Friday Sermon delivered at Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, London, UK
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that Allah the Almighty completed the Shariah or law given to the Holy Prophet (sa) and declared:
‘This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 5:4)
His Holiness (aba) said that this is a great favour of God upon Muslims, that their faith has been perfected, and it is only Islam who makes this claim. The final faith sent by God is Islam, and if one desires to attain the pleasure of God, then they can do so only by adhering to the teachings of Islam. The Holy Qur’an is now the principle and sole source of true spiritual progress; in fact it is so complete and perfect that it is also the sole source of true material progress as well. This can all be the case if one truly acts upon and implements the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. There is no necessity of humans, whether material, spiritual, moral or otherwise which has not been covered by the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. Thus, this verse clearly announces that the very survival of humankind is now dependent upon this teaching that is the Holy Qur’an.
His Holiness (aba) stated that the Promised Messiah (as) stated that the Holy Prophet (sa) was the complete and perfect Prophet, and thus the complete and perfect teaching was revealed to him. There are some who allege that if this is the case, then what was the purpose or need for the advent of the Promised Messiah (as)? The Promised Messiah (as) himself responded to this by saying that had Muslims truly been following the teachings of Islam, then there would have been no need for his advent. However, a glance at the state of the world makes it clear that manifestation of a reformer was absolutely necessary. In fact, this state of affairs was prophesied by the Holy Prophet (sa) who said that when such a state in the world and its people came to pass is when a reformer would be sent to the world.
His Holiness (aba) said that the teaching was completed upon revelation to the Holy Prophet (sa). However, because the world was not as developed at that time and means of communication were very limited, it was to be in the time of the latter day Messiah that the completion of the propagation of the message would come to fruition. Hence, we must analyse ourselves and consider the degree to which we are striving in this regard. To understand the importance of this, we must continue pondering over the Holy Qur’an and reach a higher level of its understanding through the teachings and explanations of the Promised Messiah (as).
His Holiness (aba) said that over the previous sermons, he has been presenting the various excellences and superiorities of the Holy Qur’an as explained by the Promised Messiah (as) in his writings. His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue this series in his sermon today.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an did justice to completing the faith, and so no other book can take its place, for it mentioned all that was necessary. However, the door for converse with God does remain open, which can be attained through inner purification by following the Holy Qur’an and true obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa). There is no other way besides this. The Promised Messiah (as) said that the rank bestowed upon him was also only because of this reason.
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that one should not be content with simply abandoning evil deeds, rather the Holy Qur’an seeks to take one to the highest level of morality and virtue. The goal should be to please God through one’s actions. His Holiness (aba) said that we should analyse ourselves and consider whether this is our purpose behind reciting the Holy Qur’an; is our recitation resulting in an increased recognition and connection with God? In fact, we have pledged to adhere to the Holy Qur’an in our pledge of allegiance. If we strive to attain this level, especially during the month of Ramadan, then our world and society can become havens of peace and the discord which arises in homes would dissipate.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an outlines all the dos and don’ts that are necessary for humankind, The Holy Qur’an had preemptively outlined all the evils which can arise so that people may be aware and avoid falling into them without even realising it. His Holiness (aba) said that today, we see that in the education system, young children are being taught such things which are beyond their scope concerning human relations and things that they should only know after the age of maturity. Parents and even education systems are now taking notice that some teachers are going too far and this is detrimental to the children. Hence, this is the difference between a divine teaching and worldly teachings. The Holy Qur’an presents teachings for all, and also prescribes the time when those teachings apply.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an cannot be compared to any worldly teachings or book. Good writers strive to pen an article that is free from all forms of falsity, embellishment, or opportunities of ridicule, while being considered full of wisdom and eloquence. Conversely, a lower level of authors who have a degraded form of writing cannot be compared to good writers. Similarly, a good, proficient, well-educated and learned doctor cannot be compared with someone who does not even have the slightest knowledge, or at most, limited knowledge of medicine. A scholar can be distinguished by the manner in which they speak, for it becomes apparent that they are full of wisdom, eloquence and enlightened thinking. The difference between such a person and one whose knowledge is limited and bereft of wisdom is easy and clear to distinguish simply from the manner in which they speak. This shows that the divinely revealed Word of God, cannot be compared to any worldly book or writing, for the knowledge of God is unmatched and cannot be likened to the knowledge of anyone else. It is thus that God Almighty Himself states:
‘But if they answer thee not, then know that they only follow their own evil inclinations. And who is more erring than he who follows his evil inclinations without any guidance from Allah? Verily Allah guides not the unjust people.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 28:51)
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that it is a distinction of the Holy Qur’an that not only does it raise a person’s intellect and knowledge to a level of excellence, but it does the same for a person’s actions. Furthermore, being true followers of the Holy Qur’an and acting according to its teachings will result in the seeing of signs and the fulfilment of prayers. It is yet another excellence of the Holy Qur’an and its teachings, that those who follow and adhere to them attain unmatched blessings.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who states that another aspect of the eloquence and proficiency of the Holy Qur’an is that it has encompassed all truths and verities pertaining to the faith in a succinct manner. It has erased the false notions of other faiths, it has responded to every allegation, it has provided the cure for every ailment, it has presented every verity, there is nothing that has superfluously been mentioned, there is not a single letter that is unnecessary. This has all been done in the most eloquent and succinct manner. Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an is such that it could be understood by both the bedouins and the intellectuals. The Holy Qur’an presents verities and truths that cannot be found anywhere else.
