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Man having arrived in this house of darkness cannot attain salvation unless, being himself honored by the converse of God, or keeping company with someone who is the recipient of sure revelation and who has witnessed clear signs, he arrives at the certain knowledge that he has a God Who is Powerful, Benevolent and Merciful, and that Islam which is his faith is in fact true and the Judgment Day and heaven and hell are realities. As a matter of tradition all Muslims believe in the existence of God and in the truth of the Holy Prophet, but this faith has no sure foundation. Through such weak faith it is not possible to be deeply affected and to hate sin {Nazulul Masih ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1909) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 18 , p. I07-108} .

The true meaning of salvation

It is a pity that most people are unaware of the true meaning of salvation. According to the Christians, salvation means deliverance from the punishment of sin. This is not the true meaning of salvation. It is possible that a person may not commit adultery or theft, or bear false witness, or kill anyone, or commit any other sin so far as he knows, and yet be unacquainted with salvation, for salvation means the achievement of that eternal prosperity for which human nature hungers and thirsts. It is achieved only through the personal love of God after His full understanding and the establishment of a perfect relationship with Him and its condition is that love should surge up on both sides....

For a seeker after truth the only question is how to achieve true prosperity which should be the means of eternal joy and happiness. The sign of a true religion is that it should carry one to that prosperity. Through the guidance of the Holy Quran we learn that that eternal prosperity is found in the true understanding of God Almighty and His holy and perfect and personal love, and in perfect faith which should create a lover's restlessness in the heart. These are a few words and yet it would take a volume to set forth an exposition of them {Chashmai Masihi (Qadian, Magazine Press, 1906) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol.20, p. 32-34}.

What the Holy Quran has said in this context amounts to this: O My servants, do not despair of Me. I am Merciful and Benevolent and cover up sins and forgive them and am more Merciful towards you than anyone else. No one will have mercy on you as I have. Love me more than you love your fathers for I am greater in love than they are. If you come to me I shall forgive all your sins and if you repent, I shall accept your repentance. If you advance towards me slowly, I shall run to you. He who seeks Me shall find Me and He who turns to Me shall find My door open. I forgive the sins of a penitent even if they are more than the mountains. My mercy upon you is great and my wrath is little because you are My creatures. I have created you and therefore My mercy comprises all of you {Chashmai Ma’arafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 23., p. 48}.

The cause of spiritual decline

After deep reflection and the receipt of constant revelation from God, I have come to know that though there are a large number of religious sects in this country and religious differences swell up like a flood, the cause of all these contentions is that most people suffer from a decline of the spiritual faculties and of the fear of God. The heavenly light by means of which man can distinguish between truth and falsehood has disappeared from most hearts. The world is taking on the color of atheism and though the tongues utter the words God and Permeshwar, the hearts are more and more inclined towards denial. This is testified to in practice by an absence of good actions. I do not question the integrity of anyone who practices righteousness in secret, but the general condition isthat the true purpose of religion is ignored. Most people pay little attention to purity of heart, true love of the Divine, true sympathy with His creatures, gentleness, mercy, justice, meekness and all other pure moral qualities like righteousness, cleanliness and truth which are the spirit of religion. It is a matter of regret that religious contentions are on the increase, but spirituality is declining. The real purpose of religion is to recognize God Who has created the universe and to arrive in His love at a stage where the love of everything else is burnt up and to have sympathy with His creatures and to put on the garment of true purity. I observe, however, that this purpose is neglected in this age and most people adhere to some branch of atheism. The recognition of God Almighty has sadly declined and for this reason boldness in committing sin is increasing. It is obvious that that which is not recognized is not followed by the heart, nor is there any love for it or any fear of it. All types of fear and love and appreciation are created by recognition.

This shows that the prevalence of sin in today's world is due to lack of understanding. One of the great signs of a true religion is that it should present many means of acquiring the recognition and understanding of God Almighty so that man might be able to restrain himself from committing sin, and so that becoming aware of Divine beauty he should partake of perfect love and so that he should regard cutting asunder from God as worse than hell. To avoid sin and to be devoted to the love of God Almighty is a grand goal for man and is that true comfort which can be described as heavenly life. All desires that are opposed to the pleasure of God are the fire of hell and to spend one's life in their pursuit is to lead a hellish life, But the question is how can one be delivered from such a life? The knowledge that God has bestowed upon me in this context is that deliverance from this fire depends upon true and perfect understanding of the Divine. Passions that pull a person to themselves constitute an irresistible flood which is flowing fiercely to destroy faith, and it is impossible to stem that which is irresistible except through that which is perfect and overwhelming in itself. For this reason, perfect understanding of the Divine is needed for the attainment of salvation {Lecture Lahore (Lahore, Rifahi Aam Steam Press, 1904) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 20, pp. 1-3}.

It is a true and tried philosophy that to escape sin, man needs perfect understanding and not any type of atonement. I tell you truly that if the people of Noah had the perfect understanding which creates perfect fear, they would not have been drowned, and that if the people of Lot had been bestowed that understanding, they would not have been subjected to a rain of stones, and if this country had been bestowed that recognition of the Divine Being which makes one tremble with fear, it would not have suffered ruin from the plague as it did; but deficient understanding yields no benefits, nor can its result, which is fear and love, be perfect. The faith that is not perfect is useless and the love that is not perfect is useless, and the fear that is not perfect is useless, and the understanding that is not perfect is useless, and the food and drink that are not perfect are useless. Can your hunger be satisfied with a grain of food or can your thirst be quenched by a drop of water? Then, O ye who have little resolve and exercise little effort in the search for truth, how can you hope for great Divine grace in return for a little love and a little fear? To purify a person from sin and to fill his heart with love of the Divine is the work of the All-Powerful One, and to establish the fear of His greatness in any heart is dependent upon His will. The eternal law of nature is that all this is bestowed after perfect understanding. The root of fear and love and appreciation is perfect understanding. He who is bestowed perfect understanding is bestowed perfect fear and perfect love, and he who is bestowed perfect fear and perfect love is delivered from every sin which arises from fearlessness. For such deliverance we need no blood and no cross and no atonement. We need a sacrifice of self which need is felt by our nature. This sacrifice is in other words Islam. The meaning of Islam is to stretch forth one's neck for slaughter; that is to say, to place one's soul at the threshold of God with complete willingness. The name Islam is the soul of all law and is the life of all commandments. To stretch forth one's neck for slaughter willingly and cheerfully demands perfect love and devotion, and perfect love calls for perfect understanding. The word Islam indicates that for true sacrifice perfect understanding and perfect love are needed and nothing else. This is indicated in the verse: Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him (22: 3 8) {Lecture Lahore (Lahore, Rifahi Aam Steam Press, 1904) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 20, pp. 7-9}.

