The Messiah Has Come
The twelve arguments which I have presented are enough to prove the truth of the claim of Hazrat Mirza Sahib (on whom be peace). Anybody who is prepared to deliberate upon them with the intention of finding out the truth will not only perceive the truth but will be convinced of it. Hazrat Mirza Sahib is the Messiah promised and commissioned by God for our time; he is His Messenger. To wait for anyone else is pointless. A person who gains this conviction will hasten to declare his belief, as one who is thirsty will run to a spring. He will not hang back for a moment, but will at once enter the Messiah’s fold and will think it his salvation.
Testimony of God and His Prophet
What can be more convincing for a Muslim than the testimony of God and His Prophet? For Hazrat Mirza Sahib we have the testimony of both, and furthermore, the testimony of other prophets. Our own judgment and reason point to the present time as the time for a reformer. The Signs which the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God) enumerated as signs of the Messiah and Mahdi have become visible. The purity of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s personal life testifies to the truth of his claim. The enemies of Islam whom the Promised Messiah had to defeat have been defeated. The internal dangers from which Muslims suffer have reached their utmost limit. In the presence of the Holy Quran these dangers could not be worse than they are. The Promised Messiah has re-stated Muslim beliefs and removed the dangerous distortions Islam was undergoing from within. Throughout his life he enjoyed the help and love of God, as prophets and favorites of God have always done. He was granted victory after victory. He was protected from intrigues and attacks. His enemies suffered disgrace and death, as enemies of the prophets and the messengers of God have done in the past. The processes of nature pressed themselves into the service of his cause and heaven and earth moved in his favour. A special knowledge of the Holy Quran was bestowed on him, also special means for its diffusion. He invited all and sundry, including the most learned, to test his claim to miraculous and intellectual gifts, but nobody dared do so. His miraculous Arabic works and his special knowledge of the meaning of the Holy Quran remained unchallenged. And why? Had not God Himself promised that ‘only the pure in heart will have access to the Holy Book’ (56:80)? He was granted also a knowledge of the unseen. Several thousand examples of this knowledge were shown by him with the special help of God. His prophecies came true and afforded visible evidence of the Might and Power of God. This accorded with God’s own law, for God only grants an abundance of such knowledge to His Messengers. Throughout his life he remained a devotee of God and His Prophet, and such devotees are not driven by God out of His Grace. He left behind followers sincere in word and deed. A number of them enjoy special contact with God. They are able to quicken the spiritually dead and to resolve spiritual difficulties. They are devoted to caring for religion, indifferent to worldly interests and worldly contacts. They long for the glory and triumph of Islam and care about nothing else. These facts bear witness to the authenticity of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. To refuse to believe in him, therefore, cannot be right, or pleasing to God. Muslims who love Islam and the Holy Prophet, who are prepared to place the interests of Islam above their personal interests, will not hesitate to accept the truth after that truth has become so clear. If the arguments which I have enumerated above fail to prove the truth of his claim, then the question is: What better arguments were ever adduced in support of earlier prophets? What better proofs prompted belief in their authenticity? The arguments in support of Hazrat Mirza Sahib are more numerous and more cogent than the arguments in support of earlier prophets, excepting, of course, the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God). Why then believe in the earlier prophets but not in the Promised Messiah? True belief is not belief inherited from parents or accepted as a tradition. True belief is assent after deliberation. If this is not true belief, then we have to deny the authenticity of earlier prophets. If we cannot deny their authenticity, we have to accept that of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). An understanding and intelligent person will adopt the second alternative. He will accept the Promised Messiah rather than deny the earlier prophets. He will not hesitate to accept one who has come to proclaim the truth of the Holy Prophet of Islam, to lead Islam to triumph again and to make Muslims Muslims once more. To accept the Will of God and to subscribe to His Plan yields His blessings. To resist His plan and His Will can yield no blessings.
