Friday Sermon: The need for The Imam

March 22nd, 2013

An Urdu poetic couplet by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) reads:

It was time of the Messiah and no one else

Had I not come, someone else would have!

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated in one of his announcements: ‘Some foolish people think that I have falsely claimed to be a recipient of revelations. This is incorrect. In fact this happened through the Powerful God Who has created the heavens and the earth and the universe. In times when belief in God is lessened, a man like me is created and God converses with him and through him, God manifests His wonders. So much so that people come to understand that indeed God exists.’

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said tomorrow it is 23 March, a day commemorated as Promised Messiah Day. In this regard, today’s sermon was based on the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), God’s succour and support for him, the need for an Imam of the age and the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) call to Muslims to accept him, in his own words.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘The earthly and heavenly occurrences which are a sign of the advent of the Promised Messiah have all come to pass in my time. A long while ago lunar and solar eclipses took place in the month of Ramadan and the comet has also appeared. Earthquakes too have come and there has been an outbreak of plague as well. Christianity has spread all over the world with great might and as it was pre-written in the indications, I have been called an infidel most forcefully. In short, all the signs have appeared and the knowledge and insight that guide people to the truth have also been made evident.’

As regards his truthfulness, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: ‘I see that those who wish to be the followers of nature and the law of nature have been offered a good opportunity by God Almighty of accepting my claim, inasmuch as they are not confronted by the difficulties in which our other opponents are involved. They know well that Jesusas has died and at the same time they have to confess that the prophecy contained in the Ahadith about the appearance of the Promised Messiah is among the long-established verities that cannot be denied by any reasonable person. Thus they are left with no other option but to accept that the Promised Messiah will be one of the Muslims. They are, however, entitled to inquire as to why they should believe in me as the Promised Messiah, and on what grounds do I base this claim? The answer is that all the indications mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith with regard to the Promised Messiah have been combined in me and in my age and in my country; as, for instance, the age and the country and the town in which the Promised Messiah was to appear and the circumstances which called specially for his advent, and the earthly and heavenly occurrences which had been specified as indications of his advent, and the knowledge and learning that were to be his characteristic, have all been combined in me. In addition to these, and to provide further satisfaction, I have been strengthened by Heavenly support.’

As I was invested with authority for the Christians,

I was, therefore, named the Son of Mary.

