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Books Section > Shaping the Spiritual Personality of an Ahmadi by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed

Shaping the Spiritual Personality of an Ahmadi:
Kalamazad Mohammed, BA, Dip. Ed.
Imam, Fireburn/Uquire Masjid
(Speech delivered at the Conference Promoting Ahmadiyyat in the Region on 30 August 2003.)


Dedication:

To our Ameer Sahib, Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha, whose avowed aim is to instil in the hearts of his Community members, especially the young, the burning desire to colour themselves with the Ahmadi colours and to spread the moral, intellectual and spiritual beauties of Ahmadiyyat throughout the world.

Foreword:
The Muslim Literary Trust of Trinidad and Tobago hosted a two-day conference on 30th and 31st August 2003 at the Fireburn/Uquire Masjid, Trinidad. The theme was Promoting Ahmadiyyat in the Region, and delegates from Guyana and Suriname, and a representative from the Central Anjuman, attended and participated in the discussions.

Eight papers on four topics were presented and the following was the one put forward by our Brother Kalamazad Mohammed on the topic Shaping the Spiritual Personality of an Ahmadi.

It is fittingly dedicated to our dear Ameer Sahib, Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha, for it is his stated objective to give impetus to the worldwide propagation of the beauties and excellences of Ahmadi teachings.

We hope and pray that this booklet will serve to inspire the hearts not only of Ahmadis but all those who read it with an open and unprejudiced mind.

Enayat Mohammed
Chairman

 

(In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.)

Shaping the Spiritual Personality of an Ahmadi

Kalamazad Mohammed, BA, Dip. Ed.
Imam, Fireburn/Uquire Masjid

(Speech delivered at the Conference Promoting Ahmadiyyat in the Region on 30 August 2003.) 

 

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, has written that when Allah sends a chosen servant for the reformation of mankind He provides him with:

1. Arguments to support him in his mission to propagate and defend the true religion.

In Zarurat-ul Imam (The Need for an Imam of the Age) he made the point that no opponent can defeat a commissioned one in a philosophical argument.

2. He is furnished by Allah with heavenly signs in his support and he himself provides signs of his own through Allah’s grace as well as prophecies.

3. He comes in the nick of time or at the time of greatest need when sin and misguidance have reached their zenith and darkness is at its blackest.

He explains thus: "When the world has attained the highest stage of material advancement, the days of heavenly help are not far, for the former serves as a magnet for heavenly attraction just as heat attracts rain and the deepest darkness attracts light despite their mutual opposition. When both these attractions (material and spiritual) are at full force, a great battle will ensue until one is conquered."

4. To conquer the darkness of rampant materialism, atheism, misguidance and absence of the fear and love of God in the hearts of men, Allah, Most High, endows His chosen reformer with a magnetic spiritual personality in addition to arguments and signs and thus enables him to win over not only the intellect of men, but also the hearts of all noble truth-seeking human beings wherever they may be found on earth. Further, the Reformer’s task is to impart this personality to his followers so that they, too, may carry out the task long after the Imam has gone.

This paper is an impressionistic attempt at explaining how the Founder charted the way for his community to equip itself with a noble, spiritual personality.

The first step in this direction is embedded in ten conditions of the Bai‘at (pledge of fealty) given below:

01. I declare in all sincerity that from now till I am laid in the grave, I will desist from associating anyone with Allah.

02. I will shun falsehood, adultery, sensual gaze and all kinds of iniquity and impiety and perfidy and sedition, disloyalty, and will not submit to carnal passions under the most provocative instigation.

03. I will regularly perform my prayers five times in accordance with the injunctions of Allah and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and so far as possible, I will say the Tahajjud Prayers (Voluntary Nightly Prayers), and call for Blessings on the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (Darud), and seek Allah’s forgiveness and will crave for His mercy.

04. I will not inflict any injury on people generally, and in particular on Muslims, under any undue provocation by tongue or hand or in any other manner.

05. I will ever remain faithful to Allah under all circumstances whether in grief or respite, or distress or prosperity, and will be always content with Allah in calamity, and will be ready to bear willingly any disgrace and affliction in His path, and will not abandon Him on occurrence of any calamity, but instead will move forward.

06. I will abstain from following evil traditional customs, and indulging in licentiousness. I will comply fully with the Quranic injunctions, and will follow in every way, the commandments of Allah and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

07. I will entirely shun arrogance, haughtiness, and will spend my life in humility, and meekness, politeness and gentleness in consonance with the Quranic injunctions as contained in verse 63 of Chapter al-Furqan: And the servants of the Beneficent are they, who walk on the earth with humility, and in verse 37 of Chapter Bani Israel: And go not about in the land exultingly.

08. I will hold the Faith, and the honour of the Faith, and my sympathies with Islam, dearer to me than my life, my honour, and my wealth and my children, and, even more precious than everything dear to me.

09. That I will be compassionate to all mankind for Allah’s sake only, and as far as possible, I will utilise my God-given energies to benefit them with Allah’s favours.

10. I will maintain fraternal relations with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, exclusively for Allah’s sake with the pledge of submission in the right cause till my death, and in this fraternal kinship will be so thoroughly steadfast as to be above all blood relations and connections, and all worldly positions.

Concomitant with the Pledge is the central role of tauba or repentance, as the Founder emphasises in the following two excerpts:

"The most important point in the Bai‘at is tauba (repentance) which means turning back. It indicates that condition in which man is closely connected with sin, and it is as if sins are the homeland and he is living in that habitation. Tauba means that he is now leaving this homeland. Turning back (ruju‘) means to adopt piety (to become pious). Leaving one’s homeland is indeed a hard thing to do, and it entails thousands of hardships. When a man leaves his home, he feels it very much, then how much more one must be feeling while leaving one’s homeland. He leaves everything: his household belongings, his streets and his neighbours and bazaars and goes to another country. He does not come back to his old homeland. This is tauba. When a man is a sinner, his friends are different from those who are going to be his friends when he adopts taqwa (fear of God). The mystics have termed this change as ‘death’ or like a dry branch receiving life and becoming green again" (Malfuzat I, p. 2).

