April 10: The Essence of Worship of Allah
- ‘Surely, success does come to the believers, who are humble in their Prayers’ (Surah Al Mu’minun, verses 2 – 3) — The first of the aforementioned verses gives certain glad-tiding of success to believers. However, what sort of believers does it refer to? The verses that follow give out many conditions and requisites of being a believer. The first of these requisites or qualities that a believer must have is that they are humble in their Prayer/Salat. Being humble in this context usually means weeping during Salat, however, it has many other meanings and connotations and unless all of those are fulfilled, the true condition of being a believer is not achieved. Being humble signifies showing great humility, greatly lowering oneself, to negate one’s self, to cower, to try and make oneself lowly, to lower one’s gaze and to speak softly and quietly. Thus one word encompasses a wide-ranging framework of who a believer is. A person who turns to God with extreme humility and adopts the other qualities stated gains Divine nearness. This in turn will draw his attention that while paying the dues of God he also has to pay the dues of God’s creation. This will lead him to try and be an embodiment of what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expressed in an Urdu poetic couplet of his: “Envisage yourself to be lesser than everyone else, Perhaps this will gain you entrance in the abode of Divine union.” In addition to being humble in Salat, such a person will also try and practice humbleness in his daily life and will try and avoid all societal vices. He will be softly spoken and will shun arguments and confrontations. Indeed there are many ills which steer a believer away from the right path. It is people who maintain and uphold these matters who will be successful. The Arabic word فلاح falah (success) used in the aforementioned verse has wide-ranging connotations. It means state of ease, prosperity, good fortune, fulfillment of wishes, security, constant comfort and happiness and having life’s bounties. These are the varied benefits enjoyed by those who do good as bestowed on them by God. The first and significant step to attain these bounties is to be humble in Prayer. Please view 02:00—09:22 for a detailed explanation on this important point.
- Real فلاح falah is given to those who try and attain the beneficence of the Divine quality of Raheemiyyat (being forgiving), and for this the first requisite is to offer Salat with humility — Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) used to relate an account of an elder that shows that in appreciation of some good one may have done in one’s past, God can facilitate one’s reformation. The elder thus was included among those who get فلاح falah (success). Virtues from one’s past in spite of sins committed later on can save one from a bad ending and one can be among those who are given فلاح falah. This is dependent on the Divine quality of Rahmaniyyat (being Gracious). However, real فلاح falah is given to those who try and attain the beneficence of the Divine quality of Raheemiyyat (being forgiving) and for this the first requisite is to offer Salat with humility. Please see 13:24—18:37 to listen to the account of this elder in the context of Rahmaniyyat and Raheemiyyat.
- As long as man adopts a state of humility in Salat and during remembrance of Allah, he prepares himself for the grace of Raheemiyyat — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) writes: The first stage of a believer’s spiritual state is that humility, weeping and tender-heartedness which a believer experiences during Salat and remembrance of Allah. That is, to generate in oneself a spirit of supplication, poignancy, humility, extreme humbleness, meekness of soul, ardour and warmth. To assume a state of fear while turning to the Glorious God as this verse states: ‘Surely, success comes to the believers, Who are humble in their Prayers.’ (23: 2-3). That is, successful are the believers who are humble in their Salat and during remembrance of Allah and who are engaged in remembrance of their Lord with poignancy, tender-heartedness, ardor and heart-felt passion.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also wrote: ‘ eople who reflect over the Holy Qur’an may understand that the state of humility during Salat is like seminal fluid for one’s spiritual state. And just like seminal fluid, but in a spiritual sense, it has latent within it, all the powers, qualities and features to make a perfect human form. Just as seminal fluid is in a precarious state until it reaches the womb (uterus), similarly this rudimentary spiritual state, that is humility, is not out of danger unless it connects to the Ever Merciful (Raheem) God. It should be remembered that when God Almighty’s beneficence is granted without any effort, it is by virtue of the Divine quality of Rahmaniyyat. For example, God created the heavens and the earth for man or He created man, all this manifested by virtue of the grace of Rahmaniyyat. However, when a grace is bestowed owing to some practice, worship, spiritual exercise and endeavour, it is a beneficence of Raheemiyyat. This has always been the way of Allah for mankind. As long as man adopts state of humility in Salat and during remembrance of Allah he prepares himself for the grace of Raheemiyyat. The difference between seminal fluid and the first stage of the spiritual state is that seminal fluid is dependent on being attracted by the womb and this state is dependent on the pull of Raheem God. Just as it is possible for seminal fluid to be wasted before being drawn to the womb it is also possible for the first stage of the spiritual state, that is, humility, to be ruined before being connected to Raheem God…It is a grave cause for concern that often the state of humility is lost before being connected to Raheemiyyat and is ruined before the pull of Raheem God can work on it.’ (Baraheen e Ahmadiyya, Part V. pp. 188 – 190) Please view 18:41—28:20.
