadow of a doubt. Now, in accordance with His teaching as given in Surah Fatihah [Chapter 1 of the Holy Quran], when the door of all earlier blessings has been opened for you, why do you decline to receive them? Create a thirst for this spring and then of itself the water will begin to gush forth. For this milk, cry like a child so that it should surge up in the breast. Begin to deserve mercy so that you should be shown mercy. Show anxiety and deep concern so that your minds should be set at rest. Cry out with pain, again and again, so that a hand should stretch itself and take hold of you. Indeed, how terribly difficult is that way which is the way of the Lord! But, verily, it is made easy for those who jump into the abyss, resolutely determined to face destruction and death. Blessed are they who for the sake of the Lord wage a war against their own selves. On the other hand, unfortunate are they who, for the sake of their baser selves, wage a war against the Lord and refuse to fashion themselves in obedience to His will. Whosoever, for the sake of his own self, disregards a commandment of Allah, will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Strive, therefore, to the utmost that not a jot or syllable of the Holy Quran should bear witness against you and cause you to be seized on that account, for, indeed, even a single grain of evil is punishable. The time is very short; the mission of your life is not yet fulfilled. Walk briskly, for the evening draws nigh. Whatever you have to present before the Lord, examine it well, and as often as you can, lest some defect remain to cause irreparable loss, or, lest you take something with you which, in fact, should amount to no more than filthy and counterfeit spurious goods, not worthy to be presented at a royal court.
Elevated Position of the Holy Quran:
I have been given to understand that there are some among you who altogether reject the Hadith. If this is so, then these people are in manifest error. I have never taught them to hold such views. Quite to the contrary, I hold very firmly that for your guidance Allah has provided three things. The foremost among these is the Holy Quran, which sets forth the unity of Allah, His grandeur and greatness and also decides all points in dispute between the Jews and the Christians. Further, the Quran forbids you to worship anything other then Allah – neither man, nor beast, nor sun, nor moon, nor any other heavenly body, nor material means, nor your own selves. Therefore, beware! Do not take a single step in opposition to anything contained in the Holy Book. Indeed, I tell you truly that whosoever circumvents even the least of the seven hundred commandments embodied in the Holy Quran, closes the door of salvation upon himself.
The real and perfect paths of salvation have been opened only by the Holy Quran; all others were only its shadows. Therefore, you should study this Holy Scripture with the utmost attention and the deepest thought and you should love it as you have never loved anything else. For, indeed, as Allah has conveyed to me,
“All good lies in the Quran”.
All kinds of goodness are to be found in it, and this is the truth. Unfortunate, indeed, are those people who give preference to other things over it. The Holy Quran is the fountainhead of your salvation and the source of all advancement and success. There is no spiritual need which has been omitted in this Holy Book. The supporter or denier of your faith on the Day of Judgement will be the Holy Quran, and apart from this Book, there is no other under the heavens which can provide you with direct guidance. It is indeed a great blessing of Allah to you that He has bestowed on you a Book like this. Indeed, I tell you truly that if this Book which has been given to you had been revealed to the Christians, they would not have perished. Had this blessing and guidance which have been vouchsafed to you been extended to the Jews, in the place of the Torah, then many of their sects would not have ended up denying the Day of Judgement.
Realise, therefore, the value of the blessing bestowed on you. It is a precious blessing, and a great treasure. Without the Holy Quran, the whole world would have been no better than an impure clot of half-formed flesh. Indeed, it is a Book compared to which all other scriptures and sources of guidance amount to nothing at all.
The Holy Quran can purify a man within a week, provided there is no attempt to get away from it in form or spirit. The Quran can make you like the Prophets, provided you, yourself, do not try to run away from it. Apart from the Holy Quran, there is no other book which at the very beginning has taught its readers a prayer like this:
صِرَاطَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ
اِہۡدِ نَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ
“Guide us to the right path, the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy favours” [The Holy Quran, 1:5–6],
and has thus held out to them a great hope, namely, the hope of being shown the way which would lead them to the attainment of those blessings which were bestowed on those who were from among the prophets, the truthful, the faithful and the righteous.
