Islam stands for peace. Ahmadiyya Muslim community presents the real picture of Islam.

The true victory of Islam, as is evident from the word 'Islam' (submission) itself, lies in our complete surrendering our selves to God and freeing ourselves of our egos and our passions. No idol, whether it is the idol of our desires, our our intentions, or the idol of creature worship, should stand in our way, and we should submit ourselves entirely to the will of God. After reaching this state of Fana (self-annihilation), we will attain baqa (the life of eternity) which will give our eyes a new light, our minds a new passion; and we will become a wholly new being and the same Eternal God will become for us a new God. This is the true victory, and one aspect of it is Divine ammunion.(the green announcement p. 28)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Plague (Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad 4th successor of the Promised Messiah )

THE WORLD WE KNOW TODAY is so different from that of a mere hundred years ago. The age of air travel had not yet dawned. The fledgling flight of the Wright brothers was to remain, for many more years, a dream to be realized. Massive ships towering high like mountains were not yet built and the era of submarines was not as yet afloat. Nevertheless, there was a stir in the air, like that at the early break of dawn. A dazzling new day of revolutionary scientific inventions was breaking.

The air in the realm of religion was also vibrant with an expectancy of a different nature. There was talk in every religion of the near advent of a Divine Reformer of global dimensions. Who would come and where, was the most hotly debated question. The air was tense with claims and counterclaims. But nowhere was the tension of inter-religious debate so intense as in the subcontinent of India.

Christians and Muslims were awaiting the arrival of the Messiah among them. The Hindus were no less enthusiastic about the manifestation of their Lord Krishna. The Buddhists did not lag behind either, in hoping for the re-advent of Buddha.

In that atmosphere of multi-religious conflict, a voice was heard loud and clear, from a person of humble origin by the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian. He electrified the atmosphere with his outstanding advocacy of the supremacy of Islam over all other faiths. He threw challenges on behalf of Islam in every direction with such powerful arguments based on scriptural and logical evidence as compelled the champions of other religions to take serious note of him. 'A new warrior has risen for the defence of Islam,' was the clamour everywhere.

The Muslims of the subcontinent were astir with joy and hope. Till the entry into the arena of this new champion of the Muslim cause, Islam was the least ably defended of all the combatant religions. Meteoric was his rise to fame among the Indian Muslims when the first few volumes of his monumental work Brahin-e-Ahmadiyyah were published. Glowing tributes were paid to him by eminent Muslim scholars of that time. Leading articles were published in his praise by the Muslim press. But it was not to last long.

The situation changed dramatically when he pronounced, one day, that God had revealed to him that Jesusas, son of Mary, was dead. He died many long years after his deliverance from the cross like any other human prophet. In his name and in his spirit and style it was he, Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas who had been raised as the Messiah of the latter days, to fulfil the prophecies of the second advent of Jesusas. A fuller discussion on this will follow in Part VII. For the present it should suffice that his fame had reached heavenly heights before he made this claim. But the first thing that claim cost him was that fame which turned overnight into notoriety. His name was still known from end to end in the vast subcontinent of India among the people of Islam, but no longer with honour and dignity and with hopes and aspirations. The hunter of the enemies of Islam became the most hunted person by the very Muslims whose battles he had fought. All his friends turned into foes, all his well-wishers wished him dead rather than accept the death of Jesus Christas and his spiritual rebirth among the Muslims. He was maligned and vilified and abused and opposed with such frenzy as the subcontinent of India had not witnessed before. It was at this moment of total betrayal by the world of Islam, and undisguised hostility by the rest of the religions, that he was reassured by God that He would not abandon him. Many prophetic warnings were vouched to him concerning the Divine chastisement for those who led campaigns of bitter antagonism against him. Many Divine warnings were bestowed to him regarding heavenly punishments of a much wider application, so that the people at large might draw their lesson from them, but they heeded not. He was falsified. But his prophetic warnings of Divine chastisement could not be falsified.

ONE SUCH WARNING related to the impending epidemic of the plague which was to play exceptional havoc in the Punjab, the province of India to which he belonged. The most emphatic warning delivered by him to the world was bestowed upon him in the words of the following Divine revelation:

'A Warner came unto the world, but the world accepted him not; yet God shall manifest His favour and demonstrate his truth with powerful assaults.' 1

Plague, as we have already mentioned, was just one of the many punitive signs which he prophesied. But it was so great a sign of extraordinary import that we have specifically selected it as a category by itself. It was not just a sign of the truth of the Promised Messiahas, it was a sign of the truth of the Quran and the Bearersa of the Quran. Again it manifestly proved the claim that revelation is a most reliable means of transferring knowledge from the realm of the unknown to that of the known. The visitation of the plague which was revealed to the Promised Messiahas was in fact a Quranic prophecy reasserted during his time, because his was the age when it was destined to be realized.

