Advice for the Wealthy
O kings and wealthy people, only a handful among you fears God and obeys all His commandments! Indeed, most of you cherish worldly kingdoms and riches. You squander your lives in such pursuits, forgetting the reality of death. As such, each one of you who doesn’t keep up the five daily obligatory prayers will enter his grave with not only the burden of his own sins upon his neck but the burden of his servants’ sins as well. And each one of you who drinks alcohol with his subordinates will meet his death with not only his own guilt but the weight of their guilt as well. O intelligent people, mend your ways! This world’s life doesn’t last forever. I urge you to give up every immoderation and each excess. Eschew every intoxicant. Besides alcohol, intoxicants such as opium, hemp, marijuana, cannabis, and other addictive substances destroy man; they’re habit-forming, devastate the brain, and ultimately lead to man’s destruction. So guard yourselves against this evil. I’m at a loss to understand how anyone can use these substances—each year, thousands of drug addicts lose their lives, and the punishment in the next life is additional21.
Attain piety so that your lifespan may be increased and that you may receive blessings from God. To spend one’s life in immoderate luxury is to lead an accursed life; to practice excessive rudeness is to lead an accursed life; and to be unduly negligent of one’s duties to God is to lead an accursed life; and to be careless about extending sympathy to God’s creatures is to lead an accursed life. In the dispensation of justice in the next life, each wealthy man will be questioned—just like the pauper, but even more so—regarding his fulfillment of duties to others. Accordingly, ill-fated is the man who turns away from God, relying instead on the brief life of this world; who uses with great abandon those things that God has prohibited; who, when angered, shouts at others, injures them, and reaches the point where he is even prone to killing them; and who, during moments of lustfulness, sinks into abysmal shamelessness. Such a man will never attain true prosperity, and will die as a failed man.
Dear fellow men, don’t displease God, because the days of this worldly life are few, and most of them have already passed! Consider that if a government of the people—which has the obvious capability to overpower you—is displeased with you, it can crush you with the greatest of ease. So think for yourself: If you displease God, for Whom the governments of this world are trivial, do you have any chance whatsoever of saving yourself? However, if you indeed attain piety in God’s judgment, there is none who can bring about your downfall. In fact, God Himself will then protect you, and your bloodthirsty enemies won’t be able to harm you. Otherwise, there’s none who can save you, and you will live your life in fear of enemies; you’ll become entangled in problems and live in a state of unease; and your last days in the world will be tinged with resentment and grievous sorrow. On the other hand, God gives sanctuary to those who assist Him in His works.
In summary, I counsel you to seek God and to renounce your enmity to Him; don’t be lazy in fulfilling His commandment; do not oppress His servants through your words or deeds; and remain fearful of divine wrath, because this is the way to salvation22.
Some Thoughts for Islamic Scholars
O scholars of Islam, do not act hastily in falsifying me, because there are many hidden affairs of spiritual wisdom that man is unable to comprehend right away! Don’t remain prone to rejecting my statements outright, because that is not the way of piety. The truth is that if certain errors in belief had not become prevalent among you, and if you hadn’t misinterpreted certain Hadith reports instances, there wouldn’t have been any need for God to send the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, the arbiter (hakam).
Prior to you, the Jews had acted similarly by misunderstanding and emphasizing those matters that you now misunderstand and emphasize. Their fate should serve as a cautionary tale. More specifically, just as you await the physical return of Jesus to the world, so did the Jews await the physical return of Elias. They had asserted that the Messiah would come into the world only after the physical return of Elias; that anyone claiming to be the Messiah, prior to the return of Elias, was a liar. The Jews based this assertion on their tradition (Talmud), as well as on the revealed book, which is a compendium of Prophet Malachi’s revelations. But all these Jewish beliefs were proved untrue when Jesus claimed that he was the Promised Messiah of the Jews, and when Elias did not return physically from the heavens. And it became clear that the meaning of that particular Jewish belief was that another person, who would be the likeness—in terms of temperament and characteristics—of Elias, would appear, and not that Elias himself would return physically to the world.
This, then, was the explanation Jesus gave; only, now, you believe that Jesus himself is going to return physically to the world. Above all, why do you choose to stumble exactly where the Jews had stumbled earlier? Today, thousands of Jews dwell in the same land as you do; at your request, they’ll confirm that this particular belief of yours is exactly similar to their belief.