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an stands alone in the fact that it mentions an ocean of knowledge in a matter of a few lines or pages, and yet it has not left any truth or verity pertaining to the faith. There is no other scripture which presents that which is in the Holy Qur’an. The Promised Messiah (as) challenged the world saying that he would prove that the excellences found in the Holy Qur’an are not found anywhere else. There is no one else who challenged the world in this manner.
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an was revealed at a time when it was direly needed as every type of societal degradation that could possibly manifest had come to fruition. That is why the Holy Qur’an was so encompassing in its teachings, so that it could address all of these matters. These evils had not fully manifested in previous times, which is why previous scriptures were not complete or perfect in their teachings. When society had reached the pinnacle of its degradation, the Holy Qur’an was revealed, presenting a solution to every problem. That is why there is no need now for any new law or teaching, because every required matter has already been covered in the Holy Qur’an.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that in order to achieve salvation, a person must accept God as One and without any partner, and the fact that the Holy Qur’an is the complete and perfect teaching and that no book or scripture is required after it.
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that although people can still receive revelation, their revelation can never come close to resembling the revelation of the Holy Qur’an. Even if in their revelation, people are shown words similar to the Holy Qur’an, the degree of their revelation cannot be to the same degree of the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an is such that streams of knowledge flow beneath it; there is no one who can state anything similar to this. Its knowledge is like a debt, but not one that must be repaid, rather the Qur’an enjoins one to seek more.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that had he strayed from the Qur’an even in the slightest, added anything, or veered astray from the Holy Prophet (sa), then people’s contentions with him and their false allegations that he changed the Qur’an and teachings of the Holy Prophet (sa) could be considered However, the Promised Messiah (as) did not change anything of the Holy Qur’an in the slightest, nor did he ever depart from following the teachings and example of the Holy Prophet (sa). In fact, he followed the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (sa) to the highest degree, resulting in God showing him numerous signs. Therefore, one who rejects and denies the Promised Messiah (as) will ultimately and undoubtedly be questioned by God. His Holiness (aba) said that it is our firm belief that through the Promised Messiah (as) we have been able to truly understand the Holy Qur’an.
His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said with regards to the commandment of justice in the Holy Qur’an that it is very difficult to be just to those who commit the most heinous crimes, yet this is the commandment of God, and this is the key to establishing peace in the world. If people in the world today were to adhere to this, then the world could be saved from destruction. If today’s world and its leaders do not establish justice, then the world will head towards certain destruction.
His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that before the Holy Qur’an, women had absolutely no rights. Men would marry as women as they liked without any restriction. However, it was the Holy Qur’an which came and established restrictions and ensured to establish the due rights and respect of women.
His Holiness (aba) said that the Promised Messiah (as) challenged the world saying that if there was anyone who could point out even the slightest discrepancy in the Holy Qur’an, or could present a superiority in their own book which is not found in the Qur’an and is better than it, then he would be prepared to even accept the punishment of death.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that if one has complete faith and then ponders over the Holy Qur’an, then instead of being inclined towards the world, their focus would always remain on God Almighty. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah enable us all to do so.
His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah enable us to truly act upon the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, to understand it and live our lives according to it. May we continue to seek its blessings even after Ramadan. May Allah stop all the evildoers and procure the means for them to be brought to justice. His Holiness (aba) urged prayers for the entire world to be saved from disorder; these days Palestine is especially engulfed in disorder. May Allah save the Muslims of Palestine from the cruelties they are facing. May the leaders of the Muslims world see reason and rather than seeking their own benefit, seek the benefit of all Muslims. May Allah the Almighty open the doors of His blessings and mercy more than ever before during this month of Ramadan.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting the tashahhud, ta’awwuz and Surah al-Faithah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stated:
Allah the Almighty perfected religion and the sharia through the Holy Prophet(sa) and stated in the Holy Quran:
اَلۡیَوۡمَ اَکۡمَلۡتُ لَکُمۡ دِیۡنَکُمۡ وَاَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ نِعۡمَتِیۡ وَرَضِیۡتُ لَکُمُ الۡاِسۡلَامَ دِیۡنًا
“This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch. 5: V. 4)
Thus, this is a great favour of Allah the Almighty upon the Muslims in that He has granted them a perfect and complete sharia. It is only Islam that has made such a claim and no other religion has done so; that is, that the final religion is Islam and this religion is one that is dearest in the sight of Allah the Almighty. Now, if one wants to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty, they have no other choice but by accepting Islam and by acting upon its teachings. Allah the Almighty announces that it is only through the teachings of the Holy Quran that one can attain moral and spiritual progress. In fact, this teaching is so perfect that even to attain worldly success one can only do so by adhering to this teaching. Thus, in relation to its teaching, when Allah the Almighty states:
It means that all of one’s abilities, be they moral, spiritual and physical, can only be perfected by adhering to the Holy Quran. If one truly desires to attain, then this perfect teaching can only be acquired through the Holy Quran. And by stating:
It emphatically states that it is the Holy Quran alone that can fulfil every aspect of one’s needs.
There is not a single need which the Quran has not addressed, whether it pertains to one’s material needs or spiritual needs or how to attain different stages of morality. Whatever one searches for can be found in the teachings of the Holy Quran, provided one ponders over it with justice. Thus, in light of this verse, mankind’s survival is dependent upon following the teachings of the Holy Quran. Furthermore, all the teachings that were revealed through prophets in the past were only temporary and relevant to that era alone; they were not for the entire world.
