‘And they say, ‘None shall ever enter Heaven unless he be a Jew or a Christian.’ These are their vain desires. Say, ‘Produce your proof, if you are truthful.’
Nay, whoever submits himself completely to Allah, while he is excellent in conduct, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon such, neither shall they grieve.’ (2:112-113)
Someone recently wrote to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih expressing their concern over the new government in Pakistan and conjecturing if, as with previous governments, this regime will also persecute Ahmadis and matters will remain the same. God alone knows what will come to pass, however, be it the current government or any other government, with the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation in place in Pakistan, there is no need to be concerned in this manner for this is a constant cause for concern for Pakistani Ahmadis, who should be drawn to prayer in this regard. If we have any expectations from worldly governments then we may have this kind of viewpoint, but if all our reliance is on God, which indeed it should be, then there is no need to conjecture that the situation will get better if so and so comes into power or the situation will worsen if so and so comes into power. There is no need to have any concern in this regard if our reliance and trust is in God.
These worldly governments will persecute; this has been the situation since the legislation has been promulgated in Pakistan. Opposition has been carrying on since the time of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Although it was not on a governmental level at the time, still government workers used to hatch plans against us. In any case, whether it is a government of one ideology or another ideology, in their presumption they have excluded Ahmadis from the fold of Islam and whichever government comes, it carries out persecution against Ahmadis, in fact the persecution is increasing. We neither have any expectation of any good from these worldly governments nor do we need their certification to be called Muslims. A real Muslim is one who is a Muslim in the sight of God; who believes in the Unity of God and accepts the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as the last law-bearing Prophet and Seal of all the Prophets. In this respect Ahmadis are Muslims by creed as well as by practice, in fact they are better Muslims than the others.
If these ‘constitutional’ Muslims or their governments or ministers or workers commit oppression, they are sinful in the sight to God and by virtue of this we get closer to God for certainly these matters bring Ahmadis closer to God. Explaining the term ‘constitutional’ Muslims to those who may not know, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said according to the constitution of Pakistan Ahmadis are not Muslims in constitutional and religious terms. It is indeed preposterous that a democratic government decides matters of faith. After the 1974 anti-Ahmadiyya legislation in Pakistan, a military despot brought about further harshness. In short, according to this constitutional amendment Ahmadis are non-Muslims in Pakistan in spite of the fact that the true picture of Islam is being propagated in the world by the Ahmadis whereas the others, who are constitutionally Muslims, are bringing Islam in disrepute.
People often put it to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih as indeed he was asked during his recent American trip that the other Muslims do not consider us Muslims and their practices are also differing, while Ahmadis claim that they will bring about a revolution in the world; how will that come to pass? In response Hazrat Khalifatul Masih tells them that it [the revolutionary change] is indeed taking place as hundreds of thousands of people are coming in the fold of real Islam every year and we will continue with our task until we convince the world that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was a Messenger of peace of a stature like none other. Huzoor also tells them that it is not for an individual to decide the religion of another. Each person decides his own faith. Governments may deem us Muslims or not, it does not matter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih tells them that he is a Muslim and those who have accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are also Muslims and are better Muslims than those who have not accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
If any government, its ministers or workers commit cruelty, they will bring their own government in disgrace. It is irrelevant to us if the government is disgraced although as Pakistanis, it hurts us because Ahmadis have given great sacrifices for Pakistan. By murdering people in the name of religion, not only do these people disgrace Pakistan, they also bring Islam in disrepute which is a religion of peace and conciliation. Indeed, God states that justice has to be upheld even if one is dealing with the enemy: ‘… and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah…’ (5:9). Thus is the teaching of Islam and we silence the detractors of Islam by informing them about it. A true Muslim is ever mindful of fear of God and it is not possible for a true Muslim to be involved in injustice and cruelty. The problem is that those who are leading the nation [of Pakistan] are devoid of Taqwa (righteousness) and cruelty and injustice can be expected of them.
