The Fundamental Teachings
Let it be clear that merely taking the pledge of religion doesn’t mean anything until one acts wholeheartedly according to its teachings. But the man who acts scrupulously in accordance with my teachings enters the sanctuary afforded by the walls of my house, and regarding which God has promised me the following: “I will protect those who are within the walls of your house”. It shouldn’t be inferred from the preceding statement that only those individuals will gain refuge in my home as actually reside in my house of bricks and mortar. Actually, those persons too enter the haven of my spiritual abode as completely follow my teachings.
And, it might be asked, what elements constitute my teachings? They are as follows: That they have a God Who is the Almighty, the Self-Subsisting, the Creator of all; that He is eternal in His attributes, and immutable in that He is not susceptible to change; that neither does God beget nor is He begotten; that God is wholly untainted by any requirement whatsoever to experience sorrow, crucifixion, or death; that He is near despite being far, and that He is far despite being near; that, despite being One, His brilliant manifestations are discrete—as man undergoes spiritual metamorphosis, so too does God appear to man as a new God, and He deals with man in accordance with this new manifestation whereby he perceives a change in God’s manifestation, paralleling the change in his own self.
Of course, God isn’t susceptible to change. Instead, as I mentioned earlier, God is perfect in His attributes, and He is immutable since eternity.
But as man metamorphoses in the direction of virtue, so too does God reveal Himself to man in a brilliant new appearance; as man undergoes each new spiritual stage along the avenues of spiritual progress, so too does each new manifestation of the Almighty God exhibit an indescribably progressive nature. And God reveals His extraordinary, glorious power to man inasmuch as man demonstrates extraordinary spiritual advancement; this is the root of miracles and extraordinary events. To sum up, we attribute the preceding qualities to God, and He is the foundation of our religious movement.
Seek Nearness to God
So believe in God and give Him precedence over all your personal desires, relationships, temporal amenities, and other mundane trappings; courageously perform virtuous deeds, always remaining true and loyal to Him. Though worldly people do not give preference to God over their personal possessions and those they hold dear, you should give preference to God over everything so that your names are inscribed in the heavens as the names of those who assist His work.
Exhibiting signs of divine mercy has been God’s tradition from time immemorial.
And you can partake of this divine tradition only if there remains no separation between Him and you; if your will becomes His will; if your wishes become His wishes; and if you wholly resign yourselves to His will, in every circumstance and during all times, whether you experience success or failure. So if you conduct yourself in this manner, God, Who has kept His visage concealed for a long time, will be revealed to you. Is there anyone from among you who will conduct himself thus and become the seeker of God’s pleasure, instead of being cross and vexed by what He has ordained?
I propose that when some tribulation besets you, it should serve only to increase your zeal in His way—such zealous efforts are the means of your spiritual progress. And exert yourself with all your might to propagate the Unity of God in the world; be merciful to His creation, and do not oppress anyone, through your words or through your deeds; persevere in promoting the welfare of humanity; never act conceitedly toward anyone, though he may be your subordinate; do not curse anyone, though they may cast maledictions at you; and sympathize with those who are poor, meek, and decent. If you act in this way, God will accept you.
There are many who portray themselves as tolerant, though they’re actually wolves; and there are many who are outwardly harmless, though they are serpents in disguise. So be mindful of the fact that you cannot be acceptable to God until your outward persona and your inner moral state are true to each other.
If you’re stronger, take the weaker under your wings of mercy, and remain vigilant lest you ridicule anyone; if you are a scholar, counsel the simple people, and be wary lest you humiliate them through your conceit; and if you are wealthy, serve the poor, and be prudent lest your pride induces you to act arrogantly. I also urge you to dread the ways of ruination. Thus, fear God and embrace the ways of piety; do not worship mortals; submit yourself completely to God with earnest resignation, and harbor aversion and disgust for this world; live for Him alone; and loathe every sort of vice and transgression, because God is Holy.
Transform your moral state so that each new morning testifies that you spent the prior night in piety; and every coming night proclaims that you spent the day with the fear of God in your heart. Do not fear any sort of worldly disgrace because they vanish like smoke, unable to make any difference. Instead, dread the disgrace that is from God, which descends from the heavens and ruins the person on whom it alights; it devastates both lives—the worldly and the eternal—of the wretched victim. You cannot save yourself through pretense because God is aware of the innermost depth of your soul. Do you think you can fool Him?
