First of all, I express my gratitude to God Almighty for having made us the subjects of a benign Government, which does not hinder us from the propagation of our religious beliefs and removes every obstacle from our path by virtue of its principles of equity and justice.
Respected audience, today I am going to speak about the different religions found in this country, and I will try to be as deferential as possible since some people do not like to hear facts which go against their religious beliefs. It is obviously not in my power to remove their inherent prejudice, therefore, even as I speak the truth, I wish to be excused for any offence it might cause.
There are many religions in this country and religious rivalry is sweeping the land like a storm, but I have realized, through deep reflection and continuous revelations from God, that all this contention springs from the single fact that most people have lost their spiritual faculties and do not fear God. Heavenly light, which helps to distinguish truth from falsehood, has gone out from almost every heart, atheism is gaining ground day by day, and, while tongues utter the name of God and Parmeshwar, hearts are growing more and more inclined towards agnosticism. All this is easily testified by people’s practices which are far from what they should be. They do profess a great deal but never practice what they preach. Here I do not mean to question the sincerity of anyone who privately leads a life of piety, but, for the most part, people have failed to attain the object for which religion was made essential for mankind. Most people do not care for the purity of their hearts, true love for God, sympathy for mankind, and higher morals, such as meekness, kindness, justice and humility; and have no regard for purity, piety and righteousness, which is the soul of religion. Alas! even as religious rivalry grows, spirituality only continues to decline.
The purpose of religion is that people should recognize the True God Who created the world, love Him so much that every other love should grow cold in their hearts, be kind and compassionate towards His creatures, and strive to attain the utmost purity. This purpose is being neglected in this age and most people are practically following some form of atheism. They do not seem to be aware of the existence of God, and it is this lack of awareness that causes sin to be committed with more and more audacity. It is plain that unless we possess true knowledge about something, we cannot understand its worth and can neither love, nor fear it. All forms of love and fear and appreciation are born out of awareness, and the major cause of the profusion of sin in this age is man’s lack of awareness about his Creator. The sign which distinguishes a true religion from others is that it opens up for the believers many paths to knowledge and awareness about God, which causes them not only to desist from sin, but, when they have seen the beauty and glory of the Divine, to fall in love with Him so completely that to them even a moment of separation seems worse than the torments of Hell.
Deliverance from sin and love for God is undoubtedly the highest object of man’s existence, and forms the true happiness that is also called Bliss. Conversely, every desire that goes against the will of God, and every life spent in the pursuit of such desires, is like the fire of Hell.
The question now arises as to how man can find deliverance from such an infernal existence. God has told me that salvation from this abode of fire depends solely upon true and perfect awareness of Him. The lure of carnal passions, which is destroying faith like a flood, can only be countered by something equally powerful. So, in order to attain salvation, we need perfect knowledge and complete awareness of God, as only diamond can cut diamond. It doesn’t require a lot of arguments to show that only true God-realization — Ma‘rifat — can inspire love or fear. If a child is given a diamond worth millions, it will not cherish it any more than it cherishes a toy. And if a man is given honey which has been poisoned without his knowledge, he will eat it with relish and will not realize its danger. On the other hand, no one will ever consciously endanger his life by thrusting his hand into a snake pit or swallowing poison. Why is it, then, that people do not fear the death that must come upon them as a result of transgressing Divine commandments? I tell you that it is only because they are not as aware of the perils of sin as they are of the harmfulness of a snake or a poison.
No logic can disprove the fact that perfect knowledge prevents man from doing things that are likely to cause him injury or death, and in doing so he does not require any belief in any doctrine of Redemption. Even the most hardened criminal suppresses many of his desires for fear of being apprehended and punished. He does not break into a shop in broad daylight, while armed policemen are patrolling the area, even though he can easily lay his hands on thousands of rupees. Why? Is it because he has faith in the Redemption and is overawed by the doctrine of the Cross? No. He desists only because he recognizes the black uniforms of the policemen and is afraid of their shining swords, and realizes that if caught he will be thrown into jail. This principle applies even to animals. A charging lion never jumps into a fire even when it sees its prey on the other side, and a wolf never attacks a lamb whose watcher is standing by with a sword and a loaded gun. So, dear people, the true and tried philosophy is that man requires no doctrine of ‘Redemption’ in order to keep away from sin; all he requires is true knowledge and awareness. If the people of Noah had possessed true awareness, which inspires fear of God, they would not have drowned; and if the people of Lot had truly recognized their Lord, they would not have been showered with stones; and if the people of this country had been granted true awareness that makes hearts tremble, they would not have been ravaged by the plague.
