Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Living under the Gaze of God

The Promised Messiah Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian (1835-1908) always spoke of God as an experiential reality. For him, the quest for the Divine was not a philosophical inquiry or an intellectual fascination, but a comprehensive belief system experienced with perfect certainty. Notwithstanding the disappointments he encountered in his mission- the contrast between the Divine reality as he felt it, and the difficulty he encountered in getting people to recognize the same- the Promised Messiah (as) went on advising people on how best to lead their everyday spiritual life: calling to the sublime reality of God; exhorting them to develop God-consciousness in all that they do; and emphasizing the need for being just, respecting the sentiments and rights of others. 

In a discourse on 16 May 1898, the Promised Messiah (as) underscored the role of individual believer within the spiritual community- of the need for becoming righteous and also of joining with the beloved/saintly people of God- in shaping our destinies in these troubling times. After all, the purpose of our actions is to invite Divine approval and satisfaction, as against going in the direction of causing Divine anger and punishment. Since the essence of faith is the love and worship of the Divine- who is the Lord of the Universe and all its creatures-, believers need to conform to the Divine commandments in all their settings, including mutual relations with our fellow humans. When people rid themselves of jealousy, mockery, arrogance, hubris and other ills of evil within human nature; when people cultivate within themselves the feelings of empathy, understanding, compassion and goodwill; they form a community of righteous people attaining true solidarity and collective progress under the gaze of God, observes the Promised Messiah (as). 

Read the Extracts from the spiritual Discourse Below: 

These are truly fragile times. Everyone ought to fear the wrath of Allah Almighty, for He has no care except for those who are His pious servants. Foster brotherhood and love amongst yourselves; forsake barbarity and mutual dissension.Withdraw completely from all forms of jest and mockery, for mockery moves the heart far away from the truth. Treat one another with respect. Each and every one of you ought to give preference to the comfort of your brother over themselves.

Reconcile sincerely with Allah the Exalted and become subservient to Him once again. The wrath of Allah Almighty is descending upon the earth and only those will be saved who fully repent of all their sins and return to God.

Remember that if you bring yourself to obey the commandments of Allah Almighty and endeavour to support His chosen religion, God will remove all the obstacles in your way and you will be successful.

Do you not observe how a farmer will uproot weeds from the field so that healthy plants can flourish; and how he adorns his field with beautiful and fruitful trees; and safeguards and protects them from everything that could cause them harm? However, owners do not care if cattle eat away at such trees and plants which do not bear fruit, and which begin to rot and dry, or if a lumberjack cuts them down and throws the wood of such trees into a furnace.

In the same manner, you too ought to remember that if you are deemed among the truthful in the sight of Allah Almighty, no one who opposes you can cause you grief.

If, however, you do not set aright your state of affairs and if you do not make a firm covenant of obedience with Allah the Exalted, then God has no care for such people. Thousands of sheep and goats are slaughtered daily, and no one is moved by mercy to prevent this; yet if even a single human being is killed, a long string of questions will follow. Therefore, if you let yourselves become useless and carefree in the likeness of animals, you shall meet the same fate.

You ought to join with those who are loved by God so that no disease or calamity can muster the courage to lay its hands upon you. For nothing can transpire on earth except with the permission of Allah Almighty.

Rid yourselves of all mutual conflict, aggression and enmity. Now is the time for you to set aside trivial matters and engage yourselves in important and magnificent work. The people will oppose you...will be displeased with you, but you ought to advise them gently and not act vehemently towards them. This is the advice that I bequeath to you. Always remember my counsel in the form of a testament that you must never act angrily or harshly, but rather you must advise everyone gently, softly and courteously...’ (Extracts from Malfuzat, volume I, pp. 267-268).