Faith without understanding is not enough for salvation

It may be asked that if the blood of Jesus cannot purify from sin, as indeed it cannot, then is there any way of being purified from sin, for a sinful life is worse that death. My answer to this question, which I set forth with full force from my personal experience, is that from the time that man was created up to today there has been only one means of escaping sin and disobedience. That means is that through convincing arguments and shining signs a person should arrive at the understanding which truly makes God manifest, and through which one realizes that God's wrath is a consuming fire, and which proves through a manifestation of Divine beauty that every perfect delight is in God. In other words, through such understanding all veils are lifted from glory and beauty. This is the only way by which passions are restrained and man experiences inner change. On hearing this answer many people will exclaim: Do we not believe in God; do we not fear God and love Him; does not the whole world, with few exceptions, believe in God? Then why is it that they commit all manner of sins and appear involved in diverse forms of wickedness? The answer to this is that faith is one thing and understanding is another. I do not mean that a believer avoids sin, but mean that a man of perfect understanding avoids it; that is to say a person who has tasted both of the fear of God and of the love of God. Someone might ask: Why is Satan disobedient though he possesses perfect understanding? The answer is that Satan does not possess that perfect understanding which is bestowed upon the fortunate ones. It is part of human nature that man is necessarily influenced by perfect knowledge and that he does not place himself in the way of ruin when he beholds its terrible countenance. Faith only means to believe as the result of thinking well of a thing; but understanding means to behold that in which one has put one's faith. Thus understanding and sin cannot exist together in a heart as day and night cannot co-exist at the same time.

It is our daily experience that when something proves to be useful, one is immediately attracted towards it and when something is proved to be harmful, one begins to fear it. For instance, if a person does not know that what he has in his hand is arsenic he might swallow a large dose of it deeming it to be some useful medicine, but he who knows that it is a fatal poison will not swallow even the smallest quantity of it, for he would realize that by the eating of it he would pass out from this world. In the same way, when a person knows for certain that God undoubtedly exists and that every type of sin is punishable in His estimation, all sins automatically fall away from him.

Why are sins committed and how can they be avoided?

Someone might raise the question that while we know that God exists and we also know that sins will be punished, yet we commit sins, which shows that we need some other way of avoiding sin. Our answer would still be that which we have already given, that it is not at all possible that realizing fully that with the commission of a sin its punishment would fall upon you like lightning, you would yet dare to commit sin. This is the philosophy that is not open to any objection or exception. Reflect well that when you are quite certain of being punished for a sin, you will not act contrary to this certainty. Would you thrust your hand into the fire? Would you jump down from the top of a mountain? Would you jump into a well? Would you lie down in front of a running train? Would you thrust your arm into the mouth of a tiger? Would you present your foot to a mad dog? Can you stay on somewhere where lightning is striking repeatedly? Do you not run out quickly from a room the roof of which is about to fall down? Is there any one of you who would not jump out of bed on perceiving a poisonous snake in it? Is there anyone who would not run out of a room in which he is sleeping and in which a fire has broken out? Then why do you do this and why do you run away from all these harmful things, but do not run away from the sins to which I have drawn attention? The only answer that a wise person can give after full reflection is that there is a difference of knowledge in the two cases. In the matter of sins, the knowledge of most people is defective. They consider sins as evil, but do not look upon them as they look upon a tiger or a serpent. Hidden in their minds is the notion that the punishment of sins is not certain. They even doubt the existence of God and if they believe in His existence they doubt whether the soul survives after death or not, and if it survives death, they do not know whether there is any punishment for these sins. They may not be conscious of it, yet most of them have these notions hidden in their minds, but with regard to those occasions of danger of which I have cited instances, and which they avoid, they are certain that if they did not move away from them they would be destroyed and so they run away from them. Even if they encounter any of them by chance, they run away from it in terror. Thus the truth is that with regard to these things man has certain knowledge that they are fatal, but with regard to religious commandments their knowledge is not certain and is only speculation. One is a case of seeing and the other is only a story. Sins cannot be avoided by stories. I tell you truly that not one Jesus-even if a thousand of them were to be crucified-would procure you true salvation, for it is only perfect fear or perfect love that rescues from sin. The death of Jesus upon the cross is in itself a fiction, and in anycase it has no relationship with banking down the passion for sin. This is a claim which is all darkness. Experience does not support it, nor is there any relationship between the suicide of Jesus and the forgiveness of other peoples' sins. The philosophy of true salvation is that man should be delivered from the hell of sin in this very life. Consider then whether you have been delivered from the hell of sin by these tales or has anyone been so delivered through tales which have no truth behind them and which have no relationship with true salvation. Search in the East and the West and you will not find any people who had through these stories achieved such true purity whereby God becomes visible, and not only one is disgusted with sin but one begins to enjoy the heavenly delights of truth, and one's soul flows like water and falls on the threshold of God and a light descends from heaven and dispels all darkness of the ego. When on a bright day you open all the windows of your room, the light of the sun will enter your room under a natural law, but if you keep your windows shut, the light will not come in merely by virtue of a tale or story. To obtain light you will have to get up and open your windows and then light will enter and will illumine your room. Can anyone quench his thirst by thinking of water? Indeed not. A thirsty one must somehow or other arrive at a spring of water and apply his lips to the water. His thirst would then be quenched. Thus the water that will satisfy you and will remove the burning sensation of sin is certainty. There is no other means under heaven of getting rid of sin. No cross can deliver you from sin. No blood can restrain your passions. These things have no relationship with true salvation. Understand reality and reflect over verities. As you try things of the world, try this also and then you will soon understand that there is no light beside true certainty which can rescue you from the darkness of self. Without the clear water of perfect insight nothing can wash out your inner filth. Your burning cannot be assuaged without the refreshing water of beholding the Divine. False is the person who proposes other remedies to you, and ignorant is the one who desires to subject you to other treatment. These people cannot bestow light upon you but push you into the pit of darkness. They do not give you sweet water, but increase your burning sensation. No blood can be of any benefit to you but the blood which might be generated inside you by the nourishment of certainty, and no cross can deliver you but the cross of the straight path; that is to say steadfastness in the way of truth. Then open your eyes and see whether it is not true that you can only see with the help of light and by no other means, and that you can arrive at your goal by following the straight path and in no other way. Worldly things are close to you and the things of the faith are far away. Then reflect on that which is close and understand its law and then apply it to that which is far, for it is the same One Who has framed both these laws....

