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Great Mujaddid [Mujaddid-e-Azam] -- Vol. 3
of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
> Chapter 2: The Basis of the Holy Imams
Dialectics (Ilm al-Kalam)
Books Section > The Great Mujaddid [Mujaddid-e-Azam] -- Vol. 3 [Biography of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian] by Dr. Basharat Ahmad Sahib > Chapter 2: The Basis of the Holy Imams Dialectics (Ilm al-Kalam)
A review of the literature and books written by the Holy Imam clearly shows that his dialectics is free of the exaggeration of the Hanabilah on the one hand, and the deficiency of the Mu'tazilah on the other. It is based on a moderate view as taken by the Ashairah and the Mataridiyah schools of thought. Yet he is not bound by any one of them. Like Imam Ghazali, he wants to harness modern Western philosophy to the service of Islam and like Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, he makes all possible efforts to prove the truth of Islam. Hazrat Mirzas style is unique in this respect. Though Imam Ghazali harnessed Greek philosophy to the service of Islam, yet the basis of his arguments was the same Greek philosophy. Similarly, it is the way of all the dialecticians of Islam that the foundation of their dialectics are based upon the accepted philosophies of their times.
But the correct intuitive insights of the Holy Imam concluded that the dialectics which is based on worldly, mundane philosophies has a foundation that is like an undercut sandbank sooner or later it is bound to collapse for philosophies change with the change of time and with the change of peoples knowledge and thinking. What appeared to be very reasonable yesterday appears like a childs fantasy today. Take, for instance, the very case of Greek philosophy, how until recently its every statement was considered to be on the same level with divine revelation and inspiration, but today it is considered a collage of childish ideas and a play on semantics. And consider Western philosophy, too, how till yesterday what was considered an undeniable truth has been blown away like dust by the latest findings.
When the materialists of the West set their stamp of approval on the idea that matter is eternal, the Muslim ulama and leaders like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Maulana Shibli surrendered in abject acquiescence to this notion, their inferiority complex not letting them stir up enough moral courage to stand up against it. They were browbeaten by Western philosophy. But had they been alive today, they would have seen that it has been proven by the same materialistic people that matter is not eternal; rather, it is composed of minute particles called electrons, and when one comes to the end of the research one finds that matter is a form of energy, and the two are interchangeable. In other words, this whole universe is a display of energy emanating from some Great Source. This Great Source has willed that energy should take on various forms of matter. The greatness of matter can be gauged from the fact that if we can somehow gain access to the energy stored in a drop of water, a large ship will be able to go around the world eight times by using this energy. But we are not able to harness this stored-up energy yet.
Maulana Shibli, while supporting the Mu'tazilah and rebutting the arguments of Imam Ghazali in favour of the creation of matter, writes with great pride that "we do not observe any matter being annihilated into nothingness." But were he to observe the decay of radium through radiation, he would have to retract his argument. Yet I must make one observation about this argument by the Mu'tazilah. While the Mu'tazilah mock at the Hanabilah, Mushabbah or the Zahiriyyah schools of thought for their view that God has hands, eyes and ears, though the last named maintain that this is only a conjecture they have made relying on their finite wisdom, but they do not know the reality as it exists, still the notion of these people that one should imagine God to be comparable to human form is laughable in the eyes of the Mu'tazilah. It is all the more surprising that when they come to the question of Gods knowledge and power, the same Mu'tazilah begin to measure it according to human standards, saying that since we cannot destroy and annihilate matter, therefore God also cannot create or annihilate matter. Is this not the same logic as presented by the Mushabbah Zahiriyya? If they consider God to have hands, eyes and ears because we humans have them, they are dubbed as fools, for this leads one to accept that God has a corporeal body and leads to His being limited in space and thus finite. On the other hand, the Zahiriyya consider these sensory organs of God to be infinite. Yet the same Mu'tazilah consider Gods power and knowledge to be finite like human power and knowledge, because they measure His power and knowledge by comparing these to human power and knowledge. Still, they consider themselves to be full of wisdom and intelligence. Their argument is erroneously based on the assumption that since man cannot create or annihilate matter, therefore God also cannot do so.
The logical conclusion of this is that God does not possess more power or knowledge than human beings. Therefore, some of these Mu'tazilah believe that God does not possess a detailed knowledge of His creation, thus making God finite and as a result, depriving Him of His Godhead. Instead of laughing and mocking at their own lack of wisdom, they laugh at the Hanabilah. There are many instances of such unjust attitudes of the Mu'tazilah. For example, in the time of Caliph Mamun Rashid, the biggest argument given by the Mu'tazilah in favour of the Quran being a creation of God was that God has declared Himself to be the Creator of everything in the Quran. So, how can the Quran be considered to be outside His ambit? However, the Quran, being the word of a non-created Being, it ought also to be considered as non-created!
Still, I do not wish to enter into this discussion at this juncture. Here I only want to highlight the fact that when the Mu'tazilah were forced to accept the Quran as created because of the verse, The Creator of everything, why did they forget this verse when it came to accepting that matter is also a creation of God? It was so because they were at that time very much influenced by the logical arguments based on Aristotle and Plato and no one was there to draw their attention to the Quranic truths. If matter is some tangible thing, then why should God not be its Creator? To this, these advocates of reasonableness have given us two childish lollipops:
One is that the question of the eternal existence of matter or its creation is not an Islamic question. But this is totally wrong. If matter is eternal like God, and a non-creation, then it is another god and this is against the doctrine of tauhid (monotheism), and it amounts to atheism. Because if matter is eternal, then it must be conceded that its properties are also eternal. Thus, we do not need God for the purpose of changing matter into various forms, and even if we did, there is no need to believe in Him, because out of these two eternal entities, one does not enjoy the right to rule over the other, whereas God, Most High, says in the Quran: O people! Serve Allah your Lord Who created you and those before you, perchance you may guard against evil and keep your duty (2: 21). That is, man is bound to worship his Lord because He is mans Creator. If He is not the Creator, then He controls neither good nor evil for us. So why should we subject ourselves to the useless rule of an impotent god? The fact is that materialism and atheism are both born out of the theory of the eternal existence of matter and it is the root cause of the lack of spirituality and God-gnosis among mankind.
The second childish lollipop that these people offer to us is that though both God and matter are eternal, yet one is the Cause and the other the effect, and their relationship to one another is like the relationship between the key and the lock. The turning of the key and the opening of the lock are simultaneous, but one is the cause and the other the effect. What an excellent example of the deceptive tactics of philosophy. Let us get out of the labyrinth of semantics and try to solve this problem.
The question is whether God is the Creator of matter or not; whether He has created matter out of nothingness, instantly or gradually, and if He has not, then what is the object of giving this example? We are not discussing whether there is any interval of time between Gods act and the result thereof. The question is whether God has the power to bring matter into existence out of nothingness. And if He cannot, and if He is dependent on some matter or spirit to bring this universe into being, then where is the aptness of this example of the key and the lock? It is just a labyrinth of semantics.
Scientific progress has brought about such rapid changes in philosophy that it would be a mistake to base any religious dialectics on this philosophy. During the time when the Holy Imam was still alive, materialistic philosophy not only considered matter to be eternal, but it also considered time and space to be so. But today, just as the theory about the eternity of matter has been discarded, similarly the very existence of time and space has been challenged. Einsteins theory, which has gained wide popularity, is that time and space are not entities in themselves. These are neither matter nor energy; rather they are symbols that delimit certain finite things. Just as the three dimensions length, breadth and height are accepted as three defining parameters of a finite thing, similarly the fourth dimension, that of time and space, is also a defining parameter. So time and space are the names of delimiting parameters of material things, and have no independent existence of their own.
Dayanand Sarsawati had based his religious doctrines on the eternal existence of matter, the spirit, time and space, but today this foundation has been totally demolished because of the collapse of the eternity theory. Now the Arya Samajist may well try to draw out a fresh thread, like a spiders web, and try to make the web stand, but all these old threads have been snapped.
The Holy Imam did not know English, nor had he studied the present-day books of science and philosophy. He was like a recluse, living in a remote hamlet away from the populous cities, but he was vouchsafed the knowledge from God, the Wise and All-knowing, that it is a mistake to base religious dialectics on philosophy and science. He gave out a clarion call that the Holy Quran was a perfect book, and whatever it states or claims, it provides the supporting arguments itself. It is not befitting a perfect book that it should look towards its followers for supporting arguments to back up its claims. The Holy Quran says: The month of Ramadhan is the month in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proof of the guidance and the Criterion (between Truth and falsehood) (2:185).
In other words, the Quran not only provides universal guidance to the whole world, but it provides the supporting arguments and proof itself. Not only does it provide the rationale for its verities, but it proves false the teachings of other religions which may go against its guidance and thus sets up a criterion between truth and falsehood.
The Quran is not dependent on the dialectics of anyone, but it contains its own dialectics within its covers, so the Holy Imam declared that the dialectics presented by him is no other than the dialectics of the Holy Quran. Any philosophy which agrees with the Quranic philosophy is true, and any philosophy which is opposed to the Quranic philosophy is false, whether it be the philosophy of Aristotle or Plato, or whether it be the philosophy of Europe or America. Not only did he make a claim to this effect, but he always acted on this principle. Whenever he wanted to address any question, he would first go through the entire Quran, keeping the question in mind, and would try to find out what the Quran had to say about the question and what arguments it gave about it.
Whatever verses he found to be relevant he would note down. Only then would he proceed and write the thesis.
This style is to be found in all his writings. In his first book, Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, a challenging treatise, we discern the same Quranic philosophy at work. In the great religious debate between the Holy Imam and Deputy Abdullah Atham on the topic, "Islam versus Christianity", held in Amritsar in 1893, a debate which was later published in book form under the name Jang-i Muqaddas (The Holy War), the Holy Imam challenged his opponent to the same thing, that is, he told his opponent that it was the duty of a perfect divine Book that it should give supporting arguments to back up the religious doctrines and principles propounded by it and not look to its believers to provide the arguments in favour of the claims that it makes. It should also prove fallacious any claims made by other religions that are counter to its own claim. "We will provide the rationale for the true teachings of Islam and the rebuttal of the false doctrines of Christianity from our Holy Book, the Quran, and the arguments in support thereof will also be provided from the Quran. So if the Evangel is a perfect Book, then bring forth the supporting rationale of the special Christian doctrines and also the rebuttal of special Islamic doctrines from your Book, and give supporting arguments from the Book as well," he challenges. The book, Jang-i Muqaddas, is even today available in the market and anyone who wishes to examine it may do so.
The Holy Imam kept to those principles throughout that debate. On the other hand, Deputy Abdullah Atham could not take even one step in that direction. Hence that debate proved to be a great victory for Islam.
In December 1896, a great religious conference was held on a grand scale at Lahore. In it all the major religions were represented and the following five questions were set:
1. What are the physical, moral and spiritual conditions of a human being?
In that debate, the condition was that every spokesman of a religion should answer the questions by referring to his own divine Book. But none could fulfil this condition except the Holy Imam. Every spokesman tried to give whatever replies he could to the best of his ability. But firstly, none of them referred to his revealed Book, and secondly, the answers were sketchy, incomplete and unsatisfactory. Whatever was presented was the brainchild of the spokesman himself.
However, the entire thesis presented by the Holy Imam in answer to these questions was taken from the Quran. Whatever arguments he gave were taken from the Quran and the answers were so complete and satisfactory that the entire assembly, Muslims and non-Muslims, were unanimous in their verdict that his thesis was the one that reflected the essence of the entire conference. Even the English press admitted this fact.