وَ مَنۡ یُّطِعِ اللّٰہَ وَ الرَّسُوۡلَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنۡعَمَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنَ النَّبِیّٖنَ وَ الصِّدِّیۡقِیۡنَ وَ الشُّہَدَآءِ وَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ۚ وَ حَسُنَ اُولٰٓئِکَ رَفِیۡقًا
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, they are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours from among the prophets and the truthful and the faithful and the righteous, and a goodly company are they!” (The Holy Quran, 4:69).
Therefore, strengthen your resolve and do not reject this invitation of the Quran when it calls you to work for the attainment of the blessings given to the earlier peoples. Allah, in fact, is inclined to bestow on you even more. He has made you inherit all their spiritual and material legacy and until the Day of Resurrection, these will not pass away from you to anyone else. Allah will not leave you deprived of the blessing of revelation, and of the tangible forms of communion generally spoken of as mukallamat and mukhatabat (clear and direct revelations received from Allah in words). He will vouchsafe to you all those blessings which He ever bestowed on others. But whosoever, by way of insolence, should lie and should claim to have received revelation from Him, when, in fact, he had received no such revelation, or claim that he had the honour of communion with Him of the kind called mukallamat and mukhatabat, when, in fact, no such honour had been bestowed upon him, then, with Allah and all His angels as my witnesses, I declare that such a one will perish and be destroyed for having lied about his Creator and for having perpetrated a fraud.
The Explanatory Position of the Sunnah:
The second instrument for guidance vouchsafed to the Muslims is the Sunnah; that is, the measures adopted by the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in order to explain the Holy Quran and to put it into actual and practical use. For example, a casual perusal of the Holy Quran will reveal to us that there is no specification concerning the number of rakahs (cycles) for each of the five daily obligatory prayers, but the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet has made all these things very clear. No one should fall into the error of thinking that the Hadith and the Sunnah are one and the same thing, for what is called the Hadith came to be collected a hundred and fifty years afterwards, while the Sunnah existed from the very beginning side by side with the Holy Quran.
After the Holy Quran, the greatest debt of gratitude Muslims owe to anything is to the Sunnah. The obligation on Allah and His Apostle in regard to the guidance of mankind was only twofold; namely, that by sending down the Holy Book, Allah, by means of His word, indicated His will and pleasure, in fulfilment of the demand inherent in the Divine law, while the duty which rested on the Holy Prophet was that by putting it into actual practice, he should clearly demonstrate it in all its aspects in a concrete manner. Therefore, he transformed into action what had been said in the form of words, and by his actual practice solved a number of difficulties. It is not proper to say that this duty was the responsibility of the Hadith, since Islam had established itself upon the earth long before the Hadith came to be collected. Did the people not offer their prayers at the time when the Hadith had not yet been collected? Did they not pay the Zakah [obligatory charity] or perform the Hajj [pilgrimage]? Or, were they ignorant as to what was permissible for them and what was not?
Supportive Position of Hadith:
Of course, the third means of guidance is the Hadith, because many points in regard to history, ethics and jurisprudence are to be found fully explained in it; and the great utility of the Hadith lies in the fact that it is a servant of the Quran and the Sunnah. Some people, who are ignorant of the real position of the Holy Quran, have assigned to the Hadith the position of a judge over the Quran, as did the Jews in regard to some of their traditions. We, on the other hand, look upon the Hadith as a servant of the Quran and the Sunnah, the existence of servants being in no way derogatory to the master. In fact, it is a sign of his importance and grandeur. The Holy Book is the Word of God, while the Sunnah is the conduct of the Holy Prophet, and the Hadith provides supporting evidence for the Sunnah. It is wrong to say (may Allah forbid!) that the Hadith is a judge of the Holy Quran. If there is any judge over the Holy Quran, it is the Holy Book itself. The Hadith, which in any case has an element of speculation in it, cannot be given a superior position, as it is no more than a supporting argument. The Quran and the Sunnah have done all the real work, whilst the Hadith has done no more than to supply some additional verification. How can the Hadith be given the position of judge over the Holy Quran? The Holy Book and the Sunnah were providing guidance to mankind at a time when as yet there was no sign of the so-called judge. Therefore, never say that the Hadith is a judge over the Holy Quran. Rather, say that the Hadith supplies further supportive evidence for the Quran and the Sunnah.