"You must remember that this Jama‘at has not been formed for the members to increase their wealth and achieve success in worldly affairs and that they should lead their lives in comfort. A person who is hankering after these things is utterly disliked by God. They should look at the lives of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). They did not like to live forever. Instead, they were always prepared to lay down their lives for Allah’s sake. The bai‘at signifies selling one’s self. When one has dedicated one’s life, why should one, then, think and talk too much of this life? Anyone who does that can be said to have initiated into this Jama‘at as a matter of formality. He may be expected to leave the Jama‘at at any time. Only such a person can stay as a member who is desirous of establishing his faith on a solid foundation. One should study the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions every day" (Malfuzat VIII, p. 185).

Over and over in his writings Mirza Sahib has underscored the need for tazkiyya-e nafs, that is, the purification of the inner-self of all filthy and egoistic thoughts and desires for, without this precondition, there can be no spiritual progress, however exalted our intellectual powers may be. This he states categorically in Malfuzat II:

"I do not want you when taking the bai‘at (pledge of fealty) to repeat the words like a parrot. You can derive no benefit from that. Instead, you should acquire the knowledge of self-purification, for that is indeed the indispensable prerequisite to progress. It was never my intention that you should argue and quarrel over the death and life of the Promised Messiah. That is a matter of small importance and you should not remain stuck in it. That was an error of belief, which I have corrected.

In fact, my work and my purpose go very far beyond that controversy. What I really want you to do is to perform a complete change within yourself and transform yourself into a new personality. That is why it is important for every one of you to understand that secret and make such a reformation in yourself that you can truly say: "I am a different person" (pp. 71-72). [Kalamazad Mohammed, Speeches, Articles and Sermons, Vol. II, pp. 14-16.]

To rid ourselves of bad zann (evil thoughts and feelings) about others, Mirza Sahib has added to repentance the power of istighfar, but firstly he exhorts us not to underrate the deadly, insidious poison of thinking ill of others. He writes:

"I tell you truly that the habit of thinking ill of others is a great affliction which destroys a person’s faith, flings him far away from truth and converts his friends into enemies. In order to acquire the qualities of the righteous, it is necessary that a person should altogether shun the habit of thinking ill of others, and should he happen to fall into that attitude concerning someone else, he should seek forgiveness repeatedly and should supplicate God Almighty that he may be safeguarded against such sinfulness and the consequences that flow from it. This habit should not be underrated. It is a dangerous disease, which destroys a person very quickly. In short, thinking ill of another ruins a person. It is written that when those who are condemned to hell are brought face to face with it, God Almighty would say to them: You had become guilty of thinking ill of God" (Malfuzat, vol. II, p. 356).

He then explains istighfar as follows:

"The meaning of istighfar is that no sin maybe committed openly and the propensity towards evil may be suppressed. It is true that in spite of being sinless the Prophets of God also engaged in istighfar but their istighfar was for the purpose of preventing future lapses. But, for the common people, another dimension of istighfar is that Allah may save them from the repercussions of past crimes or sins and forgive them their sins and protect them from future ones.

In any case, it is imperative for man to be constantly engaged in istighfar. The purpose of famines and other kinds of calamities that descend on the earth is to remind people that they should constantly make istighfar. But the meaning of the word is not that one should repeat superficially astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. In fact, because it is an expression in a foreign language, Arabic, the deeper meaning is hidden from people. Of course, the Arabs are very cognizant of the various meanings of this expression. But in our country, because Arabic is a foreign tongue, may of the intricate realities of this language are unknown to us.

There are many people who claim to have made istighfar abundantly – that they have read a hundred tasbihs (prayer of glorification), or a thousand, but if you ask them the purpose and meaning of istighfar, they may well become dumbfounded. Man ought, with full sincerity and in the depth of his heart, to ask forgiveness for the sins and transgressions he committed in the past, that he may not suffer punishment for them, and in the future, he should, with genuine sincerity of heart, continuously beseech Allah for His help in guiding him to do good deeds and to save him from future transgression.

Remember well that nothing is achieved by mere words. Istighfar can be made in your own language by asking Allah to efface your past sins and protect you from future ones and to guide you to do righteous deeds, for this is the essence of istighfar. There is no need to repeat constantly, like a parrot, astaghfirul-Lah, astaghfirul-Lah, while your heart is untouched. Bear in mind that it is only that prayer which is uttered with sincerity of heart that reaches Allah, Most High. Therefore, you should make abundant du‘a (supplication) to Allah in your own tongue, for this makes an impression on the heart. If there is enthusiasm in the heart and if this is shared by the tongue, then that is a commendable thing. Without participation of the heart, it is futile to make du‘a with the tongue alone. Verily, du‘as that issue from the heart are indeed genuine.

If, before a calamity strikes, man constantly makes sincere supplications to Allah, Most High, and also engages in istighfar, then, through the mercy and beneficence of Allah, that disaster is averted. But when the disaster actually descends, it is too late to be warded off. One should therefore always make du‘a before the misfortune falls and one should also immerse oneself in istighfar beforehand. In this way, Allah protects a person in the time of affliction.

My Jama‘at members should display a distinctive feature in their lives. If someone takes bai‘at (oath of fealty) and goes away and yet shows no difference in his behaviour, for example, he treats his wife in the same way as before and so, too, his family and relations, then that cannot be regarded as exemplary conduct. If, after having taken the bai‘at, he still maintains the same bad morals and behaviour, then what is the use of the bai‘at? After having taken the bai‘at he ought to present such an example of probity that, not only his relatives, but strangers and his neighbours, too, will proclaim for themselves that he is not the same person he was in the past.

Remember well, too, that if you purify your heart and do good deeds, you will certainly cast fear in the hearts of others. Look at the awe-inspiring personality of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Once, the unbelievers were terribly afraid that he would hurl imprecations on them, so they came together to him and requested him not to curse them. A truthful person certainly possesses a commanding personality. So, you must purify yourselves thoroughly and do good deeds only for the sake of Allah and you will be sure to exert a powerful influence on others and put fear in their hearts" (Malfuzat IX, pp. 372-374). [Kalamazad Mohammed, Speeches, Articles and Sermons, pp. 14-16.]

