Jihad - Supreme Efforts in the Way of Allah Jihad means, exerting one's utmost power contending with an object of disapprobation, and this is of three kinds, namely, (1) with a visible enemy, (2) with Satan, and (3) with one's self.
The Quran teaches that when war breaks out, it should be waged in such a way as to cause the least possible amount of damage to life and property; and that hostilities should be brought to a close as quickly as possible.22:40 Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged - and Allah indeed has power to help them -
22:41 Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, 'Our Lord is Allah' - And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty -
60:9 Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.
60:10 Allah only forbids you - respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them-it is these that are the transgressors.
61:11 O ye who believe! shall I point out to you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment?
61:12 That you believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your persons. That is better for you, if you did not know.
29:70 And as for those who strive in Our path-We will surely guide them in Our ways. And verily Allah is with those who do good.
9:20 Those who believe and emigrate from their homes for the sake of God and strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. And it is they who shall triumph.
9:111 Surely, Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their property in return for the Garden they shall have; they fight in the cause of Allah, and they slay and are slain - a promise that He has made incumbent on Himself in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice, then, in your bargain which you have made with Him; and that it is which is the supreme triumph.
4:96 Those of the believers who sit still, excepting the disabled ones, and those who strive in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons, are not equal. Allah has exalted in rank those who strive with their wealth and their persons above those who sit still. And to each Allah has promised good. And Allah has exalted those who strive above those who sit still, by a great reward.Jihad with Sword One of the reasons for which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Sect in Islam has been branded as Kafir is that he has denounced Jihad. We give below an excerpt from his writings in which he has given an exposition of the kind of Jihad which he has forbidden. It is easy to see from it that the Jihad which he has denounced consists in propagating Islam at the point of sword. Such a Jihad has no authority in the Holy Quran or the Traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Holy Quran rejects it by pronouncing there should be no compulsion in religion (2:257). The Promised Messiah explains in this article that early wars of Islam were fought in self defence only and that Islam strongly condemns those ignorant Muslims who seek to become Ghazis by killing innocent non-Muslims.
In fact this view of Jihad presents Islam in the most detestable form and by generating enmity and hatred amongst non-Muslims alienates them from it irrevocably. Everyone would tremble in the company of such a bigoted Muslim, for at any moment he might choose to be Ghazi and make a short work of him. This would, indeed defeat the very object of Islam, which is to win over the whole mankind by preaching its message of love and amity.
Anybody who reads the following article can judge for himself whether by denouncing such a bloody interpretation of Jihad, the Promised Messiah deserves to be branded as a Kafir or to be hailed as a Champion of Islam. (Ed.)There is not the least truth in the assertion that it is time for resorting to the sword and gun for spreading the true religion and righteousness. The sword, far from revealing the beauties and excellence of truth, makes them dubious and throws them into background. Those who hold such views are not the friends of Islam but its deadly foes. They have low motives, mean natures, poor spirits, narrow minds, dull brains and short sight. It is they who open the way to an objection against Islam, the validity of which cannot questioned. They hold that Islam needs the sword for their advancement, thus brand its purity and cast a slur upon its holy name. The religion that can easily establish its truth and superiority by sound intellectual arguments, heavenly signs or other reliable testimony, does not need the sword to threaten men and force a confession of its truth from them. Religion is worth the name only so long as it is in consonance with reason. If it fails to satisfy that requisite, if it has to make up for its discomfiture in argument by handling the sword, it needs no other argument for its falsification. The sword it wields cuts its own throat before reaching others.
