The Need for the Imām

Hazrat Mirzā Masroor Aḥmad, Khalīfatul-Masīḥ Vaa

 

The following is a summary of the Friday Sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalīfatul-Masīḥ Vaa on March 22, 2013. It is an edited version of the synopsis from alislam.org

 

An Urdu poem couplet by the Promised Messiahas reads: “It was the time of the Messiah, not the time of anyone else; had I not come, another would have surely come!”

The Promised Messiahas states in one of his announcements:

Some foolish people think that I have falsely claimed to be a recipient of Divine Revelation. This is incorrect. In fact, this is an act of that Powerful God, Who has created the Heavens and the Earth and has made this Universe. In times when people’s belief in God diminishes, a man like me is born, and God converses with him, and through him God manifests His wonders; so much so, that people come to understand and believe in the existence of God.

Hazrat Khalīfatul-Masīḥaa said that tomorrow is the 23rd of March, a day commemorated as Promised Messiah Day. In this regard, today’s sermon will be based on the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas, God’s succour and support for him, the need for an Imām of the age and the Promised Messiah’sas call to Muslims to accept him, in his own words.

The Promised Messiahas has said:

The earthly and heavenly occurrences which are signs of the advent of the Promised Messiahas have all come to pass in my time. A long while ago, lunar and solar eclipses took place in the month of Ramaḍān . . . there have been occurence of earthquakes and outbreak of plague; Christianity has spread rapidly forth world-wide; and as was written among the sign indicators, I have been strongly branded as an infidel. In short, all the signs which were to appear have been manifested; the knowledge and insights required to guide hearts to the truth have become clear and evident. (Kitābul Barīyya, Ruḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 298-299)

As regards his truthfulness, the Promised Messiahas has written:

I see that those who wish to follow nature and the law of nature have been offered a good opportunity by God Almighty of accepting my claim, in as much as they are not confronted by the difficulties in which our other opponents are involved. They know well that Jesusashas died and at the same time they have to confess that the prophecy contained in the Aḥadīth about the appearance of the Promised Messiah is among the long-established verities that cannot be denied by any reasonable person. Thus, they are left with no other option but to accept that the Promised Messiah will be one of the Muslims. They are, however, entitled to inquire as to why they should believe in me as the Promised Messiah, and on what grounds do I base this claim? The answer is that all the indications mentioned in the Holy Qurʼān and the Aḥadīth with regard to the Promised Messiah have been combined in me and in my age and in my country; as, for instance, the age and the country and the town in which the Promised Messiah was to appear and the circumstances which called specially for his advent, and the earthly and heavenly occurrences which had been specified as indications of his advent, and the knowledge and learning that were to be his characteristic, have all been combined in me. In addition to these, and to provide further satisfaction, I have been strengthened by Heavenly support.

[Farsi couplets] As I was invested with authority for the Christians, I was, therefore, named the Son of Mary. Heaven is showing signs and the earth proclaims that this is the time. These two witnesses stand firm in my support.

To illustrate: the indication given in the text of the Holy Qurʼān proves that the Holy Prophetsaappeared in the likeness of Mosesas, and that the chain ofKhilāfatafter the Holy Prophetsawould be very similar to the chain ofKhilāfatestablished after Mosesas. Just as Prophet Mosesaswas promised that in the latter days—i.e., when the Prophethood of Banī Isrā’īl would reach its limit and Banī Isrā’īl would be divided into many sects, each contradicting the other, so much so that some would declare others to be infidels — God Almighty would raise a successor, i.e., Prophet Jesusas, to support the faith of Mosesas; he would gather the scattered sheep of Israel, and bring sheep and wolves together at one place, and he would be an Arbiter for all the sects of Banī Isrā’īl, and he would iron out their differences and remove all rancour and ill-will; likewise, a similar promise was made by the Holy Qurʼān in the verse: “Andamongothers from among them who have not yet joined them . . .”(62:4).Many details of this are set out in the Aḥadīth. For instance, it is mentioned that Muslims would become divided into as many sects as the Jews; they would contradict each other and brand each other as infidels; and would increase in hatred and enmity towards each other, till the time when the Promised Messiahas would appear as an Arbiter. He would remove all rancour and hostility. During his time, the wolf and the sheep will be brought together. All historians are aware that, at the time of the advent of Jesusas, the Israelite sects were ridden with dissension and labelled each other as heretics and infidels. I have also appeared at a time when inner dissension has multiplied and each sect has started calling othersKāfir. At such a time of dissension, the Muslims were in need of an Arbiter. God has, therefore, sent me as one. (Kitābul Barīyya, Ruḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 254-258 qtd. in Essence of Islām, Vol. IV, pp. 62 – 65)