You know that you surely cannot. I urge you to mend your moral state, to purify your soul, and to become morally upright. And remember that if even a trace of vice remains in you, it will extinguish your spiritual light. If there’s even a vestige of hypocrisy, conceit, or laziness in you, then you won’t be worthy of God’s acceptance.
Do not rest on your laurels and thereby fool yourself into thinking that there’s no more to be done. I say this because God wishes for your existence to undergo a revolution. God seeks from you a death, following which He will raise you to a higher life. So I counsel you to hasten in forgiving the sins of your brothers, and to making peace with one another; mischievous is the man who does not make peace with his brother. Such a man will be cast aside because he creates dissension. Shun all aspects of your lowly desires, and discard disagreements. Be upright and meek that God may forgive you. Cast aside the corpulence of lowly desires because the door through which you are beckoned doesn’t allow the passage of a corpulent man.
Luckless is the man who does not accept this advice that came from God and which I’ve now conveyed to you. If you wish that God should be pleased with you, then you should embrace your brothers in fraternity, just like twins clasp each other in their mother’s womb. More pious among you is the one who is more forgiving of his brothers’ wrongdoings. And wretched is the one who shows stubbornness and does not forgive; he does not partake of my spirituality.
Dread the disgrace issued by God, because He is Holy and Most Honorable. Thus, the evildoer cannot attain nearness to God; the conceited man cannot attain nearness to God; neither the oppressor nor the embezzler can attain nearness to God; the man who doesn’t cherish honor for the name of God cannot attain nearness to Him; and he who seeks material comforts and greedily pursues the adornments of the world—like dogs or lowly insects or rapacious vultures—cannot attain nearness to God either. Every depraved eye is distant from God; and each impure heart is unaware of Him.
But he who endures the fiery torment for God will find deliverance from that anguish; he who cries for God will ultimately rejoice; and he who spurns worldly desires will find God. So I urge you to seek nearness to God—striving in His way with sincerity, dedication, and tireless exertion—so that God accepts you as His friend. Show mercy to your subordinates, your wife, and your poor brothers that mercy may be shown to you in the heavens. Devote yourself to God so that He becomes your Friend.
The world is but a stage for thousand of tribulations, of which this plague is but an example. Hence, reach out for God that He may protect you from this tribulation. No calamity befalls the world until it has been destined in the heavens, by Him. And no catastrophe can be dispelled until mercy alights from the heavens. So prudence lies in firmly grasping the root, instead of vainly clutching at outlying branches. Of course, you’re not barred from using remedies; but you are forbidden from relying on those remedies. Ultimately, events will unfold in accordance with God’s intention. Provided that man can summon the fortitude to rely entirely on God, the status of this kind of reliance is superior to all other standings.
Another essential teaching for you is that you should not forsake the Holy Quran, because therein resides your spiritual life itself—those who honor the Holy Quran will find honor bestowed upon them in the heavens. Those who give precedence to the Holy Quran over every hadith report (a recorded saying of Prophet Muhammad) and venerable saying will be granted precedence in the heavens. Except the Holy Quran, there is now no revealed book for humanity on the face of the earth. And there is now no prophet or intercessor for humanity except Prophet Muhammad. Accordingly, you should strive to harbor true devotion to this glorious prophet, giving him precedence over everyone so that your name may be inscribed in the heavens as one who has received salvation.
Keep in mind that salvation isn’t something that manifests itself only after death. Rather, true salvation reveals its radiance right here in the world. And who has attained salvation? That person has attained salvation who believes in the truthfulness of God; who believes that Prophet Muhammad is the intercessor between God and the rest of His creation; who believes that Prophet Muhammad is superior to all other prophets; who believes that the Holy Quran is superior to all other revealed books; and who believes that God wished for Prophet Muhammad to be the only individual to remain alive eternally.
