Monday, June 13, 2011

Trials of Faith and the Duty of the Believer

Test of character is a recurring theme in spiritual experience and religious history. The Holy Qur’an repeatedly warns believers to be constantly on the alert and to examine their own inner urges and external stimulations at crossroads of conscience. The experiences of disciples at the time of God’s Messengers such as Moses (as), Jesus (as) and Muhammad (sa) point to the complex questions and forces at work in social circumstances.

While faith is a framework to look for directions, it is important for believers to be cautious: You never know which way channels of vanity and material interests may overcome pure belief and corrupt your faith in God and in the manifestation of Divine favour among yourselves. Thus, in addition to fervent supplication of prayers, the believer must also distrust the human intellect and its vagaries or in any case, be critically aware of one's own subjectivity. In a speech delivered after Esha Prayers on June 10, 2011, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib reflected on this profound subject.

Read from the extracts:

 “…[W]e, Muslims (who) have believed in the advent of Islam and the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa), we must not walk haughtily on earth and consider everything with arrogance, to such an extent that we consider ourselves superior to others. We must not think that we exclusively deserve the favours of Allah, and no other person can surpass us, be it in mundane affairs or spiritual matters.

Only Allah has the right to judge the faith of His servants. Nobody has the right to say that he or she has faith, is sure of it, because Allah has made it clear in the Quran that (commentary): ‘O believers, say that you have accepted Islam and not to have obtained faith.’ Today you can have faith, and tomorrow you can easily lose it. This is what happened to some people who were with us. They showed their superiority and then turned their backs to the favours of Allah when He sent His Messenger to them.

Therefore, each of you should be guardian over your own deeds, and not look at what your fellow brothers or sisters are doing. Even if Allah has blessed you with many favours, then become like that charged fruit tree which curb in humility when Allah made so many favours upon it. Take the example of the Holy Prophet (sa), who after being victorious, remained humble and kind.

Do not be arrogant and think the world of you, to such an extent that you think that the dreams and visions you are having is the absolute reality. It may be that Allah tries you through it to test your mettle and to see how to react to such messages. Bear in mind the evil consequences of Samiri when he thought himself superior to Hazrat Musa (as) and told his people while Hazrat Musa (as) went on Mount Sinai, that he (Samiri) has seen the Messenger (the Archangel Jibreel (as)) and that it is the angel who has commanded him to throw dust on the golden calf to enable it to make a sound etc.

Therefore, never build up hatred and prevent it from manifesting in all sorts of ways. Curb it and instil in your hearts humility and be strong together as one body. Do not wish bad for others; it may be that the group or individual you are mocking becomes better than you in the sight of Allah. The days of victory are coming, when a spiritual revolution shall take place. Take care of your faith lest, you who are now at the front of the Divine Manifestation see yourselves at the back, when those pure people shall come as the great waves of the sea, and behold lest you found that that wave has brought you at the back!

You may be few (compared to others – other groups) but make it be that despite you are few, but you are pure, by following and attaching yourselves firmly to a spiritual chief, someone who comes from Allah. If you detach you from the Divine Manifestation, from the Messenger of Allah and show yourself to be arrogant and haughty – and not obeying the divine messages (and the Messenger of Allah), therefore you shall be seriously fall on your face; not only that, you shall be destroyed. That is why, there is this saying that faith is very hard to get, but very easy to lose…

Therefore all these must act as an eye-opener for us, that we, in turn do not repeat the same mistakes, to take ourselves as more superior to others…”

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