In short, this was the style of his dialectics, even to his last day, and this was the strategy that he taught to his disciples. I think it will be appropriate here to mention some special features of his dialectics.
upon arguments offered by the Quran:
A researcher, instead of trying to interpret the Quranic verses to fit these philosophies, should look for the fault in these philosophies. He emphasised that such a research was bound to succeed because the Quran, which is the Word of God, could not be wrong. On the other hand, philosophy, a man-made discipline, could be wrong. In this matter, the Holy Imam was in fact treading the path of the prophets because it is an admitted fact in the eyes of all Muslim scholars that a philosopher leads the argument from outward observation towards the inner aspect, and a prophet argues from his inner experience towards the outward and the tangible. For instance, a philosopher, observing the universe and the principles of nature, may infer that there ought to be a god. But a prophet, because of his inner spiritual experience, by developing a personal relationship with God and by knowing Him through his inner senses, reaches a stage of perfect certainty and God-gnosis and declares to the world that God exists. If he now gives some further arguments in favour of the existence of God, he would do so by basing them on his personal spiritual experience. The conclusion drawn from his arguments cannot be wrong because his inner eyes have been opened and he is arguing while actually seeing or perceiving God.
On the other hand, a philosopher is like a blind man, groping in the dark, trying to discover some argument. It is quite possible that he may or may not find correct arguments by this blind search and he may or may not draw the correct conclusions from these. That is why God, Most High, has differentiated between a prophet and a philosopher in the Quran: Can a seeing man and a blind man be alike? (35:19). A man, seeing an elephant, says "This is an elephant," and if he now gives arguments to this effect to explain an elephant to some blind men, he would be doing so by basing it on his actual visual experience. But if some blind men try to discover an elephant by groping around its body, and if, on touching its leg, they take it to be something like a column, or like a rope on touching it on its trunk, it would not be surprising. Thus the difference between a philosopher and a prophet is the same as the difference between a blind man and a man with his sight. God, Most High, told the Holy Prophet in the Quran: Say: This is my way. I invite (you) to Allah (basing this invitation) on actual experience, I (do so) and also those who follow me (12:108). Hence all those perfect followers of the Holy Prophet who had tasted of the spiritual experience based their invitation to men on this personal experience of God and their spirituality.
But prior to our present times, those personal experiences were kept confidential and those saints avoided presenting their personal spiritual experiences to the public. For instance, Imam Ghazali says in a very muted way that "I have had the taste of the spiritual through mysticism and spiritual exercises," but he is not very open about it, limiting himself to just hinting at it. In these times of ours, when materialism and atheism are at their zenith, the followers of these creeds contemptuously demand from the followers of spirituality and God-gnosis that the latter should back up what they claim by actual empirical evidence based on experience and observation. The materialists openly declare that unless a claim is supported by experience and observation, mere verbal talk and philosophical arguments definitely cannot satisfy anyone, because both parties have arguments on their side.
At such a time the Holy Imam made a bold announcement: "I have had the honour of going through the spiritual experience and observing it, and I achieved this through following the Quran and the Sunnah, an experience similar to the one claimed by the prophets and the saints of long ago, so whatever I am presenting to you is based on my personal experience. Along with the Quranic philosophy, I am presenting to you my personal spiritual experience and observation, because the religion presented by the Quran is not limited to philosophy. In fact, it is a regular science based on reality and it leads its followers to those heights of spiritual perfection to which it claims to lead."
How full of certainty are the following Urdu couplets of his:
Ham nay Islam ko khud tajrubah ker kay daykha
When the Holy Imam argues from the Quran, he has the knack of stating very intricate and delicate points in very easy and simple terms so that both an esoteric person and an unsophisticated one can equally benefit from it, and his arguments are in complete consonance with common-sense, reasonableness and intellectual axioms, yet so simple and easy to understand, that they go straight to the heart. The well-known Urdu poet, Ghalib, says in the following couplet:
Daykhna taqrir ki lazzat keh jo usnay kaha
His theses and arguments were always free of the conundrums of the theorems and the terminology of Greek philosophy. Rather, he developed those arguments from the Quranic verses so deftly that it left one wonder-struck, realising that though one had these Quranic words before ones eyes all the time yet ones mind never thought of these meanings. His explanations and exegeses would be based on such clear-cut and obvious axioms that one marvelled at how such an obvious explanation had escaped ones mind and one felt as if someone had removed a veil and made the arguments visible. Such is God-given knowledge, which in keeping with the promise contained in the Quranic verse: On Us devolves the task of explaining it (75:19). This is vouchsafed to certain persons with the help of the Holy Spirit. No human mind can fathom it.
Moreover, his style of writing and his choice of expression are so simple and so appropriately worded that one does not even have to tax ones mind in the least to understand him. Unlike some literati, he does not aim at impressing the reader with his excellence of knowledge and learning, nor trying to adorn his writing with couplets from famous poets, but he expresses himself in easy flowing Urdu, using apt and eloquent expressions. His style is so effective and charming that the theme penetrates ones mind like sips of a delicious drink, and has such a supernatural effect and light in it as to make ones spirit dance with ecstasy. The intelligence of the reader follows him with ease, without straining his intellect. Soon the reader finds himself at his destination regarding the question under discussion. Keeping in mind all the doubts, misgivings and objections which may arise in peoples minds about the question under discussion, he goes along shedding such penetrating light upon all of them that the reader finds the question answered fully and without even having taxed his own mind.
The Holy Imam did not believe in indulging in tawil (that is, interpreting a thing by taking it away from its obvious meaning). The term tawil, though its Quranic meaning is "the underlying reality", has been used by Muslim dialecticians to mean "turning language away from its apparent meanings". That is, wherever some meanings do not conform to proven logical axioms, then the language should be turned away from its apparent meaning to some inner, allegorical or metaphorical meaning. The Holy Imam did not believe in indulging in this practice of tawil, for nothing in the Quran is against common-sense or against accepted logical axioms. However, if any word occurring in the Quran is explained in another place in the Quran itself, this cannot be called tawil, but is called exegesis through the Quran. Every word has several meanings, and no intelligent person would call it tawil if the speaker himself tells us in what sense he has used a certain word.
The Holy Quran has itself clarified this point in the verse: He it is Who has revealed the Book to thee; some of its verses are decisive they are the basis of the Book and others are allegorical. Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow that part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it their own tawil (interpretation). And none knows its tawil save Allah, and those firmly rooted in knowledge. They say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord. And none mind except men of understanding (3:6). That is, those firmly rooted in knowledge and blessed with intellect believe that since the allegorical verses are from the Lord, how then can anyone interpret these in a way that would be against the verses with a clear import, for God is free from contradicting Himself, as the Quran says: Had this Quran been from someone else besides Allah, they would have found a lot of contradictions in it (4: 82).
So, in order to arrive at the real meanings of allegorical verses, it is essential that we refer to the sayings of the Speaker, Himself, that is, we should look for an explanation of the allegorical verses by referring to the decisive verses. Consequently, it was the Holy Imams practice to bring the allegorical verses under the dictates of the decisive verses, and he would thus find the appropriate meaning of a word that had many meanings. For instance, when faced with the allegorical verses about the power of raising the dead vouchsafed to Jesus, he looked at the decisive verses of the Quran in this context and found the verse: And it is forbidden to a town which We destroy: they shall not return (21:95). Again, he found the following decisive verse in another place in the Quran: Allah takes (mens) souls at the time of their death, and those that die not, during their sleep. Then He withholds those on whom He has passed the decree of death and sends the others back till an appointed term (39:42). From this we can infer that once a person is afflicted with death he cannot return to this world. Similarly, there is the verse: And before them is a barrier, until the day they are raised (23:100), meaning that no man will return to this world after death and he will stay in barzakh (the intermediate state) till the Day of Resurrection when he will be raised. Hence, if it is said about any prophet that he used to raise the dead, it cannot mean that he used to bring literally dead people back to life to this world, but rather, the intention seems to be that he used to give life to the spiritually dead. A similar power is ascribed to the Holy Prophet in the Quran: O you who believe, respond to Allah and His Messenger, when he calls you to that which gives you (ah-ya) life (8:24). Here, the obvious meaning of ah-ya is giving spiritual life.
So, when the Quran itself explains the meaning of the word mau-ta, we cannot say that tawil has been indulged in by giving to it the meaning "spiritually dead". Instead, we would call it an interpretation of the Quran by the Quran. When the Book itself attributes a certain sense to a word and negates all others, this cannot be called tawil. Instead, we will call it exegesis.
Another principle that the Holy Imam highlighted when arguing from the Quran was that there is no verse that is abrogated, and none that supersedes an abrogated verse. Unfortunately, when some of the exegesists found two verses to be contradictory in their view, they declared one to be abrogated and superseded by the other, even though there is no authentic hadith reported from the Holy Prophet abrogating any verse or superseding it by another.
There is no mention of abrogation of any Quranic verse in this verse of the Quran: Whatever ayah (message) We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or one like it (2:106). Rather, it pertains to the abrogation of old religious laws like the Mosaic Law. The people of the Book used to get angry on finding commandments in the Quran that were not contained in their Books or were against them. So God, Most High, has made the rationale of this process clear in this verse; that is, that some of the old commandments that have been omitted in the old Books or which people had forgotten, have again been revealed in the Quran, and certain commandments that were specific for a certain people or for a certain time were cancelled and better and more universal laws were revealed instead; laws that would suffice for all humanity and for all times. What is mentioned in this verse is not the abrogation of certain old religious laws like the Mosaic Law, otherwise the words, We bring its like, would become meaningless. When a likeness was to be brought in, the act of abrogation becomes meaningless.
The Holy Imam not only presented this concept by way of a doctrine, but he and his disciples, working under his guidance, corrected this erroneous concept by bringing all those verses that were considered abrogated or those supposedly superseding the abrogated verses into conformity with one another. He further made it clear that no verse of the Quran is abrogated nor does any other verse take its place, and no command of the Holy Quran is such as may be considered outside the Holy Book and yet, according to some orthodox maulawis, obligatory in the matter of compliance. This last view is an entirely false notion.
The Holy Imam established another principle that should be observed when arguing from the Quran, and that is, he made a distinction between what is against common-sense and human intellect, and what is beyond our intellect. He first enunciated this principle in his book, Surma Chasma-i Arya. A summary of this concept is that to declare anything which we do not understand to be contrary to common-sense and human intellect is not prudent. Unreasonableness and contrariness to our intellect is one thing, and something being beyond our understanding and intellect is another. A fact contrary to common-sense and intellect is one that is against the known principles of knowledge and against obvious common-sense axioms.
For instance, two and two are four and if someone says these add up to five, then this is something against our intellect and worthy of rejection. But it would be foolish to reject that which is not against known principles and to reject something reasonable which we do not find in our daily lives, or is beyond our understanding and knowledge merely on the ground that our intellect cannot fathom its reality. We should not do so because firstly, our human intellect is finite. Secondly, the ambit of knowledge and intellect is different for different persons; a thing which is incomprehensible to one is easily understood by another. Thirdly, due to constant scientific research, what at one time were incomprehensible things to us are now part of todays knowledge. For instance, when wireless communications were invented, the inventor was considered mad, and scientific circles, considering it against common-sense and intelligence, made a mockery of it. But today, the same thing is considered a major scientific invention. Hence the wireless was not against common-sense and intellect, but at the time of its invention, it was beyond our comprehension and intellect. Eventually our intellect grasped its reality when it got fully informed of the scientific knowledge underlying it.
There are hundreds of such similar matters pertaining to the spiritual sphere that are no doubt beyond our comprehension and intelligence but this does not mean that these are against common-sense and human intellect. Scientific and scholastic discoveries and spiritual experimentation eventually make the human intellect grasp these matters. What the human intellect was unable to understand at one time, it had to bow its head to it eventually. Hence to keep on hurriedly interpreting every spiritual matter or supernatural miracle materialistically is a cardinal mistake.
The Holy Quran mentions the Sunnah (Practice) of Allah and very emphatically it says: Thou would not find a change in the Sunnah of Allah (33:62). The earlier Mu'tazilah and the present-day Mu'tazilah (that is, Sir Syeds Naturalists) have taken this to mean those laws of nature that philosophy or science keep discovering through their limited experiments and observations. Therefore, these people have tried to make tawil of those verses of the Quran that they find contrary to the laws discovered by materialist sciences, and distorting the meaning of the Quranic verses, they try to make these conform to materialistic philosophy and science. This is a fundamental mistake. The limited vision of man cannot possibly encompass all Gods laws of nature.
