Monday, May 12, 2014

The Dynamics of Renewal and Expulsion

In the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, one of the spiritual teachings that the Khulafatul Massih have always defended is the continuity of Divine revelations and the advent of Divine Reformers till the Day of Judgment. Allah has kept the door open for revelation and Allah will appoint Guides/ Khulafa through revelation to guide this Jamaat and humanity whenever and wherever Allah chooses as the need arises. We have already documented many statements from the Promised Massih (as) and also that of the Musleh Moaud Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra), whereby they have expressly endorsed this blessed hope about the continuity of Divine Reformers and other promised spiritual sons in the Din-e-Islam till the Last Days. (For a list of Blog articles chronicling and commenting on such speeches and references from the writings and statements of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, check here: 1234567891011121314161718 ). 

In a speech delivered at Sydney, Australia in the 1990’s, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV has given a very vivid picture of how reform takes place within religious communities and what are its consequences. One of the sure trajectories of religious renewal is the trials and oppositions a Reformer will have to face within his own community and people when he becomes a servant of Allah and bring to the people the mercy of Divine Messages. The sermon entitled The Philosophy of the Revival of Religion states:

…………….Every fair minded person can see from this comparison that the Ahmadiyya view-point is based on the history of religions while the philosophy of its opponents is mythical and contradicts the history of religious revival. We learn from history that everyone appointed by God was faced with a storm of opposition. All prophets came with the message of truth and eternal life but were opposed by those who preferred falsehood to truth, and spiritual death to spiritual life. This indeed is the process of the birth of religions. When impurities and corruption crept into religions, their rebirth also took the same course. The reformers sent by God also suffered as the prophets had suffered. Whenever the Almighty chose to revive a nation spiritually, it split into two groups-those who saw the truth and those who opposed it. And neither group ever changed its demonstrated attitude. The Holy Quran describes this oft repeated cycle in a most effective and moving manner. A study of the Holy Quran shows that:

1. Religions are born and revived through divinely appointed reformers. Never have the scholars ever reformed a religion through conferences and consultations.
2. The divinely appointed reformers are invariably rejected by their people and treated with arrogance and disdain.
3. Such reformers are always opposed by violence. They are accused of corrupting the religion of their forefathers. They are branded heretics and held guilty of apostasy.
4. The creed professed by the opponents prescribes death or banishment as the punishment for apostasy. The reformers are offered a choice of either a return to the fold or exile, failing which they are threatened with death.
5. The reformers never advocate violence. Their followers demonstrate steadfastness of such a high degree that they would rather be exiled or killed than recant.
6. The reformers do not entice people with promises of power and high office: they dispel worldly ambition. They do not lure people with wealth; they inculcate the spirit of sacrifice. The rich who believe consider it their good fortune to give their all in the service of God; the mighty shrug off the trappings of power. It is then that divine providence adjudges them fit to take over temporal power.

This is the process of religious revival of nations that the Qur’an and the Scriptures reveal. All prophets, from Adam to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, went through these stages. They gave their nations new life by leading them over the path of suffering and sacrifice. They taught love. They inculcated love of hard work, of sustained effort and incessant actions. It is this revolutionary spirit which breathes life into dead nations. This oft-demonstrated and unchanging divine law is in consonance with man's nature, conscience and intellect. It is this law that the Ahmadiyya Community acknowledges.”  
(For the Full Speech, see the Review of Religions, Vol. 99: 9, pp.29-44, Sept 2004 issue. For an online version, click here ). 

Expulsion for Divine Revelations

Against the aforesaid backdrop of the spiritual Doctrine of the continuity of Divine revelations, one can look at the question of administrative expulsion of a recipient of Divine Revelations in the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. We have with us the entire record of the episode of expulsion and banishment of Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius from the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Mauritius in the year 2000-01. (For an illustrative list of Divine revelations vouchsafed to Hadhrat Khalifatullah both before the expulsion and also after the expulsion, click here )

The respected Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib was and is a humble man who made honest and sincere and dedicated and selfless and tireless work in service of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in the 1990’s. Allah (twa) graced his work so much that this simple Daii-Ilallah came up with an impressive and creditable record of achievements in different lands, which are worth weighing in diamonds- mundane and spiritual. Had he been the general of a national Army, he would have been decorated by his country with three stars- for the service of establishing the sovereign domain (of the Jamaat) in three different nations. 

When Allah (swa) honoured him with a fourth star and bestowed His infinite mercy and descended the Ruhul Qudus with Divine revelations on him and the people who knew dared to tell the truth to those in charge of the Jamaat, how have they- the chieftains and the ruling elites in the Jamaat- treated him? Whenever a Divine Messenger arrives, the people concerned will belittle and prosecute him. For the “crime” of suggesting that the members of the Jamaat derive benefit out of the Divine revelations being vouchsafed to one among them, they accused the recipient of revelations, with the commission of fraudulence and prepared a charge-sheet of conspiring to work against “the spirit of nizam-e-Jamaat”.  