A couple of days ago an event was held at the UK Parliament House to mark the 100 years of UK Jama’at. The event was attended by 42 MPs, including the deputy Prime Minister and 6 ministers, diplomats and other notables. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih gave a presentation on true Islam in light of the beautiful teaching of Islam and the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The audience responded well and commented that while the Ahmadiyya viewpoint is of peace and conciliation it is somewhat concerning what some other Muslims get up to. Some politicians make such observations candidly while others a bit cautiously. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih bases his addresses on the Holy Qur’an and the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) people do come to know the real teaching of Islam.
Responding to Huzoor’s address, a Christian diplomat said that each word affected his heart. He often attends our events and is familiar with us. Huzoor told him that his message was not meant for him alone and asked him to spread it in his circles and he said he already did so and will continue. Thus, we are affecting the outsiders but our message does not make any difference to the callous Maulwis other than making them even more callous. We are trying to negate the wrong impression of Islam as caused by some and will InshaAllah continue. Yet the politicians and educated people of Muslim countries follow the Maulwis in persecuting Ahmadis in the name of Islam. This is what they do. Just as we will carry on with what we do, so shall they. We should neither be concerned about them nor have any expectations of them nor look to them. If they dispense justice, they will be rewarded by God, otherwise our God is with us. He will grant us, according to His promise, in this world as well as the next world. And those who perpetrate cruelty will most definitely also be seized.
Rather than look to these worldly governments, we should turn to God and follow His commandments. As for the proclamation of the caretakers of religion that whoever does not follow them is accursed and hell-bound therefore they have given free rein to their people to do whatever they wish to Ahmadis – which is what is going on – governments which talk of supremacy of law in actual fact side with the persecutors. Two days ago an Ahmadi was martyred in Karachi and there was also an attempted murder on an Ahmadi in Jhelum who is badly injured and in hospital. May God grant him healing. Non-Ahmadi friends of these Ahmadis were also caught up in these attacks. In Karachi two friends of the martyr who were with him in the car were badly injured and are in hospital, one of them in critical condition. A non-Ahmadi friend was also injured in the Jhelum attack and is better now. May God grant them healing.
God states this is nothing new, earlier caretakers of religion were similar. However, God states that whosoever submits himself to God and does good has his reward with his Lord. No individual killing in the name of religion or indeed a legislative body is going to issue certificate for entrance to Heaven or Hell. God has stated that one who does good works to seek God’s pleasure and comes into the Bai’at of the Imam of the age because God has so directed, has no reason to fear or grieve. Each practice of such a person which is to seek God’s pleasure will grant him God’s pleasure. Each Ahmadi who has come into Bai’at in this manner is a firm Muslim and is one who attains God’s love. His state of being a Muslim does not need any political certification. According to the verses recited at the start of the sermon, Muslim is one who announces that he is a Muslim and: ‘…whoever submits himself completely to Allah…’. It is not stated that others need announce who is a Muslim and who is not. Rather each person should submit to God and then announce that he is a Muslim through his own choice and is ready to undertake the responsibility that God has placed on him as a Muslim. Additionally, it is stated that he should be: ‘…excellent in conduct…’, that is, his everyday practices are excellent and he avoids everything bad. He will then have his Lord’s reward and will have no fear or grief. Continuous good practices, avoidance of what is bad and giving preference to faith over worldly matters saves a believer from future mistakes.
The Promised Messiah) on whom be peace) wrote: ‘The technical meaning of Islam is set out in the verse: Nay, whoever submits himself completely to Allah, while he is excellent in conduct, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon such, neither shall they grieve. ’ This means that a Muslim is one who commits himself wholly to the cause of God Almighty; that is to say, one who devotes himself to God Almighty, to following His designs and to winning His pleasure, and then becomes steadfast in doing good for the sake of God Almighty and devotes all his faculties to that cause. In other words, he belongs entirely to God Almighty both doctrinally and in practice.