The laws that we know today may take on another hue tomorrow. There are hundreds of subtleties hidden within these, subtleties that even years of study may not enable man to grasp. Along with these, there are other laws that we do not notice but which become apparent with the passage of time. Thus, it is a grave presumption and a mistake to call the man-discovered laws of nature as Allahs Sunnah. Maybe the two could be the same, but it cannot be said so with certainty. Who can claim that man has discovered every aspect of Gods law? Therefore, Allahs Sunnah mentioned in the Quran is definitely not the laws so far discovered by the finite intelligence of man. This Sunnah refers to those laws which are mentioned by Allah in the Quran. It can be said with certainty about the Sunnah of Allah, stated in the Quran and based on Gods perfect knowledge, that this is Allahs Sunnah because Gods knowledge cannot be defective. For instance, God has stated in the Quran the following Sunnah of His: He withholds him on whom a decree of death has been passed (39:42). That is, God, Most High, does not send back to earth anyone who has been afflicted with death. So this will now be termed as Allahs Sunnah and since His Sunnah does not change, we are forced to interpret those verses of the Quran in which mention of raising the dead is made to mean not the physically dead but the spiritually dead. Thus, by indicating the correct sense of the term, Allahs Sunnah, the Holy Imam closed the door on unjustified tawil, and made the exegesis of the Quran free of subservience to the materialist laws of nature.
The Holy Imam promoted the principle that the original philosophy is the one expounded by the Holy Quran and all the other philosophies, be they Greek or European, are subservient to it. "Accept man-made philosophy," he said, "if it conforms to the Quranic philosophy. Wherever the two do not conform, reject the man-made philosophy and get busy in trying to discover its flaws," was his advice. But the arrogance of the human intellect was not prepared to tolerate this, and it tried to measure the Quranic philosophy according to its own standards, and was inclined to declare the Quranic philosophy to be wrong when it did not conform to artificial standards.
It therefore became necessary to propound such arguments and signs in favour of the Quran being a book sent by God as would make this fact crystal clear and would create a living and perfect faith about the Quran in the hearts of men, a faith that would prepare them to accept every Quranic principle and doctrine without demur and debate. Once a perfect faith in the truth of the Quran is aroused in the minds of men, a definite result would be that man would never give precedence to any man-made philosophy over the Quranic philosophy, because mans knowledge has no significance in comparison to Gods knowledge. In fact, it is a human weakness that all sorts of doubts and misgivings are aroused in the mind by the objections of diverse philosophers. But a staunch believer and a visionary cannot at all be perturbed by such objections.
The Holy Imam used to say that any verse of the Quran which becomes a target of a detractors objection indeed possesses a treasure of verities and subtleties which are hidden from his eyes. By virtue of the objection, a visionarys attention is drawn to it and he finds the treasure through thinking and meditation. In other words, the objection falls on this hidden treasure like a pickaxe, causing all the hidden treasures to be dug out.
Hence, unless this faith is there, man is not prepared to give precedence to the Quranic philosophy over man-made philosophies. It is therefore essential that one should develop a faith and a gnosis that are based on certitude. The Holy Imam says in his book, Izalah-i Auham:
"My dear ones! The sterile logic of this world is a Satan. And the ephemeral philosophy of this world is like Iblis. It greatly covers the light of faith and gives rise to bravado and takes one close to atheism. So you should guard yourself against this and develop a humble and meek heart and become such that you obey the commandment without dispute and dissent, just as a child obeys his mother."
There can only be two ways to develop such a living faith: one, to bring forth such arguments and proof in favour of the Quran being from Allah as would make hearts bow before it; and two, to prove the Quran to be from Allah through the display of supernatural heavenly signs. These heavenly signs can be divided into two categories, as God says in the Quran: We will soon show them Our signs in the afaq (farthest regions) and among their own people, until it is quite clear to them that it is the Truth (41:53).
In the afaq (remote regions, heavens) means that God, Most High, keeps displaying hundreds of heavenly signs in every epoch as proof that the Quran and the Holy Prophet were sent by Him, and by among their own people is meant that thousands of people became heirs to all the spiritual perfection, which was promised in the Quran, by completely following the Holy Prophet and the Quran, and all those spiritual states which seemed impossible to achieve were attained by these followers.
It was this reason that made the Holy Imam spend all his energies on proving the Holy Quran to be the Word of God. His first challenging book had this issue as its main theme and its name was Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah 'ala Haqiqatul Quran wan-Nubuwwatul Muhammadiyyah (Ahmads Proof about the Reality of the Quran and the Prophethood of Muhammad). In this challenging publication, the Holy Imam has given three hundred arguments in favour of the Holy Quran and the prophethood of Muhammad. To anyone who cherished the ambition to demolish any of these arguments, he offered a reward of ten thousand rupees. In this book, in addition to the arguments, he has also included the heavenly signs that God, Most High, has manifested, from time to time, in support of the Holy Quran and the prophethood of Muhammad. These signs are both personal and heavenly. In the personal category, he has presented his own prophecies and spiritual observations and experiences and has written:
"I have attained this spiritual perfection through closely following the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, and if the ultimate objective of religion is to develop a personal relationship with God, I have, by following the Quran and the Holy Prophet, achieved this objective. There is no other religion in the world that can transport a man to these heights. Islam is the only living and true faith, a faith by following which one attains to God-realisation."
How forcefully he states this theme in the following verses, originally in Urdu:
We have let our imagination traverse the universe,
The Holy Imam not only presented his own observation and personal spiritual experience as proof of Islam being a living and a true faith, but he also challenged the opponents of Islam to come to him and remain in his company to observe fresh heavenly signs in support of the truth of Islam and observe his spiritual experiences from close quarters. And if nothing was witnessed as promised, he was prepared for a hangmans noose round his neck and to compensate the observer financially for his wasted time.
How forceful are the following verses on this subject:
O visitor, if you come to us,
This was a great challenge that could not have been issued except by a perfect mujaddid and a man blessed with glorious God-gnosis and spirituality.
It is also a fact that many intellectuals, philosophers and atheists, who were Muslim in name, became men of knowledge and God-gnosis through his spiritual friendship. Among these was the late Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. He was an atheist and was prepared to become a Christian for worldly gains when he happened to glance through Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah. His thoughts took a sudden turn and he presented himself before the Holy Imam. He attained such God-gnosis and faith in the company of the Holy Imam that he abandoned his prosperous law practice and took up residence in England to preach Islam and thus become a source of guidance to hundreds of Englishmen.
This impact of the Holy Imam is not limited to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din alone. Hundreds of philosophers and atheists became blessed with true faith and God-gnosis and sacrificed all their worldly interests for the true faith of Islam. Another of them is Maulana Muhammad Ali, who enjoys international fame for his services to the faith of Islam.
There is not a person who, having remained in the Holy Imams company for some time, did not witness the spiritual experiences of the Holy Imam according to his own capacity and efforts, and who did not partake of the living faith in a living God to be found in the Holy Imams company. This was the faith which was reported in the Hadith as having gone up to the Pleiades and which was brought back to this world by a son of Persia (that is, the Holy Imam).
The Holy Imam laid great emphasis on the need to inculcate in the hearts of men such a living faith in the Quran being from the Lord through arguments and heavenly signs that they would begin to give precedence to the Quranic philosophy over every mundane philosophy. Moreover, wherever there was a contradiction, they should not get upset and make the Quranic philosophy subservient to the mundane philosophy, but they should get busy in research, and discovering the flaw in the mundane philosophy, they should disclose it to the people. In this way, not only would the people progress in their faith, their God-gnosis and their religious knowledge, but when the flaws of the mundane philosophies were pointed out, the tendency of the materialists would be to hasten towards religion, and especially Islam. Thus progress would be made both in the worldly as well as the spiritual spheres.
The results of the
Holy Imams new dialectics:
The task of the propagation of Islam can also be divided into two categories: one, to preach the Islamic doctrines in their original sense and in a very reasonable way, so as to leave no room for denial by an intelligent person, and this sensible teaching should be derived directly from the Quran and the Hadith, without any tawil and distortion of meanings; and two, to adopt such ways and means as would help in the propagation of Islam.
Its defence against
The second enemy is the Christian religion, which has helped the growth of atheism and materialism.
Another is the Hindu religion, which could boast of nothing except idol-worship and a lot of superstitions. It was for the reformation of these very shortcomings that Dayanand Sarsawati laid the foundation of the Arya Samaj. Since no virtue or perfection could be found in their own faith, the only way for survival for the Arya Samaj was to follow in the footsteps of Christianity and by carrying out attacks on other religions, especially Islam, to prejudice their own followers so that they would deem it prudent and safe to stay in their ancestral religion.
Then there is Sikhism, which in fact is an outcome of Islamic interaction with Hinduism. It is not a regular religion because it has no religious law of its own. In fact, it is another form of mysticism. But in the present times, it has taken on a political hue and in order to subjugate Muslims, it adopted enmity towards Islam as a policy.
Buddhism is another enemy of Islam. Though it has not mounted a direct attack against Islam, and contains nothing but idol-worship, yet, because its idea of nirvana enjoys a certain amount of popularity among the philosophers, it comes in conflict with Islam in the area of principles.
The sixth enemy of Islam is Bahaism, which is in fact an offshoot of the Muslim sect, the Shiites. But now they have separated themselves from Islam and call Islam a fruitless tree and think that Islamic Law and the prophethood of Muhammad have been abrogated and superseded.
In addition to these, there are the Jewish and the Magian religions. But since they are, like Hinduism, confined within a particular community, and are not proselytising religions, they do not come into conflict with Islam. Secondly, with the passage of time, their original form has been completely disfigured.
Whether it is a country or a religion, two strategies are usually adopted for its defence: one, a defensive strategy and two, an offensive strategy. Unless both these strategies are adopted, a complete defence of religion cannot be ensured. That is, firstly, the objections of the antagonists should be rebutted and the truth of Islam be thus established, and secondly, the hostile religion should be proven to be false by attacking its principles. The Holy Imam used both these strategies very well in the defence of Islam.
The Holy Imam used to answer each objection both by way of scholastic research and also by counter-objection. To him it was not enough to make a reply through a counter-allegation, because, he argued, if someone calls us one-eyed, and if in return we also call him one-eyed, this is in a way an admission of our weak point in that we have tried to silence the opponent by pointing out a similar defect in him. If it is in fact something objectionable, then the objection still stands. The defect itself is not removed by merely saying to the opponent that the same defect exists in him. Hence a counter-allegation is only desirable when a researched reply has already been made. It ought to be proved that either the objection itself is a lie and a fabrication, or, if such a thing does exist in Islam, to which the detractor is objecting, then it ought to be proved that the very act of raising the objection is a mistake, because his viewpoint is not right, for the way the doctrine is found in Islam is in itself a reasonable and desirable thing. Whatever is said against it is condemnable and nonsensical. Having done this, if there is still the need for a counter-allegation, then it is worthwhile, because this would be tantamount to saying that the weakness and defect which was put forth about us is not to be found in us, but is certainly present in the objector.
If one goes through all the Holy Imams writings, the same strategy is found to be at work in every one of them. He would first consider the enemys objection with the clinical eye of a researcher, that is, to see whether such a thing existed in Islam. If it did, he would get hold of it very boldly and would then discuss it with such criticism and research that he would throw light on all aspects of the problem, so much so that his discussion always forced all sensible people to bow their heads in agreement. His discussion used to be couched in such simple and straightforward terms, quite free of illogical twists and turns, that both the untutored and the philosopher would benefit from it. If in comparison to it something contrary was to be found in the objectors religion, he would ensure that the absurdity of such a defect was thoroughly highlighted.
Once, when the objections made by the Christians against Islam were collected, they reached several thousand, but the Holy Imam was not upset for a moment on reading these. He answered all these questions with great certitude and ease of mind in his various books from time to time in such a beautiful manner that the reader begins to marvel at it. And as stated above, he always remained steadfast in his dialectical style of replying, on the basis of the Holy Quran, to all objections. Whatever the question under consideration, he would go through the entire Quran, keeping the question in view, and would make notes on it. He would then make the relevant Quranic verses the basis of his thesis. The objections would be answered through a researched reply in the light of the Quran and the refutation of the false notions of the objector would also be based on the Quran.
