This argument is based on a well-known verse of the Holy Quran:
'And for those who strive in Our path, We will surely guide them in Our ways,'1and on another verse which says:
'Say, if you love Allah, follow me; Then will Allah love you.' 2The verses teach that true and burning love of God and the Holy Prophet results in a meeting between God and man. He who loves God and the Holy Prophet is beloved of God. True love of God, therefore, is a sign of truth and sincerity. When the truth and sincerity of a person are in question, we should ask, 'Does he love God? Does he love the Holy Prophet and obey him?'
'Say, if your fathers, and your sons, and your brothers, and your wives, and your kinsfolk, and the wealth you have acquired, and the trade whose dullness you fear, and the dwellings you love, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until Allah comes with His Judgment and Allah guides not the disobedient.'3According to this passage, perfect love of God is willingness to sacrifice everything for His sake. If a man is not prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of God, then his profession of love is vain, a lip service only. Many would assert that they love God and His Prophet. Certainly no Muslim can be found who would say he does not love God and the Holy Prophet. But the question is, whether the love he professes has any visible expression. Does it influence his daily life, his speech, his conduct, his everyday movements? Many who profess this deep love for the Holy Prophet, who compose or listen devotedly to panegyrics in his praise, pay not the least heed to the things he taught and valued. Love of God is on their lips, but they do nothing at all to please Him and to acquire nearness to Him. When a dear one visits us, we lay aside important tasks for his sake. When there is a chance to meet friends, we are pleased beyond measure. When we receive attention from a ruler, we feel proud and elated. But how do we behave towards God? We profess love for Him, but do not care to join the daily prayers, or do so very casually. If we observe prayers regularly, we go through them with unbecoming speed, the prescribed movements, prostrations, etc., running into one another in unseemly haste. There is no absorption or self-abnegation. The same is true of fasting. The reward of fasting, says the Quran, is God Himself; yet those who profess love of God do not seek His nearness through obligatory and other fasts. Many who proclaim their love of God ignore the rights of others, broadcast falsehoods about them, and indulge in backbiting. They love God, but do not care to open the Holy Book, to reflect upon its meaning. The way they treat the Holy Book is not the way they treat messages from friends. Who would leave unopened a letter received from a friend? Who would not read such a letter with care so as to grasp its message and meaning? Profession of love, therefore, is one thing, but practising it quite another. True love must seek expression. It must show itself in sacrifice, for instance. Such an expression of the love of God, and willingness to sacrifice for His sake, are found today in Hazrat Mirza Sahib and his followers.
In those days he was absorbed in a study of the Holy Quran, the Hadith, and the Masnawi Rumi. He had his visitors, but they were the poor and the orphans whom he fed with his own daily food. Often, for their sake, he would miss a meal and be content, say, with some roasted gram. Retiring and self-effacing, he was easily forgotten; often, indeed, his brother's family would forget to send him any food.
Once he decided to leave Qadian and escape the distractions his father kept proposing for him. He went to Sialkot and there accepted work in the District Court. He spent all the time he saved from court work in study and meditation. Probably it was here in Sialkot that he realized for the first time that Islam was in a precarious condition and that Christians and others were determined to put an end to it. Sialkot was a centre of Christian activity. Padres could be seen preaching Christianity openly in the streets and squares. They attacked Islam and aroused feelings against it. Hazrat Mirza Sahib was surprised to see that nobody came forward to reply. Christianity was the religion of the rulers; so people were afraid to confront Christian preachers in the open. The Ulema as a class avoided replying to the padres. Some who dared suffered defeat. They had little knowledge of the Holy Quran and were easily defeated in debate. On seeing this, Hazrat Mirza Sahib resolved to meet the padres in the open, and later the other adversaries of Islam such as the Aryas. A little later, his father asked him to return to Qadian. Maybe he thought his son had become reconciled to accepting employment with the Government. Therefore he started his persuasion again and asked him to try and accept some respectable Government appointment. The son requested the father to give up such attempts. But he found the father involved in difficulties of various kinds, the worst of them over family litigation. Hazrat Mirza Sahib agreed to relieve his father of the obligation to attend the various courts. During visits to courts, Hazrat Mirza Sahib's absorption in God became more evident. It had become part of his nature. Once he was present in court and the proceedings would not start. The