بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِِ

Al Islam

The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Muslims who believe in the Messiah,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian(as)Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (as), Love for All, Hatred for None.

The Chastisement

There are further indications with regard to the nature of this chastisement which are also striking. A reference to some of them might help us to appreciate the contingency that might overtake mankind unless God’s grace and mercy sought and won within the time that may be left.

We have already drawn attention to Verse 32 in Chapter 55, which refers to two big powers. Verse 36 of the same chapter, still referring to the two powers, says:

There shall be sent against you two a flame of fire, and smoke; and you shall not be able to help yourselves.

The immediately following verses refer to the heavens being rent asunder and appearing like red hide, and men being caught between fire and smoke and fierce boiling water. Here is another clear and explicit warning:

By Our own command. Verily We have ever been sending Messengers, as a mercy from thy Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you would only have faith. There is no god but He. He gives life and He causes death. He is your Lord, and the Lord of your fore fathers.

Yet they play about in doubt. But watch thou for the day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke that will envelope the people. This will be a painful torment. Then will the people cry: O’ Lord, remove from us the torment; truly, we are believers’. How can they benefit by admonition when there has already come to them a Messenger, explaining things clearly, and yet they turned away from him and said, ‘He is tutored, a man possessed’ We shall remove the punishment for a little while, but you will certainly revert to disbelief. On the day when We shall seize you with the great seizure, then certainly We will exact retribution. (Ch.44: Vs.6-17)

We have, save for the briefest comment, refrained from interpretation of the texts quoted both on account of limitations of time and because interpretation and detailed comment are, in the conditions of today, really unnecessary. Any thoughtful reader of the verses just read out can gather a great deal of guidance if he will reflect over them. The indications of what may overtake mankind and why, and in which direction the remedy lies, are absolutely clear.

Attention may also be invited to the opening verses of Chapter LXX which run as follows:

In the name of Allah the Gracious, the Merciful. An inquirer inquires concerning the punishment about to fall. Upon the disbelievers, which none can repel. It is from Allah, Lord of great ascents. The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years. So be patient with admirable patience. They see it to be far off. But We see it to be nigh. The day when the heaven will become like molten copper.

And the mountains will become like flakes of wool; and a friend will not inquire after a friend. They will be placed in sight of one another, and the guilty one would fain ransom himself from the torment of that day by offering his children. And his wife, and his brother. And his kinsfolk who sheltered him. And by offering all those who are on the earth, if only thus he might save himself. But no! Surely, it is a flame of fire, stripping off the skin even to the extremities of the body. It will call him who turned his back and retreated. And hoarded wealth and withheld it. (Ch.70: Vs. 1-19)

Here again, a severe chastisement is announced which would proceed from God, Lord of great ascents. It is characteristic of the Quran that wherever an attribute of God is mentioned, it has reference to the subject matter of the context. It is not without significance that the attribute ‘Lord of great ascent’ is mentioned in connection with this warning of a severe chastisement. The nature of the chastisement is sufficiently described in the succeeding verses, but the mention of this attribute shows that the chastisement will have an element of great heights, or graduated ascents about it. The skies becoming like ‘molten copper’ would indicate, among other things, the generation of intense heat. Mountains becoming like ‘flakes of wool’ would indicate tremendous impacts, which would scatter mountains, like flakes of wool. The ‘stripping off of the skin even to the extremities of the body’ would indicate a ‘Hiroshima’ the horrors of which may be multiplied many times. The swiftness with which the horrors might spread is indicated by its overtaking those who turn back and seek to escape.

It is not our object to pile horror upon horror. We desire to stress; however, that a cataclysm of unparalleled severity and destructive power is here clearly foretold. Indeed, in the circumstances of today, this is no longer a matter of speculation. Unless adequate remedies are devised and put into effect there may be no escape.

Is there a remedy?

Verse 16 of Chapter 17 of the Quran says:

…We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.

This means that a calamity on a wide scale, which has the character of punishment for the misdeeds of a people, would not overtake them until they have been warned to make amends, through a divine Messenger. It may be asked, ‘Has there been a warning regarding the calamity or calamity with which the world is threatened today?’ In the first place, the Quran itself has set out all these warnings, some of which have been quoted above.

The Messenger through whom these Warnings were given was the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam. Now that we are threatened with the literal fulfillment of these warnings, it behooves us to pay sincere and earnest attention to them and to draw the necessary lessons from them. If we proceed to do so, and to put our lives in accord with the Divine Will there is the Divine Assurance that neither fear nor sorrow shall overtake us.

It so happens, however, that in this age also a Divine Reformer was raised to give due warning of the approach of these calamities. He called on mankind to make its peace with its Maker and to turn to righteousness before it was too late. Ample warning has been given. Few have paid heed to it so far, but the time is coming, it is fast approaching, when mankind at large must take the warning to its heart, or perish.

Remedies may be of various types. In as much as the indications are that the cataclysm that is threatened would overtake mankind as the result of certain spiritual causes, the real and effective remedy is the removal of those causes. Once those causes are removed other devices will come into operation and will lead mankind out of the shadow of the cataclysm that threatens.