The Promised Messiahas has also written:

It is an amazing parallel regarding which the Qurʼān and Aḥadīth given definitive indication that just as Jesusas was born in the fourteenth century, thirteen hundred years after Mosesas, similarly this humble one was also sent by God Almighty in the fourteenth century. It seems that in this regard great recipients of Divine visions were of the opinion that the Promised Messiahas would appear in the fourteenth century. God Almighty has indicated to this very matter by giving me the name Ghulām Aḥmad of Qādiān; as the numerical value of this name totals thirteen hundred. In short, the Holy Qurʼān and Aḥadīth prove that the Messiah to come will appear in the fourteenth century, and that he will appear at a time of great discord in Islām and a victory of mutual hatred. (Kitābul Barīyya, Ruḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 258)

The Promised Messiahas has also said that Sheikh Ibn ‘Arabi, in his book Fusūs Al-Hakam, has explained a vision he had and that the Promised Messiah would be born a twin with the other twin being a girl, and would be of Chinese origin. In other words (the Promised Messiahas explains) his ancestors will have lived in the Chinese regions. He states, “Therefore, Divine Will has fulfilled all these signs; I have already written that I was born a twin and a girl was born with me and our forefathers were from Samarkand, which is closely affiliated with the Chinese region.” (Kitābul Barīyya, Ruḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 313, footnote)

The Promised Messiahas also said that in accordance to the Holy Qurʼān, a claim to be commissioned by God can only be proven when three aspects verify it. Firstly, it is backed by definite, clear and evident testimony. (i.e. the claim is not contrary to the Book of God.) Secondly, it is verified and corroborated by rational arguments, and thirdly, Heavenly Signs validate the claimant. He said his claim was proven by virtue of these three arguments and reasoning. (Kitābul Barīyya, Ruḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 299-302)

In addition, he also said that Bukhārī Aḥadīth state that the Promised Messiah to come would be different in appearance from the earlier Messiah (Jesusas). The Holy Prophetsa saw the Messiah to come was circuiting the Ka‘bah in a vision and related that he would have light brown complexion and straight hair, whereas the Israelite Messiah had a ruddy complexion and curly hair. Bukhārī has described the appearance of the Muḥammadan Messiah as being of light brown complexion with straight hair and the Israelite Messiah as having a ruddy complexion with curly hair, which proves that the Holy Prophetsa declared the Promised Messiah to come as a separate person (from the Israeilite Messiah) and also attributed him to be from among the people amidst whom his advent would take place.

It is also worth reflecting that not only has the Holy Prophetsa mentioned the two different appearances of the two Messiahs, but when mentioning the Messiah to come, he has at several places also mentioned Dajjāl. However, he has not mentioned Dajjāl when citing the Israelite Messiah. This also proves that he considered there to be two Īsa bin Maryam (Jesus, son of Maryas). Another important point is that Jesusas was Syrian and Syrians do not have brown complexion, however Indians have brown complexion. Christian history also tells us that Jesusas was not of brown complexion, rather he had a ruddy complexion like Syrian people. However, the words of Aḥadīth prove that the appearance of the Messiah to come was most certainly not like the Syrians.

