Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy upon him), offered to people of all nationalities, faiths and beliefs the opportunity of raising questions and issues that were of interest to them. Presented below are answers to some questions that were raised in two sessions held in London. Compiled by Amatul Hadi Ahmad.
Questioner: I am from Malaysia and we believe that by the time Imam Mahdi comes to this world, Islam will be the strongest religion in the world. What is confusing is that if we say that this religion is the strongest religion then why is it that for the past three years when Bosnia was suffering attack from the Christian community, no Islamic country came forward to help? Why is America involved instead?
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad: You have asked two questions in one. The second question I advise you to address to Saudi Arabia, to Kuwait, to Jordan, to Syria and to such other countries you are blaming for the absolute lack of interest in Muslim affairs. I am not answerable for what they do. I am answerable only on behalf of the Ahmadiyya community with our belief that the Imam Mahdi has come.
As far as your hearsay reports about the Imam Mahdi suddenly transforming the world of Islam into the most powerful people on earth is concerned, I disagree with that view as false on the count of contrary historical evidence. No man who was ever raised by God as a prophet or a messenger or a reformer brought about such a miracle in the world – not even the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. Fourteen hundred years have passed and still you yourself are quoting the example of the Bosnians being Muslims completely helpless and laid at the mercy of their non-Muslim enemy. Here, it is not the Christians who have perpetrated any crime against them – that is also wrong. Those who have perpetrated the most horrid crime against the Muslims are people without any religion – they are practically atheist and morally destitute. Why blame Christianity unnecessarily for crimes committed by non-Christians!
Coming back to the question of Imam Mahdi, I remind you of the basic fundamental principle that God has been enunciated repeatedly in the Holy Qur’an: [But thou wilt never find any change in the way of Allah (35:44)] and that is God’s ways in relation to mankind, in relation to religion. It has become part of human history and of religious history and you will never see any change in the conduct of God in relation to the attitude of the people on earth. The Holy Qur’an repeatedly challenges man to find one single instance where God changed His way and His attitude to the problem.
Whenever He raised a prophet, He chose a person who, whilst belonging to the stronger sections of society, was individually weak and was never supported by any powerful group. Every prophet came independently as a single person yet he gained a following through a very strong and persistent struggle and endeavour that he continued regardless of the pressure of the enemy against him. The miracle which is the Sunna of God, that is the way of God, in this case which was common to all prophets was that despite the fact that they were neither supported by any powerful social group, economic group, religious group or political group, yet they invariably emerged victorious. They achieved success through a slow process of change that began with moral change and that change itself was not brought about by a spell cast by the prophet.
That change was brought about by human sacrifices. Each person who answered the call of the prophet accepted a miserable life for the sake of the truth. He was put into the mill of torture and persecution and the society that had previously honoured him, now treated him as a low person and in this there is no inconsistency in the ways of God, as you can find out throughout human history. From the time of Adam up to the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be on them all) this is the story of the prophets repeated over and over again, exactly like this. Ultimately, if people did not reform and rejected the prophet altogether, then the people were wiped out, not the prophets. What happened to the people of Noah? What happened to the people of Lot? Religious history, as preserved in the Holy Qur’an, is most reliable and unchangeable.
How can you fit your concept of Imam Mahdi in that history? Where can you fit it if you believe that somebody is Divinely appointed and with his super-natural powers he destroys the rest of the world and makes those who share his views and his religion conquerors of the whole world? Why should that be so if those people are themselves corrupt – if they are at least as corrupt as other people are? What justice would there be in God bringing about a revolution in favour of such a people as you find in many Muslim states?
If you really study the current history of Muslim states you will find that most of the people living there have become dishonest and corrupt, indulging in all the ill practices that are to be found in the rest of the world. Name a crime that is found elsewhere in the world but is not found in a Muslim state. Why, therefore, should the Imam Mahdi appear one fine morning and say:
‘All right, do whatever you please – religion does not appear for the purpose of revolutionising morals and conduct – religion only comes to establish the supremacy of one people and that is all. Hence, I have come and you shall emerge as victorious. I will hand over the keys of the world to you and disappear back to nothingness’.
Can you agree with such a scheme of things? It is impossible!