Imperfect knowledge is also futile, because the love or fear that results from it is also imperfect. No one can derive any benefit from imperfect faith, imperfect love, imperfect fear and imperfect knowledge, nor, for that matter, can anyone be satiated by imperfect food. Is it possible to satisfy one’s hunger with a grain, or quench one’s thirst with a drop of water? How then is it possible for you — who lack resolve and put little effort in search of the truth — to receive great Divine blessings with the help of little knowledge, little love and little fear? Remember, God alone can cleanse you of yours sins, and fill your hearts with His love, and overawe you with His Majesty, and, such is the eternal law, that all this is granted only after man has attained perfect awareness — the source of all fear, love and appreciation. He who is granted perfect awareness is also granted perfect love and fear, and he who is granted these is granted salvation, for he is saved from all sins that result from audacity. In order to attain this kind of salvation, we do not need the blood of Christ, or Crucifixion, or Redemption; all we require is a sacrifice — the sacrifice of our own selves which our very nature demands. This sacrifice is otherwise known as ‘Islam’, which, literally, means to offer oneself to be sacrificed, or to willingly and completely submit oneself to God. The beautiful name ‘Islam’ is the soul of the Shariah and essence of all its commandments. It requires perfect love to readily offer oneself for sacrifice, and perfect love requires perfect awareness, and this is what the word ‘Islam’ signifies. God Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
i.e., neither the flesh nor the blood of your sacrifices reaches Me; the only sacrifice that reaches Me is that you fear Me and adopt righteousness for My sake.
It should be borne in mind that all the teachings of Islam lead us to the single objective which is inherent in the word ‘Islam’, and, to this end, the Holy Quran endeavours to inculcate Divine love in our hearts. It reveals to us not only His beauty and glory, but also reminds us of His countless favours, for it is only through beauty and kindness that love finds its way into a person’s heart.
The Holy Quran teaches us that, by virtue of all His excellences, God is One and has no partner. He suffers from no shortcoming. He comprehends all perfect attributes and manifests all holy powers. He is the Originator of all creation and Source of all grace. He is the Lord of reward and punishment, and everything returns to Him. He is near despite being far, and is distant despite His proximity. He is above everything, but we cannot say that there is anyone below Him. He is the most Hidden, but it cannot be said that anything is more manifest than He is. He is Self-Existent and everything subsists because of Him. He sustains everything but nothing sustains Him. Nothing has come into being or sustains itself without Him. He encompasses everything, but we do not know in what way. He is the Light of everything in heaven and earth. Every light shines through Him and every light is a reflection of His Being. He is the Lord of the universe, there is not a soul that is not sustained by Him, and not a soul that exists by itself. No soul possesses any power that has not granted by Him.
His favours are of two kinds. (1) Favours that are granted without any effort on the part of anyone. These have always been in existence, e.g., the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, water, fire, air, and all the particles of the universe that have been created for our sustenance. He provided for our sustenance even before we had come into existence, or had done anything to deserve them. Can one say that the sun or the earth was created on account of one’s deeds? These favours came into existence before man was created and have not resulted from any of his actions. (2) Favours that are bestowed as a result of people’s actions. These are too evident to require illustration.
The Holy Quran says that God is free from all defects and is not subject to failure or shortcoming, and it is His desire that man, too, should free himself of his weaknesses by following His commandments. He says:
i.e., he who has no ‘sight’ in this world and is unable to behold the Peerless One, shall also be blind in the Hereafter, and darkness shall not leave him.
This will happen because the faculties that enable man to behold God are given to him in this world, and he who does not possess them and does not take them with him [to the Hereafter], will not be able to behold Him in that world either. In this verse God Almighty has clearly defined the progress He expects from man, and the heights he can attain by following His commandments.
In the Holy Quran, God has given us the perfect teaching, which, if truly followed, enables us to behold Him in this very life. He says:
i.e., whoever desires to see God — the True Creator — in this life, should act righteously. His actions should be free from mischief, ostentation, conceit and arrogance, and should neither be defective, nor deficient, nor contrary to one’s personal love [for God]; and should instead be imbued with sincerity and faithfulness. He should also abstain from Shirk [associating partners with God] and should worship neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, nor air, nor fire, nor water, nor anything else. He should also not put his faith in the physical means as though they were God’s partners. Nor should he depend upon his own prowess, for this also amounts to idolatry — Shirk. Having done everything in his power, he should consider it of no consequence and should not pride himself on his knowledge or his efforts, and should think himself ignorant and worthless. His soul should always lie prostrate at the threshold of the Almighty, seeking His grace through prayer and supplication. Therefore, you should become like a thirsty and invalid person who finds a fountain of clear fresh water and tries to reach it stumbling and falling and, when he finally puts his lips to it, does not let go until he is fully satiated.