Of course, the Sunnah, undoubtedly, is a thing which indicated the will of the Quran, and it signifies the path on which the Holy Prophet put his Companions [rta]. The Sunnah is not a name for the things which came to be written and collected a hundred or a hundred and fifty years afterwards. These are called the Hadith. The Sunnah, on the other hand, is the practical example that has, from the very earliest times, existed, all along, in the practical actions of the Muslims, their number extending to thousands at the most conservative estimate. But even though in a great part of it, the Hadith occupies the position of speculation, still, where it does not run counter to the Holy Quran, it deserves to be accepted, as it serves as a supporter for the Holy Quran and the Sunnah and contains a large storehouse of material relevant to many Islamic questions.
Failure to appreciate the Hadith, therefore, is tantamount to cutting off a large part of the body of Islam. But, of course, if a hadith is contrary to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, and contrary to other ahadith which are in accord with the Holy Book, or if it stands in opposition to the Sahih Bukhari, it should not be accepted, for acceptance thereof would imply rejection of the Holy Quran, and of all those ahadith which are in agreement with the Holy Book.
I am satisfied that no righteous person would want to subscribe to such a belief. In any case, give due recognition to the Hadith and derive benefit from it to the fullest possible extent, for these sayings come from the Holy Prophet and unless they are rejected by the Quran and the Sunnah, you should not reject them. You should adhere to the hadith to such an extent that no action of yours, no delay, no action, and no failure to perform any task, should be without basis in the Hadith. But if there is a hadith which seemingly contradicts what has been stated in the Quran, you should think deeply to see if you can interpret it in such a way as would not contradict the Holy Quran. But where no such reconciliation is possible, this hadith should be rejected since it cannot be regarded as having come from the Holy Prophet. But if there is a weak hadith, which stands, nevertheless, in accord with the Holy Quran, it is to be accepted, for the Quran has confirmed it.
Criterion for Judging Ahadith Concerning Prophecies:
If there is a hadith containing a prophecy which the muhaddithin (scholars of the Hadith) have considered weak, while in your own time or at some time earlier than yours, the prophecy contained in that hadith has been fulfilled, then that hadith has to be accepted as authentic, and all those who adjudged it weak and failed to accept it, thinking that it was a fabrication, will be consider as having been in error.
The number of ahadith containing prophecies runs into hundreds, and most of these have been held by the muhaddithin to be fabricated or defective. Therefore, when one of these is fulfilled and you try to avoid the point, saying that you could not accept it since it was weak, or since this or that narrator in the link through which it had come was not a righteous man, then such a rejection on your part would be due to your faithlessness, for you would rejecting a hadith of which the reliability had been established by Allah even to the extent of the fulfilment of the prophecy contained in it.
Now, suppose there are one thousand ahadith of this kind, held to be weak and unacceptable by the muhaddithin, and suppose again the prophecies contained in them happen to be fulfilled, would you reject them, and also reject all the one thousand arguments in support of the veracity of Islam which the fulfilment of the prophecies stood for? If you do anything of the kind, you will become, thereby, enemies of Islam. Allah says:
عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ فَلَا یُظۡہِرُ عَلٰی غَیۡبِہٖۤ اَحَدًا
اِلَّا مَنِ ارۡتَضٰی مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ
“The Knower of the Unseen, so He makes His secrets known to none, except a messenger whom He chooses…” (The Holy Quran, 72:26–27).
Therefore, to whom is a true prophecy to be attributed, if not to a true prophet? Is it not more in accord with one’s righteousness of mind to say on such occasions that the muhaddith in question had erred in so far as he had rejected as weak a hadith which, in fact, was quite reliable? Or would it be more proper for us to say that in supporting a weak hadith with the testimony of actual events Allah Himself had been guilty of an error? For you, the guiding principle in any case should be that you should follow even a weak hadith, provided it is not contrary to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, or contrary to other ahadith which are in agreement with the Holy Book.