This was in accordance with the Quranic claim contained in the verse: The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the Criterion (between truth and falsehood) (2:185). That is, the Holy Quran not only contains universal laws and principles for all peoples for all times, but whatever guidance has been given is justified and supported by arguments and signs. Not only that, the Quran has differentiated between truth and falsehood by proving the falsehood of anything against the Quranic teachings which is to be found in any religion. In short, the Holy Quran is such a perfect book that it not only gives guidance but gives the rationale of the guidance also, and rebuts and proves false any doctrine opposed to this guidance and does not look towards its followers to do so.
This ultimate perfection of the Holy Quran, which had escaped the notice of the Muslim dialecticians for the past thirteen centuries, was first highlighted by the Holy Imam. And the secret of the external success of the dialectics developed by the Holy Imam lies in the very fact that it is founded on the firm and unshakable arguments of the Holy Quran which no human philosophy can challenge.
Philosophies keep on changing and it is quite possible that our observations and experiments may be wrong, but it is not possible that the knowledge and wisdom and the philosophy propounded by God, Most High, could be wrong. As the Holy Quran claims: Falsehood cannot overtake it, neither from the front nor the rear (41:42). Hence the Quran is not vulnerable from the front nor the rear, neither outwardly nor inwardly, neither now nor in the future. It states further: But We strike falsehood with Truth, so it crushes its skull and it (the falsehood) flees (21:18). Hence the dialectics whose foundations are based on the Quranic philosophy cannot be rendered ineffective even till the Day of Resurrection, and the beneficence of this service to the faith and this dialectics extend right up to the Last Day.
So, if in this context it is said that the Holy Imam was the Khatam al Khulafa (Last of the Caliphs) in the continuing chain of the caliphs of Muhammad, that is, the Muhammadan Caliphate ended in his person and now no caliph of Muhammad would come who would change this dialectics, it would be in order to say so. The prophecy in the Hadith, that there would be a war between the Mahdi and Satan in the Last Epoch and that Satan would be killed, does not mean that all the entities that motivate evil in this world would be wiped out, but what it denotes is that whatever onslaughts would be mounted by Satan against Islam would be met by the weapon of this new dialectics, which would provide a permanent antidote to them.
But atheism is such a thing that, though counter-arguments in favour of the existence of God seem quite reasonable, and when one looks at Gods universe ones heart cries out that there must be a creator of the universe, yet, until and unless observation and experience testify that the God Who is the Creator and the Lord of this world really exists, ones heart is not fully convinced and set at rest. Philosophys reach extends only to the point that it can say that there ought to be a creator of this universe and there could be a relationship between God and His servants, but a full conviction about this fact cannot be had except through the testimony of some visionary who has undergone the spiritual experience.
That is why God, Most High, has always selected the prophets and the saints, men with spiritual experience, who, after having had the spiritual encounter and having witnessed the Unseen, came and testified before the people saying: "God is a real entity. We have found Him and He converses with us." Philosophers were never able to produce godliness in people. Mere philosophy cannot generate that certitude and satisfaction in human hearts as is produced by the spiritual experience of the prophets.
Hence, is it not essential in the present times, when atheism is at its zenith, for God to appoint some seer who would declare to the world, basing this declaration on his personal observation and experience, that: "I have found God and He talks to me," and would thus establish firm belief and faith in God in the hearts of men? Is it not a fact that just a few years earlier the grip of religion was so firm in peoples hearts that even if someone wanted to remove the power of religion, he could not?
The belief in God was imbued in the nature of men. But nowadays, the materialists of Europe, with all their material progress and glitter, have promoted atheism as a symbol of fashion and wisdom in a manner that has affected a whole multitude of the modern educated classes with this Dajjaliyyat (Anti-Christ syndrome). As this syndrome permeated and subverted human hearts and intellects and caused human nature to be suppressed, the inner voice of nature also abated, and the grip of religion and the belief in Gods existence continued to grow weak. Many men, enamoured with the new materialistic society, shut their eyes and ears to religion and became atheists and agnostics. That is the reason why even among religious-minded people, inaction, self-indulgence and love of material gains became rampant. Mere philosophy was not enough to wipe out this worship of the world, this agnosticism, atheism and materialism.
In these times, science is supreme, and today, more than ever, everyone demands proof through observation and experience, and questions why now, when atheism is reigning supreme and the existence of God has been denied, does He not signal His Presence and thus guide the world? What has happened to His attribute of Hadi (Guide)? If His Holy Person cannot develop a relationship with the worldly, why does He not light up the heart of some saint with His Light? So, if He does not exhibit Himself to anyone, why should we not agree with the proposition that the life-details of the religious leaders of the past and the stories of their relationship with God and the illumination of their hearts with Gods Light are all stories having no reality? And if these were real, then why has this practice of God changed now?
It is true that the religion of Islam has already attained perfection and the need for prophethood has ceased to exist, but, in order to keep a perfect and complete religion alive, it is still essential that God should illuminate the hearts of some men in every epoch with His Light and should continue to demonstrate His existence through heavenly signs. If this is not done, religion would take on the complexion of a story and would be erased from the world and from the hearts of men, especially in these times when there is a tempest of atheism raging all around the world and no religious philosophy remains acceptable unless accompanied by personal spiritual experience and observation.
At just such a time, how appropriate and how commensurate with the need of the times was the call made by the Holy Imam, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, which proclaimed: "God has illuminated my heart with His Light and He talks to me and has appointed me so that I should declare to the world on the basis of my own observation and experience, that God exists and He is a Living God. Even today He discloses Himself to His chosen servants and answers their prayers and converses with them as He spoke to His servants in olden times. Hence I am a person who has undergone the spiritual experience and whatever I say is not based on mere hearsay, but I speak from personal experience and, having personally felt the Person of God, I give the glad tidings to the world that I have realised the Living God and He is to be found through following Islam. Whoever wishes can come to me and can satisfy himself both through arguments and spiritual experience."
In this context, I will produce a couple of quotations from his writings:
"The real motivating source of the fervour of my sympathy is that I have discovered a gold-mine and I have come to know of a treasure-trove of jewels, and I have fortunately come upon a glittering and priceless gem from this mine, and were I to distribute it among my brethren, each one of them would become richer than the person who owns the greatest amount of gold and silver today. What is that Gem? The True God. To realise Him means to know Him and to have true faith in Him and to develop a truly loving relationship with Him and to receive such vast riches that it would be very unfair if I keep mankind unaware and deprived of this bounty" (Arbain, No. 1).
In this epoch of materialism, when all the sciences are based on observation and experiments, the mere rhetoric of the ulama and the theologians and the arguments of the philosophers cannot produce certitude and satisfaction in the hearts of men until and unless someone with spiritual experience gets up and announces: "By treading on the path taught to me by Islam, I have discovered that Living God Who is the Master of the entire universe and whoever wishes can come to me and satisfy himself."
He publicised this invitation to the public hundreds of times, and once he made this request in the following verses:
O visitor, if you come to us
These were the doctrines that established and solidified the foundations of every religion revealed by God, because the principle that upholds the foundations of religion is faith in a Living God. If there is no faith in God and His revelation, the whole edifice of religion comes crashing down to the ground.
The Holy Imam has done a great favour to all the revealed religions in that he has set a seal of authenticity on the truth of every revealed religion. He did this by claiming to have discovered a Living God and by claiming to be in touch with Him through revelation, and by proving this claim to communion with God by propounding diverse arguments and by showing a multitude of heavenly signs, because initially, every religion which is based on revelation, was founded on righteousness and reality, and was not a fabrication. It is another matter though that, with the passage of time, it has become completely disfigured, but when it first came to this world, the person bringing it was not a forger, but a righteous person.
It was this feat of the Holy Imam that made fair-minded and research-oriented atheists bow their heads before him and made them see the Face of God. By the blessings of his company, they were vouchsafed such God-realisation and belief in His unity that, sacrificing all their worldly interests, they set their faces towards serving the faith. They turned out to be such beacons of light that they became instrumental in guiding whole multitudes, lost in the wilderness of deviation, back to the right path. One from among these is Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, the Muslim missionary based at Woking, England, whose services to Islam as a missionary in Europe have been universally acknowledged. How apt is this couplet of his in praise of the Holy Imam:
If you want to see a heavenly sign
Refutation of the
Dev Samaj and the Brahmo Samaj:
Victory of religion
The proof of the strength and power of these arguments is the fact that he issued a notice, while setting forth these arguments, promising that anyone who managed to rebut successfully any of these arguments would be paid a reward of ten thousand rupees. It was a grace of God that no atheist or opponent could refute any of these arguments. However, it is true that the last weapon that he used to strike at the root of atheism, after which it could never recover, was the public disclosure of his own spiritual experience and testimony, that he had found God and that He speaks to him. This was what caused the religious argument to triumph over the apologists for agnosticism and atheism.
Victory of Islam
over all other religions:
"I have myself put Islam to the test and have realised God through following the Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. He is the God Who is the Creator and the Master of the entire universe. So I am calling all men to God, basing my call on my personal observation, and whoever wishes can come to me and put my spiritual experience to the test. Today, there is no other religion except Islam through which one can realise God. If there is any claimant, let him confront me."
But it is a fact that no claimant came forward to confront him. They kept criticising him from a distance, but none dared to come near this lion of God.
If one goes through the Holy Imams writings, one finds them full of such announcements. Below is a sample of his verses:
We ourselves have put Islam to the test.
These were the various factors that carried the argument home to followers of all other religions. Though every follower of every religion makes verbal claims of God-realisation, to challenge the whole world, basing ones challenge on ones personal spiritual experience and observation and to invite them to God and His Messenger is a work that can only be accomplished by those who have been purified and sanctified by Gods Own Hand, and who are appointed for the service of His faith by God Himself. This is not a job for any maulawi, mullah, pir (religious guru) or any fakir. In fact, it can be accomplished only by one who is in communion with God and who has been made to stand up for proclaiming the Word of God and for the service of the faith by God, Himself.
became critical of this victory of
Today, in this age of materialism, the biggest reason for the rejection of religion is this very denial of divine revelation. The philosophers of these times, whether they be Muslims like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, or non-Muslims like Mahatma Gandhi, have conceded the possibility of divine revelation, but they have given it nothing more than the status of "an inner voice", that is, that it emanates from within the human consciousness and then affects it.
Therefore, the foremost duty of the Holy Imam, who had been appointed by God to the office of the Mujaddid of the Fourteenth Century, was that he should bolster this foundation of religion and should elucidate and prove the fact that the chain of prophethood and divine revelation and inspiration is true. That is, God, Most High, has been entering into dialogue with His chosen servants, and since His attributes are perpetual, therefore, even today, He continues to converse with His chosen servants. There is no doubt that prophethood has come to an end and religion has been perfected because there remains no need for prophethood, but the revelation granted to saints still continues. That is, by way of giving glad tidings, the divine dialogue between man and God still continues in the same way as long ago, so that it can be an argument in favour of the chain of prophethood and so that the certitude and God-gnosis of man can be perfected.
The Holy Imam laid great stress in his writings and speeches on this fact and vehemently declared in this age of materialism and agnosticism that God speaks even now, as He did in the past, and proclaimed very loudly: "I am an experienced person in this field, having had personal spiritual encounters," and along with these, he presented his divine revelations, dreams and visions in which the news of coming events had been foretold, and he also produced witnesses to these in order to prove their authenticity. He challenged all atheists and materialists to come to him and stay with him in order to satisfy themselves over the truth of his divine revelations. Along with it, he also announced that divine revelation is not the name of any "inner voice" but it comes from external sources in the form of words and comes down on the inner consciousness of the recipient. However, this external voice comes in a manner just as a telephonic voice comes from an external source, and this could be called a spiritual telephonic message that is received by human consciousness. It is similar to the way the inner eye sometimes sees, while one is fully awake, scenes about coming events and sometimes sees some scenes from the spiritual world. We get news of such unseen matters through such divine revelation and inspiration as are beyond human power to know in normal circumstances. Sometimes a question and answer session can take place during this spiritual state of revelation which can go on between a human being and his Lord. Also, there is a wonderful majestic light which accompanies the divine words of God and one is so certain of its divine origin that this certitude enters ones consciousness like a steel peg. Gods acts support this divine revelation. That is, anything that is foretold comes about as foretold, and if there are any impediments and difficulties in the way of its fulfilment, God, Most High, removes them through His Omnipotent power to prove the truth of His Word. It is then that one develops a living faith in Gods Word and His existence, and this faith is the root of all good deeds and high morals. By developing a high degree of God-gnosis and instilling His love in mens hearts, He makes them heir to all those rewards and spiritual progress for which they have been created by God.