In the Holy Quran, God describes His attributes as follows:
i.e., your God is One in His Being and in His attributes. No one is eternal and everlasting like Him, nor does anything possess attributes similar to His. Man depends upon a teacher for his knowledge, yet his knowledge remains incomplete, but God needs no teacher, for His knowledge knows no bounds. Man depends upon the air for his hearing which is limited, but God’s hearing is inherent and unlimited. Man depends upon the light of the sun or other sources of light to see, and his sight is restricted, but God sees by His own light and His sight encompasses everything. In order to create, man is dependent upon matter and requires time, and his power of creation is confined, but God’s power of creation is not dependent upon matter or time, nor is it in any way limited. This is because all His attributes are unique like Himself, and if even one of them was flawed, they would all be considered flawed. His Unity — Tauhid — cannot be established unless He is seen to be peerless both in His Person and in His attributes.
In the final part of these verses, the Holy Quran says that God is not the son of anyone, nor does He have a son. He is Self-Sufficient and has no need of a father or a son. This is the Unity of God — Tauhid — which the Holy Quran teaches us and this is the basis of our faith.
Now we come to the ethical and moral teachings which the Holy Quran has laid out in this comprehensive verse:
i.e., God commands you to abide by justice and fairness. But if you wish to attain greater perfection, then treat people with compassion and do good even to those who have done you no good. And if you aspire to even higher perfection, then be of service to others out of personal sympathy and natural impulse, without any desire to win gratitude or to put anyone under obligation, and be kind to them just as a mother is kind to her children out of a natural urge. God also forbids you to commit excesses, to remind people of the good you have done them, or to be ungrateful to those who have been kind to you. This is further elaborated in the verse:
i.e., when the truly righteous feed the poor, the orphan and the captive, they do so selflessly, only out of love for God, and say to them: “We only serve you for the sake of God, from you we require neither gratitude nor reward.”
With regard to retribution or forgiveness, the Holy Quran teaches us:
The retribution for an injury is an injury to the same extent. Tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye, and abuse for an abuse, but whosoever forgives — and the forgiveness results in reformation rather than mischief, and he who has been forgiven rectifies his behaviour and desists from evil — his forgiveness is better than retribution, and the forgiver shall have his reward [with God]. It does not teach us that, having been struck on one cheek, we should in all circumstances turn the other cheek also, for this goes against true wisdom. Doing good to an evil-doer can be as unjust as doing evil to a good man. The Holy Quran further says:
i.e., if someone is kind to you, show him even greater kindness. All rancour between you will thus turn into a friendship so close that it borders upon kinship.
i.e., do not backbite one another: would any of you like to eat the flesh of a dead brother? Nor should a people ridicule another, proclaiming their own superiority and thinking of others as inferior, for those who are ridiculed may well be better than themselves. Surely, the more honoured in the sight of God is he who is greater in virtue and righteousness. The distinction of nation or caste is immaterial to Him. Do not call people with contemptuous names which they consider offensive, or else you will yourselves be considered evil in the sight of God. Keep away from idols and from falsehood, for they are both impurities. When you speak, speak wisely and reasonably and abstain from idle talk. Your whole body and all your faculties should be subservient to God, and all of you should together devote yourselves to His service. Allah also says:
O you who are unmindful of God, your desire for the world has made you heedless, and you do not relent until the time comes for you to enter the graves. You are wrong in doing so, and you will soon know. Indeed, you will soon know. If you possessed true awareness, you would see your own hell and realize that you are leading an infernal existence. And if you possessed even greater awareness, you would see with the eye of certainty that your life is indeed an infernal one. A time comes when you shall be thrown into hell and have to answer for all your indulgences and excesses and, having been overtaken by chastisement, shall reach the state of perfect certainty.
These verses show that there are three stages of certainty: The first is attained through knowledge and inference, as, for instance, when you see smoke rising from afar and infer through reason and deduction that there must be a fire in that direction. You reach the second stage of certainty when you see the fire with your own eyes. And you arrive at the third stage when you put your hand into the fire and experience firsthand its property of burning. These, then, are the three stages of certainty: ‘Ilmul Yaqin [certainty by knowledge], ‘Ainul Yaqin [certainty by sight], and Haqqul Yaqin [perfect certainty].
These verses teach us that our true happiness lies in nearness to God and love for Him. The moment we turn away from Him and lean towards the world, we begin the life of hell, and everyone is bound to realize this sooner or later, even if he does so when he is at death’s door and is about to leave behind all his worldly possessions and relations.