Recall too that God did not cause Elias to return physically to the world for the sake of Jesus. Accordingly, Jesus had to use parables in explaining the matter to the Jews. Similarly, God will not cause Jesus to return physically to the world for your sake. Yet, you are in denial of God’s decision in this matter. Hundreds of thousands of Christians inhabit the same land as you do. They will confirm that it’s stated in the New Testament that Jesus had said regarding Elias—who was supposed to return to the world—that John had actually appeared as the likeness of Elias. In saying this, Jesus dashed a long-cherished Jewish belief. Now, if we assume that your assertion regarding Jesus’ physical return to the world is correct, that would imply that Jesus wasn’t a true prophet of God—if it is actually part of God’s tradition that a prophet can return physically to the world, then why didn’t Elias return physically to the world, and why was the parable, that John was the likeness of Elias, used instead? This is a moment for every intelligent man to pause and reflect.
Likewise, your other belief regarding Jesus—that he will join hands with the Promised Mahdi and wage a war, forcibly converting others to Islam—is gravely damaging to Islam. I ask, where is it stated in the Holy Quran that Islam permits forcible conversion? Instead, God has said:
There is no compulsion in religion…. (Al-Baqarah, Ch:2, Verse:256)
So why would God give Jesus the authority to use forcible conversion, and that also to the extent that, other than giving the world the choice of Islam or the sword, Jesus supposedly won’t even accept an exemption-tax (jizya)? I ask, from where in the Holy Quran23—which section, chapter, and verses—did you find all these assertions? On the contrary, the Holy Quran is replete with the directive that that there is no place for force in religion. It clearly demonstrates that the wars waged during Prophet Muhammad’s time were not motivated by the notion of forcible conversion. Rather, there were three motivating causes:
- Some of those wars were fought to punish the enemy—punish those who had slaughtered a large number of Muslims, forced some Muslims into exile, and in general perpetrated atrocities against Muslims. God has said in this regard: Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made, because they are oppressed. And surely Allah is Able to assist them. (Al-Hajj, Ch:22, Verse:39)
- And some of those wars were conducted to defend against the enemy—defend Islam from those who were doing their utmost to extinguish the light of Islam.
- The remaining wars were waged to safeguard against the enemy that was forcibly preventing Islam from gaining inroads into their lands. Thus, war was waged in these particular cases only to preserve the right of self-determination of the Muslims.
Other than the wars motivated by these three aforesaid causes, neither Prophet Muhammad nor his blessed Caliphs ever fought a war. In fact, the Islamic nation stands unrivaled in history for the extent to which it has endured oppression from other nations.
O scholars of Islam, let’s revisit your belief regarding Jesus whereby you assert that he will join hands with the Promised Mahdi and wage a war, forcibly converting others to Islam; that they will massacre others indiscriminately to the extent that they won’t stop even if those who believe in other revealed books offer them an exemption-tax (jizya); and that Jesus and the Promised Mahdi will abrogate the following Quranic verse:
… until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. (Al-Bara’at, Ch:9, Verse:29)
What kind of supporters of Islam will these two persons be if they rescind—according to your assertion—Quranic verses that were not rescinded even during Prophet Muhammad’s time? And, despite all this upheaval, you still maintain that the Finality of prophethood will remain unscathed. Thirteen hundred years have passed since Prophet Muhammad’s time, and we now live in an era when Islam has fragmented into 73 sects. Hence, the objective of the true Promised Messiah should be to win the minds of people through compelling arguments, and not to wield the sword; it’s through convincing arguments that he ought to shatter the belief associated with crucifixion, instead of running around and smashing crosses made of silver, gold, brass, or wood! Besides, if you resort to force, it will suffice to prove that you don’t have any arguments to substantiate your claims24—every fool and oppressor, when he’s unable to furnish supporting arguments, reaches for the sword or rifle. Indisputably, the religion that seeks to spread through the sword can’t be from God.
But o scholars of Islam, if you cannot abstain from your distorted interpretation of jihad (the word jihad actually refers to the carrying on of a struggle to achieve nearness to God, to subdue one’s passions, and to win over the disbelievers), and if you brand the righteous people as heretics and Anti-Christs (dajjals), then I conclude my address to you with this Quranic verses:
Say: O unbelievers. I serve not that which you serve. (Al-Kafirun, Ch:109, Verses:1, 2)
Now, will your imaginary Jesus and the Promised Mahdi spare anyone from the sword? Will the Sunnis not deem the Shiites as deserving of being put to the sword? And, likewise, will the Shiites not consider the Sunnis as deserving of being slain with the sword? So where will your jihad lead you when your internal sects oppose each other to the extent that they consider each other as punishable? Remember, though, that God does not need the sword. God will spread His faith, Islam, through divine signs, and there’s none who can stop Him.