If it be objected that sword was resorted to by early Islam and hence the legality of Jihad, we say the objection is based upon ignorance of early Islamic circumstances. Islam never allowed the use of the sword for spreading the faith. On the other hand, it strictly prohibits compulsion in matters of faith. It has the plain injunction "There should be no compulsion in religion." Why was the sword taken in hand then? The circumstances under which this measure had been resorted to have nothing to do with the spread of religion; they are connected with the preservation of life. Briefly, they are as follows:
The savage inhabitants of the deserts of Arabia, who could hardly distinguish right from wrong, conceived a hatred towards Islam in its early days and became its bitterest enemies. The reason of this hatred may be easily conceived. When the unity of God and the Islamic truths were preached openly to idolatrous Arabs and convincing arguments against idol worship were impressed upon their minds and they were told how degrading it was for the noblest of God's creatures to bow submission to stones, they found themselves unable to meet the adherents of the new faith upon argumentative ground. This exposure led to a motion in favour of Islam among the more reasonable of them. The ties of relationship were cut asunder, the son parted from his parents and brother from his brother. This exasperated them the more and they saw plainly that if their fathers' false religion was to be saved, excessive measures must be taken to stop the ingress into the new religion. The new converts to Islam were therefore violently persecuted and no efforts were spared to block the way to the new faith. Those acquainted with early Muslim history know full well what barbarous and cruel treatment was meted out to the early converts, and how many were murdered in cold blood. But those harsh measures did not prevent people from the acceptance of truth, for even a superficial glance is enough to convince a man of the reasonableness and purity of Islam as against idolatry. At length when the implacable foes of Islam saw that severe persecution availed but little and that their ancient religion was threatened to be swept away in the current of Muslim reason, they planned the death of the Prophet himself. But their designs were frustrated. Almighty God saved His messenger and took him to Medina. The unbelievers, however, could not rest in their homes so long as they heard that the religion they had persecuted was gaining ground in another place. They pursued the Muslims to their new abode, and nothing but their extirpation could satisfy them. What could Islam do under the circumstances but defend itself? For what fault were Muslims to be mercilessly butchered and not allowed to protect their lives? Why should not the inveterate persecutors have been brought to retribution and just punishment? The Muslim battles were therefore not undertaken for gaining converts but to protect innocent Muslims lives. Can an unbiased judgement accept the conclusion that Islam was unable to prove its reasonableness as against savage Arabs? Can an unprejudiced mind believe that men who had sunk down so low as to worship images and lifeless things and who indulged in every manner of vice, could yet vanquish the noble religion of Islam on intellectual grounds, and that failure in proof led it to resort to the sword for increasing the number of its followers? Those who have advanced such objections against Islam have been guilty of grave injustice, inasmuch as they have concealed the true state of facts.
It is, however, true that the Muslim Maulvis and the Christian missionaries are equally to blame for this unjust charge against Islam. The ignorant Maulvis while pretending to support Islam have by their repeated inculcation, ingrafted the false doctrine of Jihad upon the minds of the unenlightened public who were misled by the fatwas of the Maulvis on the one side and the objections of the Christian Missionaries, whom they took for learned men, on the other. The doctrine of Jihad being thus supported by the evidence of two opposing witnesses, its validity could not be questioned by the masses. Had the Missionaries taken a different course and with true honesty declared that the fatwas of the Maulvis were based on ignorance of the early Islamic history, and that the circumstances which then rendered an appeal to arms necessary for Muslims, did not exist any more, the idea of Jihad would long have been eradicated from the face of the earth. But they never looked to the consequences and a misdirected zeal for their own religion cast a veil over their judgements in grasping the truth.
It must also be stated here that permission for self-defence and murdering the enemies of Islam was not given to the Muslims until the Arabs had, on account of their excessive oppressions and outrages and innocent bloodshed, rendered themselves culpable and liable to be punished with death. But a clemency was even then shown to such of them as embraced Islam. The unity of religion established a relation of brotherhood and all past wrongs were forgotten. It is here that some opponents of Islam have stumbled and from this they draw the conclusion that the new religion was forced upon the unbelievers. In fact, the case is just the reverse of what the objectors have thought. There is no compulsion here; it was a favour to those who had rendered themselves liable to death. It is apparently absurd to take this conditional mitigation of just punishment for compulsion. They deserved to be murdered, not because they did not believe in the mission of the Prophet, but because they had murdered many an innocent soul. The extreme penalty of the law was upon them, mercy of the Gracious God gave them another chance of averting this merited capital punishment. He knew that during the long years of opposition the Islamic truths had been brought home to them and they well understood the futility of idol-worship, therefore His mercy offered them an opportunity even after the sentence was justly pronounced against them, for imploring His pardon and the forgiveness of their sins. This clearly shows that it was not the object of Islam to put any unbeliever merely as such to death, but that it was willing to forgive even when the criminal was found deserving of death.
