Monday, December 26, 2016

Divine Revelation: 10 Points

The concept of Revelation

By the grace of Allah (swt) I continue my sermon which I started last Friday where I began the explanation on the three categories of people who receive revelation. I told you about the first type of people, those who have no merit and have no relation with God Almighty. Today, I will Insha-Allah continue my explanations on the same subject.

So, the second type of people are those who have some relationship with God Almighty, but that relationship is not perfect. The Promised Messiah (as) provides the analogy that their dreams and revelations resemble the experience of a person who, on a dark and very cold night, espies the glow of a fire from afar and thus is able to avoid walking along a path which is full of pits and thorns and rocks and along which serpents and wild beasts exist in large numbers. But the glow of the fire cannot safeguard him against the cold and death. If he cannot reach the warm circle of the fire, he is destroyed like the one who walks in the dark.

Continuing the analogy, the third type of people are those whose experience of dreams and revelations resembles that of a person who on a dark and very cold night not only finds the bright glow of the fire and walks in its light, but who also enters its warm circle and is fully safeguarded against the cold. This stage, the Promised Messiah (as) mentions, is reached by those who burn up their passions in the fire of Divine love and adopt a life of bitterness for the sake of God. They perceive death – i.e. the death of their passions – ahead of them and run towards it and choose it for themselves. That death can also refer to the natural death of man but who the recipient of revelation accepts and welcome for he knows and fully comprehend that this is the way which will inevitably lead him to his heart’s content, i.e. God Almighty. Thus, death does not become a fearful instance but rather a friend which he embraces so that He may see the countenance of God with a heart filled with the hope of divine mercy and His (Allah’s) love.

These type of people, according to the Promised Messiah (as) accept every torment in the cause of God and for the sake of God they become the enemies of their ego and treading contrary to it (i.e. to their ego) exhibit such power of faith that even the angels are surprised at the strength of their faith. They are spiritual champions and all attacks of Satan come to nothing in opposition to their spiritual power. This third type of revelation is called perfect revelation. It descends upon perfect individuals and resembles the ray of the sun that falls on a clean mirror. Then that ray is magnified ten times and its light becomes unbearable for the eye.

When revelation descends in the same way on a purified soul, especially that of a Messenger of Allah, its extraordinary light shines forth and the reflection of Divine attributes is exhibited in that soul and the countenance of the Divine One is fully disclosed. His inner eye perceive the glow of the Divine, his heart (Sirr) revel in His love, grace, mercy, kindness, light and proximity. All seems as one in perfect harmony with his being, or rather should I say that his being effaces to reveal the overpowering presence itself of Allah.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been known to have said: “He who has seen me, has seen God.” Here, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is not equating himself with God Almighty, but instead is explaining that through divine revelation, dreams, inspirations and visions, the light of God can be reflected perfectly through the individual. Here again, it is pertinent to realise that revelation is not limited only to the Prophets/ Messengers of God Almighty. It is well-known that the mother of Moses and the mother of Jesus were not prophets and yet they were favoured with Divine Revelation. Can we imagine that if a Muslim was to have such a pure soul as that of Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and was to be so obedient to God Almighty as to cast aside his ego altogether, and was to be so devoted in  love to God that he is lost in himself, yet he cannot be the recipient of revelation like the mother of Moses? Can any reasonable person attribute such miserliness to Allah? Logically, and intuitively, the answer is “NO”.

Even though revelation is not limited to the prophets, not everyone can be the recipient of divine revelations. A certain capacity and ability are needed for the recipient of revelation. In Braheen-i-Ahmadiyya (Vol. III), the Promised Messiah (as) has pointed out: 

“It is true that every individual, provided he is not insane, can make progress in his reason, his righteousness and his love of the Divine, but it should be borne in mind that no one can grow beyond the limit of his capacity.” 

It is obvious then that individual human beings possess a diversity of intelligence and moral qualities, and of the light of the heart; and so only those who are perfect in all three areas can be endowed with divine revelation.