- One has to constantly try for the grace of Raheemiyyat and supplicate to God to cover us in the wrap of His grace and blessings because without it, we are nothing. It is God’s grace alone through which man’s constant efforts to draw the grace of Raheemiyyat is drawn and accepted — A true believer should always keep in view that no doubt God has stated that believers have attained فلاح falah, however in order to make this فلاح falah a constant part of one’s life, one should not attribute every achievement to one’s own efforts. Following every achievement one should consider that it was not one’s doing but came to pass with the grace of God. Otherwise our good practices may be wasted like seminal fluid which ends up in miscarriage. We should focus on our ending so that the grace of Raheemiyyat may accept our efforts and this process gives birth to a being which is complete in every way.And may we be counted among those who increase in humility as they develop in spirituality…It is essential for every true believer that the state of his heart before offering Salat and after finishing Salat is distinctly different. If there is any sign of egotism or suchlike before Salat, once Salat is finished the heart should be clear of any negative feeling. At the end of every worship of God one should have vanquished any arrogance and adopted humility. In our daily matters, we should be courteous to everyone, we should adopt humility to seek God’s pleasure, and the worship of God should continue to turn us to God so that we may be recipients of fresh blessings of the grace of Raheemiyyat. Each day should identify our weaknesses to us and enhance God’s grace on us. May God always make us those who engage in استغفار Istighfar (seek forgiveness) and may each virtue of ours, if it is a virtue in God’s sight, be a source of attaining God’s pleasure. May each one of us be among those who attain فلاح falah in God’s sight! Please see 30:53—37:28.
April 17: Khalifatul Masih II: Pearls of Wisdom
- When prayer is made with all its due requisites it can turn around the fortune of nations, and it is important to absorb all truths in order to progress as a community — For example, it is not simply sufficient to accept the death of Jesus (on whom be peace); in fact one should reflect over the death of Hazrat Jesus (on whom be peace) and try and understand why is it important to accept it! For one, the belief of Jesus being alive, is indicative of Jesus’ excellence over the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) although no Prophet of God had the glory of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). So, this thought is against Islamic belief and a thought we cannot entertain for a minute. To accept that while the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be him) is buried below earth, Jesus (on whom be peace) is residing on fourth heaven is a great violation of Islam. Secondly the idea of Jesus alive in heaven affects the concept of Unity of God, His Oneness. Had these points not been there we would not have cared if Jesus (on whom be peace) was in the heavens or on earth. But how can we abide by irreverence towards the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and something that is contrary to Oneness of God. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) says it seems as if ordinary Ahmadi do not feel passionately when discussing the death of Jesus (on whom be peace). He says he has seen the enormity of passion felt by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) when he discussed the matter of the death of Jesus (on whom be peace). He would quiver with the strength of emotion he felt, and his voice would be majestic as he explained that he had removed a huge impediment in the way to progress of the world. The world was in darkness and he was taking it towards light. Seeing the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in such fervor it felt that he was reclaiming the throne of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) from Jesus (on whom be peace). Please view 17:16—22:15 for a detailed explanation on this important point.
- A believer does not accept matters only through his power of reasoning, but looks at the truth of the Holy Qur’an — For example, using the concept of Jinn by way of illustration, Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) writes that of course the commonly held concept of Jinn is not correct. Of course people educated in the English medium would be convinced that there were no such things as Jinn. However, a believer does not accept matters only through his power of reasoning, but looks at the truth of the Holy Qur’an. If the Qur’an backs the commonly held concept of Jinn then we would say: We believe and we testify to the truth! However, if it is proven from the Qur’an that there is no other creation other than mankind, then this has to be accepted! Please see 28:47—29:35.
- Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) says that although the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said there were hundreds of thousands of signs in his corroboration, Hazrat Musleh Maud felt the signs were in fact countless — Those with understanding knew that hundreds of thousands of signs could be deduced from a single revelation of the Promised Messiah…The wise see great signs of God even in small matters and the foolish do not see anything even in large scale matters…Indeed, the entire locality of Qadian and all that there is in it, is a sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). His own estimation of the number of his signs was very modest. The Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) signs are so many that they are beyond human comprehension, and only God can measure them. Please view 35:47—48:05 to appreciate this important point.