Heaven is showing signs and the earth proclaims that this is the time

These two witnesses stand firm in my support

To illustrate: The indication given in the text of the Holy Qur’an proves that he Holy Prophetsa appeared in the likeness of Mosesas, and that the chain of Khilafat after the Holy Prophetsa would be very similar to the chain of Khilafat established after Mosesas. Just as Prophet Mosesas was promised that in the latter days—i.e., when the Prophethood of Bani Isra’il would reach its limit and Bani Isra’il would be divided into many sects, each contradicting the other, so much so that some would declare others to be infidels— God Almighty would raise a successor, i.e., Prophet Jesusas, to support the faith of Mosesas; he would gather the scattered sheep of Israel, and bring sheep and wolves together at one place, and he would be an Arbiter for all the sects of Bani Isra’il, and he would iron out their differences and remove all rancour and ill-will; likewise, a similar promise was made by the Holy Qur’an in the verse: ‘And among others from among them who have not yet joined them…’ (62:4) Many details of this are set out in the Ahadith. For instance, it is mentioned that Muslims would become divided into as many sects as the Jews; they would contradict each other and brand each other as infidels; and would increase in hatred and enmity towards each other, till the time when the Promised Messiah would appear as an Arbiter. He would remove all rancour and hostility. During his time, the wolf and the sheep will be brought together. All historians are aware that, at the time of the advent of Jesusas, the Israelite sects were ridden with dissension and labelled each other as heretics and infidels. I have also appeared at a time when inner dissension has multiplied and each sect has started calling others Kafir. At such a time of dissension, the Muslims were in need of an Arbiter. God has, therefore, sent me as one.’ (Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 13, pp. 254-257, footnote – Essence of Islam, Vol. IV, pp. 62 – 65)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also wrote: ‘It is an amazing parallel regarding which the Qur’an and Ahadith given definitive indication, that just as Jesus (on whom be peace) was born in the fourteenth century, thirteen hundred years after Moses (on whom be peace), similarly this humble one was also sent by God Almighty in the fourteenth century. It seems that in this regard great recipients of visions were drawn to the fact that the advent of the Promised Messiah was to take place in the fourteenth century. God Almighty has indicated to this very matter by giving me the name Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the number of thirteen hundred is applicable to this name. In short, the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith prove that the Messiah to come will appear in the fourteenth century and will come at a time of mutual discord and dissension in Islam.’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Sheikh Ibn e Arabi had written that the Promised Messiah would be born a twin, the other twin being a girl. He also foretold that the Promised Messiah’s descent will be Chinese, i.e. his forefathers would have lived in Chinese region. Divine will fulfilled all of this as the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was born a twin with a girl and his forefathers lived in Samarkand, which is associated with China.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that in accordance to the Holy Qur’an a claim to be commissioned by God can only be proved when three aspects verify it. Firstly, it is backed by definite, clear and evident testimony, that is, the claim is not contrary to the Book of God. Secondly, its intellectual arguments are verifiable and corroborative and thirdly, heavenly signs validate the claimant. He said his claim was proven by virtue of these three arguments and reasoning.

He said that Bukhari Ahadith state that the Promised Messiah to come will be different in appearance from the earlier Messiah (Jesus, on whom be peace). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) saw the Messiah to come circuiting the Ka’ba in a vision and related that he will have light brown complexion and straight hair, whereas the Israelite Messiah (on whom be peace) had a ruddy complexion and curly hair. Bukhari has given the appearance of the Muhammadan Messiah as of light brown complexion with straight hair and the Israelite Messiah as of ruddy complexion with curly hair which proves that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) declared the Messiah to come as a separate person and also attributed him to be from among the people amid whom his advent would take place.

