In all fairness to our opponents, I shall now endeavour to elucidate the view point of our opponents who equate Islam’s renaissance with its economic and political dominance. There is perhaps an explanation for it. Lust for power and greed for gold have traditionally dominated human strife. The acme of national revival therefore would mean political and economic ascendency. Divine favour would, according to them, fittingly manifest itself to bring about this result. This more or less, is the view held by many, concerning the revival of Islam. According to this belief, the advent of the Messiah will herald the era of Islam’s political conquests while the appearance of the Imam Mahdi will bring about their economic dominance.
First, I shall outline their concept of the Messiah’s advent. They believe that the very Jesus, Son of Mary, whom the Quran declares a prophet of the Israelites, will descend bodily from the sky. He will immediately set out with sword in hand and hack to death all enemies of Islam! His global sweep shall have three grand objectives. The first objective will be the destruction of the Cross. Not figuratively, but literally! He will set about destroying the symbol of Christian faith with such vigour that not a trace shall be left of it. There will not remain a single Cross to be seen-in Church or home or around any neck.
According to them, his next important task will be the extermination of swine of every variety-domestic as well as wild! So, the followers of the Cross will then be left with neither a Cross for prayer nor a pig for dinner. Thus, Christ will deprive the Christians of the articles not only of their spiritual sustenance but also of their physical nourishment.
The third task for the Messiah will be the killing of ‘Dajjal’ the Antichrist. Now who is this Antichrist? According to Traditions, if taken literally, as some would have it, he will be a one-eyed Colossus who will come riding an ass of extraordinary proportions. He will be so tall that his head will stand higher than the clouds. All prophets have warned their followers against the evil of this Antichrist. Now, while the Antichrist is busy ravaging the earth the Messiah will descend from the heavens. He will engage the Antichrist in battle near Damascus and slay him. He will then conquer the entire world. Having done this, he will hand over its governance to the Muslims.
This, in sum, is their philosophy of the Muslims’ political resurgence and ascendancy. It absolves the Muslims totally from waging any political struggle whatsoever. Now, those who are basking in the assurance that they will inherit the earth without moving a muscle can see no possible reason to concern themselves with political thought and action. They live in blissful oblivion of their decay and degradation. For, everything else apart, they know most assuredly that the happy hour is not far when a divine being will descend from the heavens and unleash a campaign of conquests. He will slay the swine. He will wreck the Cross. He will subjugate all Powers of the East and the West. Then, he will beckon to the waiting Muslim masses and say, ‘Come hither, ye soldiers of God; come here, O virtuous ones! Come and take this sceptre of the kingdom of the earth.’ This is the bellicose view of Muslim renaissance which the Ahmadi Muslims find abhorrent. They simply cannot subscribe to it in its crude literalism.
Next comes the non-Ahmadi Muslims’ concept of the economic resurgence of Islam. The scholars of the other sects hold the view that the remedy of the economic plight of the Muslims lay not in struggle and sacrifice but in the appearance of the Imam Mahdi. This Imam Mahdi will be a contemporary of the Messiah. His most important act on arrival will be the distribution of limitless largess among the Muslims of the world. His bounty will be boundless; his generosity will defy description. This overwhelming wealth will far exceed the Muslim’s capacity to garner it. Thus will come to an end all lust for goods and greed for gold. This is the panacea, as conceived by some, for the economic ills of the world of Islam. According to this belief, the appearance of Imam Mahdi is in itself the answer to the economic misery of Muslims. There is no need for sweat, tears and toil. There is no necessity to explore the earth’s treasures, to peep into the heart of the atom and to seek out the secrets of space. Neither effort nor industry, nor inventiveness or application is needed. All that is needed is the arrival of the Mahdi. Again we differ and again we the Ahmadi Muslims find this concept childish, crude and unacceptable.