Islam had to grapple with other difficulties. Religious prejudice was so strong at the time that if a member of any tribe adopted the faith of Islam, he was either put to death or threatened with it, and persecution was so severe that life seemed a burden to him. Islam had therefore to face the difficulty of establishing freedom of religious exercise and for this noble object it had to undertake wars.
The early wars of Islam fall under either of the above headings and it never took the sword for its own propagation or for any other purpose. Attempts were made to blot out its very existence and therefore its life. It did not take up arms of its own accord but was compelled to do so. It had to defend itself and repel the dangerous foe. Later on, when its true principle were forgotten, the doctrine was read in a different light and ignorance looked with pride upon a hateful course of life. But the fault can in no way be attributed to Islam. The source from which it flows is pure and undefiled. That this doctrine has been identified with Islamic teachings by shallow-brained zealots who do not care for the life of man even so much as man should care for the life of a sparrow, cannot be questioned. But the innocent blood that has been split in the past does not satisfy them. They have yet a bloody Mahdi in store for the world and would like to exhibit the ugliest picture of Islam before all nations, that all people may know that Islam has always had to resort for its propagation to compulsion and the sword, and that it has not particle of truth in it to gain its conquest over hearts. It seems as if the holders of these views are not satisfied with the humiliation and decadence with Islam has already suffered, but must bring it still lower and subject it to yet more disgrace. These men are a reproach to Islam. But God now wills that Islam should not be branded with reproaches and remain under a cloud any more. It is already so distressing to find that its opponents who have not taken the trouble to investigate matters for themselves, have it impressed upon their minds that Islam has from its very beginning been employing the sword to add to its numbers.
It is high time that all these base charges should be cleared from the face of Islam. If the Maulvis unite to root out the evil from the midst of the Muhammadans, they shall have done a lasting good to, and conferred a blessing upon their co-religionists. Such an exposition of the doctrines of Islam will further reveal the excellence and beauties of that religion to the general public, and the aversion which its opponents have conceived on account of misconception shall be turned into admiration. The clouds of dust being cleared, they shall then be able to get their light from that source of light. It is evident that no one can approach a bloody murderer. Every one fears him, women and children tremble at his sight, and he looks like a mad man. An opponent of an alien religion cannot even pass a night with him let he should choose to be a Ghazi at the cost of his life. Such events daily occur among the ignorant frontier people, and a single bloody deed is deemed sufficient to entitle the murderer to paradise and its manifold blessings. It is shame for Muhammadans that alien races cannot safely live as their neighbours. They cannot trust them for a single moment and hardly expect any good in times of need. They do not deem themselves save among them and shrink at the hidden belief of Ghazism.
An instance of this occurred lately here in Qadian. On the 20th of November last a European came here. Just at that time a number of my followers has assembled together and the conversation was upon a religious subject. The traveller stood apart from the assembly and was addressed in polite words. It appeared that he was apprehensive. He stated that he had seen many Muhammadans who had committed atrocious deeds of murder against Christians. He mentioned several specific instance in which such cruelty had been shown. It was then explained to him that this, the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, abhorred such doctrines and hated their adherents such doctrines and hated their adherents. It had set before itself the noble object of uprooting this evil. Upon this he felt satisfied and stayed here for one night.
There is a lesson in this story for the pro-Jihad Maulvis. The growth of such horrible doctrines among the Muslims, has done lasting injury to the cause of Islam and created an abhorrence for it in the hearts of other nations. They have no confidence in their sympathy so long as the dangerous doctrine os Jihad finds favour with them. They cannot form a favourable opinion except of such of them as do not lead strictly religious lives and are not very scrupulous about their religious beliefs. For all these misunderstanding none but the Muslims themselves are responsible. The blame of depriving a whole world of the recognition of Islamic truths lie at the door of the Maulvis who taught doctrine repulsive to the nature of man. How could the religion be from God, whose teachings needed the flash of the sword to get an entrance into the human heart? Such considerations were enough to keep back people from the acceptance of truth. The true religion is that which on account of its inherent property and power and its convincing arguments is more powerful than the keenest sword, not that which depends upon steel for its existence.