The Promised Messiahas has said that if Maulawīs of the time appraised honestly they would definitely confess that Kasr Salīb (metaphorical breaking of the Cross) is the task of the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the fourteenth century. As this is the task which is attributed to the Promised Messiah, the obvious outcome is that the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century should be the Promised Messiahas. Immoralities like alcohol consumption and fornication are most prevalent in the fourteenth century, as well as many other depravities. However, on reflection, one finds out that the reason behind these practices is the teaching, which purports that the blood/life of one person has made concession as regards accountability for sins. This is the reason that Europe [the West] is the worst in committing these sins. Usually, due to the immediacy of these people other nations have also become more liberal. Even if people are killed by disease or epidemics destroy them, their minds do not even consider that it could be punishment for their deeds. This is because love of God has cooled off and His greatness has diminished in hearts.

Hazrat Khalīfatul Masīḥaa said that natural disasters striking in current times are a cause for concern. We should also be drawn to prayers in this regard and those who do not believe should also think about it.

The Promised Messiahas has said that freedom given by the Christian concept of atonement has emboldened the Europeans regarding all immoralities. Other nations are also influenced by them. Immorality is like a contagious disease. If a pious woman stays in the company of immoral women, she may not perpetrate evident wickedness, but her heart would be affected. The sense of honour and mercy of God Almighty willed to save people from the toxic influence of the Christian creed and to expose the great deception that has made a mortal god. As this evil had reached its height in the fourteenth century, God’s grace willed the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century to be one to perform Kasr Salīb because a Mujaddid is like a physician, and it is the task of a physician to focus on eradicating the disease which is most dominant. If it is correct that Kasr Salīb is the task of the Promised Messiah, then it is also correct that the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century whose task is Kasr Salīb is the Promised Messiah.

The Promised Messiahas said that the natural question which arises is how and through which resources should the Messiah do Kasr Salīb (metaphorical breaking of the Cross). Should it be done, as our opponent Maulawīs believe, through fighting and war, or some other way? The creed of the Maulawīs is most erroneous. It is certainly against the status of the Promised Messiah to enact war. Rather, his status demands that he removes this evil through intellectual reasoning, heavenly signs and supplication. God has bestowed these three weapons to him and all three have miraculous powers which the other will not be able to compete. Ultimately, this is how Kasr Salīb will be done and its greatness will be lost for everyone with incisive sight. Gradually the vast doors to accepting Tauhīd (Oneness of God) will open. All this will take place gradually because God’s tasks are gradual. Islām’s early progress was gradual and in the latter days it will also return to its early stage gradually.

The Promised Messiahas writes:

Let it be remembered that the term Imām of the age comprises all Prophets, Messengers,MuhaddathīnandMujaddadīn But those who are not appointed by God to educate and guide God’s creatures, nor have they been vouchsafed such excellences, regardless of their being saints or seers, cannot be called the Imāms of the age. Finally we come to the question: who is the Imām in the present age, whom all Muslims, all righteous people, and all those who experience true dreams or revelations must follow? I hereby proclaim, without any hesitation, that, by the grace and bounty of God, He has brought together in my person all these signs and conditions and sent me at the turn of this century, of which fifteen years have already passed. I appeared at a time when all Islāmic teachings, without any exception, were riddled with differences. Likewise, in respect of the Messiah’sasdescent, extremely false notions had gained currency. Differences were so great that some believed Jesusasto be alive while others believed him to be dead; some believed in his bodily descent, while others believed in metaphorical descent. Some thought he would descend in Damascus, others in Makkah, and still others in Jerusalem. Some expected him to appear in the army of Muslims, and some thought he would descend in India. All these differing beliefs and statements called for aḤakam[Arbitrator] to come and judge between them. And I am thatḤakam. I have been sent to break the Cross, in the spiritual sense, and to remove these differences.