However, great care is needed on this point, for it is a fact that there exists a large number of fabricated ahadith which have caused a great deal of disruption in Islam. All the conflicting sects take as the basis of their authority this or that hadith, as suits their needs, so that even such a clear and well-established question as that of the prescribed obligatory prayers has given rise to extreme differences of view. For example, after the recitation of the Al-Fatihah, some say “Amen” in a loud voice, audible to others, while others adhere to the view that this should be done silently in one’s own mind, while others believe that such a recitation spoils one’s prayer and is, therefore, forbidden. Some hold their hands folded on the breast, while others hold them at the navel. The real cause of all these differences can be attributed to the ahadith themselves, as the Holy Quran says:
فَتَقَطَّعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَہُمۡ بَیۡنَہُمۡ زُبُرًا ؕ کُلُّ حِزۡبٍۭ بِمَا لَدَیۡہِمۡ فَرِحُوۡنَ
“But they became divided into sects, each party rejoicing in that which was in them” (The Holy Quran, 23:53).
Deliverance from Sin Lies in Perfect Conviction:
O you who seek the Lord, open your ears and listen. Remember that it is only perfect faith which can deliver you from sin. Faith gives you the power to do good, and faith alone can turn you into a lover of God. Can you turn away from evil without perfect conviction? Can you hold your base impulses in check without the help of a sure light? Without this perfect conviction, can anyone bring about any real change in himself? Can you achieve any state of satisfaction and peace of mind without this perfect certainty? Can you ever gain any real prosperity without it? In the whole world, is there any atonement which can give you the power to avoid sin – a power which man so much stands in need of? Can the fictitious blood of Jesus, son of Mary, deliver you from sin? O you Christians, refrain from uttering so monstrous a falsehood as would shatter this earth to pieces. To obtain deliverance, Jesus himself had to depend on perfect faith. He believed with total conviction and was delivered. Woe, indeed, on those Christians who deceive the world by saying they have been delivered by the blood of Jesus Christ even when from head to foot they are immersed in evil. They do not even know who is their God. Their life is one of indulgence and ease. With the intoxication of wine in their head they remain unaware of the life with God, and for them there is no share in the fruits of life that is lived in purity.
Always remember, therefore, that you cannot come out of the darkness without firm conviction, nor can you receive the Holy Spirit without it. Blessed are they who have this faith and blessed are they who have been delivered from uncertainties and doubts, for they alone will be delivered of sin. Blessed will you be when this great treasure of unshakeable faith is given to you, since on that day sin for you will come to an end.
Sin and faith cannot exist together. Will you ever knowingly put your hand into a hole when you can see for yourself that it is occupied by a poisonous snake? Or will you remain standing where a shower of red-hot stones is coming down from some belching volcano? Or will you stand at a place where a thunderbolt is about to strike from above, or where a ferocious lion is likely to attack at any moment? Or will you live in a place where a dangerous plague is destroying mankind?
So, if you believe in Allah with the same firmness of conviction as you believe in the danger from a snake, or a thunderbolt, or a lion, or from the plague, it is not possible for you to defy Him by disobedience and so incur punishment thereby, or for you to wish to break the bond of sincerity and loyalty which binds you to Him.
O you people who have been called to righteousness and truth, rest fully assured that Divine attraction will take its birth in you and you will be washed clean of the ugly stain of sin only when your hearts become filled with firm conviction. Perhaps you will say that you have this conviction, but you should take care to remember that this feeling is not more than a delusion on your part. That firm conviction is most certainly not yet yours for you do not fulfil the conditions which necessarily must attend it at all times. You have not yet given up your sinful ways. You have not yet taken the first step which you ought to have taken the moment this firm conviction became yours. You do not yet fear sin as you should. You can very well solve the question in your own mind. A man never puts his hand into a hole which he knows is occupied by a poisonous snake, nor does he ever knowingly partake of a food he has reason to believe has been poisoned. Nor will he thoughtlessly walk into a clump of trees which harbours a lion. Then how can your hand and feet, your eyes and ears, dare to sin when you have the same degree of certainty in regard to the punishment and reward from Allah concerning your conduct in life? How in the name of reason can you throw yourself into a fire which you know will burn you to ashes? And always remember that the defensive ramparts built by firm conviction against sin are veritably as high as the heavens so that Satan cannot scale them to get to you once you have properly built them up.