Jesus Christ will not Return
Remember too that, most assuredly, Jesus won’t return to the world, because Jesus’ admission—which is recorded in the Holy Quran in the words that “… but when Thou didst caused me to die, Thou wast the Watcher over them.” (Al-Ma’idah, Ch:5, Verse:117)—demonstrates that he won’t return to the world. And regarding his nation, Jesus’ excuse on Judgment Day will be that he wasn’t aware of his teachings undergoing distortion while he was alive; the fact is that it was only after Jesus’ death that the Christians perverted his teachings. Now, suppose for a moment that Jesus were to actually return to the world, prior to Judgment Day; could he still maintain his statement that he wasn’t aware of his teachings being distorted while he was alive? Hence, in the preceding Quranic verse, Jesus plainly acknowledges that he will not return to the world—if he were to return, prior to Judgment Day, and dwell in the world for forty years, he would, God-forbid, be guilty of telling God an untruth when he states that he wasn’t aware of his teachings getting distorted while he was alive. Instead, Jesus ought to have said that, at the time of his second advent, there were approximately 40,000,000 Christians abiding in the world, and that he was fully aware of their having perverted his teachings; that he is worthy of reward because he subsequently converted all Christians to Islam and, furthermore, smashed the crosses of the world. Proceeding along this line of reasoning, why would Jesus tell an untruth by saying that he wasn’t aware of his teachings getting distorted while he was alive?
To sum up, the foregoing Quranic verse contains Jesus’ plain acknowledgement that he will not return to the world. And the truth is that Jesus died and his grave is located in Mohallah Khan Yar in Kashmir, India25. Now, God Himself will come into the world and fight with those who fight with the truth. And for God to fight is not objectionable, because it is in the sense of His manifesting divine signs in the world; but man’s fighting is indeed objectionable, because it’s in the sense of displaying brute force.
Regrettable Behavior of Maulvis
The behavior of the maulvis (religious clerics) is regrettable. Had they been pious, they would have approached me to help them remove their doubts regarding my claims. Others, who were indeed pious and truth-seekers, were satisfied in their queries, and God granted them spiritual satisfaction. But those with dispositions similar to Abu-Jahl’s (one of the earliest enemies of Islam; the words Abu-Jahl literally translate as father of ignorance) behaved, alas, in a manner strikingly similar to his way. For example, a maulvi from the city of Meeruth sent me a letter by registered mail, advising me to participate in a religious debate—as part of a public convention that will be hosted by the religious organization called Nudwaat-ul-Ulema—in the city of Amritsar.
So let it be clear that if the intentions of those opposing maulvis had been noble, and if those maulvis hadn’t been motivated by lowly considerations of worldly victories and defeat, they would’ve realized easily that there was no need whatsoever to resort to the auspices of Nudwaat-ul-Ulema, etc., for the purpose of receiving satisfactory answers to their questions. I don’t consider the religious scholars of Nudwaat-ul-Ulema as distinct from the religious scholars of the city of Amritsar; they all subscribe to the same beliefs, and they are all kindred souls. Every person in this realm should feel free to come visit our town, Qadian. Indeed, they should come here as truth-seekers, and listen to my religious discourses that their doubts may thereby be dispelled; they should not come here for the purpose of fueling needless religious argumentation and debate. If doubts still linger in their minds, they’re welcome to seek our help in dispelling those doubts. But it’s incumbent upon them to maintain decorum and civility. Moreover, they will be treated as our guests during their stay here in Qadian. I reiterate that we don’t stand in need of the auspices of the convention that will be hosted by the Nudwaat-ul-Ulema, etc.
Alas, they all are inveterate enemies of virtue and rectitude. Nonetheless, righteousness continues to spread in the world. Is it not a magnificent sign of God that, 20 years ago, I had chronicled and publicized that particular divine revelation in my book titled Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya? That revelation prophesied that people would exert their utmost effort in trying to defeat my purpose, and that God would ultimately cause a large religious organization to grow around me. And this is a divine revelation dating back to the time when I was alone in my religious endeavor. Then I published my religious claim and, sure enough, the opponents left no stone unturned in trying to thwart my purpose. Eventually, in accordance with this divine revelation, my religious organization indeed grew significantly—today, the number of my adherents in the realm of British India exceeds 100,000.
If the members of the Nudwaat-ul-Ulema believe in the accountability of deeds in the next life, they ought to look again at my book Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, study the various official documents, and then tell me if this is a miracle or not? In particular, now that this miracle has been set forth, in addition to arguments furnished from the Holy Quran, why is there a need to engage in arguments?