Elsewhere in the Holy Quran, God says:
i.e., anyone who gives up sin in deference to the honour and majesty of God, and in dread of the day when he shall be called to account before Him, for him there are two kinds of paradise. The first will be given to him in the form of a blissful existence in this world, where he will experience a holy transformation and God Himself will provide for him. The second paradise will be the eternal one, which will be granted to him after death because he feared God and preferred Him to all things mundane including his own egoistic desires.
i.e., I have prepared for the disbelievers — who do not love Me and are inclined towards the world — chains and collars and a fire that burns in their hearts. Their feet are chained by their love for the world; their indifference to God serves as a collar for their necks, which does not allow them to look upwards but keeps them prone towards the world, and their hearts are constantly burning with craving for the world. As for the righteous, they are, in this very life, given a drink tempered with camphor — kafur — which cools their worldly loves and desires. They are given a spring from which this drink flows, and they cause it to flow into a running stream so that all who are thirsty may drink their fill of it. Once this spring has turned into a stream, and the power of faith has begun to grow, and Divine love has taken root in their hearts, the believers are then given another drink, this time tempered with ginger — zanjabil. The camphorated drink they were given at first was only meant to cool the love of the world, and they now need a warming drink to set their hearts ablaze with Divine love. They need the second drink because the mere giving up of sin does not lead to perfection. The spring from which the drink flows is called salsabil, which means ‘Ask about the path that leads to God.’
i.e., verily, he who purifies his self is released from the shackles of his carnal passions and is granted a heavenly life, but whosoever allows his self to get mired in the material world, and does not turn to heaven, shall languish in grief and sorrow.
Since it is not possible to attain these stages by our own efforts, the Holy Quran urges us again and again to pray as well as to strive. It says:
i.e., pray and I will accept your prayers.
i.e., if My servants ask you what is there to prove My existence, and why they should believe in Me, tell them that I am very near. I answer anyone who calls Me, I hear his voice, and I speak to him. For their part, let My servants make themselves deserving of My converse and have perfect faith in Me, so that they may find My path.
i.e., We surely show Our path to those who toil for it and make every effort in Our quest.
i.e., if you wish to see God, then pray and strive, and another requirement is that you should keep the company of the righteous.
These are the commandments that lead us to the true objective of Islam which, as I have said before, is that man should surrender himself completely to God, like a sacrificial lamb, giving up all his desires and intentions, and losing himself in God’s will. He should bring about a virtual death upon himself, completely immerse himself in God’s love, obey Him on the basis of love alone and for no other motive, and acquire eyes that see with Him, ears that hear with Him, a heart that is completely devoted to Him, and a tongue that only speaks when He speaks. This is the stage where the labours of a spiritual wayfarer culminate, and man’s baser self is annihilated, and God’s grace grants him a new life through His living word and shining light, and honours him with His sweet converse. The subtlest of lights, which neither reason can discover nor eye can penetrate, now draws closer to him by itself, as God Almighty says:
i.e., We are closer to him than his jugular vein.
It is thus that mortal man is honoured with His nearness and his eyes are given a fresh light that cures his blindness; he sees God with his new eyes, and hears His voice, and feels himself immersed in His light. This is the culminating point of religion, where, having beheld God, man removes the soiled garb of his earthly existence and dons the magnificent robes of Divine light. It is not only on the basis of a promise that he waits for the Hereafter to behold God and to enter paradise, for in this very world he sees God, and speaks to Him, and partakes of the delights of paradise, as God says:
Those who say that our God is He Who possesses all the perfect attributes and has no associate, either in His person or in His attributes, and remain steadfast, and their faith is not shaken by calamities or misfortunes or even when they come face to face with death, it is upon such people that angels descend, and God says to them, “Fear not these calamities, nor have any dread for your mighty foes, nor grieve over past misfortunes, for I am with you. Rejoice, for I will grant you in this world the paradise that you have been promised.”
These statements are not without testimony, nor are these promises such as have not been fulfilled. There have been thousands of righteous Muslims who have tasted the fruits of the spiritual paradise in this life, and God has declared the true followers of Islam to be heirs to the diverse blessings that were given to all the righteous people of the past. He has also accepted the following prayer which He has taught us in the Holy Quran:
i.e., show us the path of the righteous ones, whom You favoured with every bounty, i.e., those who received every kind of blessing from You, who were honoured with Your converse, whose prayers were accepted, and who were accompanied by Your help and guidance; and save us from the path of those who incurred Your displeasure and forsook Your path.