True salvation is bestowed in this very world

It is not possible that without obtaining light and remaining blind you should attain salvation through anyone's blood. Salvation is not something which will be bestowed after this world. True and real salvation is bestowed in this very world. It is a light which descends upon the hearts and shows who is floundering in the pit of ruin. Follow the way of truth and wisdom for thereby you will find God. Create warmth in your hearts so that you might be able to move towards the truth. Unfortunate is the heart that is cold, and ill-starred is the nature that is melancholy, and dead is the conscience which is not bright. Be not less than the bucket that falls into the weil and comes out full, and be not like the sieve which cannot hold any water which enters it from one side and goes out at the other. Try that you should become healthy and that the poisonous heat of the fever of seeking the world may be removed in consequence of which there is no light in the eyes, there is no hearing in the ears, the taste of the tongue is corrupted, there is no grip in the hands and there is no strength in the feet. Cut asunder one relationship so another might be established. Block your heart in one direction so that it might find its way in another direction. Throw away the foul insect of the earth so that you might be bestowed the brilliant diamond of heaven. Turn to the Fountainhead which revived Adam with the Divine Spirit so that you may be bestowed kingdom over all things that was bestowed upon your father (Review of Religions--Urdu, Vol.I, pp. 23-29).

True love of God leads to salvation

Next to understanding what is needed for salvation is the love of God. It is obvious that no one seeks to torment a person who loves him. Love attracts love and pulls toward itself. If one loves another truly then even if one does not inform that person of one's love it has at least this much effect that the person loved cannot become an enemy of the one who loves. That is why it has been said that a heart inclines towards another heart. The cause of the power of attraction which Prophets and Messengers possess-whereby thousands of people are drawn towards them and love them so much that they are prepared to lay down their lives for them-is that their hearts are filled with sympathy for mankind so that they love people even more than a mother loves her children and desire their comfort even by suffering pain and hardship themselves. In the end their power of attraction begins to attract good hearts towards themselves. Thus when man, although he does not know that which is hidden, becomes aware of the hidden love of a person, how can God Almighty, Who knows the hidden, remain unaware of the sincere love of anyone? Love is a wonderful thing. Its fire overcomes the fire of sin and puts out the flame of disobedience. True and personal and perfect love cannot subsist along with punishment. One of the signs of true love is that it is a part of the nature of a true lover that he is fearful of his beloved cutting asunder from him, and considers himself lost if he commits the slightest default, and deems it a poison to oppose his beloved, and always yearns to meet him and is so deeply affected by distance and absence that he becomes like one dead. He estimates as sin not only that which the common people regard as sin, for instance, murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, but he considers the slightest neglect as a great sin and so also that leaving God he should have the least inclination towards anything else. He is, therefore, constantly occupied with istighfar before the Eternal Beloved and as his nature is never reconciled to any separation from God Almighty, he considers the least neglect which might result from his humanness as a mountain of sin. That is the reason why those who have a holy and perfect relationship with God Almighty occupy themselves constantly with istighfar. It is a characteristic of love that a true lover is always fearful lest his beloved should be annoyed with him and as his heart is thirsty that God should be wholly pleased with him, he is not content even if God Almighty tells him that He is pleased with him. As the wine-bibber is not satisfied with drinking once and always demands more, in the same way, when the love of the Divine surges up in the heart of a person, it demands that it should win the pleasure of God more and more. The intensity of love demands more and more of istighfar. That is why those who love God perfectly concentrate all the time on istighfar. The great sign of an innocent one is that he should be occupied with istighfar more than anyone else. The true meaning of istighfar is to supplicate God that, through His grace, the human weakness through which a person might stumble and be guilty of default might be covered up and should not be manifested. Then the meaning of istighfar is extended for the common people so as to comprise a supplication that whatever default might have been committed, God Almighty might be pleased to safeguard the supplicant from its ill consequences and poisonous results in this world and in the hereafter.

Thus the source of true salvation is the personal love of God, the Glorious, which draws to itself the love of God Almighty through humility and supplication and constant istighfar. When man's love of God becomes perfect and its fire burns up human passions, then God's love for him suddenly falls upon his heart and pulls him out of the foulness of the lower life. He then acquires the color of the holiness of God the Ever-Living and All-Sustaining, and he partakes by way of reflection in all Divine attributes. He then becomes a manifestation of Divine reflections and, through all that is hidden in the eternal treasure of Rububiyyat, these mysteries are disclosed to the world {Chashmai Ma’arafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 23., pp. 61-65}.

Do not expect that any other design can purify the human ego. As darkness can be dispelled only by light, in the same way, the remedy for the darkness of sin are the Divine reflections in word and action which in a miraculous way descend upon a good heart from God with fierce rays, and show him that God exists and remove the foulness of all doubts and bring satisfaction and contentment. By the strong attraction of his heavenly power that good person is raised to heaven. All other remedies that are put forward are fakes and useless. But for complete purification understanding alone is not enough. It must be accompanied by earnest prayers. God Almighty is Self- Sufficient, and to attract His grace there is great need of prayers that are accompanied by weeping and sincerity and tribulation of the heart. It is a common observation that though a suckling infant fully recognizes its mother and loves her and the mother also loves it, yet its crying has close relationship with the mother's milk. On the one side the infant cries bitterly out of hunger and on the other side the mother is so affected by its crying and weeping that milk is generated in her breasts. In the same way, every seeker should prove his spiritual hunger and thirst by his weeping and crying so that the spiritual milk might be generated that would satisfy him.

For spiritual purification understanding alone is not enough. Heart-rending weeping and crying like little infants is also necessary. Do not give up hope and do not be discouraged by the thought that you are involved in many sins and that your supplications cannot have much effect. Man has been created for the love of God and even if he is aroused by the fire of sin, he possesses the faculty of repentance which can put out that fire. You will have observed that however much water is heated, yet when it is poured over fire it puts the fire out. Ever since God Almighty has created man, his heart has always been cleansed through this means. That is to say that without the Living God manifesting His existence and power and Godhead through word and action, and displaying His shining Majesty, man cannot be purified from sin by any other means {Braheeni Ahmadiyyah Part V, (Amritsar, Safir Hind Press, 1880); Now published in Ruhani Khazain, Volume 21 (London, 1984) , pp.23-25}.