The Promised Messiah(as) has openly announced that this is proof of the fact that the purpose for the Holy Prophet’s(sa) advent has been fulfilled. He was the perfect and final prophet on whom the perfect teaching was revealed. Thus, this is our belief and this is what we stand for wholeheartedly. Those who level allegations against the Promised Messiah(as) allege that if this is what we believe, and we accept that the Quran is the final law, and the Holy Prophet(sa) is the final prophet, then what is the significance of the Promised Messiah’s(as) claim and what was the reason for his advent? There are many ways to answer this and in one instance the Promised Messiah(as) has answered this in the following manner that if they [Muslims] were acting upon the Islamic teachings then there would be no need for his advent. However, the general state of the era, and of the Muslims in particular, are calling out that there is a need for a mu‘allim [i.e. one who can teach the faith].
Furthermore, with regards to the [Muslims] forgetting these teachings, the Holy Prophet(sa) himself stated that for its rejuvenation a mujaddid [reformer] would appear in every century. He prophesied that in spite of the Holy Quran being a complete teaching, the Muslims will forget its teachings, new innovations will appear among them, and so to revive the faith, reformers will continue to appear, and in the Latter Days the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi will appear, who will bring faith back down to earth from the Pleiades.
The Promised Messiah(as) has written throughout his literature, writings and books that in subservience to the Holy Prophet(sa) he has come to propagate the sharia and religion of the Holy Prophet(sa) and the teachings of the Holy Quran in the world, and that the faith has been perfected through the Holy Prophet(sa). The Promised Messiah(as) stated that he has been sent to propagate this very teaching to every corner of the earth. The perfection of faith was completed through the revelation of the Holy Quran to the Holy Prophet(sa), and as there were not the [same] means at that time to propagate this guidance, therefore in accordance with Allah the Almighty’s promise, He sent the Promised Messiah(as), the ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa) in this era for its propagation. This is the task which the Promised Messiah(as) carried out, and to continue this, the Ahmadiyya Community was established. The Ahmadiyya Community is carrying out this task in accordance with his literature and explanations of the Holy Quran. Every single Ahmadi must therefore pay attention as to what degree they are fulfilling this objective. As a Community, there are programmes for this, but one should also do this on an individual basis. Thus, the purpose of our pledge of allegiance will only be fulfilled when we keep this objective in mind. In order to do so, we must always pay attention to reading and understanding the Holy Quran. The best way to do so is through the books and writings of the Promised Messiah(as).
I have been stating the qualities and excellences of the Holy Quran in light of the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) for some time now. Today, I shall present his writings in relation to the perfection of the Holy Quran and its teachings.
The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“It is well established that the Holy Quran has duly perfected the faith, as it affirms itself:
“‘This day have I perfected your religion for you and have completed My favour unto you, and am pleased to choose Islam as your faith.’ Thus there is no need for any other book after the Holy Quran, for it sets out all that is needed by man. Now only the door of converse with God is open.”
Indeed, Allah the Almighty speaks to His special servants and so the door of converse remains open, however, it [i.e. the revelation] is not a new teaching.
The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“[The door of converse is open] but not automatically. True and holy words which are clearly imbued with Divine help and comprise many hidden matters, are acquired after the purification of the soul only through following the Holy Quran and obeying the Holy Prophet(sa).” (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, p. 80)
It is a perfect book, therefore, it is by following it and in complete obedience to the Holy Prophet(sa) that one can attain the paths to develop a bond with Allah the Almighty. There is no other avenue or means besides this. The Promised Messiah(as) stated that the station he has been granted was due to this.
Then, in relation to the perfect guidance of the Holy Quran, the Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“The Holy Quran does not require one to merely abandon sin and therefore deem themselves a person of excellence (abandoning evil alone does not enable one to attain excellence), rather, it desires to bring one to the highest stages of perfection and excellent morals.”
The Holy Quran does not only require one to abandon sin, it also desires to produce a high level of excellence and good morals in them. That is to say, one must forsake evil, and in their place adopt high morals. “Such actions are then carried out which are for the benefit of and sympathy to mankind, and as a result of these, Allah the Almighty is pleased with them.”(Malfuzat , Vol. 7, p. 270)
The pleasure of Allah Almighty should be the result.
Hence, in accordance with Quranic teachings, this is the mindset one should adopt. We must reflect if we possess this mindset. Are we only claiming to read it like others, or are we also truly inculcating these changes with us? Are we developing a special relationship with Allah the Almighty? The Holy Quran is [especially] recited during Ramadan, and people listen to the dars [lectures on the Quran]. To inculcate these in one’s life is also necessary, and we have also promised to do this in our oath of allegiance. It is mentioned in the ten conditions [of Bai‘at] that one will wholly accept the authority of the Holy Quran for themselves. Therefore, during this Ramadan, if each and every one of us pledges to act upon this and makes a firm resolve to act upon the teachings of the Holy Quran, then not only will we be progressing in our spirituality, but our society will also become like a paradise. Furthermore, the disputes and arguments that arise from time to time at home and among families, will transform into love and affection.
Furthermore, whilst elaborating on the fact that the seed of Divine sharia reached its apex at the time of the Holy Quran, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The Holy Quran is perfect and complete in its commandments of goodness and prohibitions of evil. (It definitively guides toward deeds that one should perform and elucidates on practices one should abstain from.) Thus, through the Holy Quran, God desired to bring about the reformation of all evil – even after human nature has reached the depths of depravity and people have exceeded the bounds of misguidance and immorality. In light of this, God revealed the Holy Quran at a time when such evil in fact had taken root in humankind and, with the passage of time, sinful beliefs and practices pervaded the human condition. Divine wisdom demanded that God’s perfect word should descend at such a time because if this teaching was revealed before such ills had even emerged amongst people, who were completely unaware of such ill practices then this would be, in other words, inciting them to those ills.”
If one were to be informed from before that there are such and such kinds of ills and people previously did not even have any concept of them, then this would in fact become a means of spreading them.