The condition of Islam today stirs our pity. Nobody who loves Islam can view this condition with equanimity. Every lover of Islam will do all he can to save Islam from the dangers which seem to threaten its very existence. He will wish to see it live and prosper again. The enemies of Islam have become so hardened that they can see evil but no good in it. The friends of Islam are disappointed and disgusted, or if not disgusted with it they are at least indifferent to its interests. They profess loyalty to it, but the profession does not travel beyond their lips. True, they care for the political prosperity of Islam. If a Muslim country loses its freedom, they are stricken and raise an alarm. But if hundreds and thousands of Muslims give up Islam and become Christians or Hindus, they are moved not at all. They can raise volunteers for political programmes, but not for the exposition and propagation of Islam. A denial of the Turkish Sultan as Khalifa infuriates them, but a denial of the Holy Prophet does not even move them. The political outlook is on the increase. Little interest is taken in Islam as such. Muslims are interested in their political fortunes. The promotion of Islamic Tabligh among non-Muslims is a far cry. They do not like even to repel the unrestrained attacks which non-Muslims constantly hurl against Islam. To do so seems inexpedient or impolite. For Islam as such they have no use. Only the name is retained for political purposes. There is only one way to rescue Islam from this abject state, and that is to accept the Promised Messiah and to enter his fold. Islam cannot advance now except under his leadership. Jihad by the sword cannot help Islam. The desideratum is true faith in Islam, a true conception of its teachings, and a united effort on its behalf. Without this Islam cannot rise again. The Holy Prophet of Islam, say the enemies of Islam, used the sword for its propagation. But for the sword, Islam would not have spread at all. Islam, according to them, could cite no reason or argument in its support. Wittingly or unwittingly Muslims themselves have supported this attack. God today has ordained that this vile attack on His Beloved Prophet should be repulsed and proved false. He has, therefore, sent one of the followers of the Holy Prophet to defeat the enemies of Islam and to lead Islam to triumph again, not by physical force but by argument and persuasion. Only thus will the world be convinced that what the servant can achieve, the master could achieve many times over. For Muslims today, this is the only way. God wants even the enemies of the Holy Prophet to join him as his followers and servants. To make this possible there is only one way, and that is to present to the world the true Islam, the Islam described anew by the Promised Messiah, by methods taught by him and with the faith re-created by him. This is the way to guide lost mankind back to the true path. If, in the knowledge of God, other avenues existed by which Islam could be helped, why did He close these avenues for us? To remain aloof from the Promised Messiah is to hinder the advance of Islam and to help its enemies. Not to join the Promised Messiah is to embolden the critics of Islam, to re-inforce their attacks on the Holy Prophet, his teaching, his example and his honour. The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God) said:
‘That Umma can never die which has me at one end, and the Messiah, son of Mary, at the other.’ – Kitab Ibn Majah – Babul etisam Bil Sunnat.
From this it seems that belief requires two stone walls for safety. He who rejects the Promised Messiah is outside the bounds of safety. He who hinders the Promised Messiah is an enemy of Islam. He is not happy at the advance of Islam. If this is not so, why should he oppose the raising of a wall which ensures safety for Islam? His hostility invites the anger of God. It would be better if he had not done so.
All the great promises made by God for our time are linked with the coming of the Promised Messiah. Islam is to have a new lease of life through him. A tree which begins to die of drought becomes green again if rain comes in time. Even so is the dead and dry tree of Islam certain to become green again with the coming of the Promised Messiah. A new power and a new spirit will be granted to those who join the Promised Messiah. God has long borne with patience what He has seen. He has remained a silent witness, but He will remain so no longer. He can no longer permit that a mere man, a creature of His, should be made an associate with Him; that those who take Jesus for a son of God or believe him to be alive in Heaven, or think he was able to raise the physically dead to life or that he could create, should continue to do so. True, God is Merciful, but He is also Jealous of His Own Uniqueness and Oneness. He waited and waited for men to turn to His Holy Book, but they only turned away from it. They became interested in other things and paid little attention to the Book of God. They forgot the warning contained in the Holy Book itself:
‘O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Quran as [a thing] abandoned.’ – Al-Furqan, 31.
They abandoned the Book of God and turned to other things. Small wonder that God abandoned them and turned away from them. He will not turn to them now until they declare, putting their hand in the hand of the Promised Messiah, that they will no longer treat the Holy Book with inattention and indifference, but will make up for past neglect and past mistakes. They loved the world but did not love God; God wrested the world from them and humiliated them. They professed to be Muslims, yet they buried the last Beloved of God underground and raised the Messiah of Nazareth alive to Heaven. God made them low on the earth and set Christians as rulers over them. Their condition now will not change unless they agree to reform. Political schemes and plans can avail but little. The degradation of Muslims is the result of the anger of God. Unless Muslims make their peace with God they will only go under. Blessed, therefore, is he who hastens to make his peace with God. He will be saved from humiliation and disgrace. The Help of God will be with him and the Hand of God will steer him out of difficulties.
A great event
The coming of the Promised Messiah is no ordinary event: it is a great event. Did not the Holy Prophet send him greetings? Did he not warn his followers and say that they must go and join the Promised Messiah even if it entailed the hardest toil and trouble? Prophecies about the Promised Messiah exist in all religions. No prophet has failed to mention the coming of the Promised Messiah. Great must be the man who fulfils the prophecies of so many prophets, and for whose coming they all asked their peoples to wait. Blessed are those who witness the Promised Messiah or his time and receive the benefits promised at his hands. The coming of messengers is rare, especially of great messengers like the Promised Messiah. The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God) stressed the coming of the Promised Messiah more than the coming of anyone else. A greater man among Muslims may not arise. He is the Seal of spiritual leaders (Khatam al-Khulafa) who will hereafter arise among the followers of the Holy Prophet. After him we only wait for the Day of Judgment. Every day in our time is therefore precious, infinitely more precious than the most precious possession of this world. Lucky is he who knows the value of the present and decides to join the Promised Messiah, and so earns the approval and pleasure of God. Such a man will find the goal of his life and capture the secret of being truly human.