Jihad of the Pen Many take up the pen, but few are granted the spirit to conduct the Jihad in the most acceptable manner. Many wish to take up the pen, but their incorrect beliefs and lack of knowledge prevent them from doing so, and thus they drop back into a state of undeclared truce. But, it is the Jama'at Ahmadiyya only which has not stopped this great struggle ever since its inception and it has become the only vehicle to usher in the revival of Islam through its peaceful, yet determined intellectual process which was initiated a century ago by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi in Islam. The revival of Islam started towards the end of theand its manifestations started to become more noticeable to those Muslims who had given up hope at that time. It is the direct result of the crusade initiated by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. This is a basic truth which all would do well to keep in mind. No one should be carried away with the idea that it is due to his own efforts, or the effort of some nominated crusader as we shall see. Allah does not need crusades of charity. However, crusading in the cause of faith does have its merits, with Allah, depending upon the degree of certainty of true knowledge, and the sincerity of heart behind its purpose. To expect, however, that Allah will bless a thoughtless crusade is a different matter. Once the Divine Community has been established, only those genuine efforts which are from within this Community are destined to be blessed by Allah. The chances of others to be blessed by Allah, are the same as the chances of a stream reaching the sea, that no doubt collects some water from the mountain, but veers on a course away from the main river. This is no shortage of rain, yet that particular stream would never reach the sea.
See how the rain of divine revelation channeled Islam into a mighty river through the person of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Through the same rain, Islam has now been revived through the person of Promised Messiah and Mahdi of our era.
Presently we shall see that some self-styled champions of the crusade of Islam, although being acutely aware of the phenomenon we discussed above, still choose to deny it, and end up with either vain exhortations, self-praise, or even outright lies. Our aim here is not to discourage anyone from writing or speaking anything he chooses, because there is no compulsion in religion, but to give praise where praise is due and to keep the record straight by alerting the unwary reader. There is absolutely no harm in copying the ideas of the Promised Messiah, because they speak for the success of his mission. But when his opponents start copying his writings and teachings it becomes our duty to warn the people about their publications.
We start with the basic undeniable fact that all establishments, societies, associations, jamaats, leagues, councils, brotherhoods or any other organised Islam-orientated group which publishes its views or those holding similar beliefs about Islam, must necessarily be deemed as actively engaged in the Jihad of the pen.And We have expounded the (Quran) to them in diverse ways that they may take heed, but most men would reject everything but disbelief. If We had pleased, We would have surely raised a warner in every city; So obey not the disbelievers and strive against them by means of (the Quran) with a mighty striving. (25:51-53) The reason we have chosen these verses is to illustrate the point that the resurgence of Islam must necessarily come from first principles, i.e.; the exposition of the Holy Quran and the original principles of his great religion. Hence a person who takes up the pen in the cause of Islam is indeed striving hard and is engaged in the Jihad of the pen.
It follows, that people engaged in this work carry on their shoulders the serious responsibility of ensuring accuracy and maintaining the contradiction-free nature of their publications. Without this seriousness their so-called Jihad or efforts would surely become a source of aversion for interested non-Muslims, a cause for misguidance of new converts, a reason for added confusion and doubt for all Muslims.
Let us now examine two books published by The Islamic Foundation on behalf of Islamic Council of Europe, which has arrogated upon itself the distinction of being a supreme co-ordination body for Islamic centres and organisations of Europe. These are:
Islam - its Meaning and Message (1975, 1983)
and Towards Understanding ISLAM (1980, 1985).
The first book laments on p. 229 that modern thinkers in Islam have forgotten all the ahadith pertaining to the last days and the appearance of the Mahdi; or misconstrued or laid them aside, either through ignorance or malevolence. The second book expresses a belief which goes against the former when on p. 79 it denies the appearance of any personage on whom it would be essential for a Muslim to believe. These two opposing beliefs are irreconcilable, and sadly both pertain to the adoption of the Straight Path for which all Muslims pray continuously. One belief requires the nullification of the other! A glaring contradiction indeed, especially so since the book Towards Understanding Islam does not mention the Mahdi of latter days at all! This amounts to a calculated omission of an important aspect of our era. Toward the end of the Islamic 13th century, and the beginning of the 14th century there was a general expectation of the Promised Reformer, which was based on the prophecy of the Holy Prophet himself. Muslims and Christians were both awaiting for the second coming of Jesus. After Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to have fulfilled this prophecy, those who rejected him are now averse to the idea of any such appearance among Muslims. Probably their aversion stems from the fact that since the appointed time has already come to pass (without any other claimant), their choice lies between accepting his claim or else to give up the clamour. Hence, the contradiction which all can observe very plainly.