Doctrinal belonging means that one should esteem one's being as something which has been created for the recognition of God Almighty and His obedience and the seeking of His love and pleasure.
Practical belonging means to do all the good that is related to every one of one's faculties with such eagerness and attention as if one beholds the countenance of the True Beloved in the mirror of one's obedience.’ (Essence of Islam, Vol. I, pp. 18 – 19)
This is the station that we have to attain in doctrinal as well as practical terms. If we reform ourselves and have firm faith and try to adapt our lives according to what pleases God, then any persecution done on the pretext of legality cannot really harm us even if it brings worldly loss, we will be accepted by God. By stating accounts of earlier people the holy Qur’an has already strengthened our hearts. Followers of Moses (on whom be peace) came as sorcerers but were later convinced and spoke out [to the Pharaoh]: ‘…So decree what thou wilt decree; thou canst only decree concerning this present life…’ (20:73). If any government wishes to perpetrate cruelty, it has the Pharaoh’s ending before it. while we are to display that faith which has no fear of worldly people. The standard of those who announce themselves as Muslims is depicted in this verse: ‘And who is better in faith than he who submits himself to Allah, and he is a doer of good, and follows the religion of Abraham, the upright? And Allah took Abraham for a special friend.’ (4:126)
God has stated the distinction of Hazrat Ibrahim in the Holy Qur’an as: ‘And of Abraham who fulfilled the commandments? — (53:38)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has written that Hazrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) gained nearness to God owing to his honesty, loyalty and sincerity. To be loyal and sincere to God requires a kind of death. This quality cannot be inculcated unless one completely foregoes all worldly pleasures and pomp and is ready to endure every disgrace for the sake of God. It is difficult to instil honesty and sincerity without being prepared to undergo all manner of trouble in God’s cause. God demands action and is pleased with action, whereas action can be painful. However, when man is prepared to endure pain for God, He does not put him through pain. To make one’s heart free of any other but God and to fill one’s heart with God’s love and to follow God’s will and be subservient to Him just as shadow is subservient to the real thing in a way that there is no difference between God’s will and what a person wants are all matters attained through prayer. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that the reality of Islam can be realised in a person when all his being is completely devoted to God with all his overt and covert strengths and whatever trusts he has been given by God are returned to Him. Not only in doctrinal terms but also in practice Islam’s true picture is displayed, that is, a person who claims to be a Muslim proves that all his limbs and intellect and insight, all spiritual and physical strengths, his respect and property and everything else from his head to his toes, apparent or not, including his intentions and fears of his heart are as subservient to God as a person’s limbs are under his control.
Thus is the station which every Ahmadi needs to try to attain and can only claim to be true Muslim once the effort is made and he will then come in God’s refuge. As a Jama’at, may God make majority of us like this. May we turn to prayers and be imbibed in true Islamic tenor. May we attract God’s grace and be included in those about whom God has stated: ‘…glad tidings to those who submit to God.’ (16:90). May God make it so that the majority of us is drawn to prayers, in fact may each Ahmadi be drawn to prayers and may we have sincere connection with God and also see the ending of our detractors soon!
The Ahmadi martyred in Karachi on 11 June was Chaudhry Hamid Sami sahib shaheed. Ahmadiyyat came in his family through his grandfather who also endured severe opposition after accepting Ahmadiyyat. His father used to place the feet of bedstead on the palms of his hand and sleep on the bedstead. Hamid sahib was born in Lahore. He was 48 year old and was a charted accountant by profession. On the day of his martyrdom, he was travelling in his car with two non-Ahmadi friends when unknown assailants opened fire and it appears that the assailants were on motor bikes and attacked from both sides of the car. The deceased bore several bullets all over his body while his friends were injured by the bullets ricocheting. Hamid sahib served the Jama’at in finance department. He was a cheerful, courteous person who was very caring toward his family and others. He leaves behind his widow and three children. May God be their Protector and may He elevate the station of the deceased.