It is also worth reflecting that not only has the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) mentioned the two different appearances of the two Messiahs, but when mentioning the Messiah to come, he has at several places also mentioned Dajjal. However, he has not mentioned Dajjal when citing the Israelite Messiah. This also proves that he considered there to be two ‘Isa bin Maryam’ (Jesus, son of Mary). Another important point is that Jesus (on whom be peace) was Syrian and Syrians do not have brown complexion, however Indians have brown complexion. Christian history also tells us that Jesus (on whom be peace) was not of brown complexion, rather he had a ruddy complexion like Syrian people. However, the words of Ahadith prove that the appearance of the Messiah to come was most certainly not like the Syrians.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that if the Maulwis of the time appraised honestly they would definitely confess that Kasr e Saleeb (metaphorical breaking of the Cross) is the task of the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the fourteenth century. As this is the task which is attributed to the Promised Messiah, the obvious outcome is that the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century should be the Promised Messiah. Immoralities like alcohol consumption and fornication are most prevalent in the fourteenth century as well as many other depravities. However, on reflection one finds out that the reason behind these practices is the teaching which purports that the blood/life of one person has made concession as regards accountability for sins. This is the reason that Europe [the West] is the worst in committing these sins. Usually, due to the immediacy of these people other nations have also become more liberal. Even if people are killed by disease or epidemics destroy them, their minds do not even consider that it could be punishment for their deeds. This is because love of God has cooled off and His greatness has diminished in hearts.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said the natural disasters striking in the current times are a cause for concern. We should also be drawn to prayers in this regard and those who do not believe should also think about it.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that as the freedom given by the Christian concept of atonement has emboldened the Europeans regarding all immoralities, other nations are also influenced by them. Immorality is like contagious disease. If a pious woman stays in the company of immoral women, she may not perpetrate evident wickedness, but her heart would be affected. The sense of honour and mercy of God Almighty willed to save people from the toxic influence of the Christian creed and to expose the great deception that has made a mortal god. As this evil had reached its height in the fourteenth century, God’s grace willed the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century to be one to perform Kasr e Saleeb because a Mujaddid is like a physician and it is the task of a physician to focus on eradicating the disease which is most dominant. If it is correct that Kasr e Saleeb is the task of the Promised Messiah, then it is also correct that the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century whose task is Kasr e Saleeb is the Promised Messiah.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that here the natural question that arises is that how and through which resources should the Messiah do Kasr e Saleeb. Should it be done, as our opponent Maulwis believe, through fighting and war, or some other way? The creed of the Maulwis is most erroneous. It is certainly against the status of the Promised Messiah to enact war. Rather, his status demands that he removes this evil through intellectual reasoning, heavenly signs and prayer. God has bestowed these three weapons to him and all three have miraculous powers which the other will not be able to compete. Ultimately, this is how Kasr e Saleeb will be done and its greatness will be lost for everyone with incisive sight. Gradually the vast doors to accepting Tawheed (Oneness of God) will open. All this will take place gradually because God’s tasks are gradual. Islam’s early progress was gradual and in the latter-days it will also return to its early stage gradually.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: ‘Let it be remembered that the term 'Imam of the age' comprises all Prophets, Messengers, Muhaddathin and Mujaddadin. But those who are not appointed by God to educate and guide God’s creatures, nor have they been vouchsafed such excellences, regardless of their being saints or seers, cannot be called the Imams of the age. Finally we come to the question: Who is the Imam in the present age, whom all Muslims, all righteous people, and all those who experience true dreams or revelations must follow. I hereby proclaim, without any hesitation, that, by the grace and bounty of God, He has brought together in my person all these signs and conditions and sent me at the turn of this century, of which fifteen years have already passed. I appeared at a time when all Islamic teachings, without any exception, were riddled with differences. Likewise, in respect of the Messiah’sas descent, extremely false notions had gained currency. Differences were so great that some believed Jesusas to be alive while others believed him to be dead; some believed in his bodily descent, while others believed in metaphorical descent. Some thought he would descend in Damascus, others in Mecca, and still others in Jerusalem. Some expected him to appear in the army of Muslims, and some thought he would descend in India. All these differing beliefs and statements called for a Hakam [Arbitrator] to come and judge between them. And I am that Hakam. I have been sent to break the Cross, in the spiritual sense, and to remove these differences.

These were the two reasons that necessitated my advent. Although it was not necessary for me to produce any other evidence in support of my truthfulness— for necessity is evidence enough—even then God Almighty has manifested numerous signs in my support. Therefore, just as I am the Hakam to pronounce judgement in all the other differences, so am I the Hakam in the dispute over the life and death of Jesusas. I declare that the stand taken by Imam Malikrh, Ibn Hazmrh and the Mu‘tazilites, with regard to the death of the Messiahas, is correct, and I believe the rest of the Ahl-i-Sunnah to be in the wrong. Therefore, in my capacity as Hakam, I hereby give the verdict that the Ahl-i-Sunnah are right only as far as the basic concept of Jesus’ descent is concerned, for he was bound to descend, albeit in the spiritual sense. Where they have erred, is in the manner of descent, for it was to be figurative, not literal. On the question of the death of Jesusas, the Mu‘tazilites, Imam Malik, Ibn Hazm, and others who hold similar views, are in the right, for according to the clear authority of the blessed verse ‘…but since Thou didst cause me to die…’ (5:118) the Messiahas must have died before the Christians had gone astray. This is my verdict as the Hakam. He who does not accept it, does not accept Him Who has sent me as the Hakam. If the question is asked, 'What is the proof of your being the Hakam?' The answer is that the time for which the Hakam was destined is here, and so are the people whose wrong notions about the Cross the Hakam was meant to rectify. The signs which were to appear in support of the Hakam have appeared, and they continue to appear. The heaven is manifesting the signs and so is the earth. Blessed be those whose eyes are not closed. (Daruratul Imam, pp. 39 – 41)