In the tenth chapter of the first book and in the second book are parts which are essentially anti-Sufism in tenor. Conscious purification of one's moral senses has been treated superficially. However, the first book, on p. 233, admits that nihilism and atheism which present a major challenge to Islam can only be answered through such sources as are contained mostly within Sufism. What are the learned scholars of The Islamic Foundation trying to tell the world? Whatever it is, it is certainly not clear. One must remember, that the seeker after truth is eager to seek a rational philosophy, a coherent whole and a faith which appeals to his intellect. The last thing which he wishes to accept is irreconcilability. His mind is receptive, yet discerning. He points out even minor apparent contradictions due to his admitted lack of knowledge. But the contradiction pointed above is a major one, because it deals with basic beliefs and attitudes.
The purpose of publishing books and articles on religious matters could be to express something which has never been said before; or to reinforce that which has been already expressed in a new way; or to refute that which has been expressed before and thereby attempt to correct the misinformation. The publishing of contradictory thoughts, however, by one and the same organisation is an entirely meaningless venture. The self-declared aim of the The Islamic Foundation, as written on the backcover of the second book is,....developing a better understanding of Islam among all the people of world, Muslims and non- Muslims. It aims at improving human communications so as to galvanise man to the message and ideal of One God and the unity of mankind, as brought by all the Prophets of God throughout the ages,.......... In the context of their declared aims, the contradiction which we have shown in their publications, renders their effort into a vain exhortation, because it lacks the unity of purpose.
We turn to the third chapter of the first book to see how the writer has tried to take credit for portraying the correct spirit of Islam, whereas the same teachings were expounded by the Promised Messiah almost a century ago. The writer says:This, I think, is the reason for the peculiar form of Islamic prayer in which spiritual concentration and certain bodily movements are co-ordinated with each other. ......... I have not created Jinn and Man but that they should worship me (Al-Quran, 51:56). Thus, the conception of worship in Islam is different from that in any other religion. Here it is not restricted to the purely devotional practices, for example, prayers or fasting, but extends over the whole of man's practical life as well. If the object of our life as a whole is to be the worship of God, we must necessarily regard life, in totality of all its aspects, as one complex moral responsibility. Thus, all our actions even the seemingly trivial ones, must be performed as acts of God's universal plan. Such a state of things, for the man of average capability is a distant ideal; but is it not the purpose of religion to bring ideals into real existence? ......... And it is this conception alone that shows us the possibility of man's reaching perfection within his individual, earthly life. Of all religious systems, Islam alone declares that individual perfection is possible in our earthly existence......... The question which the writer has posed is probably addressed to those who believe in a militant approach rather than a spiritual one. Anyhow the above passage is a far cry from the ritualistic approach to religion which was prevalent a hundred years ago. All true lovers of Islam must indeed by happy to note this development, except the hard-hearted. However, we must point out here that praise should be given only where it is rightly due, and in this case it belongs to the Promised Messiah for his divinely inspired paper, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, presented before The Conference of Great Religions held in the Town Hall of the city of Lahore in 1896. It must be remembered that those were the times of great controversy and debate regarding all religions. Christians from all over the world had literally converged on India, aided actively by non-Muslims against Islam. Irrespective of heavy odds, the Promised Messiah had announced beforehand that his treatise would prevail over all others. Exactly, as prophesied by him, all participants acclaimed its superiority. He also claimed that there was divine help in preparation of this paper and divine news regarding its success. In this context, it even becomes very necessary for each God-fearing soul to read it and form his own opinion. Incidentally, the essential condition of the debate in the Conference was that the treatise must necessarily be based on the writer's Holy Book; hence the paper was based solely on the Holy Quran, the greatest revealed to man more than 14 centuries ago.