This supplication, which we make in our Prayers five times a day, tells us that spiritual blindness does not only lead to hell in the Hereafter, but it also turns this life into hell. The truly obedient ones and the truly redeemed ones are those who recognize God and have perfect faith in Him, for they alone can forsake sin and immerse themselves in Divine love. A heart which has no desire to receive Divine communion is dead; a religion which cannot lead its followers to this perfection and fails to grant them communion with God, does not possess the spirit of truth and does not come from God; a prophet who does not lead his people on the path where they crave for Divine communion and God-realization, is not from Him and only attributes falsehood to Him; for the ultimate purpose of religion, which can rid man of sin, is to attain certainty about God and the Day of Reckoning. But how can one attain this certainty unless one hears the voice of God — the most Hidden — saying ‘I exist’ and witnesses His manifest signs? Reason and logic can only go so far as to show, on the basis of the consummate and wise order of the universe, that the heavens and earth must have a Creator, but they do not go so far as to prove His actual existence; and the difference between ‘should be’ and ‘is’ is plain enough.
Amidst the current flood of religious rivalry, a seeker after truth must not forget that only that religion can be considered true which categorically proves the existence of God, and exalts man to the stage where he receives Divine communion, and saves him from the darkness of sin through its spiritual influence and life-giving quality. All else is mere deception.
Let us now examine some of the major religions of this country, and see whether they can lead us to certainty about God. Let us also see whether their scriptures contain any promise that they can lead man to Divine communion, and, if so, whether this promise has been fulfilled in favour of any of their followers in this age.
The religion which first requires our attention is Christianity. But it does not require a lot of analysis since the Christians themselves unanimously believe that all Divine revelation ended after the Messiah. For them revelation is only a thing of the past, all doors to it having been closed till the Day of Judgement. This is, perhaps, also the reason why they have devised a new way of achieving salvation, which falls short of all the norms of reason, justice and mercy. They claim that the Messiah agreed to take upon himself all the sins of the world and to die on the cross in order to bring salvation to others, and that God allowed His own son to be killed so as to redeem the sinners. But I fail to understand how people’s hearts can be cleansed of sin by such an unmerited death and how the crucifixion of an innocent man can cause anyone’s sins to be forgiven! This method is not only contrary to justice, but also to mercy; for it is unjust to punish an innocent person in place of the guilty one, and it is cruel to kill one’s own son in such a callous manner, and that too in vain. The real cause of the current deluge of sin, as I have just mentioned, is lack of God-realization, and as long as the cause persists it is impossible to negate the effect. What kind of logic is it to say that although the cause — which is the lack of God-realization — is still present, the effect — sin — has been eradicated! There are thousands of instances in our experience which show that unless we have full awareness about something we can neither love it, nor fear it, nor understand its worth. Man’s motivation for doing certain things and avoiding others is either love or fear, and these only come from awareness. Without awareness there will be no fear and no love.
Dear people, the truth compels me to say that the Christians do not possess anything that can lead a person to God-realization. They have already set a seal on revelation, their miracles have ended with the Messiah and his disciples, and they have abandoned the path of reason by deifying a human being. As for past miracles, which are now in the form of fables, their detractors might wonder just how authentic they are and how far they have been exaggerated, for the Gospel writers were used to overstating things. For instance, it is written in one of the Gospels that if all the works of the Messiah were written down, the whole world would not be large enough to contain them. What kind of logic is this! Is it conceivable that the world should be big enough to hold the actual works but too small to contain a written account of the same!
Moreover, the miracles of the Messiah(as) were no greater than those of Moses(as), and, if they are compared to the miracles of Elijah, the scale would definitely tilt in favour of the latter. If such miracles are reason enough for someone to be considered God, then these Prophets surely also deserve Godhood.
The argument that the Messiah called himself ‘Son of God’, or was described as such in the Gospels, also does not prove his Godhood. A number of people have been called sons of God in the Bible, and some have even been called ‘God’, and there is no reason why the Messiah should be singled out for Godhood. Even if Jesus alone had been given this title, it would be naive to take it literally while Divine scriptures are full of such metaphors and there is no reason why the same distinction should not be conferred upon all those who share the title ‘Sons of God’ with the Messiah.
Again, the plan [devised by the Christians] for attaining salvation is not practicable, for it never stops people from sin, and it is a sin in itself to commit suicide for the deliverance of others. I swear by the Almighty that the Messiah never willingly accepted crucifixion, and the mischievous Jews had treated him as they liked. He spent the whole night weeping and praying in a garden, and God accepted his prayers on account of his righteousness, and — as the Bible itself admits — saved him from an accursed death on the cross. It is, therefore, sheer calumny to say that the Messiah willingly committed suicide, and it is unreasonable to suggest that one can cure the headache of another by striking one’s own head.
It is our belief that the Messiah(as) was a Prophet and one of the Perfect Ones whom God purifies with His own Hand, but we can never ascribe Godhood to him, or to any other Prophet, on the basis of what is written about them in the holy scriptures. I myself am experienced in these matters. The praise and honour that God has conferred upon me in His holy revelations is far greater than what has been written about the Messiah. Would I then be justified in calling myself ‘God’ or ‘Son of God’?