Spiritual blessings of Prophet Muhammad
In particular, to ensure that Prophet Muhammad should be the only mortal to live eternally, God laid the foundation for it in this way: God caused Prophet Muhammad’s spiritual blessings to thrive till Judgment Day. And, in accordance with these spiritual blessings, God sent the Promised Messiah, the man whose words you’re reading this very moment, into the world. This divine appointment was essential for the completion of the Islamic edifice—it was crucial that the world should not end until God had raised a spiritual Messiah for the nation of Prophet Muhammad, just as God had raised a spiritual Messiah for the nation of Moses. The following Quranic verse alludes to this ideal:
…but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wast the Watcher over them…. (Al-Ma’idah, Ch:5, Verse:117)
Moses received the spirituality that his predecessors had lost. And Prophet Muhammad received the spirituality that the nation of Moses had lost. Though the nation of Prophet Muhammad is the successor of the nation of Moses, it is Prophet Muhammad’s nation that is thousands of times superior to the nation of Moses. So the likeness of Moses (Prophet Muhammad, the Holy Prophet) is superior to Moses, and the likeness of Jesus (I, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah of Islam) is superior to Jesus.
Not only did the Promised Messiah of Islam appear 1400 years after Prophet Muhammad, just as Jesus had appeared 1400 years after Moses2, but he appeared at a time when the condition of the Muslims was similar to that of the Jews when Jesus had appeared. And I am that Promised Messiah—I feel compelled to affirm that God acts according to His wishes. Admittedly, foolish is the man who opposes God, and ignorant is the man who demurs that things shouldn’t have been this way but that way.
God has sent me with more than 10, 000 glowing, divine signs. One of those is this divine sign regarding the plague. So my soul will mediate for any man who does the following: The man takes an earnest religious pledge at my hands to become my disciple, dedicates himself to obeying me, and thereafter refrains from giving worldly affairs priority over religion.
Seek Piety and Spiritual Pureness
O people who consider yourselves as my disciples, you will be recognized in the heavens as my followers only when you truly embrace the ways of piety!
So perform your five daily prayers with such devotion and pronounced fear of God as if you actually behold Him; sincerely keep up fasting for God; whoever among you is capable of giving the poor-rate (zakat), he should do so; on whomever pilgrimage on Mecca (hajj) is obligatory, he should fulfill this obligation, provided that he is capable of doing so; and do good deeds with attention to details, and eschew wickedness with feelings of revulsion.
Always keep in mind that only those deeds will avail you in the Hereafter as are motivated by piety. Piety is at the root of every virtuous deed; if this root stays intact, the deed will not go wasted. Remember too that it’s inevitable that you will be tried by various kinds of distressing events, just as pious people in earlier times were tried by troublesome events. I caution you to beware lest you stumble during such trials. The world cannot harm you if you have a firm relationship with the heavens—it is only your own hands that will cause you harm, and not the hands of the enemy.
Even if your worldly honor is lost, know that God will grant you eternal honor in the heavens. So do not leave God. Besides, it’s an inescapable fact that you will have to bear sorrows and see many of your cherished aspirations remain unfulfilled. But don’t fret or grieve, because your God is trying you to determine whether you are indeed steadfast in His ways. And if you wish that even the angels should praise you in the heavens, then resign yourselves to facing harsh opposition and yet remain contented in God’s will, and resign yourself to being assailed by curses and yet giving thanks to God; face failures and yet persevere in keeping intact your relationship with God.
You are God’s final religious organization (jama’at). So render such good deeds as are peerless. If anyone among you succumbs to laziness in doing good deeds, he will be cast outside this organization like a pollutant, to later die with regret, and never able to do any harm to God. I feel great elation as I give you the news that your God is unquestionably alive. Though everything is God’s creation, He chooses the person who chooses Him; God grants His nearness to the person who struggles in His ways; and God confers honor on that person who regards God with honor.
Mend your moral state—purifying your tongue, eyes, and ears inasmuch as they apply to life’s moral dimension—and move toward God so that He accepts you. From the standpoint of beliefs, what God seeks of you is that you believe in the Unity of God; that Prophet Muhammad is His messenger and the Seal of the prophets; that Prophet Muhammad has been exalted above all prophets; and that, although there is no prophet after him, his followers who excel supremely in obeying him will be called prophets metaphorically.
