‘O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.’ (4:136)
‘O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; 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. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.
Allah has promised those who believe and do good deeds that they shall have forgiveness and a great reward.’ (5:9) - (5:10)
Time and again opponents of Islam allege Islam to be a religion of extremism and thus create rancour about it. Each act of terrorism that takes place in the world whether it is perpetrated by people known as Muslims or anyone else or is committed by so-called Islamic group or Jihadi organisations, is attributed to the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and they are targeted with offensive and foul phraseology.
Today it is the Jama’at of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) which refutes every allegation of the detractors in light of the Holy Qur’an and responds to all the offensiveness. Among the Quranic verses that we present to refute the allegation of Islam being a religion of extremism are the verses recited at the start. These give an example of the high moral teaching of Islam. Each fair-minded non-Muslim cannot help but commend this excellent teaching but then is also driven to enquire where practice of this teaching can be found? Non-Muslims who are acquainted to members of our Jama’at comment that although they do see practice of this teaching in people of our Jama’at, but our Jama’at is only a minority community and they wish to see a general depiction of this teaching in the other sects of Islam. Ahmadis respond to this according to their individual understanding and insight and usually leave a good impression.
However, we need to be realistic and need to self-examine. Certainly, we try to satisfy the queries and are also successful to a large extent. It is seen that now columnists sometimes refer to us with name and sometimes without name and acknowledge that a minority Muslim community is against the extremist tendencies and it wishes to create fairness while claiming that it practices true Islam.
When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih listens to such reviews of others or when he presents the teachings of Islam before others, he feels concerned and his attention is drawn to the fact that we need to self-reflect and analyse how much do we practice this teaching. Do we consider it sufficient to temporarily silence those who object and when we are scrutinised by the world we are not found to encompass the high standards we speak of? Veracity of any community is confirmed when it is faced with a difficult situation and everyone in the community practices the teachings of God to attain God’s pleasure by enduring difficulty. The practice should be of such high standard that it should take them out of the situation successfully. Otherwise merely expressing beauties of a teaching does not make any community stand out. Many non-Ahmadi Muslims must present the teaching of Islam to non-Muslims. Their representation of the beautiful teaching as proof of Islam’s beauty perhaps makes them look good to the non-Muslims and due to their courtesy and association, perhaps the non-Muslims stop objecting about Islam. However, Ahmadi Muslims should be mindful that when they presents the beautiful teaching of Islam before the world, they also introduces themselves as Ahmadi Muslims and as followers of one who claimed to herald the second phase of Islam. Explanation of the beautiful teaching of Islam by an Ahmadi does not only make the individual praiseworthy but also enhances the image of a community that proclaims veracity and peace.
If there is contradiction between word and deed of an Ahmadi, people would say that such and such says something else and does another thing or does not fulfil requirements of fairness. In fact it is promptly said that such and such is an Ahmadi and they make many claims and say that they are at the vanguard of fairness and justice, but among them are people who are embroiled in great injustices. Some people who go into business with Ahmadis write to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih about breach of trust and unfairness of Ahmadis. This way that Ahmadi damages the image of the Jama’at and becomes a source of its disrepute. For this reason he is more sinful because his claim and action are contradictory. Indeed, this was also a concern of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and he said that people should not disgrace him after associating themselves with him.
Matters mentioned in the verses recited at the start should be practiced at every level, then alone would they become part of one’s nature and would stop one from committing sin. It leads to one not even contemplating anything wrong, anything unjust, anything removed from truth or something that would harm another. Real depiction of God’s teaching and the beautiful image of Islam would come to pass when Ahmadis would demonstrate it at every level with congruous word and deed. Efforts to attain the standards cited in the aforementioned verses should be made at every level; at home, in society, with friends, with others and also with enemies. Then alone would one be a true believer and be considered follower of the Imam of the age, otherwise any claims would be hollow and would exacerbate the concern that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had regarding us. Our aim should be to lessen that concern, in fact eliminate it.
The first matter enjoined in the verses recited is that we should give testimony according to the commandments of God. There should be no element of seeking personal gain from giving testimony, rather, it should be done to only seek God’s pleasure. It is then stated that this is attained by establishing high standards and this cannot be possible without truthfulness. It can also not be possible without abiding by the instruction of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that one should like for another what one likes for oneself. It should not be that one expects and wants justice for oneself and screams out if it is not given but when it is about giving the rights of another one starts making excuses. To seek justice for oneself, Quranic verses, Ahadith and extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are looked up to put fear of God in anyone who is usurping ones’ rights as well as the person who is the arbitrator in the matter. However, when one is required to give truthful testimony, rather than bearing witness truthfully one says twisted and confusing things to spoil the matter or to turn it in one’s favour or in favour of one’s near and dear ones. This does not become true believers because everything true believers do is dependent upon seeking God’s pleasure and this is possible when one generates the courage to even testify against oneself.
