During his recent trip to Holland, a journalist who writes for a regional newspaper and is also published in national papers, asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih if Jama'at Ahmadiyya was the fastest growing community in the world. Huzoor replied to him that on an international level indeed our community was growing the most. This is also now acknowledged by others and it is indeed a great testimony of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that a voice that started in a small town of India is now resounding in every city and town around the world. This distinctive glory is ever more resplendent when considered that ordinary folk did not ever imagine that this voice will be acknowledged and appreciated around the world though the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), having been informed by God, said with great conviction that a time will come when it will be acknowledged in the world and he said it will be a sign of Divine succour.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Allah the Exalted is spreading this community in the world, indeed Allah the Exalted has willed to spread it in the world. It also related that he said: Gradually Allah the Exalted will spread this community to such an extent that its people will triumph over everyone and the current trials and tribulations will be removed. He said it is God's way that all matters come to pass gradually. No tree bears fruit as quickly as our community is progressing. This is from God and it is His sign and His miracle.
We are firm in the belief that just as God has spread the voice that was raised only 125 years ago from a small far-off place all over the world and as God is making it a community of sincere people who are ever developing in faith, then indeed He will also fulfil the aspect of all trials and tribulations being removed and the community triumphing over others.
The world is witnessing our gradual progress and that is why the journalist put the question to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Others too put this question and acknowledge our progress. Indeed, we are facing trials as well. However, these trials, whether personal or communal, are accompanied with signs of Divine succour more than ever. Every Pakistani who has come to the West from Pakistan and who has a sense of gratitude will not deny that God has blessed him a lot after migration. Also reports from all around the world detailing new bai'ats give astonishing accounts that in spite of far and wide opposition God continues to show us signs of His succour. Given the level of opposition and the degree of persecution of followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), had this been a man-made community it would have perished by now and its falsity would have been exposed. However, here God is showing us progress!
In one of his assemblies the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Our opponents tried opposition in every way but God made us progress. It is a testimony of truth that the world tries its utmost [against it] yet the truth spreads. Which element of opposition was left untried against us! Yet, ultimately it is the opponents who failed. This is a sign of God.
Today, the opponents are still trying their utmost and important, powerful religious leaders, even governments carry our proceedings against us but the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are being proven right. The opponents are failing and people continue to come into the Jama'at by taking bai'at.
During the times of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) a person who was a follower of an ascetic had a dream that the Promised Messiah was truthful. He consulted the ascetic who said that the progress of Mirza Sahib over a long period of time was a proof of his truthfulness. Another ascetic who was around at the time said he too wished to ask God about this matter. The following day he also confirmed what the first ascetic had said.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Many dreams and visions are being experienced these days. It appears God Almighty wishes to inform people through dreams. Swarms of God's angels hover in the heavens and put it in hearts of people, insisting that they accept [the Promised Messiah].
A person decided to write a book in refutation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He had a dream that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) tells him, you want to write in his refutation while Mirza Sahib is truthful. Thus is God's guidance for pure-natured people.
Today tabligh resources are extensive yet people are still being guided through dreams to a large extent. Indeed, tabligh also works but God continues to directly guide people. Some accounts of last year were presented where people were thus guided, some of whom living in remote, far-flung areas where there are no means of communication.
Our missionary visited a small island off the coast of Mauritius where a person had seen the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in a dream. Later, when he had the opportunity to see MTA and saw a photograph of the Promised Messiah on it he said this indeed was the holy person he had seen in his dream. This convinced him that Ahmadiyyat was true Islam and he took bai'at.
In Guinea Conakry a university student was under tabligh but he was not inclined to bai'at. Eventually he said he was satisfied and wished to take bai'at. When asked what brought this about he said he had a dream. He is in a boat and another boat is sinking and people on board are calling out for help. People in his boat help and get the people in the troubled boat on their boat. He saw that everyone is sitting around a table and among them is the Promised Messiah who gives them some milk to drink which is extremely delicious. The student understood this dream to mean that the elixir of life can only be obtained by being on board the Promised Messiah's boat and joining his Jama'at, so he took bai'at.