In fact, Mirza Sahib goes much further and says that he wants us to perform miracles. These he calls akhlaqi mu‘jizat or moral miracles, and he ends his explanation thus:

"Every person who gives up evil morals and blameworthy habits and replaces them with beautiful and virtuous habits is a miracle-worker. For example, if he possesses a very harsh disposition and his temper is easily aroused and he forsakes them for forbearance and forgiveness or he exchanges miserliness for generosity or adopts compassion in place of envy, then, indeed he has wrought a miracle. And so, too, if he relinquishes egoism and self-conceit for humility and meekness, then, that, too, is a miraculous act. So, who is there among you who does not cherish the ambition to become a miracle-worker? I am sure that everybody will like to do this in his life. So, without doubt, it will go down as a perpetual and ever-living miracle if a man should change his moral condition, for this is such a miracle that is never destroyed but instead its influence is spread far and wide.

A believer should become a miracle worker in the eyes of God and of people, too. There have been many drunkards and rakes who were unimpressed by any extraordinary sign but who were forced to bow their heads in acquiescence before a change in the moral conduct of another person (who was like them). If you examine the lives of many people, you will find that they accepted the religion of truth only after having witnessed a miraculous transformation in the moral conduct of someone else" (Malfuzat I, pp. 141-142). [Kalamazad Mohammed, Speeches, Articles and Sermons, Vol. I, pp. 6-7.]

To forge this personality, Mirza Sahib has underlined the principal condition of putting Allah first in our lives and loving the Holy Prophet (pbuh) more than any human, together with the importance of salah (formal prayer) and du‘a (supplication) in moulding our personality.

In Kishti-Nuh (The Ark of Noah), he encourages us to have a living faith in a living God as the chief motivating factor of our body and soul:

"In order to observe my teachings in the proper manner, it is essential that one should firmly believe that there is an All-Powerful, All-Sustaining Supreme Being, that Creator of everything, Changeless, Everlasting and Eternal. He does not beget, nor was He begotten. He is Holy, so that there is no need or occasion for Him to go on the Cross, nor suffer in any way, nor be subject to death. He is such that although He is far removed, He is still very near; and being very near, He is still very far. Although He is One, and absolutely unique, His manifestations are diverse and multifarious. Whenever there occurs in man a transformation, for the changed man He becomes a new God, Who deals with him on the basis of a fresh manifestation. In fact, the person witnesses a change in Allah in proportion to the change in himself – not that there occurs any change in Allah, He being Eternal, Changeless and most perfect in Himself – but with every change in man for the better, Allah also reveals Himself to him in a fresh and clearer manifestation. With every progressive effort on the part of man, Allah also shows Himself with a higher and more powerful manifestation. He displays an extraordinary manifestation of His power and glory only when man shows an extraordinary change in himself. This is the root and the essence of the marvels and miracles witnessed at the hands of all servants of Allah. Belief in this God with these powers is the most essential condition of our Movement. Inculcate this belief in your hearts and give to its implications and requirements the first and topmost priority over all considerations of self, over all comforts and relationships. By means of actions in the field of your daily life and with unflinching courage, show steadfast loyalty in His way.

Others in this world do not give Him preference over material means and the support they hope to get from their friends and relations. But you must give Him the first place so that in heaven you should come to be reckoned as His people.

To show signs of grace is the eternal way of Allah. But you can partake of this blessing only when there remains no difference and no distance between Him and you: only when all your wishes, hopes and desires merge into His will; only when, at all times, in success or failure, in hope or disappointment, you remain in humble prostration at His door, so that He should do with you what He may choose.

If you act like this, in you will appear that God Who for a long time has kept His face concealed from the world. Who is there among you, then, who will act upon this teaching, seeking only His pleasure, without the slightest sense of dissatisfaction against the way His will works?

Even in distress you should put your best foot forward, for this is the secret of your success; and you should strive to the utmost limit of your power to spread the idea of His uniqueness and unity all over the earth" (pp. 1-2). [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Ark of Noah, pp. 1-2.]

These words from Mirza Sahib bring to mind the poetic expression of the English poet, William Cowper, which deals with the same subject:

The Winter Morning Walk:
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste
His works. Admitted once to His embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before:
Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart
Made pure shall relish, with divine delight,
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.

Concerning the extreme love of and obedience to the Holy Prophet (pbuh), which we must develop if we are to advance in our spiritual life, he writes:

"It would have not have been possible for me to have attained this grace if I had not followed the footsteps of my lord and master, the pride of all the prophets, the bests of mankind, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Whatever I have achieved, I have achieved by following him, and I know from verified and reliable experience that no man can reach God and obtain a deeper understanding of His ways without following that Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Now, let me also make it known that the very first thing you are rewarded with, after having completely submitted yourself to the instructions and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is that you are granted a new heart which is always rightly-inclined, that is to say, a heart which has turned cold upon the love of this material world, and instead it begins to yearn for an everlasting heavenly pleasure. Having achieved this desire, this heart is now fit to receive that perfect and purest love – the love of God. Because of your complete obedience to him all these blessings are bequeathed to you as his spiritual heritage" (Haqiqat-ul Wahy, pp. 64-65).

Muslims can never rise again as a powerful world force unless we follow the Holy Prophet (pbuh) with the same intensity as did the early Muslims. Consider how poignantly Mirza Sahib makes this point in the following couplet:

We became the best of nations solely because of you, O, Most excellent of the Prophets.
Only when we benefited from your spiritual advancements did we march forward.

So great was his love for the Holy Prophet that he fearlessly proclaimed to the world that if to love the Holy Prophet was tantamount to being a kafir (unbeliever), then he was the greatest of all kafirs (unbelievers).

As regards salah, he says:

"The essence of salah. The next pillar (of Islam) is salah, the scrupulous observance of which has been repeatedly mentioned in the Holy Quran and, in addition, remember that in the same Holy Quran, a curse has been placed on those praying ones who are heedless of the nature of salah, and are niggardly towards their brothers. The truth is that salah is an entreaty to Allah imploring Him to preserve us from all kinds of evils and sins. Man is afflicted by pain and sorrow on being separated from Allah and wishes to attain closeness to Him through salah, by means of which he can enjoy that peace and tranquillity which is a consequence of salvation. But this desire cannot be achieved by man's own ingenuity or goodness. Unless Allah summons, he cannot approach. If He does not purify him, man cannot be cleansed.

Innumerable people can testify to the fact that many a time there arises in their minds a powerful desire to rid themselves of a particular sin in which they are enmeshed, yet they fail even after a thousand attempts, and in spite of the persistent pricking of their conscience, they still slide into error. From this, it is clear that to purify a person of sins is the work of Allah, Most High. Nothing can be achieved through one's own power. However, it is also true that one must strive after this goal.