How relationship with God may be established

The means which the Holy Quran has taught us of establishing a spiritual and perfect relationship with God is Islam and the prayer set out in the Surah Fatihah. This means that one must first devote one's life to the cause of God, and then should be occupied with the prayer that the Muslims have been taught in Surah Fatihah. This is the essence of Islam. This is the only means of reaching God and drinking of the water of true salvation. This is the only means which the law of nature has appointed for man's higher progress and his meeting with God. Only those find God who enter into the spiritual fire which is the essence of Islam and occupy themselves with the supplication taught in the Surah Fatihah. Islam is the burning fire which by consuming our lower life and by burning up our false deities offers the sacrifice of our lives and properties and honor before our Holy God. We drink the water of a new life from this spring and all our spiritual faculties establish a relationship with God. Like lightning, a fire emerges from inside us and another fire descends upon us from above and by their meeting all our passions and the love of anything beside God are consumed and we become dead to our previous life. This condition is called Islam by the Holy Quran. Through Islam our passions suffer a death and through prayer we are revived again. For this second life revelation is necessary. Arrival at this stage is called meeting with God, that is to say, beholding God. Arriving at this stage a person establishes a relationship with God as if he sees Him with his eyes. He is bestowed strength and all his senses and inner faculties are illumined and the attraction of a pure life is generated with great force. On arriving at this stage, God becomes the eye of a person with which he sees and becomes his tongue with which he speaks, and becomes his hand with which he grips, and becomes his ear with which he hears, and becomes his feet with which he walks. This stage is referred to in the verse: The hand of God is above their hands (48: 11); and also in the verse: It was not Thou who didst throw but it was God Who threw (8: I8). At this stage complete unity ensues with God Almighty and His holy will saturates the soul, and moral faculties that were weak become firm like mountains, and reason and intellect acquire a high degree of delicacy. This is the meaning of the verse: He strengthened them with a spirit from Himself (58:23). At this stage the streams of love and devotion well up in such a manner that to die for Almighty and to endure thousands of hardships for Him and to be disgraced for His sake, becomes as easy as breaking a straw. A person is pulled towards God Almighty and does not know who is pulling him. A hidden hand upholds him, and to do God's will becomes the purpose of his life. At this stage God Almighty appears very near as He has said: We are closer to him than his jugular vein (50: 17). In that condition a person is like ripe fruit which falls of itself from the tree. In the same way, all the low relationships of such a person come to an end and his relationship with God becomes so strong that he draws away from creation and is honored with the converse of God Almighty. For achieving this rank, the doors are still open as they were open before, and God's grace bestows this bounty upon the seekers today as He bestowed it before. But this path is not found through mere words and this door is not opened by useless talk and boasts. There are many who desire but there are few who find. The reason is that this rank depends upon true endeavor and true sacrifice. You can go on talking till Judgment Day without avail. To step out in sincerity on to the fire of which people are afraid is the first condition of this path. If there is not practical eagerness, it is vain to talk of it. In this connection God Almighty says: When My servants inquire from thee concerning Me, tell them I am close. I respond to the call of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So should they respond to Me and have firm faith in Me, that they may be rightly guided (2: 187) (Islami Usul ki Philosophy Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 10 , pp. 80-82) .

The philosophy of salvation is that those who establish a holy and perfect relationship with God become the manifestations of that light which has no decline, and falling into the fire of His love depart from their existence like a piece of iron, which when it is heated in the fire, assumes its appearance, though it is not fire and is still a piece of iron. As through the manifestations of God a surprising change takes place in His lovers, in the same way, God also makes a change for their sake. It is true that God is unchangeable and is free from change, but for such of His servants He manifests such wonderful works as if He is a new God and is not the same God Who is the God of the common people. To the degree to which righteous servants of God move towards Him through their pure deeds and their sincerity and fidelity, so much so that they become dead to their previous existence, God also moves towards them with benevolence and help so much so that He displays His help and support and jealousy for them in an extraordinary way.

It is impossible and contrary to God's benevolence that He should condemn to hell a servant of His who is devoted to Him in his love with his whole heart and soul and with full sincerity in a manner which is the characteristic of true love. He does not consider anyone equal to Him and regards everyone in contrast with Him as naught and is ready to lay down his life in His cause. How can such a person be the subject of torment? Indeed the truth is that perfect love is salvation. Can you deliberately cast into the fire a child of yours whom you love? Then how will God, Who is altogether love, cast into the fire those who love Him and every particle of whom is sunk in His love? No sacrifice is better than the sacrifice that a person should so love the True Beloved that he should realize that no one else beside Him is dear to him. Not only this, but he should give up the love of his own self and should adopt a better life for His sake. When he arrives at this stage, then undoubtedly he attains salvation. At this stage of love, he has no need of passing through the chain of transmigration, nor has he the need to have anyone crucified for his sake. At this stage of love a person does not merely imagine that he has attained salvation, but his love teaches that the love of God is with him and the love of God causes contentment and peace to descend upon his heart. God begins to treat him as He has always treated those who are dear to Him and are accepted of Him. He accepts most of his prayers and teaches him fine insights, and informs him of many hidden things, and brings about changes in the world according to his desire. He makes him known and accepted in the world with honor, and disgraces the person who persists in enmity towards him and strives to disgrace him. He supports him in an extraordinary manner and puts his love in the hearts of millions of people and manifests wonderful things through him. The hearts of people are drawn to him through Divine revelation and they hasten to serve him with diverse kinds of gifts and with money and other articles. God speaks to him in delicious and majestic words as a friend speaks to a friend. The God Who is hidden from the eyes of the world manifests Himself to him and comforts him with His words at the time of every sorrow. He carries on a dialogue with him in His eloquent and delicious and majestic words and answers his questions and informs him of things that are beyond the knowledge and power of man. He does this not like astronomers, but like mighty kings whose words are full of kingly power. He discloses to him prophecies which are a sign of his honor and of the disgrace of his enemies, which indicate his victory and the defeat of his enemies. In this way, through His words and His works, manifests His existence to him. Then that servant being purified of all sin arrives at the perfection for which he has been created {Article attached to Chashmai Maarafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 23., pp. 50-52}.

Faculties for seeing God can be developed in this very world

The Holy Quran teaches us that salvation is a matter that is manifested in this very life as He has said: He who is blind in this world will be blind in the hereafter also (17:73). This means that a person takes with him from this world the faculties for seeing God and the means of eternal salvation. He has repeatedly indicated that the means of man's attaining salvation is eternal as God Himself is eternal. It is not that after a time He recalled that if men cannot attain salvation by any other means, he should bestow salvation on them by killing Himself. A person can be described as having attained salvation when all his passions are consumed and God's will becomes his will and he becomes so devoted to God out of love that nothing remains his and everything becomes God's. All his words and deeds and movements and designs should be for God and he should perceive in his heart that all his delights are now in God and that a moment's separation from God means death for him. He should be so inebriated with the love of God that everything beside God should be naught in his estimation. If the whole world should attack him with swords and should seek to separate him from God through fear, he should remain steadfast like a firm mountain. The fire of perfect love should flare up within him and he should hate sin. As other people love their children and wives and friends so that their love pervades their hearts, and the death of any of them distresses them so much as if it was their own death, that type of love and indeed a greater love should be generated in his heart for God, so much so, that he should become like an insane person in the grip of that love and should be ready to endure every torment and every wound for the sake of that love so that God Almighty may be pleased with him.