Let us now look at the teachings contained in the Gospels. I believe that a perfect teaching must nurture all of man’s faculties, instead of emphasizing any particular aspect. I truthfully declare that the perfect teaching, which is always consistent with truth and wisdom, is only to be found in the Holy Quran. The Gospel teaches its followers: “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also,” but the Holy Quran says that this teaching does not apply to every situation, and one must decide whether forgiveness or retribution is more suited to a particular situation. This is undoubtedly the perfect teaching which the world must follow if it is to save itself from confusion and disorder.
The Gospel forbids looking at women with lust, but the Holy Quran teaches us not to look at them unnecessarily, with or without lust, for this is likely to lead us astray. Should such a need arise, we should keep our eyes half-shut and avoid staring at them. This is the only way to preserve the purity of our hearts. Those who oppose us might also oppose this teaching because of their newly discovered freedom, but experience has already shown that there cannot be a teaching more appropriate. Listen, dear friends! No good can come out of the free mixing of the sexes and the exchange of lascivious glances, while we know that men and women are not free from their carnal passions. Indeed, it amounts to deliberately throwing them into a pit.
The Gospel also says, “No one should put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication”, but the Holy Quran allows divorce for a number of other reasons also. For instance, if man and wife become mutual enemies, and one fears the other for his or her life, or if the woman has been guilty of actions that lead to fornication without having actually committed it, or if she suffers from some fatal disease which the husband is in danger of contracting, and in other such cases, the Holy Quran does allow the husband to divorce his wife.
Coming back to the main subject, let me reiterate that Christianity does not offer any realistic means for attaining salvation or enabling man to abstain from sin. Salvation can only be meaningful if man reaches a state where he does not boldly venture upon sin, and his love for God becomes so strong that no egoistic passion can surmount it, and this, obviously, cannot be attained without complete God-realization. In the Holy Quran we find clearly defined ways and means for attaining knowledge about God, which generates fear and keeps one away from sin. Through obedience to the Holy Quran, man is granted Divine converse and heavenly signs and is given news of the unseen, and all this results in a strong bond between man and his Master. At this stage man begins to desire passionately for union with Him, and puts Him above everything else. His prayers are accepted and he is given the news of their acceptance beforehand, and a mighty river of Divine knowledge and awareness flows in his heart and stops him from sin. But when we read the Gospels, we find only one method [for attaining salvation], which, apart from being irrational, has nothing to do with the eradication of sin. It is indeed strange that even though the Messiah(as) exhibited all kinds of human weaknesses, and did not show any Divine powers which could set him apart from other mortals, the Christians still consider him to be God!
Let us now turn to the Arya Samajists and see what they have to offer in the way of salvation from sin. Since the Vedas categorically reject the possibility of all future Divine converse and heavenly signs, it is futile to think that they can lead anyone to the point of certainty where he hears God’s voice proclaiming ‘I exist’, or his prayers are answered, or God reveals His countenance to him through His signs. The Aryas consider all this to be impossible.
The fact, nevertheless, remains that love or fear is not possible without having ‘seen’ God and without having attained perfect God-realization — Ma‘rifat. But the mere study of creation cannot bring about such certainty, and this is why many of those who profess to follow pure reason are atheists and agnostics, and those who reach the heights of philosophy are considered the true atheists. Reason, if it is not tainted with atheism, can only help us analyze the creation and conclude that it must have a Creator, but it cannot grant us any certainty as to whether there actually is a Creator. It may, on the contrary, lead us to believe that the whole universe is functioning on its own and that some objects have an inborn ability to create others, but it can never bring us the kind of perfect certainty or complete awareness which is equivalent to beholding the Almighty and generates perfect fear and perfect love.
The fire of love and fear consumes every sin, annihilates every selfish desire, removes all the stains of sinfulness, and cures every inner weakness through a pure and holy transformation. But since most people do not care for such perfect purity as removes all the stains of sin, they do not seek it and even oppose it due to their inherent prejudices.
We can only pity the Aryas, because they have not only lost all hope of attaining true God-realization, but do not even possess any rational argument to prove the existence of God. They surely cannot prove His existence while they believe every particle and every soul, with all its faculties, to be eternal and self-existent. It is also futile to try to prove Parmeshwar’s existence by arguing that the particles need someone to assemble them and to infuse souls into them, for why should the particles require anyone else to do this when they themselves are powerful enough to have sustained themselves through eternity, and are virtually their own ‘Gods’! Surely no one will accept that even though the particles or atoms do not depend upon anyone else for their existence and sustenance, nor are the souls dependent on anyone else for their existence and sustenance and their powers, they still require outside help to join or separate them! These beliefs do make the Aryas easy prey for atheists.