In short, that inner self which is filled with sins has fallen far from knowing Allah and from coming near to Him and can be purified and brought closer from afar only through the instrumentality of salah. Through this medium, those evils are expelled and in their place, pure feelings are generated in the heart as the Holy Quran says: Except him who repents and believes and does good deeds; for such Allah changes their evil deeds to good ones. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful (25:70).

This is the secret behind the saying that salah drives away vices or keeps one away from evils and indecencies. Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Book and keep up prayer. Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil; and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest (force). And Allah knows what you do (29:45).

Again, what is salah? It is a du'a accompanied by complete pain and heart-burning, and so that is why it is called salah, for with burning and pangs of separation and pain, supplication is made that Allah may drive away evil desires and low passions from our hearts and engender in their stead His pure love as a sample of His universal grace. In this regard, the word salah constitutes strong proof that mere words and supplication alone are not sufficient, but they must be accompanied by heart-burning, weeping and pain. Allah, Most High, does not listen to any du'a unless the petitioner reaches the point of death. To make a du'a in the proper way is a difficult thing and people are very ignorant of the nature of it. Many people write me letters complaining that at a certain time they made du'a for a particular affair but it made no difference. They thus begin to distrust Allah, Most High, and sink into despondency and finally suffer destruction. They do not know that if the requirements of du'a are not fulfilled, that supplication of theirs can never be efficacious.

One of the essentials of supplication is that the heart should melt and the soul should flow like water at the threshold of the Holy One, and fear and distress should be generated in the heart, and together with this, man should not be impatient or hasty but should engage in supplication with perseverance and constancy. Then it can be hoped that the du'a will be accepted.

Salah is the highest degree of du'a but it is a pity that people do not appreciate the value of it, and consider it to just consist of bowing and making prostration routinely and repeating by rote a few sentences like a parrot, regardless of whether they understand the meaning or not.

Another regrettable development has come into being, in that Muslims were already ignorant of the true reality of salah and never paid much attention to it. Now, on top of this, there have sprung up many sects that have removed the requirements of salah and substituted in its place a few incantations and chants. Some are Noshahis, others are Chistis, and some belong to this or to that religious school. These people are waging an internal battle against Islam and the commands of Allah and are breaking the bounds of the Shari'ah and are establishing a new Shari'ah. Please do remember that to us and to every dispassionate seeker after truth, salah is such a living blessing that there is no need for any innovation. Whenever the Holy Prophet (pbuh) experienced any difficulty or misfortune, he immediately resorted to salah, and that is my own practice, too, and that of all the righteous ones who have passed away.

There is nothing greater than salah to take a person to Allah. When man takes the standing position (qiyam) in salah, he assumes a posture of courtesy and submission. When a servant stands before his master, he always stands with folded arms.

Then in the bowing position (ruku‘), he shows greater submission than when standing, and prostration (sajdah) reflects the uttermost limit of subservience. When man sinks into the state of total self-effacement, he then falls down in prostration. Woe to those foolish people and those worshippers of this world's life who wish to make amendments to salah and make objections to ruku‘ (bowing) and sujud (prostration). These are virtues of the highest degree. The fact is that, until a man partakes of the experience which takes salah to its fullness, he knows nothing. But the man who has no faith in Allah cannot have any faith in salah either.

Whatever I say is not mere imitation (hearsay) or custom. Instead, I speak out of my own experience. Furthermore, any person who performs salah like this and tries it out himself, will see for himself. Always keep this prescription in mind and make use of it so that whenever any sorrow or calamity strikes, immediately resort to salah, and whatever the troubles and difficulties, disclose them fully to Allah and make petition to Him, for He certainly does exist and it is He Who extricates man from all kinds of troubles and calamities. He hears the cry of the supplicant and there is no helper except Him. Very deficient in faith are those people who, when faced with misfortunes, turn to lawyers and doctors or to others, but leave no room at all for Allah. The true believer is he who flees to Allah first of all.

This point, too, you ought to remember, that if you pay no heed to Allah, and do not look to Him, no harm can be done to His Person thereby and He will not care for you as He, Himself says: Say: My Lord will not care for you if you do not worship Him with a sincere heart. Just as He is Beneficent and Merciful, so too is He Self-sufficient, above all needs (25:77)" (Malfuzat, vol. 9, pp. 108-113).

"The next quality of a muttaqi (pious person) is that he upholds salah. Here, by muttaqi is meant one who performs salah in whatever way he can. That is, sometimes this salah happens to "fall down" but he sets it upright again. A muttaqi fears Allah all the time and establishes prayer. But in this state there arise many different kinds of distracting thoughts and troubles which enter his mind and present an obstacle to his concentration and "throw down" his salah. Despite this pulling and tugging in his mind, he still performs his prayer. Sometimes his salah "falls down", but he sets it straight again and he remains in this condition where, with repeated efforts, and proper observance of prayer, he keeps it straight to such an extent that Allah, Most High, bestows guidance on him by actually speaking to him. And what is this guidance of his? At that time, instead of setting upright the fallen prayer, people reach the point where these struggles and evil insinuations depart from their life and Allah, Most High, by unseen means, confers upon them that rank concerning which it is said that many men become so perfect that salah to them is like food and it brings them the pleasure and relish that a person in the throes of a searing thirst receives when he drinks cold water, for he drinks it eagerly and finds extreme pleasure in quenching his thirst; or, just as if a person who is suffering the burning pangs of hunger should get a most delectable meal which brings extreme happiness to him, so, too, in salah, that same feeling is born and salah provides him with a kind of intoxication in the absence of which he experiences great anxiety and perturbation. But in fulfilling salah in the proper manner his heart experiences particular joy and coolness which is not the lot of every person, nor are words adequate to describe this ecstasy. Man makes steady progress and reaches the point where he contracts a personal love for Allah and there is no necessity for him to make his salah "upright" for it is already in that condition and continues to be so all the time. A natural transformation begins to take birth in him and to such a man Allah's pleasure is his pleasure, too. Such a change comes over man that his love for Allah becomes a natural love in which there is no pretence nor hypocrisy. Just as the animals find pleasure in their eating and drinking and mating, so, too, does the believer find delight in salah, but to an exceedingly greater degree. Therefore, one must perform salah as best as one can.

