Admonitions to Those Who Have taken Baī‘at - the Pledge of Allegiance
The following are excerpts from the writings of Hazrat Mirzā Ghulām Aḥmad,
the Promised Messiah and Mahdīas. Their English renderings have been taken from Essence of Islām.
O my friends, who have entered into the covenant of Baī‘at with me, may God enable us all to do that which pleases Him. Today you are small in number and are treated with contempt. You are passing through a time of trial. In accordance with the eternal law of God, efforts will be made that you should stumble. You will be persecuted in every way and you will have to hear all sorts of disagreeable things. Everyone who hurts you by word or deed will imagine that he is helping Islām and you will have to pass through some heavenly trials so that you may be tried in every way. Therefore, listen carefully that your way to victory and supremacy will not be through dry logic or returning abuse for abuse, for if you adopt these ways, your hearts will become hardened and you will be left with nothing but words, which God Almighty hates and looks upon with aversion. So do not behave in a manner whereby you would become subject to two curses, the curse of God and the curse of man.
Remember well that if the curse of man is not accompanied by the curse of God Almighty, it amounts to nothing. If God does not wish to destroy us, we cannot be destroyed by anyone; but if He should become our enemy, no one can afford us shelter. How shall we please God Almighty and how shall we win His support? He has repeatedly given me the answer to this question: it can only be done through righteousness. So my dear brethren! Make every effort that you may become righteous. Without action, everything is vain and without sincerity no action is acceptable. Righteousness means that, avoiding all these harmful ways, you should march forward towards God Almighty and be mindful of the subtlest paths of piety. First, cultivate humility, straightforwardness and sincerity, and become truly meek and submissive and lowly, for every seed of good and ill first sprouts in the heart. If your heart is empty of evil, your tongue will also be empty of evil and so will be your eyes and all your limbs. Every light and darkness takes birth initially in the heart and gradually envelops the whole body. So keep your hearts under constant scrutiny. Just as an eater of betel leaves constantly rotates the leaves and snips off their rotten parts and throws them away, in the same way, you should keep rotating before your mind’s eye the secret thoughts and habits and passions and hidden capacities of your hearts, and whenever you encounter a rotten thought or habit or capacity, snip it off and throw it out lest it should pollute your whole heart and you be cut off.
Having done that, strive, and supplicate to God Almighty for strength and courage that your limbs and all your faculties may become the means for the manifestation of pure intentions and thoughts and passions and your heart’s desires, so that your good actions may attain perfection. For that which springs up in the heart and remains confined to the heart will not lead you to any worthy status. Establish the greatness of God Almighty in your hearts and keep His Glory before your eyes. Remember that there are approximately five hundred commandments in the Holy Qur’ān. God has prepared a spiritual banquet for you with reference to your every limb, faculty, form, age, every stage of your intelligence, your nature, your effort in His path, and your individual and collective conditions. Accept the invitation to this banquet with gratitude and eat of all the dishes that have been prepared for you and derive benefit from all. I tell you truly that he who evades a single one of these commandments will be accountable on the Day of Judgement. If you seek salvation, adopt the ways of the humble and carry the yoke of the Holy Qur’ān with meekness. The wicked will be ruined and the rebellious will be hurled into hell. But he who bends his neck humbly will be saved from death. Do not worship God Almighty on the condition of worldly benefits, for there is a pitfall in the way of such thinking. Worship Him in the conviction that it is an obligation which you owe to your Creator. Worship of God should become your very life, and the purpose of your good deeds should be that the true Beloved and the true Benefactor may be pleased with you, for anything less is a stumbling block.
God is a great wealth. To find Him you should be ready to encounter misfortune. He is a great purpose. To achieve it, be ready to lay down your lives. Dear ones! Do not slight the commandments of God Almighty. Let not the poison of current philosophy affect you. Submit to His commandments like a child. Be constant in prayer; be constant in prayer, for prayer is the key to all good fortune. Do not stand up in prayer as if you are performing a ceremony. As you make Wuḍū [physical ablution] in preparation for prayer, so perform an inner ablution whereby you should wash out from your mind and body all thoughts beside that of Allāh. Then stand up in prayer after both these purifying ablutions, and supplicate intensively in the course of your prayer and make crying and weeping your habit so that you may be shown mercy.
Be truthful; be truthful, for He is observing the condition of your hearts. Can man deceive Him? Can cunning devices be of any avail against Him? Greatly unfortunate is the person who carries his disobedience to a degree as if there was no God. Such a one is destroyed quickly and God Almighty cares not at all for him.