He also wrote: ‘My opponents should reflect in their hearts that if I am the Promised Messiah, can it be permissible that, for the sake of a mere monarch, they should revile and curse one whom the Holy Prophetsa had described as one of his arms and whom he had sent the greeting of peace and whom he called the Arbiter, the Judge, the Imam and the Vicegerent of God? ‘Let them restrain their anger and reflect, not for my sake but for the sake of Allah and His Messengersa, whether such treatment of such a claimant was proper? I do not wish to enlarge upon this because my case against you is pending in heaven. If I am the same person who had been promised through the holy lips of the Holy Prophetsa, then you have sinned, not against me but against God. Had it not been mentioned in the Ahadith that he will be persecuted and cursed, you would not have dared to persecute me as you have done, but it was necessary that all that was destined and decreed by God and which is still to be found in your books should be fulfilled, and that you should be proved guilty. You read those books and then, by continuing to declare me a kafir and cursing me, you affirm that you are the evil divines and their ilk who were to declare the Mahdi a Kafir and oppose the Messiah.

I have invited you time and again to come to me so that your doubts may be removed, but none of you has come forward. I invited everyone to a final decision but no one paid any attention. I suggested that you should supplicate to God and beseech Him with tears so that He may disclose the truth to you, but you did nothing and persisted in your denial. Truly hasGod said concerning me:

A warner came into the world and the world did not accept him,

but God will accept him and will proclaim his truth with powerful assaults.

Is it possible that a person should be true and yet should be destroyed? Is it possible that a person should be from God and should be ruined? O ye people, fight not God. This is an affair which God has designed for your sake and for the sake of your faith, so do not lay obstacles before it. You might stand before the lightening but you have not the strength to confront God. If all this had been man’s doing, none of your attacks would have been needed. God Himself would have destroyed me. Alas! Heaven is bearing witness and you do not hear; the earth is crying out: One is needed, one is needed, and you pay no attention! O unfortunate people! arise and see that in this time of distress, Islam has been trodden underfoot and has been maligned like criminals. It has been counted among liars and has been written down among unholy ones. Then would not God’s jealousy be aroused at such at time? Understand then that heaven is drawing close and the days are near when every ear shall hear the affirmation: ‘I am present’. (Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 13 , pp. 228 -330 – Essence of Islam, Vol. IV, pp. )

Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave the sad news of the passing away of Chaudhry Mubarak Musleh Din Ahmad sahib. He was a long-term server of the Jama’at. He passed away on 16 March at the age of 79. Both his father and grandfather were companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He personally dedicated his life in 1949. He took his BSc in 1953 and in 1956 his MSc in Mathematics from Lahore. His first service to Jama’at was in Tehreek e Jadid. He then served in Vakalatul Maal, then in a trade organisation of the Jama’at and then returned to Tehreek e Jadid. From 1972 to 2001 he served as Vakeelul Maal and from 2001 till his death as Vakeelul Taleem. His service to the Jama’at spanned 57 years. He leaves behind three sons and two daughters. His wife has also served the Jama’at and says that he always gave preference to Jama’at work over house work. No matter what, he would always seek counsel of the Khalifa of the time. He always said that a life-devotee does not ever make any demand. His children say when growing up he did not ever let them have any feeling that as a life-devotee his means were limited. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he worked with Musleh Din sahib for eight years in Vakalatul Maal and learned a lot from him. He was especially skilled in budget making. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih became the Nazir e Ala, the conduct of Musleh Din sahib who had been his superior until then, became extremely deferential and after the office of Khilafat his deference was greatly enhanced. May God elevate his station!