Salah is the root and stairway of all advancement and for this reason it has been said that "salah is the mi'raj of the believer". In this religion, there have been hundreds and thousands of saints and righteous ones, abdals and qutbs. How do you think they achieved their exalted status? It was by means of salah. Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself said: "The coolness of my eyes is in salah," and, in fact, when man attains this station and rank, then salah provides the most consummate pleasure for him, and that is the meaning of our Holy Prophet's words.

Thus, after receiving deliverance from the struggles of the ego, man attains a lofty status" (Malfuzat, vol. 8, pp. 309-311). [Kalamazad Mohammed, The Soul of Salah and Du'a in Islam, pp. 22-27.]

Furthermore, salah must not be performed in a rapid, superficial and perfunctory manner but must be performed with deep concentration and with weeping of the eyes and the heart. As a matter of fact, salah must become our life, as he illustrates in this explanation of the verse: And those who keep a guard over their prayers (23:9):

"The sixth spiritual stage is mentioned in the verse, And those who keep a guard over their prayers. That is, they stand in need of no admonition or reminder. Instead, such is the strength of their connection with Allah, Most High, and so personal and innate to them is the remembrance of Allah, and so much is it the source of their life and their tranquillity that they guard and treasure every moment of this remembrance. In fact, every second of their lives is devoted to the remembrance of Allah and they try their utmost not to be forgetful of Him even for the twinkling of an eye.

It is, indeed, a fact that man will try his best to guard and preserve continuously, something upon which the very existence of his life depends. Take the example of a traveller who has to traverse a waterless desert and who has no hope of getting food or water for hundreds of miles. Look at how carefully he will guard whatever food and water he is taking with him. He will consider his sustenance equal to his life for he knows for sure that the loss of his provisions will result in a swift death for him.

Thus, similar to that traveller are those believers who keep a close watch over their salah (prayer). Even if they suffer a loss in wealth or in honour, or sometimes feel that salah (prayer) is a somewhat irksome task, yet they never abandon it and are always in a state of great anguish that their prayer may be wasted, and they even writhe as if in the agonies of death for they do not want to be separated from Allah even for a second.

In fact, they regard prayer and the remembrance of Allah as the indispensable sustenance of their lives. This condition comes into being only when Allah loves them, for then a burning flame from His personal love, which is like a ruh (spirit) for the spiritual sustenance of man, descends on their hearts and infuses them with another life and that spirit suffuses the whole of their spiritual being with light and power.

They then engage in the remembrance of Allah without the slightest trace of show or pretence. On the other hand, Allah, Who has made man's physical life dependent on food and water, has made His remembrance the nourishment of their spiritual life which they love so much that they give precedence to this sustenance over their physical food and water, and live in constant fear of suffering any loss in it" (Supplement to Barahin-e Ahmadiyyah).

In regard to du'a, Mirza Sahib explains:

"Why the Quran begins and ends with a du'a. Remember this point, that the reason Allah, Most High, began the Holy Quran with a du'a (supplication) and ended it with one is to emphasise the fact that man is so weak that he can never become pure without Allah's grace, and unless he receives help and victory from Him, he can never advance in righteousness. It is mentioned in a hadith that everyone is dead except him to whom Allah gives life, and all are astray except him to whom Allah gives guidance, and all are blind except him to whom Allah gives sight.

In short, it is an indisputable fact that unless man receives the grace of Allah, the yoke of the love of the world will always cling to his neck. Only those whom Allah has blessed can achieve deliverance from this. You must bear in mind that it is du'a that initiates the fervour of Allah. However, do not for a moment think that du'a is mere verbal prattling for, indeed, du'a connotes the undergoing of a kind of death and only after this can one gain life.

Du'a possesses a magnetic property which attracts to itself grace and fervour" (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 62). [Kalamazad Mohammed, The Soul of Salah and Du'a in Islam, pp. 30-31.]

"The philosophy of du'a. Behold a child, through hunger, becomes restless and anxious and begins to scream and cry for milk and automatically milk surges in the breasts of the mother. Although the child does not even know the name du'a, yet his screams are the means by which milk is attracted. This experience is a universal one. Many times it has been observed that mothers do not even feel the presence of milk in their breasts and often there is not any; yet, immediately upon the desperate scream of the child reaching their ears, milk instantly begins to flow as if there is a powerful connection between the cries and the generation of milk.

I say with all sincerity that if we display a similar helplessness before Allah, then it will stimulate and draw His grace and mercy; and I affirm on the basis of my own experience that Allah's grace and mercy, which come through the acceptance of du'a, I have felt being drawn towards me, and even more, I have seen it, also. It is true that the modern-day obscure-minded philosophers can neither feel nor see this; but this truth cannot be abolished from the world, especially as I am always ready to demonstrate the certainty of the acceptance of du'a" (Malfuzat, vol. 1, p.198). [Kalamazad Mohammed, The Soul of Salah and Du'a in Islam, pp. 31.]

In addition, he tells us that du’a was his tool or his main weapon in his fight for religious supremacy of Islam and exhorts us not to let an hour of our life pass without making supplication to the Almighty for du’a was the most potent force in the universe, far more powerful than all the forces of nature. In fact, he attributes the miracle of the transformation of mankind to the supplication the Holy Prophet made in the dead of night:

"A strange phenomenal event took place in the deserts of Arabia, when hundreds of thousands of the dead became alive within a few days, and those who had been corrupted through generations took on divine colour. The blind began to see, and the tongues of the dumb began to flow with divine wisdom. Such a revolution took place in the world that no eye had seen and no ear had heard of before. Do you realise what this was? All this was brought about by prayers during the darkness of night of one who had been wholly lost in God. This created such an uproar in the world and manifested such wonders as seemed impossible at the hands of that unlettered helpless person. O Allah! Send down blessings and peace on him and on his followers in proportion to his concern and suffering for the Muslim ummah (the people of Islam), and shower upon him the light of Thy mercy forever" (Barakat-ud Du’a, pp. 10-11).

A stellar quality with which to decorate our star-studded personality that Mirza Sahib emphasises repeatedly in his writings is an unbounded love for the Holy Quran – a love that finds expression in this poem of his:

The Quran points to God, because it is the work of God. Without it, the orchard of the spiritual knowledge is desolate.
The light which I find in this Book can never be found in the thousands of suns.
This has purified my heart and soul. It stands as a mirror to its own face.
The sadness which was found in my soul has disappeared. The darkness which engulfed the hearts has all turned into light.
The days of autumn have changed into the days of spring. The fresh breeze has started blowing by the grace of the Beloved.
[Songs of Islam, pp. 76-77.]