These days, we observe this in the educational system. Children are taught about matters such as physical relations, of which they have absolutely no concept. They are troubled and bewildered by [such matters]. Now, parents have also raised their voices against what is being taught. In fact, the Ministry of Education has also acknowledged this concern. Some teachers have crossed the limits and have introduced ideas and concepts to children that they cannot grasp until they have reached a mature age. This is the difference between the law of sharia and secular law. This principle distinguishes the guidance found within the Holy Quran in that it gives guidance and elucidation based on an individual’s age. It does not impart everything openly [for all ages]. Many commentaries have gradually emerged from its words according to the intelligence and understanding of various people. The Promised Messiah(as) further states, “The seed of God’s revelation was planted at the time of Prophet Adam(as), and this same seed of God’s sharia arrived at its final stage and developed into a large tree at the time of the Holy Quran.” (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, pp. 219-220)
Thus, as more vices spread, their remedy also manifested according to the time. This is another feature of the Holy Quran; there is a remedy found in its teachings for all the vices that are prevalent in every era, and we are informed of this by the pious servants of Allah the Almighty who write its commentaries.
“Since this perfect book was destined to bring about perfect reformation, it was necessary for the spiritual disease to be at its peak at the time and place of its revelation as well. This was so that a perfect remedy could be provided for each and every malady. As such, this peninsula (i.e. in Arabia) was home to ailing people of all sorts, who suffered from every spiritual illness that was to afflict the people of that age or those of future generations.”
Here it has been further explained that these spiritual ills were either present at the time or were going to become prevalent in the future generations and the Holy Quran provided a teaching for all of these. Since the sharia was being perfected and so whatever spiritual ills were to appear in the future were also explained as well because the time for these was not too far ahead. This is why the exegetes of the Holy Quran explained the Holy Quran in accordance with the circumstances of the time and were told to what extent they were to explain and expound upon the Holy Quran.
The Promised Messiah(as) continues:
“This is why the Quran brought all religious law to its perfection. At the time of the revelation of other books, neither was this needed, nor did they possess such a perfect teaching.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, pp. 37-38)
The Promised Messiah(as) here proved that the Jews and Christians themselves were acknowledging that the era was one which had become extremely corrupted and there was a need for a religious law at the time.
Then, whilst explaining that the Holy Quran can certainly not be likened to any work of a human, the Promised Messiah(as) presents an example and states:
“To illustrate, it should be quite obvious to every reasonable person that if various writers were to write (i.e. those who speak and write well), utilizing the best of their intellectual prowess, a piece of prose—free from frivolity, falsehood, meanness, unwarranted verbosity, satire, and every kind of ambiguous and uncouth language, and all such defects that conflict with wisdom, lucidity, and eloquence; and is also completely pure and free from all such grave defects that are contrary to perfection and comprehensiveness, (that is, to be free from all kinds of trivialities, falsehood, vain and immoral things and also mockery and derision, etc. and those things which are worthless and do not even make any sense and are devoid of wisdom and eloquence. A person who is a good writer will try to write something which is free from all these things. This is the hallmark of a good writer that its writing is free from all kinds of immoralities and frivolities) and at the same time is absolutely comprehensive and truthful, and is full of wisdom, lucidity and eloquence, truths and verities—then the one who would stand out above all of them will indeed be the one who possesses the greatest intellectual prowess, extensive general knowledge, expertise in deep intellectual subjects, and who is also the most skilled in the art of writing prose, (i.e. only a person who is well-educated, a scholar and well-experienced can write such a piece of prose of this standard and which is free from all such ills). In no event would it be possible for a person who is inferior to him in ability, knowledge, skills, experience, mind and intellect to be able to equal him in respect of the eloquence of his writing.”
One who does not possess these abilities cannot write something of an equal standard. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“Another example is that of a physician who is an expert in his profession, (i.e. an expert doctor who) has acquired proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment of disease over many years of experience (and has complete knowledge of the illness and is able to diagnose its different stages effectively), and is also outstanding in his knowledge of literature and has achieved outstanding pre-eminence as a writer and a poet, (i.e. this is another quality he possesses). Now, when this physician explains the causes, nature, and symptoms of a disease, he will be able to do it far more accurately, truthfully, lucidly, and eloquently than a person who is not even remotely acquainted with medicine and is also absolutely ignorant of the subtleties of literary expression.”
The other person who does not possess such qualities will not be able to explain these as eloquently as compared to the one who possesses knowledge and expertise in his field and also the skill of being able to express himself and the art of research. The one with limited knowledge will not be able to match him in this regard and will be inferior to him. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“It is an obvious and easily understandable fact that there is always a difference to some extent between the discourse of the ignorant and the wise; and a man’s intellectual excellence is always reflected in his scholarly exposition, just as a face is reflected in a clear mirror. The words that a person utters in his exposition of truth and wisdom are considered a yardstick for measuring his intellectual abilities. The words that flow from the spring of the vastness of knowledge and perfect reason and those that emerge from narrow, constricted, dark, and limited thought are as clearly distinct.”
One’s discourse can be likened to a spring of knowledge and verities, whilst the other’s discourse is very superficial and the difference can be clearly observed. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“The difference is apparent just as fragrance is distinct from the foul smell, provided that one’s sense of smell is not congenitally defective or temporarily impaired. You may reflect and ponder over it as much as you wish, you will not find any flaw in this truth, nor find any chink in it, from any perspective.
Now that it has been established from every angle that differences that lie concealed in literary and intellectual prowess will indeed be reflected in one’s speech, and it is on no account possible that those who are most excellent and superior in reason and knowledge should be equal to others in the lucidity of expression or exaltedness of meaning, and that no distinction remains between them. (Those who possess knowledge and wisdom will always be superior in this regard and cannot be equal in rank to an ordinary person.) This truth entails yet another truth; namely, that the Word of God has to be the most excellent, and superior to, and incomparable vis-à-vis, the word of man—both in its external and internal excellences.”