Everyone who is purified is purified through firmness of faith. It is faith which gives you the strength to bear hardships, even to the extent of persuading a king to abdicate his royal throne and choose the life of a mendicant. Faith dissolves all difficulties. Faith enables a man to see Allah. All ideas of any atoning sacrifice are false, for every kind of purity comes only from firm conviction. The only thing which delivers a man from sin and advances him in sincerity and steadfastness, far ahead of the angels themselves, is faith and faith alone. All religions which fail to create this firmness of conviction are false. All religions which fail to show God by means beyond any shadow of a doubt are false. And false also are all those religions which contain nothing more than a handful of tales and fables about what happened in the past.
Do not be Satisfied with Fables:
Allah exists even now as He did in the past. His powers, too, remain the same as they were in the past, and He is still as capable of showing signs as He was before. Then why should you be satisfied with mere stories and fables. That religion which contains nothing more than stories of miracles shown in the past is dead and destroyed, and dead also are those people on whom Allah does not descend in grace and mercy and whom the Divine Hand itself has not come down to purify.
As a man is drawn towards the joys of this world when he sees its attractions with his own eyes, similarly is he drawn towards Allah when he comes to know with perfect certainty that the spiritual joys are even sweeter. The magnetism of Divine beauty exercises such a power on his mind that everything else appears to him to have no more value than mere trash.
Man is freed from sin only when he comes to know with perfect faith of the power of Allah and the certainty of Divine retribution. Ignorance is the root of every boldness and no one will be found devoid of the fear of Allah even to the least extent if he partakes of Divine knowledge.
When a householder knows that a dangerous flood is rising towards his house or that it has been surrounded by fire on all sides, he will at once flee from it. Then, how can you dare to leave your ways of life unaltered if your belief in the existence of Allah, in Divine retribution and reward, has solidified into a firm, unshakeable conviction? Therefore, open your eyes and carefully study the law of Allah which operates throughout the universe. Do not be like rats which only continue digging and descending deep into the earth; be like a dove capable of soaring to the heavens — a dove which feels happy only when it is flying in the pure air of the loftier regions.
After taking the baiat [pledge] of repentance at my hand, make sure that you do not remain shackled to your former sinful ways. Do not be like a snake that remains as much of a snake after it has shed its skin as ever it was before. Remember death which approaches you every moment, though you remain unaware. Do your best to purify yourself, for a man can attain nearness to the Source of purity par excellence only when he himself becomes pure to the limit of his capacity.
The Way to Attain Purity is through Prayer Offered in True Humility of Spirit:
The most important question is how to win these blessings. To this question Allah Himself has given the answer. He says:
اسۡتَعِیۡنُوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ وَ الصَّلٰوۃِ
“Seek help from Allah with prayer and perseverance” (The Holy Quran, 2:153).
What is salah? It is a prayer addressed to Allah in true humility of spirit and with the fullest awareness of His purity, His praiseworthiness, His holiness, coupled with a burning desire on the part of the devotee for Divine forgiveness, and for blessing on the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessing of Allah be on him). Therefore, when you stand up for prayer, do not, like ignorant people, confine yourself to the prescribed Arabic text, for the prayer and the istighfar (prayer for forgiveness) of many people are only formal, with no substance in it. When you stand up for prayer, do not, like ignorant people, limit yourself to the prescribed Arabic text. Over and above the prayers found in the Quran, which is the Word of God, and in the Hadith, which is the word of the Holy Prophet, address your petitions to the Lord in your own language, with heartfelt humility which should leave a lasting effect on your mind.
Different States of Mind in Five Daily Prayers:
What are the five daily prayer services? They are pictures of your different states of mind during the course of the day. You experienced five conditions at a time of trial and your nature demands that you must pass through them.