In A’ina-e Kamalat-e Islam, he writes:

"It has been disclosed to me that the garden of holiness is irrigated by the water of the Quran, which is a surging ocean of the water of life. He who drinks from it comes to life and brings others to life."

When Muslims had fallen into error by relegating the Holy Quran to a secondary position in relationship to the Hadith, Mirza Sahib reaffirmed the supremacy of the Holy Quran as the chief source of guidance for Muslims (with the Sunnah and the Hadith coming respectively second and third). He writes in Kishti-Nuh:

"The foremost among these is the Holy Quran, which sets forth the unity of Allah, His grandeur and greatness and also decides all points in dispute between the Jews and the Christians. Further, the Quran forbids you to worship anything other then Allah – neither man, nor beast, nor sun, nor moon, nor any other heavenly body, nor material means, nor your own selves. Therefore, beware! Do not take a single step in opposition to anything contained in the Holy Book. Indeed, I tell you truly that whosoever circumvents even the least of the seven hundred commandments embodied in the Holy Quran, closes the door of salvation upon himself" (p. 16).

It is recorded that whenever he had an important matter to answer he read the Holy Quran from beginning to end in order to find all the verses that were related to that subject and, in so doing, he must have read the Holy Book from cover to cover at least ten thousand times.

Allah, Most High, he said, revealed to him that "all good lies in the Quran," and so he recommended to his followers that whenever there was a group of Ahmadis, the study of the Holy Quran should form a regular feature of their religious training.

Another aspect of the beauteous personality that Mirza Sahib wants us to cultivate is steadfastness in the trials and tribulations we have to encounter in our journey through the perilous pathways of life. The following extract from the Teachings of Islam elucidates:

"The highest degree of perseverance is called forth when adversities encompass a man all around, when he is threatened with loss of life, property and honour in the Divine path, and whatever is consoling or comforting him forsakes him so much so that the Lord tries him even by closing the door of visions and revelations for a time. It is when a man is surrounded by these dreary sights and the last ray of hope disappears that perseverance must be shown. Under such ills and sufferings a man must show firmness, not swerve from the line; hold on through fire and flood, be willing to suffer every disgrace, wait for no succour or support, nor even seek any good tidings from on High, and in spite of his helplessness and the absence of all comfort, he must stand up firmly, submitting himself to the heavenly will without wringing his hands or beating his breast. This is the true perseverance which reveals the glorious face of God. It is this noble quality which the apostles, the righteous and the faithful still exhale. Referring to this, the Lord of the worlds directs the believers to pray to Him in the words: Guide us on the right path, the path of those (believers) upon whom Thou hast bestowed (Thy) favours (1:6-7)." [Kalamazad Mohammed, Necessity and Benefits of Trials and Tribulations, p. 22.]

This patient and cheerful acceptance of the decrees of Allah will help us to develop what Mirza Sahib regards as the chief characteristic of his followers: the acceptance of abuse and persecution from our opponents without replying in the same manner. Two quotations will suffice to shed light on this attribute. The first comes from one of his poems:

Pray for those who abuse you and offer comfort to those who hurt you.
When you meet the haughty and proud, display humility.

The other is taken from Kishti-Nuh:

"Be kind and merciful to humanity, for all are His creatures. Do not oppress them with your tongue, or hands, or in any other way. Always work for the good of mankind. Never unduly assert yourselves with pride over others, even those who are placed under you. Never use abusive language to anyone even though he abuses you. Be humble in spirit, kind and gently, and forgiving, sympathetic towards all and wish them well so that you should be accepted.

There are many who pretend to be kind, gentle and forgiving, but inside they are wolves. There are many on the outside who look pure, but in their hearts they are serpents; you cannot be accepted in the presence of the Lord unless you are pure, both on the outside and inside.

If you are big, have mercy and not contempt on those who are small; if you are wise and well versed in learning, serve the ignorant with words of wisdom. Never desire to bring disgrace on their ignorance by trying to show off your own learning. If you are rich, instead of treating them with egoistic and scornful pride, you should serve the poor.

Beware of the paths of destruction. Fear the Lord, be righteous and do not worship the creation of Allah. Turn wholly and solely to Him so that you lose interest in this world. Become entirely His, living wholly for His pleasure, for His sweet sake, hating everything impure and sinful for, indeed, He is the Holy One. Every morning should be a witness for you that you spent the night in righteousness, and every evening should be a witness for you that you went through the day with the fear of Allah in your heart.

Do not fear the curses the world may heap on you for they dissolve in the air like smoke and they cannot turn day into night. What you should be afraid of is the curse that comes from Allah, which totally uproots from both the worlds those on whom it falls" (pp. 2-3).

But to develop the above qualities is not the work of a day, he reminds us. This is an undertaking that calls for great resolution and discipline. Just as a weight-lifter has to use dumbbells to increase his physical strength, so, too, we need spiritual dumbbells to help us to transcend the animal stages to the moral stage and then on to the spiritual stage. This spiritual training (riyazat) he explains in his book, The British Government and Jihad. After elucidating the true origin and meaning of jihad (struggle) in Islam, he charts a course for his followers to pursue in their own jihad against the base desires of the ego. He writes:

"At this point, I wish to specially impress on my community members who believe in me as the Promised Messiah that they should always keep aloof from such despicable habits. God has sent me as the Promised Messiah and has clothed me in the garb of the Messiah, son of Mary. As a result, I am advising all my followers to refrain from evil and to show true sympathy to all mankind. They should cleanse their hearts of hatred and malice for if they accomplish this feat they will become like the angels.

Is that religion which does not embody compassion for others not an impure and filthy one and is that path which is strewn with the thorns of selfishness and animosity not an abominable one?

Therefore, whoever is with me should eschew this condition. They should ask themselves what they want from religion. Do they wish to be oppressors at every turn? Certainly not! Religion should serve the purpose of helping them to acquire that life which lies in Allah and no one can gain that state of life neither now nor in the future unless his inner self is coloured with the colours of the Almighty. They must show mercy to all for God’s sake so that mercy may be shown to them. Let them come and I will point out to them such a path that will make their light more resplendent than all other lights. That path is the one which bids them to renounce all kinds of base rancour and jealousy and enjoins sympathy to all mankind and self-effacement in God. Besides this, they should acquire a high degree of purity for that is the way that leads to nobility and the acceptance of supplications and the descent of angels with assistance.