When a person is overcome to this degree by his love for God, all his passions are burnt up by the fire of love and a great revolution takes place in his nature and he is bestowed a heart that he did not possess before, and is bestowed eyes that he did not have before, and he is so much affected by certainty that he begins to see God in this very world. That burning sensation for the world with which the nature of the worldly is afflicted like hell, is totally removed from him and he is bestowed a life of comfort and pleasure and delight. This condition of his is called salvation inasmuch as his soul falling upon the threshold of God with love and devotion finds unending comfort and the union of his love with the love of God transports him to a station of devotion which is beyond description {Article attached to Chashmai Maarafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 23., 47-48}.

Heavenly life in this world

Salvation is not attained through one's effort, but through the grace of God Almighty. The law that God Almighty has appointed for acquiring this grace is never falsified. That law is: If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will then love you (3: 32); and: He who seeks a faith other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him (3 :86). Salvation is not something whose blessings and fruits will be known to man only after his death. It is something the effects of which are manifested in this very world and a person who has attained salvation is bestowed a heavenly life in this world. The followers of other religions are altogether deprived of this. If it is said that the Muslims are also in the same condition, the answer is that they are deprived because they do not follow the Book. A person who possesses a medicine but does not use it and is careless will derive no benefit from it. That is the case of the Muslims that they have a Holy Book like the Quran but they do not follow it. Those who turn away from the Word of God Almighty are deprived of lights and blessings. Turning away is of two kinds; one, in action and the other in doctrine. A person cannot partake of lights and blessings unless he acts as God Almighty has commanded: Keep company with the righteous (9: 119) (Malfoozat, Vol. IV, pp. 206-207).

Prophets are mirrors of God's countenance

It is perfectly true that he who does not recognize God's Messengers does not recognize God either. A mirror of God's countenance are His Messengers. Everyone who sees God sees Him through this mirror. Then what kind of salvation is this that a person denies the Holy Prophet, peace be on him all through his life and rejects the Holy Quran and God Almighty does not bestow eyes upon him nor a heart and he remains blind and dies blind and yet attains salvation? It is our observation that when God Almighty desires to bestow mercy upon someone He first bestows sight upon him and bestows knowledge upon him from Himself. There are hundreds of people in our movement who have joined it in consequence of dreams or revelation. The mercy of God Almighty is very wide. If one advances towards Him one step, He comes two steps and if a person hastens towards Him, He runs towards that one and opens the eyes of the blind. Then how can it be accepted that a person believes in Him and accepts Him as One without associate and loves Him and joins the company of His friends and yet God keeps him blind and he remains so blind that he does not recognize God's Prophet? This is supported by the hadeeth: He who dies without recognizing the Imam of his age dies the death of ignorance and is deprived of the straight path {Haqiqatul Wahi (Qadian, Magazine Press 1907) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 22., p. I47}.

The Vedas represent God as vengeful

It is worthy of note that of all the religions, that of the Vedas is the only one which presents Permeshwar as wrathful and vengeful and is opposed to the doctrine that God Almighty forgives the sins of His servants through repentance and seeking forgiveness. Yet it also teaches that Permeshwar is the Master of all creation and controls the fate of all animates, and He is the one before Whom all sinners are brought. Unfortunately for mankind, He possesses the attribute of wrath whereby He punishes sin with dire chastisement, but He does not possess the attribute that He can forgive anyone's sin through repentance and supplication. Once a default is committed, there is no acceptance of repentance and no attention is paid to any supplication though it is obvious that man, on account of his natural weakness, cannot safeguard himself against sin and is apt to stumble at every step, yet the Vedas do not offer any way of salvation. The Vedas have only one prescription, which is altogether wrathful and vengeful and which is that for the least sin it prescribes a long and endless chain of incarnations. A sinner deserves mercy on this account also that his weak faculties that fall into sin are not self-created but are created by God. In this situation man deserved that allowance should have been made for this. According to the Aryas, Permeshwar makes no allowance in awarding punishment for the fact that He too has something to do with the occurrence of sin. The Vedas have laid it down as a condition for salvation that man should be purified completely from sin. Judged by the standard of the law of nature, it will be found that it is impossible for man to fulfill this condition, for till man carries out all the obligations that he owes to God Almighty, he cannot claim that he has fulfilled all the requirements of obedience. The law of nature and the book of man's nature bear witness that at no stage of progress and perfection can man be acquitted of the default that he has not been truly grateful for all Divine bounties and has fallen short in the complete fulfillment of Divine commandments. Thus if man can attain salvation only by carrying out all the obligations that he owes to God Almighty, without a single default, this way of salvation is an impossibility. No one can attain that degree of fulfillment of obligations and therefore no one will attain salvation. That which impossible and is contrary to the law of nature and contradicts the book of nature cannot be a Divine commandment. Seek through the East and the West and you will not be able to discover one person who is wholly free from and innocent of all defaults and neglects and who has fulfilled all the rights due to man and who claims that he has carried out all the obligations of obedience and gratitude. If there is no such person in the world today, then be sure that such a one has never existed, nor is there any hope of his coming into existence in the future. Then as it is impossible in a view of the law and the book of nature that any person of his own strength should be able to discharge all his obligations to God Almighty, and should be completely grateful to Him, and the experience of every person bears witness to this, it does not behove a book that claims to be from God, to make salvation dependent upon a matter which is impossible of achievement. It is possible, however, that, as in many other respects the Vedas had been perverted, this might also be a perversion and may not be the true teaching of the Vedas {Chashmai Ma’arafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol.23., pp. 42-44}.

The Christian concept of salvation
is opposed to justice and mercy

The Christians are agreed that after Jesus, revelation has been sealed and has been left behind and now there is no way of receiving it, and that the door of grace is closed till the Judgment Day. This may be the reason that they have invented a new way of attaining salvation and have proposed a new prescription which is contrary to all principles and is altogether opposed to reason, justice and mercy. It is said that Jesus took upon himself the sins of the whole world and consented to death upon the cross so that through his death mankind might be delivered. God put His innocent son to death to save sinners. We fail to understand, however, that the hearts of people can be purified from the foulness of sin through such a wrongful death and how, by the slaughter of an innocent one, the past sins of others can be forgiven. This is opposed both to justice and to mercy, inasmuch as it is contrary to justice to seize an innocent one in place of a sinner and it is contrary to mercy to kill one's son in this hardhearted manner. Besides, all this has achieved nothing {Lecture Lahore (Lahore, Rifahi Aam Steam Press, 1904) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 20, pp. 17}.