We examine yet another publication of The Islamic Foundation, the writer of which according to the publishers is:One of the chief architects and leaders of the contemporary Islamic resurgence, the most outstanding Islamic thinker and writer of our time, who devoted his entire life to expounding the meaning and message of Islam, inviting individuals to renew their commitment to their Creator, and to organising a movement to establish Islam fully, ......... sentenced to death for writing a seditious pamphlet.... The publication is The Islamic Way of Life 1986, which is a revised and extended translation from one in 1948; jointly edited by two editors. Our purpose in highlighting the revisions, extensions and editing work is to emphasise that a considerable effort must have gone into this publication, not to mention the labour of the original writer. Despite this crusade, it lacks the capability to illuminate the correct path. It states that the last and the highest stage which a person could attain on the road to spirituality, is Ihsan (goodness). This belief is quite short of the standard set forth in the Holy Quran. Either the writer does not know the standard of excellence expressed in his Holy Book, or he has deliberately and arbitrarily placed a restriction without rendering any explanation for his intention. In any event it is grossly inadequate and restricts the advance of spirituality for a person who chooses to follow this belief. Also in the same book, we observe the writer's ignorance of ultimate vice, which he refers as `munkarat'. We fail to understand the arbitrary restrictions clamped on the Quranic definition of vice and virtue. Such concepts are doomed for failure as far as the crusade of the pen is concerned. After a lifetime spent in the study of the Holy Quran, the writer has failed to incorporate the basic definitions of good and evil in his discourse, although the same is vouchsafed marvelously in just one verse of the Holy Quran: Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving (like) kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may heed. (16:91) The first stage mentioned here is Adl, (justice). A person who exercises the same measure of treatment which he receives from others is doing justice. He has started on the road to spirituality, but the journey has just begun. If a person bestows on another a measure of good greater than what he received it is called Ihsan(goodness, or doing good to others). This is the second stage on the road. No doubt, it is a good state for a human being, but yet he lacks the highest virtue, because he may be conscious of his benevolence. Although, he may not seek return for the favour, but his consciousness of being a benevolent person is enough to render it impure to a degree that he may consider the beneficiary to be ungrateful if the latter denies or forgets the good act. The last and the highest stage of moral development has been equated in the fore-going verse to Ita-e-zil-Qurba, (giving like kindred). Such goodness is untainted, without even a trace of any expectation or favour in return, irrespective of the gratefulness or otherwise of the recipient. It is likened to the love of kindred because what a person does for the good of blood relations is indeed a pure act which is totally free from any motive other than doing good. Allah promises paradise in this very world for persons who reach such a stage, and do not just stop at `Ihsan' only. This is the correct concept of highest virtue, according to the Holy Quran, if applied at their appropriate time and occasions. In the same verse, Allah has warned us on three conditions of vice. The first one is Fahsha, (indecency) in which only the heart of the doer knows about his state or act. It does not become known to others regarding the doer's evil motive or act. Worse than the first is the state of munkar, (manifest evil), in which a person's evil may become possible to be proved and may even be physically witnessed. The worst state is baghy, (transgression), which comprehends all vice, including that which inflicts physical harm to others or even to the doer himself. A detailed rendering of the moral and spiritual states of man, their means of attainment, and sources of divine knowledge based on the Holy Quran can be found in the Promised Messiah's book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam.
Such is the Jihad of the pen taught to us that we just have to turn toward the Holy Quran and avoid all other concepts. This is the proof of the truth of the Promised Messiah who has appeared among Muslims. The Holy Quran opens the door of spiritual progress for Muslims, without which a religion may be considered dead:And Whoso obeys Allah and (this) Messenger shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His Blessings ... the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And excellent company are they. (4:70) Blessings, however are commensurate with the level of virtue attained. It is against Divine Justice that a person of inferior status be counted among the superiors; or that these exalted ranks are unattainable mirages, mentioned by Allah as an incentive only; or that one may attain only some ranks and not all of them. All Muslims supplicate for His blessings in daily prayers. Are these prayers a useless ritual? Don't they mean what they say? What is the usefulness of the prayer in which the supplicant cannot attain that which he prays for? The above verse surely means that Muslims can attain righteousness, martyrdom, truthfulness, and prophethood, by obeying Allah and His Messenger. It follows, that one cannot exceed the level of the Messenger who showed us the straight path in the first place. It is by following the Holy Prophet only that a Muslim may attain the exalted ranks mentioned in the verse. He is the Seal of the Prophets, the highest attainable rank for any human being from the Creation to Day of Judgement: Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (33:41) The Seal of Prophets is an all-embracing honour. It is grossly erroneous to believe that he was chronologically the last prophet. Moreover, it is literally against the actual meaning of the word Khatam, which means seal in the Arabic language. Else in the Holy Quran too it has been used to mean seal. Never have all previous scholars of Islam taken this word to be synonymous to the word akhir (chronologically last). It is only the nominated crusaders of this century who have taken this liberty to satisfy their own aims and philosophies, and therefore we read on p. 59 of the second book Khatam- un-Nabiyyin (the last of the chain of the true Prophets) and in the footnote of the same page we read: The Quran says: Muhammad is the Messenger of God and the last of the Prophets. Thus, we have seen above how some crusaders restrict spiritual progress, and in the cessation of all forms of prophethood, lies probably their most crippling restriction.
