Attributes of True Ahmadis
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated, it is a great favour of God Almighty upon us that He enabled us, by His Grace, to accept the Promised Messiah (as). He enabled us to believe in that ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (sa), whom he addressed and mentioned with the words “Our Mahdi”. This is a display of great love and the lofty status of nearness, which the Holy Prophet (sa) conferred upon the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (as) by addressing him by saying “Our Mahdi”. The Promised Messiah (as) earnestly advised his followers to fulfil their duty towards their Bai’at [pledge of allegiance] and to become true believers. We should always keep those words before us for they are the means of our spiritual development. The strength and the Holy Power that exists in the words of the Promised Messiah (as) cannot be found in anyone else’s words. Thus, it is incumbent upon us, who claim to have come into the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah (as), that we read and listen to his words and try to act upon them and that we improve our condition to the standard, which the Promised Messiah (as) expected from us.
Now, I will present some of is sayings that form a code of conduct for our lives. These represent a yardstick against which we can measure our spiritual status. In terms of doctrine, we call ourselves Ahmadi Muslims. However, many practical weaknesses are showing up in us. Everyone can assess their condition in light of these statements as what needs to be done to gain spiritual development, how to attain the expected standard of righteousness and virtues and what are our responsibilities?
In relation to this, the Promised Messiah (as), “God Almighty has repeatedly said, O ye who believe! Fear Allah. Furthermore, He has also stated, verily, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.” The Promised Messiah (as) said that I received this revelation thousands of times. The purpose of this is so that the Jama’at understands that accepting Ahmadiyyat is not enough on its own, we will only receive the company and help of God Almighty when you adopt true righteousness along with performing virtues. Just abstaining from vices in not the entirety of Islam, this should be accompanied by progress in virtue. Virtues serve as nourishment; one’s spiritual life depends upon abstaining from vices and adopting virtues.
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “Some sins are obvious such as telling lies, committing adultery, to betray someone, giving false testimony, usurping the rights of others and Shirk [associating partners with God] etc. However, some vices are so subtle that a person does not even realise when he becomes entangled in them. He considers them small and insignificant, yet, he does not realise. The Promised Messiah (as) has given examples of such sins, such as the habit of complaining, expressing grief over small things, gossiping and so on. The Promised Messiah (as) states that such people consider this to be completely insignificant, whereas the Holy Qur’an has declared this to be of great significance. These small and insignificant aspects such as complaining ultimately progresses to backbiting. For this reason, the Holy Qur’an has declared this to be of great significance. Hence, God Almighty has stated that [would any of you like to eat the flesh of his brother who is dead?]. God Almighty becomes displeased at the fact that a person utters such words, which would degrade his brother. One should not even utter such words, because then such utterances develop into complaints, and people begin to hold grudges, think ill of others and backbite and ultimately, a person reaches a stage where he then physically tries to also cause harm to the other person.
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “Similar is the case of miserliness and anger, as they are all vices.’ Being greedy and getting angry are vices. On the Day of Judgement, the ear, eye, heart and every limb will be called to account. The Promised Messiah (as) states, “Many vices are formed merely as a result of thinking ill of others; to hear a certain thing about someone and immediately believing it to be true without looking into the matter… This is an extremely bad habit. Do not allow a matter which you are not absolutely sure and certain of to take root in your heart. This principle serves to prevent thinking ill of … How powerful and strong is this principle! … Therefore, it is better not to think ill of others and to think positively about others.”
However, God Almighty does not hold one accountable for just having the thought, but if one then acts on such thoughts. For example, one would not be held to account for merely thinking about tax evasion, but if one harms the government by evading tax or one does not declare their true income for the Chanda [financial contribution], then God Almighty will hold you accountable. So, these types of sins are usually ignored but they become a means of one’s destruction.
Generally, people manage to avoid big and clear sins. The Promised Messiah (as) says, “Many people will never have killed anyone, never committed murder, never robbed anyone or committed theft, avoided major sins such as these. But the question is how many are there who do not whine or complain, who do not engage in backbiting or bad assumptions? How many are there who do not hurt their brother’s feelings by insulting him? How many are there who do not utter any falsehoods?” The Promised Messiah (as) states, “I can say with certainty that there are very few who have never hurt anyone, nor have complained about anyone, who do not engage in bad assumptions about people or falsehoods and do not entertain impure thoughts.” If everyone reflects on their own gatherings, they will see that a lot of backbiting, insults and exaggerations goes on, then people are made fun of and that creates bad blood among people. This is the standard of good deeds in that one should avoid all such vices which do not behove a believer.
Then the Promised Messiah (as) states, “God Almighty says the first step is to develop Taqwa.” … In summary, I tell you it is completely unacceptable to God Almighty that you create discord on the earth. God Almighty wants to spread unity in this world. A person who hurts his brother, commits injustice or dishonesty is an enemy of Unity. Such behaviour cannot bring about unity, love and brotherhood.” The Promised Messiah (as) says that true unity is impossible unless such evil notions are done away with. That is why Taqwa is the first step. This was the purpose of the coming of the Promised Mahdi – to unite Muslims on one hand, to create one Ummah.
The Promised Messiah (as) then says, “it has also been observed that when people are sitting in a (noble) gathering, mostly their hearts are impressed, and they find these things good, but when they go away from the gathering and go back to their friends, their old ways start to prevail again, and they forget all good things they had heard. This is the reason I say that we should continually repeat these things and keep them at the fore so that we are reminded of them lest we forget.” So, it is vital to understand the philosophy of right and wrong to be empowered to do the right thing. The Holy Quran gives these details repeatedly. So, read the Holy Quran again and again, and make a written note of all those deeds which have been described as evils and then try to avoid them by the help and grace of Allah. Avoiding evil deeds is the first stage of Taqwa (God-fearing righteousness), then one develops aversion to the sin and progresses on good deeds. This is achieved by the worship of God. But some people go to the mosque to worship and in the same place they criticise and complain about others, they think ill of others and speaking [ill] of them and been dishonest in their trusts. The Promised Messiah (as) states that if one is engulfed in such evils, then their prayer has been of no avail to him.