Such a peerless servant of Prophet Muhammad is called a baruze (manifestation)—observe that a servant is not disconnected from the master, just as a branch is not unrelated to the root of a tree. So when the peerless follower surrenders his soul in obedience to the master, God confers an honor on that follower by calling him a prophet. Remember, though, that God’s calling him a prophet doesn’t contradict the fact at all that Prophet Muhammad is the Seal of the prophets. After all, when you see your reflection in a mirror, it does not mean that you have two identical selves, even though it appears that there are two of you! Similarly, God wished to confer this honor on the Promised Messiah; this clarifies the saying of Prophet Muhammad that the Promised Messiah would be buried in the grave of Prophet Muhammad.
Death of Jesus Christ
And I am that Promised Messiah; there is no ambiguity or equivocation about it. Understand clearly that Jesus died and lies buried in Mohallah Khan Yar in Kashmir, India3. God gives the news of Jesus’ death in the Holy Quran. If that particular Quranic verse has a different meaning, where else in the Holy Quran can we learn about the death of Jesus? If the Quranic verses associated with Jesus’ death actually have a different significance, as is asserted by our opponents, then evidently there is no mention in the Holy Quran pertaining to the death of Jesus or whether Jesus will die at all. In other words, while God gave us the news of Prophet Muhammad’s demise, He didn’t mention Jesus’ death in the entirety of the Holy Quran; what is the secret behind this alleged omission? So consider the following Quranic verse5:
I said to them naught save as Thou didst command me: Serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord; and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wast the Watcher over them. And Thou art Witness of all things. (Al-Ma’idah, Ch:5, Verse:117)
This verse mentions Jesus’ death, and it clearly signifies that he died prior to the moral breakdown and collapse of the Christians. If we assume for the moment that this Quranic verse signifies that Jesus was bodily raised to the heavens where he is alive to this day, then why didn’t God mention the demise of Jesus, given the fact that the notion of Jesus’ bodily ascension has misled countless people to their ruination? In other words, it would appear, God-forbid, as if God caused Jesus to ascend bodily to the heavens so that people should become faithless and associate other gods with God; that the aforementioned notion is apparently not a mistaken human conjecture but an action carried out, God-forbid, by God Himself to mislead the world!
But realize that the only way to put to sleep the notion of Jesus’ bodily ascension, preceded as it was by his crucifixion, is to acknowledge that Jesus has indeed died. What’s the benefit of asserting that Jesus was bodily raised to the heavens? Such an assertion is contrary to the Holy Quran’s teachings. Let Jesus die so that Islam may live once again. God has demonstrated Jesus’ death through His words, and Prophet Muhammad—on the night of his mi’raj, the spiritual ascension—saw Jesus among the dead. Yet you still do not believe! What sort of faithfulness is it that you give mere human traditions precedence over God’s words? I’m compelled to call it faithlessness4.
Not only did Prophet Muhammad testify that he had witnessed the spirit of Jesus among the spirits of the dead, he also, through his own death, illustrated that all mortals die. Therefore, just as our opponents spurn the Holy Quran, they spurn the Sunnah (which is the name given to the actions performed by Prophet Muhammad to illustrate the commandments of the Holy Quran) too; after all, dying is part of Prophet Muhammad’s tradition. If Jesus is alive, as they claim he is, it would signify disgrace for Prophet Muhammad. Neither can you be regarded as followers of the Holy Quran nor as followers of the tradition of Prophet Muhammad unless you believe that Jesus indeed died.
And I don’t deny the greatness of Jesus, though God has informed me that the Promised Messiah of Prophet Muhammad’s nation (I, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) is superior to the Promised Messiah of Moses’ nation (Jesus). Nonetheless, I have great respect for Jesus because, spiritually, I’m the last spiritual representative of Islam (khaatim-ul-khulafaa), just as Jesus was the last spiritual representative of the Israelite prophets.