Through this example, it proves that the Word of Allah the Almighty is superior to everything for it is Allah the Almighty Who possesses every knowledge and no one has more knowledge than Him. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“This is because no one’s knowledge can equal the perfect knowledge of God. This is what God refers to in the verse:
فَاِلَّمۡ یَسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لَکُمۡ فَاعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ بِعِلۡمِ اللّٰہِ
“Meaning that, if the disbelievers fail to produce anything like this Quran, and are unable to take up its challenge, know then that this Word [i.e., the Quran] has not flowed from man’s knowledge but from the knowledge of God. (Since they cannot even produce a single example like this then it is obvious that this is not the work of any man but the Word of God.) And in comparison to whose boundless and perfect knowledge all human knowledge is worthless and insignificant. This verse uses a kind of inductive argument to prove the existence of the cause from the existence of the effect. To put it briefly in other words, it says that divine knowledge, on account of its perfection and comprehensiveness, can never be similar to the defective knowledge of man. Thus, it is essential that the word which springs from perfect and incomparable knowledge must itself be perfect and incomparable, and must possess a perfect distinction over the words of man. This is the very perfection that is demonstrated in the Holy Quran.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 3, pp. 28-30)
The Holy Quran has claimed to be perfect in every respect and there is no one that can challenge it either now or in the future. The Promised Messiah(as) then states that the Holy Quran has reached perfection in ranks of knowledge and in the ranks of conduct. The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Just as the Holy Quran conveys one to the highest degree of perfection in the ranks of knowledge, in the same way, one also attains perfection in the ranks of conduct through it. (It conveys one to perfection in both knowledge and conduct.) The signs and light of being accepted by the One True God have always appeared—and continue to appear—in those who follow this Holy Word, but they never appear in the others. In conclusion, this proof which one can observe with one’s own eyes, is sufficient for a seeker after truth; that is, those heavenly blessings and divine signs are found only in the perfect followers of the Holy Quran.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 4, p. 92)
If one completely adheres to the teachings of the Holy Quran, then one will also witness signs. People often ask that they have not witnessed any signs or that even though they prayed for so long their prayer was not answered. In regards to this Allah the Almighty states that for this one needs to hearken to His words and have perfect belief in Him and act upon His guidance. When one does this, then their prayers shall also be answered by Allah the Almighty. This is also a quality of the Holy Quran in that those who follow the teachings of the Holy Quran, attain extraordinary blessings.
The Promised Messiah(as) states that the Holy Quran has encapsulated all the truths and verities in a perfectly concise manner. The word ایجاز [Ejaz] here does not mean miracle, but rather has been spelt with ا [Aliph], ي [Yaa] and ج [Jeem] which means to cover in a concise manner. In relation to this, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The Holy Quran has demonstrated its fluency and eloquence in keeping with the norms of truth and wisdom and true need; and has, with the utmost conciseness, comprehended all religious verities, and thus, it is full of clear proofs for silencing every opponent and denier. And one sees flowing through it a deep and limpid river of thousands of subtle points [of wisdom] and verities for the perfection of the believers’ certainty. In whatever matter it has seen disorder, it has striven for the reformation of these very matters. With whatever intensity it has found the habit of going to extremes, it has countered it with equal strength. It has provided remedies for all kinds of maladies that were widespread, wiped out all the false doctrines of false religions (it has removed all the doubts raised by the false religions), and answered every objection. There is no verity that it does not mention and no misguided sect that it does not counter, (i.e., all those who are misguided, it has refuted their arguments as well. There are clear commandments in this regard). And what a wonder it is that it does not contain a single sentence that is unnecessary, any statement out of place, or a single word of frivolity. Notwithstanding due regard to all these matters, it has displayed such a degree of fluency—more than which cannot be imagined. (It has covered all aspects in a very concise yet eloquent and articulate manner.) It has raised eloquence to the highest level of perfection by encompassing all past and future knowledge within a small book by virtue of an excellent arrangement, brevity, and a closely reasoned discourse.”
It contained knowledge for those who came in earlier times just as I have explained earlier where the Promised Messiah(as) mentioned that the Arab Bedouins were also able to understand the Holy Quran and they became spiritual and well-educated people, and at the same time, those who possessed knowledge were also able to understand it in accordance with their intellect. Moreover, it is not just for those who came before but also for those who came later. The teaching of the Holy Quran is such that its commentaries give new meaning to each word of it in every age and provide guidance for us in every age. The Promised Messiah(as) further states that all of this knowledge has been placed in a small book:
“So that man—whose life is short and whose works are many—may be relieved of many a headache, and so that its eloquence may benefit Islam in the dissemination of its doctrines, and it may be easy to memorize and remember it.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 4, p. 283, sub footnote number 3)
People even memorise the Quran, especially children at a young age. In his book, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Messiah(as) has proven that with respect to its written composition and eloquence, only the Holy Quran can present such verities which are unparalleled, and scriptures such as the Bible etc., can no longer be deemed divine owing to human interpolation.