The Holy Quran does not endorse the doctrine of salvation which is set out in the Gospel, namely, the crucifixion of Jesus and his atonement. The Holy Quran affirms that Jesus was a great Prophet and was the beloved of God and near to Him and honored, but he was only a man. It does not consider it necessary for salvation that the burden of a sinner should be placed upon an innocent one, nor does reason permit that for the sin of X, Y should be held responsible. No government has ever followed this principle. It is a pity that the Aryas have also taken a wrong stand on the question of salvation, as have the Christians and they too have forgotten the reality. According to the doctrine of the Aryas, repentance and seeking forgiveness amount to nothing. Till a person goes through all the incarnations, which are appointed as a penalty for a sin, salvation cannot be attained and when attained, it is only limited. Permeshwar has not the power to forgive sin, and true repentance, which is a spiritual death and is a fire in which a person is willing to consume himself in order to please Permeshwar, amounts to nothing. This shows the miserliness of Permeshwar. When He directs His servants to forgive those who offend them and does not act upon it himself, He seeks to teach His servants that which He does not practice Himself. In such case the followers of that religion are bound to think that if Permeshwar does not forgive the sins of an offender then how can they do that which is contrary to the qualities of Permeshwar? Those who are subject to the rule of kings and sovereigns, who have no notion like Permeshwar of forgiving offenders, are in evil case. Besides, what evidence is there to prove the reincarnation of souls? We have never observed that the soul of a person who has died has entered into another body. Then such punishment is also useless, for if a soul which is reborn is not warned that it has been placed in a lower incarnation on account of a particular sin, how will it refrain from that sin?

It should be borne in mind that where human nature possesses many excellent qualities, it is also subject to the defect that on account of its weakness it is prone to commit sins and defaults. The Almighty Who has made human nature has not invested it with the inclination to commit sins so that He might condemn man to torment, but so that His attribute of forgiveness might be manifested. Sin is doubtless a poison, but the fire of repentance and istighfar converts it into an antidote. Thus after repentance and remorse, sin becomes the means of progress and roots out from inside a person the feeling that he amounts to something and stamps out arrogance and pride and self-exhibition.

Salvation is attained purely through grace.

Remember that no one can attain salvation through his deeds. Salvation is attained purely through grace. The God in Whom we believe is most Merciful and Benevolent. He is Almighty and suffers from no weakness and defect. He is the Source of all manifestations, and is the Fountainhead of all grace, and is the Creator of all creation, and is the Master of all bounties, and comprises all praiseworthy and perfect qualities, and is the Source of all lights, and is the Life of all lives, and is the Sustainer of everything. He is close to everything but we cannot say that He is all things. He is higher than everything, but we cannot say that there is something intervening between Him and us. He is imperceptible and hidden and yet is more manifest than everything. All true delight and comfort is in Him. This is the true philosophy of salvation {Article attached to Chashmai Ma’arafat ( Qadian, Anwar Ahmadiyyah Press, 1908) Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 23., pp 44-47}.

The Christian doctrine that God loved the world, and to provide salvation for the world He arranged to put the burden of the sins of the disobedient ones and of disbelieves and of wicked ones on His beloved son Jesus, and made him accursed in order to deliver the world from sin and hanged him on the accursed rood, is false in every aspect and is shameful. If it is appraised from the point of view of justice, it is obviously wrong that the sin of X should be fastened upon Y. Human conscience does not approve that the punishment of an offender should be inflicted upon an innocent one. If one reflects upon the reality of sin from the point of view of spiritual philosophy, that also condemns this doctrine. Sin is a poison which is generated when a person is deprived of obedience to God, His eager love and His loving remem- branch. As a tree which is uprooted from the earth and is unable to suck water begins to dry up and loses its greenness, the same is the case with a person from whose heart the love of God is uprooted so that it begins to dry up and falls into sin. In God's law of nature there are three remedies for this dryness. One is love; the second is istighfar which means the desire to suppress and cover up, for so long as the root of a tree is firm in the earth there is hope of its greenness; and third is repentance, that is to say, to turn humbly towards God in order to draw the water of love and to get close to Him and to pull oneself out of the darkness of disobedience with the help of good deeds. Repentance is not merely by word of mouth but is completed by good deeds. All virtues are for the perfection of repentance, for the purpose of all is to approach close to God. Prayer is also repentance for through it we seek nearness to God. That is why God having created the life of man and called it the soul, inasmuch as its true comfort lies in the affirmation of the existence of God and His love and His obedience, He also called it self inasmuch as it seeks union with God. To love God is to be like that tree in the garden which is firmly planted in the ground. This is man's heaven. As a tree sucks the water of the earth and draws it into itself and thereby expels its poisonous vapors, so is the condition of a person's heart. It sucks in the water of God's love and is thereby enabled to easily expel its poisonous matter and, being based in God, is purely nurtured and spreads and exhibits pleasant greenness and brings forth good fruits. But he who is not firmly related to God, cannot suck in nourishing water and therefore dries up progressively and in the end loses its leaves and only dry and ugly branches are left (Answer to the Four Questions of Sirajuddin, the Christian, pp. 2-3).

Repentance, istighfar, and intercession
are means of forgiveness of sins

It is the eternal natural law of God that He forgives sin through repentance and istighfar and accepts the prayers of the virtuous by way of intercession, but we have never observed that X should strike his head with a stone and this should cure the headache of Y. Then we do not know by what law the suicide of Jesus can remove the inner disease of others. Nor are we aware of any philosophy on the basis of which the blood of Jesus can wash out the inner impurity of anyone else. Indeed observation contradicts this. Till Jesus had made up his mind to commit suicide, the Christians possessed the quality of virtue and the worship of God, but after the event of the crucifixion it appeared as if a dam had burst and the banked up water had spread in every direction. That has happened to the passions of the Christians. There is no doubt that if Jesus laid down his life deliberately, he acted very improperly. Instead if he had devoted his life to admonition and preaching, it would have done much good to people. What good did his improper act do? If after his suicide Jesus had come back to life and had ascended to heaven in the presence of the Jews, they would have believed in him. As it is, the Jews and all wise people consider the ascension of Jesus to heaven a fiction {Chashmai Masihi (Qadian, Magazine Press, 1906) , Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 20, pp.13-14}.

I had apprehended that some false charge would be laid against me. For when an enemy is completely refuted he delivers an attack against life and honor. So it happened in my case and this charge of conspiracy to murder was laid against me....