Apri 24: Religion, morality and material success
- Youngsters and adolescents should try, in fact so should adults, to understand correct morals, material success and spirituality, to keep all three aspects within their context, and then put them all in practice in their daily lives — A question which is raised these days perhaps more than ever before by the young, those who have not had proper guidance and those who do not follow religion, is that since worldly education leads to good morals what is the point of abiding by religion? It is said that morals can be instilled without any religious education, in fact it is maintained that people who do not follow religion have better morals than religious people…Parents are not able to answer adolescents when they question them on these issues, either due to lack of time owing to societal or economic pressures or because they simply do not have the knowledge. Many a time rather than answer the adolescents, parents suppress them. This leads the adolescents to assume that although Islam claims to be the true faith with all the resolutions to problems, it does not have the answers in practical terms and in keeping with the times. Youngsters take all this in quietly but they have the freedom to do so, they distance themselves from religion. As a result in spite of Islam being a living faith we find people among Muslims who reject religion and existence of God. In light of this we all need to reflect as to how we should practice our faith and also inspire our youngsters to practice…Most certainly Islam is a perfect religion and the Holy Qur’an is a complete Book and the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), an embodiment of the Qur’an, is before us. It was the Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) blessed model that generated a revolutionary change in his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), they understood faith, they understood morality and they also progressed in the material sense. They kept all three aspects within their context…Youngsters should try, in fact so should adults, to understand correct morals, material success and spirituality and then put them all in practice. When youngsters will understand this point it will open up avenues of success for them and they will realize how beautiful the teaching of Islam is and they will recognize the lies of Islam’s detractors. Please view 02:00—11:55 for a detailed explanation on this important point.
- Islam alone makes the correlation between spirituality, morality and material success — However, a vast majority of Muslims do not understand the reality of religion and connect morality and material gain to religion rather excessively, so much so that they drive people away from religion. Please see 12:07—16:20. Reflecting on morality, spirituality and material success tells us that they are so intertwined that not everyone realizes where and how they are linked. We should look at the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to understand the correlation. He was the world reformer for spiritual, moral and material aspects. His blessed life is a composite of them all. Please also see 20:38—28:44.
- Contrary to the so-called religious leaders of today, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did not deem everything part of religion — For example, once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) saw some farmers pollinating date trees by bringing the male parts of the tree into contact with the female parts. He suggested to them to not do that and let the pollination happen naturally through wind. The farmers abandoned the practice, but that season they did not have good harvest. When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was informed of the reason of lesser yield, he said he had not commanded them to abandon the practice. He said their knowledge of these matters was more than his.Thus, here the material aspect has been separated from religious matters.Here was the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) telling people they knew more than him about worldly matters and we have Maulawis today who are ever ready to declare people disbelievers and apostates at the drop of a hat! And then there is the other side of the coin where Western world only emphasizes material success. Their philosophers say it is not a matter of how God created man, it is how man (God forbid) created God. They consider that man was in search of an excellent model and when this model was not found among mankind, thoughts went beyond the realms of humanity and gradually a perfect being was envisaged and this was deemed as concept of God. This is how these people have made the concept of God a material aspect. Gradually they turned away from religion and the current-day philosophers are inclined to atheism. Vast majority of people in the West do not believe in the existence of God and they consider morality and material success as everything. Whereas the current-day Maulawis are provocative and they make everything a religious matter. Please see 28:45—34:12
- God wishes to bring man closer to Him. For this He has made moral reformation and material success conditional to spirituality or being religious. God states a true believer is granted all kinds of success — We are fortunate as Ahmadis that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) guided us to follow the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who of course taught moderation in everything. He taught that most certainly worship of God is most important, it is the objective of our creation; however, one’s own self also has rights as does one’s wife and neighbors. In order to fulfill these rights we have to employ three kinds of resources. Firstly, prayer and worship of God; secondly, control one’s emotions and ponder over human psychology; and thirdly, to be honest in one’s employment or profession and seek knowledge of world sciences. If we ponder we realize that in order to fulfill our own rights, prayer and connection with God avails as does controlling emotions. Honesty at work can lead to us enhance our moral, spiritual and material life. Similarly, in order to fulfill rights of family, we pray, control our emotions and meet their material needs. Rights of neighbour/society will be fulfilled with prayers, paying their dues and trying to understand their mind-set so that the message of Islam may be taken to them appropriately. By working hard at work we become useful members of society, and when everyone practices this society becomes a model of morality, spirituality and material success. Please see 34:30—42:55 to understand this important point.