Therefore, it is this ability to communicate and converse with God which provides the truest testimony, a testimony which sets up an argument for the truth of religion and for the chain of prophethood. Otherwise, anything that is not observed and experienced takes on the garb of mere stories, and does not lead men to absolute certainty.
Nazism, Fascism and Bolshevism:
Since man is blessed with intellect and the ability to discriminate and has the capability to execute every work through the exercise of his will and resolve and also has the capability to distinguish between good and evil, therefore, God, Most High, did not give the guidance necessary for him to attain to his purpose of creation (and thus become a vicegerent of God) in the form of instinct, but He gave it to him in the form of knowledge. He was given such knowledge through divine revelation and inspiration, and having been informed of the purpose of his creation, he was shown all those paths that are necessary to gain Gods pleasure and for the realisation of his own potentialities. He was placed in this world so that he could attain to this ideal through the exercise of his common sense and his efforts.
Similarly, the Holy Imam also proved the fact that today the said purpose, goal, progress and perfection can be attained by mankind only through Islam because Islam is the only true, complete and living faith which is existent in these times.
Thus Nazism, Fascism, Bolshevism, etc. which are not derived from divine revelation and are products of the human mind, automatically stand annulled and are proven false. Their own mutual differences of opinion prove that the true path to mans destination has been lost in these mutually contradicting opinions.
It is axiomatic that mans mentality develops according to the environment and education that he gets, and the human mind develops a certain plan of action for the attainment of objectives that are set before a particular people. Hence, such groups that devise a certain plan of action and make regulations for it and then act upon these regulations cannot be said to have developed a new religion. Religion is the name of God-given guidance, guidance which comes down to a prophet through divine revelation and inspiration, and cannot be the name of human imagination and concepts. Nazism, Fascism and Bolshevism are all products of the human mind. When compared to them, we find some religions and principles, which are proven by servants of God to be from God, and when these servants of the Almighty confirm them through logical arguments, and heavenly signs and prove that the salvation of mankind lies only in acting upon them, then these human inventions all stand nullified.
Today, by the grace of God, the reality underlying Nazism, Fascism and Bolshevism and the culture and morality spawned by them have been completely exposed. World War II has highlighted the brutality and shortcomings of their principles. This is the result of the beseeching of the man of God who was appointed by the Almighty to carry out this mission.
Below is an instance of the Holy Imams entreaties that he rendered originally in Persian:
O my life, my heart, my mind, let every particle of my being be sacrificed for Thee, by Thy Mercy.
The grand earthquake which has been supplicated for from God, Most High, in these verses has manifested itself in the form of the First and the Second World Wars that find no parallel in the history of the world. In Arabic Lexicon, "earthquake" denotes every calamity which causes a commotion and which gives rise to a great revolutionary change. The Holy Imam, referring to this very calamity, says in one of his writings:
O Europe! Thou art not in peace,
Does World War II not prove the truth of the above words, letter by letter?
Again, he has the following to say in another poem:
My heart aches terribly on seeing the dire trouble in which our religion is,
The "loving zeal of God" has manifested His sign of death in the shape of this world war, from which neither Asia nor Europe nor the dwellers of the Pacific Isles have been spared. God knows how far this great calamity will spread its tentacles. Is it not true that this war has manifested the deviations and errors of the civilisation and culture spawned by Nazism, Fascism, Bolshevism, atheism and materialism?
Eventually a critic like Bernard Shaw had to cry out: "What this world needs for achieving an end to mischief and strife and for attaining world peace and security is the dictatorship of Muhammad." And the learned author of Whither Islam had this to say: "Our present civilisation cannot survive until the spirituality of Islam is included in it."
After all, whose victory is it? Islams. And the result of whose prayers? The result of the same Hazrat Mirza who had said:
Pray shake the foundation of the enemies through earthquakes
See how the nature of these "enemies" is being motivated and is moving towards Islam. What is in store in the future, God alone knows, but Hazrat Mirza had already said this, after getting information from God:
The fiery passion of my heart has eventually shown some effect
Though Christianity was also a national religion because it came to the Israelites as such, yet the Israelites did not accept it. Consequently, its followers found that the only way for survival was to spread it among the sun-worshippers of Europe, so they mixed the beliefs of the sun-worshippers with those of the Christian religion and thus tried to make Christianity popular among the sun-worshippers of Europe. The only change they made was to put Jesus in the place of their god, Apollo. However, they left the rest of the principles and doctrines of the sun-worshippers intact. The result was that Christianity spread in Europe and the European powers turned it into a powerful world religion.
Keeping their past successes in view, the supporters of Christianity tried to spread it throughout the whole world, and in this endeavour, their chief rival and antagonist they found to be Islam, which forcefully rebutted this new Christianity which was nothing but a new form of sun-worship and, wherever Islam went, Christianity kept receding and vanishing.
Hence, the Christian clerics employed all their resources to oppose Islam since they had no forceful arguments to offer, for they had nothing to offer but sun-worship, superstitions and misleading beliefs. For instance, the sonship of God and the doctrine of atonement were all beliefs borrowed from the sun-worshippers; therefore Christianity could not hope to cope with a unitarian and reason-based religion like Islam that abounded with arguments and proofs.
They, therefore, as far as politically possible, obliterated Muslims by the sword and stifled the call of Islam by force (as in Spain), and in places where they could not employ force, they tried to turn peoples minds against Islam by diverse fabrications and by forging false accusations against the Founder of Islam.
Though their own religion in reality was a copy of the sun-worshipping cults, yet they spread the false propaganda in Christian countries that Islam was a religion based on sun-worship. Though they themselves made Jesus into God and started worshipping him, yet they said that Muslims worshipped the Holy Prophet. It is a long story how they painted the darkest possible picture of the Holy Prophet with a pen dipped in lies and false accusations and attributed as much falsehood and deception as possible to Islam and kept the entire Christian world under a veil of prejudice for centuries.
Eventually a time came when God, Most High, turned His attention towards this travesty of truth and appointed a humble slave of the Holy Prophet to crush the head of this deceptive dragon of these times. As the Promised Messiah himself says:
Chun ma-ra noor-i pa-ai qawmay masihi dada-and
Since the Christian people had left no stone unturned in exaggerating the status of Jesus to Godhead and in heaping insults on the Holy Prophet, therefore a humble slave of the Holy Prophet was raised by God, Most High, as a likeness of Jesus, and he caused a commotion in the Christian world by declaring: "Because the infidel commits the error of worshipping Jesus, so Gods Self-esteem made me equal in status to him."
He sings the praises of the Holy Prophet in the following verses, originally in Persian:
Since from me comes this eulogy of the high chief,
The Holy Imam
always critically analysed the basic principles of a
It is not possible to recount the entire discussions made by the Holy Imam on this subject because these are spread over hundreds of pages and they cannot be made to fit into a brief review like this. For this purpose one must refer to his original writings. However, it is sufficient to give just a summary of his theses.
Firstly, the Holy Imam has subjected the life-history of Jesus, a history written not by just anyone, but the one contained in their accepted scripture, the Bible, to criticism. In his criticism, he has so torn to shreds the dogma of divinity of Jesus that, not only the Christian clerics, but even our own maulawis cried out that he had shown contempt for Prophet Jesus. In reply, the Holy Imam had to declare that we consider Jesus to be a chosen and true messenger of God. Our criticism is directed at that Jesus of the Bible who is projected by the Christian preachers as God. What we want to highlight is that in spite of all the special attributes that are attached to this person whom the Christians project as God, attributes that would prove his godhead, yet if one goes by their own accounts of Jesus as found in the Bible, he does not even come out as a perfect man, let alone God.
Secondly, by proving Jesus to have died a natural death and by proving that he is buried in Srinagar in Kashmir, he made such a thrust at his godhead that the very root of Christianity was severed. Though there have been some Muslim scholars who believed Jesus to have died a natural death, yet the forceful way the Holy Imam has presented his research, a research so well packed with arguments and proofs, is unique and has no precedence.
The result was that with the death of Jesus, Christianity died. And though this thrust of the Holy Imam made not only the Padres wince in anger, but also caused our own maulawis to erupt, yet they had nothing to offer in reply. Their mean rejoinders added up to nothing and they finally had to cool down. As a result, the death of Jesus was so entrenched in the minds of men that today no prudent maulawi can dare to talk of Jesus being alive in heaven. This was the attack that set the seal of death on Christianity, because the fact of Jesus being alive in heaven in his corporeal body and without any change in his physical state was a major argument of his divinity. "To be today as He was then" and to be "Ever-living and Self-subsisting" are Gods attributes and these attributes had been given to Jesus. When these attributes were made to depart from Jesus, his divinity also vanished.
Thirdly, a major reason for the Holy Imams claim to being the Messiah was to nullify the idea of the divinity of Jesus. When other human beings can be equal in status to Jesus, then the divinity of Jesus automatically falls to the ground. The following Persian couplet of the Holy Imam elucidates this point:
Since the infidel commits the excess of worshipping Jesus (as God)
Muslims unjustifiably got irritated when the Holy Imam made a claim to being the Messiah along with his claim to being the Mujaddid, although "Messiah" is only a title of honour, his real appointment being that of Mujaddid.
According to the Hadith, the Holy Prophet said: "The ulama of my ummah are like the prophets of the Israelites." So if the ulama of the Holy Prophets ummah are like the prophets of Israel, and if a mujaddid of this ummah made a claim to being the Messiah in order to confront the Christians, was it a catastrophe? He said, in response to the Christians about their claim to the divinity of Jesus, that hundreds of the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad had reached the status of Jesus by following the Holy Prophet and that he, the Holy Imam, was one of them.
He eulogises the Holy Prophet in the following verses:
I see a hundred thousand Josephs in the dimple of his (the Holy Prophets) chin
Similarly, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (Allahs mercy be on him), says in the following couplet:
Every moment the Holy Spirit is shining inside Moin (the poet himself)
And Khwaja Hafiz (Allahs mercy be on him) says:
If the Holy Spirit once again comes to help,
Similarly Maulana Rumi (Allahs mercy be on him) says:
If the soul of man develops a relationship with God
In short, there have been hundreds of such saints in the Muslim ummah who had attained this rank of Messiahship. But there was also a prophecy of the Holy Prophet mentioned in the Hadith about the appearance of a particular Messiah whose mission was stated by the Holy Prophet to be the refutation of Christianity and the breaking of the Cross, and the Holy Imam had made a claim to being this particular Messiah.
It is obvious that if there were to be an appropriate time for the rebuttal of Christianity and the breaking of the Cross, it would be the present time when the misleading dogmas of Christianity had reached their zenith. So this Messiah from the ummah of Muhammad appeared at a very opportune time and he did destroy Christianity through forceful arguments and accomplished the task of breaking the Cross. The truth of the matter is that the death of any religion can only be brought about through arguments and not through the sword.
The Quran also says the same thing in this respect: ... that he who perished by clear argument might perish, and he who lived by clear argument might live (8:42).
Refutation of the
doctrine of Atonement:
Firstly, he proved from the historical narrative contained in the Evangel and other recognised and authentic books that the Messiah did not die on the Cross, but was taken down alive. Subsequently, he kept circulating in the outskirts of Jerusalem and went on meeting his disciples and kept dining with them. Afterwards, he migrated from there and went to Afghanistan and Kashmir in search of the Lost Sheep of Israel and died a natural death after attaining the great age of one hundred and twenty years. So, if he were not accursed, then the doctrine of Atonement is proven wrong.