I am his namesake, and I respect him; malicious and slanderous is the man who alleges that I don’t regard Jesus with respect. Jesus aside, I even regard even his four brothers with respect because all five are the offspring of the same mother (Footnote 6). Moreover, I respect Jesus’ two sisters because they all are the children of Mary. And Mary has the distinct greatness that she abstained from the solemnization of marriage for a period of time; then, on the insistence of the nation’s elders, in light of her pregnancy, she did get married. People object to Mary’s getting her marriage solemnized during her pregnancy. They allege that she broke the compact unjustly, despite her condition of virginity. They also demur to the establishment of the precedence for multiple marriages—they object to her marrying Joseph even though he had another wife who was alive at that time. I assert that those matters were exigencies, and therefore they were deserving of mercy, rather than being blameworthy—they were helpless even as they were faced with circumstances that made urgent demands on them.
What I Expect of my Organization
After the discussion thus far, I reiterate that the mere outward act of your religious pledge will not suffice. In particular, a superficial action does not have any significance in God’s view; God looks at your soul, and He will deal with you accordingly.
I now fulfill the obligation of my duty to propagate the truth by telling you that evil deeds are poisonous, so do not eat such poison; disobedience of God is a heinous death, so protect yourself from such a fate; and keep praying that you may receive divine assistance.
Indeed, the man who, when he beseeches God in his supplications, doesn’t regard God as Omnipotent—except in circumstances where God Himself has decreed that certain events must take place—is not a part of my religious organization; the man who doesn’t eschew lying and deceit is not a part of my organization; the man who is mired in worldly greed, and who doesn’t so much as cast an eye on the eternal life of the Hereafter, is not a part of my organization; the man who truly does not give religion precedence over worldly affairs is not a part of my organization; the man who does not repent sincerely from every sort of wickedness and misdeed, such as alcoholic intoxication, gambling, lustfulness, embezzlement, bribery, and every sort of illicit extravagance, is not a part of my organization; the man who does not keep up his daily prayers is not a part of my organization; the man who doesn’t remain engaged in the remembrance of God, and who doesn’t beseech God with humbleness is not a part of my organization; the man who does not part with evil company that’s exerting evil influence on him is not a part of my organization; that man is not a part of my organization who does not respect his parents, who is negligent of serving them, and who does not obey their directions that are in accordance with the well-known commandments and not contrary to the Holy Quran’s teachings; the man whose conduct toward his wife and her relatives is not kind, civil, and generous is not a part of my organization; the man who deprives his neighbor of even trifling acts of charity is not a part of my organization; the man who is rancorous, malicious, and doesn’t seek to forgive the wrongdoer is not a part of my organization; every man who defrauds his wife, and every woman who defrauds her husband, is not a part of my organization; the man who violates any aspect of the conditions spelled out in the religious pledge is not a part of my organization; the man who doesn’t unequivocally regard me as the Promised Messiah and Promised Mahdi is not a part of my organization; the man who is not prepared to obey me in the well-known commandments isn’t a part of my organization; the man who conspires with our enemies is not a part of my organization; and any fornicator, sinner, drunkard, murderer, thief, embezzler, briber, usurper, oppressor, liar, forger, slanderer, or their companion or accessory who does not repent his abominable deeds, and instead keeps evil company, is not a part of my organization.
What I’ve just enumerated are various poisons. And you cannot survive after taking poison, just as surely as darkness and light cannot be gathered in one place. Every man who has a perverse temperament and who is insincere to God can never receive the blessings that only God’s loyal believers can receive.
Fortunate indeed is the man who purifies his soul, cleansing it of every sordidness. He makes a pledge of loyalty to God. Such a servant of God will never be wasted; it’s impossible that God will allow his disgrace, because he adheres to God and God adheres to him; and he will be saved during every tribulation.
Foolish is the enemy who tries to make the servant of God a quarry, because he is sheltered in God’s lap and he has the assistance of God. So who are they who truly believe in God? Only those who are like this aforesaid servant of God. And foolish, too, is the man who is worried about some wicked individual who is committing sins heedlessly, because that man himself will be destroyed.
Since time immemorial, God has never allowed His virtuous servants to be ruined. Instead, He has manifested magnificent achievements for them, just as He will do now. God is Eminently Loyal, and He causes astounding deeds to unfold for his faithful servants. The world seeks to overwhelm and destroy them, and the enemy gnashes its teeth bitterly.