And when the sentence is passed against them, We shall bring forth for them an insect (Da'bbah) out of the earth, which shall wound them (Tukallemo) because people did not believe in Our Signs.2

The word da'bbah as used by the Quran has already been defined with reference to another verse discussed earlier. It applies to all animals, from the tiniest to the most massive ones, which move along earth surfaces with a locomotive mechanism.3

It is highly important to understand the significance of this prophecy, which has a very potent message for the people of this age. Many a past Muslim scholar and commentator of the Quran has related this prophecy to the age when the Mahdi and the Messiah would appear. Although they could not fathom the entire import of the message, they still came surprisingly close. 'Allamah Isma'il Haqqi Al-Buruswi (d. AH 1137) commentating on the above verse in Ruhul Bayan wrote that the Mahdi would come and then the Dajjal (anti-Christ) would appear followed by the Messiah. During this time da'bbah will emerge and after that the sun will rise from the West.

The Shi'a scholar, Mullah Fath-Ullah Kashani (d. AH 988), in his commentary Minhaj-us Sadiqin, has made the following comments:

'According to some of our friends this verse (i.e. relating to the emergence of da'bbah) points to the advent of the Divine authority who is the Mahdi of the Muslim people (Ummah).'

This is as far as these commentators could go from their study of Hadith in conjunction with the above Quranic verse. They did not offer any explanation as to the nature of da'bbah. It was left to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, in his capacity as the reformer of the latter days to further elaborate and explain the true implication of this prophecy in the light of the Divine revelations and visions bestowed upon him.

In February 1898, Hazrat Ahmadas received revelations about an impending plague, and he immediately published this important warning through newspapers and pamphlets to the world at large. He explained that the plague of which he had foretold was the same calamity implied in the verse relating to the appearance of al- da'bbah

He further observed that the word tukallemo mentioned in the verse has two basic meanings. One is to wound and the other is to speak. The context in which this verse is set clearly relates to an animal of a sort which would bite the people for having rejected the signs of the Lord. The alternative meaning requires the da'bbah to speak to the people. This he does by implication indicating that this punitive measure is a result of their denial. Thus he speaks as he wounds by discriminating between good and bad.

After this initial warning, many others followed, further elaborating the nature of the impending plague and the manner in which it would strike. The Promised Messiahas was told in no uncertain terms that this plague would devastate large areas in the Punjab, and village after village would be emptied of life. Death would knock at every door and strike the townships from end to end leaving a trail of horror behind as it went. 

Qadian, the township where he himself dwelled, would be no exception, he declared, but the plague there would be employed to further enhance the sign of his truth. It would strike all around his house but would not be permitted to step within its four walls.

'I will save all who dwell in the House.'4

For those who sought and cared for his shelter, he made it clear that this promise of security would not be confined only to such as occupy his house physically but would also cover those who dwell in his spiritual home—the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Thus he delivered manifest warnings to all who rejected him and gave glad tidings of miraculous protection to all who believed.

When he mentioned that the Ahmadis would be miraculously saved from this affliction, he made it clear at the same time that in exceptional cases, the Ahmadis who were Ahmadis in name only may also suffer. But by and large, they would be saved in such outstanding proportion as would leave no doubt in the mind of the observer that this protection was in no way accidental.

THE TALE OF THE PLAGUE in the Punjab is an amazing tale indeed. It testifies to the truth of the Promised Messiahas in letter and spirit. How could a man claim protection even from the common cold as a sign of his truth? To speak of the plague to show distinct partiality to his followers was too tall a claim to be made by an ordinary mortal if God Himself had not vouchsafed it to him. It was an exceptionally tall claim indeed that all who would sincerely submit to his authority as the Divinely appointed Imam of the age would be spared the agony of the plague.

When finally the hour struck, it struck to toll the bell over the funeral of his sworn enemies. Many among them had publicly vowed that it would be Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas himself who would die of the plague. But it was they themselves who were stricken by the plague along with their families, one after the other, until none were left to mourn their death. It did spare, as was promised, his followers, by an outstandingly large margin. A margin which could not be explained away by any factor of chance or accident. No earthly logic could account for the distinct partiality with which the plague treated the Ahmadis in hundreds of villages of mixed population. This miracle repeated itself everywhere with such brilliance as even the blind could see. And the blind did see and rushed towards the safe haven of Ahmadiyyat in such numbers as had never happened before. And lo, they were saved. But alas for those who possessed the faculty of sight that they were blinded by its dazzling brilliance. There were villages where no one was left to carry the coffins of the victims of the plague to the nearby graveyards, except the followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. They carried the corpses of the disbelievers on their shoulders to the burial ground without the least fear of contracting the plague.
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