The first of these is when you are warned that you are about to be afflicted with a calamity. For instance, imagine that a warrant has been issued for your presence in court. This is the first condition which disturbs your serenity and contentment. This condition resembles the time when the sun begins to decline, as on the receipt of the court warrant. Corresponding to this condition, the noon prayer (Zuhr) has been prescribed, the time of which begins with the decline of the sun.
You experience the second condition when you are drawn close to the place of the calamity. For instance, when having been taken into custody under the warrant you are presented before the magistrate. At that time, you are in terror and the light of security seems as if it were about to depart from you. This condition resembles the time when the light of the sun diminishes and the human eye can fix itself upon the sun and it becomes obvious that the time of its setting is near. Corresponding to this spiritual condition the afternoon prayer (‘Asr) service has been prescribed.
The third condition sets in when you lose all hope of deliverance from the calamity. For instance, when, after the recording of the prosecution evidence, which is designed to bring about your ruin, you are charged with an offence and a charge-sheet is prepared. At this time, you almost lose your senses and you begin to think of yourself as a prisoner. That condition resembles the time when the sun sets and hope of daylight comes to an end. The sunset prayer service (Maghrib) is prescribed in relation to this spiritual condition.
The fourth condition is when you are afflicted by the calamity and its deep darkness envelops you completely. For instance, when, after the close of the evidence you are convicted and sentenced and are committed to the custody of the police. This condition resembles the time of nightfall, when everything falls into deep darkness. The evening prayer service (‘Isha) is prescribed in conformity with this spiritual condition.
When you have spent a certain time in the darkness of the affliction, Divine mercy surges up and delivers you from the darkness, as the dawn succeeds the darkness of the night and daylight begins to appear. The dawn prayer service (Fajr) is prescribed corresponding to this spiritual condition. Allah, Most High, in view of your five changing states of mind has prescribed five prayer services for you. You can thus understand that these services have been prescribed for the benefit of your soul. If you desire security against these calamities, you should not neglect the five daily services as they are a reflection of your inner and spiritual conditions. Prayer is a remedy for the calamities that may threaten. You know not what type of circumstances the new day may confront you with. So, before the beginning of the day, entreat your Divine Master earnestly that the day may prove to be a source of benefit and blessing for you.
Exhortation to the Rich and Wealthy:
O you who are rich, who are kings, who are millionaires, among you there are few who fear Allah and remain truthful and steadfast in all His ways. Most are such that they attach their hearts to the riches of this world and spend all their lives in this preoccupation without giving any thought to death. Every rich man who does not address himself to Allah in prayer, whose attitude to Allah is one of heedlessness, will have on his head the sins of all those who are connected with him. Every rich man who drinks will have on his head the sin of all those under him who drink with him.
O wise ones! This world will not last forever. Take hold of yourself and be steady. Give up every excess. Leave all intoxicants. Wines, beer, whiskey and the like are not the only harmful drinks. Opium, marijuana, charas, bhang, taree (Indian intoxicants) and all other intoxicants to which you become addicted all have a deadly effect on the brain and in the end prove fatal. You should keep away from all such things. In fact, we cannot understand at all how and why you habituate yourselves to the use of things which, in front of your own eyes, every year prove to be the undoing of thousands of people and even bring about their death, while the punishment to come in the world hereafter is something quite apart, over and above the disadvantages which go with these things here.
Become righteous and God-fearing, so that you should live longer lives, and be blessed by Allah. Too much indulgence in luxurious, easy, irresponsible living is a curse, as it is ill-mannered and heartless to be indifferent to the sufferings of others.
Every rich man is as much answerable for the due discharge of his obligations to his Creator and his fellowmen as is a poor man. In fact, a rich man is even more answerable. Indeed, how unfortunate is he, who for the sake of this brief life in this world, completely turns away from Allah; who uses forbidden things with such fearlessness as if they were quite lawful; who, when angry, rails against people like a madman, using abusive language, ready to wound and kill; and who, in the pursuit of his lust, becomes shameless to the extreme. Such a one will never know real prosperity.