Similar is the situation, regrettably, of the hereditary religious leaders (pirs) of this land. They are detached from the true practice of religion, and remain so immersed in their deeds of religious innovations as to be oblivious to the burdensome difficulties under which Islam is pinned down. For example, here is an example of what you’ll find if you happen to pass by the gatherings of these self-styled leaders: their disciples trying to coax music out of fiddles, others banging busily on drums, and yet others striking tambourines with their hands, fatuously singing in chorus.
In summary, you will observe all sorts of religious innovations being practiced. But you won’t find any discussions taking place on the Holy Quran or Hadith (recorded sayings of Prophet Muhammad). Yet, these same people brazenly claim to be the leaders of Muslims, boasting that they are firm adherents of Prophet Muhammad’s tradition. What’s more, some of these leaders even dress up in feminine clothes, color their hands with henna, and wear bangles on their wrists. Even worse, they prefer the narration of inane poetry to the recitation of the Holy Quran. One is disheartened upon witnessing people cling to such regretful practices.
But I assure that—in spite of all these religious innovations that are entrenched in society—God will be the Supporter of Islam, and He will manifest His miraculous powers.
Some Advice for Women
The women of our era are also entangled in certain religious innovations. For example, they view polygamy with repugnance, and evidently don’t even believe in it. But they do not realize that the divine law contains the remedy for every social ill.
Hence, if Islam did not permit polygamy, certain social maladies would’ve gone untreated. Consider, for example, the circumstances that are created when a man’s wife becomes mentally deranged; if she develops leprosy; if she’s afflicted by some severe sickness that completely incapacitates her; or if some other dire situation arises wherefore she becomes worthy of mercy, but is wholly incapacitated, though. And if the husband finds great difficulty in the ensuing celibate life, then he too is worthy of mercy. Under such circumstances, human needs being what they are, it would be cruelty toward the husband to forbid him from a second marriage. Indeed, it was in view of such circumstances that the divine law includes this allowance.
Moreover, in the analogous situation, there is an allowance for the woman too: If her husband is somehow completely incapacitated, she has the authority to seek divorce (khulaa, the divorce obtained at the wife’s initiative) through the mediation of the relevant official; khulaa is the counterpart of the divorce that is initiated by the husband.
Divine law can be likened to a pharmacy—the store can run successfully only if it contains the remedy for every sickness. So reflect and decide for yourself if it isn’t true that certain difficult circumstances do arise sometimes, compelling men to enter into a second marriage relationship.
The New Testament permits divorce only in the situation in which fornication has been committed. But there’s no mention therein of the multitude of other situations that can arise and which, if not handled properly, can lead to untold bitterness and enmity between the husband and wife. In keeping with the aforesaid observation, the Christian nation couldn’t tolerate this deficiency in the New Testament. And divorce was eventually made permissible in America through the passage of new laws—think for yourself how this reflects on the teachings of the New Testament. O women, you needn’t worry in this regard, because the Holy Quran, unlike the New Testament, doesn’t stand in need of human tampering and compensatory actions! Just as men’s rights are protected by the Holy Quran, so too are women’s rights protected by it. Thus, if the wife is displeased by her husband’s second marriage, she may seek divorce through the mediation of the relevant official. Regarding divine law, it was God’s responsibility—in ensuring that divine law should not remain imperfect in any way—to account for all the various situations that could arise. So, O women, do not complain to God when your husbands decide to enter into a second marriage relationship! Instead, you ought to pray to God that He should protect you from trials and tribulations. The man who enters into a second marriage relationship, and then is unable to be fair to both wives, is undeniably cruel and blameworthy. But I counsel you to avoid disobeying God lest you become blameworthy yourself, thereby provoking God’s wrath. Don’t forget that every mortal will be held accountable for his deeds. If you please God by remaining pious, your husband, in turn, will gravitate toward piety.
Even though divine law permits polygamy, because of the various considerations, the divine law of qazaa-wa-qadar is still open to you. If you’re unable to endure the precepts of the divine law, turn to the divine law of qazaa-wa-qadar and derive benefit from it. Indeed, the latter can even encompass—as a subordinate 99
component—the former. I also advise you, O women, to embrace the ways of piety; don’t allow your hearts to become overly fond of the world and its adornments; do not exhibit any clan-based pride; do not ridicule or sneer at any other woman; don’t make demands on your husbands as are outside their financial means; try hard to spend your lives in chasteness and virtue; do not be sluggish in the upkeep of divine commandments such as the obligatory prayers and the giving of the poor-rate (zakat); be unreservedly obedient to your husbands, because, to a great extent, you’re directly responsible for their honor; act with admirable responsibility in the upkeep of this duty of obedience so that your names are recorded honorably in the heavens; don’t resort to prodigality; don’t spend the earnings of your husbands on needless purchases; do not embezzle money in any way; do not steal; and do not slander any woman or man.