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Holy Quran Section > Sermons on the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib (1914 to 1951) > Striving in Allah's Way; Gambling and Drinking; Caring for Orphans; Marrying non-Muslims


Striving in Allah's Way; Gambling and Drinking; Caring for Orphans; Marrying non-Muslims:
Friday Sermon of Hazrat Ameer (Head) Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib - March 15, 1915
Translated by: Anonymous


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218. Those who believed and those who fled (their homes) and strove hard in Allah’s way -- these surely hope for the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

219. They ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them is a great sin and (some) advantage for men, and their sin is greater than their advantage. And they ask thee as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the messages that you may ponder.

220. On this world and the Hereafter. And they ask thee concerning the orphans. Say: To set right their (affairs) is good; and if you mix with them, they are your brethren. And Allah knows him who makes mischief from him who sets right. And if Allah pleased, He would have made matters difficult for you. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.

221. And marry not the idolatresses until they believe; and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress even though she please you. Nor give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you. These invite to the Fire and Allah invites to the Garden and to forgiveness by His will and He makes clear His messages to men that they may be mindful.

Holy Quran -- Chapter 2, Verses 218 -221

A Unique Feature of the Holy Quran -- Promises and Warnings have been Supported with Evidence:

In the Quran all the promises and warnings pertaining to the future are supported with some form of evidence. This is a unique characteristic of this pure book and is not possessed by any other book.

Indeed all of us desire to truly hope for the mercy of God. It is stated in the Quran that those who hope for God’s mercy are those who believed and those who fled (their homes) and strove hard in Allah’s way (See 2:218 above). Hope for God’s mercy is essentially identical to receiving it. For God places this hope in their hearts -- and this King is ever true to his promise.

A man pleased by his subordinate may promise him some reward. The subordinate’s hope of this reward may not necessarily be realised: The circumstances of the boss may change so he is unable to fulfil his promise, the boss may change his mind or some enmity may come between the two of them. But all such matters are far removed from the glory of God. God’s giving a person hope of his mercy is therefore truly equivalent to the person receiving God’s mercy. Hope inspired by God will not go to waste. Examine the historical circumstances of the Companion’s (rta) of the Prophet (pbuh) -- they believed, fled in God’s path and strove hard in God’s way. God’s mercy was ever-present and they were indeed blessed and rewarded greatly.

The Importance of Believing, Leaving one’s Abode and Striving:

Three matters have been specifically mentioned in verse 2:218:

1. To Believe

2. To leave one’s abode (those who fled)

3. To strive in God’s way.

The first thing that is necessary is belief -- and what does belief denote? It is to follow the correct path. For following the wrong path leads one away from blessings.

Secondly, leaving (Hijrit) is also essential. Some of the Holy Prophet’s Companions fled from their homes (the Prophets Companions of Mecca, for instance, who then settled in Medina -- Translator). I would emphasise the word "some" as not all the Prophet’s Companions needed to flee from their homes (the Prophet’s Companions in Medina, for instance -- Translator). It is for this reason that in Hadith (narration from the Holy Prophet) the following wider meaning of Hijrit (fleeing) appears:

A Muhajir (one who flees) is one who refrains from that which God has prohibited.

Every believer may practice this Hijrit all the time: This Hijrit is to refrain from sins, to suppress evil thoughts and to give up any bad habits. Yet there is a grade above this -- that of Jihad (striving). Refraining from sins in itself does not result in any worthwhile achievement until it is combined with progress in goodness.

Striving in God’s path is thus highly essential. Without it man cannot achieve completeness / perfection. In short, there are three prerequisites to seek God’s mercy -- Faith (to believe), Hijrit (fleeing from sin) and striving in the path of God. If any of these three is left out -- then one does not truly hope for the mercy of God.

Forty Days of Prayer for the Seeking of Guidance and Purification of Souls:

I did not wish to talk about the divisive issues of the split (in the Ahmadiyya movement -- into the Lahori and Qadiani Sections) during this Friday sermon, but I do want to say something regarding this matter:

The bounteous Quran provides no small guidance (hidayat) -- this pure book is sufficient for the purification of our souls (tazkia-e-nafs) and indeed purification of the soul should be our real purpose in life. Many excellent moral lessons, knowledge and principles can be learnt from the Quran -- yet on occasion it is necessary to respond:

It has been announced [by the Qadiani Khalifa -- Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud -- referred to in this sermon as Mian Sahib] that there are two kinds of people amongst you (this is regarding those people who have not taken the bait of Mian Sahib): some are mischievous and the rest are quite straight-forward and of a simple nature. The people of the second kind [the simpletons] do believe that Nabuwwat (the doctrine of the Qadianis that Prophethood still continues and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement was a prophet) is correct. But those individuals from the first category have no values/belief (iman): they neither believe in God nor in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) nor in Mirza (Ghulam Ahmad) Sahib. These people are mischievous and they create mischief for no good reason.

If according to this announcement there are any mischief-makers amongst you, then I am the first one; as whoever leads in creating mischief he does become responsible for the rest. It is true that I have been the first one and you all have followed me by accepting as truth that which I have said. Now for the ones who are simpletons amongst you, for them there is this order of collective praying for 40 days, so that God guides their hearts towards the truth.