There are many young people whom I learn about personally, they write to me regularly that they witness such things in some office-bearers and elders which make them slowly move away from the Jama’at, then they move away from the mosque, then they move away from worship and ultimately, they move away from God. Therefore, such prayers are not only of no benefit to themselves, they also harm others through them. Hence, if we wish to protect the next generation then first of all the office-bearers and the elders must adopt righteousness. Thus, the Promised Messiah (as) has stated that the first hurdle a man who wishes to become a true believer faces is to abstain from doing evil and this in itself is Taqwa.
On another occasion the Promised Messiah (as) explains that sitting in gatherings where such evil take place is also a sin, even if one is not participating in degrading, complaining and back-biting about others. The Promised Messiah (as) then says, “Also remember that the one who listens to such talk is the same as one who utters it.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further explains, “… Of course, one should refrain from sin but in parallel with that he must carry out good deeds and without this there is no salvation. Islam does not merely take man to this stage and leaves him there, instead it desires to fulfil both parts i.e. to forsake each and every evil and to do good deeds in all earnestness. As long as one does not possess these two qualities he cannot attain true salvation.” The Promised Messiah (as) then states, “I once again urge my community to excel in righteousness and decency then God Almighty will be with you.”
The Promised Messiah (as) then states, “Bear in mind that if you fail to adopt righteousness and partake fully of that virtue which God Almighty desires [from you] then you will be the first to be destroyed by God Almighty as you have accepted a truth but denied it in practice. …. God Almighty wishes for you to demonstrate practical truth…” (that is for one to show truthfulness through their actions) “So that God Almighty may support you. If you become negligent in showing mercy to God’s creation, kindness, virtuous deeds, compassion, humility and meekness, then I am certain that such a community will be the first to perish – and this is something I have stated on many occasions… Thus, it is imperative for you to give precedence to your faith over all worldly pursuits.”
Giving up the world in pursuit of faith does not disadvantage believers. The Promised Messiah (as) says, “No one should harbour this thought that through abandoning the material world they will perish. …God Almighty never permits the one who becomes attached to Him to go to ruin, rather God Almighty becomes their guardian. …. Only the lives of those are ruined, who abandon God Almighty and incline to this material world. Is it not true that every matter is in the hands of God Almighty?”
The Promised Messiah (as) then further says, “You should surely remember that until one’s practical state is not reformed, one’s verbal statements account for nothing and are mere statements alone. True faith is something that penetrates the heart and then bears testimony through one’s physical deeds.”
The Promised Messiah (as) then continued by saying, “That branch which does not remain attached to the tree eventually withers and falls off.” That individual who has sincere faith never worries for material possessions, in spite of this, they are in turn granted every kind of material wealth. Blessed is the one gives precedence to their faith over all worldly matters, however the one who gives precedence to their worldly endeavours over their faith, they are nothing but a lifeless body who will never see the face of true Divine succour. One can only derive benefit from this pledge of allegiance when one gives precedence to their faith and then strives to progress in this regard.
The calamities of this world continue to increase. From all these disastrous calamities, only those people shall be saved regarding whom the Promised Messiah (as) has stated in one of his couplets, there is fire, but all those shall be saved from it who have love for the Omnipotent God. Therefore, one needs to pay particular focus towards this in order to save oneself and also the world in general. We need to make a concerted effort with all our faculties and abilities as to how we can attain God Almighty.
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “In order to safeguard one’s live, one has to eat and drink the minimum amount required to keep one alive, otherwise one cannot survive. This is the same case for one’s affairs relating to faith. If one does not possess the minimum amount of spirituality required, one cannot stay spiritually alive. “
The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “This community has been established so that one is drawn towards God Almighty. Even though it is an arduous task to come close to God Almighty and requires one to undergo and a kind of death, but in the end, one also attains a new life from this very act. One who discards the satanic aspects from within becomes a blessed individual and one’s house, soul and one’s entire city receives those blessings.”
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “Evil is of two types. One is to associate partners with God Almighty, to be ignorant of His greatness, to show indolence in His worship and obedience. The second type is failing to show compassion towards His creation and also failing to fulfil their due rights. Thus, one ought to refrain from both forms of evil and remain occupied in the obedience of God Almighty. And, remain firmly established on the pledge you have made in the Bai’at. One should not cause any harm to the God’s creation and greatly ponder over the Holy Quran and adhere to it. Refrain from all kinds of gatherings where people ridicule and mock others and also associate partners with God. Observe the five daily prayers, in short, one should not abandon a single commandment of God Almighty. Keep your the exterior clean as well as purifying your hearts from all kinds of malice, hatred and jealousy. This is what God Almighty desires from you.
May God Almighty enable us to bring about pure changes within ourselves whilst fulfilling the due rights of our Bai’at. And may we, whilst living in this very world, fulfil our pledge of giving precedence to our faith over all worldly things. May we act according to the instructions of the Promised Messiah (as), and keeping in view of the 10th condition of the Bai’at which states to obey all Maruf decisions, may we understand the true essence of the obedience of God and attain those standards as a result of which we become the recipients of God Almighty’s blessings which He has promised to the Promised Messiah (as).