A resident of Ivory Coast had a dream that there is a huge crowd and his companion says that the Imam Mahdi is among the crowd and advices him to become an Ahmadi. He becomes an Ahmadi in the dream. He then sees in the dream the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is doing tabligh. The person later took bai'at.
A person in Kerala, India was enabled to take bai'at some months ago through a dream. Later he had the opportunity to watch MTA and his interest grew. He had taken the bai'at of a Pir at the time. A couple of months after watching MTA he had a dream that he is at the tomb of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and his deceased Pir is with him. Following this the person insisted on taking bai'at although he was told twice to further read up on Ahmadiyyat. He ended up travelling to Qadian and took bai'at while there.
A person from Tunisia said that although he was impressed by the Jama'at he was not convinced about taking bai'at because he was not ready to accept Imam Mahdi as a Prophet of God. He had decided to only believe if God Himself told him that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Imam Mahdi. Meanwhile an Ahmadi gave him a hadith reference which states that anyone who does not accept the Imam Mahdi after recognising him will die a death of ignorance. He did Istikhara and had a dream that he is reading the Holy Qur'an and reads a certain verse. Following this he took his bai'at.
In a small village of Mali a person had a dream way back in 1964 that two people are saying the Imam Mahdi has come, take his bai'at. A long time passed and he forgot his dream. Last year he happened to tune into our radio station which gave him the news of the advent of the Imam Mahdi. This reminded him of his dream and he is very grateful that he has now been enabled to take bai'at before departing from this world and has fulfilled something which he was informed of 50 years ago.
In Swaziland an Ahmadi young man who took bai'at some time ago had a dream on the 27th night of Ramadan. He saw the moon shining with all its brilliance and it is as bright as daylight. He hears a sound that this is the light which you have found, hold onto it tightly, gradually it will spread all over Swaziland. It was explained to him in the dream that this was the light of Ahmadiyyat.
An elderly person from Mali had heard about the Jama'at but was not convinced. He decided to take on spiritual exercise of solitude and supplication for forty days and nights. On the twenty first night he had a dream in which he saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V come to his house and take him with them to the heavens. The dream satisfied him and he took bai'at.
A person from Mali had heard about the Jama'at but was not sure if it was truthful or not. He did Istikhara and on the third day had a dream that he is in a boat that sinks in the middle of water. A child appears from the water and says if you wish to be saved, accept Ahmadiyyat. The person accepts Ahmadiyyat in his dream and of course did so later on as well.
In Sierra Leone son of an Ahmadi father had drifted away from the Jama'at for some reason and had joined Tablighi Jama'at. Our missionary and his father both counselled him a lot but to no avail. He had a dream and saw a most beautiful photograph of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in the heavens. The next day he re-entered Ahmadiyyat Jama'at.
Not only are people guided through dreams about the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) but also about the Khilafat after him, that it has Divine succour and is carrying on the Promised Messiah's mission.
A person from Nigeria had a dream that he is travelling in a ship. When the ship reaches the middle of the sea a storm starts and the ship begins to sink. Just then an individual reaches out with his hand and saves this person. He had no idea who it was. Later, he happened to meet an Ahmadi who preached to him and this person saw Hazrat Khalifatul Masih on MTA. He recognised Huzoor as the man of God who had saved him on the sinking ship. As a result he and his entire family became Ahmadi.
A doctor from Sudan wanted to take bai'at. He came for Friday Prayers and said his wife had seen Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) in dream who asks why have they not yet taken bai'at. Meanwhile his daughter said she saw Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V in dream alongside Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him). This convinced the doctor that the Jama'at was truthful. He belonged to a Sufi family. He consulted a Sufi holy person of his community who had true dreams and visions and asked him if he knew of the advent of the Imam Mahdi. The holy person told him that the Imam Mahdi had indeed come and had now passed away. The doctor put to him that at present he wished to take the bai'at of the Imam Mahdi's fifth successor, should he go ahead. The holy man said he should. His wife also asked the holy person about taking bai'at and he replied that once a person takes bai'at he is not afraid of anyone except God.