These were the two reasons that necessitated my advent. Although it was not necessary for me to produce any other evidence in support of my truthfulness—for necessity is evidence enough—even then God Almighty has manifested numerous signs in my support. Therefore, just as I am theḤakamto pronounce judgement in all the other differences, so am I theḤakamin the dispute over the life and death of Jesusas. I declare that the stand taken by Imām Malikrh, Ibn Hazmrh and the Mu‘tazilites, with regard to the death of the Messiahas, is correct, and I believe the rest of the Ahl Sunnah to be in the wrong. Therefore, in my capacity asḤakam,I hereby give the verdict that the Ahl Sunnah are right only as far as the basic concept of Jesus’sas descent is concerned, for he was bound to descend, albeit in the spiritual sense. Where they have erred, is in the manner of descent, for it was to be figurative, not literal. On the question of the death of Jesusas, the Mu‘tazilites, Imām Malikrh, Ibn Hazmrh, and others who hold similar views, are in the right, for according to the clear authority of the blessed verse: . . . but since Thou didst cause me to die. . . . (5:118)The Messiahasmust have died before the Christians had gone astray. This is my verdict as theḤakam. He who does not accept it, does not accept Him Who has sent me as theḤakam. If the question is asked, what is the proof of your being theḤakam? The answer is that the time for which theḤakam was destined is here, and so are the people whose wrong notions about the Cross the Ḥakam was meant to rectify. The signs which were to appear in support of theḤakam have appeared, and they continue to appear. The heaven is manifesting the signs and so is the earth. Blessed be those whose eyes are not closed (Ḍarūratul Imām, pp. 39 – 41).

Heas also writes:

My opponents should reflect in their hearts that if I am the Promised Messiah, can it be permissible that, for the sake of a mere monarch, they should revile and curse one whom the Holy Prophetsahad described as one of his arms and whom he had sent the greeting of peace and whom he called the Arbiter, the Judge, the Imām and the Vicegerent of God? Let them restrain their anger and reflect, not for my sake but for the sake of Allāh and His Messengersa, whether such treatment of such a claimant was proper? I do not wish to enlarge upon this because my case against you is pending in heaven. If I am the same person who had been promised through the holy lips of the Holy Prophetsa, then you have sinned, not against me but against God. Had it not been mentioned in the Aḥadīth that he will be persecuted and cursed, you would not have dared to persecute me as you have done, but it was necessary that all that was destined and decreed by God and which is still to be found in your books should be fulfilled, and that you should be proved guilty. You read those books and then, by continuing to declare me aKāfirand cursing me, you affirm that you are the evil divines and their ilk who were to declare the Mahdī aKāfirand oppose the Messiah.

I have invited you time and again to come to me so that your doubts may be removed, but none of you has come forward. I invited everyone to a final decision but no one paid any attention. I suggested that you should supplicate to God and beseech Him with tears so that He may disclose the truth to you, but you did nothing and persisted in your denial. Truly has God said concerning me:

A warner came into the world and the world did not accept him, but God will accept him and will proclaim his truth with powerful assaults. Is it possible that a person should be true and yet should be destroyed? Is it possible that a person should be from God and should be ruined? O ye people, fight not God. This is an affair which God has designed for your sake and for the sake of your faith, so do not lay obstacles before it. You might stand before the lightening but you have not the strength to confront God. If all this had been man’s doing, none of your attacks would have been needed. God Himself would have destroyed me. Alas! Heaven is bearing witness and you do not hear; the earth is crying out: One is needed, one is needed, and you pay no attention! O unfortunate people! arise and see that in this time of distress, Islām has been trodden underfoot and has been maligned like criminals. It has been counted among liars and has been written down among unholy ones. Then would not God’s jealousy be aroused at such at time? Understand then that heaven is drawing close and the days are near when every ear shall hear the affirmation: I am present. (Kitābul Bāriyyah, Rūḥānī Khazā’in, Vol. 13, pp. 228 -330).