My dear people! You are in this world only for a short time, of which a large part has already passed. Do not displease your Master. Even a temporal government, if displeased with you, can destroy you. Therefore, how much more is it incumbent on you not to displease your Creator. No one can destroy you if you are held righteous in the eyes of the Lord. He, Himself, will protect you, and no enemy thirsting for your blood will be able to harm you. Otherwise, there is no protection for you, and you will have to live in constant fear of your enemies, uneasy and restless and full of forebodings, and the later days of your lives will pass in great anguish of mind. Allah, Himself, becomes the protection of those who stand with Him. Therefore, come to Him and leave off all kinds of opposition to Him. Never be negligent in fulfilling the obligations He has laid on you. Never oppress His creatures, with hand or word of mouth, and always remain in fear of the wrath of heaven, for herein lies the only way to salvation.
To the Learned People of Islam:
O you learned people among the Muslims! Do not be hasty in rejecting me as false. There are many profound secrets which man cannot comprehend in a hurry or all at once. You should not be ready to reject a thing the moment you hear it, for this is not the way of the righteous. Had there been no errors among you, and if you had not interpreted certain ahadith in a manner contrary to their real meaning, then the advent of the Messiah, as a judge and adjudicator among you, would not have been necessary. The mission you assign to this advent, namely, that he will join forces with the Mahdi to make war on all in order to convert them forcibly to Islam, is a belief which brings disgrace to our religion. Where in the name of goodness is it written in the Quran that war is permissible for the sake of spreading one’s religion by force? On the contrary, we find Allah saying in the Holy Book:
لَاۤ اِکۡرَاہَ فِی الدِّیۡنِ
“There is no compulsion in matters connected with religion” (The Holy Quran, 2:256).
So, where will the Messiah, son of Mary, get the right to use force in order to convert people to Islam? The entire Quran is replete with verses teaching us that there can be no compulsion in religion; and it is absolutely clear on the point that when the Holy Prophet took up the sword, he did not do so to spread Islam by this means but only for the following reasons:
1. As a fitting punishment for those who had killed a large number of Muslims and had driven out many others from their homes without just cause. We read in the Holy Book:
اُذِنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ یُقٰتَلُوۡنَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی نَصۡرِہِمۡ لَقَدِیۡرُۨ
“Permission has been given to those who fight because they had been oppressed, and Allah indeed has the power to help them” (The Holy Quran, 22:39) (in spite of the odds against them).
2. Or, those wars were defensive and were waged against people who were leaving no stone unturned to extirpate Islam and to stop its propagation and were using the sword to do so.
3. Or, they were fought to assert legitimate freedoms.
Apart from campaigns undertaken for these three aims, the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his blessed Khalifas [Caliphs] fought no war, whatsoever. In fact, before taking up arms in self-defence, Islam bore oppression with silent fortitude to such an extent that there is no example in the history of other peoples of such forbearance. Then, what kind of a messiah and mahdi will these be who will embark on their mission by putting their opponents to the sword right from the start?
Religious Leaders of the Country:
Similarly, the hereditary heads of the so-called spiritual orders and the pirs (religious leaders) of this country are so far removed from Islam, and so engrossed day and night in their pernicious innovations, that they have no idea of the difficult times through which Islam is passing. If you attend their assemblies, instead of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, you will find them bending and swaying to the tune of musical instruments and qawwalis (songs) with numerous bidats (innovations) in evidence. But, in spite of all this, they claim to be religious leaders and followers of the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Indeed, anybody can claim that he loves Allah, but only he truly loves Allah to whose love heaven itself should bear witness. Everybody claims that he is a follower of the true religion, but true is the religion of that man alone who obtains light in this very life itself. And everybody says that he will get salvation, but only he who is given light in this earthly life itself is justified in making this claim.
This is the Time for Rendering Service to the Cause of Religion:
My dear people! This is the time for serving the cause of the religion you claim to profess. Realise the value of this rare opportunity, for if you let it slip, it will not offer itself to you second time.
You are the followers of an incomparably great and exalted Prophet, so why do you lose heart? Be firm of faith and set an example that even the angels in heaven should wonder at your strength and steadfastness and should pray for blessings on you.
With this I conclude and pray that this teaching of mine will be fruitful and beneficial to you and will generate a change in your hearts which may render you like stars on this earth, filling the globe with the light and life you get from the Lord.