Future of Ahmadiyyat
When a Messenger of God comes and raises a Jama’at, the first people to join are generally the poor. But the Jama’at does not remain poor for all time. It begins to prosper and ultimately even kings enter its fold. It takes root in a centre, then spreads over the area for which the Messenger was intended. Nobody need think, therefore, that our Jama’at is poor and will remain poor. It will grow by leaps and bounds. Let powerful countries join together and try to stop its growth; they will not succeed. A day will come when this Jama’at will beat all other groups and movements in the race. Revelations of Hazrat Mirza Sahib promise that his followers will be dominant over those who deny him until the Day of Judgment; also that the number of those who remain outside his fold will go on declining, and ultimately kings will Join this Jama’at.
The Jama’at-i-Ahmadiyya, therefore, will not remain as poor and insignificant as it seems today, but will increase in numbers and influence and begin to surpass others. It will not remain weak but will become strong and victorious. A revelation of the Promised Messiah says:
‘Kings will seek blessings from thy garments’.
The value of great events or good actions depends upon the time chosen for them. A thing done at a certain time is very great, but at another time the same thing may be much less great. Those who were the first to believe in the Holy Prophet remain to this day the spiritual leaders of the world. Those who believed when Islam had become a power in the world attained little fame or honour. Therefore those who join the Ahmadiyya Jama’at now, when it is thought to be weak and insignificant, will attain the honour of early believers. They will inherit special rewards and blessings. Much time has gone by already, but the door to honour is still open; to earn nearness to God is still easy. I invite you, dear reader, to consider how precious is your opportunity. It is for you to say like all believers:
‘Our Lord, we heard a Crier call unto faith, “Believe ye in your Lord,” and we have believed’. – Al-Imran, 194,
It is for you to say ‘yea’ to him who cries in the name of God. It is for you to become a dearly beloved of God.
I say truly that nobody can find God today outside Ahmadiyyat. Everybody outside the fold, if he searches his heart, will admit that he does not have that certainty of belief in God and His promises which one should have in indubitable realities. Equally will he fail to find in his heart the light by which he can see the Face of God. This certainty, this conviction, and this light you will not find outside the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah. The divine design is to unite mankind again. He who knows that death is certain cannot accept a life remote from God, a life devoid of His Light. Hasten, therefore, to the Light and to the certainty of conviction which you will find today in Ahmadiyyat alone, and without which life can have no attraction or charm. Lead others in your declaration so that you are remembered with honour and respect, that believers who come after you may pray for you to the end of days.
Sacrifices not a burden
True, those who join a Divine Movement have to carry a heavy load of sacrifices and responsibilities, but not every load is a burden. Does the peasant who carries on his back the produce of his hard work think his load a burden? Or the mother who carries her baby in her arms think the baby a burden? Service of a divine movement and effort on its behalf, therefore, is no burden for believers. Others may think it a burden, but for believers it is joy and hope. Do not be overawed, therefore, by the responsibilities you will incur by accepting the truth. Think, instead, of the gratitude you owe to God, of the mercy and grace mankind has received from Muhammad, the Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God). Do not hesitate to lend your shoulder to the burden which it is the duty of every Muslim to carry. You may be high-placed or low, a leader or a common man; in the Sight of God you and other humans are all equal. The service of Islam is your duty as well as theirs. To believe in the Messengers of God is your obligation as well as theirs. Receive, therefore, the Command of God and His scheme of duties and rewards. Enter the Divine Movement and reap the rewards ordained for its entrants. The meanest reward that comes from God is better and more precious than a kingdom.
The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace) has said:
‘He who keeps away from a divine Jama’at by so much as a step is not one of us.’
To stay out of a Jama’at raised by God, therefore, is a serious matter. It is especially serious for those whose responsibility is twofold: towards themselves, and towards those who follow their lead. Men follow their leaders even in matters of religion. In the Sight of God, the mistakes they make are the mistakes of their leaders. The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God) expressed this thought when he wrote to the Roman Emperor:
‘If you deny, the sin of your subjects will also be upon you.’
Therefore, dear reader, believe, that if you have friends or followers they may have no difficulty in believing too; so that you may not keep others from believing. Share rather the reward of their belief and of the good deeds which will come from believing.
In the Presence of God
Life here is limited. Nobody knows how long each of us may last. Sooner or later all must be ready to go and stand in the Presence of Almighty God. Nothing will then avail but true beliefs and good works. All of us, rich or poor, go from here empty-handed. Neither rich nor poor take away anything with them when they go from here to the Hereafter. We all carry only our faith and our good works with us. Believe, therefore, in the Messenger of God, that God may grant you peace. Answer the call of Islam that you may become accepted of God. The duty that was mine has been done. I have delivered to you the message. It is for you to accept or not. The least I hope and expect is that you will read this message with care, and that if you find it right and true you will not hesitate to believe. May God make it so! And our last words are:
‘All praise for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.’