Dogmatic differences within a divinely revealed religion can never be reconciled through mutual compromise. If, moreover, the scholars and interpreters of such a religion start believing that divine revelation is now closed forever, (even for mere guidance purposes, i.e.; no prophet even among the followers), then the immediate question arises: who will decide upon the differences and what is the original interpretation under which these differences could be finally resolved for all? People who believe in the cessation of all forms of prophethood, and yet try to answer this question end up with some conclusions which we quote:In conclusion it can be said that Sunnism and Shi'ism are two orthodox dimensions of Islam providentially placed in this tradition to enable collectives of different psychological and spiritual temperaments to become integrated within the Islamic community. Being each an affirmation of the doctrine of unity they do not in themselves destroy the profound unity of Islam whatever their formal differences may be. They are two ways of asserting the truth of the Shahadah, La ilaha ill' Allah. They are two streams which originate from the same fountain, which is their unique source, namely the Quranic revelation. And they finally pour into one sea which is the Divine Unity whose means of realisation each contains within itself. To have lived either of them fully is to have lived as a Muslim and to have realised that Truth for the sake of whose revelation the Quran was made known to men through the Prophet of Islam.
QUOTEI will now try to give a brief exposition of the composition and structure of the Islamic state. I have already stated that in Islam, God alone is the real sovereign. Keeping this cardinal principle in mind, if we consider the position of those persons who set out to enforce God's law on earth, it is but natural to say that they should be regarded as representatives of the Supreme Ruler. Islam has assigned precisely this very position to them. Accordingly the Holy Quran says:
Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do righteous deeds that He will assuredly make them to succeed (the present rulers) and grant them vicegerency in the land just as He made those before them to succeed others.
The verse illustrates very clearly the Islamic theory of state. Two fundamental points emerge from it.
(Islam: Its meaning and Message, p. 168)From the above it is obvious that the aim of the writer is to exhort Muslims to take over power and enforce Islam. Doing righteous deeds seems to be of secondary importance. Terrestrial power should be arrogantly taken in hand with the support of the above-mentioned interpretation of a Quranic verse.
Although Allah promises Khilafat for those among the believers who do righteous deeds, yet we see the total misguidedness of the interpretation. Even the very concept of Khilafat has been willfully distorted to suit man-made philosophies.
Man is the Khalifah of Allah in the primordial sense, in which Allah made him the vicegerent on earth ever since creation. This type of representation should not be mixed up with the Khilafat-e-Rashida, i.e., the Caliphate of the Rightly-Guided, generally accepted by all Muslims as the period of the first four Caliphs after the death of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). They were the Khalifas of the Prophet in the strict sense and the khalifas of Allah in the general sense, as indeed man represents Allah on earth.
In an attempt to resolve the utter lack of true guidance (despite holding the treasure of the Holy Quran in his hands), and in order to substantiate his belief in closure of divine revelation (even for reform or revival of Islam), the writer has cleverly placed the burden of right guidance on each individual himself. Hence all Muslims are Khalifas!
However, probably the most dangerous concept which emerges as a result of this interpretation is the relegation of righteousness itself! The writer just assumes that Khilafat has been promised to the whole community of believers and not to any class among them..... This type of interpretation falls in the category of an outright lie.
Let it be clear to all that Allah has promised nothing of that sort. Allah has indeed promised Khilafat but only to the righteous among the believers, should one but read the verse under comment carefully. Let it be clear to all that the concept of terrestrial rule in which every believer is a Khalifa is totally alien to the spirit of Islam, and when it is coupled with the attitude enforcement being paramount, righteousness secondary, it transforms into one of the most militant and rebellious concepts of our times.