I also feel sorry for the Aryas because they have committed serious errors in both aspects of their doctrine. First, they believe that God — Parmeshwar — is not the source of all creation, nor the fountainhead of all blessings; and that all particles and souls and all the faculties are self-existent and have not partaken of His favours. In the context of this belief, can anyone tell us what is the use of such a Parmeshwar, why He should be considered worthy of worship, on what basis He should be taken as Omnipotent — Surb Shaktiman, and how man can ever recognize Him.
How I wish my sympathy would touch their hearts, and they would go into seclusion to ponder over these matters. Almighty God! Have mercy on them, for they have lived alongside us for a long time; and draw their hearts to the truth, for all things are possible for You. Amin.
This is the first aspect of their doctrine in which they have done grave injustice to the Peerless Creator. Transmigration — the returning of the souls to this world in different forms — is the other aspect of their doctrine which relates to the creation. Despite all their claims to reason and rationality, the Aryas believe that Parmeshwar is a hardhearted being who punishes the souls for millions of years as a penalty for a single sin and keeps throwing them back into the cycle of transmigration even though they are not His creation and He has no right over them. Would it not be more appropriate to punish them for a specific number of years, as earthly governments do? Greater punishment can only be justified if one has equally greater right over the guilty, but when all particles and souls are self-existent and the Parmeshwar has no right over them — except, perhaps to cast them into repeated rebirths — He is surely not entitled to put them through such a long punishment.
In Islam, although God says that He is the Creator of every particle and every soul, and the Source of all their powers, their life and their existence, He still says:
i.e., they will dwell in hell for eternity, but this eternity should not be confused with God’s eternity, it only means a long period of time after which His mercy will intervene, for He is the Almighty and does what He wills. This verse has been explained in a Hadith where our lord and master, the Holy Prophet(sa), says:
i.e., a time shall come upon hell when no one will be left in it, and its gates shall be moved to and fro by the morning breeze.
But the Aryas present God as a rancorous and unforgiving being whose fury is never appeased and who does not forgive sins even after putting the souls through the cycle of transmigration for billions of years. The same is true of the Christians, for, although they consider God to be the Creator of all things, they still believe that He punishes a single sin with an eternity in hell.
The question is, do the souls not deserve at least some mercy from Him Who created them? Is it not He Who placed in their natures the weaknesses that draw them towards sin, and is not He Who winds the clock of their existence to run as long as He — the Eternal Watchmaker — wills? Does He not share some responsibility for their sins? Likewise, is it just on the part of God to limit His own son’s punishment to three days while He condemns other souls to hellfire for eternity? Surely, this does not behove the Lord of Grace and Mercy. The punishment of the son should indeed have been greater, for, being the son of God and possessing Divine powers, He could have endured far greater punishment than weak mortals.
Hence, the same objection applies to both the Aryas and the Christians. Some Muslims also hold such beliefs, but these can never be attributed to the Holy Quran which categorically rejects them. Such Muslims are themselves answerable for these beliefs, just as they are answerable for the belief that Jesus(as) is alive and sitting in the second heaven, and they await his return even though the Holy Quran has clearly stated that he has long been dead and is among the souls that have passed away.
Further proof of the falsity of the concept of transmigration is that it is contrary to the true moral and ethical values. For instance, when a man takes a woman for his wife, how can he be sure that she is not his mother or sister or granddaughter who might have died earlier on? Would such a person not be breaking the Vedic law by contracting such a marriage? Such a situation could be avoided if every child was born with a written record of its parentage in its past lives, but since no such arrangement has apparently been made by Parmeshwar, would one not be justified in believing that He Himself desires to spread such evil?
We also find it difficult to understand what the transmigration of souls is really meant to achieve. Salvation — mukti — undoubtedly depends upon God-realization — gayan — and if this is what transmigration is meant to achieve, then why is it that a soul loses all the stock of knowledge and awareness it has so laboriously earned in its past lives, and without which there can be no question of salvation. We see that every child comes into the world utterly devoid of knowledge, just like a spendthrift who has squandered away all his fortune and finds himself penniless. Even if one has read the Vedas a thousand times in his previous life, he will not remember even a page of it. It is hard to see how a soul can ever be delivered from the cycle of transmigration when it keeps losing all its stock of knowledge and awareness acquired in its past lives.
The souls are indeed ill-fated, for they do not only lack God-realization — gayan — to become deserving of salvation, but, according to the Arya belief, their salvation also lasts a short period of time after which they are thrown back into the cycle of transmigration.