Secondly, he proved from the lexicons that the correct connotation of the word lanat (accursed) was "someone becoming disgusted with God and becoming His enemy, and God in turn becoming disgusted with him and becoming his enemy and driving him out of His Court". Hence, if one entertains the belief about the Messiah that he was accursed by his death on the Cross, it would mean that the Messiah had at that time become an enemy of God and had become disgusted with Him, and that God also, had become a bitter enemy of the Messiah and was disgusted with him and that God had declared the Messiah to have been driven out of His Court. What bigger insult to the Messiah can there be? It seems that the Christian Priests consider lanat (accursed) to be a halter or a burden which one can wear at will or lift at will and can put off at will.
Lanat connotes a state of ones inner self and ones mentality which comes into being through ones sins. To harbour such a belief about Jesus, that for a time at least he had developed a mentality which made him disgusted with God and made Him his enemy, and that God also had become disgusted with him and was His enemy, is a very unholy, nonsensical and erroneous belief. May God save us from such beliefs! Hence, when Jesus becoming malun (accursed) is an impossibility, the doctrine of Atonement stands nullified.
Thirdly, he maintained that the doctrine of Atonement is contrary to Gods attributes of justice and mercy. To punish a culprit is to exercise justice, and to forgive him is to exercise mercy. But to punish an innocent person for the sin of the sinners is zulm (injustice). According to the doctrine of Atonement, God neither punished the sinners that would be justice nor did He forgive them that would be showing mercy but He hanged His Own sinless son, Jesus, on the cross as an atonement for the sinners sin. This is sheer injustice. If it is said that he, himself, was God and went to the cross of his own will and consent, is there any sense in the judge not punishing the culprit but committing suicide himself?
The sin of the sinner remained intact and was neither punished nor forgiven, and by committing suicide, God, Himself, committed another sin. God forbid! What was the benefit to the society of which the culprit was a member, or to the culprit himself, by this senseless act of God? For example, if someone commits a theft, he should be punished in order to be reformed and also for the benefit of the society. But what would the public think if instead of punishing the accused, the judge himself commits suicide with a pistol? A mental patient, to be sure.
Fourthly, Christianity invented the dogma of original sin, inherited by humanity, without any justification, but merely for the sake of upholding the doctrine of Atonement. According to their belief, Adam and Eve committed the sin and it came down as an inheritance to all mankind. The punishment for this sin, as mentioned in the Bible, is that man would earn his living through toil and the sweat of his brow and woman would give birth to her offspring by going through labour pains.
If Atonement were a true doctrine, it would have become mandatory after the crucifixion of Jesus that Christian men believing in Atonement would not have to toil for their living and Christian women believing in atonement would give birth to their children without labour pains. But when the punishment for the original sin continues to be dealt out to all Christian men and women, it is obvious that the doctrine of Atonement is false.
Just as the belief that sin is an inherited thing is wrong (because sin connotes disobedience to God for which each person is individually responsible), similarly, the belief that by believing in the crucifixion of Jesus and his becoming accursed one gains salvation from the punishment for ones sins is also wrong. That is, Atonement is a false belief.
Fifthly, the Holy Imam said that if one attains salvation from the ability to commit sin by a belief in Atonement, then the question arises about how such a salvation is achieved. Does the power to commit sins vanish from human nature, or does it mean that one can keep on sinning and not be punished for these sins? If the power of committing sin is said to vanish through this belief, then why is such a large segment of the Christian population engaged in committing sins? And if the intention is that one does not get punished for ones sins, then among mankind there can be no doctrine greater than this for encouraging sin. Obviously no intelligent person can subscribe to such a misleading doctrine. Therefore, the absurdity of the doctrine of Atonement is obvious.
What the Holy Imam has written in rebuttal of Christianity would add up to many books. He has struck at the root of Christianity in diverse ways. Some of the salient points have been mentioned here. Anyone interested in a detailed study of his writings on this subject should refer to his books, Nur al-Quran (two volumes), Anjam-i Atham, the supplement to Anjam-i Atham, Jang-i Muqaddas, Sirajuddin Isai key Char Sawalon ka Jawab, Chashma-i Masihi, etc.
The grand work of breaking the Cross, which was accomplished by the Holy Imam, sounded the death knell of Christianity. Leaving aside his arguments, it was as a result of his spiritual power that the love of Christianity began to wither away in the hearts of the inhabitants of Christian countries and the hearts of men developed disgust for the false doctrines of the Trinity and the Atonement.
Appearance of the
Since Dayanand had nothing to offer his people from his own religion, Hinduism, in comparison to Islam, therefore the only way out for him was to follow the Christian missionaries in fabricating all sorts of accusations against Islam and to concentrate all his efforts in developing a hatred of Islam in the minds of the Hindu people. His point of view was that once the Hindus developed a hatred for Islam, they would not have anywhere to go outside their own faith and would thus reconcile themselves to remaining in the fold of Hinduism. The chief attributes of Islam were its monotheism and its idea of human equality and brotherhood.
Dayanand was not afraid of the concept of equality and brotherhood because the Hindu society had been so chained to the caste system for several thousand years that the very idea of equality and brotherhood of mankind, a very pure and reasonable doctrine, could not sink into their minds. Therefore Dayanand did not touch it, but instead, he supported the idea.
However, monotheism was an idea that attracted peoples hearts, so what he did was to reject all the mythological Hindu literature except for the four Vedas. By coining far-fetched interpretations of the polytheistic teachings of the Vedas about worshipping fire, water, the sun, the moon, etc. he tried to establish a unitarian doctrine. Along with it, having been impressed by modern materialism, he propounded that matter and souls were just as ancient and eternal and non-created as God Himself, and thus set up three gods instead of one.
It seems that he considered the soul to be a kind of matter. Once, when talking about reincarnation, he said that when a soul leaves the human body, it gets cooled as it ascends and so falls down again; and if it falls on some vegetation and such vegetation is eaten by a woman, she gets impregnated by it. The reason was that Dayanand was utterly unfamiliar with spirituality and his vision could not separate itself from the confines of matter. Though he conceded that the soul was an eternal entity distinct from matter, yet when he sat down to write about it, he made it into a form of matter like water vapour which falls down when it cools, and falling on a vegetable, it enters the body of a woman and thus the soul takes a new birth.
This notion about the soul is no doubt ridiculous, for what would happen if a man were to eat the soul-ridden vegetable instead of a woman? The incorrectness of his theory about the soul is obvious, but even about matter his knowledge was not based on some divine book but he followed the materialistic modern sciences in this field.
In those days, scientists considered the atom to be the smallest particle of matter and also to be eternal, and Dayanand followed them, though he attributed this belief to the Vedas, even though there is nothing in the Vedas about it. What the Vedas do mention is the story of a banyan tree on which two birds are sitting. One is eating fruits and the other is looking at him. Only God knows how Dayanand concluded from this that the banyan tree is matter, the bird that is eating the fruit is the soul and the one looking on is Ishwar Maharaj (God), hence all three are eternal. How he derived this doctrine is not known. Nowhere in the Vedas is it mentioned that this is the meaning of the parable. It is obvious that Dayanand, keeping in mind modern material sciences, fabricated this forced interpretation in order to please the materialistic Hindus. But a problem arose when, after the death of Dayanand, scientists changed their theory and refused to consider the atom as eternal. The result was that a wrong and nonsensical dogma was left as a blot on the Arya Samaj slate.
Refutation of the
Debates were also held with Arya Samaj pundits and the Holy Imam furnished a befitting reply to their objections against Islam. But an offensive against the Arya Samaj was still pending on the agenda, so the Holy Imam finally struck at the root of the Arya Samaj dogma.
Obviously a religion is best tested on the following two counts: firstly, a correct appreciation and knowledge of Gods unity and of His attributes, and secondly, the rule of justice, equity and taqwa (performance of duty to man and God). The Holy Imam tested the Arya Samaj on these two criteria and thus severed their roots. Regarding "duty to God", he took up the issues of the unity of God, His attributes and the doctrine of reincarnation. Concerning "duty to his fellow-men", he took up the issues of discrimination based on caste and sexual relations between men and women.
regarding the unity of God and His
When Dayanand stood up to demolish this trinity, all he could do after developing his theory was to get entangled in another trinity after demolishing the first. That is, he got rid of the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva by declaring them to be three attributes of the same God, only to surrender before the supposed theory of the materialists, a theory which was later on proved to be wrong, and thus set up another trinity, by accepting the three elements, Parmeshwar (God), matter, and soul to be eternal and uncreated.
This was the weak point that the Holy Imam seized upon. He argued that if these three entities are subsisting independently with their individual attributes and are all eternal and uncreated (not created by someone), then these three must all be gods, because the greatest attribute and definition of God is that He is a non-creation and is eternal, self-subsisting and is not dependent on any other agency. If these qualities are also found in matter and soul, then these are also gods. Hence, all three must be gods, each one existing independently, self-subsisting, and not dependent on any other agency. Obviously, if one of them disappears, the other two would not be affected. For instance, if Parmeshwar vanishes, the other two entities, matter and the soul, would not suffer any loss.
It is a tyranny of Parmeshwar that he has unjustifiably set up this dominion over matter and soul and makes them worship him, otherwise when all three are self-subsisting, non-created and are eternal and not dependent on anyone else, what right has Parmeshwar to establish his governance over them by force since independence demands that matter and soul should join hands to overthrow such an unjustified government based on coercion? When their attributes and properties have existed from eternity in their persons and are not created by Parmeshwar, then where lies the need for such a Parmeshwar? When the natural tendencies and properties of matter and soul can join hands to give birth to the universe, then the person of Parmeshwar becomes a superfluous entity, trying to enforce His rule needlessly over the other two, and forces the other two entities, who are autonomous entities like himself, to worship him. Thus, when the entity called Parmeshwar is a superfluous entity, one fails to appreciate the need for a Parmeshwar, especially when matter and soul and their respective properties and attributes, which are giving birth to this universe and making it function, are eternal and uncreated. Thus no need remains for the existence of a Parmeshwar.
In fact, the atheists originated this theory and the result of believing in such a theory is to walk along the path of atheism. This doctrine leaves no room and no need for God, nor does there remain any argument in favour of His existence. Thus the unity of God that Dayanand established in the Arya Samaj is a trinity and not monotheism, and a trinity eventually leads one to atheism.
His description of Gods attribute is so deficient that he has made God to be dependent on matter and soul, thus depriving Him of His Godhead. The chief attribute of God is that He is Samad (on Whom all depend), that is, He is not dependent on anybody and all depend on Him. But Dayanand explained the attributes of God thus: that though matter and soul are not dependent on God for their creation, nor their attributes and their properties, yet God is definitely dependent upon them. Were there no matter and no soul, He could create nothing.
What sort of god is it who cannot create anything? Today, if matter and soul should separate themselves from God, His Godhead would come to an end! How well-judged was the Holy Imams comment that Dayanand had based his estimate of Gods attributes on human attributes. Just as a man cannot make anything without matter, similarly Dayanand also put forward the view that, unless matter and souls are available, God cannot create anything.
But man needs two agents for executing any of his works: one agent from within him and the other from outside. For instance, for the act of seeing, man is dependent on the eye, an agent within him, and he also needs an external agent in the form of light. Similarly, for the act of hearing, he needs an internal agent, the ear, and an external agent, the air, otherwise, he would not hear anything. Similarly, for doing any physical work, man also needs two agents, one the internal agent, such as the hand, and any external agent in the form of matter.
In short, for the exercise of every faculty in man, he is in need of these two kinds of agents. So when Dayanand, imagining God to be similar to man, made Him dependent on matter, it follows that He must be in need of a hand, hence a corporeal body becomes mandatory for God. Similarly, God sees and God hears, so for the exercise of these two faculties, we will have to admit that for the act of seeing, God will need two agents, an eye within Him and light externally, and will need an ear within and air externally for the act of hearing.