In Benin a person who had moved to a new area saw two mosques in the neighbourhood and wondered which one should he attend! He first went to the non-Ahmadi mosque and then the Ahmadi mosque. He sought information about both the mosques. The others criticised the Ahmadis. The person thought the Ahmadi mosque was better yet the others were critical of them. He prayed for guidance and help. He found peace in the Ahmadi mosque but the other mosque called Ahmadis disbelievers while he did not feel settled in the other mosque. He began offering Prayer at home. After a few days he had a dream and saw two bars of soap, one was of German make and blue in colour and the other was a local soap. In a state of semi-consciousness the dream was interpreted for him that the colour blue connoted blue coloured Prayer mats. When awake he thought the Prayer mats in the Ahmadiyya mosque were green. However, he went and saw both the mosques once again and realised the Prayer mats in the Ahmadiyya mosque were blue. He started offering Prayer in the Ahmadiyya mosque. He had another dream that the imam gave him a book which has a most beautiful photograph. After Friday Prayers he asked the Imam he wanted to read about Ahmadiyyat. The Imam told him he would give him a book in a few days. As it happened the book the Imam gave him was not a book on theological issues, or the advent of the Promised Messiah or ahadith but was 'World Crisis and Pathway to Peace'. When he opened the book he saw a photograph of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V on the first page and said this indeed was the photograph he had seen in his dream. He was also shown the Holy Qur'an in a dream and a few days later he saw a copy of the Holy Qur'an with French translation in the mosque which he had seen in his dream. In a state of semi-consciousness he was told about ten commandments and each commandment moved him. Later, our missionary gave him a paper and said it contained ten conditions to practice Islam. When he read those he felt very emotional about how God had guided him. He took bai'at.
A person from Egypt had a dream way back in 2004. He saw that he is present with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) who is relaxing and says to him, you must find out about this matter. The person did not understand the dream, he had never seen Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him). Some four years later he happened to watch MTA and went on to do some research. God guided him. In November 2014 prior to taking bai'at he saw a dream that he is in a mosque full of worshippers graced by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who is looking at him. He goes closer to the Promised Messiah and sees Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) in place of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and people are calling him Abu Bakr Siddiq. The person gets closer and sees that in his place is Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V who promptly raises his hands to pray and asks him to also pray and he joins in prayer. The person interpreted the dream to signify that acceptance of prayer is with the blessings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and his Khulafa.
Once the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said to a new Ahmadi you are very fortunate that the doors that God closed on important maulawis, He opened them up for you.
It is an immense favour of God on Ahmadis that they have been enabled to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). We should be ever mindful of this favour of God and be grateful for it. It is entirely possible that some of us had their forefathers present in the assembly in which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) spoke these words.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said just look at our Jama'at, it is entirely made up of those who were once our opponents. Had they not had the capacity or the auspiciousness how would they have come this way! He said he received many letters saying I used to be abusive about you but now I repent and ask for forgiveness.
Even now there are many who used to have hostile attitude, but after taking bai'at, they excel in sincerity.
Our missionary writes from Mali that after the bai'at of one young man his wife went to his brother and said that his brother was not a Muslim anymore. The brother was furious and told him that he would have nothing to do with him unless he left Ahmadiyyat and said that he would not even offer his funeral Prayer. However, the new Ahmadi remained resolute. Meanwhile the detractor brother listened to Radio Ahmadiyya so that he could find material to save his brother but what happened instead is that he himself ended up taking bai'at!
Our missionary from India writes that non-Ahmadis attended our tabligh event in Bengal. Later one of them said that his nephew was an Ahmadi and he hated Ahmadis but now could swear by God that Ahmadis were true Muslims. This was followed by quite a few bai'ats.
These accounts strengthen our faith.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: It is the blessing of this Divine mission that it is being nurtured and is growing amongst enemies. They made great, big plans, even forged court cases for murder but what is from Allah the Exalted is not wasted. I say to you truthfully that this is from God. Had it been a result of human plans, human scheming and human contentions would have obliterated by now. The fact that it is growing and progressing in the face of human scheming is a proof that it is from God. Thus the more you will develop your strength of belief, the brighter will be your heart!'
