(Bashir Ahmad Orchard)
SERVANT OF GOD
The servant of God should give minute attention in multifarious ways
concerning his relationship with his fellow-beings. Foremost is the proper
control of his thoughts which are the seeds of human attitudes and behaviour.
The mind is similar to fertile soil. It produces whatever is planted in
it. Man is the gardener of his own mind. He is free to sow seeds of his
own choice which will grow and flourish externally in accordance with
the kind of seeds he planted. He also has the capacity to remove whatever
weeds may appear - with the help of God. Man is his own master and captain
of his own soul, destiny, character and even circumstances. As the proverbs
"As he thinketh in his heart so is he"
The servant of God selects, sows and cultivates holy thoughts with the help
of God. He should be ever ready to pardon and forgive an injury and endeavour
to show compassion to the person who caused it. He should endeavour to harbour
no feelings of rancour whatsoever and, if his emotions are aroused, he should
try to subdue them through earnest prayer and positive thinking. Islam teaches
that in the event of a dispute one should resume talking within three days.
This initiative would go a long way in restoring a friendly relationship
which may grow even stronger. God says in the Holy Quran:
"You can, if you think you can."
"Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he, between whom
and thyself was enmity, will become as though he were a warm friend."
The wronged one who endures with fortitude and forgives, indeed
achieves a matter of high resolve." (42:44)
"Let them forgive and forbear. Do you not desire that Allah
should forgive you ? " (24:23)
The servant of God should cultivate love for everyone although it is not
expected that his depth of love would be the same for everyone. It is natural
to love some persons more than others. The endeavour, however, should be
love for all, hatred for none which was the motto of Hazrat Mirza Nasir
Ahmad. The servant of God should look upon all as brothers and sisters.
He should overflow with sympathy for all in need, misfortune, pain or suffering
of any kind. He should shed his holy benediction on all including his opponents
and persecutors. This is the spirit of Islam although it does not ignore
the need for condign punishment when necessary. The servant of God hates
the sin in a man and not the man on account of the sin. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in
Islam, once said, despite the fact that drinking alcohol is a sin in Islam,
that if he found one of his friends lying drunk in the street he would not
hesitate to lift him up and take him to his home. He had many foul-mouthed
opponents yet he declared that there was not one for whom he had not prayed
at least three times.
The servant of God feels distressed when he knows that someone is committing
sin and he prays for that person. He knows that he himself is most imperfect
and had it not been for the grace and succour of God, he himself might
have been worse than the other person. Furthermore, had the other person
seen the light and turned to God then again he might have well outstripped
the servant of God in devotion and piety. If he thinks himself to be a
person of high spiritual stature then, indeed, he is not a true servant
of God, because a servant of God is such a person who is the essence of
humility, ever aware of his sins, short-comings and weaknesses for which
he is constantly imploring God for His forgiveness, mercy and succour.
He is ever mindful of the admonition in the Holy Quran:
"Ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best who is truly
The servant of God being fully aware of his own unworthiness and that he
is totally dependant on the grace and favours of God, is ever thankful for
whatever spiritual fruits God has bestowed upon him. He despises nobody
and displays courtesy and forbearance towards everyone. He is the well-wisher
of all and considers himself a most humble servant of God in constant need
of spiritual purification for which he hankers and yearns.
The Review of Religions
Vol. LXXXIII No. 11