Now, after establishing the need of revelation and the types of people who may receive revelation, we now arrive at a very crucial question: “What are the charactheristics and forms of true revelation and how is revelation received?”

In his book Zaruratul Imam (pg. 13-19) the Promised Messiah (as) lists a series of ten “characteristics” of true revelation. Briefly, they are as follows:

(1) True revelation is received at a time when the heart of the recipient, being melted through its ache for truth, flows toward God Almighty like clear water.

(2) True revelation is accompanied by delight and conveys certainty in an unknown manner and penetrates into the heart like an iron nail. Its words are eloquent and free from error.

(3) True revelation possesses a certain majesty and strikes the heart with power and descends upon it in an awesome voice.

(4) True revelation is charged with the power of God Almighty and contains prophecies which are fulfilled.

(5) True revelation is borne witness to by all the inner powers of the recipient and it sheds a new and pure light on all his faculties and he perceives a change in himself. His previous life comes to an end and a new life begins for him, and he becomes a source of sympathy for mankind.

(6) True revelation fosters the recipient’s goodness and purifies him of inner impurities and improves his moral condition.

(7) True revelation does not finish with only one phrase for God’s voice has a continuation… A recipient of true revelation receives a response to his supplications at one place and at one time though sometimes an interval occurs between two series of revelation.

(8) The recipient of true revelation is never a coward and is not afraid to stand up to false claimants of revelation.

(9) True revelation is the means of acquiring knowledge and understanding for God does not desire to leave its recipient without knowledge and in ignorance.

(10) True revelation is accompanied by many other blessings. A recipient of true revelation is bestowed honour from the unseen and is given prestige.

Aside from these characteristics of true revelation, the Promised Messiah (as) claims that revelation in general comes in various forms. He describes these forms and the condition of the recipient at the moment of revelation in his famous book, Braheen-i-Ahmadiyya (pg. 230-280).

This description, as stated by the Promised Messiah (as) cannot be translated into the English language more eloquently, but you all can have an idea – saying that, I cannot fathom why the Jamaat Ahmadiyya has not translated those key books of the Promised Messiah, especially those in Arabic (e.g. Haqiqatul Wahy) into English, so that at least all Ahmadi Muslims around the world as well as the seekers of truth can grasp the real essence of his teachings transmitted in those books. More than 125 years have gone by and by the grace of Allah, there are many able Ahmadi Muslims who could have done this job, and there is more than enough finance available to publish these books, yet there are no signs of these translated works – in various languages – till now.

By the grace of Allah, Allah (swt) has elevated the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and we have started translation of some of the books of the Promised Messiah (as), including the Haqiqatul Wahy which is presently being done by our Amir in Kerala in English and Malayalam. Insha-Allah, may Allah inspire him the best translation for this work and bless him in this endeavour and the real devotion he shows to Allah and His Khalifatullah. Ameen. May Allah bless the rest of my disciples who are equally doing a marvellous work in the translation of the books of the Promised Messiah as well as the materials of the Divine Manifestation of this age. Though our financial state is presently poor, but we have full confidence in Allah (swt) that it is only with His mighty help that we shall succeed in this noble work. Insha-Allah.

I end the second part of my Friday Sermon here, and Insha-Allah, may Allah give me the Tawfeeq to continue the same subject of sermon next Friday. 

May Allah bless you all and show you the gateway to the comprehension of the true revelations which He bestows upon this humble self like He bestowed upon those before me, and which He shall bestow to others after me till the Day of Judgement, till the Final Hour when all shall be Islam and for Allah, either willingly or forced to be, that is, when all the truth shall be rendered clear before one and all and the shame of wrongdoings shall cause them the severest of pain for not having been wise and intelligent enough to recognise the light of revelation and truthfulness which had been bestowed upon the Messenger of Allah of their time. Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 16 December 2016 (15 Rabi’ul Awwal 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.