But He Who is the Friend of the faithful saves them from every onslaught, and makes them victorious in every sphere of religious endeavor. Fortunate indeed is the man who does not relinquish God under any circumstances. We believe in Him, and we’ve discerned Him—He is the God of the entire world, Who blessed me with His revelations; He manifested extraordinary signs for me; He sent me in this era as the Promised Messiah; and there is no god other than Him, neither in the heavens nor on the world. Anyone who doesn’t believe in God remains deprived of good fortune and instead continues to surrender himself to the abyss of loss.
We have received God’s revelation that glows like sunlight. We have seen that He alone is the God of the world, and there is none besides Him; Omnipotent and Self-Subsisting is the God Whom we have discerned; and possessing infinite powers is the God Whom we’ve witnessed.
And the truth is that the realization and achievement of anything and everything is possible for Him, barring what is contrary to the Holy Quran and His promise. So when you beseech God, don’t be like those ignorant naturriyys who have contrived a newfangled law of nature, based on a figment of their imagination; their concocted law does not carry the authenticating seal of the Holy Quran, because they are accursed7. Moreover, their supplications will never be accepted by God. They lack vision; they are blind. They are not alive; they are plainly dead. And they have the audacity to offer their concocted law to God, trying to confine the scope of His infinite powers! They consider God as weak. So God will deal with them according to their moral state.
But when you stand up to beseech God, it’s imperative that you believe your God has power over all things. Only then will your supplication be accepted, and you will witness, just as we ourselves have witnessed, the wondrous nature of His infinite powers. In particular, our testimony regarding what we’ve witnessed is based wholly on first-hand experience; we do not furnish this declaration as an anecdote.
Consider a skeptic who doesn’t believe that God has power over all things. Pause and ask yourself why the prayers of such a man will be answered during times that try men’s souls, when the laws of nature seem pitted against him. Where will he find the courage to implore God to help him? But, O fortunate man, I entreat you to be not like that skeptic! Remember that your God is He Who has adorned the heavens with countless stars without any supporting pillars. Your God has created the world and the heavens out of nothingness.
Reliance on God
Do you, then, harbor any reservations, that God will be unable to answer your prayer? It’s verily your own mistrust that will keep you deprived of spiritual blessings. Our God possesses innumerable wondrous qualities, but only His devoted and faithful servants can witness those wonders.
God doesn’t reveal those wonders to those who do not believe in His infinite powers and who are not His faithful servants. In particular, wretched is the man who is unaware that he has a God who has power over all things. Our heaven and our sublime pleasures are in God. I say this because I have seen Him and witnessed every element of transcendent beauty in Him.
God is the treasure worth seeking, even if you have to perish in such a quest. God is the ruby worth buying, even if you have to lose your very existence in the endeavor. O deprived people, hasten to this flowing stream so that your thirst may be quenched! This is the stream of life that will save you. I yearn to communicate these glad tidings to the world. So that they should listen to me, with what tambourine should I herald to the people in the marketplaces that they have a God? And what remedial salve might I impart to them that they should lend me their ears?
Indeed, if you devote yourself to God, know truly that God is yours. While you sleep, God will keep guard over you. You will be unaware of your enemy, but God will watch your enemy and foil his evil designs on you.
You are still unaware of the powers that your God possesses. If only you knew, there would not be a single day in your life when you would feel harried by the worries of the world. Think for yourself, does the possessor of a vast monetary treasure wail in anguish at the loss of a single penny? So if you were aware of this treasure, that God is there to help you always, you would not fret over the world. God is a wonderful treasure. Value this treasure, and He will be your Helper in every step of your way; without God, you are naught, and your enterprise and planning futile.
Don’t imitate the nations that have placed their entire reliance and trust in materialism. These nations have foraged in the filth of materialism, just as a serpent forages for morsels in the dirt; these nations have chewed on carrion, just as vultures and mongrels gnaw at putrefying flesh.
And they’ve strayed far from God because they worshipped mortals and ate of the swine. They used alcohol as if it were water. They have perished spiritually because of their excessive reliance on worldly means and because they stopped seeking help from God. The manner in which spirituality has taken flight from their midst reminds one of a bare nest from which the dove has flown away. They have the leprosy of materialism in their souls, which has mutilated and severed their viscera; dread that leprosy. I don’t mean to discourage you from seeking worldly merchandise, provided you practice moderation.