With regards to the miracle of the Quran’s succinct composition, the Promised Messiah(as) says:
“When a just person reads the Holy Quran, he will immediately find that the Holy Quran has accomplished such a marvel in brevity of expression—an essential requirement of eloquence— (i.e. the Quran has superbly explained things in a concise but clear manner) that, despite comprising all essentials of the faith and completely satisfying all proofs and arguments, it is so small in size that a person can easily read it in a few hours from beginning to end. (The words are concise so that people can read it with ease) Look! What a great miracle the Holy Quran’s eloquence is in that it encapsulates a raging ocean of knowledge within three or four juzw’ [part] and encompasses an entire universe of wisdom within a few pages. Has anyone ever seen or heard of a book of such small size that contains eternal truths for all times? Can the intellect of any wise man assign to any man the grand status of capturing an ocean of wisdom in a few words wherein no truth pertaining to religious knowledge is left out?” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 4, p. 332, sub footnote number 3)
Here, the Promised Messiah(as) draws a comparison to the Vedas, the holy book of Hindus. He proved that the Vedas have not been composed in the manner as the Holy Quran has. Moreover, the Vedas have long passages which are difficult to read. The Promised Messiah(as) challenged all faiths to come forth and he would demonstrate these qualities of the Holy Quran. In this era, no one besides the Promised Messiah(as) has posed such a challenge to the whole world. Despite this, the allegation is levelled against us that we, God forbid, dishonour the Holy Quran.
The era in which the Holy Quran was revealed necessitated a perfect teaching. The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“It is the Holy Quran alone that imparts a perfect teaching, and it was only during its time that such a teaching would be revealed. (This has been briefly mentioned earlier as well.) Thus, it is the Holy Quran alone that can claim to impart a perfect teaching, and no other divine scripture besides it has made such a claim.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 5, p. 4)
“In my view, a believer is he who truly adheres to the Holy Quran and believes it to be the Seal of Books. This is the hallmark of a believer; to believe this sharia brought by the Holy Prophet(sa) to be everlasting; to never alter even an iota of its message; to become completely and selflessly absorbed in its adherence; to sacrifice every particle of their being for it; and to ensure their actions and ideologies do not conflict with its sharia.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 10, p. 267)
If one accomplishes this, then one can be considered a true Muslim. Thus, we must evaluate ourselves in this respect.
Regarding the Holy Quran being the final book, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The advent of the Holy Quran came at a time when every need that could possibly arise had come about. In other words, everything pertaining to morals, beliefs, words, and actions had corrupted, while every sort of excess and disorder had reached its limit. It was for this reason that the teachings of the Holy Quran were revealed to the greatest degree. This is exactly why the law of the Holy Quran was deemed complete and perfect while previous laws were incomplete, because the disorders in previous eras which those revealed scriptures came in had not reached their pinnacle, whereas they had at the time of the Holy Quran.”
Many people, children, or those stepping into adolescence ask questions about this; this is the response for them. [The disorders in] previous eras had not reached their pinnacle, whereas in this case [at the time of the Holy Quran] they had reached their peak which is why the teaching also reached the pinnacle and hence the Holy Quran was revealed. This is how, through the Holy Prophet(sa), the foundation of Islam was laid. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“Therefore, the distinction between the Holy Quran and other revealed scriptures is that even if the previous scriptures were to remain pure from any sort of distortion, because they presented an incomplete teaching it was still necessary that a complete teaching, in other words, the Holy Quran, manifest at some point.”
They had not even faced certain things so how could they have addressed them? The earlier teachings were incomplete, which is why the advent of the Holy Quran was necessary. The Promised Messiah(as) continues:
“However, the Holy Quran does not require for there to be another book after it, because there is no level beyond perfection. If, for the sake of conversation, it so happened that at some point the true principles of the Holy Quran were turned into polytheistic principles like those of the Vedas or the Gospels and the teachings of God’s Unity were altered and distorted; or, hypothetically, there comes a time when the millions of monotheistic Muslims around the world adopt polytheism and worship the creation, then it can be accepted that another law and messenger would be required.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, pp. 101-102, [footnote number 9])
If such conditions come about then this will certainly happen, however, both such notions are merely hypothetical, because it is impossible, in light of the fact that Allah the Almighty has promised to protect this law Himself. This was the very purpose for which the Promised Messiah(as) was sent and this is exactly what our duty is as well.
Then, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“As Allah the Almighty has repeatedly stated, the necessary requirements for salvation are that firstly, one believes Allah the Almighty to be One and without any partner, believes in the Holy Prophet(sa) to be a true prophet, and believes the Holy Quran to be the Book of Allah and that this book is such that after it, no other law can come. In other words, there is no need for any book or law after the Holy Quran.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 6, p. 236)
Regarding the greatness of the Quranic revelation, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“God’s curse be on those who claim that they can produce something similar to the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran is a miracle, the like of which cannot be produced by any man or jinn. It possesses such knowledge and excellences which cannot be brought together through human knowledge. In fact, its revelation is unmatched by other revelations, even if the Merciful God were to send down other revelations after it. This is because God manifests Himself through His revelations, and it is known for certain that the manner in which God Almighty manifested Himself to the Seal of the Prophets(sa) was never manifested to anyone before, nor will it ever be manifested to anyone ever again. The greatness of the Quranic revelation cannot be compared with the degree of revelation received by the Auliya [friends of Allah/pious people]. (The Auliya can certainly receive revelation, but it cannot match the same greatness [as that of the Holy Quran]), even if some words resembling the words of the Quran are revealed to them. This is why the scope of Quranic knowledge encompasses all others, for every kind of knowledge, intricate and hidden matters are gathered within it while its finer points are at the highest degrees of depth. It supersedes all others in presentation and proofs and it possesses the highest degree of knowledge; that is the miracle of God the likes of which none have ever heard, and its grandeur cannot be matched by the works of jinn or men. The example of the Quran and other works is like that of a vision seen by a just, brave and wise king (if an example is to be taken then it can be of a king who was very just and brave who saw a dream), and a similar dream was seen by an ordinary person who was unintelligent and cowardly, (i.e., another person who was not of the same stature but was a common person who was not very intelligent or brave). There is no doubt that although the dream seen by the king and the dream seen by the ordinary person appeared to be the same (the dreams were similar), a wise person having knowledge of interpretation would not consider them to be the same (an intelligent person who knows how to interpret will say that these dreams are not the same) because the interpretation of the just king is of a high standard, generally applicable, beneficial, in favour of all people, full of good and blessings and clearly current. (His dream has a wide scope.) However, in most cases, the ordinary person’s vision is not free from being muddled in impurities. Aside from him, it does not impact anyone beyond their children, parents, or a handful of friends.”