If we concede the necessity of other agents besides Gods Own attributes, then His Godhead vanishes, because His self-sufficiency and non-dependence have vanished. If to bring any of His faculties into play an external agent is needed, then the integrity of all His attributes disappears and the need for external agents for bringing His faculties into play is established. So what sort of god is He? He must be a helpless and dependent human being!
The fact is that Dayanand had no knowledge of Gods attributes. Otherwise, if he also agreed that man needs the eye and light for the act of seeing, and the ear and air for the act of hearing, and God does not need light and air for the acts of seeing and hearing respectively, then if man needs hands and matter for making something, why should God need them also? Dayanand does concede that God does not need a hand to make something, yet, against his own accepted principles, he maintains that God needs matter to create things. This, in fact, was the result of surrendering to materialism.
If the source of his knowledge had been some divine Book, he would not have taken such a dangerous fall. Whatever he wrote was written with the materialists theory in view and thus he stumbled into attributing such things to God as would render Him unfit for Godhead.
Refutation of the
doctrine of Transmigration of the
Is this justice? Would it be termed as fair to perpetuate such a tyrannical arrangement just to make the divine system function? As it is, there is no concept of divine mercy in the Arya Samaj doctrine. Even if a man begs pardon a thousand times and cries and beseeches God for forgiveness for his sins and completely reforms himself, yet God shows no mercy to him and would never forgive him. He would not let him off until He has made him go through the vicious circle of one hundred and eighty-four thousand rebirths. So mercy was already absent from the beginning in the Arya Samaj doctrine, and as for justice, there is a vicious circle going round, of one hundred and eighty-four thousand rebirths, so that Gods sovereignty keeps on operating. This theory of the transmigration of the soul was exposed by the Holy Imam as a mere tale of injustice and coercion, not of justice and equity.
Why is there
variety and diversity in the
The Holy Imam, arguing from the Holy Quran, said that variety in life is not the result of deeds, but rather, deeds are the result of variety. Had there been no variety, there would be no deeds. This variety can be observed in the very nature of the universe and is not the result of any deeds. If one looks at the origin of creation, one finds a difference and a variety in all the celestial bodies like the sun, the moon and the earth. There is also a difference in their orbits. Had this difference of orbits not been there, they would have collided and perished. Then cast a glance at the earth. There is variety in the minerals, in the vegetation, in the animal kingdom. Among humans, there is the difference between man and woman; there is a difference in the nature of men and their inclinations. Had there been no variety, from where would such a vast assortment of grains, fruits and vegetables come? From where would the vast variety of animals so necessary for the existence of mankind have come? Had there been no difference between the sexes, from where would the continuity of the human race have come about? Had there been no difference between human natures, from where would different professions and methodologies, so necessary for human civilisation, have come? In short, had there been no difference, where would we get different spheres of action for each one? It is through the outcome of these differences that we become useful to one another and it is this variety which gives rise to actions. So the difference comes first and the actions follow it.
The differences of this world are temporary. Every person has been given a different environment and a separate situation, and a separate sphere of action has been prescribed for him, a sphere in which he must operate according to Gods pleasure in order to achieve the purpose of his creation. His present state is not the end, but the purpose is that he should act. For instance, if a test of counting up to a hundred is to be given to a class of children, and some are given diamonds and some are given pebbles for counting, can anyone allege that the children have not been given a fair deal when everyone knows that all the examiner wants to see is whether the children can count? The pebbles and diamonds are not the property of the children; they have been given these just for counting and they have not been bestowed as a gift. When they have finished counting, the diamonds and the pebbles will be taken back.
Similarly, God has provided man with many physical faculties, blessings, and other bounties. Whatever he has been vouchsafed, whether it is scant or vast, of a low standard or of a high standard, the real purpose of being granted these things is to see how he interacts with and through them; to see whether he uses these faculties and bounties properly and acts according to the pleasure of his Lord in his particular sphere of action.
After a time, these blessings will be taken back from him, and after death, he will start a new life that will be the outcome of his deeds. His actions will accompany him to the next life, and all these worldly possessions will be left behind. It is quite possible that a poor man may become deserving of a very exalted and perpetual life in the next world by performing good deeds in this ephemeral life, and a rich man may be punished with a life full of suffering in the next world for committing foul deeds in this temporary life.
Hence, this world is a stage set for actions, and the next world is for the recompense of ones actions here. The variety in this world is for facilitating actions, and that is why this world is temporary and ephemeral. The next world will be the result of our diverse actions and that is why it will be eternal and everlasting.
The Holy Imam used various methods and lines of arguments to reject the concepts of the antiquity of souls and matter, and of the transmigration of souls. What is given above is just a summary of one or two of his arguments, and whoever is inclined to go into detail should go through his books like Surma Chasm-i Arya, Shahna-i Haqq, Nasim-i Dawat and Arya Dharam.
based on caste:
The Holy Imam thoroughly exposed the absurdity of this custom based on injustice and tyranny, juxtaposing it with Islams principles of fraternity and equality. He took up a universal standpoint in this matter by which he aimed at the reformation of those Muslims, who, following in the footsteps of the Hindus, harboured notions of belonging to a high caste and believed in discrimination based on the caste system. He set forth the following verse of the Holy Quran: O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the one who is most dutiful from among you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware (49:13).
Here we have been clearly told that tribes and castes are merely a means of recognition; otherwise we are all the progeny of a single set of parents. In Gods sight, the criterion for nobility, honour and gentility is ones deeds: the one most dutiful is the noblest with Allah. And as Allah has full knowledge of the actions and the obedience of each one of us, none can be clever and hypocritical with Him, nor can the worldly eminence of ones family be of any worth with Allah, nor merely being the offspring of some high-ranking person or some religious divine be of any use in His sight. By emphasising the freedom and equality of Islam, the Holy Imam fully highlighted the injustice and tyranny of the caste system of the Hindus. A religion that considers such discrimination based on caste to be mandatory cannot be from the Creator, the Master, the Most Just God.
The custom of
In any case, the Holy Quran has not allowed any liaison between the sexes which is of a temporary nature because that is nothing but open fornication. The offspring of such a liaison is not granted any rights over the parents, nor is the man and woman given any rights over each other. It also says that if one of the marriage partners dies, the surviving partner, man or woman, ought to enter into a fresh marriage after the expiry of the iddat (waiting period).
Though the Hindu religion also contains the institution of marriage, it also allows other ways for developing sexual relations between man and woman. Dayanand came out with a new method called niyog. The way niyog operates is that if the husband dies, the widow is not allowed to marry again. However, if the widow wishes, she can go to bed with any man of her choice, get impregnated and produce children, as well as satisfy her passions. In fact, this facility is not confined to a widow. Even a married woman has been allowed, in case she does not get pregnant through her husband, to sleep with a series of men until she gets pregnant. Even if she sleeps with ten men, the children born out of this type of liaison would be counted as the husbands and the responsibility for their upkeep and upbringing would be that of the husband. Not only this, if the husband has gone on a journey, or is sick, and the wifes passions are aroused, she may enter into a niyog liaison with any man to satisfy her lust.
The Holy Imam, finding the institution of niyog in Dayanands book, Satyarath Parkash, highlighted it before the public and pointed out the unholiness of this practice. He exposed the impurity of the system of niyog by writing a book called Arya Dharam, and pointed out that a religion that cannot maintain the sanctity of the marriage bond and does not provide for the mutual rights of the marriage partners and the offspring cannot be from God.
The above is just a sampling from the literature produced by the Holy Imam in refutation of the Arya Samaj. Anyone who wishes to go into greater detail should consult his books on this subject.
Refutation of the
Sikh religion proved Guru Bana Nanak to be a
Guru Baba Nanak had himself gained spiritual training from a Muslim saint, Hazrat Farid Ganj Shakkar, and used to accept baiat (the disciples pledge of fealty) from both Hindus as well as Muslims. He thought that with the passage of time his disciples would come closer to Islam. The first thing he tried to do was to make them abandon idol-worship. After his death, the Muslim disciples remained Muslim but the group of Hindu disciples that had abandoned idol-worship, instead of accepting Islam became a separate sect, called the Sikhs.
Later on, Guru Gobind Singh turned it into a political party. Nowadays the Sikhs are busy carrying on a vehement campaign for recognition as a separate religion for the purpose of getting their share in government, though internally they are merged with the Hindus.
The Holy Imam desired that the Sikhs should be reminded of the original message that they were given by Guru Nanak and also reminded them that their Founder was a Muslim. This one stroke of the Holy Imam will suffice to restore the present mutilated form of Sikhism to its original shape, provided the Sikhs lend an ear and try to be reasonable. If the Founder of Sikhism was a Muslim, there is no reason why his followers should not accept Islam.
In his book, Sat Bachan, the Holy Imam gave four reasons to prove that Baba Nanak was a Muslim. Firstly, he quoted some sayings of Baba Nanak which are to be found in Sikh literature like Granth Sahib and various Janam Sakhis in which he, Baba Nanak, openly declared his belief in the doctrines of Islam, in the necessity of offering salah (Islamic prayers), his belief in the Holy Quran, and also his saying in the Granth that ones fortunes are not made without reciting the Kalimah (Muslim formula), etc.
Secondly, he gathered together the life events of Baba Nanak mentioned in various Janam Sakhis, for example, his remaining in the company of Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar and deriving spiritual benefit from him; accompanying the latter on his journeys; Hindus treating both of them as untouchables and purifying the place wherever they sat by wiping it with cow dung; Baba Nanaks going on a pilgrimage to Makkah, and on the return journey, going into a forty-day spiritual retreat in Multan at the tomb of Shah Shams and his stay there in a hujrah (room); the proximity of a mosque to his place of sequestration so that salah could be conveniently offered; the existence, even today, of the words Ya Allah (O Allah) written by Baba Nanak on the south wall of this tomb; similar spiritual retreats for forty days at the tomb of Shah Abdus Shukur in Sarsah; the existence of a seclusion room, (called Chilla Baba Nanak), facing Makkah, attributed to Baba Nanak at this tomb so that he could conveniently offer his salah; Baba Nanaks offering salah with Nawab Daulat Khan and the Qazi at Sultanpur; Hanafi Muslims becoming his disciples and their offering funeral prayers at his death - it is an established fact that Muslims do not pledge bai'at and become disciples of non-Muslims, nor do they offer funeral prayers for non-Muslims; etc. By gathering together all these incidents, the Holy Imam proved that Guru Baba Nanak was a Muslim, because his life-events were such that they could not have occurred except in the life of a Muslim.
Thirdly, he drew attention to the relics of Guru Baba Nanak, including the Chola Sahib (Holy Cloak). The Holy Imam disclosed by quotations from the Janam Sakhi of Angad that the Chola Sahib that is preserved at Dera Baba Nanak today in its original shape was, according to the beliefs of the Sikhs, sent down to Baba Nanak from heaven and some heavenly words were inscribed on it. People from all over, including some notables, would present themselves at this shrine to pay respect to and derive blessing from the Chola Sahib. Every rich visitor would cover the site of the Chola with a precious silk cloth resulting in the Chola being covered with hundreds of such cloths. Whenever the Sikhs find themselves in some difficulty, they believe that if they pray with their foreheads on the Chola Sahib, God will rid them of their difficulty.
The Holy Imam, accompanied by his friends, went to Dera Baba Nanak especially to see the Chola Sahib. How he managed to gain a glimpse of the Chola Sahib is an interesting detail that he has written in his book, Sat Bachan. Briefly, when he looked at the Chola Sahib, he found it to be covered with inscriptions of verses of the Holy Quran. In one corner, the Muslim Kalimah, La ilaha illal-Lah Muhammadur Rasulullah, was written beautifully in a bold hand along with the verse of the Quran, Innad-dina indallahil Islam (Verily the only true religion in Gods sight is Islam - 3:18). He also found it to be inscribed with Surah Fatihah (The Opening Chapter), Surah Ikhlas (chapter 112) and also found repeated inscriptions of the verse, La ilaha illa Anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimin (There is none worthy of worship except Thee; Holy art Thou; verily I have been among the transgressors - 21:87). The ninety-nine names of God are also written on it. In the lower front margin of the cloak, Kalimah-i Shahadat (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger ) is also inscribed. This shows that Baba Nanak was so passionately enamoured with Islam that he went around wearing this cloak after having it inscribed with verses of the Holy Quran. The Holy Imam had very wisely drawn a detailed sketch of the Chola at the time of his visit and then published it in his book, Sat Bachan.