But I do wish to dissuade you from devoting yourselves to the pursuit of materialism akin to those nations; they have ignored God Who, in the first place, has provided man with all the material blessings of the world. If only you could see, you would realize that it is only God Who is of the essence—I reiterate that God is of the utmost importance—whereas the rest is mere trappings. Without God’s command, you cannot even perform the simplest of tasks such as extending or folding your own arms!
I know that the spiritually-dead man will laugh mockingly at my statement. But it would’ve been better for him if he were to have died prior to his scornful mockery. So be warned! Don’t view other nations enviously—thinking, why, those nations have made giant strides in commerce—and do not reason that you should imitate them. Listen and understand that those nations are acutely ignorant of the God Who beckons you in His direction. Their god is nothing more than a mere, humble mortal. That’s why they have been left forsaken in their ignorance.
I don’t seek to hold you back from worldly ventures inasmuch as they enable you to earn your livelihood through the various trades and professions. But I do counsel you to avoid becoming followers of those for whom the world is the ultimate objective. You should instead keep up the practice of beseeching God for strength and assistance in all affairs, both worldly and religious.
But your pleas to God shouldn’t merely be ceremonial. Rather, as you entreat God, you should earnestly believe that every blessing in fact alights from the heavens. And you’ll become righteous only when veritable spirituality pervades your life: Prior to devising your own solutions to any new task that you undertake, and during every difficulty or predicament, you will implore God earnestly in solitude, and appeal to Him to facilitate your task and ease your difficulty through His favor. It is then that Gabriel will assist you, and some hitherto unknown way will be opened for you from the Unseen.
So act mercifully to your souls. Don’t follow those who have severed their ties with God; they’ve grown completely dependent on their own means to the extent that not even the phrase Insha’Allah (Godwilling, to indicate that one seeks assistance from God) escapes their lips. May God open your eyes so you can see that He is the principal beam—the beam that supports and stabilizes the framework itself—of all your human enterprises. If the principal beam is perchance removed, the rafters will plummet downward in the structural collapse; and then there’s the likelihood, too, of the danger that those beneath the roof will lose their lives.
Similarly, your plans and enterprise can remain intact only with God’s assistance. You’ll never see any success unless you make it your principle to seek strength and assistance from God. Otherwise, you will die with poignant regret. And do not fret over the worldly advancement of other nations that aren’t even aware of the God Who is your Almighty God; I realize that this might strike you as a paradox—their worldly progress despite unawareness of the One, True God.
The answer to this seemingly contradictory statement is that those nations have been placed in a trial right here in the world exactly because they have forsaken God. Trial from God is sometimes of the type that He opens the doors of worldly bounties for the man who deserts God, who gives himself up to the pursuit of worldly pleasures, and who is covetous of the world’s riches. But that man remains impoverished spiritually, and threadbare morally; he departs from the world even while he’s preoccupied with temporal concerns, and is eventually hurled into eternal hell. And sometimes trial from God is of the type that the man who is enamored of worldly pleasures suffers unspeakable failures right here in the world. Of these two trials, the latter is relatively less dangerous than the former because it is the more conceited man who faces the former type of trial. Nonetheless, the people who face either type of trial are those upon whom divine wrath is brought down. Keep in mind that God is the wellspring of true prosperity. Because those nations are unaware of the Ever-Living and Self-Subsisting God, and in fact ignore Him and spurn Him, they can never attain true prosperity. So congratulations to the man who understands this singular element of wisdom. And ruined is the man who does not understand it.
The True Philosophy
Similarly, neither should you follow the worldly philosophers nor venerate them; all such pursuits are lapses into folly—true philosophy is what God teaches you in the Holy Quran. Ruined are those who adore worldly philosophies, and successful are they who gleaned true knowledge and philosophy from the pages of the Holy Quran. Why do you tread on the trails of folly? Do you actually imagine that there are thing that God doesn’t know, and that you’re going to teach Him those things? Do you think too that you’ll find the true way by following the spiritually blind? O fools, how can the blind show the way?