Dear ones! The bare logic of this world is a Satan and the hollow philosophy of this world is an Iblīs [Satan personified] who reduces the light of faith and renders a person unduly daring, and carries him to near atheism. Safeguard yourselves against Satan and develop a heart that is poor and meek. Obey the commandments without whys or wherefores, as a child obeys its mother.
The teachings of the Holy Qur’ān are designed to carry you to the highest stage of righteousness. Lend ear to them and conform yourselves with them. Unlike the Bible, the Holy Qur’ān does not teach that you should not look at a woman—or others who can arouse the lustful passions like women—with a lustful eye. The object of Islām’s perfect teaching is that you should not look needlessly at a woman who is not related to you, either with lust or without lust. You should shut your eyes so that you may not stumble and the purity of your heart may not be affected. Remember well this commandment of your Lord and safeguard yourselves against the adultery of the eyes and be fearful of the wrath of the One whose wrath can destroy in an instant. The Holy Qur’ān also prescribes that you should safeguard your ears against listening to any discourse concerning women outside the prohibited degree and also against every discourse that is otherwise improper. It is not necessary for me to admonish you not to commit murder for no one except a wholly wicked person advances towards murder. But I do admonish you that you should not insist upon injustice and thus slay the truth. Accept the truth even if it should proceed from a child. If you find your opponent uttering the truth then immediately give up your dry logic. Adhere to the truth and bear true witness. God the Glorious, says:
That is, “Shun, therefore, the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth,” (22:31) because falsehood is no less than an idol.
That which turns you away from the Qiblah of truth is an idol in your path. Bear true witness even if it should be against your fathers or brothers or friends. Let no enmity prevent you from doing justice.
Give up all miserliness, rancour, jealousy, ill will and coldness and be united. There are two main commandments of the Holy Qur’ān: One is to acknowledge the Unity of God and to render love and obedience to Him, hallowed be His Name; the second is sympathy with your brethren and with the whole of mankind. (Izāla Auhām, Rūḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 3, pp. 546-550)
Now you should reflect and decide in your own minds that, having made the covenant of Bai‘at with me and having accepted me as the Promised Messiah, and as the Arbiter and Judge, if your heart feels constrained or anguished over any decision or action of mine, you should be concerned about the sincerity of your faith. No good can be expected from faith that is full of doubts and suspicions. If you have accepted truly that the Promised Messiah is in fact the Arbiter, then submit completely to his command and look upon his decisions with respect so that you may be counted among those who honour the word of the Holy Prophetsa and esteem it highly. Sufficient is the evidence of the Holy Prophetsa. He assures you that the Promised Messiah will be your Imām and Arbiter and Judge. If this is not enough to satisfy you, how then will you be satisfied? (Malfūẓāt, Vol. 3, pp. 73-74)
The human heart is like Ḥajr Aswad [the Black Stone] and a man’s bosom is like Baitullāh [the House of Allāh]. The thoughts of that which is beside Allāh are the idols installed in the Ka‘bah of his heart. The idols of the Holy City of Makkah were obliterated when our Holy Prophetsa, accompanied by ten thousand saints, arrived at Makkah and Makkah surrendered . . . To defeat and obliterate the idols that are beside Allāh, it is necessary that they should be invaded in the same manner . . . A Jihād is needed for clearing this house of its idols and I teach you the way of this Jihād, and assure you that if you follow it you will succeed in breaking those idols. This way is not devised by me. God has appointed me to disclose it to you. What is that way? It is that you should follow me and obey me. This is not a new call. To clear Makkah of idols, the Holy Prophetsa also announced:
In the same way, if you will follow me you will be able to break the idols that are inside you and you will be able to purify your bosoms that are filled with idols of many kinds. No hard disciplines are needed for the purification of the self. The Companions of the Holy Prophetsa did not subject themselves to any hard disciplines nor to any purposeless repetition of formulas. What they possessed was something very different: they were wholly committed to obedience of the Holy Prophetsa. The light that was in him passed through the duct of obedience and fell upon the hearts of his Companionsra and wiped out all thoughts of everything beside Allāh. Their bosoms were filled with light in place of darkness. Remember well that the same is the situation today. You cannot be purified until the light that comes through the Divine duct falls upon your hearts. The human bosom is the place of descent of Divine light; that is why it is called the House of Allāh. The grand design is that the idols that fill it should be broken and Allāh alone should dwell in it. (Malfūẓāt, Vol. 1, pp. 187-188)