I (Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifa-tul-Masih II) now proceed to enumerate the beliefs held by our Jama’at so that you can see whether any of them are contrary to Islam:
- We believe that God exists; to subscribe to a belief in His existence is to affirm the most important truth; it is not to follow an illusion or superstition.
- We believe that God is One. He has no partner here nor in Heaven. Everything else is His creation, dependent on His help and sustenance. He is withtout son or daughter or father or mother or wife or brothers, Unique in His Oneness and in His Individuality.
- We believe that God is Holy, free from all defects and full of all perfections. No imperfection which may be found in Him, and no perfection which may not be found in Him. His power is unlimited. So is His Knowledge. He encompasses everything and there is nothing which encompasses Him. He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, the Creator and Master of all creation. His control has never failed in the past, nor is it failing at present, nor will it fail in the future. Free from death, He is the Living, the Eduring. He suffers no defect or decay. His actions are willed, not forced or constrained. He rules over the world today as He ever ruled before. His attributes are eternal, His power always evident.
- We believe that angels are a part of God’ creation. They follow the law laid down in the Quran – ‘they do what they are commanded.’ They have been created in His Wisdom for the discharge of determinate duties. Their existence is real and references to them in the Holy Book are not metaphorical. They depend on God in the same way as men or His other creatures. He is not dependent on them for the manifestation of His power. Had He willed, He would have created the universe without angels, but His perfect wisdom willed their creation. So angels came into being. God created light for the eye and bread for for hunger. He created light and bread not because He was in need of them but because man was in need of them. The angels only manifest the Will and Wisdom of God.
- We believe that speaks to His chosen servants and reveals to them His purpose. Revelation from God descends in words. The recipient provides neither the meaning nor the words of revelation. Both come from Him. Revelation provides real sustenance for man. Man lives by it and through it man comes to have contact with God. The words, which embody a revelation of God, are unique in their power and majesty. No man can coin such words. They carry treasures of knowledge and wisdom. They are like a mine the stone of which is the more valuable the deeper you dig. Indeed, a mine is nothing compared with revelation. A mine can be exhausted, but not the wisdom of revelation. A revelation is like a sea with a scented surface and a bed strewn with the most precious pearls. Those, who turn to the surface, enjoy the fragrance of the surface, and those, who dive deep, find the pearls below. Revelation is of many kinds. Sometimes it consists of ordinances and laws, sometimes of exhortations. Sometimes it brings knowledge of the unsees, sometimes knowledge of spiritual truths. Sometimes it conveys the goodwill and approval of God, sometimes His dis-approval and displeasure, sometimes His love and regard, sometimes warnings and rebukes. Sometimes it teaches points in morals, sometimes His insight into secret evils. In short, our belief is that God communicates His Will to His servants. These communications vary with circumstance and the spiritual status of the recepient. Of all divine communications, the most perfect, the most complete and comprehensive is the Holy Quran. The law laid down in the Holy Quran and the spiritual guidance it contains are to last for ever. They cannot be superseded by any future revelation or communication from God.
- We also believe that when darkness prevails in the world and human beings sink deep in sin and evil, when without the help of God it becomes difficult for them to release themselves from the hold of Satan, then out of His Mercy and Beneficence, God chooses from out of His own loving and layal servants, those whom He charges with the duty to guide the world. God says,
“And there are not a people but had had a warner.” [Al-Fatir]
It means that God has sent His Messengers to all peoples of the word. Their pure lives and perfect example ever serve as guides for other human beings. Through them God reveals His will and purpose. Those who turn away from them degrade themselves. Those who turn to them earn the love of God. The doors of His blessings are opened to them. His grace and mercy descend on them. They become spiritual preceptors for generations to come and attain greatness in this world and the next.
- We also believe that divine messengers, who in the past have helped mankind out of darkness and evil, have belonged to different levels of spiritual greatness and have fulfilled in different degrees the divine purpose which determined their advent. The greatest of them was the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of God). God described him as “the chief of men, a messenger unto all mankind.” God revealed to him the knowledge of good and evil and blessed him with His help. The most powerful earthly rulers quivered out of awe for him. The entire earth was as sacred as a mosque to him. Time came when his followers could be seen in every part of the world; in every part there were believers who bowed and prostrated themselves before the One God, the God without an equal. Justice began to reign instead of injustice, kindness instead of cruelty. If the earlier prophets had lived in the time of our Holy Prophet, they would have had to obey and follow him. Truly has the Quran said:
“And remember the time when Allah took a covenant from the people through the prophets, saying ‘whatever I give you of the Book and Wisdom and then there comes to you a Messenger fulfilling what is with you, you shall believe in him and help him.” [Al-Imran, 82]
Truly has the Holy Prophet himself said (on whom be peace and the blessings of God):
“If Moses and Jesus were alive today, they would have had to believe in me and follow me.” [Tafsir Ibn-i-Kasir, volume 2, page 246]
We also believe that God hears the prayers of His suppliants and servants. He helps them out of difficulties. He is a Living God, His living character being evident in all things, at all times. The guidance that comes from God is not like the structure we build, when we dig for a well to be destroyed after the well has been built, being required no more; a hindrance rather than a help. The guidance that comes from a Living God is like the light but for which, we should see nothing; it is like the spirit but for which, everything should become dead. Take away the spirit and we would be only lifeless masses. It is not true that God created the world and then chose to sit aside. He continues His beneficent and benevolent interest in His servants and creatures. When they feel humble and weak, He turns to them with His help. If they forget Him, He reminds them of Himself and of His concern and solicitude for them. Then through special Messengers He reassures them, saying:
“I am near indeed. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he prays to Me. So that they should hearken to Me and believe in Me that they may go aright.” [Al-Baqarah, 187]
That is, God hears the prayers of His men. It is up to men to believe in Him and pray to Him. If they do so, they will have guidance from Him.