One should not be concerned about any problems ensuing from giving truthful testimony; these could be problems faced by one’s relatives, children, friends or parents or one could be in trouble with friends and family by giving truthful testimony. Truthful testimony should be upheld even in the face of incurring displeasure of one’s near and dear ones and elders. God states that one’s benefits and advantages are not borne of one’s cunning or wrongful testimony but are by virtue of God’s grace. If God so chooses God can benefit one. Wrongful testimony may also give temporary benefit but its ultimate harm is huge. Therefore one should make God one’s Friend and only seek His nearness and say what is right and straight in order to uphold fairness. One should be truthful in one’s domestic life, in societal life and other worldly matters. Rather than follow one’s own wishes and stray away from fairness and say what is deceitful and confusing and hide truthful testimony and thus cause displeasure of God, one should always keep God’s pleasure as the centre of one’s focus.
Once the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had to give testimony in a farming matter. There was a conflict with land workers over ownership of some trees. The land workers knew the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always gave truthful testimony and indeed he said before the judge that in his opinion the land workers had the right to the trees. The Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) father and family were unhappy with him, yet he gave truthful testimony. Thus was the standard set by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which we should follow. This is the standard that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) enjoined us to follow.
God states that one who gives wrongful testimony may be able to deceive the world but ‘…Allah is well aware of what you do…’ . So, if on one hand we claim that we spread peace in society and show the world the way to guidance, but on the other hand contradict our deeds with our words to gain trivial advantage, then rather than promoters of peace and security we will be among those who cause agitation in society. A true believer’s claim to raise voice against injustice is only true when he upholds high standards of honesty and fairness and makes his testimonies dependent on God’s commandments. The verse from Surah Al Maidah [as given above] explains the high standards that God expects of us in matters of fairness. Our fairness should not be limited to our own sphere, even if our enemy wants justice from us, he should be assured that he will find us fair and just or that justice will be dispensed. It should be demonstrated to the enemy that everything a true believer does is based on Taqwa (righteousness) and no one’s enmity can cause him to deviate from truth and justice. Our hearts are free of enmity and we announce that we do not have hatred or enmity towards anyone. However, even the enmity, rancour and malice of our enemy should not incline us to deviate from fairness in order to harm him. This is the beautiful teaching that we explain to others and it inspires them to find out more about Islam.
Although our words draw the world to us, however, our words about fairness and our words about peace and security will have a real impact only when we will also put them in practice. By stating ‘…be steadfast in the cause of Allah…’ God has placed a huge responsibility on us. Here being steadfast connotes to dispenses justice by means of in-depth deliberation and then maintain it with continuous high resolve. It is the in-depth, tireless and continuous effort which results in establishing peace, justice and security in the world. Today it is the task of true believers, Ahmadi Muslims to continuously work for justice, truth, peace and security keeping in view the subtle and fine points it entails. This is because we have been given awareness of the real teachings of Islam by the Imam of the age and we also try and present a practical example by implementing the commandments. We need to self-reflect as to how much fairness and honesty we practice, we need to scrutinise our hearts to see if we try to attain the level that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) set by testifying against his father?
If we do, then why is there an air of lack of confidence in our homes? Why is there no love and affection in martial relationships? And this is affecting the children. Why are there cracks between relationships of brothers? Why is there a breakdown in relationships resulting from thinking ill of others and absence of honesty? Why businesses forged out of friendship are ending in acrimony? Why is there an increase in cases brought before Qadha Board? Obviously, this is because of the condition of hearts and contradiction in word and practice. There is one standard for the self and another standard for others. Every Ahmadi should have cause for concern, office holders and as well as members of the Jama’at, as to how they will discharge the enormous task of dispensing justice and truth in order to attain God’s pleasure. Certainly, we will have to be mindful of God’s commandments and try and practice them.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘There is no other secure place like the fortress and sphere of God Almighty’s protection. However, advantage cannot be availed through incomplete means. Can anyone say that when one is thirsty, drinking a mere drop is sufficient? Or when extremely hungry a crumb or a mouthful will satiate? One is most certainly not satisfied unless one eats and drinks to one’s fill. Similarly, unless excellence is attained in deeds, desired fruits and outcomes are not generated. Defective deeds do not please Allah the Exalted and they are not blessed either. It is indeed Allah’s promise that if deeds are performed which please Him, He will grant blessing.’
God has given us the responsibility of taking the message of peace and security to the world. For this, we have to abide by fairness and truthfulness. Fairness can be maintained when one reflects over God’s commandments in-depth. It is required that we deeply ponder over discharging rights of God and rights of mankind. May God enable us to do so and may we make our homes and society like paradise and in light of the beautiful teaching of Islam also fulfil the dues of Tabligh. May we explain the teaching of real justice to the world and save it from destruction! The world is indeed fast moving towards most frightening destruction. Justice remains neither among Muslims nor non-Muslims, not only is there no justice but they are all exceeding limits in cruelty. At such a time only Jama’at Ahmadiyya can play the role of saving the world from destruction. For this everyone should make practical efforts within their sphere and of course turn to prayer with great focus. The injustices in Muslim countries have embroiled them in internal strife as well as external dangers are impending. It appears as if a great war is menacingly looming. The world may not be unaware of its dangers, nut it is definitely careless about it. In such circumstances, servants of the Muhammadan Messiah need to play their role and pray profusely. May God enable us to fulfil our responsibilities and save the world from destruction!