However, that task cannot be accomplished in one day. They must continue to make steady progress and learn a lesson from the washerman who first puts the clothes in a kiln to boil and leaves it there until the heat of the fire separates all the dirt and impurity from the clothes. He gets up next morning and goes to the river and beats it over and over on the stones. Then the dirt, which had penetrated into the fabric and had become as if part of it, under the heat of the fire and the beating in the water from the washerman’s arms, begins to be detached from the clothes so much so that they become as white as they were originally.

This is the method of purifying the inner self of man whose complete salvation depends on this cleansing of the heart. This is the point that Allah, Most High, makes in the Holy Quran when He says: Successful is the one who purifies it (91:9). In other words, that soul which has been purified of all kinds of dirt and filth has received deliverance.

Behold! I have come to you people with a directive that henceforth jihad with the sword has come to an end but jihad for the purification of your souls still remains. This injunction is not from me but rather it is the will of God. Ponder over those sayings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) found in Sahih al-Bukhari in which reference is made to the Promised Messiah stating that when he would make his appearance he would put an end to wars. So I instruct those who have entered my fold to refrain from entertaining such false ideas concerning Jihad. Instead, purify your hearts and increase your store of human sympathy and become friends of the distressed. Spread peace on earth for it is by this means that the religion of Islam will gain ground. For just as God, without the agency of normal means, has made use of all the elements and all the matters on earth in order to satisfy physical needs through new inventions of the age, and the railways can be seen to outrun the horses, so, too, in order to fulfil spiritual needs, He will not resort to human power but will press the heavenly angels into service.

Many signs from heaven will be shown and there will be many flashes of light from which many eyes will gain sight. Then, finally, people will come to the realisation that all the human beings and other objects they had taken as gods besides the One True God were really false. So bear everything patiently for God is more jealous than you of His Unity. Continue making supplications that it may never come to pass that you will be numbered among the disobedient.

O, my friends who are hungry and thirsty for truth, hearken, for this is the day that was promised since the beginning of time. God will not allow these matters to continue for long, for just as you observe that when a lamp is placed on a high minaret, its light spreads far and wide, or, when lightning flashes from on high every quarter becomes brighter, so, too, will circumstances be in these days. For, in order to fulfil His prophecy that the call of the Messiah will flash throughout the world like lightning, or will light up the four corners of the earth like a lamp on a lofty minaret, God has created every essential means on earth."

If we imbibe the above qualities and colour ourselves with them, then it becomes easier for us to forge a bond of love, understanding, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and unity amongst ourselves and so develop that strength that is needed to fulfil our mission on earth. In the following extract, Mirza Sahib gives us in detail the salient qualities of brotherhood that we must develop:

"The truth is that everybody (in a jama‘at) is not at the same level of development. Allah, Most High, has Himself described the various classes of believers thus: So of them is he who wrongs himself; and of them is he who takes a middle course, and of them is he who is foremost in deeds of goodness by Allah’s permission. That is the great grace (35:32).

Secondly, it is also a fact that the Companions themselves (as) also made slow and gradual advancement both in their faith and in their actions. It is recorded that when our Holy Prophet (pbuh) went to Madinah he asked a companion for a piece of land on which to build a masjid, whereupon the companion made an excuse and said: "I need it for my own use."

What a grievous sin that was – that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) should request a piece of land to build a masjid and this person, a disciple to boot, should put his personal needs above those of the religion! But it was that same companion who later on willingly suffered martyrdom for the sake of Allah.

Progress always takes place by slow degrees. A person does something this year and in the next year he adds to it. However, if there exists any kind of evil thinking in our hearts, then we will be acting like someone to whom there comes for help a sick person who is beset by all kinds of illnesses, and after giving him medicine for a day or two we turn him out without paying the full attention that he deserves and so no cure is effected

Our job is to make du‘a for others night and day with humility, and to supplicate Allah for their welfare. It is not fitting for a preacher to take offence at the slightest thing and show repugnance to people. At this stage these people are deserving of mercy and Allah, Most High, is making preparations for their reformation. Moreover, everyone is not at the same spiritual level. Amongst the Companions there were some who were close to the status of prophethood and many at a lower level than that – just as one finds pearls in the sea and corals, too, and shells and other things like gold and various kinds of creatures. The same obtains in a jama‘at.

Jama‘at members should make du‘a if they see a fault in a brother. If they do not do so and instead talk about it and circulate it, then they will be committing a sin. What shortcoming is so great that it cannot be expunged? Therefore we should always help our brother by making du‘a for him.

Furthermore, we should not speak ill of, nor backbite our fellow jama‘at members. The Holy Quran instructs us thus: O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin; and spy not nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful (49:12).

When our Holy Prophet (pbuh) was asked what constituted backbiting, he replied thus: "You talk about your brother which he dislikes…if what you say about him is true, still you would be backbiting him, and if what you say about him is not true, you will be slandering him" (Muslim).

We should realize that in a jama‘at there are people of varying temperaments and conditions. Some resemble people who are now recovering from a strong bout of illness, whilst others have acquired a bit of strength. Therefore, if weakness is discerned in someone, then he should be given good advice in private. If he does not heed it, then you should make du‘a for him, and if these two devices do not work, then he should be left to the will of Allah, Most High.

One should not therefore be quick to take offence at the faults of others, for we should remember that among the ranks of the qutbs and abdals there were many who had previously committed wrong deeds like fornication and theft. Therefore, we must not be too hasty to abandon a brother, for if a person’s child is guilty of wrongdoing, he tries all methods available to reform him. The same treatment should be accorded a brother in faith.

The Holy Quran has not taught us to spread or publish abroad the defects of others. On the contrary, it exhorts us thus: Exhort one another to patience, and exhort one another to marhamah (mercy) (90:17).

By marhamah is meant that if one observes a blemish in someone, then offer him good advice and make du‘a for him. Du‘a has a very powerful effect and it is regrettable that a person should observe the fault of a brother and talk of it a hundred times without even once making du‘a for him. One should speak of the fault of another only after he has wept in supplication for him for at least forty days.