Its scope is limited to their family, children, father or other relatives and friends. If there is anything beneficial then it is limited only to them. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“Perhaps even travellers who are strangers, (i.e., even travellers can be included, as the Promised Messiah(as) says that a dream seen by an ordinary person can be impactful to others as well), albeit only to those who are in proximity, and it is still limited to those that the person knows. They come down from their saddles and crawl into nests. (The Promised Messiah(as) used this idiom meaning that they become limited, and they cannot have a wider scope.) However, the state of those embarked upon the Holy Quran is such that they traverse every boundary of the dwelling (i.e. it has a wide scope of its impact). The Holy Quran is the single book under which flow streams of knowledge and no one’s eloquence can soar above it, (i.e., no one can mention anything greater than it). Every treasure keeper finds their treasures and blessings from it, and in my estimation, without incurring this debt, every person who has [divine] communion is left empty-handed. (If one does not take benefit here, then there is no other book that can be deemed correct either.) A loan is strictly demanded [to be paid] with great effort to the extent that one is even taken before a judge to obtain its payment. However, the Holy Quran gives alms to those who are poor and eliminates all of their difficulties. In fact, it grants blocks of gold to those who are sincere.”
People start legal battles with those they have given loans to, however, the Holy Quran provides such knowledge which causes its streams of knowledge and understanding to continuously flow. It is as if one is receiving gold blocks. The Holy Quran does not boast its favours to those it has given loans, rather it encourages people to collect “gold”, as it were. The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“[…] First we were made vessels, then we were satiated by the stream of the Quran. If you ask me, at first, I was a mere vessel and I filled myself with water from the stream of the Holy Quran.” (Al-Huda, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 18, pp. 275-278)
This is a passage in Arabic which is why it has been written in a unique style and it has been translated accordingly as well. The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“In my view, may God’s curse be on those who reject the brilliance of the Quran whilst deeming their own words and works to be everlasting. By God, we drink from that fountain and are adorned with its beauty. This is why in our words there is light and purity and our speech sparkles with light, healing, freshness and beauty. Aside from the Quran, there is none other who has done a favour upon me. It has nurtured me in a manner that cannot be replicated by a mother or father. Hence, God gave me that pleasant water to drink and we found it to be enlightening and helpful.” (Ibid, p. 279)
“If I did not have any Signs of God with me and was not accompanied by the help and support from Him; or if I had carved out a path distinct from that of the Holy Quran, or if I had intruded into or modified the Quranic commandments and sharia or had abrogated it; or if I had advocated a new path beside that of following the Holy Prophet(sa); then it would have been justified and the objection of the people would have been reasonable and worthy of being accepted that this person is, in reality, an enemy of God and the Messenger(sa) of God, and a denier of the Holy Quran and of its teachings, and one who abrogates them. (The Promised Messiah(as) says that if there was something that he had said which was contrary to the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet(sa), then it was their right to say these things) —that he is a transgressor, a sinner and an apostate. But I have not made any changes in the Quran, or altered even a dot or an iota of the current sharia brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa). Quite to the contrary, I am dedicated to the service of the Quran and the Quranic commandments and the pure religion of the Holy Prophet(sa), and have devoted my entire life to this path. Moreover, I firmly believe that salvation is not at all possible without the Holy Quran—which is the perfect, complete, and comprehensive Book—and without its perfect obedience, and without following the Holy Prophet(sa). I believe that anyone who adds or subtracts anything from the Quran or refuses the yoke of obedience of the Holy Prophet(sa), is an infidel and an apostate. (The one who removes themselves from the obedience of the Holy Prophet(sa) and removes the yoke of submission from their neck, are an apostate and a disbeliever.) So this being the case, and in spite of the manifestation of thousands of Signs (it is not a mere claim of the Promised Messiah(as), rather Allah the Almighty has manifested signs for him, the prophecies of the Holy Prophet(sa) regarding the Promised Messiah(as) have been fulfilled and so have the prophecies of the Holy Quran. Similarly, the prophecies vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah(as) by Allah the Almighty were fulfilled, and they are being fulfilled now as well) and in spite of the manifestation of thousands of Signs in the heavens and the earth from God in support of my truthfulness, if a person still calls me a liar [kadhib], a fabricator [muftari], and the Great Deceiver [dajjal], or does not show deference to me and does not lend an ear to my call, he should know for certain that God will never ever leave him without calling him to account for it.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 10, p. 394)
They will be held accountable for it at some point.
Thus, this is the claim of the Promised Messiah(as) and we firmly believe that it is only through him that the Quranic knowledge and verities have made their way to us, that he has completely adhered to the Holy Quran and that he has imparted its true understanding to us. Those who claim that, God forbid, the Promised Messiah(as) and his community dishonour the Holy Quran should be fearful. These are the words of one who has been chosen by God Almighty. Those who do not cease in their opposition will not be spared by God and will be brought into account. Allah the Almighty knows better how He will punish them and hold them accountable.