Neug is yet another aspect of the Arya doctrine which is contrary to the purity of the human soul. I would never attribute this doctrine to the Vedas, and I believe that human conscience can never allow a man to make his chaste wife, who has her honour and comes of a respectable family, to sleep with another man merely in order to procure progeny. Nor do I think it proper for a woman to desire such a thing while her husband is yet alive. Let alone humans, even some animals have a sense of honour whereby they do not allow their females to mate with anyone else. I do not wish to enter into any argument over this issue, but I do respectfully beseech the Aryas that it would be better for them to renounce this doctrine. Our country is already seriously lacking in morality and chastity, and if men and women were allowed such liberties, God only knows where things might end up.
Let me also venture to add that no matter how the Aryas hate the Muslims and detest the teachings of Islam, they should not altogether discard the custom of purdah, for this will result in many evils which will make themselves felt sooner or later. Every wise man realizes that the majority of people follow the dictates of their baser selves, and forget all about God’s punishment when they are in the grip of their passions. Men do not desist from casting evil glances at beautiful women, and some women also do not hesitate to stare at men. If the two are given liberty to mix freely, while their hearts are not free from evil, the result will not be much different from what we see in some parts of Europe. People can only be allowed such freedom when they have become truly pure-hearted and have freed themselves of their baser selves, when the evil spirit has departed from their souls, the fear of God is apparent from their eyes, and His Majesty has been established in their hearts, and when they have undergone a holy transformation and donned themselves in the mantel of righteousness, for they will then be like pawns in the hand of God and will cease to be males, in a manner of speaking, and their eyes will become oblivious to the sight of women and no such thoughts will ever enter them.
Dear people, may God Himself reveal to your hearts that the time is not right for this. If you discard purdah now, you will be sowing poisonous seeds in this land. Even if the custom of purdah was never practised before, it ought to be practised in these precarious times when the earth is filled with sin, corruption, debauchery and drinking. Atheistic thinking is spreading and people no longer respect Divine injunctions. Tongues are loquacious and lectures are loaded with logic and philosophy, but hearts remain devoid of true spirituality. In such an age, it would be a great folly to leave our poor lambs at the mercy of wolves.
Friends, the Plague is also upon us and, in view of the knowledge God has granted me, I believe that its ravages are far from over and there is still great danger. No one can tell who will be alive by next May and who will be dead, and which home will be devastated and which will be spared. Rise up, therefore, and repent, and appease your Lord with good deeds.
Bear in mind that the errors of belief will only be punished after death, and the dispute between Hindus, Christian and Muslims will be decided in the Hereafter, but he who crosses all bounds in audacity and immorality will be punished in this world, and there is no way he can escape Divine chastisement. Try to please your Lord before the great and terrible day comes, when the Plague foretold by the Prophets shall rage. Make you peace with Him and remember that He is the Most Compassionate and forgives the sins of a whole lifetime in a moment of self-consuming repentance. Do not despair of His forgiveness. Remember, that you can only be saved by His grace and not through any of your efforts.
O Merciful and Compassionate God, have mercy on us, for we are Thy servants and have thrown ourselves upon Thy threshold.
1 In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
We praise Allah and invoke His blessings upon His noble Prophet(sa). [Publishers]
2 Al-Hajj, 22:38 [Publishers]
3 Bani Isra’il, 17:73 [Publishers]
4 Al-Kahf, 18:111[Publishers]
5 Al-Ikhlas, 112:2-5 [Publishers]
6 Al-Nahl, 16:91 [Publishers]
7 Al-Dahr, 76:9-10 [Publishers]
8 Al-Shura, 42:41 [Publishers]
9 Ha-Mim al-Sajdah, 41:35 [Publishers]
10 Al-Hujurat, 49:13 [Publishers]
11 Al-Hujurat, 49:12 [Publishers]
12 Al-Hujurat, 49:14 [Publishers]
13 Al-Hujurat, 49:12 [Publishers]
14 Al-Hajj, 22:31 [Publishers]
15 Al-Ahzab, 33:71 [Publishers]
16 Al-e-‘Imran, 3:104 [Publishers]
17 Al-Takathur, 102:2-9 [Publishers]
18 Al-Rahman, 55:47 [Publishers]
19 Al-Dahr, 76:5-7 [Publishers]
20 Al-Dahr, 76:18-19 [Publishers]
21 Al-Shams, 91:10-11 [Publishers]
22 Al-Mu‘min, 40:61[Publishers]
23 Al-Baqarah, 2:187 [Publishers]
24 Al-‘Ankabut, 29: 70 [Publishers]
25 Al-Taubah, 9:119 [Publishers]
26 Qaf, 50:17 [Publishers]
27 Ha-Mim al-Sajdah, 41:31 [Publishers]
28 Al-Fatihah, 1:6-7 [Publishers]
29 Hud, 11:108 [Publishers]