- We also believe that from time to time God determines and designs the course of events in special ways. Events of this world are not determined entirely by laws called the laws of nature. Besides these laws, there are special through which God manifests His might, interest, and purpose. It is these special laws which constitute evidence of the Will and Power and Love of God, but which many out of ignorance happen to deny. Such men believe in nothing besides the laws of nature. Yet laws of nature may be laws of nature, but not laws of God. Laws of God are laws through which God helps His chosen ones, those whom He loves; through them He disgraces and destroys the enemies of His friends. If there were no such laws, could weak and friendless Moses have truimphed over a cruel and mighty Pharaoh? Could Moses suceed and Pharaoh fail, while Moses was weak and Pharaoh strong? If there are no laws other than the laws of nature, how could the Holy Prophet Muhammad have triumphed against an Arabia determined to put an end to him and his mission? In every encounter God helped the Holy Prophet and made him triumph over his enemies. Every attack the enemies made ended in failure, and at last, with ten thousand saints, he re-entered the valley out of which ten years before he had to flee for his life in the company of only one self-sacrificing friend. Can laws of nature account for such events? Can they permit such things? Laws of nature only guarantee the success of the strong against the weak; conversely, the failure of the weak against the strong.
- We also believe that death is not the end of all existance for human beings. Man survives death and has to account for his deeds in the Hereafter. Those who do good deeds merit generous rewards. Those who offend His teachings and commandments meet the punishment which is their due. Nothing can save this reckoning. Human beings must survive and face it. A man may be burnt to ashes and the ashes dispersed in the air; he may be eaten by birds or animals or worms or reduced to dust and the dust changed into something else; he will nevertheless live after death and meet his Maker to give an account of his deeds. The Power of God guarantees human survival. It is not necessary that the human body should remain intact, that the human soul may survive. God has the power to restore a man to life from the meanest particle or atom of his soul or being. That is how it will happen. The body may be reduced to ashes, but the ashes need not disappear into nothing. Nor can the spirit, housed in the body, pass into nothing. Not without the Will of God.
- We believe that dis-believers in God and enemies of His revealed guidance, unless forgiven out of His infinite mercy, will stay in a place called Hell. Extremes of heat and cold will be the punishments awarded in this place, but the object will not be to give pain to the inmates, but to reform them. In Hell, unbelievers and enemies of God will spend their days in wail and woe, in regrets over days spent in evil. They will continue so, until the Mercy of God, which encompasses all things, will encompass the evil-doers and their evil also. Then will the Promise of God be fulfilled which the Holy Prophet announced:
A time will come when no one will be left in Hell; winds will blow and the windows and doors of Hell will make a rattling noise on account of the blowing winds.” [Tafsir-ul-Maalam-ul-Tanzil under verse Hud:107]
We believe that those, who believe in God, His prophets, His angels and His books; who affirm with their heart and soul and the guidance which comes from Him; who walk in humility and abase themselves in His presence; who live like the poor though they be rich; who serve humanity and sacrifice their comfort for others; who abjure excesses of all kinds, hate, cruelty, and transgression; who are models of human goodness; – these men will go to a place called Heaven. Peace and pleasure will reign in this place. Pain will not exist. The pleasure and approval of God will have been won by every man. God will be present to all, His Universal Grace enwrapping every one. So near will God be and so conscious will everyone become of His existence and presence that every one will be as a mirror reflecting God and His perfect attributes. All low desires of man will disappear. The desires of men will be the desires of God. They will have attained everlasting life, every one an image of his Creator.
These are our beliefs. If there are any other belief which one must own before one can be said to subscribe to Islam, we do not know. The doctors of Islam point to no other belief. We affirm all the beliefs of Islam and hold these beliefs as our beliefs.
(Dawat-ul-Amir, English translation: Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, First Edition, pg. 4-10, By Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifa-tul-Masih II)