This is a formula which will surely pit Muslim against Muslim, because if not 72, then at least a dozen Khalifas shall emerge from the multitude of Muslims, clearly at variance with one another. (May Allah protect us.)
We have just elaborated on the faulty interpretation of the writer in order to stress that if Islam is the religion of peace and submission to Allah, then militancy and rebellion cannot be paramount, indeed such attitudes must be totally against Islam. The Khalifa in Islam, if he is rightly guided must therefore by definition be appointed by Allah and this falls outside the domain of human appointment or nomination. Hence the Khalifa of Islam must be a vicegerent of a divinely appointed personage. The Jama'at Ahmadiyya is the only Jama'at which derives its origin from such a personage. It is the rightly guided Jama'at of our times. Only the Jihad ordained and executed by this Jama'at is by definition contradiction-free and destined to be blessed by Allah, as it has been so for a whole century, and will continue to be so.
The peaceful nature of the crusade for the revival of Islam can be ascertained in another aspect too. Any revival of Islam must have its seeds in the first principles of this religion. Without this back-to- original approach, all attempts to enforce Islam will be in vain.
In order to have a back-to-original approach, one must analyse the spirit behind the Meccan period of Islam. We find that the spirit at that time, i.e., the originating spirit was indeed to tread the path of righteousness. It is a cleansing spirit, which aimed at moral upliftment before everything else. Perseverance coupled with humility was a common quality to be found in the small band of faithful followers. In short it was a non-militant inception. We also learn that the events of the Medinite era were impossible to attain without the originating concepts and beliefs. So-called Muslims of today must first become believers who tread the path of righteousness, to attain the moral and spiritual state deserving Allah's blessings and protection in return for their righteousness. If someone thinks that it is possible to establish Islam regardless of doing righteous deeds or not, he is totally ignorant of Divine Justice. (It must remembered that being a mere believer in name only is not enough to be counted among the righteous.) Hence the fulfillment of the purpose of the Meccan life of the Holy Prophet of Islam, as applied to our era, must be fully understood and completed. Talking about the revival of Islam without this concept bears the seeds of compulsion and bereft of the original principles of this great religion. It will be an attempt to place the cart before the horse, thus resulting in no movement at all.
The Jama'at Ahmadiyya's peaceful approach for the Jihad of the pen is rooted in concepts of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. It is not a losing concept under any standard of morality, justice, philosophy, religion, wisdom or even the commonsense of our era. Arrogance and rebellion are forbidden. Indeed migration is permitted to protect one's faith. Therefore we say that enforcement in Islam is an erroneous concept which one does well to avoid at all times. Surely, as these words are being written, 700 scholars of Islam from all parts of the world, most of them being erstwhile believers in the taking-over of power and enforcement of Islam, have made a complete turnabout and condemned another group of scholars, also of Islam, in an effort to stop a long drawn-out military conflict between two Muslim states. This call is, to say the least, a defacto admission of the impropriety and anti-religious nature of war as a tool for enforcement of beliefs and ideas. The Promised Messiah had said this a hundred years ago, and the hard-hearted then accused him of changing the concept of Jihad in Islam. It is on record that both these militants have described their war efforts to be a Jihad against the anti-Islamic forces of the other. This is a result of the non- acceptance of the call of the Promised Messiah. The primary Jihad of our age is the Jihad which inculcates purification of self and others. (Jihad-e-Kabeer, the greater striving which takes up the struggle positively), and not the Jihad of the sword, (Jihad-e-Sagheer, smaller Jihad), which takes up the sword as a purely defensive and self- protective measure. The Holy Prophet himself and the Holy Quran both testify to the correctness of the above definition of Jihad.
Our era is such that there is a vast proliferation of books, magazines, newspapers and other media. This is the age of information. Yet, ironically a very small minority seems to be interested in the information concerning religion and moral-uplifting. Under these special circumstances a crusading proponent of Islamic superiority, realising this basic characteristic of our time, must pursue his crusade where it is most urgently required. But he must remember that the power of reasoning and intellect of our age are sharpened. Gaining knowledge has been popularised. Powers of all information media have become extremely refined, in order to influence an individual in a pre- determined direction. Therefore the responsibility of the Jihad of the pen should not...