The Christian missionaries were greatly offended with me. My activities had occasioned them great loss. In addition to heavenly signs, my criticism of their doctrine had broken up their religion. Their doctrine of atonement was totally refuted by my pointing out that if the curse of the sins of all the sinners had settled on Jesus, it meant that his heart had been emptied of all understanding of God Almighty and His love and that he had become an enemy of God. As a curse in its true meaning is not permissible in the case of a righteous one like Jesus, then how can the doctrine of atonement be supported which is based entirely upon his becoming accursed?

I had also pointed out that no act of the Divine is contrary to His eternal way and that means that there should be a large number of illustrations. If sending a son is the way of God then there should be many more sons of God so that a way might be established and some sons should be crucified for the jinns and some for men and some for those creatures which dwell in other spheres. This objection was also such that a moment's reflection on it would rescue a person from the darkness of Christianity....

I pointed out that the doctrine of atonement is also unten- able, for its purpose would be either that in consequence of it sin should be abolished altogether, or that every type of sin, whether relating to the rights of God or the rights of people, should be continuously forgiven. The first supposition is entirely false as we observe that the men and women of Europe have not been able to abstain from sin after the atonement and that the people of Europe are guilty of all manner of sins. But let that go, and consider the case of those whose faith was stronger than that of others. Even the disci-ples of Jesus were involved in sin and did not escape it. Thus there is no doubt that the atonement is not a dam that can bank up the flood of sin. As regards the second supposition, that those who believe in the atonement would be exempted from all punishment for sin, and that whether they commit theft or robbery or murder or misconduct of every description God will not call them to account; this also is all together untrue as it would cancel God's eternal commandments and destroy the purity of the law {Kitabul Bariyyah ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1898) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 13.,pp. 41-42}.

The curse of sin cannot be transferred

The Christians should have shown what provision the Gospel has made for that certainty with regard to the existence of God which bestows upon man the insight of the fear of God and burns up the fuel of sin. How can sin be discarded through useless means? These people do not realize that it is altogether unrealistic and wholly fictitious that the sins of the whole world were cast upon one person and that the curse of the sinners was taken from them and was imposed on the heart of Jesus. This would mean that thereafter, with the exception of Jesus, everyone had acquired a pure life and the understanding of God and that Jesus alone was burdened with a curse which was a collection of millions of curses. But when we see that every person has his sins with him and that everyone feels the passion that nature has bestowed on him, whether he accepts Jesus or not, it shows that the accursed ones have not been separated from their cursed lives and that their curse has not fallen upon Jesus. As a curse is firmly fixed to its subject, how could it then have been transferred to Jesus? It is the height of injustice that the curse of every wicked and accursed one, who believes in Jesus, should fall on Jesus and that the person himself should become free from blame and pure. If this unending chain of curses, which will extend to the Judgment Day, will continue to be heaped upon poor Jesus afresh, when will he be freed from curses?.... This would mean that Jesus would never see the day again when he should dwell under the shade of the love of God and the light of His understanding. All that this doctrine would achieve would be that a holy one of God might be subjected to unending foulness {Kitabul Bariyyah ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1898) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 13., pp. 45-46}.

No contradiction between
the justice and mercy of God

The Christian doctrine that Divine justice would not be fulfilled without atonement is utterly absurd. They believe that in his human aspect Jesus was sinless and yet their God burdened him without cause with the curse of the whole world and had no regard for His own justice. This shows that their God cares not at all for justice. What a spectacle is this that what was sought to be escaped was adopted in its worst form. The great concern was that somehow justice should not be contravened and mercy may also be fulfilled. But by the slaughter of an innocent one, neither justice was established nor was mercy fulfilled. The notion that justice and mercy cannot subsist together in the Being of God Almighty, inasmuch as justice demands punishment and mercy demands forbearance, is an error in which short-sighted Christians are involved through lack of reflection. They do not reflect that the justice of God Almighty is also mercy....

It should be borne in mind that the basic attribute of God is mercy and that justice comes into play after reason and law have been established, and that justice is also mercy in another form. When a person is bestowed reason and through it he becomes aware of the limits and laws of God Almighty, he becomes subject to the demand of justice, but for mercy there is no condition of reason and law and as God Almighty desired to exalt mankind through mercy, He laid down the rules and limits of justice. Thus it is ignorance to imagine that there is contradiction between justice and mercy.

Death is not the fruit of sin

The Christians say that the death of man and all animals is the fruit of sin, but this is open to two objections. In the first place, it cannot be denied that there was a creation before Adam and that they were subject to death. There was no Adam at the time nor was there his sin. Then how did death come about? Secondly, there is no doubt that with the exception of one fruit Adam ate everything in the garden and so he must have eaten meat. This also shows that animals were killed before the sin of Adam. Even apart from this, Adam drank water, for eating and drinking go together, and research has established that every drop of water contains thousands of germs. Thus there can be no doubt that before the sin of Adam, millions of germs used to die. One is, therefore, compelled to affirm that death is not the fruit of sin and this refutes the thesis of the Christians (Kitabul Bariyyah ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1898) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 13. pp. 54-56).

According to their principle, the Christians attach no importance to righteous conduct and in their view the atonement of Jesus is a sufficient means for the attainment of salvation. We have shown that the atonement of Jesus did not rescue the Christians from sin, nor is it true that because of the atonement every vice has become permissible for them. There is, however, one further matter which is worthy of note, that reason proves that righteous conduct has an effect that bestows the fruit of salvation upon the pious. Even the Christians acknowledge that vice has an effect whereby a person guilty of it is condemned to hell for ever. If that is so, one has to make allowance for the corresponding law of nature that good also has an effect and that he who practices it can become heir to salvation.

Was Jesus free from inherited sin?

Another objection we had put forward was that the expiation that the Christians set forth is opposed to the eternal Divine law of nature. There is no instance in the law of nature that to safeguard the inferior the superior might be put to death. We have before us the Divine law of nature which proves that the inferior is always sacrificed for the safeguarding of the superior. All animates, even the germs in the water, are sacrificed for the preservation of man, who is the nobles of creation. The sacrifice of Jesus is contrary to this obvious law. Every reasonable person can understand that for the protection of that which is dearer and more valuable, that which is inferior to it has to be sacrificed. God Almighty lets millions of animates be sacrificed for the preservation of man, and we, by our very nature, follow the same law. You can thus understand how inconsistent is the atonement in which the Christians believe with the Divine law of nature. Another objection that we had raised was that the claim of the Christians that Jesus was free from hereditary as well as acquired sin is obviously unfounded. The Christians admit that Jesus had acquired his body from his mother and that she was not free from sin. The Christians also acknowledge that all pain and hurt are the fruit of sin and there can be no doubt that Jesus felt hunger and thirst and might have suffered from chicken- pox and smallpox in his childhood and would have borne the pain of teething and would have suffered from seasonal fevers. According to the Christians, all these are the fruits of sin. Then how could Jesus be regarded as a sinless sacrifice? Besides, according to the Christians, only that person can establish a relationship with the Holy Spirit who is wholly free from sin. Then how did the Holy Spirit establish a relationship with Jesus who was not free from hereditary sin nor escaped the fruit of sin? Apparently, Melchisedec was more deserving of a relationship with the Holy Spirit, for according to the Christians he was free from every kind of sin.