The true philosophy, which has been promised to you, is gained through Gabriel. It is through the mediation of Gabriel that you’ll be put in touch with those pure branches of knowledge that remain inaccessible to others. Know that you will find this spiritual fortune if you earnestly beseech God. Then will you realize that it is this knowledge that refreshes and reinvigorates the soul, and reinforces one’s faith immeasurably. Pause and reflect: Surely the carrion-eater cannot bring you pure food; and the blind cannot lead you to the right path. Know that every iota of pure wisdom alights from the heavens, so don’t seek it among worldly people; those whose souls ascend to the heavens are the inheritors of wisdom. Surely those who are themselves unfulfilled cannot give you any solace.
You will receive all this, but first you must purify your soul, and you must demonstrate sincerity and piety. Do not think that God’s revelation has ceased9 or that Gabriel can no longer bring revelations into the world, though these revelations will not be prophetic in nature—God’s revelations to prophets (waheey an-nubuwwat, which is the revelation of prophethood that has brought revealed books into the world) ceased with Prophet Muhammad. I tell you verily that every heavenly door can close, but the door of Gabriel’s bringing revelations into the world will never close; God will continue to bless His righteous servants with revelations (waheey al-wilaayat, which is the revelation granted to saints). Fling open the door which leads to your soul that Gabriel may enter. Why do you shut the window to your soul, preventing rays of spiritual sunlight from gaining entry? O ignorant man, arise and fling open that window and allow spiritual sunlight to illuminate your soul! God hasn’t closed the avenues of spiritual blessings. He has, in fact, increased the number of such avenues for you.
Moreover, these are times when you desperately need spiritual blessings. Do you still presume that the avenues of spiritual blessings are now closed? The answer is that such a conjecture is absolutely untrue! In fact, the door that allows the passage of divine revelations has been clearly opened. Now that it’s been opened for you in accordance with God’s promise, in Al-Fatihah, of making you the beneficiaries of the spiritual blessings of all previous prophets, why do you refuse to partake of those blessings? Show your thirst for that spiritual stream so that its water may flow toward you; like an infant, cry for that spiritual milk so that your wails make the milk flow naturally; make yourself worthy of mercy so that God may deal with you mercifully; show anguish so that you may receive divine comfort; and implore God with tears and the wails of your soul so that the Divine Hand comes to assist you.
Admittedly, the path that leads to God is formidable. But it’s made easy for those who descend into this unfathomable well with the intention of causing their worldly desires to perish. Such people resolve to enter the fiery blaze that will incinerate their worldly desires, and that they will submit themselves to be consumed therein for their beloved God. And what do they presently witness? They see that this is the very heaven that God has promised:
And there is not one of you but shall come to it. This is an unavoidable decree of thy Lord. (Al-Maryam, Ch:19, Verse:71)
But that fiery blaze will consume those who live according to the dictates of their worldly desires. Blessed is the man who fights with his lower desires for the sake of God. And unfortunate is the man who fights with God for the sake of his lower desires, not conforming to God’s wishes. In fact, the man who evades God’s commandments and instead follows his personal desires will never enter heaven. To sum up, you should try hard to follow all injunctions of the Holy Quran so that no directive therein—in fact, neither a dot nor an apostrophe—stands witness against your soul.
That’s how you may escape divine retribution. Even an iota of wickedness makes you blameworthy. Not much time is left, and life is unreliable; walk swiftly, because the evening draws near. Thoroughly take stock of the deeds that you’ll be presenting before God. Fear the prospect that your spiritual baggage may somehow be unclean and meritless, unworthy of presenting in the divine court.
One thought on “TEACHINGS (PART ONE)”
Having been brought up in the Christian religion, I’ve long since ceased to believe in Christian mythology. I’m glad to see the ludicrous notion of Christ’s resurrection addressed in this thoughtful, analytical essay. As it states here, “the only way to put to sleep the notion of Jesus’ bodily ascension, preceded as it was by his crucifixion, is to acknowledge that Jesus has indeed died. What’s the benefit of asserting that Jesus was bodily raised to the heavens?“
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