How eloquently the poet Sa‘di spoke when he observed that Allah, Most High, Who knows everything, conceals our shortcomings from public view but our neighbours who know nothing make a big hue and cry over our alleged defects. One of the names of Allah is As-Sattar – the One Who covers and hides the weaknesses of His servants - and we should therefore inculcate that quality of His in accordance with the dictum of the Holy Prophet – "Colour yourselves with the Divine colours."

It is not our intention that you should become a protector or conniver of faults but what is discouraged is that you should publish the defects of your brothers and malign them in any way, for our Holy Prophet (pbuh) has mentioned this as a sin.

Shaikh Sa‘di had two students – one who was very brilliant in his exposition of deep spiritual truths and insights whilst the other was of an envious disposition. The former complained to the shaikh that whenever he made a commentary on any subject, his colleague would burn with envy. The shaikh replied that one student had chosen the road to Hell by his envy whilst the other had done the same by ill-speaking his brother.

In short, there can never be a jama‘at unless there exist mutual mercy, compassion, du‘a and the habit of concealing the faults of others" (Malfuzat VII, pp. 77-79).

In Tadhkiratush Shahadatain (A Story of Two Martyrdoms), he warns us of allowing petty differences to ruin our personality and our communal solidarity and cut us off from spiritual sustenance:

"How often I find that the beginning and the end of many a person is not in harmony. Owing to trivial reasons, some satanic insinuations, or to evil influence of bad company, they fall away and cut themselves asunder."

This feeling of brotherhood must not be limited to our own community but must extend to all our Muslim brothers and sisters and to all mankind also. He advises us thus in the following two excerpts:

"The principle to which we adhere is that we have kindness at heart for the whole of mankind. If anyone sees the house of a Hindu neighbour on fire and does not come forward to help extinguish it, most truly I declare that he does not belong to me. If anyone of my followers, having seen someone attempting to murder a Christian does not endeavour to save him, I most truly declare that he does not belong to us" (Siraj Munir, p. 28).

"I proclaim to all Muslim, Christians, Hindus and Aryas that I have no enemy in the world. I love mankind with the love that a compassionate mother has for her children, even more so. I am only the enemy of the false doctrines which kill truth. Human sympathy is my duty. My principle is to discard falsehood. I reject paganism, wrongdoing, misconduct, injustice and immorality" (Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 17).

Finally, in Kishti-Nuh he leaves us in no doubt as to who is a follower of his and who is not:

"Who belongs to my community and who does not. Having explained all these things, I repeat once more that you must not rest satisfied merely because in an outward form you have taken bai‘at at my hand. The outward form means nothing. Allah sees what lies in your hearts, and He will deal with you on the basis of what He sees there.

I herein discharge my duty to you by making it plain that sin is a poison. Do not take it. Disobedience to Allah is an evil death which you should avoid. Turn to prayer so that you should get the strength to repel sin. At the time of prayer, if a man does not firmly believe that Allah has power over everything except what may be contained in a previous promise, then such a one is not of my community. He who is caught in a web of worldly greed and never even raises his eyes to things which pertain to the next life, is not of my community. Whosoever does not wholly and completely keep away from every sin and every evil action, like wine, gambling, looking lustfully at women, dishonesty, bribes, and from every kind of illegal gratification, is not of my community. Whosoever is not constantly turning to prayer, and does not remember Allah in absolute humility of spirit, is not of my community. Whosoever does not respect his parents, whosoever does not render obedience to them in things which do not run counter to the Holy Quran, and whosoever is neglectful in rendering to them the service to which they are undoubtedly entitled is not of my community. Whosoever does not live with his wife and her relations with gentleness, goodness and generosity is not of my community. Whosoever deprives his neighbour of the very least good in his power is not of my community. Whosoever has no wish to forgive the faults of those who may have transgressed against him and desires to nurse malice is not of my community. Every man or woman who is dishonest towards his or her spouse is not of my community. Whosoever in any way violates the pledge he took at my hand at the time of the bai‘at is not of my community. Whosoever does not really hold me to be the Promised Messiah is not of my community. Whosoever is not prepared to obey me in all things known to be right and virtuous is not of my community. And whosoever, as a habit, sits among those who are hostile towards me falling into tacit and silent agreement with them is not of my community.

Every adulterer, debauchee, drunkard, murderer, thief, gambler, dishonest person, bribe-taker, usurper, oppressor, tyrant, liar, forger, and the associate of these, and whosoever brings false accusations and scandal against his brothers and sisters, is not of my community unless he fully repents of his misdeeds and totally abandons his bad associates and turns a new leaf.

Indeed, all these things are poisons. You cannot partake of them and live, for light and darkness cannot exist together" (pp. 8-9).

In conclusion, Mirza Sahib presents to us a few of the blessings that Allah will confer on us if we accept him as the Imam of the Age and follow him as the Holy Prophet instructed us. He says:

"The world cannot accept me because I do not belong to this world. But those who are gifted with a measure of other-worldliness are the ones who accept and will accept me. The one who rejects me rejects Him Who has sent me, and the one who is grafted to me is grafted to Him Whom I represent. I bear a torch which will illumine all those who come close to me, but the one who entertains suspicion and doubt and runs away will be subjected to darkness. I am the impregnable fortress for this age; whoever enters my fold will be protected from thieves, robbers and the beasts of the wilderness" (Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3).

May Allah bless and guide us all as we strive to put religion above the world and offer humanity the bounty of a personality that has taken its colour from its leader for, as Mirza Sahib says: "The truth of the matter is that the capacity and power of the preceptor surely affect the disciples."

May Allah truly fulfil this noble aspiration in our lives as Muhammad Azam Alvi encourages us in this soul-stirring poem which captures the Ahmadi zeal and fervour for the religion of Islam and its propagation:

For the sake of religion we shall sacrifice everything,
(And) will astonish everyone with the splendour of Islam.

Our glorification of God will shake the forces of falsehood,
We are Muslims and are determined to solve all the problems of our nation.

After learning the languages of the world, we shall publish the commentaries of the Quran,
(And) present before the world the true picture of Islam.

When mountains, forests and deserts will resound with our cries of Allah-u Akbar (God is Great),
We shall enlighten every heart with the light of the Quran.

We shall wake up those who are fast asleep in negligence,
We shall give new courage to those who have lost their destination.

We shall come to the rescue of those who are crying over their ill-luck,
We shall sing such songs that will cure all pains.
[Songs of Islam, p. 61.]

 


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