This is a good thing. I myself pray that God guides the Ahmadi community (Jamaat) out of this error and if I am at fault then He guides me as well and if Mian Sahib is at fault then He guides him on the right path. So you should also pray that God Himself guides the Jamaat out of this error. Not only should you just pray, rather God has said that you should follow His straight path and correct your own beliefs. You should consider the beliefs on both sides and ponder them well as to who is on the right path. Then whichever path you find to be the right one, follow it. God has given you a heart; put it to good use. Use your intellect and understanding, so that you just don’t end up believing because I said so and it turns out to be the wrong path.

I am not upset that why has he asked us to pray; this is a very good way. As it is possible that God may change matters due to these prayers. Do not reject his beliefs just because I have said so. Do consider them and study and deliberate on them well. Consider our beliefs and deliberate on them as well, and also engage in prayers. Then if God indicates to you that those beliefs, which are presented by Mian Sahib are correct, then without any doubt follow them. This would cause me no grief as everybody should follow the path that they find to be correct and right.

The Dangerous Doctrine of Continuity of Prophethood:

This declaration of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib to be a prophet, is not only against the fundamentals of Islam, but to my mind also represents a serious attack on Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib himself. The Qadianis by not closing the door of Prophethood after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have embarked on a very dangerous course and are in serious error. The most dangerous position is of those who hold this doctrine only because Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud is their leader -- as their own understanding is not clarified.

Prophethood and Abundance of Communication with God:

In his book Haqiqat-un-Nabuwwat (Reality of Prophethood), Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Sahib has put forward a strange proposition that abundant revelation of the unseen constitutes prophethood. We can therefore infer from this, that those who receive a little bit of revelation are saints and those who receive abundantly become prophets. Very well -- but the question now arises as to what quantum of revelation received is considered abundant? Surely God must have defined a threshold. Let us assume that God has set an amount of a hundred (100) revelations at which Prophethood is attained and if a person has less then hundred revelations he is a saint.

Two results follow necessarily:

Firstly, that nobody on receiving revelation becomes a prophet but only when the number of revelations reach the threshold (of say, 100) does he become a prophet. This is however inconsistent with the fact that a prophet at the time of his appointment becomes immediately a prophet.

The second result is that nobody can remain a saint -- for he is a saint because he receives revelation from God. Now everyday with new revelation the amount of revelations is going to increase. So what would happen when he approaches the threshold of revelations needed for prophethood (say 99 revelations)? Either in future no more revelations would be received or God would cause him to die so that he does not progress to be a prophet and remains a saint.

When prophethood has been declared to be an abundance of prophethood, then a limit has to be placed on the revelation that the saint can receive -- after which they can receive no more revelations from God. Otherwise, if they continue to receive revelations, then the Qadianis are in a dilemma whether to declare these saints also as prophets or to concede that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not a prophet.

Mian Bashiruddin Ahmad and Abundance of Divine Communication:

Let us leave aside the number of revelations required -- and just focus on the words "Abundance of divine communications of the unseen" (Kusrut Amoor-e-Ghaibiyya). Now if the emphasis is only on these words -- then at one time Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud also became a prophet as in the 11th June 1914 edition of the newspaper Al-Fazal, a letter from Mian Bashir-ud-Din Ahmad has been published, wherein it is stated that "Abundant matters of the unseen are communicated to me." Yet, later on 5th March 1915, Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud no longer remained a prophet for on this date in his Friday sermon he stated " I have also received some revelations and visions." Now contrast the words "abundance" with "some". Do they denote the same thing? Or if they differ then to what extent and which of these two opposing statements are correct? Finally, why was Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad not a prophet on 11th June 1914?

Messengers are Required to Communicate their Revelations:

The more you examine a doctrine that is based on falsehood, the more the flaws will become apparent in it. There is a principle that can decide this matter. In this dispute one side’s arguments day by day are becoming flimsier while on the other side is characterised by strong arguments. So follow the side whose arguments are more sound. I am your leader (amir) and our opponents say that we have made an amir equivalent to their khalifa (spiritual master/leader). Yet, I say to you do not accept anything just because I say so (Maulana Muhammad Ali appears to be comparing his leadership to the approach of the Khalifa of Qadian whose doctrine was that disobeying a Khalifa is tantamount to entering the gates of hell). Definitely read the books written by Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud. If you discern that they contain the truth then accept them.

The work of the prophet is to "deliver that which has been revealed to thee" (Holy Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 67). No prophet has ever hidden any revelation to him. Mian Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Sahib, however, states that thousands of revelations by God to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad remain unpublished (The Reality of Prophethood, page 694). In this case Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib cannot be considered a prophet, for if he were a prophet he should not have kept hidden these revelations, but, instead published them for public consumption and presented them as his message. Strange, the published revelations number around two to three hundred, and thousands are kept secret. All this clearly shows that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib was not a prophet.