How the Christians were freed from sin
through the crucifixion of Jesus

The Christians acknowledge that the true means of attaining salvation is to be free from sin and yet they do not set forth the true means of achieving freedom from sin and they present a shameful fiction which has no true relationship with freedom from sin. It is obvious that as man has been created for God, his whole comfort and prosperity lie in this that he should become wholly God's, and he can never manifest true comfort till he establishes this relationship with God in practice. When man turns away from God, his case is like that of a person who shuts the windows of his room that open towards the sun. There can be no doubt that with the shutting of the windows the room will become dark and that the light of the sun having been excluded will be suddenly replaced with darkness. It is that darkness which is described as misguidance and hell for it is the root of all pain. If the removal of this darkness and deliverance from this hell is sought in accordance with the law of nature, then there is no need to crucify anyone. The windows should be opened, the shutting of which had caused the darkness. Can anyone believe that we can obtain any light while we insist upon keeping the windows shut through which light could enter? The forgiveness of sins is not a tale which would be illustrated in a future life. Nor is this matter without foundation or comparable to the disobedience and forgiveness of worldly governments. A person is accounted an offender or a sinner when, turning away from God, he draws away from confrontation with the light and brightness which descend from God upon human hearts. That condition is called junah in the Word of God, which has been perverted by the Parsees into gunah (sin) . The root of the word means to incline away and to move away from the center. It acquired the connotation of sin, inasmuch as by turning away a person leaves the spot where Divine light falls and moving away from it puts himself at a distance from the light that can be obtained in the original position. In the same way juram, which also connotes sin, means cutting asunder. Thus an offender cuts asunder all his relationship with God. Juram is thus more serious than junah, for the latter merely means a wrong inclination, but the former signifies that a person deliberately commits an offense by breaking God's law and being heedless of any relationship with Him.

That being the reality of true purity, the question arises whether those lights which a person loses through his love of darkness can be acquired by believing in the crucifixion of anyone. The answer is that such a notion is false. The truth is that for the acquiring of those lights it is the eternal law that we should open the windows that face the true sun and the rays that had been averted by shutting them would be revived again. This is borne out by the physical law of nature that we cannot get rid of darkness till we open the windows that let in the direct rays of the sun. Doubtless, therefore, the only correct course that appeals to reason is that those windows should be opened whereby not only shall we obtain light, but shall also behold the source of light.

For the removal of the darkness of sin and neglect, it is necessary to obtain light. This is indicated by God, the Glorious, in the verse: He who is blind in this world shall be blind in the hereafter and even more astray (17:73). This means that the eyes for beholding God and the senses for discovering Him are bestowed in this life and that he upon whom they are not bestowed in this life will not find them in the hereafter. The righteous who will see God on the Day of Judgment will carry with them the senses through which they will see Him, and he who does not hear the voice of God in this world will not hear it in the next. To recognize God as He is without any error and to obtain true understanding of His Being and attributes in this world is the source of all light. It is thus obvious that those who believe that God is subject to death and distress and misery and ignorance, and that He can become accursed and can be deprived of true purity and mercy and true knowledge, flounder in the pit of misguidance, and are unaware of true knowledge and insight which are the basis of salvation. The Christians are guilty of gross error in thinking that salvation is freely available and that good deeds are irrelevant in that context. He whom they have deified observed forty fasts. Moses also observed fasts in Sinai. If good deeds are nothing, why did these two exalted ones pursue this vain purpose? As it is clear that God Almighty is disgusted with vice, we can understand that He is greatly pleased with virtue. In this way, virtue becomes an atonement for vice. When a person after being guilty of a vice performs a good deed that pleases God, it follows that the previous condition has been replaced by the subsequent one; otherwise, it would be disrespect. Accordingly, God Almighty says in the Holy Quran: Surely good deeds do away with evil deeds ( 11: 115) . We can also say that vice has a poisonous quality which destroys and that virtue has the quality of an antidote that rescues from death. For instance, to shut all the doors of a room is a vice, the necessary consequence of which is darkness. Opposed to this is the opening of the doors that face the sun. This is the virtue the necessary consequence of which is that the light that had been shut off will re- enter the room {Kitabul Bariyyah ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1898) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 13., pp. 76-81}.

Belief in Kalima is a sure means of salvation

Your saying that it is the teaching of the Holy Prophet that sins are removed by the affirmation that there is no one worthy of worship save Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, is quite true. It is a reality that he who believes in God as One without associate and that Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him, was sent by the same All Powerful Unique One, will doubtless attain salvation, if he dies in the belief. There is no salvation under heaven through the suicide of anyone and no one can be more insane than one who thinks so. But to believe in God as One without associate and so Compassionate that by His great mercy, in order to rescue the world from misguidance, He sent His Messenger whose name is Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him, is the doctrine by adhering to which the darkness of the soul is removed and the ego is replaced by the Unity of God. In the end the mighty upsurge of Unity spreads over the whole heart and a heavenly life begins in this very world. As you observe that by the advent of light darkness disappears, in the same way, when the bright reflection of 'There is no one worthy of worship save Allah' falls upon a heart, the dark passions of the ego disappear. The essence of sin is that there is a tumult in the passions of the ego by yielding to which a person is called a sinner, and the meaning of 'There is no one worthy of worship save Allah' is that there is no one to be desired, or to be loved, or to be worshipped, or to be obeyed except Allah. Now it is obvious that this concept is totally opposed to the reality of sin and its true source. If a person with the sincerity of his heart establishes this meaning in his soul, then necessarily any opposite concept will be driven out of his heart, inasmuch as opposites cannot subsist together. When the passions of the ego are excluded, that is the condition which is called true purity and real righteousness. The purpose of the second part of the credo, that is to say, to believe in the Messenger of God, is that faith might be established in the Word of God also, for it is necessary for a person who confesses that he desires to become an obedient servant of God that he should believe in God's commandments; and belief in God's commandments is not possible without belief in him through whom the commandments have been conveyed. This is the true meaning of the credo {Nurul Quran No. 2( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1896) Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 9, pp. 43-45}.

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