time came for prayers. Others in the court insisted he should stay as the proceedings might start at any time. But Hazrat Mirza Sahib did not stay. The case in which he was interested was taken up while he was away. He was sent for but did not come until he had finished his prayers. By rights the case should have gone against him. The judge ignored Mirza Sahib's absence and decided the case in his favour; in his father's favour, to be exact. Another incident which shows his absorption in God is related by a life-long friend of his who lived in Lahore. An appeal, which if it had failed was going to involve his father and his family in great loss, was before the highest court of the province. Hazrat Mirza Sahib returned from the court very satisfied and happy. His friend thought the appeal had gone in his favour and proceeded to congratulate him. But, said the Mirza Sahib, it was not true he had won. He felt satisfied because now for some time he would have an uninterrupted opportunity for worship and meditation. He found at last that he could not be occupied thus. After deliberating he wrote to his father requesting him to relieve him of his duties connected with family litigation. The letter, reproduced below, shows the other-worldliness of Hazrat Mirza Sahib even in his youth. He wanted all his time for devotion to God. In accordance with custom the letter was written in Persian:
When his father died, Hazrat Mirza Sahib withdrew from everything mundane, leading a life of study, prayer, fasting, and sleepless nights. Now and then he would write to newspapers in reply to attacks by the critics of Islam. Contrary to the usual practice, Hazrat Mirza Sahib made over his property interests to his elder brother. He received his daily meals from him; his clothing also was supplied by him. He drew no income from his share of the family property, nor did he give any of his time to its maintenance. He spent his time expounding the beauties of Islam and urging people to pray and fast. He ministered to the poor and the needy. With little else to give, he shared his meals with them, himself living on a few ounces of food every day or on nothing at all. His share of the property was not so small that he could ignore it for bare subsistence. He shared a whole village with his brother and there was additional income from another property.
My master and father, Peace!
With tender obeisance and due abasement, I beg to submit that I can see with eyes wide open that every year some calamity overtakes countries and towns which separates friend from friend and relation from relation. Alas, these calamities, these tragedies, produce not the wail and woe they should. Seeing all this, my heart has turned cold towards the world, and my face has become pale with fear. Often do I remember the two lines from Sheikh Muslih-ud-Din Saadi of Shiraz and my tears flow when I do so:
Depend not on this transient life;
think not you are safe from the sport of passing time
The two lines out of the verse of Farrukh4 of Qadian also act as salt for my wounded heart:
Young one, set not thy heart on this mean world:
The moment of death may come suddenly.
Therefore I desire to spend the rest of my life in solitude, to shun the company of men and remain occupied in the worship of God that this may atone for past neglect and guard against possible disasters.
Life has run its course and no thing is left except a few steps,
Better, therefore, that I keep awake a few nights in remembrance of some one.
This world has no firm foundation and life here is not dependable. 'Wise is he who learns from the example of others. ' And peace.
My Beneficent Lord, my life is but an humble offering to Thee
What hast Thou grudged me that I should grudge Thee anything
Every desire and every wish for which I prayed to the Invisible,
Every longing that my heart determined to ask
Has been achieved through Thy Magnanimity, Indeed Thou
hast honoured this humble dwelling with Thy Gracious visit.
Nothing did I know of love or loyalty,
It is Thou Who hast filled my bosom with the wealth of Thy love.
Thou Who hast turned this base clay into gold,
It was Thy Beauty that lent beauty and grace to me.
The refulgence of my heart is not due to my piety or penance,
It is Thou Who hast illumined me with Thy favours and Thy= gifts.
Hundreds of Thy favours have been showered on this mortal frame of= clay,
My soul and my body owe gratitude to Thy unfailing kindness.
Easier is it to renounce the two worlds if Thy pleasure
Can be had by me, O my refuge, my shelter, my peace!
What avail are the spring and flowers to me?
I am ever in the garden contemplating Thy Face.
Would I care for anyone who can teach?
I have received tuition from my Lord and Protector.
The eternal benevolence has drawn so near to me,
That the Voice of the Lord reaches me from the farthest nook and corner.
O God, make me firm at every step.
May the day never dawn when I should fail in my bond to Thee!
If Thy lovers have to lose their heads for daring in Thy name,
Then I would be the first one to proclaim his love for Thee.
There is light miraculous in the soul of Muhammad,
There is a ruby rare in the mine of Muhammad.
The heart is cleared of all darkness,
If it but becomes one of the lovers of Muhammad.
I wonder at the wisdom of those fools
Who turn away from the feast abundant of Muhammad.
No man in the two