Fourthly, the other relic of Guru Baba Nanak is called the Pothi Sahib (The Book). The Holy Imam had commissioned an investigation into this book by sending a party of his friends to its repository in Guruhar Sahai, District Ferozepur, in April 1908. This Pothi Sahib is a relic of Guru Baba Nanak and has been in the possession of the descendants of Guru Ramdas. Guru Ramdas was the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, and the Golden Temple in Amritsar, called Darbar Sahib, is named after him. In the time of the Holy Imam, the Guru occupying the seat was Guru Bishan Singh. It is an established belief among the Sikhs that Guru Baba Nanak used to have this sacred book hanging around his neck wherever he went. He would often read it, and considered its recitation an act of worship. Many an orthodox Sikh comes to pay homage to this shrine and to render offerings to this relic. As a general practice, this book, which is covered with a multitude of silken scarves, is shown to visitors in its cloth-covered state. The Sikhs would depart after prostrating themselves before it. It is very rare that someone is shown the actual book because of the lengthy procedure involved. First, an offering of one hundred and one rupees must be made to the Guru and then the interested person has to take one hundred and one baths to be in a purified condition to touch it. Only the very rich and very eager Sikhs make the effort of offering the required sum for having a look at the book itself. How the party of disciples sent by the Holy Imam for investigation managed to get a glimpse of the book is narrated in the Holy Imams book, Chashma-i Marifat. In short, when they had the wrappings off and looked at the book, they found it to be the entire Holy Quran, in pocketsize, with golden borders. "We cannot understand the dialect in which it is written," said the Guru. "This seems to be a heavenly language which only Guru Sahib could read." This sacred relic set the seal on the fact that Guru Baba Nanak was a Muslim. Whether the Sikhs accept the fact or not, is another matter.
There is no doubt that it has been clearly established now that Guru Baba Nanak was a Muslim and his teachings were based on the Quran.
Refutation of the
doctrine of Nirvana:
The Holy Imam proved that the emotions with which the Creator Himself has endowed man should be cherished; to try and fight these emotions is to fight against the intentions of the Creator. If ones salvation depended on the annihilation of emotions, why did He create these in the first place? Hence the teaching that tells us to erase our emotions, our faculties and our potentialities cannot be from a God Who has bestowed upon us these precious gifts. This idea is an after-thought conceived by flights of human fancy. If Gautama Buddha was a prophet of God, then these teachings could not be his, because it is against the intentions of our Creator.
It is only through the proper use of our God-gifted emotions and faculties that we can achieve great heights of progress and perfection in our personalities. If there is a capability called sight in our eye, it cannot be Gods intention that one should give up seeing. His intention can only be that man should use his power of sight in a proper way and should avoid looking at unlawful things, and by the lawful use of his eyes he should benefit himself and others. If God has endowed man with sexual powers, it can never be His intention that one should never use these powers, and by leading a celibate life or by castrating himself, he should wage a war against God by impeding the progress of human survival and continuity. The intention of the Creator is that by the lawful use of these powers, one should fulfil ones obligation to ones wife and children, and carry out all ones social and cultural obligations properly and thus fulfil the intentions of the Creator. It can never be the intention of God that man should try to efface and annihilate all the emotions and powers with which God has endowed him, otherwise their very creation would be not only futile, but harmful. This is contrary to Gods Holiness. To use these faculties and emotions properly and according to Gods intentions and in accordance with His commandments is tantamount to fulfilling His intentions.
Hence, any religion that teaches the annihilation of these emotions can never be from God, the Creator of man. The only true, perfect and Divine religion is the one which gives us guidance about how to use human emotions and powers properly and guides and teaches us how to attain their proper growth and evolution. Islam, no doubt, is the only such religion in the whole world. Thus by one stroke of the Holy Imams argument at the root of this erroneous concept of self-annihilation, the concept of Buddhisms Nirvana and all the practices of renunciation of this world in the Hindu and Christian religions were completely disproved.
The central principle of this sect is that the effective tenure of the messengership of the Holy Prophet Muhammad has ended and his Shari'ah has been abrogated. So Bahaullah, who ascribes to himself the title Mazhar-i Uluhiyyat (A Manifestation of Divinity), framed a new Shariah in his book, Kitab-i Aqdas, and presented it to the world. He claimed that mankinds salvation could only be achieved by following this Shari'ah. He clearly declared that the message of Muhammad is no longer suitable and appropriate for these times and the world cannot accept it now, so one should give up all hope in and all expectations from this message. He proclaimed:
"The message that I have brought, that I am giving, because I myself am a manifestation of God, is the key to salvation. The world can only attain salvation by following it."
In other words, Bahaullahs message was a message of despair and hopelessness concerning Islam, but in reality it contained the seeds of its own destruction.
The Holy Imam raised his voice against Bahaullahs claims, and compared to Bahaullahs message of doom and despair, his was a message of hope and glad tidings for Islam. He said:
"God has sent me and appointed me to declare to the world that Islam is a living faith and its Shari'ah can never be abrogated because it contains eternal truths which can never decline. Islams God is a living God, and Islams Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is a living Prophet, whose tenure of messengership extends up to the Day of Resurrection, and the spiritual benefits of his prophethood will always keep flowing. The Holy Book of Islam, the Quran, is a living Book and the Shari'ah that Islam has brought is an eternal verity. I am a living testament to all these facts because I have attained God-realisation and nearness to the One and Only Living God, the God of all the worlds, by following this very Book and this very Messenger. There is no other religion besides this religion, by following which one can achieve God-realisation. If there is anyone who has found God, let him come to me and either listen to my incontrovertible proofs and perfect arguments in favour of Islam being a living religion, and see heavenly signs as samples of Gods help being vouchsafed to me, or else he should tell me his side of the story and exhibit his spiritual feats."
Evidently this claim of the Holy Imam amounted to the total destruction of the root of Bahaullahs claims, for just as nobody came forward to confront the Holy Imam from any other religion, none, too, came forward from the Bahai faith. The Holy Imams claim to being a mujaddid and later of being the Promised Messiah came about in the lifetime of Bahaullah, but this claimant to being a manifestation of God could not muster the courage to come for a confrontation with the Holy Imam, nor would any of his successors, who are themselves considered manifestations of God, or at least occupying the seat of the manifestation of God, dare to come forward.
If in spite of this challenge some Bahais today ask why Hazrat Mirza did not confront Bahaullah, then their objection is absolutely baseless. Every intelligent person can surmise that the very claim of the Holy Imam to being a mujaddid and a messiah was in fact an antithesis to the claim made by Bahaullah and his message. Bahaullah had already announced that the Shari'ah of Muhammad had been abrogated and that his religion was dead, and it was only after this that the Holy Imams voice was raised, and this echoed in the four corners of the world through literature and leaflets, proclaiming that the Shari'ah of Muhammad was certainly not abrogated and the religion of Muhammad was alive and anyone calling it dead was a liar:
"I am myself living testimony to the fact that the religion of Muhammad is alive, for I have come close to a living God through following this very religion, and after passing through all the stages of spirituality I have attained to the perfection of spirituality and humanity which is the purpose of mans creation. There is no other way leading to God-realisation except by following the Quran and the Holy Prophet. Anyone who forsakes this straight path goes astray and will soon meet his doom. If I am in the wrong, let him who so desires come forward and confront me with solid arguments and clear proofs on the one hand, and with heavenly signs on the other."
Was it not Bahaullahs duty to come forward and confront the Holy Imam on hearing this loud challenge thrown down by the Holy Imam, a challenge which was a direct blow at the very root of all of Bahaullahs claims? But how can falsehood dare to confront the truth? A deathly silence overtook him and his claims and falsehood vanished when confronted with the truth. It was the typical style of the Holy Imam that he would lay his axe to the roots of false religions, and this would automatically result in the withering away of their trunks and their branches and thus death would overtake them. This is the method he adopted here and his very claim proved to be a death knell for Bahaism.
Challenge to prove
the truth of Islam:
"If there is any truth in your religion and if there is any life in it, then come forward to confront me and prove the truth and life of your religion. I have myself tested Islam practically and have tested its truth on the touchstone of observation and experiment and I have found it to be a living religion. That is, I have found a living God by following it. Today He listens to my prayers and converses with me and manifests heavenly signs at my hand. If any person from among you has attained this station by following his religion, let him come and confront me, so that we can hold a mubahila (prayer and imprecation contest) for proving the truth or falsehood of either of us. Let us pray concerning the person who is lying and is making a false claim of being in communion with God, that God may humiliate and kill him in the lifetime of the truthful one, so that it may be a sign for the true religion."
But none came forward for the confrontation - neither any Christian priest from the Christians, nor any Arya Samaji, nor anyone else from among the Muslims. They kept hurling their criticism from a distance but none dared to come forward for this spiritual contest because it is a fact that today none can attain communion with God, nor gain deep spiritual experience and insight by following any other religion besides Islam, because all these religions are devoid of any living spiritual experience.
The truth is that except for the appearance of the Holy Imam, none from among the Muslims, neither any religious scholar, nor any religious divine, had made this claim of being in touch with God.
Everyone was armed with mere dry logic, which neither provides satisfaction to the hearts nor takes one to a state of certitude in the matter of proving the truth of any religion. In this age of materialism, the greatest stalwarts from among the scholars of Islam, on whom the eyes of the Muslims were focused, could not escape from the vicious circle of materialistic philosophy. In such an age, this challenge of the Holy Imam of spirituality and of being in touch with God and having a personal relationship with Him is so grand that ones heart is filled to the brim with a living faith in the truth of Islam. An intelligent person has to concede the grandeur of the Holy Imams personality. Leaving prejudice aside, if one looks at just this aspect of his personality with a heart fearful of God and with a fair mind, one has to bow ones head before the Holy Imams truth and greatness.
Today, when, as a result of the grand defence of Islam made by the Holy Imam, the clouds of the opponents criticism against Islam have been dispersed and the beautiful face of Islam has been lit up like the sun, and when the hearts of Muslims have once again been filled with certitude about the truth of Islam, people may feel free to criticise the Holy Imam and make insulting remarks about him. But those who remember the days when Islam was under a hail of objections hurled at it by the Christian priests, the Arya Samajists and the atheists, and a blackened picture of the Holy Prophet was being painted before the whole world, and Muslims were lying prostrate before these onslaughts, and the educated Muslim class was gradually becoming disillusioned with Islam under the influence of these attacks, it was the Holy Imam alone who started the grand defence of Islam and thus turned the tables on the opponents: a grand defence which, scattering the clouds of objections, wiped clean the face of Islam of all blemishes and projected it before the whole world and thus filled the hearts of Muslims with a daring faith and a firm belief in the truth of Islam.
Just as the rain, when it pours down, fills not only the rivers and the springs but even the far-off wells, similarly, the literature produced by the Holy Imam not only filled the minds of those who read it with the light of faith, but it also filled up with the light of faith those far-flung hearts that had no access to his literature. A general trend in favour of the truth and dominance of Islam began to be felt, a trend which made every dried-up pasture of faith become green.
Obviously this divinely-inspired spiritual revival can only be brought about by spiritual people and is a direct result of their entreaties to the Almighty, as mere logic and philosophy cannot produce this effect. Even a philosopher like Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal cannot explain God better than by calling him the Ultimate Reality. Thus, it is people with God-gnosis and with spiritual perfection who manage to prove God as a personal God to us. That is to say, God is not only the Ultimate Cause for the entire universe, but each one of us can develop a personal relationship with Him, and He is the Rabb (Nourishing Lord) in Whose lap His servant grows and evolves like a child and for Whom he can have a personal love as he has for his parents and can benefit from it.
Great Mujaddid [Mujaddid-e-Azam] -- Vol. 3
of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
> Chapter 2: The Basis of the Holy Imams
Dialectics (Ilm al-Kalam)