The chieftains proved to be not just ungrateful, but turned out to be dry woods consumed by the fires of jealousy and sought to privilege administrative logic over the sheer Grace of Divine blessings. By insinuating that a righteous servant is advising on offering prayers with an ulterior motive of seeking to upset the Jamaat order, the chieftains paraded their blinkered perception. Viewed in retrospect, in their ignorance and blinkered vision, the then Amir of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Mauritius, Mr. Amine Jowahir, and his sincere followers have shown themselves to be excellent in proving the words of the Khalifa to be correct when they sought the expulsion of Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) for the “fitna” of being a recipient of Divine revelations. 

When Ahmadis in India heard about the expulsion episode, they refused to believe that Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib was expelled from the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya on the basis of being a recipient of Divine Revelations because of the teachings long in existence in the Jamaat. Hadhrat Sahib reflected on the situation: 

"This present year, at the beginning of February 2011, some Ahmadis in India did not want to believe their ears when they came to know that I had never received my official letter of expulsion, and in addition, they could not accept that the fourth Khalifa wrote such letter of expulsion only on the basis of divine revelations, only because someone has said that he was receiving revelations from Allah. They personally have the conviction that Allah shall always pour down divine revelations on His chosen ones, and thus they could not believe their ears when hearing about the harsh words which the fourth Khalifa had uttered about this humble self (through the Additional Wakilut-Tabshir).

Moreover the fourth Khalifa stated the words “so-called revelations” in his letter. The people in India could not believe their eyes as the Khalifa himself wrote a book of more than 700 pages on “revelations”. They could not accept that the late Khalifa could do such mistakes. According to them, they believed that the Khalifatullah of this era is a liar when he started blaming their late Khalifa, or they even thought that I was forging lies on his account! Alas, all these facts are based on the truth.

Mr. Amine Jowahir and his Mullahs (members of the Amila etc.) around him organised a series of meetings in all branches of the island where there are Ahmadiyya Mosques as from the 01 January 2001 itself – more than 10 years backbiting – still canvassing all the Ahmadis (in many ways) that Munir Ahmad Azim is a liar and so on...

Thus, without committing FRAUD, LIES, THEFT, ADULTERY, SHIRK, AGRESSION, VIOLENCE, CRIME, MURDER or any other disgustful act, I was expelled from the Nizam-e-Jamaat on 01 January 2001. Why? Only because of Divine revelations which were coming down upon this humble self and which they were made aware of through Mr. Zafrullah Domun in December 2000. 
Now when I think over that fax of 31 December 2000, how arrogant was the late Mirza Saheb! How hatred was created in the hearts of all Ahmadis about divine revelations, the pure words coming down from Allah! Mr. Zafrullah Domun was also an Amir of the Jamaat from 1988 till 1998; Huzur treated him as “stupid” because he had believed in the revelations of Munir Ahmad Azim.
Allah has given all human beings two ears to listen to both sides of a story or report, but unfortunately the fourth Khalifa was deaf of one ear. He listened only to the “great Amir” and without using his mind or making investigations on our side, he took a quick decision in our expulsion. And he had the guts to add in his letter that he was only taking this decision “on the basis of this report… – that is, the report of the so-called Amir) – … Mr. Munir Azim and Mr. Zafrullah Domun should be expelled from Nizam-e-Jama’at” and the Khalifa continued as thus: 
“If they desire they can form their own separate Jamaat… Mr. Zafrullah Domun who has been the Amir of the Jamaat of Mauritius should not only be so stupid as to believe in the revelations of Munir Azim…” and at the end of the letter he threw “Laanat” (curse) upon us that we shall have a “fearful destiny”.

Fourth Khalifa on Mistakes a Khalifa may commit

Most ironically, the fourth Khalifatul Massih who spoke so eloquently on the continuity of Divine Reformers in Islam, himself endorsed the decision to expel the recipient of Divine revelations and “permitting” him to form a separate Jamaat altogether! In one of his Question and Answer sessions, the fourth Khalifa is reported to have observed:

Khulafa, the deputies of prophets, they're not infallible. They can make mistakes. Even when they make mistakes, because they are truthful when it is pointed out to them they are brave enough and they love truth enough to accept their mistake.

If and when Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya comes under a shadow of clouds, a large portion of the blame shall lie on the advisers, Hadhrat Musleh Maoud Khalifa Sani (ra) presciently reminded the Jamaat, a long time ago. Once the Promised Massih (as) famously commented on the state of religious decadence in historic Palestine at the advent of the Jesus (as) when he said that there was none among the Jewish classes who had the quality to be the father of a Prophet among them that Allah (twa) had to raise him without a human father

In the specific context of the present case, the religious decadence in Mauritius at the advent of the new Massih of Allah resembled the situation of ancient Palestine. To paraphrase the viewpoints of the Promised Massih (as) and Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra), it seems that no one "born of a single father'- someone blessed with charcater, fair judgement and not servilewas around in the coterie of the advisers of the reigning Caliph who could guide him with the sound advice, telling him about the larger truth of the actual, factual situation about the Divine Manifestation in Mauritius. In that case, the fourth Khalifa could have corrected and avoided the embarrassing blemish of his lapse of judgement and on his last record. Had he been alive in this decade, had Allah not ended his earthly career after this episode,  the fourth Khalifa could have acted on his words and revisited his hasty decision, may Allah forgive him.  

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