The words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are divine words and we see that this mission is indeed growing amidst enmity. We all need to self-reflect and see if our strength of belief is increasing, if our hearts are getting brighter, are we inclined to and drawn to faith and are we putting Islam's commandments in practice!
Many people write in and say their spiritual condition has been transformed after bai'at. Women write about husbands that after joining Ahmadiyyat their attitudes have changed and now they have peace in homes. Observe how these people are bringing about changes in their lives, this is how we all should be!
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Read the Holy Qur'an and never despair of God. True believer never despairs of God. It is the practice of disbelievers to despair of God Almighty. Our God is the God Who '…has the power to do all that He wills.' (2:21) Read the translation of the Holy Qur'an as well and adorn your Salat as you offer it and also understand its meanings. Also pray in your own language. Do not read the Holy Qur'an as if it is as ordinary book, rather, read it as Word of God. Offer Salat like the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to offer it. However, after offering the prescribed prayers say your supplications and your needs in your own language entreating God Almighty. This does not make Salat invalid at all. These days people have spoiled Salat. All they do during Salat is make some jolty movements. They hastily offer Salat as chickens eat their feed and then they settle down to make supplications. The core and essence of Salat is supplication. How can its spirit be achieved when supplications are made after Salat? It is like a person who goes to the court of a king where he has the opportunity to make his submissions but he does not say anything. Instead, he presents his submissions once he has left the court. What will he avail in this manner? Such is the case of those who do not supplicate with humility and tenderness during Salat. You should supplicate what you wish during Salat, keeping in view all the etiquette of prayer.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: It is obligatory to recite Surah Al Fatihah in Salat and it is this prayer which clearly shows that real supplication is made during Salat. Therefore Allah the Exalted has taught this prayer as follows: 'In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, the Gracious, The Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path – The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, those who have not incurred displeasure, and those who have not gone astray.' (1-7) That is, it is essential to praise and glorify Allah the Exalted before supplication which generates a passion and love for Allah in the soul. This is why it is stated: All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, the Gracious, Who bestows without being asked and without one doing anything meritorious, the Merciful, Who also rewards what is meritorious in this world as well as in the Hereafter, Master of the Day of Judgement, all judgement lies with Him, good and bad both. One is a perfect believer in the Oneness of God when one acknowledges Allah the Exalted as Master of the Day of Judgement. Look, it is sinful to consider those in authority as everything and it is tantamount to associating partners with God. Indeed, their obedience is important in the sense that Allah the Exalted has placed them in authority but one should not turn them into gods. Give the dues of man to man and the dues of God Almighty to God Almighty. Then say: Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path - that is, the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings. And these are the group of the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. Blessings and grace of this group are sought in this prayer. Save us from the path of those who incurred Your displeasure and who went astray.' (Tafseer Hazrat Masih e Maud, Vol. I, p. 22)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) added: 'In short this is a brief translation of Surah Al Fatihah. Understand the translation of the rest of Salat in this manner and then offer your Salat with an understanding of the translation. This is the etiquette of offering Salat. There is no benefit in learning by rote all manner of words. Be assured that one cannot attain true belief in Oneness of God - as long as one offers Salat in a parrot-like manner, this does not move the soul and one is not protected from stumbling - a stage which takes one to excellence in spirituality. Keep the creed that God has no partner and demonstrate this with your practice.'
If we do not have congruity in our word and deed it is a cause for concern. People who have joined later on will surpass us and we will be left behind and it will take decades to bring our generations back into form. It is important to offer Salat with understanding. We do not want our next generation to be left so far behind that the newcomers raise their standards so high that they are the recipients of the blessings that have been promised to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Ponder over these words of the Promised Messiah, it is the obligation of every Ahmadi. Develop your strength of belief and illuminate your hearts and be those who receive grace and blessings. Try and never break the connection you have made with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). May God enable us to have strong connection with God and understand the objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and be strong and active members of the Jama'at! May God enable us to spread the teachings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in the world and be always recipients of God's grace!