In many instances, the Promised Messiah(as) has discussed matters in relation to some of the commandments of the Holy Quran. I will make mention of a few of these instances. In respect to the lofty teaching of upholding justice, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“It is exceedingly difficult to demonstrate justice toward nations who unjustly cause harm, pain, and bloodshed, and who maliciously pursue others and kill children and women – as did the disbelievers of Mecca – and do not desist in stirring conflict. (Despite such peoples’ cruelties, we have teachings to demonstrate justice – a truly arduous task.) However, the teachings of the Quran do not discard the rights of even the bitterest of enemies and give injunctions for justice.” (Nur-ul-Quran, Part 2, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 9, p. 409)
This is a principle that can bring about peace in society and guarantee peace in the world. If the nations of today engaged in worldly wars come to understand this principle, then peace can be established. Otherwise, the circumstances developing right now are leading the world towards a catastrophic destruction. Whether a single nation makes this effort or its counterparts, or whether leaders visit other nations such as China, etc. but if they do not establish justice then there will be certain destruction. At another instance, the Promised Messiah(as) presents another example and states:
“If one examines the world at the time in which the Holy Quran was revealed, one would observe the practice of having an extreme number of wives. (Many marriages would take place and men would have up to 80, or even 100 wives.) Women would be subjected to many injustices (and face many cruelties). One must admit that the Holy Quran bestowed the world the favour of ending all such injustices.” (Arya Dharam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 10, p. 45)
It is a favour of Allah the Almighty and the Holy Quran that through its teachings, He brought an end to all such wrongdoings. [Prior to Islam], Women were given no respect; there were no restrictions to marriage; there were no rights. It was the Holy Quran that established these rights of which there was no concept prior to Islam.
The Promised Messiah(as) then states:
“The Holy Quran is not confined merely to knowledge gained through continuity of hearing, it contains well-reasoned arguments which carry conviction. Not one of the doctrines and principles and commandments that it sets forth is sought to be imposed merely by authority (there is no compulsion in the commandments). Allah the Almighty states: لَاۤ اِکۡرَاہَ فِی الدِّیۡنِ. Islam does not try to inculcate anything by compulsion, but sets forth reasons in support of everything.” (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, p. 185) And explains everything through arguments and encourages one to accept it.
Then, whilst issuing a challenge to the world with regards to the perfect teachings of the Holy Quran, the Promised Messiah(as) says:
“Indeed, our Benevolent God, Who knows the secrets of the hearts, is my witness that I am willing to be put to death if someone can find even an iota of error in the teachings of the Holy Quran, or can prove that his own scripture contains even the minutest merit contrary to, and better than the teachings of the Holy Quran.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 3, p. 236)
This is such a grand claim that one cannot make unless one has perfect faith and absolute conviction. The Promised Messiah(as) says, “If a person believes in God Almighty, and then ponders over the commandments mentioned in the Holy Quran, then a person would abandon the world and become wholly devoted to God.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 7, p. 28)
If a person has perfect faith and then deliberates over the Quran, then a person’s attention would turn towards God instead of being immersed in worldliness. May Allah the Almighty grant everyone this cognisance.
The Promised Messiah(as) says:
“[…] of all the scriptures in the world today, the Holy Quran is the only one whose divine origin can be established with irrefutable arguments. It is the only one whose principles regarding salvation are based on truth and human nature; whose doctrines are comprehensive and firmly grounded in truth and are confirmed by powerful arguments; whose commandments are nothing but the dictates of truth and whose teachings bear no blemish of idolatry, human innovations and false deities. Its teachings zealously promote the Oneness, Greatness and Excellence of God; and it is filled to the brim in establishing the Oneness of the Glorious God. It does not impute to Him anything that is contrary to His Oneness or attribute to Him any blemish, shortcoming, or unworthy attribute. It does not impose any teaching upon us. (It does not force one to accept its teachings, rather presents proof for it.) It first provides adequate proof in support thereof and explains each of its principles with proofs and clear arguments and leads its followers to perfect certainty and understanding.
It removes, through clear and unequivocal arguments, all the corruptions, impurities, defects and distortions that have found their way into people’s beliefs, actions, sayings and deeds; and teaches all ethical and moral norms, the knowledge of which is essential for becoming truly human. (In order to become a civilised person one is in need of certain teachings, all of which can be found in the Holy Quran.) It resists every prevalent evil that is prevalent in each era with equal force; (it is not the case that the Quran’s teachings address the disorder of one era, rather it repels each evil with the same force it is spread in that era. For example, the evil that is rampant today, its remedy is also prevalent in the same force) and its teachings are straightforward, well-founded and flawless, as if they were the very reflection of the laws of nature and a true picture of human conscience. Indeed, they are as the sun for the illumination of mind and heart, and make good the deficiency inherent in reason and reform all harm of it. It explains in detail all rational points that are explained in few words and prevents from harm.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya [English], Part 2, p. 95)
May Allah the Almighty enable us to become those who truly follow the Holy Quran and act in accordance with its guidance: May He enable us to understand the Holy Quran and live our lives in accordance with its teachings.
Even after Ramadan, make an effort to derive benefit from its blessings as you are doing so in Ramadan. In the month of Ramadan, pray especially to be safeguarded from the evil of the enemies of the Jamaat; may Allah stop the hands of every evil one and seize them.
Pray also for the world to be protected from disorder and turmoil. Similarly, there is unrest in Palestine these days, pray for the Muslims in Palestine; may Allah protect them from the cruelties of the oppressors. May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom to the leaders of the Muslim world so that they put their personal interests aside and protect the interests of the Muslims at large. In this Ramadan, may Allah the Almighty open the doors of His Mercy and blessings for us more than before.