I do not say to you that you should not read any particular book or publication (of the Qadianis). Rather my advice is that you examine everything, with an open mind and heart and then accept what you feel is true without any hesitation or half-heartedness.

These matters of the split were a digression from the main topic to which I now return.

Comparatively, Muslims are Safer from Gambling and Drinking:

In the Quran it is stated:

They ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them is a great sin and (some) advantage for men, and their sin is greater than their advantage. (Holy Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 219)

Look at the heart of the man (Holy Prophet Muhammad) on which the Quranic revelation descended. Muslims truly detest gambling and drinking. Yet when the Holy Prophet was asked about their permissibility he responded that there is some advantage in them but their sin is much greater than their usefulness and therefore one should refrain from drinking and gambling.

A principle was communicated -- in this world there are many things that have some advantage and some loss -- but those things in which the loss is predominant should be refrained from.

The great holiness and spiritual influence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is demonstrated by the fact that the evils of drinking and gambling are comparatively much less prevalent in Muslims. Yes, there are some Muslims also who drink and gamble, but the point is comparatively to other people, these evils are much less present in Muslims.

Drink and Delicate Sensibilities -- a Deception:

Some people say drinking alcohol develops delicate sensibilities and thoughts. How I wish these people would read about the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They would then realise the pure and delicate sensibility he possessed although he always disliked to drink alcohol -- and in fact never even tasted a drop.

Among other things, a distinction possessed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad is that he was born in a nation addicted to alcohol -- yet he remained safe from it. A nation who drank five times a day, a nation who in their idol worship and ignorance had become the lowest of the low (Holy Quran 95.5) -- in such a nation a person of the calibre of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was born. He does not follow them in any of these evils and more than that he was a human being of pure and beautiful thoughts and ideas.

After Fulfilling your Needs Spend the Rest on the Path of God:

And they ask thee as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare (Holy Quran, 2:219)

Nowadays people complain that they are unable to fulfil their own necessities -- so how can we spend in God’s way? Yet if they read these verses closely, they would observe that they are commanded to totally give their lives and wealth in the path of God.

The Companions of the Holy Prophet were addressed in these verses. They had no wealth, so they barely were able to cover their necessities. They had left their houses and their city and lived in deep poverty. Manual labour was by and large their daytime occupation. In the evening out of their meagre earnings they bought what was needed for their subsistence and the balance they presented to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. These were the people who built the foundation of Islam and strengthened it with their blood. Their earning that they laboured and sweated so hard for was spent in the path of Islam. Oh, how I wish that among you were a people who if nothing else, would exert themselves fully -- for then Islam would not have entered this difficult age.

Thus does Allah make clear to you the messages that you may ponder. (Holy Quran, 2:219)

On this world and the Hereafter. (Holy Quran, 2:220)

That is, in both this world and the Hereafter it is better to exert oneself and spend one’s wealth in the way of God.

The Protection of Orphans:

And they ask thee concerning the orphans. Say: To set right their (affairs) is good; and if you mix with them, they are your brethren. (Holy Quran, 2:220 continued)

A society that neglects the care and upbringing of orphans is never successful and eventually is destroyed. Today Muslims have no system or organisation to properly take care of orphans. So these orphans are taken from a Muslim upbringing and raised by others. This indeed is very detrimental and an obstacle in the Muslim community’s progress. So, take care of Orphans, do not treat them with disdain and set their affairs right and let them participate in your work and businesses.

And Allah knows him who makes mischief from him who sets right. And if Allah pleased, He would have made matters difficult for you . (Holy Quran, 2:220 continued)

A Muslim Maid is Preferable to an Idolatress:

And marry not the idolatresses until they believe; and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress even though she please you (Holy Quran, 2:221)

God, Most High, desires that you rise to great spiritual heights. People do not understand the importance of distinction of prohibited and permissible foods and ask what is the harm in eating any of the foods prohibited. Nay, God desires you to remain far away from polytheism. All your actions, whether eating or drinking should not have any resemblance of a polytheistic practice (for instance, the Quran prohibits of eating foods in which the name of one other than God was taken at slaughter -- Translator). It is for this very reason that marriages with idolaters is forbidden.

Nor give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you. (Holy Quran, 2:221 continued)

The Decline of the Ottoman Empire:

Those who have studied History of Nations, would know the loss suffered due to marriages contracted out of the Muslim Community. Take the Ottoman Turks for example. Their kings married Greek, French, German and Austrian women, etc. The result was not good -- the influence of the non-Muslim culture of their wives gradually spread in their household and dominated in the upbringing of their children. These children no longer grew up with a desire to serve or any concern for Islam.

It is undoubtedly true and I accept that Islam allows marriage to be contracted with Women of the Book (Christians and Jews). Yet on occasions the need of the time and the national condition makes such marriages highly undesirable.

These invite to the Fire and Allah invites to the Garden and to forgiveness by His will and He makes clear His messages to men that they may be mindful. (Holy Quran, 2:221 concluded) 

 

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Holy Quran Section > Sermons on the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib (1914 to 1951) > Striving in Allah's Way; Gambling and Drinking; Caring for Orphans; Marrying non-Muslims


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